There’s no question that statement earrings are having a major moment this Summer. Whether it’s colourful tassels or fun acrylic dangles, I’m obsessed with this accessory trend. I’ve rounded up my favorite statement earrings of the season, and already have a few of these pairs in my earring wardrobe. (Note: the best kind of earring wardrobes come from Bon Maxie and MijMoj Design.)
Size matters but so does comfort, so the latest lightweight earrings are right up my alley – no lobestretch here! Another reason I love a statement earring… they distract from tired eyes or even a bad hair day.
Trainee Mama wears Lovisa white tassel earrings, I’m wearing $4 Kmart tassel dangles.
I love a neutral tassel with EVERYTHING – all colours, all prints, it’s all good. I especially love a neutral tassel made of natural raffia. Perfection.
Now this is my go-to earring style, I love playful styles with a little sense of humour! I’m wearing Lindy Lou Frida dangles* and Sqwark earrings* from Spotting Unicorns. Think palm trees, birds and animals, even undersea creatures!
It’s that time of year again – Christmas Party season!
Every year, November brings with it the search for the perfect affordable and stylish dress to wear to work and social occasions.
These are some of my favorite dresses under $80 (some even under $60!), with key trends covered like off-the-shoulder (OTS isn’t going anywhere this Summer), ruffle sleeve and quirky prints. And I’m amazed, there’s not a stripe amongst them!
The navy B Collection Broderie dress from Big W is the perfect budget option for a work Christmas party, while I love the floaty boho style of the Erin Louise maxi and Chasing Case pattern dress for casual family barbeques by the water. And the quirky Santa-hat-wearing flamingos of the Mandy Little Party Dress are fabulous for ANY festive celebration!
Which is your favorite? I don’t think I can go past the flamingo LPD, or the Amy Pineapple shift! (Predictable, I know!)
Ok, so I know I’ve said before that I’m a pretty casual no-makeup kind of girl… but I still love being pampered. I think it’s super important to spend time on yourself and do what makes you feel beautiful.
I have previously had lash extensions, but whilst I loved the dramatic look of them on the day they were applied, they very quickly began to fall out, taking my natural lashes with them. I had been thinking about getting lash extensions again recently, but was nervous, and not sure I could deal with the patchiness and spidery look between appointments. Then I spotted my friend and fellow Sunshine Coast blogger Natalie Tink (AKA Miss Monogram) looking fresh as a daisy with gorgeous long natural-looking lashes, and she gushed about Janice of Blink! the Eyelash Expert*!
Fate was kind, and Janice actually reached out to me to ask if I’d like to try a set of her lashes, and I agreed… with a little trepidation. Janice works out of Soul Ocean Spa at Ramada Marcoola (the ol’ Surfair for longtime Coasties) and a skin clinic in Mooloolaba, as well as being mobile. That’s right, she can COME TO YOUR HOUSE!
Because I am a sucker for a day spa visit, I trotted along to Soul Ocean Spa which is only 5 minutes from my place, and immediately felt right at home – this place is a hidden treasure on the Sunshine Coast! With plenty of lush plants and gorgeous tropical decor, it’s a stunning spot to get pampered.
Janice asked me to be open and honest about what I wanted from my lashes, and since I am pretty minimal with makeup, I wanted them to look very natural and nothing too dramatic. I also wanted to make sure they wouldn’t look clumpy or spidery at all! After a quick chat, it was time for a nap. Seriously… I have fallen asleep within 5 minutes of every appointment, as it’s just so relaxing!
I feel so much more confident even when I’m not wearing makeup. I can just run out the door and run my errands without really having to worry about putting on makeup since the lashes make my eyes look brighter and fresher – and there’s no mascara residue casting a shadow under my eyes.
With all that said, I am SO happy with my experience with Janice from Blink! the Eyelash Expert, she really is an expert. Janice has really customised my lashes to my face and lifestyle, and certainly won’t apply lashes that are too long and heavy that would damage my natural ones. I will share a ‘how to look after your lashes’ post shortly, and can tell you that it’s super-simple really. Just keep ’em dry after application and a few brushes a day!
