Tess and I have taken a podcast hiatus for the indefinite future, but I realised that I miss blathering on about the things I've been reading, listening to and watching lately. So instead, I'm going to periodically bore you all to death with the random things I've been consuming.

A book...

Or two, or three. I just finished Caroline Overington's The One Who Got Away. Her books are much-hyped, and she is an excellent journalistic writer, but I was underwhelmed. Also on the finished pile: Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (excellent, like an Aussie To Kill a Mockingbird), Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (okay, not groundbreaking but suitable captivating) and Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (fun easy read about maintaining adult friendships). Up next is Clem Ford's Fight Like a Girl and the new Man Booker winner The Sellout, both of which look excellent.

A product recommendation...

MAC lipstick in Mangrove. It's a good orange-red for ladies who look weird with pinky-red lippie (me, I'm talking about me) and literally lasts all bloody day.

A show...

Catastrophe. Several people have recommended it to me lately, and it is SO GOOD. Like literally so funny I have to pause it until I stop laughing. Also, the fashion is excellent, if you are into that.

An article...

How To Invest In Yourself. I'm planning on bringing back the birthday list and this article has some good tips on actually getting things done.

A thing I've written...

Dealing with negative feedback

A podcast...

The Real Thing, an Aussie podcast by the ABC featuring stories from the 'real' Australia

A forget-me-not...

Archie was talking to Mum about my uncle, who passed away about 13 years ago.

A: Is he a skeleton?

M: Well, maybe.

A: Because skeletons are really good drummers.

M: Oh.


Archie walks past Jed and brushes his shoulder.

Jed: *dramatically throws himself on the floor.* ARCHIE HURT ME! You a BUM, Archie!

Archie: *looks at me, rolls his eyes* Sometimes brothers are crazy, mum.


IMG_9329 Jed is stuck in the doona cover. He and Archie are both laughing hysterically as Jed flails around, a tiny body stuck in a huge polka dot bag. “No help me! Jed okay!” as he clearly is not okay.


Archie turns four tomorrow. He wants me to sing him to sleep, so we snuggle under the (aforementioned) doona and curl our fingers together. I start with It’s a Small World, which I sang for hours and hours when he was a tiny baby, slowly sure that I was destroying both of us. He never slept well. Even now, he bends into me with sleepy eyes, but still wriggling and jiggling his legs. “I am very very tired but my body won’t sleep.” I understand that feeling, of exhaustion tipping into jittery wakefulness. We do some deep breathing as I rub his back, calling sleep in.


I eat baked chicken by the glow of the computer, shoveling and not tasting, but filling my hunger for words and news and stories and people.


There is a black wallaby in our front yard. It stays stock still as the boys yell out to it. “Wobbily! Do you have a baby in your pocket!” It turns and flees back down the hill to the river, bouncing comically through the scrub.


Someone has plastered the bridge and the roundabout with election campaign posters, or rather, anti-campaign posters. I feel a bubble of annoyance: surely this place, of all places, is above all that. I like to filter my news and thus my outrage.


We are going to Bali on Saturday. I sit in front of the heater wearing three layers as I pack the boy’s gear: three shorts, three t-shirts, a huge bottle of sunscreen, thongs, hats. I only have one decent bikini; it might be time to accept that I am 30 and have birthed two children and get a one piece. But my rising feminist streak wants to wear a goddamn bikini until I am 80 and a wrinkling, sagging old broad.


6am. Archie bolts out of his bedroom, scratching the sleep out of his eyes. He slams his bedroom door with such ferocity that the picture frames rattle. “I’m so hungry, mum. I was just thinking about having weet bix with yoghurt instead of milk. Is that funny? Or not?” 9am. Jed is refusing shoes. He is full of rage, tears and snot and fury smearing his cherubic face into a snarl. I throw three pairs into the car and tell him a complicated story about Grandpa and motorbikes as I wrestle him into the carseat. He looks sadly out the window as we cross the bridge, still sobbing. “No ducks, mum.”

10am. The goat in our front yard nibbles the patch of Christmas lilies. We eyeball each other as I scull lukewarm tea on the deck. She uses her horn to scratch her matted fur, then turns her back and saunters down the hill.

12pm. I remember a conversation with the old owners of our house as I clamber up the hill to the washing line. “Snakes everywhere, ‘specially when it starts warming up. We found them in the compost bin, under the car. I stepped outside one day and a big tiger snake wrapped himself around my leg.” We laugh together but I feel cold as I scan the ground.

1pm. The program I use to do our business accounts is frozen. I slyly open up trashy websites and scroll through endless beauty advice. I contemplate dyeing my hair again, or eyelash extensions. Instead, I find a tube of hand cream in my bag and slather it on my dry, garden-worn knuckles.

3pm. I hear Jed calling me from the carpark as I walk up to kinder. “MUM’S CAR. Hi Mum. MUM!” He points frantically at all his friends, his teachers. His favourite ball. Showing me his day.

4.30pm. Archie is following me through the garden, holding the end of a hose. He is obsessed with rescue vehicles, outer space and knights. He pores over the birthday cake book. “I want the swimming pool for my party day, and the castle for my actual birthday, mum, okay?”

6pm. I clean the kitchen while the boys and their dad empty the bath of water, one splash at a time. Weetbix from this morning is cemented to the floor. I scratch my nails into it, then have a go with the Chux. “You could render a house with fucking Weetbix!”, I yell to Lee, not for the first time.

7.15pm. Archie and I lay in his bed, telling stories of knights who fly space rockets to rescue aliens. He smells of sweat and dinner. I pretend to tickle him but take a deep inhale behind his ear, my hand on his round belly.

8.30pm. I lay on my bed, idly scrolling through instagram. Other people’s kids. Impossibly clean rooms. Green smoothies. I wander into the kitchen and make sultana toast smeared thick with butter.

