Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The shortest week in history has just finished: three whole days of school squeezed between Easter Monday and ANZAC Day. So it still feels like the school holidays.

It was all so good. Entirely over in a blink of an eye though. And I hardly took a photo. Not like me at all. But sometimes I just have to leave the camera behind, connect with my family, and be a little present a whole lot more.

There was a time this year where I felt I was staying on top of everything. You know, finding that work/life/sleep balance. Somewhere since the end of February I lost that feeling, and now I feel like I've caught the wave that takes me along for the ride. There's no stopping it. I just can't seem to get off and catch my breath.

I sit here and know I'm tired. Renovating has me working like a man (I mean that in a good way), and also eating like one too (I don't mean that in a good way). And while my energy has been sapped, I'm all too aware of the awesomeness of my life. I'm not meaning to sound ungrateful. This tired exhaustion is from the blissness of life. It's full, it's precious, it's amazing.

Right now I'm reflecting while taking the ride of my life. And hoping to catch a few big mouthfuls of sea air while I'm at it.

Monday, April 28, 2014


YES, Easter was two weekends ago. YES, this was the year that we explained to the lads that rabbits don't poop out chocolate eggs, despite what the movie Hop says. And YES, we didn't have cute little basket like we usually do.

YET... see the delight in receiving their chocolate bunnies?

(See? They really don't care about the plastic buckets.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014


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

They look so similar at this angle.
This week I've been asked if they are twins. A lot.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


In my teenage mind, brown corduroy was considered the ultimate daggiest of apparel from the worst fashion decade in the world - the 1970s. I mean, ewww, who wears brown corduroy?

Well, now that I can see the tragedies of eighties fashion, (and my teens are well and truly behind me) I can see many benefits:

  • There is lots of testosterone in my life. You know, boys: mess with dirt on it. Brown is the perfect cover up for sand, dirt, stones, bark, banana skins, old sandwiches... that sort of stuff.
  • Earth tones are the colours of Autumn. Just like those big, beautiful crunchy autumn leaves.
  • Corduroy is stretchy, comfy and oh so warm.
And finally, it's not really corduroy. Because when I googled it I discovered that corduroy is a textile composed of twisted fibers that, when woven lie to form the cloth's distinct pattern 'cord'. Corduroy is, in essence, a ridge form of velvet.

Hello brown ridged velvet; you rock my world.

Is there an item of clothing or material that you have always shied away from, but now adore? Do share!

Wearing: VELVET JACKET, Thrifted. SINGLET, Target. ASSYMETRICAL HEMMED SKIRT, Thrifted. NECKLACE, Gift (thanks Rachael!), RINGS, Personalised Jewellery for Mum. BELT, Sussan. WEDGES, Rivers. BAG, Eb & Ive.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


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

Goodbye school holidays. This week the lads have enjoyed: another day with Grandma and Grandpa; a day spent with a good friend; a date with chocolate at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie (after back to back medical appointments - you know those necessary ones that can only be squeezed in during the holidays), and then the rest of the week at Port Fairy and surrounding towns. Holidays, you've been an absolute pleasure.
Madison + Noah: Saturday was spent at Hamilton, complete with a picnic lunch at the Botanic Gardens.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Today was a seriously good day. It was cold, so we got to rug up for the first time this year; it was sunny, so we were able to enjoy a picnic outdoors; it was a day where we didn't renovate, so I was able to put on something other than my work overalls and Blundstones.

I also was able to pull faces with my lads, and be a total dufus. Tops of a perfect day, if you ask me!

How did you spend this beautiful Saturday?

Kymmie wears: NAVY PEA COAT, Thrifted. LONG SLEEVED TOP, Thrifted. SINGLET, Target. JEANS, Hand me down (thanks Lindy!). BEANIE, JeansWest. BOOTS, Betts. WRAP SCARF, Pash. Earrings, Port Fairy Markets. Madison wears: DENIM SHIRT, Cotton On Kids. TEE, Milkshake by Myer. SKINNY JEANS, Pavement. SHOES, Converse.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


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

The first week of school holidays is over. The boys have enjoyed: a day with Grandma and Grandpa; an afternoon looking at sand sculptures at Frankston waterfront; a day at home baking bread and hot cross buns; a morning soap making workshop at a friend's home; The Lego Movie at our local cinema, complete with popcorn. It's been a great week.

Pictured above: The lads loved getting their hands dirty sculpting sand at Storyland.

Friday, April 11, 2014



Give me a breakfast like this every day, and I'm a happy girl. No plain cereal for me, thank you. I love it cooked, prepared, special. It's true, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. It can make or break me (especially if I don't eat it). I'm the girl who eats breakfast because it's not only the most important meal of the day, but also because I just can't live without it.

But how good does this breakfast couscous look? Tastes pretty awesome, and is so quick and easy to prepare as well. (I'm thinking we might have breakfast for dinner soon, just so I can have this again.)

1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 cup low fat yoghurt

1 Bring pineapple juice to the boil in a small saucepan.
2 Turn off stove and place couscous over the boiling pineapple juice. Stir to combine.
3 Stand for five minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
4 Fold pineapple, apricots and almonds through couscous.

NOTE This can be made gluten free by replacing couscous with quinoa (cook according to quinoa directions). This can also be served with yoghurt and garnished with fresh mint. Add sultanas or cranberries if you so desire.

Bon appetit!

Original recipe found here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Hey there. We're baaaaack!

Can you believe that it's been 18 months since we purchased this beautiful little 1850s bluestone cottage located in the cutest little town on the south-west coast of Victoria, Australia? Most of last year was spent renovating the Port Fairy cottage, and the later part of the year and this year has been purely dedicated to the extension (read concrete foundation, framework, plumbing...) Oh, how rewarding it's been so far, rediscovering the beauty that has been hidden for the past 50 (or so) years.

This post is all about the rear wall of the cottage, and in order to appreciate where it is now (photo above), it's good to see what it looked like when we first saw it. Are you ready?

That first photo. There's almost no words. Except for these: lime wash, sickly yellow paint, blue concrete floor, louvres, indoor gutters...

When we first bought this little cottage, the rear wall was covered by the lean-to which contained the cottage's original kitchen (left), bathroom (right), laundry (behind the bathroom) and toilet (behind the kitchen), let's not forget the indoor/outdoor gutters. (And yes, we've been hiding that lovely louvre window until now!)

Now that the kitchen is in the original cottage, we decided that the old kitchen space would make a great back entry with an outdoor shower, and a European Laundry on the inside (photos to come). The morning sun comes into where this beautiful wall lies, and so it will be a sun room, or a second living space (photos also to come).

If you're interested in the details, here is how it was done:
  • The lean-to was completely removed to make way for the concrete slab.
  • Once the concrete slab was laid, and the framework up, the lime wash and paint was chipped away from the rear wall using a chisel, hammer and some scrapers (this took about a week, and a few helpers too).
  • Each stone was scrubbed with a wire brush to remove the leftover lime wash. Some was kept for a little effect that we quite liked.
  • The old lime mortar between the stones was crumbling so we scraped it out and re-pointed the wall.
  • New mortar was mixed and placed between the gaps. The collapsed stonework was repaired, and the mortar trimmed.
  • Any mortar that wasn't quite removed from the edges of the stones at the above stage, was scraped again. The whole wall was scrubbed with an acid solution and then rinsed with water.
  • The walls were painted with three coats of FeastWatson Paving & Sandstone Sealer.
  • The hearth was painted with two coats of FeastWatson Slate & Pebble Sealer.
  • The louvre window was take out and replaced with a second hand window that suits the era a little better. It was sanded, and then painted using a 3 in 1 undercoat, then British Paints H20 Enamel in Dulux Antique White USA.

This job was as biggie. I think that for a month (between other jobs) I just chipped. Friends came to stay. They chipped too. But here we are - starting to do the finishing bits. It's really so exciting now.

This is part of our renovating series. If you would like to see all the renovating posts, you can do so here. I wrote about living without a bathroom, toilet and laundry, and also talked about surviving renovations with kids. We hope you enjoy seeing the process as much as we have enjoyed doing it!

Are you a fan of exposed walls? So... what do you think?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014



Confession: I love a good fashion blog. I love beautiful photography. Food that looks amazing.

Turns out, there's one I'm checking on daily to see if it's has been updated. I might be slightly obsessed. I'm sure I'm not biased, but this latest blog I'm excited about is my girl's. Yes, my eldest step daughter Kelly has a rocking blog, and her Instagram has literally gone viral in the last few months.

 Now you want to know what the fuss it about too, right? Her blog is found here.

Oh, and you're welcome. x