Monday, December 31, 2012


 Happy New Year lovely people.  Let's make 2013 amazing.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Years ago mum and I used to draw together.  We'd sit at the table in their kitchen in Beechworth and draw and paint in water colours still lifes of various flowers, fruits and vegetables from the garden.  Ella and I now like to do the same, although find it fun to draw packaging.  It's so interesting to note the difference in interpretations.  Never a case of who does the better job (although I always prefer Ella's work) but just so fun to see how we manage to recreate different versions of the same things.


Phew, the craziest days are done and now we're winding down to just be, together.

Christmas highlights included time with family, for the girls time with their fave cousin the highlight.  Great desserts on consecutive days, a Christmas spiced meringue torte one day and a prosecco jelly the next. Basketball game at the outlaws, old favourite card games wink murder and piggy with my parents.  Generosity towards our children with long lusted after gifts and thoughtful purchases for us.

Time with my beloved when he can rest and just be, with us.  A wedding of two dear friends yesterday - celebrating a very loved up couple reminded us again of what's most important in life.

Monday, December 24, 2012


In amidst watching pannetone rise, waiting on spiced nuts to finish toasting in the oven, prawns being shelled and last minute presents being wrapped, I wanted to take a moment.

Casting my eyes back as well as forward, 2012 has been a good year.  It wasn't as I expected it to be, but overall I am so pleased with the path I'm walking right now.  There have been big highlights, new friendships and love revitalised, lowlights such as leaving work that turned into highlights such as discovering balance and happiness again within my home's walls and finding that my family and home life is all I need and so much more.

I love Christmas, I love the anticipation and the excitement, so I'm going back to soak it all in.  I wanted to wish you all a wonderful time with your nearest and dearest.  Hold those you love close, watch the lights twinkle and clink your glasses in festive cheer.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Each Chrirstmas we make calendars for the upcoming year for ourselves and the grandparents.  For the grandparents the girls take turns to decorate different months but also mix in some photos.  For ours I keep it to photos, as I love turning the page and being reminded of past moments sometimes over a year later and reliving them for a month at a time.

I found it very hard to decide so ended up selecting 37 images for a required 18!  Is this what it's like being a professional photographer, trying to choose your best shot!  Not quite, but I can imagine.  I just love seeing them all laid out on the kitchen table, a year in our lives.  That's why I maintain this blog and enjoy contributing, for us in the years to come, but it's even more vivid seeing all the images together.  It makes me feel both happy and lucky.


Two more hairy looms.  In the four years I've been making these decorations I've developed a habit for finishing two and having the others half done - makes the following year exactly the same!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Garlic, purple and orange carrots.  Very happy.


End of an era today with Leila's last day of kindergarten and now not so many days between us and school.

The day was a success and I got my tears out of the way ahead of time.  She sang so enthusiastically and has grown and gained so much from our lovely little kindergarten.  I had to make a presentation to the teachers at the end and in my short speech I noted that at the start of our kinder journey I thought only of play dough and finger painting.  I never anticipated the impact kinder would have on all our lives.  Friendships formed, new life skills learned and for our children the kinder teachers have been the most influential adults outside of our family and they have learnt so much from them.

Leila leaves kinder a happy, confident and socially able young girl.  Three years back I could not see beyond the next week and now I feel sure that school will be a new challenge that she will excel in.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


The seven faces of Ella with her new haircut.


Every year we celebrate an early Christmas at our place with some of our dearest friends and their three children.  We have crackers, a real Christmas sized spread (together with Christmas sized servings of Christmas cheer!), listen to daggy music and then last night walked down to some local lights.

Watching the kids walking hand in hand, the girls playing with each other's hair, the ease of good friendships, it's what life is all about.


Cherries, summertime, delicious and utterly gorgeous.


They definitely squabble, over the silliest of things, but gosh, the sister love is so strong and so nice to sneakily capture one of those moments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


You can't continue having children just so your own children have the chance to be an older sibling, but there are times when I get pangs for Leila, being the youngest.  She is such a nurturing, loving child, so quick to help and so much a little mother, she would have adored being a big sister.

We "borrowed" a dear friend's youngest for a few hours today and gosh did Leila love being the big sister.  She pushed the stroller, helped her in the park, dressed her up and instructed her in all sorts of activities.  Luckily little I is a patient child and endured the loving with such a lovely nature.

For many reasons it would be easily to continue on in this phase of my life, mother to young children, but you can't stay in the same place forever, you have no choice but to move forward and grow along with it.  I did enjoy being in control of a stroller again though, that time, those moments, it surprised me.  Thank you J, for sharing xx

Saturday, December 08, 2012


I love this pattern.  It's a freebie from Oliver and S and with straps adjusted has always made the most perfect nightdresses.  I think I came across it first via Christie when she made some for Willow, but I'm not 100% sure.  Wherever it came from I've made a number in light cottons, this with a Japanese voile and some dobby cotton on the top.  They finish beautifully, sew up in about half an hour with pressing and honestly, just gorgeous.


I'm not a fan of hand held games, consoles, whatever, nor wii's and playstations, but clearly children are.  Our girls haven't had any of any of them and many years ago I said to Ella that I would not buy her a DS until she had entered awkward teenage years and was being so unpleasant that I didn't want to talk to her - only then could she have one.  Whilst we are enjoying each other's company so much, I would resist.  There was one proviso, if she herself could save up enough money to buy one, then she could have one.....

So today, after over 12-18 months of saving birthday money, doing jobs and saving homework, she purchased her own DS.  A quick browse on the Target website showed they'd dropped prices by a whopping $50 - meaning she had enough for the console and inexpensive game.  There have been times when she's been down about how long it's taken to save, but hasn't dipped into her money, hasn't given up, and even when offered the difference as her birthday present, resisted and said she wanted to do it herself.

She was so proud of herself, counted out her money proudly and is enjoying a period of no restraints on how long she can play.  We're proud of her persistence, patience and that she did it all herself.  Lessohs for all of us.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


14 years ago, in our first month of marriage, I went with Geoff to this store in Paris and bought my first candle.  That first indulgence was not for myself, but a Christmas gift for our Parisian friend Christelle in thanks for letting us take over her apartment while in town.  That purchase did start a bit of a candle love affair that endures to this day.

At the time quality scented candles were new to me, but in the time we lived in London they were one of my enduring everyday luxuries.  When we were expecting Ella I went for a goodbye trip to Paris with my dearest girlfriends and it included a trip to the store to stock up on candles to endure me when I knew I would no longer be able to afford to replace them.

We shipped home our possessions including a big red cardboard box full of candles.  The aroma, when I take of the lid, is still amazing and transports me in time and place.  I have always been very careful about opening and beginning a new candle.  They are heavily perfumed and you don't have to leave them lit for a long time to enjoy their scent, but still, I never want the box to be truly empty.  Geoff and the girls have bought me top ups over the years, but the smell of this particular candle, Pomander, is strongest in the walls of the box and it's all about wintery cold Christmases for me, with its heady mix of cinnamon, cloves and orange.

I will burn the candle just long enough each day to drift through the rooms of our home and mix together with my memories of yesterday, my loves of today and my hopes for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Sometimes you have to tune your focus very finely to right now.  Many of us talk about living in the present, not missing the special moments of our children growing up and away from us, but I mean a different kind of focus.  I mean the type of trying not to let yourself spiral into upset focus, keeping sight on what's right here, as a way of balancing yourself against everything else that you feel is slipping away from you.

Life has been challenging in a way for the longest time and the adults in this house have continued to try and try to keep on top of being overwhelmed, Geoff more so than me.  Today we had more disappointment and it's hard to keep on keeping on at times.   So you focus on the now, you try and find reassuring words, you make nice dinners, try and keep spirits up and hearts happy, but it's challenging.  The feeling of life being suspended, of biding time, of waiting, a sensation that is so hard to deal with.

So Leila and I baked to distract me.  Of course she was unaware, all she saw was the sugar and the fun, as she should.  We listed to Buble singing Christmas carols, and we used the snowflake cutters I've meant to buy every year for the past three at least.  Leila decorated a plate for a playdate with her dear friend, choosing the very best to share.

We thought that 2012 was going to be our year, one of great change, achievement and happiness.  It's been a year of change, although none that was really expected.  We'll enjoy what we have, try not to focus on what is challenging and hope for the changes we want and need to transpire in 2013.