Fog fog and more fog. I’ve been driving 3:17 hours and it’s fog fog and more fog.
In saying that… What’s not covered in fog is breathtaking.
Morro Bay – Big Rock!
July 25th, 2013
Morro Bay > San Francisco
July 25th, 2013
July 24th, 2013
Yoji Yamamoto or Adidas
July 23rd, 2013
My Cameo on MOB WIVES MIAMI
July 22nd, 2013
South Beach Miami FUN!
July 20th, 2013
I went to a Palace, a bar on the beach at South Beach, Miami. It was an amazing place… then BAM! Out comes the crazy drag queen!
CARTOON BRITAIN BRITAIN BRITAIN HOTTIE – Daffyd Thomas
September 3rd, 2012
PVC and tight latex rubber wearing star of hit TV comedy LITTLE BRITAIN , the LITTLE BRITAIN: LIVE comedy travelling stage show and LITTLE BRITAIN USA, brilliantly played by comedian Matt Lucas, who lives in the Welsh mining village of Llannewi Brefi and proudly (and regularly) proclaims that he is “the only gay in the village”… DAFFYD THOMAS!
FUN FACTS: Daffyd appears in LITTLE BRITAIN USA, in which he attends an American university and claims to be “the only gay on campus”, and the song he sings at the end of the LITTLE BRITAIN: LIVE shows “I’m GAY” was released in Australia as a CD single!
The Australian Five Present Their Collections in New York City
January 28th, 2012
Five of Australia’s most promising young designers showcased their collections on Thursday, at a private cocktail event held at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York. It was an opportunity for the five designers: Michael Lo Sordo, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velevska, Christopher Esber and Kym Ellery to showcase their Fall/Winter collections to U.S. buyers and press.
New York’s top tier press and fashion industry executives viewed the presentation, which was the culmination of The Australian Five program – a joint effort of Woolmark and the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation (AINYFF). The program was part of G’Day USA – an annual initiative designed to promote Australian business in the USA.
“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York‟s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” explains Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough. “The people who have come together to support this project is a testament to the value of both Australian designers and the Merino fibre in the international market,” says Rob Langtry, Global Marketing Director of The Woolmark Company.
At the cocktail event were AINYFF’s Malcolm Carfrae, Richard Christianson and Julie Anne Quay; Victoria‟s Secret model Shanina Shaik, daughter of the former Australian Prime Minister Katherine Keating, Aussie actor Emma Lung, photographer Sante D‟Orazio, Argentinian model and “It girl‟ Tati Cotliar and Calvin Klein designer Kevin Carrigan.
Check out all of the photos below.
The Australian Five – G’Day USA 2012
January 12th, 2012
The Woolmark Company, in partnership with the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation, recently announced The Australian Five initiative in New York City.
Five of Australia’s most talented fashion designers – Christopher Esber, Fernando Frisoni, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velveska and recent SOYA winner, Michael Lo Sordo are taking their incredible collections to New York City for a unique program at the Crosby Street Hotel on January 24th to 27th. The program is part of the G’Day USA initiative – an annual program designed to showcase Australian business capabilities in the USA – Australia’s largest trading and investment partner.
“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York’s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” explains Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough.
“The people who have come together to support this project is a testament to the value of both Australian designers and the Merino fibre in the international market, and to the important role expatriate Australians play is spreading the word to international markets of some of our unique talent and products”, says Rob Langtry, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of The Woolmark Company.
“This is a unique opportunity for New York opinion formers to view the work of five talented young Australian fashion designers in a very intimate and close-up setting, meet the designers and really see the fabric innovation and design skill” added Malcolm Carfrae, Co Founder of the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation.
The program will present a multitude of opportunities for the designers to forge relationships with key members of the American fashion industry. Beginning with an educational seminar hosted at the Australian Consulate, industry greats such as Harper’s Bazaar USA Editor-at-Large Brana Wolf and Features/Special Projects Director Laura Brown, Founder and Creative Director of Chandelier Creative Richard Christianson, V Magazine and AINYFF’s Julie Anne Quay and Malcolm Carfrae (also Executive Vice President of Global Communications at Calvin Klein). This incredibly influential people will be some of the many experts on hand to guide these designers towards their dream of cracking the lucrative US market. The program will culminate with an exclusive cocktail party and live model presentation on January 26 at the Crosby Street Hotel.
Nancy Pilcher (Editorial Director-At-Large, Conde Nast Asia Pacific) is taking on the role as mentor, assisting the designers to present their brands flawlessly to the US market.
G’day USA celebrations are managed and produced annually by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Australian Trade Commission, Tourism Australia, Qantas Airways and the State Governments of New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. DHL will support The Australian Five through preparing them with high quality, reliable export and import services.
MORE ABOUT THE DESIGNERS
Fernando Frisoni AW12/13 is based around ideas of strength, versatility and competitive instinct. The collection, titled Stadium, draws reference from the functionality and form seen in the sports arena.
Designs brought to life by a rich wool textures, effortlessly and a sexy and considerate take on the luxury sport aesthetic resulting in garments which are both chic and highly wearable. The collection stays true to the Fernando Frisoni philosophy which encapsulates casual sophistication whilst celebrating minimalism and uncomplicated silhouettes.
Magdalena Velevska’s AW12/13 collection has been designed and driven through the use of innovative textiles, and applying these in contemporary yet wearable ways.
