Sunday, December 30, 2012

Little Tully

We are proud to announce Tully Alexander Gosbell was born on the 28/12/2012 at 3:18pm, weighing 3.295kg. A week early but a beautiful addition to our little family nest.
 Mum and little Tully doing really well and we are all taking the time to get to know one another. He is only just starting to wake up to the world and has been sleeping for much of the last two days. Miss Three is excited that Tully is here. 
She's very much in love + protective of her little brother already which isn't a surprise she's going to be an incredible big sister.

X Mummafox

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

While I'll still be popping in and out over the Holiday period, sharing a little of our Christmas with you, the best place to catch up with me will be Facebook or Instagram (@thepoppyfox) rather than here although if I get the chance I'll blog.

After our mini holiday down the coast I realized not only am I waddling but I'm getting really tired. You'd expect that at 39 weeks but I've been taking time to rest when Miss Three gives me the chance.
I have made the decision to wait till Tully arrives and things settle down to open the Etsy shop. It seems silly to rush as I'll be busy with a newborn for a little while and unavailable to do custom orders. It'll be lovely to bring in the new year with opening the online shop and having a giveaway or two.

All the presents are wrapped and the hospital bags are packed ready for when Tully arrives which my obstetrician saids could be anytime.

It's been a huge year personally. I started PoppyFox in March, began writing again, I've published 100+ blogposts in that time while being a mum to Miss Three. I was fortunate to keep up my Counselling work at Innercircles alongside sewing and spend time fostering some amazing friendships for Miss 3 and I. I'm about to give birth + meet Tully and confess to still getting my head around that.

I wanted to thank each and every one of you, for visiting the blog and PoppyFox on Instagram + Facebook each day and reading a part of my life. Thank you for your comments, support, and sharing your life with me, each email/comment has inspired me and made my day.

Have a fantastic Christmas I hope that the week ahead is filled with joyfulness, loved ones and good friends and of course, good food.

I wish you and your families all a very Merry Christmas.

X Mummafox

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My week in Instagram

It's not long till Christmas and this week it's been a mission to get through the long list of final chores. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like the days are just slipping by.
We had a Mother's group Christmas breakup, an impromptu playdate + dressups with Ruby, crafternoons, I did some Counselling sessions, spent time wrapping lots of pressies, writing out Christmas cards and doing some final Christmas shopping.
I did a Jungian sandtray to prepare for labouring Tully. I did one before having Poppy and it was a really special time reflecting that soon Tully will be in my arms and not in my womb. We had an appointment with my obstetrician, Miss Three spent time with her Nanna, I took a couple of hours to mulch the veggie garden and plant out a bed of purple carrots and dwarf butter bean seeds in the hope that the weeds are kept at bay till the end of January. The garden looks incredible and I enjoyed relaxing in my chair on Wednesday with the new Countrystyle + a glass of ice tea while Miss Three had a sleep.
I've been busy cutting vintage fabric for two baby quilt orders which I finished this morning. They were pink, cornflower blue and lavender vintage floral with a hint of Japanese fabric with a girl and her pony thrown into the mix.
Today I'm busy creating Miss Three's bunting for her room with matching bunting for her dolls house and dolls quilt ready. I'm still hoping to get two pinnies sewn for Christmas day but it's the last on the list after washing, vacuuming and putting things away. We even took the time today to clean the car, fit a toddler booster seat for Miss Three and get the babyseat set up for Tully. You forget how small they are as newborns. The car's never looked so good.

What did you get up to?

X Mummafox

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A tea cake with a difference- Tuesday's in the kitchen

A couple of weeks ago Miss Three had a play date with Mr Darcy. Jacqui brought morning tea + spoilt us. We shared Lego, playdough and a crafty morning together.
 The cupcakes were incredible and lucky for me there were some leftover to be enjoyed with a pot of tea when Miss Three had her afternoon rest. 
I shamelessly asked for the recipe so I could share it here with you all as with berries in season it's the perfect opportunity to make them for our little people and indeed ourselves.
We went strawberry picking at Red Hill when we snuck away for a mini beachside holiday last week and I'm planning on making a batch using blueberries and strawberries in the recipe. 
I've made these into friands and madelines last week and they tasted great with our homegrown raspberries.

