Month: February 2013

Hawaii Eat n Drinks Diary Part 4 – Final

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Day 5…6am …An Early rise today and we headed off to Lahaina for a snorkel and scuba dive trip at Molokai. My brother is an avid diver, and I prefer to be a float above kinda gal..so I opted to Snorkel …or Snuba..if you prefer. We drove to Lahaina as the sun came up and checked into the dive store, got our gear and went to the dock. As we pulled out of the harbour and into the ocean, you notice the enormity of the mountains that run along the shoreline, their peaks high in the clouds.There are the other Hawaiian Islands scattered all around you and the water is quite literally aqua blue. Winter in Maui is the perfect time to spot the whales and the crew advised us that we would probably see a few during our trip. They weren’t kidding. Whales galore.. Mama whales with their baby cubs out for a play, cruising and splashing in the Pacific Ocean..not more than 50 mtrs from our boats on occasion. Amazing, elegant creatures. We anchored in Molokai and went straight into the warm clear water. Once again, I don’t think I’ve ever seen water so brilliantly blue. The typical tropical  creatures and coral were beneath the surface, but the one thing that differs from perhaps a regular dive, was the sound of the whales singing to each other. At first I thought it was boat engines, however, I was wrong..It was a magical sound and it’s awesome to hear them chatting… you realise pretty quickly you are a visitor in the ocean environment, merely stopping by. The boat trip was really enjoyable and after one more we stop at another reef cove for the 2nd dive, we headed back to dry land.

Once back, We checked out of the Ritz Carlton and headed to Kaanapali Beach to the Honua Kai resort. A great place to come with kids as its condo style accommodation. It has a number of swimming pools with water slides, hot pools, pool activities, and its located right on the beach. You can hire snorkel gear from the resort and head out into the ocean with the luxury of heading back to pool for dip after. Perfect. We hadn’t planned a dinner reservation ..and decided to mosey through the town and wander into somewhere nice….as lunch had been burgers and fries..we needed a more staple evening fare…so we headed back to the Lahaina Grilll…..Another excellent dining experience.

Day 6.. Today….All day by the pool at the resort, a beach walk, Dukes poolside bar for lunch and then we were off to the other side of the island..the most southern tip, to the Four Seasons in Wailea for dinner. Worth the 1 hour drive..with a mall stop on the way of course!…what a magnificent property. the resort wraps around and overlooks the beach that it seems to be hugging. The pool has fountains and cabanas and is very very decadent with its design and fit out. The majestic stone stair case that leads you up from the pool to the resort is stunning. We had booked Spagos, the flagship of Wolfgang Puck’s fine dining restaurant empire presents imaginative, seasonal American cuisine with global accents. We were seated in the outdoor balcony area, that happened to overlook a CBS private party below..kept hoping to see Ridge or Brooke….but nup, no luck…what we could see…were the twinkling lights of the Maui coastline..It was heaven. The food was delicious,again.. and we enjoyed our brief taste of the Four Seasons, Maui.

Day 7..another early morning checkout as we were headed back to Honolulu for our last night. Straight to The Modern Hotel which is at the at the start of the Waikiki beach strip. It overlooks the boat marina and was a refreshing change in style from the other resorts on this trip thus far. Very pared back, bleached out and ..well….Modern..A cool upmarket beach vibe with young hip staff in white shorts and white Polo shirts and French grey cashmere vests.. Tres Chic.The lobby has a mash up of surfboards hung on the walls, contemporary caramel leather wing backs and dark oak wide floorboards. The check in desk is a smooth white washed oak curved counter. The sneaky bit is the ‘study wall’..big thick oak shelving wall with books and iPads and huge glass decorative votives and jars etc..however..this wall spins at 6pm and opens up into the Moderns lobby bar..Tricksters!..and a great novelty. A quick walk along the sparkling white sands of Waikik, a quick dash to the Ala Moana mall for last minute purchasing, a quick dip in the pool, and then it was off for the final dinner on this trip.

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Morimoto, the Inhouse Japanese restaurant was excellent…..The menu highlights a wide array of culinary choices, including a seasonal selection of raw fish preparations, featuring the best seafood that Japanese and Hawaiian waters offer, as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables. At Morimoto Waikiki – eating is theater, offering a sophisticated dining experience with everything from delicious pupus to an extensive tasting menu. Light and divine..Enjoyed by all. In bed by midnight in readiness for our 4am wakeup call, and 11 hour flight back to the real world… Perfect holiday, wonderful company…its easy to travel with family….amazing sights and once again the belt let out a just little further then on the way over. Thankyou again to my brother, he is an exceptional ‘concierge’ and plans an impeccable holiday. Happy birthday mama.. Special Memories to be cherished forever…

Aloha and Mahalo….

