Anny Wang for Kester Black

Earlier this year Kester Black released Part 1 of their annual colour collection. To showcase their new nail polish shades, Kester Black enlisted the talent of Copenhagen spatial designer and visual artist Anny Wang to create a series of mesmerising images. These images have been sitting in my e-mail inbox for some time and I don’t know why I’m only just getting around to sharing them now, but better late than never right? The new nail polishes range from sandy pale pink to rich chocolate-brown shades and come with names such as Perennial, Rust, Petra, and Quartz. You can shop the new colours online (heads up: Kester Black now ship internationally) or via a Kester Black stockist. You can also see more of Anny’s work on her website and on Instagram.

[Images: Kester Black]

Miranda Skoczek for Gorman

I love a good collaboration and Gorman’s Winter 2015 collection, which called upon the talent of Australian artist Miranda Skoczek, hits the ball way way way out of the park. As soon as I started seeing teasers of this collection on Gorman’s Instagram feed I knew it would bring the goods. The Winter 2015 collection is made up of 56 pieces spanning across apparel and homewares and after seeing some of the pieces in store, my jaw is well and truly dropped. All of the prints in this collection have been established from five original artworks painted by Miranda which fit right into the Gorman aesthetic (read: colourful, kooky, treading the fine line between eccentric and batshit crazy, yet totally wearable). I am ALL OVER that ‘Mad Snake’ print. These are just some of my favourite looks and you can see the rest of the Miranda Skoczek for Gorman collection on Gorman’s website.

[Images: Gorman]

Sydney Instagram Diary

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d have noticed that I’ve spent the past couple of days in Sydney. With fairly limited time, I basically ended up doing the Instagram tour of Sydney. I flew in on Friday to rainy weather and spent the afternoon hanging out in cafes before meeting up with friends for dinner. Thankfully I woke up to blue skies on Saturday and spent the morning sweating it out on the Bondi to Bronte walk, eating brunch at Bondi Wholefoods, and checking out the Bondi Farmers Markets. After a fairly healthy morning it all went downhill from there with a visit to Aqua S and a night of drinking and delicious food at a friend’s engagement party. Sunday morning was spent at The Grounds of Alexandria before heading to Pana Chocolate for some raw chocolate treats. In amongst all of this I also managed to check out the shopping, visit a few art galleries, and of course stop by the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. I also took a bunch of film photos which I’ll hopefully post up here shortly.
1. The classic Bondi Icebergs shot
2. Sea salt ice cream with sweet popcorn from Aqua S
3. Flowers at The Grounds of Alexandria
4. More cuteness at The Grounds of Alexandria
5. Coffee from The Paramount Coffee Project (which was conveniently so close to where I was staying)
6. It’s Such a Thin Line Between Clever and Stupid by Aleks Danko at the Museum of Contemporary Art

You can see a few more photos from the trip over on my Instagram.

The Black Dress Edit

Black dresses. They’re a wardrobe staple, right? Funnily enough, despite the amount of black in my wardrobe (tops, skirts, jackets, jeans etc.), I don’t currently own any black dresses. I may have owned some the past but in most cases would have bought them on the spur of the moment and worn them once or twice before eventually culling them. So now I’m looking to fill that gap in my wardrobe. These are a few black dresses from some fab Antipodean brands that I’d be more than happy to have on high rotation in my wardrobe. You can click on the images above or links below to shop the pieces.

Kinki Gerlinki ‘Bossy’ dress
APOM ‘The Lotta’ dress
Soot pleated swing dress

9 Things to do in Brisbane in April

Doughnut Time
I’m a bit late on this month’s list of what’s on in Brisbane but now that Easter’s out of the way here are some things to do for the remainder of April.

Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land until 21 June at GOMA
This is the first major exhibition of New Zealand contemporary artist Michael Parekowhai’s work. Best of all, the exhibition is free and you can see some photos in one of my previous posts.

Banff Mountain Film Festival: 13-17 April at the Powerhouse Theatre
The Australian leg of this iconic film festival tour consists of two and a half hours of mountain-themed short films. This one’s for the adrenaline junkies and wanderlusters.

Crochet Step by Step: 15 April at Rouge Coffee
If, like me, you never took any notice when your grandma offered to teach you how to knit and crochet but in hindsight you should have paid ALL OF THE ATTENTION then this workshop will help right those wrongs. Tea cosies and snuggly beanies ahoy!

Twin Peaks Trivia Night: 15 April at the GOMA Cafe Bistro
Bad news is that David Lynch is out of the upcoming Twin Peaks remake. Good news is that you can test your knowledge of Laura Palmer’s murder and go in the running to win David Lynch-themed goodies at the Twin Peaks trivia night being held at GOMA.

Brisbane Twilight Markets: 17 April at King George Square
I’m a sucker for markets and also late night shopping in the city so this kills two birds with one stone, as well as my wallet.

4ZZZ Street Soundzzz: 18 April at 4ZZZ HQ
If you’re under 25 and interested in learning more about Brisbane’s iconic community broadcaster then head to Street Soundzzz for station tours, workshops, markets, and live bands.
Friday Nite Snackdown: every Friday night at Fish Lane
If you like Fridays, snacks, puns, and pitting foods against each other to see which will reign supreme on your tastebuds then end your week at Fish Lane for Friday Nite Snackdown, presented by Wandering Cooks.

Kokedama Workshop: 26 April at Showroom, Paddington
Spend the afternoon making your own moss balls under under the direction of Caroline from Wilde Flora. Classes cost $95 and include two handmade kokedamas to take home as well as a cuppa and some nibbles.

An Evening With Noel Fielding: 27 April – 7 May at QPAC
Most shows are sold out but if you stalk the ticketing page you might just get lucky!

(Top image taken at Doughnut Time/Alfredo’s Pizzeria but doughnuts and pizza are every month foods, amiright?)

