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Kester Black Hand & Body Soap

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

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


Soaps c/o Kester Black


Kawah Putih, Indonesia

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






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



Gorman Summer 2014 Collection


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

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








[Images supplied]

Sad Girls Zine

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







Go: Dusun Bambu, Bandung

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





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


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