Thursday, June 30

Photo A Day - June - Week 4

I've made it to the halfway point! 6 months down... 6 months to go...

June 22 - The Grasshopper Like Thing
I think it's a grasshopper... but I'm not really sure... Found this fellow sitting on our clothesline...

June 22 - The Grasshopper Thing

June 23 - The Only Flower I Seem To Be Able To Grow
I'm not much of a green thumb... but begonias are the one flower that I seem to be able to consistently grow well... I don't know why... They are thriving in their pot in the shade at the moment.

June 23 - The Only Thing I Can Grow

June 24 - Illumination II
Another illuminated leaf photo... this one is SOOC, except for resize for web.

June 24 - Illumination II

June 25 - Bun Heo Quay
Tonight's dinner... homemade heo quay (vietnamese style roast pork) with bun (rice vermicelli noodles) served with salad, cucumber and pickled carrots... It's one of my favourite meals...

June 25 - Bun Heo Quay

June 26 - Mount Washmore
A tedious, but necessary part of my everyday... I do a load almost everyday... It's amazing how much laundry small children produce...

June 26 - Mount Washmore

June 27 - Kindy Withdrawals
Only the first day of school holidays and Elizabeth was already suffering from kindy withdrawals... she got out the watercolours, stamps pads, textas, scissors and we had an arts and craft kind of day.

June 27 - Kindy Withdrawals

June 28 - Morning Tea Pretties
I am always going on about how bad the food is in Brisbane... (and I still stand by that on the whole...) The exception to the rule is this fabulous cafe "French and Mor"... they have the best almond croissants and little desserts (supplied by Le Bon Choix), great coffee, and I just love the little styling touches around the cafe (think paris influence meets vintage... *sigh*)... Don't try and tell me these pretty little morsels don't make you drool... ?

June 28 - Morning Tea Pretties

June 29 - I Needed This Today
Phan's away for a few days for work, so I'm holding the fort up at home... and I had a pretty terrible night with both girls waking a few times... eeek! Combine that organising a kindy catchup at the park in patchy weather and Catherine having a very early nap it was quite a long day... so I needed some of my second favourite chocolate of all time (Haigh's is number one)... Lindt Roasted Almond... Divine... And it cheered me up immediately.. :)

June 29 - I Needed This Today

June 30 - Abandoned
So it's been intermittently rainy, cloud, windy and sunny here the last couple of days... but today the sun decided to stay out for a bit this afternoon and Elizabeth wanted to go out on a photoshoot, so I obliged... :) On our walk back, we came across this abandoned wheelbarrow... It seemed like there was a story waiting to be told with it, so I took a shot of it...

June 30 - Abandoned

Monday, June 27

I Heart Faces: A Touch of Whimsy

I've been checking out I Heart Faces quite a bit recently... it's a great resource for photographers with awesome tutorials, challenges and a huge forum which caters for all levels of photographers.

I've decided to enter a photo challenge over there this week... the theme this week is "A Touch of Whimsy" which is so totally my style and this is the photo I decided to enter for it... Elizabeth being fascinated with a dandelion the other day... she loves those things!

A Touch Of Whimsy

I'm sure there will be some amazing entries this week...


Sunday, June 26

Beautiful Imagery vs Real Imagery

I'm always striving to take that perfect shot... you know the one... Perfect exposure, pinpoint focus... that natural expression on your child's face in that gorgeous location with that divine light...

Here's some beautiful imagery I took yesterday when Elizabeth and I went out to a field of long grass I had found on one of my scouting expeditions last week... I seriously had to muster up all my courage to go walking amongst the unknown in the long grass ... I had no idea what kind of animals or creatures might be living in there (can anybody say *snakes*?!) I just hoped Elizabeth and I were making enough noise to scare anything living in there away...

Fields of Long Grass II

Fields of Long Grass I

Homemade Pretty


Afternoon Fields

But you know... sometimes all of that doesn't matter in the least... Photos don't need to be perfect... It's about capturing moments and finding the essence of who your child is...

Like the childhood joyousness...

Childhood Joyousness

Or clumsiness...


Crazy faces...

Silly Faces

And silly laughter...


And all this finished with "lady-like"-ness...

What a Lady

While I love the picture perfect moments... I equally adore the photos that illustrate who she really is and why I love her... xo

Scrapbooking Sunday

Two new releases from Fei Fei's Stuff this week...

Random - Elements is a cute little element pack which is comes in just perfect colour combinations.

Should I Wear My Hair Like This Everyday

And a gorgeous brand new kit Simple Joys is out now too... I love all the cute word art in this kit!


And a little toot for me, I got a GSO for this LO too - check me out here - Gallery Standout... :)

I also did this LO using the Mscraps Barefoot in Spring Collab and Infinity from Wild Blueberry Ink -


Please click on the layouts if you want to see the specific full list of credits.

Thanks for reading along and having a look!

Saturday, June 25

13 months...

13 months...

Sometime last week, Catherine turned 13 months... It feels like I've only just blinked since her birthday party.

She can take up to 10 steps at a time now... and is just starting to get herself into a standing position by herself without using me/Elizabeth/the couch/a chair/laundry basket for leverage.

She loves bopping and clapping her hands to music. Particularly to the music on the iphone game Chuzzle.

She eats what we're eating for dinner... rice and stir fry, chicken casserole, fried rice, roast with mashed potato and veggies... It's great. The only thing she's not been in love with is spagetti bolognaise. She is still quite the food beggar... even if you're eating the exact same thing she just had for dinner, she still comes over and looks at you until you give her some of your food. I've also discovered she realy likes turkey, home made mini-quiches and (courtesy of Daddy) chocolate cream biscuits... We're down to 1-2 breastfeeds a day... 1 morning and 1 afternoon. Slowly trying to get rid of that afternoon feed...

She tries to hold conversations with us all the time... the noises she comes up with are hilarious. She really likes to yell when she's on the change table or when she's really not happy.

Bathtime is hilarious... She's discovered how to splash.. *exuberantly*! She gets egged on by seeing Elizabeth splash her back... The bathroom floor is often just a huge puddle of water. I have some video footage I have to find and post up...

She had her first haircut, which made me really sad right before I had it done... I have this weird emotional attachment to baby hair. But she just had the back trimmed to get rid of the lopsided mullet she had going on... and just a little bit off the sides... to be honest it doesn't look that much different and it's still as fluffy and fly-away as before!

She loves going on the slide ... I hold her the whole time, but the whole sliding sensation has her smiling and itching for more... we take it in turns with Elizabeth and if I stop letting her go on the slide because I'm tired and she sees Elizabeth go down, she makes a lot of noise to let me know she wants another turn.

Three of her top teeth are coming through, slowly but surely... and she's getting quite adept at biting things (including me!)...

She's scared of this cute bear that appears on little ad breaks on ABC Kids 2... she really freaks out... Elizabeth got clued up about this and started purposely rewinding the TV shows to make the bear appear to freak her out on purpose... A bit funny and a lot cheeky... we quickly put a stop to that though!!!

She is a huge scaredy cat of all things that move of their own accord (this includes toys that move and animals!), dislikes the vacuum cleaner and she's a real mummy's girl at the moment... Separation anxiety has well and truly set in for her... Although, she is a lot better than Elizabeth at the same age and does happily hang out with Daddy by herself... She's not keen on strangers looking at her either... (much like her sister).

She doesn't seem to need a lot of sleep... she has 2 x 40 minute naps a day... sometime between 9am-10am (depending on if it's a kindy day) and another at around 1pm-2pm. She goes to bed at 6:30pm... wakes up every couple of hours and is generally quick to resettle (and sometimes self settles)... Sometimes she has a crazy awake period or restless period for a couple of hours from 1am-3am... that happens variably and those nights suck! She has a morning breastfeed around 4am-5am and most of the time has really restless sleep until 6:30am-7am... and occasionally she starts the day at 6am. Really, it's mad how little sleep she needs!

One the whole, she's a happy little cherub... and she makes me laugh countless times a day... Love her to pieces... xo

Friday, June 24

Questing For Light

I am addicted to the light. There. I said it. I start feeling a little down and empty when we have a few overcast days in a row (which luckily hasn't happened all that often yet) and I get this yearning to see those golden rays of sunshine fall upon us... to feel that inspiration fill me as I see that glow. I know I'm obsessed, because I spend good parts of my week planning how we can get outdoors when the light is beautiful...

It involves organising outfits and prepping/cooking dinner ahead, because the best light happens to coincide with when I'm normally feeding small children/cooking dinner and when we get back from our mini photoshoots, the last thing I want to do is cook and the girls are usually hungry and want to eat as soon as we walk back in the door...

I've been going for walks a few times a week, looking for good locations and trying to predict what the light will look like during the optimal afternoon hours... What is weird is that I never went to this much effort when I only had Elizabeth to contend with, but I'm in a bit of a motivated "zone" at the moment... and as a result I'm quite happy to get both Elizabeth and Catherine dressed up and then bundle them up to go searching for the beautiful light... I think I need some kind of group therapy... we could call it "Lights On Anonymous"... :p

I've really got to stop questing for light and start editing and blogging my images... I've got quite a few shoots which while I've shared a select few images on facebook, there are just so many, many more and I need to share them somewhere....

