From the monthly archives: December 2013
From this morning, brothers and sisters making plans for the day….

From this morning, brothers and sisters making plans for the day….

Today I have been thinking about how fab it is to have brothers and sisters.  My own combo is a big brother and two little sisters. Over the years, these cool folk have stuck by me and joined me for the ride through moving houses, building a house, bust ups, having babies, surviving B&S balls, heading off to music festivals, concerts, once in a lifetime gigs (Pearl Jam with my sis would have to be top of the list), venting about stuff that’s annoying us, dealing with losing people we love and a whole stack more.

It’s a sort of companionship that’s built up over decades, loads of shared experience, fun, tears and conquering fears.  It’s also about getting over yourself, any fights, arguments or differences of opinion fall by the wayside and we move on. Together as one big crazy/ chaotic family.

It’s solid gold really.

I missed my brother and my sisters this year at Christmas (they are on the East Coast and we are West Coast), maybe that’s why I was thinking about them this morning on my way to get a coffee with the tribe.  I watched my own little tribe having fun together this morning as they planned their day, where they could ride their bikes, how many times could they go swimming, and laughing at the morning cartoons.

Golden times.

My brother and sisters and I know each other so well now that we can spend months, years apart, and then when we see each other again, the time passed evaporates and we pick up where we left off.

I know they think about me, and want them to know I am always thinking about them too.  I am already saving and planning for our next trip across Australia to see everyone.

Do you have brothers or sisters?

Enjoy xx

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Capturing the fun!

Capturing the fun! (with help from A Beautiful Mess)

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Or Happy Holidays!

Welcome to the end of the year!

Whatever it is you are celebrating, there are bound to be 1001 photos taken, stored, and well, that can sometimes be it…

Instead of just filing those awesome pics away under ‘December 2013’ why not try out some of the latest ideas, apps and websites to create something a little different.

Here’s our top 5 faves at the moment:

  • Create a photo book. We’ve used Kikki K to produce and send some fab photo books, a perfect gift, keepsake, and a great crafty project to get the kids involved.  The software is free and easy peasy, and the production quality is beautiful. Plus as my talented friend Tasmin Brown pointed out today, get some of the those holiday memories printed!
  • Instagram it!  The bonus is you can ‘follow’ a bunch of other cool folks with gorgeous photo-streams.
  • A Beautiful Mess, brilliant app that allows you to create collages, customise pics, create fab posters, screen savers and much more.
  • Flipagram – Loads of fun!  This easy to use app helps you combine your pics and music into an easy to share movie. Another great one for the kids to have a go at.
  • Print a custom calendar, mug, mousepad, t-shirt.  Sure it’s kitsch, but it can also be super-cute!  Try Vista Print for great prices on mugs and calendars, DIY photo paper (available from Officeworks) for fab t-shirts making, or send off a pic to Charlie and Rosie a  fab small businesses which can create  gorgeous personal keepsake.

Enjoy xx

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Hand-made Christmas joy from The Pailey Five in Maleny (via Etsy)

Hand-made Christmas joy from The Pailey Five in Maleny (via Etsy)

Ahhh, Christmas, are you a fan?

I love it! 

That is probably not a surprise to most people who know me, or read my blog here as I tend to love most things in life. I love the togetherness of this time of the year, which I think is more the point rather than huge presents,or anything else too, well, commercial. The weeks and days are filled with catching up with friends, swimming, eating, watching old movies, and relaxing.

I do struggle a little though at Christmas as my inner stylist (who would love to style the bejesus out of every vignette I can get my hands on) and the pragmatic lady (who reminds me as long as the kids are happy, we’ll be happy!) duke it out.  

Over the years though, the lovely Big A and I have moulded and shaped this time of the year to be our own.

Here are some of my favourite Christmas ‘traditions’ (and I use the word very, very loosely) we have adopted, borrowed, made up:

  • Present budgets are limited, kids get $5 to spend on each present, and have the option of making/ creating.  The planning, searching, thinking that goes into it is incredible. Seriously, my kids could do wonders with the Federal budget!
  • The BIG dinner happens on Christmas Eve, after the tiny ones have gone to bed.  That’s right, the kids go to bed on time, which generally has the added upside of well-rested little folk on the big day. This leaves us to enjoy a Christmas cocktail (the current favourite is the El Presidente) and some delish food. Bliss!
  • On Christmas morning, we hand presents out S L O W L Y, with the help of the kids. Making the kids wait until each person has unwrapped, taken in, enjoyed what they have been given, then moving on to the next person.  There is no giant pile of presents waiting for anyone, so why rush!
  • A swim at the beach on Christmas Day, which also doubles as a great time to test out any new swimmers, body boards, beachy stuff which may have arrived earlier that morning.  We live in such a beautiful part of the world, why not take full advantage!
  • Food-wise on Christmas Day, breakfast, lunch and dinner is more of a grazing affair with lots of fruit, cheese, ham (mountains of it), bubbles (for little folk and grown-ups). Paper plates and napkins are de rigueur (better for the environment than plastic, less washing up for me, so win-win). 
  • In the afternoon, lying around reading, playing board games, watching a movie, anything that involves relaxing really and cuddles with the kids. See, there’s that togetherness again!

