Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Making me smile this week :)

My all time favourite flower, the hibiscus showing off its glory :0)

My new doona cover found at Salvo's for $15........love it!

My night light/candle from 'Atise'.......makes the bathroom smell oh so good

My big girl all toilet trained! Very proud x

What's making you smile this week??

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bring on winter!

I LOVE sitting around an open fire, staring into the flames, toasting marshmallows, telling stories and watching the stars sparkle under the simpleness of the fire light.

This is why I am so excited to be finally building our very own fire pit in our back yard.
It's yet to be finished, but we're on our way. Nothing flash, just bush rock and tree stumps as benches.........perfect.........let the cold nights begin!!

Can't wait to finish and christen with friends and family.........................

What do you love best about winter? Do you enjoy and open fire like us??

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easter Fun

Sunday afternoon saw us making lots of little bunny bags.

So cute and easy and the perfect way to carry ones eggs!
We made alot this year, as not only are the cousins getting their eggs this way, but it was decided that school friends and kindy friends alike will get one too!

All you need is some small envelopes (seal them first), pom poms, glue, black pen and eggs of course!

Heres a pictorial how to:


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Treasures Re-gifted

Coming from a family of 5 kids, my mum and dad were always using their heads when it came to toys and gifts for us all.
My parents noticed the lack of a dolls house in our midst and given I was the only girl for many years, they thought it the perfect present to make me one birthday. So instead of buying one, dad set himself the task of making one for me.
With my birthday deadline and the pressure of knowing this was my one big present, he spent nights  out in the garage, cutting, measuring, sanding and generally perfecting our families first dolls house.....no pressure hehe!!

I LOVED it. We LOVED it. I'm not sure exactly how much my brothers played with it, but I thought it was fantastic. I would play for hours, chatting with dolls, creating stories and plots as I went along. Furniture would be moved, reshuffled and even just not included on a daily basis.......it was great.

But then as I grew up, I lost interest and it sat dormant in the playroom. That is until Mum asked what Rouge would like for her 2nd birthday!

I suggested they could 'regift' the dolls house to her, and just buy a few new people to add to the house. Mum couldn't believe it.......'are you serious' she said. 'Do you think she'll play with it'??

Well four weeks later and the house is now in her bedroom and it has never had more attention in it's life! With all three children right into make believe, you can be sure at least one is in Rouge's room enjoying the very same stories, renovations and scenes I did all those years ago.

I have thought about painting it, but I do love the naturalness of it. The furniture is wooden, the house and roof are wooden, and even the people are made of wood........and what would I paint it anyway......white?

I love watching them play using their minds and imaginations, and I especially love knowing their enjoying the special house my dad made me.

Nothing beats re-gifted gifts :)

Do your kids play with something that used to be yours? Do you have a dolls house at your house??

Monday, March 19, 2012


New Edits

I'll never forget when we found out we were pregnant with our first bub and how excited we were!
We then however,  found ourselves in the daunting world of name choosing!

Having worked with so many kids in my career, I found myself associating names with previous children....we were no way in hell having a child called Blayne!!! (no offence if you have a Blayne!)
I rememeber advice from a friend who said the real way to test if you like a name is to go to the supermarket and shout out the name as if calling the child......you'll know how it sounds then!!

It had to be a name we both liked, a name that would travel with them through the years, one that went with our surname, one that people could spell, one that wasn't so common there would be more than 2 in their class and yet one that wasn't too out there.........the list seemed endless and the pressure felt enormous!!

I actually like the more 'left wing' names you could say, however it appeared Pip liked the more traditional names. We had 9 months of finding a middle ground! And because we didn't find out the sex of our bub to be, we had to find that middle ground on both a girls and a boys name!! It was a hard process.

We were so excited on April 21, 2005 to announce the arrival of our beautiful Phoebe Louisa (Louisa being my mothers name). We were thrilled. She was beautiful, alert, big and healthy and her name really suited her.

I'll never forget then, our first Mothers group session when I turned up as proud as punch with my divine little bundle, only to introduce myself and my baby and a mother across from me started laughing. She proceeded to explain that her friend had a dog called Phoebe Louisa and it just made her chuckle out loud..........I was devastated! (who the hell calls their dog Phoebe Louisa anyway!!)

Never in our naming process had we thought to include the 'dog name' category!
The 'said' mother and I are the still greatest of friends and we can now both chuckle about it all these years later........but I have to say, it did change the way we thought about naming our next 2 children!!

How did you come about your children's names? Did you have to meet in the middle like we did??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Road trip...

Our family loves a good road trip, and this past weekend was no exception!

A friend of mine grew up in Walcha (northern NSW) and has talked many times about the famous Walcha Show, so we decided it was our turn to experience the fun! (more on the show later)

I wanted to share with you a little of Walcha and it's beauty.
Walcha is a small rural town of only about 2000 people and is not far from the bigger known town of Armidale. It is trying really hard to make itself beautiful, hip and a place where tourist will be drawn too. Its council had decided to make it "the town of wooden art". So everywhere in town there is art sculptures of wood, totum style poles/pillars holding up shop fronts and carved pieces everywhere. It's really quite amazing.

Walcha is a big motor bike tourist spot due to it's winding roads up through the mountains (the road is called thunderbolts way just to give you an idea), but is still very undiscovered to the main travelling folk.

There is a fruit shop, an IGA for your essentials, craft store (manned by the voluntary old ladies knitting in the corner of the room) 2 little coffee shops, but really that's about all.  Of course there is a pub, hospital, school (or 2) , post office etc, but if you were after a department store or the like, you would have to drive to Armidale.

The Apsley Falls are only a minutes drive away and were amazing. Nothing like a massive waterfall to humble you!

I think travelling in your own country, exploring places you've never heard of and stopping to experience our amazing wildlife is what life is about! I envy those who take time away from everyday life to escape and hit the road......oh one day!!!!
We absolutely loved Walcha and can't wait to be there again soon.

What have you discovered on your journeys?? What was your favourite road trip?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Card holder

Am busy sewing and making for the school fair coming up this weekend.

These are card holders perfect for those little hands that just can't hold too many cards (and you know my families current obsession with Uno!) They are also handy for those bridge loving oldies whose hands may be affected by arthritis.
Thought I'd share with a little tutorial.

First you'll need: needle and thread, 2 old cd's, wadding, 2 buttons, fabric (old t'shirts make great fabric!)

Next you need to cut your fabric to be slightly larger than your discs and stitch around the outside of both fabric circles

Place your wadding (cut to disc size) in the center of your fabric with your disc on top, then simple pull one of the threads to gather the fabric around the disc. Tie threads in knot and repeat on 2nd disc.

Places together with right sides out and stitch together using bottons through the center of the discs.

Finished! Now you can repeat as many times as you need depending on how many card players you have in your house!
Teamed with a pack of Uno, these make the perfect gift for boys or girls.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birthday wishes

(appologies for length...but it was a speech!)

Christian was born first
to pathe the way
For Claudia to follow
and brighten each day

Along came Heathy,
This took us to three
And without dear little Elliot
Now where would we be

But this is the story
Of Naomi Grace Young
Who just yesterday
Turned 21!

You were born in this house
With the family around
Just sitting and waiting
For that little crying sound

You were petite and small
At only 6 pound 9
But both mum and dad
Thought you'd do just fine

With white fluffy hair
And lily white skin
I wasn't too sure
You were going to fit in

You see till this day
My world was happy
I was the only girl
Now there was one in a nappy

But then you grew up
And were so damn cute
And nothings much changed
Cause I still hear cars toot

You were happy and friendly
And gave everyone smiles
But leave the door open
And you'd wander for miles

Between burns and breaks
Before you were two
And walking in traffic
You really hadn't a clue

We'd play with your hair
And carry you round
Then dress you up
In whatever we found

It was now time for school
And as the youngest of 5
That teacher sure knew
That she was alive

At Willoughby Public
You had lots of fun
Making many new friends
And so did our mum

It was then onto Roseville
Where you were to follow
My awesome footprints
And cheer for 'team yellow'

You played tennis and rowing
And basketball too
You made it your mission
To see seasons through

You wanted some culture
It would do you no harm
So off you went travelling
Through China/Vietnam

You banded strong friendships
That will last through the years
Who together you'll laugh with
And cry many tears

You write with your left hand
Use your right to cut bread
"I can use any hand
I'm ambidextrous" you said

You've an eye for fashion
Creativity and style
Ironic really, that you leave
All your clothes in a pile

When it comes to boys
You never kiss and tell
But i thought we were sisters
Naomi, what the hell

You've a flare for design
That's clear to be seen
So now it's off to uni
To follow your dream

So here's where it ends
The story so far
I think you'd agree
She's already a star

So my wish for you
My dear only sister
Is that you stay true to yourself
And find a good Mr

Be conscious of others
Tread lightly on earth
And learn the true value
Of self confidence' worth

You're my friend, my sister
And babysitter in one
So cheers to you Omi
It's now time for fun........

Happy Birthday Naomi xx

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Name change!

Well now that I'm getting the hang of this blog life, I've been doing a lot of thought about my name.

I've decided to change from Madam Bongani to At Number 32 which I think better represents what my blog is all about!

I hope you still follow along with me, and enjoy the fun we have here At Number 32

Claudia x

p.s bare with me as I attempt to beautify my home page with the wonderful help from the very clever Greer at Typically Red

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lessons in Life

I swear we were infinite

The other night Pip and I were discussing what it is we think our role as parents is, or should be.
And as we discussed it longer and longer I realised that although we both come from different upbringings (couldn't be more different really!) we have such similar ideas.

Perhaps this is the reason we were drawn together in the first place, or we've become this over our time spent together, I'm not sure, but I'm so comforted by the knowledge that should something happen to me, our children will grow up exactly as we both would have liked.

You can't make your children be something they're not, but you can guide them and teach them so they are aware of themselves and the impact they make as they go.

So after our much lengthy discussion, Pip and I wrote down a list of what we thought were the important things we as their parents need to teach them before they fledge our nest..........
(they are in no particular order btw)

1. have self confidence to be themselves without being arrogant
2. be able to cook 7 different meals for themselves from scratch
3. have empathy for others
4. have an understanding that things aren't just given, you need to earn them
5. that to have love you must give love
6. to be able to save
7. to be respectful of their surroundings
8. to enjoy the simple things life has to offer
9. to be a good listener
10. to be able to ask for help when they need it

I know this is only the beginning and the list will no doubt grow as they get older, bu it's been good to put things on paper and know that we are on the same page, heading in the same direction.

Have you thought about what you want to pass on? Is there something you were taught that you'll never forget?
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