Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hello 2013


Today, I'm getting a headstart on 2013, there is no time to waste!

I did Pilates, found some healthy recipes, and gave myself a good talking to..

It's going to be a busy year ahead.and I can't wait, but I need to be just a little prepared.  I'll be working on building my little business, along with being more involved with my daughter's playgroup, also balancing school commitments and focussing on spending quality time with my kids during these early precious years.

In 2012 I really didn't find a balance at all, and in particular didn't take care of myself, as all of the above took priority.

So, this year, I'll be making some changes, so that I can give more to my family, and have more energy to deal with whatever the year has to bring.

No New Years Resolutions, just positive thoughts backed up with actions
I can't control what the year may bring, but I can control how I approach it.

Do you have any tips for me on finding that balance?

Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year, and thanking you for your kind words throughout the year, it really means alot to have your support.  I hope to see you on the flipside of 2012!

xSam

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Grateful for Family Closeby


Grateful for family who live fairly close...

Close enough for most of the family to spend Christmas together..

At the beach

..and in the bush.

Although a couple of little roadtrips were involved, I'm well aware that many people are separated from their families by much longer distances, work commitments, expensive plane trips, and other circumstances, making it difficult to get together. 

This year, our trip was just far enough for us to stay a couple of nights and spend genuine quality time with both sides of the family, to reconnect, cook together, laugh, eat, drink and swim.

What a relaxing time we had..and I realised we could be doing this more often, just a short drive..and so worth it.  The kids enjoyed so much hanging out with their cousins, and over Christmas I realised I need to make more of an effort to keep all family connections strong.

Joining in with lots of lovely people over at Village Voices for the final 2012 52 Weeks of Grateful.

xSam

Friday, 14 December 2012

Grateful for Lovely Messages



"May the spirit of Christmas
 warm your heart

May the joy of Christmas 
give  you happiness

And may the message of Christmas 
stay with you through the New Year"

I'm grateful to have been given a lovely handmade card from a beautiful friend with this message on it this week. 

Over the next week I still have some serious work to do..

4 presents to buy
last minute orders to send out 
A hair appointment to make
Cards to write and send out
Carols by candlelight to be attended
Baking of biccies and rumballs
A few handmade gifts to sew
Doing Christmas craft with the kids

..and somehow deal with tantrums, tears and 
"what are we doing today"s in between! 

I'll admit, I'm not so organised this year..
and with school holidays having just started,
I'm sure I'll need to read that card over and over!

How are you approaching this coming week? 

Joining in with 52 Weeks of Grateful over at Village Voices

xSam

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Grateful for Simplicity




I've made a few changes to my blog.

Stripped it back a little,

changed the name,

but it's still me.

It's a little raw, I know..

Things have been rather hectic lately,

So a little simplicity is in order.

Inspiration will come..in time.

These things can never be rushed.

Grateful for simplicity.

Hope you're finding some simplicity
during this hectic time of the year

Joining in with 52 weeks of grateful over at Village Voices

xSam

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Little Store Has Opened - Not Taking Over The World or Anything


I can't quite remember when or how the idea came to me, but sometime earlier this year, an idea planted itself in my heart..the idea of an online gifts and homewares store, with handmade and locally made products.. I wasn't looking to take over the world or anything, just be able to pay some bills and be at home for kids.

What a ride the last six months have been...but we're finally Open!

As I mentioned, not looking to take over the world, just to be able to pay some bills, and be at home for the kids.  I'm finding added bonuses though - I'm enjoying the work, meeting lots of lovely people, and the feel good factor of supporting other local businesses.

It can be a harsh, competitive world, this commercial one, but I'm not getting drawn into all of that, just taking each day as it comes, not overly worrying about what others are doing, just focussing on what I can give.

I'm looking for more handmade products too, maybe you'd like to see your handmade things in my store, or you might know of a great locally made product that is looking for more stockists..I'd love to hear from you!  Check it out here, and see what you think..Oh and we're running an Opening Sale with 15% off this week only, feel free to share with your friends.

Hope your week is kind to you!

xSam













Friday, 9 November 2012

Grateful for Keeping Calm


This pic sums up how my week went down.

Someone let me down BIGTIME. 

 After I got over the initial shock and dissappointment, I decided to move on as quickly as possible to find a solution, there was no time to waste.

Grateful for being able to keep a calm head in a challenging situation.

Grateful for a husband who is supportive and believes in me.

Grateful for family and friends who showed they cared, and jumped in with offers of help and support.

Grateful for an inner strength, and perspective on this situation, it is not the end of the world, just a stumbling block to be overcome, and probably will work out for the best in the longrun.

What are you grateful for this week?

Joining in with Maxabella Loves over at 52 weeks of Grateful, why not grab a cuppa and pop over there!

xSam



Friday, 5 October 2012

Grateful

Grateful for Minimalism, Op Shops, & Clever People!


Look what I made!! Ok, technically I didn't actually make it, but an unknown clever and patient person did, and I am so very grateful for it!

As mentioned in my previous post, we went camping last week, but I think I forgot to mention that come night time, it was freezing! Oh yes, and the tent we bought last summer..not so good in the cold weather.  But mostly, due to my husband's minimalist approach (to everything) and a complete lack of room in the car, we didn't take enough blankets, so I certainly froze my tooshy off that first night, ending up with an extra 2 layers of clothes on.  As luck would have it, the nearest town was but a fifteen minute drive away, so off we went the next morning (my sister-and-law and I), on a mission to gather warm blankets for the remaining two nights of our camping trip (chocolate too, along with water, bread and other stuff you're supposed to take along apparently).

Within about one minute of entering the town's local op shop, I snapped up a couple of handy beige flannel blankets, but when my sister-in-law pointed out this crochet one, I have to admit, I hesitated at first.  I've had all intentions of crocheting one myself, did I really want to buy one someone else made?  Hmmph, who was I kidding? I'm still struggling to finish a granny square cushion I started at the beginning of winter!  Needless to say I relented, and purchased the piece of snuggly, retro goodness, glad I did too, it is lovely to snuggle under with my first coffee in the morning, the kids adore it too.

Even though some other clever, patient person crocheted the blanket (thankyou whoever you are), it no longer feels like someone else's blanket.  The smell of campfire has replaced the smell of mothballs (can't bring myself to wash it yet, plus I have enough washing to do as it is at the moment), and there's memories in there too, stories, from our wonderful camping trip. Oh, and I will make one of my own..one day!

What are you grateful for this week?

Joining in with Maxabella over at Kidspot for 52 Weeks Of Grateful

xSam




Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Absent Blogger



Lately, I feel like I've faded into the background of the blogging world.  

My blog has been so quiet, I haven't been posting or leaving comments very often, I've wanted to, tried many times, how I miss it, but it just hasn't happened.   

I wish I had more time to read your blogs,  I think about you all often, and wonder what you're all up to, 

So many things have taken my focus lately, including those dreaded winter bugs, which are still lingering. 

With the time I've have to spare I try to keep things running in the household, not sure I'm doing such a great job of that at the moment either.

I'm sure this is all temporary though..

Lots of decisions are being made,  staying focussed on what I believe in, 
how this is reflected in what I do, where I want to go, 
and working with what I have.

I hope you understand and still tune in to my blog when you can, as sparse as my posts may be of late. 

 There is an exciting venture in the making, which I can't wait to share with you when the time comes..

We're off camping for a few days tomorrow, so I will be forced to cut ties with my computer, switch off and just be with my family...

 I think this is much needed right now.

I really don't like the number of I's used in this post, as it's not all about..well ..you know!

Have you been absent from blogging for any length of time?  Have you lost followers from this absence or found that people just lost interest in your blog? I'd love to hear from you, even just a Hello!


By the way, the above photo is of the mountain "The Ship's Stern", which is located in the Lamingong NP, Qld, taken by my husband on a bushwalk he went on recently with a  group, not bad for a point and shoot camera!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Open For Business

Open for business
Well hello there! Seems I took an extended and unscheduled break from blogging, I really don't know where the time goes, but I do know that I missed blogging and visiting all of your lovely blogs!   

Here's a few things I've learned over the past month or so:
- Starting up a business takes way longer than expected - I'm starting to wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew!  Have I dived in too quick? Maybe, but then it's all part of the adventure right? 

- Nothing gets done once your little one drops their daytime nap, in fact it's better to get out of the  house rather than be driven nuts having everything pulled out and thrown on the floor as you're trying to tidy up the house.  And if I think I can get some quiet time to myself, I'm just asking for trouble, so it goes without saying that blogging has gone out the window during the day.

- Sleep is good and necessary, as I've learned since going to bed at a half-decent time (so again, no blogging).

- Birthdays are really "birthweeks", there's the actual birthday, then there's cakes to be baked for school or daycare, then of course the family get togethers.  So with both of my kids' birthdays within two weeks of eachother, this has been kind of a busy time for us!

