3 quick + simple snacks August 23 2017

strawberries

We all know how busy our days can get - sometimes it gets so busy we forget to eat! When life gets a little crazy there’s a few tricks we keep under our hat to ensure we have a productive and healthy week. Today we will be sharing our go-to snacks around the studio for when the 3pm munchies hit!

Good old fruit & nuts and why they’re so good together! 

This is by far the quickest and easiest snack to prepare, just combine your favourite fruit with your favourite nuts! The reason why they are so perfect together is not just because of their yummy taste! The protein from the nuts actually stabilises blood sugar levels that might spike after eating fruit. Our favourite combinations are: mango and macadamia, strawberry and almond and banana and walnut.  

No Bake Protein Balls

While these take slightly longer to prepare (10 minutes) they are a great snack to meal prep on a Sunday and they should last you the week! We love this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. The only problem is they are so good you’ll eat them all in one sitting!

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds have amazing health benefits but sometimes it's hard to know what to actually do with them! Chia pudding is one of our favourites as not only is it a great snack to have while at work, it's actually a super yummy and healthy dessert alternative too! Try this recipe from Tone It Up.

  recipe

Images via Gimme Some Oven and Tone It Up


Friday Favourites August 18 2017

 Jackalope

Image via Jackalope

Yippee! It's (almost) the weekend! Which means it's time to relax, breathe out, grab a coffee and check out some of our favourite things below!

1. Give your skin a nourishing treat after the long winter months This all-rounder is a cult favourite for good reason.

2. Load up on beautiful blood oranges while they are still in season. This salad is a visual feast!

3. Bake a cupcake for a cause! RSPCA cupcake day is on (this) Monday 21 August and is the perfect opportunity to get together with friends or colleagues to raise money for animals in need. Office pup Archie is ex-RSPCA and have you ever seen a dog look prouder than this photo taken on his adoption day?!

RSPCA

4. Light a beautiful scented candle and get cosy. We can't go past this woody Diptyque classic for winter.

5. Dream of a long weekend at Australia’s newest boutique hotel, Jackalope in the Mornington Peninsula. The black infinity pool (pictured above) takes luxe style to a new level!


Planner Accessories August 16 2017

Planner Accessories

 When creating the Amelia Lane Life Designer we intentionally chose the covers to be beautiful, stylish and colourful but we deliberately kept the inside pages clean, practical and minimalist so you can focus on the tasks at hand. That said, there’s no harm in injecting some of your own personality onto the pages, especially if it motivates or inspires you to stay on track! Below are some of our favourite accessories you can use to make the most of your Life Designer.

  1. Bookmarks

 We’re planning to add some of our own bookmarks to the shop later in the year, but if you don’t like using the ribbons (which come in the Desktop and Compact editions) there are lots of options out there! Another alternative to a book mark or page marker is a cute paper clip with or without some ribbon in a bow tied around the top.

Book mark

Glasses Book Mark by CoolBookMarks (Etsy)

  1. Stickers

There are way too many options to list here, but there are stickers for literally every occasion, hobby, theme or focus. Try searching for ‘planner stickers’ on Etsy to see thousands of results! Personally, we like stickers for weekly reminders – e.g. bins, cleaning, laundry as well as fun ones such as date night, holidays, TV for favourite shows and workouts.

gym sticker

Gym sticker by Center Patch (Etsy)

  1. Washi Tape

We know a lot of people love the idea of washi tape but aren’t sure how to actually incorporate it into your planning. Other than just for adding decorative elements, or sticking photos or notes into your planner, washi tape is great as it can generally be written upon (as it has an uncoated paper finish) so you can use it to block out activities or events and write on the top of it. It’s also fantastic to use in the monthly calendar to block out holidays and weekends away. If you feel it’s too wide for the space you can simply cut it in half.

