I’m Elaine and I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Tim and baby daughter Anita. In 2016 we bought an old ‘fixer upper’ cottage and so I originally started this blog to share our renovation journey. It has since expanded a little to cover a few more ‘parsonage’ themes of interest – house & home, food, family and some musings on the Christian life. We called our home ‘The Parsonage’ because Tim is a pastor and we like to think of our home as a place of hospitality, rest and family life. Hope you enjoy looking around!

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Our Renovation: Before & Afters

This is our first renovation project in Weston Creek, Canberra. We called it ‘The Parsonage’ as my husband is an Anglican minister at a local church. When we bought it, it was a fairly eclectic ex-government cottage that had seen better days. We tried to bring the gardens back to life and totally gutted and... Continue Reading →

Featured post

Tips for Travelling with Infants

When Tim and I said we were thinking of going to Europe when Anita was 1.5 years old and I was in my third trimester of pregnancy, most people looked at us like we were slightly mad. But we'd done a long haul flight to Scandinavia the year before, when she was 8 months old and it hadn't been too bad, so we thought we'd go for it again! Whilst flying and travelling with infants is obviously never going to be quite as relaxing as it was before them, there are lots of things you can do to make the experience a little easier. It really can be so rewarding and we have so many happy memories! So, here are my top tips for travelling with little ones:

The Subtle Art of Not Coping

I like to think of myself as quite a high-capacity person. I am prone to pride about how organised, efficient and on-top-of-it-all I can be. Which is maybe why it is all the harder to admit when things are not alright. When, for whatever reason, life has piled up on you and you crumple under... Continue Reading →

Zucchini and Carrot Pasta with Avocado Sauce

I love this dish because you can really adapt it for your own taste and health requirements. You can ditch the actual pasta completely and just use zoodles (zucchini noodles), or you can do a half/half mix like I do if you still want some authentic 'pasta' taste. The avo sauce is creamy, healthy, zesty and delicious!

Pretty, but Practical: Some Child-Friendly Home Design Ideas

When I had Anita, one of my biggest fears was having to let go of all beauty (and white!) in my home and surrendering to permanent chaos. And let's face it, having kids does make beautiful interior design a bit harder. So, yes, maybe some of the low-height glassware and linen-upholstered chairs may have to go, but I have come across quite a few design tricks that can help your home be a happy balance of kid-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. 

Teriyaki Noodles with Chicken, Edamame, Tofu and Veggies

I have had a bit of a craving for Japanese lately, so this one really hit the spot! It uses soba and sweet potato noodles which you can buy gluten free.  I'm not sure how authentically Japanese it is, but it tastes good and is loaded with veggies! Another one that Anita couldn't get enough of, so good for the whole family 🙂

How to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Space is an expensive commodity. Many of us live in apartments and those in houses rarely have sprawling mansions. So one of the design questions I often get asked is 'how do I make my small space feel bigger?'. Here are some tips and tricks that I hope you will find useful to create more room in your own home.

Zucchini and Carrot Cheesy Bites

I'm always trying to think of easy, healthy treats that I can have as snacks or give to Anita when I'm not up for cooking. These little bites are an excellent way to get those veggies in and a tasty allergy-free treat!

How to bring new life to old furniture

You really don't have to pay a fortune for unique, beautiful furniture. One of Tim and my favourite home improvement tasks is giving an old piece of furniture new life. They can be charming old-world pieces or a more modern style, but it's amazing what a coat of paint or some plywood can do. Here are some examples and how-to's from around our house that I hope will inspire you to do something fun for yourself!

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