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Dîner en Blanc: Melbourne 

Life

It was a peculiar sight to onlookers: Thousands of people dressed head to toe in white carrying picnic baskets and white tables.. all setting up in rows at a prominent city location, unbeknownst to them until the very minute they hop off their chartered bus. Sound familiar? It’s the international Dîner en Blanc, where strangers donned completely in white experience a chic picnic together, much to the bewilderment of passerbys. This event originated in Paris in the 80s and now occurs in many major cities worldwide. This year I attended the one in Melbourne.

Location: Fitzroy Gardens

Dressed by: Something Borrowed Melbourne
Have you guys ever attended a Dîner en Blanc? I already can’t wait until next year’s event. At least dressing for it will be easy! 

-Daz x

Nail Your Kris Kringle Gift

Life

If you don’t already know, I LOVE Christmas. Moreover, I love giving gifts more than receiving. Kris Kringle (or Secret Santa), puts an extra fun spin on classic prezzie exchanges. There’s not as much pressure- you can get get as silly, low-budget or creative as you wish, and you can incorporate a silly party game into the unwrapping process. PRO TIP: Don’t forget to set a budget to keep it fair and just a little bit challenging. Wanting to try KK/ SS but unsure where to start? Here are some unisex gift ideas I’ve put together for you. And, they are all under $20! Happy Christmas Shopping!

 

-Daz x

 

October Catch-up 

Life

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I popped back in here. I know what you’re thinking- ‘But it’s halfway through NOVEMBER!?’ To be honest, October was a whirlwind of, well, CHAOS. Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening in my life.

Falling in love with men’s perfume (I can’t bring myself to say cologne)- I’m so sick of overly sweet, sickeningly fruity women’s perfume and I tend to go more for the rustic, edgy notes of men’s or unisex perfumes (they won’t leave you smelling like a man if you know what to look for!). 

Superdry Perth Store Opening– I received some of the summer collection to test out (and it’s SUPER comfy!) and an invite to the opening night launch party… which I MISSED because I had the dates mixed up in my planner (ha!). Don’t be like me. But do check out their new store on Hay Street.

Quick trip to Melbourne– I’ve been doing a lot of wealth creation and development courses lately, and I absolutely love the network of likeminded friends I’ve built as a result of attending them. I didn’t get a lot of downtime this time around as this trip was very intensive, but I will be back there on business at the end of November. 

Growing the Social Savvy– If you don’t know (now you know), SS is my social media consultancy business. I’ve had so much fun building this up off the ground and I’m so excited to watch it grow even more.

Rebranding of my blog (a blogger’s worst nightmare)- I’m talking about the phasing out of the ‘Romany and Chai’ name, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. This is due to me working on some secret side projects that require my blog to be more alligned with my name. Don’t fret, all will be revealed!
So this is a recap of some of this month’s highlights. What did you guys get up to? Did you dress up for Halloween? Maybe go on a stay-cation? Did you celebrate a birthday? I’d love to know!

-Daz x

Maslow & Co: Korea

Life

“In South Korea, they believe that when you turn 60 you’re born again, and the rest of your life should totally be about joy and happiness.” – Alice Walker

Is Korea not the most fun country ever? Second only to Japan in terms of crazy inventions, but definitely first in beauty innovation, Korean products are paramount when it comes to cool, and sometimes gross, ingredients (snail slime, anyone?), tantalising scents and most importantly, stuff that actually works. This month I received my Maslow & Co. bi-monthly beauty subscription box, this time an ode to one of my bucket list destinations- Korea (I am, of course, talking about the South, although NK does hold a certain appeal for the brave-hearted few). If you didn’t know, Maslow & Co. are Perth-ians just like me, which is why I love them even more (support local!). Not to mention, you can’t really beat the value price of $58AUD per box (a bargain when you consider the individual prices of the items). You can get the next box here.

Have you guys tried a subscription box yet? I’ve tried all sorts, including health and organic ones, but this is by far my favourite. Can’t wait to see where the next edition will transport me to!

As for me, I’m off to slather goo on my face (but let’s leave the slime for a rainy day).

-Daz x

September Catch-Up

Life

Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Ah, well, it’s October now, but I figured it’s about time I did one of these catch-ups and let you know what’s been happening in my life the past month. As it turns out, not a lot! Due to my Masters course heating up at this point in the semester, and my business and blog keeping me fairly busy, I haven’t had a lot of time to do more of the things I enjoy. Too much work and too little play makes a very dull Daz! BUT the semester is fast approaching its end and I have travel plans on the horizon, so things aren’t all that bad! Here is my little September highlight reel:

 

New York Fashion Week Telstra Perth Fashion Festival: My first fashion week (yay!) and all the craziness that came with it. Who knew that a year ago when I started this blog as a personal travel journal for my family and friends that it would grow it into the artistic fashion, lifestyle, and yes, travel platform/ little community that it is today?  #Blessed (well, maybe not, but definitely a whole lotta #happy). Needless to stay, I had an absolute blast attending the events and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

A growing luxury handbag obsession: I know I talk a lot about minimalism (blah, blah), but relatively recently I’ve been developing a taste for quality designer handbags, such as the Givenchy Antigona Mini (which is VERY unlike me to lust after such an expensive item). But, isn’t having one go-to bag that lasts forever, quintessentially minimalist? Don’t worry, I won’t splurge, I will only admire it from afar. And more importantly, why is it so DARN hard to find a decent, well-structured everyday black bag under $200? If you know of any, let me know!

