Sunday, 30 September 2012

Planning

 I have not been on here forever but I have a good reason, we have been busy catching up with family in Sydney.  It was wonderful spending time under the glorious sun with special nieces, nephews, siblings, parents and my in laws.  I also caught up with many friends who I attended university with.  We had a 20 year re-union.  20 years!!!  Crazy!  Where did that time go?  I didn't take many pictures but the one below was taken at the reunion with  one of my special friends from way back in my university days.

On the flight home I started to reflect on life and where I am right now.

I am planning to

~enjoy the best things in life - particularly family and friends (and food!)
~write in a journal more often.  In the past I did this more regularly but I have been slacking off lately.
~spend more time doing what I love - creating, sewing, writing and cooking
~more picnics and outside time with Martin and the kids.
~less saying no to the kids and more saying yes
~embracing the glorious mornings as I go on my morning run
~being more of a person that I would like my kids to be like in the future
~tackle the 'harder' jobs that I put off and just do it.
~find special ways to make others smile
~be always ready to listen
~make good decision
~read positive, uplifting and thought provoking books
~be optimistic
~get focused on doing a half marathon/marathon
~feel less guilty when I don't have something ticked off my to-do list
~write more notes to friends and family
~work out the best balance between work and home.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

~Right Now~


~Right Now~
  • enjoying the sun being up early so that I don't have to run in the dark
  • smelling the springtime blossoms as they waft through our window.
  • counting down the days until the end of school term and then holidays...hooray!
  • excited about our quick visit to Sydney next week.  I can't wait to spend time with our family.
  • anticipating a busy school term as I return to 5 days a week work.  I am looking forward to being at Gracie's school.  The first time I have ever been on staff at one of the kid's school.
  • loving the busyness and flurry of end of school term excitement. 
  • making lists for packing, for the school holiday schedule and the many birthdays that are ahead.
  • enjoying the warmth in the air as the sun streams through the window.
  • deciding on which of Gracie's art work should be framed and displayed in our home???
Wishing you a happy week.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Displaying Art Works

It is that time of year again - art show time.  Patrick has his next week and Gracie has hers tonight.  At this time of year I reflect on the various arts that the children have created over the years and where they are displayed around our home. Displaying children's art work has always been important to us.  The kids love seeing it around the house and I think it is always a focal point when visitors come to our home.  I also believe that it's great for their self esteem.  

I know that a lot of art work is displayed on the refrigerator but we like to frame the kids best work and proudly display them on our walls.  So this morning I went around the house and snapped a few that we have on display.
This was painted by Grace when she was 6 years old.  It hangs proudly and happily in the kitchen.  Although it is tricky to see, the girl has a beautiful Japanese style print dress on and she has a huge smile that goes from ear to ear.
Gracie drew and coloured this sweet house in when we first moved to Melbourne.  The house that we lived in first was two stories and this is her interpretation of it.  
Sorry about the reflection.  It's a BAD photo but this was the first piece of art we bought at a school Art Show.  Paddy created the background and zebra when he was in Kindergarten/ Prep.  He was 5 years old.  This one hangs in Martin and my bedroom and it brings me back to a happy time when Paddy had just started school.
These little beauties are Martin's pride and joy.  Some are made by Paddy and the others by Gracie.  They were all made at pre-school (the kids were 3-4 years old).  The kids love that Martin hangs them on his bedside table.  I don't know what we would do if something happened to these.  They are irreplaceable.
When we moved to Melbourne we needed a little something for a bathroom wall, so Gracie and I got busy one day with some cardboard and paint.  She wanted something pretty for the wall and decided to create her favourite flowers - lavender.  I think it is just perfect for our wall and her little fingerprint buds warm my heart.

I love incorporating the children's art work into our home.  I'm excited to think of the new art works that will be purchased tonight and next week and where we can proudly display them.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Clutter is my Enemy!

