Weekend getaway at Maroochydore

With its endless stretch of pristine beaches, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect holiday destination!

I was lucky enough to visit the coast last weekend for the beautiful wedding of two friends.

The ceremony and reception were in Maroochydore, so I was able to explore the area.

Here was where I decided to eat, drink and stay during my getaway.

Sunshine Coast.

Eat

The wedding I attended had its reception at Ebb Waterfront. With uninterrupted views over the Maroochydore River and crisp white decor, the restaurant was both a romantic and contemporary choice.

My friends had organised a drop of steak or fish for the main course, and since everyone I spoke to throughly enjoyed their meal I would definitely consider the restaurant for fine dining in the future.

Beautiful day today at #ebbwaterfront ☀️

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Cafes were plentiful near where I was staying in Maroochydore, with quality coffee only a short walk away from the beachfront.

Recommended by friends local to the Sunshine Coast,  The Beach Street Deli was a brilliant option for brunch. I had the eggs benny, which was delicious… and every meal that went past our table looked sublime.

Your only risk from attending this cafe would be a serious case of food envy!

Situated right across from the Maroochydore Surf Club, The Beach Street Deli has (unsurprisingly) a real beachy feel, with colourful cushions and bright chairs of different designs. I’d definitely go again.

Also, as luck would have it, the second cafe I ventured to during my short break to the Sunshine Coast was just as amazing.

I stumbled upon Harvest Breads + Café just by coincidence. It is an eclectic café meets bake-house, located just across the road from the gorgeous Cotton Tree Park.

Harvest offers extensive breakfast, lunch and sandwich menus, with vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and paleo options… perfect for groups with a lot of different dietary requirements!

I had a banana smoothie, plus sweet potato savoury waffles with zucchini, bacon, poached egg and chilli maple glaze. So yum! The waffles weren’t like anything I’ve ever had before and the chilli made the meal so moreish, providing just the right amount of spice.

Drink

I dropped in at 10 Toes Brewery in Alexandra Headlands on Friday night to meet friends, and would recommend it to craft brew lovers.

The brewery keeps things simple and relaxed – exactly what comes to mind when you think about the Sunshine Coast lifestyle.

Housed in an industrial shed, 10 Toes allows you a look at the behind the scenes process by keeping things open-plan.

Snapped surfboards and racks of surfing magazines adorn the walls and a mix of high tables with stools keep things casual.

If you’re unsure of what to choose to drink, you can grab a tasting paddle and work your way from light to dark. Too easy!

Stay

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation on the Sunshine Coast.

I chose to stay in a three-bedroom apartment at Catalina Resort with friends for the weekend, as it was close to the venue for the wedding we were attending.

I used booking.com and the price was a bargain – perhaps because of current construction going on in Catalina Building 1 (due to the works we were upgraded to building 2).

The four star resort was in the perfect destination, in walking distance to the patrolled Maroochydore beach and nearby eateries and shops.

With a kitchen and laundry facilities, the apartment was fully self-contained and spacious, and it was lovely to go for swims in the outdoor pool and enjoy the bathroom’s spa.

The only gripes would be that for a three bedroom apartment, you would expect a public bathroom, but instead two bedrooms had ensuites. This meant the third bedroom occupants had to go through one of the other bedrooms to use the bathroom. Added to this, a large opening in the shuttered sliding door, did not provide as much privacy as would be expected for a luxury resort. I’d be open to booking here again, but would call ahead to make sure I was in an apartment where this didn’t happen.

Sunshine Coast.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend away for a wonderful occasion.

If you have any Sunshine Coast tips or have any questions about my stay, I’d love to hear from you, so please comment below.

Until next time,

My Eclectic Muse x

Get the squad together! 7 ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day

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February – it’s the month that celebrates love.

With all the reminders around Valentine’s Day – flowers, chocolates and sentimental cards filling stores plus specials filling your email inbox – it’s near impossible to not think about love in your own life.

