Archives for January 2017
Ever since the day my ear drums were tickled by Naryana and Kalyani’s enchanting vocals and bass driven beats, They pulled strings of my heart and inspired an appreciation for Other Worldly music within me. Over the years i have bumped into the team at gigs, festivals and even around town in Byron, not only do i love them for they're wonderful music but for the depth and individuality that they both radiate, which seeps into each and every track by Willow Beats.
The dynamic synergy between vocals and production in Willow beats enkindles a very Unique, Deep and Ethereal sound that has evolved drastically since they won Triple J unearthed/Parklife competition in 2012. I was lucky enough to catch them in Sydney at they're recent show at Hudson Ballroom, where they premiered their new Album Dvaraka. The intimacy of the venue was wonderfully involving for everyone as Kalyani transformed the room into a Femme Fortress with her Fiery and Enchanting Performance. Seeing as these two have recently been galavanting around the world, touring and embarking on spiritual exhibitions through india- I decided who better than to begin my Interviewing Journey?!
Kalyani is a strong and empowered young woman, aged 20 years old, she is fearless. Standing her ground and voicing her beliefs with confidence, through her creative medium - her lyrics. During her show on Friday she stopped to explain the meaning of her song Guardian.
“Beauty is a construct of our time. My beauty is ancient, so is yours.” She pleaded to the audience full of diverse individuals in every shape and size. I asked her more about her ideologies around body image and her eloquent response blew me away.
“ Remember that humans are closely related to monkeys? Us humans are pretty special, but not removed from the rest of the world…. After all, We are part of the earth! Sometimes when I am feeling insecure I try and think about my beauty in relation to the beauty of a tree or the ocean. It helps to think about my body that way. The most important thing i learnt is, Don’t believe the lies they’re telling you about what you are meant to look like.”
Below is an interview that i had the pleasure of sharing with Naryana and Kalyani. These two have such an inspiring story and so much knowledge at their dispense for both you and I, its pretty lengthy - but even the more worth it. I hope you Enjoy.
Ive been a Willow Beats fan since the very begining, as each album came out i noticed a progression in your style - Was there a pivotal point in your lives that marks where your music shifted away from quite bass-heavy dubstep into the more recent shamanic house and electronica vibe?
KALYANI: It was a gradual shift as our tastes evolved over time and I became more involved in the process. I am a very traditional songwriter. I grew up on Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Bjork. I never wanted to write about the every day for Willow Beats. Narayanas production has such an ethereal nature. Music is all about escapism and we wanted to create the ultimate places of escape in this project.
NARAYANA: It’s been a gradual drift. We decided we’d rather make music for people to listen to as opposed to music to party to. I think each EP has had less and less heavy tracks on it. Also from a production standpoint I have to listen to a track on loop for a long, long time tweaking bits and pieces till I’m happy with it. Dark heavy music starts to grate on the psyche pretty quickly.
2. Give me a little insight into the story behind the single Dvaraka pt. II?
KALYANI: Dvaraka pt. I and II are inspired by the people of Tarawa which is an Atoll in the Pacific ocean. Their home is gradually being flooded by rising sea levels. Their relationship with nature is being distorted. The ocean used to give them life - fish to eat. Now it’s slowly killing them as their crops drown. In Dvaraka pt II I sing about the transcendental aspect of nature. When all the humans are dead, there will still be vines climbing up buildings and flowers blooming on crumbling skyscrapers. That’s very beautiful to think about.
NARAYANA: What is now Dvaraka pt. II was basically the after thought to another song, kind of an extended outro. This allowed me to drift away from what I thought was the “Willow Beats” sound. I was basically just playing around being silly. We both really ended up liking it though. I started off with that Tropical House-ish tom drum bass line. Basically built layers and layers of harmonies on top. That’s the basis of the production. Even the melodic leads are the same bass line with harmonies up an octave. The shakers are re sampled through a walkman. Giving the track a kind of grainy memory nostalgic feel.
3. Kalyani, What Inspired you to travel to India? What particular experience during your past/recent travels to India have inspired your latest album?
I am part Indian. I have grown up with Vaisnavism which is an Indian philosophy. My mother grew up in a small village in India attending an ashram. Before I started music I studied Bharatanatyam which is north Indian classical dance. It is the dance of Shiva, a very disciplined form of dance where one creates straight lines with their body. My first introduction to music was in the temple room, singing traditional songs of prayer. We would take turns leading, one of us playing the harmonium, one of us playing the mrdanga, and sing together for god. Group chanting is a very special experience and I still attend the temple for bhajan as much as I can.
