DIY cubby time

 
The kids new cubby house.

The kids new cubby house.

Austins herb garden has basil, chives and alyssum flowers. We also planted tomato and petunia seeds.

Austins herb garden has basil, chives and alyssum flowers. We also planted tomato and petunia seeds.

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Before and after.

Before and after.

I had planned on making a cubby house for the kids Christmas present, but the whole thing got a tad overwhelming ie. where will I make it, how will I hide it, how will I complete the whole thing and have it ready for christmas morning??? So… it didn’t happen! Until about two weeks after Christmas.

I really wanted to do one of the Kmart cubbys, but couldn’t get my hands on one so a friend recommended this Rovo Kids cubby which I purchased through eBay. The actual cubby house itself is smaller than the Kmart one, (one meter by one meter) but the massive positive is that it comes with a base coat of paint already on. Depending on the look you are after you could just leave it as is but I had other plans.

I knew I wanted to do grey and white, so drew inspiration from several blogs that already detailed their very stylish cubby hacks. I love love love what Alicia Adams did in her cubby reno, and there are also about a million other fabulous cubby hacks on Pinterest if you are after some inspo.

So what did we do to tailor our cubby? I started off by painting over the pink doors. I used Dulux Weathershield in ‘Oyster Bar Grey’ (ummm hell yes!) to paint the door, roof and some detailing on the front. And then after I had done that I decided I wanted to do another coat of white over the whole cubby so did this in Dulux Weathershield Vivid White.

The doormat, door handle and front porch plant were all from Bunnings (oh boy, did the kids enjoy our trip there - babycinos, playgrounds and running wild through the aisles). And I picked up the flowers for the planter boxes from Target.

Austin's garden box we picked up from Aldi aaaages ago (over a year, but just never assembled it). It was all brightly coloured and I painted over it in the Oyster Bar Grey. We planted a mix of seeds and ready plants, just to keep him interested and to have something visually there that needed water and tending to straight away. He’s really loved watching his little garden grow. The seeds have already sprouted so fingers crossed they keep growing well.

The cubby house is super cute and fits really well in our courtyard, but in saying that I’d say it would be best for 1-3 year olds, as poor Austin is just a tad too tall to comfortably get in and out. I should add though it doesn’t seem to bother him, he just sits on the outside and gets Remy to ‘serve’ him all day.

Let's escape for the weekend

 
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Austin and Remy wear oh so cute  Lovestruck the Label  T’s on our visit to Hedgend Maze

Austin and Remy wear oh so cute Lovestruck the Label T’s on our visit to Hedgend Maze

So we had a random few days away last week. Pat really wanted to get away, pretty much anywhere with a pool and after doing a little AirBnB search, we found the last house in Vic with a pool. Yep, I kid you not! And it was in the Yarra Valley and available the next day (cue me running around like a mad person trying to pack).

Although we were pretty much happy to go anywhere in Victoria I’m so happy we ended up here. Who knew there was so much to do in the Yarra Valley? Well probably most people except us, ha! And it only took us an hour from Melbourne to get there.

We managed to squeeze a lot in to our little trip, we hit up Healesville Sanctuary on our way down, went to Hedgend Maze the next morning, then to Yarrawood Estate for a lovely picnic lunch. This was such a great spot if you have kids with you (or even if you don’t). Lots of space to run around and they had balls and games set up all over the lawn (and the rosé was pretty damn good too, just sayin’).

We stayed in The Manager’s House at the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel. You could easily fit two families in here as it is a four bedroom place and the pool of course was the main attraction for the kids! But Pat and I loved that we were connected to a grand old pub (and not just for the rosé this time) the pub had a great outdoor playground, indoor play area, pretty damn good pub grub and a beer garden. Everyone wins!

When travelling with kids you never know how it’s going to turn out, no matter how well planned, so thank goodness our little random getaway was a hit!

It's beginning to look a lot like...

 
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Austin wears LTL PPL grey jumper, Seed Heritage shorts, similar here, Birkenstock sandals. Remy wears Jamie Kay cardigan, Tip Toey Joey Parky sandals.

Christmas! It’s nearly here. And we’re getting really excited. Especially Austin who has asked if it is ‘present day’ for the last 27 days straight (no kid. It is a loooong way off). Remy has gone bananas on the Christmas tree pulling baubles off, putting them back on and tugging on the branches and well, I’ve just been trying to tick of my Christmas present list which seems to be getting longer and not shorter (why does that always happen?).

So we’re nearly a week and a half out from the big XMAS DAY and I can’t wait to see their cute little faces on Christmas morning. Definitely one of the best moments you cherish as parents <3

Life's a beach

 
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Meg wears Target  dress  and Converse  sneakers , Austin and Remy wear Target  shirts  and shorts similar  here .

Meg wears Target dress and Converse sneakers, Austin and Remy wear Target shirts and shorts similar here.

Kids are so completely unpredictable, am I right? We went to the Brighton Beach Huts a few months ago and both kids had an absolute ball so I thought, let’s go back, why not! And so we did and of course things didn’t go quite to plan…

Austin simultaneously wanted his shoes off but also hated the sand touching his feet, so that was fun. Remy had a blast, but beelined for the water over and over. And when we let him get his feet into the crisp morning water he cried because the water was too cold.

So although we packed buckets, spades, towels and snacks we lasted about 40 minutes at the beach tops! Here’s hoping we have some better luck as the warmer weather rolls around.

Playtime at Fawkner Park

 
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Meg wears: Country Road  knit , Seed  jeans ,  Oliver Bonas  hat. Austin wears: Country Road  jumper , Next jeans similar  here , Country Road  boots . Remy wears I dig Denim jeans similar  here , Austin's old jumper, Angulus boots similar  here , Pat wears Industrie  chinos , Nique  t-shirt,&nbsp; jacket from several seasons ago.&nbsp;

Meg wears: Country Road knit, Seed jeans, Oliver Bonas hat. Austin wears: Country Road jumper, Next jeans similar here, Country Road boots. Remy wears I dig Denim jeans similar here, Austin's old jumper, Angulus boots similar here, Pat wears Industrie chinos, Nique t-shirt, jacket from several seasons ago. 

Are you even a mum of boys if you don't spend most of your time looking for parks, playing in parks and researching the next park you're going to head to? There's no denying it these boys of mine LOVE the outdoors and I love seeing them so happy when they are out exploring.

Fawkner Park is one of our faves to hit up so I thought I'd share all of the hidden little pockets and areas to play within the park (because it is seriously HUGE we are still finding new areas each time). 

And this sweet little Daffodil field has just popped up (which the boys absolutely loved, especially watching the doggies run wild through them).  If you're hunting it down, it is right near the Slater Street entrance (you can't miss it!).

There's also two playground areas (choices!), the first one is next to Christchurch Grammar School on Toorak road. It's quite cute with a little flying fox and lots of slides for all sizes. If you head down towards South Yarra Primary School there's another two playgrounds here, one for the younger kids and one for older. There's also a great stretch of footpath along here for kids to ride their bikes (or learn how to ride, cuuuute!).

And just on Sunday we found a really sweet little sandpit area behind the Fawkner Park Tennis Centre. Literally we just keep finding more spots! And thank goodness because these boys appetite for playing and exploring is just endlessssss.

 

Number One

 
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And just like that the smallest person in our house is one year old. We thought time went fast with one kid, well with two, it just wizzes by like no tomorrow! We threw a bit of a party to celebrate Remy's birthday (and to also celebrate us all getting through the year in one piece. I mean, first birthday celebrations are really for the parents, right? Just a little, WOO-OO you guys all survived!).

It's been a year of learning to juggle two kids and their competing needs, battling sleep deprivation and ordering deliveroo Messina ice-cream (what else is a gal gonna do when you're a sleep deprived mama with two crazy, screaming kids at home? Yep, stand over the sink eating ice-cream while yelling at the kids to be nice to each other!).

Remy has been a dream-boat of a baby. He is so soft and cuddly and loves a snuggle. He's cheeky and giggly and can't get enough food (which is just the BEST THING IN THE WORLD after dealing with Austin who still only eats the same 3 things over and over). 

When he was a newborn he was sleeping through the night (I know, WHAAAT?? Yep, it was mental but amazing). Then he did a full reversal and was waking all night long and turning his mama into a walking mombie (thats a zombie mama to you and me). But a quick trip to sleep school has fixed all that (thank F). 

I'm trying to think what his favourite things are... TV shows, toys, books? But he's really not in to much because the thing that takes all his attention BY FAR, is his big bro. He couldn't care less for TV shows because he can watch Austin tearing around the house, jumping, running and being crazy, and why sit still for a book when you can play chasey with your brov. He loves animals, especially dogs and squeals like a nutter when he sees them at the park. 

We love him to bits, our little Remy boy, and now we have a year of the precious little boy being 'number one.'

 

 

 

Rippon Lea Memories

 
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Wearing:  Isoki baby bag ,&nbsp; Rollas &nbsp;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!