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Sunday, August 31, 2014

A snapshot of August

  • The kiddos finished up their Winter sport-soccer for both big kids
  • The weather remained cool, we had three sick kids with Lulu's lurgy hitting her hard. It's been weeks and still the chesty cough for all three lingers on. Ick! There's no such thing as 'just a cold' at our place. Bella had a fantastic review at cf clinic in July! It's amazing what a cold and a few weeks make. The rollercoaster. We are hanging out for the school break when we can all rest and recharge.
  • My gorgeous niece tried her hand at candle making and gifted me a lovely soy candle in one of Nanna Belles glasses.
  • We visited Junee Licorice factory after soccer one Saturday.
  • Little love and I enjoyed a country drive to Lockhart. We headed to 'Ginge and Fluffs' second hand store to find a gift for a lovely friend. The canola crops were a huge highlight of the day out. I've never seen a yellow so cheery.
  • I made banana bread over and over.
  • Grandy lit the bofire. There was soup, a camp oven roast, motorbike riding and marshmallow toasting with family and friends.
  • The bigs had friends sleep over.
  • Special mail from a thoughtful friend..Wrapped in vintage wallpaper no less.
  • Lulu rode her bike without training wheels for the first time!
  • I squeezed in a bit of running.
  • We celebrated Kyle's 21st birthday.
  • Belle got accepted into selective class at her high school of choice. She is very happy which makes us very happy.
  • And finally and thankfully...there were signs of Spring. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

July-a snapshot

Flannel sheets of the lovliest kind.
Rainy days.
A new old chair.
Daffodils.
String of Pearls in bloom. A wee bit excited about that.






In our crazy and wonderFULL family life, I am grateful to have had a few days this month to fill my cup. A special day shared with my gorgeous friend Karlyn celebrating her 40th birthday. We spent a day in the country, there was coffee, pumpkin scones, fruit cake too. We wandered and foraged about the junk shop and enjoyed some uninterupted conversation.  In the late arvo we headed out to the farm for a cuppa and early dinner around the fire with our boys and the kiddos. A lovely day will with lots of lovely.


I was also lucky enough to spend a few days away in Melbourne. I had the very best day wandering the Finders Keepers Markets. I have wanted to attend forever but have patiently waited until the time was right. I spent the day wandering and eating and drinking. Latte and gumbo-not together, red vevet cupcake and coffee scrolls. I enjoyed my own company and came home with a nice haul. Some new discoveries included Little Quarters, Bonsai Kitten and Ellery Fox. I was also able to visit Emily Besser's art exhibition at Hut 13 and am now the happy owner of a lovely new artwork (that still awaits framing!).

 That's me recording July in September pfft!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

For the love of happy mail-Part 1

A while ago I hosted a little mail swap in the hope of connecting with others through smail mail, kickstarting some creativity and making someone's day a little bit happier.
Initially, I thought it would be fun to see what I could rustle up and stuff into an A5 envelope but then I sat down and began to write the letters. I felt a wee bit overwhelmed for a second or two because I had a few to write...but once I put pen to paper, the words flowed and I really enjoyed the process of writing a good old fashioned letter. Each letter was very different. Some of the letters were written to real life friends, others to long time blog friends and others to brand new blog friends who had read about the swap and joined in.

Over the past couple of months I have been so blessed to have a steady flow of happy mail arriving in return.
I am so grateful for the wonderful letters and amazing treasures I have been gifted through the swap. Seriously, I have been completely and utterly spoilt! If you want all your Christmases to come at once, then I strongly recommend you host a happy mail swap!

I really, really LOVED reading your letters. It was so nice to connect a little more personally and share and hear a little bit more about our offline lives. I made myself a cuppa and sat quietly opening your packages and reading your mail. There was so much thought put into each and every happy mail. I can only hope everyone felt the same way about the mail they received.

This is my outgoing happy mail. I sent cards, both bought and handmade, fabric, teabags, seeds, notebooks, vintage treasures, mixed media packs, pretty papers, confetti, origami, giftwrapping supplies, feathers, bookmarks, recipes, quotes that inspire me, photographs... gosh so much fun choosing things for the recipients. I'll be posting a part two soon with a bit of a show n tell of the happy mail I received plus some of the fun packaging!

