Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eek – just eighteen days until my first measure for my wedding dress. Eighteen days. EIGHTEEN DAYS. I’m not ready!!!

I never really knew what kind of wedding dress I’d go for, I didn’t dream of my wedding dress as a little girl and didn’t know what shapes or styles suit my body. There is just so much choice – how can you settle on just one look? So when we started our wedding planning, I headed out to a few bridal stores to try and find out what I like. Straight away I disliked pretty much everything. I just found the boutiques ever so overwhelming, tizzy and frankly, a little too much. Sequins, lace, tulle, jewels, flowers, ruffles. Confuse-balls.

The day I went to Vera Wang was a whole other experience though. Ryan and I were in New York in early October to scout wedding locations, check out churches and so on. I mean, what is a wedding trip to New York without a visit to Vera Wang. I feel I need to preface this next part by saying it was hot and muggy in New York and I had packed minimal clothes. So off I went to Vera Wang in my best ‘holiday’ outfit that I had and took the subway from the East Village up to the Upper East Side – 991 Madison Avenue in fact. I turn up and the streets were impeccable, lined with designer stores and designer people, it was far less busy than other parts of Manhattan, with well dressed models lazily going about their business of being ever so fabulous. I looked down at myself and very quickly realised that I looked a right mess in comparison. My sandals, shorts and sleeveless blouse gave the impression that I was about to visit the Bronx Zoo and not about to walk into the world’s most well known wedding dress boutique. Upper East Side I was not. Even more embarrassing than that, when I arrived at the shop front I stood there taking photos of what I thought was just a window display but quickly discovered it was a window and when I sat in the waiting area before my Consultant collected me, I realised I had stood just outside that window taking photos as other brides to be were sitting in the very same waiting area I was in watching me as I clicked away like a silly tourist in her silly Zoo outfit. Cringe.

The other brides to be in the waiting area were equally as glamorous as our surrounds, flanked by their glamorous mums and glamorous bridesmaids, groomed to perfection having looked like they stepped straight right out of a magazine and into the waiting area. I became quite nervous as I was on my own, however I was quickly put at ease when my lovely Consultant, Francesca, welcomed me to Vera Wang with the offer of “champagne, juice, sparking” which I quickly accepted and sipped my champagne up the giant staircase to what felt like heaven. It was the most amazing dressing room I’ve ever seen, huge private rooms came off the main floor which was full of dresses. Francesca  knew by looking at me exactly what dresses would suit my body and pulled about five and popped them in my dressing room before asking me to walk around and pull any dresses that immediately catch my eye. I tried on about twelve dresses and of course, the dresses that Francesca selected were in fact, perfect for my body. I fell in love. I fell in love with each and every dress. It was such a far cry from the visits I had been on in Melbourne trying on dresses and feeling ever so overwhelmed by the sequins, lace, tulle, jewels, flowers, ruffles.

I was convinced I had found ‘the’ dress and walked out on cloud nine. I skipped down Madison Avenue and met up with Ryan to tell him all about the fact that I was going to buy a Vera Wang wedding dress. I had all the details, they took my measurements and I simply just had to place the order with Francesca via email nine months out from the wedding date. I was really excited when I came back to Melbourne and started Googling the dress and found that it was everywhere. On every single wedding blog, there was this dress. Quite quickly, it went from being ‘the’ dress to being ‘that bloody dress I see on every single wedding website’. I grew tired of the dress and the fact that it was no longer special and realised I’d been caught up in the experience that Vera Wang provided. They made me feel so special in their fancy boutique with their champagne and motherly approach. I decided to put my dress plans on hold. It was too early anyway and I had plenty of time to look around.

Around the Christmas holidays just gone, a funny thing happened. I was walking around my local area and what did I see but a new bridal boutique with a stunning wedding dress in the window. Sure enough, when I met with the designer at One Day Bridal I finally realised that a custom made wedding dress was for me. No more sequins, lace, tulle, jewels, flowers, ruffles for me. Just a lovely experience with a gorgeous designer who is inspired by so many wonderful bits and bobs which I also adore. 

Kyha has come up with a wedding dress design which screams Natalie and on 29th September, I will be measured for the first time. It’s a scary thought because this date has crept up on me out of nowhere and I feel ill prepared. Should I be at my ideal wedding weight now? I’m certainly not there yet and it makes me so nervous. I don’t want to see myself in my wedding dress looking far from my ideal but with only 2.5 weeks until the big measure, I have to just suck it up (and suck it in) and stick to my fitness plan so that over the next few months I get to my ideal the healthy way a.k.a the slow way. Just stay consistent with the old exercise regime. I don’t want to be one of those psycho girls who gets a bit outrageous with the weight loss. It just isn’t my style but weddings can do crazy things to people. Fingers crossed I avoid the craziness…and fingers crossed the torturous (fun) run I’ve signed up for with the girls from work pays off and I run some of the excess kilos off my little 5’1 frame.

Now, back to my carrot stick *joke*

All my love, 

Monday, September 3, 2012


Monday, September 3, 2012

In 68 days I’ll be standing by my besties side as she marries the man of her dreams and I cannot even tell you how excited I am. I don’t want to give too many sneaky deets away about the wedding except that it will be magical.

Shanelle and I have known each other since we were eighteen, introduced by our mutual bestie Louise, and we’ve grown up together over the past 13 years. We’re very similar, and yet we’re also very different. Geminis, there’s just no telling with us really!

She’s the kind of friend that everyone wishes they had. She is beyond thoughtful and really goes out of her way to be there for everything going on in your life. You know, the friend that remembers not only your birthday but your partners too, the friend who remembers your anniversaries, the friend who remembers if you have a big meeting at work, the friend who checks in with you after you have been to the doctor, the friend who gives you objective advice, the friend who will dance with you until the sun comes up, the friend who will drop everything to spend time with you when you need her, the friend who you can talk to on the phone for hours on end when you actually have nothing to say and the friend who would defend you to the death if it came down to it. 

And the more I get to know John, the more it becomes clear that they really are perfect for one another. Two peas in a pod. 

So it makes me ever so happy that Shanelle is set to marry her Mr. Big in only 68 days. I love saying 68 days, it just feels so soon. Weddings make me so happy but this is all the more special due to the fact that I’ve watched Shanelle and John meet and fall in love. There is nothing nicer really. 

All my love, 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Well. I always knew weddings were stressful but lately I’ve come to realise the extent of the stress as the months trickle down to single digit numbers until our wedding in May. Eek.

The first initial buzz of wedding planning has worn off and I now approach it with a checklist plus quick and accurate decisions. I’ve given up on the hours and hours of research into twelve different DJs and the what they each offer. I’m simply a “find one and book it” kind of girl these days.

I couldn’t have been any luckier in the fact that most of my friends are married (or are almost married) and therefore they’re passing on their words of wisdom and believe me, I’m taking every bit of it onboard. It’s fascinating to observe the girls and how each of them organise and plan their wedding days. And I’m loving the fact that every one of my friends have planned weddings that differ so much from one another. It’s lovely to see their personalities shine through.

One of my dearest friends Anna, who I will always refer to as Huffy even though she is now a Porter, has been dishing me out loads of advice. I’ve known Anna for five years after she started working with us when she moved from New Zealand to Melbourne. She is one of those people that you just fall in love with instantly because she is completely outrageous and hilarious. And you can never get annoyed with her because the soft spot for Anna is just…well…ever so soft! 

Anna married her husband Ben at a gorgeous winery in Adelaide on a perfectly  glorious day. She couldn't have asked for anything more perfect really.  We've been chatting about weddings lately and I’ve told Anna that I’m nervous that the wedding planning could turn stressful (I’m stressed about getting stressed! Ridiculous) and she passed on some little gems of wisdom to me that have actually made me remember not to get caught up in the small things that really don't matter (i.e. the font used on the menus, the spacing between each table at the reception, to decorate or not decorate the church gates).

"Just do what YOU want, don’t listen to other people. It’s not about anyone else but you. Enjoy that. It’s a huge achievement being able to say you did it yourself, and it’s a great start to your life together knowing you can set goals and achieve them together"

"Honestly I got so stressed out and angry, and if I had of just ignored everyone else the whole experience would have been far more enjoyable. AND FOR GODS SAKE, it is NOT your job to entertain people when they get to NYC, do your own thing with your family but people are on holiday, so don’t feel obliged to entertain them for the duration. I felt like when people came over from NZ I had to look after everyone (which no one expected at all, I just felt like that). This is why I forgot my toothbrush, hair extensions and wedding shoes when I got to the hotel the night before. I ended up sleeping in my bridesmaids Qantas PJs she’d been given when they had lost her luggage. When I realised I had forgotten my tooth brush I locked myself in the toilet and called Ben in tears ahahhahahaha"

"To me getting married is about the life ahead of you, not the one day. I just took the attitude that I would rather focus on that than micro manage every little part of the day itself.
I got so stressed throughout the whole process that I ended up crying a couple of times. Then I just decided this was about Ben and I. No one else. And everything was better when I realised that"

After all of this, Anna told me she had posted her RSVP card in the mail and so now i'll be hanging out by my letterbox all week waiting to receive it all the way from Adelaide because I think it might be my first RSVP. And an RSVP 'yes' at that. It means so much to me that wee Anna will be at our wedding. After all, she was there when I first met Ryan. Bless.  

Love to you all, 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This crush I have on Kanye West is starting to get slightly out of control. And I don’t even know how it started.

The guy is a jerk and he certainly make some questionable choices.Kim Kardashian. Need I say more?

But then I saw this photo of him and it made me smile. Like my crush on Jay Z (is there a pattern here?!), it all comes down to swagger.

Love to you all, 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Date: Tuesday 31st July 2012
Location: Poolside, Sentosa  Island, Singapore
Temperature:  32 degrees and what feels like 100% humidity
Feeling: Slightly sunburnt
Music:: Rihanna ‘S&M’ blaring out of the poolside bar

I love travelling and always knew that I would travel to places near and far at any chance I could get. Today, I write to you from Singapore.
We’re here as Ryan has some work to do however, following his two day conference; we will be holidaying for another 5 days. After a very long and very cold few months in Melbourne, this trip could not have come at a better time.

Our first day in Singapore was Sunday and luckily Ryan had the day to relax before his work commitments. Ryan had organised with a friend here in Singapore to give us a tour of Singapore.  Gerald was the perfect tour guide who chauffeured us around in his Lexus, air conditioning pumping, and a very comfy back seat for me who was struggling with a head cold I’d picked up on the flight to Singapore. Not sure why I fall sick on every trip I take. Grrr.

So, off we set with Gerald and Ryan’s boss Nick. First stop, ‘The Thian Hock Keng Temple’ full of praying worshippers and incense smoke. It was fascinating to learn the practice behind seeking answers from bamboo sticks.

Next stop, a hawker centre, which is basically a food court except there is no McDonalds, Subway or Hungry Jacks. These food courts have stalls full of authentic cuisine. Some of these stalls have been owned and operated by the same person for twenty years, making and serving the same few dishes and perfecting the recipes over time. Lots of the hawker’s stalls proudly display awards they’ve won for their food. Now…I’m possibly the most unadventurous person when it comes to foods but I didn’t want to be disrespectful to Gerald who had taken us to a specific stall and ordered a sample selection of four different soups to try. It didn’t go so well. The first soup I tried was so thick and oozy, like a caramel sauce that tastes of nuts and sugar, topped with some bread croutons. I gagged as soon as it hit my tongue. The next soup was pure black and reminded me of squid ink. Surprisingly, this soup was even sweeter than the one before. I gave the other soups a miss.

