Tuesday, October 29, 2013


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

Sophie: Trying her hardest to blow out the candles on her birthday cake (this caterpillar creation was a near disaster when I forgot to put the eggs into the first batch of cupcakes I made).  She was a bit overwhelmed by all the faces at her birthday dinner, but very excited when it was 'cake time'... I still can't believe my baby is two!

Grace: My sweet girl was such a help over the weekend when Paul was away down south. When I got out of the shower on Sunday morning, she ran excitedly down to my room, telling me proudly that she had made her bed to help me out.

Joining in with Jodi

Christina's two cuties were among my favourite photos this week as well as Amber's sweet poppets...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Rhythm Of Our Days: Sunday Breakfast Treat

A sleep-in is hoped for on Sundays, yet never eventuates.  Two little girls wake and with giggles, pitter patter down to our room, one usually dressed as a fairy, the other with a doll or stuffed toy tucked firmly under her arm.  We linger in bed for longer than usual - there are snuggles, tickles and endless chatter.

Occasionally as a treat, we drive to our favourite little cafe for breakfast.  Our order rarely changes... three serves of poached eggs (one with bacon on the side), juice or hot chocolate for the girls, an iced coffee for Paul and English Breakfast tea for me.  Grace and Sophie keep themselves busy colouring in, drawing or playing a simple game like memory while we wait for our order (or the occasional Peppa Pig episode on Paul's phone if our little one is in an impatient mood).  We are never disappointed with our meals, leaving with full bellies after a delicious feed.

A breakfast outing is never complete without a play in the park afterwards.  Sophie is fearless now, following her big sister on all the equipment, launching herself down the tallest slide without the slightest hesitation.  A favourite is always the sand wheel which sees a joint effort to fill the bucket and set it spinning round and round to the delight of both girls.

We take a few detours as we make our way home.  Sometimes we follow the river and admire the boats and the people out on the water.  Other times we head around to the south mole, looking out at ships on the horizon or stormy seas splashing against the rocks.  Occasionally there is a stop at Bunnings if there are jobs to be done around the house or at an antique shop for me to have a quick browse if the girls are happy and able to be kept occupied for a tad longer.

Breakfast out as a family of four is never effortless or entirely relaxing with lots to bring 'just in case', little ones to keep occupied and two-year old tantrums to try and avert.  However, whenever we do make the effort to go out, we always arrive back home with our day starting on a lovely note - with us enjoying quality family time together with good food and simple pleasures...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sophie's Second Birthday

Today is a happy day in our household as it is Sophie's second birthday.  This past year has seen our little one go from baby-faced bub to toddler to little girl...

My darling poppet,

The past year since your first birthday has been such a fun-filled and precious one.  There have been many milestones to celebrate, many sad 'lasts' and many exciting 'firsts... lots of changes, each one of which has made me wish I could slow down time just a little bit and stop you growing quite so fast.

However, as your babyhood has faded away and you've become a little girl, you've blossomed into such a character... a character we all love more and more every day.  You are strong-willed and fiery and prone to the odd tantrum.  But you are also oh-so-lovable and affectionate, showering us with cuddles, kisses and endless "I wuv you' phrases.  You are sweet and caring, have beautiful manners and your speech is very advanced.  You are animated and expressive with a cheeky streak that sees you often up to mischief... and just as you were as a chubby faced baby, you are still a such a happy soul with an infectious smile that brightens up our days and makes us love you all the more as each new day arrives.  You truly have completed our family.

Every night as I tip-toe into your room to check on you, I look down at your precious little face resting on your pillow and I remember fondly back to all those nights I tucked you into your bassinette as a baby... and as I creep back to my own bed, I think about how blessed I am to be your Mummy and how grateful I am that you are mine.

All my love on your second birthday... xx

Saturday, October 19, 2013


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

Grace: Just like back at the beginning of the year, she was in heaven when I let her look through my wedding gown box during a recent afternoon of wardrobe re-organisation.  This time, there was not only my veil to try on, but also high heels embellished with diamantes and a sparkly necklace.  The look of excitement on her face was priceless.

Sophie: My little poppet grazed her knee tripping over in the car park on Tuesday.  After tears and mama cuddles, she sobbed, 'sorry Mummy', followed by 'Mummy no touch my knee, no touch my knee Mummy,' over and over and over the whole ride home.  Eventually, she let me dab some ointment on it, but I was reminded to 'stay clear of her wound' many more times that day...

Joining in with Jodi

Audrey peering out the window at her Dadda and this sweet 'welcome home' for Papa both captured my heart this week...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Leisure Time This Week...

Our week so far has been a nice easy, relaxed one which has seen Grace return to kindergarten for her final term and us ease back into our normal pace and weekly rhythm.  There's been a picnic lunch at our favourite riverside location, lots of cooking and crafting and some snippets of leisure time amongst the usual day-to-day happenings of keeping house.  Here's a few things that I've been enjoying in those moments of free time...

Reading... over the past few weeks, as I've sat down with my cuppa at night, relaxing on the couch, I've been working my way through Kelly Doust's most recent book 'The Crafty Minx At Home'. Filled with photos of beautifully styled homely nooks and creative projects, it has drawn me in with its abundance of inspiration as well as seen me nodding along in support of many of Kelly's thoughts. I was especially fond of the following line...

"I like to think of this gradual life's work process of home editing as domestic curating".

Gardening... yesterday, while Sophie napped, Grace and I pulled out most of our vegetable patch in preparation for a new batch of seedlings to be planted on the weekend.  This corner of our backyard has really come along in the past year.  My herb patch has flourished, the tiny passion-fruit vine we put into the ground last October has well and truly taken off and the lettuces which self-seeded themselves have provided us with all we've needed over the past few months.  Grace and I also cleared another section of garden underneath our lily-pily tree to be a 'cut flower garden' where we've sprinkled some zinnia seeds and hope to add some more colourful beauties.

Researching... if I can get myself organised and actually decide on a date and make some invitations, I'm hoping to host another Pink Ribbon Day fundraiser this year.  However, with Sophie's 2nd birthday close to the official date for doing so, my event will be held in November instead.  I'm thinking of something smaller scale, high tea style and in my 'online time', have been searching for food and decorating inspiration.

What have you been doing in your leisure time over the past week?

Last photo taken by my friend Lyndell at my last Pink Ribbon Day fundraiser

Sunday, October 13, 2013


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

Sophie: Those curls, blue eyes and sweet face... my darling poppet is growing up and has become such a little girl now. I can't believe that in just over a week, she will be two.

Grace: Doing a spot of interior decorating in the dolls house.  Her 'new' fairy dress has been worn almost every day this week after my Mum found it at a recent garage sale.  Anything 'fairy' is an instant winner with Grace and with this piece also being her favourite colour, it has been a much loved costume indeed... until yesterday afternoon when it got caught in the spokes of her bicycle wheel... I have a spot of mending ahead of me today...

Joining in with Jodi

Bron's gorgeous shot of Badoo was one of my stand outs from last week (and quite possibly one of my favourite shots of hers ever).  I also loved Catherine's clever rear vision mirror composition...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Rhythm Of Our Days: Non-Kindy Quiet Time

The hours following lunchtime are ones I always look forward to both for the peaceful ambiance that transcends upon our household and for the precious one on one time it allows me with my big girl on non-kindy days.

Once lunchtime is over, faces and hands are washed and both little girls retreat to their bedrooms for naptime/quiet time.  Sophie clutches her 'baby' (doll), stuffed lamb and Peppa Pig toy in her arms and insists on us both cradling one of them while singing 'rock a bye baby' together before I tuck her into bed. Grace keeps herself busy drawing and creating, dressing Barbie Dolls or playing with her stuffed toys.  I immediately flick the kettle on and make a cuppa, sitting in front of the computer as I sip whilst browsing blogs, checking email or editing photos.  A quietness washes over the house as we all recharge.

Not long after I've finished my tea, Grace comes to find me, emerging from her room wearing a plethora of dress-up costumes of varying colours and styles.  She is eager to spend time with me and knowing next year, we will no longer have this opportunity when she is at pre-primary, I am more than willing to oblige. We take our vintage copy of The Enchanted Wood outside and sit in the sunshine as I read aloud to her, throwing the ball to Asha every now and then as she drops it in front of our book, desperate for a play mate.  Sometimes, we follow our reading sessions with a tea party.  Other times we work on a sticker book together or play a game.  If I have a load of washing to hang out, I have a keen helper.  If Grace has a task to complete for kindy, I'll help her out.  These simple moments together are ones I've come to treasure.  

Our quietness comes to an end when a little voice can be heard calling out from her room, "Mummy open door!... Gacie, open door!" and then, we ready ourselves for afternoon tea and the few hours left until Daddy comes home....

Sunday, October 6, 2013


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

Grace:  The first week of kindy holidays has been a lovely balance of small outings and slow-paced days at home for her.  After lunch today, she followed Paul around outside as he did jobs in the yard and garden, taking the blooms from the shrubs which had been pruned and placing them delicately among the bare branches of our deciduous tree...

Joining in with Jodi

Stella at the park, toddling after a handful of ducks and her sweet mama's baby bump were my favourite photos from last week...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Evolution Of A Family Garden

When we bought and moved into our house eight and half years ago, the garden was already well established and the lawn lush and perfectly kept.  And while it was neat and tidy and visually pleasing, gradually, changes were made here and there to make it more us.  As we pulled out shrubs past their used-by date, straggly day-lilies and overgrown daisies, we began to have more of an idea of our vision. Old woody roses gave way to Double Delight and Iceberg varieties.  A mish-mash of cottage style plants was replaced by a row of ornamental plums, lavender bushes and a Poinciana tree.  An abundant but awkwardly placed herb garden was relocated and an adjacent sandy patch of yard turned into a sweet little vegetable plot.  

For the past few years, there's been much waiting... waiting for things we'd planted to take off and to fill in gaps... to grow so that they looked as though they had been there all along... to look like what we'd envisaged from day one. Finally, after several years, lots of planning and much hard work, we're feeling closer to that point.  As I hang out washing, I smile at the Cottonwood Hibiscus bushes which in under a year, are already peeking over our fence.  While I am sipping a cup of tea at the kitchen table, I look proudly out the window at our lemon tree, the branches of which are currently weighed down with an abundance of fruit. I pull into our driveway greeted by a show of pink roses, with blooms bigger and brighter than any year to date.

Gradually, as well as changing visually, our garden has evolved to suit not only our taste, but also our needs. Nowadays, with two little ones running around, it has come to feel like another 'room' in our house. It is where sandcastles are built and 'cakes' are baked in the sand patch... where fairy gardens are tended to and imaginations run wild... where Asha is cuddled and shown affection.  I love that I find garden gnomes hidden among the lettuce leaves in the vegetable patch and flowers poked optimistically into bare patches of earth in the hope they will grow. Paths are covered in chalk drawings. Balls and gumboots and watering cans lie on the lawn.

Our garden looks not only more established, but 'lived in' and enjoyed and much more like a family garden...