The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach to you"
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
in the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Oh let you be (oh let you be) my Teddy Bear

EXCUSE me, today whilst window shopping around Bondi we found these ridiculous teddy bears. Look at this little guy. Look at him good and proper.

Possibly, the cutest thing I've ever seen. I am loyal to my bear of 26 years, Fluffy, who has traveled the world as my companion - but she will definitely be gaining a new friend this year. Perhaps around the 9th of August...someone?

I'm obsessed. These are made entirely from Australian sheepskin too - I like that because they're local and 100% au naturale. And so soft it's just silly. I didn't really want to share this with you because I want to be selfish and keep all the good toys to myself, but Cupid Stoopid shot me in the bottom and told me to play nicely.

FlatOut Bears

I love you, I like you...




If you follow a lane down Santorini, where all the old and beautiful houses painted in stark whites wind down along the the escarpment of the island, you would find these etchings at the end of the maze.

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey

Everyone has heard the saying, 'The way to a man's heart is through his stomach'. I think we can safely say this philosophy can be extended to include the fair maidens among us. Providing you can be trusted to keep your mitts out of the mixture, baking is a great gift idea. It's a gift from the heart, usually well-received and it's extremely earth friendly, given that there's comparatively less machinery, transportation and packaging involved!

If in need of inspiration, visit Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases, to find sweet treat recipes such as the silly cherry kisses pictured above.

Come on baby, light my fire

When choosing candles, it's on good authority that Cupid would always opt for Beeswax. The mainstream alternative to Beeswax is Paraffin. Queen B is an Australian stockist of beeswax candles and explains, 'Paraffin is a petro-chemical by-product which emits a toxic smoke when burned. To make this waxy sludge more 'palatable' it is then bleached (which creates dioxins), processed and then texturised using carcinogenic chemicals.' 

Not so much the stuff of romance then...

Todae stock these creative card & beeswax sets. Some might say, they are the bees knees! (The pajamas of the cat, even.) The card comes with a flat sheet of beeswax inside so the lovers can roll up their own natural beeswax candle together. Think Patrick Swaze, Demi Moore & the pottery wheel in Ghost. It's all about making 'together time' for art and craft, people. Romance: On.

Chocolate makes the world go round

What Miss or Mister could dare call themselves your Valentine without coming forward with the good stuff? For chocoholics of the Earth Goddess variety, again, it's about packaging, thinking local and being aware of the company's ethics. Fair Trade is a good place to start.

To be Fair Trade certified, a company must guarantee that suppliers don't use child or slave labour and that workers are paid a fair living wage. Often, Fair Trade certification also involves environmentally sustainable production and harvest practices.

Haigh's chocolate, made in Australia, will you be my Valentine? There's a great Haigh's store on the corner of the Strand Arcade in Sydney. Haigh's is an original signatory to the National Packaging Covenant - an industry initiative to reduce the environmental effects of packaging on the environment. Amongst other practices, they harvest rainwater which is filtered and used to produce steam for indirect cooking processes.

If that, and the amaaaazing chocolate, is not enough, Haigh's are also heavily involved in wildlife conservation and awareness - most notably for Australia's native Bilby - which can be captured in-store in delicious cocoa form.

And look -  here is a bunch of chocolate Murray Cod swimming towards your boyfriend. (Towards, away from, potato, potarto.)

Flowers? Check. Chocolate? Check. Next you'll want to think about mood lighting. Tomorrow.

Cupid Stoopid

With the 14th of February approaching, how can you show LUV to the planet as well as to your special little dreamboat? All it takes is a little smarts.

Begin with a card. E-Cards from Hallmark are a cute way to let loved ones know you're thinking of them without so much as busting out a postage stamp. For those more romantically entwined, an E-Card simply will not fly. Eco-princess or not, any girl would be smitten to receive a gorgeously vintage card like this from the Earth Greetings range.

When considering flowers, (less considering, more purchasing, please) the key is to 'think local' and know your florist. When it comes to environmental awareness, Sydney's Essence Flowers and Gifts has got it covered. They stock organic, eco-friendly gifts and use recycled materials where possible. Essence also supports community projects such as the Busselton Community Garden.


Tomorrow: CHOCOLATE.


“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Coco Chanel

Today I'm simply going to borrow the words of Coco Eco editor, Anna Griffin. The strong message that prevails through her words is that this environmental caper does not have to be too daunting to embrace. As I hope is evidenced through these pages, the actions of change actually bring a great deal of enjoyment through discovery, creativity, innovation and an overall sense of well-being and power. It feels good to have such an influential force as the fashion industry taking a lead.
"Coco Eco Magazine is based on substance. It’s founded on passion because the truth is, the world as we know it, is in huge peril and so are we. You don’t have to be a subscriber to or to have even seen Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” to know about it.

Everyday we’re hearing news about shrinking polar ice caps, or lead-based product recalls from China , rising levels of cancer, or dwindling wildlife populations, not to mention, ferocious wildfires and hurricanes. It’s everywhere, and the news about it can’t be missed. To believe that these incidents are not tied to global warming is naive. With commitment we can stop the damage to our planet.

It’s the time to do something about it while we still can. Every woman has the chance to take a stand. Not just for herself, but for the friends and family in her life now, and in the future.

