If, like me, the thought of trekking along some dusty old path in hideous hiking boots, is not your idea of a fun bushwalking adventure, have I got the place for you!
Walk into Luxury offers a luxurious adventure in Western Australia’s beautiful Margaret River region. Experience the Cape to Cape walk in style with amazing views, gourmet food, wine and, of course, exclusive accommodation. You can choose from a private luxury walk, with the option of your own personal tour guide or join in on an exclusive 4 or 8 day small group walk.
Recently named one of the 9 destinations that every adventurous women must visit 2017 in Vogue, Walk into Luxury should definitely be a priority on your bucket list. The amazing service & the quality to detail is outstanding, not to mention the incredible post walk massage & glass or 2 of red.
The 4 day private tour is the perfect long weekend break away and includes
two days private walking on the Cape to Cape track with custom guidebook, GPS and insulated backpack supplied
Can you believe it is only 19 days until Christmas? I absolutely love this time of year, there is something about the magic of Christmas, the anticipation of putting up the tree, decoration the house, buying gifts and most importantly spending time with loved ones.
This year my family and Mr Big’s family are joining forces to celebrate together, thankfully everyone gets along great and with both our mum’s sharing a deep love of anything with bubbles, particularly the alcoholic variety, it should be a day to remember.
Each year we do a Secret Santa gift for the adults for both families. At the start of December we each pick a name out of a cup and whoever you chose you buy a present for, we set the limit to around $70 per person. This year I drew my beautiful sister in law, Anna, and Mr Big drew Shane, our brother in law. On my side of the family, Mr Big got my mum and I got my step brother Andrew. As the qualified shopper of the family I been searching online for the perfect gifts and so far I have the ladies sorted, simple as, but I’m struggling big time to find a gift for Shane & Andrew, what on earth do you buy for a thirty something man that doesn’t cost more than $70? I hate to admit it but I fear I’m suffering from a severe case of shoppers block!
So, my solution……. I will share my top must have gifts for the ladies under $70 if you, my dear readers, will please please please share your suggestions for the men, again, please I’m desperate for help!
Ladies Gifts for Secret Santa.
A scented candle – quite possibly the most perfect gift.
My favorites, in no particular order.
Milkies Candle Co. A divine range of beautifully scented candles presented in unique milk bottles. Made in WA Australia. Starting from $10
Ecoya Sweet Fruits Christmas candle RRP from $24.95, this limited edition candle smells divine. Available from Freedom, Bed Bath n Table and speciality stores.
Glasshouse Fragrance Beverly Hills, Pink Lemonade RRP $42.95 available from Myer, David Jones and speciality stores.
Bath & Body Products – as busy women we can tend to neglect our own needs for everyone else, a little TLC and time out for ourselves would be a welcomed treat.
LUSH – the heavenly products from Lush are amazing. Their bath bombs and massage bars are to die for. They also offer great selection of gift boxes and wrapping.
Frank Body home of the coffee scrub, a great range of natural products that will invigorate that special lady in your life
Vice & Velvet gorgeous handmade soap, bath and body products. My personal fav is the Bathing Whip, sounds a little naughty huh!
Flowers – now before you say, oh but flowers will die quicker than Milli Vanilli’s singing career (if you don’t know who Milli Vanilli were, they were two very pretty men back in the late 90’s that tricked the world into believing they could actually sing….. you know what, Google them, interesting story!) Anyway back to flowers, you must take a look at these amazing gift boxes that I came across from House of forever Bloom. These incredible roses last an entire year! I’m so in love with them, hint hint Mr Big.
Last, but certainly not least, a great Secret Santa gift for the lovely ladies is a day spa voucher. My idea of a perfect day out is morning coffee, a spot of shopping, followed by a relaxing afternoon of pampering. Perfect!
I hope I have given you some inspiration and ideas for the special ladies you are buying for and please remember to leave your suggestions below in the comments for the perfect Secret Santa gift for the men.
Till next time, happy shopping & Merry Christmas xxx
I have to admit, I’m still quite the little virgin when it comes to using Social Media sites. I have just joined the world of Instagram, Twitter & something called Tumblr around 2 weeks ago, yay me….. #feelingratherwithit ! and so far so good, I think!
