Getting in shape – how ALINTA THE GURU has convinced me this is the BEST way

On the NEVER-ENDING quest to be healthy and lose weight, I’ve recently signed on with a new personal trainer and she is INSPIRATIONAL!

Her name is ALINTA WILLET and she is one very cool lady. And super fit.

Alinta Willet

Alinta Willet

In fact, Alinta is so inspirational, I now refer to her as ALINTA THE GURU when I chat about her wonderful fitness tips on air with Mike Perso on the SmoothFM More Music Breakfast Show.

I decided to go back to the gym because I knew if I didn’t commit to working out WITH SOMEONE ELSE on a regular basis, I’d never have the will power to do it on my own. And I was about ten kilos overweight… Early morning radio is not good for the waistline!!

Alinta is 33 years old and has been a personal trainer for about 18 months.

When she hit thirty, Alinta felt it was time for a career change. She’d been working in the hospitality industry for a long time and the lifestyle was taking a toll.

A lightbulb moment!

A light bulb moment!

After suffering some health issues of her own, she was inspired by a girlfriend to take up weight training and had a….

HUGE LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!

‘I thought this is great and everyone should be doing it. I became quite passionate about weight training. IT’S THE HOLY GRAIL!  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it before and thought it was amazing.’

 

REALLY??? When I heard this from Alinta three months ago, I was skeptical. You see, I’d returned to the gym out of a feeling of necessity and duty – not because I thought it would be the answer to my prayers.

Turns out, Alinta has helped me to make some big changes to my body and I am starting to see what she’s talking about. Everything she has been saying is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT and makes complete sense.

In a nutshell, here are the benefits of weight training, according to Alinta The Guru.

Training with Alinta

Training with Alinta

  1. Body toning
  2. Anti-ageing
  3. Weight loss is easier because muscle burns fat
  4. Positive thinking
  5. Less stress
  6. Mental and physical discipline
  7. Can overcome back pain
  8. Body strength
  9. Improves overall health
  10. Decreases blood pressure
  11. Improves sleeping

 

 

Alinta’s enthusiasm is infectious too. She really does LOVE her job and our chats during the work out sessions make the time spent at the gym fun as well. Here’s how our conversation about weight training went:

JEN: SO tell my why I should work out?

ALINTA: There are SO many benefits from weight training. Not only does it make you stronger physically, I believe it makes you stronger mentally as well. It’s a discipline. As well, you are pushing yourself to your limits each time. If you manage to get through a tough session, it’s a good feeling and you feel like you’ve achieved something. It’s a win! The more wins the better. Each workout is a win.

JEN: Have you been able to see results with your clients?

ALINTA: I’ve been getting some great results. Nothing makes me happier than when clients come to me and say they don’t have back pain anymore or they’re losing the weight they want to lose. It’s why I do it – it’s so rewarding.

JEN: Do you ever get bored?

ALINTA: No! I love what I do and being able to change people’s lives for the better. That’s my mission in life. To help as many people as I can to become stronger, fitter, healthier and happier.’

(See? I told you she was a wonderful person!)

JEN: How does weight training help the body lose fat?

ALINTA:  Lifting weights helps to build fast twitch muscles that raise your metabolism. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. There’s also the afterburner effect of exercise that can last for as long as 38 hours after your workout.

(I really like this point – that more muscle burns more calories – even when you’re NOT working out!)

JEN: What about the risks of becoming too muscle-bound? As a woman, I don’t want to look like a beefcake…

ALINTA: You won’t! It would take an enormous amount of hours to look like a body-builder. I also tailor individual programs for each client, so everyone’s workout is different. You can’t have a cookie cutter gym program for everybody.

JEN: One thing I love about working out with you is that you also manage to fix tight spots in my neck or back that are causing me problems. Do you do that for everyone or am I special?

ALINTA: Well, you are special but all the workouts are based on structural balance. That means it’s important to fix any structural abnormalities for any individual. Once your body structure is better, everything else will follow. Another reason why I love weight training so much is that I used to wake up with chronic neck and back problems every day before I started training properly and now I don’t get that at all.

JEN: What are the other health benefits?

ALINTA: Strength training does so much! It decreases blood pressure, improves heart function by increasing arterial function and decreasing inflammation. It also improves hormone levels by helping to eliminate oestrogen – which means less cancer risk and lower body fat.

It can also help if you’re trying to have a baby! Working with weights improves reproductive function.

Weight training can enhance the nervous system and gene pathways, with new evidence emerging evidence that shows how weight lifting prevents ageing by rebuilding damaged tissues. It also leads to better brain function and coordination of movement.

Jen: Cool! So I’m going to be stronger, brighter, younger, healthier AND smarter??

Alinta: Sure! And that is WHY weight training is the HOLY GRAIL!

Me and Alinta

Me and Alinta

So you can see why I’ve been converted! Since training with ALINTA THE GURU, I have lost more than five kilos and feel much healthier and more toned than I have for years. Nor do the sessions every get dull, as Alinta changes my program about every six weeks.

Alinta also has plenty of clever tips about healthy eating. And drinking! But this Blog is long enough already, so let’s save that advice for another chat.

And if you’d like to work out with ALINTA THE GURU, here’s her details. Get ready to feel fantastic!

Alinta's business card

 

 

Finally, an announcement….

It’s hard to believe it was more than a year ago that I wrote a Blog explaining why I’d be taking a blogging respite. If you’d like a re-cap for all the reasons why, you can take a look here:

http://jenniferhansen.com.au/wp-admin/post.php?post=6893&action=edit

Otherwise, let’s push on, because I have an announcement.

FINALLY MY BOOK IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED

Yes, I needed that Blogging break to get it finished.

That it’s finally being published is extremely exciting because it’s been a dream of mine since childhood.

Right now I am extremely time-poor as it’s my last week to work on the FINAL edit of the manuscript. A laborious and challenging task but also thrilling because the light is at the end of the tunnel.

I’m going to write more about the writing process and what changes are happening in the world of publishing down the track, but for now, this is just a quick post to give you a sneak preview of the cover of my book.

HERE IT IS!

Making Headlines

Making Headlines

It’s a work of fiction – completely made up – about a young television reporter named Rachel Bentley who aspires to be a newsreader. You see, working as a TV reporter has it’s challenges but aiming high leads to a whole minefield of explosive scenarios.

Rachel’s path sees her pitched against egos in the newsroom, office politics and corrupt politicians, not to mention rampant sexism and a mystery stalker. Juggling a messy personal life doesn’t help either. Not does the emotional impact of reporting on life’s daily tragedies and when it all takes a toll and Rachel starts partying too hard, she finds herself making the headlines instead of reading them. Will she survive a world where dreams are shattered daily and will she find the man who can help her keep her soul?

You’ll have to wait to read the book to find out of course!

I’m delighted MAKING HEADLINES is to be published by HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS who are Australia and New Zealand’s oldest publishing house and arguably, the most respected.

My book will be available online as one of the Harper Collins Impulse books from late January, 2016. Stay tuned for more info and an exact date soon….

 

 

 

 

My Night at the ACRAs – Australia’s Radio Awards

(Otherwise titled,  Are superstitions are rubbish???)

Sometimes I think I spend too much time looking for ‘signs’ – the sort of indicators that something you’re either hoping for OR NOT – will or won’t happen. My adored Grandmother – who lived with us while I was growing up, probably helped instil this.

Some superstitions she taught me you might know – like throwing a dash of salt over your left shoulder if it spilled, avoiding the number 13 and not walking under ladders. One you might not know is to make sure that the first word you utter every month is RABBITS. I’m not exactly sure why, but Grandmother insisted it would bring you good luck for that month if you did.

Having said RABBITS on the first of this month, this weekend just past was the perfect time to put that theory to the test.

I was heading up to the Gold Coast for the annual ACRA awards – the Australian Commercial Radio Awards – because by some miracle – I’d been nominated for an award. Even more surprising was the category – Best Newcomer in metropolitan radio. Nothing better than being called a ‘Newcomer’ when you’re over forty! (cough, cough…)

 It WAS a genuine surprise because I hadn’t entered myself – instead our show’s producer – Lauren Saylor – had thrown my name in the mix – going to the trouble of filling in the forms and finding the right audio segments to make up an entry – all unbeknownst to me. So a VERY big thank you to Lauren. The first I knew of it was waking up to a host of congratulatory text messages on a Sunday morning a couple of months ago.

Apart from being part of a group Logie win for a news story, I’ve never been up for an award of any kind in my life (let’s not count school stuff) so I was naturally very chuffed. Of course, after the initial excitement wore off, the self-doubt set in and I started to tell myself there was no way I’d win – but hang on, I’d said RABBITS so maybe there was a chance???

On the day, I looked for signs. The pigeons were cooing when I woke up. Tick. The taxi driver who took me to the airport had SMOOTHfm 91.5 on the radio. Tick. When I arrived at the Hilton Hotel at Surfers Paradise, they had me in Room 13. NO WAY. They changed it for me and I thought, smugly, FOUR signs! Rabbits, pigeons, music AND the right room number!

I even managed to get into my dress after months of dieting and didn’t spill any makeup getting ready. TWO more ticks.

The dress fits - phew...

The dress fits – phew…

 We arrived at the awards ceremony and the room looked fabulous – all neon lights and beautifully decked out tables, all the guests in the shiny best.

The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

I walked through the room brimming with confidence, We met up with friends and posed on the red carpet. Along with some of the interstate news readers we happily smiled for the cameras.

The Smooth News team

The Smooth (with two from Nova ) News team – Ron Wilson, Michelle Stephenson (Nova) , Steve Blanda, myself, Matt de Groot (Nova) Glenn Daniel

The very, very, VERY back of the room

The very, very, VERY back of the room

 

 

But then I walked into the room, looking for my table. And walked and walked… So far, until I was right at the back of the room. Literally. There was a blank wall behind me. I don’t think there was a worse table position in the entire room. And that’s when I knew rabbits was wrong…

Why would they announce a winner who took three hours to walk to the stage?

 

 

Kate Mason and me

Kate Mason and me

 

 

I was also sitting with another Smooth nominee – the very talented Kate Mason who was up for Best Music Director.

 

 

 

 

 

Ty Frost and me

Ty Frost and me

 

 

And luckily the entertaining and fabulous Ty Frost was on hand to make sure we kept ourselves ‘nice’ as the long-list of awards was read out – helped along by the very talented MC efforts of actor Stephen Curry.

 

 

 

So when the winner of Best Newcomer was announced – Triple Ms Paul Gallen, I wasn’t surprised. But I was also hit by a realisation.

Just because I didn’t win the award didn’t mean the SIGNS had been wrong. I WAS a winner. I’d been nominated for a NATIONAL award at the ACRAS.

