Browsing Category

Everything Else

Bibelot - Dessert Boutique South Melbourne
Fashion, Home, Music, Travel

This Month I’m…

My May is pretty flat out – lots of commitments (both work and play) – business travel, a friend’s wedding, catch ups and farewells and, well, you get the idea. In between all that, this month I’m…

Listening to my May Playlist on Spotify. It’s got everything from French hip hop to a cover of Stand By Me(!).

I’m trialling FitBit Premium (it’s free to try and just $60 AUD a year). You already know I’m hooked on my FitBit, but this takes it to a new level, pushing you to go the extra mile (er, no pun intended).

I’m booking hotels for a trip later in the year to the Greek Islands. My current go-tos for gorgeous hotels are Tablet Hotels (curated selection of the best-of-the-best), Jetsetter (a Trip Advisor edit) and Hello World (a modern-day travel agency).

I’m shopping for boots, and currently eyeballing these beauties by Laurence Dacade (below) but at $890 AUD, remain unconvinced. All recommendations welcome!

Laurence Dacade Pete Boots
I’m extremely excited to be meeting with The Den Interiors to discuss some serious overhauling of our house which is about a year overdue.

I’m eating all the goodies I can get my hands on at Melbourne’s new dessert boutique, Bibelot (top). “A dessert boutique?!” I hear you say? Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

Finally, I’m wearing all the Uniqlo mens crew neck merino wool sweaters ($50 AUD) I can get my hands on. I need to take an extra small, but it’s a true crew neck, fits better than the women’s and damn do they last and last and last.

 

The Daily Edited
Fashion, Home, Style

Friday Finds: The Daily Edited, Boden, Edward Kwan and Grovemade

Regular readers know well by now how much I love a good monogram. (It feels like a throwback to years gone by when we owned fewer, better things, cared for them and kept them long enough to stamp your initials on them.) So you can picture my delight at discovering The Daily Edited (above). A clutch or card holder here, a personalised notecard there… all able to be monogrammed. Complete the Insta-look with their desktop delights like quirky stationery. Monogram leather goods start at $50 AUD. Sign up to their newsletter for 10% off your next order.

 

If you’re already a fan of stores like Anthropologie and Gorman, you’re going to want to know about Boden. Pretty-yet-punchy in every colour imaginable, Boden is the absolute antithesis to the monochromatic palette favoured by Melbournians and the Insta-set. Boden doesn’t just stop at womenswear though – they’ve got gents as well as the littlest people in your life covered (or is that clothed?), too. Prices vary but to give you an idea, the swimsuit shown above is $90 AUD.

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot to be said for having multiple careers over the course of your life and it would seem that Edward Kwan agrees. A Melbourne-based dancer-turned-lawyer with a sideline making quirk-tastic bowties and neckties, Edward Kwan isn’t settling for just one job. If only I had an iota of her style, I’d be using this as an excuse to channel Janel Monae and get my manstyle dressing on. Unfortunately, I’m just not that hip so I’ll be admiring these babies from afar. Handmade in Melbourne, bow ties start at $60 AUD.

Is your workspace feeling dull and uninspired? Is your laptop / screen perched atop a stack of phone books? Are you using a promotional mouse pad? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, have I got the answer for you! US-based Grovemade creates the chicest of chic desk accessories and carry-kit to order by hand, right from their studio. Streamline your life and be the envy of any office. Perfect! Prices start at $30 USD for a dish.

Lane Crawford
Beauty & Health, Everything Else, Fashion, Style

Yet Another 12 Excellent Online Stores That Ship Worldwide

If you’re a regular reader and you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that these posts I’ve written rambling on about my favourite online stores that ship internationally are amongst the most popular of all time. So, you asked for it… here’s another 12! These online stores ship to America, ship to Australia, ship to Europe, ship to Asia… in fact, they ship most places (but be sure to double-check your location before you get too excited. A geographical in-basket disappointment is just the worst.)

