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

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.


So, what’s with this post? Well I thought I’d whip you at a last minute Christmas guide! My wonderful friends at 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. have hundreds of potential gifts.





Oh, and don’t worry about shipping, because 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


Happy Birthday Adam Dixon!

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


Summer Hair, Don’t Care!

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 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. 


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.

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.


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.
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.. 😉


You need to know Celia Kate & Co.

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.


My ‘Southern Highlands’ fling..

A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated my 24th birthday in the beautiful Souther Highlands of NSW. What a magical place it was to visit – so lush and green! I am originally from the UK and so many parts of the Highlands distinctly reminded me of the English countryside.

To give you an insight into my trip, I thought it best to do a photo blog for you to enjoy..

The Southern Highlands is approximately an hour and a half outside of Sydney and is perfect for a weekend getaway. In a couple of days we managed to fit in wine tasting, shopping, a visit to Historic Berrima, a spa treatment at Milton Park and dined at some beautiful restaurants.

It’s such a peaceful place and you truly feel like you escape the Metro area. However, there is plenty of things to do, visit and see. So if you’re a little more adventurous you will certainly be spoilt for choice.

Go on, live a little and book a break – you deserve it!

Where did we stay? – Peppers Manor House and Milton Park.
Where did we dine? – Katers, Peppers Manor House and Hordens Restaurant, Milton Park.


Add some spring to your makeup bag!

As I sit here and type, I keep stopping and can’t help looking out the window. I have a cool breeze blowing through the house, the sun is shining, Beyonce is playing and I’ve noticed everything and everyone has a little bit more of ‘spring’ in them. People are out walking their dogs, taking a stroll across the water front and there are plenty of people down the road enjoying the sunshine with a coffee in hand. Our flowers in the front courtyard are blooming and I am starting to see more green than brown. After careful observation, what I can deduce, is that spring is finally here.

Once the spring months start to make an appearance, we begin to make a few wardrobe changes. We swap our boots for sandals, our jeans for shorts, beanies for straw fedoras and long sleeve tops for tee shirts. I’ve also noticed that the colour palette of my wardrobe starts to change as well. I begin to wear less black and naturally draw myself to pastels, prints and colour. I am not sure why, but I always feel better in colour?

Naturally when you refresh your wardrobe, you’ve got to refresh your makeup too. Think dewy skin, pastel eye colour and corals and nudes for the lips. I say goodbye to heavy eyeliner, pale skin and darker lip tones. My friends at, sent me some of latest products to add a little bit of spring to your makeup bag.


The Balm Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette Volume Three – $49.95
What I love so much about spring is the ability to experiment with colours! This particular palette gives you some great colour options that you can mix and match with (See how I did this later in the post). Plus I think eye shadow palettes are great value and so much easier to have in your makeup bag, because they are all in one place!

The Balm’s name for their eyeshadows are just fabulous – with names like Lusty Lee and Come-Hither Heather! I love the Balm’s retro packaging too – really feminine and really cute! 


The Balm Instain Blush Argyle – $26.95
Once again I am obsessed with the packaging – it’s like a mini Vogue magazine on the outside. Inside, they’ve even included a girls best friend, a compact mirror along with a little gentle reminder to, ‘Vous va bein’ or ‘wear it well!’.

It’s the perfect blush colour for spring – a nice rosy pink, perfect for putting on the apple of your cheeks with a soft brush to give you that slightly ‘flushed’ look. Don’t go too overboard though, we don’t want you looking like a clown!



Napoleon Perdis Limited Edition Slim Aarons Poolside Gift Pack – $134.95 (Free Delivery)
For the ladies that appreciate a little luxury in their life, then this pack is perfect for you. You’ll need all three of the products in the pack to finish off your spring look.


We all need a little bronzer in our life. I haven’t met a female yet that doesn’t say a bronzer is a must in their makeup bag. The ‘Matte Bronzer’ is a perfect addition. With a matte finish, it’s the perfect product to shape and contour your face and give you a warm glow. Always use sparingly though – think where the sun might hit you – a little on your forehead, the side of your face, chin and nose.

