Friday, 27 May 2011

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Inspired Shopping Guilt

sportsgirl isabella woven tote

Seven years ago, on the first night of my two year working holiday in London, someone broke into the living room of my friends house (where I was sleeping at the time) and stole a handful of my things - including a bag similar to the one above. I was devastated. I've been going on about that bag ever since and I constantly look for a replacement. One of my besties had the exact bag and every time I saw her use it, I had total bag envy! She informed me last week that her bag went to heaven recently and I felt so much better.... cheeky but true.

So after seeing an email come through that Sportsgirl was having a flash sale - 30% off all bags, I couldn't resist. I've been eyeing off this 'isabella woven tote' for about a week now, I keep going in store to try it on and see how practical it is for my everyday needs. I can't afford it, and should be saving for my Hawaii trip, but I just had have it. Who can resist a woven tote with tassels?

A friend described it as 'perfect for your sneaky sleepover, spontaneous beach trip or slouchy work day'.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

inspirational RunwayScout

Since launching in November 2010, has epitomised sleek, chic and unique style with their range of bold accessories and most recently adorned fashions.

I had a chat to creator Susan Jacob about the inspiration behind her online boutique and what inspires her.

tell me about and the inspiration behind it? was born out of a passion for online shopping, fashion and helping women feel good about themselves. I wanted to create a website where women can shop in style and know that what they're buying is not only fashion-forward but also timeless and wearable for more than one season. I don't like being a slave to fashion trends, so I try to incorporate the latest styles in our offering by ensuring that they aren't going to go out of season after a couple of wears. I also wanted to make sure that women have constant access to us with any questions or concerns they have about what they're wanting to purchase. We've been commended on our commitment to customer service many times, and this is what keeps me going - knowing that women enjoy shopping with us and feel confident and secure in doing so, which is very important when it comes to online shopping. I also love blogging and creating new posts about current trends and how we get inspired for the styles we buy each season.

tell me what fashion trends you think will be big this winter and beyond?
I think the 60s trend will be huge this winter, featuring fur, lace and pleating. This is perfect for because we love such a feminine style but also like adding a "tough" pretty look to it with our accessories from Mezi and House of Baulch. The colour palate will also feature lots of soft colours such as nudes, lilacs and apricots, and of course the ever-faithful greys and blacks... all of which will be featuring our winter range.

what is your personal style?
Feminine with an edge (hopefully I achieve that!).

who do you see as an up and coming designer to watch?
Michael La Sorado. I think his style mantra is similar to mine - effortless and modern with a design edge. I would love to stock his designs on one day.

michael la sorado

do you tend to go with more or less when piecing together outfits?
It depends on what I'm wearing! If i have a lot of detail in my outfit I tend to go minimal with accessories - but if I have a fairly basic outfit I will definitely layer it up with accessories and go bold with bracelets, rings and necklaces. 

what are your top 5 pics on
Ever Layne's cropped (faux) fur vest has been hugely popular. We sold out recently and have replenished our stock with XS to L sizes for a second time. Cameo is also a winner with the Let It Fall Dress and Deadbeat Summer Dress. Bling & Chic (a designer from Brisbane) has also been a popular label with all sizes.

ever layne cropped fur vest
bling & chic never mind skirt and someday top

ever layne batwing mini dress

bling & chic pleated skirt

what is your earliest childhood fashion moment?
My mum has incredible style and she dressed me very well when I was little. My earliest fashion memory would be visiting a shop at Indooroopilly with my mum called Samantha and Charles, with her buying me incredible frocks. We would also visit another shop in the Wintergarden called Lee Bird - I remember owning a black and white sleeveless dress with tulle underneath it - it was so special, finished with shiny patent mary janes. I have alot of early childhood fashion moments. But these two are my favourite. I think my mum's style influenced mine alot, it is very classic and timeless, always elegant without trying, which is how I like to be in fashion.

in keeping with the thingswhichinspire theme, can you tell me about your:

style inspiration
I have lots of style inspiration! Christine Centenera is my massive style crush (fashion editor for Harpers Bazaar) - apparently she chooses her outfits on a whim each morning but she always looks carefully put together. I lust after her style. I also like the simplicity and elegance of people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and Kate Bosworth - they all have that innate sense of style that you just can't learn - you're either born with it or you're not!

christine centenera
gwyneth paltrow

kate bosworth                                                         kate moss               

holiday inspiration
I would love to visit the Amalfi Coast. I haven't been there but it definitely intrigues me, a does India with its people and rich colours. Places I have visited which inspire me are the north shore of Hawaii and Tokyo. The Japanese have an incredible sense of style and love for fashion.

amalfi coast

hawaii north shore


music inspiration
I think music videos are hugely influential in upcoming trends. I watch people like Rhianna very closely to see what might be coming up as the next big thing. I love anything that makes me want to exercise (as this doesn't come naturally to me!)... so a mix of dance and r n b. I am also a sucker for a ballad from Coldplay (e.g. The Scientist) or Guns n Roses (yes seriously!).

food inspiration
my friends know I am a pretty lame cook so this is a difficult question. But I do love a great pasta dish and sushi. I pretty much eat on the run because I am so busy... but I do love fresh sushi and rich pasta dishes! And you Shella inspire me constantly with your amazing cooking skills and delicious creations.

the person or thing which inspires you
My husband Anthony - he's the one person who motivated me to start my online business. He commits himself to a passion and never gives up, this has now become my personal mantra. I am also inspired by other small business owners - e.g. the local coffee shop or boutique - I love chatting to them about their business as I know how difficult it is to start your own business, and how much work goes into it. It's almost like 'counselling' when you chat to another business-owner, you seem to understand each other and the stresses which go with owning your own business. It is a very vulnerable thing - putting yourself and your ideas out there and hoping other people understand. It is also incredibly rewarding when you receive encouragement and positive feedback from your customers, which ultimately keeps you going.

