The Art of War against Domestic Violence

Good day to you my Art loving aficionados,

What with the recent campaign in Australia “Are you OK?” highlighting the importance of taking the time to check in with colleagues, friends or family on how their wellness truly is, providing incredible advice and steps on what to do if someone close to you is NOT OK, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to interview my wonderful friend Nicole, who recently hosted a not to be missed event entitled “The Art of War against Domestic Violence”.

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1) Hi Nicole, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with your company, could you briefly explain what the name is and what your recent event consisted of?

Hi Keya. Thank you for having me.  My company is called NHS Events which I have created by using the initials of my name, Nicole Haylee Stokes.  My first and recent event was called ‘The Art of War – Against Domestic Violence’.  I would describe it as an art exhibition with a twist.  Artwork was raffled off to ticket holders during the night and money was raised and donated to Charity, ‘Friends with Dignity’, who assist those who are affected by domestic violence.

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2) Have you always had an interest in events planning and what made you decide to plan your first event this year?

I certainly have, but mainly just family events.  It was back in 2015 when I was travelling around Canada that I decided to create my own company and started brainstorming my first event.

3) What were the highlights of planning this event?

I think the biggest highlight was actually meeting and speaking to the talented artists, who were so generous in donating their artwork for the event. I loved seeing the variety of art produced by each person.  I also loved seeing the emails pop up when someone purchased their tickets to the event.
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4) What were the most challenging aspects?
The most challenging aspect was that I also worked full time whilst organising the event.  Advertising was also challenging for me, especially with a tight budget.
5) How do you fit your events planning around your full time job (you are seriously a super woman)
Thank you 🙂 There were definitely a LOT of late nights. I have amazing friends and family who supported and encouraged me daily which helped me get through those late nights.  I am also very fortunate to have an amazing sister who helped me out with graphic design and social media.
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6) Are you already thinking about the next event you would like to host in the future?

It’s been so nice having a break after my first event, but yes, I am certainly brainstorming my next idea.  I am thinking masquerade with a twist.  But who knows, that might change😉

7) What advice would you give to either a budding events planner or someone who generally wants to embark on a new career?

Research, research, research.  Definitely take the time to speak to someone who is involved in the career you wish to chase and ask as many questions as you can.  And that it’s OK to have doubts, I had many, but pick yourself up and keep going. The end result is worth it.

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8) What are your favourite hobbies outside of work?

I try and get outdoors and explore new areas of Brisbane City, taking road trips to the coast to go to the beach, watching live music and I love gardening.

9) If anyone would like to get in contact with you in regards to up coming events or to use your services, what are the best ways for them to get in touch with you?

They can contact me via email or on social media (see below):

nicole@nhsevents.com.au

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www.facebook.com/nhseventsbrisbane

www.instagram.com/nhs_events 

Thanks so much for this insightful and interesting interview Nicole. Just as a little bit of fun to complete our chat today here is a quick fire round. The number one rule is pick the first thing that springs to mind:-

Quick fire round
Sweet or savoury? Sweet
Hot or cold vacation? Hot
Bright or neutral colour palette in your wardrobe? Neutral
Heels or flats? Flats
Log fire or day at the beach? Beach
Festivals or Concerts? Concerts
babies or animals? Animals
Internet or reading a proper book? Reading a book
If you could describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be? Shy, Quiet, Organised, Loyal & Awesome 😉
And with that super final answer, I am signing off with Nicole and this post for another month.
Until next time, take care
Keya x

There’s no place like home

Good day to you my delightful darlings wherever you may be in the world,

I am writing this post today from my slouchy sofa back in Brisbane after spending the last blissful two and a half weeks back in my home town of London visiting my wonderful family and friends. 


With the impending realisation of my one year anniversary of moving to Australia approaching and being informed of some changes in events back home, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to book a trip back as soon as I could.

With leave authorisation approval in place and having spent some final quality time with friends and loved ones here, I packed my bags (albeit being prepared for any kind of weather – good ole England) and set off for the motherland. 

As cliché as it sounds and with numerous pep talks inwardly to “keep it together” upon coming through arrivals at Heathrow, I sill managed to sob uncontrollably when I fell into my dad’s arms as soon as I saw him. 

The first few days flew by in a flurry of catch up drinks in the city with some of my oldest girlfriends, dinner invitations with prior work colleagues and impromptu torture (in the good kind) sessions with my spinning instructor mentor/ bootcamp instructor friend – it was nothing short of spectacular. 


Also as my parents were both around, we spent wonderful, priceless days either browsing the stalls at Petticoat lane market (oh how I do love a bargain) or getting our culture on stalking the corridors at Kenwood House. FYI – for anyone visiting London for the first time, I would highly recommend taking the trip to Kenwood – it is a house like no other and the history alone of its heritage is mind blowing. 


I even frequented a gothic inspired village in North London with the houses dating back to the 1800’s, all with their own unique gargoyles and spires. The architecture was one to behold and I loved how each property was unique in its own way.


On my last weekend there, one of my best friends and I went to one of my all time favourite music festivals SW4 and after a one year hiatus it really did not disappoint. 


Sadly as it was such a short trip,  I did try to cram as much as I could into the fortnight at the expense of treating it as a holiday for myself too. Since being back in Oz however and obviously being biased as I’m a born and bred Londoner, I completely LOVE my city. 

From the thrill of just jumping on the tube to get to wherever you need to go, to walking through an area that you may have ventured into a million times and unearthing a quaint church or mews you had never seen before – it truly is the most exhilarating, amazing place I’ve been lucky enough to frequent so far in this world. No wonder so many people choose to make it their home. 

I truly believe that no matter where you decide to move to or visit in life, home is always where the heart is and I know for certain that my beloved London certainly holds a special place in mine. 


Until next time, take care

Keya x

The meaning of friendship 

Good day to you my heart of gold heroes, 

For this months post I really wanted to delve into the complex world of the strange, intimate and sometimes awkward human interaction fondly known as friendship. Moving to the other side of the world from those closest to me was one of the hardest decisions not only due to being away from my family but also being separated from my second “family” – my friends. 

(All images courtesy of google images)

Looking back at my life in my 31 years on this earth, it is staggering the amount of friendships I have maintained and lost over the years. When I was at school, I had a large groups of girl friends and we did everything together, I still remember fondly our prom night when we all went round to one of the girls houses and posed for photographs leaning against our rented limousine. We felt so special and grown up on that day. Although I am still close with that group of girls to this day through social media and if we bump into each other on the odd occasion, there is only one who is still my best friend to this day, 20 years on.


One of my other closest friends I actually met through a mutual male friend who both of us actually hardly talk to any longer but we’ve maintained a close connection still. We have countless stories of adventures across Europe and hilarious stories which only we share. 

Another I met through a running club I joined whilst living in South Africa when I was training for a marathon. It’s incredible to say we ran the race together and now that same friend has since got married and just had a baby with her loving partner. 

And last but not least, one of my other oldest friends I met at work and through sitting next to each other every day for three years (can you believe there wasn’t one argument) we’ve since been to Glastonbury, countless music festivals and laughed and cried more than some do in a lifetime together. 


It really warms my heart reminiscing about that handful of incredible, inspiring women in my life knowing that we still regularly keep in touch via the wonders of FaceTime, what’s app  and social media. Every time I see a message pop up from them, I get a small smile on my face knowing they are thinking of me as I am them everyday. 

And then having moved here, I already had some fully formed friendships with people I had met in London who are originally from Oz or friends from back home who have since emigrated so I felt like I wasn’t completely alone from the outset. 


One valuable lesson I have learnt as I’ve got older though is even if you have an amazingly supportive family, significant partner or a social calendar like the queen bee, I need to have friends in my life. From something as trivial as helping you decide what nail colour to pick at the weekend to whether you should apply for that dream job, to crying over an argument or just laughing about inside jokes until your stomach hurts, that is something that makes me whole.

