Friday, October 31, 2014

gift guide : stylish summer

My wish-list This gift guide was, I admit, an absolute joy to collate. Whilst our summers can be harsh and uncomfortable, there's no denying that for the most part, they are very enjoyable. Blue skies and salt air, the beckoning ocean and cicadas' song - what's not to love?

I hope this collection of summer-inspired goodness inspires.

1. Surprisingly, it's rather difficult to find a beautiful hat but this handmade raffia number is a winner. 2. I can't believe it took so long for someone to design a round beach towel. 3. I got a turkish towel last year and used it almost everyday. Adore this shade of grey. 4. A linen dress that can take you from the beach to a dinner date (this design is incredibly flattering, especially under the arms). 5. I love having red lips but don't often bother with lipstick - this organic rose-tinted lip blush is my current favourite (and makes a fabulous stocking filler). 6. I don't wear perfume but Aesop's Marrakech fragrance is to die for - hints of neroli, jasmine, sandalwood, cedarwood and bergamot. 7. Because is there anything better than coming home from the beach and having an afternoon nap on organic floral sheets? 8. A market basket with long handles - the best beach bag for parents. 9. tan sandals - a summer must-have. I love these and these.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

picture books

I gave in to temptation whilst packing Poet's books today and opened a few of my favourites. Beautiful stories and whimsical illustrations; so many of my motherhood memories etched into pages.

Children's picture books are an absolute joy and I often marvel at the ability of the writers; capable of engaging a child and entertaining an adult in so few sentences.

If you're looking for some new reads I highly recommend the following:

Maudie and Bear is heartfelt and funny and this edition includes four different stories. I adore the way illustrator, Freya Blackwood, has brought Maudie to life; her wardrobe is exceptional! Another Freya Blackwood favourite is Amy & Louis - picture book perfection (especially the backyard playing scenes, such honest depictions of a good, healthy childhood).

Alison Lester's Magic Beach is an apt read for us right now as we prepare to move to our very own beach house. Her most recent release, Kissed By The Moon, is part poem, part lullaby and if you're at all hormonal, you'll be blubbering by the end.

Peepo (which I could recite off by heart) and Spring is Here are two of my favourite books to read to babies and young toddlers. Whilst Peepo is very sing-song, Spring is Here is more poetic...I will never tire of either.

I was introduced to Elsa Beskow when I took Che to a Steiner Playgroup. Emily and Daisy and Pelle's New Suit are beautiful stories - traditional and magical and imbued with good life lessons. They are best suited to pre-schoolers.

And then there's Shirley Hughes who really does bring innocent childhood to the page. Her stories are wondrous but it's her illustrations that really draw you in - so much to look at, so many little details. I always stumble upon old copies of her books at op-shops so keep an eye out! If you prefer to buy new consider The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook and Out and About (one of my all time favourites).

What stories are you currently reading at bedtime? We'd like some suggestions for our next library trip.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

gift guide : lucas loves cars

this is a sponsored post

I don't think I'm alone in thinking that cars, trucks and trains (and their accompanying roads, tracks and garages) are toys that never, ever fail to please. Both Che and Poet have spent hours upon hours with their wooden train set and various automobiles - they are the toys that transcend age, time and gender. 

If there's one thing better than online shopping it's getting a few things from the same store - with a discount code. I've chosen my ten favourite products from Lucas Loves Cars and shop owner, Helle, has kindly given you a 15% off discount - just enter the code: practisingsimplicity at checkout (valid till midnight Monday 3rd November).

1. a portable airport made from eco-friendly birch plywood (also available in a car garage). 2. designed for little hands, this wooden dump truck with water-based finishes is the perfect "first truck" for baby. 3. oh, but then there's this little wooden ship - beautiful and fun to play with. 4. I love a good, educational puzzle, especially when it comes in a storage box. 5. discover the alphabet with these vintage-inspired cards. 6. the entire click-clack range of automobiles are fabulous - Australian made with eco-friendly products and incredibly affordable, each vehicle comes in a box that transforms into a garage. 7. the ultimate truck for dinnertime...and just when you thought that Taco Tuesday couldn't get more fun! 8. I swear by this mask set - hours of fun! 9. hours of learning for those fascinated by airports. 10. an interactive guide to how machines work - ideal for the older, inquisitive child.


Monday, October 27, 2014

"catch-up" mode is a constant

I sent an email yesterday, apologising profusely for the fact that my reply was three weeks late. I feel like I'm in constant "catch-up" mode at the moment and I can't see it changing any time soon. In fact, if anything, I'm only going to get more delayed. 

I'm well aware that the next few weeks will be slightly turbulent; there's still a lot that needs to be done before the removalists arrive in a fortnight. Then, of course, there's the unpacking, the settling, the new routines and...the lead up to Christmas.