Then you need the ‘Champagne Days’ highlighter. It’s a beautifully soft and velvety highlighter that just tops off the overall look, giving you that dewy finish. With highlighters, I always go along my cheekbones and blend in (Highlighter needs to sit higher than blush to give you a guide). I also dab a little down the bridge of my nose, a little on my chin and then just above my cupids bow on my lips to really accentuate the shape.

To finish off the look, whip out the ‘Creme Lipstick’ in ‘Entitled’ and go over your lips. A nude shade is a must for your makeup bag. Perfect for any occasion, nude works well on all complexions. I always say if you go heavy with colour on the eyes, stay subtle on the lips.

With the three products, you will also receive a beautiful makeup bag. For those that aren’t familiar with Slim Aaron (who inspired the collection), he was an American photographer that worked for society publications and regularly captured socialites and celebrities. One of Slim Aarons’ biggest successes is the iconic snap ‘Poolside Gossip,’ which was shot at a Palm Springs home in 1970 designed by famous modernist architect Richard Neutra. This particular image sits in Napoleon’s Sydney home, and inspired him to create a collection that celebrates the sun-kissed skin and optimistic color palette of the Seventies jet-set, captured in Aarons’ work.


So I thought it would a good idea to give you guys an idea of how I used all of the products. I decided to go for two different looks. I’ve never been one to go too heavy with makeup, so these looks are great for day or night! Hopefully though, you’ll get a sense of how I best utilised the products!

Look One: Subtle Glamour

Look Two: Pretty in Pink

I hope you’re a little more inspired to add some spring to your makeup bag and try some new makeup looks. I bet you’re now asking how can you get the products? Easy peasy! All you need to do is head to and browse through their amazing range (Remember The Balm and Napoleon Perdis!). If you’re good for makeup, stock plenty of other products! is Australia’s largest online skincare, haircare and cosmetics store and right now, if you spend over $99.00 (which isn’t hard to do!) you’ll receive complimentary shipping.

Go on live a little and update your look! X


We shined & we dined with great success!

It was certainly a night to remember and one to never forget. A night of glitz, glamour and sophistication, The Annual Shine & Dine 2014. Hundreds of beautiful guests, VIPs and celebrities  came together in support of one cause, Make-A-Wish. An incredible organisation that provides children who are facing life-threatening illnesses, an opportunity to have their wishes come true.

Doltone House was transformed into a black, gold and sparkly vision, with every table dotted with extravagant candelabras. It was just beautiful. We had spectacular live performances from Casey Burgess and Mis Joelle, a live and silent auction, a candle lighting ceremony and balloon popping. However the most beautiful moment of the evening (and what ultimately the whole night is about) was witnessing six-year-old Brianna Younie, receive her wish from wedding dress guru, Henry Roth, a stay in the Gold Coast to have fun at the theme parks. It was incredibly emotional, but also uplifting to be able to see exactly where the funds raised goes to. Brianna, I hope you have a spectacular time! As the red carpet interviewer, it was wonderful to meet and chat with major sponsors, celebrities and ambassadors who all positively impacted the event in one way or another. Many thanks to Field of Art Productions who put together all the videos. You can check out my interviews below with footie legend Beau Ryan who talks about his involvement with the Shine & Dine and returning guest – singer and song writer, Casey Burgess. I also got to catch up with celebrity chef and ambassador Massimo Mele. I also got to boogie on down with INXS rock legend Jon Fariss who tells me all about the incredible guitar that was donated for the night.

I had a lot of enquiries after the event about my dress. Perfect for the occasion, it curtainly shined. My gown was provided by the incredible Indian-Australian based designer, WANNI. I was dressed in a custom couture gown from Wanni’s ‘A Whimsical Evening’ S/S ’14/’14 Collection. The stunning neck piece, is painstakingly hand sewn over five long days. I also had a hand-made Indian head piece in the back of my hair. Many thanks to Lattouf Hair and Napoleon Perdis for my beautiful hair and makeup.

