October 31, 2012

Sydney ABCD Meet-Up: Let's Talk About Instagram

Last chance! If you missed out on the last Sydney Instagram Meet-Up then you won't want to miss this Saturday's dual Instagram & Sydney ABCD Meet-Up , celebrating all things social media.

Join myself, Jayde from Little Paper Lane, Steph from Bondville and Lisa from The Red Thread for a leisurely pot luck afternoon tea this Saturday 3rd November from 3-5pm in Rozelle's Callan Park. Bring along a little something sweet to share with everyone; tea and coffee will be available to purchase from Sweet Jane's Travelling Teahouse.

Sound like fun?  RSVP now to join us...I can't wait to see you there!

October 29, 2012

10 things I learned & loved this weekend

The title of this post was inspired by a series over on one of my favourite blogs, Bright Bazaar. The man is onto something - when the words don't flow easily isn't it better to just write a list? 

Here's 10 things I learned and loved this weekend (in no particular order):

1. Halloween parties are awesome.
2. Drinking 'punch' out of a bucket filled with fake eyeballs will give you a hangover
3. Vegan chocolate truffles are amazing
4. Being inspired by the uber talented and ridiculously humble Julie from Cloth textile
5. Watching MTV's new reality show 'The Valley's' is like a train wreck, you can't look away
6. Sometimes you just need a day to cuddle on the couch and let the world pass you by
7. Hand knitting, while listening to a presentation, is surprisingly relaxing
8. Tess McCabe, who organised this past weekend's CWC event is a super woman
9. Dumplings (fried or steamed) are my new favourite thing
10. Seasonal Concepts in Redfern is a taxidermy/flower/prop heaven

What made your top 10 list this weekend?

October 26, 2012

inside out & iscd colour workshop

It's ironic given the lack of colour in my wardrobe, that I find myself drawn to classes and workshops bursting with it. Maybe the universe is telling me something or perhaps I just can't resist the allure of a glue stick and a glass of champagne?  Such was the case at this past Tuesday's event hosted by Inside Out magazine and ISCD (International School of Colour & Design).  

Any night were I can eat delicious food, whip out a colour swatch and meet some interesting and talented people is a winner in my book. This night did not disappoint. Of course in true Jaclyn style, despite being surrounded by a sea of colour, I was still dressed in head to toe black. One step at a time...

October 22, 2012

thirteen by 2013

I've never been a fan of New Year's resolutions.

Despite the best of intentions, by April my goals and aspirations become a distant memory and so for the last few years I've rung in each holiday resolution-less and I'm happier for it. I am, however, a list maker through and through so when I read this post from August Empress about making goals before the year started, I was hooked.

Here's a few things I'd like to tick off the list before I say hello to 2013...
  1. Grow out my fringe (or bangs)
  2. Learn to shoot in manual
  3. Try a recipe from my Movida cookbook
  4. Face my fear of public speaking
  5. Run a 10K
  6. Hear one of Jimmy's songs on the radio
  7. Backpack in South America with my partner in crime
  8. Try a yoga trapeze class
  9. Wear red lipstick (or eyeliner if I'm feeling really daring)
  10. Start a new quilt
  11. Skype with my family once a week
  12. Go to the open air cinema and watch 'The Goonies'
  13. Hike in Sydney's Royal National Park

Are you a fan of resolutions? What's on your 'end of the year' to-do list?

p.s - a very happy birthday shout out to my sister, Melanie - here's to another adventurous year! 

Image pattern: August Empress

October 21, 2012

spring break

A lifetime ago, my college roommate Susan and I hit up Daytona Beach, Florida in pursuit of the ultimate spring break getaway. We hit the beach, cruised the strip, drank our weight in frozen daiquiris, danced to techno and slept in our car. It was glamorous.

A decade later, in need of a getaway, our group of friends decided to recreate the spring break experience (in name only), swapping the streets of Daytona for a little slice of heaven overlooking Werri Beach in scenic Gerringong.

As expected we indulged in too much food, nana naps, a trip to Berry, competitive boardgames, wine tasting, whale sightings and embraced our very own weekend catch phrase - yolo ("you only live once") that we all found to be hilarious, ridiculous, strangely addictive, slightly embarrassing and over the top cheesy - the very pillars of a true spring break experience. 

Mission accomplished.

October 19, 2012

blog brunch: bloggers guide to sydney

I'm a huge fan of collaboration. 

I think that working with others is how we grow and challenge ourselves and often it leads to new opportunities such as the one above. This post here says it much more eloquently than I ever will and mirrors my own thoughts exactly. Go on, have a read.

