new

Man Child

denim-overalls-cotton-on-style-smorgasbord-9

Fundamentally, there’s nothing more man child than a grown adult in a pair of overalls.

Conclusively, they are so comfortable and hide the stomach with just a silver of skin so you can put it over all your cropped tees. Transition it for the colder months with a chunky sweater and make it exam time appropriate with a collegiate jersey lazily thrown on top.

Basically, they’re my new go to denim and these patched ones from Cotton On’s 91 denim range are exactly what I was looking for at $10! Same price as a pressed juice people. Loose, bronzed, brushed buttons and pockets for days.

Overall, go get yourself a pair of overalls.

Thanks for putting up with all my synonyms and I hope you have a lovely easter long weekend (if you’re lucky enough to get one!).

Recreate my look here:

Shirt / Overealls / Flats

denim-overalls-cotton-on-style-smorgasbord-5denim-overalls-cotton-on-style-smorgasbord-4denim-overalls-cotton-on-style-smorgasbord-2signoff2

SS Brunch with Aurai

aurai17

I first came across Aurai before I travelled to New Zealand and I was initially drawn to the name. Aurai are subtle, gentle and difficult to find and they travel across the world through the sea bringing messages to the Gods. Now that I have returned and seen the wonderful country and learnt more about its rich culture, I am more humbled than ever to be able to introduce Natalia, who is the creative force behind this swimwear company which just launched its first collection this summer. Natalia was born in southern Brazil, where she graduated from University and started her career. She moved to Milan, where she pursued a Master’s Degree in Fashion Management at IED and worked in the buying office at La Rinascente. Currently she lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.

In a world where everything is go go go, why are you attracted to the philosophy of ‘slow fashion’?

My interest in ethical fashion stemmed during my University years from a deep concern about questionable practices within the fashion industry and interest on new approaches in the way we produce and understand fashion. I understand the fascination with famous brands and fast fashion but it’s not a secret anymore the human and environmental cost of our current fashion system.

Besides the environmental concern, the slow fashion movement reinforces that workers should be respected and receive fair wages, designers and brands should be authentic and visionary to influence positively the market, and that customers should be provided with information and encouraged to make better choices when buying.

The way that businesses are conducted has never been more important, and although I won’t save the world making bikinis I feel that I have a responsibility to make it as better as I can. Hopefully I’ll inspire other brands to do the same and people to support small makers.

If you want to learn more about AURAI’s practices click here

In your debut collection, you experimented with fish leather, tell us briefly how the fish leather is made into a swimsuit?

At AURAI we are always searching for new technologies that can help us to develop more sustainable and creative products. I decided to experiment with fish leather after I learned that a local leather company had developed a way to treat fish leather, which is a by-product of the food industry and that often ends up polluting rivers and lakes, disturbing ecosystems and causing consequences beyond known solutions. I thought it could be not only interesting in terms of design and innovation but I also wanted to support their effort in creating such an amazing product.

How do you juggle being a creative and a business woman at the same time?

It’s a learning curve for sure, but nowadays I truly believe that my creativity makes me a better business woman and that my analytical skills help me to design and develop better products. It’s all about balance so I face it everyday as an opportunity to become a more resourceful professional.

My favourite print from the collection is the Koi Fish, what do Koi Fish mean to you?

I’ve always been passionate about Eastern history, culture and aesthetics and I’ve always loved the legend of the Koi Fish, this small but strong creature that swim against currents to the top of the mountain. It represents ambition, courage, perseverance and all the obstacles and successes we encounter in life, so it was a perfect visual symbolism for a first collection 🙂

Any hints on what we can expect in your next collection?

My next collection will be about a ‘journey to the ocean’, the sensation of wonder and delight that comes with touching the sand with our barefeet and feeling the cold salty water on our skin. The prints will tell this story while some pieces will receive beautiful handmade macramê detailing and contrasting ties. My passion for surfing will also be more in evidence in the form of a rash guard and an one-piece suit.

If you are interested in Aurai pieces, now is the time to have a sticky as they’re doing a big sale here. 

aurai12aurai7aurai11aurai10AURAI5signoff2

Topdeck NZ Northern Explorer

topdeckreview1

When I was initially researching this trip, I looked high and low for a review about this specific Topdeck tour but I couldn’t find anything that answered all my questions and was also recently published. Now that it has been almost a month since my return, I wanted to create a post for anyone who is looking to do the Northern Explorer tour in the future. I will be covering accommodation, food, attractions and the people 🙂

topdeckreview19

I booked my tour a few months in advance with STA travel but you can also book online directly through Topdeck’s own website. I would definitely recommend doing it in person through an agent because you can ask as many questions as you please, the price is exactly the same and you don’t have to pay the whole trip up front, only a small deposit. If you don’t want the hassle of booking flights and buying insurance separately, STA are happy to hook you up as well but if you want to save some money you can grab those through Webjet which is what I did.

topdeckreview20

Accommodation

My friend and I went together so we upgraded to twin share which was an extra hundred each. This was a really great decision on our part because our room was always much nicer and we would always have access to our own private bathrooms and amenities. I think the accommodation was fantastic in terms of variety, as you can see we stayed in a ski resort, a Maori Marae (which is the sacred meeting place) and also a small boat!

These are all the places we stayed at:

  • Pre-Accommodation at Travelodge Hotel, Wellington
  • Skotel Alpine Resort, Mount Ruapehu
  • Maori Marae, Rotorua
  • Sudima, Rotorua
  • Rock the Boat, Bay of Islands
  • Tanoa Paihia Hotel, Tanoa

topdeckreview10

Rotorua Museum of History & Art

Attractions

I paid for three optional extras: Hobbiton, Hell’s Gate mud spa and Rock the Boat. There is a ton of other cool things that you can also participate in such as white water rafting, zorbing, inflatable kayaking and bungee jumping.

Hobbiton: to read more about my Hobbiton experience, you can visit my first New Zealand post here.

Hell’s Gate: was a nice experience after having skipped way too many showers on this trip! We spent an hour in the hot mud and springs where our noses accommodated to the sulphurous scent of Rotorua.

Rock the Boat: this was my favourite part of our entire trip! For 22 hours we went on a tiny little boat and saw all 144 islands with a very enthusiastic local crew. There was a paint balling introduction, fishing for dinner followed by night kayaking which was breathtaking. We paddled out at 10pm and the water was filled with phosphorous algae so when we dipped our paddle or arm in the water, a beautiful trail of glow in the dark algae moved along with us. We also lay in our kayaks and looked up at the glowing night sky and it was quite magical 🙂 After kayaking, the brave kids jumped in for a swim. It was cold but so worth it because as we swam, the algae continued to glow and everyone felt like a mermaid. Once all warmth had escaped our bodies we jumped back out and sat by the fire. The next morning we went snorkelling and hiked up a lush island barefoot. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many adventures in under 24 hours!

The activities that were already included in our tour were just as great and the night at the Marae was my favourite. Some of the things included a hike in Tongariro which you can read more about in my previous post here, a rugby lesson at the NZ Sports Academy and a night learning about Maori culture including the haka and poi dances at the Marae.

topdeckreview16topdeckreview17

If you choose not to participate in an activity you have the option of exploring the city yourself. None of the activities are affiliated with Topdeck so you can do as little or as much as you would like. Here’s a snap of me ‘skydiving’ and another of my friend bungee jumping.

topdeckreview4

Te Papa Museum

topdeckrevie19

Food

Breakfast is included every morning at the location of the accommodation for the previous night. We had a combination of cold and hot breakfasts and three dinners were included. Lunch was always up to us and we were given the opportunity to go to grocery stores and stock up on water and snacks if we were heading somewhere remote.

topdeckreview18

People

For the trip we had a tour leader, a driver and an extra person who did both jobs whenever the main people were tired. No tipping is required and they were all very helpful. Most of the the other travellers were Australian like myself but around 30% were from overseas. We had a big group of almost 40 including people from the UK, US, Germany, France and Switzerland. The best way to describe the environment would be like a big school camping trip. I know tours like these have a reputation for being party tours but I think it usually depends on the group itself. This was a bit of a quiet group so there was no pressure to drink if you didn’t want to and the places we travelled to lacked night life so there wasn’t much on offer in terms of after hours entertainment.

topdeckreview7

Waiotapu Geothermal

topdeckreview12

Overall, Topdeck tours are very fast paced adventure packed trips. If you want to see lots of scenery, I wouldn’t recommend going on one because we were only allowed 10 to 30 minutes tops at some scenic lookouts. However, they are very well organised so you don’t have to do much thinking aside from getting to the bus on time.

topdeckreview6

Huka Falls

topdeckreview18

I never have much use for souvenirs so I only bought one thing for myself – a kiwi charm (only available to purchase in New Zealand) to finish off my pandora bracelet for 2015.

Hopefully this whopper of a post was helpful for some people. If you have any questions in general about Topdeck tours or more specific ones about the northern explorer I would be happy to answer them in the comments below. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with a fashion post on Friday! Lets hope this weather clears up a bit too eh?!!

signoff2

The Real Middle Earth

hobpost2

I have returned from the real middle earth, hair slightly still smelling like the sulphurous hot springs of Rotarua and sleep deprived with enough photographs to share with you but not too many because I was trying to see stuff outside of my camera lens. The Hobbtion Movie Set was one of the attractions that I was most excited to see and it was a wonderful little half day adventure that took around 4 hours in total and $110 NZD. It is located in Matamata which is an hour’s drive from the city centre of Rotarua and there’s a big tour bus which takes you from the souvenir gift store to the movie set. Once you start seeing the rolling green hills dotted with sheep, you’re almost there! Our tour guide and bus driver were wonderful and very knowledgeable about the films (they shared a lot of filming secrets) and at the end they shouted us drinks in the Green Dragon Inn. In the future, I would love to go back and do an evening tour because seeing the sun set and tip toeing around the hills with lanterns sounds like the most magical experience! There’s not much else to say so I’ll let the photographs do the talking and I’ll be back with some festive blog posts next Monday!

hobpost6hobpost7hobpost11hobpost22hobpost12hobpost13hobpost14hobpost18hobpost20hobpost16hobpost23hobpost21sign off

(Teal)quila Mockingbird

tealquila29

Tequila Mockingbird is an actual drink, I discovered it a few years ago when I was passing by the cocktail section of a bookstore and I looked at the title and thought how punny. Today we’re not talking about alcohol but er maybe we should because of the questionable hyper poses seen in this post. Instead we’re talking about my favourite colour: robin egg’s blue. It’s basically a more washed out version of teal, hence my clever double pun title hur hur. 🙂

If this was a traditional New England preppy sailing look, you would probably go for a navy dress, a cable knit sweater stolen from your hunk and some boat shoes. I modernised the whole thing with some lace up ballerinas and a pastel frock but made sure to add a statement with everybody’s favourite preppy summer fabric: seersucker! You can see how I styled this blazer with matching shorts in ‘A Style Tale of 2 Cities. These pictures were taken at different places and as Sarah Donaldson said, “never trust a blogger’s geotags.” The cute little palm tree coffees and striped umbrellas are from Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel where everything is teal even the toilets which give that whole under the sea vibe which is very cool. We actually went first thing in the morning when it was relatively empty but then we went again at 4 for iced coffees and the place was super packed so I don’t recommend Sunday arvos for coffee and chill there. Netflix and chill more like it am I right?

