Friday 26 February 2016


Popping to the shop to pick up a little treat for afternoon tea is not quite as quick as it used to be. So we've taken to making our own. In many ways it's more convenient though as we have a fairly well stocked pantry for baking and use what we have to hand. For this recipe we only had one peach and some nectarines, so that's what we used. I can imagine sliced pear would taste equally delicious at another time of year. Or apples and blueberries. The recipe is adapted from Bill Granger's Every Day cookbook, one of my favourites. I substituted caster and brown sugar for coconut sugar, a lower GI version.

Note: To peel the peaches we scored them with a cross and placed them in boiling water for 30 seconds and peeled them in cold water.

185g (6.5 oz or 1.5 cups) plain (all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, plus an extra 1/2 teaspoon
125g (4.5oz) butter, chilled and diced
230G (8 oz or 2 cups) coconut sugar
3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced into wedges
90g (3 1/4 oz or 3/4 cup) raspberries – fresh or frozen
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
185ml (6fl oz or 3/4 cup) milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Grease and line the base of a 20x30cm (8x12in) baking tray.
2. Mix the the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and then rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in sugar. Press half the mixture over the base of the tin. Lay the peaches over the top and sprinkle with raspberries.
3. Add vanilla extract, extra baking powder, egg and milk to the rest of the base mixture and stir well - don’t worry too much about lumps. Pour evenly over the top of the peaches and raspberries and bake for 1 hour. Cool and then cut into squares to serve.

Monday 22 February 2016


After continual rain in January, it's been wonderful to feel the summer sun again this month. It's meant that we've been able to get out to the beach, and enjoy the great outdoors in general.

While I often buy ahead of a season, I've learnt that there are no certainties when it comes to children and what they will love wearing. So I thought I'd share what have been some of the big hits of the summer.


This dress belonged to her sister but now she has claimed it as her own. No sooner is it washed then it's straight back on again. 
Dress - a few seasons ago from Mabo Kids.

Beach dress
Both girls have one of these dresses and it's ideal for wearing to the beach. It's light and airy (so can be worn with comfort in the heat), has long sleeves (so we don't need to worry about sunscreen) and it doesn't matter if it gets wet (which is what the beach is all about). She also constantly wears her long-sleeved top in the same print but seagrass colour.
Beach dress - Printebebe.

We're a shoes-off-in-the-house family, so these are perfect for a younger child who doesn't know how to tie laces yet. The velcro means they are easy to get on and off. They are leather too and have moulded well to the shape of her feet.
Shoes - Poppeto.

The two-year-old is obsessed with this hat. Even though it's getting a little small on her, no other one will do. It provides enough sun shade while folding easily into her bag or ours. (She also loves this dress from Peggy, which will soon have to become a smock top as she's growing.)
Hat - Printebebe.

Both girls have a swimsuit from Petit Bateau. Strangely, the four-year-old's often falls off her shoulders so I had to adjust with ribbon. This one seems to be a slightly different cut and is the two-year-old's current favourite.
Swimsuit - Petit Bateau.

Similarly to her Mabo Kids dress, as soon as this nightie is washed it's back on again. When it was first given as a gift, she wasn't interested in trying it on, and then didn't like the labels - but once they were cut she has hardly taken it off.
Nightie - G Nancy.


Dresses still feature prominently, such as above, however, the swirling, twirling dresses she favoured six months ago have now made way for jumpsuits she can climb trees in and roam around the property without having to worry about getting caught in long grasses. This jumpsuit wasn't worn much when we were living in the city, but now it's on regular rotation. It is not as high cut in the leg as some others which makes it more of a standalone outfit rather than a jumpsuit that needs to go underneath a skirt. The dresses she does wear though tend to be this one from Minouche (as it's short enough to wear while walking through bushland) and the fine crinkle cotton Faerie dress from Printebebe, as it's not too long (it's her sister's!) but super cool.
Jumpsuit - a few seasons ago from Mabo Kids.

Beach dress
As above - Printebebe.

As above - Poppeto.

As above - Printebebe.

This swimsuit seems to provide the perfect fit for the four-year-old and she loves wearing it.
Swimsuit - The Bathers Company

Both girls love their "cat nighties", but they also both enjoy wearing their beautiful linen nightdresses from Bonne Mere. Perfect for hot summer nights. For the four-year-old it's probably a tie between the two different styles.
Sleepwear - Bonne Mere.


Coolness is important for the seven-year-old boy. He notices heat and humidity easily and so lightweight t-shirts are important for him. This thin t-shirt is one of his favourites.
T-shirt - Mampapa.

As he is a slim fit a lot of board shorts are too loose on his frame. These swimmers from The Bathers Company have been great for him, particularly at the beach.
Swimsuit - The Bathers Company.

