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The Gracious, Gorgeous and Giving Carly Crutchfield

October 11th, 2010

Carly Crutchfield is one remarkable person. At the age of 20, she had already done more then what many of us would do in our entire lives. She bought and sold companies, traveled the world and get her self on the track to being one very successful millionaire.

Because of her choices in life and her vaule for life itself, she decided it was time to give back. Recently starring on channel 9‘s The Secret Millionaire, Carly gave away a small fortune to people she didn’t even know, but needed al the help they could get. Watching Carly was truly inspirational and she proves that you can achieve what you want in life.

A beautiful, caring women, a natural on the small screen and an inspiration to many  this is Carly Crutchfield and all the things about her fabulous life…

Carly on Life

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

In terms of development we currently have $250 million in projects under way throughout Australia. We have a new charity initiative, www.secretgiftangels.com.au which we are very passionate about.

We are committed to increasing the level of property and financial education amongst Australians and we are about to launch a new free training program PROPERTY UNIVERSITY, which is very exciting.

Tell us more about your successful company, CCORP…

CCORP was borne out of the fact that I loved what I was doing, but hated doing it alone. I wanted to be a property developer but on a bigger level and with a group behind me.

Our company culture is very unique, its high energy, fast paced and we believe nothing is impossible. We work very hard and we play pretty hard to.

We are Australia’s largest property development education company and one of the fastest growing development groups in Australia.

CCORP also has a property investment division and finance division. We spend a lot of time ensuring our clients are educated. A lot of people are making investment decisions without truly understanding what they are deciding upon. I have seen a lot of self inflicted poverty in Australia – people getting themselves into massive debt and financial pressure because they do not understand money, investments and property. This is something people need to be educated on. The more our clients know, the easier it is to help them achieve their financial goals.

You were recently on The Secret Millionaire, tell us more about this experience and how this experience affected you and your life…

It was such a priviledge to be involved and I loved it! It was a completely unique experience. Although I have done a lot of charity and volunteer work before, this was so different. I was taken out of my comfort zone, as my phone, money, computer etc were confiscated and for that time it was solely about confronting an area, its problems, families, groups and thinking about how I could help.

I was inspired by the resilience and positivity of the people I met. Since the show I have been overwhelmed by the feedback. I have received thousands of emails, letters and messages. I have also received many requests for help, money and jobs. This has made it even more real to me that there are a lot of people out there who need help. It has motivated me to take my life, business and foundation to a whole new level and start making headway in solving some issues in Australia and the world at large.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

It’s hard work. You need to believe in yourself, have persistence and thick skin. You need to be willing to handle risk and experience the highs and the lows. But if you can, it is incredibly rewarding, exciting and fruitful.

If you want to give property development a try, you need to educate yourself. The more you know, the easier it is and the more money you make. The less you know, the more money you are likely to loose. To start learning about property development, come to one of my workshops or order my free DVD. Visit www.ccorp.com.au or call 02 9371 4799.

Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?

In terms of a charity organization I would have to say my own foundation, CFOUNDATION. In terms of a cause, there are so many situations in the world that need attention and help. One area I am very passionate about is Human Rights, or the lack of human rights that exists.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I might spend a week working 20 hour days and then I’ll take a week off and either travel or relax at home and just do an hour or two of work a day. I schedule in holidays and book flights so nothing else can sneak into the schedule.

My Mother/Father always told me…

Work hard and believe in yourself.

Greatest lesson learnt?

Don’t regret anything. It’s a waste of time and a waste of a learning experience. You can create anything you want to tomorrow as long as you’re not looking back on how you should have done things yesterday.

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

Persistence. I don’t take no for answer, I think impossible is nothing and I don’t give up. You can get through anything and create phenomenal results with that mindset.

Carly on Fashion

What is a fashion trend you hope will never resurface?

Nothing really, bring it all back! It’s hilarious to watch life regurgitated with a new point of view. Who would have thought we would be wearing shoulder pads again!

Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

I think there is a more relaxed and whimsical vibe to Australian fashion, which suits our lifestyle. International fashion tends to be heavier and harder edged.

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

Victoria Beckham would have an incredible wardrobe, but again very hard edged – I’d say her bag collection would be phenomenal (although mostly Hermes). Fergie would have a great cross selection and more rocky edge and I hear her shoe closet is amazing.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

At the moment I am obsessed with Chanel earrings, I have about 35 pairs. Clothing wise, a dress I bought from Mackenzie Mode, which is perfectly tailored for my body.

Carly on her Home

What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?

Keep it unique, create interesting spaces and focal points. Mix items, textures and colors – don’t try and match everything. I’m not a fan of catalogue houses that look like everything was bought in the one store straight off the floor display. A home should show personality, stories and memories.

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

I have a wall full of sepia photos all in white frames. There are about 60 frames in varying sizes containing pictures of my friends, family and favourite memories. I created the wall about 2 years ago and it’s got a great energy while also being architecturally beautiful.

Who or what influences you most in home décor?

The beach would be my biggest influence in my home and second to that art. I tend to pick a painting for a room and decorate around that. The art has center stage in my home, and so it should. Art’s a powerful thing.

Carly on Food and Drinks

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I am obsessed with soda water and I love a good glass of French champagne. My wine of the moment is pretty much any Italian Pinot Grigio.

Food, all of it – my personal trainer knows I like food! I had a Wagyu steak in Melbourne recently which was incredible.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

I travel a lot, which means eating out a lot. If I am home, I eat in about half the time and out half the time.

Though at the moment I am on a full on detox. So I get all my meals prepared for the day.

Signature dish?

I rival anyone to out cook me Mexican-fiesta style! My roast isn’t too bad either.

Carly on Lifestyle

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

At my home, or the beach.

What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?

I have a few cars, but I usually only ever drive my Range Rover Sport. I bought it because it’s big and I can get lots in it! It’s also a really smooth drive. I also have a Prius but interestingly enough the Range Rover is more carbon efficient.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Art. I take a lot of pride in my collection and look forward to growing it. I think art is a powerful thing. It can completely change the vibe of a room. The art in my home is very relaxed. The art in my office is very contemporary and pop. You walk into our offices and feel an intense energy – a lot of that is from the people, but they bounce off and are inspired by the art.

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

I am dying to go to Africa and do a full Safari. I am heading to Venice with my boyfriend for New Years which I am really excited about.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My phone and laptop. I get nervous thinking about it.

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

It’s all good. The frustrating things give Sydney siders something to talk about.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Bronte for breakfast, Camp Cove for family vibe, Coogee rockpool for my dogs, and a secret eastern suburbs hideaway I cant tell you about is my favourite for a day of sunbathing, swimming and reading.

If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?

Bono. The way he has “used his power for good” is pretty incredible.

Three pet hates?

1. Being limited to “5 or less” items when going into fitting rooms in stores. I only want to make one trip to the fitting room.

2. The loop strings sewn into the shoulders of women’s dresses, clothes etc. So annoying.

3. People smoking at the exits of buildings so when you walk outside of the building you walk straight into 30 cigarettes being smoked.

My Teenage Dream Car – Range Rover Sport TDV8

June 17th, 2010

When the Range Rover Sport first came out about 5 or more years ago, I was set on the fact that it was my dream 4WD. It’s now 2010 and is it still my dream 4WD? You’ll just have to read on to find out.

The big black Range Rover Sport TDV8 Luxury sits in the glossy showroom, with it’s suspension lowered so I can easily climb in at a normal height. I opened the door, it’s tall and narrow, I expected there to be more door considering the car sits big and chunky. But the door is quite compact and reminds me somewhat of the Mercedes Benz B-Class. Closing the door, it shut nicely and solidly. Once it’s shut, I’m completely surrounded by a dark interior of buttons, knobs, screens and leather.

