travels

Stay Gold

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I am finished with my first semester of university, exams and all! To celebrate, Adela and I went to our mecca that is Bondi Beach. Its a tourist spot, sure but its endless array of cafes dotted¬†along the seaside is too attractive to pass off. After being holed up for a month, it was such a literal breath of fresh air to be outside. We grabbed brunch from Trio Cafe which is an all day breakfast place and we split the mango and lime buttermilk pancakes and raw salad both of which were de-li-cious and the portions were ge-ne-rous. Then we popped by Pressed Juices to grab something that was indeed, ‘positively life changing’ (as their slogan suggests) so we could have something to drink whilst we sat by the beach and just talked about how great everything was ūüôā

I’m so glad I brought along my camera because we set it to self timer mode and went a bit crazy with candids.¬†The following pictures are a few of the gems that I found; most notably, scenes of the sky changing colour as the sun set and Jasmine Dowling’s contribution to Bondi’s street art scene!¬†These pictures remind me about a lot of things but above all else, to stay gold Ponyboy.

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Shelfie

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Did you know bookshelves say a lot about a person? Take the bookshelf test here and then share your shelfie with me! I am a bit OCD with my Ikea expedit shelves; I need them to be their aesthetic self but at the same time, I need them to be functional and hold as much junk as possible. Here are my tips!

ONE: Collect a bunch of boxes and magazine holders to store the unattractive bits. You can also buy very cheap binders and decorate them like I have done here a la Kate Spade.

TWO: Hold onto those champagne bottles, glass candles and jars and fill them with fresh, dead or fake flowers.

THREE: Display your favourite accessories that you never seem to get to use. For me, these are my quirky clutches and my cat flats which have died a bit.

FOUR: Let it go. Its basically impossible for your shelf to resemble a Pinterest shelf¬†so don’t worry too much. Have fun, switch it out regularly and inject as much personality into your bookcase as possible. Magazines, gift bags, candles, travel memorabilia and picture frames are all great space fillers. Try stacking stuff sideways and if all else fails, shove it in a storage bin and try again tomorrow!

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SS Goes to Brunch with Juliet

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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!

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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.

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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 ūüôā

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Gold Coast Digger

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A fortnight ago¬†I was lucky enough to score¬†a last minute deal to the Gold Coast. It’s like the Miami of Australia and where our version of Spring Breakers herald every November. Not exactly in with that scene, I decided to postpone Gold Coast digging until the end of January 2015. The holidays I go on are usually intensely packed – sometimes with 3 am wakeup calls and past midnight showers so it was nice to head somewhere sunny without a plan for once. Click the scrapbook to see it expanded and try and spot my dress twin (I’ve been keeping count and so far I’ve seen it once in Gold Coast and once in Sydney!)

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Transport

In order to maximise out time there, we took a 6 am flight with Jetstar! This was probably the most tiring part of our journey but we were in chill mode from here on. Watching the sunrise while we took off wasn’t too bad either. The traffic around Gold Coast is pretty easy to navigate – we usually took a bus or tram. Our hotel was right beside the Surfers Paradise¬†tram station which was super convenient. Check out that surfboard carrier on the tram below – if this isn’t a surfer’s paradise then I don’t know what is!

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Accommodation

We stayed at a 3 bedroom apartment at Q1. It was insanely spacious for four people and had everything you needed: kitchen, 3 bathrooms, balcony, dining room, Foxtel, game consoles, board games and even DVDs (there was Mean Girls haha!). My favourite part were the views! My goodness¬†we could see the jetty, the coastline,¬†I basically could touch the clouds and we were only on floor 31! The facilities were pretty sweet as well. I loved lying on my back in the pool and staring at the tip of the hotel. They even had poolside tents with awnings if you didn’t want to burn.

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Sights

Gold Coast is a bit like Florida because it is home to a lot of amusement parks. Since this wasn’t our first time here, we skipped Dream World, Movie World, Sea World, White Water World. Instead, we spent our days never too far from the ocean or the pool and went to Cavill Mall and Robina Town Centre for shopping.

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Food

Although our apartment was fully equipped with a kitchen and even a food processor, we went out to eat most of the days we were there. Some of my top meals included the all you can eat pancakes from Pancake Paradise (you can order unlimited pancakes and they’re HUGE … I stopped at four), the pesto rosso from Vapiano (the wait is tiring but they make it in front of you) and the Hawaiian chicken with curly fries from Hog’s Breath Cafe.

