New Year, New (Blog) Look

Hello there! Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far. To kick things off around here I thought I’d treat the blog to a bit of a makeover. Fresh starts and all that. It’s nothing too drastic but the main change is that the blog is now (should be) responsive on mobile devices. If you’re reading this on your phone or tablet then you’ve probably already noticed the change. Yep, I’m finally getting with the times. I’m still working out a few things but if you notice any glitches please let me know. I was waning with the blog posts the past couple of months but I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove of things this year. Here’s to an excellent twelve months ahead!

Last Minute Xmas Shopping in Brisbane

Who else is panicking that Christmas is this Sunday? As in only a few days away Sunday. If you’re a leave-it-to-the-last-minute kind of person when it comes to present shopping, and you live in Brisbane, then don’t worry because I’ve got you covered. Avoid the madness of the big shopping centres and support these smaller stores instead.

Avid Reader
193 Boundary St, West End
What’s in store: books on books on books on books. Grab a gift for the bookworm in your life and some summer reading material for yourself.

The Botanist
Shop 5, Bakery Lane, 694 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
What’s in store: all of the plant things! Think potted plants, planters, cut flowers, vases, and an assortment of decorative bits and bobs.

Flower Lovers
11 Hynes St, Fortitude Valley & 385 Sherwood Rd, Rocklea
What’s in store: more flowers than you can poke a stick (or branch) at. Give the gift of flowers this Christmas or pick up some greenery for last minute table decorations.

The Happy Cabin
58 Vulture St, West End
What’s in store: an edited selection of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts. They stock brands such as House of cards, Kester Black, Status Anxiety, and Saltwater Sandals. If you can’t decide what to buy then you could always try one of their lucky dip prizes.

Molten Store
Shop 1, 49 James St, Fortitude Valley & Shop1070C, Ground Floor, Westfield Carindale
What’s in store: a glittering trove of jewellery and precious trinkets. Think celestial-inspired earrings, delicate rings, and ornate hair accessories. If you’re after a bit of Christmas sparkle, then this is the place to go.

Nook
19 Browning St, West End
What’s in store: if you’ve ever attended the Finders Keepers Markets then Nook stocks the kind of stuff you’d find there, only you can shop it all year round. Think fun jewellery, handmade ceramics, colourful accessories, and quirky greeting cards. If you’re lucky you’ll also encounter a shop cat.

Showroom
104 Edward St, Brisbane City (above Le Bon Choix)
What’s in store: a thoughtfully curated selection of keepsakes for the home. Falcon Enamelware, PF Co Candles, Once Was Lost, Fog Linen, and Bondi Wash are just a few examples of brands you’ll find adorning the shelves of this very beautiful store.

Sunday Social
5d Winn St, Fortitude Valley
What’s in store: modern and vintage clothing, funky jewellery, and colourful accessories. It may be small in size, but this shop is brimming with goodies.

Violent Green
1/105 Albert St, Brisbane City
What’s in store: men’s and women’s streetwear, shoes, and accessories. You’ll also find things like prints by local artists, a range of pins and patches (including some favourites of mine by Georgia Perry and Coucou Suzette), Lomography cameras and accessories, and more.

Of course, there are plenty of small businesses that you could support in Brisbane (and as I’m wrapping up this list many more are coming to mind) but these are just the few that I frequent. And if you’re not in Brisbane, go out and support small businesses in your area anyway, no matter where in the world you are.

Scented Candles Vs. Diffusers

ECOYA review
I can’t resist a good scented candle and I’ve been building a bit of a collection lately. Maybe it’s because I’m becoming more of a homebody or maybe I’m just turning into a crazed candle hoarder (my aunty collected novelty candles so it’s in the genes). However, while chatting with friends the other day one of them half-joked that she didn’t use candles because she didn’t want to burn her house down. We all laughed but of course she has a point. No candle is 100% safe and any open flame requires constant supervision. Which is why I was pretty keen to see how reed diffusers stacked up against their candle counterparts. Enter: this Ecoya scented candle and reed diffuser gift set.
I hadn’t previously used diffusers but they seem like the ideal solution for the candle-adverse out there. You simply pour the oil into the decanter, pop the reeds in, and let the fragrance envelop the room. I had trouble pouring the oil into the decanter at first – I tried tipping the bottle at an angle but found that oil would trickle down the side. The best technique was to tip the bottle upright, covering the neck of the decanter completely to avoid any leaking.
Scent-wise, the candle and diffuser are basically the same. They have a similar intensity and there’s no noticeable variations in scent. If you fill up the glass decanter completely, it’s supposed to last you around one and a half months – so you have to be pretty committed to a scent – as opposed to a candle where you can control the burn time.
Overall, I think diffusers are handy if you want a long-lasting scent (unless you only use a little bit of oil at a time). I prefer being able to switch up my scents on the reg which is why I’ll probably always be more of a candle gal. Of course, if you can’t choose between the two you could always take the Â¿porque no los dos? approach with a gift set like this Ecoya one. 
ECOYA review

ECOYA review
[This Ecoya set was a gift from RY.com.au; all content is my own]

Art Tea Towels


Owning a piece of art is always a bit special. While owning an original artwork isn’t necessarily the most affordable thing in the world, there are alternatives. You could look at art prints and posters but what about art tea towels? Yes, tea towels! More and more artists are offering up their artwork in tea towel form and it’s a great way to expand your art collection. Sure, they’re notably more expensive than your average tea towel but it’s not like you’ll be doing the dishes with them. Art tea towels are a decent size, look great framed, and have the added bonus of looking like canvas. One of my favourite artists, Rachel Castle, is famed for her fun tea towels and Third Drawer Down also stock a bunch of tea towels featuring works from a range of artists. While they’re not pictured here, I’d also recommend checking out Kara Rosenlund’s range of beautiful photographic printed tea towels and all the fun Australian-themed prints by Everingham + Watson.

Top row:  Belinda Marshall “Everything All At Once” tea towel from Frankie and Swiss;  CASTLE “Vegemite” tea towel
Bottom row:  David Shrigley “Life Is Fantastic” tea towel;  Del Kathryn Barton “Cosmic Crime” tea towel from Third Drawer Down (if you’re in Brisbane there’s also a Third Drawer Down concept space in the Gallery of Modern Art).

Have you seen any noteworthy art tea towels lately?

Kester Black’s Birthday Suit Collection

Hands up if you love a nude nail polish? Hands up if you’re also not quite sure what colour “nude” is? Luckily we have Kester Black to the rescue who, in collaboration with Trophy Wife, have recently released their Birthday Suit collection of nail polishes. Designed to complement a range of skin tones, the neutral palette spans a spectrum of nudes from light crèmes to rich chocolate tones. In true Kester Black fashion, the six colours have cheekily been named Brazilian, Spray Tan, Solarium, Bronzer, Bare, and In The Buff. The collection is also accompanied by some stellar campaign imagery photographed by Sean Fennessy and styled by Jess Lillico. Hands up if you can’t wait to get your hands on one (or more) of these sweet nail polish shades?



The Birthday Suit collection is available now online and from selected stockists. 




[Images supplied, collage edits by me]

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