Hayley’s favourite things, 2016.

There is so many beautiful products available to us these days, we really are spoilt for choice.
Shopping for Christmas gifts can be daunting, confusing and downright frustrating.
Hopefully I can help you, I’ve put together my favourite things for Christmas, the things I will be buying my own family and friends, which remind me if you are my family or friends … look away now please!
These gifts are perfect for your Mum, Mother-in-law, Sisters, Sister-in-laws, Aunties, Neices, Best Friends or yourself!

These are all things I have personally used, I own and I highly recommend.

 I cannot tell you how much I love this. Smell is such a strong sense that has a big effect on your emotions. I love how certain scents bring back memories and the Circa Home wax warmer just makes me happy!
It is electric which means you don’t have to worry about a child or pet knocking it over. It’s also the best looking electric wax warmer I’ve seen, I love the pretty white hobnail design.

Electric Wax Warmer | Circa Home
Electric Wax Warmer | Circa Home

 Who doesn’t ‘need’ a great tote bag?
I use tote bags daily and often have more than one on the go. I am guilty of leaving some bags permanently packed ready for things we do weekly, like swimming lessons. I also have one I use every day with the overflow of my handbag, you know, my diary, drink bottles, kids toys, that stuff. These are my 2 favourite totes and I’m sure anyone in your life would be wrapped with one of these this Christmas.

Firstly, the ultimate beach and lifestyle tote, it is waterproof, super strong, lightweight and stands up on it’s own so you can access it easily. I love these bags so much I have 2, I leave one permanently packed for swimming lessons and use the other for boating and beach days. They are from Cabana Lifestyle.

Lahaina tote | Cabana Lifestyle
Lahaina tote | Cabana Lifestyle

And next, this is my daily tote and it pretty much goes everywhere with me. I am a Mum of 3 kids and a husband who can’t seem to look after his own wallet and phone. I always have everyone else’s stuff in there. Today I have a drink bottle, 2 Transformers, Orly’s hat, a packet of Tiny Teddies, a protein shake sachet and some paint sample charts, so random!
I love how you can choose a little icon, monogram it or choose a mixture of both. It truly is personalised and such a special gift. It’s from Little Makes Big.

Custom Tote | Little Makes Big
Custom Tote | Little Makes Big

One of my favourite things to receive is a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers.
Why not buy a fabulous vase and take it to your local florist, they will create a gorgeous bouquet for you, or simply pop in a bunch of market flowers. Long after the flowers have faded they will still have the vase to reuse again and again.
This is one of my favourites, the Teal Posy Vase from The Source Products.

Teal Posy Vase | The Source Products
Teal Posy Vase | The Source Products

In Australia a hat is pretty much an essential part of our lives. I have acquired a few over the years but this one is a recent addition. It is so fun and playful with the bright pom poms, and also stylish and classy when you remove the pom pom band to reveal a plain black grosgrain ribbon. I love it and think it would be a great gift!

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Straw Panama hat | Pink Deer

 One of my newest favourite things is this amazing Chasseur French Oven!
I have wanted one of these for years, I have to admit I really wanted one because they look great in your kitchen and add a perfect pop of colour, but I didn’t actually realise how fabulous they are to cook with. I have already used it to make Lemon and Thyme Chicken, French Onion soup and Pulled Beef for tacos, and that’s just last week! It is so versatile as it can be used on the stove, in the oven and under the grill. Mine is the 6.3L which is huge and great for a family of 5, and I chose the Imperial Blue colour (exclusive to Kitchen Warehouse) I would be thrilled to receive one of these for Christmas …. if I didn’t already own one!

Chasseur French Oven | Kitchen Warehouse
Chasseur French Oven | Kitchen Warehouse

 Did you find something you love, start dropping hints now! Or maybe you found the perfect gift for somebody special in your life?
If not, I’ll be sharing a few more of my favourite things before Christmas.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

My Hawaii wardrobe.

I have traveled quite a bit over the years and I have got my packing essential curated down to just a few things. I used to overpack tremendously, taking everything from entire first aid kit to emergency food supplies and far too many clothes. I googled ‘Packing List’ and the amount of items on their lists actually blows my mind. Really, who actually packs a nightlight with extra bulbs and a cork board with pins? Yes, those things were on some of the packing lists I looked at!