  1. ASOS – I’ve got no idea how I’ve managed to leave them off my list ’til now… but better late than never, right? ASOS delivers to all corners of the globe, quickly, efficiently and FREE. No matter your style, budget or gender, ASOS has something to fit your brief.
  2. MyTheresa – high fashion, high prices, high style. If you’ve seen it in a international fashion week street style shot, chances are good you can find it here, and have it in time for the weekend.
  3. Farfetch – I like to think of Farfetch as a highly curated, luxe marketplace where only the most covetable boutiques from across the globe get to sell their wares. No matter where they are, though – down a little laneway in Milan or on the chicest strip in Paris – they’ll ship to your doorstep.
  4. Shopbop – ship worldwide? Pfft, Shopbop don’t just ship worldwide, they express ship worldwide AND for free. These folks stock a veritable who’s who of the fashion world from denim to dresses and everything in between, but unless it’s sale time, don’t go clicking if you’re on a tight budget.
  5. Revolve Clothing – One of the originals, these folks are still going strong for a reason… and on the shipping front they now offer free international shipping for orders over $100 USD (or equivalent). In terms of style, there’s no argument – Revolve is definitely for the younger amongst us (sartorially speaking anyway).
  6. Lane Crawford – the Hong Kong based mecca and one-stop-shop for everything you need to get that Insta-worthy, street style savvy, it-girl cool (and they’ll ship your goodies to you free, anywhere in the world).
  7. Saint James – if you’re as much a sucker for a stripe tee as me, you needn’t look any further. Saint James may actually be where it all started.
  8. Strawberrynet – all your makeup, skincare and fragrance needs, all in one place, all at a discount. Check back regularly though, the stock changes daily. (And in case you’re wondering, I’ve bought from this store close to 50 times now and have never had a problem with authenticity).
  9. Luisa Via Roma – all the delights of the famous boutique in Florence, shipped worldwide. Dangerously delightful.
  10. She Style – Ridiculously cheap fashion at ridiculously low prices.
  11. Thread Etiquette – Watches, bracelets, ties, sunglasses and other such essentials, shipped straight to your door, no matter where that may be.
  12. Wolf and Badger – the best of up-and-coming fashion, at your finger tips (and most importantly, in your mailbox).

Want more? Here are the other three posts with this theme: 12 Fantastic Online Stores That Ship Worldwide, 12 Online Interiors Stores That Ship Worldwide, 12 More Online Stores That Ship Worldwide.

We Are Handsome - White Knight Activewear
Fashion, Home, Style

Friday Finds: Amour Vert, We Are Handsome and Cultiver

You know those days when you just wish you’d win the lottery or end up with an unexpectedly enormous inheritance from an unknown distant relative? This won’t help…

I always pay that bit more attention when I stumble across a sustainable, ethical clothing brand that is going out of its way to produce a morally sound product, so it’s no surprise Amour Vert caught my eye. The whole kit and caboodle is American made using non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibres and zero-waste design methodology, but frankly even if you don’t care an iota about all that, you’ll still be swooning over this label for its laid-back-but-polished appeal. Prices start around $80 USD for a singlet.

They’ve been bringing some POP to beach scenes the world over with their bright digital prints since 2009 and now We Are Handsome are taking it to the streets with the launch of their activewear range. It’s just the motivation you need to get your workout on. Prices from $90 AUD for a bralet.

If you like your little daily luxuries but don’t want ‘what she’s having’ then you’ll be happy to hear about decadent boutique linen brand, Cultiver. Initially just offering the most sumptuous of bedlinen, the range has now expanded to include vintage silk velvet cushions, Turkish cotton robes, and sleepwear. Bring on those lazy days… Prices start around the $130 AUD mark for pyjamas and cushions.

 

Ayu - Fragrance
Everything Else

Friday Finds: Outdoor Voices, Ayu and Suite One Studio

This week I’m all about making the ordinary extraordinary.

Outdoor Voices – By all means, walk your dog in your holey tracksuit and old tshirt… but wouldn’t it be that much nicer a start to the day if your outfit were just a little more chic? Outdoor Voices offers simple, stylish and minimal high-end activewear that will make you hope you run into your ex / hot neighbour / boss during your workout. Made in the USA, prices from $55.00 USD.

Ayu – Some years ago I sat next to a girl in a school uniform on a train and was dismayed to discover she was wearing the same fragrance as me. Since then, I’ve considered seeking out less mainstream fragrances an absolute must. Enter Ayu. Australian-made and ethical, this intoxicating find is quickly becoming a favourite. Their first fragrance – Souk – has just been released, and offers rose, jasmine and sandalwood notes in the blend (amongst others). $89.95 AUD.

Suite One Studio – Sure, you could go and buy some Plain-Jane dinner set from your local department store (all in white, because… it’s easy to clean? I don’t know… why do people buy white dinner sets anyway?!). Or you could add some serious style to every meal you have (even if it’s on the couch or sitting on the kitchen bench), with a beautiful set from Suite One Studio. All pieces are limited run though, and tend to sell out so a) treat your collection carefully and b) get in quick. The store is replenished every Tuesday. Prices from $30.00 USD a piece.

 

The Edit
Everything Else

How To: pare-back, declutter and simplify your life

If in doubt, throw it out (or donate or give away or return…). This has long been my mantra. I live for a good cull. And whilst it’s definitely a work-in-progress, based entirely upon casual observation, I’d argue I have a lot less stuff in my life than your average first-worlder (if you’re reading this, that’s probably you).

