Our Christmas Tree 2018

You know those cartoons you see of people putting their Christmas tree up and they are tied up in the string lights and cursing at the tangled mess?

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That was me, I am not a very patient or coordinated person, until last year when I got myself a Balsam hill pre-lit tree. It was like all my Christmas’ came at once, it was so easy to put up and the lighting was already done for me. It’s like a plug and play christmas tree!

LAST YEARS CHRISTMAS TREE

So, this year, I’ve gone bigger and better with a 210cm pre-lit Silverado tree and it’s the prettiest tree we’ve ever had. We have selected a stunning range of glass ornaments and sparkly decorations and I feel like our tree is sophisticated and absolutely beautiful.

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We love putting the Christmas tree up, the whole family gets involved. This year Orly was particularly excited to help with the decorating and he was so careful with the glass ornaments.

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I chose a colour palette of metallics with pops of blue (of course). My entire house has splashes of blue and I wanted to continue the palette with our tree. The metallic finish of these ornaments allows the tree lights to bounce around and make everything extra sparkly.

I already had the Silver and Gold Glass Ornament set.

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Silver & Gold Glass Ornament set

So, this year I added the Georgetown Ornament set which includes hand-painted glass ornaments in matte and metallic finishes. There is 35 beautiful ornaments in different shapes such as balls, teardrops, and finials, all in my favourite colours of navy, copper, and turquoise hues.

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Georgetown Ornament set

Both these sets compliment each other and looks amazing together on my tree!

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I also decided to add some tree picks this year. The Arctic Blue Champagne Glitter picks come in a set of 12. The textured petals and lashings of champagne gold glitter pick up the colours from the Georgetown ornaments and make such a big impact.

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I love how all the different shapes, textures and metallics are vibrant and interesting, while still working harmoniously together.

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No tree is complete without it’s crowning glory, a tree topper!
Do you have a star, an angel, or something else?

This year I went with the Double-sided Mirrored Star tree topper. It is designed like the Star of Bethlehem which adds a little bit of a traditional Christmas vibe to my tree. It is crafted with real mirrors and set in a gold frame, it commands attention and really does deserve to sit atop my gorgeous tree.

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The rich colours of my ornaments this year called for balance with a textural but sophisticated tree skirt. The Lodge Faux Fur tree skirt was the perfect fit, it is plush and luxurious.

Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt
Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt

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Lastly, don’t overlook your wrapping. The gifts under the tree add to the overall presentation and are important. Choose a wrapping paper and ribbons or embellishments in a coordinating or complimentary colour to your tree and take care to wrap your gifts with love.
I got a few rolls of this elegant Gold Mesh Ribbon for my gift wrapping. I also tied a few bows on my tree with the ribbon.

We love our tree this year, in really is the prettiest one we’ve had.
Would you have a look at it all lit up at night time. It takes my breath away!

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The ornaments absolutely glow with the fairy lights. I would never have had the patience to string that many lights myself. The pre-lit tree is worth every single cent!

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While I have you, let me share my Christmas wreath because it is an absolute showstopper!
At a whopping 75cm in diameter and adorned with pine cones and mixed berries, it really looks incredible. It is the Bay Laurel wreath with Mixed Berries foliage.
Oh, and it is pre-lit too!

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So, that’s us this year, our tree was easy-as-pie to assemble, decorating with such beautiful ornaments was a pleasure and there was no cursing at all! In fact, I am currently sitting back with a hot cocoa listening to Christmas Carols, feeling very happy with myself, while Orly is reading a book by the tree with his little shadow Holly.

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Merry Christmas Y’all!

Hayley x

DISCLAIMER: I was gifted some of these items from Balsam Hill in return for a review. All opinions are my own. I would never put my recommendation or reputation behind a product I don’t truly love. Hx

Gift Guide 2018 – The Men

I find boys and men hard to buy for, is it just me and the men in my life?

I’ve searched high and low and found a few fabulous gifts.
If you are a man in my life, stop reading now, because this is what I’m gifting y’all this year!

Before I start, just a little bit of housekeeping for those of us that are not as tech savvy as the young ones.
If you click on a product I have shared in the RED writing, it will take you directly to the website of that item.
No judgement here, I understand … you don’t know these things until you are told!

Let’s go!

A briefcase? With all the laptops, tablets and technology around these days, most men use a bag of some description. The Vespa briefcase is soft sided with an all-black ripstop tough fabric, an interior padded laptop compartment and adjustable straps. It is the perfect mix of sporty and sophisticated and comes in under $160.

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Most men love technology and this Wireless Charge Pad is pretty cool. Say goodbye to tangled cords and the constant hunt for a charging cable, simply sit your phone on the charging pad, it’s so easy! This brand also has a great range of tough, but stylish phone cases if your man is a little rough like mine! Find them here.

