Best of 2013.

We’re going to take a week’s break from the ‘blog as a part of our BNN conclusion celebration. In the mean time, you may like to read back over some of the most popular posts of 2013. The most popular of these is about 10 times more popular than any of our other posts, so it almost doesn’t even feel right to have 9 other posts in this list. We will be publishing a follow up to this post when Little Fearse returns to Family Daycare this year, in a week or so.

Is your favourite Fearse Family post here?

1. 30 Days of Day Care Lunches for a 12 Month Old

2. Stuff – A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance

3. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month

4. Why are we doing this?!

5. What will we NOT buy second hand?

6. The Book Embargo

7. A big ‘to-do’ about nothing

8. My 2-4-1 challenge

9. A clothes shock take. Arg!

10. Challenges we already anticipate


We hope you enjoy reading back over some of the high and low lights of our year.

The Fearse Family xo



A blogging honour.

Joy of Joyfully Green has nominated us for our second Liebster Award. If you want to learn more about the award itself, check out this post. We love the Liebster Award for allowing us to share with you our favourite blogs, as well as getting a whole new list of great blogs from the person who nominated us. In addition, the nomination is different every time, as the questions change. So here are our answers to Joy’s thoughtful questions:

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Mama says: I would like my 13-year-old self to be more confident in herself and to care less about what she looked like. I would like to reassure her that not being your typical teenage boys’ fantasy is a good thing, and will probably save her from a lot of awkward and embarrassing situations with the opposite sex during her teenage years.

Big Poppa says: Cheer up.

What is your idea of perfect bliss?

Big Poppa says: Eight hours sleep.

Mama says: A day to read. Also, these days, an empty shelf.

What books have been the most influential or inspiring to you?

Mama says: I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was 10 years old and it changed my life. My complete understanding of the world had to readjust. I knew a safe and secure world and it shocked me to learn that other children in other places didn’t experience that. It lead to me reading a lot of books set in the Holocaust as a child and teenager. I’ve read a lot in my life and books will often take on a depth of meaning to me that changes my ideas about things. This is a hard question to answer!

Big Poppa says:  Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist gave me a different perspective on life. Marilyn Manson’s Long Hard Road Out of Hell was a great music book as far as learning about the music industry. He was really creative child and teenager from a painfully normal home, and I identified with that. I was a bit of an outcast. I felt understood when I read the book.

 What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about life? About blogging? (A two-parter!)

Big Poppa says:

Life: “Never pay full price for late pizza” – Michaelangelo

Blogging: Consistency is key – maintaining your output is important if you want to retain readers.

Mama says:

Life: I think that this year I have learnt more about life (and myself) than in any previous years. I have learnt that less is more – and not just in the sense of belongings and consuming. Less busy-ness and less events and less rushing. I’ve also learnt to give less weight to the stuff I own. It’s just not that important.

Blogging; My answer is kind of the opposite to Big Poppa’s and I think that is partially because I do the bulk of the blogging around here (BP is maybe thinking about all the times I’ve nagged him for a new entry, which is probably the most honest way to describe how we work as a blogging team). I have learned that although keeping a readership satisfied is important, it is most important to not lose sight of our overall goals for the year. We want our year to be simple, and sometimes blogging 3 – 4 times a week makes our life less simple. When we get busy I no longer feel guilty if I prioritise other stuff over blogging, especially if it’s Little Fearse or sunshine or all those good things. I have also tortured myself a little over what appears on the blog, especially after receiving some negative feedback on one post. I have realised that I can’t change who I am, or the way I write, for my audience. If my audience doesn’t like what I say or how I say it the choice has to remain with them whether they continue reading. I don’t feel it would be honest for me to change who I am for my readers, and it would defeat one of the purposes of the blog.

What single quality do you most appreciate in people?

Big Poppa says: Loyalty.

Mama says: There are many that are equal, but if I had to name one if would be kindness.

What or who is under-rated? What or who is over-rated? (Another two-parter!)

Mama says: Non consumerism is definitely under-rated. And, predictably, having new stuff is over-rated. Very over-rated.

Big Poppa says: I think motherhood is under-rated because there is so much external pressure put on mothers, and expectations. People don’t appreciate that level of pressure. Television is over-rated. With the way the internet is these days, where you can literally watch anything you’ve ever wanted to watch, why would you still watch programs with advertising, or pay for television?

What do you avoid at all costs?

Mama says: Shopping centres – I always hated them, but now we thankfully have few reasons to visit. This has been a lovely side-effect of the BNN year.

Big Poppa says: I avoid reading about certain technologies that are cool and would be handy, but are not necessary. For example, I refuse to read about the Playstation 4, so I am happy to stick with the PS3. But if I did read something…it would be really hard to not buy one.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Big Poppa says: Stealing cuddles from Little Fearse when she’s asleep.

Mama says: Stealing food from Little Fearse’s plate when she’s not looking.

What do you want people to say about you after you leave the room?

Big Poppa says: “What’s that smell?”

Mama says:  “I wish she was my Mum.”

What’s your favorite post that you’ve written? (Link, please!)

Big Poppa says: The Meat Line

Mama says: Generosity of Spirit (or Awesome x 8)

Thank you, Joy, for giving us the opportunity to blogroll some of our new favourites. I’m still unsure what the requirements of the award are, some say it’s about how long the person has been blogging, and some say it’s about how many followers they have. Our list is going to be a list of blogs we love, regardless of these apparently ever-changing rules. 

A Denver Home Companion

The Maiden Metallurgist

The Simple Year 2

Thriftypop: Living with less

Down to Earth Mother

And, questions for the nominees, if they choose to answer them:

1. Which books are on your bedside table right now?

2. What is the most sentimental item you own?

3. When is the last time you pushed yourself to your physical limits?

4. What amazes you in this world?

5. If you could choose anyone in the world to become your instant house mate, who would it be? (and why?)

6. What makes you happy?

7. What do you wish you could change?

8. If you could go back and observe (fly on the wall style) one day in your life, which day would you choose?

9. What principles guide your life?

10. Name one item you absolutely could not live without.

Please do comment with the link if you choose to answer the questions.

Thanks again to Joy,

Big Poppa and Mama.

Link’s we’ve loved #14

It’s been a while since we’ve thrown some fun links at you. Spring time makes us want to run around outside more than it makes us want to sit inside updating the ‘blog. I’m sure those of you that are on your own simple adventures will understand.

We don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia (or at least, not in the Fearse Cave), but this Pinterest board has so many great DIY costume ideas that can be used for parties or book weeks or any other excuse to dress up that we thought it was worth linking anyway.

Even though Lil’ Fearse is too young yet, Mama has been salivating over more cubby makeovers. Check out this repainted Little Tikes house. Cute!

100 Days of Real Food had a FB competition for best school lunch of the day. Heaps of fun ideas, we like the simplicity of the winning entries. We are working on another 30 day care lunch ideas. Our food photography is a little on the icky side, but we’d like to offer more photos this time. Any tips on how to make Lil Fearse’s lunches look as appetising as they are?

Mama has been going through more boxes that have surfaced at her parents’ house. This has prompted re-reading of some great articles on dealing with sentimental clutter. Although we’ve linked some of these before, they are worth revisiting.

While going through the boxes Mama found a couple of very cute vintage children’s books that are well beyond repair. She is looking forward to exploring some of these vintage book projects.

You might have seen this video clip floating around the Internet the last week or so. On Friday this guy was our PM and there was a chance that marriage equality would be a reality in Australia one day soon. By Saturday the other guy had won the federal election, shattering those chances entirely.

Then again, Canada is also going a little loopy.

Better than this happening, though.

Time to count our blessings. We have many.

xo The Fearse Family

Links we’ve loved #13

There is something really heart warming about these colourised photos. They made us both smile.

Speaking of photos, we love this idea. It takes such commitment.

Keitha combines reads books with her child and then THEMES HIS LUNCH TO THE BOOK. Seriously the best thing ever.

BP has been a little thrown by the revelation that Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman. But then again, Heath Ledger wasn’t a popular choice for Joker either.

This family is sharing a new experience every week for a year. Awesome.

