The little Boutiques that could!

 

I am officially at the halfway mark of my travelling adventure and boy am I feeling nostalgic. I recently found myself in beautiful Old Town Cartagena in fair Colombia and my mind was instantly cast back to my walk about shopping days in Melbourne.

The streets here are full of quaint alley ways brimming with gorgeous little boutique stores just like Chapel St back home in Melbourne! And once again, I am reminded why I love the personal touch of small businesses. As you guys know, I am an advocate for supporting Australian goodness no matter where I am in the world. And this november, I am excited to share that I am supporting the 'Shop Small' movement where we show the heart of our community some love!

I am a firm believer that small businesses (you know the ones I am talking about, the family owned, the start ups, the independents) are the heart beat and colour of any neighborhood. It's no secret that thriving local shops create thriving local communities, which in turn creates local jobs. And these guys depend on our support. So I say take a stroll around your neighborhood, pop your head in and see what goodies your local businesses have to offer. I have no doubt you will find some unique treasures to satisfy any wardrobe or home!

As part of the shop small movement, I have been asked by American Express to share my favourite small businesses. So I have chosen to feature my go to shopping spots in South Yarra & Prahran in Melbourne! I have created a Shop Small Walk map for you guys, which you can print out and take with you while exploring that area!

Check out my map to find out my must try and must buys by clicking here at: http://bit.ly/gemmapranitasswalk

Happy shopping folks!

Love Miss. Peanut x

 

Gemma Pranita

Location | Cartagena, Colombia

Dress | Talulah Label

Photography | Matthew Rooney

This content has been created as part of my involvement in the American Express Shop Small program.

 

There's Something About Maderas!

 

What is it about Maderas Village that makes you want to throw out your back pack, cut up your passport and move in for good?

Is it the beautifully appointed two storey casitas designed to feel like a cosy nest and fit in seamlessly with the jungle? Well that's definitely one reason, but now I know, having experienced its charms, that it goes far beyond its aesthetic appeal. When you stay at Maderas, you are getting so much more than a beautiful place to rest your head. You are subscribing to a way of life -

“MADERAS LIFE”.

 

 

The team at Maderas have succeeded in creating a sense of community. Every night is “family dinner” night where all residents take up a bench seat and dine together sharing stories from the day, debating current affairs or making passionate proclamations about saving the world. The nights turn into competitive croquet games and relaxed sing-a-long guitar jam session. Whatever your “fun poison” is, you won’t be alone in drinking it here.

 

 

 

Time moves slowly in this chilled out surfers' paradise. Our days consisted of yoga, surfing, hearty, healthy meals, endless amounts of hammock time, more surfing, croquet games and music to kick back to. How very civilised of us. You can see why throwing away the backpack and passport becomes ever more appealing!

 

 

It’s no secret that I am a sucker for a hammock and Maderas Village certainly has no shortage of these heavenly reclining devices. Each Casita is allocated its very own private hammock sanctuary with not only a beautiful view of the jungle but also its own family of howler monkeys to keep you company and double as your alarm clock.

 

 

 

So far, through my travels, I have spent an average of 2-4 nights at each location. At Maderas Village I was lucky enough to spend over a week! And I couldn’t get enough of the place, the people and (here’s that phrase again), “Maderas Life”. I’ve never been so tempted to call it a day from travelling and take up residence here for good. Nicaragua was a surprising country for me. Few people sung its praises. It still feels like central America's best kept secret. So I'll tell you right here right now; Go to Nicaragua! Head to San Juan Del Sur and make your way through the jungle to Maderas Village. You won't regret it!

Love Miss. Peanut x

 

If you like what you see and are keen to stay or learn more about Maderas Village click HERE.

Photography | Gemma Pranita, Matthew Rooney & Madeline Kelly Location | Maderas Village, Maderas Beach, Nicaragua

Photography | Gemma Pranita, Matthew Rooney & Madeline Kelly

Location | Maderas Village, Maderas Beach, Nicaragua

Shhh... The Secret Life of a Treehouse

 

Throw your snobbery out the window and leave your inner princess at the door!

