Monday, December 31, 2012

RIGHT NOW





It's with sunburnt skin and bulging baby bump that I sit at this computer. Days have passed since i've dedicated any amount of time to the internet, abandoning it for real life, sunshine and the crystal waters of our local beaches.

Right now Dave is surfing, the kids are splashing in a little plastic wading pool, the dishwasher and the ceiling fan are competing for white noise domination and lego lines the floors of just about every room. It's a picture of domestic perfection.*

Tonight, once the kids have devoured the hot dogs I plan to make them, Dave and I will sit down with a cold drink and cheese platter and talk about the year that has been and the year that is to come. We might make a resolution or two, laugh about some of our adult tantrums (okay, mostly mine) and dream about a future where a mortgage does not exist.

We'll be grateful that we've had the opportunity to realise some of our dreams from 2012 (we did eat a lot of good food from our garden and manage to save a bit of money) and push on towards becoming a little less dependant on supermarket giants whilst resisting the temptation to become total food wankers in the process.

Whatever you're doing to bring in the new year, I hope it's fabulous.

xo em


p.s Tomorrow, on the 1st January 2013 i'll be starting the Artists Series I mentioned a while a ago. I've got some really exciting artists in the mix!



*as I typed that Zeph ran over Pippi's toe on a tryke. picture complete.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS





Merry Christmas my friends.

I hope your day was filled with a fantastic home cooked meal (preferably by your mother), muchos champagne and gift giving a plenty.

For those of you who joined me in a post feast slumber, congratulations. You did the right thing.

See you on the flip side

xo em



p.s I'm having choc coated peanuts and hot coffee for breakfast. tomorrow i'll enjoy the breakout that is sure to follow.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Last Day, Teacher Gifts, Weekly Stills and The Longest Blog Title In The History Of The World (oh, and merry christmas)







This morning Zeph and I wandered through our humble vegetable gardens collecting edible treasures for his teachers. Into a cane basket we placed some beautifully ripened tomatoes, fresh garlic, a range of herbs, yellow zucchini, egg plant, beans and some eggs from the hens down the back.

It seemed only fitting that we gifted them with items that we're produced with time, love and care. A small and humble expression of our gratitude for the amazing work they do. It's been with gentle guidance and genuine love filled words that they have taught Zeph this year and he is better for it. Dave and I couldn't be more pleased.

Without hesitation we marched out the front gates, sunflowers and wicker baskets in hand. Upon arrival Zeph announced "I grew these for you", he received warm smiles and firm hugs in return.

So that marks the end of the school year and the beginning of the holiday period. Tonight, Dave and I will celebrate in the cool evening breeze with take out chinese (honey king prawns, i need you) and a bottle of ice cold sparkling mineral water... okay, Dave will have james Squires and i'll wish I was having James Squires too.

Next year will be an exciting one for us, full of changes, new projects and new children.

I thought I'd leave you with a few places to visit should you have the time and the inclination. I'll also be adding the STILLS linky and including some of my favourite Beetle Shack posts. Please feel free to leave some of your highlights there too.

Have a beautiful Christmas my friends. My you be blessed with patience and a tiny bit of solitude amongst the mayhem.

If you have the time why not

1. Watch this film including some very exciting news.
2. Oogle this amazing back yard creation.
3. Encourage your kids to spend some time here (fun and educational).
4. Wet your appetite for all things surf, summer and adventuresome.
5. Make my all time favourite summer dessert.
6. Check back on Monday to see if you've won this amazing giveaway.
7. Grab a 'Weekly Stills' button and add it to your side bar.
8. Reflect upon your 2012 New Years Resolutions (here's mine) and start writing your 2013 list. eep.
9. Take the time to visit our sponsors on the side bar
10. Add some of your favourite posts to the linky below.

The Beetle Shack

The Beetle Shack

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wearing Spots at 20 Weeks





 Half way to full way. 20 Weeks, how did that happen? It's gone so quickly and i'm thoroughly enjoying not being sick and not being enormous*. BAM. awesome combo.

Christmas is fast approaching and we've got plans to visit some christmas lights close to home. I can't believe this time next year we will have a family of five. That is insanity!


Wearing

Sunnies from Sportsgirl
Beaded necklace c/o Shabby Sisters
Polkadot top from Sportsgirl
Maxi skirt from Sprotsgirl
Uber circle worn as bracelet c/o Uberkate
Best shoes ever c/o ELF (who are offering you guys a 10% discount, see button on the right)

While you're here, don't forget to enter this international giveaway for a $500 handbag. It's a bit amazing, i'll be honest.

If you've got time, why not visit some of our friends from the Weekly Stills linky too. I'm loving seeing all of the photo's from your weeks :)



* well as enormous as I will be 20 weeks from now ;)


Monday, December 17, 2012

II Tutto and The Organised Mum

SPONSORED POST





If there is one thing that motherhood has taught me, it's that a little bit of organisation goes a long way. I'll be honest, it's not something that comes naturally to me. My park mums can vouch for the fact that i'll be the one asking around for nappies, a wipe, some snacks for my kids and maybe, just maybe a sip from their water bottle.

It was actually this group of amazing women that taught me the secret of organisation. It's all in a massive Marry Poppins bag and whats not in there is must be in the boot of your car (right Lize?). On our very first 'park date' I witnessed each of them pull out picnic blankets (stylish ones), home made snacks, toys for their children to play with and spare change for a coffee at the cafe. I had the loose change under control, but home made snacks, not so much.

I get the feeling that Lucie, mum and creator of II Tutto, would fit right in with my ever impressive organised friends.  As a mum of two she fully appreciates the need to have essential items at hand. Thats why she designed the perfect baby bag. One that combines style with functionality.

Each and every II Tutto nappy bag is made from luxury materials and features a removable lining so that you can easily wash your bags internals. They also include a padded change mat, insulated bottle holder and clear plastic purse especially for smaller essentials, like the bonjela, sudocrem, panadol and wind treatments. That my friends, is pretty much everything you need to be an awesome mother. Throw in a nappy or two and a travel pack of wipes and you're set.

I for one, will never again* be caught out in public with out the necessary items to care for my children.  Baby Beetleshack number three will at all times be respectable and tidy.

So tell me, do you need a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to organisation, or do you have the home made snacks under control?

Either way, a II Tutto is an asset to any mothers handbag arsenal. The Mia was Carried by none other than Cate Blanchett, she is valued at $449.00 and rather lovely. See how I just called her 'she'- i don't know why I did that, it just happened.













* okay, okay- too far. But it's much less likely.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stills - A Weekly Collection









1. Nanny snuggles, the best kind. 'Nanny, i'm almost getting too big' he tells her. Little does he know that he will never be too big.
2. Back yard bush wanderings. 
3. Thats grass, guys. It's in our back yard (previously rambling rocks and dirt) and it's beautiful.
4. Grubby exhausted toddler feet stealing a quiet couch moment.
5. General table junk. My coffee, some wrapping paper and Zeph's train. It's always around, that table top litter.
6. Wild blackberries.
7. Just a humble bouquet, one of the many scattered around Jonah's (i posted about that earlier today, you can see it here. Waning, it may put you to sleep-zzzz boring)

Can't wait to see what you've been up to this week. Leave a link to your Collection of Weekly Stills below. I also loved seeing your christmas crafts last week, feel free to keep those ones coming too.

Don't forget to enter the Christmas Giveaway either, it's your last chance. Also, i'm offering large and medium add spaces at 50% off for the month of december, if you're interested click here.

Just What We Needed







A whole week ago now, Dave and I escaped for a weekend of quiet solitude and utter indulgence. Vastly different from our typical weekends filled with washing, cleaning and the wrangling of small children.

