It’s the most wonderful time of the year to vege out on the couch and get your Netflix on.
Between family fueding, crowds, and overpriced everything, it doesn’t always feel like “the most wonderful time of year”.
Will your stars align for the festive season?
Bust out the sewing machines, makeup brushes and glue guns – it’s time to get crafty.
Celebrate your true soulmates in life: your girlfriends.
I have no control over myself when it comes to consuming candy.
Ridiculously easy. Ridiculously delicious.
Why are there so many sad Christmas songs, anyway?
For some of us, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year.
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Aussie breakfast TV personality, wife and mother of three Lisa Wilkinson recently spent a long weekend in Australia’s spectacular Northern Territory. We got our hands on her itinerary, sourced some awesome snaps from her trip and were lucky enough to have Lisa share with us some personal feedback about her experience in Australia’s breathtaking top end.
Lisa and husband Peter took off from Sydney and were greeted at Ayres Rock Airport by mid-afternoon. The lucky pair were then whisked off to check-in to The Sails in the Desert Hotel which is a stunning luxury 5 star resort. As you’ll see by the following images, the region really does offer some of the best accommodation available in our fine land. The rooms are impeccably furnished and the facilities are abundant. It’s a perfect completion for a day out exploring or if you prefer, a day lazing by the pool or soaking up the atmosphere at the bar.
Sails In The Desert reception area
Sails In The Desert rooms
Sails In The Desert pool area
Sails In The Desert bar
To complete day 1, Lisa and Peter were taken directly from their resort lobby to The Sounds of Silence. This is the ultimate bucket list dining experience consisting of bush-inspired tucker complimented with great Aussie wines. This all takes place as diners witness the nightly spectacular of the Territory. First, they are treated to the majestic sunset over Uluru with it’s brilliance of colours and as the sun recedes, it gives way to a blanket of twinkling stars. I asked Lisa about this experience and here’s what she had to say:
“The experience began with my husband Peter and I being offered a glass of champagne as we reached the site’s sand dunes. The sun then set rapidly over Uluru, turning the rock into a changing kaleidoscope of ochre-browns, reds and purples – this is a truly magnificent sight. As we were seated, we looked onto the iconic domes of Kata Tjuta (a.k.a. the Olgas); a vision which really reminds you how lucky we are to live in a country where we can call this our very own backyard. The food itself is also something else – with Australian delicacies like barramundi, emu, crocodile and kangaroo on the menu.
“Perhaps best of all, is the opportunity to look up at the clear night sky – with its brilliant spray of blazing stars peppering the blackness from horizon to horizon. Let’s just say it’s a recipe for romance, if I ever saw one.”
Day 2 began exceedingly early for Lisa, but working on morning TV she’d be well accustomed to early starts. By 6am she was ready for take off to Mt Conner with Ayers Rock Helicopters.
Mt Conner is yet another distinctive feature in the Northern Territory. The peak of this horse-shoe formation stands 300 metres high and appears to be a spectacular place for a gourmet picnic breakfast!
Later that night Lisa was booked in for a 55 minute aerial tour of the region. Since flying over the Red Centre, Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), this is what Lisa had to say:
“I’ve visited the Red Centre six times in the last two years, and I discover something new every time. Uluru is more than just an immense natural icon – although it certainly is that! (Take my word for it, Uluru’s majesty will take your breath away no matter how many times you visit). Uluru is a true symbol of Australia’s natural outdoors and spirituality, with a visit making you feel more proud to be Australian than ever.”
Beginning with breakfast at Ilkari Restaurant, Lisa had yet another day of work combined with some r’n’r. Ilkari is renowned for its egg and pancake station where patrons can create their own signature dish. They also have an international menu for travelers from near and far away lands. Next on Lisa’s schedule? A quick stop at the Red Ochre Spa for a little bit of spoiling before heading off for a 2pm photo-shoot at a location near Sails In The Desert.
