Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our Sofa Story

Hi there!
It's been a while since I last posted. I've been on Instagram a lot and if you'd like to check out more behind the scenes you can follow me @tapaliving.If this is your first time here let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I'm Suzy, born and raised in Fiji now living in Phoenix, Arizona. I have a passion for music, South Pacific culture, art, mid-century modern design, traveling and my many potted plants that I talk to everyday. kind of. I can't complain, God has blessed me with an amazing life, my main squeeze Luke, who has Jim Carey/Will Ferell's personality and has that hot, gritty, manly, ocean blue eyes look like Russell Crowe.  Ok I'll stop now. We made two beautiful babies Eden (5) and Jude(almost 3).They make me very happy and keep me very busy. I terribly miss Fiji and all that God created in it. The beach, waterfalls, luscious green landscape, the markets, the food and of course the people. I could go on and on... I badly miss it. For now, I'm surrounded by cacti and pokey things that hurt if I walk barefoot in my backyard. BUT regardless of the pokey things and 120 degree summers I must say I am getting use to the desert and appreciating the little things. Like how we have 70-80 degree winters, and the beautiful succulents. ah yes, love me some succulents. 

Ok, enough of me blabbing.  Today I wanna share with you our sofa story. In October Luke and I purchased the Tillary Tufted Sectional(below) from West Elm. Isn't she a beauty?!

When we tested it out at the store we knew that backs were removable because it would provide more lounging space, which was fine. We thought it would be cool to rearrange the sofa in many different ways for entertaining. We did a custom order in performance velvet fabric (great for kids)shadow color. When it arrived, it was like welcoming a new baby without the labor part. BUT then the inevitable happened…..after we rolled, laid and sat on the Tillary we noticed that the backs weren't so sturdy. It kept slipping off of the edge when we sat against it. We tried placing it two inches off of the edge to help it sink into the base. Unfortunately that didn't work because the kids kept pushing or pulling it off. When Luke and I tried to sit against it, it would keep falling back. Design wise it was gorgeous but when it came down to it, it wasn't a functional sofa for our family. I really tried to like it. I really did. But it just wasn't working. I was bummed. really bummed. Not at West Elm but bummed because we should have put some more thought into it and realistically thought about how functional it would be for our family. It was like a big "loser" "DUH" sign ran across my forehead at that moment. So thats the sad part of the sofa story. Now onto the happy ending. 

To make long story short, the folks at West Elm were so nice enough to let us exchange our sofa(that NEVER happens for a custom order)so I was VERY VERY grateful that they did that. Thank you so much Laura from West Elm Scottsdale!  

After a few nights of "pinteresting" research, Luke and I decided  on what we wanted. I had seen this sofa a few months back on Emily Henderson's blog (one of my favorite interior designers) When I saw it again on her blog I knew it was the one. She had produced and designed Orlando Soria's living room and there she was, the beautiful and cuddly Dunham Sofa in performance velvet fabric, ink blue color. I was in love. Not in love like with my main squeeze in love, but pretty darn close to it. Here she is. Yep take it all in. She's one hot sofa.    

What I love about this sofa is it's modern lines, down filled cushions and lets not forget it's got a back that the  kids can't remove no matter how many times they try to kick it off. 

It will take about 8-10 weeks to arrive and I will patiently wait for it like my kids on Christmas morning. When she does arrive I'll be posting my Dunham up like Kim Kardashian posts selfies.  

What about you, do you have any sofa stories to share? Made any bad sofa choices that had a happy ending? I'm sure glad mine had a happy ending, or I'd be sitting on my floor right now drinking my earl grey tea miserable. Now that wouldn't be a good way to end 2013 would it? nope, not one bit. Thank you Lord, Luke and West Elm for making my sofa dreams come true. Amen. 

I hope you and yours have a safe new years eve and a very Happy 2014! 