I want to also take the opportunity to congratulate Sharon Melhem from Kouture Productions, the brains and founder of the Shine and Dine on such a spectacular evening. Two months out from the event and still people are talking about it! I want to extend my congratulations and thanks to all the sponsors, donators and guests who made the night simply perfect. I cannot wait to see what the Shine and Dine 2015 has in store and I hope to see you all there next year!


A taste of Southern Europe: Mordeo, Sydney

It’s wonderful to see so many new and exciting venues opening up in and around Sydney. As prospective diners, we are completely spoilt for choice. Now I am a sucker for European food – Spanish tapas, Greek dishes and beautiful Italian pastas – you name it, I’ll eat it. So when I attended the launch of Mordeo a couple of weeks ago, I was in foodie heaven. Located on the corner of Philip and Hunter in Sydney’s CBD, Mordeo is architectually stunning. Offering an inside-outside feel, with 15 metre high ceilings surrounding the bistro and bar. In the middle of Mordeo, as a key feature there are a number of architecturally designed lamp shades, giving the whole venue a sophisticated, city-slicker feel.

Despite being blown away by the surroundings, the Southern European inspired food was just as spectacular. Owner and Executive Chef Nicholas Aspros with Head Chef Marc Gehret designed a mouth-watering tasting menu for the 200 guests. Whilst being serenaded by the sounds of Ritmos Latinos and Greek Bouzouki player Telly Andrew, I dined on pork hock terrine with a fig chutney & pear salad, grilled quail with caramelised red onion salsa, pea risotto with sage & lberico Jamon, and chicken Ballotine with pearl barley. I also tried the spinach & a hazelnut salad, squid ink Gnocchi with truffle salumi, margherita mini pizza with basil and whitebait croquetas with a cauliflower mayonnaise. If that wasn’t enough, we were then treated to produce from artisan Spanish charcuteria La Boqueria by Nomad Distribution, and a buffet offering slow cooked octopus Carpaccio with split green beans and chorizo sausage, BBQ lamb ribs with Pedro Ximenez and two delicious desserts – catalana and loukoumadis.

With such an extensive menu, Mordeo matched this, and gave us a range of options to wash all the tasty food down with. There were three beautiful cocktails that were served on arrival, Red Wolf – White Wolf cream ale with Campari, Antica formula red vermouth & a blood orange foam; Jamon & chargrilled pineapple Sazerac with a Jamon & sage crisp – Jamon and Pedro Ximenez butter washed Hennessey VSOP with a chargrilled pineapple shrub, pechauds bitters; and Cold Drip Spiced Rum Old Fashioned – Kracken spiced rum, cold drip single origin coffee, cold drip syrup, angostura bitters with a twist of orange. Wine tasting stations by suppliers Fox Wine and Broadway Liquor Distributors offered guests a luxurious selection of reds and whites from Italy, Spain & France, staying true to the Southern European genre of the bistro, and beers included the venues own brew ‘White Wolf’ on tap.

Given Mordeo’s central location, it’s the perfect option for a mid-week office lunch and intimate dinner dates or post work Friday drinks with friends. It has a wonderful atmosphere, offering patrons not only a unique visual experience, but a delicious menu that will transport you temporarily to Southern Europe. So go on live a little and try MordeoI

Mordeo Bar & Bistro
126 Philip St
(On the corner of Philip & Hunter)
Sydney NSW
02 9232 1306
Mordeo Bistro and Bar on Urbanspoon


The bright lights of Hong Kong: Where to stay?

Hong Kong – a bustling harbour-side city full of life, colour and action. Accessible around the clock, there are quite literally, hundreds of dining, shopping and hotel options to satisfy travellers, tourists and its 7 million residents. Deciding where to go, what to do and where to stay can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you have limited time. Plus, after spending a few hours researching on the net, you can walk away from your computer exhausted and confused. Hong Kong can be extremely expensive, if you’re not careful. However, there are certain areas (in my case dining and hotels) where a little bit of luxury never goes astray. In fact, sophistication and glamour is certainly a given when it comes to Hong Kong. Luxury shopping, high-end hotels and fine dining restaurants are in the bucket loads across the city. I’ve put together a few posts, which you can consider as my Live a Little in Hong Kong plan, that is guaranteed to keep you busy and feel a little bit glam!