Is your big boy the master of the remote control? Then he’ll go crazy for the Smart TV Keypad. It goes beyond what a remote control can do by having the capabilities of a keyboard, you  can search for content, enter passwords or browse the internet all from the wireless keyboard. You can also toggle between devices such as your TV, laptop and mobile to watch TV, send an e-mail and reply to text messages all in one place.

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Socks? Every man wears socks, right? I know, they could be a boring gift, but theses Funky Feet Socks are anything but boring. Six pairs of spotted and striped socks in fun colours all gift boxed ready to go.

And every man drinks, not just for alcohol, great for water or soft drinks too, these Stemless insulated Tumblers hold 355ml and keep it cool for up to 12 hours. They are made from food grade stainless steel and have a splash-proof slide open lid, perfect for serial spillers (like my husband).

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If your man is the outdoorsy type, this is a great idea. The Drysak protects his belongings from the elements, it is crafted from a durable PVC fabric with a watertight closure system.
This is perfect for my husband who often jet-skis, but also for anyone boating or near the water.

Another great idea for the outdoorsy type, these Beach Throws are perfect for your proud Aussie men, or great to send overseas to your family and friends. They feature the names of some famous Aussie beaches in a gorgeous navy blue and white colour. The oversized 2m x 2m beach throw comes with sand pegs in a handy drawstring bag and is compact enough to keep in the car glovebox. I know I’ll be using this one for school sports carnivals and picnics in the park.

Do you have a gym junkie in your life? This Sports Towel is made from an absorbent microfibre and rolls up easily with the attached elastic strap, handy for swimming, gym or yoga.

While they are a being sporty, a drink bottle would be handy, the Watermate Stainless Steel bottle keeps your drink cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 12 hours.

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This next one is from one of the coolest local businesses around, they make fabulous home decor pieces crafted by weaving revived rope from crayfish fishing boats. The Mahi Mahi mat is tough and hardy, the rope is marine grade polyethylene which means it’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use. My husband says the chunky weave is great to give your feet a massage too.

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We all know the way to a mans heart is through his belly, right? The festive Plum Pudding is delicious, but the real joy about purchasing this pudding is that it’s from the Australian Red Cross online gift guide. When you buy from them you are gifting twice the goodness, once to the man in your life and again to the people in need that the Red Cross helps.

I love a win win gift!

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I think this Bottle Caddy would be such a great gift for a beer drinker, or any drinker really! Fill it with 6 fancy bottles of beer, or 6 small bottles of anything and tie it with a big bow for the perfect Dad gift!

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For the football fan, or sports nut, this premium leather washbag is crafted just like an American football complete with the authentic stitching. It’s big enough for all the essentials and looks super cool in his bathroom.

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Last, but definitely not least … actually one of my favourite things, so much so I got one for myself, is this anatomical wooden hand. I love leaving it in different hand gestures, so fun!

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I hope you found something for the man in your life (or for yourself)!

I am still shopping and will add things to this post as I find them, so pop back next week and see what else I’ve found.

Happy Christmas Shopping!

Hx

Disclaimer : A few of these items were gifted for review, a few of these items I bought for the men in my life, so if you’re a man in my life … whoops … Sorry! I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own.

Christmas in July

Christmas in July, or Yulefest as it’s known in Australia is pretty much an excuse to have a big Christmas type gathering with family and friends, but without the pressure and stress of the real Christmas. The added bonus is that it’s winter in July in Australia, so sitting down to a big hot meal feels much more natural than it does in the middle of summer.

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This year Yulefest was made extra special in our house with the inclusion of an amazing 7ft Silverado Christmas tree from Balsam Hill. The tree has an ultra-realistic feel with true green needle type foliage. Even though it’s a ‘slim’ tree it is slightly more full than other slim trees I’ve seen. The tree comes pre-lit in 3 sections and is super easy to put together. It took me less than 15 minutes to assemble it and flick on the twinkling lights!

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To be honest, the tree didn’t need too many decorations, it looks quite impressive with all the pretty lights, but we decided to go all out and add a set of silver and gold ornaments from Balsam Hill.

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Also, since it’s winter in Australia we added a gorgeous fur tree skirt which is so luscious and beautiful my daughter wants to wear it as a cape. It is thick and soft and adds another layer or luxury to the tree.

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Decorating for the real Christmas is a full day event in December,  but since the Balsam Hill trees are so easy to assemble it only took me half an hour to create this beautiful tree. I think it makes such a difference to the festivities and really adds to the Yulefest celebrations.

I’m going to do a big roast for lunch, complete with piles of vegetables and thick gravy. But we all know that everyone is more interested in what’s for dessert, don’t we? This year I found a recipe for Red Velvet Cheesecake with Meringue Frosting and Raspberry dust that looks delicious.

Image : Le Crueset

Here’s the link for it if you’d like to give it a go too.

Are you going to celebrate Christmas in July? I’d love to see your decor or yummy recipes, send me an email or tag me on Instagram!

Happy Christmas in July!

