• Matilda Brown

Sunkissed Casa Newsletter #3

Hi everyone! We’re back with another Sunkissed Casa Newsletter. Scott says hi - he's just busy sending an email. :)

Okay! Today’s theme is...THE ART OF OBSERVATION.

Wait, what?... Theme?

Yes, that’s right. Today we have a theme!

But there wasn’t a theme for the last two newsletters…

I know.

Will there be a theme next week?

Who knows. My newsletter. My rules.

Great. Now that we’ve established that I have fuck all idea what I’m doing, let’s get on with it.


  • "The Art of Observation" & some non-compulsory writing exercises

  • Health tip from Scott - on sleep

  • Recipe - Buffins!

  • What I’m watching - Fantastic Fungi

  • Interior Design - Sustainable thinking

  • Small Business Shout Out - Red Peg Eco Studio

  • Quote / Contemplation



The Art Of Observation First off, I want to say - this Newsletter is not supposed to be a self-help Newsletter. We have enough of that coming at us from all angles and I am not a guru in any aspect of my life. I just share what I feel compelled to share at the time, and occasionally I will suggest something you might like to try. Take it or leave it. So, here is one of those suggestions…. For today, or tomorrow or the next two weeks or for however long you bloody well want, apply the theme “observation” to your life. Observe things as if outside of your body. As if what you see is not attached to you or your emotions. Just observe with curiosity. Without judgement. As if you are a palaeontologist, observing dinosaurs bones. (kind of). EXERCISE 1: Find a quiet moment, get a piece of paper and write down what observation means to you. What value does it have in your life? If it was a friend, what are its characteristics? What do you learn from it? What does it show you about life, your personality, your actions? For me it’s more than just “seeing”. It’s watching, listening, being aware, being curious… taking in the world and asking for nothing in return. Observation helps me be authentic, it shows me parts of myself I didn’t know existed, it teaches me about my reactions, it shows me how to read people. Observation is a friend I call on when I’m bored. It makes the mundane interesting and life beautiful, rich and complex.

EXERCISE 2: Go about your day taking notes from time to time on what you observe, including your thoughts. Then sit down at the end of your day and write freely. It can be pages, or it can just be a paragraph. Observation is a beautiful opportunity to make a boring event into an interesting one. Below is something I wrote two years ago in the notes section of my phone inspired by observation. I posted it on my Instagram so apologies if you’ve already read it. Moving to a new place sometimes means finding a new doctor. I realise I haven’t had a Pap smear in a few years and that I should probably attend to that so I google medical centres in the northern beaches. I find one that bulk bills and am told they don’t take appointments, so i just rock up. I want a woman doctor so I wait longer than everyone else. Approximately an hour and a half. I don’t mind the wait, I write on my phone whenever I’m killing time. Most patients in the waiting room are much older. They hobble and wheeze. Not dissing old people. Just stating the facts. I feel anxiety creep in. I look at it. I say hey, I’m not scared of you, you’re a reaction to something I can’t control, probably the act of growing old and dying. I see you. Then the anxiety goes away. Across from me are two men. One older than the other. Maybe father and son. I see the oldest man in his prime: tall, handsome, strong. Caring for his little boy. Who is now caring for him. They sit mostly in silence. When they leave they link arms and hobble away. A woman with white hair who looks to be in her eighties calls my name. I follow her into a room and am surprised to learn she is my doctor. Take a seat says Dr Eileen. Gosh. I think. She must have seen a lot of vaginas and she’s about to see one more. What can I do for you says Dr Eileen. I need a Pap smear I say apologetically, because let’s face it, a Pap smear ain’t fun for either parties. There are few things more awkward in life than showing a total stranger your vagina, or being shown a vagina by a total stranger. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it. Turns out it’s not a pap smear anymore. It’s a cervical scan. I lay on my back with my undies off and my legs open. Try to relax, says Dr. Eileen and as she smiles I noticed her dentures drop a little. She sucks them back in and tells me I’m all done. I thank her and leave. I pay nothing and consider myself lucky to live in a country with health care. Then I drive home.


Health Tip:

If you’re having trouble getting a good night sleep, you're not alone! I however, have a baby. If you don't have a baby and you're still having trouble getting a good night sleep, try these four things and watch the video below to dip dive into WHY these are important.

  • No caffeine after 12 (yes that includes tea)

  • No screens one hour before bed

  • Take a Magnesium supplement

  • Move your body

Recipe of the Week

These are a healthy muffin! YAY! I am obsessed. If Scott makes these for me I literally love him 10 times as much as I did prior to him making them. (Are you reading this babe? Hint hint). They make a great snack for kids lunches too. Much healthier than the muffins you get in a cafe which is just cake in disguise. And if you're reading this thinking that's not true Matilda, muffins are healthy, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you are kidding yourself. Muffins are cake mixture in a muffin tin. Yes, you're eating cake for breakfast. WHICH IS FINE IF YOU'RE AWARE OF IT. I'm just saying. Muffins = cake, most. of. the. time. Sugar is sugar. It doesn't stop being sugar just because it looks like a muffin. Unless it's these muffins. These muffins are legit healthy.


Oh my god did you actually do that? How embarrassing. I was joking.


What I'm Watching

Yesterday arvo I laid in bed with Zan and we watched Fantastic Fungi on Netflix. Did you know that fungi could potentially be the way to save our climate crisis? Trees take the carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their leaves and trunks. But 70% of it goes underground into the root system and the root system trades the carbon for nutrients. CRAZY huh??? And then the carbon ends up in the fungi cell walls which feeds the microbe community. I mean… WOW WOW WOW. That’s what Zan kept saying as he watched the mushrooms bloom on time-lapse. This is such a powerful and beautiful documentary. One to watch with your family I reckon. Also for those who are interested in the power and healing quality of “magic mushrooms” it talks about the benefits of psylocibin which is now being used in psychological practises all over the world to help with things like PTSD and other trauma related cases. If anyone is interested in my experiences with psylocibin let me know and I’ll do a blog on it. Some of my greatest learnings have come from mushrooms - which is going to sound completely wacko to some readers while others will be nodding away going “I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about Matilda.”


Design Time

This week I consulted my sister, Rosie, (interior designer and owner of Vintage Label Hawker) on her top 5 Five Questions you should be asking when re-designing your home, or in your everyday shopping choices with your SUSTAINABLE hat on. These are GREAT questions and so important to ask at every point in our customer journey. Remember WE have the option of where we spend our money. We can invest in smart and sustainable options at every purchase. That's huge power to us as a consumer.

Okay, here she goes:

1. Are the products made locally and is your money supporting a local artisan or a local businesses? If not, ask how is your item being shipped and in what packaging.

2. Where and how has the product been made? For example, has it been made by machine or by hand? Is someone being paid fairly for their work, and are they in safe working conditions? Ask yourself why something costs so little, as much as you ask why so much.

3. Is there an alternative vintage or antique option? Sourcing an existing piece of furniture, investing in its refurbishment and preventing it from going to landfill is the number one most sustainable option.

4. Is there a low toxic or less plastic option to work with? Products made of hardwoods are more expensive but are a far superior product and there are a number of paint companies out there that specialise in eco products.

5. Can we move an old item onto someone who will appreciate it rather than sending it to landfill? Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are excellent resale websites.

Thanks Rose!

Below are a few photos of my sis. In a hotel room in Venice on a vintage sourcing trip and styling one of her beautiful vintage jackets. You can find more from her on website and on her instagram @iamhawker where she often shares her love of design and vintage.


And last but not least, THE SMALL BUSINESS SHOUT OUT!!

Because small businesses need all the help they can get.

This newsletter's shout out goes to...


instagram: redpegecostudio


I asked owner Gabrielle McGraph 7 questions. Here are her answers.

Me: In one sentence what is your business?

Gab: My business is creating unique wearable art jewellery pieces for Human bodies.

Me: Why do you do what you do?

Gab: My hands are my best tools. Being able to make an honest living with my hands is truely the most satisfying thing. I feel very humbled and grateful that I get to live the life I do, I wouldn’t do anything else. I couldn’t.

Me: What is unique about your business?

Gab: My business is unique in that it allows me full creative control and gives me the freedom to navigate my own practice.

Me: Please share with us some great “small business" lessons you have learn along your way

Gab: You don’t have to take on all the jobs - It’s actually good to practice saying ‘No’.

Taking time out is really important! These are especially relevant to people like me, who are not only making and selling the product but also doing the advertising, the socials, the branding, the packaging, the book keeping etc.

Me: Is your business eco in any way? If yes, how?

Gab: I work with only recycled metals - Silver and Gold. I use alternatives to chemicals when cleaning and polishing. I promote an ethical and transparent supply chain and encourage wearers of my products to support sustainable practices. I do a lot of custom recycling jobs, where I recycle your old jewellery into something new. I love that my medium of choice is infinitely recyclable. It can be melted down over and over again and remade into something else. Its life span is endless.

Me: Who is your audience?

Gab: I have quite a diverse audience. From 80 year Olds to 15 year Olds. I love that my work appeals to such a broad range of people. It can be viewed as art and stand alone in an art gallery but also it can worn daily on the body of an ordinary person.

Me: Please share a success story that comes to mind.

I recently had a client in her late 60’s get her ears pierced for the first time in her life, just so she could wear my earrings! There is a certain sense of pride as well, knowing my work can be found in lots of little corners of the globe. I joke about world domination! I’m getting there! One jewellery piece at a time!

Okay folks - that's all for this issue. I hope you got something from it. If you want to share your writing exercises, pop them in the comments on the bottom of the blog, which will be on the Sunkissed Casa website once I put this up. That way I, and others, can read them! You might pass some beautiful observations onto a stranger.

As always, we'll leave you with something to ponder from Tao Te Ching....

Matilda & Scott xx


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