Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wearing : A Triple Chin And A Striped Tee

Wow, how's that flattering angle for my chin/s. ehum.

 Aside from being grimaces doppelgänger, i'm keeping it classic with a palette of denim, navy and mustard. Easy peasy lemon squash. Or Squeazy. Or whatever.

I'm wearing Bohemian Traders (keeping you on your toes there, eh?!) - size 10 in the distressed boyfriend jean, size small in the striped tee and a medium in the bonfire cashmere cardigan. To complete the online shopping ensemble, my shoes are from The Horse.

Gotta get a new photographer, Dave's just not catching me on my best angle ;)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stills: A Weekly Collection

1. Queen Elke. Zeph and Pip made her a throne of floral cushions and there she sat, smug and content. Centre of attention. Centre of the universe. The Beetle Shack- A Monarchy.

2. Can you guess who was sitting here? Zeph has been loving his lego lately an it's not uncommon to find him quietly tucked away in his own world. In fact, it's a little too common to find him sitting up in the dark of his bedroom at 9pm!

3. I mixed it up a bit by the front door. Vintage Mirror, Bayside Vintage print and tacky old key hanger.

4. My big kids. We've been doing a bit more cooking at home lately while Elke sleeps. I love their chatter and creativity.

5. SMILE needs a new home.

6. My Mother's Day Tulips (that I bought for myself, sometimes a Mother has to take matters into her own hands. Mother's Day is one such time) lasted and eternity.

7. Dave is building some fancy frames to go atop our back yard veggie patch. He's also stared a journal of his own which explores his approach (and dedication) to raising our own food.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Photographed by Emily Beetleshack

This is my dream Family Home. Open plan with seamless indoor/outdoor living and filled with clean, modern furniture. It's got just the right amount of colour and plenty of style. From personal experience, I can say this this home is an 'entertainers delight' (I read that in a real-estate mag once and thought I should throw it in, you know, to sound totally pro) with it's central sun deck that opens onto the kitchen and sunken lounge room. Thanks for having us Nat and Nath. We will have to pop back and see that smoking hot wood fired oven Nath is making!

Who lives here?
 Nath who works in construction and is the creative one in our family, me, Natalie, a part-time social worker and full time mum and our beautiful boys Ethan (10), Arky (8) and Eddie (3)

What is your style ethos?
 I'm a very practical person so I like to keep it simple. I love scandinavian interiors, they are functional,  use natural materials and are designed around natural light.

Who/what inspires your style?
 I'm inspired mostly by my creative friends and I'm always feeling more inspired after sometime outdoors.

Where is your favourite place to sit?
 During the day I love to sit or lie in the sun on the floor in the front room with a good book or magazine. During the evening, on the lounge in the back living room with some good tunes playing while I'm entertained by the  boys dancing or this weeks favourite playing charades.

How does the layout of your home affect the way you live/function within it?
 We spent some time designing our house and although its not large its very functional and we use every inch of it. The house was also was designed and built by an environmentally friendly company so it doesn't require a lot of heating and cooling which is great. We love to entertain so the kitchen courtyard space works well for that.

What are your future plans/dreams for your house?
 We designed the house with plans for stage two which will be an adolescent retreat downstairs. Given that Ethan is already ten we probably should get  started on that soon. Nath has recently began work on the outdoor wood fire pizza oven and extension to the back deck.

Any tips for someone who might like to emulate your style (places to shop, key items colours etc)?
 You'll have to ask Nath, he's the home wares shopper and stylist, I'm much more of an opportunistic shopper.  I would have to say though keep it simple, choose things that you love, are functional and have meaning to you. 

What makes a house a home?
 The family in it,  special family rituals and a few well loved items.

See other homes from The Family Home Project and don't forget to check back next month as we have a TOTALLY dreamy house tour planned.

product list/resource guide

Lounges, floor mats, kitchen table, stools//IKEA . Soft Furnishing in Lounge room//BEYOND MARRAKECH . Carved wooden side table in lounge room//DELLIS FURNITURE . Dining Chairs, Eames recliner// MATT BLATT . Retro Sideboard// VINTAGE . Kantha Throw in master bedroom// BOHEMIAN TRADERS . Linen Thow on edge of bath//LUMIERE ART + CO .

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wearing: One Dress Three Ways

The Slouchy Everyday Dress is the perfect piece for layering throughout Winter. Long sleeved, light weight and lose fitting - basic to a T. If I had a life and ever went travelling or on holidays, I'd take this with me as it can be dressed up or dressed down with a simple shoe change and doesn't crease easily.


Slouchy Everyday Dress in Ocean - Size Medium

I'm wearing floral as part of the Style and Shenanigans Print Challenge! 

Sorry I've been tardy on the Stills Collection but I've been so busy packing Striped Tee Shirt Dresses that I haven't had any spare time! A good problem to have!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

While I've Been Slumping

There are so many delightful things about being a parent when one takes the time to notice them. Warm cuddles, endless I love you's and countless brightly coloured art works to hang on the fridge. Kids love with complete abandon. They haven't yet learnt to withhold emotion, personal space means nothing to them and a deep intrinsic generosity flows freely through everything they do. They'll share their wee, their poo, their snot and their half eaten banana without a second thought.

I've had my head down a bit too much lately - I've been overwhelmed and anxious more than I've been calm and serene.* I've been shouty and focused on survival more than I've been a keen, engaged, selfless mother and as a result, I've wasted a few months in a bad mood.

At last, something has shifted (I've weaned Elke and I'd credit that, just quietly) and I can see though that heavy fog that was upon me. With my face cast upwards I can take a good look what's been there all along, patiently waiting for me. While I've been slumping, everyone else has been making eye contact, singing gleeful tunes and sharing giggles.

It feels good share the joy with my darlings again.

*actually, I don't think I've ever been accused of being serene.

Friday, May 16, 2014

We're Going On A Bear Hunt

Okay, so we're not really going on a bear hunt but we are going to have an adventure or two this weekend.

Since becoming a family of 5 we've traded our usual wandering ways for home days filled with quiet morning cups of organic herbal tea and wholesome wholemeal home baked treats. We've been enjoying slow starts to the day, you know, reading the paper on our sun drenched back deck and the like. Ehum, or something.

Perhaps Dave and I have spent the 12 months running around like madmen trying to avoid tears and tantrums by any means possible. But you know, this is a blog and I think the other version sounds better, so we'll go with that, k?

Anyways, now that Elke is 1 life can begin again and we can finally leave the house. This weekend we're planning a bush walk and a fishing expedition. With any luck the sun will be shining, birds will be chirping and the children will refrain from bickering.

Whatever way you play it, getting out into creation makes all the difference for us and the kids.

Got any plans for the weekend? Reading the paper, per chance?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Taking my Spring Dresses into Winter

I've had a few questions in the past week or so asking for advice on how to style the Bohemian Traders Sunset Dresses for Winter. Personally I love a garment that I can wear almost all year round. Something easy, comfortable and floaty please (we don't want to be bulging once we've added our winter coat).

I often find myself layering Spring Dresses during the cooler months. Really, there is nothing a good pair of opaque tights can't fix, is there?!

I love the super thick footless tights (with control panelling) from Forever New. They are THE BEST tights I've ever found and retail in store for $39 or so - well worth the spend. They only seem to come in black so are great for darker coloured garments like this striped dress which I'm actually wearing right now (size small) with said tights.

I wore the outfit above on the weekend and paired a daggy old pair of knitted cotton tights in grey marl with my Sunset Dress in Cloud. Grey tights give a softer appearance than heavy black tights and the ribbing adds a pinch of texture which in nice on chilly days.

I've layered my Slouchy Angora Cardi in Stone over the top for warmth and topped it off with the Pom Pom Beanie in Champagne. On really cold days I'd add a denim jacket (keep your eyes peeled on Bohemian Traders for that) and thick grey woollen scarf.

The Medina Bag is the perfect size for my essentials including wallet, phone, banana, 246 random toys and 2765 receipts. It's completed with an internal zipper pocket for my keys (phone goes in the front pocket). 


Sunset Dress in Cloud - Size Small

So, there you have it. Do you find yourself layering up your lighter weight dresses for winter? Or are you a jeans girl?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Acrobats, Lion Tamers and Fairy Floss Twirlers

Whilst driving Elk to my parents and Zeph + Pip to preschool the other morning I took a little second to asses my life, right there in the moment.

What a calamity. There we were, the four of us (the kids and I) strapped into our respective car seats and driving along some local winding streets.

Across the back of our Kluger we have 3 car seats, each heavily encrusted with sand, food and snot. The centre seat belonging to Zeph, sits on an awkward angle whilst the girls fit firmly and snugly against each door (which by the way, are covered in food smears and milk drips). The floor, which should allow me easy access to strap each child in, is literally covered in mountains of junk. Shoes, socks, empty wrappers, apple cores, pre school drawings, jumpers, swimmers and damp towels. The passenger seat is regularly piled high with groceries, my shoes, handbags and anything else I neglect to take into the house with me. In short, our car is a dump. It's disgusting.

Whenever it's necessary for my mother to enter it, I have pangs of anxiety at the though of her disapproval. It never inspires action though. So when such an occasion arrises, mum slips into the left hand side and gingerly places her feet on top of various piles of junk. She falters when trying to find a place for her handbag before I hurriedly thrust mine upon her lap.

Anyways, back to the calamity.

Zeph is chattering at a million miles an hour about everything and nothing whilst Pip stares calmly out the window and Elke uses her two hand to crinkle, crinkle, crinkle the ears of her elephant toy, singly contentedly as she does.

It's a circus.

Those children are acrobats and lion tamers and fairy floss twirlers. They are back seat bandits, weavers of magical fairy tales and desperately grubby. They have snot encrusted on the tips of their noses and their gum boots stink.

But as we were driving down those familiar roads I took a moment to cast my eyes back at those nutters and it was with a swollen heart and a sting in my eye that I returned my focus to the bitumen.

Crazy darling hearted individuals.

Don't ever change.

Just develop the skills to help me clean the car, k?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stills: A Weekly Collection

1. Baby Elke, never to far away. Usually with a snotty nose. Always delightful.

2. Wonky trike tyre on the beloved 'fire truck'.

3. That special kind of light that only shines in Autumn. Soft and swaying - dancing on my antique french painting from Bayside Vintage.

4. My little shark. She's still Tom, but she's also a shark. A boy shark, to be precise.

5. Sprung. Hiding behind the kitchen table with the very last banana. How those things get eaten so quickly I'll ever know.

6. At the end of the hallway…

7. Desperate times in the kitchen. Out of the 8 down lights only 1 works so it's mood lighting for dinner prep.

8. Poached eggs. Made by fancy Dave, Naturally.


I hope it's been totally washing free for you. Maybe even a double coffee day? That would be nice!

x Em

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tiny Little Humans, Big Gigantic Change

Photo 's of baby Zeph and a blond haired me pinned to the fridge next to magnetic photo's of Elke. Pip features just out of frame

For tiny little humans, babies sure do provoke mammoth amounts of change.

Everything we once knew, we know no more. A full nights sleep, uninterrupted meals and intelligent conversations all fade away into a beautiful but distant memory.

Etched deeply into every one of my senses is the day we bought our children, one by one, home from hospital. I remember gingerly (c-sections aint easy on the body) walking out the large, automated glass sliding doors into the bright light of day. So vividly I recall taking a deep breath of sweet hospital car park fresh air and mentally preparing myself for what was to come.

When we bought our third little darling home I was immediately slapped in the face with the glorious chaos that is Real Life.

There were tears and tantrums, an empty pantry, wet pants and dirty floors, unmade beds, three beautiful children and a whole lot of change right there in those first five minutes.

As change is often the catalyst for further change, I reckon it's best to just surrender to it. If there's one thing that parenting has taught me, it's to 'roll with it'. Adaptability, flexibility and durability have never been so important, neither have control panelled undergarments, but that's another issue.

Twelve months and seven days ago, we bought home our third baby to The Beetle Shack. For me the addition of the third child has really changed the pace in our home. I'm sprinting all day, every day - i'm puffed by lunch and fatigued by 2pm. By 7 in the evening my rounded rump is on the couch with a glass of wine and a bag of *forgotten* easter eggs.

Life is exhausting but I've surrendered to it good and proper. I'm not evening going to do the dishes tonight and when I get into bed, I'm totally going to throw my clothes on the floor next to the dirty basked. When I get up, I'm going to put them back on. Fresh undies though, promise.

I'd love to know how you've adapted to the change that is parenting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wearing : The Bonfire Cardigan

I've been terribly self indulgent when designing pieces for my own brand, Bohemian Traders. It's been super fun coming up with the perfect wardrobe though, right down to the cut and colour of each garment. The Bonfire Cashmere Cardigan is one such treasure. In all of my years of rampant consumerism I've never managed to find a cardigan that I can wear both buttoned up and un-buttoned. My hips are always too wide and muffin top too protruding and quite frankly, it's annoying. I just want to button my cardigan up!

The Bonfire Cardigan is designed to be worn close to the skin and has a lovely deep V neckline that is flattering when buttoned up. It also follows the natural line of a woman's body, you know, out at the hips. It's warm, good quality and timeless, even if I do say so myself!

Wearing: top

Pepita Satchel in Mahogany 

Wearing : Bottom

Bonfire Cashmere Cardigan in Mustard - size medium

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hello Blog

oh hello blog, my little sanity saver/connection to the outside world/in road to like minded mothers/slice of creativity/semi safe place to vent, I'VE MISSED YOU!!

It feels like an eternity since I've sat down with a cup of tea and actually enjoyed this space. Life has just been so so SO busy and I've seldom had time for the luxury that is personal blogging.

Over the past 6 months or so I've given a lot of thought to this little slice of the Internet. In the chaos that is having three children I've wondered if I really have time to continue dedicating such a large amount of time to the online world and all that comes with it.

I've struggled to keep up with my inbox, neglected to respond to comments, questions and queries on social media and generally found the constant connectivity overwhelming.

At times I have felt like social media is robbing me of my real life.

At times I've found it hard to use self control.

Sometimes I find it challenging to stay focused and be present.

Mostly I've just wanted to catch a bit of uninterrupted sleep so that having self control, staying focused and being present is a little bit easier to achieve.

Seriously, sleep deprivation is debilitating. Crippling, even.

Since Elke's birth, I've lived in a contestant state of exhaustion. Seemingly simple tasks have become overwhelming. Clarity of mind and logical thought processes have been abandoned for a constant whurrr in the back of my brain rendering me useless. Some might call it anxiety.

Last week we celebrated that little last born baby's 1st Birthday and I'll tell you what. It feels SO good. All of a sudden I can feel 'me' creeping back in.

Last night I had 8 hours of unbroken sleep. EIGHT HOURS. UNBROKEN. Are you hearing me? It's amazing, right?

Seriously, sleep is restorative. Rejuvenating and healing in the most basic of ways. Nothing spiritual or everlasting- just practical, you know?

With sleep I can pack the lunch boxes, make the beds and pick up the toys from the floor. I can look my children in the eyes and listen when they speak.

With sleep I can be organised (kind of), on time and fully clothed in almost clean clothing that I almost didn't pick up off the floor.

With sleep I can be the kind of mother my children need. The kind of wife Dave needs and the kind of 'me' that I can be proud of.

The last year has been a hard slog. The hardest slog, actually. I've lacked the ability to be intentional in my parenting, crafting at the kitchen table has been minimal and my voice has been raised, you know, like all the time.

But here we are at The Beetle Shack, half way through 2014 with 3 kids and a full night's sleep and I can tell you that we're on the up 'n' up.

UP and UP.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Stills : A Weekly Collection

 1. This little pork chop was sitting on the bench to 'help' me with the dishes/ stop her screaming at my ankles and you know, she ended up in the sink… fully clothed.

2. Kitchen installations from my young Pip. If a girls gotta be in the kitchen then she might as well make art, right?

3. Autumn light even makes my washing look ethereal.

4. This little lady (who still goes by the name of Tom, just Tom) had a hair cut.

5. If she looks mischievous, it's because she is.

6. White Rabbit.

7. My darling hearted boy. 5 years old, tender and wonderful.

8. Behind the scenes from last weeks Bohemian Traders shoot. We've got another one coming up in a couple of weeks.

Anyways, HI GUYS!! I feel like i've been a bit MIA from The Beetle Shack blog of late and quite frankly, I miss it. I'm going to make a big fat slice of time for blogging this week. Boring for you, ACE FOR ME!!!


Hope you're well. Dave and I are singing along to Paul Kelly and devouring a cheese platter. See you tomorrow :)