taking care


There’s been a much welcomed break in the weather here over the past few days, a drop enough for us to throw on cardigans and jeans again, and snuggle up with hot tea; it’s been a huge relief to me. It’s felt comforting to curl up on the sofa in my dressing gown late in the evening after a hot bath and immerse myself in a book. Time to take a little bit more care of ‘me’ – taking time for these things rather than rushed showers whilst it’s still dark in the mornings and climbing into bed after being glued to the laptop for an evening – I know it’s much better for me but I always end up falling back into the same ways.

Little Francesca has taken a lot of extra care lately, as a little update, her cataract has stayed the same, so no surgery at the moment though she now has to wear glasses full-time and also a patch on her eye as much as possible. She’d of course much rather eat her glasses and isn’t a fan of the patch but we’re muddling along. Her scar on her arm from the burn she had is healing well, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that horrible accident and seeing those blood stains on her clothes, these children of ours really are our biggest weakness aren’t they? She needs to wear a special silicone gel based patches on it along with a specially made sleeve to help flatten and soften it  around 20 hours a day – so much easier when the weather is cooler! Her reflux is particularly bad at the moment, what with sprouting 3 teeth this past week, but now that we know which foods to avoid it seems to be on the whole slightly more manageable. Unfortunately her arm and reflux seem to bother her a lot at night so we’re not getting much sleep at the moment, another excuse to relax the reins a little.

The extra care that I’m taking over Francesca is of course meaning that I’m letting something go – my house is certainly not as neat and tidy as it used to be, there are nearly always dishes on the side or a much larger pile of washing that needs to be done than before. Small children of course make carpet stains and I’m not cooking so many time-consuming meals, but I’m happy with that, for now.

So here’s to a few lazy evenings and the washing mound piling up, that bath and book this evening is calling me already!

9 moments

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There’s a lot of change about to happen here, less time in this space, less sewing (for now – but watch this space – so much more to come at tabithaandhugo) and lots of being ‘present’ with my girls. Plus a whole lot of other changes but I’ll let you know more about that soon….

Perhaps it’s having another baby that I’ve realised just how quickly these days pass. Just how soon the baby days are over. Tabitha’s settled in so well at kindy, Francesca is ‘cruising’ around the furniture…. where did my toddler and newborn go? I once read a very true quote – something along the lines of ‘the days are long but the years fly by’ when it comes to parenting.

So here are 9 moments.

Little snapshots of a day at home with my girls, a normal kind of day. We went out in the early morning before the sun got too warm (42C by lunchtime – too hot for my girls and I to have fun outside) and here is the rest of our day. The kind of day I will never forget and always cherish.

1 Button-sorting whilst I prepare lunch. (this would happily go on for well over an hour)

2 A little drawing and colouring.

3 This collection of shells and dinosaurs was found on the bathroom floor when I went to clean the bathroom whilst Francesca had a nap.

4 Yet more dinosaurs invading the bathroom basin.

5 Dried pasta, keys, hairbands, marbles and bouncy balls on Tabitha’s bed.

6 Having a secret-sneak around Tabitha’s room (I didn’t tell!)

7 Peas. Much more fun to flick, squash and throw on the floor.

8 Having a mid-afternoon splash around

9 Lego. So much fun to investigate when you’re 8 months old. Really not fun for a 3 year old to have her ‘dog kennel’ investigated and destroyed by an 8-month-old




don’t let those flowers just wither and die!


The Art of Flower Pressing
Don’t let those flowers just wither and die!

Nothing warms the heart like a bouquet of flowers, freshly-picked from your own garden. There’s a certain charm and sense of pride that comes with knowing that you’ve raised those flowers yourself, tending to them and caring for them every day until the flowers finally blossomed into beautiful blooms. We wish the flowers could last forever, part of their appeal comes from knowing how ephemeral their beauty is.

But did you know that there’s a simple way to preserve those beautiful flowers, and even use them to make some great home-made crafts? It’s all made possible through the art of flower pressing. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has often used pressed flowers in her projects, and the truth is, you don’t have to be all that talented to make your own pressed flowers.


The simplest, tried and tested way to press flowers is actually so easy, it’s a bit hard to believe. All you need to do is take the flower that you want to press (make sure they aren’t wet from morning dew!), place it face-down in the middle of phone book lined with newsprint or paper towels, close the phone book and weigh it down, leaving it undisturbed for seven to ten days. Better Homes and Gardens also has a guide on how to use a special flower press, which can be placed in the microwave to speed the process along. Using the latter method, drying the flowers out takes on three minutes.


Now, you could just store your pressed flowers in picture frames, but wouldn’t it be great if you could use them in some lovely projects too? Well, pressed flowers are a wonder to work with, and they can be used in a variety of projects.

Colorful pressed flowers can be used to decorate apothecary and Mason jars. The apothecary jar is like the Holy Grail for people who like to work with arts and crafts. There are just so many things you can do with this simple glass jar. You can use your pressed flowers to decorate glass jars for storing everything from pens and pencils to potpourri. Feel free to experiment with flowers of different shapes and sizes in your jars, but for a touch of elegance, M&S flower specialist Simon Richards recommends using just one kind of flower per jar. “‘The trick to making these jars look so good is simplicity. Just keep one flower to each jar and fill,” he says.

Pressed flowers could even be used to add a touch of your garden to your homemade candles. Angharad Jones of the Urban Crafts Center has made a quick tutorial detailing how to add pressed flowers to your candles. Be careful when working on this project, though, as it entails working with melted wax!

Once you’ve mastered the art of pressing flowers, there’s really no limit to the things you can do with them. You can use them in scrapbooks, bookmarks, and even greeting cards. Think of them as a new addition to your scrapbooking arsenal! You’ll always have a reminder of those beautiful flowers you grew in your garden.

the promise of thunderstorms

DSC_0304 DSC_0598It’s been a bit of a silly week, weather wise. Apparently we were in the hottest place in the World yesterday and every day between 41C and 47C so far since Monday. Very early walks to the local shops for a bit of (not so fresh) air and some exercise and then back indoors to the luxury of the air-conditioning.

Bowls of water left outside for the wildlife, loose cotton clothing, crunchy fresh salads and lazy days pouring over books in the afternoon and sipping lots of water, struggling to find ways to entertain my girls (and me!)

Thank goodness for the cooler winds tonight and the promise of thunderstorms.

Tomorrow we’re going to head to the beach early in the morning and soak up some fresh air. A run along the beach and a swim in the sea a definite promise.




today I am:

  • listening to the cockatoos every morning in the garden. I love those birds.
  • watching what I’m eating. Less of the sugar and carbs and more of the fresh stuff required.
  • waiting for some exciting times ahead. 2014 is going to be a good year – I can feel it!
  • enjoying silence.
  • eating no meat at the moment, and not missing it one little bit.
  • trying not to let trivial things bother me, you know, mess, more crumbs on the floor, more mopping the floor.
  • hoping for some sleep some day soon. reflux, teething and 4.30am wake-ups along with a very wakeful 3 year old are leaving me that little bit too tired.
  • loving my girls, just so, so much. It frightens me sometimes how much I love these girls of mine, a little overwhelming.
  • savouring my each and every day
  • missing my friends and family, and frost. I miss frosty mornings.
  • wanting to spend more time at the beach and in the water, I forgot how wonderful the beach is
  • wearing baggy cotton trousers and summer vests. cosy, comfortable and cool at the same time.
  • making memories.
  • cooking lots of baby meals for the freezer, but this warmer weather (excluding today!) is leaving us eating lots of fresh salads, salmon, tofu and cous cous.
  • avoiding driving I’ve lost my driving confidence lately and find myself not wanting to go new places. Need to get that back soon though I think the lack of sleep is my biggest problem.
  • creating lists, lists, lists.
  • working slowly, not getting much sewing done at the moment what with Christmas just behind us and family coming to stay for the month, my head is buzzing with sewing and creative ideas but they are on hold for the next couple of weeks at least.
  • studying a professional photography diploma in snatches of time.
  • reading very little. I’m yet to find a book to enjoy as much as Anita Shreve’s ‘Light on Snow’ May just have to read it again.
  • wishing I had more time to do the Brene Brown course.
  • playing with the Christmas toys with my girls. They were in need of some more toys and Father Christmas was kind to them!


Merry Christmas to you all


Wishing each and everyone one of you a very, very, merry, jolly Christmas. Wherever you are.


sunny days at Christmas.

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It’s been hot here, in the 40′s this week. We’ve been hiding indoors or running from the luxury of air-con in the car to air-con in the house and under-ground car parks.

The girls have been splashing in the paddling pool early in the morning before breakfast to inhale some of the fresh air before it heats up. None of us are sleeping well at night so I get the treat of having a snooze with my big girl during the mid-afternoon heat.

Afternoons are full of indoor-tent building, festive music and painting, sticking or making something with Tabitha.

These sunny days at Christmas are a little strange for me, with twinkling lights peeking through the window as the girls splash in the sunshine.




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