I turned 31 last week. My birthday fell two days after moving into our new home. Rather than tackle the boxes that lay around us, I decided to take the day for me. The older I get the more I realise that birthdays are a really fabulous excuse to do all my favourite self-care practices and fill up my cup, provided I have an extra set of hands around to look after bubba. And because Ben had taken the week off, I could do just that. Upon waking early I snuck out of bed and left my two loves to snooze. This almost never happens, and I relished the opportunity to ready myself before being mumma. I stretched and saluted the sun while the coffee machine warmed up, and then, in my dressing gown and new, olive green slippers knitted by my sweet mother-in-law, I prepped breakfast. Avocado and frozen banana were blitzed in the food processor along with cacao powder, maple syrup and a little milk to make a dreamy morning mousse. Into the fridge it went and I set about selecting my prettiest bowls and spoons and placing them on the counter. Huh... the house was still quiet, despite the whizz of the food processor. I made myself a coffee and grabbed my book and curled up on the couch in our reading room, waiting for Ben and Joan to wake. After ten or so minutes of solitude I could hear my baby's wobbly yet determined morning footsteps racing down our long hallway towards me, her eager, loud, indescribably sweet chatter disrupting the silence. At last.
Joan is settling into this new space well. Is this a benefit of a baby who prefers to sleep snuggled between her parents, perhaps? As long as we are there, she is home. There are so many rooms and cupboards and corners to explore in this house, and she is having a lot of fun getting to know it. We all are. It'll take some time before we are set up with furniture in proper places, rugs on floors and pictures on walls, and we need to purchase a few big pieces like a couch and a large wall unit/book shelf thing, but I am so very happy to take my time with that, to save my pennies for special pieces and really consider our purchases. As the years go by, Ben and I are increasingly conscious of where we spend our money and who we are supporting. We like to source good producers who are employing sustainable practices in whatever field they work. I am still learning what this looks like and we are relying on a lot of recommendations from friends who know more than us, but we're getting there. From food to furniture, from clothes to cleaning products, we're trying to most of the time spend our money very wisely. It's a less is more, quality over quantity kinda thing. And while often it may be initially more expensive, when we add up the years of value and the other, less easily seen benefits, it is unquestionably worth it. Interior design is entirely new to me, though, so I feel like I have a lot to learn. I've started following blogs and instagram accounts for inspiration and bookmarking producers that look wonderful and who also don't charge $300 for a pillow.
But back to my birthday. Along with a shower that lasted longer than 45 seconds and eating chocolate for breakfast, I continued to splurge the heck out of that day, namely in the realm of food. Here are some pictures from our sweet, slow, delicious day in our new home. It involved coffee and a book, avocado cacao mousse (like this but with banana and maple syrup), brunch at Hendriks cafe with my parents (broccoli salad with hot smoked salmon!) and a fabulous new cookbook, Johnny Ripe doughnuts back home in our garden, running at the park, spaghetti with pesto for dinner and ice-cream in bed. I stopped taking snaps after the Campari came out, because as I was cooking dinner Joan was wanting to be up in my arms non-stop. Baby girl is working on new teeth AND she has a cold, so once it hits evenings bubba is all "MUMMMMMMMMA! AHHHHPPPPP". While I hate that she's uncomfortable, it also makes me feel incredibly special and important for being able to comfort her simply by holding her. Mumma magic. After dinner and a bath in our new, old, retro purple bathtub (surrounded by the most darling floral wall-paper), we called it a night and went to bed early. Ben and I cozied up and watched The Sopranos, with a tub of choc mint Zebra Dream Ice-Cream between us and Joan asleep in my arms. It was perfect. I lost feeling in my left arm and I missed 30% of the show while attempting to scoop ice-cream and not drip it on my baby, but it was actually perfect. Thank you for the birthday well-wishes, you kind people. I'm really feeling the love.