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July is racing carnival time in Darwin and it’s one of our favourite times to get dressed up and head out with friends; no matter where you’re headed this Dry Season never leave home without a pair of Slappa’s in your bag!

Or accept our challenge to get “crafty” and you’ll never need to take them off at all…

Dress To Impress

We all loved to get dolled up from time to time and head out with our besties. There’s no shortage of places to go for a fun day out in Darwin in July, especially at the Darwin Turf Club; where there’s Darwin Cup Carnival events nearly every weekend! Other Dry Season events include the recent Dîner en Blanc and upcoming Darwin Festival.

If you’re looking to dress to impress at events like these there’s no better places to visit than The Peal Galleria and Maria Koko Designs who will ensure you have the most en pointe outfit of the day/night!

The Pearl Galleria is home to one of the outstanding designers of jewellery sculpted from precious metals and pearls By Gaynor Beck and is located on the Darwin Waterfront. Maria Koko Designs are handmade to complete your race day headwear and she also design and makes bridal bouquets, bouttonniers and corsages.

Getting Race Day Ready

Of course with all the fun days out, beautiful new dresses, hats and fascinators come the gorgeous, agonisingly high heels which can leave your feet and arches aching for days afterwards!

We always recommend carrying a pair of Slappa’s Thongs in your handbag or purse for the end of the night but who says when you swap out your heels it has to be a step down?! (pardon the pun!)

Here’s a few great ways you can jazz up your Slappa’s Thongs and make sure they hold up your outfit this race season.

Jazzing Up Your Slappa’s

With some well-placed double sided tape, ribbons, lace, buttons and even stick-on pearls your Slappa’s can earn pride of place on your feet at the end of the night. You won’t even need those expensive heels that will only bring you pain – you’ll be the envy of everyone at the party for your glam but pain-less idea!

All of the below are non-permanent additions to a pair of Black, White and Red Slappa’s. Once you’ve picked the dress you’ll be wearing to your event just head to the Craft section of a Spotlight or Lincraft store and get creative; you can find items to match any style and colour!

For a more permanent version of your design you can use PVA glue to help your lace, ribbon or buttons stay in place, but please note these may leave marks when removing, so only do this if  you want the changes to be permanent.

Have an event coming up? There’s no better time to buy a pair (or 4) of Slappa’s Thongs as we are offering FREE Express Shipping on all orders until the end of July!

Shop Slappa’s Thongs Now!

Thongs on!

While peak wedding season for most of Australia is between November – March, here in Darwin the majority of couples choose to tie the knot during dry season which is May – October so in the spirit of all things LOVE we thought we’d talk a little about getting married in Darwin…

Getting Married in Darwin

Darwin is the perfect place to get married; it’s unique, spectacular locations ensure your day will be one to remember forever. Dry season weddings are usually outdoors where guests can soak up the beautiful tropical landscapes. Here are just a few of the stunning venues available in Darwin to get married:

Darwin weddings have an unmistakable relaxed, warm vibe and tend to be more casual. For example an invitation we received for a July wedding at the Darwin Ski Club stated: “The celebrations will be outdoors, on grass, we therefore ask for smart casual dress thongs as the minimum standard”

If you’re looking for a place in Darwin to get your wedding rings, bridal gifts or jewellery you must visit our fabulous stockist Pearl Galleria who has the most unique and beautifully custom rings.

Of course, this season will also be the first since the Marriage Equality amendment to the Marriage Act so we’ll be seeing all those Marriage Certificates with the updated “Signature of Parties” replacing “Bride and Groom”. Awesome!

Wedding Must-Have’s

There are few things you definitely want to have with you in your ‘Wedding Day Kit’ for the big day. These include:

  1. Mini sewing kit with scissors, needles, thread, buttons, and safety pins: For those “make it work” moments.
  2. Baby powder: Hot summer days, crowded prep rooms, and nerves can all lead to sweat. A little moisture-absorbing baby powder never goes astray.
  3. Cotton tips & makeup remover: Eyeliner mistakes happen. But they don’t have to stick around.
  4. Tissues: For those happy tears (and any accidental eye pokes with mascara wands).
  5. Mini first aid kit think Band-Aids and Panadol
  6. Super Glue: For fixing shoes, nails, jewelry, head pieces, and more.
  7. White chalk: If something gets on the wedding dress and it just won’t come out, you can usually mask the stain with chalk. No one will be any the wiser.
  8. Portable phone charger(s):Make sure they’re charged! This will be your lifesaver if your phones about to die and you haven’t told the caterer where to put the cake.
  9. Hair elastics and bobby pins: You can never have too many on hand. (Add hairspray and a comb/brush while you’re at it.)
  10. Alcohol: When all else fails, a little liquid courage is the ultimate backup. Have a couple airplane bottles handy… just in case.
  11. Slappa’s Thongs: At the end of the night when your feet are killing you and you just want to DANCE you’ll be so grateful you slipped a pair of arch-support thongs into your bag trust us!

Bridal Slappa’s

We’ve had some wonderful comments, feedback and messages over the years from brides saying how they snuck their Slappa’s into their wedding bag and ended up slipping them on under their dress at the end of the night. It’s a great idea for Mum’s and Bridesmaids to think to do this too!

Of course they’re an absolute must for the Honeymoon as well – “his and hers” Slappa’s are just perfect for travelling – they’re super lightweight, easy to clean and you can wear them anywhere!

Family Weddings

There’s nothing we love more than attending the weddings of family and friends – witnessing the happiness and getting to be a part of the infectious joy of those around us. Last week we saw our dear nephew Troy wed the beautiful Ange and we had a blast. It brought back many memories of when Roger and I got married 22 years ago – how far we’ve come since then!

Top End Wedding

We’re not the only ones who love a good Darwin wedding! In fact a Feature Film called Top End Wedding is being released early next year staring Miranda Tapsell from The Sapphires. According to Screen Australia “The hilarious and heart-warming comedy is the story of successful Sydney lawyer, Lauren, and her fiancé Ned. Engaged and in love, they have just 10 days to find Lauren’s mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the Northern Territory, reunite her parents and pull off their dream Top End Wedding.” We can’t wait to see it!

To all those couples getting married this season CONGRATULATIONS. Enjoy every minute of your big day and never forget that when you’re standing in front of the one you love, all the other details fade away.

Thongs on!

National Family Week

This week is National Family Week in Australia; an annual celebration of families that aims to recognise and appreciate the vital role that families play in Australian society. They ask us to take time this week to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting and nurturing children, especially as they grow.

Since Slappa’s Thongs is a proud family owned and run business, I thought I’d take time this week to do just that; reflect on how our family unit supports and encourages each other and those in our community.

A Family Business

Our family consists of myself (Denise), my husband Roger, and our two children Bernie (13) and Kaylee (11). Then there’s our gorgeous little daschund Frankie who is nearly 8 now.

When I first started Slappa’s Thongs I never imagined how much a part of the family it would become, but over the years it has not only played an integral part in our family’s livelihood but in our growth as individuals and a family unit.

It began in 2010 with me juggling a new business and two small children. By 2015 the business and workload had grown so much that Roger joined the company full-time as well. And as they got older Bernie and Kaylee began helping out in small ways to earn a bit of pocket money, usually so they could save up and buy things for their bike.

Even our doggie Frankie joined the crew as head of security!!!

Bernie and Kaylee are now on the payroll working a few hours a week learning how the business runs, getting vital skills and understanding how employment works.

They both now have their own Tax File Number which will be with them for life. They are learning how to fill in a time book, read their payslip and best of all learning how to save their money. The biggest learning curve for them both is the commitment they need to make, being responsible, time management, making sure they do the job efficiently and correctly.

They really enjoy being a part of the business and we love being able to share the ups and downs with them and provide so many opportunities to grow and learn. In fact we’ve often found that they are even able to teach us a few things!

It’s a great feeling having us all involved and working towards a common goal making it truly a “family business”.

Our Family And The Cycling Community

As a family we all love cycling. We all ride socially and race road and mountain bikes. Cycling is our way of doing something together, exercising and having fun. We have all made many new friends and our cycling groups are like one big extended family.

