Wednesday, 24 September 2014

These Days - Spring Celebrations..

 These days are full of exciting preparations and celebrations.. Our wedding anniversary, Ben's birthday and Tallow's birthday are all in the beautiful month of September.  And with the countdown on to Tallow's first birthday party on Sunday, we are full of rainbow party cheer.  


And just in time for the party celebrations, the garden has exploded with an abundance of snapdragons and rainbow chard. 

We are also preparing our little home for some much loved visitors.  We are so blessed to have our families are coming  down from Queensland to celebrate Tallow's birthday. These sunshine filled days have been just perfect for throwing the windows open, enjoying a spot of Spring cleaning and fresh sun dried washing. 
     
 And of course sunshine filled days are also perfect for enjoying picnics and playing in the park.  How I love watching these two exploring together. 

We've been embracing handmade gifts this year and Ben's birthday present was quite the family affair, as we got a bit creative with Miss Tallow's ever so sweet little 11 month old footprints.  I can't stop smiling every time I see them! 

These days I am full of gratitude and nostalgia.  I can't believe how quickly the past twelve months has flown.  There's so much to say and yet right now, I just can't quite find the right words.  There are many moments to be thankful for, a year full of so much love and joy. 

So here's to the radiant beauty of the season and this magic and transformation new moon.  I'm beyond excited to spend the weekend with our families.  It will be the first time in years everyone has come together and I know it's going to be a very special time indeed.

Things might be a little quite around here for the rest of the week as everyone arrives and the celebrations begin, but I am so looking forward to sharing the weekend and all our adventures with you next week.  For some sneak peeks at Tallow's rainbow party, pop over and visit me on Instagram.

Much Love
xxx
    

Monday, 22 September 2014

38/52..

 "A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Beyond excited about the crazy blue monster truck.. 

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Conscious Living - A Love List..

"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love... and then we return home. " - Aboriginal Proverb


