Friday, 25 October 2013

Some Christmas Shopping Favourites for under $100!...and perfect for Posting!

Can you believe that Christmas is all of a few months away?

This time of year always flies past and next thing you know its mid december, stinking hot, Im cranky because I can't find a carpark and trying to juggle Christmas shopping with children.

Hello late night internet shopping! My saviour......

So in the lead up to the weekend (and Christmas!!) I have bundled together some gifts that I have found and earmarked. They are particularly ideal for posting - all being lightweight and small.

I hope to share a few more posts with some more ideas, including some home made options too in the next month.

Natalia Kaftan (Fushia Hearts) from Peggy
How gorgeous is this Kaftan shirt??? I wish they had one in my size!
A gorgeous addition to any little girls wardrobe for spring, summer and autumn!

A sentence a Day Journal from Kiki K
I have always loved the idea of a Gratitude Journal, but reality is, over the course of a year I would repeat what Im grateful for quite a few times! Bit boring...
A Sentence A Day Journal does require a daily entry, but what I love about it is that each entry can be about whatever you want. Great for anyone who loves to jot down ideas, thoughts, inspirations and recording memories. And being a sentence gives you no excuse not to complete this daily task. It has space for three years so my thoughts were I would write a sentence for each child for one year. A sentence which highlights something they did or said which made my heart melt. 

Red Audrey Wallet from Status Anxiety
I just love this wallet and when my current one finally needs replacing, this is the one I would happily take home! If my husband reads this....hint hint xx

2014 Desk Calender from Anrol Designs
Looking for a fun gift under $15 for someone with a quirky sense of humour?
These make me laugh out loud, cross my legs (!!) and grip my tummy!
I have noticed they can be found on a few websites and cost about $20, so best to buy direct from the Anrol Designs website as they are about $15. Just a tip!
They also have a great range of cards and tea towels.

Chevron Letterpressed Christmas Cards from Misiu
Who loves divine Christmas cards?
Cant beat these gorgeous letterpressed ones for that super special gift!

Barr-Co Soap available from Tabletonic
Another stocking filling or party kris kringle gift that is
 inexpensive yet oozes luxury and happy thoughts!

Blue pompom Clutch available from Tabletonic 
A fun and inexpensive clutch (or make up bag) for a girlfriend or sister who loves a bit of Boho and colour!

I am a huge fan of these turkish cotton towels. Super summery, available in a beautiful range of colours (deciding which colour is very hard!!!) and not only are they the perfect accessory poolside or at the beach they make great sarongs, baby wraps, bed throws, bathroom hand towels and table cloths. 
They are also perfect for that beach holiday which requires travelling and limited space- 
they are lightweight and compact!
Shop around for other sites- I found mine on Temple & Webster. They were reduced quite a bit and Ive noticed they have relisted the sale a few times so worth joining up (if not already a member) and keeping eyes open!

Attention fellow Instagrammers-
A fun gift to post to loved ones far away (or near) are these great magnets 
made from photos from your instagram collection.
Its a nice way to use those great snaps taken throughout the year 
and share them. Easy to order online. 
About $15 for nine magnets which are roughly the size of the pics on iPhone.
Perhaps use them to make some homemade Christmas cards!
Another fun instagram project are these posters made up of instagram images. 

Finally, one for the blokes! A great compact shoe buffing kit that takes up minimal space in the linen cupboard or in a suitcase. 
Check out Little Nest's online store for other great gift ideas!

Hope these few ideas have helped motivate and inspire that Christmas shopping list!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Hello....My name is Mummy and Im sleep deprived!

I wouldn't mind placing bets on the one thing all parents miss the most once joining the "Parenthood Club" is ........SLEEP! I can handle no longer enjoying a meal in solitude or taking at least 20 minutes to savour each bite, no longer having a private moment on the toilet or showering with an audience, listening to what I want to on the car radio,  nights out-especially the late boozy ones (its soooooo not worth it), getting dressed to go out and then discovering Im accessorised with bits of food (not a good look but Im now beyond caring), weekends away with my husband (alone), and relaxing holidays, quick and easy trips to supermarkets and well, you get my drift!

What I cant handle is not having enough sleep. Without it, I turn into the Super Dooper Mummy Monster!

Its funny when I look back almost four years ago, with my first growing bump, many women would comment about the upcoming joys of motherhood. Although very positive the one thing that almost all said was "enjoy your sleep now and rest up while you can because life will change when your little one arrives".

Yeah right.....I was too excited to sleep and rest, not too mention fat and uncomfortable and always needing to go to the toilet! All I wanted to do is meet our little bub. Im sure it couldn't be that bad.....

I used to be beable to party all night then go to work. If I could do it then, I can certainly do it now...Right.....????? Wrong- in fact, so wrong!

I would do absolutely anything for a full nights sleep- and Im not being fussy- by full night, I mean 6 hours in a row would be bliss!

