Honesty from a Creative


Today’s topic is all about K.I.S.S. Not the lip syncing kind but the rule that applies to branding: Keep It Simple Silly. Less is more, trust me. I work and breath the creative industry 24/7 and when we designer types kindly tell you your idea for a logo design is a bit too much when you want 50 shades of greys, pinks, fluorescent yellow and a tinge of beige with floral bits sticking out from all angles and a kitten purring on the left side of the logo. It really is just too much. Please put your trust in the Graphic Designer.

Another thing us creatives really appreciate is good old fashion communication. Communication is the key to getting exactly what you had envisioned for your brand! Be honest. If you love something let us know and if you don’t let us know too so we can get onto making it fabulous for you. No need to beat around the bush, we take constructive criticism very well.

And lastly, no one enjoys chasing up invoices for all the love they have poured into creating your brand identity. Please be one of those amazing and memorable clients who pay on time and you will be rewarded with great karma!

Much love,
Shirlene Lai Allison xo


New Beginnings


The best way to start the new year off was a dive into the ocean, to wash away the year before and to welcome 2017 on a fresh new note. This year is all about taking a big leap of faith, finding the time to be more creative and to show more love to those who need it most.

If you haven’t visited this site in a while, you would have realised there has been a few changes. I have added in some free templates that you are most welcome to download and print to help keep you motivated throughout the year. My little way of giving back.

I have also shifted the ‘Child Modelling | A Parent’s Guide’ ebook over to this site to make everything easier to access and find. After many daily questions from curious parents wanting to know more about this exciting industry, creating this ebook was my solution to answering all the questions. Thank you to all the wonderful parents who have supported this guide so far.

Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed new year!

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo


Life Lessons from a Funeral Director

Be true to yourself – Interview with Ian Allison.

There’s only one of you. Allison says a life well lived is an authentic one.

“When people share stories at funerals, you often find out whether the person has been true to themselves or whether they have been trying to be something they weren’t,” he said.

“It’s important to aim to be genuine and act in accordance to your beliefs. Life definitely doesn’t last forever.”

Click on this link to read more: Funeral Director Secrets. (Published on news.com.au 31/01/15) 

Pictured here is Ian Allison with son Kai.

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo


Nothing showcases Spring better than the colourful array of mother nature’s nifty handiwork. Flowers in full bloom and home grown vegetables brings me as much joy as children in an ice cream store!

After a few weeks being housebound with a newborn, it has been such a simple pleasure to be spending some quality time outdoors in the sun and photographing again.
007001 004 003 005 008 006 009 010 012 013 015 017 016 018 019Photographs taken in our backyard and at the Tesselaar Tulip Fastival in the beautiful Mount Dandenong Ranges. More information can be found here: tulipfestival.com.au

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo

39 Weeks

39 WEEKSThe first time around after giving birth and viewing the aftermath, which looked like a scene from The Chainsaw Massacre, I vowed ‘Never Again!’ Fast forward three years later and I am about a week off from doing it all over again. I am still trying to contemplate whether a) Am I more anxious going through this a second time around? As I already know what to expect or b) Am I more relaxed as I already know what to expect? Maybe it’s a combination of both and watching episodes of ‘One Born Every Minute’ does not really help. All in all, I am thrilled, pumped and nervous to meet our little one soon and to surround him with unconditional love.

This past week, a call from my lovely agent suggested that I do a maternity photo shoot with a well known Australian fashion brand in the first week of September, but no can do as I’m pretty sure I will be all jelly belly that month! Instead I have been focusing on wrapping up my design work, finally getting around to packing my hospital bag and now super keen to answer your ‘Ask Shirlene’ questions on pregnancy. So here goes…

* Did you find out early if you were having a boy or girl?
Of course! 40 weeks is just too long to wait in my books, plus it really helped with choosing a name, what sex to read up on, baby clothes and the family dynamics in general. In ways, it also helped with bonding while the child is still in utero. Plus it’s always nice to have two surprises throughout the pregnancy, rather than just the one at the end!