Whatever the outcome, that is indeed something to be proud of. The signs had been right all along. So I had a brilliant night celebrating, but managed to be well-behaved enough so that I could wake up the next morning with a smile on my face and take a lovely walk along the beach at Surfers Paradise. Now that’s a win, whichever way you look at it. 🙂

On the beach at Surfers Paradise

On the beach at Surfers Paradise

The Hardest Goodbye…

It’s hard to believe I took a break from Blogging more than a year ago to finish my book and now it seems timely to re-start the engine. While I do have some good news about my book, I’m going to save that for another day.

Instead, I want to pay tribute to my dear friend Rochelle, who we farewelled with a special service yesterday. The hardest goodbye of all…

To Rochelle’s family, to Russell – her partner of 19 years – and to all her friends, my sincerest sympathies. We all feel her loss so deeply.

Many subscribers to this Blog will remember Rochelle as the beautiful model who posed for any Fashion Posts we covered and I have so many happy memories of those times we spent together. I was also glad to have so many lovely photos of her that we could use for the service to remind everyone of her stunning smile that could light up any room in a flash.

Rochelle modelling evening wear

Rochelle modelling evening wear

Order of Service

Order of Service

 

Hundreds turned out yesterday for Rochelle’s farewell that was held at Brighton’s Baptist Church. So many people came that the church was overflowing with crowds spilling on to the street. She would have loved that.

Inside the Order of Service, Rochelle’s partner of 19 years, Russell, told of how much he loved Rochelle and how much he will miss her.

Russell's tribute and speakers

Russell’s tribute and speakers

The words below are from the tribute I read at the church. Along with several dear friends, we stood side by side to talk of our love for Rochy, shared stories, tears and many hugs.

And finally said Goodbye….

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Writing is something Rochelle and I both loved. Telling stories and finding the right words to express ourselves. Which also meant lots of swearing and being outrageous. We even started our own writing workshop. A couple of other writers joined us. Some came, some went but we were the two main-stayers.

Which is why I have to apologise to Rochelle that this tribute I’ve written isn’t really up to scratch. That’s because I haven’t spent enough time on it. I had the time on the weekend. I could have spent hours. But I kept putting it off. And I know why. Because to write a farewell tribute to your dearest friend means they really have gone and that finality is something I still find so terribly hard to accept. Rochelle IS irreplaceable.

Rochelle and me

Rochelle and me

SO many shared emails which I now treasure and have spent hours collating so I can still hear her voice. At writing classes, teachers bang on about how important it is to ‘find your own unique voice’ Rochy had that instantly. A writing style that was direct and heart-wrenching with her own unique cutting-edge, wicked sense of humour.

Rochy spent several years working on writing her own book. Titled AnonyMS – it was a play on words that also incorporated the letters MS, as a reference to that disease which she so hated.

I went to hospital with Rochelle for the first of her monthly transfusions and shared the journey when she was on the road to being diagnosed.

It was a very painful time for her and one she documents in her book. I hope one day I will be able to, with Russell’s blessing, help collate the chapters we have together and have her book published in some form or another.

It was not long after her diagnosis in 2009 that I told Rochy I’d be going to LA and Vegas for a trip marking a film launch – a project I’d been involved in for some time. After going through such a rough patch – learning she had MS – Rochelle spoke longingly of how she too would like to visit those places.

When I look back on our friendship and see how much Rochy bought to my life, I will be forever grateful I was able to do at least one thing in return. Thanks to film producer Bobby Galinsky, we were able to make arrangements to include Rochelle on this trip and by God, it was indeed the trip of a lifetime.

With friends Chris Veitor and Krista Vendy in LA

With friends Chris Veitor and Krista Vendy in LA

We were both convinced we were MUCH better looking in LA, so armed with that boosted confidence, we took the town by storm and wreaked havoc. We teamed up with our good friend Krista and called ourselves the Three Amigos. So many adventures and great memories. As soon as we came home, we promised each other we’d do it all again.

Lunch at The Ivy with Krista in LA

Lunch at The Ivy with Krista in LA

Rochelle even wrote a poem about it:

I know our trip was one from the vault

The parties and fun times

We had were a jolt

From reality of the every day shit

To living the high life with the filthy rich.

Not so different to where we are now

But our journey continues, to that I will vow

If I ever make it somewhere better than here

You’ll be at my side grinning ear to ear

Friends take each other from bottom to top

And I’m so glad we’ll be each others

I like that a lot xxx

There was so much we had in common that bound us together – as Rochelle described in an email, we were ‘besties’. Although another time, after seeing the musical, AVENUE Q, she described me as her BAD Ideas Bear, meaning I was the one who led her astray. Yeah, maybe, but I think she liked it.

Rochelle modelling for the Blog

Rochelle modelling for the Blog

Our common interests included a love of Rose gold jewellery and clothing, fully-oaked chardonnay, movies, Oscars, music, writing, books, karaoke, singing and champagne. It was Rochelle who named our favourite bubbly Moet and Hansen in my honour. I will forever call it that.

Rochelle was my biggest supporter of anything I did. She was one of only a few friends who’ve read the book I’ve written. She also came to Women Of Letters in the audience to support me when I delivered a challenging speech last year. She even presented me with a hand-written letter on the day, where she described me as ‘the bravest girl in the room.’

Not so brave today…. But how wonderful to have a friend who gives such positive and unconditional love and support.

Other friends of mine who met Rochelle – who are here today – like Sam, Julie and my sister Jill – also loved getting to know Rochelle – each saying the same thing – because she’s such a genuine person and doesn’t judge people.

Rochelle was so talented on so many levels. Her writing and her sharp wit for starters. Beautiful too – inside and out. She was a regular model for my Blog and shone in all the photographs – some of which you will see in the photo tribute shortly. What a smile and so photogenic.

She was a superb singer – the only one in the room when we had a karaoke night that people would actually stop talking for and listen to her sing – she was brilliant.

I saw the movie PAN on Sunday with my daughter. Peter’s mother leaves baby Pan on the doorstep of the orphanage with a note telling Peter to never lose faith, that she will see him again ‘In this world or another’

Rochy WILL always be in my thoughts in this world and I know later, when it’s my time, we’ll see each other in that OTHER world – wherever it is – a land where they only serve charonnay; where Tim Curry is singing at a Vegas-style party amid cats and laughter.

In one of her recent emails to me Rochelle finished up with saying ‘Love you dear friend of mine, till the end of time.’ Ditto my darling.

 

ANYONE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION OR NEEDS HELP FOR A LOVED ONE SHOULD CALL LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

Get me to the Greek Islands

Given my last Blog post was so very sad and I’m still feeling blue, I decided to cheer myself up by re-visiting one of the happiest times I’ve spent this year – when Fletch and I visited the Greek Islands in late June.

We’d planned this holiday for about two years.  A trip to the Greek Islands to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I’d been trying to get back ever since my time there was cut short more than 25 years ago (more on that later…) and this time around I wanted to make sure the adventure would be perfect.

Heading out to dinner in Mykonos

Heading out to dinner in Mykonos

Naturally, I was concerned when we began hearing about the terrible crisis facing the Greek economy about a month before we were due to leave.

Protests over the economic crisis in Athens

Protests over the economic crisis in Athens

 

Those fears heightened in the last few weeks with friends and relatives warning us – ‘Ooh, you’d better take heaps of cash. You could get stuck if you can’t use the banks.’

 

 

‘Make sure you watch your wallets. There’ll be a spike in petty crime if people can’t get their hands on money!’

‘What if the country can’t afford fuel and the planes stop flying?’

But while the problems caused by the Greek economy on a global scale are enormous, from a tourist’s perspective, there’s little to be concerned about. Taking extra cash isn’t difficult. Being cautious about personal security isn’t too much of an effort. And while I doubted international airlines would ever stop flying, if they DID, I couldn’t think of anything better than being stranded on a Greek Island!

So we packed our bags and jetted off. We landed as the Greek parliament was facing the tough decision about whether to accept new austerity measures or leave the Euro. When we arrived on the island of Santorini, it was a hot topic of discussion on the streets and dominated the BBC news, which I watched in our hotel room.

Santorini sunset

Santorini sunset

Outside, the island remained largely unaffected. A huge number of cruise ships visiting the islands helped buffer the impact of the banks being closed with hundreds of passengers disembarking with pockets full of cash to spend on shops in Fira and Oia. One jewellery store owner confessed they were also lucky to enjoy tax free breaks from the government that meant during the peak holiday season they were literally ‘raking it in.’

One smaller store – where I bought some locally made silver earrings – asked for cash instead of credit card, saying they knew cash flow would be an on-going problem, so wanted to build up their reserves.

Rallies in Athens were building and long debates were thrashed out in parliament as the tourist islands maintained a ‘business as usual’ attitude. The only indications of concern about the diminishing cash flow came from the increasing number of shops putting up ‘sale’ signs, with most traders also telling customers they’d do a ‘special price’ if they paid in cash rather than with a credit card.

Fletch - climbing to the top of a mountain to see the ancient city of Thira

Fletch climbing to the top of a mountain to see the ancient city of Thira

We did the usual ‘touristy’ things – climbed hundreds of steps up a hill to the ancient city of Thira: visited beach clubs with black sand: explored the ancient ruins of Akrotiri and indulged in a cocktail or two…

Perhaps the only side effect for locals was that there were slightly less tourists staying on Santorini, which for us, meant queues at tourist attractions were shorter.

 

 

Fletch was happy as there weren’t too many tourists to get in the way of his shots – photography being his passion.

Fletch taking photos

Fletch taking photos

And we definitely had no problems booking a ride on a sailing ship which took us took us to a volcanic island, hot springs and dinner on board as we drifted into a stunning sunset.

View from the Thalasa sailing ship

View from the Thalasa sailing ship

Some restaurants and bars let us know they weren’t able to get the same type of fresh produce they’d normally stock because of cash flow issues. They said some suppliers wouldn’t sell fresh food and veggies unless they were paid on the spot.

Again, not a major problem. Although it did create one embarrassing situation for me when I ordered a cocktail. No pineapple juice they said, so you can’t have a pineapple daiquiri.

‘That’s fine,’ I said. ‘What else would you recommend?’

The waiter muttered something then returned with a delicious passionfruit flavored concoction.

‘How lovely!’ I said to Alan. ‘It’s called ‘Born a Star.’

He laughed out loud. ‘No, you heard wrong,’ he said. ‘It starts with a ‘P’!’

Ah right, I stood corrected. PORN STAR was the name of my cocktail… And a mighty fine choice it was.

Drinking my Porn Star cocktail

Drinking my Porn Star cocktail

A week later we took the ferry over to Mykonos where again, even as the situation in Athens intensified, all appeared to be smooth sailing for the tourism industry.

We spent says by the pool at the beautiful Cavo Tagoo Hotel and the days passed all to quickly.