Sequin wool felting is a feature of this collection. A felting technique is used to connect a fine Merino wool jersey with silk georgette which swiftly provides a unique sequin shine. The fabric is than further embellished to add spark and take the development out of an androgynous feel into a luxurious territory.
Five pieces of extraordinary knitwear made from 100% merino wool yet look like intricate lace are a feature of Velevska’s AW12/13 collection.
The knitwear is three dimensional in texture and uses a blend of two different yarns to achieve the unique effect – one flat and smooth, the other more textured and bulky.
Michael Lo Sordo
Michael Lo Sordo’s AW12/13 collection, ‘Gold Rush,’ is comprised of a sophisticated colour palette - black, midnight blue, olive, cognac and of course gold.
The finest of merino wool’s is set alongside boiled wool and felts, waxed silks and viscose, soft nappa leather – all creating dynamic changes in appearance and feel.
Lo Sordo has also developed by hand a state-of-the-art foiling technique – using wool’s inherent property to absorb heat, gold is manipulated into the wool fabric with heat, creating an imperfect but yet perfect design finish. Rare manual finishing techniques and creative uses of multiple textiles is a signature of Lo Sordo’s that shows the utmost innovation, and understanding of modern style.
AW12/13 for Christopher Esber is all about examining the essence of couture shapes, about looking at the points on the body where volume sits then contouring other areas to give a sense of dynamic, sports inspired, panelling and a rapid sense of urgency.
AW12/13 see’s Esber play with a woven wool and mohair fabric that brings texture and drama into the pieces and also features bonding of wool felts onto leathers for reversible classic pieces from outerwear to the staple dress.
Ellery AW12/13 is filled with a multitude if aesthetic wonders.
As the seasons have ticked by, so have the challenges that Ellery has adopted to give the range a touch of something thoughtful and intriguing. Time after time Ellery has mastered many different techniques which cross the boundaries of conventional garment design.
AW12/13 brings a new masterpiece to the fore with an exciting relationship forged between fine Australian Merino wool and lurex to create knits which enchant and devour the body. This intricate knitted fabric is then put through a fusing process to bond it to the inside of leather so that the garments are fabric lined and feel luxurious next to the skin.
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Michael Lo Sordo Wins Prestigious Qantas Spirit of Youth Award
January 10th, 2012
As if 2012 wasn’t already looking promising for the young talented designer, Michael Lo Sordo.
Today Michael took home the very prestigious Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, which will now see him receive $10,000, flights with Qantas and a mentorship for one year with the adorable girls from Zimmermann, Nicky and Simone.
Michael Lo Sordo was recently selected as one of five very special Australian designers jetting off to New York in just over a week with The Woolmark Company, which is in partnership with the G’Day USA initiative. Over there, they will get to showcase their designs on a global scale, with enormous potential for each of the designers and their brands.
Easily one of Australia’s finest designers establishing himself in Australia, 2012 really will be a big year for Michael, and I know for a fact everyone will be supporting him and his incredible talent for many years to come.
Noble Wine Of The Week – J.Lohr Estates 2009 Wildflower Valdiguié
April 12th, 2011
Ever since my first trip to the USA last year, where I drank nothing but American wines the entire time, I started to wonder why so few American wines are available in Australia. This isn’t about being unpatriotic, it’s about access to whatever wine I wish. I can go to virtually any large retail outlet and easily pick up a wine from New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany without having to look all that hard. However, if you want to get a wine made in the United States, and you take away the odd bottle of Oregon Pinot , you’ll have to look pretty carefully, unless you just happen to be lucky enough to live near one of the very few bottle shops that can boast some sort of USA wine selection.
I understand there are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which is the consideration from American wineries about whether Australia is a viable export market. California alone has a a population of just under 37 million, so why bother with a country on the other side of the world with just over 20 million?
Ian Lindsay, from USA Wines Direct, tells me that Australia exported over 25 million cases of Aussie wine to the US last year, yet we only imported just over15, 000 cases of theirs! America may have a population 14 times larger than ours, but we are importing 1,666 times less wine than we are exporting. As Chris Rock would say, “That ain’t right!”
Thankfully, Ian is doing what he can to introduce American, and more specifically, Californian wines, into the Australia market and his portfolio currently boasts the biggest range of American wines in Australia. One of these wines is the J.Lohr 2009 Valdiguié, from Monterey on the Californian Coast, close to halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and just a few hours from the far more famous region of Napa Valley.
The Valdiguié grape was commonly referred to in California as ‘Napa Gamay’ and it was believed at one time that it actually was the Gamay grape, only to discover that this was not correct. Sounds a little like the recent fiasco in Australia with our Albariño turning out to be Savagnin!
This wine has a colour of deep purple and cherry red with an enticing aroma of ripe, red berry fruits. On my first sip of this completely new variety for me I thought “Wow… this is delicious!” Juicy fruit flavours and subtle natural sweetness make for an enjoyable wine that, when served slightly chilled, makes a fantastic, easy drinking summer red wine.
J.Lohr Estates 2009 Wildflower Valdiguié
Price - $19.95 from www.usawinesdirect.com.au
Region – Monterey, California, USA
Final Sip - A thoroughly enjoyable wine that, at $20 makes for the perfect entry level American wine experience.
Music Review: Jessica Mauboy Accentuates Her Fabulosity
January 20th, 2011
Jessica Mauboy never seems to put a foot wrong. She is sexy, she has matured, she has an awesome voice and she is über cool.
