‘Once you pop you can’t stop’ was never so true as when working with concrete – once you start thinking about what you can make out of quick dry cement you’ll drive yourself crazy imagining the possibilities. It’s one of those materials that’s so easy to work with, yet yields such great results. Yes it’s messy, and if you get the mould wrong you’re custard, but bearing those things in mind it’s possible to become somewhat of a concrete artist. Or feel like one anyway. Did I mention it’s dirt cheap? Here I show you how to  create something for the table for just a few dollars and a try to the hardware store, perfect for those of you sitting down with family and friends today, or later in the holiday season.

DIY Copper and Concrete Candle Holders
You need:

  • Quick dry concrete
  • Copper piping 5cm (2 inches) long.
  • Call boxes
  • Scissors

DIY Copper and Cement Candle Holders

How to:

1. Mix your concrete as it says on the packet.

DIY Copper and Cement Candle Holders

2. Pour it into the box and allow to set for a few minutes.

DIY Copper and Cement Candle Holders

3. Once the concrete is a little bit set, press the pipe in and few inches. Allow to set overnight (or whatever your packet says).

DIY Copper and Cement Candle Holders

4. Once set, cut your box open. Voila!

DIY Copper and Cement Candle Holders

5. Push your candles down into the copper pipe, making sure they go a few inches into the pipe and are secure.

DIY Copper and Cement Candle Holders

Voila. I made come circular ones using cylindrical boxes, so many options with this project!

DIY Copper and Concrete Candle Holders

A big happy thanksgiving to my lovely readers who are celebrating today.

Photos by Nicola Lemmon


Ok so, picture me fresh off the boat in London circa June, 2008. Being from a subtropical climate in Australia (and still relatively a baby), I’d never really had to buy a winter coat. Let’s just say I was undereducated in just how important this purchase would end up being over the following year. Naturally therefore, on a whim I bought a white belted cotton trench. My housemate took one look at it and mentioned (after a few glasses of wine) that it was not quite the best winter coat option. Needless to say, after only 48 hours said trench was a) wayyyy to cold to wear on my trudge to work through East London backstreets b) absolutely filthy from being squashed onto the tube and c) completely, I’ll admit now, impractical. I didn’t have the cash to splash on a number of different coats, so I had to wait a while before purchasing what I should have bought originally – a wool pea coat that I wore every day for a year. Long story short, I learnt my lesson about the all important coat purchase. Although Hong Kong isn’t quite as cold as London, believe it or not there are still a few months where a winter coat is needed, and this year I decided to upgrade from one I bought in London. Read on for my tips for picking the best one!

Choosing your staple coat
Choosing a staple coat

Wearing: Lovers + Friends Coat, L’academie top, Lovers + Friends Skirt, Club Monaco Boots, Celine Bag, Ray-ban sunglasses.

1. Go for Versatility

Unless you’ve got a big budget with which to invest in a number of coats, chances are this one will be lived in. Therefore, the main thing to focus on is a coat that will get you through all occasions feeling both put together and comfortable. Go for a classic cut rather than something out there that may date really easily.

2. Splash Out (as much as you can)

In a perfect world, you’ll be able to find a coat that is chic, perfectly fitted, 100% wool and not too expensive. Sadly, all these factors are contingent on one and other, and mainly on how much you want to spend. Key learning? Don’t be too tight when it comes to your essential coat purchase – spend as much as is possible (without blowing your credit card up or not having anything to eat). But also, do your research. It is possible to find good value coats that look cute and have a relatively high wool count (if that’s what you’re after). If you make the right choice about your coat you’ll find the cost per wear will be almost zero within a year.

3. Pick the right Fabric

This obviously relates to what type of weather you’ll have to deal with, but in general, wool or cashmere are the fabrics that are going to keep you nice and warm but also still be breathable. This is obviously where the concept of cost vs quality comes in, but the big thing here is that you make sure to check the material count and details before purchasing – I’ve seen expensive coats with poor quality fabrics, and vice versus, so make sure you check. Most coats will be some sort of wool poly blend, so you want to try to get more wool in your coat, particularly if you live somewhere freezing!

4. Consider colour carefully

When choosing the right colour for you, you want to think about a) what colour will go with a majority of your wardrobe – black, camel or grey are a good place to start and b) what will hide dirt and marks the best? I know it sounds gross but the reality is your coat may go a few weeks without cleaning and you’d prefer it looked fresh and clean even when it’s been sitting in a pile of coats in a nightclub (where you may or may not have accidentally forgotten it).

