Day In The Life | Friday April 24, 2015

Life Coach T Shirt

7:30 | It's been a week filled with decision making and structural business changes. Since growth is both wonderful and stressful, I'm feeling amazing and worn out in just about equal measure. I'm grateful to have slept in, but I wake to a cold sore and a scratchy throat. I lay in bed flicking through instagram repeating to myself over and over "I am not sick." 

7:55 | Get up. Make tea. Shower. Dress.* Emails. Fix hair and apply makeup for reasons which will become obvious around 12pm. 

9:45 | N has the morning free, so he's planned for us to have breakfast out together at a new(ish) cafe he thinks I'm going to love. It's The Jam Pantry in Greenslopes and I do. The space is buzzing but airy. The menu is inventive. The food is delicious. The staff are kind. Best green smoothie ever. 10/10.

11:00 | I drop N off at work and head for Showroom. Fabienne is keeping shop and we catch up on how things have been over the morning and what's coming up this weekend. Our intern, Anwyn, arrives to take photos of new stock and help me plan next month's blog & social media content. 

The Spring Shop
The Spring Blog day in the life -4.jpg
Hand made leather glasses case by up and coming Brisbane accessories brand The Sett. 

Hand made leather glasses case by up and coming Brisbane accessories brand The Sett

New metallic bakers twine available in store and coming soon at The Spring Shop online. 

New metallic bakers twine available in store and coming soon at The Spring Shop online. 

1:00 | Chai break & more Spring Shop & blog planning with Anwyn at Atticus Finch. Even though it's only a few blocks from the shop, we barely ever venture so far down Latrobe which makes visiting feel like a field trip and a real treat. 

atticus finch paddington
atticus finch paddington
Atticus Finch Paddington QLD
atticus finch paddington

2:00 | I've been feeling pretty good since breakfast, but by mid-afternoon my energy and focus is on the wane. I decide to photograph Showroom's Mother's Day vignettes next week and drop Anwyn off in the city. I head home to take a nap on the couch. Andy the Spoodle, who was miffed earlier in the day about being locked outside while everyone was out at work, is thrilled to bits. 

3:00 | More emails, scheduling meetings for next week, and packaging Spring Shop parcels. 

5:00 | Already in my pjs, I heat up leftover couscous and veggies, crawl under my blanket on the couch, and set up for an evening of blog post writing and instagram scheduling. Unless you hear otherwise, I've had a bath and put myself to bed by 8pm. 

*Life Coach tee was a gift from my Homeroom biz partner Claire. If you want one, you can get it here

Images by Miss Anwyn

Five Productivity Apps We Love

In honour of our WORKROOM* launch I thought I'd cap off this crazy week with a list of five of the productivity apps that help me through. If you run a busy business or a busy life, I hope you'll get something out of them too. 

* WORKROOM is a flexible co-working space for Brisbane Creatives housed inside Showroom.   

1. Teux Deux | The ultimate list-making app that synchs across your laptop browser, iPad, and iPhone. I love that tasks I don't finish today get rolled into tomorrow. Plus there's room for unscheduled 'future project' lists so I can keep track of steps for ideas that haven't found their way into the calendar yet. 

2. Boomerang | This scheduling plugin for Gmail lets you bounce clutter out of your inbox, time when emails are set, and organise follow up messages all in one go. It's magic for unruly  mailboxes. 

3. Word Swag | I've tried a lot of apps that promise to generate cool infographics (that's text over image) and this one is the coolest. Not only is the interface beautiful, but the editing options are seamless and the templates provided are super good looking. 

4. Postso | There are quite a few instagram scheduling apps recently on the market, but I'm sticking with postso for the moment. It's simple, relatively inexpensive, and it ensures I'm ready with content lined up across the channels I manage. If I had to reply on posting on the go, nothing of quality would ever get shared! 

5. Balanced | This is a personal pick, and one that's been helping me remember to stop throughout the day to take care of myself both mentally and physically. I feel a little guilty now that I'm writing this because the whole point of Balanced is that wellbeing shouldn't be last on our list... but hey... balance is a journey not a destination and what's important is that we're all out there doing our wholehearted best. 

Happy weekend, everyone!

Brisbane's Best Hot Chocolate | John Mills Himself

John Mills Himself Brisbane CBD
John Mills Himself Brisbane CBD
Archives Fine Books, Brisbane
Brisbanes best hot chocolate
Archives Fine Books Brisbane
Archives Brisbane

These photos were taken weeks back, but I've been waiting for our Brisbane autumn to turn a little chillier before posting them. This morning when I woke to feel the chill of the air on the tip of my nose I knew the day had come - Welcome to hot chocolate season!

