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Month: June 2013

Friday Finds: RoxyOxy Creations

Friday Finds: RoxyOxy Creations

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 1.50.24 PMA couple of years ago, before Ella was born, I went to the fantastic Mathilda’s Market at Caulfield Racecourse. My friend and I were blown away by the beautiful, hand made creations that were on display. So many Mums and Dads had turned their ideas and talents into gorgeous creations to adorn beautiful babies and their nurseries. We stumbled upon RoxyOxy Creations, and were immediately drawn the the intricate artwork and exquisite designs she had on show.

A Mother herself, Jacinta started RoxyOxy creations after leading another life as a Dietician. With both kids now at school, and with her friends encouragement she has now realised her creative dream of creating her highly original and superbly executed pieces of art. With a strong interest in designing and creating for children, together with a love for fine papers and ribbons it was a natural outcome that both would come together creatively!

Each piece requires hours of precise and meticulous craftsmanship and creative evolution and when completed comes framed in a purposely crafted high quality wooden shadow boxed frame. Honestly, I designed Ella’s nursery around a few designs that I thought I would get for her. The only problem was, at the time I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl. Two spots were left on the wall, and I had every intention of going back to purchase two frames once the baby was born. Needless to say, time has passed and I’m still yet to talk to Jacinta about the ones that I would love for Ella….

Here are a few of my favourites….

‘Sending my love’

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‘Bubble Love’

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‘Love your journey’

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‘Love is in the air’

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The above artworks obviously have a ‘girly’ touch to them, but she has a huge variety of pieces for both boys and girls. You can visit her website album by clicking any of the images above, or by clicking the link here. With a range of sizes and prices, there is something for everyone. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like these gorgeous pieces. They have an almost ‘Jeannie Baker‘  presence about them, and each artwork tells its own story.

Hopefully I’ll get around to ordering one soon!

You can find RoxyOxy creations online via www.roxyoxycreations.com.au or on Facebook here.

kate*All images above are linked to the RoxyOxy website

 

Terry Towelling Torment or Motherly love?

Terry Towelling Torment or Motherly love?

8v75y56r-1346221575A conversation I had with my dear friends last night got me thinking about a childhood memory that has haunted me for decades. When I was young, my beautiful and loving Mum didn’t want me to be cold whilst playing outside in the freezing cold winter at school. Being a girl, she knew that I would be doing cart wheels, tumble turns and hand stands against any brick wall that we could find (many boys engaged in these activities too by the way). In my Primary School in the 80’s, all girls wore dresses. Most girls (including me) hated wearing tights, and spend most of our days itching and pulling at them. So this meant that I regularly went to school with ‘bare legs’ as my Mum would put it, and with that came comfort, but also cold. So my loving Mother decided that instead of sending her daughter to school with cold, bare legs, she would invest in a few pairs of ‘terry towling’ undies that served as ‘bum huggers’.These were worn over the top of underwear to keep my little behind toasty and warm. Little did she know that this little gesture of love and kindness would in fact cause her daughter’s friends to tease her for wearing ‘nappies’ to school.

Brisbane-Mum-and-Kid-Hugging-426x272Each time I did a cartwheel or handstand in the yard, the bright yellow, green and pink terry towelling ‘undies/ bum huggers’ would be on display for all to see. Each time I would be asked ‘do youuuu STILL wear nappies?’ and I would sit confused, knowing full well that my Mum got us to wear them to simply keep us warm. The term ‘fluffy undies’ was coined, and stuck for many years..even till this day. Even those kids who ‘tormented’ me with ‘terry towelling teasing’ have clearly overlooked the fact that their friend was ‘wearing nappies at Primary School’ – they are my closest friends until this day…

It’s not until we have become Mothers however, that we have truly understood these little   gestures of Motherly love. I’m truly thankful to my Mum for ‘trying’ to keep me warm all those years ago. In Melbourne today, its nudging 5 degrees at 11am, and it’s almost ‘playtime’ for school kids to go outside.  I’m sure that there are so many Mums out there who have sent their kids off to school with little acts of kinds and love, only to find out that they have backfired in some way. I just hope those kids know that their Mum loves them, probably just wanted them to be warm!!!!

