Beautiful Balboa Island

BALBOA ISLAND HALLOWEEN TRAVEL

Balboa Island Sechys Diary travel blogger

Balboa Island Sechys Diary travel blogger
Frozen bananas!!!

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We took a day trip out to Balboa Island because it is one of my favourite places to wander. Balboa Island is so serene and peaceful with awesome American holiday homes, a quaint village and stunning water views.

Grab a frozen banana and wander around the perimeter of the island. I suggest parking the car at Newport Beach and catching the ferry over. You can drive but I really believe it is best walked especially on a divine, sunny California day. When we went it was Halloween so of course all the houses were dressed for the occasion. Let the pictures speak for themselves!

Love Sechy

xoxo

 

David Bowie & Mick Rock: Shooting for the Stardust

Mick Rock : Shooting for the Stardust, The Rise of David Bowie & Co.
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mick rock david bowie shooting for the stardust

While in Los Angeles I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to see Mick Rock’s photo exhibition at Taschen’s on Beverly Boulevard.

The exhibition consisted of formal shots as well as intimate back stage and on the road  photos. I love Bowie and it was so cool to get a peek behind the scenes.

Mick Rock, who is often dubbed “The man who shot the 1970’s,” also photographed Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Queen, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Blondie and well… the list goes on.

While at the Taschen I also was able to look at many of their other original works and I just wished I had one of their amazing coffee table books in my suitcase… Next time.

Sechy

Xoxo

Silverlake to Santa Monica to Venice

 

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A cactus situation…
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Chillin…
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Cafecito Organico

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Grab a bike and cruise along Santa Monica

 

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The yummiest Acai bowl I’ve ever had was in Santa Monica

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Venice Canals
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Venice Beach

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We spent ages watching the skaters…captivated

From Silverlake to Santa Monica to Venice…

My day began with a wake up coffee at Cafecito Organico in Silverlake, Los Angeles. I have always been a fan of Cafecito Organico. The coffee is brilliant and the cafe always has a relaxed, arty vibe that I crave. It is the best place for people watching and feels like a locals hang out which is what I seek.

The drive from Downtown LA to Santa Monica is actally quite hectic; the roads are really crowded so even though the distance is short, time may not be on your side. Once in Santa Monica I recommend wandering down Montana Avenue home to many cute boutiques (and the yummiest Acai Bowl I have ever had), then head to the pier. The Santa Monica Pier has a cool, retro vibe but is extremely touristy. Back from the beach Santa Monica also has heaps of cool shops, restaurants and bars that you can stop at on your way down the coast towards Venice.

I had always wanted to visit the Venice Canals; they look beautiful and romantic in the movies so we prepped the camera, found an awesome carpark and eagerly headed towards the canals. As we climbed a quaint bridge we stood over a green -or was it brown- slimy canal. California’s drought shows remarkably when you are standing over the Venice Canals.

Next we headed out to Venice Beach for a little people watching. It was getting late by the time we got there, about 5pm so most of the shops were closing. We headed down to the skate ramp on the beach and relaxed for a good 45 mins while being mesmerised by the skaters before a short stroll down the boardwalk.

What struck me most about Venice Beach was the large number of homeless everywhere…and I mean everywhere. It is shocking to me that a rich, western country such as the United States of America can tolerate such poverty. What is more shocking to me is that hundreds of homeless people can exsist in such a busy tourist area…don’t people stop and ask what the government is doing to help these people? Are people just turning a blind eye to this issue? Because when you look at pics of Venice, you rarely see a park lined with tents pitched by the desperate and destitute. Where is the government support? This was an issue that was repeatedly brought to my attention as I drove around LA, it really is truly shocking. I was asked for money everyday. I even had one desperate woman knocking on my window at the gas station asking for money. The only other place that has happened to me is in India…honestly, some corners of Los Angeles are reminiscent of a third world country.

Despite all this, I love LA and always look forward to visiting. It has got this cool, alternative and relaxed vibe along with great food and great fun but it would be rude to ignore the issue of homelessness and reflect on how blessed and fortunate I am to live the life I do.

Do you live in LA?

Be blessed,

Sechy

xoxo

Megan Hess & Coco Chanel book launch

Coco Chanel Launch …

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At the recent launch of her new book Coco Chanel, I was so honoured to meet the beautiful Megan Hess, renowned Australian fashion illustrator.

Megan is world renowned for her fashion illustrations and has worked for all the luxury brands – Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Montblanc and Tiffany and Co. to name a few. She has also featured on (and in) Vogue and …well, just about every magazine you can think of.

