Packing for Europe

packing for europe trip


There is no doubt packing for travel is a fine art.
Everyone has a way of packing for travels and I always love to read or hear about how people do it; you never know what kind of great ideas you’ll pick up.

I have to say I really admire people who travel in a carry-on, and I’m not talking about a night away, I’m talking about 2-3 weeks long holiday. And if that’s how you want to travel then I’d suggest for you go take a look at Oh Happy Day for inspiration. For me, this trip isn’t just to a single destination and it isn’t just site seeing; the things that I pack have to work for me in temperature as low as 4 degrees Celsius, and as high as 23 degrees Celsius. Not only that, it needs to work for a wedding in Bergen and hiking in Iceland. As you may have figured out by the image above, I’ll be hitting 7 cities within 29 days and it’ll include a wedding in Bergen, a campervan trip around Iceland and a dinner at the famous NOMA in Copenhagen.

Thankfully, my work has been halved thanks to my travelling uniform. When I say ‘uniform’, I meant sets of outfits that I’d take regardless of where I go; they usually include pair of jeans, white shirt, white tee shirt, little black dress and a pair of flats. I try to bring items for the predictable weather, for everything else there’s MasterCard. (OMG I’ve been waiting to use that for so long!)
I’ve always liked the idea of landing with 2 empty suitcase and a pair of undies; then just purchase everything I need when I land. But sometimes it’s near impossible trying to find a long coat within 1 hour on a budget. Especially in places like Iceland, do you really want to hunt for a waterproof jacket instead of walking the glacier or getting pampered IN the Blue Lagoon????

So here are just a list of the things I’ll be bringing and the tips I’ve received from my friends.

packing list for europe in autumn

1. Trench Coat : Don’t even both to use the umbrella in London. There’s a reason why Burberry makes trench and it’s from England.
Try this trench from ASOS.

2. Coat : For dressy times like the wedding or my fancy dinner.
Try this coat from The Outnet.

3. Waterproof Jacket : Two friends who returned from Helsinki suggested that wearing a waterproof jacket is a MUST. Not water resistant jacket, but a waterproof one. It’ll all make sense when the rain flies horizontally towards your face.
Try this jacket from Amazon.

4. Shearling Jacket : I’ve trialed this in the Shanghai winter and it’s a life saver. I can’t go back.
Try this jacket from Neiman Marcus.

5. Black Blazer : You always need one. Ask Emmanuelle Alt.
Try any black blazer in Zara.

6. Navy Blazer : Part of my travel uniform and see above. Although I am considering culling this one and just take the black blazer. Need more time to consider.
Try any navy blazer in Zara.

7. Blue Smart Casual Dress Shirt : Part of my travel uniform.
Wouldn’t try any other than Uniqlo.

8. White Dress Shirt : Part of my travel uniform and I’d probably purchase another one when I’m there.
I get mine from Charles Tyrwhitt. Great quality and I can wear them without a slip.

9. Stripe Shirt : Who goes to Paris and NOT wear a stripe shirt? Lots of people. But this is my travel uniform.
Try this from Charles Tyrwhitt.

10. Long Sleeve White Shirt : I wear this out and as an undershirt. Also my travel uniform.
Try this basic shirt from Forever21.

11. White Tee Shirt : Should be self explanatory.
Try this basic shirt from Forever21.

12. Black Sweater : Just as versatile as my white shirt / tee.
Try this sweater from Country Road.

13. Grey Sweater : Similarly versatile, part of my travel uniform.
Try this sweater from Witchery.

14. Black Cardigan : I purchased mine from Zara men. It’s wonderfully oversized and warm substitute for a large coat.
Try this from Uniqlo.

15. Grey Turtleneck Sweater : If you too thinks wearing turtleneck is like someone really weak choking you throughout the day, then disregard this. If you don’t mind and would love to wear turtlenecks instead of wearing scarf and sweater, then carry on.
Try this from The Outnet.

16. Wrap Dress : Or any dress that looks flattering on you. Doesn’t have to be black or wrap. Just, a dress that makes you feel good. Also room around the waist to allow for rapid expansion of the mid-region of my body during a nice meal at NOMA.
Try this dress from

17. Black Trousers : Like a black jacket. I intend to wear this with my black jacket at the wedding instead of a dress. But then it can be dressed down with a white shirt and a pair of grey sneakers.
Try this pair from

18. Black Tights : Let me make this very clear, I don’t wear this under a dress. Ever. It’s just a pair of thick skin tight pants or jegging.
Try this exact pair from Uniqlo.

