Monday, November 24, 2014

how to maintain your sanity whilst moving house

The key to maintaining some semblance of sanity during the moving and setting up of our new house is a simple one; create one clean, clear, tidy space and look at it when everything else is in chaos. That's right, stand there for as long as you need to and soak in the clean floor, uncluttered table and newly hung curtains (that desperately need to be hemmed*).

This rule could very easily apply to general living in the family home, too. And, if you're anything like me, your tidying experience may have taught you that one clean room in a home is enough (or, is the best you can ever do with small children in tow).

There's a lot of advice out there about the best way to set up a new home, the general consensus being: make the beds a priority and then move straight onto unpacking the kitchen - sleep and food are essential, after all. I vaguely followed this rule although truth be told, the kitchen is still a work in progress (it's tiny and bench space is at a bare minimum - a story for another post). I'm not exactly efficient when it comes to setting up a house and whilst I could use the excuse of a nasty cold, pregnancy, exhaustion etc. truth is, I tend to deliberate a lot and do very little. Thankfully Daniel is the exact opposite and when he eventually pointed out that I was wandering aimlessly from one room to the next, picking up an item, looking at it and then putting it down again (the skit was quite comical), I managed to get a decent bit of unpacking done. The key? One box at a time, one room at a time (and don't leave the room for a good hour or so).

Practicalities aside, what I've learnt most from this experience is this: setting up the family home takes time. You need to live in a space for a few weeks to appreciate its beauty and discover its flaws. You need to adjust yourself and your expectations to the new abode; the width of the doorways, the depth of the drawers, the quirky jiggle of the key in the locks comes as a surprise at first. During the first week you can expect to stumble, literally and figuratively, but before long you find your rhythm and you start to live in tune with the place you now call home.

This house feels good. It's like it welcomed us, in a way.

*the curtains, let's talk length. Do I hem them so they skim the skirting boards or take them up to just below the window frame?


Sunday, November 23, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: we've been waking up earlier than the boys and I usually find her here, playing or reading or talking to herself.

Only five portraits to go. Can you believe it?! If you had of asked me mid-year whether I would continue this project in 2015 I would have said no. But now, looking back on everything that I've captured - the moments and the story - I realise why this week-by-week project is so poignant. Sure, there are some weeks where getting the camera out and taking a photo can seem like a bit of a chore, but the end result is always worth it. 

I suppose now is a good time to ask: will you continue next year? If so, what do you expect from me? I am lining up a few feature posts based on this project, photography skills and filing systems to ensure that you make it as easy as possible to turn your photos into a precious keepsake. If there's anything else you would love to read please let me know!

And how exciting to think that come March sometime, I'll have a newborn to photograph, too!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

gift guide : for men

I always find it hard to find great gifts for the men in my life. They all want something practical, I know that much, but they don't give away many hints. I can't possibly gift another v-neck tee so I set about looking for items that ticked all the boxes. This is what I found:

1. a roundie beach towel for the man that will be spending a lot of time at the beach this summer (ahem). 2. basic and roomy weekend bag that will be used for years. 3. Daniel was given a set of Gentleman's Brand Co for his birthday and I must admit, it's rather nice having it in the shower. 4. a classic that never gets old; sea salt soap. 5. an impressive shaving set for the hipster without a beard (if there is such a thing). 6. cute backpack that is most definitely unisex (and I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you borrowed it). 7. a watch from the horse - always a great gift. 8. insulated stainless steel water bottle - I swear by mine. 9. for the at-home coffee drinker. 10. for the coffee on-the-go drinker.

Other gift guides:

- timeless toys
- for the eco-conscious
- stylish summer
- lucas loves cars


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

right now

my desk sits perfectly in the entryway / wilting peonies make for pretty photos

Progress is slow around these parts and I'm accepting it for what it is. Despite the upheaval of moving house, I feel like this pregnancy has enveloped me in stillness and quiet. It's so similar to Che's pregnancy that I feel almost certain there's a baby boy growing within.

I'm carrying quite big this time around; high and out front my belly is attracting much attention from acquaintances. Over the past week more than ten people have enquired about my due date and they have all been perplexed when I informed them that baby will be born in March (not in the next fortnight, like they presumed). Pregnancy launches you into the public eye, doesn't it?! I have to remind myself that most people are well meaning (if a little ignorant, at times).

It's nice to know that for the next few months, regardless of how big my belly gets, I can spend my days close to home, balancing work and blogging and family life. Despite the onset of the busy season, I'm pretty happy to prioritise rest and quiet. I'll file it under "self-care".


Sunday, November 16, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: "When can we go to our beach?" she asks me - every ten minutes or so.

Don't be surprised if the next few portraits are beach themed; we're a little in love with our new front yard.


Thursday, November 13, 2014


/ these rambling pink roses grow along the side fence in our backyard

/ I couldn't think of a more perfect book for this stage; it's the ultimate reference while in the midst of setting up a new home (more to come soon)

/ housewarming blooms sent from my parents....don't peonies sit so well next to protea?!

/ drying in the afternoon sun after an ocean swim

What a relief it is to close the door on one house and enter a new one - a freshly painted blank canvas. Regardless of the fact that I've been sick for the past few days, there is much to love about being here. This little beach cottage feels like a holiday home and we've all adopted a holiday pace (which, I admit, isn't all that conducive to unpacking and sorting).

There's much more to document and share but for now I need to rest and get well. Regular blogging rhythm will recommence soon...


Sunday, November 09, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: she ran around the empty house and asked me at least ten times: "Dis our new house?"

We are literally in between two houses and I am exhausted and sore. Daniel has packed about 90% of our belongings while I have pottered and organised, sitting down as much as possible. There's so much more I could say but...I'll leave it for later. 

Moving whilst pregnant with third child. Not sure I'd recommend it.


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