lifestyle

Dressing for Uni Post Mid-Sem Break

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How great has this four day weekend been? A double weekend was exactly what I needed to slow things down a bit and gorge on chocolate and tea (2 new loves from Twinings – apple & ginger and spearmint & peppermint). I’ve been moseying around, trying to get up to speed with everything as well as pre-doing things because I know in a couple of weeks, it’s going to get full on. That means pre-readings, pre-shooting, pre-instagramming, pre-writing and pre-emailing. It’s a bit annoying, losing the real time authenticity of blogging and the excitement that goes into hitting ‘publish’ but if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – as they say.

Today, ASOS asked me to share what I would wear to university nowadays compared to what I wore on my first day of uni as a fresher. You can see that cheesy enthusiastic throwback picture here. Which, brings me back to mid-semester break. I always find myself burnt out right around this time. The newness of the school year has worn off, the social calendar falls apart as everyone gets too busy and the days get shorter and colder.

Maybe all you need is a good outfit to roll out of bed into next Monday – ready to face group assignments, mid-sem exams and all day library hang outs. I’ve been wanting to try a pair of over the knee boots forever now and I finally get why people have them in multiple heel heights and colours. They are super flattering even if you have more muscular legs but I will point out that real/faux suede is difficult to maintain (I have grass all over mine already from this shoot) so I’m glad I didn’t drop 1K on a pair of SW’s.

Recreate my Look:

Sweater (c/o) / Jeans (c/o) / Boots (c/o) / Similar Bag / Pens / Sticky Notes

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First Sunday

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Slow Sundays are where its at. I like to go for a morning dip and then come home for a noon shower, scrub, cleanse, moisturise, condition, shave, wax, tone and polish situation. I’ve added a couple of new products to the mix thanks to Lush and now I’m a smooth milky sesame smelling bun of a son. My descriptions are mediocre at best and I apple c’d the lush descriptions so you can get a good whiff of an idea from your screen.

Soothing Sesame Lotion – I love a good dim sum and this sesame lotion reminds of the inside of a black sesame steamed bun. It’s very thin and runny in consistency and exactly what you need for the upcoming colder months, providing you with a nice glow and subtle sun protection. I’ve had it on for about three hours now and I still smell lovely and yummy haha! Mentally adding this to my things to repurchase next cart. What Lush says, “Dewy, radiant complexions start with walnut leaf infusion. Providing a bronzed glow before you step into the sun, simply glide this velvety lotion all over your body. Its sunkissed colour and lashings of hydrating cocoa butter from community growers in the Dominican Republic will give skin a head (to toe) start. If the great ball of fire in the sky could smell, it would likely be attracted to the irresistibly nutty scent of organic sesame oil too.

The Rough with the Smooth – Do you remember how in science class, they told us that human bodies get a new set of cells every 7 years? I’m pretty sure a good scrub down like this will definitely aid the process. I broke the bar into smaller bits but its a bit messy (melts slightly in the current heat) and I would rather it come in a tub. Regardless, it does what its supposed to do and I feel like my skin might be as soft as a baby’s. What Lush says, “This deeply exfoliating treat will take rough skin in hand, leaving you soft all over.”

Milky Bath Bubble Bar – I haven’t tried this one yet but with all Lush products, I find the glitter a bit unnecessary. If it’s like any of their other bubble bars, I’m sure this one will be a gem because who doesn’t want to bathe in milk a la Cleopatra? What Lush says, “This comforting little milk bottle bubble bar is filled with uplifting orange oil and skimmed milk to treat your skin to a dose of happiness. A cocoa butter bottle top adds a little bit of extra softness.

These Sunday Sessions will be a new addition to my site, designed for me to have an extra posting day where I can work on my still life photography and get a little rambly with you over some iced coconut milk and banana coffee … and if you don’t like it, there’s always another post to look forward to in the next 24 hours. I’ll be writing about anything on my mind and they won’t be pre-written unlike my other posts. I want to add some spontaneity to this site! Hope your weekend has treated you well lovelies x !

Products all from Lush (c/o)

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Black, White & Summer All Over

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My mum has a fantastic collection of blazers. Most of them have BIG shoulders but hidden among her wardrobe are a few gems. I’ve had this white linen United Colours of Benneton blazer sitting in my wardrobe for about two summers and have always been hesitant to wear it because its a bit too broad for my shoulders and the sleeves have yellowed from years of storage.

