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Chorus

I’m always on the lookout for new (to me) labels and one recent find is Chorus, a Melbourne based fashion design studio established by Cassandra Wheat and Louise Pannell. This year I’m really trying to embrace quality over quantity in regards to my wardrobe and I think this is one of the reasons I was drawn to the Chorus label. Garments are created in Melbourne using luxury materials and each piece is released in limited editions of no more than 30. Add to that the clothes look dead cool and wearable, in that way that only Melbourne labels can really pull off, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination in my books. 


You can see and shop the collection over on the Chorus website.







[Images: Chorus]

Hello 2016


Hello! It me! Is anybody still here? 
It’s been a while since my last post (over a month but that’s like an eternity in blog years, right?) and it’s been quite a refreshing blog-free break. Towards the end of last year I felt like I was in a bit of a rut. I think anyone who has or had a blog will probably understand that feeling. It gets to the point where it seems like everything has been done before and coming up with ideas for original content becomes all too time consuming. The time and effort it takes to create content I’m happy with versus having a life outside of the internet is probably going to play a big part in the direction that the blog goes in this year. 

I’ll still be sharing brands and labels I love, with a focus on independent and local designers, but I’m also hoping to pick up my cameras and experiment with film photography a bit more (I say that every year but there’s always a chance it’ll stick). I’ve definitely fallen victim to the ease and convenience of the smartphone/Instagram combination. I’m also hoping to tweak the blog layout in the coming months, to make it more responsive, so bear with me in case things go a bit awry or completely to shit.
In the meantime, thanks for sticking around. I’ll still be here. And you can always find me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook eating doughnuts and taking too many photos of plants.

[Images shot on iPhone 6 and edited with VSCO and Photoshop]

My Summer Essentials

Summer is here! Summer is here! Summer is here! I said that three times in the hope that by some Wizard of Oz-esque magic I’ll be miraculously transported to the beach. Anyway, around this time of year my wardrobe choices are pretty much limited to (a) what is the most comfortable and (b) what will keep me the coolest. So far my summer essentials include breezy linen tops and relaxed denim shorts for peak comfort, high-waisted bikinis because any body of water will basically be a second home, sneakers for long days spent exploring, a roomy tote bag to house all those random bits and pieces picked up throughout the day, and colourful accessories to add fun summery touches to an outfit. These are the items that are all high on my radar this summer.

Clockwise-ish from left
Linen Billow Top by Hunter
Karen Walker One Splash Sky Blue Sunglasses (similar here)
Country Road Wide Brim Fringe Hat
Kleur City Bag by Elk Accessories
Her Frances Bikini in Forest Green
Off Duty Tote by Jasmine Dowling from Club of Odd Volumes
Assembly Natural Denim Shorts (I already own the dark denim version and have basically been living in them)
ASOS Canvas Lace Up Sneakers

Creamy Popsicle Recipes To Try




The other day I bought myself a popsicle mould and I am obsessed. This summer is going to be the summer of pops. I can already envision myself subsisting on a steady diet of frozen treats when the temperature rises so high that eating anything hot is just plain ridiculous. Right now my repertoire mainly involves simple recipes like freezing some brewed coffee or fruit juice but when I am ready to move beyond that and flex my popsicle making skills, these are the popsicle recipes that I’d like to try out.

1. Mini Chocolate and Coconut Popsicles from Posh Little Designs
2. Dairy-free Chocolate Ice Cream Pops from Vanelja
3. Roasted Blueberries and Cream Matcha Popsicles from With Food and Love
4. Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles from Tasty Yummies

If you have any favourite popsicle recipes, feel free to mention them in the comments. I’m all ears!

The Best Festival Dress

Festival season is well and truly upon us here in Australia so when the folks at boohoo got in touch about my festival style I knew I’d end up focusing on my go-to festival outfit: the denim overall dress (or dungaree dress, whatever you want to call it). One year I pretty much wore the same denim overall dress to every festival. They are the best. And super handy. I mean, all those pockets! Once I even managed to use a pocket to hold an open drink can. Plus the hardwearing denim is perfect for plonking down on a range of grassy/concrete-y/wooden splinter-y surfaces, which is good because you don’t want to be too precious about your clothes at a festival. Just add a tee or singlet underneath your dress and you’re done. When it comes to accessories I’m definitely a less is more kind of person. Comfort and functionality are key. A compact bag, sunglasses, a watch, and minimal jewellery is probably the most that I’ll wear. Finished off with some simple sneakers and I’m good to go.

Falls Festival Film Photos

Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Remember how it took me 6 months to develop my film photos from Sydney? Well, here are my photos from Falls Festival at Byron Bay nearly a WHOLE YEAR LATER. Timeliness is not my strong point, obviously. Although, with Falls Festival coming up again soon I guess this post is sort-of-maybe timely again. I really wanted to embrace Falls Festival, because I’d heard so many good things about the Lorne and Marion Bay festivals, however Byron Bay didn’t really cut it for me. Don’t get me wrong, the musical acts were all top notch, but the entire experience just wore me down. Which is weird because usually I love Byron Bay festivals. Despite being a pretty adept camper, I struggled with the festival camping situation. The searing summer heat, thunderstorms, and bare minimum shade really got to me in the end. And don’t get me started on those composting toilets. It probably didn’t help that I was coming down with a summer cold, either. Thems the breaks I guess. For those heading to Falls at Byron Bay this year, the following is a list of things I learnt or would do differently if I had the chance.

1. Test out your camping gear. Make sure your tent can withhold a thunderstorm. Summer storms are rife around these parts and you don’t want to be caught off guard. We were lucky in that our cheap tent from Kmart held the rain at bay (#blessed) but others around us with seemingly solid tent set ups weren’t so lucky. 
2. Wear sunscreen. LOTS OF SUNSCREEN. Think the amount you’ve put on is enough? Nope. Double that. Apply that stuff liberally. Shade is a luxury on these grounds. Also avoid wearing anything that’s going to leave you with a weird tan for the rest of the year. Learn from my mistakes etc.
3. Start training for those hill climbs NOW. One of the main entrances to the amphitheatre involves hiking up a bitch of a hill. If you’re constantly zipping between stages, you will feel the burn. There ‘s another entrance to the amphitheatre on lower ground but it’s not always the most direct route. Start on those squats and lunges now and by the time the festival rolls around everything will be a cake walk.
4. Plan your escape and stick to it. If you’re staying the full length of the festival, avoid the mass exodus and potential traffic jams by leaving super early on the last day. I’m talking pack most of your gear the night before and leave at 5:30 in the morning early. As someone who survived the great Splendour in the Grass/Woodfordia traffic jam of 2010, I have well and truly learnt my lesson. Every minute counts. If I were to do Falls again I would even consider booking accommodation elsewhere for the final night and not have to deal with the mad rush to leave in the morning. 
5. This is one of those wishful thinking tips but if you can, scam some VIP passes. Anything VIP. Even if it’s not *really* VIP. Just so you at least give yourself the chance to use some clean toilets/access some shade/avoid queues… anything. One time I won VIP tickets to a festival I would usually avoid but HOLY MOLY what a difference proper toilets/full-strength alcohol/VIP viewing platforms/not having to deal with shirtless bros makes. This is probably just coming from someone who is getting older and more weary of festival crowds but whatever. 

There are definitely way more generic advice tips like drink plenty of water, pack snacks etc. but they’re pretty much givens and these were my main takeaways from the festival. The only festival I’ve got lined up this season is Laneway and luckily that’s a one day-er, at home, and rarely requires any planning other than “just show up and have a good time”.

Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay

^ Someone brought a T-rex along to Tkay Maidza’s set. They probably couldn’t find a Brontosaurus.

APT8

Untitled

The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) has recently opened at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and earlier this week I popped by to check it out. The APT exhibitions are the Gallery’s flagship contemporary art series and they’re the only exhibition series to in the world to focus on the contemporary art of Asia, Australia and the Pacific. I grew up going to see the APT exhibitions and they’re always a memorable experience. The current exhibition features many larger than life works and interactive and sensory experiences. My favourite had to be the  installation by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian which was a recreation of their Dubai home-studio (spoiler: it’s bonkers). I visited the exhibition with my mum and I’m pretty sure her favourite was the structure by Asim Waqif which looked like a bunch of pylons but is embedded with lights and sensors to be triggered by the viewer (seriously I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mum so amused by something). APT8 runs until April next year and entry is free.


