Cuddle up

When the first of November hits, I always feel like the holidays arrive before I know it.  Most people look forward to the Christmas season with excitement, or in some cases anxiety, but for me it’s a countdown to visiting home.  Images of homemade buckeyes, honeyed ham and the anticipation of Starbuck’s gingerbread latte (slightly obsessed and not available in Australia) all consume my thoughts.

Being that the seasons are opposite to the US here, November also kicks of the ultimate sweater hunt for me.  I can’t wait for the crisp Winter air back at home and I can finally pull the trigger on all the cozy knits that have been taunting me online and in my closet.  Fortunately, this year, the weather here has been unusually mild giving me the chance to enjoy one of my newest pieces.

I remember years ago, Theory released one of my favorite sweaters, the Juliet.  With it’s blanket like fit and cozy cashmere composition, it is by far my favorite sweater.  They sold out with in weeks and were impossible to find.  I have always kept my eye out for something similar.  I was ecstatic when I spotted the DVF Ahiga sweater.  I love that it literally feels like a giant cashmere hug….perfect for our upcoming trip back to North Carolina!

Sweater: DVF, Jeans: Gap, (similar here & cord version here), Booties: Loeffler Randall-old (similar here & here), Sunnies: Sydney markets (similar here & here), Lips: Makeup Forever #40, Earrings: (similar here)

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Seared tacos

Sydney has some of the best food in the world, but locating authentic Mexican here has been an on ongoing challenge.  To alleviate my cravings (Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines), my husband and I frequently have taco night in our house.  I was in the mood for a different take on the usual chicken or beef choices, so I opted for seafood.

Mangoes are in season and absolutely beautiful at the moment, so I decided to attempt fresh mango salsa over seared Ahi tuna as the taco filling.  For most people, new recipes require following the instructions to the letter.  I however, like to improvise and see the recipe as just a suggestion, which sometimes gets me into trouble ,and sometimes results in genius (most of the time trouble).  Fortunately, my mango creation was yummy.  With it’s glistening amber jewels of fruit, it was the perfect topping for our Mexican fiesta.

Coarsely chop Birdseye chillies, cilantro and a wedge of fresh lime to add to your mango salsa.  Shred Asian cabbage and drizzle lightly with white vinegar to use later when garnishing the tacos.

For my version of the mango salsa, I chopped 1 large, fresh mango, 1/3 of a red onion, 2 truss tomatoes, 1 small birdseye chili, 6 mint leaves, 1 small handful of coriander & 1/2 a lime squeezed.

Thinly slice sashimi grade tuna and dust with sweet paprika.  Sear each side for 30 seconds.

Warm mini soft taco shells and add cooked tuna, shredded cabbage, avocado chunks, goats cheese & mango salsa.  Top with fresh coriander and lime.

Yum!

Drizzle

The past weekend was the perfect example of how confused the weather has been lately.  Saturday was just warm enough to feel like summer, which was perfect for a run over the Harbour Bridge followed by a seriously spicy, but amazing dinner at Home in Chinatown.  True to form, I was greeted on Sunday morning with a dreary day, 20 degree temperature drop and drizzle.  Even though outside was less than desirable, I have to admit, I couldn’t wait to slip on my shiny new Hunters.  These Wellies come in endless colors, all equally cute.  I decided the Merlot would be the perfect neutral for Winter, instead of the obvious black or grey.

Sweater: Vince (here & here), Jeans: Rag & Bone/jean in Kensington (here & here), Boots: Hunter, Lips: Makeup Forever #40, Ring-markets (similar here & here), Sunnies: Ray-Ban (similar here & here)

Clay

As you can assume from my most recent Object of Affection post, I am obsessed with Rag & Bone anything.  Even before the first chill hit the air, I was already lusting over the slew of jewel tone cords, leathers and velvet skinnys that kicked off the Winter shopping season.  Once again, the color options were endless and the choices impossible.  After trying on what felt like 200 pairs of cords in every color and fit, I ultimately decided on the Rag & Bone skinny in Clay.  The color is what caught my attention.  It reminded me of cinnamon and had a cozy warmth about it.  I hadn’t seen anything quite like it.  With maroon and merlot seemingly dominating the color palate for the cooler months, I knew the clay cord was the perfect choice.

~Other skinny cords I love here, here & here~

Cords: Rag & Bone in Clay, Tee: Club Monaco, Jean jacket: H&M-old (similar here & here), Shoes: Stuart Weitzman, Clutch: Clare Vivier,  Sunnies: Karen Walker, Lips: Chanel in Rebelle, Scarf: Burberry (similar here & here), Nails: Essie in Too Too Hot

Object of affection ~ Rag & Bone/jean

Rag & Bone is always at the top of my list when it comes to jeans I can’t live without.  Each season, this brand never disappoints, and seems to know exactly what the street chic fashionistas want.  I love jeans and have to admit, I have over 50 pairs….just a bit obsessed.  Each one of my stacks is comprised of many different labels, some mainstream and others lesser know- however, the Rag & Bone stack towers over the rest…..and with good reason.  This is my guide to finding the perfect pair.

Rag & Bone jodhpur (worn above)

The basics for me are Rag & Bone’s skinny jeans.  The washes are phenomenal and extremely unique giving them instant street chic cred.  When it comes to fit, the skinnys are my favorite.  Initially, they should feel snug, but will soon stretch to the most comfortable, second skin fit imaginable.  The skinny is not as thin or stretchy as the legging-they are a true jean, which I love.  From lighter to dark, Preston, Kensington and Heritage are great for newbies to the brand (I own all 3…couldn’t resist). Wonderland is a newer wash that I also love. Cuffed or as is, these are a must have year round.

Gwenyth Paltrow in Kensington,  Kate Bosworth in Skinny capri~Heritage, Emma Roberts in Skinny Destroyed, Cameron Diaz in The Dre Jean,      

~Other skinnys I love here & here~

The leather pant can sometimes be challenging to find, but is crucial to any wardrobe.  The fit and comfort of the leather is so important and the fact that most leather pieces will no doubt be an investment, it’s important to get it right.  One of my best and favorite investment pieces are my Rag & Bone leather pants.  The quality is perfection and true to form, they have that edge that the brand is know for.  This season, I’m drooling over the RBW pants.  The zippers are a fresh addition to the basic leather pant without being to trendy.

Gwen Stefani wears the Zipper legging~Seal  (vegan version), while Karlie Kloss is rocking the leather version with rose gold zips.

~Other leather pants I love here~

Almost every brand has a version of the legging.  It is next to impossible to choose just one with the endless amount of prints, colors, coatings….the list goes on.  Once again, Rag & Bone has created a lustworthy must have in their leggings.  They are beyond comfortable and true to form the washes and colors are so special.  (Fit note: Size down one size as the stretch factor in these is high).

Bar Refaeli wears the legging in Burnt Orange (similar skinny version here) while Jessica Biel opts for the legging in Derby.

~Other leggings I love: here, here & here~

Rag & Bone do cords like no other.  They are soft and buttery and the colors are yummy.  Finding a skinny cord with that perfect fit is always a challenge.  The only hard decision with Rag & Bone is choosing just one color.  The fabulous sister of the basic skinny jean is the skinny cord.  They are the same fit, but in plush corduroy.

~Left to right: Skinny cord in Clay, Ciara in Skinny red cord & Skinny cord in Saffron~

 With so many jean options, it’s almost impossible to make a decision on just one.  I typically choose 2 or 3 that will carry me through the season-one basic, one color and one seasonal.  I find my collection of Rag & Bone jeans are my go to year round.

Kate Bosworth in Skinny~wonderland

**Fit notes: I recommend ordering true to size with the skinny, cords and capris.  With the legging and leather, one size down is best as they tend to stretch at least half a size.**

Mad for plaid

Ever since I was a little girl, I have had an unusual love of plaid.  Maybe it’s the fact that my Nanna is equally obsessed and from a young age, I was styled in every possible version.  This season, plaid has crept onto the runways and now into my closet.  My Burberry scarves and flannel shirts use to be the only speckling in my closet, until now.  I’ve seen this trend styled so many ways, but I find picking one statement piece to build around works for me.

I love the urban take on these pants from Topshop.  The material is a bit faded and the zipper detailing on the backs of the ankle give them some edge.  It’s so easy for plaid to a bit boring or conjure up thoughts of Christmas tree skirts or grandma’s favorite cardi, but not with the current options.  I can’t wait to pair these with cozy sweaters or a leather jacket.

Other plaid I love here & here

Pants: Topshop, Top: Theory, Cardi: J. Crew-old (similar here), Necklace: Colette (similar here & here), Shoes: Dior, Belt: A.P.C. (similar here), Bag: Louis Vuitton, Sunnies: Sydney markets (similar here), Earrings: vintage (similar here), Lips: Chanel-Rebelle

Mustard

Mustard, or anything that aligns to the chartreuse family, always attracts my attention.  I realize some can find this color daunting or even a bit unappealing, but I love it.  It brightens my otherwise darker tones during the winter months, but can also transition nicely into Spring and Summer.  I was lucky enough to snap up an extremely versatile cardigan in this color, which is usually my go to piece for everything.

Did I also mention my favorite brand of wellies, Hunter, comes in this hue?  Yes please!

My picks for mustard/chartreuse pieces here, here & here

Cardi: Madewell (similar here & here), Shorts: Topshop, Tights: Wolford-old (similar here), Button down: Theory, Heels: Mulberry (similar here & here), Bag: Tila March (similar here & here), Necklace: Sydney markets (similar here & here), Sunnies: Sydney markets (similar here & here).