Tradition. The Hudson's Bay Co. Christmas Windows

Aubrey, Oscar, my sister and I drove down to see The Hudson's Bay Christmas Windows this week. It was my sisters idea to go down - she e-mailed me a link to this article in the Toronto Star and I realized we just had to visit with Oscar. Although we used to do this as kids, it has been years since I had made a trek on a wintery night to see the windows. Big hugs to my sister for encouraging this tradition to continue for Oscar. xo

Ps., Oscar didn't really know what to make of the windows and stayed on Aubrey's shoulders for the visit.  It is definitely worth a visit - with or without kids. :)

A trip to Melbourne

I've just returned from a fleeting child-free visit to Melbourne (under 24 hours). We were attending a client of Mr AV's Christmas cocktail party at their home in Toorak. With lots of interesting people to talk to, French champagne and delicious nibbles, it was a proper grown-up evening. I didn't take pics while there (thought it would be rude), but here is a pic of my outfit.

I was somewhat perplexed as to what to wear. Toorak parties are generally fairly conservative, so a dress was called for, but I didn't want to be either too casual or too overdressed. I went safe with this Tory Burch black crepe dress, and wore my pearls, which always makes Mr AV happy (as he gave them to me), and I wore my peacock feather shoes to show I wasn't too straight laced and boring. While my blog audience are probably wondering if I own another pair of heels, they are the perfect Christmas shoes. And they are still not exactly cheap on a cost per wear basis, but I think in around 10 years time I will probably be able to say they were a great buy. So brace yourself for further photos of them.

We had a drink/ something to eat afterwards in one of the bars at the bottom of the Grand Hyatt. It was very dark and moody, I could barely see all the young women snuggling up with their elderly fathers in the corners.....

And this morning I had a brief 1.5 hours of shopping in Collins Street before heading to the airport to catch my flight home and retrieve my children. I managed to avoid temptation in Miss Louise, but here's a snap of the beautiful colour themed windows. It's one of my favourite places to window shop. Chanel is across the other side of the laneway, you can see it reflected in the mirrors behind the display.

And finally, here is where we stay when we're in Melbourne - it's one of the Clubs on Collins Street, and decor wise the suite is a timewarp from Thatcher era Britain. All medium toned woods, flame stitch upholstery (which is now back in fashion), and tasteful prints hung on subtly striped wallpaper. It feels a bit like visiting your grandparent's, strangely homely and familiar. As for location, it can't be bettered - right smack in the middle of the nice shopping, and next to Mr AV's office.

Hopefully it won't be long before I make another trip time for a little longer.