Wardrobe Wednesday | The Final Edition – 39 Weeks

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This is the final hurrah, my last Wardrobe Wednesday in what I’m sure will be a long, long time – measured in kilograms! And perhaps seasons lol.  Somehow I have gotten still larger, and somehow despite all predictions to the contrary I am still pregnant, due next Wednesday.
I sat in the salon for 3.5hrs yesterday so don’t fret, those 2.5″ roots are gone, pregnancy definitely sped up my formerly  s l o w  hair growing ability, quite a shame to have spend so much money on getting my hair done only to have it fall out over the next few weeks!

See you on the other side!

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39_weeks_pregnant

Hippo’s Nursery | Colour & Light

39-ish weeks ago I started a Pinterest board for this room and I have been collecting ever since.  The only hard and fast rule was that I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy.  Ethan’s nursery in America reeked of co-ordinates and was totally themed floor to ceiling from Babies-R-Us.  Eight years on and I took my time, mixing colours and patterns until this little room began to feel just right.  I love it in here, the light is amazing, it’s warm and it’s full of personality.

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Mum and I had been searching for The Cot Quilt for a while and were stumped, everything handmade we were seeing at markets, although beautiful, was a little too traditional for this room, and everything in the retail channels was just too steeped in the ‘baby’ themes I was trying to avoid.  I wanted something that would grow with bubs, and bring some modern, bright solids to break up the white furniture.  A wallpaper post on Facebook gave me the inspiration I needed and I put a request out via Instagram – could my wallpaper vision be turned into a quilt?  Two amazing ladies replied.  The quilt pictured was a commission by Christchurch master quilter Deb Robertson {find her Felt store here} and it is seriously amazing, I can’t even imagine how many of these she could sell in Auckland’s trendy home decor stores.

The second offer was from our dear friend Tara in San Diego {who actually will be Baby Hippos God Mother – Surprise Tara!}.  I’m not sure if she has ever quilted before but she and her Mum made a quilt which is currently winging it’s way across the world!  So this lucky baby will actually have two super cool quilts, I’m thinking one for a play mat and one for his bed.Nursery_2

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Ecclectic_Nursery

Cook Eat | Oaty Muffins with Dates & Cranberries

Oat, Date and Cranberry Muffins

Dave whipped up these amaze muffins on gloomy, cold Sunday afternoon and let me warn you – this is not a recipe for your thighs but your mouth.  These guys are SO good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the dates and dried cranberries. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the butter, milk, egg and vanilla.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir together just until the ingredients are mixed and moistened.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker

Day 2: Maternity Leave

Obviously I outdid my self with my kitchen exploits on Thursday, you know, pumpkin soup and homemade bread rolls for dinner so I kept it real and decided on Pizza Hut for dinner and once again had dinner organised by 9.30am!  I am amazing.

Work cut off my public email so I was unable to do any work from home aside from what came through my new internal email.  It was a strange feeling, not having to do anything…………..but the floors.  I vacuumed and mopped the floors once Dave had left for the office.  One day of trying to work from home around nesting stir-crazy wife was obviously enough to send him running for the ‘normal’ people with desks and lanyards!

I did manage to leave the house yesterday to do the after-school pick up – freshly showered and dressed.  I’m going to admit to a bit of paranoia here, I found a rogue nit in E’s hair a couple of weeks ago so the kid has been fumigated in the shower multiple times to avoid an outbreak {there have been no more sightings thank god}.  So, after my morning cleaning-athon I jumped in the shower and thought I may as well treat my own hair just to be on the safe side you know?  Off I go to school, wet hair {somewhat stylishly I hope?} tied up in a top knot, positively reeking of nit shampoo.  I was sitting in the truck waiting for Ethan when one of his friends Mum’s comes over to see how things are going.  This lady and I are acquaintances at best, we share small boys and rugby in common and she was chatting away leaning in the drivers side window positively choking I’m sure of it, on the pesticide-like fumes emanating from my wet hair.  I could have died.

But then she invited E over for a playdate next week so maybe she just thought I had a pestilence problem in the truck or was really into huffing fly spray while pregnant.  Embarrassing.

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One of the many things I have checked off my  l o n g  before-baby-to-do list was order some bloggy business cards.  I cashed in on one of Vistaprint’s trillion offers and my cards arrived yesterday.  Considering I spent 10 minutes on them and they cost $10 they are just fine.  BTW, I have no idea if lifestyle blogger is the correct terminology, it was all my addled head could come up with in the 10 minutes between dinner-ing and shower-ing the small child.  Next up is the Media Kit.

In other housewiferly news;

  • I am still pregnant
  • I am seriously considering washing the windows
  • I have run out of chocolate
  • It is International Go Skateboarding Day and Dave went skateboarding but couldn’t skate, too rainy, now he has sad face

Day 1: Maternity Leave 38 Weeks

I made it. I survived nine months at work with only two sick days! I enjoy my work and have had a trouble free pregnancy so the decision to keep working for so long was not a big deal.
Today was a different story though.
My first day at home.
By 9.30am the washing was hung, the pumpkin and other veges were roasting in the oven for tonight’s dinner of pumpkin soup, the bread maker was kneading dough for the hot rolls to go with my soup, E’s bed was made and ours stripped ready for washing load #2, Lou was booked in for a grooming so I decided I could squeeze in an hour of work from my Remote Desktop.

In other housewiferly news;

  • It hailed four times today and like everywhere around New Zealand it is freezing.
  • Dave went to the American store yesterday and returned with a bounty of corn tortillas, Almond Joys and Tootsie Rolls, just what fatty-preggo needs!
  • I got my nails done today for hopefully the last time, the money I’m spending there really needs to be channelled to more fruitful pursuits such as getting my terrible roots done.
  • My ankles are now in a permanent state of swollen.
  • I walk like a 95 year old hillbilly with a cane and a peg-leg.
  • I think this baby is making plans to come out!!!!

Mall-Walking

Have you ever heard of mall-walking?  No?  It’s what old people do in the sweltering climes of America when it’s too hot to power walk outside.  They don their shell suits and head inside for laps + air-con.  I couldn’t fit in a shell suit if my life depended on it and we need sheltering from the rain and cold rather than the heat but Dave decided today that I needed to ‘GET OUT OF THE HOUSE’ and ‘GO FOR A WALK’ {his loud american self even louder than usual}.

So, I put up little resistance inwardly laughing at the naivety of the man – did he really think he would escape the mall with just a walk?  A free walk.  Too funny.

It was actually nice.  E had decided that the lesser of two evils on offer today was to visit his great-grandmother instead of going to the mall so Dave and I were rolling solo.  I don’t know why but being out in public and huge and preggo without Ethan makes me self-conscious.  Strangers ignore you when you’re towing a surly 8yo, they don’t force conversations and ask ‘when the twins are due?’ or ‘is it my first?’.  I’m not sure why it bothers me if people think Dave and I are expectant first time parents, but the assumption really doesn’t go down well.  Though in saying that, we were out as a family and the Friendly Stranger assumed that Dave must be my ‘new’ husband and not Ethan’s Dad, simply because of the obvious age gap.  People are lovely aren’t they?

So back to the mall, we were able to finish shopping for E’s bag of gifts from his Little Brother that we will take to the hospital with us, I crossed a couple of weird purchases off my mental list such as buying a regular 2 button mouse for my Mac because I simply can’t abide by NO right mouse button any longer.  I got my eyebrows waxed which was awesome until the technician started some after-wax threading which is so damn painful it made hippo recoil!  We found Ethan two pairs of Vans for $70!  I loved them so much we bought him a size up for next year too;

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A little peek into Country Road resulted in this win;

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I had been coveting this shirt online for ages, it was in the SALE with an extra 25% off! {shop here, $48.65}  Obviously this is a post-hippo-purchase {PHP if you will}, but I’m thinking button-ups with a breast-feeding tank underneath are going to be my new wardrobe staples in the coming months.

So, mall-working for preggo-exercise; 4 out of five stars.  Dave wasn’t done though, round two involved Pak ‘n Save laps and shopping for food which wasn’t nearly as much fun :  (

Things I’m Loving: Bloggers & Georgie Pie

Two of my favourite things came together yesterday in an unplanned symphony of awesomeness!  I had allowed myself Friday off work as I attempt to wind things up (and use a couple of leave days here and there before maternity leave kicks in!).  This enabled me to finally enjoy morning tea with some other Auckland bloggers at The Parenting Place Cafe in Greenlane.  Working 5 days rarely allows for such social engagements, so the occasion really gave me a sense  of the ‘big’ change that is coming soon {{{SOON HIPPO, SOON!}}}.

I crocheted, enjoyed a spirulina and a to-die for plum and white chocolate brioche.  That pastry alone was worth the rush hour commute of 1 hour!!!  It was such a great, relaxed morning, catching up with some of the ladies that I had met briefly in Christchurch as well as meeting some new faces.  Loved it.

And then it was lunch time.  And I just happened to be parked in the HUGE Greenlane McDonald’s parking lot.  The stars were aligned, somehow I managed to drive home with this hot little beauty untouched in the seat next to me.

Georgie_Pie

The resurrection of Georgie Pie’s classic Steak and Cheese is nostalgia in a paper bag.  Yes, it’s over-priced at $4.50 but I figure that’s a pretty small price to pay for such a picture-perfect walk down memory lane.  I enjoyed every second of this pie; the familiar paper bag, the slightly over-browned pastry, the rare glimmer of ‘steak’, the liquid cheese………it was amaze.  Have you back-tracked 15 years and sampled one yourself?  Are you going to?

The whole day was a red-letter day in fact.  Next Friday I’ll be a free-agent, finishing paid employment in expectant anticipation of a much-smaller and cuter boss.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.

Nursery Sneak Peek | There’s art on the walls…….

I had to wait a while for some prints to arrive from the states, but now they are hung I’m feeling like the nursery is done…enough.  The light in this room is amazing, it has East and North facing windows so stays bright all day and the plaster/concrete block combo of the exterior suck up the sunlight and keep it nice and warm.

There is a little bit of bubba’s new laundry to put away, his hospital back to pack and we are all ready!  I can’t wait to meet him {and also reach my toes again!}.  To put it bluntly, if I go to 40 weeks I’m pretty worried about how big he and I are going to get.  I got home yesterday afternoon, dropped E at rugby then came home and was in my pjs and asleep by 4.45pm.  Carrying this guy around is wearing me out.

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My Maternity Wear Must-Haves

Thankfully I have survived this enormous pregnancy without spending too much on maternity clothes, in fact I think I have only purchased half a dozen actual ‘maternity’ items.
Dressing has been made moderately successful by purchasing staples in large (and now XL!) sizes. I found pregnancy jeans really uncomfortable so tights have been my go-to for the bottom half. Definitely the best in comfort, quality and price were a pair I picked up from KMart for $10 in the standard women’s section.  Layering has been key, I have to go to work five days a week so I have had to maintain a level of business-casual.  This has been made easier by being able to wear layers with a smart cardigan or woollen coat over the top (not that I can button them!).

From top left to right, these are my staples that have allowed me to layer, keep warm and comfortable – though I am now totally over them and just wish to fit some jeans and a slouchy sweat!

Maternity_wear_must_haves

1.  Oversized tanks: Cotton On (3 for $25)

2.  Glassons Ponte Stitch Detail Leggings (On sale now for $29.99) these have a super wide elastic waistband so are seriously comfortable and

are a really heavy fabric so are a little more substantial than your average leggings.

3.  Any old black leggings.  I have worn standard sizing pairs more than maternity ones.

4. Patch Stripe Knit Maxi Skirt: (On sale now for $29.99)

5.  Cardigans galore.  I picked up this one in a Country Road sale in a larger size than normal and have loved having a nice bright pop of colour to slip on.

6. My trusty thrifted-on-Trade-Me Levi’s denim shirt.  The length of this makes it ideal to wear in the weekends with tights and tunics.

7. Maya maternity T’s and tanks from The Warehouse.  These have washed really well and work perfectly layered over a tank.

Giveaway | It’s Party Time! {closed}

Stuck on You is a fab company that I have worked with before, specialising in the coolest kids personalised labels and gifts.  They are launching a new product line and to celebrate we are giving one of you guys the change to win a $25 voucher to spend online at www.stuckonyou.co.nz!  Lucky ducks {deciding what to spend your voucher on won’t be easy though I can guarantee it!}.

The Party Collection is a comprehensive range of gorgeous all-you-need party decor that will have your party table settings looking amaze.  Think of all those cute party favors you’ve pinned on Pinterest – now you can just order online, specify your chosen theme, colour and font and fire the party planner.

Check out  a little collection I put together in five minutes; that’s how easy it is to customise the templates and place an order.

Party_Collection

 So, if you would like to enter the draw to win a $25 voucher to spend at www.stuckonyou.co.nz leave a comment below and let me know what your fave item from the Stuck on You Party Collection is {you can take a peek here}.
For extra entries – for a total of 4 – tweet this contest, share on FB or share on your blog, then come back here and leave a comment for each way you have spread the word!  Winner must be a liker of both The Best Nest and Stuck on You on Facebook.
Winner will be drawn on Thursday 13th June, unless I am having a baby in which case I will do it when I remember : )
And the winner is………………..Lara Ross Nee-Hennessy!  Congrats Lara, I will be in touch soon.
Thanks for your entries!