Now that the kids are older and at competition age it’s become quite common for us to travel for cycling and the kids race interstate a few times a year. Recently we had a family holiday in Queensland to see the Track Cycling at the Commonwealth Games it was extremely exciting and the kids learnt a lot from watching the athletes from all other Commonwealth countries.

Last year, Roger participated in the Tour de Timor which was a gruelling race through East Timor mountains. Roger needed to train 4-5 times a week for 12 months to be fit enough to compete. As a family we needed to make some allowances so he had the time to be able to work and get his training done. While he was there he donated hundreds of Slappa’s Thongs to Encouragement House.

The Cycling community is a fantastic group to be involved with and it is great for us to know the kids will be looked after well when they go away for racing. Bernie (aged 13) competed in a Road Race in the Barossa Valley, South Australia this April. It was the first time he had flown on his own, and he handled it very well. A lovely family in Adelaide picked him up from the airport and he stayed with them for the 4 days of competition. They made him feel like one of their family and made sure he felt comfortable and supported. As a mother it meant a lot to me that my son was being well cared for while away from his family. It was a good opportunity for him to learn to do things on his own without Mum and Dad’s help. These trips have definitely boosted his confidence and prepared him for when he leaves home for work or further studies.

My family’s next challenge will be to help me make time to train for the Katherine to Darwin Ride I am doing soon! And in October I will be walking the Inca Trail in Peru.

Teaching Family Values

Growing up in a big family and in a country town my parents always had extra kids staying over and they were always the first ones to put up their hands to take someone in.

Roger and I have always done the same and have offered a place to stay for many people over the years (include Terra Roams; the first woman to walk solo and unsupported around Australia, and 18 year old Jack Totino; who rode around Australia in 2017 raising money for FightMND).

We’ve made some amazing friends doing this and it gave us an opportunity to instil the value of helping others in Bernie and Kaylee too.

National Families Week is a time to celebrate with your family, make contact with your extended family and friends, and share in the enjoyment of family activities within the wider community. It is a time to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life.

Take some time this week to reflect on your family. Thank you for reading about mine.

Thongs on!

Denise

This is the time of year the Northern Territory starts to bloom. The Wet Season has ended and the Dry is in full swing. Darwin is lush and full of life, kicking off with heaps of happening, fun stuff in July. Making it the perfect time, especially for those of you who don’t live in Darwin, to come on up and see the sights.

I’m giving you the heads up in June so you’ve still got time to slap on your Slappa’s and hoof our way 😊. Because if there’s one thing I know (other than fantastic thong-wear), it’s Darwin! So, for a Slappa’s Good Time, check this out …

We’re known in the Top End for being a pretty cruisy crowd. There’s nowhere I’m going to tell you about, that you can’t jump in and enjoy wearing your favourite thongs. Seriously, we invented the phrase laid back up here! So, when I say you can have a Slappa’s Good Time, I mean it, literally.

Magical Mindil Beach Sunset Market

This market is iconic and will be in full swing by July. It’s a favourite spot with Territorians and visitors alike. There really is something for everyone: fantastic food, tropical refreshments, world class stalls selling everything from art to thongs.

Guess who’ll be there with her Slappa’s Thongs? Be sure to pop by and say hi. I’d love to meet you! Plus, I’ll have some thrilling new thong colours arriving, as well as many of our classics.

What makes Mindil so magical is the location right on the beach. You can watch the sensational sunset, before browsing and basking in the cooler evening atmosphere on a Thursday and Sunday evening.

Top Tip

Get there early to bag a perfect sundowner spot for you and your esky; kick back and enjoy happy hour on the beach. It’s BYO only; no alcohol is sold at Mindil.

If you can’t make it down early, you can pre-book a VIP area. The Mindil team will set up a private area with tables, chairs and an esky with ice, that overlooks the beach and markets. VIP areas are $15 per head (or a little more per head if you want to arrange some added extras).

Slappa’s Go Bush

One thing my family loves, is the treasure trove of breathtaking natural beauty and our rich indigenous culture.

