Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2013

The great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festivalThe great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festivalThe great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festivalThe great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festivalThe great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festival The great kiwi beer festival During the weekend, A few girlfriends and I got together to go and play in the beautiful Canterbury sunshine, at The Great Kiwi Beer Festival! The day started out with meeting a friend on our bikes to buy some yummy nibbles and drinks to feast on before the event. We then headed off for a bike ride through the park to start off our day! 
The festival was so much fun...packed with people really enjoying themselves! With over 100 New Zealand boutique breweries manning stalls, it's fair to say, New Zealand is definitely a beer drinking country! I was almost slightly embarrassed about how much I knew about the different beer types, being a girl and all! 
I got particularly excited when we stumbled upon a stall from The Mussell Inn (which I've posted about here), where I ordered a glass of delicious Captain Cooker Manuka Beer!
While we weren't wandering around having tasters of all of the exotic sounding beers, we were lounging under tree's eating delicious food, catching up on some much needed gossip, and people watching! When the day finally cooled down enough that I could take off my sunhat,  we sat under the shade of a giant pine tree and drank lots of water after all of that beer!
My day ended with a very slow, giggly, slightly wobbly bike ride through the park and home, where I was happy to be tucked into bed nice and early!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whimsical Tea Party For One

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Dress-Missy's Room | Shoes- Tatty's

My tea party shoot photos are finally up! We went along to one of our favorite hideaways in Christchurch (Mona Vale) which I've also posted about herehere and here, It's also where Andrew and I had our recent Valentine's day picnic. When I'm there, the city just feels miles away. I feel like I'm in a garden out of a Jane Austin novel!
This day however, was a little more like falling down the rabbit hole, where I was surrounded by lots of little tea party treasures and oddities! Now, I don't usually wander around having whimsical tea parties whenever it takes my fancy (Although, if it was socially appropriate, I totally would. Seriously). The lovely Bec from Clouds of Colour had a competition for advert space over on her blog, which I won! This is the resulting photo shoot we did to create my little advert!... Pop over to her beautiful blog and you can see my advert on the right hand side bar :)
The outfit I'm wearing paired just perfectly for a nonsense tea party! The dress is from my all time favorite vintage shop in New Zealand Missy's Room. I have quite a few pieces from there, and It's where I beeline to whenever I am in Wellington! I have never seen a dress in all my thrifting day's with such a long, bibbed looking front with a collar streaming down the back (If anyone knows the correct fashion terminology for this, let me know!). My shoes, although hard to tell in the pictures are actually a dark emerald green, which matched perfectly with the tiny embroidered green vine on the collar of my dress.
I had so much fun playing like a child again, There were many laugh's captured during this shoot, because people out on their routine morning walks were a little surprised and delighted to see a magical tea party set up in front of the pond! So on that note, I encourage you to go off and do something a bit nonsensical, a bit childish, and just see how much you and others end up smiling!

Monday, February 18, 2013

One Whimsical Day in my Week

Alice in wonderland tea party, mona vale tea partyHello everyone! This week has been rather exciting. One day in particular is how I would like every day to be! My day stated out with a magical tea party shoot in front of my favorite pond (Haha yes, I do have favorite ponds), in one of my favorite vintage dresses, with my favorite vintage bits and bobs around me!...It's a bit of a sneak peek at my first ever advert which I will tell you more about in the days to come, yippee!! Black Swedish ducklings While we were frolicing around the gardens we spotted 3 black sweedish ducklings actually sitting and waddeling over the lillypads in the pond! It was like something out of a page in Wind and the Willows!
Hagley dance, Hagley Balletoutdoor bath, claw foot bath
That afternnon, I went back to my first ballet class in 6 years! I can honestly say that getting back into a leotard and ballet shoes was one of the bravest/ scariest/ exciting things that I have ever pushed myself to do. I used to dance very intensivley (25 hours or more a week!) with the plan of becoming a professional dancer. I had a major injury which initially stopped me, life threw me lemons, I met a boy, lived my life as a normal teenager for a while and then went off to university leaving ballet in the too hard basket. When you dedicate your life to doing something so intensely, and then have to stop, it's a bit like a really messy break up. I avoided it for years, to the point where I couldn't even bear to watch a ballet advert on the TV! I eventually got over the fact that I had to throw away something that was such an intensive life dream for me. I made different choices, and have succeded so well in everything I decided to do instead. I love the life I live, I am so happy and wouldn't trade it for anything. BUT I missed dancing so much, and I was ready to welcome it back into my life with open arms!
Going along to that very scary first class, everything was really fast paced, I had to pick up all of the ballet vocubulary straight away again. My legs didn't go as high, I couldn't ballance as well as I used to, my turnout was terrible... but I felt alive and happy and in love with dancing all over again!
And as you can imagine, at the end of all of this I was VERY sore, and I came home to a a hot bath filled with epsom salt to calm my cramping muscles! The floating flowers, candles, fairy lights, and the fact that my bathtub is outside really added to a rather whimsical day! 