I’m yet to give into the Facebook faze, I say faze as I’m one of those people that thought Facebook would be over and done with quicker than Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, clearly I was very wrong with both predictions and have no psychic ability what so ever.
I have learnt several things though in the last 2 weeks which I have been trying to casually mention in conversation with my “real life” friends that are regular social media addicts, sorry recreational users, of Facebook, (Mr Big & his mates find it quite amusing filling me in on my friends OTT Facebook antics)
If you have had more than half a bottle of wine disconnect all electrical devices, turn off your wi fi & step away from the keyboard
You are not anonymous, your profile picture thingy is seen by everyone
A keyboard warrior is very different from a real warrior
Social media is not therapy
Changing your Facebook relationship status anymore than three times in a month will result in a permanent unstable label being added to your profile forever!
I am definitely your garden variety recreational user at the moment, this may however lead to a more dependent addiction after I have used for a longer period of time. I get the appeal of Social Media, when I receive a new follower or several new likes on my Tweet or Instapic I feel rather impressed with myself, like the cool kids of the wide web world have let me join their table for lunch or something, if I haven’t received new followers after posting I know it is just because the Instagram factory has closed for the day.
Today I had the pleasure of spending the morning watching local Perth Artist Samantha Prentice of Mural Creations at work designing a beautiful piece for her latest collection, Mandala Beach.
Samantha’s work has been showcased throughout Perth and regional WA, she has even created an amazing sculpture piece for The Wiggles, which I am extremely jealous of, I have a little bit of a crush on the lovely Captain Feathersword……….. come on mum’s out there, I know I’m not alone on that one!
I currently have two pieces of art by Mural Creations in my home and I want to give you the opportunity to own one for yourself as well. Today Samantha kindly gifted me a new piece from her latest collection that could be yours to keep.
For your chance to win this beautiful artwork all you need to do is head to my Instagram page , find the picture above and follow the prompts. The winner will be randomly choosen on Saturday 26th November at 1pm AEST*
* Conditions apply. Open to Australian residents only.
Mr Big & I both have a love of traveling and Bali is definitely one of our favorite places to visit, we try to escape there at least twice a year to stay at one of the various luxury Villa’s we have come across.
Several of the design ideas for our new home has been inspired by our travels there and I thought it would be nice to pay tribute to these beautiful places by sharing them with you.
A love of natural light.
One of our favorite Villa’s to stay at is the Disini Luxury Spa Villas in Seminyak, price from $320 AU per night. The styled 1 bedroom villas have a private infinity pool, spacious living/dining area & european kitchen enclosed within a beautifully manicured garden. The kingsize bedroom adjoints an In-room spa ensuite with marble bath & separate shower room.
Taking inspiration from this villa is our beautiful ensuite with freestanding deep soaking tub and hobless shower surrounded by clear glass and lush bamboo tropical style garden.
The Equilibria Hotel Seminyak signature villa is the ultimate example of the “waterfall concept” where the infinity pool overflows to become a waterfall that flows into a pond in the bedroom below. surrounded by bamboos, this villa is split over 2 floors with the living room and kitchen above, and master bedroom below with an outdoor bathtub, starting from $300+ AU per night.
The seamless lines of the infinity pool has definitely inspired the design for our pool area. The pool will be a feature from the full length glass window panels in the living and dining room giving a seamless flow effect.
A Relaxing Sanctuary
The Bali Island Villa’s and Spa in Seminyak has a spacious master bedroom bathed in natural sunlight that filters through full-length glass panelled doors. There is a walk-in wardrobe and spa-inspired en-suite bathroom in cool grey tones with a sunken tub for two.Each villa incorporates a private swimming pool and timber sundeck. A well concealed set of stairs leads to reveal a beautiful rooftop terrace with traditional Balinese lounging pavilion. Starting from $400 AU per night.
We love the natural light, privacy and modern minimalist decor of this Villa, the master suite is grand in size and is a beautiful place to relax and switch off. We are hoping to create a luxurious yet relaxing feel to our master suite.
Images are from our private pictures & villa website galleries
Sunday night and it has been 3 hours since I disconnected from all Social Media sites, that is the annoying thing about living in WA, the time difference. I didn’t want to see the results from the mighty auction on The Block before watching it tonight, yes ladies & gentleman, my life is a little sad!
The claws were definitely still out between some of the contestants at the start of the show when the reserve prices were given and auction order selected, maybe someone should have given Sasha a valium and a stiff drink to calm her down a bit.
Will & Karlie were up first followed by Julia & Sasha, 3rd Dan & Carleen, then in 4th place Kim & Chris and 5th Andy & Ben. On to the auction and as always the beautiful Nicole Jacobs & fabulous Frank Valentic were amongst the action bidding on behalf of their clients. Now that’s the kind of job I would like, spend a cool 2 million of someone else’s money and receive a nice commission as well.
Quite easily my favorite highlights from tonight were how incredibly humble Kim & Chris were, they were genuinely thrilled with their profit and it was great to see them score a bit extra after their agent fired up the crowd. I also loved Ben & Andy’s reaction, always entertaining to watch and great to see them earn a nice paycheck each.
The negatives, well I have managed to refrain myself from voicing my opinions on Julia & Sasha’s ‘different’ behavior this season and again tonight I simply must stop myself and remember what my Mum taught me, if you can’t say anything nice then simple turn the internet off!
Well done to Karlie & Will on winning The Block 2016 and taking home a huge $815K for their efforts. Congratulations to all of the couples and thank you for giving us inspiration, ideas and keeping us entertained this season.
Forget about orange being the new black. The instyle trend for 2017, black is the new chrome when choosing your tapware.
Chrome has long reigned as the go to Queen for kitchen and bathroom tapware but now this popular choice is being challenged by the sleek and sophisticated style of black.
Of course, while Chrome will never go out of fashion, the very stylish Matt Black tapware has recently enjoyed a sharp surge in popularity and is at the forefront of interior trends, as seen in Channel 9 latest season of The Block, and it looks like it is here to stay.
The top 5 reasons why black tapware is a great choice.
It suits any style or era of design.
Black tapware is both glamorous and stylish, working well in contemporary, modern or traditional spaces.
It resists fingerprints and watermarks.
This is a no brainer to save us busy people the hassle of extra cleaning and polishing.
It looks beautiful with marble.
Partnering black tapware with a backdrop of white marble with veining, like the very popular Carrara, creates a show stopping elegant and cohesive look.
It is perfectly suited to a wide range of elements.
Black tapware works perfectly with timber, subway tiles, copper, concrete and tarnished metals.
It looks sleek and stylish.
Black tapware definitely has an air of sophistication, it creates a stunning feature that looks sleek and refined without outshining the other elements of your space.
Caroma & Dorf have a great range of stylish black tapware to suit most budgets.
I am definitely a convert to the trend, now all I need to do is decide what style to choose!
What are your thoughts? Do you love or loathe the Black Tapware movement?
I find it quite therapeutic to clean window tracks and, please don’t judge me, scrub grout lines with a toothbrush, don’t fret Mr Big I haven’t used your toothbrush for awhile! I get excited when I read about or see new cleaning products in the supermarket to try, I’m sure it is similiar to how an enthusiastic lover of cooking feels when finding a new recipe.
I recently tried a new range from Coles Supermarket that I wanted to share with you, it called Organic Choice, BTW I have no association with this company or Coles.
Not only does this range smell amazing, it looks stylish , is budget friendly and it actually works. They even have a beautiful selection of scented candles for only $15 each.
The products are made in Australia, are earth friendly, non toxic and not tested on animals. They also come in several different devine fragrances, Pomegranite & Grapefruit, Coconut & Lime and my personal fav Lemongrass & Cedarwood.
After much discussion Mr Big and I have decided to sell our current home, we were thinking of keeping it as an investment property when we move into our new house but when we weighed up the options we felt selling it would be more beneficial, especially to our hip pocket.
So now to turn our home into a perfectly staged house ready for sale.
What is Home Staging?
Home staging is preparing a residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property quicker and for more money.
As a qualified property stylist, yes I do have qualifications other than master shopper / spender, here is my Must Do List for anyone planning to sell their property.
Depersonalise the property – have you ever gone to a home open and not really noticed the beautiful features of the property because you were to distracted by all of the family photos on the wall and the kids finger paintings on the fridge? It is extremely difficult for someone to imagine living in a place when they are surrounded by things that scream get out, this is our family home not yours!
Take down and pack away all personal pictures, your childrens school artwork, family albums, personal mementos.
Remove everything from the shower, bath and vanities that says we live here! Shampoos, kids toys, toothbrushes, makeup etc all need to be put away in the cupboard when a viewing is scheduled.
Put away pet bowls, toys and if you can take your pet with you when you have a home open on.
2. Declutter & Clean- this is a must do! Pack away and store excess “stuff” like toys, books, knick knacks, trinkets even remove some pieces of furniture if they are too big and bulky for the space. You want your house to feel similar to a display home.
Make sure your house is sparkling clean
Clean windows inside and out
Remove any cobwebs
Make sure clothes are put away, beds are made and no dishes are in the sink for viewings
Clear any clutter from the kitchen bench
3. Finish those little jobs you have been putting off for years – simple things like patching up that old picture hook or fixing the broken piece of decking on the patio will make your house more appealing.
4. Street appeal – a little fact for you, buyers will have made their mind up about your house within 3 – 5 seconds of seeing the front of your property. If your place looks unkept or unloved, I guarentee people will either drive on by or they have already dropped a few thousand off their offering price.
Weed any gardens
Give the exterior a lick of fresh paint if it needs it
Add a stylish pot plant near the front door
5. Neutral, Neutral, Neutral – if you have alot of bright colours or to many different coloured walls in your home I would highly recommend you paint all interior walls the same colour in a neutral, light colour. You are wanting to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible, not everyone likes bright orange walls and even though you may think “they can just paint over it themselves!” alot of people will not consider your property a contender when they see it online because of this. Believe me when I say a coat or two of paint can make the world of difference when selling your house.
6. Furniture – if your property is empty, hire or borrow some nice pieces of furniture and stylish accessories, even if you only stage the living area and master bedroom it will make your house more appealing and will help buyers visualise themselves living there.
…..and remember if the whole staging process is a little overwhelming, you can always call in the experts and hire a professional property stylist or home stager.
I’m sure that 95% of us that have built, renovated or are currently building would agree that choosing the perfect colour palette for the exterior and interior of the house was up their as one of the hardest decisions to make.
Did you know that there are over 16 million different colour options to choose from? yes 16 million! So where on earth do we start?
The Colour Wheel
Warm Colours are made with orange, red, yellow and combinations of them all. Warm colours look as though they come closer, or advance (as do dark colours), which is why they’re often used to make large rooms look cozier.
Cool Colours such as blue, green and light purple have the ability to calm and soothe. Where warm colours remind us of heat and sunshine, cool colours remind us of water and sky. Unlike warm colours, cool colours look as though they recede, giving the illusion of more space.
An important thing to remember when dealing with warm and cool colours is to create a balance. If you want your room to be cozy have warm colours as the dominant and then add a few elements that incorporate cool colours (and vice versa).
Decide what type of mood you want to achieve in each room.
What is your colour style? Do you like bright or soft tones? Do you prefer darker or lighter shades? Visit Solver & Wattyl’s Colour Designer or Dulux to view colour selections, schemes and to order samples.
Create mood boards using downloaded sample cards and pictures
Once you have narrowed your choices down purchase a few sample pots and paint each colour on a A4 sheet of white card, then tape each sample to your wall, don’t forget to move the samples into different rooms of the house as the colour will vary depending on the amount of natural light that is present.
Remember, if all else fails and you still can’t decide you can always call in the experts and hire a colour consultant. Most painting companies do offer this service.
My Colour Style
I definitely prefer the cooler colours in white and grey tones. I love Solvers Kitty Grey & Feather Dawn as well as Dulux Lexicon Half.