Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Love To Dream Swaddle Up

If you follow me on instagram then you'd know that our little lion cub has decided that he does not like to sleep in the daytime hours unless he is nicely snuggled in and nestled in our arms. Rocking, shushing, dancing, patting are all part of his day sleep repertoire. Oh boy!!

We received a Love To Dream Swaddle Up when our little lion cub was about 4 weeks old. 
The first two times we used it he threw up on it so it spent time in the washing basket. (Mt Washmore can be rather large these days!)
Then we seemed to have the world's worst sleeper on our hands from around the same time. So we've been wrapping him arms down, straight jacket style in a very stretchy wrap. (Note: this did not help him sleep any better!)

He's reached the 10 week mark (where did that time go?!) and his sleep has improved (ever so) slightly. And now that he's a little stronger he fights that straight jacket and gets his arms up and out. He wants them up! But he is not ready to be completely unwrapped.

This is where the Love to Dream Swaddle Up came back out to play full time! Below is a pic of him ever so small with a full view of the Swaddle Up. This is a medium for my big boy who was nearly 6kg at just one month old!

His hands are up by his face the way he likes it. It's so nice and snug and contoured to his body shape. 

The zip is a two way zip and there's a space in the back so that it could be worn in a pram or car seat. Also good to keep arms in for any quick overnight nappy changes during sleep times for minimum disturbance!

He definitely sees being zipped into the Swaddle Up as a sleep cue which is great! And I think the snugness around his body is comforting for him too.

Here he is this week all snuggled in his cot. Sleeping in his cot is still a rarity here during the day but we are persevering with attempting to have him sleep in his cot when we can! And we've had a few small victories!


And there's nothing like some milk drunk smiles to make you giggle! 

You can find out more about the Swaddle Up over at the Love To Dream website.
For older children you might like to read my past review of the Love To Dream Inventa Sleeping Bag.

Now hit me with your sleep tips! We'll give anything a shot!

Disclaimer: Although I was not paid to write this post I was gifted a Swaddle Up from Love to Dream. All opinions are my own :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spinach, Pumpkin and Fetta Pie

Days are hit and miss here. Some days we get things done. Other days my three loves (well the two smalls in particular) struggle through the day vying for my attention. Attention which is tricky to give between breastfeeding, shush patting and rocking/any other crazy method of inducing sleep to the sleepless!

Last week we had a particularly successful day! And we baked! We made dinner in advance and even created a little healthy(ish) dessert too!

First up we made a simple shortcrust pastry with butter, flour and iced water. Easy I tell ya!


I love making this yummy frittata but I also am a sucker for pastry... yum! So decided that I'd make it more of a pie/quiche. Call it what you will it was delicious!

We rolled our pastry and lined two 30cm pie dishes. Yes, two! Then we lined them with baking paper and filled with some brown rice I use for blind baking... and we baked them until lightly cooked.

Next we filled each dish with some delicious spinach that we pulled from the veggie patch. I love using food from our garden with the girls. It's so amazing to see their connection with food from the garden to the table! Miss Daisy has acquired a love affair for kale chips!
So in went the spinach, some steamed pumpkin and feta. I also threw in a handful of yummy fresh herbs from the garden, spring onions, basil and rosemary and grated some cheese over each pie.

Then came the eggs. Our neighbour's chooks are laying really well so we are getting delicious fresh eggs from them regularly! The second pie went to these neighbours, perhaps in exchange for the eggs, or perhaps because they've been having my three kids over to play to give me a break the last few weeks. Or perhaps it's just because we love our neighbours!

So the eggs, I think I used around 8 eggs and added milk (would've added cream if I had it). Whisk whisk whisk and then pour evenly over each pie, filling the gaps!

Then back in the oven until cooked!

Hubby arrived home to no kids and one pie left on the stove top fresh out of the oven. And he promptly called our other neighbours who then brought their kids over for a chimenea, some wine and helped us polish off this pie. And a delish quinoa and kale salad we whipped up. See I told you I was having a good day. 

We seriously live in such a wonderful little community! 

Not much of a recipe (or post for that matter!) but it's sort of one from the head, or perhaps it's from the heart! :) One I'll make again regardless! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Life as 5

"One, Two, Three, Four, Five people are in our family.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five people are in our family. 
We are best friends that love each other, that's our family, that's our family!"
Now sing it like Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba! My girls can be found humming or singing this to themselves of late! Quite cute really!