4. Narayana - Tell me a little bit about your background and studies in music
I started playing guitar in grade 7. After school I studied contemporary music performance at uni. Halfway through I broke my wrist which forced me to find another outlet. I swapped into composition and that’s where I got serious about production. All through my life I’ve dabbled in production software though. I’ve used Fruity Loops, Reason, Logic pro, and now Ableton J.
5. What was it like growing up in the beautiful town of Murwillumbah? Being born there myself, I really appreciate the diversity of the community and I feel connected when I visit. But I would like to know more!?
KALYANI: Murwillumbah is a beautiful town in the tweed valley. It has a delightful combination of cane farmers and long time hippies. It sits next to Wollumbin, a very sacred mountain for indigenous people. Being indigenous (I am descended from the Pyemmairenner people of north eastern Tasmania), I feel a deep connection to the land. It brings me joy and inspiration. I have made good friends with the land as I have lived very closely with it. My family home has no doors! I lived in a shed in the forest until a month ago. The earliest memories I have of writing songs are in the ocean and river. Swimming clears my head and lets God (inspiration) flow into me.
NARAYANA: Growing up in the Hari Krishna community was pretty special I think. I’m still best friends with most of the kids I grew up with! I remember having a lot more freedom than kids are given these days. I had many adventures exploring up creeks, making bombs out of soda bulbs, making pen head arrows, glove gun wars etc etc. In high school I had a huge sense identity as a musician. I played guitar and that’s what everyone know me for. That’s what I knew me for! There wasn’t really another kid who could match me! I think that could only happen in a little town.
5. I often visit your Emma (Kalyani mother, Narayan's sister) at her store in Murwillumbah, She tells me stories of your beautiful property which you all shared together. Briefly Tell me about your upbringing/spirituality and family?
KALYANI: After my Dad left, Mum had to raise my brother and I by herself. We didn’t have any money or a place to live, but my generous Grandma had a 5 acre property so we moved in with her and Mum got to work building my brother and I a place to live. She built us a toilet by digging a big hole. She bought bits and pieces from the op shop to build us a bathroom. She got to work designing clothes and set up a little store in Murwillumbah. I have never felt like I lacked anything. Necessity has made me creative. Anything we need we build it with our hands. We grow food and make our own clothes. All my clothes I wear onstage are either from the op shop or made by a friend. All the Willow Beats music is made in homemade studios. Work hard and do it your self.
NARAYANA : yeah we grew up on a 5 acre property, I’m actually living on it right now! It’s basically a big gum forest gully. I Remember so many adventures traversing it as a youngen. I spent a lot of my time looking for thunder eggs and trying to catch various birds. I remember once telling my mum I wanted a pet eagle. She humoured me and took me up to the top of our hill. We tied our little dog to a stump as bait and waited for hours... My upbringing was very fantastical. My mum would read me The Hobbit and other fantasy novels. There was a big dead tree near our house. I was utterly convinced it was a giants walking stick. The giant would wake up at night and collect his walking stick putting it back every morning before sunrise.
6. What is one thing each of you wished people asked you about more often?
KALYANI: I would like to take this opportunity to talk about veganism. It’s the easiest way to slow down climate change. I have never eaten meat in my life; people ask me if I ever wonder what it tastes like. If your dog died would you fry it up and eat it? That’s what meat is! Death. I don’t like being harsh but it really is a harsh reality that you must face and make an informed decision. Even if you can’t cut meat out of your diet completely just try and eat less meat. Every little attempt to make ourselves better makes a big difference to the planet and the animals we exploit. I am not perfect but I am trying.
NARAYANA: Hmmm I think I could nerd out on production techniques for ever. I’m always down to talk about collecting field recordings or ways of slicing natural sounds into rhythmic expressions. I really do feel like a wizard when I open up my laptop. The possibilities are endless and everyone has a different way of making electronic music.
7. I feel your music is full of symbolism and imagery that seems to allude to your own life experiences. For each of you, which track resonates most and why?
KALYANI: Elemental encapsulates my beliefs. It’s my little ode to mother nature. She has taken care of me so nicely. It’s one of my most empowered songs and I can tell I was in a really good space when I wrote it.
NARAYANA: My favourite at the moment is called “Be Kind to Yourself”. Lyrically it’s about looking after your body. I feel like if this song adds value to even one person’s life, then I’ll be happy. I’m very proud of the production on this track as well.
8. I truly believe in this day and age, with social media and all other aspects of the internet, That if you have opportunity, it is so important to share positive influence and set a good example for young women out there.
In reference to the song Guardian, tell me what message you want to convey to young women?
