Monday, 29 March 2021


Hi everyone, hope you are well.

As our summer is coming to an end, I decided to make a stocktake of my wardrobe to make sure that I am ready for autumn.  During this process it was revealed that I might need to buy myself a new jacket as the one I’ve been wearing last season has become slightly tight 😡


I have been thinking of investing money into an iconic blazer for a while and looks like the time has come for me to do just that.  Paying a fair amount of money for a good quality, timeless pieces of clothing or accessories aka investment pieces is not a new concept to me and I can attest that if you do your research and spend your money wisely, it’s money well spent 👍. 


Truth be told, I can’t remember ever spending a small fortune on my clothes or accessories, however over the years I did pay fair amount of money on high end leather goods like handbags, shoes and belts and never regret buying any of these items.  When you buy an expensive handbag, you are not just paying for the label, you are paying for high quality, excellent services and years of enjoyment.


Clothes is a slightly different matter, still a good quality item of closing should last you for a few good years without showing any signs of wear as well as always looking smart and in fashion.

Armed with this knowledge, I set myself out on a mission to buy a good quality smart looking blazer that will not break the bank.  Alas, after perusing the internet for a few hours, it appears to be a slight problem as every item that I liked costs much more that I was prepared to spend. 


Then one day I was shopping for a gift for my husband at a department store and stopped at Ralph Lauren’s concession stand to check what’s on offer.  Their blazers look sharp and smart but I dismissed the ones that bore the RL crest on a breast pocket but then a plain double-breasted black blazer in knitted fabric caught my eye.  The crest was nowhere to be seen, just the signature silver buttons that run along the front and four buttons on each cuff.  It looked good, so I decided to try it on.


I instantly liked its fit. I have quite narrow shoulders and often when I put a blazer or a coat on, it looks like the shoulder line of the garment extends well past my shoulder bone which makes the extra fabric sag around my upper arm which does not look good at all.  Luckily, this blazer was exactly what the doctor ordered 😉.  I liked its length, not too long, not too short.  It looked sharp when buttoned-up and has a casual chic vibe when opened.  Long story short – I bought it.


I was keen to see how well it would look worn with my existing wardrobe, like I do with any new item of clothing that I buy before I make a final decision.  After a few different combos, the verdict was in, I am keeping it.


Here is just one outfit that I came with during the “trial period” as I call it.  It has been quite a few years since I wore a short skirt but I thought I would give it a go.  I wanted to maintain a smart look despite that my skirt was quite short and for that reason I chose to wear black from head to toe.  The only exception to it was a long string of white pearls which I wrapped around my neck. 


I have another outfit in mind that involves this jacket but I will save it for another post.

Until then,


Linking up with Independent Fashion Bloggers 

This post was featured on Links à la Mode fashion roundup by Independent Fashion Bloggers.

More fashion articles:

Sunday, 14 March 2021


Hello dear friends.  How are you all?

We in Sydney are so lucky with the weather despite the fact that our summer is officially over that we use every opportunity to spend time outdoors and last weekend was no exception.  The weather is exceptionally good, not as hot as it was in summer and definitely less humid, just a delight to be outside 🌞😎.

Weekends are precious and you want to make the most of it.  You have two glorious days devoid of responsibilities and full of possibilities.   Last Sunday blessed with the glorious weather, we drove to the beach suburb of Bundeena, about a one hour drive from our home which runs first along the coast, then through the Royal National Park.  Truth be told, neither my husband nor myself nor my friends had heard about this beachside suburb before and yet it is a lovely place situated between the coast on one side and by the Park on the other, so they have the best of both worlds.  This attracts a lot of visitors from other suburbs, especially on weekends but somehow it didn’t feel overcrowded.

When we arrived in the late morning, the local market was in full swing and we walked around sampling local delicacies, checking out the wares and just watching the crowd having a good time to the soft tune of a local band.

The other reason we went there was to follow the so called Art Trail where the local artists open their studios and invite the public to come in, browse through their art works and even make a purchase or two.  One of the artists even kindly allowed me to be photographed in her garden.

We had lunch at a lovely café and then took a stroll along the main drag and down to the water, then got in our car and went around for the drive.

My outfit for the day was a simple black spaghetti strap dress and espadrilles - comfortable, casual yet good enough to walk into a nice café and didn’t look out of place.  Lately, I took to liking to tie a nice scarf around my shoulder when I am wearing a sleeveless dress partly to protect my shoulders from the harsh Australian sun but mainly, I’ve become hugely attracted to them after watching a French TV show called Dix Pour Cent or Call My Agent in English on Netflix (which I would definitely recommend) where I noticed how men and women alike always have a scarf wrapped around the neck with everything they wear.  

And they do it with such a panache or as French call it je ne sais quoi.  I was also influenced by watching French movies during the Alliance-Francaise French Film Festival which is, to my delight, is in Sydney at the moment.   Both, my husband and I💖 love European cinematography. Last year we only managed to watch one movie and then everything went into lockdown.  So far, we saw Appearances, a modern day drama, Delicious, a recipe for sensory overload and 1968 remake of Breathless with Jean Paul Belmondo (does anyone else remember him?) So far, three out of three, all were different but equally enjoyable 👍👍👍.

Seeing J P Belmondo on the the screen brought back memories of my childhood. We grew up watching Italian and French movies back in Russia.  Sadly, they are not on the list of the most popular to watch here in Australia that’s why when the Italian or French film festival arrives, I become extremely excited and we try to watch as many movies as humanly possible.

And this is it for today’s post.  Hope you enjoy reading it, do leave a comment to let me know.

Until then,




Wednesday, 3 March 2021


Hello everybody, how are you?

Last week I was completely off the grid.  My husband and I have been talking for some time now about taking a short break from the daily grind and go away but we couldn't go as we were expecting the arrival of my second grandchild (it's a boy and they named him Theodore 👶😍).  Now that the mother and the baby are settling nicely into their routine with the help of his dad who is on paternity leave for three weeks (this is all new to me, there was no paternity leave when I had my two kids) we thought it would be perfect timing to take off.  And so we did.

While leafing through a travel magazine, I came across an interesting article about a place called Orange and its surroundings.  Apparently, the Orange region is a fruit growing district and produces apples, pears and many stone fruits such as cherries and apricots.  In recent years a large number of vineyards have been planted in the area for the rapidly expanding wine production.  Also known for its excellent local produce and fine dining experience and often referred as the “Food basket of Australia", helped Orange region to gain status as one of Australia’s most prominent and sophisticated food and wine destinations.

I liked what I read, did some research and revealed my findings to my husband who immediately agreed that this is the place worth visiting.  We then spent a couple of hours looking for places to stay, eat and see, making bookings and placing enquiries.

So last Wednesday morning we loaded our bags into our car and drove off towards our new adventure.  Orange is about a three to four hour drive from Sydney depending on the traffic.  Usually, any drive that is longer than three hours sends a shiver down my spine and makes my husband tense in anticipation of my impatience but he didn’t need to worry.  The drive was a delight, with an ever changing landscape on both sides of the road of rolling hills, green valleys, vineyards, cattle and lakes I didn’t have time to feel bored.  


We arrived in Orange in the late afternoon and checked into the RemingtonHotel which just opened last December but has already earned a reputation for its Whitney restaurant that serves casual food by day and fine dining by night.  The room was spacious and well-appointed and we happily settled in for the next four days.  After a quick dinner we got in the car and drove into city centre just to see what is happening there at night.  To our great surprise, the city centre as well as the neighbouring streets were totally deserted apart from a few random passers-by.  



It was as unusual to us as we live in such a densely populated throbbing hub which never goes quiet.  But it didn’t upset us in the slightest. On the contrary, it felt nice for a change to walk along the streets without the fear of being bumped by a someone or nearly run over by a bicycle and to have a peaceful sleep uninterrupted by the music blaring from the roaring vehicles driving by, neighbours watching TV on full blast or having a party at two am or Council workers collecting the garbage at 5 am in the morning.

Actually, since COVID forced us into lockdown, I’ve completely changed my view over our life style.  Whereas in the past, I would thrive amidst the noise, crowds and hyper activity happening around me, now I crave for peace and quiet.  Sometimes I even contemplate moving out of Sydney and settling into a small country town but don’t think I am quite ready for it yet.  But I digress. 



The next morning, refreshed and re-charged we were ready to explore the area and that we did for the next three days.  The first stop on our itinerary was a charming town called Millthorpe, a picturesque heritage-listed town with cobbled streets and relatively unchanged 19th century buildings.  It also houses an award-winning restaurant called Tonic.  
There is a number of country pubs serving traditional pub grub, boutique shops, art galleries, cellar doors and other attractions that enhance its charm, and highlight Millthorpe’s sophistication and eclectic style.  We had our lunch at Millthorpe Provedore, a local café come grocery store that proudly supports local producers and suppliers, then got into the car and after a short drive arrived at a small colonial village called Blaney and after a quick look around, drove to Corcoran, a similarly cosy and charming village nearby.  

In the following days in no particular order we drove to Borrodell Estate where we had a wine tasting and bought a couple of bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, my favourite wine.  As we took a walk around the grounds, we came across an apple orchid full of ripe delicious apples ready to be picked. 



We had lunch at Agrestic Grocer farm where everything on the menu and on the shelves was locally grown organic produce.


We drove up Mount Canobolas and enjoyed the panorama of the whole Orange region sprawled around us in its full beauty, then drove down to the Lake Conoblas and had a picnic.



The proximity of one place of interest to another, there was nothing further than half an hour drive away which gave us ample opportunity to explore the area without wasting too much time in traveling.  Although, I must say we enjoyed driving around the area enjoying the beautiful scenery, clear blue skies, absence of traffic and the hospitality of locals.



During our preliminary research, we came across a list of best local restaurants and went ahead and booked a few. The first booking on our list was dinner at award winning restaurant called Charred Kitchen & Bar, a fine dining establishment with the relaxed atmosphere and seriously delicious food.  Due to COVID, only a tasting menu was available like in the most of the restaurants we have been to, which could be tricky as sometimes not all the dishes on the menu came out at the top of the chef’s game but I needn’t worry as all four dishes were absolutely superb.  Each dish was exquisitely presented and has its own providence, most elements of each dish came either from their own garden or was locally sourced.

The following evening we tried another local gem, Lolli Redini, another hatted restaurant specializing in French cuisine.  Despite winning so many food and wine awards, the food and ambiance were rather underwhelming, although their most popular double baked cheese soufflé was superb. 

Last but not least on our list (pun not intended) was a restaurant called Schoolhouse. Its occupies a gorgeous old building previously own by Union Bank, featuring tall paned windows, high ceilings, old fireplaces, timber floors and black and white tiles.  When the waiter brought us some complimentary bread cooked in-house using the flour from the local mill with miso butter, we were sold.  The rest of the meal was as scrumptious, the staff polite, knowledgeable and very attentive without being too familiar.  We couldn’t fault it.  We were so happy that we came here on our last night in Orange, it was a perfect way to end up our perfect sojourn.

The next morning, we packed, paid the bill and came back to reality.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.  Please free to ask me any questions, your comments are always welcome.