BEAUTY + WELLBEING

In my eyes, it’s always time for tea!

March 24, 2015
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If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
– William Ewart Gladstone


I am English and without a doubt if you’re English, you must love tea. I have grown up having tea all my life. One of my fondest memories was when I would fly home and visit my grandparents, within seconds of me arriving, the kettle would be on and my Nan would already have the teacups at the ready. Now, it’s a daily routine for me. I love English breakfast blends, chai teas, herbal and green and aside from the social aspect of having “a cuppa”, there are plenty of health benefits to drinking tea too.

Were you aware that tea are packed full of antioxidants? I guess the best way to explain is, antioxidants combat ageing and the long-term effects of pollution. Plus tea has less caffeine than coffee. If you suffer from headaches, body aches or the shakes after that cappuccino it may be due to too much caffeine, so make the switch to tea. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries clear and buildup free. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers. So who would have thought? Something that tastes so delicious is actually benefitting your body!

My friends at Tetley have such a diverse range of teas and I thought I’d give you the lowdown on some of my favourites. Now some tea drinkers prefer black tea and others herbal, chai or green. Either way, Tetley’s range is so extensive you’ll be spoilt for choice.

For my black tea fans I would like to introduce to you two choices from Tetley’s Tea Master’s Selection, the Assam and the Kenyan blends.

The Assam region is a lush tropical rainforest climate in northern India, in the lower foothills surrounding the pristine Himalayas. This location makes for richly textured soil, which translates into a woody, earthy tea that practically oozes with robust, full-bodied flavour. Delicious!

The Kenyan blend is grown in the sunny, rich highlands near Mount Kenya. With its snow capped peaks, these teas are cultivated by independent farmers who grow tea on small plots. The taste can be described as nutty, naturally sweet tea, with an alluring complex flavour.

For those that prefer a herbal blend or flavoured teas, I would suggest Tetley’s Infusions range. These teas are naturally caffeine free and are bursting with flavour. My favourites? Cinnamon Orange and Forest Fruits.

When it comes to Cinnamon Orange, all I can say is Christmas! Starting with naturally caffeine-free rooibos leaves, they add cinnamon, orange blossoms & orange peel, plus warming spices like star anise, cardamon and cloves. When you brew the tea, it smells like the holiday season and instantly takes you back to Christmas! A Christmas that you can enjoy no matter the month!

Do you like berries? Strawberries? Raspberries and Cherries? Well I would definitely point you in the direction of Forest Fruits. This tea is bright, uplifting tea. With a blend of berries, poppy flowers, hibiscus and a touch of apple, Forest Fruits will certainly brighten up a dull afternoon.

There are plenty of other teas out there for you to try, but I wanted to give you a little introduction. After all, it’s starting to feel a little chiller. So next time you’re faced with a dull afternoon, maybe it’s raining outside and is looking a little icky, grab your jammies, a big cosy blanket and rug up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea. I’ll leave you with a divine quote that really sums up in essence that fuzzy yet comforting feeling when you make yourself a cup of tea.


Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.”
– Thomas De Quincy.

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SOCIAL

It’s about love when it comes to the Holden Cruze!

March 8, 2015
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You can learn a lot from someones driving habits, can’t you? Are you a control freak? Do you suffer from road rage? A speed demon? Or are you more comfortable being driven? Did you know that 73% of Australian men prefer to be in the driving seat, with women just at 58%.

So imagine having your first date behind the wheel. Certainly a strange place to consider meeting someone for the first time, but that is exactly what Aussie car manufacturer Holden did. Parallel to the launch of their brand new Holden Cruze, the team held a very interesting social experiment based on the premise, “you don’t know someone until you drive with them”.

Held last Tuesday evening at The Bourbon, in iconic Potts Point, guests were treated to the unveiling of the brand new Holden Cruze, and witnessed Holden’s social experiment unfold. A number of singles were paired by Holden to attend blind dates in the new-look Cruze. Not necessarily, the most obvious or the first date choice by most I would imagine, the couples had set driving tasks to complete whilst navigating themselves to an end destination, all whilst trying to get to know each other AND handling the pressure of being put in a car together! Oh and I forgot to mention that the couples were filmed for the judges and guests to see!

Whilst the dates were shown on the big screen, each couple was scored based on their initial impression of each other, interaction throughout the blind date, overall chemistry and body language. Judged by relationships expert and psychologist, Dr. Peter Jonason and former Miss Universe Australia, Laura Dundovic, they had the task to decide which pair showed the most promise as a couple. In my eyes (and I think the judges too) there was a couple that really deserved to win and that was Loretta Jacob and Aashish Chopra. Aside from being completely adorable, they really did seem to have a lot of chemistry, even sharing a kiss at the event!

