Monday, 29 October 2012

Your Most Fashionable Spring Racing Carnival!!

Melbourne Spring Racing!

This is what s Melbournians look forward to all year! Spring Racing embodies everything that makes Melbourne great, the fashion, fun, sport, excitement and all getting together for a bottle of champagne! 

Fashions and trends change so much year to year so I thought I'd give some of my best tips for having an amazing day at the races as well as asking the experts about the trends for 2012. 

No matter which race day you go to the most important thing is to have a great group of people and to have fun! Here are my most important tips for making the most of of the races this year~

Drink Water- It's a long day to be out in the sun so make sure you stay hydrated- not only for your health but also so you can last the distance into the night! Nobody wants to be that girl at only 2pm and already stumbling around with smeared makeup and heels in hand!
Speaking of heels in hand- my next tip is to take flats! Just in case! A cute pair of jewelled thongs or ballet flats to match your dress is fine and you don't even have to get them out until the end but after a full day in heels and you're waiting in that huge line for your lift or train home those flats will be the envy of every other girl with throbbing feet! 
Go to a Great Afterparty! Melbourne really fires up during races and there are so many venues taking advantage of this and opening earlier for ticketed events! My best picks this year would be either Baroq, Adam behind Eve, Barkly Hotel or Motel in South Melbourne. 

Now to Fashion… 

Traditionally the days of the Spring Carnival all have their own themes and dress codes but over time they have been lost a little with some racegoers being completely unaware that each day even has it's own type of flower! Here is a little refresher-

Derby Day~ Traditionally black and white, Derby day has the most adhered to dress code of the race days. The flower is the cornflower.
Melbourne Cup~ The day to really show it off! Big bright colours and flamboyancy are great for the main day with the yellow rose as the flower.
Oaks Day~ Oaks Day is Ladies day so traditionally the colours to wear are softer and more feminine- think pastels and lace gloves as well as the beautiful pink rose! 
Stakes Day~ The most relaxed day of the Spring Carnival, it's known as family day and the red rose is the flower of choice!

So you can put together the best look for the races this year I have asked some experts in the industry, from fashion to makeup and hair- here are the current looks and trends we should be embracing!


"To me the Spring Racing season evokes feelings of passion, energy and renewal. This is shown in the colours in the dresses, hats and make-up that are worn!
Make sure your skin is hydrated by using night cream and a face mask the night before and ensure that you drink plenty of water to create a radiant and fresh glow.
To me when I think of spring, I think cherry blossom, Jacaranda and strawberries- using these colours will create a fresh look for racing day.
Strong lip colour such as red, bright pink, bright orange gives a glamourous look and that 'pop' of colour for the season!
Strong eyebrows and lots of mascara on the eyelashes will enhance the face shape for a sexy, fashionable look.
Keep things simple on the nails so they don't detract from the rest of your outfit by using a simple shell pink or nude colour."
Hanae Mikami- Make up artist, Estee Lauder


"The trend that we're noticing this year is towards beautifully structured fascinators in classic silhouettes. We've been experiencing a resurgence of all things vintage in recent years with the explosion in popularity of television shows like Mad Men. And although much of this seasons race-wear has a delightfully contemporary twist to it it's easy to see the influences of the past. I also think we're still seeing some of the influence of last year's Royal Wedding and the extraordinary work of iconic English milliner Philip Treacy."
~Anne Freeman- Founder, Pleasure, Little Treasure


"This year for the Spring Racing Carnival my clients are asking for sculpted buns and simple up-dos to go under fascinators and hats. Because the focus is on headwear for race fashion it's so important that your hair compliments the look.  The messy fishtail braid is also a huge fashion trend this year, as well as ladies opting for flowers in the hair for a fresh spring look."

