31.7.12

over the hedge: cousins


Lalie and her adorable cousins (from Paddy's side) - Keeley and baby Phoebe. These three girls are forming such a gorgeous bond... it is an absolute pleasure hanging out with Paddy's brother Shawn and his wife Monique and watching our girls play and interact. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this family. My sister-in-law Monique and I are the closest of friends - I honestly don't know what I would do without her!

And to top it off... I'm so looking forward to the arrival of my own big brother Chris, and his partner Isabelle, later in the year. They have been living interstate for more than twenty years(!) and have recently made the decision to move to North Queensland to be closer to family. When their baby arrives in December, Lalie will have a younger cousin from my side. I'm so excited to enter the next chapter in our family story. A new generation is born.

P.S - I've finally managed to add the reply feature in my comments section. If you've asked me a question recently (in the last month or so), chances are you can go back to find an answer. Before now I have been so very slack with responding (sorry!).

30.7.12

more good stuff


Our tomato plants have yet to bear fruit. Not to worry.... it's much more fun raiding the cousin's garden!

Aren't these just the most picture-perfect little bundles of sweetness?

(the tomatoes aren't bad, either ;)

26.7.12

the good stuff


A few days before Paddy first left for China, we went to market and returned home with a bag of tiny seedlings. We spent an afternoon in the yard preparing a bed of soil for little sprouts full of promise. We decided to keep it simple this year with lettuces, tomatoes, kale, beetroot and beans... along with an assortment of potted herbs on the deck.

Over the last six weeks I have watched the vegetable garden bloom, while I've felt my motivation for preparing nutritious food for myself wilt. I make it top priority to prepare (mostly) healthy meals and snacks for Lalie, however when it comes to myself, I've been getting by on bowls of porridge (for dinner!), vegemite on toast and far too much coffee. I'm ashamed to say that, until today, it hadn't crossed my mind to pluck fresh leaves from the garden and prepare a simple salad. My excuse to myself being that I just haven't had the time and energy to think about it. And all the fuss for one (I can't seem to interest Lalie in salad leaves) ...what was the point? Pathetic excuses, I know.

When I took Lalie into the yard earlier this week for a play, she gravitated away from the play gym and toward the vegetable patch. She then began plucking salad greens and placing them in a neat little pile on the ground - all of her own accord. She behaved like a seasoned green thumb, gathering her harvest with love and care. I was absolutely amazed. How on earth did she know what to do? Sadly, she hadn't been observing this ritual from me so far this year.

Nevertheless, I took it as her way of saying "Come on, Mama! Pull yourself together. Eat well. I need you to be healthy, happy and alert!".

So we gathered those leaves and carried them into the kitchen where we rinsed them and tossed them together into a beautiful garden salad. And I was reminded of the countless physical and mental health benefits of eating from your own backyard.

Later in the day we topped up with a cleansing refreshment of carrot, apple, beetroot, celery, cucumber and ginger juice - freshly squeezed, from our local juice bar.

It sure feels good to detox from all that overindulging last week. And I have to say, a happy little face covered in beetroot juice does wonders for mother-guilt.


24.7.12

win some, lose some


1. We were the lucky winners of a gorgeous Little Green Shed print from Lou's giveaway a couple of months ago. I'm still deciding on the perfect frame and the perfect place. One mustn't rush these things...

2-4. Lalie showing off her adorable new Peggy hat (winnings from Jody's recent giveaway at Lemon Rhodes) and the absolute carnage she has inflicted on my iphone recently.

What a run of luck! Now I just need someone to host an iphone giveaway. Anyone?

22.7.12

snippets: chocolate and caramel


I have a little confession to make: while Paddy's been away, Eulalie and I have been indulging in a little therapy, namely, of the retail and sugar varieties. I've been doing a little too much online shopping while Lalie's been doing a little too much biscuit chomping... (okay, okay... I've been indulging in my fair share of biscuit chomping too!).

1. Two little rays of sunshine.
2. Cookie crumbs and 'chino foam on tiny fingers.
3. New soles by Caramel... in the most decadent chocolate leather. And what a tease they are - two sizes too big!
4. Lost in Lalie-Land.
5. Those lips and cheeks received a few extra kisses that afternoon ;)
6. Light and literature - my little reader in the early morning light.

I hope your weekend has been wonderful (and just a little bit decadent).

19.7.12

Pretty. Impractical.


I scored this rug for a tenner at a Sydney op-shop two years ago. Paddy never really warmed to it and so it never made an appearance in our old apartment. But I did manage to sneakily squeeze it into the removalist's truck when we moved up here. Since then it's been leading a rather dismal existence - banished to storage under the house along with other various furnishings that we can't agree on.

But hey, while the cat's away... this mouse is having a play! So far, my favourite home for it is the kitchen - completely impractical, I know. I wonder how long I can ignore that minor detail.

Oh, and please excuse the dark, obscurely angled images. It's grey again today (hmph!) and I need want a wider lens to photograph my awkwardly shaped kitchen (which we've recently renovated - I hope to share the process with you soon).

