Ok girlfriends, I’m rocking my Mum-Bun so you know it’s business time.
Getting changed this many times in ONE hour (let alone one WEEK lol) was hard work, plus filming myself trying to model clothes in my lounge is excruciating – so you better love this video okay?
Seriously though, The Warehouse has put together another really easy-to-wear and accessible range this season which makes me excited about throwing some layers together and getting a bit of texture going on!
I went out on a limb and picked some items I usually wouldn’t look twice at – like that blush cami?! Amaze, will go with everything, plus the Midi dress and Longline shirt – super easy to see how these will slip into my mum-wardrobe over the coming months.
Pro-Tip: Shop across the various ranges to put together a fresh, new look for the season ahead.
Check out the vlog to see these pieces in action, I’ve popped full shopping links below as well as details on how you can win a $50 gift card to get your shop on at The Warehouse!
I know there’s something in that stellar line-up that’s calling your name. Tell me below what your wardrobe needs as we head into the cooler months and you’re in the draw to win a $50 gift card to spend at The Warehouse!
Make sure you’ve commented on the first New Season Fashion post as well for a second entry!
When I signed on to throw some Best Nest styling at a gorgeous lounge in a Golden Homes showhome, I truly floundered for a little bit. What on earth was I going to bring to a professionally styled and curated room that had been designed to make people fall in love with a house?
I had no clue.
Golden Homes have been innovators in the New Zealand building industry for over 25 years and though I was flattered to have been asked to collaborate, I was also super-nervous about doing justice to their high quality home!
After visiting both the Albany and Millwater locations and spending some time exploring both homes I realised that what I wanted to do with this project was bring a piece of ME to the showhome. I wanted to create a room that was perhaps a little bit quirky, exuded warmth, was welcoming, eclectic and representative of our family. It needed to be kid friendly and functional, comfortable and down to earth. I wanted to leave having created a room that I loved and wished I could pick-up and pop back down in my own home.
Turns out it was easier than I had initially thought.
Once I got over the initial hurdle of undoing the existing picture-perfect styling I began to have a lot of fun. My canvas was my dream room – a perfect 4.7m square lounge with plenty of wallspace and a natural flow between the two entrances. Both showhomes I visited had a separate lounge like this and it makes such a difference to the overall feeling of space and functionality of the house.
As for bringing warmth to the house? My fears of a visually sterile environment were nullified by the sundrenched north facing aspect that made my morning’s work a light-filled (hot!) dream. Warmth and personality in a house aren’t just the result of drag-and-drop accessories that provide an instant quick-fix. The finishing in this lovely room is what sets the stage for successful styling. The cut pile carpet creates such a natural warmth and the framing of the room is completed by a heavy textured wallpaper that creates interest and a point of difference without jostling for attention.
When you own an older home like ours (circa 1950) you become acutely aware of the price of home maintenance and the huge cost of inaccuracy in builds. Three years ago when we were redecorating and replacing every door in our house, it took our builder 2 hours plus to fit each internal door because nothing was square. Steel framing has now eliminated many of the problems and inaccuracies that are common with timber framing such as expansion and contraction and mould and mildew due to moisture exposure. Every Golden Home is built using New Zealand Axxis steel using ZOG® steel-frame technology and is signed off by a registered engineer. This house was warm, quiet and grounded. As soon as I began to unpack my props and vintage items from home my vision for the lounge began to take shape.
I used a mix of items I love from home, items I shopped from Freedom Furniture and items that I ‘shopped’ the showhome for. If you want to restyle a room at home look at it as an entire project rather than picking up bits and pieces here and there. Start with a blank canvas – at least figuratively speaking. I took lots of pics and video during my visits and worked from those to find exactly what I needed for each space in the lounge. This helped keep me on-budget and ensure that I covered all of the essential lounge requirements. Managing a room in this way is like a new home build, but on a much smaller scale! Minimise surprises and ensure your wishlist is fulfilled. When they quote a build, Golden Homes are accurate and inclusive of all key costs at the outset to give you the complete and honest cost of your build so you are able to stick to your budget – that means more $$ to shop for homewares!!