Unbeknownst to us, we have enormous power and it’s not through petitioning local government. It’s women who buy the groceries, clothing, household items, skincare, and make-up, even cars. Need I go on? Through our choices we have enormous purchasing power and the ability to shift standards and implement change. Influence more stringent regulations in the everyday items that affect our lives. Commit to a healthier standard of living. Money is power and we spend a lot of it so it makes sense to start spending it well. And it comes with the additional bonus of whilst helping the planet; it’ll be good for you too. 

We’re not suggesting you accumulate new eco-friendly things to replace the conventional items you already own. In fact, quite the opposite! Being eco aware calls for a review on how we’re living and how we’re spending. Take inventory of your life and choose what you can live without, and be brutal with yourself. Realize that everything you purchase came from somewhere and has to go somewhere. And in that new space, start choosing something positive. Make your money count and put it back so it can reap more. Recycle, reuse, restore, and reinvent. Purchase organic. Support local, sustainable and fair trade. Get creative! And don’t get overwhelmed! Even if you only do one or two things, it all counts.

Most importantly, have fun! There’s a new world of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty out there to explore. Fantastic, stylish and healthy products and companies are immerging everyday.

So ladies, strap on your “Stella’s” and get with the program! It’s time to take a stand"

Coco Eco.

My Library, My Love

In 2007-2008 I lived in London and during this time, I held membership cards to three different libraries in three different boroughs. In case you’re wondering - no - this was not because I found myself on the wrong side of the law in Library Land. I had not pilfered books, nor did I need to escape any livelihood-crushing fines - I simply happened to live in a few different places.

Anyway, my library cards saved me over there. The London lifestyle necessitated penny pinching, and then there was the time I lived in a tiny studio apartment in Earl’s Court with no television and a sorry excuse for an occupation. My love of libraries extends beyond the symptoms of poverty, however.

My devotion is shared by one Carrie Bradshaw, who, Sex & the City fans will recall, professed her love of pre-read tomes in the movie when she declared with affection, ‘they smell so old’.

She is right, they often do smell a bit old but I can’t say that is the real attraction for me. Here is why I <3 my library card:

1. At upwards of $20 bucks a pop and 1-2 books per month, we’re looking at an annual saving of $500-1000 (minus late fees – it happens). Unless I truly must OWN a book, swapping with friends and borrowing are my preferred methods for literature trawling.

2. I get to borrow books on anything and everything that takes my fancy – stuff I would never hand over money for. For this reason, I am educated on a wide range of topics such as, ‘Dream Interpretation for Beginners’, 'Why Men Marry Bitches' and ‘Aeronautics for Dummies'.

3. I advanced with a jovial prance when I discovered on a recent visit that my local library now has a self-service counter which means I can now borrow WHATEVER I like without receiving poorly concealed looks from the librarian (I won’t tell you what I borrowed to earn that look).

4. I love books – but it’s no secret that I love trees more. This one is self-explanatory and I hope that this, if not any of the reasons above, will encourage you to channel the 'Eco Bookworm' within and get yourself back to the library. It's where all the cool folks roam after all.

Go Papyrus-Free

Dear Alexandra,
Thank you for choosing to receive eStatements. Enjoy less paper and numerous benefits, including:

Greener planet. You are helping St. George to reduce our use of paper and impact on the environment.
From: Alexandra
Sent: Saturday, 6 February 2010 6:36 PM

Dear Mr. Bank Manager, 

You're totally welcome. I have been waiting for you to introduce paper-free documents for a very long time now. I never look at my statements, they just accumulate in a ghastly pile on my desk. Thank you for helping me to save the trees and for no longer spoiling my afternoons with your unwanted reminders about my credit card bill.

Hugs & Kisses.


Pride can stand a thousand trials,
the strong will never fall
But watching stars without you,
my soul cried.
Heaving heart is full of pain,
oh, oh, the aching.
'Cause I'm kissing you, oh.
I'm kissing you, oh.
Touch me deep, pure and true,
gift to me forever
'Cause I'm kissing you, oh.
I'm kissing you, oh.
Where are you now?
Where are you now?
'Cause I'm kissing you.
I'm missing you, oh.


Remember when you were little, and you had something like this?

Or maybe you were like me and you did not have something like this, but you yearned for something like this. I recall a mix of envy and excitement when I went to play at Kylie's house, with her luxury cubby all decked out like the Masterchef kitchen.

I remember this one time when I was on school holidays and I was playing restaurants... I presented menus and I made my Mum and brother sit on a tiny green kid-size table and chairs in the middle of the driveway. I can't remember what I served them at my restaurant  probably Vegemite sandwiches or some such gourmet  delight.

Now that I'm a big girl I can play with real ovens and stuff if I want to.

This morning I made some Jam Drops a family favourite. My Grafton Nanna always used to make them and they were the best.

This afternoon I'm visiting my (Great) Aunty Til (a.k.a. Matilda Flint). Aunty Til  is 96 and she really is the cat's pajamas. I think she'll appreciate a Jam Drop or two.


Grafton Nanna's Jam Drops

1 1/2 tbsp buttter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted

Combine butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Add vanilla essence. Combine. Add flour to the mixture. Roll dough into balls and place on greased tray. Add jam to indentations in each ball. Bake at 180°C for 10-12 minutes.