Tag Archives: family

Friday Finds – Fully Inked

27 Jul

We love temporary tattoos around our place.  Maybe I should be more precise.  The Drama Queen likes them, the Daredevil LOVES them.  He proudly flashes his temporary ink like a little Buzz Lightyear badge of honour.  Unfortunately, I have had a hard time finding temporary tatts that have a bit of two year old street cred.  The Daredevil doesn’t really care, he’ll sport anything, it’s his Mum that has a little cringe as the next cartoon character is applied.  I’ve stopped short of grabbing a texta and making up my own (which is not a good idea, particularly if you don’t want to be sporting some of your own home grown two year old designed “ink”), but was sure that there had to be something better out there.

Ta da! Hello Tattly and its designy temporary tattoos.  It’s always easier to describe something in their own words, so here they are…

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem once said that “The best way to complain is to make things,” and that’s what Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Tattly did. Tired of putting poorly designed temporary tattoos on her daugther’s arm, she took matters into her own hands.

In July of 2011, Tattly Temporary Tattoos launched online, featuring an all-star lineup of professional designers and illustrators. Starting with just a handful of different designs, Tattly received thousands of orders from around the world. There are now over 150 designs available both online and in select retailers worldwide. Since launching, Tattly has shipped millions of tattoos to more than 90 countries.

Continuing to partner with leading artists and retailers, Tattly has found that the world was indeed waiting for designy temporary tattoos.

I found them through Oliver Jeffers and his Facebook page.  I’ve talked about my little creative crush on him and his picture books here.  He is an artist for Tattly and is high on my temporary ink wish list.  By using artists and designers Tattly has developed the coolest range of temporary tattoos, and has made my little creative Mummy heart smile.  Here are just a selection of the over 150 designs they have on offer.

As the Tattly website says Who Says forever is better?

Sam

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Friday Finds – Keeping it Kind

6 Jul

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for kindness and random acts thereof.  I’ve written a couple of posts about being kind (if you missed them you can have another read here and here).  I like the feeling that kindness gives me, and the changes I see it making in others.  It’s not hard to be kind, and if there was more of it going around I think the world would be a happier and more harmonious place to be.

Today’s Friday Finds isn’t a thing that you can touch and feel, it isn’t a new super cool design trend or must have outdoor designer piece.  It’s a blog that I follow, and always makes me smile.  Kindness Girl thinks up different ideas to spread the message of kindness in ways that are different and sometimes just a little bit magical.  Interwoven with the Kindness projects are stories of her own children and family.  Entirely relatable and full of love, Patience has a knack for creating beauty both through her images, her words and her actions.

If you’re in need for a kindness hit, a little bit of love or a dose of the warm and fuzzy’s, take some time out and visit Kindness Girl or her Guerrilla Goodness page.

Sam

Note: all photos from http://www.Kindnessgirl.com

1000 things in winter

30 May

We have too much stuff.  At least that’s what Mr Perfect thinks.  The Drama Queen can’t get enough stuff, the Daredevil is just happy to get any stuff, and I think maybe we do have too much, but I’m also a bit too sentimental when it comes to stuff.  With a little inspiration from Minimalist Living and his great post about The Summer of 1000 Things Challenge, we have decided that we will hold an in house competition to de-stuff a bit.  We’ve had to re-word a little bit, after all we are “down under” so it’s the WINTER of 1000 things.  We’ve also added another level of difficulty, teamed up and challenged ourselves to 1000 things each – it’s boys versus girls, so the first to 1000 wins.  The Drama Queen and I think we have it in the bag, after all we do have the most stuff to get rid of!

I’ve enlisted a bit of help from the team at  Did You Remember the Milk, I’ve written about them before, here.  Brigitte has just released a new e-book – The Biggest Tosser, so the Drama Queen and I will be implementing their expert advice in our de-stuffing quest.  It is “The 7 step guide to a bigger life with less stuff.” Sounds perfect for us, particularly since the claim is that they “do the bossing and you do the tossing”.  I think the girls might need a little bit of hard love along the way.

Part of my rationale for embarking on this challenge is a bit of re-education for the Drama Queen.  As the first child, first grandchild, and more importantly the only girl child in our family, she’s been just a little bit spoilt.  I know I’m guilty of it, Mr Perfect’s guilty of it, and particularly Nanna is guilty of it!  But the Drama Queen generally gets what the Drama Queen wants, and as a result she doesn’t always really value what she has.  She appreciates her stuff, she doesn’t like to part with any of it, but she has a constant quest to get more and more. Now she’s getting a little bit older it’s time for her to work out what is really important and how to let go of stuff you don’t need any more.  Lets face it, I don’t want to see her on an episode of hoarders in 30 years time still holding onto her 30 My Little Ponies because she didn’t learn it was OK to let go sometimes.

The other lesson we will need to teach is how to get rid of the stuff with a little bit of eco-cred.  I don’t want to just toss everything, that’s way too environmentally evil for my liking, so there will be a lot of donating, re-homing and maybe a market stall at the end of winter.

As much as Mr Perfect would love our house to look like this, I don’t think it’s quite us, but we can come closer…

 

The good news is that the Drama Queen has started stockpiling stuff ready for the 1st of June when the competition begins.  It’s not much but it’s a start.  Anyone feel like joining us?

Sam

Planting our babies

28 May

We had another clear sky sunny autumn weekend.  No rain to complain about, a bit of a chill in the air, but perfect weather for vegetable garden creation.  While we’re waiting out my garden design and construction procrastination phase, I’ve been creating little bits of gardens, filling in some gaps with herbs and vegetables, and the odd flower.  The rest of the time the garden is pretty well occupied by weeds and whatever opportunistic plant species decide they need a new home.  Without the rain (take a look here) I had no excuse left to put it off, it was time to find a permanent home for the Drama Queen’s seedlings.

While I always dream about gardening in style, the reality is that we put on the daggiest clothes we could find, collected our tools and equipment and hit the courtyard.  I had assembled my rag tag team of three.  Two of them wanted to be there, and the other one just wanted to avoid too much carnage.  The Daredevil got to put his new birthday garden tools to the test and the Drama Queen helped him while I got stuck into the hard work of turning the soil and preparing the beds, and Mr Perfect supervised to make sure that no one and nothing came to too much harm.

Before we started

We had built some trellises for the pea plants to trail over, and the Drama Queen was so proud of them when they actually stood up in the newly prepared beds.

Pea trellises are in

The Peas ready to plant on their new trellises

Small plants and small children are not always a great combination, but as the Daredevil bored of the fiddly work, the Drama Queen took over and started giving the plants names and calling them her “babies”.

The Drama Queen and Daredevil hard at work

Everything is in the ground

We planted three kinds of Peas – Sweet Peas, Snow Peas and normal peas, broccoli and gourds.  All the peas should do well, we had a pretty good result from the snow peas last winter, so I’m pretty optimistic.  The gourds already look like they’re about to jump out of their skin, so I’m hoping they don’t take over completely.  The broccoli I’m not so optimistic about.  We planted some last year, and it didn’t survive the insects or creatures who feasted on its new shoots, and to be honest we didn’t give it the most delicate planting into the ground – they were the last, and the attention span was waning.  Plus they probably should have been a little bit bigger before we put them in the ground, but you never know your luck in the big city, fingers are crossed.

Finished pea trellises

Sweet pea plants ready to take on their trellis

After a covering of sugar cane mulch and a drink of seaweed fertiliser, it was time to pack up, clean up and let our babies get used to their new home.

The Drama Queen and her dirty behind!

I checked on them today, and everything is still alive, the broccoli is even looking happy.  I’m looking forward to our harvest!

Sam

Does kindness = happiness?

27 May

I’ve been trying to be kinder lately.  I recently asked the question “have you been kind today?” in a post.  I’ve not really gone out of my way, haven’t planned any over the top grand kindness gestures, I’ve just been doing the things we should really be doing, but that are sometimes forgotten in the daily rush of things.  I’ve been doing things that don’t come so naturally to my generally more shy personality.  I’ve been chatting to more people, saying hello more often and definitely smiling more.  I’ve helped upset kids in the playground find their lost Mums and let the Drama Queen’s friends at child care treat me like their climbing frame.  I’ve tried to help where I can, and generally spread some happy karma into the world.

I thought I might take stock of this kindness and see if it has made a difference to my general happiness, and because I’ve been joining in the Seven Cherubs Happy Days in May project, it’s perfect timing to reflect while I’m posting my weekly happiness post.

Has it made me happier? Has mindful kindness affected my general mood and made my world a happier place? The short answer is yes, or at least I think it has.  I feel as though the people I interact with seem happier.  Maybe it’s because I’m reaping what I sow and the energy I’m sending into the world is being reflected back.  I’ve definitely had a lot more casual conversations with strangers in the street.  I have seen a lot more people smiling, and it looks like they’re returning my smile a lot of the time.  My general mood has been a lot better and my patience with the little inconveniences of life is definitely improving.  I haven’t measured anything, don’t have any facts and figures, just a general feeling and a hunch, and that hunch says that kindness does equal happiness.

I do have a kindness highlight that I would love to share.  About 18 months ago I had a bus trip into the city.  While this in itself isn’t extraordinary, I catch a bus quite often, the bus driver I had on this trip was extraordinary.  She embodied all that is kind and happy.  In a world where it is all too easy to just go through the motions, this bus driver went out of her way to greet every single passenger onto her bus.  I chatted to her on the trip into the city, and it made my journey unforgettable.  I went home and sent an e-mail to the transit authority thanking and praising this bus driver.  I hoped that she had received a copy of the e-mail because I knew she deserved to know how much happiness she had injected into my day.  This isn’t where my story ends.