Hayley x

Silverado slim Christmas tree, 210cm Candlelight LED, $799, currently on SALE $479 here.

Silver and Gold ornaments, set of 35 – $459, currently on SALE $299 here.

Lodge Faux Fur tree skirt, 120 – 180cm, $189 – $299, currently on SALE $129 – $199 here.

*I was not paid for this post. I was gifted a Christmas tree and decor from Balsam Hill. All opinions are my own.

Gift ideas for boys.


I don’t know about you, but the thought of filling my house with more plastic action figures and cars this Christmas is enough to put me in a serious tizzy! I can’t find the storage space for them, I can’t deal with tripping over them on the floor and I really can’t deal with forking out $50 for another bright orange and purple car that does NOT fit in with my decor.

I’m sure you are all thinking I am a total grinch of a mother and I should let my kids play with the toys that interest them. Don’t worry, I do … Orly has more Transformers than I have cushions, but there’s is nothing wrong with encouraging some wooden toys in neutral colours, or getting your kids excited about home decor items at an early age …. right?

I have two teenage girls aged 15 and 16 and a 6 year old boy.
The girls are so easy to buy gifts for, make-up, jewellery, clothes …. EASY!
Boys on the other hand, boys are impossible!

You all know I love sharing, so I’ve put together my favourite boys toys that we already own or that are on my list for Orlando this Christmas.

Orly loves to bake, it’s our special time together on a Thursday afternoon while the girls are at dancing. We make brownies, cookies and cakes. He has these Star Wars cookie cutters and he loves them.
FYI – nobody is allowed to eat R2D2 except him and he saves all the Chewbacca’s for his sister Bella.
I just noticed Williams Sonoma has released a special Christmas pack with the cookie cutters, apron and cookie mix.

STAR WARS GIFT SET / WILLIAMS SONOMA
STAR WARS GIFT SET / WILLIAMS SONOMA

I always pop in a pair of PJ’s. If you can manage to find a pair with one of their favourite characters that is also super cute then your onto a winner. Cotton On often have a great range, I personally love this Jungle Book pair.

Joshua PJ Set / Cotton On
JOSHUA PJ SET / COTTON ON

You’ve probably seen the adorable mermaid tail sleeping bags that have been so popular with the girls, check out this uber cute shark tail sleeping bag that is sure to be just as popular with the boys.

SHARK TAIL SLEEPING BAG / ADAIRS
SHARK TAIL SLEEPING BAG / ADAIRS

Kids love to carry their stuff around, well my kids does anyway, he always has a backpack full of crap and that’s fine by me, as long as it’s not in my handbag, I’m happy!
This one from SunnyKids is super cute, it made from hardwearing neoprene and will be tough enough to contain all the boy stuff!

WHALE NEOPRENE BACKPACK / SUNNYKIDS by SUNNYLIFE
WHALE NEOPRENE BACKPACK / SUNNYKIDS by SUNNYLIFE

Orly has had these little wooden superhero’s for a couple of years now. He plays with them constantly and we have added to his collection as they bring out new characters. Great for little hands all the way up to older boys.

DC SUPERHERO FIGURINES / POTTERY BARN KIDS
DC SUPERHERO FIGURINES / POTTERY BARN KIDS

I was recently given one of these Wonderboom speakers. It really is the coolest little thing ever, I take it from room to room with me when I’m doing the housework, my teenagers take it outside around the pool (it’s waterproof) and I’ve been playing music in Orly’s room at night to help him sleep.
He prefers to fall asleep to familiar sounds instead of listening to the ‘scary wind’ outside.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this highly enough, everyone in the family will want one, in fact I’ve already got my eye on a pink one (just for Mum).

ULTIMATE EARS / WONDERBOOM
ULTIMATE EARS / WONDERBOOM

While we’re on the electronics, our kids seem to be using computers for everything these days, these caught my eye and I thought they were very cool. The Doodle Collection mouse has personality and I love that you can customise them with the included sticker pack.

DOODLE COLLECTION MOUSE / LOGITECH
DOODLE COLLECTION MOUSE / LOGITECH

Ok, enough with the electronics, how about some good old fashioned fun? When my husband saw this BRIO Labyrinth he was so excited, he had one when he was a little boy, which was quite a few years ago, this one has stood the test of time, Orly loves it too!

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BRIO LABYRINTH (In stores by Christmas)

Not all plastic toys are terrible, Lego is still a favourite on every boys christmas list. I’m happy to buy it, it encourages their creativity and imagination, and I kind of love this big Chewbacca! He’s definitely on our wishlist this year!

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CHEWBACCA / LEGO

Little boys love to mimic their Daddys, Orly’s Daddy is a builder and I’m sure Orly would absolutely adore this wooden tool kit personalised with is name on the box.

PERSONALISED WOODEN TOOL KIT / HARD TO FIND
PERSONALISED WOODEN TOOL KIT / HARD TO FIND

I hope you found something for the little man in your life!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x