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Night Life

The Gold Coast is alive up till late and I just loved watching the skyline from up high. They have markets along the boardwalk every Sunday and we would usually walk along the beach back to our hotel in the evening.

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I hope you enjoyed my postcard, one by ones and trademark GIFs!

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Sun Salutations

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I do not do yoga (the following yoga poses are such a joke). Nor do I have the luxury of sitting in day spas that envelop your ears with the tranquil crashing of waves. I watch Parks & Recreation in an attempt to get in touch with my inner self. In conclusion, I make no deliberate attempt to relax my mind aside from my ability to fall asleep likethisfast.

However, I am blessed to call Australia home and we have beautiful beaches that produce authentic wave crashing sounds that are the perfect soundtrack to accompany your viewing of the sunrise. I dragged myself out of our stunning hotel (more on that next post) at 5am to take these pictures and my my are the results spectacular.

This post is also the beginning of my month long collaboration with Lil Muse Clothing – a quaint Sydney based online store that I filled my suitcase with when I was packing including this Boho India Rope Mini Dress. Cavill Mall is the main street in Surfer’s Paradise and with¬†stores like Surfection and Sunburn, this dress’ obvious home was¬†right here. I personally like the mini version that I’m wearing because you can hop around the waves with ease, however if you don’t mind getting your hem a bit soaked, there’s a maxi version too. I feel like some beach dresses lack character. It’s usually just some elasticised bustier combined with see through fabric in a turquoise or yellow colour. What I personally like about this dress is the detailed print and colour. I never would have thought blue, red, pink, purple and green could have come together anywhere else but a preschooler’s easel. I also think the rope straps and gold detailing are the perfect built in necklace because who wears jewellery to the beach unless its a live starfish earring a la Aquamarine (I still want one!!) So kick off your thongs and join me as we watch the sunrise together. Here’s to a sunny and relaxing Sunday/Monday!

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Dress c/o Lil Muse Clothing –¬†Boho India Rope Mini Dress

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Sandy Tops Sea Bottoms

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One of my favourite things in general about blogging is the feeling of unexpectedness. I thought these pictures would end up being a mess because I shot them after a day at the beach. Sand was trapped in the weirdest places, my naturally thick voluminous hair had been naturally sea salt sprayed (god knows I don’t need any more oomph), I was sweltering in the thirty degree heat and my feet were sizzling on the pavement. Usually as soon as I get home from a shoot, I’ll stab in my SD card AY SAP because I’m impatient and I need results NOW. I just couldn’t bare to look at these pictures until a few days later so when I adjusted the curves and did some brightening, I was pleasantly surprised.

I have to say, this is one of my fancier beach get ups. My typical beach uniform reads like large t shirt over my swimmers and lots of sunscreen. Another unexpected part of these pictures are the colours. The top is beige like sand and the bottoms are blue like the sea. I like how its the perfect complement against the beachy background. If you scroll through my Style page, you’ll notice that I have never shot any pictures with people in the background because I think its distracting. However, it looks really organic¬†in these pictures because the people are far away enough to add a¬†sprinkle of¬†life to the waves.

The sandy crochet top is anatomically the perfect beach cover up. Firstly, it is made of crochet which is a non brainer because crochet is basically synonymous with¬†most coverups. It also buttons up backward and if you’ve read my wrong way don’t turn back post, you’ll know my affinity for backward things. Finally, my favourite thing about this top is that it’s ‘vintage’ Sportsgirl. It used to be my mum’s before I stole it from her closet which I think is so neat because Sportsgirl is an iconic Australian high street brand that opened in the 50s as the younger sister of Sportscraft. Now that¬†my mum has moved onto Sportscraft, and I, Sportsgirl, I think its kind of fab to have something from a¬†90s Sportsgirl store that wouldn’t look out of place at all in today’s stores!

Then to finish off the look, I added some low maintenance bling by putting on some foil tattoos. They performed really well given that I crashed around in some rough waves for a while and nature exfoliated by arms by throwing me across the sand. If you’re going to a party or epic rave where¬†you want to get some sparkle¬†on¬†without losing a bangle, try some foil tattoos next time!

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{Outfit photographs shot by Emi and Arm photograph shot by myself}

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A Gal at Bal

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According to the Urban Dictionary, definition number seven, chinos are: A type of trouser made from chino cloth. Although they are very comfortable and soft, they come in the most grotesque colours possible which really makes them stand out. The fact that they are sold in excess in stores such as Abercrombie and Jack Wills doesn’t help their reputation much either. Chinos, the everyday hipster’s choice of¬†trouser wear.¬†So what then are chino shorts? To me they are the conservative short, which means they are the perfect piece to go with the bustier – a garment Victorian women wore to get their va va voom on. Since I have no desire to show off too much skin, I decided to pop on this light see through chiffon shirt and one button it up all easy breezy.

There you have it, all ready to set sail! Or at least walk along the boardwalk. How lovely does Balmoral look on this cloudy Saturday? I think the cool tones are the perfect complement to my sailing appropriate look and I love how bright the pictures turned out. Sometimes, a picture sans blue sky is really okay after all! And where do sailors brunch? The Balmoral Boathouse of course! Get the quinoa bircher it could seriously feed three!

Today was actually meant to be a DIY post and the last post in my New Year series but Optus decided to cut my internet for two days because the roof of a tower fell off or something so I have been in agony for the past 60 hours. It got to the point where I turned up two hours early to a party so I could use the host’s internet (thank you beb)¬†and stood in front of the Apple store for an hour to leech off their fast wifi. Sue me, I’m so twenty first century.

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NEO-DADA

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“Your lipstick stain is a work of art” {5SOS ‘She Looks so Pefect’}

I hope you guys are having a lovely weekend! I recently went to The Art Gallery of NSW to visit the Pop to Popsim¬†exhibit which runs until March¬†so I totally encourage you to check it out if you live near by!¬†I think one of the reasons I love this movement so much is neatly summarised in the guide itself: “Pop was one of the defining art movements of the 20th century. It was radical because it brought the realms of mass entertainment and consumerism into the halls of art galleries and museums …. While for many this new art was a shocking betrayal of high cultural values, for others it was a liberating encounter with the world that people actually lived in.”¬†

Although, I wasn’t able to take actual photos of the exhibition, I still shot some of the patterns found in this really neat pop art book that they had in the interactive area. Then I took my pictures in the permanent areas of the gallery which are architecturally breathtaking.

Taking cues from pop itself, I went with a lemon yellow cropped tank top with little ruffles at the bottom. I haven’t worn something this cropped since my middle school days but I thought this was so cute with high waisted pointe pants and some easy ballerinas. Then the highlight of the outfit is my cute little speech bubble bag which is the definition of pop and something that I have been obsessed with since my friend Emi got it for me. They’re like the Sophia Webster ones which have cheeky phrases all over them ūüėČ I have a bit of an affinity for small unpractical bags like these so lookout for some potential DIYs in the future because I hear Olympia and Spade inspiration calling!

So tell me, do you love a bit of Lichtenstein or do you admire Andy Warhol? What’s your favourite decade in pop? Pop to Popsim itself was divided into seven sections: The Future is Now, Swinging London, The American Dream, Euro Pop, Made in Oz, Late Pop and Popism. I hope you enjoy the visual delights and check out those crazy rainbow flowers i saw in Martin Place!

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SCULPTURESQUE.

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You look so beautiful in this light/¬†Your silhouette over me / The way it brings out the blue in your eyes / Is the Tenerife sea {Ed Sheeran X ‘tenerife sea’}

Sculpture by the Sea is an annual collection of art, people and culture backdropped against nature’s best element (in my bias opinion): the beach. I’ve managed to miss this not-to-be-missed iconic event year after year because of school but I finally got to see the beauty that it is with my own two eyeballs and camera lens this year! I got a decent amount of beautiful shots but I’ve narrowed it down to a few of my favourites including Overconsumption¬†by Kerrie Argent which was this big glop of a thing that looked like a colourful rainbow from afar but was actually made up of bottle lids. I trust that you are smart enough to decipher what the artist is trying to say from the title.¬†The collection of sculptures spans from¬†Tamarama beach to the famous Bondi and we started our journey at about 5 and finished at half 7. The walk itself really wasn’t that long but trying to navigate the people and the sights slows you down in a great way. So if you live in Sydney or can get down here by the 9th, I would totally recommend you do the walk and if you can’t, hopefully my pictures can give you some indication of the spectacular nature of the exhibit.

It was crazy windy that day so I decided to go with a 3 shades of gray kinda thing staring with some metallic gunmetal leggings, a plain tee and a floppy felt hat; baggy cardigan to ease the chilliness, good old Converse and a sunflower backpack to carry my big old camera. I am definitely new to creating visual blog content but the struggle of good pictures vs a cute bag is real. On the hunt for a biggish bowler now.

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