Our little lion cub has certainly made his presence known. 7kg of needy newborn! We've rocked and patted and shushed and muddled our way through the last 9 weeks! Thankfully he agrees to sleeping at night with mostly just one quick feed in the wee hours of the morning. 

Daytime is his trying time... Cuddles in the sling seem to be an all round solution for nap success and mummy still getting things done or playing with the girls. 

But how could you not give in to snuggles with those big blue eyes!?

So washing is taking a little longer to hang out! (And being done at 11pm!)
Dishes are dirty in the sink a few minutes more.
It takes advance planning and baby seating arrangements to water the veggie patch!
Dinner is cooked with little cub in the sling.
Dinner is sometimes yogurt. Or eggs. Or toast. 
Dinner is often cooked by hubby.
Dinner is awesome!
On the plus side - hubby bought me a Dyson Cordless Vacuum. It is amazing! Everyone should have one! It may even beat my dirty little secret that he gifted me last time we had a baby!!

Anyway, some days are rough. Some nights are rough. But we're persevering... and speaking of perseverance.. I stumbled upon these wonderful reminders to myself!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Recipe:: Banana Oat Slice

My mother in law made a yummy slice when we visited this week. She makes so many yummy slices and anything with dates is always a winner with me!

Today I decided to make it myself with a few substitute ingredients to allow hubby to enjoy it too!

It's a super easy, quick one bowl slice that is quite forgiving when it comes to measuring ingredients so it's a great one for little helpers!

I substituted coconut oil for the required butter and almonds with walnuts as it's what we had on hand! Here's my modified version of this yummy recipe for you to enjoy!

2 ripe bananas, chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 Tbs black chia seeds
1Tbs flaxseed
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1Tbs honey
100g coconut oil, melted
1 egg

Mix all ingredients until well combined. 
Let the banana get all smooshy as you do it!

Spread into a lined slice pan and bake at 200'C for 15 minutes. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A new(ish) kitchen

We've recently made a few changes... we sold our first home which was bittersweet. We drove past on the day of settlement which I thought would be a quick look-see... but as we drove away I looked back. The tears welled, the memories all flooded into my mind at once (as they are now) and I was saddened to see it go. We lived with an outside bathroom for just over 3 years. We renovated the bathroom, bedrooms and lounge ourselves. We polished floorboards, painted walls and built a big deck!!

We raised our fur babies there and had one or two (or 6) different cars while living there!

We brought our beautiful Daisy girl home to that house and she lived there, took her first steps and many other little milestones there. So naturally those memories will be cherished. And that house hold a special place in my heart.

But onward and upward... our bush abode has been our home for just over two years now. We've added two more beautiful babes to our brood and we couldn't be happier... well, that was until hubby suggested putting in a new kitchen - I did get a wee bit happier then!
We've compromised on the 'new kitchen' idea as neither of us likes to spend money unnecessarily... and have decided to replace the oven and cook top with whizz bang new appliances. And to paint the cupboards  (which are in good working order and a layout we're happy with) and replace the handles to achieve a new look. We're also thinking we'll replace the 70's orange bench tops... unless I can work that into our new theme!

If you follow me on Pinterest you'd have noticed an influx on my Home Sweet Home board over the last few days! Lots of ideas and inspiration and so many decisions to make.

Here's a little of what I'm loving...
Funky Retro Kitchen. love the color splashes w/ white cabinets, fun chandelier...color appliance?    Retro kitchen is a #retro #kitchen with a fun vibe.i think this is fun but probably wouldn't go for itThese cupboards are simple with no routing like ours. Painted they could work with some seriously expensive hardware.small sliding door in kitchen...Retro Kitchen - Kitchen Decor Ideas - Country Living
Smiths Sectric electric wall clock.I have a roll of the wallpaper which was on the walls in my Gran's kitchen which I would love to use! And I also have my Gran's wall clock which was in her kitchen (see left).

So my inspirations are a plenty! And now it may become a reality! The kitchen was the only part of our previous home we didn't renovate and it's all that we have left to do here as well. I'm getting excited!

We wish to pay cash so will spend the next few weeks saving our $$ specifically for this project and then get started! So watch this space for our progress!

What would your dream kitchen include? Do you have a kitchen inspiration board on Pinterest? I'd love to follow!! Leave me a link!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Homemade Crayons DIY from Broken Crayons

For some reason there has been an attraction for playdates to turn into crayon crushing! Once after mother's group and once after we had friends here I've caught Miss Daisy and Co. with a pile of crayon rubble after a game of snap the crayon!
I kept storing them away to one day make ourselves some new crayons with... and sure enough one day finally came after I found a silicone tray that was the perfect size for some easy to hold crayons for little hands!

How to make Homemade Crayons::

You will need:

- assorted broken or used crayons (paper removed and broken into smaller pieces)
- a silicone baking mould/mini muffin tray
- oven preheated to 180'C

How to:

1. The long and tedious job of peeling the paper from the crayons. We found the cheaper crayons in our collection had more glue on the paper. So I scored down the side of the paper with a sharp knife and Miss Daisy could then easily pick the wrapper off.
2. Now we broke the crayons into smaller pieces. We decided to group like colours so that we had some crayons in each colour. However, you could make rainbow crayons too!
3. Fill your muffin holes to the top...even a little over is fine. (See pic above) Now place the flexible silicone mould into a baking tray for stability.
4. Place in preheated oven for around 5 minutes or until melted. (Keep your eye on them!)
5. Pull out of oven and allow to cool and harden!
6. Enjoy your new crayons!



Friday, August 29, 2014

The Birth of our little lion cub!

One week old today. And as I sit here snuggled by the fire with my dear baby boy on my chest, each precious breath makes me delight in his early arrival and his seemingly perfect fit into our little family.

We are all smitten by him and the girls have both been wonderful big sisters. 

Let's go back to last Thursday morning... I had my scheduled appointment at 11am and at 39+2 and super uncomfortable I was keen to see my midwife and find out if things were getting closer!

The girls helped our midwife to do my blood pressure, belly measure and Miss Daisy did the Doppler - finding baby first go (she's got really good at it!). 

Then our midwife asked would I like to have an internal to check progress and maybe get things moving along. Yes! Of course the girls decided the toy box was not entertaining at this point so a strategically placed sheet and a rubber glove each to play with kept them occupied!

'Get your knickers on and then we're going to talk about what to do with you' sent me thinking of all sorts of worries and thoughts of c sections and closed cervix! 
Boy was I wrong - 'you're 5cm dilated' was my midwife's first statement as she reentered the room!

As much as this was music to my ears I was baffled too!! I would not be driving the hour home but instead went to my mums 10 minutes away. Then phoned hubby to tell him we'd be heading to the hospital that arvo - to have our baby!

We had agreed it was best for my waters to be broken as if this happened at home we may not make it to the hospital. 
We arrived at the hospital at 2:30pm. We had room 2 - the same room (and bath!) both girls were born in! I was content to know that this familiarity would be there and that we could once again have a waterbirth.

My waters were broken shortly after our arrival and I sat on the bed giggling at the sensation as with both girls my waters had broken during transition and in the water. I sat on the bed for awhile and waited, nothing. Our midwife had said things may or may not start on their own after my waters were broken.

I decided to get up to go to the bathroom and as soon as my feet hit the floor so did the first of my contractions, it was a little after 3:00pm... labour had commenced! I wasn't sure what I should do or where I should go so I found myself sitting on the bed once again. A few contractions which didn't seem very strong had me wondering if I should hop into the shower.

Once again as I stood up another contraction hit... So around 3:20pm I hopped into the shower and enjoyed the hot water on my back and belly. Hubby took some photos that look identical to those of me with Li'l Peppa's birth, quite surreal!

By around 3:40pm I wasn't comfortable standing anymore. Each contraction had me bending over the chair in the shower and bending my knees. Boy things were progressing but surely this was going to take awhile?!

I jumped into the bath around 3:45pm and enjoyed the weightlessness I felt in the water and the comfort of the familiar position I'd taken up with my other births. I felt the urge to go to the toilet and so hopped out of the water and sat on there for the next few contractions. Hubby was on the phone at this point as his laptop had failed that morning and he was trying to get it fixed and recover his files! I motioned to him that he needed to get off the phone right now... and told him to call our midwife in.

She came in and I sheepishly told her that I thought I needed to go to the toilet but now I felt like it was more than that needing to come out!
She said 'I think you need to have a baby!" or something along those lines! It was 4:00pm. I still wasn't convinced that this was it!!

I got back into the bath and used the next few contractions to push out our little boy! At 4:04pm I scooped him up out of the water and into my arms!!

