new york city : the high line

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

If you're ever lucky enough to find yourself in New York, a walk along the High Line (preferably during the first or last light of the day) is an absolute must.

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. We found ourselves here on a particularly gorgeous November afternoon, just as the sun was lowering onto the city skyline and casting a golden glow across the park; really bringing the autumnal colours to life.

I highly recommend stopping for a meal at Chelsea Market while you're in the area (the fish tacos at Friedman's were amazing). If the weather is pleasant, avoid sitting amongst the crowds and order your food to go; no doubt it will taste all the more delicious as you sit in the park overlooking the bustling city.

Oh... and don't forget to top it off by losing yourself in Anthropologie (inside the market building) for a good couple of hours afterwards. (Apparently, I have a "very patient family" - just ask the sales woman. Ouch!)


Sunday, 28 April 2013

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

Eulalie: Light and shade; perhaps the perfect way to describe your little self at the moment. Your two-year-old emotions are intensely passionate and often volatile. There's little grey area, it's all or nothing. In a way, it's really quite profoundly beautiful and raw.

We spent Friday afternoon cleaning up under the house and sorting through the dusty collection of antique furnishings patiently waiting to be restored. The oak wardrobe was a gift from my mum, and once it's given a light sand, will begin it's next life in Lalie's room, where it will become home to pretty little girl clothes, shoes and trinkets.

My favourites from last week are the sweet portraits over at Mother Down Under and Oscar Lucinda.

Joining in with Jodi's 52 Project. Read all about it here.

little girls

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The weekend before last, we met up with family for a picnic in the park.  I drive past these particular gardens all the time, and I do remember going in there as a child, but I'd completely forgotten how gorgeous it is... the perfect place for little ones to frolic. Although not a nature reserve, the lush gardens obviously appeal to surrounding native wildlife. On this occasion we were lucky enough to spot a cruising goanna and a jolly old kookaburra.

Lalie and her cousins completely adore eachother. It's such a very sweet thing to witness little girls at play. Actually, I've become so used to seeing these girls together that I'm finding it difficult to imagine a boy in the mix. Of course, we'd be equally delighted with a son or a daughter - our only preference being a healthy baby.

At the moment, my instinct says girl... but perhaps that's just because the idea feels more familiar; it's what I know. Funny thing is, I was absolutely convinced that Lalie was a boy - I just couldn't picture a girl at all. Now I simply can't imagine it being any other way.

The guessing game is fun. I must admit, I'm much more intrigued this time around... but, for us, this is a sacred surprise that we like to keep until babe is in arms.

To the Mums and Mums-to-be: will / did you find out? What about your instinct - were you spot on or completely off the mark?

P.S - Thank you so much for the fantastic book recommendations. I'm going to try and gently ease myself back into the reading this weekend.
P.P.S - Would you check me out with my regular posting - I don't even know myself!

books, books, books

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Yesterday I took Lalie to the Library for the first time. Although she has a pretty impressive collection of books for a two-year-old, the current trend of four to five bedtime stories per night (in addition to daytime reading sessions) means the rotation is reaching mind-numbing heights. I simply cannot bring myself to read 'Maisy, Charley and the Wobbly tooth' (a random op-shop purchase that has her completely besotted) one more time.

After a play with the toys and a flick through endless tubs of picture books, we came away with a whopping thirteen children's titles.

And yet, not a single book for me.

I dawdled around the adult fiction isles with absolutely no clue what I was looking for. It's been so long since I've read a proper book. Even longer since I've been a member of a local library (shamefully long, in fact). When did I let pretty blogs and design magazines supersede the irreplaceable experience of truly getting lost in a proper story?

I really believe that reading to your kids is so, so important. But lately I've been thinking that creating a family culture of reading - ultimately, leading by example - should also be right up there on the priority list.

So, I'm kindly asking for your help. Point me in the right direction, folks... tell me about some recent standouts and/or your all-time favourite reads. Where should I start? (feel free to include some toddler suggestions, too. It was six books tonight - A Maisy marathon!)

P.S - The shoes finally fit!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

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

Eulalie: Just moments earlier she picked a tiny leaf from a hedge (see it there in her hand?). She's started 'collecting' little treasures from our outings; sticks, seeds, flowers, stones... she likes to bring nature home, just like Mum.

