Thursday, January 30, 2014

Op Shops of Brisbane: Lifeline Brendale

Op Shops of Brisbane is a series where I talk about charity shops I go to. Feel free to suggest a good one to me - I live on the north side but have been know to drive great distances for a good browse!

Lifeline's "Supastores" are always a treasure trove. Not only are they bigger than your average little Lifeline shop, the goods are generally of a better quality. Someone once told me they send the good quality furniture there, not sure if this is true!

 The Brendale Supastore is my local and in my opinion, the best one in Brisbane I've been to. For starters - it's huge. The space inside is cave-like. Secondly, they have a large range of things.

My favourite is the bric-a-brac and crockery. I think they've recently got a volunteer who fancies themselves a bit of an interior stylist as this area has been neatened and arranged much more nicely recently. I often find Johnson of Australia plates and mugs, and also the odd bit of American Pyrex. Plenty of English JAJ Pyrex if you like that sort of thing also. Endless glassware.

The clothing is abundant and regularly rotated. I am happy to report they do now have plus-size racks, a godsend for those of us who hate going through endless rows of ladies clothes sized 8-12. The brands are generally chain-stores like Katies, Millers and Target, but I have seen Bonds and even higher-end stuff like Seed there. There is a big rack of jewelry where I have picked up some lovely necklaces recently, and a huge range of shoes, bags and scarfs.

There is a large selection of books - and they have a shelf of "recent" ones too, which I think they try to keep stocked with the better quality novels that come in.

The kitchenware area now has its own Tupperware section, though the prices are too high for me. If you collect it though, there are often good 80s pieces to be found.

Other sections I don't visit - electrical, furniture, fabric and sheets (except for the occasional glance for any vintage sheets) and toys.

I highly recommend Lifeline Brendale - though I must warn you, DO NOT try to break up items marked as part of a set. I did this once unknowingly and the volunteer lady went off her tree at me for trying to buy one coffee mug instead of the whole mug/plate set!

Lifeline Brendale is at 4/256 Leitchs Road Cnr Kremzow Road, Brendale. It is even open on Sundays!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fighting Food Waste: Caramelised Pear and Greek Yoghurt

I've had a recalcitrant hard pear in my fruit bowl for two weeks now. I began to despair it would ever ripen.

So instead of throwing it in the bin or compost I decided to cook it. I remembered some lovely stewed and baked pear recipes I had read recently and eventually settle on this one from (of all places) Fisher & Paykel's Our Kitchen.

It sounded pretty yum so I chucked butter, castor sugar (couldn't be bothered trying to find brown) and a dash of vanilla essence (because who has vanilla pods in the pantry?) into a small saucepan on low heat.

While that was bubbling I chopped up the Pear into small bits and threw it in the butter for five mins. Added a little water and let it simmer down to a thick syrup which took about 10 mins.

 Spooned over some natural Greek yoghurt, enjoyed. Oh my goodness, so good! it's probably too sweet for breakfast, would highly recommend for dessert though!

What do you do with old fruit?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sarah Suggests: Emma Approved

Ever watched a web series? It's a  kind of exciting media format. A few years ago, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries made a splash by taking Pride & Prejudice and updating it into a YouTube series. It won an EMMY.

Now, the same company, Pemberley Digital (one of the multi-talented Hank Green's projects) is adapting Emma - and I've been watching "Emma Approved" since it launched in October last year. I'm loving it. It's two episodes a week, and the guy that plays Knightley is DISHY.

Epidsode 1 is below for your viewing pleasure.

The series is currently on hiatus, so it's a really good time to catch up before it starts again in February.

The other cool thing? Emma Approved is supported by a raft of complemantary social media!

Website -
Twitter -
Facebook -
Tumblr -
Google + -

They've even gone so far as to write an in-character blog for Emma. It's pretty cool. I like the fashion posts.

Do you watch web series? Recommend me one!

Sarah Suggests is an ongoing serious in which I will highlight stuff I think is cool. It might be a book, a movie, a tv show, a magazine, podcast, song - whatever!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sarah Suggests: Vine

When it launched, Vine was a bit of a "thing". I stayed away from it, hearing only that it was Instagram for videos and not wanting anything that would blow out my data limit on my phone.

But one day I got curious, got it, and I've been hooked since. As I haven't heard anyone mention it in a while, I thought I'd give it my stamp of approval and feature the app here.

Why? Because even though videos are limited to 6 seconds, the depth and width of Vine is amazing. It encourages brevity and creativity, and there are some great people out there doing very cool stuff with it. Vines are funny, weird, pretty or just plain jawdropping. I encourage you to take a look.

Don't want another app? You can get it on your computer, here at

Here are some of my fave "viners". (note these links may only work if you're logged in).

Sunny Mabrey
(her "Owen" series is hysterical, search hashtag #owen)

Brittany Furlan


Curtis Lepore

Jason Nash

Brandon Calvillo


(I seriously am in awe of this guy, no idea how he makes his vines)

Celebrity viners (that actually post a lot).

Eric Stonestreet

Colin Hanks

Maisie Williams

Some of these people are now actually getting paid, and doing sponsored vines. Crazy world we live in, eh?

Here's some ones I liked lately.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Best Books of 2013

Three days ago, I made and posted a vlog on my YouTube channel (yes, I have one of those - claiming my digital real estate and all that jazz), and I kept forgetting to put it up here.

So here it is. Comments are love people!

(Seriously, would love your feedback. I used the "good" camera to make this and I'm very happy with the quality. Just need to learn how to edit things I think.)

What was the best book you read this year?


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