Treehouse Poste Rojo is reserved only for those with an adventurous heart ready to embrace their inner lost boy. So kiss your simple luxuries goodbye (that’s right, no flushing toilets here!); it’s time to get down and dirty with the jungle.

 

 

So why is it such a secret? Because we only heard about it on the grapevine, through the words of excited traveller's mouths eager to share their tales and anecdotes from the mystical treehouse. We never saw a scrap of advertising for this place so of course it felt secretive! Had we not met the right people at the right time, this blog post would never even exist.

 

 

Poste Rojo Tree house, set high among the tree tops of the dense Nicaraguan jungle, is as rustic as they come. Your journey begins with a steep hike up to the main platform for check-in where you’ll pass everything from domestic cats and dogs to spiders, scorpions and tree frogs. But this all adds to the unique experience of sleeping in a jungle canopy at eye level with tropical birds and howler monkeys. 

 

 

Our days were spent hammock hopping, playing card games, drawing and exploring the various tree decks in search of wildlife. By nightfall, after a delicious family style dinner, we headed out for a full moon night swim in a natural spring with water so clear you could see your toes tickling the watery floor.

 

 

We awoke at 4:30am to the loud cries of the howler monkeys (it’s crazy that such a small mammal can produce such a thunderous sound), so we scrambled up to the cosy monkey deck to spend the next two hours watching the sunrise and listening to the jungle come to life. An unforgettable experience I will cherish forever.

 

 

So shhhhh please keep this place a treasured secret. In fact, I take everything back. I had a horrible time and I don’t recommend you going to this place at all!

 

 

In case you do want to stay, here's the link below...

TREEHOUSE POSTE ROJO

 

Treehouse Poste Rojo Photography by Gemma Pranita & Madeline Kelly

Treehouse Poste Rojo

Photography by Gemma Pranita & Madeline Kelly

Dena Kaplan, my camera & me.

 

When I think of Dena Kaplan, a few words come to mind...

(all starting with the letter 'D' of course. Alliteration, always an ally of mine).

DYNAMITE, DANCER, DJ, DOER, DELICIOUSLY DREAMY, DETERMINED, DROP DEAD gorgeous & DUDE!

Dena exudes an effortless charm. I just find the girl so damn easy to be around. Her smile is like an infectiously catchy tune you simply can't get out of your head and her nature sweeter than honey. So you can imagine how easy it was when it came to photographing her. She's no stranger to a lens and we smashed out this photo series at iconic Hollywood hot spot "Nick Metropolis' Collectables Yard" in less than an hour. Boom!

I hope you enjoy our photos!

Love Miss. Peanut x

 

 

What Dena's wearing...

Juicy Jewels | SAGE & STONE

Feather headpiece | ROCK N ROSE

Leather Jacket & White Top | ELLIOTT LABEL

Dresses | BACKSTAGE CLOTHING

Leopard Prints | SEAGULLS OF ST KILDA

 

Dena Kaplan Photography | Gemma Pranita Make up | Monica Gingold Special thanks to Nick Metropolis for letting us shoot at his rad collectables yard and to Amy Edwards for being the best flecky board holder a girl could ever wish for! All images are the property of Gemma Pranita of Gemma Peanut Gallery

Dena Kaplan

Photography | Gemma Pranita

Make up | Monica Gingold

Special thanks to Nick Metropolis for letting us shoot at his rad collectables yard and to Amy Edwards for being the best flecky board holder a girl could ever wish for!

All images are the property of Gemma Pranita of Gemma Peanut Gallery

un-BELIZE-able

 

I arrived at Caye Caulker in Belize with a hop, skip and a jump ready to take on the island! Only to be met off the ferry by locals telling me to "Go slow man! Why you have to be in a hurry man? This is island life". I giggled to myself and did a mental double take to make sure that I was in fact in Belize and not Jamaica. But it's easy to confuse the two. My senses were flooded with Caribbean breeze, the hum of golf buggies (yup, not a car in sight on this island) reggae tunes and salty dreadlocks. Time slowed to a standstill and I knew instantly that I would soon optimize the term "chillaxed".

 

Caye Caulker is breathtakingly beautiful. I met many ex travelers who chanced upon this island and never returned home. It's easy to understand why; you eat like a king, the ocean hugs you like a warm bath and the local faces are defaulted to "smile mode".

There are many highlights of my time in Caye Caulker, but if I had to pick a few I'd say... indulging in an absurd amount of hammock time, eating king lobster every night, watching spectacular sunsets from The Split and swimming with sharks, stingrays and seas turtles. Sigh! Remind me why I ever left?

Love Miss Peanut x

 

Photography | Gemma Pranita & Matthew Rooney

Photography | Gemma Pranita & Matthew Rooney

To Tranquility & Beyond!

 

If the definition of tranquillity is the state of calmness, peacefulness and serenity,

then Lake Atitlan should be its accompanying image in the dictionary.

 

Lake Atitlan | Guatemala Gemma Pranita, Matthew Rooney & Jessica McNamee

Lake Atitlan | Guatemala

Gemma Pranita, Matthew Rooney & Jessica McNamee

Laguna Lodge Eco Resort | Lake Atitlan

 

It’s as if I stumbled into Never Neverland. When I arrived at Laguna Lodge eco resort my breath was instantly stolen from me. I contemplated pinching myself to make sure that I was indeed awake and that what lay before me like a majestic treehouse along the lakeshore was in fact real.

Everything about Laguna Lodge screams “sustainable luxury”. Its wooden, palm and volcanic stone design is inspired by its beautiful natural surroundings (did I mention that the Lodge poetically keeps company with a trio of volcanoes?) Nestled in its privately owned 100 acreage of land with Mayan trails to explore, the lodge even boasts an award winning organic restaurant!

What more could anyone ask for?

 

 

Bikini by TRIANGL

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To tempt you further... The food is deliciously outstanding! The award winning Zotz restaurant delivers only the highest quality of local organic vegetarian food (even my carnivorous boyfriend didn't miss eating meat for a second during our stay). The produce is handpicked from the Lodge's organic garden and is delivered on foot. Farm to table dining is a trend that is taking many major cities by storm at the moment and Laguna Lodge is no exception.

 

 

Laguna Lodge is a haven for creatives. I couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring, tranquil and relaxing setting to write my blog posts. As someone who is on the go all the time seeking out adventure and activities, it is a treat to be forced to slow down, calm my thoughts and open my senses to nature’s offerings. The clamour of city life starts feeling like a distant memory. How heavenly!

 

Dress by LILYA

Necklace by NICOLE FENDEL

 

I must confess that I am no stranger to a hammock. Like the rest of the world's population, I have taken to a hammock like a duck to water so I am forever on the hunt for the perfect suspended reclining device. It is therefore my pleasure to share with you that, without doubt, the mother of all hammocks lies within the dense tree tops of Laguna Lodge's 100 acre nature reserve. But you have to earn this baby! I hiked up the steep mayan steps and trotted along the mountainous ridge line to find this secret spot of pure relaxation. My reward was a spectacular view of the volcanoes like a water colour painting in front of me and a cooling breeze to rock me gently to sleep.

 

Dress by FREE PEOPLE

 

There are only six suites at the lodge to maximise absolute peace and privacy. It really is the perfect romantic getaway for couples. The spacious rooms are beautifully decorated with intricate woven textiles and indigenous antiques. I slept like a baby in their hand hewn king bed!

I also have to mention that the service at Laguna is 5 star. The staff are some of the friendliest people I have ever met and go above and beyond to make sure your stay is both comfortable and memorable. 

 

 

Bikini by MIKOH

 

To this mix of delights, add the free use of kayaks provided by the lodge (a perfect vehicle for a picnic lunch at one of the many unspoiled beauty spots around the lake) and there you have it - happiness wrapped up in Laguna Lodge!

I hope you enjoyed my photo diary!

Love Miss. Peanut x

 

Special thanks to Laguna Lodge Eco Resort Photography | Gemma Pranita & Matthew Rooney

Special thanks to Laguna Lodge Eco Resort

Photography | Gemma Pranita & Matthew Rooney

Colour Bomb | Antigua, Guatemala

 

Let me take you on a journey of colour!

When I first arrived in Antigua, what struck me most was the vivid colour pallet at every turn, in every direction. Bright ice cream hues on the walls clashed perfectly with local Guatemalans favoring rich, deep multicoloured textiles. It was such an overwhelming feast for my eyes I could only conclude that I'd spent my life living in black and white until now!

Enjoy my photo diary with my travel companions

Los Tres Amigos: Jessica McNamee, Matthew Rooney and myself!

Love Miss. Peanut x

 

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ANTIGUA MUST DO'S

Pacaya Volcano Hike

Check out the ruins at Casa Santo Domingo

Jade Museum

Chocolate Museum

Local Textile Markets

Walk to Cerro de la Cruz

Eat a Feast at Cactus Taco Shop

 

PACAYA VOLCANO HIKE

ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA PHOTOGRAPHY | GEMMA PRANITA & MATTHEW ROONEY

ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA

PHOTOGRAPHY | GEMMA PRANITA & MATTHEW ROONEY

BROOKLYN BABY!

 

Very excited to share my shoot with guest Gemma Peanut Gallery photographer EDDIE NEW. Once again, I am an advocate for supporting Aussie talent, so it is my pleasure to introduce you to the work of Mister NEW. 

Eddie and I met in Los Angeles through a mutual friend and soon to be Peanut Muse, Miss Dena Kaplan. It didn't take us long to find ourselves locked and loaded into a deep conversation about all things cameras, lighting and lenses. Eddie has been in the game professionally for a few years now so I morphed myself into a sponge and instantly became Luke Skywalker to his Master Yoda.

And as luck would have it, our timing aligned perfectly to find us both in New York at the same time. The result? A perfect day meandering through the streets of Brooklyn, eating ice-cream and taking photos.

Enjoy!

Love Miss Peanut x

 

GemmaPranita-EddieNew-4bw.jpg

 

What I'm wearing...

Knit top | LILYA

Overalls | ZARA

Shoes | H&M

Necklace | SAGE & STONE

Sunglasses | RAYBAN

 

 

To see more of EDDIE NEW's work click here.

 

Gemma Pranita Photography | Eddie New

Gemma Pranita

Photography | Eddie New

Alli Simpson, my camera + me

 

There are people in this world you meet who have that “Je ne sais quoi” about them. That unnameable essence that seems so damn good you want to bottle it. And this Aussie sweetheart has it in spades!

Welcoming the deliciously delightful Alli Simpson to the virtual pages of Gemma Peanut Gallery. A worldwide fashionista and trend influencer at the tender age of 16, Alli won my heart with her easy breezy yet vivacious personality and her unapologetic playful approach to fashion. Her 1.5 million instagram followers are treated to a daily fix of homegrown Australian goodness with a Californian backdrop. A heavenly combination if you ask me.

Alli was a dream to photograph. She may be young but she’s no novice when it comes to working it in front of the lens. We spent a warm summer evening with her beautiful family at Santa Monica beach with sand between our toes and sunshine in our hair. Joie de vivre!

Love Miss. Peanut x

p.s Please excuse my french. I realise I’ve used a lot of french in this post. If you don’t know the meanings behind the phrases I’ve used, I highly highly recommend you google them! Everything sounds tres magnifique in french!

 

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Alli Simpson Photography | Gemma Pranita Make up | Natalie Malchev Location | Santa Monica Beach

Alli Simpson

Photography | Gemma Pranita

Make up | Natalie Malchev

Location | Santa Monica Beach