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Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’


It’s been a busy month in our neck of the woods.

Almost impossible to believe but my two babies turned 1 and 3. As their birthdays are so close together, we had a combined party at the park. In a month of brilliant Sydney sunshine, the party landed squarely on a weekend of rain and record gale-force winds. As children are blissfully immune to bad weather, we grown-ups proceeded bravely outdoors.

At the party we had…

Rugged up children bearing bikes, trikes and scooters and rugged up relatives bearing fruit platters and presents.

A cake-off. The 3-year old’s Nigella Lawson Chocolate Cake versus the 1-year old’s Donna Hay Carrot Cake. In my humble opinion, the hands down winner was Ms Hay. Her carrot cake is so fabulous, it will be the subject of my next blog entry.

Loads of fabric bunting that was double gaffer-taped to poles and flapping madly in the wind (though I managed to get a miraculous ‘still’ shot between gusts).

Little handmade touches that included Where the Wild Things Are invitations:

Duck-food for a bike/scooter trip to the pond:

And take home goodie-bags made with scrapbooking paper and this handy little sticker making machine I found on my op-shop travels:

Oh and what do you do if it’s a Saturday morning and there’s only one table at Sydney’s most popular inner west park? You get an early morning covert operation underway to mind the table, is what you do…(thanks uncle).Until next year kiddos.

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My son has been obsessed with Lego for a few months now. Most of his constructions have been via his personal Lego Monkey. This morning, at a month shy of 3-years, he spent 10 minutes quietly in his bedroom before emerging to display his first independent Lego construction, undirected and unassisted.

Oh and not to state the obvious…it’s a moon buggy.

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It’s been a busy month in this neck of the woods. We’ve had interstate visitors. First my sister with her husband and one year old son, then my mum and my other sister with her husband and three boys. My little girl has started walking. She took her first wonky steps at 10 1/2 months and now she can trek across the length of the room like a drunken sailor. I’ve been collecting and organising all my no-longer-required baby items to sell at the Baby and Kids Market later in the month and toying with the idea of coming out of retirement to make a few bibs to sell.

At some point during the month of June a niggling little seed in my head turned into an epiphany. Since I started blogging 6 months ago, my house has not been as tidy as it usually is. I don’t spend a huge amount of time on my blog, but in a house with a baby and a toddler…time is a valuable commodity. According to the currency of my life at the moment, each blog post equals one load of laundry that didn’t get washed, dried, folded and packed away.  In fact, the load of washing featured in the photograph above could have been done in the time it took me to draft and publish this post.

So for the next little while instead of blogging 2-3 times per week, I’m going to be blogging more sporadically…according to the state of cleanliness in my house.

In the meantime, to commemorate 6-months of Roar Sweetly, here’s some thoughts on blogging:

Best things about having a blog

  1. Having a creative space to document interesting things in my life.
  2. Getting to know a lovely blogging community.
  3. Improving my skills in photography, photo-editing, design and layout.

Worst things about having a blog

  1. It is surprisingly time-consuming and addictive.
  2. Worrying about having photographs of my children online (will their images appear on the side of a Japanese bus advertising cereal in two years time?)

Interesting Bits n Bobs

My top post of all time has been Donna Hay’s Classic Baked Cheesecake, though I find it odd that such a huge amount of people have visited and left without a comment.

The three strangest search terms that have led to my blog are:

  1. 5 inch heels inappropriate
  2. I didn’t rinse my lentils
  3. Multi-legged bugs

In the last 6 months I’ve been honoured to be nominated for several blogging awards by fellow bloggers. As part of accepting the award, it is a requirement to pay the award forward to other blogs, sometimes to as many as 15. Truth be told, I was always terrible at chain mail which is why I am the tardiest blog award recipient in the world. So here is my official thank you and shout-out to the blogs that were so kind as to think of me.

The Accidental Housewife who nominated me for the Liebster Award

I stumbled across Mrs Accidental’s blog when I was very new to blogging. Mrs A is a former soldier who is now busy raising two little girls. She proudly wears an apron at home and provides a recipe for the best home-made washing powder here.

Dreams of Home who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I love this blog because it’s like a version of me living in England. She raises a little boy, loves to craft and has a great eye for design. Her posts are gorgeous.

Frank’s Place who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Frank served in the United States Airforce for 22 years and is now busy at home raising a small family. It’s great to hear a dad’s perspective on things.

That’s all for now!

Roar Sweetly

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Last week I ordered my little girl her first pair of shoes. These shoes are made by a company called Baby Paws, which is located in Australia. The shoes are handmade upon individual request. It’s nice to have something this special that is locally made.

I used the same brand for my little boy’s first pair of shoes. They are pictured here, thoroughly worn in with the indents of his little toes. I love the story these shoes tell. He was so active, it almost wiped me out. Running around like he was built for speed. Too worn and threadbare to give charity, I will keep them forever.

I can’t wait to see the story my daughter’s first shoes tell.


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I have had a disproportionate number of tea cosies enter my life lately.

Methinks the tea cosy gods are smiling down upon me.

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This past week we have been visiting my family interstate. My mum lives on the outskirts of the Barossa Valley in South Australia, in a little place I like to think of as the land the Internet forgot.

As a parent, I’m starting to approach these trips with a mixture of excitement and dread. I love seeing my family but it’s the ‘getting there’ that’s the hard part.

Imagine a slippery little fish flip-flopping around on the jetty…then try and put a seatbelt on it. This is our boy, pumped with excitement, on a flight. Ten minutes in and he’d quickly vetoed his carefully selected activity books and become disinterested in the in-flight entertainment. He squirmed and wriggled and protested relentlessly about the unjustness of his seatbelt. The only things that gave us any time-out were snippets of movies on the iPad, in-flight refreshments and a little excursion to investigate the bathroom facilities. Thoroughly.

The baby was a lot easier. The flights had been timed to coincide with her naps and she complied beautifully. (This may be due in no small part to the return of our old nemesis, the dummy.)

Highlights of the trip:

Celebrating the first birthday of a little miracle boy.

The crazy chaos when the whole family got together for a photo shoot.

Marvelling at the changes in all my nieces and nephews.

Watching my brother-in-law’s stand up comedy act.

Finding a babysitter in the most unsuspecting of places.

Lots of cups of tea with my mum and my sisters.

Listening to my little brother sing Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah at the kitchen table after dinner. That song was in my head for days.

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Lego mon·key  [ˈlɛgəʊ ˈmʌŋkɪ]

n.

1.      A person who constructs Lego models at a child’s bidding.

The Lego revolution has started in our place. What our 2 year old son lacks in dexterity and concentration, he makes up for in dad-labour.

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If a magic genie appeared out of a lamp and offered me my dream weekend, it might look a little something like this:

Now all I need this coming weekend is a babysitter.

Magic genie..?

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She loves the natural world, just like her father.

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Last week I bought my daughter a Barbie doll from an op shop. I stood in the store with the Barbie in my hand and hesitated. Would this plastic doll be a bad influence on my daughter and contribute to negative body image later down the track? Then I thought…she’s a beautiful black doll with a groovy hairdo, and so ultimately the hair won the day. All she was wearing at the time was a $1 price tag on her stomach, so I decided that I would buy her an outfit. I imagined something along the lines of a tailored grey pant suit with some groovy Converse style sneakers or ballet flats.

Later in the week while I was getting some photos processed at Big W, I ducked over to the toy section and headed to the Barbie doll clothing. Perhaps I’m naïve, but I was shocked. Let me take a moment to describe the choices that were before me:

Pink sequins, pink ruffles or pink diamontes?
The 5-inch twist your ankle heels or the 6-inch break your neck heels?
The barely cover your behind micro mini skirt or the wildly inappropriate for any real life occasion fluorescent pink ball gown with matching gloves and tiara?

As far as I could see, there wasn’t a single item that a woman would wear to the shops, a picnic or let’s say, to work.  I had Barbie when I was a girl and I don’t remember her being like this. Has Barbie fashion changed over the past 30 years or am I simply seeing her now with ‘mum’ eyes? I left the store with a naked doll and a grudge against Mattel.

Later in the week when I was doing some grocery shopping, I stumbled across a little find in the baby aisle, hidden amongst a small assortment of toys.  A blue astronaut space suit from the Barbie I Can Be range. Yes, blue! And it even came with practical, flat space boots.

I was surprised to discover that when I dressed Barbie in her astronaut suit, she became irresistible to my 2½ year old son. Barbie was suddenly elevated to the dizzying heights of Buzz Lightyear.  My son spent the afternoon in the backyard flying Barbie around chanting “To Infinity and Beyond”.

Amazing what the right outfit can do.

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