Category Archives: Conscious Living

Life & Art

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe days roll by and I find myself amidst a swarm of fresh ideas.

Why do I blog? Why is it sometimes so very difficult to get around to putting thoughts to keyboard? Perhaps it’s just because I have lost my way, so to speak. Maybe it’s time for a new look, a new direction and an opportunity to rethink why I do, what I do.

So there’s going to be more about me, and what I think and feel, on topics that I find most compelling, intriguing or inspiring. I want to share my thoughts on everything from education, consumerism and sustainability to habits and organisation.

But most of all, I want it to be a celebration – relishing the beauty in the everyday, with a focus on daily adventures.

People say that your key theme in any endeavour should be able to be understood by someone within 1 minute when you shout out across a crowded room. That’s a lot of focus, so here goes…

I want to write about Life and Art. Living life and breathing art.

I hope you like it.

Please do feel free to comment – all feedback happily received.

Warm Regards




Farewell Breastfeeding

Michelangelo, Madonna and Child

I loved breastfeeding both Ruben and then Adelaide. That closeness, the bond, the hours spent gazing adoringly upon their little faces. The changes that you witness when you have them that close for so long each day. It really must be one of my favourite experiences.

It was fairly smooth sailing with both of them. No teething issues (in the beginning, or as teeth came through). I was happy to express at work during the day, and they both switched between breast and bottle without a problem.

Adelaide, towards the end, was clear when she was ready for breast milk, asking to be picked and slapping me enthusiastically on the chest with a “muuuah?  Muuuuuuah?. She smiled, snuggled and loved the whole experience.

Then, about about a month ago, she just stopped.

Feeding before bed was a ritual – soft night light, gentle music (Angus & Julia Stone are a bit of a favourite for us both), a little feed then into bed.  Until – not. One day, just she declined. She still woke up during the night, was brought into our bed (as she has done and continues to do), and had a small comfort feed.

Then the next night was the same. Then night feeds stopped. And that was it.

Ah, I’m sorry, what?  I was enjoying breastfeeding. A lot. 14 months and you get to make such decisions? That’s highly unimpressive.

I was tempted to be a little neurotic about it. Have I done something wrong? My diet hasn’t changed and we eat lots of fresh food. My stress levels are the same as usual (not particularly low, but not heart-issue high).

Knowing that she is my last baby (2 is enough, measures have been taken) makes it feel quite significant. The finality of the End of Breastfeeding makes me feel a little lost. She loves me and still needs me, fine, but it feels like she doesn’t want me in that base level sort of way.

I was – and still am – tempted to stray into the land of self indulgence, wallowing in grief for the passing of this era.  But then, when I am with her and she pulls that squishy face that makes me burst out laughing, or she clings to my legs, stretches her little arms up and beckons with “uuuupa”, my heart melts. She is fine and I am fine. We just don’t need to breast feed anymore.

How good is breast feeding. I do feel blessed to have had such rosy experiences.


A Good Day

I had the joy of picking Ruben up from school for the first time yesterday.

I start work hideously early to be able to run away at a feasible hour. Butterflies swarm in my stomach during the bus trip across the city to reach the car, worried I wouldn’t make it in time. A brilliant parking spot and I arrive at his classroom 10 minutes early, and stand outside with the clique of mothers who are able to perform this duty every day. They chatter about their loose plans for the week ahead, and as I listen the butterflies change their hovering spot, flying up around my heart.

My little boy’s brown eyes light up when he spots me as he wanders down the ramp from the classroom. I hastily swipe away the tears, feeling silly. Such an every day event for many mothers, such a special one for me. He pulls out a painting of a sheep, full of smiles, and I can’t help picking his big four year old body up for a real hug. We walk slowly, holding hands. I feel the sunshine on my neck and the pressure of his little hand in mine, and I savour these few minutes of quiet between us.

Image: Ruben on his first day. I felt blessed to be able to drop him off then, too.


Aurorean. Yes I Can.

the moon

As I encounter New Resolutions and To Do lists and Lists of Good Intentions, I reflect on where I am and what I want this year to encompass.

Project: Lightness comes to mind, first and foremost. I am going to make up a calendar (nothing like tracking yourself) to assist in adopting new habits and routines into my daily life. One day at a time, right? The area of focus this month is on home life. Starting with new routines to make sure our little hub is happy. Organisation will be paramount, and I think a few early nights will not go astray. The title of this post is along those lines… I am more of a night owl and morning civility is a real effort. Early nights will hopefully enable me to genuinely embrace sun-up.

Speaking of calendars, I was so excited to win this giveaway. Thank you Em. And Ella! It has allowed for a smooth start to the year, this business of being able to track everyone’s days. Two adults, three teenagers with jobs, two smaller people, and a desire to arrange family outings – all made easier by the calendar. And I am going to frame a couple of the greetings cards. I do so love the clean lines of Scandinavian-inspired design.


Sourcing Inspiration


As I wandered through the city at lunchtime today I followed a whim and wandered up some stairs into a small gallery. I was not disappointed. Local artist Yvonne Zago’s work is a m a z i n g.

Perusing the collection, I was taken back to Year 8 Art and the moment that it really clicked around how artists draw their influences from other artists. It sounds rather naive, I know; but it really was a pivotal moment for me. “So artists can inspire artists! And it can all tie into movements!” I remember thinking.

How lovely it feels to be moved to create.



The Season

‘Tis the season…

To be grateful.

As festivities and celebrations beckon, I make a conscious effort to cherish those around me. I think it’s a common feeling, this gratitude business.

Today I am grateful for the remaining few days I have to work from home. With the new year comes new routines… Back in the office full time (sigh). The sunshine outside felt particularly good, and I made the time to step out into it and play with Ruben and Adelaide. Isn’t it wonderful when the world slows down and you feel as if each minute is just right?

Image: Grandfather love.


Lightness Project

Having just finished this book, I must confess to being quite inspired.

Like the author, I am not particularly unhappy. But I do think I could put a little more effort into making myself a bit lighter in life. And, as a key consequence, happier.

I am quite attracted to the idea of making resolutions and creating visible way of tracking them. Resolution Chart, here I come.

{Art by Ruben.}



Second-Hand Goodness

This weekend I spent a number of hours sorting through clothes. Ruben’s, Adelaide’s and my own. (I choose not to touch Michael’s – despite the fact he wears around 15% of what he  owns, he feels very comfortable with the variety he chooses not to look at).

During this purging and organising process, I came to a couple conclusions:
1. Family who do hand-me-downs are to be cherished.
2. The majority of my wardrobe is a collection of second-hand items. And I am very comfortable with that fact. (Side note: Is it wrong to label op-shopping as generous charitable giving?)

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have style.

I am slowly working on cultivating a wardrobe that has 99% functionality (1% reserved for items with sentimental value; I’m looking at you, multicoloured stripey knee-highs and probably you too, techno satin flares).

Maybe it’s a sign of my strolling into a new decade this year, but I find myself less thrilled by hot wedges and more interested in spunky skate shoes. Simplicity and function. And a squeeze of funky.


Right Now

Hessian Bunting FlagsFabric flags outdoor fun

Right now I am loving…

The fluttering flags on the back porch.
The smell of the orange blossoms.
The sound of Adelaide giggling and practicing a range of sounds – most that involve sharing a large amount of drool.
The way Ruben has started becoming very attached to certain soft toys. It balances out the obsession with knight’s battles and fights between Buzz Lightyear and Bumblebee.
Alex’s joy at finally getting the hang of front flips on the trampoline.
That Michael and I both received books in the post recently that we are loving. Michael’s – The Second World War. Mine – The Happiness Project. (Let’s ignore how far removed they are from each other.) It’s amazing what time you can find to read when you really want to.



Meditating on Paint

Painting transports me in a way that few other activities manage to achieve. The minutes spent blending colours, forming shapes and creating images in a space can separate me from time. Those minutes swirl and eddy around me, leaving a wake of calm that is incredibly satisfying.  If I have the freedom to delve into creating for a reasonable period, by the time I stop playing it almost feels like I have been away… Painting can be such a lovely way to meditate.

Well, if I manage to let go of any expectations of perfection it can be. Which, as the years pass, does become easier. (But only in some areas, unfortunately… as Michael will attest when he recounts the first – and only – attempt he had at teaching me to play the guitar. The lesson lasted a grand total of about 4 minutes and ended when I decided that my fingers simply don’t work like that.)

The painting above is still a work in progress. I am thinking of adding an aeroplane, and perhaps some clouds.

And, as a side note, I would still like to attempt meditation through music. There is a ukulele hanging around, waiting for a little love…

*cue lovely image of me breaking out the sweet little instrument to woo all those within earshot with some beautiful little numbers. Oh, and in this magical dream I can also sing like Julia Stone*