Rippon Lea Memories

 
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 Wearing:  Isoki baby bag ,  Rollas  jeans, Swarovski bracelet similar  here ,  Oliver Bonas  hat similar  here ,  I Love Friday  top similar  here

Wearing: Isoki baby bagRollas jeans, Swarovski bracelet similar here, Oliver Bonas hat similar here, I Love Friday top similar here

Last week we went on an adventure to Rippon Lea Mansion. We love it here so much because we were married here waaay back in 2011! And now it's so nice to take the kids here. Remy is obviously too young to really care either way, but Austin goes bananas with all of the space; so many different pathways, hidden bridges and gardens tucked away waiting to be explored.

Austin was in charge of the map and despite not being able to read took his job verrry seriously. There was lots of 'reading' and telling us 'first step is to go here' with random pointing at the map. 

We weren't brave enough to take the kids through the house just yet - I'm sure Mr Austin could get up to a lot of mischief in there with so many intricate trinkets and roped off areas begging to be touched. We'll have to save that for a future visit ;)

And all of this walking down memory lane got me literally walking down memory lane, going through old wedding photos. Literally the best day of my life! So, I had to share some below. Beautiful wedding photography by John Warren at Warren Photography

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Mother's Day is not far away

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Last Mother's Day I was 39 weeks pregnant and ready to burst! It was exciting and daunting but mostly I was just so, so tired. We spent the day visiting all the family and wondering if we might get an early Mother's day present.... but nope! Little baby Remy held off and gave us the day to ourselves as a family of three. 

And now here we are almost one year later and Mother's Day is just around the corner (one month to be exact) and I've started the hinting process with plenty of time to go (haha, well I think I deserve something nice now that I'm a mama of two and don't we all know the hubby probably needs a month of hinting before he cottons on). First on my list was to start organising gifts for the nana and grandma - what better way to make an obvious hint that hubby will see, am I right?

I think I'm becoming a little obsessed with using customised goodies as gifts, they are always so thoughtful and special. We've organised a card and tote bag so far from Bright Star Kids. Both were completely customisable and thank goodness because we all know every granny/grandma/nana all want to be called something different!

I may also have got the "A Story About The Best Mum In The World Book" for myself and can I just say it was absolutely classic filling it out with Austin. This is actually going to be such a lovely little keepsake, and I probably should have got one for the nana's too because I know they would have thought it was so sweet! According to Austin I'm 'best at' playing with him and for work I 'buy stuff'. Hmmm, not sure about the second one kid! 

So, one month to go; looking forward to what this Mother's Day will hold. 

 

{Bright Star Kids items were gifted for review purposes}

7 'mum hacks' that my hubby taught me

So it turns out ‘mums way’ isn’t the only way to do things around the house (who would've thunk it, huh?). I know because I’ve been watching hubby around the home and he has shown me all these totally legitimate alternative ways of doing things. Mind blown. In fact I’ve been so impressed that I've been taking on some of his little tricks and they are making life pretty damn good. So if you are wondering what they are, here are the top seven for all you mamas and dads out there:

1. No TV screen in the car? No worries! Yep, hubby got me on to this sweet little trick – all you have to do is put the head rest up, wedge your phone in and get the youtube going! This little nugget has got us through many a long car trip, especially the last 20 minutes when nothing seems to work. (Oh, praise youtube). 

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2. I do heaps of batch cooking in our house, it just makes dinner time way more manageable and it especially makes Remy’s baby food quick and easy (I mean, who wants to be steaming and pureeing every few hours?). The only problem with this is when I over microwave some of the food (so easy to do when they are small portions) but you have a hungry child who needs to be fed immediately. So mostly I would just sit there and wait and hope that it cooled down really quick. But hubby knows the lay of the land and showed me that all you really need to do is 1) switch the food in to a new cold bowl, and 2) if you really want to speed up the process, put the food into a bigger bowl or plate. And voila the food cools down twice as fast! (Can I just say, this probably seems super dooper simple but not once did I think of it before I was shown). 

3. I overhear hubby doing this one all the time, in fact I’m pretty sure he does it every bedtime! Austin loves his bed time books but however many you read it is never enough. So every bed time even though hubby has full intentions of reading 3 books, he always says ‘last book’ before book number two – then when he ‘caves’ for one more Austin thinks he has won the book time battle! I wonder how old Austin will be when he cottons on to this little trick?

