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So This is Christmas | 2016 Gift Guide

I say this every year, but this is always my favourite post to write. Christmas is coming faster and faster, so while I know you want to pretend you’ve got time, it’s probably a better idea to start writing your list now!

The importance of supporting small or local businesses, especially at this time fo year, can not be overstated. Get out there and show love to the people who put their heart and souls into their work.

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This year I’ve got a bigger list of markets than ever before, there’s an online retailer section for those last-minute or time-poor shoppers and a list of my favourite¬†cookbooks which will actually get used, promise (put down the Manu Feildel, please).

You can check out 2014 and 2015 gift guides here. Links are in bold, so click away!

 

Sue Lewis

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Not only can you pick up tons of delicious stocking stuffers for those last minute invites to Christmas lunch, but Sue also runs workshops for those wanting to learn a little more about the magic that is chocolate.

Hippocampus

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These guys make killer spirits out of a warehouse in West Perth. A bottle of their negroni makes a great backup gift, their gin is delicious and you can drop in and have a chat to the guys on a Wednesday evening to see how it all goes down.

K Gets Organised

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I talk about my love for Kelsie’s work often, but guys, she does subscription boxes now! Delicious deliveries of paper goods every month are just what the doctor ordered.

Fox and Rabbit

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Rebecca is one of Perth’s most in-demand florists and floral designers, and for good reason – her work is spectacular. Her workshops (including wreath making!) sell out quickly, so get in fast.

Comic Zone

Comics are no longer the exclusive domain of little boys. With exceptional storytelling, diverse characters, and beautiful art, there is most definitely something for everyone. The gentlemen at Comiczone will happily make suggestions if you need guidance or order things in for you, all while providing some of Perth’s best customer service (trust me, I’m in there most weeks!). If you’re looking for ideas, try here or here.

Grace and Scarper 

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Home to beautiful locally made jewelry, Grace + Scarper also have an option to personalise their pieces with names, dates or coordinates that have a special meaning to you Рgentlemen, this is your new go-to.

Yoke

This sweet little store in Inglewood is full of sweet bits and pieces for office Secret Santa, male grooming products for your hipster cousin’s excellent beard or your cool aunt who’s into Frida Kahlo.

Mariposa

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Your luxe-loving sister-in-law will adore just about anything from Mariposa. Fragrances, beauty, and candles everywhere. 

Stackwood

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Stackwood is Perth’s best place to find beautiful plants, planters, and associated goods. They’re also running a whole bunch of workshops, so keep an eye out!

Perth International Arts Festival

Got a hard-to-buy-for relative? Don’t we all? Send them along to one of the incredible events happening in February as part of PIAF.

 

Markets

 

Online Stores

If you’re time poor, or just need somewhere to start looking, these are great

  • Jumbled Online: For the person in your life who loves colour, cactus or Iris Apfel.
  • Melt Bake Shop: Your friend who dreams of being the next Katherine Sabbath.
  • A Cup of Chic: Beautiful, minimalist gifts for your stylish friends and their kids.
  • Notemaker: The most beautiful collection of journals, pens and cards.
  • Stay at Home Club: For your inner introvert.

 

Books

Boffins is hands down my most-loved book store, and they’re happy to help in any way they can. Plus, the smell of books there is intoxicating. Yes, I’m weird. No, I’m not sorry.

 

If you have any other recommendations for stores or markets, please let me know! What have you asked Santa for this year?

Turning 30 | What I Learned

How is it the end of September already? What the hell happened to the last nine months?

It’s been a tough one this year. Not just for me, it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster for just about everyone. Is it a Saturn returns thing?¬†Maybe. It feels like one of those things that is a little bit bigger than me. All you can do it just go with it.

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Esquire publishes a series called What I Learned, and it’s been one of my favourite things since, well, I was an age where I wouldn’t get in trouble for reading Esquire. Then the videos came – ¬†Karlie did one, as did Rosianna, and well, I love a bandwagon. Let’s get on board!

