Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Gold Coast / Surfers Paradise

When you get so consumed in all the ups and downs life throws at you, it is so important to just STOP ! Whether it's for an hour, a day, a week. This was my simple reasoning behind my impromptu trip to Gold Coast with my cousin. It was short and sweet, but I didn't even know how much I needed it. It's the simple things like laying on the beach, and soaking up an endless amount of sun that can sometimes make all the difference...

Tallebudgera Creek
Gold Coast Botanic Gardens 
Urban Paradise Art Gallery 
Thrift Shopping 

Monday, 29 June 2015

An Argument for Why Young White Men Commit Mass Shootings

I'm almost positive these aren't original thoughts or concepts I'm sharing, but I've been thinking deeply about the shooting last week in Charleston, SC, and had some thoughts around why we continue to see young, white, angry, racist men commit mass murders/shootings. 

Discrimination and oppression are felt differently by different groups and there are certainly different layers and levels of oppression. For example, as a white woman, I have experienced discrimination and oppression but not nearly at the level felt by trans women, black women and other women of color. And that is important to note. Nonetheless, I experience (almost daily) street harassment. I have to think consciously about my appearance every day and how I will be perceived based on how much I am showing. I have to work harder for less and be overly-polite and attentive to the needs of male coworkers. I often feel unsafe. I am used to not getting my way and having certain situations not work in my favor, purely because I am a woman. I've been taught by society - teachers, the media, coworkers & bosses, even friends and family - that I am not entitled to certain things, such as safety or the chance to act wild, bossy or angry. I'm taught that if I go against this system, I will not be happy or treated well by society at-large. These confinements are felt much more by men & women of color as well as gender-queer and trans folks. Especially those who are also poor. This needs to be reiterated. And unlike white men, resisting these confinements is never met with the "mental illness" argument.

However, what occurred to me is that young white men in America are not confined. Sure, if they are poor, they face certain hardships. But ultimately, white men are taught to be entitled to jobs, safety and even more importantly, women, authority and respect. 

They haven't had to deal with not getting a job purely because they are a man (unless of course it's a job like "women's health specialist" or some such title, but there will always be fine details that do not take away from the larger argument). They haven't had to deal with being spoken down to purely because they are a man (or white). They haven't had to deal with constantly questioning their safety, whether it be around police or drunk men at a house party or even walking down the street. They often don't have to deal with not "getting their way".

Which brings me to my argument: When young, white, racist men in America, feel sad or angry or that they haven't got their way, they seek power or dominance to correct the situation. That's right  - CORRECT the situation. Because white, male entitlement in America has been set in place since the country was taken over in the 16th century.

These mass shootings are murderous tantrums, performed by people who believe that the world owes them success, wealth, happiness and the right to dominate. If any of these things or other freedoms and privileges are not felt, then someone has to pay. In the case of the USA, this is far too often innocent black people. 

I think the pro-gun lobbying is so intense and so white and male because guns are a vessel for control - an easy and quick way to form dominance.

So it's clear we need to challenge this notion of who deserves certain things. And this goes into respectability politics and teaching certain people that they should confine to certain norms to be "safe" or "respected". Black people are told to dress, speak and behave in certain ways otherwise they aren't entitled to safety or respect. But as we have seen this week, being a church-going, respectable black person still does not make you safe. 

Similarly, women being completely covered up or behaving sweetly and passively are not safer or more respectable. Far too often are women raped and abused in their own homes and women in cultures across the world who cover-up also face sexual and domestic abuse. 

There should be no social hierarchy for being entitled to safety and respect. When we dismantle the system that was deliberately and forcibly built for white men to prosper (see: slavery, colonialism, laws around gender, etc.), then maybe we will see less ongoing, murderous slaughter. 

May the 9 people who died in Charleston RIP. And may we all, especially my fellow white people, stay angry and alert and teach other white people about what is going on, because if you are ignoring this, then you may as well stand with Dylann Roof. 


Cynthia Hurd

Susie Jackson

Ethel Lance

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor

The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Tywanza Sanders

Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.

Rev. Sharonda Singleton

Myra Thompson

Photo from Reuters

- Posted by Olympia

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Review: Jord Watches


 Jord Watches is a unique brand that intricately uses wood as their main component, to produce beautiful, simple, sustainable and timeless watches. Jord kindly gifted us with watches of our choice. With Australia getting colder by the day, whilst America is warming up, we thought it would be cool to do a shoot showcasing the watches, juxtaposed by our opposing seasons. 

What we LOVE about Jord Watches:

~The packaging! It comes nicely presented in a wooden box, matched with a small pillow
~Their collection of watches varies to suit different skin tones
~The designs are simple enough for everyday use
~The uniqueness of the wood aspect (can be worn with everything)
~The closure is really secure
~The average cost of the watches is reasonable. For all watch lovers that appreciate quality and style, you will appreciate Jord!
~Decent selection range for both men and women
~Delivery is fast and Jord updates you every step of the way

While we didn't have any complaints with our watches, when ordering, make sure you provide Jord with the exact  measurements of your wrist to avoid the hassle of resizing like we had to. Jord Watches kindly size the watch prior to shipping it out.

Our shoot below :)

~Posted by Olympia & Vanessa 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Clean Eating with: Soeuba Gambo

A friend I met in Ghana, who actually resides in the Netherlands, has become a dear friend to me for many reasons. Her name is Soueba Gambo. Although she isn't a size 0, she has one of the most amazing bodies I have ever seen! Her motivation and drive to achieve the healthiest body she knows how is completely contagious. 

"My motto in life is to always be better, faster and stronger" ~ Soueba Gambo. The first step to a healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet. Below are 3 easy meals prepared by Soueba, that not only look good, but are also good for you! 

Cauliflower porridge topped with kiwi, almonds and goji berries
Ingredients:1 cup Cauliflower; 150 ml of Coconut milk or almond milk; 1 kiwi fruit; almonds; goji berries.
Cook the cauliflower for 3-5 minutes. When cooked blend the cauliflower together with the milk. Slice kiwi fruit to liking. Put the porridge in a bowl and serve topped with the sliced kiwi fruit, almonds and goji berries.

      Cauliflower porridge topped with cranberries, grilled pear and banana
Ingredients:1 cup Cauliflower; 150 ml of Coconut milk or almond milk; 50 gram of dried cranberries; 1 pear; 1 ripe banana; 1 tsp honey (optional).Cook the cauliflower for 3-5 minutes. When cooked blend the cauliflower together with the milk. Slice the pear and heat coconut oil in a grill pan. Add sliced pear and let it cook until they soften (brown). Put the porridge in a bowl and serve topped with the pear, sliced banana and dried cranberries. Eetsmakelijk! As we would say in Dutch.

Mixed Plate

Ingredients: Courgetti; Tomatoes; Chinese cabbage; Lentils; Pumpkin
 Cook lentils for 30 min, when cooked add coconut oil, sea salt, cumin, peppers and garlic to taste. Cook pumpkin until they are soft, mashed it and add spices to taste. Spiralize the courgetti with a spiralizer, cut the cabbage and steam them in a steamer. Slice the tomatoes. Put everything separately on a plate.

For more tips on fitness and healthy eating, follow Soueba on Instagram- @woman_of__steel 

-Posted by Vanessa 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Relaxation Playlists on SoundCloud

Hi all,

Just a short post...

I finally got some speakers for my birthday which just passed in April, and now that the weather is getting warm, my favorite thing to do on my weekend mornings is blast neo-soul music with the natural light coming into my bedroom with some tea in my hand. Total relaxation.

Thanks to SoundCloud, there are some pretty amazing playlists that you can just leave on for hours and hours. I thought I would share three that I'm absolutely adoring right now in case you are looking for something to listen to at work, in your car, in the shower or lounging around your place like me.

Something about neo-soul music is so calm and relaxed but still upbeat. Hope you adore!

- Posted by Olympia

Sunday, 29 March 2015


I clearly don't want to believe that I am truly back to reality lol. Just like I recapped on Ghana, I thought I would also do a short post on the other part of my trip,  London, Paris and Dubai. 

