Summer Daze

Now you know I love a bargain, I have my favourite shops and I shop online as well as in store

These are a couple my latest online finds.

Zara low heeled mule sandal $39 but reduced in the sale – sold out online.

ASOS  – By Oasis, This glamorous Navy and White Maxi Dress caught my eye with its kaleidoscope, optical illusion of stripes with perfect knife thin pleats, the skirt cascades to the floor, with matching pink belt is so elegant. Teamed with a cerise cardigan for a chilly evening from Marks & Spencer.

This outfit is perfect for summer days and nights. Goes well with cocktails.

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Coming Soon Shopping in the UK

What s your favourite fashion summer purchase?

Summer Daze.

 

 

 

 

 

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Going Back To My Roots

19389749_10213318753462325_1875531743_nGoing Back to my Roots.

On Reflection – My Journal

I am sat here in our kitchen, it’s quiet apart from the air conditioning, the birds tweeting outside to each other the sound of tapping on the keys of my laptop. Semi-silence, no music, no T.V.

I can think fairly clearly. Therefore, I am taking time to reflect.

This may turn out to be deep.

Who am I?

No I haven’t got amnesia.

I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour.

What else I ask myself?

How do I see myself?

What do I want out of life?

You would have thought by now I would know. But do we ever know? Life is always moving and changing, each day is different.

I decided to go back and look at my Core Brand Values.

What three things do I want to be known for.

This is harder than to pinpoint that I thought. What other people see in you, isn’t sometimes what you see in yourself.

I am

  1. Passionate
  2. Supportive
  3. Authentic

I then decided to research these descriptive words, to see if there was a common denominator.

  • Passionate

Fervent, Zealous, Obsessive, Fanatical, Adoring, Loving, Enthusiastic.

  • Supportive.

Loyal, Kind, Sympathetic, Compassionate  , Understanding, Encouraging,  Caring, Empathetic.

  • Authentic 

True, Reliable, Dependable, Faithful, Trustworthy, Genuine, Realistic.

Oh my goodness, I feel quite humble.

To say that my eventual chosen profession was Nursing, Midwifery and English Law.

I would say a perfect fit with my Core Brand Values

I wear my heart on my sleeve, I dislike injustice, I cry when I am happy, I cry when I am sad.

Proud of my family.

Proud or myself.

Where will this lead?

More to come. I am sure.

On Reflection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh my goodness! I feel quite humble.

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Top Secret Project – All is revealed!

It was a privilege to be asked by my friend Interior Designer Rachel Oliver to accompany her to assist with staging a home.

I had no idea what was in store or who would be involved initially until we were on our way there.

I then found out this was a celebrity project with Houzz.com and I was sworn to secrecy who the celebrity was. The entire day would be filmed! This was no ordinary Interior Design project.

I loved the concept of giving back to parents/mother and appreciating wholeheartedly how important family/friends are in our lives.

OMG – This was a day to remember, we were both exhilarated and exhausted at the end of the day, but what a joy it was. An experience never to be forgotten.

 

This has now led to assisting Rachel on other projects, so stay tuned for the future.

On this Mothers Day, what gift would you give to your mother?

 

HabitatMuse – Home Staging and Home Décor at your service

Geraldine Street – full of avenues and lanes to discover, on my journey there is so much more to explore.

 

 

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Renovation Project Part 2

 

Did you need more clues or have you guessed that this project is all about?

The Master Suite Renovation.

Time to sit down and plan.

  1. Budget
  2. Preparation
  3. Demo
  4. Measure
  5. Design
  6. Contractor
  7. Pulling it altogether.

This project actually started almost a year ago, by collecting a couple of estimates/quotes for our master suite project. We were shocked at the initial consultation to realize the cost of the project for the bathroom alone and that didn’t include purchasing certain main products i.e the bath tub. Also, the estimate didn’t take into consideration the master bedroom alterations including new flooring , removing ‘popcorn’ from the bathroom ceiling plus the bedroom  tray ceiling.

We nearly had a heart attack when we received quotes in excess of $20 thousand dollars!!

Time for a rethink!

Obviously certain things such as plumbing and electrical work needed to be done to code so professionals were required.

The decision was made to demo the bathroom ourselves after arranging with our plumber to cap off the pipes.

First job,  empty the bathroom and the adjoining closet which bizarrely is entered through the bathroom – design fault number one. Next, take down our King size bed remove all the bedroom furniture and decant to our one functioning guest bedroom  (recently decorated). I hadn’t realized how much ‘stuff’ we had accumulated.

We stored furniture everywhere, wherever a space could be found upstairs. The bed base and mattress on the landing, shelves and mirrors in my husbands office. My newly decorated office area has been demoted to storage, with  clothes rails, shoe and handbag storage – I did feel slightly ashamed when I saw all the shoes etc – hey what is a girl to do with an addiction?

With the assistance of our slightly over zealous plumber the demo had begun!

No turning back now.

Before pictures. The original 1980’s bathroom

Let the Renovation Project begin.

Our bedroom is now storage space for tile, bathtub, cabinets, more tile, doors, faucets, even more tile, the toilet,  sinks, lights and so on.

Once up a time, there was a bath, a shower and vanity units in the master bathroom. Now zilch, gone with a swipe of a hammer and muscle power. The old tile floor though took some time,  layers of cement, chicken wire and tile adhesive  had to literally be smashed  to pieces, really physical work not for the feint hearted – my husband has muscles he had never seen before.

Time to haul in the big guns or at least a General Contractor for HELP!

Phase 1 in progress – time to go shopping!

We spent endless hours on the internet,  searching for a bath tub, vanity units, sinks faucets, shower stalls, shower heads, vanity mirrors, light fittings and so on. Tiles we physically searched for, although some ideas we found on Pinterest, Houzz.com and other sites.

We hired a disposable waste container from where else? Home Depot. Yes, it was filled to the brim.

The entrance to the bathroom and closet were repositioned allowing  access to the closet from the master bedroom as it should have been in the first place.

Popcorn ceilings are now no more in the bathroom, closet and Bedroom.

More Prep work to do before we can see something like a bathroom and master suite.

Shopping for tile, we looked at Home Depot but we wanted more selection and ideas, we chose Floor & Décor, we spent endless hours picking tile samples, returning said samples and searching again and again until we found our style and taste – Modern/Contemporary

The neighbours must have ben curious as to what was going on.

No stopping now. Demo completed, let the rebuild begin.

Stay tuned for another progress report on Renovation Project Master Suite Part 3 and possibly another project added on.

 

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Remodel or Renovation Project?

Remodel v Renovation. Is there a difference between the two?

Remodel and renovation are the terms that are encountered the most whenever people are going in for home improvement. This makes it clear that both deal with some kind of improvement in an existing structure

Remodeling vs. Renovation

• Renovation is making the existing structure better or modernized, whereas remodeling is introducing a change in the pattern of use of a structure.

• Remodeling changes the functionality of an existing structure while renovation makes the structure new, better, or modernized.

• Remodeling can turn a structure upside down whereas merely changing the paint of a bathroom and installing new cabinets inside it can be considered a renovation job.

• Remodeling is more complex and more time consuming than renovation.

• Remodeling is more expensive than renovation.

Credit: http://www.DifferenceBetweencom

While we can certainly cut the cost by doing some of the work ourselves i.e. demolition and decorating, this next project requires Professional help as it is not going to be straight forward and coordinating different professionals maybe a nightmare.

What are we thinking of doing next?

Clues

Its a Renovation, it will require completely emptying rooms, plumbing, electrical, construction, destruction, decorating, disruption!  Any Ideas?

 

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JOY ECHO – Fashion and Lifestyle

 

Joy Echo offers minimalist wardrobe essentials, complimented by innovative statement pieces and accessories.

Unapologetic-Graceful-Strong.

I first met the owner Sherall when she contacted me out of the blue to attend our women’s networking lunch. A beautiful, elegant woman, who designs clothing truly with you in mind, timeless elegance.

The pictures  here are of a Stylescape scarf that I actually won. So beautiful and versatile, so many ways to wear it, completely feminine and unique.

Joy Echo wardrobes allows you to go effortlessly from:-

…breakfast to the Boardroom

…Brunch to Broadway

…Manhattan to Milan with

all the versatility, freedom and impact your lifestyle requires.

Sherrall Wingfield CEO/Designer

joyecho

Experience the beauty and elegance, one off pieces unique to you, designed for you. Book your appointment.

Contact me for more information

 

 

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Habitat Muse: Bonus Room Office Space

I appear to be on a role just now with our home renovations and redecoration.

Now I have decided to spruce up a bonus room above our garage. Quite a quirky layout. It always surprises people when I show them this additional space.

Briefly, as you come through the garage into a back hallway. The kitchen is to the left through our fabulous sliding barn door, to the right is a staircase that opens up to a bonus room above the garage, leading then onto the landing bathrooms and bedrooms.

It kind of reminds me of an era where you would have a live in housekeeper or maid. Ever seen the series “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

This room sold the house for us when we eventually found this property, that is another story for another blog post.

Before Pictures.

 

After Pictures

Back hallway and stairs

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What will this room be used for? I decided it was about time I had my own office space to accommodate both of my passions i.e. Arbonne and Habitat Muse.

Neutral walls. I had paint leftover from the downstairs Powder Room. so why spend more money? The walls were painted with Behr Satin paint called Dolphin fin. The 2 walls either side of the door were Pure White as was the ceiling.  Behr White High Finish Gloss for the bannister and trim.

The Beautiful Gatsby inspired posters were a gift from one of my best friends in England, I will be having them framed, this space I plan to have a meditation area and possibly yoga, but I will have to wait as this space will be required for some storage in view of our next renovation project (more about that later)

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20170222_110159Storage and vision boards just visible on the right – unfinished! This will be my Habitat Muse space. Mood Boards, fabrics swatches, tile samples, paint colours, Architects board, Vision Boards.

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Office furniture Office Max/Offfice Depot. Office Chairs Ikea20170222_105857-1

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At last I have a proper work space where I can dedicate time and space for my Arbonne and Habitat Muse business.

What is our next project? Stay tuned. It’s going to take sometime, clues to follow.

What ideas have you to repurpose an additional space?

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Arbonne Health & Wellness -Recipe

You all know how unique and amazing Arbonne products are.

Today I am sharing with you a recipe that you will not be able to resist.

Using Arbonne Protein Powder. – Certified Vegan, Gluten Free, No Soy, No dairy, No Whey, No GMO.

Arbonne Protein Powder contains 20 grams of Vegan Protein -Pea Protein, Cranberry Protein, Brown Rice Protein as well as 20 essential vitamins and minerals.

Recipe:…Scrumptious Energy Bites

Ingredients:
2 cups organic Almond Butter
1 1/3 cups agave nectar
2 cups Arbonne Essentials protein powder *
4 cups organic rolled oats (or steel cut oats if you want them crunchy)

Directions:
1. Combine almond butter and agave nectar in a medium saucepan – or heat in microwave – until melted.
2. Remove from heat; add protein powder and mix well.
3. Measure out oats in a large bowl. Add heated mixture and combine.
4. Refrigerate for one hour.
5. Roll into 1″ balls.
6. Enjoy!

* You can use 1 cup chocolate and 1 cup vanilla powder – or two cups chocolate. I’m a chocolate girl so opt for the latter!

Don’t blame me if you become addicted.

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Credit: Arbonne Regional Vice President Gina Giradi Kelley

 

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Habitat Muse. Bedroom Makeover

dsc00772-jpg-bedroom-before

Our Guest Bedroom before decorating. There was nothing really wrong with the room, it just looked a little bland. It hadn’t been decorated since we moved into the house nearly 5 years ago.

 

Small changes can make any room look brighter, more spacious and more appealing.

Even just a change of paint colour can make such a huge difference. A Bedroom makeover doesn’t have to cost the earth.

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Behr Home Depot satin paint

The Colors chosen, Cloudy Sky & Peaceful Blue. I feel relaxed already.

Ok lets get started. You will need dust sheets, cloths, decorators scotch blue tape, spakling and sandpaper to fill in any holes or cracks. Make sure you have a variety of different size paintbrushes, a roller and tray for each colour. Trim paint. Steps or ladders if required. Be sure to cover the floor and any furniture you couldn’t remove.

Make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you start.20170123_112636

Take your time, don’t overload your brushes, be careful to mask areas such as window frames that you don’t want painting blue!

Stop when you start losing the light and recommence the following day to avoid patches and missed areas.

When you have finished wash all your brushes in warm water and air dry.

Step back and admire your handiwork.

Now for the fun part – Dressing the Room.

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Add a few accessories, keep it simple.

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We used the same curtains, although I added sheers that we already had from another room. Bed linens were from before. The furniture we moved round, so the bed faces the long windows. Now our guests have a view of trees and blue skies.

The room is now fresh, light and airy. The cost wall paint and trim less than $50. Blue glass vase and floral decoration/bamboo $30 from Home Goods.

Bed, side tables and drawers Ikea switched out from a third bedroom.

Mission accomplished.

A Bedroom Makeover on a budget.

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And So I Got to Thinking

I woke up at 5am this morning . I couldn’t seem to get back to sleep so, an English  cup of tea was required before setting about my morning routine.

Currently,  I am reading a book by Brenè Brown entitled “The Gifts of Imperfection, Let Go of Who You Think You Are Supposed To Be And Embrace Who You Are.”

This book is mesmerizing. Its a book that you cant help but keep going back and re-reading chapters over and over again because you can relate to what the author is writing about.

The book appears to reflect part of her journey into “Wholehearted Living,”  her research and global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame and worthiness, subjects that we rarely discuss openly.

One of the chapters or guideposts as she calls them addressed the topic of “Cultivating Calm and Stillness. Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle.” I was intrigued. Just the title relaxed me. Brown talks about the difference between calm and stillness, quiet reflection and alone time.

I remember as a young girl someone saying to me “Take a deep breath and count to ten,” before I answered someone who was really irritating me. I had forgotten all about it. We have a tendency to fire back negatively without thinking therefore, raising our stress levels. Then I got to thinking and reflecting on this last week or so.  I didn’t recognise that I was becoming stressed and falling back into bad habits of a negative mindset. but I actually had done just that. That’s what happens when you have so much to do, mounting pressures to perform, to achieve, to be perfect. But, we aren’t meant to be perfect, in fact realizing that we are vulnerable is a quality – think about it or better still read the book “The Gifts of Imperfection,” I bet you can relate.

Here in the stillness of an early morning, with no sounds around me, no noise  from the house or traffic outside, still, quiet and peaceful.

I closed my eyes and took myself back (as I used to do frequently at one point in my life) to a place where I visualized myself walking through a wood, a forest, a clearing, along a path, the sun shining through the trees, birds chirping, butterflies nesting on wildflowers. The pure sound of nature all around me as I walked breathing in nature and fresh air. An overwhelming sense of calm enveloped me. Then, as I approached a stream, watching water flow gently over pebbles, just deep enough to take off your shoes and paddle as you would as a child, I saw a younger version of myself padding in the stream, the hem of my dress getting wet. I felt a sudden rush of what I can only explain as  ‘Pure JOY’. I found myself smiling from ear to ear, my eyes welled with tears. I felt so calm and at one with nature, so peaceful, it’s hard to describe.

I had completely forgotten the power of meditation. I felt energized.

Before the day began I experienced a quieting of the mind. My inner clock had switched to positive mode.

I felt a need to share my experience.

Now my day can begin, I know we all lead busy lives, but it is important to reset your inner clock, find a quiet moment or two for yourself, where can you loose yourself and feel a sense of peace and harmony.

And So I Got To Thinking

Acknowledgment: Brenè Brown

Books. I thought it was Just me, The Gifts of Imperfection, Rising Strong, Daring Greatly

How do you start your day?

 

 

 

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