Do you have Christmas traditions?  Or traditions for this time of the year?

I hope you have a relaxing break and spend lots of time with your favourite folk,

Enjoy xx

* If you love the gorgeous card at the top here is the link to the goegeous Etsy store where you can buy one…

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So very true!

So very true!

Happy Friday Folks! 

I thought I’d take the time to think about what I am grateful for today (the fab print about is available here on Etsy via West Sheridan):

  • Getting the chance to spend some Q-time with the little folk in my life (and also at the same time expanding my knowledge of dinosaurs, Zelfs – more about those tomorrow, and Lego)
  • Having a lovely supportive partner in life who a rock of encouragement and support this year while I pursue my somewhat lofty creative/ career dreams
  • Being in good health and having a lovely family

What are you feeling grateful for today?

Enjoy xx

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Hello school holidays!  Hello beach!

Hello school holidays! Hello beach!

December and the end of the school year is always a tinderbox of emotions in our neck of the woods. Exhausted kids, mixed with tired parents, a hint of ‘I’m going to miss my teacher’, and a whopping great dose of ‘where did the year go?’ makes for testing times. Not to mention the odd explosion or two!

In the race towards Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up counting down the days.

Until holidays.

Until Christmas.

Until the New Year.

Which means you may miss out on some of the good stuff that comes with the journey to the end of the year. This year I decided to make time to pause and take pleasure in the countdown:

  •  watching the Mini Fashionista perform in her school concert (a cracker of a job as a sixties starlet), play the violin in her first string ensemble performance (where of course I got teary, because no matter what the content I seem to get teary at school concerts) and morph into a tall willowy little lady with a snappy send of humour
  • Seeing Captain Jack master tying his shoelaces and hand-writing. In fact I am pretty sure this will go down as one of my highlights (for anyone else who has watched their child suffer through occupational therapy (OT), frustration, anger and every other emotion that comes with struggling to master a new skill, you’ll know what a BIG deal this was). Noticing that no matter how tall and strong he becomes, his heart is still made of ice-cream and melts at the sight of a wounded bird or when someone is hurt. 
  • Watching Flashdance emerge from his shell, and even have the courage to speak at assembly (seriously unthinkable at the start of the year) not to mention to produce some of the most wonderful pieces of art, and continue to march to the beat of his own drum (to his credit, he did successfully pull off the ‘cool Scottish man’ for International Day – complete with hat, tartan skinny jeans and tuxe jacket).
  • Saying goodbye to nappies for Little L, and hello to Kindergarten orientation!  Where did that time go? My baby is all of a sudden a little person, with an opinion about everything, everyone and attitude to spare.

How about you? How are you enjoying the ride until the end of the year?

Enjoy xx

I love a quirky bag, bright cushion or fab piece of art. Our home morphs throughout the year to accommodate whatever I bring home/ buy, dig out of the cupboard or create.

Sometimes it’s all cool neutrals.

Sometimes floral.

And sometimes it’s really out there…

Inspired by my love of all things out there and my super-cool son and cousins, here are 7 fab finds of all things gypsy and day of the dead:

Loud and Proud!

Loud and Proud!

Fab finds

From the top (left to right)

1.Skull cushions from Gypsiana2. Mexican Cantina Bags from Holy Kitsch3. Iron Heart Hook from Holy Kitsch4. Floral sugar skull brooch from Ella Mobbs5. Selection of cushions from Gypsiana6. Glazed ceramic skull from Holy Kitch 7.  Fleur Diamond Cross from Fenton and Fenton Enjoy xx

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I am basking in the glow of a daydream come true. After years of sewing /creating for my own pleasure and for my little tribe, I decided to take the plunge and start a boutique design label. Featuring fab frocks, sunny sun dresses, cool shorts, super cute totes, brooches…and a whole lot more, This Grand Life, the label became a reality.
This weekend I braved The Finders Keepers market in sunny Sydney, and it was…wonderful, terrifying and inspirational all at the same time. Within minutes of opening, my nerves disappeared, and I didn’t stop smiling all day.

Hello from Finders Keepers!

Have you got a daydream? A dream trip? A great idea?

Enjoy xx

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