23 Dec 2013

The Power of Empathy

What a beautiful little video that helps describe empathy (over sympathy). Pinched it from A Cup of Jo and found it really wonderful. We so often get it wrong I think, so it's nice to get a clear idea of what it means to really show someone you care.

♥ Es

Christmas on the Coast

Ah so relaxing. Bonny Hills, you never disappoint! So far this time it's been sunny, breezy and all-out nice. Perfect Christmas weather (for the Aussies anyway). This year is extra-special as we get to spend several weeks with P's brother David and his new Mrs... and their baby-bump! Since baby is going to be half-Indonesian, I have been grilling them for basic phases so I can one day teach Ivy to talk to her cousin/s. All I can remember so far is saying "Salamat malam!" when Ivy goes to bed. Oh well, it's a start :)

This year, we have also hired a paddle-board and we start playing tomorrow morning! I've been busting to try it (again) since last Summer and our Hawaii trip, and we will see if we love it enough, we'll just have to get one. Post-Christmas sales anyone? 

Speaking of gifts, we decided not to do any presents for the adults this year. Just the kiddies. So hence, unborn baby-bump niece/nephew and Ivy have about 1000 presents under the tree. All Ivy's going to care about is the paper (which she will eat). Still amusing for the rest of us!

Es ♥

 Some Insta's of Rainbow Beach from over the years:

17 Dec 2013

Happy Daddy Times

Baby and daddy shopping for 4WD stuffs. Who says girls don't like car and camping things?!

12 Dec 2013

Am I A *gasp* Hipster?

You be the judge.

For starters, I wear glasses. The frames are over-sized and in a tortoise-shell pattern. BUT I do actually need glasses. True! They are so strong that when people put them on they usually fall over shouting, "God how can you see!!" Well, not that well actually, hence the glasses.

I have a subscription (possibly 3 years running now) to Frankie magazine. Frankie is full of washed-out photography, tattoos, craft, vintage and of course ironic witticisms. I never attempt the craft, but I do like the articles... and have been known to write in to the 'letters to editor'. Never published of course.

Hipsters are happy being thrifty. I like thrifty. I like old things. I have a lovely antique ring that I heavily bargained for at a quaint little antique shop in Morpeth. But lately I also said, "gee, alright then" to a ridiculously blingy diamond engagement ring which is worth more than I am. And THAT'S not very hipster at all.

Up until about a week ago I had 'ombre' hair. As in, darker roots leading to lighter tips. "Hipster!" you cry! But it wasn't intentional. It was from neglect and being busy with a 7 month old. "But neglect is so ironic!" you cry again [why are you crying?] and I have to concede that this may be a hipsterism of hair.

So I'm still unsure. I regularly wash and drive an expensive car (not my faullt!), but I only listen to Triple J and I enjoy markets and strong (barista-made-only) coffee. So maybe not a hipster, just a city snob.

You can decide. I'm too confused about what a hipster actually is.

And like, I so don't even care.

Es ♥

8 Dec 2013

Ivy's Chest of Drawers

Before Ivy was born, P and I decided to revamp a chest of drawers for the baby room. I took pictures of the process to share, and recently realised that I never posted about it! So here we go.

Pre-baby being born, we didn't know whether 'it' was going to be a lad or a lady. And even if we did, I wanted the drawers to work for other babies we may have which may or may not follow the trend. So neutral colours it was! In fact, most of the baby room is white with a bit of a 'rainbow' theme I guess. Some pink has entered proceedings, but they are mainly from gifts. I have come to appreciate a bit of pink these days anyway!

To start, I found a second-hand chest of drawers on Gumtree for $80. We drove out one night to St Ives to pick it up. It had dark, brass handles on it and was lightly varnished. Here's the pic from Gumtree.

So we took off the handles (we still have them I think if anyone wants 'em!) and filled the holes. I had already bought some new knobs on Etsy. 

Then we used my dad's sander to take off the varnish. This was all in my folks' back garden!

After taping up the bit we didn't want painted, we then painted the whole lot white. Two coats. In fact, I think we did three coats on the frame so that the finish was shiny and durable. White was a big theme for me in the room. I know it's very 'now' and will probably be 'so last year' but I like the plainness of it, so that colours really pop out when you add them in. Plus, it lightens the room (I'm not into dark baby rooms) and works for a boy or a girl baby. Not to mention it's soooo easy to match your furniture.

Next came the colours! I had previously gone to Bunnings, picked out a colour swatch in green then took it to the paint-man to make me up 5 sample pots. They were about $10 each. There was plenty in there for 2-3 coats on the drawers! You can see them on the side of each drawer. We did that so we didn't mix them up... as the paint is going on wet and the colours are so close, it's easy to make a mistake.

Here's me with a big belly (probably about a month off) doing my fair share of painting!

And here it is!! We are soooo happy with it. It feels so nice to have done something ourselves. Something the kids can put stickers on and hide things in. Something that isn't too baby-ish so might last them a while! The cost for the whole project (drawers, sandpaper, paint etc) was about $150. 

This was in our old place, sans knobs at that point... (special mention to Liv who got us these awesome prints! For some reason Ivy thinks the bear is hilarious and just stares at him, grinning. Weirdo baby.)

And now in the new room! Found those fish at the St Kilda markets when we were in Melbs recently.

I promise to do a whole Ivy room tour soon. I love it in there, and people have been kind enough to comment how nice it is. I agree! *She says modestly*

Es ♥

A close up of the knobs!
There are lots of different animals all mixed up.
Etsy is a fun place to shop... get on it!

Being back at work… is good.

No, I’m not actually at work if we’re talking commuting and sitting in an office or clinic, but I am working. From home. First time in an official capacity (as in being paid) and it’s kinda awesome. Sure, working around Ivy is a bit challenging, but it sure does make me more productive as I have way-less time than usual to get things done.

I’m writing for a natural medicine company. It’s not heaps of work at the moment, but that’s my choice as I don’t want to over-commit myself at this stage.  I am writing articles for practitioners about new products and it suits me just fine. It has been a nice discovery to find that my brain still works, even though most of my daily conversations are “waaa goo whosabeautifulbaaaby?!!” Not to mention a little cash here and there is also nice.

Speaking of which, this 1200 words on PCOS ain’t going to write itself! Back to the books!

♥ Es

3 Dec 2013

Daddy Day Care Has Begun

Daddy is home!! Well, for 10 weeks anyway. Amazing right?! So P's work offers full-pay daddy-leave if he is the primary carer. But lady, you're not back at work I hear you shout! And you're right. However, I am trying to finish a course that will allow me to move on to my next stage of career (same industry, just job-tweaking) and so far I've done diddly squat. So here I am. Set up in our front room (of three, oh the space here!) at my desk, and have already made a start. Well, assignment #2 is almost done and only 7 (eeeek) to go! So wish me luck. And motivation...

Es ♥

29 Nov 2013

Never Say Never

Why? Because you might end up doing it anyway. I have said 'never' a lot in my life. And yet, years or sometimes only weeks later there I am doing something I said I would never do. But tastes change. People change. Situations change and you have to adapt. And saying 'never' just opens you up to potential ridicule later on. So never say never. Got it? ☺

Still a novelty.

Yep, a washing line. Our own washing line. Still not over how nice it is. On a warm day, clothes dry in a couple of hours. Homey-bliss.

17 Nov 2013

The Wedding! Indonesian-Style!

Yesterday, P's brother got hitched. He lives in Jakarta, and so the wedding was over there. Unfortunately, his mama couldn't go, so Ivy, my mama and I went up the coast to stay with her while P and his dad went over there for the wedding.

A traditional Indonesian wedding is just so beautiful. I really wish we had all been there! But it's been wonderful letting Ivy have intensive Nanna and Nanny time up here.

Here are the happy couple in their reception-garb. The ceremonial outfits were white, but the reception outfits were pink. How awesome! Maybe I can try and swing two dresses for our wedding...

♥ Es

9 Nov 2013

New House!

We moved! Yes, again. So that's 3 moves in less than 2 years. Yikes! At least this time we had amazing movers who did everything, as well as equally amazing cleaners who did a great job on the old place. So it was moderately easy compared to other moves. But still, moving with a 7 month old isn't the funnest thing we've ever done.

We are now moved and settled and I wanted to share a few snaps of the new place. I think I'll post some pics once all the boxes are unpacked, but for now here are some of the gorgeous details:

It's an old, brick semi. Three bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, big (old) kitchen, laundry, a courtyard and carport. I can't tell you how nice it is to go outside and still be in your own place (not out the hall, down the stairs etc.). The owner also put in a herb garden for us. Isn't that so lovely? I'm taking very good care of my new green babies. There's something so calming about watering your garden in the evening.☺

♥ Es 

29 Oct 2013

Baking for the Brain

I did wonder why I was baking so much around Ivy being born, and well after. Even now I love baking muffins, bread or biscuits. I always said it was the therapy of doing something in a short period of time that works. Very satisfying to complete something, when everything else is a bit chaotic.  

Monique Bowley (Great Australian Bake Off contestant, and clearly my favourite), puts it a lot better... 
"Life is complex and busy and crazy and overwhelming. Baking strips away all that bullshit and allows you to just focus on the simple pleasure of making something. It’s simple, meditative even. There is no room for compromise or interpretation; it requires you to follow the instructions for a result. Generally, that result is pretty great – it makes people happy and makes the house smell like a home. That’s why I love it. The world is a noisy place. More people should just shut up and bake a cake."
The whole article is here. Have a read and have a laugh. Then bake something.
♥ Es 

12 Oct 2013

My Friday Night

...was spent at home, with an *angel baby* sleeping without  fuss, a glass of wine AND a glass of port (I know, shut up!) on the lounge.

