Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

TOP 10 CHRISTMAS DECOR ITEMS FOR 2016!

 

Christmas decor! Don’t you just love it?

Hello lovelies,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. Today I’m sharing with you, my top 10 Christmas decor items for 2016.

It’s no surprise that I adore Christmas time. Perhaps I went a little overboard this year, however, I am so excited to share with you the pieces I loved the most.

Most of these items I found at Target or Kmart, so they won’t break the budget, although still very cute.

I decided on a white and gold theme for this year (as you will probably see) which has such a gorgeous, magical feel about it.

If you would like to see absolutely everything I bought for Christmas this year, then I will leave the link to my corresponding YouTube video down below.

Alternatively, If you’d like to see what I’ve been getting up to this month, check out my daily vlogging channel on YouTube to find out about what Christmas in Melbourne is all about.

My Top 10 Christmas Decor Items for 2016:

1. Nutcracker Ornaments:

These beautiful things were only $10 each at Kmart and it was love at first sight for me.

christmas decor

2. Christmas Cushions:

These cuter than cute cushions are from Kmart and were way too adorable not to add to my collection. The small were $4 and the large were $12. Check the video down below for a closer look at them.

3. ‘Joy’ Snow Globe:

This little beauty was only $5 from Kmart and it’s the perfect colours for my theme. I love having a snow globe on display at Christmas, since we don’t get snow in Australia at this time of year.

4. Marble Christmas Tree:

Most of my family and friends know that marble and timber are my favourite surfaces. So when Kmart combined the two into a Christmas decoration for only $8, I couldn’t say no. Well, could you?

5. Copper Fairy Lights:

These twinkle lights are so gorgeous that I got two packs. They are only $5 each at Kmart and a perfect for Christmas or any time of year really.

6. Merry Christmas Sign:

This sparkly sign was only a couple of dollars from Coles. It stands up on its own and sends the perfect ‘Merry’ message, don’t you think?

7. Pom Pom Garland:

This red and white pom pom garland from Kmart was only $5 and is a seriously adorable addition. I hung one in the living room and draped the other over our bed frame. Adorbs!

8. ‘Merry Christmas’ Garland:

I can’t go past a good garland at Christmas. This rustic style one from Kmart was too good to pass up, especially at only $5.

christmas decor

9. Initialed Christmas Stocking:

These sweet little knitted stockings from Target were only $10 each. They were apparently quite popular though because I only managed to get a ‘D’ for Danny. I went to 5 different stores to find an ‘S’ for myself to no avail I’m afraid. Hopefully they’ll bring them out again next year.

10. Christmas Tree Skirt:

This ‘Oh Joy’ Christmas tree skirt is perfect for our tree this year. It’s the first year we’ve opted for a real tree and I don’t think we’ll ever go back to fake now. You can see how we choose our tree right here. At only $7 from Kmart, this piece will compliment our tree year after year.

christmas decor

 

Do you have any favourite christmas decor pieces that you picked up this year? Let me know which of these pieces was your favourite in the comments below and don’t forget to check out my video.

Merry Christmas!

Until next time,

Siobhan

*This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

ASHCOMBE MAZE AND LAVENDER GARDENS

 

Have you ever visited the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens on the Mornington Peninsula?

Well, you definitely should.

At just over an hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD, Ashcombe Maze is the perfect day trip getaway to enjoy a full day of exploring and still be home in time for dinner.

Ashcombe flower ga

Set across 25 acres of beautiful land, Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Garden’s main draw is the large, enchanted hedge maze which is now over 40 years old, 3 metres tall and is made up of more than a whopping 1000 cypress trees.

Ashcombe hedge maze

There are two parts of the magical maze; the south maze, which leads you to a beautiful, tranquil centre garden, where you can relax amongst the roses and the trickling sound of the fountain before making your way to the entrance of the north maze. Throughout the two halves, you will have fun discovering different coloured mosaic tiles along the way.

beautiful garden with fountain and hedge maze

But wait, there’s more!

ashcombe lavender maze

The circular rose maze, woodland area, lake and lavender labyrinth are also worth exploring.

beautiful red rose

If you get hungry or simply need a caffeine hit during your day at the Ashcombe maze, you can grab a bite to eat at the cafe. One of my favourite memories of my visit was sipping a latte out on the lovely deck, overlooking the roses and the magnificent hedge maze.

lattes at ashcombe hedge maze

Basically, if you love a pretty garden, enjoy a challenge or like to have fun (I’ll take one of each please), you will absolutely love this hidden gem on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula.

