Wednesday, October 30, 2013

time out

We hadn't been away anywhere with the girls since December last year.
It seemed like a good time to take a short break. We were all in need of some down time.
We found this place online and it seemed to fit the bill.
A small quiet block of nicely situated apartments with a pool and tennis court. Walking distance to town.
We packed a small bag each and took the bikes.

The outlook was idyllic. The greenest hills gently easing down to the ocean.
The apartment was old, but spacious. Whitewashed brick walls, high ceilings, glass doors opening right up, comfy furniture. It felt welcoming and cool.
The girls shared a room. Upon arrival, they disappeared into it to unpack and rearrange the furniture. They were in there about an hour, creating their perfect space.
Clothes were folded and put away, books were arranged on bedside tables. Cushions and toys were neatly displayed on the twin beds. An activity corner was created.
Their room opened to a sweet courtyard perfumed by star jasmine.

While PK shopped for supplies, the girls and I took our bikes and explored.
We stopped to make friends...

On a solo trip the next day, I found this lovely little cafe where I just had to stop for a coffee...

On the last morning I was up just after the sun for a ride to the lake..

This lake is a popular spot backing onto a large and busy caravan park. On our trip here the day before, it was humming with people. At this hour, on my own, it was deserted and almost eerily still.

Perfect reflections.

We didn't do much, really. 
We read and relaxed, we walked and swam; played tennis and pottered around town. 
We had daytime naps and coco pops for breakfast.
We played Uno. 
We laughed and had time together. 

I want to go back...

I think we will go back.


In the not too-distant future..

Monday, October 28, 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

reading on the window ledge, lost in her world while listening to the ocean.

sees the window as an escape hatch, part of her exploration and adventures.

We took three days off to take a short break. All of us needed to take some deep breaths, slow down, unwind and relax. We found everything we needed in this apartment with big open windows and doors, looking out over an expanse of green and blue; nothing between us and nature.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


My eldest turned ten last week. She was away on music camp and it was very odd to wake up and not have that usual rush to our bed for present opening.
Rubes and I had done some gift wrapping the night before. Ruby was in on all the secrets this year, which she loved..and as Stella was away I knew there was no chance of her accidentally spilling the beans..

We were picking Stella up that night, after the kids had performed a concert for the families.
On the way to the camp, we stopped in at a gorgeous Eumundi restarant, where Ruby snapped off a few colourful photos for me. 
This place is great. The pizzas were delicious and the share plate of seafood was pretty darn good, too. 

We were early. Hence we had the place to ourselves. 

Back home, post concert and excitement of four days away, present opening was delayed until the next morning.
We wagged school and just enjoyed having our girl back.
This doona cover was received with much excitement from my horse-mad daughter.

Then off to the beach to try out the new surf mat, courtesy of my sisters...

Back home for some cake decorating..thank you Pinterest, for this inspired number!

...and dinner with family.

thank-you cards were crafted and sent out the next day..

A lovely weekend, in all.

Sunday, October 20, 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

She went on music camp. Away three whole nights and four whole days. The hardest part was leaving her there and walking away. The best part was going to pick her up. When I saw her I got tears in my eyes. She looked exhausted, happy and somehow a little bit more grown up..

This week saw her really start to read. I don't mean just know words and like books. She's always had a love of books. But this week she crossed that bridge... you know, that one where you pick up a book and become totally engrossed in it. It's momentous and immensely satisfying. If she has books, if she truly loves to read, then a whole new world opens up for her...

Joining in with Jodi, at Che and Fidel

There's been other milestones these past couple of weeks too, that deserve their own little place in this blog. So I'll find some time this week to write them up properly. I've not been at this computer much lately. Life has got in the way. But this is the way it should be. Life should always come first.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

aiding and abetting me in setting the treasure hunt. Each clue takes the form of a riddle, for her sister to decode. I love watching her delight as Ruby moves through the course.

on the treasure hunt. This is Ruby's new and inventive way of inveigling a sweet treat. According to Ruby, some parents use pictures for the clues, but I am a dismal artist and better with words.

This week I have finally finished up at work. Leaving me free to concentrate on my other job. Sweet relief.

Joining in with Jodi, at Che and Fidel

Sunday, October 6, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Colour. Spring is marching on and it feels like summer.

Stella: bathing Ivy

Yesterday Stella and I went shopping. A lot of her wardrobe is hand-me-downs and op shop finds. Good pickings indeed. But sometimes an almost ten-year old needs needs some new stuff. Her taste is simple and comfortable. Singlets, in all colours. Denim shorts with cuffs. Some hi-tops. Cute checkered cowgirl cotton tie-tops. And the longed-for sleeveless denim jacket.

Ruby: drying Coco.

This week Rubes is favouring the up-do. It's her own special take on my shower bun. And when she puts her hair up and I can see the shape of her head and the nape of her neck, it just takes me right back to when she began. It just kills me.

Joining in with Jodi. Here at Che and Fidel.

Friday, October 4, 2013

garden diaries

I had a couple of nice comments about the garden diaries the girls did; so I thought I would share them in a bit more detail.

The idea for the journals came from the Country Style magazine, which runs an annual competition, in which children can submit a garden journal in order to win an Ipad.

So, with a little bit of an incentive on board, we decided to take on a project I'd had in mind for some time. I've converted my front garden into a veggie plot, but there was some leftover space which was perfect for 2 mini plots... a garden each for the girls.

We built them out of recycled hardwood, and constructed no-dig garden beds.

The girls chose their seeds and we ordered online from Green Harvest.

We documented every step in the journals.. building the beds, planting the seeds, planting out the seedlings, watering and fertilising; and of course, harvesting and eating.

There was some other fun stuff along the way too.. such as making garden bed buddies out of rocks and making a worm farm...

There were recipes and drawings and lots of photos too.

We all enjoyed the veggie beds. Even the guinea pigs, who ate very well out of it, I must say.

It was a great project. The girls even forgot about the hallowed Ipad and just got stuck into enjoying the garden. I won't say that I didn't have to encourage them with the diaries, but honestly, each time we sat down to do a few pages, it turned out to be fun.

We're still eating from the beds now. And today I'm about to chuck in a bunch of manure and compost, so we can plant them out again.

Happy weekend to you all. This is our last weekend before school resumes, for the final term.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

stills: spring, sewing and holidays...

1. garden journals completed and submitted.
2. a blur of foster kittens
3. late afternoon boating with Poppa
4. cousins
5. swan lake
6. handmade/ re-purposed summer dress
7.completed ink drawing
8.nature's art
9. handmade/ up-cycled patchwork pillowcase