Friday, November 30, 2012

She's Cheeky

This little one is growing up. When I say growing up, what I really mean is getting cheeky. My quiet, placid lady baby has come out of her shell. Being a pesky little sister comes naturally to her and she and truly hold her own in any situation, offering Zeph a good whack when required (naturally, he responds in kind).

I can't quite believe that she will be two years old on Australia Day, It feels like just yesterday that I wrote this post.

Oh children, you really do get more wonderful with each and every day.

Stories about the Lady Baby.

Pippi's dress is c/o the beautiful Em from Little Tienda. Thanks Em, i'm wearing my La Flor today too.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wearing: Bump Beetleshack and a White Shirt

Wearing at 17 Weeks

Bump Beetleshack
White Shirt c/o Soon Maternity
'Songbird' Maxi Dress worn as skirt c/o fillyboo
Belt from Cue
Shoes c/o Sole Society
Bag c/o Zoe Kratzmann

I can't believe that by Christmas i'll be over half way there.  After being heavily pregnant (and having a new born) in the heat of an Aussie summer a couple of years ago, I'm ever so grateful to be having a winter baby this time around.

an attempt at context
birth and advice
case in point
having a caesar and being a failure at birth

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Conversation Inducing

Our approach to gardening is a simple one. Natural is best, every time.

We generally allow things to turn to seed before pulling them out of the patch to feed to the chooks or to compost. Often, these things self sew and we find new plants haphazardly sprouting all the time. It makes for messy garden, but that's how we like it. Minimal neat lines and organised categories, just edibles, everywhere.

Lately, we've started collecting seed for the coming seasons. It's cheaper and apparently, plants become accustomed to the area in which they grow, they evolve into what the climate and environment need. This means seed collected from your own garden is far superior, for your own garden, than any seed that can be purchased at bunnings or Green Harvest (although Green Harvest is our first choice when purchasing seed).

The other afternoon Dave and I found ourselves sitting in the shade of the Magnolia while the kids threw sand at each other in the sand pit. There is something beautifully conversation inducing about having busy hands and a still mind. Together we sat with glass jars at our knees and a massive pile of Kale and Rocket seeds in a cane basket between us. We gently let the seeds fall from their pods into the jars, feeling smug about our fancy pants accomplishment.

Of course a much faster way would be to string the pods into a muslin/breathable bag and let the seeds fall out themselves before storing them in a cool dry place.

If you're interested in saving seed from your garden, here is a great resource for you.

In other semi related news, I'm trying to convince Dave that he should start a little 'gardening' section on The Beetle Shack. I think it would be interesting to have a 'basics' section for those of us who are keen to grow food but overwhelmed by the thought. Would you be interested?

Also, today was a MUCH better day. Of course there was still spilt juice on the floor, but it bothered me much less than it could have. Tomorrow i'll gloat about it in my usual fashion ;)

okay, i'm off to watch some Louis Theroux on the interwebs.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Sometimes parenting is like magic. A warm breeze blows from north while the sun shies upon our backs with just enough strength to turn our skin brown. Our children play happily with clean faces and freshly ironed clothes.

Other times, it's just hard work.

Usually, our children are sweet sugar to our tongues. Their cherub faces, wide eyes and tiny hands provide constant delight while their mis pronunciation of words proves endlessly endearing.

Other times they are vinegar (maybe apple cider vinegar, to be fair - they're still a little bit sweet).

This weekend we've had our fair share of apple cider vinegar from our two. Dave and I are exhausted beyond comprehension, making it difficult to get along with anyone- let alone each other.

Our days have started well before the sun is willing to rise and the children seem to have done nothing other than bicker, cry and make a mess. Not just any mess, a huge mess- in every room. We've stomped around the house in filthy moods with scowls on our faces. We've fed off each others misery whist trying to ignore responsibility and reality. The screen doors were left open and the flies joined us in the house.


Sometimes it takes a couple of days of poor behaviour (from everyone) before we can regroup and begin again.

Today, we began again.

As we approach the silly season Dave and I are reminded that it's our job to give our kids the best opportunity to succeed. We need to ensure that we put them first and make their needs our priority. They need to be well rested, well feed and firmly disciplined. They need to know the boundaries and expectations. They need to know they are loved, unconditionally.

This week we will move forward as a family. Patience, gratitude and forgiveness will be at the fore front of our hearts and minds. Our voices will be raised less often and our knees will be bent more frequently. We will meet our children at eye level and speak to them as we expect them to speak to us.

