Managers, Parents, what stops you from giving enough praise?



It’s has been recognised that one of the toughest jobs of a manager is giving feedback. While some struggle more than others, many people find giving feedback stressful and difficult mostly because they are focused on offering criticism and correcting mistakes when they should be providing positive feedback. Some recent research shows that people view leaders as more effective when they give praise. Personally, I struggle more at home with positive feedback to my kids or people who work for me than at the office. At work, I struggle with negative feedback because it is uncomfortable.

Where/when do you struggle with offering compliments? Why? For me, I believe that it is from a desire to be seen as tough and firm and the fear that my kids or people who work for me at home will start to coast. Well, if you’re having the same issues at home or at work, this HBR article says we should ‘get over it’! According to the writer, managers (and parents) need to proactively develop their praise-giving skills. There is nothing wrong if praise is brief — it just needs to be specific, rather than a general remark of “great job,” in addition this is best delivered soon after the event the child or employee is being praised for. Above all, it’s always best when the compliment is sincere and heartfelt.

We’ll get there!


Kitchens for Every Personality – {Part 1 of 4}

It’s Friday, so let’s have fun and ‘paint the town red’.

How do you even paint a town red? Who chose red and why can’t we paint the town yellow? Ever wondered why taxis in many countries are yellow and why health food shops like branding with green? It all has to do with colour psychology. 

For years colour psychologists have tried to determine human behaviour as a response to hues. They believe that the impact of colour can be observed in consumer behaviour, workplace productivity, feelings and many other human behaviours. In fact, colour psychology is heavily used in branding, marketing, interior design and product development. 

However, while interest in this field is growing, scientific research in this field is still lagging behind and as a result, many claims in this area of psychology are not backed by empirical evidence. Colour experts believe that colour influences how we feel and behave and that our interpretation of different colours are influenced by our backgrounds, experiences and culture. They also believe that different personalities show a preference for certain colours most of the time. We usually surround ourselves with colours we resonate with, and some of what I’ve read on colour psychology actually does describe the way I am influenced by certain colours. 

I’ve done some research and will be posting a four part series which summarises different colours and their personality matches, but I’m going to make it even more interesting by also showing you four kitchens that these personalities would love to cook in!

Let’s go!

On-the-go Action Oriented [RED]

People who LOVE red are thought to be doers who love life to the full and go all out to experience life with their five senses. They are typically described by the following words:

  • Energetic
  • Joyful
  • Adventurous 
  • Competitive
  • Optimists
  • Attention Loving
  • Original
  • Ambitious Dreamers who back their dreams up with action
  • Impatient
  • Impulsive
  • Egotistic
  • Narcissistic 

If you love full-on action or have a love of adventure hidden behind your cool demeanor, here are some kitchen ideas for you 

Source: 1; 2; 3; 4

The Social Butterfly [ORANGE]

If orange is your colour it is believed that you feel a deep need to socialize and be with people. You love people sincerely and need to belong to a group that respects and accepts you. A few words that resonate with your personality are:

  • Easygoing
  • Non-judgemental
  • Not Intense
  • Kind & Warm
  • Optimistic
  • Not Needy
  • Freedom Loving
  • Adventure Loving
  • Extroverted
  • Can be Commitment-Phobic
  • Love to Impress
  • Can be Easily Bored

On a scale of 1 – 10, how orange are you? Depending on where you are on that scale, here are some kitchens that will satisfy your ‘orangeness’

Source: 1; 2; 3; 4

The Sophisticated Perfectionist [YELLOW]

If you have a preference for yellow, colour gurus believe you tend to be a self-sufficient perfectionist who needs logical order and an ability to express your individuality in your everyday life. You are a sophisticated, independent and creative person who loves to inspire new ideas and prefers to socialise within a small circle of friends. Some words that describe you include:

  • Dreamer
  • Focused
  • Fun
  • Exciting
  • Cheerful
  • Sophisticated
  • Worrier
  • Independent
  • Impulsive
  • Logical
  • Analytic

Does this sound like you? Here are 4 kitchens that are calling your name

Source: 1; 2; 3; 4

The Loyal & Dependable Friend [GREEN]