I kept holding onto it because the fabric was such nice quality and made in Italy – something of a rarity these days on the high street. Then last week I was feeling particularly creative and I decided to chop off the sleeves, seam the edges and reconstruct the leftover fabric as a sash. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’ll definitely be layering it as we change seasons and also wearing it without the sash and with open lapels. It actually looks like a lot of wrap jackets seen in resort collections and if you were to buy a rope tassel from Lincraft, you could create a vest like this one from Seed.

I styled the vest with my knitted skort (last seen in the winter styled with tights and a coat ‘Four Seasons‘) but I think it could pass as a playsuit if you wore matching linen shorts. I also opted for some delicate silvery jewellery from Iconic-Style to go with the silver woven thread in the shorts. I don’t usually go for v-necks so when I do, I like to add a small necklace and this whimsical star one is the perfect length.

Recreate my Look:

Vest / Skort / Sandals / Ring (c/o) / Necklace (c/o) / Watch 

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Photography thanks to Adela (Styliminal) signoff2

Namastay in Bed All Day

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Namastay in Bed All Day‘ – is that the general consensus among students this time of the year? Yeah … you and me both buddy … but we soldier on knowing that in a fortnight’s time, ‘school’s out, we can sleep as late as we want too’.* Here’s a little lifestyle editorial for your viewing pleasure today in collaboration with Shhh Silk. They launched their online store a few weeks ago and specialise in fancy schamncy silk pillowcases to keep your hair silky soft (the puns continue, apologies). I’m a violent thrashing sleeper who often wakes up in the morning looking like Hermoine so hopefully this will minimise the damage. My favourite thing about these pillow cases aside from how they make me feel like Eloise at New York Plaza is that they come with a zip! I haven’t found a pillowcase with a zip ever – they usually have nothing or little fussy buttons that no one has time for. For some more dreamy photographs, check out Shhh Silk’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you are interested in learning more about my creative process, have a look at my Pinterest Board to see the inspiration behind this editorial.

Since this is a collaboration and all, I would like to address something that has been on rotation in the social media loop in the last week. As someone who uses Instagram and the like I feel like I should talk about the whole Social-Media-Is-Evil-Essena-O’Neil-Quits-Everything matter. I use my blog and other social media channels to express myself creatively and part of this process involves collaborations with companies and brands that I am proud of. I am proud to be working with Shhh Silk because I think the fact that the founder quit her 9-5 job to pursue something she was passionate about is inspiring. I have been offered paid content before but I’ve turned it down because it meant giving the reigns to someone else. I’m not saying that I will never publish a sponsored post but when I do, it will be disclosed and it will be in line with my brand. I also think very highly of my readers and I am confident that they are smart people who can tell that my content is staged. Because, no, I do not have breakfast in bed like this every morning. If you would also like to read another opinion on this click here for some lolz.

*Millennials I do hope you get that reference because if you don’t SHAME ON YOU 😉

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Single Silk Pillowcase in ‘Blanc’ (c/o) Shhh Silk

Copper Wire Basket, Fairy Lights and Breakfast Tray from Kmart

Bustier from Cotton on Body (navy and pale blue are my favourites)

‘365’ Diary from Kikki-K 

 Bowl from Freedom; Vase from Ikea  

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Black & Blue & Sporty All Over

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Mid semester exams are over and mid semester break is two weeks away. To celebrate, the weather decided to be absolutely beautiful this sunny Saturday and going bare legged was the best feeling. My last two weeks have been crazy hectic and I need to catch up on notes, fitness and social media. At the beginning of the week I finally brought home a copy of Lola Berry’s Happy Cookbook which I am very excited to try. I thought I would finally get it at almost 50% off the RRP at Kmart because that book has been on my mind since the beginning of the year. There’s some pumpkin pie pancakes which I hope to recreate and 130 other super nutritious treats in the book.

