Friday, 23 December 2011

merry merry

Just stopping by to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Hope it's full of everything you want it to be, Early tomorrow morning we'll be heading off on our little holiday. Looking forward to spending Christmas just the four of us, our first as our own little family. Then heading straight off to our new home across the water. See you in 2012!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

our new home

I mentioned a few weeks ago that something major was on the horizon, and I can now share the news that we are moving to Australia! Curt has accepted a really great job working for a company in Melbourne (he is an Environmental Consultant if you were wondering). This is a place we've been hoping to call home at some point in our future for a long time so we're absolutely thrilled that it's actually happening. Melbourne is an amazing, cosmopolitan city, I love the creative, cultural vibe and the proximity to beautiful golden beaches and stunning coastline. Even better, this is where my sister and her husband live! Also, in an awesome turn of events, one of my very best friends in the world is also moving from the UK to Melbourne at the end of January. Hands down the most challenging part of being in New Zealand for the past year has been being so far away from family and friends so this will change our lives in a big way.

On the downside, we now have to say goodbye to a number of very dear friends we have made and spent time with since we've been in Auckland. I'd say it takes a year to feel fully settled in a place and in the past six months here we've really hit our stride. Although it has turned out to be a relatively short stay, I'll never forget the time we spent here, the awe inspiring places we've seen, my wonderful job, and the many good times with some amazing people. We have made some great memories to look back on.

The next week is going to be something of a whirlwind. We applied for our working visas a few weeks ago, expecting them to be granted in a couple of months however they already came through this week. This means the girls and I will not be coming back from the holiday to Melbourne we had planned over New Year. Curt will just come back to Auckland for a couple of weeks to finish up his current job and tie up our loose ends. On Thursday, all our possessions will be collected ready to be shipped (thank goodness the shipping company will be packing everything up into boxes for us too!) and the next few days will be spent sorting and deciding what to ship, fly with and leave behind before we set off on our little trip to the Bay of Islands for Christmas. And of course saying our goodbyes, the hardest of which we did last night, but we are already looking forward to lots of visitors when we get settled in our new home.

Images of Melbourne found here, here and here.

Friday, 16 December 2011

a little bit of Christmas

This will be the third time I've spent in Christmas the southern hemisphere but I still find the whole thing so incredibly bizarre. As well as a time to be with family, to me will it always mean chilly days and snow, mittens, blankets, warm fires, mulled wine and warm mince pies. Everything that it is definitely not in New Zealand, where it means Summer holidays, beaches, bbq's, cold beers and ice creams. Though having said that, it has actually rained almost constantly for the past week so it is starting to feel more like home. It's still always warm though, no need for a woolly hat or a fire round these parts! However I've still done my best to make our home feel festive.

Having children makes Christmas really magical again and I love the fact that Lila is now old enough to get ridiculously excited about it all. Not that I need any excuse to fully embrace everything even remotely Christmassy. Early in the morning on Christmas Eve we will be driving four hours north of Auckland up to the beautiful Bay of Islands for a little three day getaway. No doubt we'll probably head straight for the beach but come the evening, I can't wait to hang the stockings, leave a mince pie and a carrot for Santa and his reindeer, put the Christmas songs on, light some candles and settle down with a glass of mulled wine to watch The Snowman with my girls :)

Pictures... a few shots from around our home.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

love her look

I'm very inspired to rock this gorgeous, vintage inspired hair and make up look during the party season. That red lip is just the right amount of festive. The good news is that there is a brilliant tutorial on exactly how to do it here. Yay :)

Via Miss Moss

Monday, 5 December 2011

the dreamiest of dresses

Take note all brides to be! I've fallen head over heels with these beautiful wedding dresses by French designer Laure De Sagazan. They would be perfect for someone looking for a romantic, understated and ultra feminine dress. They could totally work for other occasions too (see how I'm trying to justify buying one some day, despite the fact I'm already married). Though definitely avoid wearing one as a wedding guest unless you want to completely upstage the bride ;)

Discovered via A Cup of Jo

Saturday, 3 December 2011

just a minute in ... november

This is little late seeing as it's now already December, but it's been a whirlwind of a month for us with a very exciting new development on the horizon. More on that to come in a few weeks or so. In the meantime, here's a glimpse of what's been going down here lately.

Wanting... The month to be over as soon as possible so Curt would get rid of the monstrosity growing on his face. Don't get me wrong, I think it's awesome that he got involved and I fully support the cause of Movember, it just really creeps me out on seeing a mo on my own husband.

Wearing... My beautiful new dress from Topshop, after some deliberation over the midi length, I decided to embrace it and I really love it.

Selling... Some of my unworn clothes. Out with the old to make way for the new! We've been undertaking some pretty major clearing out around here, trying to scale down and simplify. The amount of extra possessions you accumulate when you have children verges on the insane.

Organising...and wrapping a little package of gifts to send over to the UK, the last Christmas posting dates leave you with no choice but to be super organised. At least it's one less thing to worry about during December.

Watching... Finally got to see the movie 500 Days of Summer which has been on my must watch list for about two years. Embarrassingly enough this is only because it was shown on TV but it was worth staying up to see. You can't go wrong with a bit of Zooey D.Which reminds me I really want to get the She & Him Christmas album. (She & Him is Zooey Deshanel's musical collaboration with M Ward).

Planning... Our mini getaway to the Bay of Islands (at the top of the North Island) for a few days over Christmas and then our trip over to Melbourne for New Year to see my sister and her husband and my parents who are flying over from the UK. We're staying in an awesome holiday home on the gorgeous Mornington Peninsula stretch of coast which comes complete with a tree house, pool and trampoline. Needless to say, Lila can barely contain herself.

