Now, I realise that the title of this post might not have been what you are expecting from me (since I'm not really a very good how-to blogger), but you know, all the fancy bloggers write tutorials.
So here we go... I'm going to help you achieve a lovely Summery vibe in your home in five minutes. But of course, I'll break it down for you in simple steps, because lists are awesome.
1. Go check your letterbox. (If it has a lock, don't forget to take the key with you, otherwise you'll have to repeat step 1.)
2. Retrieve beautiful parcel from your letterbox, and go back inside.
3. Scratch head and wonder what you've forgotten that you bought online. (Happens to people more often that you'd think.)
4. Open the parcel, and squeal. It's just so beautiful!
5. Cut a quick lap around the house before deciding that yes, this divine pineapple print looks perfect right there on the sideboard.
Biggest hugs and thanks to my incredibly sweet friend Claire of Claire K Creations, this was such an unexpected and out of the blue gift. I love my internet friends so much, and when they become real-life friends, I am delighted!
Must also thank Louise at Mid Century Child - this print arrived wrapped so beautifully, and the card with Claire's message was handwritten with love, nothing hastily done here. Would recommend Mid Century Child to all!
I love our new home. I love it so much.
But... there are a lot of empty spaces. Not furniture spaces (although Harvey Norman had better call to say our beautiful dining suite and buffet has arrived this week, or I will go slightly nuclear on their butt), but a lot of empty wall spaces.
Source: Energy Magic
You see, BB and I have lived in rental homes since we met and moved in together, and neither of us has been big on collecting art. Now that we have our own home, we're looking for the right things to fill the holes.
We don't want to go on a mission, searching for something specific, we'd love to just come across the perfect picture when we're out and about, enjoying our weekends and holidays. I know we'll definitely keep ours eyes open next time we're in Port Douglas, and perhaps our Summer trip to Fraser Island will uncover something (or I'll snap a decent enough photo that we can get printed on canvas).
Source: Energy Magic
Do you have art on your walls? Is it something that you started collecting when you were in rental houses, or did you save that for your 'forever home'?
Source: Our Humble Abode
Source: Cashmere Fog
You know you're getting old when the thought of a visit to a garden centre makes you quite happy. Old, or have just bought a house.
The other day I hung out with Peta (of The Sea and Me Change and Trainee Mama) and enjoyed a cuppa and a catch up at Kunara Organic Marketplace (formerly The Natural Foodstore) at Forest Glen, and then strolled through their garden centre, dreaming up all the different plant combinations which would look awesome in our new garden.
Whilst my original intention was to try their Banoffee Pie after a colleague told me how delicious it was, they didn't have any in the cake cabinet, and I'd already eaten a pretty big salad for lunch. So I just enjoyed a peppermint tea while I snuggled Peta's baby, Ned.
I know it totally looks like I don't know how to carry a baby...
but seriously, Ned loves being face-down on my arm. It is honestly just like this, waaaaah, grumble, waaaah on his back - flip him over - smiley face!
Then Peta stalked me around the garden centre, trying to take 'candid' outfit photos of me. Lesson learnt: I can't even pretend to not know there's a camera pointed my way.
Contemplating a banksia for our front garden to attract native birds.
My ultimate, favourite, all-time bestest handbag -
the Louenhide Baby Suzie in Tangerine, it was my birthday gift from my parents this year (I may ask for a matching wallet and keyring next birthday)!
Country Road flat sandals (purchased last season, similar here);
Thanks for taking some happy snaps, Peta!
You guys remember Kim-Marie of Kimba-Likes, right? Sure you do.
Well, she's lovely and kind, and she featured me in her Style Profile series. (Yeah, I was surprised too. But stoked!)
So, if you're mildly interested in what my all-time favourite wardrobe piece is, or if you perhaps want to know my favourite colour combination (if you can't guess, you ain't been hanging around here for long!), then head over to Kim-Marie's blog and find out!
I wrote this on Facebook late last week after a quick catch-up with a beautiful friend who I adore, 'You know those wonderful friendships where that person just makes you feel so good, and so pleased that you can call them a friend..?'
Well, even more of those quality friends have been coming out of the woodwork lately, and are only serving to reinforce the ol' quality over quantity thing for me. I am very lucky to be blessed with lots of casual friends, the ones who fill up parties and create long strings of Christmas cards. But I am even more fortunate to count a handful of strong and completely kickarse women as my very good friends. (Or as one of them likes to joke, as if we are squealing teens, BFFs.) These women all came into my life in very diverse and interesting ways, and unsurprisingly, a few popped up on my radar through the internet. Not one of my good friends is like the others, and they all serve various needs in my life (and I hope, I give them just as much as they give me).
What is it about women we meet on the internet? Is it that we open up a little more readily? Is it that we can pre-judge a little behind our keyboard and scrutinise where they might fit in our life? Is it awareness of common interests? Maybe it's a combination of all three.
