Archive for September, 2011
Last night my old mate Healthy Harold called me up.
I asked him to come over for dinner.
Would you like a glass of wine, Harold?
Whoopsie *slaps head* That was a pretty stupid thing to ask Healthy Harold, advocate for a healthy lifestyle and protector of Australia’s children from drugs.
Harold always tries to get me to stop drinking so much and last week, when I attended the launch of Ocsober, I decided I would sign up and give it a shot. October 1 will kick off a month without drinking to raise money for Life Education Australia – the organisation behind Healthy Harold.
At the launch, ambassadors Hayley and Nathan Bracken and Michelle Bridges spoke to us about why they wanted to ease up on the alcohol for October and award-winning bartender Luis Bruce of Cruise Bar gave us a demo of some delicious mocktails we could drink instead of calorie-laden cocktails.
After Luis had impressed us with quick, easy and tasty mocktails (see recipes below) Michelle, thinking of how we could maximise our health during Ocsober, shared with us her <100 calories mocktail.
Lime and Berry Mocktail
- 3 Raspberries
- 3 blackberries
- 3 strawberries
- 1/2 a lime, quartered
- 1 tbsp. simple syrup
- Soda water
Muddle the berries and lime. Add crushed ice, top with soda water and simple syrup and stir well. Garnish with mint.
Despite the berries, Michelle’s mocktail had a certain dryness to it – kind of like a gin and tonic. It was nice to sip on and I’d be inclined to make this over an overly sweet mocktail, particularly because it is that much healthier.
I got behind the bar and made up a concoction I named ‘The Strawbowie’ - what can I say, I really do love bows! I can’t remember exactly what was in it, cherries, strawberries, cranberry juice – but that’s the beauty of mocktails, most flavours will blend together really well (unlike a lot of alcohol) so you can create your own quite easily.
If you think it would be hard to give up alcohol for a whole month, don’t worry – so do I. October is a big month for me, I finish exams on September 30 and I had already planned a whole lot of social outings that would undoubtedly involve alcohol. Luckily you can buy passes each time you want to drink. The money you pay for a pass, along with donations from your sponsors, will go directly to Life Education Australia to fund the mobile classrooms and programs we adored so much as kids.
If you need more reasons why giving up the grog for a month is a good idea, read on:
- You’ll lose weight. There’s 170 calories in a schooner of beer and 120 in a glass of wine. Oh dear.
- You’ll save money. According to Canstar Blue Study, Australians spend an average of $31 a week on booze. That’s $1612 a year, ie – 1 and a half pairs of Louboutins.
- You’ll have the chance to detox before the real party season hits. Once Melbourne Cup arrives the rest of the year turns into a drunken haze, so why not take a month off before the onslaught? Better yet, curb your habits so you manage your drinking better for the silly season?
To sign up, check out www.ocsober.com.au Join up in a group, that way you won’t need to go out boozing with your friends. Movie nights, dinners sans the extra few hundred $$ worth of alcohol on the bill and a clear head when you wake up the next morning!
For those of you who will be giving up alcohol, or are just interested in some of Luis Bruce’s great recipes, try these out for yourself!
- 1 Part apple juice
- 3 part ginger beer
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- dash of bitters
Build all ingredients over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a lime wheel twist and cucumber slices.
Pineapple and Mint Martini
- 3 chunks of fresh pineapple
- 5 mint leaves
- 60mls pineapple juice
- 1 tsp raw sugar
Muddle pineapple and mint. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with mint leaf/pineapple sage.
Lychee and Passionfruit Crush
- 4 lychees
- 3 lime chunks
- 1 tsp passionfruit pulp
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- Apple juice
Muddle/crush all fruit with sugar, add apple juice and shake with ice, serve in a tumbler glass. Garnish with skewered Lychee ball.
All professional photos belong to Sean Murray Vision House Creative Studios (for some reason they won’t load if I caption them all).
Starting today and running until tomorrow, Priceline have a(nother) special treat for us!
A luxurious tent set up in the lower-half of Martin Place is your escape from the daily grind and into a world of beauty with free manicures, hair styling and makeup.
