5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney

Because this month is all about Australia as a theme I asked a couple of lovely bloggers to share 5 things they love about their city, and today Emily Orpin from Good Things* is sharing 5 things she loves about Sydney (plus a sneak peek of her favourite spot in her home). Please make her feel welcome. x

1. City Beaches

5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney. Guest Post by Emily Orpin on Style for a Happy Home

Confession – as a loyal Melbourne girl a city has to have some pretty special charms to win me over, and Sydney has won me over! I’d lived in Sydney briefly before, but it wasn’t until we moved back here late last year that I was completely and utterly smitten (such a traitor!). It was Spring and every day seemed to bring blue skies and sunshine and warmth. We snuck off to the beach at every opportunity, and in Sydney that’s really easy to do. You see, Sydney is blessed with gorgeous beaches just a short drive from the city. We live in the east, so within a ten minute drive we can soak in the sand and sea at Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama and Clovelly (to name just a few). And these aren’t just any run-of-the-mill beaches – they are jaw droppingly beautiful. Fine golden sand, decent waves, and red cliffs tumbling into glittering, blue water. In the right season you might even spy a whale or two. Definitely a heart stealing sight.

2. Bondi to Coogee Walk

5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney. Guest Post by Emily Orpin on Style for a Happy Home

Whenever my head is feeling a bit fuzzy, or I’m in a bit of a slump, I try to carve out some time to do a bit of my favourite cliff top walk. It runs along the coast from Bondi Beach through to Coogee. It offers stunning views – both urban and natural – and that calming sea breeze. It always leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired. Find more information about this walk here.

3. Paddington

5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney. Guest Post by Emily Orpin on Style for a Happy Home

This is now the suburb I call home and I adore it. Paddington is a heritage filled place – its winding, hilly streets are lined with beautiful brick terraces, many of which have been lovingly restored. It’s really close to the city, but it’s still the kind of place where strangers say ‘Hi’ on the street. It’s chockfull of delicious restaurants and food stores, and has loads of fabulous retail (and lots of pubs! And dogs!). It’s pretty much a perfect place to live really!

4. Centennial Park

5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney. Guest Post by Emily Orpin on Style for a Happy Home

A relatively recent addition to my Sydney love list, this is a sprawling green space in Sydney’s east – a short walk from our house in Paddington actually (and when I say sprawling, we’re talking nearly 200 hectares!). There’s something about well planned and well used public spaces that warms my heart and Centennial Park is both of those. It’s got woodlands and native gardens, duck ponds, sports fields, playgrounds, horse riding trails and one of the best off-leash dog walking areas around. It’s always full of cyclists and joggers, happy dogs running wild, and families out for the day. It’s a great place to pack a picnic and explore. Get more info on visiting the park here.

5. The Opera House

5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney. Guest Post by Emily Orpin on Style for a Happy Home

How could I leave this off the list? It’s iconic for a reason! It really is a stunning building, especially when Sydney’s putting on it’s best blue sky weather (which is pretty frequently). There’s nothing quite like grabbing a refreshing beverage at one of the concourse bars and settling in to watch the sunset as the ferries come and go under the Harbour Bridge. Whenever I’m trying to convince my Melbourne friends of Sydney’s charms I always wait for a sunny warm day and take them to the Opera House. It usually works.

Because this blog is all about happy homes, I also asked Emily to share a photo of her favourite spot in her home for us to take a peek at! Yay!

My favourite spot in my happy home…

5 Things I Love About my City: Sydney. Favourite Spot in Emily's Home. Guest Post by Emily Orpin on Style for a Happy Home

We’re just at the tail end of twelve long months of renovating, so I’m only really just beginning to discover my favourite spots in our old / new house. This seating area is part of the open plan kitchen. It looks out on to our compact but awesome garden and gets a nice amount of sun. A great reading nook, and the perfect spot to sit and with my tea in the morning. Plus it has all kinds of sneaky hidden storage built in; I go a bit weak at the knees for good storage!

Thanks so much for sharing Emily! x

Emily is an ex-expat who currently lives in Sydney with her husband, step-sons and two hilarious dachshunds. By day she blogs, takes way too many photos and organises everything. That’s pretty much what she does by night too. She also travels, a lot. You can follow her adventures, mundane and otherwise, at Good Things*.

p.s. I (Dannielle) have decided to hold off on sharing my thoughts on this year’s Problogger Training Event until I can get them into a sensible order. Will share sometime this month. x D

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Fun for Everyone Indoor Games

Hello! Happy Saturday!! The last weekend in August is here, and whilst Spring is nearly upon us in this part of the world, sometimes Spring brings the rain and we need some indoor fun to help keep the cabin fever at bay! This week’s Fun for Everyone Pinterest round up is all about indoor games that you could play as a family. These will go well when it’s too wet or chilly out for the outdoor games that I shared a couple of weeks back. I hope these are some fun new ideas for you and your family to try!

