Sunday, September 29, 2013


In your mind, what makes a perfect birthday? The right location, surrounded by family and special friends, and a delicious birthday cake? Well, I had all these things this weekend. Our big girl and her boyfriend flew in from Sydney, and drove for almost four hours to spend 24 hours with us, and as they left, my dear friend Lindy arrived to spend time with us too.

We did a few lovely walks, dodged the rain, ate good food (including a fancy dinner and chocolate raspberry cake) and lazed about in front of our warm fire.

Birthdays are just a blessing, because each year you have one means a year lived. The alternative is quite dim really. Also, I'm ignoring those numbers that are sounding a bit high for my liking, and going with my health age which is 27. Sounds awesome, right?

What stands out as a memorable birthday for you? Was it a big event, or was it who you surrounded yourself with that made it special?

Thanks so much for popping in!

Kymmie wears: NAVY PEA COAT, Thrifted. LONG SLEEVED TOP, Ojay. SINGLET, Witchery. CARGOS, JayJays. BOOTS, Betts. WRAP SCARF, Rivers (hello $5!). Madison wears: HOODIE, Cotton On Kids. LONG SLEEVED SHIRT, Milkshake by Myer. SKINNY JEANS, Target. SHOES, Rivers. Noah wears: HOODIE, Milkshake by Myer, SKINNY JEANS, Target.

And because you asked... Kelly wears: ARMY JACKET, Zara (in Barcelona), PONTE PANTS + SCARF, Sussan. THONGS, Havaianas.

a day in the life of us

Saturday, September 28, 2013


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

Kelly: Look who we have visiting with us this weekend? So glad you came all this way to see us. We're always so happy you came to visit, and your little brothers are so very excited to see you again!
Madison: Taking a well earned rest after a really long walk.
Noah: Studying the flying fox to see if it's worth doing.

My favourite portraits from last week include this divine little doll on the beach at Being Mumma to Audrey and this infectious giggle at Sass and Spice.

Friday, September 27, 2013


How are you going this school holidays? Surviving? Loving the change of pace?

Me? I love the holidays, and plod between being really organised to winging it day by day. Oh, but how I do like the idea of being organised. It ensures that there's an outing each morning, and then the afternoons become a quiet and relaxing time for the kids to unwind while I get some office work done from home. Win-win.

After being away on long service leave for so long, I was keen to catch up with friends we hadn't seen in months. So, it meant that something was planned most days. On the budget, of course. I'm a big fan of free events, and wonderful playgrounds with the odd cheap treat thrown in for good measure.

This school holidays (between visits to Grandma and Grandpa on the days I work in the office), we have/had the following festivities planned:

How do you 'do' the holidays? Do you make big plans, or take it as it comes? What do you have planned?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Hello hello! Here were are, revealing the next stage of renovations at our little beach cottage at Port Fairy. The renovations took a total of nine weeks to complete, with some more tweaks to do. We hope you delight - like we do - in this original bluestone whaler's cottage!

This room was renovated by the previous owners and so the plaster work on the walls and ceiling was good. Unfortunately, the floor needed reblocking, and some of the touches were a little dangerous (I'm thinking of the sharp corners on the tile hearth). But before I go on about the details, here is a little peek of the room before we purchased it, and beyond...


At first glance, the lounge room looked complete, and a lovely new fireplace was installed. Someone had also lovingly (oh, so lovingly) removed the plaster from the inside wall exposing the gorgeous bluestone. The problem was that we removed the wall between the front two rooms, which resulted in a helf-rendered wall, half an exposed one. I'm not going to lie: it was a torturous decision to either chip off the render on the other wall, or cover up the bluestone so they were the same.

Practicality and light won over. White creates space, and the bluestone, while beautiful was so very dark. Also, behind that little timber bookshelf was rubble. The wall hadn't been finished. We also ended up chipping a little render off the front of the house to see if the bluestone was worth exposing. And folks, it really is beautiful. So the outside will be all bluestone, and will make up for the room we just covered up. (We will reveal this once it's been done!)

Oh, and how cute is the original bluestone hearth? It has axe marks on it from the mid 1850s, I suspect. Can you imagine the history there?