If you are anything like me, you would like to have it all – the stellar career, the show worthy home, to be surrounded by people who love and respect you, to be a great parent, to be a good friend and be an upstanding member of society. Having all of this though, does not equate to having a lot of free time so that is why we are so much more selective with who we spend this time with. Friendships should be two sided, and the minute one side is slipping, it can be really hard to get back to where you once were. The hard fact of it is though, it’s all part of the circle of our adult life and I actually applaud it. 

With every fibre of my being, I love, respect and admire all of the amazing people in my life and even if you have only one truly incredible person who you know has your back, then the sun will always shine on you every day for the rest of your life. Human interaction is what keeps us humble and I cannot get enough of it ❤️


Until next time, take care

keya x

Be your own number one fan.

Good day to you my creative, beautiful creatures, 

For this months post I wanted to explore the realms of our own personal comfort zones and doing something that both exhilarates and scares the life out of you; by trying something foreign and new 😀

As I’ve told you all in one of my earlier posts, since as young as I can remember I’ve always had a real love and passion for fashion and beautiful things. I used to pour over my mothers fashion magazines at home, oogling the wonderful outfits and the picture perfect surroundings. Most of all, I wanted to put pen to paper and write about these collections however. This is where my love of the English Language flourished from and at school, I could not get enough of the almost poetic prose which filled my heart in those classes. 


(All Images courtesy of google images)

Although sadly I was unsuccessful in obtaining a place on my desired Fashion journalism course at university, the passion for my creative writing never extinguished. I still followed the fashion weeks around the world each year and would write short articles in my notebooks of my highlights and lowlights of the shows. It was only just over two years ago that after multiple people close to me persuaded me to continue my pursuit of writing, that I bit the perverbial bullet and started this blog. 


I can not even begin to tell you how petrified I was to write that first entry. It wasn’t for selfish reasons though of how many people would even read it, it was just that idea of putting myself out there and doing something that was completely unfamiliar.

That first entry feels like a distant memory now but through the catharsis of writing each post,  I honestly feel as though I’ve unlocked a part of my soul which was lying dormant inside for so long and I am so proud of how far it has come to date 😊

With this renewed sense of adventure, the next chapter of my journey has now begun. This past week I took the plunge again and I finally set up my fashion is my passion Instagram page. If you enjoy my writing, then my social media page is going to be the visual side of my love for Fashion and also will give some sneak peaks into my own everyday style. I would love you to check it out on Keya_fashionismypassion. 

Also as so many of my closest friends and family have always asked me to help them find that perfect outfit for a special occasion or to just be more adventurous with their own style, I am going to be offering personal shopper experiences either in person with me or tips via email if you are not local so please feel free to send me a private message on my Instagram page and we can get started.


It is so important in my view as we grow older to strive to learn something new and challenge ourselves every single day. I would rather know I had tried and failed at something than to never have tried at all, after all we only have this one life – go out and seize it ❤️ 

Whatever it is that ignites that fire inside you, whether it be art, higher scholarly education, fitness, lifestyle – make today be the day that you take that first step to making your own dream a reality. I believe in you, so make sure you are your number one fan also. 

Until next time, 


Take care

Keya x

Pony up 

Good morning my horse racing aficionados,

This past weekend I spent an awesome day at the races for ladies day which was so much fun. For those of you who know me personally, you would know that I love any excuse to get dressed up so when the invite came through to go, I jumped at the chance 😀

In the past I’ve been to ladies day at Ascot in the U.K where fashion is extravagant and edgy but all with an air of sophistication. From the moment I got to Doomben racecourse I was in full scout mode for anyone who I thought looked chic and venue appropriate. Below are some of my favourite looks from the day. 

Ladies day isn’t just for the women to steal the show…




It’s amazing what a pop of colour in a suit jacket or trouser can do to stop you in your tracks. The variations in prints too from the classic navy stripe pyjama style shirt to the tartan check really made these dashing gentleman stand out to me. Also, kudos definitely go out to the tasseled loafers and some of the interesting eyewear seen here – who said glasses cannot be an outfit enhancer 😀

All on the head…


What would the races be without headwear and wow there were some awe inspiring creations to behold on the green. I just loved the confidence of the black and grey jauntily placed fascinator with those divine cat eye sunglasses and also how the blue and purple head piece above really steals the show against the white dress and classic Chanel 2.55 – pure and regal. 

More than one can be done…


I really love how even though we are all unique and plan our outfits individually, some groups of friends or couples have an incredible ability to complement each other without even trying. The light and dark contrasts compared to the shocking yellow and floral print really worked wonderfully together and also I’m a huge believer in the couple who dresses well together, stay together 😀

Friends to be revered…

Now it’s time to give my friends their times to shine, I mean look how amazing these girlies look – from the glowing mumma to be to the Canadian lovelies rocking their lame and flirty floral headbands, the azure lace to the winter whites and also the asymmetrical wonderment, I felt proud to be spending my day with this awesome bunch. 

Women rule the world…



Ladies day wouldn’t be ladies day without the stars of the show and wow did these women not disappoint. I just loved the subtle accessorising of the fur stole to bring the outfit together or the lace headpieces which either offer a exciting contrast or match another element of their outfit completely. The use of colour in the pastel pink or the cobalt blue or even just the black is best all worked perfectly. It was great to see some of these beautiful women heeded the theme of floral and feminine also and I’m sure you agree their effort really should be applauded, they all looked spectacular 😀

Well my wonderful followers, if you are planning to head to Stradbroke day this weekend or other racing events later in the year, hopefully the outfits I have captured here can give you some inspiration on what dressing for the races either here or in the UK is all about. Be brave, be bold and most of all be BEAUTIFUL ❤️


Until next time, take care

Keya x

Yearn for Yard family 

Good morning my wonderful, fashion loving, incredible followers,

Wow, do I have a treat for you all today. As I mentioned to you late last year one of my resolutions for my blog for 2017 was to endeavour to bring you interesting, thought provoking content with each entry which is why as you may have noticed I’ve scaled back my posts to once a month now. This gives me time to research and gather my input so I can be excited and proud of every post I deliver to you. 

For May’s edition, I have managed to gain an all access interview with the sister duo who make up the awesome new company you ALL have to get on board with, Yard Family. 

K – Hello Emily and Alice of Yard Family, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. First off, could you perhaps explain to myself and my readers, how did you come up with the name “Yard Family”?

YF – We wanted the name of our business to reflect our philosophy, which is to get together with loved ones i.e. family, friends, etc and enjoy the great outdoors – whether it’s your backyard, beach, park, or off the beaten track!

K – What is the concept behind the business and how did it originate?

YF – These days, where technology like iPhones, computers, and computer games are an easy and available source of constant entertainment, it is easy to forget that there are so many beautiful places right on our doorstep that are there for us to enjoy. We believe that time away from the barrage of social media and digital entertainment is of paramount importance to the enjoyment of life, health and vitality.
We are both mothers with several children each (Alice has 4 and Emily has 3), and we can see that there is a huge temptation to allow kids to use technology as a convenient source of distraction.

Our own families’ philosophy is to get outside with the family, kids, and friends as often as possible (and the weather allows!) and soak up the sunshine and fresh air. We wanted to create a product and brand that promoted that quality outdoor time, in a way that is stylish and fashionable. And so Yard Family (and the Yard Blanket and other products) was born!
K – For those of my readers who do not know both Emily and Alice are mothers to a total of seven children, how do you find the time to invest in Yard Family around your already busy lives?

YF – It definitely requires juggling and balance! We usually make the most of the time the kids are at school, during nap times, or in the evenings after the kids are in bed. Every now and then if we have a particularly busy period where we are working on a collaboration or a sale, our amazing husbands step in and take over the childcare duties to allow us the time we need. But we have definitely found that the more you have to do as a mother, the better your time management becomes! Otherwise it would all end up in disaster!

K – Has being family yourselves (Emily and Alice are sisters) helped or hindered the day to day running of Yard Family? Do you have the same creative and commercial ideas about new collections for the brand?
YF – Thankfully we are a pretty amazing match – Emily is the business end of things and Ally is the creative. We bounce ideas for collaborations around and are usually in agreement with most of each others’ ideas. We are both willing to give in to the other if one of us feels strongly about doing something the other isn’t so keen on. But that happens very rarely!
K – What would you say is each of your strengths that has helped make Yard Family the success it has been to date?
YF – Ally, being the creative genius, does all the photos, product styling, and graphics. Emily does the writing, emails, manages the website, and other technical things. We try to keep those boundaries pretty clear as our strengths definitely lie in what we do best!

K- Where do you see Yard Family in five years time?
YF – We hope to continue to have a successful business that we can manage from home, expanding as our children grow and don’t need us as much! We would love for families all over the world to own and enjoy a Yard Blanket, for our products to feature with some well-known lifestyle brands, and generally have a name that is synonymous with quality time and the good things in life.

K – Can we expect any new designs or further forays into the luxurious, family outdoor living in the near future?

YF – Absolutely. We are always brainstorming new ideas and have some great plans for expanding our range up our sleeves. As we grow we will be branching out into other lines and products, all in keeping with the philosophy of Yard Family!

K- For those who wish to purchase any of your beautiful creations, what is the best way to do this?

YF – We have an online store at http://www.yardfamily.com where you can see our range and the details of each product. We ship worldwide for a flat fee of AUD$50, and offer free shipping within Australia. We accept credit card, PayPal and Afterpay, which allows you to buy now and pay later!

And with that, Emily and Alice are back to their families and day to day lives. What an inspiring and creative duo they truly are, thank you so much for the interview 😀

Until next time, take care 

Keya x

Have your cake and eat it too. 

Good morning my busy, bustling beauties,


After being between jobs for a few weeks, I managed to secure my second job since being in Australia and this week is my second in the role. This months post is dedicated to the trials and tribulations of being a woman in 2017. 


 Although it truly has been a blessing for me to get back into the corporate world after a brief hiatus, I openly admit I have personally struggled with my time management since starting and I’ve had an epiphany which I am sure many of you share. 

During my time off, I was that person who was up at 6am bright and bushy tailed, hitting the gym for a class then coming home to either clean my apartment, organise my wardrobe, do the washing, prepare the dinner and maybe even squeeze in an episode of Suits all before my partner got home from work. 

Since going back to work however I haven’t been to a class this week yet (yes, I know its already Saturday 🙈), we’ve had meals that I can prepare in the shortest time known to mankind, and in my eyes the apartment has not been as immaculate as I would like.

(Images courtesy of google images)

It sounds silly, but it’s really been getting me down as even though I am getting home only around an hour later than I used to at my last company, I am struggling to do everything I used to do before. My question to myself and you all though, is why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all? 

I cannot even begin to comprehend those amazing women who also have children in the mix. It truly amazes me when I see all the inspirational women around me who manage their household and a full time job whilst also having sometimes more than one young child at home. I have more admiration for you than I can even describe as, as you can see just work and home life can become overwhelming even for myself 🙈

I have realised though that it is not worth the sake of our health and wellbeing to get so hung up on feeling as though we need to have the successful career, successful family, choc full social life and beautiful show home all at the same time. If we didn’t get around to vacuuming or doing body combat today, there is always tomorrow. There are 7 days in a week for a reason 😀

As long as we continue to treat ourselves and those around us with respect and love and we look after our minds and our bodies then I think we are all navigating the role of being a 21st century woman just fine. 


Until next time, take care

Keya x