Self Love & Care (in unconventional ways)

beach,cool,happiness,photography-8fd419a1ed0e99f92530ba9018554ad6_hWe are so lucky to have our very sweet friend Kezia Perry guest post for the sorella-hood today! Not only is she an engaging writer, she is most of all an all round wonderful person we are so lucky to know!

Today she shares her experience of being open & very brave! We are sure you will find a little message in here to take with you on your day….

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You want it? You got it.

While we are still only a baby of a label finding our feet, those that have found us have been devoted since their first restful night sleep in our soft organic Pjs. And they keep coming back for more.

And it’s these dedicated fans that shaped our plans this year, and will continue to do so into the future. We have already managed to fulfill one big fan-based request – to launch a mens line. So it is with a big smile and a stack of excitement that we announce the launch of the 2nd big request from our awesome customers this year….The request was clear:

“WE WANT IT IN BLACK”

So it’s with much pleasure we can now offer all your favourite pieces in beautiful black! And it’s a lovely earthy black that goes in line with our organic goodness.

Our best-selling organic singlet. Wear as sleepwear, loungewear, or out & about!

Our best-selling organic singlet.  Sleepwear, loungewear, or out & about

sorella & me organic singlet - wear through pregnancy as your belly grows and after as a perfect nursing top with its snap button opening ($54.95)

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I confess. I find it hard to get completely nude.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you walk into the ground floors of major department stores, don’t you think?

Dazzling lights. Floor to ceiling images of photoshopped glamazons with ethereal skin staring with judgement at your dull epidermis. Their faces represent the health I crave.

I want that frigging glow dammit.

So you find yourself pulled into the beauty vortex, the assistant with her hands inappropriately all over your face.  Your phobia of abused personal space is pushed to its limits. She’s talking AT you as if you are some sort of recluse given your lack of knowledge on the importance of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.

And you leave, feeling slightly inadequate and definitely overwhelmed, but somewhat hopeful armed with a stash of samples containing that scientific-blah-blah-skin amazaballs-technology that the assistant seemed so convinced would leave you with the skin of Cate Blanchette. (Can I get that promise in writing please?)

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sneaky-peek behind the scenes! 2013 sorella & me photoshoot

It’s so exciting for us to be so close to launching a few new pieces to our much-loved sorella & me collection. After the success of the new men’s collection, we are sure you will love these new women’s and maternity pieces just as much!

To keep you salivating until they launch later this month, we’ve put together a little behind the scenes video of the shoot which we held on the Sunshine Coast. You might spot a few of these new pieces!

A big thanks to the very talented Harry Mark for putting the video together for us! Continue reading

New styles, photoshoots, and awards!

Hard to believe we are through half of another year isn’t it?

Time seems to be flying by, and life with sorella & me has been a big part of that. We have been super busy and have so many exciting things to share with you in the coming months – the first of which is our photoshoot next Friday…. if you think this might indicate we are adding new pieces to the current collection, you’d be right!

Stay tuned for some behind the scenes photos next week for your first look of what’s coming!

Behind the Scenes - 2012 sorella & me photoshoot

Behind the Scenes – 2012 sorella & me photoshoot

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Think. Eat. Save.

It’s World Environment Day!

world environment day

A stunning butterfly I found hanging out by my vegie patch

Celebrated every year on June 5th, World Environment Day is a campaign run under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) aiming to raise awareness and bring about positive environmental action.

This year, the campaign’s theme is Think. Eat. Save - which encourages us to be more aware of our food choices, and the carbon footprint we are creating through such choices and waste.

The UNEP provides a couple of great ideas to easily get started:

“Purposefully select foods that have less of an environmental impact, such as organic foods that do not use chemicals in the production process. Choosing to buy locally can also mean that foods are not flown halfway across the world and therefore limit emissions.”   

We all know that we love organics at sorella & me! (Organic sleepwear anyone? Yes please!)

Our environment is clearly something we are all responsible for.  And every little bit helps.  On World Environment Day last year, we posted 10 really easy things you can start doing today to help the environment – check them out here.

