Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stills: A Weekly Collection {the life's too busy edition}

You know, sometimes life is a whirlwind. Well, my life is a whirlwind and I suspect yours is too. This week I've had fun with the kids, got behind on the washing and accomplished my greatest achievement in solo parenting thus far- groceries at Aldi with 3 kids (whoy, that was NUTS). But alas, my camera lay dormant.

So here are my stills- all two of them.

1. New art for Elke's room by the ever talented Lauren Merrick (currently on sale for $20)

2. A truly touching gift from this beautiful lady. I actually shed a tear unwrapping each handmade parcel - obviously made with time, love and care. THANK YOU SARE!!

Okay, I hope you've done a better job than I have!

See you tomorrow. I'm off to enjoy my nightly cup of tea and piece of dark chocolate.

26/52 {mischief and innocence}

Zephie: Mischief. Always Mischief.

Pippi: Mischief. Always Mischief.

Elke: Pure Innocence.... but for how long?

As always, linking up with Jodi and heading back later today for the Stills Collection.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Eternal Trio {A Feature Post for Target}

I've mentioned a few times before that things work best for us here at The Beetle Shack when inside toys are scarce. That doesn't mean that we don't have a large amount of 'plastic fantastic' that we've gathered at toy sales over the years, because we do - think Fire Man Sam play sets, Octonaut figurines (a personal favourite, I must confess), tonka trucks and the essential lego and duplo collections. It simply means that these toys are carefully managed and packed away into high places when not being actively played with. They are brought down as a reward for good behaviour or on a rotational basis to ensure the kids don't tire of them and begin using them as weaponry for sibling warfare rather than their intended purpose - imaginative play.

I find that most toys are loved for a short period of time before being discarded under the bed, behind the book shelf or at the back of the wardrobe (although they do provide some superb bribery opportunities much like the ones I mentioned in this post).

Around here it's the 'classic' toys that get used repeatedly day in, day out. Year in, year out.  You know, the toys that we 80's babies used to play with as kids. The Lego, the Duplo and dare I say... the My Little Pony*

As our tribe get older, Dave and I find ourselves investing in the toys that will go the distance. The toys that last when left out in the weather, provide physical activity and facilitate happy, lasting memories.

I'm pretty sure every one of us will recall bouncing luxuriously on the trampoline, filling our shoes and socks with sand in the sandpit and swinging for hours on the swing set.

 It's the eternal back yard trio.

The sandpit. The trampoline. The swing set.

This week we completed the trifecta at the Target Toy Sale by collecting a fabulously 1980's inspired swing set- think tubular steel and bright yellow plastic. Some things never change and nor should they.

*okay, not really in the same category, i know. But gee I loved my 'My Little Pony's'

This post is sponsored by Target.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Keep In Touch

My love affair with Blogger is over two years old now. Yes, it's been over two years since I first indulged in the awkward narcissism that is The Beetle Shack.

Almost every day during that time I have spent time at my computer to publish a post and scroll through my blog reader. But times are changing and Google Reader is going bye-bye.

If you're keen to keep in touch you can follow The Beetle Shack via Bloglovin' or I can deliver an email to your inbox for you, you'll just need to enter your email over at the top right.

Obviously, I'll still be in the usual places like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Have a beautiful weekend Friends. I'm utterly exhausted so it's the usual friday night here- take out and a movie.

Follow The Beetle Shack via Bloglovin'

p.s I'd love to know how you get here. Reader, facebook, other?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wearing: Polka Dots and a Pom Pom

I keep thing pretty simple on the wardrobe front these days, If it makes it out of the wardrobe, i'll flog it every day until it's filthy (yes, i really will)  but If i'm going to wear it it's got to tick a few basic boxes;

1. Be button down or stretchy at the front for easy breast feeding access
2. Sport a fabulous print to hide baby vomit and booger smears
3. Pants and tights must be comfortable and not fall down. I have no time for hitching things up.
4. Be fruity because life is boring without a bit of colour


Beanie c|o Sourpuss Knits
Polka Dot Shirt | Anthropologie  (find similar)
Denim Jacket | Levis
Jeans | Levis 
Boots | Sole Society (find similar)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Wanderings

We've been making a point of getting out and adventuring on the weekends, you know, in an ambitious quest to tire the kids out and maybe sneak in a mid day nap. Most of the time it's fruitless but it does offer the opportunity to bask in the goodness of an Aussie winter.

Fire trails and bush tracks provide the perfect setting for two rambunctious young ones to run free, tripping and falling as they go. With Elke in the pack we we wandered up, up, up gathering grains of sand in our shoes as we went.

From the highest point we could see the entire world (well not really) and all of its oceans but not one single migrating whale.

Not to worry - the air was crisp and the sun warm so we lingered around anyway.

Beautiful Life.

