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Pin of the Day: Room planner

There are probably hundreds of these programs online and I've just never bothered to find them. Better ones. Ones that change your life. Ones that send you free stuff in the mail.


I found this one via Urban Barn and I pinned it and I'm using it to move my shower / toilet / basin / bath around in my bathroom to work out the 'best use of space'. Huge fun.

Visit Urban Barn or click on the image to pin the pin!

Are you planning on moving stuff around at your place?


Pin of the Day: Design

If you follow really cool people who are nothing like me, Pinterest is the place to find amazing things. Eric Barclay is a very talented illustrator who also makes the most wonderful objects out of recycled bottles and jars and stuff. He's seriously so effortlessly cool I'm surprised he is still breathing (which takes effort... I don't know where I'm going with that analogy either). And another thing... Eric is just a blogger blog like me and look what he can do. Look how he uses his address compared to whatever it is that I'm doing over here. The shame!

Visit Eric Barclay to see more of his work, or click on the image to pin this beautiful pin!

Do you consider yourself cool?


Pin of the Day: Mod Podge

Being a wannabe-crafty-kid, I have seen many references to 'mod podge' and have generally skipped that crafty project as it all seemed a bit too hard.

"What the hell is mod podge?" I wondered. "And does it have anything to do with fat sixty year olds?"

Visit the Mod Podge Rocks formula guide for all you ever needed to know about Mod Podge or click on the image to see the pin!

Can you see yourself breaking out the Mod Podge anytime soon?


Pin of the Day: How to build a box

A box is the 'cornerstone' of building, Lowe's Creative Ideas says. Forget a building, I just want to make a box. Lots and lots of boxes.

Mind you, I still haven't found the time to punch my tin can, so I'm not exactly certain when I'll get around to making boxes. But that's the beauty of Pinterest... it's there when I'm ready!

Visit Lowe's Creative Ideas (there are heaps of goodies) or click on the image to see the pin!

How many things are on your 'wish I had the time to do' list?


52 weeks of grateful: Glee

In about six weeks time, LOML and I are heading off on a road trip from Paris to Rome. We're heading through France, Switzerland and Italy - visiting places that we have loved before and finding new spots to amaze us.

Every time I think about this journey, I get a feeling that can only be described as total and utter glee. Gleeeeeee!

So, this week I'm grateful for...

269. Glee - it's such a wonderful feeling. Excitement, joy, love, amazement, wonder... all rolled into one big happy (juuuuuust a little bit smug it has to be said) smile.

270. Glee - the 'other' Glee. I'm fully into the Glee Project. I loved it last season and I'm loving it again this season (although not as much as last season, it has to be said). What a fun little show.

271. Paris - I have to be grateful for Paris. And all that lovely walking along the cobbled streets I'll be doing hand in hand.

Come link up with us this week at the 52 Weeks of Grateful project at Kidspot
You want glee? You got glee!!

What are you looking forward to right now?

My (latest) theory on parenting

I spent some time with a newborn today. A sweet-smelling, tiny, tiny little newborn. He's four weeks old and his mum is utterly exhausted.

The newborn 'woke up' about a week ago and his mum hasn't slept since. That bubba won't sleep anywhere except on his mummy and no one gets any sleep when a newborn is grunting and wheezing and fidgeting around on you. So, she's had about 4 hours sleep since Sunday. Yep, I know that feeling.

I waltzed in there ready to save the day with all my (hard earned!) knowledge about settling, pausing, listening and wrapping. I wrapped that little tyke up in my special take-no-prisoners wrap ("this wrap is tiny," I screeched. "Get me flannette cot sheet, stat!"). I cuddled and smooched that little bubba ("give him some loving") and then I lay him in his bed and I said, "Off to sleep you go, little fella." ("And we walk away, alert, but not alarmed.")

He grizzed up, of course. I fully expected him to hit the roof in seconds like ol' Maxi-Taxi used to do, but this young fella had nothing on him. A bit of random wailing and protesting, but nothing that escalated. He was bringing himself back down within 10 seconds of crying up.

"See, he's totally fixable," I said firmly. "He's already self-settling himself and he'll be off to sleep in minutes."

"Oh my sweet god, listen to him!" My friend wailed. "Oh that poor little boy!"

It's easy when the baby isn't yours, I thought. Nothing affects you like your own baby's cries.

