New York : Soho

For the second half of my trip to NYC we moved to an apartment in SoHo. Moving to Soho was a complete game changer for me and made me fall in love with this city even more. It's so hard to describe the feeling, maybe that's exactly what it was, just a feeling.

Soho has so much to offer - shopping, eating, drinking, art - you name it, it has it.

This is a great map showing the neighbourhoods because I think unless you've been to NYC it is hard to understand how Manhattan actually works! So you can see that Soho is in Lower Manahattan.

This is a great map showing the neighbourhoods because I think unless you've been to NYC it is hard to understand how Manhattan actually works! So you can see that Soho is in Lower Manahattan.

So a little brief history about Soho - the name, SoHo means South of Houston (the street) and is also known as the cast iron district as it has the most beautiful collection of cast iron architecture in the world. Most of the cast iron facades where created between 1840 to 1880 and were initially used as decorative frontage over existing buildings. At the time it was a much cheaper material to use as opposed to stone and brick. Fortunately many of those cast iron facades remain in tact today and make this neighbourhood so beautiful and unique.

Corner of Prince and Mulberry Streets which on the weekend had great little market stalls along the street.

Crossing over Broadway

Crossing over Broadway

Due to the open, loft like spaces inside the old buildings in SoHo, the 70's attracted many artists to work in the area due to the space, the lighting and (at the time) low rents. In 1971 it was passed that artist could legally live and work in their lofts, as originally the buildings weren't fit for residential living. It wasn't until 2005 that residential buildings where built in the area and hence saw an influx of more affluent residents (and a huge increase in rents!)

All luxury and designer brands are scattered around Soho too, this one here is Saint Laurent at 80 Greene Street

All luxury and designer brands are scattered around Soho too, this one here is Saint Laurent at 80 Greene Street

We walked past and had to pop in just to have a look. In my opinion not what I thought their boutiques would be, it was borderline tacky and not an amazing retail experience in Soho. Sorry Kardashian fans.

We walked past and had to pop in just to have a look. In my opinion not what I thought their boutiques would be, it was borderline tacky and not an amazing retail experience in Soho. Sorry Kardashian fans.

Today many artists and art galleries have left SoHo, rents have increased significantly and big commercialised shopping is prevelant.

So why did I love Soho ... it's just the feeling! Beautiful streets to just wander around with many of them still cobbled streets, unique architecture, one off boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars galore. The people with effortless style, it almost felt they never left their neighbourhood - they didn't have too. We stayed in a brilliant  location Corner of Elizabeth and Prince Streets. The street names you want to remember when visiting Soho are Prince, Spring, Greene, Crosby and Wooster.

The view from our apartment kitchen. It was super early in the morning but through the day and into the night these streets were nice and full with the restaurants open and buzzing.

The view from our apartment kitchen. It was super early in the morning but through the day and into the night these streets were nice and full with the restaurants open and buzzing.

My favourites in Soho were :

McNALLY JACKSON BOOKS

52 Prince Street

Oh I fell in love with this little bookstore. Was it the books? The Stumptown coffee? The interiors? Yes to all of the above! One thing I wanted to do whilst in NY was find a regular local spot where I could go daily and grab my coffee and I found it in McNally Jackson Books! I would go here often and sit with a coffee and my new book (#GIRLBOSS - if you haven't read it, please do, Sophia Amoruso rocks) and be a temporary local!

The lights have been created with what else - books!

The lights have been created with what else - books!

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The walls were lined with pages from books and the little tables are like old school desks that you unclip and place back up when done. Such a great idea.

The walls were lined with pages from books and the little tables are like old school desks that you unclip and place back up when done. Such a great idea.

PROENZA SCHOULER

121 Greene Street

What a luxey shopping experience! Proenza Schouler is deceiving from the outside but as you enter it all changes. Normal first floor but then hit the back of the store and it opens onto a very cool staircase that leads down to more shopping area. It's like a little oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle.

ELIZABETH STREET GARDENS

Elizabeth Street, between Prince & Spring Streets

Stumbled upon this little spot late one night when it was closed. So I made sure to venture back to the Elizabeth Street Gardens and see what this was all about. So glad I did, it was a weekend day, gorgeous weather and there were people sitting around the garden in the shade chatting, reading and taking in the musician who was playing their guitar. It was just gorgeous.

MIN NEW YORK

117 Crosby Street

My dear friend Clayton over at What Men Should Smell Like recommended we visit Min New York in Soho because one of the girls was on the hunt for her favourite fragrance. It you love all sorts of scents or enjoy looking at retail interiors, pop into Min to explore. The ambience of the boutique sang to all the senses, not just smell. Naturally I loved the interior it was so .... Soho!

JONATHAN ADLER

53 Greene Street

I have waited such a long time to visit a JonathanAdler store and I am so happy to say his Soho store did not disappoint. It's not a huge store but it has all the gorgeousness that Jonathan provides. And his staff were super nice and friendly.

So that's Soho, I miss it so much. Would love to know your favourte NYC hood!

 

 

all images via our little place

Fashion File - Keri Russell

Not typically a go to girl for style but Keri Russell sometimes pulls out some very cool outfits. The actress and mum of 2 definitely knows her own style and uses quite simple pieces but puts them together really well.

