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Now you all know that I am a regular traveller to Bali. People often wonder why I travel up to three to four times a year to the island. I guess for me, Bali is like my second home.

After the first trip there, we got over the hype of “tourist Bali” and opted for something a little bit more low key and quiet. The village life. It is simple, wonderful and truly spiritual. Feeling at home, eventually led to my family buying land in a village called Marga (about 45 minutes inland) and as I write this our beautiful Balinese villa is being built. I can only imagine how often I will be in Bali, or whether in fact it will become my new home in the next 6 months. But I know one thing is for certain Bali is in my heart and always will be. That is why I return.

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So on my recent trip back to the Island I spent a few days jungle wandering at Pondok Puspa, a beautiful traditional Balinese villa that my family has built in the village. I rode a push bike (lets just say my lack of fitness showed its true colours) around the village and was more than well received, I was welcomed with open arms.

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The best thing about being up in the village is that there is no need for eccentricities, no need for opulence, in fact no want for anything but a good meal and good company. And that is what I got. Traditional Indonesian food and quality time spent with my family. Surrounded by palm trees, jungle and rice fields, being up in Marga, Tabanan, truly is the real Bali. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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Now whilst village life is serene and certainly healing both mentally and physically, the ocean is just as cleansing for the soul. I have visited many of the beaches in Bali but my favourite is Pantai Geger in Nusa Dua. Fortunately for me I was able to spend an entire day at Gegers new hotel, The Mulia of course in my brand new WAH swimmers from our Odyssey Rising collection. Treated to a decadent and delicious brunch at one of their many restaurants Soleil and then spending all afternoon pool hopping, was simply amazing.

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Now I have seen the Mulia go from a pile of rocks on the beach to the worlds “best new hotel” as crowned by Conde Nast in 2013, and I have to say you cannot realise the magnitude and innovation of this place until you actually view it from within. Pools for miles; private pools, big pools, decorative pools, just pools forever and ever. Between exploring the secret hidden spots around the hotel and our brunch at Soleil, the experience was memorable. With free flowing sparkling wine, a selection of ridiculous seafood, tapas, antipasti and deserts, not to mention the gorgeous chefs specials we got to experience. From the beautiful and delicate ravioli to the sweet crab creme brûlée, every aspect of the meal was THE “Foodie” experience. Combine this with sunshine, salt water and fresh coconuts and you really have the perfect day.

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For the last couple of days, I decided a villa in Seminyak was the best way to end my holiday. All I wanted to do was relax by a pool, listen to music and enjoy my own space. Hopefully when I return I will see some significant progress on our own villa. Who knows I might just become a regular expat.

But for now, Melbourne is home. Until next time Bali.

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Too often will I choose not to have the dessert because I don’t want to pay for it later. But who knew you can have your cake and eat it too with this delicious vegan treat! Vegan Chocolate moose!

How?

GRAB:

1 Avocado

1/2 Cup of raw Cacao powder

Teaspoon of Vanilla Paste

1 Banana

Juice of Half an orange

GET MAKING:

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It really is as simple as put all the ingredients together in a blender and press the button.

Add to single ramekins or a serving dish and garnish with almonds.

Add to the fridge to chill. The oils from the avocado and density of the banana creates the moose like consistency.

Simple. Easy. Fast. Delicious.

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Enjoy

Photos: asplashofvanilla.com

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There have been many Summer Sirens over the years but none more beautiful then these original beach babes. Providing inspiration for many with their gorgeous voluptuous bodies, stunning faces and kick ass careers, these ladies have got it all. See our top 5 Summer Sirens of all time!

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1. Well this original Hollywood beauty needs no introduction. An icon throughout the ages, the pin up girl all pin up girls wanted to be, the most envied actress of her time with beautiful curves and a vibrant personality to match, Miss Marilyn Monroe was and always will be THE Summer Siren.

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2. Ursula Andress is known literally as “That Bond Girl”. The one who has inspired many swimwear campaigns and has been the envy of many women around the world. Emerging from the ocean, sun soaked and wearing one of the most famous bikinis ever to be worn on film, Ursula Andress is an iconic Summer Siren.

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3. Oh Elle! How could we not include you in our top 5! Always the bronzed beauty with golden sun kissed locks, Elle rocked the 90s and redefined the term supermodel. Even today you can still find Elle enjoying the sunshine with her family on a tropical beach somewhere in the world. To her the ocean, the sand, the surf really is home.

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4. Blue Lagoon was no doubt a controversial film, but it did kick start this Summer Sirens career. Brooke Shields was and still is the ultimate beach beauty. With her etherial like qualities and luscious locks, her career from childhood star to full time dedicated mother is inspiring within itself.

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5. Learning to surf for the film Blue Crush may have just been the best thing Kate Bosworth ever did! That bleach blonde hair, killer tan and #fitspo bod is only a few of many features that make Kate Bosworth a Summer Siren.  Inspiring many young girls to pick up a board and ride a wave, Blue Crush empowered females all over the world. Kicking off her singing career, married life and continuous work in charity, we think Kate Bosworth is an all round good human.

But we know that whilst these 5 women are put in the spot light, there are summer sirens and everyday beach babes all around the world. We know this because you are the very reason we exist! So keep tagging @wearehandsomeswimwear and #wearehandsome on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We want to hear from you, because we know that you are all the original Summer Sirens.

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Whilst there is a summer somewhere in the world, currently Australia is battling an extremely cold winter. Ok so its not, omg the road froze over kinda cold, but the wet and windy kind does not make for much fun. Wind blown hair and dry skin is nobody’s friend. So here is how you can get that healthy summer glow and avoid the despair of winter skin. 5 simple steps.

1. Invest in a good drink bottle that you can fill up with H20. A good Bisphenol A (BPA) free drink bottle on hand will hydrate your skin. It is no secret. This is not magic. Water hydrates you inside and out. If you are not taking care of your body on the inside, it is only natural that your skin will fail you on the outside.

2. Avoid fatty foods. Now we all know winter time can see us put on a couple of kilos and dub thee “winter weight”. The more fast, sugar laden and oily food you ingest, the likely your skin is to break out. Avoid this by making healthy choices. I am not saying go all out and detox on green juice everyday. Eat a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables and treat yourself when appropriate. But if you have to ask yourself…’Should I eat the fifth slice of pizza?” you probably shouldn’t. Over indulging food guilt is the worst kind of guilt.

3. Invest in a good detox organic exfoliant. Getting rid of dead skin is pivotal to allowing new skin cells to develop. Incorporate this into your weekly routine. Once to twice a week for beginners, depending on how stable your skin is. The White Elixir face scrub from SALT is a natural skin food perfect for this.  If you want to make your own; ground coffee, cinnamon and coconut butter creates an invigorating yet delicious moisturising scrub.

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4. Moisturise. The dryness of your skin will dictate how often you moisturise. If your skin is very dry then aim for twice a day. Again ensure that the moisturiser you choose, does not contain any nasty chemicals or parabans. Sukin Organics stock two excellent moisturisers for your needs.

5. Spray your worries away with a hydrating mist toner. Mix Chamomile and Rose Water to create an everyday spray toner. The chamomile will calm your skin and sooth any blemishes, with rose water acting as a natural anti-immflamatory component. Perfect for those early mornings and puffy eyes.

Follow these simple steps to keep your healthy summer glow and avoid the winter woes.

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Divine Wanderer

Photos: Bianca Nardo and Fallen by The Wayside blog

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The Great Barrier Reef;  A natural, exquisite wonder of the world.  A place that is so very close to our hearts, as individuals and as a nation. A place, that is in fact in danger of being destroyed for capitalist gain.

A world heritage site, The Great Barrier Reef has been under threat from human error for a very long time. Climate change has no doubt had its impact on the reef. With rising temperatures, inconsistent weather and chemical imbalances threatening the very nature of eco systems that have existed for millions of years, the reef itself cannot take another blow.

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Yet here we are. At a dark point in our history, where such a stunning gift from nature is under threat again. The Australian Governments big corporation alliance and money eyed blinkers may just be the death of the reef.  In an effort to “promote economic growth” the Queensland Government has set in motion plans to approve mega port developments, severe dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock. Not to mention the creation of a shipping superhighway.

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One would think that prefaced with the word SUPER, the benefits would outweigh the costs. Wrong. Here’s what this so called SUPERhighway really means…

The Australian Government will only be adding to what already is a volatile situation. In the last 6 months, severe dredging of the reef traced back to Gladstone Harbour, has caused the release of toxic chemicals into the ocean. The result? Precious marine life have become diseased, washing up on the surrounding shores. In fact 6 dolphins, 10 dugongs and 231 turtles have washed up dead near Gladstone on the Great Barrier Reef. With only the first stage underway of this SUPER highway and multi-port development, the impact can only be dire.

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The only way to stop to the inevitable, is to stand up and fight. Let your voice be heard. As individuals and a label that not only respects the Great Barrier Reef but cherishes its beauty, we will stand up and fight for the reef. Here’s how you can too:

1. Get Informed: Jump onto FightforTheReef.org

2. Vote for The Reef: This June the UNESCO will vote on the future of the reef. For the first time ever you can vote too.

3. Let your voice be heard on social media #FightfortheReef

Three simple steps will make all the difference. Let’s ensure that our reef will remain for generations to come.

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