You need to decide for yourself, which couple do you think deserved the prize? Watch all the dates here. But the victors on the night, Aashish and Loretta scored themselves a luxury weekend away in the Hunter Valley and the opportunity to drive the Cruze for 3 months!

So, you might still be asking, why exactly did Holden do this social experiment? Sean Poppitt, the director of communications of Holden summed it up perfectly, “the social experiment was a unique way of communicating Cruze’s strengths as a connected, feature packed car that would take away some of the tension points that traditionally play up between couples on the road.”

As for the car, it’s packed full of features and looks beautiful and you’ve got to see it for yourself. Now if you’re planning to purchase a car, certainly take the new Cruze for a test drive*.

Show the Holden Cruze some love!

*Love cannot be guaranteed, however driving a Cruze around may be able to help, after it is now a perfectly acceptable way of conducting a first date!

STYLE

A tribute to summer as we say adios!

March 2, 2015
Photography: Stella Thai, Styling: Ellie in the Sky, MUA: Ali Stadler, Model: Myself & Ashleigh Atkins, Location: Bronte Beach

So summer left us this weekend. I must admit, I was pretty devastated. It’s Monday, the second day of March and instantly feels cooler, strange how that always happens?

I thought a photographic tribute would suffice as we say adios to the warmer months. I featured in this editorial a couple of years ago and when ever I look through the images, it just screams Aussie summer. I am not sure if it’s the bikinis, the surfboard or the quintessential beach location (we shot it at Bronte Beach) but I can remember Ashleigh and I having an absolute ball. We got to sun bake, frolic in the water and eat icy poles – a typical beach day that I know everyone loves.

I hope you find some summer solace in these like I do..

Until next time summer! X

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, GIVE A LITTLE

‘Colour for a Cause’ for Ovarian Cancer Australia..

February 14, 2015
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Did you know that in Australia, 1400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with more than 1000 sadly losing their battle with the disease? That’s one woman every eight hours. When I read this statistic, I was shocked. It pains me to think that ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer and unfortunately there has been no significant change in treatment options for women who are diagnosed since the 1970s.

However, ‘Ovarian Cancer Australia‘ have just launched a National Action Plan for ovarian cancer research, with a focus on setting out urgent priorities of this research. Additionally, between 2013 and 2016, the organisation wants to grow their support, awareness and advocacy.

So, how can you, I or anyone else make a difference? Well, it’s the small steps and  the power of many that can truly make a difference. As an anonymous author once said,“It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.”

 I am thrilled to be a part of the ‘Colour for a Cause’ campaign – something that you can be a part of too. Aussie beauty label, Designer Brands Cosmetics and Chemmart Pharmacy have joined forces to release a beautiful teal and snow white nail polish pack. Together, they have kindly decided that all proceeds will support the amazing work that ‘Ovarian Cancer Australia’ is doing to help women diagnosed with the disease. (On a another quick note, I am extremely pleased to say that Designer Brands Cosmetics do not test on animals, in fact, their products are vegan!)

Please show your support and purchase one of these packs for just $6.99 from any Chemmart Pharmacy across the country. Throughout the month of February, you can also purchase them online here - with free shipping too!

It may only feel like a small contribution, but giving a little certainly goes a long way.

GASTRONOMY, SOCIAL

The Relaunch of ‘Circa 1876′..

February 2, 2015
What's a garden party without a little champagne shower?

One of my favourite places in Australia without a shadow of a doubt is NSW’s Hunter Valley. Aside from having top-notch wineries every where you turn and beautiful accommodation options, it actually is a foodie’s delight. Boasting some of Australia’s award winning restaurants and fine dining eateries, the Hunter will tempt you with a range of dining options.

This weekend, I experienced no different at the revamped and renamed ‘Circa 1876′ (née Roberts Circa 1876). Matt and Karlie Cowley, CEOs of both Peppers Covent and Circa 1876 hosted a spectacular garden party to christen the newly named venue. It was a perfect opportunity to hear from Matt all about the renaming and a chance to hear from George Francisco, the internationally acclaimed executive chef about the future plans of the restaurant.

So why the new name? As Matt put it in his speech, the removal of Roberts is not meant to be rude in anyway towards the previous executive chef, Robert Molines. It has been eight years since Robert was in the kitchen and simply, it was time for a change.

Notoriously known for their fresh produce, Circa 1876 use only seasonal produce grown from the organic kitchen garden on site, as well as sourcing only the finest local produce. What I took from the menu was not only the freshness and taste, but beautiful presentation.

Many congratulations to both Matt and Karlie Cowley and George Francisco for hosting such a stunning event. Everything from the food, to the drink menu and service was spot on and from what I could see, guests were always smiling. A wonderful evening to mark the name a of a new era at ‘Circa 1876′.

SOCIAL, TRAVEL, WATCH LIVEALITTLE.TV

New Resolution? Snap Away With Camera Chick!

