Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Chemical Free Toolkit

For all of those who don't already know, I am a Norwex consultant and I absolutely adore their products and being able to provide a lovely clean chemical free home for my family.

Being a consultant means that I was able to get most of my personal giant wishlist for free or discounted which has allowed me to get a substantial amount of their products.

Being the festive season we were entertaining on Friday night which I made a garlic prawn topper for our BBQ steaks. The garlic prawn sauce is a little temperamental and easily boils over if you don't keep a close eye on it which happened to be the result on this occasion even after the many many times I have prepared it! So the next day I was trying to clean the glass stove top which our new house has.

As I began the task first trying my Norwex Kitchen Cloth and then when that didn't seem to lift the baked on marks, I reached for the more heavy duty Norwex Kitchen Scrub Cloth. It helped but still needed that little bit more. ( I know I did a really good job of it!!) So, I needed to really get some elbow grease into it and reached for the Norwex Cleaning Paste which finally did the trick. I won't bore you with all the details but it made me think about something that was said in one of my Uni subjects which I am completing to be a Teacher of all things. Where as teachers we need to provide students with a toolkit of strategies and resources they can access to help them solve problems and learn.

For some reason I related this to my Norwex collection and how it is so useful to have a "toolkit" of different strategies and resources (products) that I can access when I have a problem. If the first option I select doesn't seem to tackle the job I have a range of other options at my fingertips that I can try until I find one that solves the problem. Just like the garlic sauce on the glass stove top, this is relevant to all around our home. I find because of this I'm saving so much time not having to persevere with a solution that isn't really right for the job.

So I was wondering, do you have any problem areas around your home that you are looking for a better chemical free solution for? I would love a challenge and you never know... Norwex might change your life too!

Friday, December 11, 2015

New house equals new home

We recently moved house AGAIN! Still in the same town. We just needed something bigger. To be quite honest our previous house had an exposed beam ceiling... which don't get me wrong was beautiful and a talking point when guests came by for the first time but whoever originally designed and built the house needs to be kicked in the knackers! Do not, I repeat... DO NOT build a house with an exposed beam ceiling in Central Queensland or anywhere that does not snow at least once a year! We suffered through two and a half summers in that sauna and even though it had a pretty big air conditioner, it barely took the edge off the heat which wasn't worth the electricity used to run it. Anyway the will to avoid another season of torture outweighed the strong reluctance to move house for the fifth time in 4 years!

Which brings me to our new house. It has a few minor downfalls as every house that you didn't build yourself has but it is a very big improvement for us. On top of all the advantages and perks we knew we were in for, I didn't really realise how much the house really contributes to a "home". I always believed that it was the people you share it with and potentially a woman's touch that could really make any house a home.

There really is only so much any woman can do to make a house a home in high 40 degree heat. In the new house I can actually handle being in the living area and kitchen in the middle of the day! I can bake! I can clean! I can potter about doing what it is that anyone does through the day like getting jobs done. It is still such a novelty for me. Unpacking has been a breeze and getting into the Christmas spirit is just so much more enjoyable!

Everyone just seems happy here. The entire family is thrilled to have an acre to spread out on. To explore and play but also not to have your neighbor's window two meters away from yours. And it has a huge big double glass doors with two large windows either side on the eastern wall of the living area over looking the large open back yard. The light is just so beautiful, so natural and lifting.

Through all the chaos, clutter and sorting of moving, it already feels more "us", more like a "home".

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Our Vintage Country Wedding

All of my friends have seen our hundreds and hundreds of wedding photos by now, but I wanted to write a post about our special day for those who might be wanting to source something similar for their big day, For all those who have already planned their wedding would know what a massive stressful, very time consuming task it is finding inspiration and sourcing every single detail let alone trying to find it in your budget and as a guest you see the day as a big picture and some of the smaller details may go unnoticed. So if you attended our wedding keep an eye out for the things you may have missed ;-)

For starters Pinterest was my very best friend (besides my amazing husband and my stunning bridesmaids) and you can check out my "Wedding Inspiration" board HERE. Having one just makes your vision clearer and keeps you on track as well as provide a visual image to show venders exactly what you are trying to achieve!

Okay... where to start? How about the invitations. I created them myself using a Word document drawing from two different examples on Pinterest. I printed them at our local office supply shop and my incredibly talented Maid of Honour cut them all out. I ordered the paper supplies from paperwarehouse.com.au using kraft envelopes and Iceberg card and paper which gave a shimmer to the white background. We used mywedding.com to create a wedding website to offer our guests more information including accomodation and directions to the out of town ceremony. Hav8ing a wedding website proved to be well worth while. Our 60 guests visited our website 144 times and we had 381 pageviews with some RSVP'ing this way. We were able to make the website accessible only with a passcode to maintain privacy and gave our guests the passcode on the wedding website card with their invitations.

My dress, the bridesmaids dresses and the groomsmen's ties were bought & hired from Ferrari Formalware and Brides of Toowoomba. They were amazing to deal with. My wedding gown was a Angeline AN0201, the Bridesmaids wore Allura 1436 and the Groom and Groomsmen wore Sorrento- Baige all with R M Williams brown boots. The Bridesmaids wore flats given that the ceremony was in a paddock and the reception was in a garden. I however braved heels for the ceremony but "heel stoppers" were essential which I found on Ebay.