When you take out the pressure to celebrate a certain way or mark the occasion it with gifts, Valentine’s Day really just comes down to a cause to celebrate love.

Love comes in many forms, including friendship. That’s where Galentine’s Day comes in.

As the name suggests, it is a day for women to celebrate their female friendships.

Amy Pohler’s Parks and Rec character Leslie Knope coined the term for the holiday that occurs every year on February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. As Leslie herself explains on the show:

“Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.”

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There’s no reason to ditch the idea if you and your friends aren’t all free on February 13 either.

You could get together on Valentine’s Day itself or later in the week.

Being single or alone around Valentine’s Day can be hard, even if you’re perfectly happy being single every other day of the year.

I’m in a relationship, but with my partner working away most of the time I am usually dateless on Valentine’s Day.

Luckily for me I have some beautiful friends whose birthdays are at this time of year. This year on February 14 I’ll be heading out for dinner with some gal pals and I can’t wait!

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Just like with Valentine’s Day, it’s up to you how you celebrate.

Looking for a few last-minute ideas on how to spend Galentine’s Day? Here are my seven suggestions.

Watch a girly movie.

Settle in for a rom-com marathon or head to the cinema with your friends. This is perfect for those who have partners that may not enjoy watching soppy flicks. There’s sure to be a tonne of Galentine’s Day fans going to Fifty Shades Darker this year.

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Wine tasting.

You could head out to a venue and go wine tasting, or you could bring the wine tasting to you and beat the heat by making frose (frozen Rose) or wine pops. Pair your frozen treat with an antipasto board and a killer lady jam playlist and your night at home just got elevated.

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Farrrshion fun.

With so many stores spending their advertising dollar at this time of year to get you to buy a new V-Day outfit, it can be hard to resist. If you’re saving your pennies, you can still treat yo’self to a mini shopping spree, by organising a clothes swap with your best buds or going on a thrift store date.

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Get active with the gals.

Hit the gym together, Youtube a yoga session from your lounge, or put on your roller-blades for a Instagram worthy Galentine’s Day snap.  After having a sweat session, you’ll have no reason to feel guilty about binging on popcorn and Netflix after!

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Pot luck and present swap.

Either all cook a dish, or if you’re all too busy, make it a takeaway pot luck night. By having your Galentine’s Day invitees ordering different kinds of cuisine to share, you can guarantee all your cravings will be satisfied.  Instead of blowing your budget and buying gifts for all your gal pals, have a Secret Santa style present swap. Pick a name from a hat and buy one gift for one friend.

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Make it a DIY spa night.

Have everyone bring their favourite nail polish or beauty treatment and pamper yourselves from the comfort of your own home. You could hit up Lush or look up some DIY face masks, that can be whipped with the items in your fridge.

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Create a decadent dessert.

If your squad suffers from major sweet tooth, try making your own chocolates or dessert of choice for Galentine’s Day. The best friendships equals a no judgement zone, so go ahead and have that second piece of cake.

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However you choose to celebrate spread some of that Galentine’s Day cheer!

You and your friends deserve some loving.

Until next time,

My Eclectic Muse x

Where to eat, shop and play in Stones Corner

Stones Corner is located in the heart of Greenslopes, just south of the Brisbane CBD.

Stones Corner, an unique precinct just 10 minutes south of the Brisbane CBD, is packed to the brim with diverse retail stores, craft beers and culinary delights. It’s also my local area and the place I spend most of my downtime.

The quaint tree-lined shopping strip is known to most Brisbanites, mainly due to its long history and former glory as the in-spot for outlet shopping.

Although it’s not much of an outlet mecca anymore, it’s eclectic character definitely makes it worth a visit. The last couple of years have seen a swarm of different funky cafés, fusion restaurants and chilled bars pop up.

Also, like much of inner city Brisbane. there’s plenty of apartments going up in the surrounding neighbourhood at the moment, so the landscape is sure to change in the future too.

Here is a quick guide to some of my favourite places to eat, shop and play in Stones Corner.

