Latest Posts

happy monday links | five

ice cream | south by north

Before we get into the links, let me start by making a confession. Back in November I boldly stated that the ice cream series was back for summer, and exactly how many ice cream recipes have I posted? That would be ONE. I can’t believe I’ve let this slide, you guys. This is bad news for the blog and my stomach. I have all kinds of excellent excuses; I’ve been away a lot, I’ve been focussing on other aspects of the blog, the dog ate my ice cream maker etc etc. None of this is going to fly, I just need to get in the kitchen and make some ice cream immediately. Nothing should get between me and my ice cream. This will most definitely be rectified in the coming weeks!

Ok, onto the links. Here are some things I have been enjoying around the interwebs of late:

– A genius way to use up shredded paper.
This dress. Gimme.
– Tiny horses and lots of snow.
– Straight up stunning photography.
Hippo soup?! Yes please.
– Can’t wait for this book to come out.
This instagram.

Ice cream image is from my instagram. See more things that I like over on pinterest.


instagram series: from the palm of my hand

#fromthepalmofmyhand | south by north

This year I have set myself a little instagram challenge, to post one picture every week under the hastag #fromthepalmofmyhand. I was inspired by my friend Sally’s #fromwhereistand challenge in 2014, and thought it would be fun to do something similar.

I’ll still be posting my usual pics, but I’m looking forward to finding something a bit different to post each week. Follow along here, and feel free to join in too!


california: coast, vineyards and (not) using my dslr

california | south by north

After our time in Big Sur, we carried on down the coast towards Morro Bay. One of the most beautiful places that we stopped on the coastal drive was Sand Dollar Beach – a wide stretch of sand and huge rocks perforating the surf. We walked on the beach and also along the bluffs on the cliff edge – we were going to head down to Jade Cove, and almost made it but I majorly lost my nerve when I saw how steep the final climb was. I was actually worried we (well, just me really!) wouldn’t be able to get back up.

california | south by north

This part of the trip was booked pretty last minute and we had been hoping to stay by the coast, but everything was too expensive or already full. We ended up reserving our second Air Bnb about an hour inland in a town called Templeton – it was a holiday cottage overlooking a handful of gorgeous vineyards. Considering we knew nothing about the area and booked it mainly based on one picture, it worked out amazingly well. We picked up stuff to bbq for dinner and went for a cheeky wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. Our evening was mostly eating bbq steaks and drinking wine by the outside firepit. It was such a lovely place, and we could have easily stayed longer.

california | south by north

california | south by north

I want to talk a bit about my photography this trip – both David and I had decided that we didn’t want to ‘overuse’ our dslrs, so a lot of the photos I will be sharing are from my phone (like all of the photos in this post). There are a couple of reasons for this. The main reason is the sheer volume of photos that we end up with when constantly snapping away on our dslrs. There have been quite a few trips where we have come back with thousands of photos and multiple memory cards and it just feels like too much, for us anyway. It makes editing them a burden, and also means having to carry a huge camera everywhere. It was actually really enjoyable on this trip to pull out the big camera for certain moments and use my iphone as my day to day camera, just like I do at home. In the end I took around 350 photos on my dslr in the eight day road trip. That may sound like a lot, but considering how many places we visited it felt pretty restrained. For example in LA I didn’t use my big camera once.

The other reason that I really enjoyed this new approach to my camera is that I think it actually improved the quality of my dslr photos. Instead of the constant snapping and knowing that out of thousands I would be bound to find some good ones, I forced myself to be more considered and make each shot count. When editing I only deleted a handful, the rest are all pictures that I am really happy with – usually I would be wading through loads and finding it hard to decide what to keep. It was pleasantly surprising to upload them when I got home and not have to spend several hours editing and organising.

I would love to know how you approach your dslr photography – are you snap happy or do you keep it for special occasions only?

