Grateful for the little things…

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Today was a pretty hectic day –starting off with very little sleep because Noah woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a tummy ache and wouldn’t settle down for awhile again, then waking up to get straight into paperwork, then running off in the middle of the day to do shopping for the Cafe, then coming back home again to more paperwork, paying bills, supervising renovations happening at the house and tending to a fussy baby–I feel like this is the first time I’ve had to sit down and just have ‘me’ time. Still, I’m grateful that despite the heat and the running back and forth, I got to spend time with the hubby and my baby boy. I’m grateful for fifteen minute of “date time” we had over a late lunch while my grandmother watched over Noah, and I’m grateful that the moments in between all the busyness, I get treated to this:

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What are you grateful for today?

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Missing Fall…

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Right about now, in the worldwide blogging world, comes posts for celebrating the arrival of Fall (or Autumn, as we like to call it down here). This means pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the sudden change in weather, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and what’s trending in Autumn wear.

Right now is the opposite on my side of the world. We’ve got warm weather to look forward to, longer days and warmer evenings, daydreams about different flavours of icecream to try during the next few months and packing away our winter wear.

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We’re planning out our celebrations for Halloween at the Cafe and going through our menu to see how we can incorporate the change in season in there as well for the upcoming Summer holidays. I’m torn between trying out things that automatically come to me during this time of year like Spice Pumpkin Lattes and White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies, and going for something a little cooler and more spring-summer appropriate. I guess a part of me is still yearning for how it was back in Korea, being on par with the northern hemisphere and the changing seasons there. It was so much easier to find inspiration there when it seemed like the rest of the world (or at least the blogging world) was moving in the same direction you were.

And speaking of moving…

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My little man is slowly learning how to crawl and asserting his own claim to independence at six and a half months. I’m proud, scared and a little sad that he’s growing up so fast and taking that (small) step towards no longer needing mummy. I know I’m being crazy…I mean, he’s only six months! He has a long way to go before he’s crawling or even walking away from me. But at the same time, he’s not as dependent as what he was just a month ago either.  He’s quickly learning (and asserting) what he likes and does not like.  Early morning sunshine, his nursery rhymes on constant play and mashed up risotto for the former, and lying down, having his nappy changed and repeating songs for the latter.

At least with the changing weather, he’ll be getting a lot of sunshine from now on.

Sorting through the good & the bad

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Lately, I’ve found myself reading a lot of…well, crap. I’ve gone through one book after another and have ended up slamming them shut in disgust.

I’m not claiming to be an expert on what constitutes as a great piece of writing, but I’ve always believed that written story–whether fiction or not–should be able to take the reader on a journey, AND that the writer’s voice does not intrude on this journey.

So when a reader finds themselves constantly looking up from a book and saying to his or herself, ‘this is ludicrous’, then you have a problem.

So I was excited to receive in the mail a set of Maya Angelou’s books. I have yet to read through them but I’ve always been a big fan of her work and she’s always seemed to me a person who’s able to cut straight through the crap and get to the heart of any matter.

Plus, aren’t the covers gorgeous?  They made me smile as soon as I opened the package.

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I’ve also been taste-testing different teas from a few companies our team had met during the Sydney Fine Food Festival, trying to sort through which has the kind of taste and aesthetic we’re looking for to offer our customers at the cafe. Right now I’m leaning towards SereniTea. Their teas are in biodegradable bags and the flavours are so perfectly balanced, I actually couldn’t decide which flavour was my favourite. They all tasted that good (and I’m usually just a white tea sort of person). I still haven’t tried out Madame Flavour yet but their packaging is also very cute and they have these awesome sounding flavours like ‘Sultry Chai’ and ‘Grey De Luxe’.  I’m not a big Chai fan but if their blend can sway me, then they might just be the winner.

Will let you know :)

A Year To Look Back On…

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We’ve had our cafe now for a little more than over a year, although it does seem like a lot less than that. There’ve been many changes made and still many more to come, but we’re really excited at everything we’ve accomplished so far. 

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When we first took over, everything in the cafe was white–White walls, white tables, white chairs. We hated it. It just looked too pristine and not at all that welcoming. We wanted to build a place of community that made people feel welcome, comfortable and right at home. 

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When you’re working 12-14 hours days, seven days a week, it’s sometimes hard to see just how much has changed until you take a step back and try to look at it from a fresh pair of eyes. Working from home, I’m not always able to see the minor changes that happen at the cafe now until I go for a visit (usually on the weekends) or to attend a meeting. Then, while I’m walking towards the door, it’ll hit me–how much we’ve changed, and how far we’ve come. 

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This second year we’re planning on focusing on things that really spark our own personal passions. We’ve all got our own little projects on the side at the cafe, which will ultimately form part of the bigger picture of who we are as a business and a space for social and creative activity. I’ll be sharing bits and pieces as we go along, but if you’d like to stay up to date with what’s new with us, don’t forget to like our facebook page or join us on instagram!

xo

 

6 Months…plus 1 day

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I can’t believe it. 6 months have sped by. He gets bigger everyday and while I don’t tend to notice it as much since I’m with him everyday, there are moments–like when he sleeps or during those first few seconds of waking, or when he’s interacting with someone–that it suddenly hits me. 

