Best in The Business!

Building, Decor, Home, Styling

It was love at first sight.

The moment i laid eyes the amazing spaces Three Birds Renovations created, i knew I had to work with them. The opportunity arose to be part of their Reno School community and as soon as i signed up, i sunk my teeth so deep into the modules and i was literally swimming with ideas, strategies and a whole lots of interior inspiration…and it came at just the right time, we had started planning our next building project, and i was in need of a little direction and reassurance. Despite this being our third construction project, it was the first time we have decided to take on….HOLD YOUR BREATH….an owner build. Looking back now, i can’t even imagine what we were thinking. Probably something along the lines of

“we’ve built before, surely it cant be that hard

(Insert future Jo’s eye roll and forehead slap). Rookies. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but thankfully The Three Birds did, and the guidance they have provided through the use of their Reno School program has been incredible. A life saver, and a real game changer. You would think that the concepts of renovating and building would be vastly different, but what i have come to realise is that the planning and preparation is so similar. Despite this being a ‘renovation’ guide, it REALLY works for a new build to. The modules within the program include the areas of planning, finding the right trades, and planning stunning interiors, kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. They also offer advice on how to transform the exterior of your home as well. No stone is left un-turned!

And then this happened….Meeting the Three Birds Renovations girls was beyond fabulous. They are as down to Earth, helpful and as gorgeous in person as you could imagine they would be. During their guest appearance at the Sydney Home Show, they spoke candidly about their work and offered tips and tricks to bringing your dreams to life. I only had one question for them:

“How do you convince you builder…AKA husband…that white everything is a good idea?”

Thankfully Dave was with me at the time, and heard it straight from the source.

“It just is. It always is. Trust in your wife, she knows what she is doing.”

THANKS BONNIE!

I’m not going to lie and say that this piece of advice has avoided further arguments, but I can tell you that line is used over and over again when Dave tries to take the reigns on the design front! They reminded me to go with my gut instinct on design and to follow with my heart. That our home is our sanctuary and it needs to be a place we fall in love with over and over again when we wake up each morning.

So if you’re not sure where to start on your building or renovating journey, i can not recommend highly enough The Reno School by the Three Birds Renovations. You’ll find their content informative while also thoroughly enjoyable. They also offer amazing discounts to their tribe which can really save you a bundle. Their online videos make you feel as though you are a part of their design conversation and also offer plenty of laughs in what can be a really stressful experience.

I’d like to personally thank these amazing women for being so open in sharing their knowledge and advice and for letting me be a part of it. And also for giving me a little ammunition in the ‘creative discussions’ (that’s a nice way of putting it, right?) that i have with my husband when I inform him of my next design choice!

I owe you one girls…!

I can’t wait to share my spaces with you a they are brought to life. Make sure you are following along over on my design page, @dreaminginteriors to keep up to date with all the progress – wont be long now!

If you’re currently building, about to build, want to build, plan to build in the future, want to reno your current house, have a reno project you’d love to tackle, or are even slightly interested in any of the above, you HAVE to pop over and check out The Three Birds Reno School. Click HERE to find the answer to ALL of your questions!

Picking your Perfect Flooring – The Pros and Cons

Building, Styling

Picking a flooring can be a really confusing experience. There are so many different options out there and your decision shouldn’t only be based around how it looks. How if feels, its durability and how easy it is to clean are all important factors to consider when selecting a flooring option that suits you best. And, like everything, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach…you really need to think about your lifestyle and your style preferences to get this right. THINK ABOUT YOUR VISION! I’m going to help you through what is available and the pros and cons of these choices. Come on boots, let’s get walking’!

Please excuse me while I wipe away my drool. This has got to be the ultimate in terms of looks when it comes to flooring. You can’t beat the feel and the sound of genuine timber flooring. And don’t even get me started if it is original timber flooring in a Reno project…..GOALS! But there are certainly some points to consider before hammering this one home.

ProsCons
Genuine beauty – you can’t beat the look! It brings so much warmth and character to your homeCost to install is higher than other flooring options, but once installed and with the proper maintenance, it can last a lifetime
Hugh variety of colours available and you can also stain later on down the track to change the lookCan be affected by humidity and fluctuations in temperature – may swell in cool, damp weather and shrink in warm and dry conditions
Relatively easy to clean by sweeping or vacuuming and mopping with the correct equipmentMore prone to termite attacks than other flooring options
Non-toxic, organic, allergy friendly and does not tend to trap unpleasant odours Can be damaged by excessive water and harsh detergents and therefore not recommended for all the areas in your home eg. kitchens and bathrooms
Adds value to your homeProne to dents, stains and scratches
Environmentally sustainableCan be noisy, especially when installing on multiple story homes

Vinyl planks have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market. It’s a great option due to its cost, versatility, durability and visual appearance. There are some really luxurious options available that can look and feel really high end…but without the price tag of hardwood timber flooring.