Down to Earth Mother has the luckiest kids ever! This eco cubby is sourced entirely from recycled materials. Inspiring.

So, I suggested this to my brother, who is currently engaged. He wasn’t up for it. If BP and I had our wedding over again we’d totally have his Nan as a flower girl. She’d rock it.

BP’s long awaited album comes out next Sunday. We’ll be Fearsebrating.

Little Fearse broke out new moves when listening to Bob Marley this week.

Also, if Australian politics confuses you and you want to bone up before our Federal Election in two weeks time, this should clear things up a little (funny and true).

Have a great week,

The Fearses xoxo

Links we’ve loved #9

Fun love.

This is awe inspiring.

Little Fearse has been getting real kick out of Pixar Shorts this week. Some of them are that perfect length to maintain a 15 month olds interest. Here is her favourite so far.

This article made us chuckle, but it hides an issue worth considering. Not buying stuff we do not need is only one consideration in a journey towards responsible citizenship. We really need to consider where our world is headed, what we can do to help it and what we will do if it gets to that sad place.

This article was linked in the comments of the previous article. It has us thinking differently about our own clothes washing habits already. Often something will be washed when it might just need an air. Any reading that can change our mindsets for the better is worthy reading.

Little Fearse is popping out the teeth like there is no tomorrow. It’s got us thinking a bit about how we’re going to keep them clean. She has enjoyed brushing her teeth with her finger sitting on the bench in the bathroom while we clean ours. We considered it a good opportunity to introduce her to the idea of the toothbrush, rather than forcing it on her when she’s not interested. A bit of research unearthed this company who make natural toothpaste (we’re not getting that yet) and biodegradable / recyclable toothbrushes for littlies. We picked up a toothbrush which Little Fearse uses to brush her tongue and a finger brush which she will sometimes let us run over her teeth and gums.

It has also led to more pinterest browsing of crafts Mama will never do.

Aubrey Plaza would make an adorable Daria and we wish this was real.

Happy weekend – got any links you can recommend?


The Fearses

PS Like us here!

Links we’ve loved #9

We have had a gorgeous and busy weekend. Hopefully these links will lead you nicely into a bright new week.

If you are not inspired to get started by at least one of these terrific decluttering resources then you should probably sign up for your own episode of Hoarders now, because you’re incurable.

Seize your mornings! We don’t necessarily agree with all of this advice, but the idea of developing a great relationship with mornings appeals to us.

How to be a cheap bastard. What would you do with the savings? We’d like to travel…or (says the sensible voice on the shoulder) pay off more of our mortgage.

We have started to notice a huge improvement in our happiness. We’re normally pretty happy people but lately we’ve felt radiantly happy. This advice is really great advice for those of you who would like to be happier. Happiness is really worth striving for. It makes everything easier and better.

Some great tips for living simply with kids.

Hip hop humour. This reminds Mama of the time we ‘accidentally’ went to a medieval festival in New York and one of the referees of the quiddich match was wearing a t-shirt with the slogan “I’ve got 99 problems but a snitch ain’t one”. Clever and dorky. (Clorky?)

Surprising things that the writers of Back to the Future correctly predicted. Was Back to the Future written by secret scientists? Or is technological development just really boringly predictable?

A great article about Big Poppa’s favourite artist at the moment.

This is an issue that really upsets us as parents of a daughter and makes us both glad that we’re able to pass on to Little Fearse many toys from our own childhood that don’t suffer from skankification.

Kids are funny, these parents know.

And finally, Little Fearse’s video of the week.

Have a great Monday.

Mama, Big Poppa and Lil Fearse xoxox

Links we’ve loved #8

If you are, or ever were a Seinfeld fan (we all know they jumped the shark eventually, but some people managed to push through and maintain their love) you will probably think this is amazing.

On a related note, we have really been enjoying Jerry’s latest project, even though Mama gets rage from the bad stock coffee making shots.

This article explores the reason why Aboriginal Hip Hop isn’t given more attention in Australia – something that needs to change.

