Friday, November 30, 2012

summer : a seasonal series

The humidity arrived right on cue; with it came the cicada's song and the stormy nights.

Summer is the most nostalgic season of them all - a cycle of ocean swims and hammock siestas, too-hot-to-sleep nights and backyard water fights. Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing a few posts to celebrate the season including a review of my favourite sunscreens, notes from my naturopath and a collection of my favourite recipes, books and destinations.

In all its bohemian beauty, summer is here - equally joyous and frustrating (don't let the mozzies bite!)

What is your most treasured summer memory?

spring : a seasonal series

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

experience | document

In the current issue of Little One Baby there is a story, written by me, about the importance of recording childhood. Whilst researching I spoke to a bunch of creatives who, in their own unique way, document the milestones and the tantrums, the birthdays and the weekdays. 

I worked on and off for a few months on the article - emailing, interviewing, reading, writing, editing. I spent a few days before deadline threading it all together and while the story flowed I really struggled with the ending. How was I going to wrap it all up? It took an afternoon of making tea and hanging washing to find the right conclusion. 

It's rare for me to imbue a story with my personal beliefs but I couldn't let this one pass without sharing my opinion. You see, it's a beautiful thing to document childhood; to take a photo a day or one a week, to write innocent phrases in a notebook and create a journal of the years. But perhaps even more precious is falling into the experience, leaving the camera and the phone and the pen behind, and really being here, now. Making memories, not documenting them. 

The very essence of blogging is documentation - recording thoughts and experiences to prompt conversation. After five years in this space I understand how essential the balance is. It's so easy to look through the lens, observe the moment, capture it and mentally repeat: " for the blog." It's even easier to get swept up in the net momentum where daily posts and lengthy comments compete with real life. Blogging is a wonderful medium for communication, conversation and inspiration. For the writer and the reader it can also be challenging, exhausting and make-believe. 

I often step away from this space for a little while, simply because I need a break. I do the same with my camera and my phone - as the day outside beckons, I leave without them. As a writer I know I can always rely on observation and retrospect; often I see things clearer when I recall. 

I have no plans to leave....I just wanted to share my experience; the lessons learned. There is someone who is saying goodbye though. Leigh has been such an inspiration in the past few years as she has navigated her readers through witty, passionate posts about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babywearing and cosleeping. I wholeheartedly understand and respect her decision. Blessings Leigh....x

Saturday, November 24, 2012

garden 2 plate

On the fringe of Bouddi National Park, just across from the water, is a somewhat simple cafe complete with open verandah and abundant herb garden. Garden 2 Plate beckons with its back-to-basics food; locally grown at just-around-the-corner Green Gate Farm. 

Dictated by seasonal produce, the small yet enticing vegetarian menu changes daily. Expect bagels, burgers and sourdough, an array of organic fresh veg and homemade accompaniments. If you're a keen gardener you can take home herb seeds left by local green-thumbs and if you're just interested in the coffee, well, it's definitely worth the visit. 

Garden 2 Plate is just what the coast needed; an authentic, rustic cafe with the very best of food intentions.

Design aesthetic: overgrown village shack   Coffee: locally sourced, strong, superb

Sydneysiders....Garden 2 Plate is only 20 minutes from Palm Beach (by ferry) - the perfect family outing. I highly recommend the quesadilla with beans, cheese and spinach, salsa, sourcream and jalapenos (and a side of organic greens from the garden). 


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

Che: Within moments of arriving he was submerged in the water; ten minutes later he was shivering and blue. After chasing Daniel along the beach he rested on the warm rock wall.
Poet: She stole the marmalade toast from my plate and tried to get away. 

Marmalade toast is one of my favourite morning treats. If you and your household love it I highly recommend you read Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 labour tips for dads

One of the best things about being a writer is seeing your work in print. A few weekends ago I sat down for toast and tea on Sunday morning and opened up The Sunday Telegraph's Body + Soul liftout to see my words in a half-page feature. To me the article represented a blend of two careers - freelance writing and pre-natal yoga teaching. 

Over the years I've taught hundreds of pregnant women and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting their birth support partners - dads-to-be, mums-to-be, grandmas, sisters, aunties, best-friends. The role of the support person in labour is so very important, perhaps even essential to a positive birth experience. Put simply, a labouring woman is at her most vulnerable; she needs to be supported by someone she loves and trusts - a confident, prepared partner.