She's a girl after my own heart as all of the below I would wear in a heart beat, I absolutely love and it is so my style.

Classic outfit to be wondering around the streets of Brooklyn, New York in.

Classic outfit to be wondering around the streets of Brooklyn, New York in.

Not usually a fan of white pumps but these Loubutin's work really well with the jeans, white tee and leather jacket option. Talk about travelling in style.

Not usually a fan of white pumps but these Loubutin's work really well with the jeans, white tee and leather jacket option. Talk about travelling in style.

Love this look, note to self get leather mini skirt!

Love this look, note to self get leather mini skirt!

I;m sorry but all white! Who can pull off an all white outfit and look great - Keri can!

I;m sorry but all white! Who can pull off an all white outfit and look great - Keri can!

Here's the leather mini again paired with a stripe top and pointy pumps - yes please!

Here's the leather mini again paired with a stripe top and pointy pumps - yes please!

Again pulling off an all white Chloe look, lovely.

Again pulling off an all white Chloe look, lovely.

This is my absolute favourite and something I would definitely wear. Everything is perfect her hair and makeup work so well with the Nina Ricci top and skinny pant finished with a perfect pointy pump.

This is my absolute favourite and something I would definitely wear. Everything is perfect her hair and makeup work so well with the Nina Ricci top and skinny pant finished with a perfect pointy pump.

She's come a long way from her Felicity days, don't you think?

 

Oh and if you haven't seen the movie "August Rush" which Keri filmed in 2007, you should watch. It's such a beautiful film ... but that's just my opinion :)

Home Tour - Laura Santos

She's fairly new to the interior design scene but by the looks of Laura Santos's own New York townhouse, she's definitely found her calling.

Located in the adorable Greenwich Village, Laura and her husband purchased two townhouses next to each other and undertook a huge renovation to make them into one 5 story family home.

The home consists of a strong mix of furnishings and fabrics.

Gorgeous living room with double height ceilings and luxe furnishings

Gorgeous living room with double height ceilings and luxe furnishings

The kitchen that opens out onto the courtyard ... love the dining table

The kitchen that opens out onto the courtyard ... love the dining table

The Landing

The Landing

The Master Suite kept very light and bright

The Master Suite kept very light and bright

Dressing Area

Dressing Area

Daughters bedroom featuring a strong wall of flowers set off by a beautiful antique bed

Daughters bedroom featuring a strong wall of flowers set off by a beautiful antique bed

Such a cool space for the kids playroom

Such a cool space for the kids playroom

Son's bedroom with great features such as the world map wallpaper and the Union Jack rug

Son's bedroom with great features such as the world map wallpaper and the Union Jack rug

This gorgeous marble and mosaic space is the steam room - seriously!

This gorgeous marble and mosaic space is the steam room - seriously!

The basement houses the pool

The basement houses the pool

Casual sitting room that also opens onto the courtyard

Casual sitting room that also opens onto the courtyard

Homeowner and designer Laura Santos

Homeowner and designer Laura Santos

 

If you'd like to read and see more visit Architectural Digest

New York : Food

food·ie

noun Slang.

a person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking.


I've never classified myself as a foodie. I eat food, yes. I have my favourite foods, yes. But I don't go on the hunt to seek out good food. I just trust my stumble upon it approach or being taken there by friends. And this is exactly what happened in New York. I was joined by two of my girlfriends for the last half of my trip and these girls love the exploration and sampling of food! I knew this before we arrived in New York but I had no idea for the food adventure I was on.

So here's my favourite picks that we tried out :

Pizza in the making

Pizza in the making

GRIMALDI'S PIZZERIA - Pizza is one of my favourite foods so when the girls suggested Grimaldi's in Brooklyn at 1 Front Street heck yeah, I'm there! I had no problem with the 40 minute wait/line up. And it did not disappoint. Grimaldi's is quite an establishment in New York with it's coal-fired brick oven which gives the pizzas a slight smokey taste and gorgeously delicious crusts.

Line ups happen nightly

Line ups happen nightly

The menu is simple - just pizza and you choose your traditional toppings, you can't get a slice, only a full pizza, you have to pay cash and they don't take reservations. This is old school!

Best pizza ever

Best pizza ever

Does it look like I'm enjoying?

Does it look like I'm enjoying?

www.grimaldis.com

 

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR - Cereal milk soft serve, crack pie and pork buns were just some of the things we enjoyed at Momofuku. My favourite was the cereal milk soft serve as it reminded me of being a kid again and drinking the milk out of my cereal bowl. Great establishment but I did start to get confused as started to learn it has lots of different outlets but under the Momofuku brand. We tried these two Momofuku's - Milk Bar Midtown, 15 W 56th Street and Milk Bar East Village, Cnr 13th Street & 2nd Avenue. But there are a few in New York for you to try out.

Me and Jolene enjoying our Cereal Milk Soft Serve with corn flakes

Me and Jolene enjoying our Cereal Milk Soft Serve with corn flakes

Momofuku Milk Bar Midtown

Momofuku Milk Bar Midtown

We also dined one evening at Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village at 171 First Avenue. Super busy, but totally worth the wait even if it's just for their Singapore Sling slushie!

www.milkbarstore.com

www.momofuku.com

 

Food perfection - olives, cheese, prosciutto and bread

Food perfection - olives, cheese, prosciutto and bread

EATALY - this place was recommended to us by another friend and it did not disappoint. We dropped by Eataly not knowing what to expect one day for lunch. Located 200 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District, Eataly is an Italian market (all produce is authentic Italian) that includes a variety of restaurants, food and beverage stations, bakery and retail items. We delighted our taste buds at two of the eating spots and then grabbed Gelato as we left. The food was really good quality, fresh and just so yum. I think it's a great spot for lunch.

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My foodie companions Jolene & Cheryl

My foodie companions Jolene & Cheryl

SHAKE SHACK - great place to go if you want your burgers and hotdogs with a milkshake. Shake Shack originated from a hot dog truck in Madison Square Park and now with numerous locations is very popular place even at midnight - yes guilty we ate burgers at midnight! It's New York, don't judge.

Lot's of cheesy goodness

Lot's of cheesy goodness

MAGNOLIA BAKERY - how could I go to NYC and not visit the infamous Magnolia Bakery. Yes, that cliche spot that was featured on Season 3 of Sex and the City. It had to be done. So much so I think I did it three times! Twice at the original (and SATC store) store at 410 Bleecker Street &  W 11th Street and once at the Rockefeller Centre, 1240 Avenue of the Americas.

Another travelling / food companion, Kellie getting ready for her cupcake

Another travelling / food companion, Kellie getting ready for her cupcake

This, for me was more of a touristy must do thing. The cupcakes weren't terrible but they weren't the best I've ever had either. I'd still recommend having at least one while you're in the city.

www.magnoliabakery.com

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DOUGHNUTTERY - Actually I stumbled upon Doughnuttery and I was so proud I could contribute a little to our food hunt, even if it was a spot of sweet stuff (did I mention we love sweet stuff?). OMG these are by far the best I've ever had. They're small doughnuts and literally melt in your mouth. Just melt.

Sharing the doughnut love, we all agreed this was the food highlight

Sharing the doughnut love, we all agreed this was the food highlight

Located in the Chelsea Markets 425 W 15th Street.

www.doughnuttery.com

 

Some other places we ate to tick off the list and enjoyed include :

Chelsea Market - apart from doughnuts, lots of food choices here especially The Lobster Place

Smorgasburg - Brooklyn Bridge Park food market, huge variety of food stalls

Balthazar Restaurant - French Bistro in SoHo, great steak, good wine

Katz Delicatessan - famous location "When Harry Met Sally" and the Rubens Sandwich

The Grey Dog - enjoyed a breakfast at this cool place in SoHo, yum mac & cheese

Socarrat Nolita - Spanish, Paella Bar, the best brussels sprouts ever

Jacques 1534 - French Gastropub, dark and cosy

Junior's Restaurant - famous for their cheesecake, great quick, casual pre-show dinner in Times Square

 

And yes, when you look at all this food it doesn't look like the healthiest options. But it's not too bad either. I think this is why when I had my steak at Balthazar I shovelled in the Spinach that came with it and the brussel sprouts at Socarrat Nolita! It was all just good stuff and yes, I think I have been converted into a foodie!

Thanks for the good food time Cheryl and Jolene xx

 

 

all images via our little place

 

Living with Intention - Jenna Black @ Soul Wellness Daily

Early this year I somehow (but so, so happily) stumbled upon the website, Soul Wellness Daily and became instantly hooked. The author, Jenna Black is a holistic health coach and wellness addict and I have to add a beautiful soul. So it was only fitting that I asked her to be apart of my series, Living with Intention.


The past me

Before I dive into my intentions and my current mindset, I'd love to share my personal background as it has played a huge role in shaping who I am today.

Let me start by saying that I am a true believer in the mantra that everything happens for a reason. I whole-heartedly believe in this mantra because I have gone from being someone who didn't care much for life to someone who fully embraces every moment with gratitude and thanks!

I had a complete turn around in my attitude after coming out the other side of a very bad depression.

The thoughts, feelings and events that occurred during this time of darkness (which started in my teens and lasted a few years steadily) have truly taught me how precious life is, and how to appreciate every single day we have. The past me would have never gotten up in the morning with energy and happiness and the past me would have never appreciated the endless opportunities that life has to offer!

The present me

I have learnt so much from this dark time in my life and it has played a huge role in shaping the person I am now.

I now live with a clear intention for each day and I try to practice daily gratitude in all areas of my life. Yes, I still get days where I feel like the world is against me, but I have learnt that those moments do pass (and you can come out the other side stronger and better for it!)

For me, living with intention is something I apply differently to each key area of my life.

 

My intention to my self and my body

As a health coach and wellness blogger, I am always on the hunt for the latest nutrition and health information. I discovered my passion for nutrition and wellness a couple of years ago, so I am still unearthing new information and learning as I go.

Previously I didn’t have a great deal of love for my body or my soul. I would feel ashamed and lack the self-confidence that I so desperately sought after.

I now see my body as an amazing thing. I practice a few daily rituals to ensure I am aligned and channelling self-love:

·         Each morning I do a short yoga sequence – even if I only get in 10 minutes, this morning ritual of stretching my body prepares me for the day ahead and it also helps settle my mind.

·         I aim to eat mindfully at every meal – this means, I start by being grateful for my food and then I chew and eat slowly to really enjoy and appreciate it. This is still a work in progress as it is easy to get distracted or eat quickly, but when I do follow this practice I notice the difference in my body.

·         I choose to eat locally grown produce and organic where possible. Again, sometimes this isn’t always possible (especially living in a bustling city) but I try to seek out the best possible whole foods for my body. When we nourish our bodies with real whole foods, everything comes into alignment!

·         Each evening before bed I do a short meditation. I use a really cool app called Smiling Mind (it’s free!) and I choose one of their short meditations before going to sleep. This helps settle my mind from the busy day and prepare me for a good night’s rest. I really encourage this!

 

My intention in my career

I have just recently started my own business in wellness, so life is very busy right now for me!

When it comes to setting up and managing my own business, my key intention is to provide the very best value for my clients and readers. I believe in giving first and then receiving. I am here to guide, mentor and educate women on the power of living a healthy life, and the wonderful possibilities we all have!

After years of searching for the right type of career and never really feeling connected, I have finally realised that wellness and nutrition is the perfect career for me. When I am working with people in this industry, it doesn’t even feel like work at all.

Each day I am so grateful for working in an industry where I can help change people’s lives for the better and contribute to the new wellness movement around the world. This is what gets me up in the morning and excited to take part in life!

My intention to others and the world around me

My own personal journey through depression and into the wellness industry has really helped open my eyes to the beauty of the world and the people in it. I believe that we all have a part to play in this world and we are all responsible for making it a wonderful place.

Even on those days where life can seem overwhelming, I try to approach life with a few key intentions:

·         Treat others with kindness and leave your judgements at the door. I believe in the power of karma and in treating others with respect. And even though it can be hard to do always, I try to leave my judgements ‘at the door’ and not judge others. It only impacts negatively back on you!

·         Respect our environment. This is a huge topic but an important one. We all have a part to play in keeping this world beautiful. I try to do simple things that all make a difference – walk instead of drive, recycle, shop at the local farmers market. There are many things we can do and every step counts!

·         Above all, be grateful. At the end of the day, gratitude is the most important thing we can have in life. I treat each day as an opportunity to learn and evolve and connect with others!

 

On a final love note, I encourage all women to practice daily self-love rituals and be truly appreciative of what you have. At the end of the day, life is meant to be enjoyed - so let’s get out there and take part!

 

Jenna x

 

Blog: www.soulwellnessdaily.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soulwellnessdaily

Instagram: http://instagram.com/soulwellnessdaily

Twitter: https://twitter.com/soul_wellness

Wedding of Olivia and Johannes

Last weekend Olivia Palermo married her German beau of six and a half years, Johannes Huebl. The low key wedding took place in a quiet park in Bedford, New York with a handful of family and two friends present.

What has gained a lot of attention is what this extremely stylish lady wore on her big day. Olivia passed on a traditional wedding dress for her special day by wearing a three piece Carolina Herrera ensemble - full tulle satin and silk skirt, chic white shorts, cream cashmere sweater with a scatter of ostrich feathers. Her shoes were blue Manolo Blahnik pumps (the same Carrie wore in Sex and the City) along with Alexander Mor earrings. To finish the look, her hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail with beautiful fresh, natural make-up.

Her handsome groom Johannes looked just as stylish next to her in - Marc Anthony Hamburg suit and shirt, Chavet tie and an Etro pocket square.

Realistically Olivia can wear pretty much anything and look gorgeous so I found her choice of wedding attire was just beautiful. She looked lovely and the best thing is it wasn't expected and that is what you want when it's your wedding day.

Congratulations Olivia and Johannes.

 

 

all images via oliviapalermo.com

 

New York : Top 5 Picks

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York, New York,
New York

- Empire State of Mind


For years I have dreamed of visiting New York, it was always number one on my travel list but I just hadn't managed to get there yet .... last month! I finally made my way to the city I had dreamed of.

Since arriving home, it has been a challenge when everyone asks you what your highlights are from NYC ... Ummm EVERYTHING! It is so hard to pinpoint what the highlights are. But my dad asked one simple question, "did it disappoint in anyway?" As it had been a dream for so long you can't help but generate expectations of this grand city and I am so glad to say I had no disappointments, it's amazing as everyone says. There were even a few times when we would come across something a bit "odd" on the street - and let's be realistic, it's NYC it's full of colourful characters - that I would literally say out loud "I love this city".

So I've thought long and hard that if I had to pull 5 of my top highlights for the trip and what I would actually recommend to people visiting NYC. It is just a brief introduction to these places, I will follow each one up with more details and photo's in posts later on. In no particular order, they are :

 

Of Mice and Men

Hello, I'm a James Franco fan! So was I just a bit excited to see that Of Mice and Men was playing whilst I was there - YES! We had great seats, nice and close to Mr Franco. However whilst James' performance was good, his character wasn't ground breaking but Chris O'Dowd was really, really good. It was a fairly small cast that also included Gossip Girls Leighton Meetser and it's a play (no singing or dancing) but it kept you engaged at all times.

We did the total groupie thing and hung out by the stage door following the show (along with everyone else) to get a glimpse of James Franco. He's a champ for coming out and signing people's playbills and taking selfies with fans, we just wish more of the cast had done so. Whilst I didn't get my pic with James I felt pretty good about the pic I did get of him hehe ....

I don't know this girl is (it's not me) BUT I love this photo because while she was getting her selfie with Mr Franco, he was looking right at ME *sigh* my favourite moment haha ...

I don't know this girl is (it's not me) BUT I love this photo because while she was getting her selfie with Mr Franco, he was looking right at ME *sigh* my favourite moment haha ...

The show is still on for about another month I think so if you're in New York, I'd say go see it. But even if it's finished, you must go see some Broadway shows whilst in New York.

www.ofmiceandmenbroadway.com

 

Central Park

You hear all about Central Park and see it in gazillions of movies but  to actually step foot into this space was just stunning. To think in the middle of such a concrete jungle lives this gorgeous park. We entered from Columbus Ave and walked for a good couple of hours only to realise we had only covered a slice, no slither of the park - it's HUGE! It's 843 acres to be precise.

There is so much to do there however and you could easily spend days endlessly wondering around, relaxing, play in the playgrounds, row a boat .... anything. It's so green and beautifully maintained and so quiet which I didn't expect. Loved seeing people walking their dogs, resting on the benches, sleeping on the grass and total highlight seeing squirrels just running about everywhere.

I think this one is a given, you don't come to NYC and not go to Central Park.

www.centralparknyc.org

 

9/11 Memorial and Museum

We all remember quite vividly that fateful day 11th September 2001, it's etched in our memories as a significant part of history forever. I knew I wanted to visit the memorial but in May 2014 the museum opened, and this quickly became a must visit location. I don't even know where to start when talking about this and hence why it really does require it's own post. The museum has been curated so well, you will feel a flood of emotions during this visit but it is such an incredible collection of stories, recollections and items that you cannot miss this museum.

The museum is at the location of former World Trade Centre complex and sits between the two large waterfalls and reflecting pools that are set within the footprint of the original twin towers.

As I said it's emotional but I think if you are in NYC and don't pay the museum a visit you will regret it.

www.911memorial.org

 

SoHo

For the first part of our trip we stayed in Chelsea/Garment District which was ok but for the last part we decided to try a different part of Manhattan so we headed downtown to SoHo. This is where I really fell in love with New York. I don't even know where to start with this neighbourhood, it just had a really good vibe to it.

Located in Lower Manhattan, SoHo has got everything you need - restaurants, cafes, bar, boutiques, major shopping but it feels more local and not so touristy. It's a younger neighbourhood and these people know style! Just loved it and yes could very easily (if I could afford too) very happily live here!

 

The Late Show With David Letterman

Me (middle) with two of my travel companions Anna and Kellie

Me (middle) with two of my travel companions Anna and Kellie

We won the lottery, literally. The process to get tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman is an event all of it's own but very much worth it. It's a part of real New York entertainment history so it had to be done and it did not let us down at all. It was a surreal feeling to enter the Ed Sullivan theatre and see the set that I had seen so many times on TV and then to have Dave run (yes, he literally runs out onto the stage) was just so very cool!

We wanted to see Jimmy Fallon also but the tickets are much more challenging to get but I'm very happy with Letterman.

www.cbs.com/shows/late_show

 

Grand Central Terminal

Me, being a total tourist amidst the chaos of this beautiful space

Me, being a total tourist amidst the chaos of this beautiful space

Due to the different travel companions I had, I was fortunate enough to visit Grand Central Terminal three times, but was very happy to do so. It's such an beautiful place. Located Midtown Manhattan it is more than just a "train station", of course it's a masterpiece of history but it has restaurants, shops and an amazing market. It's just a real experience that you must enjoy.

www.grandcentralterminal.com

 

So there you have five of my highlights and must sees from New York. But as I mentioned there is so much more to see and do in New York, it's just crazy. Stay tuned and I look forward to sharing a lot more with you in the coming weeks.

 

 

all images our little place

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are another must have that I include in my better, healthier eating plan. 

The name Chia comes from the Aztec word for 'oily' and is a native to central and southern Mexico and Quatemala and is a species of flowering plant in the mint family.

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Chia info :

  • Contains approximately 20% protein, 35% good fats and 25% dietary fibre
  • 20% Omega 3 ALA, superfood for the brain and heart
  • Gluten free
  • Packed full of nutrients including vitamins A, B, D, E, potassium, iron and magnesium
  • High in antioxidants
  • Five times more calcium than milk
  • Boosts energy
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • Aids digestion
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Great for healthy skin, hair and nails

Chia seeds don't have much flavour and therefore can be added to pretty much anything you like ;

  • Mix with muesli or porridge
  • Toss them through a salad
  • Through into your bread mix
  • Add to a smoothie (when added to liquid they expand so will give you a thicker consistency)
Sarah Wilson's Cashewy Chia puddings

Sarah Wilson's Cashewy Chia puddings

If you want some great ideas of what you can do with Chia, check our Sugar Free hero Sarah Wilson here for some of her suggestions.

 

images via nutriition & style, sarah wilson

Martyn Lawrence Bullard Tile Collection

I'm a huge fan of Martyn's and if you've been reading this blog, you could already be aware of this!

Martyn kindly spoke to me here about his book "Live, Love, Decorate" but his latest venture is his gorgeous tile collaboration with Ann Sacks.

The collection consists of three lines named Mousharabia, Hermitage and Eastern Promise.

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The fine art of Mousharabia has been refined over many centuries and is inspired by carved wooden lattice work. Completely comfortable in water, Mousharabia stoneware's raised face will perfectly grace a shower, wall or fireplace.

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To Martyn their is nothing sexier than the use of refined mirror.  The look is reminiscent of the decorative art of verre eglomise and has a beautiful antiqued mirror feel with the design of leopard or zebra. These mirrored glass tiles can reflect endless possibilities in homes, restaurants, retail stores and hotels.

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Handcrafted in Morocco, Eastern Promise concrete tiles are an updated version of the softly honed tiles that are so often found in the Moroccan landscape. The arabesque from Marrakesh and Tangier, the swirling motifs from Instanbul and Mykonos, all these exotic elements tie together with the bold statements found in 1950's Brazilian and 1970's Italian design.

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Martyn's line was previewed in his recent design for the new Red O restaurant in Newport.

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My favourite pick is the Eastern Promise collection, I absolutely adore it.

You can see more about Martyn's collection here at Ann Sacks

all images via ann sacks

Quinoa

Eating better is an intention I have made for myself this year. It's about being more aware of what I'm putting into my body and what choices are out there. And most importantly how these different foods make me feel.

One food I have come to love is Quinoa. I could seriously just eat a plain bowl of Quinoa and be completely satisfied!

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Quinoa Info :

  • Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a seed that is a relative of the beetroot and spinach
  • Comes in 3 different colours - white, red and black
  • Very high in protein
  • It's gluten free
  • Perfect balance of all 9 amino acids essential for human nutrition
  • High in fibre and iron and has low-GI
  • Easy to cook - just cook it like you would your rice

White Quinoa is probably my most preferred type however there is not a lot of difference between the white and red (I haven't tasted black yet). I find the white to be softer and fluffier. The red Quinoa is still yummy though and I still cook with this one. I find the red to be just slightly firmer and have a little bit more bitter taste but nothing that is hugely noticeable. Side note, you must rinse Quinoa really well before cooking.

Quinoa can be used in so many ways, hot or cold. My favourite is to keep it really simple to be honest. I'll cook it up and toss in all sorts of veggies or my other favourite is to steam up some spinach, lay it over the top with a bit of lemon juice - both really quick and simple to make, tasty and leave me feeling full but not yuck and sickly like so many foods can do.

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But I love discovering more recipes - as I said there is so much you can do with Quinoa - so if you have any of your favourite recipes, please let me know in the comments below.


2014 Oscars

I always do a post on the Oscars because this is Hollywood and it's all about the red carpet with the ladies in their gorgeous gowns and men looking super dapper in their suits and tuxedo's.

I only feature those that I love, purely in my opinion so highly likely they'll differ from your best dressed choices. But isn't this the fun thing about fashion.

Lupita Nyong'o in custom-made Prada. I adore this shape, it is just stunning and the colour suits her beautifully.

Lupita Nyong'o in custom-made Prada.

I adore this shape, it is just stunning and the colour suits her beautifully.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive. So Hollywood, so glamourous! Beauituful shade on her pale skin. Hair, make-up and jewels complete the look perfectly.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive.

So Hollywood, so glamourous! Beauituful shade on her pale skin. Hair, make-up and jewels complete the look perfectly.

Kelly Osborne in Badgley Mischka I adore this look on Kelly, perfect silhouette with the intricate detail at the top. Kelly was unable to stay in this dress because she couldn't move in it but it was a definite stand out for me.

Kelly Osborne in Badgley Mischka

I adore this look on Kelly, perfect silhouette with the intricate detail at the top. Kelly was unable to stay in this dress because she couldn't move in it but it was a definite stand out for me.

Kate Hudson in Versace I was a little indecisive on this as I'm not a huge Versace fan BUT Kate looks gorgeous and pulls this dress of beautifully. Not too many people can wear such a plunging neckline like this but Kate does it so well.

Kate Hudson in Versace

I was a little indecisive on this as I'm not a huge Versace fan BUT Kate looks gorgeous and pulls this dress of beautifully. Not too many people can wear such a plunging neckline like this but Kate does it so well.

Maria Menounos in Johanna Johnson I always love Maria on the red carpet, she just always looks beautiful. A pretty gown but I love her hair and makeup.

Maria Menounos in Johanna Johnson

I always love Maria on the red carpet, she just always looks beautiful. A pretty gown but I love her hair and makeup.

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu Expecting mum Kerry looked so pretty in this dress. The colour and shape worked so well and so beautifully finished off with her hair and makeup, love it.

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu

Expecting mum Kerry looked so pretty in this dress. The colour and shape worked so well and so beautifully finished off with her hair and makeup, love it.

Olivia Wilde in Another mumma to be Olivia kept the look simple but really beautiful. Gorgeous makeup!

Olivia Wilde in

Another mumma to be Olivia kept the look simple but really beautiful. Gorgeous makeup!

Angelina Jolie I wasn't a fan of her dress but Angelina was the complete standout for hair and makeup - gorgeous.

Angelina Jolie

I wasn't a fan of her dress but Angelina was the complete standout for hair and makeup - gorgeous.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Calvin Klein Man number one on the red carpet, Joseph looked so well groomed and so handsome.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Calvin Klein

Man number one on the red carpet, Joseph looked so well groomed and so handsome.

Zac Efron in Calvin Klein Also looking very handsome, Zac opted for a tie as opposed to the bow tie. Only thing to pick at here is the length of his pants eek, just a little bit longer please.

Zac Efron in Calvin Klein

Also looking very handsome, Zac opted for a tie as opposed to the bow tie. Only thing to pick at here is the length of his pants eek, just a little bit longer please.

Tyson Beckford I don't know who he's wearing but that's ok, he looks so dapper! Love his shoe choice, like it to be different.

Tyson Beckford

I don't know who he's wearing but that's ok, he looks so dapper! Love his shoe choice, like it to be different.

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan in Reem Acra Hands down more adorable and glam couple on the carpet! Jenna's gown is gorgeous and so Hollywood as is her best accessory, Channing!

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan in Reem Acra

Hands down more adorable and glam couple on the carpet! Jenna's gown is gorgeous and so Hollywood as is her best accessory, Channing!

That's my picks for this year, would love to hear who you loved ...

images via Getty

My Fitness - Walking

I don't run ok, just putting that out there. I just don't enjoy the act of it and my knees - well they just dispise it! But I do love going for walks. Walking, for me is my favourite choice of movement for so many reasons.

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Of course there have been many scientific studies done to understand why walking is so good for us :

  • Helps control and manage weight
  • Great for controlling  blood pressure
  • Decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Boosts HDL levels (good cholesterol)
  • Reduces LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
  • Helps prevent depression by improving mood
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Strengthens muscles, joints and bones
  • Improves sleep
  • Lowers stress levels
  • And so much more ...

But why do I love walking :

  • It's free! All you need is your shoes - unless you're walking the beach then you don't!
  • You can walk anywhere, so many choices to get outdoor and take in the world
  • It's really easy to do, push yourself hard or take a stroll either way you will get benefits
  • You don't need a lot of time whether you've got 15 minutes or an hour - some is better than none!
  • You can go by yourself or with friends (and dogs of course)

But what I really love is it gives me a chance to zone out. I put my earphones on and I just go. I used to do a lot of thinking when I walked but now I don't, I actually zone out, enjoy my music and the scenery and fresh air around me. Living on the Gold Coast definitely has a plethora of locations to get your walk on.

My main walking path, I love walking by the water

My main walking path, I love walking by the water

I aim to walk at least 4 times per week for 30 - 45 minutes and at a good fast pace and I'm definitely noticing my fitness levels are improving along with my overall state of mind and well being.

But I also love to hit the beach for walks, mainly Main Beach as I can easily fit this in before work or I'll head to Burleigh - beach walking is so good for the calves and glutes!

But I also love to hit the beach for walks, mainly Main Beach as I can easily fit this in before work or I'll head to Burleigh - beach walking is so good for the calves and glutes!

So tell me what about you, do you enjoying walking?

 

images via Our Little Place, Earth Doctor

Cisco-Meraki Headquarters

Who thought the company that produces wireless routers would have such a great workspace! However as I learn more about Cisco-Meraki who build their products with an emphasis on simplicity and seamless ease of use, it is only natural that the working environment possesses these same elements.

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The 110,000 square foot San Francisco HQ is spacious, bright, light, colourful with long lines.

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I love a workplace where you need to ride your bike to transport yourself from one department to another and most importantly you can bring your pooch to work - LOVE this.

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These spaces are so conducive to creativity and collaboration along with an environment that allows for minimal stress levels.

What do you think? Do you think you could handle turning up to work here each day?

 

Designed by Studio O+A

Images via The Contemporist

Living with Intention - Anna @ Lona de Anna

Anna of Lona de Anna is one of the first Aussie blogs I starting reading a few years back. I loved reading all Anna's posts and fell in love with her artwork (yes, I am a proud owner of two pieces - I adore!) Through the years we have got to know each other, tried a couple of meet ups but this is also one of my intentions for this year, this year we will meet up ;)

Anna has 2 gorgeous boys and through her blog and social media, shares with us how she juggles being a mum, wife, business owner, artist all whilst showing a love and gratitude for all she has in life. It was only fitting that I ask Anna to be a part of this series and sharing with us her intentions for 2014. Enjoy ...


Firstly, Thank you lovely Sarah for considering me as one of the people who inspires you.

I feel very honoured to contribute to this new series of posts on your beautiful blog and hope that my list of 10 goals, both personally and professionally also help or inspire others to be the best version of themselves they can be.

Love and positivity to you and all your followers, and thank you so much for taking the time to read.

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PERSONAL GOALS

 

  • Surround yourself around people and things that lift you up

Surrounding yourself around like minded people that lift you up, inspire you, encourage and support you and bring out the best in you, enhance your life in some big or small way for the better.

Also ensuring that you are constantly doing things that you truly enjoy, that feed the soul immensely. Visit places that inspire you and take you to your happy place, be it a park, a museum, the ocean, visiting a friend, watching a funny movie…. even shopping… whatever makes you smile and puts a spring in your step. Make the time to go there!

  • Fuel your body

Up until a few months ago I wasn’t so great at fuelling my body in the morning to ensure that I gave myself a good start to tackling the day. This is such an important part of keeping your energy levels up and your brain alert. Since making the effort to have a healthy substantial breakfast, I have found that I don’t feel flaky by 11am, and burnt out by 2pm.

Although I run my business from home and have the luxury of whipping something up to eat, I decided that since I was making school lunches now, that I may as well make my own lunch too. This has been terrific as I literally open the fridge, grab the salad or sandwich or whatever it is I have prepared and take the time to eat a proper lunch. Rather than grab a nasty packet of crisps or chocolate biscuit because I am time poor.

I also keep healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, muesli bars always within arms reach at my desk, so that even when I don’t have time to stop…I am still fuelling my body enough to keep on going.

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  • Gratitude

To be and show gratitude is a very important part of giving back. When a heart gives…it also gathers. Always living in the moment and appreciating the most beautiful and precious things in ones life, the people, the moments, the triumphs and achievements. Never taking for granted how precious all these things are in your life. Although I am always grateful for my good fortunes… to make a point of being mindful to be especially grateful... taking that moment to actually thank the universe, is so important.

  • Meditate

One thing I struggle with and have for a very long time is to switch off at the end of the day and enjoy a peaceful deep sleep. I have no problem being able to wind down, its shutting down that is the problem…. the brain won't stop ticking… and ticking… and ticking. Generally with ideas, things I need to do, things that I may feel anxious about.

I have a book of ideas always by my bedside so that I can write these ideas down while they are still fresh in my mind, however this doesn’t really help the mind to switch off…. in fact I think at times it fuels it.

I have decided to learn to meditation. My husband has been great at doing it every night and I am in awe of his commitment and dedication to it, and so seeing as I have a teacher in the home, I may as well learn from him. Meditation helps to clear the mind, shut off all the noise from the outside world and concentrate on your breathing from within and entering a true relaxed state of mind.

  • Learn a new skill

When we learn new things, we grow.

There have been so many things on the bucket list that I have wanted to learn, like playing the guitar, photography, writing, cooking (better than what I do), barrister course… Oh so many things.

I have only ever gotten as far as purchasing that guitar, or camera… having a play for a couple of weeks… and then… the dust slowly starts to settle. How tragic!! This year I am determined to stop doing that… and to follow through. Learn that skill to my full potential so that I can truly enjoy the reasons why I decided I wanted to take it up in the first place.

 

PROFESSIONAL GOALS

  • Ask

This is something I have had a hard time doing ever since launching my business “ Lona de Anna” back in 2009. What comes naturally to me and what gives me so much in return… is to give.

And so to then do the opposite of that and “ ask” feels a little more than weird, but I know that in order to build your business and allow it to grow… sometimes you need to ask for things.

Start small…. ask for those samples, ask for that discount, ask for that invite, ask for that social media mention or collaboration, whatever it is…. just ask… The worst that can happen is that you get a flat out NO… and you may not be any better off than where you were… but you are also no worse . It is always worth a try. You will be surprised at the incredible kindness of others and how obliging some people can be.

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  • Self promoting

Point 1 and 2 kind of go hand in hand. Self-promoting is also a very important part of making your business flourish. But again, very unfamiliar territory for me, yet something I know I need to push hard this year!!

I realise that it plays a vital role in making your business not only grow. But keep on growing.  If you think your product would suits a certain business, publication, event… Approach them! Sometimes you just have to go out on a limb and send that email, make that call. Connect with them via social media so that they can easily get a feel for your business/product.

Communication via social media can cut through a lot of the waiting process… form a connection with them so that your name sticks in their head. Say “Hello”… introduce yourself.

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  • Do it now

This by far has been the best goal I have set for myself this year.

DO IT NOW… meaning… any small things that may be on that “TO DO” list... that you can get done on the go… DO IT NOW!

I have always used my phone to check emails… but never replied to those emails until I returned back the office/studio.

Replying to those emails on the go (providing it’s a simple reply) saves SO MUCH time… I cannot tell you! That by the time you have returned to the office… the ball has well and truly started rolling on that project, job etc.

  • Write it down

Although having a phone which you could almost basically run your business from is great, however I have been stuck in a few pickles... where my battery has died, and I have desperately needed that address, or that particular date in my social calendar… etc

So I now also carry a paper diary with me as back up and write down important notes, details etc just in case… I am still able to access any necessary info that I may need urgently.

Beautiful vignette of Anna's featuring her latest piece "Swept Away"

Beautiful vignette of Anna's featuring her latest piece "Swept Away"

  • More studio time, less social media

I'm sure we can all agree that although social media is one big happening party at times, it can most certainly suck up more than a few hours of your day... Easy!

My goal this year it to try and tap into my social media in the earlier part of the day, leaving the mid morning to afternoon as time to spend in the studio. Creating, being inspired.

At the moment, this has been quite the challenge. Just not enough time in the day… and sometimes I can go days without having picked up a brush and this is a major big deal for me.

Still, I am working on this every day and hopefully I will get to the point where I will be able to afford to hire staff to do all of that social media stuff… and I can just spend time doing what I truly love…. and that is to paint… create.

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