Friday, May 31, 2013

Searching For Pre-Loved Pieces...

With two little ones under the weather, it's been a fairly low-key few days in our household this week. We did manage a quick visit to Ikea yesterday to collect our 'finally in stock bookcase doors' for our home office / guest bedroom makeover, as well as a drive to our favourite riverside spot on Wednesday to soak up the sunshine and break that house-bound feeling.  However, the rest of our week has been rather quiet.

I've been continuing to slowly plough through my 'autumn action list' as well as doing my best to stay warm on these chilly nights in front of the fireplace, cup of tea in hand and laptop by my side, browsing on Gumtree and Etsy for some pre-loved items I'm hoping to find.  Here's what I'm after...

1.  During 'quiet time' while her little sister naps, Grace often drags a chair into her bedroom as part of her imaginative play.  I've decided that a sweet little cane chair for under her window-sill will be well used and have been hunting for a suitable one for some time now.  

2.  Down the track, I'd like a pretty set of bedside drawers to replace the current ones in Sophie's nursery. A style similar to those above, able to be freshened up with a coat of glossy white paint would be perfect...

3.  In Grace's bedroom, the play kitchen she received for her second birthday is used daily. For Sophie's room, which is gradually changing from a nursery to more of a toddler space, I'd also like a play corner. I'd desperately love to find a wooden doll's house that I can transform with a combination of minty green and white paint.  The sweet one above is a spruced-up Gumtree find, beautifully made-over by fellow blogger Bianca.

4.  When I visit secondhand or antique stores, I immediately head for the crockery section on the look out for cute vintage dishes, utensils and pretty tea cups and saucers.  The style and colour of the cafe au lait bowl above is gorgeous and the type of piece I would definitely scoop up.

5.  We already have a lovely antique Bentwood chair sitting in our entryway, but I'm now after a second one for our home office, something that can double as a spare seat as well as a bedside table of sorts and a piece that will bring some warmth to the room.  

What do you hunt for in secondhand shops?  Are you currently searching for any pre-loved pieces?

Image sources: #1  Roses Upcycled / #2 Melissa Esplin (I Still Love You) 
#3 Bianca (A Little Delightful) / #4 Petits Details on Etsy / #5 Lily & Bramwell

Sunday, May 26, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie: Our little one has always been very dramatic when it comes to facial expressions... her eyes alone give away so much. This 'oooh' mouth is a common way she gestures shock or surprise, usually accompanied by a sweet little 'uh oh' or 'nook!' (look)...

Grace: I had visions of a backyard photo shoot today with Grace, soaking up the glorious sunshine and pottering in the garden together... and then, she was suddenly struck down with a fever and our poor poppet has since spent the day on the couch sleeping while I've sponged her forehead and taken her temperature at regular intervals, willing it to drop and for her spritely self to return.

And so I accepted that this week, one of my portraits would be missing, until I found the photo above. Taken a few days ago by Grace herself when she asked to have a play with the point and shoot camera, she unintentionally managed a silhouette self portrait of her first session 'playing photographer'.

Joining in with Jodi

Friday, May 24, 2013

Capturing The 'Now'

Lately, I've been more conscious than ever of documenting our daily life and 'capturing the now' as much as I can. Time is passing far too quickly for my liking and I find myself wishing for a way to pause this stage somehow, to bottle up all the characteristics of our two little ones at the ages they are and to savour all of the small, precious moments that occur day in and day out in our household.

Over the week just gone, I made sure my camera was close by...

These two followed each other around constantly as usual - I love the way they are side by side in this photo, with the same thing capturing their attention.

Our much loved camellia has provided such a magnificent display again. A carpet of pink petals surrounds its base like a tree skirt with even more flowers covering the branches and glossy green leaves. I've come to think of it as the 'birthday bush', providing a spectacular show year after year when Grace's birthday arrives, reminding me of that precious day four years ago when we brought her home from hospital, welcomed by this same sight.

The girls have had much enjoyment using a box of chalk Grace received for her birthday, sitting out in the sunshine, enjoying the warmth as they drew away side by side... I smiled as I walked past our bore and found their 'artwork'.

