Strawberry and Avacado Bruschetta

Recently, Coles Supermarkets contacted me to see if I would be interested in getting involved in their Food Festival to celebrate the opening of two new stores on the Gold Coast. My initial thought was – ‘Are you kidding me, I can’t cook’, but then I thought about it. I know many of you are just like me, with a family who insists on eating every day, and looking for ideas for easy snacks and dinners that don’t take hours or require dozens of fancy ingredients.

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Coles gave me a list of the current seasonal produce and let me create my own recipe. One of our favourite snacks in summer is watermelon salsa with corn chips, it’s delicious. So, working from that idea, I thought strawberry bruschetta could be just as good. They are unexpected ingredients, but once I made it and we all tried it, we decided this was our recipe that we wanted to share with you all.

So here it is …

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I promise you it’s scrumptious. We served literally hundreds of lovely Coles customers on the Southport Park opening day and everyone loved it!

It warmed my heart when I offered people the recipe card and they didn’t take one, then they tried the food and came back to grab a recipe card and tell me they were so surprised at how yummy it was!

We’ll be at the Coomera store later this month, keep an eye on my Instagram / Facebook for details.

Enjoy!

Hayley x

Our house in Queensland Homes magazine!

It’s true!
Our house is in the Spring/Summer 2018/19 edition of Queensland Homes.
See more here.

It was photographed by John Downs. He in one of four generations in his family who are, or have been, professional photographers, so you could say it’s in his blood. His work is broad and he photographs people, products, architecture, food, motor bikes, houses and more.
His work has been published by Home Beautiful (he shot my last home, you can see it here), House & Garden and Queensland Homes, to name just a few.
If you think your house would look good on the glossy pages of a magazine, you can send John a few snapshots at johndownsstudio@hotmail.com and he’ll contact you if he’d like to do a test shoot.

The lovely Kylie Jackes styled our home for the shoot and wrote the article, she’s multi-talented!
Kylie is a regular contributor to interior magazines including Home Beautiful and Queensland Homes. She was absolutely lovely and wanted to keep the styling as authentic to our home as possible which I really appreciated.

The article looks great, but of course not all the photos made it to the glossy pages. John was kind enough to share them with me so I can show them to you.

Let’s start with cuteness overload from Holly, we all know that’s the real reason that our house made it into a magazine!

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And a detail shot of my totally OCD colour coded bookshelf.

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I always loved those photos in magazines of the home owner casually walking through the kitchen in a blur. Now I have one of my own, ha!

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Another few of the kitchen because after a 3 month renovation it deserves a little spotlight!

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Moving on to the dining room where they published a beautiful picture of my eldest daughter Lucy setting the table. I’m so glad they chose the shot with Lucy in it, it’s one of my favourites!

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Moving upstairs, I know you’ve all seen my bedroom a thousand times, but I really like the angle that John took this photo from, and those hydrangeas were so pretty!

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Kylie even managed to style my bathroom to look halfway decent, I’d love to renovate them! My ensuite is such a great size, I could have so much fun in there!

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They captured Bella in her natural habitat … in her bedroom, with headphones on. #teenagers

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And Orly in his room. I’m not looking forward to the day that he grows out of this bed and decor, it’s so fun!

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Lastly a couple of shots outside. As you can see from the wet umbrella, it was a grey overcast day and the minute the rain cleared we all ran outside for a quick pic. Kylie styled up this space like a pro so quickly, unfortunately there was no time to style myself, so I’m in my Mum uniform of jeans and a mum bun in the magazine … oh well #keepingitreal

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So, if you want to see me in my mum uniform … mum bun and all, grab the latest Queensland Homes and check it out!

Hx

Easy Peasy bed styling.

Do you have unlimited cash to spend on luxurious bed linens?
Unfortunately, neither do I!

So I thought I’d share a few different looks you can achieve with just a few pieces.

Firstly, this is not one of those Pinterest worthy, magazine ready, takes 3 hours to make your bed type of posts.
This is how to achieve a styled bed everyday in just a few minutes, because I’m pretty sure y’all have better things to do than obsess over your perfectly placed throw pillows.
Am I right?
Also, please excuse my lack of ironing, my sometimes blurry photos and my weirdly high bed … real life people!

Ok, now we have that cleared up…

There are places to splurge and places to save, especially with bed linen.
One of the things I’ve always splurged on and never regretted is a basic white or neutral coloured quilt or comforter. It is the perfect base for so many looks throughout the whole year.

I prefer a quilt or comforter over a doona and doona cover as they sit beautifully on the bed, I don’t have to do the shake and shuffle with huge king size doona covers and they are often larger than a doona, which is great when you sleep with a #quilthog who pulls it all to their side during the night (the #quilthog might be me).
If you prefer or already have a plain doona cover in a neutral colour that will also be a perfect starting point.

