Saturday, January 29, 2011

Creativity over cleaning

There were rice bubbles everywhere.
As I walked among the mess, I (calmly) asked for an explanation from my two girls. India (cautiously) answered,
"I needed some for my picture".
Rice bubble snow.
I thought it was beautiful. And creative. I didn't care about the mess (though she did help me sweep later).
That moment says a lot about me, and what makes my heart happy. I like my kids to play. To enjoy their toys. To create.
And I like those things for me too. A few nights a week, when the children go to bed, I give myself an hour to do something creative (after clearing the table, washing up, tidying the lounge and playroom etc etc).
If you visit my house you will see that the walls need washing, the laundry pile is never empty, and the floors most certainly need to be mopped. But, by embracing play and creativity, that is my reality. As a Mum, I won't ever be on top of my 'to do' list.
And I'm going to learn to be ok with that!
The girls made these flowers for a special big friend when he was unwell. You can find them here. And while you're out in blog world, take a peak at some of my favourite, creative bloggers showing their 'real lives' too: Meg, Rubyellen, Anna Maria, and Heather.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day traditions

...meat pie...
...pavlova... chesty bonds...
...some possum magic...
...with cricket, beers, board games, backyard fun, Aussie tunes, family and friends!
Love Australia Day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And she's off!

Elara's (current) favourite song was playing on the radio on the way to her first day at school ever...

"Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky"
I just know that school is going to bring out the best in her!

(Just a note: I'm not suggesting her as a great role model for your kids, but these lyrics are from the fun Katy Perry song, Firework.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Tomorrow Elara is starting something.
When she finishes it, she will have become a young woman.
It's wonderful, and heartbreakingly real.

I feel quite ill prepared.
Not in the I-haven't-finished-covering-her-books kind of way.
More in the I-have-to-release-her-to-become-who-she-will-become kind of way.

Love is an evolving thing.
And so I smile at the future.

Friday, January 21, 2011

She can't possibly be?

Is it just me or does this dress look too long for a girl who was happily resting (and by that I mean kicking and squirming) in my womb only 5 short years ago? Perhaps I'm just trying to believe that she could not possibly be old enough to start school next week!

I love the fabric in this dress, which I recycled from one of my old dresses. And, if given the chance I will always add a splash of red (in this case, some binding to make a pillowcase style dress) to something pink!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Embrace the camera: cupcakes

Elara and I embracing the camera while we do one of our favourite things together...decorating cakes!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why I prefer to spend my time baking chocolate cakes

Not much bread or milk around town here,
and we're certainly low on fruit and veggies.

So I made some bread today (kneading is so therapeutic!)
And some pumpkin soup to get our fruit and veg intake up.
Remember I said I would try to put more effort into our dinners this year...

Well I loved it.
Tim skipped dinner because he was in the groove with the gardening/mowing.
The girls would only eat a bit of bread with peanut butter on.
And even then they left the crusts.

Sometimes dinner just doesn't work!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Recently I made this disco cake for a friend.
We used to dance at a great little place named PopScene.
It was the best club.
And played all the music I loved.
I never met a drunk there.
I was never asked on a date.
I don't remember there being a bouncer to keep out the hooligans,
because everyone knew...

This place was for dancing.

They were great times.
Now I can't stay up past 9pm!

Oh and yes, that's seven layers!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Embrace the Camera: blue skies

We've had 7 weeks of rain.
That's more than 40 days and 40 nights.
Finally the skies cleared, and became oh so beautiful and blue.
Then came one ridiculous flood.

Today, in our high and dry and safe home, we enjoyed a small but happy 'luxury'.
Our backyard playground!

I made sure I joined India for a photo, as part of Emily's weekly Embrace the Camera Challenge!

embrace the camera

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In need of a rainbow

My city is drowning.
I wish people living away from the flood areas would stop saying "it's exciting".
Cut off. Evacuated. Sirens. Scrambling to safety.
All words used in a text by my sister-in-law at 4am this morning.
It's devastating.

