30 November 2011

my ultimate 2011 Christmas Wish List

Greetings all,
Money is no object, everything is available in my size & a handsome porter carries my shopping back to my luxury car which is valet parked . . . this is my ultimate 2011 list of wishy gifts under my Christmas tree.  Of course i'd love Heremes scarves & Lanvin ballet flats, Missoni blankets & a Chanel bracelet, but this ain't a high fashion blog.
A classic Country Road kaftan . . .
 the Oroton Fortuna Hobo . . .
 Converse One Star Tempo sneakers . . .
 Kikki-K cooler bag (ultimate = realistic) . . .
 a white 6' long Porch Swing (just add handsome soldier) & . . .

everything is wrapped up in Marimekko Annansilma fabric.
Merry Christmas Posie, why thank you Posie.
Felicity Serendipity nominated me & now i'm nominating around Australia . . . 
Georgie from St Johns Wood in Qld
Ingrid from LottieLuLu in NSW
Kerry from TranquilTownHouse in ACT
Sarah from Molly's Maison in Tas
Shar from MumOnTheRun in WA

Thanks ladies, sorry NT, SA & Vic, next time, promise, love Posie 

28 November 2011

shhh, i'm watching OffSpring . . .

Greetings all,
Oh Asher Keddie, i'll never get enough of your natural radiance.  She is so well put-together on television in OffSpring, her dressing team should win their own Logie Award.  It's high end clobber, mixed with vintage finds & her delicious complexion . . . i've already posted on this before & how my 3rd girl effortlessly pulls off Nina Style glam. 
 I haven't purchased the Woman Weekly magazine for years, i live by their 1960's cook book, but put Asher on your cover wearing Kate Sylvester (a mummy of twins, did you know??) your magazine will leap into my trolley at the supermarket.
 The cover line of 'i don't need babies to be a success' wasn't even a paragraph in the 7 page article.  Was that meant to rock the mummy reading demographic of WW??  I applaud anyone who chooses not to have children, she hasn't even ruled it out (she's 37, married 4 years) & really, is it our business?? 
 Like Princess Mary, some girls just have a figure & colouring which makes the delicate lace gleam with perfection.  I love a belted feminine ensemble.
 These are her horses (she has 5) on her property in Victoria's Macedon Ranges. 
Anyway, i knew OffSpring was on tonight, but seriously, 4 nights this week at 9.30p.m. i'm VERY excited.  I don't even care if they are repeat episodes, that means handsome & steamy Dr Chris, yay!!  My children are asleep, my husband doesn't normally call around this time, Nina can keep me company.  Enjoy & happy viewing, love Posie

