sponsored post : dettol touch of foam

posted on: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

Dettol organised for myself and four other mama bloggers (the lovely Nicole, Lori, Dani and Lexi)  to get together for some fancy R&R and talk about 'celebrating mums as women' at the Sheraton in Sydney. We visited the spa overlooking Hyde Park, ate a tasty lunch and chatted about everything from hygiene and the kids, to how we take time out for ourselves. Would you like to see?

As you saw in the video I confessed my (ahem) slightly obsessive hand washing tendencies. I have also thoughtfully passed this obsession on to my kids who were more than approving of the samples of Dettol's Touch of Foam hand wash that I brought home. The teen volunteered that 'Rose and Cherry Bloom' smelt like "fruit juice" and the preschooler announced in delight, "It already has bubbles before you even put it in the water!" Indeed. It also feels soft and moisturising on my hands, kills 99.9% of germs and comes in three varients.

The preschooler giving 'Wild Berry Bliss' a whirl after daycare.

I really enjoyed meeting these lovely ladies and having some time out for myself. As I mentioned, ducking up the street to have a quick manicure or a pedicure and catching up on the gossip mags is really one of the only ways I find time for myself at the moment. ( I never did this before I had kids!)

What do you do to take time out for yourself? I'd love to hear!

sakura bloom sling diaires : delight

posted on: Monday, October 29, 2012

Do you have a particularly treasured place in your neighbourhood?

The mister and I chose our neighbourhood because it's near the city (work) and the beach (play), but what we have discovered is that one place in our town has become more special to us than the rest; surprisingly, it's the park.

In this park we've celebrated birthdays, seen in the new year, met with friends and picnicked with family. We've witnessed our youngest son's delight as he spotted a turtle, an eel and a possum (hiding in a tree) for the very first time.

In this park we stood back and watched as my eldest son sprinted off on one of his training regimes. As he joined the throng of weekend joggers we realised together just how tall he has grown.

This park has also become the place where some of our most important life decisions have been made.

It is here that we talked long and hard and made the decision to have our third child; where we walked once a week rain or shine through my final pregnancy, where I wandered alone two days before that child was born.

On that day, the summer wind whooshed through the pines and I plunged into the relief I found in that solitary trudge. And I thought to myself, if I could give birth here, I would. 

It is where I feel safe but also where I feel free.

Now that the lady is here we still walk, just as we did when she was growing inside me. She rests her head on my chest, sometimes sleeping, sometimes watching her brother chatter alongside us, sometimes watching the rustling of the leaves overhead.

I cradle her through the cloth that holds her to me and lightly grasp her brother's still small fist.

The challenges we face raising these children and growing this family are very real. But with them, and because of them, we also find the truest, the purest, delight.

This post is part of the The Sling Diaries, Vol. II. You can follow along on Pinterest and Facebook.

{Photography by the lovely Clarissa at Art of Joy.}

fun stuff : halloween

posted on: Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are you celebrating Halloween this year?

The preschooler/tiger-child trick-or-treating at a neighbour's house last year.

The preschooler has loved venturing out for the last couple of eves, but I think this year (with the tiny lady and her unsociable bedtime) we'll stay in for some at-home spookiness, make some craft and maybe watch a movie.

Here are 9 fun things to do or make that you might like too:

- paint a jar-o-lantern or pumpkin jar (at top)

- make a spooky mummy pumpkin

- decorate with a diy spooky banner

- hand print a googly-eyed spider

- make a bat-o-lantern (above)

- cut and paste a faux stained-glass pumpkin decoration

- make a friendly frankenstein

- go pumpkin bowling

- watch a scary movie

Do your kiddos love Halloween? Will there be trick-or-treating? I'd love to hear!

meet the mama : nell from happy circus

posted on: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I first discovered Nell's blog when we were both pregnant (our tiny ladies were born just a few weeks apart) and I have enjoyed following her ever since.  At 28, Nell lives with her high school sweetheart Ben, and their baby girl Phiney, in Bath in the UK.  On The First Day of Marriage is where she writes about her day-to-day goings-on as a new mama and her growing business in knit baby goodies: Happy Circus. I asked her how her life has changed since becoming a new mama, here's what she said.

make it mine : teepee playroom

posted on: Monday, October 22, 2012

Encouraging imaginative play is easy with a teepee! Belinda discovered a playroom that delivers whimsy in  style from Jute Home. "I love this playroom -- it's beautiful, soft, neutral and perfect for taking time out for art and craft activities," she said.

