Everything we talked about in 2017

22 December 2017

I had a head start on the holidays and it's been great. We tackled jobs around the house that'd been neglected for months (changing tricky lightbulbs, getting rid of wasps!), wrapped Christmas presents, and watched The Room so that we can see The Disaster Artist on Boxing Day. Best of all, it's all been done at our own pace, which could be the very best thing about being on holidays.

Thank you for hanging out here this year! Have a relaxing, fun and delicious summer. Tell me if you cook something great, finish an excellent book or figure out something big over the break - I always love hearing from you. I'll catch you in the new year, in the meantime, here's a round up of some of my favourite posts from 2017:

But first, Christmas weekend links:

From the blog, things to make and eat:

Fun things to read, hear, and watch:

Super fun style tips from Real Girl Wardrobes:

Things I worked out in 2017:

Travel notes from:

And a shortlist of my favourite on and offline finds of the year:
  • Good stuff, the girl power edition
  • Spring things, including a hilarious and moving dance tribute to a late friend, and Australian creatives talking about burnout
  • For the hungry, a simple recipe blog from Melbourne and one way to cut back on plastic bags

Happy holidays! X

Morning smoothie with a caffeine kick

19 December 2017

Do you drink coffee all year round? In summer I love having mine cold. Last week I started making a morning smoothie with coffee, banana and cinnamon, based on a favourite smoothie from a Sydney cafe called Bloom. Theirs is called the Crazy Ape :)

This smoothie is best enjoyed iced cold. So if you have a few minutes the night before, brew your coffee and store it in the fridge, and pop a few peeled bananas in the freezer too. This is my go-to breakfast if I'm running around (or running late!) in the morning.

Morning smoothie
Serves 2, though it's easily halved if you're just making one for yourself

You'll need:

2 ripe bananas, frozen
1 cup of espresso, chilled
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
2 sprinkles of cinnamon
A dash of milk to blend, roughly 1/4 cup

Here's how:

Add your frozen bananas to your blender, breaking them up as you go. Then add the espresso, yoghurt, cinnamon and a dash of milk. Blend and add more milk as required. I like mine as a thickshake, so add as little as possible.

One last tip:

The riper your bananas the better, as they'll be extra sweet. My green grocer discounts them, and lets me choose them from the cold room! I buy about a dozen at a time, and leave peeled frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies and homemade ice cream. You could also add a teaspoon of cacao or hot chocolate mix (I love Mork Chocolate) to mix it up.

Summer fun

18 December 2017

Things are definitely feeling summery and relaxed around our way. We're home for the holidays, and are starting to settle into days with no alarm clocks or set agendas. If you're about to finish work or are already on holidays, here are some things you might enjoy for the slower days ahead:

One movie I highly recommend is the Japanese animated film Your Name. I watched the trailer a few months ago but found it a bit bizarre. Then it showed up in my brother's e-newsletter as a must-watch, and in the iTunes store that same week. I watched it on a rainy Sunday afternoon, it was surprisingly moving and very beautiful too. We had to go out for ramen afterwards :)

This is a bit of a guilty pleasure - lately I've been tracking down my favourite restaurants and local businesses on Spotify and listening to their playlists. Here are some fun ones - Lazy Su made a Yes! playlist to celebrate the same-sex marriage postal vote result, and shared the playlist for their hip hop ramen nights. I keep an eye on the new softserve flavour at XO, a fusion Asian restaurant near our place, and their music is always eclectic.

And if things are really busy, I love tuning into my yoga studio's playlists. The Joey Pecoraro tracks remind of me the days when I used to take a beginner's ballet class in Sydney. It was the best way to wind down after work and shake out my computer posture.

I bought a pair of Springcourts sneakers when I was in Sydney earlier this month to replace my white Vans. They are ten times more comfortable ... and the same style that Yoko Ono wore on her wedding day :) I'm excited to wear them with summer dresses and on weekend bike rides.

And ahead of my desk warming party, I bought a copy of Charlotte Ree's baking e-book Bakeree, after Catherine gave it a great wrap. I made the chocolate and macadamia cookies with white choc chips and they were super yum! We have a small stash in our biscuit tin and home, and I am still sneaking one every day.

