How to be the Ultimate DIY Hostess

Throwing a party is no easy task, although many seem to think that it’s a breeze. Sure, maybe a “Bring Your Own” style student ramble in the garden doesn’t take too much effort (other than the clearing up post-debauchery) but to throw a show that will have your friends talking for ages, especially on a budget, can be quite the challenge. However, who ever said that challenges can’t be fun?

flickrcom photos nomadic_lass
Image:flickr.com/photos/nomadic_lass


The first ports of call are the following: guest list, invitations and theme. The latter can be almost anything, but it’s important to remember to stick with it. You can’t go for a theme of “An Evening in Paris” only to send out a load of invites with palm trees and stretching beaches to your guests. Think carefully about your resources, you personal style, and your friends’ tastes. Are you all massive movie nuts? Or is it a love of baking that brings you all together? Do your research and form a theme around that. Next, think realistically about how many people you can invite. Remember, three is no party, but 80 might be a little excessive if you’re doing all the work yourself. Once you’ve budgeted and gauged how many people you want to invite, the real fun begins.

Handmaking invitations is really great fun, can be super easy, and adds a personal touch to your event. Arts and crafts can be purchased for very little brand new on eBay. It works out a lot cheaper than buying invitations, but it retains the formality of organising an party far better than just posting an event on Facebook, which people may or may not bother replying to. For example, if you were going to have a floral themed garden party you could buy a little rose rubber stamp and a few feet of pink ribbon to produce something like this:


flickrcom photos ninoca
Image:flickr.com/photos/ninoca


If, for example, you were to do a floral themed garden party, you could come up with a lot of suitable decorations, food and drinks for your party guests. You could do bite sized finger foods adorned with various edible flowers, and you could even pull out all the stops by learning a little bit of bartending and offering some beautiful and delicious floral cocktails made from scratch! For decoration, either real or fake flower garlands wrapped around fairy lights make a perfect setting for a garden party. For a finale dessert, try this incredible Flower Power Cake. These are just examples of how creative you can get with just one simple party theme, so get your imagination going!

flickrcom photos adc
Image: flickr.com/photos/adc


Depending on your friendship group, the costume aspect of many themed party might feel a little stale, but by all means encourage people to add to your theme. In the case of a garden party, you could say “floral dresses and ties welcome!” on your invites, or for an animal theme “animal accessories encouraged!”. Even if not everyone joins in, it’ll be nice to see some people make an effort and coming together in the process. You yourself should be the belle of the ball, making sure to talk to everyone, to fill everybody’s glass and to keep everybody well fed. Maybe you could even offer a spot of entertainment, perhaps karaoke or a cocktail making lesson! Get everybody involved, and your picture perfect event will go down a treat!


Lovingly written by Joy












Earthquake preparedness at home, school and at work

My homeland, the Philippines is not only a typhoon magnet, but it is also located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. As my country is perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is very much at risk to tectonic shifts that could cause strong and devastating earthquakes.

Last year, a tectonic origin earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck Region VII specifically in most cities and towns of Bohol, and Cebu City. The ground shook and trembled so strong and hard which caused casualties and structural damages. The recent quake has been recorded as one of the deadliest in the Philippine history. 

There is no accurate tool that can predict nor forecast when a seismic activity can occur and we can never stop it from happening. In most situations we can reduce the chance of injury if we are prepared and well-equipped to handle this kind of destructive disaster.

Below is an Earthquake Preparedness Guide provided by PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology)



Lovingly written by Joy












How to Select the Right Colour Scheme for your House

Choosing the right colour scheme for your house can be a daunting task as you will have to live with your decisions for a long time! While colour is very much a matter of personal taste, there are some important guidelines to help you create a palette that you will love. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect choice for your home.

PoshSurfside.com on Flickr

About Colour

A colour wheel is a great starting pointing when choosing a desirable scheme. There are four types of colour schemes: monochromatic, analogous, contrast, and complementary.

A monochromatic scheme uses the same colour and adds either white or black to lighten or darken the shades.

An analogous scheme is one that uses colours that appear next to each other on the wheel, like green and blue, or pink and purple. Mixing these kinds of colours is known to create a soothing effect.