Washi Tape

Black Pineapple Washi Tape by Washi Gang (Etsy)

  1. Pens

It would be remiss of us not to mention pens as an accessory here, although they are deserving of their own blog post! Pens can be great for colour-coding by activity or family member. Similarly with highlighters. The colour can be a quick and easy way to see an overview of what you’ve got lined up ahead for the week – e.g. purple is gym, blue is work, green is social, pink is errands / must remember and so on.

Life Designer

 

 


Friday Favourites August 11 2017

 The PlanthunterImage from The Planthunter

Yay! It's Friday! Here are five things which kept us happy this week:

1. Reading a good old fashioned magazine instead of surfing the net. Collective Hub is always an inspiring read full of kick ass entrepreneurs, wayfarers and dreamers.

2. Trying our hand at making our home a green paradise. There is plenty of inspiration at The Planthunter blog, including this beauty. If you’re a bit of a black thumb, start with a Zanzibar gem. They need virtually no water and thrive on neglect!

3. Unleashing our inner muse. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is fascinating and really digs down into being creative in spite of our fears.

4. Taking a keep cup to get our morning caffeine hit. We really like these from Frank Green  - awesome colours and a decent size for tea drinkers.

5. Getting a spring in our step with a gorgeous pair of flats. These will keep us smiling while we are pounding the pavement.


Friday Favourites August 04 2017

Three Birds Renovation

Image by Three Birds Renovations

Every week in between the to-do lists, errands and life admin, there are sparks of joy - inspirational stories, moments of beauty, happy thoughts or dreamy items for our wish list.

Here are our five favourite things which put a smile on our face this Friday:

  1. Finding these Three Birds Renovation makeovers so inspiring - especially loving the blue gloss herringbone bathroom tiles (pictured above) in this project!
  1. How cute are these planner stickers from Honey Inked on Etsy? Here in the office we’ve been using the garbage bins, cleaning, birthday balloons and airplane ones in our Life Designers! 
  1. Loving the simplicity of the this grey knot sweater by Seed! Looks like the perfect everyday sweater to see you through from winter to spring.
  1. This blog post about embracing a 'beautiful, quiet, gentle life' and accepting that you’re enough just as you are.
  1. We’ve been working our way through slow cooker recipes this winter and the next recipe on the list is this Beef and Ale Stew because there is nothing better than coming home on a cold winter’s night after a long day at work to have a warm dinner on the stove waiting for you! 

Winter Bucket List August 03 2017

Winter Bucket List

It’s the last month of winter in Australia and we’ve left it a bit late to complete everything on our bucket list so we’re shortening it to the five winter memories we still want to make. We’ve designed a FREE Winter Bucket List for you to download and write out some of your own memories you want to make before Spring hits!

On Our Winter Bucket List:

  1. Invite friends over for a board game night. Order a pizza, break out Taboo, Catan or Cluedo and settle in with a bottle of red wine.
  2. Stage a movie night at home. Dress code is strictly pajamas only and UGG boots are optional. Start early and have a few movies (agreed on prior!) lined up ready to go. Pull off the doona from the bed, turn down the lights and turn up the sound. Popcorn is non-negotiable obviously!
  3. Make some homemade mulled wine and take a glass into a hot bubble bath with a good book. Our current favourites include anything by Liane Moriarty, The Dry by Jane Harper and fun, flirty novels by Zoe Foster Blake.
  4. Bake gingerbread cookies with some jazzy tunes playing on speaker.
  5. Plan a weekend getaway which involves a combination of the following:  a roaring fireplace, a winery, a good Sunday roast and a cosy cabin in the mountains.

Getting ready for the National Stationery Show in New York...! May 11 2017

national stationery show

 

In a few days I am flying out to New York to debut Amelia Lane Paper in the USA. Exhibiting at the National Stationery Show - THE show for stationery businesses - has been a longtime dream of mine but wow, is it scary! Trade shows, for those who are wondering, are where companies exhibit to find new shops to sell their work. So while our products are available to buy through our online shop, they are also available in gift boutiques, book shops, florists, stationery studios and many other beautiful shops around the world which we’ve met at trade shows (sneak peek of the invite we sent to them for this show above!). It’s also a great place to meet other people in the industry and just generally get out from behind the desk!