I also spent an hour crying my eyes out watching Glee; the tribute special to Cory Monteith. So sad. Hoping he's in a better place now.

Es ♥

9 Oct 2013

She Eats!

Ivy has started solids and boy does she love her food... just like her mumma! We're mostly letting her feed herself, but some things I give her on a spoon (with some help from her; either as she grabs the spoon, or simply shoves her hand in the mush).

So far, she's loved everything we've tried; avocado, cucumber, potato, pumpkin, natural yoghurt, banana, strawberries, bread... and even a chicken leg onMonday! I tried pulling off some of the chicken to feed her, but nooooo, she just launched for the bone and sucked on it. Hilarous!

♥ Es

P.s. Didn't realise how blonde she's getting until I saw the second pic. Wowsers!

Some first foods; steamed beans and sourdough!
Mmmm chicken leg. Nom nom nom.

8 Oct 2013

Tom and Tenille Get Hitched ♥

On the weekend, we witnessed a beautiful couple get married. The wedding was at Summerlees Estate, near Moss Vale and it was just perfect. Such a genuine, spiritual couple and we felt blessed to share their day with them. Here are some pics!

[And special thanks to my ma and pa who came with us for the weekend to Ivy-sit!]

Where Are You?

I've been away from blogging for a little while. I'm not really sure why. I mean, I've mostly been here, and certainly on the laptop almost daily. I guess I've been busy with other things. Also, for some reason, I get my best blog ideas at night just before I fall asleep, and I often can't be bothered to get up and write it down. By the time the morning comes, I'm focused on Ivy, showering, and usually heading out of the house for one reason or another. Not to mention, a LOT of my internet time lately has been spent on looking at engagement rings... squeal!

Anyway, here I am. I thought about shutting down this blog because I'm clearly nowhere near keeping to this 'one post a day' idea. But then, I guess it's all part of the 12 month experience. I want to be able to look back and see what this year was like. So however it goes, that's what I'll be reflecting on in a few months. Now, for another post while I'm here!!

Es ♥

17 Sep 2013

Miranda Madness

I am half in-love with, and kinda half-mad at Miranda Kerr.

Positives? She is an Aussie. A country-girl from Gunnedah. She's seems really lovely. She's a Nutritionist/or something (either way, she has studied natural therapies). She has a really clean, healthy lifestyle as opposed to some other models. She does yoga. She is quite spiritual.

Negatives? Oh man, could anyone be more damn perfect???!?!! Her lifestyle is ridiculous - hot hubby, beautiful work locations, the best of everything clothes/jewellery. And sometimes when she's all, 'this is my relaxed outfit for the park with Flynn' I'm thinking she looks like I would on a Saturday night out... whereas I'm proud to have had a shower in the morning. Why don't my trackies look as good as her? Maybe because mine were probably from Kmart. Hmmm.

She's doing a series of lifestyle videos for Net-A-Porter on YouTube. Here's her morning yoga routine.

I want to hate her, but I just can't. She's adorable. I want to be her. I've even copied some of these yoga moves! But I just can't do it all. For example, she's all about loafers right now. Her 'everyday in the park' ones are 500 pounds. Yikes.

Es ♥

12 Sep 2013


Well, yesterday was very very special. Ivy only got me up once in the night (yay! )and by the time she was done for her first nap, a flower delivery arrived! 30 stunning red and orange roses! THIRTY! Wowsers. They were from Parker, with a note saying sorry he had to work late that day. But I didn't mind!

Mid-morning I went to pick up my mum and dad and the 4 of us (that means Ivy) went up to Palm Beach Boathouse for lunch. It turned into a glorious day, and while we were looking around for a table, suddenly Parker was in front of me... with a rose... I was thinking 'Wow, he's come for lunch!!' Then he got down on one knee...

Everyone at the restaurant clapped us and a wonderful lady breakfasting nearby took these photos and emailed them to me. Ivy could care less about what's happening here. I love it. 

I am a very, very, VERY lucky lady.

Es ♥ ♥ ♥

10 Sep 2013

Last day of my 20's!

Yup, it's the big 3-OH tomorrow. Yikes! Which means this is my last day in my 20's and probably a good time to take stock. I guess a lot has happened. Travelled to lots of places. Lots of study. Lots of yummy friends. Started career in Natural Health. Bought a house (that we don't actually live in). Oh yeah, and made a baby. I guess what I'm saying is that I feel blessed. Over the last few years, I really feel like I am happy in my own skin. I have stopped looking at others to try and emulate them; I now find I have brought back a lot of the 'Estherisms' that I had as a child. More silliness, more dreaming, more creativity and more confidence. Turing 30 brings a new feeling of authenticity that I certainly didn't have in my early 20's. I was too busy trying out bits of others' qualities on for size. They never really fit, so here I am, back in my own outfit. And it feels pretty damn good ♥

8 Sep 2013

Online Mum's Clubs (and bub's first food!)

