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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jarrah Jungle Featured On: Designer Insights Series

I have been interviewed for the UK Designer Insights series and appear in their newsletter feature here.

Whilst I'm not a professional interior designer I am more than happy with the title of design enthusiast! 

In the feature I share where I get my inspiration for renovating and decorating projects as well as my top 5 decor picks for the season.


Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics


Thanks so much for the feature Terrys Fabrics!


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[Image via Terrys Fabrics]



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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DIY Vintage Candle Holders And Vases

You all know I love to throw a good party right ..... dinner parties, tour de fridge and the biggest party of them all so far was my engagement party!

I think all good parties should start with a theme and my engagement party had a vintage theme with bunting, bird cages, tea pots and blackboard signs a plenty.  

But a party isn't complete without flowers and candles so I took on the task of making my own vintage candle holders and vases using recycled jars and bottles and some pretty ribbons, twine and lace which suited the vintage theme perfectly. 



I spent a few dollars on ribbons, the rolls of twine I already had and the yellow striped twine came in my decorator pack from The Kit Source.

The vintage lace and some other ribbons were given to me by my Mum. 

The ribbons were easy to tie around the glass and for the lace I stuck this on with double sided tape but it didn't hold its stick very well so next time I'll use glue.



All my friends and family were on a mission to save their empty jars for me in different shapes and sizes and after I'd put them through the dishwasher and removed the labels they were ready to be decorated. 

I decorated about 50 jars and they created such a pretty ambiance both inside and outside the party venue.

I wish I had some photos to show you but unfortunately I didn't take any of them in action so you will just have to take my word for it!



Some of the jars were filled with sand and a tea light candle and placed outside. They looked beautiful in front of the entrance doors sitting on a little table. I also put them on both sides of the steps leading into the venue which created a real entrance.

For the candle jars being used inside I used LED battery candles so they didn't set the smoke alarms off and placed them in groups on all the tables and leading up the inside steps inside the venue.



The remaining jars, mostly the extra large and tall skinny bottles were perfect to use as vases.

I went to the Beaufort Street florist and picked up some cheap bunches of yellow, white and blue flowers and together with a bucket full of greenery picked from my Mum's garden I was ready for some flower arranging. 

Lucky for me a very talented friend stepped in and filled each vase with flowers and greenery - I have now enlisted her help with making our flower bouquets for the wedding!



The outside candle jars are currently on the outside table under the patio and I light them whenever we're sitting out there having a BBQ or drinks with friends. 

The inside candle jars and vases are in a box put away for the next party, or I may even reuse them at the wedding!

I bet you'll never look at a sauce jar the same again right, I know even now I feel guilty throwing  empty jars in the bin!

Have you tackled any thrifty projects lately?


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Curly Crafty Mom - Motivational Mondays



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[All images my own]

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review And Preview: Missing You By Kylie Kaden

This is a book review and preview of Missing You by Kylie Kaden that is due to be published by Random House Australia on 1 April 2015.

Kylie Kaden was raised in Queensland and now lives in Brisbane with her husband and three young sons. This is Kylie's second novel and she also writes a regular column in My Child magazine.


This is the story told in the voice of three characters - Aisha, Ryan and Patrick, Aisha's Dad. It tells the story of the couple Aisha and Ryan and their relationship as it grows from a young passionate romance to being married and parents for a child with high needs.

When both Aisha and Ryan go missing and leave their son in the care of their grandfather Patrick, the story unfolds chapter by chapter from the start of their relationship to where they are today, and leads you on this fast paced journey to discover where they are and why they've gone missing.

I really liked the way the book was written and seeing the different perspectives of the characters, I especially liked Ryan and being inside his head he is a passionate, happy, soul and sounds like a bit of a spunk! I was really interested in the chapters told by the grandfather as he got to know his grandson with Aspergers.

If I'm honest I struggled with the ending, I felt it was a bit unrealistic that Aisha and Ryan wouldn't want to speak the whole truth of what happened when they were missing, their lack of honesty with each other on this didn't sit with the way the rest of the story was told.

But regardless of that, I absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down, I sat under the patio last weekend from morning until afternoon completely entranced and indulged myself in reading this from cover to cover in just one day.

I recommend this book to suspense and thriller enthusiasts who like a bit of romance thrown in.

I give this book 4 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up the last tim tam for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


Missing You can be purchased direct from Random House Australia


Sharing my book review on Good Reads here and Netgalley

You can visit the author's website here

Disclosure:  NetGalley partner with bloggers such as me to help promote authors and their books and I was given this eBook published by Random House Australia to review. As always, all opinions are my own.


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[Image via Random House Australia]

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Favourite Pie Recipes

The Aussie icon the meat pie has it's place on weekends when a quick lunch is needed and you can pop them straight from the freezer into the oven and easy peasy lunch is served.