"This stunning kids table and chairs were stand-outs at the recent Kids Instyle.  And by popping a teepee in the corner you can instantly create a cosy reading nook. To soften the floors, add a neutral rug and a sheepskin."

1. Teepee from Petite Bijou. 2. Floor rug from Shade of Light. 3. Table and chairs from Gather Kids. 4. Sheepskin from Ikea. 

Thanks Belinda! For more inspiration from Belinda you can check out Nest Design Studio

sakura bloom sling diaries

posted on: Friday, October 19, 2012

Elizabeth and Elodie from the littlest when they took part in the Sakura Bloom Styleathon

Do you babywear? (And is that a verb now? It is, right?)

I do and I love it. I wore the preschooler when we backpacked in Asia and have worn the lady daily since her birth. So I am very excited to be taking part in volume two of the Sling Diaries for Sakura Bloom.

Once a month for the next six months, myself and 14 other bloggers chosen by Leigh at Marvelous Kiddo will be blogging about ourselves babywearing with the Sakura Bloom slings of our choice (my first post will be published in a week and a half).

If you fancy, you can follow all the posts on Pinterest or check out the first three posts in this round by: my long time fave, Bridget from Tales of Me and the Husband, new-to-me blogger, LaTonya from Old, New and the Wee One too and mama of one with one on the way, Belle from Petite Biet.

You can read the complete list of gorgeous bloggers who are taking part on Marvelous Kiddo. I can't wait to read all their posts.

p.s If you are in Sydney did you go on the babywearing walk today? Will you be babywearing this weekend? I'd love to hear!

giveaway : danish by design

posted on: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did you love perusing the baby and toddler goodies from Danish by Design? Did you guess which item we are giving away? One baby space reader will be taking home the Bombol Bamboo Bouncer valued at $299 AUD from Danish by Design. Hoorah!

The Bombol Bamboo Bouncer in Elephant Grey, Coconut and Spring Lime.

This luxurious bouncer is not only pretty, it's suitable for wee ones up to 18kg -- just by removing the harness, bigger kids can still use their beloved seat as they grow from a wiggly babe to a running toddler. Designed by Belgian industrial designer, Frédéric Gooris the Bombol will gently bounce with your wee one's movements (like bamboo) while the  removable cover is machine washable to last through the years of spit up, cracker crumbs and the like.

what are we giving away?
1 x Bombol Bamboo Bouncer from Danish by Design valued at $299AUD.

what do you need to do?
Like Danish by Design on their Facebook page and leave a comment on this post telling us who will be bouncing in this gorgeous little chair if you win. Good luck!

Please leave your email address on your comment or email it to bron@babyspace.net.au with 'bombol bouncer' in the subject line. Winner will be chosen by random on the 1st November 2012. If the winner is not contactable within 24 hours the giveaway will be redrawn. Apologies to international readers, this giveaway is open Australia wide only.

our family : gratitude and hope

posted on: Monday, October 15, 2012

dear family, 
sometimes I write letters to the lady but today I am going to write a letter to all of you. I think it's a thank-you letter because that is what I am: so thankful that each and every one of you are in my life, that you are my family.

we didn't start in the old-fashioned way, with the parents then the children -- we started with a single mum and her kid, and now here we are. two parents, three kids. a step parent, a step child, half siblings, full siblings. a baby, a teenager...sometimes it feels like there are so many of us!

it's not always easy being this many and it's not always easy to navigate our relationships. sometimes I struggle. I know sometimes it's hard for you too. these pictures don't show the toilet breaks and the tantrums, but of course you know there are plenty. sometimes there are tantrums in the toilet breaks, which is a young family kind of joy all of its own.

but there is also laughter and goofiness. tender moments and closeness. deep understanding and empathy. and so much love. 

I want you to know that everything that each of you are is special to me. I want you to know that though we may not always agree, I will always be on your side. I want you to know that no one can ever replace you.

 I want you to know that I feel fortunate beyond measure that you stick with me and keep loving me, and that you let me love you too. thank you.