Top tip: wear footwear that you can easily remove as there are a few installations that require you to remove your shoes in order to participate (I was wearing buckled sandals and couldn’t be bothered constantly taking them off and putting them back on).



APT8
APT8
APT8
APT8
APT8
APT8
1, 2 & 3. Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Sesam Rahmanian / “All The Rivers Run Into The Sea. Over.” / “Copy. Yet, The Sea Is Not Full. Over.” 2015
4. Warped mother-daughter selfies in the walls around Choi Jeong Hwa’s The Mandala of Flowers 

5. Choi Jong Hwa / Cosmos 2015
6. Min Thein Sung / Another Realm (horses) 2015
7. Asim Waqif / All we leave behind are the memories 2015

[Images captured on iPhone 6 and edited with the VSCO app]

Bespoke Press Gift Wrap

Bespoke Press Gift Wrap
I’m of the school of thought that if you’re going to give someone a present then you might as well go all out, fancy gift wrap and everything. None of this last minute scrounging around for wrapping paper or shoddy gift wrapping business. Bespoke Press make some of my favourite wrapping paper, hands down, and I picked these beauties up at the Finders Keepers Markets the other week. However, I’m always torn between using them asap and keeping them for myself because they’re so damn beautiful (I’m already making plans to frame the watercolour whale print one). The best part is that these are double sided so it’s like getting two sheets for the price of one. The trouble lies in deciding exactly which side to display.

Bespoke Press Gift Wrap
Bespoke Press Gift Wrap
1. Anchors / Whales Gift Wrap feat. Whales by Michelle Morin of United Thread
2. Watercolour Blue / Water Floral Gift Wrap
3. Blackbirds / Mustard Chevron Gift Wrap

Sydney Film Photo Diary

Bronte Beach
Remember when I went to Sydney earlier in the year? Yeah, well I finally got the roll of film I took down developed. Some six months later. This is turning into a real bad habit of mine. This was the first time I’d ever used Lomography film and while I was initially underwhelmed with the results, they’ve slowly but surely grown on me. I didn’t take as many photos as I thought I had (isn’t that always the case with film photos?) and the ones I did take were pretty typically ‘Sydney’. Anyway, scroll down for photos of Bondi, The Grounds of Alexandria, the Opera House, and a bit of a light installation.

Hi From Bondi
Bondi Beach
BONDI TO BRONTE – A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without making your way to iconic Bondi beach. My friends and I started our weekend doing all of the Bondi things – the Bondi to Bronte walk (well, technically it was Bronte to Bondi), brunch at Bondi Wholefoods, and then a stroll through the Bondi markets. So. Much. Bondi. Spending a morning in activewear doing brunch things and market things is something that I’ve NEVER done back home but felt it was decidedly appropriate for Bondi.



The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
THE GROUNDS OF ALEXANDRIA – This place is one of the most Instagrammed spots in Australia. For real. It’s no surprise though because this place is chock full of eye/Instagram candy. We made the rookie error of turning up mid-morning on a Sunday (hungover, no less) and by this time it was VERY busy and we were left waiting an hour and a half for a table at the cafe. So by the time we were seated we had to order off the lunch menu which was a bit of a blow to us breakfast lovers. There’s plenty to do while you’re waiting though and there are food vendors and seating scattered throughout the grounds so it’s easy enough to grab a coffee and a quick bite if that’s all you’re after. My tip to avoid crowds: come early or come on a weekday.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
CIRCULAR QUAY – The last time I had been in Sydney was as a child so I don’t *really* have any memories of seeing the Harbour Bridge or Opera House. So one afternoon I headed down to Circular Quay to take in all the touristy vibes and squeeze in a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art because I am a gallery junkie.


Kester Black Hand & Body Wash

I really enjoy watching brands develop over time and seeing how they expand and develop their products. When I first started using Kester Black products, they pretty much dealt exclusively in nail polish. Over the years they’ve expanded their cruelty-free product range into soaps and water based nail polish removers. The latest additions to the Kester Black range include Lucky and Pardon – a duo of soap-free liquid hand and body washes. Like what you’d come to expect from the brand, these hand and body washes contain certified organic ingredients, are palm-oil free, and are vegan-friendly. Kester Black continues to impress not only with their product launches, but by collaborating with artists and designers to create strong campaign imagery. These slightly psychedelic images have been produced by Eve Wilson and Natalie Turnball (with a few Photoshop markings added in by moi). You can purchase the new liquid hand and body washes online from the Kester Black website or from selected stockists.
Images: Kester Black

Brisbane in November


Hello, yes this post is a few days late because November snuck up on me and SERIOUSLY HOW IS IT NOVEMBER ALREADY? That means in a few weeks it’ll be December and before you know it Christmas and New Years Eve and ARGHHH 2016! When I’m not panicking about WHERE ON EARTH THE TIME ACTUALLY WENT, this is probably what I’ll be doing this month:

Dining – A bunch of new cafes and eateries have opened up around Brisbane recently (there are way too many to mention here) and these are the ones I’m most keen to check out.

The Bleachers: 153 Boundary Street, West End
The Bleachers is the latest venture from the same guys that bestowed Ben’s Burgers upon us. While burgers will be a mainstay, there will also be a changing seasonal menu and a soft serve machine.

Morning After: Cnr Vulture and Cambridge Streets, West End
I’m always on the look out for new and cute cafes and Morning After looks like a winner. I have to admit the striking Scandi-inspired design of the cafe was what initially drew me in but the menu looks pretty damn tasty too.

Nodo Donuts Cafe: 1 Ella Street, Newstead
The makers of “the world’s friendliest” and Brisbane’s tastiest (IMO) gluten-free donuts have opened a standalone store in Newstead. You know what that means? No more chasing these bad boys around their roster of cafe and market appearances for your donut fix. In addition to donuts, there will also be a range of treats available for those with various dietary requirements. Hooray!

Shopping – If you dislike markets then this list probably won’t interest you at all  ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

Finders Keepers Markets: 7 – 8 November at the Old Museum
I pretty much have a standing date with the Finders Keepers Markets. Last time I went it was super crowded and you could barely move let alone look at the stalls but I’m willing to overlook that experience on the off chance that things will be different this time around.

Summer Night Markets: every Friday from 13 November to 22 January at the Old Museum
Longer days and balmy weather means more outdoorsy evening events like the Summer Night Markets. Held in the same grounds as the Finders Keepers, these markets will be host to food trucks and stalls, locally grown produce, craft beer, local wine, and artisan stalls.

Vieille Branche Christmas Market Day: 21 November at Vielle Branche, Albion
What? You didn’t utilise the Finders Keepers or Summer Night Markets to pick up Christmas presents for your friends/family/secret Santas well ahead of time? Well luckily for you Vielle Branche are holding a Christmas Market day with stalls by the likes of Kara Rosalund, NICO Underwear, and The Notedly.

Visiting


The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8): 21 November – 10 April at QAGOMA
The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art’s flagship contemporary art series. It’s the only exhibition series to in the world to focus on the contemporary art of Asia, Australia and the Pacific. APT8 will run across both galleries and is free to view. You can see a few of my photos from the last APT exhibition in this blog post.

Handmade Australian Ceramics

When it comes to homewares, there’s a real growing market for handmade ceramics. Right now I’m all about stoneware and earthenware tumblers – there’s something so inviting about wrapping your hands around a warm mug of coffee/tea/hot chocolate. In my search for the *perfect* tumblers I’ve come across quite a few excellent Australian designers. And since sharing is caring and enabling shopping addictions etc., read on for my round up of Aussie makers who are creating some top notch ceramics. If you’ve got any favourite ceramic brands or know of any worth checking out be sure to pop them down in the comments!
Takeawei

Melbourne based ceramics label Takeawei creates fun, functional, hand crafted ceramics for the home. Designer Chela Edmunds mixes organic shapes and textures with bright colours and a sense of humour to create the signature Takeawei aesthetic. Check out more of Takeawei on their website.

Bridget Bodenham
Bridget Bodenham lives and works in in country Victoria making ceramic serving ware, tableware, utensils and jewellery as well as planter pots and vases from her converted shipping container studio. Her distinctive stoneware designs are also often offset by playful gold accents. You can see more of her work here.

Susan Simonini
Susan Simonini is a Queensland-based designer who uses hand building techniques to create her range of earthy ceramics. If you’re in Brisbane you can usually find her selling her wares at the Finders Keepers Markets (hot tip: the next markets are on next weekend), otherwise check out her website and Etsy store for more details.

Connie Lichti
Connie Lichti is a Melbourne-based artist who has been making pottery for over 15 years. As well as creating her own playful range of ceramics, she most recently collaborated with Gorman for their Home Time homewares range. You can see more of her work on her website as well as shop online via her Etsy store.

Brooke Thorn
Brooke Thorn ceramic tableware is hand made in Melbourne. The eye catching “Serving Suggestions” range, featured here, is designed to be functional and simple with a dash of colour. Visit their website to see more collections as well as to find a stockist near you.

Marloe Morgan Ceramics

Marloe Morgan Ceramics is a design & ceramic studio based on the Gold Coast, Australia. MMC creates functional tablewares and offers retail, bespoke & hospitality lines crafted using only the very best Australian stoneware. MMC will also be at the Finders Keepers Markets in Brisbane next week and you can check out their website for stockists.

Milly Dent
Milly Dent was probably one of the first designers that made me sit up and take notice of local ceramic makers. Her works are easily identifiable thanks to her distinctive marbled indigo patterns and geometric shaped vessels. If you’re in Brisbane you can find usually find Milly Dent stocked at Nook in West End and Showroom in the city. Otherwise, check out the Milly Dent website to see more of their designs.

Woo Ceramics
Woo Ceramics are hand thrown and glazed in Sydney by Jemima Woo. The pieces are designed for everyday use and range from coffee beakers to large serving bowls. You can shop Woo Ceramics online and they will also be debuting at the Summer Finders Keepers Markets in Sydney.

Commons

If you’ve popped into King Arthur Cafe in Brisbane you might have, like me, ended up drooling over some of their ceramic tableware. After some Instagram sleuthing I found out that they’re made by Commons. They don’t seem to have much of an online presence but you can keep up with them on Instagram to check for stockists and to make enquiries.

I’ve come across many more ceramicists while putting together this post but these are the ones that have caught my eye in particular. And, to be perfectly honest, if I were to include them all we’d be here all day! There are no doubt plenty more wonderful designers working their magic in Australia so if you know of any that deserve a shout out feel free to do so in the comments. 

Top image credit: The Design Files

What Would Cher Wear?

Clueless is one of my all time favourite films. When Farfetch got in touch asking me to create an iconic fashion film look with items from their site, I couldn’t turn down the challenge. There’s no doubt that over the years Cher Horowitz’s outfits have become ingrained in pop culture psyche. However, instead of trying to recreate a carbon copy Cher outfit, I went with a more modern interpretation of what Cher would wear. Because copying an entire look? Ugh, as if! That would be a total Amber move. I took inspiration from key looks in the movie and updated them with current trending items. Preppy staples like collared shirts, A-line mini skirts, and knee high socks are all present but there are plenty of playful personality-driven accessories too. With a nod to the nineties and classic Valley Girl style cues, this is my take on what Cher would wear in the year 2015.

Clockwise-ish from top
Sun Buddies ‘Type 02’ Sunglasses
Federica Moretti  Pom-pom Cap
Lanvin Printed Notebook
Alexa Chung for AG Jeans Denim Skirt
Avril Gau ‘Rosy’ Pumps
Karl Lagerfeld ‘K Chopette Love’ Clutch Bag
KTZ Striped Knee-High Socks
Stella McCartney iPhone 6 Case
Alexander Wang knit top layered over Vivetta ‘Hands’ Collar Shirt 

Pom Pom Antlers

Pom Pom Antlers
If programming on this blog has slowed down it’s probably because I’m spending all my spare time making pom poms. I’m half joking, half not. Anyway, I acquired these antlers while clearing out my grandmother’s house a few years ago as we needed someone to claim them before my vegan cousin showed up. I put my hand up to hide them in my car and have been custodian ever since. In an attempt to display them I strung up a wooden dowel/fishing line contraption to hang off of a picture rail (scroll down to the last photo to see). The antlers looked a bit plain just hanging against the white wall so I ended up gradually covering them in pom poms (and a tassel). I keep saying that each pom pom will be the last but we’ll see.

Pom Pom Antlers
Pom Pom Antlers
Pom Pom Antlers
 ^ I’ll eventually get around to painting the dowel white and finding white hooks to complete the floating effect but in the meantime I cbf. 

Fazeek Hand-Printed Homewares

Meet Fazeek, a Melbourne-based textile homewares company specialising in linens with a hand-printed touch. The eagle-eyed among you may have already seen one of their napkins featured here on the blog and over on my Instagram. Since starting up in 2014 with a collection of napkins, Fazeek have now expanded their collection to include several new products ranging from tablecloths to cushions. Head over to their website to see more of the collection and to shop online.




[Images: Fazeek]

7 Things To Do In Brisbane In October

Italian, Chinese, Greek, and British Film festivals: throughout October at Palace Cinemas
It seems like there’s a film festival of some kind held every month in Brisbane and October is host to several of them. First off the ranks is the Italian Film Festival followed by the China Australia Film Festival, Greek Film Festival, and British Film Festival. Stock up on round-the-world tickets of a different variety.
Openair Cinemas: 2 October – 15 November at the Rainforest Green, Southbank
Summer is in the air and that means it’s the perfect time for outdoor cinema. First up this season is Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinemas at Southbank. The films on offer include a mix of blockbusters like Everest, The Martian, and Pan, and classics like Thelma & Louise, Grease, and Dirty Dancing.
Oktoberfest Brisbane: 9 – 11 and 16 – 18 October at the Brisbane Showgrounds
Held over two weekends in October, this is the largest Oktoberfest in Australia. Nobody seems to mind it being held a few weekends after the actual Oktoberfest in Germany, as long as the beer is flowing and the good times are there to be had. I’ve gone a few times over the past couple of years and while I am fond of beer and pretzels, I’ve found the entry prices a bit steep and you’re usually hard-pressed to find a table during peak times.
RESORT James St: 15 – 17 October at in James St.
RESORT James St. is back again this year and the shopping precinct is ready to party. Get an insight into the minds of some of fashion’s best and brightest and grab a ticket to the RESORT Trailblazers talks with blogger extraordinaire Margaret Zhang, jewellery designer Holly Ryan, and Lisa Gorman of Gorman. Or you could squeeze in a bit of late night shopping with the RESORT After Dark event presented by Elle Australia.
Valley Fiesta: 23 – 25 October in Fortitude Valley
The Valley Fiesta is without a doubt Brisbane’s most iconic street festival. Every year we’re treated to a jam packed program of free live music, markets, and food-related events. Musical acts this year include Alpine, Last Dinosaurs, Art Vs. Science, Asta, and The Cairos. 
Garage Sale Trail: 24 October at various venues Australia-wide
The Garage Sale Trail is the biggest community and sustainability event held in Australia. A whole day dedicated to garage sales (or treasure hunting, as I would prefer to call it)? Count me in. You can register your own garage sale or use the website to locate sales in your area and create your own garage sale trail for the day.
Chet Faker: 31 October at the Riverstage
Finish off the month by treating yourself to the sweet sweet sounds of Chet Faker. Playing his biggest venues to date, audiences will be treated to songs from his debut album Built on Glass as well as never-before-performed-live material. It’s an all ages gig (although there is a licensed area but that’s a bit further back from the stage from previous experience) and tickets are around $80.