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Currently I have a natural coloured linen quilt on my bed. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know how much I love linen, you can read all about it here. I’d really love a pure white or light grey/silver quilt going into the warmer months. I think white always looks so fresh and serene, and silver is cool and inviting.
I’ve shared my favourites below.

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My current quilt – The Capri Linen Quilt | Her Shed
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On the wish list – Sheridan Abbotson in Silver
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Belgian Flax Linen Quilt | West Elm

Next – pillows!
I like to use king size pillowcases on a king bed, it fills the entire space so you don’t have a gap between them.
I have taken a few photos of my bed with king size pillows and with standard size incase you don’t have any in the king size.

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Mine are from The Pillow Slip Store, you can find them here. They also have the best range of king size pillowcases around.

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Ruffles Linen King Pillowslips – big love!

This is where we start to add layers with a second set of pillows and a blanket, throw or second quilt. I like to add a contrasting colour or a pattern. If you are unsure about mixing patterns and you’d like to add a patterned cushion, stick with a plain colour, any colour that makes you happy and works with the other elements in your room, also look for some texture to add interest.

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My diamond quilted linen throw is available in heaps of colours. You could also use one of these as your base quilt, I switch mine around often.

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Pretty sure I need this in every colour! – Belgian Flax Linen Diamond Quilt | Pottery Barn

Next, add your favourite cushion to the middle of your pillows.
This is probably the most basic styled bed and super easy to accomplish everyday.
The bonus with this one is you don’t have to remove and replace a huge pile of cushions every morning and night.

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Lexington Pinstriped cushion | Riviera House

Another option which is just as simple, add a pair of cushions in front of your pillows. You can try european size or smaller throw cushions. The ones I’ve used below are from Pottery Barn and are no longer available, but I’ve found some similar if you love them.
TIP: Always use feather inserts, they plump the cushion out and make it easy to give it a good chop in the middle. I buy mine from Ikea where they are great value.

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Artwood Navy Check Lodge cushion | Crawford & Co Living

Ok, lets try something slightly different.
Here I’ve used standard size pillows and laid them flat instead of vertically. I’ve also folded my sheets back over the top of the quilt. This looks great if you have patterned or coloured sheets in coordinating colours. My sheets are from Bed Tonic here.

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Again, add your decorative cushions and another blanket or throw where your sheets are folded back.

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My hand embroidered cushion is from Cathy Penton Atelier here. And the white blanket is from Canningvale here.

If you’re feeling rather creative, try laying 2 pillows vertically and 2 horizontally.
Add 2 decorative cushions in different sizes, I like to use one square and one oblong cushion. Look for interesting fabrics, textures or patterns. I’ve mixed a leather cushion with a linen cushion, such a perfect pairing.
Add a textural throw for more interest and luxury.

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The leather cushion is from Square Fox Design here.
The throw is one of my favourites from Mayde, it is super soft and such beautiful quality. The blue is no longer available, but they still have a few left in charcoal.

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Kirribilli blanket | Mayde

Lastly, if your in a rush in the mornings, try the relaxed look with layers of cushions casually thrown on the bed and a couple of blankets and throws unfolded and tossed on the end of the bed.

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The gingham cushion is by Caitlin Wilson from That Pretty Market.

Obviously there are hundreds of ways to style your bed with countless textures, fabrics and patterns to choose from. If you see a picture of something you would like to create in your own room, take notice of the small details like the way the pillows are placed, the layers of quilts, throws and blankets, the textures, the patterns, etc…

There really aren’t any rules!

If you are on Instagram, search the hashtag #MLLbedstyling too see a few of my combinations.

Happy Styling!

Hx

BLASTing the kids away!

It’s war at our house!
A sound war between the kids doosh doosh music and me, reliving my youth through my bangers of the 90’s playlist.

But …
Mumma’s got a secret weapon!
I got a new speaker and it’s BLASTing the kids out of the game.
Whoop Whoop!

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Ultimate Ears gifted me a BLAST to try out and let me tell you, it’s pretty darn awesome.
I don’t really understand all the tech jargon, but here’s what I do understand – it’s portable, wireless, waterproof, connects via bluetooth or wi-fi and it has a whopping 12 hours play time on one single charge.

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Oh and Alexa lives inside. Who’s Alexa? Amazon Alexa connects via wi-fi and allows me to voice control my BLAST, check the weather and all kinds of tech savvy things I’m still getting my head around.

Plus, it’s small, streamlined and blue, yes BLUE!

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It fits into my home decor effortlessly, but if blue is not your thing, it comes in six cool colours.

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It retails in Australia for $279.95 and you can get yours here.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x