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Ole Henriksen Bloggers Breakfast

by | Event Reviews, Hair and Beauty Wisdom, Wisdom


Ms Filagree

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7:30am in Sydney CBD is a beautiful time. A time where people are only just emerging to quietly go about their days and stores remain dim and silent, all except for one. On February 26th, Sephora; the makeup and skincare mecca for women all over the world was already abuzz with some of Sydney’s most stylish influencers all eagerly awaiting the breakfast presentation from the top selling skincare brand in Sephora US, Ole Henriksen.

Directed up the Sephora stairs, I was warmly welcomed by the Ole Henriksen team and had the chance to mingle with Ole himself before the presentation. It was an absolute pleasure chatting with Ole, a man who started from humble beginnings and created a skincare empire. While sipping on a vegan green smoothie (which was delicious), we were introduced to the brand by Ole Henriksen’s CEO Suzanne Dawson, whose portfolio includes an enviable array of elite skin care brands. Detailing the ingenuity of the brand, we were all on the edge of our seats (figuratively) to hear from the master himself.

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When Ole stepped onto center stage, his vivacious energy and passion about what he does shined brightly from him, mesmerizing his audience. He spoke of the global love that has evolved for the brand, all which stemmed from home made products in Los Angeles. Opening a clinic in LA to meet the demand for the results based products that not only felt great but also smelled divine, the Ole Henriksen brand became a favourite amongst Hollywood A-listers including Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Charlize Theron.

With a growing celebrity fan base, the love of the products has continued to grow as the formulas evolve. Always being 10 steps ahead of other skincare brands, the Ole Henriksen range is now renowned for their potent yet gentle formulas that are rich in vitamins and minerals to brighten, even and hydrate your skin.

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I was lucky enough to leave the event with a to-die-for goodie bag of Ole Henriksen products to test. That evening I experimented with the African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser, the Three Little Wonders pack and the Power Peel. Having sensitive skin myself, I am always cautious about using new products as I’ve had previous bad experiences. But, after hearing from the team and being shown through the products (which the gorgeous girls at Sephora can do with you too) I was ready to try these out!

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I started with a regime of cleansing, the Power Peel, then the Three Little Wonders AM/PM (Invigorating Night Treatment, Truth Serum Collagen Booster and Sheer Transformation Hydrator) and have now been using these products for almost a week. I am hooked! The products are brightening my skin, creating a more even complexion and minimizing my pores. I can’t wait to see how these products will revitalize my skin in the coming weeks.

It’s your turn to have the skin you’ve always dreamed of.

As Ole said, “we want women to embrace who they are… we are all special.”



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Ms Filagree attended the Ole Henriksen & Sephora breakfast as a guest of Ole Henriksen & Sephora in accordance with our disclosure policy.

Which Flowers To Choose For Your Wedding?

by | Flower Wisdom, Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


Wendy of Wendy Maley Photography
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Flowers. They are possibly the last thing on your mind when planning a wedding. However after the delight/stress/small loans required to organise the rest of the wedding, flowers can really make your day kinda special. I mean, when else do you get to play with them (unless you’re a florist I guess or you have seriously green thumbs and lots of time on your hands!).

So which flowers to choose for your wedding? Fresh? Paper? Brooch? Artificial (don’t cringe, the latest ones are very real looking!)?  It’s all up to you. Choosing your floral styling depends on your theme, budget and time of year.

You might like a relaxed loosely bunched bouquet of seasonal flowers to compliment your theme. Fresh flowers are beautiful and feminine, smell divine and always make you feel like a lady. They can also be used for halos and arbours, as well as table decorations and aisle decorations. Just remember to have them match the rest of your theme.



Like something a little bit different? Consider a paper or button bouquet! While they do take a bit of patience when ordering (often from overseas), they really are quite stunning, and you can request your colours and make it your own. One bride even had her bouquet made from her favourite Jane Austen novels. Love that!



Love a bit of good old fashioned glamour? Brooch bouquets are the epitome of gorgeous. You’ll shine and sparkle all the way down the aisle, and you can keep all of your memories for years to come (often made with synthetic flowers).


The time of year might mean you can’t have the flowers you’ve always dreamed of. It’s OK, you can substitute for a bunch of synthetic lovelies that won’t wilt on you before you walk down the aisle, and the best thing (apart from the fact you get to keep them forever)? The camera and your guests won’t even know the difference!


It’s not all about the bouquet though! Reception details are important. A vase of flowers, a flower wall, an arbour covered in gorgeous peonies, well placed florals can really make an impact on the look and feel of your venue. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either (shhhh, I didn’t tell you that!). Even greenery looks fabulous when themed into a simple vintage style wedding. It looks so fresh too!


Let’s talk aisle style. Flowers can really make your aisle, whether it be in a church or an outdoor venue, a lovely setting for your ceremony. I love seeing flowers at the ceremony! You might also be surprised to know that it really does make a difference to your photos. Even if the thought of spending money on flowers for the aisle makes you cringe, consider a few simple paper love hearts or synthetic flowers. Baby’s breath is also a beautiful and inexpensive way to decorate your venue.


Lastly, make it yours! If you love a bit of colour, don’t be afraid to use it! Flowers are a great way to incorporate a bit of your own personality into your day to make it special.


So there you have it. I’m sure there are more yet to discover, but there are a few ideas to get you started! Whatever your plans for your day, a little bit of colour and style will make all the difference!

Some of the lovely vendors responsible for the floral wonders you see above are:

Brooch bouquet – Artificial Floral Boutique | Fresh bouquets (left and middle) – BSweet Flowers  | White synthetic flowers – Bloomroom Designs on Etsy | Jane Austen Bouquet – H Bixby Artworks on Etsy

Images by Wendy Maley Photography

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Ms Gingham says: It’s so great to see so many alternatives to the traditional. It really allows each couple to express their own personalities at their wedding.

Wendy Maley Photography: Hi I’m Wendy and I’m a photographer. I love it, in fact so much that if I had an extra limb it would be a camera.

What Would They Know? Kallista Bolton of Homegrown & Handmade

by | Favor Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

I must admit that I’m just a little bit envious of Kallista of Homegrown & Handmade living in the country in an olive grove, surrounded by country views and the country lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that Kallista is idle – it’s all bustling activity, fulfilling orders of her handmade products – from making the most of locally grown seasonal produce, to fulfilling orders for bunting, gardening gloves, cookie mixes, quilts and more. But in between, there’s time to stop and take in the pleasures of sun bleached grass, olive trees and the passion of making a top quality product that fulfills a life long dream.

How did Homegrown & Handmade come to be – as a business?

Homegrown & Handmade came to be as a business when we moved to our 10 acre olive grove farm near Boddington late 2009. I was home in full mother mode with only 1 of my 3 little boys off my hands at school and work options in the country are limited. With my background in business and marketing I just couldn’t resist attempting to do something enterprising with the oil from the olive grove we now found ourselves unexpected owners of. Just what, I had no idea yet.

Was handmade creativity always a part of your life?

Yes, I learnt to sew and cook watching over my mother’s shoulder who was an expert at both, out of necessity. Making things from scratch is just a natural thing for us to do.

Chilli Infused Olive Oil

You now live on an olive farm. How has this ‘change of scenery’ inspired your creativity?

The rural setting I live in is natural, ungroomed and a little harsh in summer. It causes me to create the opposite in elegant, restrained, simple, clean styled pieces that have enough chic to counterbalance that wild messy in my orbit. I seem to imagine all my pieces will be used in the same setting as I live in – but of course this isn’t the case !

Are all your edible products created along organic and bio-dynamic principles as much as possible?

Yes, for sure. I wouldn’t regard myself as a purist but its important to me be conscious of what we ingest and the health of our natural environment. Additionally, I really value high nutrient payload in the foods I consume so of course my customers are assured the same standard in my edibles.

How do you dream up new things to make? 

Each has their own inspiration story but the gold flecked olive oil was originally created as a regional produce line under my olive oil brand Squashed Olive. Boddington, (the area when our farm is) is home to what will be the largest gold mine in the southern hemisphere, so it was designed to be an edible local souvenir and is sold locally labeled “Boddington Liquid Gold”. Of course it has lots of other applications especially a petite version for the wedding market.

Olive Oil

Where do you source the raw ingredients for your products? 

Yes all the olive oil is grown by me here in our 88 tree grove, if I’m running low, I buy extra from my nearby neighbours to blend with mine. The raw honey is from a local apiarist who has hives amidst wild gum tree groves all around our district. My cookie ingredients are mostly sourced from an organic wholesaler in Perth and the fruit for jams is either local homegrown or sourced externally depending upon season.

What are some of the products you particularly love to make? 

I absolutely adore making my 23 carat gold flecked olive oil bombonieres and wedding bunting. Although the gold oil is a painstaking intricate hand process, I take the quality of each bottle very seriously, as if it’s for my own wedding. Every piece (even if the order is for hundreds) is carefully hand crafted checking for beauty as I make, as if I was gifting it to my own guests.


Mint Infused Raw Honey

Are your products seasonal – e.g. your honey or olive oil, marmalade? 

Only the honey is seasonal, I don’t like to supply it for winter weddings as the cold triggers it to crystallize and solidify in the jar. Everything else is all year round. All the edibles have about a 1 year + shelf life after being made. I book in orders into a production queue trying to defer production as late as possible but do like to have goods in the bride’s hand a month before wedding, just for contingency so everyone can relax.

Are you able to do special orders for bridal couples e.g. jams/marmalades with a special flavouring, herbal sprigs in honey for example?

Unfortunately not really, each product has taken a degree of mastery to perfect and reach a consistent standard. Attempting something new without a long lead time can be risky and given it’s food, it’s pretty serious business that has no room for mistakes. If I release a new product it is only after it has been trialed over a period of time and we are confident of the way it behaves. I dabble with rose petal infused honey but its often hard to ensure a consistent flavour infusion and there is water in the fresh leaves which can result in a volatile shelf life.

You also offer ‘bake at home’ cookie mixes both gluten free and non gluten free. Would you explain what your philosophy is behind these and what goes into them?

Aaaah, my cookies. These were my first real take-off product. The cookies are powerfully nutritious recipes I came up with to serve my own 3 little boys. My husband said “these are so good you could sell them”, so I did – I took them to the local community markets and they just took off. With all the other products I soon had in the pipeline I diverged into bagging up the ingredients as a “Bake at Home” cookie mix for more economical price and fresher product as once baked have a short shelf life. Every cookie has to be absolutely delicious but every ingredient is carefully thought out to provide a high nutrient offering as well as good diversification of ingredients and organic where possible. So a variety of wholefood flours, seeds, chocolates, lavender, dried berries, fresh picked fruit etc etc. The 7 original cookie mixes are still so very popular but I am so busy with other areas of my business, they have had to wait in the sidelines for expansion for a while. They are best seen in my online cookie shop

Cookie mixes

What other products do you offer?

Lots. Apart from the bonbonierres, gorgeous gardening gloves and kneeling pads, baby quilts, wedding and children’s bunting, cake toppers, a big variety of gift olive oils, framed pieces, honey gifts and cookie mixes. So many plans for more if I can ever catch up with orders !

How long does it take for you to prepare and send an order?

Depends on the size and product, but the average wedding order is around 120 pieces so usually 4 – 7 days to make once all the detailed careful packing is complete. Shipping transit takes around 7 working days unless it’s Express Post, 3-4 days. Just on the making – if it’s a chilli oil, well the chilli takes 4 weeks to infuse spice into my olive oil, as does my mint herbal honey, then a week for bottling and labeling etc. The jams are made by my girlfriend who is a jam expert – but she is a midwife so we need to book that in with plenty of flexibility for an unpredictable work schedule.


Wedding bunting

What aspect of your business do you love the most?

I love the direct connection collaborating with clients. I love the feeling of progress that comes via constantly refining my products and methods for quality. I love how engaged and accountable I feel to my clients because they have chosen to spend their precious funds with me. I love the commitment and connection I make to every order and the satisfaction I feel completing, knowing I’ve done the very the best I possibly could for them, as if it was my own wedding ! I could go on….

What do you love about your country life right now?

Absolutely everything. I grew up in Sydney but have had a love of horses and riding since I was a small child. Although I enjoy aspects of city life, to me it was never spiritually sustainable. I always found deep peace and connection in the country and growing up dreamt of a life like I have now, wondering how I would ever create it. My life here is simple, humble, peaceful, connected and immensely private. My family of 3 boys and husband live in a ragged little white weatherboard cottage with no immediate neighbors and a 9km drive to town. I refer to it as my Happy Bubble.

Dark Chocolate Infused Raspberry Conserve

A weekend on the farm involves………

Depends on the temperature of the season ! But typically at the moment some grounds and tractor work, housekeeping/renovating, horse play, boys on bikes, sticks and fort building. Noise, tears, dogs and balls, movies, mooching, puzzles, kayak or swim at local river hole, dam or town pool. Often some overtime work for catchup or urgent orders, but my most favourite over summer – lining up our 5 banana beds for a calm evening dinner outside looking out at our stunning view. Happy bubble.

Thank you Kallista for sharing your story. To find out more about Homegrown & Handmade visit the website.

All images courtesy of Homegrown & Handmade.

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