It's by Your Side I Make My Home.

February 11, 2017

As Ella crooned, with the tiny hands we created squeezing mine, I walked the winding makeshift aisle to you. All along you were the one. You always will be. My beginning and my ending. 
We are better together. x

photos: by the amazing Tom @ Driftwood Photography.


2017 // Our year of slow.

December 24, 2016

This year has ended with a thump and a bang. Spinning we are emerging from health scares, financial worries and the realisation we won't be growing our family, something that weighs heavy on my heart.
We take so much for granted in today's busy world. The landscape is created for us to compete. Who has a longer to do list and more on their plate. Bags under eyes worn as a testament to a life more fully lived.
Sitting back a lot (mostly out of medical necessity) I have carefully watched time ticking and how we spend so much of the day. My kids run in and out of the picture, often begging for attention while I try and juggle it all. It's exhausting and overwhelming.
2017 we will slow down. Which is ironic as I am returning to work more than I have since miss six was born. But the rest of life is my focus. Less rush and more time spent. Less screens and more paper pages. Less convenient and more dirty hands and hearts.
If you have followed this blog for long enough (2017 marks ten years with blogger) you will know that I have changed and grown (and often not) so next year will be no different.
I will be using this space to document ways to slow down, consume less and create more. 
I hope you stay on this journey with us. It's a bumpy one but full of ups after the downs that sparkle like fairy lights.
See you on the other side.


An Ethical Gift Guide // Gender Neutral Gifts for Kids.

December 1, 2016

I had quite a few requests for a more gender neutral gift guide and I loved looking around for this. My big girl doesn't have a penchant for pretty or glitter and prefers to run free and come home muddy and exhausted from her adventures. Here are some lovely and timeless gifts for boys and girls of many ages.

1. Fanny + Alexander are a very cool small business creating high quality keepsake toys. This adorable satchel would be perfect for the many adventures of childhood.

2. The original A frame tent, The Natural Wonder Tent is the perfect hideaway for quiet play or stealthy adventures. Made by one of our favourite Australian brands, Such Great Heights.

3. This apron set, made in the USA by Oddette Williams lets little people help in the kitchen or create mud cakes outside. Find it at the creative and cool shop, Mercimilo.

4. Sustainably made and educational, these wooden scales aim to please big and little people. From Shorties.

5. Answering the question, "What lies beneath", this beautiful story adventures into the world below the surface. Find it at Flora and Henri.

6. BOBO. BOBO. BOBO. Y'all know how deep my love runs for this brand. This pink and mustard jumper is perfect post beach in summer and to cosy up in winter.

7. Perfect tea party kit. Shorties.

8. A bug hotel to create a home to study and observe the movements of incredible insects. Found at Fawn Shoppe.

9. Unisex sandals. Classic, timeless and well made. From Tiny People Shop.

10. A beuatifully crafted kit of child sized tools from French toymaker Moulin Roty. Find them at Flora and Henri. There is a smaller version at HoneyBee Toys.

11. A star sleep suit from Aussie brand Thread Store. Swoon.

12. A Jess Brown Doll. We have three of these rag dolls and I have restitched parts and made them clothing for many adventures. Piper has a boy doll on her list this year.

13. This treehouse is buildable and sustainably made. So open ended it can be used as a fairy home, a pirate's ship, a medieval castle, an animal shelter...the list is endless. A toy that would last for many generations to come. Clever Santa! Find it at the amazing HoneyBee Toys.

One more to come, for those with a penchant for glitter!


An Ethical Gift Guide // 5-7 year old.

November 29, 2016

I LOVE getting my Christmas on. From choosing gifts to advent activities (hello hot cocoas at sunset on the beach!) this really is a magical time of year. Last year I created a much loved gift guide for both my girls and thought it would be nice to share some more inspirations in case Santa is a bit stumped. Do enjoy!

BEST: The PolkaDotClub Classic Bear. Made by a second generation toy maker this heirloom bear is sure to be cherished on many adventures and passed on to your grandchildren one day. The lavender is divine.

1: A wheely basket for storing and pulling treasures around by Olli and Ella.

2: Maileg Mum and Dad Mice from Wild and Whimsical Things. Hands down the current most treasured toys in our home for both my girls.

3: The BonBon porcelain jar for hiding tiny treasures from KidoStore.

4: Mabo MaryJane Clogs handmade in Sweden.

5: Nailmatic Lipbalm and Polish 97% natural and made in France (oh la la) from Wild and Whimsical Things.

6: A linen apron dress from Yoli & Otis. Timeless and beautiful and coveting it hard.

7: Summer and Storm Calming crystal necklace.

8: Acorn Willow Hat from My Messy Room.

9: The George Truck from Such Great Heights. Piper loves driving her little toys around the house, away on caravan holidays and tucking them into sleep in the back of the pickup. This beautifully handmade truck should cover all the bases.

10: Jumper no15 in Flame, organic wool and handmade by BabaĆ£.

11: Sunnies by Sons & Daughters. Swoon.

12: Grimms Fairydoor. Help the fairies find a way to visit your sleeping babes. From Honeybee Toys.


get outside // family sunday.

October 11, 2016

Trying to find that elusive work/life balance has been tricky. With a house reno (constant), and other grown up jobs it can be hard to find time for time. 
So we made a promise to spend Sunday together. Sometimes this may be that we have to go to a birthday party or other "function" but mostly just exploring our beautiful "backyard." 
This past Sunday was a huge beach walk/hike, fish and chips on the river and a round of mini golf (not recommended for Happy Gilmore behaviour prone 3 year olds though!)
x ashley 


backyard bliss // our springfree trampoline and tgoma.

October 10, 2016

There is nothing we treasure more than being able to spend time at home, being active. As a family we spend at least one day every weekend gardening and playing in our yard and had been thinking about getting a Spring Free Trampoline for a long time. After recently taking the plunge I have to say, it is bliss. The kids are out there on weekends and everyday after school. They bounce and cloud watch and giggle constantly.
We also got the tgoma, the first outdoor interactive digital gaming system for trampolines. As a minimal screen use family, being able to have screen time in an active environment is so cool. The kids love to control the games with their movements. Find out more here.
With Christmas creeping this way, this is the gift that will keep on giving.
Bounce bounce.
x ashley


vitamin sea / get outside.

September 26, 2016

There is nothing as soothing as a trip to the sea. We love the sunshine but something about overcast days and salty air is soul food all the same. Especially when your companions are tiny sea fairies, frolicking, splashing and soaking up being little.


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