Style

Looking for Rainbows

April 15, 2020

PhotographyBobby Bense

Styling/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationSmiths Beach Resort

Outfit details

ClothingTiare Hawaii Brooklyn Dress | Spell Organic Ruched Skirt + Wild Love Robe | Astars Soiree Wide Leg Pants

Swim – Camilla Lunar Gazing one piece

Jewelry Spell Wild Love Gold Locket Necklace

Beach Picnic Setup and Styling Meekohontas | Vegan Grazing + CakesThe Art of Grazing + Simply Rawjus | Dried Flower installationsLush Petals Co

It’s been over a month since our family trip to Smiths Beach resort and wow how things have changed. In such uncertain times, I’ve found peace in knowing what is most important to me and being forever grateful for that. I’ve been focused on my day to day, being present with my family, while looking forward with a positive mindset, remembering there is always a rainbow after the storm.

Even though it was awhile ago now I wanted to share a little about our wonderful and much needed stay at the magnificent Smiths Beach resort. It’s safe to say we have picked favourites when it comes to traveling in the Margaret river region. Smiths stands out for location and luxury. It’s centrally located for the the surfer and the mermaid, the foodie and the wine connoisseur, the adventurer and those seeking retreat. The resort is just a stones throw from the most spectacular turquoise beach that carries it’s own special magic.

Located in Yallingup, Smiths is our family’s favourite place to stay. This was our fourth visit in just a few years and I can’t imagine it would be our last. Under a 3 hour drive from Perth, it’s the ideal getaway. It’s secluded, yet so close to all the wineries, breweries, restaurants and local art; you can pick and choose your culinary and artisan experiences. Or spend your day surfing, snorkelling or supping in these pristine waters. And end it with a sunset picnic on the beach and watch the sky turn all shades of the rainbow.

This trip in particular was so needed for our family. We started this year with tragedy as we watched helplessly as my parents home town was ravaged by bushfire and my parents lives were at risk. It was weeks of stress and worry that we didn’t even realise was taking a toll on our health. Soon after our daughter, Jade, became very ill and it’s been months of no sleep, doctor and hospital visits, and heart ache. She’s thankfully on the mend now but her road to recovery will take some time and she is still very vulnerable, particularly her lungs. Now as Covid-19 spreads through our world it’s more important than ever for us to focus on family, health and home. These changing and uncertain times have everyone on edge and the loss of lives and livelihoods around the world has been heartbreaking.

One thing I’ve realised is there is no right way for any of us to be feeling right now. We are experiencing a collective trauma. And it’s HUGE! It’s ok not to feel ok. You are allowed to feel sad, anxious, scared, depressed and you’re allowed to feel positive and be productive and motivated. Whatever your way of managing this situation is, it’s ok. We are not alone. We are all in this together. And everyones struggles matter and deserve empathy. Please reach out and ask for help if you are struggling.

Emotionally I’ve had to draw upon many tools to manage my anxiety. One of the most important steps has been identifying and embracing my emotions as they arise. I’m giving myself time and compassion to feel. I’m being easy on myself, observing and letting go of my inner judgements. I’ve witnessed my own past personal traumas surrounding “feeling unsafe” triggered once more. I’ve been practising mindfulness each day to stay in the present. I’m easing my mind accepting ‘what is’ rather than entering into a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios that generate more anxiety and fear. I’m finding gratitude for all that I have, rather than what I don’t.