Whilst generations before us lived in a time of proper economic depression characterised by true austerity, most of us today have never taken measures like drawing a line up the back of our legs to give the illusion we were wearing stockings. The fact is that for the most part, we’ve enjoyed a lifetime of abundance and availability, no matter our financial situation. When else in history have you been able to spend anything from $3.00 to $300.00 on a t-shirt?

But if luxury is simply about having what the masses do not, then it was only a matter of time before more is more became passé, and the ‘less is more’, ‘quality over quantity’ and ‘curated’ type movements had their time in the sun.

Whether it’s an idea that resonates with you for the mental peace, environmental benefit, luxurious, anti-consumerist statement or some other reason, you’ve made it this far so… here’s how I go about making it happen.

Cuyana - Lean Closet

Ask some tough questions

They’re tough because sometimes you want to keep stuff for no good reason. Here’s how to tell when you’re holding onto it out of habit.

  • Does it make me or my family actively happy?
  • Would it pass the burning house test (see below)?
  • Have I used or looked at it in the last year? Do I foresee any reason I’d use or look at it in the next month?
  • Is it still ‘good’? That is, can still perform the purpose for which it was intended?

Come up with a plan

Not quite ready to say goodbye? Work out a farwell plan and make it happen. There are lots of ways to do this, but here are some of my favourites.

  • Put everything you’re not sure about in a box and stash it somewhere out of the way. If after a set amount of time (no more than 6 months) you haven’t fished anything out of the box, proceed directly to your the nearest donation point. Whatever you do, don’t look in the box.
  • If you’ve culled as far as you’re willing to go at this point, implement a 2-in-1-out system. It’s a simple premise: for every item you acquire, you get rid of two of the same calibre. For example, if you want a new juicer, you have to lose the rice cooker and the waffle iron. I find this a great way to work out whether you really want (or need) something or if it’s just a fleeting fancy.
  • Discover how much you really use things with this technique: take all the hangers in your wardrobe and turn the hooks so that they face you. Each time you wear a piece, turn the hook around the other way. After 6 months, donate anything with the hanger still facing forward. This works with almost anything in your house. For books, put a sticky dot on the spine. Put kitchen utensils in a box and return them to their home after use. You get the idea!

Make it last

Once you’ve made the cull, you’ll discover it’s rather easy to gradually end up back where you started. To prevent this, I work with a 1-in-1-out system. As per the above, it’s pretty straightforward – one item in means one item out.

Want more inspiration? Here are some places to start…

1. The Burning House – what would you take with you if your house was burning down and you only had the time to grab a few, precious things? This blog takes photo contributions from folks all over the world.

2. Daily Connossieur – Jennifer L Scott is a living embodiment of the 10 Piece Wardrobe and shares not just the 10 pieces that make her seasonal cut, but living with them day-to-day.

3. Cuyana – a brand who’s ethos is ‘fewer, better things’ (and their price point makes it very achievable). Their blog provides a how-to plan for achieving your version of a ‘lean closet’.

4. Project 333 – experiments in living with less.

The Beach People - Ahoy Trader
Eat & Drink, Everything Else, Fashion

Friday Finds: The Upside, 12 Health, The Beach People and Coffee Not Coffee

It must be a new year thing, but this week the finds are all about healthy living. I’m feeling for a February full to the brim with successes and stories.

The Upside – Is it the Lululemon effect or something? It seems that the world is suddenly awash with gorgeous boutique activewear labels. And even in that sea of lovely, The Upside stands out. I’m making eyes at the printed yoga tights… not boring but also not too outlandish (there’s only so much you want to attract admiring glances when you’re in lycra after all).

12 Health Muffin Mix

12 Health – The real problem with the whole clean eating thing is that it’s thoroughly time consuming. By the time I’ve been at work for 9+ hours, walked the dog, been to the gym, meditated and handled whatever else the day throws at me, it’s honestly a miracle that I remember to eat at all. And this is why I’m newly enamoured with 12 Health. Low carb, protein-rich, sugar, dairy, wheat and mostly (except one product) gluten free, I can knock out a week’s worth of delicious breakfast muffins in under an hour. Prices from $9.99 AUD for a packet that makes 6 muffins.

The Beach People – Because Turkish towels have had their time in the sun (see what I did there?) and now it’s about round, printed towels that have a little magic carpet ride flair about them and double as sandy-side picnic rugs. Towels, $99.00 AUD.

Coffee Not Coffee - Hot Cacao

Coffee Not Coffee – At the heart of this brand is coffee packed with a nutritional punch, but to be totally honest I bypassed all of that and made a beeline for the hot cacao. It’s sugar free, so not sweet in the way you’d expect of hot chocolate but still somehow hits the same spot. 14 sachets for $24.00 AUD.