…Sx

Hawaii Eat n Drinks Diary Part 3

Hawaii Eat n Drinks Diary Part 3

Kapalua_AerialDay 3: Maui..The aerial shot above shows just how perfect the part of Maui we were headed to. We flew in from Honolulu on the 40 minute flight with Hawaiian Airlines, grabbed our hire car, took the 2 lane highway and headed to the Ritz Carton, Kapalua.

The Ritz Carlton, Kapalua is the located on the North West tip of the island of Maui. This resort is surrounded by some of the most spectacular natural beauty on earth, with approximately 23, 000 acres of pristine Hawaiian landscape. Boasting walking, hiking and equestrian trails, it overlooks the aquamarine blue ocean..and it really defines a true resort feel. Away from the hustle of Waikiki, yet close enough to drive to the local malls and restaurants. The hotel itself is very regal. Typical of the Ritz Carlton standard. Opulent. Our 1 bedroom suite overlooked the mountains and the golf course, with a view to the white sandy beaches below. The paradise was slightly marred by the wind and tropical showers that are inherent at this time of the year, at this the tip of the island. So we headed out of the resort for a meal..

Dinner was booked at the famous Lahaina Grill, Lahaina. A 20 minute drive south… a 10 degree increase in the weather, with no rain. Sounds good to me! Lahaina is a coastal whaling town with an old school charm. A little bit of a Cape Cod feel in Maui. White and grey weatherboard restaurants, quaint little streets and lots of tourist shops and of course, tourists! The Grill located inside the historical Lahaina Inn was delightful. We were seated and waited on by the most animated and helpful waitress so far on this trip. Nothing was too much trouble and typical of the American hospitality industry, the service was impeccable. The food was incredible..oven roasted hana baby beets, alziari extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar from modena, candied pecans, toasted dalmatia fig and goat cheese crostini, lamb with a light coffee-cabernet demi-glace, herbed mashed potatoes, just to name 2 of the 6 or so plates we ordered. Perfection. A birthday candle on the creme brûlée for mama, and it was great night had by all. A well deserved winner of Maui’s Best Restaurant 20 consecutive years in a row – 1994 – 2013.. Now thats something to celebrate…

Day 4 was a slow day of holiday style relax. Brunch in the restaurant overlooking the pools, a feeble attempt at the in house gym..got a little sweat up..checked out the spa…shopped for gimmicky RC fare in the lobby store (apologies to my kids in advance)..Base ball caps with hotel logos are so cool…when you’re on holiday..once home..not so much..and then a real shopping fix at the Whalers Mall. Sephora…you are a girls’ best friend..Major makeup  and product frenzy..you know you’re slightly manic when you line up at the counter and its almost time to pay..and you run back to grab..”just a couple more items!’..hmmm.. Back to the hotel and room service menu, tempted us to stay in..plus the fact that the weather had turned and we decided to seek alternate accommodation and head 20 minutes south for guaranteed hot weather.  All of the hotels were totally booked out..It seems that the mainland USA heads to Maui to thaw out..Anyhoo, we were lucky enough and booked online, quite possibly the last room in Maui at the Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Kaanapali Beach. The Ritz Carlton was stunning..but we needed more sun…So, we out..Sunny skies here we come.

…Sx

Weekend Round Up..Hawaii Fashion Michael Kors Style…

IMG_1698This mini fashion update this week is full tribute to Michael Kors..kind of by accident, but kind great at the same time. Upon arrival into Honolulu this week, I headed straight to the Waikele Premium Outlet Mall, about 40 minutes West of Waikiki Beach. A 10 hour flight, little sleep and a touch of jet lag, did nothing to slow me down. With an enormous desire to grab a bargain I made my way to the Michael Kors outlet store. Rack upon rack of winter sale items greeted me…called out my name in fact. The best thing about the US is always the shopping, and if you time it right, the seasonal sales suit the Aussie shopper perfectly. So I strolled out of there one happy camper..A fabulous Beige and Gold studded tote bag..plus an arrangement of delicious knitwear..3 different styles, all the colours available..I have no problem in doubling up on a style with all the colours.. gold boucle jacket plus a stunning grey cashmere poncho with a detachable fur collar..divine..all for under $600 bucks…I shudder to think what it would cost full RRP..at the start of winter..In the homeland..First stop in the mall proved to be a winner..Next stop..Adidas!

Trump Dinner 1 : White Zara jeans, Fawn Cut Out Michael Kors knit, and my new favourite carry all..Michael Kors Tote.

Trump Dinner 2 : Zara Zip Denim jeans, Black Country Road Camisole, plus new Gold Sequin and Boucle Cropped Jacket..Thank You Michael Kors.

Ritz Carlton Dinner : The same ‘ol white jeans ..again..travelling light to pack heavy..Topped off with a Ink Cutout Michael Kors Knit..#2 of the 3 colours..and my Stella silver studded jacket. Plus a diversion from my usual eyeliner..a new Mac Purple Liner…like it.

Fashion Update Hawaii Style.. with a Michael Kors Flavour..

…Sx

Hawaii Eat n Drinks Diary Part 2….

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Nothing screams United States of America more than a Starbucks Non fat, No Whipped, Grande Cafe Mocha Latte and Cup of Granola and Yoghurt..Well to me anyways….That was the brekky of choice on Day 2. A quick dip in the refreshing ocean at Waikiki beach and then it was off to do some SERIOUS shopping. Off to the Ala Moana Centre..Hawaii’s biggest outdoor shopping mall. Prada, Gucci Chanel, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstom, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Gap..the list goes on and on. It was full and successful day..the Mac store being the overall winner for me, and then back to the Trump to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner was booked in to the hottest new restaurant in Honolulu. Salt Bar and Kitchen. Winner of Hawaii Magazine’s Best New Restaurant 2012. Its off the beaten track, downtown in the CBD. You wouldn’t just stumble across this bar unintentionally, it’s a drive or a taxi run. It was unassuming and quite small. Pretty casual in fact. The decor simple with black and white images on the walls and banquettes in dark leather. The chef specialises in creating the menu with all locally grown Hawaiian produce. The mix of flavours is quite unique. The menu reads exceptionally well..however, the tapas style flavours were a little lacklustre. I ordered the local tako with sweet corn puree, house chorizo, papas, grape tomatoes and almonds. Tako..in case you’re wondering is octopus tentacles..I forgot to ask…mistake. The wine and the company were better than the food for me…just sayin’

Day 3 Breakfast was divine. The location, the food, the weather. Picture Perfect. ‘Orchids’, ocean front and located practically on the white sands of Waikiki Beach, is the signature dining area for the 5 star hotel Halekulani. It is casual, yet elegant, set amid an abundance of colourful orchid trees. Idyllic. Sunday Brunch is legendary and is called ‘Oahu’s Best Brunch’ by Honolulu’s Magazine. A perfect way to start the day..which involved checking out of the Trump Hotel in Waikiki and jumping on a jet to island hop over to Maui. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Maui…

..Stay Tuned…Mahalo

…Sx

Hawaii Eats n Drinks Diary Part One…

waikiki_beachFor the next 7 nights I am embracing all things Waikiki…Coconut oil, Fire Dancing, Surfing and Fruity Cocktails. Leaving the hot Aussie Summer for the Balmy Hawaiian Winter..Perfect Exchange.

We left Melbourne and jetted off to Honolulu for some great USD shopping and fun in the sun. The flight is easy for the down under traveller, locked in at only 10 hours..it’s a piece of cake. A night flight and arrival at 6am..not a piece of cake..However, the best thing to do is to refuse to accept the time zone change and embrace the gain of a second shot at Tuesday.

Upon arrival we headed straight to the rent a car and drove across the island to the famous North Shore. It’s too early to check into the hotel, it’s too early to start shopping..so lets head off to old school Hawaii and take in the sights.

The Hotel Turtle Bay is a famous resort perched on the perfect surf coast of Oahu’s, North Shore. Only 45 minutes from the energetic pulse of Honolulu and Waikiki, this resort National Geographic has described as being “one of the wonders of the world – one of the planet’s most awesome places.” Also, in excess of 150 movies and tv shows have been set here. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The original Hawaii Five-0 filmed and stayed at Turtle Bay, as did Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Blue Crush, The Big Bounce, Along Came Polly and many more. As the the locals say..You just never know who may drop in..

After a typical Americano Breakfast at a diner, we drove to the Outlet Mall for a serious jet lagged shopping fest. Waikele Premium Outlet opens at 10am and we were right on the knocker. No crowds and over 50 designer stores to grab a bargain ..so let the frenzy begin. Armani Xchange, Adidas, Guess, Ralph Lauren, Nine West, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger..to name a few..had the pleasure of our company..and with the winter sales on..my wardrobe for the winter future is set. Bleary eyed by 2pm and 3 trips to the car to stash the bags later..it was time to head to the hotel.