January 24, 2015
The "Charlie" Bag.

I can’t believe that we are fast approaching February, is it me or has January just flown by? There are so many things about January that I love. It’s still summer and beautifully warm, people are slowly getting back into the swing of things and it seems that everyone is travelling, having weekends away and just enjoying the moment. We had News Years Eve, New Years Day and Australia Day weekend is just around the corner.

Modelling Camera Chick's "Mary Lou" Bag.

Modelling Camera Chick’s “Mary Lou” Bag. Copyright Natalie Winter.

I have loved hearing about everyones new years resolutions too – something I’ve promised myself is to start capturing more key moments in my life and not just on my smart phone, with my camera and actively get them printed. There is something so wonderful about photography and looking back on all the memories I have created with friends, family and love ones.

I am promising you, my readers, more photography based posts. Places I visit, things I love and fashion that inspires me, and I am asking you to do the same. Capture as many moments as possible. Create albums, collages and fill photo frames with memories. There is something so much more exciting when a photograph is tangible.

To get you photographically inspired, I wanted to share with you a photo and video shoot I did last year with a very special business called Camera Chick. It has been one of my favourite collaborations and was super happy with how everything turned out. Owned by photographer, Natalie Winter, Camera Chick provides unique and beautiful bags that can safely store all your photographic and camera gear.

Our shoot took place in the beautiful Southern Highlands and we were blessed with stunning weather. After filming the videos for Camera Chick (which you can view here), Natalie and I had a wonderful time driving around the area scouting perfect shooting spots. My favourite location? The famous Lolly Swagman Lolly Shop, which is heaven on earth if you have a sweet tooth! I thought it would be nice to share with you some of my favourite snaps from our photo shoot.

What I loved the most about the photo shoot was the fact that there was no specific creative direction – it was super relaxed and all the photos candid. And the result? Perfect! It’s this particular photo shoot that has inspired me to be a little bit more proactive with the camera, and I hope it has for you too. Don’t be shy, grab that camera and start snapping away! You’ll never know what you’ll capture.

Until next time! X

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, GIVE A LITTLE

Christmas isn’t far away, but I’ve got you sorted!

December 17, 2014
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So it’s officially one week until Christmas and my oh my.. it’s certainly crept up on me. Usually I am in control, months in advance with my Christmas plans. But not this year. In a whirlwind of a week I have managed to put up my tree, decorate my house and attempt (yes attempt) my Christmas shopping. A word of warning – get to your local shopping centres at least half an hour before it opens to even have a smidgen attempt of getting a car park. Or… do all your Christmas shopping online! Easy peasy.

One of the biggest panics we all face (aside from tackling a turkey on Christmas Day) is that confusing and often very stressful moment of deciding on gifts for family. Or having to purchase presents for someone, well that has everything. Or perhaps, a Secret Santa gift for someone that you sorta-kinda-only-speak-once-or-twice at work. I know most people turn to gift vouchers, but there is something very special about physically opening up a present. Putting thought into a gift makes it even more worthwhile.

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So, what’s with this post? Well I thought I’d whip you at a last minute Christmas guide! My wonderful friends at Ry.com.au and I, have personally handpicked some perfect gifts for that special someone. What is so fabulous about these gift ideas, is that they are all under $50.00 and have a festive and Christmassy feel.

If you’re loving any of the products I’ve listed above, then you can head straight to their links now. Or if I have got your Christmas present inspiration going, feel free to browse the website. Ry.com.au have hundreds of potential gifts.

1. ECOYA ‘JACARANDA & PLUM BOTANICALS’ MINI METRO JAR

2. OPI ‘DS BOLD’ NAIL POLISH AND OPI ‘ ‘GREEN ON THE RUNWAY’ NAIL POLISH

3. ALPHA-H ‘PETITE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION’

4. MOR ‘LUCKY STAR’ CHRISTMAS CRACKER

Oh, and don’t worry about shipping, because Ry.com.au have filled me in and guess what? Thursday (tomorrow) is the cut off date for guaranteed express shipping (order by 3pm AEST) and Monday is the cut off date for guaranteed overnight (by 3pm AEST). So if you’re quick and get your act together, you can do a big chunk of your Christmas shopping without leaving your laptop. Perfecto!

Wishing all my friends and followers a wonderful Christmas, full of love and happiness Xx

STYLE

Happy Birthday Adam Dixon!

December 13, 2014
His bridal gowns are stunning.

I am a female that can certainly appreciate a little touch of luxury (I am sure you can too!). So when you combine beautiful couture gowns, with French champagne, silverwares and luxurious home pieces, it’s pretty hard to resist.

Last week, Woollahra based fashion, bridal and couture designer Adam Dixon celebrated his Queen St flagship stores first birthday. Undeterred by the Sydney storms, Adam’s guests were treated to a luxurious and intimate party to celebrate all his achievements over the past year.

