30/03/2016

Los Angeles

Written by Posted in Out and About Comments 7
Santa Monica

When I think of LA…. Rodeo Drive, Walk of Fame, Movie Stars and Stunning Beaches spring to mind. And yes all that is true, but after delving right into one of the worlds most famous cities I discovered much, much more.
But first things first…… Where to stay? My answer….. heaven!!!!

Santa Monica
Hotel Casa del Mar

photo credit Casa del Mar

Hotel Casa del Mar

Casa del Mar Lobby

Hotel Casa del Mar Lobby

Situated on the picture perfect beach of Santa Monica with restaurants, shopping, Santa Monica pier and Venice beach all just a stones throw away, this hotel is luxury with a capital L.
The sister property of Shutters on the Beach, Hotel Casa del Mar was originally built in 1926 as the exclusive Club Casa del Mar and is now a stunning Mediterranean inspired hotel with everything dreams are made of.
After a long flight from Australia there is nothing like looking forward to checking into your room, and the 129 elegant rooms and suits at Hotel Casa del Mar did not disappoint, in fact if there wasn’t so much going on beachside I could’ve checked into the room and never left.

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The second most important hotel feature for me would have to be the pool (I spend a lot of time there) and well the picture says it all!!

Hotel Casa del Mar pool

Hotel Casa del Mar pool

Now that I’d unpack and soothed my sore post travel body with a swim, what next? Ok, those possibilities are endless, you could go shopping on Third street, head to one of the famous restaurants the area is known for, but I had a different plan.
That particular morning my flight had arrived at about 6am and the first thing I did was find a great local cafe for a coffee and a ACAI bowl and went and sat on the beach to enjoy my breakfast. I watch the strip slowly come to life and can distinctly remember the changing colours on Santa Monica pier as the sun rose with the refections coming off the ferris wheel, I just felt so alive and couldn’t wait to see what the day was going to bring.
I hired a bike from the hotel and started to explore, on the ride to Santa Monica pier I passed the infamous Muscle Beach, a place I’d only seen in movies, and although it’s not my type of hangout I had a good chuckled to myself at the thought of how many chin-ups had been done there. The 20th century pier was everything I’d expected, the historic carousel, ferris wheel and souvenir shops were all very touristy but I left with a smile non the less.
hire a bike

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Sunset over the Pacific

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Santa Monica

Santa Monica

 

Bucket List- The Beverly Hills Hotel

When I think of Hollywood and Beverly Hills the first thing that springs to mind is The Beverly Hills Hotel. Also known as the Pink Palace, I had the luxury of filming Postcards here, but like so many people it’s still on my bucket list as we didn’t get the chance to stay there (insert sigh here) But what I can say is, that the time I did spend there it was incredible and I can not wait to go back!!!
Aside from its opulence I was fascinated on how true the hotel is to its original days yet still feels so modern. You could tell me that I’m in the 1920’s or 2016 and either way I would believe you.
There were 2 places I couldn’t wait to see and the first was the Beverly Hills Hotel pool, and it didn’t disappoint! You can only imagined the famous faces that have enjoyed a cocktail on those deck chairs, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe to name a few.

The Beverly Hills Hotel Pool

The Beverly Hills Hotel Pool

 

Outfit Thurley

Outfit Thurley

 

Pool Cafe

Poolside dining

If you would love too see what the Hotel looks like but know staying will never be an option, then the best thing would be to head to the stunning Polo Lounge for lunch. Named after the Polo players who used to frequent the restaurant after games, its menu is first class and is definitely the place to be seen. I tried the famous McCarthy Salad- Romaine, Grilled Chicken, Organic Eggs, Beets, Tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese, Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Balsamic Vinaigrette which arrives at the table disassembled and is tossed right in front of you.

Polo Lounge

Polo Lounge

 

The Broad
LA’s new Contemporary Art Museum
This breathtaking contemporary art museum was founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and was built to share the 2000 plus strong Broad collection of works with the world.
It’s made up of predominantly of postwar and contemporary art with works from some of the world most famous artists such as Jeff Koons, Mark Bradford and Jean-Michael Basquiat.
The Broad truly is one of the most spectacular museums I’ve ever seen and is definitely on my list of must see places in downtown LA, because of this and the generosity of its free entry they are booked out months in advance so be sure to book ahead.

The Broad

The Broad

The Broad

The Broad- outfit Thurley

 

The Last Bookstore 

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Enjoy the feeling of holding and getting lost in a paperback or hardcopy book rather than an E-book? Then the last book store is the place for you.
California’s largest new and used bookstore, it spans a 22,000 sq ft space in the Spring Art Tower in downtown LA. whether you love to read or love the thought of getting lost in another world then this is the place for you. They also offer a massive range of vinyls and collectable books and can source just about anything you may need. Having a 3 year old with a wonderfully active imagination I spent half my time here in the childrens new and used section finding exciting books to bring home that we would never find on the shelves here in Australia.
If you a mad reader or collector I’d definitely set out a few hours to do this maze justice.

