Ahoy there!

Many of you who follow me on Instaram now know that we are expecting our second little person in the very early days of next year. To say we are excited is a MASSIVE understatement.

It got us thinking about the environmental impact a little person has, in particular, in the early years of their life when they go through everything from nappies (many of which are disposable) to clothes, toys and other very ‘age’ specific toys and accessories at such a rapid rate.

I remember thinking ‘Oliver hasn’t even worn that!’ when he was a wee little man and for being disappointed that I hadn’t used it even once. It felt wasteful and very irresponsible. Most, if not all, mainstream baby clothes are mass produced in conditions that I can’t vouch for and put a lot of pressure on manufacturing, waste and pollution. Furthermore, I am determined to not get sucked into the ‘guilty parent’ trap that companies love to use, especially on new mothers, convincing us that what’s ‘best for baby’ is a fancy rocker that’s battery powered and can do six things at once. Another thing I find remarkable is that everything only has one use, for example, the little blanket your little muffin sleeps under in their cot, can’t possibly go in the pram, you need a ‘pram blanket’ or car/bath/floor toys?! Let’s get a little bit of perspective, shall we?

I’d like to talk about the focus we’re taking for this little person and the things that matter most to us as we venture down this path, hopefully a little wiser than last time.

  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Fun
  • Sustainability

Safety is obviously a priority for all parents. We are hiring a capsule for as long as is needed. This service ensures it’s fitted correctly and to standard, comes clean and fresh and it’s as simple as organising pick up when the little muffin outgrows it. No bulky item lying around, someone else will continue to use it and it supports a local business. Easy choice.

We still have the baby seat that comes next. A friend has been using it for her little girl in the meantime. Everyone wins.

Comfort and fun are no brainers. Everyone wants to give their baby a beautiful room, a soft place to sleep and stimulating and appropriate toys. What doesn’t sit with me is the pressure to get a massive list of brand new things, regardless of your baby’s interests and personality or the environmental impact your choices hold. Your baby isn’t about to pipe up and tell you that the space themed toy isn’t their first choice but they, just like the rest of us, have particular sights, sounds and textures that appeal to them and that they respond to. Taking a little time to get to know your brand new family member with only a couple of recycled toys is not a crime, in fact, it’s more responsible than the current trend if you ask me. Also, take a minute to think about where something was made and whether or not you know anything about the human and environmental price of the item, not just the monetary one.

Overarching all the elements in this journey is the aim to be as environmentally responsible as we can be and balancing wants vs needs. I’ve shifted the way I think about the whole ‘business’ of baby. That’s what it is, a business. However, with a little consideration and some determination you can bring it back to being about what you and your baby need, not the profit margins of those massive companies and their mass produced, plastic creations of ‘need’ and, more often than not, greed.

So to prove that it’s possible we have decided to go ‘Secondhand Baby’ style. We have begun to collect the essential, and even some nice extras that we will need in six months time when the muffins arrives. The twist? Everything is either secondhand or handmade. There is only one exception and that’s the cloth nappies. Everyone I know who uses them is still using them because the life of the nappy is so long. This could also be a hygiene issue. Everything else has been used before or has been given to the op shop because it was being wasted.

Not only has it been fun so far but a great challenge and has really made me consider what exactly we’ll need and how many of each item is necessary. I’m keeping a price list to show off at the end and also to keep a tally of sizes so I don’t get too many of a particular size and therefor have no need for it.

What twigged this genius idea was finding a gorgeous, simple, metal based bouncer at an op shop for $3! I had previously browsed the beloved Target and was shocked at how ugly, expensive and over the top all of their baby bouncers were. I was mortified. So much plastic, so many garish colours, freaky characters and accessories. Can’t the blinking thing just bounce a little when the baby moves? From memory, they love making things move on their own steam and unless they’re capable of picking a speed and sound setting, that aint happening in the deluxe model! After that i made a mental ‘stick it to the man’ gesture in the crowded baby aisle filled with expectant mothers and I walked out, happily empty handed.

I feel as if I have a responsibility to my children to do the best I can to curb our current and rapidly growing need for more, always more. This is coming at a price none of us can imagine or even fathom yet. This is a simple idea that will satisfy the need in me to try and do our bit as a family. A side of this that I almost neglected to mention is the savings!! My stash currently sits at eighteen items, ranging from singlets to the bouncer I previously gloated about. My total spend to date is $19.50. I have sheets, onsies, jackets and the most delightful hand knitted sleep suit I found today. I did a little op shop dance for that one. I personally don’t know of many young families that have big wads of cash to throw around. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the total ‘price tage’ for all the essentials, I think you’ll be amazed, too. I will note that this wasn’t the catalyst for the project, merely a happy bi-product.

So, from here on in I will be posting the progress of my little project, both making the baby (but you’ve all seen a baby bump before) and the gorgeous finds I pick up at my local secondhand stores. Follow me on Instagram, too. I’ll be using #2ndhandbaby to collate all the finds and I encourage you to do the same. If you’re lucky enough to be welcoming another family member soon, show me what you find. Amazing pieces are waiting to be found in the treasure troves that are our local charity and secondhand shops.

If you’re not in baby mode, just do me a favour and consider buying secondhand and questioning where and how the things you ‘must’ have are made.

I also have a manageable list of DIYs for the muffin that I will be sharing here. I’ll link you in with any other cool ideas around sustainability and baby stuff that I come across as well.

Peace and a gorgeous baby outfit with a tiny, tiny price tag. 😉

E. x





from strange places



This morning didn’t start with a sweaty run or a burning weight session. This morning was a little rushed and my head a little crazy. I managed to park, albeit illegally, fairly close to my cafe and run through the rain to the comfort and the warmth of inside, smiling at a few other regulars before joining the queue. 

Nothing had yet inspired me and I wasn’t very present, drifting off into my imagination as I stood waiting. On cooler days, I seek warmth from the coffee machine and wait in the little nook close by. 

All of a sudden, the barista slammed out three strong, confident and loud bangs. A rhythmic flick of the wrist, without thought, I’m sure, as he cleaned the used, ground beans from the filter handle. Thud. Thud. Thud. I felt them through the floor. They went right through me and shook me from my fog.

Those three beats inspired me. They injected something into my day. It’s difficult to describe, really. There was such a confidence, power and control to them and I chose to take that away with me. Perfect, piping hot coffee in hand, I left in a very different way to how I entered. 

Peace and deep, strong and commanding beats. 

E. 😉 x

Oh, hey // An update

A I type. :)

I’d love to share with you some of the bits and pieces currently rocking my world. Do you ever notice that particular things just keep popping up in waves? I guess they’re just described as fazes or a current focus. I’m always so interested to know what these are for other people, to know what’s happening in their little pocket of the world.

So, in no particular order…

Something new:

The gym and exercise in general. This has been a big part of my life recently. It really came about a couple of days after separating from my partner. I had a chat to myself, you know, as one does. It was the chat where I discussed the two options for how to handle the split. The first was to drink lots, go dancing, sleep around a little. Seemed like a pretty fun idea. The second was to join the gym and really commit to finally achieving the goal that I always wanted to reach and to do it for me. I chose option two. I went immediately after work that day and joined up, returning half an hour later, spandex clad and full of motivation. I haven’t looked back.

I try to get to the gym four times a week. I do back to back classes on a Thursday night and if I haven’t been out on a Friday night, I’ll also go to the class early Saturday morning (I didn’t say I wasn’t going to do any of option one). The other visits are ‘free’ workouts, set by me. I am currently up to running 3.5km in just under twenty minutes. This is how I start every session. It puts me in the right mood and really gets me going. When I started running in the gym, I struggled to make 2km. I’m proud of my progress here and have decided to enter the City to Surf in August. I have run it once before and finished in 1 hour 45 mins. I am hoping to smash that this time, though. I have more focus when I have a goal and I love the atmosphere of the race.

After my run, I generally move to the weights section where I nudge out a scantily clad muscle man, busy looking at himself, to do my reps. This week I have added more weight to all of the machines and I managed to get through the reps without too many ridiculous faces or strange noises. Go me. From weights I move to some ab or leg exercises followed by a twenty minute workout on the cross trainer.

On exit, I closely resemble a very satisfied lobster, wobbling toward a Pulsar. 🙂

I get so much out of these visits, I truly do. When I’m running, I feel empowered. When I pull down that particularly heavy weight and don’t loose control of it as it lowers, I feel so strong. When I manage the last round of sit ups, something I was unable to do six weeks ago, I feel determined. When I walk away from the gym, I feel like I can achieve anything.


I am currently reading Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood. Truth be told, I’m not a big reader of fiction but I’m determined to see this one through. I’m only a few pages in but feel like there is promise and I will definitely keep you updated on my progress. I also bought a crime fiction that came highly recommended. That is a genre I have never entered into before. Maybe that’s my ticket back into the wonderful world of fiction. Sometimes you really have to go somewhere new to find what you’re looking for, don’t you? The last time I got truly lost in fiction was when Harry Potter was released. I was absolutely head over heels for Oliver Wood and was quite convinced I would receive my letter of admission to Hogwarts at any time. The magic of books, right?

There are still my staple reads, though, that continue to inspire, motivate and open my eyes to so many wonders. They are, the amazing Australian magazines Peppermint, Frankie and Yen. I pour myself onto the pages every edition. I have an affair with each issue and devour it whole. The visual inspiration these magazines provide is profound for me. They each take a different angle on the topics they cover and each appeal to a different side of my personality. I have been really interested in fashion recently and have drawn on past and present issues of all for some serious inspiration.

Also, I must confess that the book currently in my handbag is Australian Natives Plants of the Blue Mountains. That’s right. What of it?

Eating and drinking;

I did a two and a half day juice cleanse that finished this morning. ‘Two and a half days? What a strange length of time!’ I hear you ponder. Well, you’d be right. It was a three day cleanse. Then I just needed to eat. I’m not sure if it was a lack of mental strength, a dizzy feeling or my sheer love and passion for things edible that broke me. Whatever it was, it was strong! I did really enjoy the juicing process and the taste but found it difficult to keep up with work, gym, child, TAFE and not drink coffee. Ha! I missed my coffee so badly. I was in denial about how much I loved it until then. I nearly made out with my coffee cup this morning. Ridiculous…ly good!

So, other than exotic juice blends I have been chowing down on Soul Bowls. It’s a little name I like to give to the ‘chuck everything in’ bowl situation that so often happens in my house. Soul Bowl sounds so much more ‘hip’, don’t you agree? I’m all into the hips. A typical SB contains wholegrain cous cous, tofu, capsicum, avocado, Spanish onion, olives, cashews and anything else I have left over from other culinary endeavours. I hate food wastage and this is a great way to make the most of every little bit of every little thing. Soul Bowls also look amazing as they’re so colourful and flavour- packed. I am often on the receiving end of envious stares from colleagues and peers, especially when they’re staring down at a reheated bowl of a non-descript brown muck that came from a box. It always strikes me as odd, that as the vegan, I always get quizzed on where all my nutrition and vitamins come from. Look at my plate, people.

Other regulars include homemade sushi and I have been on a huge curry kick recently. Homemade, mainly and full of tofu, bok choy, bamboo shoots, capsicum, carrot and zucchini. I’m drooling on the keys as I think of this dish and type at the same time.

I have been trying to curb my enthusiasm for sweets but I have recently made some rather healthy cookies for OB that I really enjoyed, too. Super dark chocolate often nips my cravings in the bud. I just take a couple of squares and I’m satisfied. Quality over quantity.

Listening to:

Two albums on high rotation at the moment are the Artics Monkeys’ ‘AM’ record and Broken Bells ‘After the Disco’. I’ve been getting into heavier music a little more recently thanks to a friend who knows his shit. Something I love now, is the power of music in the gym. I listen to the Queens of the Stone Age on the treadmill and I nearly run off the thing. Music has this transformative power and I don’t think I’ve ever been so aware or appreciative of that than at this point in my life, in this transition and readjustment.

I have made a conscious decision to see more local and live music this year. I just love the feeling of finding a new band through a live performance. I’ve been lucky enough to catch some great local talent recently and have a few more outings planned in the near future.

Music is just so important to me right now. It’s my constant companion, sometimes my only way of communicating what I feel, my dance partner and my (sometimes rude) pep talk when I’m in a low spot or need motivation to get out of bed. Music, I love you. Don’t ever leave me. Thanks.

These are just a few things in my little bubble. I’ll be back soon with what’s inspiring me (big topic), current style and being organised.

Peace and mind bubbles.

E. x




Sometimes the decisions you have to make are difficult. Really fucking difficult. They hurt people and they leave you numb for a little while. They push you to the brink and make you question everything you have come to call yours. For a little while, they’ll have you believe you’re a bloody idiot. These huge decisions are like letting go of a rope swing, but the free fall is so much longer and you wonder if you’ll ever hit the water.

These big, heartbreaking decisions are either your maker or your breaker. They force you to choose the type of person you want to be all over again, to start from scratch.

So that is what I am doing. I am rebuilding. I have hit the water and possibly even resurfaced, but the swim ahead is long.

This decision has reset my life and changed it’s course dramatically. Day by day I am making choices for me. 

I’m scared, yes. I am also so, so alive right now.

Peace and strength to you.


December // winner

Happy December to you all!

Thank you for a great response to the December giveaway, proudly donated by Alison of My Red Scooter! (Instagram @my_red_scooter)

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the winner of the beautiful enamel flower brooch is…..

@turquoiseshoes!!! This quirky novelty brooch is the entry that has scored her another brooch to add to her collection.


Congratulations! Please email me with your postal address and I’ll happily send of the winning brooch in time for a Christmas delivery. eaenglish (at) gmail (dot) com

Keep your eyes peeled for some amazing brooch giveaways in 2014! If you’re a brooch maker/ designer or vintage seller that would like to donate a beautiful brooch to our giveaway and be featured on both this blog and The Tunabake Times, as well as getting a shout-out through Instagram, please email me with a little info about your designs, shop or otherwise and we’ll get you a spot on the calendar. Claire and I aim to support local and handmade wherever possible.

Peace and scary wreaths!

E. x

So very thankful



I recently had to have my gallbladder removed. It was a little dramatic to start with but I was fortunate enough to only be in hospital for four days in total. Seb was able to take the whole week off after my surgery to help nurse me back to good health and I am ever so grateful for his patience, helpfulness, reliability and silliness, all without which, I would have been lost. He barely left my bedside and held my hand for every needle, cannula, blood test and felt for me through every pain attack and dizzy spell.

My amazing best friend visited me in hospital numerous times, always bringing something to cheer me up. My parents came every day, even though my Dad seriously dislikes hospitals. Because of all of this support I never once felt alone or afraid.

So, as I start to regain my independence and resume some of my normal activities I am overcome with a sense of thankfulness and deep, deep gratitude for the people I have in my life. I am beyond blessed with my bunch and I cannot thank them enough for always, always having my back.

Prior to my surgery I very often felt a little off and not quite right. Sometimes I would suffer from attacks of severe pain that would render me useless for varying amounts of time. The pain was intense, tiring and overwhelming. Looking past my recovery and I cannot wait to feel great, really great again and make the most of my good health. This includes getting as healthy as I can and really treating my body with the best foods, the most exercise and the rest it deserves. My doctor and I nutted out a general plan today and I am so enthused and eager to see how healthy I can feel and how well I can treat this body of mine. After all, it did manage to grow that gorgeous little man of mine so I think it’s the least I can do!

So as I rest my head tonight I am humbled by my blessed situation, thankful for my health and looking forward to tomorrow.

Peace and useless organs.

E. x

local is best


I wanted to stop by and share a little experience I had yesterday at the Grower’s Market in Blackheath.

Oli and I had almost finished collecting what we needed when we walked past a young man selling his garlic. I had bags in both arms and was trying to keep tabs on OB in a crowd while he was trying to drink his uber large and tasty mango smoothie-thing. Anyway, as I glanced at the seller and considered whether or not it was worth calling to OB to stop, putting down the three large and precariously balanced bags before scrounging around in one of them for my wallet, he smiled at me, “Good Morning, Miss. I picked this batch yesterday, if you’re interested.”

In that tiny little moment I felt as if there was nothing more important than buying a two dollar head of garlic from this man. Yes, I needed garlic but the exchange stayed with me afterward for much deeper reasons. The garlic grower was so genuine and happy for my purchase, albeit for a tiny two dollars. He was warm, friendly and had manners and a smile.

It is little moments such as this that only strengthen my resolve to buy as much as possible locally, from people who believe in what they’re doing and who have knowledge and passion for their product. It was quite strange that I should come across this garlic seller on Sunday because not two days before, Seb was telling me that OB had enquired as to where the garlic came from that they had seen in the supermarket. Seb explained that it had come all the way from Spain and that was why he wasn’t going to buy it. (We had to show OB where Spain was on the globe when they returned home) We had a lengthy and impassioned conversation about how so much is imported and there is are few questions asked around food milage and more environmentally (and economically) sound alternatives.

We were lucky enough to head up the mountain on Sunday to find Blackheath buzzing with locals toting their baskets and recycled shopping bags, ready to fill with locally grown and homemade produce. I honestly did a air fist pump thingo when I realised our luck and I was straight into the action, soaking up the beautiful sun, enjoying the atmosphere and all the while supporting those growers and makers that put heart and soul into their goods and produce. 

I urge you all to do a little research into your local markets or, at the very least, the local green grocer. They care about food and in most cases, they’re supporting a family, too, just like you are. So give the little guy a chance. Ask questions and consider what is best for not only your family but your community, too. I guarantee the shopping experience at a market or your independent grocer will be a pleasant one including a little chat and some sun, far better than one of those bloody self serve checkout stations that requires the one staff member manning the eight machines to re enter their staff code after every purchase just because you want to use your OWN FREAKING BAG! Sorry about that. You get my drift.

Let’s raise the little guy up and snub the big chains. Where you spend your money makes a bigger difference than you may first think.

Peace and garlic.