Browsing Tag

motherhood

Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

How to find the ideal gift for the little ones in your life

5th December, 2019

One of the things I really enjoy about Christmas is shopping for Sophia and Grace. It’s always the highlight of Christmas to see them so excited and happy when they’re opening their presents and I think party of that joy is trying to track down just the right gifts for them. As any parent will know, kids interests’ and loves will change often, so it can make gift giving a little tricky as they could be into Barbies or The Wiggles one minute and not so much the next. So here are some of the strategies I often use to buy gifts for the girls, but also the other little people in my life.

Choose quality over quantity

It can be easy to just buy up a storm during Christmas time but I find that a few great presents that they really, really love is better than buying lots of little things they’re only so-so about. So when it comes to your present budget, I’m always of the frame of mind that you’re better off narrowing it down to their absolute wants, that way they get to appreciate what they’ve been given and really enjoy it.

Go for gifts that have longevity

Continuing on from the above, I think it’s good to opt for gifts that can grow with them. This is from a quality perspective in that it’s better to choose gifts that are designed to last as opposed to anything that might be flimsily made and might not last beyond that Christmas. And also gifts that are able to be used at any age. Think an art easel with paints that they can use over a few years or a collection of books that you can read together as they get older.

Give them an experience

Toys are great but one of the best gifts I think you can give to kids is an experience. It’s so much more memorable as they get to do something fun. Depending on what your kids are into, you could do something like a day at the zoo, tickets to a show or concert or promise them a day out doing their favourite things whether it’s going to the beach or an excursion to the movies (complete with yummy snacks!).

Photography by Sophia Athas, Hatrik

Shop the Look:

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Produced in collaboration with Seed

Fashion

My week on Instagram

1st December, 2019

This week had its ups and downs. We farewelled my beloved grandfather who played such an important role in my life growing up, but also in my kids’ lives. We miss him greatly but we’re comforted by all the wonderful memories we have of him.

I had the opportunity to work with some really great brands this week. I hosted a breakfast for Vida Glow, and got behind the Shop Small campaign that aims to promote local small businesses. I popped into gorgeous Sydney florist Poho Flowers, a favourite haunt of mine as they always have the most insanely beautiful range of blooms.

The one thing I was looking forward to this entire week was heading off on holiday. We’re off to LA, with our first stop most definitely Disneyland. The girls have been counting down the days! I’m looking forward to the breatk and having a lot of fun as a family.

I hope the rest of your week is great — the countdown to Christmas is on!

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Fashion

My week on Instagram

17th November, 2019

I love having full weeks where I’m able to enjoy doing work related events and also spending time with my family. This week was just like that and whilst it was hectic, I had a great time.

I was invited to host the launch of Witchery’s Summer ’19 collection aboard Seadeck which was a fabulous way to enjoy the Sydney sunshine. It’s always great to be able to catch up with people at events and it was lovely to see model Laura Dundovic and stylish Donny Galella at this particular event.

I support various charities, and this week I attended The Ladies Luncheon 2019 to raise fund for the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. The event helped raise an incredible $340,000 which will go towards helping the hospital care for premature babies.

But without a doubt the highlight of my week was spending quality time with the girls. It was excitement all round as we visited Santa at Sydney’s QVB. The girls were particularly excited to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Then we headed off to the spend the night at the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga Zoo where needless to say, Sophia and Grace had an incredible time — so did Luke and I for that matter!

Here’s to another great week ahead.

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Fashion

Rediscovering your post-pregnancy style

31st August, 2019

If there’s one thing that can throw a curve ball into your wardrobe it’s pregnancy and becoming a mum. All of a sudden your usual fashion repertoire doesn’t always work. Rediscovering your post-pregnancy style can be a matter of trial and error (trust me, I’ve been there) until one day you find just the right mix that works with your brand new life.

Here are some things I’ve learnt along the way…

The reality: You’ll be in between wardrobes for awhile

When I was in that not fully back into work but having to attend the occasional meeting or event here and there that I’d try and fit in between the girls’ schedules I’d be in leisure wear most of the time interspersed with my work wardrobe. I think that’s the thing had to adapt to – that I have to be able to go between the two quite easily so my wardrobe has had to adjust accordingly by being able to be dress up or down with a few strategic tweaks.

