Shop: Canvas Totes From Etsy

When it comes to bags, you can’t beat a canvas tote in my opinion. They’re understated, functional and, in most instances, relatively cheap. Etsy is one of my favourite places to look for cute printed totes, plus it’s a great platform for finding handmade goods and supporting independent designers. Naturally, I’m drawn to anything cat-related but zodiac-inspired prints and typography-focused designs have also been getting a look in lately. Here are a few of my most recent totes awesome finds (just click on the images to be taken directly to the the Etsy shop).

You can also visit my Etsy favourites board to see more of my top tote picks.

Love: Gelatology

An illustrated booklet combining the topics of ice-cream and geology? Seriously, what’s not to love? Gelatology is a project by Studio Fludd and their Micro/Macro issue is a whimsical display of colour, illustration, and pattern. This booklet is the second part of their project exploring the visual and conceptual analogies between ice-cream and geology, with the first being the now sold out Change and Persistence. As someone who a) loves ice-cream and b) grew up with a dad who worked in the geological field (and therefore inherited a fascination for all things rocks and minerals) this project really hits home. The booklets are produced in limited numbers and you can grab yourself a copy through Studio Fludd’s online shop.

[Images courtesy of Studio Fludd]

Look: Kara Liu X Belmore Bootmakers

I do love a local collaboration and this one between Australian fashion designer Kara Liu and Melbourne footwear label Belmore Bootmakers definitely brings the goods. Kara Liu collaborated with Belmore Bootmakers for her Autumn/Winter 2014 collection to create a selection of luxe slippers and chic loafers. The shoes are crafted in her Autumn/Winter colour palette of light salmon and light grey, punctuated by black and sharp white. The designs are elegant and understated, tying in nicely with Liu’s minimalist aesthetic and ethos of finding luxury in simplicity.

You can purchase the collection from Belmore Bootmakers’ Melbourne boutiques and via Kara Liu’s e-boutique.
You can also view a film for the A/W 14 collection here.

[Images supplied]

Shop: Loungewear

Having effectively been on bed rest this past weekend (don’t worry, of course the stars aligned so that I was fighting fit for the start of the working week) I’ve had all things rest and relaxation on the mind. In particular, sleepwear and loungewear. My first instinct was to check out ALAS as their sleepwear game is always strong (which is why they’re one of the retailers featured in my pop-up shop with The Third Row) but I was also pleasantly surprised to find that Country Road and ASOS have a pretty extensive collection of sleep and loungewear as well. And with cooler temperatures on the way, I think these lounge sets are ideal for lazy days spent at home eating popcorn and watching Wes Anderson’s entire back catalogue of films.
1. ALAS Telescope T-shirt and Fleece Pants (the ‘Telescope’ moon and star print couldn’t be any more perfect)
3. Country Road Stripe Rib Top and Leggings

Love: Status Anxiety ‘Lila’ Wallet

A few months ago I treated myself to a new wallet from Status Anxiety. I can be pretty picky when it comes to wallets and was looking for something with a fuss-free design and minimal hardware. I originally had the Status Anxiety Dakota wallet in mind, but when I saw that they had released the Lila I knew I had to have it. My camera didn’t really pick up the colours too well here but the wallet is made from a really lovely navy leather with a blush pink strap. It’s also available in black, tan, and grey colours. The wallet has card slots aplenty, two bank note areas, a zippered coin compartment, and a sneaky front pocket (I do love a good pocket). You can even slip a phone in there. It’s perfect for someone who likes to cram everything into their wallet, but still likes to be organised. 

Also, how good is this polka dot quilt cover? I bought it from Target’s Teen Home section because obviously I suck at being an adult.

Decorate: ELSON Home

There’s a new Australian bedding brand on the block, and they go by the name ELSON. With the aim of “bridging the gap between plain and dull and loud and colourful” the brand succeeds in creating smart and stylish bedding with a hint of playfulness. ELSON have recently launched their inaugural Autumn/Winter 2014 collection which encompasses three graphic designs – an arrow, checked, and houndstooth print. The collection is also complemented by a tonal range of coordinating sheets and pillows. ELSON’s range is ideal for those who, like me, appreciate a good print or pattern but prefer muted colour palettes and understated designs.

ELSON’s Autumn/Winter ’14 collection is currently available for pre-order online.
You can see more of the collection at elsonhome.com.au.

[Images via ELSON]

Shoot: Instagram Diaries


Sometimes time gets away from me and I forget to blog. This is a little round of of what I’ve been doing lately, as told through Instagram, i.e. basically spending all my money on magazines and food.
1. I saw the The Grand Budapest Hotel this weekend. I watched an interview once where Wes Anderson was discussing how his films never really have a bad guy, more flawed characters, but he wanted to make one with a defined villain in the future. I’m guessing this was that film.
2. I couldn’t resist buying these issues of Real Living and Inside Out magazines. The covers were just too good to pass up. They’ve definitely helped fuel my current homewares obsession.
3. Autumn is slowly beginning to show itself so I’ve finally been able to wear this ASOS denim shirt that I bought last year. I do love a good denim shirt.
4. I managed to walk away without buying any cactus this time, which was out of character. I mean, look at those little guys!
5. You guys, this blueberry bagel I had at The Gunshop Cafe was probably one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. And that’s coming from someone who usually doesn’t do sweet breakfasts.
6. Also, this flourless chocolate cake from Little Pawpaw was pretty delicious. You can’t really go wrong with chocolate cake.

