Photography workshop with Brooke Holm (The School)

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Having never taken a photography class in my life, I jumped at the chance to attend Brooke Holm's workshop as part of Megan Morton's 'The School' Melbourne roadshow in May. It was held at Small Giants' head office at St Kilda, which was just a beautiful old colonial style building with timber floored rooms and windows of light you could literally spend all your time looking out of.

These are some of the shots I took that were the result of the awesome interior styling genius that is Megan Morton. I'm a little bit tempted to take one of her styling classes next time and also become a hoarder of amazing interior things.

I brought my old 40D, which I hadn't used in a long time, along for this class and I have to say, I really reconnected with the concept of using a DSLR. The class was quite good, Brooke was incredibly generous with her knowledge and although the class size was a little too big for one on one time with her, I gained invaluable knowledge on framing, post editing and developing my own style. All of which I now apply to every single photo I take, iphone included.

If you're interested, Jump on The School's website to find a class near you.



Hobba, prahran

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I bought a new camera last week, finally updating my old canon 40D to a full frame 6D. Besides kicking myself for not making the leap earlier, I've been taking it out on mini test runs all week. We stopped by Hobba for lunch and I was pleasantly surprised to see a few changes to the place since my last visit, more tables, that lovely poster and a bigger kitchen. The menu also underwent a change so it was nice to try all new dishes. My friend, D, had the bubble and squeak which had a really interesting brown butter hollandaise sauce. Meanwhile, I ordered the braised pork, and the combination of the fried egg, tear apart pork, radish and sauce made for a perfect brunch meal. Hobba is such a nice warehouse space to have a meal with friends, I don't know why I don't come here more often.

As for the 6D, I don't know how I'm going to get any use out of my Fuji X-pro. Sure the Fuji is more compact and the images are fantastic but the full frame is amazing. It might just be a case of the new and the shiny so we'll just have to see.

Hobba is located at: 428 Malvern Road, Prahran, VIC, Australia

Random Pictures of the week (Dec 2-8)

1. Celina had me over for a BBQ. It was so yummy and fun! Thanks for having me :) 2. One of the pedestrian bridges over the Yarra river was wrapped like a present. How cute! 3. I didn't intend to go but I found myself drawn to the Melbourne Design Market. I seem to go to every one of these. 4. Lazy thursday was spent in Mornington. We went to La Patenque and the only view, besides some horses in the adjacent winery was the mower getting rid of the weeds in the garden. It was very exciting, not really. 5. Random carpark machines in St Kilda.

The Design Files Open House

The Design Files open house happened over the last couple of days and we went on the opening day, which was also a really really hot day. Thankfully, there weren't a lot of people and we were able to walk around and get a good look at the rooms, which were incredible. Besides the open house paper, we also got a free copy of desktop magazine. I haven't read it in ages so it was nice to reacquaint myself with it. At the house, I fell in love with everything (including the actual building) but only took 1 item home. A wooden board by Treehorn Design. Looks great as a display piece, does it not?

I'm already looking forward to next year's open house.

Random pictures of the week (Nov 25-Dec 1)

1. Sunday was Markit, it was very successful and I did all my Christmas shopping! 2. Whilst at Fed Square, we came across Patrick Dougherty's Stickwork. 3. Lunched at China Red. Love Xiao long baos. Although we had more fun ordering thru the touch screens than eating. 4. Carved my Christmas card stamp. Coming up with the design took 4 weeks and carving took 4 hours. My first big original stamp. 5. On the hottest day of the week, T and I went to Mamasita, we're totally in love with the street style corn. More please!

Akachochin, South Wharf


I may have already mentioned Akachochin briefly in previous posts but the first time I ever went was for dinner. It was after the Grand Designs Show and my friend, D, decided she had a hankering for Japanese food and I remembered that Akachochin was in the vicinity of the convention centre.

Being a friday night, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were able to grab a table without having prior reservations. Even so, we were shown to what I think is the best seat in the house, sushi bar seats! It was really fun watching the chefs prepare an enormous sushi boat for another table and the seafood looked extremely fresh.

Since it was our first time, we took a gamble and ordered a few things off the specials menu and some off the regular menu. Small portions made it easy to share and the casual atmosphere was perfect for a friday night dinner.

My favorite dishes were the Chicken wing dumpling and the Wagyu meatball and I would suggest dessert elsewhere if you had time..

I Scream Nails @ Heroes and Villains

I love nail art, but I tend to never do it myself because I'm impatient and it can be fiddly. Excuses excuses I know. I'll find the patience if someone else does it for me though, and since my sister was in town, I booked us in for nail art with I Scream Nails. Where do I find these things? I subscribe to newsletters from The Thousands and Broadsheet, I suggest you do too, there's always something going on

I Scream Nails is a pop up shop by Celia, her cute nail art is all hand drawn, which makes it even more amazing! She's usually located in the North and her pop up is currently at Heroes and Villains. If you're located in the east like I am, trust me, it is worth the trip. The sister and I had our appointments at the same time, her nails were done by Tracy (pictured above) whilst mine were painted by Celia. You can choose nail designs from the wheels available and there are so many colour and design combinations you can request, you can check out previous combinations on the Facebook page.

To be honest, we kind of went in with a vague idea of what we wanted but changed our minds completely when we were there. The sister ended up choosing a 4 seasons type scene on her nails and I went with a more geometric crosses and triangles design. I love the colours that were available and the designs were so cute. So cute in fact, we were stopped numerous times during the rest of the day to be complimented and asked about them.

Oh by the way, it's AUD35 for a full set of nails. Check out her Facebook page to find out where her shop lands next!

Random photos of the week Nov 11-17

1. We went to Fitzroy over the weekend, the weather was great and we stumbled upon the Rose Street market! 2. Had dinner at Huxtable, unfortunately, my hay fever was acting up so I couldn't enjoy it fully, which was a shame as I'd been looking forward to dining there for a long time. 3. Tried the Korean BBQ at Hallah, I highly recommend it, the marinated beef ribs were so good! 4. This is my third time at Akachochin, definitely a new favorite place. Can't go wrong with the lunch specials. 5. Brunch/Tea at Luxbite, the menu has changed a bit since I last went. There was a white and black funghi sandwich and some bakkwa on a charcoal bun. Both yummy and interesting.

Outfit: Rose among thorns

Topshop open shoulder pullover | Rag and Bone jeans | Topshop buckle boots Bershka spectacles necklace | McQueen by Alexander McQueen razor blade leather wrap | Chanel Bracelet

Photos by Jimmy America

The Victorian State Rose Gardens in Werribee is one of the state's best kept secrets. Unfortunately, I forgot to check if Roses were even in season so most of the bushes were rather bare. No matter, it was still a wonderful place to walk around.

The ouftit, It's not very often I buy an open shoulder top but the ombre detail was too pretty to pass up. Don't know if it was a good idea..even though it was a nice day, it was still a bit breezy. The 2 bracelets were recent acquisitions, I can't pick a favourite between the 2.

Which do you prefer?

(Green) Tea Cupping Class at Bistro Vue


 I love tea so I was excited to find out Bistro Vue was holding a series of Tea-cupping classes. Did you know there are Tea Sommeliers? Neither did I! Vue Du Monde's Tea Sommelier is Charles Serveau who taught the class.

I attended the class with Celeste and Bec. We were one of the first to show up so we had plenty of time to admire and look around the beautiful private dining room located at the back of Bistro Vue. It was also a rather informal setting so the class was easy to follow once we got past all the heavy (yet highly informative) history/technical stuff of course. We got to try a selection of teas from around Asia. The most important thing I learnt was that I've been brewing my tea the wrong way the whole time. doh. I've since fixed that and my tea has been that much more enjoyable, I even went as far as to buy a hand held weighing scale, drinking tea is serious business yo.

Tea tasting was followed by lunch, complete with teas to match each course. It was amazing, each course better than the last, there was even a matcha whisking demonstration by Charles. To top it off, we were given little bags of tea with Charles' own blend of black tea and a cookie from Bistro Vue that I devoured that same day. Yum.

Bec and I were hoping to sign up for another of the classes but we found out they were all full so we might have to wait for the next round. hopefully soon.

Subi Q

I'm always excited when a new place open nearby or on my route home. I noticed Subi Q on my tram ride homes and found a friend to come with.

2 things that were confusing: 1. It's a BBQ place but the diners don't do any of the BBQ-ing, which was a little disappointing. 2. The decor/menu was a mix of Japanese/Korean influences. For example, the scrolls were in Japanese but the images below them were korean.

Besides those minor details, the food was actually pretty good, the meat was beautifully cooked and I thoroughly enjoyed the Tofu entree and the Bibimbap. We were also hoping to see some soup on the menu but there was none.

I don't know if I'd want to go again, I quite enjoy actual Korean BBQ where the grill is in front of me and I get to cook it myself. That's where the fun is.

Subi Q on Urbanspoon

Napoleon, Degraves & Sticky Institute

I'd gone to the city to see the Napoleon exhibition at the NGV one saturday and realised that Sticky Institute would be open. What else to do but pop by, but not before admiring the newly renovated riverside facade of Hamer Hall.