Don’t just take it from me, all of Blink! the Eyelash Extension’s reviews are outstanding and I can see why! If you’re looking for a freshen up for Summer – I love that I can swim makeup-free and not look like a panda – then contact Janice and let her know I sent you, for an exclusive discount on your first appointment!
You’d think that with my term-time job working in the sports department at a school, I might like to stay well away from young people on school holidays; but the families that live next door and across the road in our quiet little street have some pretty fantastic kids, and I’m always happy to spend time with them.
When I heard that my holidays coincided with the four kids’ break from school for just a week, I starting thinking about what I could do with them for a great day out together. I dropped a few hints in the lead up to the end of term, asking what they’d done around the Coast lately, and with BB’s encouragement, came up with a plan.
Being Sunny Coast locals, BB and I have long talked about going to Australia Zoo together. I haven’t been for about five years, and we are constantly hearing about new exhibits opening, with incredible animals. We also both believe pretty strongly in the late Steve Irwin’s message of conservation and education. Unfortunately, BB has been working away lately, and wouldn’t be able to get time off an important contract for a zoo-day, so he missed out this time – although I’m hoping I can take him there really soon, I know he’d love it!
The kids didn’t know what they were going to be doing with me that day, as I’d tricked them into believing I was just ‘babysitting’ and we might go to a park, run some errands and maybe clean my house a little – HA! I would never choose to clean my house when there are naps to be had, so I sure fooled them! After loading up in the car and heading to the highway, we passed a few theme parks signs and even an Australia Zoo sign – young Thomas noticed it and immediately said ‘Oh, Australia Zoo would be so cool, I’d love to see the crocs’!
I pulled up at a park at Landsborough (just up the road from the Zoo) and as everyone got out of the car for a run around in the playground, I said ‘Wait, I’ve got something for you!’ and handed them each a little bag containing an animal print balloon, a couple of Cadbury Furry Friends chocolates, and an Australia Zoo brochure. As soon as they all realised that we were about to spend our day at the Zoo, I had four kids talking at me, 100 miles an hour! ‘What? We’re going there now? Will we see crocodiles? Are we really going there now? Today? All of us? Is Tommy going to get to swim with the crocodiles?
(No, lovely neighbours… I would never let your kids swim with crocodiles. Well, not hungry ones over 20 foot long, anyway.)
Why should you visit Australia Zoo with children? Well, here are eight great reasons! (To be honest, I could probably come up with a hundred.)
To be honest, there is a good chance that Pasang, the young Red Panda might be asleep when you visit Australia Zoo – he’s a typical teenager who needs plenty of rest, and enjoys having his meals brought to him. Fortunately when we visited, he was clambering around his large enclosure, leaping and climbing along tree branches.
You can’t visit Australia Zoo without seeing koalas! Australia’s most famous marsupials are incredibly sleepy and whilst there are a few different large enclosures with koalas in specially-designed trees to showcase them, it’s more fun to stroll through the walk-through Koala area and look up in the trees to spot them. We found a couple of different volunteers showing koalas, and were able to get up close and personal, and pat and stroke them (usually on their bottom)!
As a regular visitor to Fraser Island, I’ve seen dingoes before – but of course I’ve never been this close! These beautiful animals are Australia’s wild dog, and they’ve been here for over 5000 years. Seeing Archie (with the white coat) and his sister Eve was wonderful, they are such curious and beautiful creatures and reading about the conservation work that Australia Zoo is doing for them was great! Dingoes are also walked through the park on a meet and greet stroll daily.
Watching the Asian small-clawed otters Mayhem and Rosie at feeding time is certainly a good laugh. As his name suggests, Mayhem really is a little troublemaker, trying to muscle in on Rosie’s breakfast!
These guys have short but very flexible, sensitive claws, useful for digging, climbing and also for grabbing and holding on to prey. Australia Zoo provides funds for research and conservation projects, monitoring and safeguarding native otter populations in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South China and Himalayan regions.
Since the last time I visited Australia Zoo, they’ve built a wonderful African exhibit, and these gracious giants are an incredibly beautiful addition. It’s easy to understand why giraffes top the list of so many people’s favorite animals. Their elegant stride, outrageous eyelashes, and calm expression give them an air of refinement.
Kangaroos are perhaps Australia’s best-known animal and are found in stories, movies, and even as sports team mascots the world over, but here on the Sunshine Coast we’re fortunate to have healthy populations all over the place. They’re not exactly the kind of animals you can just stroll up to though, so having the opportunity to feed them was lots of fun.
Did you know that a group of rhinos is sometimes called a ‘crash’? Best name ever.
Rhinos, with their hard hides and gentle eyes, are my favourite wild animal, and it was magical to watch these herbivores just cruising around without fear of poachers. I could’ve stood watching them in the expansive African plains enclosure.
Crocodiles, of course!
If there is one thing you’ll never forget when you visit Australia Zoo – it’s the daily Wildlife Warriors show in the purpose-built Crocoseum! Featuring wild birds including the largest raptor in the world, an Andean Condor, giant snakes and of course the stars, saltwater crocodiles! There’s much to learn about these fascinating reptiles, and the Zoo takes the view that the more you know, the more you’ll care about them.
Whilst strolling around the extensive grounds of the Zoo was fantastic, I definitely loved the show most. The exuberance of the Wildlife Warriors is infectious, and I found myself (and the kids) all shouting ‘Crikey!’ and hollering along, like a classic pantomime – it was so much fun! The colourful birds in this show never cease to amaze me, I would go back just to experience the beauty of being so close to these impressive birds, flying free around the Crocoseum.
There is quite a lot to do at Australia Zoo and if you can only spend one day there, I’d recommend checking the website to plan for an Animal Encounters and shows. It is also best to get there early if you can to avoid the midday crowds, and bring snacks and lunch so you can just stop wherever you like to have a picnic. I took along lunch for us – and yes, if you were checking out my Instagram stories, you would’ve seen that I made leopard-print pikelets for the occasion!
We all had a fantastic time together, and I’m so glad I have great kids in my life to experience a day at the zoo with me!
I (and many other people on the Sunshine Coast) were sent home early today due to ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, and I found out earlier that we also have a rain day tomorrow. Let me tell you that I for one am delighted that we’ll have a long weekend (and for school students and teachers, a longer than usual Easter holiday). This particular ten-week term has REALLY been a struggle.
Of course the reality of a severe storm advisory in Queensland means that we could be flooded in, or we could get gale force winds, or we might just get a light smattering of rain. Who would know? Definitely not the weather bureau. Regardless, I’m grateful that I’ve been given full permission to enjoy a pyjama day to relax and put my feet up and pretend that there won’t be a mountain of postponed work to come back to in two weeks time.
In case you’re concerned about my nutritional well-being during this weather event, please know that in the Potaty household we don’t feel the need to run out and buy ALL THE THINGS when a storm threatens, because my husband already has a canned goods inventory for possible survival situations. No way we’ll run the risk of being stuck in our car with the river rising around us like some of those poor fools I’ve seen on the news this evening.
So as I was saying, tomorrow is going to be a pyjama day, which means that you will find me wearing some of my latest Lunabella pieces. Honestly, there’s no cuter sleepwear available at the moment, I’m sure of it!
I was fortunate enough to be sent two gorgeous Lunabella sleepwear styles at the start of Summer, and there’s rarely been a night since where I haven’t slipped into the beautiful soft cotton of either of them. The first – my favourite nightie ever – is the Ohana pineapple print nightie, and hello, it has POCKETS. The Palm Springs Sleep Shorts are cute enough to wear out, and confession… they’ve enjoyed a trip to the local supermarket more than once.
At the start of the new AW season, the Lunabella team launched a few more of their coastal prints, and I am now the very happy owner of the South Beach Sleep Camisole, in the sweetest flamingo print you ever did see; and a fabulously tropical banana-leaf set of the St Lucia Sleep Camisole and Sleep Pants – I look like I could just disappear into a Martinique-print wallpaper heaven!
