Acquisitions | SwimFin Swimming Aid + Giveaway

Learning to swim and learning at an early age is non-negotiable in our house.  Ethan is now 10 1/2 and has been in lessons since he was 3 months old – kid is a fish!  Nix began a little later but is now doing really well in the pool (and I’ll be doing really well as soon as he graduates to the independent swimming classes!).

Needless to say we have tried and tested pretty much every swim aid under the sun and there has been one common denominator with both of our boys – they HATE flotation devices on their arms.  They hate putting them on, they hate keeping them on and they really, really don’t enjoy their time in the pool when they’re wearing them.  Back floaties work so much better for us and the SwimFin is just the best out there.

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SwimFin is a unique, self-adjusting swimming aid for all ages and abilities and it’s pretty darn cute to boot.  Before he got sick, we took Nix to our local pool while Ethan was at Swim Squad and had so much fun as he took to the water with his amazing ‘shark fin’.  Dave was on swimming duty while I fielded questions from pretty much all the parents in attendance about Nixie’s cool new swimming aid!

Take a look at how stable and steady Nix is as he ‘swims’ from Dad to the side of the pool!

Things I love about the SwimFin;

  • It’s so easy to get on!  There’s no mucking around sizing straps, the velcro is quick and allows this product to grow with your littles.
  • Like the description, the SwimFin totally self adjusts, Nix was kept upright and in a position where he could relax without freaking out that his head was going to go under.  I have never seen him so confident in the pool.
  • The colours are super fun and bright and the construction is amazing.  I felt really confident about Nixon swimming with this on as his aid.
  • It’s non-inflatable, I actually can’t think about how scary it would be if a blow up floatie popped!  SwimFin is made from soft but sturdy moulded EVA foam
  • Nixon is just 23 months old and entirely capable of getting himself to the edge of the pool while he’s wearing his SwimFin.  You can see from the video above that his natural response is to paddle hard with his little arms, much more effective without bulky floaties on each side!


SwimFin is available here in New Zealand in a super cool range of colours.  Purchase online at RRP$46.95.  

We love this product and are so excited to be able to give away a SwimFin pack to one lucky reader!  To be in to win, head over to our Facebook page and follow the instructions on the SwimFin image.  Competition closes 25/6/15.

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.


Daily Look | At the End of the Path

Some days you just have to put on your overalls and go riding in the rain.  Or Mama will go cray-cray.  He won’t melt, he’s warm and so so happy, plus the potential for puddles is all a bit too exciting!  It’s hard to remember to say yes and think outside the box but when we do it can be so rewarding right?

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Daily Look | The Big Brother Factor

This is a familiar scene at our house.  We are committed to having an open house policy for our boys and their friends, I mean, at Ethan’s age he’s much happier with his friends around and that makes my life easier so everyone wins.  Nixon, adores the big boys and they love him right back – at the moment anyway!

Meeting Friday with a Fistpump

Every time Dave goes away for work, which is far too often at the moment, I brace myself, I fortify my parenting intentions, I pray for congenial children, I clear my schedule and I cross my fingers.

Dave left at 3.30am Monday morning and it’s now 10.06pm Friday night and he’s still in transit somewhere between here and Wellington.  I miss him! 

Roll your eyes etc, what’s a week you say?  Hold your horses, a week is nothing.  You’re right.  But any change to a family’s schedule requires a bit of juggling and shuffling around and that’s what I did this week.

Dave is the Master of the Mornings in our house.  The man can literally spring out of bed after a minimum of sleep and greet his boys with all the enthusiasm in the world.  Which makes up for my decidedly frowny demeanour most mornings.  This week I realised I needed to get up well before the kids to help breeze through the school departure routine.  I wouldn’t say I made it out from under the duvet well before Ethan and Nix but I was able to make my bed before Nix began his dawn chorus!  It’s a start!

After a calamitous breakfast on day 2 when Nix descended into full blown head-banging-tantrum mode, I decided that our usual family smoothie routine was just too hard to manage on my own.  We finished the week with porridge or eggs for breakfast and I made my smoothie after E left for school and Nixon was settled into play time.  Everybody wins.

My wonderful Mum lives here from Monday to Thursday so she made the evening witching hour that much easier, taking Nixie out for a walk, cooking dinner or staying home whilst I ran Ethan around to swimming and rugby.  

One thing I’m really conscious of at the moment is trying to reclaim some hours in my day.  Because I’m falling behind…….in my life!  You know how you just get stuck in a routine, you do certain things at certain times of day, on certain days of the week, and it just kind of sticks?  No?  Well, we needed food, it was 4.15 on Friday afternoon, a time I would never normally consider going grocery shopping, but what the hell.  It had finally stopped raining so I took it as a sign and the boys happily ate their way around the supermarket.  It meant a dinner rush when we got home but ironically Nixon only ate the beetroot on his plate anyway so…….could have taken it a bit slower I guess!  

Anyway, it’s Friday, Dave’s plane has landed and I’m looking forward to changing no nappies tomorrow! Have an awesome weekend everyone xx


Thou shalt not judge my parenting on Mondays

Nix turns two in 2 months and he’s all about the tantrums.  All.  The.  Time.

I can deal with this just fine, however, a grande mal paddy sometimes causes a bit of a time crunch when you are trying to leave the house by 9.30am.  God that sounded like eons of time once in my life – getting on your way and in the car by 9.30?  pfffftttt, nothing to it.  Now I’m on struggle street with such an ‘early’ departure, I hate it.

Anyway, swimming at 10am + a multiple paddy morning = frazzled mama.  I realized about halfway to the class that I had failed to pack Nix any swimming togs.  I had a disposable swim nappy so that would have to suffice.  But the LOOKS!  I was officially deemed ‘that’ mother in the eyes of my peers, the instructor was quite horrified  and every time I launched Nix out of the pool with gay abandon all eyes followed his nappy clothed, swimming trunk-less bottom as if at any time it was going to blow!

We survived the lesson and in the creepy silence of the changing room where no-one talks to each other, the Mum next to me began cursing under her breath.  My swimming togs faux pas was trumped by a forgotten bra!  My worst nightmare.  It was obviously Monday-itis all round.

We emerged from our joyous time in the chlorine and headed to the mall to pick up a few things.  Much like taking Nixon to a restaurant, taking him shopping is also an exercise in speed, distraction and mostly just speed.  He hates being confined to his stroller with a passion.  A very loud and vocal passion.  When I saw there was no line at my $10 eyebrow waxing joint I made an executive decision – we were going in, stroller and all.  I handed Nix my phone {breaking parenting rule #71 right?}, found him some videos of himself to watch and told the beautician it was Go Time – we had a ticking time bomb on our hands.  She was totally the mistress of speedy wax jobs and I headed on my way, ready to brave the mall, with the addition of bright red waxing marks on my face. Such a babe.  

It was then a caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and learnt a hard lesson; my trackies may be from Country Rd, but this does not make them fit for wearing in public.  One word, pajamas.  

So I was feeling really pumped up as we hit Kmart (not) and there were signs that Nixon was rapidly descending into shit-losing-mode.  I found The Wiggles on Spotify and pumped it up to full volume and handed him my phone again, I know I know!  I skipped the ‘trendy’ homewares section and powered through to the boys clothes department.  Nix needed some winter play clothes so I wasn’t leaving until I had them.  

By the time we left the shoes, it was all over.  Back arched, screams at mega-decibel level, I ran to the check-out only stopping to demonstrate my next display of uber parenting – I grabbed a Kit Kat and a juice bottle and said ‘have at it kiddo’ {Breaking parenting rule #3 I’m pretty sure}.  I had bought myself enough time to pay for the clothes, and power my way through another store to pick up Mum’s Mother’s Day gift.

So yeah.  Monday.  As I said to the bra-less mother at swimming, “it can only get better from here right?”.


These are my people. Even the toddler.

Yesterday I turned 36.

Ok.  I’m cool, just had to let that sink in for a minute.

Having 2 kids with an 8.5 year age gap means that the four of us often go in different directions. If Ethan has a rugby game and it’s pouring with rain, either Dave or I will stay home with Nix. When I depart to deliver E to pool training, battling rush hour traffic on Lincoln Rd, Nixon will stay at home with Mum.  If there are errands to run or events to go to at nap time, one of us hits the road and the other stays home with bubs.  This is how we roll.  But it kinda sucks.  Going places as a family is kinda the point of having, you know, FAMILY.

So yesterday Dave was hounding me all day about what I wanted to do for my birthday dinner.  My lazy-girl inclinations were screaming fush ‘n chips however my birthday girl sensibilities won and I suggested taking Ethan out to eat with Dave and I. I know no-one believes me when I try and explain why taking Nixon to a restaurant doesn’t immediately spring to mind as one of my Top 5 things to do on my birthday, so I won’t even go there.  All I will say is that it is very, V E R Y stressful.

My limited birthday dinner guest list was overruled by Dave and we headed out to eat at The Flying Burrito Brothers with Ethan, my Mum and Nixon in tow.  < I highly recommend TFBB as a kid friendly place to eat, they have high chairs and the food comes out quick! >

Thank goodness!  How wonderful it was to sit down with my favourite people in the world and share great food and appreciate just how lucky we are to have each other.  I’m pretty sure the other diners weren’t all up the good vibes but hey-ho, ’twas ma birthday bitches and I’ll bring my cray-cray 22 month behemoth out to eat if I feel like it!  And, I think I’ll start doing it more often as well.

Dave and I ate out all the time when Ethan was a baby and toddler.  We were living in San Diego at the time and food was cheap plus, Ethan was a very different child to Nixon.  Nix struggles to remain in his high-chair at home for the duration of a meal, so expecting him to do so in the new/exciting environment of a restaurant where there are people to woo, nooks and crannies to explore and food to steal off of every table is laughable.  

But laugh we did.  Our reservation was for 6pm and we were in the car and on the way home by 7pm!  Bam.  I’m not going to lie.  I found it fever pitch stressful, it felt like we were running the amazing race, hurtling towards the next food drop, hoping it would arrive before Nixon lost his shit and rappelled from the high chair.  But we were together on my birthday.  I may not have eaten much of the avocado salsa before Nix commandeered it for his own high chair entree but I enjoyed my shrimp fajitas and my delicious glass of wine and most of all I enjoyed my people.  Being out in public, as a family, with all of my people.  Even the littlest one xx

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We tried: Precious Eco Nappies! + a Giveaway for you

Prior to Nixon’s pull-through operation to help his Hirschspungs Disease we were using cloth nappies.  I invested the money, got my little system sorted and felt good about what we were doing.  I was soon to realise that cloth diapering is very, very easy when you have a baby that never, ever poops.  Post-op, things were radically different.  Nixon’s shorter bowell was fully operational within 15 minutes of waking from anaesthesia and pretty much didn’t stop for about a month.  It’s a miracle that his little baby toosh isn’t scarred from the nappy rash that ensued!

Anyway, I digress as usual……..It was at this particularly difficult time that I packaged up the cloth nappies and eagerly sold them on Trade Me, happy to never see another insert or pocket ever, ever again.

Having an eco-friendly alternative to cloth diapering is so important, because, let’s face it, cloth is not for everyone.  I love disposable nappies.  There.  I said it.  

What is super cool is that now we do have a choice.  We were sent some of the New Precious Eco Nappies to try and Nix has now been wearing them exclusively for the past week.  Did I mention that Nix has had rotavirus over the past week?  No?  I’m sure there is no better road test for a nappy than a Hirschsprung’s kid with rotavirus lol {I’m actually crying on the inside}.

Verdict:  Great.  Super.  No leaks.  Can’t believe I’m saying that after the week we’ve had but it’s true!  A little less stretch than regular disposables but pretty much a non-issue.

New Precious Eco Nappies are 75% biodegradable and compostable in managed landfill and composting facilities, and just the answer for those mums that worry about the environmental implications of conventional disposable nappies.

New Precious Eco Nappies come in six sizes including Newborn, Infant, Crawler, Toddler, Walker and Junior and are available from all New World and Pak’n Save supermarkets as well as online from The Wholesale Nappy Company. Recommended retail price is $11.99.

Here’s your chance to win one of 3 Precious gift packs consisting of a pack of Precious Eco Nappies, a pack of Precious 99.45% Sensitive Water Wipes and a pack of Precious Travel Wipes plus a super cool duffle bag from Cotton On Kids!  I’m giving away 1 prize pack here, just leave me a comment below and let me know how you roll – cloth, disposable, both?  I’m giving away the other 2 prize packs on Facebook so head over to The Best Nest and follow the instructions on the prize image.

Competition closes Wednesday 6th May at

Precious Eco Nappies were provided to me for editorial consideration, opinions expressed are my own.Eco Nappies Mummy Blogger New Zealand

Flying by the seat of my pants.

Last week saw the somewhat anticipated beginning of Term 2. After a lovely, lazy two weeks of school holidays E left the house last Monday happy and ready to get stuck in to another school term. Compared to holidays past, the Easter break was chilled and calm. I made no School Holiday Activity Lists as I have done in the past, in fact there were only two days of ‘planned’ excursions over the entire break. Quel horreur!
It was bloody good. And cheap.
The Problem With Last Week began upon Ethan’s return to school. See, I forgot to kick myself out of school holiday mode and spent the rest of the week trying to remove my head from my ass the clouds and get some shit done.  Nixie was very busy getting shit done as he picked up another bout of rotavirus the week before, let the good times roll!  

So it was the kind of week where permission slips and gold coins were scrambled for 5 minutes after E was supposed to leave for school, dinners were freezer-to-microwave affairs – unplanned and unremarkable, I was out two nights, further complicating matters and leaving me even less time to, well, not do Very Important Stuff.  Like be an awesome mum and wife : (


The ‘work’ week ended with Dave and I having a big fight about an outdoor project we were going to be completing over the weekend.  Ridiculous, but the culmination of a very stressful week for Dave and a useless, self-absorbed week for me.  I’ve been focussing on all the wrong things, neglecting the right things and letting my beautiful family slip by the wayside.

This week will be better.  The work week is already a day shorter so I’m winning already.  We had such a great long weekend, Dave and I are totally back on the same page and aside from him smashing his face skateboarding in the weekend and chipping a tooth badly (read: $$$), I’m ready to rock this week!

I hope you guys are on track for an amazing week too xx


Say hello! | Mud Mates + Giveaway

I am in awe of the many incredible Mum’s 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!

I kind of get the feeling that in years to come Mud Mates may be one of those companies that becomes a kiwi institution; one of those products that everyone will remember wearing as a child and then go on to purchase for their kids in the future.

Owner Alana, got in touch with me and I jumped at the chance to work with her because, um, NIXON!  Crazy baby is crazy, and he needs to be covered head to toe in plastic at all times.  Some don’t find that acceptable however, so instead, there is Mud Mates.  Thank goodness.

Alana is a Hawkes Bay mum of two, who developed her awesome products out of the frustration (desperation?) that I’m sure every Mum has felt as a result of the constant washing and often ruining of clothes that can result from letting your kids be kids and get dirty.

Mud Mates has been going strong for a couple of years now, continuing their awesome commitment to producing their products at home in New Zealand, Napier to be exact!  Reserach and design has seen the introduction of a new fabric to the range; coveralls, overpants and shoe covers are now made from water-resistant and water-repellent fabric.  This is a breathable, polyester, PVC-free fabric with a polyurethane (PU) coating on the inside and a 3M Scotchguard water-repellent coating on the outside. The fabric is soft and lightweight (yet durable and hard-wearing) which means the garments are comfortable and easy to wear without restricting your littlies movement.

I am a mother of two boys.

Two full on, balls to the wall, dirty, grubby, stained and scuffed boys.  I love it, and them.    An unfortunate side effect of having feral children and failing to rein in their dirt-ambitions is that I have allowed plenty of ‘nice’ clothes to be ruined.  I refuse to tell my kids they aren’t allowed to get dirty.  In fact I don’t think that particular phrase has ever left my mouth!  Needless to say, I had never really considered the need for some coveralls.  Never until I actually tried them out!

I may be down with dirt, but one thing I’m paranoid about is letting my kids get cold.    Easter weekend brought amaze weather, it was so, so hot up in Waipu at Mum’s but the mornings were very shivery and cold with heavy dews.  The end of Daylight Saving also added super early wake-ups to the holiday weekend {arghhh!} so we were up and at ’em before the sun had a chance to warm up the chilly autumn mornings.  Nixon was gifted a pair of Mud Mates Coveralls and lawd I was stoked I remembered to pack them!  They proved themselves as soon as the little guy settled on the water-logged sand-pit as his play location!  He was able to splash around in there, doing his roadworks, burying and excavating tractors and I didn’t worry a bit about him getting wet and cold – ain’t nobody got time for a sick toddler!

One important thing to note here; these are not lined, which I love.  Here’s why; last winter I purchased a pair of lined overalls with shoulder straps.  They were gorgeous and thick and warm, but they were so thick that when popped over clothes Nix could barely move in them.  Working around this meant that I had to strip Nix’s pants off before and after play time which was a little bit chilly at the beach mid-winter!  The shoulder straps fell down constantly and the plastic buckles didn’t hold their position, so again I found a workaround by tying knots in the straps-  again, less than ideal.   When I saw Nix was heading for the water, I busted out a deft intercept, zipped the coveralls over his clothes and he was good-to-go.  They pack down super-small as well so you can always squeeze then in your diaper bag and make the most of those random, muddy, FUN opportunities.  I absolutely love these coveralls! 

Mud Mates coveralls are so low-maintenance I’m thoroughly recommending that all babies and toddlers should wear them 100% of the time FOR EVER.  Just kidding.  Sort of.   Every Mum should be so lucky to have a pair of these in their arsenal, these would be the most useful and appreciated first birthday gift ever!

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

If you would like to win a pair of the amaze Mud Mates coveralls, head over to our Facebook page and follow the instructions on the competition image.  Competition closes Sunday 26th April 10pm.  If you just can’t wait, purchase a pair here