Thursday, March 24, 2016


The Beetle Shack team

It's here! The Easter long weekend is upon us. And thank goodness because don't we all need a few extra days at home (and some choccie!? Dark choc-anything please Mr Easter Bunny...) Here are five easy things to do - some on a tighter budget than others - over the long weekend with the family. Enjoy!

1. Eat hot chips for dinner at the park or beach - soak up the last of daylight savings and just enjoy some good ole chippies.

2. Take on Luna Park (throw in the ferry ride from Circular Quay and you're golden)

3. Plan a bush walk that ends in a picnic. Better yet a bush walk that ends in an easter egg hunt somewhere other than home!

4. Make this Easter Chocolate Bark recipe with the kiddies (with or without melting down some of their hoard of easter eggs)

5. Build a blanket fort under the dining room table and have morning or afternoon tea on the floor of your new palace (is it just me or do you see wine and whiskey in this picture?). To take this idea to the next level and camp in the backyard for a night. Too much fun!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The Beetle Shack team

It’s the good news we've all been waiting for – Bohemian Traders have launched an expertly designed  and crafted (meaning tried and tested!) line of Childrenswear for our little bohemians! Consisting of five vintage inspired, unisex styles in a paired back palette, the bespoke line begs the question – this Easter why not gift fashion in place of sugar? The charming range of unique, gender neutral threads comes after the launch of the most successful collection yet, Desert Wanderer. Lovers of this current AW16 line will be thrilled to see the same level of sublime prints and detailing across the Childrenswear collection that they’ve come to expect and appreciate from Bohemian Traders.

Featuring a line of easy wash and wear pieces that can not only be mixed and matched across genders and endless styles, but has the ingenuity to grow with little free-spirits with adjustable fixtures and clever details. Unique prints, vintage-inspired details and classic silhouettes form the foundation of a capsule wardrobe that will see little ones fashionably outfitted throughout 2016.

This Easter, why not give your kids a real treat with timeless treasures that will last.
Check out Bohemian Traders Childrenswear now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Week In My Wardrobe

Denim Jacket | size M

The Pia silhouette is one of my VERY fave's from the current collection. It's so easy to throw on and covers a multitude of sins (including bloating, hairy legs and other such inconveniences). It can be dressed up with heels and a leather jacket or dressed down with denim and boots- or any combo in-between.

Bohemian Traders Bucket Bag
Vintage Boots

Yes, I have been getting a lot of wear out of my swing dress. I'll layer this number over jeans as the weather cools down too.

Vegan Suede Vest | size S

A second outfit for a casual dinner at home with friends, I'm choosing the Josie Dress layered with a little black vest. Very easy wearing but smart enough to look appropriate.

Zoe Kratzmaan Shoes | last season

Perfect for mid week work with a meeting or two. If I'm looking exhausted, it's because I AM!!! I bet you are too, right!? I didn't iron this dress, probably should have but you know.

Penny Shirt | size S
Sandler Shoes

Penny Shirt | size S

One outfit two ways. The first for a casual work day, the other for dinner out. Bohemian Traders Penny Shirt is another fave from the current collection. It's made from mid weight rayon and has nice splits to the sides - perfect with the Distressed Skinny Jeans (perfection in denim- get your name on the wait list today). 

A dreamy floaty dress is a must for the A/W wardrobe. This one is perfectly layer able and very nice to wear.

Louis Vuitton Bag

YEAH! Black on black on black. It'll take you anywhere.

And lastly, the Pia Dress in black for very simple, throw on style. Easy Peasy.
Pia Dress | size S


After being inspired by my friend Rachel from Redcliffe Style, I've decided to share 'A Week In My Wardrobe'. I'm enjoying being able to dress myself for work each day - I even wear heels on a semi regular basis! Gasp!!

Even though I'm now able to wear makeup and a bra each and every day, I still stay true to my sloppy dressing desires. Lazy dresses, classic stripes and boho detailing just to keep things finished.

So there we go- A week in my wardrobe. Also my last week with long hair- I'm chopping it ALL off tomorrow! WHOOP!!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Let's Talk about Insulin Resistance and Weight Loss

For the past 6 months or more I've been actively trying to lose weight. That lazy 10kg I've been carrying for the past... oh, lets say 5 years has GOT to go - it's been long enough.

As a result of my new found motivation I have made positive changes to my diet and see a personal trainer 3 times a week. Most of the time I feel great but despite my best efforts, I have not lost a single kilo. Humph. Disappointing but not totally heartbreaking. I am vain, I won't lie. I'd like to look like a supermodel but I seldom feel genuinely bad about myself because of my physical appearance. And on the rare occasion that I do, it's fleeting at best.

Life is full and fabulous. I've grown humans inside my round belly and I'm not about to hate on myself about being, lets say, chubby.

But most recently, I have been experiencing fairly dramatic hair loss (!!!) which lead me to consult my doctor to discuss. Upon hearing my range of symptoms he suggested we do a comprehensive check up including blood tests and ultrasounds (of the invasive variety).

Everything (at this stage) has turned up AOK expect for the insulin. It would appear that I'm insulin resistant which is why I haven't been able to shift the weight. Frighteningly, this is a pre diabetic state and not one I'm comfortable with remaining in. So while I don't feel miserable at my current size, my poor health has determined that weight loss is vital.

As of today I'm on a crazy crash diet (this 800 cals a day). I figure something radical is in order.

This is where you come in. Are you insulin resistant? It's surprisingly common, huh! Have you managed to REVERSE your insulin resistance? I'm hoping that with significant weight loss, continued exercise and hopefully NO medication, it will be possible for me too.

Talk to me.

What's up?

A previous post discussing my thoughts on dress size right here!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Feeling bloated? Yeah, me too. I'm hiding the puff under this striped swing dress. There is just something about stripes that says 'finished' to me. You never have to work hard for a stripe- be it in a dress, a top or in slouch pants - a stripe is always easy.

This little number has a swing through the body and touches nothing. YES PLEASE. The arms are nice and slim which means I can get away with the tent like A frame without looking like I'm wearing a moo moo (which I'm actually quite partial to).

I'm off to work so my bucket bag is filled with all the essentials. Computer, camera, iPad, lunch and a selection of free range paper work that really should be filed. This is my very fave bag and I use it literally EVERY day.

Have a wonderful day, friends! How good is this Autumn weather!!


Vintage Boots | bought on a trip to Pairs a bazillion years ago

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Going north: not so Byron Bay, NSW

By Anna at The Beetle Shack

Byron Bay is as famous as can be but I've often wondered if it's actually all that? It is. I know it it is but to be honest whenever I'm up there I find myself wanting to get away from the main street and beaches and carve out my own little escape in the quieter pockets. So, that said here's my go-to list of places that are not so Byron Bay proper. But still fabulous in my eyes.*

Around Byron Bay

The Roadhouse
Impressive cocktail & whiskey menu, freshly made delicious local food served with awesome service. Great for an intimate little winey dinner (oh the red wines) or brunch – go wild and order your coffee on coconut milk. Please.

Top Shop
Amazing burgers (as a creature of habit I exclusively order the Haloumi Burger on GF everytime), fresh juices and a sweet little grassy knoll to pitch your picnic rug and escape the main street.

Tallows Beach
This can't all be about food (although it really nearly is), Tallows is like the ultimate wind-down spot. It's a little walk which makes it totally worth hitting it for the day and all the more special. Bright blue waters, untouched rocks to explore and fun little surf waves make it the best beach for anyone and everyone. Closing my eyes and picturing it right, now.

Outside Byron Bay proper, go adventuring...

I'm completely biased but I've spent some truly magical sun-soaked days in this gorgeous little country town. Approx 15-20mins from main Byron it's packed with cute little boutiques, great vintage stores, health food shops and my personal favourite cafe Punch & Daisy (seriously good local coffee). 'Mullum' is more mountainous than Byron and way more country-style. It's quieter but you still get to enjoy the colourful locals and all the benefits of the Byron shire.

Brunswick Heads & Beach
Similar distance from Byron, 'Bruns' has the most beautiful stretch of beach for walking (with your canine pals) and is a popular surf beach. It's a lot quieter than main beach and the river is super fresh and crystal clear for swimming. Again (I know I'm a complete addict) there are some great coffee options along the main stretch as well as some cutesy antique shops and a couple of solid op-shops. It's got a really lovely feel overall. Super chill.

More like 25-30mins from Byron, Federal is a completely different landscape. You're up high in the mountains surrounded by lush green properties and winding roads. It's completely gorgeous. Although there's not too much to do or see besides the sublime nature, it is home of the BEST breakfast & lunch spot around. Doma. Home of the most delicious Japanese eating, beautiful juices, freshly baked sweets and great coffee – you have to promise me that you'll take the time to hit this spot during your lifetime. It's the best. Cute picnic tables and a pet-friendly lawn surround a little wooden building with a hole in the wall takeaway. Eat in for lazy brunches that warm the heart and hit the spot.

Do you have any favourite haunts around Byron Bay? And how do you go with the crowds – is it just me that gets overwhelmed?

*Shout out to my sister who is the BEST host in the world and totally takes me to all of the best places (including the above) whenever I visit her up north. I'm clearly spoilt, mwah to you Cockles!

Images from

Monday, March 7, 2016


The Beetle Shack

Mustard. The perfect accent colour for Autumn. It's bold and eye-catching without being too warm so it still pairs back beautifully with your cool winter hues. We're seeing it everywhere. Across interiors, the beauty industry and of course on the catwalk. It's luscious and we're completely obsessed. Pair it back with with your staples across your wardrobe and home or dare it to pop by teaming it up with patterns and stripes. Peruse our collection of mustard fodder and get inspired by this golden hue.

FASHION – Bohemian Traders
Gilmore Lace Panelled Top in Mustard (pictured with Bohemian Traders Indigo Skinny Jean and an Oversized Scarf in Desert Flower)
Desert Embroidered Shirt in Mustard (pictured with Bohemian Traders Indigo Skinny Jean)
Sebastian Shirt in Mustard (pictured with Bohemian Traders Black Skinny Jean)


Pop & Scott Pot, Petal Mustard
Breeze Chair, Mustard
Pop & Scott Pot, Dipped Mustard


NATURE (the original artist and designer – we know, so deep!)

Enjoy your Mustard this Autumn. You won't turn back.

Images sourced via Pinterest. If your image is featured here, please let us know! We’d love to credit you. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

HOW TO FLAT LAY (on your iPhone)

Anna at The Beetle Shack

Grab your phone, a few of your favourite things and let's nail this flat lay like a boss!

Step 1: Define the area you're going to shoot in. You can either mark the area out with tape or objects or you might make your background (board, fabric or paper) the perfect size so you know your boundary (the plant isn't serving any purpose here except to pretty up a blank page, it's the markings you want to pay attention to).*
Tip: Choose a basic background – versatility & simplicity is key. A white sheet, a wooden table or floor are all great easy backgrounds.

Step 2: Use one or two of your larger objects as the starting place.
Tip: Often objects with nice clean lines (square, rectangular, circular) are easier to work around and build your feast for the eyes! (Too much? it's just a flat lay I know...)

Step 3: Style it up!
Tip: Try sticking to a theme to help you choose your pieces. This little number is very loosely named "these are a few of my essential things". Go figure.

Step 4: Shoot that final look lady!

Step 5: Now that you've got it, be obsessive and change it up a bunch of times and shoot it every which way. I would (and did).
Tip: Live things always bring movement and, well, life to your images. So plants, fresh flowers and fresh foods are always a great idea. Fail that, throw your hands in and create a human element... not so easy to do when you're shooting on your iPhone (which I was) and you don't have a tripod. But still worth mentioning! 

A few extra tips:
a) Try to shoot during the day when you can take advantage of as much natural light as possible. I lost the afternoon sun a little in some of these.
b) Leave a nice amount of "white space" between your objects.
c) A little twist always draws attention.
d) Have fun.

Go forth and flat lay my pretties. And let me know how it goes!?

P.S Instagram lets you post portrait shaped images now, not just square! I know life changer! So that's why I strategically shot the above portrait. There is method to the madness I assure you.

*The irony of my "flat-laying" a "how to shoot a flat lay" is not lost on me. Promise. And I had way too much fun doing it...

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Have you seen the Bohemian Traders Desert Wanderer collection? What do you think?
Have you seen any pieces you love?

I've been waiting to wear 'Ruthie' for so long - It's the perfect early Autumn dress paired back with boots and denim. The navy version is 100% rayon and falls perfectly. I'm teaming mine with black, because rules are made to be broken.

In other news, LIFE IS EXHAUSTING. My hair is falling out (a summer thing or the sign of some sinister deadly disease- I'm undecided) and my wisdom teeth are giving me grief with a capital G. Should have those mongrels taken out but who has the time?

Hope you're all well my friends. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Anna at The Beetle Shack

Happy first day of Autumn! What a wonderful season. Almost as if to celebrate, Bohemian Traders have just released the first of their Autumn Winter 2016 Collection – Desert Wanderer. It's AMAZING. A mix of western inspired embroidered pieces, rich textures and boho prints and textures, I just love the subtle rock 'n' roll edge of these styles. And the pops of rust and mustard!? Gah. Delicious.
Lovers of the trusty basics will be happy to hear there's loads of stripes, new Droppies (wahoo!) and some gorgeous outerwear styles to take you from today this first day of Autumn through to the end of Winter.

I'm especially excited about the Bohemian Curve category which sees most of this seasons 'must-have' styles go through to a size 18/XXL and size 20 XXXL. Perfecto for the curvy bohemian lady.  The Winter Dreamer Dress (long sleeves – genius!) is to die for.

Suggested accessories to pair with your new threads are some of the gorgeous gemstone pieces featured in the collection as well as a fabulous pair of knee high boots for when you get your party on and a great pair of black leather ankle boots to wear everyday, day in day out. Oh and a great felt hat. There's my 2c worth!

Check out this exciting new collection here now and go wild.