SISTER2sister – a great cause

Jessica Brown met Caitlin Ward when her school counselor sought help for Caitlin, who was depressed and self harming at the time. Jessica was instrumental in Caitlin’s recovery and the two have developed an incredibly strong bond over the past 3 years. They consider themselves Sisters.

Caitlin’s father was a depressive alcoholic and her mother hated him. She grew up in a house filled with anger, parental fights, abuse, bullying and neglect. Her mother eventually left her father and Caitlin, along with her two brothers and sister, were forced to live in her mother’s car for some time. They had no money, no food and no prospects. Eventually her uncle took them into his home and Caitlin went back to school. At school she was bullied incessantly and had no friends. She was depressed. She began to self harm in an attempt to ‘feel’ something. When this didn’t help, she tried to end her own life and was admitted to hospital and put on anti-depressants.

Life improved for a while until Caitlin’s only friend took her own life, leaving Caitlin isolated and alone again. Less than a week later she found out her father had died and just one week after this, her grandmother died of a massive heart attack. Caitlin’s world was thrown into disarray once again and depression began to take over. Her school counselor suggested that she nominate herself for a program that might be able to lift her depression and offer her some guidance and positive reinforcement in her life.

That’s when she met Jessica, her savior. Jessica was a warm, loving, maternal role model in Caitlin’s life. The pair bonded immediately and Jessica helped her to discover freedom and choice and most of all, happiness.

Jessica set upLife Changing Experiences Foundation’s SISTER2sister program in 2003, providing at risk teenage girls with professional female role models as ‘Big Sister’ mentors they can gain support, guidance and advice from, to inspire and motivate them to turn their lives around over a 12 month period. Caitlin was recommended to join it in 2008. Jessica took on the role of Caitlin’s Big Sister.

Jessica made her laugh, listened to her, gave her advice and showed her that she matters. And that life matters when Caitlin is around.

Jessica has learned a lot from Caitlin too. Caitlin is a regular reminder to Jessica about why she set up the Foundation and is proof that the ‘magic’ they create as mentors, really turns these young lives around. They make each other laugh and Jessica now feels that she has gained a loyal Little Sister through meeting Caitlin.

Caitlin has not forgotten the road she has taken to where she is today. Throughout the program, Caitlin was challenged and had to step out of her comfort zone. She learned to trust Jessica wholeheartedly and she also learned the value of being trusted. Today, Caitlin is a Butterfly Ambassador/advocate for the charity. She participates in Life Changing Experience Foundation events at which she speaks about the program and how it has helped her.

Caitlin is a volunteer with the NSW Red Cross Youth Advisory Committee. In 2009 she represented Australia as an Australian Youth Ambassador at a Global Youth Leadership Summit. She’s also working on building her own Organisation; ‘Confidence through Culture’ which is an initiative designed to increase confidence in young Indigenous students through a greater understanding of their traditional heritage and she’s writing a personal development themed novel.

SPARKLE FOR A CAUSE WITH THE SISTER2sister PENDANT

This is a special collaboration between Life Changing Experiences Foundation and Magnolia Jewellery, who are proud to launch the limited edition SISTER2sister sterling silver pendant.

Life Changing Experiences Foundation’s NIVEA SISTER2Sister program aims to assist “at risk” teenage girls who face serious issues such as abuse, neglect, loss, trauma, self harm, a drug addicted guardian or parents in jail. To date, The NIVEA SISTER2Sister program has helped over 250 young girls with many success stories to tell. The program pairs a Big Sister mentor with a Little Sister, and introduces a positive role model into their lives, one whom they can seek advice, support and encouragement from.

The pendant, created exclusively by Magnolia Jewellery, symbolises a big sister and a little sister and the bond they share. The dolls are linked together, which represents their intertwining lives when they embark on the 12 month mentoring program together.