You’ll build up new areas of your wardrobe

It’s so important that whatever I’m wearing each day is comfortable as I have the girls with me and end up doing a lot of running around. I’ve learnt to invest in new pieces that I will wear a lot. I used to gravitate towards beautiful heels all the time but now I’ve learnt to build up my flats collection as I’m in them virtually all the time. Nowadays I’m more likely to invest in a pair of slides or a loafer or summer flat as opposed to statement stilettos. I think you need to re-direct your fashion budget towards the pieces you will wear a lot.

Invest in key pieces

I wouldn’t really wear lots of leisure wear before but that’s definitely all changed with my new lifestyle. I did a big shop at bassike to stock up on pieces such as t-shirts and slouchy pants so I can be comfortable but still feel stylish at the same time. I’ve also ensured that my lounge wear options work back with existing pieces in my wardrobe so I can just mix and match. I’ve found myself living in jeans so I have found a pair that works with my current shape and a plain black skirt is also a piece I wear a lot. It just makes it easier to get dressed in the morning if I know I’ve got the right building blocks sitting in my cupboard.

Wash and wear is best

I’ve got zero time to spend on handwashing or ironing clothes these days so if I can just pop it in the washing machine or throw it in the dryer and pop it on then I’m sold. Be sure to read the care instructions on any garments you’re considering buying because despite the fact it might look great, if it requires too much effort to launder it you’ll likely only wear it once and forget about it.

Jackets help dress up an outfit

A denim jacket, a blazer and a leather jacket are all pieces that I’ve found have been post-pregnancy wardrobe friendly. It’s still “me” in that they are pieces I wore before I became a mum but they’re really comfortable and easy to pop on which works with my new lifestyle.

Case in point: at the moment I am into lots of casual, loose cotton dresses due to the comfort factor but I can easily make it look more tailored and polished with a great jacket.

Invest in a great carryall

I have a really beautiful tote that I can throw the girls’ stuff in and fit my computer and everything in it. I’ve found that being a mum, I’m pretty much carrying around half the house with me at all times so I made it a mission to find a great bag that fits everything I use the most.

Lifestyle & Social

Grace’s 3rd Birthday Unicorn Party

12th August, 2019

Ever since Sophia had her fifth birthday Grace has been so badly wanting her own party. So when her 3rd birthday finally rolled around we got to planning her unicorn themed celebration!

We decided to host it at my parents’ farm again as there’s plenty of space to run around and there’s loads of ways to keep kids entertained. We had pony rides for the kids and a jumping castle and a birthday fairy so we ensured that Grace’s friends were always occupied with different activities. I think that’s always the key to hosting any kids’ party—plenty of entertainment!

We incorporated lots of colour throughout the day in keeping with the unicorn theme. We had colourful cupcakes, a unicorn cake with sprinkles and balloons and bunting in different colours. I think as with most birthday parties though, the cake (complete with unicorn topper) stole the show.

When it comes to food we always like to keep it simple. We had a sausage sizzle lunch and cheese and fruit platters for the kids and adults. There were also a few treats for the little ones like fairy bread and some lollies.

It was a lovely family day and it was nice for Grace to be able to spend it with so many of her friends. It’s safe to say the unicorn theme was a raging success and Grace had a thoroughly magical day.

The suppliers we used:

Photography: Amanda Wood

Cupcakes: My Little Cupcake

Cake: Birthday Fairy

Entertainment: Birthday Fairy

Balloons: Highlands Helium Balloons

Jumping Castle: Birthday Fairy

Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social

How to get back into exercise when you’re a busy mum

15th July, 2019

Personal trainer and founder of Fit Mamma, Jack Seymour knows that once you’re a mum, it can be tricky to get back into an exercise routine, having witnessed it first hand when his wife had their daughter. So he sought to remedy it by founding a gym that specifically catered to mums — and Fit Mamma was born! Understanding the unique needs of mums when it comes to establishing and maintain a training program is Jack’s forte so I thought who better to offer expert tips on getting back into a fitness regimen than him? Here he shares his tips for introducing exercise back into your life post-baby.

Get the all clear

“Most mums tend to get the ‘return to exercise’ clearance from their GP or obstetrician. While we highly recommend that these health professionals give you the green light, we also recommend all new mums see a female physio specialist for a post-natal screening. This is where you may benefit from identifying deeper (potentially harmful) physical problems caused from pregnancy or birth, regardless of whether or not you are planning on exercising. Generally, the screening consists of a thorough examination of your pelvic floor and an ultrasound to determine how much separation you have, how well your transverse abdominals are firing, and general harmony throughout your trunk area. If anything needs attention then your physio is there to lead you back to physical greatness.”

