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.

So this is Christmas | 2014 Gift Guide

It’s here. Are you ready?

You’ve probably seen the posters up in windows, maybe being shared on Facebook, on why it’s 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 – not buying a CEO from Amazon an extra week skiing in the south of France (even though I hear it’s really nice there this time of year).

Image via Jasmine Dowling Instagram

Image via Jasmine Dowling Instagram

As I spend FAR too much time on the internet, I’ve pulled together some of my favourite local businesses and their fabulous wares for you so you don’t have to (spend too much time on the internet, that is).

Ready to get started?

Studio Bomba

 

Image via Studio Bomba Instagram

Image via Studio Bomba Instagram

I am utterly shameless in my love for all things Studio Bomba. You can visit their Oxford street abode, have coffee and nibbles from the delightful Kane at Dapper Jack¬†(I love a man in a bow tie, can you tell?), then browse their carefully curated delights in the Bomba shop and On A Whim clothing. AND, if you’re particularly pressed for time, they have just opened up an online store!¬†Could it be any simpler? I particularly love their cards, which have me in stitches, the candles which smell like heaven, and their vintage inspired toy section.

 

Gipsy Boy Boutique

Image via Gipsy Boy Instagram

Image via Gipsy Boy Instagram

Sister team Bekki and Kacie are delivering the goods for our friends in the north!¬†Stocking the much sought-after Nina Marlena skulls¬†(seriously, good luck finding an Atlas skull anywhere), Bahen & Co chocolate, and the most gorgeous collection of vintage teacups, there’s nothing not to love! Kacie and I have been friends for several years, and I can 100% vouch for her ability to pick out the perfect vintage finds. Also, if you’re looking for an outfit for your various Christmas shennanians, they stock Finders Keepers, Evil Twin, Mink Pink, The Fifth Label, and Somedays Lovin, as well as Zanerobe for the fellas. If you get a little peckish, they also have an excellent caf√© to fuel your decision-making process (the answer is yes, you¬†should¬†buy it in every colour).

 

Little Posy Co

 

Image via Little Posy Co Instagram

Image via Little Posy Co Instagram

I’ve hoped this idea would take off for ages; a 4 or 10 week subscription of beautiful flowers delivered to your door for $30 per week. The posies are simple, rustic and utterly charming, and it’s something that would make any lady in your life smile. Details of their Christmas offer can be found here.

 

Zolich

Image via Zolich Instagram

Image via Zolich Instagram

Samantha and Kelly Flemming are¬†another¬†awesome sister duo, specialising is spectacular statement jewellery. ¬†You can shop online or at their MANY 6160 store (which is where I picked up some gorgeous rings¬†as a present to myself on the weekend. I’m not even sorry), which is worth a visit to bask in the general beauty of their stone pieces alone.

 

The Neon Burrow

Image via The Neon Burrow Instagram

Image via The Neon Burrow Instagram

If you’ve got an eye for details, or perhaps a fashion addict sister or girlfriend to buy for, The Neon Burrow has you covered! From gorgeous silk scarves, colourful statement necklaces, funky tennis shoes, to homewares, there isn’t much they don’t stock! I ¬†personally love the delicate rings from Deer Ruby and totes from Briggs & Boots

 

Angove Street Collective

Image via Debra Hayes Florist Instagram

Image via Debra Hayes Floral Instagram

Angove Street in North Perth has a treasure in this space Рthe Perth Upmarket markets that you love have a physical store for you to hunt for treasures! There are also flowers by Debra Hayes, gifts for gents (Status Anxiety wallets are my favourite, I highly recommend them) and a café that stocks juices from Pure Glow Cleanse, if you wanted a sneaky taste before committing to one of their cleanses.

 

Monstrositea

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Image via Monstrositea Instagram

 

You may remember Katherine from our chat a little earlier this year – if there is a tea lover in your life, there is no better way to indulge their daily ritual than with a subscription! They also have a gorgeous shop full of accessories and favourite specialty teas, which is worth a visit if you want to curate a special tea themed gift.

 

Micrology Coffee Roasters

 

Image via MCR Instagram

Image via MCR Instagram

If you’re a coffee junkie, then you should already be familiar with the lads¬†from Micrology – they can be spotted out and about at festivals locally, and generally kicking ass and taking names as in independent coffee roaster. They too offer subscriptions, as well as a shop stocked with all the good kit – Chemex cups, drippers, Aeropress, Hario cold press, and Uppercup reusable cups (someone please buy me one, they’re gorgeous!). You can check out their Instagram for brew-spiration.

 

Welly’s Wonders

Image via Welly's Wonders facebook

Image via Welly’s Wonders facebook

I¬†love¬†Welly’s Wonders! If you’ve got little tykes to buy for, look no further than the utterly gorgeous illustrations by husband and wife duo, Adam and Demelza Haines. Adam is a disgustingly talented illustrator (he worked for freakin’ Lucasfilm and Disney!), and Demelza is well, a force to be reckoned with – and the author of their first book!¬†Full disclosure, Demelza has been a friend of mine for many years, which really only makes me happier to tell anyone who will listen about her wares. I have an influx of friends due next year, and they will ALL be getting a copy of Jenkins the Hare to read to their bubs, because he’s bloody adorable.

 

Should you require further inspiration, check out:

 

Please, if you know other events or if there are local businesses you love, throw them in the comments to share the love!

Happy shopping!

Bri xx

Shortbread n not-so-sweet

Savoury treats. They exist! Who knew? Not me, because I like sugar. But there are people, those strange, puzzling people who like salt and they deserve treats too.¬†I feel bad for those people because I just don’t think about them when I’m baking. Given that I live to cook for other people, I feel terrible when someone is left out.

