Wednesday 27 June 2018

Styling A Christmas In July Soirée With Corelle & A Festive Giveaway!

Every year I organise an intimate Christmas in July luncheon with my close friends and this year is no different; except this year to celebrate the onset of the winter season, I'm also doing a special giveaway! But more about that later.Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like to style and set my table! This year I've partnered with Corelle and I have to say it's made me rather nostalgic! My parents have used Corelle dinner sets for as long as I can remember! As kids, my sister and I used to eat breakfast cereal out of Corelle bowls every morning and I have followed the tradition with my daughter as well. So needless to say I was thrilled and proud to collaborate with an amazing brand that has been around since the early 70s!I'll let you in on a little secret. The reason why, my mother was so nonchalant about two little tomboys in pigtails using her pretty plates and bowls is because Corelle is ultra-durable, ultra-light and chip and break resistant! Yes that's right - Corelle is resistant to breaking, chipping, scratching and staining! Complete peace of mind if you have young children or a clumsy partner (like me!)!!!It’s the revolutionary material that its made of, a special three-layer glass laminate called Vitrelle glass, that makes it light and strong. It's also not a clunky material but super thin and delicate, which makes it easy and effortless to transition from the everyday family dinner table to a sophisticated dinner party!Other than looking stylish and beautiful, it is also extremely convenient to use with it being microwave, pre-heated oven, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher safe. That makes it so much easier to use in today's busy, almost multitasking lifestyle!To create a simple yet effective tablescape, I prefer white sets as I feel it's easy to mix and match with different decor and design styles and various holiday and special occasion themes. To style my Christmas in July luncheon table, I used the square set in Pure White from Corelle. This 16 piece dinner set has sleek squared shapes with rounded corners and flared rims to fuse perfectly with the traditional rounded inside making it sophisticated to suit a myriad of occasions and effortless to style. Layered with fresh gum tree leaves as a centrepiece, matte gold placemats, linen dinner napkins, brushed gold cutlery and a tapered dinner candle, laying a simple, natural yet really pretty festive table was quick and easy! And now for the AMAZING giveaway that I'm super excited about... I've collaborated with Corelle to give away a gorgeous and ultra chic 16 piece dinner set in the pure white style (as shown in my photos) and a stylish and very useful serving tray to one lucky winner!

You can enter this awesome giveaway HERE!

The Pure White 16 Piece Dinner Set includes: 4 dinner plates, 4 entrée plates, 4 soup/cereal bowls, 4 white porcelain mugs and Corelle have also included a bonus serving tray in the similar stye (as you can see in my photos) to complete your festive table!

Entries close on Monday 2nd July at 11:59 AEST and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 3rd July on my instagram account. (So make sure you follow along!) The giveaway is open to all Australian residents over 18 years of age. Good Luck!!!🤞🏼For those wanting to check out these beautiful plates, bowls and platters, Corelle has a range of gorgeous designs and patterns available through Big W stores in Australia.

Do you celebrate Christmas in July? What is your favourite way to set up or style your festive table? Any special tips? Do share with us in the comments below!

Till next time... it's time to plan your Christmas in July soirée!


This giveaway is in collaboration with Corelle. As always, all design choices, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too.

Sunday 24 June 2018

5 Signs It’s Time To Redecorate!

Your home should be the one place that makes you happy. Spending time at home; amidst all your personal and treasured belongings, various decorations and furniture ought to bring a smile to your face. Other than providing shelter for you and your loved ones, your home should give you a sense of pride.

Keeping the original design, you liked for your humble abode years ago may not be an option anymore, especially if it no longer makes you feel happy. If you like the look of your friends or relatives homes but not your own then you know there is something wrong.

A surefire way of knowing things are due for a change is when you’re left wondering how your home would look if more current design themes were applied. Your current design might have been all the rage before, but it may be high time for an update when you experience any or all of the following signs. Today we're chatting with guest contributor Emma who shares her top five telltale signs that it's definitely time to redecorate!

Too Plain
Living in a house that has had the same colour since you first moved in can be tedious. More so, if all the walls are the same tone of white or beige. Sure an all-white backdrop for your home may look clean and fresh for a while but having the same tone throughout the home for years can also be tedious and boring especially if you are into what’s hip, contemporary or trendy.

In case any of the above statements are true for you then it may be time to personalise the colours of the walls in your home. Choose colour tones that you enjoy looking at and can see yourself being happy with for the next seven or eight years.

Keeping the paint outside your home looking good is also important. If the exterior paint of your home looks faded or some areas look worn, then it is time for a fresh coat of paint. In case you see bubbles in the paint of your home that usually indicates a problem with the sealant.