Look: Gorman Winter 2014

You can always count on Gorman to give good print. Their Winter 2014 collection, Never Smile at a Crocodile (which is also excellent life advice btw), features the bold graphic prints and pops of colour that we’ve come to expect from the label. Animal references are present in the form of croc and cheetah prints, while a striking cactus print seems to be a natural progression from the fruit and vegetable themed prints of past collections. The palette is more subdued, typical for a winter collection, but that doesn’t mean a lack of colour. Mustard yellows, baby pinks, bright blues and greens sit alongside basic black and navy hues. Whether you’re after statement making prints or seasonal essentials, Gorman has you covered. The collection will be available in-store and online from April 10.

Gorman are also one of the independent designers featured in my pop up shop with The Third Row. Be sure to check it out to see some of my favourite items from a bunch of great independent stores.

[Images supplied]

Decorate: Pastel Spaces

I’ve been on a bit of a homewares/interiors kick lately. So much so that I’ve been opting for interior design magazines over the fashion variety. Add to that the seemingly never ending content on Pinterest and you’ve got yourself a verifiable obsession in in the making. I’ve been loving all things pastel sick at the moment so it’s no surprise that it’s a trend that has translated over into my design inspirations. While I’m not sure I could deal being surrounded by floor to ceiling pastels in my home, I do like the idea of subtle pastel touches here and there to soften up a space.

Love: Oclock Watches

I’m a creature of habit and when I find something I really like, I stick with it. I’ve gone through a few watches in my time but my favourite by far have to be the O clock watches by Fullspot. There’s just something about the minimalist design that appeals to me. I used to have a lilac coloured one that I wore all the time. I was so attached to it that when the band broke I may or may not have been on the verge of tears (look, I was backpacking through Europe at the time, it got snagged on my backpack which I was already beginning to hate, and yeah, #emotions). I think my error was getting a too-small band the first time around. It fit my wrist just fine but the constant stretching it over my fat fist must have taken its toll. So this time when surfdome.com sent me a shiny new O clock watch I went with a medium-sized band instead. What I like about these watches is that the clock face pops out and is interchangeable with other bands in the collection. Also, the clock hands glow in the dark. It must be the result of growing up in the nineties but I am a sucker for anything glow in the dark. You can find this O clock watch at Surfdome right here.

Finally, how great is the packaging? You’ve got to love a brand that puts just as much effort into presentation.

Watch c/o Surfdome.com

Look: Penny Sage Winter 2014

I’ve been viewing a few autumn/winter lookbooks lately and they’re getting me in the mood for cooler weather. I’m itching to wear jeans, collared shirts and knitted jumpers but alas, I’m still dealing with temperatures upwards of 30°C. Thanks subtropical climates. Anyway, I was recently introduced to Penny Sage – a New Zealand label designed by Kate Megaw. Their winter 2014 collection is called ‘To The Wonder‘ and is describe as an ode to everyday beauty. Inspired by a trip through New Zealand’s Desert Road, the collection uses fabric and texture to bring to life different elements of the landscape. Colour and texture drive this collection, with heavier fabrics crafted into tailored menswear-inspired pieces while lighter silk dresses draw on a more feminine aesthetic. Despite being an autumn/winter collection, I think many of the pieces are trans-seasonal like the silk kimonos and tunic dresses. This is quite excellent if you, like me, live somewhere where ‘winter’ occurs for about a month every calendar year.

To see more of the collection, visit the Penny Sage website.
You can shop the collection via their online store.

Photography: Leilani Heather
Hair & Make-up: Tasha Horomia
Model: Kendell Tobin at Clyne
[Images supplied]

Shop: Spots and Stripes


While I may get temporarily distracted by leopard and watermelon prints, stripes and polka dots will always hold top billing in my books. Luckily everybody else seems to be on board because spots and stripes are pretty much everywhere you look at the moment. Insert blessed emoji here. Of course one of the first things I did when my home internet plan was reset for the month and I was reunited with a fast broadband connection was to do some online window shopping (seriously that week or so of super slow internet was torturous – serves me right for binge watching Scandal online). These are just a few striped and spotted pieces that I have been eyeing off recently.

Watch: Populaire

The Alliance Française French Film Festival is currently making its way around the country and I’ve been an attendee of the festival for the past couple of years now. Previously, my friends and I have ended up watching some pretty heavy French films so these days we tend to stick to comedies and rom-coms. On the weekend I went and saw Populaire which checked both those boxes. Set in the late 1950s, the film is a “homage to classic Hollywood romantic comedies”. It’s basically about a secretary who has a talent for typing and is urged on by her boss, and potential love interest, to compete in typing competitions. The storyline is super cheesy, in a good way. The main draw card for me was the visual elements of the film which was all retro styling and saturated colours. Swoon.

[Images: moviemail, imdb]

Grown Rosehip & Camellia Seed Facial Serum

My beauty routine can be described as basic at best but I’ve recently decided to invest in more targeted skincare products. It’s probably just me buying into all that ‘you’re heading into your late twenties and you’re going to get wrinkles unless you act right this very minute’ talk but oh well. First up on my list of purchases was this Rosehip and Camellia Seed Facial Serum by Grown Alchemist. I’ve used Grown products in the past and keep hearing good things about rosehip oil so this was a bit of a no brainer. I was initially hesitant about using a serum, since I don’t really like products that are too oily, but I seriously love this stuff. It doesn’t feel greasy at all. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and my skin already looks a lot brighter. While I can’t comment on the effectiveness of its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines (I don’t have any yet) in the meantime you can call me a convert.

Also, if anyone was interested, I bought the apothecary jars from Typo and you can buy similar ones at Molten Store.

