March turned out to be a busy month for us. I'm not going to lie, I was feeling quite defeated at the start of the month after we didn't get approved for a house I really wanted, and as much as I tried to remind myself it wasn't meant to be, I couldn't quite believe it. So I took a break from looking for houses and after a week or so more rentals were listed and on a last minute decision I viewed a town house that we got approved for the very next day! So our luck made a major turn around and after a few stressful weeks we are finally unpacked in our new place! Let the re-nesting begin!
Friday, March 28, 2014
I loved this post, and as a compulsive list writer I completely understand those kinds of days where your heart wins and your to-do lists become tomorrow's problems.
There is nothing more motivating than a post like this to help you step back and reconsider certain aspects of your life and what you don't want for your future. I wish I had found this blog sooner it is so incredibly motivating and inspiring. And not the picture perfect styled by sponsorship inspiring, the real kind.
March proved to be a great month for finding new blogs, and I even found myself following a couple of beauty blogs which I don't normally read. I really liked this one, and this one.
It is so refreshing to read brutally honest parenting and lifestyle blogs where you can completely understand what they are saying because it is happening to you now. Romy is starting to get serious about this teeth business and there have been some really bad nights and hard mornings. And I get what it feels like to be tired to your bones with a small, teething baby relying on you to keep their day going when you can barely think straight yourself, so I could relate to this post.
This month a group of incredibly creative mommy bloggers who have joined forces launched a new collaborative blog earlier this month, Wholehearted - a journal, which Practising Simplicity contributor Jodi describes as 'a celebration of motherhood'.
You just never know what treasure you might find at an auction, you might even discover a little bit of history!
Luke came across this wonderful website filled with healthy family friendly recipes & I can't wait to get stuck into making a few of them for Romy.
This AMAZING site never fails to interest me, and the more I scroll down, the longer I put off doing real things because I just want to keep reading on. If you like to read tid-bits about other peoples lives, you'll LOVE this!
Three questions to determine your long term compatibility with your partner. I guess I should have told Luke straight away I don't & will never like horror movies before we got married.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
This month Luke & I spent a considerable amount of time looking for a new rental in Newcastle, and after countless viewings, and driving back and forth from the Coast to Newcastle we finally found one! And to make the transition easier, our new rental has an almost identical layout to the house we live in now! I am really excited about our new beginning!
Things that have also made me happy this month:
Monday, March 24, 2014
"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
Last week Romy discovered the stairs, and this week it has been her favourite thing. Don't worry guys, we are going to get gates for the stairs, we just held off because we weren't sure if our next house would have stairs. It is on the top of my to-do list for next week though. Romy knows that it is naughty to climb the stairs without us watching her close by, so she waits until we notice her and she peeks through the gaps in the stairs to see when we're coming. Our little Bear is very cheeky!
Luke & I are currently in the process of moving and our time is being split between three houses; moving things into the new house, cleaning our old house & staying at my parent's house. This past week has gone by in a flash, and we have been just as unorganised as ever. Hopefully some sort of normalcy will be restored later this week. Until then, have a great little week!
Friday, March 21, 2014
I recently came across this link with colorised photographs from the 18-1900's. Not only are these photographs beautiful in their original state, but with a splash of colour they are totally transformed into something else. When I look at older photographs in my grandmothers photo albums its hard to imagine how things really were with the absence of colour, and they simply become 'the olden days' to me. I imagine that everything back then was matte & dull with that dusty feeling. But then you see some of the dresses from that era and they are beautiful, loud & vibrant.
It's amazing to see what a little bit of colour can do, it makes the past actually seem relatable and not something you once saw in an encyclopaedia.