I bought Pip's threads from Paul and Paula. Great quality, aussie made. Bam. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stills: A Weekly Collection

1. Easily my favourite room in the house. Our master bed in the afternoon light, warming up nicely and willing me in.
2. As close as I get to above mentioned bed. My scarf and my jacket.
3. Succulent on sideboard.
4. Pre school art works sprawling all over the house. Taped to walls, doors and the fridge.
5. My very own therapeutic Ouch tassel. Pippa advised me to run my fingers through it daily - a calming ritual. Pippa darling, what made you think I should require such a ritual? ;)
6. Early education - 'Elke, you see red. You see yellow'.
7. Must be winter. rain jackets at the front door and a muddy pile of gumboots just out of frame.
8. Little Elke bed filled with treasures. Bassinet sheet made by my darling mum when Pip was a babe, vintage alpaca cardi collected from my local market and a dancing elephant from Nana Huchy.

TAH DAHHH another week down. Can you believe we are half way through this year? Life, slow down - I can already see my babies growing up and leaving me.

Hope your weeks were beautiful my friends! Lets all put potatoes in the slow cooker on monday morning and devour a hot lunch at 12- best idea ever Michelle, thank you. There was so much great food advice on this post, I'll be trying a few of your suggestions... especially those that recommend chocolate.


Zephie: About to embark on some very important soil shovelling. No time to smile for a photo.

Pippi: Curling your toes, just like your dadda does. You and he have identical feet, something i'm certain you're sure to loathe in later life- they are wide and flat. But while you hate them, i'll love that you have stolen his flippers.

Elke: Every day you're a little more alert, a little more vocal (think gooing and gahing) and a little more smiley. Every day, you're the same amount of snuggley.

See you later on today for the stills collection link up.

Joining in with Jodi.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Okay, Help a Sister Out

Dave is now back at work full time while I am left at home with three scrumptious children to look after all on my very own. It's been almost a week now and our days have ranged from excellent to disastrous (yesterday, oh my word) and back to great again.

While I'm fairly* certain I can keep the children fed and entertained most days, I do doubt my ability to actually look after myself too. 

I'm sure I'll manage to make them lunch, wipe their noses and bottoms and warm them a cup of milk before rest time, but what about me? 

What will I eat (and when will I wee)?

A hungry Mummy is a grumpy Mummy round here and we ain't got no space for grumps.

I'm time poor and usually doing things with hand. So tell me, what are your go to snacks when time escapes you? 

I'd love to hear your advice and recipes.

 Do you fill the pantry with fresh baked goodies or are you more of a 'packet' person (i've been smashing some serious sa-ka-ta's these past few days)?

* okay, i'm not certain at all but I don't want to get way laid with their needs- this is about me!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Bounce Walk

Oh hi, i'm just here to gloat, okay?

The first  official day of 'i-have-3-kids-and-i-look-after-them-all-day-on-my-own' is over and what a success it was! I had been mentally preparing myself for weeks and i'll be honest, I anticipated that disaster was imminent.

In fact, the day started as I had imagined it would. We rose after about 3 hours sleep (Elke is at her most unsettled) and struggled through the usual chaos. As Dave walked out the door in clean clothes, a  freshly made Chinese soup and hot coffee filling his hands,  I couldn't help but feel ripped off. He called "see you" from the font door and instead of calling 'bye honey' in response, I stood in the kitchen and screamed 'SEE YA LATER'. Most unbecoming of a lady.

I looked around - crying baby Elke in my arms, undressed, snotty faced toddlers at my feet and a grumbling belly (mine) waiting to be fed.

I knew we would need to get out of the house to break the funk, yet suspected that my scheduled 6 week check with the obstetrician might not provide the fun outing the kids were hoping for. Making the call to cancel was easy, I mean, you say 'pap smear' and I say 'oh, errm gee, I actually awfully busy'.

Instead I bundled the tots up in their finest threads (because clean, cute kids make you feel so much better), drove them to the shops, packed them into a shopping trolley and muttered something about new toys. The perfect incentive to ensure all arms and legs stayed inside the vehicle at all times.

With Elke in the pouch, we whizzed about Big W grabbing essentials with vigour- nappies? check, wipes? check, impulse magazine and chocolate? check.

Of course the Bounce Walk was required to settle the youngest, an unglamorous look when you've just had a baby and are carrying an extra 20kg's - got the visual? Awesome. Nevertheless we carried on and bounced our way to Target. Octonauts paraphernalia magically made it's way into our trolley and my children behaved PERFECTLY for the rest of the day.

Can you believe it?

The power of awesome toys for children who don't have many!

Dave arrived home to find Pumpkin Soup cooking on the stove and his children playing happily at the kitchen table.

I didn't even cry once!

Obviously, there are only 4 words that can do this scenario justice

nineteen sixties house wife*

*oh except our home is in a complete state of disarray, i'm not cleaning up after dinner, Dave is and it will all fall to pieces tomorrow... maybe. Noooo, no it won't.

