Seachangers Kate & Emma - building a community to give you the inspiration, tools & support to get outta the rat race and into a simpler life
This week we got our baby fix when we visited my friend Michelle and met her gorgeous twins. This brings her family to a grand total of 6 humans, 1 dog & 1 chicken.
A few years ago her family sold their 2 bedroom flat in the suburbs of Melbourne and built their own home in the character filled town of Trentham. This is the view from their back yard!
It's such a peaceful place, with a wonderful, supportive community that has made them feel more at home than ever before.
Michelle & I have known each other since we were kids. We've travelled & shared some crazy experiences together. Although the twins can be challenging at times, I've never seen her more relaxed and content since making their treechange.
It's rare that I hear of people who regret taking the plunge, breaking free of the rat race and chosing the life that they want to live. It's so inspiring spending time with friends like Michelle who have made it work so beautifully - Emma
| School holiday shinanigans | We've been exploring some beautiful national parks this week. This is hanging rock, a great place for a bit of rock hopping if you don't get too freaked out by the eerie stories surrounding these 6 million year old volcanic formations. - Emma
We went to our first family protest today. It was awesome to see so many people in our local community out there to stand up for our environment.
AGL Gas are looking to build a 300 metre structure at Crib Point. Just down the road from where we live. Every day they will pump 450 million litres of water into their vessel, where it will be cooled and chlorinated before being returned to the bay.
We are very lucky to live in a beautiful place which is home to a wide variety of sea life and is a designated "biosphere reserve" of world significance by UNESCO.
Needless to say what AGL is proposing will pose a great risk to the ecosystems in Western Port Bay.
No doubt there will be a battle ahead but seeing our community, including our spirited kids, yelling out "we believe that we can win" I'm hopeful we will make a change. - Emma
Did you celebrate international mud day yesterday? Here's our girls sculpting their much loved mud babies in our veggie patch.
There's heaps of research into the benefits of playing in the mud. Increased happiness, connection with nature and improved immunity to name a few.
For us anything that keeps the kids occupied for a while so we can get stuff done is a winner too . - Kate
"We can have up to 70,000 thoughts per day. 80% of them are negative and 98% of them are a repeat from yesterday". These are some staggering statistics from @lovejenoliver aren't they!? The best way to combat this insane brain chatter is to slow down, breathe and practice being thankful.
My yoga sessions with the beautiful @lorcalife are the perfect time to do just that. Especially yesterday when the dolphins were leaping out of the water during our practice . That's one thought I don't mind having on repeat . How do you calm the monkey mind? - Emma
This whole gardening caper is quite new to us. We've always had a small patch of herbs, but since moving here we've aspired to be more self sufficient by growing our own fruit & veggies (with mixed success ). What's surprised us is that we're also loving growing flowers. Not just to encourage pollinators, but also to admire their form. Maybe it's slowing down, or becoming more in tune with the seasons, but there's a gentle pleasure in noticing the little things in life.
Or then again maybe we're just getting old . - Kate
When do puppies stop ripping everything to shreds? Obee (left) is 8 months old and every night he manages to get his meddlesome paws on something. Almost like giving us the bird for sleeping in past 5am.
Other than that he's just the most lovable bundle of joy. We call him our therapy dog and we figured out this morning that he makes everyone feel like they are his favourite person in the universe. That's very cool I reckon, though I'm pretty sure I'm his actual favourite - Emma
Last night Adele @real_mumma posted her thought provoking insights on the crippling cost of child care in Australia - "Average cost of child care is $122 per day. If you have two children in care 5 days a week that's $63,440 a year. The government gives you back $20,000 in rebates, but it still costs $43,440 out of pocket expenses and is going up." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In Sydney child care can be $180 a day. It's no wonder there's a big gender wage gap, as often it's just not financially viable for mothers to go back to work until their kids are school age. Coupled with insane property prices, the cost of living in the city can be flat out ridiculous. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So I thought I'd share how we got out of this conundrum. We paid roughly the same amount for 11 acres in the Byron hinterland as what we could have if we bought a small 2 bedroom place in inner Sydney. Our cost of living generally is lower. We have one daughter at school and our youngest spends a few days in care and a few days going on epic adventures like this with her Dad. I work from home (or anywhere really) and usually much more managable hours than I did in my corporate city job too. There are still stresses, but for the most part we are happier, healthier and have more time to spend together doing the stuff we love. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Many women on Adele's post were commenting about how lucky they were to live in the country where the cost of child care is less, but I don't see it as luck. It's more about taking stock of what you want in life. Having the ability to explore other options and ways to simplify things so it works for your family.
If you're in the same boat we'd love to hear what has worked for you. World schooling, home schooling, sharing parenting duties? Or if you want help finding another way, send us a message we'd love to help you work through your options. - Kate
Here's a great party idea to get your kids out under the stars.
After toasting marshmellows over the open fire, the girls snuggled up in their cozy beds and we setup a movie projector in the tent. Fairy lights, flower crowns, giggles into the early hours. Seriously the stuff dreams are made of for young girls (& nothing like my childhood growing up with four older brothers!).
Thanks to my gorgeous friend Amanda @letsglamp for making it happen. @letsglamp will setup the most beautiful luxury camping space in your backyard or anywhere you like on the Mornington Peninsula. Bliss
We continue to be astounded by the beautiful, twisty trees around here. We came across this one in a recent bush bash around the Byron Headlands. They have so much character, don't you think?
Where's your favourite place to explore the forest? - Kate
I love that trepidatious feeling just before you leap into something new. The pit of your stomach filled with butterflies and your breath catching in your throat.
It's these new experiences that come to define us. Those pivotal moments in life when you could take the safe option or break free and do what your heart truely desires.
I've been inspired by so many friends lately. Travelling families like @conqueringtheisland
galavanting around Australia, swimming with whale sharks. My beautiful bestfriend @biobod starting her own business. And the gorgeous @tiny_green_hands adventuring her way through this precious life.
Happy weekend lovely people! - Emma
This was just what we needed after a couple of days in the city... some crashing waves and icy cold water to wash away those busy city feels.
We've been marvelling at how nothing and everything has changed in the 4 years since we made our seachange. The gentrification of our old city hood has brought with it an influx of hipster cafes, traffic jams and price hikes. It was good fun for a couple of days, but we spent as much in two days as we normally would in a week.
So grateful to come home to wide open spaces, beach picnics and friendly faces. How gorgeous are these colours and my cliff jumping daughter soaking up the winter sun. Yep this is the life for us! - Emma