I was only thinking a couple of weeks ago what our grandchildren are going to think when they look at our photographs from today. Will this period of time have its own look the way my mothers photographs did from the early nineties? Or my grandmothers from the thirties? Will it be known for its selfies and left to the centre positioning? It will definitely be interesting to hear Romy's take on my photographs.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Rather than packing up my house in preparation for our move, I am looking at stamps on Etsy. How neat are those cute couple outline stamps?!! They would be great for something like a post wedding thank you card. And I absolutely LOVE the 'save the date' stamp, that is such a cute design for a save the date. After seeing these, I definitely need to start my stamp collection back up!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Reading: I just finished 'Nancy Drew: The Secret Of The Old Clock', the first edition in the Nancy Drew series. I love this kind of mystery that is easy to digest and reads like an episode of a tv series. It has been quite some time since I really got into reading because I am either so tired I can barely stay awake, or the second I get settled and lost in the storyline Romy calls out. I read Nancy Drew on my Kindle and found it much easier to read than printed word because I'm not constantly focusing on how many pages I've read, or have to go. And I can chuck my Kindle in my bag and read a couple of pages on the go without the hassle of an actual book. Don't get me wrong, I love books and would prefer to read them, but the Kindle is just far more convenient - I don't even have to leave my bed to buy a book!
Watching: 'Boardwalk Empire'. Oh my goodness! I've had the first season on my computer for quite some time and only last week did Luke & I give it a go, and I'm so glad we did. It was odd at first to see Steve Buscemi in a tv series, but I can't imagine anyone else playing his role. So much happens in a short space of time in this show, I think I'm going to have to re-watch all the episodes I've seen just so it can sink in a little more because I do have the tendency to fall asleep whenever we watch a movie or a box set, and I always miss important bits & Luke can't quite convey just how dramatic a scene can when he recounts the episode.
Listening to: A lot of No Doubt. Luke & I were talking recently about what bands we've always liked and No Doubt is definitely one of mine. When 'Sunday Morning' & 'Don't Speak' hit the charts I'm pretty sure I was in second grade, and I LOVED them! Over a decade later and I still can't get sick of them.
Thinking about: So many things! Future blog posts, moving, packing, de-cluttering, baby birthday parties, what book should I read next, illustrations, Newcastle, home projects etc etc
Working on: This month I cleared my illustration list and I now have a clean slate to start on some new fun things. On top of my new list was Romy's birthday party invitations, I had a lot of fun playing around with different ideas for them. They don't really look like invitations for a one year olds birthday party, but she isn't quite old enough to boss me around with those kinds of things yet! And I'm also working on a little zine style comic for my friend Elle.
Loving: Salted caramel Tim Tams. I think these are limited edition which is a shame because they are so tasty! Luke & I have not been buying sweet treats for a few weeks but we made an exception for these when we saw them at the shops. They're especially tasty with a coffee.
Planning: Our move to Newcastle, which is happening very soon! I even made a dorky moving schedule as there are lots of things to coordinate so everything runs smoothly. Luke & I have moved once a year for the past 6 years, but this move is going to be a little more difficult with a baby to factor in. But I am actually excited about the packing process, it will give me a really good chance to de-clutter so we aren't taking anything we don't need to clutter up our new place.
Monday, March 17, 2014
"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
This week Romy's top front teeth made an appearance along with her right vampire tooth that has been on its way down for a couple of weeks now. So the poor little bear has cut three teeth all at once, and has still managed to stay in a relatively good mood. Also this week Romy discovered that she is a natural stair climber and showed us how fast she could climb the entire stair case in one go without even a hint of falling. She sure is getting faster every day!
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Pumpkin + garlic puree, roasted balsamic tomatoes & silver beet
This week's pizza topping was a last minute slap together with whatever we had in the fridge left over from the week. One of Luke's favourite things to have on a pizza is pumpkin puree, which I am not really that fond of, but the last couple of Sunday's have been my ideas so I let my pumpkin puree guard down and gave it a go. And it was actually a lot nicer than I remembered, especially with the fresh garlic through it.
I got distracted putting Romy to bed, tidying up & watching a special on tv that I completely forgot to take photos of our pizza and it still didn't cross my mind until Luke pulled the pizza out of the oven. But lucky for me Luke has been paying attention for all these weeks and took some quick photos for me!
Our pizza stayed in the oven about 30 seconds (our oven seriously cooks a pizza in 5 minutes for realz, its ridiculous) too long, and it was a bit burnt but it still tasted amazing. I will definitely be more opened to a pumpkin puree base for next time!
Saturday, March 15, 2014
The tea cart is a multipurpose functioning piece of furniture that you can use as a bedside table, a book shelf, a kitchen island, a coffee cart, a bar cart and pretty much anything else you can think of. A couple of years ago I came home and found one positioned in my kitchen that Luke had found on council pick up day from one of our neighbours. I'm not going to lie, I was quite annoyed with it, it was ugly and old and I couldn't see its potential. It took a good couple of months for it to grow on me & now it is one of my favourite curb side acquisitions.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Overall I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of the smoothie, but I am quite partial to this simple banana smoothie which is so easy you could probably make it with your eyes closed. I usually use over ripe frozen bananas but today I had a fresh banana just about to turn, so I used that instead and it did the job. In a blender chuck in a whole banana, a generous table spoon of Greek yogurt, a small scoop of ice-cream, milk & a small squeeze of honey and blend. Easy peasy! By the time I got around to having lunch today it was after 3pm and verging on dinner territory so this was a convenient late lunch solution.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
[ yes ]
Last week I mentioned how I've been trying different methods of getting things done, and how I crossed a couple of 'big' things off of my list. It has been such a relief to get those tasks that really add an unnecessary weight on your mind, crossed off and no longer yours to worry about. I keep track of most of the ideas and projects I really want to work on, but feel like I can't start until I've got some of my creative mental clutter dealt with and out of the way. Yesterday I put a couple of illustration in the post that I have been wanting to complete and send for quite some time, and it felt so good to see them go into the post box. I have one last creative project to work on that I promised to a friend a while ago that has been on my mind and then I'll have a clean slate to start new projects for myself. I cannot wait, I have so many ideas & projects that I want to work - opening an Etsy store being my main focus. But before I throw myself into that project I need to do more of the above.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Yesterday afternoon we took Romy to the park after her midday nap. We packed her some snacks and it wasn't until we got halfway to the park that we realised that we didn't pack ourselves anything (or even had lunch), so we made a quick detour to the nearest takeaway store and picked up some hot chips, gravy and ginger beer. It was such a lovely, sunny day to be outside. One thing I have noticed since having a baby of my own is that kids love other kids! Every small child that either walked or rode their bike past us couldn't stop looking at Romy and telling their parents to ''look at the little bubba" and some even asked if they could say hello to her, it was so sweet and nice. Romy had a little swing on the park swing set, although she wasn't as keen on it as the one at my parents house, but she still enjoyed it. Hopefully we can sneak in a few more park dates before this lovely weather wraps up.
"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
My parents put up a swing in their yard on Saturday and Romy LOVED it! Our little Bear is becoming quite the danger mouse really getting into things, so while my Mum pushed her gently on the swing, I gave her a firmer push and she really liked going a bit higher! This week we've also been sitting her on the top of our lounge & she throws herself off into our arms. She is definitely a little thrill seeker!
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Roasted Vegetables, Chilli, Garlic & Parmesan
Tonight's pizza was a pretty bold punch to the taste buds, thanks to Luke's generous use of chilli and garlic. Either way, it was pretty tasty and not very similar to the pizza toppings we usually have. I don't mind eggplant, but I do prefer to have it with other things and it worked quite well on the pizza tonight. We roasted eggplant & red + green capsicums with olive oil and pink Himalayan rock salt, finely diced fresh garlic and chillies, topped with mushrooms, black olives, red onion & shredded parmesan.
I would definitely put this pizza on my favourite list and could see this being a regular family favourite of ours.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
[ keep it cool ]
I have always been drawn to these bedroom commodities for as long as I can remember. When I bought my first dream catcher I didn't know much about where they were from or what they were about. I have always just found them to be beautiful and calming. While I can see how some people may find them to be offensive because of their cultural appropriation, I find them to be a dreamy marriage of natural elements and structural form. They may not be every bodies cup of tea, but there sure are a lot of great ways to style them into everyday spaces.
