20 October, 2014

Instagram for dummies // the beginning of my love affair....

Ok, I'll admit it.  I never really understood Instagram...there I said it.  

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Hefe filter as much as the next girl but I didn't really, you know...get it .... and don't get me started on hashtags #zeroclue!  The bigger Instagram got, the less I understood and the further away I stayed ....until recently.

So, I'm a Pinterest girl and along with the rest of you, I like facebook too.  But I get them.  You upload a photo, connect with your family and friends, at home and overseas, you chat, you like. Yup I get it.  

Ohhh Pinterest, my dear Pinterest - I will ALWAYS have a soft spot for you....a place where I can organise all of my favourite web images (with the original weblink), by category of my choice...it's an OCD persons idea of heaven-in-a-website.  I pull out my Pinterest daily; at the hairdresser, the cabinet makers & even the supermarket for ingredients for a new recipe.  Visit my Pinterest boards here

So, back to Instagram.  I started to get a feel for Instagram by jumping in and observing...who am I kidding...I asked A LOT of questions so I'd like to thank my gorgeous friends who helped steer me in the right direction (YES I even understand hashtags and probably use too many!) and kicked off my love affair with Instagram. Check out my Insta-spiration:

Rose Grandile Pizzi - Click to see more or follow her @rosegrandilepizzi

Melissa Rossi - Click to see more or follow her @Melr03

Amy Day - Click to see more or follow her @daisyree

I started seeing my friends gorgeous images, taken with a humble iphone and got inspired.  With the evolution of this blog, I realised that Instagram was an awesome way to connect with the community and my favourite brands with the click of a button and also to get new traffic to my site. But you don't have to have a blog or a shop to enjoy Instagram, there are literally hundreds of communities within Instagram in which you can watch, follow or interact with.

I'll give you two examples

If you go out to breakfast in #freo or #fremantle, then people who search #freo will find your picture. They might be inspired by your granola and maybe visit the @cafeinfreo that you tagged in your post.  If you add the #breakfastinperth, then you may even be featured by @breakfastinperth.

My husband and I often browse this hashtag for inspiration on where to go to breakfast or places to add to the list!  Are you following?

The second example is photo challenges and one of my faves is @fatmumslim
Chantelle Ellem runs this really popular challenge and there is a massive community of people who join in each day.  Basically, to play along you need to upload a picture that fits the theme of the day and add the hastag #fmsphotoaday.  Everyday Chantelle features her Fab Four with kudos to the photographer

So a couple tips before you jump on in:

1. Connect with your favourite brands and celebs: think @Beyonce, @Victoria Beckham, @Country Road @RealLiving Mag 

2. Edit your photos, you'd be surprised the life that the sharpen tool alone can bring to your images

3.  Use free photo editing apps like VSCOcam & Snapseed...dont forget the hastags #vsco #vscocam #vscocamphotos or #vscokids 

4. Forget the filters - i know its tough but somtimes less really is more

5. Forget the random hashtags or keep them to a minimum eg: #ohmygodilovemykidssomuchtheyarethebest

6. Join some communities, here are a couple to browse during your lunchbreak: @nothingisordinary_ @todays_simplicity @lovelysquares

I hope this blog post has inspired you to give Instagram a shot, even if its just to sit back and enjoy the view....you may find a flash sale on your favourite brand or even find a funky new cafe in your area.

Be sure to follow me and I'd love you to share any of your #toptips  Do you have any favourite people to follow? or favourite communities to recommend?

14 September, 2014

Ikea Hack // Kraft Paper Dispenser for under $15

karft paper, ikea hack,

If you know me, you're no doubt aware that I have a slight obsession with kraft paper.  I love its versatility - it can as easily dress up a Christmas present for a 3 year old as it can a present for an 80th.  

This year I have decided to purge all other wrapping papers from my house (a little bit ocd...hey!) and use only kraft paper to wrap my gifts.  I use a variety of tags, labels & stamps to help me add a little bit of personality and to personalise each gift.  Here are a couple examples:

So, as any good obsession of mine goes, I tend to take it to the next level...I've had my eye on this little baby for quite a while.  

It's a kraft paper dispenser from George & Willy and I love it for so many reasons, including:

i)    it holds a HEAP of kraft paper

ii)   I would use it to keep me up to date with all my friends and family birthdays for the month
iii)  it would be a little focal point / art work for my office
iv)  it's matte black...say no more

I was so close to buying it, deciding on a little splurge for my newly renovated office, when I stumbled across some bits & pieces in the curtain department at Ikea and it got my d.i.y juices flowing....

