Wintery Things

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We took a drive out to a beautiful pine forest yesterday and proceeded to wander around it with some friends. I didn’t think I liked pine trees very much, always favouring the familiar pale greens and greys of the Australian bush over the grim regiment of large pines. Yesterday though, these slender ladies made quite an impression on me.

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de ja vu

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This afternoon we arrived home from the beach, once again, for the final time this month. We’ve spent the last four days back on the coast, pretending that holidays last for ever and ever and that we don’t have any responsibilities or plans or commitments or anything else to do other than wander to the beach each morning via our favourite little coastal coffee van and play with the girls on their scooters and eat sandwiches and grapefruits and in the evenings: icecream.

But as we all know well enough, holidays come to an end. And here we are. At home. Again. Feeling the quiet rumble of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, all those icky things-coming-to-an-end type feels. KB is working the next couple of days, doing some training before the school term begins again; we will tag team this week so that I can get some work done too.

Since arriving home late this afternoon we’ve checked on our plants (yet another fern has come to a dismal end under my amateur care), picked some snowpeas, cooked some beetroot, roasted all our remaining veg from the week (pumpkin, capsicum – red and yellow, carrots, and garlic) jumbled together with cheese, leftover rice and sun dried tomatoes for an easy summer dinner, made bliss balls for snacks tomorrow, mixed some oats and chia seeds together with almond milk for breakky, milled some brown rice and put it aside to soak overnight for baby, done our veg box order for this week, paid a bill and hung out the washing. After dinner we played on the back deck as the sun went down.

Tomorrow the new week will begin, and I’m determined to stay cool and not get frazzled with the daily grind of washing, mess, toys, meals, nappies. I’m going to keep reminding myself of my goals this year. (One of which I have already knocked off yesterday by doing an 8km hike with Peachy babe on my back and KB by my side – first long walk since she was born. Yes, yeah, hooray, fist pump! Officially addicted to kicking goals! Yippee! Etc.)

It’s going to be a hot one here. Stay cool (physically, metaphorically, emotionally), wherever you are.

P.S. Have you read this blog? It’s just the sort of fun reading I like to do when I’m getting all motivated and outdoorsy and loving summer. You might like it too.

it’s 2016!

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Tell me, are there big things in store for you this year?

We are taking stock with family for a couple of weeks in the country. Breathing the air, going for walks, drinking chai and of course hitting the local op shops.

Hope you’re doing the same, wherever you might be.

xx

the flowers and so on

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Spring has officially arrived in the Southern Hemisphere. Over the past year we have done a little bit of work here and there in our garden and although there is a lot more to be done (and we generally have no idea what we are doing) I was amazed at the variety of flowers that bloomed to announce the beginning of the new season. I love Winter, but the last few weeks always seem to drag a little. Everyone seems to have a sunnier disposition all of a sudden now there is some colour in our days.

It always takes me a while to shake off the darkness of Winter. I thrash through my wardrobe wondering what to wear when the sun comes out and warms the air. I keep putting nourishing yet heavy stews on the meal plan, unsure of what to do with those fresh leafy greens that arrive in my veggie box. (While we adjust our favourite go-to meal is currently a tray of roast vegetables, raw greens, a handful of seeds and a blob of hommus. It has enough possibilities to suit the whole family in one form or another.)

At the start of each season I always spend some time consulting this book. It grounds me in the here and now and no matter what is going on in my life, it always has something to say to me. I love the recipes and find that with a quick refresh of the suggested seasonal pantry items the kitchen is in business again. I’ve had about five minutes to peruse it this season, but I have kept it out on the kitchen table so it is within grabbing distance at opportune moments. I was also given this book for my birthday back in May which I absolutely love and am happy to say Peach has finally allowed me the chance to test out some of the recipes, many of which are perfect for the warmer weather headed our way.

Speaking of warmer weather (or lack of it) for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are bundling up and slowly retreating into Autumn, I am very excited to be featured in the Autumn issue of Tend Magazine, talking about creating a sense of place for our children in our homes and local landscapes. Pop over here to check it out.

I think that’s all for now, my head is a little foggy with less sleep than I would generally like, and the end of the school term in sight. I’m looking forward to KB being on long service leave and I can think of little else. FIST PUMP! Ciao.

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on the first day of spring

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… it seems appropriate to talk about nature. I for one am completely ready to burst open the windows and doors to welcome the fresh, crisp air of Spring.

I read this article this morning on one of my favourite websites. What really struck a chord with me was this: “We’re at the mercy of the plants, the fungus, the beetles, the trees, the bees. They don’t need us, but holy hell we need them. No insects to pollinate crops, no food. No trees to transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, no air. No plants, no life. That’s that.” The Planthunter

It is all too easy to drive around each day, barely noticing our surroundings. Our natural surroundings. To use our cars without thinking and to ignore nature for days on end. Well this is true for me, anyway. But on those days that I get out in the yard or in the sun or out for a walk, on those days my mind is clearer. Life has more purpose. I’m reminded of what really matters and the importance of our roles in protecting it.

So today, on this first day of Spring, close your eyes and let the sun play on your face. Smell the breeze and touch a leaf. Notice which plants are coming to life on the route to school/work/kinder… I’m sure just a little part of you will come to life too, after lying dormant over the Winter months.

settling in

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Thinking and dreaming and writing (elsewhere!). Reading things that make my path and decisions easier. Focussing on mindfulness in the day to day. Trying not to get bogged down by the irrelevant. These are a few of the things I have been doing. As Autumn comes into focus (albeit a rather warm one) the world around us seems to slow down. The days become shorter and, if you pay attention, nature begins to wind down, reminding us that we should be doing the same. The Ashtanga Yoga I was doing over summer has merged into sporadical (read: rare) trips to the studio for rejuvenating stretching and meditation. Food has become warmer in our house, and cooked longer and slower as I follow the seasons and my instincts to fill our bellies with fresh, warm seasonal produce. In a book that I constantly refer to, I read that Autumn is a time for shedding, and not to be surprised if you cry a lot as we move into this season. I’m never afraid to cry. Are you?

popping in

Pip’s list: for times when stringing words together in any coherent manner is just absolutely not going to happen.

I am…

making a ripply crochet rug.
cooking about to head to my kitchen to make banana cake and mung bean kichari.
drinking coffee, spearmint tea and water.
reading Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus after just finishing Tim Winton’s The Riders a few nights ago.
wanting to clean my house Mary Poppins style.
looking for some motivation today.
playing hide and seek every day.
wasting time.
sewing nothing! Must change that.
wishing I would go to bed earlier, but each night I defy myself and stay up late. Damn you Nashville!
enjoying the beginning of Autumn. Oh, how I love love love Autumn.
waiting for some new shoes for Pixie in the post.
liking seasonal yummy delicious Autumnal foods.
wondering whether I will get a new job soon… and what it will be like to leave my girlies.
loving wearing my slippers for the first time this year.
hoping to start a new bedtime routine with the change of season.
marvelling at how well Birdie is going at kindergarten.
needing to do some life admin.
smelling eucalyptus and peppermint oils in my oil burner.
wearing jeans and cardigans and light scarves and loving it.
following my heart.
noticing subtle shifts in the weather, the skies, the landscape.
knowing that when my motivation is lacking, a new day is around the corner.
thinking about putting the kettle on.
bookmarking job advertisements…
opening pencil cases for the kiddies.
giggling at the antics of two sisters.
feeling a little bit tired, a little bit slow, but also optimistic.

Link up in the comments below if you decide to play, so I can pop over and have a read. xo

out in nature

 

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Things seem continuously busy these days. By the time breakfast has been eaten, dishes cleaned, kids dressed, showers had, washing on… it seems it’s already time for lunch. It’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of the mundane, I know it.

But the thing is, the mundane will always be there. Waiting around like a bad friend you would like to see the back of. Unfortunately it’s just a fact of life.

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These days I have to make a conscious effort to get outdoors, knowing we all feel so much better for it. The mundane, every day tasks become – dare I say – even enjoyable, for me, when I have had a good dose of fresh air and trees.

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Prince Charming and I have had so many chats lately about trying to integrate some solid nature time into our lives each weekend – beyond our backyard.

IMG_4703As a result, last weekend we packed a picnic and ventured up into the Dandenongs on the outskirts of Melbourne.

The air was so crisp, so fresh. The pixie slept soundly in the ergo and we fed birds, picnicked and walked and walked and walked.

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We spent the entire day out in the hills and came home feeling pleasantly tired, rosy cheeked and happy.

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We know how important it is for us to connect with nature. We know it can sometimes take just a bit of effort to make it a priority. The house was a tip when we got home.

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We didn’t care.

 

time for rejuvenation

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Spring is in the air, and it has not gone unnoticed here.

In an effort to live more in tune with the seasons, I have paid attention to the Spring twitch, to the Spring itch, that has quietly begun nudging me to step things up a notch this week.

Until I noticed this feeling, I didn’t realise how much I had slowed down – for better or worse – over Winter. We have been in a flurry of illness, one after the other, for the last couple of months. During this time there have been many blessings – one of which is the Pixie’s sudden ability to sleep longer than 45 minutes at a time. HALLELUJAH KID. Better late than never. There have also been downfalls, sickness, lethargy and coffee – lots of coffee. Lots. Did I mention there has been lots of coffee?

There was a point during the depths of winter that I reflected on all the little things I used to do and prepare and think about in order to help us to live a healthy and happy life, that I haven’t really felt able to do since the Pixie’s arrival (uh, nearly one year ago). There have been moments of motivation and feelings of I’ve-Got-It-Together, but if I’m being honest, they have been few and far between. I’ve enjoyed the winter, as I always do, but I’ve mainly been feeling like a bit of an under-achiever. I haven’t wanted to blog much and have felt that when I have, my posts have been silly and on the surface like. None of the real stuff, the in depth thoughts, the confusion, the clarity. I haven’t really had the words. I’m not sure if I do now. Maybe I never have.

Suddenly though, with the eruption of Spring sunshine and blooming flowers, I am making almond milk. I am scribbling seasonal meals onto our meal planner in silver pen. Yes, silver. I am cutting back on the coffee and drinking ginger tea in the afternoons. I am feeling that nesting urge (minus the pregnant bit) to clean things up and throw things out. I’m feeling invigorated and motivated.

Things accumulate. Stuff, feelings, thoughts. Spring is the opportunity to shake off, cleanse, tidy, refresh. Spring is the opportunity to reset.

So that is what I’m doing.

Firstly, I took the plunge and signed up for two yoga classes a week. Two SIX AM yoga classes. I can only hope that my Spring energy shows me the money.

Secondly, I’m back in action in the kitchen. When I’m feeling crappy, I eat crappy. If I eat crappy, we all eat crappy because I am the crappy crap cook. Then I feel crappy because I’m being crappy and eating crappy and the girls feel crappy because I’m feeding them crappy crap and then Prince Charming gets crappy because I’m crappy in his direction and it’s all just a big cycle of crap. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Thirdly, I’m cleaning out. I’ve cleaned out our study/sewing room and our lounge. Next on the list is the kitchen and living area and then onto our bedroom. The back deck after that. I get so overwhelmed sorting through stuff but my method is simple – three bags/boxes. One labelled OP SHOP, one labelled SHIT (or rubbish if you prefer), one labelled KEEP. My only downfall with this method is that the KEEP box ends up full of stuff that then sits there for ages and accumulates more stuff and the cycle has to then begin again, so my one tip is to sort the KEEP box ASAP.

Fourthly, ok I’m not sure if there is a fourthly but the moral of the story is: Spring is good.

Are you feeling the Spring love? Maybe it’s Autumn where you are and the leaves are starting to colour?

hello, spring

Where did you come from, you sneaky old thing?

And what joys and pleasures do you plan to bring?

Well welcome, hello, hello to you Spring. 

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Within the week, Spring has appeared from no where.

I stood on my back deck yesterday folding washing in shorts, a singlet and bare feet, thinking back to just last week when I stood in the same position in a thick wool cardigan, long pants and uggs.

I feel as though I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to Winter. To my woollen blankets, steaming cups of tea, evenings curled up on the couch and mornings spent wrapping thick scarves around our bare necks.

So goodbye Winter! I love you, I’ll miss you, but I’m also looking forward to feeling the sun on our backs and the earth on our feet.