Friday, October 31, 2014

Sophie's 3rd Birthday Party

Last Friday night, while I was at the kitchen bench, surrounded by blue icing, trying to create Sophie's birthday cake, Paul walked past and remarked, "Why are you going to all this trouble for just six kids?"

I muttered something about him being a party pooper, that small simple gatherings were the best ones and that I wasn't going overboard anyway...  I had no reservations whatsoever that what we had planned would turn out perfectly...

Sophie's party was a lovely little celebration of close family and friends. There were decorations which the birthday girl herself helped make, old-style games (a treasure hunt, pass the parcel and musical statues), party bags for the children (Sophie potato stamped a fish design onto each one and helped choose treats like notepads and pens and stickers to fill them with) and of course, cake... crucial elements of a successful birthday party from a little one's perspective.

Come Sunday night, we all in agreed that keeping things low key had been easier to run and much more enjoyable and most importantly, our little three year old definitely loved her special day.

I've never been one for huge, over-the-top parties (and judging by the way Sophie gets overwhelmed by big crowds, I think she will take after her mama).  Less elaborate, more intimate get-togethers, celebrating the one day of the year that is purely about our loved ones, is in my eyes truly what counts...

Friday, October 24, 2014

An Interview At Mum's Closet

Today I'm being featured over at the blog Mum's Closet, belonging to a good friend and one of my favourite bloggers, Claire. In her 'Fabulous Females' series, Claire interviews a different lady each week about a variety of topics and I must say, I was very humbled when she asked me to participate.

Claire and I became friends around four years ago through our blogs and both being primary school teachers, with children close in age and sharing many similar views on life, we seemed to 'click' right away. She is such a gem and I appreciate her support, admire her passion for celebrating the positive things in our days and am constantly inspired by her style-filled yet down-to earth posts.

Pop on over to Claire's blog here to read what I have to say about motherhood, blogging, decorating and daily life in our home...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Accepting Imperfection

Last year, as we were passing through Mt Barker on the return journey of our Denmark trip, I called into a few second hand stores for a quick browse and came away with a handful of treasures, including two tiny glasses, perfect for little ones to grasp in chubby hands. At 20c a piece, and reminding me of the glass I always claimed as my own on visits to my grandparent’s house as a little girl, they were even more perfect.

Days later, as the girls were sitting at their little table setting having some lunch, one of them accidentally knocked their glass off the table. It fell to the floor and broke into pieces and I was immediately devastated… devastated that my ‘perfect pair’ of glasses was no more. As I wiped the juice off the floorboards, unfairly chastised the clumsy culprit and swept away the shards of glass, I suddenly realised the ridiculousness of my mindset and my behaviour. Why was having two identical glasses so important to me? Why could I not see the beauty in a collection of mis-matched drinking glasses? What message was I subconsciously portraying?... I vowed then and there to work on being more accepting of imperfection, not only for my sake, but for my girls.

While I constantly let my girls know that ‘things don’t have to be perfect’ and ‘it’s okay to be wrong’, it is the example I am unknowingly setting that has got me thinking. It’s part of my personality to like things ’just so’and to focus on small details. But I am slowly learning to lower my standards, direct my energy towards what really matters and to accept that some things are out of my control (and that often it is best to step back and simply ‘see what happens’). Knowing that nothing is perfect, that mistakes happen, that there are ups and downs and dents and blemishes and that this is more than okay, is a lesson I desperately want my little girls to learn and a way of life I hope they embrace. I don’t want them to be striving for unrealistic standards. I want them to become confident, compassionate, accepting individuals who see the beauty in the imperfect... just as I am slowly beginning to do…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Snippets Of Our Week

Week one of school holidays for us was spent in the country, down south in Denmark. It was such a relaxing week that left me sad (as always) when the time came to head back to the city...

1.  I've often seen female Blue Wrens (the symbol of Denmark) but have only managed to catch glimpses of the showy, blue feathered male... until last Sunday

2.  Grace in a field of dainty flowers (onion weed I think), wearing her 'new' hand-me-down gum boots 

3.  Sweet little seaside daisies appeared everywhere... so very spring-like

4. Sophie absolutely loved the Animal Farm... she was devastated when the time came to leave

5.  Each afternoon while Paul went mountain bike riding, the girls and I would rug up in jackets and boots and explore the 'secret garden' where we were staying... it became a daily ritual and was my most loved part of our time away

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Childhood Memories

One of the loveliest pleasures of motherhood for me has been re-living snippets of my own childhood. Through my girls, I am reminded of sweet outfits my Mum and Nanna made for me, games I used to play, books that captivated my imagination and beloved toys that joined me on my journey as a youngster.  One such toy is a doll, Penny.  Since moving out of home, she remained forgotten at the top of my wardrobe until one day last year when I was having a clear out and Grace discovered her.

"Can I have this doll Mummy?" she asked, clutching her in her arms in the same way I remember doing as a little girl.  I hesitated at first, my once beloved doll seeming a bit precious for play, but then, thinking of her years being tucked away in a box I replied with, "Okay, just be gentle as she's getting a bit old."

Since that afternoon, Penny has been well loved.  She has sat on Grace's bed during school hours and in the evening, been lovingly tucked in beside her with a special little pillow. As I've checked on my girls each night before tiptoeing to bed myself, it has truly warmed my heart seeing Grace's arm wrapped protectively around her 'friend', loving the very same doll from my own childhood.

Recently though, I discovered poor Penny was looking a little worse for wear.  In several places, due to her age and years of being 'well loved', her fabric was beginning to wear out.  Seams were opening, stuffing was poking through and there were sections where the material was threadbare and thinning and where discoloration was starting to show. Penny's days were sadly beginning to look numbered and beyond a simple patch-up job, so we've had to hunt for a replacement doll which we've fortunately found and ordered (and whose arrival we're now eagerly awaiting).

I hope that one day, Grace's 'new Penny' is a piece of her childhood she too can pass on to her children.  And that just like me, she will do so remembering lovingly and with fondness her own days growing up...

Do you have any toys of your own you have kept and perhaps been fortunate enough to pass on to another generation?

On a side note, this post from a bit more than a year ago shows Grace in exactly the same dress... 
I was rather shocked to see how much her face has changed in that length of time...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Simple Pocket Money System

Over the past few months, we've introduced a very simple pocket money system for our girls, a way to help them begin learning about earning and saving and spending (in a basic way) and to be responsible for a handful of small chores that contribute to family life in our home.

A chart displaying daily responsibilities is pinned up in our kitchen and a completed chore earns the girls a colourful felt ball in their pocket money jars (which they keep safely guarded in their bedrooms). In the mornings, Grace and Sophie feed Asha her biscuits and put away the clean cutlery from the dishwasher.  After school, I now have help unpacking groceries, watering pot plants, helping sort laundry that has come off the washing line and the table is set ready for our dinner... all are quick and easy jobs for little ones to help with.  And while I often have to hunt through the pantry that bit longer in search of a particular ingredient or find my socks and underwear in the wrong drawers, it makes me smile to see the satisfaction my girls get from helping.

Come Sunday evening, felt balls are excitedly counted, each one earning ten cents.  Coins are then transferred to purses (kept on a high shelf in Sophie's case away from temptation's reach) where the girls keep the money they are saving for special items they hope to buy.

Our pocket money system is super simple, but for us at this point, it is working beautifully...

With our system, pocket money is not given for behaviour and is only allocated for the completion of jobs.
Responsibilities that are simply part of being members of our household do not earn money (eg. packing away toys, keeping bedrooms tidy...)  
It is up to the girls whether they complete their jobs but they know that no job equals no pay.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Welcoming Spring

The end of winter and the past few weeks have seemed to pass by in a blur of head colds, housebound days and irritability (from all family members).  We've ticked over into spring and yet have only been treated to sunshine and warmth on the odd day here and there.  Cloudy skies, lingering low temperatures and rain have been the norm.  But lately, especially today, I've felt winter's grip beginning to loosen... there's a change in the air, a change I for one am eagerly awaiting.  As much as I love winter and its cosiness (and know that I'll be wishing for cooler weather once the heat sets in and our garden begins to feels its effects), my body is definitely craving some sun and warmth.

Spring will see us spend more time outdoors, having riverside picnics and adventures and pottering about in our yard.  There will be a move from soups and cassseroles to salads and warmer weather foods. A family getaway will be had in the south-west.  A party will be planned and a third birthday celebrated.  Projects set aside over the colder months will be brought out again and hopefully completed. Energy levels will pick up and motivation to 'get things done' will slowly return.  This year, I am welcoming spring with open arms.

What are you looking forward to most about spring?      

