As a mum, I clearly remember the moment when my then 3-year-old decided to choose her own clothes, or should I say OUTFIT. It was an OUTFIT because it was accompanied by a demand in a VERY loud voice from my former happy-go-lucky toddler that from now on she would only wear party dresses and ballet shoes. No more sensible sandals or runners. No more jeans, no more shorts and certainly no more blue or black. Just pink. Maybe purple occasionally. Mostly just pink. Oh and sparkles. Lots of sparkles. For a navy-loving, black -wearing tomboy this was really harsh news! I loathed pink. Could not stand purple. And certainly was not a sparkles kind of person. In that moment, I chose to get a grip. This was not about me.  Or my taste. This was about the little person who right before my eyes was growing up. Into a little person with fave colours, a personal style (sparkles, pink and all) all of her own. With all of this in mind, I thought I'd share a couple of places and spaces we visit to foster the creative little spirits in our house (in case you're wondering, because I know I would be, this is NOT a sponsored post).
Fab finds for quirky kids...

Fab finds for quirky kids...

1. Who doesn't need a blazer?  My youngest son rocks his everywhere, the farmers markets, downstairs in the weekend, travelling... This one is available from Seed 2. A so very cool hat, in this case a Fedora! You can find this one here... 3. Perfect for rainy days, or any day really!  My littlest poppet is convinced that hers go with tutus, fairy dresses, pretty much anything!   You can find this pair at the super cool Oishi M 4. Just what you need to jazz up any outfit!   Perfect for boys or girls, you can find these over here... 5. Cool kicks are also on my youngest sons go to list for wardrobe. We love this pair, available from the always cool and fresh Kido. 6. Superheroes rock!  My boys have an ever-changing collection of superhero tees, and these come with a cape (naturally!) You can find them here at Kids That Rock. 7. Tutu.  Do I need to say anymore about this one?  Oh except that I would love to wear one to the office or school drop off. Just one.  With a tiara. This one is from one of our fave shops, Cotton On Kids. 8. A fab bag!  Just as important for kids. This one is so super cute I am tempted to nab it for myself.  Maybe to go with my tutu?  You can find it at Kido. 9. We love sharks!  Show your love for the giant guardians of the sea with these super cool boardies from Tiny People. Enjoy xx This post is part of a lovely linky link up and guest blog post with the fab folks at Kids That Rock, click here to take a look xx
From the top: Connect Four (via Big W), paint your own cubby (via Mocka),  fab spotty book bag to hold your colouring in stuff (via This Grand Life), Pirate puzzle (via Djeco)

From the top: Connect Four (via Big W), paint your own cubby (via Mocka), fab spotty book bag to hold your colouring in stuff (via This Grand Life), Pirate puzzle (via Djeco)

We are having a lot of rainy days at the moment, and though I am sure the gardens and trees of Perth are loving the wet weather, it is wearing a little thin on the home front! Mostly after school and on weekends, when my kids are climbing the walls at times because they are so BORED! Coupled with my love of tech free days at home, I’ve had to go old school with activities. Today I thought I’d share a couple of ideas that have worked a treat with my tribe:
  • Do a jigsaw puzzles – we love one brand - Djeco the best, the pieces are sturdy, the scenes are quirky, bright and interesting.
  • Play a board or card game – our current faves are Connect Four, Scrabble and Uno
  • Colour in – we always have a drawstring bag packed with colouring books, blank paper, textas , crayons, great for at home and when you are out and about
  • Work together on a mazes, dot-to-dots, and spot the difference (all great for 3-5 year olds) –  or for older kids try word searches and crosswords
  • Build a city or fort or zoo or paint a cubby! Go as big or small as you like! Start off with some little animals and get the kids to build the jungle/ ocean/ habitat or go large and convert the lounge into a tent city.  Add torches and a picnic and BINGO! Kid heaven!
Do you have a favourite rainy day activity? Enjoy xx
Wanda Linda (one of our faves!) In most states now, kids are back and school and the weekly ritual of homework has begun. Christmas holidays are fast becoming a distant memory, and so we are all getting back to our daily, nightly and weekly routines. In our house a big part of our routine is reading. Do you read to your kids? Both my husband and I have read to our kids since they were teeny. Part of the motivation is selfish. We love reading, so therefore why not encourage the kids so we can all get quite reading time! The other motivation is sheer pleasure.  reading a funny, silly or interesting book with your kids is a great way to escape the world, the housework and any leftover grumpiness at the end of the day. It's hard for anyone to stay grumpy when you are reading about Wanda Linda's Terrible Underpants, or reading about Winnie the Witch zapping her cat one too many times... I won't say it's always fun though. There are some nights when the thought of reading to the kids, is, well, less than top of my list.  If it's been a big day, a rough week or you are just plain tired, it is hard to find the energy. Therein lies the bit that no one tells you in all those articles. Sometimes it is not fun. Sometimes, you pick a dud book (oh and there are a load of these around) and it is just dull. Sometimes the kids are over everything and will only listen for two pages. You know what though? That is ok. It is perfectly normal. Reading to your kids is like running a marathon, not a sprint. It takes consistency, effort, interest and your time, every day.    If you want your kids to love reading, they have to see that it is something you love to do, and that it is part of their routine. Night time, daytime, juts after lunch time (oh now I am riffing like Dr Seuss!). Anytime is fine, just make it very day. Stuck on where to start or low on inspiration? Here are a few to get your started...
  • Think of themes.  Maybe go with holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc). Sea creatures, dinosaurs, fairies.
  • Read the book first.  If you have a new book, take a few minutes to read it first.  Test it out. Is it interesting? Funny? Do the words rhyme?
  • Get online and get some ideas, have a look here for some fab read aloud tips
  • Visit your local library. Go to story time, ask a librarian for help/ideas/suggestions
  • Let your child choose the book
  • Get older siblings/ cousins/ friends to take turns reading.
  • Happily read the same book, every night, for weeks on end if that is what your child wants.  I think I might be able to recite every Hairy Maclary book by heart, but I am still happy to read all about that crazy dog and his mates.
Happy reading folks! Enjoy xx
My little tribe taking time out to think...

My little tribe taking time out to think...

