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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!

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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.

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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 
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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

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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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waste free lunches // planet box review.

We have been using PlanetBox lunch boxes for a few years now and are totally in love with them. Being able to buy food in bulk and save both money and rubbish production are top priorities in our home so this lunch box is perfect.
We try and vary the items daily and fill them with colours and textures to appeal to my girls. Since using them they come home 90% of the time completely empty and tummies full.
I don't have to fiddle with a pile of different containers to wash and dry and can put the whole thing in the dishwasher. We have the rover and launch and love them both.
Here are some of our meals...oh and Piper modelling the insulated bag!
 carrot and capsicum, watermelon and strawberries, wood fired fruit loaf and butter (this was for a morning tea date)
hummus, almonds, berries, veggies, grain free cookies, quinoa crackers
veggie sticks, avocado sushi, coconut yogurt, japanese tofu, fruit, bagel chips

find planet box here or Australian stockist here.
xo ashley 

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simplify me // 5 things making our home life simpler and easier.

June 7, 2016

After being in this old house for a full year now. We went all hands on deck these past few weeks and cleared out (most) of the remaining clutter. Focusing on everything finding a home and the rest earning us a bit of money to start saving for our next (and much needed) reno project.

Here are a few of the tricks we have found along the way to making space to breathe in our home.

1. Leave some shelves empty.

We tend to fill drawers and shelves with stuff. Habit, hoarding, whatever reason, if we have somewhere to hide something we will use it. We have a few unused spaces and they make my mind feel less cluttered and like I have space to move through my thoughts and to dos.
We have no built-ins so each of us has a single wardrobe. In it are clothing for both seasons, accessories and a laundry hamper.

2. Sell it.

A lot of the things we keep for memories do little to spark them. We have a tub of keepsakes each and the rest have been released. Our memories and moments are in our minds and with less upkeep and "stuff" we have the space for creating more memories. Plus we made a pretty little nest egg for our next big spend.

3. Don't organise.

I have one box for paperwork I have to keep. It's not neatly filed. It has insurance papers, vet records, birth certificates, all those things mixed in it. If I need them they are there and I am not juggling them monthly. Any other papers (bills/invites etc) are in one big magnetic clip on the fridge. Most of my documents are sent to me online and can be found again there.

4. Use plants.

Instead of fancy decor items, if a surface looks too empty we have used a plant to decorate. One simple potted plant makes the room pretty and the air clean. Feng shui at her finest.

5. Natural is always better.

We have carefully curated so we are minimal in the plastic and synthetics in our home. Natural rugs and throws of wool, hemp and cotton. Woven baskets. Wooden toys. These all make our home calmer and feel softer.

This simple old home and way is leading us to more time for getting things done, like bush walks and cookie baking and nights are less frantic packing away and juggling things. This quote is my newest and biggest influence on this part of my journey. 

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either” – Donald Miller: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
 

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