Know your numbers – Lingerie for your Mum Bod

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lingerie Mum BodAfter I bared my Mum Tum online last week, I realised I wasn’t alone in the awkwardness I feel about my post-baby body.  You guys feel awkward too!  You often struggle to find bras in the right size, you’re perhaps not sure what size you actually are anymore, you find bra shopping an expensive ordeal, you love your body because it made you a Mama to your awesome kids but you may be a little mad at it for not looking quite as ‘svelte’ as it used to.

What you guys showed me was that it’s time to move on, get over it and buy some pretty underwear!

So I did just that, and lived to tell the tale.  Here’s what I learned;

Why you need to spend some time shopping for lingerie and how to feel comfortable doing itNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lingerie Mum Bod

  • Know your numbers – Think you know what your bra size is?  I thought I did too, until I tried on a new brand which fit a little differently and was initially disappointed as I loved the bra.  This is where a fab retail assistant makes all the difference.  I went to the beautiful new Farmers Department store at Northwest and was fitted by Alicia.  No need to feel awks ladies, a bra fitting takes about 30 seconds – max!  I was wearing a tank top and didn’t have to strip any further than that.  Approximately 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, thankfully this wasn’t me but, Alicia’s keen eye noted that I needed a larger cup size in the new Elle MacPherson range.  Had I been shopping alone I would have simply put this gorgeous pop of yellow on the “Next time” peg with a very sad ::::: sigh:::::

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lingerie Mum Bod

  • Take your time – Shopping for new lingerie means you’re going to have to (potentially) interact with a sales assistant – I’d recommend this btw!  You’re going to have to decide what you need – T-Shirt/everyday bra, special occasion, something to work with a particular outfit, something to make your boobs look like they did 20 years ago……whatevs.  It all takes  t i m e.  Make sure you’re unrushed and unencumbered – e.g. without kids if possible!  
  • Try something new – The two bras I went home with were different brands and different styles to what I initially described to Alicia.  It’s the easy way out to just head for the brand that you always buy, and simply repurchase a style you’ve been wearing for the past five years.  Yawn!  You can do better than that Mamas!  Be brave, there’s more than one comfortable bra out there!
  • Know what you want – I’m sick of skinny straps that dig into my shoulders and I didn’t want any padding.  Being able to communicate your non-negotiables will save you heaps of time in the changing room.  This Bendon Smoothlines Bra is a dream across the shoulders and around the back, plus it looks great under a T-Shirt.  Not my usual brand, so I’m stoked that Alicia was on-hand to ‘encourage’ me with this one.  As soon as I put it on I knew it was coming home with me!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lingerie Mum BodGuys (and by guys, I mean YOU, my faithful female readers lol!), those 4 tips above will work little miracles for you I promise!  I’ve never spent as much time looking at bras as I did last week whilst ‘researching’ this post and believe me, taking your time in-store makes a difference!

Nothing in this world stays the same – least of all our boobs – so a proper fitting and ergo, amazing underwear in the right size will do wonders for the way you feel.

I struggle with body-positivity, I really, really do, but standing in front of (gorgeous, young, lithe) Alicia and saying “This looks good right?  I LOVE this bra!” was some weird kind of therapy, one that I plan to repeat at Farmers again in the future.

Throughout October, Farmers is celebrating our womanly curves with the BeYOUtiful Lingerie event.  This is about acknowledging that we all come in different shapes and sizes, that we all need different lingerie to suit and support us and that, irrespective of the size or style, nice lingerie goes a long way to making us feel more confident.

Heck yes!  

There will be some unmissable lingerie deals between Oct 4th-13th so don’t miss out!

Head instore or online to find your perfect fit at Farmers this Lingerie Week and be in to WIN a $1000 Farmers Gift Card. Simply get fitted instore by one of Farmers trained consultants, make a lingerie purchase and swipe your Farmers Club Card between Oct 4 – 31 and you’ll automatically go in the draw.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lingerie Mum Bod

 

 

How I shopped the H&M Launch in Auckland

If you’re a fan of global mega-brand H&M you’re probably already planning your first look and the new store at Sylvia Park that opened it’s doors for the VIP shopping preview last night.