Make it a part of your day

“Simply getting out of the house and going for a brisk pram walk for up to 60 minutes is a great start. It’s also great to clear the mind and get some fresh air. Alternatively, get into the habit of doing a quick 10-20 minute workout in your living room when bub is having one of their (many) naps. The shorter the better to begin with. This ensures you don’t overdo it, but more importantly it’s a time frame you can commit to. If you overcommit yourself (with all the other crazy things you’ve got going on), you’re more likely to stop (See below for a quick in-home workout that gets harder as you get fitter).”

Incorporate your baby into your exercise routine

“Brisk pram walks as I’ve already mentioned are great! If your bub is still light enough then you can incorporate them into most of your in-home workouts. Some exercises will require them to be sitting next to you, but they like to watch you do those silly up-down-repetitive things. You can have lots of fun with bub— squats, lunges, sit-ups, baby presses with bub are great. You can create a really nice routine with your bub and it’s a nice bonding process. If your little ones are on the go, get involved with them, get outdoors, grab a ball and have a run about.”

Take your time

“[One of the biggest mistakes I see mums making is] not listening to their body. Pushing too hard too soon. Wanting to jump back into exercise with the same vigour and intensity as they had pre-pregnancy. It is soooo important to take your time after pregnancy. In some cases, it can take the body up to 18 months to fully recover and get back to normalcy. Take it easy!”

Exercise with others

“Commit to working out with a bunch of mums from your mothers’ group. Commit to 2 days a week working out together. This might be on your own, with a trainer, at a gym, or better yet a post-natal specific class. But set the days and times. Organise lunch or coffee after the workout, thus making it easier to commit to.”

Try this workout at home

“Don’t work for reps. Work for the ‘burn’. Different levels of strength and fitness make specific rep counts ineffective. Some exercises are too easy – some, far too hard. When you start to fatigue and that burn kicks in, move onto the next exercise. For cardio stations simply do the set number of reps shown. Keep a nice controlled tempo, and great form. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, then seek some professional advice to ensure you don’t injure yourself.”

This workout is called The AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). Start with a 10 minute timer, increasing to 15 minutes, and finally 20 minutes, as fitness level improves.

Walk outs x 5

Push ups (full or on knees)

Hip thrusts

Plank (full or on knees)

Burpees x 5

Squats

Lunges

Supermans

Lateral Ski Jumps x 5/5

Crunches

Bench dips

Fashion

My favourite things to do/receive on Mother’s Day

3rd May, 2019

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to spoil your mum and show her just how much you appreciate her. In case you’re at a loss for what to get her this year, I’ve decided to share my favourite gift ideas — things I’ve got my own mum in the past and things I’ve received. These five things have always been a success on the gift front and I’m sure they’ll put a smile on your mum’s face too.

Spa Treatment

Image from Gillian Adams

You’d be hard pressed to find a frazzled, busy mum who wouldn’t welcome being gifted a relaxing massage. I’ve always been really excited to be given a massage as a present as it means I can have a little time to myself. Plus not only is it usually something that most mums wouldn’t regularly purchase for themselves but it’s a luxe way for them to unwind.

My fave: A warmstone massage from Gillan Adams, Turramurra

High Tea

Going to high tea is one of my favourite things to do, especially with my mum. I think it’s a lovely way to spend Mother’s Day and a great idea for a gift as you can enjoy a nice meal and spend some quality time together too.

My faves: Burnt Orange and Gunner’s Barracks, Mosman

Perfume

I have a weakness for beautiful fragrances so I’m always thrilled to receive a new addition to my perfume wardrobe. The great thing about being gifted perfume is that every time you wear it you’re reminded of the person who gave it to you. I’m sure any mum would be happy to receive a lovely new scent this Mother’s Day.

My faves: Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb and Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede

Books

I always enjoy looking for books to give to my mum and I myself love receiving new tomes to add to my collection. I’m a fan of biographies so I always gravitate towards that genre, and I’m particularly keen to read Michelle Obama’s book Becoming.