Our garden has seen an abundance of bird life lately.  It's so lovely to hear them singing to one another during the day.
On Sunday, Paul accidentally startled a barely feathered baby honey eater, who them got himself wedged behind the vegetable garden and fence.
The four of us spent a good half an hour trying to free him and re-unite him with his mother and father.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Placing Importance On Memory Keeping

A little while back, Grace was watching an episode of Play School where the presenters were taking photographs of Jemima and Humpty and all of the other toys and compiling an album.  The show finished and she came running up to me with such a look of excitement, thrilled at the prospect of sharing what she thought was a brilliant suggestion.

“Mummy, Mummy, I’ve got a really great idea!  Let’s take some photos and print them out and then stick them into a book so we can look through them.”

I smiled at her enthusiasm and yet at the same time, felt horrified that the concept of a ‘photo album’ was so foreign to her.  Why did she not know what one was?  When did I stop printing out photos?  Why had she not experienced the same pastime I remember so fondly as a little girl?… flipping through my Mum and Dad’s albums, full of photos of myself and my sister as babies, of my parents and aunts and uncles as children, all of which led to lots of questions, the sharing of tales and plenty of reminiscing.  Photos that captured memories and milestones and the changing of eras.  Photos that embodied ‘family life’. 

I decided then and there that making time to start on some memory keeping projects was a priority. 

My first efforts have been spent on updating our hallway gallery where a collection of frames have displayed several wedding photos ever since we’ve been in our home.  While those photos were no less precious after all this time, somehow, displaying a handful of family snapshots seemed a better fit for this space now.  With a combination of frames from Country Road, Spotlight and op shops in white and timber, some favourite photos of us and the girls are now on display… a mix of posed shots and other more candid ones.  Not only is our new display more meaningful to the girls, but swapping the black frames for lighter ones has really lifted this space. 

Next up, I've begun to sort through our cupboard of haphazardly stored photos.  Cuddled up under a blanket on the couch at night with a cup of chamomile tea, I've been gradually going through our collection, sorting through one small pile at a time and putting them into bundles for projects I have planned. I’m going to finally  complete the girls’ traditional baby books as well as Sophie's first year album (like the one I made for Grace), begin an on-going family record of photos using Project Life resources (as well as on-going albums for each of the girls) and print out some photo books of holidays we've been on.  I promise to share these with you as I work on them…

How about you?  Do you still print out photos or have you too fallen victim to the digital age and the habit of viewing memories on-screen only?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Snippets Of Our Week...

1.  A morning tea stop at our favourite Cookie Dough Biscuits for a milkshake and cup of tea before running a few errands in Fremantle 

2.  A special after-school treat on Friday from the markets (not actually a photo from the past seven days, but still our same cupcake choices nonetheless)

3.  It was all about fairy flower crowns for the girls when it came to dress-up costumes this week (there were also lots of squabbles over whose turn it was to wear the 'new' garage-sale-find pink fairy dress)

4.  Words of wisdom (found online) printed out to bring to a friend's Blessingway... such a lovely gathering and a beautiful celebration of motherhood

5.  Outdoors, enjoying the winter sunshine (we bought the girls a swing-set a few months back and it has been such a great addition to our backyard)

Joining in with Em

Monday, July 21, 2014

Living With Loss... Five Years On

Every year, this date rolls around and I find myself thinking back to five years ago, to that morning full of heartbreak and saddness when I found out my Dad had passed away. I also use today to think back on all the happy memories, the fun times and the joy that my Dad brought to our lives.  I flick through photos, go through keepsakes and read over condolence cards with their precious words about the kind-hearted, caring man my Dad was.

One of the cards contains a few lines that always stick with me, a card from one of my best friends, with a quote by Morrie Schwartz written inside, taken from a book I had loaned to her, 'Tuesdays With Morrie'...

"As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away.  All the love you created is still there.  All the memories are still there.  You live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here."

It is a quote that comes to me often, whenever I find myself missing my Dad or worrying about how I am able to keep his memory alive (not only for my sake, but for my girls).

Today, I will sit here sipping my tea and enjoying Dutch Specular biscuits (Dad's favourites), remembering all the uncountable times Dad called in for a cuppa and a chat on his way home from work, just to check on me and to catch up on our latest news.  I will buy a bunch of red carnations, remembering Dad visiting me in hospital when Grace was born and bringing the same flowers to me... an unhealthy not-so-well-selected bunch that couldn't have looked more beautiful in my eyes because Dad chose them himself and they were given with armfuls of love. I will wear the necklace he brought back from Queensland for me, remembering the thoughtfulness he always showed, buying more for others than himself whenever he went on holidays...

I will hug my girls that little bit tighter and make sure they know just how much I love them, just as I did whenever my Dad gave me one of his big comforting hugs, remembering that life is precious and that my loved ones are my world...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Slow Days: Following Winter's Lead

One day recently, Grace was home from school with the sniffles. I cancelled my plans of a play date with a friend and with wet weather forecast, was secretly glad of an excuse to hang out at home all day, pottering, enjoying time with my girls and resting.

We slept in and then lingered in our pyjamas longer than usual, without the call of the school bell to drag us out of the house. A few ABC2 shows were watched while I popped dinner into the slow cooker. The heater was on to keep us warm and toasty and the majority of our day was spent in our family room while the rain fell gently outside pretty much all day long.  Grace and Sophie played dolls and doctors, dressed Barbies and did endless craft.  I put on a pot of soup, made a dent in the washing pile (rotating item after item in front of the heater to dry them) and come the end of the day, even managed to flick through a few magazines.

Similarly, a few Saturdays ago it bucketed down all afternoon.  While the girls had some post-lunch quiet time in their rooms, Paul tinkered in his shed (his plans to mow the lawn hampered by the rain) and I drank cuppa after cuppa as I worked on my ideas for a new blog header, perched right by the fire, cosy and comfortable. Usually such a 'frivolous' afternoon would leave me feeling guilty about everything else I was neglecting, but on this particular wet Saturday, I did so happily.

A while back after reading a past issue of Good magazine, I jotted down a paragraph from an article written by Rebekah White.  She said,

"Turns out, winter's the perfect time to rediscover the joys of doing less.  As the days ebb, the evenings darken and the weather closes in, the body naturally gravitates towards a slower pace.  It's a welcome change from summer's high energy, activity-packed months, a time for inner restoration and, whether you are outdoors or in, for enrichment of a quieter kind."

At this time of year, I am happy to indulge my hermit-like tendencies... to take days slowly, do odd jobs here and there and to not be afraid of spending a lazy afternoon relaxing.  Listening when my body tells me it needs some chill out time rather than a day of tackling an endless to-do list is something I've learnt to embrace during the cold winter months.

How about you?  Do you too crave simple days when the temperature drops?

Monday, June 30, 2014

2014: June Portraits

"Portraits of my girls in 2014"

Grace: Where I find her most mornings and most afternoons... drawing or colouring in at the kitchen bench. She is desperate for a little table for her bedroom where she can work away on creative projects.  I've been hunting on Gumtree for a sweet writing desk but secretly, I quite like her being here near me when I'm occupied in the kitchen...

Sophie: "You wanna take a picture of my straw Mummy?" she asked me as I snapped away with my camera in our favourite cafe one morning.

Joining in with Jodi

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Giving Garden

My grandfather was a hardworking, resourceful man.  A very keen gardener, I think it is this hobby that brought him the most joy (aside from spending time with his grandchildren). The front of his house was filled with thriving rose bushes, geraniums and daisies.  His lawn was perfectly manicured and resembled a bowling green -the perfect place for my sister and I to play bocce with him as little girls.  However, it was the backyard of his home that was most impressive… his vegetable garden.

This plot took up his entire backyard (not including the large chicken coop and his shed) and was almost like a mini-market garden of sorts smack bang in the middle of the Fremantle suburb where he lived.  Rich soil, built up with manure shovelled across from his chook pen grew anything and everything.  Masses of various produce… chiccory, butter beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, basil and many other vegetables were carefully tended to and flourished.  I can still recall the bundle of twigs he had fashioned into a ‘swatter’ of sorts for cabbage moths.  It sat leaning against his shed ready to be grabbed as needed.    Meals cooked by my Nonna all incorporated fresh ingredients of some variety. When it came to vegetables, home grown was the only way.

Those who visited left with cartons of glorious free-range eggs and bags of whatever was currently in abundance in his patch.  A bunch of beautiful de-thorned roses was often brought home too after a visit and would brighten the corner of my Mum’s kitchen over the coming week as each bloom slowly unfolded.

Fast forward all these years and I find myself thinking often of my Grandpa’s impressive vegetable patch and garden as I potter about in our own.  As well as growing organic produce for my own little family and seeing the enjoyment Grace and Sophie get out of helping tend to our little plot, it is the giving and sharing aspect of a garden that I strive for.  I dream of being able to wave visitors off with a container of cherry tomatoes, a handful of passion fruit or a bag of lettuce leaves.  At the moment, having only just replanted our vegetable patch out this winter, offerings are few and far between... a bag of lemons, some Double Delight blossoms (the last before they are pruned) or a bunch of parsley seem to be all I can share at the moment.

One day though, I hope our garden will be able to give so much more to so many more and that just like my Grandpa, I will be able to gain the same sense of pleasure from sharing a little bit of our garden with loved ones and neighbours...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kipfler Potatoes With Roasted Garlic & Tarragon

I had never tried kipfler potatoes until a few years ago when I stumbled upon this recipe by Donna Hay in the weekend newspaper.  A little harder to come by, they are well worth tracking down for this side dish where they are paired with the sweetness of roasted garlic and the aniseed-like flavour of tarragon.

I made them the other night to go with our evening meal so thought I would pop the recipe up on my blog for anyone wanting to try a dish with simple ingredients that combine together to deliver maximum taste...

Roasted Garlic & Tarragon Potatoes

800g kipfler potatoes, halved
1 head garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup tarragon leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 200°C.  Place the potato and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 40 minutes or until golden.  Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and place in a bowl.  Add the mustard, vinegar and remaining olive oil and mix until well combined. Place the potatoes, tarragon and garlic dressing in a bowl and toss before serving.

(Serves 4)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Settling Into Full Time School

The first term of full time school for Grace has come and gone and we are already nearing the end of the second...  sixteen weeks of settling into a new environment and routine for us all. Before any more time passes, I thought I should record my thoughts and experiences here of how we've found the 'settling in process'...

Term one for Grace began on a teary note.  She was very nervous about all the changes associated with starting at a new school, as well as the first time experience of a five day school week scenario. Leaving her in tears each day and walking with Sophie back to our car was horrible.  To be honest, at the beginning of the year, I felt lost... not without things to do or ways to fill my days, but battling to find my feet and to wear the ‘school Mum’ hat.

As the term progressed though, we adjusted to our new norm. Getting ourselves ready quickly in the morning and constantly watching the clock became things I stopped trying to fight. I learnt to accept that slow mornings lingering at home were no longer possible on weekdays.  Whether I liked it or not, the school routine was now a huge part of our lives, waking Sophie each afternoon from her nap for pick-up time was inevitable and getting out of bed when my alarm rang in the morning was essential for a smooth start to our days.

For Grace, we kept out-of-school-life as simple and free from obligations as we could. Apart from the odd call in to the local grocery store for a needed item, we came straight home after school. Tummies were filled with afternoon tea and free play was enjoyed until dinner time.  On the one or two occasions we did have to be somewhere after school, Grace fell asleep in the car on the way there within minutes. Bedtimes were also made slightly earlier, allowing plenty of leisurely time snuggled up together for a story and a chat.

For myself, being on top of things in terms of school days and dates was important.  The state of organization in our home was seriously lacking, but I ensured my calendar was well-used and kept me on track with all things pre-primary related. Socially, (not being naturally extroverted), I made an effort to chat to the other mothers around me at school drop-off and pick-up times and in the process made friends with a lovely fellow Mum and have gotten to know a few others. I volunteered for canteen duty and helped out in Grace's classroom. Paul joined the class on an excursion.  Sophie and I started going along to the assembly each fortnight. We became part of the school community.

Now, well into second term, as hard as it still is to get out of bed when my alarm rings each morning, the whole full time school caper is beginning to feel more 'normal'.  Grace is happy and loving every aspect of school life and Sophie and I have adjusted to our new pattern of days together.  One day, I know I will look back on these primary school years with fondness.  I will miss the paintings decorating our fridge, the school bag and shoes dumped by the front door and the afternoons spent searching the house for an interesting object' to bring for news. Knowing this, I have done my best to embrace this new phase so far as best as I can... for all of us.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Grace's 5th Birthday Party

I can still remember the excitement I had as a little girl surrounding my birthday parties each year. Choosing a cake for my Nanna to make from the Women's Weekly cookbook.  Coming up with party games with my Mum.  Helping to put together goodie bags.  It is perhaps due to all these fond memories that I get so much enjoyment now out of planning birthday celebrations for my own girls.

During my blogging free month in May, Grace turned five and we celebrated with a Saturday afternoon birthday party, her first party with school friends which turned out to be a lovely gathering with good old-fashioned party food, games and fortunately, plenty of beautiful sunshine.