Nati Harpaz, CEO of Magnolia Jewellery says, “We are delighted to be working with such an admirable charity. We selected Life Changing Experiences Foundation as our chosen cause due to the incredible work they do and inspiration they offer to the lives of teenage girls in need of guidance. We know our customers will love the pendant and want to support such a worthy charity.”

Jessica Brown, CEO of Life Changing Experiences Foundation says “We are really excited that Magnolia has come on board to help raise funds for the NIVEA SISTER2sister program. Magnolia has kindly given pendants to our current Big and Little Sisters who absolutely love it and wear it with pride. We are delighted to have such a beautifully designed pendant to represent the program and raise vital funds to ensure we continue to help young at-risk teenage girls have a brighter future.”

The SISTER2sister pendant makes the perfect gift for a loved one, best friend, sister or a great stocking filler for Christmas this year.

The pendant retails for $59 and is available at Magnolia stores nationwide, as well as through the Magnolia website www.magnolia-jewellery.com.au . All proceeds raised from sales will go directly to the NIVEA SISTER2sister Program. Magnolia Jewellery stores are located nationwide.

The Poor Baker meets Baked and Delicious

** Competition Alert**

I admit that I am a poor baker and by poor I don’t mean broke, I mean pretty average. I admit that my baked goods will never be suitable for Masterchef, ok?

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the 3rd part of the new Baked and Delicious magazine that is now available in newsagents. You know, I think it has converted me.

This isn’t just a magazine, it’s actually more like a recipe book. The cover is firm, unlike a magazine, and you won’t find articles about rubbish. Instead, you’ll find nothing but recipes and gorgous full page photos of the finished product.

In edition 3 there are recipes including a decadent sachertorte, tarte tatin, traditional scones and even pizze dough. It’s a great mix of sweet and savoury recipes. In fact, the one that really caught my eye was for olive, herb and parmesan loaf and they must have known something because it’s the central recipe and it has step by step pictures to guide me through.

One problem with not being a baker – a serious shortage of cookware.

But I didn’t mention the best part, did I? The magazine comes with it’s own silicone cookware. Each edition brings you a new piece. How lucky was I that the piece that comes with this edition is just the right one for my loaf? The Lemon Drizzle Cake is also made using the loaf tin so guess what’s next on my culinary adventure?

Baked & Delicious is a new fortnightly magazine packed with recipes, from international classics to traditional favourites, and this magazine brings the very best of baking to today’s cooks. If you would like to subscribe you can do so via the subscription page on the website.

You can buy the magazine from your local newsagent but if you love to cook I recommend subscribing. That way you won’t miss out on any of the editions, nor will you miss out on the silicone cookware that will build up your kitchen tools.

This is a quality magazine that will become a great resource for cooks and wannabes.

Keep your eye out on Cherry Mag for an upcoming competition where a lucky reader will win a years subscription!

Lazy Girls Guide to Romance

I am not known for my energy. In fact, if I could trademark laziness, I would!

So, when it comes to setting the stage for romance I really don’t want to put in a whole lot of effort. After all, I’ll need what little energy I have for the huffing and puffing that comes later…

Is it only me that feels like that? Surely not.

Just in case you feel the same, here are some of my favourite tools for a romantic environment – without raising a sweat.

Romantic Glowing Candles.

These are fantastic. Just hit the button and they light up. I can do it without having to get out of my chair! Best of all, there is no mess and no smell because there is no flame! These are real wax candles but instead of a wick they have little LED lights that create the glow. You can even choose from a range of scented candles to perfume your boudoir. Make mine gardenia, please.

A Hot Stone Massage

Well you need to be feeling relaxed and flexible for a good roll in the hay, don’t you? Well, that’s what you can tell him. You really need a massage to help you get into the mood. A hot stone massage would be just perfect. All you have to do is lie there while he places the heated stones on you. This Spa Hot Rocks set comes with instructions so he will know exactly what to do.

