Thursday, 5 December 2013

Summer Essentials...


Can you believe it??


It's almost Christmas again- How the hell did that happen?

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write, once Spring Racing comes up it’s all a bit of a socialwhirl until after New Years Eve!

I’ve been busy moving house (again!), enjoying a seductive new romance and have been busy writing features for MINC Magazine, which is a cool, no bullshit fashion spread. Definitely worth checking out for some REAL, down to earth, fresh lifestyle and fashion ideas.

http://mincmagazine.com/

I’m also expanding my skills and doing some more media training for TV. It’s all been very interesting, I can’t say too much right now but watch this space!
 

I’ll keep this post brief as I’m sure everyone is as busy as I am this time of year!

I’ve got some quick tips to make sure everybody makes the most of the start of summer…

1: SUNSCREEN & WATER- You know that I was always going to nag about this but it’s really so important- Put a bottle of sunscreen next to your toothbrush (try not to get it confused with toothpaste, that will never end well!) And just slap some on every day before you leave the house. A great oil free option is Clinique City Block. http://www.clinique.com.au
 And always have a water bottle handy- in your bag, your car, at the desk, next to your bed. If you like your water bottle you will use it more. FACT. So check out these cuties http://www.zazzle.com.au/funny+water+bottles


2. BEAT SOMEONE UP: Yup, you heard me, for fitness this year why not try a martial art or some boxing classes? I’m addicted to boxing now, it’s a great workout and a good way to relieve stress as well. It works your whole body and gives you a new skill that might even come in handy one day! The hottest new trend in martial arts is Muay Thai, which is a combination sport that is also known as "Art of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact". My friend Jess trains at Supafight in St. Kilda and she says that "Muay Thai should come with a warning; it's seriously addictive. It's amazing for stress, fitness and body toning. Plus, it's ridiculously fun."

http://www.supafightgym.com.au/


3. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING: I was chatting to a work colleague and when she mentioned she had an online store I thought I’d check it out. As soon as I went to sabsu.com.au I knew I had most of my Christmas shopping done. The handcrafted home wares and quilts are absolutely beautiful! And there are a few I’ve got my eye on for myself too!
If your man, brother or dad isn’t the kind to be impressed with floral quilts and scarves then better check out www.bottlepops.com. These are an awesome and quirky gift idea. One of those things to buy for those guys that have everything and love a good laugh! 



4. GET WET:  It’s the perfect time of year to try out a new water sport! Why not bite the bullet and finally go for a surfing lesson? Or the new fly boarding trend that’s got everybody talking? I’ve got kite boarding on my summer bucket list this year! There is so much on offer around Melbourne, things in the water to keep you active and smiling!


I’ll be sure to keep you updated on summer fashions for beach, music festivals and events as well as my usual list of the sexiest Melbourne NYE parties!

xxx

Monday, 28 October 2013

Cool things to do on your weekend!!


What a weekend! 




Another very interesting weekend in my busy little world; one of the ones you look back on and wonder how you managed to fit everything in and still feel rested on Monday?
My Friday night kicked off by moving house and no matter how many times you attempt to do that, it never gets any easier! I’ve finally had to admit that maybe there kind of might possibly be a small chance that I have too many handbags! But then again… There is always room for a new summer clutch! I'm loving my new space and the change makes me feel so free and strong! 

I took a well deserved break on Saturday morning and headed to the Abbortsford Convent with a girlfriend to check out their Farmers Market and open studios as well as the ‘Flourish’ Illustrators Exhibition and the Guitar Makers festival. There was so much going on! I’d definitely recommend grabbing a coffee and taking a stroll around the gardens. The Convent is one of those beautiful places that surprises you with it’s proximity to the city.  The history behind it is fascinating and well worth looking into! (For all those closet nerds like me who love that stuff!) I scored some great produce, wine and some beautiful illustrations to put in my room as well. 

Saturday Night was easily the standout, with the ‘Party with Familiar Strangers’ launch at hot new venue the Emerson. I was curious to check it out as there had been a lot of talk, so I dragged my handsome new man bag to South Yarra for a bit of a play! I’ll definitely follow up with some more details soon… but WOW. If you can’t find me over summer then chances are I’ll be at the Emerson!
I certainly got all the champagne I’d been missing last Thursday! The Emerson is owned by an international brand and we were fortunate enough to meet some of the team who’d flown in from Singapore for the launch. We were whisked into their VIP lounge and shown a great time. As the Veuve Clicquot flowed we made plenty of new friends and had a great laugh.  All the usual crowd were there, it’s was like a who’s who of Melbourne and I’m already looking forward to our next night out.