At grocery shopping, a new toothbrush was bought for Sophie, which she insisted on carrying home in the car and kept clutched in her hand for most of the morning. After tea however, as I went to brush her teeth, it was nowhere to be found. I searched the house high and low, thinking of every potential hiding spot. It wasn't until the following day that I noticed it had been poked into the fridge door.

I felt such a strong feeling of deja vu as I looked up to see Sophie drawing away at the kitchen table while I prepared breakfast one morning this week, the light streaming in softly behind her. I immediately thought back to this photo of Grace taken last year.

Yet another reminder of how fast the years are passing...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Autumn Action List

When we were on holidays in Denmark, I delved into Sara Avant Stover's book 'The Way Of The Happy Woman' and spent many nights curled up by the fire, deep in thought, taking in her wisdom.  While I'm already more than happy with my life, I mulled over little changes I want to make to our family rhythm, to bits and pieces I want to incorporate into our daily life and of memories and moments I want to do my utmost to cherish.  I dreamt of simplifying our days even more, of looking for little ways to improve our already healthy diet even further and of getting our albums and other forms of  'memory keeping' up to date.  I pictured afternoons spent soaking up the sunshine while pottering in the garden, of rainy days spent inside continuing to craft and of opportunities to teach my big girl more and more skills as her kindergarten journey progresses.  I realised the importance of carving out some more 'me time' and regular exercise in order to nurture myself and to help me be the best wife and mother I can be.

Returning home however and with reality setting in, I feel as though there's a huge chasm between where I want to be and where I currently am... with a multitude of obstacles and 'to-dos' hampering my efforts to make these lifestyle changes.  I know that before I can invest the energy in mindfully making small lifestyle changes, I need to tackle a mounting list of tasks before me first.

And so, setting ideals aside momentarily, I made another list of all the things bugging me and jobs which I've been putting off time and time again.  Things such as stocking and organizing our pantry, replanting our vegetable patch in preparation for winter, backing up our photos and wading through a back-log of an email inbox were all jotted down one after another.  Some of these items I highlighted for their sense of urgency, others found their way onto a list of future less vital 'to-dos'.

Aimed with my autumn action list, I've been far more productive.  As we've settled back into our post-holiday normality, over the past few weeks, in between the daily chores, meal preparations and playing with my girls, I've been conscious of my dilly-dallying and have been slowly crossing off these niggling tasks (mainly during nap time on kindy days).  Last week alone, I managed to stock-up our supplies and re-organize our pantry, made a dent in sorting through my online files of haphazardly saved photos and sorted through our laundry cupboards.    

With winter fast approaching, I'm hoping that soon, I'll feel more in control and more organized... and that come June, I'll be able to sit in front of the fire on chilly nights and enjoy the delightful feeling of hibernation that the colder months brings... not only dreaming of all the little things I want to try, but satisfied that I've actually made some of them happen...

Sorry for the belated giveaway winner announcement... was a busy birthday weekend.  All names were put into a bowl and Paul was given the honour of drawing out the winner who was... Katrina of Capturing Moments. Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you to all of you who support this little blog of mine...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Grace's 4th Birthday Party

Grace's birthday party on the weekend was a lovely, small celebration.  No stress and no fuss but fun-filled and happy nonetheless.

A few weeks back, I sat down with my big girl to discuss her cake.  Thinking she would choose a novelty one, I was surprised when her choice turned out to be a simply decorated cake, iced in her favourite colour... orange.  And so, orange became the focus for a simple birthday celebration. I designed an invitation for her while she sat with a handful of envelopes and painted bright blooms on all of them. Pearly orange balloons were bought, along with a bunch of beautiful deep peach-coloured roses and party favour bags were decorated by Grace with flowers drawn on the front.

Waking on Saturday, the air was chilly and the sky overcast.  Sipping my tea in front of our fireplace, glancing out the window, I feared our party would have to be an indoors one.  However, we decided to chance things and in the end, the clouds cleared up and we were welcomed by blue skies and sunshine... perfect morning tea weather and ideal for little ones to be able to run around our backyard.

Being a small celebration, we didn't organize any games.  Much fun was had instead playing 'What's The Time Mr Wolf?' and riding around on bikes and scooters.  When I asked Grace what the highlight of her party was, she told me it was being able to play with her cousins.

The birthday cake itself was an orange cake, decorated in Fruit Tingle buttercream.  Pastel-hued, crushed-up Fruit Tingles were dotted throughout the icing, giving it a scrumptious sherbet-kick.

On Saturday night, as I looked back over photos from Grace's party, I realised how often, it is the simple, good old- fashioned get-togethers that are the best... not too overwhelming for little ones, not too big to cater for food wise and not too much to have to organize... and from a child's perspective, so long as there is cake, good company and goodie bags, that's all that matters...

Saturday, May 18, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Grace: The birthday girl at her party. Four candles for our big four year old.

Sophie: Five weeks ago, it was all about the sailor's hat. This week, it's been all about beaded necklaces and bracelets. Several times, I've caught her standing on a chair to reach Grace's jewellery box and steal a piece or two. Making her part with what she's 'borrowed' has not been easy.

Joining in with Jodi

This week, I was in awe of Steph's golden-hued photo of her sweet Bijou and Anna's clever silhouette of darling Sage.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grace At Four

Today is our sweet Grace's fourth birthday. Waking with the sun, we sat by the warmth of our fireplace and showered her with cuddles, presents and birthday wishes.  Us three girls enjoyed morning tea at Grace's cafe of choice followed by a long play at the park in the sunshine.

In true mama fashion, I spent much of the day thinking about the four years that feel as though they've passed in the blink of an eye and about how much my heart bursts with love and pride for our 'Gracie girl'.

As I did last year, here is a letter I've written, a few snapshots from the past twelve months and a little birthday interview...

My beautiful girl,

You have blossomed into such a sweet-natured, caring little poppet who is a delight to spend time with and whose happy spirit and gentleness make you such a 'Grace'.  Physically, you are tall and slender with a whisper of a waist, long limbs and delicate features.  Your hair is long now, long enough for braids and you proudly declare how much it's grown every time you brush those silky curls.

You are a girl with confidence and enthusiasm, yet a shy side around strangers.  You have a nurturing heart and a sensitive soul... an over-thinker whose little mind ticks away over the world's workings and your niggling concerns.  Outdoors, you are most content pottering about - picking flowers, making 'cakes' in the sand patch and mothering Asha.  Afternoons are spent whizzing about on your scooter or bike and having adventures with Sophie who you've quickly learnt listens to your every word and copies your every move.  Indoors, you draw and colour and craft away, practising your newly learnt writing skills and dressing up your stuffed toys with ribbons and hair clips and dolls' clothes.

I'm often amazed by the kindness your little four year old self displays. The other day I found you unstacking the dishwasher before we left for kindy, telling me you were doing so because "then you'll have more time to play with Sophie".  This morning, you emptied out your money box wanting to give Daddy a handful of your coins after he'd jokingly remarked he was in need of some cash.  If I ever use a stern voice with your mischievous sister, you chime in protectively with, "But Mummy, don't forget she's still a baby".  

Recently, as we were driving in the car you asked me,

"How long will I be grown-up?"
"A long way away," I said, "After you've been to school and high school, then you'll be a grown-up".
There was pause as you thought about things...
"But Mummy, will you still be my Mummy when I'm grown up?" you asked, the concern obvious from the tone of your voice.
I reassured you with, "Of course.  I'll always be your Mummy.  Forever."

... I'm so very blessed to be able to say you're eternally mine...