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My baby’s growing up. And fast. 

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A few weeks ago, I packed his first ever pair of shoes away into his little time capsule/memory box. 

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About the same time he got his first ever hair cut (courtesy of Grandma!). I’m planning on buying a locket to store those first few locks in but for now they’re safely pressed inside a card. 

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And just a few days ago, I folded up and put away the first ever onesie I bought for him. I remember the first time he wore it in hospital and how it was waaayy too big for him then. And now I can barely squeeze an arm through. 

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So happy 6 months (and a day now) baby boy. Here’s hoping that while you may outgrow some things, that smile and your cheerful, bubbly personality continues to grow along with you, and that I get to continue spending my mornings waking up to your smiles and kisses, and my evenings hugging you close by my side. 

Love, Momma xo

Winding Down

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Currently drinking Aloe Vera & Honey Tea that J got me from the Korean market near the cafe. It’s sweet and just the right potion for this sore throat I’m battling.

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He also grabbed me some pick-me-up chocolate-my favorite Korean kind. The man sure does know what gives me comfort in times of sickness. 

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Finally finished Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs. It’s the latest in the Mercy Thompson Series and as usual, it did not disappoint.  I first stumbled upon these books when I was back in South Korea, looking for something that would satisfy my supernatural fantasy cravings and frustrated that all that seemed to be out at the time were the books from the Twilight Saga. Bleh. Now I’m hooked on these Mercy Thompson books and the other novels by Patricia Briggs and I may or may not have just gone on a little book spree a few days ago because I saw they were on sale online.

Oh well, something to look forward to in the post, especially if this cough snd sore throat decide to stick around a little longer. 

Enjoy your weekend!

New in the Store

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Besides my massive love for good food and an equally good read, I’m a huge fan of stationery of any kind. I collect them without even really knowing what I’m going to do with them. I just love looking at them. 

So I was excited when Jenny, a local in the area s and the founder of TJ Stationery contacted us about the possibility of stocking their stationery range in our store. After going through their samples, of course we had to say yes. Not only are they cute, but who doesn’t love all things letter pressed?

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At the moment we’ve got their cards up for sale, but we’ll be stocking their cute notebooks very soon. 

As for myself, I’m grabbing me one of their cute ‘Super Dad’ Cards to give to my dad this Father’s Day, and one of their ‘Have a fine and Daddy day’ to give to J for his first ever Father’s day. 

What are your plans this coming Father’s Day?

Goin’ To The Chapel…

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Today my little sister started her own exciting journey into marriage with a man who, without a doubt, compliments her in every way. 

It was a quiet ceremony–just immediate family–but just as wonderfully intimate and meaningful as any wedding should be. 

I’ll try and post more pictures up later in the week, but for now, we just all want to wish them all the love, fun and best wishes as they spend the next few days on their mini-moon!

Reading Pleasure

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A batch of new books just arrived the other day and I can’t wait to have them up and around the cafe this coming week!  I find that it’s always exciting to flick through new books, wondering about the memories someone will create with them, the fingerprints that will be left behind on the pages, and the stories they’ll tell beyond the words written inside.

What do you love most about new books?

Giving Myself A Break

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Lately it seems that everyone’s been hung up on Kate, Wills & the royal baby. But watching it on the news, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Kate. Imagine just going through the ordeal of labour and then having to worry about how the media would be scrutinizing every inch of her as soon as she stepped out of the hospital.

And scrutinise they did. From how tired her eyes looked, to the slight bump still evident under her dress, to how perfectly lush her hair was.

Which brings me to my next point:I think the media and entertainment industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to how new mums are viewed and judged today.

Last weekend, for the first time in a long time, I treated myself to a couple of hours of indulgence and got my hair cut. I’ve  had it long since forever but since having Noah it’s been difficult to maintain (as most mums will understand–its hard to spend more than 2 minutes with your hair when you’ve got a little one screaming for your attention).

The girls at the salon grumbled about having to unknot my hair after washing. They criticized the fact that my hair had split ends. They couldn’t comprehend why I wanted to cut it so short. And I found myself apologising. Making excuses for the lack of care on my part. About halfway through, while I was waiting for the stylist to finally get around to cutting my hair, I realised that I had nothing to be apologetic for.

My hair. My life. I didn’t need to be apologising for choosing my son and my business over the state of my hair. I didn’t need to feel embarrassed for failing to look like the Duchess of Cambridge the day after giving birth.

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I feel like those celebrity mums out there aren’t really helping either, posting pictures of their post baby bods shortly after giving birth looking like it had never been stretched to its full capacity, nor experienced the consequences of one too many cravings for ice cream.

I can’t begin to tell you how many people have asked  whether I’m expecting again when they happen to catch a glimpse of my little post baby bump. I’ve learnt to laugh it off. Eventually I’ll get back to the size I was. Eventually, I’ll find the time again to maintain proper hair care.

But for now I’m going to choose spending time with my baby over obsessing about how I should look and I’m going to choose enjoying building my business over stressing about when I should book in the time for my next hair appointment.

Them’s my priorities right now and everyone else just has to deal with it.