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Orange & the Country

Last week I celebrated my first Aussie style birthday out in the wine country and it was unbelievably beautiful! Waking up to the wildlife, uninterrupted green meadows, delicious food, beautiful wine …. Such decadence.   

Here are some my favourite beautiful moments … 

Always excitable on the morning of; Can you tell, I love my birthday? It’s my day… to thank the universe for what has been and for the amazing adventures yet to come. 

Our heavenly cottage …  

I could just sit here all day, staring at mother nature in all of her glory! 

Exploring the ‘bush’ 

Following the gorge trail….

The locals  (check out Marshmallow the white kangaroo)

The wine country…

Orange is the New Black!

I love wearing bright fun colours, it honestly brightens up my day. Specially days when it’s overcast and cold, why would you want to wear boring dull colours?

My Precious…. And ofcourse talking about bright colours here’s my cutest little birthday present! The new “Miss Sicily” SS2014 Dolce & Gabbana

And finally, winter wood fires & wine… a beautiful way to end a gorgeous day… 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures xx

Random Acts of Kindness…

Killings, kidnappings, airplane crashes, drowning, massacres – no, I am not talking about ‘The Expendables’ this is the news everyday! I’ve pretty much banned myself from watching the news now, because the news channels make everything sound so dramatic and I don’t even know what is real anymore. Isn’t it sad how we all “ooh” and “ahh” about a current news item and then it’s immediately forgotten when we move on to the next ‘current’ issue. 

Right! Enough of venting, it’s nothing we all already don’t know about. And although there is so much pain and sadness in the world right now, we must recognize there is also kindness and beauty in the world.

Everyone talks about how immune we’ve become to bad news and part of me does agree, but I also believe there are a lot of us now looking for deeper meaning not just in our lives but in everything we do. And I’ve met a few people recently who are seeking quality in their life through inner peace, positivity, compassion and courage.

The more I talk to people the more I realize it’s not the big gestures of charity that makes people stop and smile, but the little random acts of kindness when you don’t even expect it, that really makes all the difference. 

Here are some stories, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, some are personal and some are borrowed from friends and people around me, who have been kind enough to share.   

-   A few months ago I was browsing through the Sunday market at the Arts Precinct. I started up a conversation with a couple selling their homemade Indian spiced curry powders. I picked up a few and when I got to paying them, they said it was a gift, because I had just moved to Melbourne. They said, don’t thank us for our kindness just pass it on. Thank you Claudette & Raymond from No Worries Curries!! 

- Sarah’s 70 year old mum is travelling with her oldest best friend on a tour through Europe in a few months. Her friend has just upgraded the both of them to business class all the way. Her reason, I want to enjoy business class, and I’d rather enjoy it with my best friend!

- On their first trip abroad, my friends were a bit lost in maze of the London subway. A stranger went out of his way to guide them to their train on a completely different platform, at a different part of the subway. (Who says people in big cities don’t help?!)

- Yesterday I saw a teenager running to get the tram as he bumped pass me without much of a sorry. Just as I was grumbling to myself, he slowed down, stopped and helped an old lady who was struggling with her walker, walk down the raised platform. Of course he was immediately forgiven for bump!

- A lady in Dubai, has 4 stray cats, 2 stray dogs, a few birds, rabbits and a turtle – all rescued from all over the Emirates! Even though her home pretty much feels like a zoo now, she cannot bear to leave an animal for dead in the heat. 

- I had just flown into Paris and taken a train into the city during rush hour! Just my luck the escalators were out of order and I was struggling with my bags up the stairs. A complete stranger smiled and said, “let me help you”. He just carried my (very heavy) bags up the stairs, smiled, waved and walked away! 

- My friend’s little girl was in the mall when she dropped her ice cream all over herself, as we would all do at the age of 4 she started crying her eyes out. As her mum tried to calm her down, another little girl came up to her, possibly younger, gave her a candy and a kiss… kids, they show us how easy it is no?  

- Megan, a friend from work had a flat tire, and as you would have it, it was when she was all dressed up for a few important meetings she had that day. A passerby stopped and helped her change her tire, just like that…. 

Isn’t it just amazing, that random acts of kindness however small can bring so much joy to someone? What are you going to do today? xx

Talking Corporate…

As women we’ve come a long way from having to wear power suits with big shoulder pads and almost having to pretend to be a man at the workplace. I love the fact that we’ve now got powerful women running global organisations and not being afraid to dress like a woman.  Marissa Myer (Yahoo CEO) has always stood out for me because she is not afraid to show off her femininity and introduce some style and colour into the boardroom.

I get a lot of questions about dressing at work – so I’ve decided to feature women on the blog who I think really stand out for stylish powerful dressing. 

Here’s a lady who has always got my attention, someone who is not afraid to wear colour at work and who always looks impeccable and stylish. 

Meet the gorgeous Veronica Munro, executive coach and fellow entrepreneur.

Veronica describes her style as smart with a little bit of edge. She loves clean lines and single block colours. Moving to Dubai from London, she says she had to change her wardrobe a little bit to accommodate the climate change!  She swapped her pant suits for easy to wear dresses, fitted and slightly above knees. She always carries a pashmina or a small fitted jacket, you might just need to smarten up or also get warm in the office! 

I asked Veronica if during her career she ever felt pressured to dress in a certain way and she says no. However, she did share an embarrassing recent incident, where she was consulting with an oil company and was not allowed in the building because she was wearing a dress! She was asked to cover her arms and legs before she could walk in. A lesson learnt she says! Always to double check dress code especially if you are travelling through the Middle East or a new country for that matter – don’t just assume you can walk up in a dress or skirt. 

With years of experience working with senior executives I asked V what advice she would give young ladies starting out in corporate. Here are some of her tips:

-Always dress up, smarter than you think you need to. You never know who you meet that day!

-Even if the company has a dress down / causal Fridays policy – Dress Smart.

- Always wear a smart pair of shoes. They don’t need to be expensive – just smart, clean and fresh looking.

-Stand tall. Posture and pace are key, not just the clothes you wear!!

Isn’t she just fabulous?! V is a great testament that you don’t have to be a 20 something to stand out and look your best. I’ve always said we women just get better with age….

Thank you V for those beautiful pictures and here’s to you looking incredible always xxx 

Me in the City ..

Hey Everyone,

I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I’ve been a little busy moving homes and settling in…

Melbourne is such a beautiful city and the more I discover, the more I fall in love with it.

I thought today I would share with you some pictures I’ve taken over the past months in and around Melbourne.

If you don’t already know, Melbourne weather is totally unpredictable. When we first moved here people told us that Melbourne had ‘5 seasons in one day’ – now I BELEIVE!  Seriously, it could start with a wet morning and go on to be a bright beautiful sunny day only to get windy later and then to freezing temperatures at night! So here are some outfits and styles from the last few months from summer wear to winter woollies!

Kisses from Beautiful Melbourne xxx 

Feng Shui of the Mind..

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” ― Mother Teresa

Are you always running around with too much do, not just at work but on weekends and holidays too? Is there always a never ending mental checklist constantly nagging somewhere at the back of your mind; Like, when you’re having a conversation with someone, or watching tv, eating, working or even just lying in bed ‘trying’ to sleep. A constant traffic jam..

Sometimes I felt like I had several conversations going on at the same time, IN MY HEAD!!

Tiresome, isn’t it? Then I found a word that gave me clarity. It was like as if I could shut out everything and live in that one moment and focus. 

Mindfulness.

Over the years I’ve prided myself on being a multi-tasker, someone who can juggle different tasks at one time. And in a corporate world the word ‘multi-tasker’ really rocks doesn’t it? I would get a lot done only to find that I have so much more on and nothing ever seemed to end.  I would wake up in the middle of the night to write down things on my to-do lists! Although I was hugely successful at what I did and always met deadlines and such, I found that my mind was always buzzing and could never be still even when I was getting my favourite spa treatments! 

Mindfulness

To me, it means giving your full attention to here and now. It’s means living in a moment and enjoying that moment for what it is. So if I am eating, I practice mindfulness, I savour every delicious bite. I have started this ritual of closing my eyes and letting my senses take over when I take the first bite of my food. It’s my way of thanking the universe for that delicious sensation and the plate of decadence in front of me.

Mindfulness.

It’s when I am talking to my friends or my loved ones and giving them my 100% attention. Even if it’s on Skype or on the telephone, if I have committed 15 minutes to that conversation, they have my complete and total attention.  It means not checking my phone every 5 minutes. Which was an annoying habit that even annoyed me.. and yet I kept doing it??!!!

Mindfulness.

It means completing each task everyday COMPLETELY. Because, it’s the half finished tasks that nag you in the back of your mind when you are trying to shut off and go to sleep.

Mindfulness.

