How to make homemade coffee scrubs

Mel Howard | February, 12 2016

Little Things That Make My Life Easier-Part 2

Homemade coffee scrubs aka lickable skin.

I definitely jumped on the bandwagon when Frank body took over Instagram. I still enjoy his punny quip captions under pics of babes of all shapes and levels of cheekiness, covered in coffee with gigantic smiles plastered on their faces.

I love their product! It makes me smell like a jaffa and leaves me with skin like soft supple rose petals (as opposed to hard, dried up ones).

However, being a barista I have unlimited access to my own exceptional (see Sydney based coffee company Mecca) wet coffee grind that otherwise sadly goes in the bin.

To make the most of this joyous coincidence I have concocted the following recipe*.

  1. In a large glass jar (I’m a fan of jars) mix half a cup of oil -jojoba, grapeseed, nut, olive, vitamin E, rosehip if you’re a millionaire, anything really. I’m yet to try coconut but it’s next on my bodycare-crafternoon list- with a quarter cup of Epsom salts, a quarter cup of raw sugar (or just a half cup of something coarse-ish), with about 5 drops of an essential oil of your choice. I like peppermint, orange, rose, sandalwood, lemon, lavender, but make sure you marry your scent with the base oil you’ve used, lemon can sometimes be tricky.
  2. Pop the lid on and shake till your heart’s content.
  3. Pop in 6-8oz (about a regular take away cup) of wet coffee grind from your local caffeine dealership and mix together.
  4. Pop on the kettle, make yourself a French press and sort out your Netflix choice, cause we all know a coffee scrub turns into a two ep regime.

[Good time for egg and olive oil hair mask application]

Make sure the coffee and oil mixture are combined properly otherwise you can get some funky mould growing in your precious scrubs.

Store in an airtight jar and use liberally.

Warning: these scrubs may make strangers attempt to eat you in the street.

I’ve yet to try any optionals in my scrubs because I’m more than happy with the simple mixes so far but I’ve been told to try adding amounts of ground cacao, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, anything that sounds like it might be good in a Christmas cookie to ramp up the #scrublyf luxury factor.

*whenever I reference a ‘recipe’, I’m almost always guessing measures and the alike. When following anything I guide, unless strictly stipulated, as Danny Zuko would say, feeeelll your way.

[Credits: Words by Mel Howard and Illustration by Juliet Sulejmani]

*Girl pictured wearing Mel’s homemade coffee scrub and lace bralette from Love Stories Intimates*



Humidity Be Gone


Mel Howard | February, 11 2016

Little Things That Make My Life Easier-Part 1


Egg white and olive oil hair mask aka Humidity Be Gone.

Coming from comparatively zero humidity in Melbourne to an average 85% in Byron, my wavy sometimes curly, short hair is freaking the heck out. A friend at work gave me the perfect trick.

  1. In small glass jar, break one egg white, add a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Screw on lid and shake like nobody is watching.
  3. Apply to hair.
  4. Leave in hair for 20 minutes (or three eps of Mad Men).
  5. Wash it out well in a COLD shower, ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for scrambled hair.

I jumped straight in the surf and by the time I was home, my hair was super shiny and had curled into perfect beachy ringlets.

Happy days.

Authors note: there are few times in ones life where you may find yourself laughing out loud at your own expense. Trying to neatly apply a sticky egg white mixture to your hair over a sink may be one of them. Neatly being the key word. Embrace the ridiculousness.



[Credits: Words by Mel Howard and Illustration by Juliet Sulejmani]

Vlog Mondays – Number 7


Juliet Sulejmani | February, 08 2016

This weeks Vlog is live!

I’m quite enjoying recapping my challenge each week. Not only is it a great way to keep track of how I’m doing but it also forces me to think about each thing that I have done.

If you watched my last vlog (click here for last Vlog) you will know that I was close to throwing in the Vlog towel is that even a thing. And sitting here now after making vlog 7, I think gee whiz, I’m so glad I didn’t.

Something I have learnt from this is – those reasons you give yourself for choosing to not continue with something, they’re actually excuses. Don’t listen to those reasons excuses, stay strong and keep going.

All the love.



Gracie Crowley | February, 06 2016

The Young Father’s gig was the first gig of 2015 for me. I had only recently become aware of the three man hip-hop group, due to their appearance on the Falls Festival line up. The trio who hail from Edinburgh, Scotland; where they became a more prominent presence on the hip-hop circa after winning the Mercy Prize for their debut album Dead, had returned to our shores with their latest album White Men are Black Men Too.

Now going in to see these guys, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. I’d listened to their discography on Spotify multiple times and had blasted their tunes on my daily runs; I’d also done some google-ing about the band members. But what I experienced that evening was a delightful surprise.

These three human beings bounded onto the stage and dived straight into the performance with such energy and volume that it was a shock to the senses. Every person I could see in the crowd, including myself, instantly started bopping along to the unique and energetic sound.

Voodoo In My Blood, Rain or Shine and I Heard were all undeniable hits; I cannot recall a song that didn’t have people at the very least swaying to the beat. Although a special boogie was definitely had when they played the stand out hits Shame and Get Up, with at least three people in earshot declaring ‘what a tune!’ as they danced their way closer to the front for both.

Overall I had a wonderful experience at the Corner, which also happens to be one of my favorite venues here in Melbourne, listening to the wonderfully talented trio that is Young Fathers. I actually could not fault the sound and the crowd was one of the most pleasant I’ve experienced at the Corner.

I’m glad that in the days preceding the gig I did my google-ing, because afterwards the some things clicked. Firstly, I did notice a rather political motive behind their lyrics. Their chatter before songs about being “accepting Australians” who “do not turn people in boats away from their shores” struck a huge chord with the crowd, who clapped and cheered in support. Another was their acknowledgement of the first Australians, our indigenous founders. This also struck a chord with the crowd, who clapped and cheered even louder at these references.

I discovered the members, Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and ‘G’ Hastings had come from somewhat varying backgrounds of disadvantage.

Alloysious was born in Liberia and moved to Edinburgh at a young age. Kayus, was born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents and actually lived in Nigeria for a period of time before returning to Edinburgh. “G” was born in Edinburgh and grew up in the housing scheme of Drylaw (which for us Aussies who mightn’t be familiar, is similar to government housing.)

As one mere person in the crowd that evening, it was a humbling experience to watch all three members who are now world-touring artists, with a clearly growing fan base, perform with such energy, passion and talent. These guys even go without an encore as they truly do pour all of themselves into their set. The energy not once faltered and it was an experience I would definitely recommend to you all.

I did unfortunately miss the opening act for Young Fathers. Note to self – don’t get distracted at dinner beforehand. My sincere apologies for not being able to review Black Vanilla and Ecca Vandal who I’m sure were wonderful in their own right.

So to conclude, Young Fathers were Hip-Hop with a message. With a level of energy I haven’t felt from an artist for a while. I would without a doubt encourage you to add these guys to your playlist and delve into the beats that make Young Fathers a unique musical experience.


Top 5 recommended songs: 

  • Shame
  • I Heard
  • Get Up
  • Voodoo In My Blood
  • Rain or Shine


(This was supposed to be my first article for the wonderful Juliet Report, however David Bowie’s passing, the Hottest 100 and my 21st Birthday all seemed to capture my attention first, apologies and I hope you enjoyed!)


[Credits: Words by Gracie Crowley and Illustration by Juliet Sulejmani]



Being a snail is scary



Mel Howard | January, 22 2016

I have been haphazardly practicing yoga now coming onto six years and instead of blabbering on for pages about my limited understanding of it, I’ll say simply that every person will come into their own yogi flow and happiness. I also firmly believe it’s something you can never officially be ‘good’ at.

‘But I’m not flexible’ people say to me, ‘I can’t touch my toes’, neither could I when I started. Well, I kinda could, but it hurt. Achieving little things like toe touching is great, achieving the bigger poses like your first wheel or a solid dancer are even better. What I mean when I say you can never be ‘good’ at yoga is that achieving a pose is never the point; the point is being in the pose. Pushing it. Opening it. Squeezing it. Breathing your heart into it and perhaps floating away right above it. That happens only when you are present and your goal isn’t to look the best, it’s to push your best and that is why you’re never good at it, you’re just happy, or not concentrating.

This week I started at a studio in Byron because it had an incredible two months for two people for $200 deal. I hate that money becomes the deciding factor in so many things that I know are good for me but at the same time there are so many in Byron it did make it easier to pick one.

I’ve been four times so far and each class has had completely different standout moments like this one. Today’s was snail pose. To give you a visual, snail pose is a simple straight backed seated pose, legs engaged in front of you, hands helping you lift from the crown and then curling the head as close as you can to the knees. Snail pose (I imagine) because you curl like its shell. It looks familiar, I’ve done the old forward fold extension from the hips and heart over the legs, but as I curled my crown in toward my heart I felt the clench in my chest. My breathing quickened. My blood pumped harder. Immediately I started sweating. It astounds me how my own body can play me like this. Turn on a dread that apparently has been residing in my back until now, waiting for this moment to rear its unknown fear into my heart. Usually when this happens I pull out in shock, but this morning I sat still. Inhaled and exhaled and tried to work out what this fear was. Tears in my eyes. Panic in my mind telling me to quit. Breathe in and out, in and out. Slowly and calmly still hot and scared but there it is, I see it lighten in front of me, the unknown, the new. I push a little further, round a little harder on the exhale, it jolts back hard into my chest, inhale, I’ve never been here before, it’s new but I’m doing it, I’m here. I did it. All the things I said I would, I did it. Suddenly the pose is bigger than this class, it’s more than yoga. What’s living in my back is all the fear of starting something new.  Of letting go of the past, the good and the bad that comes with a home and leaving it. It’s the deserved acknowledgment of achieving what you said you would, because I’m only just realising now that I rarely do and it’s monumentally important.

‘Slowly inhale as you curl back out of it, lift your crown through the spine’ Geoff is calling me back to my body. The fear isn’t completely gone but it now means something entirely different. Because it’s known, I’ll expect it. I’ll look out for it, and from here on out snail pose will be a challenge that reminds me to acknowledge my achievements and my strength.

Ananta are celebrating their fifth birthday this year and if you’re in town, do yourself a favour and spend as much time as you can spare between here and the beach. I’ll be the panic stricken newbie in the corner smiling through it all. Please say hello, I’ll probably need a hug. Or a vino.

Click here for Ananta Yoga: Ananta 


[Credits: Words by Mel Howard and Illustration by Juliet Sulejmani]