The most wonderful present of the year.

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.

Courtesy of Milkies Candle Co.
  • 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.

Courtesy of House of Forever Bloom

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

The Block Shop

As luck would have it Channel 9 latest season of the The Block started just as Mr Big & I embarked on our house design journey.
Needless to say im a huge fan of the show and come Sunday evenings at 7pm when the couple’s rooms are revealed, I threaten politely remind Ms Have’a’chat to only speak if a) it is a life threatening situation, I did have to clarify that her life wasn’t in danger if she didn’t show me the latest funny cat video on YouTube straight away! or b) Neil Whittaker was at the door to offer us his style wisdom.
Last nights reveal, the Kitchen, certainly did not disappoint. As the unofficial 4th judge on The Block I was highly impressed by all of the designs, especially couples Dan & Carleen and Will & Karlie.


                              Will & Karlie’s kitchen – image courtesy of The Block.

The kitchen island in both apartments are to die for and has now got me second guessing the waterfall edges I have chosen for our kitchen. I absolutely love the ledge under the benchtop even though im sure it would drive me crazy cleaning the bits of food off it all the time.
This is the problem with building a house, I’m constantly coming across new ideas and then I start doubting the choices I have made, I pity the poor soul that gets stuck with us at pre start.Watching The Block has given us a few great ideas and definitely a few “avoid at all cost” things as well. Ms Have’a’chat adores Ben & Andy aka “The Boys” and has listed their Glasshouse Coastal Candy Soap creation as one of her ‘wish items’ for her upcoming 9th Birthday, unfortunately it seems everyone else had the same idea and the limited addition soap has sold out. So, if by chance you read this and managed to get your hands on a few bars and are willing to part with one, of course money will be exchanged, I would be extremely grateful, so would my sanity! daughter.


                                   Actual Wish List for Birthday by Ms Have’a’chat

How fantastic would it be to create a personalised scent for your home? Im not talking a slap together few drops of lavender and eye of newt, I mean work with a perfumer to design a quality fragrance / scented products just for you. Has anyone done this? Or can recommend somewhere to do this? 
Any way back to The Block, while searching online for the elusive soap I came across The Block Shop, I must admit I had no idea this site even existed, so please excuse my belated excitement. This is fantastic, almost everything seen in The Block apartments can be purchased online from this one convenient site.

Reminder to self – please read own Blog ‘The True Cost of Building’ before making any purchases online!

I have also decided, SUMMIT HOMES PLEASE NOTE, that I want a Site Supervisor like Keith or Dan, man they are on the ball, their no nonsense approach to ensure the quality of the build is definitely something every home builder deserves and let’s face it should get.
After reading quite a few horror stories on the Homeone forum from a wide variety of different building companies, SUMMIT HOMES PLEASE NOTE, Mr Big & I will definitely be employing the services of an independent building inspector throughout the various stages of our build.

I wonder how Mr Big & I would go if we were on the block?


Every Girl’s Dream


I have always had a love affair with shoes, my motto “the higher the better”, even my casual collection of Guess flip flops and Zanotti hi top sneakers have a wedge heel.
Like most girly girls I have dreamt of one day being the proud owner of a perfectly designed, ultimate dressing room to house my treasured possessions. Well ladies & gentleman that dream is about to come to life!
My Our dressing room, Mr Big will be given an appropriate allowance of space I promise, is a glorious 4m x 3.2m in size. We will be doing our own fit out after handover through Lifestyle Wardrobes


I have decided on a monochromatic colour palette of classic black & white, taking inspiration from the devine Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys. There will be a middle bench seat, a feature wall of striped black & white wall paper, a modern chandelier over the bench seat, an array of custom designed storage for shoes, handbags, jewelry, clothing etc etc with built in lighting.There will also be a designated makeup / hair station with in as well.


I am leaning towards having doors installed on the areas storing clothing especially hanging clothes, no matter what my best intentions are I know over time my love for grouping clothing by colour, length, style and type will fade and reality will kick in.

Your thoughts, would you suggest adding doors?
What would you include in your dressing room?