Perth Wellness Retreat: Nature's Paradise, Mundaring.

Every now and then, I have what I like to call “ahh” moments. Something will cause me to pull my focus out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to sit back and appreciate the beauty of what is in front of me. I had one of these “ahh” moments as I arrived at Nature’s Paradise Wellness Retreat. Situated in Mundaring, about 45 minutes drive from central Perth, it feels a million miles from the daily grind, without actually being that far away at all.

Nature’s Paradise opened at Easter just this year, and owners Neil and Jenny have worked wonders to create such a beautiful space. The forest provides a breathtaking backdrop, and the retreat itself is a grand beauty. Neil welcomed me as I arrived, and gave me a tour of the retreat, which features 3 suites, each with access to the wrap-around balcony, plus a library, a guest retreat area and communal dining and sitting areas. The guest retreat area comes complete with an outdoor, claw-foot bath, hammocks, a massage room and infra-red sauna – just what this city girl’s aching muscles called for!

♥ The view from the Library

♥ The guest retreat area, with hammock seats and bath

♥ The outdoor bath

After showing me the house, we moved on to the gardens. Neil has worked incredibly hard to bring Nature’s Paradise to life, and his passion for the retreat is infectious. We toured the veggie garden, which provides an increasing amount of the produce used in the kitchen, and the various rock paths Neil has created to cater for guests who want to get some fresh air without straying too far from the comforts of their room. I wanted to see more of the forest, and Neil was more than happy to oblige- we walked for about an hour through the trees, stopping to take in some beautiful views of Mundaring Weir and the dam, as well as dropping by the Learning Centre, before coming home for a relaxing herbal tea and a chat with Jenny. On our wanders we spotted an echidna, wandering very lazily over the trail, which shows just how close to nature this retreat really is!

♥ The veggie patch

♥ Mr Echidna

♥ The views of Mundaring Weir

♥ The beautiful forest surrounding Natures Paradise

I have to be honest, at this point I didn’t think my visit could get much better, but it did! At Nature’s Paradise, all food is catered for- guests have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, tea and coffee, plus delicious treats made by Jenny throughout the day, and meals are served in the dining room which showcases the stunning forest scenery.

All food is vegetarian, organic, made in-house and mostly prepared according to raw food principles, but meat-eaters do not despair, you won’t feel like you’re missing out at all!

Dinner began with a pumpkin soup- warm, hearty and delicious, served with spelt bread, butter and olive oil with balsamic.

Next was Nature’s Paradise’s specialty- pizza! This pizza was no Domino’s variety though- made in a dehydrator with a buckwheat base full of herbs, and topped with avocado, olives, mushrooms, onion, capsicum and a cashew ‘cheese’, it tasted amazing and was as good for my body as it was for my taste buds! The recipe is a well-guarded secret, but Neil did share some tips with me which I am keen to try in my own kitchen!

The meal would not have been complete without sampling some of the home made ‘fruit & nut’ chocolates, which were absolutely divine!

Earlier during my tour of the property, I had gushed over the beautiful claw-foot bath on the deck in the outdoor guest retreat area. Jenny was kind enough to run me a macrobiotic sea salt bath after dinner, and as I lay in the bubbling water, looking up at the trees in the night sky, the cool air above me, I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt so relaxed. It was truly something special.

After my bath, I returned to my very spacious room, with its luxurious king-size bed and spa bath ensuite, and fell straight asleep (no prizes for guessing that I slept like a baby!).

♥ My very spacious Grande Deluxe room

Unfortunately I had to get up well before the sun in order to get back to my day-to-day responsibilities, but even then, Jenny made sure that a beautiful continental breakfast was laid out for me. Had I stayed, I was told that I could have expected a beautiful cooked breakfast, including eggs, buckwheat pancakes, fresh fruit and juices, plus tea, coffee and almost anything else my heart desired!

Nature’s Paradise is perfectly named- it is exactly that! Neil and Jenny are fabulous hosts- so welcoming, generous and knowledgeable- and they have created a place that truly caters for every interest. Whether you want to relax in the gardens, soak in the bath, challenge yourself with a personal training session, meditate or hike in the forest or ride trails through the trees, they have thought of it all! I have been reading lots of articles lately about the benefits of spending time with nature, and I absolutely agree. I left Nature’s Paradise feeling so well-rested, renewed and reinvigorated and would recommend it to anyone looking for a retreat to truly nourish mind, body and soul.

