October 19, 2016

My Summer Picks - That Shop in Doreen

I love small businesses, I really do. I have worked in retail for both small and multi-national fashion brands, and there's something super-special about a little design and buying team, who choose styles based on what they know their customers will like, because they have a relationship with those customers.

One of the small businesses I've discovered this year is Victorian brand That Shop in Doreen - cute name, huh! The brainchild of Samantha Tupper, That Shop in Doreen began life as a bricks-and-mortar store in (you guessed it, Doreen) and now encompasses an online store with seasonal pieces as well as really fun and lovely social media accounts. Check out their Facebook here, and Instagram here.

Now, I'm sure you all know that Summer is my favourite season. I mean, I can never really be too hot, as long as I'm dressed appropriately in light and floaty pieces. Samantha stocks some gorgeous styles, so I thought I would share some of my favourite That Shop in Doreen picks with you!

My Summer Picks - That Shop in Doreen

I love the short sleeves on this and the sweet little twist tie at the front. And the stripes (who am I kidding, I love the stripes the most). It’s only $35 and also comes in grey and white, and black and white.

Remember how Justin Timberlake couldn't stop this feeling anymore? That’s how I feel about all the off the shoulder tops around this Summer. I'm well aware that they require (gasp!) a strapless bra, but they really are worth it. This one also has an adorable fringe around the hem and sleeves!

If you’re looking for just a great basic top with a little bit of extra flair, this is the top for you. I love the jersey fabric, it drapes beautifully and doesn’t wrinkle. I’m a big fan of the grey marle but it also comes in white for those of you who can keep white tops clean!

Let's be honest here, sometimes the whole cold shoulder style can look a little mumsy, especially with a gaudy print - but I’ve got my eye on this simple black dress because I do like the open shoulder with the ability to wear a normal bra, or throw it on over bathers for a quick dressy option.

I don't know what I wore before I discovered stripe t-shirt dresses? Was I wandering around naked half the time? Who knows! Seriously, this is a fab little number that I have in the navy and white stripe, and wear on repeat every week. Actually, we might as well just call it my Tuesday dress.

A photo posted by katy_potaty (@katy_potaty) on

I’m not usually one for pink... in fact I don't have a single non-activewear pink item in my wardrobe, and my mates Trainee Mama and Blonde Ambition have challenged me to change that this Summer.  This floaty top is so versatile – it could easily be dressed down with shorts for day, or dressed up with a cute skirt or pair of jeans and heels at night.

Probably my favourite TDIS style at the moment, this Blossom Midi Dress is even prettier in person. I wore it for a long day of partying at the Caloundra Music Festival a couple of weeks ago, and received so many compliments. They say it's a midi length, but I'm not the tallest giraffe in the zoo, so it looks like a maxi on me.

A photo posted by katy_potaty (@katy_potaty) on

I continue to put this denim jacket in my cart and then leave it there because it’s going to be too hot for sleeves for the next six months, but stretch in a denim jacket is something that I'm always searching for, and I love the mid-blue wash of this one. If I lived in a cooler climate, this would be high on my wish-list.

Someone recently asked me about the right shoes to wear with Summer shorts and pants for a casual look. I’m a big fan of an espadrille because I think they can be worn with everything from jeans to dresses, and they’re way more casual than a regular flat.

Need more style inspiration? Head to That Shop in Doreen and I'm sure you'll find a few pieces to add to cart too!

*That Shop in Doreen kindly sent me a couple of styles to try, thank you so much Samantha! I was thrilled with the service and my parcel arrived beautifully wrapped, so I'm more than happy to share the love here.

October 09, 2016

What's on in Brisbane - Oktoberfest 2016 and WIN TICKETS TO OKTOBERFEST!

Oktoberfest Brisbane is Australia’s largest German Festival, and it is run by local German-Aussies with a passion for sharing their heritage to ensure an authentic experience. I've been to this before, and it's always a massive blast, with plenty for everyone to do, and definitely no cheesy 'beers and boobs' atmosphere.

Held over two weekends in October (7-9 and 14-16), Oktoberfest Brisbane is expected to be even bigger this year, as the festival celebrates the 500-year anniversary of the famous ‘Bayerische Reinheitsgebot’, the famous ‘Bavarian Purity Law’.