Recreate the look with this Brooks Brother blazer, Dotti dressLipstik flats and Essie polish 

tealquila14tealquila27tealquila2tealquila23tealquila16tealquila24tealquila12tealquila28tealquila17tealquila22tealquila8tealquila26tealquila3tealquila25tealquila18tealquila19tealquila15
sign off

Jet Lag is for Amateurs

jetlag2A couple of weeks ago I booked my first trip overseas by myself! It was terrifying seeing all this money leave my bank account at once. I’m going to New Zealand’s Northern Island so basically still in the vicinity of Australia because hey, baby steps! I have put together a small list of essentials for an action packed holiday. They are in no way the only things you need but just a couple of cute pieces I have been eyeing. How pretty are all this blues and neutrals together? I’m so excited for this new adventure and as always, I will keep you guys updated because I hear the Top Deck tour buses come with wifi 🙂

Carry All: Herschel’s Little America Bags seem to be the best kind of bag on the market for the person who must pack everything and anything AKA me. Fancy tops: I know I know, it’s so hard to be presentable on holidays but don’t forget to pack a few dressy tops for nights out! Choose ones made of light weight fabric and are a cinch to squeeze into your suitcase without needing any of that pesky ironing. Love the crochet cut out one and the tulle makes me sa-woon! Hats: are the lazy girl’s solution to hair problems on holidays. Hide that third day hair with a felt hat in a pastel shade or this season’s favourite, the wide boater. Footwear: If you’re not comfortable, then you’re not a happy camper. Comfort comes from the sole (HA!) and these are all penguin approved! Wallet: I have a deeply irrational but also very sensible fear that I will lose things. For peace of mind, I think travel wallets are the way to go. Kikki K and Typo carry the cutest ones with plenty of space for tickets, boarding passes, itineraries, visas, passports and foreign currency.

Little America Hemp Backpack / Little America Chambray Crosshatch Backpack

Crochet Long Sleeve / Chiffon Top

Hannah Mid Brim Fedora / Riviera Wide Brim Boater

Leather Inject Boots  / Nike Rosherun

Perforate Leather Travel Document Wallet / Hudson travel wallet

sign off

Create

goals9goals4goals1goals2goals7goals5

I may preach all this motivational bull but I’d like to just point out that I am such a hot mess haha. Case in point, after I wore this skirt for 3 hours, I promptly split the back hem after I made too big of a stride in the unforgiving hills of Sydney’s CBD. This is a momentous blog post because it is the first of hopefully many future posts where I foray into a new style of dressing. Join me as I embark on a journey to find things to wear that aren’t always black … starting with this great khaki midi skirt that does not require an ounce of ironing.

Top (old) / New Look blazer / Forever New skirt / Tony Bianco heels / MK Parker Watch / Essie ‘Urban Jungle’

sign off

Early Bloomer

earlybloomer1earlybloomer6earlybloomer3earlybloomer5earlybloomer2

It’s not even spring but the flowers on this street are in full force already. Perfect for twirling under in drop waist dresses like this great marble print one that’s made of silk and a dream to float about. My last week was so messy and I think its because I didn’t work out properly thus my schedule became completely off kilter. So! A new week begins and its time to start everything up again and make it a stellar one.

//Dress: Country Road / Booties: Forever New //sign off

No One Will Know Its EOFYS

eofys copy

EOFYS – one of the two times per year where our judgement is monetarily skewed by flashy red signs. To avoid pointless spending, let me direct you to some great winter white pieces that will last you through the seasons. The Alice McCall inspired beauty is going right into my cart as we speak and considering the original McCall is 10 times the price and doesn’t even drop until August, you will no doubt be ahead of the game. Run, don’t walk kids. Oh wait, its from The Iconic with next day delivery so you don’t even have to get off your behind. ps: what is eofys you ask scratching your head, here babe, let me enlighten you.

