I love taking inspiration for my next DIY from the places I visit when I travel. It’s pretty much a never ending game of I Spy… And it’s always something to make that I’ve spied. These rope wrapped pots have topped my list in Chiang Mai for things I need to make when I get back into the studio. A touch of glue, a few rolls of rope and you’re all set. Itching to make this and can’t wait to get home… It’s pretty sad of me!

Planter DIY IdeaPlanter DIY Idea

See more inspiration IRL over on my snapchat, find me with the user name: apair_andaspare (someone took my usual username! Wondering what they’re getting upto over there?).

Photos by Nicola Lemmon


Greetings from Chiang Mai in Thailand guys! I’ve come here with my friend Nicola Lemmon to explore this gorgeous city, it may be 42 degrees celsius in the shade but we’re loving every minute! Wanting to condense the wardrobe items that I took with me, I tried to pack as many super versatile pieces as I could, which is where this white shirt turned into a off the shoulder number has totally come in handy. White cotton shirts are one of my staples when it comes to travelling, but there’s only so many times you can wear it straight up. Luckily, with a few folds and twists, you can turn it into something completely different, and bang on trend. This adds to those other ways to wear a white shirt I talked about here, but is even more easy to do!

I wanted to also share some sneak peek pics of the new Chiang Mai guide I’ve been putting together, including an awe inspiring visit to Queen Sirikit Botanical gardens, where they have this INCREDIBLE cactus garden. As an absolute plant addict I have to say this was the best thing I’ve seen in a while. Finely enough there was pretty much no one there! More photos coming soon.

Two minute off the shoulder topTwo minute off the shoulder topTwo minute off the shoulder topTwo minute off the shoulder topTwo minute off the shoulder topTwo minute off the shoulder top

How To

1. Do up the two buttons in the middle of your bust and below that one, it’s ok if you can see your bra at this stage. 2. Pull the shirt on both sides down your shoulders, folding the collar at the back inside the shirt. 2. Tie the bottow of the shirt into a bow, or tuck it into your skirt/pants. 3. Roll your sleeves and away you go!

Two minute off the shoulder top
Two minute off the shoulder top

Photos by lovely Nicola Lemmon at Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens


One of the biggest barriers to traveling as much as we would like, other than time, is cost. Obviously right? Yes, the reality is that travel is never going to be that cheap (relative to being at home), but what you want to do when travelling is avoid a) paying over the odds for something and b) completely wasting money on something you shouldn’t. Both of which happen surprisingly often when you’re traveling! Aside from work travel, on all my other trips I plan and foot the bill for everything myself, and regardless of how many places I visit, the importance of travelling on a budget never diminishes. The more wisely you spend your money when you travel, the more places you can actually go.  Australia Post have recently launched a new Travel Essentials section, a one stop shop for all things travel, and asked me to give them the low down on how I plan my trips, to save dollars while still living it up.

How to save money when you travel

Travelling on time and on budget: Peony Swimsuit, Sportsgirl Hat, Daniel Wellington Watch, Coach Bag, Karen Walk Sunglasses, DIY shorts, shoes designed by me… And my mum’s amazing collection of shells.

Choose the RIGHT destination

Obviously! But in case you’re not across it, this is a major factor when it comes to saving money on your trip, and relies on a little research before you choose where to go. It’s important to understand different currencies and what they mean for you – and how that pairs with the cost of living in that destination. If you’re keen to save some coin, places like South East Asia and South America are great for exchange rate and have a realistively low cost of living so you’ll be able to live it up without spending every cent you have. If you do plan

Book flights early

I’ve mentioned this before but in my opinion, booking early is the best way to save money on flights. I always try to book as early as possible, using a compare website like Skyscanner. Where possible I also try to avoid traveling at peak holiday times, and I usually find the best fares on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. I know it’s hard if you have tight holidays and travelling at random times doesn’t work, but it’s something to keep in mind if you ever have flexibility. In the last few years I’ve also twigged at being a loyal member of an airline so that they give me better deals annnnnddd preferential treatment when it comes to booking. I love a good airline newsletter too! Not for the spam but for the good secret deals you find in them.

Think laterally about accommodation

Traditionally I’ve been all about the smaller boutique hotels when I’m traveling, and also love to use Airbnb which gives you great deals and an ability to live like a local. However, I’ve recently also signed up to many large hotel chain newsletters and often find that they have flash sales that are only for their loyal customers. Another thing I do is always (again) try to book early for hotels. If I know in advance where I’ll be going, even if the trip isn’t 100% confirmed, I’ll try book accommodation, and perhaps pay a little more to be able to cancel. For example, in December we booked this hotel in Greece, even though the trip wasn’t locked in, mainly because the price of the hotel was so cheap 6 months in advance. Fast forward a few months and the room we got is also a lot more expensive. As long as you pay a little extra for being able to cancel without a fee, you can afford to plan way in advance!

Be smart about mobile

Arghhhhh roaming. The bain of my travel existence. Cos a girls gotta be connected, but she also needs to keep those fees down. Never, ever, ever roam on your normal mobile without some sort of roaming or data set up. In an emergency it’s totally allowed (safety is more important than a few hundred dollars) but the rest of the time it pays, literally, to be prepared. So what do you do? You could get a Sim in your destination, but in my experience there’s often a few days before you get this sorted in which time you’ve been annoyingly trying to find wifi wherever you go or may have spent 92470409 trillion dollars. Be smart and get a solution before you go, an Australia Post Prepaid Travel SIM is a great option.

Cash cash money

The boring side of traveling is the fees that happen when your back is turned (or when you’ve just had a whole bottle of wine), but this is an outflow you can stem easily if you get organised. These days you can get pre loaded travel cards that have lower fees and don’t experience fluctuating exchange rates. These travel cards  from Australia Post are great options.  Also keep in mind that every time you get money out you’ll be getting fees, so try to get cash before you go (foreign cash can be ordered and collected through Australia Post). Oh and always pay in the local currency.

A few other of my tips?

– Do your research on public transport travel cards or daily and weekly passes before you go, they’re a great way to save money.

– Eat where the locals eat. This saves on money and gives your wayyyy better experience. As a rule? Don’t eat anywhere you can see a well touristed piazza or square. Going around the corner will always be better (for the wallet and the palette).

– And finally, some countries allow you to claim back the taxes on your purchases at the airport, meaning that bag is practically free (maybe…)

Do you have any other tips for saving money when you travel?

How to save money when you travel: before, during and after


This post is in collaboration with Australia Post


I’m excited to share with you guys another of the mini TV episodes I made with video Star World. You can catch my segment playing everyday in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines for the rest of May. I have to say it was scary and exciting to work with a production team on something for TV, and a big lesson for things in the future!

DIY Tassel Bag

Watch the video and get the full instructions here:

This is an easy one and you don’t need much – it’s all explained in the video so take a peek. :)

DIY Tasseled Saddle BagDIY Tasseled Saddle BagDIY Tasseled Saddle BagDIY Tasseled Saddle BagDIY Tasseled Saddle BagDIY Tassel BagDIY Tassel BagDIY Tassel Bag
Wearing: DIY bag and cut off shorts, J Crew blazer, Zara heels, Karen Walk sunglasses, Grana tank.

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