Where I Shop: Need Supply Co.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Unless it's a beautifully curated boutique I tend not to want to go into stores if I can avoid it nowadays. I haven't ever really been a big fan of department stores and I avoid sale days, even major Boxing Day sales. I would rather fork out that extra hard earned cash to shop in peace. Thank heavens for online shopping. I buy almost all my clothes, shoes and accessories online. I've come to rely on certain stores, I've learnt about the differences in sizing and that having a tape measure handy is paramount. I know not many of my readers and friends want to spend hundreds of dollars while trying to put together workable wardrobes, so I've decided to share some of my favourite pieces, from stores I shop at often, but that are fairly reasonably priced without compromising quality. 

Patrick and I both love shopping online at Need Supply Co. They have a great selection of things for men, women and your home. We are particularly fond of their reasonable shipping rates - I refuse the pay $70 for shipping thank you very much! Need Supply will ship internationally for as low as $15. 

Where I Shop: Need Supply

Discovery Scarf $24 - this scarf is also available in beige but I love the charcoal colour. It's perfect for adding a hint of sophistication to your outfit but the texture and the frayed ends are perfect for that 'I just threw this together' type of look.

The Bryce (Boyfriend) Jean $98 - I tried a boyfriend jean in a lighter wash and it wasn't for me, I love the darker wash of this one. 

Dorado in Black $120 - a stylish alternative for those who don't like stilettos heels, and these block heels would dress up your boyfriend jeans nicely. 

Pointy Braided Flat $48 - a great alternative in price and style to the Dorado heel. The braided strap adds something different to make this a fun spring shoe.

Eyeball Print Cardholder $28 - I add colour to my outfits with accessories, if your bags tend to be lined in black, a cardholder in a fun colour and print would be useful to help you find your things quickly. And it's cute. 

A burgundy coloured lipstick ($26) and reptile green nail polish ($18) are also right up my alley!  

Do you shop online? What are your favourite stores? 
Anything fun on your wishlist at the moment? 

A Look At Shoes: Creating and Maintaining A Lean Closet

Monday, April 14, 2014

Often we pay more attention to maintaining our clothes than our shoes. Our clothes get laundered, repaired and stored appropriately, this helps us get a lot more mileage out of our clothing. As a shoe lover I pay just as much attention to my shoes. I try to clean them after each wear, they are taken to the cobbler as soon as the need arises and I use sole protectors on the bottoms of most of my shoes. I see looking after my shoes as an integral part of creating and maintaining a lean closet because they last longer. I've whittled my shoe collection down to a two digit figure and have invested in caring from them and thinking carefully about what types of shoes I need, what fits my lifestyle and what maintaining them would cost.  

My go-to method of looking after my shoes and making them last longer has been the sole protecting product Protect Your Pumps. 

It's just a clear adhesive that you stick onto your shoes that protect them from wear. This is especially wonderful for designer shoes that have soft leather soles or shoes with colored soles. I use them on both my designer shoes and other cheaper shoes.

The first picture below is the sole covered with Protect Your Pumps. These shoes are my school-run-shoes and I wear them all the time. The second picture shows what the original soles look like after 6 wears and protected with Protect Your Pumps. You can read a full review with a video on saving my soles here.

If you end up deciding to try Protect Your Pumps, feel free to use the code VANISHA01 at checkout as the lovely people at Protect Your Pumps are offering my readers 15% off and free shipping! 

Shoes: magenta heels currently on sale

How do you look after your shoes? 
Have you got any tips and tricks to share? 

My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz : More Than Just Recipes

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I came across My Paris Kitchen while looking up new titles to read on NetGalley. To be honest, it was the cover image that got my attention. I certainly hadn't heard of David Lebovitz or his blog. It's not often that I will pick up a recipe book or a cookbook. The ones I do have, have been gifted - mostly by my mother who was probably terrified that her first born would not learn to cook. These days I have two notebooks filled with recipes that I've used over the years that have been edited to what appliances are available in my kitchen, my degree of patience (limited) and what my family likes eating. I wasn't really on the hunt for cook books. No one was more surprised than I was when, over a period of a few days, I read My Paris Kitchen from cover to cover. For the record, I generally don't read cook books this way.

My Paris Kitchen is a collection of stories. Stories of food, stories of memories and stories of emotions aroused by food. It documents the journey of the author with food, ingredients, cookware and a personal journey across countries and cultures. Reading it felt like the complex secrets of the cooking world were being revealed to me as well as gentle explanations of what the more basic rules of cooking were (that any cook should know - in my case, I think my mother gave me all the wrong books!).