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  1. Fierce kindness is the only way.
  2. “Why the fuck not me?” should be your motto – Mindy Kaling
  3. Jam, then cream on scones. Otherwise, you’re a goddamn heathen.
  4. You’re never too old for dinosaurs. Or Lego. Or light-up sneakers. You can fight me on this.
  5. How good are broken hearts? I mean obviously, at the time, they’re the worst fucking thing in the world. But having a broken heart meant there was something to break in the first place, and I figure that having had love can only be a good thing, right?
  6. But when that broken heart has you all topsy turvy, Frida knows best.
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  7. Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward. – Tina Fey
  8. Unless you want to say no, in which case, no is a full sentence. No buts, not explanations, just no.
  9. Food that can be eaten with your hands is the best food. Fried chicken, pizza, chicken nuggets, cake, I’m lookin’ at you.
  10. Learn to fight like a girl. (Also, sign up to Lenny as it is excellent, inspiring reading).
  11. There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If it makes you happy, savour it.
  12. You are never too old for Disney movies and glitter. Punch anyone who tells you otherwise in the face. You don’t need that bullshit.
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  13. Ask yourself before you get into any argument “Is this the hill you want to die on?”
  14. Breakfast foods at dinner. Always a good choice.
  15. Look after yourself first. Go have the awful, uncomfortable tests you’ve been putting off because you just don’t want to. It may save your life.¬†It’s saving mine.

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    Aged 12. As you can tell, by the butterfly clips.

  16. Take the damn selfie. You look amazing.
  17. Never feel bad if the only thing you accomplished in a day was getting out of bed.
  18. Don’t be an asshole. That’s the only thing you have to do in this world. Not be an asshole.
  19. Fight for things that matter. Rights, love, family. Probably not parking spaces.
  20. A hot shower, clean sheets, and a good night’s sleep is always the answer.
  21. If #18 fails, a beer (or wine, or five.) in the sunshine.

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    Aged 16-ish?

  22. Everyone should visit their local observatory, and feel very very small. Go here or here. I promise you will LOVE it.
  23. My great-grandmother always told my mother that you should kiss your person goodbye before you leave the house – even if you’re angry, late, or sleeping – no matter what. You never know what will happen, so always¬†always kiss your people goodbye.
  24. Bacon. Yes.
  25. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself.

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    Aged 22

  26. The best road trips begin with a bacon and egg McMuffin, pringles, and singing¬†Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty at the top of your lungs. Optional: Life is a Highway.¬†
  27. The best family is the one you build for yourself.
  28. Leslie Knope always has the answers. Also, please watch Parks and Rec.
  29. 30-second dance party. Instant mood booster. Go on, shake it off.
  30. Find your people. Your girl gang. Your squad. Yout tribe. Your coven. Your pack. Love them hard, because they will always have you.

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This morning. At my desk. Heavily filtered by Snapchat. Because I can. 

 

You guys are the best. Thank you for sticking with me.

On My Shelf | Spiced Apple Cake

If you’ve ever been to Melbourne and you haven’t been to Burch and Purchese, you’ve been wasting your life. It’s the closest thing to a Wonka-wonderland that we’ve got, and it’s utter magic.

Darren’s first book covered all his patisserie’s signature cakes and general fancies. It’s a thing of great beauty, but perhaps not the most practical thing to work from. His second (and brand new release) is a much more everyday kind of thing, with the perfect kind of bakes for afternoon teas, through to some more professional (but not impossible) looking desserts that would impress the pants off your next dinner party. And if you get a little stuck, there are some pretty handy how-to and troubleshooting sections to get you through. The book hit my desk last week and it it’s just¬†beautiful.¬†I haven’t been inspired by a book in a while, but this is something that deserves space on your shelf.

This was the first thing that spoke to me when I opened the book. The recipe belongs to his wife, Cath, who had it given to her by her mother. Darren calls this a cake, except what holds together a dozen apples is pastry, but not a proper pastry. The spices elevate the whole thing, and it’s not overly sweet. Kind of imagine a pot pie, but with apples. I don’t entirely understand what’s happening here, all I can tell you it is thoroughly fucking delicious.

I made this over the recent long weekend, while all my friends were gallivanting in the South West – Pemberton, Margaret River. The apples I used are a mix of green and red, which prevents the cake from being too sweet. Plus, they all came from WA’s ¬†Southern Forests region, so while I couldn’t be there, ¬†I could still enjoy their magnificent produce. They don’t pay me to say that, it’s honestly the best food you’ll ever eat, I promise!

