room for two : cot bunks

posted on: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do your wee ones share a space? How do you arrange it?

Would you consider popping a cot under a bunk? Or even building your own cot bunk?

The preschooler and lady share a tiny room, and they're even more squished in there now that the lady is out of her hammock and in a cot (the cot and bed sit side by side with a little chair separating them).

So what to do? The clean, Nordic style crib under loft bed (top) definitely appeals, but alas, I don't think we don't have enough room. I love the creative use of space by Jordan on Oh Happy Day, (second from top) but as she points out it may be tricky ensuring the suspended cot is safe enough. This nifty convertible BunkCot from Shanticot might be a safe, ready-made solution. It's available in white from boohoobaby in the UK and in natural beech from Island Edge in Australia.

Would you use a cot bunk? Have you built your own? Would you like to? I'd love to hear!

my favourite and my best : quiet design

posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How much more fun would tidying away be if these pretty pastel pieces were involved?

Quiet Design Collage Cabinet by  Sigrid Stromgren for Italian brand ex.t.

meet the mama : kate from antipodean love

posted on: Friday, September 21, 2012

"Before I became a mama I was living with my fiancé in the city enjoying all city life had to offer. I liked sleeping in (a very foreign concept to me now!) and was working in recruitment in a very fast-paced, busy office. The days were long, challenging and hectic.

Now my days are even longer, more challenging and even more hectic than I could have imagined. My fiancé is now my husband and we have  moved out to the suburbs (though some of my friends laugh at this as we are still very close to the city). We have two daughters, Ruby who is 2.5 years old, and Bella who is 6 months old.

When I look back on the time before I was a parent I wish that I had enjoyed my sleep and our selfish life more. My husband and I laugh remembering that we naively thought that having a baby would not change us at all and that the kids would just fit in with our lifestyle. This has definitely not been the case!

My day usually starts between 5 and 6.30am -- I am woken by Ruby climbing into our bed for a cuddle. I secretly love this time as it is about the only time that she stays still and likes to snuggle. Ruby goes to child care on Monday and Wednesday and I would be lying if I did not admit to looking forward to those days. It is great to have calm, one-on-one time with Bella.

Our days are filled with play dates, visits to the park, glorious domestic duties and squeezing in emails and working on the business when I get a chance. We aim for a 7pm bedtime for the girls and after that I work away.

Becoming a mama has been the most amazing, crazy thing that I have ever done. I am amazed how Ruby knows just how to push my buttons, what little sleep I can survive and function on, and that this sort of love is possible. But I have surprised myself with the mama guilt I sometimes feel; becoming a mum has also brought out all my insecurities.

Sometimes I have questioned if I am doing the right thing and the extreme sleep deprivation is also very hard. Ruby is not a great sleeper. We have been to “sleep school” which did improve some things, but then other sleep issues have emerged. The fact that she has now moved into a bed is also a whole new ball game.

I love seeing my girls grow and develop. Ruby pushes me to my limit most days but I am also secretly proud and amazed by her. I love how her little brain works and watching her assert her independence and develop her own identity. I also adore kisses and cuddles, the look Bella gives me when she wakes up after a good sleep and hearing Ruby say, 'I love you'. I love seeing my husband as a father, and how our girls are absolutely besotted by him.

What helps me parent well are my husband, sharing with my supportive friends and trusting my gut instinct. My husband is very grounded and always gets me back on track. Watching my girls grow also makes me very proud. I trust myself that I am being the best mama that I can be. My parenting may not be perfect, but it is right for me and my lovely little family.

The best advice I have been given is nothing groundbreaking at all. My 94 year-old grandmother just told me to, 'go with the flow and trust in yourself'. I read very little before we had Ruby and I was very open and flexible for the girls' births.

The advice that I would impart to new mamas is to remember that, 'this too shall pass'. I always tell myself this when I cannot believe that I have had so many bad nights in a row or the girls behaviour is driving me insane. Things do change, they may come back to rear their ugly heads but they will go again. I would also advise against getting too hung up on milestones -- it can do your head in worrying that your child should be doing X by age X. They will do it all in their own time.

Enjoy the ride of motherhood, it will test you, bring out the worst in you but also make you feel so proud of the amazing woman and mother you can be."

Kate runs the Australian and New Zealand online gift store, Antipodean Love. You can also stay updated about Antipodean Love on the Facebook page.

giveaway : darling dinosaur

posted on: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Self-confessed type nerd and Australian printmaker, Nicole Arnett Phillips has turned her love of type to fresh nursery prints and matching wee threads. Aren't they lovely? (I am fancying the Geo N print, I think it would be perfect for sharpening up a tween space.) And we have a trio of nicole.ap. goodies to give away. Hoorah!

what will you win?
1 x Animal.bet1 alphabet print, 1 x D is for dinosaur print, and 1 x D is for dinosaur onesie or t-shirt (your choice from sizes 3 months - 2 years) valued at $119 AUD.

what do you need to do?
Visit Nicole's store, nicole.ap. then leave a comment on this post. Too easy!

Please leave your email address on your comment or email it to Winner will be chosen by random on the 27th September 2012.  If the winner is not contactable within 24 hours the giveaway will be redrawn.

This giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!

make it mine : modern azure

posted on: Monday, September 17, 2012

Ever seen a nursery and wondered how to recreate the look yourself? baby space contributor, Belinda from Nest Design Studio has a knack for just that -- and she's going to be sharing some of her finds with us. Hoorah!

If you're familiar with Belinda's 'Make it Little' feature on her blog you'll know you're in for a treat. She told me,"This room is a beautifully soft and calming space and was designed by The Elegant Abode."

"You can find the serene Dwellstudio Gate rug in azure and cream from the Wedding List Co, the rocking chair from Mantha &You, the Barometer lamp from Ikea and the My Roots World Map by Children Inspire Design from Down That Little Lane." 1. Rug  2.  Chair  3.  Lamp  4.  Print

Thanks Belinda, we love it! 

ETA -- The cot pictured is the Oeuf Classic Cot which is available in Australia from Urban Baby

baby : 8 months

posted on: Friday, September 14, 2012

What a month (and a half)!

I am going to be real with you friends, this month I hit a bit of a wall. Between myself and the lady we have been sick with colds for the better part of winter... and the whole lack of sleep, hormones, three kids and busy mister thing has led to quite a bit of exhaustion. Some days are rough.

But life is still beautiful; I've found that seemingly little things help -- like getting out in the sunshine, sitting down alone for half an hour to flip through a magazine or read a book (especially amusing ones about early mamahood like 'Say it Again in a Nice Voice' by Meg Mason) and meeting up with other mamas and babies. I am part of two mums groups and knowing that we are all going through similar experiences and have similar concerns is extremely comforting. I've also taken the advice of mums like Katrina, and thought about Jane's and Joanna's experiences. I've sought help and taken heart that the blues aren't forever.

Meanwhile, this lady has been growing like a gorgeous little weed. Well, not in size but in skills! She now says dadada, mamama, bababa, claps, bangs toys together, jigs up and down and waves her arms to music and singing, forages around the house (she is especially keen on alerting us to any wires that haven't been taped down), tears paper and can't get enough of scrunching plastic. Today she got her hands on an unopened cellophane cracker packet and scrunched it until the crackers were crumbs.

She loves crawling. She didn't want to sit still for these photos at all. (See up there I bribed her with my phone? She wouldn't stay put!) And she has developed the inevitable clinginess that is to be expected at this age. She has started to slightly prefer us to people she doesn't see every day, but is still a super smiler.

A couple of weeks ago we were at the store and an elderly lady stopped to smile at Rose then said to me in a choked-up voice, 'Oh, I just love babies.'
I can imagine being just like her one day.

These littles are a lot of work, but my goodness. They're the most beautiful people I could ever have imagined.

If you fancy catching up on the lady's babyhood here she is at 7 months, 6 months, 5 months, 4 months, 3 months, 2 months, 1 month and newborn.

{vintage dress from lazer baby vintage on etsy as recommended by nell, organic pillows from nature baby, striped monkey by alimrose, white tights by seed heritage and handed down from our friend jen.) 

my favourite and my best : studio meez

posted on: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One for the wee one, one for the bestie, and one for you. (Okay, two for you ;)

All above adorableness from Studio Meez on Etsy.

room for kids: tween reader

posted on: Monday, September 10, 2012

Nicole from Little Liberty has brought rainbow shades to a clean space with statement library wallpaper. She says, "I'm a firm believer in investing in a statement wallpaper and then keep the rest of the room fairly simple in block colours. I created this room for a trendy tween and it is a perfect example. The wallpaper is like a giant piece of art."

"I love the splash of blues with hot pinks which keep the room youthful and modern. I went for a gorgeous light grey marle alpaca rug underneath the bed -- it didn't need to be a statement with colour but rather something that gave the room a cosy feel due to the cold nature of the floorboards. The white storage boxes hide all the knick knacks and junk that have been collecting over the years; concealing is one of my many talents."

Thank you for sharing this wonderful space Nicole! You can check out more of Nicole's work at Little Liberty

giveaway : dreamworks animation's madagascar 3: europe's most wanted

posted on: Friday, September 7, 2012

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

Are you planning to see DreamWorks Animation's Madagscar 3: Europe's Most Wanted? We were invited along to a fun blogger's screening and it was a lovely chance to have a ma and sons date, just myself and the two biggies.

about the film
The old gang, Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe concoct a scheme to leave Africa and get back to their beloved zoo in Central Park, New York via a travelling European Circus. Of course right from the outset things don't go according to plan and we see the friends on the run from animal controller Captain Chantel DuBois (a Cruella de Vil type voiced by Frances McDormand) against a backdrop of iconic European sights (in 3D!).

at the movies...
1. The teen and I (snapped by the preschooler) on the train en route to the cinema. So 15 years-old right? 2. Post-movie activities in Gold Class. The preschooler is in the background getting his face painted. 3. Vox pops after the film. 4. The kiddos getting their 3D glasses on.

My absolute favourite part of the whole experience was that once we were all snuggled into the plush oversize armchairs (Event Cinemas Gold Class) with lunch of our choice -- nachos for the teen, fish 'n' chips for the preschooler and spring rolls for me -- the preschooler leaned over to me and said, "This is just like movie night at home!" How adorable is that? I love that he associates fun movies with family time. Paramount captured some of our day here:

Of course the preschooler and I sang 'Circus Afro' for the rest of the day, and maybe part of the next. It didn't annoy the teen at all ;) If you fancy making a day of it too you might like to book Family Gold Class tickets at Event Cinemas and plan your circus training party at Circus Arts.

To get you in a Madagascar kinda mood we have some official film swag to give away. Hoorah! To enter just tell us in the comments section of this post who you'd bring along to see DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3 : Europe's Most Wanted and why you think they'd love it.

One winner will receive:
1. A circus set with three juggling clubs, juggling balls, a diablo and a spinning plate
2. An official Madagascar 3 : Europe's Most Wanted film poster
3. An official movie passport cover and luggage strap
4. Bright tangerine wrist watch
5. Madagascar 3 circus tent.

Total value = $150 AUD.

Please make sure to leave your email address (or send it to too so we can contact you.

Apologies to international readers, this giveaway is open Australia wide only. Giveaway will close on September12th 2012. Good luck!