While I can't claim to have tried every cup in town, I was more impressed with the hot chocolate at John Mills Himself than I have been with any single other thing in a very long time (Poet's Ode in Hahndorf SA notwithstanding). The ambience inside this long, narrow cafe tucked away underneath Archives Fine Books is pretty wonderful too, though with such an exciting menu offerings I'd happy have sipped my hot chocolate in a food court or a field.  

The whole experience puts John Mills Himself squarely in the running for Brisbane's Best CBD Cafe. If anyone has other worthy contenders for the title in mind, it would be my woolly-jumper-wrapped pleasure to investigate. 

Introducing Brisbane's Newest Co-Working Space | Welcome to WORKROOM

I'm so excited to announce the launch of our latest #teamshowroom venture! We've been running Brisbane's newest Co-Working space in beta for the past few weeks and it's been so awesome that we're officially opening to the public. So WELCOME to WORKROOM! 

If you're reading this post from your couch... In your pjs... And it's after 9am... If you've turned to mindless daytime snacking, talking to the dog, or leaving the TV on all day playing old episodes of The Simpsons to distract from the silence ... If you'd feel more in control of your life and your biz if you had an excuse to put on pants in the morning... Then you're probably a free-lancerer or a creative entrepreneur...

And we've been there. That's why we started WORKROOM. 

CO Working space Brisbane

WORKROOM is a co-working space unlike any other in Brisbane. How so? Glad you asked.

First, it's way less expensive. There's no monthly rent or ongoing subscriptions. A 10 session pass costs $200 - that's just $20 a day. Simple. 

Second, it's way more fun. If you're looking for dead silence, this isn't the place for you. WORKROOM is a place for people to collaborate, take phone calls, meet clients, and enjoy the levity that comes with having some company while you get things done. 

Think of WORKROOM as the best possible cafe... Where there's no pressure to keep buying coffees. Where you can come, or go, or stay at your leisure. Where the free wifi actually works. And where the other patrons really understand about the wins and challenges that make up the fabric of your non-traditionally-employed days. 

For information or jump on board (spaces are limited) click over here to the Showroom website where we've spelled out all the particulars. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at hi@show-room.com.au

WORKROOM BRISBANE
WORKROOM BRISBANE

Coastal South Australia Photo Diary

These beaches on the Fleurieu Peninsula were our last stop before boarding out flight back to Brisbane. Lucky for us, in the last hours of our South Australian sojourn the wind died down and the sun came out -  perfect conditions for our coastal hike at Encounter Bay followed by a frolic beneath the russet cliffs of Maslin Beach. 

Barossa Valley Photo Diary

Before setting off from our Adelaide accommodation we wondered if the Barossa would be a bit hectic and overrun with tourists. It wasn't. In fact, if we had one complaint from the whole trip it was that places like the Barossa are so quiet mid-week that most restaurants and cellar doors aren't even open. In the end we did manage to sniff out a few places trading in delicious wine and beautiful local food, all under brooding skies that threw the most wonderful shadows across the tawny hills and fields. Here're our favourite spots from our day in the Barossa:  

1. Lyndoch Lavender Farm | Lyndoch

2. Lyndoch Lavender Farm & the quince orchard at Maggie Beer's FarmNuriootpa

3. Lyndoch Hill Winery (worth visiting for the incredible rose gardens) | Lyndoch

4. Dessert after a beautiful lunch at Seppeltsfield Winery | Seppeltsfield

5. Old grapes left on the vine

6. & 7. & 8. Hillside vistas & the olive grove at Maggie Beer's Farm | Nuriootpa

Adelaide Hills Photo Diary

I know it sounds like a backhanded compliment, but I reckon the best thing about Adelaide is how many beautiful places lie just beyond it. The Adelaide Hills won me over with pick-your-own berries, orchards, cellar doors, forest hikes in the autumn leaves, and South Australia's most beautiful little shop. Here're the spots we loved best on our overnight excursion to the bustling little town of Hahndorf. 