ProsCons
Cost effective and tends to be cheaper than many other flooring optionsEasily damaged by sharp or heavy furniture and objects or punctured by something like a falling knife
Comfortable due to it’s foam underlayTough to remove if renovating or replacing
Quieter than timberDoes not add value to your property like hardwood timber flooring
Easy to maintain through regular sweeping and moppingSome vinyls can dent if a heavy object is dropped on them
Waterproof and can be installed all over the house including the kitchen and bathroomNot environmentally sustainable
Visually appealing as it can easily mimic genuine timber flooringCan sometimes be difficult to install – highly recommended to have a professional install this type of flooring
Stain resistant as spills can be easily wiped with a cloth

Bamboo is extremely eco-friendly and cost effective as a flooring option. It can add warmth, character and beauty to your home.

ProsCons
Lots of colour varieties availableThinner than hardwood and therefore can be quite cold.
Much more cost effective than timber hardwood flooringSome bamboo flooring can be produced using toxic glues – be sure to check
Can be used in damp climates where hardwood floors would not be recommendedSusceptible to scratching and scuff marks over time. Can also be damaged and discoloured by sunlight – you may need to move your furniture to prevent discolouration
Highly environmentally sustainableBeing a natural material, too much moisture can cause warping, discolouration and growth of mould. Excessive and continued water can cause bamboo to swell and weaken
Easy maintenance and durable if sealed twice a yearSensitive to humidity and can swell and shrink

This is the product I get most excited about, because it is what we have chosen to install in our last two properties. Our flooring is the Quick Step Impressive Ultra and is BEYOND amazing. While our flooring is premium in both quality and cost (going top of the range always is), there are lots of different laminate options across the board that come with lots of different price tags. Timber laminate flooring is made from composite wood pressed together and can be more cost effective than hardwood flooring. It can also be quite easy to install if you have a little experience…Dave and I have installed our own flooring on the past two builds, however Dave is highly experienced in construction. You’ll need to discuss and research this yourself.

ProsCons
Waterproof options make this suitable for every room in the home, including kitchens and bathrooms.Not all finishes are waterproof – discuss this with supplier
Click system prevents dust and dirt gathering between the boardsCan not be sanded and re-finnished to give a new appearance like timber hardwood flooring
Can be placed on top of underfloor heating systems when installed correctlyLike all products, they vary from one manufacturer to another. Do your research on product reviews
Solid, pleasant soundPattern repetition occurs, as there are generally 5-10 different patterns in the boards when manufactured
Extremely strong, hardwearing and durable and very difficult to scratchAs with other products, a small number of chemical sensitive individual may have reactions to the glues ad resins used in the flooring. Do your research!
Will not stain like other flooring options
Keeps original colour even when exposed to sunlight
Easy to maintain and clean
Allergy friendly
Quick and easy to install – no need for glue, mortar or nails
Huge variety of colours and finishes – from timber look to natural stone and concrete look finishes.
Warmer to the touch than other flooring such as bamboo and vinyl planks.
Variety of different thicknesses

Engineered flooring is a great alternative to timber hardwood flooring, because it basically IS timber flooring…it is just strategically manufactured to give optimal performance. It’s made up of three layers: a protected lacquered hardwood top, plantation grown core, and a pine back.

ProsCons
Authentic look and feel due to the fact that is is made of 100% timberWhile it is cheaper than hardwood flooring, it is more expensive than the other flooring choices
More stable in high-humidity environmentsDifferent manufactures have different quality standards. Do your research to get top quality!
More environmentally sustainable than hardwood flooringSome engineered planks can sound hollow – research different thicknesses for their sound and quality
More affordable than hardwood timber flooringEngineered wood is made with adhesives and resins, some of which can give off harmful gases. Research which is the best for you.

This products has been described as the best of both worlds. It is durable and strong like laminate, whilst also giving the soft and luxurious look of vinyl planks.

ProsCons
Superior scratch resistanceCan be dearer than some other floors
Easy maintenance and cleaningLooks like timber, but doesn’t feel like it
100% waterproof
Can handle huge difference in humidity

Tiling was the most poplar choice in flooring until technology came along and reinvented timber flooring and their look alike friends. However, because of the different features of tiles, they are still an excellent choice for flooring throughout the home and in particular in bathrooms, laundries and splash backs.