So during the year every now and then I'd been writing a post I called Making and Doing.  Although I soon realised it wasn't really what I was making and doing, it was really more about what was inspiring me.  So late last night, I had a thought, as I scrolled through the browser on my phone and noticed all these pages open to posts and websites that I'd been saving for inspiration. I realised I needed to do a little reshuffle of my ideas, create a new series and a space to share lovely things that invigorated the soul, beautiful reminders of where we are headed and where we dream to go, as we live more simple, mindful and conscious lives.  I hope to make this a regular series and would just love to read any posts and articles that have been invigorating you lately too. 

~~~

List #001..

I just adored this recent post over at Milkwood about time and doing the washing up.  It really stuck a cord with me and has played a lovely part in shifting the way I go about my everyday.

I'm so excited about this 30 hour fermented sourdough recipe and really want to try it out.  I'm not having much luck with my starter culture but I'm determined to keep trying and I know once I get there, it's going to be totally worth it.  Do you make sourdough? What do you keep your starter in? 

With Tallow's first birthday just around the corner, Ben and I have been talking about presents and toys and how we can lessen our impact by being particularly conscious of the things we buy for Tallow.  I really love this post by Kirsten and this one by Steph, such inspiring mamas who value conscious, simple play.

Lately I've been wanting to take my yoga practice a little deeper with some simple arm balances and I found this post really helpful in overcoming my fears of falling flat on my face and taking a different,  more playful approach to my time on the mat.

Have you checked out the new issue of Peppermint magazine? I had a little rave about it yesterday on Instagram but I just had to mention it here too.  I've always loved Peppermint's work, but this issue really has taken the magazine to a new level. Both beautiful and thought provoking, it's so wonderful to read a publication, full of substance that is truly walking the walk.

The Bharani Effect continue to blow me away with invigorating interviews and projects.  How fabulous is the new The Bharani Exchange?  

Every time I pop over to Tricia's blog, I leave feeling so excited and yearning to spring to action, to live more simply and harmoniously.  And I was so delighted to read her post on earthing, just after I'd written about it in my post on balance.  Yes, it's most certainly time to reconnect with the earth.

And speaking on harmonious living, creating a zero waste home is something I am continuing to aspire to.  Little by little we are making changes to our daily lives and I find that this amazing list from the true inspirations of zero waste living is incredibly helpful.

We still have a tree full of mandarins, even though we've been eating them all winter and giving them to friends and the neighbourhood, so I think it's high time I gave Kate's Mandarinalade recipe a try. Are you a jam maker? This will be my first time.  Have you got any tips? I love this episode of River Cottage Bites on jams and preserves and only hope I can one day be as proficient and fabulous in the kitchen as the gorgeous Pam Corbin.  


This photographic series, "Scrublands" by French photographer Antoine Bury is so captivating and beautiful  'From 2010 to 2013, Bruy travelled across a number of European mountain ranges, including the Carpathians and the Pyrenees, to document people who are trying to gain, in his words, “greater energy, food, economic, or social autonomy.”(via The New Yorker)'. 

And for those inspired to live a more mindful, self-sufficient lifestyle, my heart sang as I read this post by the beautiful Hari from Tiny House Family, which outlines with such nurturing love, how to start living the life of your dreams today.  Grab a pen and paper, there plenty of lovely notes to take.

Wishing you a most gorgeous day!
Much Love 
xxx

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

This Old Love..

Eight years ago today.. on a beautiful Spring afternoon, two kids crazy madly in love decided to tie the knot.  It feels like both a lifetime ago and only yesterday all wrapped into one.  And in those eight years we have found a deeper love than I ever imagined could exist.  A love that transcends time, a love that continues to grow, evolve and expand toward the horizon of our dreams and adventures.  A love that still makes my heart skip a beat.  An old love, that feels like home. 

Much Love
xxx

PS. Here's a little bit of our love story.. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Everyday Moments..




A few favourites - Tucked up high away from curious little hands..
What most afternoons look like - After exploring the neighbourhood & foraging wild flowers..
Spring cleaning - Oh how I love an organised craft room..
Spring planting - Recycling egg cartons for our tomato and capsicum seeds, so excited about this little crop..
Wrapping little gifts - With an enthusiastic helper..
Happy new plants - Patiently awaiting prettier pots..

What's been happening in your everyday moments?
Much Love
xxx

37/52..

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Precious afternoon moments on the swing.. Growing up so fast!

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Balance..

Amidst a quiet moment of morning yoga, I was thinking about the heartwarming conversation shared on my post on Tuesday.  Each comment resonated so deeply with me and I couldn't help but notice a common thread, one of finding balance. It reminded me of the journey I've taken over the past two years and I realised that balance has been something I've been spending time consciously contemplating and writing about.  

Life balance truly is a journey and with each new day, a shift in balance is required. This is something, since becoming a mother, I'm become more and more aware of. As we walked today, I noticed an elderly lady weeding her garden, in almost the same spot she was the previous day and the day before that. I couldn't help but wonder why she would keep weeding everyday, after all the weeds would still be there if she let them go for a little while and turned her attention elsewhere. I realised, as I kept walking that the practice of finding balance is perhaps like, weeding the garden. It never really ends and once you have this awareness, you realise that it's perfectly ok.  I think I was trying to find that life balance and just be done with it, like finding a solution to a problem. But life is constantly changing and on the journey you consciously shift that balance, to keep moving, tending to the weeds, helping the good things to grow.   

And some days it's not easy, things get overwhelming, just as I felt the other day with blogging. After reading your comments, I realised that there are always opportunities to find balance, to shift your consciousness and change perspective, even in just a few minutes. So here's a list I've made for myself as a reminder, as I focus on cultivating balance in my life.  
Move Your Body- For me walking, yoga and getting into the garden always help to shake things up and leave me with a fresh and more centered perspective.   

Turn Inward - A few slow breaths and if time allows a short meditation or moment of stillness, allows for a re-connection within.  When life's busy and things feel out of control, finding that moment with my breath has proven to be a really powerful tool.  

Talk it Out - It can feel so good to get something off your chest, just to talk it out with someone. I'm an over thinker and so often I'm make things out in my head to be so much worse than they really are.  My mum is always my go to, when I just need let it all go.  And after a few minutes of  babbling and sometimes a good cry, I always feel so much better. 

Go Outside - One of my favourites and a way I always cheer Tallow up, when we are both feeling a little unbalanced.  Take off your shoes, ground yourself and feel the connection you have with everything around you. Pull a few weeds, watch the butterflies, sit on the grass and just soak up the goodness.  

Reflect -  Grab your journal, a blank piece of paper or a new blog post and just write.  Sometimes I find long hand more soothing, but typing can be really effective too. After I wrote Tuesday's post, I felt an instant sense of relief, and a really strong connection to my blog.  Taking the time to reflect and process all those thoughts really allowed me to shift my perspective and find the plan I was searching for. 

Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude - Perhaps the most important on my list and something I'm working on everyday.  Practicing mindfulness and gratitude really is life changing.  I have experienced it first hand.  Journaling is a wonderful way to begin cultivating this practice as is taking time to create earth offerings, writing letters or doing any of the above.  I'm noticing that living more mindfully is having a profound impact on my life.  

I love that the act of blogging, is such a reflective process, a way to release and send those random thoughts that so often swirl around in your head, out into the world where they can connect with others and often gain new perspective.  It's been a wonderful week of insight for me as I redefine why it is I love to sit down and connect in this way, and how I can make time and find the balance to do what brings me joy.  I look forward to sharing my plan (which includes rethinking the way I use social media and really getting in touch with what I love about blogging) with you soon.  

Much Love to you on your journey for balance. 
 Keep weeding that garden & enjoy the sunshine!
xxx

PS. I must be turning into a bit of a green thumb with all these gardening metaphors.
PPS. For a fabulous insight into 'fitting it all in', please stop by and read Maxabella's three part blog post. It's so good! Love your work Bron! Thanks to the lovely Trudie & Nicole for reminding me to re-read it! I've been back three times to take notes. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

We are all Connected..

I've been thinking a lot lately.  Maybe because it's Spring, maybe it's the full moon, maybe it's all the walking we've been doing, that's given me time and fresh air to ponder. Whatever it is, I feel like I just have to get it out of my head and onto the page.  I've been thinking a lot about blogging, sharing, connecting and finding time to fit everything in.  And it's the fitting everything in that's got me thinking the most, because honestly, I'm just not really sure how to do it anymore.  A few months back I wrote a post about blogging (it really only feels like yesterday, where did July and August go?) and in it I talked about reconnecting, bringing back the old days of blogging and for a little while I really tried. But I soon realised, I hadn't changed my old habits and I was still just running out of hours in my day, to really make meaningful connections, the way I once did. Now that Tallow is getting bigger, life is getting busier and the nap time I do have (if all goes according to plan) to sit down and to make those wonderful connections, just seems so fleeting, And I'm left feeling like I have never done enough.

