Outfit of the week- Ava

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Jumper: Cotton On (Similar linked here and here)

Skirt: Cotton On (Similar one here)

Tights: H&M

Shoes: Big W (Similar one here)

Bow: Seed

Outfit of the week- Ava

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Top: Cotton On (similar linked here and here)

Skirt: Cotton On (I can’t find similar ones so I’ve picked a cute pink tulle one here)

Shoes: Cotton On (I can’t find similar ones so I’ve linked brown shoes here)

Bow: Seed

Ava- 2 years old!

Well I have been super slack when it comes to posting.. we can call it lack of inspiration! Guys.. what would you like to see posts on? Apart from photos of my amazing daughter I am totally lacking in the inspirational field.

If you follow me on insta you’ll know that Ava turned two last week! I took some quick photos the week before so I would have a current photo to post for her birthday (yes, I’m that mum)! Just as her little scratch on her cheek has been healing (it’s been almost 5 months) she fell and knocked her head on the heater two days ago and now has a gash near her eye… I thought only boys were supposed to be rough?! Anyways.. On a happy side note- I thought Ava needed 2 year old immunizations (yes, I’m also that mum that immunizes her daughter)..wellllllll…she actually doesn’t get any more until she’s 4! Woohoo for Ava!

So.. here is our baby girl.. 2 years on..

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Toddler Winter Essentials

We have had 5 winters (or part winters) with Ava so far (yes she is only two)- when you count the winters we’ve experienced in the States with her and our own ones here in Australia they add up! I’ve developed a few “hacks” when it comes to winter and toddlers which I hope are helpful:

1. Buy your Winter Kids clothes in the End of Financial Year Sales

Most (if not all) retailers will have an End of Financial Year Sale- for us in Australia it’s petty much the entire month of June. Resist buying winter clothing before June- trust me! This year I managed to get multiple tops, skirts, shoes and jumpers for Ava at Cotton On Kids where everything was $5- yes.. thick track pants, boots, long sleeve tops- it was all $5 a piece. Zara Kids also had an EOFY sale where I was able to get long sleeve dresses and pants for a fraction of the cost any other month. If you don’t have time to go through the racks then don’t fret these retailers also have their sale valid for online purchases.

2. Keep a Puffer Jacket/Overcoat in the car (and size up!)

During Winter I keep one of Ava’s winter coat/puffer jackets in my car at all times. We put it on when getting our of the car at an outing etc and then take it off before getting back in the car. Apart from washing it every 2ish weeks it stays in my car at all times! I recommending sizing up so it can fit on top of anything your toddler may be wearing (jumpers, thin shirts etc). This has been a life saver on many occasions!

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L- Zara Kids Superhero Jacket  |  R- Zara Kids Reversible Jacket

3. Have some track pants that look acceptable for at home and outside

For some reason it is a battle changing Ava out of her pj’s during winter- I’m willing to bet that it’s the toastiness of her pj’s after she’s just woken up. A way around this that we sometimes use is having Pj track pants (that are clean) that can double as going out pants. They are thick enough for bedtime but also nice enough to go out with. We will (obviously) put them in the wash that night (just thought I should clarify especially considering my mum will probably read this…)

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L- Cotton On Kids Lewis Trackies  |  R- Cotton On Kids Kikii Trackies

4. Neutral Boots

In winter, boots are my go to- they have more protection than a regular shoe and your kids can wear medium to thick socks with them without ruining the look of the outfit! Most retailers have colour neutral boots for toddlers. Even better if you can find slip on boots and no laces!

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L- Zara Toddler Lace Up Boots  |  M- Zara Toddler Embellished Boots  |  R- Zara Toddler Metallic Mountain Boots

5. (For those with Girls)- Invest in a few packs of neutral and patterned tights. 

I find I get into the rut of always putting Ava in jeans or pants during winter because we are trying to resist the flu like our lives depended on it. If I invest in good neutral tights that are suitable for most outfits (whites, creams, blacks or dark blues) I can still put her in super cute dresses or skirts without worrying about the cold! A side note- I get stopped all the time by mum’s asking where I get Ava’s tights from because they can’t seem to find neutral ones- H&M are my go to! Every pair of tights she owns is literally from H&M.. and another hack.. if you go into store and they have different sizes- 6-12 months, 18-24 months and 2-3 years- buy them! They go like hotcakes and you can always gift them if your kids outgrow them before needing them!

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H&M Kids Patterned Tights

If you have any other winter hacks I would love to hear them!

Toddler Travel Review (Headphones and Apps)

In my post last week I spoke about how we take Ava’s favorite snacks with us on flights.. Well, I took a picture of her snack box to give you an idea of what we take etc


Funny fact- if you’re traveling to Western Australia you’re not allowed to take fresh berries and nuts across the border!

