Posts Tagged ‘sponsored’

This post is sponsored by Fisher & Paykel.

The Man and I are so not ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ type people. We couldn’t care less about media rooms and four-car garages and walk-in double showers.

But there is one thing that we will both sigh wistfully when we spot in someone else’s home. What is it that gets us all green with envy?

A dishwasher.

Yep, it’s one of the more mundane appliances in a home. If you have one (you lucky thing!) you may even take it for granted.

We (and by ‘we’ I mean The Man 90% of the time) spend on average about 30 minutes a day washing the dishes. I hate the dishes being left out to dry (it looks so messy!) but we usually do it anyway because hand drying adds another 20 minutes or so onto the process. We spend another 5 minutes putting dishes away each day.

kitchen sink
What I wished the kitchen sink and counters looked like all the time.

When I still lived at my parents’ it would only take 10 minutes total to load and unload the dishwasher, which we did every couple of days for a household of three.

I worked out that instead of about four hours a week (35 minutes a day) we could cut that to half an hour total (10 minutes three times a week). Oh man, imagine getting an extra 3.5 hours every week?! We could tick off some other jobs instead of letting them pile up and still have more time to spend with each other, with loved ones or enjoying some me-time.

We also covet a clutter-free kitchen which isn’t possible with handwashing and air drying dishes (unless you want to do it 5 times a day – um, no thank you!). I’m aware of how much water we’re using, especially every time we have to drain and refill the sink because the water has gone cold, dirty or greasy. These days, dishwashers actually use less water and energy than handwashing which is a bonus for the wallet as well as the environment.

Now, we love living in a townhouse. Our compact living means we have less cleaning and maintenance to do. We are forced to live simply and clutter-free and are mindful of what we purchase and what we keep. Our modest mortgage means less money stress, I was able to pursue my business dreams and we have more dosh to put towards enjoying life with travel, good food and wine and good times spent with family and friends.

But our small home does mean we have a small kitchen. It has sufficient space for our needs but no more. There’s no way we have room for dishwasher (insert sad face).

…or do we?

We were recently having a sticky-beak at one of our neighbouring townhouses (i.e. same layout) up for sale and noticed they had installed a dishwasher. The cogs were already turning that maybe we could do the same when I spoke to a friend who’d recently had a dishwasher installed and she said it was the best purchase for the house they’d ever made!

I’ve found a Dishdrawer from Fisher & Paykel that takes up half the space of a conventional dishwasher so we can still maximise our storage space – nice! A slimline model is another clever option when you’re short on space.

I love that appliance manufacturers are paying attention to the variety of lifestyles and homes out there. It’s awesome to see some options for small spaces that cater for those of us who enjoy compact living or have downsized.

What appliances do you have or want that would still be essentials no matter how much (or little) space you had?


This post is sponsored by Target.

handbag before

Um, yes, so this attractive display is my seen-better-days handbag and its contents in all their glory.

It was a bit of a lucky dip. You might find ten pens/lipsticks/hairties or you might find none! Plus tissues (used? unused? can’t tell), earrings, loose change, shopping lists on scraps of paper, receipts from a year ago…

Yikes, no wonder I couldn’t find anything in there.

I had been wanting to replace a couple of my existing handbags – including the one above – because they were totally worn out (it doesn’t look that bad in the pic but trust me, it was looking very daggy in the flesh leather vinyl).

handbag organiser

What I didn’t want was for it to end up in the same mess, so I went and picked up a nifty handbag organiser from the storage department at Target. I also picked out this gorgeous red handbag (totally loving their range of women’s accessories that are on sale right now).

It’s a bit hard to see inside the depths of the black organiser, so here’s what’s in there now:

handbag contents

A few changes I made to keep things neat:

  • I switched the loose tissues for a packet (no more scrunched-up questionable looking new tissues).
  • I use a notebook to list errands to run / things to buy and tear out the page when I’m done (paper scraps be gone!).
  • I’ve since started using this so I only need to carry a tiny stash of emergency lady things (can’t believe I’m sharing this on the internet).
  • I’ve been better about taking out receipts (and either discarding them or saving a photo of it to Evernote).

