Monday, January 31, 2011

the joy of LOVE

Image from here

A couple of months ago I signed on to be part of Willette Photography's "the joy of LOVE" free photography e-course given as a gift to their blog followers to celebrate the month of love.

I'd totally forgotten I'd signed up until I got an email today reminding me that it starts tomorrow. Glad they're organised!

So what is it all about? I'm glad you asked:
  • participants receive daily email prompts/photo assignments with some tutorial/instruction built into the daily email lesson.
  • your photos can be uploaded to a public flickr gallery and shared with other participants.
  • subject is someone/thing you love (doesn't have to be the same subject each day)

  • you receive an album template download at the end for all of your photos you take during the class
  • it's a journey to help you document your loved one(s) – whether it is a spouse, partner, child, pet, parent or friend
To sign up and play along (they say you can join at any time during the month) just follow this link or you can read about the daily tutorials from their blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011

. jely

Is got a couple of lovely handmade gifts for her birthday. Today I'm showcasing the perfect works of Jo who I am very excited to say gifted one of her beautiful handcrafted baby essentials bags which I'd had my eye on.

Here it is in my handbag. The perfect gift for mum and baby - and let me tell you this gift has had a good workout. It's always with us on hand ready to be used...which it invariably is and will be for another year or two. Its not only useful to have everything you need for a nappy change in one small bag, its beautiful to look at too.

Be warned, the change mat is a show stopper...or should I say nappy change stopper. I've been known to say - yes by all means you can have a look...after I've changed Is!

Images taken from

I find it also suits my needs with a one and four year old in the family. I'm so over nappy bags but still need to accommodate their needs. Given that I can also fit in a spare pair of undies for any 4 year old accidents that my happen, I'm pretty much thinking its perfect.

Here is a link to Jo's shop and her gallery. You won't be disappointed that you stopped by. x

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Australia Day

Enjoy your day. x

Friday, January 21, 2011


Ok, I'm going to keep this brief.

She used to have hair like this:

Now she has hair like this:

A choppy scissors incident led to an angry mum finding the shortest piece of hair and cutting straight across...into a bob. And so it is that my child now has short hair.

S is no longer allowed to cut and paste at home. Mum will keep in mind that leaving the room to get something is apparently not ok... x

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still celebrating 4

Before we spontaneously left for a weeks holiday I had allowed S to peruse the Women's Weekly Kids' Birthday Cakes cookbook. She'd chosen a ladybird cake for her birthday. Immediately my head was filled with a ladybird themed party, the ideas were flowing thick and fast until I sternly reminded myself that we were just having a quiet family birthday for her fourth.

So we made a fuss of her while we were away...but the previous promise of a ladybird cake haunted S and she'd ask me daily when we returned home if I could make her one.

After a week of nagging asking me about this cake I decided it was the perfect way to spend a day. She could make the cake and decorate it. That should take up hours of these school holiday days, right? Right.

With the littlest help from me, this independent four year old made and decorated her ladybird cake. How proud does she look? When it was all finished I called our next door neighbour and had Emma (5 yrs) come in to share it with us.

Needless to say S was wrapped. I was happy she had a friend to play with while I returned to the bomb site kitchen and got stuck into the clean up without a helper. x

S & Emma with sticky fingers after demolishing their piece of cake

Monday, January 17, 2011


Sienna turned four while we were away. Since we were camping I didn't have an oven to make her a cake (the cake ritual is her favourite part) so we made sure we made a fuss of her in other ways.

Presents as soon as she woke up, from us and other family members. A cafe breakfast of blueberry pancakes with maple syrup. A play in the park and then an hour at a beachside childrens activity stand. A helium balloon. An ice-cream in a cone. A swim at the beach. Fish and chips in town for dinner.

Spoiled, no?

To top it off, when we got home from dinner an old family friend staying at the park had heard we didn't have a cake for S and he'd made one for her in his caravan. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. 4 candles on top. We were so touched.

So yes, definitely spoiled and so well deserved.

Happy birthday to my beautiful S. You're growing in front of my eyes with each passing week. I just hope its fast enough for want to be so big so quickly. x

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year, new skills

It’s a whole new year.

For several reasons I really feel this year is the time to close my mouth and open my ears. Open my heart. Listen. To what’s going on inside me. To what’s happening around me. Does it feel good? Is this working for me?

Listen to what others are sharing. Sit back a little instead of taking the limelight. Take stock of myself. Stop talking and start doing - quietly. Without pomp and ceremony. Without seeking approval. Without talking about it. Only talking about it.

I plan to slowly, quietly, day by day, chip away at my dreams for myself. Just for one year. This year. x

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Starting off 2011 in a tent

We were lucky enough to call and they had a cancellation that we could take. And so it was that our little family packed up and headed to the Great Ocean Road for a week's holiday in the new year.
Our modest set up

We camped at a little caravan park that I'd camped at between the ages of 12 and 22. It'd been over 10 years since I'd camped there and it felt strange  yet wonderful to return and see all the old familiar faces that I grew up with...and meet their children!

Typically our days started with a walk to the toilet block followed by a walk on the beach. Shells and rocks were collected on each walk. We ate breakfast in the sun then got ready to head down the beach for the day, or into town for a coffee.

The creek that runs along the top end of the caravan park provided ours of fun for the girls. Safe fun. Is has turned out to be a dare devil and would crawl right into the waves given the opportunity. After a minor dumping on her first day she quickly learned to crawl into the waves and then stand when they reached her, then crawl some more.

S spent hours and hours in the water. She loves the sun and sand. One day she was a mermaid and I was visiting her rock pool castle. The next she was too cool for mum as she played with the older kids in the creek. The following day I'd be her side kick as we explored the rocks and the holder of found shells.

We camped directly behind the sand dunes and would fall asleep to the roar of the ocean each night. If we positioned ourselves correctly we could enjoy a vino and an ocean view while still staying close enough to hear and "supervise" sleeping children (that is, when they finally slept).

My sister visited us for 3 days. She brought with her a world of excitement for the kids (she has an amazing imagination) and some repreve for the parents. She'd encourage me to go for a walk, go see the sun setting, have another drink, sit in the comfy chair. She even fixed up the toe situation I had going on by painting them bright red. Thanks Studio Christensen. She was a breath of fresh air and so fun to play with...and I'm not just talking about the kids.

Is with Aunty Lise

Being a seasoned tent camper I had learned (sometimes the hard way) that the illusion of privacy that one may feel inside a tent is exactly that, an illusion. That flimsy canvas does not block out your private conversation or confessions when you're 15, nor the honeymoon sex you're still enjoying in your first year of marriage.

Enter two children into the mix. Our first time camping with them. I was acutely aware that the way I spoke with, played with and disciplined my girls was public knowledge. I even yelled in whispers at one stage. It is possible - email me and I'll give you a run down on how to execute it. I think its all in the scary, earnest face.

Anyway, we couldn't have been too much of a problem for our neighbours even if S woke at 6.30am and couldn't for the love of God master the whisper. One of our neighbours told us how well behaved our girls had been. The next day each overtired child flipped out on separate occasions for a looong time...perhaps they'll be so kind as to keep their compliments to themselves next time.

Dad shielding S from the strong winds whipping sand onto S. Ouch!

All up I'd say it wasn't always easy but it was a wonderful holiday. It was warm and sunny with no rain (a campers enemy). The girls played in the water every day and made friends with a family of 3 girls next door. Our beds were comfy and the food and wine was good. I'd do it again next year if I could convince the Big Fella its a good idea.

No luck so far as he claims he came home more tired than when we left. He may or may not have a point. x