The infinity pool at Cavo Tagoo

The infinity pool at Cavo Tagoo

We arrived in Athens a day before a major rally was being held in front of the country’s Parliament House and again, the Greek economy was the hot topic of conversation. Overall, the locals we spoke with supported the government’s position of staying with the Euro – feeling that to be on their own would only lead to disaster. Others were weary of talking, merely shrugging their shoulders and saying ‘It can’t get much worse than it is now.’

Dinner on Mykonos

Dinner on Mykonos

Everywhere we went, café and hotel workers greeted us with overwhelming enthusiasm. They were delighted that any tourist would turn up at a time of crisis to spend their cash in support of their coffers. I have never felt such a warm welcome in any country before.

At one point, there was talk I might do a live cross to a TV brekkie show and I was taken back to a time in the late ’80s where I was visiting Greece for the first time. As a keen young journo I’d given Channel Ten my itinerary, and sure enough, they called me in to report on a horrendous heat wave that claimed the lives of more than a thousand people. I got the call late at night just after I’d arrived on Mykonos and as a result, never even slept in my hotel bed. And I’d been trying to get back for a ‘proper’ holiday ever since.

Enjoying the sun...

Fletch getting arty with his camera…

So while I would have been happy to have reported on the financial crisis, part of me was also relieved that this time – more than TWENTY-FIVE years later – I could finally enjoy a holiday in Greece.

On a final note, I didn’t manage to get the time to hop on one of Athen’s tourist attractions that bought a smile to my face every time it rattled on by – the ATHENS HAPPY TRAIN. But it looked like a lot of fun and I think that right now, Athens needs all the tourists it can get. So hop on board folks!

The Athens Happy Train

The Athens Happy Train

 

 

 

Apologies, dear Readers…. a Blogging respite is required

Dear Reader,

Thank you for following my stories over the past couple of years – it’s been a hoot! And this is not really a farewell – rather an ‘au revoir’ – meaning ‘until later’.

Cracked by Clare Strachan

Cracked by Clare Strachan

You see, last week I attended two book launches and was very proud to see these extremely talented women, who I am privileged to call friends, stand up and make speeches about their books.

And yes, you should buy and read both. The first I went to was for Clare Strachan, launching her book for young adults – CRACKED – and the second was for my step-sister Sian Prior, for her book – SHY – a memoir.

They are very different books, but both beautifully written and engaging. I am not going to attempt to give you a book review as much has already been written in the media that does the books better justice than I could.

Shy by Sian Prior

Shy by Sian Prior

For Sian’s book, for example, see these links to read more:

Age (Saturday) review
Sunday Age review
Readings review
Booktopia review
Struggling to write...

Struggling to write…

But at these book launches, it hit me like a tonne of bricks…. If I didn’t slow down and pay more attention to my OWN novel, it will never see the light of day.

I watched the movie ‘JOBS’ – about Steve Job’s life – the other day and one quote struck a chord and stayed with me:

‘Be as simple as you can be. You will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life will become.’

And so that is what I am going to do. You see, now that I’m working at smoothfm, on the Mike Perso More Music Breakfast Show, the time I spend on creative writing has become even more limited. And precious.

Hence something has to give. And it turns out the Blog is that thing.

So until I can’t help myself and HAVE to write to you about something, I am signing off until this book is finished. THEN I will really have something to write about!

AU REVOIR.

A new line of New London Jeans for winter

New London jeans

New London jeans

A little over a year ago, I wrote a Blog about a new brand of jeans I’d discovered – titled Cool jeans for REAL WOMEN – how New London Jeans found a gap in the market  http://wp.me/p29YsS-110

 

Brighton Lifestyle, 15C Church Street, Brighton

Brighton Lifestyle, 15C Church Street, Brighton

Now, given I’d already shared my enthusiasm for the brand with you, I really didn’t expect to visit the topic again. That is, until I popped down to Brighton Lifestyle in Church Street, Brighton, a few days ago and saw the latest range for winter from New London.

Yep, they’ve done it again. Well, I thought, I can justify ONE new pair, can’t I? Except then I started ‘trying on’ and found three I absolutely loved. Which led to a phone call to my lovely friend Rochelle who agreed to model for me so we could show you what’s available. I also had a chat with Claire Alexander (Sales and Design Director, Chris Alexander Agency) about her inspiration for this season.

But first, here are some highlights from the New London range modelled by Rochelle. The jeans are topped with pieces chosen from the range at the Brighton Lifestyle store. Details below…

Brown 'Hyde' velvet jeans

Brown ‘Hyde’ velvet jeans

New London Brown ‘Hyde’ velvet jeans – $149.90
Orange camisole by Cream – $149
Pretty in Pink cream sheepskin jacket – $169.00

Close up Hyde jeans

Close up Hyde jeans fabric

Black 'Hoffman' style jeans

Black ‘Hoffman’ style jeans

New London black ‘Hoffman’ style jeans – $149.90
David Barry puffer vest – $145
Lime green Ping Pong top – $95

Denim studded 'Notting Blue' jeans

Denim studded ‘Notting Blue’ jeans

New London denim studded ‘Notting Blue’ style – $149.90
Shirt by Cindy G – $169.90
Beads by Cindy G – $45

Detail from pockets of the 'Notting Blue'

Detail from pockets of the ‘Notting Blue’

Close up of the Brown New London 'Ramsey' casual cargo jeans

Close up of the Brown New London ‘Ramsey’ casual cargo jeans

Brown New London ‘Ramsey’ casual cargo jeans – $149.90

Grey cord New London jeans

Grey cord New London jeans

Grey cord New London jeans – $149.90
Ping Pong polka long cardigan – $129.00
Cream camisole in khaki – $55.00

 

The most popular denim in the new London range - the 'Stoke' style

The most popular denim in the new London range – the ‘Stoke’ style

The most popular denim in the New London range -‘Stoke’ style – $149.90
Black faux leather sheepskin jacket by Pretty In Pink – $169.00

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Speaking with the woman behind many of these wonderful styles, Sales and Design Director for the Chris Alexander Agency, Claire Alexander, she told me how keeping the range as a ’boutique’ brand gives them a point of difference in the market.

Sales and Design Director, Chris Alexander Agency - Claire Alexander

Sales and Design Director, Chris Alexander Agency – Claire Alexander

New London jeans aren’t sold at major department stores or online. But they’re jumping off the shelves at niche boutiques, being snapped up by women who want jeans that are funky and fit well – without feeling like they’re wearing their daughter’s jeans that are cut WAAaaayy too low…

This season’s range of styles is her favourite.

Jen: So tell us about the new winter range. How does it differ to last year’s?
Claire: This winter range is more comprehensive. There’s more to it than last winter. There’s more fabrication…

Jen: What does THAT mean?
Claire: Well rather than being purely a denim brand, we’ve evolved to use a range of fabrics. So due to customer demand, our tag line is ‘We fit you and your life.’ So rather than just denim for casual wear, we’ve also got moleskin brush cotton fabrics, the velvet, printed velvet, pleather with stretch, so slightly dressier styles as well.

(Brighton Lifestyle didn’t have this style, so we’re using a shot from the brochure to show you the ‘Pleather’ style.)

Pleather pants

Pleather pants

Jen: Why use ‘pleather’ (man-made leather) rather than the real deal?
Claire: It’s machine washable which makes them very popular! I’ve tested my own many times – they’re great!

Jen: And the price point has stayed the same as last year?
Claire: We’ve tried to own that type of price-point for our customer, so it’s within their expectations. This means a lot of our customers might also then buy two pairs, or try on belts and tops which we have just started producing as well. We don’t break the bank.

 Jen: What’s your favourite style for this season?
Claire: I have two that I absolutely live in all the time The Bowen style is great. We call it a 3-D style because it has an insert panel in the leg making it really comfortable. It’s also in a two-way stretch denim which is a nice mid-weight and the vivid blue is really popular. The other is the Lambeth I’m wearing today. (see Claire’s picture above) It also has an elastic waist so it’s really comfy!

New London 'Bowen' in royal blue denim

New London ‘Bowen’ in royal blue denim

So there you go. A fantastic new range of jeans for this winter. Check out the New London website at:  http://www.newlondon.com.au/about/

…to find the nearest stockist near you, or visit the Brighton Lifestyle store at 15C Church Street, Brighton.

New London brochure - Winter 2014

New London brochure – Winter 2014

My new best friends at work and who I like best…

A friend to rely on...

A friend to rely on…

 

**NEW TIP ** 

Adding on to yesterday’s Blog about which products rate the best when it comes to dry shampoo – a great tip from my friend Lisa. She says she can’t use any of the dry shampoos listed below due to the chemicals, but she’s found a fabulous alternative. It’s cheap and easy to buy – BAKING SODA!!!

——————————————-

When you start a new job, it’s always nice to know someone has your back. There can be challenging moments and sometimes you just need someone you can rely on.

Like recently I’ve discovered with my new job at Smoothfm. (which I absolutely love) One of the trickiest challenges is getting out of bed at 4am. If you haven’t had enough sleep, you might press the snooze button once. Or twice…

But if you hit it twice, then getting ready for work – fixing hair and make-up plus sorting a presentable outfit – means a race against the clock. Panic sets in. Drastic measures are needed. Can you call someone to help? And this is when I discovered my new BEST FRIEND.

DRY SHAMPOO!!!!

YES – there is NO time for hair washing at 4am, believe me. And if there isn’t time to do this the day before, the only chance you have of looking half-decent is DRY SHAMPOO.

I love it. I love it almost as much as my GUIDED SLEEP MEDIATION video, which helps me get to sleep in the first place. (see last week’s blog)

No matter what your job, I’m sure, like me, you have mornings where you’re time-poor and stressed about trying to look your best. So after nearly two months at Smoothfm, I’ve had a chance to road test five different varieties of dry shampoo and thought I’d bring you my verdict on what works best.

Schwarzkopf Dry Shampoo

Schwarzkopf Dry Shampoo

1. Schwarzkopf Dry Shampoo

This is one of the cheapest varieties around – on sale right now at Priceline for a mere $7.19. But sometimes it’s true to say that you get what you pay for. I found this to be the least effective brand of the five tested. It took several full-on spritzes all over the head to see any effect and my hair felt pretty dull and lifeless as a result.

Verdict – 4/10

 

 

 

Rockstar Dry Shampoo

Rockstar Dry Shampoo

2. Rockstar Dry Shampoo

This was second most expensive dry shampoo I tested, retailing at $16.95 at Hairhouse Warehouse. This has a pleasant fragrance, and lifts the hair a little, but the results are only about three-quarters as good as you’d hope. It works, but your hair still doesn’t feel completely clean. It might be the look rock stars are after – slightly grungy – but I don’t think it holds up in a professional workplace.

Verdict – 5/10

Pureology Dry Shampoo

Pureology Dry Shampoo

3. Pureology Dry Shampoo

At more than $33, the Pureology brand can only be bought at selected hairdressers and is the most expensive of the varieties I tested. I had high hopes for this one. Pureology is the most wonderful product when it comes to shampoos and hair treatments, but unfortunately their dry shampoo did not live up to expectations. The spritz from the can isn’t very powerful and while the scent is divine, it still doesn’t feel like it completes the job. It almost gets there, but runs out of steam at the finish line.

6.5/10

 

Klorane

Klorane

4. Klorane Dry Shampoo

This costs about $13 and can be brought from Priceline and most supermarkets. This is a good quality product that comes out of the can with a more forceful blast than the previous brands listed. It’s definitely more effective although I’m not too keen on the scent – it’s a bit like a toilet deodoriser…

7/10

 

 

 

Batiste stays ahead of the pack...

Batiste stays ahead of the pack…

5. Batiste Dry Shampoo

This is the second cheapest of the brands tested and is definitely the winner in my book. It can be purchased from most supermarkets for between $9 and $11.

The spray from the can is powerful and effective, giving good coverage in minimal time. Its only downside is the scent, which is a bit sickly sweet, but on the plus side, that dissipates not long after application.

Which is just as well, because otherwise, it gives a great result with fresh bouncy hair in an instant that can be easily re-blowaved and styled into a fresh look that will fool anyone into thinking you’ve spent hours at the hair salon.

Verdict – 9/10

 

So there you have it- your complete guide to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to dry shampoos. Now you can thank me when lying in bed tomorrow for that extra half hour…

 

 

 

Seven tips to help conquer sleeping problems…

When I first started working at Smoothfm on Mike Perso’s More Music Breakfast Show nearly two months ago, I was a teensy bit concerned about how I’d adjust to a new sleeping regime to accommodate my working hours.

Night owl at work

Night owl at work

In the past, I’ve always been a dedicated night owl. Whether it’s been working on my novel well into the small hours, or socialising with friends, it was a rare night when my head would hit the pillow before midnight.

Now I get up just after 4am. Yes AM. Which has meant a serious mind shift in the way I think about sleep.
I can’t afford to go to bed ‘when I feel like it’ anymore. Not that I mind, because I love my new role at Smoothfm, but sleep becomes more difficult when you know it’s something that HAS to happen or you’ll pay the price the next day.

Trouble sleeping?

Trouble sleeping?

I decided to do some research to work out the best way to get a good night’s sleep on whim without taking sleeping tablets.

The last thing I want to do is become dependent on Stillnox or Valium. I need to be sharp as a tack when I clock on – not muddling through a drug-induced haze.

 

Knowing that about two million Australians also face sleep issues, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what works and what doesn’t. I think I’ve nailed it. And that’s because I often need afternoon naps now – especially if I’m heading out that night. Sleeping in the day in the past would have been impossible and now it’s a breeze. Here’s how:

1. SOCKS.
For afternoon naps, I wear socks. It helps with the cozy factor. And if it’s a really cold evening, I might wear socks at night too.

No coffee after 11am

No coffee after 11am

 

2. LIMITED COFFEE
No coffee after 11am. Preferably only two cups max a day. Then only a cup of tea AFTER an afternoon nap if heading out that evening and in need of a boost.

 

 

3. EXERCISE
Exercise is essential. If you give your body a good workout, you will naturally feel inclined to hit the sack.

Swisse Sleep vitamins

Swisse Sleep vitamins

 

4. TAKE VITAMINS
Natural sleeping vitamins, like these from Swisse, really do help! Plus they contain magnesium, which helps alleviate the risk of cramps that can occur at night if one has consumed alcohol…

 

 

 

Tapiz Chadonnay

Tapiz Chardonnay

 

5. WINE IS GOOD
I find a couple of glasses helps in the sleeping stakes. Some people say they wake up more in the night if they drink wine, so this tip may not suit everyone, but I find it helps enormously. Not EVERY night, of course… And it MUST be good quality wine. Life is too short to drink bad wine.

 

Tim Winton's latest novel, Eyrie

Tim Winton’s latest novel, Eyrie

 

6. READ A GOOD BOOK
Reading is a brilliant way to get to sleep. I challenge you to go to bed, even when wide awake, and not feel sleepy in less than half an hour after reading when all snuggled up in bed. Of course, if it’s a particularly engaging book or a thriller, this might not work, so if you REALLY need to sleep, pick up something more challenging – with difficult vocabulary and philosophies – and it’ll do the trick in no time.

 

 

7. BEST SLEEP TIP EVER – SLEEP MEDITATION VIDEO
THIS is the tip I think works the BEST. It’s not particularly clever the way I found it – through a simple Google search – but no one had ever mentioned it to me before which is why I want to share this.

Guided Sleep Meditation

Guided Sleep Meditation

 

Keep in mind I am NOT one of those vegan, yoga, mediation types – not that there’s anything wrong with that – I’m just not one of them. I’m more of a busy, easily bored, attention deficit-disorder, A-type personality, so when I first came across this, I admit, I was quite skeptical.

BUT IT WORKS! And I guess that’s also why there are more than ONE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND hits on the You Tube version. I also like that it’s made by a couple of blokes called ‘The Honest Guys’. So it must be honestly good, right? You can play it on your iPhone or iPad and no, you don’t have to look at the screen.

Although I admit, when I first played it, I found the moving and exploding star pattern in the unending galaxy at the beginning of the clip quite mesmerising….

A mesmerizing galaxy of stars….

