Matilda Jane it's a wonderful parade

Woohoo it’s that time again! A new line release from the amazingly fabulous Matilda Jane Clothing. By now I’m sure you all know about my love/obsession with MJC that began so many years ago when my tween was just a little preschooler. And oh.my.gosh could this collection BE any cuter? Even though we are in Autumn here in Australia, and this line is Matilda Jane’s new Spring release “It’s a Wonderful Parade“, the clothing is still absolutely perfect for us with our in-between weather.

gathering dandelions in her matilda jane clothing

blowing wishes, it's a wonderful parade

gathering dandelions, matilda jane it's a wonderful parade

review it's a wonderful parade

This afternoon could not have been any lovelier. Beautiful soft sunshine, a very mild chill creeping into the air, and my three littlest girls all dressed in their lovelies to explore. Lilly found bunches of tiny dandelion-like flowers to gather and blow into the air like a hundred magical wishes.

Lilly review It's a wonderful parade

sisters in their matilda jane outfits

Sweet sisters. Lilly wears the Cloudy Puffer Tee, Love Bug Knot top and Sweetheart ruffled leggings, while Zoe wears one of our much-loved MJC peasant tops from many years ago.

sweetest sisters little labyrinth blog Matilda Jane clothing

Seriously. This photo. The two of them. Swoon. When they get along they are the very very best of friends.

down by the river, Lilly

ruffled sweetheart leggings

three sisters matilda jane

ring-a-roung-the-rosy girls

Ring-around-the-rosy. Still a favourite game to play. It usually ends up with them all piled together in a fit of the giggles.

gathering acorns and faery hats

We found all sorts of things to collect this afternoon. Little acorn-like things, many many faery hats (the top of little seed things that fall from the trees, but shhh, don’t ruin the magic) and oodles of beautiful leaves.

gathering leaves and acorns in her matilda jane

a skirt-full of autumn treasures

Lilly wearing love bug knot top

All in all the most wonderful and golden Autumn afternoon to spend with my little sweethearts.

 

You can check out all of the beautiful pieces from Matilda Jane It’s a Wonderful Parade Collection here.

xox Amanda

 

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Lilly before haircut

Can you believe my two middle girls had never had a hair cut before today? Well, apart from a couple of, shall we say, “accidental” haircuts thanks to Lilly’s personal hairdressing skills anyway. I finally decided to brave-up and get both girl’s wispy curly locks chopped off for a fresh look. Maddy had hers all chopped off at about the same age as Zoe and it was great for her hair’s health, so I felt like it was time. I’ve never wanted Lilly’s hair to be cut because it takes absolutely forever but I’m finally fed up with how wispy-fine it is, how much of a pain it is to do anything with, and figured a cute and girly haircut was just the thing we needed.

Zoe before haircut

Of course I had to take them to the best hairdresser in town! Jess + James are always amazing and the only ones I was happy to trust with their hair. I know that sounds totally dramatic.. and yes, it totally is I guess haha. But, I absolutely love my girls with long hair and so it was way more nerve wracking for me to finally decide to have it done than it was for either of them. Choosing a great hairdresser is half the battle and Jess (and everyone else at J&J) is always so nice to my kids that I knew we’d have no problems. Even Piper wanted to get in on the action and kept asking me for “My turn, me have hair cut like Lilla!”. No go though for my little Piper, I’m not quite ready for that step yet.

beautiful Jess cutting Lilly's hair

Lilly's first haircut

Lilly had the beautiful Jess cutting her hair. I decided on a slightly tapered bob for both of the girls, figuring it would cut down on morning hair-care time dramatically, especially on busy school days. I probably googled about a hundred photographs of little girls with tapered bobs and stacked bobs before I was totally happy with my decision.

Zoe's first haircut

Zoe's first haircut

And my sweet cheeky Zoe had the fantastic Ben cutting her hair. I loved watching Zoe stealing little happy glances at herself in the mirror, no nerves at all.

