green thumb part 1.

hydrangea

the day we moved into our house (nearly) 2 years ago i fell in love with our garden. it was romantically overgrown, green, fresh, with the promise of flowers. about our year into our house, we did a massive clean up of weeds and problem plants (e.g. the rubber tree!) … which practically demolished my romantic garden … why are weeds so pretty?

since then, i have been caring for, nurturing, loving the last plants standing … and i’m in the mood for planting! I am a total rookie at planning a garden (let alone a home!) but I have started to go Pinterest crazy, chatting & enlisting my friend who has incredible talent in the garden landscape arena, and even taking a sneaky bit of advice from good ‘ol Burke (man, it brings back memories….).

i love hydrangea’s, and i love the idea of propagating … so at the beginning of summer i took a few hydrangea clippings from around our neighbourhood & under the guidance of Mark’s grandma have begun to grow my own plants! Yippeeeee!

If this is something that you’re keen to try, here’s how I got started…

//What you need//

1 x propagating pot mix;
1 x rooting hormone gel;
A few pots (plastic or ceramic);
plastic bags;
elastic bands; and
a few plant clippings.

need

For the hydrangea, it is important that your clipping is a part of the plant that is not flowering. You must also cut it on an angle.

angle

Remove any excess leaves, leaving only a few at the top. Follow the instructions in the rooting hormone gel. You usually need to dip the stem around 1 cm deep.

leaves

Then plant in the propagating pot mix and water well. I then created a few little greenhouses by securing a plastic bag over the new plant with an elastic band. I found this protected the plant and provided constant moisture for the new plant without watering each day. I have kept my new little plants under my table on my deck for the entire summer (which is hot down here!).

plant

I’ll let you know how my experiment has gone in the next week or so!

xx

{half} DIY kitchenette.

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i am time poor. we all are. this makes DIY projects virtually impossible for me at the moment. but last year i was determined to make my girl’s christmas gift from mark & i awesome. i had bought her a wooden kitchenette from Aldi. while i love love love wooden toys, i find that the colour schemes that are trending these days are not necessarily to my taste. so i decided to ‘take control’ & make this kitchenette an item that would fit beautifully in our little home. it was a total last minute job (as usual) but i’m really happy with the result. and more importantly, so is she!

before (source):

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 8.40.58 PM

after:

neon

what you’ll need:

1 // 1 x flat pack kitchenette. mine is from aldi.
2 // 1 x spray paint primer in white.
3 // 2 x coloured spray paint in contrasting colours. I chose 1 x neon pink spray paint & 1 x apple green spray paint.
4 // painters tape and newspaper.

Steps to take:

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1 // Prepare surfaces for painting. Sugar soap surfaces & wipe clean. Lightly sand surfaces.
2 // Using painters tape and newspaper, block off areas that do not need painting.
3 // Choose a well ventilated, but not too windy area for spray painting. Cover all surfaces with the primer. I found the neon pink needed a good cover of white primer to make it the full-on neon that i was after.
4
 // After at least 24 hours, spray paint parts in preferred colour.
5 // After 1 – 24 hours, spray a second coat of paint.
6 // Assemble flat pack & enjoy your ‘handiwork’!

xx

changing things up.

gum bootsok. so today is the two year anniversary of starting this blog. WOW. i’m stoked. i just love this little corner of the internet & am so thankful for all of you that are joining in the ups & downs of our family life. as i write, we have just won the Ashes 5-0. Yipppeeee! I’ve just come in from a swim at the beach with our littlest one. The two eldest are at a sleep over with nana & pa (THANK YOU!!!). Mark just came home with Indian for dinner & we are going to settle in for the Big Bash series tonight (cricket, if you’re none the wiser ;) ) while talking about our personal, spiritual, physical and work goals for the year. So things are looking REALLY peachy at the moment. I mean really REALLY peachy.

