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Life, Stuff & FAQ

Thu 16th, Jun, 2011

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G’day all!  How are you?
Well in Sydney, on the beaches, it’s still raining and I am still wearing wellies…I must say this is our fifth day of grey skies and raging oceans and big old howling winds…the weather continues to dictate how we live, even here where most of the time the sun is out to play…
So, with us all tucked up in the evenings I have been lounging around on that new chair in the Sitting Room with my laptop and going through the things that a lot of you have been asking lately…so below are a few answers to the questions I get asked frequently on this blog…I didn’t make it to all of them…hoping that will come soon
Alex says:
Nice post sarah again! So inspiring to get me out in the fresh air!

So this week we have had recipes, gardening and photography. I have to say how do you do it all with 3 kids???? Is there a secret you can share? I am lucky if I can write one blog post a week And that’s with two kids and I don’t work!

Do you have help, a housekeeper or something?

Keep it coming anyway

Thanks Alex, getting out in the fresh air is a big thing in my life…I love walking too.

There is no secret to doing it all I don’t think, at least no-one has told me!  The first thing is that I don’t do it all…there are soooo many things I just don’t have time for…..And I certainly don’t have a housekeeper…in fact I have never had any help since I had Honeymoon Baby…you know what, I just put my head down and got on with it, so I guess that’s my secret…

I have a few routines that keep it sane here…first of all I always have dinner ready or done in my mind…this is crucial to me…if that isn’t done I am one cranky mummy from hell and I have learnt the hard way…next I do everything the night before…so from about 5 til about 7 I am doing chores…in between runs to sport…whoever’s home has to help…in this time uniforms are ironed, laundry sorted, lunches packed etc…this is the time I do a general tidy up, hoover and get everything put back together ready for the next day…

 

Tricia says:
Hey sarah

My question is how popular is your blog? You don’t go on any of those top bog lists or blog rankings, any reason for that!

G’day Tricia…no I don’t go on those blog ranking thingys…I have done in the past and I guess I was up there playing with the big girls in terms of stats if that is what you are asking…but you know what, I didn’t like that…competing on how ‘popular’ you are, that kinda turned me off and in my eyes it made me look at my blog differently…so I dumped those rankings…

and no I don’t publicly put up my stats etc…but it’s not hard to find out if you look on one of those web info companies

 

Jo B says:

Hi SArah

I am one of your newer readers and I also live in the same area as you and a friend of mine told me about you. I love your blog so inspiring but surprised to never see pictures of the BC crew.

Why is that? Especially as I know one of your kids is very talented and doing more than one sport at an elite national level – representing at that level is huge in Australia I thought you would be proud of that and show it off! I know I would!

Thanks for the blog so inspiring I even bought a camera to take snaps of my local beach which is a bit further north than you

Jo

hmmm, if I am really really honest, in the early days of this blog I simply wasn’t interested in blogging about my kiddos…that’s the truth…I wanted to blog for me…and mostly that was about vintage furniture and painting things…and plus I am not a big fan of mummy blogs…I know everyone is not the same as me on this but for me parenting is not something I want to publish on the internet…

I know cute kids’ photos on blogs get readers and traffic and all that stuff, but it’s just not an avenue I have felt that I want to go down…if and when any of my kiddos have a burning desire to be blogged about I might consider it…if not they can wait until they are old enough to make the decision whether or not to share themselves with the world via technology…

on the sport thing….. of course I know that is a big achievement…. and I am more proud than anyone could ever imagine but  I prefer to  keep that very much to myself…….and yep we have a child competing at National level in sport..but just because they can seriously whip a few butts on the sporting field doesn’t mean I wanna blog about it :-)

 

Tricia says:

Sarah. Can you do another fashion post? I love how you do casual chic even when you are out walking!
Thanks Tricia, I will try and do another fashion post…I have had a couple of emails about this too…especially about scarfs…who knew my scarfs were so interesting lol!  …on the way soon…

 

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Sarah,
Would you also mind sharing where you have found your favorite loose and fitting shirts:)
THANKS! It makes sense to me!
~Meg

Hi Meg I got the shirts I think you are talking about in Paper Scissors and were super cheap…I bought them in grey, navy blue and marl stripe…they are so comfortable!  I buy them all over though and keep my eye open…it’s the fit I look for…not the label ;-)….saying that Country Road has some good designs…if you don’t mind paying obnoxious prices for a t-shirt made in the same factory as all the other stuff at the mall…

 

Meleia where did you get that beautiful tablecloth?!

you mean the putty blog print one I believe….I got the tablecloth while I was on holiday in Noosa, unfortunately I do not know the name of the shop but I am trying to find out Meleia…

 

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Jane says:

Hello Sarah

Beautiful shots of your new country, I love them all actually.

I would love to know what camera you use, tried to find out through looking back at old posts but could not see anything.

