Friday, June 29, 2012

The Grounds

Had lunch at one of my favourite new Sydney spots yesterday with some girlfriends.
If you haven't yet been to The Grounds its a 'must visit' . Amazing veggie & herb garden, in amongst a gorgeous outdoor space (great for coffee & a treat in the sun!), divine raw brick interior space, great simple food. Although don't expect to get a table quickly, we waited for half an hour yesterday (on a thursday) & when i went last on a sunday it was an hour wait! Only thing lacking? No wine (or champers or beer)! So it was fresh ginger beer for us!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Dare Gallery Screens

The lovely folks at Dare Gallery (which is one of my fav furniture shops, they have the best solid timber dinignt tables!) sent me over these gorgeous screens to have a look at! Got something you need to conceal or a room to divide? These are a stylish & simple idea - and a bargain at only $129.00!
My favourite is the one below but check the rest of them out here. If your in the market for some new furniture for your place they are having a pretty good sale at the moment too! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wedding heels!

These were the heels i wore on my wedding day.....

Its seems like a shame to keep them hidden away in a box!
Im thinking of doing something like this with them - what do you guys think?!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ODC Inspiration; Jodie Mcleod, Writer & Editor.

Its time for the next once daily chic inspirational interview! This week I'm talking with writer & editor Jodie Mcleod. Jodie and i met a little while back and i worked with her on the page i styled for Complete Wedding magazine. I found her answers so interesting as its a field i don't have much insight into. She also shares some of the trials & tribulations of working solo, which i can totally relate to! if your self employed you should check out the website she edits 'Flying solo'. Hope you enjoy our chat as much as i did. 

Name: Jodie Mcleod
Age: 30
Job description/ Role:
Freelance writer and editor; currently editor of the website Flying Solo, Complete Wedding Sydney magazine, Cheap Eats Sydney 2011-12, and the soon-to-be published bookazine, Shop Like a Chef.

Educational background:
I went to high school in Wagga Wagga (Kooringal High) and uni at University of Wollongong, Bachelor (Hons) Creative Arts (Creative Writing).

Does what you studied at university relate to what you currently do?
Kind of but not really… I always wanted to write, which is why I did my degree, but quickly realised that writing fiction for a living wasn’t going to happen straight away. I needed a bit of money behind me first, and so I got into the kind of writing that makes money (well, some at least!) – which is journalism. My degree didn’t really relate exactly. I wrote short stories for four years – fiction, not journalistic articles – although I did do two subjects in journalism and editing during the degree. That was my only insight into the world of magazines and feature writing, and I liked it. I liked telling stories. University basically taught me how to tell a good yarn.

If not, how did you learn the skills required to do what you do?!
I learnt how to write features by reading them in newspapers and magazines. I read a lot – and when I liked something, I worked out what the writer had done to make it good, and I tried to emulate that. Even now, when I read the paper, I often focus on the writing techniques and who the journalist is more so than the subject of the article! I also learnt by getting a job in the industry and slowly, very slowly, learning the ropes.

What was your first job out of uni? and/or did you work in the industry during your degree?
After my degree I went on a work-experience binge – one week at one magazine, the next week at another. All were magazines that I ideally wanted to work for (arty, music-related magazines). I think I did work experience at four magazines before applying for my first job as a writer for a B2B magazine for the human resources industry. (I had to look up “human resources” in the dictionary before writing my application – that’s how little I knew about it!)
I didn’t work in the industry during my degree, so I was fairly lucky to land a job straight out of uni. The reason I got that first job was because they asked me to write a feature article as part of the application process – and it must have been okay.

What advice would you give others wanting to get into the writing or magazine industry?
Wow, there’s so much advice I could give! Work experience is really the key. Focus on the publishing company or magazine you want to write for, and try to land a work-experience gig there. Not only will you make connections and have the chance to make an impression on future employers – you’ll get to see what the office is really like, and what the people are like. It’s such a massive transition moving into full-time work, and if the environment is not supportive, you have to question if it’s really something you want to get yourself into long term. I know “beggars can’t be choosers” when you desperately want a job after uni – but make sure it’s the right fit for you in more respects than just the magazine content.

Essentially, you need to offer to do work for a magazine for free first (note: this industry is very tight!), just until they know you and trust you; and if you’re good, they will come back to you with a position or with freelance work. It’s in an employer’s best interests to hire someone who already knows the way the office works and who gets along with the team than risk employing someone who might not fit.