27 November 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'the fall of the fun children's party'

Greetings all,
Many bloggers highlight children's parties - the issues of home/ party venue/ junk food served/ lolly bags/ general expectations around behaviour/ gifts/ games.  I always have our parties at home, serve a basic menu, do party favours & put on traditional games of pass-the-parcel, musical statues with a small prize at the end - you are NOT ALL WINNERS!!  I actually refer to junk food as party food, as that is where it should stay!! 
I've thrown dozens of chidlren's parties in my time & my basic set menu is . . .
sandwich platter (egg, curried egg, egg & lettuce, ham, ham & cheese, cheese, salmon, chicken, chicken & sprouts, chicken & avocado on wholemeal & multigrain bread, crusts on)
homemade sausage rolls, mini quiches & homeheated cocktail franks
fruit platters + bowls of chips, cheezels, twisties . . . laid out on a pretty table display.
Trust me, watch the parents chow down on the junk & horrible frankfurts!!
 I don't waste my time icing cup cakes, baking cookies or making meringues - one bite & the child is off again, remaining cake dumped in their drink.  Oh the humanity!!  I have seen more mess & injuries from a 5 year old fairy party than soldiers at end of deployment blow out. 
 party favours/ goodie bags ready to go, unnamed with extras for siblings or non-RSVP-surprises . . .
 I fill a barrel with mineral waters & juice, with names on cups, the key is minimal wastage!!
 We don't open gifts during the party, as i like my child to actually appreciate what they are receiving, slowly, after the hype & chaos of the party, not tear off the paper, look for a split second & launch into ripping open the next one!!  I also prime my children to not say "i already have one" or anything other than "thank you very much" even when i know they don't like Ben 10, The Wiggles or Dora - it's not lying, it's diplomacy!!
 involve the partyboy/ girl/ boss-for-a-day in hanging decorations (they LOVE giving direction) . . .
 little details are sweet but can really add up to over all cost . . .
 parties don't HAVE to have a theme, they can just be A Birthday Party!!
 I love confetti but good GOD it's a nightmare, it will stain when wet & you have to factor in the over protective mum who hovers & might know the friend of a friend of a friend whose child inhaled confetti/ balloons/ smarties/ popcorn/ air . . . be prepared for instant negative feedback at every turn (or do your research & avoid inviting that child) . . .
 i serve the cake 30 minutes before the party ends (drives me nuts when i arrive to collect my children from a party & the cake still hasn't been done, it drags on, flakey parents!!)  WORSE, when the collecting parents aren't offerd a slice of cake in a napkin to take home, sorry, that is party etiquette 101 fail, gimme a slice of cake!!
 My children are not spoilt, they share beautifully & they never ask for certain toys, advertising is wasted on them, but give one a balloon or God forbid a helium balloon floats away & it is on, i have never seen my children fight or cry over anything like they do bloody complimentary balloons, often in the car, on a highway, fuelled with sugar rage!!
Some party tips for twins - if both of my twins are invited to a party, they take a gift each, but i never expect a gift for each of them at their own party!!  No point in saying "no gifts" at a child's party, that's an adult concept or saved for children truly raised that way - sponsor a goat in Africa for them, they'll understand.  It's just a given you take a gift & something inexpensive or handmade is acceptable, children do value the thought too.
My son went to a Pokemon party yesterday, which i read on the invitation while confirming the house number already in their street - was he meant to be dressed up or give a gift in the Pokemon theme??  Too late.  As it turned out, the Pokemon innuendo extended as far as the invitation logo & stickers on lolly bags!!  Themes - nothing cuter than a bunch of 6 year old boys dressed as pirates following a treasure map to find gold, it's a lot of effort & audience participation, be prepared for uncooperative tears.  I have been to some ace parties in my time but they are really for the mum, not the child . . . not a fan of children under 3 having parties beyond family guests, unless they have a genuine gang of friends from preschool or mother's group.  My children don't have a party every year either, we are so often moving or in a new location, do we invite people we just for the sake of it??
I'll leave you with this party disaster gem: a few years ago when my son was in military preschool (regular preschool for 4y.o. on an Army base) . . . keep in mind my opinion on gift receiving diplomacy, now picture the gift unwrapping at a 'Come As Your Hero' party when one boy presented a plastic pirate sword gift.  Cue the birthday boy's mother: who announced loudly in front of children, parents & wide eyed excited birthday boy reaching for his new awesome toy "we do not do voilence in this family."  I actually thought she was joking & let out a very loud Mrs Crabapple from The Simpsons "ha".  Tension.  So i piped up, to break the ice "um, your husband is a fighter pilot, has he got plastic rockets on board??" & i could feel the other parents wry smiles.  Not one to stop there, i said "goodness, if it's not a plastic sword, he'll use a stick or make a Lego sword anyway".  The mother whipped it away & said it was going to charity.  Good times!!  FYI her son was the most fisty child i'd ever seen, so was she in denial or preventing more violence, whatever, her over reaction embarrassed everyone (but me).  The mother who purchased the sword is a sweet mild mannered school teacher.  Go figure. 
As a mother of 3 girls before i experienced the roller coaster testosterone ride of a son, i had no idea they could turn a paper bag into a machine gun & while i'd never give anyone a plastic weapon, as i'm more into creative & handmade gifts . . . this was such a shocking display of manners.  You save these incidents for later, as a Brady Bunch life lesson: calm explanation with your child.  When i collected my son from yesterday's party, he was drinking a can of lemonade.  He looked confused & said "it was a better choice than coca cola" bless his heart, he knows better.  I'd never serve cans to 8 year olds, i still don't allow my high schooler any more than sip coca cola, WHY fill them up on the extra calories??  Shouldn't the party atmosphere be enough??  Love Posie
All images from My Little Day in France, some cute party goodies in my shop too.

26 November 2011

i'm grateful for . . . 'feeling the love'

Greetings all,
This week i'm so grateful for the love i'm feeling from family, friends, bloggers & . . . sales assistants.  How sweet is this little stamped heart on my Chrismtas ornament parceled up with love??  I was in Kikki-K purchasing a gift for a friend & said to the sweeet girl behind the counter "oh, & the white love heart Christmas decoration please as i love me too." 
I grew up with a ridiculous amount of love, time, compliments & attention from my parents, i used to feel awkward when girls would say about other girls "oh she loves herself" when i thought, i love me too, why is that bad??  Of course they meant 'that girl is a stuck up selfish cow' not generous of heart & oozing love!!  My end result has been a self assured & confident female, able to accept, embrace & return lashings of love.
 I would never term myself as a needy person, my husband is, just ask me when he gets 'man flu' & right now he is homesick.  I'm sending lots of love, attention & parcels his way, i have plenty to give.  It's just that when he comes home in June next year, he still has 6-18months in Brisbane, totally 3-4years living interstate (it was meant to be 2 years).  This is his 5th deployment & i'd hate to tally the total number of years he has spent away (courses, exercises & training).  I support him, imagine how it is for the guys whose wives & gilfriends have had enough, but the boys still want to be soldiers??  
 I collect hearts, not as some blazen heart breaker, hearts like this . . .
 they make me smile & after watching 6 romantic comedies this week, boy am i lucky to have found romantic love & stayed in love!!  My husband & i have a very uncomplicated relationship, i don't play games & there is an enormous amount of respect.  He is none of the RomCom cliches - the moment he met me, he wanted love, committment, marriage & babies, no arguments there!!  I was so young but it was so right, he knew he wanted to join the regular Army too, he can love us both, thanks to my attitude.
 I cry in movies, um, i cry in animal documentaries & long distance telephone ads, it gives me a break from being strong, determined & tenacious.  I can't watch The Notebook, way too close to my Mummy's Alzheimer's.  After 56 years of marriage (i came along after the 20th wedding anniversary) they still hold hands & walk to the letter box together.  My father was career navy, over 30 years at sea & went to war too, i know what they think when they are out there in danger, it's all about home & love.     
I have read & re-read a letter from an eloquent friend, who suggested that after a tumultuous year, her 'to do list' of gifts & commitments at this time of year was so long, she is sending out love: true friends will gracefully understand & she's being gentle on herself.  She is a giver & i applaud her focus on energy, where it is best spent.  I have 4 children & a husband at war + hands which can barely lift, so why exactly am i hammering myself about Christmas gifts for my enormous family??  I'm rethinking the gift list (we live interstate, no events, just gifts in the mail) the post man is handing over the gift, not me - with my smile, the message is lost??  I am going to do things differently forever more, i don't need the Brownie points for giving the best or most gifts in my family, i'd rather do something of substance with love!!  Love Posie

25 November 2011

things i'm loving . . . 'lazy days at home'

Greetings all,
Sick of my carpal tunnel issues yet??  I am, why did i wait 8 years for it to be THIS bad.  A new low today, my hands have swollen & i can't wear my wedding bands, sigh, they are on my pinkie, it's just not the same.  I've never suffered swelling, even 9 months pregnant with twins in tropical Summer!!  Um, it even hurts my hands to turn the pages of magazines, yes, Princess Precious!!  I'll see the surgeon soon & then book surgery, thank goodness for private health insurance & speedy waiting lists.
 So this week Things I'm Loving with PaisleyJade is to really step back & rest my hands, with some quality magazines, turning pages with my left hand (i'm right handed, my right is worse).  This lambie is pictured on a lush Christmas Tree farm in Tasmania, of course!!
 I even bought Little One magazine, despite an article on horse face Catriona Rowntree.
 Sometimes dinner comes in a frozen box via the oven, not often, my children don't like plastic food, but this calamari, spring roll & beer battered fish combo saved me mid week. 
 I'm forcing my love of dill & coriander on the children & they can't say there wasn't anything green on the platter??!!
Chocolate money is not a tradition from my childhood but they remind my husband of his late mummy.  How cool they now make Australian currency & notes!!

I'm trying to train my tomatoes to grow on the hedge this Summer of maximum sunshine. 
 The agaves are flourishing in their new leaky champagne barrel, perfect!!
So as i'm sorting through Christmas lists & parcels to Afghanistan, i'm taking care of myself too.  Love Posie

24 November 2011

our creative space . . . 'secret forest bedroom makeover'

Greetings all,
We have a little elfin princess in our home.  She's ethereal, bohemian & you'll find her curled up on a toadstool.  Her soft squeaky voice & dinner plate blue eyes manage to suck me into agreeing with almost every crazy idea she has.  She's sported a chic French bob with short blunt fringe since she was 2 (after her twin sister cut the whole way around her hair) & wears feathery headbands & stripey tights to school, her spirit & style is uncrushable, until private school uniform.  
Our 3rd girl is like no other . . . humming her way through life,
 her twin sister got a bedroom makeover while they were away on camp,
 with sore hands, i only had time for one room, Sophie's choice,
 so the next weekend, while they were at a sleepover,
 i did her bedroom as a suprise too.
 She likes anything quirky & quitely soaks up praise,
 her collection of birds, owls & toadstools is growing,
 & at night time, it's quite magical, just like her.
 I have all the tissue fans, balls & hearts in my shop, they make ace decorations!!
 My son helped me hang lights (why use a stepladder when you can hoist an 8 year old boy on your shoulders??) . . . he's doing his best swivel chair "we meet at again Octopussy" impersonation.
I might not be sewing but i am fiddling around with the decorating.  For some seriously inspirational creativity, check out Our Creative Space every Thursday, love Posie

23 November 2011

word-ish-less Wednesday . . . 'the day we met Crown Princess Mary of Denmark'

Greetings all,
Well you asked who was next . . . after my brush with Queen Elizabeth II last month & my dash with President Obama last week . . . the answer Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. 
 Official flag raising . . .
 we winged it in the rain after school & scored prime position . . .
 she arrived . . .
 over to meet the cheering crowds!!
 General Cosgrove hosting the whos who this year at his War Memorial, chatting away to Crown Prince Frederik who is Navy Frogman. 
 Can totally see why she fell for him.
 The hat . . .
 chatting & shaking hands with each of my 4 children!!
 She was so delightful, so gracious & . . . so excited that the lady next to me (who leant me her umbrella) had brought Fruit Tingles - her favourite Australian lolly!!
 People mover had baby seats, but not their adorable twins, sigh.
 All over, off again & Frederik waved to my son again!!
Wordless Wednesdays over at Faith Hope & a Whole Lotta Love, sorry, as always, i'm a tad over excited about yet another once-in-a-lifetime-experience!!  Love Posie