What I did learn on this trip to LA is that there is much more than meets the eye and it all depends on how deep into its treasures you want to delve.

Hotel Casa del Mar

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Broad Museum

XX

 

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove- outfit S.Wallis

It’s no secret that the Mornington Peninsula is one of my favourite places in the world, it’s my backyard in fact. There are spectacular beaches, surf, countryside, delicious food and then there are the wineries!!!
One of the Peninsulas most popular wineries would have to be Montalto vineyard and olive grove.

Photo Montalto

photo credit Montalto

Montaltos is known for many things….. fine wine, fine food and its stunning surrounds including the sculpture park.
The Montalto Sculpture Park contains over 20 permanent sculptures set amongst the vines and gardens for visitors to meander and enjoy all year round. And from January till May the permanent collection is joined with at least another 20 which makes up the annual Montalto Sculpture Prize.

Photo Montalto

photo credit Montalto

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options at this world class vineyard, enjoy an a la carte meal in the restaurant, take in the stunning surrounds of the property with a private picnic or visit the newly opened Piazza and Garden Cafe for a relaxed meal.

Photo Montalto

photo credit Montalto

Before leaving be sure to head to the delightful cellar door to pick up some delicious homemade olive oil or a bottle or 2 of your favourite wines, the perfect way to take a bit of the Peninsula home with you.

Photo Montalto

photo credit Montalto

Whatever your reason for visiting this little slice of paradise, you won’t be sorry.

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove

XX

25/03/2016

Sorrento 3943

Written by Posted in Out and About Comments 3
image

Sorrento is one of Victorias most stylish and popular seaside towns. Offering stunning beaches, boutique accommodation and trendy cafes.
My first port of call is located in the original post office building Post 3943 cafe.

photo Post 3943 Cafe

photo Post 3943 Cafe

Aside from the luxury of outstanding food and coffee the Country Road Sorrento concept store is also located here in the historic Post Office so you can shop till your hearts content while filling up on yummy goodies.

Photo Post 3943 Cafe

Photo Post 3943 Cafe

Photo Post 3943 Cafe

Photo Post 3943 Cafe

 

Panorama Garden Estate
Just down the road in Boneo you’ll find the spectacular surrounds of Panorama Garden Estate. The brain child of this picturesque garden and wildlife reserve is Nick Smith, son of channel 9 and GTV legend Pete Smith.

Nick Smith at Panorama Estate

Nick Smith at Panorama Estate

Panorama Estate spans 55 acres, enjoys views of Bass straight, is home to over 20,000 plants, 18 separate garden areas and a wide range of animal species.

Panorama Estate

Panorama Estate

 

Panorama Estate

Panorama Estate

Post 3943 Cafe and Country Road
10 Ocean Beach Rd Sorrento 3943

Panorama Garden Estate
130 Hyslops Rd Boneo
Panorama Garden Estate

XX

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Winter has arrived in Australia, OK well parts of it. And this means one thing…….. snow!!!!
It’s no secret I’m a beach girl but instead of hating winter why not embrace it and head to one of the mountains.
There is plenty of options in Victoria and NSW from Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Thredbo but this year I had the pleasure of spending a few days at Falls Creek.

Lets face it every mountains has options on the slopes from elite to family, kids lesson and lets not forget the wonderful apres, but while in Falls I joined in a great program called the Coffee Club. First things first, the kids get dropped off at the day care centre then off to enjoy a coffee with a group of ladies and to finish things off we hit the slopes for a ski lesson designed for beginners, intermediate or advance. What a great idea to get the mums with the younger kids out on the powder.
Where to stay?
There is so many accommodation options from budget to luxury, and don’t forget the surrounding towns as a base like Bright or Myrtleford. But if you’re after a stunning but also family friendly hotel then QT Falls Creek should definitely be considered. Voted best luxury ski accommodation in 2013-2014 by Luxury Travel Magazine, this hotel gives you everything you could ever need while at the snow with a range of room types from hotel to a 3 bedroom apartment.

Qt Falls Creek living room

Qt Falls Creek living room

 

QT Falls Creek Master Bedroom

QT Falls Creek Master Bedroom

 

QT Falls Creek 3 Bedroom Dining

QT Falls Creek 3 Bedroom Dining Room

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Regardless of which mountain you visit or where you stay, now is the time to get out there and enjoy. Whether its your first trip to the snow or your 100th its always a great way to pass those winter months.

xx

08/04/2015

If The Shoe Fits

Written by Posted in Fashion Comments 0
FRANKIE4

Take me back 5, 10, 15 years and I would tell you that I will always put style before comfort when it comes to shoes. Ask me now while I’m running around after a toddler and wow how things change. Those beloved stilettos just don’t cut it (don’t get me wrong, there is still a time and place). And yes I’m disappointed in myself. I was so sure I would always try to look trendy above my comfort.
I was recently introduce to a brand called FRANKIE4 footwear. Designed by Brisbane Physiotherapist and Padiatrist Caroline McCulloch, the brand originated after Caroline had a client who cried after being prescribed a comfort shoe. Caroline then realised that although comfort is important to many women so is looking good and feeling stylish and confident.
So the Padiatrist and physio created FRANKIE4 so that women can look great while enjoying comfort and a great quality product with features including the functional footbed, patented custom fit system and asymmetrical shape to compliment the foots natural movement.
FRANKIE4 has a range of beautiful boots, ballet flats, active flats and sandals.

Here are a few looks I love.

Ellie Silver

Ellie Silver

 

Janelle Black

Janelle Black

 

Jamie Camel

Jamie Camel

 

Ellie Black

Ellie Black

 

For more info check out FRANKIE4

xx

Whether your from Victoria or anywhere for that matter, sometimes there is just nothing like packing up the family for a special weekend away! For us, living an hour out of the CBD down the Mornington Peninsula, a trip into Melbourne gives us a opportunity to enjoy everything that’s right on our door step as well as a hard earned break from the daily routine of meals, dishes, housework etc
The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf has come up with a package that makes a weekend away for the family much easier.
Located in South Wharf on the Yarra River within walking distance to the city, shops, restaurants and Docklands makes it the perfect base for your stay.

2 Bedroom Suite

2 Bedroom Suite

 

So whats included?
-1 night stay in a contemporary 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite that includes a lounge area and spectacular Melbourne views.
-Family pass to neighbouring Polly Woodside Tall Ship and Museum.
-Seasonally inspired roast dinner, served in-room complete with gourmet sides and soft drinks.
-Choice of 1 title movie and popcorn.
-Full buffet breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children at Neuvo37  restaurant.

Enjoying roast dinner while filming Postcards. Film crew on included x

Enjoying roast dinner while filming Postcards. Film crew not included x

My family and I regularly stay at Hilton Melbourne South Wharf and enjoy being family ambassadors for the hotel but above all love the stylish fit out, views, location and most importantly the sweet and helpful staff.

Prices start at $549, head to www.hiltonmelbourne.com.au for more details xx

 

 

19/02/2015

Customise Your Summer

Written by Posted in Fashion Comments 3
Kini Swimwear

Kini Swimwear

A good portion of us love to shop, and lets be honest not many negatives spring to mind if I were to suggest it. But there is one word that leaves even the most season shopper running for the hills……. swimwear
A strange fitting room, full length mirror, bad lighting ( why do they always have such bad lighting!) Then there are the swimsuits. Your boobs don’t fit the top, your bum doesn’t fit the bottoms. You find a set of separates you like, but they’ve sold out of your size and don’t forget the colour selection. AHHHHHHH please can I spend my day doing this!!!!!
Solution……. customise your own!
I was recently introduced to a great Australian company, Kini Swimwear. Co-founded by Elle Aram and Emily Pinniger who grew up on Perth’s beaches. Their philosophy is to make swimwear for real women. Their aim, to combine the hottest shapes of the season with new prints, colours and trims recognising that all body shapes are different as are peoples personal taste.

Custom swimwear made by Australian women for Australian women

Custom swimwear made by Australian women for Australian women

So how does it work?  Well this is where the fun begins!

Log onto www.kiniswimwear.com.  and start designing.
First choose your style and cup size.

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Then you can customise your bikini or one piece with frills, belts, ties etc. I love this, I always buy bikinis with ties on the pants as it hides that little bit more.

Next, select from the latest prints, metallics and block colours.

design pic4

About 2 weeks later that special parcel arrives with your very own custom swimsuit. And what better feeling than to know that you’re the fashion designer of that original swimwear your kicking around in.