This week I was out shopping with the Daredevil, I was waiting for a lift and started chatting to a lady about the lifts and which one would come first.  The lady looked familiar, and when I saw the Sydney Buses logo on her shirt the penny dropped.  This was my bus driver, the one who had given me the best bus riding experience ever!  I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, I mustered up the courage and asked.  It turns out that not only was she my bus driver, but she had also recognised my face and remembered that I had been on my first night out without the Daredevil (he was only 6 months old at the time).  Unfortunately she hadn’t received a copy of my e-mail, but I think I made her day by remembering her and thanking her in person.  I know it made my day!

Now for my Happy Days in May update.  If you want to catch up on the last couple of weeks, you can see post 1 here, post 2 here and post 3 here.

21 May 2012 – I ran into my bus driver lady today!

22 May 2012 – Today I got to be a eucalyptus tree for the Drama Queen’s imaginative child care Koala friends –  lots and lots of laughing.

23 May 2012 – Mt Perfect went away for a boys golf escape, so the Munchkins and I got to have carpet picnics for dinner.

24 May 2012 – Mr Perfect and I escaped for our night of culture at the theatre, I always feel happy being immersed in another world, another reality and expanding my creative horizons, though Jack Thompson’s smooth voice almost put me to sleep!

25 May 2012 – An afternoon nap for all of us recharged the batteries.

26 May 2012 – Lunch with the family at the Hard Rock Cafe – cocktails, too much food and Brownies to die for, Yum!

27 May 2012 – A morning of garden creation with the family lead to smiles,  a lot of mud and a big mess to clean up, hope our green grows!

I’m off to polish up my smile for tomorrow!

Sam

All sewn up

26 May

We’ve had a bit of a blow out at our place.

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The poor cushion couldn’t handle the munchkin torment any more and gave in. The Drama Queen’s not very happy about it, it was her “favourite”! The cushion did have a sibling, but apparently it’s not as good as the favourite, I actually prefer the sibling, but I’m not 4.

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Both cushions were made for my sister’s wedding, quite a few years ago. She had a beautiful garden wedding with masses of handmade touches. I’ll have to borrow her wedding photos one day if she’ll let me share them! With such a sentimental beginning it is sad to say goodbye to the cushion, but we’ve taken the opportunity to redesign and remake. The Drama Queen has helped me pick out some material and a cross stitch design and we’re about to start the hard work.

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The Drama Queen has picked a cross stitch design from a French cross stitch book. I borrowed it from the library, and have renewed it twice already, it is beautiful, full of patterns based on French deserts like croissants and macaroons. the Drama Queen has chosen cupcakes, which fortunately seems pretty easy.

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I’ll let you know how we go!

Sam

The rain washed away our garden!

24 May

Well, OK, there’s not much of a garden there to start with.  Every time we begin to think about making a good start something, and by that I mean rain, gets in the way.  Sydney had an exceptionally wet summer, and while we have made a start, a lot of the hard clearing stuff out kind of work is done, we haven’t quite gotten around to the fun constructing bit.  So really the rain has washed away our garden dreams!

The cleared front garden with makeshift pathway waiting for the new design to take shape… yes it’s still waiting!  Though we have mulched it to prevent weed growth.

the mountain of weeds and unwanted plants cleared out of the garden.

After we mulched this garden ready for the plants and new pavers it rained, rained some more and when we thought it had finished it kept right on raining.  Throw in there a hospital visit, a few birthdays, a bad back and a run of sniffles and the end result is that we still have a mulch garden without the schmick new pavers.

The Munchkins and I have propagated a whole lot of plants ready for our winter vegetable garden.  We have broccoli, snow peas, sweet peas and normal peas as well as gourds and strawberries.  They’re all ready to have a go at growing on their own in the big bad garden, but just as we had set aside today to make their new home, it has started raining.  After one of the driest Mays on record, the one day we want to go out and get out hands dirty it pours!  I had planned on blogging about our gardening successes for today, so damn you unpredictable weather patterns!

A plethora of peas

Beautiful broccoli

Gorgeous gourds

The seedlings are stacking up next to the pavers ready to go into the front yard, the 2 Kangaroo Paws that have been waiting way to long to let their roots run free and the tomato stakes that just completely missed their opportunity for last seasons tomatoes.  The Drama Queen has been so proud of them, she carefully planted them (check that out here) and has been watching them sprout and grow.  The Daredevil has been my chief watering can manager, and so far as a team we’ve done a good job.  We just need the weather to come to the party and not rain on our parade.

So far my gardening activities have added up to a lot of weed pulling, a bit tomato taming and a bucket full of thinking and planning, basically not much doing.

For this weekend, rain rain go away, its time our garden had a play!

Sam

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