16 July 2017

TRAVEL: Haven & Space (Berry, NSW)

Do you ever walk into a homewares style store and just "love" absolutely everything? Do you walk in and start to envision (erhm... daydream) what you might buy? Items may not necessarily suit the existing decor, no-one else in the family shows any interest in the things you're catching your breath over and honestly, its pretty much out of your price range... yet you cant help but get excited!?!?

We went on a little family outing the other day, to a small town called Berry. Its only a half hour drive from our house and a lovely place to have some morning tea or lunch, browse the stores and generally enjoy the 'country' ambience.

Love this desk clock

In Berry, there’s a store (well it’s gotten so big now, there are 2 stores to accomodate all of the beautiful things) called Haven & Space. Every time we visit the town, I just have to stop in and have a look around. The items are fun, quirky and I love them all.

As soon as I walked into the store, I was confronted with a couch covered in denim. Denim! How completely cool! And all of those cushions!

A Denim Couch. Denim!

3-tier stand

I have no place in my home where this sideboard could could live, but I love the chunky wood and those bright colourful tiled panels.

If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, you must stop into this store (and the many others in the town). It’s a gorgeous day trip from Sydney or Canberra (or anywhere in between).

PS The Berry Bakery makes the best steak and pepper pies. THE BEST!

14 July 2017

FAMILY: The Boss Baby (+ other stuff)

We’re almost at the end of the winter school holidays. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Sure the evenings and nights are quite cold, but the days have been glorious with temperatures in the high teens. We honestly cannot complain about our Aussie winters, here on the NSW south coast.

School holidays rock! (Most of the time) I love hanging out with the kids, especially without needing to keep track of time. Meal times are relaxed, as are the meals themselves. We’ve had play dates with friends. They’ve had sleep-overs at friends houses and we’ve had kids sleep over here. We’ve been to inflatable play centres, trampoline centres and shopping centres. We've shopped for toys, games and general “kid-stuff”. We’ve been to the park, ridden bikes and scooters and we’ve even been fishing a couple of times. We’ve been to the cinema to see a couple of films and we’ve eaten burgers at Hungry Jack’s. We’ve baked chocolate cakes, mixed up some chocolate crackles and made bright blue slime.

It’s been a jam-packed holidays and I think the kids have had a great time.

The cold nights have been perfect for snuggling together on the couch and watching movies. Don’t you just love family movie nights? We take turns in choosing films to watch and when it was my turn a couple of nights ago, I surprised the kids with The Boss Baby. A big thanks to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for sending this happy package - just in time for school holiday viewing.

The Boss Baby - what a fun film! Voiced by Alec Balwin, the boss baby is highly unusual. He wears a sharp suit, carries a briefcase and has a wonderful wit and vocabulary for someone so small. He’s on a mission to discover why babies are losing the market share of love.

The story is told from the view point of the baby’s big 7 year old brother, Tim, who doesn’t like the idea of having a baby taking away some of his parents attention. I guess after 7 years of having them for himself a new baby would certainly be a challenge.
There isn’t anything really too scary or confronting for kids and the message of the film is one that my kids could certainly relate to. What The Boss Baby does have is a lot of funny moments which had us all laughing. Oh and cuteness. Whether is was the baby, the toddler friends or all of the puppies… so much cuteness!

What else makes for a successful family movie night? Activities and food of course!

Here are a few ideas to make for a fun evening.

Image Source: Musings of an Average Mom

For the older kids, here’s a The Boss Baby Word-Search puzzle.

Invite some friends over for a movie afternoon with these cute printable invitations.

Pin the Tie on The Boss Baby.

"Cookies are for closers” chocolate chip cookie recipe

Watch Alec Baldwin ask Aussie kids some important questions :)

CROCHET: The Virus Shawl

Fayette Yarn - Autumn

I bought this beautiful Fayette yarn from Spotlight a few months back. I was immediately drawn to the colours and the lovely softness of the yarn. Oh, and I did mention it was on sale? It sat on my shelf staring back at me. It was awaiting the “perfect” project and I think the Virus Shawl was a pretty “perfect” way to use this yarn.

Virus Shawl by SameliasMum.Com

Armed with my lovely yarn, 4mm hook and YouTube, I set off on my Virus Shawl adventure. Before long I “thought" I had the hang of it and set off on crocheting the next few rounds on my own. I must admit, it was a bit of a wobbly start. I started this project with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm, continued confidently only vaguely-knowing the pattern.

One problem - my shawl wasn’t sitting flat. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I’d missed some rounds and the shawl wasn’t growing as it should. I wondered if this is how it was meant to look and whether it would “flatten” the further I went, or with some serious blocking, but being still quite new at this crochet caper, I decided to ask the ladies in the Australian Crochet Community on Facebook.

Virus Shawl - Shells

Honestly, any crochet question you might have, can be answered or explained by these wonderful crocheters. They are a truly wonderful source of experience and inspiration. If you’re not a member of this group, just click over on the link and request to join.
I started again and I think I have the hang of the pattern now. Once you “get it”, it honestly is a very simple pattern and a perfectly transportable project.

It’s the last official day of the winter school holidays here (not counting the weekend), so we’re on a little road trip down to a lovely town called Berry, for some lunch and to wander around the pretty stores. They have the most wonderful homewares store there and I will undoubtedly come home with something I don’t need, but desperately “must have”!!

Have you made a virus shawl? 
What’s your favourite transportable project?

PS: This is the Virus Shawl video I used from YouTube. I love how well explained each step was which really helped me learn the pattern.

26 June 2017

CROCHET: Granny Squares

How great are crochet granny squares for a portable craft?!? 

Before we left on our Hawaiian holiday a couple of weeks ago, I was having a last minute run-around, trying to decide what sort of crafty things to bring. As usual, I left it until the last minute to decide and then prepare my "craft of choice". 

I finally settled on variegated yarn and a crochet hook. I rewound a couple of the huge balls of yarn I'd previously bought at Lincraft, into manageable yarn cakes. Can I just say that I love, love, love my yarn winder (got it on eBay).

I crocheted the granny squares in the car.

At the hotel pool while the kids were splashing around.

On the bus while we toured around beautiful Oahu.

On Waikiki beach.

And with 10.5hr flights each way, I made alot of my squares on the plane.

I wonder what contrasting colour to use with these squares... or to be honest, even what I'll make with them...

Where are some of the more interesting places you've crocheted?

15 June 2017


Oh Hawaii, how we love you!

We visited this beautuful island in October 2016, loved it so much thatvwhen hubby had some assigned annual leave from work, we made the most it by returning.

The flight from Sydney takes around 10.5hrs. Both times, we flew through the night which made sleeping on the plane a little easier. I was lucky to receive an upgrade to a business class seat while hubby stayed with the kids in economy. I felt a little guilty, but only for the briefest of moments.

Business class is like nothing else! The amount of space is amazing, with seats that recline until they're completely flat beds. The meals are served on actual crockery with real cutlery.

We arrived in Honolulu, made our way through immigration and customs relatively quickly and found our luggage without problem. Our transport was waiting for us and we were able to check into the hotel 4 hours early as a room ready. Honestly, it was as though the stars aligned and everything "just worked".

So far, we've eaten and shopped and swum and eaten and shopped and shopped and eaten..... you get the picture.

And I've even managed some crochet... on the plane (wonder how often the flight attendants see crocheting up in the pointy end?). I crocheted while the kids swam in the hotel pool and even while sitting on Waikiki beach this beautiful evening.

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