Guests were not disappointed.  The red carpet was rolled out, shopping bags, champagne flutes, gorgeous canapes and wonderfully helpful sales assistants were everywhere in abundance.  Mum and I were among the first through the doors so we got straight to work before the 500 other guests rolled in!

The store is huge, do not visit if you’re in a rush or have small children – you will either lose them or wish you could lose them lol.  I’ve been to H&M in Sydney in a hurry and left feeling overwhelmed and far too old to shop there, when in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  You just have to have time to look and be selective.  The Auckland store is spread over two spacious floors, Ladies and Menswear on the ground floor, more ladies, intimates, activewear and kids on the 2nd floor.

Mum and I were methodical and brutal, if we weren’t sure on size we grabbed two so we wouldn’t have to hit the changing rooms more than once – that’s where the lines were.  I’d say most things are true to the sizes that we know here in New Zealand.  I loved the women’s wear, the little boys section was cute but I wasn’t wowed and the men’s department was pretty great to be honest.  Not entirely to Dave’s taste but this is where I’ll be bringing Ethan to shop from now on.

The price?  Ah-mazing, pretty much exactly what you’d pay in Aussie.  My favourite pair of jeans are from H&M and they were in stock at $29, the same price I paid in Sydney earlier in the year.

The Best Nest Shops H&M

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family H and M Auckland

L-R Off-the-Shoulder Dress $29.99, Chiffon Blouse $29.99, Jersey Top with Perforations $24.99, Skirt $59.99,  Vest Top with Frilled Sleeves $24.99,  Jersey Top with Puff Sleeves $14.99, Jersey Top $19.99, Patterned Cotton Cap $12.99, 5 Pack Socks $14.99, Printed T Shirt $12.99Blue Hat $7.99, Mustard Skirt $59.99,  Palm Tree Shirt $19.99, Cactus Shirt $29.99, Men’s Cap $14.99

So here’s most of my H&M Auckland haul, the red dress and Mustard skirt are definitely the stand-out pieces for me, the rest is mainly just comfy casuals.  Little things like nice socks for little boys that aren’t in goofy colours or overdone with patterns was a welcome respite and I LOVE the scorpion, desert-themed tee I picked up for Nix!

It was a really excellent opening party and I’m pretty sure 99% of those attended had a fab time – Mum and I sure did!

Good luck if you’re heading out tomorrow, it’s going to be absolute bedlam!  Have fun!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family H and M Auckland

My Mum Body

Like many (MANY) Mondays, I woke this week determined to pay for the excesses of the weekend.

Tell me I’m not the only repeat offender who does this?

There was a bit of carb-fest on Sunday as we hibernated, watched a movie and lazed around with the kids after a fairly epic Saturday night farewelling the 2016 rugby season with Dave’s team formal at the club.

So, in full My-Body-is-my-Temple-mode, I punched out a steady 5.5km run on Monday with Dave pushing Nixie in the stroller.  I’m always about 15 paces behind Dave and was harassed by a retired gentleman who noted that it looked like Dave was doing all the hard work!  Bastard!  I tried to think of a snappy retort but let’s face it, even if inspiration had struck it wasn’t like I had any puff in me to yell it over my shoulder at him.

He’ll keep.

It wasn’t the fastest run, I did get a little distracted by Pokemon along the way, but I did it.  And I felt quite good!  Knowing that I’d be writing a blog post for Berlei this week – you’re reading it now fyi – I thought, this is the perfect time to get an authentic, subtle, Mummy-appropriate snap of one of my new Berlei sports bras.