Trump_Hotel_Waikiki_Exterior1The Trump International located just off Waikiki Beach was the golden oasis for the weary travellers. We checked into our suite with a 180* view of the city, the beach and the mountains. The bathrooms are amazing and the hotel is typical Trump. Stylish and opulent..big beds with fluffy pillows.. very much appreciated after 24 hours with no sleep. A quick nap and then it was off to walk the strip and go for dinner.

The Moana Surf Rider Hotel is a stunning piece of Honolulu history. The European Influenced architecture and the bleached white building is a must see when visiting the island. Its feels like a mix of the Bahamas and the Singapore Raffles Hotel, overlooking the white beach and gentle rolling surf of Waikiki. We ordered the best meal in a long time..tender fillet of beef, sides of mac n blue cheese, whipped garlic mash, asparagus in garlic butter..and the all American iceberg wedge salad with pancetta and ranch dressing..2 bottles of a sublime Pinot Noir …and an overtired wine buzz..it was time to hit the sack..A night time beach stroll back to Trump and my head hit the pillow and I was out…perfect day 1 in this island paradise.

…Sx

Aloha… Mid Week Hawaiian Inspiration..My Top Movie Picks on Location In Hawaii

Aloha… Mid Week Hawaiian Inspiration..My Top Movie Picks on Location In Hawaii

Aloha..I’m currently enjoying some time in Hawaii. So what better topic for the mid week inspiration, than Greatest All Time Movies filmed on location on this magical island.

From Here To Eternity; is a film from 1953 directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel by James Jones. It stars, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra, along side beauties Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed. It tells the tale of enlisted men in Hawaii fighting for love and honour on the the eve of WW1….oh and how can you ever forget that passionate beach scene..You just can’t..all time most romantic scene ever…

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Elvis Presley stars in Blue Hawaii, a film from 1961. Upon discharge from the Army, he returns to Hawaii to enjoy life with his buddies and girlfriend, against the wishes of his parents, who want him to work for the family business. This movie is feel good fun time with great island scenery and music from the rockin’ ’60’s. Cutey Patootie…

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Blue Crush is a full surfer chick. Set in 2002, starring Kate Bosworth, it tells the story of 3 friends who live slightly dysfunctional lives, but share one passion: living the ultimate dream of surfing on Hawaii’s famed North Shore. Perfect barrels roll in and these chicks can surf!..Apparently Kate did all of her own stunts in this film..thats one gutsy surfer gal..

gp055767One of my favourites…50 First Dates ..its a classic love story with a twist. Its charming and funny and demonstrates how true love can conquer all. The scenery in this film is stunning and Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore play out their characters perfectly. The film was Shot on location in Oahu and the North Shore and driving through there today for breakfast..I fully expected to see Adam Sandler and broken down car on the road up ahead..but alas..he was nowhere to be seen..

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Ok…The best for last…2011..Mr George Clooney in The Descendants..GC plays a Honolulu based lawyer and the sole trustee that controls pristine land on the island of Kaua’i. His wife is in a coma, he finds out she was having an affair..and he has to raise his 2 daughters solo..In a nutshell it sounds midly depressing..But here’s when the hero of the day..The magical Hawaiian backdrop and culture raises the bar and takes the film to great heights..George Clooney may help a little….Or perhaps lot..This movie is a pleasure to watch..

So go Make your self a Coconut Dacquiri and sit back, sip, and enjoy a Hawaiian Themed Movie night…

Mahalo..

….Sx

Weekend Round Up..Channelling Liz Hurley..White Pants Everyday.

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Ok.. I’m a serial white pants wearer …I’m not altogether sure this is a good thing..But dang it..I do love a white pant..So I challenged myself this week to wear white bottoms every day to work..Easier than I thought actually..The base was sorted ..so add the upper detail and hit the office..Snap!

Tuesday – Office and Site Meetings : The White Stilt Cigarette Jean, Ginger and Smart silk chiffon multi coloured top and Zomp Black and Linen wedges.

Wednesday – Client Meetings : Zara White with Gold Zipper Jeans, Witchery Linen Blazer, Kookai Royal Blue Chiffon top, White tank, pop-o-colour yellow necklace and Missoni Inspired kicks by Nine West.

Thursday – Out of town road trip Client meeting : Zara White Canvas jeans with Brass Studs, White Cotton Phanuel shirt..Neon Pink Necklace, Chanel Black n White Sunnies and Flats.

Friday – Client Meetings in office : Same Zara canvas Jeans as Thursday, Friday sequin celebration tee from Witchery, White / Rose Gold  Hermes Bracelet and Neon Yellow Sportsgirl heels…

So I’m paying hommage to Liz Hurley, who made the white pant as famous as Buckingham palace… Salute..

…Sx

Zebra Darling..You Make Me Swoon….

Zebra is my Go To Guy..It’s my latest and greatest in design and all things Uber.. Nothing screams Ralph Lauren Cool like the Zebra..Its time to put the cow hide out to pasture..there’s a new kid in town..

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Pink Walls Zebra RugMary McDonald..the most talented of the Million Dollar Decorators, is synonymous with the Zebra..She manages to throw that hide around in the most glamorous  possible way..

Rustic Zebra

Kelly Wearstler, Los Angeles Based interior, fashion and all things vibed guru..uses the Zebra motif anywhere she can..

Local Aussie Based designer, Greg Natale..isn’t too shy to hang with the wilder beast either.. Classic ..

Zebra for all occasions..

Masculine Eames with Zebra
Masculine Eames with Zebra
Kate Spades Guest Bathroom
Kate Spades Guest Bathroom

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Royal Blue Zebra Nursery
Royal Blue Zebra Nursery

They sense fear…so don’t shy away from the Zebra decor..Go for it..Trust me..you will love it!

..Sx

A Desk is Just a desk..Unless you are Aerin Lauder

A Desk is Just a desk..Unless you are Aerin Lauder

Aerin Lauder's 1930's french gold desk in her dressing room
Aerin Lauder’s 1930’s french gold desk in her dressing room

My office desk yearns to be like the iconic desk of Aerin Lauder. It’s not anything like hers..but, gee I wish it was. Aerin Lauder, the grand daughter of the makeup and beauty queen Estee lauder, oozes glamour. With old school class and charm, Aerin is as regal as the the desks she has in Paris, Aspen and New York.

The timber desk overlooking the snow fields in Aspen
The timber desk overlooking the snow fields in Aspen

The simplicity and mix of gold table frames, timber chairs and mirror detail..all adds up to a very chic work space.

Aerin Lauder does Lucite
Aerin Lauder does Lucite

A few of my favourite things all in one beautiful vignette. The Lucite lamp, gold perspex trays, a mirrored table top and fashion savvy all white pencils..Dreamy and stylish …

french style writing desk
french style writing desk

Even her at home writing desk is pure unadulterated, over the top luxe. Once again gold is the main player, dressed with pretty wallpaper and powder blue drapes, to soften the kick of power.

The office desk
The office desk

When my desk grows up ..it wants to be just like any of Aerin Lauders’…any of them..I’m not picky…although…I am partial to the gold one..

…S

Weekend RoundUp..What I Wore…A Tale of 2 Cities

Image copyWhat a Week….The highlight during this frenetic busy working week..was jetting up to Sydney on Thursday for the Annual Design and Decoration Trade Fair. It’s a long day on your feet, so comfort wins over today in the kicks department..I rarely wear flats, but its a no brainer today..I’m bringing back the sandal..perhaps??

So…The ‘ol trust Zara Zipper Jeans, The Witchery Shell Tee, The Zara Neon Pink Silk Blazer.. Definately a winner in Sydney..I’ve never had so many compliments on the colour..must be too bright for Melbs??…jewellery from my recent trip to India..and my oversized Gucci handbag with the British green accent..Perfect for jamming ph charger, makeup, business cards, water, snacks, tickets, earphones  etc etc..and whatever else I fit in during the day…In all it was a successful business day and the outfit managed to get me through the fair, out to lunch, to the art museum and then to the Ivy..and back home in one exhausted piece..

Saturday night was a hot night out with the girls and into the city for some serious culture…We were off to the Melbourne Theatre Company to see a very confronting play called “The Other Place”.. slightly depressing, yet thrilling at the same time..weird…To me the theatre requires a dress up factor…Sequins!.. Thurley Sequin Fish tail skirt…The dressy hero! Country Road Zipper top…the comfy cousin, teamed with the perspex Senso Black and Gold Heels….Classic Black Ray Bans…and Once again an oversized Marc Jacobs Handbag..for the wrap, the sunnies, the gloss…you know the drill..

2 cities, 2 looks…..done and done…phew

…Sx