Why I Love My Unstoppable Mum Life

5.40am  Subconsciously doing backflips because at the very least I won’t be waking up in the death hour of any time beginning with 4.

5.41am  Little hands slapping on my face.  “Mummay what’s inside woodlice?”.  

  • Inward groan and realisation that I’m going to have to actually dissect some woodlice so he’ll quit asking me this same question every day.

5.42am  Drift off pondering where one finds woodlice in our neighbourhood.

5.43am  “Mummay I have poops”.  

  • Yes, motherhood gave me spidey-senses, I can smell them, I’m acutely aware of the poops in your diaper Nixie.

Silence.

5.51am  “There’s poops on my fingers and DADDY, where’s my breakfast?”

Repeat 7 days a week except for those days that start at 4.40am, Nixon’s other favourite wake-up time.
Ethan was away on school camp this week so there was one less mouth to feed and lunch to make at 6am, but otherwise it was business as usual; the kindy run, work, housework, washing, life admin (I saved $300 per year on just one vehicle’s insurance today!  BAM!), I ran 5km, had a playdate, spent 3 hours at the rugby club facilitating registrations and I have a deadline tomorrow so am still working.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Winter Boots Ziera

I can’t remember the last time I actually thought to myself “That’s not going to happen, there aren’t enough hours in the day, there isn’t enough coffee, I haven’t had enough sleep, I just can’t do it”.

Can’t isn’t really in my Mummy Lexicon unless we talking about running 10km in which case I’m totally stuck in a 5km rut and I CAN’T run through it lol.  Doing ALL the things (whether we want to or not) is how many of us survive and thrive.  Limitations of what it was possible to achieve in a day flew out the window as soon as Ethan was born, and though, I undoubtedly would like a few more blank spaces on our family calendar, the last 12 years have taught me that everything and anything is possible and I can, in fact put one foot in front of the other (over and over again) and make it all work.

The catch-phrase of the moment, particularly applicable to Mums, is ‘self-care’.  I’m not good at this.  Giving myself a ‘break’ and letting the washing or the dishes pile-up does my head-in and any benefit to be gained from relaxing and not doing chores is instantly negated by mess-induced anxiety.  For people like me, who are active-relaxers, a run or an exercise class is a perfect way to take some time out and practice some of that self-care we hear so much about without the associated guilt of “doing nothing”.  Finding a way to take care of your Unstoppable Mum-Self and recharging your batteries is so important, but we all do this in different ways so if you’re not a zen yoga goddess every Sunday morning don’t sweat it, just find your own mummy-mantra and practice it.  Regularly!

My kids are the ones that drive my Unstoppable Mum Life, they are the sole reason why Dave and I can get out of bed at 4.40am with something resembling a smile and look forward to the day’s routine, domestic schedule.  Each day will undoubtedly be similar to the day before and will recognise tomorrow but it needn’t be mundane or boring.

As I am undoubtedly a YES person, the people I meet through throwing myself into MumLife and Yessing my way through the weeks, are the ones that remove any smidgen of boring-ness from the sometimes  l o n g  days – and equally long nights…..with Nixon!  Getting out and about in your community, doing, volunteering, meeting and helping other parents have a better day will give you more and more positive momentum and help you become the Mum you really want to be.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Winter Boots Ziera

I recently discovered a little message on the sole of a new pair of winter boots from Ziera;

Stand your ground”.  

I love little details like this! I’m picturing myself on a dark, cold night at the rugby club, waiting for Ethan to finish training, dealing with the minutiae of rugby committee life, my mental to-do-list rapidly overflowing as I remember (not to forget!) that it’s bike day at kindy tomorrow and that Ethan needs money for his school bus card so we can’t go straight home after training, that the truck’s RUC’s have run out and I still need to get the tyres balanced……..

Breathe.  Smile.  I am unstoppable.

Do something amazing today!

We’re ALL unstoppable right?  Here’s your chance to recognise a woman that inspires, empowers and motivates you every day……..with a little help from Ziera!

Ziera is searching for unstoppable women to win one of five prizes of $2,500 plus five pairs of shoes to give them a helping hand towards achieving great things. You can nominate as many unstoppable woman as you like. Each time you nominate, you’ll go into the draw to win one of 100 pairs of shoes, one for you and one for the person you nominate. Achieve the extraordinary every day. Be unstoppable.

Submit your nominations here and make a positive change in the life of a deserving woman, just like you!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Winter Boots ZieraWin with The Best Nest & Ziera

Because Ziera are all about YOU and supporting unstoppable women, I have a $250 voucher to spend with Ziera for one of you!  Head over to Ziera, pick your favourite style (mine are the Zorro) and let me know which shoes you’ve fallen in love with in the comments below.

