27Dec/17

Decor Tips and Ideas for Your Wedding

Of the hundreds of things one needs to typically worry about on a wedding list, décor is at the top. With good reason too, seeing as how it is responsible for setting the tone and atmosphere of the setting. Do too much and you go overboard, do too little and it ends up looking quite weak. The key is to strike a balance between the two. Here you will find a few important tips to help set you on the right track with your wedding decor. Remember to keep an open mind, and to try different things before you settle on an option.

Indian wedding mandap decor ideas. Beautiful yellow mandap decoration

Think Of the Venue

This is the most sensible first step. Your décor depends on your venue, so it is only natural that you first look at it. Obviously, you would need to visit it in person to see whether it fits. If it is on a beach, having a lot of frills that can easily be blown off is not the best idea. If it is indoors, you do not want to stuff the place with too many arrangements and bulky items. You need to not let little drawbacks put you off from booking an otherwise perfectly good venue, because you can use a little creative flair to mask them with your décor.

Accentuate

You can do this in many different ways, be it with wedding flowers, Christmas lights or drapes for instance. The aim is to draw attention to key spots in the room. This can be beautifully achieved with soft lights like Christmas lights and candles. Not to mention, they are also incredibly romantic. Instead of trying to bring the entire hall to focus, let it speak for itself. People often remember experiences more than things. So in a few years from now, your guests may not remember all the details of your décor, but they will remember how it made them feel.

Start from Top to Bottom

Start from the top and then work your way down. This minimises wastage as well, since you get to see how things tie together as you begin checking things off. Sometimes, once all the main factors come together, you may only need something small to complete the picture. Candles for centre pieces for instance may be a missing piece that can add a lot of depth overall. Picture the space in its entirety, before it is all done up, so you have some direction.

Sketch It

If you do not consider yourself to have drawing skills, ask a friend to help out. Just a basic sketch of the venue all decked out would do. It does not have to be perfect, just so long as it gives out the message. You can then refer to it when home, and make changes accordingly. Taking a panorama picture will also help, since you can then compare that with your sketch. It certainly helps create a more unified look, so your wedding will look polished and absolutely elegant.

21Dec/17

The Guide to Planning Your Child’s Birthday Party

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20Dec/17

How to Plan Your Nuptial Ceremony with the Least Amount of Stress?

A nuptial ceremony around the corner is just exciting for everybody involved. However, it is also extremely stressful for the majority of people. There is so much to be done, so little time and nothing ever seems to really go as planned. But there is a method of organizing this chaos so that you as the person getting hitched can actually enjoy this once in a lifetime event. Here is what you can do to ensure that your nuptial ceremony is organized with the least amount of stress and that it turns out well.

dreamy ceremony backdrop at carmel valley ranch

Start Well Ahead Of Time and Do Not Postpone

The biggest reason why you would feel really exhausted and stressed all the time is the fact that you feel like there is never enough time to be well prepared for the big day. That is why it is important to plan everything well ahead of time so that you can tick everything off the list in good time. Even if it is something as trivial as getting wedding party supplies, just make sure that you attend to it as early as possible so you have more time to devote to high priority jobs. Keep double checking to see what you have forgotten and in general when you save a day for your nuptial ceremony do so with enough time so that you can get ready.

Get All the Help You Can

Don’t be afraid to delegate. It is not like you are calling out to random strangers on the road and telling them that you need help right? You will be talking to family, friends and possibly professionals who will be willing to help you out. Trying to handle every aspect of a nuptial ceremony single-handedly is a really big deal and an unbelievable amount of stress. Therefore make sure to get all the help that you can get. Maybe the maids of honour can take over the flower arrangements and the groomsmen can handle the beverages and food. Maybe your parents can take over booking that venue you fell in love with and ease some of that stress off your shoulders.

A lovely arbor with hanging flowers and a row of white rosebuds looks absolutely enchanting. Photo by Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay; Floral by Out of the Garden

Lists and Even More Lists

No one can remember everything all the time. This is why in an occasion like a nuptial ceremony where there is never a lack of things to do, it is helpful to have old school handwritten lists or quick notes on your mobile where you can tick them off one by one when completed. This way you do not run the risk of forgetting something no matter how important or trivial it is in any way. It will also give you a boost because it feels very satisfying to cross off items knowing that you have finished with them. A nuptial ceremony is a difficult process, but try to make it simplified and easy as much as possible so that you and your partner can also have fun.