KALYANI: Love yourself. I am slowly learning how. Its hard to look in the mirror and say “you are perfect right now, you don’t need to change”, but time is fleeting. Don’t waste it. I promise the more love you show yourself the more beautiful you become inside and out. Young girls, don’t give all your love to someone else when you are not ready. Only give it away once you have enough to share.
NARAYANA : I think that people with any kind of voice or influence need to be spreading a positive message. Art throughout the ages has had different roles and different messages and sometimes it’s important to show the darker sides of things. I think humanity now is at such a critical point culturally and environmentally that we need to spread messages of empathy and evidence. Our consumerist lifestyles aren’t sustainable. I believe artists should be promoting ideals away from consumerism.
9. Describe yourself in three words
KALYANI : YES I CAN
10. What was your most embarrassing or most interesting experience you've had on stage?
KALYANI: I used to get heckled a lot for the way I looked. I remember being 14 on the stage and having men yell at me to shave my legs. They were confronted that I was unashamed of my body. It honestly never upset me though; the fact that they were so horrible just affirmed that I should NEVER conform to their standards. I would say fuck off and keep singing. I don’t get it much anymore though. I think people are learning, and if I did I would stop the show and say get the fuck out or I will not continue. People forget that you are a human with feelings when you are on the stage sometimes. I am sure you understand that - (Mimi) sharing so much personally on a public platform. The last thing I want to say to girls is to be aggressive; you have to. You have to be twice as aggressive as boys. Stand up for yourself; you don’t have to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable.
NARAYANA : I was singing blue once and this one guy in the crowd was screaming the lyrics back at me. Honestly like a punk singer. It was so hard trying to stay zone with that! I think I cracked up more than sang.
O N T H E R O A D W I T H M E L O D Y ft. Sarah Humphrey
a fun little adventure up to our dear friend Sarah's property, where we raided her amazing collection of vintage, played dress-ups, petted farm animals, laughed, ate chocolate and took pictures.
M A T C H A
M I N T
M A D N E S S
A match made in heaven. Inspired by one of my favourite cafes in Los Angeles- Alchemy Health Food and Juice Lab. I was trying to practice a little self control and NOT get one everyday, until of course, with the help of Tanya - i realised how simple it was to make at home!
This smoothie is a great sweet craving fix! Low in fructose with no added sugar. We achieve yummy sweetness by using naturally sweet ingredients.
- 1 tsp matcha
- 1 tsp maca
- 1 tsp spirulina or Greens powder
- 2 tsp cacao nibs
- 4 Tbsp dried mulberries
- 1 mejool date
- handful of fresh mint
- 1 Tbsp hemp protein
- 1 heaped Tbsp macadamia nut butter, or any nut butter you prefer (not peanut)
- almond/coconut mylk ice cubes. i like to freeze my mylk into ice cubes to achieve a slushie-like consistency. if not you can just add regular ice cubes with mylk.
- Enjoy with a sprinkle of your favourite granola or cereal !
I love to top my smoothie with plain toasted Buckinis, and a few fresh mint leaves.
S A V O U R Y G R E E N
This one is inspired by my frivolous visits to the all famous Cafe Gratitude in LA. I'm not a fan of fruit in smoothies at the best of times. So this one is a winner. Its like a super fresh and light, cold, spicy avocado gazpacho, perfect on a hot and busy morning
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 celery stalks
- one pinch cayenne/chilli
- 1/2 avocado
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 handful of kale
- pinch of salt
Far From the tantalising frenzy of LA. Where I dance as distraction, underlying passion. Away with my worries and transient sense of self. With a few Friends by my side, I find myself amidst the cacti, grounded in a sea of small urchin like spines and spikes. I Relax, I breathe, taking in the unusually gorgeous surroundings. I am inspired as i lay … and sway in my kaleidoscope cocoon, in my mind i swim with the stars as they swell just beyond the dust.
Joshua Tree is one of my Favourite little Get- Aways. Only a short drive from LA and you are in a desert-dreaming, cacti-filled wonderland. I always find the most incredible little 1970s houses and modern Make-Do Hippie Homes to stay for a few nights.
I tend to wander around the national park or relax and explore my immediate surroundings wherever i may end up. However, In town there are a few very sweet Vintage and Thrift Stores. A wonderful health food store full of herbal tinctures and oils, local artists paintings and nick nicks, along with snacks, food for cooking and everything else organic. Next door is The Natural Sisters Cafe, serving the most impressive, delicious, organic and gluten free sandwiches. They are piled so high with goodness, exploding with so many sprouts you can't even find the toast... So, in short i am never low on supplies.