I needed to investigate this a little bit further.

"Why do you think he's a poor little boy?" I asked her. "He's doing beautifully and he's already showing us that he can self-soothe and find his way to sleep. I'm dead impressed."

"But he's all alone in the cot!" She sobbed. "All alone!"

All alone in the cot.

Tells you loads, doesn't it? It certainly told me loads about why I seem to have endless patience when it comes to my own children and sleep. Why I know so very, very much about babies and children and sleep and what works and what might and mostly what doesn't. Why I managed to sit with one or the other of them for, oh, about seven years.

As soon as my friend said "he's all alone in the cot" I had a memory spring into my mind as fresh as if it had happened yesterday. My sister and I sharing a room, me scared at night and her, though younger, soothing me through many nights. She must have been about five and I six or seven. One night I confessed that I was scared to go to sleep alone and she said to me, "I will stay awake until you go to sleep. Then you won't be alone." And that was all I needed.

I think we carry our own childhood fears right into our parenting style. I think the thing that worried us the most when we were little (and maybe still worries us now) is the thing we imagine concerns our own babies and children. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. It is as we imagine it to be.

Another friend has a daughter that throws the most amazing tantrums. They are spectacular. She is endlessly patient with her screaming, pounding daughter in a way that I can hardly fathom. My children threw about three tantrums each and every single time I just completely ignored them (going so far as to actually step over Cappers in the supermarket bread asile at one point). I heard the cries and angst and fretting as much as any parent, but it didn't affect me in the slightest.

But then, I was scared of the dark as a child, not scared of no one listening to me. Not scared of being left out. I think if I'd have had those fears, I might have had more patience with attention-seeking tantrums too. I might have been less inclined to ignore them if I was worried my child would feel left behind.

The poor eater, the clingy child, the tantrum-chucker, the abysmal sleeper. Every child an individual, every parent an individual too. An individual with plenty of baggage to unpack into the relationship and a seemingly fathomless ability to empathise on some things but absolutely not on others... makes you wonder...

Do you think our own fears affect the way we perceive our children?

[Image by Aaron Gilson]


Pin of the Day: A dedicated napping spot

Not that we get to do a lot of napping around here... in fact, except for when I was down for the count with the back thing, I can't remember having a nap since the babies were little. But still.

Don't you think everyone deserves to have a spot like this outside somewhere so they could nap at some point? I think picturing this spot is my new happy place.

It was originally pinned from The Paper Mulberry, but the actual post wasn't pinned, so we get a little bit lost after that. The Paper Mulberry 'porch' section is worth a look... a very lovely country-livin' style blog.

Visit The Paper Mulberry or click on the image to see the pin!

Have you now got a hankering to lie down somewhere, stat?


Pin of the Day: Bathing you beauty

We are looking to renovate both our bathrooms - the little one and the big one. I've never done a proper renovation on anything before and it's rather daunting. I have enough trouble choosing what I'm going to wear each day let alone what my bathroom is going to wear permanently. I can't imagine how anyone tackles an entire house, shudder.

Not that I'm moving the bathroom out to the verandah or anything, but this gorgeous image caught my eye. Wouldn't you love a bath like this one? The funny thing is, the bath is part of an 'Australia themed' home in Sonoma county, California. It's really very lovely and it's made me realise how stylish Australiana can actually be. There is nothing even remotely cringeworthy about wide verandahs, galvanised roofs and pressed tin walls.

Visit the New York Times article on the Australian themed home or click on the image to see the pin!

Would you Australiana your home?


Bloggers are not special

Don't let the headline freak you out. I'm not saying bloggers aren't wonderful, creative, learned and generally amazing. I'm not saying that. But what I'm saying is that wonderful, creative, learned and generally amazing people are found everywhere. Bloggers are not special.

Sometimes we might think that bloggers are more understanding, more supportive, more generally amazing than 'other people' because you might spill your heart out on the page and they listen. They don't judge. They understand you. They make you feel safe.

It's been estimated that body language is as high as 80% of all communication.

When you read someone else's words, you read them in your own voice. You often give their words characteristics that are yours, not theirs. The synergies are therefore amazing.

Bloggers pretty much always tell only one side of the story and the story is only every partly told. The beginning is so filled with starting and the ending so full of perhaps.