With love

Friday, October 25, 2013

Coconut Banana Pancakes

Hey everyone,
I made some delicious coconut banana pancakes this morning and wanted to share it with you all.  I made some adjustments because I didn't  have all the ingredients like nutmeg(which you really don't need anyways) and instead of shredded coconut I just added coconut oil. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract, you can't go wrong with that! I drizzled it with organic maple syrup and voila it was sooo good that my kids and hubby inhaled it;)

You can find the full recipe on   "One Hungry Mama"'s  blog.  

Have a wonderful weekend friends!
Suzy xo

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Obsession Over Mid-Century Chairs



As you can clearly see I'm a little(ok maybe a lot) obsessed over mid-century chairs. I love how they are uniquely designed and stand out amongst the more traditional chairs. I'm also drawn to them because growing up in Fiji I remember having these chairs at home and at school. These chairs DO NOT come cheap so when I'm thrifting or scouting local stores around town I'm always on the lookout. Luckily a couple of months ago I found 4 of them at Goodwill!! I about fell over and died when I saw them in the corner saying "take us home Suzy"!  And you wont believe how much they were.... you ready??..... $4 a piece baby SCORE!!!! I can't even describe the feeling when I can find things $100 dollars less than their retail price! Thank you Jesus!! 
They definitely need a lil TLC. With a little sanding and paint they will be perfect for my Tapa Living dining room! I'll be sure to share before and after pics when I'm done with this project.  

What kind of chairs do you like?? mid-century, traditional, modern or a mix?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Green House Photo Shoot

Being an island girl in the desert gets hard sometimes because I miss the ocean & the rich green forest I had surrounding me growing up. So when I came across this green house at Bakers Nursery it was the perfect location for a Tapa Living shoot. It was a lil bit of Fiji in the desert. I'm a simple girl, just leave me around plants and flowers and I'm content. Now all I need is the beach, I cant wait to go this summer!

All of the headbands and flower crowns were DIY's. I'll be posting up tutorials soon. You wont believe how easy & cheap they were to make!

The lovely and talented lady that took all these photos was Leah of Leah Hope Photography.  She's amazing to work with, super chill(my kinda girl) and is open to creative ideas(again my kinda girl:). If you live in the Phoenix Metropolitan area I would highly recommend her and plus, I don't think anyone can beat her incredible rates!;)

My makeup was done my friend Rebecca Bond Turner who owns A-Z artistry. Girlfriend has mad skills! Go check her out!

Thank you for stopping by & have a beautiful day my friends!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coconut Cupcakes for Valentines Day!

Topper- Twigs were cut out from branches outside(thanks to my sister Joana;) and those cute Valentine printables were free from Party Box Designs!
Joana and I enjoying our cupcakes with milo yum! 

1 1/2 cups of flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon or lime zest (outer skin) 
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk(I used the Silk brand from Safeway)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar icing or powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of coconut milk if needed 
2 cups shredded coconut(can use sweetened or unsweetened)

Twigs from outside 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees  and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest 
In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Then,with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until combined.
Evenly fill the 12 muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake just comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. With a knife or spatula, spread frosting on each cupcake. Garnish with coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, shredded or flaked). These cupcakes are best the day they are made but they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Cream Cheese Frosting:In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and well blended. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar.Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy and of spreading consistency (about 3 minutes). Add a little coconut milk if frosting is too thick.
Makes 12 cupcakes

Thank you Joy of Baking for this delicious recipe and Party Box Designs for the free Valentines Day Printables
And a very special thanks to Leah Hope Photography for capturing all of these lovely pictures! For more info & bookings visit her at leahhopeblog.com 

Happy Love Day!  


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pacific Bling with Purpose

I am always on the lookout for unique pieces of jewelry, so when I came across Maryann Talia Pau's work, I was in awe to say the least! Maryann has been weaving jewelry for the last 14 years and her work has landed her into the Australian Art & Design scene. But what really strikes me about Maryann is that she has used her skills to empower people in her community. She started a project called "One Million Stars To End Violence" after hearing about a violent death in her community.  Maryann responded and did what she did best... weaving.  She has gathered people from her community and around the globe to weave one million stars! And if you think you cant weave(myself included) don't worry she has set up a step by step guide to get your Star WEaving underway!

All photos above are from Maryann's website.