You Do You

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve mentioned these three little words in conversations this week.  Whether it’s been advice given to friends or something I’ve told myself.

It’s oh too easy to be in those little annoying bubbles of comparing ourselves to others when it comes to what we have, and this seems highlighted as I try to live a little more simply.

Defining what simple living is for our little family has given me interesting insights.  A constant struggle that comes to light seems to be the question:

“When does it stop?  The wanting, the lists, the must-haves, the but-i-just-need’s?”

We are all trying to find our feet, our place in the sun, our home, our jam.  And if it looks vastly different to someone else {I’m learning, I’m trying to say} that’s OK.  It’s really, genuinely, actually, truly OK.  You do you.

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This hasn’t always been a feeling I’ve had, or have had to actively accept.  I think that the fast-paced lifestyle was never really a question through our twenties, when we were travelling the globe, working in {mostly} decent jobs and flitting our earnings into plane tickets or happy hours or renting little 400 square foot apartments near the heart of London.

I look back on this time fondly, with wonderful memories: my life filled with interesting places and people who were all on a journey, living their story.

Maybe it’s motherhood and the pressures that come with it from peers, friends, family and society that brought this new musing to light.  Are we doing enough?  Our best?  Should our toddler be in “school” already?

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The pressures of a mama who’s had to {or wanted to} go back to work, wondering if she should have, feeling guilty & affected by mama friends who didn’t or didn’t have to.  The pressures of a mama at home wondering if this is the right thing to do, wanting a little time to herself, then feeling guilty for thinking about wanting it.

Myself and my mama friends fall into a lot of these categories.  Why are we so tough on ourselves and each other?

Let’s just call it motherhood, nod in absolute agreement that it’s beautiful and hard and wonderful and heartwarming and even ridiculous sometimes, and get on with being as we are.  We are doing an amazing job.  You do you.

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Maybe it’s seeing things from the eyes of a traveler.  We’ve been on the move since we jetted off in twenty-ten.  We’ve seen different ways of living and had the joy of appreciating other cultures.

We’ve never really unpacked our suitcases, sometimes we’ve not even known where we were going to stay.  Hmmm…sometimes I didn’t know what work or job I would be doing the next day!  I think this helps me {personally} in taking on twenty-seventeen as the year of living more simply and embracing everything as it is.

This isn’t everyone’s story.  It doesn’t mean you can’t see things with fresh eyes if you haven’t lived a traveling life.  This is just me {hopefully inspiring you in some way to reflect or make little changes to do things the way you really want to} and my chatter about how I’ve stumbled upon a refreshing way to live my life.  You do you.

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There’s a full life waiting for you, and it’s time.  Be mindful of when you’re comparing yourself to others, whether it’s parenting, work, friendships, where or how you live. Embrace the life you’re in, welcome it with open arms and hug it tight.

You do you,

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Fabric Jungle

The sun came streaming in today after some chilly weather in Austin, making it the perfect day to enjoy the sunshine.

I was inspired to tend to my growing indoor jungle and decided to make bohemian-style fabric cosy planters.

If you’re following along on my visual journey via Instagram, I’m sure you’ll see more of these cropping up on my feed.

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The sewing machine got dusted off for twenty-seventeen and it has completely re-energised my creative streak.  It seemed that the final hurrah of twenty-sixteen was all about reflecting on what was, and this first week of the new year has been about planning.

 Keeping with my lifestyle goal of truly learning to slow down this year, I was excited when this creative idea happened organically.  On a whim, something wonderful was handmade today and that brings me happiness.

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I’d love to try an iron-on Vinyl to create a somewhat water proofed version.

I have kept my original planters inside so the plant can be watered without ruining the fabric.

A simple plastic planter or terracotta one works wonders: make sure you have a saucer underneath for the water to drain.  Using a planter inside the fabric also adds to the structure, keeping the fabric taut and snug!

Oh, and I did Day One of the #winter10x10 challenge to inspire a minimalist or capsule wardrobe.

It felt wonderful to not stumble around figuring out what to wear.  I felt simply styled and it encouraged me to accessorize, which I used to do so often, but now as a mama I rarely do.

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This week is a goodie, and it’s only Monday!  Get inspired lovely folks,

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twenty-seventeen

The movement away from fast-paced living is a positive shift and makes now the perfect time to embrace my roots of sewing and cooking.

We are so caught up with immediate gratification, even if it seems tiny and insignificant, that sometimes we skip the wonderful feeling of the wait.  Don’t get me wrong, this is me too.  Only now do I feel like I’ve finally grown enough and am in the blessed position of being at a stage where I can embrace a slower-paced way of life.  

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We are no longer in our twenties, seeking fast fashion, food on the go, jetsetting, city life in London.  And that’s okay.  For the first time since we became parents and left London, we can finally own up to the fact that we need to slow down.  

The memories still seem like yesterday, and our wanderlust souls will always seek travel and adventure, that is certain.  But our lifestyle can now, well, relax a bit.  

For the first time since leaving Australia in 2010, we can truly unpack our suitcases and call this beautiful city of Austin, Texas, home.  It’s time to be, enjoy, breathe it in and find adventure around us that brings us joy.  We are still living the dream abroad, we will still see countless cities and landscapes in this wonderful world, but we will also find our way home.  Find your tribe, love them hard, they say.

And so, twenty-seventeen began in all it’s glory of a new dawn, new day…sometime while we slept anyway!  Here we are, refreshed and excited to create more memories for another year of who knows what.  Adventure awaits!

I’m excited to say that this year, I’m kick-starting my blog in the direction it feels most organic.  Put simply, I want to spend the year learning to slow down: savouring mommyhood, slow fashion, slow food, embracing simpler living and creating joyful makes for my home and family.

This year, we are saving to buy our own little slice of Texas and we are constantly learning and evolving as new seasons of our lives sprout and grow.

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As I scrolled through my Instagram feed recently, something I’m doing less of…oops…a post caught my eye from @caroline_joy on the 10×10 challenge with @leevosburgh.

And I’m in!  This is exactly the way I would love to start my year of spending less and experiencing more.  At first it seemed difficult to narrow my wardrobe (which I’d already minimised) to 10 items for 10 days, but as I started to pick and choose, I learned two immediate lessons:

  1. I could maybe do this and minimise my wardrobe for good!
  2. I was selecting the clothes that were exactly “me” and fit my lifestyle…purposefully & mindfully!

This seems like a positive start to shy away from the fast fashion micro seasons that are telling us what to wear and how to dress too often to fully appreciate the story behind our clothing and how it makes us feel.

I’ve selected my 10 after looking at the weather forecast…Austin is sure keeping it weird this winter…and so here is a sneak peek…

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For those of you that want the nitty-gritty details

{Paris tourist tee} {striped tee} {boho blouse} {grey bare-shoulder sweater} {soft black vintage jacket/cardi} {black skinny cropped jeans} {ripped blue jeans} {boyfriend jeans} {cowboy boots} {well-loved sandals from Spain}

As with any post or project on my blog, these are little snippets of what I’m up to that will hopefully interest or inspire you to enjoy the process of learning and making, and feel the joy in creating things yourself.

Follow along on Instagram for the daily vibes!  Happy #winter10x10 folks,

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Driftwood Memories

We collect things.  For this wanderer, trying to follow some simpler living and minimalism lifestyle changes is hard when I’m an avid collector of things.  Our mini loves rocks, and we are no exception.

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We’ve got those beautiful chunks of land from across the globe and we put them in pride of place among our gardens and on shelves.

Driftwood on our beach days seemed to be our “thing” in California, and I’ve dabbled here and there trying to work them into our decor, but they usually ended up sticking strangely out of a boho vase and just didn’t grow on us this way.

Hello photo wall hanging.

I’ve seen the beautiful wall hangings using dowel or other objects and wanted a way to display the moments we’ve been freezing in time.

As I sipped my cuppa outside whilst watching the sunset {a rarity unless we are on some lovely adventure, but something I’m wanting to experience more this year} the driftwood pieces, sticking out of an empty pot at the time, caught my eye and a project was born.

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Drill, cut twine & thread it through, attach photographs and hang on the wall to share your story.  Hopefully this inspires you to use what is around you, something that makes you happy, and make it into a wonderful feature.  Every time I look at it positioned happily near our dining table, it will evoke memories of sand in my toes, exploring and of course the moments we’ve captured along the way.

Happy twenty-seventeen lovely folks,

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Confetti & Curveballs

The hustle & bustle of the festive season is in full swing, making it a genuine challenge to follow through with a laid-back lifestyle at this time of year.  Our new leaf is about little joys rather than lots of stuff and we are hoping to continue this beautiful way of simpler living as our family grows together.

Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says it so perfectly:

“The holiday season is about family, and thankfulness, and faith and love and peace. It’s about reflecting on the year that was, and looking forward to the year that can be. It’s about counting blessings. It’s about slowing down long enough to appreciate the things in life that matter most.”

I have some lovely ideas that will keep the buzz of the season going without buying more, having more and doing more.  So here’s a little go-to post if you’re also trying to calmly navigate this festive time of year with a focus on fun & simplicity over new, shiny things.

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I sometimes feel quite overwhelmed by social media and Pinterest, though this isn’t all negative.  There are so many wonderful DIY’ers, lifestyle bloggers and seamstresses out there that can be utterly inspiring.  In the same respect, it can make us wonder if we are doing enough or should we, too, be making Advent Calendars, Pinterest-perfect wreaths and our own wrapping paper?  Will this make the festive season more memorable for our families and friends?  Ourselves?

When I started my small business teaching mama’s to sew simple kids clothing made for adventure, the direction seemed clear.  But along the way, life threw confetti and curve balls our way.

A beautiful friend told me of pivots in business, and this was revolutionary to me, as here I was thinking…but, if I change direction, will it completely change my business/following/etc…?  Instead, I’ve learned to embrace change.  This has been an ongoing process that probably started when I left for college and even more so when I left my homeland for the Big Smoke: London.  Since then, we grew our family and moved to the States.  A lot can change in mere years!

