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Studio 6, 1-7 Unwins Bridge Rd
St Peters NSW 2044
Australia

+61 414 808 205

LUMIRA is a luxury scented candle and fragrance house founded by Almira Armstrong in Sydney, Australia. LUMIRA products are your luxury lifestyle essentials. Copyright 2017 Atelier Lumira.

Journal

MINDFULNESS AMONG MADNESS

Kate Bonnett

BEING PRESENT at work or at home sounds fabulously easy when you say it out loud. But in reality our minds are most likely wandering down a completely different path than what we’re actually doing. Stress, anxiety and panic are the thorns among the roses when it comes to work and home life. There are a few decor, mental and practical solutions to any of these feelings and Lumira candles and perfume oils are included.  In this Journal post we have compiled together a few methods on how to practice mindfulness at home or at your desk…

Image Via thisisworkingwell

EXIST IN SILENCE
Don’t literally cancel out all noise in your life - but rather switch off your mobile, the laptop, music and or whatever device that catches your attention with alerts. We forget that we devote your subconscious to these alerts and sounds, which leave us in a constant ‘on’ mindset. By existing in silence for even half an hour, half a day or a full Sunday, it allows our brains to relax, reset and focus on things we might not otherwise. Listen to the chatter around you, the ocean whilst walking or your breath when you have a moment to debrief and meditate.

FAMILIARISE YOURSELF
Once you’ve established the space that is your workspace or office and made it yours, designate a scent to that specific zone. This could be a candle you keep on your desk or a perfume oil you keep in your drawer. One that promotes calmness and obviously one that resonates with your preferences. This is one of our favourite ways to hone into our zone and feel at ease in the mind at work. If every time you burn a fragrance you’d like to associate with mindfulness/positivity, remember the relaxed or calm state you are in. Familiarity with these specific scents can reduce anxiety and feelings of angst.

PEN TO PAPER
Setting: You’re at your desk feeling swamped about how much you have to get done, or you’re thinking about things that happened the day before, leaving you feeling anxious or just a bit distracted and not fully present. Go back to basics - don’t over think and deconstruct the thoughts. Take pen to paper and write down what you’re thinking and place them somewhere else for the time being. Once you’ve accomplished the day’s work (fab) go back to the paper and you may find they’ve become something insignificant or you have the capacity to figure them out now.  

SOUL SPRING CLEAN
It’s time to look at cleaning as a practice rather than a task. Yes, the floors are sparkling clean and the kitchen is fresh and crumb-less - but glance over to your shelves and cupboards… Cluttered? Okay my friend, knuckle down and be real. Get rid of objects that don’t resonate with you anymore, any books that you’ve read and could give away, and if you’re feeling really determined, head to the closet to say adieu to the dresses you wore once and the bags you spent a little too much on and don’t use. Cleaning and decluttering can help create a outwardly awareness of the space around you being fresh and airy with room to breathe - making us mentally feel lighter.

LEAVE NO TRACE
This point combines a few tips together. Whether at home or at work - leave whatever space you’re in the way you’d like to enter it the next time. This means tidying and placing things back in their designated spots on the shelf or in cupboards etc. Combining the art of decluttering and interior decorating makes this step so much easier to accomplish. Design the chosen space with a sense of savviness so that when it comes to leaving no trace of the day, you know exactly where things go and that they can be stored in a spacious capacity. Tip: treat your candle as decor-detail and give it a proper spot on our shelf, so that too, can be a familiar object.

TOP TASKS AND TEMPLES
Prioritise and do one thing at a time. This one is heavy on the point of being in the present and channeling energy into one thing at a time. When you sit down at your desk, create a to do list of things to be done by the end of the day and prioritise them to suit. One may even be taking a moment to recuperate for five or to drink water. Don’t underestimate the power of the small things to do during the day for you. Lighting a candle with the fragrance of frankincense and/or cedarwood, applying pressure to your temples and focusing on the fragrance can relieve a headache, or familiarise yourself with your calming scent again.

NEW LAUNCH | TUSCAN FIG PERFUME OIL

Ali Fleming

‘YOU MAY HAVE THE UNIVERSE IF I MAY HAVE ITALY' – GIUSEPPE VERDI

The rustic, sun-scorched hills of Tuscany intertwine with gnarled vines and olive groves, framed by solitary rows of fig trees, each embellished with succulent purple and green fruits. The ever distinctive scents of the Tuscan landscape have come to inspire the luscious herbal blend of the new Tuscan Fig perfume oil.

Designed by Lumira Founder and Creative Director, Almira Armstrong, the luscious herbal blend of the new Tuscan Fig perfume oil joins the previously launched Arabian Oud, Cuban Tobacco and Persian Rose perfume oils:

“Introducing the Tuscan Fig perfume oil early in the new year felt like the right time. It’s an earthy scent – very reminiscent of the hot days and balmy nights I spent in Tuscany. It’s one of those fragrances that, almost instantly, lifts and revitalizes your energy. The four perfume oils now represent some of our strongest fragrances within the Destinations Collection – for people to be able to wear these fragrances, for me, is incredibly exciting”.

Lumira Perfume Oils

A heady mix of deep earthy base notes, with sweeter top notes of blackcurrant and musk, the Tuscan Fig perfume oil will be available online (atelierlumira.com) and through select Lumira stockists worldwide from mid-April 2017. The roller-ball applicator perfume oils are 10mL and housed in elegant violet glass to maintain product quality and integrity.

Lumira Tuscan Fig Perfume Oil

WHAT'S BEHIND OUR FAVOURITE EASTER INDULGENCE?

Ali Fleming

Eggs have long been associated with giving during the Christian Easter period. While this tradition may, for centuries, have been associated with Christian rites and rituals, if we are to take a step back further, the giving of eggs was, in fact, an ancient pagan practice related to spring rites - think: fertility and rebirth. 

Within both Egyptian mythology and Hindu scriptures - while varying slightly in their meaning - the concept of eggs and giving eggs relates to the idea of a new beginning, and thus, when thought about in Christianity, represents resurrection!

Image via Martha Stewart

Image via Martha Stewart

So how did eggs - yolk filled and often painted in a decorative manner - transform into the chocolate varietal? First made in Europe in the early 19th century - with France and Germany leading the charge - chocolate Easter eggs were treated as artistic confectionery. As Cadbury explores "Some early eggs were solid, as the technique for mass-producing moulded chocolate had not been devised. The production of the first hollow chocolate eggs must have been painstaking, as the moulds were lined with paste chocolate one at a time." Who would have thought so much time and precision went into the chocolate treats we now eat in in bulk come Easter morning?

So let's get serious - where do you get your chocolate? These are some of our top Australian chocolatiers. 

Bahen & Co.
In a previous life, Bahen & Co. founder, Josh Bahen was a winemaker. He has now turned his attention to chocolate and while we are confident in saying he has mastered the dark art of chocolate making, Bahen insists there is a "continual search for fine flavoured cacao". 

Loving Earth
Loving Earth is for when you think you may have indulged just a little too much, but that sweet tooth still niggles away and you are looking for the "healthier" solution. Fruit isn't cutting it, so you turn to Loving Earth and that's ok. Loving Earth's chocolatey deliciousness incorporates real fruit into flavours like Mandarin & Gubinge and Rasberry - so in essence, what we're syaing is, eat up!

Girl Made Chocolate
The team behind Girl Made Chocolate set out to make sweet treats packed with a healthy punch... "We have created a healthy alternative chocolate range packed with super nutritional components to boost the body’s health". Healthy chocolate made with all plant based ingredients? Count us in!

TUSCANY - TAKE MY HEART

Ali Fleming

For many years, art lovers descended upon Tuscany - it was after all, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and thus Renaissance art. Tuscany played home to the Florentine School, whose list of ex-students reads like a whose who of art greats: Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Lippi, Masolino, and Masaccio (and that's all before we've touched on the three other prominent art schools in the region - the Seinese School, the Pisan School and the Lucchese School). However, nowadays, Tuscany calls tourists and vacationers for a myriad of other reasons - art, food, culture, wine, shopping. Between it's two major hubs - Florence and Siena - Tuscany really is a truly incredible Italian spot. 

