Soph's Summer Beach Kit


21 November, 2014

It's starting to look a lot like... summer. Which of course, in Australia, also means Christmas but let's just focus on the summer part. Because right now all that's going through my head is "How good would the beach be right now? I can't wait to go to the beach. Let's go to the beach. Why don't I live closer to the beach?" Due to my lack of foresight and poor planning, I didn't take advantage of the G20 long weekend that just passed to skip town and clock some beach hours. Instead I took respite from the heatwave by eating my weight in watermelon. Which, in my books, is still a pretty good way to while away the hours *thumbs up emoji*. Anyway, here's some beach/pool attire that I think would go down a treat this summer.

Clockwise-ish from top left:
1. Lack of Color 'The Spencer' Wide Brimmed Fedora
2. Gorman 'Prowl' Sunglasses
3. The Beach People 'Aztec' Roundie Towel
4. Seed Heritage 'Cara' Espadrille Slides
5. Molten Store 'Wild One' Weekender Bag
6. Kuwaii 'Rationale' One-piece Swimsuit

Obus Summer Sandals


17 November, 2014

It's hard to fathom how Aussie label Obus has never been mentioned on my blog until now. Their latest summer collection is a cracker (if you haven't already, you should check it out) and it isn't just limited to the clothing. Their summer collection consists of a wide range of footwear, from crossover slides to T-bar sandals and slip-on espadrilles. I'm all about the crossover sandal/slide at the moment and Obus have them in a range of colours and styles - from pastel pinks to cool metallics. Whether you're after a simple sandal or some more eye-catching kicks, Obus will sort you out this summer.

Kester Black x Original & Mineral


10 November, 2014

Who doesn't love a good collab? One of my favourite beauty brands Kester Black has teamed up with with Australian hair care brand Original & Mineral to create a collection of 12 unique nail polish colours. Inspired by the earthy tones and colours of nature, the O&M colours are a bit more subdued than what you'd usually expect from Kester Black polishes. Pictured here are (from top) 'Queenie', 'Conquer Blonde' and 'Know Knott'. I've tested all three and like other Kester Black polishes these provide even coverage and last for a couple of days before beginning to chip, depending on how well you prep/seal your nails I guess. I'm a no base coat, two coats of colour and you're done kind of gal, so pretty slack in that respect, but they still look good regardless! The collection is available for a limited time and can be purchased online at Kester Black or through selected retailers across Australia.

Lake Patenggang + Rancabali Tea Plantation


04 November, 2014

In my first week in Indonesia, I ended up covering a lot of ground and spending a fair bit of time exploring the mountainous regions surrounding Bandung. In my last travel post I outlined a sunny morning spent at Kawah Putih. Afterwards, we explored a bit more of the region and headed to Lake Patenggang (the hot springs would just have to wait). The drive to Lake Patenggang is a picturesque one as the area is surrounded by lush tea plantations. On the way we pulled over on the side of the road and got snap happy. By this time in the afternoon the climate had cooled dramatically and an eerie fog was descending over the mountain. It only got heavier as we arrived at the lake. At the lake there's a small market and you can head out on one of the many boats. We opted not to and instead explored the shores of the lake. Which were covered in rubbish. I had forgotten just how prevalent rubbish is in Asia, even at scenic tourist destinations like this. Aside from that, there was something calming about the being by the water and watching the fog roll in and I can only imagine what a hive of activity the place must be on a bright, sunny day.

How Do You Brew?


27 October, 2014

It would seem that I like my coffee colourful and cute. These days I can't leave a homewares store without purchasing something and this KeepCup and Bodum French press are my latest acquisitions. Because, seriously, how can you say no to this kind of cute? My latest coffee find has been Mannya Trading Co. which is one of the latest initiatives of the Cotton On Foundation. The company uses direct trade principles and works hand in hand with farmers in Uganda, and all gross profits from coffee sales goes back into the project to help fund education and facilities for farmers. On top of that, if their Kabingo Twanzane blend is anything to go by, the coffee is pretty darn tasty. The only bone I have to pick is that the ground coffee is very fine, which probably makes it more suitable to a pour over/filter method. Next time I'll probably buy whole beans and get them ground coarser. At home I tend to use a French press because I feel that a) instant coffee is gross and b) coffee machines are a bit of a hassle for the home. Also, I'm not too sure how I feel about pod coffee. It just seems like glamourised instant coffee and very wasteful. I am keen to try the pour over method though so if you have any tips to impart that would be most helpful. How do you brew?