Eye Want it All

Eye motifs are everywhere right now. Sure, they’re nothing ground breaking and eye symbols have been popping up for centuries. You’ve got the Eye of Horus, the All Seeing Eye, the Hamsa, evil eyes, etc. But ever since Kenzo introduced their ubiquitous eye motif a few years ago it has seemingly gone gangbusters in the fashion world. Is this another illuminati conspiracy or just the fashion powers-that-be telling us that they’re watching and judging all our fashion choices? Who knows. I jumped on the bandwagon with my Falconwright eye clutch earlier this year and more recently have been eyeing off several pieces of Eyland jewellery. Here’s some more eye-catching clothing/accessories/homewares because who am I to displease our fashion overlords?
Clockwise-ish from top left:
Baron’s Eyes blouse and Philtre skirt by Hannah Kristina Metz
Eye clutch bag by Sunita Mukhi
Round eye cushion by Arro Home
Emerald Evil Eye clutch by Poppy Lissiman
Flirting Eyes shoes by Chiara Ferragni
Fortuna Layla heaphone set by FRENDS x BaubleBar

How To Make a Pom Pom Key Ring

DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
Ever since I bought a pom pom maker, pom pom production has gone up 100% around these parts. Yes, I was just as amazed that such contraptions existed – who knew I had been slumming it making pom poms the hard way all these years? So in my current pom pom making frenzy I decided I’d give making a pom pom key ring a go. This is a relatively simple DIY and making the pom pom is pretty straightforward if you’re using a pom pom maker. If you don’t have one or prefer to make them the old school way then I’d suggest checking out this tutorial by Fancy Free. If your keys need a pom pom flavoured makeover then read on!

DIY Pom Pom Key Ring

What you need:
– Plain key ring (you can just repurpose an old key ring or buy them from eBay/craft shops)
– Yarn
– Pom pom maker (not necessary but they are seriously life changing)
– Scissors

DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
1. Start by tying some yarn to the key ring to create an attachment point for the pom pom. If you’re plaiting the yarn like I am, tie the ends after you’ve reached the desired length so that the plait doesn’t unravel. Leave plenty of yarn at the ends to secure the pom pom later. If your key ring has a longer chain, you could skip this step entirely and just tie the pom pom directly to it.

DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
2. Make the pom pom using whatever method you have access to. If you don’t have a pom pom maker there are plenty of tutorials online. I’ve gone for a two-tone design here but you can create anything from plain to speckled pom poms.

DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
3. Tie the loose pieces of yarn from the key ring around the centre of the pom pom. This not only creates your pom pom but secures it as well.

DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
DIY Pom Pom Key Ring
4. Trim any loose pieces of yarn to create your desired pom pom shape and there you go! A fun key ring to add to your collection. It could also double as a bag charm and you could use the same kind of method to create some pomtastic earrings.

I Heart Brownies

i heart brownies
When it comes to hobbies, I think “eating my way around Brisbane” has to be up there as the most consistent. If you’re a regular at Brisbane markets then you’re probably already well acquainted with I Heart Brownies. For those not familiar, let me introduce you to the tastiest brownies I have ever eaten. The best part? They’re all gluten-free and come in a range of flavours – ranging from the OG chocolate to salted caramel and cheesecake. There’s also a dairy-free version, in case you needed more of a reason to *heart* brownies. And you don’t even have to hang out for the markets anymore to get your fix as their cute-as-a-button standalone store in Bakery Lane has all your brownie needs covered, seven days a week.

i heart brownies
i heart brownies
i heart brownies
^ Raspberry & chocolate brownies. Hanging out to try the salted caramel brownie but you’ve gotta get in quick for those.

Kit and Ace, James St

Kit and Ace James St.
Last week I visited the new Kit and Ace store in James St., Fortitude Valley. Focusing on luxury basics, this store is sure to be a must-visit for those looking for wardrobe staples and minimalist attire. The store stocks selected styles from the Kit and Ace collection, including core styles made from their signature blend of cashmere. That is, cashmere that’s machine-washable. Yep, you read that correctly. Machine-washable cashmere! Hallelujah! While Kit and Ace is a Canadian brand, what I like about their approach is that they aim to engage local makers and creators. The James St. store currently features a piece by Brisbane artist Louise de Weger and will include feature lights by Luxxbox. The local emphasis follows through with in-store pamphlets highlighting the best places to eat, drink, and shop in the area. The space itself is quite generous with couches and tables providing ample space to sit and converse. I tried on a few pieces in store and let me tell you, I am all about the cashmere t-shirts now. Because if Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle have taught me anything it’s that you’ve got to treat yo’ self.

Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.



Patch It Up


Has anyone else noticed that embroidered patches are coming back in a big way? While haphazardly patched up jeans and jackets were once the realm of punk and alternative fashion, this no longer seems to be the case. The look these days is decidedly more preppy with current season collections from local favourites like Gorman, Salasai, and House of Cards all featuring garments with patched details. If you’re feeling crafty, you could just grab a plain piece of clothing and DIY your own design. You don’t have to look particularly hard to find cute and quirky patches either – just look at the ones I’ve found here! If iron on patches seem like too permanent an option, don’t forget you can also find temporary alternatives in lapel pins and brooches.

Clockwise-ish, from top left:
Patch It Up Top from Gorman
Swan Patch by Rosehound Apparel
Love Patch by Coucou Suzette
Sportmax Embellished Skater Dress
Iron on Patch Set from Gorman
Zara Denim Jacket (seemingly sold out but you can find similar jackets here, here, and here)
Puberty Blues Cap by House of Cards
Sad Songs Patch by Stay Home Club
Unicorn Patch by Rosie Wonders
Pizza Patch by Kitiya Palaskas


5 Things To Do In Brisbane In September

Today marks the first day of spring here in the southern hemisphere. Hooray! What better way to celebrate the month ahead than by getting out and about and enjoying the best of what your town has to offer? Head to the markets! Plan a picnic! Or, if you’re from around these parts, make your way to one of these cool events.

The Imperial Russian Ballet Presents Swan Lake: 3, 4, & 22 September at QPAC
It’s the ballet that needs no introduction And it’s being performed by one of the most formidable companies in the game. It’s a no brainer, really. Get in quick as tickets are bound to sell out.

Brisbane Writers Festival: 2 – 6 September at various venues
Seek out some literary inspiration at this year’s Brisbane Writers Festival. The program is wide and varied, with events ranging from discussions and Q&A sessions to workshops and book readings. There’s even a program for kids (start ’em young, I say).

BIGSOUND: 9 – 11 September at various venues
BIGSOUND is Australia’s premier music industry conference and artist showcase. During the day the conference features significant keynote speakers and industry panels. At night, the artists come out to play with a jam-packed live music lineup at various venues throughout Fortitude Valley.

Sourdough Workshop: 9 September at Wandering Cooks, South Brisbane
As far as breads go, sourdough is one of my faves. Who can resist some smashed avocado on a fresh slice of the stuff? Not me, that’s for sure. Learn how to create a loaf yourself thanks with this workshop brought to you by Wandering Cooks.

Brisbane Festival: 5 – 26 September at various venues
For the month of September Brisbane becomes a canvas for the arts. With an aim to engage audiences with artists, Brisbane Festival has everything from live music to theatre and art installations. And it all ends with a bang, quite literally, with a night of fireworks aka Riverfire.

And it’s not quite Brisbane, but if you’re up for a road trip then make your way to Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers from 18 – 27 September to really get into the swing of spring.

Magnetic Island Photo Diary

A trip to Townsville isn’t complete without making your way over to Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island is right on Townsville’s doorstep and is a short boat ride away – so convenient! A return trip on the ferry is around $30 and there are trips to and from the island almost hourly. Once you arrive you can explore the island by bus ($7 for an all day ticket) or hire a car if you’d prefer to go at your own pace. There’s also the option to take your own car over on the barge but you have to book early to secure a spot. There are so many coves and walking tracks to explore that you really need a whole weekend or more to explore Magnetic Island thoroughly. I only ended up visiting Horseshoe Bay which is the main tourist/business strip, and Alma Bay in Arcadia which was a nice semi-secluded spot for an afternoon dip. I also got to finally test out my Lifeproof iPhone case, and after briefly losing my phone in the waters of Horseshoe Bay (oops) I can 100% confirm that they are in fact waterproof and protect your phone.




^ From where I float.

^ Because sometimes you’ve just got to interrupt a relaxing afternoon with some high-speed silliness.



^ How cute are these cars? They remind me of Barbie cars.