The day concluded with dinner at Arnguli Grill whose tasting plates are produced using a selection of locally sourced Indigenous spices, grains and seeds. To complete the experience, a selection of premium Aussie wines can be enjoyed in their relaxed atmosphere. I asked Lisa about the hospitality of the Territory and she replied:
“Territorian hospitality is the hospitality of the outback: warm and down-to-earth. Everyone is your mate, and you’ll enjoy the easy familiarity and trademark dry humour of the region. My tip? Whether you’re in the Red Centre or the Top End, the atmosphere is perfect to reconnect with yourself and – if you’re lucky enough to have them there with you – your loved ones. The Territory’s vastness and beauty will likely inspire you to re-focus on the relationships in your life that mean the most.”
Lisa’s final day in the Northern Territory began with a quick breakfast before her and Peter were whisked away to the airport. Having completed their short stay, Lisa had this to say about the whole 4-day experience:
“This was not the first time I’ve visited the NT – and it won’t be the last. The Territory is such a beautiful place to escape to; particularly during winter in the southern states, given its tropical weather and short three-hour flight away. It’s the perfect destination for some time-out with the family, along with some action-packed adventure – if you’re up for it. I’d recommend to those considering a trip to the NT that now is as good a time as any; sure, the Territory will always be there, but you won’t.”
If you too would like to experience the wonders of Australia’s sensational top end, head to Travel NT for more information.
Images courtesy of Kite Communications
This small coastal city located on Bay of Biscay in Spain, is one of the most popular summer travel destinations in Europe.
Whether you’re going for the beaches, arts, festivals or simply to un-wind or sightsee, there’s always something exciting to do in San Sebastian during the summertime.
Playa de la Concha
Kick-back and relax at one of the many beaches located in San Sebastian during the spring-summer months where the water is just right.
There’s so much to do in the surrounding areas such as water sports in Playa de Gros, activities with the kids, and even a sightseeing tour which operates round-the-clock.
Bodegon Alejandro: Calle de Fermin Calbeton 4
There’s one thing San Sebastian is known for, and that’s the seafood. Bodegon Alejandro is one the best restaurants to enjoy baked lobster, take in the view of the ocean, and indulge in some of the local wines.
Check out one of the main observation decks in Monte Igueldo which is best at dusk. Here, you will have complete views of the stunning coastline, surrounding mountains, and of course the beauty of Bahia de la Concha.
Bar Borda Berri: Calle Fermin Calbeton 12
Who can resist a good drink after a long day of sightseeing in the sun? San Sebastian is packed with bars, brasseries, and everything in between so you’re bound to find a place you like.
Our favourite is Bar Borda Berri which is known for its decor, and similarly the large selection of beverages. Open from noon-midnight 7 days a week.
Playa de Gros: Paseo de Zurriola 24
If you’ve ever want to learn how to surf, Playa de Gros is the perfect place for beginners to learn on the mellow waves. Weekend courses are available if you’re travelling with a group, or you could take some surfing lessons at nearby Pukas.
Images via Best Tourism, Trip Advisor, Egor 2015, Eater, Pukas Surf
From the fashion bloggers to the food, nothing beats Sweden – especially during the springtime.
Now is the best time to book your ticket to this Scandinavian country and indulge in all it has to offer, including style, design, and a relaxed way of life.
Where: Bageriet Bulleboden
Parmmatargatan 7, 11224 Stockholm
If you’re coming to Stockholm for the traditional Scandinavian food, then you will find many cafes scattered all over the city. Don’t miss Bageriet Bulleboden, which offers delicious pastries known as kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls), and freshly brewed coffee.
Where: Stockholm Market
Riddargatan 3, 11435 Stockholm
There’s a reason Swedish style is big all over the world, so much so that a street style blog created by Caroline Blomst has put it on the map. Popular fashion labels include Acne Studios, Filippa K, and Nelly just to name a few, but the best place to grab a deal on a bespoke item is at the market. Pick up a beautiful souvenir for a family member or friends as you’re leaving and catch the exclusive pieces from some of Sweden’s up-and-coming designers.
