Sunday, 16 December 2012


On Friday, my little girl came home from school safe and well.  She unpacked her bag, hung her bag on the hook, took her shoes off and relaxed ready to chat about her day over afternoon tea - unaware of the horrific tragedy that took place in Sandy Hook Elementary.  An area that I am familiar with from when we lived in the US.

My mind keeps wandering to those sweet little children, their teachers and school staff and all that happened.  I've been praying for those in pain and hugging my babies tighter.  I feel so lucky to have my family with me.

Sending love to the broken hearted.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Nail Style via James Bond

OPI is my all time favourite nail polish brand and I love their new range - James Bond (a perfect marketing maneuver, right?).  I have my eye on You Only Live Once for my Christmas - the perfect shade of red for the festive season

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Being Thankful

I know that we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but at this time of year I often reflect on what I am thankful for...

  • my beautiful boy, girl and husband.  They mean EVERYTHING to me
  • for my wonderful mum and dad who have always given me unconditional love and been there for me
  • for good health and strength
  • for our extended families
  • for friends near and far and wonderful friendships that I treasure with my heart
  • our warm, cozy and loving home - although we have lived in many houses we always make them feel like home - our home!
  • for the power to love others more than you ever knew was possible
  • for books and for libraries - my escape
  • for hugs
  • for beautiful stationery - especially gel pens
  • for wonderful schools that my children attend and I have the opportunity to be part of and work at
  • for knowing someone so well that you can finish their sentence or know what they're thinking before they say it.
  • for words - written and spoken
  • for a relaxing bath before bed
  • for my morning runs - priceless
  • for beautiful scents in the air - right now I love my lavender oil
  • for my two siblings who mean the world to me
  • for happy childhood memories that still make me smile
  • for hand written letters and cards - both given and received
  • for patience and perseverance
  • for roses, peonies and gerberas - my favourites!
  • for jokes that give me a belly ache
  • for my never ending to-do lists - they keep me focused
  • for a life that I am loving living
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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

With many family members visiting for Christmas this year, I am so excited about getting our home ready for the festive season.  The kids and I have decided that this coming weekend is the one for putting up the Christmas tree - much to Martin's dismay because he believes it should not go up until December.  We win!

I LOVE Christmas, it is my favourite time of year and I take it full on - craft, music, decorating, preparing Christmas treats and homemade gift giving. We also have a few traditions that are never broken - our Elf on the Shelf, Jake visits, we have a weekend in the city where we stay at a hotel and visit Santa, see the Christmas lights, purchase or make a Christmas decoration that is symbolic of the year and we also share a special Christmas meal at  a 'fancy' restaurant.  Other traditions include - writing to Santa, the Christmas books are out and each night we read one together under the Christmas tree lights,  Advent calendar and new Christmas pyjamas that I sew for the kids.  It is exhausting but I wouldn't change a thing about it and I know the kids wouldn't either.

Stay tuned for some Christmas photos next week. 
It is simply the most magical (and my favourite) time of the year.
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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Origami Love

I'd like to introduce you to the little lovelies that are decorating our house right now.

A samurai hat sitting on the top of the stairs

A little table that Grace made and left on her bed.

Another samurai hat sitting on our coffee table

A cute little plane that Patrick created.  It flies really well.

Grace received an origami set for her birthday and it has been a hit.  The set contains solid colour paper squares that have a fine texture yet easy to fold and the instructions are simple with matching illustrations and diagrams

I think that I'll be finding a lot more of these little creations around the house.  

It has become their new daily obsession.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Afternoon Tea with Friends

I enjoying getting ready for birthdays and making a big deal of them - putting up streamers, preparing the food, organising the games and waiting for everyone to arrive.  It makes me feel happy.  Although it all takes time and energy it is worth seeing the smile on my babies face and knowing that we are celebrating what is important to us - friends, family, fun, life and happiness.

To make the afternoon tea even more special for the girls the fine china came out . 
A lot of the china pieces have sentimental value as they're from grandparents and friends who are no longer with us.  It felt right to have them out in use for Gracie's birthday.

 Here is the little afternoon tea celebration we had for our little 8 year old, Grace Ellen.
 8!  Where, oh where did that time go?

With my baby girl.  
Yes, she will ALWAYS be my baby!

Pass the Parcel.
(Poor Paddy missed the party because he had basketball.  He wanted to play a small part in the party before he left so he organised the music for the game)

Food time!
We celebrated her day with some dolls, too.

Thank you Miss Gracie Ellen for bringing so much joy, love and happiness into our family.
You are the sunshine in our days.

Friday, 9 November 2012


When did my girl go and get so big?

Happy 8th birthday to my precious little Gracie.

Thank you to all who called, sent cards and wished her happy birthday.  
Every time the phone rang she had a big smile on her face.

