Style

The Gift of the Moment

December 7, 2018

Photography/VideographyBobby Bense

Model/Editing/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationFuji Island, Fiji | North Beach, Western Australia

Camera – Special Edition Taylor Swift SQ6 Instant Camera

Outfit Details

Ixiah Disarm Sequin Top + Pants

The Thrown Down Desert Scape throw + cushions

Jewelry – Anna Beck Hematite + Blue Sapphire Sama collection

Every day is a blessing, every moment a gift.

I’ve learnt in my 42 years of life to be grateful for all the simple moments with my loved ones, like preparing a meal, playing a song together, or a shared silence as we watch the sunset together. To be present and connect with them is what I am most grateful for. Every day brings new discoveries, a deeper connection, so much love and magic.

This festive season I’ll be creating keepsakes and capturing all my cherished memories with my Instax camera. This entire year we have been traveling with our Instax and each place, each adventure, each moment is not only etched in our hearts, but we have a little piece of it to look back on.

Today I’m going to share a little guide in this video below on how to use the new Instax SQ6. It’s actually super easy and so much fun to create. And I love the new special edition Taylor Swift camera. It will make the most perfect surprise gift for Christmas!

Here are a few tips and examples for shooting and using your Instax…

  • Ensure the light is behind you when taking a snap rather than shooting directly into the sun. Use the lighten ‘L’ mode if your image is turning out too dark, or ‘D’ mode is it’s over exposed.
  • Always ensure you don’t ever open the film compartment until you are ready to change the film. The light will destroy it. There is a counter on the bottom right of the camera that lets you know how many images you have left.
  • In a bright place you may want to suppress the flash. Just push the button underneath the self-timer. Ensure you push it again after taking your snap if you want the flash back on. Play around with the flash filters for some fun coloured filter options. They simply pop on over the flash.
  • Use the Macro mode when shooting anything close and in detail, like flowers, shells or amazing insects. You’ll need to shoot approximately 30-50cm away. For anything 2 metres or greater use Landscape mode.
  • If you want to have some creative fun, the double exposure setting is really cool. You can add 2 separate subjects into one shot. Simply set the mode button to ‘Double Exposure’ and snap your first shot. A few seconds later after the LED has flashed, you can take your second shot.
  • When in Selfie mode, ensure you can see yourself in the mirror on the front right of the camera. Hold the camera steady to prevent blurring, and at a distance approximately 30-50cm away from you.
  • For fun family pics that everyone can be in, attach your Instax to a tripod and push the self timer mode. Once you have your frame set up, push the shutter button. You’ll then get around 10 seconds to get into the frame before the picture is taken.

I hope this has inspired you to create and capture precious moments; to chase joy and beauty, and to give the gift of love and connection.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

A Land Before Time

August 17, 2018


PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/Styling/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationsShark Bay | Dirk Hartog Island | Carnarvon | Ningaloo Reef – Coral Bay | Cape Range National Park – Exmouth | Karijini National park  | Monkey Mia | Francois Peron National Park

Getting Around/Accommodation – Apollo

ToursDirk Hartog Island | Ningaloo Reef Dive | Monkey Mia Marine Life Cruise | Francois Peron Nature Safari | Blowholes Helicopter Tour

Outfit Details 

Dresses – Adele Dress | Ready for it Dress | Taylor Gown | Hollie Dress |  Virginia top | Frances Skirt | Joplin Jacket | Forever Me dress

Top/Pants/Skirts – Resort Culottes | Free Spirit top | Embroidered lace skirt | Poupette St. Barth Mini Skirt (Similar)

Swimwear – Cori Top | Cori Bottoms | Salvador Summer one piece | Nala Wrap Skirt | Hung up on you one piece | Ostuni Halterneck one piece

Footwear – Raye Emily Sandal | Gold flip flops

Accesssories – Je T’aime Hat | Ettika Drop Lariat | Gold Charm AnkletRiviera cap | Instax SQ6 Camera | Fairy lights

