Wednesday, 25 February 2015

SodaStream | Healthy Hydration Creation

You may remember how I blogged about how much I was loving my new SodaStream machine at the end of last year. Well, it's been a lifesaver through these hot summer months, and we've had fun creating lots of delicious drinks. I especially love SodaStream Free, which is a range of fruit flavoured concentrates that contain only a fraction of the calories and sugar of other regular soft drinks.


Dael & I spent this morning putting together some of our favourite healthy hydration creations using fresh fruit, mint (fantastic in drinks), lots of ice, and SodaStream Free caps. Let me tell you, our little studio was smelling divine, and we were set for drinks for the rest of the day.

The first we called "Apple-Peach Pick Me Up". We start all our drinks with lots of ice; then we filled a mason jar cup with diced peaches, nectarines, and watermelon, slices of lemon, and fresh mint leaves; and topped with Apple-Peach SodaStream. The sweet, zingy taste had us feeling energised and ready for the day.

This pretty little number is "Green Tea-Lychee Twist". The SodaStream Green Tea-Lychee flavour is divine on it's own - light and fresh, a real thirst quencher - so we kept it simple with some ice, watermelon and a slice of lemon on the side. This would be great on a hot afternoon with your girlfriends.

My personal fave is our "Fresh Lemon-Licious". Combine lots of ice, fresh mint, lemon slices and SodaStream Fresh Lemon to make the perfect summer cooler.

To find out more about SodaStream NZ visit their website and Facebook page, and have fun coming up with your own yummy recipes.

Monday, 23 February 2015

HappyMoose | Giveaway

Last week I introduced you to the amazing photo print app, HappyMoose. I speak from experience when I say that the app is extremely user-friendly, and the products are excellent. At this stage the app is available for iPhones, but very soon it will be available for web and Android, so follow on Facebook for updates.

This week we're giving away $30 vouchers to three lucky Cush & Nooks readers. All you have to do is "like" the HappyMoose Facebook page to enter, and email me to let me know you've done so. For an extra entry, "like" this post on my Facebook page. The competition closes at 3pm this Friday 27th February. The winners will be notified by email and announced on my Facebook page.

The winners will be able to use their coupon to purchase from the great range of products - wall dots, canvases, and wood blocks - all in a range of sizes. Make sure you read my last post for all of the details. Download the HappyMoose app from the app store and start printing those memories! Good luck!

Friday, 20 February 2015

My Kitchen | Part 1

You may've noticed that I'm no longer blogging every day. With my interior design business, Bibby + Brady, growing and getting busier and busier, I had been struggling to keep with five blog posts a week. I've decided it's a much better idea to do three quality posts a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - where I will share with you Bibby + Brady jobs we're working on, as well as fabulous new products and businesses, and my favourite interior inspiration. 

Today is the first in a series of posts on my own kitchen/dining/laundry reno, and I hope you follow me on the journey from demolition to dream finish! This is what I'm living with at the moment - some walls have already been taken back to the framing; old lino ripped up; some cupboards have been ripped out and the pantry relocated before it goes for good.

The old pantry has been moved down to this corner (below) temporarily. The hot water cylinder will be removed, as we're going to have a gas hot water system installed, and a set of bi-fold cupboards will be built to house our laundry and provide extra storage. The laundry is currently in our kitchen, and by moving it we get more precious storage in the kitchen. We used to have a set of industrial lockers in this corner of the dining room, and they have been moved out to our garage to make room for the new laundry cupboard.

We recently had a new round dining room table made in American oak, and we LOVE this! The old chairs will be sold, and in the corner of the dining room we're having an L-shaped booth seat custom made with internal storage. Three new chairs will be added around this side of the table, which means we will be able to fit lots of family and friends around it.

The fridge will be replaced by a double fridge and moves to where the laundry currently is. This is on the outskirts of the kitchen which means when the kids are popping in and out of the fridge (which they seem to do a lot!) they won't have to come right into the kitchen and get under my feet. Wall hung cupboards will be added right to the ceiling with the range hood concealed in one and down lighting added underneath for task lighting. A new oven and cooktop will be installed in the same place as the old oven (which helps with electrics not having to move). On the left hand side will be bi-fold cupboards, a tall pull-out pantry, and the fridge.

Here's another view of where the fridge and pull-out pantry will be. To the left is our back door.

The bench will be extended slightly and will have open shelves and a cupboard on the dining room side to utilise as much of the cupboard space as possible. Storage is key for me as I've lived with this kitchen and it's lack of cupboard space for 10 years. The bar stools will go, as we have plenty of seating around the dining room table. The floor boards will be sanded and polished.

To give you an idea of the look I'm going for, here are some of my inspirational pics. My husband wanted an all white kitchen, so I have found clever ways to incorporate texture to avoid it looking too clinical. I love the contemporary take on an old look achieved by simple wainscoting or wood panelling. Darren and Dee used it beautifully in their Block Glasshouse apartment. To add to the clean look I'm opting for handleless drawers.

There will be touches of wood including an open shelf made from our old mantelpiece.

I have my heart set on a matt black stone sink and a matt black (or even copper!) tap.

The splash back behind the oven will features some gorgeous tiles. I'm hoping for small marble hexagon tiles to bring some more texture and subtle colour to the white room.

Michael and Carlene's kitchen (yes, I was a fan of The Block Glasshouse) has the wall hung cupboards and pull-out pantry similar to the ones we will have. We'll also have the storage cupboard above the fridge.

Although the kitchen drawers will be handleless, the bi-fold doors will have simple but beautiful brass handles.

This is what I want our booth seat to look like - more panelling and comfy squabs.

I know that's a lot to take in, but what do you think??? I didn't mention the benchtop as we're still trying to decide on this and have several options being priced up at the moment. It may be a long process but I promise to include you on our journey, and can't wait to, one day in the near future (please be near!), reveal the finished rooms.
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