Friday, June 29, 2012


Photographing: in the afternoon sun; everything looks gilded.

Saving for: a trip to London for my friends Daniel and Simon's wedding. Yaah :)

Eating: Leon Indian Pot Roast Chicken. Delicious + effortless = 10/10.

Coveting: Salasai Field Tee from their SS2012/13 collection.

Drinking: Cut me and I would bleed Dilmah English Breakfast right now!

Watching: All the trailers for the NZ Film Festival. So far I've booked 8...tune in next week for a round-up.

Reading: Lost at E Minor e-newsletters. A funny and inspiring way to start each day.

Listening to: Tomas Barfod; like listening to the stars.

Wearing: Superga X Henry Holland lilac leopard print plimsolls. Me to a T.

Talking about: Kimdotcom. How long before the movie deals?

Waiting for: Homeland Season 2

Smelling: Snow - there's that sharp, dry, bite in the air.

Searching for: a Sugar Daddy to take me here. It's like CS Lewis designed a house for Salvador Dali.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wear your childhood on your sleeve

If, like me, you spent your childhood eating guavas and green gage plums and feijoas straight off your garden trees, you'll love the fruity earthiness of Jo Malone's latest fragrance.

Blackberry & Bay launches in New Zealand in September and although picking wild blackberries is more a British than kiwi sensibility, there is something universally appealing about its warm, crushed fruit notes. 

At first spritz I wasn't sure about wearing something so simple and fruity (I like my perfume heady, floral and bordering on animalic) but once it dried and warmed on my skin it became much more complex and woody. 

One of my favourite things about Jo Malone fragrances is that their simplicity and quality mean that they smell different on everyone. Rather than evaporating off with the alcohol content like so many commercial fragrances do, the rich raw ingredients embed themselves into your skin and make magic. 

When you find your signature Jo Malone, it somehow makes you smell just like you, only better. Isn't that what perfume should do?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tell me about it, stud

Love this saucy little collar from Saben, it would look so cute over a Juliette Hogan print dress, or a white button down, or on a bare-chested waiter...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to me

What's the best thing about birthdays? For me, it's not the presents or the cakes or the bubbles, it's hearing from all your favourite people in the space of one day. 

Way to put a smile on a girl's face.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Twenty seasons in one line a day

As a child, I would be given one of those little brown leather diaries with a golden lock and key each Christmas, and I adored hiding them away and writing down all my secret thoughts.

As a grown-up, there is hardly time to write a shopping list let alone keep a handwritten record of memories...until I found this cute 5 year Q&A diary which asks you one question a day, and gives you just enough space to write a couple of lines. You repeat it each year until the diary is full.

What can you smell right now?
What was your favourite hour today?
What worries you?
Who do you feel close to right now?

I have just started mine, and can't wait to see it (and me) evolve over the next 5 years. If things change as much as they have since 2007, anything is possible!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A little Salasai promise of summer

I had another post planned for this morning, but then this gorgeous Salasai video popped into my inbox from Showroom22, and I had to share it.

Love that lush, floral print and the fuschia shirt with gold collar tips is exactly what I'm craving for Spring.

It's a little promise of summer...just when we need it in the depths of winter.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Warm all the way down

As soon as it gets cold in Auckland, proper cold (tonight's low is 1 degree) I start to crave mulled wine. It has so many lovely memories for me, mostly involving snowy Christmas markets in Europe, and it is the most warming and satisfying drink when you’re cold to the bone.

This recipe has some traditional and not so traditional elements. I played around with it until it tastes just how I like it, which is gutsy, citrusy and spicy rather than too syrupy sweet. It tastes fine using cheap wine (don’t waste good red) but of all the different varieties, Chianti seems to taste the nicest. The most important thing is not to boil the wine, which evaporates all the alcohol content. Don't buy brandy especially, it is delicious without it, but if like me you have it in the cupboard from Christmas, I highly recommend adding it to this recipe! 

You need:
A bottle of red wine
A double shot of brandy
A mandarin or half an orange (with peel)
5-6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Nutmeg to taste (I grate in whole nutmeg because I love the smell, but you can use powdered)
Splash of vanilla extract
Handful of sultanas (my secret ingredient which adds a yummy Christmasy taste)
2 tablespoons of raw sugar

Cut the mandarin in half and squeeze the juice into a pot, then add the peel (or do the same with the orange).
Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, sugar and sultanas.
Add half a cup of red wine then bring everything to a gentle, rolling boil. Watch it closely at this point so nothing burns, it takes a few minutes to turn all syrupy.
Turn the heat right down to low and add the wine and brandy, then heat until steaming hot.
I strain out all the bits before serving (and eat the sultanas…delish) so you don’t get any crunchy bits when you’re drinking it.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bare Beaunz : Nick

You know it’s been a good party when you make a new friend, and at Colin Mathura-Jeffree’s 40th a few weeks ago my ‘date’ and I bonded over a bottle of Champagne with a charismatic, Seuss-like character who I later discovered was jeweler Nick Klarwill, aka Nick Von K.

Designer jewelry that borders on the macabre seems to be the thing in New Zealand at the moment, with everyone from Meadowlark to Stolen Girlfriends Club doing a covetable variation on teeth and bones. What I love about Nick’s pieces is their raw, unabashed commitment to his aesthetic, and the underlying gentleness that manifests in pieces like Nest Egg and Polar Bear Hug.

Nick kindly agreed to be on Beaunz today, before jetting off to Bali to design his next collection. Over to you Nick…

I just bought…
Two leather jackets I had tailor made in Bali, they were design experiments and both worked out rather well, using a new leather finish called ‘cracked’ that is super soft.

I’m about to buy…
Some new sunnies, not sure what just yet but I’m thinking Ksubi. I know it’s winter but it’s never winter in Bali and I’m off on Tuesday morning to finish the new collection.

I wish I could buy…
A classic ‘73 Dodge Charger in matt black like the cop cars in the recent movie In Time. I just don’t want to commit to the maintenance issues, so I go with a Japo.

When I was a kid I wanted to be…
Robin Hood. I think it was the climbing trees bit that really got me, plus the super cool way he would outdo all the bad guys. He was sneaky, clever, talented and wore great clothes, everything to aspire to it seems!

I never leave the house without…
Saying goodbye to my cat Poppy. She is a black Burmese and I’ve had her since the day she was born in my bedroom 15 years ago.

If I wasn’t so naughty I would…
Get into less trouble.

At home I am usually…
Quiet, it’s my recharge time. And at the moment that means sitting by the fire with Poppy and a Game of Thrones episode.

My fashion sense at school was…
Uniform. And how I hated it. Once I got to Uni and was free of that conformist jail cell I went mental and wore all sorts of crazy things – I’ve been toning down ever since and yet even now people comment on my crazy attire at times (and I wouldn’t have it any other way).

If I had one magic power it would be…
Flying. I fly in my dreams all the time and it’s the best.

The last time I really laughed was…
Yesterday – we convinced a friend that the aioli I had made was actually cream fraiche and she plopped some on her rice pudding. I just couldn’t believe she would be so gullible, especially with so many of us standing around waiting for her to do it!!

My secret pleasure is…
If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret anymore would it? Let’s just say I’m a healthy young man with a good appetite and leave it at that :)

I’m happiest when…
Dreaming up a new design, and then seeing it become real.

If I died tomorrow, I would be remembered for…
My fits of passion, my crazy ideas, my (mis)adventures, my wardrobe, my naughtiness and last but definitely not least, my laziness.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Cinemust : The Descendants

So, usually my Cinemusts are actually still at the cinema, but I'm making an exception today for two reasons:

1. I'm saving up my cinema dollars for the NZ Film Festival (anyone else counting down the days to opening night? Wahoo!) so it's DVDs for me for the next few weeks;
2. This film is intimate enough to enjoy on the small screen anyway.

Last night was fuh-reezing cold so I decided a little George (and some Kapiti White Chocolate and Raspberry ice cream...sigh) was just the ticket. Although it was about as far from his usual suave, ladies-man persona as he could get, The Descendants reminded me he can actually act! Gentle, funny, heartbreaking and touching, The Descendants perfectly juxtaposed the paradise that is Hawaii, with the tragedy of a marriage imploding. I cried actual tears several times, but by the end I felt satisfied and reassured that the human spirit can survive pretty much anything. Not bad for a 2hour movie. Might have been the ice cream too...


Friday, June 8, 2012

Bare Beaunz : Sarah

As soon as I 'discovered' Sarah Laurie, I felt I had found a kindred spirit. She has mastered the art of balancing long term goals with everyday happiness, and makes a point of filling her days with people and things that touch both. Fresh flowers, beautiful candles, snuggly blankets, quality time with family and friends, quiet moments to herself...Sarah wholeheartedly embraces the belief that what we think and do everyday shapes who we are. Dream it, write it down, own it, be it.

As well as her business as a life coach, Sarah recently launched her own stationery line 'Lifestyle Couture', of which her Gratitude Journal is one of my favourites. 

When I photographed Sarah for Bare Beaunz, I could have stayed all day. Light, airy and cosy could describe both Sarah and her home, and it's such a treat to have her on Beaunz today. Over to you Sarah...

I just bought...

Flowers, fresh from the markets. I always come out feeling like I’ve really indulged, my arms bursting with lilies and gerberas.

I'm about to buy...
A beautiful pair of boots from Workshop. When I go and look at them in the shop I feel like I already own them.

I wish I could buy... 
A pool for my children.

When I was a kid I wanted to be...
In Abba. I just wanted to be this wonderful singer and dancer. On a more serious note, I also wanted to be a pilot.

I never leave the house without... 
My hairbrush. That might sound really vain, but it’s my thing! I brush it a lot; it’s like a security blanket.

If it wasn't so naughty I would... 
I’m feeling quite un-naughty at the moment.

At home I am usually...
Tidying up! I love a tidy, calm home. My kids are really kind in that they understand how hard I work, so they pick up after themselves. I love it when things are in their place, then I feel calm and can come up with new ideas. Now, when I write things down in my dream journal, I feel like I’m writing down my future.

My fashion sense at school was... 
Always trying. My mum used to make me things, and they would be terrible but I would have to wear them.

If I had one magic power it would be.... 
Reading people’s minds, only so I could help people more. I find with my clients that they don’t always say what they mean, so it can take a while to uncover what they actually need.

The last time I (really) laughed was… 
I laugh all the time. My son William makes me laugh - he has always been really funny, he has the coolest sense of humour.

My secret pleasure is... 
Not that secret, I love candles, relaxing and simple calm indulgences.

I'm happiest when... 
With my children. We love hanging out in the weekend, and watching tellie like Big Bang Theory. They also like to stay up late and watch Desperate Housewives with me.

If I died tomorrow I would be remembered for...
My terrible baking. There’s a piece of it out in the garden right now in fact. I threw it out the window and even the dog won’t eat it! My kids are always telling me how terrible I am, it’s just not my thing.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Another reason for makin' whoopie

About 3 years ago I heard about the whoopie pie and attempted to bake my own, with disastrous results. No amount of buttercream could salvage those dense little frisbees, and they actually decomposed out in the garden, shunned by the sparrows.

After trying the real deal from Whoopie in Grey Lynn, I know where I went wrong. Their tagline is 'Where cookie meets cake' but I'll raise that to 'Where cake meets cake'. A whoopie is basically two cupcakes sandwiched together, and probably concocted by some clever woman suffering from PMT who wanted more than one cupcake for her morning tea. Squash two together, call it something different (I'm not buying the Amish men 'whoopie-ing' when they opened their lunchboxes story) and hey presto, you're back to a single serving. Genius!

Anyway, the flavour combinations are gorgeous, I went with a  Vanilla Bean & Mixed Berry (delish) and a Banana & Walnut (so-so but apparently a best-seller), and made a note to try the Gingerspice next time. You can even order a dozen personalised whoopie pies as a gift, they come in a cute presentation box and at $2.50 each they are slightly smaller than the standard $5 size.

Do we need anymore reasons for makin' whoopie? No thanks Mr. Cantor.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shopgirl : Juliette Hogan

Today's Shopgirl, Anika from Juliette Hogan on Ponsonby Road, is working a knee socks and boots look I've loved for ages but never mastered. My boots are always either too long and sleek or too short and slouchy, or my socks are the wrong colour for the leather. Seeing this easy pairing of nut-brown leather and black knee socks has inspired me all over again, so the hunt is back on for the perfect winter boot. Wish me luck, at this late stage in the season I'll need it!

As much as I love her styling, the best thing about this outfit is the dress. Quirky, moody and exuberant all at once, it's the thinking girl's LBD. I love that the Winter 2012 collection is named 'Bitter Sweet Memories' - something tells me any wearer of this dress wouldn't be in mourning for long.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do the Fran Fran

Hello my lovelies, I hope you had a great weekend. The weather in Auckland was incredible!

I popped into Juliette Hogan on Friday and spotted these gorgeous Kathryn Wilson 'Fran' brogues, all shiny and cute. Don't they remind you of caramel made from sweetened condensed milk? I would pair them with leopard print tights,  this dress and a huge snuggly cardi.

While I was there, I also snapped the lovely Anika, tune in same time tomorrow for Shopgirl: the Juliette Hogan edition.


Friday, June 1, 2012

I swallowed the moon

La Lune print from Keep Calm Gallery

I swallowed the moon
And all its silver light
Licked the back of my heart
Held a torch to the ice
But I moved too soon
And suddenly I missed
Its lustre in the sky
When my silver face it kissed.