Sassy September: What Are The Top Three Things You’d Recommend To A Friend This Month?

I went to my cousin’s engagement party a few weeks ago and my aunty told me about her old boss and the unusual gift registry she had on her 50th birthday. She asked each of her friends to give her what they were currently into for a birthday present. For example a book they’d recently read, a TV series they were addicted to, a CD of their favourite songs, a voucher to a great new restaurant they’d discovered. It was such a great way to get to know her friends again and to discover new things she wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

It inspired me to start a new segment of reader recommendations. I often run surveys to get more information on the Smagglets, like how old you are or if you have kids or not, but this time I want to know what your obsessions are. So each month, I’m going to ask you for your top 3 recommendations from that month. It can be anything; a vegetable that’s been a staple in your weeknight dinners, a new workout that you’re loving or a fabulous app that’s changed your life. I’d love to hear about it!

September 2013 Top Three Favourites

The Rosie Project 

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When I was in Thailand a few of my blogging mates were having a discussion about good books they had read recently and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was mentioned several times. I immediately downloaded it on my iPad and practically read the whole thing without stopping. It’s set in Melbourne and is written by a writing professor at RMIT. I always get a kick out of reading books that are set in my city because I know all the streets and shops. It’s a sweet kind of romantic comedy for misfits about an uptight guy and his search for a wife. A very easy and delightful read. Highly recommended.

Canadian Club and Dry Ginger Ale

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My mate has just started working at two pubs and so that I get to actually see her I’ve been hanging out at said pubs and chatting to her while she works the bar. She asked me what I wanted to drink the other night and I told her to surprise me. She handed me a Canadian Club and Dry Ginger Ale, a drink I haven’t had in years. It was refreshing and delicious, exactly what I felt like. I also drank about four of them and woke up the next day feeling as fresh as a daisy. I think it may well become my new favourite summer drink. 


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It’s easily one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I spent most of the time just trying to figure out how they actually shot the damn thing. It’s breathtaking. Sandra Bullock is fantastic in it and I’m proud to say that after this film, I’ve finally jumped on the George Clooney bandwagon. He’s delicious and I officially want to bite him. If you have an IMAX in your city then see it there, it’s totally worth it. Extra tip: Don’t be hungover when you go to see it. There were some dusty dudes in our Sunday morning session who had to do some major deep breathing to get through it. Alcohol induced nausea and 3D glasses don’t mix.

Melbourne Bonus:

Po’Boy Quarter

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Po’Boy Quarter is a gumbo kitchen that serves deep fried traditional Southern American comfort food. Basically fried chunks of chicken or shrimp served in a crusty bread roll and drowning in gravy. Drool. I’ve firmly planted this cuisine in the ‘occasional’ food category but holy lordy Po’Boy makes for a delicious naughty dinner or a hangover lunch. There’s also rumours of a Messina opening just down the road from Po’Boy so now I know where I’ll be spending all my summer calories. 

Tell me… what are your top 3 recommendations from August? A product? A restaurant? A television show? What made September rock for you?

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. Raquel Moss 3 years ago

    Oooh good idea! Here’s what I’m into:

    1. Cycling. So the demographic here in Wellington skews towards middle-aged men in lycra on racing bikes. I am none of these things. I am a young lady cyclist who gets to and from my engagements on my vintage upright bike, while wearing whatever the fuck I happen to be wearing. It’s awesome. Faster than the bus, much cheaper (obviously), basically carbon-neutral, with the added bonus of endorphin highs.

    2. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerny. Just finished it yesterday. Nice, short read. Written in the second person, and surprisingly well done. Beautiful prose, lots of decadence.

    3. BB Cream. Totally late to the party, but this shit is bananas. As someone with very fair skin, very red cheeks, and freckles, it’s a total godsend. Most foundations look silly on me, so I usually opt for tinted moisturiser. But the BB cream gives me a bit more coverage and blemish-killing, plus with SPF. I’m using a cheap Maybelline one at the moment and it’s doing the job really well.

    • Ali 3 years ago

      I second the wearing normal clothes on a bike thing. I don’t know if Wellington drivers hate cyclists as much as Sydney drivers do, but people are much less aggressive if you’re wearing a pretty dress. Probably because they’re too busy hoping to catch a glimpse of undies but hey, whatever works!

      • Raquel Moss 3 years ago

        Yeah I seem to get a lot less flack than the lycra gang!

  2. Amy Elizabeth 3 years ago

    I don’t think I have the emotional resilience for Gravity – it looks very harrowing!

    This month I’m totally into:

    1. The new Bridget Jones book – I thought I would hate it but I couldn’t bring myself to be critical. Instead I sobbed the whole way through.

    2. Pulled pork burgers – so wrong, but so so right. Best of all when piled so high that they need a few sticks to keep them upright.

    3. Iceland – everything about it. I went at the beginning of the month and I literally cannot get over it. It’s the best place ever. Apart from being super cold, obvs.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Just quietly I was also a touch seedy when seeing it so make sure you’re in fine health before you go, if you go. I had no idea there was a new bridget book… available on Kindle do you know?

      • Amy Elizabeth 3 years ago

        I bought the hard copy, but I would have thought there would be a Kindle version. Have tissues nearby – it was very emotional!

  3. Victoria Devine 3 years ago

    1. Peanut butter M&Ms and popcorn in the same mouthfull. Salty & sweet, what more can I say!
    2. Broadchurch. A brilliant, captivating and incredible UK tv series focussing on the investigation into an 11 year old boys murder. I don’t usually do ‘who dunnits’ but this had me considering taking sick leave just to finish the last episode.
    3. For those in Perth, get yourself to the Subiaco food and wine festival this weekend . If last year is anything to go by, the combination of sunshine, wine. Friends and a relaxed picnic kind of atmosphere it will be a fab day out

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Stop it on 1.!!! Must try. I love who dunnits, sounds right up my alley,

  4. Keep Warm (Danielle) 3 years ago

    As a Canadian who lived in Australia for a while, I was so confused about the Canadian Club thing. The first time someone asked me to make them a CC and Dry I blinked at them stupidly until finally I put it together and said “OH! A rye and ginger!” My boyfriend and I call them Battle Cats, tell your friends. Also, if you can get your hands on any other Canadian rye other than CC you’ll be a happier camper. It seems we export our crap and keep the good stuff for ourselves!

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Hilarious! I told my friend. We’re totally calling them Battle Cats now. Even more so because HE-MAN!!!!!

    • Nicole 3 years ago

      That’s exactly what Australian’s are like with beer. Export the shitty Fosters and keep the good stuff in-Country.

      • Author
        Smaggle 3 years ago

        Totally! I think it would be difficult for me to find a Fosters in Fitzroy but it’s all they have overseas.

  5. Rachel Pierce 3 years ago

    I love this idea! Lately I’ve been into:
    1) My new Kindle. Its just the little one, the cheapest one available, but I love it to pieces.
    2) Sleepy Hollow. This show wasn’t even on my radar at the beginning of the season, but I love it.
    3) MasterChef Junior. Gordon Ramsey is my reality TV weakness. I will watch anything he is in, and love every minute of it. At first I was hesitant to watch the Junior version, but these kids are absolutely fantastic. I adore them.

  6. Ali 3 years ago

    1. a documentary called First Position, about some young ballet dancers preparing for a big competition. I may have ugly cried over my ironing when my favourite dancer did the most beautiful performance ever and won a scholarship.
    2. vanilla and ylang ylang shampoo from David’s Organics. bought it because the bottle looked pretty and my goodness it smells delicious!
    3. Brit stitch bags. discovered on Saturday night when trawling a local shopping site (I live in the Philippines so international online shopping can be a headache). by 10pm after a glass of wine I decided I could not live without a green leather milkman’s bag, ordered it (and the shampoo above, and some lipgloss and throw in a clarisonic too… late night Ali was feeling rich) and it all arrived at 8.30 Monday morning! anyway, what was I saying? oh yes. the bags are awesome quality and leather and British made and come in a million colours. done.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      ARGH!!!! Ballet dancer documentary???? SOLD!

  7. Nessbow 3 years ago

    My top three things this month are:
    – American Horror Story. It’s pretty brutal at times but I’ve become totally addicted to it. I don’t recommend watching it right before bedtime though.
    – Yerba Mate tea from T2. It’s really soft and kind of smoky. I just love the refreshing flavour.
    – Lopsided by Meredith Norton. I never thought I would ever laugh so hard at a book about cancer. Lopsided is a very frank autobiography of a breast cancer survivor. I adored it.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I still need to finish the last American Horror Story! Love it. I’ve never quite gotten into Yerba Mate… I had YM face cream that smelled weird. I should try the tea though! Thanks for the book rec, they’re always my favourite!

  8. Caz 3 years ago

    I love reading Melbourne books. I read all the (old admitedly) Phryne Fisher mysteries because they were Melbourne/Vic based.

    Three things I’m super into right now?
    Essential oils, and naturally scented soy candles. I’ve never been a fan of fake fragrances and/or the vanilla/sugar/cake batter perfumes that tend to dominate the market (give me guys cologne any day) but in the last few months I’ve found some awesome, naturally scented candles and a bunch of essential oils I love.