There's nothing that makes me feel more domesticated than making a home made pie, especially if I make the pastry as well, that's when I feel like a true domestic goddess! But I need to expand my pie making repertoire and I'm hoping that these pie recipes from Taste are going to do just that.

Here are my favourites now printed out and stuck to the fridge to try out in the kitchen .....













I think the vegetable pie with mini carrots would be perfect to make for Easter!

What's your favourite pie filling?



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[Images via Taste - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Engagement Party - Message In A Bottle Guest Book

Today I'm sharing a creative DIY project on making an alternative guest book for our engagement party.

I wasn't even going to have a guest book as I don't want to take away from the guest book at the wedding but a few people told me I should have one as it's nice to have some messages as a newly engaged couple or even some pre-marriage advice before the wedding day.

If I had a guest book for everyone to write in, I'm pretty sure the book would sit on my bookshelf collecting dust, although I'd read through it every now and then I really want to have messages from our beautiful guests on display so I can read them and enjoy them whenever I walk past.

Thanks to Pinterest I came up with the idea of a Message In A Bottle ..... Having small pieces of paper that guests could write on and I can then turn into art and hang it on the wall at home.


I borrowed a friend's blackboard and got creative with the writing. Can I just say writing on the blackboard is harder than it looks, I have new found respect for my school teachers and their blackboard writing skills!

The blackboard sat beside the table at the engagement party where the Message In A Bottle writing table was set up.


I also printed out and framed some further instructions for the table just in case the blackboard wasn't seen.

Asking everyone to ..... write a message, draw a picture, sign your name and pop it in the bottle for us to turn it into art for our home.


Next I needed a beautiful bottle to put the messages in. I was going to use a wine bottle but the opening wasn't big enough.

My lovely Mum found this large ceramic urn which was perfect to put the papers in as it had a large opening so they didn't need to be folded or rolled to fit so the paper stayed nice and flat.


As for the paper - I looked everywhere for heart shaped sticky notes with no luck.

So when I spotted in kikki.K a black memo pad and white pens which have a blackboard look and suited my theme I was sold, they look really great together.

The notepad was half price and reduced to $6.50 and the pens were $5.95 each, I got 2 of them in case one disappeared! For less than $20 I have my very unique guest book ready to go.


I tied some pretty ribbon to the pens and split the notepad in half and this is how they sat on the table with some special photos of Mr P and I including my photo shoot with our furbaby Lexi.

This allowed plenty of space for guests to write their messages in a bottle for us!


We received some beautiful messages, song lyrics, poems, drawings, and yes more than a few naughty messages and drawings too!

I love how creative everyone was and the black and white together looks really artsy too.


I couldn't stop smiling when I was reading through the messages the next day, although some people didn't sign their name so half the fun is now working out who wrote what!


Now I'm going to get creative and make a collage with the messages and find a large frame to frame them and hang it on the wall.

I will share my finished guest book creation with you when it's complete!

Did you have a guest book at your engagement party?



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[Images 1, 2, 3, via my Pinterest - all other images my own]

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Club Book Review: The Book Of You By Claire Kendal

My Book Club read for the month of March was The Book Of You by Claire Kendal.


This is a thriller about a 38 year old English woman Clarissa, recently separated from her partner, and who is being stalked by a work colleague Rafe.

This is a fantastically written seat of your pants thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page. The writing is mostly journal entries which are very real and confronting of the way that Rafe torments and abuses Clarissa. When there are no journal entries the writing is in third person so the story is told from the outside in. Be warned there are some violent and graphic scenes played out in this book.

I really liked the writing style, the story was believable and the thoughts and words used drew me in, I couldn't put the book down I was desperate to find out what would happen. My Book Club is meeting to discuss this book a week early and I don't think any of us will have a problem with finishing it in time (although we normally would!) - I read it in just 4 days I couldn't put it down.

I recommend this book to fans of thrillers and suspense. It's also very similar to Before I Go To Sleep I picked that for Book Club a few years ago and won best book of the year so definitely worth a read if you like this kind of genre.

I give this book 5 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up the last tim tam for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read


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[Image via Dymocks]

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Hallway Updates: Black & White Photo Gallery Wall

My black and white photo gallery wall in the hallway has evolved over the years as I find more photos I want to frame and add to it.

I had to work around the frames that were already hung as there were hooks drilled into the walls and there was no way I could ask Mr P to take them out after all the convincing I had to do that I would never ever ever in a million years want to move the frames around ..... Hey a girl can change her mind right!

Luckily with this kind of casual layout frames can be added pretty easily and I've managed to work the frames into a pretty good jigsaw to fit more in.







One side of the wall has photos of my friends and family and the other side is Mr P's.

I'm looking forward to adding to it again when we get our engagement party photos printed and framed and then we'll need space for the wedding happy snaps too!

How do you display your photos at home?


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[All images my own]


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