The Christmas Break - What I Took Away With Me & What I Brought Back

The title of this article refers to two different things - the obvious one is stuff and being a stylist this is a given, I get almost as excited about packing as I do about the trip itself because it causes me to creatively put things together which is what I love so much about my job. The second thing I am referring to, and the more important, are the lessons I gained during my break and which have come home with me, ready to be unpacked and put into action. I never go away without a lesson sinking in somewhere along the way - there is something about a change of scenery, a shift in routine and moving at a different pace to disrupt the flow. This disruption is so important for growth.

Part 1 - What I took away with me...

Too many swimsuits...

But really, is there such a thing? A few years ago I decided to kick body shame for good and find a way to love myself in a swimsuit, however I could, whatever that meant, This involved my regular gym sessions, positive self talk, embracing the one-piece when I felt like more comfort and fighting the idea of the rail thin, supermodel body. This wasn't an easy journey but for someone who loves the ocean more than anything in the world, I wanted to spend my time at the beach in pure happiness without negative body talk running through my head. I love swimsuits, I love bikinis, I love collecting them and I love the fact there is no where to hide while wearing one, it forces a certain self acceptance because covering up is not an option. That has been so good for my confidence in a very strange way. Having no choice but to embrace my body in every sense versus being miserable in the one place I love most, by the water, was an obvious answer for me. I chose to end that suffering for myself and it has been the most empowering decision of my life.


I do not wash my hair when I am away. Call me gross, but I can go 2 weeks without shampoo and conditioner and quite happily too. All I do is cover my hair in Olaplex before going swimming and repeat the process afterwards, then toss it up in a bun. No fuss required. Sure, I look a bit like a strange man-bun wearing dude most of the time but it is easy, carefree and so good for the tresses. By the time I do get home and finally wash it out my hair will be in the best condition ever.

My online shopping habit...

I did not leave this at home I am sorry to admit! I purchased a few more things than I had planned to while I was away and yes, receiving online shopping deliveries to my families coast house was something I tried to keep on the sly but those delivery guys sure know how to pick their timing. If I am honest though, I have no regrets on the things I bought because I have discovered a new favourite store Petal & Pup and every single pieces speaks to me and my style perfectly. The fabrics, the cuts, the colours, it is all perfect and will get wear again and again and again. Buying clothes I love and will continue to love for years to come is not something I feel guilty about.

A LOT of bags...

Straw bags, clutch bags, fabric bags, I always pack tones. I like that they are usually small and easy to fit in a suitcase. I like that they change up an outfit instantly. I packed a dressy clutch, a casual clutch, a straw tote, a straw doctor bag, an oversized beach bag, a cross body bag and a couple of fabric totes. They were all used and they all made me happy as a housewife in a Birkin store. The best part about bags is that most of my favourites are vintage. i am not one to spend hundreds on a bag, it just doesn't feel right to me but I did receive a beautiful Status Anxiety bag for Christmas which I am in love with.

Part 2 - What I brought home with me...

A craving for space

I want less this year, less stuff, less consumption, less of the past, less complication. I feel like doing a massive clean out and committing myself to quality over quantity, spending my time more wisely and seeking a sense of space in every way I can whether than means more road trips to destinations unknown, more time to do the things I love and quite literally more room in my apartment, space is the key word for me for 2018.

A focus on friends and family.

By far the toughest part about becoming a mother was losing the ability to socialize as much, which for me has been really difficult because I get so much happiness and energy from being with others, and struggling to find the time to be there for my friends and family as much as I would like. I want to actively work to change this. With my son starting school this year I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and a greater freedom for myself to be able to do this and I am so excited about this. I know I have to make a conscious effort though because I manage to fill my time and days with things like the gym, running errands, creating blog content, planning business ventures and creating anxiety for myself because I am terrible at switching off but finding a way to avoid this and focusing in on the people I love is going to be one of my biggest priorities this year.

Call of the wild

The kid in me who used to climb up rocks in the wilderness, who used to camp every weekend, who used to kyak down rapids with her siblings, who used to swim right out the back with the big kids, who used to jump off boats and snorkel waters miles from land, I miss her. I was fearless. The older I get the more fear creeps in and it drives me mad. I still count myself as bold and adventurous but nothing like I used to be and I want to change that. I want to find that kid inside me again and leave the fear behind. Adventures, come at me, this year I am ready for you.

I hope you all had a great break and found yourself close to what makes you feel alive. I decided against New Years Resolutions this year and focused on New Years Absolutions - the things I absolutely want to focus on for the next 12 months. Positivity is always my way and I love this time of year because it feels like a fresh start and a chance to hone on the absolutes, the non-negotiables, the things which truly matter.

Happy New Year babes xx

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The Style Side is an online destination for fashion, beauty and lifestyle inspiration for women who enjoy style with substance.


Founded by Kimberley Sara, a Canberra based fashion stylist and busy mum, The Style Side is built around a message of empowerment for women - Kimberley aims to inspire women to embrace who they are, pursue what makes them happy, express themselves creatively and be authentic. She believes living a stylish life is about practicing balance, having fun with fashion, staying true to oneself and ultimately celebrating individuality. Her life motto... "be kind and be real, always".


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