Browsing Tag

motherhood

Fashion

Mother-daughter date ideas for your next special day out

17th February, 2020

One of my favourite things about having daughters is the special dates we have together. Now that Sophia and Grace are a little older, it’s great to be able to take them on outings and spend some quality time together. We do so many different things whether it’s going to the park or watching a show. It’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy some one-on-one time, and I look forward to having many more of them to come. If you’re looking for ideas for your next date with your little girl, here are a few of my suggestions…

Watch a performance

We started out with The Wiggles (the girls are diehard Emma fans) and we have now progressed onto watching slightly older shows such as the ballet (we saw The Nutcracker before Christmas). The girls really enjoy it as we make an occasion out of it, where we get all dressed up and grab a meal together. It’s so much fun for all of us, and I hope it’s a tradition we can continue in the future.

Go on a picnic

Picnics are great as they’re generally really easy to organise and aren’t super expensive so you can schedule them a little more regularly. Pack a basket of treats with the help of your little one and head outdoors (you can stay as close as your backyard or as far as your favourite park) and enjoy the sunshine.

Enjoy high tea

The girls and I have been lucky enough to go to high tea together a few times and the three of us always have a fantastic time. The girls love all the dainty treats and I enjoy spending time with them. There are a few kid themed high teas around (everything from Alice in Wonderland to Claris the Mouse) so check your local area for one that suits.

Have a pamper session

Who doesn’t love a pamper session? You can either go out and get a mani together for a truly special treat or if you want to keep it low key just set up your own salon in the living room. Do each other’s nails, experiment with fun hairstyles, even throw in a face mask or two!

Go to the movies

There are generally always great kids’ movies at the cinemas so why not book yourself in for a film and popcorn session? It’s an exciting outing at any age and is easy to organise. This is also another one that you can do at home quite easily. Cosy up in your pjs, snuggle up on the couch with some snacks and let her pick the movie she wants to watch.

Make their favourite dish

The girls really enjoy baking so we have whipped up cupcakes a time or two which they both love. This is a great one to do together as you can chat as you cook. Have them choose what they’d like to make and take trip to the supermarket to get all the ingredients then come home and cook up a storm.

Sign up for an art class

Whether it’s painting or pottery, there are so many different ways to get your art on with kids. It’s also nice to have a memento from the day to take home and display.

Visit a local museum

You’re never too young to enjoy a trip to the museum. Whether it’s art, history, animals and more, it’s always a great experience to visit a museum, plus it helps make learning just that little bit more interactive and fun.

Go on a day trip

If you want to spend the entire day out and about it’s always fun to jump in the car and explore a new town. The girls and I often drive to my parents’ home a few hours of out Sydney so they’re big fans of a road trip. You can have some great conversations in the car, and have a great time exploring.

Book in a beach day

The girls are water babies and love spending time at the beach so this is one of the ways we love hanging out together. It’s the perfect thing to do during the week when it’s quiet as the beaches aren’t so crowded so if you do find yourself at home on a weekday, definitely schedule this in. Make a day of it and enjoy a meal of fish and chips to cap off a great day.

Fashion

Breastfeeding-friendly clothes to help make feeds stylish and easy

14th February, 2020
Finding clothes that looked great but weren’t too fussy was important to me when I was breastfeeding the girls

Anyone who has ever gone through the newborn stage and had to deal with endless feeds throughout the day knows that finding clothes that are really easy to breastfeed in is crucial. You don’t want to be dealing with complicated snaps or multiple straps when you’ve got a crying baby in your arms. And no matter how long you choose to breastfeed for, it all adds up to a lot of times spent trying to get yourself in and out of clothing.

For me, I lived in Bonds when the girls were babies as I found their feeding singlets to be really comfortable. While comfort and simplicity is key, I also know that it’s nice to look and feel great in what you’re wearing, particularly as you start easing out of the pregnancy phase and begin finding your way back to the land of post-partum wear.

When it comes to feeding clothes anything that can be undone with buttons, pulled aside or has ties that can be unravelled easily are all perfect. Luckily there are now plenty of brands who are servicing the needs of breastfeeding mums everywhere by producing clothes that not look great but are practical too. So whether you’re expecting, in the throes of having a newborn or have been feeding for awhile but just want to invest in a few new pieces, here’s a great place to start.

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?