Friday, 29 November 2013

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals!

If you are like me you'll be searching high and low to get the best online deals today! I'll be hard at work shopping for clients  and for myself so I've rounded up some of my favorite deals for you today! 

Layla Grace is offering 20% off of everything with code THANKFUL // DATES now through Dec. 3rd

Serena & Lily  Save 20% off site wide and enjoy free shipping using code THANKS20 // DATES: Nov 26 – Dec 2 

Anne Taylor save 50% off your entire purchase using code GET40. // DATES: Nov 29 (3AM EST) – Dec 1 (5PM EST)

At Shop Ten 25 you can get 15% off store wide using code blackfriday. 

Land of Nod is doing 15% off with free shipping by using the code SAVE15! 

Tory Burch Save 20% off orders over $300, save 25% off orders over $500, save 30% off orders over $750 plus free shipping using code: HOLIDAY // DATES: Nov 29 – Dec 2

Love Feast Shop has some great deals going on right now. If you wanted those velvet pumpkins now is the time to get them! 

Black Friday Event - November 28, 29, 30 -  20% OFF  - all Plush Products (Plush Acorns, Hearts, Mushrooms, Pumpkins!)
Promo Code:  PLUSH20
Cyber Monday - December 2nd - 20% OFF - EVERYTHING in LoveFeast Shop
Promo Code:  LFS20

At ASOS save 20% storewide using code GIMME20 DATES // Nov 28 – Dec 2

Save 40% off your purchase at Banana Republic using code BRBLACK. // DATES ends 11/29

Aldo is offering an extra 30% off all reduced footwear + save 50% off select Men’s footwear. // DATES: Nov 27 – Dec 1

30% off at Lands End for your entire purchase! DATES: Nov 26 – Dec 3

Now get shopping! 


Thursday, 28 November 2013

little letters...more kindness, fewer facades

Sometimes the universe taps you on the shoulder to send you a message.  In the last few weeks my shoulder was tapped a few times.

First a friend posted this message on facebook.

Then a dear friend said " are you ok, call me if you need me". It touched my heart because my chin was up and the happy face was on, but really I was having a rough time.  She saw me in a very real way, through all the pretty barriers we create for the world.  She is kindness itself.

A blogger I follow wrote recently about how people believed she lived a perfect life, I really hope I don't give that impression.  I like the idea of making the world and spaces we live in as beautiful as possible, with the resources we have available, but it's not about perfection.

This blog is a wonderful escape for me, its not a facade for my real life, its the casual luxe world I would inhabit if time and money were no object.  In reality my life is just like yours, filled with all the normal stresses and pressures, as well as the simple joys and pleasures.
Blogging is most parts fantasy and dream, many parts inspiration, and as many parts DIY as time permits.  

Lastly all around us the bush has been burning, the Philippines have been struck by storms, many people have lost their homes, everything except the clothes they were wearing.  As usual I am blown away by the communities that stand together in Australia in tough times, one of the best of Australian attributes.  And I am reminded that all the pretty things in the world do not make a home or a family.

So yes universe:
  • I will be kinder
  • Family and friends are far more important than finding the perfect corner sofa
  • I will try and live authentically every day, the good ones and the bad

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

DIY Cupcake Carrier Gift

I love this latest idea from Sarah and Emily, from the blog Boxwood Clippings. They have great taste and are always coming up with simple and chic DIY projects. I love this simple gift idea and I think you will too! 
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Hi everyone! We are so happy to be visiting today from Boxwood Clippings. Over at our blog we have a feature named ‘Holler Dollar’ where we post our favorite finds for a buck.
Today we’re happy to share our latest dollar find, which makes the most absolutely adorable and perfect gift for the Holidays.

boxwood clippings_$1 cupcake holder gift

Yep, we’re talking about that sweet little cupcake carrier from The Dollar Tree.
We made easy cupcakes from a cake mix and topped them with homemade buttercream and crushed soft peppermint (also from The Dollar Tree).

boxwood clippings_$1 cupcake holder gift

 Then we added some black tulle and a bow to finish it off.

