In less than two weeks, I’ll be waving goodbye to this dreamy Australian sun and hello to the chills and thrills of Italy! And since my current wardrobe is hardly Euro-winter ready, I’m collecting all the coatspiration I can.
Is it a coincidence that Aussie shoe brand Billini sounds an awful lot like tasty champagne-based treat Bellini? If their delicious new S/S14 collection is anything to go by, I think not.
Entitled Hola Mexico, the new range encapsulates the colour and vibrancy of Mexican culture through some ridiculously cute kicks. Tall and short, straight up and with a twist, the 9 different styles will suit all tastebuds.
Read on as I serve up the top 5 (okay, 6 – it was too hard to choose!) tastiest treats from Billini’s latest collection, and the Mexican cocktails that’ll have you dancing all night in them.
The Luxe in Blood Orange + Habañero and blood orange tequila
Sharp, fruity and fiery: the Luxe is a so-cool-it’s-hot sandal that will see you in good stead from poolside to pavement (and the cocktail lounge in-between). The metallic embellishments and vibrant patent finish ensure you’ll look polished enough to get into any establishment, whilst the lack of heel promises to keep you safe from any stumbles that may occur after a few habañero and blood orange tequila shots.
1 bottle (700ml) blanco tequila
½ blood orange
½ habanero or Scotch bonnet chilli, de-seeded
Put all the ingredients into a clean, airtight container and leave to infuse for a week. When the flavours have permeated the tequila, sieve the liquor back into the original bottle.
My tip: Serve in shot glasses with a blood orange wedge, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
The Glory in White + Mojito DF
‘White hot’ is the best way to describe the Glory. With stems thick enough to withstand hours of mojito-fuelled twerking on the dancefloor, it’s arguably your perfect summer party platform. I can already picture how good it would look paired with tanned limbs and tangerine toes – my other two summer must-haves.
20g demerara sugar
large handful of mint leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
70ml apple juice
Muddle the sugar, most of the mint leaves and all the lime wedges in the bottom of two tall glasses with a pestle or the end of a rolling pin. When you have extracted all the juice from the lime, pour in the apple juice and tequila, fill with crushed ice and garnish with the rest of the mint leaves.
The Atomic in Brown + Smoked peach old-fashioned
If the blogs are to be believed, Birkenstocks are going to be big this summer. But since there’s no way you’ll ever catch me in those cumbersome clompers, I’ll instead channel my inner Jesus-freak in the Atomic: an unassuming, Roman-style sandal made for wholesome excursions to the local farmer’s market (to buy cocktail ingredients, of course).
small pinch of salt
100ml reposado mescal
5ml peach bitters
20ml gomme syrup
rind of 2 oranges
2 orange twists, to serve
Half-fill a large glass (or the glass from a Boston shaker if you want to be a pro) with crushed ice and water, adding a small pinch of salt. Put the glass inside the shaker, add the mezcal, bitters, gomme syrup and orange rind and top up with large ice cubes. Stir very well with a bar spoon for around 4 minutes.
Strain into 2 tumblers. Garnish each with an orange twist and serve with a small black straw.
To make a citrus twist:
Take a sharp knife and cut off the ends of the fruit. Now cut off the peel from one end to the other, shaving as finely as possible to avoid the bitter white pith. You want to end up with strips about 1cm wide. Curl the strips around your finger to make loose corkscrew shapes and use them to garnish cocktails.
The Galaxy in Citrus + Tamarind Margarita
Like a blast of zesty fresh air, the Galaxy is the perfect stiletto to brighten any day or night. Bright without being neon, and with an eye-catching metallic ankle strap, the boys won’t be able to look away (nor will they want to – after all, anyone who has the good taste to pull on a pair of these is automatically a Class-A babe). The Galaxy will look as good with a pair of statement floral trousers as it will with a thigh-skimming summer party frock, making it the trans-seasonal heel of choice.
fine sea salt mixed with chilli powder, for rims (optional)
70ml tamarind purée
30ml triple sec
2 lime wedges, to garnish
Prepare 2 tumblers with chilli salt rims if you wish. To get the perfect rim, dip the cocktail glass into a saucer of water so that only the very edge is wet, then dip the glass into a saucer of whatever salt/sugar mixture you are using.
Shake all the ingredients over ice and pour into the tumblers. Garnish each with a wedge of lime.
The Morgan in Black + Bloody Maria
Reluctant to relegate your grungy winter ankle boots to the back of the cupboard? Never fear; Morgan is music to your blackened punk-rock heart. It’s flat, it’s studded to within an inch of its life, and it’s perfect for long nights on your feet dancing away at whatever gig/music festival/house party you find yourself at – because aren’t countless party offers one of the best parts about summer?
And when the sun comes up and the party dies down, the Bloody Maria will be there to easy all your aches.
chilli powder, for rims (optional)
140ml blanco tequila
500ml good-quality tomato juice
juice of 1 large orange (about 100ml)
juice of 1-2 limes
1-2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges and chilli powder, to garnish
Prepare tumblers with chilli rims if you wish. Shake all the ingredients over ice and pour into tumblers. Garnish each with a wedge of lime and a dusting of chilli powder.
(Leave out the tequila from this recipe and you’ve got yourself Sangrita – a popular Mexican aperitif traditionally served in small glasses alongside a shot glass of tequila and sipped in equal measure).
The Lorna in Tan + Green tea and rhubarb Collins
The Lorna is more than just a gorgeous bohemian platform sandal. It’s Billini’s first leather offering; a latticed upper atop a 70’s wedge base just begging to be shown off in crowded seaside cocktail bar. Ideal for gypsters and Nicole Richie-wannabes, the Lorna would be best paired with maxi lengths and stacked hardware (of the accessories, not handyman, variety).
100ml Green tea tequila**
50ml fresh rhubarb syrup***
50ml fresh apple juice
200ml soda water
green apple slices, to garnish
Pour the tequila, rhubarb syrup and apple juice into 2 tall glasses and stir well. Add enough ice to fill the glasses, then top up with soda water. Stir again and garnish with the apple slices.
**To make Green tea tequila, place 60g green tea leaves (the best quality you can buy) and 1 bottle (700ml) blanco tequila into a clean, airtight container and leave to infuse in the fridge for 48 hours. Sieve the tequila, discarding the tea leaves, then pour back into the original bottle
***To make fresh rhubarb syrup, chop 500g rhubarb into small pieces and place in a saucepan with the zest of a lemon, the juice of half that lemon, and 5 tablespoons sugar. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. You want the syrup to be quite sweet, so add a touch more sugar if needed. The leftover syrup will be delicious with Greek yoghurt.
The entire Hola Mexico collection is on sale now over on Billini’s website – it was stupidly difficult to choose only 6 styles to feature here, so do yourself a favour and check out their whole range. With prices ranging from $39.95 to $79.95, you actually can afford to buy one for every cocktail. And if you’re a social kinda gal, like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram for sneak peeks and serious sartorial inspiration.
All cocktail recipes have been taken from Thomasina Miers’ Wahaca: Mexican food at home. This is the best cookbook you will ever buy. Seriously. The recipes are easy, cheap and will broaden your view of Mexican cooking far beyond the boundaries of burritos, nachos and tacos (though it has plenty of those too).
I wouldn’t usually consider myself a religious person, but today I’m worshiping at the altar of Grey City. With these ‘Slash’ wedges I could stomp all over the impending deadlines and other stresses that are plaguing my working world at the moment and dampening my blahgging mojo. And better yet, that dainty peep-toe would force me to get off my bum and repaint my toenails – something I don’t think I’ve done in a good two months. Sadly, my present ‘saving to go overseas in five months’ situation means it’d take a miracle for me to get my hands on a pair of these. You, however, just need to click here.
P.S. And in the springtime, I’d dump Slash for Blaire, his more open-minded and floaty-dress friendly cousin.
Like most members of Gen Y, the concept of ever earning enough money to buy a house seems completely foreign to me. Unless I win the lottery, or somehow invent the new Facebook, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to achieve the great American/Australian/Western dream. Or so I thought.
As it turns out, there’s a steadily growing trend amongst consumers to invest in a property with family or a close friend. If you don’t have a large deposit, buying with family or friends could be an attractive option to tackle the cost of home ownership and help you get into the property market. Co-ownership allows you to combine your earning capacity to borrow more and you’ll only need to pay a portion of the deposit and ongoing property costs.
There are several ways family and friends can help you get into your home sooner, but you should be aware of the risks. I remember reading an article in a women’s magazine (I forget which one) a few years ago, which touted the benefits of buying property with a friend as opposed to a lover. As the article suggested, friendships can often prove far more sturdy that relationships, lowering the risk of awkward post-breakup coffees to discuss mortage splits and whether you mind if he and his new girlfriend shack up in your former love nest. That said, buying a home with a friend or family member isn’t without its own complications and potentially awkward encounters.
If you are considering jointly buying a house with friends or family, be clear about what the arrangement means to each buyer from the beginning. To avoid any disasters and get the most from your shared ownership, consider the following:
• Get advice: You should always get independent legal advice before entering into an agreement with another buyer. This will help protect your interests (and your friendships) in case something doesn’t go to plan.
• Draw up a contract: Formalise the arrangement so everyone knows where they stand from the beginning. This can be done with a co-ownership agreement. Consider things like how you will pay for repairs and maintenance, how long you plan to keep the property, who will live in the property and on what basis, and how you will resolve disputes.
• Have an exit plan: Problems can arise when one owner wants to sell and the others don’t. Make sure you have a written agreement setting out the rules about a sale. For example, the co-owners might have right of first refusal.
• Review the deal: Set up a timeline to review the arrangement and talk about any issues that come up. Make sure each party is represented at these meetings and make notes of any discussions. (Hint: meetings are always easier with a glass of wine in hand)
Also consider the co-ownership structure: Will you buy the property as joint tenants or tenants in common? These are vital differences that you’ll need to consider.
In the case of joint tenants, both parties own the entire asset, so if one owner dies, the other owner acquires their interest automatically. This is the structure most common among married couples.
Under tenants in common, each party owns a percentage share of the asset. If one tenant in common dies, they can leave this interest in the property to a new party in their will.
Pooling your resources with family or friends can be a valuable way to get into real estate or grow your property portfolio; which in turn makes for a damn good pick-up line. Make sure you iron out any issues and have adequate legal arrangements in place to get the most from your co-ownership, and you’ll be laughing all the way to your shiny new front door.
I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder for months now. Originally, it was to be a virtual gust of cool air during a stifling summer heatwave; now, the crisp whites and ice blues reflect the weather outside as it eases its way towards the winter months (“Winter is coming” you guys).
For those of you playing at home, this is the ‘Cool Change’ editorial from Grazia Australia (RIP you stylish vixens) September 10/Issue #201.
Also, can we please take a moment to reflect on what a babe Montana Cox is? I didn’t watch her ANTM cycle, but I must admit she’s one of those faces that can sell me a magazine, no matter what title it is or what’s inside of it. And doesn’t she look like a baby Miranda in the photo below? Some people…
Finally, the lack of recent blog posts can mean only one thing: new job! Yep, I’m currently repping Adelaide Film Festival and Adelaide Festival of Ideas in the digital realm, as their Digital Marketing Coordinator. So please, if you like films, ideas, interesting stuff or me, follow us at AFFestival and ideasadelaide on Facebook; @AFF2013 and @AFOI_2013 on Twitter; and @aff_2013 and @afoi_2013 on Instagram.