blog

First Impressions last - How to WOW your visitors!

Those of you who know me will know that I love entertaining. I get so much happiness from having my nearest and dearest in my home, whether it’s celebrating the special moments in life or just having a few cheeky wines with the girls for no particular reason. Creating good energy and positive vibrations in my home makes me so content. I love transforming my home into a comfortable and appealing environment that my guests look forward to visiting. I normally try mix it up a bit with a new “theme” or ‘concept,” so each and every time, I am creating a unique and exciting experience for my guests. In saying this, the one thing I always do is engage the 5 senses.

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Below are some of my top tips on how you can engage the 5 senses to create a lasting first impression on your guests!

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Music

Lets just say “Hey Google, play …” is a V popular term in office and my home. Put on some mellow tunes or if sticking to a particular theme, don’t be afraid to go all in with the tunes! A couple of months ago I had a Spanish-fiesta themed dinner party and we organised a live Spanish band as the entertainment. Over the top? Maybe. But did it wow the guests - Absolutely!

Mood Lighting, candles and ambience

Consider what mood you are going for. Dim the lights to create a romantic and cosy mood and don’t forget, a few candles go a looong way. You should consider the scents of the candles too.



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Table arrangements

Creating an aesthetically pleasing space is the first step to wowing your visitors. If you are having your visitors over for a dinner party or a Sunday lunch, the first thing to make sure you nail is the table setting. And you don’t have to spend bucket-loads of money to create classy and gorgeous table settings either. One hack I love doing is to put some freshly cut kale (straight outta my garden!) into vases. Simple, right? If you feel like treating yourself, grab some gorgeous flowers from your local florist and adorn your table with as much flora and fauna as you please!

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Food food food

Everybody loves food, and if anyone says they don’t, they must be lying. Even if you are not hosting a full-blown dinner party, it’s always nice to have delicious food and snacks for your guests to nosh on. Be prepared and make sure you have something yummy on offer. If it’s just a casual hang-out, throw together a super quick and easy dip the night before and serve with corn chips. Consider a home-made sweet treat to give your girlfriend alongside her cup of tea. These little details always go so far.

If you are hosting a dinner party, my one piece of advise is to not cook something you have never made before on the day of the event. Let’s be honest, even if we follow a recipe word-for-word, sometimes S&#T can go pear shaped very quickly - hehe. Avoid the stress and present something you are totally confident in making.

How do you wow guests in your home? I would love to learn some tips from you!

My Summer Essentials

I LOVE SUMMER. Being a born and bred Sydney gal, my entire life revolves around gorgeous, warm weather. My mood and spirit is deeply affected by sunshine and the climate. I love the ocean, going for summer strolls and just being outdoors in general. As uplifting and energising as summer is, it’s not always “sunshine and rainbows.” The cliched adage “nights get longer, hair gets lighter, water gets warmer, skin gets darker, life gets better” may very well be true, however, let us not forget that skin gets drier, hair gets harder and sunburn quite frankly, hurts like a bitch.

Below are my must-have summer essentials which help me maximise the best summer has to offer and eliminate the negatives that come with it.

R E M O V E

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Do not look past exfoliating. Exfoliation is the number one thing you can do for glowing skin and should be a staple in your skincare regime. I personally love Li’tya Lemon Myrtle & Desert Salt Body Polish and Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub. If you’re going to be outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen after exfoliating as your skin will be more sensitive and more exposed to the sun.

H Y D R A T E

I am someone who dries up like a shrivelled prune in summer. My skin, hair, hands and nails tend to get really dry and hard from the summer conditions. So I literally could not survive without the products that keep me moisturised and hydrated.

Skin

Hair

My hair does not get very oily or greasy at all. In Summer, if I don’t look after it properly, it literally feels like straw. I use a myriad of conditioners and leave in treatments to help me combat this dryness, but my “go-to’s” are definitely Saryna Key Hair Therapy - Shea Butter ( UH-mazing!), Ultra Organics Intense Chamomile Conditioner, Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment and Moogoo Protein Shot Leave in Conditioner.

Hands

Dry weather = Dry Nails. It’s the worst. I love using Revitanail to make sure my nails are in tip-top condition

I love the brand Crabtree and Evelyn’s hand creams. My faves are the Gardeners Hand Recovery and La Source Hand Therapy Collection.

G L O W

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I know that you cannot purchase this next item in Australia, but I would be lying if I left it off this essential’s list. It has no name or brand but it is quite literally the most amazing product I have ever used on my face. I came across it during my travels to Morocco in a random store in a market in Fez. The maker, an elderly lady, sit and beats the kernels found inside the Argan nuts (tideously) until they expel argan oil. This oil is then mixed with Moroccan Clay and made into little clay bars.