Hotel of Choice: Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok
This is the third time I have stayed at the Langham Place Hotel and never have been disappointed. A little different to the other main hotel chains in both location and design, the five-star Langham Place is placed slap-bang in the middle of Mongkok, the most densely populated area in the world. I love being in the middle of the residential area, as you can step out and feel like you’re right in the heart of everything. Shopping, dining and day/night markets are all in walking distance. From a design perspective, the Langham Place is modern, unique and a little bit quirky. From it’s ‘Langham Pink” and grey colour scheme, to its modern Chinese art dotted around the hotel, the decor is intriguingly amazing. Everywhere you look, there is something to enjoy visually. There are a couple of bars, dining options, gym, high end spa and rooftop pool. Plus, the staff are extremely helpful, knowledgeable of Hong Kong and extremely well presented (the ladies uniforms are super cute!).

I stayed in a ‘Club L’ room, which are kept on the top six levels of the hotel. Not only are you given a separate check in area, club guests have access to a range of extra perks. Guests are treated to complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, champagne and canapés and late night supper every day. The ‘Club L’ lounge is a gorgeous space, that offers floor to ceiling views of the Hong Kong cityscape. Additionally, guests automatically receive a late 2.00pm check out, complimentary wi-fi, access to board room, fax/copy/printing services, complimentary access to the gym, steam room, sauna and rooftop pool. In my eyes, it’s always worth paying a little extra to be in club rooms, as the privileges that you get in return, are so worth it!

The hotel rooms are just as beautiful and well maintained as the rest of the hotel – we were in room 3801, a corner room that had incredible views over looking parts of the Harbour and cityscapes. You have your normal room amenities, but they have upped it a notch – flat screen televisions, DVD players, high-tech phones, printers in the room, fully stocked mini bar and a wide selection of luxury teas/coffees. Plus, the Langham Place is known for its amazing bedding and pillow menu option, so if you prefer your pillow a little more firm, or you need something malleable and soft, then you can organise house keeping to bring up any pillow that suits your needs. Quirky touches just make your stay a little more special. As I mentioned before, the Langham Place prides its self offering an experience for the senses, and if you look around your room you’ll find rubix cubes, jelly beans and gel eye masks. Every night, you receive a little gift to make your sleeping a little easier too! The bathrooms are just gorgeous with mirrors and glass detailings everywhere.. The bathroom extras are top notch with nail and shaving kits on offer, cleansing pads, shampoo, bath salts, loofahs and much more on offer.

The Langham Place is the perfect setting and location for a top-notch getaway in Hong Kong. The hotel itself is:

– within walking distance of famous street markets such as Ladies’ Market, Temple Street Market and Jade Market
– a direct connection to Langham Place Shopping Mall and Mongkok MTR (subway) station
– 15 minutes to Central
– 35 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport.

Although there aren’t as many restaurants, bars and nightclubs in walking distance per say, the staff are more than happy to organise cabs and drivers for you. Taxis in Hong Kong are super cheap, so it’s not going to burn your wallet to get around the city. So don’t let the Mongkok location deter you at all! As per my first paragraph, I have stayed here three times and never been disappointed. The hotel calls itself a hotel that has ‘thought of everything’ – and they aren’t far off. Every aspect of a hotel stay has been catered for, whether you’re a business traveller, a family of four or after a girly trip away (in my case!).

I can’t wait to share with you some more of my dining, shopping and relaxing ideas for Hong Kong (so stay tuned), but for now, when it comes to accommodation, I hope I have got your brain spurring! After all, we all need to live a little, so next time you do, consider the magical city of Hong Kong!


Get behind the CEO Sleepout 2014!


“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up…” – John Holmes.