 

Spiced Apple Cake

From Lamingtons and Lemon Tarts by Darren Purchese

120g unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

12 apples, peeled and cored
1 vanilla bean
finely grated zest and juice of a lemon
150g caster sugar

1 egg whisked
Extra caster sugar, to sprinkle

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream together the sugar, butter, and salt. Add the egg, beat to combine, then add the spices and flour. Mix gently until there are no floury bits. Wrap the dough in cling film, and stick in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Cut the peeled and cored apples into quarters, and then each quarter into four pieces. Place the apple pieces in a pot with the sugar, juice, and zest and vanilla bean and pod, then place the pot over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the apples are soft, but still holding shape. Remove from heat and leave to cool completely. Remove and discard the vanilla pod.

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Heat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius, and grease a springform cake tin.Take two-thirds of the pastry, and roll it into a circle that’s about 5mm thick. If it’s too soft, place it in the fridge to chill and firm up a bit. Press it into the cake tin and up the sides, and leave just a little overhanging the edge. It’s a super forgiving pastry, so don’t worry if it tears, just smush it back together or patch it with some extra pastry.

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Pack the apple into the pastry as firmly as you can. Roll out the remaining dough into a pie lid, place over the apple, then fold the overhang and smoosh to seal. Brush with the whisked egg, then sprinkle sugar over the top. Place in the oven for 45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.save-new-1

Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before carefully releasing the springform tin. Serve with a thick custard. It’s delicious both hot and cold. Or eaten straight from the pan eight hours later. Because that happened. Seriously.

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What I Love

Guys, it’s my birthday.

Well, it’s not my birthday today, but it looms. Like, this week, looms. I have feelings about birthdays.¬†This year, it’s a reflective one. Taking stock, counting my blessings, nursing the wounds of the last couple of months, counting my blessings again because that seems to ¬†help a whole bunch.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting the most exceptional, humble and hardworking people as a result of this little blog o mine. And somehow, I’ve even been lucky enough to get to call some of them friends.

I don’t do this thing in a vacuum. It takes a village to bring everything together, and it is my distinct honor to tell you about some of the people who are completely killing it in their game, and I hope you enjoy what they do as much as I have had the pleasure to.

Now, in no particular order:

  1. Manuka Woodfire Kitchen in Fremantle
    There is no one who quite does it like Kenny. His food is unpretentious and uncomplicated, but it’s also hands down the best meal you’ll eat south of the river, and probably the city. With the added bonus of Sam Ward recently joining the team, this place is about to raise the bar.
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  2. Peggy Saas Photography
    I was first introduced to Peggy through a food photography workshop, but it’s her wedding photography that is like no one else. Her work has so much life, feeling, and joy in it that sometimes it feels like intruding on a personal moment.
  3. Budburst Small Bar in Mt Hawthorn
    Rachael Niall kills it at her French-inspired wine bar. She and her team have an unparalleled¬†knowledge of wine (and are happy to share it!), and the chef turns out some gorgeous charcuterie to match. Oh, and have I mentioned the Croque monsieur? It’s the greatest ham and cheese sandwich you’ll ever have, trust me on this.
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  4. Laura Moseley
    This girl honestly deserves all the awards, ever. There’s honestly no one who loves this city more than Laura, and she works tirelessly to promote and make it better. If you’ve attended a cultural event in the city, she probably had a hand in organising it, or you saw her flying around in her high-vis to make sure it ran flawlessly. Laura has an energy and enthusiasm that I wish I could bottle, she’s incredible.
  5. No Lights No Lycra
    It doesn’t matter if you dance like Michael Jackson or Elaine from Seinfeld, NLNL is the place for you to tap into your inner dancing queen (or king) and just let it all out. A pitch black room, your comfiest clothes (no heels!!) and banging tunes that cover all tastes. It’s sweaty, therapeutic¬†and bloody awesome.
  6. Layup in Northbridge
    One of the most interesting breakfast menus in around. Fucking fantastic.
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  7. Max Veenhuyzen
    He writes for everything worth reading (Gourmet Traveller, Broadsheet, Qantas), eats everywhere you dream of, in cities all over the world. But when it comes down to it he’s¬†happiest tucking into a bahn mi in Girrawheen, because that’s just the low-key guy he is. He’s generous with his time and knowledge, is well liked and respected within the industry (a rare feat), and is generally the coolest guy I know – and that is a statement I can’t believe I get to make.
  8. Jessica Shaver Photography
    Jess’s love for the hospitality industry, the producers, venues she works with is truly infectious. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and well respected, and I could listen to her talk all day. There’s a very good reason why she’s one of the best food photographers in Perth, and you can see that passion in her work.
  9. Chicho Gelato in Northbridge
    Chez and Carly don’t just make gelato. For them, it’s a craft¬†and that careful matching of local ingredients to clever flavour combinations makes all the difference in their end product. Match that with their clever collaborations with other rad locals like Sue Lewis Chocolatier and Custard & Co cider, and Chicho just can’t be beat.
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  10. Danica Zuks Photography
    Danica is the ultimate all rounder. From food to weddings, events to cosplay, she does it all with care and craft. She’s meticulous, enthusiastic, and dedicated, and it’s such a joy to watch her work.
  11. Cecchi’s in Inglewood
    Cecchi’s is one of Perth’s low-key hotspots. It’s that homey, casual vibe that makes you want to hole up in a corner all night with good friends, belly laughs, and too much wine.¬†Mark and Kylee-Anne Cecchi are the ultimate hosts, and every time I’ve been has been stellar. Go. See for yourself.
  12. Max Brearley
    There are food writers that go to venues, quaff some wine, then write about it at their desks. Not this guy. Max digs for truffles, dons bee-keeper suits, wellies, and hairnets, and makes friends with cows. For some, food in its various forms is a job, but Max (and his exceptional wife Sarah) has made it his life. And man, are we better for it.
  13. Sugar & Nice in Inglewood
    You know that I love dessert. Cake, meringues, brownies, scrolls, marshmallows… My dreams look like Homer in Candyland. Which means, by association, my dreams look like Marnee’s cafe. Seriously, her cinnamon scrolls are my favourite. I would move heaven and earth to get my hands on them.¬†She’s all fire, her social media is sassy and she makes impossible cake-based dreams come true.
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  14. Charles Stewart
    If you live in this city and love coffee, then at some point or another, you’ve probably been served a brew by Charles. Currently at Howdy Coffee¬†in Bayswater, and with some pretty cool things in the pipeline, things are certainly never dull when he’s involved.¬†Did I mention his girlfriend is a rockstar florist and even his dog is cooler than me?
  15. House of Theodora
    This one is ladies only and¬†definitely NSFW,¬† but Jasmin is having much-needed conversations about knowing what you want, knowing how to ask for it, or getting it done on your own. Subscribe to her newsletter, follow her Instagram, enjoy the benefits. You’re welcome, ladies.
  16. Stranger Danger Dinner
    Having dinner with seven strangers is normally the kind of thing that would make most of us break out in a cold sweat. But there is something different about these dinners, a nervous camaraderie. Plus, Sam Smith picks excellent venues for these dinners, with excellent wine lists, which makes everything just a little bit easier.
  17. Lloyd Summers Photography
    If you are sitting at your desk and dreaming of places you’d rather be, odds are Lloyd has been there in the last 12 months (yeah, I hate him too). His work is vivid, colourful and beautiful.
  18. The Cat Cafe
    You’ve read stories about cafes full of hedgehogs, snakes, rabbits, and owls popping up all over the world. But what makes The Cat Cafe in Subi different is the care and dedication that owners Chris and Terps have put into building their business. The proceeds from sales of treats in the cafe go back to helping other welfare organisations, and the cats in the cafe are rescues for the Cat Haven (and you’ve never seen a group of cats more loved in the world). It’s well worth a visit.
  19. Ann Shen
    Her art is adorable. We share a personal hero. She wrote a killer book on Bad Girls.
  20. Smart Ladies
    Jessica Valenti, Roxane Gay, Tara Moss, Rosie Waterland, Melissa Broder, Lindy West. My to-read pile is raging out of control.

Tell me who inspires you, who you’re grateful for. Or books that I should read, because I’m doubling down on this never-to-be-finished pile, so you may as well help bury me in it.

A Little Love | Persian Sheet Cake

Those who are close to me have a complaint to raise with me.

Well, to be fair, they probably have many complaints – I make them come kill spiders for me, I’m perennially late and I steal blankets. But the Big Thing – I never bake for them.

People comment to my parents, close friends, my boyfriend what ‘Gee, you’re so lucky! Bri must bake for you ALL THE TIME.’ The reality is the opposite, they’re lucky if they get to lick the spoon. Rob often looks at me hopefully as I pull out my KitchenAid, ‘Is that for me?’. Nope, it’s probably an office birthday, or a bribe of some kind. Most importantly, none for Rob.

So when this recipe hit my inbox, I couldn’t hold out on him any longer. In fact, I like it so much, I’ve made it a bunch of times. It’s a great cake to keep up your sleeve when you just really need chocolate cake, and it’s lightning fast to throw together.

I adapted it to include my current favourite Persian flavours, rose and pistachio. There’s something about them that makes everything feel a little more deliberate and decadent, that perhaps you definitely planned to make this cake ALL ALONG, and you’re not desperately scrambling to throw something together to stop the complaining. Nope, not here.

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Persian Sheet Cake

Adapted from Lady and Pups

1 1/2 stick (170 grams) unsalted butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup  freshly brewed strong coffee (instant is fine)
1 1/2 cup (205 grams)plain flour
1 1/4 cup (195 grams) dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 tsp rose water
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

200g bittersweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped
¬Ĺ cup thickened cream
Chopped pistachios
Edible rose petals
Flaked salt

 

Preheat the oven on 190 C.

Brown the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready when it takes on a sweet, almost nutty smell (but be careful not to burn it!). Add the cocoa and coffee to the pot, whisking together until combined. Bring this mixture to a boil, then remover from the heat.

Whisk in the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda until it forms almost a smooth, shiny paste. Leave for a couple of minutes to cool, then add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix together until incorporated.¬†Stir in the rosewater (add more if you think it’s necessary).

Pour the mixture into a brownie or lamington sized tin that has been lined with baking paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, place the chocolate and a pinch of sea salt in a heatproof bowl. Gently bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, then pour over the chocolate. Leave the chocolate to stand for 10 minutes, covered, then stir until smooth.

Spread the ganache over the cake once cooled, then sprinkle with the pistachios, rose petals and another pinch of salt. Devour.

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Head & Heart | March 2016

I know, I know. It’s been a while. I always say this, that I’m sorry (because I am), and you are always kind and forgiving (because you are).

But I’m here now, and we should probably catch up. Are you ready?

 

Head & Heart

What I’ve been grateful for:

  • Opportunity. Although I swore a million times that I’d never go back, I’m currently studying. There are files and textbooks and highlighters and post-it flags piled at my feet (and like any good student, I’m writing this while I procrastinate), and I’m oddly happy about it. My Day Job encouraged me to take the leap – I’m studying a graduate certificate in policy and governance at the Queensland University of Technology – and are really supportive about it all. #auspol #nerd
  • Opportunity 2: I’m off to Sydney for the first time! I’m heading over to check out the MAD conference,¬†at the freakin’ Opera House, no less! The biggest names in food (Kylie Kwong, David Chang, Massimo Boturra, Rene Redzepi) are talking Tomorrow’s Meal, and I can’t even believe that I’m going to be in that theatre, with so many incredible people. So out of my depth. So excited.
  • My girl gang. Last month, I gathered a bunch of ladies that I truly admire for a whole bunch of different reasons, and told them how incredible they were. Some run small businesses, some are creatives, others educators. They are all fierce, giving, kind and generous, and I wanted them to know each other and connect. It was magical and terrifying and I loved it.