Over the past couple of years, numerous new bars and retailers have opened their doors in Stones Corner.

Eat

In Stones Corner, you get the pick of every cuisine, from authentic thai cuisine from Chili Coco, to Indian Mexican fusion at IndiMex, to New York inspired eats at 5 Boroughs.

And if you’re a fan of brunch, like myself, you are in luck as Stones Corner has a myriad of amazing cafes.

There are so many options for brunch, but one of my favourites to is Moreish. With an industrial vibe, perfectly-brewed Campos coffee, delicious gourmet food and super friendly staff, Moreish is where I take all my visitors.

Its open for breakfast and lunch, and my recommendation would be the savoury mince and haloumi dish. It’s simply devine! There’s tasty vegan and gluten free options, plus it’s pet friendly…I don’t have a dog, but who doesn’t love puppy watching?

Another venue that is always popular with my visitors, or good for a mid-week Trivia session, is the Shady Palms Cafe & Bar.

Shady Palms Cafe & Bar is a suburban oasis of cool – a rustic bar full of character and eclectic furniture, with a lane way and a courtyard out the back.

Shady Palms Cafe & Bar in Stones Corner.

Here you can dress casual, enjoy chill vibes and funky beats, and indulge in the vibrant flavours of the Americas  while sipping on a craft beer, cider or cocktail.

Think dirty fries loaded up with brisket, cheese, bacon bits, mustard, BBQ sauce and ranch – so many condiments and so incredible! Also, wings, tacos, specials and so much more!

Shop

There’s a fashion fix for every unique style in Stones Corner.

You can get your next elegant event dress from the boutiques stocking formal wear or source clothes and furniture on a budget, by getting your thrift on at Vinnes or the RSPCA Op Shop.

Little JC Boutique is where I’ve managed to find much-loved outfits – it has a great selection of the latest trends and classics that are affordable.

Play

Right next to the Stones Corner strip is Hanlon Park and with the South East Freeway going right through it, it’s the perfect place for a run (the Stones Corner parkrun meets there) or bike ride. There’s also kids playgrounds and adjacent fields.

Hanlon Park is just adjacent to Stones Corner.

When you’re walking around the area, you can also check out some bright urban art, from moody murals to sneaky graffiti spots, there’s a lot of colour to inspire.

If you want to stay indoors, do not pass go, Go Lounge that is – it’s a board games lounge, that also serves coffee, and with around 300 games in total it’s sure to have your childhood favourites on hand.

Also, keep your eye out for when the 2017 Stones Corner Festival is on. Each year brings the event brings big names in music, world food markets and craft beer to the streets of Stones Corner. It’s not to be missed.

Thanks for reading! I hope the next time you need to pick a place to meet up with friends, or the traffic crawls to a stop on motorway, you’ll stop on by and stay a while in Stones Corner.

With the Stones Corner Bus Station and Buranda Train Station nearby, plus free parking in the streets surrounding the main shopping strip, Stones Corner is an easy to access hub.

I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions for places to go in Brisbane, or further afield, so please comment if there are any cafes, bars or shops you recommend.

Until next time,

My Eclectic Muse x

Stones Corner Bus Station.

20 thoughts that sum up the Brisbane heatwave

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I live in a furnace called Queensland.

It’s a pleasant place (actually, pretty darn spectacular) most of the time. Just not when there’s a heatwave.

There’s a heatwave. It’s been going for almost a week and it’s hot. Bloody hot.

Unfortunately, a reprieve is not in sight.

Temperatures are tipped to climb as high as eight degrees above average as a second heatwave (yes, we get two…aren’t we lucky?) in as many weeks makes its way across the east coast.

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Did I mention that it’s hot here? I’m not sure if I did, since the heat is making me a bit woozy.

So, to recap, it’s hot. Also, here are 20 thoughts I’ve had while sweating it out.

It will give you an insight into how I’m coping… I’m not.

