End of Winter, Hunter Valley

We have visited quite a number of wine regions, both in Australia and overseas. But coming to Hunter Valley is like coming home –  no any other place is like it for us. And while many other wine regions can boast the most spectacular landscapes (I must say we adore Marlborough in New Zealand for its breathtaking surrounds, and its sauvignon blanc of course), the comparatively humble view from our favourite picnic place in the Hunter is the dearest to my heart. The place where so many happy memories were created over years and years, over repeating seasons.

Hunter Valley has so much to offer. Wineries, art galleries, beautiful gardens, amazing fresh food (especially the cheeses and the olive oils from the area), restaurants, spas, boutique hotels, hot air balloon rides, concerts, and so much more.  But for us? We pack a picnic, drive a bit over an hour to Pokolbin, stop at a couple of familiar wineries to say hello and stock up on wine, then drive to that picnic spot, spread the rug, sit down, and relax, breathe, and have a glass of red while enjoying the food and the sunset. We have done all those touristy things before. And nothing can bring more joy for us than the simple pleasures of life.

This post is a part of Where We Live blog circle. Please click HERE to see some lovely photos of Disneyland by Californian photographer Lyka Chang

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Karen Buchanan - September 14, 2014 - 11:14 am

What an amazing area to explore! You captured it beautifully.

Shanna - September 24, 2014 - 3:13 am

Wow! These are fantastic!

The Magic of Simple Things

Life’s simple pleasures are the best. Such as watching my baby experience the magic of bubbles for the first time. It warms my heart, reminds me to pay attention to the little things. I am not sure who was more excited about the whole thing, him, or us, the two grown-ups blowing those bubbles, laughing, taking pictures, and making memories.

 Look at his expression at the last picture. I can’t even find the right word to describe it… My dreamer.

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Belinda - August 27, 2014 - 11:49 am

Anastasia….I can’t even…..no words can describe the emotions these photos made me feel. “Joy” doesn’t seem enough. “Love” falls short. Just know that this gift you have and the fact that you share it with us makes the world a better place. xoxo

A Saturday Stroll

I am now a part of a blog circle, with “Where We Live” theme. It means that every month a group of us will photograph where we live and share the images on our blogs, linking to each other (you will see the link at the bottom of this post), for the viewers to see our world through our camera lens.

And what a beautiful idea it is, to slow down once a month, to really look around you, to discover something in your usual surroundings that you might not notice in the whirlwind of the everyday life. To bring the picture up on your computer screen later and have the renewed appreciation of home.

Since we only recently moved to where we are now (that is from a very busy suburb in Sydney to a super quiet and relaxed corner of the Central Coast), I still have that curiosity of being a newcomer. My vision is still fresh, and my camera is often hanging off my neck, ready to capture the moments of the new life.

One sunny, wintry Saturday (but you could already sense the little hints of spring in the air) we left the house for a lazy stroll along the beach, to enjoy the soft light of the setting sun, the vision of the boats bobbling on the bay waters, the beautiful skies with a rainbow peeking from underneath the clouds. In moments like this time goes slowly, peacefully. The little one enjoyed it too, being quiet and content, just watching the world and sending us the most charming smiles from his Ergo.

Here are the snippets of that afternoon, through my lens.

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Want to see some gorgeous photos of Hawaii ? Make sure you click HERE to visit the website of Marian Diop!

Karen Buchanan - August 13, 2014 - 2:03 pm

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia. I’m going to have to live vicariously through your photos for the next few months! It looks gorgeous there.

Marian - August 15, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Wow, its really pretty and your use of light/sun flare is beautiful. I want to visit Australia so much!

Happy in the Now

Gentle light playing with the spiral of hair on top of his head.

Water splashed all over the kitchen during his bath.

Wrinkly toes.

His clumsy “hugs” and sloppy “kisses”, so very full of joy.

Amazed expression when he looks at his reflection in the mirror.

The shadows his long eyelashes create on his cheeks.

His hands chasing an elusive toy all over the play mat.

The first time he touches sand, grabbing it, squeezing his fist tight, only to see it trickle through his fingers.

Pumpkin being smeared all over the tray of his high chair. I call it “food art”.

The soft warm breath, the perfect “O” of his lips when he is finally asleep.

All these little moments that create our everyday, they make me so happy.

 

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Torsten - August 6, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Hi there
Gorgeous shots of wonderful moments, thank you for sharing :)
Torsten

Anastasia - August 6, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Thank you so much Torsten! Hope all is well in Sing! x

Belinda - August 6, 2014 - 10:05 pm

Your words made me cry. And so did your photos. Beautiful as always Anastasia xoxo

Anastasia - August 7, 2014 - 8:58 am

Oh Belinda… And YOUR words always encourage me to be a better artist. Hugs xxx

nina - August 7, 2014 - 11:12 am

what a gorgeous little chap ! The pictures are filled with tenderness and sun. The little feet in the sand and the water drops on the little head made me laugh. cuteness personified !

Anastasia - August 8, 2014 - 8:55 am

Nina, my darling, xoxoxo

Baby’s First Hike

A few weeks ago, on a sunny Sunday, we ventured out to our first family hike together, to Bouddi National Park. And what a beautiful part of the world it is. We did not do the full hike from Putty Beach to MacMasters as we did not want to put too much pressure on ourselves and the little one, so we walked from Putty Beach to Maitland Bay and back, and I must say it is one pleasant, very accessible walk through the bush with many heart-stopping views of the ocean. We walked quite lazily, had a picnic at Maitland Bay, enjoyed the views, and it took us four hours. Someone even managed a long nap on the way back. Ah, to be carried everywhere and not to have a care in the world!

My backpack looks massive. One might think we did an overnight trek, but don’t be mistaken – once the extra layers, food for the picnic, the picnic rug, the change of clothes and small toys for the baby, and a couple of camera accessories are packed there is not much space left at all!

I am forever grateful for this abundance of natural beauty right at our doorstep. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

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