We have been blessed with three very happy and healthy babies but all with varying sleep patterns. Each night my husband and I go to bed not knowing what the lies ahead. With three under three, we are lucky if we manage two hours sleep in one hit (4-5 in total). There have been nights when we haven't had any- actually, lots of those. Mainly because of that bizarre ability of children to just sense when their parents are heading to Bedfordshire and wake just as you lay your head on the pillow and close your eyes. Seriously, that happens to us EVERY night! These days bedtime for us grown ups is bet half eight to nine pm. My heaviest sleep is when I first crash....and then we wait in lala land for the first cry. Then the tag team begins.

Our eldest has always been a good sleeper, but has recently developed a habit of waking up in the middle of the night due to a bad dream, or seeing shadows. Mostly we can sort that one out quickly and won't see her again until morning. Hooray!

Our middle child has always been a bad sleeper. Somehow he didn't get that memo as he was entering the world on how to be kind to your parents and sleep when prompted. He has been known to scream for five hours straight. Its awful and heartbreaking to listen to, and also frustrating and can send you into complete madness. My husband & I lie deliriously talking to each other on how to best deal with the problem. Im lucky he is so supportive and we share those responsibilities. There is no way I could do it alone. Having that person there helps make more rational decisions about how to handle the situation.

Our last bub is a mix of her elder siblings. She is good at settling when put to bed but doesn't like sleeping longer then 3-4 hours at a time and doesn't like resettling herself. Thats a job only Mummy can do! So, at the ripe old age of one, she still wakes a few times a night for a feed. Not good, or necessary!

We know the solution is very simple- time for some tough loving! We have sought help from numerous sleep schools and spent hours on the internet trying to find the answers, but not much luck. We have tried control crying (now known as progressive sleeping) techniques, but its not so easy with three little kids. They all wake each other up. The three night habit rule doesn't apply to my two youngest....they could scream and cry for days! Ive felt my lowest after seeking help from 'experts' who are very good at telling you what you should do but not actually understanding your environment or children.

I think what I have learnt is that there is no real solution. Each child is different and each day brings you closer (hopefully) towards a good night sleep- for all! Our children are very close in age so we need to expect they are still learning good sleeping habits.

I lay beside my 2 year old boy the night before last (he has just been upgraded to a big boy bed and woke scared in the middle of the night). I cuddled him and held him close. I watched his little head bury into my neck and smelt that lovely baby smell. Doesn't matter how tired and angry you are, that bond with your children is priceless, as are these times when they are so little and dependent on you. I remind myself during those sleepless nights that we are thankfully all healthy and not awake sitting in a hospital with a very sick child, like so many parents. The bad habits we form like allowing them to sleep in our beds or cuddling them to sleep can easily be criticised from the outside, but you do what you can just to get through and stay sane. Its important to be surrounded by supportive family and friends- the ones that know you well. We are certainly guilty of doing lots of bad sleeping habits since experiencing no sleep even though we said we would never do any of those things. We do know better and what we have decided to do is prioritise which habit we need to squash one at a time.
From little things, big things grow x

So, my sleep deprived mummy friends, stay strong, drink lots of coffee and know that in time we will sleep again soon!

Have you cute but nocturnal children? 
How do you survive the days with children 
when feeling exhausted?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Choc Hazelnut Biscuits

I'm not usually one to buy biscuits at the supermarket. Actually, I lie..... I buy what some people might refer to as the boring ones, like Malt or scotch fingers. Personally I'm a tad partial to the odd malt or scotchy, but more so the reason I buy them is because the kids like them. They are easy to hand around when out and about, don't make a mess and well, because they look a smidge boring, I'm assuming they don't have a high sugar content! Which makes it okay to give to kids, right???

There does come a time though when we have friends or cousins arrive and I need to feed lots of kids. Its then time for a bake fest, and these Choc hazelnut biscuits are quick, easy and yummy!

You will need-
150g soft butter
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup SR flour
2/3 cup Plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup of choc chips and semi crushed hazelnuts

Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 deg Celsius.
Line a baking tray with some baking paper .
Cream the butter with both sugars and the vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat in well. Sift in the flours and cocoa then mix until well combined. 
Finally add the choc chips and nuts. Mix again until well combined.
Roll into small balls- about a teaspoon size- place on tray a few centimetres apart.
Flatten with a fork.
Bake for 10-12 mins.
Allow to cool and serve with a cup of milk!

If feeling a tad more indulgent, try making smaller biscuits and spreading some nutella on the base of one biscuit and sandwich together with another. An extra hit of choc-hazelnut!

Guaranteed to have HAPPY KIDS!!!

Have you a favourite biscuit recipe that 
your kids love to eat????

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Girls Room Makeover.....My Inspiration!

We have been in our new home for just a month and Im still unpacking boxes. Not many left, but Im at the point where Im feeling too unmotivated to finish the last few remaining!