Sitting in the drivers seat, I felt in control of everything – the dash, the seating, the passenger seating, the view and the vision by turning my head and through the mirrors. I felt like I had complete control of everything happening around me both inside and outside the cabin.

The dash. Heavily angled from windscreen down toward the centre console, it seems almost aircraft like, but with complete symmetry. Unfortunately, the main LCD screen which controls navigation, music, video and vehicle configurations is like it’s made for the rear-middle passenger to use. It faces on an angle up towards the sunroof, and positioned facing the middle of the two front seats. I found it had to access easily, and found that I had to stretch my arm to reach for it. I also found that the anti-glare screen was hard to see because of the way it was positioned, reflecting light straight off it. I also don’t like the way it is buried between the two air-conditioning vents on either side of it.

Once you get past that issue of visibility, and you actually use the navigation via the touch screen and knobs below the screen, it’s quite good to use. Simple, clean and quick. There is no delay like many other cars I’ve driven. But again, I’ve had to stretch over to use the buttons on the far left of the cluster.

Air-conditioning is easy to use and it’s not incorporated into the main screen thankfully, which means I can do what I need to do immediately. It’s also dual-climate which is great.

All the usual functions like the compartments, gears and electronic brake are all easy to use and in easy reach.

Between the two seats, below the electronic brake sits the function for the vehicle handling, suspension and terrain settings. Here you can adjust the height of the car, you can choose how you want the car to perform both on and off road and you can choose how you want it to perform and tackle specific terrains. I found it fairly easy to use, but if I owned it, I would probably read the book to understand it and take full advantage of it.

The instrument cluster is also good and informative, with another screen showing the car’s dynamics and all the other little bits of information. The car has computers constantly monitoring it, and this info is all produced on this screen.

The seats. Comfortable, supportive and easily adjusted to suit my seating position. Unfortunately, I feel like the car punishes tall people, not by making it uncomfortable, but by making it hard to use the dashboard because of the angle it’s on. The further back you need to sit, the harder it is to use. But the seats are superb otherwise – in the front. It’s a different story sitting in the back. The seats in the back are for two normal sized adults and one 5 year old. The mechanical bits and pieces, like the hinges and rails are all visible, which makes it feel a little sub-standard.

The doors. As mentioned above, they are tall and narrow, not necessarily a design flaw, but possibly a little tough for much larger people. That aside, and I don’t envisage it to be a common problem, the only annoying thing I found about the doors was the location of the electric window buttons. They sit as far away from easy reach as possible. Again, having to reach as far forward as possible, towards the side wing mirrors. Also in the unlikely event that you leave your window open and water comes in, those buttons will be the first thing to get damaged. In a bid to do things differently, I don’t see a reason to change it and it’s not made it any easy for the driver, or any other passengers as all the buttons front and back are in the same positions.

All the doors are otherwise luxuriously covered in leather with wood grain inserts.

The body. It’s one big illusion, it sits wide and sits long, but it’s not really wide or long. It’s sporty, it’s rugged, it’s agile, it’s sexy, it’s hefty and it means business. Big 20” wheels and wide tyres add to the illusion of it being a massive vehicle. But be careful which colour you choose inside and out, it can change the look of the car dramatically.

The drive. Vicious. Ferocious. Aggressive. Easy.

The Turbocharged Diesel is excellent. Being a 3.6 litre V8 (being replaced by a 4 litre later this year), with 200kW, this thing flies. It’s not the quickest car to accelerate, but look how much weight it’s carrying! But in terms of power, geez this thing goes. It sounds great too. It’s got that vicious beastly sound, which is prepared to flatten any contenders. Towing a boat or horses wouldn’t be too much of a struggle for it either, but I think considerable weight, up-hill in a diesel will possibly struggle a bit.

