30 May 2013

Plant life

Over the weekend I dragged the family to a huge second hand clothing sale. I was excited, imagining a very cool haul of second hand clothing to cover my kids over winter, at least. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. About a million pairs of jeans in all sizes, many stained clothes (I'm just not that dedicated) and really, not much at all. I usually get more when I trawl the four shops very close to work on my lunch hour.
Anyway, the kids were desperate to play and ride their bikes, so we headed down to the broadwater, to a place we don't often normally visit. It's the suburb Itay and I both work in and we avoid it as much as possible on the weekends!

I didn't realise there was a little walk around a wetlands there, so we pedalled off, played on the beach and enjoyed the autumn sunshine. O showed us how he can ride down hills with his legs off the pedals, M was too scared at first but then figured it out (with an internal dose of "if my brother can do it, then I can too".

I don't often take photos of plantlife, so these were fun. We made it back to the car just before the rain started and headed home for a nap. I need that nap on the weekend. At least one, preferably two. No one else in my little family seems to need the afternoon nap like I do, but I'm sticking with it. It's part of my sanity.

18 May 2013

Sparkle on your birthday

We've started a litte tradition for the kids on the evening of the birthday. We go outside and light a sparkler,  in the shape of their birthday number. Here's O sparkling with the number 3 last year.

He was a bit unsure at this point, and the sparkler was handed over to Itay. He was still very excited and loved this part of his birthday celebration!

My boy is four. I can hardly believe it!

16 May 2013


This girl of ours is just so in to new tastes, sauces, drinks and good food at the moment. She's slurping up spicy Tum Yum, she's spooning down the dressing in the Thai Beef Salad. She also licks tomato sauce off her plate (yuk!). She'd drink a bowl of tamari if we'd let her. This week's latest experiment was a fresh coconut she pounced on while we were doing the food shopping. She adored the milk, as you can see. The coconut meat, not so much. That's OK though, more for me and Itay! 

What have you tried lately? Do your kids try new foods? While M is in to new foods, O just will not go outside his comfort zone. He's a work in progress!

Did you notice my blog looks a little bit strange? I'm playing around behind the scenes and I kinda broke some stuff. Oops. HTML baffles me!

15 May 2013

The most beautiful girl in the world


My little girl helped out our friend Rose recently, modelling some of her new tutus and headbands. Rose also makes gorgeous little butterflies. The girl was in her element, with her favourite the ankle length pink tutu. I adore the turquoise headband and the grey tutu. Oh, to be a girl again! Also, I'm a little bit biased, but I think she is gorgeous. My favourite photo is the second last one with the turquoise headband. Love that face!

14 May 2013

My little Superhero has a party

Despite the rain, the party was loads of fun. I dressed up in a Batgirl suit (I'll spare you that shiny black plastic/leather visual!), the cake rocked, the kids adored decorating their own ice cream cones and basically trashed our (already terrible avocado green) carpet. As one mum pointed out... it now looks like mint choc chip. For 18 kids, parents, grandparents and a few babies squished inside our little house, it went quite well!
You can see my little guy loved every moment of his party, and that made all the hard work so worth it. Happy birthday, my little man.

7 May 2013

Simple life

So many words in my head. Living simply is the idea. Everyone is talking about it.  I don't do this. I have an addiction to shopping. I just cannot resist a sale sticker, a shelf with small announcement saying... I'm cheap... so buy me. Admitedly I do get a whole heap of bargains. But I also get a whole heap of stuff. Our house is not full of crap. But I do think that the kids may have a few too many tshirts... and maybe I recently bought too many bikini bottoms that I now won't wear.

I need to keep myself out of shops. I need to be more simple. Maybe even get out the sewing machine and make something out of what we already have.

(I do grow some stuff... Kaffir limes - we use the leaves for cooking.)

Sarah Wilson says:

I don’t go to the shops. I grew up on a farm, which was more a “subsistence living experiment”. Everything was minimised and recycled. It very much instilled a visceral abhorrence of waste and consumerist culture. We simply didn’t go to the shops and as an adult I’ve come to realise that this very simply idea – just don’t go to the shops – is perhaps the most effective approach to having a simple life. It eliminates temptation and empty desire. And it saves time and forces more creative ways to use up leftovers and what you have at hand. It’s amazing what meals you can concoct even when you think you’ve got nothing in the kitchen.

I grew up living on a farm of sorts. We lived in the country, pretty far from the shops. We didn't go in to town much and when we did, I remember it as an exciting trip. We didn't buy much, my mum made quite a few of our clothes and instilled in me a dislike for clothes with logos and prints that everyone else could have. But now, I'm the opposite. Oh, I still don't buy (many) clothes that have logos or prints but I go to the shops far too frequently. I buy as a form of reward, as a mood lifter, as a way to amuse myself. I find myself disgusted at this and so difficult to wean myself!

The worst part of this? I'm accidentally, but really instilling in my kids that shopping is fun, shopping is a time filler, buying stuff is good. M loves to buy stuff and both my kids think that if something breaks, or if they want something, we can just go buy it. Not good, right?
How do you live?

6 May 2013

Party pins and cake wrecks

I have an on again/off again relationship with Pinterest. You may already know of the addictive nature of this site. You may have taken your own steps to reduce your addiction. Then, you need inspiration. Back you go. Add another board. Browse. Addiction recommences.

My latest time waster research? My boy turns 4 on Saturday. Party time. It's not hard to guess the theme, check it out here. 

I've tried to simplify. A lovely mum from day care has volunteered to make the cake. Then I discovered that O doesn't like water balloons. Hates them, in fact. The bubble blaster doesn't work and he hates it. He also apparently hates jelly, which I'm sceptical about, but now I need to return the jelly crystals. The waffle cones were all shattered when I opened them. Back they go. As I type this, he's telling me he hates sausage rolls. I'm running out of gear here, people!

I'm getting nervous. Remember my cake disaster last year? And because I didn't post a photo last year, here we go...

Ha! Wish me luck!

5 May 2013

More beach days...


Late again, but trying to catch up! We headed to the beach on ANZAC Day, being reminded by the girl every hour or so that we needed to have a few minutes silence. The beach, a little further south than our usual short beach trips, was quiet, divine and gorgeous.

We had a great lunch at Saltbar and a wander on the beach there too. Such a lovely relaxing day, stunning autumn weather and moments to reflect on just why we had the day off.

3 May 2013

And so... a little about me.

I think most people who read my blog know me in real life with just a handful of cyber friends reading. I'm not generally one for doing awards or memes but today I'm in a mood to actually think about what I'm writing for and who I am. I struggle with remembering me sometimes.
Recently, Michelle from Jarrah Jungle nominated me for a blog award. Michelle lives in Perth, Australia and writes about her home renovations, her dog and her life. (Michelle is also my only commenter these days - thank you, Michelle!) While I won't nominate anyone, I'll answer Michelle's questions. Here we go:

1. Describe yourself in only 5 words?
Seriously, this is hard. I can only think of three. Mum, wife, book-reader. Umm... it hurts my brain to think of anything else.

2. How would your friends describe you?

I really do not know. I have not nourished or treasured my friendships nearly enough in the past 10 years, so I honestly don't know what they would say.  

3. What is your favourite season, Summer, Spring, Autumn or Winter?

I love spring, with the promise of warmth, flowers and a return to beach swimming. But summer, oh how I love summer. If you read this blog, you know how much I lvoe the beach. Sun. Summer wins for me. 

4. What would you take with you to a deserted island?

Books. Camera. Water. Sunscreen.Good food.
5. What is your favourite line from a movie?

"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking her to love me."

6. What country is on your travel destination wish list?

Italy. The food, the countryside, Venice, the food.

7. What is your dream job?

Photgrapher. Writer.

8. Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?

Again, a really difficult question to answer. In our own home, camping, exploring, both kids at school, taking photographs of our adventures.

9. Why did you start your blog?

I started writing a diary on Essential Baby in about 2004. I wrote almost daily in this online diary until a year or so after M was born. I then swapped over to a blog in late 2006, going private for the most part. I started this public blog in about 2011. I wrote to capture my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I still do, but with the thought in my mind that it is the internet, and anyone can read!
10. Where did the name of your blog come from?

Well, I'm Blythe. And this is my life.
11. What has surprised you the most about blogging?
I think about things I want to blog but not nearly often enough to get these thoughts get on to the page. I'm surprised at how often I am just stuck for words, and so I don't blog. I'm surprised at how often I'll read a blog post out there in blogging land and it is just so identical to how I'm feeling or what I'm experiencing. I'm also surprised at how commercial blogging has become, and how specific blogs just seem to strike that perfect commercial note and the writer can actually work and make a living as a blogger.

2 May 2013


On the last day of our little break on the Sunshine Coast, the weather continued to be unpredictable. We didn't actually swim in the ocean on our holiday, but we speant a lot of time at the beach. (We made good use of the pool and the spa though, even sneaking in a twilight spa on our last night. So much fun!) It looks gorgeous in this photo above, but there was a big black storm cloud looming off to the south (right of this picture).

The ship wreck on Dicky Beach that no one but me was really impressed by. I thought the kids would love it!

They were more impressed by Itay's take on the Toyota ad.

We did a whole lot of shell collecting and inspecting of little creatures on the sand. Time well spent.

 Ok, here's the weather. Looking north.

Looking south.. and a few minutes later we were saturated. We didn't make it to the car before huge drops of rain poured down. We got absolutely soaked!

1 May 2013

Washing the dogs (love toys)

My kids sleep with dogs. Their cuddle toys (or what ever it is you call them) are little dogs. M has a pink poodle and O had a tiny little... bulldog?

They do get a bit skanky and it required much persuasion and reassurance that yes, it was sunny today and the dogs would dry before bedtime. I grabbed them just after the kids woke up and got the bubbles ready in the early morning light. As it turned out, the kids washed their dogs themselves.


Yes, they did dry before bedtime and the dogs smelt fresh and hopefully germ-free. Do your kids sleep with a toy? Does your dog sleep with a toy?