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Friday, November 21, 2014

Shuk

Last night I was invited to the first birthday celebration for Shuk - a North Bondi cafe / bakery / deli which is inspired by the central marketplace in Israel known as The Shuk. David joined me and it was one of our first date nights back home and nice to relax outdoors with a cocktail and some nibbles in the warmth of the Sydney sun. The cafe commands a corner position with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and a lovely selection of fresh breads and bagels for sale.

There aren't many opportunities these days to wear a clutch which I picked up in Rome earlier this year. It isn't practical to use when out and about with young children and it felt different to only have to slip my mobile phone and keys into it and off we went. I kept thinking I had forgotten something but no I really didn't need to carry anything else.


+ Dress: Sheike | Clutch: From Rome | Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana |  Shoes: KK

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Balos Bay

Time for just the two of us is a rare occasion these days and this special trip to Balos Bay was one of them. David and I didn't realise at the time what we would be in for. The trip involved a long car ride through some of the tightest heart-stopping cliff side roads and then an hour or so trek on a rocky path to reach one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Of course I was dressed completely wrong and my feet ached from stepping on all the little rocks - if there is ever a next time I will definitely wear more comfortable walking shoes!

The magnificent view through the hillside though speaks for itself. The sun set halfway down and we wanted to save some daylight for the trip home so although we did not make it to the beach we are so glad we took the journey to here. A memory we will never forget.

Balos Bay, you are beautiful.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Robert's New Bedroom: Selecting a Mattress

This post is sponsored by Sleepmaker.

When I last wrote about Robert’s bedroom we were not sure if he would swap rooms with the study / spare room or if it was to remain his bedroom. I did not know at the time of writing the post that I was pregnant with Christopher and all our plans would change. We set to work preparing the spare room to be a nursery for the new baby and fixing the house overall so that it looked less like a demolition zone and more like a house that we could raise two children in.

So while Christopher has a nice newly decorated bedroom, Roberts’ bedroom was freshened up but not completed. We simply ran out of time. Below is what his bedroom looks like now.

Some of the changes to his room you may have seen previously and these include:
  • Fit new tall timber skirting boards (in his bedroom and throughout the house so it all matches)
  • Install chair rail (in all bedrooms)
  • Rip out the old 1970’s wardrobe and design a new built-in wardrobe. The wardrobe was installed on an adjacent wall which makes more sense for the configuration of the room.
  • Strip the circus wallpaper. The new wardrobe was installed on the wall that featured this wallpaper and so it regrettably needed to go. We did leave a large piece of the wallpaper on the wall behind the wardrobe to keep it as a piece of the houses’ history - I’m sentimental like that.
  • Swap the weird privacy window glass with clear glass panels
  • The new glass now lets more natural light into the room so we also needed to order and install window blinds. While we were at it, we ordered block out blinds for all bedrooms.
Yep – the work snowballed and we still weren’t done! The house does feel fresher than it ever did and these seemingly small changes have made a difference but Robert’s bedroom walls remain unpainted and he has a mismatch of furniture. Basically, no real thought has gone into the decorating of his new bedroom.

When Sleepmaker approached us offering a budget to decorate a bedroom and to select a new mattress from their range, it was the push that we needed to complete his bedroom. Robert loves decorating and rearranging his room (not sure where he gets that from?) so when I told him the news he was excited and even drew me a picture of the style of room he wanted.

His brief to me: “Jungle theme with dinosaurs and really tall trees in each corner of the room, grass on the floor and a large T-Rex dinosaur, please.”

Now I don’t like to disappoint my clients so I knew that we needed to negotiate here. Keeping in mind the timeline to complete this project (next month), I didn’t think I could source a real T-Rex in time. So we discussed the plans and the revised brief is to display his collection of dinosaur toys, a potted plant that he will take care of and animal print fabrics that he approves of.

The more detailed plan, which has his seal of approval, is as follows:
  1. A new ensemble and mattress, with thanks to Sleepmaker, in a Double size. His bedroom can accommodate a larger bed and we will keep his current bed for Christopher for when he is ready to move into it.
  2. A custom bedhead in bright fabric to act as the centerpiece of the bedroom.
  3. Robert and I read books before bedtime but the lighting in his bedroom isn’t the best for this. He has a floor lamp and a pendant light but he really needs table lamps by his bed and these ones from Freedom have adjustable heads.
  4. Robert doesn’t currently have bedside tables and I wanted to splurge here and import two beautiful bone inlay bedside tables from India.
  5. New soft white bed linen
  6. We will also finish painting his bedroom walls and the new built-in wardrobe
  7. Hang new artwork incorporating some of his own drawings (of dinosaurs most likely)
  8. Add a soft rug for the floor
We selected his new mattress ensemble using the Sleepmaker Mattress Selector Tool. Our requirements were for a good quality mattress that supports a growing spine and is suitable for a child that suffers from allergies. The selector tool is a simple questionnaire and based on our selections we were presented with a list of recommended mattresses to try in-store. So off we went to try the recommended mattresses out in person. This involved me lying on them while trying to stop Robert from jumping up and down on them.

The winner was the Vega Cushion Firm mattress from the Together Alone collection and we selected it because it met our criteria. It also supports optimal spinal alignment, regulates heat (which is great because Robert is often complaining about being too hot when he sleeps) and is good for controlling allergies, as it will not harbour mould or bacteria. I also liked the pocket spring technology in which the system consists of individual coils, so if there is movement on one side of the mattress, the disturbance is minimised on the rest of the mattress. This is because each coil acts independently and is not connected – perfect for those nights I might find myself sleeping next to my little wriggler.

The mattress and ensemble were delivered last week and Robert didn’t waste any time jumping on it. I am in the process of completing the decorating of his room and will share with you the ‘after’ photographs in the next few weeks along with a special giveaway!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Our Wedding

Last year David proposed in a most romantic way in front of a crowd of people in Times Square. Pretty spectacular - it blew me away! Although there were many eyes on us at the time all I could see was David and my little guy - two of my favourite people. It was the day after I lost my best friend so it was a very emotional time and reminded me of how important it is to live life to its fullest with those we love. Below is a photo captured of this moment and I just love that Robbie was there to witness it.

David and I talked about having a small and intimate destination wedding but we didn't have the time to plan it ourselves. We contacted Stella & Moscha to work their magic for us and we are so grateful for their help both in the planning and on the day of the wedding. When we travelled to Santorini for the wedding I had given birth to Christopher only 7 weeks prior (I know, crazy right?!) and it felt like a luxury to be able to relax and enjoy the day knowing the details were taken care of.

A couple of months have since passed and it still seems so surreal that it all happened and that we could share this day with our families and friends who travelled from around the world to be there with us. We had also organised a cruise for our guests and a christening for Christopher the day before the wedding so it was a jam-packed trip but the memories are priceless. I am also proud of us for somehow mustering up the energy to travel overseas and plan these events with two children including a newborn. I think we were running on adrenalin!

I hope you enjoy these photos below taken by Nikos Gogas.

Photography: Nikos Gogas | Wedding planners: Stella & Moscha | Flowers: Handmade by myself and my family | Ceremony: Pantelia Suites | Reception: Sphinx Restaurant | Favours: Olive oil bottles imported from Sifnos | Stationery: Smitten on Paper | Music: Kraximo guitarists and Pro-Support DJ | Makeup: Eleni Ilio


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