If you like Margarita’s …

Yes, I know the Escape song is about Pina Colada’s but that didn’t stop us singing it about our Margarita’s at the top of our lungs … our poor neighbours!

It seems that many of you love a good margarita too.

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When I shared mine on my Instagram stories I had so many messages asking for my recipe.
Partly because we all love a delicious cocktail, but partly because a few of you know that I have an auto immune disease (Hashimotos) and I struggle with preservatives. It’s not something I talk about much, I know your all here to see stylish interiors and great shopping finds. Nobody wants to hear about it when I am sick for days, covered in rashes or swollen all over. I don’t even want to know about it!
Luckily I am pretty good at knowing what I can and can’t eat these days and generally manage to avoid anything I know I’ll react to.

Which brings me to the reason I wanted to share this with y’all. I know many of you have similar issues with preservatives in food, we’ve shared many DM conversations about it. I’m sure there are even more of you out there and I just wanted to share something fabulous and delicious that that I’ve found,  that I didn’t have a problem with, in the hope that it will be OK for you too.

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Last week Williams Sonoma sent me a box of Margarita goodies. While it looked absolutely amazing, my initial thought was that I’d have to sit on the sidelines and watch someone else enjoy my delicious cocktails, until I read the packaging. The cocktail mixes are USDA certified and didn’t have any nasty numbers listed, not one. Trust me, I am aware that they can be hidden in other things like ‘natural flavours’ but there wasn’t anything that set off alarm bells.

I thought it was worth a go!

We had friends over for Australia Day and we decided to shake up some cocktails. We had the WS Organic Margarita Caddy which includes 3 flavours along with the WS Margarita Salt pack, we managed to ‘sample’ all of them, and they were all TOTALLY SCRUMPTIOUS!

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Which brings me back to the recipe that everyone was asking for. That’s the easiest part about these mixes, you simply add tequila and ice and give it a good shake in your cocktail shaker.
Done, so easy!

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To rim your glass with salt I worked out a quick little tip that really helps make it stick. Yes, I’m sure you all know this, but clearly I’m a little slow to the margarita party. Don’t try and get the salts to stick on a clean, dry glass … rub a little lime or fruit around your glass and then the salt sticks easily.

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We used Espolon Tequila. I had not tried this tequila before, but it was so good and it will be a regular on our shopping list from now on. It is smooth with a hint of sugary sweetness.

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Just because I’m a little bit ‘extra’ (according to my kids) I made some watermelon balls and cut up some strawberries the day before and popped them in the freezer. I served our margaritas over the frozen fruit to keep it cool.

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We also added some tropical umbrellas to our beautiful new outdoor Sonora glasses and we got all the tropical resort feels right at home.

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However, I know what you’re all wondering ….. how am I today? Surprisingly good, nothing that a big cup of coffee and buttery hot cross bun (oh yes I did) can’t fix.

My husband is thrilled to bits that I’ve found something that I love that doesn’t make me sick and he just asked me if I can buy the margarita mix in bulk, ha. No hubby, but I can buy it in 1 litre bottles and I may have already ordered a few.

Who wants to join me for my next Margarita party?

Cheers!

Hayley x

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Orly’s big boy bedroom.

We loved Orly’s boat bed and nautical bedroom, it was super cute and made bedtime fun, but he is starting grade 1 at school this year and it was time for a change, something a little older, but still young and fresh.

Boat bed, Nautical bedroom, Kids room, Boys bedroom
ORLY’S BOAT BEDROOM

The first step was a big boy bed. We decided to move him into a Queen size bed for a few reasons … the most practical being that all three kids can share bed sheets, hopefully reducing the amount of bedding in my linen closet. The second being so we have more space for his friends to come for sleepovers and lastly, because rather than stepping up bed sizes gradually, this one should last him well into his teenage years.

I wanted something that was tough and hardy for my rough and tumble boy, but it also had to be stylish and fit with the aesthetic of our home. I chose the Dylan Queen Bed for its handsome traditional style with an industrial twist.

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The detail that I really fell in love with on this bed was the castors on the bed end legs. They are only there for decorative purposes, but are functional and make it easy to move the bed to collect the 357 single socks that seem to find their way under there!

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We still had a queen size mattress in storage from our last homes guest room, it was in good condition and had barely been slept on, but it was pretty hard and Orly wasn’t comfortable. I tried to do a mattress shuffle and swap with one of the girls but nobody liked it, maybe that’s why our guests never stayed long, ha!
Instead of splurging on a whole new mattress, we chose a SLEEPX mattress topper. It’s a great way to transform your mattress when you’re not quite ready for a new one. It’s made from memory foam and is super soft and luxurious.
We also got him some SLEEP X therapy pillows which are made in Australia from soft recovery foam, we chose the medium profile which is recommended for a side sleeper.

