How to Make Bulletproof Matcha

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Matcha (green tea powder) is an amazing alternative to coffee that provides ten times the antioxidants of normal green tea. The caffeine in matcha is a source of nutritional energy, therefore the body’s reaction to the caffeine in matcha is very different to that of coffee and energy drinks. When caffeine binds with the antioxidants it slows down the release of caffeine into the bloodstream, creating a longer amount of sustained energy (4-6 hours) as opposed to coffee in 1 hour. Matcha also helps reduce anxiety, jitters, and insomnia, and increase your metabolism and fat burning power.

The highest quality matcha is exclusively grown and produced in the rolling hills of Uji, in the ancient city of Kyoto, where Hibiki-an is located. Hibiki-an is known for its amazing service, reasonable shipping, and the quality is outstanding.

Here is Kaitie Manani’s favourite bulletproof matcha that she drinks every day for breakfast.


1 1/2tsp matcha (house or celebration)

1 1/2 x cups of hot water

2 x tsp of coconut butter

1 x tsp almond or cashew butter

1/4 tsp fresh vanilla bean paste

1 x tsp of collagen protein

1/4 teaspoon of holy basil powder

1/2 tsp of macca powder


Blend all the ingredients in a Vitamax for 45 seconds

Kaitie Manani, The Slow Mode

Designer and fashion entrepreneur, Kaitie Manani, has embraced slow living so much, she decided to launch a new business, THE SLOW MODE. Here, the Hong Kong-based Aussie shares her secrets to finding your slow.

Kaitie Manani should be no stranger to a fashion enthusiast. She is the founder of vamastyle, a hugely successful all-year-round swim and resort wear label. However, after 7 years of building the business, she was left feeling “so overburdened and stuck in a stressed state” that she was yearning for more purpose and meaning in her work.

A breakdown was the catalyst for her reassess her way of life, which led her to slow living. She has merged her two passions of slow living and quality design by setting up THE SLOW MODE which is a curation of slowly-made artisanal labels sourced from around the world, plus wellness guides to help others create a slower way of living.

Kaitie Manani, The Slow Mode | Interview | Travelshopa

All images supplied by Kaitie Manani

What is “slow” living?

Slow living to me is tuning into the now, being truly present and non judgmental. Allowing space in your everyday for nature, peace and clarity.

How do you incorporate “slow” into your buying/product curation?

It’s absolutely core to what The Slow Mode stands for… beautiful fashion, home and beauty products made slowly by artisans around the globe, with thoughtful and meaningful details. I look for those little ‘extras’ handmade finishes and touches that tells a unique story for our customers. They want a deeper connection to the designs and designers behind the brands, not a fast fashion impulse buy.

I can’t start my day until…

fresh plain celery juice upon rising, hot water lemon, bulletproof matcha… in that order !

What does your typical day look like?

Well it starts off with the above, drop my two boys to the bus… then I head up the peaks of Hong Kong for a power walk and get myself around nature… I’ve got a fave spot at a root of a beautiful tree along Bowen Rd – where I do my first meditation of the day. Then back home for breakfast and start the day in the home studio. Fulfilling orders, emails, sourcing etc.

You’ll never see me without…

A matcha in my hand

What does work life balance mean to you?

Finding my slow is being able to stop reset, rebalance myself when I start to feel like I’m spiralling our if control and dipping into an energy reserve I’ve had to fit so hard to get back. It’s a respect to your body first, to listen to it, don’t ever push it… By stepping away and going inwards with my meditation – I crave that peacefulness, and try to bring the calm & clarity I have after each session through out the day.

In 5 years you will find me…

I came across this beautiful quote the other day and it stopped me in my tracks, I thought it’s so simple and perfect “your future should look like the best parts of your present… “ so you’ll find me doing the things still that I love right now.

Kaitie's guide to #FindYourSlow


Twice daily 20 min Vedic meditation sessions that can be done pretty much anywhere (with zero props)


Infusing doterra essential oils through the home and my work space to transform the whole space into a COMO spa (well nearly…) these oils have a huge impact on mood and your emotions


3. Making myself multiple bullet-proof matcha’s through the day, I find this ritual very therapeutic.


I make sure I don’t sit for longer than an hour before some yoga or Pilates sequences.. just to get my body flowing on and off through the day feels good.

