Saturday, July 29, 2017

New home tour part 2

My favourite 'room' in the house - built-in bookshelves in the hall

We have been in our new home for just over two weeks now, and I wanted to share with you how we are settling in so far.  All boxes are unpacked and have been collected by the removal company for recycling, so things are getting back to normal for us.

It will take time to get everything looking the way we want it too, and I have already started a wishlist of items to hopefully tick off over time.

First up is the master bedroom.  It is lovely and roomy, and has an ensuite bathroom off it as well as a walk-in wardrobe (I took a video below).

Spot the leopard-print cat caves just beyond the bed :)

Fresh Daphne from my mum's garden - have you ever smelt Daphne?  It has a gorgeous scent.

I recorded this one-minute video of my new walk-in wardrobe.  Having a wardrobe space like this is a dream come true for me.  I can't wait for it to evolve into my own chic bijoux boutique over time. Ooh la la!

In our main living area, it is sort of an L shape, and has the sofa area as well as the dining area.  It is beautiful and sunny and looks out to our open Hawke's Bay view.  I won't lie; it's a magnificent view :)

This little nooks gets the sun from sunrise to sunset; if you can't find the cats, they will be here sunbathing their tummies

Non-staged living room :)

When we ordered our new sofas (a few years ago now), the store owner told us to get a scratching post for the cats.  We listened to him and we don't have a single hole in our sofa (unlike our previous sofas).  Having a fluffy scratching post with a bell on it in the living room is a small price to pay!

I love our kitchen; it looks out over the same view as the main living room.  It has a big pantry as well as plenty of cupboards, and a roller-door space you can see on the right.  I love having tea and coffee and our cups in there for easy hot drinks.

Like the house, the kitchen is 17 years old, but it feels brand new to me being ten years younger and and of a higher quality than our last kitchen.  I feel so lucky!

Facing the kitchen is our second, smaller sitting room with a woodburner.  It is empty at the moment because we have run out of furniture!  I don't know about you, but this is a problem I have never encountered when moving house.  Usually it's a problem fitting everything in.  It is so nice having plenty of space that I don't even mind.

We are going to go shopping to choose a sofa and two chairs perhaps, to make a winter snug/casual sitting room.

That's Nina-cat in the photo in case you were wondering (my little photobomber)
I hope you enjoyed our new home tour.  I'll be sure to update you when we fill our empty room!

PS.  Read my quotes in this USA Today article about famous folk and their fashion uniforms.  I was asked to be interviewed after I wrote this blog post about the same topic.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Arriving at our new home and living with the seasons

I am thrilled to be blogging from our new home in sunny Hawke's Bay.  We all (including our two cats) survived the six hour car ride, even driving through snow during the last part.  Yes, it's winter here in New Zealand, but we didn't expect that.

The above picture is from our new kitchen window and I am excited to say that the daffodils were picked from our garden and the lemons are from our tree.

My husband and I had the biggest week last week, and it all started on Monday.  We'd already been packing boxes for our move from Auckland to Hawke’s Bay weeks prior, however on Monday it was time to pack everything left, with the truck coming Tuesday to collect it all.

The cats have been out of sorts for a while now, ever since brown cardboard boxes started appearing in fact.  On Tuesday, four strong men arrived and emptied our house into a huge lorry.  I saw one go past carrying our massive washing machine in his arms by himself – now that’s strong.

Tuesday night my husband and I and the two cats all squeezed onto a small double-sized airbed and had a surprisingly comfortable sleep, and then on Wednesday we packed up our last bits into the car and started the drive to our new home.  It is winter here in New Zealand and the weather was alternately rainy and sunshine which was an easy drive.

Living the dream! Our airbed for the last night in our old home.

