giveaway : shop for tots playhouse

posted on: Monday, April 30, 2012

With cooler weather comes more inside time. Unfortunately with our boisterous preschooler, inside time sometimes leads to stir crazy time, so when Shop For Tots told me about their fold-out playhouses I was very, very interested.

I waited for one potentially boring Sunday when the Mr was studying and the preschooler was lolling around listlessly, angling to watch more TV to announce that it was cubby time and pulled out the surprisingly light package -- the house is made from a cotton blend and folds up smaller than a pillow -- and draped it over our dining room table. It was a hit.

I helped the preschooler drag in some blankets and pillows to set up his house and he really enjoyed all the ‘real house’ features like the door, the mesh windows, curtains, letterbox (he promptly made a letter to post) and storage pocket for little toys on the inside the house. Being a lover of detail, he also approved of the three birds that dot the exterior of the house and the flower print fabric skirting the bottom. He gave the birds names and proclaimed the flowers, 'lovely!'

One challenge we encountered came in the form of the enthusiastic baby space man crawling inside to hang out with the kiddos. This resulted in the preschooler wanting him to stay in there all day instead of playing independently. Ay, yi, yi.

I carefully sidestepped this challenged the next time we pulled out the house by suggesting it could be for kids only.

The preschooler jumped right on board with this idea and proceeded to make all manner of signs (drawing: try to stop him) letting us know that there were ‘no grownups allowed.’ Perfect. He also let his sister be a guest. She’s not totally au fait with cubby house etiquette (she tried to eat it) but he let her in all the same. Super cute they were.

I like that the My Playhouse Adventures Domestic Adventures cubby is designed and hand sewn in Australia and also quite like the new Mechanical Adventures cubby which would be ideal for wee car enthusiasts. Of course, after receiving the playhouse I had to peruse the Shop For Tots website and got quite distracted by the plethora of fun goodies, from sweet clothes to fabulous pretend play items like the house, all waiting to be snapped up. One to bookmark for Christmas shopping I think!

And Shop for Tots are giving away one My Playhouse Adventures Domestic Adventures cubby valued at $189 AUD to one lucky baby space reader. Hoorah!

To enter simply:
1. Like Shop for Tots on Facebook.
2. Like, or already be a liker of baby space on Facebook, or a follower of baby space through Google Friend Connect.
3. Leave a comment on this post telling us who in your life would love this playhouse and why.

And PLEASE leave your email address with your comment or email it to bron@babyspace.net.au with your comment username so we can contact you if you are the winner. Good luck!

This giveaway is open internationally. Winner will be chosen by random generator on 15th May 2012. If the winner is not contactable within 24 hours the giveaway will be redrawn.


THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Congratulations Natalie from 'The Nappy Spot'! 

baby : 16 weeks (and a dress)

posted on: Friday, April 27, 2012

As you probably know, I have been a boys mama for nearly 15 years. And through all these years my ma has held on to my baby clothes from the 70s. Nice one, ma.

Then when I was pregnant last year, though we didn't find out the baby's sex, my ma handed over all the clothes she'd been saving. They were all so feminine, but also so lovely that I (half) joked that even if the baby was a boy I'd have to try them on him.



I used to wear this dress when I was nine months-old. Here is the lady wearing it at just 16 weeks-old. I think we can safely say the generations are getting bigger.

Baby me at nine months, with my ma.




Boy? I am not a boy!

So, for this lady, 16 weeks has been all about the grabbing. She has become even more fascinated by her hands and has gained just enough control to grab her soft baby books to chew on, and also to grab my hair and skin.Youch. Interestingly, her constant babbling has slowed down to the occasional squeak, a bit like she can't focus on grabbing and talking at the same time. 

Overall she has been settled and sweet and pudgy and delicious.

I'd love to know, have you dressed your wee one's in your old baby clothes? Do you have pictures? If you post/have posted about that I'd love to see! And thank you for all your hello's in the comments last week. It is very cool for me to learn a bit about you too :)

p.s baby space is listed in the Best Australian Blogs Competition in the People's Choice section. If you'd like to vote for us you can do so on the voting page here. You don't have to sign up for anything, just scroll until you find baby space on the list. But whether you decide to vote or not, thank you so much for sharing this little journey with us. I am loving your company.

Have a gorgeous weekend!

p.p.s If you are wondering about my ma's nationality she is Filipino.

room for baby : orange you glad to see me

posted on: Thursday, April 26, 2012

A persimmon stripe here, a grey stripe there, and a couple of creative animal heads punctuate the fresh spaces created for 11 month-old twins Tuck and Finn and their big sister, Tate.

Mum, Chelsea, nabbed the bold rhino bust from Anthropolgie and used clean white frames from Ikea.