Needless to say, I think I’ll be strongly encouraging Ella to wear tights when she is older…. (love you Mum) xxx

Have you got a childhood memory like mine? Would love to hear from you!

kate

Friday Finds: Tickle or Treat

Friday Finds: Tickle or Treat

Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 9.38.11 AMThere has been an influx of new little babies again in our life lately. A new baby also means decorating a nursery. When Ella was born, we created a feature wall in her room with a gorgeous decal tree from Surface Inspired. This tree brings so much joy and interest to her room. Many friends have commented on the tree, and have also used similar ones in their own nurseries at home. There are so many gorgeous products out there, and with the power of the internet, Mums and Dads can preview products and ideas from the comfort of their own home.

Whilst creating our Facebook Page for Happy Ella After, I was browsing other great sites that other parents had created. I stumbled across ‘Tickle or Treat‘ via “Little Tinkers‘ and was immediately struck by the unique nature of their collections. A Mother herself, Tickle or Treat is a handmade range of children’s toys, homewares, accessories and clothing inspired the coastal living environment of waves crashing on the beach and birds chirping the huge trees that grace her backyard. They are inspired by memories of her childhood, dreams for her sons’ future and are all carefully and individually hand made. Each piece, be it a children’s toy or something for your home are unique and are created to be lovingly used and admired and then passed onto generations in the future.

A home grown business, the Tickle or Treat studio is nestled in Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula, where she is surrounded by the beautiful nature from where she draws her creativity. The individuality of the entire range means that there are pieces to suit any home, nursery or V.I.C. (Very Important Cutie!).

Here are some of my favourites from her collections…

Personally, the  ‘Enchanted Wall Gardens’ are my favourite. These are a great alternative to a wall decal and very reasonably priced..

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The handmade owls are a beautiful addition to any child’s room…

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If I was decorating a new nursery, I would certainly be making a purchase from this range!

You can check out ‘Tickle or Treat’ via their Facebook page here.

kate

*All images are linked to ‘Tickle or Treat’s’ Facebook page.

Enrolling in school? Surely not yet!

Enrolling in school? Surely not yet!

questioning_iStock_00001574_620x350Those of you who know me know that I am a Primary School Teacher. In my role as Deputy Principal, I’ve just helped to complete our Prep Interviews where we meet and greet our new prospective families for 2014. The children come along for the interview and  share their likes, dislikes and thoughts about going to school. Mostly three, it’s an exciting time for both the children and their parents. Their parents have taken the time to think about the school that they would like their child to attend. They’ve checked out our website, they’ve attended open days and many have spoken to members of our community. It’s a daunting time for many, but once they walk in the door and meet us, they feel comfortable and happy about the journey ahead.

I’ve always thought about how I would tackle the challenge of choosing a school and going through the process of enrolment for my own children. Being an individual who works in schools and helps parents through the process of transition, I have experience and insight from one side of the equation. Being on the other side, however, I now know is a whole new ball game, and I can certainly sympathise with parents who feel a mixed bag of emotions when  their children come to the point of being ready to go to school.

This week, I was somehow thrown into the ball game as I was told by a friend about her experience of simply putting their child down on the enrolment list for some schools in her area. At the age of three, she was told that she may have left her run too late. Too late to simply put him down on the list for year seven! This got me thinking about Ella and where she may possibly go to school. The fact is, that we are lucky to have a great deal of choice in the area we live. State, Catholic and Independent – each having their own strengths and weaknesses. As an ex student and current employee of the Catholic System, my preference and inclination towards ‘what I know and have experienced’ has influenced my ‘ideal’ choices, just like any other parent. My husband and I are in agreeance about our preference for Primary School, but we had thought that we would  leave our decision for Secondary School for a couple of years to come. Upon calling a few schools that she ‘may possibly’ go to, it became apparent that I needed to act quickly. One lady told me that if I left her enrolment for Secondary School until after she was 18 months old, she would have no chance of getting in!

