Piccolo & Peony, minimalism and motherhood.

Since I decided to declutter my entire house while having some sort of mid-life crisis following the introduction of Bee Glad Eco Wraps into my orbit I have tried to be really mindful of no longer bringing pointless possessions into my house. Just when I was on the verge of Kondoing the joy out of everything I realised that organisation does not really sing to my soul. I’m what I call “too creative” and what my husband calls “really, really messy.”

So, then I started researching a much publicized concept called Hygge which sat better with my free spirited way of life (and that’s what you love me for, right Insta Husband??) Apparently Hygge has been out styled by Lagom but as I am (as per always) late to the party, I am sticking with Hygge.

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So Hygge, probably Lagom but def not Kondoed. Photo via Pinterest.

Okay, if you are still with me after that link-heavy intro, well done. Your prize is some unsolicited advice from me to you. Babies. No, that’s not the advice. I wouldn’t have a single clue when it comes to babies. Obviously.

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“No little baby, we wear lip stick not lip gloss”

Here’s the actual advice:

When a baby is born, the mother is the one that needs to receive gifts. Lots of gifts. But not gifts that are going to create clutter and stress.  

What is Hygge, disposable, beautiful and perfect for a new mum or basically anyone ever? A FLOWER SUBSCRIPTION. Yes! It’s so perfect. It’s a present, but you get to chuck it in the compost afterwards! No excess stuff to distract you from those newborn baby vibes. Just luscious, fresh flowers to enjoy day (and night.)

On the Peninsula, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to florists (my fave being Local Love Co) but some people live near the city. I know. People be cray. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have a bit of Hygge in their lives. This is where I get to my point. And my point is: Order a 4 week or 10 week subscription for you friend from Piccolo and Peony. That’s not an affiliate link by the way – I don’t get a kickback or anything like that, I just want you to be happy.

Piccolo and Peony is a family run business with the beautiful Polly at the helm of the flower ship. She sent me a piccolo last (for free) to try out. Do you know how long it has been since someone gave me flowers? I’ll give you a clue, I have been married 5.5 years. That is not a jab at Insta-Husband, by the way, because he doesn’t read this blog.  He told me if I wrote about sport and published it in the newspaper then he would read my writing. Ha ha. I am going to hire a cleaner and make you pay for it. Joke’s on YOU, buddy. Bet you’re sorry you never read this blog now, aren’t you? Also, I’m in love with Matty J from the Bachelorette. How do you like them apples, Insta- Husband? I digress.

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I bet Matty. J would give me flowers every single week. Photo via Pinterest.

When my glorious flowers were delivered I couldn’t stop smelling them. They just looked so pretty. The piccolos are quite petite so they are perfect on a desk or a book shelf or even on a kitchen bench.

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So pretty and so Hygge

I was interested to see how long the blooms would last. I hoped they would provide gorgeousness for up to a week as that is when the next piccolo would arrive (if I had ordered a subscription.)

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Day three, still beautiful. (I took off the wrapping for a more simple vibe.)

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Day six: Removed a couple of the tired flowers and let the peach rose take the spotlight.

Today is day 8 and they are probably on their last day. I didn’t change the water or anything (is that a thing? I feel like it’s probably a thing.)

Have a look at the website for pricing and subscription details here:  Piccolo and Peony. You can order in the morning for same day delivery and even add a candle which is very Hygge. If you have read this far, you deserve another reward: For 30% off your order, use  discount code  PICCOLOANDPEONY30. Enjoy!

Thanks Polly for brightening up my week and giving me the opportunity to write about plants, Matty J and babies (three of my favourite things.)

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OMG. Someone call a divorce lawyer.

Three For Free in Frankston

 

The school holidays are almost upon us. I can hear the collective whimpering of mothers and fathers and other carers across the state as they prepare their already paper thin patience for the whinging, whining and general irritation which is 24/7 with kids.

I asked my mum recently how she bought up three kids without any of us going off the rails. Her advice was to “let them out.” I do recall spending the majority of my childhood up a tree or on a shed roof trying to fly and I’m not on any illegal drugs so maybe she is on to something. So with that philosophy in mind, may I present three outdoor activities for free in Frankston these school holidays (or any time the kids are making you cray):

1. Geocaching.

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Before we go any further, if you don’t know what Geocaching is, click here. It’s basically a treasure hunt and there is treasure hidden in the Frankston Botanic Gardens! All you need is an app (it may cost a couple of dollars to get the advanced caches for the gardens but there’s plenty around Frankston on the free version) and away you go. This is a good cache to go for if it’s your first time. Plus you can enjoy the playground, see the ducks and if you get hooked on Geocaching, you can make your way to Sweetwater Creek to find another one!

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2. Frankston Foreshore Flag Puzzle

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Did you know that the flagpoles on Frankston Pier hold a secret message? Neither did I until I went fishing with Insta-Husband and Mini one day and got SO  BORED that I discovered this cool little titbit.  It’s made up of 22 letters and is perfect for preppies who are learning to read or older kids who think that they know everything.

While you are on the foreshore, don’t forget to check out the sculptures and free art. You can find out more about this here. Also, be sure to visit the playground to get rid of some of that wonderful energy.

 

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Frankston Beach

 

3. Go nature foraging at Beauty Park.

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Frankston is so lucky to have some of the best outdoor spaces in Melbourne. Have you been to Beauty Park recently? Home to the amazing Little Beauty Market it is a perfect piece of picturesque parkland. You can enjoy the play equipment, see the ducks in the huge pond or have a go on the outdoor exercise equipment (again, get rid of all the energy. Do you notice a theme here?)

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Once you have done everything on our Three For Free list do not panic. You still have a few more options up your sleeve for free stuff to keep them busy:

Visit the free book exchange in Karingal. More details here.

Find out which playground we think is Frankston’s best here.

Or, discover the wealth of free street art in Frankston. To get you started, click here.

So there you have it. Loads of free and fun activities to help keep you sane this school holidays. Have something to add? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Good luck people. See you on the other side…..

Brilliant Bianca

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Bianca, a jewellery maker from Mount Eliza, is not your average 16 year old.

Talented, creative and original, this teen not only has the drive to succeed in her chosen field, she also possesses the gratitude and grace that will see her keep her balance in the business world.

“I love Gorman” she tells me “I’d love to work in New York and draw inspiration from the street fashion there. But I could also see myself studying Art and Design after high school. Or moving to Holland to work on a family fashion label.” Whatever path she chooses, she will be taking years of experience along for the ride.

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Bianca started the market circuit at just 12 years of age and quickly found her favourite in the Emu Plains Market.

“Everyone is just so supportive. The organiser, Vanessa is so encouraging and positive. The other stall holders have given me tips; it’s just such a great environment to be in.”

She makes sure to mention those that have helped her along the way. With mentors like Kaitin, creator of Koa, Chloe McColl, Kate Macindoe and Emily Dornbusch on the list, it is easy to see why Bianca loves surrounding herself with creatives.

Mini had a couple of questions for Bianca and she was only too happy to answer them.

M: How do you make the jewellery?

B: I use polymer clay. When it is baked it hardens and holds its shape. Once cooled I can drill holes to attach tassels or thread the necklace in.

M: What was the first thing you made?

B : I made my mum a necklace for mother’s day using Sculpty and then, over time, I refined the design.

M:  Where do you do your art work?

B: I am lucky enough to have a small studio at home that I can work in. When I am in the studio I find that art making becomes almost meditative. It calms any anxiety I may be experiencing and I find it very therapeutic. My mum has always encouraged me and she also uses the studio to paint.

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It is easy to forget that this artist is still in high school. When I press her for details of when I can expect a website or online store she tells me she is content with market stalls for now.  She does, of course, have classes  Monday to Friday.

Before we finish our conversation, I can’t resist asking her what we can expect in fashion for the reminder of 2017. She does, after all, spend her free time browsing Pinterest and Instagram to keep her finger firmly on the fashion pulse.

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“Metallics and glitter” are her predictions. And you know what? I believe her.

You can find Bianca’s Shop at the upcoming Little Beauty Market in Frankston on both March 25th and April 22nd or check out more of her creations on her Instagram page here

All images used throughout this post come courtesy of Bianca and her mum. Please don’t republish without permission. Thank you.

Want to read about another inspiring woman making the Peninsula shine? Take a look at: Emma Currie: Wine, Women & Wholeheartedness

 

 

 

 

 

Red Gum BBQ = OMG.

I met Martin Goffin, one half of the Red Gum BBQ team, ten years ago. At that time he had not yet found his calling as a BBQ Pit Master. Instead, he was a youth engagement officer working hard in St Kilda and the surrounding areas. It seems his quest to make the community a better place continues. Martin and Melissa opened the restaurant (shed? Space? Beer/BBQ hall?) earlier this year after making the tree change to the Mornington Peninsula a few years ago and I daresay that they will never look back. They are the perfect combination of hard working and talented – this duo have made their dreams come true.

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Beer dreams.

Everything about the place has a story. The long wooden dining tables? Made of recycled wood sourced from Rosebud. The recipes? The couple’s own developed over their time working in America. The kitchen? Custom designed and built and the place that magic happens. Melissa is the brains behind the styling and I basically want her to come and re-style my house. They rented the huge space after seeing it only from the outside and transformed it with the passion and zeal which would probably not be present had they done this before. That’s right, this is their very first restaurant venture.

Perfect place for a pre-dinner jar of beer

Tea light candles and generous chairs. Perfect place for a jar of beer.

Okay. Let’s talk food. It’s amazing. Simple ordering process of choosing a meat and then a side dish. We sat down with Martin and sampled the ribs, brisket, chicken, sausage, macaroni ball, mac and cheese, BBQ’d beans and potato salad. I didn’t even get a photo of it because I was too excited and just ate it instead. Here is the aftermath.

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And the beer. So, I’ll set the scene. I am married to a Welshman. The village he grew up in had a schoolhouse, a river, a church and a pub. You can guess which one he spent the most time in. He is not easily impressed when it comes to beer in Australia but last night…..

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I’ll take one of your massive jars of beer thanks barman.

He was impressed. I had a small glass of the Little Red and it was delicious.

By the time we had finished dinner, our babysitter had called to say that the baby was crying and would only stop when my neighbour (who she had gone to for assistance) held her and let her watch television. So, we decided to call it a night and head home. But the reminder of being a parent quickly brought me back to earth and made me take this shot of the gorgeous play area.

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As we drove home I reflected on how our thirties are the time to make big life dreams happen. All that experience. All the knowledge. By thirty, you are closer to knowing what kind of stamp you want to leave on the world. Since we moved down this way we have fallen in love with the area. The wineries, the slower pace, the trees, the space and the people. Red Gum BBQ seems to encompass all of that and more. I also reflected on the all consuming passion I saw in Martin as a Pit Master that I had only witnessed as a flicker in him when he was working for council. The way he watched Insta Husband peruse the menu. “Have the chicken” he told us “It will change your life.”

Well, it certainly has his.

Red Gum BBQ is in Redhill. It has high chairs and nappy changing facilities. It’s an indoor/outdoor venue and is wheel chair accessible. And amazing.

Need some date night underwear inspo from Bendon? No, me either really. But a girl can dream.

 

FYI: This post contains an affiliate link to Bendon. If I ever make a dollar I will spend it on coffee.

Peninsula Wellness Store

Practicing self love, as a mama, is so important. But it is also so hard to prioritise in amongst the white noise of school pick up, pumpkin stains and the daily trimming of precious minutes to yourself. I practice micro self love moments. For me, this looks like 5 minute meditations, baths with Epsom salts, foot massages, new nail polish…you get the idea.

I have recently discovered a gorgeous local online business: Peninsula Wellness Store. Owner/Operator Carissa is in her final year of studying naturopathy and has recently added her own creations to her store. She very kindly sent me a couple of complimentary products to try out.

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They were packaged beautifully and each product came with a little swing tag with printed instructions and ingredients. And look at those gorgeous sticky labels. Pretty! I love a bit of bohemian branding.

The Bite Ease roller blend smells good enough to wear as perfume. Seriously. It’s amazing. And the roller top makes application easy for dramatic five year olds who are claiming to have bites but who secretly just like the smell.

 

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Easy roll on application

Does it work? It seemed to. It felt like a gentle antiseptic.

