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A Gourmet Crafternoon

Do you judge how an event is put together and presented? Do you think it says a lot about the person hosting it?  I am not one to judge a book by its cover but in a world where visual feasts abound on social media and event styling has come from being a few candles to personalised and on theme items from start to finish, it does take quite a bit to impress me.

The other week Sonia and I rocked up to Acme in Kings Cross for a lunch hosted by Ferrero Rocher and from the moment we opened the door to the time when we had to depart it was eye candy galore in the literal and metaphorical sense.

We all know Ferrero as the gourmet chocolate gift, its luxe gold wrappers are perfect for Christmas and as time has passed the range has expanded so I can buy a little duo wrapped combo or the big kahuna box for the family..

I took a few snaps between eating the most amazing Italian food and you can see for yourself what you think of how Ferrero looks as a dining experience.

So what do you think? The florals were actually pretty simple and contained lots of foraged items but of anyone know what that gorgeous draped hanging stuff id in the tall vase with holly etc I am very keen to know..

Do you go the whole hog for parties?
Are you a theme person or are candles and a bunch of flowers more than enough? 

Kitchening in Style

I have no idea if kitchening is such a thing but to be in the kitchen is and lots of us spend a huge amount of time there. For me it is the heart of the home and even when guests are over they hang there with you too..

Its hard to stay looking stylish to new friends when you are still faffing away at the kitchen bench and until now I would always be in a daggy apron.. I recently went to the launch of The Apron Studio's first collection and immediately had to invite them to be part of DTLL.

I went home with the Shibori Apron and Sonia who was with me took the Linen one. we wear them at the workshops but my next dinner party I am so bringing it home so I get to stay looking trendy even when I am still prepping on their arrival (tell me I am not alone and that it happens to you too?)

This store has you covered for decorating the table with stunning runners, chic aprons for full length coverage or mini for the more confident or even restaurant owners . I particularly like the mini me options that are identical to the larger making the kids feel like a real pro. Just like Mum or Dad!

Got andy chefs in the family? Why not update them for Christmas?
Mini Masterchefs needing some encouragement? Make them feel like a pro!!
The short aprons are also fab for gardening!!.. SO many uses and such a great price 

Voices 2015

I can't really call myself a 'blogger' as I am just not consistent enough.. It is not that I have nothing to say.. au contraire, I am just time poor and it is not how I make my living so it just gets forced to the back of the pile.

I still read a fair few blogs and follow all the people I love on Insta so I know what they are doing and what is going on in their lives which of course makes you feel like you are besties despite never having met!..

There are a host of those people that I do actually see and speak to regularly and thats why when I was invited to Kidspot Voices 2015 Awards I was totally up for it.

Good food, great people and the chance to finally put some names to faces with others? .. total no brainer.

I went with Sonia, Lila and Jayde and Lila won Alumni!!.. She was so surprised and we were so happy!!. The main event went out the The Thud and the rest of the night was spent staring at the Insta wall.. scoffing chocolates and climbing in and out of Ford Cars being totally inappropriate.

After all was said and done we were collected by Steve, Iggy and Coco Bear.. we went home talking trash and saying how nice it was to see everyone..

I got to finally give Eden a hug, I found out what Sharni looked like (watch out for 2016 at DTLL Workshops.. she is coming to town) and wanted to give Viv the wooden spoon for looking so amazing post 2 kids..

Bron was there with hubby and Robyn, Sam and Shannon rocked up looking all glam  

All in all an awesome night surrounded by fab people that really are a very supportive crew!..

Just bottle it..

I found this amazing store whilst pottering the markets... just the way it should be with any stores on Down that Little Lane..

At the time there was a far smaller range, the labels were not as varied and there were no gift packs on offer but as with any start up that was just the way it should be. I am always really excited to see any brand I have known from the start flourish into something I know they are proud to call their own and this is one of those..

Everything delivered to you by Sweet Health is still handmade from the heart and all by the one gorgeous Debbie so you know you are supporting local talent to the core.

My kids are buying their teachers the teachers kit and I think I might get Santa the Night Before Christmas Kit after I have ordered a set of take home gifts with stripey blue labels to go with Harrington's Pool Party he is having for his B Day!!

Yep Sweet Health is going to get some White Family loving!!..

What do you buy your teachers?

Sometimes it is personal...

Its funny.. all the years in business you are told to not take it personally but come on.. if it is actually your OWN business how the hell can it not be personal?

I care about the people I approve to be on DTLL.
I worry if they are not selling loads.
I know a whole host of back stories to most that mean I am desperate to see them make some cash quick smart.
I have heard from them what their dream is and I want to help them get there.

