FASHION CHALLENGE AUTUMN 2015 | Trending for Boys

A little chill in the air at night is certainly hinting that Autumn is here, meaning it’s time to think about ditching the sandals, lowering the hemlines and starting to add a couple of layers to our summer wardrobes.  I’m super excited to be taking part in The Warehouse’s Fashion Challenge this season, meaning I will be heading in store as an official blogger to dress our family head to toe in the latest trends for $200 or less!

Autumn Mens clothing The Warehouse Mum Blogger nZ

Autumn Fashion Trends Boys The Warehouse Mummy Blogger NZ

1.  Urban Equip Volley Shorts $20

2.  DC Mens Tee $25 – on sale for $15

3.  Urban Equip Robbie Shoes $30

4.  Active Intent Men’s Zip Thru Sweatshirt $29

So first things first: E does not wear pants.  Ever.  So updating his wardrobe for seasonal temperature fluctuations is essentially an exercise in layering!  Second thing, my delicious 10 year old is a big guy, we shop in the men’s department so sometimes it can be a little tricky finding on-trend and age appropriate outfits that he loves.  But, dude picked this whole outfit himself including the shoes in approximately seven minutes, and he totally nailed it right?  The graphic print shorts are my absolute fave, they are the perfect ‘above-the-knee’ length which is hard to find when you are 10 years old and shopping in the mens department!  The DC t-shirt was on sale for $15!!  I initially thought this combined with the shorts was going to look a bit too blue, but I think the outfit just comes across as very smart and well-styled.  

The super-wide drawstring in the zip hoody is a nice, updated look for this common winter staple.  This sweat will get worn to death so I’m loving it’s neutral base which ties in perfectly with the grey Robbie Shoes that E chose!  What a hip little guy – I think I’ll keep him x

Autumn Mens clothing The Warehouse Mum Blogger nZ Autumn Mens clothing The Warehouse Mum Blogger nZ

 

I can’t run in $135 leggings

Since December 23rd 2014, I have run 251 kilometers.  This is something I’m pretty proud of, I can also feel every single one of those kilometers concentrated in the arch of my right foot!  Ow.

I don’t have plans to give up anytime soon as the changes in my body {NOT on the scale I might add} have been so beneficial that I really hope I can maintain this level of activity throughout the coming winter months.  Fingers crossed x

I run quite hard {so it seems to me anyway!}, I sweat a lot and sometimes I feel like puking when I’m done.  My favorite running outfit is a pair of seriously amazing compression tights that cost me a whopping $20 from The Warehouse and a meshy sports tank of some description.  I’m not running along Ponsonby Rd here.  Most days when I run I won’t even pass a single person, ergo, it doesn’t matter what brand of running gear I’m wearing as long as I’m comfortable.

Despite this, I was beyond excited to have received a sizeable gift card recently to spend at Lululemon, the world-wide athletic apparel store with somewhat of a cult following.  After picking out his rugby boots for the coming season, Ethan and I headed to Takapuna yesterday to check out the Lululemon phenomena for the first time;

  • Beautiful store – check
  • Super helpful, friendly and attentive staff – check
  • Gorgeous, large range of high end product – check

It was truly, a lovely shopping experience.  But, I had anticipated leaving with some great running wear.  Turns out I just can’t stomach the thought of purchasing luxe $135 tights that will end up stinky and sweaty, doomed to a life of 35 minute runs around our neighborhood, with no-one appreciating their beauty and hefty price tag except me and the inside of the washing machine where they would spend most of their time.  Truth: my workout clothes smell bad.  I wash them right away but you can never entirely remove that smell of sweat when you’re running 4 times a week.  The beautiful clothes at Lululemon were just too pretty {and expensive} to relegate to my workout drawer.  I know many ladies around the world regularly get their sweat on in these gorgeous threads, I mean that’s what the brand has built their reputation on, but I just couldn’t shop with that intention.  Did I get it wrong?

I ended up choosing some items that I will wear on a daily basis as the weather cools, a jacket, sweatshirt, some leggings that are ‘Mummy’ appropriate {in my opinion!}, the most perfect cap ever – I wear hats all the time, and a sweet purse for every-day use.  As for my workout gear, I’ll be sticking with my existing functional compression clothing that doesn’t blow the family’s grocery budget on one outfit!

What do you guys think?  Do you spend a lot on premium labels when it comes to workout clothes or are you like me in that you like what looks and feels good regardless of brand?

Lululemon Mummy Blogger Workout Clothes New Zealand

 

 

 

A morning lifesaver | Heart Felt Organic Wool Dryer Balls

Munch Review and Giveaway Mummy Blog NZI’m so pleased to have joined Munch Cooking this year as one of their Munch Mums!   Look out for my reviews and giveaways each month as I introduce you to some awesome {and pretty innovative} products from The Munch Cupboard.

Oops.  

This morning I had a total mummy fail; one of Ethan’s uniforms was dirty and the other was wet on the clothesline!  It was the perfect opportunity to try out Heart Felt’s organic wool dryer balls as I had 15 minutes to get E dressed and off to school.  I hate stressy mornings and E hates being late with a passion so I needed to get that uniform dry quickly!

Before I was sent them, I had never heard of dryer balls, so I headed to the Munch website to find out exactly what the benefits of using them were and what I was supposed to do with them.

Basically, you just pop them into the dryer with your wet clothes, kick back and not stress about the dryer being on forever because they speed up drying time!  YAY!  The densely felted organic wool balls also act as a fabric softener and remove static as they move through the clothes during the cycle resulting in soft, luxe feeling clothes without any additional product in your laundry.

So, what did I notice?  Speedy drying………check.  Ethan’s heavy shorts and shirt were dry in approximately 8 minutes – phew.  The yucky synthetic fabrics in his uniform were also noticeably softer after a cycle with the Heart Felt balls, I have actually NEVER felt them so snuggly before.

Heading in to the wet season when we start to use our dryer more regularly, this awesome New Zealand made product will be a lifesaver.  I’m a bit of a nana and monitor our power useage very carefully so anything that can cut down electricity use without sacrificing the little luxuries {like the dryer!} that make life a bit easier for me is so, so welcomed.

Head on over to FB  for a chance to win a set of Heart Felt Dryer Balls for your own family this winter, or pick some up from Munch RRP $25

 Product Review Mummy Blogger NZ

FASHION CHALLENGE AUTUMN 2015 | Husband Styling 101

A little chill in the air at night is certainly hinting that Autumn is here, meaning it’s time to think about ditching the sandals, lowering the hemlines and starting to add a couple of layers to our summer wardrobes.  I’m super excited to be taking part in The Warehouse’s Fashion Challenge this season, meaning I will be heading in store as an official blogger to dress our family head to toe in the latest trends for $200 or less!

The Warehouse Mens Clothes Mummy Blog NZ

Autumn Mens Trends The Warehouse Mummy Blog NZ

1.  Match Long Sleeve TTC Shirt $20

2.  Match 5 Pocket Jean Green $39

  3.  Urban Equip Wills Shoes $30

My husband is a bit of an odd mix when it comes to styling.  Off the clock he is a skateboarder, always has been always will be.  He likes one brand of skate shoes and one brand only {I can understand this as when you’re flying around a concrete bowl you need to be able to feel and trust your feet}, and his clothing aesthetic hasn’t really changed too much over the 15 years I have known him.  His jeans have gotten a little tighter – thank goodness – but his basic old dude skate attire is pretty simple and doesn’t follow fashion trends.

Work is a different story.  Dave works for a major global corporation, so smart-casual is pretty much always required.  A classic plaid shirt is such a great office staple and does double duty off the clock when wearing it untucked is an option.  We were stoked to find these great 5 pocket pants in a deep olive green, these are totally Dave’s style and would work dressed up for the office or dressed down with a tee for after-hours and weekends.  Not as casual as jeans but the slim cut keeps them on-trend and relevant.  

We were looking for a comfy sneaker-based shoe in a contrasting colour to lighten up Dave’s look for Autumn.  The Wills shoe from Urban Equip was a no-brainer, totally office friendly and crosses-over easily for an after work drink or BBQ. 

So total cost, $89, easily reduced by shopping on sale.  I think Dave looks hot!  Most importantly to both of us he looks like DAVE.  He won’t wear clothes he doesn’t like so I’m feeling good about our shopping trip to The Warehouse and so is he.

The Warehouse Mens Clothes Mummy Blog NZ The Warehouse Mens Shoes Mummy Blog NZ

Why am I trying to be a 1950’s housewife in 2015?

