How to gracefully survive an awkward moment

Sail through a #fail with a smile.


Picture this: my boyfriend and his friend are having a night on the town, and I’ve offered to be their designated driver. I get a call and jump straight in the car without looking in the mirror. When we arrive in the city we’re all hungry, so I decide to join the boys in a pub for a quick meal before leaving them to it.

There I am, standing in line at the bar when I look up and there she is. My super stylish boss, in one of her classically chic ensembles. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other as I work freelance, so of course I’m excited! And then I remember what I’m wearing: a t-shirt dress with a “Friends”-themed oversized hoodie over the top, and trusty Havaianas on my feet. My hair is a big, fluffy, un-styled cloud and I have zero makeup on. I’m reminded of the time when I was working in a shoe shop and, at five foot eight, felt short and curvy next to the Miss Australia contestant who came in to try on fabulous heels while I took photos of her for her Instagram.


Nine times out of ten, I like to look put-together. Planning an outfit and getting ready is sometimes the most fun part of going out! But of course as life would have it, you only run into people you know or admire when you’re wearing your rattiest “chill around the house” clothes. Both times, I could have turned into a blushing, mumbling weirdo, but I chose to smile and get on with it.

It’s not easy to survive an awkward or surprising situation, but it isn’t the end of the world. So you ran into a model, or a fashionista friend, or even an ex on the one day you hadn’t washed your hair. Maybe they noticed, maybe they didn’t. But short of putting your head in your handbag and hiding behind a tree, you can’t do much about it! So just smile, be your usual dazzling self, and even make a joke so you can have a bit of a laugh together and feel more comfortable. Life has a funny way of reminding us that we don’t have to appear perfect all the time.


Hanna Sloan is studying a Creative and Professional Writing degree at QUT. She grew up wanting to be either a writer or a professional dancer, or both. Nothing has changed. She is passionate about performance, fashion, and social progress, and is a confirmed #NastyWoman. Hanna is the proud curator of a shoe collection surpassing sixty pairs, and always thought Andie Anderson in 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' was crazy for not wanting to write about shoes for a living. In her spare time Hanna can be found devouring a book or magazine, watching 'Friends' or asking her parents for Snapchats of the family’s two beagles.

Worship Brisbane’s gin mecca with Dutch Courage

It’s time for a journey of gin at Dutch Courage, where everyone ends up in paradise!

It’s time for a journey of gin at Dutch Courage, where everyone ends up in paradise!

A few years ago it was whiskey that was all the rage, but now is the time for a new flavour favourite. Gin, affectionately known as the adult vodka, now has its own day of celebration. World Gin Day is right around the corner and Brisbane gin lovers can get in on the celebrations at Dutch Courage.

On June 10th, enthusiastic fans can attend the huge event featuring masterclasses, live entertainment, giveaways and gin specials.

“World Gin Day 2016 was our biggest day of the year with a non-stop procession of gin lovers coming to Dutch to learn something new,” said Matthew Hilan, Director of Dutch Courage. “Gin lovers are educated and adventurous people. We’ve listened to their feedback and added even more to this year’s line-up so they can satisfy their curiosity, explore new gins and have a great time.”

Experts from Martin Millers, Fever Tree, Botanist, Gin Mare, Jinzu, Tanqueray, Kangaroo Island Spirits and even Brisbane’s very own Humpybong Distillery will be on hand to answer all your gin questions.

It’s time for a journey of gin at Dutch Courage, where everyone ends up in paradise!

Masterclasses and gin specials kick off from 11:30am with giveaways starting from 12:30pm. Enjoy letting out your inner gin nerd with classes on cocktail mixes, tonic pairings and even lessons on using native Australian botanicals, sensory spices and distillation. Each masterclass will be taught by a different expert so you are sure to leave with new skills and broader understanding of the magic behind gin making.

An all session’s pass gives you all day guaranteed access to all of the events and automatic entry into the five giveaways. A Tanqueray bottle will be given away each hour for five hours! How’s that for epic prizes?