We love you to bits, beautiful Gracie Ellen (Joycie) xxx

Friday, 2 November 2012

Trick or Treating

Firstly, I'm sorry for not being on here FOREVER but with working 5 days a week, the kids routines, extra curricula activities and life in general, the blog was put a bit on the back burner.  Saying that, we are all well despite the hot and then cold winter like weather.  Thank goodness for reverse cycle air conditioning.

In recent news the kids went trick and treating.  Now, this is not a huge thing here in Australia or for me personally.  In all honesty, the  concept is a challenge for me.  I'm not into the whole scary, the frightening, sugar overload or the commercialism of the event.  I just can't get my head around it but the kids wanted to head on out with some friends and I decided to grasp the community aspect and enjoy time with some neighbours and friends.
By the end of our neighbourhood walk,the kids baskets were full with sugar laden goodies but thankfully they both volunteered giving some to the sugar fairy in exchange for some books and art supplies. Which will be enjoyed over the four day weekend we have ahead of us.

I love living in Melbourne and enjoying two extra days with our family together and having two days off work to celebrate a horse race!!

Sunday, 7 October 2012


We had a wonderful weekend celebrating.  It begun on Friday when the kids and I celebrated the end of the school holidays with a visit to Eureka Tower.  From there we headed to a special boys 10th birthday.  It rolled perfectly into Saturday where we celebrated a very dear and special friends 40th.  It was one of the most perfect birthdays I have ever attended.  Full of fun, love, tears, amazing food, laughter and incredible company.  It was very grown up - the venue, the food and no kids.  However the kids weren't left out of all the celebrating.  The partying continued back at our friends home into the night and the kids joined in on the fun.  I didn't take my camera but Baby Mac has captured the day perfectly here.  Incredible, right?

I'm off for an early night - all the talking, dancing, fun and frivolities exhausted me.  Now to focus on my return to work.  It's going to be hard after such a special and memorable weekend.

Friday, 5 October 2012

End of School Holidays

Today is the last day of school holidays.  I have to admit, I love the holidays.  I enjoy being with the kids and having a break from the school routine.  These holidays went super quick for me.  I think that was because the first week was spent in Sydney and the last week was filled with many play dates, birthdays and some errands that needed to be done before I return to work.

Our final day was spent doing something that the kids have begged to do since we moved to Melbourne - Eureka Tower.  It was the perfect day for it.  Not too hot or cold, only a slight breeze and clear skies.  We could see for miles.  It really was worth the visit.

This afternoon we're off to celebrate a special boys 10th birthday and tomorrow we'll celebrate his Mum's 40th in the Yarra Valley.   What a perfect way to end the break.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Crocheted Cloths

Yesterday, Melbourne put on a spectacular day.  The sun shone done on us all day and the kids enjoyed playing outside - painting, board games, skipping and a bit of basketball.  Me, I enjoyed watching them and soaked up the suns rays and got a bit crafty.  I went through my wool/cotton stash and discovered some yarn from a previous project that would be perfect for some much needed dish cloths.  On a day like yesterday, I enjoy making little things that don't take up a lot of my time because they tend to remain unfinished and that frustrates me no end.  The dishcloths above fitted all my criteria for some sun filled crafting - they're quick and easy to make, they're a great way to use yarn scraps and they're functional and needed.

What you need
  • Cotton yarn (I used 4 ply because it was what I had but you can use any ply)
  • Use a crochet hook to match the yarn ply (I used a 2mm hook)
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle to weave in ends
How to
  1. Chain 34 stitches with your crochet hook
  2. Insert the hook into third chain and do one half double crochet stitch into each chain.
  3. Complete row
  4. Chain 2 stitches at the end of each row and continue working in half double crochet until the cloth reaches 20cm (about 24 rows)
  5. Cut yarn and toe off
  6. Weave in loose ends using a darning needle
Here is a youtube clip on how to do a half double crochet stitch

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Postcards from Sydney

Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of photos from our time in Sydney.  
I usually take loads so I'm not sure how I only ended up with a few but here is what I have.

Excitement as we board the plane in Melbourne.  

Taking it slow at my sisters house.
Paddy with his youngest cousin (my sister's daughter), Annie.
Grace was beyond thrilled to push Annie in the pram.  

Walking through the streets of Glebe with my sister's twin boys, Hamish and Liam.

My parents live in a rural part of Sydney and the kookaburras visit them daily.  
Paddy was in awe of them and loved waking up and greeting them each morning.

 My parents took the kids to Putt Putt.  I think I lost my ability to count because courses that I thought took 5 strokes, apparently only took 3.  Yes, there was the occasional scoring cheat - two guilty parties one start with P the other G!

Checking out the bookstore at Sydney airport before returning to see Martin in Melbourne.  Yes, he had to stay here and work while we headed to warmer weather in the north.  Poor Martin!
A huge apology to those that we did not get to catch up with.  
Unfortunately this trip was a quick one and we ran out of days to see everyone.