Competition closes Sunday 2/4/17, NZ residents only.

Vlog – New Season Updates your Wardrobe will LOVE

Ok girlfriends, I’m rocking my Mum-Bun so you know it’s business time.  

Getting changed this many times in ONE hour (let alone one WEEK lol) was hard work, plus filming myself trying to model clothes in my lounge is excruciating – so you better love this video okay?

Seriously though, The Warehouse has put together another really easy-to-wear and accessible range this season which makes me excited about throwing some layers together and getting a bit of texture going on!

I went out on a limb and picked some items I usually wouldn’t look twice at – like that blush cami?!  Amaze, will go with everything, plus the Midi dress and Longline shirt – super easy to see how these will slip into my mum-wardrobe over the coming months.

Pro-Tip:  Shop across the various ranges to put together a fresh, new look for the season ahead.

Check out the vlog to see these pieces in action, I’ve popped full shopping links below as well as details on how you can win a $50 gift card to get your shop on at The Warehouse!

My New Season Shopping List

Garage Lace Up Back Jumper $25.00 (Awesome stuff sells fast and this is moving quickly!  Still available online though)

Garage Lace-Trim Cami $15.00

Amco Women’s Curvy Skinny Jeans $29.00

Garage Lace Trim Midi Dress $25.00

Maya 3/4 Sleeve Check Shirt $25.00

Maya Lace Up Back Jumper $29.00  (This is another super popular style selling out!  Still available online though)

Basics Brand Women’s Wide Strap Singlet $7.00

Maya Sleeveless Longline Shirt $25.00

Maya Mesh Panel Tunic $20.00

WIN with The Warehouse and The Best Nest!

I know there’s something in that stellar line-up that’s calling your name.  Tell me below what your wardrobe needs as we head into the cooler months and you’re in the draw to win a $50 gift card to spend at The Warehouse!

Make sure you’ve commented on the first New Season Fashion post as well for a second entry!

Entries close 19/3/17, NZ residents only.

New Season Updates your Wardrobe will LOVE

Poor New Zealand has undoubtedly had one of the craziest summers in recent memory.  It’s been warm yes, but mostly accompanied by rain and humidity resulting in more bad-hair-days than beach days!  The one *upside* of our punishing summer is that we can start incorporating New Season fashion goodness into our wardrobes a little earlier than normal.

Checking out the latest women’s ranges from The Warehouse each season has become somewhat of a regular editorial piece here on the blog.  I found some amazing separates in the Summer 16/17 collection so am super excited to be back with a curated look at some of my top picks in stores and online now!

As Kiwi Mums, our fashion requirements are not over-the-top but we do love it when retailers get it right across the board.  When I’m shopping I have certain key considerations in mind;

  • Functionality + Style – I like to dress with at least a passing nod to what’s trending but I’ve got to be able to actually be a ‘mum’ in what I’m wearing!
  • Price – I can be a bit fickle sometimes plus the budget’s not there for me to shop as a hobby lol.  I don’t want to feel guilty after picking up something new for myself.
  • Convenience – If it’s too hard it’s not going to happen!  I don’t want to have to pack a cut lunch and a compass to go shopping for a new top.  Easy is good and works when I’m juggling kids and family obligations.

The Warehouse have nailed the brief this season and delivered some great pieces, that work beautifully together.  

Pro-Tip:  Shop across the various ranges to put together a fresh, new look for the season ahead.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Garage Lace Up Back Jumper $25.00, Garage Satin Bomber Jacket $25.00

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Garage Lace Trim Cami $15.00, Garage Tassel Hem Tee $15.00 – Hurry, selling fast!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Maya Drape Front Maxi Skirt $20.00 – Hurry, selling fast!, Maya Hi Low Hem Skirt $25.00, Garage Jersey Harem Pants $20.00 – Hurry, selling fast!, Amco Women’s Curvy Skinny Jeans $25.00

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Garage Lace Trim Midi Dress $25.00, Garage Lace Up Festival Dress $25.00

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Basics Brand Women’s Freya Casual Shoes $15.00, Debut Women’s Korey Anklet Boots $25.00

WIN with The Warehouse and The Best Nest!

I know there’s something in that stellar line-up that’s calling your name.  Tell me below what your wardrobe needs as we head into the cooler months and you’re in the draw to win a $50 giftcard to spend at The Warehouse!

Look out for a second chance to enter on my fashion vlog coming soon x

Entries close 21/3/17, NZ residents only.