The Dry is the time to head out to some of these world-famous beauty spots, which are often impassable during the worst of our Wet Season. Stunning waterways, crystal-clear rock pools and spectacular waterfalls are all begging to be explored in places such as Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine Gorge. There are many other equally gorgeous destinations you can visit from Darwin.

Slappa’s Sensational July recommendations

Territory Day on July 1st marks the Northern Territory’s anniversary of self-government.

The occasion is marked all across the Territory with fireworks displays, concerts and celebratory events.

If you happen to visit Mindil Beach Markets on Territory Day, you’ll enjoy a fantastic fireworks display, lighting up the Timor Sea. Truly magical!

The Beer Can Regatta has been hosted by The Lions Club since 1974. You don’t want to miss this hilarious, unique, utterly Territorian experience!

Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like watching as these beer-can-crafts (soda cans for the minors) are tested on the water. It’s a day for everyone and always draws a big crowd to Mindil Beach. Check out the video clips on their site – they put the F in Fun!

There’s more than just testing these preciously crafted vessels involved; you can always get involved in portage races, kayak races, sandcastle comps, iron man events and take part in some of the silly competitions – like thong-throwing! A special activity sponsored by Slappa’s Thongs. 😉

Come join us Sunday 9th July 2017

10am to 5pm Mindil Beach, Darwin.

Most Mindil Beach Sunset Market stalls will be set for the whole day.

Get your formal thongs on for Darwin Cup Carnival

Whilst we love our (sometimes) capsizing beer-can-vessels, beach and bush activities, we’ve got our classy side.

This is Darwin – of course, we have formal thong-wear!

If you want to get really dressed up and feel quite posh then why not spend a day at the horse races? There’s heaps happening and a great opportunity for posh-frocking. Ladies Day is an awesome day to dress up in your killer heels and dress-to-die-for. And when those heels start killing your still fun-fueled feet, swap them out for a pair of colour coordinated Slappa’s Thongs.

What’s more fun than spending the day with your besties, enjoying a flutter, admiring the fashions, dancing and drinking bubbles (a little too much for some)?

Part of the carnival celebrations is The Darwin Cup Ball, the biggest outdoor ball in the southern hemisphere, an opportune event for rubbing shoulders with celebs. And the very last event of the carnival is, of course, The Darwin Cup which is always held on the 1st Monday of August, so if you’re in Darwin then make sure you don’t miss it!

Slappa’s Lounging About

Now Darwin can involve a lot of stimulating activity, but if you prefer to just kick back and relax…

Then have I got the perfect Darwin activity for you!

The Deckchair Cinema is open 7-days a week, with the box office open from 6pm. It’s the perfect opportunity to just chillax, sit beneath the stars and soak up some cinematic sensation.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, of ways to enjoy tropical Darwin and our stunning surrounds in the Dry.

Did I mention the other good thing is you can be comfortable and wear thongs (preferably Slappa’s) at all these events? (Yeah, I know I did 😉).

And there’s more. A lot more! Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself at the Tourism Top End Site.

Thongs On!

Denise

In Darwin one of the lucky things we get to do is to take the tinny out into the rivers just off the Darwin Harbour to catch some giant mud crabs. There’s nothing better than coming home with a feast of Darwin “Muddies” to cook up and enjoy.

Darwin mud crabs have a very sweet, delicious taste and can be enjoyed many different ways. Most times we just eat them fresh straight from the pot. Spread out plenty of newspaper over the outdoor table, a few water bowls, hammers and go for it.

But for a special occasion and when we have time we all love “My Magnificent Chilli Mud Crabs.” The flavours just explode in your mouth and if you can’t eat it all it just gets better the next day.

There are a few fishing charters in Darwin who can take you mud crabbing or you can buy them live from MR Barra or sometimes at Parap and Rapid Creek markets.

So when visiting Darwin, take the opportunity and experience catching, cooking and eating delicious Darwin Mud Crabs. As a special gift to readers of my blog, here’s my secret recipe which is easy to make and can be changed to suit your taste buds.

4 mud crab, cut into sections

6 tablespoons peanut oil or any oil you have

6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

4 tablespoons ginger, julienned or crushed (use to your taste)

2 tablespoons coriander root

4-6 red chillies, chopped

1 red capsicum sliced

2 tablespoons fish sauce to suit your taste

Juice of 2-3 limes

2 tablespoons sugar

Sprinkle of sea salt to taste

½ cup of your favourite sweet chilli sauce or chilli sauce

1-2 cups chicken stock

4-6 whole green spring onions chopped

1/2 cup chopped coriander

Coriander sprigs, for garnish

METHOD

For this recipe we use live mud crabs which we freeze to kill them humanly. You can use crabs which have been cooked but the flesh will not be as juicy.

Remove the top head shell and gills and throw away.

Rinse lightly to clean out

Cut crab in into 4 pieces and pull off big claws.

Crack the claws slightly with a cleaver or hammer so they allow the sauce to get in.

Heat wok and add oil.

Add garlic, ginger, coriander root and chilli. Be careful not to burn ingredients.

Add sliced red capsicum

Add crab tossing for 1-2 minutes

Add fish sauce, chilli sauce, lime juice, chicken stock, sugar and salt

Toss ingredients then cover with lid and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Toss spring onions and coriander through.

Serve straight from the wok
I hope you all enjoy my magnificent chilli mud crab recipe as much as we do and feel free to share it with your friends and family.

Warmly,

Denise

http://www.slappasthongs.com.au/buy-slappas

In Darwin, our kids get four weeks holidays in the dry season in the middle of the year and six weeks holidays for the Christmas break.

You’ll understand why Darwin is the home capital to the best thongs in the world, when you learn that during our dry season the temperature is a glorious 30-32 degrees Celsius every day and the wet season is hotter.

In the Slappa’s Thongs household, we exploit this to the full – and plan a few school holiday days – by chilling at the Darwin Waterfront.

Surrounded by lush, green parkland, the Waterfront has a fantastic wave pool lagoon, along with a safe recreation beach that is free from crocodiles and stingers (jellyfish).

The beach is half natural and half man-made and it’s my preferred choice when I’m entertaining four kids.

The Waterfront features a large hotel car park where you get two hours free or pay $2 for three hours.

However, when its school holidays and our plan is to stay as long as possible, my tip is to park under the Darwin Convention Centre which costs $5 for the whole day. Bargain!

There are restaurants, bars and cafes all around the parkland but you can also bring your own provisions and have a picnic.

In my experience, this is the easiest way to organise school holiday days, get some peace of mind, keep the kids occupied, and road test some new Slappa’s Thongs out under the glorious Darwin sky.

http://www.slappasthongs.com.au/buy-slappas

 

Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a great supporter of home grown music. Every Thursday and Sunday from the Sound Shell you can sit down at the tables set up by the markets, enjoy your dinner and a few drinks while listening to something different each week ranging from Reggae, folk, rock, jazz and country. Some of the local bands and musicians that have performance this year are Bridey Rose, Dave Garnham and his band The Reasons to Live, Reggae Dave, Skarett, Kormilda College Band, Darwin Army Band, After The Rain and recently brother’s Livi & Aaron VanderAa who have just returned from 2 years touring overseas.

min music korIt was great to listen to The Kormilda College band which was only created this year and is made up of talented junior music students, performing modern, classic soul and r’n’b inspired songs. Featuring upcoming diva Stevie Kyriacou, winner of the Darwin Schools Pitch Perfect singing competition, the band exhibits some of the most exciting young musicians in Darwin. So great to see so many young talented people in Darwin!

Performances from the Australian Air force Jazz Band, Darwin Army Band and the Australian Army Band draw in the crowds and are always extremely popular.

But the music which is best known at Mindil Beach is eMDee who play each week at the Casino End of the markets. You will experience the amazing sounds of extremely fast drum and didgeridoo laying at its best. They have even performed at the Sydney Opera House!

So if you are coming up to Darwin for a holiday or moving to Darwin this is just a taste of what is on offer when it comes to live music.

To see where all the live music is happening, you can look up the local Gig Guide either in the NT News on Thursday or the website www.darwinlive.com.au or their face book site.

Pictures courtesy of Mindil Beach Sunset Market

http://www.slappasthongs.com.au/buy-slappas