Get the custom look …

The story of my barstools continues, and this is the best part yet!
Remember I picked up 4 barstools for a song on Gumtree a few weeks ago? They were from the Henriksdal range at IKEA and even though they were a little bit shabby, the frame and seating was still in perfect condition.

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I bought some new covers from IKEA but they were plain white and not exactly the best idea when you have 3 kids and a a dog! They were dirty after just a few days. I decided to try a DIY and dyed the covers green, they didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined and after a few days I was questioning why on earth I did it.

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You see, I’m a blue and white girl through and through and I really love pattern, I wanted the look of expensive custom made barstools with beautiful upholstery, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune. I also needed something that was easy to care for, last week alone Orly spilt maple syrup, milo, milk and some sort of orange sticky goo on the barstools.

That’s when I discovered Bemz.
Bemz makes customised covers for IKEA furniture as well as cushions, curtains and bedroom textiles. There are over 250+ fabrics to choose from and they are machine washable. You can create a whole collection of customised pieces in any room of your house for a fraction of what it would cost you through an interior decorator. Bemz gives you the opportunity to refresh and restyle your IKEA furniture without breaking the bank.

I popped on their website, chose the Henriksdal barstools and started scrolling through all the beautiful fabric choices. I must admit the blue and white gingham caught my eye immediately, but I wanted to be sure so I ordered a few free samples to check in my own space. They came quickly and I contemplated my selection for a few days before going with my original choice of the gingham, which you can find here.

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The covers arrived in a couple of weeks and I am absolutely thrilled. They are beautiful quality, they fit like a glove and they look amazing. Finally, I have the custom look I was craving, without the big price tag.

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What do you think? Don’t they look amazing, the colour is perfect and they bring so much personality to my kitchen.

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Do you have some IKEA furniture that is looking shabby and could do with a facelift? Or maybe you are looking for a particular colour sofa and IKEA have the right shape but wrong colour? Or if your on a really tight budget you can do what I did and hunt down the perfect pieces on your local online market place like Gumtree, make sure the frame and cushions are in good condition, the buy new covers.

I feel like this is a game changer in the world of home decorating, it’s gives us all an opportunity to customise our furniture, get the look we want and do it all with ease online.

 Pop over to Bemz for some inspiration and ideas, and see how easy it is to get the look you want!

Happy shopping!

Hayley x

How to Outlet Shop Like a Pro

It’s no secret … I LOVE SHOPPING!
I can’t tell you how many times people ask me where I bought things, tell me I find ‘the best things’ and then nearly fall over when I tell them how much I paid for it. It’s often followed by nudges from husbands saying ‘you have to go shopping with her‘ and gasps from the girls saying ‘I have to come shopping with you!‘.

So, I thought I’d let you in on a little secret – I have an Outlet Mall 15 mins from my house, I shop there far more than I am willing to admit to my husband, but I really do get some great buys.
There are some tricks to outlet shopping though and I thought I’d share this great article with you to give you all the pro tips. I found it really useful and I hope you do too, because you know all I’m about sharing the good stuff!

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Harbour Town … just down the road 🙂

How to Outlet Shop like a Pro

Do you ever wonder how some women manage to look amazing, stay on trend, but not break the bank? Well, their secret is out as we unveil the tricks of the trade to become a seasoned Outlet shopper!

With trends changing every season, Outlet shopping lets you indulge your inner-fashionista without spending a fortune. Outlet hubs like Australia’s largest Outlet Shopping Centre, Harbour Town on the Gold Coast, offer up to 70% off the recommended retail price, attracting shoppers of all styles with their unique mix of popular international and iconic Australian brands at unbeatable prices every day.

The changing face of retail has seen a host of big-name brands join the Outlet revolution sweeping the country including the likes of Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Furla, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Coach and more.

There has never been a better time to update your wardrobe while still keeping your hip pocket happy. Harbour Town’s Marketing Manager, Rebecca Stevenson, gives us her top five tips to shop like an Outlet pro:

  1. Think Ahead, But Don’t Make A List!

Some days, your shopping stars align and you find exactly what you are looking for at an incredible Outlet price. Other days, you may not find the items on your list, but if you’re shopping with an open mind you could find something even better! When you hit the Outlet malls be prepared to comprise and be “fashion-forward” in your thinking. You may not need that beautiful dress on sale at 60% off today, but wedding season is just a few months away and Harbour Town’s Outlet prices make it worth investing in the piece now! If you come with a strict list, you may walk away empty-handed…but if you embrace the thrill of the Outlet find your wardrobe and wallet will come out ahead!

  1. Invest (Guilt-Free) In A Statement Handbag

In most cases of fashion and life, a statement handbag is all you need to lift your spirits and your outfit. Conveniently, the key to a statement handbag often lies in the quality and you don’t have to break the bank when you can buy premium brands such as Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade, Furla, Oroton and Mimco at Outlet prices. Most of these brands specialise in a specific style handbag, and while the colours may change ever so slightly each season, you can still buy a classically designed purse, tote, pouch, clutch or shoulder bag at a fraction of the price. It may cost you a little more than other brands, but if you’re wise in your selection you’ll find yourself taking your investment with you everywhere you go, and the extra dollars spent on quality craftsmanship will have been worth it.

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  1. Take A Friend A Make A Day Of It

Even back in the caveman days, the hunters and gatherers worked better in tribes…the same could be said for Outlet shopping. Two sets of eyes and two sets of hands will come in handy as you’re trawling through the racks for discounted delights. Also, a second opinion from an honest friend can really make or break a purchase, so take a friend who can offer a third-party view of your Outfit finds from every angle. You don’t want to miss out on anything either and shopping with a friend makes it easier to go the distance as you are more likely to enjoy a full day of strolling the malls when it’s a social affair. You can always schedule stops to refuel with lunch and coffee breaks throughout the day too!

  1. Try On Everything

Every Outlet pro knows the golden rule of all shopping is to try it all on – EVERYTHING! Particularly in an Outlet setting where you may be overwhelmed and a little frazzled by the countless options available and all of the enticing prices! This is the time to take a deep breath, check the fit closely, make sure the colour suits you and that you feel comfortable in the item. The Outlet prices usually help seal the deal!

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  1. Shop Weekdays

If you really want to get serious, schedule some time to go shopping on a weekday. You will avoid the crowds, there will be less competition and the queue for a coffee will be shorter. Remember, new stock is delivered to stores every week, so if you are really committed, a number of trips will help you find the Outlet buy of your dreams.

With these five tips on how to shop Outlet like a pro, you will find yourself looking your best and feeling even better because you managed to save a few bucks too. There’s no need to pay retail when Outlet centres such as Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast are on sale every day – because full price is so last season!

So, what have I nabbed lately?
Completely random purchase by me, but I saw this sweet little dress for my fur baby and just had to have it, doesn’t she look sweet!

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Other things that I recently bought from the outlets are Calvin Klein underwear for my girls, apparently they #NEED Calvin Klein. They are lucky it was 40% off or their #need would have become a #want and #neverhappening !!!

OK, So now you are armed with all the best tips I want to see your shopping purchases, make sure you leave a message, e-mail me or tag me on social media!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

  • Article written by Connor Wallace and published with permission.

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