And so it’s here. The second half of 2022 has begun. This year is really starting to fly now. What has our founder Jennifer Jones been obsessing over this month?
Where I went: Bali!
This month I escaped the cold and went to glorious Bali for some much-needed warmth, sunshine, nature and relaxation with friends. We haven’t been back since 2018 and I’m happy to report that it was so much nicer than it ever has been. There’s less crowds, the beaches are cleaner since they started banning all single use plastic and the island seems to have recovered since the pandemic.
We didn’t stay on mainland Bali this time and headed off to Nusa Lembogan which is a quick 30-minute fast ferry from Sanur. Nusa Lembogan is a little paradise island if you can survive the fairly hairy ferry ride. My advice would be not to take the fastest ferry which tends to be the smallest boat but aim for a larger vessel which tackles the swell in a more gentle way. We arrived shaken and stirred and truly ready for a stiff drink!
We stayed in the most amazing beach house on the island! Jipsi Beachhouse is right on a beautiful clean beach full of amazing shells, white sand, clear warm tropical waters and swimming distance to the pontoon bar for afternoon cocktails. The kids collected shells, raced hermit crabs, talked to the fisherman who were bringing in their catch and occasionally were given a fish which we chucked on the bbq for lunch. Heaven!
The house has three king-sized rooms which all fit between three to seven people each. Plus a bungalow which would suit a teenager or another couple. It’s open plan with a huge veranda, sliding doors, massive green lawns and a separate dining area and bar next to the pool. What I loved most is the colonial style, which is so charming compared to the more modern villas.
It was amazingly decorated and appointed, from a bluetooth speaker for the pool bar to a huge tray of toys for the kids. Each room had a huge bathroom, great aircon and wi-fi (which was thankfully not brilliant so you were forced to disconnect from devices!)
Our highlight of the trip had to be swimming with the manta rays and snorkelling! We organised a boat to come and pick us up from the beach and armed with an esky of bacon and egg rolls and fresh fruit we headed off! The first stop of Manta Point had us swimming with four-metre-long manta rays. It was simply incredible. We then did two more stops on coral reefs and snorkelled among all the tropical fish. We even hand fed them, which blew the kids’ minds. We were home in time for lunch too which was a bonus since on other holidays a snorkelling trip can be a whole day which is usually too long for younger kids.
We also stayed in a great little boutique hotel in Sanur since our flight out wasn’t til 11pm and we needed somewhere to spend the day. For $100 a night this was a little gem of a find. Villa Pantai Karang is in the heart of Sanur next to all the bigger hotels — but at a third of the price. It’s lovely and clean with its own pool. The staff couldn’t do enough for us even though our stay was only 12 hours!
What I ate: vegetarian recipes from Tom Walton
Since coming back from Bali I have thrown myself into vegetarian cooking with the help of recipes from Aussie chef Tom Walton. I love his style of cooking which is relaxed and a bit thrown together and makes sense for busy people. He suggests making a batch of different sauces and then during the week just using whatever veggies you have in your fridge. I made his Three Minute Romesco, a Ginger and Miso one and Spicy Green last week and then just used them on roasted cauliflower, stir fried greens and brussel sprouts and it completely lifted my veggie game! I also love his Sweet Potato, Eggplant, Chickpea and Tamarind Curry and his Italian Baked Tuna Rice.
What I watched: Mary Poppins and Loot
Mary Poppins in the Lyric Theatre was a huge family hit from my six-year-old daughter to my 70-something mom. I am constantly amazed by what they can achieve on stage these days. It’s a long way from when I was in theatre school at 16. All the familiar songs are there along with some new ones but really the shining star is the set design. The sheer size of this performance makes it so worth seeing. I’m buying tickets for Moulin Rouge next!
On AppleTV I’ve really enjoyed Loot. I love how Apple is making these light and feel good shows like Acapulco and Ted Lasso. This is what I need in my life right now! Maya Rudolph plays the wife of a tech billionaire who discovers he’s been cheating on her and leaves him. She then has to figure out what to do with her settlement of $87 billion plus figure out who she really is. It’s light and easy with great fashion.
What I read: a holiday read
I read the new Emma Straub on holiday: This Time Tomorrow. Alice is about to turn 40 and her beloved father is in hospital. She ends up getting drunk on her birthday and waking up in her father’s house. Except she’s 16 again and her father is a young and healthy man. She realises she gets to keep coming back to this day and can have different versions of her life.
There’s quite a few modern day novels on the concept of time travel and whilst I didn’t love this book it did make me realise how quickly life can go by without you appreciating the little things. It was a good holiday read but probably a bit too emotional for what I needed! Next time I’m going to grab something a bit lighter.
What I bought: skincare and a capsule travel wardrobe
Skincare has been my main obsession at the moment with winter doing its best to dry my skin out. I’ve been on the hunt for products to tackle perimenopausal skin where your collagen levels drop and basically your face falls to the floor! But I also don’t want to spend a fortune so it’s been a hunt for products that deliver without the hefty price tag!
Here’s the products I’ve been using this month with really good results!
CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM contains ceramides to restore the skin barrier, hyaluronic acid to attract moisture and calming niacinamide. I bought it as part of a bundle for $53 with the Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum to really lock that moisture in!
After a pretty scary episode with retinol I am staying clear! So I started reading up on natural alternatives. Rosehip oil has some very similar effects such as increasing collagen production and skin elasticity. I’ve been using Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate at night to improve firmness, tackle fine lines and pigmentation. It is deeply coloured and smells very natural and if Kourtney Kardashian is a fan then I’m willing to give it a go. Especially for $49.
I’ve tried so many eye creams and literally seen no real change. The only one I feel makes a difference and is really nourishing is Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. This little pot lasts forever and you can feel the cream literally soak into the eye area. $89 for about 6 months!
I’m still on the hunt for a really good Vitamin B and C – will keep you posted.
I’m off to Italy next month so I have started putting together a capsule wardrobe! I think the biggest trend so far that I’ve seen is the ‘set’ – a matching shirt and shorts or pants combo. This really works for travel as with the two pieces you can create a multitude of outfits when teamed with some basics. Here are some of the best sets I’ve come across for all budgets.
Deiji Studios do a fantastic linen set which looks so comfortable to wear especially in really hot weather. I love the sleeve length
LMND is the Aussie home of the short and shirt set and is reasonably priced too. I have two sets from this brand and both have worn really well.
Diish is a well priced brand which does some great linen and printed sets. I’m waiting for this black and white set to come back into stock.