We let the cord continue pulsing for five minutes or so before Daddy cut it. Then Daddy took over skin to skin contact with our lion cub while I got out of the bath and onto the bed to deliver the placenta. 

Then, just over two hours after kissing them goodbye we rang my mum to ask her to bring in our two big girls! 

Suddenly a family of five. Blessed beyond belief! Happy one week little man! You have already won our hearts!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Gift Idea: Story Stones and Custom Storybook

It's birthday season here at the moment. Not only are the four of our birthdays in the next two months and baby brother due in August. We also have a huge portion of our friends/family with birthdays at this time of year!
So it's been sewing, crafting and creating fever around these parts!

A special friend received an outdoor adventure kit with a hand sewn camouflage bag to store all of his explorer tools.
We created a sewing kit for my niece to create her own picture to sew onto hessian like Miss Daisy has been doing.
I have butterfly wings in progress.
Place mats and hand towels on the go.
And a few others I shouldn't mention as they're heading to new homes soon!

But I decided on something different for my nephew who turned two last week! Story Stones! We've done story stones before, pirate themed, Hungry Caterpillar themed and Red Riding Hood themed. All as gifts!
Miss Daisy decided that a space theme would be good and helped me to paint details onto the stones... we were going to make a drawstring bag for them but at some point she came up with the idea of writing a book to match the stones! Brilliant!

I'm so happy with how they turned out. Miss Daisy dictated the story to me and we decided on which stones would be used throughout the tale (I helped a little here where needed to ensure all the stones got mentioned!)

And then whilst looking for treats to put in the pass the parcel we offered to make Miss Daisy found this box!! Perfect!!

And of course it's always nice to see your handiwork being admired by it's young recipient! I know there'll be so much imaginative play possible with these stones and the cute little book to inspire too!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Musings

Yesterday was Mother's Day here in Australia, that day in the year that's devoted to making our mums feel fabulous. My day was fabulous... but it was also challenging.... hubby slept in not I, a sick baby, a car/carseat to clean (from sick baby!), locked out of the house, copious amounts of washing, etc etc... 

However it made me think about all the other days in the year when I am celebrated and blessed by both my husband and my girls. The days where I'm given a sleep in, a break for the afternoon, small gifts, whispered I love you's and my expectations of this one day in the year were easily muted.

We're spending many of our mornings by the fire now that Autumn has come in full force. The trees are changing and I love hearing Miss Daisy's recollections of this season from last year! Li'l Peppa is enjoying the leaves and marvelling at the colours too!

We're still a family of makers. So baking, sewing and other handiwork are always on our agenda. Miss Daisy loves those special moments together that are reserved for when Li'l Peppa is in bed... as do I!
This is her first 'real' sewing creation and she's slowly completing it in her own way and her own time.

Our little boy is growing and I love feeling him moving about... aware that this could be our last baby I am trying to relish in each moment of this pregnancy and soak it all up!

My sewing table is piled high with gifts and projects and I've actually got a run sheet showing me the order in which I need to have them all done! But it's keeping me accountable and motivated so that's a good thing I suppose! The girls enjoy seeing fabric become something and I love sharing that with them too... although it's always a case of make one to keep and one to giveaway as they fall in love with every piece!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A little of us

Life has been changing around our parts. Li'l Peppa has weaned which has left me relieved to have some time where my body is mine before the baby comes mid year! Although the growing bump makes me wonder if my body has been mine at all in the last 5 years!

Miss Daisy made an absolutely gorgeous flower girl for one of my best friends last month. It was a beautiful wedding for a gorgeous couple. 

The girls are forging a friendship that is wonderful to witness. But Li'l Peppa is also gaining confidence and asserting herself more (if that's even possible!) So we can go for deep friendship to conflict quite quickly! Pink plate anyone?!?

I'm finding I can set them both up with the same activities lately and not have to modify what we're doing which is a nice change. Although Miss Daisy's attention span and attention to detail still surpasses her little sister by a lot!

Most of all I love that my loves are becoming their loves. Miss Daisy requests to sew and bake almost every day and we all love to explore our bush surroundings. 

I'd love to know who's still reading over here! I have set new priorities with blogging nowhere near the top... And it's been a wonderful change. 

However, I miss the interaction over here and the ability to record what we're doing so I'm finding my feet and will blog here irregularly with boring details of our life and insta-fied photos of our happenings!

Would love to have you with me!