Monday, 20 July 2015

Playcare Parables

The annual Whale Festival launched this weekend in Hervey Bay.  Pickle, BigTed and I went to the Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday, toured the whale watching vessels, perused the market stalls and watched the fireworks finale with delight.  

Following on with the whale theme, I went to Pickle's playcare today and had a lovely time reading "The Snail and The Whale". It's a lovely story featuring an unlikely adventurer, an environmental lesson, teamwork, and the wisdom that no matter how small you are, you can still make a difference. 

If they'll have me back, I'll go back around Halloween to read "Room on the Broom" and at Christmas with "Stick Man"... When could "Tabby McTat", "Zog" or "The Smartest Giant In Town" fit, I wonder?

In case you haven't guessed, I Pickle may be a *bit* of a Julia Donaldson fan! I love the lyrical rhythm and rhymes of her stories. And Axel Sheffler's illustrations are gorgeous.  While "The Gruffalo" stories are well known, it's unusual to see the others in Australia. 

Do you have any favourite kids books or authors you hope your kids select when you read to them? Do you prefer rhyming stories or standard story books? 

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

#DAREcember - Week 2

I came to realise this week that this challenge is contributing to my mental health. Funny to think that a style challenge could do that, but for me, it's working two-fold. Firstly, I'm being mindful; I'm really being present when I'm getting dressed, adding accessories etc. And recently some fellow counsellor friends asked me what I'm doing for self-care. As well as the usual getting enough sleep, doing some girlie pampering, etc, I realised that I'm doing this challenge for me. Not for my clients, colleagues, Pickle, BigTed or anyone else, just for me. So this is how Week 2 panned out...

Day 8 was In the Wild, slim pickings here, it was either going to be my cow print sneakers or my leopard print scarf. The day came around and it was way too hot to consider having the scarf around my neck, so I wore it as a belt. Pickle chose my earrings and the colour of my hair clip, so I chose the green top to coordinate. Of course, trying to capture this resulted in my second "awkward bathroom selfie", the first being here. I love that this constitutes a work outfit these days!

All Black for Day 9 was really out of my comfort zone. I never wear all black and I struggled not slip on a bright pair of shoes... I couldn't resist adding a splash of colour with some bright red heart earrings a friend gave me. As it was a work day, I'd initially selected a sensible pair of ballet pumps... Then saw these heels sitting next to them and it was a no-brainer. I love these shoes and they are surprisingly comfortable.

Pinned On for Day 10 gave me a good excuse to dig out the vintage brooches I've been collecting. I love how the prettiness contrasts with the utility of the denim vest, so think I'll keep one on the collar from now on. Pickle chose my earrings again today, he's becoming my regular stylist!  I love "twin" earrings, though they're hard to come by - not a matching pair, but part of a set.

Day 11 for His, saw me doning the only shirt of BigTed's that was at my house. Good thing I like it... I nipped it in with a belt "borrowed" some years ago from a former boyfriend. This was perfect for a day of Christmas shopping in 32°C.

Brightest for Day 12 was much more in my comfort zone. I *love* colour. Today was my work Christmas lunch, so I got glammed up to hang with the girls. I had a divine pasta, glass of wine and indulgent dessert at Café Cavour, which I highly recommend, not only for the piquant food, but for the top notch customer service. My brightest day dress was a relatively new purchase, but with cost-per-use, I'll soon be in single figures... Pickle again chose my earrings, a green flower drop; hot pink shoes and red lip tar complete the outfit. Hair up in my latest favourite look, red glitter and gold nails, and I was ready to go. Do you think I'm bright enough?!

I cheated a little for Day 13's Killer Heels, as the actual day started out at kindergym and on general Mummy duties... Not really Killer Heel appropriate! However, I was heading out on Day 12 for dinner with a couple of the girls and our men for a glamorous Christmas get together that evening... And it went late, so technically I started Day 13 wearing this outfit (artistic license and all that). I kept the dress bright - I purchased this dress years ago in Paris (sorry, had to drop that in there), with one of my favourite people in the world (Chaz, do you remember?). Adding in my rose gold shoes and vintage accessories, I was ready to head to Coast, by far the swishest restaurant in the region. It deserves it's own blogpost, which will feature soon.