It’s going to be a slower start to my school holidays than I expected, not least because we’ll be cooped up in the house until the wet weather disappears. Here’s hoping the next two weeks will be filled with hopefully warm weather before the hideousness of Winter sets in, cycling around the Coast searching for more new cafes to try, eating out when BB is home from work, staying up way too late binging on Riverdale and Friday Night Lights, and a glorious amount of sleeping in.
You can bet that I’ll try to do each of the above things at least once while wearing some sort of cute Lunabella sleepwear, right?!
Anyone got BIG school holiday plans? Or just chilling in your pyjamas at the local IGA like me?
*Kindly gifted, and only shared here because I love it!
Most people know that I’m a passionate Sunshine Coaster, born and bred here and impatient with visitors to the area who may think of it as the second-rate sister to the older, gaudier Gold Coast. I rarely visit the GC as I know how lucky I am to have everything I need right here. But when my gorgeous mate Brooke of Blonde Ambition asked if I’d like to head south with her for a weekend, of course I decided to change that and take a fun trip to the Gold Coast!
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, and I loaded up my car, kissed my husband goodbye and beat the Bruce Highway traffic to go meet up with Brooke after she finished her Pilates session. A quick hug and back into our separate cars – hers was too full of bike to fit me in – to cruise south on the surprisingly traffic-jam-free M1.
Our first stop was Harbour Town, Australia’s largest outlet shopping centre. Brooke and I were super-excited to include Harbour Town in our GC itinerary as we’d heard about the Premium Mall which had opened in May 2016, with Kate Spade New York, Furla, Michael Kors, Coach, Oroton and other high-end retailers. Did we mention Kate Spade New York? (Hello, my name is Katy, and I’m a Kate Spade-oholic.)
The outlet stores offer anywhere from 30 to 70% off sales everyday, so we were even more delighted when the Harbour Town team generously offered us a gift card each to help us splurge a little. After cutting a few laps of the Centre to make sure we weren’t missing any must-haves, we shopped our socks off and I’m now the delighted owner of this Kate Spade tote, along with one of her gorgeous idiom bangles too! My tip to the wise… don’t accompany Brooke to a Kate Spade store without a good book and a pair of headphones, her indecision is becoming legendary.
Happily, this was the Kate Spade New York tote* that I was eyeing off when we traveled through Singapore Airport last year, and now she’s mine!
Harbour Town also has a dedicated Tourism Lounge which offers complimentary services including tea and coffee (free coffee AND outlet shopping? sweeeeet) and a free tourist-only shuttle bus every Tuesday to Saturday. The only problem I can imagine is that you might buy too much to cart back to your hotel on the bus!
We packed our new goodies in our cars and drove to our home for the evening, QT Gold Coast. This was my first time staying at a QT Hotel after lusting over the Port Douglas hotel on my last few trips north, and I was suitably impressed with the much-anticipated ‘fun factor’.
QT Gold Coast is a retro-lovers dream with midcentury decor and colourful surf-inspired artworks, and quirks like a giant Connect 4 set by the astroturfed pool lawn. Level 1 houses the restaurant and QT Spa, while the ground level is home to spacious reception, cocktail bar and cafe areas, and a split-level loungeroom reminiscent of the Brady Bunch which is used to host their high teas (aptly named Qteas).
We dumped our shopping and overnight bags on our beds, and immediately went down to the pool deck to try a few cocktails. Brooke had previously stayed at QT Gold Coast and had a favourite tipple so didn’t require a menu, but I was torn between a couple, so of course tried them both!
I’m sure you’ll agree when I say it ain’t a tropical holiday without a tiki drink, and this Mexican Tiki Punch with lashings of Guava, Pineapple and Coconut was a tropical treat!
After a few drinks, it was back upstairs to change into our brightest frocks and head a few blocks south to Cavill Avenue, where we’d been invited to check out a Summer fashion parade at Soul Boardwalk. The mall was jumping, and the show’s DJ had us toe tapping, so after the fashion show, we nipped along the Esplanade to Sandbar, a recent addition to Surfers Paradise’s share-plate restaurant scene. Because we’re both complete party animals ready to whoop it up on the GC, our next move was back to the hotel to crank the air-conditioning, jump into our beds at 7.30pm and watch Nicolas Cage in National Treasure. Like I said, we’re wild like that.