Then, on our last leg from Taupo to Napier, a short 1.5 hour stretch the weather packed in.  This, combined with this part of our trip being high altitude meant we encountered snow.  First it was sleet, then it was snow, then the snow settled on the sides of the road, then it settled ON the road.  It was all very nerve-wracking.  I hoped the road wouldn’t be closed because it would be such a huge detour to turn back.  Or worse, our tyres slide off the road.

Unexpected snow on the Napier-Taupo Rd.  Very scary!

My husband is a good driver and has had a few snow-driving experiences before.  We took it easy and I was so happy and grateful when we reached sea-level and our snowy experience was behind us.  Our car is not four-wheel drive and we do not have snow-chains, having no need for them usually.

Onwards to my mum’s house for the night, and then on Thursday we picked up the keys to our new house and met the big truck there.  Everything was offloaded by 7.30pm - I know, we were all drooping by then!

Jessica snuggled under the covers most of the night staying at my mum's on our first night in Hawke's Bay

Then, on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday and Monday too actually, we started opening boxes and unpacking.  As well as welcoming family who come to visit us.  It’s so nice to be in the same town.  The cats are slowly coming to grips with probably the most stressful week they’ve ever had and enjoying having a nosy around their new house as well as finding the sunny spots.

It’s so peaceful here in the country on our four acres and the view is glorious.  I hope I never take it for granted.  We have only been here a few days, and already I am seeing what it means to live by the seasons.  I picked daffodils from our garden and picked up bright yellow lemons that had fallen from our tree.

The apple trees we can see from our living room window and grape vines we drive past on our road are all bare, whereas when we viewed this house a couple of months ago the entire area was a vista of autumn colour.  Next is spring when everything will become green again and blossom will abound.   Eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, even when living in the city, meant we were aware of the seasons more than if we didn’t, but here in the country it will be even more pronounced.

We also have sheep and lambs in the paddock next door, and the lambs are tres cute.  They have high-pitched baby baas and their mums reply with a deep baritone baa.

I look forward to sharing more photos of our new home once we have everything unpacked and set up.  Currently the method that is most employed is emptying a box into the appropriate storage area and flossying about with it at a later date.  That later date is yet to come (but hopefully soon), because we still have a few boxes left – not that many but I want to get rid of them all as soon as possible.

Tell me what the favourite thing about the season you are in right now, whether it’s winter or summer at your place.  And if you are moving house at the moment, as I know a few of you are - good luck with everything, I feel for you, because even though it's our dream come true to move from the city to the country and our new house is gorgeous and almost twice the size of our old one, it's still unsettling.  I am trying to relax and enjoy this time when everything is new, but a tiny part of me needs time to settle in.  I suppose it's only natural.


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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Slimming Meditations

I recorded these slimming meditations a while back, however I felt shy about sharing them so I barely mentioned them to anyone. It took a comment from a lovely lady on Instagram to jog my memory.

If you would like to be inspired by slimming meditations written and recorded by moi, you can find them here.

I hope your weekend is going well.  It is a rainy and cold Sunday here, the perfect weather to snuggle up inside with hot tea and a book.  We are taking a break from the last bits of packing - after all, Sunday is a day of rest :)

Whatever you are doing, I hope it is relaxing and enjoyable!

Until my next post,

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sprinkling fairy dust over your life…

Our house is a maze of brown cardboard boxes at the moment, with our big move so imminent, so I am letting my mind drift to prettier places.  One where you can find everything you need and life is tranquil.  Much like this photo I took at the Langham actually.

Back in 2010 when I started my blog, I chose the pink background colour which I still love today.  It was a pink that wasn’t too babyish, but a blush pink with a touch of sophistication and a tiny bit of a hard edge.  Maybe there is a dash of black in it?  Anyway, I love this pink so much that I found out the official Hex code of it: #ffd3cc.  I imagined losing that pink colour and never being able to find it again, so having the code makes me feel safe :)  If you copy and paste that hashtag and six digits into Google ‘my’ pink will come up.  Not only is it on my blog, but it is also the background colour on my laptop.