So now to add to that list with this years theme, we are going to be more mindful about the food choices we make and what we waste more broadly – Think before you eat and help save our environment!”.

I already try to buy organic food when possible, but I am going to try and understand more about seasonal fruits and vegetables too.  There is no point in buying a product that has been flown in from the other side of the world – even if it is organic. It’s easy to pop that item in your basket without thinking about it – but from now, let’s stop, think, and make an alternative selection if need be.

And my other goal is to finally start the compost I have been talking about doing for the past 2 years. Living in rental properties has stopped me from setting one up but it’s so important and can make such a difference. So these are my new goals.

For more ideas on greening your lifestyle, check out this great A-Z list from the UNEP.

And don’t forget to check out our friends at Sustainable Table, who have a heap of resources (and a couple of great cookbooks!) on how our food choices can impact our environment.

Do you have any green-tips you’d like to share with the sorella-hood? Perhaps you only shop locally?  Maybe you only buy seasonal fruit and vege? Whatever it is, we’d love to add it to our list!

 ~ anna

Get your velvet on – beetroot style!

Did you see Alisha’s post on the sorella & me facebook page yesterday in all its sugary goodness?

Alisha's delicious cup cake

Alisha’s perfect and delicious cup cake…. jealous much?

Right at 3pm – in all our dropped blood-sugar states – she thought she’d share a photo of a delicious cupcake.

What a bi-atch.

In my opinion, not only was it rude because it was at a time when a cup cake would have gone down quite nicely (I am cranky when I am hungry), but also rude because there are many of us who are trying really really hard to convert to a sugar-free lifestyle – and succeeding or not, we don’t need a reminder of what we are missing out on!

So I hit Sarah Wilson’s latest sugar free cookbook for some inspiration to compete with my now very real and very present sweet cravings. I have unapologetically pushed my love for Sarah on you numerous times – see here and here for examples – and it’s crises like these that support my reason why.

And whoalah! I found an option I knew would come close to providing some sort of cake relief – and I just happened to have a couple of beautiful organic beets in the fridge ready for the taking. Now…. be open minded to a vegetable based cake. No one likes a vege-ist.  And anyway, you like carrot cake right?

I present:

Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes – from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar – Chocolate Cookbook

(And double bonus – they can also be gluten and dairy free if you need…..)

Ingredients (all organic where possible peeps!)

  • 2 large beetroot – grated
  • 1 & 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder*
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder**
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup***
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Gluten free)
  • Pinch of Salt

For the icing – if you aren’t sugar free, you could do a normal icing.  If you aren’t dairy free you could do a philly cream cheese icing (aka banana or carrot cake).  If you are sugar and dairy free you could do a coconut cream or cashew cream icing (these recipes are also in Sarah’s book).

My variations:*

* You can never have enough chocolatey goodness – Call me crazy but I added an extra couple of tablespoons of cacao.  This meant I also needed to up the wet ingredients so added a touch more oil

** I can’t justify having vanilla powder in my cupboard – but open to invest in the future as many of Sarah’s recipes include it. So in this instance, it was a teaspoon of vanilla extract for me.

*** Taste the batter before you commit to the oven! If it’s not sweet enough add some more rice malt syrup. Everyone’s tastebuds are different and especially with the earthiness of the beets, you might want to up the sweet stuff to more easily convince friends afraid of a sugarless lifestyle and wary of your vegetables moonlighting as cup cakes.

The red-redness of the beetroot make this cake mix look more like a science experiment... but a delicious one.

The super pretty redness of the beetroot make this cake mix look more like a science experiment… but a delicious one.

Method:

Preheat oven to 170degs and grease a 12 cupcake tin. Blend together in a blender (or go crazy with a stick-blender, thermomix, food-processer…. whatever floats your boat), until nice and smooth.  Divide between the 12 cake tin and pop into the oven.

Sarah suggests baking for 40 mins (my non-fan-forced oven meant 160degs for me for just 25 minutes. BAM! That’s chocolate goodness in less time than an episode of Bold and the Beautiful…. I can’t believe Liam didn’t choose Hope by the way. Idiot.)

My little baby in all its red-guilt-free-glory:Sugar free Red Velvet cup cakesEnjoy!

~ anna

Capturing the love of a mother with her newborn child

My husband bought LittleOne baby magazine for me when I was pregnant years ago.  I hadn’t seen the magazine before and knew straight away there was going to be something special inside the glossy pages! It has remained as one of my favorites.  I especially love the features they do on children’s bedrooms titled “Baby’s Space’.

Ella Rose's room we loved from Issue 9. Our friend Ella's mum Jade (http://www.weddingbling.com.au/) has great style!

Ella Rose’s room we loved from Issue 9. Our friend Ella’s mum Jade has great style – you will find her & many beautiful things at Wedding Bling

The current issue of LittleOne baby is no exception and has a beautiful feature on new mums- real mums in the hospital just days after giving birth. Amy Doak mentions in her Publisher’s letter that there is nothing quite like “the look of love on a new mother’s face” (LittleOne baby Issue 10 p8). Photographer Kate Monotti has certainly captured this in the recent shoot. And we were thrilled to be able to supply and gift our sorella & me sleepwear to a gorgeous mum in the feature.

LittleOnebaby Magazine Issue 10 2013

LittleOnebaby Magazine Issue 10 2013

I remember a local photographer from the paper coming to my room after the birth of my babies with his camera wanting a picture, boy was I apprehensive! That experience for a little local paper was nothing on these brave and beautiful mums that have said yes to a magazine shoot so soon after birth.

Chloe with baby Cooper - just four days old!  Chloe wears sorella & me organic singlet, drawstring pant and lounge wrap. She looks beautiful!!!

Chloe with baby Cooper – just four days old! (image by Kate Monotti, LittleOne baby Issue 10)
Chloe wears sorella & me organic singlet, drawstring pant and lounge wrap. She looks beautiful!!!

Lounge wear shouldn't mean your partners old trackie!! sorella & me organic nursing nightie p.144

“Lounge wear shouldn’t mean your partners old trackie!!”
sorella & me organic nursing nightie in evening sky $84.95 (right) LittleOne baby Issue 10 p144

Congratulations to LittleOne baby magazine on such a beautiful concept and we admire the beautiful women in the shoot that, regardless of the toll the previous days may have had on their bodies, are glowing with beauty and love!!

How did you feel after the birth of your baby? Would you have been brave enough to pose for a magazine?!!!

~ alisha x

My top 5 (okay, 6) brands to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight!

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! This a great opportunity for us to understand how making more informed choices on the products we buy can have a huge impact on the lives of those less fortunate.

The FairTrade logo

The Fairtrade logo

Fairtrade is described by the Fairtrade Association of Australia & NZ (an arm of Fairtrade International) as:

Better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade International have developed a strict global certification process to allow consumers greater confidence when buying everyday products that come from areas in the world where working conditions, rights, and pay can be unethical.

I have worked in India with Oxfam, and Vietnam with CARE Vietnam and I have seen first-hand how the cycle of poverty can grip communities when they are treated unfairly.  Why should we have the benefit of paying just $10 for a piece of clothing if it means a family can’t afford to eat? That doesn’t seem very fair does it?  To understand more about the principle of Fairtrade, check out this previous post.

For today, I’m going to share 5 super duper brands that are working hard to ensure their products are sustainable and ethical. This might mean that they are made using Fairtrade materials, made with sustainable textiles that have been sourced ethically and locally, or they have been able to go that one step further and have had the actual product produced certified under Fairtrade International if it has been made in a developing country (This will be evident by a little Fairtrade logo on the product packaging – and deserves a high 5 for sure!).

  1. Eternal Creation – certified by Fairtrade International. They have some super cute pieces for little ones!
    Eternal Creation Daisy Chain Pleated Dress

    Eternal Creation’s Daisy Chain Pleated Dress

    2. Green & Blacks Chocolate – certified by Fairtrade International (and is also organic!). It’s now deliciously available pretty much everywhere – so no excuses to reach for that other nasty stuff now!

Green & Black's organic & fairtrade chocolate

3. Nerada Tea Organics Range – certified by Fairtrade International. My 2 favourites are the Green and Chamomile.  You can find this brand in most major and some independent supermarkets.

Nerada Organics Chamomile Tea

Nerada Organics Chamomile Tea

4. Pure Pod – Made in Australia using sustainable materials.  Considered a pioneer in ethical fashion in Australia.

Pure Pod

Pure Pod

5. Sinerji – a sustainable & ethical collection using natural dyes and organic cotton.

Sinerji

Sinerji

And I had better sneak one more in – we can’t forget the love of my life, sorella & me.  Our collection is made using certified Fairtrade cotton (and is also certified organic).  We use an Australian sewer but have been providing skills transfer and capacity building to a small family-run Fiji manufacturer for the past 18 months. We are so excited they are now ready to join the sorella & me team! By providing them an ongoing opportunity for work will ensure sustainable income and at the same time improve skills and employability – both of which are major concerns for most Fijians with its current poor economic conditions and regular natural disasters that destroy many businesses.

sorella & me sleepshirt

sorella & me sleepshirt

Happy Fairtrade fortnight!

Do you have a favourite ethical label? Please share it with the sorella-hood below!

~ anna x

Giving to our Mothers on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is approaching and my daughter who is 5 is going to make sure it is a BIG event!  She has been talking about it for weeks – and is so excited!

She keeps hinting at what she has been doing at school for me and today I sent her to school with an envelope with a few coins for the mother’s day stall.

The carnation is of course the traditional gift/symbol for mother’s day.

Anna Jarvis sent 500 of these beautiful flowers to a church service in the U.S in 1908 to be handed out to mothers. The carnation represents all things sweet, innocent, pure and essentially, love.  And so the tradition of gift giving for mothers began.

Anna Jarvis. (Image via tumblr)

Anna Jarvis.
(Image via tumblr)

pink carnation (image via flowers89.com)

pink carnation
(image via flowers89.com)

My mum always said no gifts for her on Mother’s Day.  The biggest gift to her would be that we spend a day being good – meaning no fighting with each other (which took a lot of effort considering there were 4 girls in the house!!).  She also encouraged acts of ‘service’ from us, such as making cups of tea!

I will be looking forward to my gift from my daughter though.  My wrapped slice, face washer or whatever it may be that my daughter chooses from the stall.  And for me it won’t be about the gift itself, but that for the first time she was able to choose something all by herself with me in mind, that she thinks I will love.  And I am intrigued to see what she chooses and why.  And so begins the act of ‘giving’ and how giving to others can more often than not, be more rewarding than receiving.  As I have grown older I have relished in being able to buy gifts for my parents, being able to make them happy with things I can give, in a small way showing appreciation for all that they have given me.  And on Mother’s Day when I hand my gift to mum this year she will say, as she does every year, “oh, no presents”.

White carnation (image via flowers89.com)

White carnation (image via flowers89.com)

Anna & I wish our mum a happy Mother’s Day and we look forward to taking the day and time just to ‘hang-out’ with her.  Our thoughts are with those who are remembering the life of a mum or grandmother lost.   And we wish all mums in the sorella-hood (and our mum’s-to-be who I’m sure already feel like mum’s to their unborn babes!) a warm and wonderful day.

Enjoy the day with your families full of love, a sleep, a cooked breakfast, maybe some new sorella & me PJ’s (we have been very busy and know there will be some very surprised, happy and comfy mummas on the weekend!).

My daughter, mum and I at 'Annie' the musical. A special girls night out for us!

My daughter, mum and I at ‘Annie’ the musical. A special girls night out for us!

By the way have you checked out Sustainababy lately?  There are a fantastic range of ecofriendly, organic and sustainable baby products on offer at the online store.

Sustainababy have a fabulous Mother’s Day Promotion running that we are thrilled to be a part of.  Head to the blog and enter the comp to win a gorgeous sorella & me organic lounge wrap….If you win, you could give it to your mum….or treat yourself!! Good luck!!

http://www.sustainababy.com.au/blog/May-2013/sorella—me-Mother-s-Day-Giveaway

How will you spend Mother’s Day on Sunday?

alisha x