ProsCons
So easy to maintain and cleanBecause they are so hard, they often break whatever falls on them
Glazed tiles are 100% water resistantGrout can become discoloured and stand due to mildew
Extremely durable Ceramic, porcelain and mosaic are able to handle high amounts of traffic.In cooler months, tiles can be really cold
Temperature and chemical resistant so they do not corrode when exposed to chemicals or extreme weatherNeeds a professional to install
Hygienic and inhibit viruses, mould and fungi from growing
Environmentally friendly when made from clay and raw materials like ceramic tiles
Diverse and affordable so can suit anyone and everyone’s preferences

Such a statement, polished concrete is one of those products that you either love or loathe. They are suited beautifully to minimal, modern and industrial style homes. They are making a real come back onto the design market, so here is what you need to know about polished concrete…

ProsCons
Extremely durableCan be very, very cold in winter and can retain heat in summer
Flood and fire resistantNot suitable for homes that lack sunlight – sunlight is needed to heat the concrete slab
Ideal for high traffic areasExpensive – they sit at a similar price point to timber hardwood flooring
Easy to clean and super hygienicCreating an amazing aggregate, quarts and coloured polish can be very expensive
Can be rebuffed to reshine when it becomes a little dull from wear and tearCan be very hard, especially when standing on for periods of time eg. cooking in the kitchen or when little ones fall over
Can incorporate underfloor heating into polished concrete flooring (needs to be discussed and approved during planning stages)Cracks may appear due to the house settling over time
Can be installed to use for so many different surfaces eg. flooring, kitchen benches, vanities, stairs, etcWill show more dust due to the gloss effect
Can be poured on site, so is made to suit your space. For this reason, it is made to measure and will not show join lines like many other products willMay show scratches, however this depends on the sealer that is used. Different sealers have different pros and cons – so do your research on this too!
Ideal for those who suffer from allergies
Available in a wide variety of colours, aggregates and finishes
Can create a seamless finish from indoors to outdoors

Phew! So there you go…..there is so much information for you to digest! I tend to find that clients have a preference for a timber/timber look, tile or polished concrete depending on the style of home they are going for and the vision and mood they want to create when they step foot through the door.

Remember, do what works for you, weigh up all your options and enjoy sliding those feet out of bed in the morning and landing those tootsies on your floor of choice!

If you have any questions, I am always here to help! Contact me through the ‘Contact Us’ page, or alternatively, send me a DM on Instagram. Either way I will be sure to get back to you with whatever info I can offer.

Much love,

Beautiful Laundry Hampers

Decor, Styling

Making the mundane beautiful, a laundry hamper is a simple way to breathe a bit of life into the laundry, bathroom or bedroom where clothes need to be collected. They don’t need to be expensive, but I tell you what, these beauties below sure do beat the old ‘plastic fantastics’. Made from a variety of fabrics and materials including linens, wicker, sea grass and hyacinth, they add warmth and texture to your space. This extensive list also includes a variety of different options to suit your lifestyle, whether you prefer solid hampers, baskets or laundry bags, there is sure to be something here that will work for you.

The laundry hampers below work to different price points as well. Some ranging from extremely affordable, mid-range, right up to the high end luxury hampers. There is something here for everyone’s budget.

I’ve curated my top picks below when it come to adding a bit of style and luxury into your laundry hampers. Each link is clickable, so feel free to do a little online shopping, and be sure to pop back here (or on Instagram) to let me know what you think!

I hope you are able to find something you love. Because home should be the one place you never want to leave.

Much love,

Top 10 Coffee Table Books

Decor, Styling

It’s a fact – I am obsessed with books, especially as styling pieces. They’re the perfect way to polish off your decor and I believe that they help to tell a story in your space. It is important to have a mixture of books, wether it is high fashion, interior design, travel, architecture or gardening. Find the ones that set your soul on fire and help to define your tastes and interests.

The wonderful thing about books as decor pieces, is that you can style them in SO MANY different ways. Sitting down, standing up, within beautiful book ends, spines showing, spines hiding, decor pieces on top, decor pieces beside….the possibilities are literally endless and each different way brings a new life to your space.

I’ve popped my top 10 interior styling coffee table books below, with direct links to where you can find them.

1. Tom Ford

One of fashions greatest icons, Tom Ford transformed Gucci from a stagnant accessories label into one of the sexiest fashion brands in the world. His designs have increased Gucci sales astronomically and has helped transform and build the brand into the luxury goods conglomerate it is today.

Available to purchase through Hampton Lane

2. Simplicity

Nancy Braithwaite

Interior designer Nancy Braithwaite’s long-awaited first book is a striking tutorial in the power of simplicity in design. In the world of interior design, Nancy Braithwaite is known for her single-minded devotion to the principle that has guided her work for more than forty years: simplicity. Braithwaite’s work is luxuriously minimalist, its beauty inextricably tied to its Shaker-like purity.

Available at Provincial Home Living

3. French Country Cottage

Courtney Allison

A romantic interpretation of French country style in a California cottage. With beautiful photography and tale about a little forgotten house that could, Courtney shares the story of her renovation of a 1940’s cottage in the California countryside. An abandoned vacation house, set in the center of rolling fields and trees becomes the cottage home of her dreams . . . a French country style cottage filled with original elements and an exquisite mix of rustic and refined. 

Available for purchase at Booktopia

4. Ballerina Project

Dane Shitagi

With over one million followers on Instagram, Ballerina Project has the largest network of followers in the world for ballet and has become an online phenomenon. Created by New York City-based photographer Dane Shitagi over the span of eighteen years, Ballerina Project has become the most significant, unique, and creative photographic archive of renowned ballerinas in the world. 

The artistry, strength, and dedication of over fifty accomplished ballerinas are beautifully captured here with over 170 inspiring photographs in both black-and-white and full color. Iconic locations across the globe including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, London, Rome, and Paris create a timeless backdrop to these remarkable portraits.

Available through Booktopia

5. The Game Changers

Samantha Brett & Steph Adams

The path to success is rarely straightforward. However, with more female trailblazers out there than ever before, achieving their career goals in the worlds of business, entertainment, fashion, politics and beyond, the game is being changed forever.

Journalist Samantha Brett and editor and art director Steph Adams have spent more than two decades between them interviewing and profiling some of the most inspiring and successful women in the world. They quickly realised that these women had a few distinct qualities in common- they are fearless in their pursuits and unafraid to go after what they want, and they do not let fear of failure stop them.

Available to purchase through Amazon

6. Dior: Catwalk

Alexander Fury

Dior: Catwalk is the first comprehensive overview of the legendary house of Dior, featuring more than 180 collections presented through original catwalk photography.

Every haute couture collection is represented inside, as are ready-to-wear collections from the arrival of John Galliano onwards. Complete with an introduction and designer profiles by Alexander Fury, Dior: Catwalk offers a unique opportunity to chart the development of one of the most influential and luxurious fashion brands of all time and discover rarely seen creations.

Boasting more than 1,100 images, Dior: Catwalk is a treasure trove of inspiration and a must-have for all Dior fans.

Available to purchase through Peters of Kensington

7. Peonies

Georgianna Lane

Peonies have always been a favourite with gardeners and cut-flower fans alike, but in 2016 their popularity went beyond bridal bouquets as the blooms took over social media – their gramming power was so huge this year that by May, Elle UK had already crowned the flowers as ‘The New Avocado’.

First outlining the history of the peony, Peonies is then split into chapters Pure, Dramatic, Romantic and Fragrant, and includes over 50 beautiful varieties as well as detailing when they bloom, their size, and, of course, what they’ll look like. From Shawnee Chief to Sarah Bernhardt, you’ll discover an eclectic selection of specimens from those that have the best visual appearance to those with the most fragrant perfume. The final section, Growing and Care, outlines those varieties which are easiest to grow and which produce the best flowers for cutting.

With contemporary commentary on each bloom, easy-to-follow advice and glorious photography, this book will appeal to everyone who appreciates the beauty of the majestic peony.

Available to purchase through Amazon

8. Homebody

Joanna Gaines

#1 New York Times Bestseller – In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts as well as your likes and dislikes with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style.

Room by room Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

Available to purchase through Target

9. Paris

Serge Remelli

Paris… so familiar and yet surprising. In pastel shades and dazzling details like the palette of French Impressionism, Serge Ramelli presents a unique and personal photo homage to the City of Lights. With romance and history in her blood, Paris shows her tender side as never seen before.

Only Paris offers the inimitable stage that can turn every photo into a film still. In its architectural splendour, its wealth of churches, palaces, parks, and grand boulevards, the city is peerless in its beauty and allure. Add to that a long, rich, and influential history, and this coveted capital is art in its purest form.

