Settling in to Life in Australia

G’Day Mates! Kidding, I am pretty sure I can’t get away with saying that anytime soon. It is now exactly a month since I’ve been here in Australia and I am loving it so far! I know, total shocker right. The weather has been fantastic since I arrived, our house is a five minute drive from multiple beaches (hopefully getting a bike soon) and it’s been really nice for Stephen and I to reconnect and spend quality time together after being apart for 2.5 months. And I mean a LOT of quality time together, we barely know anyone around here…

Moving usually comes with its ups and downs and moving countries definitely is no different. Living in a different country puts you more out of your comfort zone because your norms are totally flipped around, sometimes literally flipped like driving on the other side of the car, AND the road. I am lucky to be in an English speaking country so it’s not as big of a transition as moving elsewhere in the world, but it still comes with plenty of new experiences. Today I am sharing some of what I’ve experienced in my first month of living down under. And since I prefer to end of a happy note- let’s begin with the not-so-easy stuff.

Shopping- Where do I go?

O how I miss you Amazon, Target and TJ Maxx- you have no idea! We do have a version of Target and TJ Maxx here but it is just not the same. You can’t compare to the amazingness that is our Target in the US or the absolute ecstasy that is Amazon Prime. I read Amazon is coming to Australia in 2018 so if that happens I may cry out of pure happiness. Shopping has been an adjustment for me for sure- I am having to relearn where to go for what I need. We are also living in a small coastal town, not very close to a major city, so when you’re trying to buy EVERYTHING for a house and don’t have many store options around (and you’re super picky) it can be frustrating. We’ve taken a few trips up to the Gold Coast which has 1000x the places to choose from. It’s come in handy when I can’t find what I am looking for around here, but it’s an hour away. For example, I looked everywhere for the perfect sectional couch- I had this idea in my mind for what I wanted but I could not find it. If we were going to shell out some decent cash for this piece of furniture I wanted it to be right. We ended up finding it, in the Gold Coast, and since they don’t deliver down here we have to make the trek all the way up even further to their warehouse in Brisbane to get it. Not convenient, but in the end it’ll be worth it. We actually pick it up tomorrow, AHHHHHH, so goodbye camping chairs finally. I realize this might be completely petty of me to be frustrated by shopping choices, but after living in Atlanta for so many years, with almost anything I could need/want easily accessible, it’s been an adjustment for sure!

Starting Completely from Scratch

Usually when you move your belongings might be unorganized in your new place for a while, but at least you HAVE stuff. You know, things to eat off of, places to sit, a bed. This past month we’d bought everything from appliances to plates, to a bed and clothes hangers- all the way down to the salt and pepper. I will say I feel extremely fortunate because of Stephen we are in a position where it hasn’t been a financial strain, but you’d be surprised how fast the home budget disappears. After all the shopping we’ve done the house still feels empty to me, and for someone who is extremely visual it’s not so easy. My surroundings really affect me- I am distracted by the blank walls, the empty rooms, and have ideas swirling around in my head constantly I can’t do anything about yet. If you saw my last apartment you know I like stuff around me, knick knacks and art makes me feel at home. But I am learning to be more patient and let them come together over time. I think the addition of the couch tomorrow will make a huge impact and let me settle down a bit. Also our shipment from the US containing artwork and more personal things for house arrived in Sydney by boat and should be coming to us next month- yay!

BEACH BEACH BEACH!

Some people are mountain people, some are city people, some are beach people. I’m probably a little combination, but coastal living is so ingrained in my being and who I am. Living near the ocean is something I’ve been wanting and dreaming of for as long as I can remember, and now it’s a reality. And not those beaches where it’s literally just sand and then condo, condo, condo- yea they’re nice sometimes but that’s not the environment I wanted (sorry Destin and PCB). Goodbye annoying spring breakers, frat guys and too many families crowding up the beach! No offense to the families but spring breakers and frat guys, get your shit together and act right.

Here in Australia and in particular our area, the beaches are private, expansive, clean, natural and peaceful. I’m usually at the beach a few times a week- either for a midday run/break from work or for a walk with Stephen when he comes from work. Last week after a busy day of errands we packed 2 beers, left the shoes at home and just sat on the beach for a drink, admiring the water and thinking how thankful we are to have this so close to home.

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and bring eternal joy to the soul.”
— Robert Wyland, marine life artist

Working 100% Remotely at Last

Back in Atlanta many mornings consisted of dreading the alarm, rushing around getting ready for the day, sitting in my car for 45 minutes, office for 8 hours, car for another 45 minutes, then cramming in errands and more work at home just to hopefully enjoy a little bit of down time before doing it all over again. Even though I was working remotely while traveling around Europe, when I returned it was back to the in-office grind on a regular basis. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, I had taken strategic steps away from it but then circled back in order to make larger dents in my debt payoff. It was worth it, but I was so ready for the lifestyle change.

