by Catherine on March 3, 2014

in The Spring Shop

Happy Autumn everyone! To celebrate the change of season (can you feel it yet… I’m not sure I can…) I thought it’d be fun to update The Spring Shop’s Look Book.

You might have noticed that the atmosphere of these photos is a real departure from my typically light, bright snaps. That’s because these images are wholly the work of my young creative intern Anwyn, who came by The Spring Studio last week for her first bit of ‘work experience’ (read: bare foot styling date complete with lots of laughter and the swapping of favourite blogs over DSLRs and mugs of tea).

The dark, moody tone she’s conjured using filtered afternoon sunlight and our favourite items from the shop is so unlike anything I’ve ever thought to create, but it feels completely perfect right now as I start looking forward to crisper days and evenings by the fire.



by Catherine on February 28, 2014

in Blogosophy


Those of you who follow my social media feeds already know that last Friday I travelled down to Sydney to hang out with Blog Society and improve my photography techniques for your viewing pleasure!

Blog Society is a brilliant organisation set up by the gorgeous Jaclyn, who you might know from her personal blog Little Paper Trees. Jaclyn and her creative team put on stylish, lively events (think a bright white studio, reclaimed wood trestle tables, vintage china, luscious blooms, sweet terrariums, and lots and lots of paper confetti!) where bloggers meet up for sophisticated lessons in what it takes to build a beautiful space on this here internet.

I attended the Lens & Layout workshop, a hands on day of instruction and practice that (i) demystified my camera’s manual settings (ii) explained the process of photo editing in Adobe Lightroom, and (iii) showed us how to lay out collages, mood boards, and create Pinterest worthy text superimpositions in Adobe In Design.

Besides the top-notch tutelage (thanks Pink Ronnie and Tea Lily!) the whole day was really inspiring. I know that’s a clichéd thing to say, but spending time with the accomplished, creative women in the session was so rejuvenating, like taking a deep breath of fresh, energising air. And the food was the best.  

I’d recommend all you creatives to jump on Blog Society’s newsletter so y’all be sure to hear when the next event is coming up near you… hopefully we’ll see Jaclyn up in Bris this year with something special for us!

* Photos of me, the Blog Society flier, and the group shot by Tea Lily. The rest, as ever, are my own!

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by Catherine on February 27, 2014

in Recipes

Withstanding the goodies served up by the sweets table right across from The Spring Pop Up Shop at the markets each weekend is pretty tough, especially toward the end of the trading day when my energy levels begin to slump. To give myself a fighting chance against the lure of salted caramel cupcakes, I’ve whipped up my first batch of bliss balls today so they’ll be ready take along Friday – Sunday for sustenance.

I’m calling this particular recipe Great Balls of Dates, but the formula for making any sort of bliss balls is simple. You’ll need:

1 cup of activated nuts (that just means you’ve soaked ‘em overnight) + 1 cup of dried fruit (soaked for about 15 minutes to help it soften) + 1 tbs chia seeds + 1/2 cup shredded coconut + 1/3 cup coconut oil + a pinch of whatever spices (or raw cocoa powder) you like.

The end result is like a little healthy(er) truffle; super satisfying and delicious with a cup of afternoon tea. Best of all, they’re easy to keep at the ready since they store well in the freezer.

Great Balls of Dates Bliss Ball Recipe


1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup activated almonds
1/3 cup (raw) cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon chia seeds


1. Soak dates in warm water for 15 minutes to soften.

2. Add dates, nuts, cacao, shredded coconut, coconut oil and chia seeds to processor and mix. (If mixture is too dry add either a tablespoon of filtered water, or a little bit more coconut oil.

3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes then roll it into bite sized balls.

4. If you like, roll the balls in more finely shredded coconut to finish.


Auburn and Green 33-1

Style & Substance is back, y’all, and I’m super excited today to introduce you to Brisbane’s own Brie Manley, founder of the furniture restoration business Auburn & Green.

Brie is a lover of beautiful things, interior design, bright pops of colour, and mixing the old with new. A social worker by training, her passion for creating cheerful, evocative spaces has recently pulled Brie down a more creative path, and when you see her work, I know you’ll agree with me that this girl’s found her calling!

Now at the helm of her own gorgeous online store, Brie creates her one-of-a-kind collection by sourcing top quality antique pieces, working with high-end materials and collaborating closely with skilled craftsmen, all for the joy of breathing new life into the old bones of lovely furniture. The results speak for themselves.

Auburn and Green

// Style

Q: How would you describe your personal style?

A: Eclectic and simple are probably the right words to describe it… I love a nice balance between the old world and the new, and nothing too overdone. I love beautiful textures, pops of colour, and most desire a space to feel inviting and relaxing.

Q: What item in your closet are you loving most this season?

A: My fun, but comfortable Country Road drape pants, my denim Country Road top, and my Perch & Pantry bone earrings, because they go with everything!

Q: What fashion/beauty/decor items are you coveting?

A: It’s hard not to always have a long wish list with so many new and beautiful things around the place! I’m such a lover of interior design, so it’s the home décor items that make their way to the top of my list… these include some of Bridget Bodenham’s ceramics, a Laura Jones painting, and as many indoors plants a I can get my hands on!

Q: Do you have a signature scent?

A: Gucci by Gucci has been my scent of choice for a while.

Q: What’s in your handbag?

A: Some may say too much, but I would say everything that I may need to get me through the day. My phone, purse, keys, pen, notebook, umbrella, tissues, Panadol, peppermint tea, lavender oil (just in case my stress levels are too high), and the list goes on!

Auburn and Green 2

// & Substance

Q: What inspires you lately?

A: A variety of designers, including Megan Morton and Anna Spiro, and as cliché as it sounds, nature! The colour, the tones, the way it can relax and add depth to a space… just beautiful.

Q: What are you reading?

A: Conversations with Creative Women by Tess McCabe. Definitely worth the read for any creative girls out there!

Q: What do you love about your business?

A: I stared my business so that I could work in an area that I’m really passionate about, and to hopefully help people make beautiful spaces within their homes using beautiful boutique pieces of furniture. The opportunity to do this is the thing that I love most about Auburn & Green.

Q: What’s your greatest challenge as a creative entrepreneur?

A: The time it takes to develop your business and craft, and to get your name out there.

Q: If you could jet off anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Europe. I haven’t been there yet, and I know the architecture, design, and culture would take my breath away.

Q: What or who (so far) is the greatest love of your life?

A: My high school sweetheart, Luke.

Auburn and Green2


The Spring Pop Up Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop moonshine mug The Spring Pop Up Shop mason jars Brisbane The Spring Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop The Spring Pop Up Shop

As promised, I wanted to share some photos from The Spring Pop Up Shop’s first weekend. It was a blast! We’re nestled in the bricked in nook of Factory 1 in Boundary Lane (inside the same building as the Boundary Street Markets and SWOP) and I love the way the industrial character of the space plays off against all the sweet crafty and homey bits and pieces that make up the shop. I’m still working out a few design kinks (like extra storage and a comfy place for me to sit while we’re trading) but overall I’m thrilled with how we’ve managed to kit out our little corner, all on a shoestring budget.

I’ll be at The Spring Pop Up Shop in West End Friday through Sunday, 9 – 3pm for the next three months, if you care to drop in and say hello!



by Catherine on February 22, 2014

in The Best of Brisbane

SWOP clothing exchange West End SWOP clothing exchange West End Brisbane SWOP clothing exchange West End Brisbane SWOP clothing exchange West End Brisbane SWOP clothing exchange West End Brisbane

Over on The Urban List today I’ve written a piece about my friends Brigid and Bethany’s awesome clothing exchange, SWOP. This super cool shop is Brisbane’s first sustainable fashion hub where the racks are curated with locally sourced, great quality vintage at prices that won’t make your eyes water. You can actually trade, sell, and buy your whole wardrobe at SWOP, so for all the details, check out my full article over here!