While I’ve exhibited at trade shows in Sydney, Melbourne and London, the National Stationery Show (NSS) in New York is in a whole different league. It’s eye-waveringly expensive for one, especially when you include airfares, hotels and let’s face it, all the shopping I plan to do over there! It also a lot more complicated when it comes to building your stand. Shows I’ve exhibited at before include walls and basic flooring which you can then pay to upgrade / paint or you can generally do whatever you want to your space - hang shelves, frames etc. At this show, you’re given no flooring and no walls and you’re also prohibited from using any tools to build your booth (my drill has been a like a beloved family member in every build I’ve done before). Traveling from Sydney means it’s much harder (and expensive) to build a booth here and ship it over so I’ve opted to have walls and flooring installed on site there (also $$$$). And then there are regulations, and more regulations, and a lot of other unknowns which are going to have to be figured out on site. Luckily, my cousin is flying over to help me and is much more handy than I am!

But challenges aside, it’s a big moment for my business and I’m so excited to bring our products to the USA! We will be debuting our 2018 range of Amelia Lane Life Designers - with more cover, size and layout options than ever before. We’ve worked so hard on the new designs and have been trying to keep the new covers under wraps but I expect you might see a few sneak peeks if you keep an eye on social media during the show! Already, they’ve been creating a bit of buzz being nominated, alongside our Amelia Lane Wedding Designer, as finalists in the Best New Product Award! I’m not sure if that’s helped settle my nerves at all but it’s certainly a huge honour to be a finalist among other stationery brands I admire so much.

If you’re visiting the show, please come and say hi at Booth 1561 - I’ll be the Australian hiding under the desk!

Chanel x


Farewell 2016 December 31 2016 1 Comment

I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2016! What a whirlwind this year was! You know how some years are brilliant, some terrible and some unremarkable? Well, for me this year was high speed, full action, go go go from day one. And I’m exhausted. On the whole it’s been a wonderful year, so many lovely things have happened and beautiful memories have been made but it has definitely pushed me to the edge of burnout so I’m taking some time over the New Year break to reflect on what was wonderful about 2016 and what I want to improve on for 2017.

First up are my favourite memories of 2016 and as I’m writing this from a balcony overlooking the sea where I’m taking a few days peaceful rest with family I feel like I’m living one of them right now! Tomorrow and next week I’ll start planning my vision board for 2017 and setting my goals for the year and I’ll write about those in a separate post. Because for now, today is all about resting, reflecting and ringing in the New Year tonight!

16 best memories of 2016

1. Stand-up paddle boarding with dolphins one early morning while having a weekend away up the coast

2. Visiting some of the lovely boutiques which stock Amelia Lane Paper products and receiving some amazing press including a feature in the Huffington Post (still so surreal!)

3. Too many to count before work swims at the beach - starting the day right with sunshine, salt water and sea air

4. This year I resumed something I have previously done while I was living in London which is fostering rescue animals. My partner and I signed up with the RSPCA and fostered our first litter of puppies and their mum. Fostering appealed to us as they are generally short term placements designed to give shelter animals some respite from the kennels, time out to heal from an operation or, in our case, time for puppies or kittens to finish weaning from their mothers and a chance to grow a little bit bigger before they go back to get adopted to their permanent families. We were so excited to receive our first littler this year of a mum and four male long-haired Chihuahua puppies. They had all been rescued from a horrible puppy mill and needed to grow a bit before they could get adopted. We felt comfortable that we wouldn’t get too attached as we’re sensible enough to know that five dogs is too many for us and we both have never been the biggest fans of Chihuahuas as a breed so it seemed a great first foster group. And we loved having Maddy and her four pups staying with us and causing havoc before they found loving families so it was definitely a highlight of the year. And it led to…