Last year, masterclass tickets sold out within days so make sure to get in quick. All session passes are available for $55 from the Dutch Courage website. For the late risers out there, you can still grab tickets to the last three sessions for $40 with the choice of Head Chef Mark Maric’s tasty five course Moroccan feast for an added $35.

Gin lovers can now prepare and rejoice. The days of the boring drinks has now passed.

Words: Jade Byers-Pointer

Interview with Sydney vocalist Phoenix Melody

Written by

 Get ready to play Phoenix Melody on repeat.


You may know Phoenix Melody from the 2013 series of Australian X Factor. Now, with her debut single ‘Be The One’ hitting the charts and her full EP set to be released later this year, we can guarantee her tracks will be on repeat.

We caught up with the Sydney based vocalist to talk the release of her debut single, working closely with renowned hit makers and her guilty pleasures.

Congratulations on the release of your debut single 'Be The One'. Now that it's finally been released, how are you feeling?

PM: Thank you! I feel liberated. I’m so excited that I can finally share it with everyone.

You've teamed up with killer hit makers for this single. What was the experience like?

PM: Working on this song was sick! It’s such a crazy blessing to be able to call Da Beatfreakz and the Hit Bangaz my friends. We connect on so many levels, especially when we’re vibing in the studio. They’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the business, but are still so down to earth. We’re like family now.

Your first full EP is chalked in for release later this year, can you give us any insight into what we can expect?

PM: Each song on the EP tells a different story and represents a specific time in my life, both good and bad. You can expect to get to know me because it’s a representation of my growth over the past few years. You’ll also get a taste of my versatility as an artist.

You're no stranger to the limelight having been on X-Factor in 2013 along with a number of other live performances. Why is music your passion and what encouraged you to bravely follow your dream and turn this into your career?

PM: I am just doing what I love, but when you put it that way, it is pretty awesome. There is something about the vulnerability and rawness of music. Like everyone, my life has had it’s ups and downs but despite life circumstances, my passion for music has remained, which has to be a sign.


Your social media pages are filled with inspiring quotes and statements. Are you a positive person and are you hoping to inspire your fans to win at life?

PM: Most definitely. No matter what life’s thrown at me, I’ve always tried to keep my head above water and stay positive. I want to inspire people to do the same. I hope that by listening to my music, my fans will be able to know that they are never alone because tomorrow is always a new day.

What feelings or emotions are you trying to evoke with your music?

PM: I want to bring good vibes to the table. It is important to me that my emotions are known and understood. I want whoever is listening to feel empowered, whilst being able to rock out and have a good time.

The official, 'Be The One' music video is set to be launching soon. What was it like shooting the video and was it shot in Sydney?

PM: I haven’t shot the video just yet because I want to get it right and that includes where we shoot it. I’m a proud Sydney girl though and I can assure you that I’ll be representing my city and country no matter the location!

Rapid fire questions:

I'm inspired by...

PM: Travelling. I believe we learn so much when we meet new people, everyone has a story to share and lessons to teach.

Favourite quote...

PM: Aspire to inspire. It reminds me to chase the best version of myself and to keep striving for greatness.


My guilty pleasure is...

PM: Soy Mochas. I could definitely go for one of those right now!

Can't live without...

PM: Acai bowls... They’re life. Summer. Winter. GIVE ME!

I'm passionate about...

PM: Connecting with people on both an emotional and an intellectual level. Mutual understanding is so important for healthy relationships!

What's next...

PM: A lot of hard work and exciting times. The official video for “Be The One” will be out soon, as will my EP. I can’t wait to share more with you all. This is just the beginning so tune in and get ready!

Click here to listen to ‘Be The One’ and follow her Instagram to stay up to date with all things Phoenix Melody.

A new evolution in Brisbane nightlife welcomes EI8HT

Join in as an iconic venue, The Family, is reborn.

Join in as an iconic venue, The Family, is reborn.

