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’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

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.

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Head & Heart | February

So, we’re back to Head & Heart. Check out what everyone else is up to over at Helarious, and join in!

 

What I’ve been grateful for:

Support. Last week was one of those weeks. It was manic busy, incredibly stressful, and just hard. Find your tribe. They make your world better.

 The person who’s responsible for this. It’s my new standard for mind blowing adorable.

The person who sent me this, because this is pretty much going to happen, and he doesn’t find that weird about me.

Grown up

 

What I’ve been thinking about:

Doughnuts. Because, always doughnuts. What would be your dream flavour?

Love this post (and all of her work) by Elise from I Fucking Love Science to celebrate the really cool discoveries by women in science that you probably didn’t know anything about. Fuck yeah!

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What I’m excited for:

RAIN. Please, please, please, please, please, rain.

Stationery. I was given some gorgeous stuff by Kelsie from K Gets Organised, and I’m pretty sure she’s unleashed my inner monster. I need pads! books! pens!

The new Avengers movie. I’m a massive nut for Marvel, and I’m pretty sure 100 of these views are from me alone. 7 weeks to go!

The Good Food Month Night Noodle Market. Photos from the events over East flood my Instagram when it’s on, and my jealousy knows no bounds. I’m pretty keen to see what the guys from Lucky Chan’s can do in the lead up to their opening, as well as stuffing my face with Low Key Chow House’s mantou buns (which is the best thing on their menu). It runs from 18-29 March, from 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends, in the Perth Cultural Centre (around the Library and Art Gallery). The event is free, and dishes cost less than $14. Woooo!

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New Openings:

  • Max + Sons
    The gorgeous, light-filled coffee shop that is just what 140 William needed! They serve 5 Senses coffee (using a gorgeous Synesso machine) and doughnuts by my dough-bros at Top Dup.
  •  Asado
    I attended their launch recently, and was impressed by their beautiful space, the quality of their meat (I tend to walk into barbecue joints with slightly low expectations, because it’s hard to get right) and the lovely attitude of their staff. I haven’t had a chance to get back, but I assure you, it’s on the cards.
  • The Old Laundry
    A new haunt on Angove Street. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’ve heard lovely things from multiple sources.
  •  Sauma
    A pretty gorgeous Indian restaurant on the corner of William and Francis Streets (next to Lot 20), Sauma is a welcome addition to one of my favorite strips. I hear the servings are veeeery generous, so take a group to get a good taste of the menu.
  • The Modern Eatery
    Some seriously fancy looking Japanese has come to Freo. Check out Miss Eats a Lot for her review.

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What I’ve been doing:

The recent long weekend saw me down south (I’m sticking to my promise of more time out), which was amazing as always. Vasse Felix. Morries Anytime. UGH, FANTASTIC. From here on in, I’m putting miso butter on everything.

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I finally won my office bake-off. I’ve been competing against Alex from Little Red’s Cupcakes for 3 years, and at long last, I am triumphant. My savoury dish kinda sucked, but panna cotta lamingtons saved the day! You can get the recipe here, and it’s bloody fantastic. It’s not hard at all, you just have to be organised.

My new day job has a more political skew, and has introduced me to my new addiction: Parliamentary Question Time. It’s like your favourite reality TV soap opera. I love it. There’s yelling and petty name calling and it’s amazing.

I’m only 1 million years too late, but The West Wing. I love you, CJ. And Rob Lowe.

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 What I’ve been reading:

The Obsession issue of Lucky Peach. This piece on making gnocchi is a beautiful read.

I’ve got my hands on copies of Bad Feminist and Trigger Warning. I’m going to build a pillow fort and hide for a couple of days while I devour them.

This post from my friend Michelle at Foodie Cravings.

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What I’ve been spending money on:

Of course, I came home from my weekend down south laden with goodies from Providore, the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Bahen and Co and Olio Bello.

Flowers from Debra Hayes Floral.

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I swear, I start nesting in the lead up to winter. I’m all about homewares right now. Blankets! Pillows! Vases! A Cup of Chic is responsible for most of my current lust list.

More Cards Against Humanity (I bought booster packs), because I love this game. From Planet Books, if you’re looking.

 

Tell me about your month. What’s news?

Perth is awesome – Summer Edition

Ohboyohboyohboy! SUMMER’S HERE.

Are you familiar with Neil Gaiman? He’s pretty much one of my favourite human beings in the whole entire ‘verse. If you haven’t read his book American Gods, then we really can’t be friends. BUT. The point of my story is, he did a book reading recently and said this:

 “If your question is ‘how do I find adventure?’ The answer is: go out. Make it. For yourself and for others.”

Guys and girls, let’s be honest. There is nothing like Perth in summer. Beaches, bars, parks, sports, markets… In short, all the things you need to make your own adventure.

So, ladies and gentlemen, lets start crossing dates off your calendar. It’s going to be a long, hot and BUSY one.

  • First cab off the rank? The City of Perth’s Christmas festivities kick off Friday night – they’re turning on the Christmas lights with entertainment and general funness.
  • The Twilight Hawkers markets kick off Friday night in Forrest Chase – I’m heading in for my empanada fix.
  • THIS SATURDAY. Beaufort Street Festival. Go. Pick up a copy of Recipe and Ramblings, it contains a recipe from me! If anyone needs me on the day, I’ll be hiding in the cardboard box village.
  • On Sunday, check out Meet the Gardener for Perth Heritage Days. I’m off to check out Harold Boags Gardens in West Perth, beautifully cared for by Evan from Common Ground.
  • A fun run in santa suits? Yep, that’s happening.
  • TriFest West 2012 is on at Hilary’s Boat Harbour, a triathalon and multisport expo.
  • TEDx is on December 8 – come hear some ideas worth sharing!
  • Thursdays are no longer for wishing it was Friday, but the Subi Sunset Food Markets.
  • Tuesday sees the final for Fat Shan’s Open Mic Night. Local music – get on it.
  • The Mexican Film Festival is on. Chekkit.
  • Light Up Leederville is a festival on December 8, and it has EVERYTHING.
  • Yelp is offering FREE yoga classes in Northbridge.
  • On William are putting on another round of their popular Illuminites night markets.
  • Rooftop Movies need no introduction. I can’t wait to check out their program!
  • Sign up for the inaugural The Color Run – I have, god help me!
  • Test out your ability to multitask or balance with stand up paddle boarding – trust me, if I can do this, so can you. I love it!

As always, if you want to know what’s happening around town keep in the loop with: Yelp Perth, Six Thousand, We Love Perth, Show Me Perth, and your local councils.

What else are you looking forward to that’s coming up?

P.S. Thanks to those who entered my 15 Minute Meals comp, and congratulations to Stacey for taking it out. Happy cooking x

Attention please: Perth is amazing. That is all.

I like to think I’m a relatively easy going person. Little ruffles me. C’est la vie, water off a duck’s back, all of that crap.

There are, however, particular things that frustrate me:

  • People who have their collars half up, half down
  • Slow walkers who seem to take up the whole damn footpath
  • Those who line up in cafes forever, then aren’t ready when it’s their turn
  • Ejjits who can’t merge on the freeway. It’s not rocket science!
  • Those who whinge that Perth is ‘Dullsville’, backwards and boring, but don’t participate in the awesome stuff going on.

Please excuse me while I get on my soapbox.

This beautiful little city is never going to be Melbourne. Melbourne is never going to be Sydney, who’s never going to be London, who’s never going to be New York. Let it go.
What you need to do, is embrace the good things we do have. And there are many many many good things. A place can only be what you make it, and those who are working so very hard to make it spectacular… They need your help.
So go. Get out. See live music, try new restaurants, check out exhibits at your local gallery or museum.
Go! Do! See! Taste! Experience!

So, ladies and gentlemen, get out your diaries, because I’m about to tell you. Huzzah!

First off, today is the launch of Eat Drink Perth, a food festival showing off some of the best Perth has to offer. There’s something for everyone! There are degustations (many small courses, pretty fancy stuff) at some of our top restaurants. High teas, picnics, markets, fairs…
There’s so much on, and I leave it to my lovely friend Jax from Where The Wind Blows Her, she has broken it down in brilliant style.
I am attending the Taste of Spain degustation, Yum Cha in the Park and high tea. This event has also presented me with my greatest dream in life. Dessert degustation. Many courses of dessert. That’s all. I can die a happy little dessertress.
I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t recommend enough that you check out the Twilight Hawkers Markets on Friday nights in Forrest Chase.

Perth’s own Upmarket is THIS WEEKEND! It’s like Etsy, but real. Go, meet the people who make all the lovely things. It’s a great way to spend a morning. It’s on the 4th of March, at Winthrop Hall, UWA.

March 10 & 11 is the Araluen’s Fremantle Chilli festival, held at Esplanade Park in Freo. It’s really simple. Chilli. Lots of it.
Though, there’s also beer, chocolate, produce and other tasty things. Plus, you’ll be in Freo, if it’s too much for you, head over to Creatures for a pint. Everyone wins!

The William Street Festival is held on March 18. In all its street-filled chaos glory, there’s live music, stalls, snacks and fun for the whole family. You can’t say no to that!

The hugely popular Sculpture by the Sea is back at Cottesloe beach until the 19th of March, which is always worth a visit.

Foto Freo is showcasing works from some of the most talented photographers from Australia and around the world, starting on March 17.

Claremont Quarter is bringing the Taste of Asia to its square, with stalls, food and so many activities; every Thursday in March.

From the team who brought you the incredible Fringe World, comes Rooftop Movies. An awesome line up of films, you have to go at least once.

There’s cricket, if you’re so inclined. Hey, may as well enjoy the last of this perfect summer, right?

My good friends at Fat Shan’s are celebrating their first birthday. These guys work hard to promote amazing local musos, and you should really come to The Bakery on March 24 and buy them a beer. Festivus for the rest of us!

If you are not sound of mind, or enjoy watching people torture themselves, the 2012 Nissan Corporate Triathalon series hits our lovely shores on March 11. Sit on the sidelines and eat KFC, that’s my plan.

The awesome team at KULCHA are putting on Oz Concert; a celebration of our country’s spectacular diversity, which is definitely something worth celebrating.

March 17 is Australia’s favourite adopted holiday – St Patrick’s Day. An excuse to drink too much, wear green and smooch the Irish. All in all, a great day, I believe. Head down to your local, or Northbridge always puts on a big night. Don’t drink and drive.

Scitech is hosting Innovation Festival. I really don’t see why anyone needs a reason to go to Scitech (I love the place, and still go regularly), but this event is definitely worth a visit. Talk to the people who make awesome things!

Also on March 31st, is An Evening on the Green at Kings Park – The Oz Rock edition. Noiseworks, Ian Moss, Richard Clapton, Choirboys, Dragon and 1927. Possibly the best drunken singalong night ever, certainly one for the ages.

But look, these events are just this month. And it’s not even all of them! Sign up for newsletters, ‘like’ stuff on Facebook, get involved.
I love and subscribe to the gorgeous girls at We Love Perth, the team at Show Me Perth and OnWilliam. That way, well, maybe the event you’ve been waiting for may just fall in your lap after all…

This high horse was a little taller than I imagined, can someone please help me down?

What event are you looking forward to? Have I missed anything? Please let me know!

Friday night’s alright for eatin’

There is a line for twirled, fried potato on a stick, 15 people deep.
For bratwurst, 8 people deep.
I’ve written off getting near the satay sticks for a little while, with so many people milling around.

Let me get this out of the way right now. I love my job.
The thing is, I get yelled at for a living. It’s a special kind of nuts that can tolerate that kind of environment. Lucky for me, I’m all kinds of crazy, so I can deal. But after a long week at work, it gets to you a little.
Luckily, food is my happy place, and on a Friday night, there’s no happier place on Earth than Disneyland the Perth Hawkers Markets, located in Forrest Chase.
Running until March, every Friday night from 5pm – 8pm, it’s a great event for families, foodies and well, just about anyone.

There is food everywhere. Traditional foods, cooked by traditional methods. Satay sticks being fanned on hot coals, Moroccan tagines, Paella in pans that are bigger than my car.
Next to a stall repping goods from Romania, are rows upon rows of French macarons. Next to that, Turkish gozlemes. There’s little that isn’t represented here.

I’ve been looking forward to this all day. Empanadas from Marcelita’s Empanada stall sells out, so I make sure that’s where I make my first stop. Crispy fried pillows filled with pulled pork, beef or potato are on offer, gluten-free and served with guacamole or chili salsa. Colombia’s finest, right here.


After that, Red Hot Spatula is offering up pork belly soft tacos, vegetable spring rolls noodles and Vietnamese inspired chicken salad. I can’t say no to pork belly in any way, shape or form, so I help myself to a couple of the best tacos I’ve ever had. No, really. SO. GOOD.

To polish it off, Polish donuts filled with jam. My eyes are officially bigger than my belly.

Whoever said multiculturalism doesn’t work, my stomach begs to differ.
I 120% recommend that you come and check it out.