So here I am, with perspective and new direction, still in suitcases in a new town.  My rose-tinted glasses are a little less so, but still working well enough for me to enjoy a little creative naivety along the way!

I’m gaining a more positive momentum as I try to roll with adopting simpler, mindful living.  This in turn is switching up my blog, makes and posts and I’m seeking & finding a positive, happy place on Instagram rather than being caught up in a social media frenzy.  I’m loving putting my energy into home textiles and decor, ready to launch my Creative Sessions here in Austin, TX in 2017.

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This festive season I’m looking forward to picking out a tree to trim, the sparkle in my mini’s eyes as we wander through Christmas lights, lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows, baking gingerbread men and pies, and sewing up some matching leggings for Christmas day.

DIY ideas are everywhere you look and I encourage you to seek your happy place on social media too, as the focus of making shouldn’t be stressful or overwhelming.  It shouldn’t be an endless list of projects just for show.  

You do you, find inspiration in other creative folks & their makes and enjoy the beauty of the creative process as you make something meaningful for yourself, others or your home.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year,

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Simple Kind of Life

“We need space to engage in activities we love – be that play with our children, do yoga in our bedroom, or dance a tango in the living room.  It’s what we do, not what we own, that makes life memorable and meaningful.” – Francine Jay –

I’ve spent my whole life cherishing things that bring me joy: memories, things I’ve collected and hobbies.  Though it seems more recently, maybe put it down to being a new mama, that my focus is more toward living simply and being more mindful of what I surround myself with.

For many folks, this seems to mean that they have to give up things that they have, love or own.  The reality: this is far from the truth.  By deciding to live a life in more simple, refreshing terms, you’re gaining so much more.

Suddenly, you’re not caught in the net of wanting things you don’t need, and you’re more purposeful about the things you are attaining.

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I’m really focusing on surrounding myself with things that make me truly happy.  Of course I love DIY projects, they’re my jam, bread & butter!  But I’m learning that this doesn’t mean I suddenly need to hoard so many pieces of furniture to convert, or buy loads of fabric to make things that stay on a list and never see themselves brought to life.

We need to just, well…stop.  Take things slowly.  My new focus could be dubbed as slow style: filling my house, wardrobe and life with pieces that tell a story and memories that stick or that I want my mini to happen upon with adventurous spirit.

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This slow style concept is something I’ve grabbed from the idea of slow fashion, particularly as I embark on a year of either making my own clothing or buying pre-loved wears.  When I say slow style, it’s the same idea: that you take time and put in a labor of love creating something that is truly meaningful, rather than running out and just “grabbing” something from the store brand-new.

It gives us time to plan for what we are looking for and to live in the moment, searching for the perfect “piece” that we can transform.  We are aware of the effort that it took, where the product came from (era, place, time) and have a deeper appreciation for what we are surrounding ourselves with.

My favorite surroundings are bits and bobs collected on our travels, projects that we have put blood, sweat and tears into and photographs or gifts that are beautiful reminders of good friends and family who are forever imprinted in our lives.

So my challenge to you, fellow folks, is to become more informed consumers.  Make purposeful decisions on the “things” you want to surround yourselves with.  Be smart about it, share your pre-loved items with others to de-clutter before introducing something new into your space.

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You’ll feel like it’s a breath of fresh air, and hopefully find you are really living a beautiful, full and simple life.

I really wanted to get this post out there, to whomever it reaches, before the holiday season takes hold of our better judgement and we make so many unintentional and random purchases.

Our Christmas tree won’t have an abundance of physical presents under it this year, but it will be trimmed with a collection of many wonderful ornaments that tell a story of our lives as travelers.

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Our home will be filled with love and laughter and hopefully a nap or two, and our hearts will be genuinely full in our new little home in Texas.

There will be good food in our bellies, wine-stained lips from a homemade mulled recipe and happiness glinting in our eyes.

Wherever you celebrate the festivities this season, I hope you find that you’re home, loved, happy and free.

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Be kind, give your all and love with all your heart.

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Director Chair DIY

On this wonderful lazy Saturday, I really wanted to muck in to a new project, so between drafting some new patterns and researching trends, an “aha” moment springs!

The director chair that we’ve had for so long, which I’d already stenciled, really needed some TLC.

I’d just purchased more Nate Berkus fabric for an upcoming Creative Session, and had some spare of the Iko Paramount in Onyx.

The DIY was as simple as removing the top of the chair to slide out the seat, then I created a pattern from the existing one, adding seam allowance of 5/8″.  After sewing a few simple straight lines, re-inserting the sides and fixing the chair top back on, voila!

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I am chuffed with the result, needless to say it is now my new favourite chair.  And that is a strong statement if you knew how many chairs I own!

It’s a simple update that packs a punch and hopefully inspires you to re-create your own simple upholstery and decor print pops.

Stay Creative,

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