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Win a Stunning Hamper by Homegrown Gifts


Hampers can be so hit and miss.. and that is why we don't have many stores putting them together on DTLL . If I am spending a decent amount like them to come in a container I want to keep and for each and every item to be something special in itself.. Homegrown Gifts.. ALWAYS deliver!



Homegrown Gifts bring together style, quality and environmental awareness. They offer a range of gifts and gift baskets, items which are lovingly handcrafted and carefully selected. Homegrown Gifts make every effort to source items for hampers that are locally owned and produced, using sustainable, ethical and environmentally conscious methods as they love to support Australian made.

Together in a cross promotion with Cherie from Raising Master Max , we have a $129 Christmas Hamper up for grabs from Homegrown Gifts

All you need to do to enter is tell us in 25 words or less;

What is your ultimate add in for the perfect hamper? 

Then follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget below to be in with a chance to win.

Competition is open now and closes Sunday 14/12/14 at 11.59pm AEST

Welcoming Pain...


When I spoke about Indian Giving last week I omitted a detail I later realised upon one of my reflective moments..

I asked for the one item back which was possibly childish and got them all.. definitely childish 

The thing is I think I sort of asked for the hurt to see how far that person that I would still have welcomed back in my life would go. Well she answered in no uncertain terms that she truly did not give an iota about me or my feelings. No note, not even one telling me where to go.

I had to hold myself back from being super bitchy and listing the things that had been forgotten, possibly they were in use but whatever the reason I refused to lower myself to such a) nasty and b) pathetic behaviour 

It has been quite cleansing. I can walk away thinking why would I even want to fight for that?

It has hurt and it still hurts but I drive past her house and my kids ask after the family and I say sorry sweethearts she is not my friend anymore. They say ‘why?’ I say ‘she just doesn’t like Mummy, she says I don’t make her feel good’. I could go a different route but why? I am not lying to my kids, I am not shying away.. instead I welcome the pain as it is the only way to heal. 

Her telling me I was not a good enough friend just makes me want to be a better on to all my others. I choose to live my life these days by find the silver linings, and if facing some pain leads to that then it is the way I will go about it.


Life is too short to dwell on what does not make you feel good.. 

Do you face your pain or run a mile? 

Dreaming of Summer

HTML Map HTML Map

Some things I have , some things I will get and some things I just love to covet (yes, like those hot bronzed bodies).. Click on the images to go to the source :)

Are you immersed into that Summer feeling yet? 

Life Lately







Dexter : I am so in love with watching the bond the kids have with Dexter.. they loved Obi and Tyler but they came into the dogs lives not the dogs into theirs, this is the opposite and Dexter just adores them as a result.
Swimming : The Pool is a regular drop in on Saturdays.. I read, they play.. oh happy days..
The Girls : I managed to find time for lunch with the girls and it was only 90mins but it was sheer bliss
Food : It is like a constant battle. I have a sweet tooth but want to be healthy. This Sixer Juice by Sam is to die for..
Hanging : Hammock is hung, it sits in full sun early morning and shade in the afternoon.. total perfection.

A Little bit o' Leibster..

Oh how divine to have been nominated again.. this time by Something Gorgeous

The rules that come with a nomination are as follows:

1. Link back and recognise the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer ten questions given by the nominator.

3. Nominate ten other bloggers for the award (I am going to do 5 as I only did one recently)

4. Create ten questions for nominees to answer.

5. Notify your nominees.

6. Get an award button and display it proudly.

So my questions are..

What makes you smile?

Oh so many things but if I am counting the things that do it daily it has to be my family. They truly are my everything and my husband is a spunk and total keeper whilst my kids have a bond that I just adore.
Just recently my biggest smile is coming from launching my new brand The Cult List with one of my best friends Kate..



What is you favourite season of the year?

Summer all over, I may moan about the heat at the time but I love the beach, I am revived by sun on my back as I run and easy summer maxi's are just bliss..


If you won a million dollars, what would you do?

I would have my husband stop work immediately and book holidays for every school break for a year. I would pay off the mortgage and then see what was left to invest back into DTLL..

