Sunday 23 December 2012


I had a really vivid dream (nightmare) last night, not much of it made sense in terms of a plot or storyline but it's been a stone in my heart all day. It involved unintended harsh words spoken by me, to a child I know to begin with (the horror). Then marching in a crowd around and around in circles, feeling a a growing sense of despair, the faces in the swirling crowd unapproving and judgemental, including that of the child's mother. Until finally, a kind word to ask if I was ok and I completely and utterly broke down. Uncontrollable sobbing in the dream and, in waking. It really was awful. What to make of it?

In reflecting on 2012, I can't help but feel like I've spent much of it chasing something out of reach. I long for a time that I might feel still, my heart whole, with our home full of children. So many things hang in the balance of trying for a baby. But another year passes, too many painful memories with it, so maybe it's time to look at things a different way. 

Time is needed now for perspective, for rest and renewal with family and friends. This time last year, I sat quietly by the ocean with my great love. And, with his gentle persuasion and complete faith in me, I decided to start blogging.  It has helped me to live in the present and be grateful for what I have and served to remind me just how lucky I am. And gosh, I really am blessed in SO many ways. When disappointment and loss tries to consume you, this can be the only thing that keeps you afloat.

This space here is something I'm so very proud of. For once, I've followed through on an idea, a dream that was purely for me. Something that has given me so much fulfillment and joy already. I don't have scores of followers, I'm never going to be in it for that, but the process of writing regularly and capturing images alone has done something to provide that balance I was (still am) yearning for. This blog has already gifted me with such special connections, people I may have never met or friends I may never have truly gotten to know if not for this space. Wonderful people who inspire me an awful lot. 

So, my deepest gratitude to you for joining me here over this past year. You may never know just how much I've appreciated your company. How each lovely comment and email have really filled my heart. Thank you.

I wish you and yours a wonderful Festivus, a year to come that's full of your wildest dreams, the biggest belly laughs, lots of loud music and big, big love.

Belinda x

All of the lights

We have some serious Griswolds in our neighbourhood. 

It amazes me the lengths some people go to, especially when the result can be a bit of an assault on the senses. Neon, dancing, flashing, flying, climbing, hot air ballooning, sleigh driving, motorcycle riding, saxophone playing Santas.

But oh, how she loved it. There were quite a few cars filled with pyjama clad kids, parents driving slowly from house to lit up house. Squeals of delight and discovery filling the air. I kind of loved it, too!

Belinda x

* Post title: Kanye

Thursday 20 December 2012


Decided it was about time to do something with all of those pine cones we collected a few weeks back at the Christmas Tree farm

She chose gold paint and glitter, of course. Then once they had dried, we took Emily's advice and tied them up with ribbon bows before hanging them around the house and wrapping some in tissue paper as gifts.

I love how Christmas seems to bring out the crafty in so many, I've been inspired daily with gorgeous DIY ideas and glimpses of how people decorate their homes in different parts of the world.

This improvised Australian Christmas wreath is my all time fave so far. Positively stunning!

How are you decorating this festive season?

Belinda x

Tuesday 18 December 2012


The end of 2012 is almost upon us, and amongst the chaos of social commitments, work deadlines and Christmas 'to do' lists, finding time to stop and create just seemed unachievable. But with an all too painful reminder to hold close our loved ones, and creative inspiration from this lovely lady, we stole an hour here and there over the weekend. It was precious quiet time, giggling and chatting. Being, together. How lucky we are.

This week is the little one's last at pre-school so we rolled wonky beads out of Fimo and created some colourful necklaces to give to her teachers. Words couldn't adequately express how grateful we are to them for the amazing start to her education they have provided, the genuine efforts to make each child feel as special as they are. We watched in awe as they gave a heartfelt, personalised farewell message to each and every student at the graduation night.  I'm certain that the feeling of pride that shone from the hearts of all of those kids is something that will stay with them always.

Love and light, from my home to yours.

