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Month: November 2012

Friday Finds: Aussie Christmas Inspiration

Friday Finds: Aussie Christmas Inspiration

This year is going to be such a wonderful Christmas. Already my favourite time of year, the addition of our beautiful baby will bring everyone so much joy. In Australia, Christmas is in the middle of summer and that means swimming, basking in the sun, fresh seafood and family fun. Each year, we celebrate Christmas Eve with my husband’s family – a European tradition. We then head over to my side to share Christmas Day with my Nanna and Pop and most of my 21 cousins. It’s a full on family day, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Over the next week, I’m mostly looking forward to putting up the Christmas tree and decorating our house with beautiful decorations. Whilst in New York on our honeymoon, I made a point of buying some beautiful Christmas decorations to use each year. I’ve only had the chance to put them up twice, but it already reminds me of that wonderful trip. It’s funny, because although our Christmas falls in the middle of summer, we always decorate our houses in traditional decorations originating from the Northern Hemisphere. Again, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In my family, we grew up with my Dad decorating our house in a somewhat ‘Grizwald’ style. We had a great big ceremony where we would all go out the front and watch as Dad flicked the switch that turned on the lights. This year, because we have our baby girl, Dan has gotten into the spirit and decorated our front trees with lights. It’s so wonderful watching her Dad get so excited about doing things to make her enjoy Christmas with wonder and awe. I can’t wait for Ella to enjoy these as we come home in the dark. It’s such a great tradition to drive around the streets and look at all the festive lights. I can’t wait especially to take her to the Boulevard, a historic street in Melbourne that decorates each house with impressive displays.

So for this week’s Friday find, I wanted to share a few great pictures of some wonderful rooms that are decorated with beautiful Christmas cheer. Found on Pinterest, they really are the definition of a Christmas Wonderland.

A beautiful entrance way to greet your friends and family….

Red is a colour that we love in the Korber household. These wreathes and stockings certainly share this sentiment…

A great alternative to Christmas lights for an Australian Summer Christmas….

A gorgeous Advent Calendar to help the kiddies enjoy the countdown!

What ever your inspiration, I hope you enjoy preparing for Christmas as much as I do, particularly now that we have Ella to focus on. It’s such a joyous time of year!

To view more Christmas Inspirations, visit my Pinterest ‘Christmas Wonderland’ board here. Each of the above images are linked to their original source.

Friday Finds: Mathilda’s Market

Friday Finds: Mathilda’s Market


On Sunday, Ella and I will be trotting off to the annual Mathilda’s Market Christmas Market at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.

Mathilda’s Markets are held regularly throughout Australia each year, however the Christmas Market brings together over 100 stalls of beautifully hand made Childrens’ homewares, clothing, manchester, toys and Christmas ornaments. Last year, I went along to support my dear friend’s beautiful store Little Tinkers, and was amazed
to discover an entire hall filled with gorgeous finds. The only problem was, at the time I was 30 weeks pregnant and did not know if I was having a girl or a boy. Never the less, I bought some gorgeous unisex cot quilts, embroidered jumpsuits and appliqué bibs.


This year however, the gloves are off as I search for all things pink, red and girly. I can’t wait to take Ella along to find some gorgeous additions for her room, summer dresses and hats, and Christmas presents for under the tree. It’s a wonderful market at this time of year and it is filled with dozens of amazingly talented Mums and Dads who have found that little talent that they can share.

In particular, I can’t wait to go back to a few stalls that I saw last year. This includes:

The Rainbow Bright Felt Ball Rug from – Mini Me and You

The custom named letters from – Milly & Me Designs

The Ruby’s House Mobile from – Beautiful Child Boutique
Parking is free and ample in the carpark of Caulfield Racecourse. The market is on between 9-1pm on Sunday and prams are a plenty in this jam packed market. It really is fabulous!
To view more information about the market and stall holders, click here.
Little Angel

Little Angel



In October, we Christened our little Angel at St Mary’s Church in East St Kilda. I’ll never forget telling my Nanna that we were having a baby. She was so excited, not only because we were pregnant, but because there was an almost guarantee that she would be baptised. I was Christened at St Therese’s Church in Essendon, along with my siblings, parents and Grandparents. My husband and I were also married there. It was hard to decide where we would christen Ella, but we decided that it would make sense to do it in our local church where she would possibly go to school. It was such a lovely day, the sun was shining and Ella looked so beautiful.

What made the day even more special was that she was able to wear the Christening gown that I wore when I was baptised. The gown was handmade by my Grandmother, crocheted in beautiful wool. It was such a different gown compared to those that most wear, but it held such sentiment and meaning. My Aunty Clare also gave her a beautiful gold pin with her name engraved. This was something that my Granny had also done for each of us. It was such a lovely thought, and Ella wore it on the day.

In Christening Ella, we had a small gathering. Her Godparents (our dear friends Bridgette and Geof) were so happy to share the day with us and take on this special role in her life. Most parents always worry about how their child would react when blessed with the water at the baptismal font. Ella was a trooper and did not shed a tear during the whole thing! In fact, she was calm and curious during the entire service.

We topped the day off with a fantastic lunch at Topolino’s – a St Kilda institution with pasta, pizza and salad. It was a great way to celebrate with both sides of our family. Our little Angel truly is so lucky to be loved by so many.

 

Some things never change

Some things never change

Growing up, I was one of four kids. Our house was pretty crazy, loud and manic…but always happy and fun. I’m so lucky to have grown up with wonderful memories of my childhood. My Mum and Dad had four kids under six. Crazy. Now that I’m a Mum, my admiration for them has grown ten fold. Imagine driving to Queensland each year with four kids in the back!

One of the most endearing things about my Mum is that she kept everything. When I mean everything, I mean everything. Kindergarten artwork, school newsletters mentioning our name, student of the week awards, Christmas decorations we made, clothes we wore. From time to time, we tend to get these out and have a great laugh about the memories attached to them. Each Christmas, my Mum puts out our ‘Santas’ that we made at Kindergarten. Over the years, these Santas have faded and look a little worse for wear, but we can still make out who made what. We always debate whose is the best. It’s memories like these that make me smile and really tell the story of our family.

Now that I have our beautiful baby girl, my Mum loves nothing more than to get out our old baby clothes. This week, she literally played dress ups with her. It was amazing to see how she fit in the same dresses that my sisters and I wore. Mum has a box of ‘every day’ clothes and ‘good’ clothes from our childhood. Knight rider t-shirts, home made jumpers with puff paint, and gorgeous pinafores made by my Granny. I was at work yesterday, when a steady stream of photos were sent to my phone. Each one with a new outfit that Ella was trying on. How amazing it was to see her in these gorgeous dresses. How similar she looked to my own baby photos. It’s funny because since she was born, her resemblance to myself has never really been obvious. However, when you compare her to photos of me as a baby, the similarities are quite spooky. Amazing even!

I’m so lucky to be able to dress her up in these clothes, and am so grateful to my Mum for keeping them all of these years. What a great thing it would be if one day, Ella’s children could be dressed up in the same clothes! Some thing tells me that I’m going to inherit my Mum’s love of keeping my children’s things. I just need to find somewhere to store it all!

Friday Finds: Baby Monitor App

Friday Finds: Baby Monitor App

I’ve never bought a baby monitor, mainly because we have a small house and I can hear Ella from any room. However, when we go away to or holiday house, we often want to hang out outside, whether it be with friends or relaxing in the spa. I’m always paranoid that Ella will wake up from her sleep, and cry without us knowing. I didn’t want to go out and buy a monitor just for the holiday house, so I looked through iTunes to see if anyone had created a Baby Monitor App that could solve our problem! Needless to say, there were dozens of possibilities, however u reading the reviews, I decided to give the ‘Baby Monitor and Alarm’ by Tappy Taps a try.


This app is fantastic. At $2.99 it is a wonderful alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on larger baby alarms that do the same thing. The premise behind this app is that it uses the phone as the monitor. You set the app to react to a certain noise level. When your baby cries or makes noise at this level, you can either set it to play music, play a recorded message (ie. a familiar voice) or ring another phone. We set the app to ring my husband’s phone, and took it outside with us. If the phone rings, you then hear your baby through the phone that is left in her room.

Obviously, this means that you cannot use your own phone during this time, however if you need to call someone or use the internet, I figure I can use another phone, iPad or computer.

I like this app because it is a great alternative to the expensive versions that are in shops. Sure there are limitations, however it is portable and easy to use. That has to be great for busy Mums and Dads who want some time to relax…or do the washing….or cooking…or cleaning….

To view this app and explore it’s features visit iTunes here.

 

 

 

 

*Images are sourced from the iTunes store link above.

 

Friday Finds: Finding the ‘right’ words

Friday Finds: Finding the ‘right’ words

This week’s Friday Find is more a chance for me to have a bit of a whinge than anything else (sorry). It’s not about a great product or cool gadget that I have found. This week rather, I need to voice my frustration about something that I have not found….

New Mums and Dads everywhere will tell of their need for advice and guidance for all things parenting. Whether it be sleep, breast feeding, sickness or safety, new parents everywhere seek advice to help them make the best choices when it comes to their bubbas. Along the way, you are faced with a vast variety of different theories, suggestions and practices. No one seems to agree. I get it…all babies are different, and therefore cannot follow one set of guidelines. To be honest, I’m not someone who ever really searched for a regime or routine to help me through each minute of the day. In my hospital and in my Mothers Group, we were almost ‘scared’ away from these ideals, and names such as Tizzie Hall were flouted as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unnatural’. It’s not in my nature to stick to a strict schedule, but then there are also people who need such schedules to keep themselves sane. I myself, have tended to look for advice, ideas and suggestions and then take from them what made sense to me. Robyn Parker’s ‘Baby Love’ was recommended to me from the beginning, and this book gave me confidence that I was doing the right thing.

I actually saw Tizzie Hall on the Today show here in Australia the other morning. She was asked why parents find putting baby to sleep so hard. She said that it isn’t hard, it’s actually easy. It’s just that we are making the wrong decisions. I was flabbergasted when I heard her speak this way. I get that there are a few simple rules that help babies sleep, but labelling the process as ‘easy’ in my view over simplifies the process. For those of us who are new to the game of being Mums and Dads, its not easy. It’s hard. Really hard. Dan and I have been really lucky to have a good sleeper in Ella, but we know people who pull their hair out in trying to get their baby to sleep. No matter whether or not you rock, pat or control cry, the endless information makes the whole process so overwhelming. Just sifting though the information itself is hard.

Don’t get me wrong. For many Mums and Dads, her views work. If they work and give you confidence then fantastic. Its just that after being a Mum for eight months, I’ve come to think that there is so much information out there for new parents, it is no wonder we all feel like we are going batty from time to time. My friends and I have often commented on the lack of continuity and agreement in all things ‘parenting’. Whether it be about how much sleep a baby should get, when to start solids or what foods a baby should eat and when, parents are getting bombarded with so much information that is often contradictory and confusing. I was talking with a friend a few months back about the fact that when you search the net, there WILL be a website somewhere that tells you what you want to read. Not eating at 6 months? Don’t worry. On the other hand, most research now says you should have your child eating solids from around four months. When you do find your baby is ready to eat, the mismatch of information about what foods to eat and when is unbelievable! Furthermore, many new Mums talk about their experiences in hospital in trying to learn to breast feed. With each new shift, a new nurse approaches you with a new theory on how to do it. Most give their advice with a caring outlook, but there are also some who tell you that what you are doing is wrong and you should change your whole approach. This would be fine if the next nurse agreed!

I guess the thing is, you don’t know who to believe and when. We all are just trying to survive and be good parents. I guess I should just stop whinging and get used to the idea of conflicting advice. Heaven knows that this is only the beginning! Thank god for friends and Mothers Groups. The best advice seems to come from those who have been through it, the good and the bad. Then again they have all had different experiences, challenges and successes!

I can’t wait for Ella to be able to tell me what she wants herself. Then again, it will probably be the complete opposite of what she should be doing. I guess when it comes down to it, the advice to ‘stick with your gut’ really makes sense. I just wish that I always knew what my gut was telling me, so I could do it!

Apologies for my whinging. It’s over now.

*Images are linked to their original source.

Friday Finds: Apple TV

Friday Finds: Apple TV

This blog comes with a warning. It is openly about my love for Mac products. Some people may take offence and roll their eyes, but if you read on…you have to know what you are in for!

My friends know that I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to all things Mac. I work in a school that uses only Mac technology. I’ve converted my house into a PC free zone. I love nothing more than holding the newest Apple gadget in my hands and finding a way to integrate it into the classroom. Whether its an iPhone, and iPad, a Mac book Pro or a desktop….my philosophy is ‘once you go Mac, you can’t go back’. Whether you love or hate

Needless to say, that since becoming a Mum, this love has now progressed to a borderline obsession. Whether you love or hate Apple, you have to agree that their products do promote a sense of awe and wonder. If you are lucky enough to have a few products, the use of fabulous features such as home sharing and iCloud become clearly evident. Taking photos of my gorgeous baby girl on my iPhone, instantly pop up on our iPad. Songs that we download to our home desktop via iTunes are available via home sharing on my Macbook. Apps that we install on our products also appear instantly on other devices. Its so cool, I love it.

This year one of my favourite features has been Photo Streaming. As any new parent would attest, every day moments that are captured need to be accessible at anytime and anywhere. Photo streaming as meant that photos taken on my iPad can now be seen on my iPhone when out and about. Similarly, when I’m writing this blog, I can draw upon a range of photos taken from other devices easily via photo streaming on my laptop’s iPhoto library. It makes accessing and viewing photos really easy, and really fun.

I can’t believe therefore, that it took us so long to acquire ourselves an Apple TV. A couple of friends had told us of their love of this product, particularly in it’s ability to play videos from your iPhone or iPad, directly to your TV. Recently Dan and I got ourselves one of these little babies, and instantly we were blown away. Syncing your devices with the Apple TV simply makes your TV a sharing station for all the videos, photos, songs and apps you have. Ok, I know I’m a little biased, but seriously, for new parents this product is really cool.

Here is a summary of some of the features that new parents will love:

  • The ability to play videos and photos of your little ones from your mobile devices directly to your TV via Airplay.
  • The ability to play videos such as Charlie and Lola or Peppa Pig directly from your iPad to your TV. This means no more DVD’s everywhere!
  • Syncing with your home computers via home sharing. Any music you have in your iTunes library can be played.
  • Movies for Mum and Dad can be played directly to your TV via your home network.
  • The ability to access the iTunes store, meaning you can buy and rent movies, watch previews and listen to music (great for stressed our Mums and Dads).
  • The ability to mirror your iPad, meaning that you can surf the net, play games or look at apps directly on your TV.

At $103, I think that this device is pretty reasonably priced. Especially considering what it can do. It helps us to share the wonderful memories that we have. It also helps Ella’s Mum and Dad have a bit of down time so that we can remain sane. That has to be a good thing!

For more information about Apple TV and it’s features, click here.

Images are linked directly to their original source.