Instead, and all my self-conscious sensibilities are screaming at me NOT to post this image on the internet, I got this picture;

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Berlei Sports Bra

Nixon, having a fan-freaking-tastic time (I mean LITERALLY almost in tears he was giggling so much!) investigating the momentous squishiness of Mummy’s Big Boom-Boom Tummy – his words NOT mine!  I’m a toddler stress ball I guess.  I would add that to my Linkedin profile if I actually thought anyone looked at minor Mummy Blogger profiles!

So, here’s the truth, I HATE that belly, I despise my thighs and I really, really dislike the bingo-wings that have shown up recently.

I have a Mum Bod. And, it’s not one of the Beautiful Mum Bods either.  But it’s mine and it still likes, and is able to run and play touch rugby and surf and dance on a Saturday night every now and then.

Mums and their Mum Bod’s need sports bras too.  There’s a lot of wobbling that goes on when I decide to work-out and this makes me feel even more self-conscious.  The secret to minimising my wobbles and therefore maximising my exercise motivation is twofold; compression tights and a really, really amazing sports bra.  Which is where Berlei come in, I mean if they’re the only bras Serena Williams trusts then who am I to argue?

By removing some/all of the factors that can cause you to be self-conscious you can focus your mental energy on the task at hand – actually completing your goal distance, making it to the next lamppost before you stop running, getting out there day after day in the pursuit of health.  Not a thigh-gap, or abs, but simple health.

If my boobs are protected and aren’t bouncing and my thighs aren’t rubbing together and eating a pair of too short running shorts, then I feel comfortable and that means that I’ll get back out there the next day, and hopefully, the next day after that.  That’s a Mum win right?

Berlei is the #1 sports bra brand in New Zealand and their new range is both totally gorgeous and serious about reducing breast bounce, up to 60%! I breast-fed two kids and am now a c-cup so I’m pretty keen to minimise the trauma my boobs have to go through on a day-to-day basis – Mums need support too!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Berlei Sports Bra

These are my two faves from the new range and the bras I’ll be wearing this season for touch rugby and running; (L) Shift Contour Bra (those straps are SO wide and comfy!) and  (R) the Electrify Underwire Bra.  Both have convertible straps which is awesome for those hot summer touch rugby games and killer runs where you have to wear a tank top or pass out from heat exhaustion!

Both are available now from Farmers in store and online.

Head to Toe Spring Shopping – Toddler Lookbook Part 2

Last week I shopped online at The Warehouse* and was able to pull together a super cute spring outfit for Nixon in literally, a matter of minutes (you can check it out here).

This week, for Part 2 of my Head to Toe series, I shopped in-store at The Warehouse as I wanted to take a good look at the whole Spring range and check out the new arrivals in person.

I mixed-and-matched a series of outfits from the boys aged 3-7 range that form a pretty comprehensive Toddler Capsule Wardrobe for the season ahead.  

Spring can be notoriously tricky for styling due to it’s transitory weather, fleeting showers and sudden cold snaps.  Layers are your secret weapon here as you can easily add warmth and long sleeves while doing away with the bulk of winter outerwear.

All of the pieces I’ve picked will do double duty in the Summer months ahead.  The long sleeved shirts and pants are lightweight enough to wear once the sun goes down and the drop-hem tees and denim shorts won’t be going out of style anytime soon.

Shop The Look

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Style

Jeans $29, Denim Shirt $25, Lumberjack Shirt $20, Wide Stripe Tee $15, Yoke Mesh Tee $15, Hi Canvas Shoes $20, Cap $12, Chino Kanga Pants Pants $29, Yarn Dyed Printed Tee Shirt $15, Zip-Thru Hoody $10, WZ Denim Shorts $20, Velcro Shoes $15.

WIN

If you’d like a $50 Gift Card from The Warehouse to kick-start a Spring Style make-over for you or one of your Little People, just comment below with your favourite item featured above and you’re in the draw to win!

Competition closes 15/9/16. NZ residents only.

*This post was sponsored by The Warehouse.