You can see the rest of my California posts here, or check out my instagram, #southbynorthcalifornia

california | south by north

california | south by north

california | south by north

california | south by north

diy: flower crowns

flower crowns | south by north

Before the holidays I shared this post about wreath-making, and on that day we also made flower crowns. Now I know that everyone has been making these for ages, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks that we learnt rather than give you a full-on tutorial.

(Firstly, a tip on why you should even make one in the first place… If you want to be put into the best mood ever, just go and make a flower crown right now. We wore ours out that afternoon and a taxi driver said we looked like princesses and a random lady on the street called us maidens. As a bonus, flower crowns must dilute bitchy resting face, because random strangers on the street usually just tell me to ‘cheer up love’. So there you go.)

Scroll down for actual flower crown-making tips.

flower crowns | south by north

flower crowns | south by north

– If you are making lots of crowns, try to get to a flower market if you can. This will keep the cost down considerably and give you more choice. If you are just making one crown it would probably be more time efficient to pick up some blooms from your local florist, as you don’t need many.

– Give your flowers the shake test! We learnt this the hard way, delicate little flowers can sometimes drop everywhere whenever they are nudged or moved, not what you want for your crown. make sure you choose sturdy flowers that will hold their form.

– Floral wire is not necessary, but floral tape most definitely is. For the neatest crowns form your wire into a circle to fit your head, and then wrap the entire circle of wire with tape. This gives you a better base to work from and looks more polished. Use the tape to fix the flower stems to the crown.

– When you are shaping the wire to fit your head, don’t forget to a leave a little bit of room for all of the lovely blooms that you will be adding! You want the crown to still fit once it is finished.

– Large, heavy flowers (like roses) will need a sturdier base, so double or triple wrap your wire before covering in floral tape.

{Thanks to Olivia, Jo and Gina for their excellent flower crown skills, having especially excellent hair and looking like babes in my photos.}

flower crowns | south by north



california: a tiny cabin in big sur

big sur | south by north

The first stop on our California road trip was an Air Bnb cabin in Big Sur. David came to collect me on my last day at work, and we hit the road straight away. We had apparently chosen the only day of hideous weather in the entire 14 weeks that I was there to start our holiday. Driving on strange roads in torrential rain at night does not make for chilled and relaxing times! A quick stop at In-n-Out Burger kind-of saved the day, and we carried on trudging through the rain. It was a long, slightly spooky (did I mention that it was Halloween night?) but exciting drive off Highway 1 and through redwood forests to get there – we finally arrived at our little cabin at around 9pm.


big sur cabin | south by north

The cabin was up a very steep, and now very muddy hill – we knew this was the case when booking. We parked at the bottom outside the main house (a totally amazing geodesic dome structure) and one of the owners drove us up in his 4wd, sliding around all over the place – it was fun! The cabin was tiny, but perfectly equipped with a cute kitchen and dining area, fireplace and a bedroom nook. The bathroom seemed newly built, it was on the deck right outside the front door and had a semi-open roof. On the first night I was pretty convinced a bear or mountain lion was going to come knocking while I was on the loo – 100% rational thinking, 0% scared of the dark, obviously.

The cabin was surrounded by insanely huge redwood trees and was totally secluded – we had absolutely no phone reception and it was a little hike to get to and from the car. We stayed for two nights making cosy fires in the wood burner, eating pasta, drinking red wine that our host kindly left for us, fending off friendly (?!) spiders and visiting Big Sur national park. All in all, best start to the holiday.

You can see the rest of my California posts here, or check out my instagram, #southbynorthcalifornia

big sur cabin | south by north

big sur cabin | south by northbig sur cabin | south by northbig sur cabin | south by northbig sur cabin | south by north

happy monday (ish) links | four

christmas | south by north

So it’s not actually Monday in Australia, but I’m going to post this anyway because honestly I forgot to post it yesterday (such organised). Also, this is my last post of 2014 and I didn’t want to miss it!!

There is still time to get making before the holiday season is over, so I thought I would share some of my favourite festive diys from the past few weeks.

These simple diy decorations that would look great all year round.
Adorable mini balloons, no puff required.
Magic cookies.
Perfect leggings for Christmas day.
The prettiest tree topper.

You can also check out my 2014 holiday diys:

Some tips for making your own wreath.
Bring the disco to a New Years party.
Pretty paper votives.
Balloon mistletoe for a merry kissmas.

See more stuff I like on my pinterest boards.

Have a wonderful end of 2014! See you next year. xx




wreath-making |south by north

Last weekend I got together with a few friends to make festive wreaths. This meant an early start (which always seems worse on a Saturday somehow!) to head down to the flower markets to get supplies.

To say we went overboard would be an understatement. The words ‘kid’ and ‘candy shop’ spring to mind, except imagine four definitely grown-up women losing their marbles over three bunches for $10. Yep. We literally had to wedge ourselves in the car with flowers and greens stuffed around our legs and on our laps.

wreath-making | south by north

Flower-geddon, as it shall now be known, was followed by a very necessary breakfast and coffee break.
One of the girls has a lovely garden so we laid out a few beach towels, threw all the flowers in the middle and got to work. Now there are are already approximately 7,434,613,059 wreath tutorials online so I thought I would share a few tips instead.

wreath-making | south by north

– Try to get to a flower market for supplies. This will keep costs down considerably, and you will have a lot more choice. Look for a market that supplies to florists, they are usually open to the public on weekends.

– Choose a nice-looking wreath base. We had some natural grapevine wreath bases – these are pretty anyway, so you don’t have to cover every inch. The base could be worked into the design of the wreath, making it more versatile.

– Have some floral wire ready to secure larger stems. The grapevine bases are very dense, so you can poke stems straight into them and they stay put – the wire is handy for anything that is too heavy or feels a bit loose.

– Flowers that will dry nicely, or are already dried will prolong the life of your wreath. Native Australian flowers and leaves (eucalyptus, kangaroo paw, flannel flower etc) are perfect for this. Californian natives would also work really well. As well as natives we used holly, evergreen branches, lavender and dried seed pods.

– If you want to include fresh flowers, use them sparingly so that you can remove them when they die and still be left with a gorgeous dried wreath.

– Make a small half-wreath by wrapping a length of wire with floral tape, and securing the flowers with more floral tape. Make a tiny loop with the wire at each end and thread ribbon through. Bend the wire into an arc.

wreath-making | south by north

wreath-making | south by northwreath-making | south by northwreath-making | south by north

See more from the day on my, Jo or Olivia‘s instagram.



california: hiking in mount tamalpais

mount tamalpais | south by northDave arrived in San Francisco after I had been there for about ten weeks, and one of the things he was most keen to do was hike at Mount Tamalpais. We drove there across the Golden Gate Bridge (which was exciting enough as it is!) and wound our way up to the visitor centre. It was such an amazing drive, we couldn’t believe how high it was. San Francisco looked tiny from right at the top.

Map in hand, we decided to do a four mile round trip, the Steep Ravine trail down the mountain, and the Dipsea trail back up. Steep Ravine was a steep (doh) trail through a magical redwood forest, with babbling brooks and waterfalls along the way. It felt like fern gully come to life.

To come back up, the Dipsea trail starts with Cardiac Hill – this is exactly as you would imagine it to be, and I was rubbish at it. I had to pull it together when a 70 year old man went skipping past me as I was leaning against a tree trying not to get a cramp. Then is a gentle upward wind through a pine forest and along the coastal bluffs, with pretty ridiculous views of the ocean.

If you are in San Francisco it is definitely worth spending a day exploring round Mount Tamalpais – have you ever been?

mount tamalpais | south by northmount tamalpais | south by northmount tamalpais | south by northmount tamalpais | south by northmount tamalpais | south by north