Monday, December 8, 2014

Hey everyone!
 It's been a looooong time since I've blogged...but I'm back now for some major inspiration. I'm always on the lookout for fresh new designers in Fiji and just recently I came across a great fashion designer named Robert Kennedy. I absolutely loved his designs and did some research on who shot his latest collection because they really stood out to me. I found out who the photographers were through You Tube. Kama Catch Me Photography  is a collaboration of husband and wife team based in Fiji. Their two different backgrounds (Kama is from Fiji and Gitte is from Belgium) fuse together pouring out artistic passion to tell the stories of who they are capturing. I chose to feature their  "Freedom of Expression" shoot as it spoke to me so much. 

Kama Catch Me Photography 
"Freedom of Expression"
The idea behind this shoot was birthed from a complaint we have, which is to encourage future brides to dare to venture off the beaten track. We get that planning a wedding can at times seem like a mountain with a sign post at its base warning you that “Its harder to climb than it looks”, and that with that hesitation it’s probably far easier to be pressured into trends or the influence of peers, past weddings and parents ha ha. But for us we see that Mountain more as an opportunity than a hinderance. We believe that brides should feel free to express themselves and within that expression is where they’ll feel truly liberated. Initially when our Model ‘Leni Tabua’ from VOU dance School turned up, she seemed very shy and even got us doubting whether she could pull of the concept. But as soon as we started shooting she absolutely “Brought It” and within a short space of time we realised that this ‘Freedom of Expression’ was far deeper than just brides feeling Liberated, this was much much more. Leni brought with her a raw, gritty, ballsy and edgy mood which totally flipped us inside out, and our concept on its head!

This was a not just a “climb up the hill to get a glimpse of ‘what could be’ kind of shoot”, this was a WAR CRY, a Battle stance, this was about Women fighting for Recognition, fighting for a voice, fighting for family, fighting for her Liberation from so many chains, voices and doubts that have contained her for so long. 

I have a lot of respect for artists in this case Kama who can express their talents through images that can speak to the soul of a person. Kama's artistic expression through these images really spoke to my soul and inspired me "to dare to venture off the beaten track" 

Vinaka Vakalevu for sharing your brilliant work of art Kama. You guys make me want to get married again haha! Perhaps I will book you for my 10th wedding anniversary in Fiji;) 

So, do me a favor folks go check out their amazing work on their website (beware you will want to get married in Fiji) Instagram and Facebook. And lastly if you or know someone that is planning to have a wedding in Fiji I would HIGHLY recommend them. Book them NOW!

Happy Monday folks! 

Lolomas (love in Fijian) 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hi everyone!
Hope your new year is off to a great start. Just wanted to share with you some of my living room inspirations. I have a very eclectic taste when it comes to my "style".  Overall, I always want my living room space to be very welcoming, comfortable, functional, and of course happy. Who would want a sad looking space anyways?  I love anything that's from the mid-century era. Bringing mid-century into a space always makes it unique, unpredictable, and sometimes weird which makes a great conversation piece. 

I love color and pattern, and on the other hand I also like a calm, white, neutral space. My hubby and I are extroverts and so are our kids. Two words… High, Energy. We are passionate humans, it's always loud in the house which is why I like the white neutral space to calm things down and then pop with colors either with a big statement piece like a painting and then go crazy with accessories.  

Here is some of my eye candy living spaces that I pinned on my  Pinterest. Come check out my whopping 54 boards. Yes, I'm clearly addicted to Pinterest :)

All of the above pictures are from my Pinterest boards.

Below is where I get a lot of my home inspiration from the incredible Emily Henderson. The lady is just a pure genius when it comes to designing a space. These are her inspirations for her new home.

So there you have it. I want a white, simple, neutral space that pops with bold colorful patterns.  I'm glad I  have a board on Pinterest now to keep me organized or else I'd be a hot mess trying to buy everything. Thank you makers of Pinterest.

So tell me what is your taste when it comes to your living space?

Hope you have a wonderful Monday folks. See you back here soon!

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 

Happy Love Day!