Backless for Day 14 is a little out of my comfort zone these days. I actually used to wear this top as a dress(!), and have been thinking of donating it, as it so rarely gets an outing. I dressed it down with white jeans to take Pickle to see Paddington the movie today,  and added a pop of colour to the monochrome with my favourite red Converses and the red heart earrings again. The movie was great btw, but watching Pickle's expression was the best bit. 

Tune in for more next week... vintage, ring bling, mixed prints, curves, cats eyes, rock out, and product free... definitely some there well out of my comfort zone!

Was there anything that caught your eye this week? 

Cheers, KangaRue :) 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

#DAREcember - end of week 1

I started blogging the first two days of #DAREcember here, mostly to commit myself... Here is the rest of Week 1:

Day 3 was "to the max", though with currently only one maxi dress in my wardrobe, this wasn't a hard pick (I've since got another one, which of course arrived in the post at the end of the day, though it of course needs taking up so my 5'2"/158cm doesn't trip over it!). I bought this panama hat a couple of months ago, but hadn't worn it yet. Throw on some turquoise drop earrings and my sunglasses and I was ready to rock Pickle's swimming class! Evening came around, and I removed the hat, put my hair up into a twist with a hot pink clip and threw a denim jacket on top. 

Day 4 was "orange kisses", which required a quick shopping trip. Not convinced this is the colour for me though. I will no doubt try the gloss again, but don't envisage it becoming a staple. Think the girls at work are almost enjoying my selfie taking as much as I'm enjoying the style injection (Amy and Mel, I'm looking at you!). 

I was a bit wary about the double denim challenge. I was thinking about playing it safe with white denim crops or long shorts... but decided to go for my short(est) denim shorts paired with my well loved denim jacket. I'm also wearing my sequined Rolling Stones t-shirt which always gets loads of positive comments, the panama and my favourite tan FitFlops. One problem, it is extremely hot in Hervey Bay at the moment. I was sweltering. A denim vest has been on my wish list ever since reading this Redcliffe Style post... Then I knew I *needed* one, I went into work the next day and my über stylish colleague was wearing one. Shopping with a toddler is not particularly conducive to browsing and trying things on, so I hadn't found one yet. Day 5's challenge spurred me on though and Pickle-free, I hit the mall. Just Jeans was my saviour... I went in with the the expectation of buying a pale denim, but preferred the dark wash (so much that I bought the distressed dark wash jacket too).  

I tend to think people generally fall into either the silver or gold camp. I am definitely a silver (or preferably platinum!) wearer. However I do have the odd gold accessory and for Day 6 I dug out my favourite pale gold earrings, worn with a chocolate brown top, beige shorts and  my ubiquitous FitFlops for Pickle's kindergym class followed by lunch. I later changed into an all navy outfit for an evening out. 

Day 7 was an easy one. Living in Hervey Bay, most of my wardrobe is easily adapted to Beachy. I'd always liked the idea of a kaftan top, but didn't know if I could carry one off. Inspired by Styling You (who regularly features kaftan tops and dresses) a while ago I bought this turquoise patterned top, which has become my firm favourite. I wear a blue, pink or green vest underneath, or can throw it over a bikini, and then dress it up or down depending on what else I pair it with. Today was mainly spent playing with Pickle, so it was a pretty casual day.

So that's the end of Week the first week of #DAREcember... I'm loving the challenge and I'm definitely finding that I'm thinking more about my complete outfit, resulting in a style boost.  

What do you think? Would you be up to joining in? 

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

#DAREcember (not a fashion blogger!)

While I certainly wouldn't call myself a fashion blogger - I just don't think I'm that stylish - though I do love my shoes, handbags, earrings, hats, scarves etc. And this is (I suppose) a lifestyle blog... Well, a blog about my life with Pickle anyhow (is that the same thing??).

One of the bloggers I've been following on social media for a while is Fox in Flats, and while she regularly runs style dares, I've never had the chutzpah to join in before. Now that I'm back at work, and am feeling fitter and more confident with our new simplified lifestyle, I thought I'd take part in #darecember.

Stacked up was the first challenge. Working as a counsellor, I took a bit of a twist on this one, and wore my mental health rubber bracelets stacked against a simple black dress for the day (turquoise earrings and hair-clip completed the colour injection). If you'd like to seek support and are aged 12-25 years old, then check out headspace; additionally and for those outside that age group BeyondBlue is a great resource and why not check out World Mental Health Day's suggestions too.

Today is braided... Now I'm not adverse to the odd French plait.  But it felt a bit of a cop-out to go with something I regularly do.  So, loving a bit of asymmetry, I went for a one-sided braid.  Now trying to get a shot of this was a trifle more difficult.  I call this one "awkward bathroom selfie".

So what do you think so far?  Are you tempted to join me? 

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Adventures with Olaf

Ever have anything that you half dread yet half anticipate with excitement? It was my turn this weekend.

Pickle's playcare class have an Olaf toy (from the movie Frozen if you have been hiding under a rock don't have young kids) that goes home with a family each weekend, and they document the adventures.  So far he's been away to the Gold Coast and Townsville on holidays, but even those at home have done some seriously creative scrap-booking displays.  One talented Mum even propped scenes.  I'm not sure if I want to hat-tip or throttle her... stuff like this is just not my forte!

Then Miss Vanessa, Pickle's girlfriend educator sprung it on me Friday morning that we'd be taking Olaf home this weekend.  Cue panic.  We didn't have anything out of the ordinary planned, but...

Olaf came along for the ride - quite literally - on the cargo-bike, in prime position next to Pickle for the journey home on Friday night to kick start a pretty typical weekend for us.

Arriving home, Pickle and Olaf set to playing on the fort before a dinner of sushi in the garden.  I had joked that Olaf needed a spa day. Jinxed myself didn't I, as Pickle had a massive nose bleed just before bed.  Olaf enjoyed his spa night and looks quite spiffy now.

Saturday is Kindergym... gymnastics for under fives.  Lots of games, balance beams, trampolines, and the pièce de résistance: the foam pit.  Pickle and Olaf were also up on the rings, they bowled and finished off the morning playing under the parachute.

Time for a relaxing fruit frappe and dairy-free babychino which Pickle and Olaf shared.

We went shopping to get Pickle a proper tea pot. Afternoon tea time meant we each had a cup of "tea" poured for us.

Then Hermes decided to get in on the action for cuddles. Lulu was camera shy.  Olaf previously met (co-educator) Miss Rachel's cats, so he knew cats are friendly and like warm hugs as much as he does.

Pickle wanted to make Warm Fuzzies, so he could give one to Olaf to let him know he enjoyed his visit.  He picked each set of feet, pom-pom body and mouth for each person he made them for.  Olaf's is the green pom-pom with yellow feet and red "kissy lips"!

B2, B1
Pickle, Olaf & RJ
Sunday night we went out for dinner with Big Ted and his "big boys", B1, B2 and RJ.  B2 has finished his final school exams and he graduates this week, so we went out for dinner to celebrate (he also got the purple Warm Fuzzy and a "gratulation" from Pickle).

Last night for the sleepover with Olaf and Pickle with his regular cohorts of Charlie the monkey,
Woofy the dog and Sven the reindeer (who is actually a moose, but Pickle named him after the Frozen character, and who am I to argue). It's been great fun.  We'll miss you Olaf!

So the scrap book has been updated.  Pickle will stand up in class tomorrow to tell everyone about his weekend with Olaf.  *proud Mummy gush*.
The end result - what do you think?
My coloured card and origami paper might not be quite as artistic as some of the efforts, but I don't think it's embarrassing and we sure packed a lot in.

So what do you think? Are you one of the über artistic parents, or do you dread the creative stuff you need to do for daycare/school participation as much as me?!

Cheers, KangaRue :)