// Kimono Applique Dress $30 / Mariana Crombie Coat $90 / Maria Quilted Biker Jacket $60 / Graphic Sweat $20 / Off Shoulder Tee $20 / Tassel Trim Sweater $45 / Marble Print Dress $40  //

SS Goes to Brunch with Juliet

2015.02.07_for stylesmorgasboared

I hope you guys are ready for a rather chatty post this hump day. I’m starting a new series on Style Smorgasbord called SS Brunch and today I’m delighted to introduce Juliet from TheJulietReport on Instagram. The idea behind these posts is just to feature other voices and personalities on this blog so you don’t get sick of me and my puns all the time. We’ll talk about all kinds of random stuff and then open the floor to you guys as well so you can join in the conversation too! As a trial, we’re keeping everything lighthearted today but in the future, I would love to delve into some other issues too. And what better meal to pour over our chatty concerns than brunch!? So without further ado, lets give a hand to SS BRUNCH WITH JULIET! I fell out of my chair when she agreed to draw something for Style Smorgasbord and I hope you guys hop over to TheJulietReport for more of her work.

Karen: I thought I would wrap up my holiday posts with several travelling questions so tell me, what’s your favourite city to holiday in? Juliet: Even though I have been there about five times already I still always dream about New York. I feel a special connection with New York. There is always so much to do there, it is a very inspiring place. Karen: That reminds me I need to put Welcome To New York as my phone ringtone, the opening tune is the best!

tjr4

Karen: I feel like packing your carry on has almost become a science nowadays. There’s all these special compartment bags you can get and bottles that meet security guidelines … I tend to love overpacking reading material and then abandoning it for in flight entertainment … and then falling asleep! What are your personal in flight essentials? Juliet: I love to keep busy so I have to take my drawing equipment, a new book, magazines, skincare, especially lip balm and a refreshing face spritzer.

Karen: This is a bit of a strange one but I recently got my passport photos taking so I was wondering on a scale of one to ten (one being hate), how much do you like your passport photo? Juliet: Two. It isn’t a very flattering photo. I don’t think it even really looks like me.

Karen: When you step off the plane, are you a Kate Middleton or Miley Cyrus (i.e. polished and fresh or half dead haha)? Juliet: I’d like to think that I’m a Kate Middleton. I always choose style over comfort. Karen: Unfortunately, Miley for me. I just slap on a hat and sunglasses and hope I’m incognito lol.

tjr

Karen: Tell me about your creative process, do you draw at a particular time of the day? What materials do you use? Juliet: I have always been curious and always love to share what I know. Most of  my inspiration comes from my world, the things I do, the people I know and the things that I am interested in. It always begins with an idea, a thought, or a feeling. Depending on where I am or what I’m doing, I usually just keep notes on my phone to remind me, or I take photos of things I’d like to draw. I draw all the time, I draw when I wake up, on the train ride to and from work, at my desk, at cafes on my lunch break. I am a little bit obsessed with drawing, I can’t stop. I love to use watercolour but at the moment I am having a lot of fun with using Copic Markers. Karen: That’s amazing! I can totally see it come through your work as well 🙂

tjr6

Karen: When I first came across your feed, one of the things that struck me about your work was the little captions underneath. I personally think they’re charming, witty and relevant but what’s the significance of them? Juliet: The captions are usually things people have said to me, sometimes they are from things that I have read. I never know what they will be until I hear it. It can really be anything that I connect with, anything that makes me think, or question what I already know. The quote usually comes first, however sometimes if I see something I’d really love to draw, I then find a quote that will go with it. Karen: That is so interesting because for me, I always shoot my photographs first and then the caption or title comes later!

tjr3

Karen: My readers would like to know your biography … or at least a little about you – what do you do, how you roll? Juliet: I was born in Perth and moved to Melbourne about eight years ago. As I mentioned, I’m super curious so that means I have tried many different things. I have studied, accounting, journalism, makeup artistry, fashion and textiles merchandising and currently I’m in my third year of a Fashion Design Degree. I have worked as a barista, in fashion retail, I worked in Finance for ten years and now I work as an Assistant Designer for a Menswear label and as a Freelance Illustrator. I love doing new things, I love spending time with my friends, I love reading, going to the movies and drinking coffee. Lots of coffee please! Karen: Wow, that is really something, thank you so much for sharing!

2015-01-26_alldaydonuts

That is a wrap people! I hope you enjoyed this Wednesday special and for now, I will leave you with this box of adorable doughnuts!

sign off