A mesmerizing galaxy of stars…

Anyway, a calm male voice – almost monotone – will guide you through a few simple breathing and mind techniques to help you relax. The effect is almost hypnotic. I’m always surprised when I hear something new I haven’t heard before – meaning I’ve never heard all of it because I usually fall asleep within five to ten minutes. I find it particularly helpful for afternoon naps. The only danger is that I’m now so reliant on it, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to sleep without my iPad again?

Who cares – it works!

Happy Sleeping. I’m off for an afternoon nap now. Nightie night.

A New Bible For The Music Industry – Welcome To The Jungle

Singer Gary Numan

Singer Gary Numan

When I arrived to interview author and lawyer Andrew Watt, he was on the phone interviewing Gary Numan. Does the name ring a bell? Yes, THE Gary Numan – the iconic British singer credited with being the pioneer of electronic music in the late 70s and early 80s with hits such as  ‘Are Friends Electric’ and ‘Cars’.
You see, Watt is the wearer of many hats. A full-time lawyer at Gibsons Solicitors, he’s also a man engaged in a long-time love affair with the music industry. This led him to write about music for the Monash University student newspaper when studying law and it’s a passion that’s never let up. Which is probably why he’s also a teacher of music business education at JMC Academy in South Melbourne. And he STILL writes articles about music and bands.

You’d think that would be enough on anyone’s plate, but no, Watt decided he needed another project two years ago when he began teaching students at the Academy.

Lawyer, author and teacher Andrew Watt

Lawyer, author and teacher Andrew Watt

‘I felt that there was a real gap in the market in that there was a lot of theoretical material available about copyright and contract law, all of which are important, but there was a disconnect between the theoretical learning and the day-to-day practice in the industry,’ he said.

A hefty tome...

A hefty tome…

 

And that’s how the idea for his new book was born. Called Welcome to the Jungle, it’s a hefty tome that is fast-becoming recognised as THE go-to-book for anyone who needs to know anything and everything about being a part of the precarious music industry.

 

‘I thought this was an opportunity to talk to people who are at the coalface of the industry about what they do and how they do it and how the industry is evolving. Because it is a very fast-moving industry as we’re all very well aware,’ he said.

Promoter Michael Gudinski

Promoter Michael Gudinski

Just flipping through the pages of the book gives you some idea of the types of music heavyweights Watt has included in his pet project. Names like Michael Gudinski, Michael Chugg, John Watson and Michael Coppell, to name a few, have all shared their experiences to help others navigate a career path in the industry.

All up, Watt completed more than NINETY interviews!!

While most of his students have a passion for music, Watt says most aren’t sure what role they’ll play when it comes to careers. ‘That’s a good thing,’ he said. ‘Because there are a lot of accidental careers. If they go into it thinking the only thing they want to be is a manager, or work at a record company, they might be missing the niche that suits them best. Very few people leave school and think, “I’m going to be a music supervisor.” They discover publishing, they discover that they have a flair for music in film or TV and they find themselves in that area.’

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

 

Keeping up-to-date with technology and social media is also a very important message in the book. ‘There’s a whole chapter on digital music marketing,’ he said. ‘There was no such thing ten years ago. Back then there might have been a department called New Media, but now you have individuals who specialise in social media for music marketing or viral marketing.’

 

 

‘New technologies are changing the way the industry works all the time,’ he said. ‘Although having said that, never lose sight of the fact that the essence of the music industry is connecting the creators of music with the consumers of music. It’s just the means and the methods by which people do that, that are changing. At the end of the day it’s still about musicians and their audiences.’

Of the successful working professionals Watt interview, he says an undying passion for the industry is a common element they all share.

‘There is a unique attitude and passion that comes with working in the music industry. Whether it’s the live or recorded industry. You can’t teach that passion. You either have it or you don’t. You have to help the students apply that passion and make the transition from being fans to contributing members of the industry.’

Author Andrew Watt

Author Andrew Watt

And that’s what this book is all about. Watt describes it as an anecdotal textbook. So if you’re thinking about getting into the music biz, this will be essential reading. Even those who don’t want to work in the industry will find the stories and interviews with the larger-than-life characters that dominate this world, an entertaining read.

Watt is also holding workshops about the industry across the country, so if you’d like to attend, here’s the details:

 

 

WORKSHOPS

To celebrate the launch of Andrew Watt’s music business textbook, Welcome To The Jungle – Navigating the Music Business In Australia, Andrew is holding a series of Workshop events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne running from 10am to 4pm. 

 BRISBANE: Saturday 28 June

JMC Academy, 75 Grey St, South Brisbane

 SYDNEY – Saturday 5 July

JMC Academy, 561 Harris St, Ultimo

MELBOURNE – Saturday 12 July

JMC Academy, 171 Bank St, South Melbourne

CONTENT:

The Workshop presents an overview of the Music Industry in Australia, targeted at students studying Music Business Courses, artists wanting to understand the industry and young industry aspirants wanting to get a foot in the door

COST:

$95 inc GST (each registrant receives a free print edition of

Welcome To The Jungle – Navigating the Music Business In Australia RRP: $55)

In addition please note that as part of the course fees, attendees will be given a workbook

and several other useful information documents 

BOOKINGS:

Workshop bookings can be made at

www.musicbusinesseducation.com.au

Or if you’d just like to purchase a copy of the book, here’s the link:

 

Welcome To The Jungle – Navigating the Music Business In Australia

is available for sale now at

www.musicbusinesseducation.com.au

ENJOY!