As we grow older, it can get harder and harder to carve out time in the day to think. Reflect on life, how things are going, what went well, what went pear-shaped.  All the healthy reflective thinking we are meant to do in order to grow as individuals, as humans. Sometimes, life can get in the way.  Life can be complex, boring, monotonous, crazy and altogether unpredictable. None of which is conducive to thinking. One of my favourite ways to think and reflect is to ask myself a series of questions.  The lovely talented Pip Lincolne does this by way of 'Taking Stock'. This month I am breaking the mould and taking stock at the beginning of the month... Making : cushions and gorgeous sundresses ready for This Grand Life Cooking : veges, new types of the kids to try (current faves are asparagus and corn) Drinking : loads of cold water (it's sunny Brisbane folks!!) Reading: Country Style, How to Decorate, Lonely Planet's Guide to Australia Wanting: annuals for the garden Looking: at beachy holiday destinations Playing: Scrabble, family is becoming addicted!  Bunch of nerds that we are... Deciding: What role I would like to tackle back in my science/ corporate career Wishing: my gorgeous puppies would stop chewing...everything! Enjoying: my garden, the hard work is paying off! Waiting: for the right house to come along Liking: the jacaranda blooms in the backyard, a carpet of purple! Wondering: if I should paint a watercolour series inspired by our family farm Loving: the warm weather...most of the time! Pondering: career moves, there are some interesting roles around! Considering: buying a house...again...yikes! Buying: house plants, succulents, ferns, it's a jungle in here! Watching: Restoration Australia...oh my goodness, it's brilliant!  Fab show hosted by Sibella Court Hoping: the school year comes to a quiet uneventful end for the tribe Marvelling: at how tall my little tribe are getting...I am fast becoming the shortest in the family! Cringing: at the hating on social media.  What on earth are people thinking posting nastiness? Needing: to keep going to the gym, am getting to love it again! Questioning: old house, new house, renovated or not? Smelling: the garden, loving the change in scent as all of the flowers bloom Wearing: white shorts and Birkenstocks, a lot! Following: Noticing: the kids taking an interest in big issues, refugees, world conflicts, some hefty issues to think about for young minds. Knowing: I need to stop procrastinating and decide on that beachy holiday...stat! Thinking: about how to best balance work, my gorgeous family, and my creative pursuits Admiring: positive creative types (Clare Bowditch, Pip Lincolne, Dawn French) and ambitious corporate types in my life (will keep those names to myself) Sorting: through toys, it appears they have bred and now we have a bucket-load which are making their way to new homes before Christmas Getting: ready for another creative market...soon! Bookmarking: the Halcyon House website, seriously cool folks Coveting: vintage finds, I need to find a spare weekend to do some quality rummaging Disliking: negativity, I seriously do not understand why people feel the need to write bad/nasty/awful comments! Opening: a new section on my Etsy shop...watercolours and prints!  Yay! Giggling: at the awesome pearls of wisdom which come from my gorgeous six year old. 'Mum, you look the same as when you were young, except for your crinkly eyes, they look more smiley now!'  I will take that as a compliment and move on. Feeling: excited about the end of the year, and a wee bit nervous about heading back to work Snacking: carrots and hummus, blueberries and cashews, on high rotation. Helping: out at school whenever I can.  It's a busy time of the year! Hearing: Mark Ronson, kids fave CD on the way to school   Here's a list via the talented Pip Lincolne (Meet me at Mikes) for you...  Takes some time out to think, and if you are feeling like sharing post a comment with your answers, or a link to your blog post... Making : Cooking : Drinking : Reading: Wanting: Looking: Playing: Deciding: Wishing: Enjoying: Waiting: Liking: Wondering: Loving: Pondering: Considering: Buying: Watching: Hoping: Marvelling: Cringing: Needing: Questioning: Smelling: Wearing: Following: Noticing: Knowing: Thinking: Admiring: Sorting: Getting: Bookmarking: Coveting: Disliking: Opening: Giggling: Feeling: Snacking: Helping: Hearing:   Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
Fab fashion finds for teens & tweens

Fab fashion finds for teens & tweens

Hello! It has been super busy here, between school stuff, studying, working, designing/creating, life in general really. We are also heading into birthday season!  In our little family, the ladies are all born at the same time of the year. All three of us will be celebrating our special day...very soon! Hurrah for us! Which brings me to birthday parties. It's fast becoming that time of the year. Birthday parties, BBQs, playdates at the park and picnic. As we all come out of hibernation, the party season is starting in earnest. To help you out I thought I would share some fab fashion finds for tween/ teen girls. Save the pic to your phone, fab ideas for pressies or for the little ladies in your life. Check out H&M and Kido Store (two of our fave stores...and in case you are wondering...not sponsored!) for more fab finds. Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
lovely treasures from This Grand Life, Skittle & Mouse and others at the Mummy Tree Markets

lovely treasures from This Grand Life, Skittle & Mouse and others at the Mummy Tree Markets

Home again after a lovely morning at The Mummy Tree markets in sunny Bris-Vegas. It's always such a lovely crowd, friendly stall holders, fab customers, loads of (free!) entertainment for the kidlets.  What more could you ask for? I found some fab gear for my kids, including a gorgeous banner from Oh Deer Me!, and had a lot of lovely chat with my talented neighbour Skittle & Mouse. Other faves included The Three Birds, and little windsor.  *Sigh*, so many gorgeous treasures! Hope you are having a fab weekend, and if it's still a little chilly in your neck of the woods, maybe you could do some couch market shopping... Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
Heading up the track to the farm

Heading up the track to the farm

One of the fabulous benefits of having children or spending time with kids is that you get a reminder of how much joy they get from the world.