What does your family think about you blogging?

Not much, my kids don't know that I do and my husband knows I have made some amazing friends from it so doesn't question it.. as for my extended family.. they don't read it so rather irrelevant :)

What did you want to be when you were a child?

A Lawyer.. Power Suit, Stilettos and Shoulder pads.. I used to watch LA Law with my Mum, what can I say.

Tell a random fact about you.

I grew up hanging around a race track as my Dad was a Formula 3 Racing Driver



Are you punctual or tardy?

Oh it depends on the day, I am always on time to get out the door but often late due to checking my emails just before I leave and ending up delayed but customer service issues but only when meeting people that know me well

What advice would you give to any new bloggers?

Have fun, be yourself and create your own voice because it is too hard to be someone else

If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Wowsers that is a hard one there are so many but I would love to meet Vivienne Westwood. I met her once but would love have a proper sit down chat.

What is your favourite post that you've written?

I have written a couple I am sure but none are a standout above any other so I will link to my favourite recent one which was called Serious Reflection

So now it is my turn to tag and I tag..

Kim, Jess, Sam , Bianca and Chris

My questions are..

Why did you start blogging?
What is your favourite thing to do on a weekend?
What is top of your list for a Christmas gift for yourself?
Do you have a holiday spot you could happily visit forever?
What is your dream job?
Share with us your favourite memory..
What is the best thing that has happened this year for you?
Chocolate or Cocktails and which style?
What is your favourite Social Media and why?
Who is your ultimate dinner date?

Ok who is playing ? Feel free to answer them yourselves or just pick one?



Unisex Kids Decor..

I certainly can't say I have a huge amount of this theme in my life but I am a fan of the versatility that black and white creates. It always looks classic and elegant whilst still somehow being fresh and modern AND when it comes to using it for the kids I love that it never goes off trend so if a decent cost can last the ages.

1. Custom Name Wood Blocks

blocks
Personalised and monochrome, these Letter Wood Blocks ($9 each) would happily sit on the bookshelf amongst all the coloured spins of children's books.  

2. A Trio of Batman Prints

Trio of Bat Prints Batman is hot property at the moment and I adore the vintage feel of this Dark Knight Trio ($49) as I think they would be as popular with the dads as much as the kids.  

3. Cotton On Cushions

cotton
I know being from Cotton On they are not so unique but they are oh so fun and affordable. The Dream Big Cushion ($19.95) has such a fab message and Moon and Back ($14.95) is such a cute saying and Batting Mad ($19.95) is just plain goofy!  

4. Ikea House Hack

I LOVE this ever so simple DIY from Mommo Design. Black tape PLUS a white set of drawers and ta da you are done. You could use this on any lighter coloured box too.  

5. Santa Monica Cushion

cushion
Fresh and with a little touch of the Aztec Trend this Santa Monica Cushion ($83) is 47cm so it's a good size for a kids floor cushion that could then be on a king single bed as they get older.  

6. Stormy Quilt Set

Cloud Doona Cover
I often hear that boys bedding is so hard to find and that is always just car or robot themes. Well this Stormy Quilt cover set ($190) goes against all that and would be just as good for a girls room as a boys.  

7. Hey Mr. Spaceman

HM
My kids are now at an age that I can trust them with crockery and I have been slowly replacing all my plastic pieces. These pieces from H&M ($7.95 each) are a definite on my list.  

8. Knitted Bean Bag

La De Dah have an awesome range but the knitted bean bag ($129) is a stand out for me.

9. Storage Bricks

Stack them up or scatter them around these Stud Storage Bricks ($15) come in an array of colours and sizes. Lego never goes out of fashion huh?!    

10. Monochrome Blankets

Kate & Kate Blanket
Kate & Kate are all about generous sized blankets and they have quiet a few designs in black and white. My favourite is the Jagger ($119) and the Geometric ($119) comes a close second.  

11. Geometric Cross Decor

We can start them early on the monochrome path with this beautiful cross geometric mobile ($135) and the banner ($75) to match.  