London I had already visited in previous years, so apart form spending time with beloved family and shopping, I didn't do or see anything particularly new. In saying that, during my many times of catching public transport in London, I came to the conclusion that people in the western world who have more seem to be unhappier than those in developing countries. This may be an obvious observation, but this become so apparent to me when I compared my experiences/surroundings in Ghana to London. Way too often on the trains/buses I would RARELY see anyone crack a simple smile. Everyone was always in deep thought, straight faces, minding their own business. Ironically, in Ghana where people survive on close to nothing, you can walk on the streets and see someone with equivalent to $20 to their name dancing, smiling and simply enjoying the simplicities of life. Another reason why I am chasing a life of happiness and fulfilment, as opposed to one filled with money and no real purpose.

Paris and Dubai on the other hand were completely new, amazing experiences for me. The architecture in Paris is what blew my mind. The city is full of so much history, that can be felt by simply walking through the city being surrounded by beautiful buildings. Shopping wise, I felt Paris was a little on the expensive side (but hey, if your rich you will definitely be in heaven) as it is home to many of the great high-end designers we only dream of wearing. Overall, truly the city of love. Dubai was also full of beautiful and intricate buildings accompanied by rich culture. People in Dubai are living well! Everyone seemed to be doing well in terms of work and finances (obviously a generalisation, but applied to the vast majority of people i saw) and not to mention were all so lovely. The hospitality I received from my hotel staff and tour guides was definitely a positive testament to the majority of people I met in Dubai. 

I am beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to see these beautiful places and hold valuable memories and experiences close to my heart. I can't wait for my next journey !

London Eye

De Louvre, Paris





Museum in Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Luxembourg Park, Paris

Luxembourg Park, Paris

Arc de triomphe, Paris


Dubai Desert

Dubai Desert

Dubai sunset



-Posted by Vanessa 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Music Spotlight: NAIMAH

To celebrate the release of Naimah's new song "Fireworks" ft. & produced by Von Vargas, here's a little more information about the beautiful and talented musician. Take a listen to the song here:

On top of creating the song, Naimah, along with partner-in-crime and designer, Greg, created the cover art using glitter paper, making stencil letters and working with Bobby Spero to shoot it. Naimah says it added to the song's idea of nostalgia/youth/the little moments that are simply spent with the people you enjoy. It is clear she is hands-on with every aspect of her creative process. Congratulations, Naimah!

1.     Age, Location
24, Washington D.C.
2.       What’s the music scene like in DC?
Thankfully, the music scene is fairly diverse here, and what you’re exposed to really tends on your own personal world.  I’m a particular fan of DC’s punk and hip-hop scene.  Both genres have really great groups with DC roots, and the scenes continue to thrive here.  You can always catch local acts at some of the major venues here, which is always amazing. 

3.       How did you get started with music?
I think music started with me before I knew what direction it was going to lead me towards.  My first introduction to music was when I was little and played a toy guitar until all the strings broke off. I kept on the journey by playing the clarinet, performing in musicals, singing in various vocal groups, going to as many concerts as I could see (and getting as many set lists signed by bands as possible; side-note!), and along the way transforming my love for short stories into writing songs.  Songwriting, singing, and playing the guitar just stuck.  I feel most at home when I’m doing one of those things – like I’m completely myself.  It’s hard to explain in words, but it’s a feeling that lets me know I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. 
4.       How would you describe your sound?
Honest.  Every aspect, from the lyrics to the music – whether it’s just my guitar or a full-blown production – delivers the core of the song’s story.  The tension, the love, the uncertainty, whatever it is.  It’s all an honest baring of it. 

5.       How do you feel about the state of music today?
I really love the mix of genres I’m hearing more and more.  James Blake’s collaboration with Chance the Rapper is just one of the many examples I could list. I’ve never had a one-track mind when it comes to music, so I appreciate that artists are blending influences these days, and the industry is starting to at least try to catch up with the fact that no one wants to limit their genre or their audience.  Even though this cross-genre blending still gets stuck under “alternative”, it’s still great as a listener, and to take part in as an artist.  I’ve been collaborating across the board recently, from working with rappers to singing on deep house tracks, and it’s been great to get my hands in all the music that I love to listen to, and to think differently as a songwriter and a vocalist.  The mixing pool of music definitely encourages artistry, individual gifts, and collaboration – I’m a fan, for sure.
6.       Dream collaboration?
Oh! Well, speaking of James Blake above...! Working with him is my dream collaboration.  I love his mix of elements in his music, and the very soulful and dare I say honest delivery of his songs.  Our voices would blend really well together, and I think we have a similar outlook on songwriting.  Maybe it’s because we’re fans of Joni Mitchell, who knows.  When we collaborate, it will be powerful stuff.
7.       Favorite song of all time?
“Between the Bars” by Elliott Smith.
8.       Favorite album of all time?
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire.  I love the thematic nature of that album, and how seamlessly it all connects into one big story.

