Friday, August 29, 2014

in other places

Oh cherry blossoms! I will never tire of their pink popcorn beauty. But the blooms are so fleeting and I tend not to pick them; best to leave them be and admire them on my walks.

I can't believe I'm saying this but this morning we're off to the doctors with Che who has a fever and a rash. Woe is me but my goodness, I think we've had enough! Thankfully Daniel is home tonight after a week away and well, that's my weekend made.

Here's to a relaxing weekend and good health!

In other places:

want to know more about bone broths and stocks? This article is the best I've ever come across (with simple, straight-forward recipes, too). Thanks to Whole Family Rhythms for the link.
so grateful to come across some gorgeous organic and fair trade boys clothes. I'll be getting Che the fisherman pants (they come in navy too) and pocket tee. Love these sweet girl's shorts, too.
if you missed it, you must watch this episode of Australian Story. I'm so proud of local journo Joanne McCarthy - her integrity and determination is inspiring.
10 habits you should pick up from your grandmother - a great read!
20% off for Father's Day with the code 20DAD at Hunters and Gatherers (cute socks and singlets!)
I'm really, really enjoying The Ma Books
a beautiful story about raising a family in Bali (love the three-month ceremony for babies).


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

this little girl

after months without it I finally have my beloved 50mm 1.4 lens back (Daniel managed to pull it apart and fix it - a painstaking operation) / Poet wears the cloche hat that I wore in my late teens when I worked at Alannah Hill in Paddington

For the record, I wouldn't recommend your child start preschool in the wintertime; it's too much of a shock to the immune system. Alas, Poet turned 3 in mid-July hence she's been at pre-school for 6 weeks now (and she's spent 3 of those weeks at home). This winter has been a tough one (for everyone, it seems) and so as the germs slowly leave our bodies and our home, I'm ensuring I don't get complacent when it comes to our health. When the sun does come out we're straight out the door, soaking it up. I've had a pot of bone broth bubbling away on the stove non-stop and I'm making lots of fresh juice, chamomile tea and hearty meals. Whilst spring is just around the corner it's still cold here, hence my mantra continues: put your socks on. Thankfully, on they stay, keeping feet warm and bodies healthy.

One thing I do notice about illness and children (especially when a fever is involved) is the rapid growth they subsequently experience. All of a sudden Poet is older and wiser, her speech has matured and her behaviour is, well, an honest representation of a three-year-old (albeit challenging for her parents). She has leapt into three and once again I'm left wondering where those years went, where the baby disappeared to. She revels in her independence, does everything her way and refuses to accept help or guidance from us. Beautiful and stubborn and not a care in the world for what anyone else thinks.

I'm wary of how fast these next few years will go, how focussed I should be on savouring my time with her before she leaps, once again, into a new stage; at school age. When I feel like I haven't been mindful with my one-on-one time with her I make sure we walk together. She sometimes runs ahead or lingers behind so whilst we're rarely side-by-side it's that one-on-one time that I love the most. It's when she asks me the most questions and when I'm present enough to answer them with patience.

It's easy to feel guilty with the second child; to compare their experience with that of the firstborn and realise that it's been so very, very different. But it was always going to be different, wasn't it? Not better, not worse, just different.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

a spring cleaning guide : cleaning essentials

The countdown is on and I'm preparing for a 12-week (gradual, achievable) spring clean that will hopefully clear all the cobwebs from my house. As far as I'm concerned there's nothing worse than starting a clean and not having the right ingredients. So, here's my list of cleaning essentials:

vinegar and bi-carb : two of the cheapest and most effective cleaning ingredients you will ever use. I combine them with hot water and a few drops of eucalyptus or lemon oil and voila - a potent cleaning product that is perfect for ceiling and wall washing. 

essential oils : eucalyptus and lemon  is my preferred concoction come spring time - it helps to kill germs and cleanse the air. Peppermint also blends well with lemon if you want a stronger, fresher scent. I diffuse the oils in a vapouriser and oil burner (I have this one) and I admit, it's a nice ritual to perform before a cleaning session (turn music on, too!). Clove oil is another great oil to have on hand during spring, especially if you have to deal with mould (it kills the spores). However, be wary of using clove oil if you're pregnant.

cleaning cloths : you can never have enough and during spring, I tend to go through them quite quickly hence I always buy washable, reusable ones. I highly recommend these organic cotton cloths and, if you want a more absorbent option try these or these.

rags : look no further than your youngest child's wardrobe. Poet had a few outgrown and very stained size 1 singlets that make the most perfect cleaning rags. They're particularly useful for cleaning timber blinds! Old towels also come in handy for this seasonal clean (and whilst I hate to admit it, my old, worn towels far outweigh my newish, fluffy ones).

spray bottles : if you're keen to make your own cleaning products or to create a mould removal concoction (water, vinegar, clove oil, eucalyptus oil) get some spray bottles (usually about a dollar at the supermarket).

cleaning products : if you don't want to make your own I highly recommend ginger and lemongrass surface spray and rosemary and mint bathroom cleaner.

garbage bags : for all the things you'll be taking to the op-shop! If you're getting rid of old magazines consider taking them to your local preschool (they'll be delighted).

If you can think of anything else you'll need (apart from determination and perseverance) please leave a comment (I'm sure I've forgotten something). Also, if you need a little extra inspiration: how to simplify your home. 

some links are affiliates meaning I receive a small commission if you purchase from them. All recommendations and opinions are my own and products are purchased, tried and tested by me. This post is not sponsored in any way.


Sunday, August 24, 2014


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

Poet: following me as Luisa takes photos. 

A strange choice for a portrait but I don't have many photos of the two of us. She's always following close by. She watches intently as I get dressed and tells me: You look lovely, mum. I'm love you, mum. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

in other places

How are you feeling today? I'm well - energised and motivated for the first time in a good month or so. Thank goodness! Touch wood the sickness that has enveloped our home for the past few weeks is slowly but surely leaving. And whilst it has been raining and wet this week there have been glimmers of spring - warm sun, wild freesias and longer days. There's a lot to look forward to!

We're hoping the rain clears in time for a market jaunt this weekend. I've got lots of veggies that need attention so I'm thinking of roasting some and turning the rest into soup. I found myself throwing leek, pumpkin, broccoli and cauliflower into a pot the other day and with a bit of vegie stock, garlic, salt and pepper it ended up being completely delicious (and so creamy, once blended).

In other places:

oh goodness! The sweetest, handmade creatures I have ever seen (including a sloth!) - oneofakind
in this shiny, pinterest world it was refreshing to read this article - give me gratitude any day.
I highly recommend these reusable tea/coffee cups for a Father's Day gift (Daniel uses his every day).
these measuring spoons - the perfect keepsake gift for a little baker.
I love to read "five favourite things" over at House of Humble
a new favourite online read: The Slowpoke
all good things happen in bed (linen lovers be warned - you will swoon)
why kids are better off without homework - I wholeheartedly agree.

Have a wonderful weekend...


Thursday, August 21, 2014

wearing : little tienda

this is a sponsored post / photos by Luisa Brimble

As far as I'm concerned, a hammock is a household necessity. I'd go as far as saying that it's more important than a couch. Daniel and I have always owned a hammock and it's been the perfect excuse for many a lazy afternoon swinging on the balcony. One thing I have learned over the years is that cheap hammocks are never comfortable; they most definitely do not induce relaxation. Hence we have always invested in a quality double hammock that we know will last a good few years. The mayan hammock is our current choice (it would make the perfect Father's Day gift!) - it rolls up easily without getting tangled so it's great for picnics and camping trips, it's easy to hang up and, most importantly, it's comfortable - as in, you can very easily take a nap in it. A hammock is the ideal family gift - practical, portable and perfect for all ages. 

Little Tienda's entire clothing collection is sourced from artisans in Mexico; family business that have passed down crafting techniques from one generation to the next. I own a few pieces (see some summery suggestions here) and the cotton is beautifully soft, the embroidery intricate and beautiful. Whilst many of the pieces are vivid and detailed I really love the simpler styles in shades of white, grey, black and cream. They are easy to wear, flatter all shapes and sizes and take you from winter to summer - everything is trans-seasonal. 

Do you own a piece from Little Tienda? If so, how do you wear it? 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

a spring cleaning guide : on stuff and clutter

When I picked up Poet from pre-school last week, most of the children were sniffly, the parents croaky. The nasty flu is making its way around our community and while I chatted with parents about illness and remedy the conversation naturally veered towards the current state of our homes. Basically, the mess is rife and we haven't had a chance to catch up. We're waiting for the warmth of spring and the last of the coughs to leave and's time to clear our clutter. 

The concept of clutter is an intriguing one and in preparation for this community spring clean I've proposed, I've been reading up on the subject in Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Think of it as a discussion on clutter from an energetic perspective - and a guide to clearing it. I must admit, I've always regarded feng shui to be a little too esoteric for me. However, I've gleaned a lot from this book (even if it meant skipping past the hippy paragraphs). To sum up its message in one sentence: clutter holds stale, stagnant, draining energy which, once cleared, gives you more motivation, inspiration, time and perspective. 

So why does clearing clutter seem overwhelming to many of us? Because the simple act of looking at it is draining in itself. Dealing with the clutter, clearing it, takes some self-motivation but once you start, you quickly realise how satisfying the process can be, hence you gain more energy to keep going. It's also a fantastic way to deal with stress and anxiety - getting rid of the stuff that's weighing you down in your own home.

A few tips to consider as we countdown to spring:

- identify the clutter zones in your home (this won't take much thought; it's usually quite obvious). For me, it's the entryway, the kitchen bench, one corner of the lounge room and the garage. I particularly loathe the clutter in the entryway because it obstructs a smooth journey in and out of the house.
- ensure that there is a clear walkway from your front door to your backdoor - no obstructions. If things are in the way, they make the simple act of moving around your house to be difficult and, at times, stressful.
- create a junk drawer in every room, if need be (I prefer to call it a miscellany drawer). But, choose a small drawer, use it sparingly, have regular clear outs.
- take a look at all the doors in your home and ask yourself: are they easy to open and shut? If they're not, remove the obstruction (anything stacked behind the door, laundry baskets, bags etc). If you can open and shut your doors without effort, life becomes that bit easier (and you have more time).
- clutter occurs in your kitchen, too. Take a look at your pantry, perhaps it's time to use up the food in there before you buy any more? I foresee a few chickpea curries in our near future.
- observe your children over the next week - what do they play with, what toys haven't they touched in the past year? I know it's most definitely time for a big toy clear out in our house.
- plan to start small (a kitchen or bathroom drawer or even your handbag - yes, portable clutter exists) and then slowly progress onto the larger, more clutter-filled areas of your home
- make decluttering a priority and create set times to do it (an hour here, an hour there) otherwise it will never get done.
- finally, ask yourself: if I was moving house tomorrow, what would I get rid of so I didn't have to cart it to a new home?

Are you feeling motivated? I am!


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