Saturday, September 29, 2012


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My parents have been travelling in the States for the past few weeks and we are missing them like crazy.

When the days drag, I wish that Grandfather would appear at the door for his regular afternoon visit. Or when I want to run a quick errand, I wish JanMa was around so she could take the Little One on walks about the garden.

But more than that, I miss that they are missing her growing up. And I miss talking to them about how she is growing up (every little detail!). It's so true that joy shared is twice the joy.

So I send them a photograph or a series of photographs each day. At first I wasn't too sure if this made it easier or worse for them, but they told me to keep them coming.

This recent bunch was one of their favourites. They gave us the gnome as a bit of a joke when we first moved in - and Sassy just loves him. She's always waving at him, chatting, crawling up nose to nose. And that ABC catalogue is rarely out of her reach. I've come up with some imaginative ways to 'read' that one...

(They are coming home the day before Saskia's birthday. Phew!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Avoca: a weekend away

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While the boys toughed it out in the mud, we enjoyed exploring the little blue and white holiday house and the local markets with these two.

Fragrant gardens, early rises, a sun-drenched breakfast table, two little copy cat crawlers, sweet chai and baby yoga under the trees, handcrafted treasures, a beautiful find and a lucky fit, bare arms and a floppy sunhat, tea and croissants on the porch, long baby naps...It was an ideal getaway.

I'm hoping to go back and explore this little patch on the Central Coast again one day, and would love to know of any places to see if we ever do make it back. We're feeling more confident about road trips with the Little One now. She had some lovely long snoozes and travelled happily. Although we did rely on one or two episodes of Playschool on the laptop on each stretch...

*I'm making the most out of that romper while the sun shines...She's growing out of things too quickly. Sigh.
**Last three photos of Sassy and Tilly taken by Kelly

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

11 (and a bit) months

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11 (and a bit) months and the Little One... still taking a few steps between her mama and papa's outstretched arms...the running hasn't begun yet...
...dances like crazy to Little Peter Rabbit on the nursery rhyme CD obsessed with stairs, dogs, birds and the puddle at the end of the driveway
...loves breakfast the most (girl after her mama's heart)
...giggles and giggles at her papa's booking reading performances happiest exploring outside
...misses her JanMa and Grandfather (road tripping in the States) oh so much
...charms her parents every day 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh no she di'int....

...oh yes, she did. Little One took her first steps over a week ago. Must have been all that practise on the block trolley.

That, and her fierce determination and desire to be on the move.

More of that adorable romper in the 11 month portraits coming up.....
(remember that one?)

Monday, September 17, 2012

A favourite

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A girl after my own heart. She loves hummus. I've never seen her eat the way she does when she eats hummus. Generally she can be a bit fussy, a bit of a grazer. So it's been a relief to find something else that I can add to the failsafe list. Along with Vegemite on rye bread, yogurt, and apple and berry bircher muesli.

I don't eat meat (and haven't done for over 12 years) and I'm yet to introduce meat to her diet. We haven't decided whether we will bring her up on a vegetarian diet yet, but I'm doing a bit of reading now to get a sense of both perspectives. In the meantime I'm on the hunt for some vegetarian meals for a fussy almost-one year old. Do you have any goodies up your sleeve?
I've been referring to the recipe from this book for years, but over time my version of hummus has evolved. In my opinion the secret ingredients in a good hummus are soy sauce (you can omit salt this way), a splash or two of sesame oil, and a good quality tahini.

I don't like my hummus with too much garlic and sometimes infuse garlic slices in olive oil for a more subtle flavour...and I must try this version with roasted shallots. It might sound a bit daggy, but my favourite way to serve it as a dip is with cocktail onions and gherkins!

Do you make hummus with secret ingredients?
My hummus: 
a can of chickpeas (I like the organic one that comes in a yellow tin, can't remember the brand!) or a cup of raw chickpeas soaked 
+ a good overflowing dessert spoon of tahini 
+ a small clove of garlic crushed (or infuse a few slices in olive oil for a more subtle flavour) 
+ juice of a lemon
+ 3 or 4 big glugs of olive oil (I tend to use a bit of olive oil as this makes it beautifully smooth and creamy)
+ tons of black pepper
+ splash or 2 of soy sauce/tamari (wheat-free option)
+ a couple of splashes of sesame oil
...whizz in a blender and add more olive oil/warm water to get the consistency you like...
(let me know if you try it!)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Early rises. Paint sample pondering at Bunnings. Pikelets from the pan. Village duties*. Summer holiday dreaming. An afternoon visit from Vovo. Inspired by these books.

*I'm researching playgrounds/playscapes...does anyone have any suggestions, interesting links?
1. Flapper: there's something about her. Part of a series of postcards from a travelling exhibition at my work. I keep a few others on the bottom of the fridge for the Little One to screw, chew, view.
2. Aiming to double the number of indoor plants we have...I'd love one of these especially. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Made: dotty invitations

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In Brazil first birthdays are a big event. Almost on par with weddings. We haven't had a wedding yet - just a beautiful, simple engagement party in the these Rose Gardens. When it happens, our wedding will be intimate and it will speak of the two of us, and Saskia and maybe another little one.

So we have decided to throw a Brazilian first birthday. Although I felt nervous about this at first, I am happy that we will have the opportunity to celebrate with all our dear family and friends who have played a special role in Saskia's first year. After all, it takes a village to raise a child...

I can't even bring myself to type out the number of people we have's pretty enormous though. So I made some simple and fun invitations over a few nights in front of Goonies, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Call the Midwife. It was quite a therapeutic process - how great are menial tasks after a day with an 11 month old? They are so easy to make it's laughable. I was inspired by an idea on Pintrest (naturally).

I used these ink pads from Spotlight, a couple of rubber tipped pencils, some translucent paper from an art store and some heavyish watercolour card. Of course making invitations was just another way I could add to the washi tape collection.

*Speaking of parties, there's a lovely series to celebrate spring at Che & Fidel and a pretty ace little giveaway. I'd be happy with just the pillowcases or the beeswax candles...

Monday, September 10, 2012


When I started writing this blog Saskia was only weeks off being conceived. I initially posted as a way of keeping Little Sister in London and my dearest friend (and cousin) in New Jersey updated, but my posts soon turned into a way of documenting my pregnancy and, eventually, my little one's first year. I keep posting, as a way of memory keeping. Writing things down in a place I can come back to when it comes time to collate a baby book for Saskia. Dates, firsts, reflections, that will end up on paper pages, next to the hospital bracelet, the tag from the first (carefully selected) jumpsuit bought for our yet-to-be-born baby, and cards from family and friends that are tucked away in two desk drawers. I might make it in time for Christmas. I'm not too worried. I know it will happen, it's important to me.

I've been thinking of making a few small changes to this space though. Inspired by other bloggers who come and comment on my posts. (I'm always so touched). I'd love to write some posts that extend beyond keeping memories, invite more of a conversation. I didn't dare before. But now...I'm feeling a little brave.

*This card was given to me at my baby shower by my 9 year old cousin. It was tucked away in one of those drawers, but now I have it pinned up. A reminder that our baby is perffect (for us).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Two little friends

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Sassy's little friend Tilly turned one on the weekend. We drove out of town to the Scented Rose Gardens for her party on a blustery spring day. We gathered in the mint green teahouse and watched as all the people who adore that sweet little girl filled the room.

Kelly is one of my dearest friends and it's been so wonderful to share the journey of mamahood with her. For this reason (and more) she will always be a very special person in my life and I'll always be especially fond of little Tilly.

There's something so charming about two little friends following each other about, oblivious of the action happening above them. Dressed in party dresses and tights, wearing matching bows.

Happy Birthday Tilly x

*Kelly wrote a beautiful post about the day here

Sunday, September 2, 2012

His first Father's Day

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We let him sleep in. And Sassy opted for the traditional present: (happy) socks, hand-picked chocolates and a subscription for a fat kind of magazine that you'd never buy yourself. I think the socks will make him smile at work and think of his (happy) Little One.

We picnicked by the lake in the afternoon sun, eating olives, turkish dips and bread, and took Sassy on the miniature railway. K said it could be our little tradition.

Although it was his first Father's Day as a Papa, I think it was a hard day for K. He was missing, and remembering his own.

Meu Amor, I love the way you love your little girl. There is no better feeling than knowing we are three...Happy Father's Day to my own Dad. I hope you know how much I adore you.