The other entry point is to freelance for a magazine first – but it’s so much harder to get on an editor’s side early in your career when a) they haven’t met you in person, and b) you haven’t got a portfolio of published work yet. An editor is more likely to choose freelancers they or their work colleagues know than to take on a fresh-out-of-uni freelancer. Again – with freelancing – a possibly entry point is to offer to write something for free first (especially if the magazine is on an insanely tight budget), or at least on spec, so the editor can gauge your passion and skill. And if they like you, they’ll come back to you.

Did you start off doing freelance writing while you worked full time?
Yes. No matter what job I’ve had, I’ve always freelanced on the side, which can make for very long working days! I pitched a lot, and got rejected a lot, but the key is not to take rejections personally. There are so many reasons why an editor might not take on your idea – maybe they’ve got all the writers they need, maybe their budget is too small and they’re embarrassed to say, or maybe your idea wasn’t the right fit for the magazine. Try to find out, in any case, but otherwise – take rejections on the chin.

Now you are freelance, who are you clients & how do you find them?
My days are taken up editing Flying Solo and Complete Wedding, and I am only just beginning to find a bit of time for some more freelance writing. For me, the way it works is: I have an idea, I think about what magazine might publish that idea, then I pitch that idea to the editor or deputy – whoever the decision-maker is. Sometimes you have to find out through a few emails and phone calls who is the best person to pitch to.
 In the past I’ve developed relationships with some editors who then would give me a constant stream of work – which is fabulous if freelancing is your full time job. This is what you aim for in that situation – to build those reliable contacts and relationships that will ensure a steady flow of work.

How have you marketed yourself & your work?
I have some wonderful friends (Tim Lucas and Carla Hackett) who have helped me build a website (, which shows sample of my work, and also who helped me design business cards. These have come in handy.

I attempted to start a blog, which is an excellent tool for writers nowadays to promote themselves, but I have found it difficult to keep it running since I work so much! The best promotion for me has been getting my name into bylines and magazines as much as possible, and being able to recognise where those bylines/magazines can take me – “If I get that byline then it might make me more attractive to that editor, and if I get in that magazine I’ll get a foot in over there,” and so on. You can keep side stepping up the ladder (or to wherever you want to get) by doing that. I used to try and promote myself as an arts writer, but there are so many more interesting things to write about – I didn’t want to constrict my expertise in the end.

What is your favorite part about running your own business?
I have always been a very solo worker, which is not to say I can’t work in a team, but I’ve always thrived when working on my own. I’m my own boss, which I like, but I have very high expectations of myself, so if I don’t perform – the boss gets angry! I find I have a greater desire to meet my own expectations than those imposed on me by someone else. And I love working from my beautiful home!

With spots like this to sit & gain inspiration from, its no wonder jodie likes working from home!

What is the hardest part?
There have been times freelancing when the work hasn’t flowed in, and that can make you feel a bit panicky. Then there have been other times when the workload is so big and deadlines so tight that you wish you had a no-surprises, nine-to-five job. It’s learning how to deal with those peaks and troughs that can be hard.

What does your schedule on a typical day look like?
I’m a morning person, so I’ll get up early and sit at my desk at 7am, have a half hour lunch break, then knock off around 3.30pm. But sometimes I’ll break up my day with a bit of exercise or odd jobs. Some days I have to commute to Sydney (from the Blue Mountains), so my weeks have a lot of variety.

Do you ever get writer’s block? Any tips on conquering it?
I haven’t really had writer’s block when writing features, because there’s always a story to tell. There’s always a place to start. Certainly I’ve had it with fiction writing, though – and it’s all to do with confidence. You just have to accept that you’re going to write pages of shite before you get to the good stuff, and in accepting that, you can usually break past the writer’s block barrier.

Who or what inspires you?
Without wanting to sound soppy, my husband, Pete, inspires me – his enthusiasm for life, his work ethic, his creativity and humour are pretty incredible. I get inspiration from reading writers I love (non-fiction and fiction), or by listening to interesting interviews with fascinating people. The other way I get inspiration is by running – I love running on tracks and trails in the Blue Mountains. I find it clears the mind, and you can really nut out an idea just by putting one foot in front of the other, getting your heart rate up and getting out into nature.

Any favorite websites/blogs/magazines?
I religiously read the Good Weekend and Spectrum sections of The Sydney Morning Herald every Saturday. I like a big, meaty features. I’m also really into podcasts at the moment – Richard Fidler’s interviews on Radio National are fabulous.

What would be your dream writing job?
Any job that allows me to talk with and tell the stories of interesting people.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
In a similar position to where I am now, but with more feature writing. 

And outside of work what do you love to do in your downtime?
So many things… Running, spending time with family and friends, eating good food, drinking good wine, writing music, yoga, travelling… 

and climbing cliff faces by the looks of it!

