Category: Live

Best Date Night Ideas as Recommended by Me and the Internet

It’s official, we’ve put in fortnightly calendar reminders into our phones on Date Nights. After being married for a couple of years, its easy to take those moment together for granted. Yes you do spend time together at home and it seems like that should be enough, but have you been able to have a non-interrupted heart to heart conversation with a blaring tv, a pile of laundry, two fluffy animals and unpacking the dishwasher? I didn’t think so. Its impossible to spend ‘date night’ quality time at home.

I thought it was a funny things when you’d see couples on date nights. How can people forget how to spend time together I thought. Turns out its quite easy and its called LIFE. And this is before we have babies. What happens when those come along?

So here are some ideas on what we’ve done previously and what comes up when you Google things. Google knows everything, you might as well trust it with your love life :)

No, not quite. I had to pick out the few which particularly tickled my fancy and that seemed more or less affordable to do. SO if you don’t live in weekly episodes of the Bachelor and don’t have access to a helipad, have a look at these ideas, some cliche and old fashioned but tried and tested classics and some are perhaps new ideas?!

1. Dinner and a Movie

event cinemas

This is a good one. I used to love drive in movies because you always got to watch two movies, sit in the car under the stars and eat hot chips, but those were high school date days. For the usual dinner and movie, try to upgrade yourselves to Vmax instead of normal cinema. It’s a bigger screen, popcorn and soft drink included, comfier seats and you can also order hot food with service. In my view its a better bang for your buck than Gold Class.

2. Dinner and a view


Its actually this week’s date night that we’ll explore the O bar. We were recently there for an Engagement party and the views are absolutely stunning. Even in the rain, this venue is spectacular. There’s a great list of cocktails and the dinner menu looks yum. Oh and the best part, while you’re enjoying a drink and some romanticising, the restaurant, 47 floors above rotates so you can get a better view of Sydney while you wine and dine.

2. Comedy Store


This is a fun one! The Comedy Store at Fox Studios is a bit of a hidden venue. One night for date night we decided to just book tickets. The result was a night filled with laughs and we got to see a number of old and new comedians up on stage, hosted by a very funny guy. Forgive me funny guy, I don’t remember your name.

3. Spa/Massage

Romantic couple on spa holiday

This is a good one. Through recent spark of the likes of Groupon deals, its now easy to purchase a massage package at a more affordable rate than an arm and a leg. I frequently use Lime and Tonic  to indulge my small addiction to massages and spas. The best one so far has been the Swissotel Spa deal because they let you use their rooftop pool. The hotel spa is located in the middle of busy Sydney CBD but you really feel like you’re miles away when you’re getting the massage, using the spa and then chilling in the hotel pool.

4. See a musical/show/theatre/opera/circus


I’m a sucker for a good show. Anything – Classical music, Opera, Theatre, Musicals. I am not too keen on concerts, even though I love music, but I guess I love a show with a plot and a storyline more than anything else. On top of the classical stuff, I would never miss a Cirque du Soleil performance if I can help it. If you were to see one show per year, spend it on Cirque du Soleil. My favourite one so far was Ovo. A production which goes into the insect world (maybe it has something to do with my strange fascination with insects), but I had an absolute blast. Opera Australia do amazing subscription deals for under 30s and their performances are always extravagant and grand. Belvoir st theatre provides a good schedule for anything ranging from Shakespeare to Peter Pan, and don’t forget if you want to see Cate Blanchett or Hugo Weaving perform at legendary Sydney Theatre Company, sign up to their newsletter to be informed on season sales as those sell out like hotcakes.

5. Bowling

IMG_3223If you’ve exhausted the movie and dinner idea way too much, its time to go back to the good old high school and uni days when bowling was fun. To be honest I haven’t been in a bowling alley for about 5 years and a recent attempt to go bowling at Darling Harbour’s Harbourside Kingpin bowling resulted in playing pool which moves me onto point 6.

6. Pool


I believe one of our first dates was playing pool, and I think it was at the Kingpin Harborside! (Whaaat) I recall having dinner and then going to play pool. I am hopeless at the game but the banter made it fun and even though the place is not highly romantic, it gave us a chance to get to know each other better in a casual environment.

7. Golf or mini golf


Golf, well not really the 18 holes type of golf, the one at the driving range. It’s actually quite a relaxing activity. Sunday afternoons are perfect to go to Moore Park Driving Range and hit a few golf balls around. You can work on your technique or if one of you is better than the other, work on it together. Great in the summer when we have longer days and you have that sunset light lingering around. Another cool activity is Putt Putt or Mini Golf. We heard some sad news lately and unfortunately the Putt Putt place in Ermington  is closing down to make way for some residential development. So make your way over to the iconic and rare vintage mini golf course and see the 1969 course for the very last time (sigh).


8. Helicopter ride over Sydney (if you’re that way inclined)


photo 1

Okay this isn’t really a date night activity as such but a date day!?

