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Daddy I want a Pony....

Oh you so know I would not be friends with any child like that!! I would however firmly approve if it looked a bit like this one below..

Fancy one for your little person or know someone that would?.. get in it to win it :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just for the love..

I created Down that Little Lane to be a family, my extended family. A collection of people that I admire for their talent and am willing to go above and beyond to ensure their talent does not go un noticed.

Some of them design, others custom make and the rest have the magic eye that combined with a love of all things quality and unique create a divine collection within their own boutiques.

I love supporting them, I love helping them any way I can and in turn that makes me love what I do. Yes I work long, long hours and yes I wonder when I will actually see the financial return but truly, truly those thoughts are very infrequent and the happiness and pride I have in DTLL and our team beats then 100 to 1.

So what's the point Tess? Well the point is tonight that pride turned to tears, tears of joy as I was truly humbled. The first gifts of Christmas are under my tree, gifts for my children, gifts from one of our stores to say 'Thank you for the Support'.

I am yet again swelling with pride and joy that clearly my vision of creating a family is alive and well.

I mean surely sending gifts to another persons children is something reserved for those we consider our family? our extended family... a family I am so proud to call my own..

Thank you you, you know who you are and you have made my year a success in just your one action..

Palmer & Co

This joint I have only just discovered due to my general home body like behaviour and lack of want to wander around Sydney on a pissing with rain night like a slightly stupid teenager..

Last week however I was out celebrating a girlfriends 40th and we were doing just that. So its been around a while and I am sure lots of you have seen it in all its tweeness but I only just stumbled, yes literally stumbled, into Palmer & Co

They play jazz and the staff are all out of Gatsby so for me it was just a great place to hang out and relax with good drinks and good company and oh did I say good drinks?

Now tell me.. do you have a secret hideaway we all need to know about? 

I made it over...

There was this one spot in our house that has never felt right.. a dining room was a new luxury to us when we moved into this house and whilst we had furniture to fit in there it was our old kitchen/dining table with a rug we had been using in our living room and well it just felt a bit vacant....

SO with the help of my beautiful baby DTLL I made it over...

I moved the reading chair I had from Kitty's nursery into one corner and a side table from the living room beside it then grabbed a Nana chair from Vinnies for $10 as we will re cover both of them when we can afford it..

The light shades I now have throughout the house and are even better in the flesh than on line

My rug I am totally in love with and the chairs are stunning.. they make the kids sit better too!

My pineapple decals took only an afternoon to do and were easy as pie... (Thanks Simone for tips on dotting the wall with pencil before you even start)

I have a another artwork to frame in the reading nook, as we call it, so I will show you that end later :)

So? what do you think? Too white or just right? 

Stills : A Weekly Collection

: Once in a while cheap chinese is just the best and the kids think jasmine tea is nectar
: This has happened twice this week.. do you see it? it is empty...
: We have had the same dinner set FOREVER and so we are changing it up.. mix n match styleeee..
: Soaking and Sowing.. my hubby is having an effect on me and I may just one day get green thumbs
: Sleep has been something I needed this week but has not quite managed to happen..
: Work with rest and work with play is the order of the day.. hey it is Christmas and I run a website :)

What you been up to this week ? 



Have you done it? Did you take kids? We are thinking about it.. Advice Please :)

Absentee Parenting..

What makes for someone to be considered absent?

If you are a parent that works does that make you absent?

I think not.. I work full time but from home and so I am there for school drop of and pick up, I can attend all school carnivals and even help out at literacy and maths..

Does working from a mobile device whilst taking your kids to the park make you absent?

Ok well yes I may not hear them on their first call of 'Mum look at me' and for sure one handed swinging is not as effective as two but we ARE at the park and they ARE having fun and they ARE still safe..

If you ignore your kids when they call from the other room because you are busy doing something does that make you absent?

When the same call can come 100 times a day then is their anything wrong with teaching them to wait?, to possibly stop screaming and come and find you face to face? or even just simply to not expect people to come running at their beckon call?

If you have a nanny does that make you absent?

Absent in body maybe but the fact that you choose to find someone to spend that one on one time with your child and the assumption that the person you hire is someone you relate to surely means you are leaving a small part of your own personality behind..

For me Absentee Parenting has nothing to do with a physical presence and everything to do with engagement between a parent and children.

When a child reaches out, of any age, a parent should be there to listen.
If a child, of any age is in pain or sick a parent should be there to calm them.
If a child does something that makes a parent proud they should let them know.

A child is always your child, and the most important thing I think you can do is let them know you are there for them.

Don't assume they know, don't forget to share your thoughts and listen to theirs whether by their side, on skype, the phone or even by letter .

Do you take the time to listen to your kids? Do you spend some quality time chatting to them once a week even if you work full time? Have you told them you are proud of who they are?

Sucking on Summer..

I have been pinning away these amazing ice pop recipies because we are part of an amazing Giveaway and the prize is for an amazing ice pop maker (well 10 of them actually).

Let's just say I can't enter and let's just say I got a tad jealous and well let's just say I may or may not have had to order one :)

Have you made your own ice pops? Any amazing recipies or tips? 

A Designer Baby Bag Giveaway on DTLL..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stills : A Weekly Collection..

: The Boat House is a place of beauty and good food.. it feeds my soul
: Three little men for a full day of fun on a wet and windy day.. I won't lie.. it was testing!
: I shared this amazing Car Park I visited in the city and it got us all dreaming of underground markets
: Uncle Christopher flew in from the UK for 2 days.. Cuddles and Coffee ALL weekend
: The Dining Room make over, deets to come but shades, decals, rug and a set of new chairs...
: Filming is always fun, especially with a good crew.. this is or a presentation I am making next year.
: The rain has my Jasmine climbing high to kiss my fairy lights out the front
: One French Summer..... one of my favourite stores .... EVER..
: Do gifts come any better from UK visitors?

What was your week like? I could sleep for a week just remembering mine :)

* Linking up with Em 


Words have power.. I am personally affected by them in a huge way.

No words are the worst. I am an extremely loyal person, often to a fault, and sometimes even a lack of words from someone can have a huge effect on me.That said I prefer not to focus on the negative and for me words are a form of positivity.

A collection of words on a long run in music, the beat, the message and the melody can lift me and take me faster. Give me a good soul sisters ballad and I am singing at the top of  my lungs feeling empowered and like she and I are one.

Words, just single words or short, simple sayings are something I can glance and and change my focus in seconds. These are the reason I love personalised, custom items as I can tailor them to 'my' words the ones that bring me strength and make me smile.

My favourite words are the ones shared between loved ones, the conversations you have with friends that stay with you forever. The best thing of all is when those words you shared come back to you, when one of those people repeats them back to you months later showing you they were listening, finds a gift that reminds them and you of that afternoon coffee your shared or take it to the max and they make you a gift that epitomises 'your' words, the ones that mean so much to you and you may have only said once.. THAT.. that shows they not only listened but they got it, they get you and more than that they love you enough to let you know..

So when that happens, feel touched and feel special.. I did..

Guy just stole my heart....

... oh come on girls. Peanut Nutella? How could you not be lured?!.. and if you just want the Peanut Butter he makes that part first. So much better handmade and SUPER easy..

Stills : A Weekly Collection

: the best place to hang.. food for the soul that place
: insanity.. this is how I do this  *not for the faint hearted
: watching my 3 kids...
: how to melt a mumma's heart of a morning..
: kitty's tess is my kind of tess.... the best kindy teacher ever...
: coffee is a huge part of my life these days.. i do wonder about addiction
: it was a smoky sad day somewhere but my little house looked cute..

Summer Sun...

I can't even say Summer is on the way as to be honest it feels like it has well and truly arrived. We have been at the beach for the past 3 weekends without fail and the garden is flowering in all its glory so we can enjoy afternoons sitting in luxury, a shade for the kids and a gorgeous iced juice..

The turn in weather has had us re arranging the outdoor settings and contemplating some new bits and pieces and I thought I would share our finds and inspiration (husby is desperate to have a hanging chair for this little corner we have on the deck)..

All images have come from the Down that Little Lane Pinterest Boards and you can find the items featured here..

Adirondacks you can find here
The hanging chairs here,
The tented area is yours to create...
The hammocks are in every colour here
The swing here
The Peacock Chair here or here 
The Pod Chair here or here
Macrame Hangers are here
That stunning Umbrella here
and the Hammock Chair here

Are you changing things around outdoors this year or all set already? 

* this post originally appeared on LifeInstyle

Keeping Control..

There is so much you can't control in life.. and these days I just ride the waves.. I enjoy surfing (metaphorically speaking) I never used too but now I see it as a chance to take stock, reflect on what has happened and see what I can learn from it..

Since living in Australia I have become far more philosophical in my approach to friendships, business and even parenthood. Having my parents here for the last year has made that ever so obvious to me and between this gorgeous country, my oh so pragmatic husband and surrounding myself with positive people I am rather at peace with the way I live my life.

There is only one* element I like to control (and secretly I think it is because I can never truly TOTALLY just go with the flow) and thats my physical strength and ability. I love pushing my body to fatigue, testing my mental willpower and essentially it is all about me and no one else can change that ability but me so its my way of keeping control..

Are you a control freak? How do you deal with things that shock you in life?

*small disclaimer that I am possibly a little OCD about the house presentation.. another keeping control thang

Soul filled Sundays

Do you ever? Can you try?