I kid you not, nothing makes my skin feel more like a baby’s bum or makes me glow as much as this mask.

P r o t e c t

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When I was younger I used to douse myself in oil and sunbake until I was burnt and crispy. Looking back, it makes me feel completely sick to my stomach that I was so naive and ignorant of how dangerous the sun really is. Now, I don’t lie in the sun without a hat, completely covered in sun screen or under an umbrella.

My go-to sunscreen is Natural Instinct. Of course there are tons of sun screens on the market but this one is my go to for many reasons. It’s natural, completely organic and has no toxins. It’s like zinc, so it repels and doesn’t sink into your skin but the thing I love most about this product is that it has a clear sheen finish, it doesn’t look like a thick white paste and has a different texture to how zinc normally is.

B R O N Z E

Just because I don’t lie in the sun anymore doesn’t mean that I don’t love looking bronzed and golden! I am all about that fake-tan life (the more the better in my opinion!) Below are the ones that I am obsessed with!

BYRON BAY TAN

ECO BY SONYA DRIVER

CARAMEL! MINE TAN

What summer essentials are you all over this summer season? Comment below so I too can give them a go!

Selling your Home: How to make the best out of your campaign

Inspections are not a walk in the park. I learnt that first-hand during my recent campaign to sell my own house. Subsequently, I thought it was fitting to go into detail of how to take your inspections to the next level. Inspections show potential buyers how they can consider life in their potential home. So it is imperative that you portray the most desirable home scenario possible..

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Never leave a half used toilet roll in the bathroom

This is basically like saying “yep, I just took a poo this morning.” You want your home to feel as though no one has lived there before; as if its brand spanking new. You don’t want it to feel as if someone else is currently living there. 

The toilet bowl

Further to toilet paper.. Please make sure your toilet bowls are clean. No skid marks thank you. 

Remove all family photos

Family photos mean occupation - the one thing you want is for potential buyers to walk inside your home and see themselves living there - connect, fall in love and become so attached. By leaving family photos out, all you are doing is causing your potential buyers to block that connection. All they will be able to visualise will be you living in the home - not them. 

What is the first thing that will make an impact on entry?

Smell!

What do your potential buyers smell? It is so important that your home smells fresh and appealing.. During my campaign, I had candles and essential oils on for at least 30 minutes before the openings. I wanted potential buyers to walk into my home and feel something.. There is nothing worse than walking in to a bedroom and smelling that stale smell of someone else. 


MUSIC

During my openings, I have had Moroccan, soulful music playing in the kitchen. Not only does this show potential buyers what the home will be like when the music is on and they are occupying the house but it also “transports” the buyers. Music makes every moment more magical.. why wouldn’t we all want to make our openings more magical and almost mystical for our potential buyers. 



The C Word

Clutter - GET RID OF IT.No one wants to see or feel a messy home. Clean your drawers - I promise you they will be opened. I have attended many showings myself and I can honestly say I am so turned off when I go to a viewing and open a cupboard door and everything is shoved and jammed packed into the drawers and cupboards. It is just not appealing. This campaign, I made sure all my cupboards were in order (we generally keep everything super tidy behind doors, but I made extra effort to remove some clutter from the pantry. It makes me feel amazing too!)

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Kids toys - a Big No No

The reality is that when you have kids - young and old - their stuff is strewn across living rooms and bedrooms . Often, to you, this cr*p becomes the norm and part of the furniture... but this is not the case for someone who is visiting your home. It sticks out like an iceberg. During our campaign, all of Jesse’s toys, tables, and 'stuff' was taken out of the living room. We knew our home would appeal more to someone without kids so we wanted to show the house as if there were no kids in the main areas (his bedroom we left as is obviously!) 


Flora and Fauna

Quite simply, a must.

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Towels

Putting fresh fluffy towels is a must for every single inspection. You basically want new buyers to walk in to your home and feel that no one has lived here before and that they will be the first! Crunchy paper style towels, a big no no.... Wet and recently used towels.. a no no... smelly towels... a no no :) 

Have I left any must do’s off the list? Let me know in the comments below!

You need to make this scrumptious chicken tagine!

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I love entertaining and cooking up a storm in kitchen. I often get asked for the recipes of the dishes that I record myself cooking on my instagram stories. WARNING - I am by no means a professional chef although I like to think I am ;)

So I have decided to share some examples of me doing my thang in the kitchen. WARNING #2 - I am also not a professional videographer so I have decided to share with you the raw, unedited, messy truth of how it all goes down. I hope this provides some inspiration for you to get creative in the kitchen. Sometimes you just need to have a little fun and get a little messy!

Check out my awesome chicken tagine recipe below: