SAFE SKINCARE: The Top 3 Toxin Free Skincare Brands For Face + Body

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SAFE SKINCARE: The Top 3 Toxin Free Skincare Brands For Face + Body

SAFE SKINCARE: The Top 3 Best Toxin Free Brands For Face + Body

Over the last number of years I’ve become increasingly aware of the amount of chemicals and “nasties” (as they are commonly referred to) found in the everyday products we put on our skin - some of which are claimed to have detrimental effects on our health. Never before have consumers shown such a desire for natural and non-toxic products, or have they demanded transparency from beauty companies in a quest to remove the risk from their daily skincare routines in favour of the cleaner and safer option. But...

Working out which brands are safe and which ones aren’t, is NOT easy!

It’s like you need a degree to read and understand ingredients lists these days. Half the things listed you’ve never heard of before and then some ingredients will have more than one name or reference for it, making it extra tricky to compare listings with other brands of the same product. When I started detoxifying my own beauty cupboard, I really just wanted someone to tell me A) Which were the best brands to buy and B) Which products to buy from each range.

Then when I fell pregnant everything was amplified ten-fold because all of sudden I needed to know it all urgently. I was on a mission to replace any cream, serum, scrub or balm that was not only potentially harmful to me, but more importantly the growth or development of my unborn child AND I needed to do this as quickly as possible!

That’s why I’ve decided to share the sum of my research and product trials with you. Hopefully this post can save other women from the same stress and frustration I encountered when trying to decipher it all.

So here it is… my list of ‘go to’ skincare brands that are not only so safe you can use them even if you’re pregnant, but they also tick the boxes for being super yummy to wear and actually work too.

1.     DR HAUSCHKA

Dr Hauschka is a skin care brand which evolved from WALA Medicines - a pioneering company which has been producing natural medicines since the 1930s. The foundations of it’s products are rooted in nature and healing, plus years of research and perfectly cultivated recipes. For me they were a lifesaver, because it was the first luxury brand I discovered that could guarantee completely safe ingredients across a broad range of products plus every product in the range I loved. Everything from the brand philosophy and packaging to the textures and scents won me over, plus it seems to be fairly accessible too (I've found them in the likes of John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, plus other large retailers globally).    

FAV PICKS: Regenerating Eye Cream & the Soothing Cleansing Milk

 

2.     AEOS

*AEOS is a Positive Luxury brand www.positiveluxury.com

*AEOS is a Positive Luxury brand www.positiveluxury.com

For me discovering AEOS was like uncovering a cool new underground band that you know everyone is going to LOVE for life, but you get to be the first one to tell everyone about it. AEOS is a pioneering brand which has been collecting numerous beauty awards and building a cult following across Australia, Japan and Europe. Admittedly it is not as accessible as some other brands but you can purchase direct from their website (click image above) and I believe it’s sure to be stocked in the likes of retailers like Selfridges in no time. Why? Because they’re boutique and they’re brilliant! Pure biodynamic ingredients... heavenly aromas... and ancient recipes too. You're getting a quality product that really does hydrate and transform your skin, plus it's a smaller company with a lot of heart and dedication to providing the best for its customers. 

FAV PICKS: Realive Serum & the Beauty Body Lotion

 

3.     WELEDA

*AEOS is a Positive Luxury brand www.positiveluxury.com

*AEOS is a Positive Luxury brand www.positiveluxury.com

I’ve recommended Weleda in the past and here they are again making it on one of my lists because not only are they natural and affordable, but the range is so vast there’s something for everyone in the whole family. The ingredients they use are scrumptious and they are simply a no fuss product you can always count on to get the job done safely.

FAV PICKS: Skin Food Hand Cream & the Birch Body Scrub

PLEASE NOTE: The Weleda product range is hugely extensive and although they are all produced from natural ingredients, some ingredients may be better suited for pregnancy than others. If you are pregnant, best just to double check you've got the safest ones for your specific pregnancy.

Happy safe skincare!

Sx

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SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS GIFTING: The gift that gives in more WAYS than one

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SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS GIFTING: The gift that gives in more WAYS than one

With only 7 nights until Christmas, now is the time to get the last of your gift shopping done and I’ve got a great list of gift ideas that are not only different to the rest, but will also make you (and the recipient) feel a little warm and fuzzy inside because each gift gives in more ways than one…

The idea came from my cousin, Anders Uechtritz, who asides from being super intelligent and charming, works for a non-profit social purpose organisation in Australia, whose mission is to improve the lives of people in need through various services and projects. A few days ago, Anders sent out a family email with links to various social enterprise organisations whom he thought would make great alternatives to buy gifts from this Christmas – I loved it!

Social enterprises are businesses which put people and the planet first. By purchasing gifts from a social enterprise, we can give fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts while also directly contributing to the great work done by the enterprise.

So for those of you who are still struggling to find that perfect gift for someone who is hard to buy for, or just needing to do some last minute Christmas shopping before the big man in his big red suit trips down your chimney… I’ve gone and done a little research of my own and collated my Top 10 picks for your socially conscious gifting this year...

 

1. SEEME #HeartMovement fair-trade necklace: 

My husband actually gave me one of these as an early Christmas present a few weeks ago because he was so excited, he couldn’t wait until the big day. He knew I’d love everything about this delicate necklace and what it represented... and boy he knows me well. The SEEME #heartmovement was launched in January 2014 with several fashion icons like Nicole Kidman and Alessandra Ambrosio quick to be photographed for the brand. Karl Lagerfeld, Missoni and Tommy Hilfiger have since collaborated with SEEME and the jewellery is handcrafted by women (often single mothers) who have suffered violence and were ostracized from their communities. Through training, SEEME women learn the craft of jewellery making following ancient tunisian techniques. Thus, while fostering their country's traditions they also secure a workplace for themselves and a future for their families.

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

2. Aerende Rustic Wooden Chopping Board:

A beautiful timber chopping board makes a great gift for those who take pride in their kitchen and/or house decor. Alternatively I'd sue this gorgeous board as a lovely rustic option for serving cheese! Crafted from sustainably sourced Scottish elm, this chopping board shows the grain and the shape of the original elm tree and was hand-crafted by volunteers recovering from mental illness at Fruitful Woods in Edinburgh.

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

3. Soneva Fushi Escape:

If you’re looking for something more extravagant to surprise your loved one(s), then maybe this deserted island hideaway in the Maldives is the perfect choice. It’s a place that my husband and I have had on our list for some time because everything about it looks and seems ideal! An award-winning resort with picture perfect sand and beaches… a Biosphere UNESCO protected pristine reef… and an eco-friendly existence which emanates the essence of barefoot luxury. Even more impressive than the resort itself, is the Soneva Foundation established by the owners of Soneva to deliver meaningful projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact. By choosing any of the Soneva resorts for your next holiday, you’re supporting a business that through its foundation is proactively making huge impact on our world via their inspiring global projects. 

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

4. Thankyou ‘OH JOY’ Duo Gift Set: 

This Botanical Patchouli & Vanilla Hand Wash + Lotion will make the perfect Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gift. 100% of the profits from Thankyou products goes towards ending global poverty, by helping to get safe water, sanitation, food and child and maternal health programs to people in need.

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

5. Global Seesaw Earrings: 

Fashionable and chic, these Carter-Blue earrings will give any outfit a touch of style. Made by women who are beginning a new life at Starfish Project, each purchase is an investment in a mission to transform lives and restore hope to exploited women. 

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

6. Conscious Step Socks: 

Everyone loves socks for a stocking filler! But these socks are extra cool because they are ethically made and sold for leading non-profits around the world, as a fun way to raise awareness for the work they are doing. You can choose which non-profit you’d like to support by selecting the socks from each non-profits design range. On the back-end they pride themselves as leaders in Fairtrade and organic production using a unique non-toxic dying process, making their products a lot more durable and odor resistant, as well as preventing harm to our environment. 

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

7. Sniffy Wiffy Body Gift Pack:

High-quality, gorgeous bath and body products which are providing vitally important health information in a forward-thinking, innovative way. Sniffy Wiffy's mission is to increase the number of ladies and gents who know about (and self-check for) the signs & symptoms of breast and testicular cancer. 

8. Samanata Yogi Premium Yoga Apparel:

Inspired by the strength and courage of women and supporting artists and designers around the world, Samanata Yogi dedicates 10% of all their profits to Project Futures, a not-for-profit organisation that works tirelessly towards the eradication of human trafficking and the empowerment of its survivors. Recycled and eco-friendly fabrics and processes are used by Samantha Yogi to reduce environmental impact also. 

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

9. Forage Cookbook:

For all you chefs out there, you can support village development in Nepal through agriculture enterprise when buying this stunning cookbook. Forage brings together recipes, stories and beautiful imagery from producers, food folks and 100 of the best chefs from across Victoria, Australia. Forage is an initiative born from a group of Aussies who during their time in Nepal, were inspired by the strong connection between the subsistence farmers, their food and the land that provides it. 

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

10. Prosperity Candle: 

Every candle purchased helps provide a living wage for the women artisans who are crafting them and whom have resettled to the United States from refugee camps in the hope of building a brighter future for themselves and their families. This social enterprise delights customers through design, fragrance, and stories that brighten your heart and soul, and they believe in contributing to the common good, prioritizing purpose over profit, and striving everyday to help end poverty. 

CLICK TO SHOP!

CLICK TO SHOP!

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!!!

Sx

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SPOTLIGHT ON SUSTAINABILITY

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SPOTLIGHT ON SUSTAINABILITY

THE TIME IS NOW

Those of you who follow me across my social media channels will know that I’m passionate about sustainability and ethical business practices. But what is the big deal you ask… and what’s it all about?

Generally speaking most of us have heard the word “sustainability” thrown around, but not a lot of us truly understand the complexities of what it means and why we keep reading about it. When people talk about “sustainable fashion” “sustainable business” or "sustainable living" we assume what they’re talking about but we don't REALLY know the specifics... nor do we attempt to find out. In some ways we detach ourselves from the conversation because we don’t think it has much to do with us (even though it does) and I believe one of of the reasons behind this disconnect, is the language being used. It needs to change. The mass public (especially in todays fast pace society) need simple, quick messages to absorb new information... not complicated intellectual talk that instantly has them overwhelmed. 

Now more than ever before, this has to change. Sustainability needs to find a language and start a conversation that everyone DOES understand. Why? Because it has EVERYTHING to do with EVERY ONE OF US... it’s about the survival of our planet and our future generations.

Did you know that a number of reports have suggested that if our population and consumption trends continue at the current rate, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us by 2030?!

This is not a scare tactic by green organisations and global leaders, this is a reality (trust me… once you start reading about this stuff, you will find that there is an abundance of terrifying statements and predictions on this topic). You will also find that there’s also an incredible sense of urgency too (2030 is just over a decade away!).

So that’s why I’m passionate about this cause - I want my children and their children (and so on) to be mind-boggled by the beauty of our incredible reefs; to explore the same rainforests and habitats that hundreds of generations before us have; and to live their lives experiencing the wonder of mother nature and it’s nourishing resources. I don’t want to be part of the generations who ruined it for everyone else to come.

The best part is, it’s not all doom and gloom... we still have time to reverse the cycle and there’s loads of simple ways that ALL of us can start making a difference because #EveryLittleBitCounts and it's easy! This is also where I can help.... I’ve got loads of tips and brand recommendations to share, plus a simple way of sharing the knowledge which should make it easier to digest (well at least I hope so – I'll try my best!).

My goal is to encourage conversation and make it easier for people to understand the basics of what’s going on, plus empower people with the tools to start navigating their own positive lifestyle without compromising their existing one. It’s not about being 100% perfect and living a 100% sustainable lifestyle (that’s an unrealistic expectation of anyone living in modern day society) it’s about making positive choices IF and WHEN you can. Being aware and being proactive in small ways can have a hugely positive effect when applied on mass. If we can all make a small effort, these efforts combined will accelerate change and make a huge difference.  

In upcoming weeks I’ll showcase positive brands and easy steps you can make to kickstart your sustainable journey, but before we do that here’s a basic overview on what we’re talking about...   

BACK TO BASICS

There is no single definition of sustainability. The most commonly used definition today is: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Published in the Brundtland Report in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development)

While some of us understand sustainability as sustaining anything, sustainability actually includes three dimensions of human activity: the ENVIRONMENT, SOCIETY, and the ECONOMY.

PRIMARY GOALS OF SUSTAINABILITY?

In September 2015, the United Nations released The Sustainable Development Goals (known officially as ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development).

WHY THE BIG DEAL?

Because in short, the world can’t replenish its natural resources at the same rate we are depleting them. Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.6 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year… so with every year that passes, we are creating more and more deficit until eventually our natural resources will dry up. Unless of course, we start sustaining them.

GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK

Thankfully there has been a huge shift over the last decade and you’d be surprised by how many brands (both start-up and global) have already employed positive business models with sustainability and ethics at the core of them. I can’t wait to start highlighting some of these in future posts because it will inevitably make you you feel differently about how you spend your money and who you give it to. When you know your money is going to a brand that you can trust – a brand that is doing the right thing by you and your world, you feel good about the purchase and this is very empowering (as well as addictive!).

This shift in business can be linked to the investor communities also, who after years of focusing on a firm’s financial performance to determine whether or not it was worth purchasing stock, they have now turned to businesses with positive business models because they acknowledge that performance is intertwined with future social and environmental impact also. In short: good business = good investment.