I hope you're having a wonderful week, wherever you are :)

18.7.12

shift


When the sun finally breaks through, after days upon days of rain, those warm golden rays are sweeter and more nurturing than ever. There's a sudden shift in the weather... and I can taste summer already.

Lalie is feeling so much better today. Hours and hours of sleep in the big bed seem to be doing her the world of good. I'm so impressed with how quickly she manages to fend off these bugs... a sign of a strengthening immune system, perhaps? I had planned to start weaning when Paddy comes home, but maybe I'll wait a little longer. It's good stuff that breast-milk!

15.7.12

drizzle sniffle


We are having the most unseasonable weather up North. During the week it was wet and humid... I was sweating like it was January! Then today it was overcast, cool and blowing a sharp wind. The only thing that's been consistent is the rain - a persistent grey drizzle - dampening the ground and our mood.

This unpredictable and turbulent weather has resulted in lots of accidental over-dressing and under-dressing of poor Lalie and it could finally be taking it's toll.

It seems as though Lalie and I have been fighting off winter nastie's for weeks now. The early symptoms of flu keep threatening to take hold only to miraculously subside within one or two days. Let's just hope it's going to be a similar story with this fever and congestion that set in late yesterday.

Despite the drizzle and sniffle, we did manage to have a nice weekend. Zia* Kel is visiting from Sydney-Town and on Saturday we took her out for our favourites - Japanese and Gelato!

* Kel is Paddy's sister and definitely not Italian. But she does love her pasta (it's a family joke).

13.7.12

personal style

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Just lately I've been thinking about personal style, aesthetic values and how easy it can be to get lost and confused in a seemingly endless sea of online inspiration. I'm so easily charmed and often find myself wavering from my own personal aesthetic to a completely different style, one that isn't really 'me', purely because it looks so appealing on someone else or in someone else's home.

And so I end up with this mish-mash of clothing, furniture and objects that, despite creating a kind of eclectic charm when they're thrown together, don't always feel true to my personal style. Sometimes it just feels like a hectic, overlapping collage of 'looks' I've seen in magazines and online that I've hacked together. I think my experience as a stylist also has something to do with it - I can see potential in just about anything and truly appreciate so many different genres of design - it makes it incredibly difficult to remain faithful to what is ultimately my style. And while I do love a bit of eclectic whimsy in my life, I'm finding more and more, especially since starting a family, that I'm yearning for a sense of calm - a harmonious environment.

More recently I've been making a conscious effort to strip back to basics and dressing and decorating with items that are practical, honest and meaningful. I've stopped trying to figure out how to incorporate more colour into my wardrobe or more mid-century modern into the home... because, honestly, I'm not really a colour person... or a modernist. And while I adore a good dose of modern french pastel perfection here, effortless Scandi-Brit style here, romantic old-world industrial here and a bit of pretty Texas kitsch here, sometimes I need to remind myself to be content in admiring from a distance, and refrain from trying to recreate all these looks for myself. I guess I'm in the process of rediscovering my style identity - getting back to my roots. Sometimes that means closing those inspiration folders, logging out of pinterest and and letting things happen organically, with a little less influence. For me, I think it's just all about warmth and texture and Australia and the pieces that tell our story.


1. Our entryway. Framed family photos by Tim hang above a little rustic table found years ago in a Sydney op-shop - it is home to treasures and trinkets representing our past and present. There's coral from the beach where we wed, dried agapanthus stems from the garden outside our Sydney apartment, a tiny stone house we bought in Croatia (Paddy really had to convince me on it but now I just love it), a beautiful brass kaleidoscope gifted to us by Paddy's sister at our wedding, other market and op-shop finds and, of course, a bunch of Australian natives.
2. Lalie day-dreaming on a soon-to-be-reupholstered-in-this-natural-linen sofa and wearing a gorgeous romper handmade by a wonderful friend.
3. Some new spring/summer clothes for Lalie - understated styles in a neutral palette.
4. A little nook. My Mother's antique piano stool covered with a crochet table runner, beautifully handmade by our dear late friend Eirin's Grandmother - also a wedding gift.
5. Is there any better sofa accessory than a tiny bottom and wee little feet? I didn't think so. My soft furnishings are sorted!

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How would you describe your style?  Are you persuaded by trends? Do you experiment or are you loyal to a particular aesthetic? I'd love to know!

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P.S - Of course, Paddy's personal style differs slightly (when it comes to interiors) and we are in constant battle over what stays in the house and what gets banished stored underneath it. He fancy's himself a bit of mid century modern, that boy.

5.7.12

snippets: peachy

 

Just a few snippets from our week. Paddy has worked most of the time he's been home, but we have managed to sneak in plenty of family time too - mostly lazy afternoons at home interspersed with spontaneous cafe visits (Lalie is officially addicted to baby-chino's. Ooops!).

While Paddy was away I went mad rearranging the furniture and redecorating, only to change it all back again because it didn't feel right. Nothing felt right. I was desperate to make the place feel more homely... only now do I truly realise that the only things that make a home are the souls within it.

For the moment, life is peachy.

 (Until Monday when he leaves again. I know, I know... cue violins!)