Drink of choice?
It’s winter, so I’m really into red wine at the moment. In summer, it’s sparkling and good quality chardonnay. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


Ive probably posted this picture before, but was looking at it again & just love it. The morning after our wedding i found one of my bridesmaids bouquets inside the basket of the bike! She didn't realise she was allowed to keep it :)  Isn't it divine - i asked the florist, Michelle Collison at The Shady Fig in Nowra, for mostly white flowers with different textures & lots of fragrance. I am really affected by fragrance & will often recall events simply by a smell. Thanks to Michelle, i will forever remember our wedding day by the smell of gardenias & tuberose. We decided on the bold stripe grosgrain ribbon to modernise it a bit &I loved how she did it with huge thick trailing pieces. 
Not to mention the cute tags! They were intended to come off, but we they they were so fun we left them on!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Life Styled home tour {via the Glitter guide}

To finish the week off I had to share this visual feast of a home tour of Catherine Shepard of The Life Styled 
that was featured on The Glitter Guide this week - i love everything about it, all the images just make me smile! 
This girl has some serious style - id love to rock out in a fluro yellow t shirt & a blue tutu (without looking like an idiot!)
As for the pinboard over her desk? Perfection!

I especially loved her answer to the question at the end of the story;

How do you sparkle? 
I love to sparkle literally, whether it’s with my favorite gold glitter belt, rhinestone loafers, or 80′s vintage sequins. But the best way to sparkle is just to make the most out of each day – drinking champagne when it’s not a special occasion, writing a handwritten thank you note, maintaining a clean and clutter free space (trying to at least), or buying fresh flowers from time to time. It keeps the mundane away!

all images via The Glitter Guide 
photography by Sarah Yates

Thursday, June 21, 2012

4 weeks till paris!

I saw an add for the tour de france on sbs earlier & almost lost my mind with excitement!
I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that this year we will be watching it on tv (as we do every July...all night...every night) but this year FLYING TO PARIS TO BE THERE FOR THE FINAL DAYS (and in france & italy for 5 weeks after)!!!!
Sorry for shouting, but i think my excitement warrants yelling! Woohooo!
And if you need a reminder about how fanatical my husband is about 'Le Tour' (or are new to my blog & didn't get to experience his post around this time last year) go back & refresh your memory of bens guest post here. Very funny. Im not sure if I've mentioned it before, but as part of our trip we are doing a 7 day cycling tour through the french a little very afraid! Ive also been out training (yes training for my honeymoon...who does that?!) a few times a week & trying to build up the kms & my ability to ride up hills (& down them at speed!). The tour features some of the most infamous climbs of the tour de afraid! But as Ben has pointed out, i did make him trek to Mt Everest base camp, so its now his turn to make me do something thats going to hurt!

and of course.....  :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I found these illustrations on tumblr a while ago & just love them...
Cant pinpoint what it is & both are quite different but they are quite gorgeous arent they!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Poetry in a backdrop

I love this idea for a wedding ceremony backdrop.
Its so simple, yet bold & romantic at the same time!
and all you'd need is a roll of paper, a rod to hang it from & some nice words :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Miranda Kerr in British Vogue.
Love her!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Manicure Bling

loving this. anyone know of a good metallic gold nail colour?...might give it a go!
Althoiugh i fear it could either look really cool...or really awful! 
I alternate between nude & black at the moment, it depends on my mood & what the weathers like...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Enjoy life now!

I thought of this as i was lying in bed this morning listening to the rain & sprang out of bed!
...but then again lying in bed on a public holiday monday listening to the rain is kinda enjoying life isn't it!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sonnet 17

Ben, generally a man of few words, gave the most amazing speech at our wedding.
He spoke beautifully about our parents, grandparents & other special people in our lives who have made us both the people we are today.
I think most of the room shed a tear at one point or another. He ended it with this poem to me...
I proceeded to blubber so much my false eyelashes (& all my makeup!) came off!
Im a lucky girl.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vitamin boosters

With this chilly weather setting in in Sydney i think some of us (ahem, me) might be in need of a vitamin boost! 
Loved this image - definitely inspired me to get the juicer out before i head off into the cold today!

Here are some other great combo's! I always add celery & lemon to my juices :)
A good tip is to buy your ginger from the local asian supermarket. It's so much cheaper than regular supermarkets. 
Also great for garlic, coriander & asian greens - last week i bought a bag of about 50 peeled garlic cloves for $1.99! 
Not that i put garlic in my juices, i put it in just about everything else though! 
And while your there, check out all the yummy wontons, dumplings, tofu & noodles - so easy to make your fav asian soups at home!


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