August 13, 2015

I have really been all over the place lately and haven't been able to settle into a consistent peaceful thought. My ears are ringing in unsettled thought, questioning my path and the choices we make. I know I have read before that creative people are also the ones who have trouble finding inner peace, their minds forever racing with thoughts and ideas. I crave to just run away with my family and find a new place to start again. I don't know what is causing that feeling but it is lingering. It is probably hormones, or some sort of existential crisis. I know I need to slow it down. To find peace in my place (speaking of, this home is rooted in my soul, I know it is one of the places we belong right now) but I can't get past the need to figure it all out. Being a big kid is messy.



July 1, 2015

Ebbs and flows. Busy and peaceful. Life is treating us kindly- as we are doing to each other lately. A few of the snaps as winter came upon us.


taking stock // may.

May 12, 2015

Making : bone broth
Cooking : soups (this one is my all time favourite)
Drinking : tea (earl grey)
Reading: old favourite blogs and my book club book Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Wanting: a hand knit cardigan
Looking: tired
Playing: with my girls, daily
Deciding: what to do with our kitchen
Wishing: for another three day weekend 
Enjoying: raw honeycomb
Waiting: for the kettle to boil
Liking: the colours mustard and russet
Wondering: if we will be blessed with another child one day
Loving: life
Pondering: some travel
Buying: organic vegetables and meat
Watching: american horror story

Hoping: mom can come next year
Autumn has been good to us. Hope for you too.

Marvelling: at how the universe will deliver what you wish for sometimes
Cringing: at all the runny noses in my home
Needing: some alone time
Questioning: my dreams
Smelling: our wood fire and the beautiful perfume I was given for mothers day (serge lutens-un bois vanilla)
Wearing: ugg boots and messy ponytails 
Following: poppy around in the garden
Noticing: the change of season
Knowing: that life is good
Thinking: about all the things we need to do to this old home
Admiring: my beautiful man
Sorting: the still not unpacked cardboard boxes
Getting: excited for the coming months
Bookmarking: beautiful kitchens and knitting projects
Coveting: an heirloom quilt
Disliking: grumpy + judgemental people
Opening: my heart
Giggling: at poppy and her imaginary (and occasionally ferocious) cat
Feeling: passionate and inspired
Snacking: on roasted seaweed and home dried apples 
Wishing: the housework would do itself today!Helping: myself to a square of dark chocolate
Hearing:  the beautiful voice of stevie nicks on repeat around here

inspired by meet me at mikes.



May 9, 2015

I just spent the last hour or so exporting (saving) my blog and deleting many, many posts. I guess I got caught up in products and stuff and the side of blogging that is so far from how and why I started this space to begin with. It took a break and reading some of my old, authentic favourites again to find my way back here. I miss the part of blogging that is connecting, holding memories, sharing things. That part I am taking back. x


Living with Kids // Our Family Home // House Tour.

August 31, 2014

When we bought this home, we were living over a 1000 km away, in the middle of the desert (literally) and had a friend do an inspection for us. We bought it before having children and moved in with no furniture and a small collection on knick knacks. Essentially starting from scratch. Our home was built in the early 90s and although it had good bones, it had clearly never been loved. No flowers growing outside and a lack lustre inside. After focusing my energy on making Piper and Poppy's rooms pretty, I turned my attention to the rest of the house. The bathroom and laundry are not finished. The kitchen has still not been done up. But we are getting there. The home is small, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a combined living area. We needed to make the space feel bigger and allow for us all to feel at home.

Working with Dulux Australia meant that we had the opportunity to change our space with colour. The interior brick was quite dark for us and because we live somewhere rainy a lot of the year did nothing to keep the space bright and inviting. We decided white was the way and chose Dulux Natural White Wash and Wear  and made sure to use the kitchen and bathroom version for the kitchen area. For an undercoat and prep we used the Dulux One Step Primer, Sealer and Undercoat. Interior brick tends to soak up paint so the primer allowed us to use a single coat to complete the space. The walls were first washed with sugar soap and a heavy duty scrub brush. Then a coat of primer was rolled on. Finally, a coat of Natural White. It is a soft and warm white which keeps the space bright but peaceful.

The master bedroom is painted in White on White which is a cool white with blue undertones. Crisp and clean. Poppy's room is painted in Whisper White and Piper's is Natural White like the lounge/dining/kitchen. White paint is amazing, so much choice and so many options for change.