1. Main Street | Hahndorf

2. & 4. Poet's Ode | Hahndorf

3. & 5. & 7. Beerenburg Strawberry Farm | Hahndorf

6. Glen Vimy Apple Orchard | Hahndorf

8. Autumn trees 

Adelaide Photo Diary

It's Adelaide Week on The Spring Blog! Drawn by the promise of autumnal colours, rolling countryside, beautiful local produce and a proper break from our working lives, N and I chose South Australia for our mid-semster holiday. It was chilly, mostly overcast, laid back, and we loved it.

The first time I travelled in rural Australia the dry, hard country seemed mournful to me. Now, five years later, I find the palate of the landscape beautiful, sometimes startling, and strangely elegant. (All of which is to say, we took a lot of photos.) So over the next four posts I'll be sharing them with you, along with our picks for the best places to eat, play, and discover thoughtful SA design in Adelaide and its surrounds. 

(If you do live in Adelaide or are planning to visit I recommend checking out this post listing 12 of Adelaide's best cafes by Emma Kate - the girl's got style and she's done her research more thoroughly than I have!) 

Our favourite spots, In order of appearance:

1. Glenelg Beach

2. One Small Room | Elizabeth St. Croydon

3. & 6. Semaphore Pier

4. The Jam Factory | Morphett St. CBD

5. & 11. Old Port of Adelaide

7. & 12. Botanic Gardens | North Terrace. CBD

8. The old stone homes in the neighbourhoods of Norwood & North Adelaide

9. Red Door Bakery | Elizabeth St. Croydon

10. Council of Objects | Ebenezer Place. CBD

13. & 14. The Church in Norwood | Our Air BnB accommodation in Adelaide. It was a lovely place to stay, and Karin our host was fabulous!  

Honorable Mentions: We also loved the Adelaide Central Market, Khai Liew's design shop (open by appointment only), hunting through the antique shops on Magill Rd, The Art Gallery of South Australia, and Base Bar in Norwood for a casual dinner. 

Day in the Life | Wednesday April 1st, 2015

7:00am | Woke up to N’s alarm. We laid in bed for a few extra minutes listening to the hard rain falling and I thought about how few customers that meant for the shop. I also thought about how that was almost a good thing, because I'd worried about morning sun casting funny shadows across the photo we had planned for later in the morning. 

7:10am | N made the tea and toast while I stood over our ancient blender, whipping up a fresh batch of almond butter. I crawled back into bed to enjoy it while making a few quick updates to the shop website. 

8:00am | TRAFFIC! Dropped N off atwork and continued on to Showroom.

claire deane yoga

8:50am | Arrived late, but with just enough time for a speedy version of our usual #teamshowroom Wednesday yoga sesh. (Note to self: spend more time doing hip opening exercises… I almost got stuck in pigeon.)

9:45am | Our photographer arrived to shoot Fabienne’s jewelry line. I'm fascinated by the connection between technology and artistry so I love watching how pros set up their gear and position their subjects. I can't announce anything much about this project just yet, but more details are coming soon!

10:00am | Anwyn arrived and while the photo shoot cracked on, we went over what’s been going on in the business over the past week. There’s a new POS system to learn (I've invested in a big upgrade to the way we organise Showroom and The Spring Shop from the back end) and we debated branding as we brainstorm ideas for new packaging for The Spring Shop's signature range. 

12:00pm | Bonnie from Mous. Magazine stopped by to interview me for their upcoming print edition coming out this Winter. We had a super interesting chat about curration, retail, and the creative life which I can't wait to see in context later this year. 

12:30pm | After frantically printing out all the financial statements I can find around the 'office', I headed down the Gold Coast to meet with my new account. Book keeping isn't an area I feel particularly confident about but as the business grows, I know how imperative it is to have well designed systems in place to help me keep on top of it and it's a huge relief to have found someone I feel can really help me with this. 

 1:30pm | I arrived early at the coast so I grabbed a quick lunch and took my tea down to the beach. I love it there and after a busy morning I’m glad I found a few minutes to enjoy it.

3:30pm | Meeting done. It was pouring rain again so I skipped another walk on the beach and headed straight back to Brisbane.

 6:30pm | We celebrated N’s birthday eve with a family dinner at Marinara before everyone headed out of town for Easter. I think I've discovered Brisbane's best lasagne and I can't wait for an excuse to go back for some more. 

10:15pm | Home again. We patted dogs, decided against catching up on the work I promised myself I'd finish that night, and instead flicked on an old episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm before drifting off to sleep.

