How to beat the heat and keep your cool

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Nov 112016


When I moved to Australia ten years ago I was rather worried about the Aussie climate and I wondered if I would be able to cope with the warm weather. Fast forward one decade and I am no longer fazed by temperatures in the 30s, although I admit I do get a little nervous once we’re heading into the 40 degrees and higher. Thankfully there are some easy measures you can take to keep your cool, here are my three top tips for beating the heat:

fujitsu-ducted-airAfter living in two houses without an effective cooling system we made sure our current home is well prepared for hot Australian summers by installing ducted air-conditioning. Being able to cool down the majority of the house with just one click of a button is such a great feeling and a luxury I will always be grateful for. If you live on the Gold Coast you can count on Deepchill Gold Coast Air Conditioning to keep your family cool and comfortable during summer.

diane-ceiling-fanFor rooms without outlets for your ducted air-conditioning you will have to find an alternative way to keep cool air circulating and yes, there are more attractive options than the traditional white plastic ceiling fan. The trick is to find a fan design that suits your style and colour scheme perfectly so it becomes part of the decor as opposed to a sore in the eye, like a brightly coloured design for the kids’ bedroom/playroom and this classy wood detail Diane Ceiling Fan for your office.

Dyson CoolIn our household we are big fans of this portable desk fan by Dyson. Not only does the powerful and energy friendly Dyson Cool effectively cool down your room, it is also super stylish to blend in with your decor. We love the fact that the Dyson Cool is 100% safe for children to touch without rotating parts that could injure little fingers and it is super easy to clean so a perfect pick for allergy suffers. Being up to 75% quieter than traditional fans you can keep the fan on at night too, even I can sleep with it on and that says something!

With all the cooling preparations done and dusted I think we’re ready for warm weather to arrive, bring on summer!

Times Tables made trendy by Love Mae

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Mar 112016

Love Mae

It feels like yesterday that we brought home our tiny twins, now they are seven and reading novels, doing homework and practising their times tables. Thankfully they love learning so they don’t mind all this studying and at the same time it’s a great refresher for me too. While they are many visual aids available to help with times tables they are often rather boring and childish, luckily Love Mae is here to make times tables trendy again:

Love Mae Canvas

A gorgeous Love Mae Times Tables Poster (RRP $35) or Times Tables Canvas (RRP $160-$220) would make a pretty and practical addition to your child’s bedroom, playroom, study or even the classroom. I just love the gorgeous pastel colours, such a welcome change from the bold primary colours used in many educational aids and perfect for older children too.

Each A1 sized poster is printed on high quality 150gms satin paper while the A0 sized canvas comes with a hand-crafted timber frame so it’s ready for hanging straight away. Love Mae Times Tables are available in several designs and colour ways to suit your child and decor beautifully.

Times Tables Love Posters

To find out more about Love Mae, to locate a stockist near you or to order online visit

Jan 072016


As you may have read earlier this week miss Sybbie finally made the move to a big bed. After trying for 8 months to convince our stubborn 2-year old it was the temptation of the ‘big girl room’ that won her over. We’re lucky enough to have a huge room that easily sleeps three girls so it all works out well, they love each other’s company (most of the time).

Toucan sisters

All this swapping beds and bedrooms called for some redecorating and I am really pleased with how our ‘girls dorm’ turned out. We have chosen to keep our walls neutral throughout the house and decorate with accessories instead: matching bedlinen for all my girls, a nice rug, pretty wall stickers and this gorgeous ‘sisters make the best friends’ print, isn’t it lovely?

Toucan prints

Australian label Toucan offers a range of stylish home decor pieces that provide you with an instant designer look, but without the designer price tag (just the way we like it!).

Tribal FeathersWhether it’s for your living room or kids space, nursery or playroom, a boys or girls room, with more than 130 different designs to choose from the Toucan prints collection has got your wall covered. They even create personalised (birth) prints, a perfect gift for squishy new arrivals! Now that baby Harriet has moved into the nursery I am looking forward to making her room ‘hers’, I think the Tribal Feathers would look amazing.

Cloud and HeartsToucan prints are available in sizes A4-A1 and come unframed so you can handpick a frame that suits your taste and your space beautifully. Prices start at a very affordable $15 up to $45, allowing you to change your print as often as your style or decor changes without breaking the bank. All prints are made to order (doesn’t that make you feel a little special?) and are generally shipped within 10 days of placing your order.

To find out more about Toucan, to browse the range and to order online visit

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Jun 302015

As you may have guessed the upcoming arrival of baby no.5 calls (once again) for an overhaul of our busy but happy family home. Rooms will be changed, beds will be updated and roommates will be swapped to accommodate for another bundle of joy who we are yet to meet. We love this ever changing house and the kids are always excited when we shake things up a little.

Little Town Wall Stickers

We may not have the time (or energy, patience or money) to repaint the walls every time a room switches owner but luckily there are some super easy things you can do to freshen up a space and make it fun. One of my favourite (and quickest) ways to spice up an empty wall and style it to suit your child’s taste or interests is with some gorgeous wall stickers, I absolutely love our latest addition from Bright Star Kids.

BSK Little Town

These colourful Little Town Wall Stickers (RRP $39.95) were just the bright touch we needed for this rather plain playroom corner, doesn’t it look awesome? The set contains 12 buildings in different shapes and sizes, 1.8 metres of path/road and a selection of landscape accessories so you can build your own little town. All pieces can be placed in the order of your choice so you can create a unique town that shows your personality and fits your wall perfectly. You can grow your city even more by adding some of the other wall sticker sets that fit the theme, like construction vehicles or airplanes.

Bright Star Kids wall stickers

Bright Star Kids Wall Stickers are made from high quality, flexible fabric that is gentle on walls, removable, reusable and works on all household walls. They are particularly handy for rental properties as you can remove them without damaging the walls or leaving sticky residue, just take them with you when you move out. There are lots of different designs to choose from and prices start at just $12.95, now that’s a make-over on a budget!

To find out more about Bright Star Kids, to browse the range and to order online visit

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May 112015

Happy As Larry

Big Baby Shower – Day 11

Some days nine months feel like a very long wait, luckily there is always the nursery to keep me distracted. I love looking at beautiful nurseries and doing up inspiration in magazines and online. Even if, like me, you already have all your bigger nursery furniture from your last baby you can still create a fresh new look using a few eyecatching decor pieces from Happy As Larry Designs:


Happy As Larry Designs is a delightful Australian store filled with unique decor items and homewares sourced from around the globe. Whether you are decorating a nursery, playroom, living room or even your own home office, you are sure to find your next show piece here.

Watermelon Felt Ball RugWithout realising it you may have already spotted some of Happy as Larry’s signature pieces around the place, their famous Felt Ball Rugs are hugely popular and have turned many boring rooms into a magazine worthy space already. The stylish 100% wool rugs are available in a wide range of colours, styles and sizes and they are made with love in Nepal (what a perfect excuse to support the Nepalese community in this time of need!).

Hello Sun CushionFrom cute little cushions and pretty mobiles to sweet linen and gorgeous toys, there are plenty of other whimsical goodies in store to suit all budgets. One of my personal Happy As Larry favourites is this cheerful Hello Sun Cushion, handmade in Portugal by Pink Nounou. It would make a lovely addition to our gender neutral nursery and its timeless design would last well past the baby stage.

To find out more about Happy As Larry Designs, to browse the range and to order online visit

For your chance to win a $100 Happy As Larry Designs gift voucher enter our giveaway below:

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Apr 042015


When it comes to boys it can be really tricky to find a little gift that they like, is affordable and not silly nonsense like green slime or a fart pillow. Our 6-year old loves learning, exploring, constructing and inventing so I know he would  absolutely love this cool Casagami Solar Night Light from Rudy and The Dodo:

Casagami Solar Night Light

The Casagami Solar Night Light (RRP $14.95), created by French design company Litogami, is a compact, fun and education gift that won’t break the bank. The cardboard house is delivered flat-packed and simply folds together. When placed in the sun the solar panel on the roof will charge, so at night time it can light up the little home for up to 5 hours. The Casagami night light would look just gorgeous on a bedside table or bookshelf in a kids bedroom. I think it’s a fabulous present, so unique and actually useful too!

Casagami by Litogami

To find out more about Rudy and the Dodo, to take a closer look at the Casagami Solar Night Light and to order online visit

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Feb 192015


After eight years in Australia I have gotten used to many things. I am used to speaking, reading and writing English day in day out (I still prefer Dutch), I eat BBQ dinners, Tim Tams and Sunday roasts (but not Vegemite or kangaroo) and I no longer freak out when I see a big spider or blue tongue lizard (although I’d rather avoid them). However there is one thing I am still not entirely comfortable with: the hot climate.

Old fan

Adelaide Summers can get really hot, the hottest day I have experienced since moving here was 47°C and it was far from pleasant. Luckily most of the rooms in our home are air-conditioned but unfortunately the bedrooms located in our extension are not so they can get rather warm in the Summer months. Previously we tried using an ordinary fan at night time and while hubby quite enjoyed the fresh breeze I found it too noisy to sleep with. Add to that the danger of one of our four inquisitive little ones sticking their fingers in between, or getting their hair wrapped around, the spinning blades and you can see why our fan ended up gathering dust in our storage (read dump) room.

Dyson CoolA few weeks ago we finally discovered a solution to our sweaty problem so, even with the thermometer predicted to hit a hot and horrible 38°C this weekend, we can now sleep cool and comfortably. I can not begin to tell you how relaxing it is to hop in bed at night and not be hot and bothered all night long, kicking off the sheets and getting up for a drink just to cool you down. The Dyson Cool has really come to the rescue for me this season.

The Dyson Cool is a revolutionary new fan designed by the talented engineers at Dyson, known around the globe for their innovative and high quality vacuum cleaners. Not only does the powerful and energy friendly Dyson Cool effectively cool down your room, it is also super stylish to blend in with your decor, it is 100% safe for children to touch without rotating parts that could injure little fingers AND it is up to 75% quieter than traditional fans.

Dyson Cool AM06

The sleek, modern design is surprisingly compact and light weight so it is easy to move from room to room, the fan can be gently tilted and rotates to cover a wider area. I love that it is super easy to clean, there are no small gaps where dust can gather (making it an ideal choice for allergy sufferers like our daughters) and you can just wipe it down with a soft cloth.

Dyson Cool remote

Another great feature is the timer function, using the small remote you can program the fan to turn off after a certain period of time (up to 9 hours) so that you can save even more energy. It also means when we put our baby to sleep with the fan on we do not have to disturb her later at night to turn it off manually. With the remote you can customise your Dyson Cool experience to suit your needs and when not in use you it ‘magically’ (magnetically) attaches to the fan so it’s always within reach when you need it.

Dyson Cool range

Dyson fans are available in different sizes and colours so you can choose the design that’s perfect for your needs and fits home decor beautifully, prices start at RRP $449. For added peace of mind the Dyson Cool comes with a generous two-year warranty.

To find out more about Dyson Cool, to read up on all the technical facts and figures and to locate a stockist near you visit