15 December 2014

Idyllic

This was our view. Seriously.


Our holiday in Thailand is well and truly over, months ago. But look at this iPhone photo - the view from our little verandah, right on the beach. We were blown away by our accommodation on the beach in Haad Salad, Koh Phangan. It was breathtaking. Divine. Perfect and idyllic.

27 September 2014

How he travels




This boy. He's so delightful. This trip, this holiday - he was in a state of bliss, pure enjoyment. Out of his comfort zone but loving it. Every experience was magical to him. If he was tired, he slept. He ate and tried new foods. He swam and swam and snorkelled and explored. He coped with strange situations and literally hundreds of people in his face. He stopped people in their tracks with his small sweetness, his blonde hair and his green eyes. His dimples.

I'm so grateful that we were able to spend this time together.

(In this photo, we're on the ferry to Koh Phangan and he felt a bit sick. So he just dealt with it by falling asleep. Woke up happy and thrilled!)

26 September 2014

Malaysia for a night

We had a pretty crazy connection so we ended up staying in Kuala Lumpur for a night before heading to Thailand.





Breakfast was very lavish with a buffet which spread over two rooms! A huge mix of food - dahl, sausages, hommous, congee, pita, olives, hash browns, toast, rice, noodles, fruit, croissants, salad...



And then we landed in Koh Samui, heading straighting for the pier and our little piece of paradise!

25 September 2014

Off we go...


 About 18 hours before our flight, M on the lounge, not feeling well.

On the Thursday before we left on our holiday, M complained of sore ears. It's very difficult to know when she is actually suffering so it wasn't until late Friday night that I really thought she may have an ear infection. We headed to the doctor on Saturday morning (amongst post office, library, last minute packing, closing up the house and all that stuff that goes with leaving for a few weeks!). Given that we were flying the next morning, we filled the prescription for antibiotics and started them immediately, even though the infection was very mild. Flying with an ear infection, and heading in to a holiday based around swimming every day, it was not an ideal situation.


We left quite early the next morning, and her situation had improved. Landing was not so fun, and neither was the fact she wasn't able to get her head wet for the first three days of the holiday...


O was a champion traveller. Seriously, he was the best.

 
Flying over the top end uo Australia, heading to Malaysia.
 

5 September 2014

Real life

 
 
Rainy days, kids quietly playing. Making a mess, yes, but quietly investigating, creating, making and playing. And quietly together!
 
We chose to put new carpet in the bedrooms rather than floorboards because we knew the kids would be down on the floor, playing just like this, for a few years to come. It's so soft and lovely to walk on and play and lie down and roll around on. Real life at our house, in our home.


2 September 2014

Hello, blog

The stairs are creaking, the door protests and I'm wiping away cobwebs. Hello, blog.

What's been happening? Well, I didn't make Dry July but I did get to the three week mark. I think I'll try February next time!

Work is insane and very stressful. Constantly learning and being challenged, well and truly out of my comfort zone on a daily basis, juggling many, many tasks and often working just a little too fast and not quite getting it right. This is mentally exhausting and I'm not sure exactly how to slow it all down.

Kids are delightful and hard and beautiful and funny.

We're heading to Thailand for two weeks on Sunday. Crazy good and crazy hard all at the same time. It's been a few years since we've taken such a long family holiday (three years actually!) so there's been quite a bit going on to get this all organised. New passports for the girl and I, timed in with new driver's license, rates, water, car regos and insurances all at the same time. Phew! If only I could redo my passport photo - M looks like a child supermodel and I look like I need to wash my hair. We're looking forward to family time, beach and pool, adventures and new experiences for our little people.

Here we are, my funny face girl and I. (A very rare photo of me.) I hope to be back on this little blogging space, sooner rather than later. xx



6 July 2014

Dry July


I haven't been organised and signed up to the official Dry July or looked for sponsorship. I've just set Dry July as a personal goal for myself. Offically, Dry July is about giving up alcohol for a month, while raising funds via sponsors. This supports adults living with cancer and promotes healthy lifestyle choices.

Now that I look in to it, I wish I'd been proactive enough to raise some funds, but what I'm doing is to give my body a break and to challenge my own habits. Today is Sunday 6th July, and probably one of the first weekends in a long while that I've not enjoyed a drink. A few years ago, I had longer than a month off and I also exercised quite a bit. Need to add that part back in!

I notice I'm sleeping better, certainly. And my headaches can't be blamed on alcohol, so that needs to be investigated a little further. I notice slightly more clarity. I hope my liver is loving me. Here's to the rest of the month!

