Saturday, 28 September 2013

Quick and Easy DIY Gifts for a Baby Boy

Recently, a wonderful bloggy friend of mine, Trudie, had a beautiful baby boy. I was so excited for her (naturally, as I amt he cluckiest duck in existence) and resolved that I should make a little care package for her entire family to celebrate the new arrival. Knowing that Trudie is a bit of a thrifty, vintage-loving, hippy mumma, I knew she would appreciate something handmade or second-hand for her little one and herself,  and I was all too happy to oblige, since my budget is somewhat limited lately.

I included an op shopped skirt for Mumma, a cute little onesie I found at Best 'n' Less for baby, and some colouring books for her other two children - Cars for Cohen and Disney Princesses for Sarah to keep them occupied while mum is busy with baby. I also made these cute little singlets for baby Fraser, and I just had to share them with you all, as they were so easy and Trudie seemed to really love them. Over summer I imagine Fraser will get a lot of wear out of them, as it is a little too hot here for little ones right now!

All three singlets were refashioned with bits and pieces I already had in my sewing box, so this made the gifts really cheap for me to make. The dinosaur and whale are just scraps of fabric which I adhered with two step Heat'n'Bond iron-on adhesive. First you iron the fabric to the adhesive, then you trace your template on the back of the Heat'n'Bond and cut around it. Peel off the paper backing, and iron it to the singlet and you're done! There are tons of cute templates on the internet to choose from, as well! The spout and eye on the whale were embroidered on, and I would recommend you make sure your Heat'n'Bond is the sewing-friendy one. I found out the hard way (a bent needle and a pricked thumb) that mine wasn't.

The caterpillar was a little more time consuming to make, but since I had Criminal Minds episodes to catch up on, it felt like nothing at all! I simply chose some vintage buttons out of my huge stash to use in co-ordinating colours and a similar size and sewed them on the singlet, overlapping slightly in a zig-zaggy caterpillar pattern. The smiley novelty button I found in my stash was the perfect touch to this design, don't you think? The antennae are optional, and I embroidered them on.

I really love giving handmade gifts and love personalising singlets and onesies for new arrivals! When I finsished the singlets, I bundled them together with the rest of the presents for Trudie's family and wrapped them in a vintage tea towel which I picked up at an op shop with Trudie in mind a while ago. It's not really my style, but I knew it was hers and just had to get it for her! The whole package was finished off with some retro looking ribbon, and handed over with a handmade card when I visited Trudie last week. I hope that this post has shown you how easy it really is to make a thoughtful, customised baby gift and inspired you to give these simple ideas a go!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bloggy Buddies and "Real Life" Buddies

Is it just me, or are bloggers the best people in the entire universe? I have had a really tough year this year that hasn't put me in a very good place mentally, and as I have struggled to make new friends on the Gold Coast I have often sought comfort in the friendships I've found in my online world. Some of these girls have honestly become better friends in my eyes than many of the girls I interact with in my "real life". They have supported me through the tough times I have been having, are always there to talk, and are just generally the most lovely people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

I hold these girls really close to my heart, especially Leona, Ella and Michelle, who have often made my heart feel so full with the kindness and support they have shown me, and who I can't wait to met in person someday. I have always wanted to move to the UK for a while, as I think it would be the most amazing opportunity, and making friends with these amazing bloggers has only intensified this hope for my future. Because these girls have been so amazing to me, I thought I would introduce them to you all in a post. Their blogs are just as amazing as their personalities, so I really hope that you find some new people to follow in this post!

Leona from Oh! Leona

Leona is siriusly my long lost British twin! I love her to no end!
We originally bonded over our love of Paramore, and eventually, when Leona started reading the Harry Potter series for her very first time, I decided to read it again so we could excitedly tweet each other about it, and it cemented our friendship. Now, barely a day goes by that we aren't tweeting or facebooking or whatever, and since we live in completely different timezones, my replies to her tweets in the morning are usually a reminder for her go to bed. 
Leona has been there for me through thick and thin, and I can't wait to meet her someday! I'm pretty sure we would be inseparable if we didn't live on opposite sides of the world! 
I really hope that you will check out her blog - her Sucky Sunday posts are my absolute favourite ever, and her entire blog is just filled with her awesome personality. She is a gem!

