New York, New York, pt3


It’s almost been a year since I’ve left for New York and my Facebook ‘on this day’ feed is now full of photos of rooftop drinks, hiking adventures and sightseeing. Take me back! I thought I better pick up my game and continue the travel posts before I forget all the details.

Ryan and I said our farewells to our month-long travel buddies Mark and Monique along with our Williamsburg AirBnb. Ryan and I caught a cab to our new accommodation, The Ludlow Hotel in the Lower East Side, which I was somehow lucky enough to get a good deal online in Perth.

The Ludlow Hotel

Room with a view! We could see the famous Katz’s Deli from our window… I could smell the pastrami from up there. Ryan and I were served a HUGE breakfast (how very America) every morning which kept us going for hours, or until we decided that we were hungry enough for a Salty Pimp from Big Gay Ice Cream. The Ludlow Hotel The Ludlow Hotel

Dirty French Dirty French

Said ice cream: Big Gay Ice Cream

Seeing as last time we were in New York it was snowing and I couldn’t deal with being outside for longer than five minutes – LET ALONE get on a boat – we decided to jump on the major-touristy (tourists are the worst, hey?) CircleLine Tour to see Lady Liberty up close. While she was the star of the show, I mostly loved the feeling of the fresh air on my face and sunshine on my skin. Cirlce Line Tour

Brooklyn Bridge

Statue of Liberty

We spent a lot of time wandering around the East Village, West Village and Soho checking out expensive shops that we couldn’t afford and sampling food from all the delicious cafes and street vendors we could find. Soho


Obligatory pit-stop at Magnolia Bakery:Bakery

MoMA PS1 was a let down because literally ALL the exhibitions were closed for the week! At least the type on the wall was cool.


Theodore Bradley

LowerEastSide DonaldMcTrump EastVillageStreetArt







Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

One morning we woke up early and legged it to the Booth Theatre to grab rush-tix for Hand to God. Super fun show! Super cheap tickets!

Hand to God

We picked the wrong day to go to the New York Botanical Garden and see the Frida Kahlo exhibition. It was about 45 degrees and the glasshouses only made things worse. We took refuge inside the building and spent as little time outside as possible, before grabbing a paleta from a perfectly positioned food truck and heading back to the early train back to the city. NewYorkBotanicalGarden

Frida NewYorkBotanicalGarden2Botanical-Garden NewYorkBotanicalGarden3 Ryan booked tickets for the Comedy Cellar for our last night in New York. We gorged on a giant pizza from Lombardi’s, America’s first pizzeria before walking in the rain to watch the show. It was sort of smelly from the heat, but also romantic at the same time (right?) Side note: This is not the only photo of me about to devour an enormous pizza. LombardiPizza

ComedyCellarThe last day in New York was spent wandering around The West Village, grabbing coffee from Happy Bones, checking out the street art, hoping for a Kanye West sighting (it didn’t happen, sorry Ryan) before having a big lunch feast at the place next to Jack’s Wife Freda… the lines were so long and everyone looked so hip, I felt a bit overwhelmed so we moved on!

HappyBonesNYCEgg Shop New YorkBuvetteAfter lunch we packed our bags and checked out of our super comfortable hotel. We spent the last few hours of New York walking across the inspiring Brooklyn bridge and taking in the sights of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. We even had a celebrity sighting: Keri Russell walking, no, flowing down the street. I was definitely sad to say goodbye to the most exuberant city in the world, but I was ready for new experiences (and smells) in Iceland. My only regret is that I didn’t get one more Shake Shack stuffed portobello mushroom burger before leaving.
BrooklynBridge4 In my new favourite dress and the usual camera around my neck on the Brooklyn Bridge:Brooklyn Bridge Jess BrooklynBridge2







 Read part 1 and part 2

Ace Hotel
The Standard
AirBnb in Williamsburg
The Bowery
The Ludlow
The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn
There’s just too many to list…


Eat + Drink
Schiller’s Liquor Bar
Lombardi’s Pizza
Happy Bones Coffee
Salty Pimp Ice Cream at Big Gay Ice Cream
Have blueberry pancakes and fried chicken at Clinton Street Bakery
Jack’s Wife Freda (apparently it’s great, but i’ll have to visit next time)


See + Do
Wander through DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Go to a comedy show
Go to the top of Rockefeller Center and see an amazing view of NYC
Take the train from Grand Central Station to the New York Botanic Garden
Take a boat tour on the Circle Line Cruise out to The Statue of Liberty
Grab rush-tix for a Broadway show (check their rush-tix policy on their website first)




















Our fresh bathroom!


Ta-da! Like magic, our new bathroom is complete. Well, not really – it look about three weeks and countless tradespeople to get this finished. I am so happy with the final product and I think it really has the same vibe as our inspiration. I definitely underestimated how much time and money this renovation would use… we went over on both counts.

Here is the very satisfying/scary ‘before’ picture. I am slowly forgetting the mouldy shower-screen, the white tapware, the water that refused to come out of the bath taps, the aircon vent that had dropped months before, the INTERNAL WINDOW, the blue and beige colour scheme. Sure, it was functional, but it really needed a refresh.