Then, when my husband and I started staycationing at the Langham Hotel in Auckland once or twice a year, I saw that their trademark pink touches were almost the same shade.  I love that they pair theirs with gold, which is particularly French to me as I have seen photos of beauty therapy boutiques and perfumiers decorated in pink and gold.

I have also heard that the Ritz Paris has the walls in their rooms painted in a soft blush pink because it throws a flattering light onto your skin.  I don’t know if they still do that but I’ve always remembered the detail because it sounds so lovely.  Sheets in a delicate blush pink would be delightful too, and excellent for love and romance Feng Shui in the bedroom.

Having pink on the mind led me to intentionally cultivating more pink touches in my life, because it has such an uplifting and beautifying effect on me.  Even if you are a self-proclaimed ‘not a pink person’, surely the sight of a bouquet of pink roses can’t fail to have an instinctive effect on your happiness?

To bring more pink into my life, in a man-friendly way, I brainstormed how I would love to do that.

May I share with you some petite ways to enjoy a feminine touch of pink without demasculinising your home so much that your husband feels like he is living in Barbara Cartland’s boudoir:

  • Pale pink bar soap in the shower
  • Soft bath towels and face flannels (inspired by Aurora’s comment on my post two weeks ago The Essence of a Luxurious Life on a Budget)
  • A luxurious pink bathrobe
  • Divinely soft pink scuff slippers
  • New pyjamas or a nightdress in a becoming shade of pink
  • Lingerie in pale or blush pink
  • Pens - I use pens picked up at the Langham Hotel, pink with a gold print on, the ink is a normal colour though!
  • Pink writing paper and stationery
  • Pretty satin coathangers
  • Pretty and feminine journals to write in
  • A rose or other flower in a bud vase
  • Having a floral cup and saucer or ultra-feminine mug to drink your tea from

I bought a pair of new-looking floral Kew Garden cups from the opshop for $2 each a few weeks ago.  A whizz through the dishwasher and they are ‘new to us’.  I thought it would just be me using them because they are festooned with pretty flowers in soft colours, but my husband often chooses them when making us a tea.  I think guys can appreciate feminine touches – mine often says how he loves all the small details I bring to our home, such as lighting candles every night etc.

Even music can have a colour – when I play spa music softly in my bedroom at night while I am washing my face and having quiet time before bed, it has a soothing pink quality.  I know that sounds strange, but I think you know what I mean.

Imagine how nice feminine loungewear would in soft shades of rose too – the kind of clothes you change into for the evening – they aren’t quite public clothes but not pyjamas either.  Currently my loungewear is clingy black leggings and either a grey marle slouchy fine knit top or a black and white striped sweatshirt.  It appeals to replace items as needed in softer more feminine colours.

If ‘pink’ turns you off, consider seashell, blush, rose, peony, fuchsia, cerise, lavender, lilac, petal, mauve or any other nuance of an accent colour that you could intentionally add more of into your life as your feminine touchstone.  Choose a soft colour that makes your heart happy and, when you need something, why not choose that colour if it is available?

It doesn’t even need to be in the pink/purple range.  Another colour I adore and think is delightfully feminine is pale seaglass blue/green; this would be another beautiful shade to use as your feminine accent colour.  The light coloured packaging of Estee Lauder products is the exact shade.  I have saved a small sample box flattened out as inspiration.

Take a look at brands you are drawn to and see what their colours are.  Borrow them if they make you feel happy.  Companies spend a lot of money with colour specialists coming up with their brand’s look and feel, and a big part of that is colour.

I read that Estee Lauder herself originally chose a soft blue/green shade for her jars and gold lids, because she thought that combination would be pretty in most womens bathrooms.

How do you feel about pink, or perhaps you might have a different feminine accent colour that you love?  I’d also be grateful if you could share your ideas on other ways to introduce small feminine touches into your life.

Wishing you a delightfully rosy weekend!

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