Ella from Hello Ella

Ella has become a bit of a big sister figure to me over the last year. She is my biggest inspiration in life, as she has been through so much and come out the other side such a beautiful, strong woman. We get along so well, and I feel like I can talk to her about anything, which is so comforting. As a fellow autoimmune disease sufferer, she has been a great support this year and has let me know I'm not alone in what I'm going through. That makes a huge difference when you feel like a failure because you can't get out of bed in the morning.
As a blogger, Ella is doing so well! Her style and aesthetic is so similar to mine, so I love everything she posts about. She is a wonderful person and blogger to get to know!

Michelle from Satchels and Pearls

Michelle is another blogger I look toward as a big sister! She is the most lovely person, and we have a lot of common interests. We are even studying the same thing at uni! She has the cutest style ever, is always up for a chat, and I actually can't believe how excited I am over her little New Year's baby, and her gorgeous bump! Her beauty posts are always great, but the highlight of her blog for me is getting a peek at Yorkshire. I dream of the Yorkshire countryside, and will definitely be visiting it with her someday! 

Trudie from My Vintage Childhood

If Leona is my bloggy twin, and Ella and Michelle are my bloggy big sisters, Trudie is my blog mumma. She is an amazing woman, and the only blogger I have had the pleasure to meet in real life. I was welcomed into her home with open arms upon moving to the Gold Coast, and as well as enjoying her company, and being inspired by her blog, she has taught me so much about blogging, about vintage, about being true to myself and about life.
Trudie is an op shopping queen and always inspires me to get out there and find something special. She has also inspired me to embark on small business ventures in the future and to just generally be more true to myself. I have so much love and respect for her!

Erica from Being Erica

This picture should sum up why I love Erica perfectly. Just look at all that cuteness in the one photo! She is perfect! As an Aussie who escaped to the UK, she is a massive inspiration of mine, and was also one of the first bloggers I started interacting with. Without her, I wouldn't know Ella, Leona, Michelle or half the other ladies on here who I am so close to now as I found almost all of them through her blog. She is a total babe and I love her to bits! 

Libby from Gingerbread Buttons

Another picture that just seems to sum up the lovely lady within and why I love her so much! Libby, being closer to my age than other bloggers I interact with, has become a great friend of mine. We both share a scary obsession with tea, she is the most lovely, quirky little miss that ever did live, and she has a bunny named Bunny. I have serious hair and bunny envy over Libby! Seriously. 
Libby's style is so gorgeous and she is one of those genuine personalities who I had no troubles connecting with. She is a treasure.

Kirsty from Indigo Buttons

Doesn't Kirsty just look beautiful here? She is a wee Scottish babe! One of the things I love about Kirsty (besides how quirky/cute she is) is how much of a fellow geek she is! She has my dream job, teaching secondary English, she loves history and is a hardcore bookworm, and I just think she is the greatest ever. I even had a dream that she and her boyfriend, Adam decided to join Jake and I on the trip around Australia next month. Yep, I think she is so great that my sub-conscious decided that I'd like to spend three months in a campervan with her!

I'm sorry for the length of this post - I just didn't want to leave any of these lovely ladies out. They have truly made such a massive, positive impact on my life since I started blogging and  thank them for every bit of kindness they've shown! I hope that I've exposed you to some new blogs, too although if you have taste anything like mine, you probably are already familiar with most of them! 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Dream Rental and a Wednesday Bedroom Wishlist

So, Jake and I have officially started house hunting after inspecting one property on Monday together, and me inspecting another alone  yesterday. It's really starting to sink in that soon all our living arrangement hassles will be over and we will be living together, like we should be!