Meet the Creatives | Anwyn Howarth

Anwyn Howarth | Brisbane photographer

At almost 17, Anwyn is the youngest member of #teamshowroom, though we sure couldn't do without her. She helps with lots of the images and content here on the blog and across our social media (look out for the video series we're creating for Homeroom coming soon). Since you've been seeing so much of her beautiful work without knowing it recently, I figured it was high time we all got properly introduced. 

Anwyn Howarth | Brisbane Photographer
Anwyn Howarth | Brisbane Photographer

1.    Give us your elevator pitch: 

 I'm a blogger, photographer, and creative intern at Showroom. 

 

2.   What did you do before picking up your camera?

I was in school (I still am),  making music, drawing, scrapbooking, and loving all hours spent making things. 

  

3.   What made you start a creative business?

I started tinkering around with my camera to begin with. Since working at Showroom, I've met lots of people who run great creative brands and realised how much good commercial photography is needed. Lots of people have been willing to let me experiment shooting their products and them! 

 

4.   What are the key elements that go into creating your aethetic?

I admired moody photography before I really knew what I was doing. With some more experience under my belt I've come to appreciate working with a clean, white, sharp palate. I think that's helped define my own style, but I'm only young so it's all a work in progress.   

Just For Love Stationery | Brisbane

5.   If you could go back in time to tell your younger, inexperienced self one thing about starting a creative business, what would it be? 

Don't put crap up on the internet. Wait until you've done the work getting good at your medium, feel confident that what you're creating is a true representation of what you can do, and then share it with the world. I believe in the power of first impressions.   

 

6.   Give us three awesome tools that simplify your workflow as a creative and entrepreneur. 

  1. A good camera. There's no point trying to do great work with sub-optimal equipment. 
  2.  Patience and contentment. I'm walking that fine line between wanting to race ahead in my career and understanding the reality that I'm scaling a steep learning curve and still have a long way to go. 
  3. Keeping my inbox clear. About a month ago I found an email from a magazine asking me to contribute a story that I was so excited to write... The only trouble was, my email folder was so overflowing I didn't see it until a month after it'd been sent. (Luckily I kept the gig!) Still, I learned how important it is to keep on top of all that communication, both for my budding business and my peace of mind. 

 

7.   Which other design / creative brands inspire you?

 When it comes to photography I'm inspired by Brisbane girl Savannah, whose way of creating imagery on film is so organic. I love a good magazine, and I'm devouring the latest issue of Cereal this week. I have my eye on The Horse watches at the minute.  

 

8.   What’s the first website you load when you wake up in the morning?

 Instagram. (Is that a website?) Then Facebook or Bloglovin. Then Bleubird

 

9.   What’s your favourite hashtag? 

 #getlostclub 

 

10.  Do you feel optimistic about the creative scene in Brisbane? Why or why not? 

Yes, I do. Not necessarily from a photography standpoint because there are so many of us out there. But there are also so many people loving handmade right now, it seems like a bit of a renaissance. That community has really embraced me, and I feel like there's a lot of scope for working within the artisanal scene. 

Easter Entertaining | Salted Caramel Sauce

salted-caramel-sauce.jpg

Under the theory that ignorance is bliss, I generally think that most deliciously unhealthy treats are best enjoyed when they haven't been prepared by me... though this recipe has become the exception that proves the rule.  

Last Christmas my family was gifted the bottle of home made salted caramel sauce pictured here. It was so good warmed up and drizzled over a bowl of vanilla ice cream with fresh sliced peaches that I didn't bother making any other desserts for our family holiday celebrations, and no one even noticed. 

Salted caramel sauce isn't the sort of thing I want hanging around my fridge all the time (self restraint isn't my superpower) but for a special occasion it's simple & cheap to make, a bone fide crowd pleaser, and as I can personally attest, when packaged in a pretty glass bottle, makes a brilliant gift. If you've got plans to celebrate Easter with family and friends this weekend, I hope this recipe helps you out.

salted-caramel-sauce.jpg

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g white sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 100ml creme fraiche (or double cream)
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt

Directions:

1. Put the sugar in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan and pour over the water, trying to wet all the sugar in the process. Swirl the pan if you have any dry bits. Set over a medium heat and keep an eye on it as the sugar melts and begins to brown. Make sure you have the other ingredients, measured out, within reach.

2. Once it turns a deep, but not dark, amber colour (about seven minutes), take it off the heat and whisk in the butter until it is completely melted, then stir in the creme fraiche (or cream) and ½ tsp salt.