Everything grid: Loving my new Christian Paul watch (pictured above) along with anything in a monochrome grid pattern. How cool! How minimalist! Love.

Forming good habits: I’ve been increasingly going to bed early and rising before 7am (a rarity for me), and you know what? I’m loving it! It’s amazing how much you can get done in the early hours of the A.M.

 

Now, it’s your turn. What did you get up to in September? Did you go to the movies or the hairdresser? Did you have a cheese and wine night with your gal pals (my favourite!) or celebrate a friend’s birthday? I’d love to know! Now, I’m going to settle on the couch with a pizza, peppermint tea and American Horror Story. Who’s with me? *Fist bump.*

 

-Daz x

 

11 Minimalist Home Office Spaces For Your Inner Boss

Life

What springs into your mind when someone mentions the word ‘workspace’? For me, this phrase always conjures up an image of a clean, minimalist aesthetic- after all, who can think straight when they are surrounded by a cluttered mess? Since I work and study from home a lot, having a minimal and tidy space is a MUST. My favourite aesthetic is a clean and white desk with just a sprinkling of green foliage. Here are some of my top-rating designs from one of the best sources of interior porn in my opinion- Pinterest. Whether you’re a simple monochrome lover or a classic and rustic wooden fan, these office interiors are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Happy working, boys and girls!

– Daz x

 

Image sources: Pinterest

All About Dad

Life

2FB9D95E00000578-3381285-image-a-65_1451669259902Source

What does Fathers Day mean to you? I love this poem by Rebecca D. Cook- she beautifully portrays what her own dad means to her, and I’m sure this poem will resonate with many of you:
 

He wasn’t a hero,
Known by the world.
But a hero he was,
To his little girl.

My daddy was God,
Who knew all things.
And better than Santa,
With the gifts he’d bring.

I knew his voice,
Before I could speak.
And loved it when,
He would sing me to sleep.

He changed my diapers,
And sat up all night.
When my body was weak
And I’d put up a fight.

He’d come home late,
With not much to say.
And made us all kneel,
As he taught me to pray.

He taught me life’s lessons,
Of right from wrong.
And instilled in me values,
That I might be strong.

And so through the years,
Like a hero he stood.
Working to give,
All that he could.

His presence was important,
And we loved to see him smile.
For no one in the world,
Could emulate his style.

And so dear Dad,
My best memory to recall.
Is the gift of your presence,
The greatest gift of all.

Source: #FamilyFriendPoems

 

Fathers Day is just around the corner, and what better way to say “I love you, Dad” than with some carefully selected gifts by yours truly? I specially hand-picked these items to cater to all budget constraints and personal tastes. So whether your old man is a rough and rugged camper type or one who loves to take care of his appearance, there is something for every dad in this Fathers Day edit. This gift guide isn’t just for the dads out there- any man (or even lady) in your life will be sure to love some of these beautiful items. Happy shopping!

-Daz x

Get rid of your cold- The natural way!

Life

Ahh, the dreaded head cold- worse still is when the condition is its significantly worse counterpart, the flu (shudder). Lucky me, I had to suffer through an entire weekend of fever, coughing and other unsightly things. I was a snivelling, wheezing mess. I think the reason it hit me so bad was because I haven’t gotten that sick in over a year- my immunity is generally good. I once heard that getting a cold was your body’s way of telling you to rest up and take it easy for a few days- and indeed I have been a bit stressed by taking on a lot of assignments all at once. But never fear! Apart from the obvious, like treating symptoms very early on, ingesting grandma’s chicken noodle soup and copious amounts of Vitamin C, here are four easy ways you can make yourself all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed again.

1) Use this one gross trick 

As disgusting as this may sound, my favourite method is cutting a raw onion in half and placing it in the room next to me while I sleep. This works because the sulfur in the onion sucks bacteria out of the air and the pungent aroma unlocks your sinuses. Don’t believe me? I’ve got science on my side. So try it and be amazed.

2) Mustard

My Russian grandmother is a massive fan of this method. In Russia you can buy mustard plasters especially for putting on your chest and feet. Treat yourself to a mustard foot bath- in a basin, mix 1 tablespoon of mustard powder in 1 L of hot water. The mustard draws blood to your feet, which helps to relieve congestion. It might sting a little at first, but it’s well worth it! And I noticed my feet were a lot softer afterwards.

3) Take an echinacea supplement

This flower is argued to have magical qualities when it comes to reducing the onset and severity of colds. For best results get a vitamin that has other benefits like garlic, ginger, zinc or vitamin C, such as this Cenovis one.