The next morning, we spent some quality time aquainting ourselves with the impressive breakfast buffet (Brooke enjoyed a softserve icecream with breakfast… really) before we packed up, headed downstairs and gave the Connect 4 set a quick workout and then checked out of QT.
Brooke had mentioned taking her new bike down the Gold Coast for our weekend away and enjoying a pleasant cycle along the beachfront, but I’m firmly of the opinion that bikes are for people who enjoy wearing lycra and have a much less sensitive butt than I. I mean, there’s not much joy in panting and gasping, is there?
I thought I’d be the clever one and contacted the crew at Crooze Electric Bicycles at Broadbeach to see if they would be able to help with my ‘I want to cycle along the beach but not get hot and sweaty’ conundrum, and they generously came to the party, loaning me one of their super-cool Noosa electric bikes. (FYI they both hire and sell their cruisers, so you can definitely try before you buy!) Now when I say electric bike, I mean a bicycle that can be pedaled, with options to add a power boost from a discreet electric motor, not a scooter. Obviously I wanted to be able to pedal A LITTLE, in case we rode past cool cycling people who would mock me whizzing by with no effort at all!
Let’s clear a few things up – I am a very reluctant cycler, I don’t feel comfortable riding my old clunker ladies’ mountain bike around the footpaths of my quiet suburb, let alone hitting the streets. But something about being shown the gadgets and gizmos on the Noosa cruiser got me excited, I donned a bright pink camo helmet and off I zipped. Electric bikes are now so technologically advanced and quiet that not even Brooke knew when I was pedalling and when I was nudging the throttle. Sneaky – I like it.
The Noosa cruiser is a super-cute step-through style, which makes it easy to ride while wearing a frock. Seriously!
See – frocking awesome!
(Sidenote: I got home from my weekend away, waxed lyrical to my husband about how much I enjoyed riding the Noosa cruiser and he’s decided that we’re driving down to the Gold Coast this week to trial them together – a Noosa cruiser for me, and for him, the manlier-looking Cooly electric bike; and then maybe bring a couple home! He loves to cycle, but I’m always letting him down and slowing him down, so this could be the coolest-looking compromise ever!)
Seriously, this was the coolest and cruisiest ride ever. Thanks Crooze team!
We tootled to Mermaid Beach and then along Millionaires Row and Hedges Avenue, real estate shopping and dreaming of the luxurious mansions we could own if we just, you know, knuckled down and saved a bit more, then stopped at BSKT Cafe at Nobby’s to drink ALL THE COLD THINGS before turning around to cycle the 4.2km back to Crooze at Broadbeach. That’s right, we cycled 8.4km, and I wasn’t even puffed.
The cutest little exhausted Brooke that you ever did see!
It’d been a big morning so it was time for a light lunch and more cold drinks at Beaches Off Tedder before a big hug with Brooke and back into our cars to hit the M1 and drive home. I managed to miss a bunch of storms and any dramatic Sunday afternoon traffic, which was quite the win too!
It was a smashing way to spend a weekend with one of my best mates, and I’m definitely looking forward to going down to the Goldie again this week to enjoy a ride along the beach with my husband!
I don’t know if I’m ready to kick my bias against the Gold Coast to the kerb just yet, but I’ve certainly seem an unexpected and more family-friendly side of the region now! Anyone for a game of giant Connect 4 and Tiki cocktails?
*Kindly gifted, and only shared here because I love it!
I’ve become a little homewares-obsessed lately. Maybe it’s because we’ve been living in this home for three or so years, and have started personalising it and trying to add value with small renovations and upgrades. Maybe it’s because my husband is working all the way through Christmas, and we’re not taking a trip anywhere, so I’m pottering around the house trying to make it feel a little fresher.
Whatever the reason, I’ve been cruising and perusing home and interiors magazines for a while now and would like a large influx of cash into my bank account, please. Some of those renovations are not cheap! Failing bank robbery or an unknown great-aunt leaving me her ill-gotten fortune, I’ve resorted to smaller additions to our home decor, which surprisingly still pack a big punch.