From the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, to Montmartre and Saint-Germain-des-Pres – the traces of painters and photographers and echoes of actors and movie directors can be found all over the city. In this exquisite Paris photo book, Serge Ramelli pays tribute to this unique legacy of art and culture, capturing the city’s poetic flair. As in vintage postcards, with glowing street lights or only certain details in colour in a black and white panorama, Ramelli accentuates particular picture elements to create a modern, 3D effect, while retaining a close connection to Parisian history.

Available to purchase through Booktopia

10. Paul Bangay: Small Garden Design

Paul Bangay

Paul Bangay is renowned for the expansive and elegant gardens with classical lines and symmetrical plantings that he has created in Australia and all over the world. Yet gardens on this grand scale are not accessible to everyone. With more of us living in apartments, townhouses and terraces, our gardens are now being squeezed into small spaces such as balconies, courtyards, lightwells or rooftops – and this makes for challenging garden design.

Available to purchase at Provincial Home Living

I hope you’ve managed to find something that you can see working in your home. If you’d like to see more styling and decor tips, be sure to sign up to my newsletter, I promise that you’ll only receive the good stuff! Sign up below!

Much love,

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Entryway Reveal

Building, Styling

As I step foot inside the door, I immediately feel calm. I feel safe. I feel joy. Within these walls we laugh, we dance and we slide down the hallway in our socks. We are 100% ourselves and I would never ever want it any other way.

Our entryway is made up of a few spaces, each of them with their own purpose and each of them I love equally because they work together to welcome us home.

I love bright, white and fresh interiors, so knew that the interior of our home would be predominantly white. White walls and white ceilings with a few pops of interest here and there. During the planning stages of our home, I informed (read: warned) Dave that we would be having timber mould panelling EVERYWHERE. I am sure he thought I was either joking, or that I would grow out of the idea. I can tell you that neither will ever happen. I take my moulding very seriously and it’s possibly one of my favourite design features that help to bring texture and character to a space. Believe it or not, we’ve actually added more to our home since we moved in! Being such a white space, I was looking for ways to bring warmth and interest to our entryway. I chose to install Shiplap on the ceiling (also known as VJ panelling). I love the way it draws your eye upwards. We’re planning to install some gorgeous feature lighting in the hallway, but i just haven’t found EXACTLY what I am looking for in Australia yet. Another little project to look forward to creating later on down the track.

Our hallway leads down to the part of our house that we call the ‘entryway’ – even though technically it all is. This space has changed in the 4 months we have been in our home….and probably the space that has changed the most dramatically! I never, in a million years thought that I would be painting any wall in our home black…..but it happened. And I LOVE it! It has added real depth, mood and a touch of luxe. Another thing I love is the gorgeous stone bench. Originally we were going to have a piece of stone floating between the two walls, but I am delighted that we went with the downwards return (also, the stone floating was ridiculously heavy and we would have needed brackets, really taking away from the look we were trying to achieve). The gorgeous stone legs add another view of our stunning EssaStone Calacutta, and I couldn’t be more obsessed with it. I love that it can be styled as either a welcoming space, or that it can also be used as a quiet little study nook and a place of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home. We popped some power there too to charge laptops and power lamps if we want to change it to a study nook. The versatility of this space is going to be great down the track. But for now, it’s just a peaceful and welcoming space as we enter the home.

…and can we all stop for a moment to appreciate that exterior pendant? It’s a little (big) showstopper, and I adore it. As soon as I saw this style, it was love at first sight. I have another of this pendant featured somewhere else in our home…can you guess where?

As you would have expected, we have used the same floors throughout all of the home. And we used them all through the last build. Yep – we are obsessed. The quality is BEYOND and their durability will rival any other flooring. Not to mention that colour. *smitten*.

Throughout our designing, planning and building stages, I asked you, my beautiful Insta Fam, what colour door you thought we would go with, and a majority of you said pink…UNDERSTANDABLY! And to tell you the truth, I really did have my heart set on it. But I asked Dave how he would feel about being the guy who lived in the house with the pink door. He thought about it for a bit and said he was ok with it….but I could tell he wasn’t 100% keen. Completely fair. We decided to choose another colour together and used a lot of inspiration from our last trip to Paris. We had light blues and forest greens picked out and didn’t totally love them. Black was the one colour that we really loved – and I am so glad we went with it – it really makes the brass finished POP!

