Cutting out quilts.
Paws covered in paint.
Flowers from the garden, clutched softly in little hands.
Sweet faced daffodils and perfect pink tulips from the garden / Brown rice + soy milk + a sprinkling of yum for breakfast. And a cup of tea. / Every day dance parties / Carrot cake on pretty plates + newspaper wrapping and handmade cards. Because it’s the thought that counts. Because what’s important is showing someone you love them, as best you can. / Almonds + seeds + cranberries. In cakes. For snacks by the handful. On brown rice for breakfast. / More of my Mothers casual wisdom, handwritten by me 1 + 2 / This little love will be 3 so soon. Time’s flown.
Running away from home to stroll streets in Dunedin for a weekend / Little helper hands mixing carrot cake / Theo at the kitchen window / Stealing 5 minutes peace in the afternoon sun. Can we all just agree to add an extra day to the week dedicated solely to reading? / Tulips blooming in the garden / Cardigan dying 1 + 2 – cross your fingers for me / Lavender for borders and bees / And wonderful news! Dear friends are engaged. So begins a series of parties to celebrate, each more elaborate than the last.
Kings Seeds / Homemade hummus every week / Hiding on the trampoline / Hummus fixin’s for little hands / A page of hand lettering every night. ‘You have to live until then’, just some casual wisdom imparted by my Mother, drawn by me / Alphabet couch / Always drawing, belly down on the living room floor / My Grandmothers collection of miniature teapots. There’s 127 of them. They’ve moved with me 7 times in the last 10 years. They’ve been packed away for the last 3 years; trying to keep them from Earthquakes; from tiny hands. Here they are after a bath. Preparing to have a cabinet made, finally / Thrifted: Floral sheets. I’m going to make these into a little tent and hang it in the garden to have tiny tea parties in.
Warding off end of Winter sneezes and sore throats with lemon and ginger in tea and in cakes. / ‘Where’s the….nevermind’. / Jessie learns to skateboard. She’s terribly adventurous. / At our local park, looking so little. / More and more Magnolias. / And signs of Spring. From the garden 1 + 2 / A kitchen corner. / She chooses her own outfits. Down to the socks.
Moving leaves from gutters after days of rain while you stand on the footpath and offer instruction / Practice makes perfect / So many questions I now just point. (You thought you had me, “What does this say, Bubba?” “Um…’on’?” “Close…it says ‘No'” “But…those are the letters for ‘on’!” and on and on (and no) it went for, seemingly, ever / Buttery, buttery toast / “What does this spell, Mama?” – Mabel gets in on the action / Things Vegans Eat: Vegan Coleslaw: 1 Onion, 2 Cloves of Garlic, 2 cups Red Cabbage, 4 grated Carrots, large handfuls of leafy green vegetables (pictured here: Spinach and Silverbeet) + Parsley. Toss through with Olive Oil and the juice of a couple of Lemons. Don’t have plans to kiss anyone directly afterwards.
Step 1: Find, in your possession, some adorable kitchen labels from Stuck on You.
Step 2: Stand, forlorn, in front of your woefully disorganised pantry. Your Spare-Room Policy of ‘if an area is a total mess, but I don’t have to look at it, does the mess really exist?’ has clearly been extended here. Look from your pantry, to the cuteness of the kitchen labels, and back to your pantry. Resolve that drastic action must be taken.
Step 3: In a flurry of activity, remove every item from your pantry and place them, haphazardly, all over your kitchen surfaces. Preferably an hour or so before you must prepare a meal for your family. This will lead you to discover that the lid of the washing machine makes a perfectly adequate chopping board.
Step 4: With hot soapy water, scrub all hardened jam, flour, crumbs and fingerprints until sparkling clean. As if on cue, have your cat walk over your freshly washed surfaces. Rinse and repeat.
Step 5: Get up at 5.30am, two days in a row, to undercoat your pantry before the children wake up and try to ‘help you’.
Step 6: Go to your local paint store for test-pots. Do not let the fact that, on returning home, you discover you do not have any of the other tools required for painting a decorative feature. You know, like painters tape. Or a ruler. This is the point where most people, on having a freshly painted pantry, all white and inviting, would just say, hey, maybe I don’t need to paint a Chevron stripe in here. But you are not most people. Devise that, alongside your can-do attitude, a record sleeve and some ordinary cellotape will do just fine to fashion a guide for your stripe. Be pleasantly surprised with the results. Feel a little smug once you have finished. Go and have a shower. I can’t believe you left the house like that.
Step 7: As you stand under the warm water trying to wash the paint out of your hair, think to yourself what a shame it is that it overcast; that now you will have to wait until tomorrow for your paint work to be dry enough to get to the fun part of the make-over – the organising! Wonder if it’s normal to feel so genuinely excited about your kitchen cupboards. Realise suddenly that you seem to have completed a whole thought. This has not been possible during the children’s waking hours…ever before. Feel immediately and overwhelmingly suspicious.
Step 8: Expletives.
Step 9: Thank your ‘helpers’ for the ‘fine job’ they did ‘helping you’. Worry that perhaps the tone in which you write about parenting on the internet is somehow drawing these experiences to you. Try not to think too much about Thomas theorem.
Step 10: Spend another two days preparing all the meals in the wash-house because you cannot face painting the pantry for the eighth time.
Step 11: Just do it already. This is getting ridiculous. You haven’t seen the bench in a week.
Step 12: Paint over Jackson Pollock Jr and Jackson Pollock Jr. Jr.’s masterpiece, ignoring their cries of protest. Realise this may well be the first in series of instances wherein you ‘don’t understand their art’.
Step 13: Once your pantry is completely dry, enjoy with great relish the grand reorganisation. Know now that this was the reason you had been hoarding all those jars. Stand back often to admire your work and to take a series of poorly lit photographs. Ignore the realisation that you could have just used washi or another decorative tape to create your Chevron stripe, and saved yourself a whole heap of trouble.
But where’s the fun in that?
And now! A Give-Away!
Stuck on You have kindly donated a set of their gorgeous personalised kids pyjamas. Head over to their website and check out all the styles available here. Then come on back leave your preference in the comments for a chance to win. I’m crazy about the Circus themed ones!
The winner will be picked at random next Thursday the 18th of April. Good luck!
For more from Stuck on You checkout their homepage. Or say hi to them on Facebook or Twitter.