10pm. I shove my earplugs in and mutter “goodnight, honey. Love ya.” to Lee. His response is muffled but he pats me on the bum and we hook our feet together, facing away from each other as the twin glow from our Kindles joins the moonlight, and the world retreats into inertia.





2016-04-01 08.48.16So, we have had a huge month. We moved house on Good Friday, immediately all got gastro, then a week later I hosted a huge party for my 30th birthday. What a start to the year, amiright? It has been beyond hectic and I feel like things will hopefully start slowing down soon. Or not. My mind is chockers so consider this post a brain dump (I actually hate that term because DUMP is never a good choice of word).

  • Jed is sort of toilet training and is determined to do wees standing up. He is one year old and about three feet tall so it's not really working for him. Cute though.
  • I got my nails done for my birthday and they are this gel stuff, very fancy. I love looking down at them and feeling like a glam grown up.
  • We are all going to Bali in June and I literally own zero hot weather gear, so checked out the Myer sale today and found a pair of cute denim shorts on sale for $19 down from $80. And they were size six. I am not a size six by any means, so thanks Country Road for the positive boost.
  • My car is so insanely messy right now. It is filthy and I am horrified, but clearly not enough to do anything about it.
  • I am loving living here. We have seen rock wallabies and kangaroos in the front yard, a brown snake and heaps of cool little birds.
  • Speaking of snakes, Jed is pretty into snakes and whenever he sees a millipede he's like 'Mum! Snake! Sssssss!' That's all very cute, but yesterday he was up near our washing line (ie literally in the bush with a stunning view of the Dandenongs) and came down and says nonchalantly, "Snake up dere mum." Is is a millipede? Or a freaking tiger snake? We will never know.
  • I am doing quite a bit of writing over at the Creative Women's Circle blog. I love chatting to interesting dames about their creative practices.
  • I have been getting really into meditating using the Headspace program. It's really practical and simple, and doesn't have any of the woo woo shite that some other meditation apps love.
  • I want to do a bit of a reno update post, with pics of our new house, but we all know that it will be a crappy iPhone photoshoot so I'm putting it off. That said, the house is looking mighty fine and I am loving myself sick in this new space.
  • Archie and I spent the day together yesterday and it was ace. We don't get much one on one time so a whole day of library visits, cafe hangs and Legoing was perfect. He is turning out to be such a cool little person.

I think that's all. Now I'm going to watch Broad City and crochet in my dressing gown, like the 30 year old nanna that I am.



Some awesome things I have read. And some gushing.

Some interesting books and articles I have read. Maybe you will find them interesting/awesome too.

I have been binge-reading everything that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has ever written. She is the Nigerian writer whose TED talk (watch it) was sampled on Beyonce's 'Flawless' video. And anything endorsed by Queen Bey is obviously worthy of my time. Adichie's writing is mesmerising and raw, while also being un-putdown-able.

Speaking of heart-wrenching writing, I have just finished rereading Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things. God, that is probably one of my favourite books of all time. The prose is sweetness and light and grit and earth.

Our book club (which unintentionally seems to focus on female writers with a feminist slant) just finished Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. It's a book of essays, which aren't always my favourite thing, and honestly I loved some essays and wasn't mad on others. She has validating and positive discussions of everything from Lena Dunham's Girls to Sweet Valley High (Elizabeth Wakefield was always my favourite) to The Help.

I also recently read Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso and unlike most of the internet, I am not a fan. Amoruso started Nasty Gal Vintage, a vintage clothing store which started on eBay and is now a huge company. I was expecting a practical business book about leadership and DIYness, and granted, there are shades of that, but most of the book reads like an extended Dolly magazine article about girlpower and dream-following and selling your homemade plasticine jewellery at markets then using the profits to buy an art deco flat in Richmond #unrealisticmuch. I am all for more women starting their own businesses and doing it their way, sticking it to the man and all that, frankly Amoruso came off as totally self-congratulatory.

And on to the articles...

This is a loooooong story about passwords, but it's surprisingly fascinating.

Slow the eff down.

When someone you love wants to kill themselves.

Once again, Bec's writing has totally slain me. This is an old post, but her words are like a punch in the face. Marriage is really freaking hard, no matter how perfect anybody makes it look. Sometimes you hate each other and sometimes you feel like you are actually speaking entirely different languages and you want to push them until they hurt. And sometimes you do.

And then there are the times when you want to crawl up into their skin and hold them forever because there isn't enough words to express how you feel when they hook their ankle around your leg in the night. And how I know that if my sons turn out to be even a quarter of the man their father is, then I have done my job as their mother.

Well, that got gushy fast. 

Enjoy the weekend

xx's been a while

IMG_5898 The boys are seven months old  and two and a half now. The little guy is a sitting, eating, smiling little human being, with a personality and an opinion. The big guy is two and a half, and is an assertive, boisterous dude who makes strangers in Kmart watch him jump and doesn't like carrots because "I'm not a bunny rabbit, mum!" I am twenty-eight. I am working on liking what I like, carving out time, staying calm in the face of sleeplessness and chaos. So that is where we are.


I have read a lot of brilliant, eye-opening writing lately, all on the Kobo (which is like a Kindle). The e-reader makes me read SO much more. I thought I would have the opposite effect, but according to the Reading Stats on the device, I have read 46 books in 335 hours in the past 12 months. That's almost a book a week, which isn't bad considering I had a baby and moved house in the past year. For 2015, I am making a commitment to read only Australian fiction. I've started early and in the past month have read The Strays by Emily Bitto, Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett, This House of Grief, The First Stone and True Stories by Helen Garner, and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. Reading so much of Garner's non-fiction work is what inspired me to start blogging again. Her writing slays me with its honesty, bluntness and total lack of irony or self-consciousness.


Part of the reason I haven't written here for a while is because I have conflicting feelings about sharing so much of my kid's lives online. There are a whole host of issues surrounding consent, identity and privacy that I'm not sure how to navigate it all... I don't know if anyone does, really. I think I will henceforth refer to the kids as A and J, and limit the amount of photos of their faces. It feels weird and curbs the flow of writing but we don't know how the online landscape will look in ten years, so for now I will be cautious.


Enjoying summer. Having naked kids and me in a singlet, eating mangoes and peaches for lunch, rolling around hysterically on a rug in the backyard pretending to chew on little chubby thighs and grubby toes. Breathing in the bit behind J's ear that smells like almonds. Blasting the Lumineers and playing cricket in the laneway. Going to bed early and reading while sharing a Terry's Chocolate Orange with Lee. Making plans and schemes and lists for next year, our year of balance. Lee and I are both going to work part time. I am excited/scared about it, about sharing my domain of routines and dirty floors and playdates, and formalising working with my husband. It will certainly be an interesting transition - I will keep you updated.


What I've been... Beatrix, dirty hair and birthdays

I tasted the whoopie pie, the carrot cake and the creme brulee. Eating: All the things. I am eating less sugar and amping up the vegies to help reduce inflammation and swelling, and give this baby the best chance at not actually being a Jelly Baby (despite its generous girth). Lots of salads, nuts, chicken, fish and green smoothies. Archie loves green smoothies, but his little digestive system does not. The nappy after he sculls a spinach-cuke-apple-ginger smoothie literally looks like the same smoothie has been poured into the Huggies. Lovely. Despite my virtuous and healthful ways, I have managed to enjoy a BLT and carrot cake at the lovely North Melbs cafe Beatrix, which Lee did the fitout for a few years ago. The owner, Nat, loved Lee so sent me home with a chocolate, caramel and peanut butter whoopie pie and a pistachio creme brulee. Oh yes.

Reading: I've just finished the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. Both books kind of blew my mind about the kind of food we eat, where the food comes from and just how messed up the diet industry is. In a nutshell, sugar is evil but everywhere, fat doesn't make you fat, veggies are best. And happy animals make nutritious meat. I've also just finished Eyrie by Tim Winton. God, that man can write. I've just started Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. So far, it's dark, funny and informative.

Bookmarking: The Art of Simple. The tagline is 'exploring the craft of living simply'. Love it.

Not doing: Washing my hair. I haven't washed my hair in nearly 10 days now. I don't know if it's pregnancy hormones or what, but I just went a few days between washes...then a few more... and now it's been ages and my hair is still fine. I rinse it with apple cider vinegar sometimes and spread a couple of drops of jojoba oil through the ends if it's getting frizzy. It isn't stinky or oily or dry. Maybe shampoo and conditioner is actually just a crock of shite?!

Coveting: Marimekko have launched a range of kid's clothes. And oh, are they cute. I want to buy all the things.

Writing: An interview about the business for Interiors Addict. Super exciting! And lots of words for a freelance project with a rather tight deadline.

Looking forward to: Lee turns 32 on Tuesday (so old!) so we are having dinner at Ladro on Monday night, hopefully with dessert at Gelato Messina. And on his birthday night we will get takeaway Indian (Kofta Nawabi FTW) and eat these heart attack brownies that he requested.

Submitting: Our building permit application! It is 170 pages of soil reports, site surveys, computations, engineering drawings and energy rating reports. Fingers crossed it only takes a few days to be assessed then we are ready to roll. Lee is at the house today pouring the slab for the front path, and next weekend we will finish the front fence. Progress!

Some shiz I've been into.

This H is for Hummus: Alphabet for Modern Parents book. Mum picked it up for us and good Lord, is it fitting. Cracked me up. Instead of the old 'A is for apple, B is for bear' rigmarole, it has stuff like 'A is for app, B is for babycino, C is for controlled crying...' Archie busting out the Single Ladies dance. It came on the playlist this morning and he immediately dropped his Lego, planted his feet and did the whole 'Uh oh oh, oh oh oh oh-ohhh' hand twist thing with accompanying head shuffle and high kick. I have trained him well.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes. These ladies are the most played album on my iTunes at the moment. So freaking good.


The fact that Archie can do stuff on his own. Yesterday, I watched him open his drawer, get out a bowl, get some grapes, put them in the bowl, pull all the grapes off the stem, open the cupboard to put the stem in the bin, then sit on the floor and eat his grapes. No help from me, no dramas. WINNING.

Meal planning. I am on a less sugar, more veggies health kick at the moment, and the biggest perk is how easy and awesome it is to plan my meals in advance. Our household comprises of a vegetarian, a semi-vegetarian pregnant lady, a toddler, two men who need meat at every meal and my mum, which means that dinners are usually a bit haphazard, but having a plan means I don't get to 4pm and freak out and feed Archie and myself spaghetti with tuna for the third night in a row.


2014 thusly.

photo 3 So 2014 has been weird/awesome so far. I have been a bit mopey due to apparently getting every single freaking symptom of pregnancy (Epic blood noses! Cracking hips! Weird peeling fingertips! Inability to bend!) coupled with exhaustion and a toddler who has only two settings: LOUD and FAST. Also I am lacking in inspiration for the old blogaroo so when I read this 'Taking Stock' list on Pip's blog ... JACKPOT.

Making: MY CROCHETED BLANKET IS FINISHED! This is worthy of a whole other post, which I will be boring you with shortly.

Cooking: Cakes. It was my brother's birthday on Monday so I made a baked lemon cheesecake and a good old Chocolate Ripple Cake. Ain't nothing like a two ingredient dessert to excite this time-poor lady.

Drinking: Water and tea.

Reading: The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It is pretty dense, but I'm reading it on the Kobo so I don't have to hold a giant brick of a book awkwardly in one hand. I have read a few of his other books and find them super-interesting. It raises lots of questions about industrial farming and Big Organic. The biggest lesson is how screwed up America is food-wise and how a lot of their problems stem from the reliance on cheap, subsidised corn. My dad has a 6000 acre pig, sheep and crop farm and it is really interesting comparing how his genetic breeding practices, land management and animal welfare issues stack up against the big American ag-industrial complex.

Wanting: To feel 100%. A constantly sore pelvis, lack of sleep and general malaise is making for a grumpy mama. I am currently wearing a girdle to hold my pelvis together. Hot. Pregnancy FTW!

Looking: Forward to a hair appointment next week. I get my hair done approximately twice a year and cut my own fringe (badly) so like to make it worth my while. I am thinking of going a bit lighter... maybe something like this?

Playing: So. Much. Cricket. Who would have thought that two extremely unsporty people could produce a child obsessed with cricket. What Archie lacks in skill he makes up for in enthusiasm. He has his own version which involves throwing the ball, running with the bat towards the ball, hitting the ball, clapping himself, throwing the bat, frantically running in the opposite direction, clapping himself for scoring a run, then starting again. I have to play all the fielding positions and am not EVER allowed to bat.

Deciding: On dinner. I think I'll pick some sushi up on the way home.

Wishing: That the coffee machine at home was not so freaking loud. I get that freshly-ground beans are important, but waking up every day to one of my four coffee-addicted housemates grinding, brewing and steaming is getting tedious.

Enjoying: My new king size bed. There is room for me, Lee, Archie and the seven pillows required to keep me comfortable.

Waiting: This dress.

Liking: Using my new Kikki K diary properly. I know it is only the third week of January but I am feeling super-organised having all my stuff in one place instead of scattered over fifteen different apps and notebooks and Post-Its. I am fully aware that any sense of organisation will all go to shit once the new bubba arrives, however.

Loving: Girls Season 3. So, so good. I loved Hannah's 25th birthday party and how horribly awkward and earnest Marnie is.

Pondering: The meaning of it all. Also, how to get inside the mind of a retail stockist and give them what they want, without going bankrupt. The wholesale furniture business is HARD, yo.

Considering: Paint colours for my brother's house. Because I am the Official Clark Family Paint Colour Consultant for all our various properties.

Watching: Archie grow bigger before my eyes. He tends to get really chubby, then have a huge growth spurt and get leaner, then get  chubby again. He is definitely in a growth phase now.

Hoping: That the weather will stay nice and mild like this for, oh, ever.

Marvelling: At how much the baby moves around. Archie was never still when he was inside, and this little bug is the same.

Needing: A massage. Also, a finished house.

Wearing: A Marimekko dress that is pushing the boundaries of appropriate maternity wear. I keep forgetting that my bump makes non-maternity dresses shorter at the front. Awkward.

Noticing: How much crap I eat. My sugarfree experiment starts next Thursday GOD HELP ME.

Knowing: Everything will work out in the end.

Feeling: Weary.

Admiring: Mothers who work fulltime and have lots of kids. And the daycare ladies at Archie's daycare. They are rad.

Buying: Groceries, presents for my new niece (!), ingredients for a lasagne for a new mum, maternity underwear.

Getting: Older. Ben's birthday made me realise that I will be 28 soon. Obviously I am channeling all my efforts into planning my 30th party in two years.

Disliking: People getting grumpy while waiting to turn right without a green arrow. I have right of way, dude!

Opening: Bills, Bills, Bills.


Hellooooo 2014!




I'm baaaaack in all my pregnant and oversharing glory! We had a lovely summer break involving lots of beach time, digging in rockpools, mocktails,  fish and chips, wearing the same clothes until they stink of sunscreen and salt, naps, sandal tans and one very blond and tanned little chubster (Archie, not me). Arch was very spoilt at Christmas and is now the proud owner of a sandpit, a ukelele and a box of Duplo almost bigger than him.

I am still gestating another large human. We had a scan the other day that showed that the baby is already 89% bigger than most 20-week-old fetuses (feti?) so LOOK OUT LADY PARTS. Hopefully this baby doesn't feel the need to evacuate the premises along the same rough path as his large-headed big brother and require mama to need eight more stitches. There's only so much scar tissue one small and sensitive piece of flesh can handle.

Aaaand, there goes all my male readers.

(Joking! As if I had any male readers anyway.)

I don't really go for the whole NEW YEARS EVE PARTY PARTY PARTY thing, even before kids, because in my experience, pressure to have fun = no fun at all. Lee and I had a lovely couple of days hanging out and relaxing at home. New Year's Eve involved homemade gnocci with homegrown pesto and a 10pm bedtime for this little pregnant duck. I also don't really go for the whole resolution thing, but instead I prefer to thing about and maybe write down 'Stuff I would like to do this year'.

Things like date nights, embracing the whole gamut of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, finish building my house. Less screen time, more baby time. Less sugar, more broccoli. More making, less faffing. More intentional doing, less freaking out.

I want to take more of the reins with our businessMake cooking and food more of a priority. Go to bed earlier. Consciously decide to really sloooow down at the end of the pregnancy and the first few months of motherhood, so I don't feel as useless and resentful. Ask for help and support and assistance.

Aside from the incoming addition to la familia, I have a few little projects on the go for 2014. My friend Tess and I have started a podcast which I'm excited about. I am choosing all the finishes and final materials for our house, which makes me so happy it literally keeps me awake at night. Archie at 19 months is a wonder- so much energy, so many feelings, so independent and eager and FUNNY.

Good times ahead!


Best laid plans.

photo (1) For these upcoming holidays, the boys (ha, I love saying that) and I will be schlepping from my parent's house on Christmas Day to Lee's mum's place on Boxing Day, staying there for a few days, then coming home for New Years, and then heading down to Torquay for a couple of weeks. Ohhhh yeah. Archie is going to have to become reacquainted with the mesh cage/Portacot and sleeping in cupboards and driving long distances while stopping every 20 minutes so his pregnant mother can pee on the side of Eastlink. Poor kid will love it.

Because I have an inability to relax and slow down and do nothing, I have made a list of stuff I want to do on the holidays. All fun, family-friendly stuff that does not tax the pregnant brain or body, but will stop the kid and the husband being driven mad by my angry forced relaxing.

Feel free to steal this list if you want some activities for your staycation/weekends.