12. Batboy Pillowcase

Batman Pillowcase
I couldn't resist rounding off one more Batman piece, after all he is the master of all-in-black superhero. The Batboy Pillowcase ($31) is just the best. I already have it on my sons bed with the girls version on my daughters.

Giving and Taking..



I am curious.. have you ever asked for a gift back?

I did it a few weeks back. I had bought this stunning piece of framed art for a couple last Christmas of which I now know the female didn't even like me anymore at the time that I gave it to them. I didn't make her feel good about herself so she had distanced herself from me and my life.

Thats all well and good but I didn't find out about that until 6 months after and it had me realise that the beautiful piece had gone to waste. That didn't really bug me until I started driving past their house each week on the way to Nippers and kept making me envision it sitting in the loft..

So I did it, first time ever, but I messaged and said can I have it back. I wouldn't re gift it but I want to give it back to the artist or to charity I just want the loving karma it was gifted with to end up somewhere other than in that house

I also offered to have a piece of personalised jewellery I bought her changed as I had gifted it with the words 'you are special' at a time when she was feeling far less than so. I didn't want it back as at the time of giving it I am pretty sure we were still good mates but thought she may want to change the wording..

It felt kind of wrong but it also felt like something I needed to do and whilst possibly selfish it is not like it is going to ruin a friendship as she had already made it clear that was over..

Have you ever taken a gift back? Am I odd? 


* funnily enough, she never responded but returned both items and even a few others to my front door step with no note.. my emotions? incredibly hurt but very happy I can just move on and focus on those that stood by me when I was doing it tough setting up DTLL alone not the ones that jumped ship.

Win 1 of 2 Beautiful Personalised Bracelets..

I adore custom made items, personalised pieces are what had me start DTLL and this giveaway is from a fabulous store that has the most amazing range of gifts

Fleur Envy takes great pride in delivering excellent craftsmanship, taking great care of even the smallest details. For them, "handmade" is really made by hand. It is a big part of what makes their products truly exceptional the passion for handicrafts, nature and life is evident in their range.





Together in a cross promotion with Sonia from Sonia Styling , we have two custom made bracelets on offer from Fleur Envy

All you need to do to enter is tell us in 25 words or less;
 What is your favourite metal? Are you a Silver or a Gold Person?
Then follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget below to be in with a chance to win.

Competition is open now and closes Sunday 30/11/14 at 11.59pm AEST

Lets all go Free..



Free to air that is..

Our family, well Marcus and I, had mumbled about cancelling Foxtel from after about a year of moving to this house (we had never had it in any previous abodes) so after 4 years of apparently umming and ahhing we finally cut ties.

The clincher for us was actually our children..

Kitty walked in one day and mentioned she was going to get her dog his 'kibble'. 'Kibble, what on earth is kibble?' 'Oh you know Mum its what Odi eats in Garfield'.

The duo both used the words 'awesome' and 'rad' far too frequently considering our children had never seen a skateboard at that stage AND I could not stand to wake up to them scrolling through the plethora of dumb cartoons that are really made for teenagers and fart, belch and have too many inuendos.

Marcus and I realised most of what we watched as a couple was either already on free to air or would be soon and if not we could just get the DVD series.. talking True Blood, Suits, Orange is the New Black etc so the only thing we would loose was The Housewives of every State in the USA, Vanderpump Rules and a few other shows that would never return us back the hour of our life we had wasted watching.

It has been at least 4 months.. we are richer in every way..

Cash, of course...
I get to watch Ellen daily instead of Housewives...
If we run out of stuff recorded we go to bed..
Best bit.. our kids watch DVD's when it is down time and never even bother to turn it on in the morning.. they just play.

Its been like us moving house.. I wish I had done it earlier.. what the *^%# was I waiting for?

Why am I sharing? In case you are thinking the same.. GO FOR IT!..

Do you have Foxtel? Have you got rid if it and loved it? What shows could you never kick? 

A morning with Nikki.. Oh yes purlease..



* Event tickets include an award-winning, catered brunch (with amazing coffee to boot), nanny assistance from Precious Peeps, a Mum Society gift bag plus entry to win one of our lucky door prizes – this month the prize pool is valued at a whopping $1500. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with an incredible community of mums. Please ensure you allow plenty of time for parking and to settle your little people. No paper ticket required – just come and join in the fun.


Serious Reflection..


I had lunch the other month with Sonia and Bron. Those two girls are good for my ego. You see they have only known me for 4 years or so. They have watched me ride some huge waves and seen me be very honest about how tough they were alongside growing from the journey. Both girls know me in the personal and work capacity, they know how much I adore and cherish the community DTLL has created despite what I have given up to get there and well lets just say they let me know I have something and am someone to be proud off.

Whilst chatting about some less desirable personalities we had come across in business of late I said to Bron at that lunch it is amazing to talk about these people and not relate to them as they are the person  I used to be. I haven't been that person for a very long time as from the day I met Marcus I have shifted slowly but surely into the person I am today but I can now look back and see what a selfish person I once was.

I recently lost a friendship I had really valued as during the 'riding the waves' part of setting up DTLL I had not given enough of my time to her. It hurts and I am really sad she felt that way but she never voiced it and so I never knew. The thing was at exactly the same time I had another girlfriend who was not only not getting enough of my time but the time she was getting was actually filled with negativity. I was just not myself and she ignored it and dug on through.. I came out the other side and she actually said 'I am so happy to have my Tessa back'.

It wasn't until loosing one friend that it highlighted to me how amazing another one was to me.

It wasn't until listening to Bron chat about an egotistical character that I realised I used to be one.

It wasn't until I started really absorbing my husbands advice that I actually found I could action it.

It wasn't until I started taking the time to reflect every few months that I worked out how to live a better, happier and more fulfilling life.

Do you take time to reflect? Do you use what you find and take it to a better place? 

Reconnecting at Sculptures










I have wanted to go to Sculptures by the Sea for quite a few years and work has always been too busy but this year I forced myself to go.. I found a few excuses.

One of my besties won a comp as best amateur photographer there last year with this image so I just had to take the opportunity to wander around with a superstar..

That same bestie is the one I have dedicated a whole post to in a week and was one of the few I spoke about in my loyalty post and we were in need of some time out, just us two.. 

... it is in Bondi so I got to take her to see Guy of Bondi Harvest at The Depot for lunch AND my Bondi office is above so that makes it work huh?!

Have you been to Sculptures ? It travels too.. WA at the mo but more to come I hear..

Life Lately










Designing : Kate and I have been designing away, it has meant I have spent some time in the workshop and it all feels very special. 
Nippers : The kids started the other week and it is fab, I think it is important for them to understand the surf given we live by the ocean but to see them running around with the little caps on brings some Aussie pride to a Mumma's heart 
Tumbalong Park : I went there on the way back from the Sea Life Aquarium and the kids loved it, fab food all around and one of the biggest, bestest parks I have seen in a while
Travel : My husband does too much of it.. the odd day is easy the minute we get past 3 days I feel the toll of tiredness kick in.. makes me even happier to have him around when he is :)
Light Lust : I gave in and bought the little lady from Typo. It is a lot smaller than I imagined but still cute none the less..
Walks : I walk Dexter daily but my joy on the weekends is having the family along side in the glorious sunshine
Birthday : I had one, it was filled with food, exercise and friends..

What have you been up to lately? 



Feeling the Heat....

The weather is warming and suddenly our focus turns to outdoor activities and our homes outdoor areas..

Light and Bright or Soft and Subtle all your need is a little bit of comfort in a sunny or shady spot to soothe the soul.. and for those that don't have any outdoor space a stunning artwork can have you drifting off into the right direction instead.


Clockwise from top left.. Hanging Pod Chair // Bondi Artwork // Luxury Hammock // Deck Chairs // Outdoor Rug // Umbrella // 



I think you can add a touch of summer to any area it is as simple as new serving wear for the barbys, a few cushions for your outdoor sofa or just some bright towels to lie on at the beach.. so go on get out there and enjoy feeling the heat .. I am!