Image via Pinterest.

Image via Pinterest.

STAY //

Monteverdi

Located in southern Tuscany, Monteverdi is the kind of idyllic escape you dream about. The three restored villas and twelve room luxury boutique hotel sit exquisitely in the Tuscan countryside. Imperative to the restoration of the villas and the hotel itself was maintaining the heritage and 900 year history of the area, while bringing new and modern luxuries to guests that visited the region. Between breathtaking views, luxury accomodation and culinary delights offered at Monteverdi restaurants and bars, you would be hard pressed to find somewhere just as beautiful. 

Hotel Villa Cora
Located just outside of the historical centre of Florence, Hotel Villa Cora is the perfect meeting of classicism and modern luxury. What was once a residence of Baron Oppenheim, became a hotel in 1960. This spectacular building underwent a massive restoration in 2007, reopening in 2010 to great acclaim. Known for hosting royalty from around the globe, Hotel Villa Cora is best reserved for those very special occasions - honeymoons, anniversaries... winning the lottery.

Riva Lofts
Situated just outside the city centre of Florence, Riva Lofts are the cool, calm, collected accomodation you had been looking for all along. Designed by architect Claudio Nardi, there seems an express goal to give those staying at Riva the ultimate in a luxurious, but local experience. Alice Nardi, owner and daughter of the architect, will point you in the direction of where to eat, where to shop and where to get your hair cut (should you need it).

Image via Monteverdi

Image via Monteverdi

EAT //

Alla Vecchia Bettola
Alla Vecchia Bettola is something of an institution in Florence. Located within walking distance of the cities major monuments, visit this quaint restaurant for the very best in Tuscan wine and produce. Without prior knowledge, you may never stumble upon Alla Vecchia Bettola - it is truly a locals spot. However, for whatever reason you find yourself here - an evening of romance, or with a group of friends - sit back, drink Chianti and enjoy the relaxed ambience of this truly Florentine experience. 

Il Santo Bevitore
If it was reasonable to eat at once location for the entirety of a holiday, Il Santo Bevitore (or one its sister locations, S.Forno or Il Santino) might just be it. Boisterous in its surrounds, hearty in its culinary offering and the setting - a perfect Italian dining experience. 

La Bottega del Buon Café 
A few words of wisdom... savour every moment of this Michelin-starred dining experience. Situated near the River Arno, La Bottega del Buon Cafe is for the special occasions. For balmy evenings, book an al fresco table and enjoy the farm-to-table menu on offer. Aside from the fish, all produce comes from the restaurants country farm. Said farm is located on the most astoundingly beautiful estate located outside of Florence - the estate also playing home to the equally fabulous Borgo Santo Pietro hotel. 

Image via Il Santo Bevitore

Image via Il Santo Bevitore

DRINK //

Le Volpi E L'Uva

So you've come to Tuscany for the art, but you are staying for the wine. Find yourself a spot in this intimate bar and delight in wines from local producers. The experience is made even more pleasant via the lovely, wine-aficionados behind the bar itself. Be guided on what to order and no doubt, you will be in for a long night of wine tasting!

La Terrazza, Continentale Hotel
Open to guests and non-guests, La Terrazza is the rooftop bar at the Continentale Hotel. With views of beautiful Florence, grab a Solera Negroni and let the sunset over another beautiful day in Tuscany. 

Image via La Terrazza

Image via La Terrazza

SEE // 

You would of course be mad not to visit Leaning Tower of Pisa, Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery and Piazza del Campo, amongst other Tuscan highlights, however for a more local experience, we recommend seeking out the following:

Chianti
The densely wooded hill area of Chianti is home to wine towns Radda, Castellina, and Greve. For that perfect snap, be sure to also visit picture-perfect village Volpaia. This is some of Tuscany's finest wine region and the spot to see a more rugged side of Tuscany.

Museo Gucci
It is imperative that you make time to visit Museo Gucci - the wondrous museum dedicated to the Florence founded fashion house. Between the exhibitions itself, the Icon Store, the Bookstore and the restaurant, for fashion fiends this is easily a full day out! Be seduced by the luxury that is Gucci right where it all began. 

amblé
It would be unfounded to not mention the most beautiful vintage interiors store, amblé. This space is all about taking a moment out away from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Florence. Sip tea, while taking in the beautiful chairs, tables, porcelain cups for sale in this hidden jem!

Image via Gucci Museo

Image via Gucci Museo

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Ali Fleming

WITH THE EASTER long weekend right around the corner, a city-escape might be on the cards. However, for those staying put, these are some of our favourite food spots for your Easter long weekend. Thinking lunch somewhere? Why not make it a long one?


BREAKFAST // 

BRICKFIELDS, CHIPPENDALE
Rest assured knowing some fantastic coffee and breakfast spots are open over the Easter long weekend. We hear your resounding sighs of relief... us too. Brickfields is all about European style breads and pastries and aromatic Mecca brews!

BREWTOWN
While you certainly visit Brewtown for its innovative menu and delicious coffee, you stay for the brewnuts. Think a melt in the mouth donut meets croissant. Post breakfast in the industrial surrounds of Brewtown (the cafe is housed in a 19th century warehouse), take a stroll along the buzzy King Street!

HARRY'S, BONDI
There's nothing to not enjoy about Harry's in Bondi Beach. What was once a convenience store is now a beautiful cafe, where food and design offer the most modern Bondi experience you could ask for. Ricotta hotcake with blueberries, organic maple and double cream? Ensue mouth-watering. 


LUNCH // 

CATALINA, ROSEBAY
Feeling fancy? Catalina at Rosebay is open for lunch on Easter Monday and, as per usual, they will be serving up their delicious signature seafood dishes and desserts (Peach and Pear Crumble with Golden Pear Sorbet, anyone?). To sign out a Monday masquerading as a Sunday, we're indulging in a Rose Bae cocktail too!

FRATELLI FRESH, POTTS POINT
When someone says "I just wanted good hearty Italian food", we immediately think of Fratelli Fresh. Whether you visit their Potts Point, Alexandria, Sydney CBD or Melbourne outposts, you're bound for good food in warm surrounds. 

THE GROUNDS OF ALEXANDRIA
So the whole family wants to get together for Easter lunch, but the thought of hosting everyone just seems a bit too much. We vote booking a long table at The Grounds of Alexandria - kid friendly, delicious coffee and pastries, and table service! While this may all seem a bit too good to be true, we advise booking early as The Grounds certainly draws a crowd.

DINNER // 

DA ORAZIO, BONDI
Da Orazio is the perfect spot for an early dinner. At 5PM - post shop on Gould Street - circle back to Da Orazio for wood fire pizza and an Aperol Spritz. The Diavoletta pizza and Squid Ink Tagliolini with Spanner Crab are certainly worth writing home about!

THE BOTANIST, KIRRIBILLI
While the entrance to The Botanist may be somewhat nondescript, this is part of it's charm. Head downstairs to the bar and restaurant and be inspired by your surrounds. The Botanist pays homage to Gerard Fothergill, a well-travelled pioneer in the study of plants and spices and their medicinal qualities. In every sense, the legacy of Fothergill plays into the food, the cocktails... and the wallpaper! 

THE WINERY
There is something about The Winery that has you feeling like you've stepped back in time in a glamorous 1950s Hollywood film - that Grace Kelly might just be taking up a plush corner chair surrounded by fabulous friends, while she sips a martini. The Winery, as the name would suggest, has an extensive wine list, accompanied by a delicious menu to graze on. However, it is the dark, moody surrounds that will have you settling in for the evening (that, and the entire room dedicated to none other than Mr Elvis Presely).

Image via The Winery.

Image via The Winery.