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What I’ve been thinking about:

  • This piece – making friends on Twitter. It sums up my experience – mostly positive, highly educational, and the home of my tribe. I’ve met such wonderful people (mostly women) who I couldn’t live without, and I get to indulge in the things I love the most – ¬†politics, comics and feminism – that would probably have my Facebook crew unfriending me in droves.
  • Youtube. I’m so behind on this whole thing, but I’m into now with gusto. With its plethora of cat and fail videos, there’s also so much to learn. And no, I’m not just talking about make up tutorials (though I love those too), there are so many incredibly smart women talking about really clever things. Karlie Kloss is talking to female entrepreneurs, Estee Lalonde is talking periods and sex, Rosianna Halse Rojas is chatting Shine Theory.¬†It’s something I wish I had growing up, and even at almost 30, it’s still interesting and insightful.

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What I’m excited for:

  • Uh, SYDNEY. Bakeries! Wanderings! Adventures! Sephora! I plan on coming home with a very large box of panna cotta lamingtons from Flour and Stone, I’m going to find Black Star Pastry if it kills me, and I’ve already planned a dinner at Billy Kwong with my folks. Mum wants to spend some time wandering around The Rocks, probably catching the Manly Ferry. Other suggestions? Hit me up, I want to hear them pleaseandthankyou
  • If you, like me, make unholy squealing noises when you see cute fluffy things, then please meet Hicks the bunny. He belongs to my friends Marc and Lou, and I’m obsessed with his thumping paws and fluffy white tail. He’s also a sassy, sulking drama queen. I love/hate him.

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What I’ve been doing:

  • Winning the 4th Annual Office Bake-Off, nbd. It’s funny, everyone in my office is competitive for us, while Alex and I just like baking. This year, I submitted feta and herb biscuits, and a panna cotta tart with lemon curd and freeze-dried raspberry. I was pretty proud of that tart, it was a smushing of recipes and a lot of finger-crossing while hoping for the best. TRIUMPH.
  • Getting behind the Safe Schools program. It kills me that our government can be so cruel to speak about our kids in such a disgusting way, and it’s killing kids to not have¬†access to such a vital program (LGBTQIA youth are six times likely to attempt suicide, and transgender people are 76% more likely. This. Is Not. Okay.). Write to your local Members of Parliament and demand that they support funding to Safe Schools. These kids deserve better.

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What I’ve been reading:

  • The shiny and new Broadsheet Perth. Edited by my friend and all round best guy Max Veehuyzen, it’s a website dedicated to the best in Perth. Now I know you think these are a dime a dozen, but Broadsheet does it better with content written by people who know and love what they do, and photography by the best in the business. There’s no washed-up, ex reality tv wannabes here, just quality¬†writing.
  • This post¬†about chocolate brownies, just in case you didn’t get enough chocolate over the weekend.
  • And this about throwing together a dinner party in under an hour. It’s a pretty excellent reminder to keep things simple, more than anything.
  • I attended the Perth Writer’s Festival last month and picked up a stack of books that I’m trying (and failing) to work through. I learned so much from seeing these women speak, and I can’t recommend their books enough!

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What I’ve been spending money on:

  • One of these La Lune prints from Chi Borello. I’m obsessed with everything she does, I can’t even tell you. I picked it up from La Luna, a rad homeware store in Inglewood, which I can no longer venture into unsupervised.
  • This phone case from Sportsgirl – easily the best $15 I’ve spent this month, because I never developed past being a 13 year old girl. This is why.
  • Breakfast at Satchmo Cafe in North Perth. There’s something I really love about Jewish cooking – the ritual of it, the intrinsic link between food and family, the tradition, and it goes without saying that I was excited when this beautiful caf√© opened near home. It’s a place with energy, with a vibe. On weekends, there’s a band playing in the carpark, other days there’s 1950’s jazz wafting from the speakers.¬†I twisted Rob’s arm into picking the brisket bagel, while I devoured the blueberry blintz, and they offer all kinds of different bagels and biscuits.

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Tell me about your month! What’s news?

 

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So this is Christmas | 2015 Gift Guide

Someone keeps telling me that Christmas is only 6 more Fridays away. How did that happen?! I promise myself every year that¬†this one,¬†I’ll be better organised. And what do you know? I’m not. You probably aren’t either, so at least we are in this together.

You‚Äôve probably seen the posters up in windows, maybe being shared on Facebook, on why it‚Äôs so important to shop local, particularly at this time of year. Shopping local helps pay rent and mortgages, buys kids new shoes and school fees, literally puts food on the table ‚Äď not buying a CEO from Amazon an extra week skiing in the south of France (even though I hear it‚Äôs really nice there this time of year).

Image via Jasmine Dowling Instagram

Image via Jasmine Dowling Instagram

I had so much fun compiling last year’s guide and there are SO MANY amazing new businesses that have popped up in the last 12 months, that I’m doing it again!

You can check out last year’s guide here.

The Herb Cart

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I read about Michael Ballentine’s adorable cart a couple of weeks ago, and I¬†can’t stop thinking about how clever it is¬†– kitchen ready herbs in biodegradable cups. How cute is that? He’ll be at this weekend’s Beaufort Street Festival, if you want to¬†stop by and check out his chives.

La Luna

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A brand new addition to the already awesome Beaufort Street, La Luna has captured my attention with our shared love of all things astronomy. There is a gorgeous range of homewares, jewellery, and books. I’m obsessed with the copper fairy lights and artwork by Chi Borello.

Hampton The Label

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This is¬†some seriously luxe lounge wear. There’s little I love more than a lazy day in my pajamas, but when you can look this damn gorgeous while you’re at it? I firmly believe in having nice things to make yourself feel beautiful, even when you’re sleeping, and I don’t think there’s anyone who does it better.

They’re also stocked by Clique Arcade, who I LOVE.

Strange Lane

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I love the girls at Strange Lane for their slightly out-of-the-box range, and hilarious, body positive Instagram (they try to use size 10-12 models). Their ‘Okay but first, coffee’ tee has my name allll over it.

Floral State

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Floral State has quickly become my favourite florist for their bright, cheerful posies. As a bonus, they come in a lovely jar, so you don’t have to worry about them wilting in the heat! Order before 11am for same day delivery.

WPN Wear

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Perth lad Daniel Jones has developed an awesome range of men’s active wear, for those who¬†go hard.¬†For all those Crossfit junkie out there, the extra stretch shorts look like a winner! There’s also a Kickstarter, if you’re out to stretch your dollar further.

Get Ya Fix

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If you’re one of the many asking Santa for a bike this Christmas, the guys from Get Ya Fix have you covered. Stocking¬†beautiful¬†fixies, the guys will kit you up while you carb-load in their rather excellent cafe.

Once Upon A Run

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West Coast Fever badass Shae Brown and her West Coast Eagle husband Mitch Brown have developed a line of awesome activewear that looks so good, I¬†almost¬†want to take up running. Almost. There is also a ‘push up’ store at Claremont Quarter.

Maslow & Co

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Subscription boxes are the gift that keeps on giving, and the beautiful new start-up Maslow & Co are no exception. Bi-monthly beauty boxes full of Australian goodness? Sign me up!
Note: You can buy just one as a gift

Sweet Little Box 

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Sweet Little Box is another subscription, but this one delivers you (almost) everything you need to make delectable baked goods, and then decorate it like a pro. I have a box due any day now, and I can’t wait!
Note: You can buy just one as a gift.

Olly’s Box

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Why should your four-legged friend miss out? The team from Olly’s Box deliver you a stash of awesome doggie¬†treats, toys and accessories.¬†Best of all, part proceeds go to dog shelters and charities across the country. P.S. Their Instagram feed? Full of adorable puppies. Get on that.
Note: You can buy just one as a gift.

Monstrositea

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Did you know that everyone’s oh-shit-back-up gift T2 is owned by Woolies? Because they are. So, if you want to love local, I firmly get behind Katherine’s gorgeous venture. Monstrositea¬†have a special Christmas tin this year, where you can order a black/green or herbal tin (or a bit of everything, if you’re unsure) with a strainer, to have all your bases covered. They also offer some of my favourite packaging. Easy!

Also check out this piece on all the upcoming summer awesome. Perhaps your friends and family might like tickets to the Rooftop Cinema? The Lion King? Piaf?

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There are also PLENTY of upcoming markets:

If there are other events or businesses I should know about/include, PLEASE put them in the comments!

All images via their respective Instagrams, and links to websites are in bold.