Moi Self Helpful Hankies

Moi Self is the brainchild of Tara Willis and her Helpful Hankies are a quirky way of spreading some self-help and love. Designed and handmade in the UK, these special screen-printed hankies feature illustrations of thoughtful messages. Do you have a friend that’s going through a break up? Leaving town? Just down in the dumps in general? Well, now there’s a hankie for that. I actually received this ‘Fix Your Mascara’ one in the mail on Valentine’s Day which was pretty well timed if you ask me. They hankies are 100% cotton and you can even write personalised messages on the back of the packet. So, next time one of your friends is feeling less than 100%, why not swing them one of these Helpful Hankies as a pick me up?

[Images: top – my own, others – supplied]

Karen Walker A/W 2014

These days I tend to skim through fashion week coverage, and even then I only really check out the labels that I know I’m going to like anyway. Such as Karen Walker. I’m consistently drawn to the Karen Walker aesthetic and this collection, inspired by suffragettes, is no different. Crisp collars, midi skirts, and easy-to-wear shifts are exactly what I want to be wearing come autumn. That first navy/denim collared dress especially. My vote goes to you, Karen Walker.




[Images: style.com, drawings my own]

Octaevo Stationery

Octaevo is a new Mediterranean stationery and accessories brand that has recently caught my attention. A project of Studio Marcel Baer, Octaevo launched last November with a collection of paper goods. Inspired by the Mediterranean and its histories, the brand collaborates with various creatives from the region with the goal of creating a platform of Mediterranean talent. Focusing on quality, all products are produced by regional providers and artisan workshops using the highest quality materials. The current range consists of notebooks, bookmarks, envelopes, and even a tote bag. There’s also a bespoke service for the discerning customer. Octaevo is perfect for lovers of thoughtful design. 

See more of Octaevo: here
Shop the products: here

[Images supplied]

Giveaway: Popbasic’s Sunday Collection [CLOSED]

I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Popbasic to give one reader the chance to win their latest collection. If you haven’t heard of Popbasic before, they’re a fashion service that sells curated ‘micro collections’ that consist of wardrobe staples (the basic) and trend-based accessories (the pop). Their latest collection is called ‘Sunday’ and consists of a navy silk blouse, wishbone bangle, and wishbone ring. Each collection is also accompanied by beautifully shot images and film, and this one does a pretty good job of capturing those lazy Sunday vibes.

For your chance to win this collection, in any size (ranging from XS to XL):
1. Leave a comment on this post detailing how you would style this collection. Be sure that you leave a way for me to contact you should you win. If you don’t want to leave an email address then a Twitter or Instagram handle is fine.
2. For an extra entry, sign up to the Popbasic mailing list and let me know in the comments. 

This giveaway is open to readers worldwide and will run until 11:59pm (AEST) on the 23rd February 2014. A winner will be chosen at random and notified shortly after.

I’ll also be announcing the winner on Facebook and Twitter so feel free to throw me a like or follow if you want to stay in the loop.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on this collection, you can purchase it directly from the Popbasic website.

Store Profile: Kova Lifestyle

The other week I had the chance to visit Kova Lifestyle in James Street, Fortitude Valley. I have to admit that despite frequenting the James Street precinct, Kova had totally slipped my radar. What I found was a store brimming with beautifully curated homewares and knick knacks. I was greeted by owner Bianca and we chatted about how Kova came about (she bought it off the previous owners 8 years ago after working there) and how her personal design ethos is reflected in the store. Kova stocks a range of Australian and international labels and recently launched its own in-house label, One in Six. The beauty of the store is that there’s something for all budgets and you can be just as comfortable going in and buying some stationery as a you would a statement piece of furniture. Despite only discovering its existence a few weeks ago, I’m sure I’ll be a frequent visitor from now on.

I was instantly drawn to this colourful set-up. The dining table from India features intricate bone inlay and holds a colourful display of Mud Australia ceramics (click here to see what the tabletop looks like bare). Also, check out the painted antlers.

More store details. You’ll find everything from stationery to skincare to clothing. It’s a gift giver and self gifter’s paradise.

Colourful entrance greetings, pineapple lamps, and Acapulco chairs! It’s Queensland living down to a tee.

You can find Kova Lifestyle at Shop 9a, 23 James St, Fortitude Valley, QLD.
Or check them out online at: http://www.kovalifestyle.com.au/

All Of The Cat Cases

When buying cases for my iPhone, the main criteria tends to be: does it have cats on it ? Iconemesis recently let me pick out a new case and I was initially tossing up between the cat and pug illustrated cases by Gemma Correll. The cat pattern case won out in the end, obviously. And yes, I’m still using an iPhone 4. Despite dropping it countless times now, the screen is still in pristine condition and I don’t really have a reason to upgrade it quite yet. Anyway, there seem to be quite a few cat-themed phone cases out there at the moment so read on for a few of my favourite picks.

Top row from left to right:
– Black Cat case by Leah Goren via Society6 (available for a range of iPhone models and Samsung Galaxy S4)
– Rifle Paper Co. Meow iPhone 5 case (but they also do cute Samsung Galaxy S4 cases in other designs)
– Because Cats case by Kitten Rain via Society6 (available for a range of iPhone models and Samsung Galaxy S4)
Bottom row from left to right:
– Peeking Cat case via eBay
– Picasso Cats case by Leah Goren via Society6 (available for a range of iPhone models and Samsung Galaxy S4)
– Cool Cat phone case via Forever 21

The Third Row x & Other Things

I’ve recently teamed up with The Third Row to create an online pop-up shop featuring some of my favourite independent designers. The Third Row is an online shopping hub that brings together products from independent designers and stores that have been featured by blogs and magazines. My pop-up shop includes a range of designers that I’ve previously featured on the blog such as ALAS, Dress Up, Gorman, and Holly Ryan. It’s basically a way to shop independent brands that I’ve featured on this blog without having to trawl through months of blog posts. When you choose to buy an item you get taken to the independent store’s website, meaning all profits go directly to the independent store owner. It’s a great way to shop independent although I have a suspicion that this will just enable my online shopping tendencies as everything looks so enticing neatly laid out in front of me like this.

Other blogs and magazines to have collaborated with The Third Row include Daydream LilyFour Thousand, and Pitch Magazine so I’m pretty chuffed to be in such good company.

You can visit my pop-up shop at http://thethirdrow.com/blogs-and-mags/popups/andotherthings/
You can also have more of a general explore at http://thethirdrow.com/

LP33.3 AW2014

LP33.3 is an Australian collaboration between designers Luke Hosking and Paul del Giglio. Their AW2014 collection is called ‘Beyond the Infinite’ and is based on baroque and space-age modernism. The collection features a palette of subdued colours that take inspiration from metals such as manganese pink and celestrium silver. It’s not all pretty frocks either, with moonscape-like tactile surfaces, melding protective coatings, and insulative padded techniques all part of the innovative fabrication process. The overall aesthetic is one that mixes sophisticated tailoring with grunge styling. The collection hits stores next month and you can shop it online at the LP33.3 website.

[Images supplied]

California Design: Living In A Modern Way

California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way‘ is an exhibition that’s currently showing at the Queensland Art Gallery. I first saw the exhibition during one of their Up Late sessions which also included a musical performance from Cub Sport. That session was pretty crowded so I wanted to go back at a time when I didn’t have to deal with crowds two people deep just to view certain pieces. Also, so I could take my time daydreaming that all the Eames things were mine. I managed to go back the same day I visited the Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition at GoMA thanks to a special joint ticket deal that the art galleries were offering. As you can probably guess from the name of the exhibition, it showcases the different facets of design of mid-century California. It was basically like stepping into those episodes of Mad Men where Don Draper goes to California. If you’re in Brisbane and want to experience a bit of time travel you’ve only got a few weeks left to do so as the exhibition wraps up on February 9.


Images taken on iPhone 4 and edited in Photoshop

DIY: Glitter Box Clutch

I’ve had this transparent clutch bag from Molten Store for a while now, and recently I’ve been thinking of ways to decorate it in a way that’s not so see-through. Because sometimes I’d just prefer all my bits and bobs to not be on show. At first I toyed around with the idea of making different patterned pouches to fit inside it but laziness got the better of me. When I remembered that I had a glittery piece of card piled away somewhere I had my light bulb moment. What could be an easier DIY than effectively cutting a piece of cardboard?

What you need:
– Transparent clutch (mine’s old stock from Molten Store but you can always try eBay for similar clutches)
– Decorative card
– Ruler
– Pencil/marker
– Scissors

Measure and record the dimensions of the inside compartment of the clutch/bag you’re working with.

Measure and mark up the card accordingly. Then cut the card into the desired shape.

Press the card into the inner compartment. If you’ve measured correctly, the card should be a snug fit. If the card is too large, trim the edges with scissors or a craft knife until you achieve the desired fit. If the card is too small, try using some double sided tape to secure it to the inside of the clutch.

You could repeat the process for the other side of the clutch or leave it transparent, like I did. (Also, check out my Gemma Correll kitty case from Iconomesis. All of the cats!)

Et voila! A quick and easy but oh so effective way to dress up a clear clutch.

Shop: Fruit Salad

Wearing your favourite fruit seems to be the way to go right now. And I’m not talking about watermelon and mango stains down the front of your shirt. Gorman’s most recent collection saw an array of watermelon and pineapple prints on everything from dresses to bikinis, and Australia’s purveyor of pyjamas Peter Alexander has recently released a collection brimming with tropical inspiration. Throw in some Holly Ryan, Lucy Folk and Chip Chop pieces and you’ve got yourself a bonafide fashion fruit salad. These are just a few tutti frutti pieces that have caught my eye lately.

Clockwise-ish from left:
Gorman pink melon tank (currently on sale, along with a range of other pieces from the collection)
Chip Chop watermelon clutch (also check out Peter Alexander for a watermelon cosmetics case)


Happy New Year! I hope you’re all well and sans any major hangovers. I slept through New Years celebrations so, yeah, party animal right here. I’m greeting 2014 with open arms because, in short, 2013 went down as the shittest year on record. My dad passed away in September after his lymphoma relapsed and, if that wasn’t bad enough, my aunt recently passed away after suffering a ruptured aneurysm on Christmas day. It’s been a rough couple of months but I’m hopeful that 2014 will be much kinder and brighter. Here’s to health, happiness, and making memories.

& Other Things: December

I snapped this close up of Spencer Finch’s The Light at Lascaux (Cave Entrance) while I was at GoMA the other week. I’ve featured it previously on the blog and was so happy to see it on display again. I’m a sucker for a light installation. Anyway, onto my monthly round up of links and things for December. December!

– Voting for Triple J’s Hottest 100 has opened and I’m busily compiling my shortlist of favourite songs for the year.
– The second trailer for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has been released. Such a tease.
– This DIY Christmas cracker pinata from Frankie.
– The bizarrely awesome 3D knitwear from Soot’s AW14 collection.
Brag Vintage for a comprehensive range of vintage clothing.
– Furniture that looks like giant sweets and candy from Kollektive Plus Zwei.
– As is my annual tradition, The O.C. Mix 3: ‘Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah’ has been my soundtrack for the month.

Wishing everyone a very happy holidays and if I don’t blog before then, happy new year too!

Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back To Earth

On the weekend I went to GoMA to see the Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition, ‘Falling Back to Earth’. It is Cai’s first Australian solo exhibition and consists of four installations: Heritage, Head On, Eucalyptus, and Tea Pavilion. The two stand out works for me were Heritage and Head OnHeritage is like a united nations of animals and consists of 99 animal replicas gathered around a single waterhole. I made sure to get there early to avoid crowds so the overall viewing experience was one that was quite serene. Head On is markedly different and features 99 replica wolves hurling themselves into the air and into a glass wall – a statement on the implications of blindly following ideology. I’m consistently amazed by the exhibitions that GoMA puts together – um Warhol, Matisse, and Yayoi Kusama (before she took over the world via Louis Vuitton) to name a few – and ‘Falling back to Earth’ is another one to add to their lengthening list of hits. The exhibition runs until May 2014 so there’s plenty of time to plan a visit or three. 


Images taken on an iPhone 4 and edited using the VSCO Cam app (F2 filter).

Will & Wild: Sunday Sessions

These are a few of the latest lookbook images from online store Will & Wild. Their summer lookbook is called ‘Sunday Sessions’ and the images definitely capture that chilled out weekend vibe. Will & Wild are also the newest sponsors for the blog so be sure to show them some love and check out their store (link in sidebar). They stock a range of women’s fashion, jewellery, and accessories, with a men’s shop on the way too.


Photography: Jessie Schattner
Hair and Makeup: Caitie Kenzie
Models: Bre & Holly
[Images supplied]

Beau In The Woods: Summer Breaks

For their Resort 2014 collection, Australian label Beau in the Woods channels all things holiday related. The ‘Summer Breaks in Miami Beach’ (or B**ch if you go by the website) collection features a range of summer-ready looks including dresses, separates and wide leg Bermuda shorts. Silk chiffon, georgette, and crepe de chine fabrics are used throughout the collection with croc-embossed trims creating texture. In keeping with the brand’s signature aesthetic, designer Kylie Dadson uses a range of photographic prints to create some pretty statement-making pieces. Think picture-postcard dresses, blossom skirts, and coconut cocktail shirts. Recently, Kylie shared with me her inspiration behind the Resort 2014 collection, favourite holiday destinations, local haunts, and summer style tips.

1. How did you go about choosing the prints for your Resort 2014 collection?
We were planning a trip to India all year so naturally I was daydreaming about beach destinations and everywhere else in the world. Combined with a pinterest addiction and a customer planning a trip to Miami, the idea to combine all of my favourite images into one collection became just that.  There are images that friends and family have taken as well as candid snapshots from the day after my wedding and also a Bali jaunt with friends from last summer. Summer Breaks encompasses places that we have been to and those that we dream about.  
2. Your flagship store is located in Brisbane’s James Street precinct. What are some of your favourite Brisbane haunts?
Quench in James St Market is my smoothie stop, Gerards’s Bistro for a dinner date and great wines, Lefty’s Old School Music Hall for a Saturday night with the crew. I also love days where you can jump on a rivercat and cruise somewhere waterside for the afternoon. The Powerhouse is a great destination to chill, do the farmers markets or catch a show.
3. What are your top tips for dressing for an Australian summer?
Super light weight fabrics such as silks and cottons are best, even better in styles that just float around the body. Stay away from anything tight as it just gets too hot.  I love lots of colour on fresh skin with just a bright lip. Midi heels are great too as they can take you from day to night. In summer you need to dress like you might not be home from day to night which is the ultimate vibe of our collections!
4. What is your ultimate holiday destination?
In my dreams – definitely the Maldives! Mexico, Cuba, Havana a close second! Japan is on the must-do-next list. I also have friends I want to visit in Finland, Brazil and New York. The list never ends!
5. If you were to choose five songs to soundtrack your summer, what would they be?

I put on ‘Universal Unfolding’ by Over Soul the minute warm weather hits. Then Daft Punk gets my next four faves – ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’, ‘Get Lucky’, ‘Around the World’ and ‘One More Time’. On repeat! 

You can see the entire collection over on the Beau in the Woods website.
Shop the collection online or, if you’re in Brisbane, at their flagship boutique on James Street.

[Images supplied]

Favourite Things: RWB x Pip & Pop Notebook

You know those freebies that magazines give out to sway you to buy their publication? Usually it’s mascara or some other beauty product but I’m pretty sure this Romance Was Born x Pip & Pop notebook takes the cake. I bought it with this month’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar Australia (which I wasn’t even going to buy because the Nicole Kidman cover was kind of boring IMO) and it has quickly become my new favourite thing. The Pip & Pop exhibit I visited a few years ago at GoMA has cemented itself as one of my favourite exhibits ever and I might have squealed a little bit when I caught wind of the RWB summer 2013 collection that saw the fashion label team up with Pip & Pop. So when I spotted this on the shelves of the news agency I snapped one up quick smart. The magazine also contains an editorial styled by Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales and it’s as every bit as colourful and kooky as you’d expect.

Issada Aqua Series

Australian-owned boutique cosmetics brand Issada have recently launched a Limited Edition Aqua Series travel brush set, based on their original cult brush collection. The travel set features seven professional brushes housed in a duck-egg blue cylindrical container – perfect for jetsetters and those on the go. I’m pretty much a dunce when it comes to makeup and am usually swayed by price and packaging (making this set right up my alley). So who better to pick the brains of for beauty advice than Fiona Neale, CEO and founder of Issada Cosmetics? I asked her a few questions about Issada’s new Aqua Series travel brush set, what to look for when buying makeup brushes (this is a topic that has always stumped me), as well as some beauty advice for travellers.