The unit we went and looked at on Monday was in such a great spot, with views overlooking North Creek and big sliding doors which led out onto a verandah off the living room, but inside it was really disappointing! The photos on the internet made it look quite okay, where in reality, it looked like the chipboard in the kitchen and bathroom cupboards was about to turn to dust, the bedrooms were more like cupboards than anything, and everything was quite chipped and outdated. I wanted to apply for it anyway after looking, convinced that we couldn't afford anything better but Jake wasn't keen at all, and for once I listened to him and agreed we would find something better suited to our needs.

Then we saw this beauty in the real estate listings:

It was a little ($80) over our price range, but I instantly fell in love with it and just knew I had to find a way to convince Jake to let me go to the inspection the next day. I sat down and drew up a budget - one with my estimated weekly earnings doing one day of child care a week plus my benefit, and one with my benefit alone to prove to Jake that even if I had a bad week for work we could still make ends meet in this place with careful budgeting on my part (he is fine, he is about to get a pay rise so Mr. Richpants didn't need a budget drawn up). Although he was a little sceptical of my ability to actually stick to a budget, finally he agreed that I could go and look at the house and see if it suited our needs.

Well, what can I say? IT'S PERFECT! I'm not kidding. Its even nicer in real life than in the photos and I just about died walking around it and seeing how gorgeous it is! The fireplace had me actually, literally squealing with delight, as I've always wanted a fireplace to curl up with a book beside, and it has a shed and everything, which will keep Jake happy. Oh, and it's right across the road from my old school, which is where I am planning on doing my work experience for uni, and hopefully getting a job one day. Can you see why it's my dream rental?

My biggest thing for Jake and I at the moment is finding a place where we will be comfortable for the next few years. This will be my third move this year and I am so sick of the whole process - I just want somewhere we can settle down and start making some memories together. Somewhere we can actually call home! I don't really think we would be happy living in a poky, little unit because we both like our space, and we really need something with a garage for his motorbike, tools, bmx, kite board and whatnot (yeah, he has a lot of hobbies and a lot of junk). I know we would be comfortable in this house, and if we got it, I don't think we would move unless we got kicked out, or found the money to buy our own home. With two bedrooms, an office, a sun room, an entertaining area, a shed and separate dining and lounge room, it honestly has everything we could ask for. Unfortunately, with about 30 other people at the inspection yesterday, most of them older, wiser and in better financial positions than Jake and I, I'm not feeling too hopeful about getting this place. I will certainly try though!

Bedroom Wishlist


When we move, I really want to update our bedroom. I started doing this at my place in Southport, but decorating a room you hate spending time in isn't much fun, so I didn't get very far. I did buy a gorgeous, pink and white floral Laura Ashley quilt set though, and ordered a custom bright, floral watercolour print from Autumn's shop to hang on the wall. This wish list is inspired by the colours in that print, and by my desire to bring a bit more colour into our bedroom. 

The chest of drawers from Bedroom Furniture Solutions* is exactly what I need to store my vast amounts of clothes, and the top two drawers are the perfect size to house accessories. I thought that replacing the wooden knobs with cute, ceramic ones would help to brighten the room a little and make the chest of drawers mine. I loved some of the beds from Bedroom Furniture Solutions as well, but since we already have two perfectly good ones of those, and a limited budget that was out of the question! At the moment half of my clothes are in a small, broken pine set of drawers in the garage, and I've been meaning to paint it and fix it up for ages, but I really do need something bigger, so I'm better off buying something new and saving my DIY energy for another project.

I love everything in this set so much, even though some of it is a little out of my price range (ahem, vintage alarm clock). Turquiose, yellow and pink are the perfect colours for our bedroom, and if we get that awesome house, I will have to buy myself a few things off this wishlist to celebrate! 

Wish me luck!

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Bedroom Furniture Solutions. All opinions are 100% my own. Photos of the house are from the Ballina McGrath Real Estate website

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wednesday Wish List: Black Milk Hogwarts Collection

Black Milk Hogwarts Collection

So, many of you will already know that Black Milk Clothing's Hogwarts collection came out last week, and if you follow Leona, Becky and I on twitter, you will most definitely know that I am crazy about it, as I think it's basically all we could talk about in the lead up to the collection going on sale last Tuesday. Ever since I first heard about the collection, I just knew I'd be crazy about it. It's no secret that I'm a die-hard Harry Potter fan, and most of my friends probably think that I'm bordering insanity with the amazing height my obsession has reached, but I just can't help it. Is it so wrong for someone to want to believe in magic in this world we are living in?

Anyway, since I lost my job a few weeks ago, I unfortunately can't afford anything from the collection just yet. Thankfully, my birthday is just around the corner, and I've managed to convince basically everyone I love to buy me a piece from the collection as a gift, so I thought I'd share my little wish list on the blog. It was so hard trying to narrow down which pieces I really want, and I still am a little bit torn between the Deathly Hallows swimsuit and this Ravenclaw one, but I know for sure that that Undesirable shirt will be mine, and I'm absolutely stoked that my family, friends and Jake (who hates Harry Potter, btw) support my obsession!

What would you like from the collection, if anything? Are you as obsessed with Harry Potter, and this collection, as Leona, Becky and myself?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

What I Wore: Fly Me 2 The Moon

On Friday, Jake and I were lucky enough to be invited to the grand opening of a new shop in Suffolk Park, called Fly Me 2 The Moon, where Jake has been working for the last couple of weeks. Tucked away in the shopping plaza at Suffolk Park, Fly Me 2 The Moon is just a stone's throw away from Byron Bay, and it captures the market perfectly. All of the products available in Fly Me 2 The Moon are hand-picked, hand-crafted and are not stocked anywhere else on the Far North Coast, giving the shop a unique edge in an area where dream catchers and pot-pourri have for too long ruled the roost.

It just so happened that I had a hair appointment on Friday morning with my friend, Alisha who is an apprentice at Kaos Hair in Ballina, and offered to do my hair for free as a part of her training. After four hours of being doted on in the salon by four hair dressers who were only too excited over the prospect of having a creative license over my hair, I came out with my hair cut, dyed, set and styled in an elaborate up-do inspired by victory rolls. As Jake put it, I "fit in well with all those Byron Bay classy people".

This is what I wore to the event:

Top and skirt: Valleygirl
Clogs: Rubi Shoes

And a little look at the beautiful products that the shop has to offer (the majority being way out of my price range).

I have to say, it was not easy trying to get decent photos while at the event, as the room was just so crowded. The shop is beautiful, though and if you would like a better look at what they have to offer, I would suggest clicking over to their website. Now, if only I had the money to buy some of their products for myself...

Disclaimer:: I was not compensated in any way for this post. Jake and I were invited to the event as a thank you for the hard work he has put in doing the electrical for the shop over the past few weeks, and going the extra mile to make sure that all the lights they hung are removable for sale. We thank Georgina and Alexandra for their generosity and for making the event such a fantastic night. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

An Extraordinary Weekend

I'm back! Golly, it seems I have written those two words wayyy too much on this little blog, but as per the last time I was "back" I do not feel one shred of guilt for not posting lately. Nope, not one. You see, I found out something pretty interesting over the last few weeks. First off, I learnt that moving house the week before your first assessment block for the semester at uni is absolute hell and should be avoided at all costs. Secondly, I learned that when you hate the place where you live, you WILL NOT unpack boxes no matter how much you are willing yourself to be happy there. It just becomes physically impossible. Third of all, I learned that blogging when you've just moved, you are in the middle of an assessment block, you hate the place you live and you spend every spare moment you have travelling down to Lennox Head to breathe in the fresh ocean air and spend time with your boyfriend is impossible. You just won't do it!