I was SUPER happy to have the gorgeous and oh-so-glowing-with-pregnancy Claire of Claire K Creations pop into my workplace the other day! We've never met before, but have been following each others' personal and blogging journeys for a few years now.
Gorgeous Claire enjoying a cupcake in New York!
Claire is a font of cooking knowledge, and a committed blogger who regularly posts the most mouthwateringly delish recipes and restaurant reviews. We originally tweeted and chatted a bit when I lived in Brisbane, and then shortly after my engagement, we discovered through a few Instagram pics of our wedding invitations, that we were getting married on the exact same day (at the same time)! Claire lives in Brisbane and was getting married on the Sunshine Coast, and I was living all over the shop (a bit in Hervey Bay and a bit in North Brisbane) and getting married in Port Douglas, so we bonded over the mutual stress of planning a destination wedding. We also talked a little about wedding menus, as you can imagine! We also both holidayed back at our wedding destinations for our first anniversary, which I think is a lovely tradition.
Meeting Claire in real life finally was wonderful, and I'm looking forward to catching up with her when I visit Brisbane and enjoying quite a few delicious meals together. Thanks so much for popping in, lovely!
Another now-in-real-life friend that I want to spend more time with is Rachel of Redcliffe Style. I finally met Rachel at a Blog Power event in Brisbane earlier this year, and it was long overdue. I have been following Rach's funny little corner of the internet for yonks now, and am constantly amazed and jealous of the bargains she finds. Oh, and all the day-time heels she wears!
Rachel rocking some amazing bright prints and Red Phoenix accessories.
Which I love.
This surprise package arrived for me (the first non-bill mail that I've received at our new house - yay!) and I couldn't wait to tear into it to find a sweet 'Just Because' card, and a lovely scarf!
Yep, I love when mail arrives addressed to my blog name! The postie must think I'm a bit odd though...
Now, Rachel knows that I have a bit of a scarf 'thing' and by 'thing', I mean that I actually needed multiple packing boxes to pack them all up for the big move. So what on earth she's doing giving me another one begs the question, is she an enabler? Maybe that's the space that Rachel is destined to fill in my life. I'm quite ok with that, just so you know.
I'm sure you all are well aware that when I'm not here blogging (whether the absence is for a day, week or month), it's because I've got nothing much in my head to write about. (That, or I've run out of internet data.)
I'm trying to get my blogging mojo back, because I really do like sharing (or oversharing, according to my parents) here. I read all the blogging-guru-type emails that I'm signed up for, and I cruise Pinterest for WAY too long in a procrastinating funk. Those emails are so blah-dee-blah-blah-boring that I gradually unsubscribe, and I think to myself too often that I just need to write about what I am passionate about. But then I worry that my parents are reading and I am only confirming their worst fears - I am a shallow girl who only gives a damn about coral prettiness. This is just not true. Well, the only part. I am into coral prettiness, but it's the NOT only thing I care about. I'm not as selfish as they think.
I care about doing good things, which is why I am a regular plasma donor at my local blood bank. Plasma is the yellowish fluid in which the rest of the blood (red and white cells, and platelets) are suspended, and it is full of super-important nutrients and clotting factors. Almost three litres of the average adult's five litres of blood is plasma, which means that I don't miss the 700 or so millilitres that the blood bank takes from me! Plasma can be frozen for up to 12 months, and is used to make 18 different blood products which can be used to treat a huge number of different illnesses and conditions, including cancer patients and burn victims.
Little Ivy has an immune deficiency disorder which means that her body can't fight common infections. Ivy receives immunoglobin every three weeks to keep healthy and enjoy life.
I donate plasma every three or four weeks, and it only takes an hour and a half of my day. I tell you now, if you want to feel good about yourself, and have incredibly lovely nurses telling you how awesome you are, book a blood donation appointment right now. I have only ever had amazingly friendly nurses at the blood bank, and they are honestly so happy and thankful that I'm giving my time and my plasma. It's the best kind of charity, and it doesn't even cut into my spending money!
Student Idonette knows about saving lives through her work as a volunteer surf lifesaver. Her own life was saved by 72 blood and platelet donors who helped her recover from leukaemia when she was 13.
I can phone up to postpone because I've been called into work, and the blood bank staff respond with 'Of course, we understand completely Katy, thank you so much for postponing', or if I am running late, I am greeted with 'Oh thank you so much for taking time out of your day, Katy'. There's a strong attitude of gratitude going on at blood banks across the country, and it's really heartening to read all their posters and info about individual people that the donations help. From little children with life-threatening cancers, to young adults who have been horrifically burnt in terrible accidents, to mothers and fathers and grandparents fighting to stay alive to watch their family grow up, it's just so moving.
Tiffany was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2006 but is now healthy and enjoying life thanks to treatments she received as a result of the generosity of Australia's blood donors.
So there you go. I've written about something I'm passionate about (that's not fancy and frilly). That was easier than I expected.
I understand that blood donation isn't for everyone, I really do. But if it's a possibility for you, and there's no big reason you haven't donated, I urge you to try it once. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the whole experience, and at the very least, you'll have helped three people and will leave with a warm fuzzy feeling, and a full belly - the volunteers in the cafeteria section of my local blood bank rarely let me leave without consuming a spinach and cheese roll, a large cookie, a mini Mars bar and big cuppa! (Yes, there's a very good reason I like to schedule my donations for lunch time.)
For more information, head to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website.
Wow. What a week (or month, depending how long you've noticed I've been absent for).
The big news is that we have moved house! BB and I bought a house and have moved in, which is more exciting than I'm making it sound, and a lot more stressful than I ever want to experience again! Thankfully, my husband is a lot more experienced with this sort of thing, and with his love and help, I kept my cool. Thanks also to Peta of Trainee Mama and The Sea and Me Change, who has assisted with regular coffee dates, long exercise strolls along the local beach parks and copious cuddles from her new bub.
I can't wait until everything is unpacked (I estimate the year 2017 sounds about right), and I will finally feel like everything is settled and pretty enough for me to snap some home pics and share them here. In the meantime, here are a few things I'm slightly loving:
The latest SS13 collection from Verily makes me happy - all the bright colours and patterns are gorgeous! All these pics were snapped at the Verily and Bella Lido Designer Pop-up Store launch in Mooloolaba, if you're a Sunny Coast local, pop down to the store in the Peninsula building on Mooloolaba Esplanade - they're open until the 8th of October!
Three of my latest Verily faves (although it's very hard to play favourites)
The jumbo-sized iced mochas at new-ish Buderim coffee house Your Place Espresso. Whilst the coffee is great, and the free WiFi is the business, it does make for awkward text conversations when you say 'See you at your place', and the recipient is thinking... 'Shoot, I'm not ready for guests!"
Statement tees with embellished necklines are fantastic, and my new favourite thing! They're a tee and an accessory in one simple garment, and I'm imagining this soft Sussan number with some crisp white shorts and silver sandals for the easiest cute casual outfit of my Summer!
Next on my to-do list (apart from the unpacking, of course) is to find a fabulous place to hang with Peta on Melbourne Cup Day (she'll be child-free!) and beg or borrow a purple and/or orange fascinator/raceday hat. Any and all suggestions are fully welcome.
What a lovely day. Nothing fancy, but just a really pleasant day. And yes, the weather was pretty perfect.
I went window-shopping with the lovely Peta (of The Sea and Me Change and also Trainee Mama) and her delightful bub, Ned. Little Ned is an absolute dream, and I swear he's grinning all the time - at four weeks old!
Peta is a gorgeous mum, and Ned seems to always be such a happy bub!
She's rocking short shorts and a pretty top like it's nobody's business!
We met for a cuppa and a window shop at the local Homemaker Centre, cruising through Domayne, Harvey Norman and all the outdoor furniture retailers you can imagine. Ned was on pretty good behaviour, and Peta and I caught up on gossip and managed to take selfies in some of the enormous mirrors in Domayne. Note to self: in our next home, sort out a great big selfie mirror, stat!
Shameful quality iPhone selfie - but on the upside, the crisp white and neon citrus bedding I was standing next to matched my shorts perfectly!
Also on my list of pretties: cute cushions, of course!
Sweet vintage print cushions at Global Living Furniture
Classic Tropicana at Global Living Furniture
Whoa Nelly...! That meerkat cushion from Harvey Norman is equal parts creepy and adorable. And paired with those other animal cushions and bedlinen - perfect!
After a snuggle goodbye, and another sit down with Ned, it was time to say goodbye. Fortunately, he was as sad I was, and chucked a minor tantrum when Peta and I started winding things up!
Such a little spunk.
I headed to the local Officeworks to replace a computer monitor which gave up the ghost after only two months, and was slightly concerned that since I couldn't dig up the receipt (it's packed away somewhere) I might be a little stuck.
Never fear, folks! The super-lovely staff at Officeworks actually recognised me from our original purchase back in July, and were more than happy to exchange for a brand-new monitor with my only proof of purchase the online banking credit card statement which I brought up on my phone. Too easy, Campese. Both times we've been to Officeworks for tech-related purchases, we've been mighty impressed with both the staff knowledge, and also their excellent customer service.
As a casual retail worker who has both good days and bad days (like everyone else), I know how easy it can be to not 'switch it on' and really give everything possible in terms of customer service, but it's a pleasure to encounter staff who manage to turn even a normally unpleasant or uncomfortable sale exchange into an enjoyable shopping trip.
And that was my pleasant hump day.