Self Stirring Mug

Once it’s all over you’ll need a good hot drink to help you recover your energy. That means that you want one that doesn’t involve hard work like stirring in your sugar. Luckily I have found a mug that is perfect for post-coital recovery. It’s the self stirring mug and it’s wonderful.

Now all you need is someone to tuck you into bed so you can have a good night’s sleep and you’ll be set for another hard day of being adored tomorrow.

A Little Bridesmaid Bling?

The new film “Bridesmaids” is out and we thought it was time to pay some respect to all the hard working bridesmaids who hold weddings together with sheer will and humour.

The film is a funny tale of Anne, a maid of honor, who really doesn’t quite know what to do or how to manage the oddballs who are the bridesmaids. She’s broke and somehow has to work her way through all the expensive pre-wedding celebrations, not to mention manage to pay for her dress and so on.

It made us think about how underappreciated some bridesmaids are. They really do deserve some form of acknowledgement, dont’ they?

Miabellehas a stunning range of enamel jewellery that would be just perfect as a thank you gift. Yes, you know me. I love colour and the enamel on these pieces gives a beautiful clear burst of colour.

These pieces are made of sterling silver and enamel and then set with semi-precious stones. Just have a look at the stunning colours in these pieces.

The enamel is handpainted and then the jewellery is set with gems that may include garnet, citrine, topaz, rhodolite, quartz, onyx and more.

Every time I look at these pieces I change my mind about the ones I would choose. I started off drooling over the vivid enamel colours but I think I have now fallen for the classic elegance of black and white.

But, I guess it isn’t my opinion that matters. It’s your bridesmaids who count and I know there will be something in this lovely range that they will appreciate. Go on, give them a thank you gift that really acknowledges the work they put into making your day special.

By the way, does anyone need a bridesmaid? Ms FeetUp volunteers!

Visit Miabelle to see the complete range and to find a stockist near you.

The Ski Activ Challenge

Ms FeetUp was asked to be part of the Ski Activ 14 DayChallenge recently. Obviously the good people at Ski knew that we needed to be protected from her moods and the challenge arrived just at the right time.

What is Ski Activ?

Ski® Activ® by Nestle is a unique combination of a prebiotic and naturally occurring probiotics including Bifidus ProDigestis™, a probiotic scientifically proven to help restore natural digestive balance. Yoghurt is also a delicious and nutrient rich dairy food that’s a source of protein, calcium and phosphorus.

Ski® Activ® is specially formulated to promote the growth of friendly bacteria found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract to help restore the balance in your digestive system, helping to keep sluggishness and feeling weighed down at bay.

The Challenge meant that Ms FeetUp had to eat one tub of the yoghurt every day and keep track of how she felt.

Well, the first problem occurred when she was robbed. Didn’t we suffer for it. Yes, someone was brave or stupid enough to eat one of her tubs. I can still hear her ranting now. After that we couldn’t go to the fridge without being hit in the face with a sign telling us to keep our mitts off her yoghurt.

The taste of the yoghurt is delicious. It’s rich and creamy despite being low fat and the taste – oh the taste! (Yes, dont’ tell her. It was me. I just had to have the passionfruit one)

While we can’t really comment on Ms FeetUp’s internal experience, we can tell you that we caught her a couple of times looking at herself in the full length mirror and patting her stomach (which did look a little flatter).

We can also tell you that she’s now walking around with a smile on her face.

Thank heavens for Ski Activ!

To find out more about the range hop on over to the new Ski Activsite. It has full nutritional details there, too.

Esteem for Teens

When you are a teenager your sense of self-esteem is tied up with how you look. Appearance is everything and if you don’t look like the rest of the crowd, life can be difficult.

It isn’t just clothes. It’s your hair colour, jewellery, footwear and the condition of your skin. Teenage acne is a horrible thing because it really holds kids back socially. Not every teenager is comfortable enough with themselves to carry on regardless.