It's this amazing space, where the smell and sound of the photocopier are more soothing than annoying, the walls are filled with little tidbits of people's lives just waiting to be discovered and random conversation is welcome (as I found out when a fellow browser started one with me). Even more amazing is the basement space it's in, and it leads up to Degraves street, a bustling cafe street.

By chance, I also found some of the Mali in the city sculptures. How cute are they?

Hello Sandwich! Workshop @ Craft Victoria

Hello Sandwich! was in Melbourne for a month long residency and as a big fan, I was sad to find that I'd missed out on her Harvest Workshop sessions but as soon as I'd discover she was doing workshops at Craft Victoria, I signed up straightaway.

It was a paper notebook workshop and I had so much fun hearing about her journey, Japan stories and learn new techniques from her. I think I might've been a bit too engrossed in my notebook to engage in conversation at one point, the materials on the table had so much potential I didn't want to miss out on any one of them, a particular weakness of mine, to be honest.

I learned so much and it was so inspiring, everybody's notebooks were pretty amazing. I even got a picture with the lady herself, exciting!

After the workshop, I stopped by Wagamama for lunch, I think the bentos have improved. yum.

Kaneda Japanese Restaurant

I was in the city for MIFF one weekend and had a quick Daiso/Lunch session with Violet and James. They're always so good about my indulging my food cravings. I'd wanted really good Japanese food and they suggested Kaneda, located in the Mid City Arcade along Bourke.

Having never really stepped into the Arcade, I was surprised to find such a gem, the food was delicious, quick and cheap. Also one of the few places to do a Kara-age properly I reckon. Violet and James recommended that we have the soft shell crab. It's a winner, definitely.

Kaneda Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Calligraphy at CAE

A few weeks ago, I took a Calligraphy day class at the CAE. The classroom reminded me of my Tafe/Uni days and we had a fantastic teacher. She was patient and made sure we got the basics right. We worked on a letter type called 'half uncial'.

Strangely enough, the letter I had most problems with was 'K', I managed to get it right at the end of the day though. Trying to schedule practice these days are hard, I know, that's a terrible excuse.

Have you taken a class lately? I'd love to know!

High Tea in Winter

Lifewithbird Dress | T by Alexander Wang Cardigan | Inoui Scarf | Kate Spade Clutch | Country Road Heels | Comme ca ism Necklace

Off the shoulder by Essie

Outdoor Shots by Celeste

I've been to high tea at Myer's Mural Hall before, Click through for the pictures of that visit. This time I went with Celeste and Siera. I love girly high teas. The food and music was as I remembered, still my favorite high tea venue.

The outdoor pictures were taken in a lane in QV, completely spontaneous. We were on our way to Lupicia because my tea supply at work had run out. I ended up with some lovely plum green tea. Tea for work sorted.

I bought that clutch at the SoHo based Kate Spade New York boutique earlier this year. My sister was picking gifts out for family and friends and I was having a wander around the store. I first spotted the neon green transparent version of that clutch first, but a transparent bag is pretty much a deal breaker (although, never say never). I found this on another shelf and thought that it was quite different and it's now something I adore completely. Always hoping I can use it but usually reaching for the black classic clutch instead.

Melbourne: Mopho Noodle Bar

I had fried chicken and beer night with Ting today! I love fried chicken so much, I refuse to eat KFC anymore because it's just bad. I love that Ting shares that love of fried chicken with me hence beer and fried chicken night. Mopho Noodle Bar in South Yarra is one of our favourite fried chicken joints. The weird thing though, is that it's obviously a noodle bar and the last time we were there, the fried chicken was an off menu item, you had to request it. We're not big fans of the noodles there, a bit too fusion for us, but they do know how to do a good chilli salt fried chicken AND it's now on the menu, hallelujah.

Mopho is located in Yarra Place, just off a lane next to the train station, it's really quiet on a weeknight so you won't need a booking, they seem to do mostly takeaways. It's a pretty non descript timber exterior:

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We already knew what we were having so the only decisions to be made were of beverage and that was pretty easy too. Hello, if there's Asahi, give it to me!

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You probably didn't need that image, but it's been a while since I've had it…visual reminder.

Oh yes, the chicken. It's a chilli salt fried chicken as I've mentioned before and it's located in the 'starters' area of the menu, 6 for AUD10, order as many as your tummy can take, seriously.

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The 2 of us polished off 24 of these bad boys, we were contemplating another 12 but decided against it, I'm sure I'll live to regret that decision but after craving it most of last week, I'm quite satisfied now.

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I might, just might decide to try its other noodle dishes but as long as they're rolling out this fried chicken, I'm going just for that.

If you love fried chicken, go go go.

P.S if you see these at Costco, buy them! They are amazing!

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