Find SWOP at:  Factory 1, 93 Boundary Street, West End (in the same building as the Boundary Street Markets and our Spring Pop Up Shop!)
Wednesday to Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday to Sunday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm



by Catherine on February 21, 2014

in The Spring Shop

The Spring Pop Up Shop

Hi All,

I’m down in Sydney today hanging out with the Blog Society… but I’ll be back in Bris tomorrow (Saturday) to launch something very exciting… The Spring Pop Up Shop!

For the next three months we’ll be trading every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 – 3 in the cool, industrial interior of the old Peter’s Ice Cream Factory at 93 Boundary St, in the heart of West End. It’s the site of the Boundary Street Markets and SWOP, so we’ll be in most excellent company.

I’m sorry that it’s been quiet on the blog this week – we’ve had a busy few days getting the shop space all put together – and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to right here after our inaugural weekend.

Stay awesome!

x Catherine



by Catherine on February 18, 2014

in Health & Beauty

DIY Surf Spray Sitting under the whirl of the ceiling fan on this sticky, hot morning it’s hard to believe that summer in Queensland is on the wane. I’ve be revelling in the freedom of bare feet in sandals, loose cotton, golden skin and wild, salty curls for so long I can hardly remember what brisk nights huddled by the fireplace feel like – and I’ll be holding onto this summer feeling for as long as I can, until the inevitable cool change pulls me to cable knits and a smart haircut once again.

In the past few months I’ve come up with the perfect hair elixir to channel that beachy, holiday vibe while I get on with real life right here in the city. It’s an effective (and much cheaper, and not drying) approximation of the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, and I love the texture it gives not just to my hair, but my whole freckled style.

My DIY Surf Spray Recipe

1 cup warm water
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp coconut oil
a dab of hair gel
a spray bottle

Just add all the ingredients into a spay bottle, shake, and spritz!



by Catherine on February 14, 2014

in The Best of Brisbane


Last night Mr. Spring surprised me with a Valentine’s Eve twilight picnic on the top of Kangaroo Point. He packed wine and cheese, tea and Toblerone, our Scrabble set, a vintage picnic basket to be use as a ‘styling prop’ (his words) and my camera. As he unfurled his gear at the chosen spot all I could think was “this man, my man, so totally gets me.”

It was the most perfect (romantic and delicious) Valentine’s date I can remember, and how good is he for making sure we’d have these photos to keep and share?

Happy Valentine’s Day from us to you! xo How are you spreading the love today?



by Catherine on February 13, 2014

in Recipes

I’m doubling up on recipe posts this week because when it comes to romance, I’m a feeder. That’s why I’ll be making these fluffy lemon and ricotta pancakes for Mr. Spring and I tomorrow morning.

Soft ricotta and bright lemon zest make a perfect pair, especially when swirled together into an airy pancake; the perfect choice for a Valentine’s breakfast… or dinner in bed if you’re planning on staying in.

Ricotta pancake recipes differ from your standard pancake preparation in that they all recommend separating the eggs and whipping the whites to fold into the batter at the end. It’s a bit of extra work, but worth doing as it’s the trick that gives these hotcakes their lovely, pillowy lightness. For best results, use the freshest whole milk ricotta cheese you can find. Or, if you’re in the mood for something really special, try making your own. It’s easily done, and takes about 45 minutes from start to finish.

Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes


250g/9oz ricotta cheese
4 tbsp golden caster sugar
3 Large eggs, separated
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp melted butter
55g/2oz plain flour


1. Mix the ricotta, sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and melted butter, then the flour too.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.

3. Put a non-stick frying pan onto medium heat and dollop on heaped tablespoons of the mixture, allowing room for spread. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the underside is coloured then turn over and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Serve with warmed raspberry conserve or simply a dusting of powdered sugar and slices of lemon. Enjoy!