~Nicole Healy, Hair Stylist, Anaka Hair


"Here are my top looks and trends in no particular order!
Peplum, a throw back to the 80s, pretty peplum skirts are back. Appearing in shows like Jason Wu and Badgley Mischka at New York Fashion week this lady like trend is sophisticated and flattering.
Lemon Yellow. Lagerfeld did a whole collection of yellows for Chanel and now it's the Colour of the season. Statement colours have always been a key player during the spring carnival, with a cheerful circus yellow you'll be in good spirits all day long.
Power Prints. Loud colours with textured prints and bold images are a safe bet if you want a winning trifecta. This trend is great if teamed with classic shapes.
Classic lines. Simple clean and clear lines are a major look also, they help compliment the shape of a woman with curves. Clever lines on dresses help embrace these curves and takes you to the front of the crowd.
Neutral tones. Soft subtle signature style is a trend that never goes out of fashion. Keep things classy with ladylike white or a clean ivory and you could never go wrong."

Khanh Ong, Fashion Stylist and Designer

So I hope you enjoy the races in style with these expert tips! Thank you so much to the four exceptionally talented, glamourous and fashionable gurus of Melbourne, Hanea, Anne, Nicole and Khanh for helping me help others this race season! Look out for their work and designs at the track and be sure to book your appointments and snatch up your favourite designs while you can!

And thank you as always for taking the time to read my little blog :)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Too Busy to Exercise???

Fitness at Home!

Through my busy lifestyle and also my desire to keep fit and be active I have used/tried/loved and hated many of the apps, DVDs and fitness games that are designed to keep the busy person fit!
I though I'd write about some, in case anybody needs inspiration or feedback on something they have considered.

Probably one of the most popular choices for mums, anybody who works from home or people who are too busy for gyms! 
I tried this a few years ago and what I liked about it was that you could really track your progress, which is great if your objective is weight loss! 
For me, toning up was my goal and because it was so kilogram/ weight based I found it not as helpful. Although after my first few session I could feel that familiar pain in my muscles that meant the exercises had worked, as my body adapted to the segments and I'd hit the maximum amount of repetitions I began to get bored and see it as more of a chore, without seeing much change. I don't think that I saw a great benefit from using it for toning up, however as a starting point for basic exercise and weight loss I think it would work!
RUN KEEPER APP (iphone) 

As anybody who has followed my blogs would know- I swear by this app! I think its great to have goals and beat your personal bests, it gives you time/ distance and average calories burnt in a session. It was fantastic during my training for Run Melbourne and I use it to add up how many K's I have ran/ walked for the week! You can have playlists and voice updates on your progress as you go. Everybody who likes to run/walk for fitness should have this app! 

Daily AB Workout- FREE (iphone)
This app also comes in Butt, Arm, Cardio, Leg or Yoga workout and you can pick if you want to do 5mins, 7mins or 10mins each time. This is great if you like easy to understand, quick excerise that requires little or no equipment. I usually pick the 7 min of the Butt and Ab workouts whenever I know I have a spare 15mins that would otherwise be spent eating, napping, staring at walls, or facebooking for no reason! 
Very very helpful for the time poor! Even if you just take that 15 minutes a day you feel better. I often use it as a stretch after my runs as well! 
10 Minute Solution Pilates DVD
I was hoping that this DVD would fit into my favourite category of quick, easy and effective workouts! I like to make my exercise fun and have it fit into my life- not my life to fit in around my exercise! However I didn't find this series very helpful as I didn't feel anything happening with the workouts and the 10 minute segments were specified for body parts so it was hard to get a full workout for under 50minutes! Any of these tools that you use you have to be very careful that you are doing the exercises right and I didn't think that the instruction on this DVD was as accurate as you need for something to do at home. 

Michelle Merrifields YOGA & PILATES
Although this was also a DVD that you really need to take a full 50minutes to do, I found the workout that I gained fantastic! There was enough instruction and reminders to use the right parts of your body to keep you focused and although a DVD will never be as informative as a class I found this one very good! 

If anyone has anything else that they have tried and LOVED or HATED feel free to let me know! I love keeping up to date with what's new and trying new things! 


Monday, 15 October 2012

Look at these Women!!!

Be Inspired....