And its hard to keep focused on the boring jobs when Im tempted by other fun things like decorating.
Ive been excited about finally putting together a room that is fun and pretty for our two girls. One being 3 years and the other just 1!

I had been eyeing off some wall decals for ages but just couldn't find anything I liked that I thought would suit both personalities and outlast the baby/toddler stage. Also, as we are renting, I needed something that will add some sparkle but not be a permanent feature.

Then I came across these lovely happy confetti spots on Etsy.
Look Sugar have a wonderful array of wall decals.

(Image from Etsy- Look Sugar)

 I took inspiration from this blog by Emily from The Beetle Shack.
How gorgeous are these spots? And the colours are so happy and fun for a little girl.

(Image from Beetleshack blog)

So my spots arrived last week.......

and I spent an hour or so 'confetti spotting' the girls wall. Lucky for me, confetti is easier to put on the wall and no measuring or painful marking out straight lines was required! It was actually fun playing with colours and placing them all over so they looked like they 
were just floating down from the ceiling.
The wall they were stuck too is actually a feature wall painted by the owners and its almost a dull brown/gold colour. Not that feminine really....but thankfully it goes well with pinks, teals and turquoises which are the colours I chose. I also picked a sunshine yellow, gold and light blue. I didnt actually use the blue in the end as I thought it didnt blend with the other colours plus its not a big area so I didnt want to add too many colours.

 So, now its time to style the room!
Ive found some lovely accessories which I think would suit the room, like this Large Rattan Pendant Light in pastel pink from The Family Love Tree. Lots of colours to choose from...too many in fact. All gorgeous!

Who can go past a colourful pom pom garland to hang 
from some picture frames or along the window frame?
I love these garlands from O.B. Designs.

Especially the berry tones....

The girls were each both given a lovely and very special piece of artwork from dear friends.  These paintings will be placed on the left hand wall opposite the window.
I would like to add some fun digital artwork that can be clustered together or sit on top of a dresser.
Such as these ones found again on Etsy.

I also need to find some floor covering and Im on the look out on Ebay for a second hand tall boy which I hope to paint....thinking pink, like this one I found on Pinterest.

I guess the overall feel of the room I hope to achieve is a room that the girls love being in there. Somewhere to display their special toys and gifts, and a place to retreat to and play with their dollhouse together. A pretty place but not too girly.

So, I best get busy and continue my mini mission of Girls Room Makeover! I also am working on our 2 year old son's room too.....which I hope to blog about as well.

Have you any budget makeover tips? 
Are you a Pinterest fan or gather inspiration from magazines?
Would love to hear your ideas.....

Monday, 21 October 2013

The week that was.....

The weeks are now just flying past. 
Hard to even contemplate that Christmas 
will be on our doorstop in just over 9 weeks time.

So, our week in a nutshell....

Started with raiding the garden and filling the house with colour and that delicious smell of spring.

Rummaging through my stash of fabric and deciding what to make......
A bedhead cover and some shirts and maybe dresses for the girls x

My confetti spots I ordered to decorate the girls room arrived...Hooray!

And so we got busy 'spotting' the wall....looks very pretty!

A trip to Albury with kids to visit Grandparents and get some other town jobs done.

Ended the week with a Chicken & eggplant Lasagna. Recipe taken from a new blog I came across this week - written by Catherine who lives in Melbourne. Nice change from the usual pork or beef version. I also came across a Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Quinoa Salad on Catherine's blog.....sounds delicious...

Until next time.....Take care x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Big Move!

So I've been off air the past month. Life has been very crazy. Out of nowhere my husband was offered a job and within 2 weeks we had packed up the three kids, two dogs and all our belongings, and moved to a country town a few hours away where we knew no-one. We left behind the security of family and friends and a town that we had set up everything we needed. Thankfully we didn't have to move far and the idea of moving to a place where we knew no-one also didn't scare us either. We are friendly folk and enjoy a social gathering so how hard can it be setting up a new life? I also think having kids is always a good friend magnet- parks, playgroups, pre school, supermarket trips, etc.... in fact within a week we had been put in touch with a friend's cousin who lives here and they invited us to 2 year old birthday party and now a local play group- YAY!

We found a gorgeous old house to rent in the centre of town. It has a big back yard and space for us all to race around. I still have lots of boxes to unpack- thats a gradual process that will take a bit- however, Im excited about filling it with our bits and bobs and turning it into our home.

The children are loving a big garden and its been so nice to enjoy the spring weather with them outside chasing butterflies and playing hide and seek.

I hope to get back into blogging and share my room by room make overs.
Lots to do and on a budget. As it is a rental property, we can't unfortunately get the paintbrush out and go paint crazy, but I think we can transform what we have into something very family friendly and homely.

Had to share the gorgeous magnolias from our front garden......

So- welcome to our new house and new start.....!!!
Lots to do so better go.....