Our Top Ten Long Weekend Getaways from Brisbane

We’ve just gotten back from a lovely 3-day weekend and with the Easter long weekend almost here it’s got us thinking about where to next?

Brisbane is in such a good position for weekend getaways it’s not even funny. We’re super close to beaches, the bush, rainforest, reef, mountains and wine country. And on top of that we’re just a couple of hours flight from the hustle and bustle of some of Australia’s wonderful southern cities. If you’re overdue a much-needed break it’s time for you so get your butt into gear and book yourself a long weekend away. Be inspired by our list below!

These are our Top Ten favourite places for a long weekend getaway…

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Wedding 101- Wedding Fever

As I prepare for my wedding in October this year, I thought I’d bring you all along for the ride. This is the first of a few posts on my wed-ventures and planning – with the hope that it assists a few of you out there in engagement land or at least gives you a giggle. Enjoy!

Many women dream of their wedding day for years, conjuring up images of the perfect dress, flowers and cake in their minds.

I was never one of those girls. So when Tom proposed to me last June aside from feeling deliriously happy I also freaked out a bit.

What style of dress would suit me? Where would we have the wedding? What about Bridesmaids and Groomsmen? I had no idea where to start! Unsurprisingly, in my quest to find answers, I descended into a crazy wedding induced fever.

I devoured bridal magazines with fervor and spent hours pintrest-ing my life away. I meticulously compared  venue after venue and vendor after vendor.

I’m not going to lie, there were (and maybe there still are) spreadsheets involved.

For a while it was quite fun curling up on the couch and pouring over Polka Dot Bride and Style Me Pretty for inspiration. But ultimately, it became exhausting and led to a bit – ok a LOT – of overthinking.

Thankfully, I snapped out of it before my fiancé had to stage an intervention, but what I took away from those few weeks of craziness (aside from the fact that wedding videos are EMOSH) was that I wanted my wedding to be easy.

Spectacular, fun,  bursting with love and easy. Not too much to ask right?

I didn’t want to have to organise a million suppliers or feel stressed when thinking about the big day. I just wanted to feel excited and happy and relaxed.

But hooooooow do we do this? I mean we are organizing a WEDDING! We need a bunch of money, and ideas and white doves and a horse and carriage and…well actually, all jokes aside it can be quite easy. We are just under 7 months away and we’ve pretty much got our sh*t sorted. From our celebrant to our photographer to our DJ, it’s all done and now it’s just the fun stuff like cake tasting and dress fittings to enjoy…oh and that whole writing vowels thing but that will happen in time. Stay tuned for more Wedding 101 over the coming months (it will culminate with wedding photos I promise!) and in the meantime why not tell us about your wedding planning experience? Was it six-weeks of quick decisions like B’s or did you spend a lot of time and consideration on all the elements? Feel free to share – we’d love to hear for you!

Merriweather Cafe and a drive to Mt Nebo

Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday? Sleeping in, going for a delicious late breakfast and having a super relaxed day…just thinking about it makes me feel calm and happy.

A couple of weekends ago, I had a particularly chilled out Sunday. Tom and I ventured to South Brisbane with a friend of ours to start our day with a late breakfast at Merriweather cafe.

We’d been to Merriweather before for a light snack and coffee but hadn’t ever sat down to breakfast there so it was well overdue.

Merriweather has built a solid a reputation on using locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients to create unusual and delicious food so we expectations were high.

One arrival, the place was busy so we waited outside for about 15 minutes until a table became available. Once seated service was swift and we ordered our coffees, shortly followed by our meals. I  ordered the Local Mushrooms with flatbread, goat’s cheese, duke and poached eggs and a banana smoothie. Tom ordered the smoked mackerel and eggplant special and our friend Meiks went with the Yoghurt and Rye Pancake with whipped vanilla ricotta and raspberries (substituted for poached pears). Quite an array of food!

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How to Survive a Long Haul flight

 

In the past year, I’ve jumped across the pond to the other side of the world 4 times. I’ve been to Europe, Asia and the Middle East and taken my ‘countries visited tally’ up to 24.

Whilst the travel has been fun, it has also been exhausting. I’ve spent countless hours roaming around airports, sitting on planes and battling jet lag – but thankfully after a bit of experimentation I’ve found the best way to survive a long haul flight unscathed, so I’m here to share my top 10 tips with you.

1. Rest up

I’m a very light sleeper at the best of times, so I always take a sleeping pill on the night legs of my journey. I know these aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I find they make the flight go a lot quicker and I actually feel well rested when I arrive at my destination. I also always ensure that I have my neck pillow (an inflatable one to save space) and an eye mask to help block out any unwanted light/annoying fellow passengers.

2. Pack the essentials

Don’t you find it interesting how much better you feel after a shower, washing your face and cleaning your teeth? Air travel is no different – in fact I think it’s more important to look after your skin, eyes and teeth when flying because you’re more susceptible to dehydration. I generally remove my makeup when I get on a plane (face wipes are a god send!) and I double up on the moisturiser. I also pop on some hand cream, pop in a few eye-drops so my eyes don’t dry out and of course – paw paw ointment to keep those lips soft!

A few other essentials to take with you: toothpaste/toothbrush/mouthwash – brush your teeth with bottled water if you can and always use your antibacterial gel/hand sanitiser after going to the bathroom. As OCD as it sounds, I have been known to use this to wipe down my tray and arm rests when I get on board as a flight attendant friend of mine told me that these rarely get cleaned!

Some ’emergency’ extras I normally take with me include: hydralyte, tissues, strepsils/throat lozenges, some pain killers and some healthy snacks (mixed nuts are a favourite of mine).