My little tip for those that are as impatient as me: There is no longer a need to wait to the 20 week scan to find out the sex of bubs. Go to a reputable sonographer and they will be able to tell you at the 12 week scan. This is the place we attended were we received the news early Monash Ultrasound.


* Have you had any cravings?
Funny you should ask. First time I was pregnant, I couldn’t get enough of sniffing the freshly laid concrete in our apartment block. This time around, I keep imagining the sensation of eating dirt. Yes pregnancy hormones do strange things!

* How have you avoided stretch marks?
No matter how much cream or oil you rub on to your skin or how convincing the marketing for a product to rid you of stretch marks is, I personally believe it all comes down to your skins elasticity. I knew of a woman who had been blessed with seven kids and yet her skin still remained stretch mark free and firm.

* What skin care products do you recommend?
These are the products that I have tried and tested that I would recommend.
Skin Products
* How did you announce your pregnancy?
I knew the second time around was going to give me a good challenge to get creative. So instead of announcing the pregnancy back in February, I drummed up our 10 year anniversary to our family and friends with a timeline story board. I absolutely loved some of the reactions I received, especially from my sister who was viewing this timeline at a maternity ward tour and burst out crying with the news as it was very unexpected (I convinced her to meet me at the hospital to volunteer in the children’s ward that night very convincingly!)

Hope you have enjoyed the read and maybe the next time I post here, I will have some news for you all!

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo


The Drive Home

* This is the look we got from the back seat of the car after a solid eight hours drive home!

The start of the month was a celebration of some sorts, a family road trip which was supposed to be a month long adventure with no set plans or destinations to celebrate our little ones 3rd birthday and also a getaway for my husband who had just completed two years of full time studying his MBA degree. Who by the way, passed with flying colours! Yes, I’m a proud as punch wife here.

We discovered some amazing beaches, sand dunes, a reptile park, a hippy town and wild dolphins on our trip. The best thing was living in the moment, not really knowing what town or where we would be sleeping for the night.

Australian Reptile Park001Australian Reptile Park005TerrigalHawkes Nest001Hawkes Nest002Hawkes Nest003Hawkes Nest004Australian Reptile Park002Hunter Valley Gardens001Hunter Valley Gardens003SNOWAustralian Reptile Park003Port Macquarie002Port Macquarie001Australian Reptile Park004Hawkes Nest005Sherbrooke002Sherbrooke001

Things changed quickly within two weeks of our travels with news back home that my dear uncle had passed away. Read more about this amazing man here from my very first blog post [superman] So over three days we turned our car around and headed home as quickly as we could in time for my husband to organise the funeral and to be there for my cousins who had been looking after their father since they were children.

The week that followed, our friends discovered their newborn son at three months of age may need a heart transplant and for him to survive it, will take a miracle.

So what have I learnt this month? To hold onto your loved ones closely and just to be there for the ones who need it the most.

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo

Is Marriage Boring?

MARRIAGE* Image of the husband and I, photographed by Michael Denovan.

Two separate conversations with friends recently got me thinking… Friend A stated “Marriage was so boring, that’s why I got out of it” and friend B kept reaffirming “I have to do everything first, try to fit in another overseas trip before settling down.”

It all didn’t make much sense to me. Since I have been with my husband for well over 10 years now, which also means, I have never been single in my twenties! I have also retained my independence, managed my own career path, shared mutual friends as well as have separate friends and interest. We have seen so much of the world together and also with others. Which got me thinking, maybe if you feel you have to ‘settle’ or feel ‘restricted’ in anyway, you may just have to change your mindset or maybe you are just committed to the wrong individual?

A marriage and even when you decide to have children should always allow you to be your own person, but also allow you the pleasure of having someone great to share it with at the end of the day.

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo