Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Playing Dress-Ups

One of Grace's favourite activities at the moment is playing dress ups. Fairy wands, tutus, beads and scarves are all scattered around our house by the end of the day so I've decided to find something suitable to store them all in. The lovely clothes hamper above I discovered online at Berry Red caught my eye as it would look so pretty in a little girl's room.  However, I'm after something relatively inexpensive and I'd hate to even imagine the international postage on something so bulky.  I found a simple wicker one at a discount store yesterday, but am going to keep an on eye on Gumtree for a little while first as I'm sure I can find something cheaper still. Perhaps I could pretty up a plain one with some decorative ribbon? 

Here are some snaps of the dress-up fun that's been going on around here lately.  Even Sophie has been joining in...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Deliberating Over Colours

At the moment I'm in the middle of decorating Sophie's nursery and am about to order the cutest set of wall decals ever which I can't wait to share with you all.  The only trouble is, I'm having a real dilema trying to choose the colours.  Today, I've been stuck on the Pantone website while the girls are napping, trying to decide on colour swatches... mulling over what the difference is for example between 338c, 3375C and 3385C... it's been seriously doing my head in!  Is one sample too blue or grey?  Is another lighter or darker?  What would go better with the pastel tones in Sophie's nursery? 

I can see the exact aqua green and pink samples I'm after on the cute paint swatch notebooks above... now if only I could match them to the Pantone colour samples...

Why are such choices so overwhelming?  Is it just me or does anyone else out there take forever to decide on colour samples?  Or am I the only one who is so fussy?

Image above via 8balloons

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sophie’s Backyard Photo Shoot

Back when Grace was a baby, I took photo after photo.  I feel a bit sorry for Sophie that I haven’t been as snap happy over the past few months, so the other day, I took the opportunity to have a photo shoot in the backyard under the shade of our trees.  The shot below is my favourite out of the ones I took.  I love that the mat that Sophie is lying on is actually one my Mum used with me when I was a baby. 

Our little bub is becoming even more delightful as every new day passes and she is now an extremely happy, smiley baby.  In those first few months after she was born, feeling exhausted and frazzled, I couldn’t wait for the newborn days to pass as quickly as possible.  Now, I find myself a little sad that our baby is growing so quickly.  I’m really looking forward to watching my little chickadee grow and develop over the next few months and am soaking up every bit of baby bliss while it lasts.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Tips For Helping Those Who’ve Had Babies

On Thursday, my cousin and my best friend welcomed their first baby into the world, a darling baby girl named Ava. Despite being pregnant, my best friend did all she could to support me and help out during my pregnancy and in the early months after Sophie was born and so this weekend, I’ve been thinking about all the kind gestures I really appreciated, some of which I hope to do myself with my friend. I thought I’d share some of these with you all…

Feed Your Friend – In the early days, feeding your baby and getting precious sleep will become priorities and so feeding oneself is never high on the ‘to do’ list. Preparing a meal will help your friend immensely. Frozen meals are great (think soups, pasta dishes, casseroles, pies etc.) but fresh salads and the like are welcomed too. I’m also planning on making our friends a batch of Lemon Slice which can be frozen and is quick to defrost so that they have something on hand to offer with a cuppa should any visitors pop in unexpectedly. Bringing over lunch for your friend is also a great idea.

Just Do It – When you do visit your friend, don’t ask, “Is there anything I can do to help you out?” Your friend will either be too tired to think, or too polite to answer. Look around and take action yourself. If there’s washing on the line, bring it in and fold it. Dishes in the sink? Pop them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand. Find the vacuum cleaner and do a quick whip around while your friend is feeding her newborn. Trust me, all these gestures will be greatly appreciated.

Message Don’t Call – Phone calls can be difficult with a newborn. Your friend will either have the phone off the hook in an attempt to avoid waking up bub, be pre-occupied when the phone rings or have limited time to actually talk. Messages are much easier to respond to. Don’t expect a reply straight away though. I often replied to my messages when I was breastfeeding in the middle of the night as I found it helped keep me awake. I’d just save them under ‘Drafts’ until the next morning when I could send them at an appropriate hour.

Short And Sweet – When you do visit your friend (always ringing to check it is okay first), keep your visit short. Your friend may not feel like entertaining all afternoon, nor will she have the energy to do so. She will however appreciate your company. On this subject, when it comes to your friend’s post-baby hospital stay, don’t rush to visit her in hospital the day after she’s given birth (unless we’re talking about your best friend). While everyone is different, I found I preferred to see my friends once I’d returned home and life had settled down a bit.

Out and About – After those first few weeks, offer to get your friend out of the house. Either invite her to your house so she has gone for an outing but still has your assistance, or offer to help take her and bub out somewhere such as for a coffee or a walk. You can start to get 'cabin fever' with a newborn so getting out of the house will be welcomed.

Toddler Treats – If your friend has other children, think about spoiling them too. Often, all the focus is on the newborn and it’s easy for siblings to feel a bit neglected. Either bring a small gift for the older child (I had friends give Grace things like a new colouring book, story books, clothes, a teddy etc.) and when you do visit your friend, give the older child some one on one attention. Sit down and do a puzzle, colour in, go outside and play with a ball. Your friend will appreciate knowing their older child is being entertained and being treated to some special time. I even had one friend come around with lunch for me one day. She then took her pram and treated Grace and her two boys to a picnic and play in the park down the road, leaving me to have some quiet time at home with Sophie.

So that’s my little round up of tips to help those you know who have a newborn. I hope one or two may give you an idea of ways you can help your friends and family in those tricky and tiring early days.

On the subject of newborns, check out this stunning trio of photos fellow blogger Bron of Baby Space shared the other day. I just love them! 

Cute image above from oscarlucinda, another lovely blogger with a new baby - be sure to check out her corner of blogland where she shares snippets of daily life with her beautiful baby girl Saskia...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Photos From The Week

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week.  Here are some snapshots from ours…

…the sign Grace made especially for Daddy last Saturday which welcomed him at our front door when he arrived home from his fishing trip at Bremmer Bay...

…making waffles for a special Valentine’s Day breakfast - I borrowed my Mum's waffle maker as it makes heart shaped waffles which I thought would be cute...

…breakfast at our favourite cafĂ©, Hubbles Yard in East Fremantle, followed by a play in the park across the road

…new shelving in our garage which Paul sourced and fitted - it's so good to have all the clutter off the floor and to have lots of extra storage space...

Wishing you all a lovely weekend ahead.  Do you have any special plans?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Productive Few Days

This week has been great so far. Rather than just making plans and adding image after image to my ‘Inspiration Files’ (I know, I must set up a Pinterest account), this week I’ve actually managed to get stuff done. I’ve found a great print I want to order for our family room, made some progress on decorating Sophie’s nursery and tomorrow, I’m heading to Bunnings to buy some blue paint to freshen up a little bedside cabinet for Grace’s room. It feels good to have finally brought to life decorating ideas I’ve had floating around in my head for so long.

Today, I whipped up a simple little mobile for above Grace’s bed. Using four inch paper doilies I bought from Wonderland Room and some pink die cut flowers I bought from Gr3een, this little hanging string literally took me a few minutes to put together.

Once I paint the wooden cupboard tomorrow and sort out a bed head, the transformation of Grace’s room from ‘nursery’ to ‘big girl space’ will be complete. I’m so excited and can’t wait to finally share some photos of what I’ve made and bought with you all very soon.

Now it’s onto Sophie’s nursery. I’ve finally settled on grey, white and mint green with some pink accents. I’ll share my ideas with you for her room as they come together...

Monday, February 13, 2012

On The Hunt For…

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you’ve had a great weekend and your start to this week has been good so far. With Paul back home now and able to help out with the girls in his second week of holidays, I’ve been able to spend a bit of time browsing online for some bits and pieces I’m after for around our house. Here’s what I’m on the hunt for…

… a striped throw, preferably in ivory and navy blue.  There was one that Country Road used to sell, but I took so long to make a decision, it’s now no longer available.  I’m hoping to check out one at Adairs later in the week.

…enamelware pieces.  I already have the Ikea jug above but I'd like a few enamel plates.  Donna Hay also has some lovely new enamelware pieces in her online store which I have my eye on.

…embroidered linen.  I’ve been searching on Etsy for some pieces to re-purpose and turn into other lovely things for around our home.  Last week, a cute embroidered tea towel I’d bought arrived which I plan on turning into a cushion for Grace’s room.

 …a retro looking radio. While the girls nap, I like to have music on for background noise. There’s a spot on our kitchen bench I have earmarked for a small, light wood coloured radio. I love the one above but its price tag is a bit hefty for what I’m after. I’ve seen some on ebay but I need to do a bit more research before a purchase is made.

I’ll let you know if any pieces end up in my shopping trolley…

Images sources: #1 unknown sorry, #2 erinnish, #3 FlorenceandRuby, #4 Tivoli Audio

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Mornings

This is how most mornings start for Grace and I.  She occupies herself at the kitchen table colouring in while I get our breakfast ready.  Then we sit down together, eating our toast and cereal and chatting about our plans for the day ahead before Sophie wakes.  I enjoy this quiet one on one time of ours together.

Slowly, we are beginning to have a bit more of a rhythm to ours days and while we aren't in a set routine just yet, I know roughly when Sophie will be due for a feed and when she will be due for a nap and so our days are becoming that little bit easier to organise.

This week it's just been us three girls at home as Paul is away on a fishing trip with some mates.  We've been managing well so far and are enjoying simple days at home together.   It's hard to explain the concept of time to a two and a half year old though.  "Will Daddy be home after my nap?" Grace asked on the morning Paul set off.  Tears welled in her eyes as I tried to explain that he would be away for longer than a day, longer than 'tomorrow' even.  She's definitely counting down the days until Daddy comes home.

Hope you are all having a great week so far. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

28 Sleeps Until My Birthday

In almost exactly one month’s time, it will be my birthday… my 30th birthday. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to being 30.  While I know no one’s life is ever perfectly rosy, I think I’ve had my fair share of difficult times over the past decade including watching my grandfather deteriorate from lung cancer, having my parents’ divorce, experiencing someone close to me go through a breakdown, my father-in-law’s passing after a six month battle with pancreatic cancer, going through IVF twice after a long period trying to fall pregnant and losing my dear Dad to a sudden heart attack. Of course, my happiest times have also occurred in my 20’s with memorable occasions like my wedding day, buying our first home and the birth of my two beautiful girls just some of the major highlights in a long list of wonderful times.

So, what do I have planned for this next chapter? I look forward to watching my gorgeous girls grow into young ladies, to spending time together as a family having adventures and fun, to continually making changes to our home and to nourishing my hobbies and passions. I did contemplate making a list of goals for the next ten years, but with my current New Year’s resolution to ‘live in the moment’, I’ve decided to do just that instead… to take each day as it comes and to welcome new experiences and opportunities with open arms… while of course, sharing every special step with you all along the way…

Image above from Pinterest

Friday, February 3, 2012

Container Planting Suggestions

This morning I've woken to a much cooler day with a dull grey sky and rain falling gently outside - bliss! Yesterday, as Grace played happily in our backyard while Sophie had her morning nap, I sat on our patio, Yates Garden Guide in hand, planning some things to do in our garden once it cools down more. With the recent extreme heat Perth has had lately, there have been a few casualties around our place and I haven't had a very good record with our pot plants which seem to dry out very quickly.

I've been trying to research options for container plants. I have a large pot and a few smaller ones in the sun as well as a few under my patio to be filled. There's currently a hydrangea in one but I think it would be better in the ground and it tends to look a bit bare in the winter months anyway so I'm after something with year round foliage. My book recommends a Camellia, a plant I've always loved so I'm thinking that might be a possibility.

Can any of you suggest some options for pot plants that you've had success with?

Image above from Sunshine Ceramics where you can buy the cute little garden sign.
Be sure to check out Tracy's cute herb markers too.