My NYC guide

Last month, Wade and I had five glorious days in one of my favourite cities… NYC.  So many people asked for my tips – and so many people shared their tips with me – that I want to get it all down in a blog post, for your Big Apple exploring pleasure.

I’m going to work this in three different ways:

one: I’ll share our schedule with you as it’s so much easier if you know what’s near what, etc

two: I’ll share the overall list of restaurants/bars/sights/experiences that we undertook to complete – we gave it a red hot go, however there were still a few that needed to go onto the “next time” list

three: In a massive “Oh my God, you can do this!” moment, my friend Emily showed me how to create my own map of NYC places on Google Maps. What this means my friend is that you can click on my link and you’ve got all my must-see places on one handy map.  I wish I’d done this before we travelled, as we could have checked out what was nearby on one of our many rambles around the city.  Genius Emily! 

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My Canggu/Seminyak guide

The last in my Bali trilogy is to share all the best bits of our stay in Canggu and Seminyak.

Where we stayed

I could quite happily have stayed on in Ubud for our whole trip, however I felt I should explore slightly further afield. I started to research hotels in the Seminyak and Canggu area once we were settled in Ubud, however my planning got waylaid with the more immediate problem of sorting our Ubud accommodation.

Over the same couple of days that I was dealing with the first failed attempt (anyone following my Insta stories would have witnessed the anguished, tear-stained meltdown I was having!!), one of my Insta followers – Justine – got in touch.

She said: “Lorraine my family have a beautiful place in Kaba Kabi Bali… It’s called Villa Eden and it’s a little bit of paradise. You are welcome to stay if you are still there with Lexi. It’s safe and a little bit of heaven. It looks like you and Lexi need a beautiful place to be… Why it touches my heart is Lorraine I wish I had been as brave and fearless when my first boy was 1.”

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Bali… with Baby

Making the decision to travel for two months with Lexi mostly solo was one I hadn’t really thought through when booking the flights. Wade would be joining us for eight days, and my mum and sister later on for ten days.

It was only a few days before we were due to leave that I started to freak out:

How would I manage on the flights?

What if she got sick?

What if I got sick and couldn’t care for her?

Would I get bored on my own with her?

Could I keep her entertained on my own?

What the hell would I feed her?

Would I be able to get the baby essentials she needed in Bali?

Would I have to pack a shitload of stuff?

And if I did, how would I manage it all on my own with Lexi as well?

Would I be tied to a hotel room all the time so she could sleep?

Would she sleep?

The list went on and on and on.

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My Ubud guide

So many of you have asked for all my Ubud recommendations that I had to get them all down in a blog post! Probably 90% of what I did in Ubud was based on recommendations from my beautiful followers on Instagram, so consider this a pay-it-forward exercise.

For those of you not following along on Instagram, Lexi and I have been on an Eat Pray Love Nappy Change adventure in Bali for the last six weeks.

I was exhausted after the last year (last six years if I’m honest), and I promised myself what I called a “spiritual adventure” once the business sale was completed. The plan was to dye my hair pink, get myself and Lexi matching ankle bracelets and chill the fuck out in Bali for a couple of months. Thankfully, my Mr. Amazing Wade was up for this idea, and the flights were booked: Lexi and I for eight weeks and him for a nine-day visit to see us.

In the time between booking the flights and the actual departure flight rolling around, I ended up dealing with a massive tax situation that knocked me for six, we bought a house and moved interstate.

As a result, I arrived in Ubud feeling (and looking) like a dishcloth that had been wrung out too many times. My brain was going a million miles an hour. My body ached from ongoing muscle tension. My skin was dull and I had massive dark circles under my eyes. I couldn’t sit still and I honestly thought I’d never be able to relax.

I left Ubud five weeks later feeling calmer and more grounded than I have in years (maybe ever?). My skin was glowing. My body was strong and nourished. Lexi and I were tighter – I discovered an even deeper delight in her. And maybe most importantly, my soul felt full – which means that Lexi’s soul also felt full.

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48 hours in Miami

As I write this, I’m 36,000 feet in the air and halfway between Miami and my destination of Los Angeles.  I had three nights in Miami post-Necker, originally to catch up with a friend who was travelling from New York to meet me.  However plans changed at the last minute as she had to be at work for the weekend.

