Sass and Spice

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

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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?
Absolutely!
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:

Website: www.shop-joey.com
Facebook:@ShopJoeyau
Instagram:@ShopJoey
Pinterest: @ShopJoey

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Interview: Revolution the Label

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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:
www.revolutionthelabel.com.au
Instagram (RevolutiontheLabel)
Facebook (RevolutiontheLabel)

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Clean Slate skincare

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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.

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Kinfolk Gatherings 2014 (Perth) – A Messy Meal: Embracing Wabi-Sabi

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Words and Pictures by my sister Linda.

“Wabi-sabi holds moments of longing and connection, harnesses them to simple objects and everyday activities, infusing them with spirit and illuminating their natural integrity.” – Louise Thomsen Brits

Two years ago I stepped into a little boutique, picked up a publication about small gatherings and ever since then I have adored every Kinfolk issue released. Visually pleasing books is usually on my purchase list rather than magazines, mainly due to the endless advertisements they usually contain. However, Kinfolk is very different, individuals from all around the globe contribute beautifully written essays supported by stunning photography encouraging a simplified approach to everyday life that we often forget.

Since 2012, Kinfolk has curated a global series of events in the form of gatherings to celebrate during Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter with a theme to follow. I was devastated after missing out on L’esprit De La Mer earlier this year, so I was determined to attend the last gathering for 2014, A Messy Meal: Embracing Wabi-Sabi, drawing inspiration from their Imperfection Issue. After stalking websites and sending multiple emails (Thank you Jessica from Kinfolk Head office!) to enquire about the gathering I finally managed to obtain a ticket, it was truly a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment for me.

The very talented stylist Stacey Clark hosted our gathering here in Perth, Western Australia. In true imperfect form, we shared a meal prepared by Kent St Deli inside a charming little garage located in Fremantle. Our dessert was served in ceramic vessels handmade by Eucalyptus Homewares, which we were able to take home. Being an independent publication, Kinfolk is still fairly unknown to many so it was a lovely to meet other individuals who love the publication as much as I do. It was an incredible evening created by wonderful people, I’m sure anyone who was able to attend a Kinfolk gathering in any of the locations would agree it was an unforgettable experience.

Thank you Stacey Clark, The Articulate, Fox and Rabbit, Still Love, Kent St Deli, Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Eucalyptus Homewares, Oriss Films, and Aesop Skincare. And of course congratulations to Kinfolk on such a wonderful series, you certainly know how to cultivate community with your readers in every corner of the globe.

#kinfolkgatherings2014

All quotes are taken from Wabi-sabi Peace, an essay by Louise Thomsen Brits featured in volume eight, The Japan Issue.

“It’s this man who sees beauty of rust and peeling paint, who understands the wisdom of rocks, beeswax polish, driftwood and beetles. He shows us that wabi-sabi is a way if seeing, a way of being in the world.”

“Through wabi-sabi we can find a way to live in harmony with nature and trust the natural order of things. We can let go of unrestrained materialism, live lightly on the the earth and learn how to inhabit our homes with care and treat each other with equanimity.”
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Wabi Sabi is one of the many Japanese concepts I have a hard time translating in English. Basically it’s acknowledging the three realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. And with this understanding we can find harmony and peace. Thanks for sharing your experience of the event Linda. I think I’m inspired to host a messy meal of my own! And if you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to seek out Kinfolk…one of the few magazines that embraces knowledge, beauty and simplicity – without the commercialism that causes readers to feel inadequate.

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GYPTIAN store now open in Perth

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GYPTIAN has now opened its first store in Perth at Claremont Quarter. GYPTIAN is a Western Australian based label that creates simple and functional small leather accessories encompassing geometric lines and shapes. The store also stocks jewellery and home wares from other brands including Milly Dent ceramics and Marble Basics.

The designer behind the label, Salma El-Batnouny, was only recently an engineer working as a FIFO worker on a mining site. Salma was able to manage and grow her label whilst working on site in the Pilbara and now has taken the plunge to focus on her label full-time.

The minimal yet strong geometric lines are a trademark of Salma’s designs and stem from her engineering background. “Looking at the structural components of each object allows us to remove the unnecessary details and enhance the main elements of the item” says GYPTIAN founder Salma El-Batanouny. “We are constantly searching for new technology and techniques to ensure we create distinct designs that are exclusive to GYPTIAN.”