3. Once you have a smooth sauce, scoop a little up on a teaspoon, allow to cool, and taste for seasoning; add more salt if you like. Use immediately, or store in a sealed container in the fridge. You can reheat as necessary, adding a little milk if it is too thick.

salted-caramel-sauce

River City | #magicmonday

Brisbane City river walk | The Spring Blog

A few weeks ago Miss Anwyn and I took a break from minding Showroom (me) and writing essays (her) to wander through our favourite spots, shops, and cafes in the Brisbane CBD. She brought her camera along and I love the series of photos she took by the river & at the old Customs House cafe.

Although this could easily pass for an OOTD, don't be mistaken! I'm all about a uniform when I get dressed these days and until the weather really cools down that means the same Salt Water sandals, Once Was Lost tote bag, jean shorts (I think they're from Seed) and some kind of ultra light linen or cotton collared shirt that affords the wearer both a whiff of professionalism and protection from upper arm sunburns while out and about.      

Brisbane City river walk | The Spring Blog
Customs House Brisbane | The Spring Blog
Customs House cafe Brisbane | The Spring Blog
Customs House Brisbane | The Spring Blog
Customs House Brisbane | The Spring Blog
Customs House Brisbane | The Spring Blog

5 Houseplants We Love

1. Fiddle Leaf Figs

Why we love them: This stylish indoor tree is actually a kind of ficus. It has large, dark-green leaves that seem to be on the pages of every design magazine we've opened lately. 


How to care for them: Fiddle Leaf Figs can live outdoors in Brisbane, but inside they like exposure to medium-bright light. The surface of the soil should dry out slightly between waterings and their 'feet' don't mind soaking up a bit of extra water from their tray. If the fig starts to look a bit pale, try moving it somewhere less bright.

2. Mother In Law's Tongue

Why we love it: It doesn't get much easier than this indoor house plant. It has variegated leaves that grow upright, and some varieties' leaves have yellow or white edges. If you're lucky you'll see it flower with small white blooms, but this only happens rarely.


How to care for it: This indoor plant grows well in a whole range of lighting conditions. The air should be somewhat dry, as should the soil. Any normal room temperature will suit it just fine.

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3. Succulents

Why we love them: Succulents are beautiful in their geometry, offering thick, lush leaves and visually interesting branches. They tend to be slow growing and have the potential to last for many years. They look great in pots grouped with different varieties. 


How to care for them: Succulents don't require a lot of water, so keep soil somewhat dry. They do need bright, direct light, so it's best to keep them near your sunniest windows. For information on propagating succulents, check out this post from The Spring Blog's back pages. 

4. Split Leaf Philodendron (aka Monstera Deliciosa)

Why we love them: The Split Leafed Philodendron is known for its tropical oversized leaves with what appears to be cuts within them - it's also known as the Swiss cheese plant. This is a low maintenance house plant that grows wild in parks and nature strips around Brisbane. (I'm working on the best strategy for propagating my own.) These plants tend to grow quite large, so it's probably not the best choice for tiny apartments. Due to its oversized foliage and the ability to grow in large proportions, you may need to stake the stems.

How to care for them: The Split Leaf Philodendron prefers medium lighting, so it is best to keep this plant located within 1 - 2m of a window. Do be careful when choosing the location because once you've placed it somewhere it doesn't  like to be moved. (It disturbed where it's happy this plant may drop its leaves in revolt.) Also, if the light level is to low, the leaves will not develop their unique perforations.The Split Leaf Philodendron requires moderate watering. Water thoroughly once every 7 to 10 days. Most don't seem to mind being dry once in a while either.

5. Pothos

Why we love it: First of all, this indoor plant grows trailing stems and works well in a hanging basket or as a climbing plant. You can train them onto a trellis, around a shower stall, or across whatever object you like that'll support it. Pothos also.has an air-purifying quality that can absorb and strip toxins like formaldehyde from materials in your home. 

How to care for it: This indoor house plant can thrive in an array of lighting conditions, but low light may diminish the leaves' variegation. Allow soil to dry somewhat between watering. When the stems get too long, just cut them back and your plant will continue to look full and healthy. The cuttings can live in water for weeks and weeks. 

images via The Spring Blog on Pinterest

Hollow Wooden Eggs | Two Ways

When my brother and I were kids, my mom was the best at Easter.