Carry On

I’m heading down to Sydney for a long-ish weekend in April, and as such am only bringing carry on luggage*. Finding the right carry on bag is always tricky for me and the last time I travelled I used a large bowler-style bag. However, this time I’m thinking of sticking to a backpack like the Kånken backpack from Fjällräven. It’s roomy enough to fit a few changes of clothes and light toiletries without being cumbersome to carry. I’m heading down for an engagement party so will need at least one dressy outfit but for the rest of my stay I’ll largely be wearing casual tops/jeans/skirts. It’s a given that I’ll be wearing bulkier things like jackets and boots on the plane, leaving room in my carry on for lighter objects. I’m terrible at packing light and have enough trouble deciding how many cameras to bring (I’m thinking of leaving the DSLR at home but argh!) so this will definitely be an exercise in restraint. Apart from things like clothes, tickets, and personal effects, these are a few of my travelling essentials.
– A sturdy carry on bag with zip closures. The more compartments the better.
Film camera. I always try and take one film camera with me, in addition to my iPhone 6 and/or a digital camera.
The Horse Watch. I always wear a wristwatch when travelling. Obviously so I can keep track of the time but also because it can be pretty annoying having to constantly fish your phone out to check the time.
Side bag. So I can keep the important stuff like my wallet, phone, tickets etc. on me at all times.
Travel-sized toiletries. One of my favourite parts of travelling is buying all of the miniature things.
– Socks. Because bare feet on planes/trains/buses are gross.
– Headphones. There’s nothing worse than having time to kill and realising you don’t have any headphones to plug into your phone/tablet/laptop.
Pouch. It’s always handy to have something to store loose items in. This one really speaks to me because it’s pretty much the only way I can get on a plane. I’m not super anxious about flying and I always enjoy the view but at the end of the day it’s just not my favourite thing to do.
– Not pictured: patience. Sometimes everything goes to plan. Sometimes it doesn’t. Stressing out doesn’t help so you might as well just sit back and try to enjoy the ride.
*That said, I made sure that my return flight includes checked baggage just in case I decide to buy all of the things.

What’s On at GoMA

Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA
I went to the Gallery of Modern Art on the weekend to check out a few of their latest exhibits (you can see my last trip to the Future Beauty exhibit here). The big drawcard right now is the David Lynch: Between Two Worlds retrospective but there’s also the recently opened Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land exhibit, the Japanese Art After 1989 exhibit, and the gallery’s collection of Indigenous art on display as well. While the David Lynch retrospective is on the unsettling/moody/messed up side of things, the Michael Parekowhai and Japanese art exhibits are a good remedy to that. I’ve already shared some photos over on Instagram but here are a few more that I snapped on my iPhone.

Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA
Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA
David Lynch: Between Two Worlds
David Lynch: Between Two Worlds Japanese Art After 1989
Japanese Art After 1989
Japanese Art After 1989

Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land
1. He Kōrero Pūrākau Te Awanui o Te Moto: Story of a New Zealand River, 2011 & Rules of the Game, 2015
2. Home Front, 2015
3. The Horn of Africa, 2006
4. The English Channel, 2015

David Lynch: Between Two Worlds
5. I forget what this series was called. Oops.
6. Woman With  Dream, 2007

We Can Make a Better Future: Japanese Art After 1989
7. Y.N.G.M.S. (Y.N.G.’s Mobile Studio), 2009 by Yoshitomo Nara and graf
8. PixCell Double Deer #4, 2010 by Kohei Nawa
9. Soul Under the Moon, 2002 by Yayoi Kusama. I’ve visited this installation pretty much every time it’s been on display at the gallery. The first time I was still in high school. I still love it.

Leonard St. AW15

The autumn/winter collections are coming in thick and fast. One of the latest to hit my inbox is from Australian label Leonard St. Known for their use of bright colours and bold prints, their AW15 collection definitely delivers. The key prints in this collection include the Eagle Floral, the Travel Print, the Abstract Floral, and the 50s Spot. The colour palette for this collection is distinctly autumnal, with lush greens and rich maroons sitting pretty against black and grey basics. The AW15 collection is currently available in stores and online, and you can see more of the collection over on the Leonard St. website.

Images: Leonard Street

Hanging Planters for the Home

Right now I’m all about hanging planters. Now, they might not be so practical for someone who’s had a lifelong tendency to bump their head on anything and everything (the struggle is real you guys) but they sure do a good job of sprucing up a space. These are just a few pretty pieces I’ve spotted both in real life (hello Patterson + Steele moon pot at the Finders Keepers Markets) and online. Click on the images above or links below to shop the items directly.

2. Vessel and Vine Cement Marbled Hanging Planter (I already own one of their cone planters which you can see in this post)

Finders Keepers Film Photos

Finders Keepers Markets

I’ve had a few rolls of film just sitting around for the past couple of months so thought it was about time to get them developed. These photos are from assorted Finders Keepers markets in Brisbane and are probably a year or two old. I used to love taking film photos but these days getting them developed, especially the cost of doing so, can be such a pain (FYI I got my negatives developed by Camera House for $7.50 per roll and then scanned them myself). I was really looking forward to getting these photos back but ended up being a bit underwhelmed with them. I wouldn’t normally edit film photos but ended up auto correcting the colour of these in Photoshop because they came back with this red tinge that I didn’t really like. I’m not sure if that was from the film, my camera, how they were developed, or my scanner but I guess that’s the unexpected nature of film photography.

Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets
Finders Keepers Markets

The Edit

As much as I love a good print, a majority of my wardrobe is made up of basics. I own a ridiculous number of striped tops and white tees, and there’s something so comforting and appealing about having a pared back wardrobe. This is why the The Edit, by boohoo.com, has caught my eye. I haven’t really paid much attention to boohoo in the past but their AW15 campaign is pretty on point for those looking for key pieces to add to their autumn/winter wardrobes. The Edit consists of ten ‘must haves’ that not only include personal favourites like the denim shirt and skirt but also the camel coat, the cable knit sweater, the waterfall jacket, and the duster coat. Check out the rest of the campaign images, below, or head to the website to shop the collection.