  • Go berry picking. I don't know if Archie will be into this, but I do know that he picked and tried to eat two of the four green tomatoes that I lovingly coaxed  out of my fledgling tomato plant.
  • Do touristy stuff in the city. I want to go back to Melbourne Now, have a picnic in the Botanic Gardens, buy all the things on my Christmas list that Santa didn't bring, and visit the Museum again.
  • Turn off my damn phone. Or at least the wi-fi. The amount of time I spend aimlessly scrolling through Facebook/Instagram/random wikipedia shit is approaching addiction, and I think a break would do everyone good.
  • Make some stuff. These holidays I WILL finish the cross quilt that has taken me YEARS. I only have 17 squares to go, then blocking, joining, sewing in ends and I'm done! That will be a good day. I also want to make a few crocheted hanging pot holders with colourful rope to hang over the kitchen in our new place, a really detailed embroidered peacock, some sort of 'Archie's Room' sign thing and these crocheted balls.
  • See a movie outside. Either Moonlight Cinema or Rooftop Cinema. This is a no-toddlers-allowed date night, so might take a bit of planning. But worth it.
  • Eat less shit. I am at risk of giving birth to a raspberry-flavoured Jelly Baby instead of a real life skin and bones baby if I don't ditch the junk soon. I try to eat heaps of protein and veggies, but am still eating way too much crap as well. I am going to make a big effort to make big salads and 'healthy desserts' and snacks and cut out the crap. I am even considering doing this, but that be crazy talk.
  • Go on a big-ish bike ride. I love riding bikes, as does Lee and Archie. Before I get hugely pregnant, I want to fit in a leisurely, flat, slow, flat ride somewhere scenic and green. Also, flat.
  • Go to the beach. All the time. I am lucky to have parents with an awesome beach house literally on the beach at Torquay. I think the baby monitor might even reach to the sand. There will be early morning swims, epic all-day beach sessions, late afternoon sandcastle sessions, evening walks and night beach dinners. Archie is old enough to appreciate it and not need me within arm's reach the whole time, so fun times will be had. Also, I plan on getting very, very, very brown.

Book launches, smoked oysters and a very cute foetus.

photoThat is one good-looking foetus.

I had the scan and got to look at this little prawn this morning. The ultrasound lady said 'Oh there's his little legs' and I freaked out but I think she just said it out of habit or something because it certainly didn't look like there was anything going on in the nether region. We don't want to find out what we are having but I have such a strong boy feeling. He/it is a good size and everything looks normal. It looked just like a baby (well, duh) and was sucking it's thumb and kicking it's legs.  I told Lee that it looks just like Archie. Probably because of it's big belly and button nose. Very cute.

So I've clicked over into the second trimester, which hopefully means some sort of energetic glow will overtake me soon. I freaking hope so, because I have seriously lost my mojo recently. All I want to do is lay on the couch eating smoked oysters and lemonade iceypoles whilst watching trashy shit on TV and scrolling through Pinterest looking at furniture I can't afford.

I am trying to restrain my whinging to a minimum and am sucking it up. This last weekend I had a wanky architecture networking thing, a book launch (you can see Lee's bearded head in the photo on that link, and half of my face) , a Mums Gone Wild night out, a baby shower, a fourth birthday and a family BBQ thing. I wore the exact same outfit - a rainbow-coloured sack dress from Sportsgirl which will last me well into the hundreth month of pregnancy - to every single event as they were all for separate groups of friends. Winning. I was pretty much comatose by Sunday night (getting home at TWO AM on Sunday morning didn't help. Such a rager I am.).

The book launch was for a book my gorgeous friend Tess wrote called Conversations with Creative Women Volume 2. We provided stools for the launch and as a raffle prize. So many talented, lovely ladies (and gents) in one room! Afterwards, Lee and I went to Brunswick Mess Hall for dinner (at 9pm! Usually I eat at 5:30 with Archie so this pregnant lady was crazed and delirious by the time our spring rolls arrived) which was super-yum. I never cook anything remotely Asian at home but pulled apart the yummo papaya salad and decided I'm going to have a crack at making something like that. God I'm exotic.

In other news, Archie has FINALLY decided to say "mum!" when he wants something instead of just clawing my leg and yelling "Arrrrrrrgggh!" You don't understand how exciting this is.

What I've Been... 150 posts, museums and Pingu

photo 1

Helping his Dad blow up the baby pool. There was a lot of snot and saliva involved.

photo 2

First ever lick of the bowl.

photo 3

Fussy baby wants to eat everything and nothing. So obviously I just gave in and let him choose.

photo 4

An outtake from our photo shoot last week. More photos to come!

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Making coffee.

Writing... apparently, 150 posts! Good lord. That is a lot of self-indulgent gasbagging.  For something that began 2 1/2 years ago with this post (and honestly, it's no wonder the internet didn't break with the poignancy and meaningfulness of that post), then saw me start and finish design school, renovate a couple of houses, get knocked up, pop out a baby and the total clusterf*ck of feelings that ensued, I never imagined I'd still be writing here now. Thanks for putting up with me, peeps.

Visiting... The Melbourne Museum. Last Wednesday they had a special day for kid aged 0-5, so I took the little guy. We got to go on a tram, which is probably the most exciting thing to happen to Archie since his first banana bread experience. He was pretty concerned that the Myki card reader didn't have any buttons to press, despite it looking slightly like a button at a pedestrian crossing. So obviously he tried to lick the machine, just to check that there definitely weren't any secret buttons that only reveal themselves through contact with the saliva glands of a toddler. Thankfully the ninja skills of his mother prevented his tongue from touching the germ-infested machine. I'm preeeeetty sure I don't need syphilis and salmonella added to his list of woes.

Anyway, the museum was ridiculously busy and overrun with small people, harried mothers and cranky museum staff.  Arch had a ball. I hadn't been there for years, and the Children's Museum is so, so awesome. They have all sorts of exhibits and interactive stuff. His favourite thing was a big fibreglass statue of a wombat that he kept kissing and roaring at. Little weirdo.