My custom bikini

My custom bikini

So are YOU ready to rock the perfect, flattering bikini or one piece down the beach or at the pool? Then this is definitely worth checking out. xx

Currumbin Sanctuary

The days of piling up in the car, parents in the front, kids in the back yelling he’s on my side, she’s looking at me for 2 days while driving to Queensland are long gone…..Or are they?  Well yes, with cheap flights we no longer need to drive. But is the good old trusty trip to the Gold Coast back? I think so!
There are so many trendy placing popping up on the Gold Coast but one of my favourites would have to be the Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach, Currumbin area.
So first up the attractions. They are definitely as fun as I remember as a kid, although I can hear my parents coming out in me when I comment that they are like money pits. Yes I’m talking about the theme parks. Definitely worth the money and if your smart about it there’s always internet specials, coupons etc to help bring the price down. My 2 favourites are Currumbin Sanctuary and SeaWorld. Keeping in mind my daughter Jessica LOVES animals, but I don’t think you ever out grow being up close and personal with a kangaroo or cuddling a koala. Its exactly what I would imagine a great Australian experience to be.

qld roo and joyey

Currumbin Sanctuary

Currumbin Sanctuary

I also love taking Jess to SeaWorld. She adores the water, ocean and everything in it. Aside from seeing her enjoy the animals, which there are plenty….. Dolphins, stingrays, fish, sharks, polar bears, seals and the list goes on, it reminds her and others the reasons why we need to look after the ocean.

Dolphin Bay SeaWorld

Dolphin Bay SeaWorld

But its not just Jess who loves the ocean, the whole family does, and that’s the reason we love to stay where we do, near the Currumbin River. Its the perfect location for Stand up Paddle boarding. The best place to hire a SUP up there is Gold Coast SUP located just down the road from the Currumbin RSL.

Gold Coast SUP

Gold Coast SUP

Hire a board, and paddle up and down the river, if your there on the right weekend you can even join in on a Currumbin SUP Club day. You can hire a board and join in a Social paddle or a Race. A small fee applies as does board hire but all minimal and totally worth it. The best bit, kids are encouraged, as I learnt when they pulled out a kids paddle for Jess to use. Don’t have too much fun though for you may even forget its a great workout.

qld jess surfing

And finally food and shops. I think the best location for both these are in Burleigh Heads. There are a couple of standouts. For a nice lunch or dinner head to the Fish House, right across the road from the beach with perfect views and fabulous food. Then there is my favourite café, Govindas vegetarian café. Don’t be put off by the vegetarian, I’m not normally that way inclined but its a great feed at a even better price. And of course there is always the Burleigh Heads Surf Club.
As for shopping, Burleigh is full of boutique trendy clothing and home wears stores, but my favourite latest addition to the strip is a store called I Just Love That Fabric, I stood in that shop for 30 minutes trying to find reasons why I needed the awesome pieces that they stocked, if I needed flamingo fabric or beautiful palm tree fabric I wouldn’t be able to find it. And yes I’m being serious.
I haven’t gone into accommodation in this post. There is so much on offer and everybody’s needs are different, so its nothing a simple google wont fix. I love using trip advisor before I book. But most of the Gold Coast is apartments which is perfect for families but not if you like to be waited on and have your room cleaned each day. Also if you like a bit more to do, then Burleigh Heads would be better than Palm Beach or Currumbin as they are a bit more sleepy. As am I, so its perfect for me.

qld pool

So if your in need of a break but the thought of a long haul international trip does your head in. Don’t forget what we have in our own backyard. xx

 

02/10/2014

Oktoberfest

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Byron Finnerty and Brodie Harper

Stuck for something to do this Saturday 4th October then head on down to South Wharf Promenade to enjoy its Oktoberfest activities. Located on South Bank near DFO shops and the Hilton South Wharf there will be a wide range of entertainment, food, drinks keg tapping and event activities for the littlies. You can hang out with me (Brodie Harper) 10am till 1pm and Byron Finnerty 2pm till 6pm.

Byron Finnerty, Luke Darcy and Brodie Harper

Byron Finnerty, Luke Darcy and Brodie Harper

If you feel like taking your day to the next level then enter the best dressed competition, join in some traditional German slap dancing. Or just sit back and enjoy some music from Michael Paynter from The Voice, Julian Simonsz from The Voice and much much more.
For more info head to www.southwharfpromenade.com.au or for accommodation options head to www.hiltonmelbourne.com.au
xx

octoberfest group

On By Brodie, I (Brodie Harper) try to share with you my favourite things!! And when it comes to Health and Wellness I have a LOT!! So for someone who tries to avoid complex carbs and sugars, how do I start my day? Well coffee first, then comes everyone’s must have……. Breakfast
So here is what I have for breakfast every day.

Green Smoothie
I double the ingredients so I have enough for 2 days. Also you can adjust how much of each ingredients you add to suit your taste. Its all just a matter of throwing into a blender and your off.

Ingredients
-1 banana
-3-4 stalks of celery
-1 handful spinach
1 handful kale
-200ml almond and coconut milk
-water (varies depending on blender and amount of ingredients)
-1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder
Blend till smooth and your off. Delicious and super healthy
xx
juice new