Sunday, October 25, 2015
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Some of the latest goodies from Hunting For George...
Hunting For George Oliver Bed $1,399
Milk & Sugar Dorris Stool $129.95
Milk & Sugar Oscar Concrete Table Lamp $129.95
Milk & Sugar Finn Concrete Pendants $99
Uashmama Paper Bag Metallic Rose $28
Found Goods Market Copper Canister Candle $55
Hunting For George Tan Leather Cushion $299
Hunting For George Mr & Mrs Smith Quilt Set Double $199
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I am one of those people who always has to have a bunch of fresh flowers or greenery in my home. It makes me happy. I buy myself flowers more often than I buy new clothes.
I know that nature is meant to make us more relaxed, so bringing some into our homes would have the same effect, right?
Interestingly, I came across several studies which indicated that flowers and foliage certainly do have a physiological effect on our wellbeing.
One study had participants rate their feelings upon entering a room with flowers, foliage or no plants and found that confidence, composure and relaxation all improved in the room with the flowers. Interestingly a proportion of participants reported feeling "annoyed" with deep pink and red flowers, but calm in a room with green foliage, with green foliage having a more positive effect on males, and flowers a more positive effect on females.
A Japanese study discussed the effects of scented roses in reducing cortisol and adrenaline, having a direct impact on stress levels, while dampening down the sympathetic nervous system and promoting the parasympathetic nervous system - promoting "rest & digest" activity, rather than "fight or flight".
American researcher, Kaplan, conducted a series of studies showing the positive impact of nature in reducing stress related fatigue and how this could be used therapeutically, as well as suggesting flowers and foliage in the workplace may be a cost-effective way to promote productivity, especially where it is not possible for windows to look out on scenes of nature which is the case in most situations. In saying that, this could certainly be applied to many living situations as well.
We naturally use flowers and plants in situations to convey feelings and promote wellbeing - in hospitals to break up the sterility and wish the patient to get well, as a house warming gift and in our own homes, especially when expecting visitors, to promote ambience and comfort. I always make a point of having fresh flowers in my guest room when visitors are staying and it is very important to me to have fresh flowers and plants in my place of business. I'm always surprised how often people tell me that flowers here make them feel "happy". Enough to ensure it's a priority.
Flowers and plants are not just gifts for others. If your space isn't looking very green then jump over to FreshFlowers.com.au (sign up for 10% off your first order and they deliver flowers in Sydney and other cities) and get yourself a bunch of roses or a beautiful orchid and notice the positive effects a little nature in your space can have on your health and wellbeing. It costs less and is easier to maintain than having a garden full of flowers (if you have both, you’re blessed!) and can be changed up and moved around as you need, doubling as the perfect styling piece!
*This post was proudly sponsored by Fresh Flowers.
The content and opinions are 100% my own
Adachi, M., Rohde, C. L. E., & Kendle, A. D. (2000). Effects of floral and foliage displays on human emotions. HortTechnology, 10(1), 59-63.
Kaplan, R., and Kaplan, S. (1989). The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. Cambridge University Press, New York, p. 340
Kaplan, S. (1987). Mental fatigue and the designed environment. J. Harvey, D. Henning (Eds.), Public Environments, EDRA, Washington, DC (1987), pp. 55–60
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Firstly, this is not a paid post.
I get loads of offers to sample or write about products, most which I kindly decline.
I do love my teas however, and when I received an email from Madame Flavour I agreed to try a sample, not expecting to be particularly blown away.
The first thing I noticed was the attention to detail.
Beautifully packaged, the delight starts as soon as you open the box - the glint of gold (a bit Willy Wonka-ish) with a little letter printed onto quality textured paper that explains the story behind the teas, created with love and passion that comes across before you have even boiled the kettle.
The teabags are little silken pyramids that puff up to allow the leaves within room to breathe and steep, so you get that loose leaf flavour.
I'm an Earl Grey fan, and I have to say the "Classic Grey Deluxe" is stunning -
"smooth Ceylon and Assam teas, a pinch of Australian lemon myrtle and a sprinkling of lavender flowers "
a beautiful aussie twist that I will have to buy more of because my sample box disappeared way too quickly.
The "Luscious Licorice Tisane" and "Cheerful Raspberry Hibiscus Tisane" are also winners in my book (don't you love the word tisane?).
Orange-Choc Ceylon with cocoa bean pieces, orange peel and a "restrained sprinkling of European dark chocolate drops", perfect for that afternoon slump.
So I tip my hat to the marketing team - you have me sold and I am sharing because I love your product, I would even give them as a gift and you can get them in Woolworths and Coles, so treat yourself next time you are shopping. Make sure you get out your favourite tea cup and lock the kids in a cupboard for half an hour, because you deserve it ;)
(oh and the website is pretty darn cute - http://www.madameflavour.com)
Monday, April 13, 2015
Australia - land of many roads. 913,000 Kms of roads to be precise, also boasting the longest national highway in the world. The thing is, in a country this big, we can't avoid driving big distances to get where we want to go, in fact we've made it one of our favourite pastimes. The great aussie road trip - the ultimate playlist, passing the big banana, the big prawn, the big guitar, all the other big things, stopping at a servo to grab some local avos, stopping for a swim in the ocean, sunnies on, windows down, the more K's the better. Am I making you want to grab your keys and head into the sunset?