I used the Racka, curtain rod system from Ikea, cut down to size and here is the result.  It is actually perfect as I can adjust it based on the size of the roll of paper that I buy.

So, its not exactly the chic, matte black dispenser from George & Willy but I'm really happy with how it turned out and the $275 change I ended up with in my pocket !

Here are a couple more of my kraft paper favs

1.  Restaurant menu
2.  Disposable table cloth - coming to a party of mine soon !
3   Shopping list - I sometimes pen my shopping list on my paper and then snap a photo of it as I'm running out the door
3.  Hours of entertainment for the kids - young and old

21 August, 2014

Twin Nursery // Jamie & Lucas' Room

My boys are going to turn 4 years old in just over a months time.  This time of year always has me thinking just how quickly the year has flown and how quickly they are growing up.

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew exactly how I wanted my nursery to look and feel, right down to the cot being featured in the middle of the room with a rug to pull it all together and a reading nook in the corner.

Looking back, this suprises me as it was really the first room in the house in which I had a crystal clear vison of how it would turn out.  Its not like I had conciously been thinking about it (with the exception of my cot), it was actually a really natural process.  Before this room became the nursery, I spent hours in here as I am lucky enough to work from home - maybe I had subconciously been planning the whole time?

And then there were two.....We found out at 6 weeks that we were having twins.  Both Paul and I were really excited and took the news in our stride, although apparently my face told a different story (for the first month or so anyway).

So, with all the reminiscing, I thought I'd share Jamie & Lucas' room - hopefully it provides some inspiration if you are about to start planning or redecorating a nursery or kids bedroom.

The reading nook was a really important part of the room design as I was bought up with a reading a book before bed and I really wanted to instill this in my kids bedtime routine.  The chair is actually looking a little worse for wear now and we are about to substitute it with their teepee.

We used the Ribba Picture Ledge from Ikea to create the book shelves.

I had trouble finding a change table as I really wanted one that was front facing with plenty of room for creams, lotions and nappies.

We found this one at Baby Road and loved it as the change table frame can be removed when you're finished with it.  This range is manufactured by a local carpenter for Baby Road and we were able to have it stained to match the colour of the cots.

I got the idea for this DIY Baby Mobile from a friend from my Mother's Group.  

A friend of hers had organised this as an activity at her baby shower - each guest made a different coloured ball for the baby.  I was so excited when I found out that it was handmade that I ran out to my local specialty wool store - who knew?! and made one immediately.  I will share the DIY steps in another post.

Wooden Letters  //  3 for $10

Wooden Ampersand  // try this link for similar options
Vintage Metal Lilliput Robot  //  $11.95

Bunting  // I can't recall where ours was from, but this is similar

Measuring Tape Growth Chart  //  $55.36
Deer Head  //  $60.50

Jamie & Lucas were super lucky to get these vintage cars for their Christening from some gorgeous friends of ours - they now take pride of place in their room. Try here for a similar one.

Lastly, I fell in love with the bed linen from By Nord. Infact, that's a whole other blog post - their collections and asthetic is divine.  

There haven't been many changes to the room in 4 years except, we have removed the change table frame from the dresser and we have converted the Leander Cots to Junior Beds.

This is their first night in a "big" boy bed - that was about a year and a half ago.  This bed comes with an extension kit so we have extended them out.  I think they'll have another year in these beds at least.

If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line...

16 August, 2014

Blu Peter // North Fremantle & Online

Yesterday I accidentally stumbled upon a gorgeous furniture and homewares store in North Fremantle called Blu Peter.  

I was heading to the The Black Truffle Delicatessen & Providore (popping in here is a MUST!) to make up a gourmet gift pack for my Nonna's birthday, when I was stopped in my tracks and lured in for a scurrage around.

I cant remember the last time I was so excited to wander a homewares store - I was literally walking around in a daze, admiring everything and making a mental image of where each item would find itself a home at my house.  

I think it was a combination of the unexpectedness of my find and also the sheer beauty of the range of homewares...  The textures, the muted colour palette, the unexpected pops of colours & the uniqueness of each item.

I went back there today to take another look around and took a few photos to share with you (I'm pretty happy with my photography just quietly):

JuJu Feather Headress  // $720 - I am in LOVE, stay tuned, I am working on the perfect spot for this little baby

Visit Blu Peter at 82 - 84 Stirling Hwy, North Fremantle.  They are open Mon -Sat: 9-5, Sun: 9-1 or shop their online store.  They offer style advice for a single room or a full interiors consult.

12 August, 2014

DIY // How to Install a Picture Wall

My sister and her family have just moved into their gorgeous new Attadale house.  They are starting to decorate & personalise their space and are looking to turn their contemporary blank canvas into a warm & cozy family home. They decided to add a picture wall of the kids into their main hallway and I thought I'd detail the steps taken to achieve this look.

Firstly you need to decide on the look you are after. Use Pinterest as a source of inspiration as there are so many options to suit every asthetic.  My sister knew that she wanted a clean, uniformed & minimalist look so with this in mind, we took the following steps:

Firstly, she started to gather photos (and even hired our photography-enthusiast uncle to take a few snaps) and started to hunt around for the right frames.

To keep inline with her minimalist brief, she chose a simple frame in black that was available in differing sizes.  Her frames are from Target but you can be sure to find something you like at Ikea. I love the versatility of the Ribba Series

The second step is to decide on the size of the area that you want the photos to fill.  To help with this step, we measured out the rough size on the wall and made up a template out of kraft paper.  We hung the template up on the wall to get a visual of the size.  This step was really important for me as I'm a VERY visual person.  

Once satisfied with the size in comparison to the wall, we pulled the template down and started to plot out the frames on the kraft paper.  We started with the corners and worked our way towards the middle, filling the gaps to get the look that she wanted to achieve.  

When we were happy with the layout, we drew around each picture frame, giving each picture a number using a Post-it note.  We wrote the corresponding number onto the template and then hung it back onto the wall to get the placement perfect.  

Now for the tricky part - there were a couple different options that we had seen to get the frames placed correctly onto the wall.  We came up with an idea to use string to form a border using painters tape (to avoid damaging the walls) and also used a level at this stage.

Once the border was up, we removed the template and the next step was to simply start putting the pictures up, using the template and picture numbers as a guide. 

Rather than hammering in 40 odd nails into the brand new wall, we decided to use 3M COMMAND Picture Hanging Strips, which allows for a quick change of picture frame when needed.

We started by placing all the corner pictures up and then worked our way in to the centre.

And.....the finished product, (although she has already tweaked it a few times since this photo was taken...I think she is A Little Bit OCD also).  I think it looks amazing and  it has  really  added a homely feel to this area of the house.

Below is another example of a picture wall that I LOVE.  Rather than hanging each individual picture, it uses a Picture Rail so that the photos can be quickly restyled whenever you feel inspired. I'm loving the frame choice and colour palette of this one.

To get a similar look, pop back to Ikea for the Ribba Picture Ledge.  I've used this Picture Ledge in Jamie & Lucas' room for their picture books...but we'll save that for another day.

04 August, 2014

Lightly Shop // Melbourne & Online

I have been admiring the VI Brass Pendant Light from Lightly for a while now.

I have the perfect spot picked out for it, above my kitchen bench top.  All I need now is for my kitchen renovation to start.....(stay tuned!)   I have a couple other options in mind though, maybe we could take a vote?

VI BRASS Pendant // Sml $292 // Med $425  

If brass isn't your style it is also available in Copper.
Lightly VI COPPER Pendant

Lightly has a great range of contemporary products, here are some of my faves:

01.  MARBLE TRAY  //  $130
02.  SMITH LIGHT // $365
04.  LITTLE RACER  //  on sale $46.40
05.  BRASS DRINKS TRAY  //  $130
06.  OIL BURNER  //  $180 : I have this oil burner, it is divine
08.  TWO-TONED BALLOONS  //  $25 for 6
09.  BRASS SERVERS  //  $30
10.  ROPE LIGHT METALLIC  //  $300

Shop online at Lightly Shop or visit them in Melbourne @ 3 Glasshouse Rd, Collingwood.  They offer FREE shipping Australia wide for orders over $100 and FREE International shipping over $200.

03 August, 2014

My Colour Palette & Design

My colour palette is a simple one.  It's made up of shades of white, black, marble, concrete with a hint of gold and a load of texture.  

I don't tend to decorate with much colour, but lately I am loving bringing in a hint of green with indoor plants.

I love contemporary, minimalist design and styling but I also have a soft spot for Scandinavian, a touch of The Hamptons and Industrial.

I tend to mix it up a little bit, but try to get a cohesive look by sticking to my colour palette.