Saturday, November 19

Farewell Brisbane

We arrived 4 years ago... a family of 3... an adventure waiting to be had.
You shocked me with your intense summer humidity and heat... and those late afternoon summer storms? Whoa! But you enamoured me with your beautifully mild winters and all was forgiven...

You gave us so much to do in the outdoors... the beaches, the long drives, the theme parks, the pools, the parks and playgrounds... Although the myriad of wildlife that accompanied it all (cane toads, green ants, midgies and mosquitos) I could have done without...

We discovered and enjoyed frequenting our favourite eatery haunts - Trang's, Gelati Cremonia, Brett's Wharf, Movenpick, Sushi Sushi...

We grew our family... and you have been the a perfect place to begin to raise a family... the only place my girls have really known as home...

You gave me the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people... who became wonderful friends...

Tomorrow we leave... now a family of 4... we have had a wonderful time in this relaxed, laid-back welcoming city... Thank you for the memories Brisbane... You will always have a special place in my heart.

Farewell Brisbane

Saturday, October 22

Poor Neglected Blog

With 4 weeks to go 'til our move I've been busy... so my poor blog has been neglected... but a quick update on a few things that have been happening...

1. I lasted 9 months, but I'm sad to say that I have fallen off the photo-a-day wagon... I really wanted to able to see the year out, but unfortunately life has just got in the way... That and I somehow managed lose the first week of October photos that I was sure I downloaded onto the computer but vanished somewhere... While I'm disappointed I didn't make it through, I don't regret for one second undertaking this project and not being able to finish it... I started it with the intention of improving my skills... changing the way I think, the way I see light and composition, the mental creative side of it all, and I think I can say, this year has been my year of enlightenment and it's enabled me to take that step to the next level... I already have a new project lined up for next year, so you'll have to stay tuned to find out all about that!

2. Catherine turned 17 months yesterday! She's almost 1.5 years old! Wowsers! Really?! She's learning more and more things everyday... She can now walk and take a step off a single step (up and down)... She used to pause everytime she came to a step and just wait for someone to help her, but she's figured out how to keep her balance now. Her latest trick involved batting her eyelashes... She will sometimes just look at you and then deliberately blink her eyes several times and then give you the most heart melting smile... She totally knows it melts me...

3. We had a garage sale today... we had so much junk to get rid off... made $300 in the process so it was a worthwhile exercise.

4. I've packed up probably 1/3 of the house up and starting to reach a point where I don't think I can pack much more stuff because we actually need it...

5. I have 2 shoots left in Brisbane... one tomorrow... and one next weekend and that's it for Brisbane... Can't believe it's coming to an end so soon.

6. I'm now the proud owner of a 50mm f/1.2L which is (like most photography gear) a rather expensive lens... but Phan was stalking some online forums and saw one come up that was only 5 weeks old and asking 25% off the retail price, so we snapped that up. I had a chance to go out and shoot my girls yesterday with it and it's beautiful and significantly different from the 1.4 version... I sense this is going to be my new favourite lens... :)

7. It's hard to believe I only launched my business 3 weeks ago 'cos I've had such an amazing reception that it feels like so much longer! I'm almost booked out for the first 6 months on my return to Adelaide so it's going to be a busy start to 2012.

8. My girls are growing up so fast... they make me laugh so much... Some photos that I need to share...

My Bogan Baby

Catherine my bogan baby... She's wearing a one piece hand-me-down singlet suit that has seen better days and is all stretchy and saggy in the nappy area... She's also pottering around in the grass barefoot... I find that there's something beautifully organic about this photo... No pretty clothes, no props... just realness...

Look ... A Plane...

She spotted a plane in the sky that same day... was totally fascinated by it.

All Things Pretty...

Big Little Girl

Swingin Shoes...

Smoochy Sister Kisses

These photos taken yesterday afternoon when I went out to try out the new 50mm 1.2... It's been a while since I took the girls out for a shoot (just haven't had the time lately), so it was nice to spend an afternoon pottering around at the park... Catherine has also gotten infinitely more mischievous since the last time we went out on a shoot as she now runs away and tries to climb onto playground equipment! I now need eyes in the back of my head!

Friday, October 7

Things To Smile About...

In what is a seriously depressing real estate market, we are pretty happy that our house sold in just over 2 weeks! (Excuse the photo, it was just snapped with the iphone).
photo (2)-pp

I'm still on the photo-a-day band wagon... just seriously lacking in time to edit them and post them on the blog... but I'll quickly share this snap, which makes me laugh... And yes, I'm fully aware, she's going to hate me for taking this photo when she's older... LOL...


And lastly... It also seems that I won that fun contest for the favourite photo for September over at Click It Up A Notch... Thanks to everyone to voted for me! :) Here's the photo again... :)

September 13 - Down By The Pier

Click It Up A Notch

Happy days... and now I have to go do some more packing!

Saturday, October 1

Click It Up A Notch - September Favourite Photo

Click It Up A Notch is running their monthly post up your favourite photo contest and I just can't resist entering this photo...

September 13 - Down By The Pier

This photo rates up there in my top 10 photos of all time at the moment... The pier is one of the prettiest ones I've ever seen... and while usually I shy away from harsh shadows, I love the shadows cast from the railing and I think it actually makes the photo.

Do you have a favourite photo for September? Why not share it as well in the Click It Up A Notch Contest?

Click It Up A Notch

Time To Finally Reveal ...

I have just been itching to share this news with everyone, but I've been waiting for the right time to come and finally, the right time is now!

Regular readers of my blog may have noticed, while I've still been doing updates on the blog, the blog posts have not been anywhere near as frequent as earlier in the year. Well, that's mostly been due to a project I've been working on behind the scenes and I'm excited to announce that I'm officially launching my business - Heart Inspired Photography.

To coincide with the start of October, I launched last night on Facebook (feel free to head over to the Heart Inspired Photography Fan Page and "like" it) and thsi afternoon I launched over on my business blog-site... you can read all about how the journey over here -

I will still be continuing this blog, at least until the end of this year while Photo-A-Day 2011 is still continuing... but if you would like to follow me on my business blog, there will be lots of interesting things popping up on there too.

Thank you to all my readers for dropping in and following my stories and photography... xo

Friday, September 23

Photo A Day - September - Week 3

Yes, I'm just trying to get caught up with the photo a day -

September 15 - The Boxes Are Here
The boxes arrived today and we're beginning the process of packing... It's already been interesting with Catherine deciding she likes to sit on flat boxes which makes it impossible to extract them from under her and tape them up so we can use them! This is why we're starting early!

September 15 - The Boxes Are Here

September 16 - Up Close With A Dirt Bike
I got the opportunity to get up close with a dirt bike today... :)

September 16 - Up Close With A Dirt Bike

September 17 - The Wind In Her Face
Catherine loves having wind blown in her face... sometimes Elizabeth will just blow in her face to make her laugh... Here Daddy is fanning a book in her face and she loves the feeling of the wind....

September 17 - The Wind In Her Face

September 18 - Snuggles In Bed
Early morning snuggles in our bed for everyone...

September 18 - Morning Snuggles

September 19 - Decluttered
Our house is decluttered... anyone who knows what our house normally looks like with kiddie toys everywhere would be impressed... :p

September 19 - Decluttered

September 20 - Admiring Her Sister's Artwork
Catherine is obsessed with Elizabeth's artwork... she loves looking at it... pointing at it... She even walks around holding it as if she's trying to pass it off as her own...

September 20 - Admiring Her Sister's Artwork

September 21 - Little Miss 16 Months
She was just like a doll when she was born and 16 month later, she's still a doll... a cheeky one... but she still so perfectly adorable.

September 21 - Little Miss 16 Months

Thursday, September 22

Photo A Day - September - Week 2

I am sooo behind with the blogging... still managing to keep up the photo-a-day, but it's seriously hitting crazy stations around here getting ready for our move back to Adelaide and I've fallen a bit behind with the processing... Decided to take some time out tonight and try and catchup on some photos...

September 8 - Morning Ritual
A completely technically terrible photo (out of focus and all), but this photo speaks volumes of our mornings... both girls brush their teeth every morning now and Catherine is actually obsessed with her toothbrush (she likes to wander in and point at it 'cos she wants it)... and Elizabeth likes to brush her teeth with Catherine... she gets upset if Catherine brushes her teeth without her... It's drama city here some mornings!

September 8 - Morning Ritual

September 9 - Checking the Mailbox
She thinks she's so clever... (oh and yes, this was from one of my first plays with the fish-eye)

September 9 - Checking The Mailbox

September 10 - Press The Button
Auntie Thao came to visit us this weekend and came bearing the most wonderful gifts for all of us (thank you again Thao!). She got Elizabeth this book called "Press The Button", which is now a bedtime favourite... She just loves this book and makes Phan read it to her every night.

September 9 - Press The Button

September 11 - Hanging With The Girls
One of only a handful of photos I got of Thao this weekend... The girls loved hanging out with her... (Elizabeth really did too, she just doesn't look impressed in this photo!)

September 11 - Hanging With The Girls

September 12 - Kiddie Gamer
Elizabeth is getting good at playing games on her vtech console...

September 12 - Kiddie Gamer

September 13 - Down By The Pier
I went to check out a lovely little spot today... it has the prettiest jetty I've ever seen (and the most awesome kids playground too!)... This has got to be another one of my favourite photos from this year.

September 13 - Down By The Pier

September 14 - Custom Made Dresses
Our custom made dresses from Lillipops Designs arrived today... We designed them ourselves during a Back To School custom dress event that was run a couple of months ago. (And by "we", I mean Elizabeth and I... she picked the fabric and the style of dress and the belt to go with it... and we picked out a design for Catherine). They are awesome... I love, love, love how they turned out... and so do the girls... The dress is now Elizabeth's new favourite. They were so gorgeous, I was inspired to take the girls out for a minishoot them...

September 14 - Custom Made Dresses

Saturday, September 17

Inspirations for the Weekend

1. This maternity silhouette is divine... Can't wait to get back to Adelaide an capture some baby bump photos of Bao!

2. I love the mess, the delight and the realness of this set of photos...

3. Make the most of what you've got...

Sunday, September 11

It's A Big, Big World

September 11 - It's A Big Big World

Just posting this to show my sister (who is rarely on facebook) the perspective through my newly acquired, second-hand fish-eye ... :) I know I'm going overboard here with the effect, but hey, it's a novelty... :)

Saturday, September 10

Photo A Day - September - Week 1

September 1 - First Day Of Spring
The days are warming up and you can feel spring is in the air...

September 1 - First Day of Spring

September 2 - Happy Birthday to Me
If you missed the blog post about my awesome birthday, you can find all the details about my fantastic day here -

September 2 - Happy Birthday To Me

September 3 - Delicate Dancing
The big girl is going through a dress-ups and dancing phase... she loves pretending she's a ballerina...

September 3 - Delicate Dancing

September 4 - Happy Father's Day
A day to celebrate with Daddy today... We went for a walk down by the river and had a morning tea picnic which is where I took this photo...

September 4 - Happy Father's Day

September 5 - Catherine 1, Pasta 0
Someone got in the kitchen cupboard while I was doing the dishes...

September 5 - Catherine 1, Pasta 0

September 6 - Simple Moments
One of Catherine's most favourite things is to lie on beds/mattresses... Must be a full size bed and not a cot... She will happily lie and laugh and giggle and just enjoy the comfy softness of a great big bed...

September 6 - Simple Moments

September 7 - Girlishness + Urban Grunge
Tried out something a little different from my normal open spaces, nature backdrop, sun-filled, backlit images... I really quite like the grungy feel of this wall...

September 7 - Girlish-ness + Urban Grunge

Inspiration for the Weekend

1. Inspiring words to live by -

2. I'm rather fascinated with old vintage cameras at the moment -

3. Love this silhouette shot -

Source: via Clara on Pinterest

Friday, September 2

Approaching My Use By Date...?