On a legislative level, climate change and sustainability are undeniably a hot topic for the UN and all global governments. On the 12th December last year, Paris hosted one of the biggest events in history (COP 21/ The Climate Change Conference) when 186 countries came together to form an action plan to reduce their greenhouse gases and keep the global rise in temperature below 2C. The objective was to achieve, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Off the back of this summit, a number of targets have been set and each country in attendance have agreed to try and adhere to them. This event and its outcomes have been regarded as a historic turning point in the goal of reducing global warming. 

So things are happening all around you and these are just a few examples of what's going on. It really is just a matter of time before living sustainably is integrated into our lives as seamlessly as occupational health & safety… well lets hope so anyway!   

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Globally, the fashion industry is the second worst industry for polluting our world (behind oil).
  • An energy-smart clothes washer can save more water in one year than one person drinks in an entire lifetime.
  • A crack as small as 1/16th of an inch around a window frame can let in as much cold air as leaving the window open three inches.
  • Some new refrigerators are so energy-smart they use less electricity than a light bulb.
  • One ton of 100 percent recycled paper saves the equivalent of 4,100 kWh of energy, 7,000 gallons of water, 60 pounds of air emissions and three cubic yards of landfill space.
  • One recycled bottle saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than does making a new bottle.
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it does.
  • Globally, we use as many as 1 million new plastic bags every minute, at a cost of 2.2 billion gallons of oil a year.
  • Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Stay tuned because that’s for my next posts!

 

Some of the photos used to collate the imagery for this blog post have been gathered from sustainable brands who have been awarded the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury, this means they are a Brand You Can Trust. These include the stunning Song Saa Private Island Resort in Cambodia, Neal's Yard Remedies, Camilla Elphick designer shoes, Mulberry and G.VITERI (formally Prymal) hats. 

Sx

 

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Monaco Madness

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Monaco Madness

JAMES BOND EAT YOUR HEART OUT

OK so someone got to experience her very first Formula One Grand Prix last weekend and what’s more… at the most iconic race of them all, Monaco! We were generously hosted by the prestigious IWC Schaffhausen and Mercedes, who pulled out all the stops to show us just how it’s done (and in style!). Imagine mega yachts, superstars, fast cars and more champagne than H2O. Taking in the scene alone (along with the infectious buzz of the streets) was an experience in itself! Then throw in a bespoke VIP itinerary which included visiting the pit; walking the track; attending the best Monaco hotspots; and being transported along via private jets, helicopters, speedboats and a convoy of Mercedes S Classes. I mean seriously… #Spoilt

 

AN EDUCATION

Despite all of this, for me the highlight was discovering the real art of Formula One racing through the victorious Mercedes AMG Petronas team themselves… I mean at one point we were listening in on the same radios that the racing team were using while communicating to Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on the track mid-race! The guys were so generous with their time and explained every little detail of what really goes on in this sport, ultimately leaving me with a whole new appreciation for it… possibly even a new addiction.  

Inside the Mercedes AMG Petronas garage on Pit Lane

Inside the Mercedes AMG Petronas garage on Pit Lane

I’ve always thought formula one racing was just about flashy fast cars and a great driver… I'm embarrassed now by how ignorant I was. An F1 driver is just one member of a huge team that employs hundreds of people, plus they are so secretive about their strategies and the science behind their cars, that I’d light-heartedly compare it to the cold war. As much as a good driver is important (this goes without saying) he can’t win the race if another great driver is driving a better and faster car. It’s like the yin and the yang – they go hand in hand - so subsequently millions of dollars are spent developing technology to make the cars as speedy as possible.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team building Lewis Hamilton's car before the qualifying race. 

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team building Lewis Hamilton's car before the qualifying race. 

Aerodynamics and weight are key factors in the engineering of these vehicles. Anything that slows the vehicle down even by split seconds can mean the difference between winning or losing the race. Then of course you have different types of tyres depending on the track environment and drivers will change these throughout the race according to the weather and how the track is changing. Knowing which tyres to use and for how long, is a skill in itself - again it can mean the difference between winning or losing. Lewis had a clever tyre strategy in Monaco which saw him go from third position on the starting grid to first position across the finish line (other factors involved too of course).  Everything about this sport boils down to knowledge, precision and skill. 

Rosamund Pike, Ronan Keating, Lewis Hamilton, myself, Georges Kern, Monica Kern.

Rosamund Pike, Ronan Keating, Lewis Hamilton, myself, Georges Kern, Monica Kern.

So without getting way too geeky and boring you with all the other mathematical elements that make this sport a true science (I can feel I’ve already been bashing away at this keyboard for way too long on this subject) you can probably already see that, there are a lot of clever brains behind a triumphant driver, many more than you may have assumed. It goes without saying that the drivers also have skillsets that far surpass the talents of us mere mortals, but if I get started on that too, then this blog post may never end… so instead I’ll shed a wee bit of light on this in the fun facts section below. 

 

FUN FACTS

  • Because the car is so low to the ground and the engine (which is burning at high speeds for little over an hour) is positioned directly beneath the driver, formula one drivers endure incredible amounts of heat during a race - sometimes up to 60 degrees inside their cockpit! Plus they lose an average of 4kg in weight by the time they cross the finish line. It takes a lot of conditioning to be a driver as normal human bodies simply can’t survive this. I was told that it’s not uncommon for drivers to get blisters on their bottoms from the burn!
  • In the days preceding very hot races like Australia, Malaysia, and Brazil, the drivers can drink up to 8 litres of water in preparation before their race. Sports studies have underlined the importance of fluid level in the body stating a person who has lost 4% of body weight can lose up to 40% of their psycho-physical ability (and we definitely don’t want that if behind the wheel of a car travelling at 200 mph).
  • Technology now allows engineers to create holes in the engine which are a thinner than the diameter of one single strand of hair! Thousands of these tiny holes allows better aerodynamics during the drive as the wind can come in and out through the engine quickly.
Team mates: Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg mid-race. 

Team mates: Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg mid-race. 

  • Professional drivers are like jockeys who stick to strict diets to keep off the pounds. The lighter they are, the better they perform on the track.
  • Drivers have to remove the steering wheel to get inside the car. A latch behind the steering wheel releases it from the column.
  • Even the weight of paint is taken into consideration when deciding on how to engineer these cars. Only certain paints are used (obviously those with less weight & friction) and sometimes paint is even stripped off if it’s seen to accumulate too much weight. There’s a great story about the Mercedes Silver Arrows which you should Google. Basically in 1934 the Mercedes-Benz W25 was 1kg overweight to qualify for the race, so they stripped all the white paint from the bodywork exposing the silver aluminium underneath, and then it passed on the scales.
  • Drivers experience severe G-forces when they’re racing, another example of why they’re extraordinary athletes. Not only do they withstand these stressful forces but they can also make crucial, split-second decisions at the same time. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what a G-force was before now, so I’m guessing there’s a good pool of you who have no idea either? Well this is how it was explained to me… G-force is the pressure that gravity exerts on an object when it is accelerating relative to freefall – so for example, when they say drivers withstand up to 5g when taking on a corner, this is like being hit in the head with 5 x the force of gravity! (or 5 x your own weight). A drivers breath control is crucial because you can’t breathe freely above 3g – to do so would expose you to the risk of passing out - and these guys experience that and more. 