If you're interested in the details, here is how the lounge room was done:

  1. The wall between the former bedroom (now the dining room) was removed.
  2. The bluestone on the inside wall was concreted over, and plastered.
  3. The tile hearth underneath the fireplace was removed to reveal the original sandstone hearth (beautiful). The fireplace was removed and lowered a whole ten centimetres to have it sitting on the original hearth.
  4. The heart had the paint removed and chipped off. The heart was then sealed, and a fire surround was made by my husband.
  5. The walls were plastered.
  6. The skirtings were removed and the floors were re-blocked. Rotten timber boards were replaced and short boards were rearranged to fit the space better. The holes where the wall was removed were patched.
  7. The floorboards were sanded, the gaps between the boards were filled with black caulk, and cleaned. The boora holes were filled with teak wood filler, and the floor was sealed using three coats of FeastWatson Floorproof Pro Ultra High Gloss Floor Finish .
  8. Once the floor was sealed, my husband built the cupboard carcasses beside each side of the fireplace and we ordered unpainted doors with the same Shaker profile as the cupboards in the dining room and the kitchen. He also recycle the timber cupboard in the front wall to make the timber shelves for the cupboards.
  9. Skirtings with a more traditional profile were fitted and glued.
  10. The fireplace, window, ceiling and walls were re-plastered. The cupboard doors, architraves and skirtings were sanded and undercoated (using a 3 in 1 undercoat, then British Paints H20 Enamel in Dulux Antique White USA). The walls were also sanded and painted in the same colour (in a low sheen). The exposed timber of the shelves were sealed with gloss Estapol, and the ceiling was re-painted using ceiling white.
  11. Holland blinds were measured and installed.
This room was done between other jobs, and seemed like a work in progress for what seemed like a long time. It was especially challenging seeing it was our living space. All four of us slept in the kids bedroom until this room was finished, and while the kids bedroom was being done, we all slept in this room. Dismantling the beds and that big double bunk was super fun (and I can't begin to tell you how thrilling all four of us sleeping in the same bed was!).

This is the sixth post of the finished renovations (the whole series can be found here). Thank you for letting us share our renovations with you. The next part of the beach cottage will be revealed next week.

Would you have kept the bluestone wall, or would you have plastered over it?


    Monday, September 23, 2013


    Have you ever considered what might happen to your children should something ever happen to you?

    While I am proudly a self-proclaimed Pollyanna, sometimes I have thoughts that don't qualify for The Glad Game. On the odd occasion, I have woken up in the middle of the night in cold sweats as a result of a bad dream involving losing your child, while watching the news can make me sob. Motherhood changes you more than you ever thought, and make you more vulnerable that you ever imagined.

    As a result, my thoughts turn to what would happen to my children if something were to happen to me. (Stay with me, it's not all gloom and doom over here. Just some thoughts that perhaps you've considered too.)

    I'm blessed with a village. A network of wonderful family and friends. I know that they would look after my children as I do. And that's not all. I have aunts and uncles that aren't even biological. All over the world. And the best kind of friend: a spare parent or two. Or Sparents, as I've heard them been called before.

    Last week we visited the Tesselaar Tulip Festival with one of my best friends, Lindy (it was a beautiful day). My boys not only like her, they adore her. They can't wait until she visits, and every moment she is with us, they are spoilt with attention, wise words* and cuddles. She's the parent I'd like to be. All. The. Time. She's the girl I'd pick for my husband if I was no longer here. Should anything happen to me, I know that my lads would be in good hands if she was in their life.

    I'm not wishing my life away (goodness knows, I don't want to miss a minute of my children growing up!), but I know that if things were grim, my children would be safe and secure with my village.

    * I'm sure Lindy could advise my children about running over the tulip rows better than I did.

    Do you have a village of carers for your children? Do you have any sparents in your children's life?

    Sunday, September 22, 2013


    Most mornings on our way to school, both boys think it's cool to hide somewhere and then jump out to scare me. Madison, who's now seven years old understands that he needs to hide his whole body so the scare can be more authentic. Noah, who's now four, hasn't yet worked this out. He will hide his eyes behind some leaves and think I can't see any of him. I think it's totally adorable. Today, Madison hopped behind the bush like Noah does, and said, "Hey look Mum, camaflouged!"

    Then it was on. We hid behind leaves and branches, used leaves as mustaches (or as Noah says, "Boostarth"), and had a bit of fun. Turns out that Noah has a special word for camouflage too: "Camatamath". Pure gold.

    Do your children hide their eyes and think you can't see them? Do they also randomly jump out from behind objects and scream "BOO!"?

    Thanks so much for popping in.

    Wearing: PONCHO, Hand-me-down (thanks Mel + Lindy!). JEANS, Gasp. LEOPARD PRINT WEDGES, Target. NECKLACE, Gift from Tahiti (thanks Moe, you gorgeous thing - I LOVE it!) Madison wears: SHIRT ($10!), Cotton On Kids. LONG SLEEVED TEE, Milkshake by Myer. SKINNY JEANS, Gumboots. DESERT BOOTS, Walnut Melbourne. Noah wears: SHIRT ($10!), Cotton On Kids. LONG SLEEVED GRANDPA SHIRT, WitcheryKids. JEANS, Fun Spirit. DESERT BOOTS, Walnut Melbourne.

    a day in the life of us