Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Photographing: at sunrise

Saving for: Blak Luxe Clairvoyant dress

Eating: Watermelon

Coveting: Marc by Marc Jacobs furry teddy bear jacket

Drinking: Bailey’s Irish Cream – Biscotti flavour

Reading: The Boy Who Fell to Earth by Kathy Lette

Listening to: Elbow – in preparation for their concert next month (wahoo!)

Wearing: Zoe Karsson ‘Monsieur Karsson’ jumper

Waiting for: Feijoa season

Smelling: lawn clippings fermenting in the sun

Searching for: the perfect winter boot


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cinemust : Extremely loud & incredibly close

So, normally for a Cinemust post I would include the trailer, but in this instance the trailer is so poorly done that had I watched it before the film, I would have decided against it altogether. If you haven't seen the film or the trailer yet, see the film, don't watch the trailer. If you have seen the trailer already, don't hold it against this beautiful film!

The story centers around Oscar, whose dad dies in the Twin Towers in 9/11 (not a spoiler, I promise). I saw the film not knowing anymore than that and took great pleasure in watching it all unfold in front of me, so I'm not going to say anything else except it's worth paying extra to see it at the movies, and take tissues...and pee first because it is quite long. Enjoy.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Organical botanicals

I have been knocking around the beauty industry for a long time now, and have been lucky enough to experience some of the most beautiful and revered spas in the world, so it takes something pretty special to make me rave about a salon. Somehow, in the space of a month, I have two to rave about! 

I’ll tell you about my trip to Lucy & the Powder room later this week, but today, it’s all about a teensy little salon I visited in Ellerslie, X Factor.

Just a few minutes after meeting owner Jocelyn, her passion for sustainable practice was clear. X-Factor has been fitted out with only quality, sustainable materials and the serene, minimalistic vibe instantly put me at ease. Jocelyn prescribed an anti-ageing facial, and explained that the science-lab ampoule packaging was used in place of preservatives and chemicals – key to the Phyts philosophy.

Phyts have created premium, organic, 100% natural skincare out of their laboratories in France for over forty years and haven’t used chemicals or ingredients tested on animals, ever. The products contain no synthetic preservatives, no artificial fragrances, no colouring agents, no GMO, no petrochemicals and no parabens. Wowser…

After a quick glass of Intelligent Water, which has been treated so that the molecules are perfectly aligned (another story altogether, in the meantime you can google it), I was settled into my cosy treatment bed for a truly holistic hour and a half. I can’t call it a facial, because it was so much more!

A combination of smell, healing touch, soothing music, soft light therapy and Reiki, my whole body seemed to melt into the bed and when it was all over, I was calmer and more centred than I have felt in a long time, not to mention glowing skin to boot. My therapist, Alison, truly had the healing touch.

To read more about X-Factor visit their website, and if you’re out that way, I cannot recommend a visit highly enough.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Keep Shelley in Athens

Melancholy, gentle and upbeat...perfect music for a lazy, slow start to Sunday.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : Colours and textures of winter

Creepers at Kathryn Wilson

The recent rainy weather has inspired me to start culling and curating my winter wardrobe, and I've enjoyed the thrill of squeezing into knits and velvet even in the muggy heat of airless changing rooms.

So, today's Scrapbook is all about the textures and colours I've noticed in the shops and PR showrooms for winter. Enjoy!

Beautiful tweeds and textures at Ciel PR 

Pretty pastels for winter at Ingrid Starnes 

Knitted accessories from Yellow Brick Road Boutique 

Beautiful greys at Moochi 

  The winter line-up thus far in my wardrobe


Friday, February 24, 2012

For the Aroha of : rhubarb

I’m putting a line in the sand. My mum makes the best rhubarb crumble Buttery, salty sweet, light-as-air crumble over jaw-seizing poached rhubarb just begging for a scoop of full-fat vanilla ice cream. Good lord, there is no such thing as a diet when that sweet smell fills her house. All I can think of is how to sneak a spoonful from the edge and smooth it over so no one will notice…

Anyway, did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable? So it counts towards your five a day. Really. Unless, of course, its juice is extracted and turned into cordial by the lovely people at Aroha…which is then added (by me) to ice, fresh mint leaves, vodka and a splash of soda.

Aroha make other delicious cordials including Gooseberry, Elderflower, and Ginger & Honey, all of which are free from added sweeteners, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. I discovered them at the la Cigale markets in Parnell, but a quick look at the Aroha website shows that they are stocked all over the country. They also do a sparkling range, and I can’t wait to try the Feijoa & Elderflower one…my mouth waters just typing the name.

