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Preview: Lynwood Musings

Lynwood Musings

Updated: 2018-01-15T20:52:20.665+11:00


The House


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I saw this on the news this morning. 
A spine tingling tribute to a grand House by some of our wonderful performing artists and an iconic song.
How I love my city.

This and That


Loving these JCrew maxi dresses, would be perfect for summer evening parties.  Was wondering Jenna, do you think you will ship to Australia any time soon?Irene from BloesemKids has recently started a beautiful collection of children's pendants suitable for both boys and girls, the one above is my favourite.A new online magazine and I just love it, I wish I had been quick enough to snaffle up the print version to keep.A piece of art, this slate cheese board.***I just love the earthy whimsical feel of this room, found in a Californian/Mexican restaurant in Paris.  I'm putting Taqueria Candelaria on my list of must check out when I'm next in Paris.A really pretty shopper that zips into a pouch you toss in your handbag.One of my all time favourite totes, lots of room and handy divisions for all my bits and bobs, I used it as a baby bag.I would love to look at this honey pot every day on my breakfast table.I'm hoping to watch this movie this weekend, I have a bit of a crush on Ms Tautou.I just love this house, could happily call it mine.  Then check out their weekender, which you can rent.Have a wonderful day.[...]

A Good Book or Two


***I have been doing quite a bit of reading this year which I am quite pleased about and have come across some really good reads which I thought I might pass on to my readers.A wonderful story by a new Australian author. Set in a small New South Wales town just after the Great War and during the Spanish Flu epidemic, this beautiful gothic murder mystery story is about the different ways that people deal with death, grief and heartache.I read this last year,  and a dear friend recommended Craig's first novel, and interestingly like Bereft, this story about a blind girl and a cello playing hermit also deals about how people deal with loss.  This is a beautifully written story, very lyrical in its style.  Right from the first chapter, it sweeps the reader into a wonderful story of loss and love.  Set during the last weeks of the last millennium in the fishing town of Fremantle Western Australia, Silvey proves himself to be another great Australian author.A powerful read and a bit controversial in my book club.  I really enjoyed reading this story of the love between a Mother and Child.  Once you got used the "voice" of the book, a 5 year old boy's language is used to tell the story, this was a truly moving book and one that I read in 2 sittings.As soon as I finished this book, I handed it over to my husband and told him he had to read it. This collection of real life stories highlights how even in today's world women are still the underclass.  The beauty of this book is that it is also a call to action, it lists simple ways that we can all help to bring education, health and prosperity to women across the world, in particular those in developing countries.I read many fashion and design magazines, you would probably say I am a magazine junkie.  I came across this one, a "women's magazine" and it is fantastic, full of well written articles about interesting women, such as Fatima Bhutto and the cover girl Adele. I'm hooked.I follow the online version of this wonderful Australian children's magazine and now it is in print, love it. Beautiful photography and styling.I've bought quite a few of the latest design books and to me this is by far the one that really hit the spot for me.  I have read every single page, and in fact have re-read this book a few times.  It fits in with my decorating style and I've been able to use this as a reference for my home and for our future renovating/redecorating plans.I know, she is an actress, what could she possibly offer in relation to cooking.  That was what I thought and I only considered buying this book because of a review by this blogger whose opinions I respect.  I still wasn't sure though and I went to my local library first to check it out.  What can I say, it is good, really good.  Gwyneth, I bow at your temple of cooking, good healthy and simple food for the family.I have also been reading some wonderful children's books with the boys which I will save for another post, so watch this space.Have a wonderful day.[...]

Bula, Bula


Hi everyone, we're back from beautiful Fiji.  It was so much fun and hot and sunny (well there was that one day of torrential rain and cyclonic winds).  Lots of magical moments with our family and the two families we went with.  I highly recommend holidaying with family friends, especially if they have children of the same or similar ages, it just works really well for both adults and the kids.While the trip wasn't without its challenges given our little one's aversion to being away from his home comforts, all of us had a wonderful time doing wonderful things like ...Family snaps with both Mum and Dad.A bit of Kava drinking for Dad.The boys "got jiggy with it" Polynesian style.Looking at "fishies" in a glass bottomed boat (don't recommend this if you suffer from claustrophobia)Dad and the other dads caught us dinner one very early morning, it was delicious.Of course there was plenty of pool work.Followed by some Sudoku with Dad.Lots of sitting here where we read and enjoyed the following view:Wherever you love, I hope you are having a lovely day. See you soon.[...]

