Monday, April 30, 2012

Currently : April

Cool local personalities for Bare Beaunz - such a pleasure!

Saving for: A house, as much as you put away, it never feels like enough.

Eating: Homemade chicken noodle soup with pak choy.

Coveting: Penny Sage cherry red jumpsuit.

Drinking: Single malt whiskey with a dash of warm runny honey. I first tried this in Poland and it's gorgeous in winter.

Watching: Survivor. I can't help myself.

Reading: Crafty Girl's Road Trip - a brilliant little guidebook.

Listening to: Maz Totterdell.

Wearing: Kate Sylvester Lambie coat, see above...go on, stroke me :)

Talking about: The possibility of a Spring NZ Fashion Week. Wahoo!

Waiting for: The Artist on dvd, I missed seeing it on the big screen.

Smelling: wood smoke curling from chimneys - makes me think of my childhood days in Christchurch.

Searching for: fresh sardines...any recommendations?


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Maz Totterdell

How unique and gorgeous is this 16 year old Brit? And I love the addition of her Mum playing the 'frog'. My toes are tapping in time with the croaks...


Friday, April 27, 2012

The littlest letter set

I absolutely adore getting mail, proper mail that is; bills and marketing letters most definitely do not count.

Whilst I love the convenience of emails and phones for regular contact, there is nothing more delightful than opening the letterbox to find a handwritten note from a friend or loved one.

I'm always on the look out for beautiful paper and stock to make my own, and I discovered this gorgeous little letter set at Yellow Brick Road Boutique this week. As you can see, it is about a quarter of the size of a regular envelope so if posting, you would need to double-envelope or risk it getting lost altogether.

The best thing about it is that with limited space, the note can be kept short and sweet. After all, most good things do come in...


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Grey Lynn Bird Watching

Grey Lynn Vegan from Kokako

According to the DOC website, the Kokako prefers running to flying, leaping through the forest on its long, strong legs. Although the South Island Kokako is assumed to be extinct, it's Northern sibling is still holding on by a thread and its call sounds a bit like my daughter trying to play the harmonica. 

It might not be of the feathered kind, but there is a new Kokako we should treasure, native to Grey Lynn. A coffee roastery (of certified fairtrade organic beans) and cafe, serving brunch, lunch and all sorts of guilt-free treats, if you blink while turning out of Williamson Ave you may miss Kokako altogether. Don't!

I was introduced to Kokako by Charlotte Ryan (she'll be on Beaunz next week, stay tuned) who treated me to a Grey Lynn Vegan smoothie. I'm not usually a juice or smoothie fan, preferring to get my calories from whole fruit or just plain ice cream, but this was divine. Made with Omaha organic blueberries, All Good fairtrade banana, almond milk, coconut milk and goji berries (which, thankfully, you couldn't taste - blech) it was delicious and so filling I couldn't finish it, and didn't need lunch afterwards.

If you're in the area, pop in and take a look, and while you're there pick up a box of Kokako drinking chocolate...another native treasure you should keep your eye on.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Colour - Pop Art

Penny Sage jumpsuit from Miss Crabb

Cherry red, check.
Pockets, check.
Bell sleeves, check.
Body skimming, check.
Feminine, check.
Insouciant, check.

Do I want it? Abso-bleepin-lutely! Don't get between me and Miss Crabb when it opens this morning...


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's only words...

As the weather cools down and everyone moves indoors to hibernate for the winter, I’m suddenly obsessed with stocking up the games cupboard and I have fallen head over heels for this beautiful typography Scrabble.

Made from walnut, cork and birch, with metal detailing, it is limited edition and though it’s not even available to buy until August, we’ll still have a couple of cold dark months to play by then. 

I like to think I’m great at Scrabble, and technically I should be given that I make my living out of words, but the truth is I’m terrible. At least with this game I’ll be inspired to practice, and even the shortest, silliest words will still look pretty.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Fashion Icon : June, 1947

When I'm looking for style inspiration, I never have to stray far from a disk of images given to me after my Nanna June died. It contains scans of hundreds of pre and post-World War 2 photos of Nanna, many of them not seen before by her family. 

This one in particular has taken my fancy, because she looks chic and beautiful in head to toe fur (real, sorry PETA) and her shoes are exactly what I have been looking for this winter. My second favourite shot has Nanna in high waisted palazzo pants, ballet flats and a cashmere turtle-neck. In 1944! And we think we're so fashion forward.

Even the composition and styling of the shot is perfect. Scott Schuman eat your heart out.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Temper Trap

Temper Trap will always hold a special place in my heart, as 'Sweet Disposition' never failed to get my daughter wriggling around in my tummy, before she was born. 

This song, the b side of their new single 'Need your Love', is intense and dark, perfect for a crisp, grey Autumn morning. 

