Fashion - Beauty - Travel - Lifestyle

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Monday Piece - Why We Moved To Australia

This week's Monday Piece is on why we moved to Australia! Five weeks ago Nick and I took the plunge and moved from Malvern in the UK to The Gold Coast in Australia - moving abroad is something that we had talked about for what seemed like forever, we spoke about lots of different countries but finally decided on The Gold Coast in Australia. We had heard so much about the laid back lifestyle, year long summer, the golden sandy beaches, the outdoor living, and the general amazing health and wellbeing vibe - it was everything that we wanted and totally different to the UK life we had been living. We figured as there would be no language barrier that would be in our favour, so when it comes to finding jobs and settling in, it shouldn't be too tricky. Obviously moving abroad, thousands of miles away from our closest family and friends was never going to be easy, or a decision that we took lightly - so we did tonnes of research, spoke to friends who had done the same, read blogs and kept our fingers on the pulse so we could make the best decisions for ourselves.

Getting into Australia to work can be difficult, if you can prove that you have an essential skill or that you can perform in a specific job better than an Australian citizen, then you can get a working visa fairly easily - though it can be really expensive, and you still have to actually find a job when you get there which is never a guarantee, so it's a bit of a risk but of course this risk can also pay off which is awesome! As we are both under 30 (just), our best route to getting a visa was applying for a 'Working Holiday Visa', essentially a visa that allows UK citizens aged 18-30 to work and travel in Australia as much as you like - whether you decide to live and work in the same area for a full year, or travel for 6 months and work for the remainder of your time, it's entirely up to you. This seemed like the best option for us as it can all be done online, and once the visa is granted you have a full year to actually enter Australia - after talking about it for months we decided to just go for it, so in January we applied online on the Australian Government website, filled out a short form, and within two minutes our visas were granted - party time! The site says visas can take anything up to a few months to be granted so it was a massive relief when they came back straight away via email, as it was written in black and white we realised it was actually happening which was so exciting.

After getting our visas we then looked at flights and did some sums so we could work out how quickly we could just fly out there and go for it, there are quite a few reasons as to why we wanted to leave pronto - the UK was kind of dragging us down, the negativity vibe coming from all angles whether it be people at work, watching the news or general chit chat, everything just felt so miserable and drab - we wanted a bit of excitement, positivity and forward thinking, plus we were kind of both stuck in a bit of a rut with our jobs and just thought why not take an opportunity and do something totally different whilst we have the chance. We had no mortgage, no kids, no pets, just clothes and 'stuff', most of which had no real sentimental value, so we had nothing holding us back (apart from friends and family of course). Living and working in the UK we can do anytime, so it was time for a change - we booked flights for mid March so we didn't really give ourselves much time to get everything sorted, about 6 weeks, but that was good as it didn't give us time to change our minds or overthink the situation - over thinking is literally the worst.

Breaking the news to our family wasn't a huge 'thing' as it's something i'd spoken to my loved ones about for a while, they knew I wasn't happy in my current situation so they were mega excited for both Nick and I and congratulated us by throwing us an awesome Australian themed party which was just the best thing ever. All of them are super supportive and they always have been so I knew they would approve of anything we both wanted to do! SO...we packed up our apartment in Malvern, sold our furniture and belongings, handed in our notices at work and moved out in with Nick's family for a month before we left. My clothing situation was a little tricky...10 bags of clothes (not including coats), 70+ pairs of shoes and oodles of accessories weren't going to fit in two aeroplane sized suitcases, so I decided to bite the bullet and give away the biggest chink of my stuff - as a fashion girl I love all of my 'stuff' but it was time to stop hoarding and be realistic, so I was ultra ruthless and picked out only my favourites.

After a month of goodbyes and finishing our last days at work, we got packing and prepared all of our documents ready for the move...during our last week in the UK things got pretty real and it fully sunk it that I wasn't going to be in my natural habitat, surrounded by everything familiar to me anymore, BUT as the saying goes to get the best rewards you have to go out of your comfort zone - true dat. Being honest we were ready for it, this is something that we'd planned and talked about for so long, so we were ready to get stuck in. We were dropped off at the airport by our families and had a massive goodbye to the people that we love the most, to put it in perspective, we were going to be just a 24 hour flight away, so we reiterated that it's not that much of a biggie!

After a long old flight, and a little stop off in China to stretch our legs, we were in Australia...eeeeek! We booked a hotel for a week, as we were going out there with no job, nowhere to live, and no one we knew, so we thought it would be a sensible move as we could then use that as our base. So that is what we did, after checking in and getting some rest, it was time to get organised and start putting our life together. The first thing we needed to do was open our bank accounts - this we had actually done in the UK before we left, so all we needed to do was go to branch and start officially using our accounts. We also bought Australian SIM cards for our phones and arranged payment plans, this was one of the most important things as it's how potential employers can get in contact. We also had flat viewings arranged on the first day that we arrived which was mayhem as we didn't know where anything was! But we figured it out. After a few days of looking at places to live we chose an apartment on the outskirts of Surfers Paradise - it's a touristy area on the tram line, really central to everything including shops, beaches, offices and things to see and do. We arranged to move after our hotel stay so we got settled in and organised - the best place to find accommodation in Australia is Flatmates.au so this is what we used and it's something we'd definitely use again as it's so easy and safe too. The beach is 50 yards away so we can see and hear the sea from our balcony which is such a treat, plus our apartment block has two outdoor pools, Jacuzzi, gym, and games room so it's mega chilled and very Australian lifestyle esque.