Apart from keeping everything compartmentalised, the other obvious benefit is being able to simply plonk the insert into another handbag. Because I am way too lazy to transfer all of my daily essentials between bags for the sake of fashion.

handbag after

The bag itself is super roomy; I’ve even thrown my camera in there when I didn’t want to take my whole camera bag. Plus I’ve had heaps of compliments on it which is a bonus!

What are your tips for an organised handbag?

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This post is in partnership with Stockland.

Adore via Decor8
Adore Home via Decor8

While we do love our little home, let’s be honest: it’s not our dream house.

For the most part it suits our needs, but there are some less-than-ideal aspects, such as the lack of space for my growing business, the closed-off kitchen and the transition spaces that are so tiny they can only accommodate one person at a time. (Seriously, sometimes it feels as if we live in one of those puzzles where you can only move one piece at a time.)

Made By Girl kitchen on AT
Made By Girl’s kitchen on Apartment Therapy

Our next home is likely to be a ‘stepping-stone’ house so our dream home is still some years away, but in true Type A style I already have it planned out (to a scary level of detail) in my head.

Architectural details, dark timber floorboards, open-plan kitchen/living, backyard studio, a garden – sigh!

Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson (photo by Lauren Pieri)

Aesthetics aside, what I’m mostly looking forward to about our eventual home upgrade is to do with family and lifestyle: being able to host parties without people falling over each other, accommodating overnight guests and having space for a family and pets. Basically, a larger house and land to give us room to grow.

Jess Lively bookshelf
Jess Lively

Til then, I will have to be content with browsing my favourite inspiration sources such as magazines Real Living and Adore and blogs like Design*Sponge, Young House Love and Making It Lovely (to name but a few!). And of course, keeping all my dream home ideas on Pinterest.

Jessica & Christopher's home on Design Sponge
Jessica McKay & Christopher Van Buskirk’s home on Design*Sponge

How about you: are you dreaming of your forever home or are you lucky enough to be living in it?

And would you like to buy a land package and create the perfect home from scratch or would you prefer to make an existing home your own?

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This post is sponsored by Target.

Storage boxes in study closet

Waaaay back when, The Man and I ripped out the doors and interior fit-out of the closet in the office. I never showed you the ‘after’ because, while the walls and shelves might have been all fresh and new, the storage was just as ugly a mess as before.

(By the way, don’t ask me why we have a Nintendo 64, I have no idea.)

Storage boxes in study closet

I did get some Ikea boxes to stash all of the small things (much of my inventory of greeting cards, for example), but the bulky storage was still a problem.

We were still using boxes I had purchased while living at home ten years ago. When The Man and I moved in together, I painted over most of the girly pink and purple boxes in my favourite greeny-yellow colour – this was only ever intended to be a stopgap measure and a permanent solution was desperately needed as the paint was chipped and horrible and the cardboard was damaged.

I also wanted to switch from cardboard boxes to plastic ones, so they would be more durable and better protect the contents.

Storage boxes in study closet

Trouble is, it can be tricky finding the perfect storage (especially if you’re on a budget). For the longest time, I had been looking for some opaque white plastic tubs (so I won’t get sick of the colour and I can hide the messy-looking contents unlike with clear boxes). I’d found a couple of options but they either had yukky coloured handles or were the wrong size for the space.

Then last week when Target asked me to put together my wishlist of favourite home decor items from their Home Sale, I finally found it: the elusive perfect white box!

After double-checking the measurements and whipped into my local store at Newton and picked up six of them. They were only $8.50ea down from $15 which is amazing value for such a versatile set of storage that will last for years and years. (Note: it says sold out on the online shop but I called my local store and they had some in stock.)

Of course, I excitedly brought them home and The Man was like, ‘yeah… they’re boxes.’ Ugh!

Anyway, I transferred all of my Christmas decorations, craft supplies etc into the new boxes and printed out some quick labels. I might make some more colourful labels later but for now I am so pleased at how neat it all looks!

Storage boxes in study closet


I know, what you really want to know is, who won the Target gift card giveaway?!

Our winner, selected at random, is JADE WILLIAMS! Congratulations Jade, I will email you shortly to sort out delivery. Then you’ll be able to get those frames you’re wishing for.

Thanks again to all who entered my first ever giveaway and of course big thanks to Target for sharing the love!

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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