Deep breaths.

Ever-growing lists and imminent change would usually have me in a tizz but instead I'm choosing to embrace a different perspective. Whilst spontaneous bursts of panic can only be expected, I'm largely ok with everything that's going on. Pregnancy has a definite grounding effect on me; yes, I have more physical weight but I'm also more likely to succumb to a more leisurely pace - out of both necessity and choice.

I've also been adopting a few techniques to ensure that the gigantic lists don't grow out of control:

- my energy levels do limit me so whilst I'm respectful of my body I'm also sensible about how the practical, day-to-day tasks can get done. The 15-minute-rule has been a lifesaver - always followed by a sit-down with a big glass of water.

- I'm recognising that I have to shift a few things around in order to complete the necessary and maintain a level of calm and happiness. I suppose this is another way of saying I can't do it/have it all - and that's ok. This is ultimately about recognising priorities.

- I get up early (regardless of how difficult it can be) and get things done before school drop-off - washing out (and another load on), dishwasher stacked, lunchbox ingredients packed away. It's simple chores like this that take up all my child-free time if I let them. Knowing that the necessary is out of the way when I get home from school ensures I can spend my time productively; packing, working, resting.

- I go to bed early because otherwise I'm useless. Goodness, the amount of sleep required during pregnancy is unbelievable!

- I'm spending less time online and as a result, I'm more productive when I am working or blogging. I tend not to get lost in the sea of superfluous when my time is restricted. This may be why I'm weeks behind on emails but I feel like I'm more engaged in real life - a very good thing.

Perhaps the most profound realisation I've had over the past few weeks is that I'm never going to get to the bottom of my list. This is, I believe, the reality of motherhood and yet it isn't easy to accept (especially for those who thrive on productivity and perfection). It's not the first time I've discussed this and it probably won't be the last but my goodness, it's a relief when I come back to that place of acceptance; the list is going to keep on growing and the best I can do is take it one tick at a time.

If you feel like you're in constant catch-up mode it's probably best to accept that for now, it is normal.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


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

Poet: lying on our neighbour's couch, giggling at the suggestion of a biscuit.

She has been so clingy of late; cuddling me, wanting to be held and carried, crying when I leave the house. I don't know whether it's her age or a combination of moving house/baby on the way. Whatever the case may be, I'm practising patience and giving her as many cuddles as she needs.


Friday, October 24, 2014

taking stock

It feels like the perfect day for taking stock. I'm:

making : plans
cooking : spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and greens
drinking : mineral water with a generous squeeze of lemon
reading : the luminaries and a book on positive affirmations for pregnancy
wanting : to be settled in our new home
playing : email catch-up
deciding : on whether I love this name or that name or maybe this name...
wishing : for Poet's scar to heal, quickly 
enjoying : afternoon naps and early nights
waiting : for an ocean swim
liking : fresh, white sheets
wondering : what it will be like to fall asleep and wake up in a new-to-us house
loving : my bountiful herb garden
pondering : whether this baby is a boy or a girl
considering : a blog hiatus over Christmas and New Year
watching : Take Your Time (filmed by Daniel)
hoping : that Poet's hearing test goes well
marvelling : at the clutter we have cleared
needing : a sleep-in without having to get ready for school
smelling : summer in the air
wearing : floaty dresses
noticing : my tiredness makes me cranky
knowing : that we're lucky
thinking : I should probably pack another box
sorting : washing (always)
buying : fresh fruit, sourdough and teabags
getting : all my important documents organised into one folder
bookmarking : zero waste home
disliking : halloween
opening : too many bills
giggling : at what's to come
feeling : like it's about time to take a nap
snacking : on red papaya sprinkled with lime juice
coveting : a small collection of things I have gathered for baby
helping : Poet eat noodles
hearing : birdsong
looking : forward

Have a wonderful weekend. And if you would like to take stock, pop over to Pip's for a blank list.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

20 weeks

Oh sweet, third child; growing beautifully amidst the palaver of busy life. I'm 20 weeks pregnant and feeling incredibly well, albeit a bit tired.

Daniel and I spoke about this baby for a long while before we decided that the time was right. And only now, halfway through the pregnancy, does it feel real. We keep remembering what's to come: labour (!), the first glance, naming, sibling love (and rivalry?), baby breath, kisses, sleeplessness, breastfeeding, copious nappy changes, adjustment, transition, new beginnings. For now I'm relishing in my swelling belly and the constant, energetic kicks. There is new life and it never ceases to amaze.

We constantly wonder; is it a boy or a girl? What do you think?

I'm wearing this dress most days because comfort is priority


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