The feeling I wanted to recreate here was what I loosely named “South-West Eclectic”. The couches, buffet, landscape painting and mirror were already in place and totally worked. The tall corner shelf and vintage coffee table I brought from home, plus, I shopped Freedom Furniture for on-trend, statement pieces that cemented the theme such as the Spectrum Rug $299, the Sakia Pouffe $299 and those Stag Prints $299 ea!!! Eclectic perfection.
I am so proud of this gorgeous space! My new-build snobbery (I’ll admit I had some, as I’m seemingly drawn to anything old and rundown that requires much $$$$ to fix it up :::sigh:::) has all but vanished and I now dream of a gorgeous, perfectly finished home to unleash Nixon on.
Joking, that would be a crime against humanity (Golden Homes, my toddler will never set foot in one of your showhomes I promise!).
Obviously my loud, bright and colourful style won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it goes to show just how personal you can make a room, and transform a house into a home, in a very short amount of time.
Thank you so much for having me Golden Homes, love your work xx
If you would like to find out more about Golden Homes get in touch here or check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration and shopping details.
Winter arrived here in New Zealand this week, preceded by last month’s familiar, seasonal focus on skincare and hydration from beauty and skin care brands.
May brought with it new releases from some of New Zealand’s favourite consumer brands such as Simple, Aveeno and Neutrogena as well as some more specialty products from boutique lines Oasis and Manuka Doctor.
Here’s what I’ve been trialling;
Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil RRP $11.99
I’ve not been completely sold on oil based skincare products to this point. I go through phases of using oils and then switch back to my regular faves. Simple released their Hydrating Cleansing Oil in May and I’ve got to say, I’m quite a fan! My skin feels super clean, cleaner than after using a foaming cleanser or cream alternative (not really a fan of these) and so, so soft. Baby’s bum soft – which is a pretty big deal when your face is 37 years old lol! Made from pure Grapeseed oil.
Oasis Lips & Lashes Treatment RRP $39.90
Ok this is a crazy little product – a 3-in-1 eye, lip, lash treatment for sensitive skin. The addition of Arnica to combat puffiness and dark circles was put to the test this morning after 2 nights of totally rubbish sleep. I’m impressed. I went makeup free today and wasn’t too concerned about my usually super-concealed under eye area. I’m very interested to see how it delivers on the promise of longer, stronger lashes – will let you know!
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum RRP $22.99
I’ve been using the Hydro Boost range on and off for over 6 months now. The Hydro Boost mask, Gel SPF15 and Foaming Cleanser are all among my favourite products (Dave actually LOVES the Foaming Cleanser!) so the addition of a serum to the range was a very welcome one. In my opinion, Hydro Boost is a perfect collection of products for those that don’t love heavy or oil based creams and lotions on their skin. I wear a serum every day under moisturiser and this one’s a good one. A little goes a LONG way so, excellent value for money.
Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum RRP $49.95
The announcement of Kourtney Kardashian as Manuka Doctor’s Golden Ambassador was timed perfectly to coincide with the launch of their glittering new serum. This is definitely a product with a difference, I love using it on my makeup free days to add some highlight to my skin – luminous is the perfect word for describing the result and it is as good as my skin gets really! If you’re familiar with the Manuka Doctor range, think Radiance Serum on steroids! And with Colloidal Gold – what the?!
Karen Murrell Moisture Stick RRP $29.95
No news here, a GREAT lip balm is essential over winter. Dry lips very quickly become sore lips due to icy winds at this time of year. I’m a big fan of the Karen Murrell range of natural lipsticks, as such it’s quite ironic that the Moisture Stick was the very last in the range to become (an essential!) part of my collection! I have to keep close tabs on this guy as I like to have it in my pocket every day. It’s just the right consistency, none of that inconvenient slickness that constantly traps your hair, but thick enough to stay put and protect as well as rehydrate. Definite winter essential.
Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturising Lotion RRP$16.99
I’m notoriously lazy in winter when it comes to ‘peripheral’ beauty routines. Shaving and moisturising my legs just get put in the too hard / too cold basket. A well timed reminder from the team at Aveeno has sorted my neglected skin out quick smart. I’ve said it before, I never imagined that I would ditch my favourite Vaseline body lotion but it’s happened. I’ve been an Aveeno girl for well over a year now, purely because it is SO quickly absorbed without leaving a greasy residue. I’ve been using the Sheer Hydration formula over summer but will now switch to this slightly heavier formulation to combat winter dryness.