3. Get comfortable

It goes without saying that if you’re comfortable, it’s going to be an easier flight, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear your ratty pjs in public (yes I am judging you). Invest in some lightweight trousers – there are loads of soft printed pants in the shops right now and they are perfect for travelling – plus they look great with a singlet or t-shirt and a longline cardigan, which is a must if you get cold on planes and the blanket just doesn’t cut it for you. For night flights, I prefer to wear workout leggings with sneakers or slip-ons, a soft t-shirt and a light cardigan. I often find that a scarf comes in handy when they turn the cabin temperature down too!

4. Compression is key

Now it’s not very sexy but I highly recommend wearing compression tights when travelling long haul. Pop them on just as you get on the plane and voila! no swollen feet when you arrive. I do this every single time I travel long distance and swear by it.

5. Stay hydrated

Drink Water. I know it seems glamorous to have a bunch of alcohol and sure, a glass of champagne can be lovely, but don’t go overboard before you get on board! It will dehydrate you further and I guarantee you won’t feel particularly fresh when you arrive at your destination.

 6. Relax

Read, watch movies, do a crossword. Flights are great opportunity to take some time to yourself. Sometimes I just like to look out the window and watch the world go by.

 7. Stopover

Who doesn’t love a stopover? Even if it’s only for a couple of hours, try to make the most of it. Remember when we were talking about ‘feeling fresh’ up in point 1? This is your time to have a shower and change your clothing and underwear, have a drink and a light bite to eat. Airport lounges can be pricey but it can also make a long journey much more manageable. I often book into a lounge and have a shoulder massage and I recently also got my nails done at Changi Airport during a 7 hour layover. You could also take the time to explore -whether it’s a day in Zurich or an mini-break in Bangkok or Israel.

8. Get moving

You’ve been sitting on a plane for 6+ hours so tell me why are you now sitting in the airport lounge? Get up and walk around, explore the duty free shops – heck some airports even have gyms so you can get your blood pumping! Our bodies are designed to move and I can guarantee that even just a little bit of walking in between flights, or after a long haul will make you feel much better. I always try to do some exercise when i get to my hotel as well – even if it’s just a few push ups, squats and star jumps – it’s a great mood enhancer and helps to shake off the ‘lazy’ feeling I often get when I fly.

How to plan a wine-holiday with friends

Wine holidays are FABULOUS!

First up, there’s the wine and it only gets better from there. Wine goes hand-in-glass with good food, so there are likely to be lots of good restaurants and local produce. Wine-producing regions also tend to be picturesque, relaxing and, well… full of wine!

Margaret River Wine Festival

Deep Woods Vineyard

Really, it’s the perfect holiday for a group of friends. The relaxed pace and dedicated focus allow you all to mellow out and enjoy quality time together.

Along with the good food, vistas of vineyards and slowing down of your day to focus on which drop to try next, wine holidays are the best place to learn about wine itself.

Producing good wine is one of those mysterious alchemical processes understood and perfected by a lucky few. It really isn’t as simple as pick grapes – leave for a long time – strain – drink. Visiting cellar doors and talking to the people behind the counter – often the wine-makers themselves if you’re lucky – is the best way to learn more about the process, what makes a good wine and how to pick a good bottle.

Basically, there is nothing bad about wine holidays. I’d rather like to be planning one right now.

If you are keen to organise a wine-region holiday for a group of friends, here’s how you go about it:

1. Pick your region Continue reading

An Exceptional Dinner date at Gerard’s Bistro

Dinner at Gerard's Bistro

To all you foodies out there, you best prepare yourself to become green with envy because this post contains pictures of mouth-watering meals from my recent date night at Gerard’s Bistro.

My fiancé Tom and I recently dined at Gerard’s and it’s safe to say that is was pretty much one of the best dinner dates we’ve ever had. Of course it’s really no surprise – Gerard’s has built a strong reputation as one of Brisbane’s best restaurants and in January was awarded 2 Chef’s Hats by the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide. Let’s just say we were very much looking forward to this dinner – and we had some high expectations!

Head Chef Ben Williamson and his team produce unique, adventurous, and seriously delicious food inspired by the Middle East and this works perfectly with the gorgeous 1970’s-esque decor and exceptional service to create a great dining experience.

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S&G Quick Guide to Noosa

Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast holds a special place in the hearts of both of us. You may have already read B’s wonderful guide to Maleny, which focuses on the beautiful hinterland area, but what about our infamous beaches and stunning National Park? And where can you find the best seafood and icecream? Well dear readers look no further because our Quick Guide to the Noosa is here.

Things to do and Places to see

Noosa is well known for its shops and restaurants but the beach and natural beauty are really what draw the crowds. Our favourite spots and things to do are:

  • Main Beach: Usually pretty calm and often a little crowded, Main Beach is great for swimming, tanning, and people watching. This is really the heart of Noosa. Surfers can also paddle out past the rocks from here to catch some great waves.
  • Little Cove: Just a short walk up hill towards Noosa National Park, lies Little Cove. This is a popular spot for locals and is a lot quieter than Main Beach.
  • Noosa National Park: This place is seriously gorgeous and it’s hard to believe it is so close to bustling Hastings Street. It’s a great way to get active
  • Learn to Surf, go sea kayaking or have a paddleboard down the Noosa river – you can also do a river cruise if that’s you’re kind of thing.
  • Noosa Farmer’s Market: Operating every Sunday morning, you can get amazing local produce, gorgeous fresh flowers, and a coffee to keep you going all in the one place.

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