( R A W V E G E M I T E )
Friend or Fo, Were all familiar with our very-aussie pal Vegemite. Aside from its high vitamin B content, the rest of the ingredients disinterest me. The Spread is very high in sodium, and contains colourings and preservatives. I personally love that salty flavour, especially with avo on toast. So one day i decided to make my very own, much tastier version of vegemite, that packs more of a vitamin punch than the original! I love to get my ingredients from The Source Bulk Foods. These Ingredients make one full, medium sized Jar of Spread.
All you need is a blender or food processor (ideal) and :
- 1 CUP Black Tahini
- 1/2 CUP Nutritional Yeast
- 1/4 CUP Tamari
- 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- One Recycled Airtight Jar (glass)
- Blend and Spread!
Tahini is a wonderful base for spreads and sauces, the flavour of sesame seed pairs well with savoury or sweet. It is high in B vitamins, iron, calcium and magnesium - The Wonder Seed! Nutritional Yeast (depending on which brand) contains around 14 minerals and 17 vitamins - including a full spectrum of B vitamins. This ingredient is essential as it creates the spreadable texture and adds a lovely cheesy flavour to your Vegan Vegemite! Tamari is simply Wheat Free Soy Sauce - i add it for that salty taste, and AVC with its alkalising and antibacterial properties is for that final bitter kick.
p.s Make sure your recycled airtight jar is clean before you add your blended Vegemite, and please keep it refridgerated!
My dear little Kath is far from just a pretty face. This unstoppable pocket rocket shares her passion for Health, Fitness, Fashion and Food via her instagram @kathebbss and her blog www.callmekath.com She is also a Qualified Personal Trainer, Has her very own Smoothie Stall, killer personality and Absolutely on-point style. You may even have seen her Fanta Campaign floating around Sydney on busses.
The world of Social media has changed our generations way of life, by providing a platform that encourages individuality, and supports free-lance professions. It can even become be a full time job, but for some of us - like Kath and i, we have the urge to continue chasing that dream we were always passionate about, and instead of curated chaos, share our journey real every-day lives instead.
So lets hear some inside information on fashion, health and fitness from this multi-tasking wonder woman!!
So, Kath - Tell me a little bit about where you grew up, and “what you wanted to be” when you ﬁnished school?
I am a Sydney girl born and bred! Iv’e lived in the inner west my whole life between Abbotsford and Drummoyne. My mum is from a small town north of NSW called Grafton and my dad from Dublin in Ireland, he came to Australia on holidays when he was 23 then never left. I also have 3 siblings, two younger sisters and one older brother. Me and my siblings grew up very close. Emily is 18 ,Ellen 14 and Liam 20. There was never a quite or dull moment in my household, my parents are both very creative people- they actually met doing shows together- because of this we were always encourage to sing, dance, act and play! I remember almost every night putting on concerts with my siblings for whoever was around to watch. I also grew up dancing which was and still is a major hobby/passion of mine. All my life I have suffered from severe anxiety, this was especially hard growing up as I had no idea how to deal with it or ever what it was (I just thought something was wrong with me). I had no energy to focus on anything else, this really effected my schooling and dancing as I was very inconsistent. It wasn't in till I was about 14 I learnt how to mange my disorder so it wouldn't stop me from living a normal life. By the time I had taken a hold of things and started to feel like a “normal” teenager I began to think about things such as my “future”. I was terrible at school, not naughty but it was just not for me - I think this had a lot to do with missing so much of it- I felt dumb even when I would try really hard and just couldn't engage. I started getting heavily back into dance at this time too, I was frustrated as I lacked a lot of technique due to time lost but I decided I was going to work at it in till I got good enough to go into full time after school. This was the plan in till my last year of high school.
During year 12 I started getting into health and ﬁtness to condition my body for dance and actually ended up falling in love with that lifestyle so much more. I had a lot of old mental blocks come back that year and I feel as though ﬁtness saved me from myself… I was addicted. For once I was competing against myself instead of someone else. I loved the feeling of training, smashing goals and trying new things. Cooking also became something I started to quite liked as well. I would take unhealthy foods I liked and try to make them healthy. This new love of health food also sparked the start of “The Smoothie Bowl Shack”. Because of all this I decided I was going to keep dance as a hobby for now and pursue this new journey life had given me. So as soon as I graduated high school I started my cert 3/4 in personal training, and made plans to grow my smoothie shack business. I always knew I wanted to be doing something creative but I never planned what it would be. I just like to go with the ﬂow, staying focused and let the universe decide the rest.
Have you utilized social media to assist in fulﬁlling your passion for Health, Fitness, Fashion and Food ? Do you think it has helped to elevate your profession or has it taken away from it?
