Who ever said working with family was a bad idea obviously hasn't been a part of my family. Emma & I have actually worked together  for the past 5 years or so. It started off serving bread rolls & making chicken wraps at the bakery just a minute up the road from where we lived, getting paid cash in hand and having riotous karaoke christmas parties.
For another time we would sit on a shuttle bus at 4am most days of the week taking us from the dark carpark to the Qantas domestic terminal where we would laugh & cry at the hilarity and pain only 4am starts could bring.
We made our way through various other hospitality ventures and this is actually the first time I've stopped and considered how very blessed we are to now be collaborating on 'work' that see's us both in the fields that we dreamed of not all that long ago.

These photos were taken a windy Autumn afternoon when the light was low, with a team of only two and the advantage of knowing her face probably better than my own.
They are to accompany a track - a taste - from her upcoming album. Listen to Never In a Million Years here but definitely watch out for a first single coming very soon.

Photos: Emma Birdsall by Rachel Kara

Where I'm from

To grow up in this town really was the dream. Big backyards with pools and even bigger beaches with an endless ocean, available any day of the year. 
When you live by the coast it's always about the water. 
Watching tide charts to see when we could safely swim over to the sandbar then playing for hours until the tides turned once more for the return swim. 
Putting at 8 knots to the very end of South West Arm in the pursuit of fresh waterfalls, smooth rocks & an infamous rope swing then the sweet combination of adrenaline & pleasure as we wade around the warm river telling stories of sharks and all we knew about their feeding habits. 
Dad's longboard taking priority over passengers and having to duck down if riding in the 'second car with no roof racks'. Finding sand in the bed, shower & all creases of the car...even in winter. 
Owning a wetsuit. Feeling indestructible in a wetsuit. Not being afraid of being dumped.
The smell of the National Park as we drove for picnics by the river or through to Garie to check the surf. 
Being flung around the back of a boat on a donut, skis or wakeboard then refuelling at Atwells Boat Shed with homemade sausage rolls & a bag of red frogs. 
Summer holidays, deep, natural tans, being on the esplanade with other early risers as we wait for the sun to come up over the horizon. 
It's been 24 years now and things have evolved a little, 'cool' cafes & bars & restaurants have popped up and bring crowds in on their own merit. I ride my bike less, I've forgotten how to surf and am now afraid of being dumped when the swell is big. When I go for a walk I usually motivate myself to do so with the promise of a soy latte at the end of it. Work takes me away most days of the week and by a Friday afternoon the commute kills me. 
But the simplicity and perspective that comes when standing, or more importantly living, alongside a large body of water is profound. I'm still here and above all else what's keeping me is the water. It's always about the water. 





My varied image sizes may give any design nerds, OCD readers & generally orderly people out there heart palpitations and I am sorry for that but instead of worrying please stop, really soak in this perfect floral mini-series and let your heart flutter for more deserving, romantic reasons

I am so in love with everything Amy Merrick of Emmerson Merrick does. 

If hashtags were relevant on blogger I would #weddinginspiration. 

Photos: Amy Merrick 

this season

Things I like this winter;

Beanies, every kind of soup, fresh produce, going to bed early, down jackets, down doonas, down in general, the pork sandwich from West Juliette, classical music that helps me concentrate, my future-husbands cooking, being productive, taking photos, socks, staring at the stars above my house, girl talk, the whole 2 metres of my I Love Mr Mittens sailor scarf, lying in bed with Nanna and her hot water bottle, jeans, new ceramics from Jengalla, learning about coffee, drinking a little more coffee,  good people being pregnant, designing a wedding dress, Cronulla to Potts Point purely for Room 10, using Pinterest sporadically, HRY 4 days a week, starting the day with tea, escaping to the tropics, people who love what they do.

Things I dislike this winter;

The cold. 

Photo: Jennifer Gilmore for I Love Mr Mittens by Rachel Kara

ps. congrats to Jess & Kath, your ILMM goods will be in the post this week! x

pps. I want to know what's on your list slash some survival techniques for the non-cold climate inclined