Browsing Tag

parenting

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

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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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Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social

Sophia and Grace interview Luke for Father’s Day

1st September, 2019
Best. Dad. Ever.

One of the most wonderful things about my husband, Luke is that he is an incredible father. From the moment he became a dad he’s been nothing but the most loving, encouraging, fun and caring presence in Grace and Sophia’s lives. They simply adore him. One of the many great qualities that Luke has as a father is that he’ll do anything to put a smile on the girls’ faces. From playing silly games to throwing himself wholeheartedly into playing ballerina with them or spending time splashing about at the beach, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for the kids. We always love spending quality time with Luke on Father’s Day but this year, I thought I’d give our kids the chance to have a fun D&M of sorts. Given how close they are to their dad, I thought I’d give Sophia and Grace the opportunity to talk all things fatherhood with him. And here’s the heartwarming result…

What do you like about being a dad? 

So many things – but watching you both grow to be strong and confident makes me happy.

How did you feel when we were born?

The love and bond is overwhelming.

What’s your favourite activity for us to do together?

Any type of playing that generally turns into you both generally jumping on my back and tackling me to the ground.

What’s one thing you’d really like to teach us?

Not sure I can teach happiness – but to give you the tools not to sweat the small stuff.

There’s always room for having fun when it comes to Luke and the girls

What do you hope for us in the future?

Have a full life of adventure and happiness.

What’s one thing we do that makes you smile?

When you both cuddle each other. 

What’s your idea of the perfect Father’s Day?

Definitely to be spoiled by my three girls.

What’s something that you’re proud of when it comes to the two of us?

Your both sincere and care for one another.

Daddy’s Little Girl

What’s your happiest memory of us?

I’m sure it’s yet to come – but spending time down the beach, on holidays or at the farm watching you both enjoying the freedom of the outdoors.

What’s one thing you can’t wait to do with us?

Travel adventures as a family. 

Lifestyle & Social, Shop

My favourite children’s cookbooks

13th June, 2019

Cooking is an activity that Sophia and Grace really enjoying helping with. We baked a cake for Sophia’s birthday a few weeks ago and with the girls helping out with little things like stirring the batter and cracking the eggs into the mixture. This is why I’m always out on the look out for cookbooks that contain recipes that are not only kid-friendly but something they can easily assist with. There are so many books available out there but these are the books I really rate for their easy to follow recipes that are tasty and guaranteed to please even the fussiest eater.

Mandy Sacher is a paediatric nutritionist and definitely knows a thing or two about recipes that are easy, but also jam packed with nutrients to satisfy any growing child’s needs. I love the fact that this turns familiar kid favourites such as muffins and mac and cheese and gives it a healthy spin. Also she’s got plenty of dishes that are ideal for fussy eaters and also perfect for meals for the entire family.

Firstly, if you don’t have a Thermomix, this book is also available in a version that uses conventional cooking. But if you do, this is a great one to have on hand. Louise Fulton Keats hails from one of Australia’s most well known cooking families with her grandmother Margaret Fulton a cooking icon. As a qualified childhood nutritionist, Louise has pulled together a collection of recipes that are perfect for both toddlers and babies, and also super easy, so busy parents will definitely find it a handy tome to refer to whenever they’re stuck for what to cook.

Donna Hay is without a doubt one of Australia’s most well known names in cooking and now she’s turned her hand at writing a cookbook that’s made entirely for kids. What I liked about this book is that all the recipes are easy to follow and also something that the girls and I can cook together. I’ve referred to a Donna Hay recipe or two in the past and this book delivers the same style she has adopted for her other cookbooks: accessible, appetising and with dishes that you’ll come back to time and again.

Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social

Sophia’s 5th Birthday

29th May, 2019

It only seemed like yesterday that Sophia was born so it’s hard to imagine my little angel is now five! To mark such a milestone occasion we threw a party for Sophia at my parents’ farm in the Southern Highlands in NSW. We always like to host parties there as there’s plenty of room for the kids to play and run around.

This year the theme was pretty much what every five year old girl I know is into: Disney Princess! I love a themed party as it makes everything else easier from the cake to the entertainment as there’s a distinct theme to work around.

For food, we did a sausage sizzle which is something we’ve done a couple of times that works really well for feeding both adults and kids. That’s my number one piece of advice when throwing a kids’ party: don’t double cater. We also had a few fruit and cheese platters and sandwiches, whilst the kids had a few treats like popcorn and lollies. We had a Disney Princess cake by Sweet Mama Cupcakes and cupcakes by My Little Cupcake.

