12 November 2012

Though Poppies Grow

Suddenly Sunday

Belated posting for Remembrance Day which in Australia was yesterday.
We're still having teething problems with this computer and internet connection.
Not happy, but we're getting there. Fingers crossed.

6 November 2012

I'm baaaaack

Hello Blog

Late September my family and I made an interstate move, our first and hopefully our last. It absolutely knocked me over! After the declutter, packing, cleaning, a two-hour delayed flight, then unpacking and organising our new home we spent our first month relaxing, catching up with friends and getting to know our new area.

Yesterday, we finally got the internet connection up and running. Luckily one of my friend's husbands spent a few minutes on our computer and discovered Leo had been given a faulty software programme which slowed everything down and let in a few viruses. We are nearly sorted 'tech wise' but at least for the present I can read my favourite blogs and post myself. I had used Leo's mobile phone internet for a while but the small screen was giving me headaches.

What I love about this interstate move is the water! We are in an area surrounded by lakes and yet we are only 10 minutes drive from the beach. This neighbourhood has so many outdoor activities for our boys that we are quite relaxed with 8-year-old Aries spending hours with his new friends who also attend the same school. This is something that was missing at our previous home as most of Aries' school friends lived in different suburbs.

We also had lots of fun with our first Halloween, not a big event where we previously lived, or Australia-wide I think. I changed my mind about Halloween after I read quite alot about it and also our children now no longer have any family here I wanted them to at least remember this big move with as much fun. I didn't know if Halloween was accepted here but taking my queue from the shop shelves, I grabbed the last Scream mask from Target and found purple streamer from my Party stash. Next year I'll be better prepared, with a costume too like the parents escorting their kids around.

Tauren aka 'The Hulk' started to eat from my bowl of 'treats' so I had Leo take him for a walk around the lake and pick up dinner. Leo then rang me to say 'The Hulk' was making a grand performance to strangers enjoying their evening stroll, even jumping out in front of a baby. Aries aka 'Harry Potter' came home with a half-full bucket of treats and commented how much he loved his First Halloween Night. His new friends gave him high-fives on his costume, which he had worn for his 8th birthday party costume back in March. Luckily I saved it then.

Can you tell how much we love it here? Hahaha. Looking forward to reading your blog soon.

20 September 2012

Friends and changes

Thursday Teacher

I saw this beautiful quote tonight and had a great big laugh. The last two weeks I've spent catching up with two of my closest girlfriends. Both of these lovely ladies have names starting with H and sometimes I start to call one by the other, and quickly try to catch myself. We've all been busy raising families, but when we do get together it's amazing how we can still 'pick up where we left off'.

A change has begun for my family and with mixed feelings we are heading to the Sunshine State. While Leo is away working, the boys and I are at home doing the organising, sorting and packing. After five years at his school, tomorrow is 8-year-old Aries' last day there and I've organised a farewell party for his class.

After the madness that is an interstate move (our first) I can't wait to blog regularly. I've missed my new blog friends too.

15 September 2012

Flying high with a toddler

Last year we flew overseas to my island home for a relative's destination wedding. It was also Tauren's very first aeroplane adventure and boy did we strike out on this very eventful flight - both ways! I thought the worst that could happen would be, he wanted to run up and down the aisle. This is normal for me, I've been on flights since I was a child (always in my seat) and remembered children even then doing this. As a Parent, I can see why. Have you ever had to hold a very determined and strong toddler during a flight? It's best to let them stretch their legs and meet new people. However, the looks we got from other passengers made me think otherwise.

During the first flight, at night, I held Tauren as best I could. He would kick the seat in front and apologies were made. Eventually and thankfully, he fell asleep. When we landed and other passengers started to disembark, suddenly our toddler threw up on me. Okay, I can deal with this it was part of our normal routine on land too. Tauren had reflux issues.

It was the flight back that would have people talking! Throughout the whole flight our toddler son would cry and fight to get out of our seats. Mistakenly, we thought the noise would be the worst of it. We gave him Panadol to calm him down as he was becoming hysterical. For a blessed twenty minutes all seemed fine... until Tauren threw up on himself, then his Father, then himself, then on me - three times!

