Monday, April 30, 2012

Stocking Up

Monday is my kid free day.

Usually my mind is a whir with washing, cleaning, blogging and emailing. With anxiety I move from one unfinished project to another wondering how on earth everything will get done. Unwinding is a luxury I seldom afford myself - mostly because I don't know how.

But not today.

Today after dropping the kids to their respective locations, I wound the car windows down, turned the heater on full and took the long route home. I blasted the music so loud that I couldn't hear my own thoughts, I couldn't even hear my tuneless voice singing out of time.

It was renewing.

All logic was lost and it was glorious. 

"Love it will not betray, dismay or enslave you. It will set you free"
mumford and sons
sigh no more

Today, I stocked up on tunes. Just me and the music.

Do it tomorrow. You won't regret it.

Colour Blast

Rarely does a day go by in our home that we don't get out the pencils and draw. It's part of our daily routine and the simplest way to redirect my children when they request couch slouching rather than creative activity.

We always have a roll of large scale paper down in the studio or hiding in the corner of the living room. Until recently we had been taping it to the table top (one piece lasts all day) but then my bestie Jo suggested taping it to the floor so the kids could really go nuts! 

I love watching my young ones lose themselves in colour and line. Zeph's quick and fierce stroke is complemented perfectly by Pippi's soft, rhythmic one. 

Together they are geniuses of abstraction.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vintage Treats From Across The Seas

I was lucky enough to be part of a vintage exchange last month. 

Cora from Miles, Papa and Me sent these beautiful treasures (and more) across the seas. Have you ever seen a more delightful embroidered top? I need one in my size!

My display wall is loving that little blue bird too!

Hope your weekend was wonderful! It's been freezing here today!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Okay peeps, we had 13 giveaways in 13 days and it was MENTAL. Thanks so much to everyone who entered and to the generous dudes who have been willing to throw their product at you.

As an extra special thank you, some sponsors are offering discounts for followers of The Beetle Shack. You can find them and the terms written in GREEN!

 drumroll please


NatApr 26, 2012 06:42 AM
Cool giveaway, I need the tote! I love the picnic tote and the so fancy print .

JONAH AND THE GIRL ARE OFFERING 20% OFF THEIR ENTIRE RANGE - to redeem this offer, like Jonah and the Girl on Facebook and be a follower of The Beetle Shack. Enter promo code 'beetleshack'

 fast times in m√ľnchen.Apr 13, 2012 02:21 AM
The colours are all so good. It was a toss up between the green and the purple but I just asked Elke and she said "geen"! So green it is. In an 8. Love your work! xx


SaskiaApr 19, 2012 06:49 PM
EM. This giveaway tops the lot !! I SO NEED some of these!! I had some leather cloggs in tan with closed toe when I was about 10, and loved them, being of dutch descent...very appropriate too;) Also, I havn't bought a pair of shoes since having kids (lame, i know...but helps?) so yeah. i need them. 
Hard to decide because the love the juicy colors, but I'd prob have to go with Highwood open, and I'd have to decide upon the tan or red, and if I win I'll allow myself more time to ponder this:)

AnonymousApr 14, 2012 09:09 PM
I love the entire range but the Block wallet up for grabs is my fave!

Thanks for the chance and for all the amazing giveaways.
Margiep.s I voted for you in the top 50!

SLEEPY HEADS ARE OFFERING 10% OFF THEIR ENTIRE RANGE AND 15% IF YOU BECOME A FOLLOWER OF CAPTURING MOMENTS. To redeem this offer be a follower of The Beetle Shack and mention this giveaway at checkout.

JennyApr 17, 2012 06:04 PM
Gorgeous - have just liked and already follow you of course... crossing my fingers :) Jenny 


Mama of 2 boysApr 18, 2012 12:32 AM
WOW! These look absolutely delightful! What a gorgeous giveaway and so generous of Katrina too. Love those stay-at-home Mama's in business, they're awesome. Thanks for the shot at it Em and Katrina xo

HEIDI WALKS CAN BE BOUGHT AT $10 OFF FOR $29.95- to redeem the offer like all about heidi on facebook and be a follower of The Beetle Shack

kelApr 16, 2012 06:35 PM
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!! size 3 velcro - how the eff do you even choose a colour?? red. or yellow. or mint....
ok. red. No YELLOW! yes please for yellow....

HOOT IS OFFERING 20% OFF ALL HOOTKID PRODUCT FOR SATURDAY, SUNDAY MONDAY. To redeem this offer be a follower of The Beetle Shack and enter 'BEETLESHACK' at checkout.

NatashaApr 15, 2012 08:59 PM
Whooo hooo Hootkids. Gorgeous clothing and another awesome giveaway. Thank you The Beetle Shack.

GIDGI IS OFFERING 10% OFF THE ENTIRE STORE FOR SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY- To redeem offer be a follower of The Beetle Shack and like gidgi on facebook. Enter 'BEET' at check out.

{ sunday collector }Apr 21, 2012 06:09 AM
Liked! And that cutlery is so cute!!


 STUDIO SKINKY ARE OFFERING A FREE 6 COLOUR PLAYON CRAYON SET, with every 2 Playon Crayon sets purchased at their online store. To redeem offer be a follower of The Beetle Shack and enter 'The Beetle Shack' in special instructions section.

VanessaApr 18, 2012 08:53 PM
Have shared on Facebook!

Katrina (capturing moments)Apr 18, 2012 02:06 PM
These are way cool! My Ronan would go to town with these babies! I must win this one :)

one claire dayApr 20, 2012 12:27 AM
Yes please!!! Lalie's chubby little fingers would be all over them bad boys (and they'd probably be smeared all over the wall!) xx
Samara SimmonsApr 18, 2012 05:16 PM
Yep. I want them too. Ulysses needs to have them I do believe.

jodiApr 27, 2012 02:16 AM
yes yes please pretty please! x

AnonymousApr 18, 2012 05:57 PM
My fifteen month old son Hunter would ADORE these!! My fingers are crossed.

LA MAV ARE OFFERING 20% OFF THEIR ENTIRE RANGE FOR SATURDAY SUNDAY AND MONDAY. To redeem offer be a follower of The Beetle Shack and like la mav on facebook. Enter 'beetleshack' at checkout. 

BreeApr 21, 2012 03:15 PM
Having 3 kids in 3 years has aged my drastically. This would come in very handy. xxx

LITTLE GREEN SHED IS OFFERING 20% OFF THE ENTIRE STORE. To redeem discount be a follower of The Beetle Shack and enter 'beetleshack' at checkout.

EricaApr 26, 2012 06:45 PM
Oh.My.Gosh!!! Thankyou for introducing me to her beautiful work! and yes! I did notice that gorgeous little button! My favourite is the "Spring Flowers" . I have also added Little Green Shed to my Etsy favouites and liked on facebook for future shopping!

THE HORSE IS OFFERING 20% OFF THEIR ENTIRE RANGE FOR SATURDAY,SUNDAY,MONDAY. To redeem this offer like The Horse on facebook and be a follower of The Beetle Shack- enter 'beetleshack' at checkout.

Julie GeretApr 23, 2012 02:52 PM
I've been dreaming of a lovely comfy pair of shoes for a couple of weeks now, thanks to you, Em and the Horse I found heaps of them. 

                     I Love the Louise Brown - size 39!xxx




ahhh, see ya later giveaways- it's been fun

What Was Really Happening

There has been a giveaway a day for 13 days, it's been wildly fun and I must confess- I'm pooped (do people still say pooped? I do).  I've been sitting at this little lap top twice as much as I usually would and receiving packages from the postie almost every day (there were even a few little gifts in there for me too, but they will be revealed later).

Today, i'll be compiling the winners and having a south coast rest. Check back in later on today to see if you're a winner.


During this little party I've had a few little comments asking about when this space will return to usual, you know- self obsessed me, just doing what I do. It occurred to me that maybe my regular posts were getting lost amongst all the glitter. So if you missed them, here they are (in all their not so shiny glory). 

It's been up and down baby. Emotions like a roller coaster. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Get In Line- Rodney Simmons

There is nothing more magic that seeing an artist at work, especially when that artist is Rodney Simmons. Like the impressionists he works outside, close to nature with his feet touching the earth. With a lose grip and a rhythmic stroke he paints, layer upon layer until a dishevelled perfection appears.

Take a peek, be inspired

need more? 


Painting &
Works on Paper

26 Apr – 19 May 2012

Defiance Gallery
47 Enmore Road
Enmore Sydney

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doing What Doesn't Work

I know exactly what works when it comes to disciplining my children. Being down at their level, placing my hand on their tiny shoulder, looking them in the eye and using a firm, quiet voice. They love it. It makes them feel safe, they understand my words, my tone and my body language. They know what will happen if they still choose to be disobedient. A consequence will follow - whether it be time out, the removal of a toy or a sticker off the chart. It works almost every time.

When my patience is running out, I make sure I communicate that to them clearly by saying something along the lines of 'mummy is finding this very frustrating, you need to listen to my words or i'm going to have to use my cranky voice*'.

I know it works, and when i'm at my very best- I use the technique consistently. But I'm human so there are many variables. A poor nights sleep, a broken down crappy old car that needs repairing, and a house that is seldom clean for longer than thirty seconds made me irritable today.

When Lady Baby fell asleep in the car after a beautiful morning at the park, I was relieved. I then zoomed a few more laps around the block in the hope that Zeph might follow suit. He did not, instead he woke the sleeping tot a mere ten minutes into her slumber. That was all the sleep enjoyed by anyone here at The Beetle Shack today, 10 minutes. It wasn't nearly enough when spread between the 3 of us.

Naturally, I forgot to act like an adult and interacted with my children as if I were one of them (are you ever aware of doing this, it's so ridiculous). I whined and snapped when they did, thus perpetuating the vicious cycle.

It wasn't happy.

After finally getting Lady Baby to sleep,  I ordered the Young Man 'to the bath' with outstretched arm and pointed finger. Moments later I followed him in there to see a fully clothed young man, in the bath.

Completely defeated, I joined him. And there we sat together, he and I. Soaking wet amongst the bath toys slowing undoing the damage of an unpleasant afternoon. We talked about sharks, dolphins and whales with gills and when it was time to get out he tantrumed again but the cycle did not continue.

*My tender hearted Young Man hates the cranky voice. He recoils and cries almost every time he hears it- once he has composed himself and mustered the courage he responds with 'mum, don't speak like dat to me- I don't wike it when you say dat'

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

With Nothing But Respect

My Grandpa on far left

Granddad with his mum

With my personal views about war aside, it is with nothing but respect that I look upon these photo's of my grandfathers - standing tall and proud in uniform, ready to serve the country in which I now live freely. 

ANZAC day is weighty- as is the very short history of white man in this land.

Lest we forget.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When Your Besties Are Babes

... and completely talented...

ArtBar: M Carney Ensemble

Musical trio – piano / accordion & glockenspiel / mandolin

Michael Carney is a pianist/accordionist/composer based in Sydney. In 2009 he released his premier album, Tears of the Candle. The M Carney Ensemble features Michael Carney on accordion and glockenspiel, Jo Izzard on piano and Mike McCarthy on mandolin. They regularly perform at cinemas, restaurants, fairs and festivals and produce a sound that impresses a mood of reflection and delight upon the listener.

Wednesday 25 April, 2 & 9 May 2012
5.15pm & 7.30pm
location: Cafe
Duration: 1 Hour
Okay dudes, if you are near Sydney you MUST come and see my some of my favourite friends* do what they do at the Art Gallery of NSW. 

I for one will be attending at least one of these shows if not more. What better excuse do you need to visit the Archibald, drink a glass of champagne and listen to beautiful music? 
You won't regret it.

If you want to get your hands on some of M. Carney's music, you can do so here.

.... first show is on TOMORROW, that'd be anzac day (sounds like the perfect way to spend the afternoon, no?)

* just so you know how much I really mean that - we have all been in each others bridal parities over the years. I love these guys to pieces.

The Horse - Final Giveaway!!

You're excited right?!


**It's the  giveaway grand finale**

We love all things The Horse here at The Beetle Shack.

 Like comfortable shoes that wear well in fruity colourful leather? umm- YES PLEASE.  We also love (like really love) Amy and Scott, the baben' owners behind this amazing brand. It's with true dedication and style that they work on these unique creations and the result is always beautifully crafted shoes in soft, sumptious leather. 

I know you want some (because I want some too)

To win YOUR CHOICE of shoes from The Horse simply be a follower of The Beetle Shack and like The Horse's FB page  before heading over to choose your favourite style (mens or ladies- it's up to you). Leave a comment below telling me the style, colour and size you'll be needing.

for extra entries share this post on facebook/twitter/pinterest/instagram


NOTE: This giveaway marks the end of our giveaway party. All giveaways will remain open until friday 27th April. All winners will be announced on Saturday 28th April. 

Thanks so much for playing!

Monday, April 23, 2012

His First Day (again)

The Young Man rose before the sun this morning (like every morning). Overcome with excitement, he pulled a toy truck to his bedroom door, climbed it and turned the handle before jumping into our bed for the usual ritual. Only this time- our sleepy conversation revolved around 'his new preschool' and whether or not it had a 'fireman's pole' (it doesn't).

Once our bleary eyes fully witnessed his enthusiasm we started the day. Lunch boxes needed to be packed, pre school clothes needed to be selected and coffee consumed (by us, not him- naturally).

This is the second pre-school he has been to and I am full of hope that it will be a positive learning experience for him- socially, emotionally and physically. Dave and I have taken the time to remember the same things that fell upon our heart last time, we are grateful for the preschool pause and for the sensitive, intuitive, creative child we have been blessed with.

Before we set off we did our best to grab a couple of decent photo's but the sky was grey and the boy too excited to be still.

This is the best we could do.

See the blur in the bottom right hand corner? That accurately depicts the speed with which he was moving.

I said it last time and I'll say it again

 He grows up, I stay the same.
I love him forever.

Not too quickly Young Man, promise?

Little Green Shed - GIVEAWAY

Lou from Little Green Shed is a woman of many talents. Not only does she write a beautiful blog about her loves and life, she also creates stunning fruity fine art and photography prints that she sells through her etsy shop of the same name.  She loves colour - especially yellow, sunshine, mid century design, photography, interiors, scandi design, nature, walking barefoot, camping, knitting and a good cup of tea. 
 Pretty much my kinda lady!

 She's also one of The Beetle Shack's first sponsors- see her little button over there to the left?

Because she's a sweetie, Lou is offering one lucky reader of The Beetle Shack the chance to win an A4 print of your choosing. Just head over to Little Green Shed and make your selection before leaving me a comment telling me your choice!

To keep up to date on secret sales 'like' the Little Green Shed facebook page.

for extra entries share this giveaway on your blog/facebook/twitter/pinterest

NOTE: all giveaways are still open and all winners will be announced at the end of the party.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Month of Sundays - The i'm-sorry-miss-but-the-dog-ate-my-homework Session

On Friday morning Dave packed his swag, fishing rod, beer and a quiver of surfboards into a friends car before setting of on a 3 day bucks weekend extravaganza. The week prior was spent endlessly talking about the adventures that were to come. His excitement was (almost) contagious, so I (almost) happily kissed his cheek and wished him well and big swell.

With my kitchen buddy gone it was just the kids and I. While we did play at the park, watch movies, hang with the grampies and bounce on the tramp- we didn't quite make it to the kitchen. So consider this post a letter from my mother...

"Dear Readers, 
The dog ate Emily's 'Month of Sundays' homework and she is unable to submit it on time. We will do our best to see that this doesn't happen again.


But like all good mums, she covered for me. Here is a seriously quick and simple Vanilla Slice recipe for you. Mum made a variation of this for us on the weekend and it was pretty good!


  • 200g packet Arnott's Lattice biscuits
  • 1/3 cup Foster Clark's custard powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup icing sugar mixture
  • 1 passionfruit, halved


  1. Grease a 3cm-deep, 16.5cm x 26cm (base) slab pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends. Place 12 biscuits, in a single layer, in pan to cover base.
  2. Combine custard powder and 1/4 cup milk in a saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk. Add sugar and place pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until custard comes to the boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool slightly.
  3. Pour warm custard over biscuits. Top with another layer of 12 biscuits. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  4. Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon passionfruit pulp. Stir to make a thick icing, adding more pulp if required. Spoon icing over slice. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until icing sets. Cut slice into squares, using shape of biscuits as a guide. Serve.

See what was happening this time last year here and here 

Thanks so much for hanging in with me on the Giveaways- only two more to go and it's blast off!

La Mav Organic Skin Science - Giveaway

I've been using La Mav for a while now and I can honestly say that I've seen a dramatic improvement in the condition of my skin. Not only is their packaging beautiful and their scents fruity, La Mav is also Australia's first certified organic skin care range. Their products are 100% naturally derived and formulated with clinically-proven skin care BIO-ACTIVES derived from nature, which deliver visible results and are gentle on the skin.

The entire La Mav range is certified organic, certified cruelty-free and guaranteed to be free from harsh petrochemicals, sulphates, GMOs, parabens, mineral oil, phthalates and artificial colours or fragrances.

The Beautiful team at La Mav are offering one reader of The Beetle Shack the chance to win a 3 piece gift pack from their  Age Defence Range. It's a delicious generic range and is designed for all skin types. 

All you need to do is become a follower of The Beetle Shack and leave a comment below

for extra entries share this giveaway on twitter/facebook/pinterest/blogger/instgram

please note: all giveaways are still open and all winners will be announced at the end of the party.

*even if you don't win this giveaway, I genuinely recommend La Mav products. The difference in my skin since using them is noticeable (plus, they look super fancy all lined up in my bathroom)