A snapshot of June


The cold snap arrived and my stress levels rise a notch as we work a bit harder with Boo's health regime.
We have all had a fair share of icky colds and chesty coughs.
I spent two days in bed and am so grateful to have become unwell on a weekend. I was able to sleep on and off, read and rest while the Mr held the fort. I watched episode after episode of Twin Peaks. Have you seen it? I can't say I'm loving it but of course I've been sucked in now and have to find out who killed Laura Palmer.
There's been making of muesli bars and comfort food like pumpkin risotto and chicken soup-I used Lisa's recipe here.  It was absolutely delicious and how clever she was to slow cook it on the fire place. I just used my regular old slow cooker and it turned out GREAT! It has pumpkin in it too and I threw in a handful of quinoa for good measure. You should definitely make it.
Saturday morning soccer has been followed by visits to the Artisan Bakery for baked treats and hot chocolates. Our boys headed to Melbourne for a night to watch their team. Grammy and Grandy sent us some bagpipes they bought while in Scotland. We spent a happy but chilly weekend with friends in Tumut.


Tonight we have plans to don our beanies and polarfleece, light the fire and toast some marshmallows.
Happy Winter! Stay warm!

Monday, June 30, 2014

A snapshot of May

May was a big month.

  • There were all the usual goings on... work, school, preschool, the to and fro of kids sport, music, activities.
  • The Mr went away on a ten day fishing trip-the longest he has been away from us. I tell ya' I was daunted but surprisingly we moved along like a well oiled machine. Early nights were a key factor.

  • We waved goodbye to Grammy and Grandy as they headed off on their UK holiday.
  • The first lemon!
  • Fundraising was BIG on the agenda forMay. Gah to be honest..It puts me out of my comfort zone at times. I'm sure we've all dodged a fundraiser in the street before. It's a tricky thing asking people for money or their time. But until there is a cure for cf..well, we'll just keep on keeping on. One day. If not for our child, then someone elses. All this fundraising..it helps. It really does. The advancements in treatment and outcome for cf and a range of illness/disease/conditions is truly amazing. Everytime you throw a buck into a charity, please know that it absolutely counts.
As many of you know, our big girl lives and breathes every day with cystic fibrosis. Living with a chronic illness is a roller coaster..for Bella and for us. It is part of our every day life. We try not to let it consume us..but there are times when it does. The rollercoaster. 

May is the month for our national awareness campaign and while we have always been involved in fundraising for cf..our big girl said 'mum, this year I want to do something' and thus 65km for cystic fibrosis was created. Throughout the month of May, she rode her bike a total of 65km to raise much needed funds and awareness for cf. We are incredibly proud of her positive attitude, maturity and commitment to keeping as healthy as possible. Kids with cf have a lot to take on. They need to manage treatments, medications, health and hospital admissions and they live with the knowledge of a shortened life expectancy. As parents, we try not to dwell on this and take each day as it comes but it is always there-in the back of our minds, in the bottom of our hearts.

Every weekend during May our girl rode her bike around our local lake. Sometimes with her dad and me running along behind, on Mother's Day, she and I rode 15km together and sang songs along the way, sometimes she rode with friends. But every weekend she headed out to the lake to clock up her 65km with enthusiam. 
I helped her to set up an everyday hero page where she shared her story and watched in amazement as funds rolled in.


This one little girl managed to raise $4752.39!!!


A HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who took a moment to read Bella's story, who shared her everyday hero page, offered encouragement, joined her for a lap or two or donated to her fundraiser. We are totally gobsmacked by your support. THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Milk glass

Hello!
Some lovely new milk glass to show and tell. Just the nudge I needed to get me blogging.
I am pretty darn excited about these pieces. They all found their way to me over the past few weeks.

Firstly, the sweetest little pear dish. So different than anything else I have in my collection. This was gifted by the lovely and generous Kylie. I especially love the back as well. Such a pretty little piece.


This goblet was picked up at my local oppy for $2.00 and these pretty bowls were also thrifted, $2.00 for both.




And lastly, a special little vase that came all way from England. My inlaws have just returned from a one month holiday in the UK. They found this in a second hand store and were not even certain it was milk glass. Thank goodness they decided to snag it. I am absolutely thrilled to have this well travelled piece in my collection. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Garden Journal

Snapshots from our garden. Just because.





1. String of pearls
2. Little Gem, always lovely..even as she becomes brown and tired
3. The first nasturtiam. And just like that Miss Five picked that first little bud even before she opened.
I was watching her out the laundry window and I called out 'noooo' but it was too late. And she handed it to me saying 'I picked it for you Mummy'.
4. Autumn
5. The last of the roses

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gifted

My sister in law gave this piece of milkglass to me for my birthday a couple of months back. I love it. She was on holidays at the time and was checking various little old wares stores in the hope of finding me a piece. Eventually she found this little treasure at some local markets. I love it's pretty scalloped edge but even more so, I love the thought that went into finding it. Definately a piece I'll treasure.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Treasure hunting

And just like that, the set was completed!


The other day, my friend Yvette came to visit and we went for a little drive in the country. We visited the lovely town of Lockhart and the AMAZING second hand store, Ginge and Fluffs. Yes. Ginge and Fluffs. I'm thinking cats but the mind boggles! Next time I'll be sure to ask ;) It was there at Ginge and Fluffs that I picked up the last bowl in my pyrex set.

PS Thank you for your lovely offer Mel. I would surely have taken you up on it had I not been lucky enough to find this one.

A snapshot of March

I know April is almost over but March you were beautiFULL!
  •  A special birthday breakfast with the ones I love.
  •  A night out with some beautiful girlfriends.
  • I went to hear Microwave Jenny sing their sweet tunes-their last gig before they headed overseas. Love em.
  • Finally, the citrus trees I have been longing for. A lemon, a lime and an orange.
  • A birthday celebration for our big girl too. A pool party. Boys and girls. Donut eating competitions. Truth or dare. Hamburgers. An icecream bar. One very happy girl.
  • The kiddos played their last game of softball for the season. 
  • A FABULOUS day at Talbingo Dam. The kiddos had a ball riding the biscuit. Boo did a super job water skiing. Riley took them skurfing. So blessed to have extended family loving our kids like we do. Our children do not have any cousins of similar ages to grow alongside, to play with. But they are blessed to have patient and caring big cousins. Big cousins that take them shopping and out for lunch. That give drum lessons and take them water skiing. That listen to their stories and wrestle and indulge in their antics despite them being sometimes annoying. I digress.
  •  The littlest love ate an apple with the skin on for the very first time. This was kind of a big deal.
  • And I cannot forget a special visit with Bonnie. We puppy sat the sweetest little daschound for most of March. We all fell in love with her, including the Mr who has dug his heels in firmly with a big fat no, when we've all pleaded for a dog. I can at least see a glimmer of hope now and we'll keep trying to twist his arm.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lately...

We have been enjoying the slower pace of school hols.
We are loving the cooler Autumn days. Still sunfilled but cool enough for an extra layer.
We had the most wonderful lazy afternoon on Good Friday. The kiddos played at the park for a few hours...swinging and climbing trees, playing hide n seek, fish n chips for lunch, while the mamas lay in the sun on a blanket and talked non stop. It was a very good Friday indeed.

There has been making and baking.
I finished my sew along skirt. Fashion parade to come ;)
We had a delicious camp oven roast for dinner on Easter Sunday followed by our usual Easter treats of speckled eggs in a chocolate noodle nest. Always a winner!



Slowly but surely I am sending out some happy mail. If you are waiting...thank you for your patience.
I am enjoying putting your mail together. I hope you enjoy receiving it too.


The Mr and I enjoyed a rare night away sans children.
We spent a night in Orange and it's surrounds. We visited an op shop or two and some lovely second hand stores. I snapped up this lovely piece of fenton milk glass at the salvos. A sweet $15.00 It really is a beautiful piece.



We also enjoyed the most amazing coffee and breakfast-I swear I did not eat for the rest of the day because I was SO full. If you ever visit Orange, I thoroughly recommend Factory Espresso. I also thoroughly recommend you visit the nearby town of Millthorpe. 



In other thrifting news, I found this pyrex bowl at my local. A bargain at just $2.00
Just one more piece to complete the set, I think.



I have much more to show n tell but this post has been sitting in my drafts folder all week so I'm just going hit publish now ok!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sew-along

Last week I jumped on into the Lazy Daisy Sew-along. It has been put together by Daisy who doesn't seem lazy at all! She has put so much effort into the sew-along already! The pattern is easy to follow, great for beginner pattern readers like myself, Daisy is very encouraging and on hand to help. I purchased the pattern from my local Spotty. When I asked for some help in getting my measurements and explained I would be making the skirt via an online sew-along, the Spotlight lady looked at me like I'd swallowed a bobbin (or something sewing related because this is a sew along after all). She offered the name of a local lady in case I was interested in sewing lessons. Oh no I can sew I told her..I'm just not very good at reading patterns. Hehe. Blogging is a funny thing and an online community is a tricky thing to explain to someone who has no idea what you are talking about. Needless to say. I decided not to tell her I was sending happy mail out to strangers friends I haven't met yet.

This skirt even has a zip! So if I get a hold on that, there will be something to shout about.
I am using some crazy thrifted fabric for my skirt. I really like this print despite it not being something I would normally wear. It only cost me a couple of dollars so if it works out then I have plans for some lovely brown velvet-also thrifted.


It's not to late to join in.
All the details are here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For the love of happy mail

Recently I mentioned I would like to host a little mail swap. As a teenager I wrote regularly to my penpal. We often sent each other stickers and song lyrics, posters of Ralph Macchio, Kirk Cameron and book recommendations. We poured out our hearts on pretty notepaper and it was so much fun sending and receiving mail. Despite losing touch as we moved through life, I still have every single letter and I still make her mother's cauliflower soup-a recipe she once sent me.


Inspired by these wonderful letters, I would like to host a little mail swap. This will be a one off swap for those who simply love sending and receiving mail.You will need to fill an A5 envelope with happy mail. You might like to include a recipe, a postcard, a favourite quote, a photograph of something you love or something in your town or yourself!!! movie or book recommendations, stationary items such as cards and stickers, can be handmade or not. And importantly, a handwritten letter. These are just a few things that sprung to mind. You can be as creative-or not as you like. But mostly have fun with it! Have fun putting it together and have fun receiving your own little piece of happy mail.

If this is something you might like to participate in please email me at grantleaingram@hotmail.com with 'for the love of happy mail' in the subject line.
Leax


* The mail swap is now closed

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lately

Things are crazy busy around here. I think it's just life today though. Family life. I think it's our normal. There is always something happening, some place to be, something to do. I'm not complaining. Really. Most of it is really good stuff. I just feel like I need to stop and smell the roses a bit though. And I've missed blogging and reading your blogs!

Inspired by Pip, I thought I'd take stock and jot down a few things in the hope of kickstarting some more regular blogging.

:: Taking Stock

Making: to do lists. Ughhh!
Cooking : cakes, biscuits, brownies and giant freckles for the car boot sale at school.
Drinking : ginger beer, chai latte, merlot, mango smoothie, water, not all at once!
Reading: Flicking through Inside Out magazine.
Wanting: our house to look like a page out of Inside Out magazine, even if just for a day. I wonder where they put all their baskets of ironing for those photo shoots.
Looking: forward to the end of daylight saving and some earlier nights.
Watching: "I melt with you" This was not what I expected at all. Have you seen it? I found it.. unsettling.
Sewing: a quick cushion cover for a little girl's birthday.
Bookmarking: things I want to make from Home by Beci Orphin.
Enjoying: a spot of running and breathing.
Waiting: for school holidays and a break from the busy.
Loving: my little piece of Belinda Marshall art 'Balance'. Something I am always striving for. I adore her colour pallettes. Beautiful hues with a little pop of colour here and there. I received this little print as part of my support of her Pozible project last year. Belinda has a new project at Pozible here.


Hoping:  our carrot seedlings will grow.
Needing: to sort through our wardrobes in preparation for the cool change.
Tasting: fresh pistachios at the farmers markets. Have you ever tried them?


Wearing: boyfriend jeans and stappy heels.
Noticing: this masterpiece.


Knowing: we can only do the best we can in that very moment.
Thinking: about making hats for the Easter Hat Parade.
Feeling: like I'm always playing catch up. Do you ever feel like that too?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pretty florals-thrifted and gifted

Lately I been lucky enough to find and receive some beautiful fabrics. Gorgeous Kylie generously sent some brand new still in their packets floral sheeting my way. Too beautiful to snip into but perfect for my little loves bed. Thank you once again!!! Kylie. There are some beautiful thoughtful people in blogsville aren't there? It's a funny place to make friends but somehow we do.


My dear friend Yvette gifted me this beautiful barkcloth recently. I love it so much! She made the sweetest dress out of it and gifted the rest onto me. Thank you Yvette. I hope I can come up with something as lovely as your beautiful dress.


While dropping off bags of loot to the oppy recently, I picked up some lovely velvet fabric. Definately enough for a skirt, I think. This sweet lace made it home with me as well. No clue what I'm going to do with it. Sign me up for hoarders!


A couple more florals for the stash as well. The lemon/grey is a sheet and the other is a bedspread. To chop or not to chop is the question!


Are you still thrifting up a storm? Have you been sewing lately?
Sadly, I have not! But I am collecting and dreaming so when inspiration strikes time permits, I will be ready!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A snapshot of February

February was filled with exploding cakes and pool parties.

 

We fell back into the same old same old as school commenced.
The activities resumed with music lessons, saxaphone for Boo and drums for the boy. Softball was the Summer sport of choice for all three kiddos. Lulu played her first season and despite her fab skill level many tears were shed throughout the first half of the season. It was wonderful though, to see her gradually grow in confidence and be able to run the bases without her daddy alongside by the seasons end.
The bigs settled into school with ease, both kids happy with their teachers for the year.

I started running again...a little sporadic at the moment but hopefully the cooler weather with bring an increase in motivation. Once upon a time I was an all or nothing kinda girl. But something is better than nothing isn't it?! It all counts, I think. Never mind that my green smoothie mid afternoon was followed by a glass of wine while cooking dinner. Yep. It all counts ;)

My big girl and I had a wonderful time with special friends when we participated in The Color Run in Canberra. It was such a fun 5km filled with smiles and rainbows, bubbles too. Totally do it if it comes your way!

video

My little loves had so much fun receiving some snail mail in a little swap that we organised.
I am thinking about hosting a little mail swap soon. Do you think that's something you'd like to participate in? It will just be a one off swap where you will exchange a letter and some other bits and bobs.
More details to come...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five

Our baby turned five this week!


She's a beautiful little girl. A bit bold sometimes and grown up in so many ways, a result of being the third child I think. And still such a baby, also a result of being the third child. The last child. Our baby.

She loves books and drawing. She has long hair all the way down to her bottom and every night it is a debacle to brush. We let her watch peppa pig on the ipad...a lovely distraction from the task at hand(knots).

She often pops into our bed through the night. She always comes to my side of the bed because she knows her daddy will take her back to her own bed. I savour these bed snuggles because I know they don't last forever.

She loves swimming and she 'canon bombs' in with gusto. She has such an expressive little face when she's telling you this and that. She is a big sweet tooth-like her mama. She is a fussy eater. She rides her bike with her training wheels really fast down the hill..yelling yippeeeee for effect.

She loves big! Oh my goodness, she LOVES SO BIG! She gives the tightest cuddles-so big they hurt. And she always has to love one better. So if I say I love her a gazillion...she says she loves me more or the most or double that.

Happy Birthday to our littlest love.
And just because I always feel a bit nostalgic on my babies birthdays...

That hair!