These days I am typically up by 6:30am for a coffee, then open my laptop to begin work around 7am. The morning is prime time to talk to my US clients because of the time difference so often I have a call or two first thing in the morning, then the day’s schedule is up to me. Despite the distractions of our empty house just waiting for a makeover I’ve found I am much more productive working outside of the office. No more people popping in for little things and interrupting my thought process- I feel I can actually FINISH things faster and be more efficient. Depending on my mood I’ll work from the dining table, my office or sit out on the front balcony like I am doing right now. I love having the freedom to work when and where I want, to take breaks when needed, and to be able to do errands during the day to places that are only open until 5pm. It feels great, and is definitely the type of lifestyle I have been after for a while now. My office, like much of the house, is still pretty sparse, but I have plans for a big collage inspiration wall and my prized Apple monitor should be arriving from the US next month.

New Beginnings and More to Come

The other day my mom cracked me up on the phone- she said “so what else is new besides, you know, your entire life”. Shes right, it’s literally like stepping into a new life (one that includes no dryer and me hanging all of our laundry on the clothes line outside, but that’s another story). I hope you’ve enjoyed a little look into this new life in Australia, and I can’t wait to share so much more! A few things I have planned coming up are a home tour, DIY projects around the house, a little closer look into relationships, and how you can ditch the “norms” of society and go after what you really want in life too.

Stay tuned, stay positive, and for God’s sake have a glass of wine, you deserve it.

For a more regular, behind the scenes look make sure to follow Sauvignon Blue on Instagram!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Decor Inspiration for Our Home in Australia

This post we are taking a break from the personal stories and travel to get inspired by interior design. I have not had my own place since giving up my apartment in March 2016 and I miss decorating so much! I can’t even tell you how excited I am to settle into a new home in Australia and really create a space that feels inspiring and fits my style again. Granted this will be mine AND Stephen’s place so I can’t go too girly, but I am so thankful he is all in for letting me handle the decorating. His only requirements- bright, light and beachy. I am pretty sure I can accomplish that!

In my old apartment I had accumulated SO many things over the years that I just kept moving from place to place. Before leaving for Europe I went through a major purge and got rid of about 70% of my belongings. At first it was difficult, but now I am so glad I only kept those important pieces that really mean something to me and got rid of the junk. With the exception of a few knick knacks and artwork pieces we will basically be starting from scratch with our home in Australia. I can’t wait to really design a space for the first time instead of just making what I have at the time work. Below are some inspirational ideas I’d love to incorporate into our home down under.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

A Wild Side

Usually you’re either all about some animal print, or not a fan at all. I’ve always been a lover of wild prints, in particular leopard. You’ll find little pops of it around my apartment with throw pillows or knick knacks, but I especially am fond of a touch of leopard when it comes to fashion. I’m totally one of those chicks who considers it almost a staple solid instead of a pattern. Here is a little inspiration for how you can add a little wild side to your wardrobe!

7ee0ad436b4adb50860e4bb83674dda0

8459df4518fd49e3130f58ca8bb2bae8

1420487f6aabc211413ee912da8ce534

3435071_Nova_pasta29

b626ba558d9edb6c7424f512c578c2b3

08a0a51a61de4835363df75492a29079

fbd2dba7f5e09d16f8cc00fb6e17b186

c7f5273c2959234f4ed4d3d670935b10

eeabfe23856954d4f04fbcae0bdd4bc2

 

50531273a5d6f02f9c701b9988954f97

 

8e4521ee800166de05b5cb3901dbfffc

 

Packing Made Easy

I have a love hate relationship with packing. The OCD, organized side of me loves getting everything in order and perfectly arranged in my luggage. The other side of me gets anxious I’m forgetting something… I’m sure you can relate!

I have to give my company PurseN some props for making my Costa Rica packing experience turn from last minute total scramble to finally having some peace of mind! One of the perks of designing travel accessories is having everything I need to stay organized before, during, and after my trips.
SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-2

SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-11

This trip wouldn’t be complete without the proper reading material, shades for that Costa Rican sun, and a few more PurseN items. The Pill Organizer below (on the top right) is the bomb! Call me a soccer mom all you want, but anytime someone needs Advil, allergy medicine, Band-Aids or just a little extra vitamin C, I am your girl. And don’t worry, that Leatherman multitool knife isn’t going on my carryon 😉 SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-8 SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-5