I've enjoyed following along with Chelsea's journeys since her pre-twin days so it's wonderful to get a peek into the sweet abode she's created for her wee ones. You can find out more about these spaces on LMNOP and on Chelsea's blog, Yours Truly.

baby : 15 weeks

posted on: Friday, April 20, 2012

So this is the post where I say, ohmahgosh where has the time gone? I've felt pretty cool about miss lady's growing, growing, growing, so far. That's what we want her to do, right? But this week I've come over all disbelieving that she's already 15 weeks old and her 4 month birthday is just around the corner.

She's started pushing herself up with her arms and we know where that leads: more rolling and then crawling. Eek. Time, slow your roll! Because I am having such beautiful days that I want them to last forever.

As I'm sure you can relate, we have some bad weeks and some good. Lately there's definitely been more of the good. Instead of worrying that that means something less fun is around the corner I'm just going to enjoy these sunny times while they're here.

So how's life treating you? I really would love to hear.

The baby space readership has grown recently and I'm so curious about who you are. Would you mind my asking, are you reading because a) you're pregnant, b) you have an infant, c) you like the wee spaces, d) because you're my mother (hi ma!) or, e) some other reason?

Don't feel you have to out yourself if you'd rather not, but I sure am curious.

Have a lovely weekend!


{sweetest bird toy by chloe o'reilly. we call it rosabelle's rosabird.}

meet the mama : belinda from nest design studio

posted on: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Before Hugh was born I worked full time with one of Victoria’s large building companies doing admin and also colour selections for clients building their new homes. I also had my own business, which I still have, doing local interior design consultations for private clients. I was involved with ballroom dancing and along with competing I taught adult beginners and had a teenager’s class, which I adored.

On a good week I went to the gym 3-4 times a week, went shopping, caught up with friends and read lots and lots of books. Now I can’t tell you the last time I read a book.

My day usually starts at 7am. My husband Matt, will get Hugh’s breakfast while I am feeding Charles who is still breastfeeding at 14 months. I'm planning to wean him very soon. Then I’ll handball Charles to Matt, Matt will get Charles' breakfast and I'll have a shower.
By the time I’m ready, hubby is off to work and I’m able to sit with the boys. I like to have the house relatively tidy before Charles goes down for his first sleep at about 9am. I say relatively, because as we all know, there is no such thing as a tidy house with kids around.
At the moment Charles is still having two sleeps a day, so much of our day is spent at home. At sleep times Hugh (who is two) generally potters. He loves to paint, so I set his easel up and let him paint and stick etc. We read some books, watch a bit of ABC2, play cars or we cook. I try and cook something with Hugh once a week.

When both boys are up, they love playing outside. We might go to the supermarket or the library or the park or catch up with my mum’s group. Each day is different. At the moment Hugh’s night sleeps haven’t been great so what we do in the day depends on how well the night went. Sometimes it means lots of ABC2.

I’m incredibly lucky to be able to work around my boys. My working hours revolve around their sleeps. When they sleep I catch up on emails, do some research and design work, and if I’m lucky and they have a big sleep I have the chance to read a few blogs.

At 4.30pm the ‘bitching hours’ start. I get tea ready for the boys and at 5.30 they eat, have a bath, milk and are in bed at 7pm (with a few books thrown in). Matt doesn’t get home until about 6.30pm so he usually walks in at the most chaotic time just in time for his ‘hero half hour’.

The most surprising thing I've found about becoming a mum is that I love it so much. I was never a clucky woman. I always thought I would be the career girl in the big city and not settle down until I was 40. Turns out I was wrong. Now show me a picture of a baby and I'm cluck, cluck, clucky. I've even based my interior design business around babies!

Even so, the days can be very, very long. I’m lucky that I have a creative outlet as I couldn’t imagine how much longer the days would be if I didn’t have something else going on to let me be someone other than ‘Mum’.

Sometimes I crave going back to just being an employee, to indulge in idle gossip or chat and have adult conversations for a full day.

The hardest part of being a mum is making sure I'm always doing my best. Not just letting each day go past but always remembering the big picture: that I am raising future gentlemen. To actively involve their little brains, to make sure they have good manners and are learning to be polite and kind.

My favourite things about being a mum are the cuddles, the ‘I love yous', the laughter, realising how clever they are, and the good surprises: Hugh likes to tell my mum and I, ‘You’re cute'.

It’s going to sound terrible but what helps me parent well is having a short time away from the boys. On average, I might see one to two clients per week. Consultations take about two hours, and being away from the boys makes me excited and appreciate coming home to them. It reinvigorates me. Of course, my husband also helps me parent well. When he’s home I know I can go about getting things done while he and the boys play and have great ‘man time’.