I was happy to team up with Blog Brunch on their new City Guide series and hope the spots I've mentioned here in my Bloggers Guide to Sydney inspire you as much as they did me.

October 16, 2012

the cubicle blues

Working in a cubicle lends itself to some pretty dull moments throughout the day: the click of the mouse, the buzz of the computer screen, the endless stream of emails – you know the drill. I almost jump out of my chair in excitement when a new magazine comes across my desk. Just a bit of color to brighten up the day can change your mood or provide a glimmer of hope in stark cubicle land - am I right?

So you can imagine how happy I was to see that this week’s e-course assignment was to create a mood board that reflects your blog and/or your own personal style (or in my case, what I wish was my personal interior style) Without hesitation I picked up some scissors and a glue stick and got to work.This was just the task I needed to get my hands dirty and step away from the computer. I wanted to create. I encourage anyone that scoffs at crafting to give it a go -  you’ll be surprised at how much fun can stem from a few magazine clippings.

I did this exercise a few years back and its striking how similar my boards came out. Same but different, isn't that always the way?

October 15, 2012

abcd & sydney instagram meet-up

Do you remember a few months back when I teamed up with the lovely Jayde from Little Paper Lane to host our first Sydney Instagram Meet-Up? Well it's happening again and I hope you can make it! Instead of just an Instagram Meet-Up, this time we have something special up our sleeves and will be teaming up with the Sydney ABCD Meet-Up to have a dual celebration of all things social media.

We'll be meeting for a leisurely pot luck afternoon tea on Saturday 3rd November from 3-5pm in Rozelle's Callan Park. Bring along a little something sweet to share with everyone; tea and coffee will be available to purchase from Sweet Jane's Travelling Teahouse.

Sound like fun?  RSVP now to join us...I can't wait to see you there!

October 14, 2012

life in the slow lane

It was a good week, an especially good week.

After last weekend's whirlwind of band gigs and birthday shenanigans I was ready to slow things down, so that's exactly what I did. We enjoyed after work drinks and a date night just the two of us, a Saturday morning trip to the Eveleigh Farmers Market, an afternoon craft session and lots of couch time catching up on blog homework and magazine reading.  Life in the slow lane is more my speed.

Here are some of the highlights from my wonderfully chaotic week:
So tell me...did you spend your weekend in the fast or slow lane?

October 11, 2012

sydney blog photography workshop

*Please note our Saturday class is now SOLD OUT. If you'd like to put your name on the wait list please email me at

After wanting to do something like this forever, I'm happy to announce that in just a few weeks I'll be co-hosting a blog photography workshop in Sydney and you're invited.

I'll be playing hostess with the mostess while the class will be taught by the super talented, Emma Scamell, a friend whose photography skills I have long admired. Amanda from Finding The North Star will also be on hand to help out during what is sure to be an awesome afternoon of photo magic. Here's all the information you need but hurry we're keeping this first class nice and small so don't miss out!

Are you a blogger looking to improve your photography skills?  Are you ready to take better photos and finally switch from Auto to Manual? Join us for a fun and casual workshop that will teach you the basics of digital photography and provide you the skills and confidence to get the most out of your camera.

Taught by lifestyle photographer, Emma Scamell, this friendly, hands-on class will be divided into two sections: a technical overview of shooting in manual mode and the basics of digital photography, complemented by an afternoon of practical learning, where techniques will be demonstrated and then practiced. In a friendly and casual environment, this workshop is designed for bloggers looking to have fun while improving their photography style. We’ve kept the class size small and intimate so you can relax and socialise with other local bloggers and will encourage questions, comments and, of course, will allow for ample one-on-one time with Emma, our lovely instructor.

Who Should Take This Course?
This fun and informal blog photography course is designed for bloggers looking to become more confident photographers. The workshop is aimed at the beginner photographer currently shooting in auto mode and ready to take that next step. This photography workshop is suitable for any camera with full manual capability. 

Little Paper Lane, Mona Vale (upstairs studio space)

Saturday 10 November 2012
 (Sold Out, wait list Only)

10am – 3pm

$65 per person


  • Solid understanding of photographic theory, apertures, ISO, shutter speed, exposure and composition.
  • New confidence & skills to improve your blog photography
  • Lesson handouts & tips
  • Snacks, light lunch & refreshments

How To Book:
Seats are very limited, so please email Jaclyn Carlson at to reserve your space.

To learn more about our instructor, Emma Scamell, and see some of her incredible work please visit

October 10, 2012

what if...?

Do you know that moment when you suddenly find yourself saying catch phrases you swore you’d never say?  Well that moment for me has well and truly arrived.  

I’ve come to accept the fact that yes, I’m one of those weirdos that talk to themselves in public (a discovery I made on the bus – embarrassing) and yes my age is all too apparent when I catch myself making comments on the ridiculous shortness of girl's skirts these days (am I 85?) but my favourite has to be my newly adopted catch phrase, 'there just isn’t enough time in the day' (said with an overly dramatic, heavy sigh).

Over the past few months I’ve repeated that sentence more than I wish to remember and while I tend to be slightly melodramatic at times, I do admit life has been a bit crazy lately. Not bad crazy, just whizzing by faster than I can grasp crazy. Know the feeling?  

I’ve had so many ideas and projects happening and bouncing around in my head that sometimes I keep myself up at night just thinking about stuff. Stupid stuff like Pinterest, remembering recipes I want to try, blog posts I want to write, contemplating growing out my fringe, design ideas to try (for the house I don’t own) and craft projects I won’t have time to complete. The list goes on. It’s a tough balancing act between complete exhilaration that comes from all of these ideas buzzing around and complete exhaustion just thinking about my growing wish list. Some days I want to work nonstop and other times I just want to shut it all out and slow down, enjoy the quiet. Am I the only one who sometimes feels like the treadmill is turned up too high? I feel torn between wanting to run faster and wanting to jump off.

I found myself asking ‘what if’ a lot this past week and it reminded me of a great post I read that mentioned that very question and encouraged writers, when feeling stuck, to ask themselves 'what if' to change their course of thinking and to encourage more meaningful writing. Inspired by that post I took on the challenge and randomly asked myself that very question and wrote down the first 5 that came to mind:

  • What if I read a book instead of watching Sons of Anarchy?
  • What If I didn’t hit snooze and went for a run instead like I always intend to do?
  • What if I stopped worrying about things that are out of my control?
  • What if I actually stopped talking about doing things and actually did them?
  • What if I ate fruit instead of Doritos?

The actual answers don't really matter but just taking the time to think about them, think about what is weighing heavily on my mind and allowing myself to feel both energised and exhausted with all that is happening in my head. It actually feels good to be busy, things will work out in the end just as they should. If only there was more time in the day...

What would your 5 "what if" questions be?

October 9, 2012

decor8 blogging your way bootcamp

I never thought I'd enjoy bootcamp...until now.
It wasn't too long ago that I finished up my Blogging Your Way 2.0 class, taught by the talented Holly Becker from decor8. I love Holly's classes. I find them inspiring, motivating and far more helpful and authentic than anything else I've come across when it comes to the world of blogging.  

Her philosophy of using your blog as a catalyst for a more creative life resonates with me and is probably the reason I've come back again and again to take her classes and get a much needed dose of blogging reality and inspiration. Some of the women I've met in her class a few years back are still my closest blogging buddies and are scattered near and far, around the world.

It's these connections and a readiness for creativity, that has inspired me to sign up for her latest BYW Bootcamp class, which started yesterday and runs for the next 4 weeks. Here's hoping for smooth blogging ahead...

October 7, 2012

brenda walsh, fashion icon

Back in the day I was slightly obsessed with the TV show, Beverly Hills 90210.  I didn't just like Brenda Walsh, I wanted to be Brenda Walsh. This past Saturday night, I finally got my chance.

My friend Abby decided to throw a 90's theme birthday party and I suddenly saw a small window of opportunity to once again wear a scrunchie and dance to C&C Music Factory. It was the perfect chance to relive my high schools days and indulge in the horrible fashion that plagued that decade. 

The night was epic from the start. We kicked things off in the city and I embraced the dedicated role of band groupie as the boys played another amazing gig. Afterwards we headed back to Abby's place and happily stepped into a 90's time warp. It was just as you'd expect: grunge chicks, choker necklaces, overalls, high wasted skirts. brown lipstick and midriff tops. Jimmy, dressed in double denim and a tucked in t-shirt, was the Dylan Mckay to my Brenda Walsh. I was in my element and I'm not embarrassed to say that I spent a good portion of the night dancing (badly) in the living room, enjoying the strobe light, smoke machine and killer play list of 90's tunes you'd be mortified to be caught listening to now. You'll have to forgive some of the photos as I'm still trying to get the hang of my new lens and shooting in low light. I've got a little project up my sleeve that will hopefully help with my photo skills and will be back later this week with more details...

p.s - had to throw in a photo of my Dad, who celebrated his birthday on Friday - happy birthday dad, love you. 
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