Images c/o boohoo.com

7 Things To Do In Brisbane In March


Every month there seems to be a bunch of stuff going on in Brisbane but I always happen to find out about them far too late. So this month I thought I’d take a proactive approach and search out what’s happening around town in advance. Read on for my pick of things to look forward to in Brisbane this March.

Park the Truck: 6 March at the Roma Street Parklands

The first Friday in March will see the inaugural ‘Park the Truck’ food truck meet roll into the picturesque Roma Street Parklands. Food truck vendors will include The Bun Mobile, Goat Pie Guy, Oi! Taco, King of the Wings, Vira Lata, Fire ‘n’ Dough, Fiery Deli, German Hut, Juicy Jungle, Chip Tease, Little Black, Flinders Coffee, and Yummy Fruit Ice-creamery.

Marie Claire Up Late: 12 March at James St, Fortitude Valley

Shop up a storm at the Marie Claire Up Late event on James St. You’ll not only be given after-dark access to stores but you’ll also be able to meet the designers behind some beloved Australian brands. Designers in attendance will include Lisa Gorman, Gail Sorronda, and Ingrid Verner. There will also be plenty of special offers and discounts to keep you (and your wallet) occupied throughout the night.

Alliance Française French Film Festival: 13 March – 1 April at Palace Cinemas

The French Film Festival is a firm fixture in my calendar. Taking in several destinations around Australia, it’s the largest festival of French films outside of France. The festival curates a selection of contemporary French films including dramas, comedies, documentaries, and more.

Once Upon a Wine: 13 March starting at Jak + Hill in Spring Hill
Once Upon a Wine are a series of events organised by The Vino Geek. The night will include four Wright Roberston (New England) wines matched to a four course dinner. Good wine and good food – what more can you ask for, really?

I have been looking forward to this exhibition ever since GoMA announced it last year. ‘Between Two Worlds’ will showcase an extensive range of Lynch’s paintings, photography, and works on paper. The Gallery will also be screening a complete retrospective of Lynch’s films, videos, and works for TV throughout the duration of the exhibition. Unfortunately I missed out on tickets to see the man himself “In Conversation” at QPAC but there’s no way I’m going to miss seeing this exhibition.

The High Tea Party: 14 and 15 March at the Hilton Brisbane
Not your ordinary high tea, the High Tea Party at the Hilton will be a modern take on the classic tradition. The event will include beauty treatments, boutique shopping, workshops, fashion parades, and complimentary pamper sessions. Guests will also be treated to a gift bag to take home.

Your Pick of Live Music: various venues throughout March
Brisbane has a pretty good live music scene and there are a tonne of artists making their way to the river city this March. From local bands to big international names, there’s something for everyone this month. Some of the touring artists include Mogwai, London Grammar, First Aid Kit, Client Liaison, Ed Sheeran, Rufus Wainwright, DJ Shadow, Drake, Kele, DZ Deathrays, and Yelle. If you’re after last minute tickets you better hop to it because many shows sell out months in advance.

Kester Black Nail Polish Remover

It’s already been established that I really, really like Kester Black stuff. When they offered to send me a bottle of their new water based nail polish remover I jumped at the chance to try it out. Nail polish remover is basically a necessary evil but Kester Black has flipped that notion on its head with their latest offering. Like other products in the Kester Black range their water based nail polish remover is Australian made and Choose Cruelty Free, Cruelty Free International, and Vegan Society accredited. It’s also acetone and acetate-free, non-flammable, and contains goodies like aloe vera and vitamin E. I’ve used acetone-free removers in the past but more often than not they’ve left my nails looking a bit worse for wear. This Kester Black nail polish remover, however, left my nails in good condition. One lightly soaked cotton wool ball easily removed a hand’s worth of nail polish (two coats + top coat) and the white peach fragrance is just the icing on top of an already pretty fantastic, albeit inedible, cake. I also made a little video, plus a pros and cons list, which you can check out at the end of this post.

Kester Black Nail Polish Remover
(For those playing at home, the music is a looped intro to Saturdays by Cut Copy)

– First up, most importantly, it works. So that’s always a major ‘pro’.
– It’s gentle on nails and skin, and nowhere near as abrasive as some removers can be.
– A little bit of nail polish remover goes a long way. I used one lightly soaked cotton wool ball per hand, but probably could have stretched it more.
– The white peach fragrance smells pretty damn good. Although, as much as you’ll be tempted, it’s probably best not to sniff it straight from the bottle.
– It’s a cruelty free product, so good vibes all round.

– It does take a bit of rubbing to start getting the nail polish off, as you can see in the video. However, as the remover is quite gentle, the rubbing action doesn’t really strip the nail or damage it in any way.
– At $20 a pop it’s much more than what you’d pay for a supermarket/chemist nail polish remover.
– Those outside of Australia might have some difficulty trying to get their hands on a bottle.

Overall, this nail polish remover gets two (nail polish-free) thumbs up from me. I’ll definitely be sticking with it in the future. In the meantime, you can head to the Kester Black website to shop online or find a stockist. 

búl AW15

Can you believe that autumn/winter collections are already starting to drop here in Australia? I doubt the temperature in Queensland has even dipped below 25 degrees celsius lately so seeing coats and knits filtering into stores is quite baffling. While piling on the layers might be some while away, I am taking some inspiration from the upcoming seasonal colour palettes. Lots of monochrome, pale hues, and the odd splash of colour seems to the be standard. One collection I can’t seem to get out of my head right now is the AW15 collection by Australian label búl. At first glance it all looks simple enough but it’s the clean lines and relaxed tailoring that really stands out. These are a few of my favourite looks and you can see more of the collection on their website.

