Saturday, December 20, 2014


Hello little old blog. You poor neglected thing. It's okay, I still love you and all the memories you hold. It's been a while between posts - life has been busy. I have been busy.

2014 has been a tricky one for this online blog spot - The Beetle Shack - I've blogged less than ever before but I've not thought about it any less. I still translate my daily experiences into stories in the back of my mind while brushing my teeth. The undeniable urge to write my kids early years down still burns as does the desire to unpack tales from my own childhood. But life changes and evolves and grows and so does the internet. While I still yearn to document - I not longer feel compelled to share those stories publicly.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


If you're after an all occasions dress, the Dreamer is for you. It can be dressed up or dressed down over the Christmas period with a simple shoe change and it's floaty fit means it will accommodate all manner of over indulgences.  Fluttery lace sleeve and hem details make it both flattering and femme and the super deep V neckline mean it's breastfeeding friendly too.

Some like to wear a slip under theirs for a pinch of modesty but personally, I'm pretty comfortable with some nude underwear and a pair of heels. I'm crazy like that. ehum.

Perfect for travelling, parting or relaxing - the Dreamer has sold out 3 times but has JUST been re-stocked for the last time before the New Year! 


I'm wearing the Dreamer Dress in Black here.

Do you have a Dreamer Dress yet?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Post by Nicole

Moving from one place to another is an essential part of life.  Sometimes everyday travel takes a long time, sometimes a little – from work to home; back again; to preschool; to the grocery shops; to the doctor.. does it ever stop?! 
In the past, daily travel took a long time, every time.  People kept a smaller radius of ‘life’, because transport was difficult. Motor powered transport has changed things drastically, and of course contributed to the fast-paced life we are living.
We like slow here, but transport is a really tricky one!  We have a few alternatives to choose from, some more accessible than others – legs? bicycle? yacht? horse?!
My husband is the proud owner of a little yacht, and we took a little wind powered trip to work* a few weeks ago. Needless to say – it took a  l o n g  t i m e… It was beautiful that's for sure. But it took a lot more time and planning than it would have to zip down the freeway.
Equipment checks; water fill-ups; fishing gear; spare clothes; swimmers; towels; food; life jackets.. There was a lot to pack for one days work! (Not to mention a tenor saxophone; music stand and music). But then – the quiet power of the wind in the sails. It sure beats the hum of rubber on bitumen.
Our little commute was a reminder that some forgotten crafts, somewhere along the line, absolutely shift from the category of necessary, to luxury.
Luxuries aside, sans motor travel can contribute a lot of goodness to a normal day. Do you walk the kids to school?  Do you bike ride to pick up the groceries?  I sure don’t – but I’d like to.
What do you notice, who do you meet, taking these less worn paths?
*He is a musician, and was booked to play at a fishing village pub on the water.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Well I am most certainly not the only one who is in denial that it's DECEMBER! My goodness - where DID the year go?!

So your kids are probably nagging you for those chocolate advent calendars all the shops love to display right now - right at kid height - right where they know they'll chuck a wobbly because they WAAAAANNNNT ONE, and right where they know mum's reached her limits and will cave, throwing them on the grocery pile. Buy them - or don't - whatevs - I won't judge!

There are so many different types of advent calendars to choose from - to buy or DIY. Pinterest will send your head straight to EXPLODE if you search ADVENT. We've had quite a few different ones over the years; I like to try something new each year. I have a sweet tooth, there's no denying it! So I don't mind the kids indulging in a little something sweet from the advent calendar too, but last year I remember being so over all the 'treats' of Christmas - before Christmas even REALLY began - before the first of December! So I decided, the only practical thing to do, was to make an advent calendar WITHOUT treats. And we would do it backwards..

My kids love to draw and colour, so do I. So I thought - let's do that! Instead of subtracting things/treats/goodies from the advent calendar, we would ADD. Each day of December, in the lead up to Christmas Day, we would draw a picture to add to our advent collage. Whatever they wanted, whatever Christmassy thing took their fancy, even if they decided to draw the same thing (note the amount of Santas, reindeer, elves and Christmas trees). We missed the odd day here and there, and when Nanna and Pa arrived, Nanna was only too happy to get colouring too!

And not ONCE, during the course of our little advent project, did the kids ask where the chocolates were. (Mostly because they were high on farking candy canes they were bringing home every day from school and kindy. Arrrgggghhhhh!)

Sugar highs aside, it really was a lovely, fun idea to do. We were too busy enjoying the drawing to actually finish it all properly by Christmas Eve; many made it past the glue and onto the collage, but the rest, finished in a bunch of cut out pictures clipped to the SIDE of the collage.. so when we brought out the 3/4 finished project to make our little film for you here, the kids were genuinely excited to pick up where we left off. So much so, that they decided some of their drawings from last year were way too 'babyish'.. and how could we POSSIBLE use those?! So they drew new ones! It was quite amazing to see the difference in ability just twelve months on (especially in my eldest boy).

Even if you do a traditional chocolate treat advent calendar, this might inspire you to get colouring with your little ones as a little extra, side project. Of course your children may prefer more petite artistry over such grand and oversized creations like mine.. so it doesn't need to be quite so enormous.

This stuff is priceless!