Saturday, July 28, 2012

Must Love... Nook

Anyone who is a fan of the Finders Keepers markets will feel instantly at home when walking into the quirky boutique that is Nook (19 Browning Street, West End).

The shop stocks unique homewares, bedding, stationary, art work, clothing and many things in between.

A few of my favourite items were the always hilarious Able and Game cards (my latest fav is pictured below), and the Ah-Tissue pom poms hanging from the ceiling.

The exciting thing is they've just undergone a renovation that saw them double in size! I can't wait to re-visit and see the changes they've made and browse through all the new stock.

Photos courtesy of the Nook blog

Happy shopping!

Popcorn x

Must Love... Cabinessence

This morning my friend Laura and I continued our breakfast date tradition by venturing to a little, unassuming cafe in Paddington.

Keeping with the latest trend to hit cafes throughout Brisbane (Flea Market Chic); Cabinessence (117 Enoggera Terrace) was recommended to Laura by word of mouth, and you would be forgiven for thinking this cosy little den was the home of a local (admittedly one who likes to entertain a decent amount of people on a Saturday morning).

There is no sign announcing it's presence and milk crates, one-of-a-kind vintage garden settings and benches dotted with pillows and littered around the entrance are the only give away that this isn't a shabby home in need of a renovation.

Photo courtesy of The Weekend Edition

Now, if you're after a sit-down breakfast with a wide selection, this isn't it. However, if you're in a no fuss coffee and grab a bite to eat kind of mood, Cabinessence will deliver. There isn't a menu, but the staff are quick to rattle off a few suggestions: muesli, Spanish tomatoes with ricotta, and the highly recommended avocado on Turkish bread, splashed with lemon juice and pepper.

Needless to say, Laura and I both ordered the avocado. They were brought out on vintaged plates any op-shop would be proud to sell, and the serves of avo were lavish - at least one centimetre thick. If you like your lemons, this dish would be right up your ally!

We also ordered our coffee usuals: a skinny latte for myself and a soy mocha for Laura. My coffee was nice, but I have had better.

Locals who want to stop in for a break from a leisurely weekend walk (dog-in-tow if you please) would probably be the best demographic for this simple, but eclectic Paddington find.

Join me back here soon for more coffee catch ups.

Popcorn x

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Must Love... The Conversation

It was during a conversation with my lovely friend Bird, that The Conversation was introduced to me. We were discussing the TV shows we had been watching lately (I had just finished The Real Housewives of New York and was eager to get into a show that actually had some substance), and Bird recommended this unconventional talk show where woman of note curled up casually on lounges and talked about what it means to be a woman in 2012. 

There are eight episodes hosted by Amanda De Cadenet and executively produced by Demi Moore, in which well known female identities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady GaGa, Alicia Keys, Portia de Rossi, Eva Mendes, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Silverman and Jane Fonda, discuss how they have gotten through challenges in their lives, how they have learnt to become comfortable in themselves and how empowering being a woman is in society today.

The show examines the obstacles these women have had to endure and how they came through them with the positive attitudes they all radiate. So many issues that everyday people can relate to are covered - from infidelity and divorce, surviving cancer and eating disorders, depression, losing a child, bullying and making something of yourself when you come from nothing.

I was really inspired watching this show, it reassures viewers that it is OK to be you and that there is no better time to start being the best version of that than right now. The biggest thing I took away from listening to these amazing women is that you are responsible for your own happiness. If you base how you feel on any external factors like your career, your partner, possessions or even your children, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and unhappiness. Be happy in yourself and you will be able to draw joy from all these things, but if these external relationships don't happen as you want them to then you can still find happiness within yourself.

You are the only constant thing in your own life - you will always have yourself, so you better learn to love yourself, accept yourself and tell yourself that you are beautiful. And if you don't feel this way, find out what you need to do to change this and work towards it.

In between the episodes, The Conversation website also publishes articles discussing what's happening in the world, and people writing in with their own experiences. Amanda says on the site "It is my genuine desire that [it] will be a space that refuses to judge, criticise or separate women from one another. I hope you will come to trust this as a place where you will hear some truth and won’t get sold another useless product or have the latest fad diet or media propaganda pushed on you. The stories will, as best as possible, reflect every woman’s voice without exception."

At the end of each show Amanda always asks the same few questions of each women - What do you lie about, what are your vices, what's your favourite sex position and what would you tell your 14 year old self. Needless to say, these always produce some interesting answers.

Here's a little promo to get you hooked, as I have been. I introduced the show to my Mum, and now to you and I hope you pass it on to others.


Popcorn x

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Must Love... Chet Faker

When listening to the gravelly, soulful voice of Chet Faker, a 22 year old white guy playing music in his shed is not the first thing that comes to mind.

The new EP Thinking In Textures, is aptly named – featuring what I like to call “chilled soul” vocals mixed with funky but well thought out electronic sounds, this record has produced one of the most interesting combinations in music at the moment.

The Vine interviewed the man behind the name - Melbourne based Nick Murphy, earlier this year, with Murphy revealing that these songs weren’t actually created with the intention to play them live.
It was a passion project. I sat down and thought 'You know what, I'm going to just write music that I really want to write and that I think is cool.'

“I've kind of always thought, you can spend time on trying to get it to the right people, or you can spend time on making sure your music is better. In which case, other people will spend time on getting it to the right people. If your music's good enough then people will like it and as a result it will eventually reach the right ears. But then that's pretty easy for me to say with the run I've had. I've had a pretty crazy rollercoaster year.”

Crazy would definitely be the word to describe the response Chet Faker received last year after uploading a few songs to his web page and making them available for free downloading.  

Frankie Magazine sums it up in their latest issue, “Before he’d played five gigs, Nick Murphy had already reached number one on the internet’s biggest MP3 blog aggregator, Hyper Machine. Before double-digit gigs, he was picked up to play South by South West. Before his 20th gig, he was signed to Downtown Records, Gnarls Barkley’s record label.”

A pretty impressive fete, but well deserved. Murphy comes across as nothing less than honest, down to earth and passionate almost to the point of obsession about making music.

He summed up beautifully how music should be made in his interview with The Vine, “I feel like there's two ways to be in the industry now. You can produce [music] a certain way, make sure you tick certain boxes of likeability. Or...I mean at the end of the day, music was made to express a particular human emotion. And if you can do that accurately, then people are going to respond to it, regardless of whether you're some smoking hot blonde with a million dollars behind you or not. If the song is genuine you can still get to where you're going to go, without having to sell your soul.”

His music is the kind that transports you to a better place; a different destination depending on which track you listen to.

The newest single getting some serious Triple J airplay I’m Into You, takes me to an intimate bar setting – it’s cosy and dark apart from the low-lit exposed light bulbs draped from the ceiling and the flicker of candles. The person you’ve only recently started seeing is next to you, skin lightly brushing against each other, passion radiating and minds wandering.

Cigarettes and Chocolate, on the other hand, causes my mind’s eye to see a sun filled summer festival day, looking around at the beautiful friends you’ve come with, throwing your head back smiling, hands in the air and dancing around the melodic music and ebbing vocals.

Personally, the cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity transports me back to Year 9 and my discovery of RnB music. Hearing this song recreated this way is perfectly symbolic of the changes in my musical tastes over the years. I still enjoy a good RnB song, but I really just love any song in which the artist makes you feel what they are feeling, or draws you in with their voice.  And Chet Faker is definitely guilty of that.


P.S. Chet Faker is touring the country in September, with most tickets going on sale on Friday 20 July, 2012.