The sealant may have already worn out which will cause moisture and the elements to get into the material of your home. These will eventually end up damaging your property, so a new coat of paint and sealant are essential to shield your property from the harsh elements. 

Worn-out Furniture
When was the last time you bought a new sofa set or a dining set? You can still repair your leather couch if it is peeling or has a tear or two or maybe even reupholster your fabric lounge to give it a fresh facelift or relocate it to your garage, TV room or even the guest room.

In case your home is filled with pieces of furniture that follow no particular theme then it might be a good idea to have a garage sale and buy some new furniture that complements your current style and design.

Once you’ve bought new furniture, make sure you look after it to keep it in great condition for as long as possible! Completely re-furnishing your whole house will be costly, so the longer each piece lasts, the better.

Happy Factor
Being at home should always make you feel comfortable and happy. Each decoration piece should make you feel joy and proud to have them showcased in your house.

If something no longer makes you happy then sell it on eBay or Gumtree, give it away or donate it. In case you cannot bear the thought of losing a particular item from your past then store it somewhere safe or perhaps upcycle it.

Choose a design theme that you know will make you happy or at least keep you content for the next decade or so. Take your time when selecting the best idea to incorporate into your home. Redecorating is a big decision which will be a part of your life for a while, so don’t rush it.

If for some reason you are not sure of the design you want, to try to picture your home with the various themes in place. It’s also a good idea to get the opinion of your partner or the input of close friends and family before you take a hammer to the wall!

Behind the times
When was the last time you redecorated your home? Maybe you never really decorated your place when you first moved in and just unpacked everything you had. In case you did decorate your place to represent what was trendy a long time ago, it may be time for an update.

Most people redecorate their home every seven or eight years. Even that may be stretching it; seven years is already an awfully long time to stare at the same design theme. If your Pinterest board looks nothing like your home, then that is a sure sign to start redecorating!

Lifestyle changes
Making design changes based on how you live your life is critical as well. For example, If you had a playroom for the kids five years ago, but now they are teenagers, then you hardly need that playroom anymore. You can convert the playroom into a home office, or even turn it into a home gym. Your needs change with your lifestyle and your home will also need to reflect and complement those changes.

Having your home stuck in old decor can be draining. There are many reasons to get your home decor updated. Take a moment to reflect if any of the above signs are true for you. If one or more is true for you, then it is time to redecorate your home.

Choose a colour palette that you and your family will enjoy. Keep it neutral and add pops of colour and visual interest with unique decor accessories and indoor plants. More importantly, choose furniture, decorations and a design theme that makes you happy!

Till next time... it's time to redecorate!


About the Author
Emma is a part-time property developer who loves sharing how others can make their homes amazing both inside and out on her blog Fixtures and Flowers. You can chat to Emma on Twitter.

Wednesday 20 June 2018

How To 'Winterfy' Your Garden In Time For Spring!

Gardening is good for the mind and staying active can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Spending a few hours to spruce up the garden will create an outdoor space that is both bursting with life and a sanctuary for relaxation. However, gardening in winter can be quite brutal! Bitterly cold winds, heavy rains and frost can do more damage than good to your garden. And even though gardeners use cold weather as the perfect excuse to take a well-earned break from their garden, horticulturist, garden writer and TV presenter, Melissa King, says there is little downtime for gardeners in winter despite it being a slow growth season. As the temperature drops steadily, it’s time to prepare the garden for the onset of more stressful conditions to come.
Winter can be hard going for plants, where heavy rain can saturate the soil and cause root rot. Prolonged periods of early morning frost can damage delicate leaves however it’s important to maintain gardens over the winter season so you’re not faced with a jungle in spring, when nature jumps back to life. According to Melissa, the onset of the cooler weather means that plant growth slows dramatically and has to tolerate not just the cold conditions, but also reduced daylight hours and often increased overshadowing. During this time, lawns and gardens use up their stored energy reserves, making them more susceptible to diseases and weed invasion.

Today, we've shared Melissa's top tips and favourite gardening tools to maintain your garden in winter and give it the best possible start to spring.

Winter is the perfect time to get stuck into pruning to promote healthy plant growth and an abundance of blooms next season. As a general rule don't cut more than a third off a plant, and cut off roughly half of the growth in a neat rounded shape. You might like to prune to an outward facing bud, so the branches grow in a vase like shape.
Cyclone’s Heavy Duty Bypass Pruner (RRP $24.98) is ideal for pruning live and green wood. Featuring soft grip over-mould handles which provides extra comfort and control when pruning. For those difficult branches that require extra reach and cutting power, Cyclone’s Bypass Ratchet Lopper with Telescopic Handles (RRP $69.98) offers a specialist ratchet-cutting mechanism to help reduce fatigue.