I am constantly thrilled at how many incredible people I have met online through blogging. I read their blogs, they read mine, sometimes we email, often we don't. I've been fortunate to meet quite a few in person at parties, and many have been just as wonderful in person as they seem on their blog. At the party. For a couple of hours.

I don't necessarily know what they are 'really' like, although reading their blog makes me think that I know them. That we have a connection and they are part of my life.

It's all true. They are and we do and there is no changing that.

But it worries me when I read posts that talk about how people 'in real life don't understand me the way that my readers do'; 'I've met 'my people' online'; 'I could never talk with my family and friends the way I talk on my blog'. 'No one in my real life understands me.'

It really worries me.

Bloggers are not special. So either you are taking risks and opening up online and people are responding to that. Or blogging is giving you the chance to tell your side of the story, and only yours, and your people online are more sympathetic than your other people because they don't know the 'whole story'.

If you find it easier to pour your heart out online and say things you can't say in person, what are you hiding from? What keeps you from living your life the way you blog?

Are you scared of the judgement you feel you get in real life? Because bloggers are no different and it can be easy to type what someone wants to hear when they can't see your eyes. It's even easier to read and click away and say nothing at all. In the real world, it would be considered rude and bizarre for someone to tell you a story and for you to just walk away.

In real life you are forced to connect and it's harder to be open when you realise that not everyone agrees with you. Not everyone thinks that what you have to say is true. A lot of us don't want to hear what those nearest to us have to say. We are too busy 'living our truth' and forgetting that our truth might mean someone else has to lie. We want the us in our heads, rather than the reality of us in the world.

History, nuances, shared memories, differences of opinion, agreeing to disagree, disagreeing to disagree... it's what makes relationships real. Don't pour your heart out on a page, just pour your heart out. A flash of the eyes, a smirk of the mouth... all the tells of truth and only shadows to hide in. Ripped open, unsure, eyes haunted by the shame of risk, but lifted so endlessly high by a smile, a hug, an 'I'm here'. I know you and I'm here.

Bloggers are not special. But oh dear god, people are.

Ever get caught in the 'people are nicer online' whirlpool?

[Image was found on Pinterest, please let me know if it's yours! Text added by me.]

Pin of the Day: More clothes space

Another one from the files of 'why didn't I think of that' comes... the soft drink tab clothes hanger extender. I'm sure that's what it's called. This comes from Idea Bottle, a site with loads of really cool ideas (sometimes, but not always, involving bottles).

Visit Idea Bottle or click on the image to see the pin!

Have you got a link to a really simple, really cool idea?


Pin of the Day: Crock pot chicken and cashews

I want to love my crock pot more than I do. I think I cook stuff too long or something because all the casseroles and stews I make in mine taste... beige. Or something. And don't get me started on bone-flavoured chicken.

But I will persist. This dish cooked by Preppy Paleo using a recipe by Six Sisters' Stuff looks super-yummy and not at all like it was cooked in a crock pot. Which is a bit of a worry, really. Don't you think this dish looks like someone roasted it instead? I will have to try it out and report back to you. Or you could try it out and report back to me?

Visit Six Sisters' Stuff for more recipes (it's worth clicking over just to see the line up of  the six gorgeous All-American sisters) or click on the image to see the pin!

Are you crock pot friendly?


52 weeks of grateful: The cleaner (yep, that would be me)

I loathe cleaning, but I love clean. As a consequence, I find myself doing something I loathe rather too often.

The delicious Winter weather inspired me to do a mini-Spring clean today. I cleaned the out the fridge, damp-wiped the skirting boards and scrubbed every available surface. I mopped for the first time in weeks. It's virtually impossible to mop when you've got a bad back.

"I mopped today, the water was black," I said to LOML during one of our scintillating daily phone conversations.

"Sweetness, you shouldn't be doing that," he gently chided.

"I know," I agreed. "I really shouldn't. But tell me, Blossom, how many times have you mopped since I hurt my back six weeks ago?"

"Er... um..."


So, this week I'm grateful for...

266. The cleaner - that would be me. I'm grateful that I'm back and that I care.

267. Lamps - bit random, I know. But I have developed a strange aversion to harsh overhead lighting in my old age and my lamps spread such a lovely glow.

268. Slippers - it took me 40 years to find a pair of slippers that were just right for me (I'm certain I was looking for a decent pair of slippers at birth). My feet get hot in really big uggy sort of slippers and a lot of non-ugg slippers are daggy old granny slippers. But I now have the cutest pair of woolen knitted slippers with non-slip tread and they are perfect. Not too hot, not too slippery, juuuuuuust right.

Come link up your grateful post with me over at Village Voices where this week I'm grateful for the great outdoors and urging you all to Go Outside with a little picture I designed all colourful-like just for us.

Do you like your slippers?
Do you like overhead lighting?
Do you like the way men clean a house?

[Image found via weheartit... what do you think she is cleaning up there? Is it a LUNG? Yuuuuck, it looks gross, but I couldn't resist the monumental cleaning task she faces. I feel like that every single day.]

Pin of the Day: Decorating

You know what I don't get? I don't get why my house doesn't look like I think I want it to look. I collect lovely images of gorgeous home ideas and techically I could just get in there and copy them at my place. But I don't. I do other stuff that I don't like as much for reasons unknown.

I guess I just don't want to copy someone else's stuff. I want to create something that's my stuff but that's a worry because I'm clearly not skilled enough to translate what's in my head into what's in my house.

This sweet dining area (viaAmanda Padilla pinned from Le Squelette de Tricot, one of dem pesky tumblr blogs) is perfect in every way to me. Mine doesn't look one bit like it.

Can you decorate the way you want to decorate?



About a year ago (yes, a year, to my great embarassment), Kelly from 1000 Homes of Happiness sent me a little home to release (check out Kelly's lovely blog to see what this project is all about). I requested the word 'wonder' and I have struggled with where to release that little house ever since.

'Wonder' is a very big word indeed.

The Wonder house has been with me to Seaworld, the school, the Powerhouse Museum, the beach and in an aeroplane. But nowhere felt quite wonderful enough to release it.

The rest of the time, my little Wonder house has sat clipped to the fridge where many a guest has asked about it. It's also been a little reminder every single day to look for the 'wonder' in the everyday. I guess there's something rather wonderful about that.

But it's time to release it, and I know just the place.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post that contained links to 256 things that I am grateful for. Compiling that post was one of the most wonderful things I have ever done because it made me go back and read my own blog and remember some very, very important things.

So, I've finally released my Wonder house... right here on this blog.

I've hidden it somewhere in one of my grateful posts... just click through to the list and click through different words to find it. I think it's rather obvious where I've placed it, but maybe that's just me!!

Here's what it looks like:

Now, off you go to start looking!

If you find it, leave a comment on the post where it was hidden. Make sure there's a way for me to contact you because I will be sending you the Wonder House in the mail so you can experience a little of its magic for yourself. I'll also include a little gift from me to you in the package I send. Something really wonderful.

Have you heard of Kelly's project before?
What is 'wonder' to you?


Bri from My Scarlett Heartt found the Wonder house very quickly. Nice one, Bri!
I had it hidden under '103 My Husband, 104 My Children, 105 My Happiness'.

Thanks to all for entering into the fun. I think the Wonder house is off to a very nice house indeed.

Pin of the Day: Whimsy

I've got a whole board devoted to capturing whimsical images that cross my Pinterest path. No idea why I need to collect them, I just do. Isn't this image just so gorgeous in every way?

This image (source unknown) was repinned via Hanna Mala fromPetit Petit Tresors.
Click on the image to see the pin!

Does whimsy capture you too?


Interview with a Vampire

At the risk of seeming like we are in cahoots (or car hoots as I always thought the expression was... yep, I was even more clueless in my youth than I am now), Julia from Rudy and the Dodo interviewed me today for her "Meet a Mama" Feature.

Pop over and say hi and... meet me?

Oh, and while I've got you here, I wanna take a quick straw poll. Just leave a comment below answering me this question:

Is my Pin of the Day liked or junk mail?


[Image (as ever) by that lovely Tim Coulson - say, have you been over to meet his little son, Roo?]

Pin of the Day: Coffee can lanterns

These lanterns are absolutely beautiful and the best bit is, you can make them yourself.

I've always wondered how you would get the nail holes into the tin without crushing the tin and... turns out it's easy. I'm going to whip up a couple of these sweeties this weekend. Probably.

Visit the tutorial on Design Sponge, or click on the image to see the pin!

Do you love tea lights and fairy lights and all the sweet lights?


