20140405_Hammock, Apple Picking_003 E: Apple picking at the farm in the delightful Autumn sunshine.

20140405_Hammock, Apple Picking_019 E: In the 'hanging mat' at the farm. One of the delights of you learning English and German has been your mistranslations of words learnt in one language but not the other. I need to remember to write them down because they disappear all too quickly.
20140406_Emilia Cooking_031 E: Licking the bowl. 20140413_Dying Eggs_042 E: Eggs. 20140420_Emilia Wheelbarrow_000 E: "I'm a good chef Mama. I cooking fish and chips with caramel. Would you like some? Wet or dry?" I told you I liked caramel (in my easter eggs) and since then it has been a necessary addition to every meal cooked in your restaurant.

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014." 

 Linking up with Jodi.

Falling behind in the posting, but I'm still managing to keep up on the taking of photos. E is becoming an increasingly difficult subject to capture; a reluctant and mostly defiant subject with an innate sense of how to move out of frame. I'm being forced to step back.  Having said that, this last shot is one of my favourites.



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E: Ready for a trip to the market; Hippo, purse (with money for Borek) and gloves to fight a fire. Naturally.

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014." 

 Linking up with Jodi.


9/52 10/52

20140301_Emilia Clothes_003
E: Sleep eventually found you, mid-sentence, reading to Hippo.

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E: A weekend at the farm. You loved it all.

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014." 

 Linking up with Jodi.

I had one of those remarkable fortnights where my computer malfunctioned, I ignored it, it broke a bit more and then eventually and rather reluctantly I took it to the shop where, knowing it was off warranty, I would likely have to pay some ridiculous amount for the repair.  When I got there the repairman mumbled something about "running some diagnostics" before shaking his head and telling me it was a hardware problem not a software problem. It took me a few seconds to work out what this meant and it is quite possible that I may have tuned out a little as I said a prayer to the computer-gods because a new computer was not part of the 2014 budget. The next thing I heard was "Australian consumer law... blah, blah, blah... no cost to you... blah, blah... we can also replace your computer screen... 10-14 days if you leave it with us now". Um... okay.  So there it was, no computer for two weeks but a fixed trackpad, new screen and no questions asked. Computer-gods you'll make a believer out of me yet! 


International Women's Day

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights" Gloria Steinem

This year, more than any other, I find myself using this day to take stock. It is, perhaps, with a weary heart that I find ever more reasons to believe that this day, Women's Day, matters.  My beloved country, Australia, seems to be going backwards, not forwards in terms of women's rights.  Tony Abbott, the lack of women in parliament, the failure of Mary Wooldridge to be pre-selected for the Victorian safe seat of Stonnington and the ongoing lack of adequate and appropriate maternity and childcare support are reminders of how far we have to go.  It is tempting to look at the seemingly insurmountable obstacles and think that it's all too hard. Or that it doesn't matter, because mostly we live in nice houses with nice families and nice jobs. But it does matter and if we stick together and keep talking and agitating and pushing for change; if we keep supporting the good leaders and stop supporting the bad; if we say yes to equal pay; yes to maternity leave; yes to the collective - maybe, just maybe when I sit down to write this post next year it will be with heartfelt joy that we have collectively move just a little bit closer to where we want to be.


7/52, 8/52

20140215_E Sleep_003 E: Sleeping by our bedside. I keep having to remind myself that you will not being doing this when you are 18, but it would be nice to have our bedroom back.
20140222_E Clothes_005
E: You dressed yourself. The scarf was a last minute addition, which I have to admit, made the outfit almost work.
"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014." 

 Linking up with Jodi.

A week behind. Starting work full-time with a long commute both ways caught up with me this week.  After the initial buzz of a new job and new rhythm, the reality of our new 'normal' hit me. I'm sometimes not home until 7pm and then we head full tilt into dinner, bath and bedtime before turning around and getting ready for the next day. Relaxed meal planning has been replaced by weekly 'menus' with an emphasis on slow cooked meals that can cook through the day and be ready to serve when E and M get home at five.  At the moment I feel like we're walking a delicate tightrope between order and chaos.


summer stills

20140202_fromageatrois_000 20140126_Emilia Bike_010 20140202_fromageatrois_021 20140201_Williamstown Beach_008 1. Cheese boards slowly melting at fromage a trois; it was ridiculously hot, but the cheese and cider were delicious!
2. E ever so slowly cruising on her bike in the early morning sun.
3. The bright, bright colours of a flowering gum.
4. We've been spending our weekends at Williamstown beach. The bay is shallow and gentle - perfect for sitting and just watching the world pass by.