After the soup taste test, Gerald promised us he would take us somewhere nice for lunch. Off we set again and Gerald gave us a bit of commentary along the way on different buildings and the beautiful trees and plants that line the streets and freeways. To my horror, we arrived at the ‘nice’ place that Gerard promised. Casuarina Curry. Indian cuisine, my least favourite of them all. Again, Gerald ordered for us and out came an array of different foods. Noodles. Lamb curry. Chicken curry. Prata.

My favourite part of the tour was what came next.  Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. A tropical rainforest with a walking trail that took us through the jungle and gave us the opportunity to come face to face with some hyperactive macaques (tiny monkeys). They were so confident, they marched right up to us, almost as if they were about to leap onto our heads. As it turns out, so many people feed the macaques fruit on their walks that they’re now so used to humans walking through their rainforest, they simply approach you without a worry in the world. The walk was about 45 minutes and by the end, I was sweating in places I didn’t think possible.

Sunday afternoon saw us back at our resort on Sentosa Island for some relaxation by the pool before Ryan was off for an evening mixer with work. I don’t mind entertaining myself when Ryan is at these conferences as it gives me a chance to have little adventures on my own. However, Sentosa Island is ever so strange. It’s literally an island full of resorts, a few touristy things like a zip line, Universal studios and man-made beaches, a mini monorail and that’s about it. So, my dinner options were really limited. All of the resorts offer these amazing buffet dinners however they come at a cost of $65 per person…not really ideal when dining on my own. So, I hit Chilis. I know, I know…I’m a terrible tourist for eating at an American chain but honestly, there is so little choice on this island. Which meant I also ate at Chilis Monday night too. 

With not much for me to do on the island, I spent Monday and Tuesday trying to kill time. I managed to get in some gym sessions before spending hours on end by the pool where I have been lounging with a girly novel. 

Tonight, Ryan and I are off to Marina Bay for dinner and drinks overlooking the Singapore skyline. A chance to dress up and celebrate being on holiday together before we are off the island tomorrow and we stay in the heart of Singapore until we head home Saturday night.  

On the agenda for the rest of the week:
The Botanical Gardens which I’m imagining to be very ornamental and perfectly groomed.
The Zoo & Night Safari, bring on the lions!
Chinatown & Little India, for Ryan to experience some more tasty delights while I gnaw on a plain piece of roti bread.
Orchard Road, for shopping, shopping, shopping. Bring it on!
And of course, a Singapore Sling at Raffles. How can you not?

And now, it’s time for me to take another dip in the pool.

Love to you all, 

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Thursday, July 26, 2012
P.S. You can follow me on Pinterest. 

Seriously, it's a girls best friend.


Love to you all, 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The best thing about my job is that I get to celebrate the end of financial year with a black tie event. This year we celebrated at Eureka 89.

I was still struggling almost 48 hours later with what was possibly one of my worst hangovers of all time, bar karaoke (and inappropriate microphone cord grinding) back in 2007. Is it because I’m too old for a night of champagne guzzling? Or the fact that I didn’t eat a meal the day of in the lead up as I was run off my feet getting glammed up for six hours straight. Seriously. Six hours. It sure is hard being a girl. 

We danced as if we were in the dancers quarters in Dirty Dancing, we sang along with the band until we were hoarse in the throat (cringe at the flashback to Mustang Sally), we sweated until our makeup was running off our faces. And it was the best night ever (but I say that every year).

I've made some truly amazing friends through work, most of which have come and gone (yet I’m still here) and I chat to them all every few days. Here are some photos of my gorgeous friends I have made in the past six years.

After all of the years and all of the friendships, I've been so lucky to celebrate big birthdays, weddings (wedding dress fittings) and babies with the girls. And this weekend, one of my all time favourites, Anna, is coming to Melbourne for a much needed catch up. Cannot wait!

Anna and her husband Ben are the most suited couple on earth and nothing makes me happier than when Ben and Ryan watch on as Anna and I talk endlessly, laughing until we cry and Ben will always say "they are the same person". Bless. 

Love to you all,