November 23, 2016

Turning your home into a tropical paradise, just in time for Summer

This post is brought to you by Jason Agustina.

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.

1. Jason Agustina Volt Sofa in Blue 2. Blue Thumb Sticky Beak limited edition print by Emma Ward 3. Drunk on Water Monstera and Pineapple cushion 4. Jason Agustina Beholm Coffee Table in Oak 5. Annabel Trends artificial banana bunch and cockatoo

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.

1. Jason Agustina Locke Sideboard in Natural 2. Kmart belly basket 3. Kmart Anthurium plant 4. Drunk on Water Watermelon print 5. KMart succulent in concrete pot 6. Annabel Trends artificial large pineapple

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?

November 09, 2016

Brisbane Fashion Weekend 2016 - making a weekend of it!

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.

Brooke in her new prized possession, the Wilde Willow Charms of Light Kimono.

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.

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:

Sally of Steele My Style's blog