TheEnvyEdit Two
Everything Else

9 Great Instagrammers To Follow

Perhaps it’s just me, but some days it feels like all the best Instagram accounts have a squillion followers and there aren’t any more up-and-comers to discover. So I’ve done the legwork and found 9 great Instagrammers with fewer than 5,000 followers you may not have heard of yet (their descriptions of accounts, not mine…) Double tap!

annalazdina – 2,660+ followers. InstaBlogger. Fashion. Food. Beauty. Owner of @annajewelry. 

Simply.Monochrome – 3,700+ followers. Mixing men & womenswear Currently in HONG KONG. 

chloekermeci – 1,850+ followers. Based on fashion.

100thgallery – 80+ followers. For everyone new to art 200 normanby road south melbourne.

matthew_sim – 880+ followers. Creative strategist in NYC. 

thedeninteriors – 120+ followers. Interior design, decoration, styling. Hunter of all things beautiful for the home.

t_creed – 150+ followers.

annahecek – 4,875+ followers. Sydney. Serial wanderluster. Mostly photos of my clothes, apartment & sunsets.

theenvyedit – 2,390+ followers. Daily drawings of all sorts of must haves!

 

Gabriel Lee Feature
Everything Else

Friday Finds: Gabriel Lee, Alfie Douglas, Jaggad and The Design Loves Co

My monthly ‘finds’ posts are amongst the easiest and most difficult to pull together. There are so many great new brands, things and whatnot to share yet I feel like I need to whittle it down to a manageable three or four. So instead of monthly, I’m taking this puppy weekly. From now on, Friday is Find day.

Enough from me, on with the finds!

Gabriel Lee – This Korean-Australian eponymous label is still relatively new on the scene but already has a bit of a signature look. Classic lines with a little something special adorned with prints, textures and block colours. Get in now before it goes mainstream.

Alfie Douglas – Three words: simple, minimal, handmade. That pretty much sums up Alfie Douglas. Pieces are made to order, but good things come to those who wait, and Alfie Douglas things are definitely good things. Right now the label is working in leather so they’re turning out bags, satchels, clutches, pouches, saddle bags, briefcases and other such necessities. Prices start at £12.00 for a wrist strap (translation: cuff).

Jaggad – This Melbourne label brings us unfussy but stylish activewear that’s just right, whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior. Their collection is still small, but I can’t wait to see what they do next. From $59.95 AUD.

The Design Loves Co – The beautiful side project of a Canadian advertising exec, The Design Loves Co currently has just five gorgeous products in the range. Even then, I’m picking this as the next Kikki-K. From $11.00 CAD.

Thankyou Hand Wash
Everything Else, Home

Chic and thoughtful hostess* gifts

We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a friend’s house and they say ‘just bring yourself!’, but you don’t want to show up empty-handed. Wine is tough (is it a gift or are they expected to open it?), particularly if you don’t know the menu.  Speaking of which, as someone who has obsessed over menus, for the love of quinoa, don’t show up with a dish! Anyway, here’s my go-to list of simple but thoughtful gifts to take when visiting friends for an occasion warranting thrusting something into their hands as you step over the threshold.

Grown Alchemist

Luxe handwash – it’s the sort of thing lots of people don’t buy for themselves, but everyone seems to love. I’m a fan of Grown Alchemist ($29.95 AUD / 500ml) and Thankyou ($7.95 AUD / 500ml)

Records – this one requires some hardware, but if the stage is set it’s a gift that doesn’t only say ‘I thought about this’, it’s also a great conversation starter. Prices vary and a quick Google will show you some stores near you, but failing that, Amazon has a great vinyl selection.

Melbourne Gin Company

Boutique beverages – leave your regifted red at home and take something that sighs ‘special’ as soon as you set eyes on it. Perhaps a bottle of The Melbourne Gin Company‘s finest ($68.99 AUD for 700ml at Dan Murphy’s) and a few friends in the form of Fever Tree Indian tonic water ($7.99 AUD for a pack of 4 from Dan Murphy’s).

T2 - Madam Flutterby

Tea and coffee – and I’m not talking Nespresso (sorry, George). Get thyself to your local cafe and have a bag of something rich, dark and delicious to waft under the nose of your host* on arrival. Alternatively, an interesting tea (caffeinated or otherwise) is a unique choice. I’m into almost everything at T2, but for a nice little after dinner something-something, check out their Flutterby range (Madam Flutterby shown above, $12.00 AUD for the tin) and the French Earl Grey ($14.00 AUD a box). It is in fact, the actual cats pajamas.

Something for the kids – if all else fails, showing up with the latest little Lego set or Matchbox car will be appreciated by everyone in the house. Guaranteed. Lego sets vary in price but start around $15.00 AUD at Big W.

*I do hope it goes without saying, but I’ve used the words ‘host’ and ‘hostess’ interchangeably in this post.