Jane

 

I use a Canon 50D and a Canon G10 (I think there is now a G12)…the ones you see on the blog are a mix of the two…the G10 is in my handbag/pocket a lot so that’s what I use when I am out and about/down the beach…the other one I use in the cottage and also if I am going on a Photography Walk…but it is more bulky…

I take photos all the time…I love it…it is one of the best things I have discovered because of blogging…I love looking at life here through my lens…

 

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Giulia says:

Love the pots – the gray ones are amazing. I am confused though – you guys plant when winter is coming. As a Canadian I’m not quite getting how this works…is it just a different season planting?

Giulia, a lot of things can be planted here in Sydney in Winter because of the climate…I just follow the back of the packets and the labels..there is a little map/chart that specifies whether or not things can be planted at specific times of the year in different parts of the country…and most things I pick up can be planted in Sydney in the Winter…

 

Julie says:

Hi sarah. I love your pots and pansies and herbs! Could I ask where you got that table and the chairs on the deck and did you paint the deck floor?

Looks like a lovely day!

Hi Julie   The table is thrifted and so are the chairs…they are just a jumble of vintage ones that I have found and painted white.  The floor is painted with wood paint for floors yes…it has been various shades of grey…this one I think is the one where I took in a pebble from the beach and they matched it….the deck is quite a high traffic area for us…so this has been re-painted a few times now…

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Heather My Vintage Place says:

Wow such awesome pictures from the beach and it’s winter for you guys, I love the colors so many depths of blue.

I have been married for about ten years, I am wondering how long you to have been together? There are ups and downs they don’t tell you at the altar aren’t there? Glad to hear you have got through it, and thank you for your honesty, it is more and more rare in blogs now and I am reading less and less of the perfect marriage, perfect life blogs or even worse perfect parenting blogs but here you seem to get the mix right, you don’t post unbelievable pictures of your children dressed in hand sewn gear or holding hands with the ‘love of your life’ instead you tell us you throw pans around! That’s the reason I am now only reading yours and a few other blogs now and I canned the rest.

Heather, we have been together for about 18 years…phew!  Thanks, I know what you mean about the handmade perfect parenting blogs…I am glad you like it here…basically I just blog what I love…and it seems quite a few people like it too!

 

Kat says:

Ooh gardening is on my “to do list” for the school hols here in Tassie, however it has been so wet, cold and just plain foul in Hobart that we have been staying snuggly inside with the heater on.
Plus I DO have a toddler and three other kids, so getting anything done is near impossible (and that’s with a Hubby home on school hols too!!) Do you remember those days?

Kat, I do remember those days very very fondly…I know everyone tells you this, but cherish them….it won’t be long ’til they are hairy teenagers lol….I miss my cute little fair-haired toddlers…:-)


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{oc cottage}

The Aussie tourism board had better be paying you!!! You make it look like a wonderland!

m ^..^

they are not!   I’d do it for free anyway lol!  …love this lucky land

 

alison says:
A great post Sarah. I’m in awe of what you both have done to follow your dreams. I’m trying to “just be” after a dramatic lifestyle change. Oh my goodness it’s hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But…it’s also very interesting to think and reflect with the support of my wonderful Mr Alison.

Thanks Alison…we didn’t look back with following our dream…but not everyone is like that from what I have heard…I think you need a pretty strong foundation to get through it all…it is not easy and takes time to build up friends and put roots down…yes it is HARD!  …but good!  Although I have been very happy here from day one it is only now that we realise that we’ve made it…

 

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(via email) Hi Sarah,

Just been reading the Saturday Club (on a Sunday!) and it got me thinking about exercise and body image in relation to your post.

You have mentioned briefly before about how you like to walk/jog and also about doing squats, so I was wondering what your exercise routine is please?

I have four little ones aged 9, 6, 4 and 2 and am still trying to shift the extra few kilo’s from #4 by doing aqua aerobics and Zumba, which is helping, but a slow process. (Could it be the baking and eating of said baking that I do for lunch boxes is not helping?!)

Anyway you look like you are in pretty good shape after three children, so I would love to know your routine for exercise and also are you strict diet wise? (ie what do you eat for snacks etc?)

My theory is that life is too short to not eat cake, but perhaps I need to look at my snacks.

Loved this week’s Sat Club as I think most of us as women need to do more of the self love thing and pass it onto our daughters.

Kat :)

I am answering this on here because I have had this question quite a few times!

Firstly I love to eat treats,while I am not huge on cake, I love other naughty things and because of my wine allergy I love a beer which is not good for the waistline!….hence I exercise, however the main reason I exercise is for my brain not my body…I find exercising clears my mind, helps me sleep and keeps me sane!

I try to get out at least two mornings a week for a Power Walk/run…this means that I walk….fast…not stroll…and within that I break into a run every now and then…I am so not a runner though…but I do like to get out of breath…

after that I normally end up on a head overlooking the sea, on the rocks, or just on the sand on the beach and I do a series of stretches…I love my stretches…especially as I am getting older….I kinda developed my own routine after years in England at various gyms/health clubs…here I won’t even contemplate exercising indoors…not with this beautiful scenery at every turn and the climate…after the stretches I do squats…the ’350′ I talk about includes small movement squats…so technically I am not doing full on squats 350 times…I think I probably do about just under half of that as full on squats…saying that though at the moment I am not as fit as usual and at those times I probably only manage about 200 including the small movement ones….

I also do various leg exercises after that and ‘push-ups’ against a tree or post or something…

then I carry on with the walk or run….this would take about an hour and a half

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in addition to those ‘proper’ sessions I incorporate walking in my day-to-day life a lot…I think that is what makes the difference to fitness and keeping weight off for me…we normally go out for ocean walks or bush walks at the weekend…mostly this is on Sunday arvo…we will go out for a couple of hours at least, sometimes we take a bbq/picnic too…but often I will put the dinner on before we go out so we come home to that….this is one of the best parts of my life…I love walking

and in the week if I am doing the soccer/band/swimming drop off I will always walk then too…not sit in the car or sit on the side…even if it just a stroll in the clothes I am wearing and not a full on walking/exercise session…I often use the parking further away trick too…to force me to walk more…

 

 

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on diet…

well, I try to eat with health in mind and we never eat processed junk…the odd oven fries/freezer convenience stuff if I am rushing or lazy or both…I like to cook home meals from natural real ingredients…so our food isn’t full of hidden fat etc so I guess that keeps my diet fairly good…

I try to eat well at lunch…this is usually a salad like the one above…I like live shoots and natural cheeses, I love and eat a lot of cheese…especially goat’s cheese…I try to buy it handmade from local cheese-makers..this one is from a farm in the Hawkesbury foothills…buying it this way is not the cheapest way for sure…

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I also make a lot of soup…the lefotvers for lunch…this is really quick and easy and gets some veggie intake in..I do this because basically otherwise I am lazy at lunchtime and if there is nothing easy to make  I go without or worse eat things I shouldn’t if they are in the house…

I also love eggs and so does little Mr BC…we eat lots and I virtually lived off of fried egg sandwiches when I was pregnant with number 3 and that habit never really went away…yeah yeah I know there’s a bit of fat in that…it hasn’t killed me…yet….

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I get these from the farmer too…I have written on here how my dream would be to have a few chicken in the garden…Mr BC is not so keen…he reckons my dream of flitting about in the garden with a basket over my arm would be quickly quelled by the rats, snakes, foxes and ahem mess around…yeah…

and if I can’t manage that I buy free range at the least and if they are not too expensive organic…I couldn’t think of anything worse than eating an egg from a battery farm…I am no precious-organic-hippy-lentil-non-bleached-cotton-wearing-foodie…..goodness there is nothing worse than some vegetarian pontificating about their food…. and with 5 of us here, all with hearty appetites it is not always realistic for me to buy organic/direct  but I do take little, easy and basic steps to think about what is going into our bodies…I try to balance the bad things with the ever-so-good…like this…

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I also love love love love love bread…especially French bread, and I don’t mean French bread from Coles ;-)…I mean French bread from France…I miss that about being able to pop over to France or going to the French Farmer’s Markets in Kent…where the little Frenchies popped over the Channel with their wares…

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I have to say that on the beaches there are only a few places where the bread is awesome…

this sourdough is one of them

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and I try to throw in home-grown salad with all our meals…in my opinion definitely about a million times better from you, tastes wonderful, costs virtually nothing and even better takes like minimum effort to throw a few seeds in the earth…the most easy to grow is rocket and spinach…even I can manage those!

 

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and

I do love a drink and up until recently that would have been a nice glass of wine with my supper…until my wine allergy hit me slap bang thank you mam and nowadays even a sniffle can start a reaction…not pretty to be throwing up in the gutter on the side of the road with one’s offspring in the car, and one’s husband holding one’s hair back after a quarter of a glass of red wine..

so now I drink other bits and pieces…I adore Pimms, especially if it’s sunny, you already know I like Limoncello and can put away a few Mojitos or two….also dig me some Campari…on the rocks…yum and a lil’ G & T after the sun goes down is pretty nice…

but mostly like a proper Aussie I like a good cold beer...I love the Australian ones, nothing worse than a designer beer snob in my opinion…but I have to say, the Italians do it oh-so-very well and a Peroni slips down mighty nicely thank-you-very-much…

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and really all of the above plus the exercise is because I like the naughty stuff too and I think all that balances it out…I love croissants, pain au chocolat – and I have found an Australian one I like, macarons – can’t say the same about those I am afraid and the list changes regularly and goes on …

 

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Dianah says:

Super post sarah!

Do you use a tripod?

Thanks

Dianah

Diannah, no I don’t use a tripod ever.  But I do own one…I think it is an SLK…it is easy to put up and down etc…I bought it because every single thing I read on photography said I should have one…but I hate it…so stilted and tight…I prefer to have my camera slung around my neck and in my hand moving with me…I don’t think I will ever love the tripod…but I think I might get it out again soon and try it… the pictures of me etc are mostly taken with the camera propped on a chair or whatever is around at the right kinda height…

 

laurie@heavens-walk

Such a sweet post and sweet photos today, Sarah! ♥ I didn’t know that you both started a business. What business? Would love to hear about your new adventure together. :) Loved this, girl!!

Laurie, Mr BC started a business after years of wanting to…it was a huge step for us, but it has meant big life changes for our kiddos…Mr BC wanted to be much more involved as a dad and that was much more important to us than money…funny how after two years of pulling in the belts now the financial side of it is easier anyway.

 

I somehow missed this post…so sweet Sarah. Im guessing you all are maybe around 40? I know there are always things/trials that go on behind closed doors. Things are not always rosey, and challenges to meet. Being married for 31 years and with my hubs for 4 years before that. I must say I think you have to kind of sit back and reinvent your marriage every few years. Take a good look at what you have and together make new goals and new interests. You my girl are surely Blessed. Good health (I hope),a beautiful family (even the teenagers)and the Lucky Land !

Yep we are!  Thanks for the input, hmm I am wondering how I can re-invent lol!  I do feel very blessed and try to keep that in mind all the time…it’s the wonderful by-product of this blog and this land…looking for the good things…and making them priority..


Alicia says:
June 8, 2011 at 3:15 pmEdit

I love love love your style. Are you a trained stylist or merchandiser? It looks like it because I love the way you can make ikea things look good! How do you pick things out on there, all I see is bright colors and loud prints???????????

Also if you don’t mind how did you do the floors?

Thanks sarah

Thanks for the compliment Alicia, yep I am a self-taught stylist and photographer and Ilove nothing better than moving things around, having a change about, decorating, dressing up tables and vignetting…I think of it as just doing something I enjoy, as I guess other people might think of their hobby of sewing or painting…

On IKEA yes I know there are a lot of bright out there things, but also there are a lot of basics and solids in there in terms of kitcheware, fabrics and home decoration if you can look past all the colours…I stear clear of most of the furniture though…I have been tempted in the past to be disappointed with its performance…

The floors we had sanded, filled and varnished in a high gloss – although I wanted them matt I thought that with the traffic in this place with 3 children gloss would soon matt down…it has, so I am pleased with the decision…if I could do it again I would possibly think about going for a darker stain but then again the colour they are now says Australian Cottage to me…

 

Liz sanderson says:
June 9, 2011 at 7:58 amEdit

Lovely sarah, could you tell me when your shop is re-opening? I bought one of your runners and it has pride of place on my table, I would love the pillows to go with it. Your shop was only open for a week or so, wondering why :-) .

Ahhh the magically disappearing Beach Cottage shop!  I have emails all the time about this too, so here you go…the story of what happened..

I discovered with the shop that retail is not my first love…sure it was fun to pick out the things I love, style ‘em up and take photos of them and get the shop going…..but that is where the fun ended for me…

What I hadn’t realised was that my humble little shop, because of this blog, would sell out almost overnight…this put A LOT of work on me…the cottage and outside in the shed was stacked full of stock and I was madly packing and wrapping…I did so many runs to the post office with the back of my car rammed full of parcels, boxes and packets

…I did not enjoy this and nor did my family…trying to do this with all the other stuff at the time, particularly the sporting events..which were in FULL swing…made me re-evaluate exactly why I was doing this…sure I made a bundle of cash…but that ain’t everything to me…

So within a week or two I shut it down….with every intention of opening it up again once serious distribution channels were in place…meaning that I wasn’t doing the wrapping and sending basically – that the distribution/mailing would be done by someone else who was better equipped to do it well…

However the more I thought about it, the more I realised that actually buying stuff from wholesalers and retailing does not give me any kinda creative buzz whatsoever..I never set out here to enter the humdrum of retail…so what was the point??

…and I started to think that actually I would like to produce my own stuff if I was going to do it at all…and so that is in the pipeline, my own little Beach Cottage label :-)  …it may be a while and I may not ever get there, I already have a lot on my plate at this stage in life…but that’s the kinda tentative plan…


 

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Now, it’s my turn!

Can I just say thank you so much for you guys on here…for the comments and the interaction, for the visits which continue to grow (!), for your sweetness and support….as this blog moves on and follows me in the different directions my life goes in (it’s not just about painting things white and doing makeovers anymore) I am pleased to see you still with me…

I dont’ know if you noticed but a while ago I made a decision about my blog…rather than to totally monetise it & try to beef up the traffic, stats, figures blah blah blah as I have seen a lot of other blogs do, I decided to step back and take it where I wanted it to go…to make it reflect the good things in my life that I wanted to be positive about and for it to document what interests me…that meant adding in recipes and my love of the outdoors and more of Australia…the things that I was doing in my life that make me happy and keep it all ticking along nicely….not just the cottage and vintage things and the white stuff…of course though I love all that at the same time!