A list of minimalist don’t haves (not ours). Meanwhile, we kind of love the simplicity of this page. Our layout bothers us, but is the only one we can find that has a print large enough for Dad to read, and that, to us, is more important than how it looks.

Although neither of us are into the idea of dropping your butts, this is a pretty innovative idea.

If you’re renting the conundrum of hiding ugly fittings won’t be new to you. We like these solutions!

This entry really resonated with us. That feeling that no matter what you’re doing that feels right there are a million other things that you know you should be doing better. Also helps to reiterate the need to stop comparing. What we are doing is what we are doing. It’s not what we are recommending you do and you know, the other way ’round.

If you have a quiet moment you may enjoy these inspiring TED talks. Mama has just watched the first one so far and was blown away. Looking forward to hunting own some half hour patches to watch the rest (maybe when cooking, aye?).

This kind of freaks Mama and BP out but Little Fearse likes to sing along…in a kind of babbly way.

Have a great weekend,

Mama, BP and Lil’ Fearse xoxox

Links we’ve loved #7

Recently Mama started looking into buying a soft carrier for Little Fearse to reduce the need to take the cumbersome pram with us everywhere. Little Fearse has been enjoying the pram less lately, so we thought chucking her on our backs might be preferable all around. Buying one second hand seems easy enough, until Mama came across this link.  Worth reading if you ever intend to buy something like this online or second hand.

In a decluttering rut? This list will help you get going again.

A friend asked on FB this week for help with getting the kids involved in decluttering and (amongst others) Mama found this great link. I wonder how we’ll go with Little Fearse in the future. She already goes bananas about other kids’ bright, shiny, new toys – but maybe all 14 month old babies go crazy about their friend’s toys.

What is intelligence? Where does it come from? Can you teach it?

More Big Poppa shoe fanaticism.


Mini sneakerhead. She was caught rocking and patting this shoe like a baby this morning.

We eat pretty well in our household, but lately, as the weather has cooled down, both BP and Mama have been craving junk. All. The. Time. It gets you thinking about what it is that appeals to us about that food? Why does it seem to fill a gap that healthy food doesn’t? This article also tackles the issue.

A commentary about white privilege in hip hop.

Little Fearse is working on a silly walk. It somewhat resembles the ‘lean back’. She’s had us in stitches.

Happy weekend. Those of you living with cats, stay safe.

BP, Mama and Lil’ Fearse xoxoxo

Links we’ve loved #6

You might be beginning to notice that while Mama reads blogs, BP watches videos. Here’s the wrap up of BP video entertainment for the week:

Well, that’s not entirely true. Mama loves Upworthy videos. This one blew her away. She’s like to meet that kid’s parents.

What do you think the secret is to great parenting? Zen habits has one idea. Maybe this is not entirely it, but it sure is an important factor.

The Modern Mourner is a really interesting site dedicated to remembering and farewelling those who have passed. A lot of the ideas are related to repurposing things that belong to your loved one. Some beautiful ideas here.

What do you think about this wedding debacle? We didn’t ask for wedding gifts when we got married. We were well aware that we had asked people to get dressed up, maybe some people bought a new outfit or new shoes or got their hair done. Then they went to a lot of effort to come out at night, perhaps paid for parking or a cab there and back. Why do they owe us a gift, too? We challenged those that really did want to give us something to hunt for something second hand. Some people gave us gifts that were hand made or second hand, some people gave us things that were new, some people chose to give us money and others gave us nothing at all. We were grateful to have each and every person there. The protocol regarding wedding gifts seems to be ever shifting. What do you think is right in this situation? We think these brides should have been given this book:


BP has been through his wardrobe and is stuck on sentimental t-shirts. Mama is thinking about doing something like this with them. Have you made a t-shirt quilt before? Any tips?

Little Fearse is mad about her Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland board book at the moment. Mama has started reading her an abridged illustrated version of the original story, which she is also enjoying. BP and Mama know the board book off by heart they’ve read it so many times in the last week.


She has also enjoyed the super moon in the past week and has learned to say ‘moon’ which is an exciting development in the Fearse household.

We hope you had a great weekend. We did!

Big Poppa, Little Fearse and Mama xoxoxox