Over countless classes I have seen dads-to-be transform within a few hours - from the fearful man to the "I'm going to catch my baby!" father. I teach birth workshops from a real and very honest perspective; I share simple and practical techniques. And it works. 

It was such an honour to share my knowledge (and the wisdom of others) in a newspaper that reaches such a broad demographic. A few of you requested I publish it below you will find the original version. Enjoy!

Labour Tips For Dads

Supporting a pregnant woman as she labours is a privilege but it can also be a confronting and emotional experience. Pre-natal yoga teacher Jodi Wilson offers a step-by-step guide to labour and suggests practical techniques to assist in the journey towards birth.........

1. The Estimated Due Date

Due dates are an estimate at best. Being 'overdue' can be a highly emotional experience. Most women will start to internalise in preparation for labour; stay home in their 'nest' and seek comfort and quiet.

Be mindful that anxiety and stress will not induce labour but gentle encouragement, humour, sex, acupuncture, a brisk walk and a good cry may.

2. Early labour

Adequate and continual support during labour can significantly reduce the need for medical intervention and that support begins with the very first contraction. Early labour can last for hours or sometimes days.

"Resting is essential in early labour to ensure she conserves the energy required for active labour. Be gentle with her, keep her calm and offer her water between contractions." - Lauren Horton, Doula at Singingbird Birth Support.

3. Fear of the Unknown

First time mums fear the unknown and second-time mums fear the known. As labour progresses it's easy to become overwhelmed by the hours and challenges that lay ahead. 

"The best way for her to stay present is to focus on her breath. Encourage her to mentally repeat 'let' as she inhales and 'go' as she exhales," - Mardi Bell, Director of Yogaways.

4. Active Labour

During active labour, when contractions come regularly every two to three minutes and last for 60-90 seconds, movement is encouraged - swaying, squatting or walking. Some women like firm massage on the arms, back and thighs.

When it comes to massage don't be concerned with fancy technique - but keep in mind that you may be doing it for hours at a time. If she doesn't want to be touched, stay close and offer encouragement.

5.  The Mental Challenge

Remaining positive is incredibly difficult, especially if labour is long. If she begins to doubt herself and her ability, acknowledge that the job of labour id hard and suggest a different position, a shower or a bath - water can bring welcome relief.

When you notice that she is losing confidence look her in the eye and say: "You CAN and you ARE doing it."

6. Surrender

We control so much in our lives and yet no-one can control the birth journey. The essence of birth is surrender - letting go of expectations, relinquishing control and literally going with the flow.

"My partner Terry wholeheartedly believed in me and my body's ability to birth. His support encouraged me to surrender and let my body labour - because it was going to do it anyway." - Lena Tarasenko, mum to Harper and Sonny.

7. The Sound of Birth

Forget the Hollywood scream, labour sounds deep and primal and can be described as a roar or a moan. Sound is one of the most powerful techniques a labouring woman can use - it lengthens the exhalations and soothes the nervous system. 

If she is feeling self-conscious about making sound go ahead and join her. There is a neuro-muscular connection between the mouth and the cervix, the throat and the birth canal - if she keeps her mouth open and soft her cervix and birth canal will do the same.

8. Intervention

Regardless of preparation there are some circumstances where intervention is necessary and accepting it can be challenging. However, intervention can sometimes assist towards achieving a natural birth.

"We hoped for a drug-free labour but when we realised that Kesh was regressing we accepted our midwife's recommendations for an epidural. We very quickly learnt the importance of surrendering to the birth journey. Roo was born eight hours later and I exploded with joy, relief, ecstasy and love," - Tim Coulson, proud new dad.

9. Transition

Transition is when the cervix is nearing full dilation and the contractions are very close together. Often women experiencing transition will display a range of emotions - despair, sadness, confusion, fear and anger - often directed towards you. Never take it personally.

"Stay with her even if she tells you to leave. Use loving words, remind her that she will be holding her baby soon. Breathe with her, embrace her." - Lisa Richards, Independent Midwife at Bella Birthing.

10. Birth

When she feels the urge to push she has reached second stage. Baby is ready to descend into the birth canal and pushing commences with the next contraction. If all is going well you may, depending on er position, have the opportunity to catch your baby.

"If you are interested in catching your baby it should eb discussed with your partner and her caregiver during pregnancy. At the time of birth listen to her needs and acknowledge her requests as they can change at any time."  - Lisa Richards.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the rock pool

For the child who lives on the Australian coast, the rock pool is a place where memories are made.

