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Pin of the Day: Pastel and ice cream test shoot

A while ago I noticed that my 'Home Life' Pinboard was pretty much all neutrals. I am an appalling embracer of a white-grey-beige-black with the occasional muted colour pallet. I vowed to shuck off the neutral and embrace colour instead, so I created my 'Colour My World' board.

It will come as no surprise to learn that, except for an occasional lapse into hot swirly brights, the 'Colour My World' board looks pretty much the same as the 'Home Life' board. We are who we are, people.

Instead, for this board I look for a pop of colour that is either a little bit clashy or entirely unexpected. I liked this arrangement by Charlotte Love. The soft aqua of the chair top against the pink wash of the curtain is very pleasing I think.

Visit Charlotte Love ("creative styling assistant") or click on the image to see the pin!

Are you a colour my world kinda gal or more of a neutral fence-sitter like me?


52 weeks of grateful: Reunions

Hello hello!

I might not have seen you on the weekend for a while. On Tuesday I issued an invitation for all the lovely grateful gals of old to come back for a very special link-up. I hope someone comes. What if no one comes?

I think it would be at least as bad a feeling as the time no one bought my cake pops. And that was pretty darn low.

Anyway, I'm going to assume that at least someone got the invite and will be linking up over at Kidspot with us all today. So, this week I'm grateful for...

257. Reunions - long may we renu!

258. Grateful linkys - So many weeks I just want to not have to be grateful, you know? I think 'I've had a crappy little week and I just want to wallow in that'. But (mostly thanks to Kidspot making me do it! Ha!), I can't. And you know what... it helps, it really does. Call it light-weight psychology, but I reckon making yourself be grateful works just as well as spontaneously feeling it. Maybe it even works better. And visiting other people's gratefuls is a guaranteed way to make me feel good about the world.

259. Giveaways - call it a sponsored post (thanks to the people who took time out of their busy day to send me an email calling me a hypocrite - love your work and attention to detail) or not. I call it having an Oprah moment with a really cool shop that I want to tell people about. So, I'm having a giveway and I'm grateful for that.

Link up your grateful post with me over at Village Voices
Same bat, different channel.

And I'd love it if you would take the time to visit a few of the other linkys this week. Especially our 'late comers' later in the weekend. x

Are you here after a break, or are you one of our regulars? 
What's making you smile this week?

[Image found here. Is it my imagination or does the person in the shot have particularly hairy arms?]

Pin of the Day: Olive us

Ooooh I la la love this. The Blair family from Olive Us create weekly videos featuring their six adorbs kids - ranging in age from 14 down to two - that remind us that simple family values are important. The videos are shot by a professional film crew (and I think sponsored by Pottery Barn, but no matter). The Blairs are an American family living in the French countryside, doing all kinds of lovely French things. This week's episode is called 'How to visit a French Bakery'.

Here's the ep:

I also love their very first episode: Garden Day.

Visit Olive Us or click on the image to see the pin!

Do you make little scripted videos of your family?
I plan to!


Pin of the Day: Floral saddle shoes

I love that Pinterest allows me to collect and categorise the stuff I find on the web each day. It's probably more about wishing and hoping for some, but I like the order of it all; it's a way for me to organise my thoughts and inspiration. Really, it's a mood board for a hopeful life.

I'm such a realist that I rarely pin anything that I couldn't actually achieve. I'm a daydreamer, but not much of a pie-in-the-sky dreamer. I want to know that the things I dream about can actually be achieved with a bit of ingenuity and a lot of hard work. So, not pinning castles in Italy, no not me.

There is one small exception. My 'Fash Style board'.

There's no way that many of the clothes I pin would ever suit me in a million. I'm either too fat, too old, too mainstream or too unable to walk in high heels. So, a little pie-in-the-sky dreaming never hurt anyone after all.

These shoes by Free People, pinned via The Farm Chicks blog (pinning 'via' something is lazy, really. I try not to do it - I'd rather click through to the original source and pin that. It's fairer and cleaner, but I do wonder about the ethics of it all and besides, by the time I found the pin and clicked through, they had sold out of the floral that I fancied...) are an exception. If you ask me, these babies would suit any wardrobe and any style. Free People ship to Australia for a flat $35.

Visit Free People or click on the image to pin!

Do you also hanker after clothes that really aren't you?


Woot! A truly fabulous, utterly gorgeous Rudy and the Dodo giveaway

I've made a mate on Facebook called Julia. She's an absolute doll. I met her because she owns the so-lovely-I-could-cry online store Rudy and the Dodo. For the past two Christmases I have bought all the children's presents I need straight from this one store. So naturally I stalked her via Facebook. This gal has style!

Pop over and have a look, but even though you'll be tempted, don't linger. You'll want to hurry back to hear about the aweseomeness that is the giveaway that Julia and I have cooked up for you.

So, I messaged Julia on Facebook last week with the idea for a little prize to go with our grateful two year birthday reunion and she came back with... oh my god, a $200 goodie bag packed to the brim with fabulousness. Really.

One lucky winner will receive a gorgeous French tote from La Marelle.

Which will be chock full of creative goodies from brands like (just so you know, I grabbed these images from Rudy and the Dodo, your prize will be selected from a larger range):

Seedling, New Zealand's awesome kit-based company.

Djeco, a sweetest of the sweet French range.

Sweet William, a small Aussie design company.

or Kids on the Roof, from the Netherlands.

Or maybe books, music, puzzles, stuff for colouring - it is just so hard to choose from all the lovely things, including these adorbs snack boxes that I am so getting for myself. There are loads of brands to choose from and a product to suit every imagination.

Goodies will be hand selected by Julia especially for you to suit your children's ages and genders and are guaranteed to inspire. She will also pack in one of the new designs in the hugely popular bus scroll prints range:

All up, it's $200 worth of fabulousness, chosen just for you!

There are three ways you can enter:

1. 'Like' Rudy and the Dodo on Facebook (trust me, you will like them very much! And do you know what I especially love about Julia? She didn't tell me to put this in as part of the entries. It's all me 'cos I want you to like this store as much as I do!) Leave a comment  below to let me know you've 'liked' and that's 1 entry.

2. Share this giveaway on your own Facebook page (there is an 'F' button at the very end of this post for that very purpose! Tag me @Maxabella loves if you can). Leave a comment below to let me know you've shared and that's 1 entry.

3. If you take link up in the 'grateful linky reunion' this weekend it's only fitting that you automatically receive 2 entries into the draw.

3. Leave a comment below telling me what your favourite item in the Rudy and the Dodo store is and why for 1 entry.

This one is open to Australian residents only (sorry international friends). Anyone can leave a comment to enter - you don't need a Blogger profile. Just make sure there is an email contact somewhere.

Entries are open until Wednesday, 11 July,  9pm, Sydney time. Winner will be drawn randomly by comment number using the Random Number Generator and the winner announced on this page on Friday the 13th (!) of July... oooh, spookily good.

Good luck and have fun browsing!

Pin of the Day: Sweet little window bunting

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for all things garland. I could never restrict myself to only garlanding up at Christmas and bunting is not just for my children's rooms (I have bunting up by the pool, around the trampoline and garlands hanging from my front verandah year round). No wonder then that this image caught my eye! I plan to do something similar in the smaller window in Maxi's new bedroom (if the new bedroom ever happens).

Indre Zetsche has used garlands in a fresh way, across the  window of her daughter Mascha's room, as featured on Kickcan & Conkers. A garland like this would not be difficult to make using a shape punch. Cut out the shapes and then sew them into line.

While you're busy sewing up your window treatment, Kickcan is definitely worth a visit. It's a delicious blog about 'kids, vintage modern living & sunshine galore', penned out of the South of France by a Yorkshire lass. I'm a big fan of both her finds and her sense of colour and order.

Visit Kickcan & Conkers or click on the image below to see the pin!

Do you have a garland or bunting in your child's bedroom?


A reunion!

Today marks two years since I started writing grateful posts on my blog. Two years, most Saturdays, the occasional one skipped.

What does it mean?

Well for one thing, I look at my grateful list and I'm very proud. There are a lot of rather insignificant things on that list that might otherwise have passed me by. I noticed them and they are part of me now - I notice them always. Being grateful has made me more observant and more appreciative.

There are also lots of really big things on my list. I said in my post about my 'big three' (husband, children, happiness) waaaaaaaay down on the list at 103, that  I could be really boring and just write about these three things every single week. As it happens, the two things I've been  a bit boring about are memories (written about twice) and support (written about three times).

For another thing, I adore the community that has ebbed and flowed around being grateful. It's such a nice way to spend some time on the weekend, spreading a little cheer and appreciating the lives of other bloggers and what they hold dear. Most weeks, although not all, I have visited every single one of the posts that were linked up - which was no mean feat back in the days when 60, 80, 100 bloggers joined in. It was a pleasure to read every single post and I dedicated the necessary time because it was a wonderful way to spend that time.

Today I'm sending out an invitation today to any blogger (and newbies too!) who has ever written a grateful post and linked it up to the grateful linky thingamajigy. Please come on over this weekend and join in for a reunion and a huge out pouring of gratitude.

Since moving the linky over to Kidspot, the list of bloggers linking has become smaller and smaller each week, so it would mean the absolute world to me to see some old friendly faces this weekend. If I sound a little bit desperate, it's probably because I am. I have treasured my weekends with the grateful community for a very long time and I will fight for it. I want it to make it. Last week there were only twenty of us being grateful.

To spark your gratitude, these are all the things I've been grateful for on my blog since 26 June 2010.