Luckily Ben didn’t indulge in quite as much champagne as I did because he was competing in a Volleyball tournament at South Melbourne on Sunday. I did my duty and went down to watch him play and I was actually very surprised. Beach Volleyball isn’t a sport I’d ever given too much thought but watching these fit guys on the beach has sure given me a new appreciation! Although I’m quite happy lying on the beach having a perv, for those of you who are looking for a new way to keep active and have fun over summer, it definitely ticks all the boxes! During a match you can burn as much as 200-300 calories as well as working on your tan at the same time.  For more information on how to get started check out the Vic Beach website- http://www.vicbeach.com.au/
On Sunday night I caught up with one of my best friends Mel who had moved interstate for love. Seeing her made me realise how truly special our friends are and how important it is to make the effort for them. Family you can’t choose but your friends are in your life because you want them there, because you share a very special connection and bond. I’m so grateful for the people that I choose to have in my life and for the moments with them that fill my heart with happiness. 


I hope everybody’s weekend was as productive and inspiring as mine and that there aren’t too many post Barkly hangovers floating around today!
I’ll keep you posted on the finer details of my new favourite playground and  also the gossip and tips for this years Spring Racing Carnival! 

Love Jade
xxx

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Shaky Start for Sexy New Social...

Working out my Summer playtime list...

The launch of Manhattan Lounge was certainly an interesting affair, but being their opening night we have to remember to cut them some slack.


The crowd was a bit of a mix, with some very young groups and also the remnants of Victor's previous White Charlie heyday crowd, it was good to see a couple of familiar faces and the venue itself is absolute class.

The highlights were the sponsorship by Absolute Vodka, who did a fabulous job running the night, adding lighting and promo girls and turning the venue blue. There were some blue Absolute cocktails floating around, but we didn't manage to see any as the teeny boppers that somehow made it into the event  were stalking the wait staff around like it was tight arse Tuesday. Haha.


 Decor wise, the club is very interesting and once it's at capacity will be a pumping venue . The building used to be home to Pretty Please which was a favourite of mine on its 'Red Heart' Fridays ran by George Christoudias and also for mellow and discreet drinks after Barkly on Sundays.

Upstairs was definitely the winner, with another bar and large dance floor, my favourite part was the plush Upper Manhattan decor with it's lush private booths that actually do give you some privacy.

There were other things that can be put down to opening night jitters by organisers and bar staff. Their signature cocktail 'Flowering Manhattan' that I was so looking forward to tasting couldn't be made that night according to our bartender. Disappointed but understanding I ordered a glass of Champagne, to be told that they'd run out and only had sparkling white wine. Not a huge issue, except for the fact that it was only 9.30pm. There must have been some very happy person drunk on Moet if they'd managed to drink the bar dry already! Extremely jealous of whoever that was! So I considered it a sign from above, figured that I shouldn't be drinking anyway and ordered something non alcoholic. I was going to wake up so fresh! I couldn't help but exchange a look with my partner in crime when we watched the poor bartender pour and discard two drinks, and third time lucky presenting me with my very complicated order of soda water and lime.



Something must also be said for the music upstairs, I wasn't aware that it was a flashback night to 2007 but the beats certainly had as confused! The DJ didn't do any real mixing to the songs, in fact I think he dusted off my old high school cd collection and did a lucky dip! My expectation was smooth, modern RnB tunes and what we got was Khia, 'My neck, my back'- I cringed when this came on, even more when people started to grind on the dance floor. At least we know who all the blue cocktails and Moet went to! As 50Cent P.I.M.P came on we took that as our cue to leave.

Overall it was a fun and eventful evening- I'd certainly recommend Manhattan Lounge for functions, as the upstairs layout is perfect for private groups. As a general night spot I'd suggest it for anybody wanting a bit of a loose night out as there was certainly no pretentiousness. Personally I'll be waiting a few weeks to let them get on their feet properly before trying it out for round two, and I'd need written consent that the music had improved!





Now I'm getting ready for tonight's launch of the Emerson in South Yarra, fingers crossed they've stocked up on the Champagne! I'll keep you updated on what to expect from another exciting new Melbourne venue.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Manhattan Lounge Opening Night...



Get Ready Melbourne!


Just when you thought our city nightlife couldn't get any sweeter… Let me introduce you to


 Manhattan Lounge...

This sexy new club created by Victor Smith and Kennii Hee from Element Lounge sets a the standard for international themed nightlife and exceptional service in Melbourne.

 
I spoke with Victor about what sets Manhattan Lounge apart and why this weeks launch is the hottest ticket in town..

Victor is the brains behind old Melbourne favourites such as White Charlie's and Balcony, to name a few so we are expecting big things from this brand new venture.

Victor describes Manhattan as "funky and classy, without being pretentious."

The design is pure Manhattan, with the streets of Manhattan down stairs, a large open dance floor with surrounding booths for the utmost comfort and class. There is a large bar with city skyline covering the walls. And the exclusive upstairs is Upper Manhattan with private booths and a centre dance stage, with smooth RnB beats.



"The cool thing about this venue is you can dance to different styles of music and find the vibe that suits you." says Victor.

You can expect to see tv and sporting stars as well as the regular crowd, all sipping their signature cocktail,  the 'Flowering Manhattan' which is a delicious blend of sweet vermouth, Makers Mark, orange bitters, elder flower  Vodka citrus stirred slowly with a lemon twist. Anybody else feeling thirsty?

 Manhattan will be open Thursday Friday and Saturday nights and is designed for guests to be able to relax and socialise as well as dance. They have a 24 hour license so can cater for any event or function.







"The key to our venues is we know how to throw a party and make sure everyone is having a great time." says Victor.






They are launching this Thursday 24th of October and the party continues with on Saturday night as well, so get in quick folks. Be one of the first to discover this exciting new venue…. See you at the bar!



Manhattan Lounge

61C Fitzroy st St Kilda
0422 293 082
www.twitter.com/Manhattan_61
http://www.facebook.com/ManhattanLounge61



Sunday, 6 October 2013

South Yarra's Hidden Thirties




Welcome to the thirties! The era brought us lots of things including the zoot suit and art deco design but I've been lucky enough to experience the true undiscovered thirties venues that modern Melbourne has to offer.

38 Chairs

This week I have had my eyes opened to two of the 30's delights of South Yarra
Firstly is the delightfully quintessential Italian restaurant called 38 Chairs.. for obvious reasons.

For a cozy evening with authentic Italian food and vibe off the beaten track you can't go past this trendy little eatery. Tucked down a side street off chapel it's intimate atmosphere draws you in like a warming brandy on a cold night. Be welcomed and waited on by some very handsome and attentive attentive Italian men, indulged by good food and an impressive wine list! A great restaurant for a secret rendezvous, an intimate first date, or for any occasion where you want that extra personal touch of service. The size of the restaurant makes you feel like you are truly discovering one of Melbourne's best kept secrets and I'm almost sorry to let the cat out of the bag!
http://www.thirtyeightchairs.com.au/



Space32

I also came across a new upcoming creative space opened by Jarra Steel who showcases fresh art work and exhibitions by emerging artists. The space was created as a medium for people to get together and discover the artistic culture that is breaking into our beautiful city.

As part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival I was invited to check out the opening exhibition "Hidden Beauty/  Mint".

The crowd was an eclectic mix of artists, friends, family and those who appreciate art; the pieces on display gave a lot for people to talk about and it was refreshing to hear conversation flowing as smoothly as the champagne as everybody relaxed and saw into the intricate perceptions of the artists.

As well as running into some of Melbourne's artistic faces such as Gonzalo Ceballos I also took the time out to talk to Bea Heymann who's work was displayed at the opening of this new creative hub.
 Bea is an old friend of mine and her work is truly inspirational; although she is only in her third year of fine arts at Monash her vision of how we view reality is so perceptive and the art and ideas at Space32 reflects that. Bea's piece uses art to capture the intimacy of being in someone else's sense of reality.

She explained to me that "every person has their own window into the world through their brain.. It's very difficult to be in the exactly same reality as someone else … because we can only be in one place and experience this small pocket of it."

It certainly gave me a lot to think about! Space32 is an innovative and fresh hub for emerging artists to be able to display their work and to expose the community to a range of art that they otherwise might not have the chance to experience.

The official launch is Friday 11th October and it is well worth a if you feel like soaking up some creative Melbourne culture with a difference.

Space 32 – Creative Hub, 32 Wilson Street, South Yarra 3141.

http://space32.com/

 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Melbourne Fashion Story

What an Adventure! 


It’s been a busy and beautiful week as predicted, with fashion events and spring excitement all over Melbourne.

As well as the Designer Series Runways at Melbourne Town Hall, which showcase all of the latest trends by our favourite designers; MSFW also offers up some entertaining social events based around fashion and style.



 

My favourites were the South Gate MSFW nights of VIP shopping, film screenings, talks and shows for the fashion forward. Events that help celebrate our unique Melbourne culture in the diverse Southgate precinct.
The film screening of Reflections was a lively night, with the talented Rhys Uhlich (presenter, model and director of Tevita) as MC.
Produced by the talented Folie a Deux and starring locally renowned model Kate Peck, the film is a journey through the city, following Kate’s adventure and highlighting some of the amazing style and fashion, iconic landmarks, secret dwellings and familiar faces from Melbourne fashion.
Kate’s pace through the film highlights the constantly changing, fast paced environment in which we live and thrive as Melbournians.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to MSFW’s ‘The Only Way Is Up’ evening, hosted by Southside market and my favourite Melbourne accessory designer, Anne Freeman of Pleasure Little Treasure.

The runway show was full of the individuality that we love from Melbourne Up&Coming and Up-Cycling designers. The designers from the showcase were Victor and Louise Vintage, The Professors daughter, Marci Vintage, Safeena Vintage, Libertys Heart and Ivy & White.

My stand outs were Grandma Funk and Ivy and White, definitely labels to keep an eye on this coming summer!
The pop up emporium of independent designers was a fantastic touch, I came away with some adorable accessories from Louie the Fox and my stylist friend Hanae Mikimi had a field day with so many vintage delights! A fantastic crowd as well as live music by Ivy Fox made it a very unique and special event.


ACMI held the World Fashion Runway and Exhibition  on Friday September 6th. It was a community collaboration showcasing the latest Spring/Summer 2014 trends locally and from around the world. Although I must admit I found the music, styling and the fashion itself outdated and a bit of a let down the event is important to celebrate the multiculturalism of our beautiful city. I hope the organisers use the experience to develop the event and embrace the fashion forward quirkiness that the diverse cultures of Melbourne are known for.

Also this weekend was the launch of Spring Racing with the Sofitel Girls Day Out.  After scoring some free passes we frocked up (me in my new hat from a Madagascar designer and the Safari Keyhole Dress by Kookai) and headed to Flemington. Specifically to Paris Lane where they had some great race wear designers and a fashion runway with the latest works from RMIT Fashion students. It was great to see the work displayed; because it was about design and standing out rather than practicability, the fashion was truly inspiring and different. We managed to see a couple of horse races before we decided to wind down with a leisurely afternoon on a friends luxury yacht in Docklands, drinking champagne and feeling lucky to be living such an amazing life!

This time of year is so vibrant; it reminds me of the things I love about spring/summer in Melbourne and makes for lots of excuses to catch up with my amazing girlfriends. Although by Sunday I was well and truly fashioned out, it’s a crazy, pouting, laughing, strutting, dancing kind of exhausted that keeps a smile on my face!




A shout out to all my beautiful girls who kept up with me these last two weeks! Cara, Riley, Jade, Michella, Hanae and Jasmine and also to the guys at Barkly Saturday and 161 Sundays who look after us so well each week- Can’t wait for the next lot of adventures!


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Exciting Melbourne News!!!


Things I LOVE this week!


GORMAN

Well I've always loved Gorman and am happy to report that I snatched up a pair of the denim splattered overalls I was coveting from the Stonnington Spring Runway. After popping into the store and being further wowed by another peek at the spring range I can confidently say that the designs are right on the pulse of Melbourne fashion this season! And with their homewears being released soon there will be even more to love!





AGFG Winners
Firstly congratulations to all the Melbourne restaurants who received Chefs Hats at the Australian Good Food Guide awards night earlier this week!
My recommendation would be Brooks restaurant just off Collins st- its a mix of modern dining and old school charm and is my new favourite spot for cocktails or an impressive meal. After being greeted by a friendly doorman you descend down the stairs and into this beautifully hidden gem of Melbourne dining. Exceptional service and exquisite food with that hard to find charm that makes you feel spoiled.

https://twitter.com/BrooksMelbourne

PARTIES

The GREAT NEWS of the week is Paul Laver and the Barkly are back together again! The Laver promotions team will be running Barkly Saturdays, with a launch happening on the 7th of September. This night is going to rock!

Annnddd… since you don't want to overdo something as fun as Barkly my new hot tip for Sunday sips and great music is 161 on High street in Prahran. Greg Sara and the guys are putting on some of the best tunes in Melbourne and as the weather warms up they will have the rooftop pumping as well. Just a short stroll from arvo sessions at College Lawn or Windsor Castle, it's the perfect location and vibe for Spring Sundays!


MSFW

There is so much going on at the moment with Fashion Week nearly upon us! I thought I'd list my key events and parties for this week for those who are like me sometimes and can't decide where to turn first!

Reflections- MSFW Film Screening and VIP Shopping Night
Southgate
Friday 30th August

MSFW Designer Series Runway One- Opening Runway
Melbourne Town Hall
Saturday 31st August

Fashion Aid Ball-
Crown Paladium
Saturday 14th September

The Spring Parade- ART du JOUR by Leiela
Monday 2nd September
Treacy Centre, Parkville




And also for Sunday- Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there.. I'd like to say a big thank you to my dad who has supported me through all my drama and inspired and encouraged my career and dreams. He even helps me with wardrobe advice… such as "You're not actually going out in THAT??" haha, Love you dad.

There is so many cool things happening around town it's hard to choose what to mention but I think that I've covered the most EXCITING news of this week.

 However I won't apologise for the lack of twerking stories, AFL drug scandals or election bullshit because I figured that you'd had enough of THAT already…

… Feel free to twerk .. I mean.. tweet me any questions….

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Stonnington Spring Fashion Runway Show

And so it begins!

The beginning of Melbourne Spring Fashion season and the lead up to Spring Racing Carnival and the Summer party season! I'm in my element…

Firstly a big congratulations to two of my favourite designers Lisa Gorman and Gregory Ladner who were both inducted by the Stonnington Mayor Matthew Koce into the Stonningnton Fashion Hall of Fame last night.

I'd had the pleasure of interviewing our mayor earlier this year and it was great to hear him talk about Stonnington and the Chapel st district being the "fashion and style capital of Melbourne."

"Fashion is what makes us vibrant and exciting" Cr Matthew Kose

The BIG news from Gorman is the upcoming launch of their home wares collection including quilts, cushions and some collaborations with local business in ceramics and woodworks. It's due to be launched late November, so get your Christmas wish list ready!

Now back to the fashion of the evening…

The fluoro trend continues with beautiful brights appearing in the collections from Wayne Cooper and John Cavill in particular. John Cavill was the perfect mix of prints, colour and classy sequins, to add that extra glam.

Fool also had a great display of patchwork brights which we will be no doubt be seeing on Melbourne streets all through summer.

Great news!! The overall is offically back! This casual style has been edging it's way into modern fashion and my top pick is the splatter denim overalls from Gorman.

Onto race fashion and the elegance of the Great Gatsby influence that we've all predicted was apparent in the fascinators from Gregory Ladner as well as several of the designers including Mathieu Salem using feathers and lace to great effect.

Trelise Cooper and Karen Millen were my favourites for racewear with beautiful lady like frocks and bright prints to stand out from the crowd.

After speaking to the experts at Joey Scandizzo salon during the week I discovered that sleek hair is in this season and this was reflected in the work by the team at Heading Out who styled the models locks onto slick, straight styles.

For the Men….



Watch out boys! The Stevie collection made an impact with mismatched floral suits and coloured shorts for those who are brave and fashion forward (and comfortable with their sexuality)

While I can't see that taking off in mainstream mens fashion, Jack London hit the spot as usual with some safer, very wearable styles.

DOM Bagnato was my pick for the guys, effortlessly classic and sophisticated suits which made me think that if I was silly enough to have a boyfriend, I'd be smart enough to dress him in DOM Bagnato.

It was great to see so many renowned designers at the show, including Arthur Galan who is presenting the 2013 Fashion Aid Launch Party at Baroq House tonight.


 Stay tuned for all the exciting happenings, fashion, parties, events and gossip that brings Melbourne alive during the Spring/Summer season!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

What are these strange things made of paper?

Book Reviews-

The old fashioned paper ones… remember them?

Although these days it's more common to watch tv or waste time on Facebook, there is still a lot to be said for the art of picking up a novel and letting your imagination do a little work.
I used to love reading and a few weeks ago I realised that it had been months since I'd picked up a book! Between studying, blogging, working, keeping up with current events and trying to have a social life somehow the intellectual distraction of a good book had become a distant memory.
Upon realising this I returned to books with added vigor and found some great suggestions for other self confessed nerds and book lovers to try.

LIFE of Pi


Yann Martel

I was encouraged to read this after reading a review and the plans to make the film in a Harpers Bazaar magazine last year. The story was intriguing and although the book took me a good few chapters to get into it properly, once the story of Pi's journey in the ocean began I was well and truly hooked. Once I saw the film however I did my best to put the book out of my mind and enjoy it without bias. A great read if you like a twist at the end!
8/10

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is another book that I was curious to read because of the film hype. Although it's a classic I hadn't heard much about the story before the movie trailers came out. I made sure that I read it before seeing the film and although the old fashioned language was a bit harder to grasp at first the story was short and simple. You really get sucked in the glamorous world the author creates. It was a great light read and it was refreshing to read an old favourite with enough twists and turns to keep you interested but not an overcomplicated storyline which makes you keep flicking back pages to work out who is who and how they got where.
9/10

Cloudstreet

Tim Winton

This book has had rave reviews and is on several best sellers lists for Australian literature. Tim Winton certainly has an impeccable writing style and really captures the essence of the Australian working class. However I was a bit disappointed with the lack of growth from the characters in this novel. I didn't feel inspired or any more enlightened after reading it and felt as though I would have been just as satisfied by reading the blurb and not wasted my time with the mundane events that happen within the pages. I actually felt a bit ripped off, like I had wasted hours of my life.
3/10

The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

This is my new favourite book. The concept, the history, the narration and writing style all draw you in from the first page. It's intriguing and the narrator gives just enough away at the beginning of each chapter to keep you turning the pages to see what happened to the characters. A beautiful story about an orphaned girl in Germany during the second world war who collects books, finds friendships and struggles with her beliefs and her place in the world. It is interestingly told from the point of view of Death who is overworked during the war and takes a particular interest in the Book Thief's story. Definitely worth a read!

10/10



Fifty Shades of Grey

E.L James

Well judging all the Facebook updates last year about this novel everybody has read this, and everybody wants everybody else to know they have read it to! Do people think it makes them sexier if they read about sex? For those who haven't read it, it's certainly something different and it deals with a lot of taboo subjects. It's basically a Mills and Boon romance novel with swear words. Great inspiration if you're in a relationship, and damn frustrating if your single! haha

7/10

Jack of Diamonds

Bryce Courtenay

Bryce Courtenay is my favourite author and his last book, published after his passing in 2012 is in his classic style of rags to riches, inspiring strength and powerful love. I have all of his novels and although his story lines and plots do sometimes seem repetitive- as it was his very last book before his death I embraced the writing style and enjoyed reading it. It's a little sad that the last chapter is very much a summing up of where the characters end up and there is a letter from Courtenay at the end explaining how he would have loved more time to continue the story but he wasn't well enough. Jack of Diamonds is a beautifully written book and a true credit to the story telling style of the author.

8/10

Questions of Travel

Michelle de Kretser



This novel I picked up on a whim at the airport last week. I was off on a mini adventure so a book
about travel seemed fitting and I was hoping it would give me added inspiration to make the most of my little journey. However I must admit that I found it lacking. It wasn't the 'Eat Pray Love' type of travel story that touches your soul and inner adventure seeker. I must admit I'm still only three quarters of the way through and find it relatively easy to put down. The characters are a little dull and although their stories are interesting, there is no inner spark that motivates you to find out where their journeys lead. Although it comes quite highly acclaimed and the writing is good, the story just seems to trail on in a mundane sort of way. Even the most interesting events that happen are told in such a way that very little emotion is evoked. As I said, I'm still not quite finished so am persisting in the hope that there is an interesting turn... but I'm not holding my breath!

So far... 3/10


I hope you find these reviews helpful, but remember that everybody has different tastes and your imagination plays it's own game while you are reading so the texts are interpreted differently by everyone! That's one of the things I love, you can get as much or as little as you like out of a good book! Happy reading!



Saturday, 13 July 2013

What do your eyes tell the world?

Its all about the eyes

 The most important factor to prevent aging



I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to have a background in beauty therapy, through my training I have seen the solutions and the results of good skincare techniques and it's second nature to add these things into my daily routine. I realise that not everybody thinks about how their current routine will impact them later but there are a few essential tips for keeping your skin youthful and fresh.

Recently I bumped into an old friend who I hadn't seen for several years. Although we are around the same age I must admit that I was slightly shocked at how much older this person looked to me. This person I know to lead a reasonable healthy lifestyle yet somehow they looked to be at least six or seven years my senior.
It was the eyes that made all the difference, dry eyes with lines forming were the tell tale signs of premature aging.

The skin around our eyes is much more delicate than the rest of our facial skin, therefore it has to be treated slightly differently. Because it is thinner than the rest of the skin and therefore more sensitive it's important that you use an everyday cream especially formulated to prevent irritation and also buildup of oils.