Every year she hid chocolate eggs wrapped in gold foil and little packets of smarties tied with ribbons all over the house. (It was too cold snowy where I grew up at Easter to involve the garden.) She was so good at hiding that I remember stumbling across an overlooked trove one year in July. As we reached the age when other parents probably started to figure that the bunny's jig was up, our Ma was just hitting her Easter stride. She'd draw us treasure maps and make illustrated riddle booklets leading us round the house on her hunt. Even as middle school students we were still racing through the house with our pink wicker baskets, giggling from clue to clue, still dressed in our pyjamas and sock feet. 

hollow wooden eggs | The Spring Shop
hollow wooden egg | The Spring Shop

Fast forward to Easter present. 

I saw hollow wooden eggs like these somewhere around the time I first started The Spring Shop and wanted so much to stock them last year. In the end I never could find a local supplier and instead wrote to a Russian nesting doll factory to ask if I could get some custom made. It turned out I could. 

Although painting them with kids would be really fun, I like the grain of the smooth natural wood. Over Easter weekend at The Spring Cottage I'll be filling mine with little chocolates (I used my favourite dark chocolate covered blueberries in the opening photo) and passing them round as a special treat. 

I also love the way these wooden eggs look planted with baby succulents and laid out as place settings or tiny favours on a celebration table. They're still understated - very cool -  but in a celebrating-the-burst-of-new-life' kind of way which is, if I remember my high school religion class correctly, what this Easter thing is all about. 

Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe  Basic Ingredients

 I've been on a real mission lately to simplify the quotidian stuff. I started by embracing the idea of capsule wardrobe and created a sort of uniform for my working life. Next, I'm tackling food. 

It may sound boring at first, but I'm intrigued by the thought that knowing I'll eat pretty much the same thing breakfast, lunch, and dinner takes away responsibility for making decisions about self-care, thus freeing up more bandwidth for more interesting decisions in other areas of life and business. 

That's where overnight oatmeal comes in. As a food trend it seems to be everywhere at the moment; for busy people who love a hearty start it certainly seems to have appeal. I tried making my own for the first time this week and the results were impressive. I particularly like this recipe because it's filling, delicious hot or cold, and can be customised with whatever flavourings are to hand. (I've included a list of my favourites down below.) It's also so simple to prepare that I can throw a batch together while I'm making dinner, meaning I save time in prep and I'm guaranteed to have something decently nourishing at the ready when it's time to head over to the shop the following day.

overnight oats 2.jpg
overnight_oatmeal.jpg
overnight_oatmeal.jpg
Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Basic Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used coconut)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I used natural Greek)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • flavourings of your choice

Directions:

1. Layer all ingredients into a glass jar.

2. Pop in the fridge overnight.

3. Stir, and eat. 

Ingredients to Add:

(the possibilities are endless!)

  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • dates
  • dried cranberries
  • cacao powder
  • grated apple
  • fresh or frozen berries
  • sliced banana
  • almond butter
  • peanut butter
  • pumpkin butter
  • shredded coconut
Overnight Oatmeal Recipe  Basic Ingredients

Day In The Life | Thursday March 19, 2015

Catherine_Roberts_Showroom_Brisbane

6:00 | Wake up to parrots squawking in the yard. Consider launching transcendental meditation practice today. (This is something I've been thinking about for a while & I'm feeling particularly inspired to give it a try after David Lynch's talk at QPAC last Saturday.) Decide to put it off till later. Reach for laptop and start scheduling instagram posts for Showroom on postso. 

7:30 | Brew tea. Realise we're out of breakfast food. Make grilled cheese sandwich instead. It's delicious. 

8:15 | Head down to the garden shed where The Spring Shop's wares are stored. Pack parcels. 

8:30 | Ponytail? check. Glasses? check. Sunscreen? check. White shirt, denim shorts, brown sandals? check, check, check. Laptop bag? check. I'm out the door. 

9:30 | Stop in to Officeworks in Milton on the way to open Showroom. Balk at price of binders, notebooks, staplers, and file folders. Buy anyway in fit of determination to get our 'office' (aka plastic folding table in the kitchen piled with business paperwork) organised.  

10:15 | Claire stops by the shop to go through responses to Homeroom's Creative Entrepreneurship Survey & brain storm marketing strategies for our workshop series. 

12:00 | Brew tea. Forage for snacks. Answer emails. Add content about Homeroom's affiliate program to the Showroom website. (I LOVE working with Squarespace and pat myself on the back every day for switching over.)

the_spring_shop_showroom

3:00 | After a quiet day there's a feeding frenzy of buyers at the shop. It's lovely having customers to chat to & an energising break from laptop work. 