Slowly and intentionally we will demonstrate kindness, gentle touch and self control.

At times we will fail. But we will begin again, again.

Bayside Vintage Giveaway

A Bayside Vintage Giveaway {CLOSED}

I have spent WAY too much time and money browsing the online shelves of Bayside Vintage. Just the other day, in a moment of weakness, I added this sucker to my cart- see that SOLD sign? it's my fault. 

I have a long lust list going and the fact that most items are 'one offs' and French vintage means that it's mighty hard to resist temptation. I'm currently dreaming of this enamel utensil rack and this amazing French vintage advertising sign. Perfect much?

Fortunately enough, Bayside Vintage have put together a Christmas inspired giveaway exclusively for followers of The Beetle Shack. 

The lucky winner will receive a Perfumed Handcrafted Candle, Mason Ball JarAntique French Lavender PillowBakers Twine on a Vintage Spool and A set of Christmas gift tags.

To enter, simply leave a comment below

For extra entries 
  1. Be a follower of The Beetle Shack via Google Friend connect
  2. Like Bayside Vintage on Facebook
  3. Like The Beetle Shack  on Facebook
  4. Share this give away on any social media platform (instagram/facebook/twitter/pinterest)

Of course you can still enter if you aren't on facebook, you just need to leave a comment below and make sure I can contact you via email.Winner will be announced on this post one week from today. Make sure you check back to see if it's you

* if your comment is chosen by the random number generator and you're not a follower of T.B.S, a second winner will be chosen.

terms: this giveaway is open to all Australian followers of The Beetle Shack. All entrants must provide a first name along with your comment entry and ensure I can contact you via your blog/social media or email  (you can subscribe via email if you don't want to list your contact details publicly) . Once the giveaway has ended and winner is chosen they will be contacted via email and put in touch with the sponsor. Giveaway items are not distributed by The Beetle Shack, they are directly distributed to the winners by the sponsors themselves. 

And the winner is commenter #37 Please email me with your address so I can pass it on to Bayside Vintage. CONGRATULATIONS, it's such a lovely pack xo em

oohh lovely! a few more SOLD signs might be popping up soon...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stills: A Weekly Collection

1. A tidy spot. You know, prepared for a very special guest.
2. Kate, the very special guest. I can't wait to tell you more about her visit in the coming weeks.
3. Beans, doing their thing. Ready for planting.
4. Fancy Dave made me breakfast.
5. Morning coffee in the garden. A weekend treat.
6. 'What does this smell like?'. A game we play. One rubs a herb or plant in their hands before asking another to guess the scent. This time it was lavender.
7. Bollywood style.
8. The Bollywood birthday girl. Looking oh so authentic.
9. The park mums (all out of focus) sans the birthday girl and I.

Pippi's dress c/o Little Tienda


Zeph: Take a photo of me next to my painting, mum. Can you see his sixteen year old face here?

Pippi: You'd like to wear your ski jacket in the middle of a warm spring day? Of course Darling, whatever makes you happy.

52 Series

My Weekly Stills are almost ready for sharing, are yours?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Close to Home

Last weekend we wandered further afield than we typically do, we splashed in puddles and breathed in the sweet scent of rain on the warm earth. Back at home, the house work was neglected and the washing remained untouched*.

This weekend we're planning to stay closer to home. The pizza oven is calling for it's final coat of lime render and the back yard is yearning for turf. So together we'll enjoy lazy mornings with coffee and jam  toast followed by our usual garden routines. No doubt i'll enjoy a brief love affair with the laundry and celebrate my new peg basket by hanging out endless loads of washing.

We might not tick everything off our never ending 'to do' list, but we will make a minuscule dent in between pausing for Ribena Berry cordial (my latest pregnancy obsession) and taking afternoon kips.

I'll keep my camera close by, ready to capture some stills to share on Sunday evening. I'm looking forward to seeing yours if you choose to join in.

What's on the agenda for your weekend? I hope it moves slowly for you.

Also, If you're not pregnant, would you do me a favour and have an icy cold beer for me?

*much like it does most of the time

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Recipe for the Butterflys

This is the time of year when those pretty white butterflies can be spotted fluttering around the vegie patch.

