Saturday, June 29, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: Tired eyes, cranky mood. is over and we have two weeks of lazy mornings and spontaneous adventures ahead of us. 
Poet: Fearless one moment, cowering from a trail of ants the next. 

I love the opposites in these photos - the deep and the light, the bold and the faded. Che is wearing a hand-knit made with love by my mum. It's a fabulous pattern, this elfin vest, and so perfect for busy little people who don't have time for jumpers (but still need to keep their chest and kidneys warm). As for Poet, she is wearing the ever-nostalgic Osh Kosh pinstripe overalls/dungarees* with gumboots/wellies*. I found the overalls at the op-shop when I was pregnant with her - the best $2 I've ever spent.  

*I spent the first few years of my life in England and wore my fair share of dungarees and wellies!

Now that google reader is coming to an end you might like to know that I'm over here on bloglovin. 


Belinda always inspires me but I particularly like her take on the concept of "portrait" this week / muddy farm children basking in golden, winter light / two becomes three and the love triples ... nothing quite like a newborn. Welcome, Juniper / it just wouldn't be summer without a sprinkler ... sweet Maile is delightful / and finally, I love the joy and movement in this portrait - celebrating winter with a fabulous red pom pom. 

I'll be posting "three / 52" on Wednesday. Have you picked your top three portraits yet?

Friday, June 28, 2013

one | practicing simplicity

The Japanese Maple - late to turn but right now those tiny, delicate star leaves are falling all around.

I've worked at the dining table for the past few days and watched the grey sky settle in and stay a long, long while. Winter habits have been well and truly established: tea drinking, thick sock wearing, procrastinating. Daydreaming fits in there somewhere too; before and after the incessant procrastinating. 

Today I read an interesting article about distraction (ironically I discovered it on facebook, the greatest distractor of them all). I'm going to put my hand up really high and admit: I am so easily distracted - by phone messages, a bulging inbox, a whistling kettle and the overwhelming to-do list that seems, on most days, never-ending. However, the beauty of such a discovery has prompted me to really criticise think about how I go about my days and, more importantly, how I can make them more productive.

Every Monday for the next few weeks I'm going to write about living a less-distracted life. Note I used the word "less" - distraction can sometimes be incredibly inspiring, to erase it completely would be boring. I'm going to start with my inbox which is currently in a dire state (apologises if I owe you an email). It's going to be a one-small-step-at-a-time attempt to add a little of the practical to my otherwise dreamy creative days.

I suppose it's a wabi-sabi way of living - getting rid of the unnecessary to really appreciate and benefit from the necessary. Practicing simplicity. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

winter : notes from my naturopath

bay leaves growing in popa's garden. I add a few to the pot every time I make chicken stock.

I've almost come full circle with these posts. For a good few years now I've followed the guidance of my naturopath who looks to nature for both healing and wellness. Whilst we all have different constitutions that require different foods and drinks to thrive, I think we can all benefit from recognising the seasons and eating accordingly. 

I often hear people complaining about the "weight" of winter; the tendency to snuggle on the couch and indulge in warming, hearty food. I've begun to see this slowness as a good thing - winter is the season to nurture and conserve. It's the hibernation season where we re-fuel without expelling too much energy. In regards to our body, winter is all about the kidneys. We want to fill our bodies with the full array of minerals to ensure our kidneys stay strong, hence why bone broths are so good for us at this time of year. They form the basis of so many of our winter meals - soups, casseroles, slow cooks - and are beautiful on their own; boosting the immune system, soothing the nervous system.

We look beneath the earth for our vegetables, savouring the sweetness of root vegies, celery and cauliflower (thanks to Ruth I roasted cauliflower last night - drizzled it with olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper, then served with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and coarsely cut flat-leaf parsley. It accompanied lamb chops and roasted carrots. Yum!). 

There's a few things I'm doing this winter to ensure I stay energised and nurtured:
  • epsom salt baths - a beautiful way to relax, increase circulation and increase magnesium levels
  • burning woody scents, particularly frankincense, to dilate the airways
  • early nights - an absolute must. I've loved having a "bed time" since I wrote this post
  • warm drinks - I'm currently drinking fennel tea to help with my digestion and chai from Calmer Sutra for a sweet pick-me-up (I drink it with half soy - half almond milk)
  • eating slowly - I have a tendency to eat quickly which is a terrible way to enjoy a meal. I've been making more of an effort to slow down, chew and really taste my food as opposed to rushing. 
My organic fruit & veg delivery is brimming with pumpkin, cauliflower, kumera, potatoes and beetroot. What's your favourite winter veg recipe that pleases the whole (or most of) the family?

for those of you currently basking in summer, pop over here to read about cooling the body in the warmer months. 