19. Jeans : Believe it or not I don’t wear jeans that often, but it’s definitely a travel essential.
Try this pair from Seed Heritage.

20. White Pencil Skirt : Why white? Why pencil skirt? Because it’s feels a little more formal and less work than black.
Try this skirt from Saks Fifth Ave.

21. Swimsuit : From my research there are lots of natural hot springs around Iceland. I intend to visit them.
Try this from Anthropologie.

22. Black Flats : I wouldn’t know what to do without them. Another usual suspect of the travel essential team.
Try this from Shopbop.

23. Ankle Boots : So comfortable and stylish. Not my usual travel essential, but I’d take it with me when I travel to cold places.
Try this from Witchery.

24. Grey Sneakers : Biggest steal, that I got this pair from Target for $5. Usually I’d take an old pair of comfy shoes and wear it now during the trip, where I’d throw away just before I head home.
You can get a pair too!

25. Black Heels : Some people can get away with dressy flats, but I can’t imagine going to a Hen’s party in Berlin without heels. So I’ve opted for a pair of worn and comfy black heels and as oppose to a pair of sky-high neon pink pump.
Try this from Net-a-porter.

26. Large Blanket Scarf : This scarf saved me from the winter chill of Tokyo. I found it in a boutique shop somewhere in Tokyo and I’m hoping it’ll save me again from the winter chill of Bergen & Iceland. I could use this as a blanket if I really wanted to, that’s how big and thick it is.
Try this from Net-a-porter.

27. Grey Knit Scarf : Wrapping yourself inside a blanket isn’t a solution to everything. I’m thinking of dropping this one, since I’d probably survive with the blanket in the early part of the trip.
Try this from H&M.

28. Black Gloves : Stylish & practical. The only downside is we can’t take use our iPhones without taking it off!
Try this from The Outnet.

29. Beanie / Hat : I’m totally a hat person. I try to bring location appropriate hats with me. Considering I’m heading to mostly cold climate cities, I opted for a beanie.
Try this cap from Country Road if beanie isn’t your thing.

30. Belt : Something that goes well over your jackets, cardi, scarf or dress.
Try this from Country Road.

31. Carry All Tote : Sometimes, it’s just easier to throw it all in and go. This is the bag I bring on the plane, so it’s include all the I intend to get one soft enough so it can be a pillow, too.
Try this from Ever Lane.

32. Dressy Bag : This could be a clutch, a shoulder bag, a mini tote. Whatever that you use for a fancy dinner and it’s not entirely necessary.
Try this from Net-a-porter.

33. Everyday Bag : This could be a back pack, a small shoulder bag or in my case, a small tote. It’s whatever you’d use for your daily travels.
Try this from Longchamp.


Happy Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day!


This weekend I’ll be going down to Melbourne again; although it’s not my first time, I always find myself wanting to improve on the way I pack the essentials.

I find that I can almost compromise on the gear, that is, I can bring one less shirt, or one less jacket; there seems no way of getting around bringing the cleansers, the toners, the moisturisers, the eye cream, the serums, the makeup, the makeup remover….oh and there is all his stuff. So I thought I’d recommend the two things I’ve used and now find myself not being able to live without.

Girls: Perfume Sticks {A+R}

Atomisers are not exactly the newest thing, but these are simple too beautiful not to mention. I know Sephora actually sells roller ball perfume, but they may not have YOUR scent, so these sophisticated looking perfume sticks should keep you looking and smelling great.

Boys: Muji Travel Bottles {MUJI}

Since American Psycho, men are no longer limiting their grooming essentials to simple razor and soap; they too, have discovered that looking sharp will require more tools & help. These wonderful travel bottles will ensure no disruption to their grooming routine.


Juliette Récamier, a Parisian beauty of the 19th Century. It’s not hard to imagine the fuss over this seductress from this elegant and evocative painting below.

Hotel Spa has been fitted to create the modern take of the lifestyle of this beauty and I can tell you now, I am SOOOO going there when I hit Paris.

Luckily, for everyone, this costs approximately US$273 per night (more than my usual hotel rate, but at least I don’t have to sell my car!!!!); and you can book it here.

David Jones Spring Flower Affair

Hey guys! Hope everyone had an awesome weekend.

Every Sunday my mum and I roam around and shop around anywhere that sells stuff. And that sure include one of Australia’s largest department store: David Jones. Wonderful thing about the David Jones Sydney City store is that it is constantly reinventing itself while keeping those old traditions.