Belinda x

Monday 17 December 2012

Typically Red Etsy Shop

I was fortunate to meet the lovely Greer whilst attending The Nursery a few months back. One of the things I got a sense of straight away was that she's happiest creating. I've come to learn that she has an amazing eye, is a beautiful wordsmith and she's pretty clever with the knitting needles too. Recently, Greer has taken the exciting plunge in opening her very own Etsy store, Typically Red Knits.

Her wee models are beyond adorable and her hand-made bonnets and pixie hats for babies, toddlers and kids are just the sweetest things ever. I have to admit, part of me wishes she made adult sizes! Instead, and perhaps for the best, I've ordered a bumpy bonnet for the little one and will live vicariously through her.

It may be a little while before it starts to get cool enough to wear in Sydney, but we'll be ready to dial up the cosy cuteness when it does. For those of you in cooler climates or perhaps looking for last minute Christmas stocking fillers, Greer is taking local (Australian) orders until Wednesday 19th December for delivery before Christmas. 

You can 'Like' Typically Red on Facebook, here. And, to read more about Greer and her charming family life in the southern New South Wales countryside, I'd thoroughly recommend you settle in with a cuppa and take a mosey around her wonderful blog, here

Belinda x

Both images taken with permission from the Typically Red Etsy page.
1.Chubby Pixie, Forest Green. Buy it here
2.Bumpy Bonnet, Watermelon. Buy it here

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Christmas Concert

She was so confident, so happy to be there. She remembered all the moves, she sang with gusto, she twirled and skipped and delighted in being on stage with her friends, knowing she was making us all so proud.

Tomorrow she graduates from pre-school. Big school, she is so ready.

Belinda x

Monday 10 December 2012

Gift Inspiration

Since it is customary in blogland to share gift inspiration at this time of year, I present these 1970's Wonder Sauna Hot Pants, for the person who has everything this Christmas.  Available in both short and long 'styles'. You're welcome.

Less than THREE weeks to go! Who is stealing hours from my day? Are you ready? Are you coping ok?

Have a great week!

Belinda x

Sunday 2 December 2012

Yuletide magic

On our official first day of summer, which delivered hot and humid right on cue, we visited a local Christmas tree farm. Such joy listening to the squeals of delight from the little one running through the rows of pine finally finding us the 'perfect' tree. Collecting fallen pine cones was an added bonus.

Since it's our first Christmas in our own home, I deliberated for a while on whether to get a real tree or a fake one. I'm yet to deal with the mess of fallen needles that is to be expected of a real tree in the heat of the Australian summer, but I'm so glad we went with real. A full and fluffy imperfect, gorgeous tree, she smells devine right here in our lounge room.

Although the little one doesn't live with us full time, I feel so blessed to be her step-mum. To have her signature all over that Christmas tree, her fingerprints on the glass baubles, watching her place the star on top and gasp as the lights were turned on are memories that will stay with me forever. As a result, there is a certain yuletide magic in this house that would be markedly absent if she weren't in our lives. She truly is a gift.

How did you spend your weekend? Are your decorations up yet?
Have a wonderful week wont you.

Belinda x

Monday 26 November 2012

Vintage childrens books

My earliest memories of favourite pastimes as a child revolved largely around books. Reading them or colouring them in, hours spent in activity books, even writing and making my own. For the last little while, I've been quietly obsessed with collecting vintage children's books. Cursing my lack of storage space and lack of foresight in my twenties, I've found myself wishing we hadn't given up so many beloved books to garage sales or the charity stores. Everything from Enid Blyton to The chronicles of Narnia to The Babysitters club, I want them all back in my life. Am I just being overly sentimental? Does this feeling pass?! One comforting thing about letting them all go in the first place is that hopefully they've been capturing the imaginations of other children all this time.

We have a healthy stock of new and wonderful children's books in this house, but with the little one getting ready for 'big' school next year, I've been feeling the need to share with her some of the stories I fell in love with at her age. So far I've managed to find some lovely, sometimes non-pc, old school Australian classics like Blinky Bill and Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. My favourite Enid Blyton books, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair, perhaps it's the rose coloured hue of nostalgia but the illustrations of the Georgina Hargreaves editions are so beautiful they make the effort and purchase worthwhile.

My latest and most extravagant find has been The Value Tale Series. I've been keeping an eye out for these in the thrifts, second hand bookstores, on Etsy and eBay for a while and finally came across this lot, available as a set and in amazing condition. Not a single one has been written in, stained or torn. I agonised over the expense of shipping them from the US but knew I'd always regret it if I missed the chance to bring them all into our home. Finally looking through the pages at these familiar images after all these years, I'm thrilled. I couldn't put a price on them. The Value Tale stories each tell a biographical tale about a prominent person in history who demonstrated a particular strength in character. They are wonderful educational stories, illustrated beautifully and I couldn't think of a better gift for a very special five year old girl this Christmas. I'm SO looking forward to reading each one with her. I hope she loves them as much as I did.

Did you have any of the Value Tales? Did you love them too?

Hope you have a happy week!

Belinda x

Sunday 18 November 2012


Things around here have been HECTIC. I feel like I'm playing catch up constantly and am longing for some down time, slow days, time to read books, make things and ignoring the 'To Do' list. I'm a major list keeper, I do love a list and always have a few on the go. I may have a slight obsession (compulsion) with being organised. But when the busy starts to get a bit out of my control, the lists start to become my undoing.

Late this afternoon, when putting on the fiftieth load of washing, I turned to notice the most beautiful afternoon light. I stopped, ignored the list of things I was running in my mind to do next, went and got the camera and spent the next twenty minutes shooting in the garden.

Jasmine's fragrance filled the air, the ornamental grapevine is flourishing along the trellis. The plants I've potted are not dead yet, in fact they're doing well!

It served me well. Those stolen minutes in the dusk light.

I'm also very proud to report that the veggie patch seems to be doing ok under my rather uneducated care. The chilli's will be ready soon, the basil is bushy, blackberries and blueberries are coming along and the lettuce - well, that's the most exciting development.... We've had our first harvest! Served up a very handsome salad with our first two heads of lettuce last weekend in Forster, boy it felt smug good to eat something we had grown ourselves!

This coming week is gearing up to be a crazy one, I'm going to do my best to remember to stop and breathe once in a while.

Hope your week brings quiet and illuminated diversions.

Belinda x

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Same as it ever was

It's the event we look forward to all year. And already, so quickly, its been and gone for another twelve months.

It was the same as it ever was, our lakeside cabanas all in a row, the practical jokes and story telling, the grazing and lazy afternoons but somehow, to me, it felt different. 

Amanda is home, there was a new baby to cuddle and most of the great grandkids are older and move as a mini-posse of witches and fairies and princesses these days, it's great to watch. But there was something else. A number of us arrived with heavy hearts, weary bodies and minds, worn down by life's ups and downs, but this year there was a unity and togetherness that has been muted since we lost Grandpa three years ago. It'll never be the same without him, it still hurts desperately, but we're healing. And we're at our best together.

I reckon he'd have been especially proud of us all this year, his family.

The movie we made for Nana's 80th came together beautifully. Here are some final pictures from the archives. These photos have been such a gift, I have LOVED poring over the details and hearing the stories behind them.

My Great, Great Grandparents Lavinia and Nimmo on the front porch of their house in country NSW.
My Great Grandparents, known to everyone as Ma & Pa. She looks so angelic,
I LOVE her delicate fresh flower crown.
THIS is the Ma everyone remembers, she loved a drink and a smoke. She was a larrikin and practical joker.
My beloved Grandparents, Dennis and Joan, looking HANDSOME as ever.
My Dad as a ceee-ute baby! He'll kill me for posting this but just look at that big black curl!
Belinda x
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