Since I buy those home and interior magazines for research purposes of course, I thought I’d share some of the top homewares trends I’m seeing for the next year. They’re all easy enough to adopt in either small or large doses, and you could even mix and match a few!
There’s a one-stop-shop for all homewares in Australia, and that’s Reed Gift Fairs. Celebrating the latest in the homewares and gift space,they bring together the people and the products behind everything that’s hot in the design and gift space. With the next one to be held in Sydney in February next year, this fair gives exhibitors the chance to showcase all their new and exciting products, and retailers head there to pick and choose upcoming stock. Sounds like an interiors dream, right? I just need to find a way to nab a ticket!
Top Homeware Trends for 2017
Trend forecasters have started planning for the new season, which will bring with it a change in mood – one that will see earthy tones, hints of mixed metals, and the return of natural materials. I’ve sussed out some of Reed Gift Fairs’ exhibitors to see what they’ll be bringing to the table (literally to the table, in the case of some tableware designers LOL) next year.
The earthy tone of terracotta will become a key element in many homes, and a leading trend in the New Year. No longer will you find terracotta restricted to pots in the garden! Unique Australian homewares and jewellery company Jones & Co provides plenty of inspiration on how to incorporate hints of earthy tones to the home.
Succulents have become so popular lately, with groups popping up on Facebook dedicated to growing and swapping succulents – and no hipster cafe is worth it’s salt without succulents in unconventional containers on each table! I’m sure we’ll see this trend grow even more, bringing the outdoors inside with indoor plants. Displayed in classic concrete pots, woven bags or a glass vase, Reed Gift Fairs will leave you feeling inspired, with exhibitors such as Florabelle, who will show off beautiful displays of indoor planting. I’ve actually got a few Florabelle artificial plants in my guest rooms, and they always get compliments from visitors!
Despite seeing an abundance of pastel shades of pink and blue this year, dark shades of green will become a leading trend in 2017 – and I’m thrilled about it! Expect to see this colour incorporated into lots of soft furnishings. Kelly Lane have a great range of statement pieces from cushions to wall art, which will help add a hint of green to any room.
I love the idea of pairing a rich dark green with lighter aquas, and adding plenty of plants for a really lush tropical look.
There are few things better than coming home to a beautifully decorated home. Keep an eye out at your local homewares stores in the New Year and snap up some quick additions to transform your space into the sanctuary you’ve always wanted!
Keen on any of these trends? One step ahead and already featuring indoor plants in your home?
I just spent the past weekend Spring Cleaning (my efforts are totally worthy of capitalising those words) with my husband, and while the result is lovely – we’re still not quite Summer-ready. You know, where everything is fresh and clean, and looks entertainment-ready for any unexpected drop-ins. (Please note, I will not accept unexpected drop-ins. You are required to call or text your intention to visit at least 45 mins in advance. I need time to freshen myself AND my home up!)
There’s no better way to freshen up your home in Summer than with tropical statement homewares. Not only is it easy to incorporate, but this vibrant trend creates a refreshing vibe indoors and outdoors – and has been my go-to interior decorating trend since I was a young teenager, living directly across the road from the Big Pineapple. Having that fruity view really affected me!
To create a classy look with this trend, think luscious jungle and bright animal prints paired with casual, natural materials like warm wood and bamboo. I like to add some greenery (fake, if the occasion or your black thumbs call for it – no judgement) to ‘lush up’ the space and really compliment tropical touches. Like most trends, the key is to work from a good base – pieces that are well-made with great simple designs will stand the test of time. I love the range from Jason Agustina, it’s a small collection with something for every type of living area, made from gorgeous timbers and fabrics.
Some of my favourite colours for the tropical trend this year are yellow, green and all the shades of citrus – I love seeing these combined with a soft blue or crisp white for an elegant finish. If you already have some blues in your home decor, you can still adopt a tropical vibe, just pick sea-green and deep-ocean hues, and make sure you add plenty of greenery.
