Wednesday, 4 May 2022

WHAT I WORE FOR MY HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY

Hello everyone, hope your Easter break was enjoyable.

We had a lovely break filled with all kinds of activities, you can catch up on the full report here.

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

Now, that this is over, the next important event on our calendars was my husband’s birthday at the end of the month.   Traditionally, we love to go out to celebrate and this year I was more determined than ever to do just that but with a slight difference.  Instead of booking one of our favourite restaurants, I booked us a dinner with Secret Foodies, culinary event creators specialising in organising themed dinners at secret locations as well as designing unique corporate and private events, from intimate dinners to lavish parties with over 500 guests.   

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

I subscribe to their newsletter and when the Secret Dinner themed “From Paris with Love” invite landed in my Inbox, I decided to give it a go and bought us tickets. The reason it’s called Secret Dinner means that you have no idea where or to what restaurant you would be going.  

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

The invite stipulates the cuisine (French, Mexican etc), the offer (cocktails on arrival, unlimited drinks) and the vague name of the area where we will be going.  The name of the restaurant and its exact address are revealed to diners just two hours prior.  I was slightly worried about the whole idea.  It’s a first time we ever done something like that and I don’t know what to expect.  On the other hand, it had a sense of adventure and challenged us to get outside the box and it was quite exciting.

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

And here is the most important question of all - what should I wear?  Since the dinner is called from “Paris with Love", it is safe to assume it will be at the French restaurant which are known for its delicious food, immaculate service and extensive wine list and thus attracts a certain type of patrons.  Besides, my husband always says that it's better to be overdressed then underdressed and I agree with his view on dress-code so that settled my choice of a dress for the evening.

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

It has been quite a while since we went out to a classy restaurant for dinner: between both of us being sick with COVID, then recovering from it, my husband’s radiotherapy and other unpredictable hurdles, we were not up to it but now, despite my trepidation, I was really looking forward to the night.

FURLA HANDBAG

The dress that I chose to wear was purchased back in December during the big sales.   I was walking past the Ted Baker shop windows minding my own business when I saw a dress that I immediately liked.  To paraphrase Julius Caesar "I saw, I tried it on, I bought it".  The End.  And that’s what I was going to wear for our dinner date.

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

It’s made of super soft jersey with catchy abstract tie dye print that provides an ample opportunity for dressing it up yet its slinky silhouette makes it feel very light and comfortable.  I like its mock neck, it’s not too high for wearing long dangling earrings yet high enough to hide a few wrinkles around my neck 😊.

TED BAKER JERSEY DRESS

I decided to forgo comfort for glamour and thus I dusted off my high heels 👠 and put them on.  I felt strange walking in them and my first couple of steps were shaky but then I tighten my core (thank you Pilates) and strode along with confidence 👍.  

BALLI SHOES

The dinner was taking place in a newly opened French restaurant called Loulou.  As promised we were greeted by the glass of bubbly on arrival and after warming up to the atmosphere, were asked to take the seats and the three course meal followed.  Both of us love French food and were thoroughly enjoying each course.  

The wine never stopped pouring so in the end I was quite tipsy.  Luckily for me, my husband chose to be a designated driver for the night and was mindful of not going over the limit and let me enjoy myself which is funny because he was a birthday boy and meant to have fun but being a true gentleman as he is, he left the fun part to me.

Now that we know exactly what to expect, we will be keeping an eye on their next secret dinner destination.

What you try something like that and trust your evening to total strangers? Do please let me know.

