Venice: photo diary (part 1)

I will never tire of Venice. This latest trip marks my fourth journey to the island, and yet every time I seem to stumble on more undiscovered secrets.

Alex and I spent 8 days in the Internet-free bliss of this cosy Airbnb apartment. Despite only being a 5 minute/3 bridge walk from the train station, it felt like we were in a hidden pocket of the ‘real’ Venice – few tourists, stacks of quirky locals and plenty to discover in the surrounding ‘calles’.

In fact, we found so much to love in our neighborhood that I drew a map, which I’ll attempt to somehow digitise and share with you all.

And though waking up to a blaring air raid siren and having no idea what the f**k it was for wasn’t my favourite life experience, I’m glad we got to experience a sodden, flooded Venice. Plus, gumboots!!!

I took a lot of photos, so expect another post containing the rest soon.

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For closer-to-the-minute travel updates, follow me on Instagram.

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Should you buy a house with your best mate?

front door

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.

[image: tumblr]

Detoxin’ with Thug Kitchen

You may have noticed that it’s been a good two months since anything happened on this blog. See, I’ve been working on this little thing called the Adelaide Fringe – the second-biggest arts festival in the world after Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Specifically, I was working on a program called Fringe Benefits: if you’re in Adelaide and aged 18-30, sign up for free here and enjoy discounts and freebies to festivals, gigs, shows, films and other cool shit all year round. You’re welcome.

With the Fringe now finished for another year (*sniff*), I’m suffering through the traditional post-Fringe flu; yearning to detox my body and return to my favourite past-times of drinking gallons of tea and falling asleep at 9pm. These images from Thug Kitchen are inspiring me to get back on the healthy living wagon… and also making me laugh. A lot.

*If you don’t like strong language, look away now

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If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen, brewing up some tasty lavender lemonade (and sneaking in some gin when you’re not looking)

xx

 

Live it just for what it’s worth

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Inspired by the works of Kimberly from a bit coquettish*, I decided to kick off 2013 with a visual interpretation of what I’d like to achieve this year.

~ Inject a bit of old-fashioned glamour into my relatively laid-back, simplistic lifestyle – particularly when it comes to fashion and beauty. Whilst I’m never going to abandon my love for all things punk, street and hopelessly kitsch, as I approach my mid-twenties it surely wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of an elegant streak tucked away. Plus, I’ll take any excuse to rock a bold red lip.

~ Wear more lipstick. Moreover, develop some discipline in the art of re-applying said lipstick throughout the day, instead of simply swiping it on right before grabbing my morning takeaway long black and then being lazy for the rest of the day. I recently stumbled upon the brilliance that is Limecrime lipstick; and like Ash Ketchum in the Pokeverse, I’m desperate to catch’em all. However, before I’m allowed to blow a week’s paycheck on their crazy array of colours, I’ve promised to give some love and attention to the lippies already filling my maquillage bag.

~ Spend more time outdoors. Even if it’s just sitting out in the backyard reading. My Christmas-New Year vacation was spent house-sitting for a workmate down by the beach, and after just 3 afternoons spent lounging on the deck I’m a delightfully delicate shade of tan. We’re talking the kind of natural caramel that I’ve never been able to achieve from a bottle; that comes not from hours baking in the blazing heat, but from gentle smatterings of Vitamin D.
This is also the closest I’ll get to an exercise resolution. With no intention of joining a gym anytime soon, and no real love for running, it’d be nice if 2013 could yield some sort of outdoor physical activity that’ll keep me fit and offer enjoyment at the same time. Bonus points if it’s something I can convince the Boy to take part in too.
Current ideas include hiking (Adelaide has a surprising number of gorgeous walking trails to offer, not far from the city and without the maddening crowds of Mt Lofty), waveskiing, and informal bouts of dodgeball at the nearby school oval.

~ Read as much as humanely possible. Fuel said reading with copious amounts of delicious herbal teas, but only one coffee per day (unless it’s Fringe time, in which case anything goes).

~ Continue to love with every fibre of my being. I would have also included a friend-related image but there was no space. Regardless, I wish to treasure every amazing person who comes and goes from my life, and do my best to let them know how kick-ass they are.

~ Make false eyelashes my bitch.

~ Journey the globe, seek out adventure and collect as many tales as possible, all in the company of the man I love.

Finally, all of the above points aside, as long as 2013 is as awesome as 2012, that’s good enough for me.

xo

* Recommended reading: Kimberly’s post on New Year’s Resolutions

Images: a bit coquettish/Pinterest
Title lyric: The Flatliners – ‘New Year’s Resolution’

A Merry Reebonz Christmas

Continuing on from the last post, I’ve found another solution for your Christmas gift woes.

Reebonz is an online store specialising in flash-sales of to-die-for luxury handbags and accessories. And when I say luxury, I mean top notch – current sales on the site include quilted Chanels, Proenza Schouler satchels and a splash of Burberrry for the fellas.

For a special time, you can get access to the members-only site using this promo code; and to help you out, I’ve compiled three gift bags perfect for the ladies in your life. Or, you know, yourself – I won’t judge.

The Sweetheart

Tom Ford Shopping Bag, Reebonz
Bra, Agent Provocateur
Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick, Rimmel London
Strawberry Liquorice, Darrel Lea

The Glamour Girl

Miu Miu Madras Bauletto, Reebonz
China Glaze Nail Enamel in No Plain Jane and Want My Bawdy, Crush Cosmetics
Purple false lashes, Eyelashes Direct
Katy Perry ‘Purr’ Perfume, Fragrance Shop

Little Miss Sunshine

Céline Medium Shoulder Bag, Reebonz
Chain and diamante short necklace, Colette by Colette Hayman
Jose Cuervo Reposado Tequila, Dan Murphy’s
Skyfall by OPI Nail enamel in GoldenEye, OPI
P-Rinngo Sandals, Steve Madden

And there’s plenty more where that came from! Check out Reebonz’s 50 Shades of Christmas for more inspiration, then sign up and get shopping!