    Modern Manner’s Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips posdcast (aka how not to be an asshole) 90% of the reason I love it, is the confirmation that shit that annoys me is just bad form and people need to learn.

    Meal planning -used to be a staple that I abandoned when I left a relationship. Takeaway, cereal and popcorn+wine were all that a busy-single-MBA-student needed. Back into it and I love it, always have food, eat healthier and its one less thing to stress about.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Those books sound great! I’m looking for new reading material! I LOVE essential oils I have an amazing oil burner that I use all the time. Do you have a link for the podcasts? I’m a huge meal planner! But that’s not really a surprise. 🙂

  9. Nicole 3 years ago

    I haven’t seen Gravity – concerned my mental state would not be able to take it. Is it anything like Open Water, but in space? – But I’ve read that a lot of the scenes were shot underwater with Sandy and the director both holding their breath in some cases.
    Three things I’m into and would recommend? 1) Quest Bars. I found out about them through Instagram and they’re great for mornings when I don’t have the get-up-and-go to make a real breakfast. Also, they don’t have that heavy, powdery quality that a lot of protein bars I’ve tried have had. The chocolate one I had reminded me of Space Food sticks. 2)Doc Martens. They’ve been my always love since I saw my close friend get a pair in sixth grade and Grunge was at the height of its popularity. Just came back from a weekend holiday to San Francisco and finally at age 31, got to visit my first real Doc Marten store. Took all of about 5 minutes to leave with two pair. Probably would have been more if I stayed any longer. and 3)This is more of a US based one (though you can probably find them on ebay). Bath and Body Works candles. It’s gotten nice and chilly here and these candles have some of the best variety and scent throw that I’ve experienced. I just love the atmosphere they create as much as the smell. Right now as I type this, I’m burning Marshmallow Fireside. So good!

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I’m not sure about open water but she’s pretty much stuck in space. It’s pretty hard work watching it but it’s amazing. I heard Marion Cottilard, Natalie Portman and Angelina Jolie all were cast and then dropped out!

      Marshmallow Fireside sounds devine! I’m totally hitting ebay!

  10. Steph 3 years ago

    I would recommend broad beans, they are so delicious and currently on special at Woolies as they are in season. I would also recommend expresso martinis (which i discovered recently) They are also delicious and a great pick me up in the middle of a long night of partying. Thirdly, I would like to second your recommendation of battle cats. It is a wonderfully refreshing drink and i love it even more with its new name!

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I’m so getting an expresso martini next time I’m at the bar!

  11. Alisa Muir 3 years ago

    Cadbury mini drops. They are like a pebble but their shape is thicker so you get more of a chocolate texture and bite as you eat. So yummo.

    Peckish thinks rice crackers. I am eating some right now.

    The walking dead. SO HAPPY IT IS BACK…

    • Alisa Muir 3 years ago

      I think I suggested food items last time also.. haha.. oops.

      • Author
        Smaggle 3 years ago

        I always have food in my suggestion!

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Peckish thins!!!! I love them. Mr Smags hates them but I think they’re delicious. So potatoey!

      • Alisa Muir 3 years ago

        I am going to go all TMI….. and say rice crackers always get all stuck in my teeth. That is annoying.

        But pekish thins DO NOT do that… and they are more potato chip like.. but not as bad for me. And they tatse good with dip like stuff… or cheese (which makes them bad for me)

  12. Natalie Mulford 3 years ago

    Oh! I LOVE this idea! I’m always after new things to read/watch/try.

    – I’m adding my +1 to American Horror Story and Sleepy Hollow!

    – Salmon! I’m just addicted to Salmon at the moment, which is weird because for the first 25 years of my life I hated the stuff, now it’s like the yummiest of yum.

    I don’t really have any real recs right now, it seems my mind has gone blank, but I think i’m going to try and convince my boyfriend to take me to Po’Boy when i’m in Melbourne next month!

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Salmon is THE BEST!!!! I do hope I get to see you if I get into the class! x

  13. Erika 3 years ago

    Officially, Texts From Dog, reading alternative economics (yeah, slightly weird, currently on The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding) and sprouted bread. And Pinterest. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Vivienne Westwood pirate boots. I can’t count 🙁

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I LOVE Text from Dog. One of my all time favourites.

  14. Kayla 3 years ago

    Gravity looks fantastic!

    It’s fall/winter here in Colorado, so taking pretty pictures of all of the changing colors has been my favorite hobby of late 🙂
    bright red lipstick – im a particular fan of Tarte 🙂 gives me a bounce in my step and makes me feel sassy :p
    And bhakti chai. i’ve gone crazy with chai spices recently! my next project is gonna be chai flavored creme brulee! 🙂

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