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Fun for Everyone Indoor Games on Style for a Happy Home

  1. Indoor Snowball Fight DIY Kit This looks like so much fun and is so easy to make! Original Post HerePin It Here
  2. Disney Pictionary This is a great one for the family to play together, especially for Disney lovers! Original Post HerePin It Here
  3. Tic Tac Toe Another great one for a rainy day and this one lets you get a little crafty too! Original Post HerePin It Here
  4. Masking Tape Family Games This post has some great family games that can be played with some masking tape on your floor Original Post HerePin It Here
  5. Might I Bite? Game This is a fun game to either play with little ones or even with other adults. A fun twist on a classic game. Original Post HerePin It Here
  6. Tin Can Indoor Golf A cool way to play mini golf at home with things that you already have on hand. Original Post HerePin It Here

What’s your favourite game for a rainy day?

You can follow my Winter Warmers Pinterest Board for more inspiration! And you can also follow me here, if you’d like!

Mini Makeover: Spring Photography Challenge

It’s nearly Springtime here and we’re all suffering from a bit of cabin fever from the cold weather. Once Spring has finally sprung (hopefully next week) and the green grass is back, it’s time to head outside again and start enjoying the warmer days and the gorgeous flowers that start to appear everywhere. It can seem a bit silly to just head out of the house for no real reason, so I thought I’d challenge you to capturing some moments that say “Spring” to you in your part of the world. (If you’re heading into Autumn, you could try this challenge for your season too!)

Mini Makeover: Spring Photography Challenge on Style for a Happy Home

What you’ll need:

  • A Camera or a Camera Phone for taking the photos
  • Some Spring Appropriate Clothing (it can really vary, so whatever works depending on the day)
  • Some Walking Shoes to keep you comfortable
  • Somewhere to Explore (gardens and parks are good places to start, but even your neighbourhood might have something that says Spring to you)
  • An Hour of Your Time or more if you wish
  • Some Tunes or Some Great Company to keep your spirits high
  • A Lighthearted Attitude to the challenge though trying this challenge may prove to improve a bad day

How to:

Pull on your favourite Spring clothes and comfy walking shoes, grab your camera or camera phone and your tunes and head on out to where you’re going to start the challenge. This challenge isn’t about being the quickest or even about being the best, it’s just about you slowing down to enjoy the environment outside and just being in the moment.

Walk around to get used to your surroundings. Take out your camera and look for the things around you that scream “Spring” to you. What colours are they? What memories do they bring back from years past?

Try to take some photos, not only of what you know and love, but stop and look around to see if there’s anything you don’t recognise. Is there a flower you’ve not noticed before, or a tree that you don’t know the name of? Are there children playing or something different that catches your attention? How many different colours are around you?

Remember to keep moving, even at a leisurely pace so you’re seeing and experiencing different things. Is there something quintessentially [insert your town name here] about what you are seeing? If you wanted to introduce someone to your town in just one or two photographs, is there something around you that you would include?

Make sure that the tunes (or your great company) are still making you feel lighthearted and happy, and continue on. If you’re curious, why not take some photos of things you don’t know much about so you can research them later? You don’t have to, of course, but you might find something interesting about why they are where they are. You never know!

Once you feel you’re ready, you can head back home, but before you do remember to take a couple of big breaths in the Spring air and fill your lungs with the fresh air that’s not so bitingly cold as the Winter.

This challenge could be a great one for you to do with your family. Everyone either gets their own camera or their own turn with it, and you can come back and see what everyone took photos of and why it represents “Spring” to them. This is great for days when you all need some time out of the house and could be something new to try together.

What I love about these kinds of challenges is that no two people come up with the same things. It gives us a little chance to express our creativity without it being overwhelming and we don’t have to share it with anyone we don’t want to. It can be quite fun to just head out the door to see what you haven’t really noticed about your neighbourhood before. We miss so much when we’re in a rush, this is the perfect antidote to that.

Will you give this a go? Where’s your favourite place to explore where you live?

If you do try this, I’d love to see a photo or hear about how it went! Tweet me your pics at: @danniellecresp or instagram me at: @dannielle with the hashtag: #styleforahappyhome