ChicFinds Suitcase Rummage

Beautiful things, Eating, fashion

ChicFinds loves a market and Suitcase Rummage is a fantastic new concept.

Suitcase Rummage is a mini scaled market held all over Australia, Perth, Sydney, Queensland and more.

Here is their story;

“Our Story

Isabel FitzGerald and Daniele Constance started Suitcase Rummage over a cup of tea and a brainstorming session.

“We wanted to create an event that we wanted to attend ourselves. We wanted simplicity, we wanted beauty, we wanted local and we wanted community. We loved old suitcases and so the idea started to grow.SRB_2016_Web.jpg

There were also a few things that were important to us which we wanted to infuse into the project we were creating – that it was something to connect community; support local creative industries, design and production; encouraged sustainable practices; was accessible; and used place-making as a way of reinvigorating and creatively activating spaces. So, we came up with Suitcase Rummage which combined these and ultimately (and importantly) brought people ‘back to the town square’.SRJJ2016_Web.jpg

We also realised that there wasn’t a platform for emerging entrepreneurs to test their goods on the market before signing up to one of the bigger markets where vendors might need their own infrastructure, insurance and often need to cover high application fees. We saw a need for a step before this and believed Suitcase Rummage would fill this gap – supporting arts and culture, emerging entrepreuners and small business without the high risk.

At the time, we had heard Brisbane City Council was looking for ways to activate public spaces and so approached them with a few ideas. Council liked the idea and wanted to support it as a one off event as part of Youth Week 2010. We were blown away by the response to our first event – we ended up with 60 stalls and lots of attendees.IMG_0123.jpg

Since then, there has been so much wonderful support from the different local communities that Suitcase Rummage has now grown to be a regular, monthly event in Brisbane and Melbourne – both of which attract up to 150 stalls! We have also collaborated (and continue to collaborate) with a number of festivals including Home Festival, St Jeromes Laneway Festival, Surfers Paradise OneWay Street Festival, Jumpers & Jazz Festival in Warwick, and one-off vintage and community festivals. We’ve worked in partnership with Councils, venues, businesses and community organisations to deliver the various events.SRCposterWeb.jpg

Suitcase Rummage provides a platform and opportunity for creative ideas and initiatives to be planted, tested, nurtured and grown. There is a sense of community that comes with the event which people are drawn to. We believe that supporting and engaging with arts and cultural industries is vital to a healthy and connected community. What place doesn’t thrive when it has a flourishing arts and cultural industry?”

Go for a bargain, a swap, or an old fashioned haggle. Suitcase Rummage is not to be missed! Check out the coming event dates;


Chic bites


Feeding baby is a journey in itself. It’s true that your daily domestic load doubles when you start cooking for bebe! Although they say baby can eat from the same plate as yours I am not so sure. So far I have introduced different foods slowly and I am still resistant to introducing certain food types so I follow not only my instinct but some guides and nobody wants to be too cautious as they say that by 1 years of age baby wants to have tried strong flavors, herbs and spices here I come!I enjoy recipes by  Lee at Supercharged foods. I bought the receipt book for kids and I love it! Coconut flour pancakes, muffins and many other different alternatives to the run of the mill flour, bread, gluten products; http://www.superchargedfood.comparis kitchen 8

Growing up I was never given take-away, processed or sugary foods and that’s the same policy I follow now. I have to say I am quite obsessed with all the news about sugar and it being the modern day drug. There are some great alternatives like Agave and Stevia and there are now a lot of recipes that use these.

I don’t want to appear French obsessed (if I could be born French in my next life, that would be great!) but not only have I read a lot about Pamela Druckerman’s books (I referred to these in my last post; Chicette) but I have also glimpsed over Karen Le Billon’s book “French Kids Eat Everything” and I do like what I read. Here is a well written review of the book;

If you want to avoid snacking, rewarding your kid with food and loud noisy complaints have a read! Again you might pick up some useful tips.frenchrules-667x1024

Food has to be one of life’s biggest joys. Well I think so anyway. There is nothing like good food and its true that cooking with the heart makes all the difference. A soulless dinner is very easy to spot and not so great to taste.