Kester Black Colour Collection, Part 2

New Kester Black Colours
Kester Black recently launched Part 2 of their 2015 nail polish colour collection. The colours in this collection are bold and bright, and perfect for pulling off a statement manicure. They include a berry pink Sorbet, a deep purple Sugarplum, a vibrant peachy-orange Coral, and royal blue Monarch. Now, I haven’t worn blue nail polish since high school but this shade of blue is one I can totally get behind. As with most Kester Black polishes you get excellent colour and coverage with just one coat. I used two coats of colour and a top coat for a full impact manicure, as you can see below. I think that the colours lend well to all seasons but I can especially see them getting a workout in the upcoming summer months.

New Kester Black Colours

Nail polish gifted by Kester Black. All content and imagery are my own.

Pin It Down


Pins and badges are making a comeback of sorts, and I’m loving it. I used to have a dumb collection of pins as a kid and my favourite was a little Tweety Bird one (it was the nineties, okay?) These days however I’m drawn to designs like the cheeky – and unfortunately sold out – boobie pins by Coucou Suzette and all of the Georgia Perry pins. Stick them onto the lapel of your old faithful denim jacket or clustered together on one corner of a trusty tote bag for an instant update. These are just some of the pins that I have been eyeing off lately.
Top Row, L-RWatermelon Pin by FeelGoodCo, Boobies Pin by Coucou SuzetteFingers Crossed Pin by Georgia Perry
Middle, L-RMilkshake Pin by fairycakes, Lucky Eye Pin by Coucou Suzette, Donut Pin by FeelGoodCo
Bottom, L-RIce Cream Pin by DzyDzydesign, Dynamite Pin by Prize Pins, Stuck On You Pins by Gorman

Townsville Photo Diary

This past weekend I visited friends in Townsville in north Queensland. This was my first trip to Townsville and I was pleasantly surprised by the place. It probably helped that I had locals to guide me but it’s not too hard to find the main attractions around town. Now, we’re pretty spoilt here in south east Queensland with our mild winters so when you head further up north it’s like walking into the best bits of summer – the nights were cool but the days were sunny and clear without being too hot and humid. One of the best things about visiting Townsville in winter is that you don’t have to worry about the stingers that are usually present during the summer months, so you can swim to your heart’s content. While I was mainly there to visit friends I still managed to pack a lot into two days. The following is just an example of what I got up to.


How I Spent My Weekend In Townsville
– Started the day by grabbing a green smoothie and pretzel-shaped doughnut from Otto’s Fresh Food Market (inside the complex next to the ice skating rink and cinema pictured below – of course the very first photo I take isn’t of palm trees or beaches but the back of a dilapidated ice skating rink.)
– Had lunch at The Courtyard in City Lane. Nothing grabs the youth market quite like a laneway establishment.
– Caught the last weekend of The Strand Ephemera which saw different artworks and sculptures scattered along the length of Townsville’s famous esplanade. The shiny lifeguard stand was probably my favourite. Even without the artworks, it’s a relaxing walk and I’d recommend taking the steps up to Kissing Point for uninterrupted views out to Magnetic Island.
– Went out for drinks at Rambutan which is one of the nicest rooftop bars/backpackers hostels I’ve ever been to.
– Headed over to Magnetic Island, which I did on the second day of my trip and will post about very soon.











^ That up there is Castle Hill which dominates the skyline. If you’re feeling fit you can hike up to the top, which I would have liked to have done but just didn’t have the time. You can also drive up but when we tried the road was closed for an event.

Creating an Organised Craft Basket

Woven Basket
How sweet is this herringbone knitting basket from UncommonGoods? If you aren’t already familiar with UncommonGoods they’re a site that endeavours to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are created with the environment in mind and without harm to animals or people. This fair trade basket is handcrafted by Wolof women in Senegal and is made using strips of plastic either recycled from prayer mats and rugs or purchased new from a Dakar mat factory. When I received this basket I was immediately undone by how big it was. I didn’t have enough yarn to fill it up but I wanted to use it for something other than a laundry or junk basket. After some head-scratching I came up with quick hack so I could still use it to store yarn as well as a few other crafty bits and bobs. You can find more gifts like this from UncommonGoods here, and there’s also a men’s section here



This is a pretty self-explanatory DIY so I’ll mostly let the pictures to the talking.

Woven Basket
Woven Basket
Woven Basket
Woven Basket
Woven Basket
This basket was a gift from UncommonGoods. All content and ideas are my own.

5 Things To Do in Brisbane In August

Winn Lane Fashion and Record Market: 1 August at Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley
If you’re in Brisbane and reading this know that you only have a small window of time to make it to the Winn Lane Fashion and Record Market that’s on today. TODAY! UNTIL 2PM! GET MOVING! There will be record pop ups from A Love Supreme and Phase 4, a cafe pop up from Alphabet Cafe, as well as your regular Winn Lane tenants.

Royal Queensland Show (Ekka): 7-16 August at the Brisbane RNA Showgrounds
The Ekka is a Brisbane institution. While the grounds are undergoing major changes, some things never change. Like the taste of the strawberry sundaes, the dizzying commotion of Sideshow Alley, painstakingly deciding which show bags to buy (always the Bertie Beetle bag). The only downside is the ticket prices. I miss the days where I used to get in for free (being a band nerd in high school had some perks, okay?)

PITPASS exhibition by Savannah Van der Niet: 8-16 August at Jet Black Cat Music, West End
Savannah Van der Niet is a Brisbane-based photographer who works predominantly in the field of 35mm film. She has been an official photographer for Splendour in the Grass and Laneway festivals so chances are you might already be familiar with her work. PITPASS encompasses live photography and previously unreleased press shots and and festival photos.

Mater Breast Ever Brunch: 21 August
What’s better than brunching? Brunching for a cause, that’s what. Get together a bunch of friends or workmates and hold a brunch to raise funds for Mater’s Chicks in Pink charity. While the main date is advertised as being the 21st of August, you can pick any day in August instead to hold your brunch.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane: 23-28 August at various locations
MBFF Brisbane celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year. Events range from your standard group runway shows to high teas and Q&A sessions. My picks would be the Fleet Fashion Boutique, which will stock the works of QUT students and alumni, and the NEXT Hotel Next Gen group show.

JORD Wood Watch

JORD watch
If there’s one accessory that I can’t *live without* it’s a watch. I wear them on a daily basis and I have a few that I keep on rotation. Now I’ve added one of these beautiful wood watches into the mix courtesy of JORD. I’m a big fan of natural timber finishes (mostly on furniture but I guess I can add accessories to that list now too) and I couldn’t go past this maple timepiece. I was a bit worried about a wood watch being on the clunky side but the Ely design is quite classic and understated. It’s perfect for adding a touch of warmth to an outfit and I’m loving teaming it with chunky knit sweaters for winter. I’ve paired it here with some other handy (boom-tish) favourites including Kester Black nude nail polish and Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique hand balm. The eye clutch is by Falconwright, who I was sad to find out had shut up shop earlier this year.


JORD Wood Watch
JORD watch

DIY Quartz Topped Container

Quartz Topped Container
I’m a collector, and I’m pretty sure it’s in my DNA to collect minerals or anything that comes from the earth. My grandma had a massive collection of shells and coral, my dad collected rocks (because geology), and I collect all of the shells/coral/crystal things. In most cases they just end up gathering dust on a shelf so I thought I could come up with some other way to put them on display. The end result was this easy quartz-topped container. Perfect for storing an assortment of objects, or maybe even more crystals.



What you’ll need
– Container of your choosing (this was an old Ferrero Rocher container but you can find similar ones at Kmart etc.)
– Crystal (mine is a clear quartz point from Feel Crystals)
– Wire
– Strong glue (I used super glue but you could also use epoxy or other kinds depending on your choice of materials)
– Wire cutting scissors

Method
The process was as simple as wrapping the crystal in wire, securing the wire, and then gluing the crystal to the container. Because the wire on the bottom of the crystal created an uneven surface, gluing was a bit messy but it all worked out in the end. I chose to wrap it in wire to make the clear quartz stand out against the clear container. If you want to save yourself some hassle (and very scratched up hands) just glue the crystal straight onto the container. You’ll want the bond to be strong enough to use the crystal as a handle. I ended up using my container as storage for my lipsticks.