Colour psychologists believe that those of us (me included) who always choose green are loyal, dependable friends (and partners) who have a deep need to love and be loved, to belong and be accepted. We also love to be acknowledge for everyday things we do for others. We are very caring people who sincerely care about the well-being of those in our world and are good at learning new things. Here are few more words/phrases that describe us:

  • Efficient Business Owners
  • Very Open
  • Open Book (i.e. unable to hide feelings)
  • Emotional
  • Sincere (never pretend to be someone we’re not)
  • Empathisers
  • Pleasant Company
  • Supportive
  • Good at Giving Benefit of the Doubt

While colour psychology is not exact science and should be approached with caution, I actually do feel that most of these qualities describe me and I do have a preference for green. Depending on your ‘greenness’, here are four kitchens that might appeal to your soul

Source: 1; 2; 3;

Hey what did you think? Did these nail you? I reckon that a lot of what was used to describe green resonates with me, and I’d love green kitchen 2 in my city home and green kitchen 4 in my country home! 

Coming up next week

  • BLUE
  • PINK

Color Psychology – Wikipedia
Color Psychology : How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors
Forbes – How to use color psychology in business
Your Personality color
Personality colors & meaning of colours


38 Items Summarised into 10 Reasons Why KMART is Attractive

I recently rediscovered KMART. I’m not sure why the retailer wasn’t in my radar for many years – whether it’s because they’ve recently ‘upped’ their designs or whether they’ve been this cool but I just didn’t notice. Anyhow, they’ve certainly got my attention now and here are 38 HOT items condensed into 10 themes that should make it on your wishlist.

1. Copper Crush

Copper Tripod Fan – $69; Stainless Steel Copper Plated Mug $6.00; Terracotta pot $10; Geometric Copper Candle Holder $7

2. Coastal Vibes

2 Tone Side Table $29; Coastal Print Cushion $10; Ladder Shelf Unit $39

3. Calming Naturals

Faux Fur Rug $19; Coffee Table Set $39; Artificial Plant $29

4. Urban Space

Be Happy Canvas $12; Shelving Ladder Unit $29; Wire Coffee Table $19

5. Retro Brekkie

Retro 4 Slice Toaster $39; Retro Cordless Kettle $39; Blue Pyramid Kettle $39; Jeannie White Kettle $39

6. Inspiring Tableware

Melamine Bowls $6; Glass Dinner Bowl $5; Moroccan Pattern Bowl $2.50; Urban Check Mugs $7

7. Vibrant Garden Furniture

Chevron Rug $79; Terracotta Garden Stool $39; Macrame Hanger $5; Oasis bench with planter $39

8. Stunning Kids Decor

Secret Garden Print Comforter Set $20; Cloud Wall Shelf $12; Hat & Coat hanger $16; Bucket Chair $19

9. Brilliant Laundry Solutions

Dipped Laundry Hamper $29; Rechargeable Lint Remover $10; Door Hanging Ironing Board $25; Triple Laundry Hamper $25

10. Happy Pantry Organising

Chrome 3 Tier Shelf $10; Veg Basket $6; Veg Storer set $15; Drawer Trolley $29

Dear Child, It’s not you. It’s me. Love, Mum

Recently I was chatting with a friend about my ‘season’ of stressing out over my first child and stressing said child out in the process.

What I could see – unzipped school bag. unzipped lunch box. food scraps littered throughout her bag. forgetting to do her chores. forgetting instructions I just gave her right now! unzipped lunch bag. unzipped lunch bag. unzipped lunch bag. unfinished lunches. unfinished morning tea. unzipped lunch bag causing unfinished food to spill into her bag.

I was a bit obsessed with the lunch bag OK? But in my defense – zips were created for a reason, right? Right. Everyone knows that. Everyone but my 7yr old. Or so I thought. I was obsessed with how much of a struggle it was for me to prepare her lunch & cut up her fruit because of my busy-working-mom-of-three schedule and so I expected that she would appreciate all my effort and reward me by licking everything up. I was obsessed with how much I juggled the budget & time to do my grocery shopping only for my precious fruit to end up in the bin. I was obsessed with a lot of things.

Well, I had a day off (as I do once a fortnight) and went to pick her up from school. I got there before the last bell so I stood outside her classroom door along with other moms, then I noticed many of the other moms zipping up their kid’s lunch bags and school bags. Oh, hang on…I thought, so I looked around at all the bags and pretty much all of them had unzipped lunch bags and the bags were all unzipped. Then it suddenly dawned on me – it must be a 7yr old thing, not just my 7yr old. It’s a stage! Of course it’s just a stage Nancy! She isn’t just being disobedient or trying to annoy me, they were probably enjoying their lunch breaks, loosing track of time (as I did when I was 7) and once the bell rang they would be rushing back to class. None of them would be thinking, “hey I better zip up my stuff first.” . She was just being a child. And the unfinished lunches? Well, maybe she was just full or didn’t like the food. 
This reminded me of the parenting book I reviewed here on the blog. The authors encouraged parents to distinguish between naughtiness & childishness which would then guide their response to different behaviours. Find the review here

Casting my mind back to how many times I had scolded her about these issues…and how her shoulders would droop afterward sobered me up a bit because I realised I was reprimanding her for being childish not for being naughty! Why didn’t I work this out & why was I so worked up?  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been sort of parenting in isolation. Working parents rarely have time to meet up with other parents to just catch up because even the weekends are busy with extracurricular activities, shopping, cleaning and prepping for the next week. However as a result of being isolated, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the issues we face are unique to us. This has made me realise that it is important for me and my child that I make out time for play dates here and there and also just one-on-one time with other like minded moms to catch up on life, laugh at ourselves, share our challenges and encourage each other. We need to remind each other that we’re not alone, that being a mom is challenging but it’s also normal and that this too shall pass so we should enjoy the enjoyable and be patient with the not too enjoyables. 

I’ve got a new strategy now. Zips not being used? I just patiently wait for her to zip them up when I pick her up. Unfinished fruit? I just ask her to eat them when she gets home if they’re still OK, then I ask her what she would really like for fruit break the next day. Unfinished lunch? Well, I’m still working on that one, but I try to ignore it or say, “that’s OK” when she apologises and make a mental note to check her serving size with her the next day. In summary, I’m trying to breathe in, let go and remind myself that this is just a stage and I should enjoy what I can, reprimand only when it’s appropriate and remember that my kids are just children. 

Over to you – does this strike any cords? Please tell me that it’s not just me, and share what you’ve struggled with and how you’re approaching it. Mwah!

Colour Play Friday – Kelly Green

Do you love deep green but are unsure of how to style and decorate with it? I’ve rounded up a few funky ideas to wet your colour tastebuds.

Start at the front door



WOW up the stairs



I’m loving this lounge room



Or let this typewriter give your study new life



  Leave the walls alone and pick on the dresser



 Still not sure? Experimenting on the kids is always an option



…and… you’re always permitted to do what you like with your nook. It’s YOUR nook!



  However, if you’re seriously risk averse then decor is the way go



  Don’t forget your wardrobe



oh and look at this one… my birthday comes up in November (Hint Hint)



These other colours go along really well with Kelly Green



5 Classic Decorating Styles To Pin On Your Home Idea Board

I loved reading the BHG post on classic decorating trends that are making a come back and I am sharing my top 5. What goes around does indeed come back around which is good because it means that classic fashion as well as decorating styles are always making a come back with a bang! As a lover of everything classic I also love that these styles are not too difficult to replicate. 

Classic Clutter

Classic Clutter;;;;;;

Harpers Bazaar

Harpers Bazaar


Popular in the 60’s and through the 70’s this knotted rope beauty is easy to DIY and can be used to hang potted plants, decorating bowls and anything else you fancy. There are lots of tutorials on Pinterest and Classic Clutter has produced a tutorial for making the chair in the picture if you’re ever after a holiday project. If you’d just rather buy it, they are available on various online stores including Etsy and Ebay. Here’s a link to one from The Block Shop



Brass & Copper

Move away chrome, brass, copper and even gold are making a come back! I love it’s been incorporated in the lighting and stools in this picture. It is also easy to add a bit of brass or copper with your picture frames, mirrors, lamps, vases, faucets & taps. 


Midcentury Style

If your grandparents till have some of these pieces you know what to do. However, if you’re like me and can’t get your hands on your grandparent’s furniture and decor, buzzfeed did a post on where to buy midcentury decor.




I love how bold colours have been tied in to compliment the 1980’s pale pastel colours. 



From geometrics to colour blocks, wallpapers are a game changer when you want to make any room trendy and you can rest easy in the fact that you can easily change it back or to something else when you feel like. 

If going classic is your thing, head over to bhg for more ideas and let me know which of the styles are going on your home inspiration board. 

Love Your Home: Simple Ideas To Make Your Home Pop – Link Round-up

A home you love reaches out and welcomes you as you step through the door. Relaxation, excitement or inspiration are themes you can work into your personal space. Creating a home you love doesn’t mean everything needs to be new or expensive, it just means that your home reflects ‘you’ and is set up to be your haven. I love the decor ideas in the following link round-up.

Get trendy on a budget with these dipped decor from Kmart 
I love the dipped decor which are in vogue at the moment because they bring fun and vibrancy into the room without being overpowering.

Personalise your bathroom or powder room with these super simple ideas from Better Homes & Gardens 
Wallpaper in the powder room;  framed art; shower curtains; re-purposed vanities or a vase of flowers are relatively inexpensive items that can add that extra pop to your space. 

Does your bedroom need a revival? Try these decor ideas from Temple &  Webster

I love how pastel colours bring calm and peace – themes that make for a good night’s sleep. 

Need a home office but think you don’t have enough space? Think again with these tips from a little opulent 
Behind your sofa; tucked away in a box; in a closet or on a wall- there is always a way when there is a will. 

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For The Love of Colour – 5 Ways To Style In Teal

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A mixture of green and blue, Teal is a calming colour when included in your living space because of the way our minds associate it with with sea, holiday and the tropics. Adding pops of colour to our living spaces and our outfits are simple ways to bring excitement and happiness into our world. Here are a handful of ideas on how to work in teal into a colour pallette in a way that will refresh your home and wardrobe.

1) Teal + Beige & Yellows

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2) Teal + Reds { includes Reds, Oranges, Burnt Orange, & Rust)

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3) Teal + Cool Whites and Grays

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4) Teal + Dark Blue, Chocolate & Blacks

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5) Teal + Breezy Pink, Purple, Coral

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8 Inspiring Ways to Decorate With What You Have

Give most people a substantial decorating budget, and they will style to their heart’s content. However, most of the time, we don’t get a substantial budget to play with. Decorating with a $0 budget needs a little bit of creativity and lots of confidence. Dig out what you’ve got and many times you will find that your decorating journey might not need a shopping trip anyway. Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you –

1) Don’t recycle those bottles! Re-purpose similar colored bottles for a stunning display

2) Put those colourful mismatched plates to work!

3) Got frames but no art? Commission kids’ art and boost your kids’ confidence in the process

4) Paint old furniture in a bold new colour

5) Make boring cupboards exciting by lining them with gorgeous wallpaper 

6) Freshen up your kitchen display by getting rid of cupboard doors

7) Bring in those outdoor stools

8) Rescue those posters from storage and display them on a hanger

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5 Ideas for Your Handbag Storage Wishlist

One of the earliest items to make it on a young girl’s wishlist is her very own handbag. It doesn’t matter if her only possession is an empty canvas wallet or a handmade picture from school. Fast forward a couple of years and multiply the handbags by ‘N’ then storing them in a way that makes you 100% happy constitutes a major life crisis. How do you keep them tidied away so that 
a) it’s not a life threatening hazard trying to access them {e.g. piling them on top of somewhere}; 
b) they do not crinkle; and 
c) you can see them all in a way that empowers you to make a well balanced and informed decision on each day’s outfit!

There are so many clever ideas on how to store those precious handbags and here are 5 favorite ones from “Most wanted” to “That’ll do”:

1) In-built closet with vertical glass dividers (I want this in my life…right now)

2) Wooden hook rack

 3) Hanging closet organiser

 I use this one and I love it because it doesn’t take up too much space. Search for them on Ebay for the best price. It will not fit those large Luis Vuitton bags though.

4) Over door organiser.

You need a door for this method. I tried it in my wardrobe but couldn’t get it to work because I wasn’t using a door.

5) Using a lid rack to organise your purses. This is actually brilliant. 

What are your tried and tested ideas for storing your handbags?

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Cover pic;#1;#2;#3;#4;#5.