5. Think about silhouettes

This is both about the shape of the coat on your body, and the length. Consider the weather you’ll be dealing with – whether you’ll be duffle coating it in the snow (a bit hard to be fussy about silhouettes here) or whether you will have more leeway. In general, look for a coat that can cinch in at the waist either with a belt or a tie as this will help you feel a little more feminine! You’ll also want it to be big enough so you can wear things under it, but not too bulky. When it comes to length, you’re going to want one that is right for the climate and also makes you look nice and long – either above the knee or just below is a great place to start.

Choosing a staple coat

Can’t believe it’s still skirt weather in Hong Kong, although I’m sure as soon as I post this the winds will blow in from Mongolia and it will be freeeeezing. Hello layers!

Choosing a staple coatChoosing a staple coatChoosing a staple coat

To celebrate Revolve now offering free 3-5 day DHL Express shipping to Hong Kong and the huge  pre-black Friday sale they’re having this week (up to 75% off!), I’ve picked out a few of my favourite coat options, they have so many brands that it’s impossible not be able to find something.

Some options for you:


Rachael Zoe | State of Being


Shades of Grey |Maurie & Eve | Olcay Gulson


Marc by Marc Jacobs | Mackage


State of Being | Native Stranger | Lovers + Friends | Yerse | C/MEO | JOA

Photos by Visala Wong. This post is in collaboration with Revolve.


Ok so you could just take your family/friend/boss a bottle of wine to thank them for having you over (and everything they’ve done for you), and that would fine right? But what if you could take them something both delicious and long lasting, with about as much effort expended as it takes to press print with your mouse finger? To celebrate the start of the holiday season, I’m excited to bring you these free printable chocolate wrappers for you to use – for a host gift, a present, an IOU or just for someone sweet in your life. Created by APAAS team member Kristen, you’ll get three very sweet options that take a simple (and, ahem, cheap) block of chocolate into luxury gift territory. The best part? Once you’ve devoured all the chocolate you can keep the print – frame it, or put it on your mood board.

Download the prints here. Stay tuned for another way to print and style them, coming soon.

Free Printable Chocolate WrappersPrintable chocolate wrapper

Marble Dish, Marble Coasters, Rope Vessel.

Printable chocolate wrapper

All you need to do is print the pages in A4 and re-wrap a block of chocolate. We used circle stickers at the back to secure but washi tape or normal clear tape would work perfectly too. Make sure to centre toe quote on the front of the chocolate.

Printable chocolate wrapperPrintable chocolate wrapperPrintable chocolate wrapper

Voila! Now, the challenge is going to be how to stop yourself from cracking open that silver paper once you take the original wrapping off… Perhaps grab yourself a few spare blocks? :)

Printable chocolate wrapperPrintable chocolate wrapper

Make sure to check out Kristen’s new website, lots of gorgeous things there to add to your christmas wish list!

Photos by Nicola Lemmon


Just in time for the weekend, who wouldn’t want to be on a tropical island somewhere? If that’s not quite happening at the moment never fear, we’ve rounded up all our favourite beachy inspired Etsy items for that ‘let’s throw off the shackles of real life and become surf teachers’ vibe. Ideal for that person in your life who a) lives in a bungalow b) is always planning their next island trip or c) perhaps is, in fact, you! Hey cocktail emoji, what’s up?

Gift Guide: Feeling tropical

Gift Guide: Feeling tropical

Once again we couldn’t go past the White Necessities Pencils, did you know you can customise them to say whatever you want? Perfect for that friend who loves everything monogrammed. And who wouldn’t want a gorgeous Wooden Bowl to stack with their five a day (or ya know, lollies).

Gift Guide: Feeling tropical

I’m a sucker for a Pineapple bowl, a great place to store jewellery like this Copper Ceramic BangleRose Gold Stacking Rings, & Handstamped Necklace. Hello sand between toes!

Gift Guide: Feeling tropical

The best thing about this gorgeous  Macrame Plant Hanger is that it would look just as good in an apartment as in a beach house. On that note, if you have a friend who owns a beach house you should probably get them a gift this year… just sayin’.

Gift Guide: Feeling tropical

If your friends have as much crap as I do they’ll be totally down with one of these Rope Vessels, perfect for hoarding supplies or, if they’re the OCD type, artfully placing bouquets of flowers.

Gift Guide: feeling tropical

Oatmeal is super calming for allergy prone skin, which makes this honey and oatmeal soap the gift that keeps on giving.

Gift Guide: feeling tropical

This cushion. Get in my life now. Oh sorry I mean my friend’s life. 😉

Gift Guide: feeling tropical

Photos by Nicola Lemmon.

This post is in collaboration with Etsy.