 

 

Summer Style – Easy, Chic Mum Fashion

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Summer mum Fashion

Shop the Look > Busy Chic

Maya Spliced Stripe Skirt RRP $25 (available instore), Maya Chambray Shirt Dress RRP $39 (selling fast!), Garage Anglaise Bardot Top RRP $39, Garage Chambray Shirt RRP$30, Amco Knit Boyfriend Jeans RRP $49 (low stock, 2 sizes left online!), Debut Farae Casual Shoe RRP $20, Debut Cut Out Tote Handbag RRP $29, H&H Essentials Leaf Necklace RRP $15, Beach Works Women’s Round Fashion Sunglasses RRP $20, Fitbit Alta Blue Small RRP $229

You guys went crazy over my summer mood boards (here) so I had to show just how well these separates actually fit, and how awesome they look on…….ME! – I think lol.  I LOVE each of these pieces and can’t wait to mix them into my existing wardrobe.  I’m still totally gobsmacked that I was able to source 4 outfits in one 20 minute shop + fitting room session!  New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Summer mum FashionThat’s the beauty of shopping at The Warehouse, everything you need is in one place.

So, I’ve recreated the four Busy Chic looks as they will all serve me really well as I move between blogger events, Mum activities and the occasional date night.  This look is comfy but put-together and works well with a wedge or heel but can also be dressed down with a flat sandal.

I subbed out the Debut Farae Casual Shoe for the video as I saw the Rilla Sandals while I was shopping and instantly knew how essential an espadrille wedge is for the summer ahead, especially a pair as comfortable and versatile as these are.

I’d love you to check out the video below, I promise you’ll be surprised with how well these clothes translate off the hanger and onto the body of a very normal mum-bod.  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

These styles have been super popular so head in store quickly to see the full range and the new styles that are arriving all the time!

 WIN > I have a $50 gift card from The Warehouse to giveaway so you can update your Summer Style!  To enter, tell me in the comments below what your favourite piece is from the Busy Chic lookbook.  Don’t forget, there’s another chance to enter on the first Summer Fashion blog post here x

Competition closes 30/11/16, NZ residents only.

 

Step up your Mum Uniform – Summer Style from Ziera + Win a pair for yourself!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Nivea Sunscreen review

With each new season comes an opportunity for a bit of a stock-take in both our lives and our wardrobes.  Compared to other areas in my home where I can be ruthlessly brutal during a ‘culling season’, I do tend to hoard a wee bit when it comes to my wardrobe – for good reason though.  I still have my original Levi’s denim jacket from my uni days 20 years ago and because I purchased a classic wash, it still looks great especially now it’s authentically vintage lol.  

This summer I’m getting rid of that which I do not LOVE – à la Marie Kondo, and adding more classic pieces to my wardrobe, styles which will endure and stand the test of time.

A (very exciting) addition to my summer wardrobe is my first pair of shoes from Ziera.

Metallics are a huge trend in footwear for the second summer in a row and this year I’m totally onboard!  The Lido was my first choice due to it’s classic styling and on-point silver finish, plus, a loafer is a versatile trans-seasonal shoe you can wear year round with jeans, trousers, skirts and shorts – that’s pretty much got New Zealand covered for spring and summer right?

3 Reasons to upstyle your Mum Uniform with ZieraNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Nivea Sunscreen review

  1. Cost per Wear – There are certain things in particular that I’m happy to spend a little more money on when I’m shopping for myself or the family; sunglasses, purses and shoes.  My reasoning for this is that I wear/use each of these three things every day and quality options will last many seasons, easily bringing down the CPW (cost per wear) for each – (this is important financial terminology to note if you’re lobbying your significant other for a new pair of kicks!)
  2. Flexible Styling – Choosing the right accessories and footwear can also make or break an outfit or breathe new life into one past it’s prime – both great things to have up your sleeve when you’re living on Mum-Time and a family-friendly budget.  
  3. Expand your comfort zone – When you never sit down….. (because #MumLife), good shoes are an investment you’ll never regret.  Here’s a secret though, it is possible to find comfortable shoes that are NOT Chuck Taylors :::::::gasp!::::::  I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes – the comfy, stylish shoes live at Ziera.

Now you know.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Nivea Sunscreen review

There you go Mamas!  All the motivation you need to upstyle your Mum Wardrobe and break out of your sneaker safe-place this summer!  

I’m going to help one lucky New Zealand lady on her way to fab footwear by giving her a $250 voucher to Ziera!

To enter leave a comment below telling me what pair of Ziera shoes are your favourite (see here) and cross your fingers!

Competition closes 20/11/16, NZ residents only.  Thanks so much to Ziera for this amaze prize and for sponsoring this post!

