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Month: March 2014

Friday Find: Treasures Nappies

Friday Find: Treasures Nappies

92V2rZU_cWQ8ccNvpYgShR82pvUNq1c6Fj1ug2QNku4A couple of weeks ago, I was sent a pack from Treasures Nappies. New to Australia, but a long time resident of New Zealand, Treasures have just released their new brand of nappies into Australian IGA stores. I’m always on the look out for new products that would help families, and I was happy to give their range of nappies a try.

Treasures is a high quality disposable nappy, on par with  Australian market leaders, but better value for money. Treasures nappies have been wrapping kiwi baby bums for more than 30 years.

After trying the range, I have to say that I was 100% happy with their performance. No leaks…especially at night. What I loved most was how soft they were. Even the waistband straps were silky and did not have that plastic feel.

Treasures - Standard Nappy Diagram

A gorgeous touch is the ‘Hairy Maclary’ designs that adorn their products. Ella loves these stories and loved seeing the cute characters on the nappies. We tried out the 10-15kg toddler range, and I’d be happy to keep her in them until toilet training finishes!

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You can visit the Treasures website here, and purchase them in IGA supermarkets.

Stay tuned for a fantastic giveaway in a few weeks time that will help give you the chance to experience this great product yourself!

kate

 

30 weeks and counting…

30 weeks and counting…

This week marks 30 weeks of my second pregnancy. It has gone so incredibly fast, and it has made me think about how times change when you experience round 2. In two weeks, I will also finish work and begin maternity leave, as the school term comes to an end. I know that I will again find this incredibly challenging, as leaving my job, even for a short while is something that I am not really looking forward to. It might sound really weird, but being away from my job is hard for me, given that I love it. I remember driving home from my last day of work last time, and I rang Dan, balling my eyes out. He laughed in a bewildered, yet sympathetic way. I know, most people don’t love their job as much as I do.

That said, I am so looking forward to enjoying things differently this time around. Ella will still go to day care two days a week, and so I will have two days to rest and perhaps even do something for myself! Ella is going to day care firstly, because she loves it and I want her to continue to have fun experiences and do things that I won’t be able to do with her when her baby brother or sister arrives. Secondly, because friends tell me that it will help me with the transition to having two children. I know that I won’t be able to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’, as timing Ella’s nap to coincide with the baby’s will be a challenge in itself. Finally, I hope to return to work in 2015, and so will simply need the place. Baby no. 2 is already down on the waiting list, so fingers crossed he or she gets in!

I’m also looking forward to enjoying the first few months a little more. With your first baby, you are so overwhelmed by the breast feeding, sleeping, non sleeping, burping, leaking and all the rest. It’s so much to deal with and time just flies. I’m hoping that with a little experience under my belt, this time will be a little easier. I just can’t wait to hold this little bubba…

People are consistently asking me if this pregnancy feels the same, or different to last time. I have to say, that up until this point, I’ve been too busy to notice, but luckily it has been problem free, and I’ve been feeling good. That is, except for the indigestion. Man….it’s a killer. I’m hoping that my obstetrician’s prescription kicks in soon. I’ve put on nearly as much weight as I did with Ella, and am starting to feel much bigger than my first pregnancy. The tumble turns have well and truly ‘kicked’ in, and I think that this baby is turning south!

30 Weeks and counting...
30 Weeks and counting…

So far, I’ve been making use of my triangle pillow to help support my growing bump at night, but I fear that it may soon need to progress to a full blown pregnancy pillow. Dan has memories of me taking over the bed with pillows stacked high, and I’m glad to report that I’m not there yet…but I’ll keep you posted!

So with ten weeks to go, I’m still yet to unpack the size 000 clothes from storage, or put together a single piece of baby furniture. We are on track for our house to be finished, but until then, I’ll rest easy knowing that I’ve got enough baby stuff to cope. As long as I can find it amongst the boxes of our belongings….

kate

 

Friday Find: Mood Boards

Friday Find: Mood Boards

Anyone who has been through a renovation knows that the best part is being able to style your new space. Adding in a combination of old and new furniture pieces and home wares is enough to excite anyone. That is, unless you have no idea where to start, what colours you like, or what style you prefer. I’ve been following some great kids interior designers lately, and have come across their secret – mood boards. A mood board helps you to group together your design ideas so that you can get a feel for how your room will develop and look overall. They are a fantastic and easy way to ensure that your most loved items actually work together before you spend your hard earned cash.

Here are a few mood boards that I’ve loved of late…

Anything from Belinda @ Petite Vintage Interiors is just divine…

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A beautiful sleep space, again from Petite Vintage Interiors…

 

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Incy Interiors are the masters of beautiful beds and nursery furniture and this mood board from Nest Design Studio shows how you can combine textures and patterns with style!

 

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And again, another beautiful pallette….