Banana Palm Pool Float | Hawaii Mens bracelet

Moroccan Cushions | Pouf | | Blanket | Rugs | Sandy Cream Cushion | Zara Cushion

“Nature is inherently healing. You simply need to immerse yourself in it”

Exploring the north west of WA was like traveling back through time. We learnt about the history of the land, the people who came before, the natural changes that took place to create this majestic landscape. It was within this ancient billion year old land that I felt the beginning of a healing transformation. This is one of the many wonderful gifts of travel. It opens your eyes, your mind, your heart. It allows you to breathe in new life and ignites the fire and passion within. As I lay upon these warm rocks, and swam in the deep blue, I could feel my connection to everything. I was reminded of what’s most important in life…love, compassion, kindness, connection and presence.

This trip was beyond anything I have experienced. And I highly recommend it to those who crave the open road. Western Australia has so much to offer and is honestly one of the most beautiful places to explore by road. And if you want to do it comfortably like we did, then make sure you check out Apollo Campers. We traveled in the Euro Deluxe motor home and it was such a great way to cover a lot of miles in a short time, and still immerse yourself in each place…AND do it in style. It was ultra spacious for our family of 4 that we were able to bring a few home comforts along for the ride. Each night we cooked delicious vegan meals inside our motorhome, made pancakes and smoothies in our thermomix, and feasted with our fellow campers.

First up on the trek was the Shark bay World Heritage area. We took an amazing day trip to Dirk Hartog Island with Shark Bay Dive. A day filled with so many highlights – the blowholes at full steam, home made scones at the homestead, mind blowing ocean views, humpback whales breaching right by our boat. They actually swam around us for what felt like an eternity! It was the closest I’ve ever been to whales, and I felt like I could almost touch them. It was the most magical experience of our lives. The kids especially couldn’t stop squealing and smiling.

Next we ventured further north to Wooramel River Retreat. A wonderful outback station stay where you’ll get some of the best night time views of the stars. They also have artesian bore baths naturally filled with magnesium to relax and restore. It was such a treat after driving for long stretches to soak in these warm baths. A short drive later we arrived in Carnarvon and camped out at Wintersun caravan park for a few days so we could explore the food trail, helicopter to the Blowholes and watch brilliant sunsets over the ocean. One balmy evening I saw the sky light up, and within a few seconds I gathered the family, packed up the camper, and off we set to watch the sunset. We pulled up at Pelican point on Babbage island and it was one of the best sunset spots right on the beach. We watched the sky change from golden to pastel pink to deep purple from the comfort of our motor home while the salty ocean air filled our lungs :) We finished our stay here with a must do Helicopter trip along the coast. We lucked out with perfect still conditions so Bobby decided to take the door off his side! It was definitely a bucket list adventure for him :) We saw dolphins, whales and turtles along the entire coast. Seeing these gentle beings swimming within the glassy turquoise pristine waters reminded me how important it is to take care of our beautiful oceans.

Our next stop was much further north. Driving into the night we came across so much wildlife on the road. Dingos, kangaroos, emus, and even sheep! We finally reached Exmouth and couldn’t wait to wake up and explore Cape Range National Park. We headed off early to avoid the school holiday crowds and enjoyed a lovely beach day at Sandy bay. The water was like diamonds, glistening and clear. It reminded me of the Maldives. Our time here was so short as we just couldn’t wait to get to Karijini National park. We had built up our expectations of this place. Everyone we spoke to said you must go, it’s amazing. And it truly was! It exceeded our expectations and we are still dreaming of going back. We camped just on the outskirts of the national park in Tom Price so we could power up the motorhome. We fell in love with Fortescue falls and Fern pool, which is an easy place to travel with the kids. And a great place to picnic and lay on the 2.5 billion year old rocks. This is where I felt totally transformed. As I dove into the freezing cold waters it was like a rebirth process. Somehow everything I had been holding onto, all those fears and limitations were released. I never felt more free than in this moment. This will always be my happy place, holding an anchor for these memories.

After driving and exploring for a couple of weeks we were ready to stay put in one place. Next up was Coral Bay and we spent 6 amazing nights here. And to our surprise some of our really good friends were also camping nearby which made this part of our trip so special. The kids all happily played and us adults had some time to relax and play too. Each day we snorkelled, we supped, we swam, we kayaked, we cooked together and enjoyed sunset cocktails with our tribe. We barely looked at our phones. We forgot what day it was and we were ruled by the sun rising and setting, attuned to nature :) It reminded me of my childhood camping trips, which always brought so much joy to my days.

The Ningaloo reef which stretches along Coral bay and Exmouth is one very special place. It’s worth spending more time here to explore all the incredible snorkelling spots. On Bobby’s birthday we celebrated and spent an entire day with Ningaloo reef and dive in the ocean and it was magic. We saw whales, dolphins, turtles and we swam with a manta ray! It was my first time and it was incredible! They are the most graceful and majestic beings.

Our trek continued south, slowly but surely we made our way back home. Some of the most spectacular moments of our trip happened in these last few days. Our time at Monkey Mia was particularly amazing thanks to the family of dolphins who visited each day. The dolphin experience is such a unique aspect of this area. We watched them hydroplaning (a term I never even knew existed) trying to catch fish along the shore. They were almost on top of us, yet so graceful and fast as they chased the fish. Later we took a catamaran out with Perfect Nature Cruises to experience the marine life up close and personal. It was insane! And I highly recommend this tour. It’s affordable and fun for the whole family. We saw dolphins, turtles and a dugong in the clearest and calmest water I think I’m ever seen. On the way back the kids had a blast in the boom net as the ocean created a spa experience for them! Each evening we sat by the beach enjoying the sunset reflections in the super still waters. This made for the most relaxing stand up paddle boarding experience of my life. There was no wind, just pastel skies and dolphins swimming all around me. I’m not sure there is any experience on this planet that will top this now.

Our final day we took the best 4WD tour to Francois Peron national park. The contrast between the turquoise water and red cliffs was unbelievable and truly magnificent. We ventured along the cliffs, watching the marine life below spotting dugongs, sting rays, sharks, turtles and dolphins. The waters here are filled with life! And they are so clear you can see everything! After a beautiful lunch overlooking the ocean, some 4WDing along the beach, kangaroo spotting, we ended the most perfect day soaking in the artesian bore bath at the homestead. It was one of our favourite days of our trip. The whole family was happy, our explorer hearts filled with joy.

On our journey back home we stopped at some of our favourite places. Kalbarri national park is such a beautiful part of WA and still so close to Perth. At the natural bridge you can spend hours watching whales. We spotted one within a few minutes of arriving and it was hard to leave. I could have stayed there all day :) Nature has always surprised me, though our stop at Pink Lake in Port Gregory was mind blowing. I couldn’t believe how pink the lake was. The colour is caused by an algae rich in beta carotene and it can actually change from deep crimson red all the way through to lilac. During our visit it was super candy pink and the water was absolutely so still. We were lucky enough to enjoy this spot for about half an hour before a huge storm rolled in ever so quickly. We packed up and hit the road all the way back home.

This trip, the memories, the lessons, the connections, have all changed me. Being immersed in nature in this way has a profound healing effect. It forces you to connect, to remember who you are, to feel alive!

