Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy birthday, sweet boy.

Four years ago today this little boy was a newborn baby in a humidicrib in special care. We were naive first-time parents, anxious but optimistic about the future.

Four years down the track and what a ride it's been so far. It's taken us all the way to New Caledonia, where we arrived this week, for the next chapter of our lives.

Jack, you are truly adorable, clever, brave and all we ever wanted.

Happy birthday.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Guilty pleasures - handmade goodies via laptop.

Hello! I thought I'd confess to all and sundry that I have been spending lately. Shops of choice? Among others, Etsy and Madeit.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of such websites featuring lovely handmade goodies. I've been e-browsing for some time but lately a little more - possibly because I've been quite time-poor and these sites have been hitting the spot with my retail needs.

Here's a peek of some of the lovely things I've been spending my pennies on, for myself and others:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DIY bracelets - with or without a needle.

Picture the scene: you've got somewhere to go, you know what you're wearing, but the accessories just aren't going to work. What you need is a bracelet. But wait - there's no time, and anyway, you're broke. What to do?

Settle down, honey. You can do it yourself. Yes you can. And here's three options.

Okay, so can you knit? That's right, knit! A bracelet! Check out this beaded beauty from Jezze Prints, which takes just a scrap of yarn and a few leftover beads and a cup of tea and a Tic Toc:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Knit and put your feet up - the Knitted Pouf.

I have a bit of a pouf obsession. There, I've said it.

I like nothing better than the idea of a colorful, comfortable bally-type ottoman which I can rest my feet, book or bottom on, which also is a stylish addition to virtually any room. I hover over them and admire whenever I spot a spiffily crafted pouf. Alas, to date, I do not own one. And my feet end up on the couch every night. Not ideal.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Books, shmooks.

Hello. How are you? Today I would like to talk about books.

Over the last couple of weeks, books have come to mind many times for several reasons. In any ordinary week, I think about books a lot. I love books. New books. Old books. Kids books. Craft books. Crime books. Cookbooks. Travel books. So nothing unusual there.

But several topics have come up in the news in recent times which keep taking me back to how important books are, not just to me, but in growing great kids, remembering and discovering who we are as a nation, and in keeping the fires of literacy stoked through educating the nation to not just have an ability to read and write, but to read and write broadly, and to be passionate in doing it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Swing it with DIY saddle shoes.

Well, hello there!

It's been another hiatus from posting, what with one thing or another - but don't think I haven't been thinking about you. Quite the opposite!

Today I discovered this excellent DIY saddle shoe project via Craftzine, one of my all time favorite crafty sites due to the diversity of projects it showcases. It comes from an uber-cool gal called Morgan who blogs hip stuff at Panda Head.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Go ahead and fake it!

DIY peonies via Creature Comforts
Do you like peonies? I do. Can you believe these peonies aren't real? I think they are very gorgeous. I love me a bit of fake flower. Ergo this craft is right up my street.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Unleash the inner seamstress - Must Have This.

I am a sporadic seamstress. In truth, I am sporadic with many things - knitting, cleaning, keeping in touch with friends - but particularly sewing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Movin' Right Along - Kermit and Fozzie

Well, I have been remiss! A couple of very busy weeks have passed and I just have not had time to put fingertip to keyboard.

In honesty, I have also been very tired, which can get you down after a while. Which is why Fozzie and Kermit seemed so appealing right now. I like their mantra: "Movin' right aaaloooooong....movin' right aaaaloooong..."


Monday, March 5, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baby Nellie turns 1 - and we eat good food.


By now you may know that my daughter Nellie turned one a few weeks ago (in case you missed it, I've posted here and here on Nellie's party). In this final installment of the goings-on I thought I'd let you know what we ate.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My new heroes (and why Melbourne needs to get real about it's architectural heritage).

I have just two devoted periods in the week of television watching now. Mandatory, Green-Guide-highlighted, kids-in-bed-and-dishes-done, steaming-cup-of-tea-in-hand-and-pass-me-the-gingernuts idiotbox viewing. I refer, of course, to my Melbourne television heroes, Phryne Fisher and Frank Woodley.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear February - 9 good things you brought me (and why I love you).

My dear February,

You're a funny little month, aren't you? Always a bit of a tricker with your fickle number of days (can we ladies propose to our fellas this year or not? Yes? Yes!).

You're the toughest of the summer months, having a stronger constitution than all-party-no-discipline December, what with his boozy Christmas breakups, puerile muck-up days and wanton schoolies week. And don't talk to me about that slovenly January, with her too-busy-with-my-New-Year-hangover and you-kids-don't-go-too-far-while-Mummy-works-on-her-tan haziness.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nellie's first birthday party (for which I make pretty things to look at).

As posted previously, we celebrated Nellie's first birthday a couple of weeks ago. I posted a couple of updates on some of the decorations I made in preparations but thought I'd post a round up of what decorations I used for the day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our baby is 1.

I've had a bit of a hiatus from blogging this month. February was always going to be busy, so I decided to delay my next course of French until March when it had all blown over. And thank goodness I did!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Things #6/366 :: Pompom garlands.

