It’s time for another edition of The Monthly Mint – a chance for you to join in the Peppermint office chat about all the things we’re loving and living for each month.
Here at Peppermint we’re forever on the hunt for the best in sustainable reads, eats and wears to inspire you all. But have you ever wondered what we are really liking in our off-screen lives? We thought we’d open our front doors (despite how messy it might be inside) and share a few of our favourite things each month. That way you get the chance to get to know us a little better and if you’re ever in need of a recommendation next time you find yourself stuck in the “I don’t know what to watch/wear/read?!” scroll, you know where to start.
OK, so my wish list (which consists of 1000 tabs of products I love, open on my phone so I remember them) is a moveable feast. Things can go from bottom to top priority pretty rapidly, and that change is often a reflection of the real-world circumstances in which I find myself. Case in point: it rained for almost the whole week last week so the raincoat that had been languishing on the ‘nice to have’ section of my list skyrocketed straight to ‘necessity’. This is also true of a pair of forever boots that I tell myself I must invest in a) every time it rains solidly for more than a day and my trusty Vejas just won’t cut it and b) the temp drops below 15 degrees in Queensland’s *unbearable* winter months. I’m waiting for the rebelliously flat, punkish moon boot that is the Lunar Bootie by Radical Yes to come back in stock (which I’ve been told is just around the corner – yay!) but I’ve also had my eye on a pair of Duckfeet’s Faborg style so I can channel my inner-Danish farm girl in Brisbane’s chilly urban environs come winter.
Having recently stalled all forms of physical exercise – yes, I’m in peak physical condition as a result and brisk walk is enough to give me DOMS for a week – I’ve made a ‘How the heck is it already February?’ resolution to get back into the yoga every damn day flow (read: whenever I can be scrounge a spare minute to myself). Naturally, I can’t rediscover my love for the stretch life without the *cutest* of yoga sets to get bendy in. Pinky and Kamal’s Yin Set in peach is speaking to me right now, with its trendy tie dye, 70s flare cut and tiny ab-flaunting crop. Hara and Indigo Luna also have a couple of bike shorts that have caught my eye, in lovely hand-dyed natural fabrics. This list could go on and on to be honest – am I the only one that thinks it’s high time that yoga gear made it into the acceptable all-activity wear category?
Since Jonathan Swan (the son of Australia’s dad and journalist/trained doctor, Norman Swan) became a Trump-related meme for all the right reasons last year, his journalistic star has continued to rise. Reporting for American news site Axios – specialising in what it calls “smart, efficient news worthy of your time” – Jonathan has finalised his four years covering the Presidential peach (who has not-so-gracefully exited stage left) with an absolutely compelling podcast called How It Happened. The series details the last few months inside The White House, using information gained from anonymous sources close to the action, and it’s as wild and ridiculous as you’d expect.
Being a fangirl of dictionaries is a hazard of my job but until I started reading The Dictionary of Lost Words by Australian author Pip Williams, a fictional narrative built around the story of the creation of the Oxford Dictionary and the UK suffragette movement, I hadn’t really considered the machinations, or even the politics of, what it would have entailed to compile such a document. It’s a beautifully written tale of the words and meanings that get misplaced, intentionally left out or lost to history – and an examination of how language and its power is only as good, or as equal, the system within which it is created.
NATIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER
Deb McNaughton (who’s splendid artwork was featured on the cover of Peppermint‘s stunning Issue 46) has recently created a bunch of cute Instagram videos of her painting lovely things such as her gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted terracotta pots. Unfortunately for me, these bright and beautiful creations are for studio collection only but she’s also created a Pots With Personality online tutorial so we can all enjoy making them at home – love!
Easter is on the way (say what??) and I’ve been hoping to find something a little different for my children to enjoy instead of the same ol’ sugary brands on display at the shops each year. Thank goodness Deva Cacao has come to my rescue with a delightful gift pack of organic (and naturally sweetened) Easter bunnies!
A friend gifted me Natural Harry‘s Home for Christmas, which my daughters and I have been thoroughly enjoying. It’s such a joyful little collection of DIY recipes, tips and hacks for a more sustainable, chemical-free existence – including easy to follow recipes for everything from shampoo, body butter, room spray, bath soak and candles – making it the perfect book for fun school holiday projects, and creating thoughtful little handmade gifts for ourselves and others to enjoy <3
I recently discovered Robert Gordon’s dinnerware and I’m loving the cream clay with oatmeal fleck in the Platform Plate collection. Of course they’re currently sold out, which just makes me want them even more… sigh!
ASSISTANT AND DIGITAL EDITOR
Created by screenwriter Russell T. Davies (of Queer As Folk and Doctor Who fame), Stan miniseries It’s A Sin tells the story of a group of friends navigating the AIDS epidemic as they learn to embrace their own sexual freedom through 80s London. It’s a heavy, heady and downright heartbreaking tale but still filled with boundless joy, radiance and a contagious lust for life that makes for unmissable viewing. Binge all five episodes at once and prepare for a good cry.
There were only so many loaves of banana bread I could make during lockdown and don’t get me started on puzzles – how does the mundanity of putting together an image you’ve already seen bring anyone joy?! There is, however, one wholesome lockdown activity I have taken with me out the other side… and that’s a love of making pasta. So much so, I was gifted a roller for Christmas which I’ve taken to with gusto. There’s something quite meditative about putting on a record, rolling out the dough and, well, the fact I get to eat it at the end is a bonus. The pasta addiction is real – thanks Miss Rona. I’ve also recently come across the beloved Instagram account @pastagrannies which I can highly recommend for adding some wholesome Italian nonnas to your feed. You’re welcome.
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As Australian summer draws to a close, I have become a woman possessed by the need to buy the perfect swimsuit (I know, my timing is off). Luckily, I recently had the job of compiling sustainable swimsuits for our ultimate swimwear list and looked at a heap of wonderful brands. I studied a lot of size guides and watched many try-on videos (see, possessed!) and eventually settled on this set from Alulu Swim. Being plus-size, very tall and big busted, it is often quite annoying/difficult/heartbreaking to find togs that fit my style but I am thrilled with these ones. The quality is so excellent, the fit is great (lots of support and coverage and really comfortable) and the print feels modern and pretty. This was a big investment but I am thrilled and ready to hit the surf… next summer I guess?
My makeup routine is about 30 seconds long – foundation, eyebrow stuff, blush, done. While this fairly slapdash facebeat is due to a lack of time, patience and skills, I actually do love makeup! I needed a new blush and so decided on one of the Carrot Colour Pots from Ere Perez (I bought the shade ‘Hello’). It’s a cream blush which means it is quick and easy for me to apply with my fingers and I like to pop it on my cheeks and lips for a subtle colour. Bonus points for the fact that it’s vegan and contains, as the name suggests, carrots as a natural pigment. I’m now looking at the brand’s Jojoba Eye Pencils. Might even extend my routine to 45 seconds!
In You’re Wrong About, journalist Michael Hobbes and writer Sarah Marshall look at major events from the past you might think you know pretty well – everything from the OJ Simpson trial to the Exxon Valdez oil spill – and examine them with incredible detail gathered from a variety of sources. Throw in the pair’s excellent chat skills (this is what I feel like when I listen to it!) and you have the perfect mix of entertainment and media literacy education. I’m currently listening to the five-part series about Princess Diana and it is packed full of important points about the representation of women in the media, the commodification of celebrities and… what Prince Charles likes to be called in the bedroom. The podcast has been going since 2018 so there are lots and lots of episodes for me to binge! Woohoo!
Acknowledging a slight lag to my New Year’s focus on better health, I’ve delved into Ferment by Holly Davis. Holly has 40+ years of cooking and teaching about whole foods under her belt and she invites you to bring bacteria into your kitchen and your tummy. This book is richer than similar titles, offering some lesser-known ferments with glorious names – shrubs, rejuvelac, kvass – and nodding towards many ancient Japanese techniques. Holly’s recipes are inventive and fresh, and the best thing is she’s Australian (and very practical) so the recipes work and the ingredients are all readily available. So much fun and a reminder that slow food can be very slow but so rewarding. I feel better from just reading the recipes.
I’m listening to the audiobook of Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo – joint winner of the 2019 Booker prize – and it’s a great performance with a single narrator telling the stories of 12 distinctive black British women. The women range in age and present a diversity of life stories that articulate how race, class, education, sexual identity and personality intersect, all against a recurring backdrop of social history and largely African cultural heritage. There is a good bit of British colonial history lurking beneath the storylines, always helpful when a book gives you something to think about, and something to remember.