If you’re ever in need of a reboot, a jump start, a push out of your comfort zone, then take this trip. Head into nature, connect with the earth, explore the wondrous mysteries of the world. Fill your soul and your heart with the magic. Put yourself in front of the beauty each and every single day until you remember this same beauty is also you.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Charmed Life

May 31, 2018

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationSummer Island, Soneva Jani, Fairmont – Maldives | North Beach, Sorrento Beach – Western Australia

Outfit Details 

JewelryPANDORA – (shop your favourites here)

OutfitsHouse of Harlow Gaines | Field of Dreams | Spell Imperial Lace Mini + Joplin Jacket | Camilla A Night to Remember | Blue Lagoon Skirt

Hats + BagsEcua Andino Personalised BoaterLack of Color Riviera Cap + Spencer Boater + Velveteen Cap | | Je T’aime Boater | Cult Gaia Ark Bag | Zara Cage bag | Straw Circle bag

From the beautiful Maldives to our favourite beaches here in Perth, my PANDORA jewellery has traveled with me and bestowed it’s charmed energies into my life. Ever since I discovered the brand, I have been completely obsessed with how fun it is to collect my favourite charms and create a personalised, layered look with my jewellery.  It’s amazing that such beautiful and intricate pieces are all-hand finished, with hand set stones. I love how easy it is to mix and match, whether you’re going for relaxed island style, a cool everyday look or fun, festival vibes. Each charm is like a little talisman that calls to my heart and soul in different ways. And the creative possibilities are really endless – I loved styling them on the new leather bracelets, silver bangles or as a pendant on a necklace.

Many of you already know I love jewellery, and I love to wear a lot of it. What you may not know is why I love it so much. Jewellery is such a personal experience for me. Every time I look at those heart shaped charms they make me smile and remind me to be true to my heart. I’ll instantly feel a sense of love and gratitude. I’ll often set specific intentions with each new piece of jewelry in my collection. These intentions hold energy, which creates an anchor and every time you look at them you’ll be reminded of that intention. It’s a beautiful way to help you stay present and focused on what matters most in life. Let me know if you try this and what intentions you set. It could be a self-love reminder, or for creativity, abundance, gratitude, strength, balance or whatever it is you need a little reminding of each day. I’ve found the new PANDORA charms, especially the feathers and tassels, have reminded me of the freedom I always feel when I’m listening to amazing music at a festival with my besties. It’s got to be one of the best feelings ever!

I had a blast on my recent wanderlust adventures and experimented a lot with all the PANDORA Rose and PANDORA Shine styles, going for some mixed metal looks. I love breaking away from traditional styling. I say be unique, be you, and wear jewelry the way you want to wear it! There is no wrong or right way; there is only your way. And it feels amazing when you create a look as unique and beautiful as you. Layer it up, stack it up, and feel the freedom of no rules.

I absolutely love this latest festival inspired collection from PANDORA and I hope you do too. You can check it out the new collection here and add a little extra heart and charm in your life.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Pure Heart

May 13, 2018

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

Location – North Beach, Smiths Beach Resort – Western Australia

Outfit Details 

Violet’s Vintage Skirt | Lace Bandeau |  Lace Wrap top | Riviera cap

Santorini Dress | Summer Love Hat | Riviera cap

Anastasia Lace Skirt | Lace Wrap top | Riviera cap

JadeIsabelle Lace Dress | Ivy White Scarf | Gatsby Headband (worn around waist) | Riviera cap

JacobRiviera cap

Jewelry – Rings – Stone | Stacking Set | Saddle | Black Diamond BezelBracelet | Necklace

PropsPretty Willow | The Zest Group

I love watching people create with all their hearts and bring to life their dreams. Purity Lace Designs epitomises everything I love about fashion and working together to share something beautiful with the world. It’s an inspirational label by a gorgeous mother and daughter duo, who have created some timeless, elegant pieces that absolutely flatter the female form in all her divine feminine glory. Nothing will make you feel more like a goddess than a little piece of their collection. Jade and I had such a lovely time styling their pieces in different ways; the scarves as wrap tops, the headbands as belts, and a little cheeky off shoulder with the Santorini Dress. Either way they are just so amazing!

Shooting with my children was so much fun and they even helped me style the set. We collected beautiful pieces from the lovely Zest Group and Pretty Willow to create our magical sunset tea party. The kids were so adorably cute and Jacob even suited up for the occasion and served us tea! What a sweetheart! Jade’s Isabelle Lace Dress was absolutely so gorgeous that I’m already wishing Purity Lace Designs would make it in an adult size ;) It’s become one of her wardrobe favourites. After many giggles, we watched the glorious sunset over the ocean and enjoyed our little tea party. And how amazing were these sunsets! Honestly if you get the chance to visit Smith’s Beach resort I think it might be my favourite place in all of WA!

Juggling motherhood and a full time business has always been a challenge for me, and I’m sure for many other mothers out there. Though I’ve realised in recent years the gift of living your purpose and passions, and how this impacts our children. They watch and learn from us, through modelling our behaviours, and I feel like by living to be my best self I will be teaching them to be exactly that. Every day they teach me, they remind me to follow my joy and to be authentic. This is what children do, and this is why they are so happy. We sometimes forget as adults to take care of ourselves, and follow what we love. Life is far more peaceful and enjoyable when we start living from our heart’s call. To all the mothers out there, please remember you are enough, more than enough, you are everything, and you deserve everything. You can be anything you want to be! And do anything you want to do! Believe and know you are worth the time and space to be heard and to live what you truly love. Follow that spark inside that energises you. See where it leads and know that you are also doing something wonderful for your children at the same time. Think of the gift you teach them through your own transformation. Sending out so much love to all the mother’s today! Happy Mother’s Day today and every day!

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Sunsets and Moonrises

May 4, 2018

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/Styling/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationBawah Island, Indonesia

Outfit DetailsMidsummer Star Jewelry

Rings – Parallel Worlds | Persia Rainbow Moonstone | Transformation Rainbow Moonstone | Arabian Rainbow Moonstone | Transcend Rainbow Moonstone | White Light | Delicate Tiara

Necklaces – Cosmic Mandala | Snowflake Mandala

Bracelets – Cosmic Mandala | Celestial Star | Snowflake Mandala Moonstone | Star Mandala

Girl Next Door Skirt | Dana Top | Vamp Crystalize Push Up Bra | Just Dive in ScarfJe T’aime Hat

Have you ever seen a sunset and a moonrise at the same time?! I never know which way to look as both views are so beautiful! I still find it absolutely phenomenal that nature produces this kind of magic! How lucky are we!

We were so humbled by nature’s beauty on our recent trip to Bawah; the golden sun flares shimmering over the iridescent turquoise lagoon and the majesty of the moon as it rose against the pastel glow of the sky.

What a night it was, decked out in my absolute favourite dainty moonstone jewels from Midsummer Star, in the most perfect setting. As we were getting ready for an island style dinner I felt called by the full moon. The next thing I know I’m back in a bikini and in the ocean for an evening swim! haha! ;)

As the biggest jewelry lover ever, my dresser is filled with Midsummer Star pieces from every one of their gorgeous collections. The intricate designs and shimmery moonstones speak to my soul and are some of my favourite sterling silver pieces. I get so excited for their new collection drops! And how well do they all pair with each other. It’s always so easy to style and stack them up.

And seriously Bawah is the most dreamiest place on this planet! We are gearing up for more island adventures tomorrow so keep your eye on my instagram and stories for all the behind the scenes! Until then lovers have an awesome week and hope you can feel all the good vibes I’m sending out. And make sure you check out Midsummer Star’s latest release! It’s insanely good!

Love and Gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Bawah Reserve

April 28, 2018


PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/Styling/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationBawah Reserve, Indonesia

Outfit Details

SwimwearAdrianna Sandy Blanket Stitch bikini | Cloud Dancer One-piece | Hung up on you One-piece | Camilla One-piece (similar)

Dresses/ SkirtsCelestial Mini Dress | Ionic SkirtAnastasia Lace SkirtJust Dive in Scarf/Sarong | Siren Song kimonoGirl Next Door Skirt

TopsDana Top

HatsJe T’aime Hat | Riviera cap

SunglassesClassic Round ray bans

JewelryOrbit Gold necklace | Galaxy Charms Gold Bracelet | Rings

This was one of those moments when you stumble upon a piece of paradise so pristine and so perfect you are torn between keeping it secret or sharing it’s beauty with the world. Of course we have to share this magnificent place and we want everyone to experience it for themselves. This is barefoot, sustainable luxury and it’s truly heaven on earth.

Bawah is so much more than an island. It’s an archipelago consisting of 6 beautiful islands, a reserve filled with marine life and wild life, and an experience waiting to bring you back to your true nature. There are 3 gorgeous lagoons and 13 beaches, with the whitest sand and clearest, crystal clear water. You can explore the islands by catamaran, by kayak, by snorkel and by stand up paddle board. And you can hike to the top and explore the magical vista from above. It’s truly a sight to see and a great way to discover the beautiful native flora that grows on the island.

We traveled with our two children, Jade and Jacob (12 and 9), and it was the best family holiday we’ve had. It was so wonderful to watch their confidence build as they bravely dove deep into the lagoon and explored the beauty of the underwater world. I loved seeing their personalities blossom as they interacted with the staff and how eager they were to explore and experience.

We had such an easy and seamless travel experience getting to Bawah. We flew to Singapore from Perth via Singapore airlines and it was such a great flight. From here Bawah Reserve organised our VIP fast track travel experience via ferry to Batam, Indonesia and then a seaplane into Bawah. It took maybe around 3 hours total and it was so cruisy and comfortable with minimal waiting. Landing at Bawah was just the most beautiful view I have ever laid my eyes on. Seeing it from above on such a clear day was incredible! The welcome we received was so heart warming and we instantly fell in love with everyone and this island paradise.

We stayed in an overwater villa which gave us the option for easy snorkeling right from our deck. Our family loves to snorkel and we were lucky enough to see starfish, rays, baby sharks, and the most brightly coloured fish imaginable! When we weren’t snorkelling we enjoyed in villa dining while watching the beautiful turquoise views and sunsets. One evening we were even picked up by boat for an island sunset cruise right from our villa! It was the best! There is just so much to see and explore that your inner child will be shining ever so brightly and just bursting with excitement for the possibilities each day.

Ok let’s talk food because wow the chefs here really know what they are doing. I can not fault them in any way what so ever. The concept is everything is included when you book at Bawah. Your room rate covers all your meals, your water activities, your spa treatments, your sea plane transfers and your dedicated hosts who will take the very best care of you during your stay. The chef will meet with you and create your dream menu catering specifically to your every need. In our family, we have me who is vegan, Jade who is vegetarian and Bobby and Jacob who eat almost everything, except 3 of us are all gluten free! haha! It’s a lot and gets very confusing when we travel. Not here though. Not one bit. They not only ensured our dietary requirements were met, they went above and beyond to create some of the most gourmet culinary experiences I have enjoyed as a vegan. I felt so spoilt! I’m so ok eating fairly simply as it agrees well with my body and health, but it was so wonderful to have someone put so much effort and energy to create these meals for us each day. I never ate the same thing and I was always so pleasantly surprised and in awe of their creations.

We had two wonderful hosts take the best care of us too. Always ready to help us with anything. Big shout out and thank you to both Bayu and Mohra. It’s so helpful for us as travel bloggers to have understanding hosts who can help us out to manage our time so efficiently so we can make the most of our experience.

Bawah is the place you’ll make everlasting memories at, it’s where you’ll connect deeply with yourself, your family, your partner and nature. It naturally brings out your best self and I hope you all get the chance to visit this incredibly special place. If it’s not on your bucket list already, put it at the top! Seriously!

We are filled with gratitude for our dream trip to Bawah, and will cherish every moment of our experience.

Now we are gearing up for more adventures and we’re also talking about running a travel workshop! Let me know if you’re interested in learning how to become a travel blogger? We will be sharing everything from how to build your blog to creating and editing beautiful imagery. Email me if you’d like to hear more and want to travel with us.

Much love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

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