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The bed has a matte black finish and I wanted to warm it up with timber bedside tables. I was still hunting for them when the tables I ordered for Lucy’s room arrived, I got 2 x Hampton Bedside Tables.  I ‘temporarily’ popped them in Orly’s room, but they looked so good I decided to leave them there.
Sorry Lucy!
They are crafted from Mango wood in a traditional french design. I was originally thinking of something more industrial but I think these look so handsome and I’m really pleased with them.

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Also ordered for Lucy’s room, was this beautiful rug. Again, it looked so good I couldn’t possibly move it, so it’s living in Orly’s room now. The Skandi Rug is a flat weave kilim style rug and it’s handmade from a soft natural wool. I chose a grey/blue herringbone design. It’s a great rug for children’s spaces as the pattern does a great job hiding any accidents and it is also reversible.
Orly sits here and play with his toys for hours, it’s so much more comfortable that the hard wood floors.

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If you know me at all, you’ll know that I will probably change the bed linen a few times … I might be a little bit obsessed with textiles. For now, I couldn’t resist the Yarn-Dyed Nautical Stripe Quilt. It is such a classic design in a range of beautiful blues, it’s perfect for my home. It’s also timeless enough to ensure I won’t tire of it quickly and the simple stripes allows me to mix it with so many other patterns and colours.

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I’ve kept the decor fairly simple so far. The stripe has been carried over from his last bedroom design, while I would like to do something more exciting, it works for now and I have a list of other things that need doing (Lucy’s room) before I worry about it. I already had the oars stashed in my garage, I hung a few on the wall to enhance the seaside feel. The anchor mirror was also from his Boat Bedroom.

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I’m sure you’re all wondering about the Jumbo Teddy Bear on the bed too. Isn’t he adorable! Orly was having a little trouble adjusting to his big boy bed, along came Big Bear to save the day. He fills the empty space in the bed with a soft and cuddly presence and has been comforting for Orly at bedtime.
If you have a little one moving into a bigger bed, I highly recommend this tactic!

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The other change we made in Orly’s room to prepare him for school was to introduce a study area. I’m surprised at how much he uses this space and can only hope it continues throughout his school years.
We chose the Elliot Desk & Hutch for it’s cool corkboard and savvy storage, along with a swivel chair with a soft cushion seat for comfort.
You can find all the details of Orly’s study space here.

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I hope I’ve answered all your questions.
As always I’m happy to share where things are from or what I truly think of them, ask away!

Now, I better go and organise Lucy’s bedroom since Orly ended up with half her things.

Happy Shopping!

Hx

Disclosure : Some of these items were gifted to me, all of them were hand selected by me, all opinions are my own. Y’all know I don’t share things unless I love them, I love the quality and I love the brand.

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Get a headstart on homework.

My baby is starting grade one this year,
I have absolutely no idea where those years have gone?
I swear he was just learning to walk yesterday!

My girls are 16 and 17 years old and luckily for Orlando, he gets to benefit from the lessons I learnt with the girls.
One thing I have discovered is that I need to implement good study habits from a young age, trust me, I am not going through the homework headaches with another child!

When Pottery Barn Kids approached me to see if I’d like to create a study space for Orly, I thought they might have read my mind!
Um, YES!
Of course I’d like to give Orly a space of his own and of course I’d like to work with Pottery Barn Kids, my go-to favourite kids store!

I decided to put the desk in Orly’s room to start creating those good study habits NOW.
I know what you’re thinking – ‘Are you serious? You’re making your 7 year old study already?’
No, he’s not cramming for maths and geography just yet, but by making his desk a fun space to play and work, we hope that it becomes a place where he wants to spend time.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

I got Orly involved in creating this space right from the beginning.
We popped on to the Pottery Barn Kids website and looked at the desks and chairs together. We talked about options like colours, comfort and storage.
I found out pretty quickly that the things that were important to me, were not important to him, and vice versa. He wanted somewhere to display his artwork and Lego creations, while I wanted ample storage and a timeless style that would grow with him into his teenage years.
We chose the Elliot Desk and Hutch. It’s classic design, overhead cubbies, double drawers and fun corkboard ticked all the boxes and we both love it.