We're having a little party for our Nell-bell in a couple of weeks - one already! - and so I've begun organising.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Moments :: A hot & productive day.

Today in Melbourne it was hot and humid. The temperature was not extreme, at just 34 degrees, but the humidity has been growing all day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Moments :: Images of an Australia Day.

Today is Australia Day. I'm proud to be Australian. We are proud to fly our flag and celebrate our nationhood. It's the best place in the world to live, and even though it's not perfect (yet), I think, on balance, that it's pretty darned close.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thai-time :: Pork and Zucchini stirfry.

This is how a professional does it.....
Lately I have been trying to limit how much I've been spending at the supermarket. The freezer, pantry and fridge are groaning with produce - and it ain't all fresh. When I look beyond the everyday staples parked at the front, I find things submerged in the freezer pack ice and stashed in the pantry corners which are approaching, and in some cases well past, their expiry dates.

Plain & simple: comfort food the whole family loves.

Every family has its fussy eaters. In ours, I'm probably the worst culprit. But as I'm usually the one in charge of deciding and preparing meals, I can tailor what we eat around what I like. Bonus!

But when it's the kids who get picky, we tend to get worried that they're not eating enough or the right things. We definitely experience this with Jack and try to play down his inconsistent dislikes (usually colour-related, red and green causing the most trouble) and try to get the good stuff into him where ever possible and by whatever means.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Inspirations :: Homemade Lip Balm

Tonight I discovered this great site call The Art of Homemaking. Megan is SUCH a talented gal, I think she may be living one of my dream lives (I have several - don't you?).

She has recently posted details of how to make your own lip balm, something which I would never have thought of trying before but her recipe really is quite straight forward. The main trick seems to be securing some of the ingredients and some super dinky little tins, but what a great gift for friends and family at Christmas! Totes impressed!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Good Things #5/366 :: In Which I Make Toasted Muesli.

I like muesli. Unfortunately, I`m a fussy mueslian. Luckily, I like the muesli I make for myself. Happy co-incidence, no? Good Thing, yes!

Here`s my recipe for a yummy toasted muesli which I try to make every couple of months. I vary it a little bit each time and below is the recipe I used this morning. Easy peasy japan-esy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good Things #4/366 :: I won a prize!

A couple of months ago I spotted an ABC TV competition to win the DVD's of Upstairs, Downstairs. It required coming up with a new character for the story.

I was inspired. One night I put fingers to keyboard and came up with Eleanor Holland. I checked it. I reviewed it. I read it to my husband. He loved it. I hit 'send'. And forgot about it.

Good Things #3/366: Jack is learning to pedal.

Riding a bike is something most of us expect our kids to do. Often, when expectant couples are dreaming of the future with their new child, amid images of playing football, ballet, school concerts and playing in the backyard, are those of kids on their bikes, tearing around the neighborhood with their besties.

For the parents of children with Cerebral Palsy this is often a dream which is one of the many crushed by the harsh reality of spasticity, dystonia and imbalance. But it's not impossible. Like most things for people with Cerebral Palsy, a lot can be achieved with patience and perseverance (and philanthropy - thought I'd throw that in!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Good Thing # 2/366 :: Lidia the Tattooed Lady.

I loved The Muppets as a child and still do. They aren't on free to air TV right now in Australia so my brother bought the first season on DVD for my kids for Christmas.

Today I popped it on, looking for a chance for my son to do some passive physio while I got some things done. What has happened is we are both stuck watching it, laughing all the way through! A new experience for Jack, a revival for me. Either way, it's a Good Thing.

Finger-knittin' fun!

When I was a kid my mum taught me how to fingerknit. And do you think I could remember how to do it now? No way, Jose! So how glad was I when one of my favorite blogs put up this post? Very.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Somebody That I Used to Know - Walk Off The Earth (Gotye - Cover)

The amazing Gotye struck gold when he came up with this song. I was as giddy as a schoolgirl when I found myself on the same flight as him a few months ago, when he was on a flight to Sydney after his fabulous ARIA Awards performance of this song.

I also love this excellent cover version by Walk Off The Earth. Five people on one guitar!


Note: thanks JustB for putting me onto this....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Do-gooding in 2012.

"Back where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phila... er, phila... er, yes, er, Good Deed Doers."
The Wizard of Oz

I am a bit of a do-gooder. It's a phrase which has some negative connotations of being a dobber and interferer, so I think it's time to redeem the reputation of do-gooding and do-gooders generally. Do-gooders unite!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011, you were so good to me...

Another year has passed, and what a year it was. We had our second baby, beautiful Nellie May, complete with Mummy drama; Jack started at CPEC and in kinder; and my husband suddenly lost the job he'd had for 16 years, only to then accept one based overseas. Eventful, challenging and rewarding.

To celebrate we had dinner with some very close friends who also have a couple of very young children and had our traditional epicurean seafood dinner. Nothing too elaborate, but always a bit decadent and lots of fun.