I have to admit I was a bit concerned about going down this avenue with the blog but I felt that I had to stay true to me…because that was why I started it in the first place…for a little place in the internet for me…. and so I asked Mr BC what he thought…he said that I should go with my gut and just blog about my passions and what I enjoy, because, bottom line that’s what people enjoyed in the early days…and that’s why I loved doing it….

so at the time I also pulled the ads from my blog, deciding that I didn’t want that side of it at the moment and started to blog whatever I was doing and whatever took my fancy and I never looked at my stats…and with these changes I wondered if you guys would stick around …

and I am surprised and humbled that you did…that you are still interested, engaged, and want to follow me as I continue my journey with a new life on the other side of the world.

so thanks, lovelies, for that…I appreciate it…and even though now as my blog has grown I sometimes fail to get back to people and I miss answering questions, I don’t mean to…it’s just that I have to do the other life stuff first sometimes

Thank you and good night.

 


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54 Responses to “Life, Stuff & FAQ”

  1. Jodi says:

    I enjoyed learning more and have been following for a while.

    I remember noticing when you changed it up a bit and enjoy it more, it is real now, not that it wasn’t before

    Keep it up as I look forward to hearing more of it all

  2. Kim says:

    loved this post and the ??s sarah!! your seasons surely confuse me!!! lol! but your country sure is one of beauty and you seem to capture it splendidly~~~~

  3. nicole says:

    what i love about your blog is its natural, it reflects you and you can see that in the posts and the photos. i tried the chicken recipe last night and it was lovely. my little family of three enjoyed it so much.

  4. OurSoundHome says:

    You are inspiring – so glad you’ve made the decision you feel so good about regarding your blogs purpose and your intentions on blogging what you love.

  5. Susan says:

    oh my… I feel like we just sat down and had a lengthy coffee…… and I learned so much about you :)

    I actually love the turn your blog has made. It suits me… the food and your walks inspire me. While I loved all your furniture makeovers and tablescapes they are just not in my vocab right now……

    I’ve referred I can’t think how many people to your blog these last couple of days… so bravo to staying true to yourself….

    oh and super congrats for your very sporty BCer….. that really is special :)

    xx

  6. Kristi says:

    Loved the Q & A. Thank You. You are an interesting woman!! Fantastic, thank you again :)

  7. Catie says:

    Wow Sarah, your honesty is a breath of fresh air! I totally agree with you about all the mommy blogs acting like life is perfect and everything runs smooth all the time. That is so far from the truth for 99.9% of families out there. I’m happy I found your blog yesterday. It’s great to read a post like this when I’m just starting my blog and trying not to focus on the numbers, but it can be hard to ignore them. I want people to come to my blog to get inspired, to believe that they too can do it.

    Oh, thanks for popping by this morning and commenting on my sunburst mirror. I just love it! Every time I walk into my room and see it, it makes me smile. Also feel free to check back again. Today I made a new header that looks sooo much better. Let me know what you think. Have a great day!! ~Catie

    http://catiescorner2.blogspot.com

  8. joyce tx says:

    Thanks for sharing the FAQs! So very interesting. You’re right- be true to yourself and it’ll all be well. Love reading your blog!

  9. Hi..you had me when you said you weren’t interested in the popularity rankings..love that! I am now your newest follower..please feel welcome at my place too…anytime.

  10. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sarah what a lovely person you are!! I appreciate your candid nature and your fun and very inspiring blogs, it is like catching up with a good honest friend and I would like to thank you for that!! You are very special!!

  11. What a lovely read Sarah. I’m so pleased you enjoy Australia and there is SO MUCH to enjoy.
    I only found your blog today and love what I have seen. Your philosophy to blogging is very similar to mine, although I only started my blog this year.

    Hope the weather clears in Sydney soon. We are in northern NSW and it has been pleasant and suuny yesterday and today after a rather bleak few days.

  12. kari says:

    I love this post also!! (must have gotten really comfy in the white chair for a few.. LOL).. I really enjoyed reading about your exercise regimen & what you tend to eat… Isn’t it so true that once your use to eating healthy, you almost crave it (except for the bouts of choc & beer once in awhile of course)..

    I wish you a ton of luck on your own brand, as I KNOW it will be a hit!!!

    Cheers,
    Kari

  13. Tammi says:

    Sarah I love that you keep it real…the fact that you write from the heart and share what you are passionate about really shines through and keeps your blog authentic.

    I love the concept of a BC Store but kinda felt that your vintage and thrifty finds would have been more you – selling wise..but boy am I mighty excited at the possibility of a BC product line :)

    So nice of you to share a bit more of yourself with us all.

    xx

  14. Alice says:

    Thank you Sarah for staying true to your self. I did notice the change and was (perhaps a little selfish) pleased about it because it meant it wasn’t going to go down that boring road to blog land. I love reading your blog.

    You have opened my eyes to a door in my life I thought needed to be kept locked up because I was brought up to believe that it wouldn’t get me no where in life. Because of it I have been slowly descending into this huge pit of depression… In the last few months I have unlocked that door (actually I think Saturday club did it for me though those blogs on photography piked my curiosity) and though I’m filled with doubts I just ignore them and keep pushing through. I’m only at the beginning stages(of photography) but so far feed back has been good. I would love to enter some competitions though (being painting, drawing, photography – I love doing it all) I have no idea where to start looking…. I think you should consider it too, I think you have talent… You would do well…
    Also have you considered giving your cottage a name? Is the beach cottage its official name? We decided to name ours a few weeks ago! I have always wanted to live in a house with a name. I’m in the process of making the plaque myself…Now I tell my family and friends to come visit Henorim Cottage!

  15. Christine says:

    Sarah you are a rare and sweet gem! I love reading your blogs because they help me remember things which I have forgotten…. I was born in the 50′s and you have the same senisbilities of that era.. respect for things.. restore, not discard… the joy of the little things, images, walks, simple food, children and landscapes. I love your reminders to breathe, eat choc, sit and crochet or do an old, almost lost craft!!. (My next passsion is lace making… hmmm I will let you know how that goes)
    You are so speaking my language. I have worked at the pointy end of Corporate Australia for too many years, I now run my own small business.. slowly and gently working with my hands using gorgeous silk! (which I import from Hangshou in China). I find that reading your words allows me to immerse myself, inspires me to slow down and take my time and I thank you for that. It so resonated with me when you realised that hardcore retail is not for you! .. Me either! I will go where the simple life wants to take me, occasionally whimsically remembering those heady days of commerce, but certainly not regretting leaving it and living a simpler life. Thank you sweet girl, I so look forward to reading all of your beautiful and honest offerings.

    • alison says:

      Christine

      I got tears in my eyes when I read this lovely post. So much of what has happened in your life is happening in mine. I have stepped off a crazy treadmill and I am loving life so much more on less income. My health has improved. Sarah’s blog has helped get me through major changes by providing a positive, funny, interesting and entertaining focus.
      Alison

  16. Robyn says:

    Fantastic post Sarah! Yours was one of the first I started following and you are partly responsible for me starting my own. At first I thought I had to do what everyone else seemed to be doing in blog land. I soon woke up to that and because I don’t spend my days making over furniture and would therefore have nothing to blog about.

    So I changed direction and decided to blog about OUR new life in this same country as you. I don’t have a lot of followers, which doesn’t really matter to me either. If I have something to blog about, I do. If someone is interested in reading it…great. So while I also don’t blog much about my family, I am enjoying writing things that we have experienced and are experiencing that are new to me. Like today…I’ve blogged about the garbage pick-up simply because it is different to how I know it in South Africa and France.

    While I do hope my blog will grow a lot one day, my blog is my own diary. Now if only I can make sure that camera goes with me all the time ;-)

    One of your many ever faithfuls.
    xo

  17. Patricia says:

    After reading your post on Mr BC’s Birthday, and your post of today.

    I want to say that Mr BC couldn’t have said it any better when saying “This is good as it gets, and now let’s just be” What a beautiful reflection and advice he gave to you both. Also how you have discarded all of the frills the extras that blogland entices and seduces with. For you to feel that and recognise that and to come back to the core of you and who you are and what your blog means, I think is just so fabulous.

    I also want to say to all of that. You have both given yourselves a ‘gift’ by living by what you have both realised.
    This is the best gift you will ever give and receive in your life. :)

  18. Kat says:

    Thanks Sarah for taking the time to answer (both of) my questions :) and so many others. (You have inspired me to go do some squats ;) )
    I really like getting this little extra insight into your world.
    I think you have been right on the money in going with your gut, as your blog really speaks to me, even more so with the recipes, fashion, scenic pics of your walks etc, along with the house/furniture/tablescaping stuff.
    Thanks for keeping it real!

  19. B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T SARAH!!!!!

    i love this post- you have such a great sense of self & balance…

    the *sharing* on this post is wonderful…

    i was reading it on my i-phone at a nursery cafe- having a coffee & was just so immersed in this post that i was offered a 2nd coffee by the lovely english girl working there!
    i’m sure she was reading over my shoulder!!!

    i recall the week your blog shifted slightly left to what you had been doing before- & for me, personally, i loved it even more…it felt more like *all* of sarah, not just the decorating sarah- if that makes sense?

    so, thanks for being you & blogging!

    melissa x

    PS- i still wanna know what an english gal happily loving beach life does with the front of her house…is it a little like your old home round the edges..or simpler & more australian- your beloved new home?

  20. michelle says:

    fab. it felt like a group of girlies having a natter about life in general.
    thanks for sharing and dont change. I admire the fact that you stick to your guns, do whats right for your family and enjoy life. We could all take a few pointers from that!