Anyways, I had some strawberries and blueberries to keep her busy for a few minutes, Lebanese bread because it doesn’t create as many crumbs as slice bread or toast, some spreads (I packed peanut butter and Nutella), slice cheese and lastly a fruit pouch (not pictured).

For those who follow me on Instagram you would have seen that this was Ava’s 16th and 17th flight this past weekend- we wanted to try headphones for the plane ride as we’re hoping she’ll use them for the flight to the U.S. Overall I’d say they went really well. She would only keep them on for 10-15min at a time which was great all things considered. Below are my pros and cons if you’re looking at trying headphones for your toddler:

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  • It will keep your child occupied for a certain amount of time as they’ll be able to hear the shows as well as watch them
  • Cheap and easy to store
  • The volume is super soft/controlled. Perfect for little ears.

Cons

  • The cord length was a bit too long and so it would get tangled easily. A retractable cord would be fantastic!

Overall I’d say it was a great and cheap investment.

We’ll keep practicing in the next few weeks to help her adjust!

The last thing I wanted to mention was our “go-to” apps for when travelling with Ava! We use an Ipad and the following apps:

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Netflix- major “pro” here- you can download tv shows and movies for offline watching! We downloaded some dog movies as Ava is obsessed with dogs, as well as shows she likes like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

ABC iView- These can’t be downloaded offline, but they are great time wasters for the airport.

Kids Youtube- A great time waster for the airport with cleaner ads and videos.

iBooks- There are great kids’ books on this app. I remember having a Toy Story book which was an audio and visual book with moving parts. My niece used to love it!

Fruit ninja- Ava is captivated by this game! It improves fine motor skills as well as keeps her entertained for a few minutes. The game has really bright fruit that fills the screen which is great for kids, she also gets permission to touch the screen a thousand times.. and it helps with fine motor skills as she has to track the fruit as they fly into the air- this is a major thumbs up from us.

Winter Warmers

While we don’t get snow here in Sydney, Australia the weather can drop to around 1-2 degrees overnight and in the mornings.

I have already been layering Ava with her pajama onesie and an extra pair of pants and a long sleeve top.. it may be over the top but her room is freezing during the night and with her being so young the flu is the last thing she needs!

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There are a lot of really cute jackets (for him and her) around at the moment! I’ve gathered a few of my favourites below! While I am half Assyrian and Maltese, and I was 100% dressed in tracksuit pants when I was a kid, I’m trying to avoid them for as long as possible with Ava!

There’s nothing wrong with looking super cute while staying warm this winter!

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From top left to right

Lydia Jacket | Hooded Navy Parker |Baby Jacket | Cape Jacket | Hooded Padded Jacket | Pink Knit | Baby Bomber Jacket | Faux Leather and Fur Jacket | Bonds Logo Jacket | Soft Polka Jacket | Khaki Parker | Navy Hooded Parker

Another thing that can help with the cold are slippers and beanies! I was gifted a pair of slippers when I was pregnant, but during summer I miss placed them.. well.. in cleaning out my closest this week I found them again- they are a fantastic investment during the winter months! I had never really though to buy Ava a pair until I saw them on sale one day and a light bulb went off!

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His

Birdseye Beanie | Slipper Boot | Dinosaur Slippers | Birdseye Beanie (Grey) | Knit Slippers | Mice Slippers | Jacquard Grey and Blue Knit

Hers

Knit Slipper (Pink) | Bonds Booties | Rabbit BeanieCotton Tail Beanie | White Pom Beanie| Pom Pom Beanie | Bootie Slipper | Koala Slippers

 

Ava May- 7 weeks on..

We are 7 weeks into this parenting experience! I don’t think you can even call it ‘parenting’ at this age? More like, 7 weeks into the new job role of bottle feeder, burper and high-pitched laughs.

Ava is growing and developing well- we had her 6 week shots last week which were terrible, but she was fine after the initial jab (my poor baby).. yes, I was a blubbering mess.. She’s consistently sleeping through the night, waking only once to feed- we’re on a pretty good routine at the moment. The only problem with this routine is that she eats when we eat.. will I ever have a hot meal again?! I made a list a few days ago of all the things I haven’t done since the birth of Ava (the list is pretty comical!!):

  • Had a shower lasting longer than 15min
  • Eaten toast (at breakfast) while it was still hot..scratch that..eaten any meal while it’s still hot
  • Drank a full cup of coffee at breakfast while it’s still hot
  • Drank ANY beverage at breakfast and finished it while it was still hot
  • Gone on a date with my husband.. unless church music practice counts?? HA.. (we are ticking this off the list tonight..)
  • Left the house in less than 5min
  • Only done one load of washing a week… Who knew something so small could create SO MUCH LAUNDRY
  • Picked something to wear in less than 2 min- now it goes through the if-spit-up-was-to-fall-on-this-item-would-it-stain test..