So make sure your key furniture pieces are classic, simple and beautifully made (check out Jason Agustina’s story for their wonderful commitment to customer care), choose some tropical pieces and create your own slice of paradise this Summer. I promise you that it’ll help your summer cocktail vibe for sure!
Is it possible to have too many pineapples in your home, if you live in an estate that was once pineapple and sugar cane farms?
Inaugural events can be a little hit and miss, but the first Brisbane Fashion Weekend held last month was, in my entirely non-fashiony opinion, a smashing success!
I wore a stunning Yannika Designs (local Queensland brand) shift dress to BFW, perfect for the 30 degree day and rushing around like Andrea Sachs. Low nude heels and a bright yellow Mimco clutch borrowed from Brooke of Blonde Ambition and French Connection raffia tassel earrings finished my outfit.
Held at the recently opened Royal International Convention Centre (where parking was a breeze!), BFW featured two days of runway shows, a well-curated pop-up precinct, a Pamper Room where a small donation to fabulous local charity Dressed for Success got you a hair and makeup freshen-up, and two stages with programs full of styling advice and fashion industry experts and influencers. If all that got too much, the Moet Lounge was the place to sit and rest those weary high heel-clad tootsies!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
I headed down to Brisbane the evening before Day 1 of BFW, as Adelaidean Jenni of Styling Curvy was in town and had organised a meet-up for some of her Queensland blogging mates. That’s how lazy relaxed Queenslanders are, we wait until someone comes to visit us, then let them organise it so we all go catch up with them. #hakunamatata
I’d planned to get ready at Brooke‘s place, head out to the meet-up and not get lost (yikes… alone in the Valley, as Brooke had fancy Singin’ in the Rain plans) and then crash on her couch, so was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at my host’s apartment and asked ‘So, where’s this hip venue I need to get to?’ and her response was ‘See that building less than a block away? There.’ GOLD.
Traffic had been pretty decent heading into Brisbane, so I had time for a shower, wash and curl my hair, to give myself a mani/pedi and catch up on some work emails. Instead, I napped, watched the end of Season 2 of UnReal, showered super-fast, then helped myself to Brooke’s plethora of dry shampoo and hairspray options. My fingernails and toenails would have to wait.
Keeping it simple in a Country Road flutter-sleeve frock – basic black is always a great comfort zone for me when I’m meeting bloggy-types.
I know I’ve said it before, but blogger events and meetups are usually pretty awkward for me. And even more so when it’s stylish people like fashion folk. *insert hand-wringing and excuse-making here* Unless I know someone really well to latch on to, it’s typically just me standing in the corner near the food.
So many gorgeous girls crammed into one terrible-quality photo!
Jenni had arranged for the event to be held at the Tryp Hotel‘s rooftop bar, Up on Constance, and it was perfect for a bunch of blinged-up ladies enjoying champagne cocktails on a warm October evening. It’s a gorgeously NY-inspired open space, with chilled music and great views. One of the brands that Jenni works with – Capriosca Swimwear (stunning styles!) – unexpectedly and generously put on the lovely spread of food and drinks, thank you so much Marcia!
This late-night phone photo is about as fuzzy as I expected, the Apricot Dream tequila cocktail really made some heads spin!
My pineapple glo-mesh clutch from (of all places) Domayne loves an outing, and a city view.
On to the main event!
Of the thirteen stunning labels appearing on Brisbane Fashion Weekend‘s Runway, including Tengdahl, Saylor & Saige, LouenHide (always love their stuff!), 400 Co and Kahlo Kahlo, my favourites were SunSoaked and Wilde Willow. Brooke loved Wilde Willow so much that she punched me during their runway and whispered ‘Gotta BOLT outta here the minute this show finishes and buy that sequin kimono’. So she did.
I’d love to share more photos, but you’ll find that the best photos and videos I took were on other people’s devices! I loved being there to help my mate Brooke as she prepared to speak on the Centre Stage as an online fashion influencer (we both cringe at that word, but she DOES influence me to buy things I don’t really need, so applicable), and then rock her model socks for the awesome Cate Massi of Individual Style 101. I will also take full credit for making sure Brooke turned up where she needed to be, at the times she needed to be there – I feel that without a ‘PA for a Day’, she may have been found wandering the foyer in one shoe, loaded up with purchases from the Pop-Up Precinct stores.