Also, photographing clear things was one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever had. I pretty much gave up after a while.

Quartz DIY
Quartz DIY
Quartz Topped Container
IMG_9235a
Quartz Topped Container

This post is in partnership with Feel Crystals. Content and ideas are my own.

Miss Bee Providore

Miss Bee Providore
It has been almost a year since my trip to Indonesia but I never finished putting up my travel photos. So I thought I should finally get around to that. Better late than never, right? Since my trip mostly consisted of finding all of the cute cafes and eating all of the things, a lot of my photos are of such discoveries. One of my favourite places was Miss Bee Providore in Bandung, Indonesia. I mean, just look at that cute yellow coffee machine. Doesn’t it instantly cheer you up? There are two parts to Miss Bee – the glass house which houses part of the cafe and a more traditional looking building which has cafe seating and a small shop selling homewares and foods like nut butters (which are hard to come by in Indonesia). The food here is a mix of Asian and Western cuisine and from memory I had a pretty tasty burger and zucchini fries. The coffee and fresh juices here were good too. Also, as soon as I left I realised I had my camera set to a high ISO so all my photos are a bit blergh ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

Miss Bee Providore
Miss Bee Providore
Miss Bee Providore
Miss Bee Providore
Miss Bee Providore

One of the things I constantly found weird was how so much signage was in English even though many of the places weren’t even frequented by Westerners. Also this Bilimbi Tree did smell nice. 
Miss Bee Providore
Jl. Rancabentang 11A, Ciumbuleiut, Bandung

Stripes & Suede

Stripes are a staple in my wardrobe but they’re mostly limited to t-shirts and jumpers. However, I’ve finally added a striped dress into the mix, care of boohoo.com, and it’s already on high rotation in my wardrobe. I’ve teamed it here with a super soft suedette jacket which I think is a neat alternative to the ubiquitous denim jacket. A slouchy grey backpack (my backpack collection is steadily growing), wide-brimmed straw hat and my ever faithful Roshe Runs make for a casual weekend-ready look.

Lack of Color straw hat
Striped dress, suedette jacket, and backpack c/o boohoo.com
Nike Roshe Run trainers



SPACES Volume 3

SPACES volume 3
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been interested in books focusing on homes/interiors. For the most part I just think it’s my inner snoop getting the better of me. Who doesn’t love having a sneak peek into how other people live? That’s why I was super excited when I received my copy of SPACES Volume 3 last week. What’s so appealing about the SPACES series is that the featured spaces (because not all of them are homes – there are businesses, work spaces, and even vehicles) aren’t all about architectural grandeur and impeccable styling, but more so spaces that are lived in and loved. Although, when my brother flicked through my copy of SPACES Volume 2 he remarked with “is filling your house with weird junk the cool thing to do now? I’ve been doing that for ages. Does that mean I’m a hipster?” So… *shrugs*. You can purchase SPACES online or at selected retailers.

SPACES volume 3
SPACES volume 3
SPACES volume 3
SPACES volume 3


Pinterest Moodboard: Shades Of Pink

It’s weird. I wouldn’t identify pink as being a favourite colour of mine, but I seem to gravitate towards it a lot. These recently pinned images from my Pinterest account are proof of that.

Clockwise-ish from top left:
Floral arrangement by Natasha Kolenko via Design Sponge
Pink deck chairs from Canelle et Vanille
Gluten free beetroot cake with date sugar from Our Food Stories
– Renovation of an apartment in Turin, Italy
Pink satin dress from Rochas Resort 2016

You can find me on Pinterest at pinterest.com/sophs_things

The Finders Keepers AW15 Markets

Brisbane Finders Keepers AW15 Markets
Brisbane Finders Keepers AW15 Markets
Brisbane Finders Keepers AW15 Markets
Brisbane Finders Keepers AW15 Markets
Brisbane Finders Keepers AW15 Markets
Brisbane Finders Keepers AW15 Markets

When I logged on to Facebook today I was greeted with one of those “you posted this photo exactly five years ago today” messages. It was a photo of my friends and I at the Finders Keepers Markets five years ago. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. These are just a few phone photos from yesterday’s Finders Keepers Markets at the Old Museum. It was mayhem. Possibly the busiest I have ever seen it. After the first hall I gave up trying to actually look at stalls. I did buy a bambino fiddle leaf fig from Arc + Family (I didn’t get to buy a pot since I wouldn’t have been able to carry it home on the bus) and eat a super tasty haloumi burger from the Veggie Patch van, so the day wasn’t entirely a bust.

10 Things To Do In Brisbane In July

There seems to be quite a lot of food-related events going on in Brisbane this month which is great because I LOVE FOOD. Also, I know these lists are very location and time sensitive so I’m thinking of making a more generic “what to do on the weekend” post so all of you can play along at home, wherever in the world that may be. In the meantime, Brisbane, start penciling these dates into your diaries.

Cult Japan: 3 July – 2 September at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
If you’re a lover of Japanese film, be sure to make your way to the Cinémathèque at the GOMA this month. ‘Cult Japan’ will celebrate the “strange and outrageous in post-war Japanese cinema”. The program will also include a retrospective of work by Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s most celebrated animator and director.

Finders Keepers Markets: 4 – 5 July at the Old Museum, Herston
If you’ve been keeping up with this blog regularly, you’ll know that the Finders Keepers Markets are my jam. Set within the grounds of the Old Museum, there’s market stalls, food trucks, and live music aplenty.

Teneriffe Festival: 4 July, Teneriffe
To celebrate the suburb’s history and diversity, this one day festival will see several streets closed off in Teneriffe to host a variety of market stalls, live music, fashion, and historical displays.

The Photograph and Australia: 4 July – 11 October at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
Making its way up from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, ‘The Photograph and Australia’ looks at the connection between photography, place, and identity. This exhibition consists of 650 works from both renowned artists and unknown photographers.

Brisbane French Festival: 10 – 12 July at Southbank Cultural Forecourt
Fancy yourself a Francophile? Then head to the Southbank for the Brisbane French Festival. There’ll be everything from cabaret to French markets stalls and fashion shows.

Reel Fashion: 10 July – 16 October at Palace Centro, Fortitude Valley
Every Friday night, Palace Centro Cinemas will screen an iconic fashion film. The program includes a range of films like the Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (if you haven’t seen it GO), A Single ManThe Great Gatsby (1974), and Pretty in Pink.

Scandinavian Film Festival: 16 – 26 July at Palace Centro, Fortitude Valley
Screening exclusively at Palace Cinemas, the Scandinavian Film Festival will showcase a range of dramas, comedies and thrillers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

Regional Flavours: 18 -19 July at South Bank Parklands
Sample the best of what South East Queensland has to offer at South Bank’s Regional Flavours festival. There will be plenty of food and wine on show, as well as entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts.

Brisbane Night Noodle Markets: 22 July – 2 August at South Bank Cultural Forecourt
The Night Noodle Markets will once again return to South Bank as part of Good Food Month. There will be restaurant stalls, themed bars, live music, and even weekend Yum Cha.

James St Food & Wine Trail: 30 July – 1 August at James St, Fortitude Valley
The Food & Wine Trail will see a diverse culinary program take over the James St precinct. My tip would be to head along to the Urban Picnic to sample street-food style fare from some popular James St food retailers.

Other noteworthy events like the Story Bridge 75 and Bakery Lane’s Dinner Under the Stars are already sold out but if you’ve managed to grab tickets to either of those then good on you!

Pineapple Express Cafe


Usually the idea of going out for breakfast at 8am on a weekend is beyond me but when it came to visiting Pineapple Express Cafe I’m glad I got in early. When I arrived all the seats inside were already occupied and by 9.30am this placed was packed with diners and people grabbing their morning take-away coffees. Pineapple Express Cafe opened earlier this month and is a welcome addition to the Portside precinct. The cafe interiors are bright and cheery (the fit out was done by Tú Projects, who have worked on a bunch of restaurants around Brisbane) however seating is quite limited when busy. I would have liked to have gotten some shots of the interior but it was pretty packed and I didn’t want to be a creep. You’ll just have to take my word for it or visit it for yourself. I opted for the old favourite of avocado on toast (with feta and dukkah) but being a superfood cafe, there are smoothies and acai bowls up to your eyeballs. Also: Cocowhip. If it wasn’t a chilly morning I totally would have had all of the frozen things. While the avocado on toast wasn’t the best I’ve had in Brisbane, at $10 for two slices it’s by far one of the most affordable. They also offer some healthy lunch options and if I lived or worked nearby, I could easily see myself becoming a regular customer.