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So I decided to give it a go and create my own mood board for Ella’s new room. There are apps you can purchase, but I used Keynote on my Mac to create the effect. It also has a great ‘alpha’ tool to erase the outline around each item and allow me to overlay they them in a collage. What do you think of the result?

Ella's new room - mood board.001

Some of the above items include:

I hope you like my board as much as I do! It’s a great idea to get you inspired!

kate

*Images are linked to their original source

Family fun with the Australian Ballet

Family fun with the Australian Ballet

Screenshot 2014-03-17 09.05.13A week ago, I was lucky enough to be invited along to a beautiful night of dancing at the Telstra Ballet in the Bowl.  Telstra Ballet in the Bowl is a FREE evening of ballet under the stars. To celebrate 30 years of partnership between Telstra and The Australian Ballet, this year’s event featured excerpts from a range of favourite works, including The NutcrackerThe Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and more. Families were encouraged to bring bring a rug and a picnic, and enjoy a spectacular evening of ballet’s best, accompanied by Orchestra Victoria.

If Ella was a little older, I would have taken her myself, but I decided to take my life long friend, fellow Mummy and lover of all things Ballet..Laura. We were amazed (and a little excited) to take our seats near the front of the stage and take in the atmosphere. I was equally astonished at the sheer numbers of people who had come along, literally thousands, to enjoy such a beautiful evening. Families, children, teenagers and older couples. All having a great night out in Melbourne.

Here are a few snaps from our lovely night out..

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However the fun doesn’t end there. If you have children who love to dance, then the Australia Ballet offers a wide range of programs, public performances and workshops that would suit any family. Ballet Centre Tours allow you to gain an insight into the magical world of ballet, from the dancers to the costumes. Open to all from ages 6 and up, this would be a wonderful way to give your kids a unique glimpse into the world of Ballet.

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Have an aspiring Ballerina? Why not take them to an Australian Ballet class? Open from Ages 10 and up, this would also bring them closer to their idols and help them see how a life of ballet could indeed be their own. Similarly, if you have a boy who loves to dance, they might like to go along to the Boys Day and meet some of the male dancers! Bring your autograph book along to People’s Day, and meet the company, ask questions and feel the ballet love!

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And finally, I look forward to taking Ella along to Once Upon a Time – Story ballets are a wonderful introduction to the art form for children. This engaging 60-minute performance will feature fully staged excerpts from much-loved story balletThe Nutcracker, with narration by one of the central characters and live musical accompaniment. Once upon a time has been specially designed for families with children aged 4 and up and is the perfect activity for the September school holidays.

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So whether or not it is you, or your children who love to dance, be sure to stay tuned to the Australian Ballet for public programs family friendly events around Australia throughout 2014.

kate

New Giveaway! Tinybeans Photo Book!

New Giveaway! Tinybeans Photo Book!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to review the beautiful Tinybeans Photo Books by creating one for Ella. If you missed the review, click here. If you are anything like me, you take hundreds of photos of your little ones, and if you are smart…use the Tinybeans App to store, keep track and share them with loved ones. The problem is, that even though we can flick through these snaps on our mobile devices, there is nothing quite like a printed book of photos. The team over at Tinybeans, have cleverly linked their app with the ability to create beautiful, personalised photo books. If you use the Tinybeans App, it is so simple to choose your favourite snaps, and have the book delivered directly to your front door!

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What is even better, is the fact that Tinybeans are giving Happy Ella After readers who use the Tinybeans App, the chance to win your own Photo Book filled with three months of your chosen memories. This is valued at over $50 Australian dollars, and includes postage direct to your door.

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If you know anyone who uses this sensational app, then please forward this giveaway on to them. It’t the perfect way to celebrate and hold onto the photos of your children. I can honestly say, I wouldn’t be able to function as a snap happy parent without this app, and the photo album has really brought them to life!

This competition is open to readers world wide. Entry is via Facebook, accessible through the link below. Entry into the competition is acceptance of the terms and conditions as set out in the app link. The giveaway will open Monday 17th March at 7am AEDST and will close on Monday 31st March at 6pm AEDST. As always, readers will need to ‘like’ both the Happy Ella After and Tinybeans Facebook pages. Entrants can also earn extra points by sharing what they love about Tinybeans in a comment below.

Good luck!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE TINY BEANS PHOTO BOOK COMPETITION!

kate

 

 

Friday Find: Confetti Dots Wall Decals

Friday Find: Confetti Dots Wall Decals

If you are a Happy Ella After follower, you would know that we are in the midst of a Korber household renovation, in preparation for baby no. 2. I’ve been scouring Pinterest and Etsy for ideas for Ella’s new room, and have come across the most beautiful idea to decorate her walls. Confetti Dot Wall Decals are the ‘new thing’ in kids’ rooms. Easy to apply, with your imagination your only obstacle! They come in a range of colours and sizes, and give any child’s room a beautiful, happy, whimsical feel!

There are so many shops, especially on Etsy, that sell these gorgeous dots, but I have found that The Lovely Wall Co on Etsy sell them at a reasonable price, with sensible shipping costs! Here are a few of my favourites from their range:

Bright BRIGHT confetti dots give an amazing pop of colour:

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Neutrals and Metallics for a clean, modern look!

 

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‘Very Boy’ dots add a playful feel to any boy’s room

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and finally, my favourite, that I am definitely going to purchase for Ella’s room is the very aptly named ‘Girly, Girly’ dots. Cannot wait to get my hands on them!

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Most sets sell at a price of $56.45 AUD, with $16.45 shipping to Australia. You receive a set of 80 dots, with most of them being re-usable (metallic dots are not re-usable).

Each of the above images is linked to their Etsy store. You can also follow ‘The Lovely Wall Co.’ on Facebook here.

Incy Interiors also did a beautiful feature of Confetti Dot Decals on their Facebook page today. Syled by Hide & Sleep, it is another example of how to use these gorgeous decorative decals.

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I think they are just beautiful!


kate

 

Being a Mum means…

Being a Mum means…

Last week a friend sent me what can only be described as one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. ‘Mommy, somebody needs you‘ is an article written by Megan Morton over at Your Best Nest. Written from the most heartfelt place, it is an honest reflection about Motherhood, and a revealing lesson for us all. It connected with me on so many levels. It made me stop and think, really think about Motherhood.

ella and me

Motherhood is the both the best thing I have ever ‘done’ and the hardest thing I have ever experienced. It took me by surprise, how much I felt at ease with being the Mum of Ella, and yet I felt so lost from my former self. During the first six months, I loved every minute of being a new Mum, and yet I morned my former life.  Being confident in my job, having the freedom to get in the car and go shopping, being able to visit friends and have a drink without even thinking about it. Have a shower. WASH YOUR HAIR. Read a magazine. Go to the toilet. These simple luxuries in life seemed to vanish overnight, and in many ways, I felt myself wishing for the time when I would be able to do them again.

In a way, you want to make the most of every moment, and yet you also long for the time when you can have ‘your own time’ back again. You go to bed with that little pain in your stomach, thinking ‘when will she wake?’. Motherhood, especially in the early days, is such a juxtaposition of wanting time to slow down and speed up.

Megan Morton spoke of similar feelings, and the experience of ‘always being on duty’. She says:

‘Once upon a time, I had time.  For myself.  Now, my toe nails need some love.  My bra fits a little differently.  My curling iron might not even work anymore, I don’t know.  I can’t take a shower without an audience.  ‘

She struggled with these feelings, and the wanting to have her ‘life back’ until one night, when it all changed for her. She says:

Right now, somebody always needs me.  Like last night…

At 3am I hear the little footsteps entering my room.  I lay still, barely breathing.  Maybe he will retreat to his room.  Yeah right.

“Mommy.”

“Mommy.”  A little louder.

“Yes”.  I barely whisper.

He pauses, his giant eyes flashing in the dim light.

“I love you.”

And just like that, he is gone.  Scampered back to his room.  But, his words still hang in the cool night air.  If I could reach out and snatch them, I would grab his words and hug them to my chest.  His soft voice whispering the best sentence in the world.  I love you.  A smile curls across my lips and I slowly exhale, almost afraid to blow the memory away.  I drift back to sleep and let his words settle into my heart.

There have been moments like this lately that have touched me in ways that I cannot describe. Ella throwing her arms around me when I come home from work, telling her Dad that she loves him, hearing her at the end of the phone. I know that one day, she will grow up, and won’t do these things (or will do, with strained effort). One day she will grow up and won’t need her Mummy anymore. Very soon, she will want to do everything on her own. She will not have an endless supply of cuddles and kisses for her Mum and Dad. She won’t want to walk in my shoes up and down the hallway. She won’t yell for me in the night to help her go back to sleep.

So for now, I need to savour this time. A time when she needs me. A time when I can give her everything she needs. A time when she depends on me to be all the things I need to be. Around the clock. I can still have time for myself, but I need to stop and think about those precious moments that I will never get back.

Soon, I will be revisiting the world of night feeds, sleep patterns, breast feeding and all other things newborn. I look forward to it with a new sense of appreciation and awareness. I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that the time goes so quick, I need to slow down and enjoy each moment. I will be kinder to myself and know that with each kiss and cuddle, I am doing something that will mean more than anything else in my life. Even if I am covered in breast milk, and am running on 2 hours sleep.

ella cot

Being a Mum means being there in each and every moment. It means being finding a comfortable place between my old and new self. It means slowing down, and not wishing for a time when I will ‘have my life back’. I’ve got my life, and it’s pretty damn wonderful.

I want to thank Megan for her beautiful article, and for helping me to see the challenges of Motherhood through a new lens. I hope it helps others too.

kate