Weekend links

16 December 2017

Hello from Wagga Wagga! We are here for two short days because Tony has an exhibition at the art gallery and an artist talk too. It's been great to be back, to see friends and the town that was our home for five years. I can't help but try and spot what's changed since we left.

Things have been buzzing along this week - we celebrated Tony's birthday with a banquet at one of our favourite restaurants, saw the new Star Wars (mixed feelings!), and I finished work for the year!

I've been making a few holidays plans, mainly stocking ups on cookbooks and DVDs at the library and making a list of special food for Christmas Day. This next week is mainly fun stuff with a few little jobs in between. I'll be trying new recipes (kale pizza tonight!), biking around town, and sleeping in.

Onto a few good things:

A beautiful t-shirt, designed and made in Canberra.

If you're looking for a quick and bright pasta - this one is for you. It's a twist on a River Cafe recipe with creme fraiche, lemon, zucchini and rocket. It comes together quickly, so it feels more like combining ingredients than full-on cooking, and it's so good. We used fresh pasta for the markets to make it extra yum.

This recipe site is lovely! You can find meal recommendations based on your mood and setting. Most seem pretty simple, with the focus being on the pleasure of eating and spending time with others.

A little holiday gift to self :)

And if this heatwave passes, I'm going to try this spaghetti and meatball dish. My ultimate comfort food.

Have a festive weekend, catch you next week! X

A desk warming and a cookie lucky dip

11 December 2017

Every now and then a silly idea takes hold. Years ago, it was an Easter egg hunt for my apartment block in Sydney. I set my alarm for 5.30am on Easter Sunday, roused Tony, and the two of us quietly hid eggs and put up posters in the common areas.

This week it was a desk warming party, because I've moved from one end of the newsroom to the other and closer to a window :) There was a cookie lucky dip (featuring gingerbread, my favourite choc chip cookies, and double choc macadamia cookies), filter coffee from my new machine - there was even an e-invite.

There hasn't been too much time for baking or silly projects for the last while (unlike 2016 when I made cakes in the shape of rubber ducks, owls and horses!), so this felt extra silly and festive.

If you want to host your own desk party - it's easy! Put up a bunting, brew some coffee, and bake or buy some sweets. Don't forget to invite your buds. To make a cookie lucky dip, wrap different combos of cookies in a layer of baking paper and then pretty wrapping paper, find a vessel to put them in and you're good to go.

Weekend links

08 December 2017

It's been a crazy busy week, with stops in Melbourne and Sydney and a few nights in Canberra too. Melbourne was a highlight - I bought a summer dress at Obus, picked up the Martha Stewart issue of Cherry Bombe at Magnation, had dinner with my friend Danie, and made it to a favourite breakfast spot too. That marks the end of work travel for 2017, it's been a whirlwind, and I'm so excited about sleeping in my own bed for a good while.

This weekend I'll be making a few Christmas plans - sketching out a menu, picking up a panettone, and putting a few last gifts in the post. On that note:

A simple tip for the festive season - just be there.

Christmas cookie inspiration.

Just finished this book, which is crazily my 22nd of the year!

Same-sex marriage is finally legal. Watch David Marr pay tribute to "those wonderful warriors" who paved the way. And this made me teary at my desk.

The two new Broadsheet books are beautiful - What to Eat & Where to Get It featuring Sydney and Melbourne.

And I'll be flicking through Sophie Hansen's Christmas Baking e-book. I've been really enjoying her happy and food-filled e-newsletters, perfectly timed for when that Monday feeling kicks in.

Catch you next week.

Presents in the post

04 December 2017

Every second year we spend Christmas at home, and this is one of those years. It's so nice to chill out at the end of the year, and not have to worry about travel or accommodation. This year I'm trying something new - instead of putting a big box of presents in the post, I'm mainly giving vouchers. They're super easy to mail and can be really fun. (Spoiler alert: if you're family - it's time to bail!)

My Dad is a sweet tooth, just like me. He's getting a voucher for Black Star Pastry in Sydney. It's a crazy gold token, which he can use to try their new mango cake. It should cover coffee and cake at one of their cafes, plus a few takeaway goodies too!

I'll still be buying presents for my niece and nephew. My friend Kristy recommended this beautiful book for my niece (it has the loveliest message and I especially like how multicultural it is). She's also getting a packet of bright markers that are part chalk, part crayon and part watercolour! I have my eye on this Thomas the Tank Engine wagon for my nephew, who has just found his feet and loves Thomas.