Right now we can show our gratitude for those risking their lives to save ours by staying home, socially distancing and practicing proper hygiene. I feel incredibly blessed to have a safe home, to be in ISO with my family, to have my health, nutritious food, and to have found solace in creating art and music. We have health care warriors risking their lives every single day so we can be safe. There are homeless people, those who have lost everything, their livelihood, their purpose, their loved ones. Those who suffer violence in their home and have no safe space. This is a serious tragedy. One we are all a part of. Our main collective task right now is to STAY HOME and it’s ok if that is all we can do. Many will struggle deeply with the loss of life our world is experiencing. Not everyone will be able to turn their stay at home experience into a positive or productive one. Be easy, be kind, and be loving to your self during this time. Let go of the inner judgements. If all you can do is stay home, please know that is enough. If you can, try and focus on a few simple joys each day. Some ideas might be implementing a daily self care routine, playing dress ups and board games, music and dancing, painting and cooking, taking a neighbourhood nature walk (if allowed) and listening to bird song, looking at the clouds form shapes and the twinkling, starry night sky. Our family started a new tradition of picnics on the lawn where we say 3 things we are grateful for each day, which inevitably opened the discussion for more gratitude and those 3 things quickly turned into 20.

In the meantime let’s also remember the small businesses that are struggling, and try and support them where we can. Order from small businesses online and order produce from your local green grocer. Many are doing deliveries during this time and need our support. And when this has passed let’s book that trip and visit all the places we’ve dreamt of during ISO. I know Smiths beach will always be top of our list along with visiting my parents. Where in the world are you dreaming of when this is over?

For now take great CARE, stay WELL, and so much LOVE,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

A Christmas Wish

December 10, 2019

PhotographyBobby Bense

Creative Direction/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationFeld + Co

Details

DecorationsLight up Christmas tree | LED battery Lights | Mini Wooden Pegs | Sea Tribe Throw + Cushions

CameraInstax Mini Link Printer | Instax Confetti Film | Instax LiPLay Camera

Outfit Tiare Hawaii Eyelet Hollie Dress | Ananda Soul Jewelry

This Christmas my greatest wish was to be with my whole family. It’s pretty much my wish every year. So since we all couldn’t be together, I decided to bring my family to me…well sort of ;)

I’m a big fan of DIY projects so this year I created a little Christmas tree and added my favourite instax moments of all my family. It’s a daily reminder that no matter how far apart we are, we are always connected. It’s been making me smile every day this week, so I’m definitely going to keep this tradition going for the years we can’t all be together.

I also got a little creative with gift tags this year too. I used the Instax Mini Link and printed some of my favourite memories to stick onto each gift. It’s a little keepsake and a gift in itself. It feels so personal and a heartwarming reminder to each of my beloved family members how much they mean to me.

This year we are focused on sharing quality moments together. We have some small gifts from the heart for our family, but our main focus and gift really is time. Nothing can replace time and connection. We’ll be heading off soon to my parents family home in rural Victoria for some slowing down and relaxation. We’ll be switching off from wifi, and connecting in with one another. Even though the whole clan won’t be with us, they’ll all be in our hearts.

What are your holiday plans this year? And what do you love most about the holiday season?

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Broome Time

June 12, 2019

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/Styling/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationBali Hai Resort and Spa | Gantheaume Point | Eco Beach | Roebuck bay – Broome

Outfit Details

Sky Narbery Dress| Brooklyn Grange Dress | Spell Seashell Skirt |Spell Maisie Scarf

Swimwear – Posy one piece | Salvador Summer one piece | Blue Batik one piece (similar)

We may have been in the same time zone as Perth just over 2000km away but time definitely moves differently in Broome. It’s smoother, calmer, more relaxed and I can see why a lot people make the move up there.

Our trip was well over due. We have talked about visiting for so long and somehow never quite made it happen. I’m so happy we finally did and I’m already planning the next one. If you’re like me, and have been thinking about it forever, do it! Book it now! It’s the perfect time to visit now until October, the whales will be visiting soon too.

We stayed at the relaxing Bali Hai Resort and Spa. This was such a great choice for us as we needed a quiet and serene space to rest each day after so many outdoor adventures. The smell of frangipanis mixed with the trickling sounds of the water fountains made it the most tranquil oasis. We loved swimming and lazing by the salt water pool which was so refreshing after our dusty desert adventures. The highlight of our stay was definitely the couples massage experience at their well appointed day spa.