Also visiting... Artplay. We went to an workshop run by a couple of artists at Artplay on Wednesday morning called Explore, Burrow and Build. Archie was extremely unimpressed and spent the whole time eating a banana in the corner and looking surly. Good times.

Applying... for a demolition permit. I only just learnt this, but it is possible to get a demolition permit from a building surveyor without getting a proper planning permit from the council. Take that, Moreland Council! So now we can pull down the back half of the house without waiting the 6+ months for the council to get their asses into gear. And smash the sh*t out of that fugly kitchen.

Feeling... shite. I have had a shocker of a cold that has rendered me pretty much useless. So let's just say that Archie's televisual habits have become somewhat...  overindulged, of late. He is extremely into Pingu, who is a little claymation penguin that speaks Penguin and lives in an igloo with his family and does cute funny stuff. Archie is a huge fan and does a little Pingu walk and head bob and giggles hysterically at the TV. Pretty darn cute.

What I've Been... Gorillas, Mexican food and Mark Tuckey.

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Digging. His new favourite 2

Our market stall!

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Archie picked these and gave them to me. Heart. Melted.

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Rocking new shades.

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Just casually eating a zebra's tail. What?

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Obviously the safari jeep at the lion enclosure was waaaay more interesting than the lions.

Not doing... blogging. I have been a bit under the weather for the past few weeks so instead of writing this here blog I have been watching crap TV, working, napping and hanging out with my little man. Also, eating lemonade icypoles by the box.

Visiting... the zoo. Last Friday my awesome playgroup did an excursion to the Werribee Zoo. I hadn't been since Grade Three and all I remember was that it was really far away from home and there were no tigers. But oh man, has the zoo lifted its game! I didn't take the pram which was great until the last hour when Archie was well overdue for a nap and just wanted to stop to look at every freaking leaf and bug and blade of grass in the whole park. A highlight was when he smooshed his face up against a slightly gross tank with a tree frog in it and blew raspberries and licked the glass. I'm sure the frog really enjoyed it.

But we saw gorillas and rhinos and giraffes and lions and hippos. It feels like you are in a cage instead of the animals, as they all just hang out together in massive enclosures. Very cool.

Making... a skirt. Oh lord. I have quite a few circle skirts which are really comfy and swirly and easy to wear, so I have attempted to make one. It looks kind of okay if you don't look at the stitching or the waistband or the hem too closely.

Enjoying... Archie at 16  months. So much attitude. He has started being purposely naughty to get attention, like climbing up on his little table and then yelling at me so I look at him. Or putting tiny toys in his mouth, then when I try and do 'Parenting' and take them off him, he will look around furiously for something else to put in his mouth. Like his potty. Or a drawer. I lose it and crack up laughing. God knows how I will cope when he is actually doing properly naughty things.

Eating... Mexican feasts. Lee and I went out for date night on Saturday to a Mexican place and it was TERRIBLE. Like probably worst than Taco Bill. Granted, I probably shouldn't expect much from a suburban Mexican restaurant with giant novelty margharitas and a slushy machine full of luke-warm pina colada mix, but seriously, the food was gross and took way too long. I mean, that kind of Mexican food is just assembling, rather than cooking, right? Beans, salsa, guac, tortilla, sour cream, cheese. Maybe some beef or chicken. Anyway, on Sunday night Lee made a proper Mexican feast, with proper guac and endless sourcream. And Doritos Nacho Cheese corn chips, obviously. So authentic! So Mexican! So yum!

Excited about... our new house. GOD I canna wait to get in there. We put the fascia on the carport on Saturday, while my dad dug out the front yard ready for the new garden and the paving. We have submitted the plans, so..... now we wait. And build all the bits that we can without a permit, which is not much.

Also excited about... marketing. We had a stall at Rose Street Artist's Market last Sunday. It was really fun! We sold a few bits and pieces, including a kid's table and stool set to a cute 19-month-old named Oscar who lives in Northcote. We haven't really marketed or promoted the kid's range much so it was great to see people raving over the pieces. Lots of people took business cards and photos, and one lady with a shop in South Melbourne is interested in stocking the kid's range. Very exciting/daunting!

Pondering... business growth. I read with interest an interview with Mark Tuckey on the Design Files, as we always refer to His Tuckeyness when trying to be proper Business People. As in, "Well, Mark Tuckey has Instagram and Rachel Castle did his logo.  AND he has two showrooms. Maybe we need a showroom? And a better logo?" So it was interesting to read that he employs 45 people and doesn't have a background in furniture making. That is kind of obvious in the slapped-together designs (I still love you and your ridiculously overpriced unfinished furniture, Tuckey), but it kind of shows that people will pay hundred of dollars for what are basically roughly-sanded tree stumps, if you have a crack marketing and sales team. I don't really know what the point of this is, but it made me think.

Also, we have a photoshoot of the whole damn range in TWO WEEKS which I am obvs going to facebook, instagram and blog the shiz out of. So you guys have that to look forward to!

What I've Been... Almond butter explosions, Fringe Furniture and new rides

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Eating... Brioche french toast with rhubarb and ricotta. What now? Obviously I didn't make it. Lee and I had a breakfast date to A Boy Named Sue and god knows I can't go past french toast EVER. It was gooooood. They don't have high chairs so I was eating it one handed and wrestling a hyped-up toddler determined to empty the sugar bowl on the floor. It was still totally worth it.

Reading... Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga. He also wrote The White Tiger, which I think won the Booker Prize a while ago. That book was like a punch in the face while eating garlic naan, but in a good way. This one is a bit slower, but it creeps up until you find yourself wanting to go to bed at 7.15 to read it.  And it totally makes me want to go back to India one day. God, that place is crazy.