5:00 | Close the shop and help Tom Gunn move in for their weekend pop up. So many beautiful shoes! (You can still find selected styles on sale here).

6:30 | Drive home as the peak hour traffic begins to ease. Arrive starving to find N has made our favourite gnocchi dish. Devour dinner on couch, half watching the news, half listening to N recount stories from his day. 

8:00 | On Air BnB website, looking up places to stay in Adelaide. N & I are planning a short break to South Australia early next month, but I note the accommodation on offer isn't quite as chic as what we found for our recent visits to Melbourne & Byron.    

9:30 | Bath (ft. Soak Society rose soak... so gorgeous). Curl up with N and this week's Micaleff on ivew. Sleep. 

In Season | Autumn Blooms

The change from summer to autumn in Brisbane is almost imperciptable, but a new season is officially here and we're hanging out for signs of cooler days and crisper nights to come. So as we wait patiently to break out our jeans and jumpers, here's a list of the blooms we're loving right now at the local flower market. 

  • Dahlias
  • Salvias 
  • Camellias
  • Gardenias
  • Arum Lilies
  • Lisianthus 
  • Calla Lilies
  • Hydrangeas
  • Sedum

Thanks to Caroline from @wildeflora for helping with our list!

Soak Society

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It seems like everywhere I turn (ok, by everywhere I mean my instagram feed and a few favourite boutiques I browse infrequently) natural bath soaks and body scrubs are having a moment. And since the thing I love most after a long day spent researching what's trending on the local artisanal scene is a long hot bath, I set out to discover whether there might be a great young brand in this category here in Brisbane to invite into the #teamshowroom fold.

Enter Soak Society. 

Not only are Soak Society's products beautiful and ethical, but they really work. I mean legitimately, this recipe has science on its side. The soaks are mixed with lovely clays that feel wonderful on the skin and soothing essential oils, but the real work horse on which all the soaks rely for efficacy is Epson Salt.

I didn't know before chatting with Soak Society's founder Natalie (who hand mixes every sachet) that Epsom Salt isn't really salt. Rather, it's magnesium sulphate, a mineral many people are deficient in. Magnesium sulphate can be effectively absorbed through the skin and is necessary for maintaining proper calcium levels in the body. It's also necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood elevating chemical in our brains responsible for feelings of well-being and relaxation. Epson salt also relieves muscle soreness, regulate electrolytes and enzymes, help the body absorb important nutrients eliminate toxins, and make you sleepy, so it's a perfect addition to a bedtime routine. No wonder a long soak feels so good! 

Vegan Kale Chips | The Easy Way

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My friend Fabienne brought vegan kale chips that were addictively delicious to Showroom last week, and I've been experimenting with creating my own version at home. Hers were based on a recipe smilier to this one, which is a bit too labour intensive for me... Instead, I've worked out a new method using just three ingredients: kale, cashew cheese, and olive oil. 

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Easy Vegan Kale Chips Recipe:

1. Strip a bunch of washed & dried kale leaves from the stalks into a bowl and tear them all into bit sized pieces.

2. Drizzle the pile of greenery with olive oil and lob in two tablespoons of cashew cheese. 

3. With clean hands, massage the cashew cheese into the kale, until each piece is coated. 

4. Turn the kale out onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake in a moderately hot oven (350 degrees F / 175 degrees C) until you've achieved your desired level of crispiness, flipping bits over here and there to ensure even cooking. This should take 10 - 15 minutes. 

5. Serve straight from the oven or as a save to snack on later. Enjoy! 

One Million Stars

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Last week while I passed time at a bus stop flipping through old images on my camera, I came across a set of photos I'd purposely been waiting to share here on the blog (though possibly not for this long). 

These are them, taken last September when artist & activist Maryann Taliapau came to Showroom with photographer Mindi Cooke to shoot a story about her One Million Stars project for Frankie Magazine. Since the official photos were published in last October's issue, I don' think I'll get myself into trouble now for sharing some of the behind the scenes piccies I took myself on the day. 

One Million Stars to End Violence is an international weaving project that aims to end violence by bringing people together to weave stars. These stars represent light, courage and hope to end all forms of violence, including violence against women. The goal is to weave 1 million 8 pointed stars by 2018 for display in Queensland. For more on how to support the project, star weaving tutorials, visit www.onemillionstars.net