Approaching My Use By Date...?

Earlier this week, I noticed our milk bottle had my birthday as it's use by date... It made me pause and wonder... am I really approaching my use by date as I notch up another year in my 30s? And to be honest... the answer is a resounding *NO*! I have never loved life more... never loved my family more... and never looked forward to the future more than I do at this moment in time... There is so much happening in my life, but I have never been more blessed than now and I am ever, ever grateful for that!

This morning began at our usual 6:30am start... Elizabeth has been counting down 'til my birthday for more than a week... but this morning she seemed to have momentarily forgotten that when she came into my bed for a snuggle... But then Phan (who was attending to Catherine) called her out and next thing you know... she was showering me with pictures and collages she had made.... and giving me lots of birthday hugs and kisses... and then she revealed an awesome birthday card that she, Catherine and Daddy had made for me:

Best Birthday Present Ever...

In all honesty... this birthday card is probably my most favourite thing about today... There was so much thought put into it - from Phan getting the speech bubble blackboard (it was also part of my present!), then coordinating to take the photo (he whisked them off into the spare room one night and I knew they were up to something, but I had no idea what!) and then printing and making the card... then inside Elizabeth had drawn a cute little picture of her, me and Catherine... Catherine had drawn a pretty little scribble in it... and Phan had written me a beautiful heart-felt note.. All those things just meant the world to me. I often say that Phan doesn't have a creative bone in his body (and he even admits it too)... but he really surprised me with his ingenuity this year... absolutely awesome and I love him even more for it! The little message on the speech bubble 'Happy Birthday "Mamma"', is also a bit of a joke for us too... Catherine went through a phase of saying "mamamamama", but she hasn't said it for few months now (I think she's forgotten how!) and now everytime we try and get her to say "Mamma", she always says "Dadda"... It's really quite funny! So this was Phan's little way of saying - 'Look... Catherine can say Mamma'... LOL...

Anyway... once I got past the awesome card, I had a big box to open which contained a myriad of gifts of Phan and the girls... The main item being... a film camera! Yes... I know most of you are thinking "What? Film? Isn't that a thing of the past?" But there is just something romantic about film that I find appealing... I mentioned in passing to Phan one night *ages* ago... and apparently he stored that idea away in that brain of his and then did a whole lot researching to locate one that was in excellent condition for me from the US... It came with a 50mm 1.8 and a 70-200mm f4.5... I'm excited to be taking a step into the world of film photography! There was also a coffee cup in the shape of a Canon 24-105mm lens... LOL... hilarious 'cos I initially thought it was a real lens (the box it comes in is so authentic) and I was thinking "I don't really want this lens..."... but then I laughed when I realised what it was!

After I had opened that present we got out of bed and got breakfast going for the girls and I opened my gift from my sister that I have been waiting patiently for a week to open! I had requested "small random kitchen gadget", so she got me "chobs" (handy!)and a cool recipe book stand plus a whole bunch of other yummy goodies (jam and haighs chocolate). I also got my first ever Pandora jewellery ever from Ko and Vinnnie and I can't wait to go and spend my kikki.k voucher from Bao, Ty and the Mitchells! I have been so spoilt!

Just Some of My Birthday Presents 2011

We had to go drop off Phan's car from some maintenance, then dropped into Woolworths to pick up ingredients for the chocolate cake that Elizabeth and Phan had planned for me... Got home and they got cooking... it was so endearing to watch them labour over this cake for me... (Phan was using a recipe on the ipad for the cake... and notice how the ipad is on a stand? That's the recipe cookbook stand my sister got me... it's awesome that it doubles as an ipad stand... :))

Cake Making

While they were finishing off the cake, I got a call from Vicky who told me to go outside and she drove up with her girls and I got a personal rendition of "Happy Birthday" from her girls, an almond croissant from my favourite cafe and a bunch of lillies... I was so touched (yes, I may have teared up) that she made that little trip out for my birthday!

So after the cake was cooked and Catherine had had a morning nap, we got ready to head out to lunch at the Moray Cafe at New Farm... we discovered this place when Phi came up to visit and they make the best potato hash cakes ever (anyone who knows me will know that I love potatoes!), which I had a craving for when we were thinking of places to go for lunch. It was a delicious lunch!

Birthday Lunch

After lunch, we went to New Farm Park for a play ... No digital photos of this part of our day because I was trying out my film camera... I almost went through a roll of film... it was really fun and got me thinking in a different way... I'll try and use it up this week and put it in for developing... so we'll see if anything worked out at all!

Came home... pottered around the house a bit... made icing for my birthday cake and then Elizabeth and Phan put so much effort into decorating my cake... Phan has discovered he likes wielding a palette knife, so he is responsible for the lovely pink buttercream icing finish on the cake... :o)... Elizabeth is responsible for the 2 lovely red bunnies on the cake (yes she had this planned since last week... she told Phan she wanted to make me a bunny cake and he freaked out at the thought of making a bunny-shaped cake! Lucky, she just wanted to draw me a bunny in icing!)... They are standing on grass and that's clouds in the sky... awesome huh? I loved it!

The Cake

So that's my birthday in a nutshell... probably one of my favourite birthdays every... I feel so lucky and so loved.

Thursday, September 1

Photo A Day - August - Week 4

And here's the roundup of last month...

August 22 - Round and Round The Garden
Catherine *loves* round and round the garden... she loves it when you do it to her and she loves doing it to others... Makes her so happy. Here's Elizabeth doing it to Catherine...

August 22 - Round and Round the Garden

August 23 - Rainbow
This morning, Elizabeth spotted the most awesome rainbow on the way to kindy... It was huge and spanned the entire width of an oval that we pass every kindy day... So awesome... if we didn't have some where to be and if I hadn't been driving, I would have taken a photo... Elizabeth said she was going to do a drawing of a rainbow at kindy and I had planned on taking a photo of that... but she didn't get around to it... so I took a photo of the nearest rainbow like item to remind me of the beauty of that rainbow we saw today.

August 23 - Rainbow

August 24 - Odd Socks
Odd socks seems to be a constant around here... I hate little children socks... so small, so easy to lose, impossible to find, impossible to match... Odd socks are the norm for Catherine...

August 24 - Odd Socks

August 25 - Cereal
10pm at night and I realised I hadn't taken a photo for the day... so randomly walked around the house looking for inspiration and decided to take a photo of this... :)

August 25 - Cereal

August 26 - Toddler
She's losing some of her chubby, chubby baby cheeks and looking more and more like a toddler these days... *sniff sniff*...

August 26 - Toddler

August 27 - My Hand Looks Good In Red
Catherine so wants to be like her big sister. So today while Elizabeth was drawing, Catherine wanted to draw too... so I got out some textas for her and she was drawing away happily in her highchair... I go and do some dishes and come back to find her hand like this! In non-washable texta! She had a bright pink tinged hand for a couple of days afterwards.

August 27 - Texta Mess

August 28 - The Talented Hopper
For some reason unbeknownst to me, Elizabeth insists on doing the most random things when we go on photo shoots... she will stand on one leg... jump.. pull weird faces... "Take a photo of my back, Mum!", she'll call out to me... I'll try and catch her in between her randomness to get those more "normal shots", but this photo is truly a classic example of what she's really like when I'm trying to take photos of her... and yes, that's a random weed flower in her hand she's insisting on holding while hopping...

August 28 - The Talented Hopper

August 29 - Tea
I am a sucker for pretty tea canisters... just the canisters... they don't actually hold any tea... I picked up these while I was out shopping today... I love them...

August 29 - Tea

August 30 - The Fragrance of Jasmine
I love the smell of jasmine flowers...

August 30 - The Fragrance of Jasmine

August 31 - Bathtime Cheekiness
Fresh out of the bath and we're full of beans and cheekiness in this household...

August 31 - Bathtime Cheekiness