Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Portraits: September

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

Sophie: Only four months until this little one begins kindergarten... I am holding onto every little part of this 'home-full-time' phase...

Grace: Finding myself catching more and more glimpses lately of  'young lady' as opposed to 'little girl'...

Joining in with Jodi

Monday, August 31, 2015

Snippets Of Our Week

1. A bunch of daffodils made their way into our trolley earlier in the week as a 'must buy' for Daffodil Day. Our entryway was much cheerier with their presence.

2.  The annual school Book Week dress-up day provided lots of excitement as Grace made accessories for her Ruby Red Shoes costume (the obligatory red shoes she wore are unfortunately out of shot in this photo!)

3. In between the rain, we had a plenty of winter sunshine and spent a lot of time pottering about in the garden, tending to our new seedlings and setting up beer traps for the snails.

4. With several birthday gifts to buy, we stopped at the Fremantle Arts Centre gift shop for some lovely locally handcrafted pieces. This building is one of my favourites in all of Fremantle and gloomy, overcast days only add to its beauty.

5. The girls' gumboots have been a wardrobe staple over the past few months. It won't be long before the weather warms up and they're replaced with sandals...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Returning To This Space...

I never intended to stay away from this space of mine for quite so long, but before I knew it, the single month I intended to have 'blog-free' rolled into the next and between the bustle of daily life with little ones and managing a household, the time and motivation to write simply weren't there.

Three months on though and I am feeling the need to document our days once again. I have our first interstate family holiday and Grace's 6th birthday party to share (albeit belatedly), as well as other less significant day to day happenings. I miss recording snippets of our family life and of my thoughts, of connecting with the handful of lovely souls who continue to visit this space and in particular, I miss having a reason to pull out the 'big' camera.

While my posts won't be as frequent as they once were, it definitely won't be such a long silence between the occasions where I do pop in here to write...

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 Portraits: March

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

I had a selection of cute photos of the girls by themselves for this month to choose from. However, in the end, I decided it had to be this photo of the two of them together as my March pick.  I have tried over and over to get a decent photo where they are both looking at the camera at the same time. Finally, I captured this one a few weeks back as I sat in the backyard at dusk snapping away while they played together.  Unprompted, this is how they stood with their arms around each other when I said I wanted them both in the shot. Despite Sophie squinting, I love the sisterly friendship it portrays (which thankfully we're witnessing more of lately among the sisterly squabbles)...

Joining in with Jodi

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Portraits: February

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

Sophie: My little fairy, in a dress-up piece ten sizes too big, enjoying our back yard at dusk.

Grace: Well and truly settled into the rhythm of first term and ever so enthusiastic about school and learning (such a welcome change from the beginning of the year nerves in years gone by). Home reading and spelling words have become a regular part of our afternoon/evening routine.

Joining in with Jodi

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snippets Of Our Week

1.  When there is an unusual silence during post lunch 'quiet time', Sophie is usually up to no good. However on this particular day when I poked my head in to check, I found she had set herself up comfortably reading.

2.  My happy little cherub and I have shared the same hair woes in this summer humidity... frizzy curls and fly-aways locks. She carries the look much better than I do though...

3.  Once we're finished our current bedtime read, we cannot wait to get stuck into Grace's new book (bought on the weekend with the voucher she won for an award at school last year).

4.  Our new toadstool house in the fairy garden has seen two little girls regularly leaving notes and other offerings for the pixie-folk.  It has kept this 'mama-fairy' busy and often seen me creep outside in the dark to retrieve bits and pieces that have been left.  Last night, at 10.40, I remembered I'd not removed the thank you note Grace had written...  However, I said a quiet thank you to those fairies myself, as when I went to fetch it, I discovered I'd gone to bed having left the back door open and unlocked...

5.  After doing a bit of house-cleaning last Tuesday, I was wondering which activity to sit and do with Sophie when nature provided us with the perfect one.  We were so surprised to discover a wayward ibis in our front garden as we do not live in particularly close distance to a lake or wetland area. We spent the next forty minutes tip-toeing between the bedroom and lounge room windows watching this friendly fellow scratching about in the leaf litter and pecking at the spiderwebs on our window frames before he flew across the road and disappeared into the neighbourhood...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Printed Photos + Family Memories

Ever since my post last year where I discussed my saddness at our lack of printed photos, I have made documenting our family life a priority.  Happily, I can report that I have compiled around twelve or so double-page spreads that together, give an overview of our 2014. I've found this project (which is on-going and will be added to over the coming years) to be so rewarding and very manageable and wanted to write about my approach to encourage others who haven't printed out any photos for some time to perhaps give something similar a go...