So what was originally billed as a weekend of partying turned into a weekend of solo time – time that as it turned out was much-needed after the excitement, large group-ness and information overload of the week before; not to mention the book launching just before I left!

My little sis is Miami-bound soon for a couple of days before setting off on a Caribbean cruise (‘mazing!), so I promised her a download of my things to do while I was there – then figured that some of you might find yourself there sometime in future, so I should make a blog post out of it…

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New Year goalsetting part 2: Setting the goals

Another hotttttt day here in Kununurra.  I’m finding it fascinating how the people we’ve met here work their sleep around the heat of the rainy season.  The entire household is tucked up in bed by 8.30pm and up and at it by 6am at the latest – then everyone has a nap in the afternoon.  Yesterday morning we had hiked up Kelly’s Knob, showered and eaten breakfast all by 7.30am.

Kelly's Knob

Then in the afternoon we took a sunset cruise around Lake Argyle with about 15 friends.  It was just magical – it’s the largest manmade freshwater lake in Australia, is 22 times the size of Sydney Harbour and is 40 metres deep in one part.  It was one of those days that I was truly in awe of the beautiful world we get to live in.

Lake Arglye Cruises 1

Lake Argyle Cruises 2

Anyway, back onto the topic of goal-setting…

After doing the Wheel of Life exercise a couple of days ago, today I’ll be starting to get down to the nitty-gritty of articulating what my goals will be for the year – in between glugging down this stuff (just discovered it here, soooo good!).

Cocobella WM

Distracted again!!

The question I’ll be asking myself is: “What do I need to achieve in the immediate next 12 months to improve on those areas and get me closer to the ultimate vision I have for my life?”

My annual goal setting evolves year-on-year.  The first time I sat down and properly wrote my goals, it ran over two pages.  The problem was that it included goals but also habits – which are different things.

For example: “get super fit” is a goal, but “go to the gym four times a week” is a habit.  So the goal is what we want to achieve, but the habit is how we do it.  Having both goals and habits on there might work for you, so if so – go for your life!   I like my annual goals concise enough to squeeze onto one A4 sheet so I’m economical with what makes it on there.

I separate them into headings – Business, Personal Mission, Friends & Family, Wade, Travel, Wellbeing, Self-Development, Giving Back and Finance.

I then allocate specific, measurable goals to each of those headings in bullet points.  You will no doubt have read about S.M.A.R.T goals.  This approach states that goals must be Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.

I subscribe to S.M.A.R.T.E goals, which goes one step further and says that goals should also be Ecological – meaning they must be kind to you yourself, but also those around you and the planet.  There’s no point in setting a goal of tripling your business’s revenue if it means you’ll be a burnt-out shell of yourself by the end of the year and your partner hates your guts.

Here are some examples of goals you might set:

  • It’s the 1st of July and I’ve left my job to start my own business (this is a great one!!)
  • I will buy an investment property by the end of March
  • I will read ten books on business by the end of the year
  • I’ll increase the revenue of the business by 30% by May
  • I’ll be able to do a 50kg deadlift by my birthday
  • I’ll have two weekends away with my friends – one in March and one in November
  • I’ll visit three countries this year

An example of some of my goals for 2015 were:

  • Business – do a rebrand, recruit an assistant
  • Personal mission – write a book
  • Friends & family – see one Sydney friend a week
  • Finance – seek out tax advice
  • Self-development – do a fact-finding mission to the US
  • Wellbeing – do a one-week retreat
  • Wade – move to a bigger house together
  • Travel – trip to New Zealand with friends
  • Giving back – donate at least $10,000 to charity

My list of goals above from last year all have a deadline of the end of the year, however this year (2016) I’m going to break them down into quarterly plans and set a reward at the end of that quarter to give me an added incentive.  I’m thinking a bespoke handbag from Mon Purse for Q1…

If this goal-setting lark is all new to you, please don’t panic.  It can be really bloody difficult to predict 12 months out a goal that you can realistically achieve, but will also stretch you enough to make it worth doing.  You also don’t have a crystal ball that can predict the various hurdles, plot twists and changes of circumstances that might crop up while you’re earnestly out there trying to make magic happen.

However, a loose goal is better than no goal at all!

Do the best you can with the information you have to hand right now.  You can always modify the goal in time if you need to, but at least you’ve got a rough address in your GPS system that you’re working towards – you know what suburb you’re driving to, but maybe not the street just yet.  As time goes on, you’ll get a feel for what approach works for you and you’ll modify it to serve you best.  Just start somewhere!

I’m off to find a quiet corner with my notebook and pen… and another litre of coconut water.

Next up: New Year goal-setting part 3 – making goals a reality (AKA the weird things I do to keep myself accountable)

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Mastering the Melbourne biz trip: my plan of attack

Cover photo credit:

I’ve been travelling to Melbourne to see clients for the last two years, heading down every four months or so.

The trips have been hit and miss (mostly miss) in terms of productivity, and general stress levels.  I’ve tended to spend more time in taxis crossing and re-crossing Melbourne than in actual meetings – as well as spending far too much money in the process.  I also eat sooo much worse than I would at home, which results in me feeling like crap.

I had my Melbourne trip this week, and it’s the closest I’ve come to nailing the perfect itinerary, food, travel and accommodation.  I squeezed in five meetings and a party on day 1 and three more meetings on day 2, landing back in Sydney at 5pm on Thursday.

Here’s what I did:

1. Packed a plane breakfast

I got the 7.15am Virgin flight from Sydney, which meant I left the house at 6.20am – an hour earlier than I normally eat breakfast.  I packed a ziplock bag of celery and cucumber sticks and a plastic container of my bulk breakfast for the week – brown rice porridge with pumpkin, carrot and a dollop of natural yoghurt.  This meant that I had breakfast at my usual time and wasn’t craving croissants/bacon/general rubbish by the time I hit Melbourne.

2. Booked a cheap – and super handy – hotel

I used to book relatively pricey hotels ($150 per night or so) for biz trips to Melbourne…  Then I realised that I was spending all of eight hours in the room, and racking up a fortune in taxi fares getting to and from it.  I’ve found the perfect hotel for my trips now – it’s right next to Southern Cross Station, so I jump off the Skybus from the airport and am checked in within 10 minutes.  It’s $80 per night, is super clean and fairly quiet.  I checked out on the second morning and stored my luggage at the hotel, then cabbed it back after my last meeting, got into comfy clothes and strolled to the Skybus again.  It’s the Ibis Styles on King St.  Note: don’t have breakfast in the restaurant there – head to Kinfolk instead.

Ibis Styles

 3. Used Uber

I am constantly amazed at how hard it is to get a cab in Melbourne!  I assume it’s because everyone gets trams, but on a two-day trip time doesn’t allow for the inevitable number of times I’d get lost on them.  I use Uber in Sydney all the time, but for some reason it didn’t dawn on me to use it interstate as well.  It was BRILLIANT – the longest I waited for a car was 10 minutes and that was in a fairly far-out suburb.

4. Got meetings to come to me (and gave back in the process)

I used to go see everyone at their office, which resulted in the more-time-travelling-than-meeting problem.  This time, I booked in my first few meetings of each day back-to-back right by Southern Cross station at Kinfolk – a super cute social enterprise that’s run by volunteers and donates all profits to four development centres.  The tea/coffee is great, as was my smashed avocado on rye breakfast on day 2.  I love the décor, especially the old school desks for tables.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

5. Travelled in comfy clothes

I’m not a fan of getting up at 5.30am and having to do hair and make-up, and get into the meeting-friendly clothes I’m going to wear until that night.  I flew down in comfortable jeans, my Sperries and a big cosy striped sweater; then changed into my meeting clothes when I checked into the hotel.  By 2pm on day 2 and nine appointments later, I was thrilled to get back into my jeans and sweater when I went back to the hotel to collect my luggage!

6. Ate soup

I’ve seen this soup stand a few times at Southern Cross station, and finally tried it this time around.  Getting on the Skybus with a warming vegetable and lentil soup in my belly was the perfect ending to the trip.


So that’s my newly-formed Melbourne plan of attack!  What tips do you have for interstate trips?  Am I the only one who prefers to fly in snuggly sweaters?!


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