19Nov/17

A Guide To Creating An Interior Suited For The Elderly And The Disabled

As we all, know the quality and the way an interior of a house is designed will affect the quality of any person. When it comes to a house with elderly or a disabled person(s) in it, there has to be certain changes and installations to make to make their lives much more comfortable, safe and convenient. Even if you are taking care of your parents, a family member or a loved one who is an elderly or a disabled person or if you are interested in starting up a caring centre for elderly or the disabled, there are certain changes that are known to be essential. Therefore, make sure that you focus on all the right ways to better the outcome that you gain because if not, you will not be able to create the ideal environment for the elderly and the disabled to be safe and live on a quality filled lifestyle. If you are interested in creating an interior that is best for the elderly and the disabled alike, here are some of the things that you need to know:

To help with movement

Elderly and the disabled have trouble moving around. There is a high chance that the building that you are working on being stored. Therefore, it is essential that you focus on a much better way to help them move around efficiently. One of the most negative aspects of any kind of a building is the stairs, even for young people. Yes, climbing up the stairs will drain out the energy. When it comes to elderly, stairs can be risky due to the chance of falls, slips and other dangers. Therefore, you need to focus on a way to help them move around efficiently so as to keep them from feeling left out and have allow mental level. To avoid the trouble of the stairs, the best choice that you can make is to use home lifts Sydney.

These elevators are known to be best for disabled and elderly because there is more than enough space for a wheelchair. Also, there are no special changes that you have to make to the interior in order to make these installations because it will not take a lot of space and the installation process is the simplest when you gain the help of the professionals.

If you make these installations, make sure that you get the most recognized services that will bring out a quality output and guarantee satisfaction. Once this installation is done, there is nothing that you have to worry about the safety and the comfort.

Easter Seals article on accessible kitchen

The floors

As much as avoiding the stairs are important for the safety of the elderly and the disabled, it is important that you avoid the dangers of the floors. Assure that the floors are not slippery, dangerous, has no bumps, avoid height differences, etc. Taking care of the floor will always help them move around safely.

28Jul/17

BLUSH CRUSH

You know that feeling you get when you have a crush on someone? The one where you’re weak at the knees and you can’t think of anything else? You spend your days dreaming about your future life together instead of doing that Excel report you’re supposed to be working on? You know the feeling?

Well, we have that exact feeling about a colour. Yep, we have a big old crush on the colour blush! The light and feminine hue is really the perfect alternative to any neutral that you might already have in your wardrobe as it pairs so nicely with so many other colours. Black, navy, grey, white and olive green? Tick, tick, tick, tick!

Not only is blush taking the fashion world by storm, but we are seeing it in homewares and interior design as well. Soft pink front doors, blush velvet lounges and quilts are adorning humble abodes everywhere, and quite frankly, we can’t get enough.

We’ve rounded up our favourite ways to style this stunning shade below.

27Jul/17

KIND AND KIINDRED

We don’t have to tell you that parenting is hard, do we? Rewarding and amazing? Absolutely! But it’s still a whole lot of work for all mums, dads and carers out there.

It doesn’t help either that there’s soooo much information out there for parents. A lot of it can be overwhelming, some of it misleading and some can just be so dated that we don’t know what to do!

Enter the game-changing app called Kiindred, founded and created by two gorgeous Aussie mummas and friends, Emmy Samtani and Alicia Yelavich. Following the birth of their first children they both saw first hand just how outdated and one-size-fits-all support and information could be for the modern-day parent. The app solves all these problems and is divided into four genius sections – Newsfeed, Trends, Events and Chat. Of course, our personal favourite is the Petite Trends section, where you can shop the most adorable little outfits and products for your kiddies straight from the app. Brilliant!

We sat down and chatted to both Emmy and Alicia about Kiindred, what they can’t live without each day and their funniest parenting fails (which are hilarious).


We both met around 3 years ago when working on the same client during fashion week – it was for a premium alcohol brand.
We are a little bit ying and yang. Emmy is very much the creative, focusing on product while Alicia is more on the sales and marketing side. As we have been working in the startup world with kiindred, it sees us both moving across everything – it’s a little bit of a juggling act!
Both our skillsets mesh quite well for what we are trying to achieve through the kiindred dream.


We found out we were pregnant around the same time and that we lived in the same hood quite close by.
Typical of us, a maternity leave coffee date turned into a brain storming session. We started airing our frustrations on how outdated the parenting space was and how hard it was to find guidance/ support when you needed it most. We quickly realized that there was a huge gap in the new parenting market. So it was literally a coffee date that realised the kiindred dream – code named ‘Project Mumma’ at the time.


