Sunday 24 March 2013

Stylish Settings is moving to DIY Decorator

Yes - I'm moving.  After nearly two years of blogging at Stylish Settings I am moving to DIY Decorator

Why am I moving?

Well you see we are moving house.  Exciting.  We have spent 12 very happy years at this house, but it was time for a change, so we are leaving behind our new-build home in the suburbs for a 1930's Queenslander with a beautiful wrap around deck.  It is from this deck that I will soon be blogging.

How to Stay in Touch?

If you follow this blog by facebook or twitter, you don't need to do anything.  You will still get all of DIY Decorator's posts.  Same goes if you follow on pinterest or instagram.

If you follow with google friend connect you will need to find another way to follow as I am moving to wordpress and I can't use Google Friend Connect over there.  Google Plus will still work but my posts are not automatically posted there - I have to remember to add a link everytime I write a post.

Following Blogs with a Reader

I follow many blogs and I get their posts either on my Blogger home page or via Google Reader.  Unfortunately Google Reader will cease to work from 1 July, 2013, so I have to find a new way to follow blogs.  I'm still undecided, but I will probably follow blogs by either:

Judging by the recent followers I have gained on Bloglovin, it seems many people are choosing to follow this way.  

So if you want to stay in touch and see my new house, please head over toDIY Decorator and subscribe.  We don't move for another 6 weeks, but I wanted to set up the new blog before I have to deal with packing and unpacking boxes.

See you at the new place.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

When Life's Busy ...

Life is very busy in this Stylish home right now, and as part of my Living Well with MS lifestyle I am supposed to be keeping my stress levels down.  Oh well.

You'll all forgive me if I'm a little quiet until things calm down again, won't you?

In the meantime if you're looking for some bloggers who are managing to juggle all the balls in the air, check out these lovely ladies.

Cas from Peaches & Maple.  She had to shut down her blog and set it up at a new address because of some cyber bullying, so don't loose her.  She's now here.

For stunning photos of Bondi and beach decor, see Cheryl at Beachcomber

Great revamps from The Suburban Stylist aka Rachael from Hip Brown Things

For an insight into life on Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches, lots of beach style decor, and easy cooking head on over to Carolyn at Desire Empire.

The spray painting ninja herself, Natalie from In the Night Sky blog.

and for Shabby Chic style at it's best, Kate at Lilies for Kate.

There are many other lovely blogs I read, and I don't want to offend anybody, but these are some of the girls I visit often.

Whilst I may be quiet on the blogging front for a while, you can still find me on instagram and pinterest (see links at top right) - two of my favourite social media hangouts!

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Friday 22 February 2013

Finally Some New Carpet

Have you ever lived with old stained carpet that never looks clean and wondered 'what would it feel like with fresh new carpet?'.  Well it feels fantastic!!!!

This is our formal living room which we call 'The Good Room'.  I was oiling our timber blinds last year and knocked over a whole tin of Danish oil on the carpet.  That was the final straw - the carpet HAD to be replaced.

The old carpet was a cheap cream carpet that was 15 years old and had seen better days.  You ready?

and now ... Ta Da

Beautiful 100% wool sisal Godfrey Hurst (Australian made) carpet in 'Linen'.
I did a quick new carpet house tour on instagram.  Here are the pictures in case you missed them.  The Guest bedroom.

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom Retreat area

The teenager's room.

The pre-teen Drama Queen's room

The upstarirs retreat, craft room, creative space, bookcases, and general storage sometimes even play room.

I am sitting in the office now, with my shoes off rubbing my feet on the carpet as I type.  We used premium underlay so the carpet is so soft and feels like you are walking on a cloud.

So if you are contemplating putting in new carpet.  Just do it.  It feels amazing.

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Monday 18 February 2013

Homemade Toasted Muesli

Honestly, since I have learned to make my own toasted muesli and discovered how tasty it is and how easy it is to make, I will never buy packaged cereal again.

This is a really healthy (and OMS friendly) way to start the day.

4 cups wholegrain rolled oats (I use Lowmans)
1 cup of mixed nuts and seeds*
1 cup dried fruit*
120 ml (6 tbsp) maple syrup, runny honey or agave nectar
40 ml (2 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil


Place the rolled oats, maple syrup and olive oil into a bowl and toss to combine.

Spread the mixture onto 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the oven at 180C/350F  or  160C/320F fan forced for 5-7 minutes.

Roughly chop the nuts and add them to the oats, giving them a good stir to ensure they brown evenly.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes.  All ovens vary, so just keep an eye on it.  Burnt oats and nuts taste terrible.  Remove the trays from the oven and allow the mixture to cool.

Add the dried fruit to the oat and nut mixture, and thoroughly mix.

I store my toasted muesli in an air-tight plastic cereal container.  It will last a few weeks, but I usually eat it all before then.

