Tag Archives: mom life

Surviving an international trip with a 4 month old

The Laynes, Brighton

The Laynes, Brighton

Rewind about 3 years and I was in Sydney meeting up with some English friends travelling through with their 4 month old baby girl… they were stopping in Sydney en route to Los Angeles from London… ‘Crazy!’ Is what I thought, I sat there in absolute awe of this couple who had either the balls or the stupidity required to attempt something like this!

Present day, I am a survivor… I honestly think I deserve a badge or plaque or something 🙂 We did it! Last Christmas my ridiculously good looking hubby and I slummed in on a 36 hour flight journey (and back), braved the wrath of fellow passengers, struggled with a jet lagged baby (our darling bubba Evie), slept in 6 different beds over 3 weeks, and all in all had a wonderfully memorable, exhausting and well worth it trip!

We planned, planned and planned before departing (well I did anyway)… I think I read absolutely everything on the internet which had anything to do with travelling with babies (which in turn made me freak one minute and feel calmly reassured in the next…. the joys of internet contradictions). So  naturally I need to add my 2 cents to this pile (although I do feel my 2 cents is worth a lot more…. 5 cents at least)

Read on for my 7 lessons learnt from international travel with a baby….. (phew)

 

1. Age is key!

As any parent knows, a baby literally changes before your eyes… they grow and develop at an incredible rate! So taking a 4 month old on a plane is going to be verrryyyy different to taking a 14 month old. For us, we found our little Evie was at a great age for long haul flying, at 4 months old she was happiest when being constantly cuddled, slept easily in new places and with noise, and only needed breastfeeding for sustenance. As babies go, she was at a low maintenance age.

Half way there

Half way there

2. Never enough nappies!

Someone suggested doubling the usual nappy/to hour ratio for when on planes and I’m glad I did. It must have something to do with the cabin pressure….. or maybe the hideous plane food travelling through to my milk, because I swear she has never ever pooped so much! You know those teeny tiny bins in the plane bathroom toilets?? I was terrified it was going to be overflowing with 5 hours of travel still to go.

3. When you gotta go….

While we’re on the subject of baby poop… There’s always one comical moment that you’ll joke about being the worst time for your baby to fill their nappy. Yes we joked, and yes we were not the last ones laughing. It was the beginning of our very very long journey home, 40 hours to be precise, we had settled into our seats, seat belts fastened as the plane started to taxi along the runway. My precious, delicate little girl was in my arms with her own seat belt fastened around mine…. she hadn’t pooped in 3 days…. as she gazed at me with her perfect big blue eyes she started to frown…. and go red…. and… oh god…. what was that noise?? Her little body actually shuddered for about 2 minutes as the most horrendous smell seeped through the cabin. The plane hadn’t even taken off at this stage so we were still confined to our seats for what seemed like years (and probably an eternity to the poor souls sitting nearby). It was what is know as a uber poo… filling every single layer of clothing and dousing mum just to be sure. As soon as that seatbelt sign switched off we run like Usain to the toilets. No item of clothing was salvageable, everything was binned. I’m sure somewhere on the net you will be able to find the horror story written from the viewpoint of our fellow passengers.

Me and my winter Bear

Me and my winter Bear

4. Jetlagged baby

Jetlag is a horrible horrible thing for anyone  afflicted by it and I have always hated being struck down with it. But while preparing myself for the usual middle of the night wakings, 3pm nodding off and general uneasiness, I just never even considered that my baby would be jet lagged too. And while adults have the ability to ‘push through’ mentally, bubs just have no bloody idea what is going on….. She would wake up at 2am bright as a daisy, getting more and more frustrated as to why mum and dad wouldn’t play with her, and the afternoons saw her getting ridiculously overtired and agitated. I’m not sure if I actually have any advice as to helping this, except if at all possible try and keep some kind of routine for them to get used to (pretty difficult when visiting and staying with different relatives every two days), and as much sunlight as you can find always helps the body clock.

5. Prepare for lots of luggage

Plan to be comfortable wearing the same outfit A LOT! Because something a whole lot more deserving of valuable luggage space is all the baby stuff! so so so much stuff! Pram, car capsule, capsule base, pram winter cover, pram rain cover (it was England), winter clothes, winter snow suit, so so many baby blankets, baby wipes, nappies, nappies, nappies, bottles, breast pump, breast pads, dummies (pacifiers), teething rusks/medication, comforting blankets/toys, familiar toys…… oh the list goes on and on. Tips are …. use your pram to wheel all the crap around, gate check your pram if your airline allows it, get a GREAT baby carrier to use in airports or while on the plane (safer than walking the aisles with no spare hands), beg borrow and steal baby paraphernalia from your contacts at the other end, and just be ready to spend a lot longer than usual juggling all of your stuff in the airports…. it’s not going to be glamorous or fun… I’m sorry.

Christmas day walk

Christmas day walk

6. Don’t expect relaxation

If we had planned this trip to the other side of the world with expectations of a grand European adventure I am pretty sure I would have been bitterly disappointed. 3 weeks is way too short a time to fly that far, expect a baby to adjust, adjust yourself, and take in exciting sights every day. Although we enjoyed ourselves across England, Holland and Spain, our primary reason for the whole trip was to see our family and introduce them to the newest member of the family. The highlight for me was the entire extended family getting together to celebrate Oma’s 96th birthday in Holland…. incredibly priceless and worth all the jet lag and travel problems in the world. After the whirlwind journey we came home utterly exhausted and entirely in need of a post-holiday holiday.

Oma's 96th

Oma’s 96th

7. Prepare for after

Which takes me to my final point…. prepare for afterwards. If you can swing extra days before returning to work (or return on a Friday) and plan to just recover you will thank me! Bribe family and friends with overseas treats to bring you healthy food for a few days, help with your laundry and make sure you don’t sleep all day…. but only invite people you’re comfortable with seeing you in all of your blood-shot, panda-eyes and pyjama-wearing glory. It took us a reeeaallllly long time to adjust back and recover. Healthier food, sunshine, gentle exercise, fresh air and rest will be your best friend. Which is very easy to say but hard to do when all you want is unhealthy amounts of coffee, hot chips in gravy and a week of staying in bed. And prepare yourself for your little one needing to adjust as well, it took Evie a good two months to get back into her pre-holiday sleeping routine.

So be brave and tackle the dreaded international travel with a baby thing! But for me, I’m staying local for relaxing getaways, the long haul is for family only with little’uns.

Have you survived any big journeys with your baby? What are your sanity-saving tips and tricks?

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Nursery Feature – Oli’s Monochrome Big Boy Room

We all have them… those stunning friends with impeccable taste, who’s awesome little one’s could put North West or Cruz Beckham to shame. And the nurseries and playrooms belonging to these lucky offspring are always STUNNING! My beautiful friend Angela, with the help of her handy hubby Ant and little mister Oli, have created this awesome monochrome big boy’s room and been wonderful enough to share it with us!

Read on, enjoy and be inspired. xx
Bed scape

Dresser Corner Bedside table

Oh the places you'll go... Table

Dresser wall

 

Ang, how would you describe your styling choice for Oli’s Room?

It started with me just wanting to create a retreat for Oli…. not just somewhere for sleep but play as well, his own little room. It’s quite fresh, a little edgy and timeless… something he’ll (hopefully) still love for years to come. Although knowing me, I’ll want to change it up before that! Apart from the monochrome trend in the room, we wanted to fill it with encouraging quotes and travel inspiration, something that we’ve loved sharing as a family.

 

What’s your favourite piece in the room?

The bed! We bought it second hand for just $50!!! Was originally bright pink but became a labour of love as Ant and I made it work together. And I just love how it’s all come together style wise. The quilt (made by Oli’s Oona) and lightning bolt cushion (handmade by me) have sentimental value and I’m so happy with the results.

 

What design rule would you swear by when creating a new room?

Timeless! Especially for a kid’s room, stick to things they won’t grow out of in two years.

 

What was your splurge buy for this room?

Table and chairs! They’re replica Eames and I completely went all out on them!

 

Being a beautifully stylish mumma, who do you recommend following on Instagram?

Oh wow, where do I start!? So so many…. this list might be quite long.

Children of the Tribe @childrenofthetribe

FromZION @fromzion_

AURA Home @aurahome

Petite Vintage Interiors @petitevintagebel

Jr. Cooper Australia @jr_cooper_

Beau Hudson @beau_hudson

Zilvi | Interior Decor @_zilvi

Little Urban Apparel @littleurbanapparel

Leo and Bella @leoandbella

Hello Little Birdie @hellolittlebirdie

They’re all great for inspiration (and building that wish list)

 

Thanks Ang for letting us peek into this amazing room update! Maybe you can come and style my house now? 😉

 

Item details

Table and chairs – Replica Furniture

Bed – bought second hand from a friend

Bookshelf – Ikea

Baskets – Ikea spray painted yellow

Yellow Basket Bedside Table – Willow & Bird at Cotton Tree, QLD

Lamp – Home Secret at Kawana

Triangle garland – homemade

Zebra Print – Farrah’s Stone

Quilt – homemade by Oli’s Oona

Lightning Bolt pillow – homemade

#Awesome pillow – Ruckus from Adairs

Black crochet cushion – Ikea

Wall decals – McKnight Signs 

Stag Head – Typo

 

Baby Wearing Part 1 – my story

My family and I after conquering our 'mountain'

My family and I after conquering our ‘mountain’

I know first hand that the ‘Baby Wearing’ world can be intimidating, confusing and a little bit scary (pictures of strongly opinionated, pram-haters come to mind)…. I’m giving my story and helpful (professional) tips across two posts. Part 1 being my blah blah blah of how I don’t really know much about Baby Wearing (thus giving me a great non-bias or pushy perspective) and Part 2 being the actual informative, helpful advice from interviewing  Jessie and Carley at Wear Your Baby.

As with many things parental, I tend to learn in hindsight. Little Evie is now one year old and even with an intense whirlwind International trip to the other side of the world for Christmas, we have barely touched our baby carrier in the last 12 months. If I’m honest, I never quite got the hang of it, Evie’s chunky thighs always got caught and it was a horrible strain on my neck and shoulders. Convinced I was doing it wrong, the carrier never received much love.

Only recently a friend lent me her carrier as a last minute saviour for some Sunday afternoon ‘hiking’ (don’t mistake me for anything resembling fit and active…. was an hour return trip up and down a hill sized mountain….. still enough to render me breathless and on my knees more times than I’d care to admit). Hubby carried Evie up the mountain (hill) and I carried her down… was enough to open my eyes to the world of a properly worn carrier! No neck and shoulder strain, super comfortable and Evie even had a little nap in it.

So started my foray into interpreting the Baby Wearing world. Each to their own, but I wasn’t keen on 24 hour attachment to my bub. One reason (for me) being that we do want a large-ish family and I feel like there’s probably a limit to how many babies/toddlers can be permanently strapped to me… But I have certainly learnt that in different seasons (teething, sickness etc) it’s ok to overdose your child with cuddles and affection, they generally need it in the crappy days. And lots of Baby Wearing contact would be soothing and comforting for bub while still giving mum two hands to fold laundry, bake Martha Stewart cakes and sew adorable baby outfits… OR make coffee and buy ridiculous amounts of things through Mummy Instagram shopping….

After my initial scoping, I had a bit more of an idea as to what we (Hubby and I) wanted.

  • Black – soooo easy to dress up or down 😉 …. and hide dirt and stains so I won’t need to wash as much. YES!
  • One with a forward facing option, because my one year old gets so bored facing my chest for too long that she actually tried to pull my collarbones off the other day. (educated note: the benefits of chatting to Baby Wearing professionals, forward facing is not the best ergonomically for babies, especially newborns, so should only be for limited amounts of time)
  • One with a hip/waist band – to limit strain on shoulders and neck

Feeling super in-the-know with what I wanted I wandered into a (nameless) Baby store…. after fumbling with the demonstration models, trying to interpret the backs of the boxes and looking ridiculously awkward for about half an hour, I left probably feeling a bit more overwhelmed than preferred.

Then most of my online searches for help tended to churn up mountains of strongly opinionated (and opposing) points and ‘rules’. My head started to hurt…

And then I hit gold! Perfect timing moment! Just when I needed clarification and help most, a beautiful friend from years back started an online Baby Wearing store!!! Beauty!… I barely gave her time to settle into the new business before pouncing with a request for an interview! Surely other mum’s have found the whole Baby Wearing deal a bit daunting and in my own (selfish) information seeking journey I could only hope that it’ll help others as well.

So I sat down with the wonderful Jessie and Carley from Wear Your Baby…. our multiple little ones scooting around our toes (and destroying their magazine collection)…. and picked their brains for how to simplify the different types of carriers, what suits what, the basic simple rules to remember…. and came out feeling so much more prepared.

And at the end of it all I’ve come away with a wonderful carrier that I love, have used multiple times this week already (so has Hubby), and a lot more confidence in being a Baby Wearing mum (albeit definitely part-time).

Part 2. including the wonderful advice and help I received from Jessie and Carley will be up on the blog within the week.

Let me know your thoughts ladies! (and men)….. how do you go baby wearing or not baby wearing? Would love to hear your tales 🙂

xxx

Business Feature – Incy Interiors

Kip Cot

Kip Cot

One way to tell that an interview has gone ‘well’ is how many notes you’ve actually made…. And how well the conversation stays on track…. I have never had a more fun, informative and off topic interview with anyone! Kristy Withers of Incy Interiors had every reason at this years Life Instyle/Kids Instyle exhibition to be time poor. Launching Incy’s ridiculously successful collaboration with Kip & Co and coping with the constant, excited enquiries and orders would put anyone out.

So naturally I was thrilled to secure a moment of her precious time to chat about this new range and everything Incy. It was honestly the greatest chat I had with anyone at the exhibition that weekend, we ‘yarned’ for over an hour, constantly rambling off topic, forgetting what the original question was…. and I was given a beautiful glimpse into the mind behind this amazing brand and now love it oh so so much more 🙂

Kristy Withers INCY Interiors

Kristy Withers INCY Interiors

At the end of the day I got in touch because of the recently launched, incredibly fun and refreshingly different Incy Interiors and Kip & Co collaboration. Featuring Kip Beds (one boy, one girl) and a unisex Kip Cot, these are bright, fun and a beautiful balance between stylish and ‘kiddy’. They can be the focal point in a pared back, clean lined room…. or the starting point to go absolutely crazy with colour and fun! My two opposing design sides are at war with each other right now. 🙂 Have a look, you decide, how would you style these beauties? And read on below for our yarn with Kristy (sorry the entire hour long chat remains in my mind.. I’m selfish like that)

 

Kristy, in four words how would you describe this new range?

Colourful! That’s it! Only one word needed!…. Maybe industrial colourful? This is our sixth time at Kids Instyle and has undoubtedly been our most successful. The range has been received so well! People’s ideas and changing and they are embracing new and different looks for kids’ interiors. Some of our oldest, most traditional stockists have even identified this, snapping up the new range.

Incy has really been on a design journey since starting, initially we leant towards being Australia’s answer to Pottery Barn… but now it’s really me! We’ve really started to come into our own. Starting off a new business is so overwhelming, but now I feel we have nothing to prove.

Kip Bed - Girl

Kip Bed – Girl

How old is Incy Interiors and did you ever imagine it becoming what it is today?

Never, ever imagined it becoming this! We started up three and a half years ago when searching for a ‘big boy bed’ for our boy Oscar. Once I have a goal, I become incredibly focused and obsessed with it. I searched everywhere in Australia for what I wanted, looked at importing from overseas, and the option of having it manufactured myself. I lacked the confidence needed to really start a business on my own, but I luckily have a business minded husband who gave me the push needed.

 

Do you have a favourite product?

The Oscar bed still holds a lot of sentimental value for us. He’s definitely due a bigger bed now but I’m clinging on! It’s really nice actually how attached they are to design and their own rooms. He recently chose the Kip & Co Pizza bedspread for his room, was his favourite! Of course it doesn’t match anything but he loves it. Oscar’s and Polly’s rooms are being redesigned… Bel from Petite Vintage Label and Jacinda from Hide & Sleep have both done design boards for them. The rooms needed a new look, they were all mismatched!

Oscar Bed

Oscar Bed

Tell us more about your collaboration with Kip & Co?

When Kip & Co launched, we had just released our coloured bed range. We noticed that everyone bought them together. Any images we saw of one product almost always featured the other. We also worked together a lot in shoots, using each others products and so on. We always got along well and had fun, and one day thought ‘we should do something together!’ This range was really a lot of fun, and we have another collaboration coming out in about four weeks. Completely different again!

 

Incy Interiors collaboration with Kip & Co was a huge hit at Melbourne's Life Instyle

Incy Interiors collaboration range with Kip & Co was a huge hit at Melbourne’s Life Instyle

What trends do you see emerging at this years Kids Instyle?

Colours, I suppose this is always popular with kids wear. Copper is continuing on, in general homewares as well as kids. And monochrome is having another peak… it kind of diminished but is returning again I think. I love monochrome and really wish I had the restrain to be able to pull it off. This is why the house is such a mismatch of styles, I get attached to too many styles and objects.

 

As a mum and business owner, what has been your biggest learning curve?

As a mum it is all about balance. I know everyone says that but it’s true. And just getting through each day.. I probably get it right maybe 50% of the time. The last few weeks I’ve been working evenings and weekends, usually after the kids are sleeping… which is stupid, because then I don’t sleep.

Regarding business I really believe in working hard and being nice to people! And be humble. It’s so hard to work with anyone who isn’t nice. It immediately drags you down.

Kip Bed - Boy

Kip Bed – Boy

Well you have certainly achieved both Kristy! You have worked crazy hard, deserve all the amazing success you’re having, and stay refreshingly humble and nice to the people around you. Thank you thank you thank you for your precious (and fun) time.

xxx

http://www.incyinteriors.com.au  you can find a local Incy stockist from the website

instagram icon @incy_interiors @theincystore

pinteres icon incy interiors

A Winter One-derland – Evie’s First Birthday

I feel like this post needs to come with a disclaimer…. I know how many people feel about over-the-top, pretentious first birthdays….. but, I LOVE them! haha. I am all for fancy bashes, and considering I’m an Events Coordinator who hasn’t worked for 12 months, little Evie really didn’t stand a chance when it came to her first birthday.

I don’t like over spending though so keeping to a teeny tiny budget we had a really beautiful afternoon party with family and our closest friends.

The piñata

We hung strings of cotton wool (snow) from the cardboard cutout clouds.

Our little party girl (dress chosen by her adoring daddy)

The best little party favours for the kid guests

Snowman cups of popcorn

We borrowed everyone’s Christmas trees for a wintry forest… our QLD palm trees didn’t quite cut it

Hanging snowflakes

‘Dad of the Year’! Made a Frozen photo booth that all the kids loved

Kept the cake simple (I am no cake decorator and no matter what Pinterest tells me, I will not try)

All in all we had a lot of fun and I really loved pulling it all together.

There’s no need to spend thousands, but don’t let the haters stop you throwing a party! 🙂 If all else fails I’ll come along!!! 🙂

Living amongst beauty

Living amongst beauty 1 Living amongst beauty 2

Amongst the busy-ness and tolls of life, there is a small pocket of serious paradise just a short drive from my home that never fails to recharge my family and help me in particular to refocus.

Little Miss Evie adores the outdoors and I cannot get over 1. how lucky I am to live somewhere that looks like this in the middle of Winter, and 2. how ridiculously adorable she looks on her new beach seat ❤ ❤

Make sure you surround yourself with uplifting people and beautiful places, such a cliche but the best advice always tends to be.

On the work side of things…. many exciting things are happening here very soon…. possibly involving some screen printing, Winter One-derland party celebrations and wonderful giveaways. Make sure you follow along on Instagram.

xx