There is only one girl on my team at work who has no sweet tooth. She politely smiles at me when I bring in cake, when I know she’s really wishing I had brought chips. When I stumbled on a recipe for savoury shortbread while trawling the archives of Raspberri Cupcakes, I made a mental note to make them immediately.

What I love about this recipe, is that you split the dough in half and chill prior to baking. One roll made at least a dozen biscuits, so the other roll can be frozen for use another day – great when you have surprise visitors and nothing to eat! I love having things stashed away in the freezer like that, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice; it makes me feel like a Supremely Organised Martha Stewart-esque Domestic Goddess. Functioning adult FTW!

I loved these with a little roasted garlic and a gorgeous Camembert from Over the Moon. The garlic is simple – peel half a dozen cloves of garlic, throw them in a roasting dish with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, roast for 20-30 minutes at 200*c until soft and lightly browned. Mash with a fork, add a little more olive oil until a paste forms, taste; add more seasoning if required.

Kalamata Olive & Black Pepper Savoury Shortbread

From Raspberri Cupcakes

100g well-drained, pitted and finely diced kalamata olives
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
280g unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp white sugar
1 large egg yolk

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, bicarb soda, salt and pepper then set aside. Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the egg yolk and combine thoroughly. Mix in the flour slowly, then fold through the chopped olives.

On a floured bench top, bring the dough together. Halve the dough and roll them into logs, about 4cm. Wrap them up in glad wrap and freeze for an hour to firm up.

Heat the oven to 180*c. Unwrap the dough, and cut into half centimeter slices.

Place on baking trays lined with baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges gently brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack, and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Love Love Love

This was one of my best and worst ideas yet.

In the flurry of Valentine’s Day recipes flooding the interwebz in the days leading up to the most romantic day of the year, I found The One. That one recipe above all others, that truly understands me, my needs, my deepest desires.
Being as I’m all kinds of girl clich√©, those needs and desired are relatively simple.

I need chocolate. Lots of it.

I’ve long had a love for nut¬†liquors. My 21st birthday was, rather¬†regrettably, spent knocking back shots of newly discovered (for me) Amaretto. I remember it being delicious, if little else. I similarly discovered Frangelico at a friend’s birthday, on the rocks with a twist of lime. That night also didn’t end well for me. I¬†should¬†be seeing a trend here… But I don’t really want to, and I can’t seem to find a way around that, so…
To be able to combine chocolate and Frangelico, along with Nutella (which I’ve been known to slather on Tim Tams like they’re toast in desperate times)… I’m in heaven.

I didn’t make these for Valentine’s Day. I did, however, get to share them with people I love.
Kiiiiind of wished that I’d saved the recipe for a day that was a little more… Seasonally appropriate. Rolling truffles when it’s 35*c outside… Not the best idea I’ve ever had. They make mess. Like, a¬†lot of mess.

To be fair, my versions were probably not as pretty or elegant as they could be. But to hell with that, they were delicious.
Because love means never judging a truffle by its ¬†cover, right? Wait, that’s not how that goes…

Nutella Truffles

From My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:
280g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

1) Preheat an oven to 180*c. Spread out hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and toast lightly, for about 10 minutes. To peel the skins, gently rub between two clean tea towels.

1. In a double boiler or metal bowl over water simmering in a small saucepan, combine chocolate, butter, double cream and Nutella. Stir until the chocolate has melted and combined.

2. Remove the mixture from heat and for 10 minutes sit at room temperature. Whisk in vanilla and Frangelico. Pour the mixture into a sturdy, shallow container. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, until firm but still able to be worked with.

3. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Using a small spoon or scoop, roll into small balls and put on baking paper. roll balls in chopped hazelnuts. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Eating on the move

I hate moving house.

When I first moved out of home, I had a bit of a bad run with houses/housemates which resulted in me having to pack up my many, many books, and move in the opposite direction from which I’d come. When I found this place, solemnly vowed that I would live and die an old teacup pig lady (because you never hear about crazy old teacup pig ladies, only cats)¬† in this house.

From having to move so much in such a short amount of time, you realise very quick just how much junk you own. You also realise how much junk other people give you. So when a friend from work moved into her new house last week, and I started to think of what to present her with as a housewarming gift, I couldn’t bring myself to hand over a garden gnome/dust collector/coffee table book which would just end up in a cupboard.

Food, once again, would be the answer.

Sneaky like a ninja, I set about determining what kind of amazing baked sweet she’d like best.
I was¬†promptly¬†deflated with “I’m more of a savoury kind of girl”.
Bollocks.
What the hell do I make for a person who doesn’t have a sweet tooth?
One panicked phone call to mum later (she also doesn’t have a sweet tooth. She tells me I’m adopted), I was back on track

Simple, easy, delicious. Because what goes together better than smoked salmon and creamy camembert?

Smoked Salmon and Camembert Mini Tarts

3/4 cup thin cream
3 eggs
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
100g smoked salmon
100g Camembert, thinly sliced
3 sheets of shortcrust or puff pastry

1. Preheat oven to 190*c. Cut pastry sheet into quarters,and press each quarter into each hole of a lightly greased muffin tin. Trim away any excess pastry. Lightly prick the base of the pastry with a fork. If you wish, you can fill each tart with rice or baking weights. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, remove weights and reduce the temperature to 180*c.

2. In a large jug or bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange salmon and camembert evenly in the base of each tart. Carefully pour the egg mixture into each tart shell, almost to the top, being careful not to over fill.

3. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is golden and just set in the middle. Cool on a wire rack, or eat immediately.