Tag Archives: fun

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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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

Friday Finds – Chelsea Fringe Festival

25 May

Everyone knows about the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but did you know that this year there is a Chelsea Fringe festival running alongside the flower show?  Described as the flower show’s punkier upstart cousin, in their own words, “It’s all about harnessing and spreading some of the excitement and energy that fizzes around gardens and gardening.”

The fringe festival is highlighting more alternative garden themes such as guerrilla gardening, sustainability and art and poetry, and the events look intriguing.  Completely run by Volunteers, it’s inaugural year looks like a winner.  It seems to have a perfect balance of design, eco-warrier and food fun.  I know I’d be taking my munchkins down for a spot of seed bombing if I could!

The festival opened on 19 May and is running until 10 June, so if you’re after something a bit out of the box to do this weekend, and you’re in London or close by this is where I would be heading.  With so many events and activities, you’ll need to visit their website here.  There’s way too many for me to show them all, but here’s a selection.

Guerrilla gardening photography exhibition

Pothole gardening

Boot and shoe gardens in Don’t let the grass grow…move on

Floating Forest on the Grand Union Canal

Pimp your pavement

Edible Bus Stops

Bicycling Beer Garden – my favourite!

Anyone want to shout me a return ticket to London??

Sam

Party like a 2 year old

19 May

Happy birthday to my little Daredevil.  He has made it to two despite every attempt to jump, fall, climb, and run into the face of danger.  Although I had fantastic plans for a gorgeously themed second birthday party, we settled for a “theme” of good food, good friends and good fun out in the late autumn sun.

Utilising a big open common area within our villa complex we were able to have enough room for munchkins to run and adults to relax and soak up the blue sky sun.  I realised how good it is to have a big garden space that is able to be adapted and utilised as an extension to your inside living space.  If we had tried to have the 30 odd people fit into our place it just would not have worked.  While the space is nothing special, there is a lot of potential, and the potential is the best part about it.  It is almost a blank canvas waiting for users to shape it.

It has been a very big day, I’m exhausted and ready for bed, so thought I would just share some of our photos from today.

Time to blow out the candles and go to bed!

Sam

Happiness is…

6 May

This is my first blog post linking with Seven Cherubs Happy Days in May Project, and it couldn’t be better timed.  The Drama Queen has had a sad day.  She’s not sure why, but everything has been a bit of a challenge, and as she is prone to a bit of over dramatisation, we have seen some spectacular tantrums.  We sat down and had a girly chat tonight about happiness and how she was the only one who could decide if she was going to be happy.  When I told her that if it was up to me I would make every day a happy one for her, she informed me, with her infinite four year old wisdom, that not every day could be a happy one.  She went on to tell me that you had to have days that were sad, angry, happy, really really mad, and that some days would just be love.  She is a wise old soul in a very young body.

The idea of the Happy Days in May Project is that you choose a time each day and write a sentence about what has made you happy that day.  You can check out the project here, and it’s never too late to give it a go.  Here’s my first few days

1 May – Finally managed to get the tax documents to the accountant – Massive tick off the to do list and weight off the shoulders, Yay me!

2 May – Listened to a sparkling rendition of Happy Birthday sung by the Drama Queen to Nanna Mon – She was so happy to hear from us and have a good chat, I’m so lucky to still have such a wonderful grandmother

3 May – Chocolate cake – are there any two words that could make you happier??

4 May – The Daredevil is a super fish – he loves swimming, and Mr Perfect loves taking him – I love watching!

5 May – Love when family gets together, lunch, drinks, old family and new friend?  Happy that everyone is happy. (cryptic much?)

6 May – Sunshine, lollypops and rainbows everywhere, everything is wonderful when we’re together – had a really nice family afternoon in the sun and the park.

I doesn’t take much to keep me happy!  What made you happy this week?

Sam

Just for fun

21 Mar

I enjoyed writing a post for Design Mom’s Love the Place you live theme a couple of weeks ago so much that I’ve decided to join in again! If you missed last time you can catch it again here. Last weekend was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of weather, so I wasn’t sure whether we’d actually get a chance to enjoy the Sydney outdoors, but as Sunday provided a few good sunny hours, we made the most of them and headed out.

The postcard Sydney image

Sydney really is a pretty city.  The harbour and all it has to offer create a beautiful backdrop, and never fail to bring a smile to my face.  Despite the fact that I am Sydney born and bred, the view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House still brings a couple of little butterflies to my stomach.  This was the backdrop for our Sunday adventure.  We really were playing tourist in our own city this weekend!

I had purchased some $1 ferris wheel rides for Luna Park on a deal website a couple of weeks ago.  The Drama Queen and Daredevil haven’t been to a fun park, and never been on a big ride, so I thought it would be a fun day out without overwhelming them with the whole “theme park” adventure.  I’m glad I was right, we all had a ball!

The Luna Park entrance is a Sydney icon

Luna Park is located right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge (which is celebrating it’s 80th birthday this week), and was first opened in 1935 when it  was built on the site of the construction yards for the bridge.  Luna Park has had a bit of a chequered past with fires, protests and financial losses closing the park a few times over it’s life time.  Thankfully the park has re-opened again, and a lot of the 1930’s character has been restored, including the stunning carousel and Coney Island.  The iconic Luna Park face filled the munchkins with excitement, and it is the perfect gateway to a the world of fun that lies behind it.

I have to be honest, I’m not usually the biggest fan of theme park design, I generally find them a bit gimmicky and very commercialised.  Luna Park is an exception.  The restoration has kept so much of the original art deco character that you feel like you’re stepping back in time a little, and the roving lindy hop dancers help to reinforce the feeling that you’re enjoying a little piece of Sydney’s harbour heritage.

The restored Carousel

artwork in the park

A view from the ferris wheel

The Ferris wheel was a huge success.  Despite a small amount of trepidation from both the Drama Queen and myself about the height, the view and excitement of the ride took over.  Despite my minor height phobia, I love the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park because of the spectacular views you get across the harbour both towards the city and to the west.

The Ferris Wheel with the Harbour Bridge in the background

The Drama Queen was all smiles after her height fear faded

Most people who have grown up in Sydney have memories of Luna Park, and I am no exception.  I have fond memories of watching my sister turn green when she took on the scarier rides as I watched from the much safer sidelines, Poor Pop had to accompany her as she was generally to young to ride on her own!  Hopefully we’ve started planting the seeds of memory in the next generation.

If you’re visiting Sydney, or even if you’re playing tourist in your own city, the Ferris wheel at Luna Park is hard to pass up.  Catch a ferry, pack a picnic and smile! Our day ended in the compulsory game of chase the Daredevil, though this time it had the stunning Bradfield Park, located under the bridge as it’s backdrop.

The Drama Queen chasing Mr Perfect, chasing the Daredevil!

What do you love about the place you live?

Sam

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