Anna van der Gardner, The Design Barn

Interior Designer Anna van der Gardner of The Design Barn has a keen eye for coastal interiors, travel and gardening, which is evident in the recently restored BRONTE HOUSE. When working on the home, Anna focused on bringing the outside into the 1845 building. Anna has successfully brought a classic contemporary style that has put a spotlight on the architecture of the Bronte home and the revived historic gardens.

Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa

Bronte House, Bronte, NSW
Images supplied by Anna van der Gardner

Since it was first built by Robert and Georgiana Lowe in 1845, Bronte House has seen multiple residents and owners. Since 2015 the van der Gardner family has been residing in the two acre property in Sydney’s Bronte.

With an advanced Diploma of Interior Design from Enmore Design Centre, Anna van der Gardner has added her feminine touch to this historic home. On the eve of a Bronte Home Open House, we chat to Anna about her work, style and of course all things Bronte House.

How did you start out as an interior designer? 

I started working for a boutique architectural studio where I was lucky enough to have two amazing mentors – I then went on to work for a high end residential Interior Designer until I went out on my own.

What’s your first interiors memory?

My absolute favourite building is a place called Neuendorf Villa in Mallorca by Claudio Silvestrin and John Pawson. I love the clean, simple, raw lines and textures.

I can’t start my day until…

I have my morning coffee in bed!

What is your top interior styling tip?

Don’t rush it – take your time finding the perfect pieces.

Where do you look for inspiration?

The rustic coastal regions of France and Italy as well as more exotic places like Morocco and Mexico where I have been on my travels.

If you were not an interior designer, what would you be doing?

Travelling the globe sourcing antique/vintage pieces to sell in Australia and taking photos along the way

What do you do in your downtime?

Hmm… how could I not be gardening!? I have also just started a botanical watercolour course.

Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa
Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa

We didn’t choose a ‘period style” look for Bronte House, rather a Classic contemporary style that allows the houses simple architectural details to shine.

How has style changed at Bronte House over the years?

Bronte House has had many uses over the years from the ‘country’ residence of the Lowes when it was built to being a wedding venue and Red Cross branch in the late 60s. We didn’t choose a ‘period style” look for Bronte House, rather a Classic contemporary style that allows the houses simple architectural details to shine.

How would you describe the style of Bronte House today?

A provincial inspired elegant coastal family home.

What changes have you made to Bronte House?

We have freshened the house with some new lighter wallpapers, light fittings, floor coverings and furniture.

How did you go about the design process of Bronte House?

I took inspiration from the house and its surroundings, bringing the outside in – I started with the foundation pieces such as rugs and lounges and built it from there.

What advice do you wish you had received before taking on Bronte House?

That you may have trouble getting wifi as the walls are so thick!!

What is one interesting fact one should know about Bronte House?

The original owner of Bronte House, Robert Lowe, was an albino and hence the exterior shutters to the house.

Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa
Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa

That it has opened a whole new world of knowledge for me – especially in the garden.

Favourite thing about Bronte House…

That it has opened a whole new world of knowledge for me – especially in the garden.

Favourite room at Bronte House…

The Dining Room with its large Bay windows looking out to the yellow and white border garden – this is where I like to do my paintings.

Favourite interiors item at Bronte House…

The large shell mirror above the fireplace in the Lounge Room.

Favourite Australian fashion designers…

Camilla and Spell & The Gypsy Collective

Favourite local homewares boutiques…

Orient House, Parterre and Maison et Jardin

Get The Look

Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa


Sign of Peace Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa

Orient House

Blue & White Ginger Jar

Anna Van Der Gardner, The Design Barn | Interview | Travelshopa


Forged Iron Console

Glamorous Giving’s Style Report

Earthy Home Office | Dream Spaces | Travelshopa

Image: Aquariva

September is all about fresh starts, a new season, and of course the latest in style - fashion, accessories and homewares - making it the perfect time of the year for the eighth edition of Singapore’s clearance sale GLAMOROUS GIVING. End of line, end of season and sample stock do not mean ‘out’ of style. Instead think of them as timeless, classic pieces purchased in support of the Singapore Committee for UN Women. With 2 full days to shop more than 55 of Singapore's top independent local brands, designers and boutiques at UP TO 80% off, you won't want to miss out! In this Glamorous Giving Style Report you can find a run down of what styles to expect and just some of the brands to keep an eye out for.

Aussie Fashion

Celebrate Australian fashion no matter your vibe: perennial holiday luxury, urban chic, business as usual or indie trendsetter. The latest curated collections from the likes of The Well Dressed Society (pictured) and The Wyld Shop will cater to all your needs. Expect everything from exaggerated wide legged pants, lace asymmetrical dresses, must-have mirrored sunnies, slogan tees and day-to-night rompers, all of which are sure to become your future closet classics.

Long & Layered

The long and layered skirt may come and go, but this season designers have restructured this returning wardrobe favourite to be more fluid, feminine and elegant. Expect midis to be a hit, tiers to make a comeback and a modest maxi to be worn by all ages. Turn to Apparella (pictured) for a selection of off-duty dresses and skirts with a touch of utilitarianism as well as event newcomers Shopping at Tiffany’s and Simone Irani.

Print on Print

Prints are a classic and they always will be “in” style. Be it graphic, retro, floral, or a mix. Head to toe print does not have to be daunting. Keep the colour palette fresh and tonal so that the print is not overbearing, and add classic accessories. Some brands to keep in mind for a statement print are Indii Breeze, Attaby and Aquariva (pictured).

Activewear is here to stay

The fact that activewear or ‘athleisure’ has been defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “casual clothing meant to be worn both for exercising and for general use” tells us that it is here to stay. If you are late to the party, or in need of few new outfits, be sure to stop by the lovely ladies at Inzone5, Base Athletica and Haute Mango.

The Power of Beads

As Iris Apfel says “More is more and less is a bore”, this life mantra should also extend to accessorising. Some of the world’s most stylish share the same philosophy, so why can’t you. A statement necklace adds punch to a soft neckline or a splash of colour to an otherwise monochrome outfit. Shop this power piece at Stones the Rock (pictured), Lil Jewellery, Envy Jewellery, Woonhung and more.

The IT Bag

The latest IT bag must go to the Prene bag. Made from perforated neoprene (basically, a wetsuit), these versatile bags are a must in every colour. Currently sold out by Love-Style-Fashion (pictured) we are secretly hoping they make the line up at Glamorous Giving. While you are browsing for bags you’ll need to meet Just Gaya‘s, Louise Boutique and House of Sheens as well as Desti Saint Handbags for their beautiful collections of one off clutches and purses.

Shoe of the Season

They say shoes make the outfit, and this season is no different. From the elevated espadrille to the strappy sandal, we like our shoes to be comfortable. You may think of the espadrille as a humble staple for the summer, reserved for picnics and beach days, but the casual go-to is the perfect companion from dawn to dusk. If you prefer a classic ballet flat or strappy sandal, don’t fret, you will find them too. Keep it timeless, versatile and adaptable with brands such as Ria Menorca SEA, Sole 2 Sole, House of Sheens and Cote and Badt (pictured).


Pretty Porcelain

The first signs of, what later became know as, “chinoiserie” in the west date back to the 17th century. Ever since, Western designers have been incorporating the look into their own designs. These days you’re likely to spot ginger jars, garden stools or lacquered tables even in modern homes. If you looking to infuse a bit of Eastern-inspired flair in you home, make sure you visit China Collection, Fairprice Antique, Red Brush Art (pictured) and Hacienda Blue.

Little Loves

Kids also deserve threads help them express their unique personality and identify. What’s more is that there their ‘style directors’ are becoming increasingly keen on straying from the cookie cut looks of high street brands. For the cutest #kidsfashion on the island look no further than new brand Copenhagen Delights , as well as old favourites Emma Laue Children (pictured), Apple Tree Children’s Wear, Little Friends by Lamasso, and Roses & Rhinos.

