Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Ethical Style - Autumn's Arrival (Fabrik Giveaway) - CLOSED

Sweater: c/o Fabrik (Fisherman Sweater in Cream/Gold) 
 Dress: (worn as skirt) Renee Loves Frances
 Shoes: c/o Fabrik (Oxfords in Copper)
Tights: Tightology Scarf: West End markets (2012)

(this is a sponsored post)

For me, there is a magic about Autumn that no other season can capture.  A crispness in the air, sepia toned afternoons, a paintbox of golden hues colouring paths and gardens and that unmistakable scent of log fires on the evening breeze.

Growing up in the tropical North I had never experienced the true magic of Autumn first hand, until our country tree change in 2008.  Each year since I have been captivated by the Autumnal splendour and now long for cooler days, crisp nights and the season for scarves, knits and tights.

This season I'm drawn to rich tones that channel the Autumnal change, warm cotton knits like this gorgeous Fabrik Fisherman sweater and sweet Oxford flats, perfect for leaf foraging and baby wrangling. Also on my Autumn wishlist, the a lovely rosehip cardigan and organic jersey fisherman pants, an essential for any new mama wardrobe. 

Fabrik founder and Designer Sarah Hardie makes beautiful clothing with a conscience. Inspired by the earth and ethically created using natural dyes and organic fabrics, Fabrik's winter collection is not only gorgeous and timeless but is made 'with the warmth and care just like your nanna made them'.  What could be better than that. 

The wonderful folk at Fabrik are offering one reader the chance to win a $100 gift voucher to spend on any of the gorgeous pieces in the Fabrik store (which includes delightful wares for little people too).
To enter, just let me know what your favourite season is and why you love it. This giveaway is open to readers worldwide and I'll draw a winner at random next Wednesday the 7th of May.

Good Luck!
Much Love
xxx
   
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Little Bubalishka who is the lucky winner.  I'll be in touch soon. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Everyday Moments..

 There's perhaps nothing quite as lovely as homemade bread fresh from the oven..
Checking on the ripening oranges in the garden..
Currently on my bedside table..
Anzac Day baking.. 
Olive's favourite afternoon napping spot..
A sad and surreal sight - The beautiful Avoca at the mercy of the mighty Murray River..

Much Love
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack

Sunday, 27 April 2014

17/52..

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

Tallow: Playing fairies in the garden.. 
(A candid moment captured by Ben while we were working on the Wilde Asher winter lookbook)

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Finding Our Way..


Our Autumn days start slowly, the sun rising a little later, the air a little crisper. Our home is peaceful, awash with morning sunshine, the kettle boiling, the day waiting to unfold.

Both still a little bleary eyed from an early morning rendezvous or two, we wish Daddy farewell for the day with hugs and kisses and then settle in, just the two of us. While I'd like to say we begin our morning routine, no two days are ever quite the same. You see, we are finding our way, on this new adventure of ours.

I wondered endlessly and struggled often to see how I would do this, if I could do this, with just the two of us. After nearly five months having someone around, family so close by, I just couldn't find the courage, to take the leap all on my own.  What if she wouldn't go to sleep, what if she cried all day. What if I cried all day? How would I get the washing done? How would I ever find a moment to myself again? How would I stop myself coming undone?  We'd never even been in the car, just the two of us. There was so much to learn, such anxiety to overcome, but I knew I had to, I just had to, for her.

So day by day, we revel in the sweet moments and embrace the little things.  The rhythms we create, just like the sun, change course a little each day.  Sometimes everything gets done, but more often than not, you'll find us here, just the two of us, in our own little world of mischievous mice, fanciful fairies and hares who wear red shoes. All the while, the washing machine is beeping, the dog is barking and the phone is ringing, but we don't mind. Our little world has high walls, a very special key and a secret word for those who wish to enter. 

And in those moments, when sleep does not come easily and all the learning and growing become too much for us both, I remind myself to breath deeply and remember how lucky I am and what an honour it is to play this most important role. It is a role that has slipped through my grasp once before and one that I now fiercely fight for, embrace with all my heart, rejoice in and celebrate everyday.

And everyday I learn a little more and so does she.. And together we find our way.

Much Love
xxx 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Thrifted Lately..

It seems like forever since my last thrifting post, most likely because it really has been! Over the past six months while Tallow wasn't at all impressed with going in the car, thrifting was pretty much out of the question, but since we've been back in Mildura and Tallow's out grown her dislike of the car, it's been so much easier to pop out  for a quick search of a thrift shop or two.  Before we moved we decluttered a great deal, so these days I'm not on the hunt for too much really, but every now and then when something catches my eye, I just can't resist bringing it home.  My rule is these days that my finds have to be both practical and beautiful and we are also enforcing a one in one out rule, especially in the kitchen, so only the best bits and pieces make it through the door. I'm pretty happy that these finds made the cut.  

I nearly left this tea set behind, until I realised I already owned the matching sugar bowl. So a week later I went back and thank goodness the thrifting fairies had been keeping an eye on it for me.  So lovely to complete the set. 

 Searching for floral linen & fabric might just be one of my favourite past times and I was delighted with this little stash.  The tea towel has already become Tallow's Easter present and I have plans for some cushions and bunting next. 

Now I promised I didn't need any more Pyrex but this cute pair were to lovely to leave behind.  And besides they are perfect for winter cooking! 

On my thrift wish list right now is a mid century style lounge, a vintage mirror and an old bath to plant herbs in. The perfect pair of jeans would be wonderful too!   

What have you been thrifting lately? 
What's on your wishlist?

Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Everyday Moments..

Letters nearly ready for the post..
Getting ready for winter..
Easter morning..
My very first homemade hot 'heart' buns..
Precious afternoon nap time..
Pattern love..
Always a touch of floral in our kitchen..

Much Love
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack

Sunday, 20 April 2014

16/52..

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

Tallow: Peek a Boo! Right now it's all about crawling, exploring (looking in and under everything!) and making us laugh. 

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Making & Doing - the Easter Edition..

It's such a joy to spend the long weekend together in our new home.  It's the first opportunity since moving back, we've all be able to spend longer than a weekend together as a family and the everyday moments, baking and gardening are proving to be the most precious family time.

 I love creating new traditions and this year seems to be the perfect opportunity to try out some new things we've had on our family to do list. The first was to make our own hot 'heart' buns.. what an adventure.  While not overly difficult, they take time and accuracy to get them just right.  I made a little batch of nine using the traditional CWA recipe that the inspiring Kirsten suggested. I must say, they were a labour of love and I'm so happy I put the effort in, they were totally worth it.  A little wonky, probably could have had the oven up higher and added a little more mixed spice, but all in all, a yummy and satisfying new tradition and that I can't wait for Tallow to help me with for many years to come.    

We finally caught up on the second Hobbit film.  We decided it was inevitable that with a running time of over two and a half hours, that we would never see it in one sitting, so we watched it over the whole day, in between kneading dough, feeding time, laundry and searching for the dog (who got spooked by a low flying eagle and hid from us for half the day).  I loved the Hobbit growing up (I always kept a copy on my bedside table) and have been amazed at how vividly it's been captured.        

We are slowly working on our back patio, adding a little potting table, lots of hanging pots, herbs and greenery. Now all need to find is the perfect outdoor table setting and some fairy lights and we'll be ready for an Autumn dinner party. 

Inspired by the lovely Gaby we are looking forward to a no buy month in May and I'm also excited to be taking part in Mindful in May too.  It seems like a great time for personal challenges.  I just have to remind myself to invest in some slippers and warm socks before our no spending starts as these Autumn nights are getting wonderful and crisp.  

I'm loving this home, Pia's beautiful raw and honest post, these beautiful wares and this sweet collaboration.   And I am beyond delighted and truly humbled to receive a place in this year's Kidspot Hall of Fame, beside so many of my favourite bloggers, who have greatly inspired my blogging journey over the past six years.  

Tomorrow we are planning a picnic in the garden, followed by planting out some new seedlings, reworking a table Ben made me a few years ago and an afternoon walk in our favourite park.  

And Easter wouldn't be complete without a visit from the Easter Bunny, so a little basket was thrifted this morning and filled with some sweet books, a cute cardigan, a wooden teething rattle and a little handmade retro tea towel bunny.  It's sitting on the fireplace next to our Easter vignette, ready for Miss Tallow's first Easter morning.

Wishing you and your family a beautiful long weekend whatever you are up to.
Happy Easter!
Much love
xxx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Six Months..

Dearest Tallow,

Oh my sweet little girl, you are growing up so fast! Right now you are six and half months and my goodness that time have flown by! This month it seems you are learning something new everyday. You love to crawl (in your fabulous quirky style) and each day you are becoming a little more adventurous and eager to check out your new home.  You are Olive are becoming best of friends and you love giving her pats and kitty cuddles. After starting off a little unsure, you're growing to love dinner time (especially with Daddy) and you're favourite foods so far have been pumpkin, spinach and pears. You've made lots of lovely new friends this month and been to your very first birthday party. Although you've been a little bit shy around strangers lately, when you get to know people you're always full of smiles. Tallow you're quite the chatter box and in the last few weeks you've been full of cute words and sounds (ha, la, da and ta are your favourites to say especially loudly).  And guess what, you're finally enjoying little adventures in the car, which means our first family weekend away might finally be around the corner. Oh Miss Tallow Frankie, you're so much fun, you fill us with joy everyday and we are so lucky you found us!

You Like:
Your favourite book - That's not my puppy
Your favourite song - Happy (which you love to dance to with Mummy)
Playing in the backyard with Daddy
Helping Mummy put the washing out

You Dislike:
 Having your face wiped clean
Getting ready for bed
Strangers (until you get to know them)
Your highchair

We love you more than all the pretty Autumn leaves!

Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Easter Decorating & Daisy Chain Love..

As part of my thirty goals for 2014, I really wanted to celebrate the seasons and embrace handmade holidays.  And what easier way than to decorate the fireplace throughout the year, with handmade and thrifted delights to create cheerful seasonal vignettes. I've missed having a fireplace so much! They are just the perfect place for pretty things and I'm extra in love with our new one, just check out that chevron brick!

 I always have a giggle when Easter rolls around and everywhere on Pinterest there's lovely pictures of Spring, pastels and flowers galore, while here in Australia we are in the midst of Autumn and I'm all about the beautiful leaves and golden hues.  One day I'll get really adventurous and decorate for Easter using Autumn colours, but this year I couldn't resist a joining the floral love and the one flower I love most for Easter decorating is daisies.  I'm not sure why but I always feel that daisies go hand in hand with Easter, perhaps it's that wonderful bright yellow or their simple sweetness. Either way, I think they are just a bit perfect! So alongside my handmade vignette, (made up of thrifted, gifted and handmade bits and pieces from around our home, including an embroidery by the fabulous Laura from Kit & Nancy) is my nod to the fabulous daisy.  My Easter decorating would not be complete without a little crochet garland.  Last year I made a rainbow of granny squares and this year I just couldn't resist a daisy chain. I've had a few lovely folks ask about the pattern (which I really just made up as I went along), so for those interested I've written it below. I hope it helps to add a little daisy love to your home this Easter!

~~~

Crochet Daisy Pattern..
(Note: Written using US terminology) 

You'll need: Yellow and white yarn (I used 4ply cotton) & a 5mm crochet hook 

To create one daisy -
Using yellow yarn, chain 4, then slip stitch to create a ring. 
Chain 2, then double crochet 11 times into the ring to create the centre of the daisy. Fasten off with a slip stitch. 
Change colours to white and chain 2. 
Then into the base of the same stitch, 2 treble crochet (tc), 1 double crochet (dc). This will make the first petal. 
Single crochet (sc) into the next stitch. 
Then (1 dc, 2 tc, 1 dc into the next stitch followed by a sc into the next stitch)*. 
Repeat * stitches around circle to create six petals with a sc between each. 
When you are back at the beginning, slip stitch into the base of the first petal and tie off and weave in ends.
Repeat to make as many as you like! 

To chain all the daisies together -
Chain 20 stitches, then take one of your daisies and slip stitch the daisy at the point where you tied off. 
Then chain another 20 and add your next daisy and continue until you make a fabulous daisy chain. 

Happy Easter Decorating!
Much Love
xxx

Monday, 14 April 2014

Everyday Moments..

 A little Easter crochet for the fireplace..
Sunday bread baking..
His & hers creative corner..
I love the garden view from the dining table.. 
Happy herbs in the sunshine.. 

Much Love
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack

Sunday, 13 April 2014

15/52..

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

Tallow: Afternoons crawling around in the backyard with Daddy - Tallow's favourite time of day..

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Friday, 11 April 2014

April Seven Vignettes.. My Nan's Recipes

After taking last month off, I was so excited for the start of April to roll around so I could put my creativity to the test with a new round of Seven Vignettes.  I hadn't realised just how much I enjoyed participating until I was yearning to find my props box and get styling.  This month the themes were so beautiful and worked perfectly for an idea I had a little while ago, which was to style some of my Nan's beautiful handwritten recipes.  

Day 1 - Natural. Inspired by mother nature's delightful gift, honey fresh from the billabong.. Just perfect for making honey biscuits. 

Day 2 - Simple Things. Just a few simple ingredients is all that's needed for our family shortbread recipe. {the secret to success is not to overwork the dough}. 

Day 3 - Adventure. Taking a globetrotting culinary adventure to make Turkish Delight. 

Day 4 - Handmade. Crochet and baking, just seem to go hand in hand (especially if there is a pot of tea too). On the menu, coconut biscuits.. 

Day 5 - Wise Words. There's always a few wise words at the end of my Nan's hand written recipes. This lemon delicious sponge is one of her specialties and the recipe lovingly suggests it can be 'eaten hot or cold, with custard or cream'. Yum! 

Day 6 - Found. Intrigued by this orange & apple marmalade recipe. Might have to try it using some oranges 'found' in our garden. 

Day 7 - Thankful. Ever so thankful to be the caretaker of this very special recipe book, handwritten by my beautiful Nan. Within its pages are recipes from her mother & sister and her own tried and tested delights. It truly is a feast for the senses and a precious peek into generations of treasured memories.

I very much treasure these very well loved recipes.  Each page tattered and loved, every recipe made many times.They is so timeless and it was a delight to bring them to life.  Many of the vignettes also contain bits and pieces from my nan's kitchen, including the lovely little spoon and handmade bowl.  I'm looking forward to printing copies for my family, especially my Nan. She's been such an inspiration in my search for a more simple way of life and I would love to ensure our special family recipes continue to be made and passed down through the generations.   

If you'd like to find out more about seven vignettes, pop over to Interiors Addict for all the details and be sure to check out #7vignettes for all the amazing vignettes from April.

Happy Friday!
Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Everyday Ethical Style.. My Journey

 Top - Thrifted  Skirt - Vanilla and Lace
Tights & Belt - Retail (2012) Shoes - Merrell 
Scarf - Karma Kameleon (2012)  Basket - Noosa Farmers Market

Over the past six months I've found myself at a fashion crossroads.. After Tallow was born I realised my current wardrobe was not entirely suitable for a new mama. I owned a whole lot of dresses I couldn't feed in and other pieces that just weren't very user friendly.  It was a hot and humid summer in Queensland and I spent a good portion of it wearing the same three nursing singlets and a pair of thrifted denim shorts on repeat. Totally uninspiring, but not so bad for the wallet. I often felt like my personal style didn't quite work on the Sunshine Coast, I don't really do the beachy vibe and own far more black clothing than anyone else along Hastings Street.  In the middle of winter I was the only one wearing boots! So when we got back to Victoria, I almost breathed a sigh of relief and with Autumn on its way, I can finally unpack my cherished jackets, boots and scarves and rediscover myself and my new mama style.

This process of rediscovery and in a sense creating a new style continues to challenging and healing for me, both personally and ethically. While embracing my post baby body, learning to adjust and be kind of myself has been an important lesson in self love, finding clothes that honour my commitment to my ethical fashion pledge has been an eye opening and inspiring experience.   
    
Making the decision to only buy second hand and ethical clothing last year really changed my whole perspective on the fashion industry and this year I just couldn't go back to buying clothes the way I used to.  The issue of ethical fashion is vast and complex and is something I'll be writing more about in the future. For now it's suffice to say, I go to great lengths to consider and research everything I buy and wear, which makes shopping (especially for a new mama living in a regional area) a very interesting experience.

And it is this experience that has prompted me to begin my outfit posts again, to document, share and discuss my ethical fashion journey and also rediscover my personal style.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Year of Ethical Fashion, pop over to Pip's for more information and check out Peppermint Magazine for lots of ethical inspiration.  And you can check out my previous outfit posts here, the last one was just over six months ago and is certainly one I will always remember.

Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Everyday Moments..

 Freshly washed vintage sheets always make me happy..
Sunday morning fun, reading one of my favourites..
A new little path through our new veggie garden, now dotted with marigolds & snapdragons.. 
Organic shop & farmers market treats..
Fig & ginger jam drops.. 
Our new bay tree - our little garden is slowly coming together.. 

Much Love
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack