Longing for Simplicity



We have one car with no car payment.
We have no cellular telephones.
We have one land line with an old fashioned answering machine.
I do not participate in a personal facebook account, only one for my blog.
We don't eat out.
We don't have credit cards.

AND YET....................I feel constantly surrounded by CHAOS, clutter, piles of junk so high I can't see around them. I feel overwhelmed, suffocated, like I am going to get crushed under a huge boulder of "stuff".

I LONG FOR SIMPLICITY!!!!!!!


I don't want a fancy car or new furniture or a makeover. 

I WANT SIMPLICITY!!!!

I don't think simplicity or {balance} is something I have ever had in my life and the root is obviously not in my surroundings, it's in my head

So how so I begin to de-clutter that mess of chaos?


1. Actively seek contentment in the moment regardless of the situation.

2. Continue to pray and have faith. 

3. Continue to actively be grateful each and every single day even if it's for the smallest thing.

4. Continue to reach out when I feel overwhelmed or like I need help even if I don't want to.

5. Breathe in and out.

6. Continue to communicate with the ones I love even when I want to just SHUT DOWN.


Tunic: Isabella Oliver
Rosette Necklace: c/o  {Little Old Souls}


Today I am grateful for my new friend Bettina from {Little Old Souls}.

I won a giveaway on her lovely {BLOG} and even though she lives in Australia, she sent me the gorgeous rosette necklace you see above and the adorable little overalls you see below.

She custom made the overalls for us since we don't know the sex of our baby. They look white but actually a very pale, pale blue poplin fabric with place yellow accents. Honestly, they are so cute I can hardly stand It. I keep taking them out and gazing at them!! I can't wait to see those chubby thighs poking out of them. 

Bettina has a beautiful {SHOP} and a beautiful family and {BLOG} 

I'd love it if you'd pay her a visit because today I am grateful for her!!!! 

Thank you Bettina!


I will leave you with these 3 quotes that make me feel "normal" sometimes:)


~ONE~
"For a long time it seamed to me that life was about to begin........real life, but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first , some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.

Then life could begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." 

~ fr.-Alfred d'sousa


~TWO~
The Serenity Prayer

"God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference"




This was a quote that I found extremely inspiring. I read it on Lauren Rebecca the other day and fell in love with it so I had to share! 


~THREE~
"No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it.  The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.”

 ~Barbara Brown Taylor

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Ginger's Princess, Enchanted Garden P*A*R*T*Y



This past Saturday was little Ginger's 2nd birthday! 

We decided on a princess theme. I had originally wanted a tea party as well but later decided that she was a little too young to handle hot beverages in breakable cups so we just changed it to a princess theme with an enchanted garden!!! 

I think it came out adorable! 


Princess Ginger


I think the Enchanted Garden was my favorite part of the entire thing. 

It came out so magical!!! 

I am trying to think of where we can donate the castle to. I thought maybe a preschool or a day care for under privileged kids might be a good idea but we actually might just keep the enchanted garden up for a while.

I put pillows all over the floor so the kids could lye down and read in there. They love it! 

Ginger has tried to sleep in there everyday since it's been up! 

I will have a DIY tutorial on exactly how to make one of your own next week! 

It's EXTRA  M*A*G*I*C*A*L at night!!!!! 

It glows with radiant colors!!!!!! Oh, I just adore it!!!! 

A place like this can make even my problems disappear for a while! 


These are a few of my favorite photos of the kids and I. 

I love their facial expressions! 


TA DA!!!!!

The castle!!!!!!!! 

This took a bit more time but was well worth it. I thought it was quiet grandiose

I let the kids pick the color. They wanted yellow and I decided to accent with pink! 

It had a large front door but also two little wings inside with interior doorways. I thought it was so fun. 
I had it all assembled and ready for a couple days prior to the actual party so it's funny, the kids actually weren't that impressed by party day, that's why there are no photos of them scrambling around in there but boy did they have fun the entire week it took me to make it! 

I found my original inspiration for this project {HERE} However I of course did things my own way and will also post a DIY guide on this too! 

The photo booth idea didn't go over as well as I'd hoped!!! 

The  kids were really a little too small to understand and pose and I was pretty much the only adult that wanted to partake in the photo booth. So here are the few pics I was able to snap! 

I suppose had I invited a whole bunch of people maybe we would have had more people participating.

I Still Think this is a great idea for parties and showers and will definitely do again another time!


Here's the pink ruffle cake!!! 

I had seen similar ruffle cakes on pinterest and knew that's what I wanted to do. I decided to make a tiny tassel garland since I was loving my large ones so much and then I made the inside a couple shades of pink. I think it came out pretty!!!! 

I'll also post a DIY on how to make the cake and topper!


These last few are my favorites!!!! 

My baby girl, so grown up already! I love seeing her and her brother together blowing out those candles. 

