Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BBQ Garden Party Styling

A couple of weekends ago I hosted my bestie's birthday BBQ garden party at my house! The moment my boyfriend suggested we host a BBQ for her and she agreed, I knew I wanted to do my best to make the yard look amazing! Right away my first thoughts were lanterns, string lights and bunting. When I caught up with her to discuss it, we had the exact same thoughts which was awesome!

I love the beautiful jacaranda tree in our backyard. It was the perfect backdrop our outdoor seating, firepit and food table. We also used the tree to hang parts of our lights, bunting and lanterns.

We also used our clothesline as part of the styling, by hanging some of the string lights, lanterns and bunting from the line and stringing them from the line to the tree as well. It worked really well!

We used my Fujifilm Instax instant camera to take photos through the party, and so I set up this little 'Photo Wall'. I painted an old pin board (which I now have in my workspace!) and decorated it with washi tape, string and tiny wooden pegs. People took the instant photos and hung them on the little photo wall! I think this would work even better for a daytime party (it got a bit dark later) or a kid's/early teens party.

We had quite a collection of jars in our cupboard, so we put tealight candles in them and set them up around the seating area. Candles always make spaces look more magical. ;)

We didn't spend a lot of money on anything. The lanterns were all cheap, and the solar string lights didn't cost much and are something which we will continue to use anyway, so they are nice to have. The most expensive thing was the firepit, but I've been wanting to get one anyway, and again it'll be great to have for other occasions! The mismatched seating and candles in jars and cushions and rugs we used were all things we had around the house, and it all served the purpose really well. I had SO much fun setting up the space, just working with the few things that we had.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the actual party or the lights and firepit lit up at night that I can share with you guys. I got quite distracted once people were there and didn't get around to taking photos like I intended to, oops! 

+ Milk crates make awesome additional seating or table options.
+ You don't need to spend a lot on decorations to make a space feel really comfortable and welcoming
+ Rugs on the ground with cushions and blankets worked really well as comfortable relaxed seating around the fire
+ Good company and good food is the most important part, with a little bit of effort in the decoration to make it feel special.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Morning Office: My Current Desk and Workspace

This is my current desk and workspace set-up! It's in our sunroom, which my bedroom leads into, so I absolutely love the amount of natural light in this space, especially in the morning. 

The desk is a small old writing desk - I'd like to get a large spacious one without the cubby-hole style storage built in. A clean empty tabletop would be really refreshing, but I do like this desk and I am sentimentally attached to it as a letter-writing desk.

The stool is actually from my drum kit! I had a proper office chair, but the cat always likes to steal it, so I started using this stool instead of disturbing her! Haha. Cat owners all know what I'm talking about. Anyway I ended up quite liking the stool, it's less in the way and still pretty comfortable.

I used to play the drums, and this is my beloved drum kit. Isn't she beautiful? I don't play anymore, but I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of the kit. I guess I should at some point so she can be actually used by someone who would love and appreciate her.

Recently I got this old pin board out of our shed and spray-painted it white. It was a ugly grey. It's really nice to have a pin board above my desk to personalise my space more and add some inspiration and prettiness, since we can't hang pictures and put posters on the walls. I had a lot of fun making the bright pink washi tape diamond. My poor little skeleton guy fell over and I didn't even notice when I was taking these pictures! :P

The storage either side of my desk leaves a lot to be desired really. The rainbow drawer craft trolley thing on the right is on its last legs I think. I'd love to invest in some nicer office storage when I get the chance to. But it does the job alright for now. ;) What are your favourite office storage items or furniture pieces? I'm a big Ikea fan.

The chest on the right was given to me by my grandparents for my 21st. It's absolutely incredible! It's Chinese, and carved with ships and a garden/lake scene. It's one of my favourite things. It's filled with keepsakes at the moment.

What does your workspace look like? Do you have a small desk or a large one? Do you have a minimalistic approach to your desktop or do you like to have all your relevant items at hand on your desk?

I'm feeling positive and on track and excited for the future at the moment! I'm actively being productive, positive, healthy, and moving toward my goals! Hope I can pass on some positive vibes, and I hope that everyone is having an excellent week!

Nina xo

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Styling Product Displays

Working in retail isn't my dream job. But I do enjoy a bit of visual merchandising, and at my job I've recently been lucky enough to be able to create product displays in our store. It's my favourite part of the job, and I was given free reign to make these tabletop displays my own. (Yay!) I love the challenge of using what you have at hand and working with whatever space you've got to make an effective display even when you can't open certain packaging, or the shelves above the table are very low, etc. Mostly I just love being creative with it and trying to think outside the box!

I apologise about the photo quality. I had to take these on my phone quickly on my breaks. It was hard to get a good picture because of the background and lighting etc., but I still wanted to share them. :)

This black, white and kraft brown stationery display is my favourite so far! I had so much fun setting it up, and it didn't take me long at all because I had a clear idea in my mind. My favourite part of this one is the skull, candle and fake pothos combo. I was so happy we had some fake pothos in stock (real live pothos is one of my favourite indoor plants!). And yes, I've always been pretty skull-obsessed, as you can probably tell.

Here are my first couple of displays. I had a lot of fun with this eclectic polka dot breakfast table setting! I love the cow salt and pepper shakers and the tomato jar. Although I think I tried to fit too much into it, because I was so excited about it. I was like a kid in a candy shop choosing everything to display.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the actual finished product of this desk space display. Everything was neatened up when it was finished, and the photo frame was propped up so you could see the whole picture. My favourite part of coming up with this one was the pretend pin board with the little memos and gold scarf thrown over the corner.

It was so much fun working on these, hope I can do something similar on a larger scale sometime in the future. ;) I love styling, decorating and interior design, so it's something I'm working towards!

I hope everyone has had an amazing start to their weeks!
Nina xo

Friday, August 1, 2014

Simple, Delicious Fruit Infused Water!

Hello! I've been getting more and more interested in healthy living and clean eating lately and have seen a number of infused water pictures around instagram and healthy blogs. I feel like I haven't been drinking enough water lately, maybe because it's winter here in Australia, so I thought I'd make some infused water to encourage me to drink more throughout the day. The pretty colours and nice taste definitely remind me to drink more!

This one is frozen mixed berries with home grown mint and filtered water. The frozen berries make it nice and cold, and I used both regular mint and chocolate mint. Mmmm...

This one is tangerine and home grown lime verbena (a herb used in drinks and teas). I wanted to add cucumber as well, but we didn't have any left, oops. It looks a little murky because I shook it up. I can't believe how infused and how flavourful these were instantly.

I refilled the water after drinking the first jar, reusing the fruit. And I ate the berries and the mandarin slices after/during drinking it as well haha! So the fruit definitely doesn't go to waste. I've also heard of people re-freezing the berries and using them in smoothies!

Finn wanted to be a part of it as usual. He's such a poser! He came and flopped right on me while I was taking photos. I love it when the cats want to be involved.

I'm not sure which is my favourite! You could get much more creative with the flavours of course, this time I just grabbed a couple of ingredients that were at hand and threw them together on a whim. But my brain is already thinking of more combinations for next time. I'd recommend serving this with a spoon or little fork on the side if you want to eat the fruit with it right away. If not, keep refilling and reusing the fruit throughout the day. On a side note, my neighbours must think I'm really weird, lying on my lawn taking photos of mysterious jars and talking to the cat. Oh well!