*All of these products were provided for editorial consideration. However, I have used each one and all opinions expressed are my own.
We are off on an amazing 4 day tour of the upper North Island in conjunction with Choice Hotels Asia-Pac, Hamilton Waikato Tourism, Destination Rotorua and Destination Great Lake Taupo! Catch up on Day 1 here and Day 2 here!
We awoke on Sunday to the most beautiful, blue sky day in Rotorua and decided we had to spend a little more time exploring before we hit the road. We had, after all, slept in the BEST beds known to man at Econo Lodge Cleveland so we were feeling ready to tackle THREE tourist hotspots in one day. We have kids remember? This is the parenting equivalent of climbing Mt Everest – no joke!
First up was a visit to The Redwoods where we smashed out a quick 2km trail through these vast, silent giants. Well, they were silent until my family arrived! The kids had a blast hooting and hollering through the trees, it was beautiful! So different to walking through the dense native bush that we’re used to. Dave and I can’t wait to make it back to the Redwoods, we both want to run those trails or compete in a race down there.
Our awesome hostess at Econo Lodge Cleveland recommended we head to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland to finish off our Rotorua experience and I’m SO glad we did. Halfway between Rotorua and Taupo, we spent 2 hours wandering the trails here and I can’t get the amazing colours out of my head! There is so much to learn and see here, from bubbling mud pools to crazy mineral craters and landscapes. We didn’t have the Mountain buggy with us so Nix walked most of the way, hopping in the umbrella stroller when he needed a rest every now and then. The paths are great, really smooth so there was only one section where we left the stroller off the path and continued on foot. This place is gorgeous, this IS the Rotorua experience I wanted to have and to give the kids so it was worth it to splash out a little and add it to our itinerary.
Onwards to Taupo and the final destination on our road trip. Our lake cruise on board the Ernest Kemp was to depart at 2pm and we made it with enough time to grab a pie for lunch – we are sahhhhh kiwi guys, it’s not even funny lol.
The Ernest Kemp is a beautiful replica steamship that sails a 2 hour course from Taupo Marina out to the ridiculously amazing Maori rock carvings that are only accessible from the water. Our boys were so excited to get aboard, which to be honest, worried me a little, but they both settled in and really chilled out and enjoyed the experience. EVEN NIXON! Wonders will never cease. We were thoroughly looked after by our Captain and his crew, as were all of the 20+ passengers onboard on Sunday. It wasn’t the smoothest sailing as the wind had come up on the lake and we could definitely feel it on the way out, but the Captain kept checking on his passengers and kept us informed throughout the entire journey – it was lovely and smooth on the way back and everyone was smiling!
I loved this experience for three reasons;
It was so personal. Even with a large group on board, I’m fairly certain that every passenger was spoken to, offered refreshments, a chocolate fish, a coloring page and crayons, or even a beer!
Being out on the lake gives you a totally different perspective of how HUGE it actually is.
It was real. There was rain on our faces, wind in our hair and we all felt alive.
Get out on that big old lake guys! Preferably with the team at Ernest Kemp cruises ; )
A massive day exploring meant we were all ready for our hotel beds and some dinner. We spent the night at the lovely Comfort Inn Cascades on the lakefront and couldn’t have asked for a better spot to wind down with the kids. Our unit was perfectly suited to our family – large, airy, mezzanine style accommodation with three singles and a toilet upstairs for the kids. It was freezing cold in Taupo on Sunday but the kids soon found (separate! yay!) comfy spots to play and relax in our super cozy unit – it was sooo warm! The layers came off, Dave and I enjoyed a peaceful afternoon cocktail and I set off to explore the property.
Lake Taupo is literally at the bottom of the garden! Our unit’s patio bordered the walkway so it was steps to the beach and the water. This is another property we are definitely bringing the kids back to over the summer. Heated pool, spa, trampoline and of course the lake right THERE – I can see this being a favourite family spot for years to come. I took a peek inside the unit on the end in the image above – the lake view from the bed through those red patio doors is unbelieveable, you would want to stay there all day!
One more thing – full sized Whirlpool bathtubs. So RARE in a hotel! We have two full bathrooms at home but no bath so this was a little luxury enjoyed by all – as was the free wifi, blogger essential right there! Our hosts were lovely, our breakfast was delivered to our room on time and we were a little sad to leave to be honest!