1. What inspired you to create the Limited Edition Aqua Series Travel Brush Set?

The full-size Issada Couture Brush Collection is a cult phenomenon with a dedicated following; from Hollywood’s top film and TV makeup artists to celebrity fans like Angelina Jolie and Beyonce.
What makes these brushes so special is that they are individually handmade from the same virtually indestructible aluminum used in aeronautical jet landing gear, and they are specially weighted.
This means a full set can be a little heavier than a wooden or plastic handled brush set, and because of the materials, engineering and painstaking labour, the price point of a complete collection isn’t necessarily attainable for everyone. Our customers see the Couture Collection as a worthwhile investment, because of the unparalleled quality and lifetime of use, but many people do have to build their Issada collection brush-by-brush, which can take time.
I wanted to make an Issada travel brush range that maintained our uncompromisingly high standard of natural and synthetic bristles – but I wanted to make it lightweight for frequent flyers and priced for instant accessibility.
I also wanted the brushes to form an adjunct to the existing Couture Collection, so I made sure that the Aqua Series had 7 completely new brush shapes that we had never seen before at Issada, and I wanted it to look completely different from the Couture Collection. I was feeling inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so Tiffany blue was it!
The Aqua Series blitzes industry standards in terms of handle length, materials, hardware and hair quality. To create the perfect travel companion, I developed a compact and ultra-luxe cylindrical barrel to house them in, opening from the middle and splitting to form a stylish brush display perfect for your holiday destination. 
2. I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to makeup. What are the most essential brushes to own?
If you’re a minimalist, I would recommend brushes that perform double duty! A handy mid-size sable eye shadow brush that doubles as a concealer brush, like the #9 or #15 Issada Brush is a must-have, and a fine-tipped sable brush that covers gel eyeliner, brows AND lips with precision, like the #3 Issada Brush is a lifesaver. I would also recommend a great contouring brush, which can sculpt cheekbones, hairline, jawline and nose – the squirrel haired #21 Issada Brush is perfect. An Ultra-luxe Kabuki is essential for mineral powder application. 
The Travel Set is perfect to start your Issada brush collection as it contains the perfect balance of brushes required for all makeup looks. 
3. What advice do you have for buying makeup brushes? Is there anything in particular we should look out for?
Makeup Brushes should be a lifetime investment. When shopping for your personal set, carefully examine the quality of materials used, ask lots of questions and compare warranties and guarantees. Also check where they are made – Issada’s are hand crafted in Australia. 
The highest quality brushes will deliver the most beautifully blended and professional looking makeup. Natural bristled brushes are the best long-term investment as they breed and harbour less bacteria, are durable enough to withstand antibacterial sanitisers and are softer on the skin. 
Synthetic brushes are also useful for certain requirements such as working with wet products like gel liners, cream shadows and concealers so it is essential to have a mix (animal lovers note; ethical makeup companies like Issada obtain their natural brush hair from animals that are ‘groomed, not harmed’).
Hair should be dense and packed well to ensure you don’t end up with hair all over your face (a good indicator of the quality of the tools). 
4. This travel brush set is aimed at jetsetters and those on the go. How would you recommend properly caring for brushes while on the go, considering that time can be a major constraint?
Invest in a good quality brush cleaner like Issada’s Violet Infused Brush Cleaner. The spray formula is easy to travel with and kills bacteria removing makeup with a thorough clean. Also ensure your brushes are housed in a zip-up wallet or travel canister to keep them protected from the rest of your travel contents. 
5. What’s your best bit of beauty advice for travellers?  
Have some essentials in a beauty bag in your cabin luggage and duck to the airplane bathroom for a touch up before you begin your descent. These essentials should include: An undereye concealer (Issada’s Liquid Light is perfect), an skin-invigorating peachy Crème Blush that doubles as a lip tint (try Issada’s Mineral Lip and Cheek Crème in Mango Frappe) and some mineral powder foundation. Nothing beats minerals when travelling – the constant changing of external environmental factors combined with regulated air-conditioning in hotels and on planes means skin is prone to congestion, dullness and dehydration. By using good quality minerals (beware of cheap versions that claim to be mineral but contain nasties), your skin will be protected, nourished and repaired, actually improving with wear! Issada’s Mineral products are pharmaceutical grade and packed with vitamins, collagens, botanicals and antioxidants, so putting them on is like applying active, clinical skincare with flawless coverage.
You often end up indulging when traveling, tasting exotic foods and sampling wines. To create balance, I always make sure I drink lots of bottled water, make quality meal choices, take daily vitamins and walk as often as possible to energize my body from within. Stay hydrated and try to sleep on the plane – even if you just close your eyes and rest, it’s better than nothing!

The limited edition Aqua Series set retails for $89 and is available at selected salons, spas and clinics and the Issada Concept Stores.

[Images supplied]

kristi rose ss13/14

Kristi Rose is an up and coming Sydney-based designer who launched her eponymous label in 2012. The label is defined by her use of digital art prints, flattering silhouettes, and feminine detailing. Before founding her own label, Kristi honed her skills working with labels like Zimmermann and Tigerlily. Her SS13/14 collection is called ‘Greased Lightnin’ and features dresses, shorts, t-shirts, and jumpsuits in a range of floral, mesh, and llama (!!!) prints. The collection is full of extremely wearable pieces and looks well suited to an Australian summer.

[Images supplied]

& other things: november

Summer is just days away and in anticipation I’ve put together a few summer essentials. I bought the pineapple bikini from Cotton On last year but haven’t had a chance to bust it out yet (always pun intended). Fingers crossed I can manage a few beach trips around Christmas and New Years. Or at least mooch around a pool somewhere. Anyway, the following is a round up of internet things that have grabbed my attention this month.