9.      Best live show you’ve ever been to?
So maybe part of the reason The Suburbs is my favorite album is because I saw it live at Coachella and that performance blew my mind.  It was a beautiful spring night, perfect clear sky, and Arcade Fire was singing from The Suburbs and Funeral and the performance was monumental for me.  They started singing “Wake Up” and everyone around started singing the opening ‘ooooh’ together and I looked to my best friend and told her: I want to do this.  I have to perform.  I have to reach people like this.  That moment has stuck with me to this day.
10.   How do you want the next 5 years to play out in your career?
Lots of songwriting, lots of shows, lots of collaborating. I want to continue to reach and grow my audience, inspire, and be inspired. And, but of course, win a Grammy or two...!

Check Naimah out at the following links...
Instagram/Twitter: @naimahmusic

- Posted by Olympia & Vanessa 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

GHANA 2014/15

Had a complete absence form blogging, all within good reason though. We are back now!

GHANA. Seeing the word alone gives me butterflies, so can you imagine the excitement that consumed me when i landed at 12pm on the 27th Dec 2015. Anyone who has visited Ghana knows the extreme heat wave that hits you as soon as you step off the plane is nothing but a relief, accompanied by air scented of kelewele and other delicious dishes. 

I have been to Ghana around 5 times, but the thing that made this time so special was the fact that i was doing it completely solo. I always think its healthy and life changing to go on some sort of holiday by yourself and thinking back on it, I wouldn't have preferred it any other way. It forced me to step out of my comfort zone, resulting in me meeting so many amazing people, seeing new things I may have not been able to see if i traveled with people, and just ultimately having the freedom to do everything in my own time, at my own expense. In saying that, during December/Jan (festive season), at any given time you will ALWAYS meet other foreigners you know. Having the comfort of having girls/guys that i already knew around definitely made things easier and more enjoyable. To be perfectly honest, in my opinion, its pretty hard to not enjoy your time in Ghana (minus aspects like light off, water off, poor economy and corruption of course!). The rich culture, simple lifestyle, welcoming personalities, positive attitudes despite having so little, dancing on the streets and mouth-watering food are just SOME of the reasons anyone will love Ghana, and the main reason I know I will eventually live there. 

     Some of my fav spots/things to do:

  Local Food

-Asanka Local 
-Bush Kanteen 


-African Regent 
-La Palm
-Royal Senchi
-Aqua Safari
-Golden Tulip


-Aburi Botanical Gardens
-Legon Botanical Gardens
-Kwame Nkrumah Memorial
-Jamestown Lighthouse
-Independence Square


-Republic Bar
-Bedouin Lounge
-Club 45 
-Bella Roma

As small as Ghana is, and as much as i did, there is still SO much more i want to see and do that i didn't get the chance to. 

Aqua Safari, Ada

Aqua Safari, Ada

Aqua Safari, Ada

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

All White Party

Bojo Beach

Bojo Beach

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

Royal Senchi Hotel, Akosombo

Royal Senchi Hotel, Akosombo

Royal Senchi Hotel, Akosombo

Bojo Beach


Aburi Botanical Gardens

Aburi Art Centre

Aqua Safari, Ada

Bojo Beach

Bojo Beach

Bojo Beach

Legon Botanical Gardens

Aqua Safari, Ada

Aburi Botanical Gardens (Tree of Life)

Aburi Botanical Gardens

Aburi Botanical Gardens

Aburi Botanical Gardens 

La-Palm Hotel

Dansoman, Accra

La-Palm Hotel

Life-changing holiday. Until December 2015 Ghana...

-Posted By Vanessa