  1. It’s time to wake up. I’m going to drown myself in a cold shower immediately.
  2. What on Earth can I wear? Corporate dress etiquette and the fiery pits of hell don’t go well hand in hand. Dark colours hide sweat patches, right?
  3. Why am I even attempting to put on makeup right now? It is literally melting off in front of me. Sweat moustaches really aren’t a good look on me.giphy (3)
  4. The humidity. Oh the humanity. Also, my hair is not coping. Buns all week it is.
  5. It’s a crime that I have to get public transport in this heat. I need floo powder. Magic may be out of reach, but I’d settle for travelling like a dolphin and being hosed down.
  6. How is that woman wearing a jacket and long pants right now? Where does she come from that this weather is any way tolerable? Get changed at work, crazy lady!
  7. I’ve made it past the threshold. I am at work. This air-conditioning is pure bliss. Can I live here? The building is alarmed, so no I can’t.
  8. Wait, coffee. I love my morning coffee ritual. But it’s so hot, and so is my beloved coffee.
  9. How do those women look so put together and happy? What deal did they make with the devil to be so unaffected by this heat? Is said deal still on the table?
  10. Am I waiting for a train on a platform or a pit of fire? My train is delayed. I may not make it.giphy (5)
  11. I’m home. This is awful. I need a Hydralyte.
  12. Now is literally the worst possible time for my air-conditioning to be broken. How hard is it to order a part? Can we pay extra for quick shipping?
  13. What type of person doesn’t put in ceiling fans when building a house in Queensland? An insane one, that’s whom.
  14. If I lay really still with two fans directed on me I may stop sweating. Hah, you poor deluded fool. Wrong!
  15. giphy (1)How am I ever going to sleep in this? Oh right, I won’t. How much sleep do you really need to function anyway?
  16. I don’t care if anyone can see in and the sunlight starts coming in at 4am, I’m sleeping with every window and curtain open.
  17. I can’t believe I’m jogging in this heat. How is it this hot at 6am?
  18. I’m just going to walk slowly for a moment in this shade until I can force myself to keep moving.
  19. Why are people just leaving for their run now? Maniacs.
  20. What do you mean there’s a second heat wave coming? The first one is still here!!!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to survive this heat and be back blogging soon.

Until next time,

My Eclectic Muse x

Who made my clothes? Fashion Revolution by Fashion Hub Qld

Fashion Hub Qld Q&A event for Fashion Revolution.

Fashion Hub Qld Q&A event for Fashion Revolution.

Who made my clothes?

This is the question that Fashion Revolution wants people to ask themselves this week.

It’s a question I was contemplating after attending Fashion Hub Queensland’s screening of the film, The True Cost.

Fashion Revolution’s annual campaign (April 18 – 24) seeks to ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased.

The event on Tuesday night at QMC Cinema in Kangaroo Point, prompted by the campaign, was incredibly eye-opening and thought-provoking.

Designers' modeled at the Fashion Hub Qld event.

Designers’ modeled at the Fashion Hub Qld event.

To coincide with the screening Fashion Hub Qld held a sit down with Q&A with talented Brisbane designers who ethically manufacture their labels, a photographic expo, as well as models wearing garments from the talented designers.

The designers included George Wu, Maiocchi, Gail Sorronda, Julie Tengdahl, Black Milk Clothing and Nico Underwear.

Designers' garments on display at the Fashion Hub Qld event.

Designers’ garments on display at the Fashion Hub Qld event.

From labour and sweatshops costing lives to sustainability and the frequency of seasons, The True Cost a myriad of issues, and proved to be a true education.

Fashion Revolution’s mantra is ‘Be Curious, Find Out and Do Something’ about it.

I hope this blog post has made you slightly curious. The True Cost is a well-made documentary and definitely one I would recommend…in fact, I’d recommend organising a screening night with your friends over a glass of wine and clothes swap.

You can also take part in the campaign by posting a photograph on social media, tagging the brand and asking the question #whomademyclothes to get the real story behind what they’re wearing.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,

My Eclectic Muse x