Colours of the Season

The new season calls for a rich colour palette of navy, olive green and burgundy. Feel the coziness of fall by adding hints of blush pink, oatmeal and cream to pare down the intensity of these new hues. Call into Jasper Living (pictured) for a cool kaftan that is so versatile is won’t matter what season you are in. Add textured layers on cooler days and throw it over a body con full piece for a balmy night.

If you only buy one thing...

This season’s must have is a pair of vintage-inspired silk pyjamas in a refined colour palette from MAISONZHOU. Cut from the brand’s signature luxurious fabrics – stretch-silk – for a super-flattering fit, these pyjamas are of the utmost quality. Think modern yet grownup, comfortable yet feminine, sensual yet appropriate, and of course beautiful. Get to know the brand at Glamorous Giving.

Explore more about Glamorous Giving 8

Orchard Parade Hotel
1 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247905

Friday 8 Sep 2017
10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 9 Sep 2017
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Decorating with Rugs

Interior stylist Nina Beale from Bungalow 55 knows a thing or two about completing a room. A rug is always included in her designs, no matter the season or location. Here she shares her top tips when decorating with rugs.

Rugs and carpet are a big investment and will be part of your interior decoration for a long time. In my opinion, flooring should not be a fashion statement, it should be timeless. As a result, I prefer simple style rugs in indoor living & bedrooms areas, to provide a neutral contrast to soft furnishings whilst creating a serene & relaxed atmosphere. Also living areas need to be considered as high traffic areas with children and pets and so the style of fibre rug will also come in to play.

Add colour & pattern

I recommend incorporating colour and pattern on the floor in hallways, entrances, play rooms, bathrooms or staircases as they hold their own in these type of spaces and you’re not working around them to decorate.

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Mix it up

Rugs on wooden flooring or marble provide a more contemporary look vs wall to wall carpet. Don’t be afraid to mix textures on a rug – put a leather border with a natural fibre for example.

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bedroom rules

In a bedroom if the tone is grey, then I would recommend a rug in the same colour to provide consistency with the whole room. It is important to make sure that the rug covers half of the bed and comes out far enough each side that you step on to the rug when you are getting out of it. The rug should also come past the end of the bed.

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Tips for the kitchen

Adding a rug in to a kitchen adds variation to it and makes it less sterile. A patterned rug also makes a kitchen fluid and stylish. In the open plan design of most apartments/homes, it means you no longer need that tradition of placing a rug under the dining table. This makes smaller open living/dining areas seem larger. I prefer to centre a dining table in open plan living with a hanging pendant light.

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Size matters

The size of the rug plays a large part in grounding the room. If you purchase a rug that is too small then it makes the overall room look small. In a living room, the rug defines the conversation area and it should be large enough so all the chairs/ottomans are included so that at least the front legs of the furniture are on it. If you are in a rental a good way to trick the size is to buy 2 smaller rugs and place them together to create a larger mass area.

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Layer them

Layering rugs is a short term fix for those that have a low boredom threshold (like myself). I love using cowhide rugs or striped rugs over natural flooring to add some texture and pattern (shape of the rug).

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

A final thought...

Finally I always recommend placing an underlay under the rugs to provide a more plush feel, it also helps anchor the rug to prevent it from slipping and keeps the rug cleaner for longer in the tropics. The type of underlay you use is important so that it does not absorb water from the humid air. Absorption of water means the dust and dirt will stain the rug requiring more professional cleaning maintenance.

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Images via Pinterest

Shop The Story

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bungalow 55

Denim Rug Diamond Ivory Woven Rug

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bungalow 55

Regatta Stripe

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bungalow 55

Cottage Stripe French Blue

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bungalow 55

Wave Natural Sisal Rug

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bungalow 55

Denim Rug Diamond Ivory Woven Rug

Decorating with Rugs | Travelshopa

Bungalow 55

Zebra Tufted Wool Rug

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