So to kickstart it all, I'm going to work backwards and share some images from today... I have to mention that's Elizabeth's gorgeous dress is from Lillipops Designs - you can find her store here - and also find her on etsy here - The clothes are made to order, and I placed this order way back in April sometime and I've been eagerly awaiting it's arrival... It's been so worth the wait.. so very well made and exceptionally designed... And a perfect fit for Elizabeth, who fell in love with it the moment she saw it and exclaimed "Is it for me? It's sooooo beautiful! Can I wear it to the hairdresser tomorrow?"... And wear it to the hairdresser she did. I have plans for Elizabeth to wear this dress on a beach shoot during the summer when we move back to Adelaide... but seeing how much she loved the dress (she think it's Cinderella like!), I just couldn't resist going out on a photoshoot today and having a test run.. :)

Here are just some of today's light inspired images (there are more... but this will do for now).

The Dress
Really, it's so perfect and these photos just say it all.

Love This Dress

Silliness and Beauty
You wouldn't believe what I had to go through to get Elizabeth to hold these flowers... Apparently they were "stinky"... She complained about them while we were leaving the house and and insisted on walking as far away from them as possible... In the end I bribed her with the promise of making buttermilk pancakes for breakfast tomorrow... and even then she spent most of the time trying to hold them as far away from her as possible... I'm just glad I got some photos...

Silliness and Beauty

Sisters Together
Catherine is taking more and more steps everyday... She's only just starting to get into a standing position on her own without holding onto anything this afternoon. But she really likes holding Elizabeth's hand and trying to go for a little totter about.

Sisters Together

This last photo was taken when the afternoon light had faded... the girls were playing ring-a-ring-a-rosie... This photo is quite typical of how they interact and just shows how much they love and adore each other... It makes my mummy heart ache with happiness to see them like this.


Tuesday, June 21

Photo A Day - June - Week 3

June 15 - Mess
This morning, Catherine managed to knock the pencil sharpener off the table and it popped opened and spilt pencil shavings everywhere. I know that most people would go "Oh crap... what a mess... damn it I have to clean it..." ... However, my reaction went along the lines of ... "Oh crap... oh wait, hang on, that's a cool photo op... let me grab my camera..." ... that's normal right? ;)

June 15 - Mess

June 16 - June 16 - Pretties
On the weekend, I picked up this set of cute bangles for a bargain $5. I love the neutral tones.

June 16 - Pretties

June 17 - Texture
Elizabeth wanted to go "collecting" stuff today, so I humoured her and we went walking around the neighbourhood looking for things from nature to collect. While she was collecting stuff, I was looking for things to photograph... I love the texture of this tree.

June 17 - Texture

June 18 - Upgrade
Phan upgraded me to an iPhone 4 as my contract runs out in a week, as i was sick of Vodaphones terrible coverage... So far, loving the battery life, the camera on the front for face time, and the parental lock feature which prevents apps from being deleted! (Catherine has deleted my apps a couple of times!)

June 18 - Upgrade

June 19 - Follow The Leader
A day trip to Sea World today... Catherine's first trip (she enjoyed and got a lot more out of it than I thought she would!)... and our last trip as residents of Brisbane... We had a wonderful time... We got to see the new penguin exhibit which only opened up late last year... it's an excellent exhibit... the penguins are sooo cute... they have little personalities of their own. While we were there, they just started walking along in a little line of their own accord. Elizabeth was really excited and laughed and told us "Look! The penguins are playing 'Follow the Leader'!" Very funny and quite true!

June 19 - Follow The Leader

June 20 - Can You Tell Me How To Get...
How to get to Sesame Street...? Why, yes... yes, I can.. :)

June 20 - Can You Tell Me How To Get...

June 21 - Illuminated
Went out chasing light again with the girls this afternoon and as we were wrapping up the day and walking back to the car, this little leaf, lit up by the afternoon light, but surrounded by the darkness of trees caught my eye...

June 21 - Illuminated

Sunday, June 19

3 Inspirations

I'm always looking for ways to be inspired... it comes in so many different forms for me... I thought I'd share 3 things that have inspired me of late -

1. My brother-in-law Phong posted this clip on his wall a while back.. His friends got married and this is the same-day edit video by Paper Crane Productions that was shown at the wedding. It is awesome... I don't even know these people and I cried the first time I watched it. Since then, I've gone back and watched it a number of times and still it inspires me every single time... That music really strikes a chord with me. Sweet, romantic, beautiful and heartfelt.

Nhan + Catherine Same Day Edit Experience | Be my only... from Paper Cranes Productions on Vimeo.

2. I recently came across a photographer who's style I am just loving... check out Zoe Berkovic ... her creativeness is very cool.

3. Somes words to live by... discovered via Pinterest, original source of image Steph Devlin -


Scrapbooking Sunday

Ah, lots of scrapbooking news this week... Wild Blueberry Ink has been the guest designer over at Log Your Memory for June and she designed this wonderful kit for them - Ties That Bind. She has just released it at her Mscraps store and it just gorgeous... the sentiments in this kit are just perfect for expressing those special family moments.


A Family's Love

roots and wings

She's also released a couple of cute little element packs - Wired Charms and Grids and Ledgers Masks - they make perfect little accents to any page. And she has some lovely versatile neutral papers too... I can never get enough neutral papers - check out In the Nude Papers.


Over at Oscraps, Fei Fei's Stuff has released an awesome set of templates called Entree... makes scrapping so effortless! -



Wednesday, June 15

Photo A Day - June - Week 2

June 8 - Ruby Red
I went for a neighbourhood stroll with Catherine looking for something to photograph today. Came across these awesome striking tiny little berry-like things.

June 8 - Ruby Red

And a bonus photo to show you how I'm transporting Catherine around when I go shooting... (She is going through a clingy phase at the moment, which I think is most likely due to the *3* top teeth she is cutting at the moment!) I have started using my ergo baby carrier in the back-carry position and Catherine quite likes it... And it's great because it gives me both hands free to take photos instead of these one-handed, balancing-baby-on-hip-with-the-other-hand photos I've been taking. Great fun and exercise now... I plan on going strolling around the neighbourhood at least once a week with Catherine in the ergo now.

The Downside

June 9 - White, Two Sugars
So it's no where near as cute as Bao's Snow White Teapot, but I picked up this cheerful spotty little "teapot for one" a few days ago for a bargain $12. (The teapot sits on the cup when not in use) I love it... just makes me smile... I'm loving me a nice cup of tea in the the chilly evenings at the moment... Lady Grey is my brew of choice.

June 9 - White, Two Sugars

June 10 - Garlic Press Love
My sister got me this *awesome* Kuhn Rikon garlic press for my birthday last year... Only she would get me something like this *AND* know that I would love it. She actually did a heap of research on garlic presses before you made a decision... (yeah I know who does that?!) but her research totally paid off. I am actually perfectly capable of finely mincing garlic with a knife... But one thing I discovered since having kids is that it's a pain getting that garlic smell off your hands quickly... and its annoying have to clean your hands when you've got a small child tugging on your leg, crying/whining/wanting to be held. So post-kids I've become a garlic press convert... and this is everything you want in a garlic press... easy to clean (it inverts so you can scrape it out), stainless steel, easy to to press... you can even press a clove with the skin on and it leaves the skin behind. Have I made you want to get one? I should become the official spokesperson for Kuhn Rikon garlic presses... :D

As a side note, these garlic cloves pictured here are ginormous... I don't know what's with the garlic at the moment, but the ones I'm sourcing from my local supermarket and greengrocer look like they are on steroids!

June 10 - Garlic Press Love

June 11 - Where the Fruit Stickers Hide-eth
So Elizabeth has been getting more and more independent lately and she can now help herself to a mandarin/apple whenever she wants... Well actually, she picks one, gets a plate and gets me to peel/cut it for her... Only today, did I realise what she's been doing with the stickers from the fruit...

June 12 - Where the Fruit Stickers Hide...

June 12 - Winter Comfort Soup
Tonight's dinner... my own creation, and rather like a variation on steamboat.... a nourishing combination of rice vermicelli noodles, topped with shredded chicken, tofu, broccoli, baby corn and shittake mushrooms served in steaming hot homemade chicken broth and garnished with spring onions...

June 11 - Winter Comfort Soup

June 13 - Winter Sun
Oh winter sun, how I love you. One of the things I am going to miss about Brisbane when we move back to Adelaide are the beautiful winters... sunny days... no biting cold wind... And the ability to hang the washing out and know it will dry...

June 13 - Winter Sun

June 14 - Here I Am
So this is me... I thought I would do a self portrait of myself today... and I thought I would wear the new dress I scored from Review at a bargain 50% off in the Myer winter sales. Doing the self-portrait was a rather precarious exercise, as Catherine kept wanting to look at/push the tripod and I was totally paranoid my camera was going to fall! I also had an "Ah ha!" moment, when I figured out how improve the way I've been focusing self portraits with my remote trigger. (Tip - manual focus is handy!)

June 14 - Here I Am