A while back they had doormen in coats and top hats; every once in a while you see a gentleman playing beautiful classical music on a Steinway and Sons and this year spring, they gave us Fleuressence. An elaborate show of flowers within its main floor.

My photos definitely don’t do those huge huge display justice. So if you happen to be around Sydney David Jones, it’s a show you cannot miss.

Colourful Office Stationery

I like my office stationery colourful and professional. Mostly because I’m a kid on the inside, but I also find the simple exercise books and ball point pens wayyyyy too mainstream.

So if you’re hip like me, I’ve got a few suggestion for you!

Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

Notebook {Brown Paper}; Italian Pushpins {The Curiosity Shoppe}; Line Notebook {Poketo}; Geometry Stickies {Present & Correct}; Leather Pencil Case {Russel+Hazel}; Fabric Tape {Jetpens}; Crystal Prism Page Flats {Girl of All Work}.

Closing the doors as a start

Okay guys, I’m not going to be too modest here, I give AWESOME advice.

Once my bf was getting tired from polishing his shoes while sitting on the ground, and I advised him to sit on a small chair. He did and now when he doesn’t get cramps while polishing shoes.

Yeah. I change lives.

So the other week, while I was cleaning out my old study back at mum’s, I realised 2 things:

1. My parents are hoarders. I am a hoarder. So it’s pretty conclusive to say that “Hoarding” is hereditary.

2. I once gave an awesome advice to a friend (who display severe signs of hoarding) that STEP 1 to organising her bedroom is to put doors on her open shelf wardrobe.

She is STILL unconvinced.

A while back, I read this article that really put my advice into perspective by providing logical and psychological reasoning. It generally stated that putting doors on a messy shelf, or making a bed in a messy room is you physically sectioning off or grouping problems.

It’s kind of like underlining parts of a mathematical equation; underlining doesn’t SOLVE the equation for you, but sectioning the question makes it easier because it’s easier to deal with little problems than one big problem.

So, while I am NOT the authority on the psychological aspect of things, when I first gave the advice, I only thought of the visual aspect.

You don’t need to be a designer to know that the one on the right looks NEATER. Why? Because you don’t see anything.

Also, wardrobe are generally one of the largest thing in a bedroom. It’s sometimes full height, 60cm in depth and JAM PACKED. So visually it’s very imposing.

The only time it’s okay to have an open wardrobe if it’s a walk in and it looks like this:

Where Valentino gowns overflow from inside and the Manolos stand neatly next to the Louboutins. Alas, most of us did not spend $175,000 on the wardrobe. It’s probably more like this:

Image Source

So put an end to this mess and break the line of hereditary hoarding by installing doors FIRST. If you seriously cannot install doors to your wardrobe because there is no space in your room, well, honey, then you should look at taking more drastic measures. But that’s another post altogether.

Start here at Ikea.

Colourful Apartment

I really rarely use colours outside of a primed canvas. It’s not that I don’t like colours, it’s just that I’m too afraid I’ll use it ineffectively.

Well, the only colour I’d willingly apply to objects or myself besides shades of grey, white and black is blue. (I swear, every time I use or see the phrase “Shades Of…” I think of you know which book. Thing is, I haven’t even READ it!!)

Anyway, if I use colour in apartments, this next piece of art is exactly how I would do it….if I’m any good as The Apartment peeps. Seriously, you NEED to checkout the rest of the website, it’s pretty amazing. I’m pretty sure I like them MORE Than Nate Berkus.

The Apartment

Aesop $85 Facial Treatments

Ladies & gents, thanks to a good friend who always shares with me some of the most important things in a woman’s life – Sales & Promotions – that I am able to introduce to you the following deal.

However, before you read on, this only applies to people who:

Live in Sydney

Go to Sydney City Myer


Love great deals

Sorry about the poor image, had to scan my promotional pamphlet.

Basically, go to Sydney City Myer, book an $85 facial for 45 minutes, at the end of the treatment, you can redeem $85 worth of Aesop products!!!

WOH? Great deal or what?

So I’ve just booked mine, bought a bottle of Tea Tree Leaf exfoliant and got some great samples for my eyes and hands.


Seriously, I’ve been wanting to try their products since the moment I saw these simplistic and minimalistc brown medicine bottle stored inside a cardboard shop in Melbourne (below):

Which you should checkout even if you’re not going to buy anything, because it’s really really cool. But if you happen to stay in Sydney for the next few weeks or so, and wouldn’t mind spending $85 for a facial and a few products, swing by Myer Aesop counter and take this deal with your bare hands.

Products can be bought from Myer.