Aside from developing a very strong reputation in the designer world, he has been in the industry for over 20 years, creating beautiful bridal pieces and ready-to-wear gowns. His off the rack dresses, ideal for a special occasion, bridesmaids or cocktail parties range from $400 to $1000 and his Couture wedding gowns from $3000 to $7000.

It’s the silly season and of course you’ll be attending parties galore. If you’re looking for a luxury piece to wear to your next Christmas function, then definitely consider Adam Dixon. Or perhaps you’re a bride and looking for a unique designer? Maybe you’re wanting to add a touch of luxury to your home or needing beautiful Christmas presents? Either way, the ever fabulous Adam will have you sorted for all your luxury needs.

Where can you find him?
90 Queen St, Woollahra, NSW 2025
02 8084 4455
www.adamdixon.com.au
@adamdixonbridal

BEAUTY + WELLBEING, WATCH LIVEALITTLE.TV

Summer Hair, Don’t Care!

November 21, 2014
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I have had a number of requests for some beauty and hair posts recently, so I thought it would be fabulous to share with you all two of my favourite summer styles – the French Chignon and my take on the Beach Wave.

My friends at ry.com.au hooked me up with some amazing hair products from Original Mineral, perfect for the two styles that I wanted to create. O&M have an amazing range of products – both for colour and styling. Aside from the very slick packaging, O&M are against animal testing, which Leo and I both give the tick of approval.


Know Knott Detangling Spray
The perfect summer have for when you’re at the beach or near the pool. Saltwater and chlorine can really dry out your hair and for a blondie like me, can make your hair feel so icky. Full of Argan and Macadamia oil, Know Knott won’t just smooth your hair, it will recondition it too. Just spritz all over and then run through with a comb or brush. 

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Surf Bomb Sea Salt Texture Spray
This product is your partner-in-crime for when you want to oomph your hair. As you’ll see in my how-to videos, Surf Bomb, will just give you that extra bit of lift and texture without leaving your hair dry and crispy.
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Frizzy Logic Shine Serum

I cannot share with you all how important it is to have a shine serum in reach. For a slick hair style, it can just polish the whole look off. There’s nothing worse than styling your hair to then step outside into the Aussie heat for your fly aways to suddenly stand on end and for the frizz to kick in. Frizzy Logic is the 3-in-1. It smoothes your hair, protects it from humidity, and adds shine to give a silky, yes-I’ve-just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look.

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Original Queenie Firm Hold Hair Spray
So you’ve done all your hard work, so you need to set your style right? Grab the Original Queenie, she will hold your style in place, but without leaving that tacky, sticky, ‘urgh’ feeling that some hair sprays leave behind. Some of the ingredients include Australian native Lilly Pilly, which manages to  extend the hold by reducing unwanted oil and Quandong adds weightless protection to nourish the hair.
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So let me guess, you want to see the products in action right? Well look no further..

Live a Little TV: Original Mineral from Sophie Crenigan (Livealittle.TV) on Vimeo.

Since the summer months are here, I do encourage you to live a little, and to be a bit adventurous with your styling. Try the wave or a fancy up-do. There are plenty of occasions, so technically you haven’t got much of an excuse. Plus, and I don’t know how to explain it, but a girl carries herself a little taller and walks with a little more confidence once she’s has her hair styled.. ;-)

STYLE

You need to know Celia Kate & Co.

October 25, 2014
Simon Scott Photography

On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of being the official MC for the launch of one of Sydney’s most beautiful designers, Celia Kate & Co. Held at the beautiful Henry Corbett & Co, in Woollahra, the intimate launch was the perfect opportunity to preview Celia’s collection.

Celia’s collection is one that is light, fresh and effortless. She has designed gorgeous pieces that can be transformed from day to night. Using raw tactile fabrics such as sustainable silk, cotton and linen, Celia’s collection is made up of little dresses, jump suits and beautiful kimonos.

Perfect for a hot and balmy day in the tropics, Celia’s pieces are designed to make you look and feel fabulous with minimal thought and expense. Aside from her clothing range, Celia also designs leather belts, wallets and key rings and also offers a unique jewellery line.

The fashion parade was relaxed and the perfect way to check out Celia’s collection. The models from the Sydney School of Protocol walked to a Stevie Nicks remix (Celia told me earlier that many people think she looks like Stevie Nicks!). Whilst enjoying the show, guests sipped wine from Mt. Ashby Estate in the beautiful Southern Highlands of Sydney and were treated to Henry Corbett & Co goodie bags. The show was an absolute success, with everyone singing praises for Celia.

It was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of Celia’s launch and she has a stunning collection, perfect for the up-and-coming summer months. So if you’re thinking of updating your summer wardrobe or adding some new jewellery to your collection, live a little and consider Celia Kate & Co.