Favourite things - loving lately

title-loving-latelyHappy Friday, friends. Oh and an extra big welcome if you're visiting for the first time from Pip Lincolne's blog Meet Me at Mikes. How awesome is Pip! Sending big love and thanks her way for sending YOU my way. I'm a Melbourne-dwelling mother of two, a journalist, an author, and a big fan of snail mail. If you want to say hi, be sure to leave a link to your own blog if you have one so I can come visit you in turn... You know what's really great about the weather being so cold you can see your breath in the air in front of you? Heaters and knee-rugs and ugg-boots and the kettle on the boil, that's what! So from the warmth and comfort of my couch, hands periodically cradled around a hot cup of tea, I bring you five things I'm loving lately.

1. For my home: hanging plants


Lately I find I'm really hankering for plants inside my home. I long for the sense of calm they create, and the suggestion of health, clean air, and generally being a little more grounded (even when you live in an inner-city terrace house). Right now we only have one plant in the house, a beautiful terrarium that a friend gave me at Easter. And it's dying. How do you kill terrarium plants? I thought they were almost indestructible. Maybe I over-watered it, I have been known to kill plants with kindness...

Anyway, I think this mid century hanging planter seen on Justina Blakeney (via Chantelle Grady) is gorgeous in its simplicity and clean lines. Plus I love the interest and variety that hanging plants generate in a home. AND hanging planters keep soil and potentially-toxic leaves out of reach of curious little hands.

2. For my rainy afternoon: home-made crumpets


This icy, wet and blustery weather calls for hot crumpets, dripping in butter and honey, wouldn't you agree? And tea, of course. On particularly cold days, Madeleine and Harry and I love to treat ourselves to crumpets for morning or afternoon tea. It feels all very proper and British, don't you know? One of these days, I'd really like to try making crumpets from scratch. If for no other reason than that I like the idea of eating crumpets any darn time I like, rather than only when I've remembered to buy them from the supermarket (which is not very often). I think I'll give this recipe a try some time soon.

3. For giggles: NYC survival guide


These illustrations on how to survive life in New York have been doing the rounds of the Internet for a little while, and every time they cross my radar they make me laugh. During my time living in NYC I quickly learned that New Yorkers were short on time and space, so respecting those two things in others was paramount.

In New York, it doesn't matter how unusual or seemingly absurd your dream is: there are people who will know people, and they will want to help you. But I had to learn to make the most of every opportunity, because while New Yorkers might be generous with their knowledge and connections, they don't have time to hold your hand and cajole and convince you to go ahead. The rest is up to you.

That's the serious side. On the lighter side, you can buy the very cute and funny NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette book by Nathan W. Pyle on Amazon, or take a look at some animated GIFs of the same illustrations (click on each image to see the animation).

4. For my children: a balloon wall


I bookmarked this fantastic balloon wall idea in the lead-up to Madeleine's second birthday earlier this month. She LOVES balloons (pronounced "baboons") and in the month leading up to her birthday party we discussed balloons at least every day. In the end I didn't create the balloon wall because I just had too much else to do for her TWO parties, and by the day of her actual birthday I think she had reached the point of celebration fatigue. Still, I am dying to do this. Maybe on another birthday. Or maybe one day, just for kicks. I can imagine the two children coming downstairs of a morning and finding a balloon wall to tear down. That could be a lot of fun, don't you think?

5. For my ride: handwoven bike baskets


Do you ride a bike? I miss mine! It was a 1970s yellow Speedwell with back-pedal brakes and no gears, and it was precisely my speed. During the few months that we lived in Adelaide it really came into its own, because Adelaide was so flat and linked by so much green. I loved exploring the city on my little bike! I gave the bike away while I was pregnant because it wasn't the type that could be converted to safely transport little ones, and it was (and will be) a long time before I'll be riding solo again.

But the day I step across two wheels again, I definitely want one of these handwoven Asungtaba bike baskets on the front. They are made for House of Talents, an organisation connecting talented artisans in developing countries to consumers worldwide. (Also available from Anthropologie)

That's it for Friday folks. I hope your weekend is shiny and happy!


ps. Some posts you might have missed if you're new here...

* Melbourne: have you been to Kinfolk Cafe? * Snail mail: here are 19 fab pen pals, and here is some decorated mail I'm sending * Mothering: I won the lottery * Making: these woodland picnic party invitations are quick, easy and leave a great impression * Nesting: the story of the snow globe * Art: Aussie artist Emma Lipscombe reveals where she looks for inspiration * More favourite things