Lilly's short tapered bob hair cut

Zoe's little girls short tapered bob

And the afters! They look sooo different! So much more grown up. I am absolutely thrilled with how their hair turned out. It looks so much healthier, shinier and thicker. Zoe was absolutely thrilled with hers from the moment she hopped down from the hairdressers chair, while Lilly was much more apprehensive about her new look and needed a lot of reassuring. You can see a tiny sparkle of tears in her eyelashes in the above photo. Such a big change for her going from long curls to a short bob but I think she looks amazing.

sisters lilly and zoe short haircuts

My little beauties, suddenly so much more grown up.

xox Amanda

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Maddy's first plane trip

My baby girl (sigh, big girl, ok ok) just left on an adventure. Maddy has been patiently awaiting this day ever since the moment big brother got to fly alone to Sydney a couple of years ago, and now it’s finally her turn. She’s had her list of things to pack and “stuff to do with Nanna” prepared for weeks already so you can just imagine the excitement and anticipation Maddy was feeling last night trying to get to sleep.

bags packed and ready for sydney

maddy taking a selfie

Bags packed and ready (note her little Pullip doll’s heads poking out of her handbag, priorities!), we headed off to the airport with one extremely hyped up and happy Madison ready for her big adventure. I don’t think she stopped talking for a second the whole drive there. She was slightly nervous, but the overall excitement completely outweighed the nerves quickly. And of course, taking a selfie was a must. She is my daughter after-all.

hugs for maddy

boys, dad, maddy

goodbye hugs with Piper

Goodbye squishy-hugs. Poor Piper is going to miss Maddy so much all week. Tears from littlest sister for biggest sister, while brothers were pretty well thrilled to say see-you-later (brothers, hmph!).

mama and maddy saying goodbye

mama and maddy saying goodbye

My big-little girl. Love her. So excited for her to go off on her very first “adventure” even if I’ll miss her vibrant self all week long.

leaving on a plane

boarding the plane

And finally, the moment arrived for Maddy to board the plane. SO much excitement mixed with nerves. Because she’s a minor she is accompanied to and from the plane, and I’m preeeeetty sure Maddy felt like a bit of a celebrity getting special the treatment – first to board the plane, personally escorted… and looking back at us waving goodbye to her from the window, throwing us her typical cheeky smile. So thrilled and happy for my biggest girl.

watching maddy boarding the plane

brothers and piper

piper watching big sister

We of course stayed to watch the moment the plane took off from the windows and to take a video for the two middle girls who couldn’t be there to say goodbye. Piper’s tears started to fall the moment she realised Maddy was really gone, and she’s been crying at any mention of Maddy all afternoon. Sweetness. She’ll miss her Madison so much this week.

maddy's plane

And she’s off on an Adventure!

xox Amanda

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Sydney holiday trip

Food comas, shopping, swimming in an amazing pool, lattes, more food, more shopping… and that was just the start of our quick holiday in the city. It has been years since I spent any time in the city, and probably even longer since I spent time with my beautiful friend Bec, but we made up for it for sure over the past couple of days.

Bec and I took Piper into town and spent the night at the Langham Hotel (which is absolutely beautiful and made us feel incredibly fancy). We ordered pillows from the pillow menu (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a pillow menu… clearly not as well-travelled as Bec) and then spent a ridiculous amount of time watching Piper (and Bec, haha) diving into the pillows on the bed.

sydney trip collage langham hotel

Then we headed down to the incredible star-lit pool for a swim (I was only allowed in waist-deep in the jacuzzi, I’m recovering from some surgery – totally not as fun as swimming!). The sky isn’t actually open, although it definitely gives that impression with the lcd twinkling lights. Absolutely beautiful. I think we could have stayed in there all night. Wandering around the hotel taking ridiculous selfies in our bathrobes was an absolute must of course.

Sydney langham hotel trip with Bec

Sydney holiday trip langham hotel

Sydney, amanda piper and Bec

We shopped at Lorna Jane and Lululemon (and of gosh, I think I may just be slightly obsessed with lulu now… yikes) and spent hours wandering around Kinokinuya for books. I may have sighed about a million times and wished I could still call Sydney home.

Sydney holiday trip yummy food

Way. Too. Much. Food.

langham hotel trip collage

Matching peter alexander jammies for all three of us. Wearing matching jammies was way more fun than it should have been for two grown women, but I loved every second of it. Bathing Piper in the gigantic bath tub in our room and squirting in almost an entire bottle of bubble bath just because we could.

sydney food

More food. Because, it was a holiday. More lattes, because life is better with coffee.

sydney trip with bec and piper

I will be so sad to say goodbye to Bec when she heads home tonight. Having her here to help while I’ve been recovering has been such a blessing. Piper adores her and calls her “Best Bec Ever”. Sadly, back to reality soon. I am still in Sydney for a few more days with Piper while the rest of the family is back home in Tamworth. I am enjoying my little break, and Piper is absolutely loving the one-on-one attention she is getting from all of my family, but I am missing them all like crazy too. Can’t wait to give them all the biggest hug in the world.

xox Amanda

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Piper faery in the garden

faery wings silk playsilk

Piper and Maddy faery garden

toddler faery playing in the bird bath

faery princess pony

faery piper

exploring the garden

little toddler fae fairy

Dress-up play is so magical for children. I love watching my kids transform themselves with simple silks and bits of cloth, wrapping sheets around themselves for Princess cloaks, or digging through the dress-up box for suitable attire. Over the past 14 years we have gathered quite the collection of dress-ups and on any given day at least one bucket full of dress-ups is pulled out and strewn around the house while the kids play.

Piper is just these past few weeks becoming more and more interested in dressing up and becoming a new “character”. In wings she is a faery, fluttering around the garden, arms flapping to make her wings fly. Or she will drag out big sister’s clothing (sometimes wearing as much as she can at once) and tell us proudly that she is “Mads” (or whichever sister was the victim of the clothes stealing, heh). When big sisters dress up in “so fancy” costumes, Piper quickly wants to join in and dance and be part of the shows they put on.

So, do you believe in faeries? As for me, how could I not? ;)

xox Amanda

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zoe faery wings

Did you know that today is the International Day of Happiness? At first I thought this was a weird concept for an “international day of” (although no weirder than international talk like a pirate day, etc etc I guess). A day to be happy? What? Sure ’cause it’s that simple. But, when you look at the message behind the day, it becomes pretty clear:

Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2014

Along the lines of working to end poverty on this one day, I’d love to take this small opportunity to point you towards Compassion. We sponsor two children through compassion as a family and would love to encourage anyone thinking about ways you can help to look into sponsorship of a child also.

What little things make you happy? Me, it’s the sound of rain, little arms wrapping around me for cuddles, the smell of cinnamon sprinkled on my porridge in the morning, the first cup of coffee of the day, the feel of woolly yarn sliding through my fingers as I knit….

xox Amanda

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rain on the window

Ahhh rainy days. I love them so much. I love them even more when they occur on the weekend, and I can sneak away for a little time alone cuddled up in bed with a book (or, as was the case yesterday, a dvd and my knitting). Today however it’s back to sunshine and blue skies, although the temperature has finally starting dropping a little and this morning was actually cool enough to require an extra layer. I love that cooler days are creeping in and the nights are slowly getting longer. Now if the leaves would just turn pretty colours instead of simply going crunchy and brown straight away, things would be perfect.

zoe amanda keeys design

Zoe amanda keeys designs cowl

I’ve been meaning to do another knitting lately post all week long but kept putting it off because even though I’ve been knitting a ton, nothing has been working out. I ripped out my sock design and started again, and then again and again and again. Finally I stuffed it in a bag and moved on to another project. And you know what? I kept screwing that up about twenty times too. For no good reason even. It just seemed like I was making ridiculous mistakes (like casting on one too few stitches and the next time casting on one too many….stupid little things). I vented frustrations to a friend who suggested I put down the knitting. But I just couldn’t! I wanted to Get. Stuff. Done. Except in this case I probably should have, because all it did was make me more frustrated with myself when nothing continued to work out.

zoe wearing littlelabyrinth cowl

Piper wearing handknit cowl

At long last though, I finished something. Sometimes it takes me what feels like forever to get an idea from sketch through to actually knit up and designed, but finally, finally it happened just as I wanted.  A new cowl pattern! I’m really happy with the way this came out, especially the squishy-puffy texture it has, and can’t wait to share, but first it needs to head to my testers. I want to knit a couple more samples myself too. It will come in different lengths an with an option for a button band.

What’s the weather like your way? Spring skies yet? Cool Autumn?

xox Amanda

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Maddy and her first Pullip doll

Maddy got her very first Pullip doll yesterday. We’ve spent many nights over many months looking at photographs of them online together and she was dreaming of owning her own someday. Little did she know that I already had placed one on order and it arrived from Japan yesterday. Her Pullip couldn’t have arrived at a better time really. With a few friendship issues going on at the moment  at school (don’t even ask me about tweenage girls…) and lots of tears lately, I was so happy to be able to brighten up her day yesterday by presenting her with the doll box. Her reaction was priceless. So. Much. Happy.