Pin of the Day: Paper plate magic

I think it's a reasonably safe bet to say that if there is something wildly innovative around the internet, the website attached to it will generally be in either Japanese or Swedish. These guys seem to be the world's box-crushers - as in, not just thinking outside the box, but pulverising that box into the dirt.

Take the humble paper plate, beloved of all 'bring a plate' festivities the world over. But what to do when your 'plate' needs a bowl rather than a flat surface? What to do indeed...

I tried to click through on this pin but Pinterest told me it was spam and it went nowhere. The image will get you where you need to go, but it would have been nice to be able to credit the source.

Click on the image to see the pin!

Here's my never-fail bring a savoury plate recipe.
And I'll be making these babies for a sweet plate next time.

What's your never-fail 'bring a plate' recipe?


Random ranty post about girl bits

There is something that I have to get off my chest.

It's not the kind of thing I usually write about, but some things just need to be said. Look away right now if you are a bit embarrassed about talking about 'down there'. Yep, I'm going there.

At the shops the other day a group of teenage boys were hassling a group of teenage girls. A timeless, even necessary way to spend your days when you're fifteen. Nothing wrong with that.

Except, there is something that bothered me when I was fifteen and it sure as hell is bothering me now.

The 'fish' thing.

The implication that a vagina smells like fish and all the revolting metaphors that go along with it has always riled me like you wouldn't believe. The way boys talk about vaginas is the first time in a girl's life where she is suddenly made to feel self-conscious about something that is perfectly natural and healthy. Suddenly your 'girl bits' aren't attractive, aren't nice and are something to feel ashamed of.

It's not okay. Especially when we all know that the only thing that makes a woman's vagina smell fishy is having sex with men. Did you hear that, Teenage Boys at the Shops?

I don't know how you change teenage boys insistence on making a girl feel bad about her own vagina. I don't know how you change teenage girls so they treat teenage boys with the utter disdain that they so completely deserve. All the time. Until they're at least 24.

We women put up a lot in order to keep the boys happy, but surely not this. Having a vagina likened to a fishing wharf on a sweltering summer day is not one of the things I'm prepared to listen to ever again without saying something.

So you Teenage Boys at the Shops, listen here. Next time I hear you saying such filthy, inappropriate things about girls' vaginas, I'm coming for you. I'm coming for you and I'm bringing 25 years of pent up rage with me. You've got no business whatsoever talking loudly about a girl's vagina, let alone the things you think it's okay to say. You should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. A girl's vagina is hers alone to get to know and talk about, you don't get to have a say. Ever.

And if you keep going, I can think of another really good use for a wharf on a hot day.

Ever had something you need to get off your chest?
Ever had a particularly nasty 'fish' metaphor thrown your way?

[Image via Letters from a Fishbowl, source unknown. Please let me know if it's yours!]

Pin of the Day: Lunchbox loving

Sometimes I wonder if there is anyone in the world doing something cool and not actually blogging about it. A family decided to cut out processed food from their lives over the course of 100 days and (of course) they blogged about it at 100 Days of Real Food. It's a really good site with meal plans, recipes and great snack ideas.

I pinned the 'school lunch roundup' page because it's full of cute ideas for lunchboxes that don't involve (too many) cookie cutters. Have you seen some of the 'bento box' lunches around the blogiverse? Seriously, who has the time to make sandwiches look like panda bears and cut watermelon into flowers? Not me! Seeing those bento boxes just brings on another one of those 'my children are clearly missing out getting a lazy mum like me' moments. But I could see myself stringing some fruit and sandwiches on a kebab stick for the kids' first day back at school tomorrow.

Visit 100 Days of Real Food or click on the image to see the pin! 

Would you, could you, do you bento?


Winner of the Rudy and the Dodo $200 prize pack

How neglectful of me! I was meant to draw and announce the winner of the Rudy and the Dodo giveaway on Friday. A whole weekend has gone by.

Apologies, I've done it now. It took me forever to get all the names into a spreadsheet and then I asked LOML to tell me a number between 1 and 305 (the total number of entries we had when all the commenting and the liking and the reunioning were taken into consideration) and he said...


Which means absolutely nothing to you, or really even to me, but cross-referenced with my trusty spreadsheet the winner is...

Shar from Mum on the Run.