The Best of Intentions


***Ah, life it can get so complicated sometimes can't it.  Especially if you have a child with special needs.  We decided to intensify our little man's therapies both at sessions and at home, and exhausting as it has been for me with his "homework" and taking him to and from his therapists, the fatigue has been worth it as we have seen a remarkable leap in his development.  He is a real little star and we love him to bits.We are about to start phase two by bringing a therapist into our home for 10 hours every week.  The idea is that by the time he starts school in 18 months that he will no longer need the "shadow" he currently has at preschool and that he will have caught up with his peers.As it turned out despite all the best intentions of keeping up my daily posts, if only to provide a bit of "me" time with pretty pictures, it became impossible to keep abreast of other blogs let alone keep mine up to date.But I do miss you all both my readers and also the blogs I like to read and I am determined to  return to the blogosphere. So, I'm back but it won't be daily and it may not even be weekly or monthly but rather intermittently, I hope you don't mind.In the meantime, here are few pretty things that I'm loving a lot:To carry my bits and bobsBy dayAnd by nightIt was really wet a few weeks agoWishing it was summerWe're off to Fiji in a fortnight, this would be lovely for eveningsSexy Scandi styleThe most stylish height chart everAnd just to end the post with some family stuff:The boys on their first day of school earlier this yearComparing their Easter egg findsOn a day trip to the Zig-Zag Railway in the Blue MountainsHave a happy day and see you soon.[...]

Happy New Year For Those In Need


Happy New Year to all my readers, I hope your passage into 2011 was as lovely as ours was.  A casual party at friends' place around the corner and the kids almost made it to midnight. L was wide awake though and keen to see the fireworks, so we went home and watched them on TV.  They were spectacular as usual, the Sydney Harbour and it's world famous icons (the Bridge and the Opera House) make a fantastic backdrop for the fireworks as the above image shows.

We are still enjoying the boys holidays and the weather has been good to our summer holiday.  However, not everyone is enjoying the beginning of 2011 as we are.  Please spare a thought and maybe some cash for the victims of the Queensland floods.  We have just celebrated a time of year which is about peace and goodwill and of course gift giving. So if you can give go to your local major (Australian) bank or to for further information on how you can help.

Happy New Year.

All image: The Sydney Morning Herald

Warm Wishes


I woke up this morning to a very quiet house as the boys stayed over at my mum's place last night. I've taken the time to catch up on my favourite blogs and revel in the joy spreading across the world in the countdown to Christmas.

Christmas is all about family in this household and it all begins for us on Christmas Eve as we head to my mum's place for a wonderful feast of Portuguese delights.  The next morning the boys will delight us in all the excitement of unwrapping the packages under the tree before we head to my husband's family lunch where seafood and a turkey and ham will be on the menu as well a few swims in the pool.

It has been quite a year for my family and while some of it hasn't been positive, it has on the whole been a wonderful happy year and I look forward to next year when my eldest begins the next important stage of his life, school and my youngest continues the wonderful progress his has made over the last few months.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Week of Stillness and a Very Special Lady