There are loads of parenting books that already exist. These are jam packed with endless amounts of information but there’s the problem! There’s no denying these can be a valuable resource but who has time to trawl through endless amounts of information. It is the same for Doctor Google and all the online forums or Facebook groups. Why couldn’t we just have the information at our finger tips, when we needed it most. We spent many a night feeding our little ones, phone in hand whilst trying to navigate information online. An app would allow us to control and serve the information to the users right when they needed it most via a simple newsfeed.


Inspiration and guidance to make those early days of parenting so much easier and enjoyable. We want to take the guess work out of things that you should know as a parent. We called on the experts across a range of categories, to get those key tips and advice and then worked quite closely with them to ensure it could be delivered in bite-sized pieces, based on a baby’s age – right when they need it most.

 


E – The Daily Rhythms. Our Mothercraft Expert helped guide me through the development stages with my first born. I remember thinking she was worth her weight in gold – so to have her rhythms and easy to follow sleep/feeding and awake times accessible to our community is invaluable. I still refer to them on a daily basis the second time around.

A – I have an addiction to Petite Trends – shopping the feed that is! I love how we have handpicked some of the most beautiful brands and products, and a lot of them are businesses also ran by mums themselves. Most products have been inspired from an experience of a parent and also realizing a gap in the market for something they needed.

 


It goes without saying we are all for routine at kiindred HQ. With 2 babies each and a new business, we couldn’t get through each day without having some form of structure in place. The kids really thrive off it too – predictability is a good thing especially for toddlers. The babies now know what to expect too and we can juggle bed/bath routine like no one’s business!

 


E – Our lovely Food + Nutrition Expert gave me some breastfeeding tonic to help with my milk supply. After a rough night, one babe on my hip and another tugging at my leg, I decided to quickly down the herbs before racing out the door. I realised almost immediately I had just taken half a bottle (75 mls) of the most awful tasting stuff, rather than 7.5mls. Yes there was a decimal point. The lesson is – don’t self-medicate when sleep deprived.

A – Being a little too lenient with ‘nappy free’ time. I left my son Arlo nappy free in his room when he was around 10 months of age so I could finish doing my makeup… he had done a number 2 and decided it would look beautiful painted all over his gorgeous books and cot. Lesson learned.


Is this a trick question? Running a business and having kiddies under the age of 3 really doesn’t allow much time for ourselves.

E – Working on something you are passionate about can become quite addictive. I‘ve tried to not be too hard on myself with juggling the kids and launching a business – there is only so much you can fit into each day! I’ve made a promise to myself to start blocking out time in the diary post launch and take a little more time-out sans kids or work to clear my head and exercise.

– I have the kids a few days a week and work any second I have so getting some time out is super tricky. I have though just discovered an app (love a good app!) that helps me get 5 mins peace and quiet to reflect on the day. This is a really nice way to detach from the world for a moment, reflect on the day and appreciate what has now past and what’s next.

E–  1. Water. Being a breastfeeding mumma and getting less the amount of desired sleep, I find this is a necessity. I recently bought myself a new bottle when my intake was low to remind me of how much I should be drinking – it instantly makes you feel better when you are well hydrated.
2. My Mumma. Whether she is babysitting, doing my laundry or on the phone as a sounding board, she has been a huge support for me since having my babies and with the launch of kiindred.
3. My Phone. It’s sad but true – we’re launching an app after all! It barely leaves my side though as I am guilty of tracking every single milestone by taking pictures of my little ones. They are such great memories to have.

A – 1. My Aesop skincare. It smells THAT good. When you are getting up 3 times a night you can wake up feeling pretty blah. I find smothering on some Aesop really helps give me a pick me up, and leaves me smelling like I have left a day-spa.
2. My husband. He keeps me very balanced. No matter the day he has had, he comes in with a smile and we chat. Communication is so important, especially in the first stages of becoming a parent.
3. My Mum & Dad. They are a HUGE support and I couldn’t work, have kids and be a mum without them. Blessed.

We just love this story of two friends being total boss babes and taking over the parenting world one app at a time.
You can download Kiindred from the app store here.

26Jul/17

Best Vacation Spots in Florida

A vacation to Florida is always a great choice for a getaway with your family. Lots of families have done the Disney World trip and it is after-all the most magical place on Earth. If you are wanting to explore more of the sunshine state, then check out of the list of the best vacation spots in Florida.

We have picked a few spots that you and your family are sure to love!

Best Vacation Spots in Florida

Best Vacation Spots in Florida:

 

Marco Island:

Some friends of ours got married in Marco Island several years ago, and before their wedding, I had never heard of the spot before. It is a quiet little town with a big personality. High-quality hotels like the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa just to name a few choices. When your kids need a change of pace from the beach, why not take a dolphin cruise at The Dolphin Explorer?