Images c/o bul


Wicked in Oz
If you live in Brisbane you might have noticed that the city has been looking a little bit greener of late. And it probably, most definitely has to do with WICKED coming back to town as part of its 10th anniversary tour. I was fortunate enough to be given tickets to attend the opening weekend of WICKED at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). I love a good musical and have always had a soft spot for anything Wizard of Oz related – I watched the Judy Garland version of Wizard of Oz on VHS so much so as a child that I eventually wore down the tape – so it was pretty much a given that I was always going to enjoy WICKED. Being an immensely popular production, many of you are probably already familiar with the musical but if you aren’t then I would definitely recommend taking a trip to the wonderful land of Oz.

Wicked in Oz
Wicked in Oz
Wicked in Oz

Future Beauty

Future Beauty-001
At the end of last year I went to the Future Beauty exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. I’m only getting around to posting about it now because… laziness? The exhibition explores the innovation of Japanese designers from the 1980s onwards. A host of designers are covered in the exhibition but some of the most notable names include Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe. Being able to observe garments up close, as well as seeing some laid out flat, gives you a greater understanding of how intricate the pieces really are and the kind of mastery required to be able to manipulate seemingly simple pieces of fabric. Technically you’re not supposed to take photos inside the exhibition but I took a few sneaky snaps because I am a delinquent. Complementing the exhibition throughout the gallery are works by Japanese artists like Yayoi Kusama and the return of the Obliteration Room. I also couldn’t resist revisiting the Pip & Pop dioramas in the Children’s Art Centre because they are my favourite. Future Beauty ends on February 15 so if you haven’t seen it already I’d suggest you get a move on.

Future Beauty
Future Beauty
Future Beauty

Photos taken on an iPhone 6 and edited in VSCO cam

Summer Whites

Head-to-toe white outfits can be hazardous. Especially if you’re fond of things like ice cream, coffee, red wine, chocolate, beetroot, and basically food in general. However there’s something so appealing about a light white outfit, especially in the middle of a sticky, sweaty summer. They scream “So fresh! So clean! I swear I’m not sweating bullets right now!” And if you choose garments made from breathable fabrics then you’re onto a winning combination. These are a few lovely looks I’ve spotted recently, all courtesy of some fantastic Australian labels.
Clockwise from top left: 
– Zulu & Zephyr
– SIR the label
– búl
– Vege Threads

Raspberry & Pistachio Friands

Raspberry and Pistachio Friands

Sometimes I become obsessed with certain foods. Earlier this year my friend held a high tea and one item on the menu that I took a particular fancy to were her raspberry and pistachio friands. Then I was about all of the raspberry and pistachio friands, all of the time, until I would eventually collapse into a sugar-induced coma. The version she made were gluten-free, however, these ones I made were adapted from a Donna Hay recipe as I didn’t have any gluten-free flour mix on hand. While the original recipe called for the raspberries to be folded through the friand mix, I opted to place the raspberries in each individual friand – about 5/6 raspberries layered through each friand – as I was worried about the raspberries breaking up and bleeding through the mix (I was using frozen raspberries). Sidenote: how fantastic are these hand-painted napkins by Fazeek? If you answered with “pretty darn fantastic” then you would be 100% correct.

Raspberry and Pistachio Friands
Raspberry and Pistachio Friands
Raspberry and Pistachio Friands
Raspberry and Pistachio Friands


2015 Wall Calendar
2015 Wall Calendar
Hello! I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front over the past month, mainly due to a lack of internet at home (thanks a lot Telstra!) While frustrating, it has allowed me to have a nice break from the blog and think about the direction I want to take this year. I’m rubbish with goal setting so instead I’m  finding great satisfaction in filling out calendars for the year ahead as it’s making me feel a lot more organised than I probably am. Here’s to a productive 2015!
2015 Wall Calendar
2015 Wall Calendar

(For those who want to know, the wall planner is a lift out from the most recent issue of frankie magazine, the lamp is a cheapie from Kmart, and the vase is by Lovestar).

Vessel and Vine Cone Planter

Vessel + Vine cone planter
Ever wanted to show off your indoor plants in a way that resembles an ice cream cone? Yes? Then say hello to the cement cone planter from Vessel and Vine. I picked up this pretty cone planter at the last Finders Keepers Markets in Brisbane and finally got around to finding a suitable place to hang it. Yes, those are antlers suspended by fishing wire. Vessel and Vine make a range of handmade homewares, planters, and jewellery, and if you’re in Brisbane you can usually find them at the BrisStyle markets (their Etsy shop seems to be empty right now). I hastily put this little succulent in my cone planter but the end goal is to replace it with something that looks a bit more like a scoop of ice cream. Any ideas?

Vessel + Vine cone planter
Vessel + Vine cone planter

Adventure Kit

Adventure Kit
Adventure Kit
This summer I’ve resolved to spend more time being active in the great outdoors. It all started when I was in Indonesia, hiking up a mountain and thinking “why don’t I do this more often at home?” It’s not that there’s nothing around, there are plenty of scenic spots basically right on my doorstep. Maybe it’s just that I’ve become complacent. Anyway, in light of my summer resolution, these are just a few of my essentials: a good backpack, sensible walking shoes, shades, and something to capture all your adventures on. Other things like hats, water bottles, sunscreen, and insect repellent just don’t photograph as well 😉

MiPac backpack c/o Debenhams
ASOS classic retro sunglasses
– Lomography Holga 135BC camera
Nike Free 5.0 sneakers

Two Thousand & Fifteen

I’m a sucker for a good calendar. Every year I have a wish list of several calendars but choosing just one or two is painful as I’m horrible at decision making. Plus, if you have nine different wall calendars scattered throughout your house then you’ll probably (definitely) come across as a bit of a time-obsessed weirdo. While my inner stationery nerd enjoys calendar shopping, I do not enjoy the accompanying realisation that another year has gone by in the blink of an eye. Some people view the New Year as an opportunity for #newbeginnings and #resolutions but I’m more of the panicky where-did-the-time-go-why-hasn’t-anyone-invented-time-machines-yet kind. Unlike previous New Years, however, this year I actually have plans (helloooo Falls Festival Byron Bay) so there is something to look forward to when the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Other than breaking out a fresh new calendar, of course. These are just some of my picks for the year ahead. Scroll down or click on an image for the source.