And it's those connections that bring me back to blogging, every time.  There have been many days I've over the years I've just felt like letting blogging go.  It's those friendships both online and now in real life that I've made through blogging, that keep me coming back.  It's finding someone that you really resonate with, someone who inspires you. It's sharing ideas, feeling a part of a community, receiving a comment or email that makes your day, that stays with you for weeks and even years later.  To me that's what makes blogging so special. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that over the years.

So in all of this, I just have to wonder.. is it possible to find time to fit it all in? Over the past few weeks I've spent a little more time away from the computer than usual and on my return last week, instead of feeling connected and inspired, I honestly felt disconnected and overwhelmed by everything I'd missed.  There are just so many wonderful blog posts to read and beautiful new to me blogs to discover and not enough time to connect with them all.  Once upon a time I felt like I was on top of things but these days, it's almost seems impossible.  And then I'm reminded that once upon a time, in the 'good old days' of blogging, the rest of the social media bandwagon didn't exist.  It was simple to connect and in the simplicity there was only a few ways to get in touch with that lovely new blogger you discovered.  Now the connections seems endless and each requires it's own time and care to nurture it. And while I don't want to blame Instagram, because I love it so, I think it might have a part to play in the changing nature of blogging, time and making these lovely connections. On the flip side, I've found amazing people through Instagram who don't have blogs who I've really enjoyed getting to know, so it's all a bit complicated. And of course the obvious has to be said, it is oh so much easier to quickly comment to a photo on Instagram than it is to go through the sometimes lengthy and weird process to replying to a blog post (I get so sad then I write a lovely long comment and for some reason it just disappears because I have to sign in somewhere or prove I'm not a robot).

I feel like I need a plan, so I can get around and visit everyone, stop by and say hi and enjoy all the wonderful posts out there.  I want a way to get back to the simplicity of blogging that I love, but I want it to be organic and natural and not have to fit into allotted schedules and feel like a 'to do'.  It's tough isn't it? And I suppose it's the nature of these being so connected, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with options.  Sometimes I think it would be so much easy to just open my front door and invite everyone over for afternoon tea! Shall I pop the kettle on?

 So I'd love to know, how are you feeling about it all? How do you find the time to stay connected, to visit, comment, keep up to date? Do you have a plan or do you wing it? Do you use apps? Do you have lists? Perhaps we can help each other to find ways to reconnect, to once again find the simple beauty, community and inspiration in blogging.

Much Love
xxx

PS. Thank you so much for stopping by.  It really does mean the world to me and it's when I reflect on this whole experience, that I realise that this blog is so much more than just a bunch of words and images, it really is a part of who I am.

PPS. The gorgeous print is by the very talented Lauren Merrick.

Monday, 8 September 2014

These Days - Early Spring..

These days the earth is laughing in flowers.  Spring has arrived, with it's longer days and floral splendour.  As we wander, I keep a note of the prettiest streets and return often to see the gardens come to life. 

In quiet moments I've been dreaming up new ideas and working on a few things, including a special mandala for an upcoming Instagram giveaway. 

Saturday mornings are my favourite, as we unload and enjoy our farmers market delights.  The first seasons strawberries and asparagus are a welcome treat and a reminder of the wonders to come.   

The past month I've been working on a new seasonal series for Mildura Living Magazine, called The Simple Things.  I'm so delighted to see everything come together in print and it's been an amazing experience to work with the wonderful team. Now to begin planning for the Summer edition.. 

We spend our free moments playing in the garden, checking the veggies, enjoying the sunshine, pulling weeds and dreaming of our some day property and all the adventures we will have.  

 These days are all about planning, preparing and planting.  It's our first summer crop and I'm hoping that in our little patch we'll be able to grow enough produce to feed us for the coming seasons.  We're trying new things, experimenting with beautiful heirloom seeds and rediscovering ancient traditions of growing.  It's an exciting time of year!

What are you up to these days? Have a most beautiful week!
Much Love
xxx

Sunday, 7 September 2014

36/52..

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Precious Moments.. Hanging out in the garden with Daddy on Father's Day. 

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 4 September 2014

We Grow & Gather - Rocket..

 When we began planting in late summer, we haphazardly threw whatever we had on hand into the earth, added some water and hoped that mother nature would do the rest.  The plan was to enjoy whatever blossomed and to our surprise, one of our most bountiful crops has been our humble rocket. 

 Rocket just seems to be one of those fabulous plants that one minute is sweet and small, providing lovely little leaves for salads and pastas and the next is five foot tall, covered in beautiful wispy white flowers and growing in every available patch of earth.  

As we make way for our Spring seedlings, it's most certainly time for a harvest. While the leaves aren't quite tender enough to enjoy in salads anymore, they are perfect  for making rocket and almond pesto, inspired by our abundance of both delights. 
Rocket & Almond Pesto
(inspired by this recipe)

1 cup of rocket
1/2 cup of of whole almonds
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 cup of aged Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil (a little more if needed)

Pop the almonds and garlic on a baking tray and into the oven until they are lovely and roasted and smell wonderful, about 10 minutes should be enough.
Add the rocket, almonds and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and blitz until well combined and but still nice and chunky.
Then slowly add in cheese and oil and blitz again until you are happy with the consistency and flavour.
 Add a few rocket flowers to garnish and then enjoy on homemade pizza or as a fabulous dip.

What have you been growing and gathering lately?
Much Love
xxx

PS. Previously in our Grow & Gather series.. Oranges.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Seven Vignettes - July & August..

With the last week of August disappearing in the haze, I feel like I've got a whole bunch of blogging to catch up on.  Whenever I'm away from this little space for a while, I find myself really missing these moments, to just catch up and share a few bits and pieces.  I missing reading blogs too! It's been far too long between visits and I'm looking forward to spending some time in the next few days catching up and popping by your gorgeous spaces too.  I miss it, I really do.  In the meantime I thought I'd share my seven vignettes from July and August.  Goodness, I can't believe how quickly those months flew by.  Inspired by my little collection of vintage bottles, native flora and found ephemera, both sets of vignettes evoke my love of simple beauty, forgotten wares and stories of yesteryear.  

August Vignettes
And a few of my favourites..

Day Three - Unique. Inspired by unique wisps of Mother Nature.

Day Seven - Organic. Inspired by eggs from happy hens & greens from our happy garden.

Day Four - Vintage. Inspired by moments & memories of yesteryear.

July Vignettes
And a few of my favourites..

 Day Two - Writing. Inspired by my collection of vintage writing ephemera. (Also featured as one of West Elm's favourites for the month)

 Day Four - Bathtime. Inspired by ancient rituals & heavenly moments.

 Day Three - Lipstick. Inspired by the beauty of natural lipstick pigments, turmeric, cocoa and cinnamon.

Be sure to pop over and check out all the vignette action on Instagram at the moment.  I'm sitting out this month and refueling my creative tank after a big month of projects, but I can't wait to get back into the action for October.  It's always so inspiring to be a part of the vignette world and I feel so blessed to have met so many inspiring creatives in the process.  Do you play along? I'd love to know! If not, you totally should, you don't need much (I use lots of bits and pieces from the pantry & garden) and it's so much fun!

Happy Wednesday!
Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

From Little Things..

Something amazing happens when you grow your own food, something I never really imagined would have such an impact on me.  You become so wonderfully involved in the whole process, you begin to chat to your little seedlings, ensuring they are in just the right amount of sunshine and are standing tall and happy.  And when your broad beans are producing their first beautiful big pods, you smile from ear to ear knowing that somehow you played a little part in this process and because of this grand connection, your evening meals and your life will be a whole lot sweeter.  

From little things, big things grow.  From our little patch of earth in our suburban rental property, we are growing as much of our own food as we can.  Each day we are consciously changing the path we are walking, teaching our rainbow girl the importance of each tiny seed, of the dirt between her toes.  

It was only two years ago that my interest in gardening really began and back then it was a way for me to grieve, to take out my anger on the dry soil, pull the weeds and wipe the tears and find a way to connect to everything I'd lost.  These days, being in the garden is a part of my everyday, a joyful meditation and reunion with Mother Earth. The planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, I rejoice in it all.  And as first my romanesco broccoli peeks towards the sunlight, my heart is full, knowing that we are on our way, to providing our little family with beautiful organic food and playing our part to shift the current paradigm towards an incredibly exciting future. 

Want a little inspiration to get into the garden? I recommend watching these two TED talks, the first, Future Farmers by the fabulous Costa Georgiadis and A Challenge to Live Sustainably by Nick Ritar from the ever inspiring Milkwood Permaculture.   

Much Love
xxx

Monday, 1 September 2014

35/52..

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Her famous, 'Oh my goodness I see something amazing' face,  gets me every time. 

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx