Friday, 28 March 2014



“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Noah: “I’m a tiger, I’ve got tiger stripes!”

Isabelle: Eating some of the grapes from our backyard vine.

Isabelle: Playtime with Daddy (and wearing one of her new tees.)

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here

Jen x

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

{Sewn} Map wall art


I feel that using the word ‘sewn’ is a bit of an exaggeration, as there really was a pretty minimal amount of sewing done in this project (and would have been even less if I’d left the selvages unhemmed.)

I’d wanted a world map (preferably a vintage style one) for a while and even more so now my kids are getting interested in maps and geography (Noah’s pretty good at pointing out NZ on a map.) However, I’d had no luck in op shops and all the maps I’d seen online had been out of my price range (and/or didn’t include NZ in their map! I know we’re small but we’re still here!!!) So the other day when at Spotlight  when I found this map panel, it was just meant to be! My Mum was with me and very kindly purchased it for me.

That night I ‘sewed’ it up. I used some thin white binding to finish the bottom , hemmed the sides/selvages and then used wider binding along the top to form the casing for the stick (a spare bamboo stake from my Mum’s garden. Tied string on and hung it up in the kid’s playroom. Booyah! Easy as, and I love how it looks.

I say ‘playroom’ but the room is more properly described as my sewing space with a few toys in it. It’s a second open plan living room, next to our (little) dining room. It works really well. The kids like to be where I am, so I can sew happily while they play happily next to me.


Although, most of the time it looks like this …


… Until I say “PutYourToysAwayIfYouWantAfternoonTea!” Or another variation of the same!

Done any easy peasy craft projects recently?

Jen x

Joining in with Show and Tell

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Corners of our home – Our bedroom

More often than not, the decor in our bedroom seems to neglected, in favour of that in the kid’s rooms and the living areas. (Not unlike breakfast in this house – I’m often so busy feeding the kids that I forget to feed myself!)

However, recently I broke from this tradition and bought some new bedding in a big sale they had at Farmers. The last time we treated ourselves to a new duvet cover was before kids, so you can understand that it was time for a change!

I knew I wanted something plain and neutral (calming and restful), but at the same time I wanted something bright and vibrant. A bit of a contradiction? Probably, but I think the white duvet and bright floral pillows that we bought really work. This white/ neutral paired with brights and florals seems to be a theme that extends to the rest of the room and also to the clothes in my wardrobe. Well, I guess I’m consistent!


I love having roses out our bedroom window, although on windy days they make a weird squeaky noise as the brush they window! (It took me a while to work out what that was!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of our room – to see other ‘corner’s of our home’ posts, go here.

Jenny x

Want to read more?

Noah and Isy's room

Pipi's room

Thursday, 20 March 2014

10, 11 & 12/52

It seems I’ve got a little behind in my portrait project pics. Two weeks behind, in fact. So, I thought I’d catch up on the last 2 weeks and post this weeks photos a day or two early. I’ll start with the most recent photos first, because I really like them (and because week 10 is mainly just instagram pics!)

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."



Noah: He tells me he likes school but he misses being doing baking with me at home. We made Berry Crumble Slice and Noah’s job was to cut the black berries and sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. He took it very seriously!

Isabelle: Such a performer. Isabelle decided that the toy box was a stage and everyone had to don dress ups. Pipi was in awe.

Pipi: The cutest little bunny rabbit that you’ve ever seen!



Noah: Feeding

Isabelle: Feeding

Pipi: Being so so cute! (Blatantly re-using my favourite photo from her 10 month update post.)



Noah: Loving his books

Isabelle: All rugged up on an Autumn morning

Pipi: All better after being a bit under the weather

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here

Jen x

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

{Sewn} Tees for my Girls

I’ve had these little tees on the go for a couple of weeks. I cut them out and began assembling them pretty quickly, but for some reason I’ve been procrastinating about finishing them off – probably something to do with the number I cut out. I had planned to make them a couple each, but the fabric combinations kept calling to me.

As it turns out Isabelle has ended up with 4 and Pipi just one (the envelope tee pictured above). But don’t feel sorry for Pipi I have another 3 merino tops planned for her (with one already cut out), so she’s not going to miss out. Besides, Pipi will eventually inherit Isabelle’s ones anyway, which is my rationale behind adding to my eldest girl's already extensive wardrobe – if she wears everything lightly then Pipi will get her hand-me-downs in good condition. Also, the one thing Isy does lack is long sleeved tees for winter, so I’m sure these will get a lot of wear.

