Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm dreaming of a White & Blue Christmas

Over here in the Riley household I have a self imposed, 'no Christmas decorating before Max's birthday' rule. I want his birthdays to be about him, and not just a part of the month long Christmas celebrations. His birthday is on the 2nd of December, so it's not too bad. But I'm already seriously itching to get my decorations up.

This year I'm planning a blue and white Christmas, with enough beach thrown in to keep it Australian.

Here's some of the images that are inspiring me. (All can be found on my Christmas PinBoard.)

What colours are you using this year, and have you started decorating yet?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Invites and Holidays

Today I finished up the invites for Max's 2nd Birthday party. I'm really proud of them, it's the first time I've done the graphic design without Sean's help. :)

This weekend I need to get my butt into gear and finish prepping everything else for his party.

Even more so, now that I've found out what Sean's surprise is...

Next weekend we're heading away to Wolgen Valley Resort courtesy of Sean's parents. I am beyond excited!! Two days of doing nothing but relaxing. Sean's parents are staying at our place and taking care of Max, so it will be like a mini second honeymoon for Sean and I.

Back soon with more party decorations :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sean Has A Surprise

My lovely husband Sean has a surprise for me, and it's killing me! I love surprises, but I also hate not knowing everything.

Everyday I ask him to tell me what the secret is, but instead he's giving me random clues. Which means I'm spending way to much time everyday trying to guess what the surprise is.

The clues he's given me are: Blue, Nature, Melbourne Cup and Heritage.

So far I've guessed the following (but he won't tell me if I'm right):

1. Underwater World in Mooloolaba
 - Blue = Water
 - Nature = Fish
 - Melbourne Cup = We're going on the first Tuesday of next month
 - Heritage = Max's Grandparents are coming with us

2. Outback Spectacular (A show) on the Gold Coast
 - Blue = The ocean on the Gold Coast
 - Nature = Outback
 - Melbourne Cup =The horses that are in the show
 - Heritage = The show is about our Australian Heritage

3. A Holiday to Cairns
 - Blue = The ocean in Cairns
 - Nature = The Great Barrier Reef
 - Melbourne Cup = MC is sponsored by an airline and we will fly to Cairns
 - Heritage = The Daintree Rainforest is Heritage Listed

4. A Night at Kingfisher on Fraser Island
 - Blue = The ocean
 - Nature = Fraser Island
 - Melbourne Cup = We'll need to wear hats
 - Heritage = Fraser is Heritage listed

5. My Grandma is Coming to Visit
 - Blue = She will through the blue sky to get here
 - Nature = She;s coming from New Zealand
 - Melbourne Cup = She will fly with Emirates (MC Sponsor)
 - Heritage = She is my heritage.

So there you have it, that's what I've guessed so far.

If any of you want to put on your detective hats I would love some help deciphering these clues!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Accent Vlog

Ok, I'm jumping on another bandwagon and doing the 'accent vlog' meme.  The gist is that you read out load a bunch of words and then answer some questions.

Just in case my Aussie accent is a little hard to follow, I've also copied and pasted the words and questions below!

Say these words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught

And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

So there you have it, my Aussie accent. Please leave me a link in the comment section if you have done an accent vlog. Like I said in the video, I love to hear what everyone sounds like.

Happy Monday :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Max's Birthday Party

In three short weeks, my gorgeous little guy is turning two!

Last year I didn't have a theme or do any decorating for his birthday, so this year I am making up for it!

Ever since we flew to Adelaide in October Max has been obsessed with planes. Everyday he tells me how he went in a plane with Nona and Mumma. He even does little actions with his hands and says 'weeeee'. Adorable!

I've been pinning heaps of inspiration and I think I have a really good idea about how the party is going to look.

Invite Inspiration

Plane Cake (We'll make a plane topper out of fondant though)

Plane Banner from Etsy

Plane Cupcake Toppers - also from Etsy

How adorable are these stamped wooden spoons?!

You can see the rest of my inspiration images here

We're not planning on having a huge party. Just family and friends that live close by. I'm still really excited though, I think Max will love it!

I'm going to get the invites done and posted today and then get started on the decorations. A perfect weekend in my book!

I hope you all have a great weekend too :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The A - Z of Me

I have seen this Meme just about everywhere now. Which means I probably should have jumped on board a loooong time ago. Anyway, better late than never right?

Here goes. The A - Z of me...

A - Age: The big Three - Oh. I don't feel it though. Most days I'm still convinced I'm in my mid twenties.

B - Best Friend: I'm lucky enough to have two besties. My sister Jenny and my brother sister from another mother, Erin. Love you guys!!

C - Chore that you hate: Vacuuming and Moping. Euch. I would love to have someone come in and do that for me a few times a weeks. Any takers? I can pay in craft supplies...

D - Dogs: Cooper - my first baby.

E - Essential Start to Your Day: Coffee and baby snuggles. Bliss.

F - Favourite Colour: I have a few at the moment. Teal, Aqua, Peacock, Navy Blue, Sky Blue. Notice a trend?

G - Gold or Silver: My engagement ring and wedding band are both Gold. I like silver too though.

H - Height: 5'6". I'd like to think I look taller than that though :)

I -  Instruments You Play: Recorder?

J - Job Title:  Mumma to Max, Wife to Sean, Part-Time Customer Service Analyst (and hopefully one day - Event Planner).

K - Kids: My gorgeous munchkin Max.

L -  Live: Queensland. The best place on Earth.

M - Mother's Name: Helen. Hi Mum!

N - Nicknames: Sean calls me Smexo.

O - Overnight Hospital Stays: 5 nights when I had Max.

P - Pet Peeve: Too many to list. I'm not always the most tolerant person. Something I definitely need to work on...

Q - Quote from a Movie: I'm not much of a movie person. I maybe watch three or four movies per year, tops.

R - Right or Left Handed: Right. 

S - Siblings: One sister Jenny. And a brother-in-law, Mark.

T - Time You Wake Up: Between 5.30am - 8am. It depends on what I'm doing that day and what time Max sleeps until. Today I was up at 5.45am.

U - Ultimate Vacation: The Maldives. I'll let this picture do all the talking.

V -  Vegetable You Hate: There's probably too many to mention... Broccoli, Cucumber, Zucchini, Onion, I could go on forever...

W -What Makes You Run Late: Me. I am the number one reason for my own lateness. I'm always late, something I definitely need to work on.

X - X-Rays You've Had: My ankles, my wrists, one foot, and my face. The first two lots were from my gymnastics days, the third was because I was re-living my gymnastics days and the last one was when a doctor randomly wanted to check me out for Sinusitis before treating me for a post-lumbar puncture spinal headache.

Y - Yummy Food You Make: I make a mean lasagne, and my truffles are very yummy :)

Z - Zoo Animals: I don't know about this one... Polar Bears maybe. My favourite animals are dogs and they aren't zoo animals.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Pinterest Challenge # 2 - Round Up

One of my absolute favourite things about the Pinterest Challenge is the amazing amount of clever people out there.There are soooo many!

In the spirit of sharing the love I've decided to put together a list of my favourites. I promise they are all definitely worth checking out! Here's the round-up of my faves...

Map Canvases - Creative Juices for Decor
Seriously,  This shhh is bananas! (Does anyone still say that or am I getting really old? - Don't answer that...) Seriously though, I love this DIY so much! Selina found this map at a thrift store and turned it into an amazing 12 piece canvas art work. Her attention to detail is outstanding. On her blog she has more pictures, including images of the canvas edges that she has painted blue and then aged.

DIY Art - The Embellished Nest
The inspiration art behind this DIY was one I also pinned. Only I took one look at it and put it into the 'to hard basket'. Not Laura! Her DIY version is insanely good and her tutorial has given the confidence to give it a try myself.

Alphabet Art - Remodelaholic

Max is just starting to show a little bit of interest in the alphabet (mainly because Elmo sings the ABCs). I'm on the lookout for neat ideas for incorporating it into our decor, so I love this DIY by Cassity. The scale, the colours and patterns, perfection!!

DIY Dining Room Rug - Grace Adkins

Something you may not know about me is that I'm an absolute sucker for long, repetitive DIY projects. Truly, I am. There is something so satisfying about spending days and days working on a project. This DIY rug by Grace definitely fits the bill. She traced the pattern onto the rug by hand and filled it in with a small paint-brush. The end result is amazing! There is a template on her website for the pattern she used.

Heart Art - You're so Martha

This is a DIY that I can see happening in my very near future. It is so adorable. Justine did a great tutorial to go along with this project, super easy to follow.

DIY Cardboard Lampshade - Merrypad
This lampshade was inspired by one Emily spotted at Anthopologie. Her version is insanely good. I don't know that this is something that I will do myself,  it wouldn't work with my decor style. It looks perfect in Emily's home though and she's done a really good tutorial if you're interested in giving it a go.

DIY Typography Art - House Made

This DIY combines two of my favourite things, personalised art and typography. Corrie from House Made created this beautiful art for her God-daughter Olivia. Check out her blog for more close ups and a detailed tutorial.

Nailhead Trim Inspiration Board - Newly Wife
I'm fairly certain that I'm not the only person in the blogosphere with a major crush on all things chevron. So when I saw this pinboard I instantly fell in love. Add in the nailhead trim and I was in DIY heaven! Make sure you click over to see a close-up of Emily's DIY.

Solar Lights with a Twist - Figuring Out Life

Our backyard is still 150% un-landscaped. It's a sad, sad place. The only person who likes it is Max, that kid is an outdoor nut! I have big plans for the backyard though. A beautiful timber deck, tropical gardens and lots of lots of ambient light. The second I saw Hannah's DIY solar lights I added them straight to my pinboard. What I love most about them is that instead of using solar lights, they use those little flameless candles (which are cheap as chips).

Sunburst Mirror and Trunk - The Thrifty Abode
Aaron's entry into the Pinterest Challenge was another one that absolutely blew my mind. Some folks have so much talent. Not only did she whip up this awesome-sauce sunburst mirror, but she also made over this old trunk. Divine!

Typography Art - House of Hepworths

Give me a NPH quote anyday of the week. That guy is seriously hilarious. Not only does this DIY by Allison sum up Barry Stinson perfectly, it is also done to perfection. Go check it out!!

Of course there were a million other awesome submissions, I could go on forever! Do you have a favourite project from the challenge? Be kind and share if you do!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Max's Big Boy Bed

A couple of weeks ago (at almost 20 months) we made the big decision to move Max into a toddler bed. I decided to hold off on posting it for a while, I wanted to make sure that it went ok first.

And so far, so good! Some things are harder now that he can get out of his bed, but some things are easier too. It balances out quite well!

The things that I'm loving are:
  • In the mornings Max will often get up and play for a while before either coming to find us, or crying for us to come and get him. Bonus mini sleep-ins!
  • I don't need to worry about him climbing out of his cot and hurting himself anymore.
  • We've started tucking Max into bed and then reading him a bedtime story each night.
  • I will often lie on the floor next to Max's bed, holding his hand and singing songs with him for a 5 minutes each night.
  • On the days that he refuses to stay in his bed and nap I lie on the floor next to his bed until he falls asleep. I thought this would frustrate me, but instead I find myself using that time to pray.
  • He looks so cute sleeping in his little 'big boy' bed!

Things I'm not loving quite as much:
  • Some nights our usual routine doesn't work and he just keeps getting out of bed, opening his door and calling out 'Mumma' until I come and see him. This can go on for up to 40 minutes.
  • One day when I thought Max was napping he was actually colouring in his table and chairs with (non-washable) crayons.
  • How quickly my baby is growing up!!

All in all, it has definitely been a positive move and one that I think Max was definitely ready for.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pinterest Challenge # 2

Pinterest Challenge is just about my favourite thing in the whole wide world, which means I'm crazy excited that it's challenge time again!

Pinterest Challenge was dreamed up by the geniuses that are Katie and Sherry. This time round it's also being hosted by Ana and Erin.

For a little while now I've been gathering inspiration to do a mini gallery wall for the blank wall in my laundry. I wanted something that was cute, but also practical. I loved the idea of having a pinboard for odd socks, a hook for Cooper's lead, a stain removal chart for easy reference, along with some pretty art.

While I was getting geared up to put the mini gallery together I went back to my Pinterest boards to find the inspiration I had posted.

Original Sources:

Here's how my wall came together:

And here's the rundown on what I did...

I did some stamping with yarn wrapped blocks for the Erin's favour bags and I really liked how it turned out, so I decided to do some more stamping. This time I used upholstery fabric and screen printing paint. Then I wrapped the fabric around some cork board and put it into a frame I had spray painted white.

The stain removal guide was really easy. I just printed this free printable onto card stock and popped it into a frame.

The painting of Busselton Jetty was given to me years ago and I already had it framed and ready to go.

The number three was also something I had already done. It was inspired by the Seven that John from YHL did. I posted about it here.

The 'love is everything' picture was really fun and easy to make. I just framed a piece of fabric (cut off a coles bag) and then wrote 'Love is Everything' onto the glass. Simple, but I really love how it turned out.

The spotty painting was inspired by the Eraser Stamping DIY that I pinned. I measured up my little canvas so that my circles would be nice and even, then took a pencil with an eraser that had never been used and stamped out my pattern. Simple, but effective.

And last, but not least I hung up an empty frame and stuck a hook to the wall inside of it. The hook I have in there at the moment is a temporary one, I haven't found the perfect one yet!

I'm really happy with how the laundry is coming together. Next on my list is a new washer and dryer that stack on top of each other so that I can add in some more bench space. That will probably be at least a year away though. Unless my blog suddenly grows into an empire and I get sponsered by LG. Hey, a girl can dream right!!

So there you have it, my project for Pinterest Challenge number 2. I'm heading over to check out what everyone else has done, and if you haven't already I highly recommend you do to. Prepare to be inspired!

PS. The tutorial for the Chevron Doormat is here, and the one for the pallet art is here.