Through the wonders of social media there are some things that catch your eye, I'll see a post, story or picture and think 'good on you!' For every 10 people sitting on their couches doing nothing, posting pictures of their dinners and bitching about boring co workers, there is one person who is actually getting out there, taking the bull by the horns and going for their dreams. 
I love seeing things like this, positive women (and men, but this ones for the girls) really making a difference in their chosen industries and doing things that they love.
I always feel so inspired when I see these stories and asked some of these go- getting girls if they would share their stories with me, so I could share them with you.

These three are making their way in very different fields, a Melbourne model making it big; a promo model turned 'up and coming' DJ and a marine biology student with a crazy love for sharks! They have all been kind enough to share an insight into their worlds and what makes them tick…. 

Ana Kingsley
20 years old
model/ uni student

What is your biggest achievement so far? 

Finishing year 12? Haha. Being on the front cover of Fjorde magazine twice in a row was pretty big. Although, my favourite memories of shoots are when they're not planned, there's just a group of creative people together and inspired to shoot just to get amazing images.

Who inspired you?

My Mum has always been a big support but it was mainly just flicking through magazines and thinking 'I want to be that girl'. I think I still do that. But a Big inspiration for me is the 1998 film Gia with Angelina Jolie. I find it really emotional to watch, it's beautifully filmed.

How do you think 15 year old Ana would feel if she could see you now

Ahhhh, overwhelmed. I never thought I'd be where I am now in this industry. And enjoying myself so much. I'm very thankful that this has given me opportunities to travel. 

What is your next goal to achieve? Where should we look out for you?

I have no idea, you never know what opportunities lay around the corner. One dream of mine is to be on the front cover of Vogue one day and in clothing campaigns on billboards and jetting around the globe to be in designer label runways for different fashion weeks.

What positive message would you send to young women wanting to follow their dreams?

If you want it badly enough, it will happen. Keep doing things and striving for what your dreams are because when you realise your dreams are starting to become reality, life becomes surreal. Just don't forget the small people.

    • Jasmine Price aka DJ J lea
    • 27 years old
      Promotions model/ Hostess/soon to be professional DJ!

      What inspired you to start DJing? 

    • I have always loved music and been into the nightlife scene, music does truly make my world go round.
      Having lived in London for two years I witnessed the extremely
      talented Djs & Artists on the scene over there. Which really made me feel like it was something that I needed to be a part of. I love change and was ready for a new challenge so no it wasn't hard to make the change (from previous career)

      What is your biggest achievement so far? 

      Getting selected as one of the your shot contestants which allowed me the chance to pursue djing along with performing a 25 minute set to a crowd of people for the first time.

      Where can we look out for you in the future? 

      I would like to say I will be moving back to London to Dj over there professionally, but at this point I am just focusing on getting myself established here in Australia and then will see where it takes me. If I end up back in London or America that would be amazing. As far as djing at festivals that is something i would love to be a part of also!

      What advice would you give to other girls who want to follow their dreams? 

      Go for it, the only person that can make it happen is you so don't let anything stand in your way if it is what you truly want. Take the chances that come your way big or small you never know where they will lead!

Sarah Richmond

22 years old
 Uni student- doing my Honours year of research

What is the Sarah Shark Project about?

The Sarah Shark Project is an independently produced series of six documentaries filmed around Australia focusing on the natural history of sharks, the public perception of sharks, diving with sharks, and the conservation of sharks and the environments in which they inhabit.
We want to show people how these handsome animals interrelate with both humans and the world around them, and how, if we lose them, we threaten the health and stability of our oceans and risk losing what we see today.

A day in the life- So on one of your busier days, from wake up to sleep tell us what it might involve.

On a filming day – well, every shoot is different, however it would usually involve waking up at some uncivilised hour to do some to camera segments before gearing up for a dive. We always run through the shots we want to get on the dive, but it’s wild (obviously), so we have to take it as it comes. Filming on the dives is always fun. My job is to try find ways of getting myself into the frame with the shark/s, without annoying them too much. Certain species are easier to film with than others, and each shark has a different personality – some are players and seem to lap up the camera, while others just want to be left alone. After the dives, we usually have a few interviews to film, and then we take to the streets to pose the public with a question about a particular shark issue, eg; do you know what flake is, have you ever eaten flake, and if so, did you know what species it was you were eating? We then always try film our token sunset shot, before heading home to gorge ourselves on food, watch back the footage and kick our feet up with a sneaky 

How do you think 15 year old Sarah would feel if she could see you now?  

