Courtney Sanders #1 - Reading Material

Reading Material.

Hi there! I guess an introduction is in order as I will be guest-blogging my way across the RUBY website over the next few weeks. I run a little website called where as well as writing lengthy diatribes on the merits of Rob Lowe (because of this) I write about fashion and style the occasional shoot (preferably on Photoshop, preferably with aliens and haute couture). When I’m not doing that I’m a staff writer at, which is “New Zealand’s biggest alternative music website.


I was going to spend this, my first post of the week ranting about vapid personal style blogs, simultaneously questioning why the fashion industry attracts that kind of idiocy like moth to a flame. But instead I took a deep breath, cleared nightmares of grammatical errors and amateurish puns from my mind and decided to detail the online fashion platforms which are innovative and exciting: places where you can read and learn and not feel like a retard for believing that fashion – like art and music - is an integral part of our cultural landscape.

  1. The Business of Fashion: is exactly what it says it is. Founded by Imran Amed The BoF has recruited a network of intellectuals who contribute detailed essays on everything from sustainability in fashion production to the relative merits of a particular designer.


  1. Bullett Magazine: is an American magazine that has some of the best RSS titles I have ever come across. They also write everyone’s favourite thing, lists, really well, aren’t afraid to be controversial (although if I was directing a film and was offered Chanel’s jewellery vaults I don’t think I would turn them down either) and interviewed a Washington-based ‘Style Consultant’ which, combining politics and fashion is pretty much both my ultimate job and one of the best interview I have ever read.


  1. are a multi-disciplinary fashion website who also hold conferences and run online stores (I think). But most importantly, they make a really good argument for *why Lana Del Ray sucks as a human being**.


  1. The Cut: you guys probably already know how awesome New York Magazine’s fashion section, ‘The Cut’ is, but did you know that Vagina Crystals are a thing? See, it’s very important that you follow this website. They also created a prolific image gallery of Tilda Swinton’s wardrobe that suggests she really enjoys shiny fabrics and does not make her opinion on adorning one’s private parts clear.


  1. Slutever: while we’re on ‘below-the-belt’ topics let me introduce you to Karley Sciotino, a fashion-sex-everything awkward-blogger who is revolutionizing the way women think about and discuss personal issues. Who needs Sex and the City when you have an Opening Ceremony-endorsed babe openly blogging about online sex. And fashion and culture, which is the only thing on her site I read, of course.


Enjoy! I hope you found some new reading material to keep your iPad stocked over summer and were sufficiently entertained to read next week’s post or to head over here for more.

Taking Tea With Karla

Karla Goodwin is the owner/operator at BLUEBELLS CAKERY a boutique, vintage-style cakery specialising in beautifully hand crafted cupcakes, cakes and sweet treats that taste as good as they look!

Karla provided pastel coloured marshmallows for the front row guests at the RUBY NZFW show this September as well as the Auckland in-store sweet treats the day of the Fashion Week Limited Collection launch.

Visit her store at 161A Hillsborough Road from Wednesday to Saturday or at her cake stall at La Cigale french market every Saturday and Sunday morning.


Hosting a tea party is a great way to get your friends together and try something a little different this summer.

High teas and afternoon teas are back in vogue and they can be great fun for a special occasion, a pre-event get together or even just as an excuse to have some fun with the girls. Whatever the occasion, a high tea is something you can be sure everyone will remember.

Vintage High Tea as hosted by BLUEBELLS CAKERY


There are several ways of going about hosting your own tea party. Most of us don't have our own personal collection of fine bone china, silverware and ornate, tiered cake stands. Fortunately however, as the popularity of these charming events has increased over the last few years, there are now a range of services in Auckland that will hire out everything you need to lay a table fit for Wills & Kate. At Bluebells we partner with THE VINTAGE TABLE.

When it comes to the fare, you can either arrange and prepare the menu yourself, which for a foodie can be a lot of fun. I like to include a range of sweet and savoury petites, about 5-7 items for each guest.

If you're considering giving it a go, think about making some of the following:
1.Scones with jam and cream
2. Finger sandwiches eg. egg and mayo, ham and mustard, chicken and cucumber
3. Savoury tarts
4. Mini quiches
5. Sweet lemon tarts
6. Chocolate brownie
7. Mini cupcakes
8. Mini lamingtons
9. Melting moments 10. Chocolate dipped strawberries

Of course if the intricacy of slicing cucumbers and whipping up batches of scones, jam and cream isn't for you, then you can have it all fully prepared, delivered and arranged by a mobile high tea service, like The Vintage High Tea from Bluebells Cakery. We can provide vintage tableware and catering for tea parties of 10 to 150 people, anywhere in Auckland.



Once you've got your table setting and menu, including a selection of teas (my suggestion is HARVEY & SONS) planned out, make sure you choose the right setting in which to host. Of course indoors or on the veranda will always be lovely spots for taking tea, but this summer I think is going to be all about the garden party. A freshly clipped lawn... blooming flowers... the shade of a leafy green tree... just add sunshine and good company!

Taking tea together can be something fun and unexpected that everyone can really get into – why not give it a go this summer season?


You will need: 1 chicken breast
3/4 Cream cheese
Splash of Cream
1/2 cup of Dill finely chopped including stalks
1/2 Red Onion finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
Cucumber Slices
Fresh Bread

Place the chicken breast in a pot with enough cold water to cover it, add the peppercorns, parsley stalks and celery and turn onto high with the lid on. Once the water starts boiling remove the lid and reduce the heat and poach the chicken for a further 10-15 minutes.

Remove the breast from the liquid and shred the chicken while it is still warm. Mix through the cream cheese, cream, dill, red onion and season with salt and pepper.

Lightly butter your bread slices and add a good heaped tablespoon of the mixture to one side and spread out evenly. Add a thin layer of cucumber and top with the slice of bread.

Repeat the process until you have used up all the mixture.

Cut the crusts off the sandwiches and cut into 2 or 3 strips or 2 or 4 triangles.

Keep the sandwiches fresh by keeping them in the fridge with a slightly damp paper towel over them until they are ready to be served.


Photo credit: Smash Photography