I didn’t take those things, but I was still overpacking and my luggage was always right on the weight restrictions, then I never had any room left for shopping and we can’t have that, can we?
I learnt very quickly what the ‘essentials’ really are, what to leave at home and how to pack smart.

For instance; If you are going somewhere you intend on shopping for clothes, just take 2 changes of clothes and buy more there, or take your oldest grungiest clothes as chuck them out as you buy new stuff. Note: this works particularly well for making your husband throw out his yucky old sneakers – ‘Sorry honey, we just don’t have the room, something has got to go!’.

My next trip is tomorrow … to Hawaii!!! (excited much)
Of course I will be shopping over there so there was no need to pack much, but I thought I’d share a few things I picked up recently in case any of you are also going on a summer holiday.

Here’s a few of my favourite things …

Swimwear, essential in Hawaii and probably better to buy before you go as you don’t want to spend hours on holiday looking for the perfect swimsuit before you can enjoy the beach!

Boardwalk Bandeau Swim Maillot | BAKU
Boardwalk Bandeau Swim Maillot | BAKU

I bought this one from Baku as the slight ruching hides my mummy belly and the structured cups give me a good shape, and the cute little frill on the shoulders had me at hello! Clearly I don’t look like this in it, but hey, we can’t all be supermodels, right?

Kaftans are my go to beachwear cover up items. I don’t mind a great sarong, but I feel comfortable in kaftans.
I have a few in my suitcase for this trip, because I think I’ll be living I them!

Tropicana kaftan | Haven
Tropicana kaftan | Haven

This is one of my favourites, look at that print, so perfect for Hawaii and I can wear it at the beach or out for lunch with a pair of skinny 7/8 pants.

Dresses are the easiest thing to throw on when you’re on holiday, they are lightweight to pack and pretty much a no-brainer when getting dressed in the morning after a big night of cocktails at the beach bar.
I bought this fabulous animal print off the shoulder number and have already worn it a few times, it’s super comfortable, cool and covers a multitude of sins, and hello …. animal print!

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Lost Tribe dress | Tree of Life

I also got this black loose fitting dress which can be worn at the beach, with some cute sandals for lunch and shopping, or with a heel for dinner.

Mari Dress | eb&ive
Mari Dress | eb&ive

My gorgeous friend from The Wishing Trees gifted me a stunning kaftan to swan around in. It has sold out online, but she has some others that are similar, I love this one.
Again, I like to take pieces that can take me from the beach to the bar and this one is a perfect example.

Captivate Kaftan | The Wishing Tree
Captivate Kaftan | The Wishing Trees

I think I am pretty much covered for anything from snorkelling to a casual dinner and drinks by the pool.
I’ve barely filled half a suitcase so I have heaps of room to shop up a storm!

Do you have any shopping recommendations for me?
Little, local shops are my favourites!

Hayley x

Have yourself an ethical Christmas …

This Christmas wouldn’t it feel good to know that your spending is helping shape the world in a positive way?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your hard-earned dollars are in someway helping others, fighting poverty and saving lives?

If one in four Australians made just one ethical purchase this Christmas, we’d raise more than $2.2 billion for people living in poverty.
Be one of those Australians ….

There are so many ways you can make a difference!
This year Oxfam have made it easy with four ways to make your Christmas an ethical one.
They include gifting an ethical card with their Unwrapped gift cards or buying an Oxfam Christmas tree.
They have also compiled a ‘Naughty or Nice‘ list, naming and shaming the clothing companies who use ethical practises and who don’t.

Lastly, you can buy an ethical gift from the Oxfam Shop.

Hello … did somebody say shopping?
I can help the world by shopping?
Then let’s go!

I scoped out the Oxfam shop and found my favourite things this Christmas.
My selection of table ware and decor look beautiful set together for your Christmas table, or each piece is a stunning gift on its own.

For all my blue and white lovers I picked 2 of my favourite pieces from the Peony range.
The Peony range is a blue and white lovers dream, everything from cake stands to coffee mugs hand painted in our favourite blue floral designs.
I chose the serving bowl and the dip dishes to add to my collection.

The serving bowl is big enough for a family salad but not so big that you feel like you have to use 3 lettuces to fill it. It has a beautiful pattern inside and out and it’s definitely going to be a regular guest at our dinner table.