    Keep up the great work!
    M x

  21. gina says:

    Loved this post! So many things I have often wondered were answered. I have been following you for quite a while but somehow missed several posts. I love the path you have taken!!

    My daughter will be arriving in Sydney July 11 to study at NSWU for the semester. Packing for a 20 year old for 6 months is not easy as she wants to take everything so she has “options” HA! She’s wanting to get into photography some….can you take her under your wing? Your photos are awesome!!! Hoping to visit your beautiful country while she is there and would love to meet you as I know you are as beautiful (inside and out) as your photos!

  22. Laura says:

    Love this post. I had to steal away in the kitchen for a good few minutes, away from the kiddies, but I made it to the end. Your honesty is refreshing. I’m sure whatever you attempt you will succeed 110%. Interesting to read about your hubby starting his own business. Mine started a business 18 months ago (while working full time in a school district)… turns out it’s doing very well. So he’s quitting his job today. I’m terrified… reading that you had faith in your husbands decision, teaches me to do the same… Lx

  23. Hi Sarah-

    I can honestly say I like your blog more now than before. I like reading about how women live authentically and you are doing that so well. I am at a crossroads on my own blog and am trying to make it more authentically me. Thanks for posts like this, it lets us all know that when we are true to ourselves – we shine!

    My best- Diane

  24. Kerry Rossow says:

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!
    It was so great to hear you say you didn’t want to blog about your kiddos.
    I am having a ball raising my family, but I really wanted a blog that was just MINE! (See- I have been around children too long, I am claiming “MINE!”)
    Anyway, I have felt Mama guilt about saying that my blog is just a treat for me. Thank you for sharing this!
    Keep it comin’!
    Kerry at housetalkn.blogspot.com

  25. What a lovely and generous post. I was trying to explain to someone recently why my blog was important to me and it came down to the fact that it was my little happy place. You put it much better than I did.

    Kat, you must read “French Women Don’t Get Fat”. It changed the way I thought about food.

  26. I have been hanging around here long before I had my own blog. You are an inspiration to me and to many. Love that you are true to yourself and it has always been my goal when starting my own blog to do the same. Learning to love the simple things in life and sharing that with others. That’s what I love.

  27. Candy says:

    Sarah, as long as you put it out here, I’ll be following you. You’re always interesting and tell it like it is, no pretense, and I like that. Of course, we all know life is SO NOT simple but I find you to be a wonderful representation of making it as simple and enjoyable as it can be. Rock on!

  28. Jessica Imamura says:

    Sarah, I absolutely adore your blog. It is one of the few that I feel has a real soul to it. There is definitely an intimate and personal feeling when I read your blog, as if I am sitting down to visit with a great friend. I often sit on my patio with a cup of coffee and read your blog imagining that I live next to the beach, rather than Utah. Keep up what you are doing because I love everything about your blog. ;-) I do have one question though. I was wondering if you were willing to share your Limoncello recipe? I would love to make my own. Thanks again for being so wonderful!

  29. lisaroy says:

    great post! I feel like we’re besties now :)
    I agree that you should just focus on what you want to post about and nevermind about stats, ads, etc. It’s the route I’ve taken with my blog and I find it so enjoyable that way. I’ve never wanted to feel pressured to post only about certain things or to obsess over stats and followers. I’m flattered that so many people like to pop in and see what I’m up to. And to be honest, the big girls aren’t the blogs I gravitate to because I feel like they’re much less personal and it’s all about ads and income.
    I love your blog just how it is :)

  30. Meg says:

    This is a really great post. Thank you for being so open about blogging and what to do/not to do. You’ve done this blog advice in the past and I think it’s great. I love blogging for fun and I love trying to tweak it to make it what I want. I think it’s fun to do and fun to figure out what I want it to be.

    When you give your advice, it goes with my goals. How to make it fun and great and what I want. It’s never advice on how to have the perfect blog and make lots of money, so thank you for that. Thank you for keepin’ it real.

    Love it!

  31. vicki p says:

    I truly love your blog! Thanks for being “authentic”. I love the beach and enjoy your wonderful pictures~you are a breath of fresh air!

  32. samantha says:

    Thank you for sharing all this with us, I love learning about bloggers and what makes them tick, and who they are as people. I’m so glad that you are not a fan of the tripod too! I’ve just done a photography course where we are told that good photos require a tripod, I hate it, it kind of looses the moment when you have to set everything up especially when you just want to capture a fleeting moment. :)

  33. catherine says:

    thanks, see you next time. cc

  34. Deanne says:

    Isn’t it funny, I never really noticed your change in direction, I guess everything you do is interesting!

  35. Jan says:

    I love the way you are sharing more of yourself.

