I stumbled upon the most beautiful Dutch natural skincare brand whilst in Amsterdam last week. Considering the amount of googling / research / instagram-stalking I do on the topic of natural and organic skincare, it's very exciting when an unheard-of brand happens to have a store right around the corner from our apartment. The brand in question is Marie Stella Maris - originally a water company, who began a range of skincare in 2011. They also donate part of their profits to clean water programs (an aspect I particularly like about the brand). Their range is produced in four different 'scents', my favourite being their rose variation. Although I'm always attracted to rose (Laduree rose macaroons, anyone?), I often find rose-scented skincare products a little 'grandma-esque'. However, the Marie Stella Maris version is surprisingly woodier and deeper. It's definitely a scent I'd be comfortable having linger about me throughout the day. Although I truly wanted to purchase the entire store, I restricted myself to a bottle of their body oil in Rose Promesse, which also came with a glass dropper attachment (a picture can be found on my Instagram here). As this was my first foray into a proper body oil (as oppose to an $8 jar of coconut oil) I was rather excited to try the Marie Stella Maris version, although I was hesitant it would not be worth the extra expense. I found the Rose Promesse body oil was both highly moisturising, and absorbed into my skin without leaving me feeling greasy. It's rose scent also stayed for the remainder of the day, which was much more pleasant than it's coconut counterpart. Suffice to say, this is my version of happiness in body-oil form.

It's just such an incredible shame I later discovered that Marie Stella Maris does not ship to Australia!

Marie Stella Maris Body Oil in Rose Promesse. 



One thing I've definitely realised on this trip is my absolute love of Paris - cumulating in visiting the city twice within a month (and perhaps one last sneaky visit before my flight back to Australia in 19 days time). Hence this new little acquisition, a grey tee from French brand Kulte. I'm still a little confused as to what's actually happening on the front (is that a mouth?) but I feel it quite perfectly sums up my current sentiments towards the city. 

In all honesty it probably wasn't the ideal top to be wearing whilst exploring the rainy town of Bruges, Belgium yesterday - but sometimes a little bit of city-confusion can't be avoided. 

Wearing: Tee by Kulte, Rag & Bone jeans, Birkenstock Arizonas.



This little Lover leather number has quite a story behind it. Sometime around February of this year, I was sitting in a seemingly endless Biology lecture (the worst) engaged in a frantic whatsapp conversation with my mum. The franticness of the conversation was due to the fact that my mum happened to be at the annual Lover the Label warehouse sale in Sydney at the time.  Pictures of pleated skirts, mesh-detailed dresses and leather tees were flashing on my phone, followed by a short message containing information along the lines of 'leather a-line skirt, $100, size 8???'. Needless to say, the Lover items were catching my attention a significant amount more than my American Biology lecturer, drawling on about the benefits of GMO, or something as equally unexciting. Although I happened to be sitting in -10 degree New Jersey at the time, I managed to come away from the sale with two new leather pieces that are perfect for summer. 

Clearly, my Mum just happens to be the best mother / shopping-assistant ever. 

So, here's the first from my new Lover leather collection - an A-line skirt in light pink, butter-soft leather, which was perfect for a dinner out in the winding backstreets of Split, Croatia's old-town. Although it's slightly too long for my liking at the moment (I plan on taking it up by an inch when I arrive back home), I love the idea of a lighter-coloured alternative to the standard black leather skirt. Lover can do no wrong in my eyes, and owning a piece of theirs in leather (at 70% off) is a dream.



If I'm perfectly honest, one of the things I enjoyed most about Budapest was that anything and everything was painted yellow. It seemed as though nothing could escape the reach of the exact same shade of sunshine-yellow paint. Naturally, I thought this was absolutely amazing - which resulted in Ben listening to an almost constant stream of complaint over Sydney's general lack of pastel-hued buildings. 

This particular yellow building was Széchenyi - one of the many traditional Turkish bath-houses in Budapest, which were perfect for escaping the city's heat. Said heat has also left me resorting to my Birkenstocks at an increasingly alarming rate, and exposing more and more of my midriff by knotting my tops at the front (this post in Paris marked the start of the knotted-top habit). I think the freezing cold temperatures in America may have zapped all of the Australian heat-resistance out of me, as a mere 30 degrees seems overwhelming at the moment. It's definitely something I'll have to sort out before my next Australian summer.

Wearing: Asos cami, Aqua by Bloomingdales skirt, Birkenstock Arizona's, thrifted sunglasses (similar). 



For as long as I can remember, my idea of shoe-perfection has been inextricably linked to one company - Repetto. Now, when I say 'shoe-perfection', I am not referring to the trendiest pair of shoes I'm currently lusting after (at the moment that would involve something along the lines of this). My favouritism of Repetto is due to their ability to make shoes which would be perfectly acceptable to wear day-in and day-out, and and yet never descend into part of the every-day mundane. Put simply, Repetto makes the most beautiful ballet-flats in the entire shoe-universe. 