Wearing: The Greatest* 80's Knit Ever

 A recent op shopping adventure bought this outrageous knitted jumper into my life and when paired with a leopard print hair scarf, it's sure to turn any bad mood around. As an added bonus, it covers a multitude of body image sins... and guess what, it's acrylic too. BAM. It doesn't get any more ridiculous than that! Naturally, it was the best option for my first day of solo parenting- when things get tough I can simply look in the mirror and laugh.


Jumper | Vintage Marco Polo
Jeans | Levis Skinnies (easily the most comfortable jeans ever)

*and when I say greatest, I am of course judging it by true 80's standards. Translation- fabulously heinous.

Other wearing posts

Monday, June 17, 2013

Each Morning - Holiday Rhythms {and what tomorrow brings}

The past six weeks have been wonderfully eventful here at The Beetle Shack. Most notably, we've had a baby - a sweet little lady all wrapped in pink. She is smoochy and cuddly and cries just as much as you would expect from a new born. She sleeps intermittently and offers up smiles like diamonds.

Little Elke is the precise reason our days have been so love filled of late. For it is she that ensured Dave had over a month off work after her birth*. Six long, blissful weeks of togetherness.

Having a c section meant no driving, no heavy lifting (like toddlers) and absolutely NO cooking for six weeks. Okay, so I made that last one up but i'm claiming it anyway. So while having Dave home was rather luxurious, it was also a necessity.

Our days were intentionally slow and sometimes I failed to get out of bed before nine. A true treat that I hadn't been afforded for years. A treat only made possible by Dave.

You see, Dave in not a idle man. He is highly motivated and loves a good project. Over the past few years he has turned out front yard into vegie gardens, built me a studio, constructed a cracking wood fired pizza oven, assisted in landscaping the back yard and now he, along with the help of the children, he is building a HUGE raised vegetable bed on one of the lower levels of our block.

Each morning since Elke has been around, Dave has taken kids and their bergies down the back to work on the patch. Together they prepared the space, raised the logs and filled it up.

It has been so beautiful to see them work together on something for our family, solidifying in our minds that whatever we do, we want to do together. 

If we're working in the garden, the kids are right there covered in mud. If we're cooking, their cute little bottoms are planted on the bench top and if we're sleeping... well then they can be safely tucked into their own beds until the sun is up.


Today, those blissful weeks of holidays ended and tomorrow, instead of taking the children to the garden, Dave will tuck in his shirt and head off to work. It will be the first time i'll have the three kids on my own all day - It's going to be nuts, but i'm ready.

*well her and my inability to birth a baby naturally.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stills: A Weekly Collection

1. Tearing the lounge room apart only to rebuild it with more flair and creativity than a traditionalist such as myself ever could.
2. Winter days on the deck. Sun drenched and permanently covered in an array of half broken toys that are successfully cropped from this image.
3. Pizza night. If you were interested in the making of the Pizza Oven, hold tight- one day my nagging will prove fruitful and Dave will write a tutorial.
4. Bread, apple, nuts and tea.
5. Tenderness.
6. Adorable Elke knits. The mushroom cardi was thrifted when Pip was little and the grey was a hand knitted gift from this beautiful lady.
7. Spying on young Dave through the dining room window while he shovelled dirt. I'm that mother that will repulse her adolescent children by being deadly attracted to their father. Oh, so much to look forward to.

Okay friends, I'll look forward to seeing what 'stills' you've captured this week!


 Zeph: Dark, mysterious and oh so serious.

Pip: IN PINK? who are you, girlfriend? We have confiscated all boys pyjama's and labeled clothing to avoid the ritualistic tantrums they induced. It's worked wonders.

Elk: Oh smoochy child of mine.

As always, linking up with Jodi and i'll be back later for the stills collection linky.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baby Bubble Bedroom

When a new born baby is on the scene, pleasure is taken in the simple things - drinking tea while it's hot, doing a load of washing and pegging it out in the morning sun, getting to do a an uninterrupted wee, mid day naps and fresh linen. Give me those things and i'll be a happy woman.

Since bringing Elke home from hospital some 6 weeks ago, I've spent a considerable amount of time in my bedroom, you know, napping.  Mid day naps, afternoon naps and night time naps (because the sleep one get's over night can still be considered 'napping' when a new born is on the scene).

It's been a priority to keep the linen fresh* so i've changed it often and wasted too much of my valuable time faffing about with pattern, texture and colour.

I pinched the yellow otomi from Elke's room, added a row of yellow dots above the bed and positioned my portable succulent garden on the bedside. Fruity, just how I like it.

As the weather turns cooler i'll dig out the woollens and mohair and let the fruity decor rest for a few months, but no more than that!

*because those first weeks post pregnancy are sweaty, filthy weeks.

Spring Bedroom
Spotty Bedroom