Monday, July 30, 2012

Off It

I've been a little off this blog lately. Writing posts has felt like home work and my River Cottage bestie, Yoss always says that if your blog feels like homework, then it's time to kick it.

I've been thinking about kickin' it.

Life has been busy and i've only had a smidgen of time each week for this little space here. Instead of providing me with a creative outlet I've felt like a slave to stats and comments. My posts have been boring, even to me and my heart has been elsewhere.

But today, as I took a breather from responsibility and intentionally focused on relaxing, I gathered my thoughts and meandered through my archives. 

I stumbled upon this post and it reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place.

 It's a personal journal for my family. A trashy keepsake for my children. It holds their stories, their chubby baby cheeks, their firsts and their lasts, the sweet things they say and do.

So amongst the never ending chaos (which i rather enjoy), I shall blog. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Zeph: Always close to his nanny's side. Forever indulged by her love.
Pippi: She never used to be this cheeky.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Planting (asparagus crowns)

While the air was still crisp we pulled on our gumboots and buttoned up our woollens, the time had come for us to plant our asparagus crowns.

We'd spent a week or so discussing the perfect location, researching companion plants and root disruption and waiting for the soil in our new garden beds to settle.

Asparagus likes rich well drained soil and once planted will provide a crop during the warmer months for about twenty years. That means we'll be eating oodles of fresh asparagus until our kids leave home (oh no, i don't want my kids to leave home). We bought second year crowns which means we should get a light harvest this year and a smoking hot harvest every year after.

 To plant asparagus crowns you make a little mound at the bottom of a trench (i've read varying opinions- from 25 to 75cm deep). Sit the roots of the crown on top of the mound and let it's little tentacles dangle down at a 45 degree angle. Plant about 40cm apart. 

Best part, if you're in an apartment or are strapped for space, you can plant a couple of asparagus crowns into a big pot! Winner!

If you'd like to know more, watch this seriously dorky video.*

Do we even say 'video' any more?

Same day last year (i can't believe how much my kids have grown)

Friday, July 27, 2012

P.S - tea trolly

When I returned home from the park last wednesday I found a mysterious delivery on my doorstep. 

There it sat amongst a sea of muddy gumboots - a gleaming white tea trolly accompanied by a solitary library card that read 'can you guess where I am from? P.S .... the full range launches in store on August 1st'. 

It reeked of IKEA simply because it was totally AWESOME.

This sweet white tea trolly is part of the new P.S collection that focuses on innovative forms, functions, materials and sustainability. You can check out the full range here and don't forget to ogle the prices, seriously affordable!!

thanks IKEA, love you long time.

What do you think of the range, friends? 

I plan to hit up some brightly coloured out door furniture for this summer! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

You've Gotta See This

A few weekends ago some of our treasured friends got married. This is the Groom, Mike McCarthy's face as his bride walks the sodden isle to meet him.

She's a stinkin' hot babe.

Have a look at the full day and see Soph in all her glory here.

Thanks for throwing the party to end all parties guys!

Live happily ever after.

p.s Mike just happens to be an uber talented musician. You can check it out here. I know every word to every song on this album and still play it on high rotation. In fact, I think the launch show for this record is the best gig i've ever been to (and i've even seen bob dylan play)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This is Chaos

... chaos at 8 am.

... the crumbs remain on the kitchen bench, but  those naughty children, they are in bed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Beautiful Home - An Artists Home

When a humble and eloquently written email appeared in my inbox a couple of months ago sharing the work of this amazing artist, I was delighted to learn about his mammoth canvases and relaxed methods.

That email was my first introduction to the talented Rodney Simmons and from there I came to know his lovely partner, Claire and their friend Nicole Humphrey.

As it turns out, these three amigos are all true creatives.

Between them, they can paint large canvases resulting in monet-seque abstract landscapes, decorate houses to Vogue Living standard and photograph before mentioned canvases and homes with perfect lighting.

It's only natural that we'd like to take a peek inside the houses of such creative people, right?

So, welcome to Rodney and Claire's bespoke hideaway. Filled with salvaged treasures, original paintings, three children and endless love. Photographed by Nicole Humphrey.

"This was the Hogwarts room complete with Potions area , roll top desk and Owlery...The beds were bought on ebay for 99 cents( for two! ) and the kids and I had fun respraying them black. Hogwarts express sign was painted by Rodney Simmons and the broom was one of twelve Rodney hand made for a Harry potter party. We all thought that "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good" is an apt quote for a kids room!" - Claire

"This is Monet's room . The room reveal was her 8th birthday present. Rodney painted the tree and birdhouses (which are used for storage) and Monet loves going to sleep watching the birds and the peace dove on the ceiling. The green rug was given to her by a friend and the crates were bought at a garage sale" - Claire

 "I had wanted a mid century sideboard for a long long time. My best friend bought the one pictured for me as a surprise birthday present from another friend's mother in law. The large 'happy birthday mummy' canvas was my fortieth birthday present from the kids - it makes me smile. We have loads of photos but most date back to before Scarlett was done - poor third child! The table and sideboard were bought at a garage sale and the chest is an old sailing trunk" - Claire 

 "A nook outside - big chairs - roadside find and the little one picked up at an op shop for 10 dollars. The table is two old crates put together" - Claire

"This is the moment I fell in love with our home. I drove down the driveway and said to my husband- I think we are in trouble - he said why - I said I'm loving this driveway. Of course it wasnt the driveway it was the light in the trees and the bird life and well the whole damn forest that we have!" - Claire

I'm so in love with this charming home and completely inspired by the possibility of scoring matching vintage beds on ebay for 99c (best buy ever? yes, i think so). 

If you get the chance, please visit Nicole over on her facebook page, she is a truly talented photographer. 

The masterful Rodney Simmons can be found here. His work is pure deliciousness and well worthy of an oogle. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

That Bond (not james)

Just like these two, my Lady Baby and her Pa have a special bond. 

In the back yard of my family home stands an oversized lily-pily that holds a brittle old plastic swing. There they spend their time, sometimes chatting, sometimes silent, sometimes snoozing.

That little lady has a tenderness that I see in my dad. She is content just to be in good company, loves a good meal but can raise her voice when she needs to be heard. For these qualities, I love them both.

My heart swells with love and pride to see them like this. Smiling upon first sight and then joined at the hip while they share secret jokes and giggle to them selves.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eating Organic on $150 a Week

Okay, it's week two of our challenge and we've been shopping for organic milk, flour, grains, fruit, veg and bread.

 I organised to have a box of fruit and veg delivered early in the week and based our meals around what it contained and what I already had in the pantry.

We were delivered potatoes, carrots, apples, some cherry toms from Brisbane, mushrooms, pineapple, bananas and leafy greens. All of these items were organic and had been sourced from the East Coast of Australia. 

We ate roasted organic, free range chicken and vegetables, slow cooked beef casserole, biodynamic beef sausages with mash and greens, scrambled eggs from our chooks aaaannnnnd pizza from the best pizza place in town (neither organic or biodynamic but totally delish).

It was undoubtedly much more expensive to buy organic produce in the way that I did this week*, with 1kg of organic flour coming in at $5.50 and the same for 2L of milk. I kept within the $150 budget and found that our meals were much more simple than they would typically be.** There were less trips to the shops for fanciful items and when I did pop in I tended to buy less simply as a result of the reduced options.

I've spent hours researching and talking with friends about eating organic food and have found that I have only just scratched the surface. I need to dig a little deeper into this issue and over the coming weeks I'll fill you in on my findings.

Through investigating more closely these issues, there are a number of things that have become apparent which I plan to look into:

  • The issues surrounding certification
  • Ethical frameworks behind choosing organic over produce farmed in other ways
  • Organic and it's relationship to food miles 
  • Ethical consumption of organic/biodynamic meat and meat in general

I'll also be asking some of my favourite bloggers about their food choices and the reasons behind them.

If you know of any great resources or have opinions on any of the above mentioned issues I would seriously LOVE to hear them!


* if I bought organic from the farmers market or in bulk or from a co-op it has the potential to be a similar pice to non organic, supermarket bought produce, and in some cases cheaper. 
**although you can't get much more simple than the old tin of beans, can you?

52: A New Project

I've decided to join in posting a photo of my children once a week, every week for the remainder of the year. I hope it will be a nice way to document the tiny physical changes they make, you know, those ones that occur so gradually that you only notice them when they slap you on the face?

So here they are.

Zeph: 'Look mum, i'm wearing your glasses!'. Forever entertaining, always making us giggle.

Pippi: Breakfast face. Each and every morning she eagerly climbs atop her chair hollering 'butta TOASSTTTTTT' - meaning peanut butter on toast, please mum.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The New Toy

Okay, so a few of you asked about what camera I bought. After lots of looking and asking around I went with the Canon 60D with a 50mm 1.4 lens.

I was using the Lumix GF1 which is a great little hybrid that I never really learnt to use properly. This time though, I'm heading off to one of Tim's highly acclaimed courses to ensure that I can get the most out of the Canon.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blogs I'm Loving

If you need inspiration for true and lasting simple living then this is the place. Filled with stunning photography and honest prose, one of my (and Dave's) favourite places on the interwebs. We eagerly await his book.

 I have spend many hours devouring Rebekka's delicious words, photographs and illustrations. When you visit, you'll want to linger. 

lets be honest, who doesn't 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wearing: Park Attire

Jacket : Levis
Stripe Shirt : Subtitled 
Scarf : Country Road
Necklace and Ring : TDesign
Boots : Sole Society
Socks: from an ancient USA adventure

thanks Nat for snapping these.

* If you've been after these boots or like the ones featured today, you can get them here. These suckers are seldom off my feet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

These Two

Snuggled up together in the afternoon sun reading stories, telling tales and giggling. 

A single story can take an eternity to complete. Every question is answered, every tangent indulged.

I know how special that makes my young man feel, because I too have sat there on my mothers lap, listening to endless stories, enjoying the 'accents' and becoming lost in her voice and the warmth of her embrace.

You excel at love, mum. You really do.