LOVE: Snurk bedding

Snurk bedding on our bed

I am fussy about doona covers. I don’t often find one I like so when I do, I tend to snap it up.

A while back I stumbled across Dutch company Snurk and I snapped like a crazed snapping turtle – and not just for our bed, but for the baby Bettys too.

Sophia has these little lambs, respectively called Wool and 100%.

lamb snurk

Olive got the curled up kitten (appropriately named Ollie by Snurk)

Ollie Snurk

And for our bed I bought this fabulous trompe l’oeil cover – looks like an old crocheted blanket, but is in fact, gorgeous, soft printed cotton. Here’s Snurk’s shot of it – beautiful, yes?

new skool pink 2

Their prices are so reasonable, the quality is fantastic and shipped directly from the company, my stuff arrived within a week or so. Also, they donate a proportion of each sale to a social cause. What is not to love.

Check out their website for other great designs. I have started to see their astronaut bedding featured online in various spots more recently.

Here’s another shot of our bed with the bedding on.

Snurk doona and eiderdown

The eiderdown at the end was my Great Grandmother’s. She was a great traveller and brought it back from England on one of her many trips abroad. I have loved it since I was a little girl and when my Grandmother passed away a few years ago, it came to me.

Last night my love for it was cemented even further. No, it wasn’t that it kept a particularly bitter winter chill at bay, but rather that I saw a very similar one in the background of a scene in Lady Cora Grantham’s bedroom.

You can just see a sliver in this shot.

Cora in bed with my doona

And if it’s good enough for the laaaaayyyyydeeesss of Downton Abbey,then it’s probably too good for me but I’m keeping it anyway.

 

LOVE: iPhone scuba suit; especially when river drifting in the Daintree Rainforest

Daintree River

When we were in Far North Queensland last year,  my handsome husband and I did an amazing thing: we put on wetsuits and snorkels and drifted down a crystalline river through 120 million year old rainforest.

It was, without doubt, one of the highlights of my life; and I’ve had some highlights.

My feet river drifting

The Mossman River is gin-clear and the rainforest that surrounds it is lush, alluring and dangerous. There are more poisonous plants in there or vines that will rip your leg open than I really care to think about. The river, though, is mercifully free of such things.

Drifting under the canopy

These are the things you can contemplate as you drift on the slow current with the bright green forest canopy towering above and nothing but the occasional gentle “plop” of seed pods and leaves falling into the water around you:

  • The rainforest is 120 million years old. I know I already told you but 120 MILLION.
  • Dinosaurs lived there and the forest has remained virtually unchanged since that time.
  • You might see a platypus. Or a turtle.
  • Many, many modern medical cures for serious diseases have had their basis in flora found in the Amazon rainforest. Only 5% of the Daintree has been mapped for its pharmacological benefits. Imagine what other remarkable scientific leaps forward in botany and medicine might still spring from this most extraordinary of forests.

And when you flip over onto your front and immerse yourself in the watery world below, well it near takes your breath away.

In rock-strewn shallows there is, as I’ve  mentioned, water so clear it might almost not be there. That water is so pure you can drink it straight from the river.

Daintree reiver rocks

There are deeper channels lit with ethereal rays of sunlight that look for all the world like molten gold on the sandy bottom.

Light penetrating river

Fallen coconut palms wave in the current, their waterlogged fronds like silently beckoning fingers.

palm frond under water

And when you have a little suit you can slip over your iphone and take snaps underwater as you go, you also get cool shots like these that reflect the submerged world and its intangible reflection above the waterline.

Scrolled bark under water

Palm frond underwater reflections

Underwater reflections

There are fallen trees whose trunks, bridge-like, span the river.

Mossy log under Daintree River

Leaves that miraculously repel water so that it seems to turn to mercury on their surface.

green leaf that repels water

Tangled mangrove root systems; tiny eco-systems all of their very own.

Mangrove roots

It really was one of the most life-affirming experiences I’ve ever had. Not to mention spectacular for our skin. After two hours in that water, our skin was as soft as a baby’s bot. For days.

River grass underwater

That said, it wasn’t all gentle drifting. The current speed really picked up in some of the deeper stretches and I corked my thigh so badly on a log on my way past it was bruised for weeks. But just as as when I bled a little bit from my nostril after scuba diving on the reef a few years back I was loving the injuries. Yep, I may have damaged myself but that’s okay because I am HARDCORE baby.

On holidays, anyway. And I like feeling hardcore on holidays because other than that about the most hardcore I get is the occasional slice of white bread instead of grainy goodforya wholemeal.

And the iphone Drisuit (as it’s technically known) worked a treat in the pool too.

I loved it for underwater photos and videos.

Olive half under water

Being able to capture Olive’s little legs as she made her very first frantic attempts at dog paddling was priceless. But it was also great just to be able to have my phone in the pool for above water snaps and not worry about it.

As always, this is not a paid or sponsored post. I bought this cover, love it and wanted to share. I can also vouch for the fact the company are good eggs. They went above and beyond when the initial vendor I bought from wouldn’t replace my suit after it developed a minor defect. Drisuit, however, cheerfully sent me a replacement.

They look like this.

Drisuit

The soft front means you can still access all the icons on the screen although I must say I found it much easier to change my camera capture buttons to the volume buttons (in settings) rather than trying to hit the photo capture button in the camera app underwater.

You can buy a Drisuit from the company’s website. They’ve expanded into other colours now too  – love the white.

We did the river drift with Back Country Bliss Adventures. Can’t recommend them (and our guide, Barney) highly enough.