Depending on your main concern there are many different eye products that can be used to reduce puffiness and dark circles caused by fatigue. A great product is Clinique All About Eyes serum, with a rolling applicator that cools the eye area and well as hydrates and freshens. It's especially handy as a pep up after a late night! 


The eye area is subjected to so much movement every day including blinking, squinting, smiling and more; therefore it is usually the first area to show signs of aging. There are extra serums and formulas that you can use to help improve elasticity especially for eyes which are a great preventative measure. A product that I absolutely love is Dermalogica Multi Power Firm for eyes and lips.

Imagine that day when you run into an old friend or flame! It those kinds of moments that make adding an eye cream to your daily routine seem like a good investment!

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Feel good about what you eat!!!

My favourite recipes!


As much as I love cooking and often have the best intentions, it sometimes feels like too much of an effort, especially these days when it's already dark when you get home from work! I'm loving these great easy recipes that are super healthy and super tasty.

Healthy Snack


Fruit and Nut Slice



I decided to make my own nut bars because I used to love snacking on the packaged ones- until I realised just how much sugar they have in them! This recipe is really quick, no fuss and means that you have a snack that you know exactly what's in it!

1 cup Almonds (whole or chopped)
2 cups sultanas (or other dried berries, I used goji berries as well)
1 cup dried apricots (whole or chopped)
Sprinkle of chia seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
2-3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk (I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon plain flour (to make it even healthier use wholemeal flour)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

It really is so so easy!

Preheat oven to 180C
Grease/ line a slice tray
Mix everything together in a bowl, pour into the tray and press down.
Bake for 20-25 mins or until the top is a golden brown.
Cut into squares and cool on a wire rack
You can also melt some dark chocolate to drizzle over the top.




Delicious Feel Good Dinner


A great vegetarian meal or as a side dish with something else.

Quinoea and Pistachio Salad

80g red quinoea
80g white quinoea
400ml veg stock
170g broccolini (trimmed)
100g frozen peas

200g baby spinach leaves
1 avocado chopped
100g feta (crumbled)
100g pumpkin seeds (toasted)

Pesto
60g pistachio kernals
1/3 cup basil leaves
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil

Cook Quinoea in the stock for 15-20mins
Boil the broccolini and peas

Whiz all the pesto ingredients together in a blender until smooth

Combine all the salad ingredients with the quinoea and vegetables, then drizzle without the pesto dressing.

Perfect for an easy light dinner or to take to work for lunch!


Enjoy guys and have a great week!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Cosy Winter Adventures!

~It's raining- so now what? ~


Now that the cold weather is starting to creep in to Melbourne its time to start thinking of ways to be social and keep warm at the same time!
Gone are the lazy sunny days where we can grab some drinks and head to the beach or get together in the afternoon sun.

My best friend Cara and I swapped our mini skirts for pjs and our high heels for slippers tonight for a cosy girls night in to come up with all of the cool things we want to do this winter! 

So thanks to Cara for co-writing this blog and we hope you enjoy our ideas to warm up these winter evenings!




Cooking IS sexy….

A great way to bond with friends and lovers is over a delicious home cooked meal. Most of the fun happens in the kitchen and even the grocery run can make for some  funny moments!
A healthy meal that is great to share is home made pizzas with pita bread bases and your favourite toppings. So easy and quick to make so you can spend more time enjoying the important things! Bring on the dinner parties!




Tea Houses

Melbourne is full of quirky little tea houses (My favourite is Quali-T on Chapel st) that are a cute, cosy and healthy alternative to heading out in the cold for drinks. So much love to be shared over a cup of green tea and as dorky as it sounds it's interesting to see how many different types of tea there are to try!


Snow Trips

Last season I had the pleasure of helping my best friend Jade learn to snowboard for the first time; it was one of the most fun and hilarious times we have ever had! But I must say she was very brave and by the end of the day had the basics mastered.
Even if this isn't your cup of tea it is still a great trip and there are many other activities to do as well as enjoying being amongst the most magical scenery you could imagine.
There are lots of good mountains in Victoria you can try. The closest is Mt Baw Baw, which is good for a day trip if you don't want a long drive. Although further away, Mt Buller, Falls Creek and Mt Hotham always have the most beautiful snow! So grab some mates or your family and start making some magical and hilarious memories.


Dessert is the new foreplay.....

What hotter way to end an evening than being indulgent and feeling naughty over a sinful chocolate cake or a warming sticky date pudding? Either head to a restaurant to enjoy a quiet bite or have fun creating your own at home… A delicious  ending to any perfect night.


Vintage Date Nights

Everyone knows about the good old faithful cinema date nights, but for a twist how about trying the drive in movies? There are two drive in cinemas in Victoria, one in Coburg and the other in Dromana. Great for a bit of old school fun! It's a nice excuse to get out of the city as well.


Wine Tasting

To me winter means red wine weather! Most Victorian new release wines come out in June so it's a great time to take some mates and explore Victoria's wine regions. There is nothing like enjoying a glass of wine by a fireplace with gourmet food while overlooking some of the most scenic views Victoria has to offer. Some of the regions are Bellarine Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley and the King Valley.

~


Thanks so much Cara for the fun and laughter while we came up with this blog! Everybody should be as lucky to have a best friend like you! I hope you guys try out some of our ideas if you haven't already. Complaining about the cold weather on Facebook won't make it go away, so stay positive and embrace it by trying something different and fun!






Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Winter Eating Habits!



Easy Diet Tip!!


Swapping Foods.....


These posts are getting further and further apart as I'm getting busier but this is one that I've been meaning to write for a while. It's advice that everybody has heard but sometimes it helps to have a reminder of some of the ways we can tweak our daily routine to be a bit healthier! 

We are all looking to have healthier habits, especially now that winter is creeping up on us and we start to crave those comfort foods again. It's hard to not feel guilty when we have a big bowl of pasta, or have our third hot chocolate just to keep warm!

Life is too short to diet- Nobody is perfect, which is why I love the idea of swapping as opposed to cutting things out completely, if we deny ourselves our favourite things then we tend to crave them and feel guilty when we do indulge.

Substituting foods is a great way to still have the treats that we want and also not end up being twice the size at the end of winter!

Here are a couple of EASY suggestions that I try to adopt that are easy to implement!

Breakfast-

Food is what usually gets me out of bed in the morning- I can't wait for my cup of tea and a nice breakfast. A great way to swap and still get enough energy for your day is to swap your toast and butter for a small bowl of porridge. Its warm and comforting but it's low GI so it will release energy slowly and keep you feeling fuller for longer, and hopefully curb those mid morning snacks as well!

Lunch- 

We all get a bit over salads after summer and it's hard not to go for something full of carbs like a toasted foccacia to fill us up for lunch! A good idea for winter is to go for a healthy vegetable soup, it fills you up and keeps you warm at the same time. The best way to know the ingredients is to make it at home yourself then keep it in the fridge or freezer, some of the store bought ones have a high salt content to watch out for!

Dinner- 

Some great swapping tips for dinner meals which means you can still have your favourite comfort foods are to swap normal pasta for wholegrain pasta which has more nutritional benefits and the same goes for brown rice, which is much healthier than white rice. Two tiny little changes which can make a big difference in the long run! Sweet potato is also a much better choice than white potato, it adds a different flavour to the plate and has less calories and more vitamin A.

Snacks-

 I'm hopeless when it comes to snacking, because I'm a vegetarian I tend to not feel as full for as long because I'm missing certain proteins and fats that take longer to digest. So I always keep some almonds or goji berries on hand. Being a woman means I am also prone to chocolate craving at any time of the day! I have recently swapped milk chocolate for dark chocolate. I might throw a tantrum if I had to go without it altogether but opting for dark chocolate (only a small amount) is a much better option!

I love my potato chips but they are so processed and full of salts and flavourings that it's probably my unhealthiest habit. But sometimes you just need an easy, crunchy snack so I try to go for popcorn instead. I have an airpopping machine at home which is great because it cooks it without any of the fats or oils and you have control over how much salt and butter you put on. It's actually something I would be lost without now, it makes something delicious but without the guilt of the packet stuff!

Drinks- 

It's easy to drink water and feel healthy in summer because we are hot anyway! When the weather is cooler and we want to be cozy, chances are that we go for a coffee or hot chocolate instead of a glass of water. One change I made a little while ago is to swap my coffee's for a green or white tea. Nice and warm, but there is no fat from the milk or sugar. Green tea can help with digestion and weight loss and white tea is great for the immune system so will help prevent you getting sick as well!

My perfect 3pm slump snack is now some dark chocolate, a few almonds and a cup of white tea. Now doesn't that sound nice and healthy?

In saying that, we all have our cheat days when no matter how great our intentions are we end up with a doughnut, a mars bar or a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows :)

I hope everybody enjoys the last traces of sunshine in Melbourne as winter begins to close in around us!  I promise to write about some GREAT things to do in Melbourne to keep you entertained for the cooler months!

~Jade
xxx