As you all know I’m a huge fan of all things natural. So naturally (no pun intended) I have fallen in love with this new hong Kong based start up, the Naturally Better Box.
The idea is that you sign up to a month subscription and each month you receive a beautiful box filled with cruelty free, toxic free, and environmentally friendly products are sent directly to your doorstep.
The girls at the NBB search the globe for the best products available and only share with us the ones the believe in, trust and love. The beauty of this is that all the goodies have been tried and tested by two women who are passionate about all things natural.
Unlike other subscriptions you receive full sized products. In my opinion this is much better than samples as you get the full experience and can better judge if you really love the products. If you do fall for certain lip balm, cleaning product or yummy tea, just jump online to their e-shop and purchase more. It’s that easy…. Then all you need to do is sit back and wait until the next month to be introduced to more delectable NBB goodies.
Each box is filled with six full sized items. These are my top six picks.
The Pure Candle and Coal & Canary Candle
Candles are a must in our house hold. They are perfect for a romantic evening or simply to make the house smell amazing. They also look super cool. These candles smell divine and burn clear of soot, chemicals and smoke so you can breath easy, sit back, and enjoy the ambience.
Matcha Maiden-100% pure organic green tea powder and Pranayum-masala chai tea
As you can see I clearly have a love for candles and tea. Chai always reminds me of home (Australia). Relaxing and sipping a chai latte is one of my favorite things to do right off the plane. It’s so yummy and Hong Kong has yet to master the art of making Chai like Australia. This is why I love to have it on hand at home so I can make it myself. Green tea is for sure one of my favorite flavors. So much that I created a super yummy smoothie for you guys to try using Matcha Maiden tea.
Perfect to have in your bag for many reasons. For me I hate to wear make-up but unfortunately it is unavoidable in my line of work. These wipes are the perfect natural solution for me to clean my face of make-up right after a shoot or on the go. They are great to clean the kids faces and sticky fingers after a messy brunch date. And you can rest assured your not rubbing nasty chemicals on their delicate little faces. They are also biodegradable.
Cleaning products are so scary to me. Specially since having first a dog, then children. I’ll be honest allot of meals are eaten off the floor these days so cleaning products thats have no nasty chemicals, but work are so important.
The NBB has so many other fantastic products in their online store. If your at all thinking of how to add more natural and organic products to your home and life they are worth checking out.
Lets make our lives more green,
Coconut Matcha Smoothie
-1 cup of organic almond milk
-1 teaspoon of Matcha Maiden-100% organic green tea powder
-1 frozen banana
-1 tablespoon of raw honey
-2 1/2 tablespoons dehydrated coconut (1/2 tablespoon set aside for topping)
-5 cubes of ices
-1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds for topping
Blend banana, almond milk, honey, coconut, ice, matcha and pour into a glass jar. Top with chia seeds, coconut and drizzle with honey.
Perfect afternoon pick me up that is delicious and packed full of antioxidants!September 25, 2015
When I started Genie Juicery I was contacted by an Australian company that supplied organic bamboo apparel. They contacted me via my Instagram account as they thought I would love their products as they are all organic and sustainable. Inline with our philosophies at Genie Juicery. They were right. Their t-shirts were amazing, so comfortable, eco-friendly and lightweight. I was very impressed with the feeling and quality that I ordered all our staff t-shirts from them.
At this point in time I had not really heard of bamboo in the form of a fabric or textile.
Now moving on a few years later having forgotten about them (sorry Ettitude) they contacted me again to introduce me to their new bed linen range. I was not going to say no, sure send me some and let me test it out. Why not right? All I have to say is that I have never slept better. To be honest I really didn’t think there would be such a huge difference in linen. Sadly I have been ikea all the way in regards to linen up until now.
Now their website claims the below benefits
All I can tell you is that I have never slept better. They feel amazing on your skin and anything that is chemical free is a plus in my books especially for my kids. Even my husband who wouldn’t really comment on these sorts of things is constantly saying how they are the best sheets he has ever slept on. He wants us to replace all our linen with bamboo. I was quite worried about the prices to be honest. The original duvet set was gifted to us so I had no idea of the costs. After looking at their website I was delighted to see that their prices were very fair, especially for something that is organic. We all know that usually when you hear the word “organic” it is
attached to numerous dollar signs. Not in this case. Ettitude also offers worldwide free shipping for orders over $70 aussie dollars which isn’t bad at all.
Ettitude is worth checking out and now is the time to do so as the Australian dollar is so low so its even more affordable. I promise you will thank me.September 1, 2015
After the amazing job they did helping me to style my wedding and my first baby shower, my fave stylists iDecorate were the obvious choice to help me with the shower for Baby #2.
The central focus for the party was of course the food table. iDecorate used a soft pastel colour palette of turquoise, grey, baby pink and blue with pops of gold thrown in for good measure.
Five giant white balloons lined the back of the table, with a two meter long paper tassel garland. The large balloons on each end featured extra long gold tassel garlands to frame the table.
Guests sipped on Genie Juicery juices and smoothies , pink lemonade and my special home-made sangria, served in iDecorate vintage inspired crystal decanter and glassware. We served a light assortment for a Sunday afternoon tea –finger sandwiches with tuna spread and cucumber and tomato, vegetables sticks with hommus and guacamole, mini sausage rolls with tomato sauce (an Australian favourite) and of course my yummy raw bounty bars.
Ms B’s Cakery surprised me with the most delicious cakes made by the amazing Ms. Bonnae Gokson. We devoured the new ‘Gender Reveal’ cake, which of course was pink to mark “It’s a Girl!” The cake is a cherry & vanilla marbled chiffon cake with white chocolate crisps smothered with fresh cream. Gender reveal cakes are very popular in the United States and Ms B’s Cakery are the first one to bring it to Hong Kong.
I had dreamt of a beautifully relaxed, yummy day where I could catch up with all my friends before I go on lock-down again but that wasn’t to be. So many of my friends now have babies of their own and I have made so many new friends with kids since having India. My quiet little shower turned into an all-out baby rave, with kids taking over the living room singing ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Shake It Off ‘ at the tops of their lungs. Wow how life has changed, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
GET THE LOOK FOR LESS : You can DIY my baby shower. All products in these photos are sold on iDecorateshop.com including the tassels, bunting, balloons, cake platters and glassware – all you have to do is buy it, get it delivered and get your hubby (hehe) to put it together.July 30, 2015
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you grew up.
I was born in HK but left for UK boarding school when I was young then ended up living in London for most of my life. After boarding school I took a year out to live in Paris then went to Chelsea College of Art in London to study a Foundation course then 3 years later I graduated with a 1st Class Degree Honour in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins Art College.
2. How did you get started as a stylist in the fashion industry?
During my time at CSM I met the Founder/Creative Director Mr Terry Jones of i-D magazine. After I finished my degree he took me into the i-D family as an editorial/fashion assistant. I assisted the Fashion Director Mr Edward Enninful for a couple of years. He is my mentor and taught me lots about the international fashion scene. We worked with all the elite talents. Photographers such as Mario Testino, Craig McDean, Paolo Roversi, Steven Klein. Supermodels such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Gisele Bundchen. We also worked on Jil Sander & Anna Molinari fashion shows in Milan. We did Editorial shoots for VOGUE Italia, VOGUE Japan, L’uomo VOGUE, V Magazine & i-D of course. Then one vacation in Hong Kong I got recruited to help launch VOGUE CHINA as their Senior Fashion Style Editor so I left London and never looked back. This was almost 10 years ago, how time has flown by.
3. What is the most memorable moment or moments of your career so far?
It has to be meeting my fashion & beauty photographer husband Jason Capobianco at the VOGUE China HK office. Being a big Formula One fan when I interviewed F1 Champion Fernando Alonso and met the renowned F1 commentator Martin Brundle in Shanghai during F1 race weekend it was too wicked indeed.
4. What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?
People think working in fashion is a very glamorous job and part of it is true but there are lots of tedious tasks we also have to do as well. Sometimes we work for very long hours especially if one is shooting a TV commercial or shooting an editorial, but at least it’s a very fun & creative line of work.
5. Do the clothing choices you make at work influence your personal style?
I am not a hardcore label person anyway. I love designer clothes, as they are well designed and well made, but I also love style challenges by mixing street wear with designer gear. I also love vintage clothes but you cannot buy them easily in HK.
6. What’s the best style advice you’ve received?
In order to look fierce you must be comfortable too.
7. As a working mum, how do you find time in your busy schedule to balance work and family?
I was working at VOGUE China for almost 10 years but after having my son BBT aka Theo I switched to freelance but still contributing for VOGUE. I want to spend more time with BBT. The best thing about freelancing is that you design your own timetable. I also have an amazing and very hands-on husband to help. I am a super organized person so it’s quite easy to split my time between work and family.
8. Can you tell us about your career before and after you had a child? Was it difficult getting back into your regular working routine after having a child?
Before I had BBT my life was very free and I definitely went out more often. I was able to travel whenever and wherever. Post BBT life is very scheduled and disciplined. I didn’t find it difficult to get back to work after my maternity leave but of course I miss BBT when I am at work. As a typical mom, of course I worry about him when I am not around. Now that he’s 21 months, things are much easier.
9. Has having a child changed your outlook on your career?
I am a very practical & realistic person. Even when I was at i-D, I always knew my job wasn’t everything but at the same time we all have to earn a living. I love my job & I am very good at it, but I am not the intense workaholic type. I have hobbies & I always make sure I have a very balanced life between work & family.
10. What are some of your favourite places to hang out with your family during the days you don’t have to work?
We love the Happy Valley racetrack and our local park so BBT can run around and burn some energy. We also enjoy going to the beach in the summer, as Jason and I are both freelancers therefore we can do fun things during weekdays which is great.
11. When you are not working where are some of your favourite family restaurants to eat with your family in Hong Kong?
We live in Happy Valley and we often go to our local Classified as it’s a very kid-friendly place. We also like going to the Jockey Club Clubhouse as it has a kids playroom & yummy food. For early morning breakfast or teatime we love Petite Café at Pacific Place as it has an outdoor area for kids to run around. Muji Café is always a good & easy no fuss spot too.
12. Do you have any tips for other mothers that are in the same industry as you?
Don’t get too sucked into the whole ‘fashion is everything’ mindset. Don’t put too much pressure on oneself as working moms as no one is perfect so we must enjoy what we do & play hard & love hard.
Wanna stay up to date with what Grace is up to? Follow her here:
Love,June 29, 2015
Thailand is always a good idea in my opinion, especially if you live in HK – It’s so close by! Our past vacations to Thailand have been spent at the beach or at street stalls eating till our belly’s can’t take anymore Pad Thai. This time around, we did some resort hopping! Our first location was Angsana. This was such a great spot for families with kids; so many different pools and a kids club where you can drop the kids off for an hour or two while you escape for a massage or a cheeky sunset cocktail. As I’m currently pregnant with our second child, there were no cocktails for us – unfortunately! (I’m dreaming of the day a yummy margarita passes through my lips again). I was lucky enough however to manage an escape to the spa, sans margarita! The massages at Angsana are truly amazing. Phuket is where the Angsana global massage training headquarters are located and we were lucky enough to get a special VIP tour of the massage school – Oh how I would love to be a model for their training students and just get massaged all day long! Heaven. The resort was massive with multiple resorts attached to the same property. Exploring the grounds wasn’t on our agenda, instead we spent our time at the beach club and lounging by the pool! It was spectacular.
Our second location was The Double Pool Villas by The Banyan Tree. This place was pure luxury. The villa came with a butler, on call 24 hours, a car (buggy) service and your own massive property with a private pool to make yourself feel right at home. The actual villa was possibly twenty times the size of my apartment in Hong Kong! This place was jaw dropping, two nights was simply a tease. All your creature comforts can be enjoyed in the luxury of your own villa. They even had a lovely man visit the villa to host activities and play games with India. His name was Thao if my memory serves me correct. He was so charming and India loved him. We painted a tote bag, made balloon animals and painted. It was so much fun and especially awesome not to have to leave the comfort of the villa. One night we enjoyed a seafood BBQ right in our own backyard. This was perfect for us with a young baby, as we didn’t have to worry about leaving her or coming back at a certain time. The BBQ was so delicious but, word of advice; do not have a big lunch if you’re planning to do this. There was enough food for 6 people. I kept insisting that the staff on duty sit down and help us out but they politely refused. The Double Pool Villas was for sure a very special treat for our family. The butler service and car service is not our usual holiday experience so we appreciated every moment of it. This little treat was ideal for our baby-moon! I mean, how many baby moons do you really get? If you’re interested in staying at either of these two resorts, The Luxe Nomad offers discounted rates year round. Visit www.theluxenomad.com
Love,June 18, 2015
Jesper captured my favorite pictures with my daughter to date during this shoot. I should really say daughters as we felt our new babies presence more than ever this day. I’m so grateful to have an amazing photographer as a husband who can take beautiful pictures of this special time. Moments we will treasure forever.June 15, 2015
As the due date for number two draws closer, I can’t help but reflect back to my first pregnancy.
I loved being pregnant first time round. I had never felt more beautiful or more energized. The excitement of experiencing this amazing blessing, growing inside me for the first time, sent me into a state of nirvana. Everything was wonderfully new and unknown. I loved how I would catch my husband staring at my changing body. Sometimes lovingly, other times more in shock – almost like I was an alien he was analyzing for a science experiment, wondering how far my skin could stretch before I would explode! I loved how he would caress my belly, read it stories or play it music. And I would watch him fall into a deep love for our unborn child. There was many a sleepless night thinking of names and just staring into space wondering how our lives would change, If they would change. Would we change? Was religion now of more importance? So many things to keep our minds occupied over what seemed like a never-ending nine months of pregnancy. These times will always be some of my greatest memories.
When we found out we were pregnant, spending quality time with each other became our first priority. We wanted to have as much time as possible loving just each other before India came into the world. I wanted him to be a part of the experience too, not just an onlooker. We fell pregnant literally right after our wedding and our big plans to travel to Mexico for our honeymoon were replaced with a baby-moon to the Maldives. It was perfect. Two weeks to relax in paradise and reconnect with each other. It rained a lot of the time but we didn’t care. We snorkeled everyday, played card games, snuggled and watched the storms brew in over the sea. It was on this trip that my talented husband Jesper captured my pregnancy perfectly. I’m taking this opportunity to share some of these intimate pictures with you.
Love,June 1, 2015
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jesper McIlroy
It was such a pleasure to take part in the Forevermark promise campaign with my family. These pictures were captured in my hometown in Australia and it was Indias first time to visit the beach I grew up on. My husband documented these moments perfectly.
For the past five years “ The Promise ” is a continuing theme shining on Forevermarks core value. This memorable exhibition focuses on the concept of “ hand-in-hand ”. The gesture of holding hands with our loved ones, as a symbol of the promises we treasure. Each and every diamond from Forevermark is engraved with a promise. A promise that is not only beautiful and rare, but also responsibly sourced. Benefiting people and communities from the countries the diamonds originate from.
Love,May 21, 2015
When looking for a restful weekend away we often look to places abroad. Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia are usually our top choices as they are close by and affordable. I still love these places just like the rest of you. But with a growing family in tow the whole airport, packing fiasco is exhausting just to think about. Especially just for a night or two. That is why last weekend we opted for a staycation at the Grand Hyatt instead.
No waking up at some crazy hour to rush to the airport, no immigration lines or long taxi rides. No stress about things you have not packed. As you can get home in 10 minutes. You will also have a happy family because everyone was able to sleep in, a little.
We were lucky as the gods blessed us with amazing weather so we pretty much spent the entire weekend at the pool. It was heavenly, we ate like kings at the buffet for lunch one day and pool side À la carte the next.
Another great thing about being so close to home you have the comfort of having someone you know babysitting the kids for the night. We had our baby sitter pick India up at 5pm sat so we could have a romantic night in. We had big plans to go out on a date night. Even go to the movies but instead we ordered room service and went to bed early. As lame as that sounds it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
We managed to sleep in until 8am which is a “sleep in” in our books these days. We had India dropped back to us at 9am. We had arranged an 11am drop off, but we missed her like crazy so brought it forward. We all enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast before spending another perfect day poolside.
All in all I would recommend everyone to try a staycation for a well deserved weekend away.
It was not the cheapest weekend away. But if I was to compare it to the cost of flights, accommodation and travel time for a family of 3, it was worth it for sure. When booking your staycation don’t forget to ask about deals for locals.April 29, 2015