A photo posted by PERSONAL STYLIST (@individualstyle101) on
Thanks so much to BFW for the invitation, and for such a spectacularly well-run event – kudos! Cheers to Jenni for her perfect timing, it was wonderful to see local ladies that I never really get to see. And big ups and proud mama feels to Brooke for nailing her presentation, saying no to bootleg jeans, and generally being a babe.
For more comprehensive wrap-ups of the event, I highly recommend you check out the following:
I love small businesses, I really do. I have worked in retail for both small and multi-national fashion brands, and there’s something super-special about a little design and buying team, who choose styles based on what they know their customers will like, because they have a relationship with those customers.
One of the small businesses I’ve discovered this year is Victorian brand That Shop in Doreen – cute name, huh! The brainchild of Samantha Tupper, That Shop in Doreen began life as a bricks-and-mortar store in (you guessed it, Doreen) and now encompasses an online store with seasonal pieces as well as really fun and lovely social media accounts. Check out their Facebook here, and Instagram here.
Now, I’m sure you all know that Summer is my favourite season. I mean, I can never really be too hot, as long as I’m dressed appropriately in light and floaty pieces. Samantha stocks some gorgeous styles, so I thought I would share some of my favourite That Shop in Doreen picks with you! My Summer Picks – That Shop in Doreen
I love the short sleeves on this and the sweet little twist tie at the front. And the stripes (who am I kidding, I love the stripes the most). It’s only $35 and also comes in grey and white, and black and white.
Remember how Justin Timberlake couldn’t stop this feeling anymore? That’s how I feel about all the off the shoulder tops around this Summer. I’m well aware that they require (gasp!) a strapless bra, but they really are worth it. This one also has an adorable fringe around the hem and sleeves!
If you’re looking for just a great basic top with a little bit of extra flair, this is the top for you. I love the jersey fabric, it drapes beautifully and doesn’t wrinkle. I’m a big fan of the grey marle but it also comes in white for those of you who can keep white tops clean!
Let’s be honest here, sometimes the whole cold shoulder style can look a little mumsy, especially with a gaudy print – but I’ve got my eye on this simple black dress because I do like the open shoulder with the ability to wear a normal bra, or throw it on over bathers for a quick dressy option.
I don’t know what I wore before I discovered stripe t-shirt dresses? Was I wandering around naked half the time? Who knows! Seriously, this is a fab little number that I have in the navy and white stripe, and wear on repeat every week. Actually, we might as well just call it my Tuesday dress.
I’m not usually one for pink… in fact I don’t have a single non-activewear pink item in my wardrobe, and my mates Trainee Mama and Blonde Ambition have challenged me to change that this Summer. This floaty top is so versatile – it could easily be dressed down with shorts for day, or dressed up with a cute skirt or pair of jeans and heels at night.
Probably my favourite TDIS style at the moment, this Blossom Midi Dress is even prettier in person. I wore it for a long day of partying at the Caloundra Music Festival a couple of weeks ago, and received so many compliments. They say it’s a midi length, but I’m not the tallest giraffe in the zoo, so it looks like a maxi on me.
I continue to put this denim jacket in my cart and then leave it there because it’s going to be too hot for sleeves for the next six months, but stretch in a denim jacket is something that I’m always searching for, and I love the mid-blue wash of this one. If I lived in a cooler climate, this would be high on my wish-list.
Someone recently asked me about the right shoes to wear with Summer shorts and pants for a casual look. I’m a big fan of an espadrille because I think they can be worn with everything from jeans to dresses, and they’re way more casual than a regular flat.
Need more style inspiration? Head to That Shop in Doreen and I’m sure you’ll find a few pieces to add to cart too!
*That Shop in Doreen kindly sent me a couple of styles to try, thank you so much Samantha! I was thrilled with the service and my parcel arrived beautifully wrapped, so I’m more than happy to share the love here.