Holiday Decorating Down Under

By Kate Riley December 1, 2015

There is so much that inspires me but I must say travel is certainly at the top of the list. Having spent the past two weeks in the southern hemisphere and nine of them in Australia, I was so charmed by the architecture, the people, and the lifestyle.

I’m now fascinated with the way Australians celebrate their Christmas holiday. As you know the weather is the opposite in the States, it’s summer in Australia so their gifting and decorating is warm weather related. I never really thought about celebrating Christmas in warm weather until I witnessed it, which is yet another testament to the value of travel to opening the eyes.

 starfish and shell ornaments

coastal decor christmas entryhomes to love

Airports and tourist spots are all decorated with swags of evergreens and ornaments even with the sun shining down. Here’s a pic I snapped outside the Circular Quay as we were about to board a ferry in Sydney.

 circular quay christmas

In Australia, they also decorate with pine and fir trees embellished with ornaments and twinkle lights. I bought a few Australian mags to inspire while I traveled, inside the pages I fell in love with the sophisticated light and bright styling that appeared within.

  fir christmast tree

  holiday tree branch


 upside down pine tree

star on christmas tree

homes to love 1 / 2  / 3 / 4

Because of the warm weather, many favor a light Christmas lunch instead of a heavy Christmas dinner followed up by a trip to the beach. Can you imagine a sunny summery Christmas? That’s how they do it Aussie style.

 summer christmas table

 summer christmas table

temple and webster 1 / 2

Also their décor is not restricted to evergreen trees, there are palms and ficus and indoor trees festooned with décor as well!

 decorated tree australian style

temple and webster blog

 diy coastal wreath

DIY coastal wreath

Summer is my favorite season so I’m plotting to spend a Christmas and New Year’s holiday with my cousins in Australia in just a few years. Can’t you see why?

Australian readers, I know you’re out there! Tell us Americans more about your Christmas and holiday traditions!

Gift Ideas (Host, Him, Her, Kids)

By Kate Riley November 30, 2015

I’m easing back into regular blogging today after three weeks of traveling. I’ll be sure share pictures and favorite stops from the countries we visited in the weeks to come. I do at least half of my holiday gift shopping online today, I much prefer Cyber Monday to the crowded stores of Black Friday. How lucky are we to live in this age where we can shop from the comforts of home or work (I won’t tell) instead of driving all over town!


via adore mag

I’ve made my list and checked it twice, and I’ll be placing several orders with a click. Today I’m sharing a few gifts for the host, also for him, her, and kids (how cute are these neck pillows for my nephews?)

For the Host

host gift ideas

holiday blend candle (cinnamon, orange, pine, vanilla, yum!) see also the hearth version / toast the host wine bottle gift wrap / monogram mug / self watering planter / drinks well with others wine glasses / gilded bottle opener

For Her

gift ideas for her

lightweight leopard print scarf with fringe / marble stud earrings / urban decay gwen stefani eyeshadow palette / kate spade colorblock stripe gloves / pick a letter gold monogram tray / doe a deer gray cozy blanket

For Him

gifts for him

Leatherman super tool / crosley turntable / rocker beanie / black & white backgammon / Timex chrono compass watch / lap desk

For Kids

 gift ideas kids

Mr. or Mrs. food plates / play teepee / walkie talkies / guess who game (my kids love this) / karaoke with disco lights / table tennis


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