    Jan @ BellaCasa

  36. Sibylle says:

    Great post and pictures! I totally feel you on the parenting blogs;-)

  37. Hey Sarah ~ I just wanted to let you know how fun this post was! It’s always so much fun getting to know our blog friends a little better, and peek inside of their lives. I so enjoy watching you make your sweet house a home and the photos of your beautiful country continually amaze me. I adore the pics you share of your walks! I’m glad that you’re sticking to your original plan of blogging about who you are, what you love, and just plain inspiring us with your creativity. Love you for that, sweetie! ♥

    xoxo laurie

  38. Mary K says:

    So – exactly what I LOVE about your blog is what you changed. I think I found you just before the changes – and it’s so much nicer now – nicer than it was a nicer than other lifestyle blogs. Thanks for sharing your life and creativity with us.

    Mary in MN

  39. Manda says:

    Thank-you once again Sarah. Your blog allows me to take a breath in my day as a proud stay-at-home-mum, and appreciate all the little things in life that really mean an awful lot. I am blessed, as you are, with a supportive and loving hubby, and 2 (not 3 like you super-mum ;) gorgeous little ones, a lovely old cottage, which we take pride in “doing up” slowly, and me on the interior decor side, and I must say I love every bit of our Sydney life, and take the good days with the bad. As my mum has told me in the past, one the the tips that helps we get through a not so perfect day, “pick your battles”.

  40. Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea says:

    You are such an inspiration, Sarah. Thank you for sharing your passion for life with us.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Love this post..as i love all your posts. Thanks Sarah :)

  42. Marcie says:

    Sarah, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and it’s one of the first I go to every morning. With my coffee in hand I vicariously walk the beaches with you. It’s refreshing to find someone who has decided to just be herself and blog about what she loves. I so understand the part about wanting to do something that’s just for you. I just started a blog and can’t imagine it will ever come even remotely close to the following yours has, and that’s okay. I hope you’ll be around for morning coffee for a long time to come.

  43. Hi there miss sars, I did really enjoy reading this post. I havent been popping in as often these days due to a busy home life, teenager moving out, I could go on and on but I do still so very much enjoy popping back over for a visit when I do. I have been a reader of your bloggy from early days and have enjoyed its evolution over time. I dont cook so I gloss over the recipie side (although photos make me salivate) but I do love how you do blog about what you love. Its so easy to lose focus on a blog. I think with mine I’m trying so hard to keep aspects of my life private that its becoming rather hollow in its presentation. You have given me much food for thought (even if I dont cook ha!!!)
    alicia :0)

  44. Melinda says:

    As always, love your blog and very much enjoyed the questions and answers. I so admire that you have taken a step back and are blogging for the love of it and on what you love. People can see that. One of my other favorites had become a full time advertising section and I quit reading. Thanks for sharing and blogging!

  45. LeAnn says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I haven’t been to visit you in ages. Your blog is such a refreshing place to visit, It always make me smile:)

  46. Jeanni says:

    Absolutely beautiful pics…as usual.

  47. alison says:

    Sarah

    You are a true inspiration for all…to be true to ourselves; stop and take breaths when life doesn’t feel right; go back to our core values; be quiet and listen to our inner voice AND ENJOY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you Sarah. Your blog is joyful, fun, creative and informative without getting weird. Sarah, I recently read some other blogs to see what’s out there in cyberspace. I came running back to BC, fast.

    Alison

  48. Just now catching up on this post, Sarah… just wanted to say, what a delight. You totally inspire me, as a blogger and as a human being! Sticking with what matters and what makes you happy is what makes your blog special… and delightful! xo ~ osc

  49. Tamara says:

    Dear Sarah,

    I’ve been reading for awhile and have come to love checking in on the beach cottage. Today I found the video you made on painting vintage suitcases. I heard your voice for the first time. Just as I imagined, so sweet.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and lovely spirit.

    • sarah says:

      hey Tamara thanks for reading and commenting, I love getting comments from readers, it makes my day !
      happy days

      Sarahx

  50. Kathleen says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I just discovered your lovely blog and was delighted to see you are not only in Australia but in my neck of the woods. I have long been a recycler of furniture and shopping on the verge has become a favourite past time much to my husbands irritation, although he appreciates the results and the bottom line! I love how you have united everything by painting it white, so fresh. I am trying to create a coastal American look in my home, I have just found some rather retro looking danish style dining chairs…if I paint them white and change the fabric do you think that would tie in with this coastal look or too different? I know it’s hard to say without seeing them…thanks

  51. Charity says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I came across your blog today and it’s safe to say I’ll be addicted. Your style is my style wrapped up in a neat, pretty little package. I am so excited to try to emulate your unique style throughout my own home! I’m wondering….I’ve always had questions/problems finding faux flowers for my home. Many that I find look truly fake which looks tacky in a room rather than beautifying it. I have a “black thumb” so picking from a garden is out for me and anyways, real ones wilt too quickly. Do you have suggestions for where to find gorgeous faux flowers? I love the pink ones in your master bedroom.

    Thanks for your inspiration!

    Charity

    • sarah says:

      Hi Charity

      Thanks for the blog love!

      I have never found any faux flowers that I like..I stick with buying fresh when they are on offer or from the garden

      Sarah