Sunday, 16 December 2012

Trinkets and Treasures from Travel Adventures

As promised, here is the post about the treasures I acquired overseas. I picked up a lot of things to adorn the home - I have this vision of being an 80 year old, with bookshelves and sideboards cluttered with a lifetimes worth of trinkets, regaling my grandchildren with tales of the exotic location where I made my purchases, so I'm firmly on my way towards achieving the dream with this haul!

While everyone else on our bike tour of Berlin worried about toilet breaks and refreshments, I was concerned with the important stuff, like whether I would be able to carry this Amethyst candle holder in my suitcase for three weeks without shattering it. Bought from a crystal shop near Check Point Charlie, this is my favourite purchase of the trip.

You know those dodgy shops that look like they only sell bongs and weed shaped key rings? Well, you should go in them, sometimes the yield gold - like So High, Soho in London, where I picked up this Mexican Mosaic wall hanging. 

Scully, my skull shaped money box, comes from Urban Outfitters.

I picked up some very creepy fingernail rings from Top Shop - I really liked wearing the pinky one, but took it off one day and can't remember where I left it... whoops. The tiny skull is from a little shop in Paris, it's actually an eraser, and now sits with my jewellery.

In Hvar, I became obsessed with these old maps. They are printed on wax paper, so have been framed and hung in the bathroom - until someone comments to me to let me know if steam is going to damage the prints?

I picked up this clutch in KL and am yet to use it, but love the colours. It looks pretty perched on the accessory shelf in my bedroom

Snagged this jacket from H&M in London. It's in a really great burnt orange, so I can feel like I'm not just being bland in all black, like I usually do, when the weather is unpleasant.

Sand Castle Building in Hamelin Bay in the jacket

This suede and wool creation is from Garage in Berlin, as discussed in my previous post. I LOVE the suede tassels. It's a real 80's cut, with major shoulder action going on.

Top Shop Stud Shoulder Paisley Tee - This tee is in high rotation at the moment, definitely getting my wear out of it. The studs are actually quite sharp - no lending a shoulder to cry on in this top!

Picked up this number in Paris on the Champs D'Elysee. It was the perfect dress for the super hot weather we faced whilst in the city - you can't really see, but it is lace, overlaid on a very thin slip. The slight peplum at the bottom makes it that little bit more interesting than your usual black dress.
Strolling the streets of Paris 

Another Top Shop Shoulder Studded Stunner. I love how slouchy this is, the perfect amount of sloppy comfortable.

Rooftop drinks in London

In Ryan Town, I bought the 2013 Calendar. I'm looking forward to spending next year with him.

I've become one of those magnet people - picking up souvenirs in each of our stops, and then having Stickygrams made from my Instagram pics once I got home. I'll leave it to you to pick out the buys!

While in London, we went to Harrods, where I discovered the Christmas Shop and went a bit mental. Christmas is my thing - I love decorating, and sending christmas cards, and buying and wrapping presents, and catching up with all my friends and family and... I could go on forever here, so let's just leave it at I LOVE CHRISTMAS, and was very excited to get some very London decorations for my tree.

I also visited the Bermondsey Square Antique Markets, which were conveniently right outside our doorstep when we stayed at the Bermondsey Square Hotel. The BF lacked my vision and thought I was being ridiculous when I bought a broken chandelier, but what he couldn't envision was how perfect the broken pieces would be to use to make christmas decorations.

I set to the task of putting these together last month, with some jump rings from Spotlight, ribbon from Myer (I STILL have no idea where the safe spot I stored my special ribbons purchased in London is, I'm sure they will turn up one day...) and a set of Jewellery Pliers. Basically, I just pulled all the motley wires out of the chandelier pieces and then used the jump rings to create some different combinations of the pieces. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out - example below.

From this to this...

And now that I have once again successfully managed to lull you to sleep, I conclude my banging on about the Europe Trip. I promise to never speak of it again. We are off to New Zealand at the end of the week, to celebrate Christmas with family and friends at home, before a quick weekend visiting the boy's family in Bendigo, VIC, so I'm sure I will be raving about that instead and driving you nuts.

I'm going to be doing my best to make you as homesick as I can Zen - I'll be sure to get a good pic of your Ma and Pa for you, and Charlotte, I will make sure that Erin and I have many a drink in your honour!

Love love
Jade xx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Goodness gracious, I have had a run in with technological devices and bad luck this last month and as it appears in a sequence of 3. My beloved snap happy canon was taken followed by the laptop being killed in a power cut while away on a writing mission and lastly – the straw that really breaks the camel’s back some slippery thievy fingers took my iphone right outta my bag in a notorious spot for pick pocketers which of course one finds out after being a victim!! Sheesh in the scheme of life it really is nothing but when one is relying on all 3 for her documenting, work and play it puts a pause and delay on things that is for sure and gets ya feelin a lil bushy tailed. It also seemed to stem my first ever love/hate relationship for island life here, gone was the idea of living here forever eating endless amounts of fried bananas and convincing all the friends and family to also migrate over I was ready to get outta here.

Bali ya sure have tested me these last few weeks, but apparently that’s what it does just to check you can handle it.  Lesson learnt, be more street wise and of course thank the moons and the palm trees I have travel insurance and will be back up and techno savvy before I know it (can’t come fast enough).  On another note I have relocated to a special new nook with my bali babing partner in crime, I go to sleep listening to the frogs and wake up to birds chirpin.  This place sees the sickest sunsets and for the first time in my many homes I got a swimming pool. Yea Yea Yea.  No photos this time, instead a new track I have been listening to loudly.  Missing manly crew and our killer summersmuchly right now XX

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Amazing Race

Since it's December and the memories of my European adventures are becoming distant, I though I should get them out now. In August my boyfriend and I, and a few friends took a three week vay cay, stopping in Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, Hvar, Rome, Paris and London. It was a pretty hectic schedule with a few quick stops here and there, trying to hit all the spots the the four of us especially wanted to go to. Rather than bore you with long winded dialougues about the beauty of each place, I'll give you the highlights.

Best places to rest the head

Berlin - Zennor has already extolled the virtues of The Michelberger, but seriously, it is such a wicked place to stay.

London - The Bermondsey Square Hotel was awesome. Great location, well designed, clean rooms, close to a tube station and walking distance from the tower bridge. I'd actually rate it higher than the Michelberger, it was around the same price, but it was a hotel rather than a hostel. Gregg's, the restaurant that is part of the hotel did a great breakfast and there are a few nice restaurants in the square to grab a dinner, as well as a little supermarket to fuel the chocolate addiction!

Blackboard Art at the Michelberger

Light shades made of old books at the Michelberger

The Michelberger Court Yard - wearing dress by Moochi, blazer by Mrs Brown's Vintage and Havaianas

Lobby Art in The Bermondsey Square Hotel

Best spots to grab a drink

Hvar - Hvar is FULL of bars, but we stumbled across Falko Bar one afternoon and returned every day after. The bar is perfect during the day, with hammocks and sun loungers - I confess to having a sleep in a hammock there after a pressing afternoon of reading Vogue. In the evening, it is THE spot to watch the sun set. Loungers are set out on the rocks and as long as you are clear of the spray from waves, it is the perfect setting.

 Dress by One Teaspoon

Paris - Sacré-Cœur is a beautiful church on the top of the highest point of the city. The views are amazing, and there are lots of hawkers selling beers on the steps of the church. As the French taxi driver who was taking us to the airport on our way out of Paris told us, it's one of the best places in the city.

The best eats

London - Brick Lane Curries. Determined to get the best deal we could, we walked up and down brick lane, bargaining with the waiters outside each restaurant as to exactly how many free drinks and nann breads our 10 pounds would get us - we, of course, ended back at the first restaurant we had been too. The butter chicken I had was like nothing i've ever tasted. Every one was eating from my plate by the end of the meal. So delicious. Also, incidentally, a great place for picking up leather goods - I got a lap top case, the boy bought a jacket.

We also checked out Union Jacks in Convent Garden, which is a Jamie Oliver Restaurant, and was damn tasty!

Union Jacks

Paris - We stayed in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and were super close to lots of great places to eat. To be honest, I didn't really pay much attention to the restaurant names - we pretty much picked a street and worked our way up it. I had all the mandatory french tourist dishes - Croissants, Escargot and Frog legs. 
Dress and slip both by Moochi

I also went to the super market before we took the Eurostar back to London and dream about the Cheese, Bread and Creme Brulee flavoured lindt I picked up.
The best activities

Kuala Lumpur - Shopping. It was pretty much the only activity that we had time for in KL - We managed to find a mall that made both the boys and girls happy - the boys were firmly planted at a bar, while Hayley and I broke into a sprint when we saw Top Shop and spent a good hour scouring the store for the items we had spent the weeks leading up to our trip picking out online.

It probably isn't so much an activity, but the most adrenaline pumping thing we did was catch taxis in KL. The first driver we had took our nervous giggling as a reason to go faster, overtaking other cars on the patch of grass between the road and the median barrier at 150kms an hour, while asking us "Are you scared? Are you sacred?". YES. WE WERE SCARED!

 Top Shop changing room walls
This is an awful photo but I couldn't really capture just how intense this Mall was!

Berlin - We took a bike tour of the city. You go a little bit further than a normal walking tour, and I really enjoyed it. Of all the cities we visited, Berlin was the easiest to identify with Historically, as events like World War Two and the Berlin Wall aren't so far back, as with other countries, where the history is far more ancient. With the Berlin Wall especially, I felt like I spent a lot of time marveling at the fact that this was something that had happened in my lifetime...

We also managed a bit of shopping in Berlin, the most notable shop being Garage (Kleidermarkt) where you can buy vintage and second hand clothing by the kilo. I picked up a suede and wool creation that I will post next time.

Around the area we stayed in there were lots of photo booths - known as Photoautomats. They make for a really unique souvenir. We went back more than once to these!

 Wearing Soles Boots from Market HQ, One Teaspoon Shorts, Black Pantyhose, Trenery Shirt, Insight Jacket.
 Hayley coughed up 2 Euros for a photo with this bear, who was rather smelly and tried to cop a feel...

Photo by Hayley Black

Wearing Soles Boots from Market HQ, Cheap Monday Jeans, Vintage Shirt and Top Shop Jumper. Photo by Hayley Black

Hvar - We rented a boat for a day, and cruised around for a bit. There are a few little outer islands, so it was a great day exploring, swimming and sunning our rigs.

Ben and I also rented a jet ski for an hour one day - we didn't realise it at the time we were paying, but the hour rental was about $200 Australian Dollars - a bit of a rip off - and you aren't allowed anywhere near the shore. We were collected by boat and met by a guy with the jet ski in the middle of the ocean. It was fun, but got old quite quickly, so probably wasn't the best use of our funds. Definitely made us think about doing a quick conversion in our heads BEFORE paying! 

 Our little vessel

Rome - We didn't pick the best time of year to hit Rome, as  August 15th is a major public holiday there, so a lot of places were closed during the full days we were there. We did however, manage to knock all the Major Tourist sites off the list - The Colosseum, The Pantheon, St Peter's Basilica, The Vatican Museum and The Trevi Fountain. 

We walked up the 550 steps to get to the top of Saint Peter's which was a dizzying experience that I wouldn't recommend to anyone suffering from claustrophobia, but the view was worth it, and it is definitely something that I would do again if given the chance. 

I would point out that you need to have your shoulders and knees covered to enter pretty much anywhere in the Vatican as it is a religious site and they are not afraid to turn you away if you do not meet the decency standards. Also, it really pays to pay for a tour - even if you just do it to get the priority entry. The lines are intense, so if you can pay to get in a tour and skip them, it's a much better way to spend your time. The day that we went to the Vatican Museum, we arrived about half an hour before it opened and the line was already snaking around the block! 
The Colosseum

 Trevi Fountain
Tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Dress by One Teaspoon

 The Pantheon

 The View from the top of St Peter's Basilica
 The Vatican Museum

Paris - Again, we knocked off all the tourist hot spots in Paris - The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, Champs De Elysees, The Arc De Triomphe, and Sacré-Cœur as I have already mentioned. If you get to The Louvre early, you will miss the lines, go the the Eiffel Tower around 5ish and the same applies. I think that one of the best things we did was take a night time stroll along the Siene, which was alive with people picnicking by candle light. We walked up to the Louvre to see it lit up, before crossing into the park and watching the Eiffel Tower glitter as it does on the hour, every hour, after the sun has set. It was really beautiful, and although we had done the same walk the day before, it was completely different at night. The boy and I also placed a lock lock on the Pont Des Arts Bridge, which might be a little cheesy, but is worth checking out.

 Notre-Dame Cathedral

 Pont de Arts Bridge

 The Louvre
 Arc De Triomphe

Eiffel Tower

View from the Eiffel Tower

London - The Lion King! So freaking epic! 

We strolled the streets, and covered a lot of ground while we were in London, and as is a running theme, covered all the Tourist spots - Buckingham Palace, Big Ben etc etc. On our first leg in London we were staying practically across the road from Hyde Park, so the jet lag meant that I got to spend an hour or so exploring the grounds while the sun was rising. I want a squirrel! It was quite wicked being there for a few days while the Olympics were on, there were so many people there t ask questions to and the city was really clean and there was lots of cute touches like bunting everywhere.

I did a heap of shopping in London, and think every one should make the trip to Ryan Town - Rob Ryan's store. The store is located on one of the cutest streets I saw, and I think had I been able to spend a bit more time perusing, my suitcase would have been even harder to close!

 Buckingham Palace

 Sunrise in Hyde Park
 Big Ben

 ROA Graffiti off Brick Lane

 Tower Bridge
 Camden Markets

Ryan Town
Mementos from all over the place!

Whewwww... This is turning into a novel! 
I'll post pics of my buys next time - a two parter even!

Hope I haven't put you to sleep!

Love, love
Jade xx