29 Jun 2014


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -   Her knees are always muddied and there are bruises aplenty on her shins. Here, she's plucking cobbler's pegs from her tights gathered on another adventure: my wild girl.
Remy -  His pixie hat still fits!

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

25 Jun 2014

feeding myself

Truth be told, Darren and I ate our way around France.  Sure, The Lonely Planet was consulted  for "must sees" and many an iconic tourist attractions were chalked up. But for the most part, we ate. Quite frankly, it's almost impossible not to! Such is the nature of a nation of food lovers.  And while I will always be happily tethered to my homeland in body and spirit, a culture that holds food in such high esteem certainly has my heart.

I have memories of watching elderly men debate the merits of one goats cheese versus another. My school girl French stumbled through the gushing but their body language alone conveyed this conversation was filled with much passion and knowledge.  Spurred on by this lust for food we in turn morphed into connoisseurs of all things culinary on our driving holiday around the country. No meal was rushed and even the odd takeaway "sandwich de jambon et fromage" was mindfully produced with exceptional ingredients and the quintessential French flair.

But what with school schedules, a tired toddler and a befuddled brain, weary from much homemaking I have let my taste buds down in favour of convenience. Although my little people have rather adventurous palates weekday lunches have become a little lack lustre; healthy, but on the boring side. So, in honour of my "everyday creative" mantra and in homage to the many magnificent lunches I had in France I have decided to pass on the crust less egg sandwiches, veggie sticks, fruit salad and yoghurt gracing Remy's lunch menu and cook up simple, albeit delicious treats for myself.

With my little man asleep for an hour or two, these are some of the the quick, nourishing and taste bud enlivening meals I have been salivating over:

- Bruschetta. Even though the wind outside is declaring Winter's arrival my sourdough toast rubbed with garlic and topped with chopped tomato, sea salt, basil and olive oil is a Tuscan Summer still life.

- Sauteed kale, garlic, a whisker of chilli and a dash of tamari and a fried egg. Hearty and warming and delicious to boot.

- Pan fried Swiss brown mushrooms with hot buttery rye sourdough and chunks of feta or goats cheese and a fine sprinkle of lemon thyme. This Meridith Valley one is heaven in a jar.

- Soba noodles with something green thrown in at the last minutes and finished off with a good spoonful of natural peanut butter, tamari and honey, loosened with a glug of the noodle cooking water. Black sesame seeds add a little crunch and a certain air of restaurant sophistication.

All delicious and simple lunches made with a minimum of preparation and fuss that have reignited my love of food. Do you have a lovely lunch you like to treat yourself with? Do you make it often?

Steph x

23 Jun 2014

small changes

I can't quite say when our life philosophies shifted. Perhaps with the absence of a second wage it was necessity, the mother of invention that led us to explore alternative ways to living, re-using and making do. But most likely it was Sir David Attenborough's bleak response to a nagging question that shifted our mindset so drastically and paved the path we now tread; to lesson our impact on this planet.

At a question and answer evening we were privileged to attend, Sir David,  when asked whether he had high hopes for the survival of earth and it's inhabitants, flatly answered no. It was his next words however, that were so profound , "It is not the work of big business nor governments that will effect the most powerful change when it comes to "saving" the earth, it is quite simply the day to day actions of each and every human being on this planet...the day to day actions." Darren and I walked out from that discussion both humbled and incredibly empowered.

And so, little by little, we have scrutinised how we do things, what we use, what we eat, how we function within our four walls and beyond into the community and greater world. There has been no revolutionary sweep of transformation mandated immediately but a series of refinements. Mostly they incurred no cost and required  little more than minor effort and a change of perspective; small manageable changes. I really look forward to sharing them with you over the coming weeks.

Steph x

22 Jun 2014


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  We took advantage of the stunning weather and headed up into the mountains for a little photoshoot, a bushwalk and frothy milkshakes.
Remy -  Utterly perplexed as to why we would plant the top of a pineapple in our veggie garden. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

17 Jun 2014

a creative life - what is it?

Before children I could while away hours, even days on some creative whim. The whole process from imagining to production could unfold within a day and the happy mess left behind was proof of pure, uninterrupted "making"  time. Nowadays, creativity doesn't often present itself in neat little parcels of time; an undisturbed few hours when all is quiet and the ideas flow. In fact, I find it very rarely does.  In the early days of motherhood I struggled against time constraints as I held fast to the notion of creativity as art or craft based. And while it definitely fits into traditional pastimes such as sewing, painting, knitting and sculpture, I have come to believe that creativity is so much more.

