March 26, 2010


I'm looking forward to being a new mama again but another thing I'm looking forward to is rediscovering my old shape and how it looks in beautiful clothing; it feels like it's been a long time since I bought clothes that I really love and I can't recall when I last put style before comfort so it's been hard to imagine what it might be like to wear anything pretty.

I really like fussy, colourful, flowing fabric, so my discovery of Tucker clothing is a bit of a find.  The gorgeous patterns, colours and styles in silks are a little out of my price range but I they do inspire me to dust off my sewing machine and invent a few new treats for myself... after all, it is my birthday soon.


Today is the day that I am due to give birth to our baby.  Oliver's birth was induced 12 days after my due date so I'm not holding my breath with this one, but I am looking forward to meeting the little life that I've been growing inside me for the last 9 months.  In the next week, we will be parents of two young children; I can't quite explain the mix of anticipation, excitement and anxiety this thought brings.

Becoming a mother has been a life altering experience that most parents will tell you about but which you don't fully understand until you are there yourself.  The milestones that everyone knows about, crawling, walking, talking are all amazing to witness, but the most incredible moments are often the most nondescript.  

I always check on Ollie before I turn in for the night, to see him completely fast asleep, hear him softly breathing with his clean, soft hair ruffled, rosy cheeks and sheets and comforter scrunched up in a ball, no doubt dreaming of the new things he learned that day.  It's an image I never want to forget and it's hard to articulate how it makes my heart ache and grow all at the same time.  Just like watching him chase our pup Lola until she lets him pat her (ever so gently), seeing him really enjoy eating a lovingly prepared lunch, watching him try to use a broom, seeing him sit so quietly in his room, flicking through his many books, pointing at detail in the illustrations, figuring out what he wants to show me next, playing make-believe with him when he hands me imaginary things with his tiny little hands, wondering where he is when he's gone all quiet and then catching him sitting on all the pillows on our bed bouncing up and down...

Of course it's not all idyllic, it's mostly hard work, and there are tantrums and tears when he's not allowed in the kitchen, or when his papa leaves the house (he loves him so), when he doesn't want the eat the lovingly prepared lunch and when it's just all too much and he simply has to have the very dangerous thing that he's not allowed to have even though he really doesn't know why he wants it.  And I know there are many more challenges ahead.

But all these enriching experiences are helping me learn new skills too, like a new kind of patience, one I didn't think I had (and one which still has a long way to go) and a sense of appreciation for the moment rather than an urgency to get things done in a day.  I imagine that another baby will bring twice the exhaustion, double the hard work but I also hope that a brother or sister for Ollie will mean infinitely more rewards than life has brought so far.  I can only hope that we are blessed again, and that we will be good, patient parents to children that will be as proud of us as we want to be of them.

March 20, 2010

satisfying a craving

Accomplished:  Fried chicken, winter vegetable coleslaw, dark chocolate and orange mousse for dessert.  All home made and all very, very tasty.

(Fried chicken recipe inspired by Molly Watson, coleslaw recipe from Jamie Oliver's At Home, chocolate mousse recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Family Cookbook.)

March 18, 2010


Yesterday, I spent most of the day thinking about quilting.  I trawled some of my favourite blogs and went to my local patchwork and quilting shop for inspiration and ended the day feeling a bit overwhelmed!  I'm not entirely sure where to start as there are so many things I'd like to make, but I bought a few bits of fabric I liked the look of.  (I'm working on the theory that having fabric and batting lying around means I'm more likely to start a project when inspiration strikes rather than procrastinate.)

I have a small collection of patches already that I'm keen to add to.  It all started when I made a quilt for my son's first birthday last year.  I had never used a sewing machine before so it was quite the labour of love to invest in a machine, learn to use it and then make a quilt!  Thankfully, the end result was a success and is something that I'm very proud of.  It's also been great to learn a new skill, one which I'm still enthusiastic about.

I find it very meditative and satisfying to throw myself into a creative project and to devote time to something other than everyday chores.  The biggest hurdle is getting started rather than putting it off until 'I have time'.  Well, there's no laundry to do, we have groceries, the house is clean, Ollie is happily rediscovering every toy and book he can find... today could be the day.

March 17, 2010

gnocchi... or not

In the interest of balance, I thought I should write about our culinary experiment of last weekend.  It was nothing very inventive; my husband has been talking about making our own gnocchi for some time now, so we thought we'd try it.  The last few times we've eaten out, there has been gnocchi of some description on the table; Oliver seems to love it.  We frequently make our own delicious pasta, so how hard could it be to make gnocchi at home?

Everything seemed to go to plan; it wasn't a difficult recipe, but the end result wasn't a success.  Even tossing the cooked gnocchi in olive oil, crispy bacon, pine nuts, spinach and parmesan (surely failsafe) couldn't disguise what tasted like textureless, waterlogged, mashed potato balls although amazingly, the dish seemed to be a hit with Ollie!

I don't know what we did wrong but I imagine it had something to do with the potatoes we used (which we've used many times for making delicious mashed potato).  A bit of a disaster but at least we all got to eat the delectable crispy baked potato skins.

March 12, 2010

fried chicken

(Photo from here **)

I have a serious hankering for home fried chicken, coleslaw and a cold beer.  I've never fried chicken before but thanks to my mama's culinary skills I've eaten it and licked my fingers afterwards many times.  I'm thinking of trying it out this weekend using Molly Watson's method for the chicken for inspiration (although the list of things I'm hoping to do this weekend is getting longer and longer).

**Molly's blog, The Dinner Files, is great, love the diversity of her cooking and her writing.

March 9, 2010

the function of pleasure

I can't recall where, but I recently read an article about the fashionable people, the people with more style and sense than those of us driven to visiting IKEA when we need shelving and hundreds of impossibly cheap tea lights.  The article concluded that the fashionable people were basically miserable, and a house full of well-designed, expensive things does not a happy person make.  I'm not sure all fashionable people are miserable and I didn't need to read the article to learn that things don't make you happy (though I do appreciate and understand the need for good design).  But the article did make me feel better that I was sitting on an IKEA dining chair rather than lounging on an Eames Rocker.

What it didn't do was stop me from wanting one.

March 6, 2010

i (think i'll) heart new york

There are many places I'd like to see, but for a long time now, I have wanted to visit New York.  It's become more of a yearning since leaving London almost eight years ago, and I hope that one day my family and I will have the chance to experience the food, the architecture, the diversity of New York's cosmopolitan culture... I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it.

(Image by Katy Elliot)

Every now and again I'll see something that makes me want to go to New York even more.  This time, it's Katy Elliot's photographs of Grand Central Station, taken on her early morning commute.  It's an understatement to say Katy has an eye for style but it's something she manages to effortlessly capture even in her candid photography.

March 3, 2010

the gift of giving

Before Ollie was born, I decided I didn't want him to have too many toys.  I didn't want a house full of garish, plastic toys with a limited shelf life that Ollie didn't want to play with, rather I wanted his toys to be a thoughtful, sustainable collection of things that he was interested in, not just now but in the future too.  I also wanted (and still want) to encourage Ollie to understand the importance of appreciating what you have, rather than always wanting more.  And books, I have always wanted him to have access to many, many books.

So far, Ollie's toys consist of thoughtfully chosen gifts from friends, family and his mama and papa.  There aren't too many; just the right amount and so far it's been reasonably easy not to succumb to the aisles and aisles of toys that are available.  But, in the last couple of weeks, Ollie's newfound interest in cars, planes and helicopters and the pending arrival of his little brother or sister has resulted in a few more toys appearing around the house.  We've tried to continue being selective, choosing things that should last long enough for him to share one day, and toys that should entertain him for longer than it takes to tear open the box.

Earlier this week, when looking for a gift for Ollie's new cousin Frankie Belle, his papa bought him a cool green pull-along Brio helicopter.  We like Brio toys; they are simple, wooden toys, produced in colours and designs that seem to encourage inquisitive play.

Giving to Ollie, seeing him open his new gift, hearing his excitement and watching him learn what his new toy can do with such innocence is so sweet to watch, it's hard to resist doing it more often.

March 2, 2010

stella + moon

Yesterday, I visited another talented friend who recently started up her own beauty business and treated myself to a pedicure in her new and lovely space in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Having previously been a regular client, I hadn't seen Katrina in over two years, so yesterday was as much about sharing news and catching up as it was about giving myself (and my feet) some long overdue attention.  I was also keen to see her new space, which she shares with artist Antonia, located in a cute little art deco building on the corner of Kent and Brunswick.

Stella + Moon is a lovely place, the lighting and outlook of Katrina's room was pretty even on a rainy day.  She's filled her room with things that she likes - the best formula for giving a space comfort and character, and together with details such as the gorgeous pressed ceiling and her choice of artwork on the walls, it was a pleasure to spend the afternoon with her, being pampered and sharing our news of the last two years.  (It really didn't feel like it had been that long since we last saw each other.)

A lovely afternoon.

beautiful prints from canada

In September last year, I ordered two prints from Sharilyn Wright at lovelydesign.  This is her second limited edition printing of these lovingly researched, designed and hand screened posters of the leaves and conifers of Canada.  Having previously seen and loved them, I was really pleased to have the opportunity to order them.

I opted to have them sent to me from Canada by surface mail so they didn't arrive until just before Christmas, but it was a lovely surprise when they did arrive as I'd sort of forgotten about the order and they arrived beautifully packaged.  Even after waiting so long, it still took weeks to get round to framing them, and at long last, a few days ago, they were given pride of place on our lounge room walls.

The prints consist of hand-screened coasterboard in grass green and turquoise blue.  Individually they are striking, but together they look even better and seem to suit the atmosphere and style of our home.

I like to collect affordable art and as a follower of Sharilyn's blog and someone who is very much inspired by her creativity and style, it feels really nice to have her artwork in our home.

March 1, 2010

I am fortunate to have friends around me that are creative, talented and motivated.  Kate Chadderton is all of those things and has, since I met her over 16 years ago, been not only a true soulmate but also a role model, inspiring and encouraging me to explore my own creative side.

Kate is a gifted creator and photographer and has recently launched her own website.  It's a beautiful collection of some of her images and represents only a fraction of her work.  I especially love her landscape photography, which captures colour and composition perfectly.

(Images by Kate Chadderton via
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...