Jessica Mauboy is cool. She has come a long way from being barefoot with flies on her face on Australian Idol. And good on her!
Her latest album Get ‘Em Girls is the product of fine and versatile vocals, superb producing and awesome management. She is the ultimate salable Australian to the world, and I hope to God she conquers the tough American market, which after one listen of the new album, you think you are listening to some of Americas best talents like Fergie, Rihanna, Lil’ Kim or Kelly Rowland.
The first of fifteen songs to burst through your speakers (and you’re going to need good ones!) shares the album title, Get ‘Em Girls. It is also the first song Jessica released from the album and superbly produced by Mr. Bangladesh. Big bass, Jimmy Choo‘s, great producing, Snoop Dogg and Maseratti‘s make the song sexy, dancey and a hell of a lot of fun to move to!
Handle It is the next track, a fun and perky track with cute rhythm reminds me a little of Mya‘s Case of the Ex, just faster.
One of my favorite track is Accelerate That, for me it’s a standout track. Fast, furious, frantic… Jessica accentuates her “fabulosity”. For some reason, when I drive listening to this song… I “speed up”, it makes me want to drive fast. In her words, “you need to step on the gas!”
Scariest Part, the first track that slows down the pace a little, but turns the high notes up to maximum. A great song, with plenty of feeling and range.
Saturday Night. At first it took me a while to like it, but now I love it. It’s a young, free and fresh song, it almost makes you feel a little liberated. A fine collaboration of lyrics and music with Ludacris.
An international flavor from the first second, Foreign is definately showcasing Jess’ versatility. This song requires great speakers, it’s brutally bassy, busy but freaking amazing! I love this one, it makes me want to crump, do the caterpillar, the robot and then spin on my head Run DMC styles!
Can Anybody Tell Me, a cute girly song, which is very Jordin Sparks, Tattoo. It’s a sweet song, with no particular meaning, it just sounds good. Like many of the tracks on this album.
Fight For You, which has a mix of Cheryl Cole and Pussycat Dolls is a great little tune, but not as great at the song Maze which follows. A boppy girly song, but it’s just so unforgettable – I promise it will be one of the songs that will stick in your head all day! It’s the epitome of ‘pop’, a song too cute to skip.
No album can be complete without an emotional, yet strong song. Here For Me is that song. To finish off the album, Forget Your Name, an up-beat track with fast and snappy lyrics, great vocals and one to definately dance along to. This track has a real Deborah Cox sound and feel to it. Love it.
This is one mega AWESOME album. I love it. I love it. I LOVE it.
My only complaint though… Well two actually. Firstly, when I heard Jess Mauboy was about to release her new album, I was excited. But when I heard the album name Get ‘Em Girls, I was disappointed and thought it was going to be some silly 10 year old girls album. Boy was I wrong. I guess as the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Speaking of cover, that’s the other thing that irks me. The cover doesn’t match the content, it should be a sleek, sexy and metallic cover – much like TLC did with the single No Scrubs and album Fanmail.
Second, her video clips also don’t match her music. Well for the first two releases anyway. They lack pretty much everything. Her songs are about fabulousness – great shoes, fast cars, great friends, nights out, spending lots of cash and living the good life. This could be reflected in her videos – not cheaply made, poorly lit sets with poor direction. I don’t blame her though, she is still awesome!
I give this album a very special 9 out of 10. It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
The Specials – A Very Special Series Of Very Special People
September 24th, 2010
As most of you would know, Vimeo is another video search engine, like YouTube. Vimeo currently has a range of videos which are finalists in a few different genres, one of them being ‘Series’.
The finalist for this is “The Specials”, a reality video series of life inside a special needs home in the UK. There is a big house in Brighton, with 5 Down Syndrome adults living together with the cameras following them around capturing everything on their day to day life including love, heartache, new flatmates, dealing with all the things “normal” people deal with.
I have now become addicted to this series, I think it’s absolutely remarkable and these guys just constantly make me laugh. They are funny, sweet, cute and so kind to each other (sometimes!).
Please check out the video below, these are episodes 1 – 3.
Be sure to check out the rest www.the-specials.com
“The Real Hustlers” Airs Tonight On Channel 9 – It Has To Be Seen To Be Believed!
September 14th, 2010
The Incredible And Inspirational Heroes – The Spartan Sparkles!
June 28th, 2010
I was recently watching an episode of Oprah, saluting headline making heroes, who have made valuable contributions to their communities. Watching the show brought tears to my eyes and I immediately felt compelled to contact the group you’re about to read about.
The Spartan Sparkles cheerleading squad is run by two spectacular cheerleaders from Pleasantville Iowa, Sarah Herr and Sarah Cronk which is the first of it’s kind in a high school in America. The Sparkles are aged 8 to 15, all born with a range of disabilities from Down Syndrome to Autism.
Sarah and Sarah work with this team of beautiful young girls, to help build their self-esteem, grow and become part of a team. Having a Down Syndrome sister myself, I understand the struggle children with disabilities face every day with not being accepted into a normal community, and making friends the way people without disabilities do. Sarah and Sarah have built a solid bridge for these unbelievably inspiring children, who are now part of a world they were once never part of.
The interview below was such a precious moment for me, and I value people like Sarah and Sarah who have so much time, patience and love for the people they have met and made amazing friendships with.
