Sass and Spice

Building a house which won’t be your dream home







It might come as a surprise to some people, but the house we’ve just built is not our forever or dream house.  We actually bought a small character cottage house on a big block (and busy street) and had planned to subdivide and sell…thinking we won’t be here for that long anyway.

So fast forward 5 years, a marriage and 2 kids later, we are still here but have now built and moved into a bigger house at the back and although it’s been a long process ( 2 years – you can see the difference in Nyla in the pictures above) we have really grown to love the area which is adorned with Jacaranda trees, white picket fences and close distance to a thriving cafe and small bar scene. It’s also handy that we aren’t too far from the CBD (where we both work) and thus convenient in terms of catching public transport and not having to fork over a huge Uber bill.

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The Motherhood Project





All images above courtesy of The Motherhood Project (Photographer: Natalie Purslow)

Ashayla Webster is the President of a Perth based charity called “Fearless Incorporated”. This group have just finished working on a book called  “The Motherhood Project”, in which amazing women share their pregnancy, motherhood, mental health, and body image stories, in the hope that their experiences may help others. All the women involved vary in ages, ethnicity, sexual orientation, backgrounds and body types, but they are all mothers who have volunteered to share their personal heart warming and heart breaking experiences. I’ve asked Ashayla a few questions about this amazing project.

1. Fearless Inc is a non profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness for mental health, body image and gender identity issues by concentrating on the preventative ” and breaking “…down stigmas which create these issues in the first place.” How do you think your most recent project ‘The Motherhood Project’ achieves this?

As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. When we know our bodies and what they’re capable of, what will happen to them and what we can have control over, the shock of these events occurring is greatly diminished. It is my hope that any woman, regardless of where she currently finds herself in life, will find a story in this book that she can relate to, find answers to the questions she seeks or simply learn something new. Sharing stories and opening the doors to conversations that were once thought taboo, are ways to break down stigmas and prevent feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. Everyone wants to know that they are not alone. 

2.  What prompted the idea to start the Motherhood Project? 

The idea for the Motherhood Project came from a personal project I completed a few years ago. When I hit my twenties, social media was blasted with images of “real women”. There was a huge push for “real women” to be represented. This was wonderful, however, it led to the discouragement of other women, women not considered “real” by this new standard. I was shocked and upset to find that my body, a body I had spent years hating and had only just come to like, was considered to be ugly by society. Eventually that hurt became fiery determination and “Proud Member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee” was born. It was this book, that dived into the body image issues small breasted women face, that funded the creation of Fearless Inc. Whilst creating this book, a few of the women involved were mother’s, the changes their bodies and minds went through was dramatic and I wanted to explore this further. As “Proud Member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee” was launched, my parents were going through a divorce and my mother’s self-esteem plummeted. It seemed like the perfect time to create this book.

3.  I remember body image being a huge topic when I was growing up in the 90’s. How do you think it has changed now and are we getting better at accepting ourselves as who we are? What are things we can do to help ourselves and our loved ones to have a more positive image about ourselves?

I was a child in the nineties. I developed body image issues in high school, when all the other girls were developing, but I didn’t. I don’t recall their being any support. With the prominence of social media in the 2000’s, I believe there may have been negative impacts on how we perceive our bodies, but that is another discussion entirely. Every day we are bombarded with images of perfect people and perfect lives and this can make accepting ourselves very difficult, but I have also seen a trend of truth emerge. People seem happier to share their desires, secrets and fears via social media. For the fight to accept ourselves, this positive step forward as it opens discussions. My top piece of advice to help oneself and loved ones is to be honest and reserve judgement.

4. Do you think the media portrays a very different view and expectation of an image that mothers should be aspiring to as opposed to the reality? i.e. celebrity culture.  Is this truly aspirational and we should celebrate these images? 

I think we should celebrate every mother. It’s the toughest job in the world. Celebrity mothers are still working mums. The troubles they face may not be the same as a non-celebrity mother, but they still have them, just in a bright spotlight with the world judging them. Comparing self to these women is ridiculous. No woman should compare herself to any other. No woman should feel the right to judge another.

5. There is a quite a diverse range of mothers represented in this book. What was the process of choosing them all and encouraging them to pose naked?

Finding mothers to participate was surprisingly easy. I put my wishes for the book out into the world, and these women applied. There was no process of choosing the women to be involved, if they wanted to be and turned up to their assigned time with the photographer or submitted their story, they were in. I wanted this diversity and the reality of the variety of women out there to be at the very forefront of this book. Every person has a story.

Find out more about The Motherhood Project here:


Review: Dyson V6 Absolute Handstick Vacuum

Dyson V6, Dyson V6 Absolute

Dyson V6, Dyson V6 Absolute


Dyson V6, Dyson V6 Absolute



You might not know about this about me, but I’m quite lazy and messy in general (just ask my mum – she would be more than happy to tell you stories of how I never cleaned my room as a child!). Cleaning is in fact one of my least favourite tasks.

But having two kids (and my husband), I have to be responsible for cleaning up their mess too and even though I hate it, it’s just something that has to be done. So even though I will never consider myself as a clean freak or OCD organiser, I do think I’m getting a lot better.

My first piece of advice is to get a good quality cordless hand held vacuum. Even better get a sexy, pretty vacuum like the Dyson V6 Absolute! I been very lucky to receive one and why the hell I never got one before I don’t know…but using it for a few weeks I don’t think I can live without one anymore. It makes vacuuming a bit fun too!

Living in a new house with white floorboards, everything is highly visible which can be hassle to clean when my kids are forever bringing in sand from their shoes, leaving crafty items (who else has a problem with glitter and loom bands being left everywhere?) and throwing food and crumbs all over the floor. Oh and having black hair isn’t the best thing with white floorboards either!

With the Dyson V6, I can quickly grab it off off its docking station and quickly zap away and say ‘sayonara’ to all the mess. I’ve found it particularly useful after preparing dinner and getting all the food off the floor and because it’s so lightweight, portable and cordless, it’s also great to use up the stairs and for the car.

Here are some added benefits that the Dyson V6 Absolute specifically has:

  • Handstick – converts to a handheld which is handy when you don’t want to bend over and to get to hard to reach areas
  • Two engineered heads – Versatile to collect large debris and fine dust on both carpet and hard floors
  • Filtration system – The filtration system expels air cleaner than the air you breathe! How cool is that?
  • Hygienic bin empty – Just press the button and everything gets emptied quickly and hygienically without any disassembling.

My only tiny gripe about this handheld is that it won’t be able to replace my proper vacuum as it only has 20 minutes battery life which won’t last for my whole house. Also, you have to constantly press the button to vacuum which can be a pain if you do use it for the full 20 minutes. However, because it’s portable, light, and cordless, I actually use it more than my proper vacuum – easily several times a day (versus once a week with the other vacuum).

You can read more about all of the specs on the Dyson website.

S x

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Nyla at Two


two year old birthday cake


Nyla turned 2 at the end of July and we had a great day with balloons and an awesome cake from Sugar and Nice. I just love her birthday t-shirt (purchased from Nor-Folk). And you probably can’t see in the picture but she is also wearing the a cutest little pair of Stan Smiths!

This age is something most parents dread being the ‘terrible twos’ and all. I have to keep reminding myself that at least we have gotten over the barrier of her not sleeping through the night. Amongst the tantrums, the climbing over everything, the constant No’s and the refusal to ever hold my hand in favour of running away (often to direct traffic) – we are having a lot of fun! Here are some things I’m loving about Nyla at the moment:

  • Being a placid baby compared to her big sister, it’s good to see that she is asserting her independence and we are seeing her personality shine.
  • Nyla gets so excited when she sees something that she thinks will please people (i.e. Me, her dad, her grandparents). She breaks into the biggest grin and starts pointing and heading towards it saying “LOOK MUMMY!!! DOGGIE!”. Such enthusiasm!
  • She is still at stage where she is eating mostly everything I place in front of her. She easily eats more than Lily now.
  • Nyla is really into dinosaurs and trains – as well as girly stuff like dolls. Often I would find her shutting herself in her room to play and I hear a loud “RARR!”.
  • I never really got that excited about dressing Lily when she was 2 – but for some reason I really love dressing Nyla. Maybe because I know now (as a second time parent) that she will grow so quickly and I’m making the most of her not being fussy to dress her in the cutest outfits that I have chosen!
  • She is starting to play better with her sister. They love watching movies together and Nyla often shouts ‘Jie Jie’ (big sister in Chinese) to come down the stairs and join her in front of the TV.
  • Nyla may be quite tough but there are moments when she is petrified (when the bath water goes down the drain, bird droppings on the ground, bugs) and she raises her arms for me to cuddle her – and it’s moments like these which remind me she will always be my baby!

S x

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Two becomes Three…


Image – Lily with some news to tell…but Nyla won’t be liking it…

So you might not be aware…but I am now 20 weeks pregnant! At this stage (when I was pregnant with Lily and Nyla) I would have announced it all over Facebook and dedicated two posts to this already. But this time, the whole ‘been there done that’, rings true and I haven’t felt the urgency to announce it to everyone.

I’m really excited but daunted at the thought of being outnumbered – which seems to be the shared sentiment amongst my work colleagues and friends as a look of slight horror and long pause usually precedes the whole “congratulations!” when reacting to my news. Maybe because it might not be common for a working mother to have three kids under 5 – well not in Australia anyway. I just know amongst our own social circle, we are an anomaly.

My husband and I have always said we wanted to have three kids coming from a family of three and five ourselves we had good memories of growing up and love kids. As a child I remember the household is never boring and the chances of you having a playmate is greater and playing a game of monopoly is always emotional – although memorable YEARS later. It’s also handy when you are older to not rely on just one sibling to help you with preparing family birthdays or needing emotional support from someone that will stand by you no matter what (blood is thicker than water right?).

The cons outweigh the pros though. It will be more expensive (daycare, schooling, travel,  health, food, extracurricular activities), we will have less sleep, there will be more mess to tidy up, there will be less physical and personal space,  the constant fear as parents that something bad will happen to your children will increase, there will be more kid activities from school and hobbies to manage (coordinating drop-offs, birthday parties, multiple homework assignments) I have to go through pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding/sleep settling stage once more – hence all these things equal more stress. And just because you have more kids doesn’t necessarily mean you will all be super close once everyone are adults. And are we injecting more stress in our lives which will impact the relationships we already have which is working just fine (i.e. my husband and I, us with our kids, and Lily and Nyla)?

So why the hell are we doing this then?! Even though we are in a fortunate position mentally and financially now to handle three, things can change in the future. Knowing the cons are greater than the pros really proves that our decision isn’t entirely based on logic.

Now that I’m approaching my mid thirties (by that way that is called ‘advanced maternal age’ by obstetricians), we had to make a decision and it really boiled down to us just both wanting it. Call it crazy maybe but sometimes you just got to go with your gut feeling, be positive, and know that it’s meant to be.

S x

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Life lately (I am indeed ALIVE!)

Wow…it feels to be posting something after so long! As you can tell, I have not fallen off the face of the earth but it certainly has been quiet here on the blog.

So what has been my excuse reason? Firstly it’s been VERY hectic at work (with the whole resources industry in cost cutting mode) so have felt really stressed especially when colleagues around you are losing their jobs. And when people lose their jobs someone who is already doing a job will have to fill in for them too…

There is a saying that goes: “First kid: Life changer. Second kid: Game changer.” Since having Nyla, the reality of parenthood really hit us. We’ve really struggled with her sleep and it was only in January that she started to consistently sleep through the night. Months and months of broken sleep takes it’s toil and lets just say I’ve spent the past months enjoying the fact I could have my nights back and catching up on sleep.

So many other big events have also happened over the past few months too. Lily is now in kindy and Nyla is a proper little girl who I can’t believe is turning 2 in a few weeks?! The biggest update is that we have finally moved into our new house (insert hysterical shrieking here)! I hope to share some more photos and some lessons learnt with this whole process – but in the meantime you can stalk my home on Instagram.

Not worrying about scheduled posts, SEO, tags has been a huge weight off my shoulders. I intend to blog now and again but I’m going to be honest and say that it probably won’t be as often as it was before. Blogging has changed. I have changed. You guys have changed. We want instant gratification (Go Social Media!) and really do people have time to read all the blogs out there? I know I don’t!

It’s been way too long and I would love to hear what you have been up to too! Also would love to know if you have taken an extended break and whether you also agree that the blogging world has changed?

S x

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Stuck on You: The Loser Gene

Stuck on You Loser Gene

I’ve never recovered from my ‘baby brain’ since getting pregnant for the first time with Lily. As life gets busier with children you are bound to forget things since you are always on ‘mummy duty’.

For instance I’m ALWAYS losing my phone around the house and having to activate the ‘Lost my iPhone’ app to find it. I’ve tried saying to myself I’ll only put it on certain places around the house. But most of the time I get interrupted by my kids fighting or demanding my attention that I tend to just leave it in random places anyway. And you may remember the time both my husband and I lost our phones on the way to Paris?!

My kids are constantly losing toys, clothes and shoes. Constantly telling them to “put them back where they belong” or “pick up after yourselves when you are done” does little to solve the problem.

So for Lily’s first day of school tomorrow (Kindergarden counts right?), I am going crazy with the labelling especially when school uniforms are all the same and aren’t exactly cheap.

Stuck on You is a successful Australian owned company celebrating 20 years in business in 2015 and they have provided me with some labels to try. They are doing free shipping with the promo code ‘AUSBTS’ and are offering some of my readers some labels to try too. All you need to do is comment below and let us know what is the most lost item in your house. Promo code and giveaway runs until the 28th February 2015.

Check out their video to find out if you have the ‘loser gene’ like me!

S x

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Interview: Jess from Shop Joey







Jessica Foo is a young Perth local who had always dreamt of being in the fashion industry. She saw a gap in the affordable but fashion forward jewellery market and courageously took the big step to launch her own online jewellery store,  Shop Joey. Shop Joey launched this week so be sure to read my interview below with Jess and find out how to claim a 20% discount this month! 

Tell us what made you decide to launch your own business?
I’ve always dreamt of pursuing a career in the fashion industry. I really believe that jewellery can help to transition your wardrobe and create new looks without a hefty price tag. When I noticed that there was a gap in the market for quality fashion jewellery at affordable prices, I jumped at the opportunity to realise my childhood dream.

What is your advice to other people who are still unsure of whether to launch their own online businesses?
The best advice I can give is to have confidence in your idea and brand proposition. The downside to online business is that it is fiercely competitive, so if you’ve got a great idea and are able to offer your target audience a unique experience, it is best to act on it as soon as possible before someone else has the chance to.

How would you describe the jewellery of ShopJoey and the type of girl who would wear it?
Shop Joey speaks to the modern girl who is effortlessly chic and on trend while always remaining true to herself and style. We’ve specially curated an eclectic collection that consists of minimalist designs right through to elaborate statement pieces to highlight her personality in every outfit.

What are some trends for jewellery for summer?
Based on what’s trending on the streets and runway, the statement earring and bracelet/cuff is making a comeback. I think crystal pieces and fine jewellery will also be staying this season.

Currently what are your favourite pieces?
My favourite piece from the opening collection is the Serena ring. It has quickly become my signature piece-I can’t leave my house without this baby on! I love how it is so simple yet very eye catching on.

Can Sass and Spice readers claim a special deal?
I would love to celebrate the launch of our collection with your readers with a 20% discount for the month of January. Just enter code SJXSAS012015 at checkout. This code is valid until the 31st January 2015.

Thanks so much for letting me interview you Jess. Be sure to check out Shop Joey and get shopping with the code especially for Sass and Spice readers!

Follow Shop Joey:

Pinterest: @ShopJoey


Interview: Revolution the Label







I’ve had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Ben Conroy – the talented local fashion designer behind Revolution the Label. He started this label in 2013 with the aim of creating minimal, comfortable and simplistic pieces for both men and women. Recently, celebrity mum Guiliana Rancic has been snapped wearing his pieces out and about in LA. ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ is the latest collection for the label with some of the pieces I’ve captured above from the launch party last month.

When did you start your label and why did you start?
The label started in 2013 because I wanted to put my diploma and experience in to practice and develop my own label. The idea behind the label is the create a wardrobe that I would wear along with what I find women most attractive in. Simple, affordable wardrobe essentials that are adaptable in anyone’s wardrobe.

Describe your brand and what makes a loyal customer return?
My brand is about the overall aesthetics from the typography, brand identity to the clothing it has to all match and align and that gains customers’  trust. Messy inconsistency is what scares people away. I like to think that I offer consistency in the way I deliver my advertising, my overall collection and the one on one service from the designer to the customer experience.

Describe your inspiration for your Spring/Summer 14/15 line?
I am inspired by the most random of items and daily happenings. It can start from a song to a rock to a cement slab on a building site. It’s basically a step forward from the debut basics collection I offered last year. A collection of pieces that would build upon that wardrobe already and dress it up a bit with some different textures in the satin details and linen pieces. I am inspired my minimalism and simplicity – anything beyond that forms my mood board daily and you can see my Instagram for a peek into that side of the process.

What are some ‘lessons learnt’ or words of advice you would give to new designers and/or new fashion retailers?
I get asked this all the time and the one thing that I cannot stress enough is getting an education. That doesn’t necessarily mean studying a diploma in fashion design it can be assisting for a few years, volunteering, blogging, getting to know the industry and the processes. I worked in hospitality and retail for 13 years before doing my fashion diploma and have to say its been so beneficial for a mulitude of reasons. You can’t just click your fingers and become the next big designer – you have to work for it and you must stay true to yourself and your ideas.

How would you like to work with fashion bloggers in the future?
I would love to work with bloggers on some more street style outfit post shoots. I love seeing the way others style my pieces with other garments from their wardrobe.

Please recommend some pieces in your collection that would be suitable for us mothers!
I would say the Adoration jersey pants – they can be work with some sneakers for the run around and then dressed up with some heels for coffee dates and afternoon drinks. I think the Juliet Shirts is also a great option for mums on the run – it’s loose and breathable and can be worked simply or once again dressed up a little. Easily washable and the long button stand at the front goves easy access for those still breast feeding.

If you are in Perth, you can find Revolution the label at: Shop 10 Bayview Centre, Claremont (Cnr Leura Ave and Stirling St). Otherwise, you can find out more about Revolution the Label and shop online (use code ‘XMAS’ for free shipping before Christmas) at:
Instagram (RevolutiontheLabel)
Facebook (RevolutiontheLabel)


Clean Slate skincare






Clean Slate is a natural and vegan based skin care and body product range made right in the basements of Many 6160 – the abandoned Myer building turned creative hub in Fremantle, Australia. I have been using these products for about a year now and last month I was lucky to have attended the re-branding of Clean Slate (formerly known as Peaches and Clean).

The owner, Katrina Snowden, delivered an emotional speech; and it was clear that it has been a roller coaster journey for her. She described how she started hand making soaps after being a long term eczema sufferer and having studied aromatherapy, herbal medicine and now cosmetic chemistry, she wanted to create natural products without the ‘nasties’ but still appropriate for sensitive skin. Katrina has spent 10 years formulating and making the products by hand and she has endured a few bumps in the road including some time off when she thought she had truly quit – but luckily her dear family and friends encouraged to start up again when an opportunity popped up at Many 6160.

The products have now been expanded to include facial cleansing oils, pillow sprays, body scrubs, candles and even a beard oil! The new look brand is clean and minimal which reflects the diverse products which aren’t gender specific. Olive, coconut and rice bran oils with shea butter are are some of the ingredients used to create the products with most having rich moisturising and nourishing properties. Only pure essential oils are used to scent with mineral rich clays, herbs and natural colorants for appearance and texture. Ingredients are used only as necessary which means there are no ‘fillers’ or chemically enhanced fragrances.

The candle scents range from classic ‘vanilla’, ‘coconut and lime’, and ‘lychee black tea’ and you have the option of having a big candle actually being in a science beaker – a fitting gift for the hard to buy hipster. My personal favourite would have to be the coffee body scrub as I’m such a coffee addict! And as a WA local (and Freo wannabe) I especially love the fact that all the products have been made on site so I know how they are made, where they are made, and that I’m getting products direct from the maker herself.

Visit Many 6160 at 2 Newman Court, Fremantle WA 6160 or head over to the Clean Slate website to find more about Clean Slate.