For 16 years, The Family has been central to Brisbane nightlife. The Family’s stages have seen some of the largest international dance artists from Tiesto to Above & Beyond perform. Everyone has a story to tell from a night spent at The Family and now the evolution of the venue is set to redefine the city’s club scene with EI8HT!

June 17th will see the unveiling of EI8HT. Pronounced ‘eight’, the club is said to be the new industry leading, multi-faceted space designed to highlight and array of entertainment and deliver an inclusive approach to nightlife.

With two distinct club nights, EI8HT offers to be the ultimate place to party with a more diverse range of offerings to celebrate Brisbane’s inclusivity. Here, the diversity and differences of us all will be celebrated on the main stage.

Saturday nights will hold ONE, an atmospheric and eccentric night of entertainment, performances, music and hosts in an effort to celebrate the collective identity of the community. EI8HT will also ensure the continued celebration of the famous Sunday ‘Fluffy’ night. The place for acceptance, open-mindedness and diversity will remain for everyone to continue enjoying.

Join in as an iconic venue, The Family, is reborn.

Harry Katsanevas from The Family has excitedly spoken of the venue’s new approach to nightlife.

“I’ve had the privilege of being a part of The Family since the beginning. It revolutionised the clubbing landscape in Brisbane and paved the way for a nightclub revolution in this city. I’m now excited to pave its evolution into an inclusive space, which I feel is missing in our community. This space will have a unique voice and showcase the most diverse forms of entertainment Brisbane has ever seen.”

The rooftop at EI8HT will also transform into the Flaming Canary Rooftop Bar. With a new fit out to rival even the greatest outdoor terraces in the city.

EI8HT is set to open its doors on June 17th. Whether you’re heading for a night dancing or wanting to catch up with friends on the rooftop bar, you will sure to experience both a chic and unique night out.

Words: Jade Byers-Pointer

Signs you’re killing it in your early twenties

Like a boss.


“Your twenties are easy!”…said no one ever. It’s a decade of change, instability, holding down multiple jobs and telling yourself that the lack of sleep, time and money will all turn around someday. It’s the age where university is a closed book, you’re just starting out in your career (or still trying to land a grad job) and you’re feeling the pressure to have everything settled and just get your life together already.

Maybe you kind of hoped that after graduation you’d be living in a penthouse apartment, driving to your dream job in an Audi and preparing to go on an overseas holiday to Europe. It’s safe to say you probably aren’t doing that though, and that’s okay.

Here are 7 signs you’re actually killing it in your twenties.

You have a graduate job

Okay so we aren’t talking about the corner office or CEO here, but you’ve managed to grasp onto that first rung of the ladder. Even if you’re a temp worker, a cashier, a bartender, a waitress or whatever else you need to do in the meantime, the fact you’re dedicated enough to do something hard that probably sucks says a lot about you.

Even if you don’t have a graduate job, you’re still applying your skillset

This is for those of us (ahem, me) who have applied for what seems like every graduate job in a 50km radius and still aren’t getting anywhere. Maybe you’re applying those skills by volunteering somewhere, doing an internship or starting your own side hustle like a website or a start-up. As long as you’re putting your skills to use, you should be proud.

Here are 7 signs you’re actually killing it in your twenties.

You have a place of your own…or you’re working on it

Even if your own space only amounts to one room in a shared apartment with your slightly annoying flatmates, it’s your space. There’s no shame in living at home after graduation though, especially with the state of the housing market for us millennials. You can save money and have the luxury of being able to shop around for a decent place instead of signing the lease on the first crappy apartment you can afford. If you’re at least working on saving the money and figuring out your independence, you shouldn’t feel ashamed.

You get enough sleep

Our university days consisted of pulling all-nighters but now that you’re an adult and you have real responsibilities like work, job interviews or appointments, you at least try and get a good eight hours a night.

You only eat two minute noodles if you want to

Gone are the days when you could only afford mac and cheese and two minute noodles for dinner. Your repertoire consists of far more than cheese toasties and cereal - now you can actually cook a decent stir-fry or maybe you’ve even mastered a roast.