The best parenting advice I've received actually came from my obstetrician. When I couldn’t breastfeed Hugh and had to put him on formula at the hospital, I was so upset. My ob told me to look at any playground and tell him which child was breastfed and which was formula fed. Of course I couldn't.

It doesn’t matter how you birth your child or how you feed your child. All they need and want is your love and time.

If it all gets too much -- when there are tantrums and they refuse to eat that meal you just spent three hours preparing or there are sleep issues (all of which I’m going through with Hugh at the moment), I remind myself that tomorrow is a brand new day. And a glass of wine when they are in bed helps too."

belinda is a baby space contributor and also blogs at next design studio.

room for kids : better red

posted on: Monday, April 16, 2012

Can you guess what Lily's mum's fave colour is? Carolyn injected Lily's space with a generous dose of Gypsy Pink (the wall paint) and completed the look with a cheerful Marimekko spread.

Are you thinking of going red in the nursery? You can find more inspiration in this flower infused space, in these classic nurseries, and in this wee boy's room.

Carolyn and Lily's colourful abode in Toronto, Canada, was featured on Design*Sponge. Photo by Virginia Macdonald.

p.s That's Lily's dog Ziggy, waiting for her to come home, how cute is that?

baby : 14 weeks

posted on: Friday, April 13, 2012

hands up if you're happy!

Life feels a bit like it's getting away from me at the moment. So I sat down to take stock and have a click through the lady's updates. There's been so much going on, really for the last year (or more); being pregnant, wrangling the preschooler, coordinating the teen, starting the new blog, that I'm often just operating in the moment, which is good and healthy, but then I'm not really aware of how the big picture is working out. It was pretty cool to look back and see the progress she's making.

So what has this tiny lady been up to? A wee bit of rolling has started happening. From her front to her back and I managed to catch it on camera. Hoorah!

She has been giggling a little more, especially when I sing (not because I have a terrible voice ;) especially when I make la, la, la or da, da, da noises. I often make up songs about her when she's having her bath. They are of a mermaid theme: she's the mermaid. She seems to approve.

She chats away so much that I had a random dream that I was teaching her vowel sounds and she was saying them. Ha!

And the preschooler is convinced that she's saying 'hi' or 'mama' or 'dada' and will not be told otherwise.
He's quite the big brother and tells me when she's upset that, 'She needs a feed. She needs a sleep.' It's gorgeous.

{vintage alphabet and number quilt gifted to me by my aunt and uncle in the philippines when I was a baby. seafoam green jumpsuit by juliebell.}

room for baby : lime zest

posted on: Thursday, April 12, 2012

A white space punctuated by bright green details manages to appear both restful and energetic all at the same time. A trick of the light or simply the magic of green?

To create a similar look, try pairing this cot with this ceiling light and this table lamp from Ikea. Then stalk your local thrift store for a vintage chest to paint. And if you're looking for a gorgeous patchwork quilt you might like this one from Tina Magee Sews on Etsy.

Have you used green in the nursery? Did it create an equally bright yet calming effect? I'd love to hear.

Sweet image via Pinterest.

fun stuff : sunshine award

posted on: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thanks to the lovely Claire in Canberra and Nell in the UK for this sweet Sunshine Award. Claire and Nell both have extremely lovely blogs and extremely lovely baby girls who are similar in age to miss lady.

Favourite colour
Green. Seafoam green at the moment.

Favourite animal
I love cats but the Mr isn't keen. Right now the preschooler and the teen have guinea pigs called Mooki and Peso. The boys named them. The Mr takes care of them. They were his idea.

Favourite non-alcoholic drink
Coffee, coffee, coffee. Skim mocha please, from our local, Craig's Cheese Shop. Craig's is tiny but wonderful. If you are ever in Bondi Junction you must go there because Adrian and Carol behind the counter are the loveliest. And Craig's food is to die for. Or a soy chai from my fave cafe bookstore, Gertude and Alice. I can spend hours at G&A looking at all the vintage books, sipping tea and chatting with my friends.

Facebook or Twitter
Facebook. I am in an online Mother's Group to which I'm addicted. We talk about our babies all. day. long.

Favourite number
3. Not sure why. 3 kiddos perhaps? 3 people in my house when I was growing up? 3 is a good number for a catch up and a chat?

Favourite day of the week
Monday. I know, am I crazy? See here for explanation.

My passions
I have so many. Our little family, the wee ones, writing, blogging, lovely spaces, vintage children's books and photographs. I also love photography but I love photographs more.

Getting or giving presents
Giving. I always feel a bit embarrassed receiving them. I worry my face isn't doing the right thing.

Favourite pattern
Blue checks. But I also like stripes. And I cannot go past a good vintage floral.

Favourite flower
It didn't used to be, but now it's roses :)

Passing this award on to the lovely Katie and Annie.