LOVE: Tattly temporary tattos

Tattly Popsicle

LOVE these Tattly temporary tattoos from New York very much. They have the best designs – with new ones added every week.

I really don’t want my girls to get permanent tattoos. Anywhere. Ever. But these temporary ones are a bit of fun and I reason that they might even water down any appeal that permanent tattoos might present in their future.

Popsicle tattoos

Or they might go ahead and attempt to send me to an early grave by getting something permanent like this:

Grandma tattoo

I saw this gal in my local supermarket and had to stop her to ask about her tattoo – and take a photo of it  – how could I not? It’s a portrait of her grandmother and she said that while her parents were kind of horrified, they were, at least, happy with the subject matter. Her grandmother was touched. My aversion to its permanence aside, I can’t help but think it’s awesome.

For those of us, though, who suffer from fear of commitment, here is just a tiny selection of some other Tattly temporary designs.

tattly_domogeneous_childhood_memories_web_design_01_grandetattly_tina_roth_eisenberg_cmyk_web_design_01_grandetattly_wesley_stuckey_arrows_web_design_01_grandetattly_katie_evans_red_bike_web_design_01_grandetattly_judy_kaufmann_three_houses_web_design_01_grandetattly_marc_johns_okay_lets_do_this_web_design_01_grande

You can see all their designs here.

All I can say is that given the way my body is behaving at, ahem, thirty-something I am SO pleased I never got that heart tattoo, the idea of which I toyed with in my late teens. UGH! At this rate it would have looked less like a heart and more like a melted m&m. Mmmm, delicious.

The photos in this post are actually from October 2011. That’s how long I’ve been meaning to post this. Yep. I’m on top of EVERYTHING.

LOVE: Action Pack e-mags for kids

I’m sure many of you are already fans of Whip Up – one of the earliest and most respected blogs that brings to one spot all things handmade from everywhere along with stacks of other good stuff.

A while back, Kathreen Ricketson, Whip Up’s founder, began producing Action Packs for kids:  fabulous downloadable magazines full of activities based around a theme.

Previous themes have included, among others,  Mad Scientist with the best simple experiments (my fave is the oily fireworks), Go Tribal, Family Cooking and Celebration.

The magazines are free of ads and just really truly inspiring. Full to the brim with alluring, fun and simple activities,  the baby Bettys are practically foaming at the mouth to try pretty much everything in the editions we have bought. Plus, they learn stuff along the way.

The magazines are beautifully put together with gorgeous illustrations and natural, uncontrived photography.  And if I’m honest I want to do most of the activities just as much as my kids.

The most recent edition is Family Apothecary. It’s filled with natural lotions, potions, salves, balms, deodorisers and detergents. I’ve just printed our copy out and it’s beautiful.

I think purchasing a link to this edition (or indeed any edition) and printing it out for the kids in a family would make such a great Christmas present. You could bind it nicely if you were so inclined or just bulldog clip it if you weren’t. You could even make one of the things from the mag –  a zesty bath bomb or jar of healing  salve – to give along with the magazine. There are even gorgeous tags included in this issue you can cut out and use for your home made gifts.

What’s not to love.

All photos from the Action Pack website.

Buy the Action Packs here.

PS: Do be good eggs and make sure you buy a link for each family for which you plan to download and print a copy – or send a link to. The packs are so reasonably priced (the bundles even more so) for what they are and it’s just wouldn’t be cricket to see all Kathreen and her family’s work go unrewarded.

PPS: As always, I’m at pains to be clear about stuff. I have a link in my sidebar to Action Packs under the heading Things I Love. Kathreen has an affiliate program whereby if you link to her on your blog you receive a commission every time someone clicks through from your blog to buy a pack. I am not an affiliate. I decided I just loved it and didn’t want to take a commission for promotion. I think she deserves every penny that comes her way. But don’t let that stop you promoting the Action Pack if you love it and joining her affiliate program. A great way to spread the word and earn money to buy your next pack!

LOVE: Due Punti silicone diamond rings

I’m not so much in love with these colourful rings as TOTALLY obsessed. I discovered them last year and they made beautiful (although slightly extravagant but I couldn’t resist ’em)  Christmas and birthday gifts for a few special people in my life.

(This photo: Due Punti website.)

I got two.

I usually wear them together but quite like the subtle look of one as well (although not so great on heat-swollen fingers).

Made in Italy, “due punti” means “two points” in Italian and the diamonds are set between two flat points of silver.

I love the juxtaposition of the colourful silicone and diamond. The diamonds are real, by the way. They’re only .o2 of a carat which means they’re so small that if the jeweller accidentally sniffed while setting them he’d probably inhale a few. Despite their diminutive size, these mere hints of diamond sparkle like a footballer’s girlfriend on the Brownlow red carpet. Only tastefully.

I think these would make the perfect engagement holding ring ie, the ring you might get in the interim while you choose the one you’ll wear forever. At $99AUS they really are pretty reasonably priced.

(This photo: Due Punti website.)

Do you like these rings or think diamonds and plastic should never meet? What colour would you buy?

Email me if you want to know where I bought mine (in Australia).

LOVE: Danielle Rickaby turf paper weights

These remind me of my mini terrarium from my last post.

Love the way you can choose manicured or every-which-way grass. And, as the artist  points out,  no sprinkler required.

Buy here.

And if money were no object I’d buy one of these in her Diamond Series.

Photo from Danielle Rickaby’s blog, Glassy Knoll.