Monday, January 26, 2015

the long summer holidays

This has been the best type of holiday. Constant streams of family and friends passing through to share days on the beach and at home with us. The weeks post-Christmas have disappeared in a blur of brown bodies, laughter, good food, good wine and good company.

There have been late nights and lazy sleep ins with the constant whir of fans to try to counteract the oppressive mugginess of our subtropical summer.

We don't have air-con in our little beach house; just old fashioned windows to open wide.  Our trampoline and hose have been getting a good work out on these hottest of days.

With the girls heading back to school tomorrow, I've put a few happy snaps together; just for me to look back on. To make me smile and remember all the fun stuff.

Late, late afternoon post tennis dip in the river with my Mum, sister and kids. There's nothing quite like a wallow after some strenuous sweaty activity!

Beautiful paper bags decorated by two crafty and gorgeous little girls.

A pop-up craft stall in our driveway on a Saturday morning. Featuring these beautiful thumbprint art cards.

Three best buddies...friends for ever.

The hit of the summer has been these retro style surf mats which have been in use almost every day, often twice a day. Gosh, we've all had a blast on these!

This place underwent a makeover, so the girls and I did a country detour on or way to Brisbane for an organic juice and delicious chocolately brownie. Well, that's what they had. Coffee for me...

First ever Pop-Up Adoption by the RSPCA was a resounding success. It was great to see some of our long term Noosa residents find their forever homes. Check out Facebook here for some feel-good stories.

I always love to hang at GOMA with the girls in the holidays. So much to see and do. Actually most of our time is spent eating; in between sticker-ing.

Sometimes I gotta catch the art while the kids have some escalator fun! Not many escalators in our little pocket of the world.

Enoggera Reservoir just opened up for swimming. This is just over the back fence from my sister's place and seriously one of the highlights of our Brisbane trip.

Oh, and this little kid just melts my heart. Jack is growing up!

Ruby's giving me a manicure.

Hope your holidays were all that you needed.

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Before Christmas and right after school finished, we snuck away for a week of complete and utter rest. Now you might think it strange that when one lives at the beach, such as we do, that we would choose another beach to holiday at. 
It's not really that odd. We live in a beautiful part of the world, definitely. it's just that a lot of other people think it's lovely too, so this time of year we are inundated with visitors to our town. 

We used to escape to a little place near here called Burrum Heads. We would rent a fifties style old wooden house right on the water  with a huge backyard and it would be absolute bliss. When I was dreaming about revisiting that place I discovered the house we loved so much had been sold and was no longer available to rent.
So looking just a little further afield we found ourselves at Woodgate.

It's sleepy. Re-e-e-al sleepy. There's a store, a bowls club, a caravan park, a pretty dodgy pub and ten kilometres of flat bike paths along the most beautiful bay beach... just perfect for kids and adults alike to explore.
There's a river mouth and tidal flats and kangaroos all over the front lawns of  resident's houses.
There's endless beach shacks to drool over (posted previously on instagram, check them out here).

There's driftwood and shells to collect and fashion into mobiles and necklaces; there's trees to climb and long empty beaches to hula-hoop on.

There were no markets, cancelled due to the dumping of rain just prior to our arrival, which flooded out the show-grounds. But there was the most amazing garage sale offering loads of vintage and retro wares. I restrained myself and came away with just one little purchase...

There was a book fair. It surpassed all expectations and I picked up thirteen books for eleven dollars.

There was rain, and then there was sun. We read books, napped, ate, played games and swam in the pool and ocean. There was no wi-fi and we didn't miss it much at all.

There was peace and quiet and some much needed family time.

Oh, and there were some spectacular Christmas lights too.

We'll be back.

Where do you like to holiday? 

Somewhere like home or somewhere completely different?

(I'm almost caught up now!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In the weeks before Christmas.

Christmas has come and gone again (where did that time go?), and I am left with the memories of all the joy and hope and love and happiness it brings...

This is my favourite time of year because the girls are always really keen to get their crafting on. The house is a hive of activity; bits of paper and tinsel are constantly strewn around the place. Treasured Christmas books are revisited and plans laid for creative presents for friends and family.

I am a sucker for a mince pie, I make my own pastry but I must confess I am a big fan of Robertson's store-bought fruit mince; it must be my English heritage coming out in me...

And really, what better way to enjoy them than with a delicious coffee in a beautiful gifted cup? 

This year I went blog searching for a reasonably simple and straightforward Christmas cake recipe, and found one here. Thanks to BabyMac's Grandma Dot and a few quick Instagram messages back and forth about the best type of sherry to use, I had some delicious cakes whipped up for the teacher's baskets and a nice big cake put away for my family's Christmas Eve's do.

Last year we made some clay ornaments. They were just so easy and fun that we decided to do it again. This is an air drying clay which just rolls out with a pin. Cut with cookie cutters and voila!
Decorate any way you want. 
Last year we imprinted leaves and nature stuff; this year we used stamps and ink. The girls also painted some with nail polish and glitter; they looked pretty cool too.  We used a bamboo skewer to make the holes for hanging. Just make sure to do this before leaving them out to dry!

There was also a stage production in the planning...a Christmas puppet show of extraordinary proportions. Check out Ruby's Santa puppet...

Into the teacher's baskets go a special handmade gift from each of the girls. Stella's was a carol singer ornament, based on one made a few years back (see photo above). We added a cute little woolly hat to keep her head toasty.

Ruby made her teacher the cutest little reindeer from pompom balls made from an old wool jumper of mine (some moths had feasted on this some years back so I re-wound the salvageable stuff ). Into the basket it went, along with some bunting, a homemade bag, a clay ornament, the previously mentioned sherry-infused cake, and of course, some champers and chocolate. Oh, and you might just see some mince pies hiding in there, too.

Pinterest is great, isn't it? Except for when your daughter is browsing through it two nights before her class party, and decides she wants snowmen skewers. At ten o clock the night before, I found myself putting these little guys together (faces were added fresh the next morning). I have to admit, they looked really awesome and apparently were gone in a flash.

Homemade peppermint foot scrub. Just because it looked and sounded so delicious.

Another Pinterest steal. Thanks to Bunnings for supplying the card stock, free of charge.

Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas time.

(almost caught up now. Thanks for sticking with me!)

Monday, January 12, 2015


Stella turned eleven back in October. And it's been bothering me for a long time that I neglected to blog it. Time just got away, then it seemed a bit silly, then I felt I couldn't really go on until I'd put some photos and memories down here. I was stuck. 

I realised I have to backward in order to go forward. I got caught up thinking that I was writing this blog for other people, when in fact it started life as a journal record for me; my family and our story. 

She turned eleven.

We celebrated like we always do. Presents in our bed, early morning. Breakfast of her choice; then off to school with homemake cupcakes (chocolate with popping topping.. crackle crackle).

She didn't want a "party". She's an interesting insular little personality sometimes, my girl. Not keen on being the centre of attention. All she wanted was her best friend to come and hang out for the day.  She was happy for Ruby to have a friend over too. 
Then she just wanted to organise some easy-peasy games for the four of them. 

We made a piñata; so, so simple; unpainted, sturdy and filled with treats.
They played Pass the Parcel, the Chocolate Game, Memory and of course Musical Statues, trampoline-style. There was a bucket of prizes, chosen by her and wrapped by us.

They were busy all afternoon; these four girls. And even though it wasn't officially a party, it just felt festive and fun and easy and stress free for me. 
And afterwards, there was some chill out time in the garden, with Smokey.

My girl is growing up. My sweet, sensitive, complicated, sometimes prickly, amazing daughter that I love to the moon and back. 

Happy birthday sweetheart. 

(May you always know we are forever here for you.)

(There's a couple more retrograde posts to follow. Bear with me!)