Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Whimsical Wednesday

I thought I would share a little sprinkle of whimsical beauty your way today.

How enchanted is this study space featured at Pottery Barn?  I might be thinking I have a Pottery Barn obsession at the moment. There could be worse things in life to be obsessed with.

I can never go past a beautiful bottle or two ! How about you?

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And a feather on top is just the perfect adornment. Oh Pottery Barn how I love your "bits and bobs".  Do you need to sprinkle a little whimsy into your Wednesday?

Luv and cups of tea Shell xxxx

Monday, 27 February 2012

Mirror Mirror on the Wall.............

I must confess.....  

When it comes to decorating I am obsessed with beautiful mirrors.  How quaint is this mirror from Pottery Barn ?

I have a number of mirrors in our home to create the illusion of having more space than we do, for reflecting outdoor light into some dark spaces and I even love a mirror outside in the garden.. Why not?  Are you the same, can you resist a pretty mirror?

Don't worry if you can't.  At least we are in good company, Marie Antoinette couldn't resist them either.  She had a whole Hall of Mirrors !!!!

Aka my bedroom inspiration.  Mirror Mirror on the wall......................

Happy reflections everyone
Luv and cups of tea Shell xxxx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hearting this week xoxo

I thought I would share some things I am "hearting" this week...

My new book on the life of  Coco Chanel 

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Downton Abbey -

I am now officially "in the know" with all things Downton after having caught up on Series 1.  Now I am eagerly awaiting the airing of  Series 2. ( Absolutely fabulous recommendation, thanks T xxx)

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Green dinnerware a la Provincial Living.

Oh what a week to be grateful for .  What were you hearting this week?

Luv and cups of tea Shell xox

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Table inspiration

What type of table inspires you?

I love a beautiful dining table . And I love sharing a great meal with family and friends around the table.  What a beautiful tradition that has worked for so many generations through the ages.  

Modern ?

Glam ?

Traditional with a twist ?

Why not set a beautiful table this weekend and gather together some family or friends to relax and enjoy each other's company?

Luv and cups of tea Shell xxxx

Friday, 24 February 2012

Sunshine Friday xox

I hope wherever you are in this fabulous world today.....

You get to enjoy the Sunshine and flowers

 And maybe a there is a beautiful couch waiting for you at the end of the day....

Luv and Cups of tea Shell xxx

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bird Cage Obsessions

Do you love a Birdcage as much as I do?

How lovely and whimsical.......................

Who really even needs a bird?

Ok , if you insist......

These birdcages from Pottery Barn have the right idea...I agree the pretend variety are the easiest to look after.  Do you?

Luv and cups of tea Shell xx

Monday, 20 February 2012

A little gift giving just because..............

Do you love giving gifts as much as I do?

I don't know about you but there is something special about giving someone a little gift just because.........

I don't wait for birthdays or special occasion . I don't need an excuse !! I love it when I am out and about and stumble across that perfect little something that I know a special someone would like.  I have no hesitation in picking it up there and then just because I know they will love it.  What fun. It is not about the extravagance or the cost but just a little pleasure that can be shared and the  promise of brightening someone's day unexpectedly.  

On the weekend I was lucky enough to  receive a beautiful gift from a special "chic" friend of mine.

A beautiful bunch of white roses and a rose botanical candle as well.  How it lifted my spirits and touched my heart.  Such a pretty gift and one that will bring me a lot of happiness in the week ahead.  I was very spoilt indeed.

So why not pick up a little something pretty this week for a dear friend of yours.  I can promise you that you will both be wrapped xxxx.

Luv and cups of tea Shell xxxx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

This week's little discoveries......

This week I stumbled upon.....

The iconic Harbour Bridge on a beautiful sunny Sydney morning

Great decor in the new Seed shop in Pitt Street, Sydney

Check out those hydrangeas xxx  Is it wrong to love the shop fitout more than the merchandise?

And saving the best till last.  How breathtaking is this beautiful home in the Rocks area of Sydney.  I could definitely live there !!!

So loved discovering little snippets of beauty in Sydney this week.  Did you have any little discoveries of your own this week?

Luv and Cups of Tea Shell xxx

Friday, 17 February 2012

Getting inspired and organised in a weekend

Do you need some inspiration to get organised?

Have you guessed how much I love to be organised by now?  I love beauty and whimsy in my life but I am a firm believer in everything having it's place.

Now before you all start groaning and thinking I have lost my blogging marbles, take a moment to let yourself imagine how good it would feel if your home was well organised.  Ahhhh, nice isn't it?

My friend's often ask me how I do it. So I have compiled a little blog list with some hot tips to get you started and feeling empowered.

Ready , here we go.....

A great place to start the day is making your bed as soon as you "leap out" ( not necessarily the case on weekends) of it in the morning.  I know it takes discipline but seriously how long does it take to make a bed?

Always wash up your dishes after every meal or pop the dishwasher on as soon as it is full.

Take out rubbish and recycling everyday - that way nothing grows in your bins and your home smells like a home not a compost bin !!!

Wipe out your fridge and clean out the vegie crisper every week.

Have a designated basket for everyone to throw their "stuff in " as they enter the door ie wallets, glasses , change , phones etc.

Have another designated basket which fits a4 size paper lying flat for bills, school notes junk mail etc.  This could be kept in the study or kitchen .  Be sure to sift through it once a week ready for the next week's onslaught of paper.

Have designated baskets for magazines and papers. That way you can gather them all up at the end of each day and pop them in the basket.  Cleaning it out regularly will also help to keep the paper flow under control.

Have a key hook - a designated key area where you hang your keys each day.

Under the kitchen sink - Do you dare go there?  If you haven't for a while now is the time.  Get down and dirty!!!  Sleeves up and throw out the unwanted or the cleaners you have had for 10 years.  I love trays under my sink but caddies are great to for organising all that stuff !

Finally ....Finish each day by tidying up before you go to bed.  Pop things back in their places and when you wake in the morning you will be pleasantly surprised.

So why not start this weekend? I would love to hear your hot organising tips?

Luv and cups of tea Shell xxx

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A day to love yellow and grey

Are you a fan of yellow and grey?

Zara Ikat

lamp love

How beautiful are the pieces above?
 And you know the best thing is if you wanted them all you would have to travel overseas to get the full collection of pieces.  

Starting on home grown soil , the butterfly lamp ( I know so prettiful ) can be found at Domayne

The spectacular cushion can be found at Zara Home ( definitely one of those in Paris if you feel like jumping on a plane, they don't ship to Australia yet !!!)

I should not even start rambling on about Zara Home but I cannot help but mention how fantastic it is.  I sooooo wish it would come our way for us to devour all of it's beautiful homewares. 

Finally popping in to the USA for a Anthropologie hit of Wallpaper .  I cannot even begin to tell you about Anthropologie , that deserves a post all on it's own.  Too much decadence for today!!

Of course I bought a few goodies from Zara home when we visited Paris last year.  If ever I needed another excuse to love Paris...........................? Oh and I definitely need to return to NYC for an Anthro fix !!  Anyone care to join me?

Bon Voyage Shell xxx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Tis le jour D'amour - Tis the day of Love

Are you embracing this day of Love?

However you spend Valentines day, just remember , "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE".

And maybe just a little something with bubbles to celebrate ???

Happy Valentines day
Luv and Cups of tea Shell xxx

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Weekend Gratitude xxxx

Do you ever have one of those special weekends that you are truly grateful for?

Whilst I would have loved to be lounging on this pretty little piece of girly goodness this weekend I am so grateful for not having had a chance to.  Instead..... I was lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful weekend in the Snowy Mountains and spent a lot of my weekend climbing Mt Kosciusko.

So on reflection I am grateful for a great hike in the mountains this weekend along with enjoying the company of my special friends and family.  I feel so blessed and happy heading into the week ahead.

I hope you have a lot to be grateful for this weekend too.

Luv and Cups of tea Shell xxxx

Friday, 10 February 2012

My wish for more sparkle in your day

What is a girl to do?

I don't know about you but since all of these little treasure trove jewellery stores have sprouted up at my local retail hangouts my jewellery collection has exploded !!!  Where is a girl to keep all these treasures and pieces of sparkle and beauty?  On display of course. They are too pretty and divine to be shoved in locked up jewellery boxes. Why not unleash them and enjoy them even when you are not wearing them?

I love re- purposing loved pieces of crockery such as bowls, tea cups and jars and filling them up with my collections of bracelets, earrings and rings. Also in my home, anything that is asking for some adornment will be decorated with necklaces as long as it stands still long enough for me to drape these pretties over it.

On my dresser at present my mirror has a collection of necklaces dripping off it, along with a beautiful mercury tealight holder full of earrings and an oyster pearl tray for watches and other bits and pieces.  I have a glass jar filled with bracelets which is a fabulous idea because I can see what I have because sometimes I am known to forget!!!!  Oops, you too?  At least I am not the only one xxx

And when you are really desperate,  how cute is this photo above that I stumbled upon in, non other than one of my fave reference book "Easy Elegance" ?  A cute little shelf to hang such beauties from will work delightfully and very elegantly.  Also hooks on the back of your wardrobe doors , or your walls if you are really brave ( how is that wall adornment working for you?) can come in really handy for hanging the other pieces of goodness when you run out of options.  Bangles are great in baskets or vases! They are screaming out to be rummaged through whilst you are trying to find that special something. I love the glass vase below with all those "bangly" gems piled on top of each other.

What do you do with you special little pieces of adornment?  I would love to hear .  My wish for you today is to enjoy the sparkle even when you are not wearing it.

Luv and cups of tea Shell xxx

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mid week makeover - Embracing "Hump" Day

Do you do anything special to celebrate Hump day? It is the day in my busy week in which I try to weave a little makeover magic to our home.  For me it is about taking stock of where we are heading for the rest of the week and freshening things up to get through to the weekend as beautifully as we can. So.....

Today I am treasuring my pretty new jug.  A little touch of ceramic goodness to enjoy.

I also picked some fresh roses for our hallway.  Always a treat to arrive home to a bunch of pretty as you walk in the front door.

I popped into Big W and scored a new little piece of greenery for my tea tray.  ( I know, who would have thought?  Sooo love Big W 's nursery dept for cheap and cheerful plants and pots of colour xxx )

And finally I have lit a beautiful new candle to add some sweetness to celebrate "Hump" day.  Basil and Grape by MOR.  Very fresh and rejuvenating.

Now I am ready to face the rest of the week.  What about you?  What are you up to this Hump day?

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing why not add a little makeover magic to freshen up your week?

Luv and Cups of tea Shell xxx

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Magazine Madness this week

Magazines I am loving this week.....

I popped into my local newsagency yesterday and managed to score some gems to read this week.  My fave pics thus far are from Veranda......Let's see if you agree?

So loving the pops of blue amongst the taupe and white stripes ( such a taupe fan !!!)  Who would not love to sit back and enjoy a drink or two in this beautiful setting?

Definitely a blue and white love affair appearing here.  What a dining room and actually I could do with a wood fire to warm me up with this crazy weather we are having at the moment.

Too pretty for words..... Check out the tray !!!  How is your tray hunting going?  Have you found any treasures yet?

So why not indulge in a little magazine madness?  What magazines are you "hearting" this week?

Luv and Cups of tea Shell xxx

Monday, 6 February 2012

Magnificent Milton

OMG !!!!!

Have you heard of Milton?  Another coastal gem I must share with you all.

I had the pleasure this past weekend to spend Sunday morning strolling through Milton.  I know I am spoilt but as my husband says "I am worth it".  I am blessed to visit Milton regularly as my parents in law live at beautiful Mollymook.  For those of you who are not aware and have not discovered this magical part of the coast Milton is a five minute drive down the road from Mollymook.

Milton is full of very quaint little shops and homes and has a lovely country coastal vibe to it.  I find it to be a treasure trove of all things unique and have found many gems within this township on many occasions.

My top 5 "haunts " in Milton are:

Home at Last - An eclectic mix of French home wares and Moroccan treasures and it is hard not to want to buy the whole store. Be sure to check out the treasures up the stairs in the back of the shop too . (pictured above)

Nikki B's - genuine vintage treasures galore with a very rustic old world "smell " and charm.  I managed to buy an enamel dish and silver tea strainer for $5.00 this time !!!  (Sooo channeling Jamie Oliver loving enamel rustic dishes).

Pilgrims cafe - The best vegetarian burgers or wraps you will ever eat in your life.  Seriously you must try it.  You will feel so healthy after one you won't believe it.  Yummy !  Spotted my hubby doing a lunch time dash after hitting the beach for a morning swim.  He scored the Sprout wrap.....mmmmmmmm .

The Red Leaf Bookstore - the cutest and most stylish bookshop on the South Coast ( and the owner Cassie paddles with my Mum in law, so we adore Cassie's shop )

And finally but never by no means least.....

Basque - Traditional French inspired homewares that make my heart skip a beat.  I really feel like I am in Paris when I enter this store.   We bought a beautiful cane table for my Mum in laws' home here and set about decorating it the minute we got home.  Mon cheri !

So next time you are enjoying the coast be sure to drop by Milton for a little something special .

Luv and Cups of Tea Shell xxxx

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A weekend of beauty

Weekend wishes for you..........

Whatever you are up to this weekend I wish that it is filled with beauty, decadence and a little summer magic !

Luv and Cups of tea Shell xxxx

Friday, 3 February 2012

l'amour du thé

How much do you love a cup of The'

(tea in French just sounds even more elegant if that is even possible???)

As you very well know by now I am a huge fan of a great cup of tea.  I sipped my first cup of tea at the age of 7 at home and the memory is as clear today as ever.  One of those life changing "AHA" moments as Oprah has now famously named them.  There was no going back, I was in love.  In love with everything about it.  The teapot ( It was silver enamel and stained heavily on the inside from many years of brewing. Mum promised the stains made the tea taste better so I was never to scrub it clean !!!), the grown up cup it was poured into, the teaspoon of sugar which sweetened it to my liking and the ritual of sitting down with my Mum to enjoy it's beauty.

For centuries people have been partaking in tea and to me it is a no brainer.  It is divine. Nothing compares for me.  It truly is the "bomb"!!!! It is undeniably ladylike, but above everything else it is a hug in a mug. It's a chance to take a breath in an otherwise busy day, the most pleasurable way to start a day and the most relaxing way to end it. ( decaf of course) It is a trusted companion that never lets me down.

So how do you enjoy your tea?  Is it in a big mug?  An elegant china tea cup maybe?  A teabag or a brewed pot?  What is your favourite tipple?  Please I would love you to share your tea secrets with me!!!

 I have included my Top 5 Brews for you .........................................

Twinings English Breakfast - predictable I know but always reliable

Twining Irish Breakfast - slight variation on the theme above if you want a little variety in your "breakky teas"

Laduree Earl Grey - So pretty and Parisian and comes in the prettiest pale green container. Marie Antoinette would approve.

Kusmi Irish Blend Tea - A beautiful blend of Assan and Darjeeling teas .  Also made in France with irresistable packaging xxxx

T2 Turkish Apple - A refreshing Tisane enjoyed cold in Summer, served with mint and apple slices in Turkish glasses.

Luv and Cups of The' Shell xxxx