Discovering new ideas. Exploring the world. Playing. Laughing at silly things. Living in the moment. Kids are masters are stopping to smell the roses. Slowing down and moving at their own pace. Adults are always searching for ways to relax, meditate, calm down. Most kids have got that in the bag.  Watch a small child playing with Lego, matchbox cars, playing a game of make-believe, and you can see they are fully immersed in the moment. My kids are staying at my family's farm this week.  I know already that they will spending their time, exploring, digging in the sandpit, catching frogs and generally having a grand old time.  There will be no structured plan, no to-do list. Just fun, sunshine and spending time together. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine, taking time to relax, and most importantly finding the time to have fun. Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
taking stock on life

taking stock on life

I've carved out some time this week to sit and reflect on life. Taking the time to think about how everything is going using a fab list from the lovely Pip Lincolne at Meet Me at Mikes, here's my list... Making : a super cool hoodie vest for my littlest poppet (because of her broken wing) Cooking : zucchini slice and delish roast lamb Drinking : Tea because I have given up coffee Reading: Craft for the soul, New Scientist, Wendy (the stunt chicken) Wanting: To spend more time with my gorgeous kids Looking: at where I can spend some time at the beach for holidays Playing: nicely with others…life is too short for nastiness! Deciding: what the end of the year will bring (big questions here folks!) Wishing: I could see my sisters more often! Enjoying: catching up with old friends, good for the soul Waiting: for some new books I ordered to arrive! Liking: my new winter boots, make that loving! Wondering: if I should have a big party for my 40th? Loving: bearing able to wear a jackets/scarves again…thanks freezing weather! Pondering: what to do over the Christmas holidays Considering: subscribing to Frankie?  I love it, and it’s sometimes hard to find. Buying: books!  Australian Geographic – fab pictures, interesting stories Watching: Interstellar with my littlest bloke, it’s our new all-time fave. Hoping: that my littlest poppet’s arm heals quickly! Marvelling: at how quickly my kidlets are growing Cringing: at some of the nastiness I see online, be nice folks! Needing: time with family.  There is never enough is there? Questioning: everything!  Now I see where the kids get it from! Smelling: the gorgeous vanilla candle in the study whenever I am writing Wearing: opaque tights a lot.  Makes me wish I lived in a cold climate. Following: Pip Lincolne (a ray of sunshine!), Mrs Woog and Emma Watson Noticing: I have more energy since giving up coffee.  What?? Knowing: more about evolution (current topic I am teaching), go Darwin! Thinking: about fixed vs growth mindsets Admiring: gorgeous Australian wool! Scarves, jumpers with elbow patches…sigh! Sorting: kids clothes (this is never-ending with our largish family) Getting: ready to quit sugar Bookmarking: new patterns to try Coveting: an old table (all that history!) and church pews for the dining room. Disliking: the cold – except for the opaque tights bit Opening: messages from old mates, and laughing at the memories Giggling: a lot at my littlest poppet stretching her vocabulary and sometimes ‘muffing words Feeling: happier now, thanks to old friends and the rugrats Snacking: on carrots and hommus and cup-a-soups Helping: Little L practice reading, I love picture books (Wendy, Meg & Mog, Goodnight Moon) Hearing: fab tracks from the Offspring, Green Day…good times!   Here's a list for you! Making : Cooking : Drinking : Reading: Wanting: Looking: Playing: Deciding: Wishing: Enjoying: Waiting: Liking: Wondering: Loving: Pondering: Considering: Buying: Watching: Hoping: Marvelling: Cringing: Needing: Questioning: Smelling: Wearing: Following: Noticing: Knowing: Thinking: Admiring: Sorting: Getting: Bookmarking: Coveting: Disliking: Opening: Giggling: Feeling: Snacking: Helping: Hearing:   Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
One of my fave quotes x