My heels were another Ebay purchase from this store. There are lots of nice ones to choose from. You might be able to find a gem yourself. I later changed into some Forever New flats. As the day unfolded I found out that My Maid of Honour and my Husband got together to leave me a little surprise note on the bottom of my heel, which of course left me in tears when I found it!

My sweet as sugar flower girls wore white Origami dresses from Myer and high top boots. Sourcing their boots was a nightmare! We ended up going through the US company Sheplers trying to get a pair each that matched in all three size scales (baby, toddler and kids)! And they still weren't quite right (I hope you didn't notice). Their flower crowns were by Avierley Boutique.

Our talented hair dresser was Shell from Beauty and the Barber in Toowoomba and our Makeup artist was Bek from Bek's Beauty and Spa in Emerald. Bek used Youngblood makeup and I found the Loreal Colour Riche Nude Collection lipsticks which I fell in love with. In the end between the 3 of us (the Bridesmaids and I) brought over 10 of the lipsticks in that collection! Looking back I think the colour choice was perfect and they lasted well. Bek also applied fake lashes to finish the look.

My hair piece was a lace flower and Swarovski clip from the HanaandRiver store on Etsy.

I wore a breathtaking  Ivory Venice Lace Garter which I sourced from the The Little White Dress Etsy store. I was going to keep these pictures private but this garter is just way too beautiful not to show off!

The girls got ready in a room at the Emerald Inn and wore the most beautiful robes that my thoughtful Maid of Honour organised for us.

Flowers! All our bouquets were done by Spoilt in Emerald. My bouquet was Ranunculus, David Austins, Peonies, Garden roses and Asters. In shades of pink and white. The bouquet also included artificial anemones as they were unavailable in Australia at the time. The Bridesmaids bouquets were fluffy disbuds, carnations, asters and garden roses, in shades of pink and white. The Groom and Groomsmen buttonholes were white spray roses and baby's breath and the flower girl's posies were white gyp and pink carnations.

Our wedding car was a black Chrysler 300C SRT8.

We created a bunch of rustic signs from a pallet to help direct our guests to the property the in Comet the ceremony was held on.

I walked down the aisle to an acoustic instrumental version of Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran. Our celebrant was Cynthia Munro from Emerald. We hired a gumtree arbour which we dressed up with artificial flowers, greenery and chiffon and signing set from Just Married in Emerald.

Our very talented Photographer was Katrina from My Little Miracle Photography who took some absolutely beautiful pictures of us all.

The reception was held in the gardens at the Capricornian restaurant in Emerald which looked breathtaking in the evening.

Our seating chart was an old nine frame window which my incredible Maid of Honour did the sign writing on it for me! She did an AMAZING job because it was everything I had hoped it would be! We decided to assign tables but not seats so guests could sit where they liked at the tables. I felt like it worked really well.

I made up the centerpieces from Chicken Tonight Jars and decorated them with Jar Wraps found on Ebay and I ordered bulk artificial silk Peonies from an AliExpress store. My Nan generously allowed me to borrow some of her crocheted doilies and the tea light candle holders were from small baby food jars with a twine bow. The table numbers were 8 Merci Number Luminaries in white with LED candles. They were custom made by Mason Rabbits Paperie On Etsy. We also created a wedding photo app through weddingpartyapp.com instead of placing disposable cameras on each table. I added a little card which I made and printed at our local printing store. Our favours were a single Ferrero Rocher with a pearl white shimmer Thank You butterfly attached.

Our bridal table also included B & T marque lights from purchased from Spotlight and a fairy light curtain draped overhead.

Our cake was made by Di from Cakes2Di4 in Toowoomba and was inspired by the Adriano Zumbo's V8 cake. Our cake table tablecloth was a champagne sequin table cloth ordered through another AliExpress store. Our cake cutting song was Holding On to You by Miranda Lambert.

As we have been living together for some time now and the bulk of our guests were travelling from out of town we decided to go with a wishing well. So our card/wishing well included a vintage looking letterbox to place the cards in which I found on Ebay and was decorated with a wooden XOXO bunting and L O V E tea light candle holders from Woolworths around Valentine's Day and four pink bud vases which I made out of stubbies that I painted Matte white.

Ben chose our bridal entrance song which was Point At You by Justine Moore and he also chose our first dance song which was Love Your Love The Most by Eric Church. We chose not to have a DJ or band for our wedding and opted to have our Ipods being controlled by one of our close friends.

For entertainment and also for our guest book we had a photo booth by Emerald Photobooths. It was a huge huge hit! Guests filtered through it many times throughout the night, and only a small few people didn't go in and sign the guest book.

Weeks later now reflecting back on our day, to us it was perfect! We are so happy with how everything flowed and worked together. We couldn't have asked for more!

 Did you attend our wedding? Was there any details you didn't notice or something that drew your eye?

If you have any questions about anything from our wedding I would be happy to share with you my DIY tips or direct you to where I got something from.