Where: E. Torndahl
Vasterlanggatan 63, S-11129 Stockholm
Scandinavian design is renowned all over the world for its approach to clean, sophisticated lines and timeless techniques. Rather than going to one of their many Ikea stores (there are more than 20 in Sweden alone), the smaller more independent sellers are where you’ll find some of the most original pieces. While they might come with a heftier price tag, you will keep them for years to come as a memory of your travels.
Sodra Blasieholmshammen 35, Stockholm
If you’re visiting between October – February, why not take a boat tour which takes you across the entire archipelago. The tour comes with a bowl of traditional Swedish tomato soup or pea soup (it’s your choice), and a glass of arrack to keep you warm. Tours can run anywhere between 1.5-3 hours.
Where: Nada Bar
Asogatan 140, Stockholm
Sweden might have a strict view on alcohol (drinks are heavily taxed), but the nightlife is nothing but booming. There is a plethora of small bars and venues which offer a modern take on traditional cocktails and a few bites on the side to keep you full for your next travels. If you’re not into the nightlife or alcoholic beverages, look out for a fika cafe, which is usually located in a beautiful garden.
Images via Lost in Stockholm, Fotografi, Stromma, Madame Figaro Japan, W Magazine, Visit Sweden
Since Easter is just around the corner, it’s time to put on your Sunday best and enjoy the long weekend with friends and family.
We here at SHESAID have come up with our own outfit ideas for whatever event you have on the weekend, so sit back, and shop courtesy of our friends over at THE ICONIC.
This tasty twist on hot cross buns is a fun way to celebrate the Easter holiday and is sure to leave everyone in the family happy. Vegemite at a time of the year when we all find ourselves over indulging in chocolate and sweet foods, gives your savoury taste-buds a delicious work out.
Using an Aussie classic this recipe delivers and is a great take on an Easter favourite. These are best served warm and with a spread of butter.
10g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄4 cup vegemite
1 tbsp caster sugar
20g butter, melted
31⁄2 cups flour, sifted
3⁄4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp water
1 vegemite 145g tube, for topping
- Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and mix until yeast is dissolved. Add the eggs, vegemite, sugar and butter and whisk to combine. Stir in the flour and cheese and mix until combined then knead for 5-8 minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and springy.
- Place the dough into a clean bowl and cover. Set aside in a warm place to rise for approx. 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Knock back the dough then knead lightly. Divide into 12 even portions. Knead each lightly then stretch each ball out slightly and place 1⁄2 teaspoon vegemite onto each and roughly knead through.
- Roll each into a smooth bun and place on a greased baking tray with 1cm gap between them. Set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Beat together egg and water then brush over the buns. Using the vegemite tube, squeeze crosses onto the buns.
- Bake in a hot oven 200°C for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bases are crisp and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe courtesy of Vegemite Australia
Zambia, blessed with breathtaking natural wonders, a wealth of wildlife and the perfect sanctuary for honeymooners.
According to the Royal Livingston, “On the 16 November 1855, David Livingstone (Scottish missionary) first laid eyes on the waterfall that would define his life story, and that of an entire country. Visible from over 30km away, the Kololo people with whom he had travelled downriver called it Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders. As the first European to witness this magnificent site, he decided to name it Victoria Falls in honour of his Queen. At the Royal Livingstone Hotel on the banks of a river that flows through the soul of the continent.”
Your own African honeymoon waits to be told.
Stay: The Royal Livingston Hotel
Eat: Try their traditional dish nshima, made of maize (corn) with goat curry, delish.
Drink: Locally brewed beer or their sunset cocktails on the deck
Spa: Couples massage overlooking the Zambezi River (OMG!)
Discover: Cross the border to Botswana and cruise/4WD the Chobe River seeing all the Big 5 in their natural habitat.
Zambia offers an unforgettable honeymoon experience, where you explore the real Africa.
Easter is a time of celebration with friends and family, but just like any holiday it can also be a time of overindulgence. And with supermarket shelves loaded with chocolate eggs and hot-cross-buns, not to mention the festive spirit looming, temptation is high. Going without or going all out doesn’t have to be your only option these holidays – you really can have your chocolate and eat it too. Here’s how to have a guilt-free Easter:
Instead of buying milk chocolate eggs this Easter opt for dark chocolate. It’s richer in antioxidants, lower in sugar and is far less moreish. The higher the cocoa content the better it is for your health, so try to go for a 75% cocoa or higher variation to ensure you reap the maximum benefits.
Get into the Easter spirit this year and make your own goodies. There are loads of healthy and delicious recipes available on the internet and it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays. Why not try making your own chocolate eggs with some coconut oil, cacao powder and rice malt syrup? Melt all the ingredients together and place into Easter egg moulds (or any mould) and refrigerate until hard. You can also add things like raspberries, nuts and coconut before cooling to add some flavour and extra texture.
Don’t go OTT
Going over the top during the holidays is usually the undoing of healthy habits. Avoid the temptation to overindulge this Easter by moderating the amount of treats you eat. Allow yourself one day over the Easter weekend to eat chocolate, or input your sweets into your calorie count for the day. Remember, moderation is key!
Take it easy
It’s easy to go overboard with chocolate gifts at Easter, particularly if you’re buying for your children. And while the intention is good, the adults usually end up sharing in the chocolate load over the course of the weekend, if not the weeks to follow. This year cut back on the dairy milk and opt for gifts like baking kits and plush bunnies, or if you’re gifting a partner why not try a nice bottle of wine or a cheese hamper?
Get in some extra exercise
If you know you’re going to let your hair down over the Easter break, then try to fit in some additional gym classes in the weeks leading up. You’ll burn extra calories, meaning those sneaky hot cross buns won’t go straight to your hips and you’ll be feeling great, which decreases the temptation to overindulge. If you your schedule is already choc-o-block (pardon the pun), try to get in some exercise between celebrations over the Easter weekend such as a walk, swim or bike ride.
Image via Shutterstock
Holidays are there so that we can rest, have some fun and get fired up to return to our everyday life, right? Only it rarely works out that way. Holidays never seem to be long enough and getting back to our routine can feel like an ordeal. It’s hard to get up in the morning, we have tons of work to catch up on and our mind is still back there, at the beach, on the slopes or in Paris. If this is happening to you, here are some tips on how to get motivated after a holiday.
Get some rest
“What? But I’ve just come back from holidays. I don’t have time to rest”, I hear you say. But often we come back from holidays tired. Not the same tiredness that you feel after a hard day of work, but tired nevertheless. You may be jetlagged or you may have engaged in more physical activity than normal, or you mind might be full of new impressions. So don’t push yourself too hard for the first few days and take as much time for rest as you can.
Set your priorities
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mountain of work that’s waiting for you, so your first instinct is to start doing stuff as fast as you can. A couple of hours into it and you’ll get frustrated that your to-do list doesn’t seem to become any shorter. Instead, spend some time evaluating what’s most important right now and do those tasks first.
Understandably, you’d want to get up to date with everything immediately, on the very first day. And this is the quickest way to burnout. Remember, you’ve just come back from a holiday, your next one is probably not coming for a while, so you need to pace yourself. As long as you get the important tasks out of the way, it’s OK to give yourself some time to catch up with everything else.
Focus on what you love
As much as you’d rather be on holidays, there’re probably plenty of positive experiences in your day – being able to eat your favourite food, sharing your memories with a colleague, getting a new client who loves you. Acknowledge these special moments and you’ll find that your day flows with a lot more ease.
Do you have more tips on how to get motivated after a holiday? Please share them!
Image by wilofcom via pixabay.com