Christmas in Australia

Ten Things I Love About Christmas in Australia

Growing up in Australia is awesome. The outdoor lifestyle, the sunny positivity that prevails amongst easy going Aussies, Tim Tams.  But every young child in Australia reaches a stage where it starts to slowly dawn on them that, when it comes to Christmas in Australia, something just isn’t right.

We sit under the stars at Carols by Candlelight wearing shorts and a t-shirt, singing about “dashing through the snow.” No one really knows exactly what eggnog is. The butcher shop has sprayed fake snow on the windows to make it look “festive.” Dreaming of a white Christmas, will always be just that. A dream (shattered).

Every Australian’s first Christmas in Europe or the USA is a revelation. This is what Christmas is all about! That first “proper” Christmas is just like Christmas in the movies. And you finally get it.

All the same, there are so many things I love about an Australian Christmas, ten of which I have listed below. Continue reading “Ten Things I Love About Christmas in Australia”

Stockholm 10

Stockholm Shopping

Forget hygge, Scandinavia’s latest offering to the world zeitgeist is the Swedish phrase, lagom. Translating as ‘just the right amount’, is all about being frugal, fair and balanced in life.

Any fashion enthusiast who travels to Stockholm to gain a little lagom will be sorely disappointed. It takes a monumental display of self-restraint to resist the appeal of Swedish designers (not to mention everything else you meet along the way) on an average shopping day in Stockholm.

I have shared my top shopping tips with the fabulous Luxe City Guides, or keep reading for all the deets. Continue reading “Stockholm Shopping”

Packing Guide

The Ultimate Packing Guide

As a self-confessed travel-addict, I’m away from home a lot. And while it is one of the most exhilarating things in life to plan, prepare for and finally leave for my next adventure, there’s one aspect of travel that always causes me mild stress. It’s packing.

In the past, my approach to packing could only be described as “scatter gun”. I’d open my wardrobe, and throw in a miscellaneous set of clothes and hope for the best. Continue reading “The Ultimate Packing Guide”

Sodermalm 1

Stockholm Neighbourhood Focus: 24 Hours in Sodermalm

Everyone has at least one of those friends who is so cool that just hanging out with them raises you at least 10 points the cool stakes. The Sodermalm district in Stockholm is the neighbourhood equivalent of those friends. Its hip residents, laid back atmos and creative vibe rub off on you and you find yourself planning your alternative life as a freelance interior designer, wearing minimalist Scandi designs and mooching around this laid back yet highly advanced neighbourhood with your ridiculously good looking Swedish boyfriend (or girlfriend).

I have created an itinerary for 24 hours in Sodermalm, because there is so much to see in Stockholm, and 24 hours in Sodermalm is advisable for you to get your Scandi-cool vibe on before you venture further afield. Continue reading “Stockholm Neighbourhood Focus: 24 Hours in Sodermalm”

London Coffee 1

London Coffee

When I first moved to London ten years ago, London’s coffee scene did nothing to impress this self-confessed coffee snob from the coffee-mecca of Melbourne. There were a handful specialty coffee haunts scattered across London such as Flat White in Soho, but you had to be in the know to track down your quality caffeine fix.

Back then, if you happened to discover the rare and precious gem of a quality coffee purveyor, you’d find it jam packed wall to wall with antipodeans such as myself. We’d flock there to get the kind of caffeine buzz that only the best baristas, using the best roasted beans, can brew up.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the antipodean influence as well as the invention of the hipster, London’s coffee scene is thriving. I’m in a constant state of caffeine-induced jittery paranoia, which is the tell-tale sign that I’m getting decent coffee on a regular basis. It’s a small price to pay. Continue reading “London Coffee”

Rome Shopping 10

Rome Shopping Guide

A lot has been said about Rome here on Second Sister (all of it good), so in the third of my Roman travel instalments, I focus on Rome shopping – in particular, fashion (with a touch of interiors).

Now I’m not for a second ignoring the fact that Rome is chockas full of culcha (and anyone who’s seen the Australian classic film “The Castle” will recognize that reference). However a good way to get to know a city is through its local shops and designers (or is that just my way of justifying being basic as f*©k? Either way, I’m owning it).

Following extensive research I bring to you my top tips for Rome shopping – a little light relief following extensive cultural activities if that’s your bag. Continue reading “Rome Shopping Guide”

Travel Problem 2

12 Signs You Have a Travel Addiction

My name is Suzanne and I have a travel addiction.

I hit my rock bottom the other day when I surveyed my bedroom to see what I need to do to by way of interior improvements. “Hmmmm, a rug to cover the floor boards would make it more cosy,” I thought to myself. My very next thought, without missing a beat, was “I’m going to have to book a trip to Marrakech to buy a new rug.” I duly texted my Moroccan friend to see when she’s free for a girls weekend in Marrakech – hammam spas, delicious Moroccan cuisine and rug shopping in the souk. It didn’t occur to me until later that evening that I’d translated interior decoration into excuse to start planning my next adventure. When did I become this person? Looking back at my life, the signs of my travel addiction were always there… Continue reading “12 Signs You Have a Travel Addiction”

Copenhagen Shopping 1

Copenhagen Guide – Shopping for Every Budget

Copenhagen Girls are most apparent during the Danish capital’s fashion weeks (Aug and Jan/Feb), when they roam the streets like a wildly coloured wolf pack on bicycles, exuding a laid-back vibe and insouciant attitude.

Danish fashion design is attracting a global following with the rise and rise of its local designers. And this is good news for anyone who likes a healthy dose of shopping while visiting this ridiculously hip city.

In my latest collab with the finger-on-the-pulse Luxe City Guides, I give you my top tips for shopping in achingly-cool Copenhagen – for every budget. Read the full story on Luxe City Guides here (and book mark it for holiday-planning purposes). For pics of my favourite Danish designs keep reading…

Continue reading “Copenhagen Guide – Shopping for Every Budget”