My faves: Becoming, Michelle Obama and The Audrey Hepburn Treasures

Personalised Gifts

Adding a personal touch to a present is always a guaranteed way to ensure any gift is a success. I think creating a crafty gift is always lovely when you’ve got younger kids, and they really enjoy making it too. And given we all have so many memories stored on our phones I think anything photo related is always such a beautiful present, especially these days when it’s so easy to print or create something special with just a few clicks on your mobile.

My faves:

Mini Mothers Day Kit, Hand in Hand Activity Kits

Image via Hand in Hand Activity Kits website

Picture Postie photo gifts

Picture Postie do great personalised photo gifts
Fashion, Shop

My go-to clothing brands for Sophia and Grace

17th April, 2019

Shopping for Sophia and Grace is without a doubt one of my favourite things to do due to the sheer cuteness of girls’ clothes out there. Bows! Ruffles! Florals! The selection of clothing with cute little details is virtually endless. The fashion game for kids clothing brands has definitely stepped up a lot in the last few years. Having shopped for everything from casual pieces to special occasion dresses these are my go-tos for clothes that I know will deliver in the style and quality department.

Sapling

I love this brand so much that when they approached me to do a collaboration I couldn’t resist. Sapling do beautiful organic baby clothes in super soft cotton and the prints are always very cute.

Country Road

The range at Country Road is always really sweet with lots of mini-me options of popular fashion trends for adults.

Seed Heritage

One of my favourite kids clothing brands in Australia. The prints and colours are always spot on and there are lots of neutral and pastel options which I am a big fan of.

Eeni Meeni Miini Moh

I love the gorgeous designs from Eeni Meeni Miini Moh. I often dress the girls in matching pieces – everything is super cute!

Cotton On Kids

You don’t have to spend a fortune on kids’ clothing. Cotton On Kids have an extensive range of basics to going out clothes that are at a reasonable price point. This is particularly great when you consider how quickly kids grow out of their clothing.

Bonds

My girls lived in onesies till they were walking so I stocked up on a lot of Bonds wondersuits. One of the best things about Bonds’ range of onesies is that they do up with a zipper rather than press studs or buttons, which as any parent trying to dress a wriggly baby can attest, is a godsend.

Goldie + Ace

This brand has really sweet styles and great prints. They do babies to kids clothes so it’s the kind of brand that can grow with your little one if you become a fan of their range.

Tutu du Monde

When its comes to dressing the girls for super special occasions such as birthdays I’ll splurge on dresses from Tutu du Monde. The intricate embellishments make them a little work of art.

Hubble + Duke

This brand does a clothing range but I particularly love their shoe collection. If you’re after kids footwear that’s a little bit different (think rose gold mary janes and millenial pink gumboots) Hubble + Duke is the brand to check out.

Campbell & Co

A friend of mine owns this brand and they do lovely cashmere sweaters for kids. It’s a splurge but definitely great quality.

Chloé and Amélie

From printed sets to pieces with oversized bows and ruffles this brand is heaven for girls’ clothing. A great selection for those who are after kids’ clothes that are a little more fashion forward.

Purebaby

This organic range of baby and toddler clothes is great as the designs are so on trend but are practical too—no fussy snaps or embellishments just really well made and designed clothes.

Tell me—what are your favourite kids clothing brands?

Fashion

International Women’s Day with Sophia and Grace

8th March, 2019

It’s International Women’s Day today and there couldn’t be a better time to say how proud I am to be raising two amazing little girls. Being a mum to Sophia and Grace is without a doubt the toughest, most rewarding and amazing job I’ll ever have and it comes first and foremost over everything else. Watching them at the age they are now, where they’re developing their own distinct personalities and becoming a little more independent each day, I’m looking forward to seeing how they are as grown women. My greatest hope is that they’re happy, strong, confident and ambitious and that they’re able to go after their dreams and achieve all they want.

I’m ever so hopeful of everything the future brings but I also know that being a woman can be tough at times whether it’s dealing with career, societal expectations or the pressures that come with being female. My hope is that Luke and I can instil in them the resilience and confidence to weather anything that life throws at them and that they’ll always know that we’re there no matter what.

I’m also thankful for the wonderful women who are there for my girls and for me. My family, especially my incredible mum and all my smart, successful, kind and loving friends form the support network that allows me to not only achieve in my own life, but to be the best role model and mother I can be to my daughters.

So to all the wonderful women out there Happy International Women’s Day. Here’s to strong women: may we know them, may we be them and may we raise them.

Lifestyle

How to get your kids to eat more vegetables

5th September, 2018

Finding ways to get kids to eat vegetables is a constant challenge for most parents. I know it’s something that we have to deal with in our household on a daily basis, and finding new and creative ways to make vegetables appealing can become an impossible task at times. This is why I’ve enlisted the help of paediatric nutritionist and founder of Wholesome Child Mandy Sacher, who shared her great insights on kids nutrition on the blog a few weeks ago. Here she shares her tips on how to deal with a child who isn’t really big on vegetables, and how to make it a process that’s less stressful and more fun.

Create a “rainbow” plate

“Many children I see are repetitive vegetable eaters—meaning that they eat the same limited range each and every week. Whilst all vegetables are beneficial, the ultimate goal is to eat a diverse range of colours and groups to get the maximum benefit. We all eat with our eyes first, so it makes sense to engage your child visually when encouraging them to eat more variety. Encourage your little one to create their own rainbow plate, it’ll engage their imagination and will lead to a nibble or two!”

Include one new veggie a week—and lead by example

“There’s often a strong connection between children who eat the same vegetables each week and parents who do the same. Through parents expanding their own repertoire, children will have an opportunity to see and taste a variety—and watch their parents enjoying the broader range, too!  Try salad veggies, cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and brussels sprouts, and starchy vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potato.”

Don’t forget beans and legumes

“Beans and legumes are our most nutritious plant foods. Rich in proteins, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, fibre, minerals and phytochemicals. Hummus, lentil soup, bean stews and chickpea falafels are a fantastic way to introduce legumes to your child. Try kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, adzuki beans, chickpeas and lentils. For canned varieties, look for BPA-free cans wherever possible and rinse well beforehand to reduce sodium levels.”

Include sea vegetables

“Due to its high calcium content, seaweed strengthens bones and teeth. It’s also high in iron, has antimicrobial properties and is a good source of essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre which helps prevent constipation.

Nori, rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 and C as well as iodine also contains protein. Use it for sushi, shred it over salad or create veggie-filled seaweed wraps filled with julienned carrots, cucumber, shredded chicken (or protein of choice) and avocado. If your child likes the seaweed snack packs that are commonly found in supermarkets, seek out varieties that are free from additives such as MSG or added sugar.”

Remember to use fresh herbs and spices 

“Basil is packed with essential oils which are known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Use in tomato-based pasta sauces, sprinkle on pizza and mix into rissoles. 

Mint soothes upset tummies and improves digestion. Chill mint tea with a dash of raw honey or add fresh mint leaves and orange slices to water and serve in place of juice. 

Oregano is often used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and urinary tract disorders.  Add to chicken, lamb or beef dishes. 

Parsley is rich in many vital vitamins and keeps the immune system strong, tones the bones and heals the nervous system.  It also helps to flush excess fluid from the body and support kidney function.  Add to smoothies, chicken soup and pasta sauces.

Spices – as well as adding flavour, spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are packed with nutrients too. Add turmeric and ginger to chicken soup, sprinkle turmeric on cauliflower and add cinnamon to pumpkin and butternut squash.”

Create a veggie patch

“Children love planting seeds, watching them grow, and eventually harvesting what they have planted. It’s the best way to help them make the association between earth to plate, and to engage their curiosity about different varieties of vegetables. If outdoor space is limited, start off with herbs such as basil or oregano, or better yet get involved with a community garden.”

Shop for and cook vegetables together

Encourage your children to touch, smell and engage with their food.  Let them help with grocery shopping and encourage them to pick up new vegetables from the shelves and place them in the trolley themselves – this begins the engagement with the new food.

Little ones tend to be more willing to eat what they’ve helped to prepare and it’s important for them to be exposed to vegetables in their raw state and to understand how the texture and look of a vegetable changes when it’s cooked. Get them involved by asking them to peel carrots and potatoes (using kid-friendly graters), cutting lettuce with a plastic knife or adding grated vegetables to muffin batter.

It’s important for parents to be patient and to recognise that change is often slow with children.  Don’t be disappointed if they don’t eat the new vegetable or food the first time it’s offered – stay positive and freeze what’s not eaten and offer it again – persistent repetition is key here.”

What are some creative ways you’ve used to encourage your kids to eat more vegetables?