Hold the Glamour

I am a full-figure model and working mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am a Leo. I am a first-generation Aussie and mother to two amazing little native New Yorkers. I believe that fashion is important—but so is real life. I believe that all women are beautiful and strong. I believe in working hard and loving harder. I believe in eating delicious food and drink with close friends, in breathing deep the air of new places, in laughing until you cry. I believe that when our bodies and minds are healthy and balanced, anything is possible.

Tag: nature

Blizzard Nemo – How do I get home?

I was on my way to Newark airport on Thursday afternoon when the driver of the Town Car mentioned the blizzard and storm heading our way to the Northeast the following day. He was asking about my trip and when I was due home. I told him the following night. He strongly suggested I check in with my travel agent as flights were being cancelled left, right and center. I had no idea! Where had I been hiding?

I called my booker at Ford and whilst I was on the phone to her, Delta called to inform me that my connecting flight from Atlanta to New York was cancelled on Friday night. It was on… Nature against me!

My travel agent changed my itinerary immediately. I had to get home on Friday night for a number of reasons. One of which, it was my husband’s birthday and we had made plans to celebrate and secondly, I didn’t want to be away from my family when crazy events like this occurred. We had to be together… No matter what.

So before I reached my hotel in Arkansas last Thursday night, a second flight had been cancelled. It was time to scramble. I asked if I could get home to New York via Amtrak (train) and my travel agent changed my itinerary for the third time. Nearly 3000 flights had been cancelled on Friday in the New York area alone. If I couldn’t fly home… I would have to find other means.

Little Rock, AK - leaving a beautiful day behind

Little Rock, AK – leaving a beautiful day behind

Mid-flight - Taking off from Little Rock, AK

Mid-flight – Taking off from Little Rock, AK

I ended up flying from Little Rock, AK to Washington, DC. My flight was on time and surprisingly it wasn’t full. I thought heading to the Northeast area would have been a hot mess. I kept checking and asking the airline if everything was on time and OK… Everything went smoothly and without any hiccups. I was so happy! Could this be for real? An impossibility turned into a simple reality?!

When I arrived in Washington, DC, I made my way via taxi to Union Station to catch an Amtrak train to Penn Station. I arrived two hours early and fortunately, managed to get on an earlier train. Two hours make a big difference at that time of night.

Washington, DC - Union Station

Washington, DC – Union Station

On route to New York, the train was packed and there was no evidence of snow, blizzard or storm until I reached Philadelphia (approximately 90 minutes before my final destination). It was incredible seeing and noticing the change in topography. My journey home was almost four hours on the train alone. Fortunately, it went by quickly. I spent a long part of my day traveling to get home.

An anthropologist sat next to me and we chatted most of the way to the Big Apple. She was an interesting woman. I love it when things like that happen so randomly and organically. I really enjoyed meeting Jill and discussing life, technology and family.

On a train going from Washington, DC to New York, NY

On a train going from Washington, DC to New York, NY

Once I arrived at Penn Station, NY, I hopped on the subway and made my way home to Brooklyn. The following two pictures I took whilst trying to walk home. The snow was pelting down and sideways. I could hardly see where I was going. It was 1am and hardly a soul on the street. It was exciting in a crazy way. I was so happy to be home… I was about to see my husband who was waiting up for me and I got to kiss my angels whilst they slept. Nothing else mattered. I was home, miraculously.

Brooklyn, NY - Out of the subway and onto the street

Brooklyn, NY – Out of the subway and onto the street

Brooklyn, NY - 1am and the Blizzard Nemo is still in full swing

Brooklyn, NY – 1am and Blizzard Nemo is still in full swing

Have you ever been stranded somewhere because of a natural disaster?

What happened?

What did you do?

Extremes of anything are dangerous

In the morning, I leave Sydney for New York. I’m flying with Qantas (my airline of choice), so I am looking forward to making my journey safely and comfortably home to the Big Apple. I cannot wait to see my precious family even though it’ll be for less than 24 hours.

Within 24 hours of touching down at JFK, I’m stepping on another plane heading to the middle of America for work on my next shoot. Catch-up family time is going to have to wait until the weekend (when I think I’m going to be home).

It has been a hot and fiery summer in Australia with fires burning out of control. Homes have been lost and certainly the lives of the innocent. It is headline news night after night – so sad and tragic to watch and listen to.

Global warming is out of control and we can see, notice and personally experience the impact of what it is doing everywhere in the world, whether in the Northern or Southern Hemispheres.

I know of someone who returned from Germany the other day and he describes his three weeks in Europe as freezing. New York up until recently has been freezing.

The weather patterns around the world seem to be out-of-control. Extremes of weather are dangerous. Extremes of anything are dangerous.

What are we going to do about it?

What are you doing about it?

What suggestions do you have to improve the way of the world?

42 degrees and still shooting

I’m currently in Australia and today I finished my first shoot of the new year. We were shooting the autumn/fall collection for Sara by Ezibuy. It means layers, coats and boots for the cooler months ahead.

It’s hard to imagine however, the fashion industry is always at least six months ahead of the game with design, sourcing the fabric, manufacture to shooting the samples and getting the images ready for advertising. It’s a long lead time.

The weather has been hot, hot, hot and today we battled beauty and fashion in 42 degree celsius heat in Sydney like true professionals (107.6 degrees fahrenheit). The heat wave we are experiencing throughout Australia did not stop us from making and creating fashion magic. We started at 5.30am this morning to ensure we weren’t shooting during the hottest time of the day.

Sydney - Sunrise at 5.30am

Sydney – call time is at sunrise

Sydney - Sara crew working hard

Sydney – Juli Balla and the Sara crew hard at work

Sydney - Hard at work in the heat

Sydney – smiling and shooting whilst the temperatures soar

Yesterday we spent on the Northern Beaches shooting in one of my favourite location homes. The property looks like something straight out of Palm Springs, U.S.A. I love it. Unfortunately, jumping in the pool and cooling off after work was not an option for me or the crew. What an incredible view!

Sydney - my dream house on the Northern Beaches

Sydney – my dream house on the Northern Beaches

The first couple of days of our shoot, we spent inside the studio. It is certainly easier for all without the elements and humidity wreaking havoc on hair, make-up, equipment and clothes. We turn the air conditioning up, the music goes on and we get down to business. It is calm, controlled and smooth.

Sydney - Annette McKenzie & I (my amazing hair & make-up artist)

Sydney – Annette McKenzie & I (my amazing hair & make-up artist)

Sydney - In studio

Sydney – in studio

Sydney - kisses from the cool studio

Sydney – kisses from the hair & make-up table

Since I started writing this post this afternoon, over a hundred and forty fires have broken out in N.S.W. alone. Other states in Australia are also battling fires in hot, dry and windy conditions that have proven to be devastating and uncontrollable. My best wishes and thoughts go out to all those affected and threatened by the catastrophic temperatures and erratic fire patterns that lie ahead of this evening. I wish you all, well.

What are you going to do to stay cool during these hot summer months? What tips do you have?

What are you looking forward to come autumn/fall as far as fashion goes?

What trends are you noticing and excited about?

Life after Hurricane Sandy

Red Hook, Brooklyn - A business/warehouse has lost it all

Red Hook, Brooklyn – A business/warehouse has lost it all

It really is difficult to fathom such a catastrophe as Hurricane Sandy, even if you did experience it or something like it. My family and I are safe, dry and warm. We suffered very little if any damage to our home. We are so thankful and feel blessed to have escaped the wrath of the storm. Wild winds partially tore down a side of our courtyard fence however, it is nothing compared to what hundreds of thousands of residents in the area endured and experienced. My heart goes out to all of them. For them, I am truly sorry.

A full-on recovery drive is on and the clean-up has begun! New Yorker’s are pulling it together and donating their time, food, supplies etc. to assist those that need it most. Everyone I know in our neighbourhood is helping in some way. There are so many areas affected by Sandy with the closest to our home being Red Hook – all of it is on the waterfront and in Zone A (mandatory evacuation zone). We are giving them all we can.

Brooklyn - a local playground is locked up as trees are uprooted and unstable

Brooklyn – a local playground is locked up as trees are uprooted and unstable

So many of the local playgrounds are still closed because trees were uprooted and have become unstable. There is debris everywhere and it’s simply going to take a long time to get to all of it. The city departments are inundated with calls and requests – where does one start?

There was very little escape from the reality and destruction of this storm. Even the terrorist attacks of September 11 didn’t manage to successfully mobilise the city like Hurricane Sandy has. Mother Nature is reminding us who is in charge.

Last week was a weird and surreal time with all four of us home 24/7. Kids at home from school, no trains running or airports open therefore work had to be rescheduled. So many businesses below 39th Street didn’t get their power back on until the weekend. The city was at a standstill. Everything seemed frozen and on hold. You couldn’t really leave your local area.

Brooklyn - trees fell down like toy soldiers

Brooklyn – Trees fell down like toy soldiers

Brooklyn - the day after Sandy hits our neighborhood

Brooklyn – The day after Sandy hits our neighborhood

Brooklyn - This car is holding up the tree

Brooklyn – This car is holding up the tree

Brooklyn - The clean-up begins

Brooklyn – The clean-up begins

I love to see people pulling together, helping each other out so selflessly and unconditionally. I am so proud of the city that I live in. It is resilient and strong. It bounces back and some. It carries on and moves forward. It becomes a unified force. That’s why New York has a pulse of its own that you see and feel every time you are in the city’s presence.

Have you ever experienced such a storm or force of nature? I would love to hear about it.

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst – awaiting Hurricane Sandy

New York - a view of our courtyard as Hurricane Sandy approaches

New York – a view of our courtyard as Hurricane Sandy approaches

It started raining at 6.45am this morning and hasn’t stopped since. As I write this post from my home office this evening, my family like many, many others in the New York area await the wrath of Hurricane Sandy which is heading our way in a matter of hours.

The last two days have seen grey skies with rain and winds preparing the Northeast area for the unknown at this stage.

Our family and friends have been calling, emailing and texting us however, we don’t have much news to report at the moment. We are as prepared as one can be in the hands of Mother Nature.

With schools closed, work cancelled and all mass transit suspended since 7pm Sunday evening, there isn’t much to do other than relax, spend time at home with the family and simply wait it out. There are no appointments or errands to run and our busy schedules have all-of-a-sudden, ceased.

You can’t go anywhere for that matter. Thousands of flights have been cancelled and it will take many days to resume the normal schedule. It feels like a four day long weekend, although we know it’s not.

We have storm surge threats and power outages likely in the area once the center of Sandy nears close enough. Here’s hoping Sandy, like Hurricane Irene some 15 months earlier, surprises us by not creating as much havoc, damage and tragedy as first predicted. We want to be pleasantly surprised Sandy!

However, there is an urgency in the air. Yesterday, people were buying food, water and supplies to hopefully last them a few days. Today, most stores are closed and stock is sold out.

My husband and I, and some of our friends that live in our neighbourhood are not too rattled or worried to be honest (at the moment anyway). We don’t live on the waterfront and we live in apartments not houses. We remain sensible by staying indoors and have prepared ourselves as much as we can by buying enough food, candles and batteries etc. to see us through (we hope).

We hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Stay tuned for more Sandy updates…