One of the biggest jobs in maintaining any home is keeping it organised.  Our home runs best when everything is organised.   Saying that, it does not matter how many tubs, containers or organisational systems you have in place,  a house can never be organised until you get rid of the clutter.
So how do you de-clutter?

I am no expert but here are a few tips that I have used to de-clutter and get our house organised:
  • Patience - It takes time to go through everything.  Small goals work best.  Focus on one area at a time.  Break it down into more manageable tasks otherwise it can become overwhelming.
  • Decision Making - It's hard to decide what needs to go but keep in mind the less you have, the more organised your space will be.  Ask yourself - When did I use this last?  Can this item be replaced in the future?  Does this item serve any purpose in my life?
  • Assess What You Have - Apparently, we wear only 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.  Go through your wardrobe and think - have I worn it in the past year?  Is it relevant?  I use the rule one in, one out.
  • Get Tough on Toys - When the kids were younger, I'd go through their toy baskets weekly.  I'd make sure everything was in their correct basket or tub and get rid of or donate anything that was no longer needed.
  • Manage Your Paper - Sort through mail daily.  Open letters near a recycling bin and an expanding file.  That way you get rid of what is not needed and you file things away straight away.
  • Make Decisions Quickly - That way you're less likely to hang onto things that you don't need.
  • Get Help - Ask someone to help you go through your things.  They are less likely to have the emotional attachment that you have but can still recognise if something should be kept.
  • Gift/Donate - Once you have read a book pass it onto someone.  If you buy a new item (camera, gaming system etc) donate your old one or give it to someone who'd appreciate it.
So, once you have de-cluttered what can you do with it?
  • Donate it
  • Sell it - eBay is a great place to sell
  • Throw it away - check the dates for you local hard rubbish collection and organise your clean up around that time.
When you have gone through one area, it might give you the encouragement to do another.


Remember once you have gone through an area you need to maintain it.

Once it's organised, refuse to let it be infected with clutter again.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Spring Decorating

I spent the weekend taking down the Father's Day decorations and replacing them with spring ones.  We don't have a mantel at our house so the sideboard in our dining room is the next best thing.  
I wanted a simple but colourful banner and this one fit the job perfectly.

Unfortunately we don't have a lot of spring blooms yet so Grace and I got into action and 
created these pom-pom flowers with wool scraps, branches and some hot glue. 
They prettied up the side board perfectly.
We added a few things to the basket that sits on our coffee table and I also used this print from Plum Adorable.
And a print from Barn Owl Primitives makes our front door display happier and brighter, too.

Do you decorate and restlye your house with the seasons or for special events? 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Hello Monday

Some amazing spring time weather has come our way!  We've found ourselves outside at every possible moment - enjoying the warmth of the suns rays, breathing in the fresh air and smelling the springtime scents.  It feels so good to be outside without multiple layers - just like it should be.

A sure sign of spring (or September anyway) is tired babies.  The kids are loving the AFL finals series. Especially with their beloved Hawks doing so well.  We let them stay up late on Friday night to see the Hawks beat the Pies.  The consequence being they both feel asleep as we drove along at 11am.

(Grace decked out in Hawthorn colours for Football Day at school)

With the warmth in the air, we're on the prowl for a new outdoor reading pod.  We're thinking of the one below so more than one person can sit in the chair and soak up the suns rays and enjoy a book, a chat or a good cup of tea - even all three!
Night time snuggles are the best.  I never get tired of them.  
Grace really knows how to snuggle in and melt my heart.  
On Sunday we headed to the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Farm.  
I enjoyed being a garden tourist and getting ideas for my future garden.
The kids loved running through the four mazes.  They conquered them super quick.



...and while we were on the Mornington Peninsula we headed straight to the beach for some sand and an extra dose of vitamin D.
Wishing you a happy week, friends. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Run Paddy, Run

It was so fortunate that Paddy's school had their Athletic's Carnival on the most beautiful spring day ever.  I had such a great time watching my boy participate in his events while soaking up the sun rays.
















Although Paddy has never formally trained for running events he did well, really well.  He enjoys running  He said it gives him contentment, confidence and motivation when he mows down someone in front of him.  I'm hoping that he might start joining me on my morning run.  Now that the suns up earlier it might encourage him to hit the pavement with me...we'll see.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Once Upon A Time...

On Monday and Tuesday we had incredible weather here in Melbourne.  So incredible that it made me think of Sydney *again* and in particular our backyard.  On days when the sun warmed you to the bone we'd crank up the solar heating to begin swimming season.  I loved having a pool.  Friends would pop in after school and family would visit for a dip.  The kids favourite thing was to turn on the pool lights and swim under the sliver of the moon.


Unfortunately we don't have a backyard pool here.  Our local pool is the next best thing but if that's where we have to be to get our swimming fix, we'll be there....with bells on.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Too Many Shades of Grey

I am starting to think that I have more grey hairs on my head than the soft, smooth, obedient brown ones.  My head has been overtaken.  No matter how I do my hair, I spy them left, right and centre.  It drives me nuts.  I know that I'm at the age where I should expect to see a few, but honestly they seem to be multiplying overnight.  It costs me a small fortune to visit the hairdresser to cover them up, but right now I have no thought of leaving them grey.  I want to stay a brunette as long as I can.
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The last week or so has been good for us. Spring is in the air and we're enjoying the extra dose of vitamin D.  I have never been happier to have spring here.  

I haven't uploaded photos for a while so here are some recent snaps.

One very special Aunty and Uncle, gave us tickets to Friday nights game - Hawks v's West Coast.   We are Hawk's supporters here but poor Gracie was unsure if she should go for West Coast - after all she is a 'Perth' girl.   In the end, Buddy's kicks lured her in and she stayed loyal to our local team.
We all had a fabulous time.  Thank you for the treat, Aunty E and Uncle L. xxx

We celebrated Father's Day with a special dinner on the Saturday night and on Sunday we enjoyed the beautiful day and strolled along the river.  
Thankfully our computers are back to normal speed and the kids are enjoying being back into their favourite games and sites.  

Me, I'm looking forward to getting back into some routine with my blogging.

Monday, 3 September 2012

How To Be A Mummy

On the weekend I was tidying up a bookcase when I stumbled across a page that Gracie has scrawled into a notebook.  I think it was written a few years ago but it says a lot about my girl and the love she has for her 'babies'.  I wanted to share it with you.
How To Be A Good Mummy
By: Grace 
  1.  Put on her coat and play with her
  2. Get her breakfast
  3. Do the dishes and sweep the floor
  4. Wipe the finger prints off the door
  5. Wash the clothes and hang them up
  6. Lessons
  7. Lunch
  8. Play with friends outside
  9. Make sure they're not sick (if they are call the doctor)
  10. Dinner
  11. Bath 
  12. Story time
  13. Brush her hair
  14. Brush her teeth
  15. Sing her a song goodnight
  16. Tuck her into bed and kiss her on the head


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Quiet on the Home Front

You'll have to forgive me for my lack of posting lately.  We have a boy who has used up all our band width for the month.  Our internet speed has been slowed to the point where it is frustrating to do ANYTHING on our computers.  You see, this boy of mine bought a laptop with all of his savings and birthday money and to set it up, as he 'needed', it required considerable downloads.  Right now we are all suffering because our computers are sitting idle at our family desk.

All of our creative energy has been spent reading, cooking together and getting outside for a run around.  (Spring is in the air and outside is the place to be)  I've also been catching up on some knitting (hooray!) so some finished projects are just about nearing!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, papa's, pa's and poppy's out there!  My kids count there blessings everyday with their special 'Papa Martin'.  They're lucky kids, I tell you.

As for me, I am incredibly blessed, too.  My dad has encouraged me to embrace life and happiness.  He has also guided me to do my best, to do more and also enjoy the time when I do less.  I am ever so grateful for his loving, gentle and guiding way.  Love you dad!

(Sorry for the lack of photos in this post but the thought of sitting here forever as it uploads makes me nauseous)