Raspberry Tea Cake

Prep time: 10 mins |
Cooking Time: 10-15 min for cupcakes, 30 min for cake
 | Serves 8-10 little people


Jacqui made these into cupcakes but the same recipe applies. 
You could also throw in sultanas and cranberries for something different.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut
1 1/3 cup s.r. Flour
Small punnet of raspberries 
(or loganberries, blueberries, strawberries + blackberries)

how to make
  1. Set oven at 190 degrees
  2. Cream butter and sugar and mix in egg
  3. Mix through coconut
  4. Add milk and flour alternately, mixing lightly.
  5. Put a raspberry in the base of each muffin tray and then add remaining to the batter and mix very lightly.
  6. Place in pan and bake for about 10-15 mins for muffins or bake for about 30 mins for the cake.


And thanks Jacqui for sharing the recipe.
I would love to know what you are baking- comment below- send me a picture- 
or maybe a link, here or email to Become a member of the blog and be notified of blogposts as they happen.
If you have a favourite recipe share it.

x Mummafox

Monday, December 17, 2012

My week in Instagram- Our beachside adventure

What a great adventure our little family has been on this week.
After the rainbow party last Sunday we managed to clean the house, put things back in order, do the washing and pack the car for our three day mid-week adventure.
We had a full tank of petrol and a destination for our little getaway. 
Miss Three fell asleep in the car as we headed to Merrick's Beach. The sun was shining, there were days of hot whether and a beach just a minutes walk away waiting for us.
We took Poppy Strawberry picking for the first time, where sun ripened strawberries were devoured and enjoyed. We went op shopping + out for baby chino's and enjoyed the rolling hills and green vineyards stretching out to the blue sea.
We explored Flinders, went beach combing, ate a wonderful lunch at Tucks Ridge where we were married + shopped for olives for dinner.
We shared in crafternoons painting gum leaves, sticks and paper under the shade of a gum tree after long swims and walks on the beach.
 Our little beach side shack had a trampoline, a local rabbit that Poppy loved to watch eating grass at dusk. A family of magpies to entertain us + a tyre swing out the front.
And when Miss Three did sleep l caught up on some reading, talking with Ads and enjoyed a glass of wine in the sunshine. 
It was a chance to spend time as a family, live life simply for a few days + contemplate what life is going to be like once Tully comes into the world. 
It won't be long till our little family of three becomes four. 
For a moment we treasured our togetherness, laughed and enjoyed just being us three.
 It was a beautiful few days away and something l will treasure for a long time.

What did you get up to?

x Mummafox

Friday, December 14, 2012

Miss Two turns 3!

I can't believe three years ago I gave birth to the most amazing little girl.
Such little fingers and toes, not a cry when you came into the world. 
Your eyes wide open. 
You were your own little person even then, which wasn't a surprise at all.
You're incredible, fun, passionate, creative and such a funny, 
adventurous little girl. 
We are so lucky to be your parents.
Happy birthday my beautiful little Poppy.
Or should I say Miss 3!

X Mummafox

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Happenings- Poppy's Rainbow party

There were rainbows aplenty
It didn't rain
The sun shone
Miss Two was excited
This was her rainbow party
The playground filled with kids
A BBQ, an amazing rainbow cake
Crafty rainbow bunting
Family + friends
Face painting + pass the parcel
Seeing everyone happily playing
A perfect rainbow party
We did it + it made Poppy's day.
Next week she's three!

X Mummafox

Friday, December 7, 2012

My week in Instagram

It's been another busy week but easier with days spent at home. 
Ads has been sick in bed with a tummy bug the past four days so we have kept a low profile. He hasn't resurfaced from bed yet and I've been playing nurse. I'm hoping come Sunday he's back to normal for the Rainbow party. Things are pretty organized just hoping the rain doesn't fall for Miss Two's Third Birthday Party.
Miss Two has been victorious with toilet training with minimal accidents and lots of stickers on her calendar this week. I can't get over how big she's getting and how much love l feel for the little munchkin.
We've had a couple of play dates, daily crafternoon sessions as Miss Two has enjoyed opening her Advent calendar and putting the craft pressies to use.
I've got a baby quilt order along with Christmas presents to start making today but decided on some shopping r and r last night night.
I visited Magnolia Square market opening night enjoyed some bubbles, checking out the 80+ stalls and grabbing some birthday/Christmas twine, washi tape and little goodies for Miss Two and the family. My favorite picks from the market were:

Jack and Jill
Miss Two just loves the toothpaste. I picked up a new toothbrush and a tube of Blackcurrant toothpaste for her to open for her birthday.

Myrtle and moss

Red wagon

Sweet William
I have two favourite prints that l am thinking about getting to adorn Tully's nursery in the New Year

Their new range of necklaces are amazing

Sirensswimwear 50's vintage inspired swimwear

I then stopped in St.Kilda for a Yellow tofu and mushroom curry at Balas and came across the St.Kilda night market in full swing. Bought a pinnie, some jewelry and trinkets to adorn presents, bought a baby rattle shaker from the African Drumming Circle for Miss Two to give to Tully when he is born + made the long trek back to pick up Miss Two at Nana's.
I was exhausted but glad that l snuck a few hours in to visit some favourite places and get some much needed final Christmas shopping done.

Today I finished my last boxing class at 37 weeks pregnant after realising how tired l was. I love the energy of the class and hitting that bag as hard and fast as l can but I'm done, at least for a little while. I took Ads to the doctors, stopped by the recycle arts resource centre to find boxes, card and materials for wrapping, gifts and general crafty mayhem at Poppyfox HQ most of it was neon to my delight and I picked up little packs of non toxic crayons for the gift bags as part of my thirfting membership.
Today and tomorrow I've got two baby quilts to cut and start sewing in vintage florals and kitsch japanese pastels, giftbags + a crafty pass the parcel for the party to put together, a house to finish cleaning, five pinnies to sew, and a little pressie for Miss Two to open on her Rainbow Party Day on Sunday morning. Her big present will be waiting for her actual birthday on the 15th of December.
I'm praying it doesn't rain Sunday morning, that Ads is on his feet and that the party comes together at the park. But you know it's out of my control and l can only keep on going in the hope of getting to my final destination. I'll keep you all posted.

Hope you have a happy, happy Friday everyone!
What are your plans?

x Mummafox

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The great garden experiment #5

There's lots of greenery in the garden, it's been raining a lot when it hasn't been 30+ degrees resulting in lots of foliage growth + things flourishing. My diverse range of tomato, eggplant and zucchini/squash plants are all healthy and at various stages of growth with lots of flowers that have yet to bare ripe fruit. I think give it another two weeks and I should be harvesting ever second day.
Purple and green Cos lettuces, mixed capsicums and herbs are small and healthy and the corn + potatoes are taking on height. My basil so far is surviving the changes in weather and heat, it would be great for them to grow into bushes of basil for my favourite pesto and pizzas throughout Summer.
One lesson the garden continues to teach me is there is no promises of a great crop just because things start out ideal. It's a gamble and it depends on so many factors outside of our control and doing.
I've been busy pulling out old snow pea plants, parsley, kale and silverbeet that were finished and turning over three sections of my veggie garden getting it ready for new seeds/seedlings + mulch. I was lucky to take my tee pees from one section of the garden and simply reposition them over climbing beans, tomatoes and cucumbers for use for another season without having to restring them with twine a real time saver.
I'm finding my belly is getting bigger at 36 weeks + if I don't get this done now there's little hope of it getting done till mid January when my energy returns by that time I would have missed the opportunity for a season of fresh veggies to grow and be harvested. I know time's running out.