Something to keep in mind about a visit to Marco Island is that because it is a quiet town, there isn’t an over abundance of touristy things to do. If your kids are water lovers they will be just fine.

Cocoa Beach Pier - Best Vacation Spots in Florida

Cocoa Beach:

This spot in the sunshine state has a lot more for your family to get into, beyond just the beach! The hotel variety ranges from Hampton Inn to a Four Points by Sheraton and everything in between.  If you have a space lover in your family you should consider visiting Kennedy Space Center, our whole family LOVED it! If you are up for a little friendly family competition then the Andretti Thrill Park is a great choice! The Cocoa Beach Pier is also a great place to hang out as a family!

Port Charlotte

Port Charlotte:

Is located along the Florida Gulf coast and is a great place for a quiet getaway with the family. There are several different hotels to choose from like the Country Inn and Suites and Days Inn. Hop aboard a boat from the Peace River Boat Tour company and take in the area sites.

Like Marco Island, this area is also a quiet area so it might be better for older kids.

Navarre Beach

On a trip to Navarre Beach, you won’t find an over abundance of shops selling beach towels and hermit crabs, actually, you won’t find any in Navarre. What you will find is pure beach, with unobstructed views of the blue water. Grab a few girlfriends and head South to get away from screaming kids and piles of bills. You can read about our time in Navarre, here.

St Augustine

St. Augustine:

We have written about it before, but what can we say? We love this town! Check our post about it here.  St. Augustine has gorgeous beaches, tons of Spanish/American history, and amazing local restaurants.

 

Orlando:

DisneyYes, Disney and Universal Studios are in Orlando, but so are some other pretty awesome destinations as well. Legoland is about 45 minutes outside of Orlando and is a whole amusement park and just this year they added a resort! Seaworld is also another great stop for your family. Discovery Cove has been on our bucket list for years, if you haven’t heard about it chances are you will add it soon. You get to get up close and personal with the dolphins! Just be sure to make your reservations early! There are many hotels and condo rentals in the area that you can choose from.

Clearwater/St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg/Clearwater is the only destination in America with two beaches in the Top 10 of TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice Awards of the Top U.S. Beaches, which is based on millions of traveler reviews. If you want activities, resorts and colorful drinks with tiny umbrellas in them, Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach have you covered.

Sea GroveSea Grove Beach

My sister and her family rave about Sea Grove. Seagrove is a mile-and-a-half beach that encircles a small cove and lures visitors with its beauty and serenity. Named for the thick grove of windswept trees that surround it, Seagrove still maintains the same green canopy of oaks, magnolias, hickories and sand pines that came to define it a half a century ago.

Crystal River

We recently visited the little town of Crystal River, the town might be small but there are tons of things to do, and it is the perfect spot for families! Not to mention that it is the manatee capital of the world. You can read about our time in Crystal River here.

The winners in the ‘Best Florida Beach’ contest category for USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice are as follows:

1. Gulf Islands National Seashore – Pensacola
2. Clearwater Beach – Clearwater
3. Siesta Beach – Siesta Key
4. Playalinda – Titusville
5. Pass-a-Grille Beach – St. Petersburg
6. Caladesi Island State Park – Dunedin
7. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – Port St. Joe
8. Fort de Soto Park – Tierra Verde
9. Henderson Beach State Park – Destin
10.Lovers Key State Park – Ft. Myers

 

Best Vacation Spots in Florida

One Comment

  • C. Lee

    July 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    This is a great list but you forgot to come visit me! We’re right outside of Tampa and while you’re here, be sure to check out Busch Gardens and MOSI.

    REPLY

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25Jul/17

6 Free things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Many people think of Fort Lauderdale as a place to park their car and catch their cruise ship. While this is true, there is a lot of fun to be had while you are in town.

Many of them are free! If you are anything like us, we would tell you that free fun is the best fun, especially if you are just passing through on your way to your next destination.

We’ve put together a list of 6 Free Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Hit the beach!

The Fort Lauderdale beach is free for the public to use and for the most part it is fairly calm. The sand stretches for miles and even though that many people visit, there is more than enough room for everyone. Just a note, parking can be tricky, so get there early and spend the day making sandcastles with your kids!

Fort Lauderdale beach

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

The Riverwalk features tons of museums, gardens and a performing arts center. While the museums and performing arts center might not be free, the time spent in this beautiful area certainly is, plus the people watching is awesome!

