Thursday, 27 October 2011

a forever dress

Wouldn't it be wonderful to make, or if like me your sewing skills currently aren't really quite up to it- buy, a couple of exquisite, classic, enduring garments for you child which would be worn and dearly loved and could then be passed down to other siblings and then future generations. Family heirlooms that could be discovered in an ancient trunk in the attic in ninety years, carefully unwrapped from faded tissue paper.

I remember my Mum once sewed me a long sleeved Winter dress from fabric covered with red roses that was passed down to my sister, then my cousin Natacha and eventually her little sister Zoe. By that point it was probably getting a little shabby but we all adored it equally and have photos of each of us proudly wearing it. I must ask if it is still in existence now so Lila and Rose could have their turn but I fear it may have been loved to pieces and relegated to a cleaning rag by now.

These four garments have been created for the Anthropologie children's collection by Handmade Charlotte and they are exactly the kind of forever pieces that I'm talking about. Garments that will never date and are beautifully crafted with hand embroidery, applique and intricate attention to detail. I would never usually spend so much on a piece of children's clothing but these are more like little worksof art. They may have even inspired me enough to consider digging out the sewing machine from the garage one day and putting in some hours of practice to make something special for my girls.

This peacock coat (above) is a real show stopper but I am also very taken with the green dress.

Discovered via Design Mom.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

just a minute in...october

October has been a really great month in Auckland. Spring has definitely arrived now and fingers crossed the warm weather is here to stay. My sister hopped on a plane from Australia to come and stay with us for a long weekend and we had the best time hanging out with her. Lots of lazy lunches and brunches, delicious sea food, walks on the beach, beer gardens in the sunshine, cocktails and tapas at my new favourite bar, catching up with old friends and a spot of shopping.

And of course the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup this weekend so it has been party central at every turn. It never fails to amaze me quite how seriously they take rugby here... this was a major deal for everyone. We watched the final at at a friends place. The kids all bunked down for a sleepover in the bedrooms upstairs while we enjoyed an epic BBQ and some drinks before all eyes were glued to the screen for kick off. Driving home afterwards in the early hours of the morning, there were people out in the streets celebrating and just generally going crazy, it was a pretty cool thing to witness.

So this month I've been...

Reading...Free Range Kids by Leonore Skenazy. If you have children, are planning to or just have any interest at all in our future generations then take a look at this book. A really refreshing read all about loosening the reins a little and allowing our kids some freedom. If you only ever pick up one parenting book in your life, you should probably make it this one.

Watching...Series two of Downton Abbey has just hit our screens here in New Zealand. Woop. I'm a sucker for a good historical drama with a grand house, lots of scandal and beautiful dresses.

Buying...I purchased a couple of things off my recent wish list...this book and this swimsuit (which went on sale!) Incredibly pleased with both of them. I couldn't put the book down until I had read the entire thing and soaked up all the stunning images.

Eating...I baked some lemon and poppy seed muffins when my sister arrived which were pretty darn good. I've been trying to cut out some of the baked goods since then to make sure I can fit into the aforementioned swimsuit but failing quite epically so far. I had an urge to make a huge chocolate cake on the weekend which didn't help.

Loving...The fact that heaps of our friends are either pregnant or have recently had babies. Finally we aren't out on a limb any more!! I've been excited for this to happen ever since I was pregnant with Lila. Still love all my child free friends just as much of course, for generally being awesome and reminding me that I still need to go out and drink too much wine every once in a while. And for providing some respite from discussing baby stuff/tantrums/sleeping routines, which is always good.

In pictures...Chilling at the beach and Rose enjoying her first tastes of baby rice and apple puree...

Lila and I getting down to some Latino music at a street festival- wherever there's music that girl will dance...

Curt having a quiet moment with Rose before her big sister steals him away to play...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

back to the 40's

The 1940's are having a fashion moment this upcoming Autumn/Winter season and I couldn't be happier about it. I've long admired the look of this era- all printed tea dresses, leather gloves, perfectly waved hair and red lips. I've even been known to embrace entire films solely because of their fabulous forties costumes, yes The Edge of Love, I'm talking about you. I'm throughly enjoying soaking up all the chic eye candy coming to the fore in magazine editorials such as these (which I found over atDust Jacket Attic). If they feature grand country houses then even better.

The Glitter Guide has also put together a darling 1940's style shopping roundup which can be seen here- the red dress has stolen my heart in a rather large way I must admit. I think I may have to make a place for it in my wardrobe.

Image credits: Top set of images photographed by Andreas Ohlund for Elle Sweden.
Images above photographed by Tom Craig for Vogue Russia.

Monday, 17 October 2011

making memories

I reckon one of the most awesome but underrated bits about starting a family is continuing and staring your own little family traditions. Thinking up new fun ones and getting all nostalgic and deciding which ones to adopt or adapt from your existing families and childhood.

In our house, Friday is treat day. Curt finishes work early and collects Lila from pre-school and if she has behaved well all week then she is allowed to choose a treat from the bakery or go and get an ice-cream. This is something that me and my sister were allowed to do during our childhood, the deal was no sweets or chocolate on an ordinary daily basis but it really made Fridays something special and was always a pretty great start to the weekend. For her birthday I've also started to make her a colourful felt birthday 'crown' each year and I'll do the same for Rose too, well at least until they start to find the whole idea too hideously embarrassing.

There's certain times of the year when traditions really come to the fore- Christmas of course and often Halloween and Easter too. I love finding out how other people and their families celebrate and I'm always mentally storing away ideas. In my family, major Christmas traditions have always been making mince pies and watching The Snowman film on Christmas Eve, opening our stockings first thing in the morning and then the rest of the presents after breakfast and eating the big turkey dinner in the evening. Now I get so excited abut doing all these things with our girls and giving them some great memories.

At Easter I'd like to give Lila and Rose a new pair of Summer pajamas each year as well as a chocolate egg. I also love the idea of a new pair of Winter pajamas to open on the night of Christmas Eve too. Also maybe some rituals to mark the changing seasons like planting herbs and vegetables together in Spring and making jam in Autumn. Growing up, Sunday for me always meant a big family roast and while I've not yet managed to pull this off as a regular occurrence, I'd really like to try. I do however (with Lila's eager assistance) always make some kind of fruit crumble for us to devour with cream so I guess that's a start!

Decorating the tree...

Getting stuck in to a favourite Friday treat...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

she paints beauty

These images of exquisite objects, beautiful dresses and captivating ladies are the work of the artist Janet Hill. With her oil paintings she lovingly captures the finer things in life and I am especially taken by the retro glamour of all the mysterious women she creates. Such style! She sells prints in her etsy shop if you would like to see some of these adorning your walls. I am particularly enchanted by dark haired lady in the green dress.

Discovered via this month's issue of Matchbook magazine.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

slowing down

I remember when Lila was born I was so focused on just getting through the days. Looking forward to the time when I would be able to get a full nights sleep again, when she would be a toddler and we would really be able to play together and do cool stuff like go on bike rides (never mind the fact I don't actually own a bike). With hindsight, I should definitely have been more in the moment and just making the most of the stage she was in right then rather than always thinking about the days ahead. When she came into our lives I was only 24 years old and my whole life was turned upside down very quickly and unexpectedly- bye bye late nights of partying, indulgent shopping sprees and leisurely lie-ins. It was all a huge learning curve for both Curt and I and I don't mind admitting I really had no idea what I was doing most of the time.

Having witnessed the astonishing speed in which Lila has grown and changed over these past three years, I am now much more mindful of taking in each stage in her development and enjoying it for what it is, both the good and the less pleasant bits, knowing she will oh-so-soon be moving on to the next phase of her life. Armed with this knowledge and a few more years of wisdom and experience, since Rose arrived I have been soaking up every second of her precious baby days, aware that they will be over all too soon. When she was a tiny newborn I realised a few times that I just been sitting in bed staring at her sleeping in my arms for an hour in the middle of the night when I was absolutely shattered and should clearly have been getting some shut eye as well. Every few days it dawns on me I haven't taken any photos of her lately and I turn into a camera wielding maniac, snapping about a thousand shots of her in the space of ten minutes.

I still look forward to all the fun things both my girls will be doing in the future and when life might get a little less full on (ha...the teenage years, who am I kidding!) but I've realised that the present is a pretty great place to be in too.

photos...I couldn't resist taking a shot of Curt, Lila and Rose's hi-tops! I obviously need to get a pair so I can be in the gang!

Below are a couple of pictures of Rose taken yesterday.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

a peek inside our nursery

I took a few pictures of the nursery (Lila's bedroom) the other day when it was looking very unusually neat. While it's in no way up there with the stunning, awe-inspiring nurseries I posted about here, I think it's come together as quite a fun, sweet place for two little girls. It's only a very small room which will soon be shared by Rose too as she will be moving out from her moses basket in our room into a cot in here. So with that in mind I've tried not to fill it with too much clutter. We've kept it bright and cheerful with lots of splashes of bold, happy colour and some mismatched patterns- mainly spots, checks and stripes. Of course pink features too, but I didn't want it to become excessively girly or nauseatingly princessy.

The white teddy on the bed is Lila's special bear Snowy which was her very first cuddly toy. He is infact Snowy the Second but she has no idea about that (she dropped the original one out of her buggy in M&S about a year and a half ago). My favorite elements of the room are the various pieces of art work, the pony print cushions on the bed and the wooden pencil coat stand which makes me smile.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

home of my dreams

I often post interiors inspiration here and I'm always on the lookout for decorating ideas and styling elements to incorporate into our current home (and our future home which we will one day hopefully own. Can you tell I'm pretty much over renting at this stage). I often see elements which I love in other houses but when I came across these pictures- from the May/June editon of Marie Claire Maison- I realised...this is it.

This is one hundred percent exactly what I want my home to look like. Everything, from the distressed walls to the floor to ceiling shelves of books, the pops of colour, the mis-matched fabric prints, is in my eyes perfection. Now we just need our own place so I can start to make it a reality! Interesting to see if by the time it actually happens, I will still feel the same way or if I am more fickle and trend led than I think. The major hurdle- well apart from the blindingly obvious one of actually buying a property- will be persuading Mr Minimal (aka my husband) with his love of white, clinical, ridiculously clutter free spaces. Which by now he must seriously have realised is never going to happen in a house with myself living in it, never mind two other small, messy little beings.

Images found via The English Muse.

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