          The bamboo that was invading the broad beans has been cut down after the final harvest of our Spring broad beans and I'm leaving that area bare for the two pumpkin plants to spread there foliage over and claim for hopefully a plentiful supply of pumpkins for the colder months. Pumpkins needs loads of room and I'm not going to try to cram a lot in as they'll only take over and smoother little seedlings. Last year we had so much water that most of our pumpkins rotted on the vine so fingers crossed this year things will be different.

The garlic tops began to dry last fortnight so I dug out our garlic patch only to find half my garlic still there. At some point the neighbours cats thought it funny to dig them up leaving me with only two plentiful garlic strings of organic garlic for my efforts. It seems only I will be having garlic for next year till the next planting. I could cry at the thought of my garlic crop being a failure this year last year I produced 18 strings of garlic for presents + some for replanting when cats didn't live next-door. But there's always zucchini pickle to make over the Christmas period if I get my timing right. It these times when I realise my garden/space limitations that I dream of the farm we would love to own and all the space I dream of having.
The olive trees are flowering and as I walk by I can smell the sage, oregano and thyme growing around the trunks. It makes me want to roast a chicken in my oven and smoother it in a butter sage sauce with zucchini stuffing and roast vegetables with little new potatoes in a parsley butter sauce. Yum! Comfort food.
My climbing beans are flowering and reaching for the heavens and I've begun to attach twine between the blue staked tee pees to give them more climbing space. It's beginning to resemble a ropes course.
My cucumbers are beginning to climb on the two blue staked tee pees in front of my zucchini row and it would make Miss Two happy if I can produce enough cucumbers for her daily salad + antipasto lunches.
My garden resembles a green jungle with things nestled in together but with limited space I've got to be a little creative and there's something comforting walking out and seeing all the life contained in my little garden.
The sunflowers have come up in four positions in the garden and are at varying heights it's my hope it'll bring the bees and birds and help with pollination and create a perfect situation for summer-long bean and vegetable production.
I'm planning on seeding a carrot + lettuce bed next week near the brick wall by the front door so we have carrots and lettuce close at hand. I'm beginning to think of using plastic gutter guard secured with sticks to try to keep the cats from digging things up. It's so frustrating to put in all this work with little result because my garden's become a playground for Jack the Ginger cat that's befriended Miss Two as a playmate and his two siblings.

How are your vegetable patches going? What's growing, what's struggling? I'd love to hear all about it, leave a comment or email us some photos that we can share. If you have any advice about how to deal with cats please tell me. The citrus lemon peels have been great at deterring them from my beans and zucchini's plants but there has to be more I can do.

Happy gardening everyone!

X Mummafox

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The love is in you

All the longing
all the dreaming
and the yearning
and the scheming

And the wondering
and the musing
and the what if-ing
and the perhaps-ing

All the tears
and the sighing
and the trauma
and the dying

And the tenderness
and the sweetness
and the ecstasy
and the joy

Boil down
simple truth

The love is in you
Nothing else matters...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Home inspiration- Monday Link love

I've been resting for much of last week both Miss Two and I were exhausted and in need of downtime. We didn't have sewing days at Nana's or big plans. I caught up on some blog reading, pulled some weeds and did a little gardening, tried a recipe or two with Ads on our new Weber Q, homemade pizzas have never tasted so good and generally took things as they came. We are still toilet training so our timetable is largely dictated by reminding Miss Two to go. Creating little rituals for toilet time. Whether it be sitting with her and reading her favourite books or making up stories, rewarding her victories which are many and battling the piles of washing. She loves to run around the house in her new hot pink elephant and babushka doll undies declaring she's a big girl. They grow up so fast. I can't believe on the 15th my Miss Two will be 3.