1. Fairies
2. Snot-free sleeves
3. House-porn respectful posties
4. Vaseline
5. Colleagues
6. (Almost) self-explanatory school reports
7. Trumpet-blowing bike couriers
8. Spa gift vouchers
9. Bus drivers
10. The humble pea
11. Happy weather
12. Circus-going friends
13. The Badoo
14. Cappers
15. Maxi-Taxi
16. Rainshine
17. Birthdays
18. Honesty
19. Dreams
20. Slow-cookers
21. A decent vegie-peeler
22. Letters
23. Volunteers
24. Recliners
25. Verandahs
26. Green tea
28. Beaches
29. The great dress
30. Ben + Jerry's Phish Food
31. Thoughtfulness
32. Solitude
33. Freesias
34. Music
35. Hugs
36. Big tries
37. School
38. Italian MILs
39. Drip-irrigation
40. Schools
41.  Toothbrushes
42. My BIL
43. "Boys' Bathroom Cleaner"
44. Wharfs
45. Easy days
46. Sand
47. Hammocks
48. Mermaids
49. Lights
50. New experiences
51. Cushions
52. The kindness of strangers
53. Rest
54. Change
55. Space
56. Support
57. Birds
58. Toilets
59. Newspapers
60. Good customer service
61. Egg yolks
62. Kites
63. Mums
64. Moo Goo
65. My surprisingly adventurous job
66. LOML's job
66. Milk
67. Stationery
68. Savignon Blanc
69. Muffins
70. Dusk
71. Trampolines
72. Funky necklaces
73. Treehouses
74. Fabrics
75. Skipping
76. Holidays
77. House swaps
78. Leona Edmiston
79. Hope
80. Community
81. Love
82. That pool
83. Bloggy friends
84. Cameras
85. New friends
86. Older children
87. A cool breeze
88. Confidence
89. My children's school
90. Zooper Doopers
91. Laughter
92. Inspiring posts
93. My lunchbox
94. Thunderstorms
95. Emails
96. Forgiveness
97. Coincidences
98. Knowledge
99. Movies
100. Mundanity
101. Flowers
102. Sparkly shoes
103. Wonderful bloggers
104. My husband
105. My children
106. My happiness
107. Sisters
108. Twine
109. Trugs
110. Ric-rac hemlines
111. Couch city
112. Tissues
113. Daphne
114. Engaged strangers
115. Homecomings
116. Leggings 
117. Memories
118. Chocolate
119. Support
120. Moments
121. Enthusiasm
123. Reading
124. Monday night drinking
125. IRL
126.  URL
127. Reflection
128. Expression
129. Remembering
130. The laughing cry
131.The crying laugh
132. Any old laugh
133. Trying
134. Running
135. Rest days
136. Deadlines
137. Busy work
138. Cold days
139. Oranges
140. Baking
141. My pathetic little heater
142. Photos
143. Light
144. Penicillin
145. Companies that get it
146. Shiny Tim
147. Bloggers
148. Mental health
149. Safety
150. Action
151. Visitors
152. Books
153. Little Gems
154. Exploring
155. Wondering
156. Solitude
157. Advice
158. Pondering
159. Riding solo
160. Birthdays
161. Parties
162. Balloons
163. Near misses
164. Being spoiled
165. Riding the gravy train
166. Ribbons
167. Two minute noodles
168. Fattyboomsticks
169. Play dates
170. Takeaways
171. Childhood 
172. Lioness Lady / Lemon Rhodes
173. A Day in the Life of Me / Mira Narnie
174. The Beetle Shack
175. High roads
176. Ebbs and flows
177. Magazines
178. Growing up
179. Make believe
180. Parentals
181. More birthdays
182. Deliciousness
183. Scrumptiousness
184. Perspective
185. Confidence
186. Support
187. Little breaks
188. Quiet
189. Twilight walks
190. Happiness
191. Searching
192. Certainty
193. Surprises
194. Kindness
195. Entertainers
196. Details
197. Moments
198. Pause
199. Regulars
200. Newcomers
201. Number celebrations
202. Conversation
203. Finishing
204. Tweezers
205. Joy
206. Effort
207. Family / Exhaustion
208. Inspiration
209. Smiles
210. Food
211. Nature
212. Courage
213. Generosity
214. Maxibon ice creams
215. Platitudes
216. Music
217. Memories
218.  Moments of peace
219. A cool breeze
220. Fairy lights 
221. Click-clack heels
222. Healthy kids
223. Flushing toilets
224. Chit-chat
225. A night out
226. Flats
227. The slow life
228. Cousins
229. Sausages
230. Simple thoughts
231. Boredom
232. Potential
233. Fresh starts
234. Feedback
236. Bedtime
237. Time out
238. Remembering
239. Respite
240. Trying
241. Help
242. Reminders
243. Why?
244. Love notes
245. The everyday
246. Nurturing
247. Day's end
248. The collective voice
249. Emotion
250. Bravery
251. Getting together
252. Random friendships
253. Opening up
254. Lasagne
255. Pillows
256. Pinterest


This post has taken me the longest to put together of any post ever 
(probably in the history of the world).

But, I don't mind a bit.

Will you join me this weekend?

And keep a look out tomorrow because I'm having a grateful giveaway that is truly fabulous.

[Party invitation is a free printable from the lovely Oh My Handmade; main image was found here, source unknown. Please let me know if it's yours!]