My favourites from last week would have to be from Nell and Little Sleep. I love the anticipation of adventure... what cute little explorers.

Joining in with Jodi's 52 Project. Read all about it here.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Things are looking a bit tired around here. I feel like we're stuck in some sort of home-decor-limbo. Everywhere I look there's a half-finished project. On the dining table, supermarket flowers decay in their vase.

The first half of this pregnancy has been downright exhausting. Although I've felt nothing but incredibly blessed and happy, I must admit that the accompanying fatigue has been an enormous challenge. With Paddy away for so much of it, I was left physically and emotionally drained. Only now - at 22 weeks - am I starting to feel my energy return. Finally, I'm starting to believe that things around here might actually get finished.

Lalie's room is slowly undergoing a transformation as she moves beyond infancy and well into toddlerhood. It seems a natural progression to move her from the cot that was mine as a baby and into the bed I slept in as a little girl... such a beautiful sentiment that means so much to me. I'm so thankful that my Mum held onto it all these years and I know for certain I will store it for many more to come. It's not finished yet; a lick of paint (Dulux Sea Sprite) has reinvented it, but Paddy has yet to repair the posts that complete the more elaborate four-post design (consider this a very premature sneak peak of the next stage of her room).

My office space is also looking to get a bit of an overhaul, as we prepare to make room for baby. I'm in no rush to relocate my creative space just yet though as babe will be in our room for at least the first six months. Looking around me right now though, I can't help but wonder where all the stuff in this room is actually going to go. It's either time for built in's... or even better - a few garage sales.

I've always considered myself a collector, but these days I'm finding the need to strip back. I used to see 'pretty clutter' in my collections, but now all I see is a big old mess. I think for us, family life definitely requires a more minimal and practical approach to decorating. Don't you agree?

I hope you have a great weekend... I'm off to buy some (longer lasting) replacements for those poor old roses and chrysanthemums!

new york city : iris cafe

Monday, 15 April 2013

My mind keeps wandering back to New York today. What I'd give to be snuggled up on a window-seat booth, brunching and buzzing with that big city energy.

Instead, my un-showered self sits behind a cluttered desk avoiding three overflowing laundry baskets and a sink full of last night's dishes. Sigh.

A favourite from our trip, Iris Cafe, is located in Willowtown; just a short stroll from our Brooklyn Heights air bnb rented apartment. The restaurant offers an all-day menu consisting of simple, wholesome, unpretentious food (not to mention really good coffee). A few doors down you'll find their take-away store and deli; a great back-up plan if the dine-in queue is spilling out onto the pavement (expect to wait for tables everywhere in NYC!).

On this particular morning, a roomy bay-window booth was certainly worth the wait. With a wriggling toddler effectively trapped and occupied with a humble egg and soldiers - we were free to eat and drink at leisure, people-watch and plan the rest of our day.

From a city that offers so many exciting tourist attractions and must-do's, my fondest memories are the moments of quiet and calm found in cozy cafes where we would rest our legs, catch our breath and reflect on our experiences as the city outside hurried relentlessly past us.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

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

Eulalie: The quintessential two-year-old.

Folks, we have officially entered pigtail territory! (I thought we'd never get there.)

Joining Jodi's 52 party unfashionably late. Read about it here.

naturally dyed eggs

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Thank you so much for your congratulatory messages on our pregnancy news. We are absolutely thrilled!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. With Paddy away this year, I tried to avoid moping and decided to try my hand at some naturally dyed eggs. We used recipes from here found on pinterest. I used brown eggs and soaked them in vinegar beforehand to remove some of the brown pigment and soften the shells before soaking the eggs in the dye for about 5-6 hours in the fridge.

Lalie enjoyed mashing up all the ingredients and making a total mess in the kitchen. By the end of our eggsperiment (sorry, couldn't resist), my kitchen and toddler both resembled my favourite hypercolour tee-shirt circa 1992.

Although the dye solutions were really vibrant, the colour didn't transfer quite as well as I had hoped for (and certainly didn't look anything like these), but I'm partial to a bit of mottled muted imperfection so I wasn't too disappointed.

Hot tip: If you try this next year, go all out and blow the eggs. I was lazy and just boiled them... by the end of the long weekend they stank to high heaven and had to be thrown out.

Aside from some mama-daughter crafting, our Easter was quiet and spent with family. To those who celebrate, what did you do this year?

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