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4. As a general rule if the dishes are in the dishwasher they will be cleaned. That’s right. Get ready to get over your OCD because they don’t have to be in the right shelf, height order, rinsed or scrubbed before you put them in... yep, you heard correct! No re-stacking for the second time and you will still get sparkly clean dishes at the end. (In all truth sometimes there might be one dish that is not completely clean but I don't even care! I just leave it in there for another cycle. I know, I'm crazy right?). 

5. Pyjamas are nice but not necessary. If your child falls asleep earlier than expected, or is simply being fussy (or downright difficult) at bedtime, there really is no need to kill yourself trying to get the jammies on your toddler. Chances are they won’t even notice, or if they do they couldn’t care less.

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6. If your child is old enough to communicate and is not saying ‘I’m hot’ or ‘I’m cold’ or thirsty or hungry or anything else... it is perfectly fine to just let them be. They will let you know if they need something. (Yes, this also doubles as a personal note to self as I am forever checking in on the kids to see if they are 'ok').

7. Do things beyond your kids current abilities and push those boundaries. So often I see my hubby trying to do something with the kids that my immediate thought is ‘Stop! He can’t do that yet!’ and luckily I’ve bitten my tongue because some of these moments turn out to be the best! Throwing the kids in the air, playing wrestling games (like REALLY wrestling) and general craziness gets the BIGGEST laughs from them and I can honestly say the kids have the best time. Encouraging the kids to do things they can’t yet (when I might be hesitant to avoid it until they are ‘ready’ to prevent injuries or tears) has shock, horror, never ended in disaster. It’s just encouraged them and started them on their next little learning journey. Go dad!

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So, thanks for the learning curve Daddy-o, it seems sometimes the best mum hacks, were created by dads. 

Baby Bridge

 
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Outfit details: Dress from Kindred Souls, jacket Kookai - similar here, t-shirt Sportsgirl - similar here, belt Jolie & Deen available in store, bag The Wanderers Travel Co, silver shoes Tony Bianco - similar here.

So we had a wonderful morning out last weekend with baby Remy in the Docklands. Austin went to stay at Granny's house and I LOVE having the one on one time with Remy because it is so few and far between. We explored the Webb Bridge, which is so architecturally interesting but there were bike riders zooming past pretty much the whole time so we had to be super quick looking around. Though mind you, Remy found this pretty interesting. 

This beautiful dress was from Kindred Souls clothing worn two ways - one with a black t-shirt over for a casual look, and the other a going out look with a leather jacket. 

So in love with the silver foil print... yep, pretty sure this beautiful dress is going to be on repeat alll summer long!

 

 

 

Beach Escape

 
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We went up to Castaway Beach on the Sunshine coast over the Christmas break and it was SO lovely. Going away for a beach Christmas has to be the most aussie thing, am I right?

Somehow the very small time change (only one hour) and a very early sunrise meant that the kids woke up about two hours earlier than they normally would at home EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So we were VERY tired most of the time. Thank F for the pool, beach and fresh salty air because there is nothing like a dip in the water to wake you up properly (and we would have been walking around like the walking dead otherwise).

Castaway beach is a little secluded haven between Noosa and Coolum. We were lucky enough to go away with hubby's family who booked the house through Stayz. If you're after a holiday house for a family or group getaway they're great (think big, beautiful homes!). 

There really isn't much around at Castaway beach, except you know, a BEA-UTIFUL expanse of ocean, sand  and salty air. A quick drive either way gets you to shops and restaurants or if you're a super keen bean you could walk. We were not super keen beans, we were super lazy couch potatoes and basically never left the house. If we did, we absolutely drove, way too hard to lug the two kids on an epic walk. We rented a Nissan SUV through Hertz, complete with a toddler car seat and a baby car seat. It fit all of us, two suitcases and the Bugaboo Chameleon (yep, big!) easily. And I can now understand why people with multiple kids get an SUV!

And I am probably waaaay behind the times, but guess what, Virgin Australia has inflight wifi now! So if you download their Virgin Australia Entertainment app you can access all of their content on your phone (and yes, you probably won't get a chance to see any of it because your kids will be going nuts on all of the movies and cartoons). 

So sadly the holiday is now over and we are back to reality.  So what else to do... but start planning the next one.

A ROARING good xmas

 
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So, this is the first year we've done a proper christmas tree (I know, I've been such a slacker up till now). But living in small apartments and then overseas meant that I... well, I just didn't bother with the whole thing. But now we have the space, and a toddler who is SUPER excited for Christmas I knew it was time to bite the bullet and get on the festive wagon!

