Ruby Assembly’s annual holiday blog for is a departure from years past. Rather than glittering gowns, faux snow (snaux?) and floral wreaths, Ruby Assembly present you with our Ultimate Guide to Summer 2018.

When I think of Aussie Summers, it’s the delights of the domestic that speak to me of seasonal cheer. That’s why we chose to shoot our holiday guide at our local haven of frill-free Christmas treats: Northcote Plaza. Not renovated since the early ’80s, it’s a cream-tiled hub with two Coles, a Kmart, a Baker’s Delight and various $2 Shops. When the holidays arrive, Northcote Plaza becomes a tinsel-shrouded, toddler-filled haven stuffed with families having coffees, doing their Christmas Shopping and stopping by Priceline for a last minute handcream gift for Nana.

No matter what the cover of the Australian Women’s Weekly might suggest, Aussie Christmas holidays are more about the drowsy pleasure of slightly damp car-rides back from the pool than fancy family get-togethers on Sydney Harbour. They’re more Northcote Plaza than Harrods, amirite?

To help you enjoy your best-ever holiday, Ruby Assembly have put together our Ultimate Guide to Summer 2018: enjoy Iolanthe, Emma and Georgia’s top tips for the lazy, local season to come!

This Summer, Iolanthe will …
Go for daily walks along the Merri Creek, around the ‘Tan, by the beach or along the Murray River – depending on where I’m at!
Enjoy heaps of yoga at Eve Studio and online via Yoga with Adriene.

See I, Tonya and Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the movies.

Work my way through novels including Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire, Sarah Bailey’s The Dark Lake and White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte.

Wear my hot pink Barbie togs at the Brunswick Baths while strutting.

Binge on anything featuring Sarah Lancashire including Happy Valley, The Paradise and Last Tango in Halifax.

Lie on my Shakti Mat. In the morning. In the afternoon on the porch. In the afternoon.

Really enjoying my planners: this year I’ll be completing Leonie Dawson’s My Shining Life, My Shining Biz and Biddie Tarot’s 2018 Guide.

Listening to Podcasts and Audiobooks including My Favourite Murder, Black Hands, The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Making Cypriot Grain Salad and reacquainting myself with the Nutri-Bullet for greens-packed morning smoothies.
Spending time in the Dandenong Ranges with a dear friend returned from overseas.

Going to the National Gallery of Victoria and Heide MOMA. Cultcha, innit.

Watching fireworks explode across the sky on New Year’s from a unique vantage point in Brunswick East.

Enjoying ice-cold Gordon’s Gin & Tonic tinnies while cooking dinner or at BBQs.

Play long-neglected games on my Playstation including Drake’s Unchartered.

Splash around in the surf, snooze in my beach tent on the Mornington Peninsula.

Watch classic Australian 70’s cinema I don’t have the concentration for during the year. Gallipoli, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Wake In Fright, Mad Max etc.

Visit Hanging Rock and bring my copy of Janelle McCulloch’s Beyond the Rock to read there.

Take dance classes at Eve Studio or rock out in the loungeroom to The Fitness Marshall.

Picnics by the Yarra River or at the Botanical Gardens.

At least one serious dumpling and garlic spinach session at New Shanghai while shopping the sales.

Disconnecting from technology as often as possible.

Binge on YouTube and Netflix Docos. Also, I’m trying to find ‘The Price of Gold’ ESPN documentary online – without much success!

Spend time playing Punderdome and Scopa with my family.

This Summer, Emma will …
Read the thrillers stacked up on my bedside table!

Read Broke Millennial – I’d got really savvy with saving, but since buying our first apartment I’ve let myself go a little!

Drink Christmas drinks at Starbucks and pretend I’m in my ex-local on High Street Kensington warming up from the cold.

Binge watch Riverdale.

Enjoy lazy days at Carnegie Swim Centre.

Write personal, financial, travel and work goals for 2018.

Cook Pigs in Blankets (a British tradition).

Wander round the CBD on my own.

Swim in the ocean.

Skype friends in the UK – time often gets away from us and we don’t get around to it.

Do a final wardrobe cleanse – I’ve been gradually capsuling my wardrobe and letting go of things that don’t bring me joy. I’ve been doing it in waves to lessen the impact, and there’s probably a few things I could still get rid of.

Write the ever-growing list of blog posts on my ‘notes’ file in my iPhone.

Do a digital detox – no devices for a whole day.

Get a relaxing massage with a voucher I’ve been hoarding since my birthday!

Practice my freestyle lap swimming.

Lock in my 2018 Half Marathon.

Go out for coffees and meals with my partner and just talk. We’re guilty of getting takeaway and catching up on TV shows or football games – I love actually going out and having a conversation!

Get some electrical work done at our apartment.

Stream the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day (well, night in Australian time).

Practice my photography and continue my online course.

Go to Rippon Lea’s Outdoor Cinema.

Go to a pool Sunday at the Adelphi.

Get back into pilates at The Habitat Space.

Lay on my Shakti mat daily.

Plan the places I want to visit in 2018. Singapore, Noosa and Fiji are on the list!

This Summer, Georgia will …
Swim as much and in as many locations as possible.

Barbecue all the foods.

Catch someone out in backyard cricket.

Ensure an endless stock of Cheezles in pantry – eyes on supermarket specials, as always.

Much music! Gigs and shows with friends, housemates, siblings, cousins … Nana?

Finish two books (minimum).

Learn to drive a manual car.

Be the first person to jump of the cliff at the Dredge Hole for 2018.

Lots of bush walks with Mum, maybe climb Mt Feathertop again?

Not get bitten by a snake.

Look stunning in the annual Castricum family Christmas photo.

Nail a front flip into the pool.

Learn all the words to a new favourite album (yet to be decided).

Picnic as many meals as possible.

Make plans and goals and dreams for the New Year.

Watch fireworks.

Lots of movie afternoons after beach/ pool trips with my housemates.

Try every colour in my new NAKED eyeshadow palette (thanks Iolanthe).

Have some early nights.

Have some late nights.

Many trips to Billie van Creamy for chocolate ice cream.

Have a little remember of all the happy moments and people I’ve met over the year that’s passed.

Write them down.

Just be with my friends and siblings and mum and dad as much as possible.

Get ready for a really, really great 2018.

Happy Holidays! See you at Northcote Plaza! 

Photographer: Breeana Dunbar