Esteem for Teens, available from Source of Beauty, is a natural skin care system designed to help teenagers battle bad skin. The Source of Beauty website describes it as a skincare range that offers:

•High Quaility Ingredients
•No Harmful Ingredients
•Great Price Range
•Edgy Packaging Promoting Positive Messages
•Targeting Both Boy and Girl Teenagers

The product range is based on ingredients that are extremely valuable and kind to their skins supplying botanical extracts, clays, zinc and essential oils that work together to produce powerful effects, whilst also helping to rebalance and maintain a healthy functioning skin.

We tested it on a 15 year old male. Well, what can I say.

“This stuff looks weird.”

“That is because it has natural clay in it and that helps draw out all the yuck that might be lurking in your pores.”

“Paws? I don’t have paws.”

“Pores, not paws. Pores are in your skin and that is where dirt, oil and grime can get stuck and block your skin from breathing and cleaning itself.”

“Doesn’t smell too bad. Not even girly.”

“No, the essential oils in it are good for your skin but they don’t smell flowery at all.”

“Will you try it?”

“Yes, it doesn’t look too hard.”

I can report that the said male teen actually used the system day and night for the whole month of the trial. He reports that his skin is soft and feels good and that his acne has cleared a lot. Surprisingly, he asked for more. His mother tells me that she nearly spilt her coffee in shock.

So, Esteem for Teens passes the test of the average male teenager with flying colours. Just think what a difference a clear skin will make to his confidence.

Winter Jewellery Fashions

The weather is cooling down nicely so its time to consider your autumn/winter accessories as you haul out your warm clothes.

Jewellery for winter 2011 is all about making a statement. Having a signature piece whether it be a necklace, bracelet or ring, that will be remembered. A piece that stands out rather than just complements your outfit.

The key is to find something big, bold and add some tone or colour – whether it is dark, rich and warm or made of bright, contrasting colours.

Key elements involve chunky stones, natural elements and a combination of materials, asymmetric details, bold metallics and layering.

What does this all mean though when it comes to your jewellery wardrobe?

Chunky stones – think big faceted rocks or polished stones … or both!

*Oriana*

It doesn’t have to be all big and chunky though – if a big necklace makes you feel uncomfortable then go for a big pendant instead – the length can be anywhere from choker length to long opera length.


* carnelian disc pendant on cord*

If rings are your thing go oversized and bold.

Natural elements – pearls, corals, amber, wood and leather. Combine these with some chunky stones for a look that is uniquely you!


*nourbese bracelet*

Pearls are making a big comeback and there are some gorgeous and different shapes that will appeal – particularly mixed with varying gems.

*olefumi*

Asymmetric details – a more traditional styled necklace can be given a lift with asymmetric details. These can be either sleekly modern or have a playful feel.

* Paloma *

Adding an asymmetric detail can bring your existing necklace up to date – why not add a vintage brooch to the side of a necklace to reflect your individuality.

Bold metallics – great style doesn’t have to be solid gold. Silver is a perennial favourite and you don’t have to go ALL metallic – metal details are just as great – a nice clasp or a few shiny balls can add enough glitter.

*Olympia*

Long chains dotted with a mix of luscious nuggets are another great look – adding colour and interest.

*Salacia *

Mixed metals are also popular – feel free to mix your metal colours.

Earrings are a great way to do the metallic trend, look for dangly styles (but not too heavy!) if you want these to be your statement piece.

*kyanite drops*

Layering– wear two or three complementary necklaces of different lengths, or try a multistrand necklace.

* Clarinda *

Wear a row of bangle – bracelets if you like to decorate your wrist rather than your neck.

*wood bracelets*

So, there you go – think, big, bold and make a statement with your jewels this season!

Annette Piper is a jewellery designer and gemologist. You can see her designs atwww.annettepiper.com.

Jewels for Autumn

By Elise Petty of The Bangle Business


Autumn is here and the colours of the world around us are changing. Reds, browns, rusts and golden yellows are popping up wherever we look. There is something about the changing seasons that alters the way a piece of jewellery looks, too. Or perhaps it’s my romantic imagination. Artists will tell you that the light changes with the seasons and that alters a gems ability to reflect and refract light. Perhaps that is why I love earth toned gems during autumn.

Our range of jewellery is handmade in India, using stunning gemstones and with a unique style that we love. Many gemstones seem to carry the colour of autumn inside them. Rich yellow topaz and quartz, smoky quartz, carnelian and tiger’s eye all have the wonderful richness and warmth of the colours around us and they seem to take on an extra fire at this time of year.

The Lily necklace is perfect for autumn. It’s boldness makes it trendy but the colours seem to glow against the autumn background. It’s made with Carnelian, sterling silver, and pearls with a stylish S-clasp closure.

You can also go for accessories with a vivid colours like this brilliant Melody bangle. Its mix of yellow, gold, and orange are the right autumn colors, yet it adds a little something extra with the pink and shiny silver base.

There is enough variation in the colours of these pieces that almost anyone can wear them. Go out and have fun with them.

The Bangle Businessis an online retail and wholesale store for unique, beautiful and handmade jewellery. Sourced from talented artisans from all over India, each piece is lovingly hand-crafted using the finest gemstones and precious metals. For ethical jewellery with style, your source is The Bangle Business.

What is Art Deco Style?

by Dhea Bartlett of Exotix

Art Deco is a defined style that developed during the early 1900’s is most associated with the 1920’s and 30’s. Its main features are geometric – squares, circles and hexagons. The designs were bold but gradually became more intricate as the shapes became interwoven in complex patterns.

In the 1930’s the designs started to include elements from nature such as animals and leaves but also moved to softer shapes such as stylised bows and hearts.

The jewellery was stunning and used brightly coloured gemstones such as emeralds and rubies but it also incorporated pearl, jade, onyx and ivory as well as chrome metals. These all had the modern, sleek and industrial look to them.

Marcasite was a favourite material for its modern gleam and glamour.

The jewellery was dramatic and streamlined. Long dangling earrings and necklaces, long pendants, chunky cocktail rings and dramatic bangles and bracelets were essentials.

Think of the flappers of the 1920’s with their long streamlined silhouettes and sparkling gaiety and that will define for you what art deco style is all about: modern, sleek and glamourous.

Dhea Bartlett is the Victorian State Sales Manager for Exotix- Contemporary and fashion forward accessories. Stunning Sterling Silver Jewellery, semi precious gemstones, along with Luxe Italian leather handbags, gorgeous style bags … Something for every woman…

You can follow her onFacebook.

Jewellery for Blokes

By Heather Winchcomb of Gifts for Blokes.

Some say it’s thanks to the flashy bling of the gangster rappers, some put it down to the metro male style flouted by international sports stars, but whatever the reason, it is more ok than ever for men to wear a bit of bling.

Gone are the days of being limited to a choice between a plain neck chain, or a traditional ring or watch when choosing jewellery for blokes.

New styles of wrist bands and bracelets, piercing jewellery and pendants are going on sale everywhere and blokes can’t get enough of it. Most blokes like to do all of their shopping in one place so more and more men’s fashion stores are putting in jewellery displays and designer accessory lines.

Most styles being created for men still have a definite masculine feel to them, but twenty years ago not many men would have considered wearing them.

Now you can buy cufflinks, watches and chains, but they have a different kind of flair. Buying a traditional item with a modern look can be a gentle way for a guy to ease themselves into the world of bling if it is a new avenue in style for them.

The vast range of contemporary styles in men’s fashion jewellery allows for the expression of any kind of personality, with a little or a lot of bling. Have a look at our jewellery sectionand you’ll see what I mean. We specialise in stainless steel jewellery for men because it is very tough and it wears really well and it looks fantastic.

Jewellery for blokes is a fashion necessity now. Next time you are looking for a gift don’t forget about jewellery.

Gifts for Blokesis an Australian online store offering a range of men’s gifts that are unique and special for the men in your life.