Very Excellent Habits

A Few Things Happening With Us…

I thought it was about time for a life update from my little family. The fires have rendered me utterly useless over the holiday period but enough is enough. I can’t sit around waiting for my house burn down so I’m gently but firmly getting back in the swing of things today.

When I do updates, I always use this sweet template from Pip from Meet Me at Mike’s. Feel free to use it too just make sure you credit her.

2019 ended with a last-minute trip for our little trio to New York because Ben’s app Flow won Apple iPad App of the Year (it’s like the nerd Oscars). I’ll do a big post soon on NY with one-year-old travel tips but for now, that’s why there are lots of pic of NY in this post.

Marshmallow baby in New York.

Making – A big delicious scrappy cotton blanket for a wedding present. I’ve designed it for my Crochettes so they can use all the yummy yarn leftover in their stashes. I’m a bit weird. I hate the thought of beautiful leftover yarn sitting around in a box not being used so I make a scrap blanket every year to keep my scrap boxes on the lower side. This one may well be my favourite. I’ve also been making homemade yogurt in my Su Vide and it’s amazing. When I was pregnant, I didn’t feel like eating anything but yogurt and now my daughter basically only eats yogurt so I make litres of it each week. I brought this upon myself.

Cooking – Hattie Patties. Our girl loves these little rissoles I make with carrot, zucchini, onion and beef mince so I’ve been making them every week. Mr Smaggle also likes them so I’ve had to start making double batches. He thinks he’s cute by calling them ‘Hattie Patties’ and reckons it increases his chances of me making extra for him. He’s 100% correct.

Brooklyn Bridge.

Drinking – Wine. It’s excellent. Also now that the weather has warmed up I’m partial to a low carb Pure Blonde. I’m wild like that. Although I have to admit my Piss Fitness is beyond rubbish right now. I have two glasses of wine and I’m ready for bed at 10 pm. We had some mates to stay on New Year and we actually had leftover bottles of wine the next day. Who even are we?

Reading – I’m in a weird place with books ATM. I have and love my Kindle but I’m trying to read real books around my daughter whenever I can so she doesn’t see me looking at screens all the time. I don’t love buying novels because I rarely re-read them and they just clutter up my shelves so I’ve been hitting up second-hand book stores a lot. The problem is, the cool/hip books everyone is reading aren’t available in second-hand book stores BUT the cool/hip books everyone was reading four years ago? The place is chockas with them. I just look at Reece Witherspoon’s Book Club from 4 years ago and go nuts! Oprah’s recommendations from the same era are also pretty rad.

Christmas Day with my girl.

Trawling – Op shops for vintage Stitch ‘N’ Sew magazines. I found a whole pile of them in the Beechworth op shop and they’re gold. If you ever see any lying around, let me know! I want.

Wanting – A holiday. I actually haven’t had one kind of ever. When we travel it’s almost always for work and because we work from home we tend to just not take time off when we travel. Now that we have a kid, working while travelling is almost impossible which is kind of great because it forces us to take time off. We’re looking at going to Japan or Hawaii in early 2020 for a proper break. Hello cheap Jetstar flights!

A quick run to the shops in the unbearable smoke.

Looking – Out for our little wombat buddies. We treated some wombats for mange on our property just before winter and they’re all out and about and looking gorgeous. So lovely to see them all happy and healthy. They’re like post Oprah makeover wombats now. Just living their best lives. They’ve all lost weight, had haircuts and ditched their toxic boyfriends. Look out world. We are also putting out water for our wildlife buddies during fire season. It’s brutal out there for our animals right now.

Deciding – Between building an office or an Airbnb out of a secondhand steel frame Mr Smaggle bought off a neighbour. We’d love a stand-alone office but a tiny house/Airbnb would also be amazing. We’re planning on doing both eventually just not sure which one to do first. Hmmmm….

Wishing – For a chilled and restful start to the year. The end of the year wasn’t anywhere near what we thought it would be with last-minute travel, the bushfires, smoke and heat so I’m hoping for us (and everyone) that the fires recede as soon as possible and we can all just chill for a bit.