I could deal with the whole situation because that was basically our home life most of Tauren's second year. It was a female flight attendant that was shocking. I was literally drenched in vomit, and as I was quite embarrassed from the obvious smell, I had asked one female flight attendant if she could please enquire with a fellow female passenger, if it was possible for me to buy from her a sarong I had seen draped over her lap. The flight attendant blatantly refused and suggested that maybe the sarong could be a gift or a souvenoir from her trip. I told the flight attendant, I would be very happy to pay twice the value and of course, on landing I'd offer her a replacement sarong too. The flight attendant was ridiculously uncooperative. So I returned to our seats and sat in my rinsed but still smelly clothes for the remainder of the flight humiliated and embarrassed. Leo was holding Tauren and couldn't believe how unhelpful she was.

It was a male flight attendant who came to us afterward and told us of similar flights he had encountered with his own children. He recommended Phenergan and made us feel less uncomfortable with our situation. He also made me think twice about writing a complaint against the useless female flight attendant that refused to help me. As soon as the plane touched down at Sydney Airport we bolted out of the plane. Grabbed our bags as quickly as we could and cleaned up in the Parents Room. That first shower when we arrived home was bliss.

Although we had packed three outfits for our toddler and the usual 'baby bag' items, we should've also packed an outfit or two for ourselves. Every flight since we've always made sure to do just this. Thankfully, those flights are only interstate like our recent trip last week to the Gold Coast. At just over an hour per flight, Tauren is more than happy to look at pictures in the magazine, play guessing games and wave to the passengers behind us.

3 September 2012

Late Night Monday

Monday Medley

Songs I've heard and wanted to share. Click on the Star for credit:
Beach House - Zebra *
Carla Bruni - Raphael *
Regina Spektor - Don't Leave Me *
Phil Collins - Look Through My Eyes *

Phil Collins writes and performs so many wonderful songs for film, this song is in Brother Bear. It always calms our toddler Tauren and sometimes, it even helps him to snooze.

I am packing for a trip to the Gold Coast tomorrow, and I'm posting just before Midnight. Typical me, always leaving things to the last minute. Not a good idea with two young kids. Must improve!

Image: unknown

1 September 2012

That blue dress

Saturday Sights

I first spotted Natalie Joos in this cobalt blue dress on look see. Not knowing who she is, thankfully she blogs. I've been checking it out today and I recommend reading her posts Blame the Olsens, Croquet Alice and Misty Rabbit. I've read about people I wouldn't know about otherwise and normally would see in glossy magazines - such is the quality of Natalie's blog.

Since I couldn't stop thinking about 'that blue dress' I found these cobalt blue dresses on Etsy:
Top - Below - Right

The dress on the right is so perfect, it has been Sold.

Image: trendycrew

21 August 2012

Cheaper than therapy

Tuesday Timeline

Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. Anon

Well I'm not planting tomatoes yet, only just starting out with a few blooms to see if I still have 'the green thumb'. Thanks to the memories of my Grandparents they grew their own food in their yard. They also had a plantation which required a truck and several helpers. No space is too small to grow food, as my Grandfather once shouted when someone complained about his Custard Apple Tree being grown in the front yard.

As a teenager, I was in charge of my mother's garden after I whinged about her planting layout. Of course that meant trips to the Library for research and Friday nights watching Burke's Backyard. Even when I moved out of the family home, I still grew potted plants on the balcony or in my apartment. Until a former flatmate drowned them all while I was overseas. So yes, before I started my own family I used to be an avid gardener. Then my priorities changed, as they do.

Now that Tauren has settled down from the Annus Terribilis which started just after his First Birthday to last month, I know I can add another task to my day. Gardening has so many positives: eating your own produce, purifying the air, discovery for children and of course therapeutic. I don't know what happened to my baby boy to make our last year so 'challenging'. I asked myself, Was it because he was a Premature baby? Is it from me or Leo? Why Tauren and not Aries? Since Tauren started speaking clearly a new word everyday, he's become the boy I knew was always there. One day we were laughing and sleeping regular hours then Poof!

The reality is, I honestly thought Tauren would turn out a cheerful outgoing child just like his older brother Aries. Earlier this year when I was sick and exhausted, Leo took two days off from work to look after the boys. By lunchtime, Leo finally understood so much of why my day wasn't all coffees and nap time. You see, Tauren skipped most of his nap time. The last twelve months it was 6hours-Nap-6hours-Sleep. Then it was 8hours-Nap-8hours-Sleep. Suddenly, it was 12hours Awake and 12 hours Sleep... and not all of the Nap and Sleep was soundly. I had to cancel salon appointments, miss out on Church services, family outings, lunch or dinner, sometimes both. I tried to 'wait it out' and even though there were times when I silently prayed for a planeload of patience I knew I wasn't alone. I lost so much sleep trying to keep up with Tauren, trying to manage our home and spend time with Leo and Aries too that I finally decided to take my GP's advice seriously this time.

Being a stay-at-home-parent was both our decision. We wanted a second child and of course I had plans to utilise childcare and work part-time, even studying online from home. Well, when this all happened, none of the other stuff mattered. Stay-at-home-parenting is not cruisy or a luxury. When I read Parenting websites where parents complain about which age is the worst to experience 'The Terribles' I honestly want to slap them and say 'The Terribles doesn't just happen when a child is Two or Three. Try from age One!' I've stopped visiting one or two of those sites and try to remember, my child achieved his milestones nonetheless. My reward is a little boy eager to dig into the dirt and help his Mummy grow some 'flower'.

20 August 2012

Blue Suit Monday

Monday Medley

Last week while out and about, I heard these songs over the radio:

The Bangles - Manic Monday
Simply Red - Stars
Madonna - Crazy for You

Doesn't PSY look great in that suit? It sure beats the 1970's Prom Suit back in the days. PSY is South Korean Rapper who wrote and performed the song Gangnam Style and it went super viral on YouTube. Currently there is over 41 Million hits and I warn you, it may be stuck in your head for some time.

Image: the vine

18 August 2012

Two guys and a chair

Saturday Sights

I have been eyeing this image of Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese for the last fortnight. I would love to have a photographic print of this image because they both look handsome in their own way. Robert with his scruffy hair and printed tee, Martin with his serious beard and checkered shirt.

I'd love to add these Vintage Ship Prints to my art collection.

I kid you not, I've been looking for Gnomes for inside our home. Why not?

Interior Designer Susanna Vento shares her home, so much to love.

A beaded dress perfect for Audrey Hepburn (then) or Michelle Williams (now).

In case you missed The story of Sam and Payeng's hand grown forest these stories are truly inspiring. I just know these two articles will change your day for the better. Maybe even your weekend?

Image: reelists

15 August 2012

Houseboat Living

Wednesday Wishlist
modus maris

Ever since I saw the film Sleepless in Seattle I have always imagined living in a Houseboat.
I'm putting Houseboat on our Holiday List. For the kids, it will be an adventure.
For myself, I'm a water lover and will find any excuse to be near it.

Have you ever lived or vacationed on a Houseboat?
I would love to read about it.

11 August 2012

More blossoms to share

Saturday Sights

I couldn't resist picking more blossoms and had to share them. I also hope you enjoy my picks from the online community this week...

I wish I was watching the sail boats in a chic blue outfit and headscarf.

I wore a headscarf once just for fun and Leo asked if it was cleaning day.

I'd use this hot air balloon for our 8yo son's childhood memorabilia.

This Navy Stripe Canvas Beige bag would be perfect if I had a laptop.

Great for a city stroll, dinner cruise or cocktail wedding is the I Love Lucy Dress.

Kit and Nancy went browsing through seven hectares of a Parisian flea market. Swoon.

With two left feet, I would probably swing into the Jitterbug just wearing this dress.

16 House featured images by Canadian Photographer Jennilee Marigomen.

This secretary trunk is a dream piece just waiting for my dream home.

My dream home could be Modern Architecture and maybe that's why it's still in 'dream mode'. Decisions. Decisions.

5 August 2012

Sprinkles of sun showers

Suddenly Sunday

This week the weather has been kind with warm breezes and sprinkles of sun showers.
So I knew I would wake up to our street lined with blossoming cherry plum trees.
It's only the first week of August and the Spring Equinox isn't until late September.
After I took our 8yo son Aries shopping, I picked out some blossoms for the home.
He asked me why I was picking them and I told him simply, because I like them.
In all honesty too, they won't last very long and they smell divine inside.
Right now they're sitting pretty in my goldfish vase and on my dresser.
The only safe place for them to be as 2yo Tauren loves to squash things.

3 August 2012

Going casual like Elizabeth Taylor

Friday Favourites

Even in casual wear, Elizabeth Taylor still has that allure that captivated so many. When I look at the details I'm loving her pink lipsstriped topgold watchstraw tote and what looks like lavender capri pants. I found lavender jeans instead. Doesn't that car seat look similar to this sofa by Kardiel?

Growing up I used to watch Bill Collins' Golden Years of Hollywood. Every weekend I would wake up early and finish my chores so I could spend the afternoon watching old Hollywood films. Without a doubt Elizabeth Taylor is one of my favourite Hollywood actresses from this era and it all started with National Velvet.

My Top 5 Elizabeth Taylor films
National Velvet
Father of the Bride
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The VIPs

Image: you paparazz

30 July 2012

Inspiring boys bedroom

Monday Medley

Our home is soon to have some minor renovations done and I have a mountain of de-cluttering in the home, garage and laundry house to complete. The laundry house is behind the garage and both are detached from the main home so going between three places in the chilly-wet-mud is horrible. It certainly doesn't help when you have the world's most curious 2-year-old pulling everything out as you go and the weather has been the worst ever this winter.

On Friday night Leo and I had a very optimistic plan to tackle the outside areas starting at 7am Saturday morning. It didn't happen. Instead our toddler hopped into bed with us, hence my aching back (again). Leo did say that at 7am it was still 'murky' and because of my lack of sleep, he left me in peace. Love.

On top of this, our boys will be moving into one room. I've been super busy looking at inspiration for their dream space versus real space. Decorating a room for an 8-year-old and 2-year-old is not as easy as I had thought. There is nothing like spending hours in a shopping mall checking out your ideas in person to throw you off your 'virtual wishlist'. Sigh.

All I know at this stage is, I want to go all-white. Here are some of the rooms I've been inspired by this last couple of weeks:

The photo above is a reminder from Aries that I have to work Tintin into the new bedroom. As for our toddler Tauren, he would be happiest if I could include a climbing wall and a swing. Not likely my precious.

Image: home klondike

26 July 2012

Learning through living

Thursday Teacher

You know that saying, you learn something new everyday? I truly believe in these five simple words. This new post subject is my sharing the things I've learned in my life. I am always surprised by the everyday and the unexpected, hence the reason for this new post subject. I still have Thursday Thrifting when I am able to.

Sometimes it could be from our kids, a historical fact, a current news item, something I've seen in the street or a silly mundane thing that means nothing to someone else. Other times it may even surprise myself how little I knew before I learned these things. It doesn't hurt to share what I now know and it will also give you an insight into my real self.

My apologies, I found these images some time before blogging and didn't think to keep the details. If you own these images, please email me your details and I will gladly update my post details. Thank you.

25 July 2012

Wish versus Reality

Wednesday Wishlist

Remember my post Bathing is bliss where I had wishlisted the Replica Sori Yanagi Butterfly Stool? I had decided to save for this designer piece as a birthday present to myself but on advice from the Retailer, it's not suitable for use in the bathroom. Thank goodness I had enquired about this fact because I can safely put some of that savings to something else and still look at other stools available.

For a few years now, before blogging when magazines were still the rage, I have always wanted the Replica Eames DSR Chair. On Sunday, my family and I got to try these chairs out at the cafe we had lunch at. Personally, I did not like them. I believe the ones we sat on were the plastic version. I may need to try the fibreglass version to either finally buy them or finally bury the notion of them?

Recently I bought myself some goodies that I had wishlisted from two of my favourite online retailers:
  • Leo is thankful for the coffee scoop as I was previously using the measuring spoon which he was always looking for (tucked into my coffee bag).
  • The butter dish not only looks good on the table, the porcelain is the perfect weight for keeping it at room temperature. I don't know how I survived using a round side plate for a rectangular block of butter. Yes, it kept slipping. Even a toddler with a shape-sorter-toy would've figured this one out. Shame, shame.
  • The tissue box covers are my second lot purchased from Aya. I have been looking for these everywhere. I hated those satin-lace-frilly types from the bargain shops, yuck. I also wanted a few for a change of decor in the bedrooms and living room.

I think I will keep reviewing my Wednesday Wishlist items. However, this does not mean I will buy everything I have wishlisted on my blog. For the record, no sponsored postings here and the retailers are not aware I am posting my personal review online.

Image: matt blatt

21 July 2012

Sharing is caring

Saturday Sights
I wish I had a copy of the film Marty starring the recently departed Ernest Borgnine which also won him a Best Actor OscarThis is what he said about his $5,000 salary for playing the eponymous lead in Marty..... I would have done it for nothing.

Here are some of my favourite sightings from other bloggers:

Need a Black Jumpsuit or maybe some Bows?

Would you holiday on a House Boat or Summer Home?

DIY love: Test tube vase by Trishie and Agate Trash Bin by Jenny.

This dedication by Kevin Cuneo is the best I've read and how I remember Ernest Borgnine's acting.

Thinking back to that donut I shared with Tauren the other day, I found a donut necklace. Good enought to eat right?

While looking for recipes on baby figs - my new found love - I found Tania Schmieder's blog. Definitely my kind of art.

I must see these two films A Happy Event and Farewell My Queen - I swear, it's a coincidence both these films are French.

At your next dinner party, break out the good crystal and play Musical Glasses. Even better, try to play them on these State Tables. I dare you.

I bought headwraps on Etsy from rraps and I'm kicking myself I didn't think to buy these before! They are so comfy and our toddler Tauren loves them too.

Yesterday was one of the best birthdays I have had. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes :)

Image: imdb

20 July 2012

It is a Happy Birthday

Friday Finds

This is me on my 5th birthday, New Zealand. It was winter and I was wearing a yellow halter neck and matching skirt, over a blue knitted skivvy.

Fast forward thirty one years later and today is my 36th birthday.

Every year, the week or so before my birthday, I ask myself a particular question. This last week I asked myself 'Who would I be if I made a different choice?'. Every time I try to picture a different life for myself, somehow I just can't do it. I keep coming back to this choice, this life, this me... and finally, I'm happy about this picture.

I think it's called, contentment.

This photo was taken with Leo's mobile phone.

19 July 2012

A Turkish delight

Thursday Thrifting

I was delighted to find this exact book in my local charity shop. I have been looking for a book on Turkish recipes since last year when I saw the German film 'Gegen die Wand'. Although there are plenty of modern cook books, they didn't measure up to how simple and straightforward this one is.

I don't know about everyone else, but in Australia, brand new cook books are notoriously expensive. This used copy cost me $2.00 and the pictures are still beautiful. I am really looking forward to making the Stuffed Peppers and Wedding Soup.

Image: amazon

17 July 2012

My 100th blog post

Tuesday Timeline

This is my 100th blog post and I was so excited about today that I bought myself some goodies. Nothing major, just some things I had 'Wishlisted' for too long that I forgot about them. Oops.

Here they are if you want a look:  butter dishcoffee scooptable runner, and tissue box covers.

In 100 postings what have I learnt?
  • I didn't expect to have any readers at all for the first year let alone the first month. Thanks Heidi and Maximus!
  • I've always loved reading blogs but I didn't expect to enjoy blogging myself. It's like a lock-and-key diary without the teen angst only with other people.
  • I've met so many women on my own blog and just 'following on' via other bloggers. I need to time myself on some days. Naughty.
  • I also need to expand my blog reading from my old favourites. I am quite surprised at some of my own blog choices this year.
  • I need to check my blog emails more often, like I do my house mailbox. Oops.
  • I've also become a little more relaxed at home and less the worrier. Especially with our toddler Tauren. No wonder I was exhausted.
  • Lastly, being part of an online community is just as rewarding as sitting with my best friends in my kitchen with a cup of coffee. I wonder why I hesitated for so long, silly me.
I should have posted this earlier but after tidying up the bedrooms this morning, there was a knock at the door and when my visitors left I forgot about my post. I then celebrated today with my two-year-old Tauren and the biggest chocolate donut I've ever seen. I had to cut that baby up and I don't know anyone who cuts up a donut before eating it. I showed him how to pick the sprinkles off and he thought it was the best thing ever. Priceless.

Today I really felt like wearing this cute pom pom hat from jerribeccahats. Alas, I've already bought myself some goodies so instead, I'm thinking of a friend who is to have her third daughter this year.

15 July 2012

Serendipity... not the movie

Suddenly Sunday

Back in April my book for the month was 'One Day' by David Nicholls. I read it, I laughed, I cried and I patiently waited for Leo to finish reading it so we could watch the DVD together. Only Leo didn't get into it as much as I did.

Today, a relative picked up the boys who were taken to see a movie. The last time both boys were not with us was many months ago! We ate lunch together without one of us having to chase down a toddler in the food court while the other quickly chomped down their food and then exchanging roles. We honestly couldn't decide what to do with the few hours we had to ourselves. The one thing we agreed on was sitting together to enjoy a film that didn't have a colorful child character.

We bought a few DVDs and quickly came home to sit on the same couch to watch the same movie without a kick in the face and toys being thrown at us. It was quite funny because everytime a car went past or a neighbour drove into their driveway, Leo would jump up and check if the boys were being returned. My choice was One Day the film. I agree with this review.

Now, get ready. The setting in the book is the date the two characters met and their lives on that day every year since. The date flashes up several times but somehow we kept missing the link. About 10 mins before the end when I saw the date flash up (again) I just clicked...

Me: "Hey! What date is it today?"
Leo: "Oh yeah. I think it's the 15th!"

I grabbed Leo's mobile and there it was, Sunday 15 July 2012.

We just laughed and gave each other a kiss, just because.