Be Still My Heart! 



I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Like I mentioned above I will post DIY's for EVERYTHING so no worries if your interested in making something. 

Soooooo.............Wha'd ya think?????




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Beachy Waves and Sunnies *33 Weeks*



Hey, hey there!!!!! 

Look, the sun came out!!!! 

HURRRAH!!!!!!!

And FIRMOO sent me an awesome pair of tortoise aviator sunglasses!!!!!!!! 

My Opinion!!! 

These glasses are GREAT!!!!! I love the style. I am obsessed with anything tortoise shell and I have been wanting a pair of aviators so these were the perfect combo.

I thought the packaging was very nice, They came in a hard case with a nice cloth for cleaning the lenses. They also came with a soft case if you'd rather that! Personally, I'll take the hard. My kids pounce on ever thing!!!! 

I had seen their glasses around the blogosphere a bit and likes what I saw an then one day, boom, there was email asking if I would review a pair. 
The team was very helpful as I am technologically challenged and couldn't even figure out how to select the proper lens. They helped me A LOT!!!! 

Anyhoo........FIRMOO is currently offering their customers their first pair of glasses for free. 

You can get prescription, non prescription or sunglasses!!!! So it suits everyone!!!!

I'd take them up on it of I were you!!!
Find their site {HERE}. All new customers get their first pair free!


Also I just thought I would mention that for 3 months I have been wearing the sunglasses as seen below. 
YUP!!!
PA-THE-TIC I tell you!!! 
One of the kids jumped on my purse and smashed the frames ans so scotch taped them together and popped the lens in every time I had to wear them so I just want to thank FIRMOO from the bottom of my heart for sending me a beautiful new pair of trendy glasses because I clearly needed them!!!!
THANK YOU FIRMOO!!!!!! 
Sweater: Isabella Oliver
Tank: Forever 21
Leggings: Motherhood
Leg Warmers: Delirium Kredens
Boots: Uggs
Sun Glasses: FIRMOO
Go grab yourself a free pair!!!!!
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Reflection



Today was Ginger's 2nd Birthday Party. She will officially be two at 3:16 am tonight. 

This is one of my favorite photos from the party!

Why? 

It has the three most important people in my life in it! 
I just want to have a little "on my heart" reflection here tonight as today was a whirlwind of chaos and emotion.

Being 8 months pregnant for the third time, I know my limitations pretty well. I know that if I don't start crafting and planning for a party like this WAY in advance I will get a horrible amount of anxiety at the last minuet and drive myself into a nervous wreck. 

So I started planning and making everything early. Sure enough there wasn't much to do this morning except set everything out and do a quick pick up. 

Perfect! 

The  kids were wild all morning with excitement! Their Grandma and cousins came and a great time was had by all. 
The party was very intimate. Sometimes, when my emotional state is a bit weakened I don't do well with entertaining large crowds so I decided to just keep it to family this year! 

I was glad. 

Emotions always run high on holidays though, it's something for me that can't really be avoided. I need to remind myself this is normal and okay. 
So after the day was done, I was left feeling a little anxiety ridden, a little lonely. My husband had to work tonight so it was just me and the kids. 

So I have been clinging to my daily devotionals and trying to reach out whenever I can. 
Gratitude for me is one of my greatest tools. I feel like when I step outside myself and feel grateful for even the simplest things, I immediately feel relieve. 

So, I just want to say how incredibly grateful I am for my family, my husband, my mother, my sister, my sister in law. Inevitably one of them ends up being a sounding board for me when I really need it. Family is so important! I need to remember that every single day! 

So tonight I will go to sleep knowing that I love and I am loved. I will go to sleep grateful and pray to wake up refreshed for a new day. 

Thank you for listening! Good Night! 

And don't worry, I have about one million photos of the party to post. I will probably get it up by Tuesday I hope! 

Blessings to all of you! 
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Ginger Grace



My baby girl is turning 

TWO on Sunday!!!!! 



She was the best surprise gift I have ever been given! 

Read her birth story {HERE} or see her baby shower {HERE}.
It's a treasure for me to be reminded and have a look back! 

She is stubborn and driven just like her mama but so sweet and sensitive too. She reads to the cat and tells him how much she loves him. She gives all her little animal toys kisses and has mom and dad give them a few too.

She has a heart made for her Daddy. Oh, how she loves that man! It melts my heart! 

She loves her older brother to death and asks for him in the middle of the night and " I WANNA SEE MILTON" is always the first thing out of her mouth when she wakes up!

They really have a bond like no other. It's hard having babies 13 months apart. I will not lie to you but I tell you what they are CLOSE and they love each other so much! The more time that passes I can see they are going to be best friends for a long, long time!

With baby number 3 on the way I cannot help but want to scoop her up and love her and hug her and keep her in my pocket forever. 

I already miss her and she's only 2. 
She's already grown SOOOO much. Here she is last year on her first birthday.

I love you Ginger Grace with all my heart and all my soul. I would give my life for you in a split second. You are the most beautiful girl in the world in my eyes! 

Happy Birthday Baby! 

Ton's of pictures coming from her Princess, Tea Party which is tomorrow morning!!!! 

STAY TUNED!

Also I have a couple days left to enter the Lemons and Lace giveaway for a gorgeous head wrap headband.
Enter {HERE}
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The Beetle Shack



There is someone that I want to Introduce you to!!!! 

Her name is Em and she has a blog called The Beetle Shack and she lives in Australia.

No, she is not a sponsor and I do not sponsor her. 

I just ADORE her. 

I love her photos. They are stunning. Her family is precious and gorgeous and perfect. 

Her blog is funny, witty and well written, and it makes me happy when I go there so I want to share her with you!

How could I possibly keep all that lovelyness to myself? I couldn't! I'd be too greedy. The first time I went to Em's blog I got lost for hours reading and reading and reading. I love those moments when I find someone that truly inspires me! 

I also love introducing blogs and spaces I love to all of my readers. It makes me happy and I want you to be happy to !!!! 

So I asked dear Em to please share a post of her's today and she chose to tell "Her Story"

I know your going to be smitten with this gorgeous mum and not be able to let her go! 

CHEERS Em and thank you lovely for gracing us with your presence today! 

Em and her family! 

Take it away Em...........................


MY STORY


Mine is a middle class story, a story told from brick and tile homes with outdated decor. For me, it echoes a Tim Winton novel, in its emphasis on family, its hardship, simple mundane beauty, spirituality and most obviously- its connection to the water.


A story of two teachers and their kids. An honourable and quietly spoken man who gently supports his people and a loudly laughing woman who truly loves unconditionally. They attend a stuffy Anglican church in a beautiful white building by the sea. Women don't speak, children don't speak and everyone wears their Sunday best. The ocean is everywhere, its out the windows, down the grassy cow covered embankment, in your ears, hair and shoes. Kitchens are yellow, carpets are mission brown. Terry toweling is cool and fire works are still legal.

It's into this 1980's suburbia that I am born, to loving parents and an older brother who would be my best friend throughout our childhood. Our little home is perched atop the steep hills and cliffs of Kiama Heights. A mass of quivering water can be viewed from every window and it was to the sound of the roaring waves that I was lulled to sleep every night. Life was spent basking in the sunshine, rolling in warm sand, drinking watery cordial and eating hot chips wrapped in yesterdays news print. At the end of the day we would drag our crispy, red bodies up the hill, over the stone wall and be forced to go to bed while the sun was still high in the sky. Life was magical.

As I grew, life changed as did our location. One brick and tile home was traded for another and Easts Beach was lost to new beach side suburb. My childhood joy was replaced by an angsty adolescent depression. My friends became my family as we encouraged one another in our own futile rebellion. Attending school was a chore that I completed sporadically.  Music was loud, Apathy was everywhere. Through these years I could be found climbing a beachfront rock face seeking shelter from the rain and a tangible dialogue with God. The ocean always made me feel like I could understand the God of the scriptures, If only a little. Calm, welcoming and beautiful beyond comprehension- yet ferocious, powerful and in ultimate control.

It was with the introduction of Dave (my now husband) that things regain some stability. A boy from Western Australia- true Winton country- the son of pentecostal parents, raised with a blanket of grandparent prayer over his life. At the age of 19, Dave and I decided to get married, so we did. I can say with  confidence that this was the best 'stupid decision' I have ever made.

For the first time in my life I moved away from the ocean. It's peaceful song was replaced by speeding traffic and echoes of domestic violence (not from my home, from the housing commission that we lived next to). But still, away from the sea I was happy. Happy living in a teeny tiny apartment in a teeny tiny city. Often the sounds of the neighbourhood were drowned out by our own laughter and that of our Friends. Many hot meals were consumed and icy cold beers were indulged in on the cramped balcony of that apartment. So many happy memories were made there right by the main road, in between two towering red brick buildings.

Eventually with our uni degrees behind us and hex debts ahead, Dave and I both found ourselves with secure jobs.

The ocean was calling again- so we moved a little closer, had a few holidays and made a baby- our greatest feat yet.

I can say almost honestly, that having a child is as fantastic as being one - but not quite.

On a summers night with the windows wide open and sand at the bottom of the bed I can still hear the waves crashing onto the shore and rushing back out to sea. Only now my dreams are punctuated by the mummers of my sweet, cheeky son and the breathing of the littlest one.

It is here, now that you find me cooking, cleaning, sewing, washing, dreaming and blogging.


Thank you for allowing me to share you Em, your blog and family here today! 

The honor was all mine!!!!! 

If you'd like to read more, you can find Em anytime at The Beetle Shack.

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