This post was in partnership with Tú Projects, who did the fit out for Pineapple Express Cafe.

Crescent Moon Earrings

Untitled
These crescent moon earrings from Molten Store have to be my new favourite accessories. I have  a soft spot for celestial-inspired jewellery and as soon as I saw these earrings at Molten Store, I had to have them (although they’re only at the James St store in Brisbane and they don’t seem to be stocked online). I like the look of earrings and cuffs that travel up the ear lobe because they can give off the effect of multiple piercings, which I always thought would be cool to have. These ones don’t quite have that effect but I think they’re pretty sweet nonetheless. Although when I first put them in they sat awkwardly so I thought that they might have been drop earrings after all, but I got there in the end. They could probably work as both. You can kind of see how they sit, below.


Untitled

This grainy image courtesy of my iPhone 6 front camera yeyyy


Kuwaii AW15


If you like your things to be colour coordinated then you’re really going to like the autumn/winter collection from Aussie label Kuwaii. The Re-Mix AW15 collection is a mix of fluid lines and boxy silhouettes with accent shades of coral and royal blue set alongside understated navy and grey hues. Every look in the lookbook is eye-pleasingly monochrome, which helps to highlight certain textural and tailored elements. You can see and shop the collection on the Kuwaii website.





Cotton Ink

Australia is often referred to as multicultural but I’m the first to admit that as someone who is Eurasian, I had a fairly Anglo upbringing. Despite being born in Indonesia and having a large Indonesian family, I’m fairly out of the loop when it comes to modern Indonesian culture. While I’ve always identified as being Australian, cultural identity is such a multifaceted topic and one that I could only begin to scratch the surface of in a brief blog post. And since I’m here mainly to talk #fashun, I’ll leave the thoughts on self-identity and culture for another day. On my last trip to Indonesia I not only had to navigate the massive changes in both infrastructure and culture but also this new Indonesia I was experiencing as an adult, not a child. Luckily I had my ever helpful cousins to guide me (turns out hipster culture has permeated most corners of the globe). Since then I’ve been taking note of any interesting Indonesian brands, stores, and places to check out on my next visit. One such brand is COTTON INK, which I came across on Instagram. I was instantly drawn to their aesthetic – casual tailored pieces mixed with geometric patterns and traditional batik fabrics. I’ve been eyeing off their blue batik tops but unluckily for me, they’re all sold out online.


Images: COTTON INK

Marbled Things




As far as trends go, marble has had a meteoric rise. First it was the Instagram backdrop du jour, then came the marble homewares and printed clothing and accessories. For this post, however, I thought it would be fun to branch out a bit and look at *marbled* items. If you’ve ever tried marbling with paint or ink (hello childhood arts and crafts) you know just how intricate, unpredictable, and varied the overall effects can be. These are just a few marbled items that are worth checking out.

Kester Black x Beci Orpin

Kester Black x Beci Orpin
Kester Black have been killing it with their collaborations lately. You may remember that when they launched their soap range last year they teamed up with Australian artist Dawn Tan to design their packaging. For their second soap range Kester Black enlisted one of my favourite Aussie creatives, Beci Orpin. While these photos show how good the soaps look, what they don’t convey is the smell. Let me tell you, these soaps smell insanely good. I never knew I needed double espresso soap in my life until I got my hands on these Kester Black goodies. Now I don’t know how I’ll live without it. As per usual, these soaps are certified vegan and are free from parabens, sulfates, and petrochemicals. You can get your hands on these delicious soaps online or from a Kester Black stockist. I’ve also rediscovered animated GIFs so got a teeny bit carried away, as you’ll see below.

Kester Black x Beci Orpin
Kester Black x Beci Orpin
Kester Black x Beci Orpin
Soaps c/o Kester Black

What’s On In Brisbane in June

For me, June is notorious for being a birthday month. It’s not only home to my birthday, but my brother’s birthday and several friends’ birthdays as well. So when I’m not birthday-ing this month, I’ll probably be checking out these Brisbane events.
Human Rights Arts & Film Festival: 2-4 June at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm
The Human Rights Arts & Film Festival will make a pit stop in Brisbane at the beginning of the month as it tours around the country. Presenting the best films and artwork from around the world, the HRAFF aims to engage and inform people on human rights issues through their creative program.

Lifeline Bookfest: 6-9 June at BCEC, South Brisbane
The Lifeline Bookfest is a firm fixture in my calendar. You get to buy cheap books, maybe even some vinyl records, and all proceeds go towards a worthy cause. My main tips would be to get in early, have a general idea of what you want to buy (it makes it easier than aimlessly wandering through aisles of books), and to bring lots of sturdy bags to carry your books home in. If you’re looking for vinyl, be prepared to sort through LOTS of Neil Diamond/The Seekers/Kamahl records. In the past I’ve scored Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, and The Cure albums so it pays to be diligent. 
Caxton Street Festival: 7 June at Caxton Street, Brisbane
Back in the day it used to exclusively be a Seafood and Wine festival but now the Caxton Street Festival is more of a fully fledged street party. Along with seafood and wine, there will be street food, pop-up bars, and plenty of live music (my tips would be DZ Deathrays and Thelma Plum).
Meet Pip Lincolne: 14 June at Brisbane Square Library, Brisbane
Pip Lincoln is one of Australia’s most popular crafters and creatives, and she’ll be stopping by Brisbane Square Library this June to promote her latest book. Join Kirsten Devitt from Brisbane label Each To Own as she chats with Pip about all things creative. Books will be available for purchase on the day, or you can bring your own in for Pip to sign.

Queensland Cabaret Festival: 10-25 June at various venues
The Queensland Cabaret Festival hits town this month and there’s plenty on offer for audiences at various venues around Brisbane. Check out the festival website for more information on the local and international acts on show.
I Used To Skate Once 11: 26 June at The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
Over the past decade, I Used To Skate Once has become an iconic fixture on the Brisbane calendar. Using skateboards as their canvas, IUTSO showcases the work of a variety of Australian artists. Entry is free and seeing as it’s held at The Zoo, it’s only fitting that there will be plenty of live music to boot.
Downey Park Food Trucks: 28 June at Downey Park, Windsor
There are so many different food truck gatherings in Brisbane now that it’s hard to keep up. Downey Park Food Trucks is a new regular monthly event and one that I keep meaning to check out. Maybe this month I’ll finally get there!

P.S. I created the animated GIF using this tutorial by Pugly Pixel


Naja Lingerie

From bold prints to elegant basics, lingerie brand Naja have got you covered. I was recently introduced to Naja and was instantly impressed with the brand’s vision. Not only do Naja offer affordable luxury lingerie but their brand ethos is one that aims to empower women. When you buy something from the Naja brand, a percentage of every purchase supports their entrepreneurial sewing program for women through the Golondrinas Foundation in Colombia and their Underwear for Hope program. With the guiding philosophy that “when you educate a woman, everything changes” the initiative teaches single or head of household mothers to sew and employs them so that they can help themselves and their families. And as if they weren’t creating enough of a social impact already, Naja have recently launched an eco-friendly bra and swim line using fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. You can see more of their bra and pantie collections, as well as learn about the Underwear for Hope program, over on their website.





[Images: Naja]

Eco-Friendly Products for the Home

Like many people these days, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the impact that excessive human consumption has on the planet. When it comes to the home, there are many things that I’ve changed over the past couple of years to create a more eco-friendly environment. These include switching out plastics for glass or stainless steel alternatives, choosing sustainable materials, and cutting down and becoming more aware of the types of chemicals I introduce into the home. Luckily, these days, there are plenty of places that make it easy to find and shop for eco-friendly products. These are just some eco-friendly items that I either already use or am looking to use in the future, all of which can be found on the Biome website.