5. Adopting our foster failure Archer. Unsurprisingly, we grew increasingly attached to the foster puppies and one ‘failed’ - well, we failed with giving him back and now he’s our forever dog and the sweetest, happiest puppy alive :)

6. Launching the Amelia Lane Life Designer and Wedding Designer in the UK. There’s been so much great feedback to our products over there and I’m so excited to add a lot more products to our UK shop later in 2017

7. Dancing bollywood-style in Nepal at my best friend’s wedding and seeing her shine with happiness

8. Visiting the Tu Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa (and Samoa in general!) - one of the most stunning natural places I’ve been to

9. Having a glass of wine and a whole lot of laughs taking a pizza-making class on a rainy Sunday

10. Attending five beautiful weddings and feeling surrounded by all the love

11. Visiting a trade show in New York with my mum (who lives in the UK so extra special for having time away with her) and making big plans for Amelia Lane Paper’s USA launch in 2017

12. Launching a new line of products including the Compact edition of the Life Designer, the Monthly Planners and the Wedding Designers, and reading so many lovely customer messages, emails, comments and feedback!

13. Working my way through the Couch to 5km running program - as someone who has never been a runner this was pretty exciting for me!

14. Quiet morning walks with Archie before the world wakes up and seeing how joyful he is everyday

15. Interesting conversation, good food and wine with friends in my monthly book club (and all the long hours curled up on the coach reading something engrossing)

16. Spending this New Years Eve break with family, resting, swimming, having fish and chips on the beach, playing board games and making exciting plans for 2017!

 

 


Christmas Delivery! December 09 2016

 

That time of year is fast approaching and the postie elves are working overtime! All orders are leaving our Sydney or UK warehouse now on the same (if ordered early in the morning) or next business day but for Australia, the cut-off time for pre-Christmas delivery using our FREE standard shipping is here! That is, today Friday 9 December!

For most locations in Australia, if you order today then your order should reach you before Christmas using standard shipping. However, shipping is slow to WA, NT, rural parts of TAS and north QLD so for those areas please use Express shipping if you absolutely must have it by Christmas.

After today, we strongly recommend using express post if you need your order by Christmas. If you're posting to a capital city (except Perth or Darwin) and Sydney areas then you *should* be ok to use free standard shipping until around 12 December but best to check with Australia Post for their most recent delivery time frame.

You can receive pre-Christmas delivery with express shipping up until 20 December but after that your order is likely to arrive after Christmas.

So if you've had your eye on a present for the list-making friend, sister, girlfriend or wife in your life (or better yet, as a gift for yourself) now is the time to order!


How to Use the Weekly Meal + Exercise Planner November 11 2016

Meal and Exercise Planner

A few customers have asked to see a closer look at the weekly Meal + Exercise Planners in the Signature Life Designers. I thought I'd include a sample of how I use it so you can get some ideas of what is possible (but please excuse the terrible hand-writing!).

Each Signature Life Designer has a 'Health' section at the front (after the 'Goals' section) which has 52 weekly Meal + Exercise Planners. There are sections for each day of the week and breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks (a category of mine which always has way too much writing in it!), exercise (a category which normally has too little writing in it!) and a water tracker.

On the right side are some dotted lines which I use for either a grocery list, recipe ingredient list or for a quick reference for calories in my most common meals.

Ideally, on a Sunday night I'll write up my meal plan for the week and have done some meal prep for lunch and snacks. I'll block out any lunch / dinners I have out with friends and then try and plan out a lot of the rest. If I'm writing a list of groceries, I put it on the right hand side where the dotted lines are and then take a photo on my phone in case I'm dashing up to the shops and have left my planner on my desk.

Meal Prep

I find the exercise section really handy as it keeps me accountable if I set it up at the beginning of the week. It's also useful if you are training for a big event such as a marathon or ocean swim. I'm not much of a runner so no marathons here (!) but I did recently complete the Couch to 5km program (so yep, not really in the same league as a marathon haha!) and it was great using the exercise tracker to write out the eight week program and tick it off when done, recording my times and distances.

The Compact Life Designer has been created differently as it is a smaller planner with only a monthly overview page for health (rather than 52 two-page spreads tracking it weekly in the Signature). The monthly overview gives you space to record the day's calories or points intake and the week's exercise to give you a big picture look at how you're going rather than a detailed in-depth view. This is more useful if you're not following a set meal plan / diet or are using an app to record some of the information for you. You can see in my mock-up below (based on a week when I was trialing the sample books months ago) I used both a daily calorie count and then switched halfway through the week to daily points tracking.

I'd love to see how others use their meal and exercise planners for inspiration so please feel free to tag #amelialanelifedesigner on instagram so we can all see!

Compact Meal Planner

 

 

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How to use the Amelia Lane Monthly Planners October 27 2016

The Monthly Planners might be the smallest of all the Amelia Lane planning products but they pack a big punch! I basically designed them because they are just unbelievably useful! Personally, I use mine to see what I have on each month as it comes up. So I include holidays, social engagements and big work deadlines. There isn't enough room to write much - it's more to give you a quick, handy overview and being so small, it's very handbag-friendly. I know a lot of people use their iphones for this big picture planning but I find it hard to visualise my month when it's on a screen. For example I like counting down the weekends until Christmas! A big pro of these in my opinion is that they are undated so you can start whenever you want such as when you're approaching a big event like a wedding or house renovation or project launch.

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

I've also thought about having multiple monthly planners with a specific use for each one - for example, using the Hibiscus cover for work goals and deadlines, the Jungle print for health plans (running and gym schedules, meal planning and training schedules for events such as an ocean swim or half marathon) and the Leopard print as a social media calendar. To be honest though, all those areas of my life are so intersected that it makes sense to keep them in one cover and for the moment I'm using the Hibiscus cover, which I'm slipping into the back pocket of the Life Designer {Signature} in Palm Leaf Pattern.

Below are some pages showing how I plan out my months - as you can see I *try* to coordinate different activities with different pen colours etc but of course that's not always practical! I love the Paper Mate Ink Joy pens which you can buy at Woollies and Le Pens which you need to ship from the USA. As you can see, I sometimes scribble important information for that month in the margin - here it's some flight details as it's the month of destination weddings for me - first Nepal and then Perth!

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

I also use the 12 month planner at the start to put in holidays and big events - such as trade shows for my work. This would be especially useful for teachers, students or mums with kids in planning out school terms and holidays.

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

In the Monthly Goals section I try and set a goal each month for work, health, and social/personal.

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

 

Product specs: undated so you can start whenever you want, A6 size, soft textured card cover, thick 100gsm paper inside, two annual calendar views, a monthly goals spread, 12 monthly calendar views and some lined and blank pages on the back. Five covers. You can see more (and some nice clean pages without my scribbles!) here.

I would love to see how you use your monthly planner!

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Front of House: Before and After October 17 2016

 

A few weeks ago I was asked to talk about my experience renovating the front of my house for Reno Addict - a great blog for people like me who love seeing house before and afters and are a bit real estate obsessed! It's a sister site to the equally inspiring Interiors Addict. You can read the full article here but below are some photos showing the brown, black and beige colour scheme which was there when I bought the house, and the blue/grey and white look I ended up going for.

Some of the biggest changes were to the front and back courtyards all done on a tiny budget using Ikea, Bunnings and Flower Power, along with some free family and friends labour carrying the pots inside and a van rented from GoGet. There is still lots to do (such as the whole inside!) but at least now I feel like it's a bit brighter and happier when arriving home - and the bright lime green door certainly helps!

I would love to hear of any inspiring house renos you've seen or read or any recommended sites to visit!

Chanel x

Before

House Before Photo

 

After

 

Before

 

After

 

Before

 

After