To me living a creative life has to be a way of daily thinking; a way of being. A challenging of the boundaries of "doing", thinking out of the box and exploring alternatives. To be ever refreshing the mind and allowing new inspiration to subtly mould  patterns of behaviour. The natural world, our own senses, and simply what makes us feel good should be our daily inspiration for expanding our days creatively. Begin observing your day to day movements and ask questions like, "How could I do this differently? How could I change this to make it more interesting? How can I use this differently?" What it?" . A twist on a salad dressing, a walk along an off beat track, bright red lipstick just because, painting that old chair bright teal because it's your favourite colour, a carpet picnic for dinner...

If we cast off the shackles of being creatively competent in an arts manner and embrace novel ways of doing things in our everyday not only will our souls be enriched but our imaginations will ignite. Live life with child like eyes and challenge what's proper, practical and conforming without censorship. Refuse to listen to that annoying little voice that says, "Why?" and silence it with a loud, "Why not?". But mostly, start to play.

Steph x

15 Jun 2014


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  She discovered an outdoor xylophone and delighted herself with its melody.
Remy -  A Winter morning cat sharing my cup of tea in bed. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

9 Jun 2014


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  Tired and hungry (and a little bit tender) after a beautiful bush walk. 
Remy -  Full of smiles and chatter as we walked into the wild. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

6 Jun 2014

my own space

Sara Avant Stover, author of The Way of the Happy Woman, talks of every woman needing a sacred space just for herself. A necessary requirement for whole womanhood and not a fickle luxury.  I have read her words time and again and nodded at their sentiments; a space all to oneself to ponder, create and evolve. But the realities of a small post war cottage meant carving out such a space was quite simply impossible. Or had I fallen too deeply into the selflessness well that I not only couldn't find a way but sadly, couldn't see its worth.

But lately I've found my constant giving, more often than not at the expense of myself  has started to plant a seed of resentment. I'm frightened that with proper care this emotion will continue to grow. Left unpruned it will likely wrap it's greedy tendrils around the strong beliefs I have in my role as a stay at home Mumma; my martyrdom may very well cripple all that I hold dear. So with a change of perspective I reevaluated our home. Clothes were sorted, cupboards were purged and this and that was juggled about in order to find a small space just for me. And against a wall of our bedroom I found it. Rich hued timber, simple and beautiful embellishments, though just a few. A candle and a clear work surface. 

Here I sit and sip peppermint tea and stare out the window while Remy sleeps.  Sometimes I'm compelled to pick up my favourite 2B pencil and scribe my thoughts. Others, I just curl my fingers around my steaming cup and watch the afternoon shadows creep in.   I'm beginning a mediation practise here in the early morning, I've set loose goals and sketched, I've even painted my fingernails.There are no rules here.

And when Bijou asked if she could sit and colour in I paused briefly before answering , "No." with tenderness and without guilt.  My world is their world and I give them love and time unconditionally. But this space is my own. A tiny piece of this earth that is just for me and everyone deserves a little somewhere all of their own.  

Steph x

4 Jun 2014

felted butterflies

Winter blue skies, spring temperatures.
Warm suds, t-shirts.
Rainbow fibres and finger play; a tactile adventure.
Patience, gentle movement and time.
Sunlight, dry air, chapped lips.
Felted butterflies.

Steph x

The weather has been unseasonably warm and we have spent quiet time on the weekends creating lovely things together. Using the wet felting technique we made some colourful butterflies and lapped up the sun's warmth.

2 Jun 2014

his ways

I have a love of words. I confess to sometimes falling under the spell of adjective rich sentences all melodic and intense.  For me, words come easily and I can concoct any manner of response quickly and with ease. And yes, I have been known to "like the sound of my own voice".

My beloved on the other hand is frugal with his words.  Although we have wonderful in depth conversations about life and love, in the day to day he tends to watch more and speak less. In moments of irrational neediness I have unkindly wished he could quote me Shakespearean verse. And in differences of opinion I can become frustrated with his gentleness; I shamefully talk the man out.

It's just that words aren't his way.  That's not for a second to imply he's not a thinker or worse still, a push over. He simply knows that nine times out of ten I'm just letting off steam and spewing wordy sentence after sentence seems to calm me. It's this refusal to add fuel to the overzealous fire that is both infuriating but precisely what I need.  He knows me so well and without saying a thing is helping me to quell my temper and dramatic nature.

His way is that of doing. The kettle flicked on before I've even asked for tea, the wildflowers clutched in his fist as he returns from work on his bike, the lying on my side of the bed before I get in so it's warm.  It's these deeds that shout out his love for me.

His ways are subtle. They push me to examine myself and in turn they help me to grow. I just need to stop talking every now and again to "hear" what they are saying.

Steph x

1 Jun 2014


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  Always, always with a pen in her hand.
Remy -  Grubby and smirking at Tootle. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.