Head to Toe Spring Shopping – Nixon’s Toddler Lookbook

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Style

The weather’s not really giving much away at the moment but the daylight hours are gradually increasing and we’re all feeling like spring is  j u s t  around the corner.  Nix has jumped up another size over winter so it’s time to hit the shops again and restock his wardrobe.

My goal at the moment is to increase efficiency and productivity wherever I can – especially across all areas of “Mum Admin”. My life is too busy to be spent aimlessly wandering multiple shops, searching for random separates, hoping they fit and hoping they match.

I’m shopping online a little more for everyone this season and have kicked things off with an outfit for Nixon from The Warehouse*.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler StyleOk.  Two things here;

  1. That super-cute sports style Tee has a drop hem at the back, sooooo on-trend right now!
  2. Those pants!!  Nix is super fussy about clothes, especially now that he is almost toilet trained and likes to free-ball 90% of the time.  These Kanga Chinos are super soft and comfy (I was expecting them to be stiff) as well as being totally stylish and practical.  Pair them with a button up shirt and you’ve got a fancy outfit.  

FYI; in our house clothes have 3 levels; Kindy, Going Out and Fancy.  I don’t mix their clothes together otherwise the boys will look like the feral grubs they really are ALL THE TIME and they will have nothing to wear on special occasions due to their innate ability to destroy clothes and shoes.

The price points at The Warehouse are perfect for my kids for this reason.  I can easily grab a couple of items for a wardrobe refresh and I’m not going to spend megabucks doing it.  Nixon totally needed some ‘Going Out’ level pants, but at this time of year it’s hard to justify spending a lot of money when he’ll be living in shorts soon enough.  These pants are perfection, you’ll wish you got two pairs I swear!

thw3

Chino Kanga Pants Pants $29, Yarn Dyed Printed Tee Shirt $15, Zip-Thru Hoody $10, Shoes $15.

Total outfit cost = $69 including shoes!  This is a perfect and practical look for my busy wee boy.  He’s comfortable, looks great and is totally ‘play’ ready, the key element to any toddler outfit.  Nix has been really sick with pneumonia this past week so it was such a relief to be able to grab an entire outfit online and nail it first time!  Yeah mama!

That’s my kind of shopping.

PS.  Don’t forget about those pants, they are seriously amazing! And keep an eye out in the next month for a wee video featuring my Nix.New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Style New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Style

*This post was sponsored by The Warehouse.

Making a house a home : My style, your new lounge?

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes StyleWhen I signed on to throw some Best Nest styling at a gorgeous lounge in a Golden Homes showhome, I truly floundered for a little bit.  What on earth was I going to bring to a professionally styled and curated room that had been designed to make people fall in love with a house?

I had no clue.

Golden Homes have been innovators in the New Zealand building industry for over 25 years and though I was flattered to have been asked to collaborate, I was also super-nervous about doing justice to their high quality home! 

After visiting both the Albany and Millwater locations and spending some time exploring both homes I realised that what I wanted to do with this project was bring a piece of ME to the showhome.  I wanted to create a room that was perhaps a little bit quirky, exuded warmth, was welcoming, eclectic and representative of our family.  It needed to be kid friendly and functional, comfortable and down to earth.  I wanted to leave having created a room that I loved and wished I could pick-up and pop back down in my own home.

Turns out it was easier than I had initially thought.New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

Once I got over the initial hurdle of undoing the existing picture-perfect styling I began to have a lot of fun.  My canvas was my dream room – a perfect 4.7m square lounge with plenty of wallspace and a natural flow between the two entrances.  Both showhomes I visited had a separate lounge like this and it makes such a difference to the overall feeling of space and functionality of the house.

As for bringing warmth to the house?  My fears of a visually sterile environment were nullified by the sundrenched north facing aspect that made my morning’s work a light-filled (hot!) dream.  Warmth and personality in a house aren’t just the result of drag-and-drop accessories that provide an instant quick-fix.  The finishing in this lovely room is what sets the stage for successful styling.  The cut pile carpet creates such a natural warmth and the framing of the room is completed by a heavy textured wallpaper that creates interest and a point of difference without jostling for attention.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

When you own an older home like ours (circa 1950) you become acutely aware of the price of home maintenance and the huge cost of inaccuracy in builds.  Three years ago when we were redecorating and replacing every door in our house, it took our builder 2 hours plus to fit each internal door because nothing was square.  Steel framing has now eliminated many of the problems and inaccuracies that are common with timber framing such as expansion and contraction and mould and mildew due to moisture exposure.  Every Golden Home is built using New Zealand Axxis steel using ZOG® steel-frame technology and is signed off by a registered engineer.  This house was warm, quiet and grounded.  As soon as I began to unpack my props and vintage items from home my vision for the lounge began to take shape.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

I used a mix of items I love from home, items I shopped from Freedom Furniture and items that I ‘shopped’ the showhome for.  If you want to restyle a room at home look at it as an entire project rather than picking up bits and pieces here and there.  Start with a blank canvas – at least figuratively speaking.  I took lots of pics and video during my visits and worked from those to find exactly what I needed for each space in the lounge.  This helped keep me on-budget and ensure that I covered all of the essential lounge requirements.  Managing a room in this way is like a new home build, but on a much smaller scale!  Minimise surprises and ensure your wishlist is fulfilled.  When they quote a build, Golden Homes are accurate and inclusive of all key costs at the outset to give you the complete and honest cost of your build so you are able to stick to your budget – that means more $$ to shop for homewares!!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

The feeling I wanted to recreate here was what I loosely named “South-West Eclectic”.  The couches, buffet, landscape painting and mirror were already in place and totally worked.  The tall corner shelf and vintage coffee table I brought from home, plus, I shopped Freedom Furniture for on-trend, statement pieces that cemented the theme such as the Spectrum Rug $299, the Sakia Pouffe $299 and those Stag Prints $299 ea!!!  Eclectic perfection.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes StyleI am so proud of this gorgeous space!  My new-build snobbery (I’ll admit I had some, as I’m seemingly drawn to anything old and rundown that requires much $$$$ to fix it up :::sigh:::) has all but vanished and I now dream of a gorgeous, perfectly finished home to unleash Nixon on.

Joking, that would be a crime against humanity (Golden Homes, my toddler will never set foot in one of your showhomes I promise!).

Obviously my loud, bright and colourful style won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it goes to show just how personal you can make a room, and transform a house into a home, in a very short amount of time.

Thank you so much for having me Golden Homes, love your work xx

If you would like to find out more about Golden Homes get in touch here or check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration and shopping details.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

Get it Faster – You Lucky, Lucky Thing

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Saben Tilly

There are certain items you covet for a while, quite sure that you need them but ‘Life’ forces you to bump them down the wishlist over and over again.  Usually these are the pretty things, the luxe things, basically the things that don’t feed your kids or put new tyres on the car!

The classic Saben Tilly has been on my list for far too long, sadly overruled by the boring-things-first list but the wait is over.  She’s mine! 

As is usually the case, I remember to check my Fly Buys balance around twice a year and have a quick look around, adding things to my wishlist as I go. This time, Tilly didn’t need to go on my wishlist; :::::::::: s h u t   u p ::::::::::: I said to myself when I realised that I could use Points + Cash and order her right away!  $100 dollars and 729 points later, Tilly is here.  I treated myself without blowing the bank and the best part is the kids won’t be eating baked beans until payday because mama got a new purse.

Everybody wins!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Saben Tilly

There’s no denying that as a consumer, patience is quickly becoming a virtue better suited to a bygone era.  We want instant customer service, overnight delivery (if same day isn’t available), the ability to do everything online and we don’t want to have to wait for reward points to trickle in when that Saben Tilly had already been waiting far too long!  Fly Buys Points + Cash is flexible, you can use it to make the most of your Fly Buys points and save money by not paying full retail for those wishlist items.

Next year will mark my 20th Anniversary as a Fly Buys member.  So, since 1997 (Fly Buys launched in 1996 – early adopter?  YES!)  I’ve been saving up and treating myself to rewards simply by shopping at my favourite stores and keeping my business with Fly Buys brand partners.  I was interested to find out how many rewards I’d actually redeemed over my long membership so put a call through to the call centre.

Twenty rewards!  More than one each year.  

There‘s been a lot of perfume, candles and skincare, but also on the redeemed list was a toaster, a blender, a dehydrator and toys for the kids (I always redeem points before Christmas to help ease the expense of ‘Santa’).  It’s fair to say I’m a loyal member lol.

As such, I’ve got a reward for you too!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Saben Tilly

Giveaway!

If you would like a beautiful Saben Tilly of your very own worth $250, click here, have a browse at the range of rewards offered by Fly Buys, then come back and tell me what you’d use Points + Cash on.

PLUSFollow Fly Buys on Instagram and you could be redeeming a reward even faster!  Keep an eye out for their re-gram of our Saben image and all new likers on their post will be in the draw to win 500 points! bit.ly/TCs_  

Giveaway ends 12/8/16, NZ Residents only.

Good luck!

Toddler Style | Merino Kids A/W 16 Spotlight

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing

Before merino was the hot buzzword (and rightfully so!) in kids clothing, there was one brand that had already identified it as a wonder-fibre and was creating innovative sleepwear that would be imitated the world over.

Merino Kids has been setting the standard in kids sleepwear since the company’s inception in 2003.  Founded by a Mum/Designer, Amie Nilsson, the company continues to innovate and is passionate about producing products that conform to a strict code of ethical and sustainable practices (you can read more about that here).  

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing

mummy-blog-new-zealand-mummy-blogger-mommy-parenting-merino-clothingEthan slept in the original Go Go Bag (he’s now 11) and I purchased three 2nd-hand bags to use after Nixon was born – the quality is SO good they just last and last and wash beautifully.  I actually can’t comprehend how anyone deals with sleeping babies and the myriad problems that present themselves throughout the varying ages and phases without Go Go Bags – they are top of my baby shower gifting list every time!

Autumn is here and winter will follow soon enough so I’ve made a promise to myself that I will season-proof the boys wardrobes before that first cold/wet snap hits and I’m scrambling because they have nothing suitable to wear.  This happens every year and I end up rushing to the nearest large-format retail store and impulse buy.  The Merino Kids Autumn/Winter 16 Lookbook is gorgeous.  Muted brights, classic stripes and luxe merino of course!  It’s hard to narrow down my faves from such a great capsule collection but I’ve picked my Top 4 pieces that Nixon will be snuggling up in over the coming months.

Merino Kids Winter Essentials 2016

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing

1.  Merino Vest $69.95
2.  Merino Leggings $59.95
3.  Merino Pajamas $99.95
4.  Standard Weight Merino Go Go Bag $199

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Merino Clothing

The Running Gear that Gets Me Moving

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerThe Skecher’s Women’s 6k is now only 4 days away!  I’ve upped my training over the past few weeks with Coach (hubby lol) and I’m feeling pretty good about it – excited even!  I rarely get to run such a straight, flat course so I can’t wait, my usual routes around our neighbourhood are short straights with twists and turns onto little road after little road.  It drives me crazy!

I’m such a routine based runner, that my gear, and the habitual use of it every time I run is really important to me.  My head still beats me on many days, I can be turned off going for a run by a flat battery in one of my gadgets, the slightest sprinkle of rain or legs that are a touch sore from the day before.  Terrible I know!

So, here’s a roundup of the gear I’m loving, and the gear that’s keeping me on track and accountable;

My No-Fail Running Kit

Skechers Go Run Ride 4

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerMy first pair of Skechers and I’m running a 6k in them!  The Ride 4’s are a much more low-profile shoe than the NB pronators I usually run in so I was a bit scared to be honest!  I needn’t have been as these are some good, great, really good runners.  They’re lightweight, snug around the heel and achilles, fitting through the arch but with lots of freedom in the toe area.  Did I mention they’re light?  Because they are really, really light.  And flexible, much more so than any other shoe I’ve ever worn.

A great choice for those who err towards minimalist shoes, there’s lots of tech here but it’s cleverly integrated into a feather-weight formula that’s lovely to run in.

I can’t find these on the Skechers NZ website, but was fitted in-store by Summer, store manager at Skechers Albany.  She was super helpful, listened to my preferences and brought me an awesome range of shoes to try on and work through.  I’d highly recommend taking the time to get fitted!

Triumph Triaction Sports Bras

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerI actually just want to rave about these bras, seriously.  I’ve been wearing Triaction wired bras to play touch in for the past 3 years after always wearing crops for sport.  There is NO comparison, especially if you are a C+ cup.  I will never, ever go back to wearing a crop style top.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m totally not a Boob Girl.  When I’m running or playing touch the thought of the girls wobbling around makes me want to stay in bed.  Things need to be locked up tight, I’ve got enough loose parts without feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable about my boobs.  

The two bras I’ve been training in are the Endurance and Performance.  I love them equally (with ALL the heart-eye emojis!).  You can cross the straps at the back for added support, but seriously, NO BOUNCE.  At all.  Please try one of these bras on, you will not look back!

Available at quite a few places but def try Rebel Sport, Bras ‘n Things and Farmers.

Lululemon Active Wear

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerAhhhh lord I love my active wear.  It’s a fact. And most of all, I love Lululemon active wear.  I’ve always loved running in compression tights, it’s just my thing.  When I wear shorts I find I’m forever fussing with them and pulling down the hem……plus, much like the bra situation above, compression fabric means no wobbles.  Win.

So, my training gear has included the Tight Stuff 7/8 Tights ($165) which are described as ‘moderate compression’.  I would rate these higher than that, they are freaking awesome!  Technically top level with tonnes of value adds, such as reflective detailing, stash pockets and the amaze sweat wicking Luxtreme fabric.  Described as high rise, I find they are not, or at least not on me.  Which is unfortunate as I feel like they are falling down the whole time I’m running.  They’re not of course, they are just sitting in a low-rise position, leaving mum-tum free to roam, groan.  That’s my only complaint, what’s not to love about tiny scalloped detailing on the hem?!

On the top half, it was love at first sight when I laid eyes on the Vent it Out Singlet ($79).  The fishtail detail on the open back is sublime and the Swift Ultra-Light fabric is nothing short of joyous to wear.  I’m not exaggerating I promise!  The fall is perfection and non clingy.  You cannot go past this tank in terms of looks and comfort.

Fitbit Surge™ Fitness Super Watch

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerI’m a total gadget geek.  I’m also a completely quantitative, competitive soul.  Needless to say, I need to know my pace and distance at all times throughout a run…….I’ll totally sprint the last km if it means I’ll make a timing goal.  I’ve been using a Garmin 220, and just switched camps to the Fitbit Surge ™ over the past week.  There really isn’t too much in common with these two, totally different creatures.  The Surge™ combines elements of a smart watch with the functionality of a pretty comprehensive sports tracker.  It relies a lot more on integration with the app on my Note 4 than the 220.  For example, I can’t seem to review prior activity on the tracker itself, I need to go into the app to do that.  The touch screen is kind of amazing, I love it and the UI is relatively simple to get your head around.  

It’s a big device.  I don’t mind that as I like chunky, heavy watches and jewellery, but the size may be too much for some women.  I feel like I’ve only scraped the surface of what this watch can do so I’m excited to find out more when I reconnect with the team from Fitbit this week.

I’m loving the social features the app provides!  Within hours of setting it up I had found my friends and been invited to participate in a Weekday Challenge to get my step-count up.  This makes working out fun!

Honorable Mentions

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerMy BFF’s, Plantronics Backbeat FIT wireless headphones have quite simply changed running for me, cable-free music is liberating!  These guys pair easily via bluetooth plus are sweat proof, flexible and super comfortable.  So good I bought a second pair for Dave. 

Spotify Premium – Dave and I are both addicted to this amaze service (neither of us can run without music) which allows you to make your playlists available offline, so you’re not slogging through your data whilst running.  An essential service IMO.

There you have it!  My running go-to-gears, all of which I’ll be sporting on Sunday at the Skechers Women’s 6k, entries don’t close until midnight on the 13th so there’s still time to get in on this awesome event.  Read more about my running journey here.  Hope to see you on Sunday!  

10 Months of Running | Join Me for the Skechers Women’s 6k and win!

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I know not everyone has aspirations to be a runner, but I always, always have.  I was pretty good at a few sports growing up and fair to middling at the rest.  I gave everything a go and joined every sports team there was on offer at school.  But I was never a runner.  Cross country days hurt me, deep down in my young soul.  God I hated them.

So I cannot really explain what happened last December, 2 days before Christmas, when I put on some sneakers and decided to run.  It really was as simple as that.

I’ve written about it before (here) so I won’t elaborate too much, but over the past 10 months I’ve increased my distance, improved my pace and settled into running in a way I had never imagined I would.  I have gone from struggling to run 1km to where I’m at now, which is comfortably running 5km in under 30 minutes.

I’m proud of that.  It’s no Olympic time, but it’s an excellent Melissa time.

How I learned how to run 5km

So December 2014.  No running.  23rd December 2014, I power walked 4km and ran 1km at the end.

This was honestly the hardest kilometre I’ve ever completed in my life.  And I barely made it to be honest.  I wasn’t prepared for how uncomfortable, wobbly, jiggly and out of breath I would feel.  I was self-conscious and full of negative self-talk.

But I was secretly pretty stoked I did it.

I did this walk/run combo 3 0r 4 more times.  Then I increased the running distance to 1.5 km and followed the same pattern.  Repeating the increased increment 3 or 4 times before adding another half km onto the running distance, always working within the 5km parameter – I think this was a big mental milestone for me!

I took it slowly and after a couple of months, I made it to 5km.  

I COULD RUN 5 FREAKING KILOMETRES!!!!  Huge milestone for me.  To be honest, I haven’t progressed much further distance wise since.  I’ve hit 7km a couple of times when I was pushing hard, but I really love the short sharp burst that a good 5km gives me.

But.  Next month, on the 15th of November, I’m running the Skechers Women’s 6k in Auckland.  My friend Penny from Little Housewife and I had been discussing doing a run or race together and there were heaps of reasons why we decided to choose the Skechers event;

  • Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor6k is a great distance which suits all levels.  Trust me, this is a totally achievable distance for either walkers or runners – and you can do either, it doesn’t matter!
  • The course is flat.  Flat as a pancake.  Along the waterfront in Auckland in lush, pre-summer November, perfectly scheduled for all of our ‘get fit for summer’ resolutions!
  • Everyone gets a goody bag!
  • There are amazing prizes to be won on the day such as a trip to Hawaii for the best dressed trio and a brand new Mazda!

So, what do you think?  Ready to give it a go with us?  Online registrations close 13 November and Penny assures me this is such a fun event – she did it last year!

Plus, Skechers have an amazing prize pack to give away to one lucky reader!  Valued at over $250 it includes a pair of Skechers GOwalk 3 shoes, a Skechers Performance towel, sports-bag and drink bottle, a range of Sculpt product and a shaker, and tickets for you and a friend to attend Skechers 6k – the perfect pack to provide you with everything you need to get up and on your feet!

There are three ways to enter:

  1. Comment below and tell me who you would invite to the event
  2. Head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the instructions on the competition image here
  3. Enter via this image on Instagram

Competition closes 30/10/15 @ 5pm.

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