Browsing Tag

motherhood

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

Reader Question: How do you deal with jet lag and colds when travelling with kids?

29th August, 2018

I absolutely love hearing from all of my readers especially when it comes to receiving questions whether they be about fashion or parenting or just a beauty question that you’ve been dying to know the answer to. I received the below question from Elizabeth in the comments section of this particular blog post about travelling and I was excited to see it as it’s a topic that I’m sure other parents out there can relate to (especially if you’re about to go overseas on a family trip). If you ever want to submit a question for my reader Q&A don’t forget that you can do so by leaving a comment, contacting me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

“I see you travel a lot with kids – how do you keep them away from catching a cold on the plane and also what are you tricks for jet lag?” – Elizabeth

We all know that planes are absolutely full of germs and my kids have been known to catch a cold on them in the past so I now try and do as much as I can to stop it.

The first thing I do is around two weeks before we go away I give the girls probiotics. I use the powder form and just pop it in a drink for them. Alternatively you can also buy chewy gummy ones if your kids would prefer a lolly to a drink. I continue this ritual during and after travelling to help boost their immune system as much as possible.

When we’re actually in transit I am quite militant about using hand sanitiser on the plane and also washing the girls’ hands regularly. You just never know what they’ve touched so I prefer to err on the side of caution and just keep their hands as clean as possible. Also I tend to rug them up as planes can get chilly and I make sure to give them lots of fluids.

In terms of jet lag (which can be quite torturous when you’re travelling with children!), I just try and get them into the local time zone as quickly as possible so we can get them back into their regular routine as soon we can (with an hour or two leeway). This sometimes means that I will need to wake them up when they are still tired but I have found they always bounce back pretty quickly. There’s always going to be an adjustment period but if you get onto it straight away they’ll generally be on local time before you know it. And of course, you start the process all over again when you get home.

Travelling with kids is admittedly a lot trickier than when you’re sans children but it’s all so worth it when you think of all the happy memories you create while you’re away.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Just pop it in the comments section below and I’ll answer it soon.
Fashion, Lifestyle

The toddler essentials I can’t live without

18th July, 2018

Once we graduated from the baby stage into the toddler phase with Sophia, all of a sudden we had a whole new set of concerns to contend with. From wanting to jump out of bed a little too early to toilet training, she was all of a sudden in a new stage of independence that saw us having to adjust accordingly. We slowly discovered some handy gadgets and additions into our home that made things a little easier. Now Grace is about to enter into the same phase, we’re going back to these tried and tested favourites to help us once again. If you’ve got a little one that’s around the same age I highly recommend checking out the below. I always love it when other mums recommend things to me that they’ve found successful with their own kids so hopefully there’s something in the mix that might help you out too!

 

Sam the Sheep clock

This was a lifesaver with Sophia and I’m about to use it with Grace. It really helped Sophia as often she would wake up early and not know what time it was and just automatically get up even if it was 5am. But with the Sam the sheep clock, if the sheep was still asleep she would know that it was still bed time and would usually resettle herself. I’ll often still use the clock with Sophia if we’ve been overseas and she’s a bit jetlagged and is waking up too early or if she’s just a little out of her routine and I need to reset her wake times.

Image via Pillow Talk

Brolly sheets

When Sophia was being toilet trained these were super helpful with overnight sleep and any potential accidents. You just lay them across the bed (like a towel) so if there is an accident through the night you could quickly rip off the top layer and not have to change a full bed.

I still use them if either child has a vomiting bug as they can be used the same way and it means I don’t have to fully disturb them and remake the whole bed. I will definitely be using them again when Grace is ready to be toilet trained.

The Original Learning Tower

Grace is using this now and it’s such a great addition to our kitchen. It’s a little step that allows her to climb up so she’s at bench level and can be part of the action. Whether she uses the bench space for snack time or play time, she can just climb up whenever she wants. It’s adjustable too so she’ll be able to use this little step till she’s six. This is especially great if you love having your kids get involved in cooking or baking.

Image via Target Australia

Bed rails

It can be a big adjustment going from a cot to a big bed and I found these to be a great way to ease a little one into the transition. Grace is still in her cot but Sophia used these when transitioning into a bed and it made her feel safe and secure so we will be getting them out again when the time comes.

Tell me—what are some of your toddler essentials?

Lifestyle

15 of my fave children’s books to read to Sophia and Grace

4th July, 2018

My kids love books—especially Grace who can’t get enough of them. We’ve always read to our girls from a young age and storytime is always one of the highlights of our day. There are so many brilliant kids’ books out there and whilst we always try to read a range to Sophia and Grace, we’ve definitely got a firm list of favourites that we turn to time and time again. The girls are at a great stage now where Grace is at the age where she’s enjoying the same books as Sophia so this makes bedtime reading even more fun as we can do it together, and both of them are engaged.