As well as stories, this book goes beyond simply listing recipes. It contains guides to wine, cheese, oil, herbs and salts. It provides context to each dish. Lebovitz also touches on the environmental and ethical issues in relation to food. These are introduced in a way that doesn't make you feel guilty about what you have in your fridge or pantry but is a gentle reminder of what you could be doing gradually to become an ethical shopper. 

What I love most about this book is the Lebovitz has kept his (international) audience in mind, "I had to learn to cover every conceivable base when writing recipes for a global audience because something common in France or America, like olives or canned artichokes, just might not be available in Fiji or Argentina." Fiji, I did a double take, given that I'm from Fiji! The anecdotes are humorous but well placed and well timed throughout the book. Like Lebovitz, being a 'transplant' to a new country, it was refreshing reading about his frustrations, challenges and confusions in the area of cooking, entertaining and shopping.

I've already ordered my copy of My Paris Kitchen and have not stopped talking about it. I cannot wait for it to get here. David Lebovitz, thank you for a beautifully written and produced book. I'm looking forward to many wholesome, love-filled meals with my friends and family. 

Do you have a favorite cook book? Do you collect them? 
Have you seen David's blog? I love it! 

You can purchase My Paris Kitchen here (hard cover, on sale with free shipping!) 

Thirteen | Fifty-Two

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I'm a new 'mum figure' to a 9 year old, and sometimes I'm scared to say that I don't find it hard. I don't find it hard every moment of everyday (or almost every moment of everyday), which is how I feel many people make it seem like. Even now, writing that sentence makes me feel bad, I think because I don't find it difficult as much as the next person I am doing something wrong, or that I am not a good 'parent' to this child. Which I know from the bottom of my heart cannot be true. She is happy, healthy, so full of life and love for the world. The hardest thing about this journey has been not only welcoming mess into our home, but being able to see the beauty in it. That is something I struggle with on a day-to-day basis.

A Guide To Teas and Seasons With Tea Coup

Monday, March 31, 2014

I don't know know a lot about ayurveda - the traditional Hindu system of medicine which places emphasis on balance in the body through diet, herbal treatment and breathing. And while I don't really have any intention to delve into the world of ayurveda too deeply, I am, like most people, interested in little tips about how to improve my lifestyle and diet. Today, I'm teaming up with Fehreen, an ayurvedic teaologist from Tea Coup to bring you some quick tips to enhance you tea drinking experience and help maximise the benefits contained in a little cup of beautiful herbal tea. Daily and seasonal rituals are often the easiest to incorporate in our day to day life, so we hope you enjoy this little guide to teas and seasons. 

For summer, Fehreen recommends the Miss Hibiscus blend, this tea can be drunk hot or cold, and has refreshing and cooling properties. It contains a lot of Vitamin C and is packed with antioxidants.

For autumn and winter, the Assam Chai provides perfect heating, it fuels you with enough energy and warmth to get you through the day. 

For spring cleansing, opt for the ZenZai, this tea is also perfect for your morning rituals. It's like having lemon and ginger in hot water but blended with organic ingredients like spearmint, peppermint and black pepper. Miss 9 was drinking this while she was sick and it did wonders for her blocked nose and congested chest. 

Mid-Afternoons are probably the hardest for me, especially when the desire for something sweet strikes. I deal with my mid-afternoon cravings with cleanse water and this Sweet Bohemia tea, perfect alternatives to chocolate! 

Fehreen recommends Rumi's blend as an all year round tea. It's a perfect stress relief throughout all the seasons and is a great evening tea to hep you relax and get ready for a good nights sleep.

One of the reasons Fehreen started blending her own teas was that she found most medicinal teas had a strong, overpowering taste. She set out to create teas that tasted good and were healing at the same time. My family have been enjoy Tea Coup teas for a few weeks now, they have become more frequently requested than hot chocolates and coffees in our home. Especially by Miss 9, which is telling as many children do not like herbal teas. I've had such an enjoyable time learning about teas from Fehreen, though this not a sponsored post. I know how much many of my readers enjoy their teas so we thought you might find a tea and season guide useful. 

Find out more about Fehreen and Tea Coup teas at Tea Coup 
*images from Tea Coup, edited by Vanisha

Twelve | Fifty-Two

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My thesis arrived today. All printed, bound, complete with gold lettering. What a drawn out process a PhD is, and it's still not over. There's a special little ceremony in July, which my friends and family have convinced me to attend. In the meantime, I thought I'd share sections of my acknowledgements page here: 

I acknowledge the children and young people whose experiences and stories are presented in this thesis. Without you I would not have this document; for your time and your knowledge I am most grateful. 

To – my supervisory panel, thank you. While I had to write this thesis and do the work I feel as if you endured the tears, the despair and the joys with me. I was so fortunate to have a panel of people who believed not only in me but in what I was working on, you did not have to but you did and I am so very grateful.

Prof, how do you thank someone who took you under their wing, someone who played the role of a supervisor, friend, mentor, critic and father-figure? I think you justaa work it out over the next many years over many, many glasses of wine. I’m sure the words will come one day, but for today—thank you.

Patrick, marriage is difficult enough without two people who are so strongly passionate about what they do and how they do it. I do not know how we managed to remain so strong despite our differing opinions on an issue that is so close to both our hearts. But we did, and I thank you. Without you—nothing.

To Nam, Trish and Sach, this is the product of the years I spent away from you. It wasn’t easy, especially when I think about how much of your childhood I missed, Sach. Just know that I love you all so much and have appreciated your ability to demand my attention and to draw my focus away from this thesis to the more important things in life—very annoying but also quite necessary. Being your big sister brings me more joy than any other role ever could.

Anthony, for showing an interest in what I was doing and for getting involved. It's been you and me for such a long time—thank you for always being there.  

To everyone who ever had to listen to me talk about this thesis! Nic, for everything, the coffees, dinners, get-togethers and general mischief. My in-laws, dad and Dorothy, for your concern and care—vinaka vakalevu. My two very inquisitive nieces, Ema and Grace, thank you for your interest in what I was doing and your attempts to try and understand it all. Auntie Ros and Roger, thank you for being there for me, and for Patrick—I recall our spirited discussions about research with much joy.

Tongue in Chic: Kirstie Clements

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tongue in Chic | by Kirstie Clements | Melbourne University Press

I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed Kirstie Clements book Tounge in Chic. As a blogger who sometimes blogs about fashion and personal style and tries to make it to the local fashion events it was an interesting insight to a world that I less than dabble in. I particularly appreciated Clements candid commentary on bloggers and public relations people within the fashion world.

Here are my favourite tid bits from the book, simply because I cannot paraphrase or say them any better: 

"PR people would never be seen in photographs from an event. Many are now part of the guard that promotes themselves first and their clients second." Oh so so true. I've met one PR person who thought they were the biggest thing about the brand they promoted and saw what they did as doing the brand a favour as opposed to seeing it as what they were actually paid to do! 

"When clothes are in the hands of the masters, it doesn't matter if they are not to your personal taste; whether or not you would actually wear it is irrelevant. The importance of a great collection was that it challenged your thinking, that it combined historical and contemporary references and stirred the imagination." I have read this to my husband over and over again. It's the perfect paragraph to read before dragging him to a fashion event or show. 

"A prettily arranged macaroon had become the most ubiquitous and kitsch emblem of fashion bloggers, followed by the peony and the Christian Louboutin pump. If all of these things could be combined in one photo - on location in Positano - they'd struck gold." Anyone getting a little tired of these already? I've been finding myself turning away from these blogs/instagrammers, I want something more inspiring. 

"How many selfies of a girl in a bright blue coat leaping up excitedly in front of the Eiffel Tower, or pictures of a Chanel bag placed next to a vase of roses, did we need to see?" As above. 

"It is far more lasting, and meaningful, to say to someone, 'You have beautiful hands,' as opposed to 'OMG, look at your Celine tote!' To me, true style is a person's attitude, intellect and manners. Your fashion sense is irrelevant if your aura is toxic."

"...When I try to recall who have been the most stylish people I've known, it is not their clothes I remember but how they made me feel. Were they intelligent, inclusive, charming, interested in what I had to say? Fashion can be so one-dimensional, and the latest $5000 anything isn't going to disguise the fact that you are a self-obsessed bore." 

This book was a rather tongue in cheek look at the fashion industry and those involved in it from models, designers, PR people and bloggers. It was at most an entertaining read. 

You can purchase Tongue in Chic here

Other related posts: 
What fashion means to me
What fashion blogging means to me

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