Beechworth blanketed in smoke.

Enjoying – Country living. We moved from a city with a population of 3.9 million people to a town with a population of 280 about 11 months ago. It was kind of spontaneous and kind of not but we’re absolutely loving it. No regrets at all. Even in the midst of this terrible bushfire season.

Waiting – For our baby carrier backpack to arrive so we can go for hikes. We’re massive pram avoiders and had an Ergo Baby that we used constantly but Hats is a little big for it now so we got a proper backpack to put her in. So excited for spring hikes through the Victorian alps! Update: It arrived and she freaking loves. Queen of the bloody castle up in her baby backpack.

Liking – Hattie’s obsession with kiwi fruit. The kid ate three of them yesterday. She’s a fiend.

Hattie’s 1st birthday in New York.

Wondering – What our girl is going to be like when she’s 5, 10, 15 and an adult. We already know so much about her but it’s fascinating watching her morph out of the baby phase and into the human phase.

Loving – Our local co-op. There’s one in Beechworth and we can get all our staples package free. They also have AMAZING chocolate covered pepitas I can’t get enough of. They are seriously addictive.

Pondering – Where to live overseas for a year. We’re planning on doing if before Hats starts school and we’re thinking Japan or Copenhagen. New York WAS on the list but after spending two weeks there with a one-year-old we’ve decided we need much more money and a much older child to live there comfortably. We want to do all three eventually but where to start? It’s going to be a logistical and financial nightmare but you’re only young(ish) once right?

Family portrait at my brother-in-law’s wedding.

Listening – To Bardstown the podcast and Black Sabbath. We watched a doco on The Osbournes the other day (which was fascinating!) and it reminded me about Black Sabbath. Hattie loves a strong drum beat so she’s been really getting into it.

Considering – Learning to draw. I SUCK at it currently but sometimes I have these ideas I want to communicate and illustrations seem like the best medium. I bought a book about drawing little doodles and I’m going to use Mr Smags app Flow. Wish me luck! I’ve been posting my first few efforts on Instagram if you want to check them out – I’m @smaggle.


Buying – Well… CONSIDERING buying a Marimekko dress. It’s 30% off but still a lot more than I usually spend on clothes. The thing is, every Marimekko dress I’ve ever bought I wear at least once a week. I’ve never regretted a Marimekko purchase. But still… Update: I bought it. It’s fabulous (pictured above at the wedding). I just can’t buy any clothes for like another year.

Watching – 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. It’s a weird hybrid show that’s a cross between Countdown (Letters and Numbers in Australia) and 8 Out of 10 Cats hosted by Jimmy Carr. It’s like a comedy game show. Mr Smags and I get out our notebooks and pens and play along. So daggy. So fun.

Hoping – That I find my Airpods. They’ve been AWOL for about a week and I use them literally every day.

Laundromat baby.

Marvelling – At the trees in my backyard. I’ve never had trees before so watching them sprout little flowers and leaves overnight is brilliant. We’re currently mulching around them (it’s taking forever!) but far out it’s a good workout. Who needs a gym when you have 100 trees to mulch?

Cringing – At people on the Internet. For real, I get daily LOLs from people being total gumbies. I saw an article about a supersonic plane that will be able to take passengers from Sydney to London in like 4 hours and my first thought was ‘Cool! Sounds rad.’ The comments were 99% negative and just plain weird. ‘It’ll be really loud!’, ‘Well, they’ll have to lengthen the runways at all major airports in Australia.’, ‘I bet it’ll be super expensive. Rich people win again!’. What’s with all the sad-sackery? This is why we can’t have nice things.

Needing – To deal with my linen cupboard situation. I want a system where all the sheets and pillowcases from the same set live together but I can’t quite figure out what the best method would be. I’m thinking flat cloth bags? Thoughts?

Questioning – The need for ‘fancy’ anything. I don’t really have fancy plates, fancy clothes, fancy shoes or fancy handbags. I just have nice stuff that I like a lot and use all the time. I like this system.