All my love,

1.       What is your favourite colour?    I really like orange and gold, that's my favourite colour

2.       What is your favourite toy?   Baa Baa       

3.       What is your favourite fruit?    Rockmelon

4.       What is your favourite TV show?   Peppa Pig's my favourite show

5.       What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?   Vegemite and cheese sandwich

6.       What is your favourite outfit?   Normally, a pretty flower dress

7.       What is your favourite game?   Drawing

8.       What is your favourite snack?   Berry bars

9.       What is your favourite animal?   Guinea pigs

10.   What is your favourite song?   'Incy Wincy Spider' and 'I Can Sing A Rainbow'

11.   What is your favourite book?   'Numbers'

12.   Who is your best friend?   Sienna and Emily

13.   What is your favourite cereal?  Just Weetbix and porridge

14.   What is your favourite thing to do outside?   Ride my scooter

15.   What is your favourite drink?   Juice

16.   What is your favourite holiday?   Denmark

17.   What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Baa Baa 

18.   What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?   Weetbix

19.   What is your favourite thing Mummy makes you for tea?    Pasta

20.   What do you want to be when you grow up?   A swimming teacher

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I've struggled to write or to drag out the camera this week. Falling back into our normal rhythm after such a long period of living in a holiday-like existence has thrown me out completely. Combined with settling back into the kindy routine, several days of continuous heavy rain and a household of sniffly-nosed little ones, and my enthusiasm for photography has been lacking.

Today however was different. I was greeted in bed by our two darling girls, rugged up in their dressing gowns, carrying gift bags, kindy creations and breakfast in bed. We enjoyed morning tea in the sunshine with my Mum and the remainder of the day has been slow and simple, just the way I like it and perfect for taking a few candid snapshots...

"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Grace: I smiled to myself as I watched this little 'princess' sip her chamomile tea... a ritual that I love we can share together now that she's acquired the taste for a cuppa

Sophie: Flushed cheeks, red ears and still feeling a bit under the weather

Joining in with Jodi

To all my fellow mothers out there, I hope your day has been filled with many cuddles, a touch of pampering and precious time spent with loved ones...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Little Giveaway

The lovely Mango Frooty print I shared with you all a few weeks back has since been ordered and framed and is now sitting in our bedroom waiting to be put up, as soon as I decide which wall is going to best showcase this piece. I can't tell you how happy I am with my new watercolour beauty and also with the timber frame I had envisaged for it all along.    

It's been a while since I've held a giveaway, so as a thank you to all you lovely readers who take the time to visit this space of mine and leave such thoughtful comments, I have ordered a second A4 sized print just like the one above for one of you to win. It will be unframed, leaving you free to finish it off as you wish.

To enter, you must be a follower of Homely One and all I ask is that you leave a comment below before 5pm (Perth time) on the 17th May.

Good luck!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week every week in 2013"

Sophie:  Windswept hair, running free in the salty sea breeze at Margaret River... loving not being confined to a car seat or stroller

Grace:  Giggling and grinning and happy as always

Joining in with Jodi

Friday, May 3, 2013

One Final Trip... The Little Things

With the days passing by and Paul's and Grace's holidays coming to an end, on Monday we decided to take off on one last family holiday, this time journeying just under three hours south to Yallingup.

Back home last night as I reflected on our days away, I thought about how it hasn't been the sights we've seen or the towns we've visited that have been the highlights of this trip... it's been the little things that have made me smile that I want to remember from our time spent together...

...Grace 'carrying' Sophie in the pram with her arms wrapped tightly around her belly on the walk to visit the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse ...the four of us sharing creme brulee in front of the open fireplace at Caves House ...Grace's excitement at discovering kangaroos sitting on the firebreak behind the house where we were staying ...Sophie's fear of the fibreglass cow sculptures at Cowaramup ...sitting at the lookout watching the surfers brave the mammoth swell while Grace and Sophie chased one another on the lawn and giggled away beside us ...Grace picking flowers for me as she explored the gardens around our house on her scooter ...Sophie clip clopping around after her big sister in her new purple gumboots ...running through the rain hand in hand with my big girl, trying hard not to get too wet ...exploring Mammoth Cave, saturated after being caught in the downpour ...watching the frogs appear in the puddles outside our lounge room...

All precious little moments and memories.

Once upon a time, our holidays were all about relaxation, shopping, sight-seeing and experiencing good food. Now our holidays are a combination of early dinners, cosy nights in, endless snacks to keep little ones happy, impromptu adventures and plenty of laughter... and I wouldn't have it any other way.