libros-ninosLet me get this straight. Being a February baby, it will be my preference to give her another year of kinder to avoid being the youngest in the class. This means that she will probably start Secondary School in 2025. 2025!!!!!!I can’t even think about what she is going to have for dinner tonight, let alone make a decision about what school she will attend in 13 years time. I have heard of parents enrolling their children in school in utero, but until I called schools myself, it did not really hit me of the competitive nature of getting children into some schools. It may have been a little naive, given the fact that I work in the system. However, completing and sending off enrolment forms to a few potential schools seemed bizarre to say the least! The problem is, that if you don’t, then you will have no chance of getting in by the time you have decided its time to decide!

So my husband and I sent them off, and parted with the (rather large) ‘non refundable’ enrolment fees, all with the hope of making a decision one day. That decision will be based on a number of things – affordability, proximity and most importantly, a place where Ella will be happy to grow, learn and be herself. It just feels slightly ‘wrong’ that we are forced to almost make a decision about these things, before she can even say her own name! Then again, working in Education…nothing should surprise me! It kind of feels like buying your dream house when you are 15. You are not quite sure what you want, what you will need and whether or not you can trust that it is going to cater for your needs?!

For those of you who work in Education, you probably would be familiar with the amazing Sir Ken Robinson. For those of you who do not, he is an innovative and transformative thinker, an expert in helping society re-think  the purpose of education. Do yourself a favour and spend a few minutes sitting down and watching this video. He is inspiring for any educator or parent. As someone who is both, I hope that all schools, including the one that Ella finally goes to, consider and act upon the messages he shares with this community….

kate

An Early Friday Find: St Kilda Mums

An Early Friday Find: St Kilda Mums

524582_418962491463659_1949656950_aI started this blog to document our memories, milestones and products that have helped us as parents. More often than not, I post each Friday about great ‘finds’ that I’ve come across. These include products, websites and all round little pots of gold that have helped me as a Mum. This week however, I want to share with you an amazing service that helps other Mums and Dads in need a little earlier than ususal….

St Kilda Mums is ‘fast growing local charity’ that collects and distributes prams, clothes and other goods to mothers in need across Melbourne. Started by Jess McPherson, a fellow Mum as an idea on her front porch, St Kilda Mums is an group of parents who believe that no child should go without basic needs like a cot or clothes. Countless prams that are put on nature strips as hard rubbish are collected and given a little TLC before being re-homed in families that need them. Over 400 volunteers share the load of collecting and distributing baby products to families all over Melbourne. They tap into Maternal Health services to work with those most in need and have used the power of social media to get their message out to Mums and Dads everywhere who may be able to help. This week for example they have put out for a call for donations of boy clothing from 6mths – 2 years. Within minutes, Mums are offering donations of clothes, and other Mums are offering to shuttle them to donation spots. A local shop in my neighbourhood…Mudd Puddle Children’s boutique has also offered its services as a ‘nappy drop off point’. Volunteers can buy packets of nappies and drop them off here, so that they can be collected and distributed from the new St Kilda Mums new warehouse and operations centre.

It’s often hard for Mums and Dads to finally let go of their precious memories. Whether it be a gorgeous outfit, or a loved toy…I can imagine the struggle of finally saying goodbye to these goods that brought your family such joy. Look at this example, from a Mum who decided to make a donation to this great charity. Her note says it all…

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It might be a tip off about a pram spotted in a ‘hard rubbish’ collection, or a call out for a potential collection. St Kilda Mums is a fantastic local community group that helps so many parents and children. Think about all of those clothes that you have collected, the loved toys and baby gear. Next time you think about what to do with it all, consider giving St Kilda Mums a call. You can email them via mums@stkildamums.org.  You can also ‘like’ their Facebook page here for updates, call outs and reviews of their selfless work.

