'think simple' - this has always been a mantra of mine and when it comes to events and styling it sums up my taste perfectly. don't get me wrong, over-the-top styled events can be absolutely breathtaking but if you're anything like me then 1 - you know that they're not realistic for the everyday joe and 2 -you're always having to think twice about every movement you make because you just might break everything and that is just unnecessary stress. so let's save the over-the-top style for weddings and let's talk sweet and simple styling and i'll share some inspiration for your next event or celebration. 

the beginning of this month just happened to be my baby sister's birthday, and so it was the perfect excuse for me to put together a little celebration and enlist the help of my favourite creatives to make it amazing. I don't know about you, but whenever i scroll through my insta i often see perfectly styled events from super talented folks down south and so i find myself thinking that it isn't achievable in rockhampton. but that couldn't be further from the truth, rocky is full of talented and creative folks who are just as dedicated to simple and beautiful style as i am. so i set out to prove that just because i live in a smaller city than some, beautifully styled celebrations are just as attainable and easy to put together.

the long and the short of the story is, that with some simple ideas, the help of some amazing creative humans and a bit of scheming i was able to pull together this little event and surprise my sister for her birthday. in the afternoon my parents whisked away my little sister on the pretense that they just had to "go for a drive" before dinner. a car ride of questions later, hannah found herself in an underground car park where i met her with a smirk and the word surprise! a quick elevator trip up to the penthouse of the empire hotel and she walked in to be met with a drink and the surprise that our family were having a little intimate dinner and spending the night together. she was in shock at my scheming skills and blown away with the surprise. the night was spent eating delicious food, sharing laughs, facetiming extended family, getting high from all the sugar and creating amazing memories that won't be forgotten. it just goes to show that a little planning and effort goes a long way.

styling tips.jpg

keep the colour scheme to no more than 3 colours, if you find yourself wanting more colour use varying shades of one of the colours.

you can always make the cake yourself, i don't care if you use packet mix or even buy the sponge from woolies, having the creative control to match the colour and style to your event is going to make the cake shine rather than stick out like a sore thumb. you don't have to go overboard with the decoration, remember simple is beautiful.

when it comes to baking the desserts, create a time plan - make sure you start as far in advance as you can, and remember that when you have one dessert in the oven you can prepare the next one so that it's ready to simply swap out.

use fresh flowers or foliage if possible, it will add life to your styling and help break up any inanimate props.

balloons are always appropriate, no matter the age of the guest of honour or style of event.

while i'm usually an advocate for symmetry on dessert tables, try mixed serving ware to create a relaxed feel and make things even more visually interesting - just keep things within your chosen colour scheme or use neutral colours like black white and grey.

think outside the box - desserts can be arranged on many different items to create interest. don't limit yourself to cake stands, think of acrylic laptop risers, trinket trays, chopping boards, boxes or other styling objects which can be used to add varying heights.

to create an elegant feel try to avoid disposable plates and cups, instead try simple glassware and white dinnerware - you can find very stylish and affordable options from the likes of kmart.

cloth napkins are an easy way to elevate your table style and make things appear more fancy than they may be.

try to not to use too many plates, dishes, serving plates on your table - the last thing you want to have to do is spend the rest of your night washing up.

have a plan for how your event will run - eg. drinks on arrival, followed by a sit down dinner, the cutting of the cake and dessert table grazing. 

there are so many things you can diy - from invitations to gift bags and everything in between, don't be afraid to give things a go and get creative, you'll surprise yourself just how crafty you really are.

enlist help - you don't have to do everything yourself, don't be afraid to ask a friend to help out even with menial tasks remember that a job shared is a job halved and as long as you have company you might even enjoy it.


if you have an event in mind, but don't know where to start, i'd be more than happy to point you in the right direction and offer any helpful suggestions i can. if you're in the rockhampton area, i'm more than happy to have a chat with you regarding your event, share my local contacts or even my recipes. 

photos - DMK photographics | florals - Jess Mauger Floral Design | cake topper - glistening occasions | balloons - curly lou's twisted balloons | chairs and plinth - stylish events & hire | location - empire rockhampton

thanks to the many talented humans who helped me surprise my baby sister with this special event.


it's no secret that while many of us look forward to the extravagance of christmas and all that it offers, there are others within our communities that are less fortunate than us. for many, christmas is a time of giving and sharing, of joy and laughter and happy memories; unfortunately that isn't the case in every family. some just aren't as blessed as we are and for them christmas can be lonely, that's why it's so important to remember others during this festive time and if we can - give back to them. enter the kmart wishing tree appeal, a chance to give back and show others that they are not alone this christmas. 

the idea behind the appeal is that gifts are purchased or made by those who are able, to be given to those in need. at this time of year there is always a need to spread more joy and cheer and the kmart wishing tree is an easy way to do just that - bring a little more magic into the world. 

how you can participate.

you can make a financial contribution - online and in-store.

you can give a gift - by simply attaching a wishing tree tag to a gift and placing under the tree in any kmart store.

you can purchase a bauble gift tag - for a $1 donation to the appeal you can purchase a stylish gift tag to add to your gifts this year. not only do they look fab, but they add a little magic to your gift because your recipient will know you made a donation on their behalf.

you can host a fundraiser - organise your own event such as a gold coin donation morning tea at your workplace or school and donate the proceeds to the appeal.

how distribution works. 

the funds raised from cash donations and coin collections are given to the kmart wishing tree charity partners 'the salvation army' and 'mission australia' to fund such things as christmas lunch, basic necessities, education expenses and shelter.

the gifts received in kmart stores are collected by the charity partners and then distributed to less fortunate families. parents are given the choice to select from the gift pool the items which will best suits their families needs this christmas. 

how to give a gift.

kmart on behalf of their charity partners, accept any new gifts for donation - they can be purchased from any retailer or handmade. all gifts are checked for suitability by the charity partners before being passed on for donation, so it's best to donate an unwrapped gift or consider a gift box or bag for easy re-wrapping.

step one - take your gift to your local kmart store

step two - take a tag from wishing tree, fill it out, attach one half to your gift - keep the other to hang on your tree, and place the gift under the tree or in the drop off sleigh.

step three - share that giving feeling with others by sharing a pic or your story on social media using the hashtags #kmartwishingtree and/or #thatgivingfeeling

the wishing tree is an awesome way to teach kids about the importance of giving, and the wishing tree tags are designed to help them understand that they really have helped someone else. the tags are designed to tear away to two parts - one for the gift and one for your tree. the idea behind this is much like a best friend locket, in the fact that on christmas day both you and the person who receives your gift will be looking at one half of the same tag.

do you have a christmas tradition for giving back? what's your favourite thing to do to get that giving feeling? tell me all of the things in the comments below.

timothy x

twenty sixteen holiday gift guide

it's that magical time of year that we all know and most of us love, the weather is getting hotter, the days are getting longer and you spend your free time wondering where the year went. the shops are getting busier, and there's heaps of festive merchandise everywhere and you start to think to yourself 'i really should get my chrissie pressies sorted'. but you know it's only november so you tell yourself you still have time to get things sorted, the days are longer now you see, there's plenty of time to sort things out. besides you need to give it some thought because you know that soap on a rope and a box of favourites for the third time in a row just isn't going to cut it.  next thing you know, it's december 24th and you're freaking out because you've completely run out of time - or so i've heard someone tell the story. *the 'you' in this frightening tale may or may not be me

well i've got news for you with the holiday season fast approaching, it's time to get those pressies sorted and i'm here to help you do it. this shoppable gift guide features gifts inspired by twenty sixteen's trends and colours and the brands that i have discovered and grown to love this year. i've created this virtual lust list to inspire you to get your chrissie shopping started and hopefully help you discover some fabulous gift options for your loved ones this holiday season.

what's your favourite gift you've ever received or better yet given? are you an organised gifter or do you leave it to last minute too? tell me all of the things in the comments below.