Social media has enable me to share the things I am passionate about (Fashion, health, ﬁtness, food) to an audience. Things such as instagram are great- if used correctly- in inspiring young creatives and spreading a good positive message. I never planned on social media being a job for me but it has deﬁantly opened up doors i never thought were possible as well as widening my eyes to new exciting things.
It has also helped me with promoting my other business “The Smoothie Bowl Shack”. I think social media is a great means to promote anything- its the new age! These days not as many young people are watching tv but majority of them are scrolling through social media all day long. Because of this I will happily admit to have utilised it in order to advertise things like my smoothie shack as well as hopefully inspire and educate others. In short, social media thus far has most deﬁantly help me pursue the things I love most in life, allowed me to be able to spread a positive message and created a job I never thought was possible.
So, You are pretty well renowned for having an awesome, quirky vintage inspired style. Tell us your Top 3 Places to Shop and what you look for when trauling through all the odd bits and bobs at markets and op shops.
I have a thing for bold and colourful statement pieces. When I find something really quirky it actually inspires me, I use these moments to piece together new looks I had never planned for. I let my eye do the work and just go for whatever i’m feeling, I don’t follow trends, get self conscious, or feel the need to wear something “outside the box” (whatever that means), fashion is an expression of self and because of this I wear exactly what I want.
Its hard to pin point a particular shops as I usually like certain different “pieces” of clothing that I match with other random stuff, suppose to a whole collection. If I was to name a few I would say ‘U-turn’ fashion, there are many around the inner Sydney and I always seem to find amazing designer vintage there. I also hit up a lot of charity stores, you have to have a little more time when going to these as theres more to go through, but for me thats the fun part! Charity stores are also great since you are giving back a little in the process.
In saying this I have actually through collaborating with brands developed an eye for new collections, I love brands that are completely their own and bring something new to the table. Also, Websites such as ‘asos’ are sick, as they are a portal to a huge range of diverse styles. I also use an app called “depop”, this app is great as you can just search items you want and usually find what your looking for (if not cooler) It's also very affordable because it is all second hand clothes.
So You have a Smoothie Bowl Stall at Glebe Markets - what inspired you to start this?
I was in my last year of school, had no idea what I wanted to do when I ﬁnished and always had this idea of working for myself. My interest in nutrition was also very new at this time. I was (and still am) always looking for fresh, colourful and healthy food options when I’m out.
My sister and I were at Glebe markets op shopping one weekend, and as per usual I was hungry - hah. Whilst lurking around the food stalls looking for something I realised there was nothing really ‘healthy’ on offer. It was a nice sunny day and I remember saying to my sister something along the lines of “ah wouldn’t a smoothie bowl go down so well right now?”..light bulb moment! I stopped and then thought..why don’t I just do it myself!
This then became my new project. I wasn’t enjoying Year 12, so instead of wasting time during class waiting for time to pass I decided to sit at the back with my laptop and write up a plan, create a menu and eventually pitched the idea to the organisers of the markets. It took some time until we were allowed to do a “trial” run for a week. Looking back on that ﬁrst week makes me laugh so much! I started out with one very small ‘mix and go’ blender machine, which could only make one bowl at a time, but we still managed to pump out a fair few.. it was a hit!
Do you Drink a lot of smoothies? What is your favourite At-Home smoothie Recipe?
I have the biggest sweet tooth so smoothies have been my saving grace when I decided to change my way of eating. I prefer to make my smoothies extra thick and eat them in a bowl with a spoon just like ice cream hmmm, but I usually go with something that has berries in it. I love berries as they are high in antioxidants and lower in sugar.
At-home smoothie recipe: - 1 cup of blueberries
- 1/2 a frozen banana
- 1 cup of spinach
- 1 cup of kale
- 1 tbs of chia seeds
- 1 cup of good quality almond milk
- optional= scoop of plant based protein
Like myself - you train almost everyday - what motivates you to get up and get moving?
I love it! Working out is my favourite time of the day as it’s my “me” time! I motivate myself by writing down new ﬁtness goals and smashing them. It wasn't always like this so I understand why others beg the question but honestly my advice would be to just ﬁnd a way of moving that you love- this does take a little time to ﬁgure out. You also need to understand that sometimes you aren't going to be motivated and on those days its important to push through that mental block in order to keep things going. My motto on those days is “you will never regret a workout”…“LETS GO”, I say this to myself and then just crack on with it.
Explain What a regular day in the life of Kath looks like?
Everyday is so different because I work so many different jobs. It changes between shooting, writing, creating new content for my blog, going to different meetings, personal training and organising things for my smoothie bowl shack. A couple of aspects that pretty much stay the same is getting up at 5/6am to workout! I start my day with a good training session 6 days a week and look forward to that time before heading off to whatever needs to get done that day.
How long had your been Personal Training for before your work on social media platform kicked off? Was there a speciﬁc turning point/place/person that assisted you with this shift?
I had only just started my career as a personal training before my social media work. I started modelling for culture machine when I was 16 years old and Yasmin manage me from Bali. When I had just ﬁnished year 12 Yasmin (my manager and owner of culture machine agency) invited me on a trip to LA with a few other creatives. I decided to go on the trip and it honestly changed my life. I not only met some beautiful humans that will remain my friends for life but this trip also kicked off my social media work. The culture machine crew then also moved to Sydney at the beginning of 2016. Having such a close group of friends that I loved and that were so creative really inspired me to pursue things I never thought were “worthy” of a career path (acting, fashion, blogging ect).
Name 3 things on your Bucket List you would like to achieve in the next 3 years!?
- TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL! I want to see as much of the world as I can as I have not yet done
- Jump out of a plane- I am so scared of heights/free falling and want to over come it. - Be doing everything I am now career wise on a bigger scale.
What is something you wish people asked you about more?
I wouldn't say theres something that I am dying for people to ask me besides I am a very chatty person. But I do love educating people on good nutrition, ﬁtness/exercise tips and wellbeing. Thats something I put a lot of research into and am very passionate about. I love helping people as I have been through a lot and want to see more people feeling good about themselves. We live in a society today were we are lead to believe we are never good enough. The truth is you cannot please everyone so you are better off pleasing yourself. I know this is so much easier said than done (trust me I battle with my mind everyday on self love) but respecting yourself is one or if not the most important thing! Through this you will attract the right people and learn to look after yourself not because you “have too” but because you WANT TOO.
I noticed you spent quite bit of time in Bali? I love it there, but haven't been in a while - Could yo u tell me a few of your favourite places to go to:
EAT: CRATE CAFE! Honestly went there everyday. The food is so fresh and the staff are the best. Made me feel great walking in their every morning. Deﬁantly top notch smoothie bowls as well which everyone knows is my favourite food.
TRAIN: Motion ﬁtness hands down.It was different to the kind of training I do at home but I actually loved it so much! Its a mixture of body and light weight exercises, fun beats and amazing trainers. They also have such a wide range of classes such as cardio based, pilates, toning and yoga, which is great. My routine in bali was a 7am class followed by a 8am class at motion (but I'm a freak haha).
BEACH: If you have time deﬁnitely venture to Nusa Lembongan! The white sand and crystal blue water is beyond beautiful. Its just a really nice and chill island to hang and relax.
A long awaited adventure was finally on the horizon....
Adin and i set out to explore Europe last August. Quite a while ago now, It seems my writing has disappeared. Aside from being indescribably astonished and inspired the whole trip, heres what i can remember .
Personally i love places with character, places that clearly show their cultural evolution and history as you walk though the streets. Having never been to spain, Barcelona encapsulated a wide array of diversity in its architecture that was so fascinating to me. I was lucky enough to find a very cheap, and particularly perfect Air Bnb in the alley ways of Gracia. An attic with access to our own a private 280’ degree rooftop balcony. We wandered the streets in the heat and explored all of Gaudi’s Buildings, the somewhat psychedelic nature of his design accented a strange synchronicity throughout barcelona, From Segrada Familia to all the way Park Güell. At night we aimlessly wandered the streets in Awe, sitting in squares as hundreds of people congrugated for drinks and dinner, poking our heads in little bars, loungy hideouts with live music and more. During the day other Activities involved Getting competely lost in the maze of the Gothic Quarters, walking staring straight up in admiration of residents balconies dripping in plants and damp washing. Liberating for me it seemed to be Laying on the beach topless as all women in Europe seem to- how wonderful it feels to swim in the ocean and surrounded by the soft swirls of the sea swishing around my breasts undisturbingly.
We wandererd home to enjoy drinks on our rooftop, lounging in deckchairs as the sun went down, hanging up sweaty clothes to dry and eaves dropping on neighbours partying, or having dinner. Surrounded by the sweet murmur of many different languages. I love being lost in translation. The mystery of strangers conversations sparks my imagination as i listen closely to their tone and exclamation.
Over the course of our very short 3 days in the city we found (ofcourse, considering The very Routine nature of adin and i) our number one stop shop for all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flax and Kale was recommended to me by one of my lovely spanish followers. It is mostly Plant based, offering something for everyone, fresh juices, insane smoothies, innovate spreads and creative plates. Flax and Kale has plentiful gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo options. As you dine you can sit down stairs you watch views of Ciutat Vella out the window, at the community table in the Library or even for something even more simulating - sit on the roof around their veggie garden while you eat meals made from the planter boxes beside. Not only is the menu fantastic, the quality of the food is beautiful and the New York Inspired Venue speaks for itself.
Over the course of our very short 3 days in the city we found (ofcourse, considering The very Routine nature of adin and i) our number one stop shop for all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flax and Kale was recommended to me by one of my lovely spanish followers. It is mostly Plant based, offering something for everyone, fresh juices, insane smoothies, innovate spreads and creative plates. Flax and Kale has plentiful gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo options. As you dine you can sit down stairs you watch views of Ciutat Vella out the window, at the community table in the Library or even more fascinating sit on the roof around their veggie garden while you eat meals made from within. Not only is the menu fantastic, the quality of the food is beautiful and the New York Industrial Inspired Venue speaks for itself.
I B I Z A
Although i was Sceptical - under Adin recommendation we jetted off to ibiza. I have to say i was very opinionated at first, i had a preconceived idea that Ibiza would be like Vegas on the Beach...Ugh. Admittedly, I do really love going out dancing - so in my mind it was a quick 3 day trip, see some incredible DJs, reset and head back to mainland spain for more exploring.
Three hours had passed since we landed, we ate at Wild Beets beautiful little Vegan, Plant Based cafe. I used their wifi to find a Yoga Class at near-by newly opened resort. I attended am AWA yoga class which took place in a gorgeous, timber, open-air studio in the middle of a luscious green field - It reminded me of yoga i used to take in the forest in bali. The class was tough as it was in Spanish!! I felt so welcome despite not understanding a single word. The wonderful teacher promoted me where she could- but i loved the anticipation.
We headed off to our accomodation in Cap Martinet . Airbnb seemed to really be working in our favour this trip- the villa was, beautiful, simple, with ocean views and only a short walk to a semi private stretch of pebble beaches. By the end of day one Adin and i were thinking about extending our three day trip to a week. The Villa was owned by two French Sailors, aged 58 and 68. Yet they looked about 40, i would say due to a severe lack of any stress whatsoever. Danny and George have been living in Ibiza fore the past 30 years. We became friends instantly. Adin and George Hit it off during the tour de Villa, and i was so fascinated by their strong characters and hilariously thick french accents that i just couldn't get enough. So it was Settled, i said.. “Were not leaving”. Not only did our new French Friends take us under their wing, they showed us the island from their very local perspective, took us on their friend Norberts Catamaran to Formanterra, Found us the islands Best Paella delivered to us by water taxi (it was pricy but my god it was delicious) and on the last night they even took us out to a lovely late dinner on the water before chauffeuring us to amnesia just in time to see Amine Edge & Dance set at 3am.
Ontop of all this, To our absolute surprise, Adin and i discovered wonderful Organic Grocers and cafes to eat in town. Biorganic where we shopped for everything for the villa, from our veggies to our crackers, coffee, snacks and even takeaway meals if we were on the go. Kinda like a mini About life, but better.. and in Ibiza.
By chance, Virgina the owner of EMONK IBIZA, a label i had worked with years ago- played utmost importance in our trip. She went out of her way to help us find all the best restaurants and more. She took us to the drumming circle at Benniras beach, one of the highlights of our trip- where old-school hippies gather on the beach and drum the sun down between the monumental rocks out at sea. I was so surprised at the diversity of the community we had been exposed to in Ibiza. The healthy/yogi/hippie lifestyle especially caught me off guard, but when i thought about it i realised, from this pocket of paradise stems the epicentre of the Hippie Movement in Spain. Ibiza was a popular destination for hippies in the 60's. In that time, it became the scene of sporadic full moon-parties, and all those earthy, loving activities you attach to that lifestyle. Its only the more fascinating that this community continues to thrive here as the islands commerical and underground music scene has boomed- ofcourse attracting party-goers of a different kind.
Last but not least- as i could banter on for pages and pages. Ibiza Old town. Where Cathedral of Santa Maria d'Eivissa from the 14th century, is perched at the top of the Dalt Vila, through winding, weaving, cobblestone corridors, and white painted alleyways where restaurant tables spill out on the the street and mix with the sounds and smells of wining and dining tourists and locals. All these vastly different aspects to the island had me breath taken. I fell in love with the place but more importantly the wonderful people who we were so lucky to meet, who went out on a limb to showed us around, and make our trip so magical.
Next on the List was Morrocco. We only had 3 days which wasn't enough time before Adin and i had work in london, so we picked Marrakech as our sole destination. I was lucky enough to have found a friend who owned Le Riad Yasmine right in the centre of the Medina. It was hands down one of the most beautiful accomodations i have ever stayed in. being an original building, It really encapsulated moroccan design and architecture, which is so inspiring to me. We spent early mornings adventuring through medina lost amoung The gorgeous Terracotta red walled alley ways, wandering past piles of fresh olives, dates, figs, meat cures, jewels, bowls, shoes, hides and more. Being of Arabic decent (my father is egyptian) and having been to Egypt many times, the Arabian way of life is no shock to me, i love that as you step outside your door the hustle and bustle is eminent. You have to be on your guard. Scooters wiz past, The Stall holders Barter, Cars Beep, donkeys trot , dust fills the air… its so stimulating, all senses involved. We visited historic buildings and Yves Saint Laurent's Marjorelle Jardin. The hottest part of the day was spent laying by the pool at Riad Yasmine, playing with their curious kitten, Bowie. The Evenings were spent wandering the Souks (markets) and dining at beautiful locally sourced, morrocan inspired restaurants recomneded by our (yet again) french friends. The food in Marrakech was impeccable. I have a gut feeling - literally, its that fusion between the french cuisine and traditional morrocan food that sent my tastebuds on a journey of their own. My favourite little place was NOMAD. A Rooftop Restaurant in the middle of the Souks. An interesting, eye-opening View and A delicious meal.
We all love the thrill and excitement of travelling, exploring vast cities, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people. But there is nothing more frustrating than the debilitating feeling of Jetlag. The past two years i have been flying back and fourth from LA to Australia, sometimes 6 times a year, and i think I've finally got the hang of it. No Matter where you are flying, these Natural Tips and Tricks should help you beat that Jetlag.
Jet lag is the cause of your body clock and rhythm being all out of whack, so its best to try and shift your sleeping patterns just prior to your trip, and most importantly make sure you get enough rest.
The night before you fly, try to sleep slightly earlier or later (earlier if you’re traveling east, later if you’re travelling west)
- My number one tip is try your best to sleep on the plane! I know this may seem hard, its uncomfortable, especially if you're tall. So here are my Natural remedies to help you relax and hopefully nod off.
- My Biggest Secret is Melatonin tablets - Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone released in your body that helps you fall asleep. Tablets or tinctures are taken to increase available melatonin and therefore help you sleep. They are available online (if you're in Australia) or in supermarkets/chemist stores in US. When you are buying supplements make sure they are a trusted brand, good quality, high potency, and contain all or mostly natural ingredients.
- For an even more Natural option - Some foods naturally boost your Melatonin. So on the plane pack a fruit salad or snacks with cherries, pineapple, oranges, bananas and oats (to name a few).
- Increase your Fluid intake and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Just for the day of the flight/ while your on the plane, as it will dehydrate you! Drinking Lots of herbal tea such as valerian root or chamomile tea will help to relax you and your belly.
- Lavender essential oil. I am Big on Aromatherapy and soon you'll be hearing much more from me in this field. Lavender Essential Oil is wonderfully relaxing, i remember as a child my mum put it on my pillow and temples to help me sleep at night, so this trick has some history too!
- Try to ingest lots of ginger for a few days after your flight to get that metabolism back in order and keep you full of healthy energy - ginger can be consumed in tea form, freshly cut and steeped in boiling water or grated finely and used in cooking - get creative!
- Now i know I'm Nuts at the best of times, but my favourite thing to do, straight off a long flight is go to a class or to the gym. I feel so refreshed and energised after i get my heart rate up, get those endorphins pumping and sweat it out! But… a workout/yoga might seem completely ridiculous if your feeling exhausted, so as long as you take a leisurely stroll or get out in the sun for a minute - you'll feel fab.
- JUICE! its best to let your metabolism during/ rest after a long flight. but of course you wont always find good quality fresh juice wherever you may be, i whenever i travel i take @bareblends, Bare Greens with me, its simply a powder form Organic Green juice full of energy boosters and alkalising greens such as - matcha, wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina, silica, apple and mango. All you do is stir it through a cup of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon or lime and Hey, Presto! Organic Juice!
W I T H M E L O D Y :
A N I M A L I A
this wonderful day was spent on a farm in the Byron Hinterland with Melody. This particular farm was a Peculiar one. A Donkey, an Emu, a Dog, a Kangaroo and a few sheep roamed around with complete free range of the property like a pack. Pigs were in their pen, Shaggy Goats shared a piece of land with some Deer, Big Horses, Shetland ponies and a Bore hung out in the cool shade of the Stables. Meanwhile rare birds from all over the world sang and fluttered in their big enclosure.
styled by Sarah Humphrey