A sea plane was scheduled to pick us up from Rose Bay but high winds and poor visibility ensured we arrived by Kluger rather than aircraft. I can't say I was disappointed though, I'm no thrill seeker and must confess to breathing a sweet sigh of relief when the final decision was made.

Once safely in our cosy room we high fived each other before giggling like school girls. It's hilarious work pretending your posh when you're just plain ol'... well, plain.

Room service and a hot spa were a must so with the ocean surrounding us and filling our ears we lulled and soaked before reading (in silence) on the balcony wearing huge white fluffy robes. Later in the evening we enjoyed the most decadent a la cart dinner of our lives. The dessert was seriously something else, think Marie Antoinette, pink grapefruit and the most subtle of flavours.

The entire experience was perfectly rejuvenating- just what we needed. I confess to feeling rather 'flat' prior and had wondered how on earth I would make it through the Christmas season when running on empty.


Oh mercy, it was good.

So good.

I declare the child free extravaganza a success.

blissness.



The weekly collection linky will be up later on tonight! Can't wait to see your stills :)

P.S last chance to enter my Christmas giveaway just for you. Valued at over $1000 and filled with delicious product.




52





Zephie: His new fireman's hat. Watching the depth and creativity of his imaginary play has provided me with endless entrainment and pleasure.
Pippi: eagerly running towards her mumma before plonking herself in my lap.

View the 52 Series

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finding out Baby's gender









I've had a couple of people ask me over on Facebook and right here on the blog if we're going to find out the gender of this wee little baby, you know, the one in my tummy.

For each of my other pregnancies we have indeed jumped at the chance to discover the gender of our unborn babies. We've relished the opportunity to 'get to know' them while they dwell in-utero. To narrow down the list of names and to prayerfully ponder all that they may become.

This time though, we've decided to keep it a secret.

There is so much we already know about birth** and parenting (and even more we don't know) and I suppose the thought of a little bit of 'unknown' is appealing to us this time.

So, we will have a girl baby or a boy baby (but not one of each, there's only one in there).

Did you find out the gender of your babies?

Tell me, what do you think i'm having?





**i'll be having a planned c-section this time and i'll be writing about it a little later on.

EDIT: please note that in no way do Dave and I think that one way is more right or wrong, more or less fun or more or less admirable. For us it's a personal choice and we've chosen both at various times. Babies are always awesome and always surprising. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ribbon Tied In A Bow {gosh, that sounds interesting}






A few weeks ago we set off on a pine cone collecting adventure, it was misty and rainy and ridiculously delightful to wander through the trees and splash in the puddles.

We came home with a yellow bucket full of pine cones and big dreams of turning them into beautiful christmas decorations. But, you know, we're time poor and this is the best we could do.

A little bit of ribbon tied in a bow. Simple but pretty.

I have saved plenty so the kids can cover them glue and glitter because it just wouldn't be Christmas without glue and glitter, would it?

Have you made any home made christmas decorations this year? Tell me they include glitter, go on.



Wearing Polka Dots at 19 Weeks






Last weekend, Dave and I celebrated ten years of wedded harmony (gag) by taking off to Jonah's at Whale Beach. It's safe to say it was one fancy getaway (even if high winds did mean our sea plane arrival was cancelled) including some of the most decadent cuisine i've ever tasted. I'm looking forward to sharing some pics with you tomorrow, but for now, here is my weekly dose of dork- a wearing post.



Wearing bump Beetleshack
Polka dot dress c/o Joules*
Shoes c/o Sole Society
Accessories from the archives of my wardrobe

While you're here, please don't forget to enter the Christmas Giveaway valued at over $1000.

Hope you're keeping your camera handy for the weekly collection linky too. I've loved seeing your stills over the past few weeks, thank you.





*I'm loving their collection of women's dresses and would seriously be buying this shirt if my bump didn't prohibit it. Also, suss out the sale section for a bargain (hello floral shorts!?)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A GIVEAWAY FOR UNDER THE TREE {COLSED}




It's Christmas time and if you're anything like Dave and I, most of your spare dollars are spent on your children. So i've decided to prepare a little giveaway just for you. The ladies and the gents (tell me there is at least one male reader out there, this giveaway is for YOU!).

A selection of quality products that I consider 'luxury'. Things that are completely unnecessary but absolutely delightful. The items we usually go without, especially at Christmas time - but not this year. This giveaway is valued at over $1000 and includes some of my favourite brands.

Think metallics, luxury skincare, cosmetics and quality leather goods combined with film and music created by some of my treasured friends. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, this one is for you.

To enter, follow the prompts below.




For the ladies:

This luxurious pack includes 
1. A handcrafted necklace by C. Alexandria. Valued at $36.00
2. Two Metallic Organic Makeup packs by INIKA, easily the most amazing makeup i've used in my life. You will receive one for you and one for a friend.Valued at $170
3. Sumptuous red leather handbag from Elf's collection. Elf is offering all readers of The Beetle Shack a 10% discount by using the code 'BEETLE'. View their range here. Valued at $180
4. Clogs of your choosing by Lotta from Stockholm Valued at $90
5. Two Organic skincare packs from La Mav. You will receive one for you and one for a friend. Valued at $200







For the gentlemen:

This pack includes

1. Luxury shoes created by The Horse. Valued at $170

2. An Australian surf film by Nathan Oldfield entitled The Heart and The Sea. Internationally acclaimed and hot off the press, an absolute must have for any surfer or creative. Just quietly, even Tim Winton boasts is beauty. Yes, I sad Tim Winton- best author this planet has ever seen. Valued at $40
3. Three pack of CD's from Australian Musician Mike McCarthy. Threading together elements of dirt box blues with an open-sea folk, McCarthy's music captures a sense of journey. Valued at $60

4. A pair of the finest quality hand-made mens wooden sunnies by Proof. Valued at $180

5. Innovative wooden watch by We Wood. 100% wood and crafted with care for our planet. Valued at $120







 Each package will go to a different winner.  I'd love nothing more than for the 'gentlemens' pack to actually go to a gentleman- so if you're of the male persuasion, don't be shy, please feel free to comment below. If you're a lady and connected to a gentleman (or just any old man for that matter- feel free to enter of his behalf). Plese specify which package you'd like to win.





To enter simply be a follower of The Beetle Shack (over on the right) and leave a comment below.

For extra entries 
  1. Be a follower of The Beetle Shack via Google Friend connect
  2. Like The Beetle Shack  on Facebook
  3. Share this give away on any social media platform (instagram/facebook/twitter/pinterest)
  4. fly to the moon and back in a silver rocket.
Winner will be announced one week from today on this post.

WINNER OF THE LADIES PACK 
Traci Sparkle DevlinDecember 11, 2012 4:27 PM
I would adore the lady pack for myself. Traci x









WINNER OF THE MENS PACK
I follow you, Ms Beetle Shack!! You rock :)

CONGRATULATIONS GUYS- HIT ME ON THE EMAIL WITH YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS ASAP xx

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. 

Graphics designed by none other than Lauren Merrick






Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stills: A Weekly Collection {The Glitter Edition}







1. Making wrapping paper.
2. A Seriously thoughtful gift for Zeph from Toysie. It's a timber fire truck and fire station. I've just added this to my cart also.
3. Making decorations (tell me your week has involved the same)
4. Umm yes, of course I have a massive glittery bow on my front door. $2 at hot dollar. Winning.
5. Just the most magical piece of art that Zeph has ever created. Look at it. There is no denying it's glory.
6. The honourary vile of glitter.
7. Glitter foot prints
8. A humble table setting. On Friday evening Dave and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by eating take away indian by candle light. Tonights adventures will be much more fancy.

If you have a collection of stills from your week, I'd love for you to add the link below.* Also, if you've been christmas crafting feel free to share those links too. I can't wait to see what you've been up to!

xo em






*cheaters more than welcome!