Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Our Favourite Grammy Looks !


Beautiful Giuliana Rancic in Alex Perry gown and Marina B jewellery 

Flawless Beyonce Knowles in Michael Costello white lace gown

Effortless Chrissy Teigen in gold Johanna Johnson gown and Neil Lane jewellery 

Glowing Ciara in gold Emilio Pucci gown

Stunning Paris Hilton in white Haus of Milani gown 

-Posted by Olympia & Vanessa 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Female Empowerment : Latest Thoughts

Just a short post, on some things that have been playing on my mind as of late, in regards to women and their attitudes towards other women. Obviously being a woman myself, I can confidently say that I have been on both sides of the table: 1. Been hated on for no legitimate reason 2. Hated on others females out of envy etc. As I grow into a better person everyday, I have come to realise the imaginary competition females have amongst each other is all BS. With times getting tougher in all aspects, I can't think of anything more comforting than having my 'sisters' to turn to, with no judgement placed.

Women also have an "unfair" hand dealt as far as their place in society. We continue to earn less than men, face sexual harassment and domestic violence at a rate incredibly higher than men, have our sexuality shamed and our bodies put on display for evaluation (see- every fashion/pop culture magazine). We are victims of our culture and society and yet we often target other women for making us feel this way instead of targeting who is really to blame. We should not need validation from men or mass media. Supporting other women springs from realizing that we all face common struggles and not competing like "they" want us to.

Referring back to a video by my favourite spiritual mentor, Iyanla Vanzant, here is my take on the 5 main reasons for female betrayal/hatred.

1. Self Hatred: Picking the things you hate in yourself, and diverting that attention to a flaw in another female.

2. Seek External Validation: We look to other people to make us feel good all round and when we don't get it, the bitchiness comes out. Sometimes, it's not always people we seek. Social media has recently come to play a big part in ones confidence, based on how many likes you get on a picture (obviously not the case with all females).

3. Honour your true self: Simply, be true to who you are. Don't get caught up in trying to keep up with the latest as this will undoubtedly shadow the potential you have.

4. Role models: We mimic what we see. Therefore, the attitudes of key females in our lives (mums, sisters,etc) play a massive role in moulding our own attitudes towards certain things.

5. Unrealistic Expectations: We tend to focus on how others will help us/what they will do for us, forgetting the true value.

All in all, females should not feel threatened by other females' success, and rather embrace and lift them up. 'The way to achieve your own success, is to be willing to help someone else get it first.' 

Here's a link to Oprah's first-ever Power List of females doing amazing things for those interested!

-Posted by Vanessa 

Monday, 13 January 2014

5 Tips when visiting the island of Oahu, HI

Over the Christmas holidays, I met up with my parents in Honolulu, where we rented an apartment in Diamond Head for about two weeks. I definitely enjoyed staying in an apartment more than a hotel, as we were able to cook and make ourselves 'at home'. I thought I'd compose some quick tips and suggestions as I have been to Oahu several times now and think I have found some great spots to eat, visit and see. I added some pictures from my trip as well. Enjoy!

1. To swim...

Firstly, let me say that it is SUPER important to get around the island of Oahu, rather than just staying in Honolulu or Waikiki and walking around. Getting a rental car to drive around the island would be ideal but if your budget does not allow, the public bus system is fantastic, easy to navigate and cheap. If you don't get out of Honolulu or Waikiki, you will really miss out on the beauty outside of the city.

My absolute favorite beach on the island is Lanikai. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to it from Waikiki. I have taken the bus before and that takes about an hour. You can get off the bus at Kailua and walk to Lanikai. The beach is one of the most beautiful I've ever been to.
Clear water, soft sand and an incredible view of the two islands, Na Mokulua. An extra tip would be to visit Lanikai during the week when it is less busy.

2. To eat...

There are some really interesting, unexpectedly good places to eat in Oahu. I'm going to break it down by meal-time and tell you some of my favorites.
For breakfast: Visit the North Shore and the town of Haleiwa. You will find a local "shack" called Haleiwa Bowls serving Acai bowls which are a blend of acai (berry) sorbet, granola, bananas, coconut flakes and honey. Absolutely delicious (and healthy). It takes about an hour to drive to the North Shore, but the drive has dramatic views and there is plenty to see and do once you get there, including checking out some of the beaches frequented by pro surfers that have gigantic waves.
For lunch or a snack: Visit Leonard's Bakery, about two miles from Waikiki. At this bakery you will find the most delicious pastry in the universe: the malasada. Traditionally a Portugese dish, malasadas are egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. I found myself going back for more every single day of my trip- they were THAT good! This bakery has been running since 1952, a testament to its success. 

Finally, for dinner: Visit Prima in Kailua. Incredible pizza, incredible pasta, with an emphasis on sourcing local, sustainable ingredients. We had fantastic service here and would not have found it without a recommendation from a friend, as it is in a smaller town and looks very modest from the outside.

3. To shop...

I would advise to stay away from shopping in Oahu, mainly because there is so much natural beauty and other things worth doing. However I will mention a bikini store called San Lorenzo, which has several locations across the island. Their swimsuits are made in Peru and Brazil and are very unique and flattering. You can also customize tops and bottoms to ensure the right fit and color selection to your liking.

4. To learn...

An interesting day trip my mother planned was visiting Doris Duke's old home, Shangri La. The Honolulu Museum of Art organizes tours of the home, as it has become almost a museum of Islamic art. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable on the art forms in the home and it was fascinating learning about how it was built and designed. On top of the educational experience, the home has a jaw-dropping view of some of Oahu's coast and a flawless garden and pool.

5. To see...

After eating a few too many malasadas, a walk to the top of Diamond Head volcano is a must. It takes about an hour but the view over the island from the top makes it well worth it.

(Photo from Wikimedia)

Hawaii is truly one of my favorite places on earth. It has so much history, culture, beauty and warmth. I plan to go back as many times as I can and see more. One thing I deeply value is the Hawaiian promotion of respect for the environment and the highlighting of local business and produce. Although tourism has benefited the economy, I'm sure it has undoubtedly threatened the environment and preservation of native culture. However, Hawaii seems to be making efforts to sustain what is really important and I noticed it more this time visiting.

- Posted by Olympia

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Royal Botanic Gardens

I had planned to visit the Sydney Botanic gardens for ages, as I haven't been since I was little and greatly needed the R and R. Yesterday, I finally got the chance! I went with my younger cousin who photographs as a side hobby, and took some pretty dope candid pictures. I'm not normally a 'nature' person, but I was in awe the majority of the time at the gardens. The whole time I was just thinking, God created all of this, for us. It is so beautiful.  I believe my age group should devote more time to the simple and free things in life, like the gardens. It completely puts you in the right head space, allowing you to soak up the often forgotten about natural beauty of Sydney.

Here are a few of my fav shots:

You can further check out my cousin Clara's work here: http://vandalphotography.tumblr.com

- Posted by Vanessa