Out of the Cot – nearly

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It’s been a MASSIVE year for us. Our renovation is ticking along at what seems like a reasonable pace, but as timing would have it, our short-term rental was up 3 weeks out from school finishing, leading to a chaotic end to the year single parenting (husband had a perfectly timed work trip to Boston and London – kill me now) commuting from our family beach house.

Because of the randomness of our year, moving house a lot, belongings everywhere, Ruby has remained in her cot much longer than our other two did. With a fierce reluctance to move on, and the fact we are in-between houses for atleast another 3 months, a cot conversion seemed like the perfect fit to keep her feeling safe through the chaos. I’ve never bothered with one before, have just transitioned the kids straight into their big beds, but this time around, this has been the perfect path!

We have the Oeuf Sparrow Cot, which I purchased from Out of the Cot here in Adelaide when Ruby was born. To my delight they had the conversion in stock, ready to go. If you live in Adelaide, and have an appreciation for scandi or beautiful and unique children’s decor in general, Out of the Cot is just so divine. They have furniture, linen, toys, decorations from some of the most gorgeous brands. Stunning canopy’s like this one from one of our faves Kip & Co. It’s so worth a look in store to see everything set up so perfectly, but if you’re not local, you can check them out online: here.

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The cot converter has been the perfect pathway from cot to big girl bed for Ruby. She was completely reluctant to move out of her cot at all, but is delighted to have some independence. And I now have time to work out the perfect bed for her room once the renovation at home is complete.

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This year was the celebration of 100 years since May Gibb’s gumnut babies were born. An iconic Austrlalian author, her stories were such a big part of my childhood, my siblings and I loved the classic stories and illustrations and the adventures of those adorable gumnut and wattle babies. When Kip & Co collaborated with linen to celebrate the event I was so excited to be able to share such a magical piece of my childhood with Ruby. We’ve been enjoying these fairy tales about conservation and the magic of the Australian bush so much, such an important and beautiful contrast to the international tales that have become our mainstream. You can find out more about May Gibbs and her bush fairies, here. Ruby is her newest fan!

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Safe to say Rubes is absolutely smitten with her enchanting little set up at the beach house for summer! Now to choose her big girl bed! I’m thinking bunks, but cannot decide. Maybe something like this Oeuf Bunk, I’ve always loved it but as Ruby grows so do her interests and at the moment it’s all about enchantment. So I’m thinking maybe something more girly and whimsical like an Incy four poster, or even something classic and upholstered like this.  Decisions decisions, watch this space! xxC


Swatch the Eyes, not shady

I often get asked for gift ideas for tweens and teens. I mean heck it’s not surprising I have more of them than I do preschoolers! There really is sooooo much available for the little people these days – as soon as they hit the tween and teen years gift giving gets a whole lot harder. It’s time for that to change, from now when considering content I’m going to make more effort to keep an eye out and share our big kid finds. Especially when they are as fun as this is! So here’s the first one for the Christmas list!! 🙂

Lily and I were in hysterics creating this content to celebrate the release of “Swatch – the Eyes“! We are all familiar with the Swatch brand and their super fun, always unique watches (if you’re not you can check out some of our favourites: here). Fans will not be disappointed with the addition of sunglasses to the range. To say Lils was in her element would be an understatement. It is the perfect fit for her. With interchangeable snap on fronts (complete with lenses) the 35 styles allow for 245 DIFFERENT matchmaking possibilities! A different look for every mood ? They change here like the wind – we need them all!

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With so many fun styles it was really hard to narrow down a favourite. But here’s the top of Lily’s Christmas wish list: ‘the eyes of benno’ (the all white – shown above against the black) ‘the eyes of audrey’ (black and white polka dot photographed above against the pink) and  ‘the eyes of connie’ (the pink – shown above against the aqua). And the fun is not just for kids, I’ll take ‘the eyes of vicki‘ please!

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With interchangeable click on faces (each sold separately) the possibilities are endless!

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You can check out the whole range of “Swatch the Eyes”: HERE

“Her future is so bright, she has to wear shades.” 😉 


Over the rainbow for play-dough!

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At the beginning of this year we said goodbye to Ruby’s ipad. It broke and we made the decision not to fix it, and deleted the apps she was obsessed with from our phones. While we weren’t (still aren’t) opposed to her enjoying a moderate amount of screen time each day, it was the behaviour we were seeing after interacting with the ipad that was the problem. Think Britney Spears circa 2007 and you have a vague idea of the epic meltdowns we were witnessing. So we said goodbye. Instead  Playschool and the occasional Disney on the big screen are pretty much the extent of her screen time. Sitting further back from the screen seems to be far less addictive. She generally walks away before i’ve even needed to switch it off. And her mood stays constant (well as constant as we could possibly hope for considering – threenager) PHEW!

So, craft is a thing here. Although I leave most of the messy stuff for nursery school  -playdough we can handle. We recently discovered Happy Hands Happy Heart through a friend and just had to rave about it here. The most beautiful scents EVER. The texture and consistency is to die for. And the gentle colours so divine.

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Founder Emma is passionate about play based learning and wanted to create an all natural product mimicking colours and scents found in nature. Think Cinnamon, Chocolate, Lavender, Lemon, Blood Orange, Vanilla, Spearmint and Grapefruit. Its a sensory explosion packed away neatly in the most gorgeous easy to open jars. We’ve had ours for months and the colours and scents are still going strong. And despite not being overly speedy in packing it away each time (so me) it is yet to dry out!

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Such a cute idea for christmas gifts this year!

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You can see the full range of scents and accessories: HERE

Check out Emma’s beautifully curated (she has an eye!) Instagram account: HERE

 


Wake Up In Style

Yesterday I was lucky enough to #wakeupinstyle in Sydney and be part of  a collaboration launch between delish @mocconacoffee and the always delightful @peteralexanderofficial. Little did they know I have very low standards in this morning routine field, the ideal was merely met by the fact I woke up in a hotel ALONE without children, husband, dogs, back to school chaos, Mama’s you get it – but this was so much more! Think fresh pjs, The Ivy Penthouse, uninterrupted brunch and flowing coffee. Style was an understatement.

Moccona have released 4 collectible jars (available in supermarkets from October 24) showing off trademark Peter Alexander designs. I can’t wait to show you what I do with my up-cycling down the track (the best part of this challenge, drinking the 3657 cups of coffee to empty the jars in due time to show you what to do with them! because, COFFEE, challenge dutifully accepted)

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Spotted, exhausted housewife plotting how to miss flight home during celebratory photoshoot.

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The best part – 100% of the collaboration proceeds go to the RSPCA. Drinking coffee to help cute animals, its a win win really.

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Coffee jar to vase. The DIY nerd in me cannot resist a colourful up-cycle.

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Match your pjs to your coffee – cute of them!


Our Enchanted Forest

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One of my girlfriends had heard of a magical forest full of fairies (of course) and wild flowers not too far from where we live. So yesterday afternoon we bundled the kids in the car and went for a wander. It was so close to dusk when we arrived I quickly took some pics before letting Ruby explore the magic (without me in her face with my camera the whole time!) It was just so incredibly beautiful. Rubes is super into enchanted things at the moment. All the princesses and fairies and magic. She puts on a quiet soft little high pitched voice and goes into her own little imaginary land when she plays. It’s honestly the sweetest thing!

How super cute are her play clothes! I have so much Oishi-m it’s a staple in Ruby’s closet. They are so colourful and fun for kids but also so durable, you can wash and wash. And so perfect for day care because paint and all the mess come straight out and they hold up so well in the wash. Not to mention, Nina Proudman dresses her daughter in it. Say no more! Love that (totally fictional character but – details) lady’s style so much!

It’s nice to be back blogging again after a horrific start to the year. Things are still super hard, my brother is in a lot of pain and it’s so hard to see someone you love so unwell. But he is so strong he’s amazing how well he’s handling everything. Getting back into my photography and instagram, and taking some time out each day to indulge in my creative outlet has lifted my spirits the last few weeks, and making me a stronger sister for my gorgeous bro. We are off to Hong Kong later this week on another colourful adventure! I can’t wait to share. 

xx Claire 

 


In Paradise with Sunny Jim

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Aussie summer is in full flight, every January I say the same thing, “is it really this hot for this long!?” this week we spent 7 glorious nights on Kangaroo Island’s ‘Island Beach’, compared to the busy beaches we are used to, this basically felt like our own private oasis, the serenity, I’ve never experienced anything like it. With the busy lives we lead, and the crazy school routine about to begin again in just weeks, this was the perfect way to spend the summer, and no better time to road test our friends Sunny Jim and their luxury beach shades. We chose  the ‘Sunny Jim Shade with Beach Bag’, its ultimate in chic and has the highest UV rating available (UPF50+), so lightweight and easy to put up, essential when dragging large families complete with two giant Labradors to the beach every day! The super durable beach bag comes with ample room for the Sunny Jim Sunshade and all your other goods. Check out more from Sunny Jim, here.

To shop the beach tent and bag combo featured here, follow this link: and enter the code ‘thankyou20’ for 20% off any order over $89.95.

And as for Kangaroo Island, there’s more to come from here! I have so many photos from this amazing holiday. Albeit mainly family snaps, but I really want to show you around. I can’t wait to share more!

X Claire


Back to School, Target Style

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The time has come, my baby is finally off to nursery school! Ruby has been home by my side for the last two years. I feel so lucky to have had this time one on one with her, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It has meant I haven’t had to rush her off to care before she’s been developmentally ready (code red clinger this one), and has also been so great for my other children, getting them easily from school to sports, play dates, home to a home cooked dinner has been an absolute treat for our family after years of both of us juggling full time work as well as the commitments of a young family. Not to say we didn’t enjoy that too, we did! I did, and part of me misses my full time job, the ‘me’ time, the adult conversations, the feeling you get after a big win, a successful presentation, I really loved a lot of aspects about working in an office environment. But I also love this, so much, and honestly we have not looked back, not once.

HOWEVER, working from home. woweeeee it’s a thing. A great thing. But also a really hard thing. I only dabble, so at the start it wasn’t so bad, those two long glorious naps each day left a total of up to 5 hours I could work on freelance projects. The second year…not so easy. Shorter naps, and much more interaction required. Gone are the days where Ruby would babble away in a bouncer while I tapped away at emails and editing. All I can say is, GOD BLESS PLAYSCHOOL! ha ha! But what’s that like 25 minutes? Feels like 5! Squeezing 5 hours of work into a half an hour window…not so achievable. Which brings us here! She’s off! In just two short weeks Ruby is starting at the same Nursery School (ELC) that her brother and sister went to when they were her age. For the first 18 months of Ruby’s life she had terrible separation anxiety. Basically wouldn’t go to anyone, like ever. But a few months ago this all changed. She literally just, detached! Miss social at birthday parties, making all the friends at the park, you wouldn’t recognise my once clingy babe in arms.

The timing could not have been better. She is so ready. Having waved off and greeted her siblings day in day out for the last 24 months at the classroom door, Ruby is completely clued in to what school is all about. So last week we bustled off to Target  to treat her to a few ‘school’ things of her own to get her all excited. She already has a back pack, but we’ve just hit that joyous phase of pink EVERYTHING. It all has to be pink! So that was the first thing she laid eyes on, an all pink back pack in just the right size for a two year old. And as for the rest….. WOWEE did target get this collection right or what? I feel like I should have designed this back to school collection myself. Watermelon errrthang! And pineapple, and banana. I mean how’s that oversized banana pencil case!?  Super great quality too. Half of this stuff has already been snuffled by her older sister for her own stationary stash for this year. But at these amazing prices, I think I’ll just grab some more. Our favourite would have to be the Monster Lunch Box sets. Complete with watermelon drink bottles and the perfect sized lunch boxes for little snacks, I had to get one of each colour! Ruby isn’t a sandwich girl, she’s all about the bits and pieces. Cut up fruit and veg, boiled eggs, poached chicken, maybe some rice crackers, cheese, these are her daily staples. So many options to fit these in here, especially love the waste free yoghurt mover. Keeps it cool all day and heaps of room to top with berries. Ruby has used it every day this week just at home! Meanwhile, shhhhh. I so want a watermelon drink bottle for ME! Naturally could not resist a little outfit too, that watermelon tee. I die! So many cute things, the great hard wearing quality we have all come to know and love at Target, combined with these totally on trend styles, we will so be back!

You can check out some of our top back to school picks here:
Pink Backpack $10
Monster Lunch Box & Drink Bottle $10
Crayola Coloured Pencils $5
Watermelon T-Shirt $12
Head to your latest target to check out the full range (including all items featured here) in store.

Introducing Doo Wop Kids!

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What happens when a dance choreographer slash promotions manager slash radio host starts her own fashion label? Enter DOO WOP KIDS! Brand new on the kids fashion scene Doo Wop Kids encapsulate childhood in a nutshell. Fun and comfortable without sacrificing style, one word springs to mind. These kids are COOL! And let’s be real, they had me at POM POM SOCKIES!!!!!

The second our goodies arrived I was all inspired to get started on a little craft project. With Doo Wop designs in mind Ruby and I got busy decorating her a DIY cardboard cubby house. I painted one side, she did the other. The crazy messy fun we had! Ruby mayyyybe ended up looking more like a jelly wrestler in training… not sure what got more paint, the craft house, or Ruby! But that’s what it’s all about right? Just like Doo Wop Kids. The essence of this brand is fun fun fun, down to every last polka dot, every last squiggle.  Behind the scenes outtakes blog post on our crafty fun to follow, but for the meantime, you can check out the awesome Doo Wop Kids fashion range: HERE.

Ruby wears: Doo Wop Kids Squiggle Tee  Doo Wop Kids Pom Pom Socks Rock Your Baby Celebration Skirt Van High Tops Yellow Dandy Shop

Summer Starts Here

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Soaring temperatures in South Australia for the first week of school holidays has ensured a heavy schedule of beach / pool alternation for the last seven days straight. There is nothing my girls love more than exploring new jetty’s, chatting to the fishermen, and of course the swimming, ice-cream and copious amounts of fish and chips that go hand in hand with our endless beach outings. Summer you are most definitely our favourite! The new range of clothes from Alfie Apparel featuring ‘Coney Island’ could not be more perfect for us. Fun designs, easy wearing, can we even handle Ruby in that jumpsuit! All sorts of Flashdance vibes spring to mind! Teamed with their absolute FAVE retro Skipping Girl bags. Stuffed to the brim these bags go everywhere, EVERYWHERE with these two. And admittedly, so does mine. Nothing like a bit of old school fruity fun.
You can shop the Alfie Apparel ‘Coney Island’ collection: HERE
You can shop the Skipping Girl bag collection: HERE

Ruby got Star Wars’d

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My now 12 year old was the BIGGEST Star Wars fan when he was a little boy. I can’t even believe how quickly that time has gone and all of a sudden my lego playing figurine collecting darling little boy is all grown up and teenager like. SO when he said to me the other day could we go to the new Star Wars movie together I was like yassssss!!! WHEN!? Ha ha!! I of course proceeded to pull out alllll his old Star Wars merch so we could take a trip down memory lane.
In rolls Ruby, instantly OBSESSED with our quite possibly vintage lego collection I thought why not kit her out with some Star Wars gear of her own. Couldn’t believe my luck when I got to Target and they had this adorable costume. How cute is it!! I completely adore it. Her favourite pick was the plush chewy, the cutest, followed closely by the Storm Trooper and the PEZ, of course, was a massive hit. Target have the biggest range of Star Wars toys around. Such a hit with my girls I’m wishing I now saved it for Christmas but this was way too much fun to wait for, especially as the movie launched today!
When I was growing up (oh BOY do I feel old saying that, WEEP!) it was all about gender neutral toys. I had older cousins who were both boys, and all I ever ever ever wanted for Christmas were light sabres and basically any Star Wars gear I could get my hands on, so I could be just like them. I know right!? So funny! Seeing Ruby enjoying that magic, looking up to her brother like I did my cousins, getting dressed up and role playing different characters like we used to, it makes my heart happy. XX C

You can visit Target and shop the range: HERE