It's so close to the ocean, yet so far from the waves. A protected pool where little friendships are forged and beach toys are shared. Regardless of the weather, young families flock here, lured by the promise of an easy, carefree day. 

This morning we took Poet down to the water; grey skies and big surf didn't deter. She let her feet sink into the sand, followed the stream of salt and waved to me as I scaled the rock wall, capturing her adventure from afar. 

For the next few months we'll take our towels, beach baskets and snacks to the rock pool. The car will be full of sand, we'll loose the keys at least once and I'll wonder where on earth I put the sunscreen. We will visit a multitude of beaches, some close, some far, and indulge in the blessing that is the Australian summer (and the sleep that naturally follows salt, surf and sand). 

Monday, November 19, 2012

the wholefood kitchen

In the past few months I've been taking a few steps to change the way we eat. Necessary steps for health and well being.

When Daniel and I first moved out together we lived in a tiny fibro beach shack. The kitchen was small but sweet - glass jars held lentils, nuts and rice, the fruit bowl was always full, we lit a candle in lieu of the fluorescent light above. I would spend most nights at the yoga studio so I cooked our evening meal in the afternoon - dhal, vegetarian curries, pesto pasta.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the way we ate back then. I prepared food in a considered and calm way; because I had time. Now time is minimal and the fussiness of a five-year-old has significant affect on what I cook and how I cook it. The 'easy' meal has become the 'regular' meal and whilst we always eat well, we can eat better.

In the past few months I've been collecting a few books and seeking inspiration within - Super Natural Cooking, Feeding The Whole Family and Wholefood for Children. I've learnt a lot from these passionate authors who, in their own way, are encouraging a whole approach to shopping, cooking and eating with awareness. But my greatest inspiration has come from Heather's online workshop The Whole Food Kitchen - a gift from the lovely Steph. Over the past eight weeks I have received an abundance of what I would call 'gentle kitchen guidance'. There are stories, advice, a whole food checklist and a plethora of recipes that never, ever daunt me. I feel like it's been the perfect foundation for my own whole food kitchen and I highly recommend it if you're attempting to wander down a whole food path.

So what does our new kitchen look like? Well, there's only wholegrains, there's still meat and dairy (organic) and there's a little sweetness too (moderation is such a good thing). The biggest change has been the exploration of new recipes and new ways of incorporating plants into each meal; we're all for a plant-rich diet - good for the body, the wallet and the planet. Perhaps the most surprising revelation in regards to Che's palette has been the power of texture - often it's not the taste of vegies that disgust the child but the texture of them. Che will eat raw carrot  but the moment I blanch, cook or roast it he turns up his nose. Hence we always have some fresh greens and raw vegies on the table and I make fresh juice most days. 

Of course, there is an ongoing food debate no matter what your diet involves. Raw is good, raw is bad, meat is good, meat is bad, sugar is poison and dairy will make you fat. Sheesh! Factor in a picky child, a baby, perhaps an intolerance or two and you have a full-time kitchen dilemma. Finding enjoyment in that scenario can be challenging. My advice? Take it slowly, be open to suggestion, buy wholegrain over white (bread, flour, rice) and remember that baked beans on rye toast is a very, very good meal (so is boiled eggs, pikelets and a "taster plate" - perhaps some cherry toms, cheese, crackers, celery, carrot sticks, raisins). 

Do you have a whole food kitchen? If so, what's your advice for those wanting to change the way they eat?

If you're seeking wholefood inspiration I suggest you visit Nikki, Meagan and Natalie. For a poetic take on food, visit G. And if you really like the look of that wood fire oven above, consult popa, via me!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


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

Che: At his school's cultural day he celebrated "Australia" by dressing as a lifeguard. He stood still long enough for me to take his photo and then ran off into the garden.
Poet: In the garden picking flowers. She loved walking off to do her own thing, always turning back to make sure I was following. Hello independence. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

clipper teas : after dinner mints

I make mint tea in a gypsy-style teapot found in a second-hand store long ago. Sometimes I add fresh mint leaves or honey. 

I usually sip it in the afternoon or the early evening, often in the midst of the witching hour - an attempt at some calm.

Thanks to Clipper Teas I've been drinking after dinner mints; a subtle yet refreshing blend of peppermint, spearmint, fennel and ginger. Gently spicy, this is the perfect tea to settle the tummy, aid digestion, calm the nerves and is particularly good for breastfeeding mumas (fennel is great for milk production). 

Come summertime I'll be drinking this minty brew in the late afternoon with ice and sliced apple.  Do you drink ice tea? If so, what's your preferred flavour?

clipper teas : zen again

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The jacarandas along our street are in full lilac bloom and I can't help but stop every time we walk past them.

Seasonal flowers have been the pretty in our rather normal week. Poet has been feverish and clingy, uninterested in food and very interested in me. Sleep has been broken and the days have been long; a cycle of resting, cuddling, pottering, comforting. 

Despite lying low and moving gently I have been quite productive. I bought a 2013 diary and finally accepted the fact that the new year is just around the corner, my desk is clean in readiness for the pre-Christmas deadlines and the washing finally got sorted and put away. I'm ignoring the sense of urgency that appears so suddenly at this time of year and rejoicing in fabulous op-shop finds (Christmas books by Shirley Hughes and Dick Bruna; two of many titles that will be mentioned in my "Christmas Reads" post, coming soon). 

I also managed to squeeze in a quick yet thoroughly enjoyable lunch with Tracie and Linda of Dragonfly Toys. It was so lovely to finally meet them and hear all about their plans for the shop and Kokonor. They were pleased to hear that both Che and Poet will be having a very Dragonfly Christmas - Che is getting the cable car and Poet will be unwrapping the rainbow. Perfect.

Now, as we venture towards the weekend, I'm looking forward to simple dinners and early nights, perhaps a beach visit and a morning walk. You?

Monday, November 12, 2012

clipper teas : zen again

When in doubt, drink tea. 

I come from a long line of tea drinkers; English men and women who spend the better part of the day with a cup in hand. Tea is the drink that soothes and refreshes, it comforts and heals. For me, the whistling of the kettle, the choosing of the cup and the dipping of bag is a daily ritual.

I usually buy my tea from my local organic store where a floor-to-ceiling shelf offers an overwhelming range of herbal, caffeinated and sometimes questionable concoctions. I've always been drawn to Clipper Teas for their pretty packaging - oh yes, I really do judge tea by its box.

Luckily Clipper Teas make truly beautiful teas - natural, fair trade and delicious. When they contacted me and offered a collection of their teas I held my hand up high and said "Yes, please!"

I've been working my way through a range of herbal and fruit infusions whilst admiring the boxes lined up on the shelf. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting little reviews of my favourite flavours, starting today with....

zen again: perfect for the yogi (or the muma who can't seem to ever get to a yoga class) this organic brew is infused with lemongrass, nettle (a great cleansing herb), eucalyptus (a sweet Australian touch) and gingko (good for the memory). It is smooth and fresh and might I say, quiet. You'll want to close your eyes as you sip from your favourite cup.

Do you have a daily tea ritual? 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

i just wanted to say....thank you (a giveaway)

This year has seen Che & Fidel grow beyond my expectations. And I have you (and you and you and you) to thank. Without your regular visits and your beautiful and encouraging comments the growth and expansion wouldn't be possible. 

It's with much gratitude that I bring you this little giveaway. Ideally I would like to send you all a sweet package in the mail...but there is, of course, the reality (not my strong point). Instead, three of you will receive one of the gift packages above - collections of gorgeous, hand-picked-by-me products that will, no doubt, be a welcome addition to your home and your Christmas. 

To the artists, creatives and companies who have have been so generous and I am very grateful.

Gift Pack One includes:

1. Bucket Tote handmade by Maze & Vale - handprinted linen and cotton with genuine leather handles, stands 32cm tall from base to brim and is 26cm wide - $45. 2. Grande Serape from Little Tienda - a gorgeous 100% cotton blanket that adds a little bohemian goodness to your home, picnic or day at the beach - $89. 3. This whimsical print by Rebekka Seale (she created my beautiful header) is titled "Good Night" - it's a stunning addition to any bedroom (mine is currently at the framers!). 11inchx14inch print of an original gouache and ink painting, printed on 100% cotton, 190gsm Hahnemuhle watercolour paper, unframed - $30. 4. Home Republic Velour Beach Towel from Adairs - a luxurious adult-size towel, densely woven with a velour finish, designed to last for many summers to come - $69.95. 5. Handmade "stack" necklace by BOXY titled "Reservation". Made with polymer clay and inspired by simple form, this is the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe - $25. 6. Phytocare Papaya Ointment, the perfect all-round family ointment for dry skin and scratches (it makes the perfect lip balm) - $6.60. 7. Simple Silk OR Essential Silk Sling from Sakura Bloom - I absolutely adore my silk sling and consider it a "muma must-have" - winner will choose style and colour - $180/$198. 8. Holiday Assorted Greeting Cards (3 designs, 2 of each) by the very lovely Ella Leach Designs - $22. Total value $467.55