The Face Serum smelt beautiful too with the lemon and orange essential oil blend (amongst other oils.) I loved that I could use it on my hands without a greasy feeling. I even used it to give myself a foot massage and it was divine!

 

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“I don’t want to be an Instagram Husband’ Said Insta Husband as I forced him to take this photo over my shoulder.

 

 

Overall, the Peninsula Wellness Store offers you a chance to take time out and be kind to yourself. The treat for your senses -the smell and the soothing application- feels like a mini luxury. I think we could all do with a bit of that!

To learn more about this wonderful Mornington Peninsula business, take a look at their website here: http://peninsulawellnessstore.com.au/

A week in review part 3: Tot Books

I think we have established that I am obsessed by books. Growing up, my mum was a journalist and loved reading. For me, I always saw books as a gorgeous Sunday afternoon luxury, a constant friend, a world of adventure just waiting for me at the end of the day.

When my mum gave me a personalised book called The Wattle Fairy for my fifth birthday, I thought it was magical. How did the author know my name? How did she know the name of my street and that I have two older sisters and a dog called Blue? It was my favourite book for years. I may or may not have a fairy tattoo that may or may not have been inspired in part by the story.

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The Wattle Fairy. I have a million books. My husband loves moving house with me.

So when the lovely Tracey from Tot Books contacted me about her local start up which uses your child’s photo and favourite activities to personalise a book, I couldn’t wait to see what she’d come up with for Mini. She sent me a free PDF and as I opened it, I could not stop laughing.

Ladies and gentlemen, she did not disappoint.

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They tamed her wild curls in ways I could only dream about

The simple, repetitive language used on each page makes this perfect for my little preppie to read to me. And her sister. And herself. And the cat. But come on, the best part about it is that little face. Let’s look at a couple more pages….

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I actually avoid taking her swimming and force Insta Husband to go instead but this book allows me to create false memories of excellent mothering so #winning

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Her face! I cannot get enough of it. This page is speaking truth.

So overall, All About Me is a big success in our household. If you’d like to order your own, pop on over to their website. It only takes a few minutes and who knows, maybe your child will keep it forever.

Now It’s Time For Something a Little Different

When I was invited down to Mount Eliza to visit Peninsula Endermologie to receive a complimentary Endermologie treatment I was slightly apprehensive. Would it be a clinic with nurses in white coats? Did it involve needles and stretched skin? Would the waiting room be full of women with perfect eye brows? But when I mentioned to my sister that I was considering having a facial treatment she growled “Do it” so enthusiastically that I quickly accepted the offer.

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Beautiful Niamh outside Peninsula Endermologie

Before we go any further, I can hear you asking “Miss Morni Penni, what are you even talking about? Nice brows by the way.” Well this picture will explain things approximately eleventy billion time better than I can with words:

And so will this:

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What does it actually feel like? Well to be honest, it kind of felt like a baby trying to feed from my face but with no dribble. A gentle suction sensation that left my skin feeling warm. Niamh (pronounced Neve for those wondering) and I chatted throughout the treatment about Paleo diets, the NBN, parenting, writing, collagen and life in general. Before I even looked in the mirror my spirits felt lifted by Niamh’s warmth. She’s a gem!

The results: This type of technique is an ongoing process but I definitely noticed a difference in my skin after one treatment. I sneakily took note of any compliments I received over the coming week to see if anyone else would see a difference.

“How’s the baby’s routine going? You look fresher!” -School Mum (the baby’s routine has gone to pot FYI. Teething, solids, life)

“You look like you’ve had a good night’s sleep” -My Mum (No mum….no. Baby. So tired.)

“Your skin looks great!” -Lovely Friend (over cocktails. May have been a  bit drunk.)

So in conclusion, would I continue having Endermologie treatments? I am not 100% sure. Probably not right now. Niamh did tell me a couple of times how great my skin is (love her.) I’m turning 36 next month so ask me again in 12 months.

If I did decide to have it again, would I choose Peninsula Enermologie? Definitely.

Would I pay good money just to hang out with Niamh and chat? Yes! She’s awesome.

The other thing I should mention is that I have very reactive skin – I often break out when using new cosmetics or shampoo. Because this doesn’t involve products, my skin loved it and I just got refreshed skin with no rash or breakout. Yay!

For more info on how to get in touch with Niamh, check out her Facebook Page or her website.

 

Bee a better person with Bee Glad Eco Wraps

I never knew how limited in creativity I was until I started making school lunches. How many ways can I chop a carrot and slice an apple? And how many different swear words can I come up with when the lids to all the containers fail to come home? The answer to one of these is ‘2’ and the answer to the other is ‘several’. I’ll let you guess which is which. So when Bee Glad kindly sent me some Eco Wraps to try out for free, I knew my lid finding woes were over!

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Amazing

The pack we got came with three varying sizes (genius) and each size came in a different print so they’re easy to recognise at a glance when you’re tired and running late for school.

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Even the packaging is compostable!

You can learn more about the process of how these beauties are created by checking out Bee Glad’s Instagram account here.

We used all three every day for a week and miracle of miracles, they came home each and every day. A quick wipe down and they were ready for the next day. Carrots, apples, sandwiches, baked treats, nothing was too awkward for these babies. That’s because the warmth of your hands moulds the wrap to the shape of your food. Huh! So cool.

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So, overall, these were a big YES in our household.

But something else started to happen during our first week of using the Eco Wraps. Having daily awareness of the amount of plastic I was no longer using made me more conscious overall about waste.

So I bought a reusable straw one day when I was ordering a juice. (Bee Glad sells these too I have since discovered.) It even came with a little cleaning brush.

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Who even am I?

Then I found myself ordering a reusable takeaway coffee cup from KeepCup. And always making sure I had my glass water bottle with me because disposable plastic water bottles are ridiculous.

 

And then I even started considering getting a few cloth nappies before I remembered that the laundry is already out of control with all the clothes in there. So now I’m having a garage sale on the weekend because it seems ridiculous to have SO many clothes.

It’s these small changes which can lead us to a more mindful way of conducting our routine activities. That makes ‘going through the motions’ feel more connected. I won’t say that I look forward to making school lunches now but I definitely hate it a little less.

Find out everything you need to know about how to take the first step to being a better human by checking out the Bee Glad website

You Little Beauty

It’s no secret that I am Frankston obsessed. So when I heard that the founders of the Emu Plain Market were spreading the love to Funky Town, I knew I had to get the low-down stat.

“We have been looking for a sister site for over two years and have finally found a space that conveys who we are and what our markets are all about” says organiser Vanessa Johnson

Little Beauty (I know, how cute) will be held in Beauty Park on High Street in Frankston and I for one cannot wait to check it out.

It’s an exciting next step for Vanessa and husband Joel’s newly formed events company Untold Events Co. This market will showcase 160 of Melbourne’s very best stall holders.

So who will be there?

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Haus of Health legends (photo used with permission)

The gorgeous Haus of Health will be coming along with their spice blends, hand-crafted tea and very cool food toppers. These are you go-to girls for vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free, organic, delicious super food.  Yum! Plus, they are sisters! And they work with their mum. I love them already.

See their incredible work right here

 

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Peninsula Wildflower (photo used with permission)

How beautiful are these blooms by Peninsula Wildflower?

I had such a hard time choosing an image from them as they are all so gorgeous. You should just go check them out on Instagram immediately. See the pretty flowers here.

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Faery Emma (Image supplied by Untold Events Co)

 

 

 

 

Faery Emma is a face painting, art class running glitter ball of fun. What else do you need to know?

Okay, in case you do need to know more (like how to book her for a birthday party so you can focus on the champagne drinking to celebrate surviving another year with the little darlings) have a look at her magical Instagram by following the star dust over here

There will also be heaps of food options from Babajas Kitchen, Mushiki Dumplings, Gozleme Queen, Greek Masa, The Burglary and Flying Calamari Bros. just to name six!

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Yum. (Image supplied by Untold Events Co.)

 

So. Sounds amazing right? Well wait until you see the list of craft stall holders. My very favourite so far is Bianca’s Shop (she’s 16 years old people and she has her own business. Why have I wasted my life?)

Check out Little Beauty Website for current dates

To read more about the talented jewellery maker mentioned above, take a look at: Brilliant Bianca