For 500 years, this law has limited the ingredients allowed to brew German beer to water, malt, hops and yeast. Fast forward to 2016, and the anniversary of this law means that ye olde German brewers were onto something clever - we're all chasing simple and pure food and drink!

Thousand of people hit Oktoberfest Brisbane every year to enjoy traditional German food, beers and wine, and experience authentic German culture. So grab your lederhosen and press your dirndl, and head to Brisbane Showgrounds for a festive day of German food and music. For more information, visit Oktoberfest Brisbane's website or Facebook page.

Now, here's the fun stuff - I'm giving away TWO double passes to Oktoberfest Brisbane (to be used over the weekend 14-16 October 2016), simply check out my Instagram or Facebook to find out how to enter!

*Double pass giveaway and all images courtesy Oktoberfest Brisbane, all opinions my own - I love this event!

September 28, 2016

Looking after blonde hair

I'm a bit of a creature of habit. For the last 16 years, I've been a blonde of sorts - not a real, light-up-the-room Scandi blonde, but I've been getting foils and highlights on the regular for almost all my adult life. Right up until October last year, when my regrowth looked so much like bad ombre balayage that I wanted to see what GOOD ombre balayage would look like on me. And I liked the results and I loved the lack of upkeep.

Freshly balayaged in October 2015 for Styling You's #everydaystyle birthday party

I loved the hair salon which gave me that look, and I was really pleased with the condition of my hair afterwards - it's like taking a big break from all-over blonde gave my hair a rest and recuperation holiday. 

My biggest issue with my balayage was that it 'threw warm'. This is my totally untechnical term for the way my mouse-brown hair always has more brassy notes when it's lightened than cooler, creamier notes. This has the undesired effect of making my hair look dirty (even though I wash it every. damn. day.) and kinda trashy.

The way I dealt with this for the last year was to blonde tone the heck outta it, and hope that I just never had that silver rinse look that Bea and the Golden Girls rocked so well. It wasn't until July that I finally found a blonde toning range of products that actually worked for my super-porous locks, and now I'm in love with the Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde collection.

After two weeks of regular use of the Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde shampoo, conditioner and toner, my blonde hair was so much creamier. 

My thoughts on the Blue Cypress range? Well, firstly it really worked. I didn't get that dreaded Violet Beauregarde shade at all, and the condition of my over-processed blonde ends definitely improved after regular use of the leave-in toner. All three of the products smell delicious (think a light Body Shop Dewberry scent, circa 1994 YUM!) and I really only needed to use them sparingly - no palm-sized dollops required just to lather up!

I also had the chance to hit up Marc Daniels Ambassador, Eugene Sokolovs from Gold Coast salon Ette Studio, to find out his top tips for keeping blonde fresh, especially as we head into Summer and all the coastal girls load on the fake tan and lighten our hair!

Eugene recommends using a quality toner on towel dried clean hair, such as Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde leave-in toner to keep blonde in peak condition throughout the warmer months.
The best feature of this time-saving product is that it's a leave-in treatment!

His biggest do's and dont's for blondes?
Regular visits to the hairdresser for colour refresh and cut, wash and condition hair regularly and use a treatment product such as Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde at least once a week.

Blonde ombre and balayage hairstyles are still everywhere, what's the latest spin on them for this Summer?
Balayage and ombré are still highly in fashion. For SS16, 'Nude' hair is popular, where there's an even amount of warm and cool tones applied which cancel each other out to create a neutral colour.

The leave-in toner is now a hair essential for me - I won't leave home without it!

The Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde range is available at Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse, and priced super-reasonably at around $13-$14 for each product.

Please, if you have blonde hair care tips, let me know! What do you use to fight the brassiness?

*I was gifted the Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde range, and under no obligation to write about it. I've tried it now for 8 weeks, and have been super-impressed. Thanks Marc Daniels!

September 26, 2016

5 of the Best Blowdries on the Sunshine Coast

Today is the first is a little series of posts I'm sharing about Spring hair and beauty. Let's all agree that I'm no beauty blogger - I don't know how to contour, Kylie Jenner's lip kits are well beyond my lippie-application skills, and I may have the world's most boring hair. But I'm interested in it all. I have friends with fabulously bouffy hair, and I really appreciate a good brow. So here's hoping I learn a little sumthin' sumthin' when I write these posts!

