Sunday, 4 May 2014

18/52 - the swing of things


My little monkey all decked out in her winter uniform.... looking like quite the English school girl.
She is very, very pleased about being able to wear a dress and stockings to school!!! 

Yep, it was back to school once more, this week. We had such a fantastic school holidays, with a good mix of travel and fun and chilling out. It felt especially relaxing as Mark had the rest of last week off after our coast trip. How nice it is to potter around the house together... but it was time for regular life to resume.


Our lovely friend Amber very kindly passed down to us her train table with an assortment of accessories. Such a large 'kid's furniture item' was something I had always avoided purchasing as I thought it wouldn't get used enough, plus they take up so much room. However, we had the space in our new family room arrangement and Eli had recently really gotten into trains so it seemed like a good thing to try out.

Well, it has quickly turned into a 'how did we ever not have this staple piece' situation! We love it!! It's such a great size and set up, and the kids have spent so much time crouched around the table, immersed in play. Not just trains but also blocks, animals, lego, etc. All manner of scenes and activities unfold. As an added bonus, because it's up on the table I am ok with activities being left out so they can make their complex set ups (an animal hospital, for example!) then return to it throughout the day when they have time to spare. An unexpected benefit is that they are able to extend their play as they build upon their ideas each time. It's just lovely to see a new approach to play unfolding - and it doubles as a coffee table too! ;)

Eli races his trains around the track with high speed!

(Thanks, Amber - it is being well used and well loved!)


I did a simple sensory activity with my littlest this week. Inspired by my lovely friend at An Everyday Story's 'transforming your play' challenge, we used a mirror to extend the experience. 

Just a basket, some cotton balls, wooden blocks, and a mirror. I presented the items to Miles, then let him explore freely. There was a lot of kissing himself in the mirror and tossing blocks and cotton balls hither and thither! ;) However, his favourite activity was very intently placing all the cotton balls into the basket. He was so serious about it! It was lovely to watch him explore, and interesting to see how the mirror brought a new element to the exploration - looking at the reflection as he held or stacked things.


Well, I am a lucky girl as my hubby actually loves going shopping with me (yes, even window shopping). We always have such a lovely time just strolling hand-in-hand, browsing interesting shops. However, the opportunity to do so these days (kid-free) is virtually non-existent!! But it was his birthday wish to go shopping together as he really needed some new clothes, so we managed to organise it the week after his birthday.

Ohhh, we had a grand old time, wandering around together, with no distractions, just me and my guy and a little peaceful retail therapy! Just what we needed :) Footloose and fancy-free, haha!

We managed to get him a whole new outfit - shirt, jeans and shoes... so of course I made him pose for me the next day, looking all handsome xx

Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2014.

More highlights from the week that was...

Need a cure for what ails ya this winter? For colds, coughs, sniffles, sore throats and so on, cook up a batch of this nourishing drink: Half fill a pot with water, then add quartered lemons (yes, the whole lemon, rind and all!), garlic cloves, chunks of ginger, and a good dash of cayenne pepper (it helps clears the sinus and loosens congestion). I also threw in some kale fresh from our garden, just cos we had it and hey, kale is good for everything, right?! Simmer for about 30 minutes till everything goes super soft, then use your stick mixer and blend the whole thing up!! Strain it through a sieve if you like and keep in the fridge. Whenever you need a warming, healing drink, pour an inch or so into a mug, add boiling hot water and a teaspoon or two (or three!) of quality honey. Mmmmmmm, soothes the soul and the body!

'tooooot, toooooot'
Daddy gives Lily a lesson in polishing up her school shoes, fresh for a new term (and I'm so pleased at how well her shoes are wearing so far!).
Aw! Daddy/daughter shoe polishing, haha.

The night before school started back, we decided to do a little marshmallow
roast in the brazier. As Miles watched in utter fascination from the safety of
his highchair, we all roasted marshmallows and enjoyed a roaring fire and the
pleasure of our last 'holiday event' before school and work commenced once
more. Fire & sugar are always a winning combo, haha ;)

Ok, I got a little obsessed with trying to capture the captivating flames! Night/fire photography is haaaard, I had
no idea what I was doing so please bear with me as I play around! 

A single ember floats away...
my firebug!!

After 'one of those days' when patience is short and you want to put parenting into the 'too hard basket' for a while,
(but you can't!!), it was time to start afresh with prayers for wisdom and grace going up on the regular. When the kids asked if they could have a 'real tea party' and would I please sit down with them too, it was time to put the never-ending to-do list aside and just sit and enjoy some lukewarm Rooibos tea with my little treasures. I'm glad I did.

We couldn't resist going to see the Duke and Duchess aka Will and Kate when they were in town last week. I thought it
would be fun to tell the kids in years to come that they saw them! Our whole family lined up outside the Portrait Gallery for their visit for about 1.5 hours to see them arrive and depart. Well, they didn't walk right along where we lined up, but we were about 20m from where they got in and out of their car (we got a wave!) and then they drove right by! Well, it was a brush with royalty at least!! A fun little adventure with a story to tell. The kids waited soooo patiently and didn't even complain when in the end we didn't get to actually meet them. Little champs :) (Will is smiling from the back seat
of the car in the pic, Kate is next to him! We did get video of her but no pics, oops)

Our 'princess bait' - cute kids, flowers, toy and hand made card
by Lily. Unfortunately the lure didn't work but we still had fun :)

One by one, the cotton balls got put in the basket!

A cheeky look!
A little 'before school' imaginative play after their charts are complete. 
Every morning after breakfast, the kids tear into the backyard with baskets in hand to collect the eggs.
I love that they can do this independently, thanks to our low coop set up. They shriek with joy every single day when they find them and proudly bring them inside. And of course we all love eating them!! Mmmm, fresh eggs are so delish :)


  1. Love your photos this week! And I think the flames are just beautiful, I know what you mean about them being captivating, I could look at an open fire forever x

  2. So many lovely shots this week. Firstly, I am so THRILLED that the train table and the trains have gotten a new lease of life in your home. It really does make me happy to see other children playing in that space. The shots of Lily with the two eggs and are so gorgeous and crisp. She looks so grown up in her winter uniform and with her hair pulled back like that. I love the treasure basket you set up for Miles (I have been learning about those baskets at uni!) Love all the ones of Eli at the train table and the ones of the fire are great too! x

  3. You saw Will and Kate!!!!!! Jealous!!!!!!!

    Love the marshmallow ones. A childhood must-do!


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