Finding a job was the main priority, we didn't have an endless pot of cash so we needed to be employed as soon as possible, we signed up to a recruitment agency who had been recommended to us by a friend who were really helpful and set up our profiles - within two weeks we both had job offers so have since both started working, hooray! The wages in general are much higher than in the UK, the minimum wage starts at $18.00 dollars an hour which coverts to around £11.00, the food and lifestyle is slightly more though, depending on how and what you spend your dollar on of course, it's all relative. Initially we are here for a year, all working holiday visas can be extended for another year on the basis that you complete 88 days of farm or construction work in certain areas of the country, for now we are enjoying the lifestyle and settling in to The Gold Coast so will just play it by here - i'm forever updating my Twitter and Instagram so come and check it out for pictures and up to date goings on! I've popped some links below to helpful sites if you're thinking of doing the same, whether it's living in Australia for a year, or travelling, or both, drop me a message if you have any questions, i'm always happy to help :).
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Learn about and apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa here
Browse places to live here
Find working holiday visa jobs here and here
Search cheap flights to Australia here


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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Metisu Lace Cami Dress

I've been after a layered cami dress for a while and I always fancy a bit of sassy lace so this Metisu dress is a great combination for me! The white t-shirt part isn't connected to the lace overlay, meaning it can be worn alone or as a two piece like this, it's stretchy so conforms to the body without being too clingy and is so soft too adding to the comfort factor. The lace overlay has an elasticated waist so nips you in at all the right places, I love the lightweight style and the split front keeps it on trend and ideal if you're short like me as it adds some height to your body - it's not easy finding flattering midi dresses but this one is amazing and I adore how it looks! I've worn it with my chunky lace up boots to add an extra dash of sass - i'm loving everything from Metisu lately, I recently wore this white boho dress from there too which is so pretty and fab quality just like this dress.
This weekend we've been enjoying the sunshine at the pool, did a little shopping, played some mini golf and grabbed yummy acai bowls, chill time is always needed!
X

*c/o Metisu dress, here*
*Missy Empire boots, here*
*Furla bag*
*Michael Kors pom pom*
*Dior sunglasses*
*Necklace gift*
*c/o Jewellery Box bracelet, here*




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Monday, 17 April 2017

The Monday Piece - Summer Slip Neutrals

This week's Monday Piece is on Summer slip neutrals! I love love love slip dresses, they look so cool and effortless, and when in a silk or satin material they look ultra luxurious and can be worn so easily with some slides and a t-shirt underneath, or dressed up with some heels and lace underwear. As always it's the neutral colours i'm lusting after, the nude and black colours are just so classic and simple, though the rose print maxi slip dress is super pretty and can be carried through to chillier seasons with some boots and layering. I pair pretty much every outfit with some kind of black shoe, whether it's a sandal, boot or heel - I've been lusting after Australian brand Tony Bianco lately as I've popped into a few of the stores and been browsing the website, they have the most amazing shoe collection and have so many pieces I need to get my hands on...I've got my eye on the suede mules and multi buckle sandals! I was in Brisbane at the weekend and picked up some of their slides in the sale so will be wearing those soon, I love their whole vibe! I've also been spying on some ultra luxe nude accessories, the Lancaster Paris saffiano leather bucket bag is mega chic and timeless and such a good price for a luxury leather handbag, plus the fluff ball from Furla is a fun addition to any handbag! Do you have your eye on anything lately?
X
Summer Slip Neutrals

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Jewellery Box Review

I'm a sucker for silver jewellery so Jewellery Box is right up my street, based in South London they do a huge selection of unique jewellery ranging from dainty necklaces to chunky bangles so there is something for everyone's tastes. I picked out a few classic pieces that I know I can easily mix and match with my other jewellery, plus as they are all simple and neutral I can wear them with anything and everything - I've been after some drop hoop earrings for a while so I picked these drop heart hoops as they are so pretty, the heart dangles a little so they look awesome - plus they are such a  bargain at under £6.00!
I love the stretchy silver peace bracelet too, the silver balls are so bright and the mini peace sign adds a cute charm to the style, the 925 silver quality is amazing and it definitely feels more expensive than it is. Locket necklaces are timeless and look so chic, plus they can be really sentimental too when you add a special photo inside - this puffed heart style is such a traditional piece and it can be engraved to add an extra special message, I got mine with an extra long chain so I can layer it with other necklaces and wear it underneath tops too so I can keep it close to my chest.
I've been loving wearing the jewellery as it looks so classy and simple, it's so well priced too for the amazing quality, and the packaging is so cute and arrives all wrapped up in little boxes so they're ideal for gifting! Jewellery Box ship worldwide and it's same day despatch before 2pm so your jewellery is with you in super quick time!
X

*c/o Jewellery Box earrings, here*
*c/o Jewellery Box bracelet, here*
*c/o Jewellery Box necklace, here*


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Monday, 10 April 2017

The Monday Piece - Rat & Boa Estella Two Piece

This week's Monday Piece is on this Rat & Boa estella two piece! I recently wore a Rat & Boa dress that I totally love so also bought myself this two piece set, again in a star and glitter print because I just couldn't resist its boho vibes - plus I haven't worn a two piece in so long and love that the top and skirt can both be worn individually too, it's definitely sassy as the fabric is totally sheer but i'm all about embracing a bit of bare skin. This weekend we spent chilling by the pool and at the beach enjoying the sunshine, then did a little shopping too at Pacific Fair shopping centre where I treated myself to a few pieces...We also went for dinner at Govinda's, a mega tasty (and cheap) indian vegan restaurant where we had a selection of dahl, curries and other treats!
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*Rat & Boa estella two piece, here*
*Asos sandals, similar here*
*Necklace, gift*
*Bracelet, gift*


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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Metisu Boho Dress

This boho dress from Metisu is so light and airy, the fabric is mega soft and feels silky and soft. I love boho styles as they look so chic and sweet, this dress is a great shape for my petite frame as it doesn't swallow me up and is short enough to flash a bit of thigh which is always welcome! I've not shopped with Metisu before but i'm already planning my next purchase as i'm so impressed with the quality of this dress, plus it arrived in Australia within a couple of days which is so quick! I ordered a small and i'd say it's definitely true to size as it fits great, and the embroidery is so detailed and pretty, plus the tassels add even more detail. It's such an easy dress to wear as it needs practically no styling, it can be worn with flip flops, sandals, or boots and pretty much everything in between - I've had so many compliments on it too! I've worn it with my lace up boots and some sunglasses for a bit of shopping in Surfers Paradise :).
X

*c/o Metisu dress, here*
*Missy Empire boots, similar here*
*Dior sunglasses*
*Bracelet, gift*
*Necklace, Hong Kong*

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Monday, 3 April 2017

The Monday Piece - Spring 2017 Top Picks

This week's Monday piece is on Spring 2017 top picks! This week I've been coveting lots of boho pieces, I love light clothing, especially in Spring, as it looks super pretty and is so comfortable - the fluted sleeve shirts are on trend and are so feminine and pretty, i'd grunge mine up with some ripped J Brand jeans, studded sandals and a black fedora (which I still need to buy)! I love different accessories for Spring as they can really freshen up your look, the grey Prada Paradigme bag is SO pretty and I adore the printed shoulder strap, it's so much fun and ideal for warmer weather. For when the sun goes down and you need something soft, laid back and cosy, you can't beat a classic cashmere hoodie - I love this style as it looks so soft and simple, meaning I can throw it on over anything whether it's a dress or jeans and a tee! I've been spying on some new trainers too, this Geox pair are so sleek and the chunky design is just my style, they remind me of the Chanel styles that I am so desperate to get my paws on! What do you have your eye on for Spring?
X
Spring 2017 Top Picks

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Sunday, 2 April 2017

All Black Sunday

We've had some pretty temperamental weather this week on the Gold Coast as we caught the tail end of Cyclone Debbie, we had torrential rain for two days and powerful winds too so it's been good to have the sunshine back over the weekend! Yesterday we went to Pacific Fair which is a huge, modern shopping centre in Broadbeach - the shops are so good as they have lots of independent boutiques as well as high end stores and Australian high street brands too, I picked up some new make up from Sephora and we had a tasty vegan/gluten free burger which was so fresh.

We're still adjusting to the healthy lifestyle out here, everyone is all about spending time outside, eating organic and healthy foods and embracing keeping fit - it's so different from the UK where we hide away for so much of the year, it's definitely a refreshing change that we are loving! Today we took a bus to Burleigh Heads for an outdoor clothes market where we browsed vintage clothing, food trucks and there was live music too. It's a really chilled out area with lots of eateries and small boutiques - I picked up some vintage Levi denim shorts and a big Acai bowl with fresh fruit, nuts and goodness. I snapped this outfit by the pool before we then went off to the beach, i kept my outfit simple for the day so wore my ripped studded Mom jeans from Topshop and a crop top, all black Sunday!
X

*Topshop jeans, similar here*
*ASOS crop top, similar here, sandals*
*Saint Laurent sunglasses, similar here*
*Marc Jacobs bag*
*Michael Kors pom pom*
*Necklace, gift*
*Bracelet, gift*


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