Which makes me ever-so pleased because a) Shar is a totally fab chick and b) she was one of our Grateful reunion fab chicks and c) she's going through a worrying time right now and maybe, just maybe this wonderful prize pack will make her feel a bit better.

Thanks Julia for being so kind, so creative and for opening such a wonderful store.

Have yourselves a rollicking good week everyone!

Click here to see Max's revolto fingernails. Love that kid.

The fingernail thing

I took a photo of Max for a post I wrote for Village Voices yesterday. That's the final shot above.

I took lots of shots, loaded them up on the computer and... went and re-shot the lot after cutting the boy's fingernails.

Yeek! I don't think we've cut those talons since the school holidays started two weeks ago. For shame!

We hate cutting fingernails around here, which is a crying shame considering how much my kids love digging in the dirt and finger painting. I want to cut them really regularly, but alas, it's just such a fiddly, annoying job -- and the Tsunamis squirm and carry on like pork-chops the whole time - that I tend to let Sunday roll around without the cut happening. Sundays: that was always the day our Dad cut our fingernails growing up. On the back step, snip, snip, snip. I can't remember carrying on every week (but then, we didn't tend to carry on with our dads back then, did we!?)

During school term I manage well. There is something really neglected-looking about a kid with long, dirty fingernails. My kid is not going to be that kid. But during the holidays, who's there to judge?

The results, as you can see for yourself, OMG horrendous. Must. do. better.

Are you a regular 'cutter'? What day do you cut? Are your kids okay with it?

Pin of the Day: Letter bunting

These free printable letter flags have been on my radar for ages. Whatever the occasion, you can quickly whip up a banner (as you do). Welcome home! Happy birthday! Good luck! Well done! Go to sleep!

The bunting is by Ruffled and you can download the pdfs here or click on the image to see the pin!

Do you make 'welcome home' signs at your place?


Pin of the Day: Pulley storage

I'm a big fan of decorating right up to the ceiling. My sister laughs at the amount of stuff up there in the kids' rooms. Bunting, garlands, mobiles... a room doesn't look finished to me unless every flat surface has been considered. I tend to 'go large' on the ceiling and leave below fairly plain. I'm weird like that.

I'm absolutely doing this pulley storage system for Maxi in his (any day now) new room. How cool is this!

Of course, the reality is that the ropes will get stuck and tangled and it will all be a big mess with stuff randomly falling on people's heads, but we can give it a go, right?

I pinned this one from the very-cool Handmade Charlotte and I believe it's from her blog, but the pin goes nowhere.

Click on the image to see the pin!

Do you decorate up?


52 weeks of grateful: Good humour

The 'posts that make me cringe' post made me cringe a bit. I should have put links to all the posts I've written that are kazactly like the cringey posts I talked about. See, I wouldn't like to write about somebody elses's garden without looking over my own fence first (WTF? There's a metaphor in there somewhere!).

1. The post that's all about you

2. The post about nothing

3. The post about 'monetising' your blog

4. The post about being a writer

5. The fishing post

6. The overly gushy post

7. The phoning-it-in post

8. The blog-dropping post

9. The random, not-even-remotely-useful post about blogging

Yep, every single one of them is me all me. I love that everyone took this post with the good humour that I hoped I'd serve it up with. Made my day.

So, this week I'm grateful for...

263. Good humour - always, always, always. Life is far too serious to take seriously.

264. Holiday care - the kids only went two days in the whole holidays (a record for this former 4 day a week, long hours working mumma!), but those two days were very needed indeed.

265. Soup - I've been busy making delicious soups to freeze. My Pea and Ham soup is our absolute favourite, but this Potato and Leek soup from Taste is getting a good work out too.

Come link up your grateful post with me over at Village Voices where this week I'm talking about being grateful for learning.

Don't be scared of Village Voices. It's just me, but in my swanky new city apartment... 
Same bat, different channel.

Can you share your favourite soup recipe??

[Image via Pinterest, please let me know if it's yours!]

Pin of the Day: Accidental bedside book rail

Have you ever noticed how small bedside tables are? Once you put your hand cream, your water glass, your notebook and your glasses down next to the bedside lamp, there is no room left for precious bedside reading. I need bedside reading and preferably a few choices; there is nothing worse than snuggling into bed at night and realising that you selected a dud book. We need options.

