Thursday, 29 December 2011

Down on the Corner

On our drive each morning and afternoon to and from Toowong Village to catch the train for work, Lewis and I began noticing a house on a corner of Sylvan road that was having renovations done. Every day we would both take turns guessing what this little house would soon become. On one such trip, we drove past to find it had been given a name... the Corner Store Cafe.

I can't tell you how excited I was to see that there would soon be a cafe within walking distance from our home! I had always dreamed of having a local place to mosey on down to for a light weekend breakfast or maybe with a book to have a solo, relaxing coffee. This looked to be such a place. I instantly fell in love with its large tin buckets of fresh flowers in the front windows, and the small deli they had created in the entrance of the cafe.

I have to say we are actually quite proud of the Corner Store Cafe, even though we have no attachment to it beyond having been detached witnesses to its creation. The place is always buzzing and packed, with cyclists and families constantly littering its covered outdoor dining area, and on many occasions we have driven past to find there to be a line of people waiting to be seated. This is most likely due to the food (obviously) and the gorgeous young wait staff that have been gathered to work there. The service is quick, efficient and fun, and the food indulgent. My favourite at the moment is their fruit toast with ricotta and honey. Oh... my lord...

So if you have a free morning or midday, any day of the week, take some time to enjoy this fabulous success story of a cafe. We certainly do.

(All photos are from the Corner Store Cafe website and are by Alex Chomicz)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tell Laura, I love her...

Tonight I have been browsing Laura Ashley and I am desperately trying to NOT be sick with desire over each and every room they have created. Thanks to my sisters, I have long been an avid LA fan, and dream (the impossible dream) of one day furnishing my home, head to toe, in all of their divine pieces.

I am in awe of how effortless it all seems, however I keep reminding myself that they have a team of amazing experts putting together these looks. I love the layers they create in each setting, yet the rooms never look overly cluttered. The perfect amount of lived in, yet still neat as a pin and perfect. I am also a newly converted wallpaper enthusiast; how the perfect wallpaper can make a simple room so elegant and so classic. I am hopelessly in love with vintage floral prints that Laura A is so fond of. 

Here are some of my most recently coveted rooms... 

This wallpaper is sublime.

This is my newest project.. on a much cheaper scale...

Quaint kitchen - perfectly placed pieces. 

This is so completely seaside.

Again with the wallpaper!! 

The mirror, the wallpaper and the frames are fabulous.

This is perfectly luxurious.

Amazing clash of wallpaper and floral upholstery.

Monday, 19 December 2011

My own little Christmas tradition...

Sticking with the Christmas theme, I'm going to talk traditions. My brother loves to take me and my sisters on a Christmas Lights drive in his old XY (very cool, classic car) on Christmas Eve. This is one that we don't always get to do, but when we do, it's very fun filled and sentimental. My siblings are my closest friends, so this is a really special little outing; some time just for us. Another of our family traditions is that our quite large family always have Christmas morning together, accompanied with a massive breakfast. Ever since I can remember, we have always been allowed to open ONE present before breakfast, just to get ourselves excited for the following craziness which is choosing a "Santa" and having our presents given out to us over a course of an hour or so. Needless to say, this is very loud and very messy... and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am getting pretty excited to watch "Meet Me in St. Louis", which I am slowly making my own little Christmas tradition.This is definitely one that I will want my husband (get excited, honey) and children to partake in. Lewis didn't do a great job of joining in last year, and I had to have a solo viewing, however he is definitely not getting out of it this year. This is the start of my own traditions, ones that I will continue to start as our life together begins.

This is a terribly beautiful scene from the movie, and one of my favourite Christmas songs. Isn't Judy divine. I love the red hair, red lipstick and deep red, velvet dress.

Have a very Martha Christmas...

Christmas would not be Christmas without a little holiday decor envy. This year, we really didn't get time to put up the tree, get started on our shopping early, decorate our little home or even bake anything "Christmasy"! This was all due to being madly busy getting married (geez!!), and then honeymooning (how awful!), so I tried to make myself feel a little better by jumping on "old faithful".... Martha Stewart. I knew that she would definitely put me in a fabulous Christmas cheer, accompanied by carols and a cup of tea.

This is what I loved while clicking!