As far as entertainment went we had pony rides for the kids (always a crowd pleaser!) and a jumping castle. I also always hire a birthday fairy to help keep the kids entertained and in the one spot. The kids love it but as a parent it’s always good to know that all the little ones aren’t running off doing their own thing.

We had gorgeous weather for the party so it was a perfect day for Sophia to celebrate with all her friends. Until next year’s party!

Luke and I with the girls
Grace enjoying the cake
The birthday girl getting ready to blow her candles
Sophia with the Birthday Fairy
Princess pinata!
Enjoying the yummy cupcakes
Playing games
Princesses and pony rides!
The princess themed jumping castle
Sophia’s princess cake up close
The kids had a ball
Party details

Entertainment: Princess Belle by Birthday Fairy 

Jumping Castle: Princess Carriage Combo by Castle Kingdom

Cake: Custom made by Sweet Mama Cakes

Balloons: Highlands Helium Balloons

Cupcakes: My Little Cupcake

Fashion

Planning a stress-free kids’ birthday party

2nd May, 2019

Every year I’m faced with planning a birthday party for Sophia and Grace’s birthdays. And as any parent who has planned a birthday party of any sort can attest it can be a stressful experience trying to pull an event together for several children. To avoid stressing myself out every year I’ve managed to hone my party planning down into a simple strategy that will enable me to get a party off the ground without too much drama. Here are some of my tips.

Keep it simple

I’m not one to throw a huge party. Often the girls’ parties will include just close family and friends so it’s a manageable guest list. Also we will streamline things so we’re not dealing with a lot of decorating or multiple activities or an over the top menu that will require hours to be spent in the kitchen.

Have a theme

I’ve found theming a party to be a great way to provide some parameters to work within for the party. So I’ll often have a particular theme and then just base any decorations, activities and food around it. I’ve found this makes it easier as without it, there are just far too many options which can be stressful in itself.

Incorporate some entertainment

Having some form of entertainment for the kids is crucial for keeping them happy and occupied. In the past we’ve had games and I’ve hired a birthday fairy who does everything from singing songs to providing activities at the girls’ parties. If you can hire someone or have a friend or relative who you can rope in to entertain the kids, definitely do it as you don’t have to worry about what the kids are doing and where they’re running off to on the day.

Go online

I pre-prep everything and tend to buy all the groceries I’ll need to cater online. This way it just shows up on my doorstep and I don’t have to deal with the supermarket on top of everything else. I’ve also found that buying everything else online like party supplies and decorations is great as it means I don’t have to hit the shops and therefore it cuts down the time I have to spend on party prep.

Don’t get fussy with the menu

Try not to double cater if you can and just have one menu for both adults and kids. I avoid anything fancy and just stick to finger foods or we’ve had a BBQ in the past. This gets around having to spend a ton of time in the kitchen and more time just enjoying the party with your little one.

What are some of your tips for throwing a kids’ party?

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.

Fashion

Back-to-school essentials for pre-schoolers

24th January, 2019

It’s hard to believe that this year will be Sophia’s last year of pre-school before she heads to big school next year. So this year I’m enjoying shopping for all her pre-school essentials, before we get into things like books and uniforms next year. If you’re gearing up to get the kids back to pre-school or daycare, here are a few things that I’ve found handy.

Stuck On You lunchbox

I’m all for a timesaver and this cute little bento box style lunchbox is amazing because it means I don’t have to wrap everything separately. I just pop everything into its designated compartment and I’m done. This range also comes in personalised designs so if you want to get your little one involved with the back-to-school process, perhaps you could get them to help choose a design.

Camelback drink bottle

I’m a fan of this drink bottle because of the non-spill element. They also come in a range of cute designs and is great for kids ready to graduate from a sippy cup.

Pixie’s Bows

I enjoy getting Sophia dressed up for pre-school and often put bows in her hair but as she’s so active my main issue is keeping them in place. The range from Pixie’s Bows have a clip that holds in place well, plus they come in an array of colours if you want to suit any uniform requirements.

Personalised clothing labels

These labels are customisable and a great way to label any clothing. I like the fact that they’re easy to use as you just iron them on and you’re done.

Faber-Castel Junior coloured pencils

For kids who are just learning to use pencils these are great. I’ve found these are perfect for my 4-year-old and 2-year-old as the triangle shape helps them to hold the pencil in the right position.

Tell me—what are some of your back-to-school essential recommendations whether it’s for pre-school or big school?