{photographs of our family by the gorgeous seth and tenielle at feather and stone photography.}

room for kids : danish by design

posted on: Thursday, October 11, 2012

One of the fabulous things about quality Scandinavian design is that growing up doesn't have to mean giving up. Case in point: the gorgeous Leander cot that converts into a toddler bed and then a tween bed. Nice!

Likewise the Leander high chair that can sit right up at the dining table for communal meals can be used from the time of first solids (around 6 months +) all the way into teenagehood and beyond. (I had the pleasure of sitting on one of these at a friend's place recently and I can confirm that it is very comfy.)

1. Leander high chair. 2. Leander chair cushions. 3. Leander junior bed and accessories. All available from Danish by Design.

Fancy bringing some Nordic luxury into your nursery? Next Thursday we will be giving away a highly coveted item from Danish by Design! If you can't wait till then you can nab any of the items pictured on the Danish by Design online store.

Top image by Kate from Urban Kaleidoscope as seen on Apartment Therapy

giveaway : fisher-price apptivity monkey

posted on: Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang

This lady is always after my phone. Sound familiar? So when Fisher-Price® sent us the Laugh &Learn Apptivity™ Monkey I was very intrigued to see how she'd like it. (Personally, I am into it. I love my phone and the monkey makes my phone huggable! I can hug my phone! But it's not for me, so I digress.)

The monkey has features in itself; squeezing its paws and feet elicits alphabet, counting, colour and shape songs. But the soft toy is really only complete when an iPhone® or iPod Touch® has been fitted in its belly -- the phone is covered by a plastic barrier to stop wee ones from accidentally turning the phone off.

We downloaded Fisher-Price's free Laugh & Letters Monkey App™ which interacts with the cuddly monkey when its paws are pressed. We also downloaded 'Where's Puppy's Nose' and Laugh &Learn Shapes and Colours so the lady could poke and prod the engaging animations to her heart's content. The same learning-through-play apps can also be used on the iPad®, thus Fisher-Price® also provided the Laugh &Learn™ Apptivity™ iPad® Case for us to try out. Fancy! 

The case turned out to be great for her to be able to play on the iPad® while protecting it from drool and accidental emails, while the learning apps are full of fun songs and interactive games.

Guess who has learned to clap? She loved clapping and bopping along to the tunes.

The Fisher-Price Laugh &Learn™ Apptivity Monkey and The Laugh &Learn™ Apptivity™ iPad® Case are suitable for babies 6-36 months.

Are your wee ones technology lovers too? Just leave a comment on this post to be in the running for your very own Fisher-Price Laugh &Learn™ Apptivity Monkey. Good luck!

Apologies to international readers, this giveaway is open Australia-wide only. Giveaway closes at 5pm AEST on the 17th October 2012. For full Ts&Cs see here

meet the mama : peta from love mae

posted on: Monday, October 8, 2012

We all know that Love Mae produces nostalgic wall decals, vintage inspired wrapping paper, quirky melamine dinnerware and even organic bedding (oh my!). But who is behind these beautiful creations? Introducing the motherside of 36 year-old Peta O'Neill, the talented lady and mama of two gorgeous girls, Lulu, 6, and Meila, 4, who is one half of the much loved, Love Mae.

"Before I was pregnant, my days were almost the complete opposite of what they are now. It's incredible how much your life can change in nine short months. I was living on an island in the tropics for two years before I fell pregnant. It was an Indigenous community and a very special place. I consider those days to be the most relaxing time of my life. Now I spend about 4-5 days of each week in a whirlwind with Love Mae, my two girls, and everything in between. A normal day starts very early and ends late, jam packed with madness. We are lucky enough to live in the country; home is so peaceful and time stops.

When it comes to pregnancy and motherhood, I think it's probably best not to know everything beforehand.  If you could see into the future you might want to avoid things that are tough, which are most often the most rewarding.

There's nothing a good walk can't help, and I love being able to give my girls space to explore. What's the most surprising thing about becoming a mum? That you can feel love so deep.

Sometimes I feel that the hardest part of being a new parent is the selflessness. Most of the time that's the part I totally love, but mums should remember to take time out every now and then to do something crazy, just for them. You really have to take care of your wellbeing when so many people are relying on you.

Something that helps me parent well is accepting that I am wrong sometimes. Despite my stubbornness and the fact that I'm older than my kids, I think being able to accept that sometimes I'm wrong is important.

The best parenting advice I've been given is to laugh when you feel like crying. Sometimes it's the only way to get through it.

My best tip for juggling the business and mamahood is to try and convince myself that sleep is overrated.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, my advice to other mums is to enjoy every moment because it goes so fast. You can only have that moment once.

My favourite part of being a mama is that I get to hang out with my favourite people in the world every day."

Thanks for chatting with us Peta! We are excited to be including some delightful Love Mae goodies in our International Christmas Gift Giveaway in December but if you can't wait that long you can purchase Love Mae lovelies online, follow the Studio of Mae blog or like their Facebook page to stay updated. 

giveaway : what's in your nappy bag?

posted on: Thursday, October 4, 2012

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

What do you keep in your bag? Do you use a handbag? A tote? A nappy bag? Right now I'm using a regular handbag and stuff all the good-to-go essentials inside. This is what's in my bag right now:

1.hello kitty keyring with keys. 2. knit cupcake rattle. 3. hess-spielzeug wooden elephant teether. 4. sunglasses. 5. iPhone, cover by marco cibola from uncommon. 6. dettol hand santiser. 7. 'how to be a woman' by caitlin moran. 8. bottle from life factory. 9. deer squeaker from alimrose. 10. felt ball purse from the big merino and oval eyelet corner tote handbag from collette hayman.

I'm lucky that we live very close to stores and playgrounds so when I take the lady out, or go pick up the big kids, I need very little. If we're out for more than an hour I'll throw in a fold-up change mat, a bib, wipes and a disposable nappy or two. Sometimes I don't even carry a bag, I just pop the lady in the Ergobaby carrier and squish the essentials in the zip pouch.

Essentials include my phone, my keys and -- as my friends well know -- I am a girl who loves having clean hands (there may be OCD jokes thrown my way from time to time ;) so Dettol's palm-sized 50ml bottle of hand sanitiser is a must-have item for me.

Kills 99.99% of germs and keeps my hands moisturised too? This is my kind of product. The new cucumber and melon varient also comes in a 200ml pump that I have parked next to my keyboard. And we are giving some samples away. Hoorah! We'd also love for you to share what's in your bag for the chance to win one of three $200 vouchers from Baby Shop Direct. Hoorah! Hoorah!

what are we giving away?
3 x $200 AUD vouchers for Baby Shop Direct for the best three snaps of 'what's in your nappy bag'. We also have 40 Dettol hand sanitiser samples to give away.

what do you need to do?
Snap what's in your handbag or nappy bag and share your photo on Twitter/Instagram with the hashtag #dettolnappybag and leave a comment on this post with your Twitter name.Good luck!

Apologies to international readers, this giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Seven other blogs will also be running this giveaway and the 43 winners will be drawn from the pool of entrants. See full Ts&Cs hereGiveaway will close on the 12th October 2012 at 5pm AEDST. 

room for baby : danish by design

Do you gravitate towards Scandinavian design too? The Nordic countries may be across the seas but for fellow Australians coveting clean lines for our nurseries, rest assured someone has heard our calls. Danish by Design imports Scandinavian delights to Aussie shores, and for the next three Thursdays we will be resting our eyes on some of their lovely pieces.

These Leander cradles are not for triplets -- they're in a daycare nursery in the Netherlands. Daycare luxury! 

1. Nathi change table. 2. Leander cradle. 3. Bombol Bamboo bouncer. 4. Leander change table.  Main images: Leander cot and Leander cradlesAll available from Danish by Design. 

Aren't they beautiful? On the final Thursday of our Scandinavian furniture feast we will be giving away one of the items featured today. Hoorah! Can you guess which one? Stay tuned.

Want to see another Leander cot? Check out these two -- one in a gorgeous green nursery by Nicole, and the other in a pink space featured on My Poppet. Image at top as seen on Remodelista, middle image as seen on bloesem kids 

behind the scenes : shop 4 kids photoshoot

posted on: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Do you read Shop 4 Kids magazine? The lady took part in a photoshoot for the latest issue and I took a few behind-the-scenes snaps on the day. Would you like to see?
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