One of my fave quotes x

Today I have woken up happy. Do you have those days?  The days when the sun seems a little brighter, you notice the flowers in your garden, there’s a sparkle in your eyes. It’s a welcome relief after being a little melancholy, kind of down in the dumps mood for the last wee while. My turning point was a conversation (via messages) with three lovely mates. Three of the funniest and warmest blokes I know, who have known me since I was 17.  We met at uni, and as I said in one of my messages back to them, the years we spent together were truly golden years.  Lots of laughs, a heap of great music, a fair bit of getting up to…(since my kids sometimes read this) mischief. Over 20 years later, they can still bring a smile to my face. The clincher was a conversation with my littlest poppet last night. She came in to check on me while I was in the study, to see if I was doing ok.  When I said ‘yes, I just finished my assignment’, she said without hesitation, ‘well done Mum, I am so proud of you!’ topping it off with a kiss on the cheek. Seriously made my night, and coupled with my reminiscing with mates dragged me out of my funk. How lucky am I? Four happy, bright little people I am lucky enough to have as my children, fab friends, a loving family and living in a friendly sunny city. Life is pretty good, in fact as my 8 year old would say, actually it’s awesome! How are you going?  Maybe you could spend time with a old friend reminiscing? Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
The view from my lovely cousins wedding last weekend!

The view from my lovely cousins wedding last weekend!

Wowsers!  All of a sudden, it is April! Between moving house, finishing up at my day job, sewing + creating for my Etsy store, studying and the kids school/sport/swimming/stuff the year has flown by! So I thought it was a good time to follow the lead of the ever lovely and caressive Pip Lincolne and take stock... ***************************** Making : some new cushion covers (can’t find any that I like!) Cooking : Taco Tuesday! One of our fave family dinner nights Drinking : a giant takeaway coffee (with a freckle on top) Reading: Educational Psychology and Country Style Wanting: to get the markets…soon! Looking: for a new novel to read…suggestions? Playing: Monopoly…today with my 5 year old Deciding: whether to sew or study today…decisions, decisions! Wishing: Mum and Dad’s farm was closer – weekends visits! Enjoying: settling into our new house Waiting: for Uni results… Liking: the kids discovering the books I loved as a kid Wondering: how to create some capes (a la Little Red Riding Hood for winter) Loving: Corduroy + seeing my gorgeous cousin tie the knot!  Congrats lovely! Pondering: whether to cut my hair...again Considering: Buying new winter boots…or not! Buying: Office-type stuff, new whizz bang, printer/copier/fax? Watching: Not a lot! Too much studying/sewing! Hoping: to sleep in this weekend Marveling: at my 8 year olds ability to dance anywhere Cringing: at the criticism leveled at normal women’s bodies Needing: another giant coffee or tea! Questioning: my decision to give my littlest one a year off from ballet, she is itching to go back! Smelling: the delicious Glasshouse Montego Bay fragrance in our house Wearing: super comfy jeans, red H&M jumper and RM boots Following: the media targeting teachers…again. Noticing: how tall the kids are getting! Or am I shrinking? Knowing: I will get through this giant study load. Thinking: about a road trip in October Admiring: my husbands ability to relax Sorting: the house (the move was crazy/ hectic) Getting: back on top of sewing super cut dresses Bookmarking: blogs – a lot! Ready for mid-year break Coveting: Bohemian Traders anything Disliking: Grumpiness (mainly from me!) Opening: another textbook (and secretly loving it!!) Giggling: at Jon Snow’s awkward dinner party Feeling: determined to get through Uni and find time with family Snacking: wholemeal toast + crunchy peanut butter Wishing: My sisters were closer too! Helping: my kids organise holiday playdates Hearing: the sounds of Adventure Time from the loungeroom It's such a fab thing to do to think about how your world if going...why don't you take some time and take stock too! Enjoy xx
Tagged with:
 
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.