Favourite things - family time

Assuming I figure how to schedule this post properly, by the time you read this I'll be touching down at Sydney airport, ready to spend a long weekend with my parents at their home in the Blue Mountains. It is amazing how much you have to pack for just three nights away when you have a little baby. Especially when the little baby is just learning to eat. I could fill an entire suitcase with just the flannels and wipes needed to keep Madeleine from painting the walls, the carpet, herself and anyone else within a 10-metre radius with whatever she is eating, in one meal.

But it's worth it. I love living in Melbourne, and feel really happy and settled here. But I do feel isolated from time to time (ok often) without my family here. Especially now that I have little Madeleine in my life, and I want her to grow up knowing them. So today is dedicated to family. I hope you get to enjoy something of yours this weekend, too.

1. Family photo shoots

FamilyPicsFamily photo shoots instead of family portraits: this seems to be happening more and more. It's certainly something I'd prefer when it comes to recording our time with Madeleine. Loved this one on Happiness Is.

2. Unknown, unmet family friends

PencilBoxI've been reading Katie's blog Pencil Box for a while now, and I just get lost in the her lovely, dreamy photography and little moments from her family life. She doesn't know I exist, but I still feel a kind of sisterly connection with her. She has a new little baby girl about the same age as Madeleine, and an older son who lives with them part time, as Em does with us. The love in their little, blended family is beautiful, and inspiring.

3. A wooden block family

PaintedBlocksSo so cute, right? There's a tutorial on the Etsy blog, here.

4. Fortune cupcakes

FortuneCupcakesTake a look at this little video tutorial from Oh Joy! on how to hide fortune-cookie-esque messages inside cupcakes. If I didn't have to leave the house at 5am, I would bake these and bring them as gifts to my family. One day when they next come to visit me, I think I'll do it for them. Imagine how lovely they would be at family get-togethers, like birthdays or anniversaries.

5. The Crawley family

DowntonAbbeyHow could I not mention them? Like the rest of the world, I am in love with this family and their humour and their melodrama and their incredible stately home and their fabulous fashions. I'm so annoyed because I tried to avoid the spoilers but of course I know what is to happen on this Sunday's episode, and of course I know what happens in the Christmas special and let me just say: Not. Happy. Jan. But not unhappy enough to stop watching, of course. Not while Maggie Smith remains to rule the clan.