Home-Work’s Pozible campaign. Home-Work is the newest venture by the co-founders of Harvest Workroom and Textiles. The campaign is to fund their new range and pledges are rewarded with some super cool gifts. The campaign ends soon so get in quick!
– Gorman homewares. I’m spending more and more money on homewares and this Gorman range really speaks to me. If ever I needed a money tree, it’s right now.
Prada presents “Castello Cavalcanti” by Wes Anderson. Firstly, Jason Schwartzman, always. Secondly, hurry up The Grand Budapest Hotel.
– The Fade Away EP by Best Coast. It’s definitely going to be getting a lot of play this summer.
– Discogs. I’ve been scouring it for new records to add to my small but growing collection.
O bliss jewellery. I came across their stall at the Finders Keepers Markets and really like the simplicity of their sterling silver designs.
– Miss Moss’s epic round up of 2014 calendars. I had planned on buying the Frankie 2014 calendar but now I’m not sure. There are just so many options!

all i want for xmas

I was out for dinner the other night and towards the end of our meal Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You started playing. At first I was all “woo hoo” and then I was like “wait, it’s November”. I guess this means it’s time for Christmas gift guides to start popping up all over blogs and the internet in general. To be honest, I never use those guides to buy gifts for others. I mostly end up buying stuff for myself. Christmas in my family isn’t a really big deal and buying presents has never been at the forefront of celebrations. So, in lieu of receiving presents from others, I’ve formulated a list of things I’ll be gifting myself. Either prior to, for, or in the post-Christmas sales. Because #treatyoself.

1. Être Cécile Cheetah Stripe tank top (similar: here). I’ve already ordered one. It was definitely one of those ‘social media made me do it’ type purchases.
2. Seed Heritage sling back slides in ocelot print.
3. Rifle Paper Co. illustrated Paris print.
4. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. I recently bought a new Canon DSLR. Being new to the Canon family, I’m only using a kit lens at the moment but definitely want to pick up a few new lenses soon i.e. when the budget allows. Any recommendations are most welcome.
5. The Wes Anderson Collection book. Because I am a Wes Anderson film junkie.
6. Status Anxiety Lila wallet. I’m desperately in need of a new wallet but every time I go to buy one I come up empty (I can be very particular about things like this). This one looks like a pretty good contender though.

able and game mugs

Say hello to my new Able and Game mug. It was my one and only purchase at the Finders Keepers Markets on the weekend (because iced lattes, orange juice, and Bagel Boys bagels don’t count). There was a lot of stuff I wanted to buy at the markets but not much that I actually needed. Apart from this mug of course. It was definitely a need. I’m a sucker for anything Able and Game and have bought and received too many of their birthday cards to count. I didn’t even know they made mugs but I’m glad they do. This Able and Game fat cat is my favourite. He knows what’s up.

no whining

I saw this sign by Lilywillow Designs at the Skeleton Leaf stall at the Finders Keepers Markets yesterday and thought it would make for a relevant Monday post. I’m not the biggest fan of weekday-related status updates. For example, if you’re going to write “TGIF” every Friday without fail then I will be forced to hide you from my Facebook feed. Same goes for complaining about Mondays. Everybody hates Mondays. Or something like that. But you know what? Monday doesn’t last forever and soon enough it’ll be Tuesday and you won’t have anything to complain about (until next Monday but in case you haven’t realised this whole days of the week thing is cyclical and there’s no way out so the sooner you get used to that idea the better). So, chin up buttercup. Stop whining and start sending out some happy vibes. The people who have to read your status updates will thank you for it. Trust me.
Image taken on an iPhone 4 and edited with the VSCO Cam app.

summer scents: gardenia and coconut lime

There are certain scents that just scream summer to me. Like the smell of thunderstorms (they totally have a smell, right?), sunscreen (not particularly enjoyable but it just gets to me), and frangipanis. These miniature Glasshouse candles that my friends gave me – you guys, my friends are the best, like seriously – can also be added to my list of things that will forever smell like summer. They’re part of Glasshouse’s ‘Destination’ range so each candle is designed to transport you to some far off destination. Marseille and Montego Bay? Yes please! I always gravitate towards anything gardenia-scented and the combination of coconut and lime is perfect for pretending that your house is actually a beach house. Others in the range include Bora Bora, Caracas, and Manhattan. It’s like some kind of olfactory world tour. If you can’t be on a year long vacation I guess these candles are the next best thing. Also, chrysanthemums because they were cheap and the nicest flowers at the grocery store today.

dorota resort 2013/14

DOROTA is a an up and coming Australian label by designer Dot Drabarek. The Resort 2013/14 collection explores the idea of dress codes, elegance, and the luxurious nature of 1950s cruise fashion. The collection consists of a range of separates and dresses, made from a mixture of linen/cotton blends and sheer textured lace. Clean lines and feminine forms dominate the designs, and the colour palette of black, white, and blush is elegant in its simplicity. DOROTA is available from stockists nationally as well as through the label’s e-boutique.

Photography: Carine Thevenau
Hair & Make-up: Desiree Wise
Model: Seon @ IMG
[Images supplied]

in the pink

Maybe it’s because it’s spring, but I’ve been gravitating towards a lot of pastel pinks lately. Pastel pink flowers, pastel pink polish, pastel pink fashion spreads… I could overdose on the sickly sweetness of it all. I guess that’s why ELLE Australia suggests mixing your springtime pastels with “a hit of black”. I’m not usually one for mixing pink with black, especially hot pinks because I think the combination can border on tacky, but I get where they’re coming from in regards to pastels. Lately I’ve been toting around this two-tone Sportsgirl coin purse, wearing O.P.I.’s ‘Kiss on the Chic’ nail polish and applying Jurlique’s Rose Love Balm on dry patches of skin. Also, peonies, just because.

falconwright eyeball print clutches

Ever since seeing the Falconwright Fall/Winter 2013 campaign on Anabela’s blog, I’ve been obsessing over their eyeball print clutches and card wallets. Thanks to designers like Kenzo, eyeball prints seem to be having a bit of a fashion moment right now and these pouches are a fun way to get in on the eyeball action. I think I’ll be adding one of these Falconwright goodies to my list of things I’ll be buying myself for Christmas.

Shop Falconwright: here
See the rest of the campaign: here

[Campaign image: Anabela Piersol; Product images: Falconwright]


With summer just around the corner I’ve been assessing my footwear options. My favourite ankle boots and lace-ups are slowly getting less and less wear, and I’ve resorted to wearing the same patent black sandals over and over again. I also came to the sad realisation that many of the sandals I had religiously worn for the past few summers were well and truly past their use by date. You know what that means? Time for new shoes! I finally jumped on the Salt Water Sandals bandwagon and bought a pair from The Happy Cabin. I was pondering buying them online but I’m so glad I bought them in store because I got to have them properly fitted plus it’s always nice to support local businesses. On the other, completely consumerist, end of the scale are these Topshop slingbacks I bought on sale. I love me some metallics and I think they’ll be a nice way to smarten up a casual outfit. So, I think I have my dressy and casual footwear options sorted for now.

1. Topshop ‘Moodie’ slingback shoes (also available in blacklilac, and bronze)
2. Salt Water sandals in tan (also thinking of adding the black and silver ones to my collection)

ks swim ss13/14

KŠ Swim is a directional Aussie swimwear label created by Karla Špetić. Founded in 2012, KŠ Swim is a continuation of Špetić’s signature aesthetic. The 2013/14 collection references the world of ruin, and designs feature Egyptian-inspired symbols and glyphs combined with off-beat nautical stripes. It’s not your typical swimsuit campaign either. Instead of a backdrop of a pool or beach, ‘Ruins’ rather aptly takes us to the not-so-typical terrain of a trash depot. This colourful collection comprises of v-neck swimsuits, separates, retro-inspired cover ups, and cotton basics. The striped hieroglyph swimsuit and draped shorts would have to be my picks of the collection. ‘Ruins’ drops in November and is available at selected stockists across Australia as well as online at the label’s e-boutique.

[Images supplied]

instagram diaries: october

1. Always buying cacti. I limited myself to a red and pink one but think I’ll have to go back for yellow.
2. Never not wearing my leopard print Gorman tee these days.
3. How to decorate a wire fence à la Depo.
4. A much needed coffee after enduring what can only be described as the longest neighbourhood party ever.
5. Pastel skies never go out of fashion.
6. The sights you see around West End. There’s always a bit something left of centre.

Find me on Instagram @sophsthings

just can’t get enough

The latest editorial from The Dreslyn is called “Baby, We Just Can’t Get Enough” and without sounding too cheesy, I just can’t get enough of it either. The minimalist approach to dressing offset by the colourful backdrops makes for a refreshing set of images. The editorial may be showcasing the latest fall wares, but I think it has the sensibilities of a spring-themed one too (all those crisp whites and neutrals). You can check out the editorial in full: here.

[Images supplied]

& other things: october

I can’t believe there’s basically only two more months left of the year. Now’s that time when Christmas decorations are creeping into stores and New Years Eve plans are starting to be panicked over. I feel like November through to December is akin to cramming before an exam. Everyone seems to be rushing to buy presents, attend events, or generally fit in as much as they can before either the 25th or the 31st of December. So these are a few things that are keeping me sane as I begin to hyperventilate over the end of the year.
– Building up my record collection. Yes, I buy records now. I saw this record player on the cheap and couldn’t not buy it!
California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way at the Queensland Art Gallery. Something to look forward to in November!
The Wes Anderson Collection book. Christmas present to myself? I say yes.
– Prints by Jasmine Dowling for Molten Store. Love some good typography.
Ace & Jig’s Spring 2014 RTW collection. The multicoloured checked print reminds me of my childhood.
– I finally succumbed to creating a Facebook page for the blog. Funnily enough, I like using it more than my personal page. 

not your average camera bags

I recently bought a new camera and have been looking for a nice camera bag to house it in. I currently use those black foamy camera bags which are pretty generic and not very nice to look at. A quick ask around on Twitter led me to ONA Bags and can I just say that they make some of the loveliest bags full stop. Grafea also makes some quality looking camera bags in colourful and classic styles. A further Etsy search brought up a range of results, and some more affordable ones at that. These are my top picks of camera bags around the net at the moment. If you’ve got any recommendations feel free to pop them in the comments!
Clockwise from top:

secret south ss13

The spring/summer 2013 collection from Secret South (formerly Secret Squirrel) features plenty of what we’ve come to expect from the label – clean lines, statement graphic prints, and casual tailoring. Bold prints and monochrome basics mix effortlessly together to create a collection that is equal parts playful and polished. The glacier print is my favourite from the collection but the polka dots run a close second.

[Images: Secret South]

colour pop pen holders

Remember when I bought those limited edition Andy Warhol soup tins? Well, I’ve made my way through three of them already (mostly begrudgingly – there aren’t many ways to dress up tinned tomato soup) and here they are, acting as glorified pen and paintbrush holders. I managed to avoid spilling any soup onto the tins by wrapping them in tea towels while pouring and washing them. I also ran the back of a spoon around the rims to push them up and stop them from cutting into things (like stray fingers and hands for example). Now these little bits of everyday Pop Art make for quite the colourful additions to my desk.
Yes, that is a cat pen. I love it when friends bring me back gifts from Japan.
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