In the meantime, Mum, if you’re reading this…the rhubarb season is nearly over…hint hint…


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cuddle me, cuddle you...

Topshop Unique AW2012, from

Is it wrong to be so excited about wearing top-to-toe velvet, and not just around the house? 

Every moment would have luxurious nap potential. Every seating surface would caress your bottom like duck fur - not feathers - fur; you know, the little tufts you see when they shake out their wings?

At London Fashion Week, Topshop Unique put our their coolest collection in ages, much better than last season's weird gilded, gaudy affair. Although chances are it will never see daylight, I really, really want this jumpsuit in my wardrobe...just in case I'm brave enough to work the teddy bear look in public. 

Hey, if it gets me a few extra cuddles, put me on the waiting list!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Home made : Cloud pillow

My Mum just gave me her 25 year old sewing machine because it wasn't working and she was moving house, so it was on its way to the inorganic collection pile.

I took it home and had it serviced at Brian Deakin Sewing Machine repairs (husband and wife business, truly lovely) and hey presto, it hums like a limosine and my creative juices gain a new flavour...sewing!

I'm no fashion designer, and I certainly can't do anything even remotely complicated, but I love finding pretty fabrics and finishings then freestyling until I create something. 

My first project was this cloud pillow, loosely based on one I saw on the internet months ago, and unfortunately cannot locate again. It's made entirely from felt, the most forgiving of fabrics (thick enough to hide a wonky stitch), and literally took me 10 minutes from start to finish. I have identified that it needs a little more stuffing (another trip to Spotlight then - the home craftie's Mecca) and am going to add a few drops of lavender too.

You could easily freestyle it yourself, but if anyone would like the instructions, let me know.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Beaunz at large : Sheryn does Saudi Arabia

For the past decade, whenever I've heard Sheryn's name it has associated with somewhere exotic and far-flung. I cannot begin to guess how many passports she's been through and how many languages she can ask for a beer in, but she's definitely top of my list of dinner guests next time she swings through New Zealand! Over to you Sheryn...

I'm living in...
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I've been here...
For 18 months.

I'm here because...
No:1 the money and benefits
No:2 After leaving London I wasn't ready to 'settle' in New Zealand or Australia - I still wanted an adventure.

The first thing I bought when I arrived was...
A sim card. It's essential for their banking system and arranging limos (taxis). Because women are forbidden to drive and there's no public transport I rely on the limo service and hospital transportation.

My favourite thing about where I live is...
The weather, no taxes, and the compound.

The thing I miss about New Zealand is...
Friends, NZ food and rugby.

The thing I don't miss about New Zealand is...
Hangovers and paying for petrol :)

I wish I could...
Spend 6 months on a super yacht in the Mediterranean with all my friends, my sister and my brother. We're all so spread out around the world it would be fantastic to have everyone together again. 

Since leaving New Zealand I...
Have become very patriotic. I love my country but I also love exploring the world.

The best place for coffee in Riyadh is...
Probably Starbucks.

The best place to eat in Riyadh is...
This fabulous hotel restaurant called Al Khozoma - they do an international buffet where you can eat fresh food and even enjoy sashimi. It's also possible to sit in this restaurant and not have to wear an abaya. It's difficult to get high quality fresh food here.

I stay in touch with what's going on in New Zealand by...
Stuff website and Facebook.

Before I came here...
I didn't know what to think, I didn't have any expectations. I knew it would be restrictive and it certainly is. It's a unique culture with a massive expat community.

The biggest change in me since I moved here is...
Personally I've developed an appreciation of nature, how I miss trees, grass and beaches. I've learned to depend upon myself and the biggest change in me is patience. You have to have patience to survive here.  

When people visit I always take them to...
Actually, no one visits here. It's too restrictive and there aren't any fun attractions. It's a dry country so there's no alcohol therefore no bars. There are no cinemas. If a male friend came to visit me we wouldn't be able to go out together because we're not related or married, therefore should not be out in public together. Crazy I know.

For me, home is...
Where I am now. I like to live in the moment and Saudi Arabia is home.

When friends from Saudi Arabia are visiting New Zealand I tell them to...
See the South Island (even though I've never been but I hear it's quite spectacular) and the Coromandel.