3) DIY immunity tea

Here’s the fun part of being sick (if there is any)- drinking loads and loads of tea. Get your kettle out, because this home brew is sure to give your immunity a boost:

3 cups of water

Juice of half a lemon

1 cinnamon stick

3 slices (1/4 inch thick) of fresh ginger

¼ tsp cloves

½ tbsp. turmeric

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 ½ tbsp raw honey or stevia

….Feel better yet?


Do you guys have any natural tips or tricks to give your immunity a little boost during flu season? Let me know in the comments down below!

-Daz x

11 (Practical) Ways to Save Money for Travel

Life, travel

Saving money is easy- no, trust me, it is! It’s all about tweaking those little expenses. Got a Netflix account? Cancel and use someone else’s (with their permission of course). It’s all about making those little sacrifices and living frugally for a time in order to live it up exuberantly overseas. Here are 11 surefire ways to up your savings in no time. 


1. Start a savings account- and name it

Research shows that if you name your account, such as ‘USA July 2017’, it will motivate you to reach your goal considerably faster and makes sure that you always remember the end to the means. Keeps your eyes on the prize sister!

2. Shop at a warehouse

I LOVE Chemist Warehouse and wouldn’t go anywhere else for all my toiletry needs. It’s considerably cheaper and the best part is that the receipt tells you how much you save each time (it’s a lot!)

3. Stop buying coffee

Make a home brew (instant coffee ain’t great but it does the job) or invest in a coffee machine to save money in the long run. You can also get a liking for tea instead- My personal favourite alternative is dandelion tea, it tastes similar to coffee but without the caffeine. 

4. Learn to cook and invite friends for dinner

Stop buying takeout and perfect your culinary skills. Instead of going out every weekend, host a dinner party. Tip: master one or two dishes that can be your signature and you know will be a hit each and very time. Absolutely don’t want to cook? Have a cheese and wine night!

5. Kick that Rent 

Consider moving home with the folks for awhile, get another housemate if your rental house has a spare room, or if you own a home and don’t want permanent tenants, consider Air BnB to provide temporary accomodation and earn some quick cash.

6. Travel smarter

When you are constantly traveling and want to cut the costs on your journey, learn to travel smarter, not cheaper. Many people unknowingly waste money on unnecessary things. Save money on flights by utilising student flight centres, and pack a light suitcase to avoid excess baggage fees. If you go to an expensive restaurant, try not to go for a full meal and opt for drinks instead. Try Air BnB instead of hotels, and Uber over taxis.  

7. Buy clothing off season

Perhaps my favourite tip because it involves shopping! I always do this, as you can find some great winter cardigans and boots for as little as $10 in spring.

8. Set budgets (for everything)

The best way to ensure you don’t overspend is to have a weekly budget- and not exceed it! One for grocery shopping, eating out, fuel, etc. Factor in ongoing expenses such as rent and you will have a rough idea of how much is left over. Now work with that!

9. Record your spendings 

There are so many apps available for your phone that track your spending and earnings. They also allow you to set budgets and stay on track. Amazing stuff when you need a little shove in the right direction. 

10. Sell what you don’t need 

I know better than anyone how hard it is to let go of old things- especially clothes. But what if you need it in the future, right? I have a number of wigs and Christmas Tshirts tucked away in my spare room, just in case there is a dress up party they would be perfect for. While this might be the case, you might be waiting a loooong time, and you need $$$ for your travels NOW. You can try EBay, Gumtree, Facebook swap and sell groups, and apps like Carousel to get rid of any unwanted items and earn some quick cash.

11. Got a gym membership?

 Cancel and take up walking everywhere to get fit (which also saves money on fuel- what a win!). 
Hope some of these help! Do you have any money saving tips that work for you?

-Daz x

Recalling Russian Easter Traditions

Life

   

Easter in Russia could not be more different from the one we know in Australia. For one, they follow the traditional Orthodox calendar for religious events, so Easter would generally fall somewhere in mid April (And Christmas is in early January- it would consist of a big feast with loved ones, while New Years is a much bigger celebration).

For a typical Russian Easter, it’s all in the preparations- mainly prepping the big element without which a Russian Easter would not be complete… I’m talking about hand-painted Russian Easter eggs baby! This of course means boiling dozens of actual eggs, and painting them with dyes in patterns ranging from plain red (the preffered colour, as it symbolises the Blood of Christ) to something much more intricate, like this: 

  
  Image source

  
 Image source

Painting these eggs has almost become an art form. Before the Russian revolution, the tsars would have their craftsmen decorate these eggs with precious stones and gift them. 

I remember that as children we would ‘battle’ theses eggs against one another by banging them together , and the ‘player’ with the cracked egg would be the loser. To me, this is a great way to get the kids involved in creating something beautiful and traditional, and in the process learn about their history and meaning behind this holiday.

This tradition means so much to me as it reminds me of what it was like to be a child in Russia at Easter time. However, since we are in Australia we will be sticking with our chocolate eggs for yet another year- maybe finding a middle ground and battling our chocolate treats in a Sparta-style egg fest.

How do you celebrate Easter? I hope it’s spent with loved ones, eating good food and nurturing yourself, wherever you are in the world.

   
    
    

HAPPY EASTER! 

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