Dinner at Plateau Bar + Eatery
We finished off our family road trip with dinner at award winning restaurant Plateau Bar + Eatery. I was slightly nervous about taking my two tired boys out for dinner at 6pm with no visible kid’s menu on the website, but, we were seated, kids menu’s were there (hooray!) and the wonderfully attentive staff did their thing. My kids eat anything, both boys have adventurous palettes and great taste in food, the kids menu for me isn’t about food selection, it’s merely a cue for me that a restaurant is kid friendly and able to cope with Nixon lol.
Dave, Ethan and I all ordered off the $55 Set Menu and enjoyed three stunning courses. Our favourites were the Prosciutto Wrapped Poached Pear, the Confit Duck Leg and the Citrus Iced Nougat, though every dish was incredible! We really enjoyed trying each others choices throughout the evening. Nixon was well looked after with a delicious chicken and cheese taco dish, perfect for little hands to hold on to.
We had a fabulous night at a very special restaurant, the perfect finish to a trip the kids, Dave and I absolutely loved.
The first Auckland City Limits Festival has been and gone and dealt an undisputed smackdown to the New Zealand festival scene.
Organiser Campbell Smith successfully pulled off an event that was everything Big Day Out could only dream about. The Western Springs location was central and easily accessible, parking was non-existent but those I spoke to who had been using the festival transport reported it being easy, quick and totally do-able. Dave and I have friends living within walking distance of the stadium so we used and abused them for their marvellous parking on the day (taking Nixon to Auckland Kiddie Limits earlier in the day would have been much more difficult without this little perk truth be told).
This was a very Grown-Up, well behaved festival.
There was plenty of;
Bras with too many straps
Curious corners to explore and enjoy.
Top notch eateries
Ass cheeks hanging out of short shorts
Lines for dinner
Lines for drinks
Lines to make cash upon returning festival Globelets
Boring people in the VIP area
There was a distinct lack of;
Wasted teens (YUS!)
Wasted old people – I tried but the lines were too long
Rubbish, there were people cleaning up all day, plus I think the punters were generally tidy kiwis
There was such a friendly, mellow feeling that the queues for beer and food were totally forgiven. We were somewhat lucky in that if things got desperate we were able to moonlight in the VIP area where the drinks were full strength and you didn’t have to wait to be served. But this area was so far removed from the action it was positively painful. Set beautifully in the grounds of MOTAT it was picturesque but when we were there we just wanted to finish our drinks quick-smart so we could get back to the action. Being able to see at least one stage or any part of the festival would be a vast improvement for the special people with cash to burn.
Obviously it wasn’t humanly possible to catch all of the acts but as soon as the lineup was announced, Dave and I had a pretty decent idea of what was non-negotiable for us.
Who we saw and what we honestly thought of them;
Ladyhawke – Obviously a crowd fave and rightfully so. She killed it with a pumping set, no BS and zero pretentiousness. Loved it.
Broods – Yawn yawn yawn. I love their music (I have 2 songs on my running playlist even) but gawd they are boring live. Totally misplaced on the large Spark 2 stage. Bad scheduling here.
Action Bronson – Holy shit. Wasn’t expecting to LOVE this set! He finished 10 minutes early (maybe he needed a nap after smoking that huge blunt?) but all is forgiven as he totally brought rap back to me in spades. Seriously brilliant performance.
The Naked & Famous – Cute and kiwi. That’s all I have to say really. Should have been on the smaller V Energy stage.
The Phoenix Foundation – Brilliant. Profesh but totally unassuming and endearing. Perfect sound, stayed and enjoyed the whole set. Rocked it, should have been in the big arena instead of boring Broods or NAF.
Cold War Kids – Holy Shit #2. So much energy, amazing, rocked-out set and catalogue. These guys have been around forever (we were listening to them when I was preggo with E 11 years ago) and it shows. Total professionals but still indie enough to be cool. Big mistake to not stay for the whole set.
Girl Talk – We caught the end of this set, drawn in by the WTF nature of the mash-ups we were hearing. The most nutty stage set of the day with huge inflatable props, a massive on-stage crew and seriously good jams. We were most intrigued!