9 June 2014

Time for a clock

Structurally, we don't need to do much to our little home. Little it is, and badly renovated, but we can easily live and love here. The stuff on our list is generally to do with storage or practical solutions for silly design flaws, or to fix something that has been neglected in our little house's life as a rental.

Fun stuff - we have a list for that too! One little item on that list - I want a gorgeous clock. We're relying on the microwave clock in the living/kitchen area and it's just too tiny. We've got the perfect spot for a big, practical but lovely clock. We need something with all 12 numbers so the kids can also tell the time.


Found here on etsy.com. This is the clock I want! I haven't been able to find anything similar locally or even in Australia. Any ideas?

I just found this cute one on etsy too, I love the grey felt:

 
 
 
I'm going to keep looking for a similiar wooden clock locally, but I may have to give in and get that gorgeous, simple wooden clock. I find it interesting that I am investing so much effort in a clock!

2 June 2014

Of blue and bikes



This day was ridiculously brilliant, cloudless sky and the ocean was so many indescribable shades of blue. My little guy mastered the art of bike riding with no training wheels, even though back here, he said he was never, ever taking them off! He did it so quickly and with such ease, the guy has balance and confidence!

They took off on their bikes and Itay followed them on one of the scooters. I was the mumsy mum, waddling behind holding the hats and drinks.

Stuff that. I decided to get a bike. A blue bike. It's freakin' awesome.


It's blue with purple go-faster swishes, white wall tyres, fat and comfy white site and wide, shiny handlebars with white grips. I let them think they were buying me a Mothers Day gift (thank you, my little family!). Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Cruising!

26 May 2014

Meatballs



Why is it that you can spend a crap-load in Ikea but still not get the actual piece you specifically visited to buy? Then finding out that the reason that bookshelf is not in stock is because it is actually being discontinued worldwide (the Expedit - we didn't want green though!) is just so annoying. Major first world drama, I really do know it is, but still so very deflating. Expedit fans around the world are distressed, Google tells me.
 
What will I do now?

 
The kids have a love/hate relationship with Ikea, loving the lunch, hiding in rooms, running races in the warehouse but hating the walking, the looking and the waiting with we debate what will fit. Here they are, racing. Hooligans.

28 April 2014

O - almost five


This is a blurry, weird photo but I just love it. My boy, flying.

He is almost five, in just a few weeks we'll be celebrating his birthday. He is so happy and full of joy and laughter. He wakes happy, he goes to bed happy. He laughs and laughs and he makes us laugh too.

He is scared of dogs, waves, loud noises, large groups of people and anyone dressed up as a character (like a clown, or a big koala or a Subway sandwich), mannequins and changes to his routine or the way he knows the world. For instance, he swims like a fish during his swimming lessons these days. Then a change - he's now out in the big pool while renovations are happening on the indoor pool. He's not happy and has sobbed through both lessons in the big pool. He's scared of going to big school because the bell frightens him.

His eyes are a pale, vivid green with flecks of yellow. He's growing his blonde hair, he wnats it to be long. His legs are muscular and he holds so much strength. He is small, sometimes wearing size 1 shorts (but most often 2) and size 3 shirts. He loves wearning gumboots and sneakers. He likes to put his cap on backwards even though he knows I don't like it!

He still adores 4WD, going offroad and he has an obsession with roof tops tents. He knows more about winching, flex and low gear than many adults would! He has a new love of fishing. He's just started going to the skate park, being just a little too confident on his newish two wheel scooter.

He is so sweet and funny. Even when he's naughty or in trouble, he can't hold back his smile. Trying to show him that some behaviours are not acceptable, for instance taking away his screen time, don't really seem to affect him. He can bold-face lie, get busted and still giggle. Highly frustrating but also funny, so we have to hold it together in front of him!

He is divine, kind, a great little helper and just so delicious. Love him so.



22 April 2014

How do you travel?


Most of us would say we love to travel. Right? I love to travel and experience new places. But truly, I've never really enjoyed the actual part where you have to travel to get where you're going. The driving, the flying, the whatever. Only in the last few weeks have I actually nailed down the realisation that travelling gives me a headache. 98% of trips over about an hour, via any mode of transport and I get a headache, I feel wiped out and exhausted. On the first flight of our last trip overseas, I had one of the worst headaches I've ever experienced - all nine hours in economy with two young kids. We drive the 1.5 hours down the coast to visit family and I'm moving in to headache territory.
 
When I arrive (again, almost any trip over about 1.5 hours) I feel dazed and a little bit foggy, detached from what is happening around me. Is this weird? My only solution at the moment is painkillers, so I need to figure out a better way for my body to cope with being moved from one place to another. Any suggestions?
 
