Excuse Me

images-1“Excuse me”, one of my most used phrases since having my baby. I feel invisible because people pretend to not see you coming through with a pram.

Shops including a large percentage of baby shops have not been designed with mothers with prams in mind when planning the layout. My other over used phrase of the moment is “oh sorry” as I knock items off shelves and rails as I walk past in these particular shops. As time goes on I do however care less.

Changing rooms, already a place of dread with bad lighting, curtains that don’t close all the way across and mostly unstaffed so when you need a different size to try you have to shuffle across the store to get one. Well then add a baby in a pram to the mix, it doesn’t often go to well.

So I am on a mission this next month to locate the best mother and baby shopping environments, who is equipped with the best staff and I am even going to use the smaller of all my prams to squeeze through the stores. Who is stocking the best ranges for women with kids in mind? Never mind the breastfeeding mother, that is a whole other blog post!

Ladies we can still be fashionable and we deserve to be able to go out and be counted as a serious shopper with our baby/kids with us instead of being looked at like an inconvenience that just walked in or like I said just invisible.

I would love to hear of some of your experiences shopping with a baby good or bad please!





Coconut Oil Pulling

I have to be honest and say that it is in fact my mother who mentioned oil pulling to me and I just laughed it off at first but in between feeding and changing nappies I have managed to do a bit of research on the subject and decided to give it a go.

So what is oil pulling? Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic simple cost effective natural remedy procedure that involves pulling or swishing oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is called Kavala Gandusha or Kavala Graha and is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma. It is also reported to give the oil puller increased energy, clearer mind and better sleep. as a new mother I am sold to the oil pulling on this alone!

Well I am now on day 2 of oil pulling, my oil of choice is coconut oil and it really isn’t as bad as what I thought it would be. The idea is to swish 2 tablespoons around in the mouth for 20 minutes as soon as you wake up and before you eat or drink anything. Swish swish swish and spit, in the garbage, not in the sink or you may clog the drain, yuck!

As soon as I notice any difference if any at all I will report back on my oil pulling experience.

Vogue Italia Again!!!

Never when I started out as a stylist did I think I would be having my work anywhere near Vogue especially within a year of starting, never mind a second time! Thank you Vogue Italia and to the amazing team that I worked with on this shoot!

Photographer: Tijana Lilic
Mua/Hair: Nicole Forde
Styling: Louise Ashley/Lula Land

Styling assistant: Madison Hall-Staples

Model: Gabby@ Chadwicks


Strike A Pose….I’m In Vogue

When I decided to be a stylist there were a couple of dreams that I wanted to aim for, one was to have my work in Vogue. Fast forward a year and my styling work has been featured online in Vogue Italia. Not quite achieved the printed edition yet but I am quite excited about this milestone in my career.

Such an amazing fun day in Hyde Park in Perth working with photographer Dominique Felicity Chapman, MUA, hair and nail artist Vikki Aldridge and the gorgeous model Eliza Skinner who thankfully has been obsessed with America’s Next Top Model and needed very little direction throughout the shoot.

Beauty Finder

As my friend Emma is visiting from Dubai we decided to have a pamper day getting our hair and nails done. Luckily 3 places had no appointments otherwise we never would have found One Hair and Body in Subiaco. Hidden down on Forrest Walk just off Rokeby Road we were immediately made feel special by the stylist on duty. I highly recommend this salon!!!!

Just Perthfect!!

So I know it’s been such a long time since I updated my blog, naughty me! However I have been super busy moving country so at least I have a valid reason:-)

Here we are living Perth, Western Australia nearly 3 months now it has been a roller coaster full of fun since we got here and i have enough to blog about for at least a year. I love Perth so much, I just pinch myself that I get to live here.

I have been super lucky to have worked on some amazing photo shoots since arriving as well as backstage on the Fenella Peacock Show, Boobilicious Ball and be part of the team for the fashion parade at ATE. As well as all that I have started my own business in the health and wellness industry so I am keeping my passion for beauty especially vegan friendly products alive and kicking!

Betty our bulldog has settled well into life here now and we both enjoy our daily walks through Kings Park looking over the city with breath taking views.

So that’s it for now I will be back with some posts over the next few days with some better detailed descriptions of what I have been up to and now I am all settled I will be posting a bit more regular.

Lou x


Beautiful Perth

The Marmite Collection – Versace Collaboration

Very happy with our purchases!

So I went to Dubai for the launch of Versace at H&M in Dubai Mall. I call it the marmite collection as people either loved it or hated it obviously I was deeply in love with it to travel for 10 hours! My original plan was to camp from about 5 am to ensure I got everything that was on my list but thankfully a beautiful and kind fellow blogger Aysha from Pretty Fashion Forward invited me to join her for the preview before the store opened…….. RESULT!!

I arrived at the store at 7.45 am and there was already people in the store so it was a manic rush down the stairs and complete insanity like I have only ever experienced at a Take That concert!

Now the rules on the H&M website states that shoppers would only have 10 minutes to shop and that they would only be allowed to purchase 1 piece of each item, well not in Dubai, oh no they make their own rules! I gathered all my wish list items into a shopping basket and joined the line for the fitting rooms….. yes in Dubai we had the pleasure of trying on the items before buying. Since in my head I am still a size 8 but in reality I am a 10 I managed to get a perfect fit by trying on both sizes and accepting that life in Jordan is indeed making me expand. Really I wish I had of recorded the women in the fitting rooms I have never seen so much bartering in my life and also so much begging because of course people were buying 5 of the same item due to Dubai rules:-) One lady spent 19,000 AED so roughly around 4,000 Euros! Another lady fainted and wait for it………. got sick in a Versace bag oh the horror! I am sure somebody still bought that bag sick and all!

Thankfully I got everything that I wanted except the bed spread because as an expat who seems to be in a new country every 5 minutes it just isn’t practical… I got a pillow though to compensate which I had great fun taking on 2 flights bag to Jordan. Clothing I got was 2 dresses and leggings and accessories the scarf, a pink belt and the panther choker which I am thinking to wear to mass on Christmas Day in Dublin:-) News is in now that Versace will also have an online collection for SS 2012 and from the pictures I have seen so far I don’t think I will be quite as excited but its early days.

Wishful thinking, dreaming and internet rumors that Tom Ford was in line for the next in store collaboration were crushed with the announcement of Marni hitting the shelves in March. Thanks to Donatella I have enough print in my wardrobe for quite a while so will pass on this collection although all the pictures are yet to be released so watch this space! It is a girls prerogative to change her mind after all.

I have to really thank my husband for allowing me take the credit card with approval to get whatever I wanted, I did get him some stocking filers also though being the good wife that I am …… Thanks Rob x

And thank you Aysha and her friend Tania for the invite and great company to share the excitement with, go and check her blog at http://prettyfashionforward.blogspot.com/

And sorry I didn’t take more pictures at the event all my hands were full:-)

Suitable for Christmas Day?

Skin Deep

Jade Thompson with a few less freckles:-(

I woke up this morning and have seen the pictures for Miss Selfridge’s Christmas Campaign featuring Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model winner Jade Thompson. Personally for me Jade really stood out in the competition because of her uniqueness including her beautiful face of freckles that decorated her skin with uniqueness. So why Miss Selfridge have you almost removed her freckles from your visuals either through make-up or photoshopping or quite possibly both?!

Will we ever learn to love the skin we have been given I wonder? Here in the Middle East I see adverts for creams to lighten the skin with advertising that would never be permitted on the television anywhere else in the world. I was on a quest all through my teens and twenties to be as dark as I possibly could through the use of sunbeds and fake tan. It scares me to think of the long-term damage I have done.

Somebody is to blame and sadly I think it’s our parents:-( For me I seen all my aunties and my mother hire sunbeds to the house and cook themselves in the sun, naturally I grew up thinking having a tan makes me look better but now I am not so sure if it’s really worth it. For darker skins wanting to be lighter I also know from friends that they have received pressure from their parents to be lighter. Don’t get me wrong times have changed and now my mother is always warning me of the dangers of the sun which I am thankful for. It is up to our generation now to teach our kids to embrace themselves and to love the skin they are in.

With all the altering of skin colours and with brands like Miss Selfridge erasing Jade’s natural beauty will we ever learn to accept the skin we have been given?

And Miss Selfridge…….. a few years back Lancome had a freckle pencil on the market that had a waiting list and a complete sell out and here you had a beautiful model that was naturally blessed with this as a feature. After years of Jade learning to love her differences you go and practically almost remove them….. is that the message you want to send to your customers?

Jade please make sure you keep your freckles on show next time!!

Jade Thompson- Natural Beauty