469513_426511960708712_2051043081_oThey may be called St Kilda Mums, but they help Mums, Dads and kids all across Melbourne. As a Mum, I’ll be dropping off some nappies to Mudd Puddle so that other Mums can breathe a sigh of relief. They are a wonderful example of the power of good and ‘paying it forward’. Here’s hoping that this post helps them, even just a little. Got baby gear you no longer need? Got no one to pass it on to? St Kilda Mums will pass it onto someone who really needs it.

Please pass this on to other Mums so that they too can help St Kilda Mums continue their great work.

kate

R U Ready for kids? After this, maybe not!

R U Ready for kids? After this, maybe not!

1226500912619A very dear and wise friend of mine (and amazing mother of two) Clara, posted this fantastic article on Facebook today. ‘Are you ready to have kids? After you read this…maybe not’ is a hilarious article designed to give non parents an insight into the daily rituals of being a Mum and Dad. Those of us who have taken the leap of faith can also read this article with a new found sense of wisdom…and a little giggle.

Do yourself a favour this Saturday and take a look. If you are thinking of having children, it will open your eyes to say the least. If you have already had them then it will give you a reason to smile! Question number ten is my favourite…

To view the article, visit news.com.au here.

kate

 

 

 

 

*The image in this post is linked to its original source.

What does my handbag say about me?

What does my handbag say about me?

I was recently reading this article on Mamamia about the most useless things women find inside their handbags. There has also been a lot of talk lately about how the contents of one’s handbag can reveal a great deal about a person. Are you prepared for everything, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Furthermore, it’s not only the contents of the handbag, but the way in which one organises it. Compartments or chaos? Lauren Conrad recently posted a description of the contents of her handbag….Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 11.59.52 AM

She described that the contents of her handbag reveals that she is a ‘beauty loving health nut’. As I was reading I thought that this was another gimmick, until I thought about the contents of my own. Then it hit me…my handbag IS a window into my life, and I’m not sure if I’m happy or embarrassed?

Here is what I have found inside my handbag on a regular Thursday afternoon…

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  • My wallet
  • A black clutch
  • A sequinned british pouch (that I bought from London over ten years ago!)
  • A Mimco pouch (nothing in it)
  • Perfume
  • Band aids
  • Two iPhone / iPad chargers (without the chords)
  • Two pens
  • A lip liner
  • Tampons
  • A hair clip
  • Five USBS (FIVE!)
  • A manicare nail pen
  • A toy brush
  • Neurofen dispenser (for Ella)
  • Tooth floss
  • and finally…one baby sock and one baby food cap

Upon reflecting on this contents, I’m a little perplexed as to how many of these items have stayed in this bag for a while. Needless to say, being a relatively new Mum, I’m not very surprised. If I had to describe how the contents of my bag reflects my life, I would use the words; random and chaotic. Random because of the fact that there are bits and pieces, some of which do not have all of their parts. Chaotic because there is no real order, there is bits of everything. Often as a working Mum, I feel a bit like this. I’m trying to get from one place to another and grabbing everything that I might need, without actually getting anything that I really need. There is a lip pencil, but no lip gloss. There is an iPhone charger socket, but no chord. What is with the five USB’s, one baby sock, and where are the baby wipes????

I’ve often driven off to work with baby in tow and get half way up the freeway only to remember that I have forgotten her lunch box, or socks. My husband recently rang me and asked if I still had the pram in the boot. It’s all a bit hard sometimes to get everything in sync and in working order. By peeking into my handbag, I guess you could predict that it’s owner is trying to ensure that she has everything she needs, but struggles to get everything in the right working order. Oh well, maybe it’s just an excuse to buy a new handbag? Maybe a Chanel like Lauren Conrad? In my dreams!

kate