Here are 7 signs you’re actually killing it in your twenties.

You have a goal

You’re saving up for an overseas trip, you’re going to move to a new city, you’re planning on doing a master’s degree or changing your career path. Whatever it is, you are moving towards a milestone and that takes some serious maturity.

You can look after yourself

If you make your own appointments, pay your bills on time, exercise regularly, eat well and make time for hobbies and the important people in your life, then you’re well on your way.


Emma is just your average book loving, tea drinking, story writing, narcissistic millennial on an eternal quest for the perfect t-shirt. Ever since she picked up her first copy of Dolly when she was twelve, she always knew she wanted to work in magazines. She would describe herself as a bit of a hopeless romantic with an obsession for true crime and horror and a love for red wine, whiskey or a stiff gin and tonic. When she's not binge watching Netflix or buying things she can't afford online, she spends her weekends trawling through bookstores and eating her way through Brisbane.

12 Thoughts of a millennial watching SATC

Fashion dates, y’all.


I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I was WAY late to the Sex and the City party. To be fair, I was three when it premiered, but it saddens me that it took me until my early twenties to knuckle down and binge watch it like I was going to be tested. As Carrie and her gals began to feel like my besties, I couldn’t help but wonder (get it?!): are there others like me who are only recent converts? Or even some who have yet to discover everyone’s favourite Manolo addict? If so, you’ll relate to the 

Hey, I’m totally like Carrie!

Carrie is a writer in the big city, and shortly before beginning my SATC adventure, I moved to a city to be a writer. It feels pretty awesome to see someone with similar dreams not only being represented on TV, but succeeding at it.

A sex column? Is she an agony aunt?

Oh, nope. Carrie is not dishing out sex advice – she literally writes about her own exploits. If it were 2017 and not 1998, she’d be a blogger.

Does Carrie go to work at ALL?

We’re told she writes a weekly column for The New York Star, a fictional newspaper. Okay, but she never goes to an office. She’s always writing at home on her laptop, gazing out the window. What does she do all day while her friends are at their 9-5 jobs? She only refers to herself as a freelancer once she begins writing for Vogue. Is she The New York Star’s most absent employee?

How well can one weekly column pay?

Who can afford so many pairs of designer shoes when writing one column per week?


Why is he called Mr Big?

For real, it is NEVER explained why Carrie and friends refer to him as Mr Big. Is it a euphemism? Plus, she never uses his first name when talking to him. Did it take them six seasons to come up with a name that suited him? Because that big reveal was anticlimactic AF.

Wow, un-PC alert.

There are a few moments that wouldn’t fly in today’s climate of social progress. For example, Miranda saying “It’s like the Special Olympics of conception” when she falls pregnant to Steve. We get it, you’re amazed to be pregnant, but TV writers today would not put that in a script.

Fashion dates, y’all.

The four leading ladies are often heralded as style icons, but as a fashionista watching the show in 2017, it’s hard not to gaze in horror at some of their ensembles. There are some seriously dated looks, particularly in the earlier seasons – square-toed kitten heels, anyone? The costumers did well most of the time, but the noughties were not a good time for fashion.


Fashion statement, or major faux pas?

Sure, the show plays out a lot of our wildest fashion dreams, and Carrie often rocks looks we drool over. But sometimes bold is taken too far, such as when she wears a satin Vivienne Westwood skirt with a fluffy white bustle. Girlfriend looks like she sat in whipped cream.

The infamous “naked dress” is *praise hands emoji*

With the slip dress well and truly back on the style scene, Carrie’s “naked dress” from her photoshoot in season one is serious #goals.

Is Carrie a glutton for punishment or what?

Mr Big repeatedly shows Carrie that she is not a priority in his life, and she keeps coming back for more! First you’re infuriated, and then you realise it’s the behaviour of a lot of women who are blinded by love, or don’t believe they deserve better.