So, I joined an online group for April Babies on BabyCenter Australia. I look at this site a lot anyway, so it's nice to be involved. I really love my mum's group (in person) so much more, but I like having a read and occasionally asking a question to see what other people are doing. Mostly, it's just interesting to see how varied everyone's decisions/ experiences are.

Also, IJ had her first bit of toast today. After a couple of attempts at grabbing food prior to today, she finally locked on and got it to her mouth. She sucked on it until it was mushy and gross. How wonderful!

Es ♥

P.s. We have started rolling too! I have a video but it's a bit too much bare-bum. Might take another one for the blog. This time with pants on, eh?

New PM

For better or worse, we now have Abbott as PM. At least we can celebrate the end of the election campaigns. Thank heaven that's over for another 3 years. Sad thing about politics for me, is most of the time I'm not voting for someone great, I'm just trying to vote for the least-terrible option. Let's just say I didn't put a '1' in the 'Palmer United Party' box...

Es ♥

5 Sep 2013

Funny Wisdom

"Nine times out of ten you probably aren't having a full-on nervous breakdown - you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit."

~ Caitlin Moran (Writer for the British Times)

Es ♥

Tea And Biscuits

2 Sep 2013

Seasonal Pinterest

Most of the people I follow on Pinterest are American. Which means that I end up seeing a lot of American holiday projects appear on my home page. This is kinda nice. Each year it goes in themes and I get a glimpse into what the that part of the world experiences with their weather and traditions. While it warms up here and we start talking cocktails, outdoor parties, beach trips and summer dresses, a lot of what I see on Pinterest is pumpkin pie recipes, halloween costumes, 'Fall Fashion' and other cool-weather nesting ideas. It's adorable. But for me, it's now time to go through all the recipes I stockpiled during our winter of all their summer drinks and nibbles. This warmer weather has me inspired!!

Es ♥
Blood Orange Lemon Fizz
Blood Orange Lemon Fizz - ABeautifulMess.com

So fresh! So easy! Doing this ASAP.
Berry Mascarpone Tart - GoodFood.com.au

4 'Skinny Dip' recipes
Skinny Dip recipes - TheHeathyChef.com

26 Aug 2013

Seasonal Fruit & Veg, Delivered?!

Going for a lovely walk last week with my friend Lucy and her fluffy baby Fritz (the schnauzer), many wonderful things came out of it. Obviously, the fresh air, the hilarious conversation (we are pretty funny people), the game we like to play called 'how many dog-owners look like their pooches' [answer: quite a lot]. However, possibly the pearl of the afternoon was Lucy's recommendation for this place...

The Local Harvest Collective!

The wonderful Talia makes up bags of fresh, seasonal produce in lots of 1-person and 2-person bags. We opted for the 2-person option, and the amount of stuff in there was amazing. We're talking beans, kale, apples, blueberries, rhubarb, sweet potato, lettuce, eggplant, herbs, onions, mushrooms... and more! Each week it changes, and she always includes a bunch of flowers and occasional other goodies. This week we were lucky enough to get some of her home-made muesli and her partner's own coffee blend. Considering Ed works for Single Origin, you can safely assume his own blends are just as fantastic (and it is, we had some yesterday).

I can't rave about this enough. It was a good price, and by the time we bought meat yesterday, we ended up about the same as what we normally spend per week. Perhaps a bit cheaper. We love shopping at the farmer's markets (Marrickville on Sunday is a firm favourite), but with a 4-month old, sometimes it's just a bit hard. By the time she's had her first good nap for the day, it's way too busy at the market. And a pram is out of the question! So you end up carrying the bub and arms full of heavy veggies. Not something you want to do all the time, let me tell you.

If you're in Sydney and you want to give 'em a go, then check out their site and email Talia. She's a gem and her idea (and execution of it) is gold.

♥ Es
Ed & Talia

15 Aug 2013

Ecstasy of Contrast. Again.

Really really really enjoying Ivy now. I feel the worst is behind us and now all the smiles, talking, sleeping and even the occasional giggle is making up for all the stress of the first few months.

But perhaps it's just so good because it's been so tough? Well, either way, we're all pretty happy.
Every day (though tiring) is worth the effort.

In love  ♥

14 Aug 2013

A Puppy Room

Check out this article...

Students at Dalhousie Uni in Nova Scotia have a puppy room! If you're a stressed student around exam time, then you can stop off for a cuddle and a play!!!

Oh my goodness, how many times have I needed a puppy room. Like now? I'm not even stressed!!

Es ♥