Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shoppin' for the little 'uns

When T was born a very dear (and funny) friend of mine wrote in her congratulatory card to us, "A girl! Wow, just think of all the retail opportunities that lie ahead!" She's right. Walk into any Target and the kids' section will be 1/3 blue/khaki/brown stuff and 2/3 pink/mauve/pink/more pink stuff. Shopping for little girls is clearly more fun (that's the message you'd get anyway).

But I have to confess that since T's been around I've spent a sum total of $12 on new clothing for her. That's right: $12. One discounted sleepsuit and one pair of striped trousers, both from Target. You can call me stingy right now...

That's not to say she's getting about dressed as a little dude. Far from it. Her cupboard is chockers and it's a vision of pink, pink, pink. She does wear quite a few of Ewan's things - I always bought him greens, reds, white ... anything but blue to break up the sea of blue clothes I'd been given for him. And I put her in blue a fair bit anyway (I delight in confusing old ladies at the supermarket with my half blue, half pink combos ... hee hee).

What's been so wonderful is how many gorgeous girls' clothes I've been given by lovely friends. Some of them never worn. All of them gratefully received. This gorgeous winter coat is just one of the delightful things I've received from friends:

I've also been a latecomer to the world of secondhand shopping. I used to hate the smell of secondhand shops but I'm over that now. These days I adore blogs like Thrifted Treasure and I love a good poke round a secondhand shop. Not that I go to many. In fact, I generally just go to one secondhand shop - and, oh my, is it a GOOD one.

The bargains I have found in there. The bargains!!

How divine is this little summer suit with butterflies on it? It's Fred Bare.

Then there's this gorgeous cotton top. It's a size 2 but I had to grab it ... there's always room in a drawer somewhere for special finds.

And will you look at these tiny cotton pants. They still have the tag on: $2.80.

I mostly look for stuff for the kids (such is a mum's lot!) but I did once find this gem for myself.

I've worked in mags long enough to spot a fancy brand at 10 paces. So when I spied a proper OiOi nappy bag (as opposed to the eco shopping bag I was lugging my gear around in) I nabbed it. New? $160 or so. Secondhand? Cost me $5. And I love the pattern. I did stop a second to think about the hygiene issues of buying a bag that's potentially had someone else's pooey nappies in it. A hot wash in the washing machine and it came out super-clean. Almost as good as new.

There are three reasons for my shift to buying secondhand. 1) I don't earn much at the moment. It makes sense financially. I can dress my little ones in 'new' (to us) stuff for a handful of dollars. I love the rush I get when I find something gorgeous and I can buy it without the associated guilt that comes with buying new stuff. 2) It's ecofriendly (actually, this should be reason number 1). Nothing makes me happier than to re-use or recycle. It's the way I was brought up and as far as I am concerned it's the right way to live, now and always. Also, it's a big raspberry to the multinational corporations that so often lure us into spending, spending, spending and the general consumption-y way of life. I am proud that I am not buying into it. Not only that, the money I do spend when I buy secondhand goes to a charity - win/win or what?! 3) I'm really not squeamish about using other people's things. I don't buy anything too rough - you'd be amazed how much kids' stuff is barely worn. I doubt anyone would look at my kids and think 'oh, they're dressed in secondhand' - and, really, so what if they did?!

Monday, January 18, 2010

To Do

My goodness, I am wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew with a column to write, a book to edit, a home to keep tidy (if not clean), washing to keep from piling up (how much WASHING can two small people generate!??!!) a noisy preschooler to wrangle and baby who's decided she's not really all that into long naps in the daytime.

Oh Baby T, I am feeling a little the same...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Careful what you wish for...

It's been a funny summer in our vegetable patch. It feels to me like it's not been a hugely successful season (er, that'd be down to the crazy 'freezing one day, boiling the next' weather) and yet when I look out the window I can see cherry tomatoes ripening in their hundreds, whoppin' cucumbers and the remains of a bumper crop of coriander (what a delight that was - notoriously fussy stuff to grow).

I guess the reason for my disappointment is because last summer we had Zucchinis Galore. Oh yeah. Zucchinis in quiches, zucchinis on the BBQ, zucchini bakes, zucchini cakes and, oh, anyone for more zucchini?...

This year we got healthy looking plants ... with pathetically small zucchinis on them. We're talking 20cm max. And so we wondered if a dose of Seasol - super-nutritious seaweed solution - may help matters...

Er, yeah. Did it what. Suddenly I am happy with our harvest. And wondering what on earth to do with the glut...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reaching out

I know it's not a big deal to anyone but the residents of this house, but our little T has mastered the art of reaching out and touching things.

Apologies for the blurry pic but I had to move fast to capture this. A shaky little arm was extending out to touch the toys on her playmat.

And to think that 18 weeks ago she was still in my belly. Ah, babies are amazing...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to work...

At the end of last year I was starting to think I was ready to take on a little more paid work. Then in a stroke of amazing luck I heard about a book project that was underway. The person working on it resigned just before xmas and the publisher was looking for someone to hand everything over to.

The beauty of this job is I can do it ALL from home - it's supposedly 10-15 hours a week of work. From today I embark on my first foray into the world of book editing. I am looking forward to the challenge - and I am certain that when we approach deadline times it WILL be a challenge. It's a book on travel, which means it should be fun to edit.

I have picked up an extra day at preschool for E this year, so I will try to squeeze 10-15 hours of work into the three days he's there, in between tending to Little Miss T. I reckon it's doable - hope so, because I've already signed the contract!