Ok so that is mine to own as I take on the need and want to see them succeed but how could I not?

The other day I had someone call me out as not being part of the cool crowd as I was still using gender specific gift guides on the website. That I was backwards and behind the times as all toys are unisex so why have guides for each sex?

I am so NOT gender specific when it comes to buying gifts or how should wear what and play how. I was REALLY insulted!.

My daughter is tomboy, just as I was.
The quantity of pictures with Harrington dressed as a mermaid, merrily drinking from pink cups have me proud as anything that he isn't "just into boys colours'. Hell, just last weekend I have one of him skateboarding in his sisters neon floaty shorts!!

We have gender specific guides to suit the masses, to help the time poor and to create better chances of sales for our stores.

I said to this person when she said we don't need to offer the two categories..

"Yes we do.. our customers would like guidance as to what to buy for a boy, what to buy for a girl. They can shop from both, one or none. The stores choose which item of theirs is represented within that page.

If they are buying for a boy they want simply 20 options that will suit their grandson, nephew, son, whatever.. whilst a boy is for sure welcome to and possibly may want to wear the pink bunny play dress with floral ears there are not many people that would buy it as a gift. "

Why am I here telling you all this? Well it is still bothering me a few days later. I feel like I have a finger pointing at me saying your are a gender racist or something like that..

So am I wrong? Please tell me if I am.. Is it really bad to have a gift guide for boys and a gift guide for girls that are separate?  

Time for Tea

This time of year I really start to struggle with my health, not the getting ill type of thing but more the time to exercise, the time to take time for me and the time to slow down and destress.

It happens year on year and last year I worked out what to do about it.

I slow down my exercise and take it to walking the dog and Pilates, I eat more salads and I carry a massive bottle of water at all times.. I try to keep my hydration up as much as possible and as I am not a fan of plain water I use the tea bottle and infuse my water with whatever fruits are in season and yummy.

Once in a while I substitute that for Green Tea as I know how good that is for me but my top favourite is herbal tea which is why I am showing you this store today..

They have a cute gift pack perfect for Christmas as I love the idea of little test tubes to add to my gift packages !!

Are you a tea drinker?
Do you get run down at this time of year?
Do you drink enough in a day? 

Take me to The Taylor Clinic

OK so I turned 40 the other month.. now I will admit I have been a tad lazy with my skin routine in my life and it appears the new generation are starting Botox from 25 as a preventative which I don't think was even available when I was that age.

Its not that I feel I look bad but I am thinking that if I look like I do now at 40 and my 30 year old mates are taking care of themselves from such a young age by the time they are 40 and I am 50 I will look 80 whilst they still look 30!!.

With the greencard from hubby to start getting into a facial routine or at least visiting a beauty therapist ( I have been waxing myself, dying my hair and basically DIYing since he met me) I took up an offer at The Taylor Clinic to come and see what they can do.

I had the PicoSure Laser Treatment to my face it is perfect for me and pretty much an Aussies as regardless of how hard we try we are in the sun so much of the year that our face is bound to suffer from some pigmentation from the sun.

I have freckles and always have but since being in Australia some are almost a birthmark as they have grown so much!!.  That was my main reason for going but the added bonus of this treatment also stimulating the production of elastin and collagen for up to 3 months post treatment was a brilliant bonus.

Here is a before and after.. do you see any difference?

So what did it feel like and will I go back for more?

Ok so beauty does not come without a little bit of discomfort and yes I did know there was a laser there but it took 15 minutes top and was like any laser (I have had my legs lasered so knew what it would be like) a little like someone flicking an elastic band on my face? No where near as bad as a tattoo and not even enough to make my eyes water. Does that describe it well enough?

You can see me at my most red stage in the image above and that was all gone by the evening..

Will I go back? Yep for sure.. I am planning to do this Coolsculpting for sure and I have a few girls talking about us having a girls day and all having breakfast somewhere nice then going in for the Laser Resurfacing but I think I might talk them into buying themselves a bit of a gift and doing the Pico again as it is shorter time and does even more :)

I will embarrass myself and report back on the CoolSculpting post that as I am planning to do that on that little bit around my belly button that has just never been the same since the kids despite all the exercise I do!..

Do you do facials?
Ever had lasering?
Tell me your secrets....

Taking memories to the important events

I am sure cufflinks are not something as many people wear daily as they used to do but I know lots of lovely gents that wear double cuffs daily and I know my husband always wears them for special events.

I love cufflinks as a gift for the guys. I know quite a few women that wear them for work too so need to discriminate but how nice is the idea of your families special moments or proudest achievements accompanying them to work each day or those special occasions?

There are way more fabulous things from this store including some new Christmas Brooches I just saw added but the images I chose above are my favourite picks for fab Christmas gifts.

Do any men in your life wear cufflinks? 
What is your favourite memory you would want on yours? 

Good Clothes are hard to find...

I don't just mean good fitting or even just good quality but I mean the whole package.. good for the environment, made to last, classic styles .. all that jazz..

I love having pieces that are on trend and make me feel like I am in with the cool crowd but that passes and what I really love is things that hang in my wardrobe season after season as I can't let them go..

A classic black shirt, any easy maxi dress that I can dress up or down to suit the occasion. The store I am sharing today is just that. All made from Bamboo that is not only eco friendly but a fab material all year around as it helps regulate body temperature and evaporates moisture keeping you cool and dry in summer and warm in winter.

These are my favourite picks.. I am such a fan of  a solid colour base as it gives me an opportunity to play with shoes colour and jewellery. Check out their full range here 

What is your favourite material to wear? Do you have a set colour in your wardrobe? 

Life Lately

: It has been pure bliss to be able to get back to the beach with the kids.. I love watching them play. It reminds me how lucky they are to have this in their backyard and it truly is one of the only places I can switch off.
: I turned 40 and whilst I don't think I suddenly look old I was given the opportunity to have a facial at the Taylor Clinic.. a total Rolls Royce Facial and it took 15 minutes of laser with only this amount of redness post facial. I will tell you all about it in another post as it has only been a week and the effects take a while apparently..
: The back of my house is like a building site so I have been focusing on the front with a new doormat and some gardening :)
: My boy has been travelling as always and I miss him so much when he goes but I cherish him more when he comes home and I really do count myself totally blessed to still be so in love with him all these years and find that it just gets stronger.
: I spent my actual B Day at the kids Sports Carnival.. we went for Pizza after and I am really enjoying them being little mini adults right now. My heart longs for them all day and then the minute they fight I want to send them back to school!
: My man organised an early bday celebration dinner at Mr Wongs in town before his last trip and OMG the food is amazing and I just want to go back and explore the menu more!!

What have you been up too? Next time I will tell you about the pool, that facial and how I am feeling hitting the big 40.. Did you feel different? 

I love the personal touch..

If I could I would have quotes all around my house.. Just little banners and decor pieces with inspiring words to keep me smiling as I walked past. I find words so powerful it always seems a shame not to use them for good when we can.

This store has such a simple classic vibe and is always on my list for people who ask for recommendations and Caroline makes the most beautiful Christening Crosses, there are pieces to celebrate new bubs,  and the Hearts for Newlyweds are such as wonderful keepsake.

I have bought my kids the Christmas Decorations (this year they say they want me to get one for Dexter) and I rather think I might add those little bracelets to my stocking stuffer list as they are super cute and such good value!.

Anywho thats my share for this week of a favourite store for Christmas Ideas..

Do you not just love them too?

Snap Happy

I don't get as much time to showcase our amazing DTLL stores on here as I would like and it is plain and simple down to time so in the lead up to Christmas I thought I would do just that.. Y'know sharing the love and all that.

This brand has been with us for a while and they are simple in their offerings as they just do camera straps but not just any camera straps.. Amazing quality with a huge range of designs and at a totally fabulous price!

I could share a million images but really you need to just check them out yourselves .. GO ON :)

My hubby got new digs..

My husband works for LinkedIn and a few months back they moved offices. Now anyone that knows the LinkedIn Crew will know that any bloody excuse for a party and they are on it so this was no exception.

DJ's, Ice Cream Stand, Barbeque, The Hugest Cheese Board, Cocktails, Photo Booth, Caricature Drawing and more..

Those of course sat alongside the things that come as standard for the employees of arcade games, nintendo on a big screen and a full kitchen full of healthy goodies.

The offices are schmick', organic and feel laid back with an element of fun. Coffee machines in the foyer, a huge LinkedIn sign designed from blue thongs. Each meeting room has an amusing name referencing Aussie Slang and my favourite thing is that they run a Living Wellness Program with  a gym and instructors to come in and teach all day long.

My kids just go for the toys......

I will say that the guys work bloody hard and long hours but in return they are well and truly looked after. I curse how many events my boy gets to attend and his over seas trips for sales meetings with the other countries but if I am honest I love that he works for a company that clearly care about their staff and peeps if you ever get the chance to interview or even luckier get headhunted by this group..


Where do you work? Do they look after you well?