I would pick navy over black any day. Its the more preppy sister of black and together they create a very modern palette. Despite lack of photographic evidence, I have my heavily featured Nike Roshes on my feet to tie the outfit together. Now that I have done jeans with runners and short skirts with runners, the only bottom I haven’t been brave enough to try is maxi skirts. The sporty aesthetic is still here to stay so I believe I still have some time to find a maxi skirt that won’t swamp me. Remember when I said SS Brunch would become a regular thing? … Yeah that didn’t happen but in my next post I do have a SS Brunch and we talk summer vacations, cheesy music and Starbucks mugs so look out for it on Thursday. As always, have a brill week filled with glorious sun 🙂

Crop: Country Road / Bomber: H&M / Skirt: Sportsgirl

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March On

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I can’t believe we’re a quarter of the way into 2015 already! This month’s blogging schedule went to the grave as soon other responsibilities took priority and although its taken me a month, I think I’ve reached a level of discipline that by April, I should be able to scrape off a section of my plate for creating content. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of time to think about whether or not to keep up with SS and I think blogging will intrinsically be a part of me so there’s really no point in deleting this when I’ll end up opening another. When I was younger, I used to create my own little magazines by cutting out pictures from other magazines and writing my own articles. I guess this blog is just an extension of that little girl ambition and if this creative endeavour ever takes me further than a hobby, print is where I want to be.

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Entertainment front, I watched Insurgent – it was good at best but that’s how sequels are. My friend and I have this really weird guilty pleasure; we still keep up to date with Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. We’ve been watching this cute new show called Bella and the Bulldogs – its about a cheerleader turned quarterback on the football team. My brother and I also watch the Sacconejolys on YouTube – their videos will brighten your day instantly I promise. Just silly things that make me nostalgic. My favourite read was probably Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, I liked all the characters and I liked how it was set just as Y2K was about to happen.

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Being on the move more often has meant consuming more beverages (at least for me!) The pink drink is a fruit whip – its like a fruit based slushy so you know less refined sugars … Some of my favourite snacks this month have also been peanut butter ice-cream from Coles, mini Tim Tams and coconut almond milk!

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Just some shoe love for this month. Flats here and joggers here. I have my eye on a pair of over the knee suede boots and cut out ankle booties for fall. So ready for autumn weather to hug me like my sweaters. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, I hope April showers bring you flowers and if you’re in the south … I hope you can stop feeling sweaty all the time haha.

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Speckled Easter Cake

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Here’s an indulgent (both in terms of time and calories) type of cake that you can spend your easter long weekend making and eating. Its a four layered densely packed whopper that should be able to hold you over for at least four days!

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Banana Cake

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Prepare two round pans and set aside. Mash ripe bananas in a mixing bowl with a potato masher or fork and set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add in the sugar, and mix until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs – one at a time. Stop the mixer.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients. Mix in the yogurt or sour cream. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed bananas until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden – about 22-25 minutes for the recommended size. Cool on a wire rack. Invert the cakes out of the pans once they are cool enough to handle. Cool completely before slicing each cake in half horizontally to create four layers of cake.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 block of dark chocolate

Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk until combined. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to cream a double-boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the egg mixture is hot to the touch. Once hot, remove from heat and place bowl on mixer. Whisk on high until the bowl of the mixer becomes room temperature. With the mixer on medium-low, add in the vanilla, butter, and melted dark chocolate. Once added, mix on medium-high until smooth. Place buttercream between each layer of cake before frosting.

Green Frosting

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • A dash of salt
  • Green food colouring

To make frosting, in large bowl, beat softened butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed until incorporated; beat on high speed 3 minutes. Add vanilla and salt; beat 1 minute longer. Add green food color 1 drop at a time, beating until a light green colour is achieved.

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Speckles

  • 1 tablespoon of baking cocoa
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

To make speckles, stir the 2 ingredients together to create a paste, load it onto a dense paintbrush and flick at your cake.

Decorations

  • Instant Noodles
  • Mini Eggs

Break instant noodles into large chunks and assemble like a nest. Fill circle with mini eggs!

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Galentine’s Day

gday3Happy Friday The Thirteenth! Ominous much? Also infamously known as Galentine’s Day – the neatest holiday invented by my favourite public sector gal Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. According to Leslie: “Oh it’s the best day of the year. Every February the 13th my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we come and kick it, breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” 

Due to some bad post scheduling on my part, it is yet again another illustration filled post so please excuse me! I am however super ecstatic to be featuring Yasmin from yours truly, Yasmin in today’s post. She is super talented and does amazing little drawings and typography so make sure you give her some love because it is Galentine’s Day after all! Personally, I think three things make a party: food, friends and some groovy tunes. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the friends part but food and music? Yesiree!

