Sunday, April 12, 2015


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Che: rarely is there a moment when he doesn't have a book in his hand. He turns 8 in September...where did all those years go?

Poet: ready or not, here she comes.

Percy: his first bath in the kitchen sink wasn't a success. Turns out this boy loves the shower, though. 


Thursday, April 09, 2015

percy pippin | a birth story

photos by lamb and fox

When I was 20 weeks pregnant I asked my midwife if the rumours were true: "Are third births generally unpredictable?" She turned away from the computer, looked me in the eye and with every ounce of her knowing, replied: "Every birth is unpredictable."


The last few weeks of my pregnancy were hot and sticky; the humidity was stifling and I had taken to crunching cup loads of ice to maintain some semblance of cool. I swam in the ocean most days, grateful for the buoyancy, and did my best to mentally prepare for what lay ahead. 

I was 39+1 weeks when I felt the distinct shift. It was a Sunday in early March and I was crying whilst doing the dishes. I didn't want to see anyone or go anywhere and the braxton hicks had become mild yet persistent contractions. I had arrived at that uncomfortable, challenging, emotional place they call "the in-between". My patience ebbed and flowed for the days that followed as I walked and squatted and danced and rested. 

On Thursday morning I had an acupuncture treatment. It was my third in as many weeks and my acupuncturist confirmed what I already knew; my body was ready, I just had to wait for my baby. Later that afternoon, on the way to the hospital to see my midwife, Val, the contractions grew stronger and more frequent and whilst I didn't want to get attached to the possibility that this might be it, there was a big part of me that willed it to be so. 


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

on being a new mum

this little chair allows Poet to reach the high door handles / birthday flowers from my man / it's tiring work being so small / domesticity for little people (and one of the very best presents she has ever received - find it here)

I read an article yesterday that said, rather blatantly, that three is the most stressful number of children to have. But give a mum four children and she's finally learned to let go.

Is it stressful having three children? Perhaps it's too early on in the piece to provide a well-informed answer. Personally, I find this newborn stage to be much easier than teething, crawling and eating solids. But still, there's something about being a new mum, even if it is my third time, that requires a shift in perspective and, more importantly, a reshuffling of priorities.

I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy ensuring that the house was spick and span and all the while there was a motherly voice in my head that reminded me that it wouldn't be long before I'd have to relinquish control. I'm currently in the midst of that struggle; sitting on the chair feeding Percy and watching, as if in slow motion, the house unravel.

But an unravelling house is better than an unravelling mind so I turn my gaze towards the little one and remind myself that this stage is precious...and he won't be this little for long. And then, on a more practical level, I make a list of chores that need to be done - numbered in order of priority. Usually the washing comes first and I try my best to get one load washed, dried and folded every day (it's the putting away stage that rarely gets done). I then turn my attention to the dishes and do them when Percy is asleep in the sling (I've discovered that the running water calms him if he's unsettled). Everything else gets done if the time (and Percy) allows.

Now that Che and Poet are on school holidays and true autumn has arrived, it's definitely time to look at their wardrobes and embark on a seasonal purge. I also have to go through all the boxes of hand-me-downs and sort out clothes for Percy (he's very long-limbed and I'm determined to go by the actually size of the clothes rather that the number on the tag - 000 and 00 can be so misleading!). But this is the kind of task that requires Daniel to be home so I'll wait till the weekend and do it with a big cup of tea in hand.

I realise that tending to the home whilst raising small children can be challenging and relentless work but to be honest, I'm enjoying the predictability of it. Days roll into nights which roll into days...

What do you find most challenging about being a new mum? 


Monday, April 06, 2015

typically red | a hand-knitted giveaway

As far as I'm concerned, every child needs a knitted pixie bonnet to keep them cosy in the cold.

Greer, Head Knitter at Typically Red, creates beautiful hand-knits for little heads. She recalls her mother, a midwife, having conniptions at the sight of a baby without a hat in winter. "I can still hear her voice telling me how much body heat is lost through the head," she says. "I suppose it's apt that I now make and sell hats for babies."

She lives in the Southern Highlands with her three girls, Lola (8) and twins Pearl and Stella (5), three chooks and a Burmese cat called Lenny. Their little cottage is ramshackle and absolutely delightful. "It's not as tidy or organised as I'd like; there are balls of yarn everywhere and the kitchen table is also the sewing table, homework table, kid's craft table, packaging hats table...My office space (I have a work-from-home day job) is in my bedroom and the vacuum cleaner is a permanent fixture in the hallway. But it's ours and it's home," she says.

Greer is known in her local village as "the woman who knits" and, if you asked her dedicated following of online friends, they'd probably say the same thing. She creates bonnets and pixie hats from 100% wool and wool/alpaca blend that she sources from the US. It's a yarn that she's been using for years so she knew before she started selling her wares that it would stand up to regular wear. The colour palette is gorgeous too but as Greer admits, it's just missing a lovely dusty rose.

"I love creating something practical and beautiful with my hands. I love that out of two basic stitches you can create so many textures and patterns. And I just love kids in hand-knits."


Greer is giving away two hats - each winner will choose style and colour. To enter, simple tell us what you love about dressing your children in hand-knits. The comments that resonate most will win.

This giveaway is open to international readers. Comments close on Monday 13th April at 10am and winners will be announced in this post shortly afterward. 

Best of luck!


Sunday, April 05, 2015


"A portrait of my youngest children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Poet: day old pigtails and her favourite dress, looking very Anne of Green Gables as she picks clover in the garden.

Percy: the post-sleep-in-the-sling stretch; one of my very favourite things about newborns (wearing a handprinted onesie from windward made and hand-me-down pants from his big brother) 

Next week I plan to get back into some sort of blogging groove, hence this post is, once again, succinct.


Monday, March 30, 2015

fabrik | new season womenswear

Fabrik - clothing with a conscience 
autumn/winter campaign styled by Stefanie Ingram and photographed by Luisa Brimble

Fabrik's autumn/winter women's collection is beautiful; a range of simple and classic designs with a refined bohemian edge. While I always love what designer, Sarah Hardie, creates, I admit that this is my favourite collection to date. It's sophisticated yet completely practical and I have no doubt that each piece will transcend seasons and trends. 

My favourites? The maxi wrap dress for its simplicity and boob-accessibility, the sherpa jacket because it reminds me of something Julie Delpy would wear whilst walking the streets of Paris, the Amelie dress (imagine it with tan sandals in autumn and ankle boots in winter!), the long-sleeve tee because stylish essentials make the morning that much easier and the moonflower skirt - gorgeous and completely trans-seasonal. 

The first drop has landed instore and there's more to come in the next few weeks. Fabrik has kindly offered Practising Simplicity readers a 15% discount with the code PSWINTER (ends Wednesday midnight). Free shipping is also available for Australian customers who purchase over $150.


Sunday, March 29, 2015


"A portrait of my youngest children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Poet: dancing, again. There's no denying that she's been a bit sad about my attention being elsewhere. Her patience, however, has been astounding. I'm making more of an effort to carve out one-on-one time with her every day.

Percy: sweet, sweet little boy. This is one of his favourite (and most productive) burping positions.


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