22 Oh, this is awkward

- Our family dog Ralph... photos from my Perth trip -
I can't help but laugh looking back at my own awkward moments over the last couple of weeks:
Vaguely recognizing but not really remembering how I knew the (work) person who hugged me after not seeing me for a few months

Wondering whether I could flush the toilet without interrupting the woman in the cubicle next to me who was having an involved conversation on her mobile phone (I did)

Failing to work out a witty and cutting response when someone offered me a bunch of flowers... in return for me taking my shirt off right there in the street (!)

Walking out of a nightclub thinking I was pretty cool, until I noticed the trailing toilet paper stuck to my shoe

Yelling at the taxi driver to go left whilst pointing wildly to the right (lovely husband C. has learned to go the opposite way to whatever I say... taxi drivers? not so much)

Accidentally sitting in the wrong seat on the plane because I wasn't paying attention, so that five people had to move across four rows like some tricky game of tetris when the stewardess came to sort it out.

So... after you finish laughing at me, have you done anything awkward lately?

From New York, with love xox

31 Boston Common... anything but

With all the balmy weather we've been having lately, the trees have taken it upon themselves to start summer early. Walking around Boston this weekend was like walking around a fairy tale, with gracious old brownstones and old-fashioned street lights beautifully decorated by a profusion of flowering pink and white magnolias. I wanted to put down a blanket and have a romantic picnic surrounded by petals... but unfortunately the weather resolutely refused to cooperate, with gray skies and a decidedly chilly wind making cuddling up inside a far more attractive option.

Lovely husband C. and I spent our weekend in Boston wandering the streets, walking through parks, eating cupcakes and sipping coffees in warm little cafes when it got too cold for us to stay outside. We spent Saturday evening at a cozy restaurant, indulging in a delightful degustation dinner and then on our way home we decided to see the midnight screening of The Hunger Games (one word - awesome). We kicked off our Sunday brunching with family at a busy little bakery in the South End and flew home to NYC planning a trip back to the Boston beaches in the summer.  

All in all, a wonderfully relaxing weekend taking in a new part of the States. What did you get up to?

From New York, with love xox

21 Stress Less

A few months ago one phone call literally turned my life upside down (see here). Before I knew it, I was on a plane home to Australia where after two months, I discovered a version of me I haven't been for a long time - relaxed, peaceful and content to live in a moment without wondering what was next and what I could do better. I vowed to myself when I  left Australia that I would try to maintain some of my beach induced zen, but as my tan has faded, so has my utter sense of calm and relaxation...

- A stormy day in South Beach, Miami -
... However, I was prepared for this to happen, so before I left I enlisted the help of my wonderful friends to help me work out what I could do to ensure I stressed less (than I used to)...

Do a little bit of exercise every day, even if it's only 20 mins - if that's not possible, go for incidental exercise by taking the stairs, walking the long way to the water cooler or doing some stretches when you get out of bed

Throughout the day, make sure to breathe... properly. Every couple of hours, spend a minute taking deep breaths that feel like they go all the way down to your stomach

Listen to music that puts a smile on your face (like anything from Glee!) - while you're getting ready in the morning, while you're working, while you're running or while you're winding down from work in the evening

Get some fresh air and sunshine during the day - walk outside to get lunch, even if you do have to eat at your desk while burning up the keyboard to meet a deadline

Plan things that you can look forward to (that you can actually do soon) - it might be gossiping with a girlfriend, indulging in a cupcake, reading an amazing novel or looking forward to a romantic weekend away - and then day dream about it when your brain needs a break from work

When the 3pm sugar slump hits, snack on almonds, yoghurts or an avocado - not only are you energized, you feel virtuous for resisting the chocolate/coke/lollies

I would love to hear your suggestions for stressing less. How do you put things in perspective when you're feeling anxious? 

From New York, with love xox

PS. For more tips on how to live your life fabulously, check out Aprelo - it's a wonderful business my gorgeous friend Gab started to help women increase their wellbeing and happiness. It's inspiring, and so is she.

34 Shopping the 'B' trifecta

I like my money right where I can see it... hanging in my closet
(Carrie, Sex and the City)

- Bloomingdales -
If you like to shop, then New York is the place to be. You can buy anything and everything you can dream of here (and more than a few things you'd never think of). Soho is one of my favourite places to shop in NYC... I love the cobblestoned streets, the little cafes and the mix of high end designer boutiques and fashion forward high street stores. It's definitely not the place to go if you're looking for a bargain but it's so close to me and so perfectly New York that I find myself drifting there whenever I need something.

- Barneys -
For a more peaceful experience (sans throngs of people and random jewellery/poster/hat stands) I usually head to midtown to the 50s, to hit up the B trifecta - Bloomingdales, Bergdorf and Barneys. Bloomingdales is hands down my favourite - young, fun, edgy and accessible - it has just the right blend of luxury brands and more contemporary (affordable) designers. At the other end of the scale is Bergdorf Goodman, where you need to wear the right clothes, carry the right handbag and be rocking the right pair of heels in order to get anyone to help you (note: right = outrageously expensive luxury designer brand). Somewhere in the middle lies Barneys which is not as intimidating as Bergdorf but not as welcoming as Bloomingdales.

- Bergdorf Goodman -
Now... if only my apartment was bigger so I could have more clothes everything would be perfect!

From New York, with love xox 

32 The Perfume Whisperer

"Would you describe yourself as a fashion, or lifestyle person?" he asked. Lifestyle, I said watching him extract another ceramic fragrance "wand", fitting it into the next slot on the small, shiny black tray. "Where's your favourite place to holiday?" he asked next and then "when were you born? Ah, Leo... dominant" he said, with a sideways wink at lovely husband C. As I answered his questions, his hand hovered over the tabletop, indecisively moving between two of the ceramic wands before he plucked one last one out and said "Okay, let's start".

Welcome to the wonderful world of Chanel perfume matchmaker extraordinaire Don Juan Carlos Field, at Bloomingdales on 59th Street. Prepare to be enticed, intrigued and romanced as you go on a sensory journey, losing yourself in another world, beautifully evoked by a range of scents and stories told in a sing-song Spanish accent. You'll learn about the history of each perfume, the symbolism of the ingredients and walk away with an even greater appreciation for Chanel's artistry and values.

Hands-down one of my most favourite shopping experiences ever - be warned though, it will be hard to walk away with just one scent each. Each perfume pick for me was surprisingly accurate - Allure, Jersey and Chance eau tendre. I would have happily worn any of them, any time. I'm already planning to sneak back to buy the Chance lotion, as well as another scent for lovely husband C!

From New York, with love xox

28 Philadelphia... a foodie destination

Lovely husband C. and I spent the last weekend in Philadelphia. I wasn't really sure what to expect of it as I'd heard mixed reviews, but we had a great time. We soaked up some American history (learning that Philly was the capital before DC), wandered around lovely streets lined with trees and townhouses, spooked ourselves at the Eastern State Penitentiary, visited the Anthropologie store (all four fabulous levels of it!) and ate lots of outstandingly delicious food.

If you ever make it over to Philly, there are three eating experiences you absolutely cannot miss out on (none of which I photographed as I was far too busy eating!):

1. Cosmi's Deli for a traditional philly cheese steak sandwich. It's a tiny and slightly rundown looking deli, with an old formica table that seats six taking up the majority of the available space in the room. Do not back out slowly (like I wanted to when I saw the place), sit yourself down and prepare for a messy and delicious experience.

2. Amada for a late night tapas meal. Easily one of my top four dining experiences ever - the  explosion of flavours were like a never-ending party in my mouth (all helped along by some wonderfully citrusy sangria)

3. Parc (bistro) for brunch. The only place to be seen holding a bellini at 1pm on the weekend and the fluffy buttermilk pancakes were well worth the wait.

After a delightfully decadent gastronomic weekend, I'm back home in NYC and planning where to go next time.... what's your favourite weekend getaway?

From New York, with love xox 

34 Happiness notes

For the first time since we've been here, I actually worked in New York this week. Lucky for me, I was on a relatively low key project, which meant I could control my work hours and have beautifully well-balanced days. It gave me a new appreciation for my adopted city and how lovely life here can be. There's a few things that made me especially happy during the week...

... waking up in my own wonderfully comfortable and cozy bed every day 

... walking the streets, through parks and the high line each crisp and sunny morning

... seeing the spire of the empire state building out my window when I look up from my laptop

... cramming empty Diptyque candle glasses with the small, vibrantly purple buds of a native Australian flower, geraldton wax

... cheeky trips to Diptyque at lunch to replace my burnt-to-the-very-very-end Diptyque candles (shhh... don't tell lovely husband C.)

... the gorgeous soft, delicate rosy scent of my new Diptyque candle, Rosamundi, which smells like spring and sunshine

... having breakfast at Tiffany's (Audrey style) on my way to work yesterday morning, just because I could

I like that it's the small things that bring a smile to my face, it makes it much easier to be a happy person in general. Your turn lovelies - what's making you smile as you head into the weekend? 

From New York, with love xox

ps. On the subject of happiness, check out my guest post for the fabulous Maria over at Cheeky Pink Tulip