If you're after a dose of wardrobe inspiration, please visit Susan's online boutique at

Friday, 20 May 2011

Inspiration for the Weekend


images of inspiration waiting for my weekend to begin

  • if I could wake to this every morning I'd be calm and happy everyday
  • yum
  • yum
  • lusting after this Giles and Brother Hook Cuff
  • Bambi for Oyster = stunning
  • awaiting the arrival of my retro leather camera case
  • HOT pink clutch from Topshop, yes please
  • supercute
  • another desired item from Topshop
  • closing scene from Shakespeare in Love, one of my favourite movies, it offers a promise of new beginnings
  • thinking this could be an essential item for my Hawaii getaway in August
  • inspired organisation
  • sultry and beautiful - favourite track #3 turning tables
  • peace

theyallhateus, thirteenlittleloves, because i'm addicted, il etait une fios, topshop, google images and others

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

food inspiration

The weekend past saw beautiful endless sunny days, cool breezes, a visit to the farmers markets, lunch with a great friend and her dad, a quick visit to friend doing a photo shoot, cheeky wines with another fabulous friend, a visit from the parents and me doing something I love most in the world… cooking!

I forgot to take photos but trust me, this is a hearty and simple beef stew.  

Hearty Winter Beef Stew
inspired by Stephanie Alexander and Jamie Oliver

1.5kg chuck steak
120g plain flour
2tbs paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 brown onions, chopped into medium chunks
2 large potatoes, chopped into medium chunks
2 carrots, chopped into medium chunks
1 sweet potato, chopped into medium chunks
1 tin of tomatoes
1 cup of red wine, something you like drinking
Salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • Cube the steak into bite size pieces, discarding any fat
  • Mix the flour and paprika in a small plastic bag and in small batches coat the beef, repeat until complete
  • Get out a large casserole dish and add the beef, garlic and veggies in until snug
  • Process the tin of tomatoes until smooth and pour over the meat and veggies with the red wine, season with salt and pepper, give it a good stir
  • Place a piece of baking paper over the contents and put the lid on top, and cook in your oven for 2 hours

I tend to check it half way through and give it a bit of a stir.

If you find your stew to be a little on the runny side like I did on Sunday night, you can do one of two things:
  1. Retrieve about ½ cup of liquid and stir in one or two teaspoons of cornflour until it makes a thick paste, stir this through the stew and put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes. This should thicken it: or
  2. Stir through 2tbsp of tomato paste at the end, this will also add to the richness of the flavour.
For something a little different, I like to do a 'Jamie Oliver' and finely chop some parsley and lemon rind to stir through just before serving, it just adds a zing and intensity to the flavour. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

Serve the stew with crusty fresh bread and butter and a large glass of red wine. This is sure warm you from the inside out.

* This stew serves 4-6.
* I halve this recipe when cooking for myself. It also freezes well for those nights you don't feel like cooking.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

RAFW Inspired

With Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) over for another year, media again raised the 'weighty' debate over the use of 'very thin models' strutting their stuff on the catwalks. I've been traipsing over my favourite websites for the past week, admiring new lines from our amazingly talented Australian designers, and I must admit, my focus wasn't on the weight of the models, but rather on the fashions! It has had me wondering however, just who dictates how thin these beauties should be? The designers or their agencies, it seems neither want to comment.

Fashion Blogger Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist fame sparked a similar debate back in March, by posting a picture of an up-coming fashion blogger with the comment "I saw this young lady in Milan several times this past season. She is on of the crop new bloggers. I loved that she's a bigger, curvier girl than most of the other bloggers who you see in the press and tend to represent the genre." He received backlash from his devoted followers for this comment, as the young lady in question isn't typically curvy. I suppose perception is in the eye of the beholder.

I, like most women have been influenced by all forms of media and have felt pressure at times to lose weight and look more model-esque. Most fashions on the runway are designed to look good on coat hangers, so it's no wonder models are size 0, 1 and 2. The older I get, the more comfortable I have become with the shape of my body, and have learnt to shop for my size, and style accordingly.

That said, trends which reigned supreme at this years RAFW were colour blocking, minimalism, bold prints, lace and pleats. Here are some of my favourites.

colour blocking: Bianca Spender
minimalism: arnsdorf

bold prints: Karla Spetic

lace: Zimmerman

pleats: Magdalena Velevska

Behind the scenes Emma Lung, Sophie Lowe, April Rose Pengilly and of course a 'thingswhichinspire' personal favourite Lara Bingle couldn't put a foot wrong. I'll be taking a leaf out of their style books...

Emma Lung front row at Fernando Frisoni 

Sophie Lowe arriving at Camilla and Marc

 April Rose Pengilly arriving at Karla Spetic

Lara Bingle arriving at Josh Goot

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Age Inspired

inspired cakes: buttery citrus and layered chocolate sponge

My amazing family and friends helped me celebrate my 30th birthday on the weekend over a long lunch, followed by cocktails and dancing. It was an amazing day I will look back upon for years to come with a smile on my face and a twinkle in eyes.