I'm roasting a big, fat Rangitikei chook for lunch today, with sage, lemon and garlic. Mmmmmm. How about you?


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : DIY blogs

I'm often asked what other blogs I read, and I have to confess my addiction to DIY blogs and websites. They are an endless source of fun for home decoration, crafts and arty ideas! So, today I'm sharing a few of my favourites. Enjoy.

(PS: I love love love this DIY hanging wine bottle planter)


Friday, April 20, 2012

The denim jacket changes its spots

I love it when someone gives you a new twist on a classic, such as this Scarlett denim jacket by Swedish label Acne.

The basic denim jacket shape is still there, but switching the sleeves to a cropped bell shape is inspiring me to buy my first denim jacket in almost a decade, because suddenly my old Levis number looks dated and boring.

How cute would it look with knitted fingerless gloves and a wristful of silver bangles?


Thursday, April 19, 2012


On a cool, crisp, sunny Autumn weekend, there is no better lunch than fresh green-lipped mussels, steamed in tomatoes, birds-eye chili, white wine and garlic. 

Throw in some warm ciabatta rubbed with garlic and parsley, a bottle of Marlborough Pinot Gris and old friends, and you're set for the afternoon and into the evening.

Mmmmmmm. It's good to be a kiwi.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The spa that fell to earth...

Over the weekend, I spent a dreamy few hours hidden away from the world at Spa di Vine in Waimauku. I had been looking for a spa experience such as this since arriving back in New Zealand, and had begun to wonder whether it existed on kiwi soil. 

In Europe, the day spa culture is well-established as a part of life. It is perfectly acceptable for women to escape for the day, loll around in robes, swim, indulge, steam and pamper. In fact, for over five years I made my living marketing to these women. It was never a case of whether or not they should come, but just how many and which treatments.

For whatever deeply-ingrained reasons, we kiwis find it hard to treat ourselves, but Beaunz belles, listen up. Just a short drive away, on the other side of Kumeu, is a luxurious, nurturing spa experience, priced well below anything you would find in the city. If you are looking for a Mothers Day present, check our their website or speak to Paula, the owner and host of Spa di Vine. Half day packages for four people including two treatments, exclusive use of the spa and lounge facilities and afternoon tea cost little more than a facial at many other, lesser spas. 

We were even encouraged to bring our own bottle of bubbles, which was decanted into vintage crystal flutes for us to enjoy. My Mum fell asleep within minutes of finishing her treatments, snuggled into a huge leather sofa and fur rug. 

Mission accomplished.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One for the Mums

I have been following local brand geoskincare for awhile now, and love just about everything they do. The products have integrity both in terms of performance and organic standards, and they also smell absolutely scrumptious.

I was planning to buy my Mum something girly and smelly for Mother's Day anyway, and then I saw this beautiful gift set, which includes a cleanser, hand cream and premium quality  candle. The limited edition candle is called 'citrus delicious' and I now know why. From the moment I lit it, I craved lemon meringue's that good! I also love the packaging, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for  love hearts. 

This might be a 'Mothers Day' special, but if you're not a Mum and you get one for yourself, I promise it will be our secret.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Shoes are the windows to the soul

Chaos & Harmony Cassandre heels

I recently stepped right out of my comfort zone and bought these gorgeous platform heels by Chaos & Harmony. I had been looking for new heels that would take me stylishly from work to events and home again, give me height without bumble and, most importantly, slide easily into my now perfectly curated winter wardrobe. I hadn't planned on going platform OR burgundy but the moment I saw them they were already mine. 

It got me thinking about shoes, and what you can tell about someone's mood from what they're wearing on any given day. So, here is a little game of 'shoe-mood association':

Stiletto - notice me, I'm hot
Platform - I'm hot too but I can't walk in stilettos
Ballet flats - I don't care if you think I'm hot
Brogues - I'm far too intellectual and cool to be hot
Slippers - I'm too tired to be hot (hungover, or new Mum)
Flip flops - I'm pretending it's still summer hot

Feel free to add any more in the comments.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Sounds : Middle East

Promise me you'll listen all the way to the end - it's worth it.

Back to bed with fruit toast and tea....mmmm for Autumn.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : My imaginary dinner party

Salvador Dali

I love playing games that force you to think about the who or the what, for example, if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? Or, what would your last ever three course meal consist of? Or, in today's example, who would you have at your ideal imaginary dinner party? Here is my list. 

First up (other than me of course - I haven't included a picture but if you really want one go here) is Salvador Dali. He is one person that I would travel across the world to meet, if he was still alive today. Visiting his house in Spain is still one of my favourite Europe experiences, and I'm already smiling, imagining the conversation he would inspire around the table. 

