Perfect presents that won’t leave you out of pocket

A couple of my loyal readers… ok full disclosure – they are also two of my closest friends – asked me to put together another Christmas wish list.  This time, all items had to be under $100.  I almost got there, however these gorgeous, customised, monogrammed, leather luggage tags, at $120, are just too gorgeous to leave out.  What is on your wish list?

{the wish list}

Wish list $100 collage 1

Wish list $100 collage 2 Wish list $100 collage 3 Wish list $100 collage 4

{the details}

From top, left to right

+ Over the last few months I have successfully filled my wardrobe with perfect white t-shirts however I am yet to find a black one I love.  This Bassike scoop v neck t-shirt with tail would be very comfortable, I feel, hanging with the white t-shirts in my wardrobe {$80}

+ Slip, slop, slap is of vital importance here in Sydney, do it with style with UNIF.M’s leather baseball cap in bone {$90}

+ I’m having a “+” moment right now – as you may have noticed in the last couple of posts my dot points in {the details} have changed to plus signs – and I love how these ceramic and wood cross trivets from Country Road fit together so you can make trivets or boards of various shapes and sizes.  I think a large collection would look great in the middle of a table serving up smoked ocean trout and a big rustic loaf of sourdough {$17.95 each}

+ The Nude and Buttercream Kester Black nail polishes are perfect for {faux} tanned Summer skin, available from Quincy {$17 each}

+ Regulars will know I L.O.V.E a DIY so I couldn’t go past this A Pair & a Spare x Wander & Hunt DIY leather clutch kit, available from Wander & Hunt {US$54}

+ Strangely I am known as having a very acute sense of smell, so I am constantly burning candles to remove even the slightest unpleasantness.  These Lumira candles from The Design Hunter not only look gorgeous, they smell amazing {$55}

+ Just the other day my {goodness, almost 10 year old} Havaianas up and broke!  For Summer beach days and quick trips to the shops thongs {as we call them here down under}, or flip-flops, are a must.  Oh, and I can’t go past a collab! Sass & Bide x Havaianas thongs {$49.99} [U.P.D.A.T.E. these Havaianas are no longer available.  Try these ones…]

+ Justine Cullen is hitting it for six with Australia’s newest addition to the fashion mag world.  I’d love a subscription!  Elle one year subscription {$59.95}

+ Little Miss is still at the food throwing stage when she decides she has had enough of something.  Consequently, a luxurious smelling, good for the environment, Australian made bench cleaner would be very well received to make the thrice daily meal clean ups a little bit more tolerable.  Sydney Peppermint & rosemary bench spray by Bondi Wash available at Girl & Graaf {$20}

+ I have recently discovered Artifact Uprising and I am desperate to get my hands on one of their gorgeously tactile wooden photo display blocks with my very own prints included.  Artifact Uprising wood block and prints {US$23.99} Tip for international users {Artifact Uprising is an US company}: it is the shipping that gets you! However, the shipping cost per item comes down remarkably quickly if you order multiple items.  I find it best to prepare a number of photo books and other accessories and then purchase them all at once.

+ You can’t go past white in Summer.  I can imagine this little Witchery drape skort on high rotation over the festive season {$89.95}

+ OBSESSED! I am so in love with these gorgeous leather luggage tags from Deadly Ponies, which can be customised with up to three initials. Luxe {$120}

+ Loving the double message in this printable digital print from Melbourne outfit The Parchment Place, available from their Etsy store.  Yes, please let me sleep…at least until my next idea takes shape {$5.67}

This Christmas, choose quality over quantity, elegant over extravagant, tasteful over trends and never underestimate the power of gifting a goat!

May your days be merry & bright…

xx Catherine JPEG

All photographs are from the website linked to each product.

Prices are approximate and, unless otherwise stated, are in Australian dollars.

Simple summer sundays: a family engagement celebration

A simple engagement dinner for my brother and his beautiful fiancée, using a palette of gold & white and lots of fresh flowers – a look that can easily translate to your Christmas table

{the inspiration}

I have been styling the house in a palette of gold and white in preparation for the festive season – see Feathers & fairy tales – a catherine & grace Christmas – so I wanted to carry that colour scheme through to the styling of the engagement dinner for my younger brother and his beautiful fiancée.  Not only does gold scream C E L E B R A T E  – it also meant I could use some of the items I had sourced or made for my holiday styling.

{the styling}

A piece of beautifully soft, white linen was strewn down our wooden table, twisted slightly and used as a very organic looking table runner.  Mini bottles were filled with white flowers & green foliage and placed along the table.  Guests were guided to their seats by place cards attached to kiwi fruit – a nod to the fact that my new sister-in-law to be is a New Zealander.  White linen napkins, white plates and crystal wine glasses on white & gold coasters completed the table setting.Hessian {burlap} cut into luggage tag shapes and dipped in gold glitter, together with crisp white paper tags were used as place cards, attached to kiwifruit with a toothpick.  Tip: use under ripe kiwifruit so you don’t get kiwi juice all over your table setting!Gold washi tape was used to decorate simple cream coasters.Armfuls of hydrangea, peonies and roses were sourced the morning before and casually placed in buckets along the console behind the lounge, together with a small posy at the front door.2013-12-01 - Will & Lou engagement diner BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace15Simple Summer Sundays BLOG image 1Simple Summer Sundays BLOG image 2Simple Summer Sundays BLOG image 3

{the food}

Keep things really simple for a Sunday evening, or for Christmas lunch.  Serving all cold dishes not only keeps you out of a hot kitchen on a hot Summer’s evening, it also removes the need to time the cooking of the meal… which means more celebrating for the host!  A quick trip to the fish markets in the morning and we came home with smoked ocean trout, prawns and Sydney rock oysters, plus ingredients for salads and some amazing cheeses and sourdough.  Place all the food on share platters, either in the middle of the table or on a side bench as we did.  Ensure there is plenty of ice-cold champagne, relax and enjoy!will & lou engagement dinner image 5

{the guests of honour}2013-12-01 - Will & Lou engagement diner BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace24{the details}

– Styling & photography by catherine & grace

– Kiwifruit & hessian place cards – a catherine & grace DIY

– Plates – Grosgrain dinner plate, by Vera Wang for Wedgwood available from Peters of Kensington

– Napkins – square white linen, by Linen & Moore, tied with Vandores white paper cord from Papier D’Amour & Gutermann gold embroidery thread from Spotlight {available at most good sewing stores}.

– White & glass mini bottles – catherine & grace

– Coasters – cream coasters decorated with gold washi tape from Crafty Creations 2013 on Etsy

– Florals – sourced from EQ Village Markets, styled by catherine & grace

– Vases & buckets – stylists own.

xx Catherine JPEG

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