The Cruelty Free Shop vegan snack haul

Shopping for vegan food can be a challenge in a small town.  Even though my local supermarket is bursting with fresh produce, plant milks, cereals and fruit, the one thing that is lacking is good junk food.  It can be extremely challenging to find snack foods and sweets that are vegan.  While there are a whole bunch of great “accidentally” vegan items on the shelves, it gets kind of tedious when you have to check every label to make sure that what you’re buying doesn’t contain any animal products.


A few weeks ago I visited The Cruelty Free Shop in Fitzroy, Melbourne and it was like falling down the rabbit hole.  It is a vegan supermarket that sells everything from snacks to meat and cheese substitutes, desserts, junk food, cosmetics, toiletries, sex supplies and even clothing.  It was so refreshing to be able to fill my cart with whatever took my fancy, and to be spared the tedium of label-checking.  I knew that every single item in that place was vegan and I went a teensy bit nuts buying delicious snacks and treats.



The Cruelty Free Shop also has a fantastic online store. I’ve shopped with them online as well and I loved the fast service and awesome range of products.


Here is a full list of the items mentioned in my video:

I had such a blast shopping at The Cruelty Free Shop and I can’t wait for my next visit.  There are so many rad things I’d love to stock up on the next time I’m in Melbourne.


What are your favourite vegan junk foods?  Do you have any questions about vegan shopping or cooking that you’d like me to cover in future posts?


Note: This is not a sponsored post.  Everything featured here was purchased with my own money and I was not compensated in any way.  I just love this store and the products they sell and am excited to share them with my readers.


5 Fandom Friday: My favourite geeky stores

I am a full week behind with this post, so I hope you’ll forgive my lateness.  I just didn’t want to miss this prompt because it was such an awesome one.  I love shopping for nerdy clothing and homewares and I often have people ask me where I purchased certain items from.  I feel as though this post is a chance to give a huge shout-out to some of the greatest geeky stores on the web.


geek nest

Geek Nest

Geek nest makes the most awesome range of scented soy candles.  Each scent is inspired by geeky characters and places.  I bought myself a bundle of three Harry Potter candles and a TARDIS Blue candle from Geek Nest last year and I was hooked.  The scents are lovely but not too strong.  The candles burn really cleanly and are long-lasting.  Each one comes in a neat tin and they make ideal gifts.  The Expecto Patronum candle is my all-time favourite.  I light it when I’m settling down with a book, as the spicy smell adds a relaxing and cosy vibe to my lounge.  The floral loveliness of TARDIS Blue scented my bedroom until it burned out.



I adore my geeky tees, and Threadless has the best range I’ve seen.  Not only are their designs super clever, but they are reasonably priced and great quality.  I have so many tees from Threadless, including this Alice in Zombieland one.  Threadless support independent artists which is something that I think is vital.  If you’re looking for awesome nerdy tee shirts, Threadless is a great place to start.



Perks of Aurora

If, like me, you like something nerdy to drink your morning coffee from, then you’re going to dig Perks of Aurora.  This shop has a huge selection of hilarious fandom coffee mugs inspired by sources such as The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt, Clueless, Mean Girls, Parks and Recreation, The Office, SNL, Legally Blonde and Friends.  There are so many obscure jokes on mugs to choose from!  I got my Lil’ Sebastian and Dunder Mifflin mugs from Perks of Aurora and they are brilliant.



Nerdburger Jewellery

Nerdburger Jewellery is run by my friend Caz, and is full of hand-made quirky goods.  If you’re looking for hairbows made out of Tazos or tiny clay donut earrings, Nerdburger is the place to look.  Caz is so creative and her work has a truly zany, whacky quality.  She’s a comic book queen and a 90’s fiend and that defnitely comes across in her designs.




Rainbow Alternative

I first discovered Rainbow Alternative when I was searching for Empire Records tee shirts on Etsy.  I was instantly drawn to their street-art inspired, spray-painted designs and awesome pop culture references.  To date, I now own four of their Empire Records tees.  All of these shirts have been worn and washed over and over and are still in fabulous condition.  In addition to awesome tees, they have baby onesies, button badges, record art and loads more things.  Rainbow Alternative has a large range of feminist and queer-pride products too.


Where do you shop for your geeky wares?  My birthday is coming up, so I’m on the hunt for new stores to check out for gift ideas.

New years resolutions update: June and July.

It only just occurred to me that I haven’t updated you on how I’m going with my new year’s resolutions for a while.  So here’s a recap of what I’ve accomplished in the last two months.

My resolution for June was to eat at a teppanyaki restaurant.  I’ve never tried teppanyaki but I adore Japanese food and it just looks like a really fun way to dine.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit a teppanyaki restaurant in June.  I visited Melbourne in June right after my birthday and I considered going then, but it turned out to be a bit too pricey for me at the time. I would still like to make a date to try teppanyaki before the year is up.

However, I did take Luke (my new gentleman friend) to try Japanese food for the first time and it was a great success.  He was very adventurous and tried lots of different dishes and seemed to enjoy most of them.  He was particularly smitten with the wafu steak, and I had a go at cooking it at home one night.  My attempt was pretty delicious, but not nearly as good as what we had at the restaurant.

My July resolution was to buy nothing new for the whole month.


I fell down a bit when I visited Comic Con at the beginning of the month.  I just couldn’t resist snapping up this Dr Who print from Stewart McKenny.  But this was the only thing I purchased the whole time I was at the convention, which was very restrained of me.

Other than my gorgeous Doctor print, I was very well behaved with my spending for the rest of July.  I managed to keep my purse tightly closed and didn’t buy anything new.  I even managed to resist taking home a few treasures from the second hand shop when I went browsing with Mum.

So I managed to fulfull half of my resolutions for June and July, and there’s always time to catch up later in the year.

How are you going with your new year’s resolutions?

Daily outfit 27/5/2014

I went shopping for the first time in ages this past weekend.  I was in Melbourne for a friend’s hens night and I had a couple of hours to kill before I had to catch the train.  I decided to pop into the outlet shops at Spencer Street for some bargain shopping, and I hit the motherload!

So today’s outfit is almost entirely composed of brand-new items.

I am wearing:

– Nirvana baseball tee from Cotton On

– Red skinny jeans from Cotton On

– Midi ring set from Louvisa

– Black biker boots from Big W.

So, can we take a moment to chat about these midi rings.  I am a bit obsessed with rings, and I’ve wanted to add some of these tiny rings to my collection for a while.  I found this gorgeous set at Louvisa for just $3 and I couldn’t resist them.  They’re so cute!  I worried that they’d be annoying to wear, but they really aren’t.

I’m also really stoked with this Nirvana shirt.  Nirvana are one of my all-time favourite bands and I’ve been on the lookout for a Nirvana shirt for a while now.  I love the slightly faded, grungy look of this one. I deliberately bought a few sizes up so that it would be nice and slouchy.  I also bought a David Bowie one, and they were a steal at $10 each.

These jeans were also $10.  I’ve been living in skinny jeans and biker boots of late, and I really love coloured denim.  I’m looking forward to wearing this bright red pair with lots of grey and black jumpers when the weather gets colder.

Have you had any awesome bargain buys lately?

Gypsy skirts and vintage nightwear: another op shop haul

Last week I had another very successful op-shop trip.  It seems to be a happy coincidence that my day off seems to be the same day that all the thrift stores in town put out their new stock.  I’m starting to make a habit of going to the second hand stores first thing on my day off so that I get the pick of the litter.

This week I got some wonderful treasures during my travels:

First of all a couple of books.  I got a battered copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I’ve been meaning to read for ages.  I also picked up a gorgeous hard-cover edition of Good Wives, which is one of the sequels to my favourite book, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

When I saw the print on this beautiful vintage dressing gown, I knew that I was in trouble.  I’ve got a bit of a fascination with vintage nightwear, and I’ve currently got at least three dressing gowns.  I really don’t need another, but I couldn’t go past these amazingly vibrant blooms and the light cotton fabric.  Plus it was only $2.50, so I couldn’t say no.

I also caved and got this awesome vintage nightgown.  Most of the nightgowns I find in second-hand stores are in pastel shades. While I like a good sorbet-shade, I’m much more suited to vibrant tones.  I fell in love with this gorgeous blue immediately.

I also got a couple of items that were not vintage. Like this striped maxi-skirt.  It’s one of those mullet-hem skirts that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with, but I adored the pirate-y stripes so I decided to give it a go.  This skirt is a perfect example of why you should never trust the size tags on clothing.  This skirt is a Medium, and it only barely fits my tiny waist.  The lesson: ALWAYS try before you buy.  Don’t rely on the size tags to decide if something will fit you.

I got this cute cropped jumper for a couple of dollars.  It’s really light-weight, which makes it perfect for this time of year.   It’s not cold, but the evenings are getting a little chilly and I like to have something to throw on over my comfy clothes.  After I tried this on, I was cuddling Ringo and I realised that we matched!  I hope that it’s cute (and not creepy) that I bought something that makes me look like my cat.

I was so excited when I saw the glint of sequins on the skirt rack.  I love a good embellished skirt, particularly when they’re full and flowing.  This gypsy skirt still has it’s original tags on it.  It’s from Ishka, one of my favourite shops.  It was originally priced at $60.  I paid $4.

My final purchase was this white gypsy skirt, also with its original tags still attached.  I used to own a white lace peasant skirt that I wore until it literally fell to pieces.  I’ve been on the lookout for something to replace it for years, and this will do the job nicely.

I just love the colourful detail around the hem.  It’s a bit more festive than my original skirt, but I think it reflects my current style a little better.

Have you had any awesome op-shop finds lately?  Care to share?

P.S: if you’re interested in brushing up on your thrift-shopping skills, I’ve got an e-book that can help you out.  Nessbow’s Guide to Second Hand Shopping is just $5 and available for instant download through my etsy store.

Making some ethical changes to my wardrobe.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about my clothes-shopping habits and I’ve begun making a few changes to the way I buy clothes.

A couple of years ago I read a sensational book called To Die For: is fashion wearing out the world? by Lucy Seigel.  The book talks a lot about the social and environmental impact of fast fashion.   It opened my eyes to a whole lot of issues that I’d never been aware of before.

I recently read The 100 Things Challenge by Dave Bruno.  Once again, I found this book to be a real eye-opener about consumerism and our drive to acquire new things.

DSCF9157I’d really like to change the way I shop in order to reflect my personal ethics.  In particular, I don’t want to buy mindlessly.  I really want to put more effort into considering my purchases to make sure that my money goes to businesses that support my beliefs.

There are a few things that concern me about my current shopping habits:

– Firstly, a lot of the clothing I buy comes from retailers that produce clothing overseas in countries with less-than-stellar labour laws.  A lot of this clothing is produced in sweatshops or by home workers who are forced to work in dangerous and degrading conditions.

– I buy a lot of clothing without thinking about where it’s come from and the impact of producing it.  I’d like to start choosing more clothes that are made using more environmentally sustainable practices.

– I tend to shop for price rather than quality.  I find it easy to be drawn into buying something simply because it’s cheap.


So, what can I do about it?  I’ve come up with a few ideas:

– Buy less.  I have more than enough clothes hanging in my wardrobe right now.  I really don’t need to buy as much as I do.  I’d like to start reducing the amount of clothing that I’m purchasing.

– Buy more second hand.  This is an easy one for me, because I love thrift shopping.  It’s a great way to recycle items that are already out in the world and support charities that run the op-shops.

– Buy better quality items.  I’m going to try to save up to buy better quality items that will last longer and won’t have to be replaced as frequently.

– Choose Australian made items.  I’d prefer to buy items that are made in Australia because I know that workers here are protected by our labour laws.  However, this one is hard to do, because most clothing that is sold in Australia isn’t actually made in Australia.

– Make more things for myself.

– Mend and make do.  Rather than replacing items when they fall apart or break, I should attempt to fix them.

– Upcycle.  With items that are worn out and can’t be repaired, I’d like to try to use them to make something else.  I’ve been brainstorming lately and I’ve come up with a bunch of awesome things to make out of my worn-out tee shirts and linens.

– Buy from independent retailers.  As a small business owner, I feel that I have a duty to support other small businesses.  Even though I have a pretty small budget for spending money, I like to pour as much of it as possible into independent retailers.  I’m trying to buy many items from etsy sellers and small retailers that make their own stock.  This way, I’m ensuring that my clothes have an ethical background and I’m supporting a small business owner.

– Look for environmentally sustainable fabrics.  This can be very tricky, but I’m trying hard to look for clothes that are made from organic cotton and wool, bamboo fabric, hemp and recycled materials.

Although I understand that I’m not always going to be able to stick to these changes, and I’m sure to slip up occasionally, I really want to make an effort to change the way I shop and pour my hard-earned cash into businesses that are doing the right thing.

Do your shopping practices reflect your ethics?   Are there any changes you’d like to make to your shopping habits and your wardrobe?

Etsy news: Christmas is just around the corner!

I’ve been making some big changes to my etsy store in the lead-up to Christmas.  I wanted to share some of me newest products with you and inspire you for the silly season!

First of all, I’ve introduced a made-to-order section in my store.  There are loads of gorgeous items up for grabs in this section, including snoods, scarves, gloves, string bags and shawls.  I can create each of these items in the colour of your choice.

DSCF8087Made-to-order snood

DSCF7726Made-to-order bed socks

DSCF7704Made-to-order beret

For you Harry Potter fans, I’ve got a huge range of Potter-inspired goodies that can be custom-made just for you.  My store is currently stocked with scarves (in both the first- and third-year designs), gloves and socks in all four Hogwarts house colours.  Just take your pick!

DSCF5300Hogwarts third-year scarf

il_570xN.204583630Hogwarts first-year house scarf


Hogwarts house colours bed socks

In other very exciting news, I’ve been working on adding some made-to-order clothing to my store.  I’ve been adapting some vintage crochet patterns so that they can be made to fit any size.  That means that all you have to do is send me your measurements, nominate your colour and then wait for me to whip up a garment to fit you.  From sweet-petites to lanky-and-lovely, from chunky-and-funky to boobalicious, I’ll be able to create something that will fit you.

At the moment, I’ve got this gorgeous 1970’s crocheted tank top that can be made to order.  It looks super cute when worn over a contrasting tank, or as a cover-up over your bathers.  I can make this in acrylic yarn or light-weight cotton thread for warmer climates.  Most colours are available.


I will be adding more made-to-order clothing in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.

I also have an exciting line of Christmas goodies in the works, and I’ll be sure to let you know when those are ready.  My store also has loads of vintage items, as well as completed crocheted and knitted goods.  All of my e-books are also available through my store.

In the lead-up to Christmas, I also offer free gift-wrapping.  If you’re buying a gift, just let me know and I’ll wrap it in gorgeous paper and include a lovely gift-card.  I can even post it straight to your loved-one if you aren’t going to see them before Christmas day.  That saves you the effort of worrying about wrapping and shipping!

Get in now and place your order to be sure that it arrives in time for Christmas!  If you use the coupon code JOLLY2013 you’ll get 20% off any purchase over $5.

Happy shopping!