It’s taken me over a week to start this post as I’ve been recovering ever since I hosted Christmas lunch at my place! Because it wasn’t just Christmas lunch for a dozen people; we hosted Christmas lunch here for 24 adults and 21 children, and even with my poor maths skills, I can conclude this amounts to 45 people!! In keeping with tradition we all sat down to lunch. For the first twenty years of my life my nana hosted Christmas lunch at her place. But as she got older, and the family grew larger, my auntie then took over and for the past 19 years we enjoyed the most fabulous feast at her place. Sadly she passed away six months ago and so Mr NASD and I put up our hands to host Christmas at our place and ensure the family stayed together for such a special day. It wasn’t the same without my dear auntie, and her absence was deeply felt by all, but we did our best to put on a great day, and by all accounts we succeed. I am going to let the photos do most of the talking. Here is how we hosted Christmas for 45!…
Christmas is just around the corner and excitement amongst the kids is high. Children love to be involved in gift giving and by creating some Christmas craft together you can make your holiday greetings more thoughtful, while having fun.
Possibly the most lovely gift you can give someone is a heartfelt, handmade card. And who doesn’t love receiving a gift beautifully wrapped? It’s easy to make your own Christmas cards and gift wrap, which add extra sentiment to Christmas gifts. Get into the festive spirit and enjoy these Christmas gift-wrapping ideas with your kids.
Easy Christmas Gift cards and Gift Wrap…
At the weekend I was lucky enough to be treated to a photography workshop and lunch hosted by Fat Mum Slim and Olympus. A group of about 15 mums and 15 kids gathered to pass on the passion of photography to the next generation. I took along Miss J and enjoyed a rare “day date” with her. We had so much fun! Having just turned five Miss J is at a highly imaginative and creative age. She loves watching me take photos (and doesn’t mind posing for them, too) and she has shown a genuine interest in the art of photography.
Held at The Stables of Como, the venue could not have been more spectacular. Set against the stunning Como House and Gardens in South Yarra, the grounds were glorious and Spring was in full bloom. As soon as we arrived I knew we were in for a real treat.
Meeting Chantelle in person was the first highlight. She is every bit as lovely in person as she is online. I have long admired her blog for the connection and authenticity she creates with her readers. She is generous, engaging and highly creative. Given these qualities I knew there would be lots of creative and fun elements to the day. And I was right. Each child received their very own photography party bag and their very own camera lanyard. Miss J has been wearing hers proudly around her neck ever since!
How cute are these Olympus Camera Cookies?? And “Fun” was what the day was all about.
It began with a few tips and tricks on how to master photography. Photoblogger, Rachel Devine, shared some simple but significant ways to take better photos. She talked about how to frame photos, play around with point of view and perspective, and most importantly how to have more fun. Chantelle gave the kids a little animal each and a cardboard viewfinder so they could explore composition before playing around with the cameras.
Olympus provided cameras for the kids and for the grown ups. The kids were given a tough camera, which had a very nifty “selfie” function that the kids went nuts for! There was no shortage of photo inspiration and Melbourne put on her finest weather for the fun!
Naturally, I took a lot of photos of Miss J taking photos!
This little elephant came along for the fun and gave photos context and definition.
And we were treated to many tasty treats during the afternoon.
Here are some of the photos that Miss J took. We were allowed to take home the memory cards and I was really impressed with Miss J’s framing and focus.
Photography has been something I have been interested in for many years. I love threading stories together using both words and images. Sometimes, a picture can convey an experience or mood far better than words. On this blog post I share my tips on how you can improve your photography with a few very simple adjustments.
Back home we continued to experiment with taking photos. Miss A and Miss H were inspired to create their own hand-made cameras. I was so impressed.
It was so awesome to see Miss J’s enthusiasm and excitement for taking photos. I think I have a budding photographer on my hands and I am delighted to be passing on the passion! Thank you again Fat Mum Slim and Olympus 🙂
Do your kids enjoy taking photos? Do they have their own camera?
Fathers’ day is looming and so the wonderfully creative staff at our kinders, schools and childcare centres are busy preparing handmade presents from the kids for their dads. I am forever grateful, and astounded, at the many and varied ways teachers come up with cute little handmade gifts. Just think about the seemingly infinite ways a child’s hand or footprints has been used to create something specular. Impressive!
Every parent has strengths and weaknesses and I’ll confess that homemade gifts fall into the latter for me. I’ve been contemplating how else I can thank my hubby this fathers’ day. It occurred to me that what he really wants is not a new wallet or stubby holder, it’s actually not material possessions at all. Aside from the Richmond Tigers taking out the premiership in September, I reckon my hubby will be pretty pleased with this gift loot!…
Hip, Hip, HORAY, NASD turns 3 today!!!
Well, I truly never thought I’d be writing this post to mark the third anniversary of my blog. You see, I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing when I started this blog back in 2012. It was my sister who suggested I start writing about my mothering experiences. We were both deep in the trenches of newborn fatigue and regularly exchanged war stories. Perhaps she was tired of me hearing me rant but I must thank her because what has followed has been an amazing journey.
I remember the combined excitement and nervousness I felt when I pressed PUBLISH and sent my post out to the blogosphere. I only had two readers who were the only ones following my blog at the time – my sister and loyal hubby! I confess I knew nothing about blogging and what it would entail. I gave little thought to what I would write about, and I didn’t pay any attention to the so-called “rules” required to establish a loyal following. Since then the terms ‘readership’, ‘messaging’, ‘traffic’, ‘hits’, ‘integration’, ‘widgets’, ‘engagement’ and ‘plugins’ have become part of my vernacular….
I hate book week. There, I said it. But before you stop reading or un-follow me, let me explain, as my headline is a little misleading. I love books. But I loathe book week.
I am a book nerd. I have at least eight books on my bedside table at any one time, and a few on the coffee table in the living room. I adore reading. I would be lost without books, and I read many genres. I love escaping into a good plot at night with character rich stories and compelling plots. During the day, when I have “spare time” or on Slow Sundays, I enjoy reading nonfiction. Currently I am enjoying Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, Andy Puddicombe’s Headspace and Steve Biddulph’s Raising girls. And, yes, I am reading them concurrently. You can do that with non-fiction, but I only always have one novel on the go.
My kids have inherited my love of reading and this gives me great pleasure. Enid Blyton is Miss A’s favourite author at the moment, ending each day with a chapter of The Faraway Tree series. Almost regrettably she has started reading on her own now and doesn’t need me to read to her. But she indulges me and we enjoy the tales of Moonface, Dame Washalot and Mr. Watzisname together. And what a wonderful world it is to inhabit, even as a grown up!…
When I was 15 I did work experience at a trendy photography studio in inner Melbourne. The studio was surrounded by fashion boutiques and I confess I was more interested in the retail offerings than taking photos. At Uni, I dabbled in a few photography subjects and enjoyed the magic of processing film in a dark room and seeing my photos come to life in front of my eyes. It was cool. And then, in my 30’s, digital photography took off and it has changed the amateur and professional photography landscape. Photography used to be an expensive hobby. Today, however, you can take as many photos of your baby crawling as you please, because storing them on digital memory cards costs next to nothing….
As a child I loved telling stories, and I still do as an adult. This blog is just one way I share stories. I like to create, collect and celebrate family moments. I gather these memories up and I enjoy chronicling their lives through words and images. It is partly for me, so I can hold onto their childhood, but it is for their benefit, too. Of course, I try to do this in a way that enables me to enjoy being in the moment with them. There’s a juggling act to capturing the special moments in life, and actually being present for them.
When you’re a parent, each time your child reaches a new milestone is exciting and naturally you want to capture these precious moments. We can’t commit every detail to memory, so our natural response is to record it. Photos, videos and letters form a little “time capsule” of our lives. Imprinting a childhood with these ‘souvenirs’ is a lovely gift to pass on. Children will forever treasure memories if they are preserved….
When Miss A was just a baby, I couldn’t wait for her to reach the next milestone. I was eager for her to roll, crawl, walk and talk. And those milestones were celebrated with great excitement. But lately, another milestone has been looming and my emotions have been mixed. And today was the day for that milestone. My “baby” started school.
I wrote here about preparing myself for this moment. I held back tears when we left kinder for the last time. For me, it signified the end of a wonderful chapter and a reminder that my little girl was not so little anymore….
After a frantic end to 2014, we have enjoyed a slow and calm start to the new year. Let me tell you all about it, in stills.
A chance of scene helped us reset and recharge….