RenovatedBathroomThe best thing about this picture below are the Marimekko towels I won last year:


Ah, this Ikea vanity is much better. We’ll see if it stands the test of time and use, but given that it was exactly what I wanted (and pretty well priced) I couldn’t say no. Choosing a height to have the vanity was one of the hardest parts of the renovation. We had our plumber, Laurence, out to move the pipes a bit and almost had to have him come out again when my dad (who tiled) suggested it was too low! I may have freaked out a little bit so Laurence invited us to his place to check out his vanity which was even lower than what we were going to have. I’m so glad we did that, because what we had was absolutely fine and saved having to rip up tiles AND move the plumbing. Also, I know it’s only a small detail, but we ended up buying a slimline powerpoint and light-switch which gives the room a slightly more modern feel.


Ryan and I had initially decided to splurge on real marble for the bench tops. We had a sample piece given to us by really helpful staff at Beyond Stone, and I tested if my makeup marked the stone. I was pretty disappointed when the next day I couldn’t get some of the mark off, so we decided to give it a miss as it would be too much upkeep. We ended up ordering Caesar Stone in the Calacatta Nuvo finish, which I LOVE. It’s bright and white with a nice marble finish through it. Here’s my beaded box I purchased at the Ubud markets in Bali a few months back with my beautiful Bridget Bodenham planter sitting pretty on my new benchtop. RenovatedBathroom3

The white marble hex against the white tiles keeps the design subtle and also brings in the element of the benchtop and black hex flooring. We ended up going for white matt 300×600 wall tiles and black hexagonal floor tiles. My dad (being the amazing dad he is) did all the tiling for this bathroom free of charge, which is incredible. By the end, I’m sure he wanted to divorce me as a daughter as laying the floor tiles were utterly fiddly and time consuming. Beware of tiler costs if you buy similar tiles! RenovatedBathroom4

Our glorious rain shower head is the brand Dorf and was a special order from Reece. I was determined to find a rounded goose neck shower, so we did end up splurging on this item. It’s SO GOOD though. It’s better than any shower I’ve ever been in, to be quite honest. The other taps and all three mixers in the bathroom are the brand Phoenix. I found a good price for them online and Masters happily (begrudgingly?) matched it PLUS took an additional 10% off. Oh, and we had to return our original taps as they were quarter turns which is apparently a big no-no for Perth’s water. We had about four different people telling us to stay clear of them as they continuously leak and just get a mixer instead!


The feature of the bathroom is really the amazing Velux skylight! It lets SO much natural light in that I don’t have to put the light on during the day anymore. If you can fit it within your budget I would most definitely recommend one (or two, or three). Having the skylight means I can have my favourite Lightly planter hanging from the ceiling. RenovatedBathroom5

I had purchased these Muuto Dots from Arrival Hall a few months back with the thought I would hang them in my bedroom when I repainted but they wound up in here holding our towels and some of my necklaces. Perfection!



Demolishing was way messier than I expected. I also didn’t expect that the walls were going to be so wonky and that both my brother and my dad would have to spend a day fixing the lean before tiling. There was also dust literally everywhere in the house. Don’t even bother cleaning during the process!


My brother-in-law Ben (being blinded by the light) who tore our ceiling and roof apart installing the skylight. BathroomDuring5

BathroomDuring2 BathroomDuring4

I actually quite like this look before the white grout went in!  BathroomDuring

We probably spent about $12,000 (maybe more… eek) in total and were without a shower at our place for two weeks. Luckily we had a bit of extra cash saved up so we could afford the additional surprises!

Here’s our supplier list if you’re interested:
Stone benchtop:
Showerscreen and mirror (both custom): Peter’s Glazing
Tiles: Imported Ceramics
Basin: Sink Warehouse
Tapware: Phoenix brand from Masters. Dorf showerhead from Reece.
Skylight: Velux
Vanity: Ikea
Plumber: Laurence at Men on Tap. He also organised the electrician which was super helpful.










Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Renovation

With the help from our very patient family, Ryan and I have started our first proper renovation! We have been spending the last few weeks sourcing materials, chatting with tradies and asking friends for advice so that we could be as ready and prepared as possible. The bathroom was gutted this morning, so we NEED to be organised because it’s our only wet area and I’m not keen on showering at the gym everyday.

A few months ago, I started a shared Pinterest board with Ryan to see what sort of bathrooms we are drawn to. The board was flooded with pictures of bathrooms that had black, wood, white, plants and a pop of colour in it. We set off around Perth looking to replicate the vibe of some of these bathrooms and ended up with these materials:

Bathroom Renovation

We bought the vanity cabinet from IKEA and have a custom caesarstone Calcutta Nuovo benchtop being installed to go on top. We had originally decided to splurge on beautiful marble, but after testing out wine, coffee and makeup on it, I felt that it marked permanently too easily. We also had a last minute change of spouts and hot/cold taps which meant we spent an extra 10 hours trawling Perth for nice looking mixers. Apparently the pretty 1/4 turns (like in the first picture) aren’t great for Perth’s water and tend to leak after a year or so.

The black hexagonal tiles are for the floor (which my tiler brother says will be terrible to keep clean, eek!) and white matte rectangular wall tiles, which will go to the ceiling. Our house is from the 60s and has a pretty weird layout – the bathroom is in the centre of the house with a little window looking over the sunroom. We’ve decided to patch up the window and install a glorious Velux skylight, which means we can shower and watch the clouds roll by!

Here’s some of the inspiration we based our bathroom on:

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration