Sunday/Sunny/Sunny-Sue/Baby-Boo/Bubba. She’s sweet, she’s feisty, she’s passionate, and she loves her new room. We recently added some pieces from the whimsical new collection from Margherita Missoni and Pottery Barn Kids. A magical mix of gorgeous colours, the pom pom quilted bedding is really lovely quality, and the Designer Doll ‘Clara’ is Sunday’s new favourite. Floor play with baby Rafferty has been made that much sweeter with the beautiful floral rug and the luxe Daisy Pouf. As you can see these pieces have complimented the new room beautifully. Sunday’s one request was for a pink room (!!) when we moved – we settled on Taubmans Pink Sangria with the crisp Cotton Sheets white on the top half of the walls.
As you can see, she’s pretty happy with the new set up (and I really struggled to pick my favourite photo, so I’ve gone all ‘stage mum’ and shared them all). Plantation shutters were installed by Signature Shutters and Blinds and Sunday’s wearing a leotard and tutu from Cotton On.
It’s definitely a little girls room! Also pictured from Pottery Barn kids is the Kendall Dresser, the sweet Farmington Dollshouse she got from Santa a year ago and the adorable Sherpa Anywhere Doll Chair (which matches her living room chair). The cool denim jacket was a gift from my sister, Hannah made it up herself with all the cute badges.
I love the colours in the new Margherita Missoni collection – it really pops on the ‘Greystone’ grey wool Stonefields carpet I chose from Feltex. I can honestly say that Sunday loves spending time in her new little room, it’s an eclectic mix with pops of her favourite things – flowers and the colour pink.
I’d always thought my gene pool happened to be one of those ‘lucky ones’ that seemed to avoid cancer. Not anymore – aggressive brain cancer crept up on my Dad out of nowhere, and the family have racked their brains on what caused the tumour but the truth is we will never truly know. These days, cancer makes me sad, it makes me angry, and it makes me really scared.
Approximately 46, 880 people died from cancer in Australia in 2016, so chances are everyone who reads this blog post has been affected by cancer in some way.
With a recent birthday that has brought me one step closer to my 40’s and a young family to raise, ensuring I live a healthy long life is at the front of my mind more than ever. Improving my exercise habits is also something I’m focusing on for 2017, as I know how much better it makes me feel – I really am a better person (and mother) after breaking a bit of a sweat at the gym.
I’m taking it one step further and trying to do my bit for charity at the same time – I’ve decided to sign up to ‘The March Charge’, which is a fun personal fitness challenge that raises money for the Cancer Council. I figure every little dollar helps, and the initiative is a really nice idea. Just by walking or running for Cancer Council this March, counting every kilometer as you go and by raising funds – you can help with cancer research, prevention, advocacy and support services.
If you’re keen to take on the challenge, simply follow the easy prompts and register here, where you can set your goal, then promote and get those donations from your nearest and dearest online.
Alternatively, if you are feeling more inclined to donate a tax deductible contribution, here is the link to my personal fundraising page:
Thanks to a very efficient builder and his team, our renovations went completely and utterly smoothly. Being our first home I know how lucky I am to be able to say that, as I hear horror stories all the time. Demolition was completed in a few short days, which was hugely rewarding, as we could immediately see the extra space we were creating in our living and dining area. The new kitchen had it’s final measure up a week later, which meant all the cabinetry when in to manufacturing straight away. Being the first home for our young family, we were really careful not to over-capitalise, so instead of changing the house around too much when it came to the layout, we simply gave the bathrooms and laundry major facelifts. Existing bedrooms stayed put – but with new lighting, flooring, skirting boards and window treatments. The magic of a professional paint job never ceases to amaze me either! As I’ve mentioned, we moved in after Christmas, and the feeling of accomplishment now we are living here is hard to describe, I would never have imagined we’d be in this position 5 years ago, it really does feel like a brand new little home for my family.
One thing I hadn’t anticipated is that by knocking out the back wall of the house made our garden a major feature, you can see it in full from the front door. Patchy and yellowing grass, a spindly (kind of dead) Banskia, a green hills hoist on it’s last legs and some tired looking Camellia’s were definitely not in my final vision for the place. Luckily for me, my Aunt is Michele Shennen, who besides from being one of the greatest people I know, also happens to be a very talented and accomplished Landscaper Designer, and wow – does she have some amazing ideas for our home. Michele is known for designing contemporary yet practical and family friendly outdoor spaces, with your chosen budget in mind. It’s been a fun process working with her to bring the vision to life.
Out the back, we’ve gained a huge deck (made out of gorgeous wide blackbutt timber that will age grey), more grass for the kids, a big working vegetable garden (which is a dream of Mark’s) and last but not least – we will be modernising the surrounds to the 1980’s pool area (this will really transform the space, but I’m seeing this as Stage 2 in the landscaping plan). The front garden is going to be a dedicated cactus and succulent area, a direct nod to my love of mid-century design. Michele has workshopped these ideas, and with that comes obvious extra construction costs.
When renovating a property, it’s important not to leave the landscaping budget at the bottom of your priorities because you really can reap the rewards when selling a house that has good outdoor spaces, particularly if you are targeting the first home owner market who may have young kids…you know, those apartment dwellers who are desperate for that backyard dream (putting my hand up right now). I’ve written about People’s Choice Credit Union before, read here – and they’ve recently been named CANSTAR’s 2016 First Home Buyer Customer Owned Institution of the Year SA. You may be interested to know that to celebrate the win, People’s Choice has a highly competitive three-year Fixed Home Loan Package rate specifically for first home buyers. Winning!
With a comfortable little budget in mind, below are some reference shots I’ve pulled from Pinterest over the past year, which explains my vision – with the deck already up, I’m really starting to envision those backyard parties, with a Basil Bangs Chaplin stripe umbrella on the deck, if I’m going to get fussy.
We will eventually cover the dated pebblecrete that surrounds the pool with some wide timber to match our back decking. Painting the inside of the pool is also on my list of things to do, but not a huge priority at this stage.
This house in Portland that featured in Dwell magazine has all it’s priorities right if you ask me. I love the lush grass, and the flow of decking with options for a comfortable seat.
As a contrast to the family friendly backyard, I want a low maintenance cactus garden at the front. This area gets hit with hot westerly sun, and I love that it will complement the 60’s lines at the front of the home.
Top of my list of ‘wants’ for the house was a breeze brick wall in white, similar to above. We’ve managed to incorporate one along one side of the deck, giving us privacy from our neighbours, and something pretty for me to look at.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on our landscaping progress, providing you with tips along the way!
Valentine’s Day has given me the perfect excuse to pull together my first giveaway for 2017. As mentioned before, I run the instagram account for Logan Wines and the followers always go nuts for a case of wine prize when they come up (seriously, who wouldn’t). So, this time I have partnered with two more of my favourite brands and it’s safe to say this is the nicest little giveaway I’ve ever organised. A true ‘package to love’ – the lucky winner will enjoy not only a mixed dozen of Logan Wines, but also a stunning range of table linen from Cultiver and a beautiful Red Quartz crystal from Rock & Co.
I’ve been sleeping on Cultiver bedlinen for the past few years (total devotee), and now we can all eat on it! The range of table linen is the same great quality I’ve come to expect, all pre-washed and woven from European Flax. It’s the beautiful colour palette that has me hooked. I’ve got a gorgeous classic linen table cloth in blush, a set of 8 table placemats in smoke grey and 8 table napkins in crisp white to win – the perfect set up for a luxe long lunch with family and friends, or a romantic dinner for two.
The crystal is honestly one of the most beautiful rocks I’ve ever seen. Hand picked by my best mate Rachel from Rock & Co with Valentines Day in mind, it’s a wonderful stone for romantic partners who want to reconnect, as it can help clear emotional blockages and let you feel lighter, more playful and fun. Also known as Strawberry Quartz, it is known to stimulate the mind; enhancing memory, increasing mental clarity and inspiring creative thinking or problem solving. I also think it just looks bloody wonderful on display!
The 12 bottles of delicious wine needs no introduction – the mixed case consisting of Vintage ‘M’ Cuvee, Hannah Rosé and Logan Pinot Noir is the perfect accompaniment to any romantic dinner. Don’t fear if Valentine’s Day ain’t your thing, I can promise you your friends will love you on any day if a bottle of Logan appears at the table. You should try it!
Head over to @logan_wines or @rockandco on Instagram to enter, or feel free to leave a comment here if you’re not on Instagram. Enter as many times as you like – open to Australian residents only, who are 18+. Winner chosen at random in one week. Good luck, lovers!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break. I’m pleased to say we made my crazy festive season deadline, and I was using our nearly finished kitchen for dinner with the family on Christmas Eve. 8.5 weeks of blood, sweat and tears. Not really, we had a beyond amazing builder.
We didn’t end up moving in properly until early January, so this Saturday will mark 3 weeks of us being in our new home. It’s been a slow unpack…which is unusual for me to say (my Mum says I’m like a bull at a gate with most things). I’m not going to lie, I think I pretty much reached total burn out by the time Christmas came around. The death of my father in mid December certainly took me to a very dark place and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t just ‘do’ as I like to do. I must say I got a surge of energy the day the house was painted a few days before Christmas, a real feeling of accomplishment washed over me – and I was imagining my Dad’s voice as if he was seeing it for the first time, “Wow, baby – that’s amazing”. Garry loved a lot of things in grey and black, and I know he would have approved of the red brick transformation you see above (thanks to Taubmans ‘Casino’ and awnings from Signature Shutters and Blinds). He’d be also quick to criticise and be recommending some sculptural greenery at the front to break up the dark bricks. Dad, if you’re reading this – don’t worry, that’s happening soon!
On a lighter note, over the coming months – I’ll be sharing lots of photos of our new home. Bathroom, Laundry and Kitchen will be first off – Living, Dining and Bedrooms will follow. I have a fabulous new bedhead from Bednest that I’m really looking forward to showing you, and the Freedom Kitchens cabinetry has been getting lovely reviews from visitors (the amazing Smeg appliances definitely help – wait to you see my oven, I’m in love).