My husband has a saying handed down from generations of farming men (that I cannot believe I am repeating here) - "a hundred miles of bad road" referring to a bloke in a not-so-great relationship with a not-so-great woman. Nice analogy, huh? Truth be told though, you don't have to drive on bad road these days to get away.
Here are three of my top picks from the East Coast of our sunburnt land, not only for the drive, but also for the amazing destination, the journeys end. Actually, all three of these are places where you are not that far off the beaten track but somehow feel that you have stepped back in time, to somewhere magical where you could easily be lost from the rest of the world. All have plenty of open water and not an awful lot of anything else. They are places to swim and feast and sleep, to turn off you phone and rejuvenate.
1770 / Agnes Waters, QLD
North Stradbroke Island, QLD
This place is bizarre in that it is so close to the city of Brisbane, and yet when you drive off the car ferry onto "Straddie" you get a taste of what the land was like before the city existed. Don't get me wrong, you drive off onto tarred road which winds through three little "towns" on the protected western side of the Island, no 4WD required unless you want to head down the amazing stretches of sand on the eastern side. There is a very comforatble pub at Point Lookout with killer views, your choice of coffee shops and some great accommodation and even better camping sites, but there is a magical feeling about the bushland here and the beyond beautiful little coves and beaches. If you are lucky you might even spot a Dugong in the waters between Straddie and the mainland.
This post was inspired by Land Rover.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
I remember going to Thailand a few years ago and noticing the hanging electrical lines, the huge cracks and trip hazards in the streets and the family of five piled onto one small motorbike, and instead of feeling worried for the safety of myself or others, or shocked at the differences to my own country, I absolutely loved the fact that it seemed a little more care free or a little less of a nanny state than where I am from (I am fully aware that of course the differences in economies, population and a myriad of other things contribute and that I often wear rose coloured glasses), I found it refreshing.
It has always gotten my goat a little that we have to cross every t and dot every i here, erring on the side of over-caution in our kids playgrounds, our signing of so many pieces of paper to say "I will not sue, I will not sue". I think of those people who try to open a law suit for every little slip in a shopping centre or sidewalk mishap as lowly opportunists and something that I myself would never do, that it shows poor character. However every now and again you can get thrust into a situation where you may be forced to assess your own judgements or to leave your own comfort zones.
When I was 19 I worked in a beautiful little garden nursery and met the man whom I would end up marrying. It was a dream job way before any romance was to blossom (haha, very pun-ny) and I always worked extremely hard. My husband-to-be (and nursery manager) was working 6 days a week, and when we started seeing each other he spoke to the owner about dropping down to 5 days a week as we wanted to spend more time together out of work. She wasn't at all happy with the idea, told him as much and then told him to fire me as I was a distraction at work and sales were down on the days we worked together. It was a brash and silly move, as he had access to all of the past years records which in fact showed the highest takings on the days we worked together, and when he protested she fired us both. We made the decision to take her to court for unfair dismissal. For my young husband it was to ensure he received the compensation he deserved for having run a successful business for her for 7 years, but for me it was to ensure she wouldn't try and do the same to future employees. It went to a tribunal where the judge took one look and awarded us both a small sum whilst she received a pretty harsh talking to (she had also been under paying staff) and left with a much lighter purse, and so it was a good outcome, but I found the whole process stressful, uncomfortable and a situation I wanted to be over as quickly as possible.
Speaking to somebody the other day, they told me of a friend who had joined a gym in her 60's in order to be proactive and prevent health issues associated with "ageing" as we so commonly advise people to do. The poor woman wasn't shown by the staff how to use any of the equipment properly and ended up quite badly injured after her first visit, with consequential mobility issues that ended up costing her a fair bit in rehabilitation therapies. On the advice of friends, she was seeking legal advice to see whether she could recuperate her losses from the gym, seeing as it should have been in their duty of care to educate her in order to avoid injury.
Now, on the other side, I am setting up a health business where I will be taking out insurance to make sure anyone under my care is covered in case of anything going awry. I have been taught to always assess every situation to make sure my patients are not at risk and to always, always put safety first. The responsibility, naturally, remains a little scary. What if someone sees an opportunity to take advantage and try to get one up on me or my insurance company? I guess it is always part of the risk and will certainly keep me honest, which is a good thing.
This whole idea of law suits and responsibilities is certainly not as black and white as I once thought it was, nor do I think I would like it be quite as "relaxed" here as in other countries. The insurance companies have their place, the law firms have theirs and we trust in the courts to make the final decisions as to what is right and what is wrong.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation or feel the same conflict of conscience around the matter? A little food for thought :)
This post has been written in collaboration with Firths - The Compensation Lawyers.
Get in touch with them for a free assessment of you individual situation.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Its been a while since I've featured an artist here. I've come across another home grown darling who's delightful doodles using black sakura micron ink on textured white paper are often offset by a gentle splash of water colour, rendering them whimsical, psychedelic and feminine all at once. You will not find her works featured as the hero piece centred above a lounge or bed, but their small size and attention to detail shine in a vignette of objects or art and draw the observer in for closer inspection. I'm saving one of her pieces for my lounge room makeover that will be evened in a few weeks so keep an eye out here for when she pops up again. For now though, check out her work at http://www.curiousruby.com or her Etsy shop here.