Shop |New Season Winter Jeans from Kmart

Fashion blogger nz DenimBlack on black on black.

I’ve always wanted a pair of black jeans but the shore girl in me resisted for far too long. HA!  Shore girl no more……

We all know Kmart have totally upped their game in the homeware department but what’s happening on the racks?  Kmart asked me to head in for a bit of a shop and it turns out the denim is kinda their jam!  I found heaps of designs, styles, shapes, colours and sizes and ALL are under $25!  I have never actually gone jean shopping before and headed to the changing rooms with so many potential options.  Turns out there was only one pair calling my name, and that was the Womens Mid-Rise Skinny.  In black.

I’m in love with these jeans.  They are soft, stretchy and they cover my bum – all the way up!  I can’t believe I’ve never worn black jeans before, these are definitely going to be on high rotation as we head from Autumn to winter and can so easily be dressed up or down – though this look with my Nike Roshe fully ticks all the boxes for me!

Fashion Blog New Zealand Fashion Blog New ZealandFashion Blog New Zealand

I was provided a gift voucher to purchase some jeans, styling and opinions are my own x #kmartstylingnz

 

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

 

 

 

What I Wore | The Ankle Boots + Shorts Thing

A totally unplanned return to Wardrobe Wednesday, so the photos  are sub-par selfies I’m sorry!  Nix is too busy slobbering on my camera to take pictures these days so what’s a girl to do?

Kelly’s Wardrobe Wednesday post today featured ankle boots and a skirt, reminding me that I too had braved bit of trans-seasonal fashion last week and worn my ankle boots with shorts.  Nix and I were heading off to our Midwife’s Christmas lunch {a total Mummy affair} and it was a very typical Auckland day – showery but hot, so a couple of layers worked well.  I kinda loved this look, though it’s not too flattering for my big calves it was super comfy and it felt good to step away from some of my go-to shoes that I would normally pair with shorts.

Wardrobe_Wednesday

Dolman Cardigan: Country Road

Sleeveless Blouse: Stussy

Shorts: Country Road

Boots: Andrea Biani

WWbutton

Wardrobe Wednesday | 25 Week Pregnancy Update

25 weeks pregnant

Oh lordy, feeling the physical strain this week.  The 25 week milestone has brought more fatigue and lots of belly / ligament pain.  Any item of clothing that sits under my bump is just torturous, read: I actually purchased an item of maternity clothing this week!  A lovely stretchy maxi skirt from Patch that I’m sure I will wear all winter, even after bubba arrives.  I am happily keeping up with all of Ethan’s commitments and work, Dave and Mum are a big help, but the notorious baby-brain I suffered with Ethan is back with a vengeance.  I recycled a bunch of vouchers I had been sent as giveaways for the blog!  Oh the shame of typing that email.

Mainly I just feel so excited.  Every time I look in my rear vision mirror I have to remind myself that in 15 weeks there will be a little baby cruising around back there, though it’s surprising this ever actually slips my mind as the child is constantly ninja-ing my insides.  I am a wee bit scared that baby is going to be ginormous.  At my last midwife visit I was measuring two weeks ahead so it will be interesting to see if this has changed at my appointment next week.

By the way, do you love this top as much as me?  Bargain of the year, nicely spotted by me a The Warehouse for $20!  The other colour-ways were quite ugly, which is actually fortunate as I would have bought them all if they were half decent!  A perfect bump-coverer in comfy cotton spandex.

25 weeks pregnant20130320-175434.jpg

Shirt: Maya @ The Warehouse $20

Skirt: The Gap

Necklace: The Warehouse

Shoes: Superga Polka Dot Sneakers

Dog cameo: Louie

Wardobe Wednesday

Wardrobe_wednesday

 

I wore this outfit to work a couple of weeks ago and just haven’t had the inclination to post it.  I liked the outfit in the morning when I put it on, then by the end of the day it just felt SO mumsy and frumpy.  I think it was the 3/4 pants?  It just felt very boring and completely devoid of any style or personality, actually it just made me feel old!  Does anyone know what I mean?

In other news, I am happy to report that I blow dried my hair yesterday so have had two messy-topknot free days in a row!  I am training myself to get up earlier in preparation for school commencing next week and surprise surprise I have SO much more time in the morning!

 

Wardrobe_wednesday Wardrobe_wednesday

 

Top: Brown silk/cotton swing tank Ezzue

Pants: Mosaic

Shoes: Huaraches from Urban Outfitters

Necklace: Gifted by my Mum from Chinatown, SF

Create Hope Inspire Wardrobe Wednesday