Is it Spring yet?

I feel as though it’s been a really big week, though I don’t have much to show for it, and my to do list is longer today than it was at the beginning of the week.

We had a family birthday to attend last Saturday night, 2 hours drive from our home, so we decided to book a BnB for the night and make a weekend of it. We took the two hour trip over 5 hours, saying Hi to horses, stopping at bakeries and playing in a forest along the way.

It’s a trip I’ve made many many times, but never taken the time to slow it down and explore along the way before. Sometimes the restless kids who cant sit still for 2 hours are a blessing!

We had a lovely weekend in our little BnB, seeing family and eating delicious birthday cake. It was just the right amount of time to freshen up the batteries a little, without creating the inconvenience of having everything looked after at home while we were away.

After the long slow drive up on Saturday, the kids feel asleep in the car during the trip home on Sunday, and we got through the whole two hour drive home before they woke up again.

Once home again it was back into the usual. Gardening, cooking, washing and dealing with a hot water service dying a slow horrible death. A fun issue we’ve been trying to sort out all week, and finally having sorted out today, with plumbers installing the new hot water service as I write this.

The week days have gone by in a blur of school holiday activities, impatiently searching my veggie patch for things to pick, uni work, tradesmen, crocheting and preparing my wardrobe and relief teaching bag for next term.

In preparing for relief teaching again next term I have wasted countless hours scrolling through resource websites, Pinterest and Instagram for lesson ideas, resources, clothing and bag ideas. I’m finding the majority of information coming out of America, and the Instagram accounts of American teachers on summer holidays is leaving me extremely jealous! Not helped by my parents stream of photos on Facebook as they enjoy the sunshine in Northern Australia right now! Haha.

So, I’m just going to go snuggle up a little closer to the fire with my crochet, ignore the to do list for a moment, maybe put on an extra pair of socks, and start counting down the days until Spring arrives.

I hope this post finds you somewhere warm and snuggly!

Abby x

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The simple things

Yesterday was an absolute cracker of a day. We woke up to fog, and it was freezing, but once the day warmed up it was glorious.

The kids and I headed out for babycinos and a wander along our Main Street, walking past one of the big box stores which lured me in with its bare rooted trees in the front window. Two kids in tow I went in to look at the trees and realised that it was day 1 of their giant toy sale. I had a 3 and 4 year old with me. Big mistake.

So we wandered around aimlessly while the kids ‘I want’-ed at everything, past people with multiple trolleys full of toys, cranky kids, and long long lines at the lay-by counter, and then much to my children’s disgust, we walked out without buying a thing.

Without all the shiny coloured plastic in front of their faces, the moment we were home all the new toys they desperately wanted were forgotten, and they amused themselves in the backyard with some PVC pipe and an old tennis ball for over an hour.

The lesson was mostly lost on them, but I’m glad I paid attention.

The shiny, glitzy, magic stuff is all well and good, but it comes at a cost, and quickly becomes old. Happiness is made in the simple everyday things. Those shiny expensive dopamine hits sure are fun for a while there, but they don’t last.

And so, after a week of making myself miserable, looking at Facebook memories of our trip to New Zealand at this time last year, and Disneyworld the year before, I had to adjust my lens a little. Yes, those shiny exciting holidays were amazing, but it’s not realistic to lead that kind of life every day of the year. It may not be the ‘making your dreams come true’ kind of magic, but there’s little patches of magic in even the most ordinary of weeks.

Everyday magic moments this week:

1. I went to Bookclub on Sunday, feeling guilty because I had not made any attempt to read this months book. As everyone slowly rolled in we quickly discovered that in fact, none of us had read the book this month! So we ate cake, drank coffee and talked about what we had been reading instead. It was one of my favourite bookclub catch up’s to date.

2. After talking about dyeing yarn last week, I had another attempt over the weekend and managed to create one I love. Now I need to find a project I love just as much to work it in to!

3. I found our first little broccoli emerging in the veggie garden, and then after pretty much giving up on my cauliflowers, I spotted my first purple cauliflower popping out.

4. Penny left the Cinderella shoes on just long enough for us to get a photo.

5. The master baker of the house (read: not me) baked tiny loaves of bread, so we could have tiny pieces of toast, that made my avocado look giant and my breakfast taste delicious.

6. and miraculously, I got a mid week post in this week! If you missed it, check out my crocheted scarf pattern post here.

So whilst it wasn’t ‘Milford Sound’ or ‘taking the kids to Disneyworld for the first time’ levels of magic, there were sparks of magic in the everyday. I just needed a 3 and 4 year old to point it out for me.

Wishing you all magic everyday moments this weekend.

Abby x

Friday again

I always have the best of intentions for a mid week post, and then in the blink of an eye it’s Friday again and I didn’t get around to it. I went so far as to write and photograph a crochet pattern to share with you last weekend, and yet it still sits handwritten in my notebook waiting to be typed. Next week? A toddler scarf pattern is on its way anyhow, maybe mid next week. Probably next Friday…

Things I HAVE achieved this week –

We’ve been helping to prepare my husbands Grandma’s house for sale and had a bit of a family working bee last weekend. We sorted through books and towels and kitchen appliances and while there was definitely not a high volume of ‘stuff’ there, it did make me think of the Swedish death cleaning trend and what a great idea that is. So if you come to my house in my retirement years and find I own only one tea towel, two coffee cups, two knives, forks, spoons etc – you’ve been warned!

I also helped out with rebuilding a rail/balustrade and painted it during our working bee. It’s probably a year or more since I last had to paint anything. Not my favourite job, but this was pretty quick and painless. Now I’m wandering about my house constantly noticing how badly my walls and ceilings need repainting and trying to muster up some energy for kicking into that boring job!

We walked away with a few bags of yarn and a trailer full of pot plants too, both of which have kept me pretty busy since!

With huge quantities of yarn to play with I’ve been crocheting in every spare second. Mittens for each kid and I started a new blanket, which I’ve been lugging about the house and to craft night in a big basket.

I also had a play with hand dyeing some plain wool with food dye during the week. I wasn’t happy with the colours, but had great fun with the process. I will have another play with some different colours this weekend.

Mid week I discovered that Miss 4 seems to have grown 2 inches over night and desperately needed some new jumpers and jackets for kindy. I ended up getting her a jacket and track pants in the boys section of Target, because I was so disappointed in the girls section options! Read more on that here.

Sticking to what I know best, I headed to Savers on Thursday and picked up a pile of clothes for both the kids and myself.

For the kids I ended up with 2 x skirts, 2 x shorts, 2 x dresses, 2 x jumpers & 5 x tops.

For myself I bought a coat, a vintage jacket and a pair of shoes.

All in great gently used condition, in brands – Witchery, Zara, Cotton On Kids, Milkshake etc.

I love Savers. We’re doing a kindness to the environment by using what already exists instead of supporting the fast fashion industry, we’re typically buying better quality brands than I could justify spending money on if purchased new, we often find really cute quirky items not found in the big box stores and we’re saving bucket loads of cash. My only regret is not getting started shopping there when my kids were babies! Oh the money I could have saved!

Aside from all that I’ve been…

Reading

True Stories by Helen Garner. This is my second Helen Garner read, and I love her style!

Listening to

The Slow Home Podcast – my absolute favourite podcast. The link here will take you to last weeks interview with Rob Greenfield about small steps we can take towards a better world. A great listen!

Planting

My celery seedlings, ground covers, poppies, pansies and transplanting all those pot plants into our garden!

What have you been making/reading/listening to lately? Do you think you’re the Swedish death cleaning sort? What great secondhand bargains have you picked up recently?

Happy weekend folks.

Abby x

Sydney

It’s been a big week.

The kids and I had colds, I was solo parenting for most of the week, my uni semester winds up today and I had a final assessment to complete before we flew to Sydney on Wednesday. None of those things on their own seem like a big deal, but when you add them all up you need a lot of coffee.

So the week that was…

There’s bulbs popping up all over our yard, and I can’t for the life of me remember what they are, so I’m looking forward to when they flower.

The kids were Where’s Wally obsessed for most of the week.

Miss 4 has been carrying a container of rocks around with her all week and they’ve been arranged in all kinds of interesting ways all over the place. A little container of rocks even made it to Sydney with us!

Miss 4 packed her own suitcase for Sydney

It may not look much, but she has two different types of wand in there, so as my Mum pointed out, she should be able to conjure up anything else she may require!

We flew to Sydney on Wednesday, and though I wouldn’t say the two hour flight with a 3 and 4 year old was ‘easy’, it was definitely much easier than a couple of 16 hour flights I once did with a 1 and 2 year old!

It’s been all puppy cuddles and Sydney things since then…

There’s lots of coffee, no assignments and the adult to child ratio has gone from 1:2 to 4:2. The week ends much better than it started.

How has your week been? Have you measured your days in cups of coffee?

Wishing you all relaxing weekends.

Abby x

It’s been a while

3 years or so.

My last post on Mummy Doesn’t Bake was after completing a quilt for the baby boy I was pregnant with at the time. That little baby boy of mine is now three years old, and though he’s not that much a ‘baby’ anymore, he’s every bit the ‘boy’.

And that little baby girl I used to write about? She’s now my chatty, bubbly, FOUR year old ‘kindy girl’

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Those who’ve walked the path of young children will understand why the posts stopped. The foggy years of babies and toddlers are incredibly rewarding and ridiculously exhausting, and only now as I tentatively step out the other side of that fog, do I feel I have anything to give to a blog again.

I’ve renamed the space ‘Abby Sewell’, simply my name, because for however accurate the ‘Mummy Doesn’t Bake’ title was, three years gained wisdom has taught me that defining myself by what I was not, was not a particularly inspiring way to live.

So here we go again. The content will be a little the same, a little bit different. The baby content is out, the funny things my kids say is probably in. I’m still crafting, reading, gardening and getting on my high horse about social justice issues.

If you’re still interested please stick around. If REALLY interested find more of my oversharing on Instagram and a few of the things I make at Etsy.

For now I’ll leave you with the treasures retrieved from my pockets after the walk home from Kindy today, my ‘big kids’ being all cute with each other and the very clever weed that popped up in my front lawn, sporting pretty pink flowers, therefore guaranteeing I wouldn’t pull it out.

Weeds are sneaky. Watch them…

Abby x

 

 

A new path!

This week we (well not so much me) have been working on the path between our house and the sandpit.

This has been on the to do list for at least a year, but due to the labour intensive work, has been put off and put off time and time again.

Here’s how it all came together:

The path and sandpit border are made from recycled old red bricks, that Matt painstakingly removed old paint, mortar and concrete from, before laying them.

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IMG_5529I had the very important job of wetting the bricks and handing them to him!

The rock on the inside is also recycled. It was advertised as a giveaway by a landscaper, making over a garden.

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The process of finding the perfect placement for each rock was almost another painful process.

Once placement decisions were made, Matt tried taking some panorama shots of the layout, before removing them.

All the panorama shots were hilarious!

IMG_5561Thankfully he had a chalk reference system as well.

After a weeks work, the path is done, and I was finally able to make a garden bed.

IMG_5570Now there’s only another 23 metres of path to go on the other side of the sandpit…

Slow and steady wins the race!

Abby xx

 

Welcome Spring

The first week of Spring feels very much like Spring in my little part of the world. The weather’s warmed up, and we’re spending all our spare moments outside in the sunshine.

Our garden is showing signs of Spring, and I can’t wait for it all to be a mass of flowers. Though I feel sorry for Matt and his terrible hay fever, when they all appear 😦

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We’ve got our first few blossoms on the almond tree.

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and the apricot tree is showing signs of life. I’m expecting a good season out of this tree after I accidentally left the hose running on it from our rain water tanks, and gave it a good 10,000 litre soak. Oops! So now we’re waiting for a bit more rain to replenish our stocks.

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There’s flowers popping out everywhere in the creek.

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We’ve got more strawberries.

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and I’m finally able to hang washing outside, in the sun, on my brand new washing line! Now to get some lawn or pavers under that line!

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We’re spending more days out on the back lawn or in parks, on our picnic blanket, and every time I pull it out I think that I should really make a pretty one to use this Spring and Summer.

I’ve just ordered some summer hats for Miss E, so we can spend even more time out in the glorious sunshine.

