Hotel Reviews

Airbnb Review – Mancuso Country Cottage, Metcalfe

For my birthday weekend, I wanted to go somewhere with our puppy Zoe. Unfortunately she gets severe car sickness, so where ever we decided we were going to had to be close.

I really love Kyneton, located just over an hour from our home in Melbourne. It is a beautiful, sleepy town with just the right amount on county feel to it.
Piper Street is where the best cafes are, beautiful homewares shops and also houses with their doors painted in bright colours!

So when I found a house located near Kyneton that was dog friendly, I knew that was the place for us!

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Pulling up at the house, you are greeted by the most quaint cottage around!

Inside consists of two rooms. A bedroom with fireplace, bar fridge and tv and a 2nd room which is the bathroom.

Although it’s not a 5 star hotel, it is extremely comfortable with everything you could possibly need. Especially in winter, thick blankets on the bed with electric blankets. The cottage also holds heat extremely well.

Some of the neighbours. I took the dog for a walk around the property on our first morning and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw an emu across the road! I thought I was dreaming, there was also an alpaca, sheep and a cow!

An extremely large spa tub was just want I needed! It was huge. Although, I didn’t want to waste water so I only filled it up a little.

The rest of the compact bathroom, again everything you could possibly need. The large sink doubles as a spot to wash any dishes and is large enough to do so.
The mirror is quite high, lucky we are tall-ish! Ha!

How cute are these retro glasses that were in the shack!

The front verandah, with a comfy lounge and a BBQ to the left. We were left with sufficient firewood too, however if we got too low there was more near the back shed.

So many places to sit and ponder, read a book and just take in the fresh country air.

Having a quick photo with my pup, Zoe. She absolutely loved it too, unfortunately we couldn’t let her off the leash as she doesn’t come back when we call her – still training her on that. Plus I wouldn’t want her to scare any of the resident cows.

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How cute is my pink hat! I picked that up from Alex Muir in Kyneton. One of the cutest interior shops I have ever been into. Alex is also lovely, well worth a visit!

The pup taking in the little creek down the bottom of the house. So many new smells for her to take in!


This well was built by the Chinese during the gold rush – an amazing piece of history on the land, a pleasant walk down the hill.

Our first Air BnB experience was so easy. We are so grateful for our hosts, who made the stay very comfortable and pleasant. The property was wonderful and I can’t wait to return! Hopefully sooner rather than later!

I had several questions about whether children could stay here, however I don’t think it would be possible as it is just the queen bed and not much room for any additional pullouts etc.

If you would like the link for the property, feel free to reach out. I would be more than happy to share this little slice of heaven.

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Erin from Tinka the Label

I always envisioned Meet the Makers being this beautiful thing that constantly was evolving and becoming better. So it excites me to see all the wonderful Makers from Beauty, Food, Bloggers and Designers who are excited to be part of this.

With that being said, I’m excited to welcome Erin from Tinka the Label to Meet the Makers. Erin is an extremely talented designer of jewellery and is located right here in Melbourne. This wonderful business she has created and grown, started when she was just 17 when she designed the pieces she wanted to wear for her school formal – amazing!

I met Erin nearly 2 years ago (time flies!) at Rose St Artists Market in Fitzroy, Melbourne. I was new to Melbourne and was just so impressed with her gorgeous pieces!

Not only is Erin extremely talented at design, she is and extremely driven business chick having collaborated with Square in their campaigns.

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“To me, jewellery is the instrument used to state who you are” – Erin Browne


R. After such a massive week, with the launch of your new Spring/Summer range on Wednesday I wanted to thank you for taking part tonight!
Although I touched on it a little, tell us – what lead you to starting Tinka the Label?

E. I always knew what I wanted but couldn’t find it anywhere so I started making it instead. After years of making jewellery as a hobby (with love ones telling me I should sell it) I decided to give it a crack (but that was only once I had cured my itchy feet and was content in settling in one place)

R. If you weren’t busy designing beautiful new pieces (the Spring/Summer range is gorgeous!), what would you be doing with yourself?

E. I always wanted to be in the film industry so I’d probably be chasing that dream…having said that, it is still something that I see doing, just need to focus on one dream at a time haha

R. Since starting Tinka the Label, what have you found to be the biggest challenge?

E. Social media. It’s not something I’m particularly into personally but it’s grown so dramatically that your business suffers without it. I guess I’m a bit of an old soul that needs to keep up with the times

R. Gone are the days of traditional marketing. Social media is such a crazy beast. You are correct in saying, that every business needs to have it. Not only that though but engaging with customers is extremely important too. At Tinka the Label, what does any given day look like?

E. Definitely starts with a coffee…and then some. As a small business owner the “to do list” is never-ending but I have to write it out and cross them off so I can physically see what I’ve accomplished in the day, otherwise I get a little hard on myself and think I’ve done nothing all day (even though I’ve worked like 14 hours).

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Gia

R. The to-do list is a great idea, I need to jot things down so I don’t forget ha!
What is your best tip on how to overcome hurdles in the business world?

E. The best thing to do is deal with it, things just don’t go away. Nothing ever comes easy and even when things get tough you’ve got to step back and assess the situation because it’s not the end of the world, just a little obstacle to overcome. If you learn from these situations, you’ll become a stronger person (and business) for it.

R. That is honestly the best bit of advice I think I’ve ever heard. It’s so true that when things get tough, just re-asses as it isn’t the end of the world – amazing!
A friend comes to you and mentions they want to start a business, what advice would you give them?

E. Don’t go into it half heartedly. We all have expectations and goals but sometimes they take longer than we hope, so you just have to go with the motions. There’s no such thing as an over night success.

R. What’s next for Tinka the Label?

E. Yes! I have just launched my latest collection Secret Garden. I’ve worked on this collection for a long time so I’m so happy to have finally released it!!!

R. The launch party looked fantastic and the new pieces absolutely stunning! So proud of you girl! Now I know there is no rest when working on your own business, but how do you let your hair down and have fun?

E. I’m definitely a beach bum so soak that up any chance I get (was much easier when I lived on the Gold Coast), I love doing outdoor activities and try to tick off as many items on my bucket list when I can (like skydiving, hang gliding etc), I love camping and road trips, belly laughs til I cry, and basically anything where I am with my close friends and family. I’ve also been skateboarding so hopefully I get a little better this summer.

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R. Skateboarding is one sport I’ve never been able to manage – even with a bunch of practice as a child so that’s some skill right there! Where do you draw inspiration from?

My customers. They’re everything to me. The advantage of selling in person at the markets is that I get to know my customers! There’s nothing more rewarding when they come in to see me, even if it’s just to say hello or to have a chat.

R. I love the client/maker interaction, it’s wonderfully rewarding building those connections. Have you figured out your purpose?

E. My purpose is to not only create jewellery that is different to the mainstream market, but for my customers to have a memorable experience with Tinka the Label from start to finish. I don’t want to just sell a product, I want them to be proud of their investment, because that’s what it is, they’re investing in you!

R. What is your biggest self-care tip?

E. Learn to switch off. I’m always on some sort of screen for work so it’s the last thing I want to be looking at when I’m not working. I’ve pushed and pushed myself at times but it eventually catches up with you, so you need to learn to have balance.

R. I’m trying to be mindful of having all my work done before I get home so I can just refocus on being present at home – but its such a challenge! As a jewellery designer, what is your favourite piece of jewellery?

E. Oh god, that’s too hard…but you’ll always see me in one of my statement pieces!

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Flora

R. Of course I need to ask this next questions, what is your go-to skin care or make up product?

E. Red lippy. Straight away I feel instant glam!

R. You manage to get some time free to explore, where is your favourite place where you can just zone out and enjoy life?

E. I have two spots that are my favourite places in the world and they both involve a lighthouse and are the perfect spot for whale watching. One of them is Byron Bay and the other…well I’m just going to keep that one for me.

R. Oh no! You can’t keep a secret like that from us, perhaps you can let us in on where to get the best coffee in Melbourne? 

E. Oh god, that’s hard! Some places it depends on who is the barista but I’ve found The Glass Merchant in Balaclava to be spot on 👌🏼

R. Ha! So the coffee question is a new one as I am curious where the best coffee in Melbourne is as I absolutely love it. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Meka

Congratulations again on the launch of the new collection and thank you! You are are a wonderful influence and I love your passion for what you are creating.

You can find Erin’s designs here.

Have a wonderful Saturday evening all!

Renee
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Note: All photos used in this interview are courtesy of @tinkathelabel, thank you!