It means making a list of ALL the un-finished business in your life – like, re-arranging that cupboard, or calling that friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile, or fixing the heel of the shoe, or paying your credit card bill, or sitting down with your financial planner, or arranging your holiday photos, or just organising your underwear drawer!!  Just make the list and tick each one off every weekend and see how that white noise just dies down…

Mindfulness.

Its making time for yourself. To enjoy yourself.  Enjoy a little bit of quite time and be mindful about the good things in your life; your family, your friends, your work, your health, your cat, your dog, if your anything like me – your shoes & bags! Yes, you can be mindful about all of the things that make you happy and take time to appreciate it and just say thank you to the universe.

Mindfulness.

It’s my favourite word now.  I have  to keep reminding myself when I am ‘multi-tasking’ to stop and focus. It’s challenging everyday and I put it into practise everyday… it’s a been a slow process, and I am being mindful to give myself a chance to change slowly, and to do things right. 

Here’s  to those funny voices in our heads and to quietening them down..  xx 

Treasures of Old…

For those of you following my blog, you must already know of my love for Vintage. It started with jewellery and clothes from the great fashion houses of old and has now even ventured to furniture and cutlery!

I love wandering around Melbourne discovering handsome little treasures. Recently a friend introduced me to a real hidden gem with incredible vintage fashion, but more on this little find in my next blog (watch this space). 

My love affair really began when I met the lovely Lynda Kirby in Dubai who introduced me to a whole new world of vintage styles. I have some amazing memories at Audrey’s Cat (Lynda’s vintage closet) where I scored some incredibly beautiful pieces of art that I will treasure forever …

Here are some of my favourite vintage pieces from Audrey’s Cat.

"Vendome" USA Collectable Vintage Set Russian Gold base, Coloured Rhinestones

Vendome is a high end line produced by the Coro Jewellery Company. Beautiful costume jewellery produced between1944 to 1979.  Did you know the Vendome line was named after a fashionable street in Paris that was home to many beautiful fashion houses? A real collectors item this. 

1960’s Rainbow glass pin

Lynda was on a mission to get me to start wearing pins. This was my very first and I have never looked back since. Now, they just finish off my formal wear with elegance… adding some bling to my corporate look. Here I’ve just added bling to my turban for a real Maharajah look! 

1950’s Black/Pink Rhinestones, 5 Chains

After the retro 1940’s jewellery styles, the 1950’s developed it’s own styles with multi strand beaded necklaces. 

1950’s Clear Rhinestone Necklace & Clip on Rhinestone Clear Earrings

Rhinestone jewellery was inexpensive costume jewellery, something the middle classes could afford. This is not just any costume jewellery that you can get in shops today; this is true beautiful workmanship, colourful, stylish and totally unique.

 

1950’s Clip on Blue Rhinestones

I am a fan of Rhinestones because they have a striking sparkling effect… a brilliance that just can’t be ignored. 

1960’s “Christian Dior” Earrings, Glass & Gold Feature

Christian Dior was probably one of the 20th century’s most elegant and luxurious designers. Did you know that after his death in 1958 Yves Saint Laurent became the head designer at Dior? Vintage pieces from the house of fashion that’s synonyms with luxury and indulgence is definitely a keeper wouldn’t you say? 

So now you see why I love vintage; it’s not just another beautiful piece of jewellery it’s totally exceptional.

It’s YOUR very own beautiful piece of history; that you will pass down some day and become a part of it’s history….. xx 

A Stylish Evening…

A few days ago I was invited to a ‘stylish evening’ at Melbourne’s beautiful Park Hyatt. The event is called ‘Style by Wesson’ presented by the iconic Wesson that prides itself on a personalized shopping experience.

To start with, the Park Hyatt definitely ticks all the boxes for a 5 star exclusive evening. I am greeted with champagne and some amazing views of the city from the top floor, but what catches my eye, are the rows of gorgeous outfits just waiting to be picked and tried on. There’s everything from Patrizia Pepe, Just Cavalli, Missoni, Boss, High, and so much more… a fashionista’s dream come true!!

My partner in crime and stylist for the evening, the amazing Helen Robinett and I have decided to pick two of our favourite outfits to share with you on the blog today. 

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Girls evening out…. Didn’t I say looking great is not a luxury? You can look great at any age, and Helen is a fabulous testament to this.  We’ve created two evening looks that you could be comfortable in and on trend at a stylish evening, anywhere in the world. 