For these tees I used a couple of my old faithful patterns. For Pipi’s tee I used the envelope tee pattern from my book Growing up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee .  (You may remember me using this pattern for a couple of short sleeved tees here.) And for Isabelle’s I used the trusty the Acadia Tee pattern (which I’ve used many many times before).
As I made these tees with Winter in mind I made them a little bigger than their current sizes – Pipi’s tee is size 12-18months and Isabelle’s 4T.

The fabric I used was mainly from the op shop (all the floral fabric and the brown with black spots, which was a ladies tee). The stripey and charcoal grey (used on the back of some tees, to get more mileage out of the gorgeous floral) was stuff I just had in my stash, from Spotlight and a local fabric store. Obviously it’s all knit as I’m a bit of a knit fiend!

I’ve only just noticed now, but I haven’t got any photos of my girls wearing them yet, probably because they were asleep and at Kindy when I finished them off this afternoon. But I’m sure photos of them dressed in these tees will pop up on my blog in the near future!

Jen x

Joining in with Show and Tell

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Kiwi Mummy Blogs Review – Munch Cookbook & Milk Silk Nursing Scarf

A while back the ladies at Kiwi Mummy Blogs sent us a couple of items from Munch Cupboard  to review, both involving baby (and family) meal times. The items we received were a copy of Munch Cookbook by Anna Bordignon – full of seasonal recipes for baby and family;  and a Milk Silk Nursing Scarf.

I really love the Munch Cookbook.  It has gorgeous illustrations and quotes throughout and lots of helpful information including how to feed new and fussy eaters, information about allergies and key foods and a great section at the back on how to use up leftovers – which is awesome for any budget conscious family (like us); and of course the tasty and nutritional recipes!

The recipes are all named after favourite characters from children’s books which also bring a bit of fun and a discussion point to family mealtimes.


My favourite aspect of the book, however; is it’s emphasis on eating seasonally. I really like the idea of eating local seasonal produce (and especially that from your own garden.) We are very lucky here in the Hawkes Bay to have an abundance of fresh produce to hand, so it the Munch Cookbook is great for finding ways of using what is in season.

Now that we’ve well and truly said goodbye to Summer, I’ve started thinking about what Autumn recipes I’ll cook. Tonight we are eating a version of the ‘Messy Meanies Bolognaise.’ My kids love bolognaise so I know they’ll love this and it will be a great way of getting extra veggies (such as zucchini and mushrooms) into them too! Thanks Munch for the Inspiration.


The second item that we were sent was a Milk Silk Nursing Scarf.

These little scarves are 100% pure silk nursing covers that clip onto your bra to enable discreet nursing (and to block out distractions for your little one).


This is a product I would have loved to have when nursing my oldest, Noah. I have oversupply issues (which I now know how to manage), but in the first few months of Noah’s life it was pretty much impossible to discreetly breast feed him in public. He would come off and on, spluttering and with too much milk. I tried all sorts of nursing covers, but being a Summer baby, everything including the lightest muslins were just too hot for both of us. A Milk Silk Nursing Scarf would have been the perfect solution – it’s so lightweight given that it’s made of silk and not too big (about the size of a large handkerchief.)

Even though I now that I have my oversupply issues and discreet feeding in public well and truly sorted, I still have found nursing scarf very helpful in another way. Pipi who is now 10 months old and has become very nosey when feeding (having an extremely interesting big brother and sister will do that); so I’ve been using the nursing scarf at home to shelter her from such distractions. It works great for this!

The nursing scarf attaches to a bra in several ways (see photo above); When wearing a maternity bra with drop-down clips, the Milk Silk clips in place of the cup. When used with bras without drop-down clips, Milks Silks are attached to the strap using a loop and snap. Because it’s so lightweight it can also tuck away into your bra in-between feeds.

Thanks once again to Kiwi Mummy Blogs and Munch Cupboard for sending us these great products to review. And make sure you check out the rest of the large range of products you can find at  Munch's online store.

Jen x

Friday, 14 March 2014

PIPI GRACE – 10 months

DSC_2064Pipi Grace 10 monthsDSC_2054

Pipi seems to have grown in leaps and bounds in the last month. A couple of weeks ago she had a virus and ear infection and we wondered if she’d lost a little bit of weight, but her increased appetite upon getting better has definitely sorted that out.

Pipi continues to be a happy, bonny baby and is getting really strong, having been pulling herself up on furniture for sometime now – but not walking yet! She’s gained another tooth since last month (with another coming through) – The official count is now up to 7.

The most exciting thing in the last month is that Pipi has said her first proper word (other than babbles) and it’s “MUM!”

Yay, so happy!


…And to compare past months growth check out these photos … (or check previous months' posts)

Pipi 9 10 months

I hope you are having a warm, safe and happy weekend; wherever you are!

Jen x