As the guests arrived and gifts were unwrapped, the girls began working on a butterfly craft activity which they loved... sequins, sparkles, glitter glue and textas were all used to embellish butterfly cut-outs which they later took home. Party games involved a butterfly treasure hunt, musical statues, an egg and spoon style race (with bean bags on heads) and the traditional pass the parcel. In between, there was plenty of time for playing chasey around our backyard and for fun on Grace and Sophie's new swing set.  

I love that birthdays are another opportunity to create memories and form our own little traditions as a family. Hopefully one day, Grace and Sophie will look back on their parties with the same fondness that I have when I think back to my own childhood birthday celebrations...

Over the past few weeks, Grace has been making thank you notes for friends and family, something I feel is sadly a bit uncommon these days.
To me, it is a great opportunity to demonstrate gratitude to little ones, plus it provides a meaningful creative activity for art-loving Grace.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014: May Portraits

"Portraits of my girls in 2014"

Sophie: Every week, we get comments galore on her curls.  "Blue eyes and ringlets, what a combination," said a lady in the queue at the newsagent yesterday.  "Some women would spend hours trying to get their hair like that," commented another old dear not long after.

Grace: If she isn't drawing or crafting lately, she's getting stuck into her Lego... watching and playing with her brings back such fond childhood memories of my own...

Joining in with Jodi

Monday, May 26, 2014

Back After An Online Break

A month ago, I decided I needed some time out from the online world... it felt as though I was juggling one too many things and so I cut out my use of technology and social media pretty much altogether.  A handful of minor health issues one after another left me needing some time away and space to take things easy... I stopped writing blog posts or reading other favourite blog reads.  Weeks passed without me logging into Instagram or sharing photos of my own. Emails were checked on the weekend only and left sitting unanswered in my inbox.  My laptop remained shut and I didn't go near the iPad for weeks. Photos taken were few and far between (especially when our camera decided to play up).

My self-imposed hiatus was so refreshing.  I focused on myself and my little family, on restful days and simple pleasures.  And while there were no pretty photos to browse through and no inspiring words to soak up, there were other benefits to be gained from my screen free break... disappearing for a little spell filled my days with so much more in so many ways.

With June on our doorstep, I'm looking forward to finishing off the first half of this year in a more balanced way... and hopefully continuing to do so over the coming months, focusing on what really matters in our days and what really matters to me...    

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 Portraits: April

"Portraits of my girls in 2014"

Sophie: At the Valley Of The Giants... so much for an inquisitive little one to take in

Grace: A secret garden perfect for a nature loving girl to explore... collecting treasures of pine cones and unusual leaves to bring home

Joining in with Jodi

Friday, April 25, 2014


This time last week, we had just returned home from a getaway to our beloved Denmark... a place we escape to for fresh country air, peacefulness and slow living, a town I am always sad to farewell when the time comes to return to the city.  It is a break that always leaves us feeling fresh and rejuvenated, a place where we can all truly unwind...

On this holiday, different cafes were tried and old favourites re-visited.  Trinkets (both pre-loved and new) were purchased in town. Drives through towering karri trees along winding highways fed my soul. Rolling surf crashing onto pristine beaches was admired.  Our ninth wedding anniversary was celebrated.  Two little girls sharing a bedroom giggled well past their bedtime each night. Adventures through gardens sprinkled with hidden treasures were enjoyed. I was grateful for every minute of every day we spent away.

I did my best to soak in small details and to take in the beauty of my surroundings, to be inspired by the homes and lifestyle of the townspeople and to think of ways to incorporate 'a little bit of Denmark' into our suburban home.

Time to think and plan and dream, to enjoy one another's company and to simply be, just as I do when we are away on holidays, is something I am going to strive to make time for more often back here at home...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Snippets Of Our Week...

1.  A sweet little pillowcase to pretty up Sophie's new big girl bed until her patchwork quilt is ready (we've said goodbye to the toddler bed she's slept in since 16 months)

2.  A few days earlier in the week were perfectly overcast... my favourite kind of sky

3. Sophie made herself at home in Grace's room as usual while her big sister was at school, wearing her shoes and playing with her toys... a box of craft 'jewels' kept her entertained for ages

4.  I smiled this week seeing my Dad's old childhood set of dominoes being played with by the girls (alongside farm animals and fairies)

5.  Asha seemed to be smiling in this photograph... I couldn't not include it here