Volunteer Park

I am quite sure that once my kids get older, they won’t be as enamored with “new to them” playgrounds, but for now, they are happier than anyone visiting a playground they haven’t explored before. If you can tear your kiddos away from the play structure, there are family hikes to be had and ducks to feed!

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Visit the home of the Bonnet’s, the original landowners of a large majority of the area. Take a peek at their amazing home and breathtaking gardens. All for free!

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum

If your family is anything like mine, you might find it hard to pull them away from a spot with lots of antique cars but it might just be the perfect place to spend a rainy day or seek shelter from the sun.

Anne Kolb Nature Center

So this is a mostly free attraction. On weekdays, admission is free that changes on the weekends, admission then becomes $1.50 per person. Which is still a very affordable it isn’t technically free. With over 1,500 miles of marshland to explore, there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy.

Have you visited Fort Lauderdale before? What was your favorite low-cost attraction?

6 Free things to do in Fort Lauderdale

24Jul/17

6 Easter basket ideas that aren’t candy

I know, I know. The Reeses and Cadbury Eggs are a staple in Easter baskets but by the time we get home from both sets of grandparents and whatever egg hunt we come across in our travels, we are more than set on candy.

I don’t know about you all, but I can’t take any more candy coming into our house. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but can I tell you a secret?

We still have Halloween candy that hasn’t been eaten. My kids are excited to collect it at Halloween, just like they are at Easter. But, all of this candy around the house not getting eaten by my children means it is around tempting me. That had got to stop!

Read on to see 6 Easter basket ideas that aren’t candy

 

Here is a run down of some of the things that I grabbed to put into the Easter basket.

Bubbles

My kids are never happier than when I bring a fresh container of bubbles home. They don’t have to be fancy by any stretch of the imagination, just plain old bubbles. They keep my kids busy for hours…even my older kids. You can grab these at the dollar store and no one would be the wiser!

Super Wings

Super Wings

These characters from the popular TV show on Sprout were made into toys. Even though these are from a show for younger children, my 8-year-old really enjoyed using his imagination with these toys. They transform from planes to the characters from the show.

Sidewalk Chalk

Another item that you can pick up at the dollar store is sidewalk chalk. We tend to have all of the neighborhood kids congregate at our house when the weather is nice enough to play outside. For some reason, when the sidewalk chalk comes out everyone stops and takes the time to draw.

FlipaZoo

FlipaZoo

My kids have been begging for these for a long time. They are stuffed animals that can be ‘flipped over’ and turned into to different animal. They come as stuffed animals, or in a smaller size that is plastic and are small enough to fit into Easter eggs.

Jump Rope

I threw this into the Easter basket because I discovered that my oldest had no clue how to jump rope. Is this not a skill that they teach in PE anymore? Anyway, I digress. I put one of these in the basket to help with that skill he is lacking!

Surprizamals

Surprizamals

I suggest these because they are in what looks like bigger Easter eggs. So they would be good for hiding during an Easter egg hunt. Inside you will find cute animals, they come with a name, birthdate, and info about what they like. To my youngest’s delight, one of the animals shared his birthday so he thought that was really cool.

Tell us, what non-candy items do you put in your Easter baskets? Do you think you will try any of these ideas?

23Jul/17

A Stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

My family and I were fortunate enough to stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort on our most recent trip to Walt Disney world. If you followed along with our trip last year you’ll remember that we stayed at the Grand Floridian and left feeling underwhelmed by the property.

This was not the case with the Beach Club. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the property.

The Rooms at the Beach Club

A room at Disney's Beach Club

The rooms at the Beach Club are a casual formal, is that even a thing?

I dare say the rooms are as nice as the rooms at the Grand Floridian without the formality.

Our room faced a garden area and had a small, very small balcony. The bathroom is set up in such a way that the vanity is separate from the shower and toilet area. Which is nice for a family (or anyone) traveling together, because it allows for lots of things to be happening at once.

Best pool on Disney Property

The pool at Disney's Beach Club

If you dig hard enough, chances are you’d find a message board or a Disney lovers thread about the best pools on Disney property, and I’d dare wager that you’d find Beach Club’s pool at the top of that list.

The pool is complete with a pirate ship slide, a lazy river, and my favorite feature, a sandy bottom area.

If your kiddos aren’t strong swimmers (like my kids) but want to be in the water, you will be rejoicing that this is a feature. The sand is built up in such a way that the depth goes from just ankle deep to 3 feet deep.

My kids loved being able to dig in the sand and having a bit more freedom and we loved not having to be on top of them the entire time they were in the pool.

Plus, it is just a pretty pool!