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All things Shiny: Helen has chosen Hugo Boss Leather Leggings and Jacket, a Piazza Sempione Lime knit and Hugo Boss Shoes & bag. She looks absolutely chic and fun, ready to party the night away.  “I’m not a huge fan of wearing black” Helen says (very funny coming from a Melbourne girl, eh?) “But the sequins are fun and I love the contrast of putting it back with a casual knit.”   

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Sexy & Comfortable: Helen says she’s never had leather leggings feel so comfortable, and the lime knit with sparkles just screams fun. She dazzles in her little ensemble, I specially love the touch of Metallic with that Boss clutch. 

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Romantically Feminine:  I choose a beautifully cut elegant Red Valentino. I am going romantic with the gorgeous lace detail and the funky Thoxa necklace. The Necklace comes with the sequinned collar and superbly compliments this gorgeous dress.  The lace and the cut of the dress makes me feel so very feminine; and is so versatile, perfect for a romantic date night or work dinner or as a meet the parents outfit! 

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Make room in the Boardroom.. From that fun evening look to Classic Corporate. Helen’s definitely no stranger to the boardroom, from her previous life “I feel like I can achieve anything in this outfit” Very powerful yet has the fun element with the striking colourful jacket, reflecting Helen’s personality. 

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The Stylish Boss Lady: You have to love the innovation of colour in the jacket and the lining has animal print which is Just Cavalli! Helen’s teamed the jacket with Boss Black Ponte skirt and Patriza Pepe Cami.  The jacket just pulls this entire look together and finishes off with Boss shoes and bag.  

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Making a statement… Showing off your personality in your wardrobe is so important, so of course I pick this statement Just Cavalli Spring Summer Jersey dress. It’s sexy, dramatic and elegant…all wrapped in one.  You can take this outfit from day-time chic to evening drinks with no effort at all.  The jersey dress is perfect for a full hour-glass like me. It’s fitted to show off your curves yet totally comfortable and easy to wear. Cavalli dresses are definitely made for women with curves… love em’.  

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That Investment Piece: The Patrizia Pepe coat is a stunner, that colour just took my breath away. Perfect for Autumn or Spring, this coat will make sure you stand out in a sea of black and brown coats. A definite investment piece for your wardrobe that you will never tire of!

The photoshoot, the bubbles, the clothes, the laughs, where’s the time gone?! It’s time to wrap up and for Helen to go back to her clients, where she gives them a complete personalized service at the event. I already know what I want to grab off the rails … There are only a few sizes in a each piece, so if you are interested in attending any of the events, please go to www.wesson.com.au or contact helen@helenrobinett.com

Style by Wesson will be in Sydney 26th & 27th May & Perth on the 5th & 6th June.  Spoil yourself at this exclusive fashion evening.

Hope you enjoyed the stylish post … Until next time xxx

Everyday Heroes..

“The difference between Impossible and Possible is a persons’ determination” – Tommy Lasorda

I love writing about the wonderful and inspirational people I meet in my life. I believe it’s the little wins that makes us everyday Heroes, don’t you?

I met a bubbly and friendly Wasabi (yes that’s her name!) the first day I signed up for the gym in my new home & city of Melbourne.  The first thing that struck me is how toned and muscular she was. She tells me, she’s training to be a ‘personal trainer’.  I am not surprised because she definitely looks the part. 

I see her often at the gym and I am secretly envious of that completely toned body, knowing that I would have work 10 times harder if I ever want to get that way. Why does it have to be so hard!! It’s just easier for some people I console myself  (yeah right!)

It was only a few days ago Wasabi shared this picture with me…. I asked her who that was, and she laughs, that bubbly infectious laugh, “that me!!” she says.  My jaw dropped, “No way” I tell her, it doesn’t look anything like her!!! 

 

This, my friends is pure determination. Wasabi went from a size 14 to a size 8.  And no, she’s not obsessed about loosing weight or getting skinny, she just wanted to get fit.  She trains dedicatedly and sincerely, she knows she wants to be a personal trainer and she’s just going for it.  Wasabi dropped fat and gained muscle … she trains hard and pushes herself to be the best she can be.   No excuses, she just gets on with it and loves what she does. 

I had to really convince Wasabi to send me this picture to share it with you guys. I tell her she could be an inspiration to others who not just want to loose weight, but those who want to go on and achieve their dreams, whatever that may be. Sometimes we just need to see other ‘normal people’ doing it before we believe WE CAN too! 

I think this is an amazing story of a young girl who just wanted to make a change in her life and was determined enough to go for it.  She inspired me… and I am sure her willpower inspires you too..  Here’s wishing Wasabi the very best with her PT training xx 

To Mum with Love … x

“Clarity and focus doesn’t always come from God or inspirational quotes. Usually it takes your mother to slap the reality back into you.” – Shanon Alder

Here are some messages straight from the heart to the HEROINE of our lives.

Mum & Me

I wasn’t the easiest of teens, there were plenty of tears and screams. And today a big part of who I am I owe to my mum; her patience, her ‘rules’ and her love.  My love affair with style started when I was 2 because of her… she always let me pick my clothes and play dress up.  Happy to always stay in the shadows and let me shine on…. thank you Ma for everything… my life.  Love Ingy xx

Sammy’s Mum, Nana & beautiful Alya

Happy Mothers and Grandmother Day!! Thank you helping me raise Alya with loads of love & laughter! You are my inspiration xx   Sammy.

Mark & Mum

Mum- I take this opportunity to thank you for help shaping the person I am today. Your wisdom, kindness and generosity never goes unnoticed. So today I thank you, and all the Mum’s out there for being the “super women” that you are. Mark xx

                     

Charlotte & Mum

I am Thankful for countless blessings & miracles that have touched my everyday life to make me into the woman I am today… nothing compares to the blessing of my first breath in your arms. Happy Mothers Day Ma!  Charl 

                    

                    

Rach & Mum

Dear Mum,

It’s not just today, it’s all of my yesterday’s, tomorrow’s and right here in this moment that I know what an angel person you are. You have taught me how to be the best person I can be and to share the light and love unconditionally with everyone else!! You have also taught me taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster……it’s more like CHA CHA  That is a gift I can never thank you enough for. I love you with all my heart. Your daughter Rach X

Kris & Mum

My mother has always been supportive, ready to listen and cheer me on in all of life’s adventures and as I grew older a best friend who is always there. Now that I am preparing to become a mother myself I hope that I can be as inspiring to my children as she is to me. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing woman to call mom!  Kris 

Samia & Mum

Even though I’ve been living away from home for over eight new years now, each and every time I say goodbye to my Mumma at the airport, I cry like a child, who got sent to bed with no dinner. Mum, you are the most extraordinary woman I know. Happy Mother’s Day. Samia 

 

Becks ,Mum & Brad

You are one smoking hot mother both gorgeous inside and out.  You have always been the best  friend to have, so loyal, warm and caring and an incredible mother to me. I love you more than these words can explain. You are so special to me and I love you soooo much!! Happy Mother’s Day mother. Have fun rocking that retirement world! Becks 

Sarah & Mum

My Mum is the kindest, most generous loving person, she is my best friend.  She is also the worlds greatest Grandma (YaYa) and I don’t know where we would be without her.  She has also taught me a lot about being a mum, greatest most exhausting job in the world.  Love you mum xxxx Sarah 

Shane & Mum

From one of our numerous holidays travelling the world - Pattaya, Thailand 2006. Taking the time to show her the world is but a drop in the ocean for the time she spent showing me life….I love you mama. Shane

#HappyMothersDay from all of us to all of the Mothers everywhere xx

Heads on Style…

“Glamour is all about CONFIDENCE & really OWNING the look” -  Monique Lhuiller

Braids, buns, curls, waves… choices are endless when you have a beautiful long mane! With my short hair, well, there’s only so much I can do and style it to. Although I love my pixie, sometimes I miss being able to experiment with different styles……… so I choose to go funky with headpieces.  

Headpieces are nothing new of course; they’ve been around for centuries, from the magnificent Cleopatra (or what we’ve romanticized her to be) to the art deco period. Now it’s back with style statements from ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Great Gatsby’ driving us straight into vintage stores! 

For me this accessory just adds a bit of glamour to whatever I am wearing, in a quirky sort of way.  I love adding a touch of classic charm sometimes, and when I do I keep the rest of my jewellery quite minimal.

I think the headpiece hints of something quite romantically feminine, don’t you?

Here are some of my ‘art deco’ headpieces inspired moments …  

Old Hollywood Charm… Oh so 50’s!

Greek goddess inspired … 

Vintage Glam all the way… 

Dinner & Movie … date night casual (sparkles!!)

Show Stopper … Nothing else matters..

Hope I’ve left you inspired to try on headpieces the next time you want to glam up your look xxx

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