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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