Thursday, May 31, 2012

on working from home

When I say I work from home most people assume I stay in my pyjamas all day. Which is true, occasionally. 

Working from home is both wonderful and challenging. I've never had to refuse Poet a breastfeed but sometimes her consistent moans for Muma cease work a little early. Hence I don't work a 9-5 day. Sometimes I get up an hour or so before the sun and I write in the peace that is the early morning. This, for me, is a really productive time. Lately, I've finished work at 1pm and recommenced at 7.30pm when the house is once again quiet. In between magazine articles, research and emails I sip tea made by Daniel and have lunch with the family. I have learnt to never, ever attempt coherent sentences between the hours of 4-6pm (gosh, such a challenging time).

Like all creatives I find that sometimes the words flow and at other times I can spend an hour reading blogs gazing at a blank screen. I've learnt to leave it, put some washing on, get outside for a few minutes. Sometimes my self-discipline is seriously lacking and I have to force myself onto the desk chair and at other times I have to turn the screen off in order to step away. 

When you work from home work is always there. 

I write three-six months in advance for a variety of publications - bridal, health, kids, travel and only occasionally do I grab the magazines and read my stories in print. That's why I love blogging so much, it's instant publication that often prompts immediate feedback. 

For about a year now I have considered adding some sponsorship to my sidebar. I'm an absolute procrastinator so I have seriously gone back and forth, mulling over whether I should or shouldn't. But then I realised that I have the opportunity to support fellow creatives and promote their good work. In turn, they support my art and my family. 

And so you will see, on the sidebar, a few gorgeous ads. And you will only ever see ads that are promoting people who share very similar values to me - who believe wholeheartedly in the beauty and goodness of creativity, sustainability and, often, handmade. If you are interested in sponsorship, of course, I'd be happy to chat with you over email. 

While I would like to stay here all day, writing without the pressure of promised editorial or looming deadline, there is a long list of stories awaiting their first sentence.

Happy Friday!

The big white trestle table is where I work. Photo by the new dad!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Six years ago today, at a little beachside cafe,  I sipped peppermint tea and he stirred sugar into his mocha. Imagine if we had of known what was to come. Four months later we moved into a little fibro beach shack and soon after there were two blue lines on the pregnancy test.

Nice to meet you, let's have a baby...

Daniel took me back to that cafe when I was 38 weeks pregnant and got down on one knee. "Yes!"

There's been some wonderful times and some really shitty days but gosh....look what we've made baby. 

Happy six years, I love you. (and thanks for always giving me the last chocolate biscuit...x)

Monday, May 28, 2012

the catastrophe scale

I have a tendency to overreact. Sometimes my sighs over food-splattered-clothing are a little too loud and often I tsk, tsk, tsk. If I'm particularly busy and feeling overly sensitive I can approach a small problem with the drama usually reserved for an emergency. Perspective is not my strong point.

Last weekend we visited the local primary school's annual fete. Che was having his face painted in one of the classrooms so Daniel and I wandered around the room to check out the artwork. Amongst alphabet place cards and paintings of autumn was a big, bright poster titled: The Catastrophe Scale. Daniel just turned to me and raised his eyebrows. I laughed-out-loud and had to refrain him from ripping it off the wall and taking it home for our fridge.

Number 1 on the scale: "You dropped your ice-cream"
Number 10 on the scale: "There's an earthquake in your home town."

Point taken. 

Now I just think of the words 'catastrophe scale' and snap back into a grounded reality. 

The photos are completely unrelated...but I'm still reminiscing about beautiful Melbourne

Saturday, May 26, 2012


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2012."

Che: "Worst. Day. Ever." - he declared from his under-the-table cubby house where he snacked on toast with plum jam. (?)
Poet: gnaw, gnaw, gnaw....when she realises that new top teeth can grind bottom teeth. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

sakura bloom sling diaries - exploration

We're not city dwellers so a visit to Melbourne was, for us, an adventure. We travelled by train to Flinders St Station and from there we walked to Degraves St where the paper merchant, cupcake baker and barista extraordinaire left us in awe. The laneways were bustling and I was ever so grateful to wear Poet in the sling...her first experience of beautiful Melbourne and its brilliant autumn light.