boxwood clippings_$1 cupcake holder gift

One cake mix made 18 cupcakes, and filled two cupcake carriers making this one very inexpensive gift for co-workers, teachers, neighbors and friends!
For more Christmas ideas please visit us at
We wish you the happiest of Holidays! -Sarah and Emily xoxo

We are sisters whose goal is to have it all…balanced, organized and beautiful lives on a tight budget. Join us on our blog, Boxwood Clippingsfor daily tips on design, organization, bargains, DIY’s and much more

Monday, 25 November 2013

pop up dinner party at home for the festive season

I love the concept of pop up parties, but in reality can be a bit hard to do.  Especially with a toddler in tow.
So I thought how cool would it be to create a pop up space at home -  a little extraordinary in the ordinary, a little bit of fantasy for just one evening.
I wanted to set the table up in the garden surrounded by fairy lights, but some heavy rain storms meant it had to be plan B, our wide hallway.  I threw down a rug and moved our outdoor table and pillows indoors for the evening.  Then I strung the glass doors with fairy lights and lit candles to create a romantic glow of light.
Watermelon and lime agua fresca kicked off the evening, followed by a delicious Mexican inspired menu made by my amazing hubby.  Wraps with lamb, pomegranates and honey coriander yoghurt, or deconstructed chorizo with jalapeno green sauce, chunks of pineapple dusted with salt and chilli powder, and a grapefruit granita with a mojito sauce to finish.   Delicious!
I found gorgeous bunches of natives in yellows and oranges at the flower seller this morning. 
Wax flowers, pin cushions and kangaroo paw form a zesty base that could be Christmas or fiesta.  I made a low arrangement for the table centre with a few candles, finished with white plates and white napkins.  Fresh, fun and simple.
Sitting on cushions on the floor with the glow of candlelight and fairy lights, what fun.

The space was transformed, it didn't look like our house at all.  All the fantasy of a pop up party, with all the comforts of home and a fully equipped kitchen close at hand.  I didn't use anything I didn't already own, I just moved things into unexpected places.
I hope you are inspired!  Go on, string up some lanterns or fairy lights, and throw a pop up party of your own at home too.  Make sure to tell me what you created!

All images by Eva Burgess of Build House Home, except 5th image by Graeme Myburgh.

See you next week!

Happy Monday, my friends! I just wanted to drop in and let you know I've decided to take the rest of the week off blogging and focus on getting photos back to all my clients and, of course, enjoying the holiday with my family. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you're in a part of the world that celebrates it, and I'll see you back here next week! HAPPY TURKEY DAY!! :)

Photography Concentrate Black Friday SALE!

Hey my fellow shutterbugs! Just thought you might like to know our friends over at Photography Concentrate are having their annual Black Friday tutorial blowout sale. It only happens once a year - all of their awesome tutorials are 40% off their already ridiculously low prices! You've undoubtedly heard me raving about them here before. I think I'm seriously one of Photography Concentrate's biggest fans, and I feel so indebted to Rob and Lauren (the masterminds behind the site) for creating such simple, beautiful, and incredibly helpful tutorials that made learning the technical aspects of photography an absolute pleasure for me. And more importantly, affordable and easy. Learning photography doesn't have to be expensive and hard. I hear about people taking all these pricey classes just to learn, for example, what Extremely Essential Camera Skills taught me in three hours. So I feel it's my duty to educate the masses about all the money and time you can save with Photography Concentrate!

Go on over here and peek through the tutorials offered (amazing giveaway going on over there, too!), and if you've considered getting serious about learning photography, whether for professional use or just so that you can take better photos for your blog or of your family or for fun, NOW IS THE TIME! :) Enjoy!

PS - I learned on Extremely Essential Camera Skills and Super Photo Editing Skills. Both are fantastic.

Land of Nod Holiday Party & a Discount Code!

Last week I was honored to get the opportunity to host a Holiday party with the girls from Small Fry and Land of Nod. In Utah we are lucky enough to have a tremendous group of bloggers so it was fun to get to celebrate with some of our favorite blogging friends. 

The florals were done by Lizy from Lizy's Lilies. She is crazy talented and it was amazing to see her work in person. 

We used her eucalyptus garland to drape on our winter wonderland backdrop and then topped it with the goody gumball garland. I mad the backdrop using a queen sheet and puffy paint! It was a fun addition to set the mood for the evening. 

The event was held at the Awful Waffle down in Provo and it was the perfect venue! 

We decorated the place with tons of Land of Nod goodies. 

My favorite part of the night was just catching up with all my favorite blogging buddies and friends. 

We were also lucky enough to have the Land of Nod Creative Director Danielle Kurtz with us for the party. 

Near the end of the evening we had a raffle drawing for some of the cutest Land of Nod toys! 

How adorable is this pig rocker

All the attendees went home with a set of 12 days of Christmas ornaments and cookies from Cookie Haven

photos by Lindsey Orton and Lindsey Clinton

And for all those that couldn't attend a party Land of Nod is offering 15% off their site from Nov 25-27th using code 6THST! 

There were parties going on all over the country. To see what the other bloggers were up to check out their sites! 

Joni Lay of Lay Baby Lay

Kirsten Grove of Simply Grove


Rebecca + Suzanne of A Feteful Life
Kansas City
Carrie + Morgan of Ampersand Design Studios

Los Angeles
Kelly Lanza of Studio DIY 


San Francisco
Cristin Bisbee Priest of Simplified Bee

Michaela Warner of Michaela Noelle Design
Mary Heffernin, a former Real Families participant and hosting at her amazing busines The Makery

Friday, 22 November 2013

So close but yet...

This past week there has been incredible progress on our house... they completed all flooring, put in the master vanity, put in toilets, fixtures, and lights, and the electricity and water are on! It's so exciting to go over there now, but we're still weeks away from closing. Supposedly this last stretch of inspections and last minute fixes can really drag out, so... that should be fun. ;)  It's nice to finally see some real progress though. It's starting to feel like a bonafide HOME over there. It's hard to leave when we go visit. I'll be posting more pics on Instagram, if you're interested!

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and weekend to follow. The forecast is super rainy here, so I might finally get a much-needed weekend off from shooting. Doing a happy dance over here. ;)

Check out today's (fabulous) featured SOML sponsor, and have yourself a great day...

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Hi everyone! I’m Chelsea and I blog over at Lost in Travels, a blog to spark the adventure in your own life. After getting hitched to my man three years ago, we both started getting cold sweats at the thought of ‘settling down’ in our hometown. Ya know, mini me's, mortgages, full time jobs. We wanted something different, something exciting, something adventurous. So we did the only logical thing; sold all of our belongings and moved half way around the world to teach English in South Korea. Makes sense right? I write about our daily life as expats (where charades is our form of exercise), our world adventurestips on traveling, and how to not break the bank while taking those dream trips. Stop by and follow along on our world travel adventures as we try to figure out newlywed expat life in the land of kimchi and rice. 

Feature Friday: Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees

Today I am featuring the home of Kat from the blog Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees.  Here is what she says she loves most about her home:

Even though it's simply a 1980's rancher (high five for dark paneling, brass-accented ceiling fans, and sweet linoleum flooring!), we totally love our home. Our once-teeny two bedroom house underwent a "major renovation" that was completed (well almost...) last year when we converted our two-car garage into extra living space. Best decision ever! It has really opened things up so even though it's still a small home, we don't feel cramped any more. Each room has undergone transformations. And since we're major tight-wads, not a lot of money has been spent while doing it. What we love most about our home is looking around at all our DIY projects and major Craigslist/thrift store finds and feeling a sense of accomplishment. We've all had a hand in transforming it, and that feels great. We're creating a home that reflects both Mitch and I as well as our three boys: a comfortable place that we all truly love. 


L I V I N G   R O O M

You can read more about this space here


Read more about this space here


Read more about this room here

M A S T E R   B A T H R O O M

Read more about this room here

B O Y ' S   R O O M

Read more about this space here

Thanks so much to Kathleen for sharing her home with us! See more pictures of her home and details on her blog