Gift Pack Two includes:

1. A one year subscription to Little One Baby magazine (includes the annual edition of Little One Kids) - a gorgeous bi-annual publication that often features the words of yours truly - $30. 2. Handprinted, handmade cushion cover by Melbourne-based Hello Milky. This simple, beautiful design (45cmx45cm) is perfect for your bed or your favourite chair - $40. 3. Laundry set by Murchison-Hume including Garment Groom and Laundry Soak in "white grapefruit" - $32.45. 4. Home Republic Velour Beach Towel from Adairs - a luxurious adult-size towel, densely woven with a velour finish, designed to last for many summers to come - $69.95. 5. Plum coloured BOXY earrings - $14. 6. Teal jumble necklace by BOXY, titled "Eyes on the Prize" - handmade by artist and muma Sally Jarmaine and inspired by the colour found in a line of dialogue, a vintage magazine, a memory - $35. 7. Absolutely stunning waxed canvas tote by Barnacle Bags. In a beautiful shade of charcoal grey it features leather straps and heather grey organic cotton lining - $96. 8. Featuring exquisite embroidery on colourful cotton, this la flor blouse from Little Tienda is the ideal addition to your summer bohemian-inspired wardrobe - $69. This pack also includes the Holiday Greeting Cards and Papaya Ointment featured in Gift Pack One. Total Value $415.

Gift Pack Three includes:

1. Original artwork by Lisa Madigan titled "Flux" - a timeless and beautiful piece. Watercolour, ink and gouache on paper, this artwork comes in a 25cmx25cm frame - $110. 2. Christmas wouldn't be the same without the warm glow of beeswax candles - this Christmas tree pack from Queen B features two candles - $24.95. 3. BOXY block necklace titled "Daisy Chain" - happy pastels make this a fun and whimsical design - $35. 4. CD pack from the very talented Sarah Humphreys including her latest album hello and two EPs - Him and Autumn - $55. 5. Cobalt blue earrings by BOXY - $14. 6. Home Republic Velour Beach Towel from Adairs - a luxurious adult-size towel, densely woven with a velour finish, designed to last for many summers to come - $69.95. 7. I'm coveting this oyster linen bag from Fawn & Fox - featuring "CARRY" on one side and "GOODS" on the other this is the ideal "muma-carries-everything" bag - stylish and practical - $90. This pack also includes the Holiday Greeting Cards and Papaya Ointment featured in Gift Pack One. Total value $427.50

You can enter this giveaway a maximum of three times:
  • first entry - follow Che & Fidel (over there on the right)
  • second entry - popping over to Che & Fidel on facebook and hitting 'like' 
  • third entry - sharing this giveaway on facebook/instagram/your blog
Please leave a separate comment for each entry (if you can't see your comment please press the 'load more' option under the comment box) - open to Australian and NZ readers. The winners will be chosen by the random number generator and will be announced in this post on Sunday November 18 2012 at 9pm est. The first winner will get to choose their favourite gift pack, the second winner will get second choice and the third winner will be given the remaining gift pack. 

Best of luck!

*UPDATE* - for those who haven't already read this on facebook....

My beautiful friend and fellow blogger Nicole (muma to three boys aged 6, 7 & 10) lost her home and all her possessions in a house fire on Friday night. Thankfully this family of five are all safe and sound...but they only have the clothes on their backs.

I have decided to announce two winners for this giveaway - the third package will go to Nicole. I am sure that you will all understand and respect my decision. 

If you are interested in helping this family in any way please email me....thank you.


The first winner is #384 - B
The second winner is #192 Princesspillar

Congratulations ladies. Let's chat over email about details x

Graphic designed by Lena of Visionfield Design House


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

Che: He twiddles his toes, especially when he's reading. (A strange choice for a portrait, I know, but I couldn't go a whole year without some reference to this quirky trait).
Poet: Ragamuffin. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

shades of yellow and grey

I have a penchant for bed linen; I'm completely unashamed of my love for soft sheets and beautiful blankets. I've always adored the look of a messy white bed, the crumpled and ruffled effect is rather endearing, don't you think? 