Clockwise-ish from top left:
– Redecker olive wood salad servers
Keep Cup brew reusable coffee cup: I use my Keep Cup all the time, not only at home but out and about.
– Camphor Laurel cutting board
– Ball mason jars: so they’ve gotten a bad rep as being a hipster cliche, but they’re still pretty useful around the home
– Tin of twine jute: for use around the house and garden but mostly for decorative gift wrapping 😉
– Redecker wooden clothes pegs
– Hessian sack with tassels
– The Environmental Toothbrush
– Little Veggie Patch Co heirloom seeds
– Stainless steel straws

This post is in partnership with Biome, a fantastic Brisbane-based company.

Chocolate, Banana, & Coconut Muffins

Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins

I was flicking through the latest issue of Donna Hay magazine when I came across a recipe for chocolate, banana, and coconut muffins. While I’m quite partial to a choc chip muffin, I thought that the addition of banana and coconut would make for a tasty treat. So, here we are. One batch of chocolate, banana, and coconut muffins done and dusted. The recipe couldn’t be easier and you end up with some deliciously gooey chocolate muffins. They’re the perfect bite for morning or afternoon tea.

Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins
Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins
Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins
Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins
Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins
Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut muffins

Chocolate, Banana, and Coconut Muffins
Makes 12 (I ended up making 18)

Ingredients:
– 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
– 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup cocoa
– 2 eggs, lightly beaten
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup coconut milk
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 2 cups mashed banana (I used 4 bananas)
– 200 dark chocolate, chopped
– icing sugar, for dusting

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease muffin tins.
2. Place flour, coconut, sugar, and cocoa in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, coconut milk, oil, banana, and chocolate. Using a butter knife, mix until just combined.
3. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins. Cook for 25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer (if you’re testing with a skewer remember that if it doesn’t come out clean it could just be the melted chocolate, so try a few different spots to make sure).
4. Set aside to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Original recipe by Donna Hay

Review: Sapphire 8 in 1 Curling Wand


When it comes to doing my hair, I prefer fuss-free styles that take the bare minimum amount of time to do. Mainly because I’m lazy and also because over the course of my life I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much time I spend on my hair, it always ends up looking the same. I don’t have a particularly good track record with curling my hair but when Irresistible Me sent me their Sapphire 8 in 1 Complete Curling Wand to review I thought it would be a good opportunity to try my hand at achieving the ultimate wavy ‘do, once and for all. Read on for my review of their curling wand and also for some before and after shots.

The curling wand comes with 8 different attachments, ranging from the weird bobbly “pearl” to a large 32mm barrel. So far I’ve tested the 25mm and 32mm barrel attachments as these are the ones I’ll probably get the most use out of. I also tried the “pearl” barrel for curiosity’s sake but that was a bit of a fail. Anyone care to tell me what it’s meant to do?

In addition to the eight barrel attachments, the curling wand comes housed in a roll-up pouch and with a heat resistant glove. The glove is a godsend if you’re anything like me and are prone to burning yourself. Also, as I’m located outside of North America, I had to use a plug adapter to make this wand compatible with Australian electrical sockets.

The barrels are secured into the handle via a simple twisting lock mechanism. My first impression was that the handle felt a bit flimsy as it’s made from a light plastic. However, it felt more substantial once the barrel was attached and I became used to holding the wand. The digital display is easy to read (although you can’t tell from this shot) and despite thinking the default temperature was set to degrees Fahrenheit, I accidentally pressed the up arrow for a few seconds and that did the trick of converting the temperature to degrees Celsius.


Before and after shots. I achieved these loose curls by wrapping sections of hair around the 25mm barrel, starting from the back of the head and moving to the front. I also hadn’t washed my hair in a few days and had used some dry shampoo previously, so I think that had a lot to do with the curl holding a bit better. All in all it took me under ten minutes for a full head of hair. Success!
NB: This curling wand was gifted from Irresistible Me and this review is based on my experience with the product.

Love: Linen Quilt Covers




Let’s talk about quilt covers. Linen quilt covers in particular. I currently have one adorning my bed and cannot speak highly enough of it. Is adulthood defined by an increasing love of homewares? Because that’s pretty much been my experience over the past couple of years (which isn’t saying much to be honest). What I love about linen covers is that they age beautifully and become softer with each wash. They’re perfect for creating that inviting, lived-in look. While my quilt cover is one I bought on a whim on sale at Target a while ago, I’ve been scouring the internet for more linen goods. These linen quilt covers are topping the list.

Pure linen quilt cover from I Love Linen
Duvet and pillow case set from Scottie Store
Linen duvet cover from CULTIVER
Linen duvet cover from IN BED Store
Linen quilt set from In The Sac
Blind & Fold linen quilt from Mr Kitly

Sydney Travel: Art Galleries

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Hi, my name is Sophie and I’m an art gallery junkie. For me, no trip is complete without a cultural excursion to an art gallery. It’s one way for me to stack cities up against each other. “You’ve got James Turrell? Well WE’VE got David Lynch” etc. My trip to Sydney coincided with the opening of the Light Show exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which I was really looking forward to. Photos weren’t allowed inside the actual exhibit (although plenty of people were trying) so the ones here are from the Luminous exhibit and other collections. The next day I escaped the torrential rain and retreated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Despite visiting the art galleries on separate occasions, they’re so close by that you could easily nerd out and make a day of it. While there was plenty to see at the Art Gallery of NSW, I did go during a weird in-between phase so a few of the collections were in the process of either being dismantled or put together. Turns out I missed out on some really interesting exhibits like Loud! and Matisse And The Moderns by only a few days. While there are plenty of other galleries in Sydney I would have loved to have visited, like the White Rabbit Gallery, the MCA and Art Gallery of NSW are must-dos for those short on time.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
[Images taken on an iPhone 6 and edited in VSCOcam]

7 Things To Do In Brisbane in May

Untitled
Bakery Lane Providore Markets: 2 May at Bakery Lane, Fortitude Valley
Brisbane is brimming with revamped laneways and one of the newest kids on the block is Bakery Lane. They’ll be launching their first ever Providore Markets in May, and they’ll continue to be held on the first Saturday of every month. Stall holders will include Reverends Fine Coffee, Crust & Co Artisanal Bread, Bee One Third Honey, Mapleton Falls Farm Produce, My Granola, and other Bakery Lane Tenants.
Free Zine Day: 2 May at Junky Comics, West End
Did you know that 2 May is Free Comic Book Day? Junky Comics have made a small twist and instead will be celebrating Free Zine Day. From 9am they will be offering up free zines provided by local artists and sales on store stock. There will also be an after party held at The End from 6pm.
IRL Digital Festival: 7-17 May at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm
The IRL Digital Festival is the Powerhouse’s inaugural celebration of video games, technology, and art. The festival will feature a range of events from free retro video game exhibitions, interactive art installations, digital-inspired music, and virtual reality demonstrations.
Analogue/Digital: 14-15 May at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm
Analogue/Digital is an annual design conference that brings together creatives from all over the world. This year it coincides with the IRL Digital Festival at the Powerhouse. Tickets to the two day conference range from $200 to $500 and registration is open up until the week of the event or until tickets sell out.
Paniyiri Greek Festival: 23-24 May at Musgrave Park, South Brisbane
If you live in Brisbane you already know how big a deal the Paniyiri Festival is. You’ll also know how hectic parking gets around South Brisbane and how crowded Musgrave Park gets but goshdarnit if that’s going to stop you from wrapping your mouths around some deep fried octopus or sweet sweet baklava.

Dirty Dancing: from 27 May at QPAC, Southbank
I love a good musical. I also love the movie Dirty Dancing (I mean, I have the OST on vinyl and I own dress that’s actually called the “I carried a watermelon” dress). This is a no brainer. Go. Have the time of your lives.

Green Heart Fair: 31 May at 7th Brigade Park, Chermside
Celebrate sustainable living at the bi-annual Green Heart Fair. Join leading sustainability organisations, community groups, artisans, foodies, green-thumbs, conservationists, and businesses as they share information on how to live more sustainably.

[Top image taken at a floral workshop with Primula Floral Styling – regrettably not my handiwork]

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