Notes & Variations:
This is a really flexible recipe.  You can easily adapt it to suit your own taste.
Apart from oats, you can also add rolled rice, or unprocessed wheat bran.
Nuts & Seeds
Use any mix of the following:

  • cashews
  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • walnuts
  • brazil nuts
  • macadamias
  • pecan nuts
  • pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • poppy seeds
  • sesame seeds
Dried Fruit
Use any mix of the following:
  • raisins
  • sultanas (buy the natural ones without added oil)
  • currants
  • craisins (dried cranberries)
  • chopped dried apricots
  • chopped dried apple or mango
  • chopped dried fig
  • goji berries
You can sprinkle over chia seeds or ground flax seeds at the time of serving.  Add a dollop of yoghurt (I make my own soy yoghurt), or add fresh fruit.
If you want some extra spice, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the oats when you toast them.

I find a ratio of 4 parts oats, 1 part nuts and seeds, and 1 part dried fruit works for me.  You may wish to make it heavier or lighter.

I also find that 120ml of maple syrup is sweet enough for me, but you may choose to use more or less.  If you use agave nectar, reduce the amount slightly.  If you use honey, a runny honey is best.

Interesting Facts

I would call this Granola, but the name 'Granola' is trademarked in Australia and New Zealand by Sanitarium.  Granola is just rolled oats, nuts and honey that have been baked as a breakfast cereal, but only Sanitarium can all it that, so let's call this toasted muesli.

A friend of mine who has spent a number of holidays in Switzerland told me that the cereal aisle of the supermarkets there are completely different to ours.  There are virtually no pre-packaged cereals in boxes.  Instead the aisle is filled with all the ingredients people need to make their own muesli.  Interesting huh?

If you've never made your own muesli before, I urge you to give it a try.  It's also a great way to use up all the left over dried fruit that I used to make my OMS Christmas Pudding.

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Thursday 14 February 2013

Pinning Away the Time

Whenever something is playing on my mind, I turn to pinterest as a distraction, and a pleasant way to pass the time until the issue is resolved.  I have some things on my mind at the moment, so I've been madly pinning.

Why is it that a few stems of fresh flowers suddenly make something look beautiful?

I appreciate having a plain white dinner set makes sense, but I would really love to eat off something pretty like this.

Even though I just cleaned out my wardrobe and I am really happy with it, why can't it look like this?

I really want one of Sandy's armoires.  Did you hear that she is now the Brisbane/Gold Coast distributor for Annie Sloan paints?  Check it out here.


Did you know that ivy kissing balls are symbolic of love and commitment   With everything that is happening in our lives at the moment, I forgot to wish my husband a happy valentine's day this morning.  I'm sorry.  I'll make it up to you tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Pinning.

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Tuesday 12 February 2013

Magnolia Love

I just love magnolias, do you?  I decided I wanted a little more magnolia in my house.

What I started with

Earthborn Homewares had the most beautiful artificial magnolias on sale for half price at $9.95 per stem, so I picked up 4.  I already had the white butterfly pot.  It is a Jamie Durie one from Big W.  The dry floral foam is from the discount shop (Overflow).

I cut the magnolias down to a size that better suited the pot.  I used wire cutters as them stems were thick.

Then I cut the floral foam to size with a knife and inserted it into the pot.  To arrange the flowers, I just pushed the stems into the foam.

The problem is - you can see the foam (not pretty), so I cut a piece of fake moss mat that I had (from House & Garden), then pushed the flowers back through the moss and the foam.

Here's my magnolia arrangement.

You can play around with the stems and leaves, bending them into shape. 

This is in my family room, and just around the corner is the magnolia wreath in the dining room. 

Magnolias make me happy.  How about you?

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Friday 8 February 2013

Mini-Makeover for the Walk in Wardrobe

I am grateful that I have a walk in wardrobe.  It's lovely to be able to see all your clothes hanging there to decide what to wear.

When we first moved into this house over 12 years ago, the walk in robe just had a shelf and single hanging rail.  Several years ago, Dad lifted the shelf to 2 metres high so we could add a drawer unit and double-hanging.  The basic wardrobe units you can buy are pretty simple looking.

I decided mine needed to look a little nicer.  So I added some molding around the drawers and replaced the basic C-style handles with square pull handles.

I didn't repaint the whole drawer.  I just painted the molding white to match.  Screw on the new handles and voila!!!

Why can't they just make them like this?  Is it just that everything is made to look modern and I'm not a modern girl?

I also bought some clear acrylic shoe boxes from Howard's Storage World.  I have over 40 pairs of shoes.  Is that excessive?  I don't think so, but I'd be interested to hear how many other people have.

My friends on instagram know that I have a serious condition of repeat buying.  In this case it's white shirts.  I have a lot of them.

The old wardrobe insert?  Well it went onto my husband's side.  He'll have to wait until I'm motivated enough to buy and trim another wardrobe insert before his side looks as stylish as mine.

So that's the laundry cupboard and the walk in robe sorted.  I'm on a roll!  Have a great weekend everyone.

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