My locks are limp. Always have been, and probably always will be. I send texts on the regular to my bouncy-haired best mates, saying 'Nah, not coming tonight, I've hurt my neck blowdrying my hair upside down', and 'My hair doesn't want to come out and play with your hair tonight, it's feeling insecure'.

If you're too lazy to lift a brush, or like me, just don't have the skills to create Victoria's Secret-worthy bounce in your limp locks, the solution is a salon blowdry. Once the sole domain of the rich and famous with private stylists on call 24/7, the professional blowdry is fast becoming the quickest way to freshen up limp locks - especially if you've got a BIG weekend coming up. Best part is, the professionals can really make a blow dry last, sometimes up to four or five days with the right products!

Whether you're after a glam retro beehive, Gigi-style blowout (always my goal!) or a casually undone lob á la Jennifer Lawrence, check out my favourite lock-lifting blowdries on the Sunshine Coast, and swish your way through the day in style.

Heads in the Cloud, Buderim
This smart salon doesn't just boast an adorable name; it's practically a description of how high they can get your hair with the magic of their driers! With brushskills that are recognised around the world, head stylist Sam Rizzo can really make you feel like a Texan beauty queen, and he's recently been crowned 2016 Creative Artistic Ambassador for Keune Haircosmetics. The locally owned salon is also often searching for hair models for training, competitions and photo shoots - who knows, you might end up on the cover of one of the world's big hair glossies!

Evalyn Parsons, Moffat Beach

For the coastal Southerners who like to channel a big-haired Southern Belle, the team at Evalyn Parsons know how to transform - and you won't be left waitin' around either, darlin'! Their Glam & Go services will pack a punch, transforming you from drab to fab in under 20 mins for just $30, or if you need a little more work, upsize to the 30-40 min Style package for only $50.

House of George, Maroochydore
The goal: thicker, fuller hair with volume that lasts. The action: book a blowdry at House of George. New salon manager Samantha joins the George team with a wealth of knowledge from her UK-trained background, and official ghd educator. Anyone who can wield a straightening tongs with that much experience definitely knows how to add shine, body and ontrend style to every 'do! PS it's part of the cutest old Queenslander, and their barista serves fab coffee too, so every moment at House of George is totally Instagram-worthy!

Image credit: House of George

Never fear, hinterland readers – you have follicle friends in your part of the world too! Rhonda and the team at Uptown Hair will give you a big city blowdry, with classic regional Queensland service with a smile. Uptown has won Sunshine Coast Business Awards Excellence in Business awards for so long now, that they were inducted to the Hall of Fame - really speaks of a loyal customer base, doesn't it! What really sets Uptown apart is their attention to detail: complimentary beverages served with tasty cookies, stylists who don't treat you like the next part on the assembly line, and plenty of advice on styling your hair at home. Pricing is super reasonable too, so there's no excuse not to pop in and freshen up before you hit the rapidly growing nightlife in the sugar town. 

Universal Hair, Maroochydore
Another Maroochydore salon makes the cut, with Universal Hair consistently nabbing places on 'best salon' lists. With experts in upstyles, braiding and curling, you'll be ready for your big night out in now time. Or if it's a seamlessly smooth blowdry you're after, the soft results from their iron-free blast dries will have you craving such straight hair, you'll be back to book in for their Perfection or Keratin Fusion permanent straightening treatments!

Got a great blowdry salon I missed? Let me know in the comments?

Are you a fan of the salon blow dry?

September 21, 2016

A favourite Spring outfit

After a Winter of cool weather (ok, 10 degrees is mighty cold for a Queenslander), aren’t we all daydreaming about those balmy days at the end of Spring? This feminine-yet-tomboyish outfit would be perfect to wear on bike rides, to brunches and on picnics…

Fate Lilibeth chambray dress from Birdsnest, Amity necklace from Indera Beads, Longoria Fedora from Blue Bungalow, Philly Putty crossbody Louenhide bag, Chill Leopard sandals from Freya and Sabine.

I wear similar spins on this outfit pretty regularly, adding or subtracting a stripe sweater tied around my waist, a kimono, or mixing up the sleeveless shirtdress to one with a print. Simples.

 Do you have a go-to outfit this season?

Don't forget to sign up to get Katy Potaty via email to go into my September subscriber draw to win a luxe Glasshouse candle!

The winner of my August email subscriber giveaway was Louise Mc. I've emailed you, Louise - so holler me back with a postal address! Congratulations!