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T-Rex and I are patiently waiting for our expensive stick (Maple Tree) to sprout some leaves.

I’ve bought new bathers and I’m starting to look seriously at the state of my summer wardrobe. I think that the short shorts and singlets that made up the majority of my wardrobe the last few summers may need to be retired and replaced by some more mum-appropriate outfits this spring and summer.

It won’t be long and we’ll be having BBQs’s and salads most nights, my feet will remain firmly in my havianas and I’ll have to deforest my legs! Haha!

Spring, I love you!

Abby xx

In the garden

Last weekend brought us some beautiful weather, so we spent our days out in the garden.

I ripped out everything in our veggie garden that I wasn’t having huge success with (read – almost everything) and Matt worked on adding some more retaining to the beds. It’s still a work in progress.

IMG_7360I planted seeds for climbing beans, and now I have to wait patiently for them to appear.

IMG_7355and some saltbush and banksia seeds, which I hope to plant on the creek banks 🙂

IMG_7351Our potatoes are going crazy!

IMG_7353We planted an orange tree, and now we’re on the hunt for the perfect maple tree for summer shade and autumn loveliness.

IMG_7354I stole some Elephant Ears from my parents house, and planted them down in our creek. My hope is that they will take well, and spread, without any care from me!

IMG_7358Admired some of the flowers popping up on the creek banks, and scattered some seed for summer flowers.

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IMG_7357I’ve also planted some summer flowering bulbs in the front yard. I’m still waiting for my pansies to flower, but thinking they might be a bit of a lost cause.

IMG_7361and we played in the sandpit a little.

IMG_4376What a lovely weekend it was 🙂

Abby xx

July Roundup

If I had to describe July in one word, that word would be ‘Cold’. Frosty car cold. But aren’t the patterns in the ice so pretty?

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but somehow, not cold enough to slow down our veggie garden! How weird is that strawberry?!

IMG_3704I’ve spent a lot of time this month making baby food, and stocking up the freezer.

IMG_3682Matt’s been tidying up and organising his man cave. I’m jealous and thinking that I need my own man cave!

IMG_3910and working on the pizza oven that I wrote about here.

IMG_3869Penny’s thoroughly enjoyed having Matt working in the yard, and forgetting to close the car doors.

IMG_3868I took advantage of a bargain at the supermarket and bought myself some pretty tulips! I just wish that they looked like that forever, and not as sad as they look now 😦

IMG_3907and I had my hair chopped off, not exactly the way I’d hoped to.

IMG_4011Miss E learned how to sit up this month, and now gets cranky any time she find herself on her back or belly.

She also had her first swimming lesson and absolutely loved it. She spends so much time kicking her legs all the time, that we knew she’d have to be a little fish in the pool!

e swimming lesson

I’ve been reading:

I finally finished reading Jane Austen’s Emma. I’m not sure how I’d managed to get so far through life without having read it before!

I enjoyed getting lost in the 19th Century romance, but didn’t enjoy it as much as Pride and Prejudice but I guess that’s to be expected, given that Pride and Prejudice is the far more popular of the two!

I’ve picked up Shantaram again, as I mentioned here, and as I expected, haven’t got very far with it yet!

I’ve been making:

Lots of things it seems!

IMG_3673The Taggy Cube I wrote about here.

princess and bookThe Princess and the Pea playlet I wrote about here.

IMG_3956Some fabric blocks for Miss E to play with.

IMG_3769and work on the crochet blanket continues, a little slower than before, but I’m still going!

I’ve been watching:

Not much really.

Though this little video popped up on my Facebook newsfeed the other day and made me stop and think…

Maybe I should try baking more!

I’ve been listening to:

A couple of weeks ago we went for a bit of country drive to visit some of my family. A four hour trip, and broken radio reception, meant we listened to podcasts on the road.

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One podcast we listened to was a conversation between Richard Fidler and John Safran, an ABC radio presenter and a Triple J radio presenter, respectively. This podcast was fascinating, talking about John Safran’s new book about a murder case in Mississippi. Now I need to read the book! Well played Richard and John!

July, you were lovely!

August, some sun please!

Abby xx