And I am sending two small presents overseas, to my brother and sister-in-law who moved to London this year. I thought it was important that they had proper gifts for their first Christmas away. I flipped through Michelle Mackintosh's Care Packages book before deciding on a few light but comforting items. There are two thick pairs of woollen socks (from the Big Merino, no less!). There's also a block of my favourite dark chocolate for my brother, and some clippings from The Good Weekend for my sister-in-law, who loves to read and write.

That's Christmas gifting pretty much done :)

Weekend links

01 December 2017

Happy December! We're hosting an early Christmas lunch tomorrow, and might even put up our tree. I'm serving mushroom burgers with sweet potato fries, followed by choc chip cookies and mangoes :) Then on Sunday I'm off to Melbourne for work. I hope most of the rain will have passed! I'm excited to see my friend Danie (we're going here!), and want to check out The Big Design Market too. To share:

You make your own paradise.

A new foodie and farm blog to love. Perfect pikelets please!

A funny podcast episode with a great take home message - to eat less sugar, bake a cake - featuring Yotam Ottolenghi.

A super cute Canberra wedding.

The New York Times coverage of Manus has been amazing.

Christmas gifts for kids and adults for less than $25.

And I've been cooking from The Savvy Cook this week, which I borrowed from the library. We've had fennel and lentil bolognese with tagliatelle, a veggie and haloumi bake, and brown rice bowls with miso broccoli. Yum.

Bircher Muesli with Hazelnut Crumble

26 November 2017

After a brief obsession with overnight oats, I've returned to an old faithful - bircher muesli. With fresh berries or banana on top, it's cool and filling. With crunchy hazelnut crumble, it's even better. I make a bircher to go a few times a week, for the days that Tony and I go to yoga before work. It's a little reward for getting up early for class, and gives us some extra time to get a coffee too.

The bircher recipe comes from my friend Vanessa. I've added a few extra things, like chia seeds and bee pollen. You can experiment and add whatever you like! There's a bircher stand at our local farmers markets that uses sunflower seeds in the dry mix, and apple and ginger juice in place of almond milk and apple. The hazelnut and ginger crumble is inspired by the same stand. Their crumble is a bit more cookie-like, and I look forward to having it every Sunday. I've toned mine down for weekday eating :)

Bircher Muesli 

Serves 2

I split the ingredients into two containers as I'm making it, for breakfast on the run. If you'll be having it at home, just make it in the bowls you'll be eating from - it's less washing up!

You'll need:

1 cup of oats
1 green apple, grated
1 cup almond milk (you could use regular milk, apple juice or water)
4 tablespoons of yoghurt


A pinch of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of chia seeds
1 teaspoon of bee pollen
Small handful of sultanas

Here's how:

Place all of your dry ingredients in a bowl (or divide equally between two bowls or containers) and mix to combine. Then add your yoghurt, milk and apple (make sure you add the juice too!) and mix again. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. Bircher keeps pretty well, so you could always make a double batch for the week.

Hazelnut and Ginger Crumble

This is the best bit. Makes enough for 4 bircher bowls

You'll need:

2 handfuls of hazelnuts
4 heaped tablespoons plain flour (I've used wholewheat before and that works too)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Tiny pinch of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of coconut oil

Here's how:

Set the oven to 160°C and roast your nuts while you prepare your crumble. Place them in a small ovenproof dish and roast for about 10-15 minutes, this will make them extra crunchy. You can smell when they're done! If they're blanched hazelnuts, set them aside to cool. If they still have a dark brown skin, gently squeeze the nuts when cool to remove it. I prefer hazelnuts without their skin, as it's less bitter.

To make the crumble, combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and lightly whisk to combine. Then add your coconut oil, and pinch the ingredients between your fingers gently, until the mixture has an even crumb-like texture.

Place the mixture in a lined baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, stirring gently at the halfway mark. Set aside to cool and crisp up. Later, gently stir in the hazelnuts and transfer to a jar until you're ready to serve.

To serve, top your bircher with fresh berries, a few scoops of hazelnut crumble, a dollop of yoghurt if you're extra hungry, and a dash of maple syrup to taste. When we're taking ours to go, I keep the berries and the crumble separate so nothing goes soggy. Enjoy with a hot cup of something and have a lovely day :)

Weekend links

24 November 2017

This week was a bit of a funny one. There are some big changes happening at work, and my anxiety got the better of me. But there were lots of things that perked me up - riding to work, chats with friends, big chats with Tony, and early morning yoga. We're home this weekend and I'm excited to try out this pork and pineapple adobo while it's rainy, and make some cookies from my new cookbook (I caved and bought this). Here are a few things for your weekend - sure hope it's a good one!

A very beautiful Instagram account from Melbourne, with especially lovely writing.

This special kid's episode of The Daily is very cute, while delving into gender and identity. Plus, they remade the theme song just for the show!

Another podcast recommendation - I really enjoyed this episode from Here's The Thing, featuring former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.

A day in the life of Esther Perel. Her office is in the Flatiron building!

I hope to be this passionate about my work when I'm ready to retire - Margie Rowe looks back on her career in law. She's my friend's mum :)

And if you get the chance, check out the Pipilotti Rist show at the MCA in Sydney. Take a friend and give yourself a couple of hours. It's a really fun show that's surprisingly relaxing too - there are comfy cushions and even beds to lie on while you take in the zany video and sound installations.

My Christmas wish list: 2017

21 November 2017

At the moment, my notebook is filled with present ideas for friends and family. I love choosing gifts and am crossing a few names off my list each week. After a big year of travel, we'll be spending the holiday in Canberra - sleeping in, riding our bikes, and cooking up some delicious food. Here are six things I have my eye on, starting with some delicious coffee for my new machine.

Perfect for summer - a soft shoe that's part ballet flat, part sneaker. I like this silver pair too, to wear with summer dresses, and chuck in my bag for weekends away. For northern hemisphere friends - check out these fleece-lined booties!

I just found out that my favourite Canberra ice cream shop sells gift vouchers. A summer of free ice cream would be a dream come true!

I'm doing a lot more yoga these days, it makes me feel strong and relaxed. This is something that's practical but very necessary - a yoga top that ties up on one side. Also, these yoga tights are the best.

MUJI has the cutest mini lamps that double as essential oil diffusers - I spied one in Ebony's Nagano flat. I'd use peppermint oil with mine (when I'm not sprinkling it into the shower or bath). Fingers crossed MUJI comes to Canberra one day.

And it's not Christmas without a new cookbook :) Like the magazine and the podcastCherry Bombe: The Cookbook celebrates women in food. I hear it's dedicated to the likes of Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl and Martha Stewart - women who continue to lead the way.

Weekend links

17 November 2017

I did something scary today - I pitched a podcast! I almost chickened out but I've been mulling over an idea for weeks and just needed a bit of courage to get it down on paper. What's on for you this weekend? One of my nephews is turning three, and we're going to a friend's exhibition opening. For your weekend:

Are you a Kevin Kwan fan? My brother-in-law put me onto a great talk he gave at Google that touches on everything from writing a novel (he had a completely different career beforehand) to the lack of cultural diversity in Hollywood.

This is so cool - more inclusive ways to talk about gender. "Instead of ladies and gentlemen, try distinguished guests."

I loved this profile of Tina Roth-Eisenberg, who writes the Swissmiss blog (among many other things). Her approach to parenting is especially admirable. Whenever she has creative friends round for dinner, she helps her kids look up their work beforehand so they can ask questions! She says, "all I want to do is help my kids realise that there's so many different ways to make a living."

Ta-Nehisi Coates nailing why the n-word isn't for everyone.

So proud to live in the city with the highest Yes vote - check out the celebrations :)

Traybake dinners ftw! Many more here, including the anatomy of a traybake so you can invent your own.

And I really, really want to make a pecan pie. I blame all of the Thanksgiving photos on Instagram.

P.S We saw this cute street library in Sydney. We passed another that had two copies of Cormac McCarthy's The Road.


15 November 2017

Did you watch the announcement today? I was so nervous - and then excited and relieved. Watching the coverage has been emotional (this photo!), and I hope that it's not too long before same-sex marriage is legal in Australia. I've already volunteered to make a wedding cake :) Let's continue to look after our LGBTIQ family and friends because it's not over yet, and we can help keep the good vibes going and look out for one another too. Some other good things:

My copy of A Modern Cook's Year by British cook Anna Jones arrived last week and it's easily my favourite cookbook of 2017.  So far I've made the ricotta gnocchi with a quick cherry tomato sauce (so good!), and her latest one-pot pasta with asparagus, lemon and peas, which came highly recommended from a friend.