Lastly, I learnt that Mumma does indeed know best, and I should listen to her more often. Seriously, she knows me better than I know myself sometimes, and that's a scary thought! Now, on to my extraordinary weekend and hopefully this last little bit of information will start making sense.

Many of you will know by now that I moved to Southport a few weeks ago, and you most certainly know by this point in this post that I don't love it. I'm not sure exactly why I dislike living here so intensely, but I think it has something to do with one unclean housemate, a cat regularly shitting in my bathtub and being away from all the people I love. So, every weekend, I pack my big, green overnight bag and head home. To my true home - Lennox Head. I used to leave on a saturday afternoon, after I finished work and come back on Tuesday morning, when I would head straight to uni for the day, but I lost my job last week via text message and that is the first reason why this weekend was so extraordinary. I got a whole extra day with the man I love.

Secondly, this week I got a (sort of) break from the travelling, and Jake came to stay with me for a change. He loves to trick me and surprise me, and he did that again this week by calling me Friday afternoon to say he wasn't sure if he'd make it that night because he had to work late, and then I turned the corner into my street to see his car in the driveway and my heart melted. That's the second reason this weekend was extraordinary, Jake came to visit me for the first time since I moved with the intention of giving me a break from travelling. Of course, I ended up coming home with him Sunday night anyway to have a few extra nights together, but I still love him for it.

This weekend was also extraordinary because I got to watch Jake ride! I love that my boyfriend does an interesting sport. It is actually so cool to me, sitting at Queensland Moto Park watching the boys ride bikes! The little kids on peewees just about kill me with cluckiness, but that's nothing to how I feel seeing Jake ride. Riding really is his passion. It's what he lives for and every time he is out on a track, on a trail or even just riding around a paddock he is so happy, and that makes me happy. He puts his all into his riding and it really shows. He is so go-for-it and is quite a good rider, with enough patience to teach whoever wants to learn. I got some pretty good photos of him this weekend, which I'm glad of because it's not often he has someone on hand to take photos. Hopefully I won't be the photographer for too long, though! I want my own bike. I want to get confident enough with my riding to hit the tracks, and do small jumps, but I know that's a long while off yet.

`The last, and most important reason that this weekend was so extraordinary is due to an important decision I made. It's no secret that I'm not happy where I am, and I decided to do something about it. Ever since the start of our relationship, I expected that when I started uni, Jake would just pack up and come with me, leaving his job and his family behind. It's what he thought, too. Unfortunately, we have had a crappy run this year and that's how I got to where I am. Now, it seems I have had a moment of realisation. I realised that the Gold Coast is not the best place for me right now. I realised that I miss home, miss my family, miss Jake and am unproductive in my current environment because of this. I realised that there is no point in Jake upheaving his life to come here when we will both just want to move back in two years time when my degree is finished. I also realised that he has a great job, with a steady client base and a boss who gives him a lot of responsibility which will come in handy when he is qualified and wants to set up his own business one day, and that his mum is sick and he should be close to her while she goes through this. I expected my boyfriend to pack up his life and move to a city neither of us love, which we will only be leaving again in two years, and that is unacceptable.

I have made a meeting to find out how I switch my degree over to distance education. I am contacting the real estate to give notice at my unit. I will be leaving in the last week of October and I am never moving back here again. Losing my job freed my mind and enabled me to see clearly what I need to do to find happiness. At long last, Jake and I will be living together in our own place, and we will be doing it with the full support of both our families, nice and close to home. I won't say I'm not worried about doing uni by distance, because I am but I have a feeling I will be much more motivated to get my work done when I am living somewhere that I love. I have given so much to the Gold Coast this year, and it has not given anything back. I have learned from my experiences, and finally I am moving home. Mum said she knew all a long this is what I'd do. I hate that she is right, but the countdown is on!

This little note on my steering wheel lifted my heart this morning as I left Jake's place. I have made the right decision.