Thursday, 31 May 2012
This sweet little film totally makes me want a family of six kids and to go and live in a big rambling house in the French countryside. Just kidding (sort of!) Curt! Olive Us is the new project from Gabrielle Blair of the ultra successful and wildly popular blog Design Mom. Hers was one of the first blogs I ever stumbled across a few years ago and I've been following the adventures of the Blair family ever since. She and her husband Ben Blair have six- yes, six!- seriously cute, well dressed and charming children who star in this series of short films.
Olive Us (named for their third child Olive but meaning 'All of Us'), aims to be inspiring and beautiful and to appeal to both children and adults. The episodes share snippets of their life, and so far include a day spent gardening, a recipe tutorial and a lemonade stand and each one encourages families to get up and do, or make and move. They are beautifully shot with great soundtracks and there is also a strong theme promoting happy, healthy relationships between siblings. I'm in awe of anyone who can seemingly effortlessly raise so many well adjusted, happy children whilst retaining their own sanity, not to mention juggling numerous businesses and projects. Impressive stuff.
Check out the Olive Us site to see the other episodes and some behind the scenes footage. A new one will be released each week.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Every now and then I get a pang to be fully immersed back in the working world. Particularly on days when the tantrums seem never ending, the work of feeding, clothing, mediating between two little people becomes overwhelming. I know I'm very lucky to have the opportunity do a bit of freelance writing and put on a pretty dress and work a couple of nights a week in a little local Italian restaurant where I can leave it all behind for a few hours. Where it's just me again, no babies in tow and a totally different scene. Sometimes I worry about my career, whether I'll ever be able to just pick up where I left off when Rose came along. In Australia children don't start school until age five and due to when her birthday falls, Lila won't be going for over another year and a half. Paying for full-time, good quality childcare for two children is prohibitively expensive, and not something I feel completely happy about doing. It makes more sense for me to be the one rasising my kids than paying someone else all every cent of my wages to do just that.
These are the crucial years, when they need me the most and I want to be there for them as much as I possibly can. This truth is that this job is more important than any other I'll ever do. I'm responsible for raising these small beings. For helping them find out who they are, what they want to do, where they want to go. For equipping them with the necessary skills to survive and prosper in this world. For making sure their journey to adulthood is a happy one and that they know they are loved no matter what. Nurturing, protecting and teaching. That's scary, mind-blowing stuff. Which I have no special training for other than my own experiences. That puts it all into perspective pretty quickly. I need to be the best I can be every day, even if that day just consists of a trip to the library and the park. Not only for myself but for them, they who watch and learn from everything I do. I can't control which bits they choose to take on board but I know I am shaping their world and more than anything I don't want to let them down.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
I'm excited because we've recently booked flights to South Africa in September to see Curt's family for a few weeks and during the middle of it I'll be flying back to England (bringing Rose with me) to stay with my parents at the farm for ten days. As South Africa is almost all the way home from here, I couldn't pass up the opportunity and it means I will be able to go to a very good friends wedding. I can't deny that the lifestyle in here in Australia is brilliant and this is very much where we want to be at the moment (we've certainly waited long enough to get here!) but I will always be a home orientated person and I do miss plenty of places, people and aspects of life from my homeland.
This is a big year for the UK and though I'll be coming too late for the big events of the Summer (the Olympic Games and the Queens Jubilee celebrations), I'm still really looking forward to spending time with my family and friends, visiting my favourite haunts and getting my fix of Britishness- nowhere else can do country pub lunches, high street fashion or fish and chips in quite the same way.
This is a big (expensive!) trip for us that we have had to, and still will for some time, save very hard for and it will be the last one we plan to make to that side of the world for a few years. Next years big goal is buying a house here and we want to see some of the world which is easily accessible to us now. The upside of having a rugby obsessed husband is that we'll definitely be making a visit in 2015 for the next ruby world cup! Though I'll be sad not to return again for a while after September, I can't deny the prospect of a week or so in Bali does sound mighty appealing too.
Thursday, 10 May 2012
I've been meaning to order this book for a while and just got around to doing so. Not a parenting manual but a memoir written by an American lady who moved to Paris and observed that French norm is for parents to seemingly effortlessly raise incredibly well-behaved children whilst still maintaining a life of their own. Offering an insight into some of their parenting techniques and attitudes, it has garnered a lot of attention in the media (from what I can gather, mainly from Americans who object) and started off numerous discussions. I'm interested to read it myself and see if it is all just common sense or if there are some secrets to be learnt!
Personalised Double Silver Key Necklace by Sarah Lawrence Jewellery
I've been looking out for a gorgeous piece of non-tacky personlised jewellery for ages which I can get Lila and Rose's names engraved onto and which is suitable to wear every day. This fulfills the brief exactly and after some not very subtle hint dropping I was secretly hoping I might receive it for Mothers Day this year. Alas not but maybe next year.
Vitamin and Watermelon Lip Balm by Grown Organic Alchemist
This smells divine- though it contains watermelon I think the fragrance is more like orange blossom and vanilla- and has tiny exfoliating beads in it. It leaves lips super soft and moisturised (no I don't already own it, I just obsessively test it out every time I find myself in the pharmacy).
Chambray Denim Shirt from Next
I've also been on the hunt for a chambray shirt this month, unfortunately Curt beat me to it and bought one for himself last week. I also recently got one for Lila as it was just so flipping cute in mini size. So if I do buy this one we will have to strategically plan our wearing of them or risk family outings in matching shirts.
Monday, 7 May 2012
I'm currently daydreaming of a little escape. As much as I love my babies, we all need some time out every now and then. Just me and him for a day or two. Some good food, lots of rest, getting lost in a book and maybe a spot of pampering. Not on the cards in the near future but hopefully we can at least manage a dinner out instead :)
Images from Toast catalogue 2010.
Thursday, 3 May 2012
The elements here all work so well together; the light, airy walls and the simple curtains, the natural, rugged feel of the wooden chest and the rattan foot stool, the combination of all the textures, the antique chair against the modern, clean backdrop, the pop of blue from the lamp, the subtle softness and femininity leant to the scene by the vase of casually arranged pink peonies.
I could just step right into the picture and soak it all up. Pretty near perfection in my book.
Image from Country Style Australia magazine, via Dustjacket Attic.