Thursday, 31 January 2013

Duncan Yard

The only thing I knew about Duncan Yard is that it's the location of a French vintage shop called Moi Decor that I had been wanting to go to for absolute ages. As part of my find-the-perfect-vintage-quilt obsession, I was keen to see if they had anything because their website specifically mentioned quilts. I am still searching for the perfect quilt (etsy, eBay, Amazon - I know it's out there!) but oh! the ribbons (doily ribbons) and washi tape and stripey paper straws...

Good coffee, shaded cobbled walkways, a tiny florist and cute clothing and art and off-the-beaten track shops is what you'll find. And bicyles. Lots of old-fashioned black bicyles just standing around or serving as props for potted herbs.

Have a Turkish Delight cupcake and spend a lazy morning wandering around. You'll be glad you did.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Summer Snaps

It's not even the end of January, and our December holiday is already a distant memory. Carefree sunny days, and long afternoon naps. Swimming, and day trips, and blowing bubbles. Rob chose five of his favourite holiday pics and turned them into these gorgeous postcards, which I have been meaning to post for absolute ages because they just make me feel happy.

So without further ado...


A handful of my holiday favourites... 
We took a day trip Montecasino Bird Park, and bought some nectar for her to give to these birds. She waited so patiently with her little cup - and when this little bird bent his head to drink, her face absolutely lit up. I caught this just as she looked at her daddy...




We look at photos and relive memories and wish it was holidays again (or still) but in reality our days are about living the routines that shape our lives. So we dream - and Google. Holiday places, trips, ideas, inspiration - so many things to look forward to this year.


~ a 10th wedding anniversary celebration
~ ballet concerts and wonky pottery class creations
~ crafty projects and DIY decor
~ a trip to the mountains
~ finding the perfect antique drinks trolley to revamp
~ new books
~ ice cream parties and baking and making
~ learning to ride a bicycle
~ finding new places to explore

And...will this be the year for...camping?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Cupcakes al fresco

And that big boy, he be'd cross with Juliet!

Immy's school tales, so earnestly delivered and with bizarre highlights selected for conversation (today, I slept very properly). I love hearing about who had to sit in time-out (Ahem. Today it was Immy. The infraction was not sitting with her bum on the mat. Apparently.) and who refused to sleep and was threatened with being sent back to the babies class. Mostly I love how she recites the day's goings on to Rob at the supper table, and then says ' What was your day?' Which means how was your day and lets have a grown-up conversation about this. Makes me laugh every time.

Last night after I went to bed, my brain was in a fever trying to make sense of all the things I want to do with her in the afternoons. And decor ideas to cozy up her bedroom a bit. Home-made, girly things like paper hearts on a string and a corner for origami birds. Our current craft project is to make an 'Immy's Art' board, to display a special picture or piece of art from the week. We spent a lovely afternoon at The Crafter's Market picking out letters, paints, brushes and pretty paper. And then cheap baby dolls at Mr. Price and cute blue mugs and this gorgeous glass for her - which is actually plastic, but just looks so darn pretty.

And what better way to end an afternoon of shopping than cupcakes al fresco? We baked these last night (see here for recipe), and were quite proud of how prettily they turned out.

Enjoying...simple pleasures and (small) tall tales. ~ m

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

On bubbles, ballet and decisions

Decisions. My close friends know that I am notoriously bad at making them. I weigh up the options, ask people's advice, think about the pros and cons and agonize over whether I am making the right choice. Its a bit like an Olympic sport with me, and I always want to be the winner of the gold medal. Problem is, you often don't know at the time whether you are making the right choice. Rather, you are determining a path - and mostly one that you can alter the course of if you choose. I know this in my mind, but in my heart - well. And when it comes to Immy, it's all that much more difficult. All the what if's - and really, we're not talking life-changing things here. Which extra-murals she should take, whether or not we should get a family dog (okay - that's a big one!), should I keep her home one or two days a week. This last one was something I have been struggling with a bit this week - until today she said 'I want to go to school everyday'. Enough said.
So while I wrestle with a few questions and choices I need to make, I'll focus on the things that I know are right. For sure.
Like signing her up for real ballet classes and watching that small seed grow.
Marvelling at how she throws herself into playing. She is without fail the dirtiest child at her nursery school when I arrive in the afternoon, and that's after they have already changed her into the spare clean clothes I pack every day. And then being grateful that Rob is still in charge of bath time and I don't have to worry about cleaning those black feet.
Trampoline hair. Wanna rumble?
Enjoying small snatches of time that end up in moments worth remembering. 
Loving and learning from our free spirit every day. 
To letting go - and just enjoying.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Lucky Bread Company

Sometimes (rarely) a new place opens in old haunts, and its fabulous! We found this one the other day - sandwiched under an escalator in the mall (okay - Brooklyn Mall. Since some of you wanted to know). A tiny place with wood tables and gorgeous green coffee cups.

@ Lucky Bread and loving...

Salted Caramel mocha. And cozy wooden breadboards instead of plates. Farm scones, with farm cheese and farm butter. Heart-shaped toothpick sandwich decor.

And best of all? Their cute motto: 'we are happy when you are feeling lucky and satisfied.'


Thursday, 10 January 2013

A day of firsts

Firsts are almost always accompanied by mixed feelings. First date. First job. There's the anticipation, yes - and also apprehension at the unknown. Excitement, and a small part wishing that nothing had to change and that everything could just stay the same. The hope that it's all going to turn out great, but the knowledge that with a first, anything can happen. I was quite suprised that a 3-year old can comprehend all these complex emotions to some small degree. On Monday, Immy was still fake-whooping (hoo-hoo) when we said school tomorrow. But when she opened her eyes on The Big Day, she just knew on some level that everything was going to change for her. Her first words when she opened her eyes on Tuesday morning? I want to stay at home. I realised in that moment how hard all the firsts were going to be on me - the letting go, and trusting that my beautiful and gentle girl will be ok.

There were no tears. And hard as it was to leave her, I knew she would be just fine. That she'd enjoy the change, and that ultimately life is about growing and changing and moving forward. Even when you're only 3.
To the first of many firsts. Cheers.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Falling to love

We are in the garden. Immy is down for her nap, and we are enjoying the peace and quiet of our  second-last day of holiday. It is impossible to believe that our December holidays are just about over. There's just something about having the family all together for a few weeks on end, enjoying each other's company and all the lazy things we never get around to doing when we are in the swing of the new year. As Immy endearingly asks almost every day: is it holidays today? Because she knows holidays means movies, and ice-creams, and swimming and finding adventures - and that if tomorrow is also holidays then it's likely to start all over again.

A note on the title of the post. A while ago, I crept into Immy's bed early one morning. She was in that awake but semi-sleepy state, and we were sharing her pillow, facing each other. Just looking into each other's eyes and smiling. And out of the blue, she said: Mommy? Are we falling to love?
Honestly, a heart can burst. Mine came pretty close that day.

With precious few days left of our holiday, we rounded up some friends yesterday and headed out for the day to the Valley of the Waves. Which is a far drive. Crowded. Hot. And so worth it.

Enjoyed ice-cream

and swimming

and smiling
and climbing

(those eyes)
(those curls)
and sifting

and the River Ride

and wave jumping

and splashing
And a little bit of sharing the love

 At 5:30pm we called it a day. Sun-kissed, sticky, sandy and oh so tired.

Falling to love? So much of...