If I could describe my life here in three words it would be.?
Peaceful, Stress-free, Unique.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Passenger

Two of my favourites, Passenger and Josh Pyke, living in musical matrimony.



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : Poems without words

I have a folder on my computer that is absolutely bursting with illustrations I wish I owned. Every now and then I manage to snag one, but most of the time I just stare and drool, and wish I could visit the Land of the Birthdays so I could learn how to draw too.

I love illustrations because they are easy to love. Unlike other art forms which require serious research and a huge leap of faith before investing, illustrations, especially in print runs, are accessible in every way.

So today, I'm sharing a few of my favourites, enjoy!


Friday, February 17, 2012

It's black, it's white...

I love winter clothes...crazy love them...and words cannot describe how much I want these pants from Phillip Lim's latest NYFW collection.

I just know that my life would be enriched and fulfilled if I had them in my wardrobe, and more importantly, on my legs.

NYFW is proving to be a winner, I love all the blacks and blues and dark reds. These would go perfectly with my (fingers crossed - I'm on the waiting list) royal blue tiered winter cape by Adrian Hailwood, and Kathryn Wilson creepers. 

It's the height of cruelty, giving us winter winners when it's still 97% humidity outside. Maybe I'll start hanging out in the freezer section...


Thursday, February 16, 2012

My happy place : Dizengoff

What can I say? I'm a creature of habit.

When I find something I love, I love it to bits...literally. A friend recently commented that my loyalty to a certain Ponsonby cafe was bordering on predictable, so I dared myself to try something new...and I did...but all it did was convince me that I shouldn't do that, ever again.

The thing is, there are hundreds upon hundreds of cafes in Auckland, many of them doing things pretty well, but so few get it so right, consistently. 

Friendly staff, great coffee and tea, all the macarons and whoopie pies and rhubarb pastries a sugar-addict could wish for (plus the perfect poached eggs with salsa verde and paper thin toast) and people-watching potential to boot. Dizengoff has it all, and is appealingly bashful about it.

I don't get out much these days, but when I do, this is where you'll find me, nose in my laptop and a plateful of macarons. Come and say hello.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beaunz at large : Andrew does NYC

Today I'm introducing a new and (I think) super-cool series of posts called Beaunz-at-large. It really excites me when I hear about New Zealanders living overseas doing amazing things, especially when they're somewhere like Paris, or London, or - in the case of today's BAL; New York...sigh.

I've known Andrew since school, and he's always had the x factor - you just knew he would lead an exciting and creatively inspired life. Once upon a time he fronted The Larry Wednesdays (Ramone, anyone?) but these days he's stirring ad creatives at Y&R in The Big Apple.

Over to you, Andrew...

I’m living in… 
Nolita (North of Little Italy), New York.

I’ve been here…..
Almost two years now. Prior to that I spent 18 months in Boston and seven years in Singapore.

I’m here because… 
The city and I have a mutual understanding. It’s a summation of all my experiences and countries that I have lived in. I’m also here to be inspired. My job is to then inspire others.

The first thing I bought when I arrived was…?
Thermal underwear and snow boots. I thought New Zealand can get cold but New York is brutal. Some days it can drop to negative 20. 

My favourite thing about where I live is…? 
I have access to some of the best restaurants in the world. A few blocks south is Chinatown, to the east is Lower East Side, to the west is Soho and West Village, and north is Greenwich. There’s no excuse to eat bad food.

The thing I miss about NZ is…? 
Family is always top of mind. It’s hard when you’re not around to see your nieces and nephews grow or to be with your parents during their active golden years. Like anyone, I also miss the small things such as NZ summers, steak and cheese pies, Burger Rings, and Pineapple Lumps. Anything that reminds me of my teenage years always seems to rise to the top. 

The thing I don’t miss about NZ is…?
Driving in the traffic. Overtly aggressive male culture.

I wish I could…?
Open my own contemporary art museum in the future. In the meantime, I’ll continue to collect the pieces that will hang on its walls.

Since leaving NZ I…? 
Have been on a constant road trip and I’m not sure how to get back.

The best place for coffee in New York is…?
Bowery coffee is consistently good. It also serves pastries from Donut Plant. They’re as gourmet as a donut can get.

The best place to eat in New York is? 
This is impossible to answer unless I break it down into food groups. And even then I’d be leaving out a ton of places. Some top picks would be Pies & Thighs for fried chicken, Café Havana for Cuban, Xi’an for hand pulled noodles, Supper for American cuisine, Bozu for Japanese, and Kat’s Deli for sandwiches.

The best kept secret about New York is?
Madame Geneva. It’s a small Gin bar that serves incredible (and strong) concoctions. It’s probably only a small secret though.

I stay in touch with what’s going on in NZ by…?
I talk to family regularly and am always updated by friends (whether I like it or not) through their social media activity. I also read the NZ Herald online as much as possible.

Before I came here I thought New York was…?
Addictive. It still is.

The biggest change in me since I moved here is…? 
The city has definitely made me more resilient. It changes constantly so you need to adapt with it. The city also demands confidence and maturity or it will spit you out pretty quickly.

When people visit I always take them to…?
The High Line. It’s a 1-mile park that’s built on a former elevated railway line. It was redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway. It feels like you’re walking along an old rail track in the middle of the countryside.

For me, home is…? 
The present. I find it hard to settle if I’m constantly thinking about going back to somewhere else. I also have many “homes”. I obviously have strong bonds to New Zealand but I also spent many years in Singapore and my childhood years were spent in different parts of Asia.

When friends are visiting NZ I tell them to…?
Drive. I tell them to hire a car and just explore. You can’t really get lost and it’s the best way to discover the beautiful landscape. I usually tell them to make a beeline for the South Island though. The West Coast and Wanaka region are some of the most inspiring places to visit.

If I could describe my life here in three words it would be…?
Polarizing. Intense. Perfect.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tis not my lips you kiss but my soul

Special mention to the Kents today, missing their Grandpa-Nan. She will have Valentine's Day with her love for the first time in decades.

Happy Valentine's Day Beaunz belles, sending you love wherever you are. I don't need any encouragement to get mushy...


Monday, February 13, 2012

Homme Frecklé : Eddie Redmayne

Oh-er, he's a bit of alright isn't he?

It's been awhile since I handed out some freckle-love, and today's Homme Frecklé, Eddie Redmayne, is my first male recipient.

I can't wait to see him opposite Michelle Williams in 'My Week with Marilyn', and have definitely put him in my 'to watch' file, I think he's destined for great things.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Lisa Hannigan

Is that sun I see peeking through the blinds? 

Loving Lisa Hannigan's new album...especially this song, such a departure from the (beautiful) sadness of her collaborations with Damien Rice.

I've got my heart set on poached eggs with salsa verde on toast and a chocolate mandarin macaron from Dizengoff cafe this about you, Beaunz belles?


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : Plaits Amoré

Valentino, from

The title says it all, this is pure b-raid porn. Enjoy....

Alexander Wang, from 



Diane Kruger, from

Image credit: Vanessa Jackman 

Alexa Chung - image credit unknown 


Friday, February 10, 2012

There's Hope for Riesling

What is it about Riesling that gets people so hot under the collar? You'd think they were offered a glass of elephant urine, not the sweet nectar of a local boutique vineyard (although Bear Grylls would clearly be happy with either...and if he came to dinner I would be happy to oblige). To the (faux) wine snobs I say this, in the nicest possible way...suckers! You're missing out. 

I discovered Greenhough Hope Vineyard through a friend, but the instant I saw the bottle I knew we were destined to be drinking recent short film was set in the town of Hope in Nelson, where this gorgeous Riesling is produced.

Fate aside, the wine is seriously yummy. Sticky, tart and gooey like a poached fruit cobbler, it had none of the syrupy sweetness I was expecting and so much flavour I had to stop what I was doing (let's face it, my first glass of wine is usually consumed while stirring a pot with the other hand) and close my eyes. Delish.

My daughter has just learnt the word 'mine!' I wonder where she got that from...


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where have all the flowers gone?

Dang, where are peonies when I need them?

I spotted this gorgeous Rob Ryan vase at Pencil Boutique last week, but as the world's biggest flower grinch (peonies aside), I'm hard-pressed to justify this purchase unless I can think of something else to put in it.

Ideas, anyone?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Starry-eyed surprise

How sweet is this star detail? You'll find it on the skirt of the Moochi 'lass dress' from their forthcoming AW collection. 

Without it, I would probably have skipped straight past this dress and onto a sparklier number, but the addition of teeny star cut-outs elevates this dress to something altogether more special. I can't wait to wear it with grey suede ankle boots and a snuggly cable knit jumper, although with the stars right at my inquisitive toddler's eye level I'll have to wear my fancy knickers too.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ginger is my middle name...