They are beautiful little pests, laying their tiny eggs on the undersides of delicious leafy greens - that is until miniature soft caterpillars emerge and eagerly devour everything in sight.

When we first started gardening we decided not to use any synthetic materials*, preferring to keep everything organic where possible. So each year around this time I mix a batch of natural 'butterfly deterrent' and each year, it works.

Here is the recipe

1. A full bulb of garlic (not a clove)
2. A good few glugs of olive oil
3. A few tablespoons of Dishwashing liquid
4. A few table spoons of tabasco sauce
5. Water

Put whole garlic bulb through a garlic press and let it sit in a glass jar with the olive oil (strain through a tea strainer when done). Mix a few spoonfuls with dishwashing liquid, hot pepper sauce and water in a spray bottle. 

Trust me,this will be good for your leafy greens. Indeed it's so beneficial for my rocket that I actually sacrificed a full head of our home grown, organic, fancypants garlic for the recipe. It physically pained me to crush it and not eat it, I even considered trying to salvage some, but didn't ;)

Do you have a natural garden recipe that you rely on?


*I am not an earth mother, last night I bleached my mo.... with bleach. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wearing Bump Beetleshack : 16 Weeks

Dave snapped these while we were searching for pine cones in the rain last weekend. The mist was thick and heavy and we were excited to be amongst it, taking in it's fresh scent whilst brushing past water laden leaves and branches. We returned home with muddy shoes and a bucket full of 'mini Christmas trees' (see more photo's here)


Bump Beetleshack
'Start Loving' poncho c/o Fillyboo
Khaki pants c/o Soon Maternity
Head piece from Tree of Life
Boots c/o Sole Society

Head back over here to see if you were the winner of the leather satchel. I've got some other goodies coming your way over the next few weeks- it is Christmas after all!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Weather Made Me Do It

When the sun is shining and a warm breeze blowing, we can be found in the garden, weeding, sewing, harvesting and pulling bugs. While we love slow days close to home, sometimes it's nice to wander further a field.

Mostly, it's the weather that forces us to do so.

This weekend the drizzle encouraged us to take a drive to a misty faraway forest with the intention of collecting pinecones for Christmas crafting (squeeee!)

We searched the sodden ground while rain sprinkled upon our heads leaving drops of water to form pearls in our hair. Into a big yellow bucket we threw dozens of 'miniature christmas trees' just waiting to be sprinkled with glitter.

The children jumped in muddy puddles while Dave and I strolled behind them, thankful for what we've created together.

All of a sudden I can feel Christmas just around the corner. My excitement is so immense it's childlike.

This year Zeph will be old enough to understand what it's really all about- that it is more blessed to give than to receive. And that together, we are celebrating the birth of an illegitimate baby boy born into a stinky barn (that'd be Jesus). Nothing fancy, just the humble story of a Saviour.

Cara Loren Photography

Sponsored Post

If you can know one thing about Cara Loren, let it be this - she wants to freeze time so that cuddling her kids can last forever.

I think i'll join her on that one.

As a family photographer, Cara Loren's desire to freeze time inspires her to capture the modern family as they are, carefree and uninhibited - candid, if you will.

She aims to challenge the notion of the traditional family portrait, you know the ones where everybody wears denim and a white polo? In it's place she provides a snapshot into a moment time in a family's live, filled with big belly laughs and heartfelt cuddles. A portrait where a real story is told. 

This is achieved by intentional and quality interactions with each family, not just during the session.  After which, you will be provided with a disk including all of the images so you can print them as Christmas presents or as often as you like for the rest of your life. 

Cara Loren is based in Sydney and available Australia wide. 

Contact her here
Find here on Facebook here 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stills: A Weekly Collection

1. Two big ones at Hot Dollar. Usually I choose tasteful decor during the silly season, but not this year. Think coloured tinsel, home made (by the kids) decorations and glitter everywhere. Christmas craft is all I can think about, don't think you'll be escaping the frenzy.
2. Dave, relaxing.
3. First tomato of the season.
4. Oh, the bliss.
5. A Lady Baby who dresses and acts like a boy most days.
6. More Dadda? Up there, in the sky!
7. Ready for planting

See more Stills.

I'd love to see a collection of your Weekly Stills- if you've taken some or have a photo's based post you'd like to share, feel free to leave your link below (I added the linky widget, so fancy).

While you're at it, head over and visit Steph from This Brown Wren for a beautiful peek into her week. A story in Photo's.