Doughnut Days

Chester Street Doughnuts
There’s no denying that doughnuts are having a moment right now. It used to be that case that doughnuts in Brisbane were either of the cheap supermarket or chainstore variety but these days artisan doughnuts are becoming much more visible. I’m particularly looking forward to the launch of Doughnut Time next year (which will just happen to be conveniently located inside one of my favourite pizza places, Alfredo’s). In the meantime I’ve been snacking on these doughnuts from Chester Street Bakery – blueberry crumble and strawberry. Yum! I’ve also heard good things about Nodo Donuts so I think I’m going to have to start eating my way around the best doughnut places in Brisbane. As research. For science. Definitely for science…
Chester Street Doughnuts
Chester Street Doughnuts
Chester Street Doughnuts

Soph’s Summer Beach Kit

It’s starting to look a lot like… summer. Which of course, in Australia, also means Christmas but let’s just focus on the summer part. Because right now all that’s going through my head is “How good would the beach be right now? I can’t wait to go to the beach. Let’s go to the beach. Why don’t I live closer to the beach?” Due to my lack of foresight and poor planning, I didn’t take advantage of the G20 long weekend that just passed to skip town and clock some beach hours. Instead I took respite from the heatwave by eating my weight in watermelon. Which, in my books, is still a pretty good way to while away the hours *thumbs up emoji*. Anyway, here’s some beach/pool attire that I think would go down a treat this summer.

Clockwise-ish from top left:
1. Lack of Color ‘The Spencer’ Wide Brimmed Fedora
2. Gorman ‘Prowl’ Sunglasses
3. The Beach People ‘Aztec’ Roundie Towel
4. Seed Heritage ‘Cara’ Espadrille Slides
5. Molten Store ‘Wild One’ Weekender Bag
6. Kuwaii ‘Rationale’ One-piece Swimsuit

Obus Summer Sandals

It’s hard to fathom how Aussie label Obus has never been mentioned on my blog until now. Their latest summer collection is a cracker (if you haven’t already, you should check it out) and it isn’t just limited to the clothing. Their summer collection consists of a wide range of footwear, from crossover slides to T-bar sandals and slip-on espadrilles. I’m all about the crossover sandal/slide at the moment and Obus have them in a range of colours and styles – from pastel pinks to cool metallics. Whether you’re after a simple sandal or some more eye-catching kicks, Obus will sort you out this summer.

[Images supplied]

Kester Black x Original & Mineral

Who doesn’t love a good collab? One of my favourite beauty brands Kester Black has teamed up with with Australian hair care brand Original & Mineral to create a collection of 12 unique nail polish colours. Inspired by the earthy tones and colours of nature, the O&M colours are a bit more subdued than what you’d usually expect from Kester Black polishes. Pictured here are (from top) ‘Queenie’, ‘Conquer Blonde’ and ‘Know Knott’. I’ve tested all three and like other Kester Black polishes these provide even coverage and last for a couple of days before beginning to chip, depending on how well you prep/seal your nails I guess. I’m a no base coat, two coats of colour and you’re done kind of gal, so pretty slack in that respect, but they still look good regardless! The collection is available for a limited time and can be purchased online at Kester Black or through selected retailers across Australia.

Nail polishes c/o Kester Black

Lake Patenggang + Rancabali Tea Plantation

In my first week in Indonesia, I ended up covering a lot of ground and spending a fair bit of time exploring the mountainous regions surrounding Bandung. In my last travel post I outlined a sunny morning spent at Kawah Putih. Afterwards, we explored a bit more of the region and headed to Lake Patenggang (the hot springs would just have to wait). The drive to Lake Patenggang is a picturesque one as the area is surrounded by lush tea plantations. On the way we pulled over on the side of the road and got snap happy. By this time in the afternoon the climate had cooled dramatically and an eerie fog was descending over the mountain. It only got heavier as we arrived at the lake. At the lake there’s a small market and you can head out on one of the many boats. We opted not to and instead explored the shores of the lake. Which were covered in rubbish. I had forgotten just how prevalent rubbish is in Asia, even at scenic tourist destinations like this. Aside from that, there was something calming about the being by the water and watching the fog roll in and I can only imagine what a hive of activity the place must be on a bright, sunny day.

What: Lake Patenggang and Rancabali Tea Plantation
Where: Ciwidey, around a two hour drive south of Bandung, Indonesia.
Entry cost: I can’t remember the exact cost but it was basically loose change. However, the international tourists in my group did get charged a higher entry fee (even me, and here I was thinking I could fool them all).

– Time your trip wisely. We ended up travelling back to Bandung during peak hour and ended up in a hellish 3+ hour traffic jam.
– The roads around the mountain are winding, narrow, and quite hectic. There was quite a bit of swearing coming from us girls in the back seats. Make sure you have an experienced driver, or at least someone who is familiar with the area and Indonesian traffic.

How Do You Brew?

It would seem that I like my coffee colourful and cute. These days I can’t leave a homewares store without purchasing something and this KeepCup and Bodum French press are my latest acquisitions. Because, seriously, how can you say no to this kind of cute? My latest coffee find has been Mannya Trading Co. which is one of the latest initiatives of the Cotton On Foundation. The company uses direct trade principles and works hand in hand with farmers in Uganda, and all gross profits from coffee sales goes back into the project to help fund education and facilities for farmers. On top of that, if their Kabingo Twanzane blend is anything to go by, the coffee is pretty darn tasty. The only bone I have to pick is that the ground coffee is very fine, which probably makes it more suitable to a pour over/filter method. Next time I’ll probably buy whole beans and get them ground coarser. At home I tend to use a French press because I feel that a) instant coffee is gross and b) coffee machines are a bit of a hassle for the home. Also, I’m not too sure how I feel about pod coffee. It just seems like glamourised instant coffee and very wasteful. I am keen to try the pour over method though so if you have any tips to impart that would be most helpful. How do you brew?

Midnight Lovers

Today’s round up of themed objects is for all the stargazers and night owls out there. My affinity for the night sky and all things moon/star/constellation-related has reached fever pitch lately and is being further enabled by the amount of *good stuff* out at the moment. Instead of gazing listlessly at far off galaxies, these items are a way to bring those celestial bodies a bit closer to home.

1. Jasmine Dowling for Club of Odd Volumes Pillowcase
2. Fenton & Fenton Star Light
3. Zoe Karssen ‘Midnight Lovers’ T-shirt
4. Pink LouLou Star Ring
5. Crescent Brass Bottle Opener
6. Many Moons Boxed Card Set

Louvelle Showerwear

The simple act of showering is about to get a whole lot glamorous thanks to Australian label Louvelle. Designed by Simone Taylor, Louvelle’s range of luxury showerwear takes its cue from bohemian-style turbans and headscarves. The designs have a distinct retro glamour to them and you could easily envisage the likes of Bianca Jagger and Sophia Loren donning some of Louvelle’s chic showerwear. Not only do Louvelle’s range of turbans and headbands look good, but they also serve a purpose. Wear them in the shower to keep you hair dry and frizz-free or use them to protect your hairline when applying or removing makeup. They look so good you’d also be forgiven for wanting to wear them out of the house. So, get ready to ditch those tacky plastic shower caps because Louvelle have got you covered from here on in.

Images supplied

Kester Black Hand & Body Soap

Kester Black nail polishes have long been a favourite of mine and they’ve recently released their first ever line of hand & body soaps. Not only do the soaps smell lush (helloooo gingerbread deliciousness) but they also contain nourishing Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Shea Butter. If that isn’t enough to win you over, just look at that ridiculously cute packaging featuring special edition illustrations by the talented Dawn Tan (future collections will see Kester Black collaborate with a range of Australian artists and designers). I’ve been making more of a conscious effort to use beauty products that are ethically produced and the Kester Black ethos is one that really appeals to me. On top of creating some ace stuff, Kester Black products are CCF (Choose Cruelty Free) accredited and are free from nasty chemicals. Their new hand & body soaps stay true to that ethos and are free from palm oil, parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals. On top of that, Kester Black are Australian made and owned and employ sustainable production methods. I think that’s the definition of a feel-good product right there.

The soaps are available to buy through Kester Black’s online store or from selected stockists across Australia and New Zealand.

Soaps c/o Kester Black

Kawah Putih, Indonesia

Kawah Putih is a crater lake situated on Mount Patuha, south of Bandung, Indonesia. The last time I visited Kawah Putih I was about seven years old and I had vivid memories of this huge, almost unreal landscape. So I was pretty keen to revisit it. Like most childhood memories, the lake seemed much smaller upon revisiting and it was also much more populated with tourists. Where we once had the entire lake to ourselves there were now bus loads of crowds and even a film crew. That’s not to say it’s not worth a visit though. The defining character of the lake is its striking greenish-blue colour. The name of the lake translates to “white crater” and the colour of the water varies depending on the sulphur concentration and temperature. Because of the acidic nature of the lake the surrounding rocks and sand are bleached white, at times creating an almost moonscape-ish appearance. As you probably already would have guessed, the sulphuric nature of the lake means any contact with the water is a huge no-no. If you ever find yourself in Bandung/West Java then a trip to Kawah Putih is definitely worth a look in.

My Gorman leopard tee matches the lake. How’s that for coordination?
What: Kawah Putih
Where: Mount Patuha, about a two hour drive south of Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Entry cost: IDR 15k per person (around AUD $1) although tourists sometimes get charged a slightly higher fee (I went with three Dutch girls and we were charged the same as our Indo friends so sometimes it’s just luck of the draw) + IDR 150k if you want to drive your own vehicle up to the crater. 
– If you’re departing from Bandung, depending on traffic, the drive can be a looooong one. Leave early, pack snacks, take a break if need be (there are plenty of scenic places to stop off and explore along the way).
– Because of the sulphuric nature of the lake, the smell can be quite strong. Bring a mask or something to cover your face with in case the smell becomes too much.
– If you drive your vehicle up to the crater, make sure you hold onto your ticket/receipt as it will be checked upon exit. 
– Alternatively you can leave your vehicle at the entry and take one of the allocated buses up to the crater at a cost of IDR 5k per person. However, the buses look quite rickety and the 5km drive up the mountain is quite winding so, personally, I would avoid this option.
– Being over 2000 metres above sea level, it can be quite cool at the top so pack a lightweight jacket just in case. That said, I went during the middle of the day and got slightly sunburnt. So you might want to pack some sunscreen too.
– Make a day of it and visit other popular tourist destinations in the area while you’re at it (which I’ll cover in upcoming travel posts).

Gorman Summer 2014 Collection

As if I wasn’t already excited at the prospect of summer, Gorman had to go ahead and drop their latest Summer 2014 lookbook into my lap/email inbox. Every season Gorman seem to outdo themselves in the print department, and the Summer 2014 collection is no exception. The collection has a distinct seaside flavour with lobster, fishing net, and seagull prints adorning everything from bucket hats to bikinis. Side note: I am ALL OVER that lobster print. Subtler prints take shape in the form of nautical stripes and Batik polka dots, while embroidered palms give the collection a cool tropical twist. With so many summery references jam packed into one collection, you’d be hard pressed not to have fun in the sun with Gorman this summer.

Gorman’s summer collection will be available from October and can be found in Gorman stores in Australia and New Zealand, and online at gormanshop.com.au

[Images supplied]

Sad Girls Zine

Sad Girls is “a zine featuring work by girls who make things and have lots of feelings”. As a girl who sometimes makes things and always has feelings, I was pretty sure that this was a zine after my own super emosh heart. Contributors include the likes of Leah Goren, Caitlin Shearer and Jen Collins. The zines feature a mix of illustration, photography, and text. I missed the boat when Issue 1 came out a while back but I checked into the Sad Girls Etsy before I headed overseas to find all three issues in stock (spoiler alert: only Issues 2 and 3 are currently available). As such, they ended up being a little bit of a homecoming present to myself. I’m not sure if it’s a proven cure for jet lag but browsing through my Sad Girls zines made me feel 100% better. Hurrah!

Go: Dusun Bambu, Bandung

Since I went to Indonesia to visit family, I hadn’t planned on doing many touristy things while I was there. I was in that position of not being a tourist but not quite being a local either. While I did end up doing a few touristy things, most of the time I was just hanging out with family, going to cafes, and going shopping. So pretty much what I do back home in Australia. One of the first places I trekked out to was Dusun Bambu, which is a leisure park located in north Bandung. As the name suggests, there are a lot of bamboo-related things around. There’s also a restaurant, gardens, villas, and a marketplace of sorts. I went on a weekday afternoon when it was relatively quiet, but I heard it can get pretty busy on weekends. I had drinks on the deck at the Burangrang Cafe and explored the grounds before heading back into the city (in peak hour – not fun). After a few days of adjusting to the smog and pollution, the trip up to Dusun Bambu was a welcome respite from the nitty gritty of city living.

What: Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park
Where: Jl. Kolonel Matsuri KM 11, Cisarua, Bandung
When: open from 7am – 10pm daily
How much: IDR 15k per car and IDR 10k per person

Shoot: Indonesian Instagram Diary

Hello again! I mentioned in my last post – some 3 weeks ago – that I was off to Indonesia for a holiday of sorts. I was visiting family so was largely based in Bandung. While I had intended to update the blog with travel posts while overseas, the internet situation was much worse than I had anticipated. I was mainly limited to mobile internet – namely Instagram and Snapchat. Plus, who really wants to be sitting at a computer when on holiday? Now I’ve just got to sort through and edit a tonne of photos while also recovering from a stupid post-holiday cold. I’ll be back with photo diaries and travelling tidbits in the coming days but in them meantime these are just a few of my favourite shots that you may or may not have already seen over on my Instagram

Love: Lovestar Sacré-Coeur Vase

I’ve been obsessed with Lovestar vases for some time now. I first bought one for a friend’s birthday last year and almost immediately regretted not buying one for myself while I was at it. Luckily for me, though, I have super amazing friends who bought me this Lovestar Sacré-Coeur vase for my birthday a few months back. The Sacré-Coeur vase is a glorious, glittering beauty and definitely takes my flower arranging game to the next level. It’s currently available for pre-order  from the Lovestar online shop and I’d also suggest having a look at the other designs because, well, amazing. You’ll want them all.

In other news, I’m off to Indonesia tomorrow for a couple of weeks. If I was more organised I would have set up some scheduled posts but instead I’m going to wing it. In the meantime you can keep up with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

See: Harvest at GoMA

Last weekend I trekked it over to my happy place aka the Gallery of Modern Art. Their latest showcase exhibition ‘Harvest’ is a celebration of food in art. An art exhibition focusing on food? It’s like these guys can see into my mind (and stomach). The collection features pieces from GoMA’s extensive collection as well as major new acquisitions. I did recognise a few pieces from past exhibitions like Xu Zhen’s ShanghART Supermarket installation which, by coincidence, is another manifestation of one of my happy places – Asian supermarkets. My favourite pieces included Shirana Shahbazi’s Still life: Coconut and other things and the absolutely bonkers Pineapple Express! display by Fallen Fruit that featured an assortment of pineapple-y items from local contributors. The exhibition is free and runs until September 21.

1. Shirana Shahbazi / Still life: Coconut and other things 2009
2. Tracey Moffatt / First jobs series 2008
3. Tomás Saraceno / Biosphere works 2009 
4. Tomás Saraceno / Biosphere works 2009
5. Michel Tuffery / Povi tau vaga (The challenge) 1999
6. Fallen Fruit / Fallen Fruit of Brisbane: Pineapple Express! 2014

Images taken on an iPhone 4 (waiting… waiting… waiting… for the iPhone 6) and edited in Photoshop.

Shop: Botanical Charts

In today’s edition of things Soph is obsessed with, I give you botanical charts. I quite like the look of wall charts and I think I’m that far out of high school that they don’t remind me of science classrooms. Although most of my high school science memories (biology only, chemistry can GTFO) seemed to involve hi-jinks so it wouldn’t be so bad if they did. Whether you prefer cutesy illustrations or vintage reproductions, these botanical charts would look much better displayed in the home than in a classroom. Click on the pictures or the links below to go to the source.

Wear: Floaty Tops + Floppy Hats

It may be winter, but it’s barely sweater weather here in Queensland. The mornings and evenings are chilly at best, but the days are still full of sunshine and clear skies. Which is quite excellent as it means that I can still get away with wearing lightweight, summery tops like this lightweight number from Front Row Shop. Now, while my wardrobe flip flops between minimalist basics and over the top prints, one thing you wouldn’t expect to find in the mix is a floaty, bohemian-inspired top. But for some reason I was drawn to this top. Maybe it was the boxy cut and subtle cut outs that sealed the deal. Or maybe it was all the Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks records I’ve been listening to lately. Either way, team it with some classic blue denim and a floppy hat and you’re good to go (your own way).

Top: c/o Front Row Shop
Jeans: ASOS “Farleigh” Jeans
Hat: Sportsgirl Wide Brim Panama (similar here, here, and here)

Decorate: Arro Home

I’ve long been a fan of Beci Orpin’s work so when I heard that a homewares range was in the pipeline, my inner homebody squealed with excitement. Arro Home launched earlier this week and it doesn’t disappoint. The designs are in keeping with Beci’s aesthetic and feature her signature use of colour and pattern. I have so many favourites I don’t know where to begin! The debut collection is currently available for pre-order via the Arro Home website.

[Images: Arro Home]

Love: ‘Toute la Chance’ Necklace

In a previous post I mentioned that I visited the Molten Store Pop Up Trove the other weekend. Molten Store stocks a lot of great statement jewellery but these days my jewellery preferences err on the more minimalist side of things. Luckily, Molten Store also carry quite a few delicate pieces like this ‘Toute la Chance’ necklace. The wishbone pendant is pretty cute and the minimalist design makes it a great everyday piece of jewellery. This design also comes in gold and rose gold, and they’re available to purchase either at the Trove or online.


Make: Cakes I’d Like To Eat

June seems to be a month full of birthdays. There are family birthdays and birthdays of close friends. Every day I’m met with birthday reminders on Facebook or see on Instagram that it’s a cyber buddies’ birthday. And at the end of the month there’s MY birthday (insert all of the confetti emoji). Birthday celebrations have always been my favourite because birthdays = cake. While there’s less of an emphasis on cake and parties as I get older, that doesn’t mean I’ll forgo them entirely. Sure, the celebrations might become more low-key but the cake still has to stay. Even if it’s a cheap supermarket bought mud cake. So, to celebrate the month of cake, these are just some swoon-worthy cakes that I wouldn’t mind having a slice of. Click on the images or the links below to go to the source.
1. Malted Milk Birthday Cake via La Pêche Fraîche
2. Mini Chocolate Olive Oil Cake via The Thoughtful Plate
3. Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese and Honey via Adventures in Cooking
4. Chocolate Cake With Halva Filling and Tahini Frosting via my name is yeh

Shop: Molten Store’s Pop Up Trove

One of my favourite online destinations, Molten Store, have recently opened a Pop Up Trove on Brisbane’s James Street. I popped in over the weekend to have a look and purchase some treasure of my own. The Trove’s offerings mirror what is available online, but here you’re able to see the jewellery sparkle in person and sample the trays of Demeter perfumes for yourself (yes, Pixie Dust does smell amazing). Owner Jessy has created a magical space befitting of her otherworldy accessories and curious gifts. I only had my phone on me at the time so only managed to snap a few shots but you can sneak a peek of what kind of space Molten Store have created by checking out their Facebook and Instagram. If you’re in Brisbane I definitely recommend popping in to see the Trove for yourself.

Who: Molten Store
What: The Pop Up Trove
When: open daily until July 10
Where: 60 James St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
Molten Store is also one of the independent stores featured in my online Pop Up Shop which you can check out via The Third Row.
[Images taken on an iPhone 4 and edited with the VSCOcam C2 preset]

Shoot: Blue Skies & Bougainvilleas

Bougainvillea #1
Bougainvillea #2
It’s been quite a while since I’ve had any film photos developed. I used to regularly drop rolls of film off to get developed at good old Big W but now I’m not even sure if they still have film processing facilities. That’s why I’m so fond of my Instax Mini. The rewards are near instant and there’s no need for a middle man. Plus who can resist the lure of watching your photos develop right before your very eyes? I used to love developing film in the dark room at high school but I wouldn’t know where to start these days. So I guess this is the closest I’ll get for now. I’ve also started up a new Flickr account under sophsthingsI couldn’t change my username on my old one so this will be a bit of a fresh start. If you’re on Flickr, feel free to let me know in the comments so we can follow each other or be friends or whatever it is you do on Flickr!

Love: Elizabeth Benotti Ceramics

How cute are these handmade ceramics by Elizabeth Benotti? She makes everything from cups and saucers to creamer and sugar sets but my favourite pieces by far have to be her range of porcelain planters. They’re perfect for housing a mini indoor succulent collection and the combination of colour and pattern is sure to brighten up any space. You can see more of her work on her website and purchase pieces from her Etsy store.

[Images via elizabethbenotti]

Read: Grace, Spaces, Letters for Gentlewomen

This is what my current reading list looks like. I picked up Sincerely: Women of Letters and Grace: A Memoir at the Lifeline Bookfest over the weekend. I had been meaning to buy the Grace Coddington memoir for some time but never got around to it. It was just my luck then that one of my friends picked it up and swung it my way – a perfect example of the pros of going shopping in groups. Even better was the fact that it only set me back $5. FIVE DOLLARS. I know right? Also in the mix is The Gentlewoman Issue No. 9 and Spaces Volume Two by Frankie Magazine. What is everyone else reading at the moment? Are there any must-reads that I should add to my list?

Wear: Gorman ‘Harvest’ Tee

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Aussie label Gorman and their always on-point prints and fun designs. As soon as I saw the Harvest print from their Autumn 2014 collection I just knew I had to have it in my wardrobe in some form or another (FYI you can also find this print on dresses, socks, aprons, and quilts this season). The vegetable print seemed like a natural progression from their summer-themed pineapple and watermelon prints and I, for one, am a fan. Like other Gorman cotton tees, it’s a relaxed fit and perfect for throwing on with some jeans. It also serves as a good reminder to eat your veges! 

‘Harvest’ tee in navy c/o Gorman; worn with Cheap Monday ‘Tight Indigo’ jeans from General Pants

Listen: The Velvet Underground & Nico

I’ve decided to start a new series here where I introduce some of my favourite albums and how they came to be. First up is the self-titled debut album from The Velvet Underground & Nico. To be completely honest, as a kid who grew up on a diet of Pop Art, I was familiar with the album artwork long before I realised who The Velvet Underground were. I didn’t listen to this album until my teens and I did so after being introduced to bands like The Strokes, who listed The Velvet Underground as influences. So when I finally did get around to investigating The Velvet Underground I was like “oh hey, you guys”. Needless to say I was instantly sucked in by the broody vocals and raw rock’n’roll vibes. Also, having been “produced” by Andy Warhol, it was like my Pop Art education had come full circle.

Who: The Velvet Underground & Nico
When: March 12, 1967
Listen for: Jangly guitars, general Lou Reed steez, Nico’s chanteuse-ing, references to The Factory
Song you probably would’ve heard without ever having listened to the album: Sunday Morning
Song that will stick in your head: Run Run Run
Follow up with: White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground, Transformer by Lou Reed

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