Want, Need, Wear, Read // An Ethical Gift Guide for 5-7 year olds.

November 1, 2015

I can hardly believe that we have already marched into November with Christmas and the holiday season a hop, skip and a jump away. I love Christmas. As food is a main love language for me, the chance to spend time with those close to us, eating, drinking and generally celebrating life is a wonderful thing.

The other thing I love is coming up with ideas and inspirations for gifts for our girls. I love that there is so much potential in choosing toys and items that will inspire and extend our kids and this guide holds those ideas in mind. Ethical, beautiful, meaningful and certainly blurring traditional gender lines. Stepping away from the commercial plastic, fantastic and into heirloom toys and belongings. Items you and your child will covet and cherish and eventually, should we be so lucky, will be passed along to grandchildren. Although some of these items carry a heavier price tag than what you can quickly buy in bigger shops, I beg you to consider purchasing much less but consciously and carefully. You may be surprised with how much more you can invest in a few beautiful things than many cheaper ones.

My girls will be getting one shared larger item this year (Piper has requested Father Christmas deliver "the biggest trampoline in the world") and we will be pooling money from grandparents and family for this item. Then they will get a stocking of little treasures and one item they want, one they need, one to wear and one to read. Sometimes they get two to wear depending on needs but this is the general and magical rule. We are lucky that we don't need for much, in the past this category has been swimming lessons, a lunch box, a school bag and even an electric toothbrush!

I hope you enjoy this year's gift guides. First up is the 5-7 year olds and in a few days 2-5.

Want (1-13), Need (14-16), Wear (17-19), Read ():

  1. Pip Rag Doll by Jess Brown from Fawn Shoppe // Piper has a few of these dolls now and they are cherished friends she takes on her endless adventures. They look beautiful sitting on a shelf or a bed but survive endless dirt baths and tree climbing explorations as well. 
  2. Binoculars by Fanny & Alexander // Old fashioned, hand crafted and enabling your child to create using imagination and get out into nature to explore.
  3. Cosmos Wonder Tent by Such Great Heights // Designed in both Australia and the US and ethically made, these tents are hard wearing and beautiful and perfect for little reading nooks or imaginary rainy day camping trips.
  4. Castle Building Set from Spiral Garden // Handmade in Vietnam, under a fair trade scheme, this set comes with many pieces to build a castle and a box to store it away. 
  5. Grimms Circle Coloured Spiral from Mr Wold Kids // Made from Alderwood and containing 72 pieces, this mandala can be made inside it's case or played with separately. 
  6. Vintage Hot Air Balloon from Oliver's Twisty Tales // These hand made balloons add a beautiful touch of whimsy to a child's room or play space.
  7. Classic Vintage Bike from Reid Cycles // These beautiful bikes are made to Australian standards and have optional add ons like baskets and bags. 
  8. Wooden Balancing Board from Spiral Garden // Made under a fair trade scheme, the balancing board promotes co-ordination, motor skills and balance and would be a great rainy day busy maker!
  9. Dumye Limited Edition Doll from Wild and Whimsical Things // This beautiful doll has a hidden purpose pocket where you can hide love notes and tiny treasures. Purchasing these dolls helps to provide jobs for women in a poverty stricken area of India, are made with minimal environmental impact using organic cotton, natural dyes and recycled materials. Best bit? For every Dumye doll purchased, another is given to an orphan or vulnerable child in need which they make in their own art workshop. If any item holds the spirit of giving...amazing!
  10. Bird Call from Dragonfly Toys // This little bird caller is easy to use as it doesn't require little mouths to blow it but twist the metal plug backwards and forwards creating a song that attracts many different birds, not one particular bird. Hand made in New England of birch wood, it would be a great addition to a little explorer's day pack.
  11. gg* Oekaki House from Kido Store // A classic drawing board that can be used again and again for jotting notes and budding artists.
  12. Recycled Kalimba from Mr Wolf Kids // A classic African instrument, made from a recycled sardine can to entertain little and big people alike.
  13. Large Wooden Sailing Boat from Dragonfly Toys // Wooden with a little cotton sail for floating in puddles or even the bathtub.
  14. Rose in April Big Grey Basket from Kido Store // Handmade straw basket they will need to store their new treasures!
  15. Baby Lapin and Me Lamp from Harley and Soo // Heico lamps are beautifully made and have a warm glow. Every child needs a light to sneak their book reading next to or to flip on to make sure they feel safe and secure in their world.
  16. Heirloom Seeds from Biome* // Produced by the Little Veggie Patch Co in Melbourne, packets of seeds should be a part of every child's life. Learning to grow plants and care for our world is one of the most important gifts to give.
  17. Ariat Distressed Cowboy Boots from The Stable Door // Piper actually needs these but they fall into the wear category. Every year she gets some high quality boots for the cooler, wetter months and this coming year, these are them. Built to last with room to grow. 
  18. Horses Skirt by Bobo Choses // Our favourite clothing brand, their maxi skirts are brilliant any season of the year and this print and mustard colour are timeless.
  19. Mini Gardenia Dress by Ace & Jig // Made of 100% cotton in an ethical and sustainable manner in India and aiding it's workers, this dress and brand tick all the boxes. Such a good print too!
  20. Jump In Story CD from Dragonfly Toys // Piper no longer naps and while Poppy still needs hers we have a midday mandatory quiet time (where I get a break and a cup of tea!) and rather than plopping Piper in front of a screen, she listens to stories on the computer while colouring or doing puzzles or just being. This CD has four stories and songs of summer. 
  21. Bonjour Camille from My Messy Room // One of our all time favourites! Camille adorned in a tutu and hat is so busy, jumping on beds and drawing faces on balloons...
  22. Emily and Daisy from Dragonfly Toys // Elsa Beskow is amazing. A springtime story and sure to be a family favourite.
Do you have ideas to add? Do you follow any rules on Christmas or just your budget?
Have a wonderful week.


salty soul food

October 14, 2015

If there is one thing this family agrees on it is that the sea cures all that ails us. From physical to emotional, we can never escape our yearning to have sand beneath our feet and the salty taste on our lips.
This old house continues to deliver surprises of the most challenging kind. Just the other day I could hear a drip in the laundry basin only to discover a hole in the drywall where the back of the basin cabinet is missing. Rotten through. It sits, along with the half torn out bathroom in the middle of the home as we scramble to push the numbers and figure a way to fix it all and keep me at home, raising the little people we so want to be in this old home.
But that old mate stress and regret is so buried in the past. I am learning to breathe in lessons learnt and the joy of discovering purpose and place. That things will be okay, even if they aren't okay in the way we initially think is "right" and direction can change and shift and sway with the simple changes of a water leak. I will sway with it.
Except for sister sea. She remains reliable and soothing and all consuming. My ultimate meditation. Staring at her as she washes any worries away. Something I know I have passed on to my water babies. Salty soul food.


le photogenic

September 29, 2015

A recent visit from an amazing photographer who lives to capture real beauty in the world. Weaving stories as she shoots, Michelle is magical and we are so grateful to have spent an afternoon exploring our bush. The smiles on our little ladies as they do what they do, from inspecting ant hills to searching for the faraway tree were contagious and beautiful. These really are the golden days.



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

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