Pictures of the preschooler demonstrating his high-pants obsession back when he was three with his doll, Jeff who is also a high-pant wearer. Jeff was custom made by the lovely Julie at Fee Vertelaine.

baby : 13 weeks

posted on: Saturday, April 7, 2012

What’s that? I'm three months old?

That’s old. I'm not a newborn anymore? No way!

You still think I'm cute, right? It’s my giant head bobble, isn't it? Sweeeet.

I couldn’t help myself with the captions this week because three months (or 13 weeks) means a whole lot more personality in miss baby that’s quite hard to capture. (Must try harder next week!)

New things up with the lady: lots of bubble blowing and spools of drool. The teen was quite grossed out when he gave her a hug and was left with a trail of baby slobber down his back. So funny.

She has discovered she can clasp her hands together and spends quite a bit of time clasping and unclasping her long baby fingers.

And she is chatting even more, if that can be believed.

This weekend is her first Easter. Exactly one year ago today, or rather on Easter Saturday last year, I found out that a new baby was on it's way. The best Easter surprise ever.

What will you be doing this long weekend? An Easter hunt perhaps? Never too old for those chocolate bunnies! But possibly your wee one, like Miss Rose, is too young. At what age will you/did you let your kiddo indulge in the traditional chocolate fare? I'd love to hear.

meet the mama : cherie from a baby called max

posted on: Friday, April 6, 2012

"Life before Max feels like a lifetime ago. I was a perfectionist, in all the wrong ways. And so my life was perfect, but in all the wrong ways.

getting personal : expressive compulsive

posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Lovely readers, I have a new blog that I'm very excited (and nervous!) about.

On expressive compulsive I will be sharing personal posts, interviews and essays about motherhood, family life and parenting by myself and other writers and bloggers, practising my creative writing (I am in the middle of my MA in Creative Writing at The University of Technology, Sydney) and sometimes pondering the writing process.

Being a mama, especially a stay at home one, can be a very isolating experience. In this new space I hope we can find some connection and light.

If you have something to say about parenting, motherhood, family or life in general, and would like to contribute on the new space, please do send me an email: bron@expressivecompulsive.com.

And if I have already been admiring your writing for a while you may find an email from me in the next few weeks asking you to share the conversation over there. Look forward to your company.

room for kids : from toddler to teen

posted on: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Belinda from Nest Design Studio discovered a delightful room to take little Izzy from toddler to teen at Crazy Wonderful.

Choosing a backdrop of light grey, Izzy's mum, Shelley, created this gorgeous space for her daughter. A DIY tuffted headboard in white adds a sophisticated shape to the generous bed.

The simple colour scheme with pops of pink and aqua allows the beautiful details to shine. For more information and sources, head to Crazy Wonderful.

giveaway : cooper mini tubs

posted on: Monday, April 2, 2012

With three kiddos in the house the toys have been seriously overflowing. So when the man and the preschooler went away for the weekend, I took the chance to pounce on all the debris. I was very tempted to chuck lots of toys while the preschooler wasn't looking (very, very tempted!) but instead I carefully rearranged what we have with the aid of a basket, a trunk and two Cooper Mini Tubs.

One of the challenges we have is that the kiddos' rooms are upstairs and the living room is downstairs. You can see where I'm going here. The preschooler is the guiltiest party as the teen is happy to keep most of his stuff in his room and the lady is too small to do much damage. But the preschooler! He seriously leaves a trail in his wake. Out of his room, down the stairs and all. over. the living area. And he never, ever wants to pick it back up again. 'It's toooo hea-veee,' 'I can't dooo it!' with lots of flopping around helplessly to demonstrate.


But when the boys came home I showed them the neat house and informed them that we have a fabulous new system! All toys can be brought downstairs in the Cooper Tubs and at the end of the day all toys must be brought back upstairs in the Cooper Tubs.

They're small enough for the preschooler to haul up and down the stairs and he doesn't have to worry about not being able to gather up his stuff because it's too awkward; all items fit neatly into the tubs and he just has to hold the sturdy handles.


I am happy to report that the new system is up and running and totally working. Hoorah! AND we have a set of mini Copper Tubs worth $39.95 AUD to give away. Hoorah! Hoorah!

All you have to do it enter is:

1. Like mor-stor on Facebook.

2. Like, or already be a liker of baby space on Facebook, or a follower of baby space through Google Friend Connect.

3. Leave a comment on this post telling us whether you'd like to win the purple and pink tubs or the olive green and navy tubs.

Winner will be chosen by random on the 16th April 2012. This giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!

Please make sure you leave your email address and/or check back on this post on the above date. If the winner is not contactable within 24 hours the giveaway will be redrawn.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Congratulations Mary from 'And Mary'! Please send your postal details through to bron@babyspace.net.au to receive your tubs.
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