The dip dishes consist of five separate dishes that come in a sweet rattan basket with a lid. I know they are called dip dishes and they would be perfect for just that, but I’m also thinking of taco night, antipasto, yum cha and sweets. Or in this case, for a summer breakfast of fresh fruit with a greek yogurt dip, yum!

I fell in love with this sweet little reindeer and just knew he would fit right in at my house.
He is made from coco fibre and wicker and looks perfect watching over our dinner table.

My favourite piece is this stunning Copper Matka, or water jug.
It isn’t just beautiful, it is also highly valuable for its properties of purification and keeping water cool. Copper is bang on trend right now, but drinking from copper water vessels has been popular for many years, and considered by the Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) as the ‘water of immortality’ due to its multiple health benefits.
I’m looking forward to trying it out, and if I don’t notice a change in my health … I still have a gorgeous water jug!

I also love the matching copper pyala or water tumbler. It has all the same qualities as the water jug, crafted from pure, food grade copper. I have used it on my table as a little vase, I’m wondering whether it’s anti-microbial properties will help my flowers stay alive for longer, I hope so!

What do you think?
Are you tempted by any of these gorgeous items, for yourself or for a gift?

If you’d like to shop ethically this Christmas you can find more details at Oxfam here.

Happy (feel good) Shopping!

Hayley x

Mmmm… that smells like Christmas!

Do you decorate your home for Christmas ….. put up a tree, hang stockings, put a wreath on your door?
Or course you do!
Do you play Christmas carols, drag out the old favourites and play them on repeat for a solid month?
We do, It’s Bing Crosby’s White Christmas in our house!

You’ve gone this far, why stop now?
Make your house smell like Christmas with a fabulous scent.
It’s only fair that you pack as much Christmas into your house while you can, we only get to celebrate it once a year!

I’ve tested and rounded up my favourite Christmas scents for 2016.

First up, the Côte Noire soy blend candle called Christmas Day.
This is a subtle scent which is light and elegant.
They are presented in a classic glass jar and would be perfect for the Christmas table as the scent is not overpowering.

Côte Noire Christmas Day | Hamptons Home
Côte Noire Christmas Day | Hamptons Home

 If you follow me on Instagram you would know I am a big fan of the Circa Home range. I like a fragrance to fill my home from the minute you walk in the door. Circa Home have brought out 2 fragrances for Christmas this year.
The Grapefruit and Juniper is fresh and summery which is perfect for an Australian Christmas.

Grapefruit and Juniper Wax melts | Circa Home
Grapefruit and Juniper Wax melts | Circa Home

The Red Spiced Pear is a little more traditional and has a fruity tang and exotic spice scent.

Red Spiced Pear | Circa Home
Red Spiced Pear | Circa Home

The Christmas packaging is so pretty you don’t even need to wrap these. They are both available as candles or soy wax melts to use with your electric wax warmer. What? You don’t have a wax warmer yet, you better put one on your Christmas list, they are the best!
I really love both of these scents and can’t pick a favourite.

 Endless Candles has brought out a really fun range of scents that are sure to have you reaching for the eggnog and gingerbread!
The scents are (from left to right) Holidays, Eggnog and Gingerbread.
I have been burning the Gingerbread at home and it smells so delicious, the girls want to bake Gingerbread on the weekend, these candles should come with a warning that they may cause you to crave and indulge in your favourite Christmas sweets.

Christmas section | Endless Candles
Christmas section | Endless Candles

Voluspa have released their holiday collection with a handful of celebratory scents.
I haven’t tried any of them, but I like the sound of this one – VOLUSPA’s Visions of Sugar Plum Candle is filled with notes of tart white plum, dried cherry dusted with powdered sugar, toasted hazelnut and lemon zest.
And have a look at that pink glass canister!

Voluspa Visions of Sugar Plum candle | Saison
Voluspa Visions of Sugar Plum candle | Saison

The gold polka dot packaging of this one had me at hello! I am a sucker for beautiful packaging, but in all honesty Palm Beach Collection do gorgeous candles and I’m sure it smells divine.

LE Christmas 2016 Rosewood and Balsam | Pal Beach Collection
LE Christmas 2016 Rosewood and Balsam | Palm Beach Collection

I hope you found one you love!

What’s your favourite scents of Christmas?

Hayley x