Some weeks. This week.

Some weeks are just weird. A veritable whirlwind of accidents, events, chaotic scheduling, driving, rushing.  This week, like so many recently, was the epitome of busy.  I look back and can’t think of the cuddly, sweet moments with Nixon that were surely there right (right?!!).  I can’t think of laughing and hanging out with Ethan, because, well, we didn’t (did we?!!).
I can rattle off all the things I ‘accomplished’, crossed off my never ending to-do list but I can’t remember if I stopped to do any living this week.Mummy Blogger New Zealand NZDave was away in Wellington which is always a bit crap and increases the chaos somewhat.  But surely there had to have been more than a couple of moments in the past five days where I connected, was present and accountable, where I was singularly focused and giving of my attention?  I can think of four occasions;
1.  I invited a new friend and her son over for a play.  I forgot to offer any refreshments.  None.
2.  I was commiserating with a beautiful young mum about her melanoma removals the day prior when I blurted out that my Dad died of melanoma, just to buoy her spirits you know!?.  WTF was I thinking, who says something like that? I felt connected and present because I was acutely aware of what a total accidental asshole I was.
3.  Mum made me go for a run. It was dusk in late autumn, it was crisp and cold and beautiful and I felt strong and revived.  Until I got home, then I was just annoyed because I had to take a shower.
4.  Mum made me run again.

Mummy Blogger New Zealand NZSee, I’m terrified I’m doing it all wrong at the moment.  By ‘it’ I mean life. 
I get the guilts when I try and work/blog/shoot photos when Nix is awake, yet I get mega anxiety if I fall behind on everything I need to do.  Which is ridiculous.  I’m a Mummy Blogger, I don’t have a boss, or deadlines {I mean I totally HAVE a boss, thing is he’s two & doesn’t always communicate his expectations that well, so I have some wriggle room ; P}.

I love THIS writing.  The hard stuff, the funny stuff.  The stuff where I can swear and be completely transparent.  But I’m finding it more and more difficult to just sit down and get it OUT, onto the screen/interwebs/blog.  Life’s a freaking balancing act isn’t it?  You’ve got to work through and work hard at the small stuff, the menial tasks so you eventually get to the BIG picture, the place where you’ve always wanted to be.  The hard part is remembering to stop and smell the roses once you get there.  To breathe and take it all in before it slips away, to sit and read to your baby whenever he asks, because he will stop asking.

This morning, we let it all go and headed out as early as we could manage, went to Western Springs and just walked.  We let the kids take their time.  We looked at every eel Ethan could find, meandered around in circles with Nixon until his little legs couldn’t walk anymore.  We slowed it down, did things a little differently and it felt good.  We have to stop going in different directions so much and come back to just being US.  Because that is all that matters.
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Nixon is wearing: Little Flock of Horrors Merino Patch Leggings, The Warehouse Gumboots, Huxbaby Longsleeve from And They Lived Green, Vest from Cotton On Kids

Beauty Review | Trilogy Hydrating Body Cream

Trilogy Hydrating Body Cream Mummy Blogger NZ

As is to be expected from Lazy Girl over here, my skin usually turns into parched, crispy lizard-like scales over winter. Lots of pants, lots of leggings, not much razor and no effort in the moisturizing department don’t do much for a girl, let’s be honest.
But, sigh, it is the year of beauty and skincare here at The Best Nest so I’m stepping up my game and so has Trilogy.  They’ve reformulated their Ultra Hydrating Body Cream so hopefully I’ll won’t have to come out of hibernation in the Spring needing a full body work-up before I can bare my legs!

My desk is right next to my bathroom so I’ve been grabbing this product a lot when I’ve noticed my hands are dry, which is a great measure of how quickly it’s absorbed.  Result?  Very quickly considering this is an oil-based cream.  Infused with certified organic rosehip oil, the new formulation also includes cocoa butter, sweet almond oil and coconut extract.  Sounds like dessert, but it’s lotion, yay!

A point of difference in this product is the addition of natural mineral mica to reflect light and make skin a bit more glowy as we head into these dull winter months.  I need all the glow I can get so will be treating my skin with this lovely lotion all winter long!  

Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Body Cream (150ml) RRP $29.90

 

Winter Style | Kids Jackets & Gumboots from Squidkids

Congratulations to Bridget Agnew!  Please visit www.squidlondon.nz/shop and let me know which jacket you’d like by emailing me, melissa (at) thebestnest.co.nz 

Ok, so we all know there is an abundance of amaze, stylish, totally fabulous and gah-I’m-envious-of-that-kids-style clothes out there for our littles these days.  But……it does tend to get a tad repetitive and a wee bit unoriginal as every small startup churns out their monochrome capsule collection, dripping with cool but we’ve seen it all before right?

I love colour.  In my home.  In my wardrobe and on my kids.  Colour is fun and fearless.  Just like kids.

One company doing colour right is SquidKids.  Founded by two super-creative London College of Fashion graduates, Squid’s first gig was to design and produce a range of colour changing umbrellas for the Tate Modern Gallery and the duo (Emma-Jayne and Viviane) have since worked with MoMA New York, The British Museum, Nordstrom, Southbank Centre and Art Basel.  Culture on your clothes.  I love it.

As a result of these genius collabs, SquidKids was born and their range of colour changing kids jackets, umbrellas, boots and bags is now available in New Zealand! Yus!

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Nixie was sent the Colour Changing Dino Jacket and colour changing boots to take for a spin and we say….. HECK YES we love SquidKids!  The website description omits one tiny factor in the description of the jackets – they are thick and super warm.  This is no windbreaker, rather, a high quality, excellent weight jacket with a waterproof finish.  That just happens to change colour when it gets wet. No biggie.
Nix loves to watch the colour change on his jacket in the rain, it’s just the best when he can see the drops landing on the dinosaurs and he whispers “here ‘d comes, here ‘d comes!”  I die.  So cute!Squid Kids Colour Change Jacket Mummy Blogger NZ

So now you can run along and shop, shop, shop, but before you go, you will want to head over to Facebook and make sure you like The Best Nest and SquidKids because we have 2 of these gorgeous jackets to give away, one boys style and one girls style!  I will pick one winner here and one on FB.  To enter, just comment below with your choice of boys or girls.  Double your chances by entering on FB too!  Competition closes  June 3rd, 10pm.

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How Mummy got to Relax

As John Kirwan says, I am an ‘active relaxer’.  What this means, is that I prefer, or have simply gotten into the habit of ‘doing’ something when I have a rare, precious moment of downtime.  Relaxing usually does not involve anything comfortable like a couch or a bed – most often it’s my computer stool, it only includes a book occasionally, it never includes yoga or meditation………..in fact, re-reading this, I’m not sure if I ever actually relax anymore!

That can’t be good for a person right?  To never actually allow yourself the freedom to do nothing, to forget the time, to not worry about the schedule, the kids, rushing from here to there, lunch, dinner, permission slips, washing………I feel even more worn out after typing that sentence!

Last week, for 90 blissful minutes, I did get to relax.  

I was invited to experience floating for the first time at Auckland’s only floatation centre, Float Culture.  Aside from seeing some social media discussion around the business when it first opened its doors, I had absolutely no preconceptions about what my experience would be like.  All I knew was that after reading online about floating as a form of relaxation I couldn’t wait to try it!

After meeting the super friendly staff I was shown to my appointment room, a sparkling clean, hi-end bathroom with the added feature of a rather large floatation tank! After a quick and easily processed orientation I stripped off and got ready to float.

Things you need to know;

  • You shower before and after floating.  Everything is provided, right down to the gorgeous Sukin skin and haircare products (I LOVE this brand!), makeup removing wipes and cotton pads + a hair dryer
  • A towel is provided
  • The door is locked so you can float naked
  • The shower is amazing, don’t get distracted, you’re there to float!

 

As soon as you enter the pod you’re aware of the massive amounts of beneficial Epsom Salts in the water – which is only 30cm deep by the way.  After I closed the lid and settled into the pod my legs floated to the surface and I began to appreciate the weightlessness that must be at least somewhat akin to what being in space feels like!  The absolute silence and total darkness within the pod combined with the inability to distinguish where the water ends and your body begins makes for perhaps the most total(?) de-stimultaion experience you could ever imagine.

And this is where the benefits begin.

Turning off and tuning out is so, so difficult for me.  My mind wandered for a wee bit whilst in the tank, I was told to expect this so I let it go and then I went with it.  I was out, or at the very least in such a deep state of relaxation that when I was gently brought back to full consciousness by some soft meditative music I thought it was the next day and I had been asleep for 8 hours!

Amazing.  Complete mental and physical relaxation in a super concentrated but easily accessible format.  Traditional meditation requires practice and training, something I’ve never had the patience for.  Blissfully zoning out in a flotation tank requires no overt effort at all and the benefits are incredible.  That night I slept the sleep of my children!

Love, love, loved it.

Daily Look | From Behind the Camera

After we had finished exploring the Auckland Domain E asked if he could take some pictures as we made our way back to the car.  “PLEASE TAKE THE CAMERA!” I was screaming inside as I was trying to wrangle a very tired wee Nixie and get him back to the truck with only the one huge bump to the head……don’t ask.

So, yes Ethan shot this amazeballs pic in AV mode.  Kids are rad.

 

Say hello! Snugbags Merino Sleeping Bags

Mummy Blogger NZI AM IN AWE OF THE MANY INCREDIBLE MUMS OUT THERE, DOING A FAB JOB OF RUNNING THEIR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES WHILST SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT AT HOME. I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE ‘MET’ MANY OF THESE LADIES ONLINE AND CAN’T WAIT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME NEW FACES AND THEIR AWESOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOURS.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND HAVE YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED, PLEASE SAY HELLO!  [email protected]

 

Read on for a Best Nest special AND giveaway from Snugbags Merino Sleeping Bags!

If I had to pick one baby product to recommend to all mums everywhere, from the bottom of my heart it would be, without a shadow of a doubt, a merino sleeping bag.

Now that Nixon has his very own, Rolls Royce of merino sleeping sleeping bags, I will qualify that further by recommending Snugbags Merino Sleeping Bags which are equal parts beauty, luxury and function.  Made exclusively from all natural fibres including the most deliciously soft and snuggly New Zealand merino, the quality of these sleeping bags has to be felt to be believed.

Nix was swaddled as a wee baby but once he was working his arms free I moved him to a sleeping bag and he’s worn one every nap time and every night since.  Yes, even in summer!  It’s an important part of his settling routine, plus his little limbs move constantly, at great speed, all day long so having him zipped up in a Snugbags sleeping bag gives him the tactile cues he needs to remember that it’s time to let mama rest those little legs rest.

Here’s Kim, owner of Snugbags Merino Sleeping Bags in her own words xx

James, Neeva Rose and I live in Piha, our house is a little bit quirky and different, but it has a lovely beachy feel, it’s ridiculously sunny and it has the most incredible view of the ocean. We are both keen surfers so we love being able to see the water and the waves. It has a huge garden which is perfect for Neevie and our two dogs. I am originally from Holland but have lived here for 11 years and definitely call NZ home – it’s such a beautiful place to live and an amazing place for kids to grow up.

How did you evolve into a Mumtrepreneur?

Before I settled in NZ I travelled extensively and 12 years ago an old Chinese man told me that one day when I was 38 I would own my own business. This has always been my dream and his words have stuck in the back of my mind. Sure enough 18 months ago when I was looking for the perfect sleeping bag for Neevie I came across Snugbags. When I approached the owner to see if I could distribute her products in Europe, it turned out she wanted to sell the company. So I ended up buying Snugbags just over a year ago – a few months after I turned 38! Since then I changed the logo, added new lines (the new Winter Duvet Deluxe with merino fleece inner & the Organic sleeping bag) and I have added new prints and colours. Our new range of Merino pyjamas is about 2 weeks away, so you could say it’s been a busy year ;). I really love it though and specially the creative part of designing the new bags, choosing fabrics etc.

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How do you balance work/family life?

Hmm that’s a tricky thing that I am still working on! Neevie is 3.5 and she is at home with me so during the day I don’t really get much done and I end up working most nights! It’s all not as glamorous as it sounds ha! But on the other hand I feel really blessed to be able to work from home, spend time with Neevie, go to the beach, for bush walks, playgroup etc. It’s a pretty amazing life style!

You live in one of my favourite parts of Auckland, how does living out at Piha  inspire your daily living and business ethos?

We are very into all things natural, and we love spending time on the beach, in the water and in the bush. We are very active as a family and we are dressed in Merino pretty much every day – winter and summer!! It’s the best fibre to wear spending time outdoors and I feel secure knowing that Neevie is always at the right temperature. So having her sleeping in Merino at night came really natural to us. You cannot beat the unique thermo regulating properties of merino – it keeps children warm and dry in winter and cool in summer. Coming from Holland, I wasn’t familiar with ‘nature’s wonder fibre’ but since moving here I have become the biggest Merino fan!
Merino Sleeping Bag Mummy Blogger New Zealand

Your gorgeous products are made here in NZ from textiles you have sourced locally.  Was the desire to work with NZ suppliers an important part of the evolution of Snugbags?

Yes absolutely! It’s very important to me to be NZ made and only use merino that comes from NZ sheep. Both our merino and cotton is spun in NZ and all our dying processes are done here too! I love knowing every part of my business so I can guarantee that what we say is true. Our dyes for example are all certified by the highest Organic standards in the world (GOTS) which means they are nontoxic and free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde and solvents. I think it’s really imported to have children sleep in a natural and chemical free environment, and I love the fact that our products come from sustainable sources and that they are gentle on the environment too.

Nixon has never slept a night out of a sleeping bag since he graduated from swaddling!  How widespread do you think the use of this wonder product is?

Neevie is exactly the same and I am even contemplating making a 4-6 yr size sleeping bag for her next year ;). I think all kids should be sleeping in natural (preferably Merino) sleepwear and sleeping bags at night as it’s by far the safest way to sleep. When you dress your child in Merino, there is no risk of overheating, due to it’s amazing heat and moisture regulating properties. And when using a sleeping bag there is no more getting tangled in blankets or waking up cold!

What’s ahead for Snugbags?

We have a few very exciting things happening, the first one being our new range of pyjamas! They are made from a gorgeously soft merino & cotton blend and they will be available in two weeks. As far as sleeping bags go we are looking at larger sizes, more exciting and beautiful prints and more gorgeous colours.

Merino Sleeping Bag Mummy Blogger New Zealand

The very, very important stuff!

Snugbags have been very sneaky and surprised us with a secret special JUST for our readers!  Head over to the Snugbags VIP page and log in using the password thebestnest and get your bubba all snugged up in some luscious merino this winter!  Hurry, as this deal expires Thursday May 28th.

and………

To be in to win a $50 Snugbags voucher head over to The Best Nest’s page on FB and enter via the competition image. Yay!

Beauty Review | Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Lip Enhancer

I had a little giggle when this press release arrived, I was slightly dubious as to the efficacy of a lip plumper, but on the inside I was secretly hoping it worked as I have decidedly unluscious, unplump, flat, miserly lips.
Backed up by clinical data, Manuka Doctor claims that lips can increase fullness and prove shape just 5 minutes after application. Brilliant!
It works.
I love it.
Kylie Jenner I am not. Nearing 40 I am. I will gladly take any help I can get and this wee tube delivers instant plump via a slick lipgloss-like gel. The tingly sensation within the first few minutes after application is attributed to the Patented Purified Bee Venom which increase skins elasticity. Visibly. My lips respond really well to this product, the fine lines and creases instantly diminish and I’m left with a fuller, perkier pout and a great hydrated base upon which to apply my new best friend – lipstick!

Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Lip Enhancer RRP$29.95

www.manukadoctor.co.nz

Family Fun | Autumn in the Auckland Domain

Nixon has been obsessing over fallen leaves this season, finding the tactile stimulation of crunching and kicking, throwing and scooping so much fun.  We were in Auckland City earlier this week so decided a visit to the Domain would let the kids blow off some steam after running a few errands.  Last week brought ALL the rain to New Zealand and this week it seems the temps have plummeted requiring us to get our puffa vests and layers on – aside from Ethan of course, shorts year round is the way my big guy rolls!

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We parked below the Museum and took our time playing and climbing amongst the beautiful root systems of the Magnolia trees and eventually meandered across to the duck ponds and Winter Gardens – a must visit exhibit that changes with the seasons.  The Auckland Domain is seriously stunning.  Visiting mid-week  meant it was virtually deserted and the boys were able to take their time {think  s l o w } and poke as many ‘pwetty fwowers’ as they liked.  

It’s easy to forget how much kids love space, taking them to a large (safe) park is eye opening.  Given the freedom to move about as they wish, they seem to grow and expand, exploring without the confines of Mum or Dad half a step behind.  It’s liberating and important for both parent and child but most of all super fun xx

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Cotton On Kids Winter Mummy Blogger NZThe Boys Style

Both of my lucky wee chaps are wearing new season styles from Cotton On.  The boys winter range is amazing, it would be so easy to build a toddler-capsule-wardrobe from their collection of separates, everything is on-trend, on-budget and totally easy to mix and match.

Nixon wears the Classic Trainer, D Marco Skinny Leg Jean, Ruben Puffer Vest, Striped henley and the most gorgeous felt cap I’ve ever seen!  IT HAS EARS!!! < Have a look in store for the henley and cap as they are no longer available online.

Ethan is unfortunately too big for the gorgeous Cotton On Teen range which suits sizes 10-14, so we shop small mens for him; he wears Harris Puffa Vest, Brunswick Slub Crew Fleece and have a look in stores for his beanie as it’s no longer available online.

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cotton-on-kids-mummy-blogger-nz-7 Cotton On Kids Winter Mummy Blogger NZ*  We were provided with store credit to style this post *

Daily Look | Second Breakfast

Both our kids are BIG fans of second breakfasts.  If Nix has had porridge or eggs for breakfast he’ll devour a small smoothie in a mini milk bottle at about 9am.  At least if he starts the day with THIS much goodness in him I don’t stress too much about the amount he eats at dinner – which is when the wheels fall off lol.

MUNCH REVIEWS | Baby Food Wraps

I’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.

Munch Review and Giveaway Mummy Blog NZ

 

Once again this month I have been introduced to another eco-friendly alternative to replace my beloved Gladwrap.  I think the times may be a-changing!  

At 7.15am Nix either eats his beloved oats for breakfast or has a smoothie and toast.  This means by 9am he is fully hungry – again – and ready to snack.  Most days I prepare a bowl of fruit and nuts for him to pop on the coffee table or down on the ground where he is playing but inevitably he gets distracted and leaves leftovers.  They always get eaten for afternoon tea so I usually pop a layer of plastic wrap over the bowl and bring it out again after nap time.

Munch have once again provided me with a 10/10 alternative to throwaway plastic wrap.  Their Baby Food Wraps are the perfect size to slip over Nixon’s snack bowl, seal and then roll up and reuse the following day – because every day around here requires at least one snack bowl of some description to keep the peace!

OK, initially these wraps are weird feeling.  You take them off the roll and they’re stiff and waxy, but, the warmth of your hands softens the beeswax coating and molds it to fit the bowl or the food that you’re covering.  I have the 20 x 20cm size and it’s just perfect for covering up a ramekin or other small bowl suitable for a toddler or baby’s in-between-meal snacks.

Once the wraps have softened, they feel lovely, substantial and worthy of reusing.  Made from cotton, organic NZ beeswax, propolis and jojoba oil, the wraps contain antibacterial and antifungal properties which is great right?  But they can also be washed by hand to use over and over again for up to 6 months after which they biodegrade!  Yay Munch!

Keep you eyes peeled for a giveaway early next month of this wonderfully green, New Zealand made product.  To purchase some for yourself, head over to Munch Cooking where they are available in 2 sizes and a variety of colours.