Thank you all for following along so far. It has been an awesome journey for me & I hope the same for you. to my sister in London (to whom this blog is dedicated) .. i love you! & miss you too much. glad you’re in town for the silly season ;)

Here’s to an awesome 2014 with lots of welcome changes and good times ahead !!

xx

WNWR/4

WNWR5

today’s WNWR is for the littlest member of your clan. this year i have had to wrap my head around three little people and their gifts for christmas. needless to say it has been fun. sometimes it feels so strange to be a mum … i still feel like a teenager! ha! not quite. but i often look at my kids & try to imagine what they think of me … and that takes me back to my thoughts on my mum & dad at the same age. nostalgia. it’s that time of year!

want // musical handbells. i just love these handbells and believe every child should have a set at home and not just at school! when better to introduce your child to music than when they’re a baby?!?! I’ve been taking my kids to music lessons since before they could crawl. it is so good for brain development, socialising, following instructions etc. so i am always looking for ways to enrich their musical lives. (photo source).

need // cot sheets. i have a terrible time in finding good quality, awesome cot sheets. i love this DIY that i found on this blog. now for some fabric hunting & time before christmas to make these puppies!

wear // i mean, seriously. cute huh?!?!

read // i came across this series from this blog. she is awesome. and she loves pink – totally trustworthy. and what a great idea to educate our kids on classics while having fun reading!!

what other ideas do you have for your baby?

xx

WNWR/3

WNWR3

this is a funny post really, because as adults – mama’s & papa’s – we all know that we pretty much buy what we want, need, wear, read all the time … at least i do ! is anyone else guilty of that??

on my wish list this christmas:

want // i love this grant featherstone chair. i mean wow. simple lines, detail, comfort, australian design. what more could a girl want in her nesting mode? i’m undecided if i want a pop of colour in the yellow or if i’d prefer to go with the grey. either way i’d be happy!

need // this summer i am an absolute desperado when it comes to swimwear. i have been sporting a different shaped body each summer for the last four years, and to be honest … i am ready to get {at least a part of} my figure back … hopefully ;) i am IN LOVE with these french inspired togs handmade by sarah from gypsy jacket. i’m a bit sneaky because i’ve requested this exact pair from my folks for my birthday. perfect for surfing, swimming with the kiddos and all round looking rad. a friend of mine who is part french (yes you @picklesmede) commented that ‘french style’ means no swimmers. i mean, is that fair? yes, i think so. in that case, sarah’s french toga are perfect. check. them. out.

wear // i’ve just been introduced to ace&jig and i love them. the texture, simplicity, femininity … all bundled into sophistication. i wouldn’t mind getting some ace & jig in my wardrobe.

read // this just looking amazing. that’s all!

i’m a simple lady with simple needs.

what would you like for Christmas?

xx

strict parenting.

my little helper getting it right yes we have pink cutlery

mark and i have recently finished watching this seminar on parenting. it’s awesome. it has given us a lot of food for thought. questions like: on what foundation do we base our parenting technique? are we actually parenting or just getting by? what aspects of character do we want to develop in our children? &c. needless to say we’ve had a really good few weeks of growth. Ultimately, the question has come down to what kind of character do we have? how do we need to change in order to demonstrate character to our kids. it’s been good.

our little boy turned four recently and one tradition that we have begun, inspired by this book, is giving our kids a blessing as well as a responsibility each birthday. our kids are learning how to be contributors in this family which hopefully will teach them some self-help skills as well as the ability to contribute to society and this world when they are older. this year the responsibility we gave joey was unstacking the cutlery from the dishwasher & sorting it into the correct holes in the drawer. he’s doing a great job. this is his duty each morning (i am trying to limit it to once a day (rather than possibly twice!) so the novelty does not wear off too fast). and he is loving it. it always surprises me how much the kids love to contribute by doing ‘real things’. we are yet to settle on a blessing – it must be meaningful, good and a real privilege. i’ll share this with you once we have decided.

i think God must be trying to tell us something because i was passed on this article from Mark’s work about “strict parenting”. read it. it’s worth it. i love the quote at the end … “your kids will thank you … later on when you’ve equipped them with problem solving and independence skills needed to negotiate the wider world without you“. I also read this blog post from a blogger whom i totally respect. so as you can see, we have been bombarded with resources for parenting at this age and beyond. aren’t we the lucky ones!

the one thing is, no-one tells you when you are thinking about having a child, or expecting a child, or have children is that you actually have to parent the child. and parenting is a deliberate, well-thought out process with strong foundations. at least it should be!

parenting is hard. no doubt. but here’s to a new beginning of deliberate parenting where we are aiming for a higher goal than eating veggies at dinner, where we are shaping and constructing the souls of our kids. may God be with us!

xx

TGIF*

fairy

sharing the good news with v that she is now old enough to go camping for a weekend with mark & joey, she replies, “nooooo mama, i no go caaaampiiiing. i go shoe shopping”. she’s ma girl !

TGIF.

xx

(the ‘G’ in my TGIF is ‘Goodness’ ;) )