I’ve also attached the segment with Oprah below, please watch it and have tissues ready.
It’s with great pleasure to introduce you to Sarah Herr and Sarah Cronk, the real heroes of our World…
Please explain exactly what Sparkles is and what it’s all about…
Sarah Herr: It is a special needs cheerleading squad cheering in a high school setting, but it is about so much more. It is about accepting people who are different. We are able to make a difference in these girls lives and see them grow. In return they have made a huge difference in our lives, taught us so much about ourselves, and helped us learn lessons that most people don’t have the opportunity to, let alone high school girls.
Sarah Cronk: The Spartan Sparkles are our high school’s cheerleading squad including students with disabilities. There are currently 10 Sparkles and 8 varsity cheerleaders who serve as their coaches. All of us cheer together at our school’s home football and basketball games.
What was the drive behind you wanting to create such a unique concept to include people that are somewhat forgotten about?
Sarah Herr: Well it started with volunteering at the special Olympics, and I was so moved when we worked with the athletes that it made me want to make the connection with the special needs community more permanent. I had seen all-star teams with special needs squads perform so I went to my coach with the idea of starting it in our high school and with the support of my coach the journey began.
Sarah Cronk: Every year, our squad travels to the Iowa Special Olympics and puts on a cheerleading workshop for the athletes. Two years ago after the event, all of us were inspired by the experience and wanted to make our connection with the special needs community more permanent. Also, a few of the original Sparkles coaches have siblings with disabilities so they were quick to jump on board.
How has it been perceived by the public?
Sarah Herr: Our community has been very accepting and has been behind this program from the beginning.
Sarah Cronk: Our community has accepted the Sparkles with open arms and hearts. At the first game the Sparkles cheered at, the entire crowd cheered louder than they ever had before. They haven’t stopped cheering since.
What challenges did you face initially to start up the team? Are there any challenges now you face to keep it going?
Sarah Herr: Some of the challenges that we faced in the beginning was adults trusting that we stay interested in the project. Once they saw how dedicated we were they had full trust in us. Our age will continue to be a challenge for us but it is also a benefit in many ways.
Sarah Cronk: At first, when we approached our school with the idea of starting the Sparkles, they were a little bit skeptical. It’s very rare for a group of teenage girls to feel so passionate about a cause like this. They worried that we would only be interested in running the Sparkles team for a few weeks and then leave the girls behind. We also had some issues in the beginning with funding, but thanks to DoSomething.org and the Bettendorf Rotary, we earned grant money to pay for our first year.
What have you learnt from the girls in the group that have a range of disabilities?
Sarah Herr: I have learned so much about leadership through teaching cheers to organizing events. I have been the person in charge of the whole squad with many distractions multiple times and it really taught me how to prioritize and deal with problems that a typical teenagers experiences don’t allow them to.
Sarah Cronk: The Sparkles have taught me more than I ever could have imagined. I have learned so much about determination and perseverance through adversity. They have also helped me learn to see the person and not the disability, and to accept and understand the unique gifts in everybody.
What do you think the girls in the group have learnt from you?
Sarah Herr: I have seen major improvement in their self confidence. Girls that before would barley talk to people they knew were giving hugs to people they just met. Girls who wouldn’t walk in front of a group of 15 people were on stage in front of thousands. They have grown so much and I hope that I was able to help with that transformation.
Sarah Cronk: I think that being on the Sparkles team has taught the girls to feel more comfortable with themselves. One of the girls on the squad used to come to practice in various wigs, making us call her by different names of celebrities (like Hannah Montana.) I remember the first day that she came to practice without a wig, and was happy to just be herself. Moments like that that remind me why I do this.
What are some of the valuable skills you think they have learnt from you, which they could have never learnt in a life skills group or special units in school?
Sarah Herr: I feel that we treated them more like equals then special needs girls. This helped their self esteem so much because instead of them viewing themselves as special needs they viewed themselves as average girls, which is the way they should be treated.
Sarah Cronk: Our program is different from many other special education programs in that it is completely inclusive. Our Sparkles practice and cheer side-by-side with typically developing peers. Therefore, the Sparkles program teaches them how to socialize better with people without disabilities and better prepares them to function in social settings later in life.
Where do you both see yourself in the next 5 years and would you still like to be doing something like what you are doing now – or do you have other career paths you’d like to pursue?
Sarah Herr: I hope to be in medical school in 5 years. I want to help in medical research for autism. I would also still like to be involved in the Sparkle Effect and have it not be abnormal to have special needs cheerleading at a high school.
Sarah Cronk: I five years I see myself studying English and psychology at a small liberal arts college. Although I will no longer be a Sparkles coach, I hope to still be running The Sparkle Effect and still supporting squads across the nation as they start their own Sparkles squads.
What are your 3 pet hates?
1) I don’t like people who give up, I am very stubborn that way and won’t stop trying until I succeed.
2) I don’t like people who don’t want to learn more. I’m not saying everyone has to be a nerd like me but everyone has a passion and theirs always more to learn about it.
3) I also have problems with pessimistic people. I am very optimistic and I don’t understand when people are not.
1) I hate the sound of people eating or chewing gum. (Or really any other sounds that mouths make)
2) I hate it when I can hear what other people are listening to through their headphones
3) I hate it when people call things are “gay” or “retarded” as an insult.
What do the parents and siblings of the girls in Sparkle think, and do they tell you about any developments they see in their children as a direct result from Sparkle?
Sarah Herr: They are so sweet to us and are very grateful. Every sparkle parent has told me how their child has grown so much because of this and they are shocked that simply cheering could do this. It is amazing to have their support and I will be forever in debt to them for helping start such a amazing program.
Sarah Cronk: The parents of the Sparkles have reported increased physical fitness, self-esteem, and confidence since they joined the squad. One Mom even expressed an improvement in her daughter’s grades since she became a Sparkle.
If there was one thing that you’d like to educate the general public on when it comes to interacting and dealing with the disabled community, what would it be?
Sarah Herr: To think of how you would like to be treated. You would not want people to make fun of your disability or to not believe you could accomplish something because of it, and they don’t either.
Sarah Cronk: It’s not about doing someone else a favor. When we open our arms and our hearts to people with disabilities, we all benefit. We all have something to learn from each other’s unique gifts and talents. I have learned more than I ever could have imagined working with the Sparkles, and I’ve also made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
Tell us about your experience on Oprah and with meeting Miley Cyrus and performing on stage with her at her concert?
Sarah Herr: The whole trip was unreal. I loved meeting Miley and being on Oprah was remarkable! However some of my favorite parts was hanging out with the girls on the bus playing iSpy and seeing them enjoy meeting Miley.
Sarah Cronk: The entire Oprah/Miley experience was so incredible. It didn’t even resonate that it actually happened until several months afterward. What was most fun about it for me was being able to witness the whole thing through the Sparkles’ eyes. I could tell the entire time that they were having the time of their lives, which made everything so much more exciting for me. Not to mention Oprah treated us extremely well and kept us in the most beautiful hotels and served us with surprise after surprise. Miley was also very generous with her time and did very well with the Sparkles.
What was Oprah like? Have you had contact with her since?
Sarah Herr: Oprah was fantastic! She is hilarious and so caring and generous. I have kept in touch with our producer Stacy and we exchange emails frequently. I love Stacy and everything she does for so many people.
Sarah Cronk: Oprah was everything we could have hoped for. She was so kind, generous, funny, and had a very warm personality. We haven’t had any contact with her since, but we will never forget everything she has done for us.
What affect do you think this experience had on the girls?
Sarah Herr: It was great to see their faces light up and meet one of their idols! They were in shock, and so was I, at first. I feel that it brought they team together so much more because they all experienced it together and they will always have that!
Sarah Cronk: I think it has shown the girls that dreams really do come true, which is an important lesson when you’re young, and even more so when you have a disability. They have been denied a lot of experiences that a most typically developing students have, which I think made this experience even more special to the girls.
What do your own parents and siblings think of you and Sparkle?
Sarah Herr: They are very supportive. My little sister who is nine watches many practices and she has asked multiple times why she is not allowed to be a Sparkle. I have to explain to her that the team is only for children with disabilities.
Sarah Cronk: When I was little, my dad always used to tell me, “There are two ways to get into the newspaper: doing something good, or doing something bad.” Now, every time the Sparkles make it into our local newspaper, he always says, “See, remember what I told you?”I know my whole family is very proud of me and what I do with the Sparkles
Can you think of a time you have been so proud of yourself that you had a smile from ear to ear?
Sarah Herr: I’ve always been more proud of the girls when they overcome their fears. That is what always makes me smile from ear to ear.
Sarah Cronk: What really makes me proud is seeing the improvements in the Sparkles. I can’t help but smile when I see them walk up to people and introduce themselves when they used to be painfully shy. Of course experiences like Oprah and Miley have been so fun, but it’s really the little moments that get to me.
Can you think of a time that you thought it was all just too hard and you doubted yourself?
Sarah Herr: No, I have always been determined to make it work and never thought it wouldn’t work. I was very optimistic throughout the whole program.
Sarah Cronk: There are definitely times when being a Sparkles coach isn’t easy. Sometimes the girls have bad days and it’s hard to be patient and understanding. I just always have to look forward and think “next practice will be better.”
Watch the amazing segment on Oprah below:
CARTOON COSMO HOTTIE – Carrie Bradshaw
June 7th, 2010
CARTOON COSMO HOTTIE
Fabulous fictitious New York STAR newspaper columnist, best selling book author, VOGUE freelance writer, Marlboro Light smoking, Cosmopolitan drinking, Manolo Blahnik, D&G, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford, Versace, Balenciaga, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Vera Wang (I think you get the idea…) wearing fashionista played by actress Sarah Jessica Parker and star of the movie SEX AND THE CITY 2… CARRIE BRADSHAW!
FUN FACT: The HBO TV Series SEX AND THE CITY aired for 94 episodes over 6 seasons and was nominated for more than 50 Emmy Awards winning 7, nominated for 24 Golden Globe Awards winning 8, and in 2007 was listed as one of TIME magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.”
Chrissy Leighton’s Success Story – Beating Breast Cancer
June 2nd, 2010
Unfortunately, 1 in 9 women have a lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. This means, in our lifetime, we will know someone who will be affected by this dreadful cancer which destroys lives and tears families apart.
There are many tales of loss and survival. The tale below is of one inspirational and courageous woman, Chrissy Leighton, jewellery designer, business women, mother and wife. Her story is especially close to my heart and really tells you that positivity can beat anything in the end, and that a terrible thing in life can make good, greatness and success.
Six years ago, Chrissy Leighton had to face something she never thought she’d have to face. Her mother being diagnosed with breast cancer. The news brought down every foundation around her, to the point of almost hitting rock bottom. Chrissy had to find a way of dealing with the potential loss of her mother. She channelled these emotions into designing jewellery.
After much discussion with a variety of people Chrissy decided that she had to remain strong for her mother Maria and a simple hobby of making Jewellery began between the pair – letting them focus on the lighter things in life.
“I was in a dark place when mum fell ill. I had lost the purpose in my life and so I decided that the only way I could get it back was to create my own. I started making jewellery as an escape; it is about feeling the pieces and then living the fantasy,” says Chrissy.
As the Jewellery began to get noticed more and more Chrissy began to think that this could be something that she could make a full time passion for her and in a way an owe to her mother – a way of saying I love you and that your message of love and strength should be shared with the world through the beauty of fashion.
Just as the news that Chrissy’s mother Maria had survived the cancer and her goal of taking her passion to the next level in 2004, Chrissy faced her own breast cancer scare further shattering her life.
This time though nothing was going to bring her down and she looked to her Jewellery (which now was a full time passion) to ease her mind. It was this approach that guided her to the tremendous news – she was given the all clear allowing her to throw herself completely into her label Chrissy L Accessories.
In 2008, Chrissy and husband John welcomed daughter Mia into their world. Inspired to be a great role model to her daughter, she is determined to lead by example that it is possible to find beauty in life’s toughest moments.
Now let’s jump to the present – 2010, and what was once a hobby has now become a legitimate fashion accessories brand, exhibited on the world stage. With appearances on red carpets world-wide including Tina Fey at the 2010 Oscars, Britney Spears, Kristin Cavallari (The Hills), Holly Madison (TV’s Holly’s World), Shenae Grimes (90210), Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place), Teresa Palmer and so many more are lovers of the label.
The label has attracted worldwide attention from fashion Editors (including Anna Wintour who hand- picked the jewellery for Tina Fey!) and continues to pick up pace fast with stylists continually calling in the product for celebrity clients.
Designer Chrissy Leighton brought her line to market in the US aligning with a top sales agent which has seen her Fall 2010 collection picked up by the likes of Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Niemen Marcus CUSP Stores and also an exclusive specialty line for Bebe & Intermix. This expansion is a major coup for the label and has seen in position in Australia re-affirmed with stockists across the country including nationally in Seduce stores.
This story is so much more than about Fashion, it’s about humanity and what is possible when you think life itself is not worth living. Chrissy is a role model for the many women and families who are faced with illness every year and proof that amazing things can stem from tragedy.
Click HERE to read about the recent Chrissy L shoot in Miami.
See www.chrissyl.com for more collection information!
For other stories, help or guidance into anything to do with breast cancer, visit www.bcna.org.au
To my Nona, I love you.
Meet The Charismatic Geoff Field From 2Day FM
May 17th, 2010
Geoff Field invited me to the Austereo studios at World Tower to do the interview you’ll read below. I was really excited to meet him, because I had heard his voice pretty much every working day for the past 8 or so years, when I first started listening to Kyle and Jackie O.
I went to the 16th floor and rang the door bell to the studio. Out came the very enthusiastic and very kind Geoff Field, greeting me and welcoming me into the 2Day FM family. He introduced me to the Groupie Receptionist Sonja who was also pleasant and welcoming. A tour around the amazing office, introducing me to all the staff. He showed me the Kyle and Jackie O and also the Hamish & Andy studios. Then it was to his little studio, where Geoff showed me how he does his job. I was so intrigued and excited to see how it all works and comes together – and he was so happy to show it to me.
The 2Day FM office and studio is so impressive, Geoff told me the story about Rihanna when she was here. She said that of all the radio stations she has been to around the world, 2Day FM by far had the best studios!
After we grabbed a couple of cold drinks, we headed up to the roof top to start the interview. It was a beautiful sunny day. A relaxed Geoff, immaculately dressed, with his distinct Porsche sunglasses on, we sat in the sun and caught up on everything GEOFF FIELD…
What are you doing at the moment – projects, work and other bit and pieces?
I’m working on Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying so much! I also do a segment once a week on Kerri-Anne; I do a lot of charity work too which I love! I work with Miracle Babies, which is for babies which are born premature, to raise money for them. I also do things like City to Surf, dinners, The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and people living with HIV, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and also Breast Cancer! So that keeps me very busy. I’m also doing a Youth Off The Street with Ellie Mobbs who works here at 2Day FM. It all keeps me very busy!
There has been many rumors about you leaving the Kyle and Jackie O show – please clear it up for us!!
I’ve just recently moved off Kyle and Jackie O over to Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying very much. Six years of breakfast and getting up at 3am was tiring.
I had some great experiences on the show, I got married to my partner Jason, live radio and live TV, I’ve been thrown out of an airplane at 4000 feet, I’ve read the news in a pool of sharks, I’ve been hung off the side of Center Point Tower, I’ve been dropped in the desert and had to find my own way back so working breakfast was great – but it’s time for a change. I enjoy my sleep-in’s and I love working with Hamish and Andy they are great!
Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?
My favorite place to relax in Sydney is DEFINITELY the Boy Charlton Pool. In Summer I just love going there and doing nothing all day, reading a book. I’m not really into beaches because I was spoilt as a child living on the South Coast, so in Summer Jason and I drive down to the South Coast a lot and go the beaches down there. I’m picky, so I love it because I don’t have to step over people like I do in Bondi Beach.
I also like to relax in Kirribilli, a Chinese Yum Cha Restaurant that is nice, and I also like to go to Doyle’s at Watson’s Bay. Oh – I also love Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair – Jason and I go there a lot for a walk and just sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by.
In terms of fashion, and home décor, is there anyone that influences you?
For the home, I don’t want to plug anyone, but have you heard of Kings Furniture? They design specifically for your house. Jason and I are about to move into a new house in Potts Point and I was told about Kings Furniture and I thought it was interesting because I could have the furniture made to my specific needs and the fact they are cleverly designed with built-in magazine racks and you can flip things around and turn it into a bed if you’ve got visitors.
Fashion wise, I’m an admirer of Peter Morrissey and Alex Perry, I know both of them through the show, I love some of the dresses Alex designs and I love some of the menswear Peter designs.
Is there a feature in your new place that you love most, or was something that made you want to buy it?
YES!!! I don’t want to brag, but it’s a fully renovated marble bathroom, that I can’t wait for! The bathroom I have now is a kind of 1960’s retro and I’m kind of over it! It’s going to be like staying at a nice hotel, so I’m very excited about it. Also looking forward to the kitchen. The kitchen we have now is a tiny little kitchen. If Jason is in there, and I’m in the kitchen, there is no room to even swing a cat or do anything. The new kitchen is really big – I don’t cook but still, it’s nice to be in the kitchen with Jason without feeling like I’m crowding in on his space.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Oh my God! My greatest extravagance is… Oh and I don’t want to sound vain… But it’s when I’m lucky enough… Every few years we fly over to Europe first class on Malaysian Airways. It’s not something I can do every year but I just love the experience of being up that end of the plane! It doesn’t happen every year let me tell you!
Another indulgence is a restaurant that we go to, which has had a lot of publicity recently because Pink went there, but I’ve been going there for 10 years, it’s called Beppi’s down in east Sydney. The same family has run it for 15 years or something. It’s just going there, and having a great Italian meal with a beautiful bottle of champagne. That is an extravagance.
Damn Pink went there and let the secret out and now to go there you have to book months ahead! But that’s alright.
What is something your mother and father always told you?
To respect people no matter who they are. To treat people how you would like to be treated. I think it’s simple and it works for me. Easy.
How did you get into radio?
I slept with boss.
EDIT!!! I’m joking!!!
How did I get into radio? Well I’d like to say I worked my guts out, went to University and did all the courses, but if you’d like to know the truth, my dad was best friends with the General Manager of the radio station in Nowra where I come from. So I got work experience there and I used to hang around like a bad smell. Seriously, they must have hated me because I would be there all the time. School holidays, weekends, whatever. Anyway I was basically offered a job, probably because they were so sick of me bugging them, so I went into radio, literally the day after I left school and I have never been out of a job in radio since. So I’m pretty happy with that.
What advice would you give someone going into this industry?
Persevere. Never give up. It’s that sort of industry where people often say “Call me back”, or “there’s nothing going at the moment”, so what you do is you keep on keeping on, you just bug them because it’s such a hard industry to get into.
There’s so many people wanting it and so few jobs and I have an example of a particular person who is now hosting their own radio show, they used to, like me I suppose, turn up for work experience and one day the announcer was sick and they put him on air. He now also has a great career. That’s the way to do it – Never give up!
What do you think are the difference between Australian and European, American or Asian fashions?
I think Australia is great. Australian fashion is great because we cherry pick the best from whether it’s Italy, France, Europe, America or Britain, I’m no fashion expert but I certainly see enough fashion coming and going through this radio station. I’ve seen everyone from Lady Gaga to some of the great designers like Patricia Field for the Sex and the City girls, so I kind of watch from my studio.
I’m always fascinated, even at 6 in the morning, seeing people like Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins coming in, even at that hour of the morning they look wonderful. They are always wearing something that just looks great. That’s my thoughts on Australian fashion – we can look at the rest of the world, take the best of it and do our own stuff – and we do our own stuff so well.
What’s one thing you can’t leave home without?
I can’t leave home without my mobile phone! I can’t leave home without my sunglasses. That’s it. Predictable but easy.
If you were Clover Moore, what would be something you’d inject money into fixing?
First of all I think there is too much reliance on cars in this city, like to get to one end of George Street, not even in peak hour, is a nightmare, so I think a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but I think we should make it easier for cyclists. My partner Jason cycles to work everyday and I know people say, “Bloody cyclists they hold the traffic up!” but not if we build cycle lanes. We need a more efficient public transport system in the city itself, the light rail, Clover has been talking about light rail for years, come on Clover!! We can do it!! That’s the first thing I would do – fix up the transport.
Three pet hates?
1. People that don’t respect other people.
2. People that maliciously gossip. There’s a difference between having a gossip, but there’s nothing worse then saying something horrible about someone or an untruth.
3. Weak Governments. I’ll give you an example. I had so much faith in Kevin Rudd, the day after he was elected, I can remember being on a charity walk with Tania Plibersek and some of the other people from the Labor Government and I was so hopeful that we were going to have things change in this country like climate change, all the other things, and look what’s happened. He only just said that climate Change was the greatest challenge of the 21st Century, and now he has abandoned it. We need strong leadership and we need people with principles.
Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?
Hopefully still employed!! I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment because I have had a change from Kyle and Jackie O and I’m not doing Hamish & Andy which I love. I loved being on Kyle and Jackie O.
In a few years time, I’d love to be doing my own show, I’m not sure which station, or what the future holds, but in radio, you kind of live from one ratings to the other, thankfully I have been at 2Day FM for 12 years, and hopefully I’ll be here for a little while longer. But in the future I would like to do my own show because I am very opinionated on a lot of issues, so I suppose I would like to give it a go, but not just yet – I’m enjoying being a news reader.
Let’s talk about home life – who cooks more, who cooks less, who cleans, what’s the arrangement?
One word. JASON!
No we actually do have a good at home arrangement, because Jason cooks, he won’t let me near the kitchen. He’s tasted my cooking before and I… Well this is embarrassing, but when we first started living together, I said I would cook one night. I can’t believe I did this, but I went to Coles or Woolies, and I grabbed some mince meat product, which Jason keeps reminding me about, called Dinner Winner. I mixed it up and it was glug. Since that moment Jason said I was banned from the kitchen!
I do the cleaning, and the washing, so it kind of balances it out. We are like a husband and wife, but I’m not sure who the husband is or who the wife is!
Your time with Kyle and Jackie O, they have obviously had you do some crazy stuff. Has there ever been a time that you refused to do something?
It’s all my fault, because when I first started working with them on air, “I’m up for anything! Whatever you guys throw at me I’ll do it!” So I had myself to blame.
My theory was, if it doesn’t kill me, I’ll do it!
But seriously, for the most part of it, it was all in good fun, as I said earlier, I wouldn’t have sky dived if it wasn’t for them. There are times when you think “Oh my god!!!” but at the end of the day, I’ve done about 95% of the things they’ve said – I can’t even remember the things I said no to. Most of the time I did it.
I can remember one morning I had a crocodile and a massive lizard unleashed on me in the studio while I was reading the news, and also on April fools day, the entire news bulletin was sabotaged, with noises and incorrect grabs, including Ray Martin walking in and taking over the news! It was all good fun.
What is one of your greatest learnt?
It’s probably Karma, I think how you treat people eventually comes back on you, I think if you treat people well, life is pretty good. That’s my lesson learnt. Oh and the obvious one – don’t say yes to doing anything!!!
Have you ever been in a position where you have been abused, insulted or harassed for being gay?
I’ve been so lucky, I must be one of the luckiest people in the world because I haven’t. I know that there are a lot of people that really struggle with their sexuality, the work place and their family, but someone up there has blessed me because my family is fantastic. Even my 18 year old nephews, when they come down at Christmas, they are excited to see Jason and I, calling us both Uncle Geoffrey and Uncle Jason, they have only ever known us as their uncles. I think working in the entertainment industry has also made it a lot easier for me, because I know that is I were working on a building site or something, or some other industries, I’d be more inclined to keep my sexuality to myself.
I’m very aware of the fact people do have massive problems and all I can say to them is be honest – because honesty always wins in the end, and don’t hide, because if you keep it a secret, it’s just going to bubble up inside you. No one cares these days; people respect people for who they are.
The People That Make New York City – Subway Memoirs
April 30th, 2010
As you know, my website is based on everything to do with Sydney. It’s a beautiful and amazing city, with so much to offer. But sometimes it’s nice to escape, learn and infuse yourself with different experiences, stories and lives of people on the other side of the world.
I have done exactly this. Subway Memoirs is what I am writing about today. A website by a Sydney boy Matt Dillon, who has relocated to New York to expand his successful public relations business. Travelling around New York on the Subway, he looks at people each day, wondering what their life stories are. Every single person is different, unique and has an interesting tale to tell.
Each day we walk past people and wonder who they are, where they came from, where they are going, how they got what they have or don’t have and how they got all those wrinkles from a life they have lived.
Matt’s project, Subway Memoirs is a compilation of character driven interviews with the people that make up New York City. There is also an online platform which has been created to chronicle the day to day creation of ‘Subway Memoirs’ including: insights from noted New Yorkers, Author Video Logs and much more!
By Christmas 2010 these interviews will be collated into a chic coffee table keepsake for both New Yorkers and the world.
Heart and soul has gone into this interesting piece of work which captures a moment in time. I love learning about different people and this is a great way to go about it. I’d love to see something like this in Sydney.
Now go and make yourself a coffee, pop on Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom in the background and relax in a comfortable chair and check out the site…
Couture Bridal Collection by Henry Roth
March 23rd, 2010
He is meticulous and knows what he wants, as well as the women that he dresses.
Henry Roth has recently launched his ready-to-wear couture wedding dresses, which are timeless chic that will make the statement that every bride wants on her special day.
Invigorating style, with prices starting at only $900! Every one of his garments have a piece of Henry’s heart and soul in it.
He not only does wedding dresses, Roth also caters for bridesmaids, with realistically priced from $250 to $400. There are also dresses available for other events.
I got to have a tour of the Henry Roth studio in Sydney, when I walked in I was welcomed whole heartedly into a warm and comforting environment, filled with stunning artworks, flowers and scented candles.
A few of my friends have got married over the years, and the cost of a dress is phenomenal. Henry’s ready-to-wear coutur collection is definately not a collection to look over. These designs ooze grace, style and timeless elegance.