Tuesday, March 31, 2015

grace's high tea

yesterday my darling niece grace turned 12 - so on saturday mum and i gave her a fancy high tea party to celebrate with her friends. we had the best time and hope she did too.

grace's other grandmother kindly offered up her outdoor area for us to use for the party and we spent a few hours decorating beforehand... making it look just so.
pastel pompoms available in a range of colours and sizes here on ebay
patchwork bunting made by my lovely mum for maddie's room a few years ago

we hauled crates full of things up the driveway for setup, including white teapots, to fill with roses from mums friends garden (we have contacts all over the place haha) a trio set for each guest, white tablecloths and a pile of multi-tiered plates for serving.

i managed to score these cute fans from a friend that was married last month, so that each of the girls could take a gift as they left. seriously, you go to a party and get a present? win/win!

all set up before the girls arrived... we had so much fun... and it was all worth it when grace walked in and saw it all ready - all for her.

very girly and cute for the girl of the day

looking good!

we also set up a little area for the girls to strut their stuff with a stack of props we provided, to make a photobooth. as i predicted, the girls loved it and proceeded to ham it up and take a whole pile of photos. i loved watching them... kind of made me wish i was 12 again. i especially love this one of my gorgeous nieces emma and grace. they look so sweet together.

miss emma kate ♥

grace and her cousin lily

the hall girls love to put on a good show and once they saw the photo props, they were in there posing away... i think there us almost as many photos of them as there is of the girls. goodness me they were funny!

grace opening her presents from us. glad to see she liked them!

and this amazing cake that mum put together... not only did it look incredible, but it was so yum! it took a great deal of effort to only eat a teeny piece. 

happy birthday sweet grace, my world got a little brighter the day you were born! xx

Sunday, March 29, 2015

renee loves chris

it has often been said that your first friend as a child is your cousin... and i know that in my case it's definitely true... my mother found out she was pregnant with me, not long after her sister gave birth to a baby girl and we grew up together. we spent our school holidays together, chatted about clothes and boys and every single thing.

and on friday, i got to watch her walk down the aisle, escorted by my beaming uncle, to marry the love of her life. i have never seen her look more beautiful, or happier - and i am so glad i got to be there.

renee and i at the reception

renee and chris were married at the western australian maritime museum, under a boat, in front of a completely windowed wall. it was the most amazing setting - and as the sun got lower and the room filled with light, they promised to love each other, for as long as they live. doug and i were fairly close to the back of the room and i got to watch her face light up as she saw chris standing there waiting for her to join him... what a special moment. 

some of the gorgeous flowers that were scattered around the ceremony and reception. what a beautiful job the florist did... i was absolutely loving the flowers and colour choices.

at the beginning of the ceremony the celebrant made special mention of loved ones who couldn't be with us. among those were roy & gwen... renees mother and my mothers parents. it was so nice to hear them mentioned and then to walk into the reception and see a photo of them along with renee's other grandparents on a side table.

they also had an incredible guest book... a jenga game, that people could write their names and a message on. very cool!

my cousin jaydons (renees younger brother) daughter was the flower girl... and was just the sweetest thing in the world. her navy tulle dress... sweet little braid and flowers in her hair. i just wanted to cuddle her. so adorable!

and of course, my adorable parents... the very best people i know. i love this photo of them. they always look so happy!

no wedding is complete without a couple of good selfies. here is a photo of me - and future me. i am rapidly becoming my mother... and i am amazingly okay with that. she's incredibly cool.

and my husband. how lucky i am to have him. for always.

we had a really great time at the wedding and are glad to have been there and been a part of your special day. thanks for inviting us renee and chris!

"there is a happiness that has no end... it comes when marrying ones best friend"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

throwback thursday

my sister in law dominique sent me this picture this week of a very little madeline. sometimes i still can't believe that when she was just 12 months old i braved the world and went back to work, leaving her with niques. she was still just a baby and maybe i should have stayed at home with her and been that mum. but... seeing this picture reminded me how happy she was... she was in her house, with her toys, with her aunty she loved - having a fabulous time each day. 

i am so and forever grateful to niques. she taught this little girl to say please and thank you, how to count, to say her prayers... and never once asked for anything in return. she and madeline are the best of friends and that is a wonderful blessing to me in itself. 

how lucky she is, how lucky we are, for her love and kindness. for her efforts to make madeline the sweet girl she is today. and most of all, for spamming my message and email inboxes all the day long with precious photo moments of this sweet girl. i can't thank you enough.

Monday, March 23, 2015

rich gets his melchizedek

yesterday was our dianella stake conference and we had the wonderful opportunity to be there with our friend richard as he was advanced in the priesthood, to receive his melchizedek priesthood and become an elder. what a special day... so of course... out comes the camera. 

i love that we are blessed to have the temple in the back lot of our chapel, none of those photos in front of the chapel... haha they give me the irrits, if my camera is out... we are in front of the temple!

and plus... that is the next stop for the seleue family - they are going to be sealed as a family in the new zealand temple in july. we are so excited for them (although more than just a little bummed that we won't be there with them!)

again... how lucky we are. less than a ten minute drive from our house!

my sweet friend florence with her babies. how i love them, i am so glad they decided to move to perth!

and a snap of the seleue boys, rich and his brother maaliva with baby melchizedek.

congrats rich!


i was so glad i happened to be out the back taking photos though, as after all the ordinations, these 6 young men came outside to recreate a photograph they had taken two years earlier. the six are all from our stake and had made a goal together to serve a mission once they were old enough, 2 years later - 3 of them received the melchizedek priesthood in one day and got one step closer to their goal. their goal is the same and they are all still united. they are the future of the church here in perth and i am sure it could not be in better hands.

"as long as you look towards the temple, 
you will never be lost..."

Friday, March 20, 2015

"baby" j is 13 months

he is getting so big! 13 months old now and still sweet and smiling away. he had his first hair cut this month (he was rocking a little bit of a mullet beforehand...) by my lovely mum and now looks more like a little boy than a baby...

he loves to eat and polishes off more spaghetti than madeline can without batting an eyelid. must be the samoan in him. he has mastered yes and no even though he isn't talking and furiously nods his heads in response to a lot of questions he is asked and has recently started shaking it as well. doug likes to sit with him and say, "yesssss, nooooo" and watch him. little cutie. 

for entertainment value, this is the little toy pram that maddie pushed him around in as a baby... he just fit when he was small - and look at him now! our big little boy.

at the beginning of this month, he started letting go of the furniture and standing on his own for a few seconds, and now is standing more and more on his own, i am positive he is just days away from walking!

(having a snooze at church)

he loves to bang things and clap hands, making noise is obviously a forte for this one. i am sure music will be in his future. he's also added to his one word vocabulary, and now says hey! as well as mum. (we'll keep working on that...)

he loves to be tickled and giggles away with his hearty little giggle whilst squirming and pushing us... clearly enjoying himself. also... his hair is still blonde, but starting to get a little orange tinge underneath. soooo adorable. he'll have the girls lined up around the block in no time at all.

we love him! ♥

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

dress making!

it's been a goal of mine for quite some time to sew myself a dress. not just any old dress, but an awesome vintage inspired one, in a funky as fabric. i've been looking on pinterest for quite some time now for inspiration (and hoping madly that i would find a pattern some day) and i finally found one!

all 3 of these dresses are made from the same pattern and found on different blogs, but i love them and i am so excited... because i found the pattern (simplicity 1652) on ebay and bought it! i am going to make one - this year. i assume i am fairly safe saying that, as it gives me just over 8 months to do so. so stay tuned... i am going to do this... and you will all be my witnesses as i show it off some time in the (hopefully near) future. ♥


Monday, March 16, 2015

market play date

maddie and her friend ruby had a play date today at the coventry markets in morley. they are awesome markets, that only opened within the last few years and so are still nice and new (and clean) and have a giant playground that is always full of kids having a blast. 

it's the first time we have been there for a play and we'll definitely be back, the girls loved every minute of it and had the best time playing together... while ruby's mum rhona and i caught up on the last few weeks and all the goss. haha. sometimes play dates are more about the mums after all... 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

peanut butter choc chip cookies

when i find an awesome recips, i feel obligated to share it with everyone i know, so they can bask in its goodness. i have been making these peanut butter cookies for quite some time, but decided on a whim to add some chopped pieces of cooking chocolate into the mix and it improved their already great taste by about 600%. so from now on... that's what they'll be. haha

they are pretty simple and mostly use things you would have on hand... so here you are!

peanut butter cookies
makes approx. 30 cookies

125g butter (softened)
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bi carb soda
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (coarsely chopped)
1/2 cup choc chips (or chopped chocolate)

1. preheat oven to 180 deg celcius (160 fan forced) grease oven trays and line with baking paper
2. beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg until smooth. stir in sifted flour and soda, then nuts and chocolate
3. roll tablespoon of mixture into balls, place 5cm apart on trays and flatten with a floured fork
4. bake cookies for about 12 minutes, then cool on trays

and then... enjoy. try and stop at 1. i know i can't!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

another trip to aqwa

we love the aquarium! we went for the second time on monday and had the best time... my best friends mother gave us some money for the kids for christmas and told us to get them something they wanted... but they seem to have everything (because they are so loved!) so we decided to do something, not buy something. we had originally decided on the zoo, but it had been an awfully hot week, so we asked miss madeline whether she would prefer the zoo or the aquarium and she excitedly jumped up and down and said, "the quarium, the quarium!" it's obviously indoors and by water, so it's a lot, lot cooler than the zoo.

baby joseph seemed to love it too and was looking at everything... trying to spin his head around at top speed in his pram, which after a while we tipped back so he could lay and look up at the fish overhead. aqwa (the aquarium of western australia) has an awesome set up, including a 3 million litre shark tank, filled with sting rays, loggerhead turtles, hundreds of fish and a few sharks. this tank has an automated walkway that goes around inside a tunnel that spans 98m through the shark tank.

there are also dozens of single tanks with so many beautiful creatured, like these jellyfish. i know they are dangerous, but they are so beautiful and peaceful to watch as they swim about.

madeline of course was obsessed with the clown fish, and insisted on having her photo taken with the "nemos". they are so cute, i can see why they chose to make a movie about them.

and of course, my favourite! i have to admit (not that it's ever been a secret, i would give most anything for a pet seahorse. they are just amazing. so delicate and beautiful.

we had a fabulous time at the touch pool, where you can stroke little miniature sharks, that feel like wet sandpaper and hold a starfish. madeline loved it and we spent a lot of time there... she was so proud of herself holding the beautiful starfish!

as was i... i love them a little too much.

but my absolute favourite part of the aquarium, is the living reef, what an amazing place to be. i could honestly sit and watch the fish for hours on end... all the coral and incredible colours are just indescribable, although this picture has captured it fairly well.

these sea dragons amaze me, looking exactly like seaweed, yet floating around. there are so many beautiful creatures in this world and i feel so blessed to love so close to the ocean and have somewhere that we can go to learn and explore with our children.

on our second round of the shark tank, joseph got a little braver and started to reach up to the glass, while doug held onto him. he loved the stingrays and kept waving to them as they swam by.

we had the best day... there is nothing like having time with your family.