As we venture into summer I have swapped the white for sunshine yellow and grey, happy floral and ticking stripe, bohemian and classic. It's a welcome change, particularly for Daniel who believes there can sometimes be "too much white" (there can never be too much white). 

For Che's bed I have always chosen stripes or spots in blues and reds. But his room can be a little dark so his new map cushion and golden stripes add warmth and light. Apparently it's the perfect choice for someone going of to school next year. "It's really cool," he says. 

Yesterday I admired the linen on the line as it billowed and dried. Today I have a good incentive to actually make the beds. Which begs the question: do you make the bed?

Adairs were ever so generous in gifting me new linen (the perfect early Christmas present). Thank you! I chose Aura Peony Pillowcases, Aura Ticking Stripe Sheet Set, Bamboo Cotton Sheet Set (in white, of course) and Home Republic Florida Stripe Set

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

sprout, grow, bloom

There is an undeniable pleasure that comes from watching plants grow; especially the edible variety. 

At the moment my balcony garden is green and lush, a range of my most-loved herbs and salad greens sprouting from pots - some gifted, others found and collected. Perhaps my all-time favourite herb is society garlic; a hardy plant that withstands all conditions (even lack of attention). Sometimes it produces delicate lilac flowers but even when it doesn't this is one of the richest plants I have ever eaten. It has a strong scent and taste and it works wonders in Italian dishes and garden salads. Blend it with butter and garlic and spread over toasted sourdough and you have the best garlic bread in the world. 

Tonight I'll be cooking spaghetti bolognaise and a rocket salad - infused with society garlic, of course. We'll be celebrating Daniel's return after five days away. We have missed him terribly, especially at night when the house feels a little too quiet and there's a definite lack of dramatic voices at storytime (he does the earth worm from James and the Giant Peach oh so well!).

Tell me, what's your favourite herb and how do you use it in the kitchen? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kid's Christmas Gift Giveaway

It's less than seven weeks till Christmas and as the shops fill to the brim and the frantic pace steps up a notch, I'm intent on keeping it simple. 

My children will be gifted something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read but I needed inspiration and I'm guessing you would like some too. So I contacted some of my very favourite companies and asked them if they would like to suggest one or more of their much-loved items for a gift guide. Before long, I was organising a giveaway! Once again all the companies involved have been incredibly generous  - thank you.

Because Christmas is all about giving and sharing it seemed only right that I divide the gifts into three beautiful packages. There will be three winners.

Gift Pack One includes:

1. Purdey Bonnet by Dover & Madden - a handmade 1970's inspired ski bonnet featuring a bubble design sized from 3months-36months. Winner will choose size and colour - $41. 2. Customised Child's Birth Print by Playfield. Featuring favourite colours and theme this unframed design is printed on 300gsm quality satin stock  - $60. 3. Bohemian-inspired Blue Dreamer Mobile by Made by Mosey. Wire hoop wrapped in embroidery thread with handmade patchwork feathers and wooden beads hanging from white string - $70. 4. The ever-wonderful Bertie's from Jonah and the Girl. Winner will choose one pair in the size and colour of their choice - $40. 5. For the little gypsy this las flores dress from Little Tienda is vibrant and joyous. Winner will choose size and colour - $59. 6. A sweet Maze & Vale oobee to call your very own (there's two in my household!). Handmade by Leslie Keating this one-of-a-kind creature is perfect for all ages and is made with handprinted soft pinwale corduroy and stuffed with 100% natural wool fleece - $40. 7. A book pack from Harpercollins including three new release hardcovers - This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers / There is a Monster Under My Bed Who Farts by Tim Miller / Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp - $69.95. Total value $379.95

Gift Pack Two includes:

1. Basket Cable Car Kit from Dragonfly Toys -  perfect for transporting little passengers, a secret message or a tiny treat (Che will be getting one from Santa) - $45.50. 2. The latest book from talented duo Jane Godwin and Anna Walker, Today We Have No Plan celebrates the beauty of doing...nothing! - $24.99. 3. Clover Hat by Dover & Madden - a chevron-inspired earflap hat for 3months to 48 months. Winner will choose size and colour - $44. 4. For the babywearer, this children's play sling is perfect for the little muma and her dolls. Made from a single layer of handwoven dupiono silk by Sakura Bloom - $38. 5. Nature Baby French Singlet Suit, an essential item in Poet's wardrobe. This simple one piece design is made with pure certified organic cotton which is incredibly fine, soft and strong. Winner chooses size and colour/pattern - $34.95. 6. The ever-wonderful Bertie's from Jonah and the Girl (love this new yellow!). Winner will choose one pair in the size and colour of their choice - $40. 7. Quirky fairy/bear flip doll (remember these from your childhood!) by Miszko Maszko - $22. 8. A book pack from Harpercollins including three new release hardcovers - This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers / There is a Monster Under My Bed Who Farts by Tim Miller / Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp - $69.95. Total value $307

Gift Pack Three includes:

1. A fabulous cape and mask set for the little superhero in your home. Made from 100% cotton fabric which has been hand printed and hand dyed, this set features white spots on a mustard yellow background. By the always beautiful Udder - $40. 2. Bird in a Tree unframed art print by Ella Leach Designs - $30. 3. Camilla Pixie Hat by Dover & Madden - a quilted design featuring a two colours, sized from 3 months to 36 months. Winner will choose size and colour - $44. 4. The very best gumboots - red Bergsteins from the stunning collection at Fawn & Fox, winner chooses size - $59.95. 5. Rustic Raindrop Mobile from Udder that tinkles in the breeze - $18. 6. Cuddly Leroy the Lion from Melbourne-based Hello Milky - $20. 7. A book pack from Harpercollins including three new release hardcovers - This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers / There is a Monster Under My Bed Who Farts by Tim Miller / Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp - $69.95. Total Value $267.

You can enter this giveaway a maximum of three times:
  • first entry - follow Che & Fidel (over there on the right)
  • second entry - popping over to Che & Fidel on facebook and hitting 'like' 
  • third entry - sharing this giveaway on facebook/instagram/your blog
Please leave a separate comment for each entry (if you can't see your comment please press the 'load more' option under the comment box) - open to Australian and NZ readers. The winners will be chosen by the random number generator and will be announced in this post on Sunday November 11 2012 at 9pm est. The first winner will get to choose their favourite gift pack, the second winner will get second choice and the third winner will be given the remaining gift pack. 

Best of luck!


The first winner is #236 - Ash n Tim
The second winner is #76 - Hels
The third winner is #217 - Claire

Congratulations lovely ones. And Happy Christmas! Let's chat over email about the details...x

Graphic designed by Lena of Visionfield Design House

Saturday, November 3, 2012


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

Che: He hasn't stopped talking about school since Friday. He is happy, excited and a little bit weary.
Poet: Is wearing my new BOXY beads...15 months old and already borrowing her muma's jewellery. Hmph. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

i'd call it good luck

Yesterday, after our emotional morning, we headed to the beach with Uncle Josh and Imi for a coffee and some hot chips (celebrations were in order). We live so close to the very best kind of playground and Che jumped right in and sat down, not bothered by the fact that his undies were filling with sand. At one point we looked up to see a pod of dolphins swimming close to shore; the perfect omen.

If it wasn't enough that our first born is heading off to school, our baby is walking and is requesting she wears beads. Enough of this growing up please! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

school : a new beginning

This morning we tentatively walked through the school gates in preparation for kindergarten orientation. I was sad, Daniel was nervous/excited and Che was a little overwhelmed. 

We are really blessed to live in the catchment area for a small, sweet school that has a wonderful reputation. We were welcomed into the courtyard with open arms and within minutes Che was introduced to his "buddy," Liam, who turned out to be the loveliest 11-year-old boy I have ever met. I watched him guide Che around the school, gently placing a hand on his shoulder and then crouching to make eye contact as they talked. 

Daniel and I stood back and observed. And then we exhaled. I'm not sure if Liam will ever quite understand the extent of his kindness but as a mum quite reluctant to send my first born off to school, he made the transition so much easier - for all of us. He even pronounced Che's name correctly - oh thank you!

While Che and Liam visited the kindergarten rooms and made fabulous paper hats, Daniel and I went to the library to meet the principal and hear a little bit more about uniforms, school procedures and canteen. It all feels very real all feels really good.

After sampling the pizza and cupcakes from the school canteen (for the very reasonable price of $1.60), Daniel is rather excited about volunteering for "snack shack" duty.