I popped in for a hair and makeup session after work and here is the result:
You don’t have to make a booking to have a treatment done, but it is recommended. If you’re nearby in the morning, pop in and make a time for either:
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Those who wish to donate to the Priceline Sisterhood Charity will receive a big goody bag filled with the latest and greatest from Priceline, including eyeliner, moisturiser, wax strips, perfume and Priceline vouchers. Woohoo! Who doesn’t love a goody bag?!
30 Days of Fashion and Beauty is almost through, but not before a couple of major events are held. One of these is the Guiness World Record attempt in conjunction with Priceline and Sally Hansen this Tuesday, 27 September.
One hundred manicurists from NSW TAFE and The Australasian College, Broadway will literally be on hand to file, apply a base coat, two coats of Sally Hansen varnish and a top coat to women and a file and buff to men in the hope of beating the record of 1,897 mini-manicures set by the London College of Beauty Therapy last year.
The mini-manicures are free, but a donation towards Look Good…Feel Better is encouraged. Look Good…Feel Better works to help cancer sufferers deal with the physical effects of therapy, like hair loss. For every manicure completed, Sally Hansen will donate $5 to Look Good…Feel Better which will hopefully mean an added $10,000 on top of public donations.
Chris Sheedy, the Guiness World Records’ official adjudicator says of the event, “It’s always exciting to oversee a new world record attempt, especially when it’s for a great cause. I’ll be keeping a constant eye on the clock and checking every set of nails to ensure they meet the high standard of quality to count towards the record attempt. It’s a tought challenge and I wish Priceline and Sally Hansen the best of luck.”What: Sally Hansen and Priceline giving FREE mini-manicures (with donations to Look Good…Feel Better) in a world record attempt Where: Martin Place, Sydney When: Tuesday, 27 September from 8am – 4pm How much: FREE! But please do donate on the day. The going rate for a mani these days is around $20, so even a $5 donation is still a massive bargain! RSVP: Reservations are not available for this event. Each manicure should take around 12 minutes.
If you’re not in Sydney, you won’t miss out completely. Your local Priceline store will have a mini-manicure stall set up, also collecting donations for Look Good…Feel Better, but these do not contribute to the world record attempt.
You may have seen Montana Cox win the campaign for Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin a couple of weeks ago on Australia’s Next Top Model , but not everyone can have naturally perfect nails, hair and skin. For the rest of us, Blackmores have introduced a dietry supplement with all the key ingredients to promote strong and healthy nails and hair and a clear and glowing complexion.
I’ve been using Nails, Hair and Skin for about 8 weeks and have noticed quite a difference so far; most notably in my nails and hair. It’s very difficult for me to tell if my skin has improved as it’s temperamental and changes even with the smallest hormonal, weather or stress level changes but it’s certainly not worse than when I began taking Nails, Hair and Skin.
In my hair, I’ve noticed that it’s thicker and has more elasticity. The elasticity is important if you’re rough on your hair like I am. I brush it when it’s wet, I put a lot of product in it and apply a lot of heat. I’ve seen my hair get stronger in the past few weeks and it hasn’t been as brittle and snapping off mid-length. It also feels thicker at the roots.
Although the label indicates changes in your nails from 12 weeks of usage, I’ve definitely discovered strength in my nails like I’ve never had before. I’ve probably written on my blog before about my absolute lack of toenails. They’re already small before the fact that they would break if a butterfly landed on them, and I NEVER have to clip my toenails. They just snap off Well, last night, I actually had to cut them. With actual toenail clippers! Yay!
My fingernails do grow, but they usually break pretty easily and they don’t tend to grow over a certain length. I’m not going to lie, I still get some splits and chips, but it’s more like a bit off the side as opposed to the whole thing snapping.
I think my biggest gripe with Nails, Hair and Skin is that the directions suggest taking one tablet with two meals a day. I eat breakfast and lunch at work so I keep the bottle in my desk drawer, but it’s still quite hard to remember. I don’t know if you could just take two at the one time – personally I think it might make me feel sick.
What you’ll find in the tablets is a mix of the following:Silica Horsetail Vitamin C Folic Acid Vitamin B Iron Zinc Manganese Biotin Betacarotene
It’s pretty important for women to have iron and zinc in their diets, so it looks like a good, all-round multivitamin in any case.
I’ll let you know after the 3 month mark if I’m noticing anymore changes. Has anyone else tried Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin?
*A BeautyDirectory blogger trial
This is a very expensive giveaway!
One lucky reader and a friend will score tickets to an exclusive Alex Perry show held in the Commonwealth Bank Vault in Martin Place, Sydney this Tuesday evening, 20 September.
Along with the stunning dresses on display you’ll see exquisite jewels by Cerrone (and get to try some pieces on for yourself) as well as the chance to meet Alex Perry himself!
It’s fitting that one of Australia’s most prestigious designers is teaming up with the Commonwealth Bank, because they both want you to have the most luxurious things in life and, through fashion and finance, can help you have them.
The Commonwealth Bank knows how important it is to stay up-to-date with both your style and your spending. That’s why The Everyday Account lets customers instantly view their transactions and balance update, whenever they spend or withdraw money – there’s no waiting overnight to see the account update, even on the weekend. Customers can see their account balance and transactions update on NetBank or on their mobile, so they can stay in control while they’re out and about. I love this feature and I think it’s really important. The fashion gods know I’ve done my fair share of overspending because the transaction hasn’t hit my account before I’ve swiped it again. Whoopsie.
If you need a little help saving (I so do), Commonwealth Bank has a Savings Specialist in every branch who can design personalised savings plans so their customers can reach their goals faster, whether it be a designer handbag, holiday or home deposit. Bespoke banking? Yes please!
Everyone loves a freebie and with Comm Bank you’ll be part of the largest rewards program in Australia, too. Just for spending your own money you’ll be rewarded with points to exchange for clothes, movie tickets, holidays, dining vouchers and household goods.
So if a night with Alex Perry sounds like your kind of night, comment below and tell me what’s the most expensive thing you’re trying to save up for?
For an extra entry, tweet: I could attend an @AlexPerry007 show thanks to @MarloPerry http://bit.ly/o4CCCp
- The winner and their guest must be available on the evening of September 20, 2011
- They must reside in Sydney or be able to make their own way to and from Sydney
- The giveaway will close at midday on September 20, 2011 and the winner will be notified by email shortly thereafter
- The winner’s name will be on the door list
Do you love Champagne, canapes, gift bags and beauty products? No? GET OFF MY BLOG!
But seriously, there’s nothing like booze, music and a fresh and beautiful face to get you in the mood for a good night out, particularly in these warmer months.
Clinique, M.A.C, Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown understand the importance of looking your best when you kick off the weekend and starting next Friday, 23 September, for one Friday each month, you’ll be able to pop into selected David Jones stores and have your makeup professionally done just in time for those after work drinks or the Christmas parties that seem to already be sneaking their way into our calendars!
David Jones Bourke Street (Melbourne), Elizabeth Street (Sydney) and Queens Plaza (Brisbane) will each be hosting the events that will include the following offers:
The ultimate for after work beauty, this 30 minute masterclass will combine two of Bobbi Brown’s two most popular makeup lessons leaving you with all the skills to freshen up your face for those days you simply don’t have time to start over. I think every woman can benefit from that!
A 30-minute makeover including foundation, lips and eyes.
Take the Doublewear challenge and party hard into the night without having to retouch at all – love the sound of that! Who wants to carry a full makeup kit when they’re out on the town? Not meeee.
Want lashes like Kim Kardashian? Well, in case you hadn’t realised – they’re fake! Get a makeup application to enhance your favourite feature and a lash application too.
There’s no excuses not to look your best if you start the weekend with your best pout forward now.
If you love the sound of these offers take note:
- Bookings are essential
- The first appointment is 5pm
- A fee of $30 will be incurred for each makeover which is redeemable on the night. That’s a pretty good deal, most of these brands price their brands around the $80 mark!
- There will be one gift bag per customer and Sydney customers will also receivetwo drink vouchers to be used at either Gazebo or The Winery. So generous, Keystone! As a bonus (in case you hadn’t been spoiled enough already), when you take part in one of the beauty offers listed above and go in the draw to win a Girls Picnic at a Keystone Venue – such fun
If you want to book (of course you do!) get in quick by calling one of the numbers below:Elizabeth Street: Clinique (02) 9266 1590 Estee Lauder (02) 9266 5752 MAC (02) 9266 5489 Bobbi Brown (02) 9266 5200 Bourke Street: Clinique (03) 9643 2419 Estee Lauder (03) 9643 2365 MAC (03) 9643 2491 Bobbi Brown (03) 9643 2104 Queens Plaza: Clinique (07) 3243 9156 Estee Lauder (07) 3243 6128 MAC (07) 3243 6235 Bobbi Brown (07) 3243 6188
Which deal appeals to you the most?
Tonight I went to see Carl Barron’s show at the State Theatre. Man, that guy is hiiiiilarious! As much as I love me some crass, almost cringe-worthy humour, Barron doesn’t say anything mean about people to get laughs, it’s nice that he basically just talks about nothing and somehow makes it so funny. It got to the point that I couldn’t even see properly because I was crying so much!
Before the show I went to Glass Brasserie for dinner. I seem to always order the same thing, so tonight I went a little different. I ate:
- Double-baked Gruyère souffle, roasted pear, witlof, walnut and beetroot salad
- Valrhona chocolate assiette: chocolate fondant, delice with caramelised hazelnuts and coffee foam and chocolate sorbet, poached quince and tuile
and I drank:
- The Australian cocktail – my absolute favourite!
Here are a couple of piccies of my outfit. I rarely wear white, and I know black would have been a more natural choice of blazer, but I was in a Summery mood. I was feeling a little Michael Jackson in the white jacket against the brick wall…
Top – Louis Vuitton Jeans – Sass & Bide Blazer – BlueJuice Shoes – Sergio Rossi Clutch – Prada *Beauty note* Nails – O.P.I ‘Off With Her Red’
Floriography in the Elizabeth Street David Jones store has been the most beautiful thing in Sydney for the past 10 days. I’m fortunate (or unfortunate, for when I’m trying not to spend) to work near David Jones so I have been popping in most days to check it out because it’s just so glorious.
Over 30,000 flowers were displayed on the ground floor of David Jones and most were in keeping with the beauty brands’ counters. I know zero about botany, but I loved the big purple lollipop-looking things at the Clinique counter.
My only problem with Floriography was the creepy blonde things standing amongst the displays. Oh, and there were some irrelevant mannequins with wigs on, too.
The evening of Thursday 8 September was the second (hopefully) annual Vogue Fashion’s Night Out in Sydney. A night where almost every retail store in the CBD puts on a party with discounts, special offers and promotions, freebies and fun to get everyone shopping. The weather this year meant I didn’t make it to as many shops as I’d like, but I spent a lot of the night in Louis Vuitton because they hold the best parties.
Some of my favourites that they’ve held have included a Tahitian-themed party complete with Tahitian dancers and imaginative breakfast canapes, a jazz club with duck pancakes and Hennessey cocktails and the Valentine’s Day party in 2007 with the prettiest little petit fours you ever did see.
Thursday’s invitation didn’t give away much, but when we arrived the shop had a black harlequin-print latex “carpet”, life-sized balloon dogs and steak tartare with quail egg, crab cakes and heirloom tomato and goats cheese tarts. We were treated with watermelon juice, Veuve and Belvedere martinis.
The new season collection, which isn’t on sale for two weeks, was also on display. It’s so fun and included rubber totes with the LV monogram embroidered, sheepskins ‘lockit’ styles and masquerade accessories.
Another cute offering from Louis Vuitton was the Polaroid photo scene of a woman carrying a dog in her handbag. At the start most people were just standing in front of it, but I like to act the fool so I posed in the dog section:
No goodies for me on the night – I’m madly saving! Did everyone else have a fun VFNO? What did you buy? Let me live through you…
When I was looking through my photos of today’s outfit I kept thinking how familiar I looked. Despite the obvious, I couldn’t work out who exactly it was that I looked like until I focused on the black eyeliner, extremely pale face and red lipstick. It was then that I realised this:
is equal to this:
UNCANNY, right? I was so tempted to steal a tricycle off a child in the neighbourhood just so I could complete the look.
I swear I didn’t actually look that bad in real life today. It’s such a beautiful day outside the light completely washed me out to a ghostly white.
Here’s the rest of my outfit:
I headed into the city today to attend the Grazia Prestige to High Street fashion show as a guest of the Commonwealth Bank who sponsored the event. The show featured gorgeous S/S11 outfits from Alex Perry, Cue and Katherine. Oh, to be a 6ft tall, stick thin model to wear one of Alex Perry’s latest. So stunning!
What did you all get up to today?