Speaking of the door and the brass finishes (excuse me while I wipe away my drool), do you remember the struggles I had trying to find a brass door handle?! I searched high and I searched low. I trawled the internet and looked in all the hardware shops both local and in Sydney. And none of them were quite right….you know how fussy I am about these kinds of things. They were either too orange in their brass, or not the right style. But when I found these, they were meant to be. So happy that we could make them work on the exterior and in the interior of the door. The other brass accents including the bell, dummy door knocker and kick plate just work together to finish it off.

And then there is the actual door itself….it’s a beauty! It’s gorgeous and is from Corinthian Doors. We knew we wanted something traditional to really support the exterior architectural moulding and painted brick finish, and this was the only door from the beginning. In previous houses we had chosen pivot doors which were a LOAD more expensive, just for the way that they close. Having had one house previously with a pivot door, and one without, we really couldn’t justify the expense of them and decided to invest the money somewhere else. And it’s not a decision we’ve ever regretted. If you’re looking for great quality and beautifully solid doors, I can 100% recommend Corinthian Doors.

I hope you have enjoyed this little welcome to our home. If you have any questions about anything, you are always welcome to leave a comment below or send me a quick email through the Contact Us page. Be sure to sign up to become an email subscriber here…my subscriber recieve all the goods before anyone else…and more!

Thanks for joining me – I cant wait to bring you the next room reveal!

Front Door – Corinthian Doors

Tiles – Beaumont Tiles

Fiddle Leaf Fig – Pillow Talk

Doormat – Pillow Talk

Architectural Moulding – Mould It

Light – Beacon Lighting

Stone – EssaStone

Flooring – Quick Step

Mug – Cristina Re

Brass Pendant – Canalside Interiors

Healthy Porridge

food

It’s no secret, I am a HUGE fan of breakfast. So much so, that I sometimes over indulge a little….which is why I find it important to have healthy options at breakfast. (When I say over indulge, I honestly mean that. When I was a kid, I used to eat 6 WheetBix every morning for breakfast. NO JOKE! Ask my Mum. And that was during the week when we would be rushing out the door for school. On the weekend when I had more time and could REALLY sit and enjoy my breakfast, I used to polish of 10 or 12! I still can’t believe it myself. I haven’t tried it again as an adult to see how many I can eat….might add that the the list of things to accomplish now that I am a grown up and obviously make really mature decisions…..)

When it comes to healthy breakfasts, it doesn’t get any better than my Healthy Porridge! Quick and easy….and it is SO good for you!

I’ll pop the recipe below, scroll down and check it out. Make sure you let me know what you think of it when you try it – i’d love to hear your thoughts!

1/4 cup rolled oats (i use quick oats)

1/2 green pear (cut into small pieces)

60g raspberries

2/3 cup almond milk (or skim milk etc)

1 teaspoon maple syrup

2 drops vanilla essence

pinch ground cinnamon

  1. Pour milk and rolled oats into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Add in chopped pear and raspberries.
  3. Allow to simmer until they have reached your desired consistency. (I like mine quite thick and chunky. If you prefer runny porridge, you may have to add more almond milk).
  4. Remove fro the heat. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Stir.
  5. Scoop into a bowl and add a drizzle of maple syrup.
  6. As an extra you can add dates or walnuts for a little somethin’ somethin’.
  7. Enjoy!

Hope you love!

Remember to tag me in your Insta Stories when you make it!

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10 Top Tips To Make Your Home Smell Amazing!

Lifestyle

This week on my Instagram stories, I shared with you my top tips for making my house smell amazing. Use one, or all of these tips, and you’ll be ready to welcome anyone into your home at any time, without having to do the mad dash around to rooms spraying like mad, ultimately knocking your guests off their feet with an overpowering waft of whatever it was you could grab first.

To make things easier, I’ve found one products that you can use for all of thee 10 hacks. I’ve recently discovered a brand called Mask Co. and they are a game changer! They have these amazing air fresheners in the most gorgeous scents. All you need is just one spray in the right spot, and your house smells gorg for days to come.

Ok here we go….my top tips for making your home smell long lastingly fresh!

  1. One spray on the inside of your toilet roll. The scent will last as long as the toilet roll does.
  2. Spray the bottom of your vacuum cleaner. When you vacuum, your rooms will be filled with your favourite scent.
  3. Reed diffuser has run out? Refill with a Mask Co. air freshener and it will do the same job!
  4. One spray in your fake flowers – have them smelling like the real deal!
  5. spray a dryer sheet with your fave Mask Co. fragrance, and pop it inside your cushions. They’ll release a gorgeous scent each time you fluff them up.
  6. Spray onto your return air vent – when the air sucks back through, it will bring a gorgeous scent with it and pump it through to the rest of your home.
  7. Spray onto cotton balls and pop them into the pockets of your clothes in your wardrobe. It will make the whole place smell incredible!
  8. Spray the inside of your tissue box. Every time you pull out a tissue, you’ll release a fresh puff of beautiful fragrance into the air.
  9. One spay onto your mattress when you make your bed with fresh sheets.

and my personal favourite….