Right now, whilst we are all preparing our family dinners or perhaps heading home after a long day at work, or just settling in to watch out favourite TV series that have been pre-recorded for us, perhaps we should all take a second to think. To really think. Did you know that there are 100,000 people experiencing homelessness tonight, with 17,000 of these people being children under the age of 12? Can you believe it? We live in Australia, a modern, democratic and civilised society, where in my eyes, homelessness should not even exist!

I am so proud to announce once again, after being involved for four years, that my father, Phil Crenigan is generously raising money for St Vincent de Paul by sleeping out tomorrow night. You’ll find below him speaking so eloquently about the issue of homelessness and why he has been continuously getting involved from the CEO Sleepout 2013.

For those who aren’t aware, the CEO Sleepout is an initiative whereby CEOs, managers and high profile executives get together for one night and quite literally sleep out in order to raise funds for St Vincent de Paul. Last year, 5.3 million dollars was raised and the money has funded new projects, assisted with the provision of existing homeless services and allowed Vinnies homeless services to expand their programs.

With just 24 hours to go, please show your support to St Vincent de Paul as well as my Dad my aiding in his $11,000 target, of which he is so close to! If you wish to donate and be a part of such a worthy cause, then click here. I am so proud of my Dad and of all the CEOs who will be sleeping by his side tomorrow and have so generously given up their time for such a beautiful cause.

So tonight, when you’re wrapped up warm in your PJs and Ugg boots settling on the couch for the evening or out and about braving the cold for the Origin match, think of those 100,000 people who won’t have an opportunity to go home tonight. Despite me always telling you to live a little, giving a little can be just as satisfying.


Get Cosy at The Cottage

Is everyone starting to feel the winter chill? I must admit, this weekend certainly confirmed that winter is here! Temperatures are dropping, the sun is setting a lot earlier and its so tempting to want to stay indoors and hibernate until spring. However, winter is the perfect time to venture out! Crazy I know, but I can promise you, winter is where you can brave the cold, head out and try some new venues.

I recently attended the winter menu launch at the very quaint, yet very cool, The Cottage Bar & Kitchen in Balmain. If you have never been and not sure what to look out for, you’ll be greeted by quite literally, a cottage slap bang in the middle of Darling St. Fairy lights are dotted across the alfresco area out the front and once you enter the bar & kitchen, you’ll instantly feel warm, cosy and a little fuzzy inside. Cute vintage style knick-knacks and art works are placed all throughout the cottage, giving it a homely and inviting feel.


So what about the food and drink? Well, we were treated to a brand new winter menu, designed by head chef Ellen Young. We feasted on some delicious dishes, including roasted cauliflower with pulled lamb shoulder, raisins and vinaigrette; maple & cider beef brisket with celeriac crisp and horseradish cream; arancini of tomato, smoked mozzarella and parmesan; mushrooms stuffed with barley, dried fruit, herbs and chevre; and Yellowfin tuna tartare with beetroot relish, apple, pickled fennel, dukkah. I was completely blown away by the never ending supply of freshly shucked oysters served at the oyster bar, which were the perfect starter. To finish, we nibbled on on an extensive selection of European cheeses.

Offering an extensive cocktail menu, The Cottage Bar & Kitchen is even the perfect venue to catch up with friends for a few drinks. We were presented with some brand new cocktails created by co-owner Osman Misirlizade, all of which used fresh ingredients and have impeccable presentation – there was the Speyside Sour which consists of Glenfiddich 12 year and ginger liqueur lengthened with lemon juice, honey water and finished with orange bitters; The Slow Cuban which is a twist on the mojito, including Plymouth sloe gin shaken with pressed mint and lime and charged with soda; and the Lemon & Basil Gimlet consisting of Citron vodka & limoncello shaken with fresh basil, lemon and lime. It certainly was a treat for the taste buds!

The Cottage Bar & Kitchen not only offers delicious food and cocktails, but is the perfect venue to explore during the winter months – whether you are on a romantic date for two or holding a big birthday bash with friends and family, you’ll certainly be catered for. It offers such a warm and friendly ambiance. After your first visit, you’ll see why it is such a hit amongst Balmain’s trendiest.

So next time you’re ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’ about whether or not to venture out, put on a brave face (and your best winter coat) and live a little. summer will be here in no time, so we might as well make the best of it!

The Cottage Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Sony QX – The bloggers dream!

One of the biggest perils of being a blogger is lugging around an SLR camera – I always want to provide my readers with top quality images, so it’s a necessity to have my Nikon on me at all times. However, it can be extremely invading, irritating to carry and near-on impossible to take subtle photographs without people thinking your a social photographer. Small digital cameras are fabulous, but there is an essence of quality when you use a SLR, and the photographic finish always looks so professional.

This week I was introduced to the solution at the very trendy So Cal, in Neutral Bay. Surrounded by fellow lifestyle and food bloggers, we were presented with the Sony QX. Whilst dining on a delicious Southern Cali menu, we got to have a play with our very own Sony QX. So Cal was the perfect place to snap away too. We were out in the courtyard, which was cosy, but still fun. With gorgeous wall detailing, coloured lights and pot plants, it really gave off a lovely vibe. We were lucky enough to witness one of the chefs doing a live demo, which was a wonderful photo opportunity. On inspection, the QX looks like a lens that you would attach to a camera, but actually is a mini camera in itself. I was amazed – the best thing about it, is that is can be operated completely through your smartphone to capture high quality, clear and beautiful images. All the pictures below were captured on my QX100.

So, for all my photography-savvy readers, you need to know the specs. The Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 features a large 1.0-type Exmor R CMOS sensor with 20.2 effective megapixels. You can enjoy sumptuous, ultra-low noise images – even indoors or at dusk when many cameras and camera phones seem to struggle. It’s simple to frame shots and tweak camera settings like aperture control and exposure compensation as well as photo/video record mode on your smartphone’s big touchscreen. You now get more creative control than ever before and more than you’d ever get with your phone’s regular camera enabling the user to capture beautifully background defocussed shots. Everything’s easily accessible, with extra dedicated keys for fingertip control of zoom and shutter release on the camera body. The DSC-QX100 is also teamed with a wide-aperture Carl Zeiss Vario- Sonnar T lens with 3.6x optical zoom with Optical SteadyShot giving all the picture quality you’d expect from a premium pocket camera. For those, who might be new to the photographic world, or want something a little less complicated, then you can try the QX10. Cost wise, for QX10, you’re looking at around $299.00 and for the QX100, $599.00 (Sony’s current prices).

The QX100 is a smart, pocket size answer to getting high quality images. If you’re wanting to capture the perfect selfie, the delicious meal you’ve had or beautiful holiday snaps, the QX100 can allow you to do so with ease. I must admit, it does take a while to get around using the lens and then your smartphone as the viewfinder, but once mastered, you won’t ever look back. This video, gives you a sense of how you can actually use your QX100 out and about.

I am so excited to share with you more photos and videos, where I can now use my QX100. It going to make blogging so much more exciting and a little easier. I would love to know if anyone out there has the QX100, and how they are finding it, or if they have any tips or tricks? If you’re looking for a new camera, then I would strongly suggest the QX range. Snap happy and live a little!


The Annual Shine & Dine 2014

Shine&Dine_master_cmyk_MASTER I am super excited to announce that once again I am involved in The Annual Shine & Dine 2014, as their official red carpet presenter! Last year was truly a memorable evening. Hundreds of glamarous guests turned up to the very glitzy Doltone House to be treated to a beautiful three course meal, spectacular entertainment and an array of surprises, all whilst raising thousands of dollars, for Make-A-Wish Australia.  Here are some snaps from last year:

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The Annual Shine & Dine team have made a conscious effort to make the event, bigger and better than last year. We’re aiming to raise $100,000 on the night, doubling our efforts from 2013. Happening on Friday 13th June, from 7.00pm. Guests will be treated to a night of luxury. Hosted by radio and television personality Sami Lukis. You’ll be treated to a red carpet entrance, entertainment from talent including Casey Burgess and Mis Joelle, a decedent three course meal, a range of drinks, silent and live auctions, a few suprises and the chance to win a stunning 2.03 carat ring from sponsors House of K’Dor. How? By purchasing a ‘Wishing Key’ for $100.00 on the night. If you’re the lucky owner of the key than can unlock the box, then you will be the proud owner of the beautiful ring!