We only received these PJs recently, however, he has worn them regularly as they're a loose fit and he doesn't get too hot at night. When it's slightly cooler, he enjoys wearing his star PJs from G Nancy.
Sleepwear - Little Winnie.

Both the seven-year-old and his four-year-old sister enjoy wearing the paper straw Dingo hat from Fallen Broken St Kids. It provides enough sun protection but is not so tight that it makes them hot wearing it. It's similar to ones that the adults in the house wear too, which I think might have some influence.
Hat - Fallen Broken St Kids.

images the indigo crew

Friday 19 February 2016


The other day I spied that limes were in season. I wanted to make something with them, and the first idea that came to mind was Key Lime Pie. I have never made it before - this was my first attempt - but I have to say it was delicious.

I tried to cheat a little and make a recipe that didn't require refrigerating but I have to admit that it tasted much better the following day after it had been chilled - it wasn't quite so tart. (Although we enjoyed it warm too.) So this is a recipe that I'd recommend making the day before - which is quite handy in a way, especially if it's for guests as you don't need to worry about baking and cleaning up afterwards. Otherwise, make it in the morning if you plan to consume in the afternoon or evening.

Also, more traditional recipes call for whipped cream on top. I can understand that this neutralises the tartness a little, especially if served warm. But I'm not big on cream, and so we had ours with (coconut) ice-cream instead - which was a delicious flavour accompaniment.

200g wheatmeal or Granita biscuits
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
100g butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
395g can condensed milk
2/3 cup (160ml) cream
Finely grated rind and juice of 4 limes

1. Preheat oven to 170-degrees C. Grease and line base of a 20cm springform tin with baking paper.
2. Process biscuits until fine crumbs. Add almonds, sugar and butter, process until combined. Press mixture firmly into the base and 3cm up sides of tin. Refrigerate.
3. Whisk eggs, milk, cream, lime rind and juice until smooth. Pour into biscuit crust. 
4. Place on tray and bake for 40-45 min or until set. Cool. Serve with extra lime slices.

images the indigo crew

Thursday 18 February 2016


A few weeks ago it was a steaming hot day and we were ready to cool off somewhere but didn't want to go to the beach in the middle of the day. Instead we headed to Somersby Falls, which is on the Central Coast. It was the perfect choice - a place to splash around but still shaded so we were able to cool off. It also was a lot of fun. 

Along the way we stopped and picked up rhubarb, avocados and oranges from roadside stalls selling fresh produce. Once at the car park (where you will need to pay - so take change) it's about a five-minute walk to the top waterfall area. You need to walk down a series of steps and the actual rocks in the waterfall area are quite slippery. There were falls aplenty - and there was a fatal accident a few weeks after we visited. While I think this was a one-off event, it would be remiss not to mention it.

The sound of the main waterfall is surprisingly loud, and creates immense pressure when you stand underneath. There are a few "holes" that the children enjoyed sitting inside too.

We walked down to a lower waterfall and this was initially reached by a wooden staircase but to get to the actual water you do need to traverse more slippery rocks. Worth it, though. 

images the indigo crew

Wednesday 17 February 2016


What started as a project to create a crown for her daughter’s birthday has turned into a flourishing business for Renee Whyte. The Melbourne-based designer, who also runs a womens accessories business Wizzer and Whyte, offering beautiful leather bags and sandals as well as handmade jewellery and scarves, launched her childrens label Gold Frankincense and Myrhh in 2014. “The reaction was overwhelming,” Renee says. “The growth has been at such a fast rate - last year was a big learning curve.” It’s been a busy time for Renee, who makes all of the crowns by hand and hand-paints them too, as well as selling a selection of decor and Greek-inspired leather sandals. She has an arts degree from Monash University where she studied sculpture, printmaking and gold and silver smithing. For more than 10 years she was a visual merchandiser for Seed and Bed Bath and Table. This year she plans to expand into three more areas. “Stay tuned,” she says. “Bigger and better designs.”

Gold Frankincense and Myrrh is about to exhibit at the upcoming Kids Instyle for the third time later this week. “I make my stand light and whimsical, you can feel its handmade and from the imagination,” Renee says. “Everything’s new. Lots of glitter on show this season.” Above are images from her latest range, to be showcased at Kids Instyle.

Register now to attend the upcoming event that explores Happiness By Design. The Life Instyle and accompanying Kids Instyle trade event runs 18-21 February at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion.

This post was sponsored by Life Instyle, an event I have attended many times over the years. All editorial content was produced independently. Thank you for supporting businesses that help to make this site possible. - NW 

What was behind the decision to start your brand? My daughter Florence. I just wanted to make her a crown for her birthday. Bam.

What had you been doing previously? Over 10 years as a head merchandiser for childrens stores.

What is important to you when designing children's clothes? I make what I love.

How do you try to differentiate your products from others on the market? I don’t look at what others are doing; I just create what’s in my mind.

What has been completely unexpected since starting your business? Its success - I don’t do it for that reason.

What is something that people often don't realise about your wares? They are all hand-painted, hand-cut and handmade by me.

Where do you look to for design inspiration? Colours and textures.

What do consider when dressing or styling children? Colours. I’ve always had a great understanding of it, and vintage themes.

What role do you want your products to play in a childhood? I want them to create happiness, or a memory.

What was the last great children's book that you read? Coco Chanel - my daughter makes me read it every night.

images courtesy of gold frankincense and myrrh

Tuesday 16 February 2016


The other day on a morning walk I came across some pretty purple wildflowers and was inspired to collect them and turn them into flower crowns for the girls. When I have created flower crowns in the past, I have always used a daisy chain type method, although using string to hold them together rather than piercing them through. However, for the second flower crown I tried out a different method, which is detailed below.

Scissors or secateurs

1. Trim flowers of leaves and cut stem to about 7cm long. Attach subsequent stems about 2cm from base of first stem. Repeat until about halfway down.
2. Change direction (creating a wreath arrangement) until you reach the top and join the top pieces. Trim any loose threads.

1. Measure the circumference of your child's head and cut a piece of twine to that length.
2. Attach stems at two points, about 1cm from the flower, and about 1cm from the base of the stem to the circular twine piece. Repeat until you reach the top again. Trim any threads.

images the indigo crew

Monday 15 February 2016


We are about to enter tooth fairy territory. The only snag is that school boy has his first wobbly tooth when he's fast approaching the age of eight. He's not entirely convinced about the concept. "So can the tooth fairy lift a pillow even with my head sleeping on it?" He is a practical, scientific and enquiring boy. Already he has his own ideas about Santa.

However, he has two younger sisters, and another sibling on the way. We need to tread carefully here. Even though I don't want to undermine his enquiring mind, there are others who believe wholeheartedly in fairies and magic.

While I don't mind providing him money in exchange for the tooth, I wondered if there were some other ways to approach this topic. I remember that when I was about his age that part of me didn't believe in such things any more but another part of me wanted to believe too. And when I overheard a grown-up say something at Christmas-time, I was a little crushed.

I've done a little research and found a great book - Throw Your Tooth on the Roof. It's about how other cultures deal with this rite of passage. Apparently, children in Botswana don't put their tooth under the pillow, they throw it on the roof, while in Egypt they throw it at the sun. There are quite a few books about that deal with the topic, but they seem to cater more to a younger age group, and while I did consider doing a "tooth" book-type calendar (something similar to our Advent book calendar), I've ruled it out due to age appropriateness.

Below are some ideas I have found in relation to those who want to offer something other than money from tooth fairies. 

Alternate ideas to giving money
* Create a bracelet and get a new charm from the tooth fairy for every tooth. 
* Fairy treasure: items that sparkly.
* Fairy wings that get new decorations/ornaments for each tooth.
* While this idea is quite involved - it is also quite cool - for every tooth, the child receives an animal's tooth in return. However, to take it to another level, the tooth comes in a glitter bath with a note written backwards and the child has to read the clue in a mirror and guess the animal. As a simpler version, I like the child getting a clue and going on a treasure hunt to find their "gift/treasure/money". I'm tempted to combine this idea with traditions from around the world, as stated in the book above.

There are also tooth fairy pillows that you can buy (pictured above) and make. Plus, report cards from the fairy recording which tooth was lost, the date and quality of it. Many of these are now on our Tooth Fairy Pinterest board

I'd love to hear how any of you have broached this subject with older children - even on the Santa question too. 

Friday 12 February 2016


We often make our own fish and chips for dinner. Not every week, but often enough that I am getting closer and closer to making the crunchiest chips possible. At our previous home I had to deep-fry the chips in oil as our old gas oven was hopeless. I've read that you need to deep fry them twice to get them extra crunchy, but I was never game enough to do that (to our arteries, or our patience!).

However, now that we have an electric oven that seems to work quite well, I was able to try once again the method of cooking them in a hot oven. Everyone was happy with the result. Below, is the method I used. [Feel free to add any tips you may have too!]

Also, a note on the fish. I've mentioned previously how much Peter Singer's book The Ethics of What We Eat changed the way I shop for food. One big point he makes is about avoiding endangered fish, such as Orange Roughy, which is also marketed as Deep Sea Perch and Sea Perch. There is a list here on which fish are better to eat, and better to avoid. As well as an extensive list here for NSW waters.  Greenpeace has an international list too. We always look for responsibly sourced seafood.

Potatoes, about 1 large potato per person
Sunflower oil, a glug
Fish, such as snapper or flathead
Butter, knob
Parsley, optional
Lemon, optional

1. Preheat oven to 220-degrees-C (or hotter, if you can). Peel potatoes and cut into 1.5cm slices. Place in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Place baking tray in oven (to heat up). Once boiling, remove and drain. Return to pan over low heat to "dry out" and to ensure all excess liquid has evaporated.
2. Cover with oil and transfer to a hot baking tray. Ensure that the chips aren't swimming in oil. (I use tongs or sometimes drain them in a colander. Cook on a high heat for about 20-30 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with salt while still hot.
3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan. Cook fish fillets, turning after about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon cheeks.

image the indigo crew

Thursday 11 February 2016


Fashion and textiles have almost always been a part of Marcella Orellana’s life. She learnt to sew at the age of eight, and after school moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study a Bachelor of Design majoring in fashion at UTS. Marcella graduated with honours and now teaches at the Billy Blue College of Design. However, after leaving the fashion industry to have her two youngest children, about eight years ago, she decided to start creating her own childrenswear label, Aubrie. Word of mouth helped to kickstart interest in the label, however, it wasn’t until Marcella broke her leg in August and could spend some time focussed on the label’s Instagram account that it gained a enthusiastic following. 

With her Autumn-Winter lookbook just shot, Aubrie is now preparing to exhibit at Life Instyle Sydney. Register now to attend the upcoming event that explores Happiness By Design. The trade event runs 18-21 February at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion.

This post was sponsored by Life Instyle, an event I have attended many times over the years. All editorial content was produced independently. Thank you for supporting businesses that help to make this site possible. - NW 

What was behind the decision to start your brand? Having left the gruelling full-time ragtrade eight years ago to have my two youngest babes, I always knew that the next thing I did would be for myself. I actually started working on this six years ago but consultancy work, lecturing, broken foot and my final baby girl got in the way for a bit but once the stars finally aligned my fourth baby was born. 

What had you been doing previously? I have been a fashion designer for 25 years but always in the womenswear and youth fashion area. However, from the day my eldest daughter was born 18 years ago, I started collecting ideas as always knew I would one day have my own baby/girls label.

What is important to you when designing children's clothes? That they are pretty and practical, good quality, value for money, and where possible only made of natural fibres - despite the little bit of ironing they may require - and that they are timeless enough to be passed down over the years.

How do you try to differentiate your products from others on the market? I’m a great believer in quality over quantity so am always sourcing the best fabric and spend a lot of time perfecting the fit and details and then only produce limited quantities of each style so that they are that little bit more special. Hopefully my brand is known for its quality, the fact that each piece is designed to work back with pieces from previous collections so mums don’t feel they have to buy an entire new look each season and the gorgeous prints and colours that I spend so much time uhmming and ahhhing over for weeks on end at the beginning of each collection wanting them to be just right.

What has been completely unexpected since starting your business? My little Instagram family of customers - a whole new lot of friends - who are just so lovely and keep coming back for more for their little girls.

What is something that people often don’t realise about your wares? I receive lots of lovely messages from my customers when they receive their packages telling me how impressed they are by the fabric and quality and that they are even lovelier in real life. I guess that can sometimes be the downfall of shopping online, that what arrives doesn’t live up to expectations, so love that Aubrie appears to exceed them.

Where do you look to for design inspiration? I have always been a little bit of a collector and still have some of my own baby clothes as well as those of my eldest daughter as well as quite a few vintage pieces and patterns I have collected over the years. I love little details, muted colours as well as the classic French aesthetic. And having taught myself to sew at eight, I appreciate the old school sewing techniques of French seams, hand embroidery and pretty details all of which you’ll find throughout my collection.

What do consider when dressing or styling children? As a mum of two daughters I am a little old school and loved them to look like little girls when they were growing up - by that I don’t mean all frilly and pink as I love a little girl in blue, but like them to wear the clothes rather than the clothes wear them, so Aubrie pieces may be pretty but always practical - hence some of their names like “tree-climbing” skort and “cartwheel” camisole and definitely age appropriate.

What role do you want your products to play in a childhood? That they become their favourite piece that they wear until they just can’t anymore and with a focus on quality make and fabric they should get better with age and teamed with timeless design, after they have been handed down to younger sisters that just perhaps they will want to hang onto it for their own.

What was the last great children's book that you read?
Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman bought this for my baby girl for Christmas and it's her new favourite - and mine.

images courtesy of aubrie; photography courtney king