Our first day we headed out with Broome Whale watching on their solar powered vessel for the Snubfin Dolphin eco tour. Little did we realise we were going to see a whole lot more than just dolphins. We had some of the closest encounters ever with dugongs, who are known to be quite shy. This is actually the only tour company in Broome accredited with a Dugong interaction license, so if you want to see them, definitely book with these guys. We also saw so many beautiful turtles and multiple pods of dolphins, both bottlenose and snubfin dolphins, who only reside here in Roebuck bay. This is truly a one of a kind experience you can’t have anywhere else in the world.

What we loved about this tour was the level of knowledge and environmental awareness shared; touching on our individual social responsibility to protect our oceans through sustainable practices. We were so impressed to see these guys ditch all single use plastics and to learn they are completely carbon neutral through their biodiversity carbon offset scheme. They support local community with school programs, and they rescue and support rehabilitation of sea turtles. What’s not to love!

Day two we headed off on another full day of ocean explorations. This time we set sail aboard Karma IV, a 70 ft catamaran, ready to explore the pristine and remote Eco beach.

What a rewarding experience it was to feast our eyes upon this beach. It’s about 130km south of Broome and the most relaxing way to visit is definitely via the seas. This beach has an eco resort that has been built upon environmentally sustainable practices, with a choice of solar powered tents or villas, all with a pristine ocean view.

There are hammocks, kayaks and paddles boards waiting for you on the beach, and that Broome time feeling that makes you forget that time even exists. After a beautiful lunch at the resort, we set sail once again into the sunset back to Broome. It was so beautiful relaxing on the trampolines, feeling the ocean beneath us swaying us back and forth. The crew really took care of us and the food was next level. We loved that they catered to our dietary needs with high quality, delicious food :)

Day three we realised we didn’t even know what day it was anymore or how many days we had been in Broome. This was our spa day and couples massage. We also spent quite a bit of time in between taking photos and catching up on work while the kids enjoyed some pool time at Bali Hai.

Our next few days were spent exploring Cable beach and Gantheaume point. We visited Gantheaume point multiple times even in the same day. Broome is ruled by the tides and they change so much each day. At low tide you can see the dinosaur footprints that are 130 million years old. It’s actually such an amazing spot! At high tide you can jump off the rocks into the crystal blue water and search for rock pools that start to fill up. It’s a magical place that I would gladly revisit and spend many days exploring. The kids loved climbing the rocks and it felt pretty easy and safe for them, while still providing a challenge.

What really hit home on this trip was our need to take better care of our oceans and our planet. I’ve been making my own changes over the past few years but I wanted to share some tips here. My hope is to raise awareness and help others who may not realise how easy it is. Every little bit helps and it all adds up. We owe it to future generations along with our planet to take better care.

Here are just a handful of simple things you can do right now –

  • Say no to single use plastics – plastic bags (carry your own reusable bags, plastic straws (you can buy your own metal straws), bottled water (you can buy a reusable water bottle), plastic wrap (there are so many alternatives that are reusable and cheaper in the long run), takeaway coffee/tea (invest in a keep cup).
  • Eat plants – animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Fishing nets are also one of biggest plastic contributors to the ocean that trap dolphins, sea lions and seabirds.
  • Walk, ride, take public transport, ride share, carbon offset your travel
  • Partake in local tree planting in your community
  • Eat local and seasonal produce. It’s better for your health and farmers markets are so fun too! Just take a cute market basket to carry your produce home. The transport, energy and packaging it takes to bring produce from the other side of the world makes no sense.
  • Shop at bulk stores with your own containers to limit plastic use. You can fill up on shampoo, body wash, olive oil and your nuts and grains as well.

There is of course so much more we can all do, though this is a good starting point. I’d love for you guys to share your tips here too!