The GYPTIAN store has also translated the minimal and functional aesthetic with rough concrete finishes with a lot of these being created by Salma herself! She is such a talented individual right?

Make sure you visit the store and during the first week of its opening they are offering a 20% discount storewide. And don’t fear if you aren’t in Perth, the discount is offered via their online store too.

If you do manage to visit the store, don’t forget to take a selfie with a product you love to win it for free by Sunday the 9th of November 2014. (EDIT: previously posted as Friday the 7th). Just head to their Instagram (@gyptianaustralia) to find out how…

Find the GYPTIAN store at: Shop 177, St Quentin Avenue Claremont Quarter

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Christmas 2014 : Myer Giftorium

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Not long ago, Lily and I were invited to a ‘secret’ event at Myer. Secret because we weren’t told what the event was about although I suspected it had something to do with Christmas. And I was right! Myer has launched ‘Giftorium’ – a dedicated one stop destination for all your Christmas gift giving needs, decorations and festive food ideas. And if you are anything like me who has to buy up gifts for up to 22 people – you want it to be as easy as possible!

Giftoirum is a first for Australia retail which makes Christmas shopping exciting and fun – to bring the magic of Christmas to it’s customers and make the whole experience special and less stressful.Creative and funny categories such as ‘Dapper Dad’, ‘ Miracle Mum’ and Trend Young Things’ make it easier to choose a wide range of gifts and expert advice is on hand from from ‘Gifticians’ and ‘Producticians’ who offer  special personal shopping services.

From the 8th November, every Myer store around the country will schedule a whole host of fun activities for the whole family (on weekends and selected key dates).  Activities include children’s face painting, balloon artists, musical performances, Christmas tree and table dressing demonstrations, appearances from children’s characters, cosmetic workshops and children’s Christmas book readings.

You can also book a Giftician and Santa online folks! That’s right – no more waiting in the queue for ages with all your shopping and a screaming kid.

Be sure to visit your nearest Myer and their website to find out more!

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Personal Style: Bec and Bridge sheer polka top

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{Outfit}
Sheer top: Bec and Bridge
Crop top: Transit from Westfield
Skirt: Cameo  (old)
Accessories: Shoes (Alexander Wang), Necklace (Tatty Devine)

Nearly all week I’ve been rocking Nyla to sleep as she cries in pain from her throat infection. And combined with watching the same episode of the Teletubbies for the billionth time (all night), it is definitely enough to make me just head to bed straight away!

But tonight I’ve managed to do quick edit for an outfit I wore almost two weeks ago when I went out to dinner with my husband. It was one of those days when it went from warm to cool pretty quick. And since I’m old enough to remember the last time crop tops were in fashion, I’m just not too keen to do it again without more of a cover up as I’m well out of my teens now!

I’m also really liking the versatility of the Bec and Bridge sheer polka top compared to the dress version as I can wear it differently without the crop top for example. With a solid colour cami underneath it can be quite a conservative top that you can wear to work.

I’m usually not keen on doing an all black look but after seeing all the cool cats in Shoreditch London do it with flair by playing with textures and proportions, it made me less scared that I’ll come out looking all gothic or pretending I’m from Melbourne!

Hope everyone is having a good week and getting more sleep than me!

S x

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Little Leather: Silver Moccs

Little Leather shoes

Little Leather shoes

Little leather shoes

Little leather shoes

Now that Nyla has discovered the joy of walking, she doesn’t want to be carried and prefers to walk everywhere. So I’ve been researching the right shoes – shoes which aren’t restrictive and suitable for toddlers who are still learning to walk properly and prone to falling.

Leather moccasins (moccs) for babies/toddlers are all the rage at the moment because not only do they look ultra cute, but they offer protection against the elements yet allow for healthy foot development and sensory stimulation similar to barefoot walking. And since they are made from 100% cow’s leather, they will be soft and comfortable but still offer durability and enough grip to be put through its paces.

I discovered Little Leather* and was amazed at how affordable their leather moccs were – nearly half the price I paid for the first pair which I bought elsewhere on sale! Little Leather is an online shoe boutique specialising in shoes for children 0 to 24 months and offers fashionable and quality baby shoes for every budget.

Be sure to check out Little Leather and they ship worldwide too!

* Sass and Spice is a brand ambassador for Little Leather. Shoes were given in exchange for honest feedback, review and promotion. Opinions expressed are my own. I have a genuine love for this product and believe others will too.

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