Firstly, I apologise for my long absence from here! I had a lot on over the holidays, then just before moving home in the new year my laptop was stolen and along with it all of my content (still trying to find my backup hard drive after our move). It was incredibly upsetting to lose all of the memories, personal details and photo postcards from all of my trips (and family events) but I’m hopeful I’ll get back at least some of what I lost. Until that happens, my Europe posts will be on hold, but fear not! I have other new posts!

Last weekend I flew to Sydney – a very impromptu trip prompted by the Sydney Skinny of all things! An old colleague and good friend of mine (the amazing energy behind She is Nourished) was dubbed a Nudie Courage Ambassador for the event, which is how I caught wind of it all. Nudie Juice was a fantastic sponsor for the event, which was all about promoting courage, acceptance, body confidence and getting out of your comfort zone. Once I signed up with Nudie I was given one courage challenge each day, in the 10 days leading up to the event! Some of these challenges really pushed you out of your comfort zone (even something as small as smiling at every person you pass in a day), but in the end were all rewarding and helped you learn a little bit more about yourself (that’s the reaon behind to it all, right?).

While the key reason for my trip was the Sydney Skinny, I also took up the opportunity to meet up with friends who’ve recently moved to the city and see a little more of it. It really is a terrific place, and is certainly unlike the city I’m used to – both in what it has to offer as well as the pure size of it! After the weather outlook predicting rain and cool temperatures, Sydney ended up really turning it on for my visit. The sun was shining, and although it was a few degrees cooler, it was so nice to escape Brisbane’s intense humidity for a little while.

After landing I headed straight to Hyde Park, where I was meeting a girlfriend at the NSW Food & Wine Festival. This combined two of my absolute favourite things – could this trip have been timed any better? We wandered in and took a look at a few stalls, then realised we couldn’t help ourselves so took to the ticket booth to purchase some tasting tickets and souvenir wine glasses.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t tasted many Australian wines. Perhaps it comes down to home pride, and the fact that New Zealand makes some of the best wine around. But this was a great opportunity for me to see what I’d been missing out on! I have to say, I was so impressed. Australian wines have come such a long way (past long established vineyards), and there’s now so much variety! It was so hard picking which regions and blends to use my tickets for. Out of the few I did get to taste, Charles Sturt University was my absolute favourite – their riesling was one of the best I’ve had and was perfect on that warm afternoon.

On our way out of the festival we stopped at the Messina stall for dessert, then walked down Oxford Street to make our dinner reservation at The Commons. This sweet little restaurant sits at the end of a no-through road, just down from Oxford Street. Here we met up with another friend and dined on some of the most delicious food we’ve had, all served by some very handsome french men. Catching up over wine and cider, it was the perfect dinner date with the girls!

My friend Mel met me here, and after saying goodbye to the others, the two of us wandered about Sydney Harbour and briefly caught up with some friends of hers before heading home to bed. We had an early start the next day for the big event!

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