How to Make Her Birthday One to Remember!

With some woman it’s not so much the gift that steals their heart but more about the time & effort that has gone into the gift. Here are two ideas to make her day one to remember:

Idea no# 1: Send her on a Shopping hunt.

Take her to shopping mall and make her sit down for a coffee whilst you say your going to duck off and will send her a text when you’re ready.

The structure of the event looks like this-

1. Head to her favourite shops and buy something.

2. Ask the sales assistant at the counter if you can leave it here for your girlfriend/partner to pick it up.

3. Tell them its her birthday and you’re going to send her on a shopping hunting adventure.

4. Ensure she can exchange it then and there if it isn’t correct fit/colour etc.

5. Send her a cheeky text message ” Happy Birthday sweetie- your mission for the Next 2hrs is to find me. I have left traces at particular shops you need to collect along the way- go into the shop and tell the shop assistant who you are and ask if ‘Brad has left anything for you?’. If for any reason you feel the need to try on a clue feel free. Stand by for more notice amd your next clue.

6. Send new text message with a shop & instructions- go to Sportsgirl and ask for Amy at the counter. Stand by for next sms.

7. Obviously this depends on how much cash you have and want to blow. You can send her to cheaper shops that are great bang for buck like Diva, Myer, ICE or to somewhat more higher ticket price like country road, Armani exchange.

8. A great tip to ensure you get the service and perhaps a helping hand is tell the assistant first what you’re doing what the service pour on out!! Who knows…..it will probably make their day fun too and turn around and say to the other shop assistants “oh I wish my man did that for me!”

Idea no#2: Mission Impossible:

Similar to the above event but send her to different locations leaving clues:

The structure of the event looks like this-

1. Leave a message on a pieces of paper, voice mail, text message:

‘This is mission impossible, to claim your birthday present you will be sent intricate messages to solve your case. Please text to this number and say “I Accept” you have until 2pm.’

2. Once you have the “I accept’ – send the next message. ‘Go into your wardrobe and get dressed into a sexy going out outfit that will turn heads. Text back when you are ready.’

3. Once she has text back- you order a taxi/limousine to pick her up. In the meantime while she is waiting send her the next text.

“Open the fridge there is a bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass and relax until there is a knock at the door where you’ll be taken to the next location’.

4. Whilst she is on her way you should be at the bar/restaurant or drop of point waiting…. Or you could continue the game with messages to particular places and locations eg: she could collect something from a train station locker (eg : a present/gift locked inside)- or send her to shops to collect things along the way.

Shopping in the Gold Coast

With a multitude of Shopping centres and arcades open for late night shopping seven days a week, its hard to know where to start your retail therapy in Surfers Paradise. Here are a few suggestions.

Surfers Paradise Boulevard: This is considered the epicenter for all shopping. Here you can find retail strips such as Circle on Cavill and Chevron Renaissance. There are also many other boutiques and accessory shop like, Zimmerman, Sportsgirl, Toy, and Le Mouton, Via La Mode and Wigs in Maryon’s European Designer Shoes & Accessories.

Elkhorn Avenue: While you are making your way to the beach at the end of the Avenue you can enjoy shopping for some of the most exclusive brands. Shops for you to browse around here include Prada, Bally, the Hourglass Watch shop, Hermes, Motegi USA and Cartier.

Orchid Avenue: At night this is a famous strip for nightclubs and fun evenings. During the day, you can browse through boutiques and designer stores, including Phases for Men and Cadillac Cowboy (which have a large variety of labels geared towards men). The Forum Arcade is the spot for you when you are looking for brands such as, Louis Vuitton, Loewe and Charles Jourdan.

Cavill Avenue: More high-end brand names can be found at the DFS Galleria. Brands includes Coach, Bvlgari, Tiffany and Co, Christian Dior, Burberry and Fendi – some at duty free prices. For casual wear, Gold Coast style, try surf stores: Cult and City Beach. The lush Circle on Cavill houses brands exclusive to the Gold Coast as well as International and Australian cosmetic and fashion labels.

Centro: Surfers Paradise’s is also home to Centro, the largest shopping centre in the area. They have over 100 shops that specialize in beach, swim and resort wear, along with all the latest fashions. Along with shopping there is a wonderful alfresco restaurant as well as a Woolworths supermarket and an Australian Post retail centre.

The Esplanade Markets: On Wednesday’s and Friday’s from 5:30pm until 10pm, these markets become an exciting mix of one of a kind, locally made products. It houses 120 stalls and is the Gold Coast’s only beach front night markets. It is also a great place to pick up gifts for your family and friends back home.

The Diverse Markets in Melbourne

The city of Melbourne’s life and culture is always described to be rich and interesting. This affluent culture is nonetheless reflected in the diverse kinds of markets or shopping areas. Since there are various ethnic communities and sub-cultures in Melbourne, the city’s glamour and fashion are somewhat a mixture of allure and style. Products, foods and sometimes music comprise the entirety of the market.

The Rose Street Artists Market is one shopping area to look for art and craft products particularly on Saturdays in the unconventional and free area of Fitzroy. This market resembles other similar shopping areas in New York, London and Berlin wherein participating artists directly sell their works to the public. Every Saturday when the market is open, there are about 70 renowned designers and artists who display their works of art and ingenuity. Each year, more than 400 of these artists contribute to the market who offer high quality and distinct work of Art. Aside from artistic creations, there are also gourmet cafes providing lunch and coffee and live entertainment shows to watch and listen.

The Camberwell Sunday Market is a place to see if you are on the lookout for quality pre-owned items. Behind the main street shops is a car park where this market is held. From this market you will find some second hand designer items and clothing as well as house wares ranging from collectibles, jumbles, recycled and vintage pieces.

The Queen Victoria Market completes the city of Melbourne. This market holds its operation on the original city market buildings that were built during the early days of 1840. In this bazaar place you will find and buy some fresh foods like meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. There are also European cheeses, sausages, breads and other delicatessen. Basically, retailers in this Vic Market offers items at discounted and bargain prices, even those didgeridoo, sporting memorabilia, Italian designer bags or leather jackets. Night Markets are also held in this Vic Market every Wednesday night from December to February. Aside from the already mentioned goods, Vic Market has live entertainment, natural health and crafts stalls, foods and wines places.

The Esplanade Market is located in St. Kilda and is one among the great markets to visit in Melbourne especially on a good and perfect-weathered Sunday. Being on a walkway location, this market is a perfect hangout and shopping area before or after a relaxing walk on the beach. There are roughly 200 artists and crafts people who display their original works comprised of handmade artworks, woodworks, glass, paper, resin, and even recycled works.

The St. Andrew’s Market is dubbed as an alternative market that holds operation every Saturdays. The highlights of this market are handmade and home grown produces. Composed of Chai tent and jammed people taking a look at displayed goods ranging from tie-died clothing, elegant jewelries, toys and plants and other sold items perfect as gifts and treats.

The Bridge Road Richmond is perfect for budget shopping for some branded goods like Sportsgirl, Witchery, Esprit, Nine West and other locally known clothing labels. This Bridge Road has shops lined from the corner of Punt Road all the way to Burnley Street where there are various outlets for bargained buys.

Fashion Compass Tour: Sydney’s North South East And West

Sydney North, Chatswood Chase, Chatswood Westfield.

The very name conjures images of High End Fashion therapy. Oh yes… Alannah Hill, Ben Sherman, Carla Zampatti & David Lawrence. This centre definitely has the ABC & D of Designer boutiques; if you are looking for a centre that is easy on the eye… this place is for you.

From the very first moment you step through the doors you are overcome by a feeling of luxury, yet strangely you don’t feel uncomfortable or uneasy at all… there is a sense of comfortable organisation about this centre.

A handful of lovely inviting coffee shops will have you well rested and hydrated for your favourite brands and labels. Whilst this centre does cater for the more label conscious, it also offers alternative chain stores, such as, Baku Jewellery, Cue, Esprit Collection & Jigsaw, just to name a few.

A Stroll down Victoria Avenue (home of So Good Accessories, a great must-do Pitt stop), finds you at Chatswood Westfield… yes a large chain store epicentre, though I do find that this particular Westfield does offer many more exclusive stores than most other Westfield Shopping Centres. Aldo Shoes, AKA Cosmetics, Asakaze, Calla Fashion & Iconic. Also offering a sprinkling of great rest stops to rest and rejuvenate.

I have become rather fond of this end of town and the retail therapy it has to offer. I would definitely recommend a visit to both of these eclectic centres. I rate these centres collectively a 5/5 they have it all, and although a little bit further than a stones throw from my local area… I do not mind the trip at all.

Make a day of it and visit both centres, have some lunch and just cruise through the shops at a leisurely pace, why rush something that brings so much pleasure? I cannot really put an age appropriate category on these centres as they are so vast with their offerings… lets just say anyone whom enjoys a good retail therapy session these centres are a must!

Sydney East, Crowne Street, Surry Hills & King Street, Newtown.

A favourite little hotspot of mine, Crowne Street, Surry Hills… home to the infamous line of vintage clothing outlets.

First Stop… Grandma Takes A Trip, Zoo Emporium…. & Cream on Crown… and this is just in ONE of the many streets in Surry Hills and the surrounding area that is absolutely littered with fabulously eccentric and retrospective vintage stores, featuring both apparel and lifestyle fashions. I have rather fond feelings for this place as it holds very dear memories of shopping foray’s with my closest friend and will always be a very inviting area for me to visit due to my penchant for all things vintage.

A personal stylist discovering the hidden treasures of Sydney

Home of Newtown Festival, Newtown definitely offers a vivid and exciting range of funky fashion and accessories and everything you could ever think of. In particular, King Street, Newtown offers a large variety of vintage shops (especially down the St Peters end of King Street), however, it also provides a smorgasbord of unique designer shops… a niche market if you will… Sassafrass Fashion, Crazy Horse Clothing Co, Just Feathers, One Honey Boutique, Pretty Dog, Elvis 4 Cleo and oh boy there are so so many I get excited and inspired just thinking about them all… sheesh. In short… this Long Long Road of alternative lifestyle is certainly an eye opener culturally and fashion wise.

Personal Stylist need their coffee too

Stimulating your senses along the way all sorts of delicious cuisines capture your appetite and I will not even go into the numerous cultural food offerings that are scattered all the way along King Street… lets just say… it’s a FEAST!!!!!!

OK so I know that I am biased especially with these two fabulous outdoor shopping hot spots but… I do have to take a mark off for the exposure to the elements… on a overcast miserable day like we have today… I would say its not as enjoyable as a warm summers Sunday stroll… far too cold to be outside but alas the brave do still venture out. The age group again is way to difficult to determine but I would have to put it down to say 15-35 maybe even further stretched to 40 due to the vintage feel to the market.

Sydney South, Miranda Fair – WESTFIELD

This has to be one of my very favourite shopping spots in Sydney

A gathering of bohemian, laid back shoppers in a splattering of fantastic designer and top end shopfronts. Miranda, being one of the many coastal fringe areas of the popular South Sydney beaches, it dedicates itself to sun, surf and a wonderful holiday type feel.

Miranda Fair is like a well-balanced outfit.

It showcases a large number of unique stores such as Tigerlilly, Code Orange and Inspired Tribe (just to name a few), accenting these unique stores with the wonderful and classic designer/top end stores of David Lawrence (a personal favourite), Country Road, Cue & of course Guess. Miranda, also offers a large number of chain stores such as Just Jeans, Glue, General Pants, Bloch, Bardot and many many more.

The laid back environment of this fantastically large (but not too large) shopping centres adds to the wonderful bonus of being just a stones throw from the beautiful beaches of Cronulla… beach, shopping PERFECT!!!!!!!

I find it hard to be unbiased about this particular shopping centre but I do believe that you always go back to where you feel comfortable and where you know you will find a large variety of quality stores under the one roof, therefore I give Miranda a 4 star rating. I take one star off for not being in my local area:O) I also have to add, that this centre is mainly in my opinion directed toward a younger age bracket purely due to size I would say it would appeal mostly to the ages of 18- 65.

CAMPBELLTOWN Collectively

Macarthur Square, Ahhh the local shopping centre…

And to me quite a regular hot spot for fashion spotting. A little bit out of the way to some, but a whole lot of fun for those that have not ventured out this way before. Home to David Jones, Diana Ferrari, Bardot, Cue, Jacquie E, Queenspark, Ally, Collette Accessories & La Senza Lingerie… Sportsgirl, Portmans, Sheridan Shoes & of course Brooklyn Boutique. Macarthur Square showcases a broad range of both middle market- high-end fashion to the modest Cotton On, Rubi Shoes, Valley Girl and other more chain-store variety retail outlets.

Campbelltown also is a winner due to the number of personal stylist hot spots.

First up we have Macarthur Square (as aforementioned), Campbelltown Mall, Queen Street, Campbelltown (a fabulous treasure of hidden jewels waiting to be discovered & highly underestimated), Brands on Sale (our very own DFO) and Trade Secrets… what’s not to love about Trade Secrets, another regular Pitt stop of mine. Mix in some vintage shops such as Mission Australia,

(Woodbine), Salvos, (Queen St, Campbelltown), Vinnies (Warby St, Campbelltown) & further out Treasures on Argyle (Argyle Street, Camden), Anglicare (Narellan Town Centre) & Lifeline (Queen St, Narellan), most being my most visited shops ever. Although Campbelltown’s Fashion hot spots are more widely spread then most areas… this makes for very interesting shopping escapades that are really a great treat. As a rating I would have to give Campbelltown a 4/5 purely due to the fact that there is a shortage of high end fashion labels available and also on the upside its local, and there is variety. I really cannot put an age on this one due to the variety but on a push I would have to say a younger audience 25-35 as this is an age where I find most people come into there own fashionably and find there own style. With that said though, it is definitely worth a trip out to the “so called” “sticks”.

SO, there you are, the North,South, East & West of Sydney Shopping spots, I do hope that you take some time to visit these unique shopping venues.