so i got to baking some cupcakes recently

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I’m the first to admit that baking is not my strong suit; I’m far more skilled at putting a room together than I am whipping up a pavlova. But I got in the kitchen recently and gave baking muffins a go anyway. And of course, when I say “I”, what I mean is that my partner did most of the baking; I took pictures, asked when they would be ready and consumed the results. Which, I must argue, is most of the hard work right there (recipe is included in this post, too: macadamia, white choc and berry muffins).

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real room: cathy elsmore’s lovely living room

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You all responded so well to Cathy Elsmore’s glorious before-and-after boudoir that I had to do a bit of a back-by-popular-demand scenario and show you another room in her home. This time around, I’m showcasing her lovely living room, which sports an on-trend black, yellow and white colour palette and is filled with my favourite things – cushions! Read on for more photos and Cathy’s vision for the room.

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a look at dusk’s new artisan range; an all-stops train to candle heaven

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Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a strong love for the three C’s; cats, cushions and candles. The masterminds at Dusk are heeding my call for more of the latter, because their Artisan range has just hit shelves. As you can see, these candles look pretty stunning, but what I find interesting is that you can imagine what each new fragrance might smell like through their new Scent App on Facebook (we are officially living in the future).

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book review: new zealand interior style

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I had been coveting New Zealand Interior Style online for weeks and thankfully it finally hit my doorstep recently, filled to the brim with inspirational homes from across the pond. Author LeeAnn Yare, who is also a freelance interior stylist, has collated some of the best homes New Zealand has to offer, all of which seem to have a theme of being far more daring than their Australian cousins. This post will take a look at some of my fave pages from the book and what I love about the NZ design aesthetic (fun!).

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vintage lovin’ at reclaim in newtown

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I’m a huge fan of vintage decor; I love that a piece has lived a life and has a story to tell. I had been eyeing off Reclaim in Newtown for some time for this very reason. Not only is it filled to the brim with homewares, fashion and stationery that I have seen nowhere else, but it also has the added bonus of being owned and operated by the glorious Monica Trapaga – jazz singer and Play School alumni! The store is a collection of her favourite things (and now some of mine, too!).

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win a united artworks canvas valued at $399

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Everyone from a newborn baby to the oldest woman alive knows that I’m obsessed with colour, so when I laid eyes on this artwork by United Artworks over on Down That Little Lane, I was just slightly pained in the chest from heart palpitations. With thanks to TLC and the team at DTLL, you’ll be the one with your heart-a-flutter with the chance to win this piece – measuring 140 x 170cm in size and valued at $399!

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christmas has landed at ikea (hold me back!)

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Something really must be said about traditional Christmas colours; they take me right back to being a child in the eighties, before stylists turned the festive season blue and pink and orange and lime green. This year, IKEA has released its Christmas decorations in hues I can’t help but smile over; glorious gold and silver plus a generous dose of green and red. What can I say? I want it all and I need it all – immediately if not sooner! No, really, someone get me to IKEA before I throw a tantrum (just like in the eighties).

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trending: stylish skulls (and where to buy them)

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The skull trend is showing no signs of slowing down. I spotted my first one earlier in the year when they were most prominent in the market, but the trend just doesn’t want to go away. Not that I’m complaining; I love the edginess this look can give to a home. And luckily, they’re popping up not only as ornaments, but in pot plants, cushions, glassware and more. Let’s take a look at some of my fave skull discoveries (and where you can nab them, of course!). The one above is from Sky Parlour and is an absolute standout.

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this week’s top seven creative finds

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1 | When the courier delivered this bad boy to my house a few days ago, I ripped the package open like a kid on Christmas morn. Once I opened New Zealand Interior Style, things just got better. This release from Penguin Books gives you a good squiz into a variety of NZ homes, from the calm to the kooky – and celebrates the notion of embracing your individual style. I’ll have a full book review coming your way on the blog this week (it’s magic!).

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photo diary: my morning at grand designs live

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This weekend saw the landing of Grand Designs Live in Darling Harbour and I had to jet on down to take in all the interior and gardening goodness. And goodness there was; the place was full of local Creatives doing some amazing things with furniture, homewares and lighting in particular (well, there was loads more, but that’s what took my fancy). Read on to take a look at some of my fave stalls and moments – and feel free to share what you loved in the comments below!

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