Our greenhouse we can’t wait to plant in once the smoke/heat dies down.

Smelling –  Fresh cut grass, jonquils, BBQs, eucalyptus leaves, my baby girl’s sweet head after a bath, local pinots and cheese on grain-free toast. Also more recently, smoke. Everything smells like fire. We have an air purifier in Hattie’s room so the air quality is okay (as okay as it can be) but for some reason, her room traps all the smells in the house including cooking smells. It’s not usually an issue but it’s breaking my heart going in to get her every morning and her smelling like she just got home from a nightclub. She usually smells like vanilla and rain.

Wearing – Jumpsuits. They’re my new obsession. I’m not a pants wearer but for some reason, jumpsuits are really speaking to me. Watch this space.

Noticing – My girl losing her baby roundness and turning into a little person. It’s wonderful. I’m honestly not sad about it, I’ve loved having a baby but I’m so excited to experience every stage of her growing up. Plus I’ve drunk in every moment of her this year. I didn’t miss a thing.

Knowing – I’m 100% without a doubt correct in my argument but this other person is refusing to admit it. So frustrating. It doesn’t really matter though because the cool thing about facts is that they’re true, whether or not you believe in them.

Hattie, Lolly and me.

Thinking – Writing a big guide for visiting the North East of Victoria. We go to a different little town each week and we’re very good at finding coffee, cool shops and cafes with high chairs. Very useful information for other travellers. Also after this bushfire season, the region is going to need lots and lots of visitors. The Christmas tourism season is what keeps a lot of businesses in this area afloat and heartbreakingly the fires have ruined that this year.

Admiring – My lovely friends Mr & Mrs Romance. They work so hard and are such fantastic content creators and they’ve been getting all these amazing travel gigs recently and I’m just thrilled for them. They’re just such great people and I love watching them live their fabulous life. They visited us recently and it was just such a lovely reminder of how freaking awesome they are and how much I love them.

Getting – More sleep. Finally. Hats is a good sleeper but even good sleepers can be unpredictable. We’ve had a great run the last few months and I’m thrilled. Not counting my chickens – I’ve heard of toddlers suddenly waking up at 3 am every morning – but I’ll take what I can get for the moment.

Bookmarking – She Said. Apparently, it’s brilliant. On the list! Well… in four years time when second-hand book stores are full of them.

Opening – Too many packets of fried onions. You can get them in the Asian section of the supermarket and I put them on everything. I made an Asian omelette last week just so I could put crispy onions on them. Help me.

Closing – I wouldn’t say closing and I wouldn’t say this was recent but I don’t do Twitter anymore. Kind of at all. I check in every few months but it’s pretty bleak in there.

Feeling – Good. I could do with a whole Saturday spent on the couch binge-watching Degrassi High but apart from that, I’m great. Work is good, health is good (in general), family is good. We’ve had some rough patches recently (Mr Smaggle and Hats were both sick for a full three months and we’ve all been sick since Christmas Day) but we’re back in our groove… for now. The fires have really thrown us though. We were really looking forward to a lovely few weeks off over Christmas to garden, potter and do lovely things but we’ve basically been stuck inside and it’s been too hot to move. Other people have it far worse though, we’ve actually been very lucky.

Hearing – Harriet babbling to herself in the mornings. She’s such a cherub. Can’t even.

Celebrating – Her first birthday last month in New York! Where did the time go?

Pretending – We ate all of last night’s dinner so I get to have the leftovers. Sneaky.

Embracing – Slowness. Historically, I’ve sucked at this but I’m getting much better. I still do the shopping at breakneck speed and I still work my butt off all day and skip my breaks so I can clock off early but once I’m done for the day? I lie with my girl on a picnic blanket in the sun, take her for walks, laugh with her as she tries to eat new foods, sing to her in the bath, read to her before bed. I’m really loving it. Sometimes I put my phone down and I don’t pick it up again for hours. It’s quite excellent.

What’s happening with you? Anything exciting?

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