The interior ride is smooth, quiet and enjoyable. The interior is bright and light because of the high seating position and lots of glass, the air suspension makes bumps smooth and soft and the visibility is great. Parking is easy, with the aid of front and rear sensors and camera.

The thing that astonished me the most, was the way it drives and how it feels when you drive it. It’s like driving a mid-sized car – this is where the whole ‘illusion’ of it being a big car comes into it. The best way to describe it would be like driving a Mercedes C-Class, it’s just a mid-sized 4 door sedan. Nothing complex about it. Driving the Range Rover Sport was much the same. Effortless and manageable.

I now understand why all the Eastern Suburbs yummy mummy’s drive one to drop the kids off at school.

Likes: Big car looks, mid-sized car feel. Powerful diesel engine. Seating comfort for front occupants. Extensive interior and exterior options for colour and wheels. Sexy and agile looks. Looks great, and will look great for a long time to come. Easy to drive, a practical car with all the attributes of a performance vehicle.

Dislikes: I’m sure I made these clear above. But it’s got to be the access to simple things like navigation, electric window buttons and knobs on the dash. The fairly unattractive rear seats that look like something out of a Tarago. The small boot, the boot space in most other 4WD’s of its kind are much longer and deeper.

Would I buy it? I know those issues above annoyed the hell out of me, but yes I would still buy it. I have loved the car for a long time, so would have to fulfil my strong desire to own it.

Price: The Range Rover Sport TDV8 – $149,990

Final say:
I really enjoyed this car, it’s got presence on the road and I love the feeling and sound of power under the big hood. I would definitely buy one, but I would have to spend a fortune customising it to look original as there are so many of them on the roads and they all look so generic. It’s like buying a Mini Cooper (hardtop).

The New BMW X1 – A Sneak Peek Before It Hits Our Roads

March 23rd, 2010

On Monday, I got a special guided tour of the new BMW X1 which was hidden away in a Sydney BMW showroom, which isn’t yet allowed on the streets.

As I walked towards the SUV, first thing I noticed was it’s agile grille, and the body of the car covered in this amazing pearlescent brown. I know brown sounds revolting, but this colour was just amazing. It’s a new colour by BMW.

The car is a cross between the 1 Series and X3, which has turned it into a hatchback All Wheel Drive SUV.

It’s an attractive car, from every angle. I found it hard to find a position walking around the car where I thought it looked abit weird. This car is refined. It is like BMW have smoothed out the rigid lines of the X3 and pumped abit of muscle into the 1 series, with an outstanding result. The current model of the X3 has come to the end of the BMW 7 year cycle to make way for the new X3 which comes out 2011.

Getting in the SUV was comfortable and easy, it felt light and airy in there with the colour combination – beige leather with a dark timber finish on the dash. It has all the usual standard bits and pieces that all the other models have (excluding some of the 1 Series models), including a Sport Package with firm suspension, large wheels and tires, navigation system with iDrive controller, rear-obstacle detection, rear side airbags, heated seats and steering-linked headlamps. All this with a 3 litre Diesel engine, which sounded pretty gutsy when I turned it on via the START/STOP button on the dash.

I felt comfortable, controls where all in easy reach, the small and  smooth steering wheel feels great to hold onto, visibility is great and it has a moonroof which lets an abundance of light in.

I really like this car and would totally consider it if it was the sort of car I was looking for. It definately beats it’s competitors in that same price range like the Volvo XC60 or the Land Rover Freelander 2.

The thing that suprised me most about this car was the price. You can get a decently spec’ed X1 on the road for around $65,500. I think thats pretty good, for a car that has most things that the 3 Series & X3 has, plus a little more!

The X1 will be available for test drives on the 9th of April.

Likes: Price, standard features, interior layout, visibility, spacious and great to look at.

Dislikes: The iDrive system is complicated, that’s all really!

Would I buy it? Absolutely! I would buy the one I saw, in that amazing brown colour.