Please keep Queensland in your prayers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Embrace the camera

Be prepared for plenty of uncool photos of me on my blog this year, as I'll be participating in (sweet and funny) Emily's Embrace the Camera Challenge. You can read all about it here. It will motivate me to pictorially document my growing relationship with my kids. It might motivate me to brush my hair once in awhile, though clearly not in this photo! Tim snapped this one after Zeb 'mysteriously' got pen all over himself.

embrace the camera

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Embrace craft and charity

Eighteen months ago I had a dream that some wonderful friends of mine would do wonderful things for children overseas. I dreamt that they would travel to Asia and that my crafting would help to get them there. They came to visit me before Christmas to share some news with me. They are moving to China before the end of 2011, to work in an orphanage!
So, this year I’d like to open an etsy store to support them, with all profits going towards their flights, accommodation, food, and living expenses. Practically, though, I just don’t have the time to keep an etsy store stocked and running.
I need help.
I need a bunch of crafters who can make cool stuff to stock in a communal store, and who are prepared to give the profits of their stock to this couple and their mission. In turn, the crafters will benefit by learning the ins and outs of etsy, without committing to their own store. They will learn what sells well, and at what price. They may even develop a customer base for starting their own store!
I’d love your feedback
1: Do you think this can work?
2: Can you contribute? It could be one single item or one item per week (or anything in between).
3: What kind of crafty goodness would you like to see me make for the store? New ideas (like these luggage tags I made recently)? Or some of these old favourites: bunting; nappy/diaper bags; bibs and booties; caribena pouches; kid’s dress ups; softies; hooded towels; felt crowns; or kid’s clothes.
I’m so excited!

Embrace cake

Who am I kidding?
I don’t need any extra motivation to do that! But it is nice to affirm that something you have been doing is something you still want to be doing. I love baking, particularly so that others can enjoy my food. Sometimes, though, the time I spend making a cake is equal to the sum of time I spend making up healthy family dinners for that entire week! Now I can’t expect too much of myself here, as there are some practical, unavoidable hurdles. I make dinner around 5pm, which is ‘happy hour’ here. Tired, hungry, longing for Mummy time hour. Also, my children don’t like to try new foods often, and the foods that they do enjoy are pretty boring to me.
With this in mind, my resolution is to have more than a handful of nights where we have special meals (that the kids will eat). It will take some planning on my part. Some family friendly cookbooks (I can’t go past 'Deceptively Delicious' and 'Double Delicious'). Some fresh produce (I order mine from here). Some nice table settings and a helper to create them (this is Elara’s job…she loves it). Some table talk. And maybe just a few less hours thinking about cakes!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Embrace correction

Usually I'm a bit light on when it comes to disciplining the girls.
I'm tired. I'm worn down. I'm feeding the baby. I'll just let it slide this once.
Occasionally I'm too harsh.

It's hard to do it well. It's hard to be balanced. It's hard to be proactive (but it helps).
So, this year I have chosen one thing (for each girl) to focus on that will deepen their character and help to build them into polite, compassionate, courageous young women.

Elara is very helpful, thoughtful and soft-hearted. Except when she is in a grumpy mood.
With her I'll work on kindness, in word and deed.

India is giving and fair, and speaks politely. But she totally destroys the place.
With her I'll work on looking after possessions, and keeping them tidy.

I have sweet kids.
I hope I can discipline them well this year.
For them.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Embrace the countryside, the coast and the campsites

In the rush of the last few weeks, I just didn't get onto blogging about Christmas, or about the year that has now passed. And today I feel a bit out of breath to go back.
It was good, but it was busy and tiring.
But today is a new day.
A new year even!
So I'll start anew with a blogging week of hopes, dreams and goals for the coming year.
Resolutions, if you like.
First is one which I am longing for already.
Space. Adventure. Fun.
Grass. Sand. Sun.
I want to do more, experience more, run around more.
Just get out of this house more.
Doesn't that sound good?

I'd love to know your favourite outdoor activity (suitable for a family of 5) for us to enjoy!
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