The Best of 2011

December 30, 2011

2011 is coming to a close and I’m looking forward to experiencing all that 2012 has to bring.  This year has been full of highlights where I’ve had the chance to meet some amazing people, share incredible experiences with family and friends and meet so many of you reading online and offline.

Almost a year ago now, my year started with the Queensland floods. As I look back and revisit the three posts I wrote during that time, I can see how the struggles helped us to grow as a family unit.

  1. One Family’s Story
  2. Struggling
  3. Rebuilding

be a fun mum familyPhoto of our family by Hannah Millerick

After a shaky start, this year has a blast and I want to thank you for sharing it with me.  To wrap up 2011, I’m pulling out some of the most popular posts for the year.

Best of 2011 Posts

Below is a collection of my favourite post of 2011 broken down into these categories: Personal Posts, Home Posts, Organisation Posts, Outdoor Posts, Activity Posts, Beauty Posts, Photography Posts, Popular Recipes and External Posts.

Personal Posts

I See a Bend in Road

In my mind, I imprint the feel of the small presence beside me. I treasure the trust in the way he clutched my shirt.  I commit this memory to mind because there’s change in the air. There’s an urgency for me to take every moment. To grasp every opportunity. To invest in the moment. Read more…

Sacrifices

I remember coming home from hospital to my brood of children under 6 years of age. And Motherhood hit me with full force. Motherhood. It’s filled with so much joy. Incredible really. But there is also a lot of sacrifice involved. And I can tell you, I felt it especially when my children were little. Read more…

Family Life Stages

There are many seasons in family life, and we have just entered a narrow window. We’ve moved from the toddler stage into the a period where the children are old enough to remember all the fun times we are experiencing together, but still young enough to do everything with us. Read more…

Getting off the Merry-go-round

“You look cute sitting up there.” My husband was trying to engage me with the words. As I looked him from my crossed-legged position on the kitchen bench, I felt even more depressed. He reached down to take another plate from the dishwasher and shook the excess water into a teatowel. I should have unstacked the dishwasher hours ago, I thought. I could have, but had been in a rut all week and could feel myself sinking into a hole. Read more…

The New Normal

It became the new “normal” for me. The feeling of fear. Like a heavy weight on my chest that would squeeze so tight, I found it hard to breathe. From the moment I opened my eyes of a morning, I was frightened. Properly scared. There was no rationale behind it, it was just there. And so fear and I, we became both friends and enemies, entwined in a paradoxical way. Read more…

I Stay Up Too Late

I stay up too late. It’s bad — I know.  My husband often says, “Why don’t you go to bed earlier?” I have a list of the usual excuses: have so much to do, get school lunches ready, washing to fold, la-de-da-de-da.  These are all valid  excuses but  I know the real reason why I stay up late. Read more…

A Squeaky Wheel

I walked fast, as I like to do. Just up ahead, I saw a small grandma with a neat white bob, strolling beside a happy looking girl wearing red and white check pants. If I wasn’t on such a get-to-school-and-back mission, I might have paused at the pair because they represented the joy you see in an illustrated children’s book. Read more…

I Feel Crappy Today

When I woke this morning, I felt I couldn’t make it through the day. I don’t usually use crude words but “crappy” is just about the perfect word to describe how I’m feeling today.  Put PMT together with a week of really bad sleep, sick children, a husband adjusting into a new job  and and you have a tired, feral  Mum. I’m really cranky and snappy at the moment. Hate it when I’m like this. Read more…

Playing with Kids: A Confession

I aim to give my children a variety of play experiences. However – don’t be too shocked now –  I’m not a huge fan of going to playgrounds, or baking with my kids, playing games and…sometimes even doing craft. Read more…

Mothering Motherless

She died 5 years ago, my mother. Too young to die at 51. They say time heals the pain. In many ways this is true: the knife pain in my heart is now an ache that never quite goes away. The pain is not as sharp but it runs deeper than it did before. I’m a motherless mother. Read more…

I don’t want to give my kids advice

Many will give my children’s advice as they mature — doctors, dentists, teachers, friends, colleagues – but as a mother, I want to be different because I know and love them unconditionally. Read more…

Don’t Try and Be The Mum You’re Not

If I look for generalisations, I’ll surely find them. When I do find them, I see the many things I’m not as a mum (but would like to be). It’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying I’m not giving my children all they need because I can’t be all the things I see in others. Read more…

Trusting My Gut

The longer I parent, the more I trust my gut. What I have to hold back is my own insecurities and anxieties and external pressures on how I should parent. Read more…

Home Posts

I enjoy featuring homes and gaining a peek into the lives of mums around Australia.  Below are my favourite home posts.

Living on a Christmas Tree Farm

Lee, her husband and 2 children live in Tasmania, where they run the Killiecrankie Christmas Tree Farm. One thing that strikes me about Lee, is the contagious connection she exhibits between living, loving and working. It’s inspiring! Read more…

A Room for Everyone

I came across Rachael and her lovely blog, A Room for Everyone, and was immediately struck by her home because it looked like definition of ’family’. It’s organised while still retaining loads of character and creative potential.  It’s bright and inviting, and I just get the feeling one would breathe a little lighter there. Read more…

Vintage Meets Modern

This modern home is furnished effortlessly with a mixture of modern, and vintage items, creating the perfect balance between functionality, personality and warmth. The white and neutral tones are subtlety enhanced using bursts of colour through interesting ornaments and books. Read more…

Country Retro

As I walk into Josh and Bonnie’s kitchen, there’s an overwhelming sense this kitchen was meant to be shared.  Josh and Bonnie have been living in, and renovating, their riverfront 1930 Queensland workers cottage for the past 6 years. Read more…

Country Living

Emma’s a strikingly energetic and capable person. She looked so right sitting in her country cottage, surrounded by acres of land, horses, dogs, chickens, cattle and various machinery. Emma’s small wooden clad cottage was surprisingly roomy inside.  It was well organised, uncluttered yet homey and welcoming. Read more…

Organisation Posts

Housework Depresses Me

I can find enjoyment out pretty much all forms of work. However, housework REALLY depresses me. And I know why. Read more…

Organising Toys

Toys present an organisational nightmare for parents. All around the house, toys create clutter and trip hazards.  Life without an accessible and easy to use toy storage solution makes teaching children to put their toys away almost impossible. The following 10 tips for organising your children’s toys can help you find a organisation system that both easy to maintain and simple to use. Read more…

My Washing Pile Never Sleeps

I’m excited to say, after 11 years, I’ve found a system that works for me (hey, I’m a slow learner okay?). So I’m talking about the laundry today so if you don’t want to read on, I totally understand. Like totally. Read more…

Folding Plastic Bags

Anyone who folds plastic bags MUST be crazy right? Right. Yes, I do think it’s akin to ironing underwear (which truly is peculiar), but hear me out. Read more…

Creating an Art Space

I used to be a I-don’t-do-painting Mum.  I found dealing with all the ‘creative mess’ stressful. However, over time, I’ve come to highly value the messy forms of play so I’ve found ways to encourage it in our home while still maintaining some level of organisation. Read more…

Storing Children’s Artwork

I love surrounding myself with my children’s art, craft and drawings. However, there is a question of number: I don’t have enough walls in the house to display all my children’s art work. The masses of artwork my children’s produce can turn into quite of a nightmare actually, with art coming home from school as well as as work produced at home. So here are my tips for throwing out storing kids art work. Read more…

Outdoor Posts

I love exploring the outdoors with my kids. Below are some of my favourite outdoors post.

Favourite Play Spaces

Since becoming a parent, I’ve had to think differently about play spaces for kids. Don’t get me wrong: it’s wonderful to have designated playground areas for children in our community but just because it’s a space for kids doesn’t mean it’s the only place to play (or the best place for children to play for that matter). Read more…

Make a Magical Play Space

One of the things I love about school holidays is the opportunity to think big about play. I aim to think of play, not only in sessions, but over days and weeks. Creating play environments is a perfect example of this because it starts with the building phase, then the play phase, and the play evolves with the environment. Read more…

A Rock Play Garden

We do go out often, and when we are home, the thing my son enjoys the most is playing in the pile of rocks next to the garden. So I decided to turn this into his very own “Play Garden”. Read more…

Make a Fresh Hair Wreath

There is something simple, sweet and girlish about a flower head wreath. And I’ve always had a hankering to make one — having three girls and all — it seems fitting. Read more…

Op Shop Cubby

$5 in an op shop goes a long, long way.  My sister and I allowed our children to explore a second hand shop for items to create a cubby-house. Read more…

Fairy’s Home or Pirate’s Trap

A tree with tinkly sounds is a wonderful stimulant for the imagination.  It could be anything from a home for fairies or a pirate trap alarm. Read more…

Activities

100 School Holiday Ideas

School holiday are here! And I like it. Mind you, there is always an ajdustment period at my place, when the children are settling into a new routine and getting used to being around each other more.  Three days it usually takes for us all to adjust. Read more…

Baby Games

Playing games with your baby is more important than you may realise. Read more…

Activities for Children Under 2

Children under two are busy little people.  How do you keep them occupied all day? Now that’s a question. It’s tricky balance between keeping them super busy and having enough quiet time so the child doesn’t get too tired. Read more…

Activities for Children: Aged 2 to 5

This post is full of links to activity ideas for children aged 2 to 5 years.  Read more…

Activities for Children: 8 to 12

The following comprises a list of ten great activity ideas for keeping, the sometimes insatiable, 8 to 12 year old age group busy without breaking the bank. Read more…

Beauty

Easy Hair Styles

My hair usually is the last thing on my list. What I like to do is keep a zip lock bag with a brush, hairband, clip and bobby pins inside my handbag so I can always do something with my hair if I forget to brush it in the morning. Read more…

Organising Make-up and Jewellery

I love using assessories like necklaces, handbags, and even makeup, to change my look. The only problem is remembering to wear them! Read more…

Getting Out of the Tracksuit Rut

When I’m stuck in a tracksuit rut, it helps to fall back on the colour I love to wear. And red is that colour for me.  Read more…

Feeling Fat and Ugly

I’m feeling fat and ugly.  You know when you lose the desire to dress nicely or even brush your hair? That’s me right now.   Read more…

Weight Gain and Post Baby Body Issues

Last year, I gave myself a pep-talk about feeling fat and ugly. Many of the issues I was facing came down to me waiting for circumstances to change before making changes to my life. This is my progress. Read more…

Photography

Taking Photos for Father’s Day

A wonderful photo of your children can be just the thing for Father’s Day. Read more…

Getting Kids to Smile for the Camera

I especially love taking natural and unposed photographs of my children. However, sometimes I need to get the kids smiling for the camera. For example: family shots and Christmas photos. Read more…

Make the Most of Your Mobile Phone Camera

It’s easier than ever to capture special moments; there’s a camera in almost every mobile phone these days. Read more…

Mobile Phone Gallery

A collection of my favourite mobile phone pictures. View them…

Love the Moment Gallery

A collection of my favourite photographs. View them…

Most Popular Recipes

External Posts

Below are some of the posts I’ve written outside Be A Fun Mum

Bring on 2012! I’ll leave with you some gorgeous shots of our family taken by Hannah Millerick at one of our favourite spots.

be a fun mum familyPhoto of our family by Hannah Millerick

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Maid In AustraliaNo Gravatar December 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

What a busy year you’ve had, and what a talented, prolific and sharing writer you are. It’s been so much fun to spend time with you online and off, and to benefit from your wisdom, friendship and support. Look forward to sharing more time with you in 2012. Happy New Year to you and yours.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

What a gorgeously encouraging comment Bron. Thank you. Look forward to catching up with you again IRL x

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JanetNo Gravatar December 31, 2011 at 11:01 pm

You didn’t mention your “My Style” posts – I really love them! My New Year’s wish is for more of them in 2012!!!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Really? Yo loved them? That’s nice to know. I think they were a phase thing for me…but you never know: they might be back!

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