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Heart Beats Martini: /Alcoholic// Fill shaker with ice. Mix 1 part Vanilla Vodka and 3 parts Godiva White Chocolate liqueur. Add a couple drops of food coloring and shake. Assess coloring and add more food coloring if needed. Pour into martini glass decorated with a pink sugar rim. //Non-Alcoholic// Place sanding sugar in a shallow dish or plate. Slice six thin rounds from the middle of lime; set aside. Rub lime wedge around rims of six glasses; dip each rim in sugar to coat. Pour 1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup into bottom of each glass. Place grapefruit juice and 2 cups ice cubes in a blender. Process on high speed until ice is crushed. Pour frozen mixture into glasses, and stir to combine with syrup. Garnish with reserved lime rounds, and serve immediately.

gday4Heart Pie Pops: Using a heart shape cookie cutter, cut out as many pastry pieces as your heart (haha) desires. Then add the apple pie filling into the centre which consists of: 1 medium tart green apple, peeled and grated, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cold butter, grated. Pop in some lolly sticks and bake until golden.

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Pink Pasta & Red Pepperoni Hearts: This one is really very easy but fun to cook! To make your pasta pink, cook it like you usually do and then ‘dye’ it using either red food colouring or you can try boiled cranberry juice, red beet juice or pomegranate juice. To make the hearts just cut our your pepperoni pieces to heart shapes.

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A Galentine’s Day Playlist: Run The World (Girls) – Beyonce // 22 – Taylor Swift // Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper // Dancing Queen – ABBA // New Romantics – Taylor Swift // Wannabe – Spice Girls // BOSS – Fifth Harmony // Girls Chase Boys – Ingrid Michelson // Team – Lorde // Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar // Primadonna – Marina and the Diamonds // Milkshake – Kelis //  Do It Like a Dude – Jessie J //  Work – Iggy Azalea // Man! I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain //  Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani // Wings – Little Mix // How to Be A Heartbreaker – Marina and the Diamonds // Flawless – Beyoncé

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With those final few words from Ms Knope, I bid you adieu!

sign offPS: Happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow as well!

SS Goes to Brunch with Juliet

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I hope you guys are ready for a rather chatty post this hump day. I’m starting a new series on Style Smorgasbord called SS Brunch and today I’m delighted to introduce Juliet from TheJulietReport on Instagram. The idea behind these posts is just to feature other voices and personalities on this blog so you don’t get sick of me and my puns all the time. We’ll talk about all kinds of random stuff and then open the floor to you guys as well so you can join in the conversation too! As a trial, we’re keeping everything lighthearted today but in the future, I would love to delve into some other issues too. And what better meal to pour over our chatty concerns than brunch!? So without further ado, lets give a hand to SS BRUNCH WITH JULIET! I fell out of my chair when she agreed to draw something for Style Smorgasbord and I hope you guys hop over to TheJulietReport for more of her work.

Karen: I thought I would wrap up my holiday posts with several travelling questions so tell me, what’s your favourite city to holiday in? Juliet: Even though I have been there about five times already I still always dream about New York. I feel a special connection with New York. There is always so much to do there, it is a very inspiring place. Karen: That reminds me I need to put Welcome To New York as my phone ringtone, the opening tune is the best!

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Karen: I feel like packing your carry on has almost become a science nowadays. There’s all these special compartment bags you can get and bottles that meet security guidelines … I tend to love overpacking reading material and then abandoning it for in flight entertainment … and then falling asleep! What are your personal in flight essentials? Juliet: I love to keep busy so I have to take my drawing equipment, a new book, magazines, skincare, especially lip balm and a refreshing face spritzer.

Karen: This is a bit of a strange one but I recently got my passport photos taking so I was wondering on a scale of one to ten (one being hate), how much do you like your passport photo? Juliet: Two. It isn’t a very flattering photo. I don’t think it even really looks like me.

Karen: When you step off the plane, are you a Kate Middleton or Miley Cyrus (i.e. polished and fresh or half dead haha)? Juliet: I’d like to think that I’m a Kate Middleton. I always choose style over comfort. Karen: Unfortunately, Miley for me. I just slap on a hat and sunglasses and hope I’m incognito lol.

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Karen: Tell me about your creative process, do you draw at a particular time of the day? What materials do you use? Juliet: I have always been curious and always love to share what I know. Most of  my inspiration comes from my world, the things I do, the people I know and the things that I am interested in. It always begins with an idea, a thought, or a feeling. Depending on where I am or what I’m doing, I usually just keep notes on my phone to remind me, or I take photos of things I’d like to draw. I draw all the time, I draw when I wake up, on the train ride to and from work, at my desk, at cafes on my lunch break. I am a little bit obsessed with drawing, I can’t stop. I love to use watercolour but at the moment I am having a lot of fun with using Copic Markers. Karen: That’s amazing! I can totally see it come through your work as well 🙂

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Karen: When I first came across your feed, one of the things that struck me about your work was the little captions underneath. I personally think they’re charming, witty and relevant but what’s the significance of them? Juliet: The captions are usually things people have said to me, sometimes they are from things that I have read. I never know what they will be until I hear it. It can really be anything that I connect with, anything that makes me think, or question what I already know. The quote usually comes first, however sometimes if I see something I’d really love to draw, I then find a quote that will go with it. Karen: That is so interesting because for me, I always shoot my photographs first and then the caption or title comes later!

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Karen: My readers would like to know your biography … or at least a little about you – what do you do, how you roll? Juliet: I was born in Perth and moved to Melbourne about eight years ago. As I mentioned, I’m super curious so that means I have tried many different things. I have studied, accounting, journalism, makeup artistry, fashion and textiles merchandising and currently I’m in my third year of a Fashion Design Degree. I have worked as a barista, in fashion retail, I worked in Finance for ten years and now I work as an Assistant Designer for a Menswear label and as a Freelance Illustrator. I love doing new things, I love spending time with my friends, I love reading, going to the movies and drinking coffee. Lots of coffee please! Karen: Wow, that is really something, thank you so much for sharing!

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That is a wrap people! I hope you enjoyed this Wednesday special and for now, I will leave you with this box of adorable doughnuts!

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Gold Coast Digger

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A fortnight ago I was lucky enough to score a last minute deal to the Gold Coast. It’s like the Miami of Australia and where our version of Spring Breakers herald every November. Not exactly in with that scene, I decided to postpone Gold Coast digging until the end of January 2015. The holidays I go on are usually intensely packed – sometimes with 3 am wakeup calls and past midnight showers so it was nice to head somewhere sunny without a plan for once. Click the scrapbook to see it expanded and try and spot my dress twin (I’ve been keeping count and so far I’ve seen it once in Gold Coast and once in Sydney!)

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Transport

In order to maximise out time there, we took a 6 am flight with Jetstar! This was probably the most tiring part of our journey but we were in chill mode from here on. Watching the sunrise while we took off wasn’t too bad either. The traffic around Gold Coast is pretty easy to navigate – we usually took a bus or tram. Our hotel was right beside the Surfers Paradise tram station which was super convenient. Check out that surfboard carrier on the tram below – if this isn’t a surfer’s paradise then I don’t know what is!

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Accommodation

We stayed at a 3 bedroom apartment at Q1. It was insanely spacious for four people and had everything you needed: kitchen, 3 bathrooms, balcony, dining room, Foxtel, game consoles, board games and even DVDs (there was Mean Girls haha!). My favourite part were the views! My goodness we could see the jetty, the coastline, I basically could touch the clouds and we were only on floor 31! The facilities were pretty sweet as well. I loved lying on my back in the pool and staring at the tip of the hotel. They even had poolside tents with awnings if you didn’t want to burn.

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Sights

Gold Coast is a bit like Florida because it is home to a lot of amusement parks. Since this wasn’t our first time here, we skipped Dream World, Movie World, Sea World, White Water World. Instead, we spent our days never too far from the ocean or the pool and went to Cavill Mall and Robina Town Centre for shopping.

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Food

Although our apartment was fully equipped with a kitchen and even a food processor, we went out to eat most of the days we were there. Some of my top meals included the all you can eat pancakes from Pancake Paradise (you can order unlimited pancakes and they’re HUGE … I stopped at four), the pesto rosso from Vapiano (the wait is tiring but they make it in front of you) and the Hawaiian chicken with curly fries from Hog’s Breath Cafe.

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Night Life

The Gold Coast is alive up till late and I just loved watching the skyline from up high. They have markets along the boardwalk every Sunday and we would usually walk along the beach back to our hotel in the evening.

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I hope you enjoyed my postcard, one by ones and trademark GIFs!

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