Outfit details:  Dress - Ted Baker, shoes - Balli (old), handbag - Furla (old), jewellery -Tiffany Bone Cuff

Until then

Anna

xoxo

 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

OUR VISIT TO ONE OF SYDNEY'S WORST KEPT SECRETS, WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

Hello everyone, hope you are all well.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

We had lovely relaxing time over Easter break.  On Friday, we had my family over for Passover dinner which was almost cancelled as my younger daughter who lives with us got COVID 😞 and was just released from isolation on the same Friday which was quite nerve racking.   I was worried that my guests don't want to be in close contact with her and would cancel the dinner.  However, luckily for me, all of them!!! 😮including ourselves just had COVID in the last two months and didn’t worry too much about spending the evening in the same room as her.   I can’t believe I just said it, that sounds so perverse, yet it is the reality we are now living.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

I cooked a lot of traditional dishes which my guests thoroughly enjoyed, the kids had fun and we had a lovely family time together.   The next day it was my granddaughter’s 5th birthday party in the park.  It was a typical children’s party thrown by the extremely busy and sleep deprived parents. The food in the form of pizza was delivered from the local Domino shop and the cake was store bought.  It was nice to watch the kids running around entertaining themselves while we adults were chatting with each other over the glass of wine poured into the plastic cups.  Priceless, wouldn’t change it for the world.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

Sunday was a day of relaxation.  We couldn't believe our luck with the weather.  As if Mother Nature decided to make it up to us and after having an awfully wet and cold summer, granted us with the sun and warmth.  It was a perfect day for heading outdoors, preferably somewhere along the coast but it was during the Easter break and school holidays, we knew that the traffic on the roads would be chock a block and decided to go locally.  

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

A few years ago we read in a paper about Wendy's Secret Garden created by the wife of the late renowned Australian artist, Brett Whiteley near the house where they lived in Lavender Bay on the Sydney's Lower North Shore .  

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

As the story goes, after the death of her husband, grief-stricken Wendy was in need to regain back control of her life, to clean up the mess it was in, found herself savagely attacking piles of overgrown rubbish of the unused railway land in front of their home.  She threw herself into the clean up, day in and day out, too tired and exhausted by the end of the day to think or feel anything.  

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

Once the land was cleared, it was the time to create a garden.  Not everything went smoothly, the railway authorities were trying to stop her accusing of invading state property but with the strong support of local community and her powerful friends in artistic and political circles, the garden was saved and remains open for visitors who go there to appreciate its beauty and the creative soul behind it.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

 We were intrigued by the story and went to visit it and fell in love with this place.  So on this particular Sunday morning when we were discussing the plans for the day, we both agreed that a trip to Wendy's  Secret Garden is in order and set off.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

It was as beautiful and charming as we remembered.  The air was warm and tranquil, filled with the aromas of the flowers and freshly cut grass.  The soft breeze from the ocean was gently rustling the leaves of the giant trees. 

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

The autumn colours of foliage were magnificent, dark and rich.  Here and there old curiosity objects were on display placed on antique garden tables and pedestals.  

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

The picnic tables, strategically placed in the shade, were occupied by people who had smartly brought with them picnic lunches and bottles of wine and were enjoying their food, company and beautiful surroundings. 

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

The view from the garden over the bay and the city beyond was postcard stunning.  

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

We spent few hours walking up the down the garden following the pathways that lead to the focal points around the grounds.  We didn't bring any food with us so we left the garden to have our lunch at the local pub.  Afterwards, we strolled around neighbourhood, then went to our car to head back home.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

It was such lovely day, we both felt refreshed and recharged.

WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN

What did you do during the break?  Hope your Easter break was enjoyable.

Until then,

Anna

xoxo


 

Thursday, 24 March 2022

HOW TO DRESS FOR OFFICE RETURN

Hello everyone, how are you all?

As our lives are gradually returning to BC (Before Covid) style, more and more businesses are encouraging their employees to return to the office.  While it could be a blessing for some, others feel rather confronted by the idea of using public transport, wasting valuable time in traffic or just simply gave up their comfortable lounge clothes which they used to wear during the last two years.

My office never asked us to WFH (work from home) anyway so I can’t be a part of this dilemma, however if you are facing the fact of return, you might feel relieved that the road map to rediscovering dressing for business is more mix and match inspiration and having confidence in mixing moods rather than rigidly following top-to-toe tailored approach that was expected from the office workers in the past.  In other words, it is an organic blend between two worlds, business and casual, and I quite like it.

These days court shoes have been replaced by the smart looking sneakers or even open toe flats, crisp shirts and fancy blouses – by simple t-shirts and sharp-cut blazers by knitted cardigans and biker jackets. 

Don’t worry if you have an after work engagement like going out to a fancy dinner or a cocktail party or to the opera house for a classical concert or an opera.  With few little tweaks, your outfit can be easily transformed into more formal look.  A pair of dress shoes, a beautiful necklace or a pair of statement earrings, a silk scarf or a nice evening bag that you can bring with you to the office, will add an element of class to your outfit and instantly transform it from day to night.

I really like this fresh approach to business fashion, you feel more relaxed and comfortable being able to add your personality and style.  Also, your existing wardrobe is getting a higher return on investment, so to speak which in turn saves you money and time on shopping for business clothes👍.

Luckily, my office has never been a stickler about a work uniform, I like to get dressed for work.  This outfit is my take of incorporating casual elements into the business look.  While my slim black pants and court shoes are part of my business wardrobe, the plain white t-shirt and a linen jacket belong to the casual corner of my wardrobe. 

I was on the hunt for a black blazer for quite a while, the reason being  that every time I saw something I liked, it was either quite expensive or was too business-like or both.  Then one day I stepped into Zara and boom, I saw a linen jacket in dark charcoal with white and thin black stripes lining and realised that it is exactly what the doctor ordered!   It might look like it is a top part of a pant suit on these photos but in reality you can see that the colour and fabrics are quite different.  I also like the fact that I can roll up the sleeves to expose the contrasting white lining if I am after casual vibe.

I added a brooch and hoop earrings to add some texture and a touch of style to this outfit. 

Enjoy your day

Until then,

Anna

Thursday, 3 March 2022

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

Hello dear friends,

Sometimes it feels like the world has gone mad.  Take this latest attack on Ukraine.  One of the cities that is suffering from the invasion is my hometown of Odessa.  The last time when I visited it back in 2019 (see it here), it was a city of joy and free spirit.   Today those who have not fled yet, are hiding in the basements every time they hear an explosion. 

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

I do not know all the facts and reasons why Putin decided to start the war with a neighbouring country  all I know is that the civilians are being killed, displaced, their homes being bombed and ruined and thousands of them became refugees overnight and these are the facts.  Besides, knowing that Putin has put nuclear weapons on a higher alert is a terrifying fact and not just for Ukraine but for all humankind. Just hoping that this nightmare will be over soon and the peace will return.

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

Now, about my outfit. It is not often, never, that you can catch me wearing clothes in brown.  The top that I am wearing today has been in my wardrobe for over two years without being worn until today I accidentally spotted it tucked away on one of the shelves.  As the saying goes "Never say never", I decided to give it a try.  I chose to go monochromatic and for that reason paired it with tan linen pants (old), brown shoes (also old) and a tan coloured handbag (you guessed it, old).  

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

To save this outfit from looking plain and boring and to break the domination of brown and beige, I used my accessories to inject some bright accents into it.  I chose orange, for a few reasons.  One - I know that it suits my complexion, two - because orange is an incredibly complimentary colour to brown. 

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

First, I selected this transparent pink with orange corners sunglasses that you have seen me wearing time and time again.  They become my "go to" accessory this summer season.  No matter how simple my outfit could be, these sunnies always save the day. 

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

Then came the necklace, a combo of brown-coloured seashells strung on multiple strings of tiny orange beads - it just amplifies my choice of the colour palette of this outfit.  And last but certainly not least, one of my favourite silk scarfs with thick black and white geometric lines criss-crossed all over its vibrant orange background.  

HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT

The scarf here plays double role, it could be simply tied around the handbag like a playful pop of or worn around the neck.  In which case I would take off the necklace and replace my colourful sunglasses with more restrained black frames.  And et voila.


HOW TO ACCESSORIES A MONOCHROMATIC OUTFIT
Have a great day!

Anna
xoxoxo