Google Reader will be closing in a few days time....hence why so many are popping over to bloglovin. To follow Che & Fidel over there just click the link below.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

wellington st. projects

Photo of me by luisa brimble. I'm wearing esencia knit c/o fawn & fox (I've worn it for the past three days - it's freezing here!)

Last week I took the train to Sydney and walked down Broadway in the rain. The muted tones of winter in the city were beautiful, awash with the grey of cloud and drizzle. I met up with Stef at Something for Jess (worth a visit) and then we headed to Wellington St for a shoot*. The warehouse studio was charming; old stable doors and high panelled windows turned it into an inner city light box. The rustic, mis-matched floorboards were covered with summery clothes and a field's worth of paper-wrapped blooms (including cumquats which I was lucky enough to come home with). 

The past few days have been cold and stormy and I'm enjoying wearing wool and chunky socks. But ever since Saturday my thoughts have been consumed by spring; we've just booked a holiday in Bali and come September we'll be there for a month, living in the rice fields of Ubud. I can't wait to experience the vivid colour and heady scents. 

*you'll see me in the August edition of Frankie 

Saturday, June 22, 2013


 "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: Keeping me company as I recover from a nasty 24hour bug. 
Poet: Running from a sea of pink.

I love them both beyond measure. 

This week we celebrated the winter/summer solstice and next week marks the middle of the calendar year. As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to launch an extra "52" post that features my favourite three portraits (for each child) from the first half of 2013. I'll include a link-up so you can join in too. But I'm wondering, what should I call it? 


This week a sweet bubble boy made me smile / sceptical Clementine is adorable - looking forward to cuddling her next week / colour and joy and four beautiful children over at "a bit of sunshine..." / a squatting babe in her fun and whimsical nursery / and finally, Vanessa's post stayed with me all week. A letter to her boys, explaining the lack of photos for the week. A beautiful reminder for us all. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

little tienda : a "mexican bohemian" giveaway

Nothing like a little bohemian colour to warm you on cool, grey days.

I was first introduced to Em and her store Little Tienda last spring. Since then we have chatted over many an email, supporting each other as we attempt to build little businesses around our families. She has spent considerable time sourcing beautiful, handmade clothes and homewares from little towns in Mexico; she's ummed and ahhed over every embroidered stitch and dye imaginable. Her clientele are a passionate bunch - lovers of vivid colour, billowy blouses and bohemian detailing, they appreciate an injection of happy in their wardrobes and their homes.


The winner of this giveaway will receive the following items from Little Tienda:

- a 100% cotton rebozo scarf, hand-loomed by artisans in south-west Mexico. The style is "open weave" - traditionally used to carry babies, it will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Valued at $60 - winner will choose colour.

- hand loomed, hand dyed 100% wool cushion, made-to-order by a family of artisans who have been making cushions and rugs for over forty years. I adore this cushion! Valued at $95 (no insert).

- "la flor" blouse - I wear mine with jeans, a cardi and a scarf to add a little colour to my otherwise monochromatic winter wardrobe. Made from 100% cotton, this blouse has a lovely, loose fit. Valued at $69 - winner will choose size and colour

- use it as a bedspread, throw, picnic blanket or yoga mat, the falsa blanket is beautiful and practical. Valued at $60 - winner will choose colour.

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment and answer this question: "What's your favourite way to stay warm in winter?" Em and I will choose a winner based on the best little story you can tell (no essay required!). The winner will be announced in this post on Thursday 27th June at 9pm. 

Good luck!

Comments closed. The winner is #17 - Tea With Lucy. Yay!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: Playing battleships on the pirate ship
Poet: Rouge cheeks and a sad pout;  she's been feverish and miserable for a few days now. Rugged up in her Tibetan quilted jacket by Kokonor and bonnet by Dover & Madden.

I was quite pleased when I placed these photos together and noticed a lovely "looking down" diptych. 

It's been a quiet week around here. Daniel was away for four nights so I delved into solo parenting - not my forte. I have realised over the past few months that my solo-parenting weeks are dictated by my attitude; if I dread them they will indeed turn to mud. This week I took it slow, didn't try to do too much, planned easy dinners and went to bed early - it made all the difference. Big respect to all the single parents out there - you are admired!


Boy chases seagull and mama captures the glee / Hello little Hawkin! Welcome to the world / Four boy silhouettes make for fun portraits / Beautiful Grace in picturesque Canada - stunning! / Sleepy and quiet and caught on the iPhone, these soft black + white shots are dreamy. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

the age gap conundrum

photo by luisa brimble - mid-summer in Brooklyn (they've both grown so much in 6 months!)

There's a pattern emerging - a primal pattern that reaffirms just how powerful nature and instinct is.

It seems that soon after I wean, my body basks in the new energy and independence for a couple of months. And then, seemingly overnight, there is a shift; I start thinking about another baby. 

In my pre-natal classes I am reminded, twice weekly, of the joy and challenge of pregnancy. Those bountiful bellies are beautiful and beg to be rubbed but then there's the perpetual aches and pains - growing new life is exhausting and the depth of that exhaustion can never be underestimated. I leave each class wondering: is my body ready for that journey yet and, more importantly, am I emotionally ready? 

With subsequent children there is the preferred age gap too - a highly personal decision that some parents take very seriously. There's 3years 9months between Che and Poet - a lovely gap for us and one that I would consider again.

There is of course the complete irony of this conundrum; whilst we can plan a baby we have little control over the outcome. Nature is all-powerful; a reality that can cause frustration, heartache, joy and sometimes, complete surprise (I've experienced the complete surprise).

So tell me, what is the age gap(s) between your children? If you had complete control, how many years would you have between one baby and the next? 

PS. No, I'm not pregnant. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

the girl in the garden

clothes gifted by caramel baby & child / photography by alexandrena parker / styling by stefanie ingram

A garden photo shoot complete with a defiant little Poet who always said "No". Her personality is wild, much like her hair. That mop of curls is getting blonder by the day; it's hard to tame and a headache to brush.

She sports the occasional dreadlock and is determined to carry her basket, full of ephemera and beloved toys: a pink camellia, a silk ribbon, a wooden tea cup, a grey bunny, a hair bow and an apple core. She is fiery with affection and charm, completely fearless and absolutely hilarious. If I look closely, behind the curls and blue eyes, I see my reflection; she is so much like me as a child, with English-rose cheeks and a dreamer's gaze. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

the story of home

chunky knits and a handful of crunch from a neighbour's garden / table vignette including blushing bride, eucalyptus and sweet pea, a scalloped candle holder found at Bayside Vintage and the right amount of beeswax, waiting for a flame / nature comes inside and rests awhile on the windowsill, new books to see me through early winter bedtimes

I'm quickly learning that perfection in the family home is neither achievable or desirable. There will always be clothes to fold, toys to pick up, dry bread crusts under the couch. 

I wiped the table just the other day and noticed Che's handwriting ingrained in the surface; the happiness of such a discovery is still with me. The floorboards in our loungeroom are worn from years of fancy footwork, they need more oil, sometime soon. The paint is starting to chip on doorways and sills but last week I wiped down walls with hot water, bicarb and vinegar and it felt like new - good enough. 

Perfectionism is exhausting and I'm starting to let go of it. We had visitors on Friday and they told me that they loved the "lived-in" feel of our home, its authenticity and comfort...its beautiful imperfections.

I hope you can look around your home today and see the story of your family. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: He took his book into the garden, as you do. Photo by Daniel.
Poet: Her third time watching this beautiful film - she was curious, her joy was contagious. A child's perception of birth is so different to an adults, don't you think?

In five weeks time we will be celebrating Poet's 2nd birthday. I'm readying myself for the emotion, the moments where I stop what I'm doing and try to comprehend the little girl that stands in front of me, once such a tiny baby. Lately I've had moments of pure sadness when I long for the age she once was. I've experienced the same with Che; desperately missing the conversations I had with his three-year-old self, the way he would sit in the shopping trolley eating an apple as we walked around the supermarket, his toddler squeals and sweet expressions. 

I miss them when they were littler; hence my dedication to documenting them now. I can't imagine what the longing will be like when they're teenagers. These days really are the good days. 


I always adore Olive aka Punky Brewster...the apple does not fall far from the tree, Kellie / Three portraits of everyday moments, Milina's photography has come into its own / Adair and Ingrid in the strawberry fields - summer bliss / Tahnee's take on portraits is genius / and Sam and Bella in beautiful French, summer light. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

the wholefood kitchen : the emotional cook

photo by: luisa brimble / a sidewalk garden under a kitchen window in surry hills

"Something strange was going on. Tita remembered that Nacha had always said that when people argue while preparing tamales, the tamales won’t get cooked. They can be heated day after day and still stay raw, because the tamales are angry. In a case like that, you have to sing to them, which makes them happy, then they’ll cook."
- Like Water For Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

It's so easy to bring motherguilt into the kitchen; to make a meal and think about how much better or healthier it could be. The meal is placed in front of the family and then, perhaps, there is complaints and sour faces, and the ritual of eating becomes a chore.

When I'm sad I stir sorrow into soup; it tastes bland and bitter and I wonder why I bothered at all. But then a joyous roast or happy batch of muffins balances the kitchen mood. I recognise that cooking is an emotional practice, that food is the magnet that brings us together to celebrate, divulge, reminisce and console. 

I've been savouring An Everlasting Meal, reading it ever so slowly and making notes between paragraphs. Tamara Adler says: "I only mean to show you what cooking is: an act of gathering in and meeting out, a coherent story that starts with the lighting of a burner, the filling of a pot, and keeps going as long as we like." Adler starts her story with the simple act of boiling water; in her eloquent prose she shares a little piece of kitchen wisdom, so apt for mothers to hear: "There is a prevailing theory that we need to know much more than we do in order to feed ourselves well. It isn't true. Most of us already have water, a pot to put it in, and a way to light a fire. This gives us boiling water, in which we can do more good cooking than we know." It doesn't take a long list of ingredients, fancy technique or significant time to cook good food - a mother's kitchen mantra if ever I heard one.

There is so much emotion wrapped up in cooking for a family, especially if we're aiming to improve meals, vary recipes or adhere to the numerous tastes and needs of our children. In my past posts on wholefood, guilt has been a common theme in the comments section. Mothers are, primally, the nurturers and nourishers, feeding our family is intuitive, but I don't think guilt belongs in my kitchen or yours.

Cooking a meal with doubt or guilt, stirring half-heartedly and then eating it with shame, is, quite simply, not worth it. Cooking with love is an esoteric thought but, perhaps, the most important lesson we can take with us into the kitchen. Regardless of whether you're cooking wholefood or real food or quick-and-easy food, a casserole or a stock or eggs with soldiers, consider bringing it to the table with gratitude and thanks. The opportunity to gather, share and eat together is a beautiful one (even if the littles aren't pleased...if they are hungry, they will eat).

Monday, June 3, 2013

flower havan

1008 rose and camellia petals

A havan is a purifying fire ritual originating from India. An ancient practice, it is performed to invoke positive energy into our lives and the ether.

During the havan a mantra is chanted in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Between each round the word swaha is spoken, and either earth, ghee, grains or herbs are thrown into the fire, along with an intention or affirmation. Swaha translates to mean I make this offering of my self. 108 mantras are chanted before the havan closes with a resounding ((((((((((((om))))))))))))))

But fire havans aren't particularly suited to indoors which is when a large glass bowl of water becomes the fire and flower petals become offerings. On Monday morning I walked into the yoga studio to find the remnants of a flower havan performed the night before. I was teaching a prenatal class and so it was apt that we practiced around this floral heart/blossoming womb. Before class began we each took a handful of petals, held them close to the heart and mentally repeated our intention or sankalpa (positive affirmation). We then threw the petals into the bowl, sending our good intention out into the universe; letting go and subsequently experiencing a sense of healing and calm.


My own yoga practice has taken a backseat in the last few years; a common experience for a mother. Lately I've been thinking about priorities, recognising that nourishing my self is actually nourishing my whole family. My body is a little sore and my mind a little cloudy and I wholeheartedly believe that it's not a result of diet. I know I just need to stretch and bend and flow in a space where I am largely anonymous; where I am Jodi and not Mum - if only for 90minutes. 

I'm wondering, what are your priorities right now?

Saturday, June 1, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: The light pours into his room first thing in the morning - perfect excuse to stay in bed and read.
Poet: She's an on-the-floor, legs kicking, tantrum thrower. Hello almost-2!

There's only one thing I don't like about this project; I'm witnessing the weeks rush by and feeling like it's all going too fast. 


Big, beautiful eyes - I love the angle Allison used to capture sweet Eloise / Cutie pies messing about, I adore these b+w shots by Lottie / Christina caught warm, autumn light and reflects on her own parenting / Charlie and Edie and a background of lush, spring green / Mariana's gorgeous girl on a skateboard, contagious joy and perfect shadows.