Friday, March 7, 2014
[ here ]
Lately I've been trying out different ways of doing things, so rather than writing a little to-do list everyday, I've taken to writing one week long list and adding one task from my 'big' to-do list each week. Today I crossed off two 'big' tasks and it felt pretty darn good! In the evenings when the day is done I find it incredibly hard to sit and just watch something guilt free, I need to be multitasking so I don't feel like I'm not doing anything. And the thought of all of those bigger tasks starts to really weigh me down, so I'm determined to wipe my slate clear and start on some new projects without the boring grown up things to do first.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Recently I was approached by WaterWipes to try out their pure baby wipes. Now that I am a parent, types of wipes and nappies have become a small focus in my every day life & picking the right products for my baby is important. I try to steer clear of wipes and lotions with all of the common nasties in them, so the shorter the ingredient list the better. And 'WaterWipes' pure baby wipes have just about the shortest ingredient list with only two components - water and grapefruit seed extract.
Initially I didn't like the wipes, but after Romy ate a couple of dates with her lunch and they went straight through her I changed my mind. I used half the amount of wipes I ordinarily would require for a serious nappy change when using the 'WaterWipes', which was pretty impressive. I found the wipes to be a preferable thickness that makes them far more durable than the other brands of wipes I have used in the past. However, these wipes dry out a lot quicker and take on a cloth like feel. Romy has started to become quite difficult when she is having her nappy changed and likes to roll over on the change table. There were a handful of times that I would have her new nappy and wipes pulled out to the side, set up & ready to go, but her persistent rolling would turn a one minute task into a five minute ordeal and the wipes would be close to dry when I got around to using them.
Overall I liked the 'WaterWipes' - they are a preservative free, non greasy, pure baby wipe that is allergy friendly and durable. I used less wipes when I was trialling this product, and Romy didn't get any nappy rash whilst using them. But at the end of the day, these wipes are the most expensive option at the supermarket for $7, and that is quite a lot to spend on wipes in my opinion - especially when I have the choice at my local supermarket of two other brands of chemical free wipes that are considerably cheaper. I have however purchased these wipes after my trial pack ran out, and have noticed these wipes on sale a couple of times since. So I will definitely use them again!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
People are good. And last week I was reminded of just how kind people can be when I received a completely out of the blue honest gesture via the post from a friend of the past. A couple of years ago when Luke & I lived behind Darby Street in Newcastle we befriended this incredibly sweet lady that owned a kitschy boutique that we bought things regularly from. And she also sold some of my felt brooches that I used to make while I was studying.
When we moved to the Central Coast her boutique closed down and we fell out of contact with her. That was a good three years ago, and I had completely forgotten about my brooches and their whereabouts and it wasn't until I received them in the mail that I remembered I had even made them!
In the package was the last of the felt brooches that weren't sold, and the money for the brooches she had sold. I was completely blown away at how lovely and kind it was to have my things sent back to me after all these years. I'm sure most other people would be so preoccupied with all the loose ends to tie up when closing a business that some of the smaller things would just have to slide. So now I have an extra $60 to contribute to my dress fund!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
In the last two weeks Romy has started to pull herself up onto things into the standing position. And this new skill has given her a confidence boost and now she is looking at just about everything more curiously. She loves to pull the paper apart and the ink rubs onto her little fingers and she smudges the news over everything. She has been keeping me on my toes the last week especially now that she's been getting into the pantry and pulling all of the tea bags out and moving them into the living room. While I am sure that these little things will get old the more times I have to pack the tea bags away, I'm really enjoying these little quirks.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Mushroom & Pineapple
This week, although we were prepared for our Sunday Pizza night, I took the easy route & had my go-to pizza topping - mushroom & pineapple with bbq sauce. It is always good, and a convenient favourite to have when we have plans on Sunday afternoons. Our pizzas weren't put in the oven until 8.30pm this evening so I completely forgot to take a pizza photo, but I am sure you get the gist. And anyway, this pizza will win you over solely on how good and wholesome it tastes as a vegetarian alternative to the Hawaiian family classic.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
[ tone it down ]
Originally imported from East Asia, these outdoor statement pieces were inspired by the splendid peacock throne originally designed for Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Peacock chairs were ever present in the 60's until the 70's when they became an outdated commodity. In the last five years or so they have been creeping up in major furniture lines accompanied with an indulgent price tag.So your best bet would be to source a second hand number and make a weekend project out of it.