If you live in a frosty area, it’s often a good idea to wait until the risk of frost is over before pruning, so new shoots don't get damaged – particularly for roses.

Old, spindly or dead wood also needs to be cut away. For heavy duty logs and branches that can go on the winter woodpile ready for the fire pit or indoor wood heater, Cyclone’s Supersplitter axe (RRP $69.98) is ideally weighted and the perfect tool for splitting timber.

We appreciate fragrant blooms in our gardens all the more in winter, so why not indulge your sense and plant perfumed beauties like Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), with exquisitely scented starry flowers near the garden gate or grow a hedge of Sweet Osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) whose flowers have an intoxicating scent, along a path or walkway. Winter is the perfect time to give your garden a colour makeover, so why not liven outdoor rooms with exuberant bedding plants like Pansies, Violas, Cinerarias or Polyanthus.

Fallen Leaves
If your garden is very green then chances are you’ll spend a lot time raking up leaves. It’s important to remove fallen leaves from the lawn as soon as possible as leaves can become wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and form a thick layer that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases. Not to mention a heap of fallen leaves make the perfect hiding spot for spiders and other creepy crawlies! Instead of throwing these leaves in the green waste, think about turning it into compost for your garden.

Cyclone’s Super Rake (RRP $22.95) is multi-purpose and suitable for raking leaves, sand and lawn clippings on grass, broad paths, gravel and paved areas as well as the doubling as a scraper for levelling sand or topsoil.

Investing in the garden and lawn can add more than just value to your home. Few words can explain the joyful satisfaction of a well landscaped, healthy and 'bursting with life' garden! So take inventory of the jobs that need to be done in the garden this winter to ensure that it looks beautiful and well kept when spring arrives!

Till next time... rug up, stay warm and don't forget to prune your roses this winter!
About Cyclone 
With a prestigious history that extends for more than 100 years, Cyclone has become the most respected name in gardening tools, landscaping and insect screening. They’ve got your back with products suited to a comprehensive range of domestic and commercial tasks. Designed with comfort and quality in mind, Cyclone tools are built tough to last a lifetime.

*The Cyclone garden range comes with a lifetime warranty and is available nationwide at Bunnings Warehouse Stores and all good garden and hardware retailers.

**Prices correct at time of distribution, and are subject to change throughout the year by Bunnings Warehouse Stores.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

House Envy: Original Farmhouse Restoration With Old-School Charm!

Today we're taking a stroll through a gorgeous and iconic guesthouse called the Soul of Gerringong that has successfully paired classic coastal style with authentic old-school charm!

Located on the south coast of New South Wales, just ten minutes past Kiama, this bespoke property in the heart of the coastal village is a dream getaway that offers boutique accommodation for up to sixteen guests. So let's have a sticky beak and see if you too go green with House Envy!
Built and designed by husband and wife duo, Ben and Simone Mathews from BAM Constructions Group (BAM) and MGAO Architects, the heart of Soul is the original 1800s farmhouse featuring four bedrooms with private ensuites. At the rear of the property, there is an oversized solar-heated pool, two-bedroom Cabana, four-bedroom Barn and stunning landscaped surroundings – paying homage to original heritage and balancing easy living with luxury.
With the design brief focusing on restoring the character of the farmhouse and flooding the place with natural light, Stegbar Windows and Doors were key to achieving the authentic cottage-yet-contemporary look. According to Simone, the design inspirations came from the original property that oozed old-school charm.The focal point of the interior is the open-plan living area, featuring a spacious kitchen and original stone fireplace – perfect for entertaining or cosy winter evenings. BAM specified custom Stegbar Raked Windows above the fireplace to complement the building design – flooding the place with natural light and adding a unique visual element.
To bring the outdoors in, Stegbar Aluminium Windows and Doors feature throughout the living area – including sliding, fixed and louvre windows as well as oversized stacking doors. Using louvre style windows the space allows natural airflow and light into the home. When it came to the façade, they maintained the cottage-like feel that seamlessly blends in with the rest of the home using Stegbar’s custom-made service to handcraft windows to match and complement the original style.
The façade features Stegbar Western Red Cedar Timber Windows in white with colonial style glazing bars – paying homage to the original heritage of the home.
The Western Red Cedar range also offers a beautiful timber that is dimensionally stable under almost any climatic condition and is naturally resistant to termites, rot and decay – which is imperative being amongst rural land.

The outdoor space of this stunning farmhouse is as beautiful as the perfectly styled interiors. Here are some more beautiful images for you to swoon over.
And guess what, Soul of Gerringong is available for holiday accommodation and events! You can check them out here. So are you green with envy? I know I am!

Till next time... have a lovely day!
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