Although if you want to create a vibrant and energetic feel, you are best to choose a contrasting scheme. This palette uses a variety of opposing shades, and is effective when creating defined spaces in an outdoor area.

Complementary schemes are created with opposing colours on the wheel – say pink and green - to provide a dramatic and bold look.

Roof First?

It’s quite common when choosing the colour scheme for your home exteriors, to start with your roof and work your way down. If you need a little inspiration, you can start by looking at roofing websites like Hats 4 Houses to gauge what styles are most popular. By choosing the material of your roof, you’ll have an easier time dictating your colour scheme. For example, if you choose a hardy, long term roofing solution like colourbond, you can choose from an extensive palette of more modern and classic hues. Alternatively, you might choose the tone of your house first and then find a roof that matches.

The Garage

If you decided to choose the, from the top down method, the next step is deciding on a garage door that matches the roof and walls. You can either choose a shade from your existing palette, or highlight the garage by making it the same colour as your roof.

Other Considerations

You also need to consider several other things when working out a colour scheme. Are you installing a fence? If so, how will you tie it in with the rest of the house?What material will your front door be made from? You will even have to go as far as deciding what colour to paint your window frames.

It’s best to sketch all the components of your exterior colour scheme so that you can be really sure that everything will tie in together. If you are anxious about anything you should talk to a professional before you proceed. Most paint shops and roofing and cladding companies will have someone that can offer advice. Take your time, look around at homes in your neighbourhood to see what you like, talk to the experts, and you will find a colour scheme that is just right for your home.


Lovingly written by Joy












5 Creative Design Tips for your Patio

Adding a patio to your home is a fantastic and affordable way to increase your living space, and take advantage of warm days for outdoor entertaining and relaxation. There are so many different ways to create a patio that blends with your existing house and takes advantage of other features of your property.




Let’s have a look at some creative tips that help make your new patio a real feature of your home that you will not only love to use, but will also add value to your home. For more ideas on how to create your dream patio, it is well worth having a chat to an experienced patio builder such as Additions Building, who can take you through the myriad of styles and materials available to find one that suits you.

Create a feature point

Creating a focal point for your patio can help make it unique and attractive. A water feature, such as a fountain or a goldfish pond, can help create real sense of tranquillity. You could also create a fire place or pit, which can help you enjoy you patio in the colder months. An artistic tiled mosaic, or even a stained-glass window feature can take advantage to the sunlight an add colour and vibrancy.


Green it up

Having plenty of plants integrated into your patio helps it blend seamlessly with the rest of your backyard. You could build elevated planter boxes for herbs and vegetables, or just for decorative flowering plants. Strategically placed large pots, matching the style of your patio, can hold larger plants such as yucca or ferns and help make your patio a calm and refreshing place to be.


Make the floor a feature

There are so many styles of flooring available these days that there is no excuse not to have a fantastic looking patio floor. Concrete can be stamped, stencilled or painted to create a huge variety of styles and colours the blend perfectly with your homes decor. Alternatively, using patterned pavers can help create a strong sense of texture and quality to your patio.


Create a screen

Creating a wooden or mesh screen to block the sight of things, such as hot water heaters or pool equipment, can make your whole backyard more beautiful. You can also use it to hang plant baskets or other decorative items that will really add to the overall look of the patio.


Make the most of lighting

Lighting can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought when designing patios, but when you think about it, you will probably be spending a lot of evenings after work, enjoying a cold drink out on the patio – so make the most of the space with a good lighting design.

The use of movable down-lights can make sure you don’t have any dark areas, which make the patio uninviting and drab. If you have an outdoor kitchen or BBQ, make sure you have it properly lit so you can see what you are doing. Also, surrounding the edge of your patio with low garden lights can help show-off you backyard and any plants you have bordering your patio.

So there you have it, with just a bit of creativity and imagination you can turn a basic patio into a fabulous feature of your home, perfect for entertaining, or just for relaxing and enjoying a cool summer breeze.


You can try the quiz below to help you decide which patio design best suits your home



Photo credits: additions.com.au

Lovingly written by Joy













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