Life around here, the 2019 edition

Happy New Year! We did it! We survived Christmas, and a ninth boxing-day Birthday (and a 30-something birthday the day after: such continuous celebration in our house that Mim, 4, skipped down on the mornings of December 28th and 29th asking who was having a birthday ‘on this day?’ as though that was a necessary component of our daily activity).

It’s grainy because getting four children under 8 to stand still on Christmas Eve is even less plausible than a magical man who delivers presents to all the children of the world

Obviously I couldn’t resist the matching PJs for Christmas Eve, despite steadfastly avoiding the idea of a Christmas Eve box, which sounds like an awful lot of extra effort. The matching pyjamas, though, added to an earlier-in-the-month H&M order, seemed like a reasonable ratio of effort-to-cute-outcome.

We had plenty of west coast island walks:

Enough photos of my four children on beaches? Surely not.

All group photos brought to you via light bribery and gentle threats

A tennis-themed mum-cake for Jacob, turning nine:

I spent an inordinately long time on the bloody net but he was more impressed by my husband’s improvised twisted-wire tennis racquets.

A new bike for the birthday boy, which as any family of multiple children knows, actually means a new bike for everyone, all inheriting the next size up.

Looks of adoration from the two on the right

Nine years old is pretty fun so far, and pretty serious:

A revelatory Christmas present for the children – who have all, at some time or other, experienced the fallout from a curious toddler discovering their prized possessions.

I decided to embrace dorm life and treat everyone to a lockable bedside cabinet to stash their treasures / choke-able toys.

Inspired by these kind of Instagram images from mustard:


Although this stroke of genius came to me about 5 days before Christmas morning and my options on Vancouver Island were somewhat limited so – ever resourceful – I turned to (who else?!) IKEA.

They came up with the goods, albeit in slightly more utilitarian format:

IKEA Hallan storage, here in Canada

That said, Australian Vogue Living has pegged the cabinets as worthy and if they’re good enough for Vogue

It does mean that your husband spends his Christmas Eve doing this, though:

Feeling Christmassy yet?

And in case all the west coast walking and flat pack building was a little too relaxing, the New Year brought with it a sudden wave of nesting – otherwise known as DIY projects that need doing immediately.

We decided it might be sensible to wait until Spring to renovate our lower ground / basement family room, but our laundry room / mud room floor has been offending me since we moved here two and a half years ago, and suddenly it was just too. much. to. bear.

Arguably, the definition of a first world problem, but then who here would like to argue with a 32weeks-pregnant-woman?

In any case, I stumbled across a blogpost on a late night Pinterest rabbithole of a search, by someone cleverer than me – who points out, quite rightly, that you can’t ruin what you already hate (here)

Image credit: Nesting Place, via Pinterest

And so began the great floor painting of 2019.

I mean I think you’ll understand why it had to be done:

Above, the original floor (I KNOW) with the beginnings of the primer coat creeping in. Below, the first coat of Graphite Charcoal floor and porch paint, my saviour.

And already looking thrillingly improved, awaiting new skirting boards / baseboards once dry:

Also, some built-in benches, new shelving, and a few other bathroom upgrades to make sure that mr tMatM is really looking forward to getting back to the office.

More soon! On some excellent smug and lazy toddler activities discovered whilst reclining, heavily pregnant, on the sofa – DIY/ renovation updates – and a super easy butterfly cake recipe.

Coming soon.

How about you? Big plans for 2019? Send me a note!

tMatM x



  1. January 10, 2019 / 7:11 am

    I only heard about Christmas Eve boxes this year! What the actual fuck? It just seems like a crazy idea to me and unnecessary added pressure on stressed out parents. Whatever next? Boxing Day boxes as a post-Christmas bonus? Mental x

    • January 14, 2019 / 8:14 am

      Agreed! What happened to keeping things simple!? X

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