View full giveaway T&Cs at Nuffnang DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3 : Europe's Most Wanted 3D only at the movies September 13th, 2012. MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED © 2012 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.

meet the mama : jane from life on planet baby

posted on: Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Before I was pregnant I worked as a lawyer. At 7.30 am I bussed to work.  I recorded every minute. I rarely returned before 7 pm and often at 10.30 pm. I was stressed to the max.

Now at 7.30 am, I’m feeding, dressing, teeth-cleaning, face-washing, hair-brushing and bag-packing for the pixies. Joshie’s at school five days a week, India three and Sam’s at daycare for two.

At 2.15 pm, the school run starts. Then the pixies watch Play School and play. At 5pm it’s bath time. At 5.45 pm, I dress them and hopefully Mr PB then arrives to help me face dinner at the zoo. I have three of the fussiest eaters on the planet! Then it’s story time, teeth cleaning and bed at 7 pm.

When they're not at school, Sam, India and I mainly stay at home. There’s a bit of ABC Kids watched, playing in the cubby and the garden, baking and hours of imaginative play and craft. I love seeing their minds at work. On my two free days, I clean up, run errands, phone friends, catch up on emails and blogs, visit girlfriends or make something creative.

Motherhood cracks your heart open. It leaves you incredibly vulnerable. The degree of empathy and compassion I feel for others, especially parents and children, grows deeper with every passing day. It’s such a blessing.

Before I was pregnant I wish I hadn’t read baby books from cover to cover! So much advice was contradictory. That made those early newborn months so difficult. I found it hard to trust my instinct which was often spot-on.

The hardest part of being a new mum is the exhaustion. Being a 24 hour around-the-clock-on-demand milk bar is incredibly tiring. Add a completely reliant newborn and well-meaning rellies offering advice and you may become slightly cranky! It’s amazing how restorative even a few hours of unbroken sleep can be in those hazy newborn days.

My favourite part of motherhood is the unconditional love my pixies gift me. Every single day. It’s so easy to forget in the midst of the daily dramas of raising littlies but so precious to feel and acknowledge.

Sharing my thoughts with fellow mums helps me parent well. I feel part of something bigger – that wonderful sisterhood of mothers spanning the generations. It also helps me become more confident in my parenting.

When we had our 3 pixies in 3½ years, we the followed the advice, 'Now is a time to be and not do'. Don’t race around trying to achieve too much with your littlies. You’ll end up stressed and they’ll probably become over-tired and over-stimulated. Instead, try to live in the moment with them. You can pack more into your weekends when they’re older, don’t need their naps and have longer attention spans. That time will come, even if those baby days seem never-ending!

If I were to give advice to new mamas I would say find one source of advice you trust and stick with it. I found Robin Barker’s ‘Baby Love’ fantastic and common-sense. It saved my sanity. Thanks so much for having me here, Bron – it’s been delightful."

Jane blogs at Life On Planet Baby and will be soon be opening her own Etsy store to sell her wooden and wire words wrapped with Liberty fabric. 

room for baby : pottery barn kids

posted on: Monday, September 3, 2012

While one-of-a-kind and vintage pieces are undeniably beautiful, sometimes it's refreshing to start off a little space with brand spankin' new items, don't you think?

For Sydneysiders access to a greater variety of shiny new goods is about to become a whole lot easier now that Pottery Barn Kids is opening up in Bondi Junction in 2013. Here are some pieces that caught my eye -- they would make lovely base items in a new nursery or kid's space.

1. Emma Iron Crib 2.Harper Changing Table and Topper 3. Catalina Bunk Bed 4. Madeline Armoire. Corner image: Fun On The Farm Stacker.  

If you're stateside, do you shop at Pottery Barn? Any fave items we should look out for?

Thanks Babyology for sharing the fun news!

happy father's day

posted on: Sunday, September 2, 2012

To all the papas, step-papas, grandpapas and caring men of littles, we wish you a wonderful day!

{my dad and I circa 1979, taken by my ma. happy father's day dad.}
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