And number one on our list was to make dinosaur christmas tree decorations! We found quite a few blogs online that had done similar things which gave us a great starting point and then we tweaked a few things along the way to make it suit us :)

 The materials we used: cheap plastic dinosaurs, small screw hooks, white paint, gold spray paint and gold string.

The materials we used: cheap plastic dinosaurs, small screw hooks, white paint, gold spray paint and gold string.

 First thing we did was find some cheap plastic dinosaurs at the local $2 shop. Then we did 2 coats of white paint as a base. 

First thing we did was find some cheap plastic dinosaurs at the local $2 shop. Then we did 2 coats of white paint as a base. 

 Next step was to spray them gold. Having the white under as a base worked so well with gold, giving a bit of contrast and helping the shimmer to POP a bit more. (I also sprayed a heap of other things gold - yes I got a bit excited with the spraypaint lol - you can just see in frame some nuts and twigs I used to decorate presents).

Next step was to spray them gold. Having the white under as a base worked so well with gold, giving a bit of contrast and helping the shimmer to POP a bit more. (I also sprayed a heap of other things gold - yes I got a bit excited with the spraypaint lol - you can just see in frame some nuts and twigs I used to decorate presents).

 So most of the blogs I read suggested using a drill to drill a hole in the dinosaur for the screw. And in our (not so handy) household using a drill seemed like a bit of a task. If this isn't you, go ahead and drill away! Instead hubby just used the screw to poke a little hole in the dinosaur and screw it in. A lot easier for us than using a drill (when we would have no idea what we are doing!)

So most of the blogs I read suggested using a drill to drill a hole in the dinosaur for the screw. And in our (not so handy) household using a drill seemed like a bit of a task. If this isn't you, go ahead and drill away! Instead hubby just used the screw to poke a little hole in the dinosaur and screw it in. A lot easier for us than using a drill (when we would have no idea what we are doing!)

 Then all we did was add a gold string and voila - dinosaur decorations!

Then all we did was add a gold string and voila - dinosaur decorations!

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DIY gold dinosaur christmas tree decoration

All up it did take a bit of time to do all of the different stages to create the dinosaur christmas decorations BUT it was a lot of fun and Austin really enjoyed the process. We did quite a few other DIY decorations too (because who wants to spend a fortune when you have little hands ready to tug and pull at the tree?). I wouldn't say they are quite as fabulous as the dinosaurs but they fill the tree for now, and then my plan is to slowly add some more sentimental and special decorations each year (remember, I'm just a Christmas tree novice, ok? Gimme a bit of time). 

 We purchased this wooden garland from BIG W then cut it apart to make indiviual decoartions with each of the pieces. 

We purchased this wooden garland from BIG W then cut it apart to make indiviual decoartions with each of the pieces. 

 Here you can see a gold star (yep, more gold spray paint!). This is one of the pieces from the BIG W garland. Comes up alright, doesn't it? And we also got some rolls of ribbon and went nuts with tying bows all over the tree. Easy peasy!

Here you can see a gold star (yep, more gold spray paint!). This is one of the pieces from the BIG W garland. Comes up alright, doesn't it? And we also got some rolls of ribbon and went nuts with tying bows all over the tree. Easy peasy!

 And here is one of the pretty gold bows.

And here is one of the pretty gold bows.

Pretty happy with our first proper christmas tree! And even the more special because we all helped to create most of the decorations :) 

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Fresh summer hair - oh yeah!

 
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 Wearing:  Dress  by  Tobi , belt from  Zimmerman  - similar  here ,  Jord watch ,  Mimco  bag - similar  here  ,  Sachi  shoes - similar  here  and  Clinique Pop Glaze lipstick in fireball

Wearing: Dress by Tobi, belt from Zimmerman - similar here, Jord watch, Mimco bag - similar here , Sachi shoes - similar here and Clinique Pop Glaze lipstick in fireball

Sooo, as you all know I'm just a littttle bit (ALOT) excited for Christmas! Austin and I just had our fresh summer hair cuts (WOOP - first hairdresser visit in 6 months for me). He looks SO grown up with his hair all chopped off and we are all ready for our first CHRISTMAS PARTY of the year!

Its our big family Xmas do on my dads side and Austin is going to have sooo much fun. There are 14 great-grandkids (of my nana!) going, and at least over 40 people all up. Its going to be EPIC but alot of fun. 

Here's to some very tired kiddies tonight ;)

The Kid Can Run

 
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 Wearing:  Romper  by  Tobi ,  Seed PomPom Earrings  ,  Karen Walker  Sunglasses - similar  here  ,  Swarovski  bracelet - similar  here  and  Clinique   Chubby lipstick  in Roomiest Rose

Wearing: Romper by Tobi, Seed PomPom Earrings , Karen Walker Sunglasses - similar here , Swarovski bracelet - similar here and Clinique Chubby lipstick in Roomiest Rose

Just because you take your kids to the best rose garden in Victoria doesn't mean they'll loooove it as much as you do. The Victorian State Rose Garden was CHOCK full of roses, of pretty much every colour. They really did take my breath away. But well Austin.... he wasn't so in to the roses. He was, however, in to running through all of the tracks, and also through the grass and really enjoyed running noisily past all the granny's taking an interest in the roses (sorrrry). He liked getting (too) close to all of the bees hovering around. And also managed to make a little friend to run around with. Geez, the kid sure can run!

He did at least have fun though. And was totally exhausted after. Winning!

The Rose Garden is located in The Werribee Park Precinct, so there is heaps to do in the area - you could pack a picnic then visit The Werribee Zoo or historic Mansion. Yay, for days out!

It's party time... for at least half an hour

 
 Wearing:  Tobi Dress  ,  Seed Earrings  ,  Marcus B  shoes -  similar here  , Serra hat -  similar here  , Karen Walker  sunglasses  , Burt's Bees  Lipstick  in 'Sunset Cruise' , Vintage Ipes bag -  similar here  and Swarovski bracelet - similar  here

Wearing: Tobi Dress , Seed Earrings , Marcus B shoes - similar here , Serra hat - similar here , Karen Walker sunglasses , Burt's Bees Lipstick in 'Sunset Cruise' , Vintage Ipes bag - similar here and Swarovski bracelet - similar here

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 Before my  Tobi  dress got completely covered in kiddie mess

Before my Tobi dress got completely covered in kiddie mess

Walking to the party like a BOSS because you are OH, SO ORGANISED today. Got the kids, check. The balloons, check. On time? Oh yeah, you know we are! Baby food? Yep! Toddler food? All ready. Spare clothes are sorted and packed. Sunscreen and hats are in the bag. Toys for the kids are aplenty. 

We are the first to arrive and feeling good. So we sit down to a beautiful glass of rose. But we totally forgot the first rule of parenting - don't ever get too comfortable. Too cocky. Too.... much like you are just NAILING the situation. Because inevitably...

The toddler tries to run away. The balloons get knocked off in the process. See ya later balloons. You realise you have got the start time of the birthday lunch an HOUR WRONG. The kids manage to get dirt and/or food all over their clothes (I mean, really, who knows what it is??). By the time everyone arrives you are hot and bothered,  balloonless, with two messy little kids and everyone has missed the DAMN first thirty minutes of when you actually had your shit together. 

Well, we almost got it completely right. Let's just say NEXT TIME it will go perfectly. 

Christmas is...

 
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Christmas with kids is sneaking presents in to the house and wrapping them in the dark of night. Coz you just KNOW they will hunt down that one cupboard at the back of the wardrobe where the stash is.

Christmas is having your toddler be forever traumatised from the one time his daddy dressed up as Santa at playgroup. Come on, when will he ever forget this moment?! 

Christmas with a six month old is being so excited to watch him get sooo close to crawling, but then also hoping he holds off until after the big day to save the Christmas tree from destruction. Fingers crossed!

Christmas as a mum is gifting yourself an awesome present… because there is no guarantee someone else will get it (no matter how hard you hint at it). Hello, an awesome wood watch from Jord. Wooden, unique and all mine. Let's just pop it under the tree and say it’s from Santa, shall we?

Christmas as a family is so damn infectious. How can you not get hyped up when your toddler asks every single day if he can open the presents under the Christmas tree? I’m just hanging out to see all the excitement on their little faces on the big day.

Yep, Christmas sure is for early starts and late nights. For huge shiny trees covered in baubles and sparkly lights. But mostly it's for the looks on their darling little faces and squeals of delight. To know as a parent you must be doing something right.

First Christmas as a family of four, here we go!

If you want to gift yourself or someone you love one of these unique wooden watches Jord is offering my readers 25% off for the holiday season, just jump here to receive your special code. Also, I've linked Jords women’s watches, men's watches and also mine here. You can thank me later when you get to cross some presents off your list! :)