Ahaha, ah 15-year-old me, ay. She’d probably tell me to “..stop being such a nerd, go buy a slab of pulse and get drunk.” Na, I think 15-year-old Sarah would be proud, she’d be stoked that I’m diving with Sharks on a weekly basis, and she’d be glad I pulled it together and went to Uni. She would also be exceedingly surprised that I am the presenter of an independently made documentary series, arrogantly named Sarah Shark. I certainly wouldn’t have seen that one coming. 

Biggest life lesson you have learnt so far and how. 

Hmm, biggest life lesson so far, is to become a “yes man”. Its cliché I know. But if I had of continued in my habitual “stay-in-my-comfort-zone” ways, I wouldn’t be where I am today, helping make a positive change in the way people perceive Sharks.

I would like to thank Ana, Jasmine and Sarah for their contribution to this blog but also to the bigger picture. It takes courage and determination to follow your dreams and these stories are inspiration to everyone that they can come true! So for everybody out there who thinks 'I'll get around to it one day'- Let TODAY be your day! Enrol in that course, look for that new job, ask your mentors how they did it, get up, speak up and LIVE IT UP!!!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Ladies Day Out!

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Adventures!

I know this blog is a little late- Our girls day of fashion was on the 8th of September! It's just been so busy and I was waiting on some professional photos to show you the fashion highlights of Designer Series Runway 6! 

Our day began with Cara, Riley and I checking out the Parallel Tensions Exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs where we saw displayed some of the edgy fashion from Melbourne hottest young emerging designers. The designs were all very unique and intricate- A few pieces in there really caught my eye! Cara and Riley found some new favourites too! The designers were Christina Exie, Francis Leon, Jason Hewitt, J.K. Kirk, Melanie Bower, Oracles, RAGGATT and TETTMANN.DOUST. 

We had quick lunch on causeway lane (Grasshoppers Feast does a great light lunch!) and a browse around Bourke st Mall for fascinators for the Races in November, Cara did her own mini fashion show trying them on! Spring Fashion week is a great time to get inspiration for Spring racing carnival! After checking out the city square runway show it was off to Tips and Toes in South Melbourne for our pampering session where Mel joined the fun!

We each relaxed with a glass of champagne and made many toasts to the joys of being women as we had our pedicures and manicures done. A great way to start any girls night out! 

I'd also organised some professional makeup artists and a photographer for the evening so the fun and pampering could continue as we got ready. A big thank you to Mishel the make up artist and Frank, our photographer for the evening. Our makeup was so gorgeous, it was such a nice touch to be pampered and we all had a great laugh! Frank caught all the action and got some great shots of us before the show and of the fashion at the runway show. 

Once Nicole arrived we headed to the Melbourne Town Hall and took our seats- then sat back, had a laugh and enjoyed the fashion highlight of the day! The designers we saw were alice MCCALL, ALPHA60, bul, DRESS UP, gorman, KUWII, Megan Park, Obus and WE ARE HANDSOME. Gorman and Alice MCCALL were the standouts for me and I've already bought a cute pair of Alice MCCALL shorts for spring!

Our little afterparty was at Baroq, (which was being run by Australian Fashion Guide) for cocktails, canapes and dancing! It was such a fun night, so great to spend quality time with the girls as well as running into so many familiar faces at the club. With just Riley and I left standing we finished the night off at Adam behind Eve.

All in all it was a pretty perfect day, so busy and fun! I feel so lucky to live in Melbourne, which runs such great events and to have such beautiful, fun friends to share all these adventures with! Thanks to my four besties- Cara, Mel, Riley and Nicole! I can't wait for the next girls day! Spring Racing Carnival here we come! 

I hope this blog gives other ladies of Melbourne some inspiration to make the most of these events- any excuse for a girls pampering day!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Dream Holiday!

Margaret River

Well we have just settled back into normal life after a beautiful trip to W.A's most renowned wine region! Margaret River truly is a wine lovers dream but we also did a few other interesting things that were on offer as well. I wanted to write a little about the nicest wineries and activities we discovered and hopefully give anybody looking for a cultured and busy holiday some ideas!

To Stay

Gilgara Retreat
A beautiful homestead in a romantic setting, a short drive to the township. We chose something more private and relaxing, rather than a busy hotel in the centre of town and weren't disappointed, it was the perfect blend of rustic and modern.

To Dine

We are so lucky to live in Melbourne and have some of the country's best restaurants at our doorstep. So when we are in the country, especially in another state we (foolishly) had relatively low expectations of the local restaurants. We were happily proven wrong with Must and also Winos. They both had incredible wine lists, as you would expect from a fine dining restaurant in the area but we were also so pleased with the service and the menus offered. Such a perfect way to end our busy days!

To Drink

There are so many wineries in Margaret River, it was a bit overwhelming but out of all the places we visited there were a few that really stood out, not only for their wines but also for their service. We tried to avoid any of the large wineries, as we wanted to really get a feel for the area and taste wines we couldn't necessarily get in bottle shops back home.

Eagle Vale
We came across this winery by chance, we had just been exploring caves and were about to call it a day. On a whim we decided to pull into the next winery we past for a quick tasting. What a great decision! Eagle Vale is run by a French man who has been in the area for 36 years and was so informative and happy to tell us (mostly in english but a lot of random french as well) all about his wines, the history of the area and what makes the wine in Margaret River so different (and so delicious). We left with several bottles and big smiles on our faces.

Through our tour with 'Taste the South' they took us to this small family run winery. We were greeted by their friendly dog rolling over for a belly scratch in the middle of the drive. The youngest daughter of the family was doing the tastings and about halfway through her father came into the cellar door as well to 'help out'. You could tell they both really knew their stuff and the little family banter that went on was quite funny and added a homely touch to the experience. They also have some delicious red wine vinegar marinated olives on offer that we fell in love with.

We had heard a lot of good things about this winery and the shiraz there was the best I'd tasted the whole trip- however I was a little disappointed with the service in comparison to some of the other wineries. It wasn't quite as personal and friendly so we didn't stay long but still left with wine!

This is one of only two breweries that we visited during our trip, there were so many more that we wanted to go to but we didn't have enough time! Colonial was nice and quiet, although on a busy weekend I can imagine it being packed as it had a very 'family friendly' feel with a playground and big decking area, but on a quiet Tuesday we had the nicest time sitting in the sun and enjoying a tasting palette of beer.

To Taste

We had heard a lot about a gourmet chocolate place called Gabriel's and decided to give it a visit. I'd never been a fan of dark chocolate but after tasting chocolate made from some of the rarest beans in the world and being educated in what flavours and undertones to look for I was sold on it! We bought a block that went really well with red wine, however at $12.50 for 9 pieces it was definitely a holiday luxury!

Again Yahava Koffee works was something we had heard about and weren't prepared to come away with so much extra knowledge about something we generally take for granted. Our barista took us on a coffee tasting experience from around the world and even taught us the exact way to plunge our coffee at home! The blends that they have there are fantastic and it's definitely worth a visit!

To Explore

We had so much fun exploring Calgardup cave! There are so many more in the area but we only had time to do this quick one, it was an afternoon well spent!

Whale Watching
This was one of my favourite things that we did, it was a bit spur of the moment and we were lucky enough to be at Dunsborough during the right season. We got some choppy weather and I had a good giggle at poor Chris being sea sick! We did get to see some whales breaching which was fantastic but the moment was lost a bit by trying to get a photo, they were so quick it would have been better just to enjoy the sight as it was, rather than through a camera lens!

Horse Riding
Jesters Flat were great, it was just Chris and I on the ride so we got to set the pace and it felt more like friends out riding than a generic trail ride. We got to check out the sights, have a bit of a canter and then had a romantic picnic lunch waiting for us in a tree house when we got back!