I'm also keen to try the rhubarb and rose ice cream and this smoky mushroom and roast kale lasagna. There are eight recipes from the book here (god bless the Guardian), including two desserts and a bunch of hearty mains.

I am holiday ready! I bought this cute cotton nightie to pack for beach holidays and lazy summer mornings. This one is pretty too. I've also rediscovered the secret to a good night's sleep - exercise that gets the heart thumping at some point in the day.

I finally had the chance to watch a few episodes of Humans of New York: The Series. I love that the city is such a big part of the show (maybe even a character in its own right), and that each episode is based on a big theme, like independence, purpose, parenting and imagination.

And two things you can do to make the days feel longer -  one, make a simple dinner. This one's from Sydney nutritionist Kate Levins. She's also written about a healthy eating day, and it's changed how I eat fruit. Secondly - I've turned off all of the notifications on my phone, from Facebook Messenger to my podcast app. Things have been peaceful. 

Weekend links

10 November 2017

Hey there, how was your week? Tony and I managed two yoga/breakfast dates and a midweek dinner with friends, so I'm feeling good. We're getting ready to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday this weekend. He'll be making burgers for everyone and I'm in charge of the cake. I might also get a start on my Christmas shopping :) Have a great weekend!

It's rhubarb season! Here's what we can make.

Eco gifts for practical folks. I love the candle holder.

A spring dinner we tried this week - spiced lentil bowls with your favourite veg.

Can't wait to see this film!

What do you wear to work? Six women share their go-to outfits.

A book for kids about change (and a video that moved me).

My new nighttime tea, a lovely gift from friends.

And I just started listening to Never Before with Janet Mock. I can recommend two episodes - an interview with Tina Knowles-Lawson (if you're a fan of Solange's A Seat at the Table, you'll recognise her voice!). I also got a lot out of this chat with Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play went onto become the film Moonlight.  

Real Girl Wardrobes: Sophie Kesteven

08 November 2017

Sophie Kesteven is a journalist from Far North Queensland who has spent the last little while living in Canberra, where we met at work. I loved seeing her outfits each day, they were always eclectic and fun. Sophie's just moved to Sydney but before she left, she came round for some cake and shared her bowerbird approach to shopping, a favourite dress that once belonged to her grandma, and how she manages super bright lipsticks. Let's get into it:

How would you describe your everyday style?

I would say I'm a chameleon. I remember when I was working up north, I could have my hair down and wear a certain style one day, and the next have my hair tied completely back and look almost like a different person. Being a bit of a chameleon can have its advantages because you can really mix up your look - it's mysterious in a way!

I really love how you put outfits together - where do you think that comes from?

I think a bit of that comes from my mum. She's not afraid to wear colourful clothes and I definitely get a bit of that from her - be proud, embrace all of the different colours, and I think that's a Far North Queensland thing too. I like to inject a bit of colour into my surroundings and patterns as well.

I'm in no way a person who will go out and buy expensive, designer gear. If I stumble across some nice designer stuff at an op shop, I'll buy it. But I think it goes to show that you don't have to buy the most expensive thing on the rack to put a nice outfit together.

Where do you take inspiration from? 

I would say as well as a chameleon, I'm a bit of bowerbird. If I see something vibrant, I'm there! It's nice to wear bright clothes because it's reflective of your mood and maybe makes you a bit more approachable to other people. Some people like to wear neutral colours and they do it really, really well and some people like to be a bit daring - maybe it doesn't always work but sometimes you've got to take that risk!

I’ve seen you in a few amazing pieces that used to belong to your grandma or aunt - how did they find their way to you?

Up in Ainslie, there's the old family house and they're starting to look into selling it or renovating it, so they're starting to clear out a lot of things in the house. I've had the opportunity to go through a lot of the old wardrobes in the last six months.

It's amazing coming across all of these different things because my grandparents and my aunts and my dad grew up in Italy and Rome for a lot of their childhood. You see a little bit of influence in some of the fashion there.

If you've got good quality clothing, hold onto it because it’s so easy to let something go and be like, ‘Oh, I'll never wear this again’. But you never know, in another 30, 40, 50 years time it does come back around and I've seen that in the wardrobes of my aunt and my mum.