For my album, I have used Project Life page protectors.  However, my approach to using them is SUPER SIMPLE.  Unlike others who use such resources to complete weekly spreads (which for me personally would be too time consuming and feel like too much of a chore), I document several weeks or even several months in the same space. Every now and then, I download all of the images from our phones and camera and save my favourites into a folder.  When I have enough to put together a layout, I do. Sometimes a layout will cover a month or a season.  Other times it will document a special occasion such as a birthday or family holiday where a larger number of snapshots have been taken. No pressure. No rules.  No fancy embellishments or patterned papers. Just a simple collection of photos with a simple bullet-point list of memories.

I stick to a fairly basic layout and use only one style of page protectors.  I keep my journalling cards the same.  Polaroid-style smaller photos (thanks to the free Collect App) break things up and provide some blank space (as well as useful date records).  Some photos are printed with a white border to provide definition, others are printed to the edge of the photo paper. I try to balance colours and will convert certain images to black and white if they are too visually distracting.

Our album doesn't necessarily contain my best photography but I select the photos that best tell our story. Milestones, snippets of daily life, new additions to our home as well as the occasional portrait all combine together to showcase memories I want us to recall in the future.

If you (like me last year) are in the position of not having printed out any photos for a LONG time, I encourage you to try something similar. My girls love being able to flick through our pages of family memories and I'm so grateful I've stopped procrastinating and have begun creating a tangible record for us all to enjoy and look back over...

A special shout-out to Ronnie whose pared back Project Life style is what encouraged me to try something similar in the first place.
Also, thank you to Claire for your advice and inspiration which I've appreciated too.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015 Portraits: January

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

Sophie: Messy curls, sunkissed skin and chubby little hands... exactly what I want to remember from this photo in years to come...

Grace: Pottering about in the fairy garden under the shade of our frangipani tree.  Last week, Paul said to me, "Do you realise that after this year, Grace will have completed almost forty per cent of her primary school education?" A heartbreaking thought.  If only I could slow down time... the years are passing too quickly for my liking...

Joining in with Jodi

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Mini Getaway

Over the weekend, we escaped to Paul's Uncle's holiday house for one last family getaway before the school holidays end... a lovely relaxing break nestled among the treetops overlooking the estuary.

Usually we don't venture too far from the water, with the boat and shoreline to keep little ones occupied. However with blustery winds, it was not ideal crabbing weather and we took a drive to the Mandurah foreshore instead.  Grace declared our morning visiting the King Carnival 'the best day ever', braving the scarily high water slide with Paul (while Sophie and I watched and took photos from below).  The merry-go-round, spinning tea-cups and mini golf were also highlights.

My highlight of the long weekend was definitely the sweet kookaburra who visited us at home one afternoon, allowing me to click away on my DSLR from nearby, unfazed by my camera.  That evening on dusk, he returned for a second time.  We sat in the bush beside the tree where he was perched and scattered left-over quiche around, amazed when he flew right beside us, barely a metre away. So tame, he only flew off when Grace discovered a huge bull ant crawling over her foot and her screams frightened him away.

Now, back home again, among the endless piles of holiday washing which have amounted after only a few days, the reality is beginning to sink in that Grace's return to school is just around the corner. There are school supplies yet to label, a library bag yet to be sewn and a pantry yet to be re-stocked. Next week we will be back into the routine of early mornings, lunchboxes and school bells dictating our days...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Lingering Summer Holiday Vibe


The end of 2014 seemed to disappear in a flash and while we were not ridiculously busy, blogging fell by the wayside for me for a little spell.  I dedicated November to gift buying and December to end of year functions and Christmas preparations, consciously keeping our activities as relaxing and low stress as possible.

And then after a wonderful day on the 25th, just like that, the busy season was over for another year and we fell into true holiday mode - days filled with lazy, slow-paced mornings, swims in our neighbours' pool and quiet time pottering around home for all.

Now, with Paul having returned to work a few weeks ago, we've tried to let the summer holiday rhythm linger. Days where we've caught up with friends or spent time outdoors by the water have alternated with ones where we have stayed close to home, the girls happy to pull out the paint set for a morning of art while I've tackled my latest decluttering project.  Housework has been done on an as-needed basis, the clock not watched as strictly and there has been a carefree feel in the air.

As for blogging, I am looking forward this year to getting back into my photography and to capturing more precious snippets of family life.  With 2014 zooming by much too quickly for my liking and our girls growing so fast, documenting this chapter in our lives has never felt more important...