We already had the Madison 4-shelf Bookrack which is a great complimentary piece to use with the desk as it keep all his books within arms reach.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

When it came to the chair, he wanted a furry seat cushion and ‘a chair that spins like the teacups at Disneyland’, while I wanted something sturdy and safe.
The Carolina Swivel Chair was the perfect fit, it’s a little bit playful and very practical.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

Next on my list was lighting. I am an Optical Dispenser by trade, so I understand how important adequate lighting is. While reading and working in the dark will not cause permanent damage to your eyes, it may cause headaches and eye strain, these are completely avoidable by selecting the correct lighting such as the Solid Task Lighting with it’s directional gooseneck that can be angled to shine on their workspace.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

Also on my list was desktop storage for easy access and quick clean-ups. The Shaped Lazy Susan was a winner for both of us, the compartments keep his pencils and stationary organised, while the spinning star keeps him motivated to clean up.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

When the functional things were ticked off, I let Orly choose some comfort items to make him feel cosy at his desk.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.
If you know Orly, you will know he has a obsession with soft textiles, he loves anything fluffy or super soft. He wanted a blanket to ‘wrap up like a burrito’ when he’s working. I think this might be a case of monkey see, monkey do! #guilty
We chose the Stripe Fur Throw with classic stripes on one side and faux fur on the other.
As you can see by that toothless smile, he absolutely loves it!

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

Because I’m savouring every minute that he still wants to play with soft toys, I let him have this adorable west elm X PBK Bear to keep him company while he works.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

We also chose this fun Best Day Ever cushion for a pop of colour and positive reminder to make every day your ‘Best Day Ever’!

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

When we had finished selecting our items, we placed our online order and awaited delivery.
A quick little tip here – the deluxe delivery service is worth every single cent.
The friendly delivery team brings the items to your home, assembles the furniture, places it where you want it AND takes away the rubbish. It was a little bit of luxury that was greatly appreciated in our busy life!

 Orly was so excited on the delivery day, he was dancing around the house like it was Christmas.
He didn’t waste any time in making it his with all his special things.
He loves the corkboard and carefully went through his art folders to find his favourite pieces to display. I love that we can keep it fresh with new artwork now, but it will also transition to a great memo board for him as he gets older. We used the cubbie holes for his favourite books and vacation mementoes and his big sister made the ORLY letters from Lego for him.

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

He took great pleasure and pride in showing his space to both his sisters and instructing them that they had to ask him if they wanted to sit on his special chair. #siblinglove

He’s had it for a couple of weeks now and I am so pleased with the way he has been using it every day.
He plays with his Lego, does craft activities, colours-in and practices his writing. Not only does it keep this mess off my kitchen bench, but we are starting to develop those habits I was talking about … the study habits that I was hoping to implement. My first mission was to get him to use his desk, to sit and play or work independently and to enjoy it.
Mission accomplished!

Creating a stylish study space with Mum Little Loves and Pottery Barn Kids.

Now lets see if we can produce a doctor with those study skills, or a nurse, or a builder, or maybe an astronaut … whatever makes him happy, as long as he tries his best, oh gosh I sound like my mother!

If you want to create a study space for your children you can find loads of inspiration here.
Or pop in to your local Pottery Barn Kids store, the shop displays are always full of fabulous styling and ideas.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Disclosure : Some of these pieces were gifted, all of them were hand selected by me, all opinions are my own. Y’all know I don’t share things unless I love them, love the quality and love the brand.

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My Last Minute (don’t panic) gifts for EVERYONE!

Flashback to yesterday … I was PANICKING!

I am usually THAT person that has everything beautifully wrapped in pretty papers and perfectly paired ribbons, placed under the tree with care and ready for Christmas by the first week in December.

Yes, I am usually THAT person that everyone does massive eye rolls at while they are loaded with coffee, armed with their shopping list and battling the crowd during midnight shopping hours.

This year, I am NOT that person!

Yesterday, I wrote out my list and cleared my calendar for the entire day to shop, I had 12 hours of uninterrupted shopping hours to get it done.
Yes, I was panicked, but I was a lady on a mission!

I started at the stores that have something for everyone, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm and I took you all with me in my Insta-stories, which is what brought me here … It seems I am not alone and the messages started flooding in –
What one is that?
What size does that come in?
Does that come in another colour?
Is that available online?
Do I still have time to order online?

Because we all know I believe sharing is caring, here I am, sharing all my last-minute gifts complete with links direct to the website for you to shop.

Let’s Go!

Starting with one of my favourite gifts for just about anyone – a lantern, pair it with a beautiful candle and tie it with a bow, no wrapping required!
I couldn’t pick just one, so here’s a few that I love, but really, they are all gorgeous.

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TOP – Shutter Lantern
1 – Nantucket Silver Coastal Lantern
2 – Maxwell Lantern
3 – Malta Lantern, Silver

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love a snugly blanket!
The Cosy Pom Pom throw was actually on my 16 year old daughters Christmas list, one of her friends has one and she was raving on about how soft it is, then she came in store with me and made me feel it … we bought it and now I’m the one raving on about how soft it is. It’s seriously softer than any blanket I have ever felt before!