Where are they meeting all these men?

Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda are constantly going on dates, often to hilarious or outrageous results, such as getting dumped via Post-It note (I have not recovered). But in a pre-Tinder era, how did the girls meet so many men to date?

Why did I not get on this bandwagon sooner?

Through all the heartbreaks, heels and brunches, I began to feel like the four women were my soulmates too, and I wondered why it took me so long to convert to the glory of Sex and the City.



Hanna Sloan is studying a Creative and Professional Writing degree at QUT. She grew up wanting to be either a writer or a professional dancer, or both. Nothing has changed. She is passionate about performance, fashion, and social progress, and is a confirmed #NastyWoman. Hanna is the proud curator of a shoe collection surpassing sixty pairs, and always thought Andie Anderson in 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' was crazy for not wanting to write about shoes for a living. In her spare time Hanna can be found devouring a book or magazine, watching 'Friends' or asking her parents for Snapchats of the family’s two beagles.

21 thoughts when you've forgotten a Mother's Day gift

We've all been there, right?

Mums are the best but sometimes we get a little distracted and forget the one day that celebrates them. Here's how the panic sets in when we've left it to the last minute to get a Mother's Day gift.

Mums are the best but sometimes we get a little distracted and forget the one day that celebrates them. (#EPICFAIL) Here's how the panic sets in when we've left it to the last minute to get a Mother's Day gift.

1 Month Out


1. Mother's Day is a month away, that's plenty of time.

2. I'll think of something amazing this year. The past few Mother's Days have seen me buying whatever I can find in 10 minutes. (I may have done a Petrol Station scout too)

*Shakes head

1 Week To Go

3. Oh, that came out of nowhere!

4. 1 week out. Still plenty of time.

5. Should've saved some money for a present...

6. I'll deal with it tomorrow.

48 hours Left


7. Who does over night shipping?

8. That won't work because nothing is delivered over the weekend.

9. Why do I do this to myself?

10. It's fine, I'll buy her flowers and ....

11. I have a purple lipstick that I haven't opened.

12. Re-gift?

13. Don't be ridiculous. I'll go to the shops tomorrow and get it sorted.

*Checks bank account


14. I have no money.

15. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

16. Why does everything have to be so expensive?

17. What can I sell to make some spare cash?

18. I know, I'll write her an appreciation note.

19. And I can cook her dinner - at her house - with her ingredients. Hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

20. I'll spoil her with non-material-like things and she'll love it. I can hear the praises already.

21. She just doesn't need to know the truth: like I forgot Mother's Day and I have no money because I spent it all on new season Valentino heels.


Single review: Niall Horan's 'Slow Hands'

Could Niall Horan be giving Harry Styles a run for his money?


It was no secret that I wasn’t a fan of Niall Horan’s debut single “This Town”. It was a just boring and lacklustre lead single that “impressed” his already die hard fans but didn’t really do anything for the new fans he was trying to win over.

Taking his sweet time between singles, he’s finally released follow up track “Slow Hands” and has redeemed himself with this playful and experimental song while still holding onto his roots.

Driven by a guitar riff, he layers a basic drum beat and a gospel inspired hand clap in the chorus creating a cool vibe. However, the vocal production is bad. I don’t even know what effect they are using but it should be removed ASAP. The song should have had a clean vocal delivery and allow him to show strength and a little versatility, but instead they’ve gone too drastic and have nearly sabotaged it.

[RELATED: JSUTTA: solo career & The Pussycat Dolls myths]

Luckily for him the song still works and is super catchy, organic and continues to grow on you with each listen. Lyrically the song is raunchy and sees him exploring the scenario of a girl seducing him at the bar and it’s very playful compared to his last single.

“Slow, slow hands. Back sweat dripping down the dirty laundry. No, no chance that I’m leaving without you”.

While the vocal production is slightly embarrassing the rest of the track is really great and looks like he’s giving Harry Styles a strong fight for the number one spot.

Written by Thomas Bleach

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