Maddy and her Pullip doll

Maddy and Pullip winking

I mentioned before that I collect asian ball-jointed dolls, and a Pullip doll is in some ways similar. She has ball joints, but she isn’t made of resin. They are a collectors item, but the price-point isn’t as high as my resin dolls. You can customise Pullips too and there is a big Pullip doll community out there too. I love that we can share the “doll” hobby together, and even more so, I can pass on some love and knowledge of photography to her.

Maddy and Pullip eyes closed

Maddy practicing her dolly photography

Armed with one of my cameras this afternoon, Maddy spent some time setting her Pullip up and taking photographs, testing out different spots and seeing what worked and what didn’t work so well. Seriously makes me beyond happy to have something like this to share with her, to watch her excitement when looking through her own photos and hear about the plans she has for making things for her Pullip. Below are some of Maddy’s photographs!

Photo by Madison 11 yrs

Photo by Maddy 11 years

Photo by Maddy 11 years

 

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kokadi poe woven wrap

Although our babywearing days are not yet over, they are becoming far fewer as Piper declares her independence and wants to walk and run everywhere when given half a chance. I’ve found my wraps are being pushed aside in favour of super quick on and off carriers (our becco has been getting a workout) and sadly I wondered whether our days of wrapping were more or less through with. And then along came Poe, the paxbaby exclusive Kokadi wrap that I only found out about hours before it was set for release. A wrap that was covered in keys? I knew instantly that this wrap had to be our “last wrap”. I thought about the many little keeys babies I have carried close to my heart in carriers. I may even how allowed myself to daydream a little about (far far far!) into the future grandbabies that I hope I will be allowed to snuggle and wrap too. This wrap couldn’t have been any more perfect for us. Somehow, someway, I managed to snatch a Poe wrap up before they all sold out and waited anxiously for it to arrive.

paxbaby kokadi exclusive poe wrap worn by littlelabyrinth

babywearing toddlerwearing kokadi woven wraps

Piper babywearing floral halo

Kokadi did not disappoint with Poe. As usual their wraps are snuggly soft and beautiful immediately, no breaking-in required. The colours – charcoal and light grey – are wonderful and deep and go-with-anything. And the antique key pattern? I am in love. I’ve long been obsessed with antique keys, and of course our last name… so. Like I said. This wrap couldn’t have been any more perfect. The best thing was upon showing Piper, she immediately threw her arms up saying “Thankyou Mama!” and happily came up for a long wrapped snuggle.

kokadi poe wrap exlusive paxbaby amanda and piper

Piper and mama, Kokadi Poe

poe woven wrap kokadi

So, the “last wrap”. I guess you all know what that means. I haven’t said this anywhere “officially” I suppose, apart from hinting here and there that Piper is our last baby… but, I really really think she is. The last baby, the last wrap. Both of them perfect.

Piper and Amanda, floral halos kokadi wrap

Piper babywearing kokadi poe

kokadi POE woven wrap

xox Amanda

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Cute Piper in a tree

I always look forward to this beautiful Autumn season, always dream of it weeks (ok months) ahead of time and wish it lasted longer. Even though it is officially Autumn now, it still isn’t quite cool enough and the leaves haven’t really started to turn. I am gearing up for a super productive Autumn and Winter of non-stop knitting and have so many things I want to work through. To get us in the mood for this cooler weather ahead (or lovely spring weather depending on where you are in the world) I have an awesome knitting-related giveaway for you guys today!

crunchy autumn leaf

Have you guys heard of Craftsy yet? It is an amazing website where you can not only purchase indie patterns like mine, but you can also purchase online classes that you can then watch as many times as you please at your own leisure. They have a huge catalogue of classes available in a whole heap of categories, not just knitting,  and new classes are added on a regular basis. I’ve got a bunch on my wish-list and own a few that I need to make the time to finish watching. But the best part? I am hosting a giveaway for one Craftsy knitting or crochet class of your choice! You need to follow this link to enter: Enter to win a Craftsy class! (CLOSED, thankyou!)

Piper holding autumn leaf

piper black and white

I think I might take Romi Hill’s New Directions in Lace class next up. I’m still only part-way through Stephen West’s Shawlscapes class, which I am enjoying purely because Stephen is so fun to watch. So I hope you’ll go ahead and enter, and best of luck.  Enter to win a Craftsy class!

xox Amanda

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