Before I get too carried away, let me just say that up until approximately 15 days ago, I never actually owned a pair of Repettos - I had only ever borrowed them from my Mum. Although, said 'borrowing' did often culminate with the shoes mysteriously disappearing into the depths of my wardrobe, never to return (at least for several months). Unfortunately, they are ludicrously expensive, and as such had always been out of my reach. However, then a small miracle occurred - I discovered Repetto has a 'stock' store in Paris, where left over shoes are sold at 50-70% off. 

Needless to say in approximately less than 48 hours of arriving in Paris, I had made it to the Repetto stock store, and came home with these two beauties: a blue, round-toed pair for every-day use, and a peach, square-toed, mid-heeled variation for slightly nicer outings. Although neither of them are receiving much use at the moment (Eastern European cobble-stones aren't exactly ideal new-shoe territory), I am ridiculously excited to start wearing them more often in Sydney. Particularly as a mid-heels is very new, but also strangely exciting, concept for me. I know shoes shouldn't bring me such happiness, but they're just so pretty



I think I'm developing quite a love affair with windows. Particularly those large enough to stand in, which seem to be the usual fare in all the apartment buildings Ben and I have stayed in over the last few weeks. Either way, another city, another window, and more awkward posing. 

The skirt I'm wearing has barely left my person for the last few days - it's been swelteringly hot in Vienna, and it's breezy, white, cotton perfection has been a life-saver. Funnily enough, it's from one of my most-hated stores, Forever 21. Although I think it was probably the only item made from natural fibre in the entire store, I'm very glad I stumbled upon it during my last week in the US. When paired with my incredibly-boxy Maurie & Eve top, I feel as cool as a cucumber. Well, as close to that as you can get in 35+ temperatures. 

P.S. Vienna is absolutely stunning, and there's so much gold on all the buildings it's dazzling. 

Wearing: Maurie & Eve top, Forever 21 skirt, Birkenstock Arizonas, thrifted sunglasses.

Photos by Ben.



This morning, I did something rather terrifying. I let my boyfriend cut my hair. 

Don't get me wrong, Ben is absolutely amazing in many different ways - but let's just say I never really had him pegged as someone I'd trust armed with scissors anywhere near the vicinity of my scalp. However, things were getting rather desperate. My hair was beyond the repair of my usual 'smother in Argan oil' tactic, and it's length meant it would just find it's way onto everything, and everywhere, all time time. Also it was giving me headaches, which is never brilliant. 

So, at least part of it had to go, and my usual distrust of hairdressers coupled with the fact that I wouldn't in an english-speaking country for another month meant I had to resort to desperate tactics, and allow Ben to play hairdresser. Clearly this was an absolutely terrifying concept. Particularly as he spent a solid 10 minutes running around with the scissors pretending to 'accidentally' cut it into a bob - which was by no means appreciated. A somewhat nerve-wrackingg 15 minutes later and I (surprisingly) have a haircut I'm actually very pleased with, and somewhat excited about. I've been lusting after very blunt, full ends for a while now, and I'm amazed to say Ben's work actually fits the bill. Needless to say, ladies, maybe we should start reconsidering our boyfriends artistic capabilities after all. 

Or, you know, be a little more organised and remember to get a haircut in a country where they speak English. 

Photos by Ben.



Channelling my inner boy-vibes in the never ending staircase outside our apartment in Lyon last week. Ben's currently trying to convince me into agreeing to contribute money towards his future shirt purchases, given my tendency to borrow them (if you need further evidence, it can be found here). Although I would never be foolish enough to commit to such an agreement, I'd happily be the first to admit that there's something so much more appealing about mens' shirts than women's. I think it's due to their ability to omit a sense of carelessness, and avoid appearing too fussy. Or perhaps it's minor desperation from refusing to admit my clothing-options are limited to those in my one, small, suitcase. If so, maybe by the end of my trip I'll be sporting a lot more of Ben's clothes than just his shirts (feel free to send me an abusive comment if this begins to happen).

On a side note, the loafers I'm wearing are the epitome of minimalist perfection in my eyes. I've been looking for a good pair of loafers for a while, but was becoming overwhelmed by tassels, elaborate seaming and brogue-embelishment. This Gorman pair are a breath of fresh air in the black, patent-leather loafer world, and their slightly higher than average heel adds slight height to my barely 5"3 frame, which is always a positive! 

Wearing: H&M men's shirt, Rag & Bone jeans, Gorman Loafers.

Photos by Ben.


HAT No. 2

I bought a new hat, which is always fairly exciting!

Faced with walking the countless steps of the Eiffel Tower on a sunny day, hat-less, I made a snap decision in H&M to purchase this beauty. However, for whatever reason, I can’t get visions of boater hats out of my mind (the rigid, lacquered versions which usually make appearances in boys’ school uniforms). Alas, until the ideal boater is found, this H&M version will more than suffice.

P.S. Hat No. 1 can be found here.



Well, fuck. I bought Birkenstocks. 

To be fair, it was with much deliberation, and slight amounts of self-loathing that I bought into the trend. Never mind that the entire time I was in the Birkenstock store pondering their purchase, Ben was outside pretending to vomit. He also mimicked throwing them out the window of our tiny Parisian attic-appartment several times after they arrived home. Thankfully, I can confirm they have made it to Lyon unscathed, however, the rest of their future while he is around is somewhat uncertain. 

In all honesty, the true reason I bought them was due to comfort, and my word they live up to their comfort claim. Try 'walking on a cloud-esque' comfortable, and then multiply it by a hundred. Never in my life (at least in my early-20s) did I think the benefits of adequate arch support would be a strong motivating factor in my shoe-purchasing choices. But alas, here we are - poor battered feet that can in no way keep up with the demands of european-travel, and the dreaded Birks coming to my rescue. I can now understand why they're such a popular footwear choice amongst the seniors who live in my neighbourhood. Thank goodness they're actually en vogue at the moment, or I may have had to commit a serious fashion faux-pas and purchase them regardless. Although, hopefully not in the khaki-green suede I rocked as a 12 year-old (don't judge, you know we all went through that phase). 

Here's to Birks, and the impending sense of doom we all share, knowing that when we look back at pictures of 2014 we will be cringing over the sandals we all thought were 'so chic' and 'just like Daria from the Mango Spring '14 campaign'. 

I can feel the nostalgic-embarassment already kicking in.

Birkenstock Arizona in white


Rue de Rivoli

I have a true love / hate relationship with shorts. Primarily tending towards the 'hate' aspect of the equation. It's rare I find a pair which fit my hips without being baggy around my waist, and they just always seem determined to frustratingly journey 'up' whenever I take a step. Cue these miraculous, perfectly-fitting, striped versions from Zara. Needless to say, I was having a great time walking through the streets of Paris, baguette under arm, feeling trés Audrey Tatou while wearing this pair. That was until it begun pouring with rain, and I ended up resembling a drowned rat more than anything else. Pfft, c'est la vie, I presume. 

On a side note, I'm quite enjoying tying this centuries old white-tee up into a knot to expose a tiny amount of midriff. So long as it never exposes the (often less than perfect) area under one's belly-button, I figure it to be the right amount of cheeky-ness, without evoking a sense of too much nudity. Thoughts?

Wearing: Zara tee & shorts (similar here & here), Wolford tights, Salvio's ballet flats. 

Photos by Ben.



Okay, I'll admit, this skirt has striking similarities to the netball skirts I (hated) running around in during primary school. It's exactly the same navy blue, with the same crisp pleats - and yet, I couldn't put this one down after I spotted it in Bloomingdales during my last few days in the USA. I'm blaming it on a certain degree of nostalgia, combined with the fact that it's the first pleated skirt I've ever found flattering. It's also just short enough to steer clear from resembling a school uniform too much, whilst being a little bit more exciting than an ordinary A-line cut. 

Ben and I found these colourful doors while exploring Shoreditch, in London. We've finally began our two and a half-month adventure across Europe, which is a very welcome change from studying and American food. It's also meant the beginning of restricting my wardrobe to one, frighteningly small suitcase. At the moment everything in there is variations on white, black and navy - I definitely think some colour-filled shopping is in order when I arrive in Paris! 

P.S. to keep up-to date with my travels, find me on instagram (@flourishblog). Daily pictures of #foodporn are promised. 

Wearing: Aqua skirt, Zara tee, leather backpack, Superga Trainers, Tiffany & Co necklace. 

Photos by Ben.


Favourites No. 2

A few current favourites. 
A Lover leather tee, purchased at their Sydney warehouse sale by my beyond-amazing Mum, who then bought it over when my family came to visit last week. I've been dreaming of a leather tee for a few seasons now, and can't get enough of the raised pattern on this version. The Travel by Land candle is 100% natural, and hand poured in NYC. No. 22 is citrus-based and instantly reminds me of Summer - it's also been brightening my incessant essay writing as I reach my last week of University in the States. The Josie Maran Nail Wipes is the best acetone-free nail polish remover I've ever come across, and the Sin-Min is a current favourite lip balm I mentioned a little while back in this post

On another note, my count-down to Europe has officially begun, only 10 days left! 



Slowly (very, slowly) winter is finally leaving NYC. Although I associate 'Spring' with dresses, camis and denim cut-offs, apparently 'Spring' in NYC just means you can start wearing a slightly lighter coat than a down-parka, if you're lucky. Hence although it's Spring I'm still bundled up, and afraid to leave the house without wearing at least 4 layers. I think it's going to be incredibly embarrassing when my body is finally exposed to sunlight (hopefully on some exotic beach in Croatia) and I'm going to end up glowing like some kind of terrifying beacon given how pale my skin has become over the last 3 winter months. 

Thankfully my cold-weather blues were cleared by my family flying to NYC to visit me over the last week. It was very funny to be considered the 'local' in a city I still feel I'm only just starting to figure out! It also meant I had instant access to a second wardrobe via my mum's suitcase, and hence this beyond amazing baby-pink Burberry scarf which I managed to 'borrow' (not quite with consent) for the rest of the week. 

Here's to hoping, somewhat fruitlessly, that NYC finally gets some real Spring action for my last 15 days in the USA!

Wearing: Marcs Coat, Burberry Scarf (from My Net Sale, because who would spend $400 on a scarf?), Zara Boots, Arabella Ramsay Skort, Wolford tights.