I can't remember a summer that has been quite so hot, for so long, in some time.  Days upon days of above 30 degree weather and evenings that don't dip below 25. Our house is hot and I am thankful that during the weekdays we all three escape to play spaces and work spaces that have air-conditioning. On the weekends we get to the beach as much as possible, staying until the worst of the heat is over before heading home and sleeping with windows open and fans humming.



20140206_Mimi Pigtails_018 as Smart Object-1"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

E: All cheek, both in mind and body. After much discussion you decided you wanted to get your hair cut. It took all my strength as a mother to allow you this choice - I have so very much loved your pigtails.

Linking up with Jodi.

This picture looks all together green on blogger but it seems fine in Adobe Bridge and okay in Flickr. Strange?! I'm reluctant to edit it again before hitting publish and seeing how it looks 'on the web'. What do you think; have I made little E green at the gills or is it just my imagination?



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"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

E: Fish, Chips, Sauce. I think, if give the choice, you would eat this every meal for the rest of your life.

Linking up with Jodi.


Keeping Cool

20140117_Lemon Mint Drink_000January in Melbourne and you're bound to get a few day over 40. Hot days melt into hot nights and with no air-conditioning, I turn to cooling drinks to get me through.  This one is one of my favourites; ice, lemon, mint and a healthy spoonful of raw sugar. Add water, stir and sip. Close your eyes and imagine yourself onto a hammock or beach with cooling winds and gentle waves lapping at the sand. It is a drink that is almost impossible to improve.

I'm solo-parenting at the moment. M is away for two weeks and it's me and E ruling the roost.  I'd love to tell you about all the fun we're having but to be honest it's doing my head in.  E does not cope with change very well (what kid does?) and there have been too many changes in her life recently.  Tantrums and outright disobedience are a regular occurrence and I find myself caught in that tricky situation of not wanting to reward bad behaviour but needing to reprimand for safety's sake.  It's a tricky line to walk and this week I feel like I'm failing. I keep having to remind myself to be gentle - on her and on me - this solo-parenting thing is no walk in the park but neither, I'm sure, is being two.  Gentle. Calm. Cool. This will be my mantra as the temperatures rise this week. Just like the heatwave this solo-parenting gig will end too and in the meantime I'll keep sipping my mint/lemon tea and try to keep my head cool.



20140125_Elle Home_011 as Smart Object-1"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

E: it's been such a big week, too many changes all at once. But today, oh today! You let loose with your cousins and you smiled and laughed and everything felt good.

Linking up with Jodi.



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"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

E: Showering by yourself. "I big now Mama. I don't need you anymore." Slow down, sweet girl. Don't move so fast.

Linking up with Jodi.



20140108_Mimi Portrait_006"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

E: Television has slowly crept into our afternoon rituals; episodes of Spot and Peppa Pig while we're busy cooking dinner and you're too tired for anything else.


The 52 project

I've been thinking a lot about what to do with this blog. I dipped in and out of this space in 2013, wanting to be here, but not quite knowing how.  The transition back to Australia, into motherhood and back to work has not been easy.  Like many women I have struggled to find my voice. At some point in 2013 I stumbled across Jodi's blog practicing simplicity. Her voice and her words resonated with my own longing for quiet and her 52 project seemed like a manageable 'something' that I could do. 

In Jodi's words: "There's a common saying amongst mothers, first coined by writer Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project: “The days are long, but the years are short.” Indeed, our days of mothering babies and young children can be tiring and messy; a cycle of washing, settling, cleaning and playing. Sometimes they’re monotonous and seemingly endless. But then, without so much as a blink, the sleepless nights and mornings at the park are over, and we’re sending our children off to school, hesitantly cutting the metaphorical cord once again.

And so, I plan to take "a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014". A manageable 'something' that will keep me here, keep my camera in my hands and yet not be too much that I give it all up for some other, more manageable, goal.

If I am being honest, this may be the only thing that appears on this blog this year.  A post a week. And that will be okay.  


And a wonderful party

And that, my friends, was the end of a magical fairytale party. We were so very lucky that we found Silvia and Alessandra from Wedding's Sicily who made all my Pinterest dreamings a reality. Francesco from Borgo san Rocco  was also fantastic and I feel so very, very blessed to have fantastic sisters and friends who fussed over me, E and M and organised the little (and big) thing on the day so that I didn't have to worry about a thing. And, of course, thanks to Claire Morgan who photographed the day.



Music, sun, laughter and little feet dancing. These are the things that I will treasure about our day.

Photography by Claire Morgan



20 children - 12 toddlers, 2 newborns and 5 middle-sized children to keep things interesting. Three languages and four nations represented at the wedding ceremony. Our wedding wouldn't have been ours without them.

Photos by the wonderful Claire Morgan