   Not only are you going to have a night to remember, every dollar raised on the night goes to Make-A-Wish Australia, a wonderful charity granting wishes and providing hope and joy to children and families who are need. You will also get to witness the efforts of Make-A-Wish Australia on the night. Six year old Brianna, pictured below has been diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia. The beautiful Brianna and her family will be attending The Annual Shine & Dine this year and on this very special night, she will have her wish, of having a holiday on the Gold Coast to visit the theme parks, granted. It will certainly be a magical moment.

Beautiful Brianna.

Beautiful Brianna.

I am truly blessed to be involved in such a wonderful cause, so please please please come along – I will be interviewing guests on the red carpet, so make sure you come and say hi! The perfect excuse for you to get glammed up and enjoy a wonderful night out, whilst changing peoples lives. Let’s make a difference together.


uTaste – the gourmet deliverers!

How wonderful is cooking? Actually, let me rephrase that – once you’ve done all the cooking, how wonderful is eating? I have been entertaining quite a lot recently and love to provide my guests with delicious meals and snacks. I love to be able to support local businesses and producers, so when I do go shopping, I am always on the hunt for ethically produced, great tasting food, that I am and my guests are going to love..

If you’re a foodie like me, then you will squeal with delight at what I have stumbled across. I was recently introduced to uTaste, a monthly delivery service that connects you with delicious gourmet food products. From gourmet producers of chocolates, wines, macarons, coffee, teas, savory snacks, sauces and whatever else, your uTaste box will be beautifully packaged up and sent to you each month for just $29.00 (plus $5.50 for shipping).

I was sent my first ever uTaste box and was so excited to open it up and see what was inside!


Baylies of Strathalbyn | Rosemary Lavash
Situated in the idylic country setting of rural South Australia, Baylies of Strathalbyn produce quality gourmet products using the finest fruit, flour, wine and brandy South Australia has to offer. Partner these traditional Southern European crackers with cheese and dip.


Gourmet Lovers | EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar
Gourmet Lovers provide premium quality Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). This product has an aromatic flavour with a sweet taste and is perfect served with fresh crusty bread or a delicious and easy salad dressing!

Padre Coffee | Honduras Jose Marel Portillo
Padre Coffee was born in Brunswick back in 2008. This blend, named for the farmer that produces it, the Jose Marel is a sweet, well-balanced and complex cup with notes of honey and florals. Clean acidity and a creamy body lead to a caramel finish.

Morish | Savoury Nibbles
Hand crafted confectionary, produced to a traditional family recipe, using premium Australian produce. The Savoury Nibbles include dry roasted Australian macadamias and cashews dusted with organically farmed salt, blended with oven baked pretzels. Ideal with your favourite drink! 

Aurelio | Basilico Pasta Sauce
The Basilico Pasta by Aurelio combines traditional Italian ingredients to ensure a classic rich Italian taste. Delicious with pasta or perfect for a bolognese sauce.

Melbourne City Rooftop Honey | Honey Test Tube ‘Stinger’ 
Melbourne City Rooftop Honey are bee keepers with the vision of bringing bees back to the city and suburbs of Melbourne. These test tube ‘stingers’ are the perfect taster of their delicious honey.

How gorgeous does all the products look? I cannot wait to tuck into them! And I bet you’re asking, how do I get my hands on a uTaste box? Well, firstly you need to head to, a website that allows you to shop for beautiful products and decide when you want it delivered (weekly or monthly). The uTaste box, is under Food or you can find it here. Then all you need to do, is sit back, relax and wait for your delivery! Easy peasy! You can also organise a special gift for friends and family through Good 44 too.

So go on, live a little and live gourmet! Bon appetit!


It’s time to get real with Carefree

Periods and vaginas. Two words that make most of us squirm. Yet, when you think about it, there are nearly 12 million females living in Australia alone, that either will be getting, are having or have had their own experience with their period. Despite it being one of the most natural bodily functions for women across the globe, it still seems to be frustratingly taboo. Why is this though? Why do we as women, feel ashamed by something that we cannot change?

Just over a week ago, I attended an all womens breakfast, hosted by Carefree Australia and the ever amazing Dr Ginni Mansberg. I was lucky enough to meet Dr Mansberg at another health event, where we discussed the taboo of ‘sex’. You can read about it here. Dr Mansberg is an incredible figure, who you would most notably recognise as the female doctor for the Embarrassing Bodies Down Under series. She is a practicing GP and in particular, womens health. It was wonderful to hear her speak again and shed some light on the many misconceptions that women have around their period.

At the breakfast, we were encouraged to discuss openly any issues or questions we had about periods, menstrual health, vaginas or even tampon use. It was so refreshing to be able to speak so freely about a topic that I find even sharing with friends, can be an uncomfortable experience. What shocked me was that women described their friends as ‘vulgar’, ‘crude’, ’embarrassing’ and even ‘weird’ that spoke with them about their period (based on Carefree’s research). These words have such a negative connotation, despite the fact that we, as women, share the exact same experience, every single month.

Another area that was shocking, was the many misconceptions around tampon use. 26% of women still believe that a tampon can get lost inside you and 47% women believe that you can only wear a tampon for four hours – wrong, they can be worn unto 8! And finally, 75% of women choose not to wear a tampon at night for fear of Toxic Shock Sydnrome. Dr Mansberg explains, “It is a condition, but extremely rare. Despite an enormous amount of research, there have been no studies which have shown that wearing tampons for up to eight hours – day or night – raises the risk of TSS”.

In response to this, Carefree have done two things, they launched their night time claim with their existing ‘Flexia Tampon’ and  recently launched their ‘Be Real’ campaign. I never thought I would be sharing my thoughts on tampons on the blog, but hey ho, there is always a first! The ‘Flexia’ has been designed to be able to be worn at night, and as we learnt that many women didn’t know that they even could! What is fantastic about the ‘Flexia’, is the winged design. Carefree had added innovative SoftFold® wings technology to their tampon design meaning they draw fluid into the core, catching fluid that other tampons miss, so there’s less likelihood of a leakage. So you can have a restful nights sleep with out a worry.

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As a mentioned before, Carefree also launched their ‘Be Real’ campaign, shedding a light on the issue of periods, putting it out there in the open and encouraging women to speak freely about their experiences. As I’ve learnt, so many women have misconceptions and misunderstandings when it comes to their periods and especially tampon usage. I am sure you have seen their recent television commercial (which is certainly causing a stir). If you haven’t seen it, view it below:

What do you think? As a female viewer, can you relate, or do you think it’s pushing the boat too far? Perhaps you’re a male viewer, so what are your thoughts? The main aim by Carefree is to open up the conversation and ‘get real’ about periods, do you think this could ignite the conversation? Carefree are encouraging conversation beyond the television ad, especially on their Facebook page. But obviously many women are still very embarrassed, so for those women out there, who are a little more private, if you have any questions about your period, you can ask them here and they will be answered by a professional.

Do you think this sort of campaign is a game changer? Can we break down those barriers? Can we alter the statistics? Menstrual health is something that has been so badly marketed in the past, that we have created these misconceptions and misunderstandings. In some religious societies to this day, women who have their period are considered ‘unclean’ and are marked, so the whole of their social circle know. We need a ‘earthquake shaking’ shift surrounding the issue of periods – and not just amongst women. Men, boys, perhaps even children need to be educated. It’s about getting real about the situation. And I think that Carefree are doing a fantastic job about getting the topic out there in the open and starting the shift. But realistically, the education needs to go beyond women, to the whole of society, before we start to see really start to see a momentous change. Period (don’t mind the pun).

#bereal #becarefree