Of course, I love the experiences when I get there!

15 April 2014

Settling in to our new rhythm

The last sunrise at our old home
 
We're slowly settling in to life in our little country/city suburb. There are only a few boxes of random things lying around. Cooking feels less awkward in our weird little kitchen. Getting ready to go to work and school has fallen in to a rhythm which although still new, feels a little smoother. Most things have a place. Quite a few don't, and that's been frustrating and also a work in progress. We're living with a few quirks and pieces to see what works and what doesn't. Having to set up the ironing board in the living area each time we need to iron really does not work, so we're trying to find a solution for that one!
 
After seven long years, we finally have a dishwasher. I love it. Water and energy efficient, it's also time efficient, slicing (what feels like) so much time off our daily cleanup.
 
We've experienced a flash flood here already and that was a very fast method of discovering what doesn't work around the place... Drains and pipes unfortunately did not cope with the heavy rain and we took turns in setting the alram to go out in the rain and dig and clear the drains. Not a fun night, but we got through it and we've identified what needs to be changed and fixed.
 
I saw someone riding a horse in the main street as I drove to work one morning. We wake up with beautiful light slipping through the blinds. We have our challenges with our new space, but it was the right move for us.  
 


1 April 2014

40

I have quite the milestone looming this year. 40 long years on this earth. How to celebrate? I would like friends to gather, family to visit, relaxation, a little bit of buzz, a lot of beach, some body bliss, amazing food, a bit of luxe.

I have not put enough effort in to friendships for the longest time. Too long. Why should I expect them to come together to celebrate my birthday? And so I am already doubting what I can plan, trying to undo my expectations.

I'm looking at houses in Byron for the weekend and quick trips to Fiji. Forty! I'm not usually in to celebrating my birthday, but this one feels different...

20 March 2014

Home


We're home. New home. It's been a crazy time, settling in and simultaneously surviving two extremely stressful and draining weeks at work. I shed a few tears driving home, in the (cold) shower and late at night more than once during that couple of weeks. Add to that - no hot water for seven days. A first world issue but cold cold cold showers for a week really didn't help. We boiled water for the kids but Itay and I just sucked it up. Washing my long-ish hair with freezing cold water at 6am just plain sucked. The hot water episode was full of angst, hour long (seriously) phone calls to Energex and much frustration.
 
We also had no TV, phone or internet for close to two weeks. We're back in the world of computers and TV. The outside areas of our house look far less like they should be featured in an episode of Hoarders. We're not at all finished but it feels easier now.
 
In the middle of it all I had to fly to Sydney for work and had another day of driving for a different trip. Three trips to Ikea in less than two weeks (it's not a quick drive either!). The girl had a sleepover. Swimming lessons. My dad flew overseas for six months. A night out for a 40th, a picnic for the 40th. Our first visitors. A BBQ with new neighbours. (We have lovely new neighbours, a safe little cul de sac where the kids can ride bikes with kids their own ages. It's just lovely.) A dear friend delivering the most excellent homemade food, snacks and fruit on our first Sunday in the house.
 
A new kind of normal. Home.

23 February 2014

Why I'm not feeling excited

People keep asking "are you excited?" and the answer that comes out of my mouth is... no. Not yet. And until last night I wasn't sure why. I think Itay was getting a little frustrated with me, after all, this is our very own house, a dream come true!

After a bit of pondering I realised that it is a sense of the unknown, of change, of uprooting myself and my family and my life from the one place I have spent the longest period of my life. Yes, we've been in our current house for seven years and this is the longest I have spent in any house during my 39 years of living. I feel a sense of tiredness and unease about having to learn the ways of a new house, albeit our very own home. Is this silly? The knowing, the ease of daily life in this current house, it's all about to change and be a bit difficult for a while.

Also, a huge part of this house is that O was born here. In our bedroom. This is the house we grew as a family. M was only 10 months old when we moved in, so we truly have grown up here. Grown as parents.


We've been taking small load after load of stuff to the new house and this is what it currently looks like. That tiny purple kitchen just pisses me off. This kitchen is a custom made disaster. It's an afwul colour. This is obvious. The design is simply shocking with a terrible use of available space. The cupboards are a joke. The stove and oven sitting on the island? They're a safety issue which scares me. The pantry is just ridiculous. But I have to fill the glass half full, instead of the half empty it's sitting at right now. This is going to be our kitchen as of next Friday night. Suck it up, Blythe!


Here's the cupboard in M's room, with door removed. Obviously we need to touch up the spots where the hinges were located. And our delicious new carpet! I just love our carpet and I'm so happy with our colour choice and the quality. My method for choosing carpet was at first purely physical. Once we ruled out the carpet we thought we liked, I walked around touching every sample. This carpet was the winner. We have a few more years of the kids playing on the floor and I wanted this carpet to be beautifully soft and luxurious. This one feels so lovely and the colour works so well for us. This photo was taken with a flash so the colour loks different in natural light, also doesn't have those ripples in real life!


Here's part of our ensuite. 1985, anyone?!

As I write this on Sunday night, our current home is feeling a little less full, a little bare. We're making progress. We're moving. And once I'd identified why I was feeling a bit stuck, I began to feel a little less stuck. I'm making progress.

21 February 2014

Shades of white

It's been quiet in this space while we pack up our old home space and prepare another for our new home and a new era in our lives.


Here we are... whitey white white white! Check out the incredibly badly designed built in cupboard. That is a cupboard door that can only be completely opened when the door to the room is closed. It will be coming off tomorrow and we'll try to figure out a solution, either swapping the door to the other side or using a curtain. A sliding door would be ideal but not on the cards right now.


Remember the aubergine and yellow wall recess? Here it is again in white. Much better! You can see in the bottom left corner that the carpet is up and the skirting is now white. It was stained wood previously.


Our boy, hard at work clearing a drain. He's loving it!

6 February 2014

Blue and yellow and purple and peach and brown

Our little house needs some loving. It's tired, a litle bit old and a little bit run down. Sorry, I couldn't stop talking about myself there. But the house! We've discovered that even when you start pretty minor renovations, it's time to actually decide big important things like... what is our style? What do we like? What makes us feel comfortable? What do we want to live with?

New paint. So I (we) decided on white walls in Antique White USA. White ceilings. White doors, trim, window sills. I'm still wondering whether we should have a different white on the trim, doors and sills. Same white? Different white? I don't know. Itay, my mum and my dad have all said... all white is boring. But I'm hoping for a very fresh, airy and light feel. I want the walls to be the background will colour in other areas - art on the walls, furniture, cushions, rugs, bed linen... What do you think? Check out my White board on Pinterest. I don't think any of those pins are boring. I think my other boards (pinned prior to buying this home) show that I love airy, beachy, pale and light.

Then there are decisions such as - is it worth the extra money to use special bathroom & kitchen paint which is antibacterial and resists mould? And should we get it on both the walls and the ceiling?

Our cupboard space is dramatically decreasing in our new little house so I'm feeling a bit worried about this. It's been the perfect opportunity to sort through every shelf, drwer, box and bag in our current home. We only have a few areas left - the kitchen and laundry, not so hard. M's room - the most difficult. I am still procrastinating on that one. She has agreed to photos of her artworks, so some progress there. I need to start her room this weekend, preferably without her there!

Most other spaces in our house are ready to be packed. One glaring omission is our desk. We're ditching the desk itself, an awful monstrosity from Officeworks many years ago. We're drastcally downsizing to this tiny, simple desk from Ikea:


It really is tiny but I'm hoping that this forced downsizing in many areas of the house will also force us to stick to a system, put things in their place, file as we go.... Am I crazy for thinking that a new home will change the way we are??!

The purple kitchen is just so purple. I don't even know what to say about it. The pantry is tiny and purple. In a very aubergine kind of way.

Here are some little glimpses of the current state of the house. What do you think?!


Lovely paint in the bathroom. The tiles, they're just so brown and floral.


Beautifully painted here.


I love the 1.5 centimetre of yellow paint that just drifts over on to the blue wall, also seen in the the other blue/yellow photo above. The peeling ceiling is a sweet touch.


 It looks brown, but here's a sneak peek of the aubergine. Love hate a purple feature wall with a recess!


That's our room. Pretty in peach, right? Also the rusted fan. See ya later! See what I mean about being dated, tired and old?

That's what we're looking at right now. Stay tuned for the white episode, coming to this blog and our new house, very soon.

31 January 2014

Dusk

 


These photos were taken as the sun was setting on the first day of 2014. (Yes, I know we're on the last day of January!) We had a quiet NYE and we had a very, very lazy morning. I couldn't shake my lack of energy, the general blah feeling that morning, it really as quite an awful energy. I had a very quick nap and we heded to the beach late in the afternoon.

After a swim, I felt better. The ocean is always an energy changer for me... but then I was anxious to get home. Be at home. I had to work the next day and we scrambled to change our dinner plans for something super simple.

It wasn't the ideal energy for the first day of the year. Why do we set such store by the first day of the year? It's a day, like any other. So I needed to move forward and move out of that energy, keep on doing and waking up.

30 January 2014

Number 8

It looks like we have a new house! Settlement was today but over the last few weeks we have ordered carpet, chosen paint, measured and pondered.

The house is quite dated, salmon walls, brown bathroom tiles, red/brown floors. I'm keen for a very fresh, pale, white and airy feel to the spaces and so we've chose this white, Antique White USA. A dear friend suggested this colour and showed me the walls at the gorgeous place she works - all walls painted in Antique White USA.

The kitchen. It's bigger than our current kitchen and it's not dated and green. However, it is purple. Oh yes, purple/aubergine and truly a bad colour. A tiny pantry. We'll live with it but believe me, I've already researched how to cover that purple shit up!

I've lived without a dishwasher for seven years and it's my time, baby. A new dishwasher!

The house is tiny but the yard space is double what we have now. Closer to M's school. A cute little country suburb. We're moving to number 8...

18 January 2014

Staycation

I had a week of annual leave last week and hung out with the kids. We didn't do much, but the week seemed to pas by very quickly and I was sad to send them to kindy and vacation care this week. Getting to work and actually working this week were quite the challenges!

During the week we had a home day, a lovely catch up with a dear friend in Byron, a sleepover at my mum's place and another catch up with another darling friend. We shopped for school stuff and failed miserably! The drink bottle is too big and the lunch box is not waterproof. Back to the shops I suppose.
 
We did some stuff for our new place (and yes, it's looking promising!) and ate some junky food. We bounced on the trampoline, yelled and shouted and watched some DVDs. We played Monopoly again, a marathon game in whcih the kids absolutely slayed me! We met up with our Mothers Group friends at a play cafe - I really detest those places but I love those girls. I've been meeting up with them since our oldest kids were six weeks old.


Here's M at my mum's place, relaxing in front of the fire before dinner... Yes, a fire in summer. She's also wearing one of my mum's cardigans. It had been so hot, I really did not think to pack anything more than tshirts and shorts!
 
Only another week of school holidays left. Hello, 2014.

9 January 2014

Moving forward


We have a huge new opportunity and blessing coming to us in 2014 - it seems that we may be moving soon! Even if we don't (and after today, we should know 100%), it has triggered a huge declutter, get motivated, sort stuff out vibe! Even if we don't move just yet, we'll be in a better position to do it when the next opportunity comes up. We've been in our current home for close to seven years!
 
I've culled down my magazines and I'll switch to emags very soon. I have piles and piles of magazines, so I've flipped through almost every one and ripped out anything I want to keep.
 
I've sorted through the baskets in the kids' bathroom, we'll use up and small/sample shampoos, conditioners and body washes. Old make up and hair products have been tossed out (far beyond their use by dates!) and I'm testing the two (?!) extra hair dryers and an electric toothbrush out.
 
I've started chipping away at M's room... That it a really, really difficult room, probably the hardest in the whole house. She has masses of craft supplies, canvases and frames, little tiny bits and pieces of stuff and things. It's crazy, and hard to throw anything away. She has drawers and drawers of arty creations and I've almost talked her in to my solution: taking a photo of each drawing/painting/collage etc and then making a big picture book out of the photographs. Then... throwing the actual artwork away, keeping a few special things of course. Any other ideas here?!
 
It's also presented me with some opportunities to think about practicing simplicity. Driving home from a short stay with my mum on her acearage and a visit with my friend Laura on her farm - both with a simpler way of life and vegies growing everywhere - this prompted me to think about how we can live more simply and more authentically.
 
Here's hoping this move comes to fruition, and in the meantime, more decluttering to work on!

5 January 2014

Catching up

And so that was Christmas, 2013. Early morning presents at our house, then down to my mum's for more presents and lunch. A lovely, quiet day full of joy of our kids. Perfect.
 



 Love the expression on her face in the above and below photos! Santa got it right!


 
 Chocolate Uno! Two of O's favourite things!


He looks a bit dazed here - crackers/bons bons have always scared him. Putting his Christmas hat on was quite an achievement!

 
If no one will help, I'll do it myself... he said.


Uncle MegaLu (not his real name, one given to him by O), teaching M to sew.


Threading the machine proved to be quite an issue. Santa is taking that one back and upgrading.

 
Early morning game of Monopoly with Grandma Janet.


 Grandma Janet's decorations.


 
Christmas in the country.
 
ps. thank you for the couple of comments regarding my blogging, I appreciate it xx