Cleaning... An entire jar of almond butter out of my handbag. Last Friday we went to playgroup as usual, and after we left I stuck my hand in my handbag and pulled it out covered in sticky brown gunk. My first though was POO! before I realised it didn't stink like Archie's usual baby turds. It was, in fact, a jar of almond butter that had somehow come unscrewed in my bag and emptied over everything. And god knows I have a ridiculous amount of crap in my bag (this morning when I was stuck in traffic I cleaned out three bottles of bubble solution, a harmonica, a toy hammer, four unmatched baby socks, all the usual diary-keys-wallet crap, a mini first aid kit and a very old cheese stick that concerningly still looked edible).

And so obviously, I just cleaned off the important stuff then ignored the situation until I got home six hours later and it had concealed into a solid musty lump of toys, tissues, lip gloss and hairpins stuck together with almond butter. High five, mama.

Visiting... Fringe Furniture. On that same Friday as the above incident, we went to Abbotsford Covent with my mate Sam to visit another friend who was managing the Fringe Furniture exhibition. Lee put a piece in Fringe Furniture a few years ago, and it always has cool stuff made by super-talented peeps. I like that because most of the stuff is not really commercially viable, there is more of a focus on awesome techniques and well-designed pieces.

Archie loved the Play Cube by Little Green Room, a plywood cubby-type-thing which I realised is actually designed and built by one of my old lecturers. Very cool.


I was pretty impressed with the series of gorgeous hand-veneered skateboards by a designer whose card I promptly lost. They would look great up on a wall as an art piece.


Excited about... My brother has bought a new house not far from our new house, which is RAD because we can ride to each other's houses and I can eat pizza with him and his flatmates and he can come to our house and do the gardening. Yippee!

Building... Speaking of new houses, Archie has some new digs and a new ride he would like to show you. Check out the awesome dashboard detailing...



What I've Been... Bacon choc-chip cookies, running and shoes.


I bought these ducks off eBay a couple of years ago, and still love them.

Pondering... Balance. There are times when everything seems to tick along nicely, and times when I am running around like headless poultry, doing lots but achieving little. Currently, I am working two days a week, co-running a business (I really need to stop linking to that heinous website), looking after Archie, renovating and project managing the building of a house, taking up running (see below) and occasionally high-fiving my husband and seeing my mates.

I love having lots of things happening. I love being productive and getting shit done. I want to do everything, feel all the feelings and see all the things. When Hannah ranted at the hot random guy with the fancy house in Girls about how she just want to experience everything, I was nodding my head.

But sometimes I would like to take my son and my husbo and live on an island with no internet and no Moreland Council Planning Department and no Bunnings and no elections and no money and no worries.

Eating... So. Much. Food.  I wrote an article about Huxtaburger for work last Monday (despite never being there to eat. Welcome to the world of journalism) and haven't been able to get them out of my head since. So when I found myself in Smith Street last Thursday, 20 minutes early for a meeting and absolutely ravenous, there was only one option. And dear god,  it was good. I probably could have had two, as they are not huge, but my Spanx were already pushed to their limit and I feared my pencil skirt would erupt like a sausage casing on a juicy banger, so I had to be happy with just one burger.  The chips were average, but the burger was divine.

In keeping with my American-themed eating habits this week, last night I made bacon and choc chip cookies. OH YES I DID! I had seen these around, mainly in the Instagram feed of my other (favourite) husband Henry Wagons and honestly, what dish is not improved with an extra helping of bacon.

There was heaps of leftover bacon from the week-late Father's Day breakfast we had yesterday, so I chopped some up and whacked it in some cookie batter. Obvs I left some batter aside for my vegetarian husband and clearly separated the bacony and non-bacony cookies, so as not to blemish the purity of his meat-free digestive tract.

They were amazing. The bacon is not overwhelming, but adds a little bit of saltiness and that pungent flavour that can only come from cured pig. DO IT, you guys.

Beginning... Running. So I have finally started the Couch to 5k program, despite having it installed on my phone for the last month, staring at me accusingly every time I swipe the screen. I have completed Week One so far, and am loving it. Mostly I love how gloating and smug I get to be after I go for a run, and wear my stinky running gear for as long as I can, to maximise the amount of people who know that I have just been running. Because I am a runner, you guys.  I run three times a week for half an hour, then spend a couple of hours being smug while swanning around in my Lycra, stretching and drinking water while sighing about my sore hamstrings.

(Also, I am fully aware of the juxtaposition of me showing off about running, straight after I wrote about eating bacon cookies.)

Watching... The Newsroom, Season Two. Oh, Aaron Sorkin, how I love thee. Snappy dialogue, complex characters, suspense and heart-pumping drama. I don't usually like shows where I have to work hard to keep up, but this is pure gold.

Thinking... About the business. Since I last wrote about it, we have had a meeting with a designer about getting a proper website built, started planning a product photo shoot and consolidated the furniture range. I have a to-do list the size of my arm, but it feels GREAT to finally be heading in the right direction, instead of just shrugging at each other while staring blankly at our dwindling bank account.

Winning... SHOES! I have decided to be someone who enters competitions. Not to go out of my way or anything, but just to enter the competitions which float onto my radar and which I am interested in. And you guys, I WON SOMETHING. And not just something, but SHOES!!!!!!!

I have drastically cut down the amount of blogs I read, but still check in on Fat Mum Slim sometimes because I like her voice. Also, she just had a baby and I love me some newborn photos. Anyway, I entered a competition on her site to win a $250 voucher for Bared Shoes and I WON! I had heard of the shoes before, because they are designed by a podiatrist so are comfy but also look good (A delicate line to tread (ha, get it). I'm looking at you, Kumfs).

And to make matters even better, they have a shop a few doors down from my office in Armadale, so I don't need to buy online and then anxiously worry that I've ordered the wrong size. Winning.

Have a great week, peeps!

What I've Been...

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Thinking... About our business. Lee and I have so many ideas but suck at following through with anything. We tend to go crazy with sketching and ideas and making random prototypes, then fizzle out when we get to the stage of actually promoting anything or contacting stockists. SO. I am going to get all businesslady and crack the whip and get sorted. I am getting our heinous website fixed, sorting out some sort of branding and actually getting this baby making moolah.

I've been reading the Biz Ladies stuff and the whole CWC website to help find the next step. I have applied for a couple of designy markets, which will give us a deadline to aim for and therefore help kick our asses into gear.

Lee is so freaking talented and clever, and we have a fully-stocked woodworking workshop, so there really is no excuse to not be making awesome things that people want to buy. Thumbs up for getting out of my comfort zone, yo.

Enjoying... The SUNSHINE. God, how much better is everything when the sun is shining? It is impossible to feel bad when it's warm and sunny and happy outside. Archie can go pants-free (his default outfit) and get his bum out and about; stuff is growing in the garden; and I don't need to wear thermals to screw on roof sheets on our new shed.

Wondering about... The whole girls-with-tools  thing. On Saturday, I was in the front yard of our new house, wearing jeans, workboots, a work shirt and a toolbelt, demolishing the front fence and digging holes. I reckon every second person who walked past - and there were quite a few people, as it was the first warm day in aaaaages - made a comment.

One guy said "You are very good with a hammer!". One guy just looked at me and laughed. Two older men stopped in front of the house and watched me for a while. Um, awkward much? It wasn't a sexy thing, or an objectification thing, because I looked like crap and was fully covered up. I just know that if it was a guy doing the same thing, no one would have batted an eyelid.

This probably makes me sound like a massive wanker, or really up myself, or super-sensitive, or whatever. But I just know that it was weird.

Impressed by... My dad and my brother completed the Kokoda Trail last week. They got back on Saturday, several kilos lighter, more tanned and slightly gutsier. The photos were super spectacular and the whole trip sounded insanely tough.

So I think I have to wait a few weeks before going back to whinging about my sore hip and back in front of them.

Pondering... Facebook. I do love social media for the way I can stalk keep in touch with everyone. But between facey, Twitter, Instagram and this here blog, it is kind of overwhelming. Instagram and the twits are by far my favourite mediums. I know that I don't HAVE to keep updated with all of it, but the temptation is there and I sometimes really just want to close my facebook account completely. And move to a cave in the mountains, Thoreau-style.

What I've Been...

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Thinking... About spew. A tummy bug has gone through our house this weekend, like a freaking spewy monster of doom and carpet stains. I'm fairly sure the little guy brought it home from somewhere, either the germ-crusted kids at daycare on Thursday or from the Brunswick Baths on Friday. He likes to open his mouth and gulp the pool water, which was cute the first time he did it but is now just gross and concerning. On Saturday Lee and I were getting ready to go out for a date night, and the little guy was being extra cuddly. He looked a bit ashen and sleepy, and I thought he was just tired as he hadn't had an afternoon sleep and had a runny nose. Ha! Once again my supposed in-built mummy instincts were waaaaaay off.

He pulled a face and then projectiled all over me and the carpet and the floorboards and himself. I swear to god, that kid can put away some food, and also apparently shoot it out of his face at at least 30km/h. I just screamed HELP! while the baby exorcist in my arms emptied his guts everywhere. Poor little guy. He just looked completely terrified by what was happening and stared at me like "MUUUUMMMM what is going on in my faaaaaacce!"

And then the next day, Lee started getting queasy and upchucked in the porcelain throne too. I didn't want to share a bed with his green, spewy body so slept upstairs. But then mum got it on Monday and was waylaid on the couch all day with a bucket. Fun times all round! Fingers crossed I manage to avoid it, but I think it is probably inevitable. Oh, joy.

Eating... Despite being temporarily set back by a spew monster, we managed to have a date night on Saturday at a new restaurant in Warrandyte called Altair. It was pretty swanky and yum. I don't know if it's the whole Masterchef thing or just being used to eating out in the city more, but we have totally turned into amateur critics. Which kind of sucks, because the food was great and the atmosphere was great and it is in Warrandyte, not a tiny underground den in the CBD with a known chef and a Good Food Guide listing, so we should really cut the place some freaking slack. But our conversation goes like this:

"This lamb belly is great, but the beetroot is undercooked. The chef looks young."

"I know. The white bean puree is the ravioli looks better than it tastes."

"Ummm, why would you fill up the water and not take the empty plates. Seriously? Seriously. "

"The waitress is, like, twelve. And this room is all hard surfaces. The acoustics are shite. They should have put panelling on the ceiling."

Clearly, we are experts in the restaurant trade. And also, slightly asshole-ish.

Smiling at... I found these super cute comics by Phillipa Rice via A Cup of Jo. Oh gosh, they had me all smiley and feeling lovey towards my Manfriend. I love things that highlight cute, everyday little moments. Lee and I have a thing where whenever we are watching a movie or reading a book and some hideous flesh-eating monster or fugly old man or a donkey pulling a face appears, he will nudge me and quietly whisper, "That looks a bit like you." Cracks me up every time.

So when I saw THIS I smiled. I wonder if I can buy it as a print?

Watching... Orange is the New Black. YOU GUYS. It is so freaking good. I am pretty into Girls and New Girl and that kind of thing, so this is right up my alley. I have watched four episodes already and am so hooked. It's funny and dramatic and light-hearted and gutsy.

Planning... What the hell we are going to do with our house. I will write more about this some other time, because it needs about seven thousand words dedicated to it.

Visiting... Our new tenants. We went to see them on Saturday to fix a door, and they are super lovely and awesome. Two rad chicks with three dogs and quite honestly the biggest couch I have ever seen. They invited us to a party that night, which we politely declined because, um, super awkward much?

Sewing... my triangle quilt! I am super dooper stoked. I made it all on my own, with no help (well, maybe just some tips here and there) from my quiltmaster mother. It is meant for Archie's bed but I might not let him touch it in case of random emissions (see above) so we'll see. But YAY! Now I've just got to finish my awesome bunting quilt.