Today's Link love I hope will bring some home inspiration to you all. With touches of yellow, green foliage on white it just oozes relaxation and comfort. The blend of old and new, wood and touches of colour to add personality to the home environment. It's a look that l very much want to adopt in my little family nest. 
White walls, framed pictures and art work found here, here, here and here.
Comfortable colourful cushions, greenery inside and out, contemporary quilts and over sized pillows on the beds to give comfort, seen here, here, here and here
Wood/teak furniture and inbuilt shelving with cane as a feature in each room here and here. I also love the idea of a set of wood grain kitchen chairs and furniture with simplicity, functionality and design as a focus found here,  here and here. I'd also love to indulge in a Polaroid camera found here to capture those special moments. I'm learning everything takes time and it's pointless to rush as things never go according to plan. There is something to be said for letting go and enjoying the mystery + adventure. 

Our great home improvement plans before Tully is due in the New Year have slowed somewhat.  His been stressed and overloaded at work and I'm struggling with swollen feet and a lack of motivation at 35 weeks pregnant. Ads weeded the backyard over the weekend + I started organising lists for hospital bags and cleaning up things downstairs. I've been on a crafty mission this week to get bunting for Miss Two's birthday completed, the Advent calender up found here and to design the birthday gift bags for Sunday. The rainbow theme runs throughout the foodie menu, the decorations and also the gifts. I'm really glad we own several wooden rainbows and have friends willing to bake the rainbow cake (thanks Sim) who have rainbow flags and face painting talents (thanks Lisa) to make the party a success. I just hope it doesn't rain come Saturday night or Sunday so it'll be a perfect day for a party in the park. 

On the home improvement front l hope that l can rip up the dead Nasturtiums, the parsley going to seed and prune the tomatoes and stake them tomorrow before the green rubbish bins go out. I want to redo an area of the veggie patch and plant beans or a fast harvesting vegetable along the brick wall. I need to mulch, mulch, mulch. Part of me knows l don't have much longer til I get to big and uncomfortable to work in the garden. It's hard to keep things thriving in the summer heat so l have to get things done quickly to ensure the garden doesn't fall apart when l go into hospital for a few days when l go into labour. Then there is the vacuuming to do again, the loads of washing to hang out on the line and  the floors to wash before the weeks kicks into full swing. I want to have my hospital bag packed or at least started by Wednesday night along with a bag for Tully. Time is getting away from me and l have to keep tackling the long To do list. 

But it's nice to take a few moments to stop, be inspired and dream of what could be possible. Oh the things that could be.
What have you been dreaming about?

x Mummafox

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A DIY Advent Calender- Miss Two's countdown to Christmas

I know December has already started but l know l won't be alone in chasing my tail and trying to get ready for Christmas. Last night we finished a simple Advent calender using kikki.k stickers, paper, plastic pockets and some washi tape. I thought I'd share it this DIY for Christmas that might inspire you to finish yours this weekend. I think it's never to late, our little people don't care they just love that we took the time to create something special for them. You should have seen the smile and hugs we got from Miss Two when she came downstairs this morning still sleepy at 7am and saw what was hanging over our fireplace to celebrate Christmas.

This crafty project took about 2 hours to create and put together, I even roped in Ads to write the little messages inside the plastic pockets each day to share with Miss Two. There's a few things you'll need but the idea for this Advent calender can easily be adapted to use with what you have. You can make it bigger by using boxes for multiple children or easier by using little envelopes which you will then decorate. The key is to have stickers that makes decorating quick, easy and streamlined to prevent the Advent calender looking cluttered. I also didn't want to use a chocolate Advent calender from the supermarket but l wanted to encourage Miss Two's creative spirit and provide hours of fun in the weeks ahead. It might cost a little more money but l think it's worth it.

What you'll need
25 Plastic square pockets or envelopes for each day
25 smaller plastic pockets for the presents to go inside the envelopes (optional)
Brown Kraft paper for decorating
Washi tape in various Christmas colours and designs
kikki.k Christmas sticker and label book
Small paper dollies
Paper cut out circles
Numbered stickers for each day
Kitchen twine
25 wooden pegs
1 3M picture hook
1 tree branch

For the Presents
Notes for each day
Lollypops or wrapped lollies
Craft supplies
Hair clips
Small toys

How to make
I cleared room on the kitchen table and counted out 25 plastic pockets for each of the days of December. I wanted to use plastic pockets to keep things simple and the parcels small so they would stay on the wall when hung. I cut folded squares of brown Kraft paper to use inside the plastic pocket to hold the surprises inside and as a backdrop for stickers and the decorations.
I invested in a Fiskars x-large circle punch from Spotlight ($30.00) a couple of weeks ago for creating paper bunting and gift tags and cut circles out of red and green envelopes l had leftover from our engagement party and wedding some five years ago. You could cut these out by hand using a drinking glass or a small coffee cup as a template. It'll take time but you don't want too many circles on the front of your Advent calendar envelopes you just need enough to make each day look different.
Instead of buying envelopes you could use coloured paper or recycle old Christmas cards for this purpose. I then added Kikki K Christmas stickers over the cut out circles and paper dollies to create a colourful Christmas scene. I added strips of washi tape to some of the brown paper squares adding the numbered stickers at the end usually in the centre or just off centre so they were easy to see and read for Miss Two. The numbers were part of the Kikki K Christmas sticker book ($19.95) which meant l didn't have to use a coloured marker or create my own stickers and was a real time saver. Using the Kikki K sticker book also meant that the Christmas Advent Numbers and the Christmas themed stickers were all of the same colour palette so they blended well together when the project was hung on the branch.
It was important to make the plastic pockets look different side by side, l found laying them all on the kitchen table in order made this easily achievable and you could see what you were doing and how they looked in order.
I also advise doing this DIY project when your little people are out of the house or asleep as it makes things quicker and it stays a surprise.
I then added treats and used the circle cutter to make 25 paper circles to write on and put inside the plastic pockets for each day. The notes we wrote using a Rainbow pen from Kikki K were colourful and shared ideas with Miss Two, like it's bath night get an extra 10 minutes, it's Mexican, today we blow bubbles, go to the park, have tickle time, a little poem or Christmas song or it was a message about something we love about her that we want her to know. It's important to me that Miss Two has a healthy self-esteem and belief about herself and this was a great opportunity to do this.
Then it was assembly time and this took about 20 minutes. I cheated a bit and used a slightly smaller plastic pocket which l filled with craft supplies (small and big coloured pom poms, Christmas and character/animal stickers, coloured pipe cleaners + rainbow match sticks), lollies, hair clips and other treats. I laid these out over each of the days to help make each day different when she opened her surprises so one day she had craft, then hair clips, mixed stickers or lollies.
The clear plastic square pockets/envelopes were packed and sealed. Two strips of Sticky tape were used to attach lengths of kitchen twine to each of the square plastic pockets ready for hanging them on the tree branch.
I wanted to use a pine tree branch for the Advent calender but couldn't find one we decided to use a Willow branch from the vase in the kitchen. I wrapped four washi tape colours around the branch to blend it in with the plastic pockets and colour scheme and used a long length of Kitchen twine to hang it up. By tying the length of twine from the two sides of the branch and hanging it with a 3M hook it sits evenly on the wall and supports the weight of the Advent calender evenly.
I found tying the kitchen twine to the branch in varying lengths and then cutting the excess twine away was easier than doing it at the beginning.
The trick was hanging No. 1 and then No. 25 on the branch to ensure that the plastic envelopes were placed evenly on the branch and there was enough room for the 25 envelopes to hang flat on the branch. To finish the Advent calender l added a small wooden peg to the top of each plastic pocket (kikki.k has a twine and peg pack) to secure the tape and string to each envelope so the weight of the presents didn't pull to much on the string. It also added to the overall look of the calender hanging on the branch.
And you're all done.
It's time to stand back and enjoy your crafty Christmas creation.

If any of you have created Christmas decorations or Advent calenders share a photo or comment below and share a link I'd love to hear all about it.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

X Mummafox
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