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1 – Faux Fur Throw
2 – Cosy Pom Pom Throw

Christmas is entertaining season, buy one of your friends some bar tools and let them make you cocktails, it’s a win win!
I love this one finished in nickel with gorgeous leather accents.

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1 – Hudson Bar Tool Set
2 – Hudson Cocktail Shaker
3 – Hudson Ice Bucket
4 – Hudson Tray

Do you know someone who has a crown? Then I’ve found the perfect jewellery box!
The McKenna range comes in 5 sizes, there’s one to suit everyone’s  jewellery collection. It also comes in a few different colours including white, porcelain blue and blush pink.

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McKenna Jewellery Boxes

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I love a personalised gift.
Monogram everything I say! These vintage print mugs are fun and easy to gift to just about anyone on your list.

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Vintage Print Mugs

For your funky friend or family member who has everything – I bet they don’t have a salad plate with a shark sporting a bikini? I have one of these awesome plates hung on my wall, but they are equally as fun to eat from.

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Dapper Animal Salad Plates

For the plant lover, these terrariums and planters would make a gorgeous gift paired with some fresh plants. Try some succulents or a fluffy fern.

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1 – Wood and Glass Terrarium
2 – Ceramic Turtle Planter

I didn’t forget the kiddies!

But seriously, can I have a tea party with this Kitty tea set?
It is absolutely adorable!
I’ve included a couple of options below, because honestly, how can you choose just one!

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TOP – Ceramic Kitty Tea Set
1 – Pink Ceramic Classic Tea Set
2 – Silver Tea Set

Jewellery Boxes are one of my favourite gifts to give to kids, they love to have somewhere special to hide their secret treasures. I used to find the funniest things in my kids … random buttons, shells, parts from board games and body parts from broken toys.

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1 – Crystal Laquer Jewellery Box
2 – Abigail Jewellery Box

I love wooden toys and Pottery Barn Kids has the best range around!

They have some fabulous train sets, Orly loves this one …

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Wooden Metropolis Play City Train Track Set 

This is a few of my favourite toys that my own kids had/have. They are tried and tested by my kids and they have been played with again and again, some of them for all 3 kids and they are well loved.
These are toys and games that I gift often because I know they will be favourites.

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1 – Learn To Tell Time Clock
2 – Dominoes Family Game
3 – PBK Blocks
4 – Doctor Kit

The Gotz Doll collection by Pottery Barn Kids is truly a gift your little one will cherish for years. They have a few Special Editions out for Christmas including the three below that I thought were absolutely gorgeous.
What I love about gifting a child with one of these dolls is that you pretty much have every birthday and Christmas covered for the next few years with all the fun accessories. You can add to their collection every year with everything from awesome outfits to doll size furniture and even a horse stable and pony!

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1 – Unicorn Sleepover Doll
2 – Lola Rockstar
3 – Natalie Princess

Are you lucky enough to be buying for a baby this Christmas?
Then you are going to go ga-ga when you see these animal chairs and rockers! They are super soft and snugly and come in a range of adorable animals, good luck choosing just one!

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TOP – Animal Chair – Bunny
1 – Fawn Nursery Rocker
2 – Arctic Hare Nursery Rocker
3 – Koala Nursery Rocker 

OK, So that was all the gorgeous gifts that I shared on my Instagram yesterday.
I hope that has answered all your questions!

Here’s a few more things I found while scrolling the websites that may have just jumped in my cart, or are currently on my wish list.

This jumped in my cart … because you can only get it at Christmas so you simply must make the most of it!
I know y’all go crazy for the Peppermint Bark and I get it, it’s pretty good …. but the TOFFEE!
The Toffee is something else and I may have just ordered 2 tins that I will be hiding and not sharing with anyone, yes I’m greedy like that!

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Williams Sonoma Handcrafted Toffee

On my wish list … because I want to feel like I’m in a fancy hotel everyday!

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Hotel Piped Trim Robe

And lastly, on my wish list … because everyone loves a good vase. I adore the organic feel of this range that is crafted by hand inn terracotta and finished with wrought iron handles.

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Marlowe Ceramics

 So here’s the low down –
The cut off for online orders to be received by Christmas is midday 21st December (Friday) for small parcel deliveries to Metro Sydney, Melbourne  and Brisbane only,
OR
You can shop in store until Christmas Eve with FREE gift wrapping.

Oh, and remember how I said I had 12 hours of kid free, uninterrupted shopping time … I got my list ticked off in just a couple of hours!
Do you think I went home to the kids?
No way, I made the most of those hours of bliss! I sat in cafes and sipped coffee, went out to lunch with my daughter and went clothes shopping, because I always need another pretty dress!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

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