Colin Mathura-Jeffree

Charming, hilarious and always immaculately styled, I think Colin might just be the perfect dinner party guest. (Read my interview with him here)

Elsa Schiaparelli

Coco Chanel's nemesis, and muse to several Surrealists, I can only imagine the crowd of shutterbugs that would gather to snap Elsa for their street style blogs. I wonder which of her dresses she would wear? The Lobster? Or the Skeleton

Nicole Richie 

In particular, my inclusion of Ms Richie seems to divide people, but I love her ballsy humour and I'm sure she would have a few cracking stories to tell.

Tom Ford

Rounding off my list is Tom Ford. This man fascinates the heck out of me, not only because his taste is immaculate but because he is so darned talented and makes magic wherever he casts his hand. The only question now is what I would serve at this dinner party. I've certainly made life interesting with the guests...

How about you? Who would you have at your ideal imaginary dinner party? 


Friday, April 13, 2012

I want to be a hunter again...

I'm loving this gorgeous antler ring, one of several matina amanita pieces I've got my eye on at Ruby Boutique.

The quirky and sweet jewelry collection was designed for Thai label Sretsis, and though I haven't found a local stockist for her clothes, Ruby have done the clever thing and nabbed a selection of the jewelry. 

I count antlers in my overall obsession with bones, I find them regal and beautiful and can't wait to have one of these antler lamps in my home. For now, I'll have to make do with this ring...


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bare Beaunz : Kellie

There aren't many local designers who can state (proudly, and rightly so) that 90% of their product is manufactured in New Zealand, and it is precisely that 'slow' approach to production that gives the moochi brand it's timeless, quality appeal.

As the driving force behind moochi, Kellie gives off the quiet confidence of a woman who knows her aesthetic inside out. Rather than churning out trend-driven separates that wallow in Tatty's after a season or two, her clothes tend to stay in their wearers wardrobe until they fall apart at the seams. I have three moochi dresses that saw me through my pregnancy yet still hold their shape, and in fact I'm wearing one as I type (grey, with fabric covered buttons and a sweet little lace trim).

I'm excited to have Kellie on Bare Beaunz today, so I can hopefully absorb some of her innate sense of style by virtual osmosis...and yes, Beaunz belles, that beautiful necklace is current season, but be quick! Over to you, Kellie...

I just bought...
A giant 'T' (it's over a metre wide!) from am old French light box sign that will sit on my kitchen wall. We also won a bidding war tonight for a flock of bright yellow resin birds for my wall!!! What the...?

I'm about to buy... 
Some cool bamboo plants for the new Japanese Garden we have created on one side of our house. 

I wish I could buy... 
A Bach! We spent a month on Waiheke this summer and I loved how I felt as I unwound from my life.

When I was a kid I wanted to be...
A red head with long curlie hair and freckles!

I never leave the house without... 
My moochi clutch wallet, as it holds my iphone, cards, MAC gloss of the moment and keys. All in one tidy place, a priceless accessory, as I would loose my head if it was not screwed on!

If I wasn't so naughty I would...
Be much skinnier! Why are some of us born with huge amounts of discipline while others of us are not?

At home I am usually...
On the go. With two kids there is never any down time.

My fashion sense at school was...
My good friend would say glamourous. I used to go to centre point fabrics and buy Vogue Patterns and fabrics, but I never sewed anything much myself, my mum had this amazing dressmaker who was such good value, I had some amazing 'designer ' get ups! I did not learn to sew properly until fashion school. 

If I had one magic power it would be....? 
To stop the clock. I am always late; always over promising what I can achieve. This is done with the best of intentions and I would love to be able to follow through and make everyone happy by getting everything done. Fashion and parenting are so full of deadlines!

The last time I (really) laughed was…? 
With my son tonight when I tucked him in and he was winding up my daughter who was taking things all too seriously, as we girls tend too. Did you have a brother who knew just what buttons to push to make you go crazy? I had one and it was classic to see my son do just the same thing to my daughter!

My secret pleasure is...? 
If I told you it would not be a secret.

I'm happiest when...? 
I remember to be grateful for all the good in my life. Why are we always so busy that we forget to enjoy things? 

 If I died tomorrow I would be remembered for...?
My made up stories at bedtime and my relentless desire to get things right.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I wellie love windy Wellie

Illustration by Echi

I hopped on a plane down to Wellington yesterday for work, fretting all the while because it was the first time I have been more than a 20 minute drive away from my daughter. Of course, she had a fabulous day being spoilt rotten and had forgotten about me within minutes, so I put all those guilts aside and went exploring the city in between meetings.

Here are a few things I discovered...

Gorgeous coffee and the best apricot pastry ever at Mojo, then an even better coffee at Memphis Belle.

Fashion temptation at Good as Gold.

I peered longingly through the windows at Martin Bosley and Logan Brown.