All these beautiful images are from

Take a look as she also has some ideas.


BON APPETIT little darlings


Beautiful things, Eating, fashion, Interiors


Over the last ten months I have looked at many different things for our Beautiful babies! You can’t go past the French offering! They offer some of the most gorgeous clothing, nursery decoration and some interesting parental advice. A great place to start your search is at . A beautiful blog that guides you to the most enchanting places. She lists wonderful boutiques like French Blossom, mini Zara and many more. One of my favourites at the moment is Marie Chantal. A luxury clothing range designed by Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. http://www.mariechantal.comatsuyo_et_akiko_main-850x400

It’s a joy putting the nursery together but not easy to find beautiful things. I recently found some organic handmade cot bumpers from Olliella; Another beautiful place to browse is Papierdamour in Double Bay, Sydney; They have wonderful paper products like lights, wall stickers and my beloved parasols. For gorgeous baby swings and hammocks you have to visit the Toucan Shop in Annandale;




Lastly for some inspiring reading take a look at the books written by Pamela Druckermann. She wrote two books; Bringing up Bebe and Bebe day by day. She makes interesting comparisons with the way the French and the Americans bring up their children. It’s always good to have a few extra tips!VogueEnfants


ChicFinds in Tuscany

Beautiful things, Eating, Travel

There are not many places as beautiful as Italy. Every region, every city and place is unique and devine in terms of beauty. It can take your breath away to be amongst the most extraordinary mix of architecture, art and culture. Tuscany is one of the most sublime, sexy and sensual places. It has a all encompassing beauty starting with the morning to dusk light; a kaleidoscope of earthy and warm tones creating a foggy misty light that is so dewy you feel like you could touch its softness.

It is important to not miss out on the major cities (Florence, Sienna, Pisa) while visiting this region but it is the little towns and cities that are the most characteristic. First on the list are the hot springs that are scattered all over the region. Some of the best are around Montecatini and there are the famous springs of  Saturnia (in Italian they are called Terme). Get a little map and visit them at night so you can get naked and enjoy the sensual adventure.

Don’t miss Lucca the city and the surrounding hills where it is so beautiful you should plan an overnight stay in one of the beautiful B&B’s in the hills. The Chianti region is lovely to drive around and it is great fun discovering the little towns where there are some fantastic local trattoria’s to eat at. The outside of Florence, Prato and Fiesole are wonderful culinary areas so indulge! It is also the area where you will find all the famous fashion outlets like Prada, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and others. Then make your way down to the whole area around Sienna which is so picturesque you wont want to ever leave.  Musts to visit are the little towns like Montepulciano and Montalcino where you should take the time to  try all the meats, cheeses and wines! Pure delight.

If your taking your time then the best idea is to stay a week in one place (or more if you can). Hire a villa and enjoy getting to know the local village and allow yourselves to become immersed in the culture. There is no way to feel it other than to stay still and become familiar. Italians are very hospitable and even more so when they see you more than once. Be careful though as you will fall in love and leaving might be heart breaking! X

Chicfinds superfoods and healthy choices


Health is such a huge issue and often diet is all about weight loss rather than fueling the body with pure oils so it runs as its best and gives you the best results. Food is really one of the most important aspects of our lives and of late Chicfinds has been looking into superfoods and what to do with them. It all started with the simple study of what foods are alkaline and what foods are acid. I think it is worth doing as it gives you an idea on the foods that you are eating and now days they say that most bodies are over acid and this can lead to many health problems; Once you have done this kind of research it is imperative that you find a guide to help you along and Chicfinds has found you two very good web sites to begin with.  Sarah Wilson at is a fantastic read covering all sorts of topics in the ‘world of health’. She has a great style of sharing her experiences and her expertise. Sarah’s web site lead us to;!__which is the work of Lee Homes who has just released a beautiful recipes book called Supercharged Food. She also offers an amazing cook book online which is full of recipe’s that are so easy and delicous and best of all, so good for you.  It is not easy to break habits and that is a cliche that you know could not be more true. If your a 70’s baby or there abouts you have had to come to grips with the reality that what our parents did is not what we should be doing. Breaking the habit of smoking, drinking caffeine and eating refined foods are just a few of what our generation and the next continue to battle. Changing foods is a process and you should open your mind to it and be patient. You might not fall in love instantly with guinoa, dandelion tea, raw vegetables and all these other non man handled foods but you will grow to enjoy them. Your palette just needs time to adjust as you need time to learn how to use them. So take your time and treat it like an adventure.

Chicfinds takes a walk in the park

Eating, Travel

Following all that talk of shopping, things and money to spend I thought it would be nice for ChicFinds to take a walk in the park…. Enjoy where ever you are.

Every city has a park. A park is essential to balance the urban environment that surrounds us. Often enough we are happy with a walk in the park but most parks now offer much more than just that. Some favorites;

Founded in 1632, Retiro Park in Madrid covers 350 acres. Originally a retreat for the Spanish royal family, the park is adjacent to both the the Prado Museum and Atocha train station. The park’s gardens and artificial lake are both iconic in Spain. Home to several sculptures, monuments, and a boating lake, it also presents an annual book fair, and there are free concerts throughout the summer.

In New York City you cant beat Central Park. The park was designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted and it is home to a long list of attractions spread throughout its 843 acres of landscape.There is endless events and activities going on all year round including a children’s zoo, walking tours, bike hire and of course the famous ice skating rinks. This park offers a world of escape from the urban city with historical statues, beautiful landscaped gardens and classical architecture. “It is the picturesque beauty of the natural green landscape and pastoral escape that Central Park provides to one of the busiest cities in the world.  There is nothing better than wandering through the paths, exploring the rustic spaces and basking in the nature” Quoted by the following web site;

When in London you cant not visit Hyde Park. It is one of London’s finest historical landscapes covering 350 acres. It is very easy to forget that you are in the middle of London when surrounded by the nature of this park. Events and activities include horse riding, cycling and is home also to a tennis and sport centre. There is now also one of the best ice rinks in the park and Winter Wonderland  is now open. Take a look at the website for more info;

Villa Borghese is the largest public park in Rome. It features a lake, temples, fountains, statues and several museums.

In 1903 the city of Rome obtained the Villa Borghese from the Borghese family and the park was opened to the public. The 80 hectare/148 acres large park now featured wide shady lanes, several temples, beautiful fountains and many statues. There is so much to see in this splendid park and many fantastic museums to visit inside the park including the most famous, Museo e Galleria Borghese, housed in the Villa Borghese, the building after which the park is named. It has a collection of sculptures with some important works by Canova and Bernini, including the latter’s masterpiece ‘Abduction of Proserpina by Pluto’. The Galleria Borghese also houses a collection of paintings from several masters including Titian, Rubens and Raphael.Spoilt for choice is Melbourne with so many beautiful parks in the centre of the city. The influence of Melbourne parks is also much more european inspired to other Australian states. Many of the gardens were established in the nineteenth century in a European style, often featuring monuments, sculptures and public art. The most noted is the Botanic Gardens which is a short distance from the city centre and has a rich variety of attractions, events and activities including open air cinema, shopping and Opera under the stars.  Other parks worth a visit are The Fitzroy, Treasury Gardens and the Carlton Gardens.

Chicfinds tea time

Beautiful things, Eating, Uncategorized

Tea is a tradition that has been around for centuries and recently I have fallen for some very good herbal infusions and a French tea that laid its foundations in the 17th century.

One of my favorite places to get tea is from Byron Bay Tea company. They have some delicious and very nurturing blends.  Try Immunity with it’s mix of eucalyptus, echinacea, lemon myrtle, licorice and ginger for an invigorating start to the day and finish the day with Calming which has chamomile, vanilla, limeflower and cinnamon. Visit Byron Bay Tea Company online

A real chicfind is the tea from Mariage Freres. Mariage Freres is a French tea which has been around since the 17th century. They pride themselves on the ongoing research for finding perfection in the elegance and refinement of tea.  I suggest you visit Simon Johnson stores in Australia to get to know the various blends which are very exotic. Their web site is also worth a visit for a good read on “The Art of making fine tea”

Chicfinds one of Sydney’s jewels

Beautiful things, Eating, fashion

I don’t know about you but shopping malls don’t do it for me at all! It is an American style that has always made me feel a little sad about the idea of shopping and as soon as I enter one of those big malls I start to feel instantly claustrophobic. Where did the boutique shops go or more to the point, where are they going? The world of retail shopping is changing at a rapid pace. The traditional way of shopping is fading fast as online becomes the number one retailer and Australia is now the 3rd biggest consumer online. As I drive around the streets of Sydney I cant help noticing the empty stores with lease signs. In little time the fickle world of fashion is turning yet another leaf! However I did breath some air the other day as I re-visited my favorite shopping haven in Sydney, The Strand Arcade. It is such an icon with it’s elegant features and it stays true to tradition with such a beautiful architecture created by the Englishman, John Spencer. After such a long time I became inspired again with boutiques that take you back in time and represent to you the artisanship behind fashion.Shopping in a place like The Strand Arcade is like a journey, each store tells a story and has an identity which is it’s own. The product is unique and beautiful rather than trendy and attached to the idea of branding via a world of celebrities and consumerism. Haigh’s Chocolates is an Australian family run business that has existed since 1915 and originated in Adelaide. The product is beautifully presented and behind the brand is a solid set of ethics and respect for the product. It is a treat to visit the store and see all the imaginative and creative ideas. Another wonderful fascination is Strand Hatters where it does almost feel like you are walking into another time, a period in which there was a wonderful dignity in dressing and the hat was of up most importance in that tradition. They have so many different varieties from the Top hat to the Fedoras and each has a time and a place.The Strand Arcade remains the haven it always has been when opened in 1892. Not only is it home to many niche boutiques such as Strand Hatters, The Nut Shop and Elie’s leather repair it also has been a starting point for some of Australia’s well known fashion designers such as Lisa Ho, Third Millenium and Sass & Bide. There is also one of Belinda Seper’s stores, The Corner Store which is a wonderland of imported brands including Carven and my favorite Isabel Marant.

Another treat in The Strand Arcade is Pendolino’s restaurant on the 3rd floor. Pendolino’s is well known for it’s home made pasta and olive oil. The olive oil is Australian made and there is an extensive range of fruity flavors that are well worth trying. The dining experience is intimate and comes with attention to detail with waiters that nurture every moment of your time making for a special experience. For an aperitivo or an alternative dining experience there is also La Rosa Bar on the 2nd floor which also offers a chic environment and a menu of lots of easy tastings. For a full directory on the stores in The Strand Arcade visit their web site; X

Chicfinds Caffe Sicilia


628 Crown Street, Surry HIlls

Caffe Sicilia is a recent asset to the Cleveland Street end of Crown Street Surry Hills. It certainly lifts the level in amongst take away outlets and furniture stores taking you on a voyage to Sicily and la dolce vita. The experience is as chic and elegant as the appearance. Every detail of Cafe Sicilia captures that hospitality that Italians do so well. This is the perfect place  that warrants a dress up just for an afternoon tea, morning coffee or a meal. The menu is so perfect in the sense that it offers Italian treats and they are really Italian, not Australian/Italian.  The breakfast is delicious, I would recommend the Italian pastry’s like Viennese and Cornetti and the coffee is perfect! The lunch menu offers an array of authentic Italian dishes and all product is organic, choice includes rosticceria. Dinner menu looks good too with pasta dishes like fettuccine with carciofi and gamberi and maccheroni della nonna. It is so refreshing to have a cafe in Sydney that is so Chic and is transporting that wonderful cafe lifestyle of Europe to our pavements! X

Vogue Paris June 09