Images above...Curt sporting his moustache......some flowers gathered on a new dress...... His recently aquired vintage 70's surboard (the new love of his life, never mind me and the kids)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

wishlist #3

Finders Keepers Telling Tales top- This Summery little number would look equally good with a pair of denim cut-offs or dressed up for after dark with some tight cropped trousers and statement heels.

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain & Balm- Seeing as my daily make-up routine is low maintenance to say the least these days (read: moisturiser, concealer, a dust of mineral powder and some blush) dual purpose products are king and I like the look of this flattering shade.

Donna Hay Fast, Fresh, Simple- The latest tome by the Australian cooking maestro and food stylist. I've been watching the accompanying TV series and these recipes are seriously good (and fast, fresh and simple).

Frankie 2012 Daily Journal- Though I usually try and use the calendar on my ipad for day to day scheduling, I still love carrying around a paper diary in my bag to scribble down appointments and reminders, especially when it's one as pretty as this.

Friday, 25 November 2011

happy things

The coconut scent of sun cream
A chai latte bought by a generous friend
My sweet baby falling asleep in my arms
A glass of wine whilst making Summer plans
An ice cream at the beach
Stealing a turn on the swings at the playground
Stretching out on the sand and feeling the sun warm my skin
A freshly baked bread roll with butter and raspberry jam
Neon pink toe nails and lightly tanned toes
Sharing a bean bag with my love
A package of treats received from home
Making Christmas cards with Lila

These things all made me smile this weekend, and although the weather has since turned and we seem to have waved goodbye to Summer in the past few days, hopefully it's just a temporary blip. I thought I would share in any case seeing as it's the time of year for giving thanks and all that.

And because it's always good to keep it real, I also managed to sun burn my left cheek to a fierce shade of red and Lila added to the ever growing collection of bumps and cuts adorning her legs when she tripped over at the park. The poor child seems to have inherited my ridiculous level of clumsiness and tendency to bruise easily.

In other news, Rose is still fighting off the remnants of her cold and has suddenly decided that she doesn't like sleeping very much anymore. It feels like she woke up about fifteen times last night. Hopefully this is also a temporary blip as I am a walking zombie today. No amount of under eye concealer can conceal these dark shadows!

Monday, 21 November 2011

the great gatsby

Getting very excited about these pictures from the set of The Great Gatsby which is currently being filmed in Australia. It is one of my all time favourite books and I can't wait to see director Baz Luhrmanns take on it. If you haven't read it yet, now is the time! All of Fitzgerald's novels are classics. The casting looks promising with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, the enchanting Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, the story's narrator. Other cast members include Australian supermodel Gemma Ward (pictured in the sparkling ensemble below) and red headed bombshell Isla Fisher.

The roaring '20's were the decadent decade of dapper gentlemen, glitz, glamour and good times and the fabulous costumes will no doubt be influencing how we will be dressing next year, as already evidenced in a number of collections for Spring/Summer 2012 from designers including Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Alberta Ferretti. Bring it on.

Images from Daily Mail and Grazia UK

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Being a mother is frustrating, exhausting and all consuming. On the more challenging days I try to remind myself that I am not dealing with an inconvenience but raising a human being. There is no recognition, chance of promotion and certainly not a yearly cash bonus. Despite this, shaping the mind and future of a little person must be the most important job in the world. The rewards come in other forms- a beautiful smile from your baby when you lift them from their cot, a hug from your child when you least expect it and watching them learn and grow every single day.

There are many things I want to teach my children. That they can do anything, achieve their wildest hopes and dreams if they are passionate enough about them and work hard enough to make them happen. I don't ever want to clip their wings. I want to show them the world and all the inspiring places and people we come across on the way. Teach them to recognise and search out beauty in nature, in the night sky, in music, art and literature.

Already there are many things they have taught me too. Patience for one. To always stay curious, to take time to stop and really look, to be silly, to remember to be kind and to love with every ounce of my being. Like every mother, I want the best of everything for them and instead of worrying that we can't buy them a great many toys and gifts for Christmas, I would do well to keep in mind that when they look back it will not be this that stays with them.

They will remember the times we kicked off our shoes and ran along the beach together, when we made forts under the table and I read stories to them for hours and the time we ate ice-cream for breakfast The most important thing is that they know that they are and always have been loved to the stars and back. All that really matters is love.

Picture of Lila and I from the archives.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


It's hard to wrap my head around the fact this little girl is already five months old. Where has my tiny baby gone?! During the past week she has started sitting on her own (surrounded by a safety guard of cushions!) and she is trying all sorts of pureed fruits and vegetables like a champion. So much so that she gets in a frenzy of anticipation whenever she sees her little pink bowl and spoon and cries if I don't spoon it in quickly enough.

She has now moved in with her big sister, who thankfully seems to sleep like the living dead and only the loudest of cries from Rose will half raise her from her slumber. However for the past two days Rose has been suffering from a particularly nasty cold and has been struggling to breathe easily at night so Curt has decamped to the sofa and she has temporarily nabbed his spot next to me in the big bed until she gets a bit better. She better not get too used to it!

This weekend she had her first go on a swing at the playground which she took in her usual calm stride. She loves nothing more than hanging out with Lila and they read books together (when Lila is in a cooperative mood), which is the sweetest thing on Earth.

And her Daddy, being an incredibly mature and responsible parent at all times, thinks it's really funny to take pictures like this...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

rose tinted world

I thought it was about time for a heady dose of unashamedly girly, soft focus, ultra pretty escapism. Enjoy.

All images by A Child Woman.

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