Oobi Baby treats for my daughter from The Baby's Room in Old Bank Arcade.

Then after my last meeting was done, I surrendered my blowdry to a windswept walk around the bay. Gorgeous!

Feel free to add your own Wellie-love in the comments. I'll be going back again soon and would love your suggestions of where to go. Share this with your Wellie friends too, I'm sure there are oodles of places to try.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's one for the money...

Moochi Blues Boot

The colour blue is something I can't get enough of this Autumn, mostly in varying shades of royal and navy. On a completely random note, did you know that blue is the most commonly chosen toothbrush colour? Mine's red...go figure.

Back to the shoes. It wasn't enough for Moochi to make a pair of boots in the perfect shade of midnight blue suede, they had to go and add a sassy little tassel detail that makes it impossible to walk away. I promise I don't have shares in Moochi...but I'm thinking they have invested in mindreading technology that somehow knows what I want, even before I do...


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Sounds : The Crayon Fields

I'm in love with this song, it reminds me of gliding around the rink at Skateland, eyes flickering in the mirrorball, believing I was as cool as the kids in Breakfast Club. The reality was probably more Goonies, but ignorance was bliss! 

Happy Easter.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Scrapbook : Cafes

Alleluya Cafe, St Kevin's Arcade 

Just a short post today, as the weather is glorious yet again and I can't wait to get outside! It's a quick round up of a few cafes I've visited recently and loved (other than Dizengoff of course). I'm looking for new recommendations too, so feel free to share your favourites. Happy Easter xx

Little & Friday, Eversleigh Rd Belmont 

Puhoi Tearooms (huge doorstop scones with clotted cream and jam - mmmmm!)


Friday, April 6, 2012

If happiness was a book ...

Kim Evans has timed her book launch perfectly. Bikinis are packed away, thighs are hidden under 100 denier tights and let's face it, we're all looking for a little indulgence to sweeten the long and chilly winter. 

My love affair with Little & Friday is well-documented; it's one of the first places I take visitors, on route to Devonport for a wind-swept walk around Mt Victoria. The sweet treats are huge, rich and impossible to share. You may think you can split one but my advice is this: don't. Get one each and finish yours first, just in case...

The new Little & Friday cook book has recipes for all their favourites; even the legendary sausage rolls. If reports are on the money, we're in for a particularly bitter winter, so take action now. With this book, a little butter and some sugar, you'll have happiness in the bank for a rainy day.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love the ones you love

I have a tortured relationship with poetry. I write it myself (usually not well enough to share) and I like the idea of reading other poems, but when I do I'm often left frustrated and lost, wondering why the heck I have no idea what it meant. Am I a complete idiot? Or just not inside that poet's head at that precise moment? Regardless, when I do find a gem that puts every word I wish I wrote in a row, it stays with me forever.

A few weeks ago I was sent a review copy of 'Dear Heart: 150 NZ Love Poems' and although it is full of beautiful poems, there is one that has been rattling around in my head ever since.

Wild Daisies by Bub Bridger

If you love me
Bring me flowers
Wild daisies 
Clutched in your fist
Like a torch
No orchids or carnations
Or roses
No florist's bow
Just daisies
Steal them
Risk your life for them
Up the sharp hills
In the teeth of the wind
If you love me
Bring me daisies
Wild daisies
That I will cram
In a bright vase
And marvel at

Wouldn't we all like a wild daisy kind of love?

Dear Heart is out today, and I have two copies to give away if you're interested? Even the cover is a thing of beauty, each letter of 'Dear Heart' has been painted by a different kiwi artist (can you spot the Frizzell?) and this would make a great gift for a bride-to-be. If you want one, leave a comment on this page and I'll announce the lucky Beaunz belles after Easter.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The yummy mummy's time machine

As a kid, my style icons consisted of the Wakefield twins (remember the one when Jessica went brunette and wore a black satin jumpsuit with rhinestones? and does anyone actually know what a lavaliere is?) and Claudia from the Babysitters Club. I even conned Mum into getting a new phone so I could turn our old one into a phone-cord bangle.

My 19month old daughter already chooses most of her clothes (I draw the line when she also tries to choose mine), but I'm loathe to succumb to all the syrupy-schmaltzy-princessy-froth that seems to dominate the shops. Give me sailor stripes and embroidered jeans over a fairy-winged tutu dress any day (although my hands-down favourite thing she wears is this romper by Albetta).  

I recently discovered Papier Mache, a Frankie-esque magazine for pre-schoolers (and their Mums) which is packed from page to page with cosy, comfy kids clothes. Beautifully designed and styled to quirky-cool perfection, it is true yummy-mummy porn, and the cover even inspired me to knot a length of string and make a few shapes. All I need now is a milo...