Friday, December 30, 2011

New Life.....

I've always been a big fan of council clean ups because of what you could find. I remember growing up and my street bestie and me would scout around unheaping everyones mountains of old junk just to see what may take our find was a whole suitcase of wigs! Oh the fun we had!!!

Well I still do love a good unheaping, and I'm happy to say my children also love a good rifle through someones 'old stuff' (much to the embarrassment of Pip!!) but now I look for things that can be given a new life. Things that can perhaps become garden sculptures, or tree ornaments, or just done up to be used as intended.

My little tribe and I hit the streets last clean up only to find the best table ever!! It was the perfect square size for the kids to all sit around nobody 'has more room than the other'........and I knew all it needed was a little TLC. (I forgot to take a shot of it before, but here's one of the after)

So here's what I did.......

1. pick up table and carry it home
2. gave it a quick sanding and wash down with soapy water
3. paint legs and frame white
4. paint table top with white board paint to add some fun to table

And that's it!! So simple!!
So what would have been more land fill, has now become a great creative space for my tribe to enjoy together.  I love it....... and so do they :)

Have you given new life to something that would have otherwise been more landfill.....whats your best council clean up find???

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where to.....


                                       (image from weheartit)

So christmas is over (yes Santa found our house and delivered some beautiful treasures for the kids to enjoy!) and we find ourselves looking forward to the new year.

I always find it's a weird part of the year. The so very anticipated christmas day has come and gone, we've sat around and reminised about the year just pasted, and yet we have only a few days left to think of the New year.

Think of the New Year ahead, and what we want to do with it, who we want to be with, where we want to head and what steps we need to put into place to allow all of the above to happen! It's where we try to put right the wrong we did in the past year and become a better person than we were, making promises to ourselves that sometimes we know we'll fail to keep! But that the joys of a new years resolution I guess?

Every year me and my little family choose a one/two word phrase to clarify where we want our future year to head. For example we've had the year of: Adventure, Catchup, Thrift to name a few.
So now its time for us to commit to our phrase for 2012..........the year of  'Do it'.

'Do It' means :
1. we head out on weekends and explore the beauty on our doorstep
2. allowing ourselves (together or individually), to put ourselves out there to do something we've always wanted to do (details later)
3. see parts of the world/country we've talked about and enjoy them
4. stop putting off the things we've wanted to do around the house etc that we never seem to find time to finish.......starting with our poor vegie patch! (another days story!!)
5. and generally just getting off our backsides to have fun together and explore.

We've actually made a start on this new years resolution already (as Pip has been home for a few days so we can enjoy some adventures with him). So in the 3 days he's been home so far we've walked Barrenjoey Light house and had lunch on Bilgola beach.......we've done the 3 hour bush walk around manly dam (always talked about doing) and spent the day enjoying Balmoral beach (which involves walking, fishing, swimming and of course fish and chips). The kids have been having a ball and coming home chatting and excited about the next days they crash to sleep everynight which is the added bonus for us!!

Can't wait to just 'do it' in 2012 and see where the road takes us...........
Where will your 2012 lead you, what adventures will you be taking????

Monday, December 26, 2011

Savour Sundays.......

                                                                  BONGANI !!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Xmas crafts....

This christmas, just like every other, my little tribe have wanted to help and get involved. Which actually is easy as we are again doing a handmade christmas this year, so they've all had something to do/create/cook/paint, but it still doesn't seem enough to them........they want more!

 So everyday since decemeber 1 we have been doing something christmassy to help brighten the house and just get more into the spirit of things. Things like, salt dough ornaments, gingerbread house making.......then cracking and eating,  librbary trip for chrissy books, carols played ALL day, making snow flakes.....and many more...... have featured so far but their favourite time all together was painting up and glittering some jacaranda pods we had in the garden.
They spent sooooo long talking to each other about which colours they were using, why this was fun, how it will look once finished, where it should hang.
It was just awsome watching them sharing together


Its moments like these I hope they cherish cause I know I will.........

Monday, December 19, 2011


Oh so pictures!

Travelling in the car with Stooge the other day (he has a knack of asking questions out of the blue, especially in the seems to be his pondering spot!) he goes......."mum, why do we have to say thankyou". Its these questions that you know they'll ask and I should have a nice thought out and rational answer for, but its these same questions that send my brain in freeze mode! I sit there are think, 'there has to be a good answer...what should i say.....what i say he'll remember and parrot, so think think think!!!'  then I hear " mum, did you hear me"!!!

So I did what I try to do to all these questions, I asked him why he thought we should say thankyou. He answered straight away with "because its a nice thing to do and it makes people smile when you do" (which I thought was such a lovely thing for him to have noticed and taken on board) but then he asks "but mum, why can't we just say thankyou"    me....."what do you mean"    stooge...."like why can't we just say thankyou and not have to explain more"

Which got me thinking again.....why is thankyou not enough? Why do we feel the need to so often add more words to create a sentence or fill an awkward silence, when sometimes we just don't need to.

So this is my new quest.
To remember that sometimes we don't need to give anymore than a thankyou. Sometimes giving a 'thankyou' can be enough and speak for itself. So long as we remember to allow others that gift of that 'smile' that Stooge was thinking of, I think we would be in a happier place and a happier world.
So I thankyou ..........

Thursday, December 15, 2011



                                                    (image from weheartit)

I find the concept of 'time' still evades me to this day!

One day I find myselves in what seems like the longest day in history, yet the 365 days which make up the year have gone by so fast.....where at xmas next week!!

This thought of time has been on my mind so much recently. My biggest baby girl, Bib, has her last day of kindergarten today and yet it seems like only yesterday we were taking photos to capture the momentous occasion! She's had a fabulous year making new friends and learning so much it's overwhelming to think about, but now she's "finished with the baby stuff and onto the hard stuff" she tells me! (not sure year one is going to be the hardest challenge she'll face in life, but it's all relative lol)

So these are my questions.....why do some days go slow and some fast. Where does the time go when it flys by and how can we slow what precious time we do have down?? I'm so eager to discover the answers before my three grow up (to fast of course!) and my aim is to question others to find out their thoughts on the topic. Have you any theories yourself??

Will try and keep you posted.......before I run out of time!

Reasearch so far has given me,
1. Time flies when your busy and enjoying yourself
2. Savour our time and spend time enjoying the things we love with the ones we love and it seems to slow down
3. take a moment to see what is really happening in front of you, allow yourself to stop

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Xmas Gatherings.....

Today I enjoyed a beautiful day, spent with the girls (aunts, cousins, siblings etc) of my extended family. To me, theres nothing more special than sitting down with the people closest to you and reminiscing about years gone by and dreams that lay ahead.


As a children, we grew up with very strong patriarchal grandparents. They were the pivotal couple in our whole family and everyday are so sadly missed by all. They kept our family close and by taking us all away for an amazing holiday to the most magical tropical island just off the coast of Australia, they provided us with the most amazing gift of friendship and camaraderie within our family.

It was a special time where we swam, fished, laughed, rode bikes and grew up all together. And since our grandparents passing we have all dreamt of ways to keep up our closeness and special bonds. It gets hard when we grow up and move away and start families of our own. Finding that time that friendships need to continue to grow can be hard........but soooooo worth it.

Thus the 'girly' Christmas drinks was formed. .............It hasn't been going for as long as our grandparents have been departed, but for the past 5 or so years, that feeling of belonging and family unity is being recreated by the giving of small gifts, beautiful food, sharing a glass of champagne and toasting to the simple, fun and good old times.

I'm so grateful for my 'girly' family times. I'm hopeful that our new found tradition continues forever and that my kids get to have that feeling of belonging and unity with many memories created that they too will be able to laugh about in their happy years ahead.

I'd love to know how others keep that family closeness alive and maintained despite the crazy days we find our lives heading down.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Savour Sundays.......

It's here that I'm going to post shots taken that really require no words. Pictures that speak for themselves.

Be greatful, enjoy and savour........

Market Fun......

                                                   (shot of the rain over our 'backyard')

Well, we did it!
Rain, hail or shine this market was going to be taking place, so of course, my luck, it rained AND hailed just at starting time!!!
Luckily for all, a decision was made about 15mins before the hail hit, that the clouds were moving in alot faster then we liked and perhaps we should all move we did and were all able to get our stalls moved inside and out of the rain just in time! Thank goodness! Honestly though, these things always seem to happen to me! I choose a date knowing its the beginning of summer and yet the rain still shows up! Surely it's not just me??

Never mind........we had a ball! I think it was a great success despite the rain!
We had a total of 10 stalls from local artists/craftsman and although we didn't get the expected number of people through that we first anticipated, for a freezing cold, rainy old day.......we did well :)  Even the sausage sizzle did well (although my garage now smells like one big sausage....we ran our of room in the house!)

I found it interesting seeing what people bought and were after. This time of year brings the need to look for Christmas presents, and budgets often dictate what we buy, so for that reason, we all tried to have some things that really weren't expensive. Stocking fillers you could say! And its those said items that really seemed to do well. Not sure whether it tells a sign of the times or whether this is what people go to markets expecting to pay?

Anyway, over all it was great fun and well worth the effort. I made a tidy profit and although my house was a little trampled by the end of the afternoon, the knowledge that local handmade crafts have been supported and purchased for Christmas presents this year is enough. Its very humbling to see just how talented some folk are out there, and I'm saddened to think these skills are being lost because chain stores get bigger and easier to purchase from........ despite the fact we know the product/toy won't last long or is even made in our own country.
So rest assured we will be holding another one next year......bigger, better and drier I hope!!

Have you thought about buying local this year, or giving something you've perhaps made yourself??

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Market Fun......

So it appears that not only do I love a challenge, but it seems I love to challenge myself!
As if I haven't got enough to do this close to Christmas, I've thrown in a blog now too and if that's not enough to keep my mind busy......I thought I'd host a 'backyard market'  this sunday to top it all off!

Although my time is not really my own right now, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was having fun!

Getting stuck into the garden in preparation has given Pip and I the surge we needed to finally give our renovated home the final push to make it complete.....only taken about six years! We've been clearing, planting, using fun tools like the drop saw and nail gun, and I have to say it's looking good (although if the damn bush mice would get out of our veggie patch so it could thrive again, I'd be a lot happier........any suggestions?)
I've been crafting (details on what later) conversing with MANY local craftsman in our area and walking the streets delivering flyers........with the help of three little munchkins! It's been pretty time consuming, but with all the support behind the day, we're so hopeful it will be worth while!

Why a backyard market I hear you say........Well its been on my mind for a while, figuring out how I can  encourage people to think local. Help people become aware of how many talented craftsman we have in our area (even I've been surprised!) and just think about alternative gift ideas this Christmas that doesn't  involve plastic/mass produced goods, that to be honest usually come from other countries.

Then I stumbled upon this post by Frog, Goose and Bear that described a market she attended which sounded similar to what I had in my mind, so this gave me the courage to know I can do it............
So we have a nice range of craft stalls being held. We'll have a potter, two different types of jewellery, a wood turner, hand bags, kids clothes, beautiful foods perfect for xmas indulgence, handicrafts by a teenager up the road, local honey and me with my.......array of crafts (not really sure what category I go under hehe).There is even going to be a sausage sizzle thanks to the skills of Pip!!
There has been a lot more interest in stall holders but I think with the date I've set being the first weekend in December, people start getting busy, so many couldn't join this time round. Note: late November appears a better time if you thinking of holding your own.

Have to say I'm feeling a little nervous right now, just thinking of the chance of rain and thinking we could have these beautiful crafts out and ready for viewing, but nobody will come! Only time will tell I watch this space!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet My Family!

We are an average Sydney suburban based family, living the dream of owning our own home (well the bank really) having a dog, fish, chooks and 3 kids!  Unfortunately this really isn't our dream though.........We aspire to get out of the rat race, be alot more self sufficient, have acres of space around us where the kids can explore, camp, ride their motor bikes and fish all in their own back yard.  I know we will get there one day, but for now we are grateful to settle doing all these things on our 980sqm block instead!!

So who do we have.......

Pip - my husband of 12 years now and an amazing person. He's someone that gets on with everyone, but is shy to jump in there in the first place. He's incredibly hard working (to the point of sacrifice) he cherishes his kids and loves to enjoy a good 'ride' on his motorbike! He's funny, very dry witted and of course tall dark and handsome! If I could use just one word to describe him it would be dedicated.

Bib - Shes our first born girl, and is now 6....where did that time go! She is the nurturer of our kids.....the little mother hubbard! You can almost tell what she's going to be like as an adult already! At school she did a speech on how she wants to be a nurse when she grows up, and I'd say that really sums her up..... .. She's funny, clever and a really good person to have around you.(except when shes having a 'taurus moment'!) She's full of a beautiful energy and I truly believe she's an old sole.

Stooge - He on the other hand, well he has definitely not been here before and therefore feels the need to learn things the hard way every time! He is 4 right now and an ever source of energy!! When he's up he's up to get busy and when he's down he's crashed. He is a very caring boy who loves 'helping others' .....even little bugs he's found stuck on their backs hehe.  He's very self confident and doesn't care at all what people think or say about him  (hence the array of dress ups we wear to school every day......more about that another time!). He's forever thinking and creating and has an energy that outdoes anyone!

Rouge - she's our littlest one who gets smothered by the older two, but has no trouble in standing up for herself. She is VERY strong willed and knows exactly how to get what she wants, when she wants. (usually this involves a very loud scream!) She appears little and innocent, and then she gets going! She has a cheeky little grin that melts everyone she tries it on and looks different to the older 2 (hence 'rouge') so is just so special in her own right.

Me - um, well.....I'm the 2nd of 5 children (first girl born though!) and according to my little sister "am a little bit out there". I'm frugal, thrifty and trying my hardest to raise 3 children who are conscious of others, tread lightly on earth and know the value of self worth. (3 of the best qualities in a person I believe......but more on that later too)
I love good company, music of any kind, good food and a nice wine. I love exploring and getting out and about, spending time with my family. I love all things crafty and I'm the kind of person that sees something and says 'pppfffttt I'm not paying that.....I'll make it myself!" So there is always some sort of building, creating, sewing or general DIY project going on in our house. 
Luckily for me I have a patient husband and eager kids who want to get in and help too.
My favourite sound in the world is children's laughter, my favourite smell is the fangipani  and my favourite flower is the hibiscus.

We have a big lab who is 3 1/2 called Duke, ( I love, Pip hates)  2 chickens (rainbow girl and water boy.....guess whos is who!) and too many fish to count and name (Pip love, I hate!) And that's pretty much it..........until we make it out of the rat race anyway!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Time!! I've put off blogging for so long I'm just going to jump in the deep end!!!!

I have some seasoned blogging friends who have suggested I get blogging in the past, and it's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but there just wasn't enough hours in the day (or so I thought). Raising three busy little people can take alot of the focus away from ourselves and I know I've found myself in the last six years just drifting away and getting completely focused on them.......forgetting what it is I like and love........but this year has thrown me some drastic reminders that we're here for a good time and not a long time.

So what am I waiting for? Now is as good a time as a any ........

So here in my blog, my aim is to write about stuff I like (am a good talker so it really could be anything!) share things I love (food, creating, upcycling, where do I stop!) and generally bring out the good and greatful me again :)

This is also my chance to perhaps allow my kids an insight into my world when they a little and become more insightful into them as they grow older. It's a journey I'm excited to be taking, and I do hope you travel along with me.............

Claudia x
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