10. Spray onto the self adhesive pads (you know the ones you would normally stick to the bottom of your chair legs to stop them from scratching the floor?) and stick them in those odor collector areas e.g. inside your bin lid, to the inside of your kitchen drawers, to the inside of your clothes drawers, inside your shoe storage, wardrobes, recycling bins, laundry hampers.

To browse their gorgeous collection, head straight to Mask Co. here . I’ve snagged a cheeky little discount code for you too, enter dreaming10 at the checkout for 10% off your purchase. Winning!

I hope these little hacks have given you some ideas to use around your home to make them smell amazing! If you have any more, i would LOVE to hear from you – leave them in the comments below!

Chocolate Eclairs

Lifestyle

If you had told me a few months ago that I would be baking bread and chocolate eclair’s from scratch, I would have literally laughed out loud. I was barely able to make a packet cake. But I persisted because I saw the joy it brought to my little girl and the pride she showed when ringing Nanny to tell her what she had made that day. I also cherish the precious time that we spent together, learning new things, which has definitely spurred me on to keep going and try different recipes.

So here we are, a few short months later, and we are whipping up CHOCOLATE ECLAIR’S!

Blow me down with a feather!

But can I say, that from our very first TuesBAKE, where we made simple (but delicious) packet cupcakes, we’ve gained confidence with each new recipe…and tried out so many different techniques. It’s been so fun!

So this week, I bring you a delicious and SIMPLE Chocolate Eclair recipe that was shared with us by one of Dave’s sisters in Ireland. Irish women would have to be some of the best home cooks in the world, with their hearty and delicious home cooked meals, deserts and afternoon tea’s, so I knew this recipe would be worth having a crack at.

My one piece of advice would be to find some ‘strong’ flour. I’ve come to realise that we have such a thing as ‘bakers flour’ in Australia and I am looking forward to baking this again with the right flour. Apparently it gives a stronger and firmer ‘rise’ to your pastries. I am sure that you’d be able to find this in a reliable supermarket or produce store.

As always, I’d love to see you trying out the recipe’s I share, so remember to tag me in your Instagram posts or stories! I’ll come along and cheer you on! Happy TuesBAKE, lovers!

P.S. before dinner we had 6 eclairs. We now have……NONE!…..whoops…!

Eclair Dough:

65g white bakers flour

150ml water

50g cooking margarine

Pinch of salt

2 eggs (beaten)

To Decorate:

Whipped cream

50g chocolate melted with

25g margarine

  1. Preheat oven to 200*C and grease a flat baking tray.
  2. Place water and margarine in a saucepan over a low heat until margarine melts.
  3. Bring to a brisk boil.
  4. Reduce heat and add sieved flour and salt.
  5. Stir briskly until mixture forms a soft dough and leaves the sides of the saucepan.
  6. Add the eggs gradually and beat until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  7. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle.
  8. Pipe 10cm lengths of mixture well spaced onto the prepared tray. If piping bag is not available, just spoon mixture onto tray.
  9. bake for approx 20mins until well risen and golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and sit along one side. Cool on wire tray.
  11. When cold, fill with whipped cream and spread with chocolate on top.

Hope you love!

Remember to tag me in your Insta Stories when you make it!

Mood Board Monday – Elegant Entryway

Styling

Welcome to this weeks Mood Board Monday, Elegant Entryway! I decided to do things a little differently this week, and boy has it been fun! Rather than you guys choosing the space and me creating it to my style, I wanted you guys to take the lead on this one! Thank you to everyone who responded to my stories today and sent through a piece of furniture, a rug, an artwork or a gorgeous decor piece. You guys have amaaaaaazing taste! (Let’s be real, I’m not even surprised!)

SO – the piece i chose to work with was one of the first that came through and it COMPLETELY knocked my socks off! It was beautiful, elegant and so versatile. The gorgeous Insta Pal (you know I HATE the term followers!) who sent this trough wanted to see it styled in an entry way, and boy would this space look SENTATIONAL brought to life. The piece she sent through was a gorgeous Fenton & Fenton blush bone inlay console table. I’ve popped it below so you can see what I was given to work with. Isn’t she a beauty?!

This whole Mood Board Design took me just under an hour, that console gave me so much inspiration! You know that I am a massive fan of the texture and character that timber moulding gives, so it was a no brainer that that entryway included the elegance that it provides.

You know I am a MASSIVE fan of beaded chandeliers, so this gorgeous Elok chandelier was my first choice. I love the curved lines in this lighting fixture that compliment the arches in the beautiful mirror that rests on the console. As it would be located in the entryway, this console needed a beautiful little trinket tray to catch your keys and sunglasses when you walk through the door. And you know that I can’t go past a marble tray, especially one adorned with that brass trim….(drool factor!)

Just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it can’t be practical as well, so this chic little blush Black mango chair and basket from Ollie Ella are in the entryway for you to be able to sit down, take your shoes off and pop them into the basket out of the way. what a gorgeous rug to land your feet on, while also being ridiculously practical. Did you know Jute rugs are one of the best wearing rugs, while also being environmentally friendly? Win…and win!

And hey….what’s a solo chair without a gorgeous print sitting above it? And this one from The Paper Collective has been on my list of perfect prints to use FOR EVER and it was worth the wait, it just ties everything altogether here. So here she is, and all of her elegant glory. What do you think?

Listed below are the individual pieces used which have been put together to create this stunning Elegant Entryway. These pieces are linked straight to the business websites, so click on through to check them out!

Console – Fenton & Fenton

Tray – Coco Republic

Rug – Miss Amara Jute rug

Flooring – Quick Step Impressive Ultra Soft Oak Light

Basket – Ollie Ella stocked at Norsu

Chair – Black Mango

Artwork – Paper Collective

Chandelier – Elok

Mirror – Temple & Webster

Cherry Blossom Flowers – Pottery Barn

Hope you found a little bit of inspiration from this gorgeous Mood Board Monday. I’m already looking forward to creating next weeks design. Make sure you vote on my Insta stories what you would like to see me create next!

Much Love,

Choc Chip Muffins

Lifestyle

Hands down, this is the most delicious muffin recipe I’ve ever cooked with! (you know I do a lot of packet mixes, so I don’t have a whole lot to compare to….but if this is what happens when you cook from scratch, then i am converted!) I might not be a world renowned chef, but this is beyond delicious and you’ve asked for the recipe…so here it it! Make sure you let me know what you think of it when you try it – i’d love to hear your thoughts!

3 cups (375g) plain flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs (room temperature)

1/3 (80g) cup sour cream (room temperature)

1 cup (200g) sugar

1 cup (240ml) milk

1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil

1/3 cup (80g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 cups (270g) chocolate chips (mixture of white and milk)

sugar for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 220*C. Generously grease a jumbo 6-muffin pan with butter or non-stick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs, sour cream and sugar together until combined. Then whisk the milk, oil, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together gently. Avoid over mixing (should take approximately 20 folds). The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter among prepared muffin pan, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle with sugar (this will make them extra crunchy). Bake at 220* for 5 minutes, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 175*C and continue to bake for 25 minutes until the tops are light golden brown and centers are set.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing and serving.
  6. Cover leftover muffins and store at room temperature for 5 days or in the fridge for 1 week. Muffins freeze well for up to 3 months. Than in the fridge on on your bench.

This recipe was derived from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The original version can be found here

Hope you love!

Remember to tag me in your Insta Stories when you make it!

Mood Board Monday – Black Beauty Bathroom

Styling

Welcome to this weeks Mood Board Monday, Beautiful Bathroom style! It’s an absolute beauty this week, a Black Beauty to be exact. A little different to my usual neutral white style, but I’m absolutely LOVING it! And of course, with anything I do, you’ll always find that little pop of blush! So scroll on down and check out all of the pretty little details!

As usual, I’ve linked all the products below, happy shopping!

Listed below are the individual pieces used which have been put together to create this stunning Black Beauty bathroom. These pieces are linked straight to the business websites, so click on through to check them out!

Tiles – Beaumont Tiles

Concrete Basin – Nood Co.

Tapware – ABI Interiors

Robe Hook – ABI Interiors

Handles – Lo & Co Interiors

Vanity – The Blue Space

Towels – Adairs

Mirror – West Elm

Chandelier – Restoration Hardware

Hope you found a little bit of inspiration from this gorgeous Mood Board Monday. I’m already looking forward to creating next weeks design. Make sure you vote on my Insta stories what you would like to see me create next!

Much Love,