 

NOW IMAGINE... You're the driver contending with all that G-Force, PLUS making split decisions in 50 degree heat, whilst holding conversation with your team mates back in the track pit AND maintaining control of your steering wheel (don’t forget your car is travelling at hundreds of kilometers an hour!). I haven’t even thrown in the bit about other cars being on the track yet, NOR the fact you want to win. I mean seriously?!!! These guys are INSANELY skilled and dangerous. It’s at moments like these that I’m glad I married a popstar!

 

IN SUMMARY

1.     If you haven’t been to the Grand Prix before, add it to your bucket list. Monaco is the penultimate race to attend.

2.     Humans should be cloning the genetics of racing car drivers so if we ever need warriors to defend our planet, we’re all sorted.

3.     Monaco Grand Prix may be the only event in the world where it’s deemed reasonable to combine private jets, helicopters, speedboats, fast cars and mega yachts all in one weekend. All were utilised fully!

4.     IWC Watches & Mercedes epitomise “cool” and “luxury”.

5.     Plan your wardrobe – maybe even invest in something new to help contend with the glitterati on the streets.

6.     I didn’t even get to mention that we were hosted by the winning team and that our pal,  Lewis Hamilton, took centre stage on the podium! Another mate (and fellow Aussie), Daniel Ricardo from Team Redbull, took second pip at the podium. It was an exciting weekend. 

7.     The only thing that could have made this weekend better, was if we had more time in the diary to stay and enjoy it!

I must say it’s always such a great feeling when your expectations are exceeded and boy did this Monaco trip do exactly that. I just love that one weekend away (which in all honesty I expected to be just a bit of a glamour-fest) turned out to be an absolute education. For me, that’s a much better way to make use of my time rather than just sip champagne. Thank you to everyone who played part in this magical weekend for us - you know who you are and we're both eternally grateful. 

Sx  

 

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She Whispered Hermès

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She Whispered Hermès

H FOR HERMÈS

Most would know that the Hermès Birkin handbag is considered the most iconic and sought after handbag in the world. But did you know that the longest waiting list to purchase one of these bags is six years? Or that the Hermès Himalayan crocodile Birkin bag (the most expensive Hermès bag to date) sold for a whopping US$432,000?

Hermès Himalayan crocodile Birkin bag

Hermès Himalayan crocodile Birkin bag

As it turns out, there seems to be a lot that people don’t know about Hermès and this goes well beyond the Birkin and those mind-blowing prices + waiting lists. Unlike most companies who exploit pretty much any positive attribute or story to grasp a better market position for their brand, Hermès have played the modesty card for decades and built their prestige through subtlety and trust. I love this! Their history is like an eclectic storybook of intimate tales showcasing different princesses, presidents and iconic faces from around the world but all with one thing in common… a love for the quality craftsmanship that is the essence of this institution.

Capucine Birkin 35cm

Capucine Birkin 35cm

Sometimes luxury brands can be judged like the rest of us, observed from a shallow platform based on mass generalizations imposed by others. But over the last couple of years I’ve spent a good bit of time getting to know the real Hermès through my darling Parisian friend, Michael Coste, who heads up External Relations for the Hermes Group. I've sipped coffee at Parisian sidewalk cafes while he's shared magnificent tales of riches and romance and things that you struggle to believe really happened! I've since realised that there's a lot more to Hermès and their colourful history than I had originally thought and consequently I've fallen even more in love with this brand than ever before. Maybe that’s the key to their success? Undoubtedly the quality of Hermès products has always spoken for itself, but like the key to every adored rockstar… there’s an air of mystery surrounding Hermès which leaves you craving more.

On the Hermes rooftop garden with Michael Coste. 

On the Hermes rooftop garden with Michael Coste. 

 

MY TURN TO WHISPER…

Here’s some of the fabulous little titbits and stories I’ve learnt along the way. Unfortunately I can’t share all the goss - it wouldn’t be right on a public forum like this, but I'm sure you'll find the below interesting regardless!

  • Hermès began as a small harness workshop in Paris, creating luxury harnesses and bridles for horse-drawn carriages to nobleman. That’s why the Hermès logo is a royal carriage and a horse. This is no secret.
  • In 1900 the firm introduced the Haut à Courroies handbag, which was specially designed for riders to carry their saddles with them. Also no secret but how many of you knew that the first handbag Hermès produced was actually for carrying saddles?!
  • When President Nixon tried to make a discreet visit to the flagship store in Paris, he ended up being caught in the elevator for hours when it got stuck between floors! Can you imagine the state of his security detail?!
  • It was Hermès who kicked off the craze for naming handbag styles after celebrities. In 1956 a picture of Grace Kelly showed the silver screen icon using her Hermès Sac à dépêches bag to shield herself from a scrum of paparazzi photographers and so the style was renamed the Kelly. Stroke of genius right here – I hope their head of marketing received a decent bonus.
  • The Birkin was named after British sex kitten and style icon Jane Birkin after she had a chance encounter with the then CEO of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas. Apparently she was sitting next to him on a plane when all her things fell out of her handbag and she complained that her Kelly bag wasn’t big enough for everyday use. They dreamt up a new design together and the Birkin was born. If only we could all have a luxury handbag named after us…
  • The Queen is a firm favourite of the Hermès colourful silk scarf designs. OK most people probably already knew this… but it is noteworthy – she is the Queen after all.  
  • Hidden above the Hermès flagship store in Paris is the most divine rooftop garden, manicured perfectly by the same lady who has been tending it for years. Very few people get to visit the rooftop, so it’s a real privilege to be invited up. Most people don’t even know it exists! Over the years, this very rooftop garden has been the place of romantic rendezvous’, dinners and even marriage proposals by royalty. I'm sure we'd all LOVE to be a fly on that wall!
  • Among the soft landscaping of this rooftop is an old apple tree and one of the scents in the Hermès perfume range called Un Jardin, which has a distinct apple smell, was the inspiration of this scent. There’s a sketch of the actual rooftop garden on the front of the box but again, most people have no idea about the connection. Goes without saying that after visiting the garden myself and hearing this story, I headed downstairs and purchased myself a bottle.

 

  • Inside the flagship Parisian store there’s the most incredible workshop where a small crew hand craft bespoke pieces for special clients. I call it ‘the romance room’ because each piece they craft, has a story and reason for being commissioned. For example, Brad Pitt commissioned a picnic basket for Angelina on their anniversary because they had shared a picnic together on their first date. This is an EXAMPLE – obviously I’ve substituted names but you get the jist. I imagine this room had helped create some very special moments in people's lives. 
In the original workshop

In the original workshop

SIDE NOTE: The Hermès craftsman use the same tools they did 150 years ago (so cool) and furthermore each craftsman has his/her own set of tools, which are extremely personal and mould + conform to the owner’s hands and movements. When they leave they take their tools with them.

 

There's nothing like tradition, passion and colorful stories all rolled into one... and there's no place like Paris to help create the perfect setting for them. 

Sx

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48 Hours in Paris

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48 Hours in Paris

 

WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?

Of all the cities in the world “the city of love” is one of my favs and it’s not just because it’s “Paris” (these days being a fan of Paris can sound a little cliché because let’s be honest, nearly everyone does!) but it's because I have some very special memories in this city and over time have come to uncover the real Paris. There are so many amazing facets of this city which go well beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, so when you take time to truly explore it… you can’t help but be fascinated by its diversity and charm. 

 

It comes as no surprise then that I love any excuse to find myself tucked up on the Eurostar for the 2.5hr trip to the French capital and this time we had the best excuse ever… a very special excuse even. My husband was being awarded by Eva Longoria and the Global Gift Foundation with an Award of Excellence for all his years devoted to, and achievements in, philanthropy #proudwife

TRAVEL ATTIRE Top: Ralph Lauren, Jeans: Rag & Bone, Shoes: Top Shop 

TRAVEL ATTIRE Top: Ralph Lauren, Jeans: Rag & Bone, Shoes: Top Shop 

So we had 48 hours in Paris and as usal we had a fabulous time. If you happen to find yourself with a good excuse to visit Paris (or maybe even no excuse at all!) here’s my 4 Top Tips for a great Parisian escape:

 

1. TREAD THE BOARDS: The best way to see Paris is by foot. This is a city with many different masks and I found that it’s only when you’re walking down alley ways and across arrondissements (aka suburbs) that you truly see behind each one and experience how the heart of this city really beats. There is so much colour and character to explore (for better and for worse) and for me, this how you really get to know and understand Paris and the people. Be careful though and always hold onto your bag/ purse!

2. TOURIST TRAPS: If you are going to visit the Eiffel Tower or any of the big tourist attractions (which you definitely should at least once) ALWAYS book in advance. The qeues can be dire and you could find yourself waiting for hours just to get in. There are loads of tour operators with online websites and offers, so spend a bit of time on Google before your trip and lock in a good deal with someone who has EXPRESS ACCESS (not all do) and who can guarantee you the experience you’re looking for at a price you’re willing to pay. Beware there are also A LOT of "shonky" tour operators who promise but don't deliver - do your homework, read reviews and make the phone calls before you give anyone any money. 

Basilica of Sacre-Coeur

Basilica of Sacre-Coeur

3. MAKE TIME FOR MONTMARTRE: Everyone loves shopping in Paris and so it comes as no surprise that the famous Champs Elysees (and surrounding areas) command most peoples attention when they’re visiting. It’s the obvious choice. But for me, it’s Montmartre that I would rather spend my time as it has to be one of the most interesting neighbourhoods in Paris and is bubbling with history and character. There is great shopping (more unique and boutique-based) plus fascinating architecture and street life. My advice is not to use a map or to walk the streets well trampled by other tourists, just feel your way around the steep and cobbled streets without guidance and you’ll truly experience how magical this district is. The famous Basilica of Sacre-Coeur (the big white church) sits at the top of the hill and can be seen from almost everywhere, so as long as you’re heading uphill there’s little chance of you actually getting lost. NOTE: On weekends at different times of the year the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur hosts a fabulous market which is worth seeing, so you may want to time your Montmarte excursion around this. Again hold on to your wallet and be aware that some of these stalls are proper tourist traps... don’t be fooled into thinking that all products and prices are authentic!

4. FASHIONISTA HAVEN: OK ladies, if you want to treat yourself to something fabulous in the way of clothing, this is the place to be. Forget Colette (save Colette for cool little nick nacks and gifts) Montagne Market has the best selection of on trend style for those who really love fashion. There are two levels of brands from around the globe - upstairs being the more affordable ones (from what I could tell) and downstairs being the creme de la creme. Even if you don't have the budget to buy, it's a great spot for style inspiration so you can hunt down similar looks elsewhere with more affordable price tags.    

 

A SERIOUS CASE OF THE MUNCHIES

Of course I’m going to bring it back to food… I always do haha. Unsurprisingly there are many fabulous places to go for food in Paris and it really depends on what mood you’re in and how much you want to spend. I find that some of the cheapest food experiences are the best, for example I can’t pass a Parisian street vendor without throwing him some euros for a tasty Nutella crepe! But if you want to do something extra special and invest a little more into a great food experience, then I find good recommendations come in super handy. There’s nothing worse than splashing the cash in a restaurant that wasn't worth it #PetHate So here is a quick list of some of my favourite spots – trialled and tested. They’ve never let me down before, so hopefully you’ll enjoy them too!

STREET STYLE Top: Maje, Pinafore (worn as a skirt): Maje, Bag: Yves Saint Laurent, Boots: Stuart Weitzman, Hat: No name market buy. Bracelets: Cartier

STREET STYLE Top: Maje, Pinafore (worn as a skirt): Maje, Bag: Yves Saint Laurent, Boots: Stuart Weitzman, Hat: No name market buy. Bracelets: Cartier

 

LE DERRIERE – This place is a hidden gem and the recommendation of a Parisian local who knew I loved unique food experiences… and boy did this NOT disappoint (I have been recommending it to everyone since)! Basically the restaurant tables are strewn throughout an eclectic Parisian terrace house, so you could be seated at a candlelit table in a bedroom, bathroom or even the kitchen. Sounds crazy but it’s super fun and the food is great as well as the cocktails! On a warm summer night you may want to request one of the courtyard tables for a few drinks before cosying up inside for your food.  

LE CANDELARIA – For the best cheeky drink when you’ve finished dinner and don’t want the night to end. This little spot is not what it seems… from the street you think it’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall Mexican canteen (which despite it’s appearance, actually serves very tasty and fresh Mexican food) but for those “in the know” the real fun is hidden away behind a small door at the back of the premises. Yep! It’s one of those clandestine bars reminiscent of the prohibition area – tucked away and very cozy, plus serving elaborate cocktails and loads of different tequilas! I LOVE this place – very cool and very discreet.  

CAFE COSTE – For lunch on a sunny day. This is a cool spot, quite sceney, not overly cheap but it’s in the heart of the city and set in a gorgeous Parisian sun-filled courtyard (my favourite part). Fav dish is the steak tartare.

LES DEUX MARGOT or CAFÉ DE FLORE – For a mid-morning pastry or an aperitif at the end of the day. Both of these cafes are Paris institutions and certainly the more touristy thing to do (but for all the right reasons)…  Les Deux Magots and Café De Flore, which sit side side by side in the Saint Germain district, have long had the reputation of being the place for a rendezvous among the literary and intellectual elite. They are your quintessential Parisian pavement cafés and renowned for their famous clientele – from ex-pat writers like Hemingway to contemporary authors, artists and celebrities and although prices are over the top, it’s worth splashing out on one of these iconic cafes for the ultimate Parisian experience.

MISS KO – For a very cool and vibey Asian dinner. As you walk through the door of this low-lit Philippe Starck restaurant, you feel like you’ve just been inducted into the cool kids club. The walls are painted with trippy murals, there a tattoo-like prints on the tables and the music drums like a nightclub (in a soft and non-offensive way). It really works. The food and cocktails are fab and if you’re looking for a good place to kick-off a fun night on the town, this is your place.

KONG – For a futuristic vibe with great food and great views. This is another Philippe Starck restaurant which was very “in” back in the day and although possibly struggling to keep its trendy crowd now (lets be honest… there’s been an amass of uber cool restaurants pop up around Paris since this one launched in 2003) I still keep it on my list of favs because the principals of what made it great, still remain: great food, great drinks and great service. Furthermore I have a number of great memories at Kong and the décor + views will blow your mind!

LA AVENUE – For a fancy pants lunch in a sophisticated setting. If you like a bit of a buzz and flutter, La Avenue is known to be a bit of a high-end hot spot for celeb spotting and paps (like Icebergs in Sydney, The Ivy in London, or Balthazar in NYC). I celebrated my hens day in Paris here (thanks to my ever fabulous bridesmaid who also happens to be my stepdaughter!) as this was the spot she chose for all us ladies to la-dee-da it up! It couldn’t have been more perfect. The food and cocktails are fantastic and when the sun is shining you don’t want to leave. Like all great restaurants, it’s because of the food that I keep going back despite knowing it's a "showy" spot and the opposite of discreet. I highly recommend the tuna tartare – I’m not a huge fan of raw fish so barely ever order this dish, but I do at La Avenue… it’s my favourite dish of them all!

SPOILT BEYOND... 

There are two historic hotels in Paris that provide the ULTIMATE luxury in Paris... Le Bristol and of course the George V (Four Seasons).

The Four Seasons group are devoted supporters of the Global Gift Foundation and so this was the fourth year the magnificent George V hosted the gala event in Paris - consequently we got to stay here again (super spoilt)! We took a small trip down memory lane walking through the doors as last time we stayed at the George V, my husband and I had just got engaged and escaped to Paris with one of my brothers and sister in law for a whirlwind trip of fun, laughter and romance #GreatMemories 

Thank you so much to Eva Longoria, Maria Bravo and the whole team at Global Gift Foundation for hosting us and acknowledging my husbands endless devotion + achievements in Philanthropy. The work you all do with your own foundations is incredibly inspiring and we look forward to working alongside you in the future to enhance and save lives. 

Sx

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Country Beginnings

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Country Beginnings

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks since my last post because aside from the usual juggling of work commitments and catching up on the every-day duties that slip when you’ve been travelling abroad for 4 weeks (argh) I’ve also been moving house! Yep – that’s no small fry. So apologies for the silence on my feed, but I’m secretly hoping I can smooth that over with a little update on the move and some snaps from our new country home. Cheap attempt I know... but hey it’s all I’ve got right now as my head has been stuck in brown cardboard boxes for two weeks! 

Dungarees: Ksubi, Hoodie: Kooples, Jacket: cheap vintage buy in Paris, Top: Joseph, Hat: Deus, Wellies: Hunter, Sunnies: Chanel

Dungarees: Ksubi, Hoodie: Kooples, Jacket: cheap vintage buy in Paris, Top: Joseph, Hat: Deus, Wellies: Hunter, Sunnies: Chanel

SO WHY THE MOVE? We’ve been hunting for a new house to call home for a good couple of years now, but for one reason or another we’ve never found ourselves being handed a new set of keys. We’ve become very good at consoling ourselves with a little Irish saying that my husbands mum used to say: “What’s meant for you will not pass you by” and I wont lie, it’s amazing how this one little sentence can pick you up and keep the dream alive when you're losing all hope (don’t you just love the Irish?!). Seriously there’s been times when I’ve just wanted to cry with frustration but then someone would say these magic little words and I’d not only dust myself off again, but also be completely convinced that our dream home was right around the corner... AND it was going to be worth the wait!

WAS IT WORTH THE WAIT? Hell yeah!!!

WHERE DID WE MOVE TO? The English countryside. It’s still only a quick drive into London and very convenient to Heathrow Airport (which was very important for us given the amount we travel) but when we’re at the house (which we've already started referring to as the farm) we feel like we’re miles away from everything #UtterBliss 

WHY THE COUNTRY? Not really sure if anyone is actually wondering this… aren’t nearly all of us born with an appreciation of the simplicity that comes with being removed from it all? I know that I do… but then again I grew up on a farm and worked the land, so there’s every possibility that I’m a bit biased haha

NO SERIOUSLY… My husband and I are definitely one of those couples that move through life in the fast lane (the super dooper crazy fast lane). We work continuously, travel continuously, and cram way too many things into our days continuously…  plus with no signs of this slowing down any time soon, we found ourselves craving more balance in our lives and knew that this would mean a serious adjudication of our living arrangements. Essentially this was the only thing that we knew we COULD slow down. We were pining a stripped back lifestyle in the fresh air… wide open spaces… peace and simplicity... all the things a home in the country could provide. 

This move was a no-brainer for us, it was the perfect way to "earth" us amid all the chaos of our careers and nurture our souls in the most simplistic was possible.  

HOW’S IT GOING SO FAR? One week in and it's already total bliss. Each morning I wake up to the sounds of birds chirping outside our window, then I pull back the curtains to stunning views of rolling green hills. It's a beautiful way to start the day and I don't think I'll ever take that for granted. It's magic! 

THE PLAN? To grow our own veggies, harvest our own rainwater and renovate the house! Yep thar’s right… there’s one big reno plan being drawn up as I type. No doubt I’ll be keeping my feed updated with all of that too once the ball starts rolling! Exciting times.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNT? That the Irish were right… what’s meant for you won't pass you by. This was the home that was meant for us and although at one point we thought it was out of our reach, it surprisingly fell back into our laps and now we couldn't be happier. Everything happens for a reason (even if sometimes you can't see what it is at the time) and with a bit of patience, hard work, positivity and hope... you will get there in the end. 

My husband and I may have been through the ringer to get here, but it was definitely worth all of it!

Sx

Skirt: Club Monaco, Tee: Rag & Bone Hat: Seafolly

Skirt: Club Monaco, Tee: Rag & Bone Hat: Seafolly

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The Masters of Golf

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The Masters of Golf

If you don’t really know much about golf then don’t worry, this post is still for you. I never thought I’d ever become a fan of golf, but when I was properly introduced to the game by my husband four years ago, it became an instant love affair. I’ve heard a lot of people tell a similar story! So who knows… maybe this little insight into my love of the game and some of my personal experiences, may be enough to kickstart your own interest into the sport? Lets see!

WHAT’S TO LOVE ABOUT GOLF?

1. ANYONE CAN PLAY IT – Age is not a barrier and it’s actually one of the few sports we can enjoy in our older years, when our bodies start to slow down.

2. IT’S BOTH A PHYSICAL & MENTAL CHALLENGE – the game requires skill and strategy plus a huge amount of focus away from the usual noise of modern day society. Like meditation, the golf headspace is a discipline and one that I believe is valuable for all aspects of your life.

3.  IT’S NOT EASY – Golf is one of those sports that will always have you on your toes – you can’t just pick up a club and be amazing at it - I love this because I love a good challenge! It’s like all the stars have to align to master it: fitness, calm, precision, focus plus an understanding of your own strengths & weaknesses. It’s one of those sports where trying too hard can work against you (it’s a head game) plus you don’t need to be the fittest person in the room to be good at it. Everyone has a shot when it comes to golf because there are so many other factors that are just as important as your physical ability.

4. IT’S FUN EVEN IF YOU’RE PLAYING A PRO – Because of the handicap system used in golf, players with varying abilities can compete against each other and still have a competitive game. Which basically means you can play against anyone you like and still enjoy it.   

5. A GREAT WAY TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER – golf is a great way to spend time with family and friends because you can walk-and-talk your way around the course in a relaxed environment. Plus you can soak up some fresh air and sunshine at the same time.    

 

THE BUCKET LIST

Happy hubby and Gary Player having banter outside before heading off to the course. 

Happy hubby and Gary Player having banter outside before heading off to the course. 

For over twenty years my hubby has dreamed of one day attending the Masters in Augusta (USA) it’s the greatest golf tournament of them all and anyone who has an interest in the game, has an interest in this tournament. On his birthday this year I surprised him and announced that we’re ticking this off his bucket list (finally) – his reply was “best birthday present ever!”. To be honest I was amazed I could even make it happen – finding 4 free days in our diary is no easy feat (at this point big thanks go to Mark Plunkett who helped shuffle things around so I could squeeze it into our schedule) and as soon as we concluded our work commitments in Sydney, we jumped on the first plane direct to the USA and managed to catch the final three days of the tournament with the beautiful Player family, who so generously also helped me make this dream a reality for him.

If you haven’t heard of Gary Player, Black Knight International, or The Player Foundation please take a moment to google… Gary is one of the greatest legends in golf and all of his family (as well as the team around them) are nothing short of inspiring. We have been so spoilt these last few days, not just because we attended the Masters, but because we got to experience it with these wonderful people who made it extra special for us.

HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS:

Driving down Magnolia Lane.

Driving down Magnolia Lane.

** Arriving via the infamous Mangolia Lane – a magnolia tree lined avenue that few people get to drive down. It’s how the players and and their families arrive – final destination being outside the Augusta National clubhouse.

** Seeing my hubby teary after Gary Player took him to visit the Champions Locker Room… the very place where golfing legends have hung their coat and changed their shoes. Few people get to experience something so special and he was completely overwhelmed (very sweet).

** Following our friend, Lee Westwood, around the course & watching him fight his way to the top - finishing the tournament in second place! His eagle on the 15th had us all jumping around and screaming like teenage girls at a One Direction concert.

Victorious Danny Willett wearing his green jacket at the winners presentation.

Victorious Danny Willett wearing his green jacket at the winners presentation.

** Lee was paired on the final day with fellow Brit, Danny Willett, so we also got to witness Danny’s steady climb to victory and being awarded his very first green jacket.

** Sipping G&T’s in the glorious sunshine and taking in the sweeping views of perfectly manicured green grass speckled with thousands of spectators.

** Although it’s the pimento cheese sandwich that’s synonymous with the Masters and over the years has become an institution… for me it was the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches that took the trophy. They were definitely a highlight!

 

 

 

THE WARDROBE

PHOTO LEFT Jeans: Frame, Top: Club Monaco, Scarf: Tom Ford, Watch: IWC, Bangle: Hermes, Bracelet: Cartier, Bag: Louis Vuitton, Sunnies: Moncler   PHOTO MIDDLE Nike head-to-toe   PHOTO RIGHT Jeans: Paige, Sweater: Moncler, Blazer: Maje, Shirt: Zara, Bag: Louis Vuitton, Bangle: Hermes, Bracelet: Cartier, Sunnies: Yves Saint Laurent, Hat: Inverni

PHOTO LEFT Jeans: Frame, Top: Club Monaco, Scarf: Tom Ford, Watch: IWC, Bangle: Hermes, Bracelet: Cartier, Bag: Louis Vuitton, Sunnies: Moncler   PHOTO MIDDLE Nike head-to-toe   PHOTO RIGHT Jeans: Paige, Sweater: Moncler, Blazer: Maje, Shirt: Zara, Bag: Louis Vuitton, Bangle: Hermes, Bracelet: Cartier, Sunnies: Yves Saint Laurent, Hat: Inverni

 

SPECTATOR WARDROBE

Some people took the sporty approach at the Masters, but unless I’m playing I prefer to keep things more summertime chic. COMFY SHOES and a HAT are the most important things to work into your outfit, plus I advise dressing in layers as the temperature can drastically change across the day. 

PLAYER STYLE

My golfing wardrobe is predominantly Nike and Ralph Lauren. The way I see it is Nike offers fun colours, trendy styles and good fits using technical fabrics and design, while Ralph Lauren offers elegance and class. Both are great quality and super comfortable on the course. Other good brands to try are: Calvin Klein, Golfino, Tommy Hilfiger and Callaway. 

TIP: If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a brands golf range – check out what they're offering in their tennis range OR take a look at what tennis brands like Babalot, Head, Yonex, Wilson and Lacoste are offering (Asics & Nike do a great tennis range too). Compared to golf, tennis seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to blending fashion & sport plus their sizing is less traditional to compliment the modern fit.    

Sx

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Bondi Life: Part Two

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Bondi Life: Part Two

Bikini: Melissa Obadash Towel: Hermes

Bikini: Melissa Obadash Towel: Hermes

I say… once a foodie always a foodie and since I produced Masterchef Australia back in 2011 (and was exposed to some of the best chefs and culinary experiences the world has to offer) not a meal goes by without my attention being diverted to it’s flavours, textures, quality and presentation (except on occasion when I’m pulling into a KFC or Maccas of course haha). 

Food genuinely excites me and subsequently it also has the power to put me in a good mood or a bad one (don’t even ask what happens to me when I’m hungry eeeeek). That’s why living in Bondi is so brilliant - there's a great food scene and so I’m always in a good mood. Well most of the time anyway…  it's definitely one of the best aspect of #BondiLife

Ronan - Shirt: James Perse Sunnies: Persol

Ronan - Shirt: James Perse Sunnies: Persol

BONDI BRUNCH

My favourite meal of the day is brunch - that window of time between brekky and lunch which is late enough that you can have a sleep-in before having to meet up with anybody, but still early enough to give you the rest of the afternoon off after you’ve caught up. Aussies do it really well (especially in Bondi) and these days going for brunch on the weekend in Oz, is as normal as an Irishman going to the pub for a pint. The best brunch spots to hit are:

1.     Chapter One for the ‘Hungry Chaps’

2.     Porch & Parlour for the ‘Devil’s Breakfast’

3.     Harry’s for the ‘Crispy Rolled Egg, Black Beans, Chorizo, Avocado & Lime'

Over the last number of weeks Chapter One has become my ‘go to’ café overall. They have a perfect little spot at the top of the hill, slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of Bondi but with lovely views over the beach. The décor is rustic and non-pretentious… the staff are super lovely… the food and coffee are great… plus they offer free wifi which allows me to multitask my meal times with my work. It ticks all the boxes really.

SMOOTHIE O’CLOCK

No where else in the world do I ever say “Do you want to go out for a smoothie?”… it’s like the days of socialising over an alcoholic beverage are being challenged by a sunnier and more nutritious option. Especially in Bondi where health + fitness are as integrated into the lifestyle as black cabs are to the streets of London.

Smoothies and juices are big business now – especially the ‘cold pressed’ variety which retail for around AU$12 each (which I still can’t get my head around?!) and although there are so many options, I’ve become totally hooked on GREEN smoothies!! #Addicted. Green smoothies are generally thick like a normal smoothie plus taste like a normal smoothie, but they’re packed with spinach or kale which means you’re also getting a good dose of green veg into your diet. So imagine the same yummy taste but with an extra injection of goodness and you can't even taste it. 

The best green smoothie I’ve had so far is from the David Jones food court in Westfield. It has kale (which I substitute with spinach), banana, mango, coconut water and ice. I also love the DS2 smoothie at Scari Berri on Campbell Parade which is a combination of kale (again I substitute with spinach), blueberries, banana, spirullina, coconut water and ice. For cold pressed smoothies or juices try CaliPress on Hall Street – very trendy, very heathy but with a higher price point to most of the other options.

It's really so easy to be healthy in Bondi... When I'm here, I feel a million times healthier without even trying. Everywhere you go you're surrounded by creative and nutritious food that's not only nutritious but tastes delicious too #LoveIt

Sx

 

 

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Where to begin...

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Where to begin...

Hello from 33,000 feet and somewhere over the Indian ocean... given my inability to sleep and frustratingly slow wifi (cringing as I read that back – firstly I’m not sure when I became so reliant on technology and secondly I’m still in awe of the fact we can even get the internet on a plane ha! So moving on…) I thought it would be a great opportunity to write my first blog post. But where to start? I’ve actually been wondering for the last few minutes if anyone really knows what they’re going to write for their very first post… I even went as far to google it, but then couldn’t be bothered trawling through the copious amount of results. It seems any use of the word “blog” in a google search now is like searching the name “Kardashian”… a true sign of the times. So I’ve decided just to wing it and start my first post with a little bit about me and what to expect from the S Blog week to week.

First thing I should point out is that the S Blog is not going to be just about fashion, or just about food… I have loads of different passions, thoughts and interests plus a life that’s a bit here, there and everywhere, so this is ultimately what the blog will reflect – a bit of everything! *Fashion *Travel *Beauty *Lifestyle *Food *Sustainability *Crafts *Tips *Current affairs (and that’s just to name a few).

My husband and I work hard; travel a lot; love our families + friends unconditionally; and strive daily to give positive energy on the world… the word “energy” might seem a bit of an odd choice, but I get it from my mum who is EXACTLY that. I’ll come back to my mum so this will make more sense, but before I do I’ll give you a ten-point summary of my life so far to bring you up to speed.

1.     Born in Australia but spent the first 7 years of my life in Papua New Guinea (think: National Geographic) before my family relocated to Australia.

2.     Then was raised on the farm mustering cattle by horseback and riding motorbikes (think: tom boy).

3.     Performing Arts & Sports were my thing plus modelling also fell into the realm (think: sporty family, dancing concerts, and the lead in plays + musicals. The tom boy started making way for some more girly interests)

4.     Got a scholarship to a fancy school (think: laptop kids & a 2 hour long bus ride every day)

5.     Then became a Rotary exchange student and spent a year living in America with two different host families (think: blazers & teenage ambassadors flying the Aussie flag)

6.     Returned to Oz and off to university – 3 years on home turf and then another scholarship, this time to UCLA, the University of California Los Angeles (think: college students living on campus & having a hoolie).

7.     Returned to Australia and began applying my Bachelors degree to the industry (think: a male dominated tv industry and working, working and working my way up).

8.     Met my now husband on the set of one of the television shows I was producing, fell madly in love and relocated to the other side of the world #London (think: Ireland v Australia & the distance being a be-arch so meeting not even close to half way).

9.     Turns out he’s a pop star so the transition has been rather “interesting” to say the least and one I’m still getting used to (think: Julia Roberts & High Grant in Nottinghill **No pun intended… well ok maybe a little one)

10.  Now a stepmum to three amazing kids and redirecting my career/ skillset to new opportunities that allow me to manage my new life and my new world (think: she must be madly in love because London is REALLY cold!)

 

And so that brings me to here and now… writing my first blog.

This first post has taken me more words & time than I had expected to spend, so going to sign off now and get some sleep before this plane lands. I’ll save mum and all of that for another time.

Sx  

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Welcome to the S Blog

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Welcome to the S Blog

WELCOME TO MY BLOG, A COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS, PASSIONS, APPRECIATIONS AND ADVENTURES. THERE IS NO FORMULA OR THEME… JUST A BLANK DIGITAL CANVAS THAT I’M GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF FUN THROWING PAINT AT.   

Sx

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