While the painting was happening we had a serious look at the furniture throughout our home. There was a bulky modular leather sofa that ate up a good portion of the living area, a cluttered ikea box shelf, and some other bits and pieces that did nothing to make the space flow. So, we uploaded it all onto a buy and sell site and used the profits to buy a new sofa, coffee tables, desk, rug and an amazing sideboard and side unit from Gumtree for a steal. We carefully simplified every room and closet, clearing the clutter. The emotional goodness of not holding onto "stuff" has been unbelievable. We now move a thing out for every thing that comes in. Our home is a work in progress, but we have been following the advice of not keeping something that isn't beautiful, meaningful or useful. It is a simple rule that works.

We had a collection of artwork and baskets from an Aboriginal community we were very blessed to live in for three years, many gifts through the friendships we made there. Australia is my children's home, it is my beloved's country and my adopted one. This inspired many of the decorating choices. Plants everywhere make a space feel more like home. The energy they have brought our home is amazing. We have made simple choices of pieces we love to adorn our walls and shelves. Most of the artworks and prints listed below are very affordable and will change any space.

Plenty of fresh wattle and giant proteas (not native but they LOVE growing in this place) are cut weekly to freshen the space. Our beautiful bone china cockatoo lamp from Have You Met Miss Jones takes pride of place on our dining sideboard alongside a vintage milk jug from a local farm and a banksia seed pod filled with eucalyptus oil.

Our Flower Mat on the dining table is from the incredible Bonnie and Neil and is Queensland Yellow (the state where we first met and fell in love) hand screen printed design on Tasmanian oak.

The artworks in the dining area are painted by some very special people we have known but similar can be bought through Martu Mili Artists group.

In the lounge room, the giant artwork is from Printism. They are focused on people being able to buy 'real art' for the price of a print. Their GiclĂ©e prints are of incredible quality. We chose the Abstract Art print Spore by Rossella Picciani. Her artworks show the complex relationships between humans, plants, animals and the earth. It has taken the focal point from our TV and created a space that flows. The huge stretched canvas looks like a textured painting. Breathtaking.

On the black chair is the lovely Dark Denim Cushion Cover from Yellow Front Door. The shop is packed with statement cushions and decor for inside and outside the home. This cover is durable and colourful and makes a splash of colour.

Over my desk is an amazing print by the very talented Greg from Burbia: Suburban Prints and Design. He is an amazing designer and artist creating inspiring and unique designs that are affordable and showcase Australian places that are lived in and loved. The number print we chose is 33, both the nickname for the community where we lived in the desert and the number of this home, our first together. I am coveting this print too.  

Books and favourite magazines line the book shelves and a few vintage cameras (I do love to take photos) are spotted throughout the space. It is so important that your home holds things you care for. 

Our bedroom had been neglected for a long time and was needing a fresh face. After speaking to Janette from WallStudio the choice of canvas for our home was a simple one. The Flower Bomb is full of movement and rich vibrant colour and pops off of the wall.

Our bed is lined with cushions from DG37 who stock the most amazing choice of bedding and throws and cushions, oh my! Affordable and high quality, they can make a space new again.

The photos are by the ever darling and talented Rachel: Sunday Peach. She is delightful and clever and I would hire her a million times again. Check her out here.

Shopping Guide

Paint throughout our home: Dulux

Living Space
Canvas Wall Print: Spore: Printism
Cockatoo Bone China Lamp: Have You Met Miss Jones
Queensland Yellow Flower Mat: Bonnie & Neil
33 Number Print: Burbia
Ceramic Cross: Ahoy Trader
Dark Denim Cushion Cover: Yellow Front Door
Aboriginal Artworks: Martu Mili 
Dream Catcher: Beci Orpin
Sofa, coffee tables, desk, silver lamp: Freedom

Master Bedroom
Flower Bomb Canvas: WallStudio
Throw Cushions: DG37
Kantha Throw: Empire Homewares

Piper's Room
Wall Circle: Pony Rider
Velvet Cushions on bed: Adairs
Wall Shelves: Cotton On Kids
It was always you print: Ashley Goldberg

Poppy's Room
Large Pouffe: Pony Rider
Man on the Moon Print: My Messy Room
Birth Print: PrintSpace

Thanks to so many amazing participants in this makeover. It truly just takes some creativity and love to make a space beautiful and we are so happy in our little home. Operation make this house a home is working indeed. Check out the before room here for an idea of how much change we made through a little elbow grease and some clever and budget friendly choices.

♡ ashley


my movie // on wisdom with age.

July 16, 2014

It is the eve of my 36th year. t.h.i.r.t.y.s.i.x. I have been feeling, you know, "old" as I say the number out loud. Seriously? I saw Radiohead the very first time 22 years ago. It has been 18 years since I left high school. I started travelling 16 years ago. Time has somehow grabbed my feet from under me and skipped forward. I have lived every year but I feel like I have blinked and missed something. The beat has gotten fast and thumping. Every day rushing ahead until a week has passed, a month, a year. Another birthday. Another line. The grey hair. Old.

Until my sense of balance realised just how much time I have ahead of me. Not the years behind me. Those years are the building blocks. This point in life is so full of promise, see,  I am going to dive in. To stretch and grow. To build an even better foundation of blocks and bridges. To work on the things I have talked about doing for so long.

I started yoga this week. I have dabbled in it on and off over the years. I love the premise but the reality of my uncoordinated sequencing in previous dance and movement classes and shaky knees led me away from practice. This time, I am going to stick with it. In that very first class, for the most part I was able to block out the feeling that someone else was watching me. That it was about anything but what I could do. What I am capable of.

Before the class, a few days back, I read a great article about things that are stopping us from being happy. One of the points the author made was that we are not the stars in the movie of life. Sure, we have a script, but so does every other being. So we can't expect anyone to play a different role than the one they have. I have been busy for so long thinking someone next to me in a class, on a street, everywhere, gives a crap what I am doing. Not in a self-absorbed way, but a life stopping way. Insecurities reign when you think others are watching you. But I am realising, they aren't. Chances are very high they are watching themselves. And if they are watching it's because they haven't looked closely at their own script.

Worrying about others has stopped me from doing a lot in my grown up years. In case they judge me, I say the wrong thing, I fail.

But then I lost my dad. His life cut short. I won't cut mine short. It's time to build myself. For me.

Yoga will continue. I am also starting a women's swim class. Learning to master the manual mode on my camera. Reading. Making. Living.

2014 has been a rough trot, but I am changing the forecast. It is time to shine in my role. Letting those around me shine in theirs.

It feels good this growing up thing. Wisdom does come with age and I feel like I may have recently gifted myself some of that big picture wisdom that I have been missing along the journey.

♡ ashley

enter to win an AMAZEBALLS fair trade hessian storage sack here. 


Simplicity Parenting // A quick toy tidy + A Fair Trade & Beautiful Giveaway.

July 14, 2014

I have referred to the book Simplicity Parenting countless times in this space. I love the premise behind it. The simple guidance of less is more in parenting (as is the case of all things) and that we need to invest in our children. Less stuff, more time, less noise, more peace. The goods.

Despite my desire to just have things simple, the battle is a constant one in our tiny home with toys and "stuff." I stand on the edge of worshiping design and pretty things and knowing that space is what I and my children need to have. So I make sure to keep things simple here. If a birthday is coming we pile up bags and boxes of items to donate, sell and throw (badly broken) and make more room than what we have coming. It keeps the peace.

I have been working on finding some good solutions to the toy box explosion that occurs regardless of my clearing the clutter.

A quick way to tidy but provide order in miss. four's space.

At the moment we have a Trofast in her closet with each bucket holding a type of toy. Duplo, a wooden train set, barbies and my little ponies, kitchen toys and fake food, Schliech animals and felt playmats/baskets for homes. The top of her closet has baskets with colouring books, craft kits, play-dough, and puzzles neatly lined side-by-side. This is our rainy day collection. In her bedroom sits a Stuva Storage Bench filled with dress-ups. On top is a cosy lambswool and her Sylvanian Families treehouse and little cottage. In the corner is a tee-pee we pull out for hideaway nooks some days. Finally, a doll's bed and a beautiful hessian sack of stuffed toys and dolls.

For the most part, the girls share these toys so it is more than enough for two little souls to keep amused. We don't really need all the toys we have but they are all played with and open-ended enough to grow with the girls.
The beautiful storage sack comes from The Dharma Door. The Dharma Door has searched the world for the most highly skilled Fair Trade artisans, using raw materials, to create modern style merged with traditional making. Bringing resources to remote villages, the ethical work of The Dharma Door provides a lasting opportunity for men and women in these villages to continue working in their traditional skills.

The Sari Hessian Sack is 44cm x 38cm and handcrafted in Bangladesh. It holds more than enough stuffed toys (never an easy feat!) and would be equally beautiful as a laundry basket or near the door to catch shoes and other such objects. There are a beautiful selection of other beautiful Hessian Sacks on sale at half price right now too.

The Dharma Door has generously offered one lucky winner 1 x Sari Hessian Sack {rrp. $79}
To win just leave a comment below that includes which item at The Dharma Door you most adore. For an additional entry follow @piperandpoppies + @thedharmadoor on Instagram. Just leave a separate comment with your insta name below. You can also enter via Facebook, just leave a comment on either. The winner will be drawn on Wednesday July 23rd and be notified via email. Open to Australian residents only.

♡ ashley

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