You can visit or telephone Neil 0412 977 487 or Jenny 0403 718 050 for more information.

What do you enjoy doing to “retreat”? What makes you feel rested and renewed? Let me know in the comments below!

Article by Katie, a wellness-focused career girl with a newfound appreciation for the power of nature.

Be well,



Beauty Salon Review: Eyelash Tint & Perm at Love Bodyworx in Success, Perth.

Many years ago I discovered the delight that is an eyelash perm and tint. However on some occasions, I also discovered the woe! When done properly it is amazing. When done wrong it can be a disaster! It’s taken me 10 years to give it a go again and who better to try than Tracey from Love Bodyworx in Success.

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Firstly your eyes will be cleansed of any make-up. Tracey then decides what size roller to use. The size depends on the length and thickness of your lashes and how much lift you want. My lashes are little and I wanted maximum impact so we decided on small. A roller too big will have little or no effect.

After this Tracey places the soft plastic sticky rods that act like rollers onto your eyelids with some putty. The next step is critical – Tracey has to quickly but carefully separate and place each eyelash across the roller in a precise way. Once the perming solution goes on that is exactly how they will stay. If they are crossed over that is how they remain and if your bottom lashes get caught they will look like a poodle.

Once perfectly positioned the perming solution is applied. It stays there for about 10-15 minutes and is then gently washed off. Then a neutraliser is added for about 8 minutes, then gently washed off. Your beautician must use products of the same brand for everything as there is less chance of irritation.

Tracey then gently eases the rollers off your eyelids with lots of soothing cold water. Next step is the eyelash tint – go for blue black, it is the darkest colour. The tint is gently painted on and allowed to take, then washed off and voila! REAL superstar eyelashes and they are all mine, no falsies and messy glue required!

I was so impressed I kept looking at my eyelashes in the rear vision mirror and my work mates were astounded. My eyelashes that used to point downwards now sit perfectly and they look even better with mascara on! I more than love them! They are amazing! I still can’t stop looking at them a week later.

The whole process takes an hour and lasts for 6 weeks, or however long it takes for your eyelashes to fall out naturally. It’s like a little bit of magic! You won’t regret it, but only if you go to a talented beautician like Tracey.

Love Bodyworx (open Tuesday to Saturday)
254 Wentworth Parade, Success
Price: $87 ($22 lash tint, $65 perm)
(08) 9368 0396

What is your eyelash trick? Temporary falsies? Lash extensions? 3 coats of mascara? What works for you?

Kristy Mollica freelance radio and tv presenter and lover of all things so not beige!

Be well,



Five Favourite Workouts at Fitness First!

Having been a member of Fitness First gym since 2008, I’ve had ample time to try out the various classes and workout options available, and have found some winners over the past few years.

I first joined the gym for the great range of Les Mills classes on offer, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing but they were a lot of fun and the instructor managed to keep me motivated for an entire hour! Since then, there are a few classes I’ve continued to go back to.

Body Pump

A favourite of mine because it allows you to build muscle strength and tone while also working on your general fitness. A pump class works your entire body using weighted barbells, focusing on a different muscle group with each track. If you’re thinking of trying pump for the first time I would suggest sticking with light weights for the entire session because you’ll definitely feel it for the next couple of days, but stick with it and you won’t regret it! I recommend exercising with weights at least 2-3 times a week to see noticeable results.

Body Attack

Another class I’m a regular at, Body Attack, provides an intense cardio work out – and trust me when I say your heart will be racing for the entire hour! I find this class to be a great complement to my running because it combines aerobic, agility, interval and strength training in the one class. This class works you damn hard but is highly addictive!

Body Balance

When I want to turn down the pace and have a more mindful workout I like to go to Body Balance, which combines techniques from tai chi, yoga and pilates and ends with a meditation. Bliss!

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I also like to work out individually when I’m not going to a class. Fitness First have a great selection of equipment and my local even has a women’s workout room if you prefer a bit of privacy. I like to alternate between working my upper body and my lower body, with a bit of cardio in between.

An example of an upper body workout I would do includes back exercises using the lat pulldown machine, the seated row machine and barbells for dead lifts; then working my biceps and triceps using the barbells and cable machine.

For a lower body workout I would start with squats and lunges using the squat rack and dumbbells, followed by the leg press machine and dead lifts, and finishing with abdominal work.

Before each workout I warm up with a bit of cardio – I love the cross trainer for this; and I like to end my upper body workout with a good run on the treadmill.

♥ Liz is one of the lovely PT's at Fitness First in Subiaco

There are always personal trainers around to answer questions, help with equipment and give you training tips (you can even ask them about the exercises or machines I’ve mentioned if any of it sounds like jibberish!). You can also arrange a one-on-one session with a personal trainer for more inspiration. Winter is the perfect time of year to get into a healthy routine, and going to a class or personal training session is great motivation.

Do you have a favourite work out you enjoy? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Written by Alice – fitness lover who is already getting excited for the return of summer!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, Alice is a paying member of Fitness First & all experiences are her true thoughts! :)

Be well,



Beauty & Wellbeing Routine: Sharee James, Naturopath and Director of Ashima Journeys.

First up, briefly tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a Perth girl born and bred, though after studying naturopathy I spent 6 years in my twenties travelling the world and the travel bug has never left me. I now share my passion for travel with others by running wellness retreats in special locations such as the Himalayas of Nepal, through my business Ashima Journeys. In fact we have our next retreat in Nepal coming up this October! I also consult part time as a naturopath at Eternal Health Clinic in Greenwood.

Tell us about your daily beauty routine.

I have sensitive skin so I use an all natural salon-only skin care range called Osmosis. They use herbs and vitamins that have been specially formulated to actually get into the skin, rather than just sitting on the surface, and I swear by them!

What's the one beauty treatment you can't live without? And your favourite place to have it done?

I have had incredible results with Omnilux light therapy. I had acne when I was younger and had some leftover scarring and redness, and Omnilux really improved the quality and texture of my skin, I was quite amazed. I like to get it done at Skin Deep in Mullaloo, as it’s very close to where I live.

Who do you trust with your hair in Perth, and why?

I must admit, for some reason I am not so fussy with my hair, I tend to go to the cheaper salons in the shopping centres, I find they do just as good a job as the pricier places!

Favourite budget / at home beauty treatment?

French green clay masks, they are really detoxifying for the skin, and cost hardly anything if you make them yourself!

Your three, absolutely cannot live without, favourite products?

Paw paw ointment, Australian Bush Flower Essence “Love Your Body” moisturiser, and Nude by Nature mineral foundation.

Do you have any secret tips you use to keep looking / feeling great?

Daily meditation and yoga helps me cope with the busyness of modern-day life.

What beauty treatment/ wellbeing activity would you love to try but haven't yet?

I would love to try a floating in a flotation tank, it sounds like it would be so relaxing. ED: A brand new floatation tank biz has just started up in the city, check out Beyond Rest Float, based in the city.

Describe a typical day of eating for you.

Nutrition is one of my passions, I usually start the day with a green smoothie, snack on goji berries and pumpkin seed throughout the day and have a small portion of carbs (quinoa, spelt, chickpeas etc) with salad, and lean protein like free-range chicken, fish or tempeh with veggies at night.

Describe your fitness routine.

I practice Ashtanga yoga regularly and walk a few times a week. Now that it’s getting colder and darker I want to join a gym and start running too.

Do you take part in any alternative therapies or take supplements?

If only you could see my kitchen bench! I take heaps of supplements, mainly a plant-based protein powder, a probiotic, flaxseed oil, magnesium, glutamine, colostrum and usually some type of herbal formula I have concocted at the clinic where I work.

How many hours sleep do you usually get each night? Do you have any bedtime rituals or tips to help you get a great nights sleep?

I usually get 8 hours sleep a night and I am a big believer in having “quiet-time” before bed. I have at least an hour with no computer, phone, TV etc before bed, where I just unwind, read, meditate or listen to music before going to sleep.

How do you like to relax? What are your favourite ways to de-stress?

Meditation is number one, I like to go the Dhammaloka Buddhist centre in Nollamara on Fridays for meditation and to listen to one of Ajahn Brahm’s amazing talks. That inspires me for the whole week!

Thanks to Sharee for sharing her inspiring routine :) If you'd like to find out more about her work check out Ashima Journeys. Any questions please leave them below! :)

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Be well,