This is my far my favorite toiletry case we have designed so far, the Amour Travel Case. It not only expands and has a hanging hook, but it also has 5 removable pouches, a space for all your bottles, and these handy dandy cases below for your toothbrush and razor. Most of the time I keep it packed with my necessities so I can easily grab and go for the weekend, week, or however long!SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-6 SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-7

And last but not least for the “PurseNized” vaca (I know, so cheesy right?) is the Travel Tote. I’ve come to love this tote for the plane since it’s large enough to fit everything I need, while at the same time keeping it separated and easy to find what I’m looking for. Lucky for me, this bag can also double as the perfect beach bag! SauvignonBlue-CostaRica-Packing-778-9

Adios USA! Can’t wait to explore what Costa Rica has in store for me and share it with you all when I return 🙂

 

Holiday Chic

Christmas time is one of my favorite holidays, partly due to the seasonal decorations. The weather gets chilly, fuzzy blankets make their way back to the couch, and decorative lights make everything feel so cozy! Festive decor has come a long way from all red and green everywhere you look. These glamorous details inspire me to bring more Holiday chic into my own home. Enjoy!

bfba02f5e0cd88403ef4e2c808b140ca
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1Tuv7h3
Picture-45-e1415935702262
Photo Credit: bit.ly/1m5M3zY
interior-elegant-pink-mantle
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1NcuJzW
b0707b10586633f8f7f4e0b2c738fb60
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1Ry8VnR
a2621b926e24cce222703896083beef7
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1SHyykt
6997e0eb30bd155a363fd7a80c22afe4
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1llI4z5
interior-elegant-pink-trees
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1NcuJzW
367f067f07da305ecf9cd9aab6a21991
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/1TPOIsS

 

 

Weekly 5 Favorites

#1- Paradise Memories

The dreary weather left me exhausted as this week began. It’s amazing how much weather can affect your entire day and I was ready for a break from the cloudy skies and rain. I took a mental escape back to my time in Laguna Beach last year… the beautiful rocky coast and bright blue waters. Although my current physical location might not be ideal, I am so grateful to have those memories to look back on and to be excited for what the future may bring.
SauvignonBlue-11.15-Fav1

 

#2-This Striped Shirt

With the cold weather comes a whole different wardrobe… out with the tank tops and in with the comfy long sleeve shirts! I snatched this one up at Target the other day, only 2 for $20! Style and affordability is always a good combination 😉

CLICK HERE to shop the look

SauvignonBlue-11.15-Fav2

 

#3-Seeing the Magic Happen at Work

We are just now launching our newest line of travel accessories at PurseN and I am SO excited about how well it’s been received. In addition to the more luxurious fabrics and finishes of the collection, we’ve introduced the latest in Jewelry Cases the Primas! This amazing travel jewelry case has revolutionary pouches to keep your necklaces in place and keep them tangle-free, it’s the best. This week we did a video shoot showcasing the Prima Jewelry Cases and I was so proud of all of our hard work. We have been developing this design for most of 2015, and seeing it all come together makes me grateful to work where I am an integral part of the journey.

SauvignonBlue-11.15-Fav4

 

#4-Close Friendships

Nothing brings together the best of friends like a birthday dinner. I am so thankful to have these ladies in my life to be the sisters I never had. We have been through so many journeys together, lived in multiple places, helped each other through relationships, breakups and new beginnings. Remember to never take these people in your life for granted.

SauvignonBlue-11.15-Fav3

 

#5-Margs & Guac

What better way to end the week than with the best margarita and guacamole in town! I am totally obsessed with Bartaco– the food, the atmosphere, the drinks… all of it is my thing.  I can never pass up an opportunity to introduce a friend to this spot for the first time.

SauvignonBlue-11.15-Fav5

Home Office Inspiration

If you have a home office and actually use it often, you know it’s a very special place. Whether you use it for for your full-time job or you’re like me and use it for side projects, it’s a place that should be inspiring and motivating. I can’t wait for the day when I have enough space to have an entire room as my home office, but for now I love my little area of my home that’s dedicated to creative work.

Here are some beautiful workspaces I’ve been lusting after!

bbfe9b4aff54903a52c42b1a24f44677

(1) Lauren Liess17e5d32b37d6d8429e6b105e99eb51b5
(3) West Elm Blog 095359dd95a31f22a37ba63c4b7950ca
(3) Katie Stratton w1000_h1000
(4) Locally Grown

83ae1b0435aac844219bc51c7d6b8220

(5) Jennifer Fisher

Bright Bedding Update

Giving your bedroom a mini makeover doesn’t have to be expensive! It can be as simple as changing your duvet cover. I am constantly updating my home by finding little things to tweak, but doing things on a budget is always key.