As if that was not enough, the morning involved Ruinart champagne and the most decadent desert table I have ever laid eyes on in an equally decadent location, the Gold Coast Palazzo Versace.

Megan Hess is a Queensland girl who has taken the fashion world by storm but she is super sweet and has this talent of talking to you as though you could be best friends 🙂

Now excuse me I have a beautiful new book I need to peruse… ♥

Love Sechy

xoxo

 

Maleny

Sometimes you only need to go away for the weekend to feel completely rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed and that is exactly how I felt after spending the long weekend in Maleny. This gorgeous town in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland has a very cool little village and miles of stunning views. It is the perfect place to relax and do nothing while also offering plenty to keep you busy if you want.

Continue reading “Maleny”

Swell Sculpture Festival

This time every year we wander down and visit the Gold Coast Swell Sculpture festival at Currumbin Beach foreshore. If you are travelling to the Gold Coast in September this annual display of local and international art is most definitely a must see.

The sculptures light up at night and there is a revolving list of entertainment so it’s easy to make a day of it. Here are some of the highlights…

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Love Sechy

xoxo

5 ugly trends that are totally hot right now

 If you haven’t considered one of the following ugly trends that are totally hot right now, then you are falling way behind the pack. If you avoided wearing it for the last two decades, it is quite likely to be this season’s hottest trend as what was once classified the worst of 90’s fashion comes back with a vengeance.

 

  1. Birkenstocks:

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I was at the Brisbane Vintage and Designer markets last year negotiating over a pair of yellow Doc Martens when a girl ran up to a stallholder, pointed at her feet and exclaimed, “I love your Birkenstocks, where did you get them?” A conversation ensued over the best place buy them. Did I just hear right? Are Brisbane women actually coveting … Birkenstocks?

How have these shoes made such a comeback in the hippest of closets? Well, we can thank Celine, who in 2014 sent fur-lined Birkenstocks down the runway. Yep, The Furkenstock was a huge hit and appeared on IT girls and models everywhere, Miley Cyrus donned a sparkly pair and what do you know, other designers began creating their own versions of the ugly orthopaedic sandal.

So how does one successfully style a pair of Birkenstocks without looking like a hippy or German tourist? Starting with a pedicure is a good idea and keep them well cared for. Birkenstocks should always look new, not like you have loved them for years. The best way to do this is to take advantage of Birkenstocks repair service and have them tended to regularly then heed the words of Vogue’s, Emma Morrison, “Nothing is better than a really pretty dress with an ugly shoe.”

 

  1. Dungarees:


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 Casually entering my newsfeed one day was a picture of Australia’s favourite Fashion Blogger Jessica Stein reclining in the window of a hotel in Prague looking oh so cool in a pair of full-length denim dungarees. Suddenly hillbilly dungarees were in.

The denim overall is perfect all year round, with a crop top in summer and chunky knit is winter. You can glam it up with heels for a night out or layer it with chunky knits when the mercury drops. I have two pairs – a short and long pair. I love them!!! Talk about comfort and cool mixed into one.

To ensure they look right, opt for a slim, fitted cut with an interesting feature such as unique straps or a quirky back .

  1. Wide leg culottes

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After years of wearing skinny jeans, the wide legged trouser is back. What was once viewed as the most unflattering of styles, now the most stylish fashionistas are embracing mid-calf culottes.

Yep, Who would have though that chopping of the leg halfway would be grant you a place in the best dressed list.

The key to making this alternative and bold style work is the shoe. If your short, a flat might just cut you in half even more so team it with heels to elongate the leg and keep the top simple.

 

  1. Tie front shirts:

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I am old enough to see this 90’s trend come around again but not to old rock it albeit in a more modern way. The current look offers a seasonally – and age – appropriate midriff as an alternative to the crop top.

A well-placed knot also creates the illusion of a shrunken waist. This season, start knotting your singlet or business shirt at the front ( I personally favour knotting mine at the back ) and remember the secret to making this look work is to keep the lower half high waisted or at least above the belly button. We aren’t doing a Brittany Spears “look at my abs & belly button piercing” thing here.

  1. Christmas jumpers

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When I think of the Christmas jumper I think of that awkward moment in Bridget Jones Diary. You know the one? Well, the current version of the Christmas jumper is not reindeers and Santa Clause’s, but a mismatch of colours and patterns that is having a true fashion moment.

This look is particularly great in Australia where winter falls in the middle of the year and often requires layers because quite frankly, in some areas it is still sunny and warm during the coldest seasons. I am obsessed with big oversized jumpers and struggle to close my sweater drawer!

I mostly wear them with denim cutoffs and mini skirts. Partly because I don’t really need to rug up in Queensland in Winter but when the temperature drops I will layer big sweaters with skinny jeans or tights.

Ultimately, the key to pulling off any of these looks is simple. Confidence. Aside from Birkenstocks, which should be purchased new and kept in tiptop shape, experiment with vintage styles as well as high-end designer interpretations. Why not take the plunge and wear something you were always told you shouldn’t.

Is there a trend you used to hate that you now love?

Love Sechy

xoxo

Photo Credits : Vogue, Popsugar, Daily Mail, Pinterest, Style

 

Gold Coast Artist Winnifreds Daughter

I admire people who are crafty and legitimately really, really good at it. It might be because I have this high energy mind that is full of creative ideas that just frustratingly jumbled whenever I try to implement them into something tangible. I just stick to admiring and buying now… it’s just a whole lot easier. 😀

One of my favourite local artists Jessica Davies of Winnifreds Daughter agreed to let me interview her about her journey through the handmade world. It’s a tough gig. Handmade items certainly don’t come as cheap as things mass-produced overseas but it is so important to nurture creative talent and encourage those who continue to press on in creating art for us to enjoy. Those who are creative, like Jess, tend to always be trying new things.

Jess : “Winnifreds Daughter opened its doors on the 19th of August 2010. It feels like before that I had dipped my toe into every creative pool there is… I’ve studied and worked in film and television, makeup artistry, visual arts and photography.”

“One of the things I most loved about starting Winnifreds is that it gave me a platform to pool all of my creative ideas and skills in a refined way. I had always struggled with what to ‘do’ with my artistic education, creative passion and range of crafty interests; I don’t feel that way now.”

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Sechy : What inspired you to create Winnifreds Daughter? And how did the name come about?

Jess : “Those lovely folk who have followed Winnifreds since the beginning will know that the first of my creations were very different to what you’ll find in the shop today. In the midst of 2009, I was reading one of my mum’s crafty magazines and came across a profile article about a softie artist. She sewed beautiful toys and soft sculptures and sold them on a website called Etsy, which at that stage I hadn’t heard of. I became hooked on the idea of sewing and making things and selling them online and everything that came along with that.The following year I opened my online store and attended my first market.”

“In choosing a name for my little enterprise, I wanted to choose something that was essentially a describing word for ‘me’, without using my actual name. My mother’s name is Jennifer, but when she was small her brother couldn’t quite pronounce such a mouthful, so he used to call her Winnie instead. The name stuck and to this day she is referred to as Winnifred by her family. So I am actually a daughter of Winnifred,” she said.

 The one thing that is most noticeable about Winnifreds Daughter is how the brand is constantly evolving with a constant flow of new designs and ideas. It is certainly never  boring, there is always something new to look at which is one of the reasons why so many people are inclined to check in again and again…to see what Jess has dreamed up now.

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Sechy : What inspired your current collection?

Jess : “In the five or so years we have been around, I have dabbled in everything from stitching, sketching and snapping the list goes on. I have always made a point of trying to catch the ebb and flow of the times and trends – as well as keeping myself creatively stimulated and satisfied. However, with these changes one can lose a sense of purpose and definition of what ones trying to achieve.”

“At the end of last year I took a small break to really hone in on what I wanted Winnifreds Daughter to be. A family vacation at Christmas really brought home to me what is most important, and therein lay the foundation for my current collection. All of the new work is based on experiences and memories from my past.”

“It was like a bolt of lightning had hit me. My work had purpose and meaning again. It is a culmination of creative mediums and I could not be more happy and proud of the direction Winnifreds has taken.

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Sechy : Winnifreds Daughter has grown so much in the last few years, what are some lessons you have learnt being in the handmade biz?

Jess : “If there is something that has fascinated me most about starting Winnifreds, it is that I am still learning every day. One thing I am happy to say I’ve learned is that I now value my work enough to price it accordingly. It is so essential to have the confidence to see the work you do as special and important.”

“Something else I’ve learned is that details count. Details in your market stall presentation, in the execution of your work and it’s packaging, in bookkeeping and business and above all in customer service. There is nothing more powerful than simply remembering someone’s name. I feel I still have a lot to figure out and learn in the handmade business world but that’s all part of the fun.”

Sechy : What has been the highlight of your journey so far?

“There have been so many ups and downs as is to be expected. I thought the highlight was the new life that has been breathed into the business in the form of the new collection but nothing can compare to the overwhelming nature of reading an email that reads ‘Successful Brisbane Finders Keepers A/W 2015 Application’. In this tiny email headline was five years of very hard work and highs and lows felt worth it and several hours of hysterical laugh-crying ensued. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, I am already so happy with the work that has been created for July’s Brisbane Finders Keepers market that this will remain the highlight for quite some time.”

Sechy: What do you see as the future for Winnifreds Daughter?

“I was once imparted a small piece of advice from my dear friend Kim, during one of our arty chats. We were discussing what it takes to make a real go of it with art and handmade. She simply said “Jess, just keep doing the work”. Nothing has resonated with me stronger than those few words and I find myself repeating them daily. While people like what I do, while I keep meeting wonderful people and while I am able to keep creating and making things…then this is all I can really ask for the future of Winnifreds.”

I encourage you to check out Winnifreds Daughter on Facebook where you can often find lots of interesting and inspirational content, check out her online Etsy shop or  keep your eyes open at the markets around Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The next market is Finders Keepers in Brisbane on the 4 – 5th of July and Jess has told me she has LOADS of new creations in store. It is guaranteed to be huge!

Do you have an Etsy store or have you been considering starting one?

I would love to know what you are creating in your spare time so share your story below. I love nothing more than discovering and supporting artists and designers. 🙂

love Sechy

xoxo

Simply Divine

Brisbane women come in many forms. They could be stylish. They could be successful. They could be philanthropic. But on the rare occasion you meet a woman who is all these things and in those moments you must chase her down and have a conversation. Which is exactly what I did with beautiful Brisbane fashion stylist, Beate de Camp.

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Super friendly and approachable, Beate de Camp is one of Queensland’s leading stylists and runs her own successful styling agency Be Divine which incorporates fashion styling, personal shopping, styling production and interior styling. Aside from this fabulous work life, Beate also runs a charitable foundation called The Divine Foundation which hosts fashionable lunches to raise money for various health conditions. Could this woman be more fabulous? I asked Beate what inspired her to start her own foundation.

“I have been involved in charities through my styling agency Be Divine since I started 8 years ago so starting my own foundation was only a matter of time. It is a great feeling giving back and supporting charities through donations and events. The Divine Foundation is about hosting fashionable events in Brisbane that combines fashion and charity. It is about gathering friends, dressing up and having a good time while raising awareness for different health issues and donating money to individual charity foundations, ” she said.

Last year she hosted some fun, fashionable lunches to raise money for charities such as  Kiss Goodbye to MS which is a cause close to my own heart as my uncle and friend are affected by Multiple Sclerosis. The condition is so common that many of you will probably know of someone in your life who is affected by it, therefore raising money to aid research and to find a cure has never been more important. Beate said this event is just one little step towards raising awareness and funds for research to find a cure for MS.

Love Sechy

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Good Friday Musings

Good Friday is here which means a day off. Although I have so much to catch up on with Uni assignments due, I thought i would spend some time updating my blog and touching base with you all. It has been a busy 6 months and in order to manage my time I have decided to blog less frequently than I used to. Once upon a time I published a new blog post every day. I do miss those days where I used to spend hours chatting to other bloggers online while stuck in hotels overseas unable to sleep because of my chronic jet lag. But so much has happened and changed so let me give you some updates…

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For those of you who have followed my relentless travels, well, I have some big news…I have retired from being a flight attendant. It was a difficult decision as I loved the job so much, constantly travelling internationally for an iconic Australian airline and exploring new places but years of sleep deprivation was beginning to have an effect on my body so it was time to say au revoir to the crew life. I was travelling in and out of Australia on a weekly basis and it was so much fun. My Instagram account benefited big time, however, I really want to focus on finishing my degree this year and taking on some internships that will help me move in a new direction. The goal ? To make enough money to travel endlessly without having to be a sleep deprived, jet lagged hostie 🙂

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As for blogging, after taking a step back to recuperate and relax I have decided to explore Pinterest a little bit more so if you are on Pinterest come over, say hi and share some of your favorite things about Pinterest as I am new to the platform. I must say though, It has been so much fun flicking through so many inspiring pictures 🙂

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On a final note I want to give a big shout out to you guys for being friends and accompanying me on my blogging journey. We have had a lot of fun travelling the world, trying new things and playing dress ups together. May that never end!

Love Sechy

xoxo