When the back thing happened, LOML hastily moved our bed down from upstairs to downstairs next to the computer. We had planned to move into this room anyway (Cappers' old bedroom, she is now up with her sister), but not at quite the pace it happened.

The bed got plonked down where Cappers' desk used to be and... oh look... the rail her pencil containers used to hang off is right next to the bed.

Cue the very-handy accidental bedside book rail. I'm absolutely keeping it!

Click on the image to see the pin!

And no, my bedside table does not usually look this neat but do you like the sweet little wooden doll? She is part of a totally adorable French puzzle set that belongs to the Badoo and that I find all over the house, including in the bed right before I take a photo of my bedside table.

Do you read before bed like me?


In love versus like and babies

I don't know Dom Knight, but I do know that he would love to have a baby with someone and he seems to have a pretty realistic expectation about what that entails. A broody male is a really, really nice thing, if you ask me. A realistic broody male is the jackpot.

But Dom's been broody for two years now by his own estimation. There are so many women and men out there who are in the exact same boat. It kills me that they aren't all meeting each other and falling in love and having babies.

It's the 'falling in love' bit that gets in the way. We all know you don't need to be in love to procreate so why do we hold onto the notion that you need to be in love raise a child together? I'm not sure. I think you definitely need to be 'in like' and 'in trust' and you need to love each other, yes you do, but it seems a ridiculous notion to suggest that you need to be in love to be good parents.

Now, I say that as a woman who got very lucky and is very much in love with the father of her children, so I'm not even remotely qualified to be writing this post, and yet...

So many couples fall in love, get married and have babies, but the trouble with being in it is you can get out of it as well. I can think of so many couples who I doubt actually like each other very much at all. 'In love' is the romantic, blinding, self-absorbed, shaggable stuff that ideally we keep aside for one special person. 'Love' itself is the kindness, the compassion, the caring, the fondness and, if we're lucky, it can be found everywhere. The 'in love' bit is amazing for sure, but it seems that for the most part it's really hard to find, especially as so many people have such high expectations about what they might fall in love with.

Kids basically just need parents who think the world of them and respect each other just as much. Engaged parents don't need to be actually engaged. What would be wrong with having babies with someone we just love, but aren't in love with? Would that take the pressure off all the women and men who are 'of a certain age' and panicking because they haven't had kids yet and haven't 'met the one' to have them with? There are more friendships in this world that have stood the test of time than love affairs. I think good friends could make really good babies together.

I reckon it's not even the having sex together thing that would freak them out... ! ... ! ... I think most people angst that if they go the family route with a very dear friend they might miss out on being with the 'love of their life' one day. One day. Frankly, I think missing out altogether on raising a family is a very high price to pay for waiting for 'the one'. And, just quietly, I think a lot (a lot a lot!) of people who have those long lists of qualities that they're looking to fall in love with end up 'settling' down the track anyway, their list long forgotten. The great bit is that it doesn't feel like 'settling' because they've grown up enough by then to realise that you don't fall in love with a list, you love a whole person.

So, just putting it out there for you, Dom. Got any really good girl friends who are in the same boat as you? I think you'd better get to it...

Do you think parents being 'in love' is over-rated?

[Image by Brandon Christopher Warren via PhotoPin; words by me]

Pin of the Day: Why didn't I think of that?

I love a good wrap (and rap, but we'll stick to wraps for now). I keep the necessary rolls of wrapping paper in a bag hanging on the end of the bookshelf in my studio. It falls down regularly and I stuff all the rolls back into it and hang it up again so it can fall down again soon.

Pinterest is fab for handy little tips that just make you go, 'why didn't I think of that?'

See, why didn't I think of using one of those cheapy plastic bag storage plastic thingies from IKEA to control the rolls? It took those remarkable Swedes to come up with the idea - both cheapy plastic bag stoarage plastic thingy and using it for wrapping paper - with Gall-erry posting about it and me pinning it.

Visit Gall-erry (Google Translator will see you through) or click on the image to pin!

And as a little bonus, here's another 'why didn't I think of that' wrapping paper wrangling idea. Cut through the toilet paper roll and use it to keep the wrapping paper end nice and snug. I won't show the pin as the click-through link sent me to a spammy mobile site. As a result I have no idea where this image or idea came from, so sorry about that!

Are you also a bit mad for wrapping?