Friday, February 15, 2013

My Top 40 Indie Love Songs

Description of Photo Happy Valentines day everyone! It's crazy to think that this is Andrew and mine's 6th Valentine's day together! We filled our afternoon with a little bike ride adventure to some beautiful rose gardens around the corner from our house. We laid on a picnic blanket in the sun, hid away between the prettiest patches of roses...snacking on camembert, pesto and crackers as we so pleased! For us, Valentines day is really no different than any other, we let each other know every day regardless that we're each other's world...yes I'm getting sappy, which brings me to the whole point of this post!
My top 40 Indie love songs! (In no particular order...just a playlist that flows nicely) Indie is quite a tag word that get's thrown around an awful lot these days, but want for a better word it does fit! So tuck in to some mushy smushy sounds and enjoy! The playlist should work if you use Spotify (And if you're not, I totally recommend it!) Are there any other love songs that you couldn't make a mix tape without?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Retro Decor Tips: Spicing up Kitchen Shelves

retro kitchen decorThere are no real 'rules' for retro decor and that's why it's so much fun! My home is always a work in progress...and the best part about decorating retro is that it's actually realistic on a very tight student budget. When you're first getting into thrifting for items for your home, it can take a little trial and error to find the 'right feel' for you...and that's ok! Have fun in the process! retro kitchen decorretro kitchen decorShelving With a Theme 
Don't be afraid of colour! Pick a colour scheme that you particularly love. It could be a collection of contrasting colours like yellows and blues for example, or something that fits with colours already existing in your home, once again there are no 'rules' here.

Here, I've chosen bright warm tones with an occasional splash of random colour to go with my 'fruit and vegetables' theme. The starting point of inspiration for this shelf began with one painting. The beautiful fruit still life sitting on the top, painted by Andrew's Nana. From here it was easy picking pieces that synergised with colours in the picture, and most importantly kitschy fruit and vegetable kitchenware!
 The great thing about adding colour to your home with objects, is that it is not as dramatic a step as painting an entire wall or walls but it still packs a colour punch! (which is very easy and cheap to pack away into boxes and replace with something else if you so desire!)
retro kitchen decor retro kitchen decor

retro kitchen decorretro kitchen decor
Statement Pieces
Keep an eye out in thrift stores for pieces that just scream the look you are after! After we inherited the painting from Andrew's Nana, I noticed these unusual fruity porcelain drinking cups in the back of an antique store in the Wairarapa for $5! I thought they matched the painting perfectly! Then a while down the track I kept stumbling upon $1 ceramic sweetcorn pieces. It's always good when you are on the hunt for decor pieces that you have a specific look or theme in mind (In this case, fruits and vegetables) Otherwise you can end up going home with very pretty, but un-matching bits and bobs which are no good to really go anywhere!
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Be a Little Crazy.
Let's be honest. Nailing ceramic fruit and vegetables to the wall is a little nuts. 
But that's just how I like it! I believe that our homes and how we choose to decorate them are an extension of our personalities, so if I am bit silly and fruity (excuse the pun) one of my walls can be too!
retro kitchen decorretro kitchen decor retro kitchen decorPut Unexpected Things in Unexpected Places
This beautiful spice rack was handmade by family as a 21st gift for Andrew. It has specific dimensions to fit all of the general sized spice jars, boxes and packets you find in New Zealand. Don't be afraid to put things in your kitchen that you wouldn't normally expect, like these tiny figurines. My favorites are the tiny forest green depression glass tea set that I found at a vintage market, and the little Buddha's Andrew bought back from Vietnam. 
retro kitchen decor retro kitchen decor retro kitchen decorretro kitchen decor Dried Foods in Jars as Rustic Decor
As a vegetarian, I eat an awful lot of lentils, pulses, grains, specialty flours, nuts and seeds...which all conveniently come in dried form!
There are a few advantages to storing your dried foods in glass jars :


1. They last longer than keeping them in the pick'n'mix plastic bags.
2. It's a great way to recycle!
3. They look so pretty!
4. Because they look so pretty you can have them out for show in your kitchen, thus meaning you have way more pantry space.
5. Because they're out all the time, it's easy to see when you're running low. No more missing essential ingredients when your halfway through a recipe!

As you will see, Most of my jars aren't matching, which adds to the kitschy rustic feel. Not to mention it's ridiculously cheep or free! You can arrange them in height order, or in pairs of the same jars for things to look more uniform if that's what you like!
You'll notice by now the whole 'fruit and vegetable theme' has been decreased, but the same warm colour tones are used on my other shelves. This is a good thing. We do not want entire kitchens full of fruit an vegetable knick knacks! there's a little hint of the theme through the vintage fruit scene tins, fondue pot and soup bowl to tie things together in a more subtle manner!
retro kitchen decorretro kitchen decor retro kitchen decorThinking Outside of the Box for Storage in the Kitchen
When do you ever have enough storage space in the kitchen? I like to rethink the way we store things, instead of just in drawers or cupboards. I love using vintage tins and containers, particularly in sets of different sizes. The yellow floral set is where I keep my medicines tidily out of sight but in easy reach! 
Once again, you can use beautiful statement pieces like a colourful fondue pot to store things in as well. Functional and cute!
retro kitchen decor
So as you will see, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to giving some corners of your kitchen a retro, kitschy feel...just have fun with it! Stick to a theme to save money, use unexpected objects, think about storage in a different way, and be a little crazy, try something new! Because it's such a cheap way to add some personality to your home, it is so easy to experiment, chop and change, or start all over again! 
Start of with one little corner of one room at a time and see where it takes you!
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