I'm loving Griffins Dark Chocolate Gingernuts for all the obvious reasons...smooth dark chocolate encasing a crispy gingernut centre with just the right amount of 'snap'...but here are a few more thrown in for measure:

1. The way it melts into a gooey mess at the bottom of my cup of tea
2. The proven health benefits of ginger outweigh the sugar content
3. The flavour is so intense that I can stop at just two...(okay three)
4. They're on special at the moment and are even cheaper than standard gingernuts...score!
5. Whizzed up with a little melted butter they make the most divine cheesecake base
6. Gingers are an endangered species and should be cherished while we still can.


Monday, February 6, 2012

A pencil for your thoughts

I have found my Mecca; a pint-sized shop tucked away behind Agnes Curran on the corner of Ponsonby and Franklin Roads, bursting with everything a stationery magpie could want, and a few I hadn't seen before.

The Pencil Boutique has the browsing pleasure of a cabinet de curiosité, where every square inch demands close attention so as not to miss a treat. Organic cotton Rob Ryan bunting (now hanging in my daughter's room), Miroslav Sasek 'This is...' books (as much for adults as children), a great selection of Moleskin notebooks, Rouge Caroubier ink...the list goes on. 

The shop is run and curated by Pebbles Hooper, who is clearly nostalgic for her beautiful childhood stationery, and rather than pricing everything sky-high simply because she can, I was pleasantly surprised at the value of these gorgeous quality goods.

If you're in the market for a gift, or just looking to enhance your desk appeal, take a peek here first and I doubt you will leave empty handed.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Chairlift

God, love hurts sometimes.

I'm emotionally bruised from a week of ups and downs, so this song feels right for a grey Sunday morning when staying snuggled up in bed is the only option. 


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : It's the little things

I'm a big believer in little luxuries. It's the things you come in contact with every day, sometimes several times a day, that add up to a big chunk of potential happiness, especially when those little things make you feel good.

So, this week's Saturday Scrapbook celebrates the finer details in life...starting with hand soap. Until recently I was a hand soap cheapskate, buying whatever was on special, but then one day I discovered EcoStore Coconut & Vanilla. The beautiful packaging is just the beginning, and don't get me started on the brilliant dispenser that squirts out the perfect amount of soap each time (you need much less than you think). The actual soap is silky and gentle, and rather than smelling of synthetic coconut and vanilla like most commercial cosmetics, it has the faintest aroma of a freshly cracked coconut.

Next up is sugar. I like mine ragged with a good caramello flavour, and that's just what I get from my Chelsea raw sugar crystals. I use these instead of white sugar in everything, from coffee to baking to an impromptu hand exfoliation (combine a teaspoon with some olive oil and rub gently into your hands then rinse off and hey presto - softest hands ever).

Unfortunately I don't own this little sweetie yet, but I will as soon as they hit the shelves. Traditional smoke alarms are so ugly, but if they all looked like this I'm pretty sure more people would actually use them. 

Night Owl Paper Goods wooden card from MagNation

Friends and family will tell you, I'm hopeless when it comes to cards; unless I can make one myself I generally give card exchange a wide berth. $6 for a tacky picture and cheesy one liner that soon gets lost in the bottom drawer? Daylight robbery! My one exception are these beautiful wooden cards by Night Owl Paper Goods. They are substantial enough to want to keep forever, and sweet without being syrupy.

Which little luxuries make you happy, Beaunz belles?


Friday, February 3, 2012

I blame Cinderella

Moochi silver loafers, in stores later this month

The lesson was clear; to win the heart of Prince Charming and live happily ever after, you need those bloomin' glass slippers. 

Said footwear, however, are sneaky little so-and-sos that change their spots every season. Last winter, it was the grey suede Dicker boot. This summer, the sequin Converse, and next season… schizer…where do I begin?

From the beautiful blue Julie loafer by Kathryn Wilson, to the custard and crème Isabel Marant Betty sneakers, to the divine Alexander Wang kitten heels I left my soul in at Workshop, who could possibly choose just one? I’m hoping I don’t have to, if I finally get funding for my screenplay I’ll be writing it in at least one of the above.

One thing’s for sure, I’m getting in early so I don’t miss out on these modern day Cinderella slip-ons from Moochi. I figure by the time I wear them to work (with cigarette pants and a white button down), to dinner (with black skinnies and the new NOM*d lace collar vest) and around the house (pyjama pants disguised as real pants) the cost per wear will be mere cents, and together we can live happily ever after…until next season.