How do you shop for clothes?

I can go to the shops and try on about six different outfits and I'm just not happy! When I was in my teens I would be like - yep, I like this - but now that I'm in my late twenties, I'm getting a little bit more fussy about things. I think it's important to know your body shape and know what outfits work well on it.

Are there any particular shops or labels that you love?

I like going into little boutique places because I think you can find some good quality clothes. When I was in Townsville, I'd go into a lot of the boutique shops there. There was a lovely Italian lady there, Enza, who came to know me quite well!

And when I was out at Charters Towers, in a little country town for my first newspaper gig, there was a boutique down the road. It had just as nice things in it as some of the places in the surrounding towns and I became really good friends with the shop lady there too.

I don't mind Zara because they do have a lot of colourful things but I don't know if we'll have it in 40 years time - is it still going to be as good quality?

Do you ever shop online?

I have shopped online in the past but I find for myself it can be a struggle because I might like the look of something and it arrives and it's more like on a top on me than a dress because I have a long body. I'm 5'11" so I have to keep that in mind as well. I would love - if I had the time - to get my own label off the ground and cater to taller girls.

What's your approach to accessories? Do you carry a handbag? 

My mum and dad get out to Italy probably once every three years. My mum is really good to me, she comes back with a nice Italian leather handbag, which I will wear the hell out of for the next three years.

But I think one of my favourites is a leather handbag that has this rainbow crochet bit on the top of it. I got it from the Witches markets when I was in Bolivia. It was really functional, it had some nice inner zips. It was this nice tough, dark leather but it softened over the years.

What about hair and make-up?

I go through phases. I used to straighten my hair all the time in my teens and early twenties, now I'm starting to embrace my own look a little bit more. I think it's nice to go with the natural look sometimes because it doesn't look as forced.

With make-up, I like bright lipsticks but then I also like matte lipsticks, particularly if you've got a super bright outfit on - it's not too crazy. I probably have at least 15-20 different shades. If you choose to wear a really bright bold colour, sometimes it's better wearing it just out for drinks. Whereas if you're having a big meal it can get on your chin!

Something I would like to get a better at is eyeshadow and the eyes. I've only recently started to teach myself how to use eyeliner properly.

Do you have any go-to outfits?

There's a dress which I call the handbag dress, which was my grandma's dress. If she went out to work, it was a dress she could put in her handbag if  all of a sudden her husband said - we're going out for dinner or drinks with friends. It didn't crease or anything like that. It goes quite well with some fun shoes. If I was to do my own label, I would design a handbag dress for all the women out there!

How do you pick an outfit for work? 

Some days I feel like I'm just going to be in the office, so I'll wear some pants and a nice top. But I also like wearing dresses because I find dresses very comfortable! I think in the work environment, it's good to wear dresses that are knee length or a little bit longer.

And I really embraced boots since living in Canberra. I bought a nice pair in Kingston and they're Italian. Italian has always been my thing but they're just the most comfortable boots.

What do you wear if you're going for a drink with friends?

At night I like to wear dresses that showcase the waist a little bit. And things that fall nicely on you and your particular figure. And again, I love shades of blue, I love shades of green, yellows, the earthy colours as well.

And on a lazy Sunday? 

If I'm still going to go out and get a coffee, I'll wear some ripped jeans, probably a singlet and some sneakers to go along with it. If I was staying in the house, I'd probably be wearing a loose summery dress or some bamboo pants with a comfortable flowy top.

Lastly, what are you looking forward to wearing now that it's warming up?

I would like to wear my handbag dress a little bit more often. Also I've got a pink dress that I bought when I was in Mackay from a local designer there, Jason Chetcuti. I was covering a fashion show for work and this model came out wearing this beautiful pink maxi dress.

Pink isn't a colour that I've been drawn to in the past but I just thought - wow, it's such a statement piece, I've got to have this! So I bought it and the first occasion I ever wore it to was the Mackay beach races and it was perfect for that occasion.

I wore it in Canberra in my first couple months of being here. I went out for lunch with some family members and there was a couple sitting at the table next to me. And when they finished, they lady came up and she said - I just want to say that you look absolutely beautiful. And I was like - I need to wear this dress more often!

Thank you Sophie! And good luck in Sydney :)