While I stitched, Daniel kept me company with his home-reader. Usually we try to do his homework in the car on the way home from school, but we forgot today!
Now though, the house is finally quiet, and it's time to get on with that hand-quilting. Yes, that is one asleep on the couch – we'll move him later on!
I hope you had a good day too!
Clockwise from top left:
…grey winter days, perfect for stitching…
Pin restock. Not sure who eats my pins, but I should be alright for a while now.
When your mudroom lockers turn up in the Saturday paper's magazine insert.
If you are like me, a busy mum trying hard to keep the house in order, spend time with the family, and also enjoy nice things, then this here is a book for you.
I've read and browsed so many home decorating books and magazines over the years (starting way back when mum would take them home from the public library). I love peeking into other homes and gleaning ideas. Right now though, with a completed home that has everything we need, I try to avoid interior design books (it's so easy to start feeling discontent, isn't it?). Also, after so many books and so many magazines, is there really any need for another one?
So when I received my contributor copy of Design Mom (How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide) I was fully prepared to be a bit underimpressed. I should have known better, though. The author, Gabrielle Blair keeps the Design Mom blog, which I have loved for a long time. She blogs about where 'motherhood and design intersect'. (Longer term readers here may remember that our house was featured on her blog some years ago). I love so much of what Gabrielle values, and it is all reflected in this book too. This is so much more than an interior decorating book. It's much more about living with kids, and Gabrielle shares so many good ideas from lots of real homes. She also shares tips from her own life for managing the busyness of daily life with kids. I love that she covers things like 'dealing with Disney, 'dancing through kitchen cleanup' and 'helping your children treasure their treasures'. Oh, and there are a few DIY projects throughout the book too. DIY concrete planters, anyone?
Definitely a highly recommended read for any home where kids are celebrated!
My kids returned to school yesterday after a two and a half week break. There is something so wonderful about school holidays and the break from routines that comes with it. But then there is also something so wonderful about resuming routines (except for those dreaded school lunches!) and sending the kids back to school.
With all five boys battling the flu, most of the days were spent right here at home. (We made a family day trip to Nannup on Saturday – mostly for my sanity – and a train trip to the city earlier this week). It is so good for the kids to spend that time at home, sleeping in, slowing down, reading, playing board games and Lego, reconnecting with each other (even through the arguing and fighting) and being content right here with what we have.
I'm always torn, though, between the knowledge that it is ok for kids to be bored and good for them to have to sort out their own fun, and the thought that I should be doing more with and for them!
And here's what I feel like now that the holidays are over:
That means that this week is still a little slow here. No excuses next week though! I'll be preparing for a local event which I'm rather excited about. I look forward to sharing more details soon.
One night last week I woke up during the night with the thought that Marcus and Jason's bedroom could really do with a 'mini-makeover'. Marcus had been very difficult at bedtime for a long time, saying 'I don't like my bed'. While I know this is a stage many kids go through, and I also don't believe in catering to a child's every wish, it occurred to me that rearranging the bedroom might be just the thing to help Marcus enjoy going to bed again. And of course, who doesn't love to rearrange the house on a regular basis? (The 'before' looked pretty much like this, although we'd already replaced the cradle with the cot.)
One of the stylists I follow on Instagram regularly 'shops the home' with her clients, and I love this idea – redecorating a room by looking through your own home for things you already have, that can be used in different contexts. I know it's not necessarily a new concept, but seeing what she comes up with inspires me to keep my own home fresh. In the end I didn't change up as much as I thought I would. The little white table came from elsewhere in the house, and I took a large TV bench out.
And I did make a few small purchases from Kmart. How good are the homewares at Kmart at the moment?! The cloud cushion, the rabbit night light and the blue wire basket were all picked up at Kmart for a song.
But I think my favourite part is the new art wall. At the moment it displays drawings by myself and the older children, but eventually I will switch these out for Marcus and Jason's own drawings. The clipboards where picked up from Officeworks for $2 each, and hung using tiny clear Command hoods (no drilling required!). I just need to rehang Marcus' name artwork still.
On another note, thank you for all the helpful suggestions regarding my eczema. Since then, my hands are starting to clear up (no new flare up, just a very slow and itchy healing process now from the old blisters). I've kept stevia out of my diet and had minimal sugar. I've been avoiding water, and using the MooGoo moisturiser and eczema cream all day long. I've also been taking a liver cleanse tablet. Of course, I still don't know exactly which of this is doing the trick, or whether it's a combination. Here's hoping it continues to clear up!
I've been appreciating everything that my hands can do, lately. For 6-8 weeks I've had nasty eczema on both hands. That means both pain and severe itchiness. It also means that I think twice before doing many of the little things I normally do without thinking. It makes me realise just how much we use and need our hands. It also makes me think of friends who do not have full use of their hands due to things like arthritis or permanent injuries. I'm so glad for the full mobility that I have.
I'm trying to fight this with cortisone cream, dermatitis friendly soaps, shampoo and moisturiser and by analysing my diet. I have a suspicion that it might be an allergy to stevia (which would be a nice simple answer!). In the meantime, I've bought up a range of gloves to help me get through my various daily activities.
If any of you have a magic cure I'd love to hear it!