As 2015 unfolds, I’m noticing the ‘slow it down’, ‘rewind’, ‘simplify’ phenomena becoming more and more prevalent, none more so than in the area of homemaking.  But is this trend actually making our lives simpler/easier/more fulfilled?  Whether you are a SAHM or a working Mum or not even a Mum at all {maybe you’re a Dad, an Uncle, a serial killer who likes reading Mummy Blogs?} you will undoubtedly have noticed that expectations have changed.  The bar has been raised again, higher than it’s probably ever been before and the pressure is on.

I grew up in the ’80’s, in what must have been a wondrous time to be a homemaker.  The introduction of the microwave, the dryer, the VCR, muesli bars and snack packs of chips must have each brought squeals of excitement to consumers as all of a sudden, efficiency and convenience became one’s ultimate goal.  Getting those boring jobs done – like preparing dinner – was suddenly barely a blip on the radar, there were chicken nuggets in the freaking FREEZER!  Best of all, dishing up a Big Ben pie for tea once a week came judgement free! No one gave a damn what you fed your family for dinner, there was no required Instagramming of every meal, no need to worry about pinning the recipe because it was just a pie, some frozen peas and some mash right?  Washed down with some Jungle Juice or a full sugar blast from the Soda Stream and the whole family was fed, happy and watching Macgyver by 7pm. 

No judgement, no expectations, no constant self-analysis or exclusion diets.  Just getting on with the day to day business of life and trying to snatch back a few precious minutes here and there by making life easier.

Chances are the kids weren’t involved in after school tutoring and at least 3 other assorted extracurricular activities, Mum probably wasn’t consumed by getting her pre-baby body back and perfecting the art of vignettes while cooking a Pinterest-esque GF, dairy free, organic, whole foods meal every night and maintaining her mani-pedis.

{That last sentence makes me so tired just reading it}.

It goes on and on doesn’t it?  Birthday party planning needs to begin months in advance to ensure the invitations match the cake, theme, decor, food and goody bags.  Don’t even think about presenting a cake from Countdown and a simple round of pass-the-parcel, oh hell no girlfriend.  It’s time to step up your game. 

Your kids wardrobe should essentially match your home decor; think uber cool, scandi, monochrome with a touch of expensive kawaii graphics, finished with some Nike roshe runs, a bento lunch box and BPA free drink bottle – preferably in stainless steel.  This may require a second mortgage – if you’re lucky enough to have been able to get on the property ladder here in Auckland anyway < I count the many blessings of our house every day, our mortgage is one expense I will NEVER complain about.

Times have changed and now more than ever the expectation of maintaining perfection in our roles as wives, mothers, homemakers, business women is creating a pressure-cooker environment for those of us that are buying in to the dangerous ideals that abound on social media darlings Instagram and Pinterest.

I’m not just a passive commentator btw, and I’m also not suggesting that common sense around food and family nutrition haven’t come a long way since I was 6.  I love All the Pretty Things as much as the next Home & Garden subscriber, but I can’t be my version of an Awesome Mum and wife if I can’t say, “you know what?  It’s Friday, it’s 4pm and I’m going to have a glass of wine, call Pizza Hut and sit on the couch with a book for a while.  Ignore the crumbs on the floor, I couldn’t be bothered vacuuming for the 4th time this week.  The kids?  They’re fine, Ethan is playing Xbox – he’s very happy.  Nixon is digging in my vege garden wearing a nappy and he is as happy as a pig in shit.  Dave?  He’s skateboarding with his mates, pig in shit reference applies here too”.  Things might not be picture perfect, but I need to learn to live with that and not call it a bad day because the beds didn’t get made.

That sounds actually quite hard for me to do, but damnit it’s worth a try!  0800 838383……….

Happy Housewife New Zealand Mum Blogger

Sandpit Rage

So one day toward the end of winter last year, I had this freaking genius idea to turn a corner garden surrounded on two sides by concrete into an in-ground sandpit.  Bordered by railway sleepers, complete with driftwood and spendy, smooth river rocks, over-flowing with just the BEST sandpit toys {or whatever dregs I found in the tupperware drawer}…….are you picturing this?  It will only take an hour or so I told Dave.

Two weekends later……

Hours of fun for Nixon we thought.  Made even better by the child’s obsession with diggers and dump trucks – oh snap we have a large fleet of those!  Into the sandpit they went.  

And it is awesome.

And we do love it, plus I think Nix thinks it’s ok.

There is a dark side to amazing sandpits though, something no-one talks about.  It’s kept under wraps, bringing shame upon the family because society just hasn’t come to grips with it yet.  Let’s just say if Nixon were a foreign tourist, strangers would be taking the keys to his sandpit off of him.

Nixon suffers from Sandpit Rage.

What begins as a fun game of diggers and dump trucks ends in fists raised to the sky, little muscles bulging, curses and expletives disguised as toddler-babble ringing around the neighborhood at max volume and me carrying Nixon under my arm kicking and screaming back into the house where we can hide our Sandpit Rage behind closed doors.

You see, the diggers don’t always dig in just the ‘right’ way.  The dump trucks sometimes miss their mark and aren’t parked in the optimal spot for sand loading to commence and shit, sometimes everything is just way too yellow or sandy……….and the rage ensues.

When I was pregnant with Nix, Dave and I would laugh and say “there’s no way #2 could be worse than #1” and by worse we meant more intense, more stubborn and with a stronger will.  “There’s no way that could happen right?” laugh, laugh, laugh.  Oh yes way.  It happened and it happened good.

So now, instead of the lazy afternoons we imagined, spent outside, playing calmly and quietly in the sandpit, we now count the minutes of relative peace until it all turns to custard and Nix throws his toys.  Just a phase?  Fingers crossed.

So, who’s up for a play date at our house?  Sounds fun right?

 Toddler in Sandpit Tantrum New Zealand Mummy Blog

Fashion Challenge Autumn 2015 | Toddler Trends

A little chill in the air at night is certainly hinting that Autumn is here, meaning it’s time to think about ditching the sandals, lowering the hemlines and starting to add a couple of layers to our summer wardrobes.  I’m super excited to be taking part in The Warehouse’s Fashion Challenge this season, meaning I will be heading in store as an official blogger to dress our family head to toe in the latest trends for $200 or less!

I like to keep things bright and fun when dressing Nixon, he’s a toddler and the whole monochrome trend is a bit lost on me when it comes to both his bedroom decor and his wardrobe.  I base his clothes on both form and function, Nix is one helluva boy, a full-on, dirt loving,  rock throwing, future All Black-type {fingers crossed : P} BOY.  His clothes need to be easy care, but also look great and wear well.  I found some key summer pieces at The Warehouse  – did anyone else pick up those super cute navy drill shorts with the anchor print?  Amaze – so knew I would have no problem dressing Nix for the challenge.

The Warehouse Autumn Toddler Fashion NZ 1.  Bonds Infant Anchor Leggings $18 Size 2

2.  Hippo + Friends Short Sleeve Striped Tee $8 Size 2 1/2

3.  Hippo + Friends Boys Strike Canvas Shoes $8 Size 6

Starting with quality basics is key to creating a versatile and lasting wardrobe that can be mixed and matched easily.  The Bonds Baby range is my favourite, these anchor print leggings are perfection and can easily be styled for both little boys and girls.  With quite a neutral bottom I was looking for a shirt with a bit more colour; classics stripes never go out of fashion and should be a wardrobe staple, plus there are plenty of colorways to choose from in this Hippo + Friends range.

Shoes are trouble for us.  Both of the boys have feet akin to little chubby sledgehammers.  No laces just works for us and so do these uber cute little canvas slip-ons, comfy for Nix and easy to put on for me – everyone’s happy!

So, total cost of this stylin’ little outfit?  $34.  Hello!?  It’s gorgeous, comfy and totally on trend.  Nix thinks he looks like a babe, what do ya reckon?

The Warehouse Autumn Toddler Fashion NZ The Warehouse Autumn Toddler Fashion NZ The Warehouse Autumn Toddler Fashion NZ

 

 

 

Healthy hydration just got tastier

Why complicate something simple right?  We all know how important staying hydrated is, the formula’s not hard – Drink.  More.  Water.

Everything’s better with bubbles, so I decided to pump up my water intake by combining two of my faves, SodaStream soda water and Red Seal Hot or Cold Fruit Teas to create a match made in heaven.

  1. Be prepared.  Brew a cup of your favorite Red Seal tea in cold water then freeze it in ice cube trays.
  2. When your tea cubes are frozen, get your soda water pumped and fizzed using your SodaStream.
  3. Add your tea cubes and some fresh mint leaves for a zero calorie, zero sugar, gluten free drink that’s ready to go anywhere!