- And lastly, how filthy is my house? How have I let things go like this?..the glass doors, through which I saw clearly..once!  So what am I doing here then, blogging?  Hmm, I guess I'm going to have to step things up a notch if I'm to become a work from home mum!

Anyway,  all that aside, I finally have my own madeit store open and would love for you to pay a visit over here.  I'm also in the process of setting up my own webpage which will feature an extended range of items, handmade along with lot of other unique goodies from various places.

In the meantime, I can be found "frolicking"on facebook so why don't you join me there, drop me a line and keep updated on new products and giveaways. 

Now I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs to see what you've all been up to!
xSam


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

My Creative Space


Working on a few designs for my online store opening up soon.  The personalised name cushion is going to my nephew as a christening present, but I'll be whipping up a few more for my shop, I just love the three little pigs fabric and I'm really enjoying hand embroidery at the moment.  


I'm hoping to get this store open very soon, but there's still a little work to be done, a few things to nut out, it's all very exciting, daunting, but very exciting!

The idea of being able to work from home sounds good to me, it means I can do more of what I love, work around the kids and be home for them. Too good to be true? Maybe..well atleast I'll have fun trying!


Tell me, do you work from home? Any tips for me, just starting out in this business?

Joining in with My Creative Space over at Village Voices today.


xSam

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Grateful



Grateful for pets and the kindness that they bring out in my kids.

Lately I've caught quite a few moments that made me stop and smile and just feel so grateful..moments where my kids are being so gentle and loving with their pets.  


I have to admit that since having children, our pets have kind of taken a back seat.  Not to mention how they've put up with their fair share of tail pulling, chasing and general noise from the kids, but lately I've really noticed my kid's have developed a very special relationship with their pets.  They are forever checking up on their furry friends, making sure they have enough food and water, that the dog has his warm jacket on, and often let him inside to warm up (well afterall, the cat gets to be inside whenever he pleases).  

I often catch the kids enjoying quiet moments having a chat with their furry friends and patting them gently, worrying about them if they are sick or injured, which restores my faith in their kind and caring spirits. 

It really warms my heart to see the trust that the kids have built up with their pets, the love that they express and the satisfaction that it brings them to be with their pets.

I admit that I have often questioned whether we made the right decision of having pets, with the responsibility, extra work and costs involved, but I just can't imagine our life without them, or how my children would learn the valuable lessons of friendship, kindness and responsibility that come with owning a pet.

Joining in with villagevoices for a Grateful reunion today, why not pop over there?

xSam
  

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

My Creative Space - Completed Granny Square Cushion


You may remember I was working on a spiderman granny cushion for my son last year.  I decided against applying a spiderman applique to it (couldn't find one anyway), however, I couldn't decide or find the right buttons for it.  So it's been floating buttonless around the house for months, and really annoying me as the insert keeps hanging out and getting pulled out by the kids.  Well I finally found some buttons and finished it off this week.  




I'm still not sure that I like the wooden buttons but I think they do enhance the vintage feel and are practical for fitting through the large holes.  I could have sewn up the opening, but this way the cover can be removed and washed.

This is one of my first granny square projects, and being impatient as I can often be, I made the mistake of not sewing in some of the ends, so please don't look too closely..I had to go back and fix up those loose ends..BIG Lesson for me - Don't cut corners, it just means going back and fixing later (that's if it's not too late and hasn't become unravelled or lost it's shape).

So have you tied up any loose ends this week? Maybe you finished something that you've been putting off.  

Joining in with lots of clever and crafty folk over at My Creative Space today.

xSam

Friday, 8 June 2012

And The Winner Is..



It was one of those mornings, lots of arguing, yelling and teasing, all before breakfast..   


However, after enjoying some lovely free range eggs from my mother-in-law, numerous coffees, and some fresh air at soccer, things are starting to look up!    


So now it's time to draw the winner of my giveaway!
Little one assisted with much enthusiasm..




and the winner is..




Congratulations Miss Mandy from A Little Space Like Home
Please email me your address at samantha.hardt@bigpond.com so I can send out your prize right away!


Thank you for all your lovely bloggy birthday wishes, 
and thanks for entering my giveaway!


The sun is shining, and although we don't have any set plans for the weekend, this is how it's looking so far:


 I'm off to look for a new (pre-loved) sewing machine this afternoon 
 Family Wii night tonight (suggested by my son)
If the weather is kind, a little country drive tomorrow
A little baking 
A roast dinner
A little crochet
Loads of washing (but lets not think about that)
Plenty of snuggles, hot choccy & lazing around in pj's (hopefully)


What's your weekend looking like?


xSam

Thursday, 7 June 2012

My Week & Last Chance To Enter Giveaway


It's been a busy week, I don't know where the time has flown, but I'm really looking forward to the weekend, and hoping the sun will keep shining..here's a few things I'm loving this week!


Coffee and shopping with Nanna, although she lives just less than an hour away, we don't see each other as often as we'd like, so it makes our time together even more special..

*This photo of my daughter and her Nanna has been removed for internet security purposes.

 Simple, healthy breakfasts, porridge with apple & cinnamon..


Bringing home goodies from the library, it's such a great way to fill in the morning with the little one..

Oh, and after months of persisting with growing little one's hair (including growing the fringe out), we'd had enough, so it was off to the hairdressers for a chop.  Although I did adore her lovely long locks..it's so much easier to manage now..


And lastly, getting some washing done, after the rainy week we had last week!



But before you leave me don't forget to enter my little birthday giveaway, there's still time, it'll be  drawn tomorrow! (sorry, only applicable to Australian entrants).

So, how's your week been?

Joining in with Things I'm Loving and Grateful today.

xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Friday, 1 June 2012

A Giveaway For My Birthday


Because you read my blog, because you have left lovely comments and words of support, because you are here reading my blog today, and because my blog has just turned one, I'm grateful.

So, what would really make me smile on this special occassion would be to wrap up a few of my favourite things, tie them up with string and send them to a lucky blogger, yes, I'm having a little giveaway, my very first giveaway!

How quickly this year has flown, I feel as though my blog is evolving with me, who knows where it will all lead to, all I know is I'm looking forward to many more posts, getting to know you a little better, and sharing this amazing journey with many more bloggers too.

If you would like to be in the running, just drop me a line below and if you're not already a follower and you would like to be, then why not join me?

A name will be drawn at random, the old fashioned way, this time next week, so best of luck!

Joining in with grateful today!

xSam

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My Creative Space - Dabbling

Making some progress with this..
{should look like a granny square cushion when complete}
Thinking about doing some more of this..
{acrylic on canvas}
Getting diverted with quick projects, like this..

Pondering lots of ideas at the moment..

Preparing to open up my own little online store..

Wondering what I should focus on the most!

Dreaming about making a living from my craft..

Do you dabble in lots of different crafts or focus on one or two? Where do you start when it comes to setting up your own business?  Lots of questions I know, just a smidgeon compared to all the ones running through my head..maybe you have just one teensy weensy answer!

Joining in with many talented folk over at mycreativespace today, go on, you know you can't resist a look see!

xSam

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Can't Complain

I can't complain about my week.. 

found a little quiet time to work on a granny square cushion in some of my favourite colours, and enjoy my morning coffee from my new $2 mug.


Blue suede shoes, $10 at Big W, suits my budget!!

Enjoyed some special one on one time with my son (but didn't get a photo, too busy chatting).  We've been doing this every Thursday after school, either going to the library together, grabbing a milkshake, or just having a good old chin wag. He loves our special time together (so do I).


And the grand finale, presented with this original lego creation last night, inspired by rockstar lego minifigure. I love the creativity!

Joining in with Things I'm Loving and Grateful today,
a couple of lovely linkups.

 It's looking rainy here today, but we're enjoying watching the rain through the window, listening to music and making cubby houses.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend!  
xSam

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Vintage Finds

Once there was a lonely little ramekin.  It was picked up at an op shop by a hopeful thrifter, who vowed that one day she would find it's family. 
It was a useful little dish, who kept itself busy with odd jobs like melting butter, separating egg whites, but despite this, never quite felt like it belonged anywhere, it was as though it was meant for some other purpose...


Then, one day, it was re-united with it's family.  It turns out they were living just one suburb away from each other all this time.

And so the little ramekin no longer felt alone,
and finally found a purpose,  fulfilling important jobs like..

baking old fashioned custard for the whole family.

Don't you just love happy endings?

Joining in today with Sophie and Her Library Adventures for Flea market Finds

For more vintage finds go here and here.

xSam

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Things I'm Loving

Handmade Love..


 some useful things too, I'm impressed!

A cuppa in a real cup (but not real flowers, hey, atleast they last longer!)

Just a few things I'm loving this week, why not pop over to MNM to see what others are loving? Have a fabulous weekend, think I'll make my way over to the markets for a browse on Sunday myself, check out some gorgeous wares.

xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Sweet Message For Mums



Happy Mothers Day to all of you sweet Mums out there,
mums to be and grandmothers. 
Remembering those beautiful Mums who are no longer with us,
who we think of everyday,
who will live in their children's hearts forever.
xSam

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Vintage Finds - Something Special


When I come across something special, something that just touches my heart, I never want to let it go, yet want to share it with the world..

My husband stumbled upon these treasures on the weekend at a garage sale on our street.

So enchanting, beautifullly illustrated, full of sweet thoughts and words..the kind of books I love to share with my kids, maybe on a rainy day or at the moment a cool, sunny autumn's day.
Mr R was immediately charmed by the gorgeous cover illustrations, then upon opening up the books, could not put them down, he just knew that they belonged with us. Can you see why I fell in love with this guy? 

They were written and illustrated by children's author Joan Walsh Anglund in the 1950's-60's.  Although the illustrations look a little familiar, I'm feeling a little ignorant on children's literature right about now, as though I should know of her and her beautiful vintage children's books.  Not to worry, I know of them now and I'm hooked!  I would love to have more of these books to pass onto my daughter, and for her to cherish in the future.

I also found some gorgeous prints taken from Anglund's books on etsy, which would look great framed up on my daughter's bedroom walls.

Are you familiar with the works of Joan Walsh Anglund?

Joining in with Sophie and friends at Her Library Adventures today, why not pop over there to see more cute vintage finds!


xSam

Sunday, 8 April 2012

New Beginnings

This last week I made a BIG decision, and interestingly it's coincided with Easter, signifiying new beginnings for me.  I've been shopping for interview clothes, preparing my resume, job hunting and looking at study options also.  Yep, I've decided to go back to work, part time!  
Although it is a big decision, it wasn't really a hard one.  I've been a stay at home mum for six, nearly seven years, and although I've wanted to return to work for sometime, I just couldn't do it up until now with my little ones being so young.  Now that my oldest is in grade one and my little one settled into daycare two days a week, I feel that now is the right time.  I need to get back out there into the workplace, to be around other adults, before the gap on my resume becomes wider, and financially, it would relieve some stress on my family.

Being a full time mum has probably been one of the most rewarding and challenging roles I've ever had, and I'm so glad that I have had the opportunity to be at home for such a significant amount of time.  I've tried different things - helping out at school, joining mother's groups, taking up new hobbies, even this blog, all things I enjoy and still hope to continue with, just maybe to a lesser degree.

Luckly, I've managed to keep my skills up to date, so I'm hoping it won't be too hard to find work, although the challenge will be to find something part time and reasonably close to home.  I know things will get busier around here, once I'm working, I'll have to be super organised to juggle everything, but it has to happen sooner or later, and there's no time like the present, right?
Feeling so much more positive about everything, and excited about new beginnings.

So, apart from a belly full of chocolate, what has Easter meant for you this year?  Any new beginnings on your horizon?


xSam
*This post has been edited to remove photos of my children, for internet security purposes.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Thrifting Therapy


After a tricky week last week, this week has been all about de-cluttering and sticking to a strong routine.  Not without a little thrifting though. 

I picked these dishes up just last week, when I needed to get out of the house and clear my head, plus I just thought my kitchen could do with a little vintage Pyrex! 

It seems thrifting (much like baking) is rather therapeutic.  It gets my mind off things, takes me to a place of simpler, dependable times, of things that were made to last, of handmade things reflecting their era, era's I sometimes think I would have liked to be around for.

You might notice my images are a little retro looking?  Well, I've also been playing around with Picasa, which I downloaded for free. I was looking for a free program for photo collages and to enhance my images, maybe there are other programs like it or even better, I'd love to hear about them if you know of any.  I'm loving the 1960's effect, especially for thrifting posts like this one, but please bare with me as I get used to it.

So, back to thrifting, did I mention that I have a weakness for English bone china, especially teacups and cake plates? And I don't mind if they're not matching, although it is fun chasing down matching cups and saucers for the many odd ones starting to fill up my cabinet. 

Here are a couple of other things I've acquired over the last few months..

Royal Vale Trio set, matched up with Ironstone cake plate,
 perfect for a Sunday afternoon cuppa & cake
This Grindley cake plate was a Christmas gift from my Mum, she's chuffed that I love it,
but I haven't had the chance to use it yet

I'm pretty sure that I'm too young to be an actual nanna (I think), though I'm starting to wonder myself, looking at my little growing collection.  Hubby has yet to comment on the addition of Pyrex to my collection.  Lets just say cottage pie and lemon meringue could well be on the menu shortly!

Linking up for the first time with Sophie over at Her Library Adventures today.


xSam