Wednesday, 28 August 2013

hues of blue

A recent trip to Manly - the still blue sea and smell of spring in the air made me feel humbled and grateful.

I have felt overstretched as of late. Attempting to renovate our first home (doing all those tedious tasks that no one notices), navigating through the school term with birthday parties, excursions and homework in conjunction with working shift work in a demanding career. In our home, bedrooms are laden with clean clothes that haven't found their way to the drawers, there is an opshop pile that has been sitting at the front door for months.  My car is filled with crumbs, toys, goosebump books and other tiny people paraphernalia.  Food is in the fridge that should have been thrown out last week. Last week, the toilet started to constantly run. An accumulation of everyday life that has left me looking in the mirror thinking "you can do it Ali! Or can you?". 

I find it very easy to feel overwhelmed. Living 35 minutes out of town has proved to have it's benefits - my thinking, organising and planning time happens in my little fiesta. Driving home at 11.30pm last night, I thought about my home. Then I thought again. Differently. I am lucky that I have a home to go to, with children fast asleep, dreaming about those excursions. I am grateful that I have clean clothes to be able to wear. I am incredibly proud of myself for slogging my guts out as a single mum to graduation with a distinction and have the career that pays for my little home that I am renovating with my best friend.

It is easy to slip into the hues of blue. I have been there before. But changing the way I think, changing my prospective, has opened my life up to a happiness and fulfilment that only happens when you slow down, stop and re-calibrate. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

diary of a wedding cake

There are just so many people out there in this world with hidden talents. Jen is one of them. She has a love of baking and decorating, and these loves have fused together into one big strawberry-vanilla fondant wrapped piece of art. A work friend asked her if she would put together a wedding cake, and I dare say that this will be the first of many beautiful culinary delights.

We drove to North Sydney today to deliver the cake to Athol Park, which overlooks the harbour, right next to Taronga Zoo. Our first stop was to the whimsical Engadine Florist, where the beautiful Hannah helped us to pick out the blooms to decorate the cake with. Soft pinks and whites, a hint of green. Flowers = tick!

I'm so proud of you, Jen! I dont know what all those nerves where about this morning!

Saturday, 24 August 2013


Tom: Saying goodbye to Grandad, and a limetree overlay
Grace: Waiting for Tom in her mustard duffle coat; a floral overlay seemed to fit over this frame perfectly

This week I have been playing with the menu in my camera, particularly zoning in on the multiple exposure capabilities of the 5D MkIII. My first few attempts were very hit and miss, but I soon got my head around firstly over exposing my base photo, and under exposing my overlay to achieve a nice medium. I think I may do a series of these types of shots and have them framed for our house.

Playing along with Jodi -  "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

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Thursday, 22 August 2013

night light

We were on our way to bed when something caught my eye. Tom had been rummaging through the party cupboard looking for items for his mask he had been working on, and left a almost long forgotten packet of sparklers jammed in the doors. Now, normally I do not instigate this type of excitement at bed time, but my inner child wanted to play with those sparklers! And as natural progression would have it, the camera came out and we swirled and twirled and screamed and... accidently burnt the carpet. Oops.

Monday, 19 August 2013

growing like him

The boys in my life: Tom calls him Best Mate. Ian makes him pass the "tickle test".

Entering a new relationship with 2 children already in tow is challenging to say the least. Ian and I have been together since Tom turned 4. Over a period of months, I slowly introduced them to each other, the next meeting lasting longer than the one before. Soon Gracie and Tom began to ask when we would be seeing Ian again. Soon Ian began nick-naming them Gin and Tonic.

The way Ian has slipped into our lives has been so admirable. There have been many challenges, raising a little duo is already a tough gig in it's own right. But never has anything phased him, whenever I have felt overwhelmed or frustrated (which is inherent in co-parenting), Ian has always offered me soft words of strength, kept my mind open and centred me. 

Little Tom has grown like him in so many ways. Both with a love of anything caramel, fishing, surfing and morning coffee stops. Both gentle and considerate. Both comedians. Both mine to love.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Tom: Flicking through a surfing mag at Pilgrims, he was super delighted to find an illustration of "Tommy the Surfer" (especially after a day of wipe outs on a 7ft soft board)
Grace: She can read and hold a conversation at the same time. Kudos.

Sunday. We snuck down the coast today to a beach tucked away from the world. Surrounded by clear turqoise water, we wandered up and down the sand, collecting shells and talking about issues that matter when you are six (friends allergies to white chocolate, the pending school play, whether fish feel the cold or not and why we can't take said collected items out of the National Park). Tom jumped out of the depths of our conversation and into that  of the ocean, the unseasonably warm water calling him to play. He was determined to stand up on my surfboard, Ian only a stone's throw away searching for lobsters and watching his efforts in between dives. I love Sundays.

Playing along with Jodi -  "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."