A few Christmas scenes in my homeThis week is pretty busy, some last minute stocking fillers need to be bought and the remainder of the gifts need to be wrapped in readiness for Xmas Eve night once the boys are in bed.  There is a bit of cooking to be done for Christmas Eve dinner which we celebrate with my side of the family (as is traditional in Portugal) and then Christmas lunch with F's family. Oh and the Chrissie cards are sent out on Monday.Last week however was a different story.One of the things I love about reading blogs are the traditions and ideas that many bloggers write about which touch something inside me. One such post, that I bookmarked, was last Christmas when Brooke from Inchmark spoke about taking a week to be calm amidst all the shenanigans in the lead up to the 25th December. Only last week Brooke wrote of how this new tradition in her family was working this year and it reminded me of how I wanted to implement this as part of our family Christmas tradition.What a wonderful week, L spent three days at Cooking Club organised by his school and J and I just hung out together at home reading Christmas stories and playing with each other and then all three of us enjoyed the treats L brought home from his day of cooking. The late afternoons were spent paddling in the pool. Quiet nights in with F and simple meals of grilled fish and chicken with salad.L's delicious gingerbread Christmas tree which he madeThe only crazy event last week was on Friday with a trip with the boys into the city to visit Santa where we stood in a queue for almost 2 hours!!! Having said that we walked around the city and visited one of the city's many large Christmas trees, the Nativity scene, the David Jones (our department store) Christmas windows and our beautiful Hyde Park.  The boys were so excited with all the festive elements of our trip to the city that even the 2 hour wait for Santa wasn't so bad.The week of stillness is a tradition sure to be repeated for many years in my household and I recommend it highly. Taking time to be with your family in a simple and intimate way is such a wonderful way to experience Christmas.More Christmas vignettesThis time of year is also when we think about those who are going through a tough time and spare some time to help where you can.  One such person in need of our thoughts and prayers is Jane at My Pear Tree House who is facing a dark and difficult road in the coming months.  I only know Jane through her blog, but I hope she doesn't think me too presumptuous in saying I regard her as a friend. She is witty and intelligent and is one fantastic writer, plus she is a lawyer which in my book means you are a special person, a community minded person.   Her blog posts are always so thoughtfully written and I always learn something whether it be about food, art, design or just life in general.So, in the madness of this Christmas week I want Jane to know that while I can't be there for her in person as she lives in Melbourne and I live in Sydney, I am there in spirit and she is in my thoughts and my heart all the way through her forthcoming journey.  Much love to you Jane.[...]

Holidays Are Here


We're off and running on our end of year fun. 

The boys have finished school for the year, L starts kindergarten next year which means 5 days a week for him, wow big school and J continues 2 days next year at preschool.  This means that for the first time in almost 6 years I will have child free days.  I can't tell you how excited I am that I get to spend 2 days next year doing anything I want without a child asking me for my attention. Yeah!

In the meantime we started our Christmas celebrations last week with school concerts and school carols night.  Our Xmas street party was on Saturday in our corner park and then F and I went to friends' Xmas drinks on Saturday night.

It is so warm and sunny at the moment, so both days were spent swimming and eating lost of salads and fruit.

Ah Christmas in Australia, I don't think there is a better way to celebrate it than enjoying parties on balmy nights and days by the water.

I hope your end of year celebrations are being enjoyed as much as we are.

Have a happy day.

Dear Santa ...


***I have been pretty good this year and have almost completed my gift buying and have begun the wrapping stage as well.I am often inspired by Gift Lists in magazines and now of course in blogs,.  In fact a few lucky people in my life will be the recipients of gifts found on blogs as far away as Paris and New York.I thought I would do something a bit different and put together a list for you, the wonderful woman that you are.I have listed things that are predominantly Australian as there are plenty of overseas blogs that have other nations covered (my faves this year are Simple Lovely, A Cup of Jo and Design Sponge) and my apologies to non-Sydneysiders, there are a few things found only here, but you can find similar things in your neck of the woods.So herewith my Chrissie list and happy shopping!***You are a mum, nan, sister, girlfriend, no matter who this lady deserves some special stuffLike a bit of silver and classic pearlsThis calfskin shopperAn annual subscription to one of these companiesSome delicate smallsThis beautiful silk linen jumperA degustation here or any other excellent restaurantA day spa in the countryA subscription to your favourite magazinesSpecial letterpress stationery (not Australian, but Suann ships to Australia and I think this is the most beautiful stationery I have seen and deserves to be on my list)And finally, my favourite way to be spoiled, a sleep in and brekkie in bed - pure bliss*No matter what you receive ladies, I hope that it makes you feel special.Have a happy day.* Image from here[...]

His & Hers


Alli of Hooray & Brooke of Pure and Noble have recently started a weekly challenge of posting his & hers photos, such a fun idea and they have challenged their readers to join in on the fun, so this is my contribution for this week.
I thought it would be fun to show you how different our bedside tables are despite being so similar.

His is the techno version of a stack of books (on the Kindle) and a digital alarm clock.
Mine is the traditional stack of books and a traditional wind up alarm clock.

I wonder what Alli and Brooke have come up with this week.
Have a happy day.

And the Countdown Begins


So its the beginning of Summer here which means the final countdown till the Big Guy arrives down our chimney.We like to start decorating on the 1st December so I have made a start on a few baubles and trims.  The tree will go up next week as I have to fit it in between birthday parties and BBQs on the weekend plus L is super keen to help trim the tree.I do have our Advent Calendar up, which the boys love, probably because it has a sweet or two in it, OK it has quite a few sweets in it, after all it is Christmas and I rarely give them junk food throughout the year.I had planned to make our Calendar this year, but time got ahead of me plus I stumbled across this beauty above at our local Op-Shop for $5.00.Despite my find I still did a quick scout around the Internet and found some great ideas for Advent Calendars:Cute and how it can be usedA fun creative versionI'm doing this with my boys this yearA paper bag oneYou can buy these here, but I think you could easily make them using these found at your local $2 Dollar shop A simple DIY version  A beautiful homemade felt versionA beautiful linen calendarA printable versionFor the typography loverSo how do you like to countdown to Christmas?Have a happy day.[...]

What Day is It?


Made my first appointment for 2011 this week and had to write it down on a piece of paper as I haven't yet bought a calender or diary for next year.So this has prompted me to have a scout around the Internet for something practical yet pretty.A family calendar is essentialA diary version of the family calendar, what a great ideaAnother family calendarOne for L's roomAnd another for J's roomBeautiful letterpress for meOr maybe this letterpress oneI adore this illustrated calendar from Flora DouvilleThis is stunningA reminder of my trip to Paris this yearFor the kitchen, yummy!Clever and fun designTo help me keep track of my library borrowingsFinally a showcase of Australian illustrators and their favourite Melbourne and Sydney neighbourhoodsNow, all I have to do is choose.Have a happy day.[...]

Out of the Mouth of Babes


Question: What does a 5.5 year old do when his Mama is scolding him.
Answer: Look her straight in the eye and ask her: "Do you think I'm cute?"



I love the dash of red in the otherwise neutral palete of this photo.



Oh dear, I've been AWOL, haven't I? So sorry, been terribly busy around here with the little ones, overseas guests, lead up to Xmas and end of our school year.  The beach has been our go to place lately, so who wants to sit indoors at a computer.Will be slow here over the next few months and I'm thinking of refocusing my blog for next year, how?  Not sure.  I appreciate your loyalty, patience and friendship so I hope you will stay with me.I finally downloaded and sorted through my photos from our Portuguese leg of our holiday back in August!  Most are of  extended family shots and due to the extreme heat (35C-40C) every day that we were there, not much site seeing was done, we spent a lot of our Portuguese holiday by the beach and pool.  The boys were not interested in site seeing either so we accepted that fact and just enjoyed the trip as a summer holiday rather than a cultural holiday.So a few shots of some things we got up to in my ancestral lands.Roman ruins of ConimbrigaThe university city of CoimbraThe boys and I with mum and her brother overlooking the Coimbra from his penthouse gardenA Bronze Age hut just outside my mum's childhood townPraia Grande, near Lisbon which had a 100 metre poolLisbonA night at a bullfight in Lisbon which is done on horseback, the dressage horses are beautiful and amazing(while the bulls are not killed in the ring, the animals are still hurt, so I felt squeamish and guilty) and yes that is a man throwing himself at a bull, they are known as forcadosPicnic with all my aunts, uncles and cousinsI'll be back soon.Have a happy day and Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.[...]

Next Stop: Auvergne Region


We are fortunate to have friends in who holiday every year at the family farm house in central France (she is Parisian and married one of my hubby's schoolfriends, the now live in the next susburb so we see each regularly).We timed our holiday with theirs and met up with them for a week. It was divine: a bit of site seeing, lots of delicious eating, reading and sleeping.The beautiful farmhouse owned by our friends' family for a few generations.  "A Year in Provence", eat your heart out.A typical day of eating wonderful locally sourced food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, reading in the afternoon sun, the kids loved checking out the local cows in the backyard and after a long day (this photo was taken around 10pm) the kids would all chill out in front of the TV before crashing for the night.A bit of site seeing in the nearby town of Herisson.  France just has the most picturesque towns, my boys loved the medieval castle (once lived in by the kings of France) which is currently undergoing restoration.Our friends were married in one of Herisson's medieval churches, L'eglise de Chateloy.  It has stunning frescos and sits on top of a cliff overlooking the town.And they had their reception at this chateau, a moat and beautiful gardens (with a cute garden shed - last picture) included. A local family owns this chateau and they still live in it and rent out the grounds and some rooms for functions such as weddings. A medieval church and chateau, a dream wedding come true I think.Of course no trip to France would be complete without a trip to the local brocante (flea market). After our week in central France, we drove back to Paris where we caught the TGV and the Sud Express for the next stage of our holiday, four sunny, hot weeks in Portugal.[...]

First Stop: Paris


Here they are finally a little taste of our week in Paris.  A warning, I've been to Paris many times so I didn't take photos of the famous landmarks, actually every day I went into town I actually deliberately chose not to take my camera, those big DSLRs get in the way of shopping bags. So what did we do?Stayed at our friends' home in the 'burbs (Croissy-Sur-Seine).  We are fortunate to have friends who are living there for a few years.  They have 3 kids so my boys were happy to have things like toys, trampolines and friends to play with during our stay. On the day of our arrival the Sunday markets were on at the village centre, so off we went to sample some of the goods. A spot of sailing the miniature boats at Luxembourg Gardens ...And hours of fun at the best playground in the world (again at Luxembourg Gardens)A BBQ with some Aussie expats on Bastille Day.  Yes that is the Eiffel Tower in the background, the BBQ was at one of the apartments at the Australian Embassy which has some great views of the Tower and the Trocadero, a great spot to watch the amazing fireworks.A typical street during my many shopping trips. The sales in Paris in July, are amazing.On the last day we rented a car and braved the crazy drivers on the autoroute, we hired a German car so that I felt somewhat safe. I find European drivers crazy and then of course they are driving on the other side of the road.We headed to the Auvergne region in central France for the next stage of our holiday in France.[...]

Travel Tips


So after many weeks (actually months of missing in action here in blog world) I'm finally able to share some moments of our 6 week trip to Europe.  First, a few tips I would like to pass on to any first-time long haul travellers with young children:

  1. Do not let your 3 and 5 year old watch every single kid movie on their personal TV screen over and over again or play all the games you've packed repeatedly.  An overstimulated child will not sleep despite how tired they are (it was a 25 hour flight to Paris not including the 3 hour stopovers).  Your fellow travellers do not appreciate being woken by kicking (I kid you not) and screaming children.

  2. Don't forget to order the kids meal 48 hours before you check-in (we made this mistake both to and from Europe!!). Despite the snacks we packed, they hardly ate on the flight.

  3. If travelling in Europe in late July and all of August with a 3 and 5 year old, forget site seeing, you'll spend pretty much every day at the beach or in a pool. Actually forget site seeing altogether, their not even interested in castles.

  4. Stay in a house rather than a hotel. This was the best decision we made, the boys settled quickly and it provided a sense of familiarity for them which made the trip that much easier.
Ah, the joys of family life!!

Despite a few hiccups, we had a great time.  So on to the good times. I hope you enjoy just a few of my holiday snaps in the following posts.

Touching Base


Hello there, I just wanted to stop by quickly and let you know I'm home. Thank you for all your emails and comments enquiring asking if all is well and it is.  Life is just really busy right now, the boys are home on their Spring holidays, we have overseas guests, the weather is just too wonderful to be sitting in front of a computer and I have a few more things on my plate at the moment.

I will soon post some holiday snaps, so I hope you will be patient.

Oh, last night on a current affairs programme, this American mum was interviewed, I don't know how contreversial I am being posting about her, but I think what she has to say just makes so much sense, what do you think?

Bonjour de Paris


But we are here. It is almost 8am Paris time, it is raining which has cooled the air, it has been extremely hot the last few weeks so it has brought some good relief.

We arrived yesterday morning at 9am, absolutely exhausted.  My boys are real troopers, I expected the worst for the flight and after 25 hours of flying with 3 hour layovers they weren't too bad.  They stayed awake until 9pm last night and L slept until 6this morning and J is still asleep as I write.

We're staying with friends who live in a suburb of Paris called Croissy (about 30 minutes from the centre).  For those who live in Sydney, it is like the Double Bay or Vaucluse of Paris. Nice spot to stay. We had thought about stying in Montparnase, at another friend's place, but Croissy offers 3 kids to entertain the boys and a large backyard which is the best option for the boys to get over jetlag.  It seems to be working.

F and I went to the local Sunday markets yesterday with our friends and while took photos, I still can't load them on to the iPad, so I can't share what we saw. If you have seen all those photos of French markets with the produce beautifully laid out, then you get an idea of what  thy looked like.

F and I will shortly head into the Marais for brunch with an old friend of his and then we'll do a little bit of shopping and site seeing. Hopefully the rain which has become stronger, will stop in time for our wander.

Until the next post, hopefully with some photos.

Have a happy day.

Image via Elsa May

All is Quiet


We're packed, all appointments have been attended, all plans have been finalised. F is out with the boys kicking a ball and I'm taking the time to enjoy a cup of tea and do some final blog reading.

We head off tomorrow mid-morning so this will be my last post for a bit. We're away for 6 weeks, 2 weeks in France and the rest in Portugal and I do intend to post a few of our adventures. Not sure how I will post the photos as the camera attachment for the iPad is in shortage worldwide!! I'll find a way to post photos of our holiday.

Welcome to my new readers, you have found me at an exciting time for my family, I hope you and my regulars enjoy the journey along with my boys and I.

I wish you all well until my next post somewhere in Europe.

Have a happy day.



"Two more sleeps Mama" L said as he jumped into bed this morning with F and I.  We're packing today and these are the looks I'm going for:

Have a happy day.



***I have been tagged, by Brooke of Pure and Noble.  I have to provide three answers to a series of questions (yes a week of revealing a bit about myself). Here we go again...Three Names I Go ByEngraciaMamaGrassThree Places I Have Been***New Zealand, one of the most beautiful places on earth***Italy, so romantic***New York City, enough saidThree Favourite DrinksChampagne, my drink of choiceTea to start my day and beyondWater, plenty of itThree Jobs I Have HadSolicitor (lawyer) for most of my working lifeBook publisher for about 6 years (loved it)Mama, toughest but best job by farThree TV Shows I WatchThe newsGrand Designs, one day I want to design and build my own home on a country beachBrothers & Sisters, pure escapist fluff I love itThree Places I Would Like to Visit***Brazil, would be nice to pop in meet some of my cousins***South Africa, I've been seduced by the World Cup coverage***Kakadu National Park, I'm really keen to discover this place with the boys in a few yearsThree Favourite Retro TV ShowsThe Brady BunchThat GirlThe Mary Tyler Moore ShowThree Places I Have LivedPotts Point, SydneyPaddington, SydneyDarling Point, SydneyThree Favourite DishesScrambled eggs on toastPiri piri chickenVincisgrassi from Buzo Restaurant, a lasagna with porcinni mushrooms, prosciutto and truffle, so good I always take home an extra serving (try this recipe by Nigel Slater or if you own it, The Silver Spoon version)Three Things I am Looking Forward ToThe trip to France and Portugal with hubby and the boysHaving a romantic dinner with F in Paris (we've been to Paris many times but this is our first trip together)Watching my boys grow into wonderful, caring and decent adultsI am supposed to tag three people, but I'm just going to tag one, Jane from My Pear Tree House (no obligation Jane, but over to you).Have a happy day.[...]

A Look Inside


A post by Jane at My Pear Tree House prompted this house tour. Dana of Yellowtrace lives here and if you look at the first image you will recognise it from the cover of the book which was the subject of Jane's post yesterday. Dana lives in Megan Morton's previous home.I really like how Dana has injected colour into her home and of course I love the industrial and vintage touches, like he magazine box. I like her quirky vignettes as well, the chooks and the pirate ship.  Oh and I have that white ribbon vase in my family room, it is actually a lamp, it produces a beautiful effect when lit. A fun, yet welcoming home.Have a happy day.Images via Apartment Therapy[...]