Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year.

Wishing you a wonderful new year. 

2013 was a truly extraordinary year. I achieved some amazing goals in my career, we travelled endlessly, and welcomed our gorgeous Milinh Yindi Lucia into our little family. This year will forever hold a special place in my heart.

I'm hoping that 2014 will bring us an abundance of laughter, love, inspiration, creativity and travel. My hopes for the year ahead is to keep it simple while turning dreams into reality. 

I look forward to watching my children grow, visiting Caleb up in the wilderness when he works away, coordinating some big exciting exhibitions, celebrating Milinh's 1st birthday and my 30th birthday, putting more energy into this blog and journeying overseas.

2014 your looking brilliant already. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Snippets of Christmas

Our Christmas was wonderful. It was the first time we had ever had Christmas in our own home since Ba'il was born. No travelling, it felt too good to be true. We spent the morning slowly opening presents, feasted on cold local seafood and salads for lunch and spent the afternoon in the pool and searching for treasure (Ba'il asked for a metal detector from Santa). Summer holidays - I love you! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013." 

Ba'il - This week you have only left the pool to eat, sleep and play with your Christmas presents once the pool is no longer cool.

Milinh - We retreat in the air conditioned bedroom. It's oh so hot outside. 

I have truly loved taking part in the 52 Project and capturing not only the growth of Ba'il throughout 2013 but also the special moments such as the arrival of his baby sister Milinh.    This project has been a commitment to my children so that one day they can look back on all the amazing journeys we have shared as a family. 

I have decided that next year I will continue to record these special moments every week. I look forward to putting my new 50mm fixed lenses from Santa to good use and to continue to be inspired by everyone else who joins in on the 52 Project. 

Many thanks to the ever inspirational Jodi. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013."

Ba'il - Every Christmas book in the house has been read, every Christmas carol sung, many many times over. We are all loving the start of the festive season. 

Milinh - I've been getting lost in your deep dark eyes lately. My darling heart. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

River Dreaming - Festive





With only seven days until Christmas, Ba'il is wondering when it is going to start to snow despite my explanations of how and why we will be spending Christmas day in our pool. This year we will be eating fresh seafood along with summer salads and pavlova topped with our homegrown mangoes. We will spend the day around our pool sipping mango daiquiris and listening to Bob Dylan's Christmas album. I'm sure a lunch time siesta in the air conditioning will also happen. 

I wish nothing more but to be in Europe with my family for a white Christmas in the Italian alps. I'm hoping that if we manifest it hard enough, we will be making snowmen this time next year. But for now I'm left dreaming of snow capped trees and being a few degrees cooler then it is here in the tropics. I am loving the bright geometric trends for this year's festive season, it seems to be a perfect combination of a tropical and white Christmas. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013." 

Ba'il - Summer afternoons are spent on the trampoline in the shade of our mighty eucalyptus. The perfect runway for your planes. 

Milinh - Summer morning chats and smiles with your big brother. Makes my heart sing every morning to see how much you love each other. 

I had to double check the calendar when writing this. Are there really only two weeks left of this year?! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

That's a wrap.

Under our tree this year the presents are wrapped in bright and tropical summery hues. 
For the last few years Ba'il and I have made our own wrapping paper. For birthdays we normally place leaves from our garden under the brown paper and colour over them with crayons, creating beautiful leaf imprints and for Christmas we opt for easier stamps. 

We cut shapes out of sponges, dip them in paint and stamp long lengths of recycled brown paper that is rolled out across our patio. This year we topped our presents with flowers made from cupcake papers. I get a certain sense of satisfaction personalising our gifts and it's the perfect craft activity for Ba'il in the lead up to the festive season. Christmas carols are always involved in our wrapping process and Ba'il has defiantly developed an obsession with Bob Dylan's Christmas carol album. I love the fact that Ba'il is so involved in our gift giving tradition and from his involvement I have witnessed his sincere gratitude in giving and receiving gifts. He knows what presents we have chosen for family members and he remembers who gave him what even though he is often overwhelmed with gifts. 

So now that the presents are wrapped and placed carefully under our tree, we begin the wait to Christmas day. And when the day finally comes around we will spend the morning slowly handing out and opening our gifts. Smiles and gratitude will be plenty in our home that day. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Night time rhythms.

When the clock strikes six it seems that the whole household is hungry and tired all at the same time. Caleb and I play tag team at eating dinner and trying to get Ba'il to eat at least some of his dinner. All at once we have a hungry baby, a not so hungry toddler and two tired parents. 

Once dinner is tidied up, we take turns of bathing and dressing the children. Then we all pile into our air-conditioned bedroom and read books to each other. I love this time of the evening as the sun sets. Clean and cuddly - all four of us. After books it's lights out and after lights out it's my time. 

I used to use this time of the evening to catch up on work emails, washing that needed to be folded and odd jobs that needed to be done. However since having to readjust to having a newborn, recover from giving birth, endure a heart wrenching week of Milinh with meningitis and now slowly start to work again I have unconsciously created my own night time rhythm. 

We have always practiced an early bedtime for Ba'il. I'm a firm believer in early bedtimes for wee one and time alone for us adults. For us the night is for talking, reading and inspiring. Caleb and I sit outside where the air is fresh and catch up on our happenings from our day. The tv is never on in our house at night (except if Redfern Now is on or we are watching a movie over the weekend). And despite all the recent changes in our household most of my night time routine has stayed the same however somewhere in amongst the newborn haze a nightly bath became the way my days ended. 

After a conversation with a dear friend this afternoon I realised just how important my simple baths have become to me. Not only do they sooth my aches but they also offer me time to switch off and unwind from what can be rather challenging days. No matter how late the night gets or how much energy I lack, I have continued my newly found bathing practice. A practice that in the Western world we often rush through and take for granted. 

So as the year comes to an end and we start to feel extra exhausted as the festive season becomes a little overwhelming, maybe think about the rhythm you have created for yourself at night time. A simple soak can do you absolute wonders. If you don't have a tub then a bucket for your feet does the same trick. 

You need not look any further than your kitchen pantry to pamper yourself. 
My favourite bath tonic is - 

- A tablespoon of bicarbonate soda (the most amazing bathing ingredient ever)
- A tablespoon of salt to ease my aches
- About six drops of rosemary essential oil to act as an antiseptic and alkaline the body
- About the same in lavender essential oil to hydrate my skin 
- And a splash of tea tree oil just to make sure I'm really clean
- Add a candle and close your eyes. 

Good night. x 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hoping you all have a wonderful start to your week. 

Especially you my beautiful friend Pip. 

Not long now until Christmas break. I'm so excited. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


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

Ba'il - Your highlight of the week was setting up the Christmas tree. Your well and truly into the Christmas spirit this year. You even insisted on posing for this photo. My heart could burst when I see you this happy. 

Milinh - Vintage floral fabric and that smile. That is all. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Round trip.

This week the dove orchids flowered. A sign that more rain is on it's way.

We feasted on fresh crayfish. Thanks to Papa and Clancy. 

On Monday I was a brave mama and travelled to Cairns with my two babes. Milinh is only 7 weeks old and has already been on three aeroplane flights. I've lost count of how many times Ba'il has flown. 

While in the big smoke we caught up with friends and visited their amazing new cafe and gallery. 

Had our photo with Santa. Heart melt. 

Began the long drive home. Me, two children and our new car. 

Had many pit stops along the way but finally made it back to the bush. 

I love visiting the city and being with our friends and family but the bush is where we belong. For now anyway. I am so thankful that my children get to experience so much of this wonderful country we live in. And I am so blessed that they are mighty good travellers. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013." 

Ba'il - Breakfast with Santa at the Cooktown pool. You spent the morning eating pancakes and swimming with your Papa. Santa arrived in the fire engine and your face was priceless. Defiant perks of small town living. 

Milinh - Darling girl, we waited under a parasol together for Santa to arrive. You even got a wee present too. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

The days in between.

Most days are great, everyone is happy and routine runs smoothly. This week the days in between those good days have been testing to say the least. There were tantrums in the kindy car park, refusals to eat dinner, stamping of the feet, a crying baby, and the dreaded summer humidity and heat. The other night I went to sleep at 7:30pm with the children, however the next morning I woke just as exhausted. We were all just a little bit out of sorts this week and that's ok. I'm not going to beat myself up over it because those days in between the good days are all part of the journey. Unfortunately.

So come Saturday when Caleb is at home, I'm really going to try and bring back some 'normal'. I'm going to try to give Ba'il my undivided attention as we prepare for Christmas by listening to carols, baking, putting up the tree and having breakfast with Santa at the Cooktown pool. I'm even hoping we can fit a trip to the beach in because that's something we would do religiously but haven't quite got there since Milinh was born.

Come next week, I'm hoping the days in between the good days are less. I'm hoping my patience is more withstanding and the tropical humidity drops. We are getting there, steady steady.
Thank goodness it's Friday.  

The photo of Ba'il at the beach was taken around a year ago. I found it when I was looking through my phone at some ungodly hour of the morning while breastfeeding. I got all nostalgic about time spent with just Ba'il and I but I'll save that for a separate post. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

River Delicious

Spinach is a staple vegetable in our home and these mini pies have become a much loved meal on our table. They are super quick and easy, and more importantly can be made with anything you have in your fridge. We try to be consumer conscious by making sure we have very little food waste and this is why I love these types of recipes - it's a good way of using up all your dead veg at the end of the week. 

You will need - 

1 bunch of silver beet or a bag of spinach leaves
A couple of garlic cloves 
An onion
2 eggs 
1 block of feta or goats cheese 
2 small potatoes 
And whatever else you have laying in your fridge. We love putting in olives, sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, and sometimes left over meats. 

I cut the potato into small cubes with the skin left on and part boil it. Then remove the stems of the spinach and shred finely. Cut up the onion and garlic. Prepare the other vegetables whichever way you wish. Then I rip the baking paper into approx 4x4cm squares and place into a greased muffin tray. 

In a fry pan cook the onion, garlic and then add spinach. I only cook the spinach for a few minutes as I like it to be 'just' wilted and not overdone. Add the feta and any other ingredients you wish. Crack two eggs into the mixture and combine well. 

Spoon into your already prepared tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes. 

I normally prepare these during the day while Milinh is asleep and then we eat them cold with a salad during summer for dinner. Any left overs go into our lunch boxes the next day or are eaten for breakfast.

Bon app├ętit! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Wet.

Last week the first storms of the wet season rolled in over the ocean and with them came  sighs of relief from everyone in our home. The humidity eased, if only for an hour or so. As the rain poured down, the children slept more soundly then ever during their day time nap, I spent some precious time in the kitchen and the garden rejoiced from having a good soak. As the frogs called for more rain and the songs of the cicadas rung loudly in our ears, the grass turned from brown to green almost instantly. 

I love the cleansing feeling that comes with the big rains. We spend our afternoons swimming in the pool under big dark rain clouds. The garden explodes with colour. Our home becomes scattered with Ba'il's lego and his craft bits and bobs as we spend more time inside instead of out. The dark stormy days seem to entice Ba'il's imagination into so many different worlds of play. We pull out old books and start reading in search of inspiration again. We spend more time in the kitchen preparing fresh, healthy, cool foods. Once the children are asleep at night we sit outside, listen to the rain, drink tea and chat about the year that has passed and the year that awaits us. In bed we drift off to sleep to the sound of rain on the roof. Time slows down during the wet. 

Wet season, this year your presence is so very welcomed. 

Photos - 
1) Milinh rests on our bed during the afternoon storm. 
2) Sweet scents of jasmine in our garden. 
3) Raw bliss balls for lunch boxes. 
4) Rain soaked hoya flowers. 
5) There's a runway on my yoga mat. 
6) Ba'il picked poinciana flowers for our table. He described them as "super duper red". 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013."

Ba'il - Lego scattered from one end of the house to the other. Your little hands are busy building while the first storms for the year roll in.

Milinh - Snug on the left shoulder. Got that? Must be the left one.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Friday! May you enjoy every moment of your weekend. x