We actually got to go on a helicopter ride with Bondi helicopters through a birthday voucher given to my husband for his 30th. I tagged along and we had a beautiful flight over Sydney. I sometimes forget how breathtaking Sydney really is and if you’re in one of those moods when your weekends are getting a bit too cliche and turning into routine, I strongly recommend booking yourself in for a helicopter ride. Sure its not an everyday thing but your impression of this city will change forever.

photo 5

photo 3

Please share your date night ideas in the comment section with me!




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The First Ever Sephora Store Opening in Sydney – What You Need to Know

Sephora-Marc-Jacobs-Beauty-and-plans-for-the-future.2Soo, its been long enough I say! Travelling to many places globally, my perception is that Sephora exists everywhere in the world except Australia. It would also be very helpful if it was located in one of the biggest airports in the world, the LAX (Thanks for considering this plea!) so that stopover time can be less painful in the future.

Sephora is coming to Sydney – the first ever store to open in Australia since the brand was first formed in the 1970. It’s not so bad when you look at a timeline for US and the first store for the States was open in 1998, makes us feel a bit better. We’re only 16 years behind that important date, not nearly half a century from the birth of the brand. (That would be embarrassing!)

With online shopping now available, we can browse the glorious virtual store at any  hour of the night or day, but is that the same thing? The one thing about Sephora is that it is a place that a beauty junkie like myself would highly compare to something resembling ‘heaven on earth’. Religious folk, don’t judge too harshly, and admit it, you’ve been to Sephora stores and forgot about time for an hour or too also, so we’re not so different after all.

sephora-bangkok-shopWhat do we love most about the stores? The variety of brands, from Sephora’s own in-house branded products ranging from make up brushes to body washes, and then there are the haute couture, fashion house, high fashion brands which release a myriad number of amazing beauty products we all love. The likes of Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Chanel, Guerlain have all been on the shelves of Sephora and for those who have tried to stay away from bags which you weigh up against an overseas holiday (all expenses paid) find it almost impossible to stay away from a little luxury starting with ‘just one spray’.Professional photography by Indian photographer Naina Redhu

Here are some of the brands already confirmed for launch in Australia: Full ranges of Marc Jacobs Beauty, Tarte, Kat Von D, MAKE UP FOR EVER, Andre Fullerton, Boscia, Skin Inc, For Beloved One, Formula X, Percy & Reed have all been confirmed for sale in Australia. More brands are to be announced in the coming months. (SMH)

I personally look forward to the likes of Urban Decay, Too Faced, Guerlain and MAC (expended range) and Sephora in house brand products.


One question remains – will we, the Australia consumers who have waited so long for this bliss of beauty products to descend on our shores, still have the benefits of US prices? After all, if it wasn’t for being able to afford the more staple beauty items, how could we ever afford a little luxury now and then?

Sources tell us that Sephora Australia is going to match US prices.

And again:

Sephora Australia will match the makeup and haircare prices of its US counterpart, making it the first beauty mecca to bring affordable cosmetics to the local masses. (Yahoo)


Now all that’s left to do is hold on to our seats and wait till December when Pitt s Mall in Sydney CBD will one day transform into queues of women lining up for hours to peek into the first Sephora store. For most it won’t be their first at all, but it will be the first for Australia, the first for Sydney, and that’s good enough for us!

What Sephora stocked products are you most excited about?


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WIN Mini Speakers! Power to You, the Consumer! Alphatise App Launches to Revolutionise the Shopper Sphere

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 1.34.07 PMAlphatise is the new social commerce marketplace that will bring a whole new approach to e-commerce for shoppers and gives you the chance to have a say in what you pay.

Alphatise lets you create a wish list by selecting a brand or product (choose from over 40,000 stores and 10Million products. Make an offer to that product or store and wait for it to come through. This can be either a % discount or a price you’d like to pay. Sort of like real time bargaining, but not in a marketplace, this is a total e- commerce experience through an app.

How does it work?

1. Search, Scan, Discover
Find all your favourite stores or anything you need to buy.

2. Wish
Set the price you’d like to pay, or the discount you want.

3. Offers
Wait for offers that match your wishes. Accept an offer, reject it, or send it to a friend. Redeem your offer in store or shop online.



Visit the website here:

We’ve paired up with Alphatise to run a giveaway for you my readers!

10 Lucky peeps will win these mini Alphatise speakers.

How cool are they?

Alphatise Speakers



1. Download the Alphatise app using the link HERE

2. Make a wish on an item or store with your Alphatise app

3. Screenshot this wish list item and share on Instagram with #liveshoptravel #alphatiseaustralia Tag @alphatiseaustralia

Thats it! The lucky winners will be drawn on the 28th of August and published on the blog.

Good luck!


- Vanessa K

-  Amanda Richards



Must have a valid Australian postal address to enter.

Closes on the 27th of August (midnight).

10x Winners will be drawn and published on the 28th of August 2014.

Prize cannot be exchanged for cash.



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