After coffee and cake we wandered to the walls splashed with colour - mesmerising street art synonymous with the stylish city. Before long Che, with his paper bag and Tin Tin book, just couldn't wait any longer.

His first tram ride. Her first tram ride.

Soon after, Poet snuggled in and surrendered to city-induced sleep.

I wear Poet in the sakura bloom pure linen sling in twilight
Che wears shoes c/o jonah and the girl
Poet wears knickerbockers by bugandbeetle, shoes c/o all about heidi

Tamara joined us as we explored and documented our journey in her beautiful, feminine style. Thank you lovely one, for telling our story and capturing the essence of Melbourne. (The chats were so good too!) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

from the city (melbourne): Collingwood Children's Farm

Collingwood Children's Farm - love. We chose to visit on a Saturday and take advantage of the fabulous farmer's market (one of Australia's best) where local and award-winning farmers sell their goods....think organic garlic, organic vegetables, pink salt, Australian native flora and homemade chai. Daniel and Che feasted on a bratwurst roll and I devoured (with the help of an ever-hungry Poet) the best potato roti/tomato salsa/beetroot pesto/green salad in the world. A big cup of orange/carrot/watermelon/ginger juice was the perfect accompaniment. 

We spent a few hours wandering the property (it's seven hectares all up), feeding the animals and chatting to the sweet lady spinning yarn. Just like at CERES, I had to remind myself that we were only a few kilometres from the city's hard to believe as you stroll around the vegie gardens, paddocks and orchards that those busy laneways are a 10minute drive away.

If you do visit Melbourne make sure you visit the farm on a blue-sky Saturday. It will be one of your favourite city moments.

PS. I have no idea why that cat doesn't have ears. If any of you regular farm-goers know the story then please share...

silent one, fiery one

Late afternoon, golden light. Triangle bokeh. By Daniel, of course. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

from the city (melbourne): CERES

On my list of "Things to do in Melbourne" CERES came in at number 1. I had read so much about the demonstration farm in the heart of the suburbs and I desperately wanted to take the kids there for a bit of country in the city. 

Located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, this thriving community environment park that was once a rubbish dump (and a quarry before that) is an inspiring example of sustainability, innovation and community. 

We were immediately impressed by the contemporary, eco-friendly architecture and enjoyed walking on the paths, around the abundant vegie patch and down to the cafe where mums, dads, bubs and toddlers basked in the sun. Che ran off to meet new friends and Daniel and I settled under a grapevine decorated with prayer flags. We sat and watched for a good hour; everyone around us seemed so delighted to be there, blessed to have such a wide, green, lush space for their children to play in. Looking out over the hill I thought about the 350000 people who walk through the gates each year - to buy from the permaculture nursery, peruse the weekly organic market or meet with their local mother's group for a catch up over chai. 

Every inch of CERES is imbued with a handmade, home-grown, lovingly-tended vibe...gosh it's a beautiful place.

If I lived in Melbourne I'd want to live near CERES

from the city (melbourne)
urban inspiration

Sunday, May 20, 2012


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2012."

Che: Theme for the week: "He'll do it his way"  - this includes getting dressed. That four-year-old testosterone surge mentioned a few weeks ago has reached an all-time high. With it has come an assertiveness that I believe will serve him well at school next year. School next year - something I don't really like to discuss.
Poet: Her top front teeth are almost through. In 8 weeks time she will be one. Her hair - wispy and wild, not unlike her personality. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

from the city (melbourne): urban inspiration

When Daniel's best friend offered us his car and apartment while he was overseas we jumped at the chance to spend 10 days in inner-city Melbourne. Actually, perhaps we didn't jump. I ummed and ahhed and declared it too indulgent considering we had just returned from Tasmania. But then I checked the flights and when I realised we could fly return for $300 I booked then and there.

Melbourne is a glorious city; European-inspired and wonderfully rustic and carefree. Regarded as Australia's coffee capital it serves the very best blends in the coolest of chic, urban warehouses. But, where there is coffee there is cake. Decadent cakes became a daily ritual for us - the meringue cupcake at Brother Baba Budan was a definite winner. 

We loved walking the golden leafy streets of an afternoon, running through piles of leaves before dropping into the gourmet grocer for dinner supplies. Daniel drove us around his old neighbourhoods, reminiscing about bike rides, the school tram ride and that black eye.

Busy city days were interspersed with lazy, mosey-about days where we wandered through the grounds of Ceres and Collingwood Children's Farm (more on that later). There were moments, as there always are with children, when the tiredness that comes with travelling became a little overwhelming. In those times we dropped everything and headed back to the apartment, thankful for our own kitchen and a comfortable bed. 

Melbourne is a city abound with small, quirky cafes and narrow laneways that aren't overly suited to prams and babies. And so here is my top-ten list of things to do in inner-city Melbourne (and it's child friendly!)

  • A family portrait in the photo booth outside Flinder's Street Station (there's one on Chapel Street too)
  • A wander through the famous Hosier Lane with its abundance of street art and graffiti (it's opposite Federation Square where there's clean toilets and great baby change facilities)
  • A coffee at Degraves Espresso in Degraves Street - the bustling atmosphere makes it perfect for people watching and the staff are young, attentive and a rather stylish set. The coffee is amazing and the risotto is so so good.
  • Take your children to The Little Bookroom (just down the lane from Degraves). It has the best and most colourful selection of children's books. Che's love affair with Tin Tin began there and he read his comic in every single cafe we visited. 
  • For much-needed Muma indulgence pop into the Aesop store on Flinders Lane. It's made from cardboard - quite literally the walls and shelves are made from cardboard - Che was in awe. While he marvelled I rubbed Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm into my palms - a bit of peace amidst city busyness. 
  • Head to Pelligrini's on Bourke St (recently featured on The Selby - thanks for the link Mandy). Regarded as a Melbourne institution, the 50-plus-year-old restaurant serves the very best Watermelon Granita (the perfect afternoon pick-me-up). Apparently their food is good too but they only have seating at the bar and it just wasn't suitable for us. There's also a gorgeous heart in the lane next door. 
  • If you're a coffee lover you must take a sip of the Seven Seeds brew. Brother Baba Budan is their inner-city cafe but it's teeny-tiny (seats about 10) and although its aesthetic is to-die-for it just isn't very practical with children and a pram (but because I'm persistent I parked a sleeping Poet in the corner and Daniel, Che and I had a rather luscious morning tea there - coffee pictured above!). For a more spacious and equally wonderful coffee experience head to Seven Seeds in the north of the city (where they roast the beans). Daniel had an amazing wagyu burger there and Che was delighted with googey eggs and toast soldiers. As for the crowd - wow, if ever there was a popular coffee spot for Melbourne's stylish ones this is it.
  • It's completely cliche but I'm going to list it anyway - a city-circle tram ride.
  • The Kids Corner at the National Gallery of Victoria is wonderful.  It's a big, clean, intriguing space that kept Che entertained for ages. Daniel and I got to sit back and relax and Poet was happy to crawl around and peek into baby-height mirrors. It was an absolute relief to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and Poet was so grateful to get out of the pram/sling.
  •  A trip to Melbourne is not complete until you wander through the famous Block and Royal arcades. Treat yourself to the best chocolate at Haigh's or Koko Black
Melbourne is well-known for its fabulous shopping but we decided before we left home that wandering around boutiques was definitely not a priority. However, I did sneak in a few visits to my favourite Melbourne store - Husk. Organic teas, hand-crafted homewares and bohemian decorations sit happily next to the roaring fireplace and racks of ethnic-inspired scarves. It's my dream-come-true store (if I had all the money in the world) and I came home with a new teacup, a revive brew and a basket (Daniel often refers to me as the bag/basket lady). 

Thank you so much sweet Melbournites for all your fabulous recommendations. It wouldn't have been the same without you!