As you can probably tell, I am fairly traditional when it comes to Christmas decorating/wrapping/eating, and I am thoroughly unashamed! I am definitely putting all of these ideas aside for next year when I will start Christmas prep early. Sadly, we don't get snow... but I can very easily work around that.

Listening to: "Grown Up Christmas List" by Michael Buble... Sob...

Friday, 16 December 2011


One of my most favourite places in New Zealand would have had to have been Napier, which is situated in the North Island. Sadly, we did not get to spend much time here on our travels, but we were able to spend a night and morning there. This meant we were able to take a drive around the residential streets and then have a short wander through the middle of town, which boasted quite a few beautiful home and gift stores, and antique stores (my favourite!).

Having learned from our experience in Greytown, while driving through the overgrown, narrow, maze of streets, we made sure we had the camera ready to take some snaps of the absolutely stunning houses. There was definitely money in this place!! I was in home heaven, once again!

North and South

For our honeymoon, Lewis and I spent a week in Melbourne while Lewis attended to work commitments, and have enjoyed 2 weeks in picturesque New Zealand.

I am going to be brutally honest about our trip. The south island was the epitome of ‘scope for the imagination’ as far as scenery goes, but ended up being highly lacking in quaint towns. The residential buildings in the south island “towns” (more like, shanty, 2 commercial building pieces of land) were run down, and we found ourselves cruising through basically all of them, only stopping for fuel and food. Queenstown is of course, absolutely stunning, and I will always love it for the fresh, ‘big drink of water’ air and its' breathtaking view. We also love horse riding outside of Queenstown, as it gives you a different perspective on the beautiful land. If you’re going to do the south island, stop in at the better-known places such as Queenstown and Picton.
The north island, however, has so far proven to be much more soul satisfying in the way of small townships that have sweet little houses and boutique stores. Wellington is always brilliant – we know some terrific people in Wellington. We were lucky enough this trip to meet Dave, the colleague of a friend of ours’. Dave so very generously offered to take us on a scenic drive around the bays of Wellington, and it is on this trip that we were able to see what I have now dubbed my most liveable area in Wellington – Breaker Bay and Seatoun. Right on the “beach” outside of Welly, these suburbs proved to be rich in well cared for, quaint coastal/queenslander style homes nestled on the edge of mountains, that almost all had flowers wrapped around each of their outside awnings, adding a dash of colour to the creams and whites of the verandas. Most of these were rose bushes, which just added to the enchantment of the houses, along with tubs of lavender and hydrangeas. These just happen to be my most favourite flowers, so you can imagine my ecstasy at each little house. I was in home heaven as Dave drove us along the windy roads, gasping and calling out every second at yet another stunning cottage. I have never been one to want to live by the sea, however I could very easily imagine Lewis and I setting up home there - a simple life with small, not so quiet children.
Sadly, I did not take any pictures of these houses or the area. It was all happening so fast and I was having hard time registering the stunning little place, let alone tear my eyes away to get the camera out..
Upon leaving Wellington, we drove about an hour or so to Greytown on our way to Napier. We weren’t evening planning to stop in Greytown, however it it had a similar effect on us as Breaker Bay and Seatoun. This small town isn’t nestled into mountains nor is it coastal, but the buildings and homes are all so divine and well cared for. Each one looks like a fairy tale cottage, and again with the flora entwining the verandas and gardens. The main street had beautiful old buildings that had become cafes, boutiques, antique stores, the local vet and even a French patisserie. It would have been utterly stupid not to stop, have a wander and grab a coffee, and to not take photos, however the latter we did not. I have, however,  found pictures of what this quaint town looks like. Thank God for Google!

(A little side note - as I've previously said, I did not take any of these pictures. I found them off of sites found via Google!!)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Am just a little chuffed at this....

Firstly, you HAVE to have a good, long look at the amazing website of Preston Bailey. Preston is highly sought after in the event industry (understatement), and has a terrific blog and website, with part of it being dedicated to weddings and ideas for brides. It is honestly stunning, with creative, divine ideas and I wish I had known about it when I was planning my wedding.

Secondly, OH. EM. GEE... These photos were taken from FellowFellow, the amazing website and shop of my dear friend Claire, and featured in Preston Bailey's Bride Ideas. Very, very cool, and I am so completely flattered that my sweet, little wedding dress was used as floral inspiration.

Check out the full article here Wedding Dress - A Floral Pattern from Preston Bailey.

The Wedding... Part One

Isn’t it funny how something that has been so desperately dreaded, not in a sense of what the end result is – marriage to an amazing man – but more so how the event could ever come to fruition successfully, can turn out to be such a fabulous affair.

 Since January, Lewis and I have painstakingly planned this wedding down to the last detail with the help of some fantastic family and friends. It has been the bane of our existence this year. We have constantly wanted to throw in the towel and run away together, but each time justified our efforts with the fact that we couldn’t fathom being married away from our families and friends. So it utterly surprises and delights me to say that our wedding day was absolutely perfect.

The whole week leading up the day, the weather was perilously teetering on down pour. In fact, the Wednesday and Thursday it was unforgivingly raining. My parents’ house, where our ceremony and reception was to be held, is situated higher up a mountain and tends to be more foggy and wet than in town. Stress levels soared, and my loud, dramatic family definitely out did themselves with the drama in the house in the last few days. Apart from our worry over the weather, the whole week had been hugely stress free and lovely. The time was spent with friends, parents, siblings and divine nieces, one in particular who made sure we were up very early each morning with her chattering on the other side of the wall to indulgent grandparents. She is much too cute to hold a grudge against and I found myself unable to lie still for long, always wanting to go in and kiss her beautiful cheeks and hear her usual morning query of, “Hab a good sthleep, Mare-Mare?”  (At this point in my writing, I am becoming teary missing my family!! And I am on an airplane!! Bad combination!!) Overall, we had a wonderful week with so much love and support it hurts my heart to remember it.

For now, here are some snaps I have "stolen" of some of our wonderful friends and family on the day. (Thank you the gorgeous Tom, the fabulous Erin and my darling Claire (@ FellowFellow) for these ones).

My father, Bruce, and I.

My sisters, Sonia and Chrissie.

My mother, Ann, and Lewis sharing a moment at the ceremony.

Flower girls, Sophie, Margot and Clare, joined by cousin Elizabeth.

Oscar, and his gorgeous partner, Claire.

Erin, myself and Gemma. 

Mare and Claire.... (and Dunc in the background!)

Lewis and Mary

Monday, 21 November 2011

Someday we'll meet in Capri, my love.

Even though I haven't been blogging for the entire time that I have been engaged and so have not shared with you the whole saga, it has still been quite a journey - quite a year. As my last few days as an unmarried person come to a close, I have a huge mix of emotions that I am not even going to begin to bore you with. All except this.

In one of my first blog posts I started my "Wedding Countdown", and in this countdown I mentioned how the whole wedding planning experience has definitely not been the most stress-free ordeal. In fact, it has been so much more stressful than I ever thought it would be. I down-play the excitement of it all, not because I am not excited, but because right now all I can think about is getting the last of our jobs done, and the huge amount of cooking and preparing we have ahead (this is what deciding to "self and family cater" your afternoon high tea will incur).

What rings true, beyond all the stress and worry, is that I am marrying the one person who is my most perfect match, and of this, I am certain. Lewis is the best person I know; the most kind and generous, funny, witty and charming, selfless and steadfast. He is terribly clever, crazy emotional, desperately handsome, and a killer on the dance floor (funny how a pre-requisite for your perfect partner is one that you didn't really know was a pre-requisite!!). We - him and I - are a team, a unit, a family. He is my first priority in all that I do and decide and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am his. To be married to him is my greatest wish, and I am so amazed that it took me so long to realise it.

So it is with this that I push aside all the stress and focus on him, and count down the very last days...

Four days until The Wedding.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Louis, Louis...

I am not, repeat not, a Louise Vuitton fan. However, these from the LV Spring/Summer 2012 Ready To Wear are stunning.

That is all.

For the love of floral...

In the lead up to the wedding, I have been lucky enough to legitimately 'google' so many beautiful things for inspiration ("It's for wedding dress ideas!".. "I need to get ideas for centrepieces!"... "I need photography ideas!"...).
One of my favourite things to browse online or in magazines, and especially in person, are floral arrangements - flowers in general. I have always wanted to do a floristry course, and so you can imagine the amount of soul-soothing that has come from being able to flick through page after page of divine flora. I am of the opinion that flowers are the perfect gift, whether for someone special, for something special, going to a dinner party or just because. So I thought I would share with you some seriously stunning stems.