Go on, give it a go!

Have you ever visited the Ashcombe Maze before? If you have, let me know your favourite part in the comments below.

If you’d like a little tour, take a look at the video I have created just below.

Until next time,

Siobhan x

Images by Danny Jones 

BERRY PICKING ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA!

 

Every year I decide that I want to go berry picking and every year I seem to get “too busy” or distracted by every day life to make it happen.

Not this year! I’ve decided that this year is going to be one big adventure, full of exciting little experiences along the way (berry picking included).

With this 2016 philosophy in mind, I recently ventured to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula and popped my berry picking cherry (couldn’t help myself with that one) at the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm in Main Ridge, just over an hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD.

strawberry field

It was an incredible experience that I would totally recommend as the perfect summertime activity. Searching for the ripest and most delicious looking berries was totally thrilling and I have never tasted a more delicious strawberry in my life.

Entry is reasonably priced at $9 for adults (500gm punnet), $4 for children (250gm punnet) and $22 for families, each fee including your own punnet to fill with delectable morsels of your choosing.

punnets of strawberries

If you’re feeling peckish after your time out in the strawberry fields, there is a lovely little cafe at the farm, as well as a gift shop, full of yummy treats and keepsakes to remember your visit.

A fun AND delicious day out!

Sunny Ridge’s U-Pick (pick your own berries) is usually open until April, however, make sure you check their website before you go to avoid any disappointment.

strawberry picking

Have you ever tried your hand at berry picking? Let me know in the comments below if you have a favourite berry picking spot! If you’d like to take a look before you visit, check out this video I made while I was there.

Until next time,

Siobhan x

Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

 

Hello lovelies and welcome to my Christmas series!

This season always feels so special and full of joy (and lots of yummy food), so, in the lead up to Christmas I will be posting a range of baking and DIY articles and YouTube videos to help you get into the spirit of Christmas and ready to celebrate the holiday season.

gingerbread christmas cookies

A few years ago I began baking gingerbread Christmas cookies throughout December to give as gifts to work colleagues, family and friends and they were such a big hit that I’ve been making them every year since.

This year I made my gingerbread Christmas cookies in the shapes of candy canes, gingerbread people, baubles and stars and decided on some lovely Christmas tins, cellophane bags and glass jars to package them, as well as some ribbon, twine, tags and tissue paper to make them good enough to gift.

gingerbread packaging

This recipe is really easy, absolutely delicious, not too expensive and doesn’t take all that long to complete, making it the perfect DIY Christmas gift.

INGREDIENTS (makes approx. 100 small cookies)

  • 5 cups of sifted plain flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 250g of butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup of golden syrup
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
  • plain flour, to dust
  • decorations of your choice (I used silver balls, crushed candy cane and icing sugar)

gingerbread ingredients

METHOD (takes approx. 30 mins with extra time to decorate and package)

  • Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the egg yolks and golden syrup and mix until combined.
  • Add the bicarb soda, mixed spice, ginger and flour (gradually add the flour to avoid a puffy flour cloud in your face), mix until combined.
  • Lightly flour your bench top and take all the mixture out of the bowl and place it on the bench.
  • Kneed the dough for a couple of minutes until it is combined and smooth.
  • Make the dough into a disc shape, cover it with plastic wrap, put it on a plate and place it in the fridge to cool and harden for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • After 30 minutes, take the dough out of the fridge and divide the dough in half.
  • Place one half on a sheet of baking paper, cover it with another sheet of baking paper and roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is flat and even.
  • Remove the top layer of baking paper and use your chosen cookie cutter to cut out some shapes.
  • Remove all the excess dough, place a baking tray under the baking paper that has the cookies on top and place the tray in the oven for approx. 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • After they are baked, take the tray out of the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.
  • Once they are cooled, it’s time to decorate.
  • For the remaining dough, simply repeat the process with a few different cookie cutters.

gingerbread christmas cookies

For ideas for packaging these delicious, Christmassy morsels or for a closer look at the entire process, feel free to check out this video I created.

Let me know if you make these cookies yourself and tag me in any pictures on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, I’d absolutely LOVE to see your creations.

Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

Until next time,

Siobhan x

MAKE YOUR OWN SMOOTHIE BOWL

 

Hello everybody!

Today I am very excited to share this gorgeous green smoothie bowl recipe with you because it is oh so yummy, really simple to make and it is sooooooo good for you.

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