Tag Archives: home

take a deep breath…

I’m enjoying the moments of quiet that have appeared in this busy week. Between shopping at the market, marathon cooking sessions and busily finishing reports before work goes on a break, a few minutes alone with a cup of tea or coffee seems to be perfection.

I’m in love with this beautifully lit up white wreath that seems to just exude a feeling of calm (I keep sneaking a look at the photo to ease myself).

deck the halls

The lead up to Christmas is starting to get excited now – three sleeps to the big day and only one more day of work! Tonight I am enjoying some plum pudding vodka and homemade mince pies while wrapping presents to put under the tree.

I love how beautifully decorated our house becomes at Christmas. We have one giant tree and lots of little trees, with lots of extra wreaths and decorations around the house.

I also received a little parcel in the mail which I am currently ooh-ing and aah-ing over in between wrapping gifts. I ordered some beautiful handmade decorations made with vintage paper, ribbons and fabric. They look so special and remind me of a book I used to read at Christmas, which was full of stories about little girls heading out in the snow in capes and wool muffs, and boys making biscuits in preparation for Santa’s visit. The idea of a vintage white Christmas always sounded so magical to me!

t2 {made to love} christmas

Still trying to choose Christmas presents for your loved ones? Perhaps something from t2‘s collection will catch your eye. Delicious teas and moroccan tea glasses abound, all wrapped up in glimmering gold paper and luxurious velvet ribbons. Sigh.

christmas magazines

I seriously love Christmas. I love giving beautifully wrapped gifts to people and seeing their eyes light up as they see what’s inside. I enjoy all the food that manages to come out for just one month every year. I enjoy decorating the house with glistening ornaments. And I love Christmas magazines because they manage to gather all the joy of the season in one place to give you many more ideas for your celebrations.

About a week ago I bought some new Christmas magazines and now that December is almost upon us I thought I would share some of my favourite images with you. I bought Australian magazines InsideOut and RealLiving, and the British LivingEtc and they are all filled with so much goodness. I’m looking forward to the rest of the Christmas issues hitting the stands!

reading room

I have always loved to sneak off for a quiet read – I remember pretending to be sick a couple of times while I was in primary school because I knew I would be sent to the library for some quiet time. I’m sure my teacher knew that I was lying however she probably figured that if I was reading books it wasn’t very harmful.

I can therefore only imagine how much time I would spend sneaking off to the reading room at Lyn Gardener’s beautiful holiday house in Daylesford. Obviously it would be better if all of the walls were completely covered in books, but I think that the wallpaper is actually quite charming.

Photos from Empire Vintage

anthology magazine

Last night after work I popped into mag nation in the city to pick up the latest magazine releases from around the world. I was most excited for the Christmas magazines that I knew would be hitting the shelves (more on this next week) but I was also keeping my eyes open and my fingers crossed for the newest magazine around, Anthology. Luckily it was on the shelf (thank goodness that mag nation gets so much amazing international stock in store) and I was soon able to get stuck into it on the train ride home.I’m sure that most readers of the design blogosphere would already be well aware of the magazine’s release. Everywhere I look I see another online story about the magazine as so many talented and gorgeous people have been involved in its production. While I’m sure it’s a difficult time to consider the release of a new printed magazine production with the ongoing increase of online media, the crew behind Anthology seems to have hit the mark on this one.

The first issue, Fall 2010, focuses on the slow life, with a sketch (yes, a sketch, not a photo!!) on the front cover featuring a stylish cyclist appearing to weave her way through the city streets. The cover, and the articles within, appear to hint at the idea that it is perfectly ok to feel the need to escape from the busy city world and into a relaxing home filled with loved ones and favourite bits and pieces. The style and editing of the magazine is lovely too – it feels like you are holding a printed version of your favourite, perfectly designed website.

The photos and articles really are about what I want to read in a magazine – delicious food to enjoy with friends, ideas for a stylish but welcoming and comfortable home, and even ways to jazz up your bicycle. More information and beautiful photos are available from anthologymag.com 

What is your favourite way of escaping the busy world around us?

sydney’s shops

So you’ve heard about my favourite food and microbreweries in Sydney, now for the shops! I walked the streets of Sydney hunting for all the one off places which I have heard so much about. Here are my top five shops in the Surry Hills/Paddington/Woollahra area (the Sydney equivalent of Melbourne’s Prahran/Armadale/Toorak).


My first stop was Paper2 on Crown St in Surry Hills. There was a similar range here as the stationery stores of Melbourne, but I still managed to pick up a few things. The Alice in Wonderland stamps and postcard were too cute to resist – I’m obsessed. I thought I would stash some of the polka dot washi tape into my luggage too as I can never find it when I am looking for it.

bakers esence letterpress

Still in Surry Hills is DavidMetNicole, on Cleveland St. I know plenty of people who would refer to this place as a store of junk, but to me it was a treasure trove. Piles and piles of vintage and found items fill this place and you have to squeeze your way around the perimeter of the store to reach the next goodies. I had to restrain myself from picking up too much as I had luggage limits on the plane trip home! I did buy a few small letterpress blocks and an old glass bottle of baker’s essence – the look beautiful sitting on my bookshelf.


Woollahra is home to some great kitchen stores. Donna Hay’s General Store is in an old terrace building overlooking a quiet neighbourhood park in Holdsworth St. Donna Hay is famous for her food styling, and this store has everything you need to make your own baked goodies look great. If you don’t like baking from scratch, there are lovely packet mixes and a cabinet of freshly baked treats to buy in store instead. My favourite purchase from this store was a wire cake cooling rack with love hearts all over it. I also couldn’t resist the cupcake wrappers, mini ceramic bowls, ceramic gift tags and polka dot ribbon!

mermaid cookie cutter polka dot plate

Also in Woollahra is The Bay Tree on Queen St. This store was also full of pretty items for cooking and playing with in the kitchen. There was a big display of cookie cutters but I only let myself choose one – I’ve never seen a mermaid cookie cutter before so that was the lucky one! I bought a tea strainer for long lazy mornings with a big pot of tea and some floral cupcake cases (I know… more cupcakes). I also picked up a big dinner plate with a red and pink polka dot border which I will never use for dinner; instead it will be used for cakes and biscuits (my mum thinks a red velvet cake will look stunning served on it).


Winding up my shopping tour is The Society Inc in Stewart St, Paddington. Sibella Court owns this store and it was just as I had imagined it would be from reading her book. Scratch that – it was better. Two rooms filled to the brim with vintage and found items, all displayed in loving collections with handwritten price tags, and a wall of design and interior books. Sibella regularly changes the theme of her store, and when I walked in I loved the mix of lace, seashells and candles ranging in colour from pale pastels to aged metal, to faded linen, with a few shots of hot pink thrown in for fun. I chose a small piece of old table lace and a bright pink rosette to take home with me – it was so hard to choose!

I love all the little parcels that I brought home with me. I definitely recommend visiting these stores when you are in Sydney if you love buying pretty things for your home.