Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Renovating our little beach cottage at Port Fairy has been a truly fulfilling process. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an original 1850s bluestone cottage being restored to its former glory, with a few modern conveniences thrown in for good measure*.

Like this fireplace. This is the first feature you notice as you walk into the main entrance of the cottage, and is now the centre of the kitchen. It is combined limestone and bluestone, and made all the more beautiful by my husband who includes stonemasonry as just another thing he can do.

In order to appreciate where it is now (photos above), it's good to see what it looked like when we first saw it, and how we pulled it back together, step by step (photos below). Ready?

*Except that oven. As soon as we can, it will be replaced with something blacker, sexier (if you can call an oven sexy), and wider.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Some afternoons are just made for taking a million photos*. The lighting is right; the scenery is amazing; and the muses are cooperative.

This particular Saturday was perfect. A lazy morning, a light lunch, a nana nap, an afternoon drive to a giant slide, then a beach walk afterwards. We enjoyed watching the sun set over Codrington Wind Farm. They're so beautiful, in a haunting, giant kind of way, aren't they?

Days like this are truly satisfying. The children are happy, the parents are well rested, and we've connected as a family. It's like a week-long holiday bundled up in a day.

Do you take a ridiculous amount of photos when the conditions are perfect? What do you consider to be a perfect day?

*All photos were taken on my iPhone 4.

Monday, July 29, 2013


With all the excitement about the new royal baby and the naming debacle, I've been giving this process a whole lot of thinking. I must admit that George isn't a name I would call my child, but if I had names like Charles, Richard, Albert and Alfred to choose from, perhaps the name George starts to look really good.

And the fact that there was no name for the first few days, reminded me about the time when my husband and I had our first baby together. We didn't know what sex our baby was going to be, and because my husband already has two daughters, we sort of suspected that we might have another. When a little baby boy arrived, we were a little surprised. You can imagine the blank look we gave each other when we were asked what this boy was going to be called. But before we go on with this story, there's another that needs to be told first - a week before Baby Piez was born.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


There have been a few requests to see the 'real me'. You know, the one that everyone sees when they come and visit us at Port Fairy. Friends like Ineka (pictured above) who looks as fresh as a daisy - while living on a bus and travelling around Australia with her husband and four children. Yet, I don't sort of have that same 'away from home' glow.

And while you usually see the dressed up version here at Fancy Pants, this is what I look like six days a week. That's because moving rubble, shoveling rubbish, cleaning up debris, sanding and painting is awfully glamorous work ;)

And for those of you who have visited us at Port Fairy, yes, this look is very familiar.

And this is the other version of me: The Runner on the beach. Feeling fabulous, but not quite co-ordinated. And looking equally as dressed up as the Renovator, yes?

This week I was over at Kate Says Stuff. She wrote an article about the Invisible Woman which really resonated with me. I think I'm there, and quite chuffed about it. Doing my daggy thing, and nobody noticing. Quite empowering, don't you think?

There you have it. The renovator-slash-runner edition of Fancy Pants. We keep it real here.

What do you look like most of the week?

Saturday, July 27, 2013


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

Madison: He has brown eyes like his father and grandmother.
Noah: He has brown eyes like his mother and grandfather.

Linking in with Jodi @ Che and Fidel

Friday, July 26, 2013


In light of the fact that my youngest child goes to 4-year old kinder in just over six months, I'm realising that time with him has a big fat due date on it. I'm making the most of this time, and want to stop and smell the coffee, so to speak.

In this case, it wasn't coffee, it was salted caramel hot chocolate. A bar of aerated chocolate in a warm frothy milky cup. To. Die. For.

And a honey cake topped with a meringue. Now, Noah is a die hard fan of The Wiggles, so honey cake was the only choice, despite there being chocolate cake in a cone, sticky date pudding, flourless orange cake, brownies, and a Rhubarb Jam and Meringue Mess (in a glass - oh my!). And while devouring the divine sweet cake, we did sing Munchy Crunchy Honey Cakes. It only seemed appropriate.

This sort of Lad Date - as I like to call them - never last for long. As soon as the food is finished, Noah is ready to move - run off all that energy. Here, he could explore the boundaries of the Basalt Vineyard, play in the cafe sandpit, or sit on the mushroom stools and table made especially kids' size. While he was exploring the outdoors, I was able to browse the home-made preserves, sweets and cute aprons, tea towels and crockery.

This is the second time that we've been to The Pantry Door at Basalt. The first time was with Alli and her son Mitchell who holidayed with us in Port Fairy during the school holidays. I've been driving past the place for months now, always planning to go in. And with friends, we finally did it.

I'm so glad. This is a place worth visiting again. And again.

WE VISITED The Pantry Door at Basalt | 1131 Princes Highway, Killarney Vic 3283 | (03) 5568 7442

NOAH WEARS LONG SLEEVED TEE, c/o Cotton On Kids. TEE, Target. BEANIE, Gibson (birthday gift, thanks Kelly + Mason!). GLOVES, Red Dog by Avene!

Do you have dates with your kids? If so, where do you go? Thanks for stopping by and having a virtual salted caramel hot chocolate with us!

For the whole series, visit here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


"Mummy, I know what rainbows are made of. Clouds, water, and... food colouring."

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Okay... this is definitely not what I look like today. Or the whole of last week, or the week before. Instead I am working a baseball cap over the top of my unmade and overgrown hair. I've been digging, cleaning, and taking loads of timber and rubble to the tip. I've mastered reversing the tandem trailer this week as well as our smaller version, and I'm receiving compliments on how I quick I'm getting ;)

The work clothes are my weekly uniform. That's why I love this photo. This top is heavy. It feels rich with all those jewels down the side. And so pretty with the pewter coloured sparkles and bare shoulders. I noticed that jeweled clothing is all the rage this Australian winter. It saves adding extra sparkle, because the top is enough.

While I love the functionality of my boots and paint-covered clothes, I'm looking forward to dressing up again sometime soon.

Do you long to get dressed up again? When was the last time you did?

JEWELLED TOP, Thrifted $4 (similar designs spotted at Sportsgirl).
CARGOS, JayJays.
WEDGES, Target.
EARRINGS, Reflections in Port Fairy.
RING, Just Jeans.

a day in the life of us

Saturday, July 20, 2013


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

Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold

(I'm hoping my children will love Sting as much as I do.)

Linking in with Jodi @ Che and Fidel.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Since the beginning of the year, I've been on the most amazing journey. It started on Christmas day, when my family gave me a Canon DSLR camera. It was the most special gift because six years ago, our home was broken into, and mine (a Canon film SLR) was stolen. We've never had the money to purchase another one.

It happened when my step-daughter Kelly upgraded her camera (she does a little photography on the side), and I inherited her pre-loved one. And since then my 'new' camera has hardly left my side. (You can imagine my family's deeeelight!) I've been experimenting with new angles, using the rule of thirds, changing lenses, reading tutorials, trying new actions, taking photographs in RAW (a whole new level of photography!), and photo editing.

Last year I did a couple of Adobe courses for work (I design resources for a living), and the Photoshop course reminded me of all the exciting things I could do. Sometimes at work I get into the same old grind and stick to non-Photoshop programs. This year, I decided to get out of the rut, play more with photo editing, and the camera has been the best thing to help this process.

While I confess I'm no professional photographer, I know that I'm getting better. It's so exciting to be taking this route, and see where it takes me. Thanks for letting me share this journey here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Half price day at the local op shop had me buying this wrap dress for just $4. While I'm not a big fan of prints, I was with a friend who had yet to have a successful op shop trip, and I wanted her to try new things. Best I set the right example, right? Turns out I love this 70s vibe. (And why didn't I know how flattering wrap dresses were until now?)

Have you ever tried wearing something you've never tried before? Were you surprised to find that it suited you?

WRAP DRESS, Thrifted.
SINGLET, Giordano.
PONTE PANTS, Witchery.
HEELS, Zu Shoes.
NECKLACE, Just Jeans.
RING, Diva.
BAG, Jag.

a day in the life of us