The National – Another band I really love but just felt they were soooo staid and low-key on stage. Couldn’t get into it at all, but should have stayed longer to avoid the cacophony of Shapeshifter.
Shapeshifter – Can we be done with these guys yet? Too loud, every song sounds the same and lasts for 10 minutes. Couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Modest Mouse – This was who we came to see tbh. It was our third time seeing them play in concert but we were no less stoked then if it was our first. I may even have blinked back tears of joy at being in the pit, able to take photos of the band that has played such a massive role in our lives over the years. The sound was pretty bad, there were obv some issues but I blame that entirely on everyone being deafened by Shapeshifter who played right before. It was a surprising set with the full band (or the fullest I’ve ever seen) playing and a great mix of their newer material and old stunners. No Kendrick Lamar for us, I’m sure there are 1709 other reviews you can read about his performance.
10/10 day. Loved it. Will be back at Auckland City Limits next year no question. The systems in place such as the cashless wristbands worked perfectly, the recyclable Globelets are a stroke of eco-friendly genius, however the returns tent needed to be placed far away from main thoroughfares to avoid congestion. Such a coup for Aucks, Smith has curated a world class festival with rock solid experience and some thinking out of the box. Everything was geared towards maximum punter comfort and experience.
2016 has certainly blessed us with an abundance of sunshine hours thus far, and Summer (albeit an El Niño one!) means spending time with friends and family and getting creative in the kitchen as we share these lazy days together.
If you’re looking for something a little bit delicious to help you stay hydrated this Summer – or to wow your visitors – I’ve come up with three super easy ways to enjoy Healtheries Iced Tea, a refreshing alternative to sugary juices and soft drinks that’s caffeine free and 99% sugar free! Kid friendly? My boys can’t get enough, but aside from being my new fridge staple, Iced Teas can be dressed to impress and make the perfect anytime pick-me-up or a healthy alternative to wine-o’clock!
Now where are my paper umbrellas?
Apple & Blueberry Iced Tea Slushies
The boys both received Chill Factor Slushy Makers for Christmas so I was excited to try out a healthy, more adult-friendly version than the varieties we’d been experimenting with so far. I brewed 1 cup of Apple & Blueberry Iced Tea using chilled water, squished up my slushy and served it with apple slices and giant, fresh blueberries. Ah-maze-ing. Forget about reaching for the Magnums this summer, your waistlines will thank me I promise!
Sparkling Iced Tea
Bubbles make everything a little bit special right? I love this combo of soda water made at home in my SodaStream plus Healtheries Lemon & Lime Iced Tea with lemon and kiwi fruit slices. This just tastes like Summer and is the ultimate thirst quencher. One thing I love about these iced tea varieties is that the flavours get better and better the longer you let them steep – as opposed to getting stronger and stronger and more tea-ish (sp?). I’m not a fan of traditional tea at all, Iced, Fruit and Green teas are all I will drink so having some new tea options that I love makes me so happy!
Iced Tea en Masse!
Because they are caffeine free and 99% sugar free, Healtheries Iced Teas are a perfect option for the entire family. Nixon and Ethan both love all three varieties and even more so when I have them ready and waiting in the fridge!
This morning I made 2 cups of each flavour, spent 5 minutes chopping some fruit and popped our teas in the fridge so we were all prepared for our day with easy, healthy and freaking gorgeously-good drinks ready to enjoy when we needed them!
Try this: I keep frozen mango cubes in the freezer for smoothies so added some chunks to the Peach and Mango variety along with some chopped peaches and crunchy apple slices. I left the tea bags in the mason jars and the flavours were beautiful! (If you’re looking for cute mason jar mugs, try your local dollar store, Kmart or the Warehouse).
I really struggle to drink enough water but the flavours of this new range are so, so good I feel like I’ve got a new lease on hydration this summer! Try popping a tea bag in a drink bottle with some chilled water before you head out for the day or off to work – I guarantee you’ll be hitting your water goals in no time!
Healtheries Iced Teas come in three delicious flavours: Peach & Mango, Lemon & Lime and Apple & Blueberry. Available in supermarkets nationwide RRP$3.99. Find out more information at http://www.healtheries.co.nz
If you would like to win ALL 3 delicious Healtheries Iced Tea varieties, just leave a comment below! Winner drawn 28/2/16. NZ residents only.