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

East Coast Blues

May 15, 2019

PhotographyBobby Bense | Mel Carrero for Spell

Styling /Model/Editing Helen Janneson Bense

Location – Gold Coast (Xanadu Main Beach Resort) | Byron Bay (Bask + Stow + Peaceful Byron Airnbnb) | BluesFest

OUTFITS

Wild Bloom Maxi Skirt | Posy one piece

Maisie Skirt | Maisie Crop

Seashell Organic Ruched Skirt |Camp Fire Lounge top

Kimba Scarf | Alfie Jacket

Dakota Palms Bikini

JEWELLERY

Lunar Love Flash Tattoos | Belle Mare Necklace | Mandala Medallion | Stargazer Necklace | Vintage Sun Necklace | Long Coin Necklace | Night Sky Necklace

HATS + BAGS + SHOES

Juno Boater | Spencer Boater (special) | Umbria Bag | Ezra Bag | Tan Ankle Boots Similar | Sleddly Boots | Naida Wedges | Vera sandals

This was probably one of the most fun family trips we’ve had over the school holidays. Being Easter, school holidays and Bluesfest, you can only imagine how overloaded Byron was. Nevertheless when you adapt to the fact that traffic and parking will be slower, it is just so worth it. The bustling energy and cumulative excitement of everyone was exhilarating.

We first landed in Gold coast as it’s an easy and direct flight from Perth and under an hour drive to Byron. There are so many picturesque spots to stop along the way too, like Rainbow Bay. Every bit as magical as the name suggests. We stayed at Main beach at the lovely Xanadu Resort. We had spectacular ocean views from our balcony and the beach only steps away. The kids boogie boarded all day long while we enjoyed some quiet slow holiday moments to rest and rejuvenate before we headed into what we knew would be a super high energy state for Bluesfest.

Byron never disappoints. Ever. Our stay began at Bask and Stow, a relaxing, luxurious and convenient spot to stay when you want to be close to everything. The suites are so beautifully and stylishly appointed with all your needs and the plunge pool area is the perfect oasis for a little respite from the Byron sun. You’ll want to take a million photos here as every corner is so instagrammable!

From here we moved to the most beautiful Airbnb thanks to the lovely crew at Spell. It was actually my Byron dream home…the wardrobe, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the wardrobe! haha! It was so tastefully designed with so many beautiful bohemian details. It was such a wonderful place to rest after each big day at Blues.

This Bluesfest was a wonderful journey through time for us and a bonding experience for our family. Living my 20’s listening to Ben Harper and Jack Johnson and finally seeing them both perform live brought all the memories flooding back. I had a few sweet moments remembering when I was pregnant with Jade, and when Bobby and I were married, always with Jack Johnson on repeat. It was so fun to share these moments with our kids. They even remembered so many of the songs from when they were little. It’s these shared experiences that bring our family so much closer.

Each day I got to do what I love most! Play dress ups in the most beautiful Spell clothing, connect and dance with a tribe of divine, inspiring women, and listen to some awesome tunes. Some of my favourite moments were hanging out at the Spell stall with that amazing pink piano set up by the talented Lucy. My kids absolutely loved this and I loved watching them fall deeper in love with music.

Head over to Spell to read a little interview about my mothering journey and to check out the new Lioness collection. It’s incredible!

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Because Tomorrow Matters

May 9, 2019

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/Styling/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

Location – Byron Bay (NSW), Fremantle (WA)

This blog post is sponsored by Recoverthol.

It’s a funny thing getting older. You start to notice every part of your body like never before. You start to remind yourself of your parents! The aching joints begin, the need to go to bed at 9pm starts, along with the early rising, and for me in particular the ability to metabolise alcohol has diminished. For the past few years my tolerance has reduced significantly. And I really love to enjoy a fancy cocktail or 2. I was thrilled when I recently discovered Recoverthol, a liquid formulation that you add to your first drink, that helps to reduce the symptoms of a hangover. And I was even happier when it actually worked :)

Recoverthol is a nutrient formulation that assists in the metabolism of alcohol. It provides the body with the essential nutrient co-factors required for the enzyme, Alcohol dehydrogenase, which is responsible for breaking down alcohol. The nutrient co-factors required by this enzyme are already present in our body, however we only have enough to process 1-2 standard drinks. If we replenish these co-factors with Recoverthol, then we can assist the body to process alcohol more efficiently.

And it’s so simple to use, you simply snap and squeeze the liquid into your first drink, allowing the co-factors to reach the enzyme right away. Your drink will look and taste exactly the same. If you drink moderately and responsibly, you’ll wake up feeling fresh and ready for your day.

This innovative product is not about drinking to excess and trying to find a way to counter that. To me this product is a way of giving back to your body what it actually needs, so you have a choice to enjoy a few drinks without the hangover.

I am always looking for balance in life. I’m always looking for ways to be healthier and enjoy some small indulgences on occasion. I have a lot of self discipline when it comes to my diet and lifestyle and it seems the older I get the more I’m unable to compromise on that. I’m grateful to have discovered Recoverthol that I can 100% stand behind as the perfect adjunct for your next cocktail party so you and your guests can enjoy a few drinks and enjoy your tomorrow as well. Because tomorrow matters and there is so much life to enjoy.

If you’d like to trial this product use my discount code GLL30%off to purchase online.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Purfectly Chic

March 31, 2019


PhotographyBobby Bense

Editing/Styling/ModelHelen Janneson Bense

LocationSeashells Mandurah, Port Beach – Western Australia

Product Details

Kate Heussler ‘Purfectly Chic’ Lip gloss pack – Clear – Swiss Alps, Peony Pink – Parisian Lace, Dark Pink – Pacific Sunrise, Coral – Miami Nights, Purple – Tuscan Vino, Red – Cherish

Clothing – Majorelle Sunbeams dress | Lovers + Friends Alice Top | Tularosa Kendall Skirt | House of Harlow 1960 Eleonora skirt | Crown of Creation Dress

Swim – Tularosa Lukin One piece

Jewelry – Face of the Sun necklace  | Wanderlust + Co Bee Toggle bracelet | Astra Gold Ring | Rhea Gold Signet Ring | Anna Beck Gold Cuff | Galaxy Charms Bracelet | Ettika Night Sky necklace

Accessories – Cult Gaia Ark BagRayban Hexagonal Sunglasses | Vitamin A Je T’aime Hat | Nomad Rug

Location Styling – Villa Kula

I’ve been on a mission this past year to find new beauty products that are 100% cruelty free. That means PETA certified. I’m almost there in finding the best of the best…and I’ll be sharing more with you over the coming months on all my finds. I am discovering products that are not only cruelty free but that I absolutely love to wear! I have a very minimalist style when it comes to make up. I like soft, pastel tones and a little bit of shimmer. I have never been into a heavy or bold lipstick look but I really love a little colour and gloss. And I love a product that nourishes my lips keeping them soft and happy.

I recently discovered Kate Heussler’s bespoke range of ‘Purfectly Chic’ lip glosses which are now my number 1 choice for any occasion. She’s created the ideal pack for the minimalist that contains 5 colours, plus the limited edition pack has an extra colour available for the first 100 orders! There is a lipgloss to suit my every day look to date night. My teenage daughter has also raided by beauty drawer and found that she loves them too. I love how health conscious and aware she is already about choosing cruelty free, ethical products. She is always inspiring me to make better choices, and vice versa, and I love that so much!

What also matters to me when choosing a great product are the people behind the brand. The inspirational Kate Heussler is the mastermind behind this beautiful lip gloss pack, along with a carefully curated collection of health conscious beauty and lifestyle products. Kate is so down to earth, a super real and authentic woman (check out her instagram), who has been a strong women’s advocate in tackling self esteem and body confidence issues with today’s youth. With her extensive worldly travels, modelling career, and reign as Mrs Australia, she has shared so much insight, and has used this platform to empower and inspire. I love that so much! And I love supporting women doing awesome things just like this.

If you’re needing a make up update, and want to choose a more ethical, cruelty free, and healthy option, I highly recommend these lip glosses. I love them and I’m feeling happier than ever with my choices.

With love and gratitude xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

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