SauvignonBlue-Bedding5-778

Recently while doing the usual weekend straightening up around the house, I removed my awesome/crazy duvet cover to throw it in the wash. Of course I still love my indian inspired pattern duvet, but I realized I actually felt more relaxed and clear minded with the plain white down comforter. The room felt brighter and more airy so I decided it was time to shake things up a bit.

SauvignonBlue-Bedding-778

SauvignonBlue-Bedding3-778

SauvignonBlue-Bedding2-778

SauvignonBlue-Bedding4-778

 

ShoptheLook

 

S.B. Life & Things to Come

How do we balance it all? A full-time job, side projects, family, friends, dating/relationships, errands, cleaning, cooking, and heaven forbid…. sneaking in some lazy couch time. No matter what’s going on in your unique life, we all have trouble making it ALL happen, while still looking decent in public (I think I’m slowly mastering the “technically I’m almost in PJs but I can totally pull this off at work” move).

The past few months have been a total whirl wind for me, but I’m finally taking control of certain passions of mine that have been on the back burner…. this blog being one of them. There are lots of updates to come and endless stories for the future… but here is a little sneak peak on the S.B. life lately!

FastForward-9.15-7

FastForward-9.15-4

FastForward-9.15-3

FastForward-9.15-2

FastForward-9.15-6

FastForward-9.15-5

RAW Artists Atlanta Show

It’s show time in Atlanta! Back in April I was chosen to exhibit my artwork at the RAW Natural Born Artist Exhibition. Although I spent the 48 hours before the show running around, glueing, assembling, hammering, painting, power drilling, all the hard work was totally worth it!

This was my first time showing my artwork around town, and it was such a great feeling to share it with everyone and all my amazing family and friends who came out to give support. More exciting things to come!

SauvignonBlue-RAWShow-1

SauvignonBlue-RAWShow-5

SauvignonBlue-RAWShow-2

SauvignonBlue-RAWShow-3

SauvignonBlue-RAWShow-6

SauvignonBlue-RAWShow-4

Getting that Artsy Fix

There’s so much art at your fingertips in Manhattan that choosing where to go when you’re only in town for a weekend can be impossible. For me it’s hard to resist stopping by MoMA when I’m in New York, and this trip was no exception!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from my favorite art museum:

SauvignonBlue-NewYork27-3.15


No. 3/No. 13 (Magenta, Black, Green on Orange) by Mark Rothko, 1949
SauvignonBlue-NewYork28-3.15
Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol, 1962
SauvignonBlue-NewYork29-3.15

Girl with Ball by Roy Lichtenstein, 1961
Gold Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, 1962
Flag by Jasper Johns, 1954

SauvignonBlue-NewYork30-3.15

One: Number 31 by Jackson Pollock, 1950

SauvignonBlue-NewYork31-3.15

The Olive Trees by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

SauvignonBlue-NewYork32-3.15

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

SauvignonBlue-NewYork33-3.15

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by Umberto Boccioni, 1913

SauvignonBlue-NewYork34-3.15

Girl before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso, 1932

SauvignonBlue-NewYork35-3.15

Water Lilies by Claude Monet, 1914

SauvignonBlue-NewYork36-3.15

 

Girls Weekend in NYC

Though I decided to stay in ATL instead of heading out west to Colorado the travel bug never left me. In the past 6 months I had escaped out to California and Denver twice each so I decided the big apple would be next getaway. A friend of mine agreed to go along for the ride if I could get the plane flight and place to stay for under $400 a piece… challenge accepted!

A few short weeks later we headed up to NYC for a long weekend!

SauvignonBlue-NewYork11-3.15

Who says denim vests are out of style?!

SauvignonBlue-NewYork12-3.15

After arriving at the airport 30 minutes before our flight take off, fighting with the cab driver and getting my suitcase stuck in a subway turnstile, we finally arrived at our home for the weekend, a beautiful apartment in Tribeca (thanks to airbnb of course).

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking the Brooklyn Bridge, enjoying the beautiful views and anticipating the snowfall headed our way.
SauvignonBlue-NewYork13-3.15

SauvignonBlue-NewYork14-3.15

SauvignonBlue-NewYork15-3.15

SauvignonBlue-NewYork17-3.15

Just as expected, the snow came falling down a few hours later and it was beautiful. Okay fine… it was super wet and freezing and we almost busted our asses on the sidewalk but hey, still beautiful in the city. Lucky for us we had a drink date with my friends relatives at the the Renaissance Hotel lounge, with the perfect INDOOR view of Times Square. After catching up over a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, the city exploration continued.

SauvignonBlue-NewYork18-2-3.15

SauvignonBlue-NewYork18-3.15