 

Raising Ava has been nothing but joy..despite all the challenges new mums face! Some days I find myself worried that I am failing – am i under stimulating her, am I not talking to her enough, is she too hot or too cold, am I going to make her sick (I’ve been battling the flu for a week), does she need more Vitamin D (she is PALE folks), what milestones should she be hitting at this age.. if she hitting them?! So many what ifs and questions.. they don’t give you a manual when you have a baby.. I wouldn’t mind a how-to on ‘raising a functioning, caring and loving child’- the tagline could be: ways to not stunt their growth or crush their dreams.. It would cover everything from birth to say 14ish (after 14 your on you own…ha.. I can’t help you there..even I turned feral around this age)

I found this quote the other day which perfectly reflects the need I have for God to be involved daily in this new season of my life..

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I can imagine that as Ava gets older the ‘load’ of motherhood will sometimes get heavy and complicated – but I truly believe I need just as much of God today that I will in 10 years time.

Below are some photos of my angel baby.. By no means am I a professional photographer however I have a pretty good Nikon camera which I’ve tried to work out myself..img_1846img_1847img_1848img_1849

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Baby Shower Gifts

My best friend threw Ava and I the most beautiful Baby Shower a few months ago- we laughed and cried and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with family and friends! I received so many amazing gifts!! We were truly spoiled..

It’s hard to know what to get a new mum-to-be so I’ve detailed a summary of some of the main (and super useful) gifts we received and have used since we came home from hospital!

There’s a few things that I’ll quickly mention:

  • Bonds Two Zipper Wondersuits- SUPER HELPFUL! There are other brands that have the two-way zipper onesies, but the bonds onesies have little pockets on the wrists and feet which you fold over once you have the onesie on the baby, which act as socks and mittens! It’s an all-in-one outfit!
  • ErgoPouch- There are other brands which I’m sure work great. We were gifted with the Ergo brand which has worked amazing!
  • Bottles- Check the teets on the bottles! We had a problem where Ava was throwing up her bottles, my mum had an ah-ha moment which led us to check the teets- only 1 was a slow flow! Since then I have bought more slow flow teets and she hasn’t spit up a bottle since!
  • Bassinet- If you are going to get one, purchase one that has a removal top bed section. This has been great for bringing Ava downstairs if I don’t want to wake her!
  • New Pajamas for the mum-to-be- It was wonderful to have a new set of pjs to change into after giving birth!

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One- Double zip onesies (Bonds Wondersuit pictured) // Two- Baby Mittens // Three- Singlets (Bonds Chesty Singlets pictured) //Four- ErgoBaby Sleeping Bag // Five- Swaddles (Sheridan baby wras pictured) //Six- Bibs // Seven- Breast Milk Freezer Bags //Eight- Huggies Newborn Starter Pack // Nine- Portacot //Ten- Range of bottles //Eleven- Manual Breast Pump // Twelve- Bassinet //Thirteen- Baby Bouncer // Fourteen- New Pjs for Mum- Top, Bottoms and Slippers // Fifteen- Baby Blanket

Not pictured but a GREAT gift: Nappies, nappies and more nappies!! I am blown away with how many nappies we have gone through!

If you have any questions on specific brands or other items we were gifted please let me know!!

I wish I had wings..

A few months ago my niece Mia was told to make a wish when she blew the candle out on her 6th birthday cake. After making this wish she quickly asked us if we wanted to know the wish she made- without missing a beat she told us she wished to grow wings..

..and that my friends is the problem with 90% of the cartoons our kids watch..haha

Poor Mia..we felt bad breaking it to her that humans can’t grow wings..but there are ways around it..kinda..cue the fairy wings and princess wands!

Some of the below items would be super cute for a Fairy or Princess party- they are on the cheaper side as well so definitely affordable if you needed to buy a few.

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One- Fairy Wings // Two- Princess Wand // Three- Wing Singlet // Four- Wing Shoe Clips // Five- Princess Skirt //Six- Crown //Seven- Ballet Shoes //Eight- Flare Onesie

Father’s Day!

Ava was born just in time for Greg to experience his first Father’s Day! He has seamlessly transitioned into fatherhood (of an 11 day old..haha) and has been so supportive- he truly has astounded me. What kind of guy will wake up every 4 hours during the night just to sit and chat so you don’t have to be awake feeding by yourself!

I’ve been stockpiling a few printable’s for Father’s Day with the hope of using them next year- these past 2 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind with Ava! Below is a roundup of cheap and easy gifts/printable’s and outfits that I am loving!

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One- Rad like dad bib (Cotton on) // Two- Best Dad Ever t-shirt (Cotton on) // Three- Daddy is the best onesie (Target) // Four- Dad Keyring (Pearlie Girl) // Five- Dear Dad Free Printable (Cool Mom Picks) // Six- Dad’s mug (afewhometruths)