So what books do we like reading? Well, I’m sure a lot of parents will agree with this but a rhyming story is always a hit. My girls love them. It’s also quite fun to read them as well so it’s a win-win situation. However generally anything with animals, beautiful illustrations or just a really great fun story is always a favourite in our home.

At the moment there’s currently a rotation of about 15 books that will always get pulled out a bedtime. In fact we read them so much I’ll probably be able to recite every word without looking pretty soon! It’s always such a beautiful ritual to end the day by reading to Sophia and Grace and it’s something that I hope will continue for many more years to come. If you’re currently looking for a new storytime read, I highly recommend the following books, which have mine and my kids’ tick of approval.

Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess

This is currently Sophia’s favourite book. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is fantastic with a great lesson.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

This is one of the best rhyming stories for kids, full stop. It’s a clever story about a crafty mouse outsmarting a snake, a fox and an owl along with the Gruffalo himself. It’s an enjoyable read for the whole family.

What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

The author Julia Donaldson can always be called upon for a great kids’ read. This is about a ladybird outsmarting robbers with the help of her farmyard friends. And hey, there’s glitter on every page so it’s a definite crowd pleaser.

Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim

This story has a great lesson about staying true to yourself and is especially great if you’ve got kids going through a princess phase as Princess Penelope Pineapple is not your typical damsel in distress. She’s intelligent, adventurous, driven and is a great role model. Oh and the story rhymes so double thumbs up!

Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

Anything unicorn-related is always a hit with my girls and this one is about a little rocking horse who has his wish granted to become a real horse. However he realises that maybe his old life wasn’t so bad after all…

Belle & Boo and the Goodnight Kiss by Mandy Sutcliffe

This is a great read at bedtime because the it follows Belle, a little girl and her bunny friend, Boo as they go through their night routine from bath to story and goodnight kiss, so it resonates well with young kids.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Another great rhyming tale by the pair behind The Gruffalo. This one is about a witch and the adventures she has with all her animal friends in the forest, with a great message about friendship.

I Don’t Want to Eat My Dinner by David Cornish

If you’re currently experiencing issues with your little ones eating their meals at night (or any other time of day for that matter) then this book is a must-read. It’s all about a young boy named Rollo who manages to make dinner time one of the most exciting times of the day.

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

This a funny read, with great illustrations and a really engaging character—what kid doesn’t love a dog? It’s one of those books that both adults and kids will enjoy.

The Very Ordinary Caterpillar by Garry Fleming

Set in the Australian bush, a little caterpillar is surrounded by so many interesting animals and plant life that he realises how ordinary he is. However he soon spins himself a cocoon and well, you know what happens next!

Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field

A funny rhyming story about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit. The illustrations are also great so this book will definitely incite a giggle or two.

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

Written by the author of Pig the Pug this is about a little unicorn who yearns for a more glamorous life but soon discovers that her old life and who she was minus all the glitter and sparkle is exactly where she wants to be.

The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty by Beatrice Alemagna

This book is about a little girl trying to track down the perfect present for her mum. The colourful illustrations are a favourite with my girls.

Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

This book is a good one to read before bedtime as it culminates in finding a (spoiler alert!) sleeping green sheep. It’s one of Grace’s current faves.

My Zoo by Rod Campbell

Grace is into any books with animals and this one is a great, with lots of cute illustrations. This a good one to read when your child is going through the phase of learning about different animals.

Lifestyle

How a little me time makes me a better mum

16th November, 2017

The first lesson you quickly learn when you become a mum is that me time is quickly replaced by everything else on your very lengthy to-do list. Those precious moments where you can have a little time to yourself are a rarity, but when they do come around I find that it always leads to feeling ready to tackle the craziness of motherhood with a little more energy in your reserves.

I think me time doesn’t always have to involve lengthy periods of time away from the kids; I’d classify it as anything from five minutes to enjoy a shower in peace to finishing a cup of coffee before it gets cold or being able to watch something on television that does not involve Peppa Pig! I’m in the extremely fortunate position that every so often my work involves having to do things like get my hair done or have a manicure in preparation for a shoot or big event and this allows me to marry work and down time. I’m unbelievably grateful for this every single day!

The one thing that does allow me to clear my head each week is the few hours I am able to get away to my office and just power through emails and life admin. I know it’s not technically me time but for me it gives me the same feeling of rejuvenation as I am able to be 100 per cent productive, and at the end of it I can shut my laptop and return to my girls, ready to give them my complete attention. That said, nothing beats being able to enjoy a night out with my girlfriends or simply relaxing at home. I find all these things are able to help me recharge my batteries and allow me to keep up with Sophia and Grace and be the best mum I can be.

Hopefully as the girls get older there will be a few more opportunities for a little me time but for now I am trying to make the most of the time I do get and enjoy it a little more.

Tell me—when you do get the opportunity for a little me time what do you enjoy doing?