Sunday, May 26, 2013

Maternity Style: 35 Weeks Floral Fun


Woah, I just blew right up this week, and I just feel big, but that is ok I guess this baby must be getting nice and chubby! I'm at that stage where it is getting quite uncomfortable, and I'm often up in the middle of the nice doing stretches and trying to find a sleeping position that works. She seems like she is running out of room in there. All day it feels like she is trying to break out. We are getting so excited the meet this little girl, will she have dark hair like me, red hair like her Dad or will she be a little blondie like her big brother? 

We are working on names, which was a struggle for us last time as well. We're figuring out where to put her things, and finally I can do some nesting type stuff, like wash her clothes and put them in a chest of drawers we picked up from a roadside pickup, that needs some re-painting, but that will have to come later. I'm hoping she arrives on time, or a little early. Not late like her older brother who came 11 excruciating days after my due date, whilst I was having sporadic contractions every day that kept tricking me into thinking it was time to go to the hospital. 





Jumper: Quirky Circus (Myer purchase for my last pregnancy, still going strong)
Jeans: ASOS Maternity found HERE
Boots: (the most comfortable ankle boots ever, and I can wear them again thanks to my trusty flight socks) Sam Edelman Petty Boots found HERE

Want to see some of my other maternity style posts:

Maternity Style: 34 Weeks Party Dress
Maternity Style: 33 Weeks Acid Wash
Maternity Style: 32 Weeks A bit of Neon
Maternity Style: 31 Weeks
Maternity Style: 30 Weeks Studs and Sandals

Karen xx
topbabyblogs photo IMG_2853.jpg />

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I put my child on a leash: And I liked it


I know, I know, I could be opening a big ole can of worms with this post, but that is ok. I'm confident and happy with my choice as a mother!

I have what is called in Motherhood land 'a runner' a very, very fast moving little boy who is still learning boundaries and dangerous situations. He is not yet two, and has been walking over half his life, and is quite proficient at it. I, however am getting less proficient in my walking skills as this baby sinks lower into my pelvis and gives me that ever so attractive pregnancy waddle. Running is out of the question, unless a life or death situation presents itself, of which I've had a few in the last weeks where I've had to sacrifice my own health and wellbeing to chase down a runaway toddler heading towards a parking lot or a waterway.

Not today.

Today I opted for the leash. It is a very discreet leash. It' s attached to a very cute Monkey backpack by Skip Hop, but it is a leash, or you may prefer the word tether or harness. Whatever you fancy. But it is what it is.

I had to go to the shops to do a big grocery stock up, so I strapped the backpack (with tether) on the little man and off we went. Crossing the road was a breeze. Walking through the shopping centre and avoiding the aptly placed Thomas the Tank Engine ride was easy as pie. Getting him to stay with me whilst I wrangled the trolleys that always seems to jam together, was no problem at all. We wandered around the shop, me feeling confident and in complete control. I found I was able to communicate more, and Ezra was learning to listen more, because he was still close to me. I was able to teach him to hold onto the side of the trolley whilst we shopped, rather than chasing him down the aisles, getting angry and frustrated. Of course he still tried to grab everything, but that I can handle.

Actually, everything was going swimmingly. Until he plopped down onto all fours and began crawling down the aisle, whilst barking. Yes, Barking, like a dog.

Insert mortified Mum face.

Can you imagine? My little boy, growling and barking down the aisles, and theres me wondering if I should just let go of the leash or just bust up laughing, 'this looks really bad'. It isn't the first time he's acted like a dog, in fact copying the dog is one of his favourite things to do, including trying to lift his leg to pee on trees, and eating food with his mouth straight off the floor.

 In reality I think it was quite hilarious, and I had tears of laughter streaming down my face when recounting the story to my Mum when I got home. Of course he decided to do that, of course he thought it was appropriate supermarket behaviour. But, at the time I did not want anyone thinking that I was treating my child like a dog. I had to keep repeating ' quick get up, onto your feet, stop that.' It happened multiple times, during our little shopping trip, I'm sure we helped some other shoppers to brighten their day just a little.

I used to look at parents and utter the judgemental 'tut, tut, tut' when they had a leash on their child. Now, I can completely relate. Some kids (like mine) love to walk and explore, and hate being strapped into a pram all the time. They need to release some energy, but they can also be a danger to themselves.  This way, he can walk around and enjoy his outing and I can communicate clearly with him, and teach him that he needs to stay close. I'm not tugging at the leash and pulling him back like I do with my dog, I'm talking to my child and telling him to come back. Yes, I could just hold his hand, but that is difficult on all of us, and he HATES it, and I have heard that you can do damage to children's arm and shoulder ligaments when they tug or pull profusely, or suddenly drop to the ground (which happens a lot in our case). In the end, I would rather be confident that my child is safe and secure and within my grasp than to be to scared to do it because I am worried about what people might say or think. Even if I wasn't pregnant, I would still use it. Not all the time, just in situations that are potentially dangerous or I could lose him.

But, still in this post for some reason I feel the need to justify it, so annoying.  I really believe that you just have to do, what you have to do as a parent. Nobody knows your child like you.

So, have you used a toddler leash before?

Karen xx


topbabyblogs photo IMG_2853.jpg



Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Kidspot Voices of 2013 Masterclass & Launch Party


I'm back at home and have been since Sunday but I have finally (somewhat) recovered from my quick cross country trip to Sydney for the Kidspot Voices of 2013 Masterclass and Launch Party. It was a whirlwind weekend, I was so exhausted on the plane trip home I may have been sleeping on the shoulder of the guy sitting next to me, but I cannot confirm, as I was in fact, asleep. 

I had such a great time on this trip. I thought that being around such an inspiring group of women (and some men) bloggers that I would leave with a sense of my own mediocrity. Instead, I left with renewed energy and a fresh burst of confidence. I felt a new stirring to challenge myself more, to set myself goals, to chase the dreams that I have been putting on the back burner, to stop comparing myself to others and start embracing who I am and what I have to offer. Yeah, so much was packed into one amazing day. 

I loved listening to Hailey Barthomew share so honestly and so heartfelt about her experiences, and
how to turn your 'big ideas' into reality. 

I love the thought of pursuing the things that make my soul sing.
Because, really, that is what life is about. 
So I am challenging myself this week to take the time, quiet time, to think and dream and really figure out what those things are that make my soul sing. What are the ideas that I have been too scared to say out loud, or write down, in the case that they may not ever eventuate. To take hold of the big ideas I have, and to not let my own insecurities get in the way. Sometimes we just need a lovely kick up the bum to get some perspective. 

The First Panel 'Blogging 101' included some bloggy big guns, Viv from Ish & Chi, Jen from Interiors Addict and Rebecca From Wee Birdy and was convened by one of my favourite bloggers Pip from Meet Me At Mikes, and who so warmly welcomed me on my arrival to the masterclass and immediately set me at ease and made be feel a part of the gang. Once again these ladies were so candid and honest it was so refreshing, and Rebecca from Wee Birdy is one hilarious lady, seriously I think she needs a podcast! 



The Second Panel 'Blogs & Brands' was one that I was really looking forward to. I feel like I am just starting to dip my feet into this whole working with brands business, and it can be a little overwhelming to know what the expectations are. The panel of Brian from Social @Ogilvy, Louisa Claire from Brands Meets Blog, Stacey from the Veggie Mama and Lexi from Pottymouthmama convened by Bron from Maxabella Loves had some great pearls of wisdom. I was so vigorously taking down notes, I didn't take note of who said everything (sorry), but these are some of the points I came away with.

As I walked back to the hotel from the bus drop off my mind was racing with a new sense of purpose and I was re-energised. I've never really had the opportunity to hear other bloggers share in a setting like this before, and it really was such a great privilege to be able to attend. It took a lot of organisation and effort for me to make it all the way across the country, but I am so, so glad that I did. 

The party was a blast. I had some awesome party pals, Bron from Babyspace and Babs from Patchwork Cactus! These girls are amazing and it felt like we were instant friends, I love that, I just wish we lived a little closer. We joked, we mingled, we took silly pictures in the back of a Ford Territory, we made cake pops (courtesy of the lovely ladies from The Good Guys) and it was just a great fun and friendly environment. I met so many lovely people and was so sad to say goodbye, but I knew I needed some sleep before my early morning plane ride. My only regret is that I wish a were a little bolder in making the effort to meet some more of the bloggers that I really admire. 

I am still so blown away and honoured to be included in this amazing group of bloggers. 
I never thought that I would be travelling across the country because of my blog. 
Now I am thinking, what else can I achieve if I take on board the things that I learnt last weekend, if I actually take those big Ideas and make them happen!

Karen xx 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Maternity Style: 34 Weeks Party Dress


So, going to a party when you are 34 weeks pregnant can be a little challenging. It can be really hard to feel glamorous when your stomach is gigantic, your face is all puffy and your legs ache just thinking about wearing heels. Even though I was really excited about going, the thought of trying to get dressed up was really daunting.

Until I found this dress! This is another gem from the ASOS maternity range, and I had to get it express posted at the beginning of last week. I love the bright print, it wasn't just plain and drab like many maternity dresses are, it actually was something that I am kind of bummed that I wont be able to wear when I'm not pregnant.

I also was really smart and left my shoe purchasing to the last minute. I got up bright and early on Saturday morning and hoofed it into Pitt St Mall, I was feeling a little discouraged and desperate, I'd searched for shoes the evening before, but I was so tired and the shops were so chaotic I left empty handed.  I didn't have any shoes for the evening, and I had only a couple of hours time frame to find some. Why do I always do this stuff to myself?

Once again, Myer (my old trusty) delivered. This beautiful pair of Basque boots, for a nice 25% off. I almost didn't even look at them because the size of the heel scared this off balanced pregnant lady! But, I liked them so much I just couldn't walk away without trying them. They past the first test, I could walk around the store without wobbling or looking super awkward! SOLD! They are actually really comfortable, and I pretty much stood in them all night.

The photo's are a little crap because I had to do selfie's with my phone.
My camera suffered a little on the way over and ended up with a smashed lens.
But, I did have fun playing around with the A Beautiful Mess IPhone app to do some editing.






Dress: ASOS Maternity Found (HERE)
Shoes: Basque Connie Boot (HERE)
Tights: Old faithfuls from I don't remember where
Purse: Sportgirl (HERE)

There will be heaps more details on the party and the masterclass to come in my next post.

Here are more of my Maternity Style Posts:
Maternity Style: 33 Weeks Acid Wash
Maternity Style: 32 Weeks A bit of Neon
Maternity Style: 31 Weeks
Maternity Style: 30 Weeks Studs and Sandals

Karen xx 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Yellow Dandy goes to Sydney

You might remember me saying in a post I did a couple of months ago (here) about being one of the Kidspot Voices of 2013 Top 100, and how I was very,very keen to make my way to Sydney to be a part of both the Masterclass and the Launch Party. Well, it seems that this time the odds were in my favour. I managed to scrounge some of our frequent flier points together, and use some that my Dad generously offered. With the help of Joel and my parents looking after the little man, I was able to get away. Thankfully, I am a week and a half shy of the 36 week no flying policy, so it came just in time. So here I am. Nervously and very excitedly awaiting the big day of blogging related events tomorrow. I feel very out of my league, but I'm just hoping I learn so much from the whole day!

 

I had to get up at a ridiculous hour this morning (i'll give you a hint: it rhymes with the word door), in order to make my flight to Sydney. It felt so strange, driving alone, checking in alone, only having to worry about myself. It's been a long time since I've done anything like this. I've actually never spent a night away from Ezra, until tonight that is. I miss him like crazy, its so quiet around here, but I'll admit, it is nice to have a mini getaway by myself before the baby arrives.

I've already managed to get some shopping in, although just window shopping at this stage. I was desperate to check out the Zara store. I just wish this creaky, pregnant body would let me move faster and enjoy walking around. I started to quickly feel to sore, heavy and tired so I decided it was time to leave, before I actually bought anything. Although, I am desperate for a pair of shoes to wear tomorrow night, so I'll be up walking around the city again tomorrow morning on the search to make sure I don't show up shoeless for the launch party.

In my travels I made two awesome discoveries today:

 

1. Flight socks are one of the best inventions ever!!! No swelling in my feet and I even kept my shoes on the entire flight. They are great to even just wear around normally, and it means that my shoes fit again! Hurray!!

 

2. There is an awesome little bar/ Mexican place around the corner from my hotel called El Loco. As much as I wanted to just sit and have a beer, I opted for a Lemon, Lime and Bitters and a couple of delicious Taco's with homemade soft taco shells. Yep, it was amazing, the atmosphere is pretty good in there too, so I totally recommend. I just saw it by chance on my walk back from Pitt St and I wish I could eat there again!


My dress, now just need the shoes!

 

Have a lovely weekend,

Karen xx

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eating Additive Free: The Trusted Trolley {Review & Giveaway}


A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely ladies at The Trusted Trolley about doing a review of their website, and was given a 6 month subscription to take full advantage of what their site has to offer. I immediately jumped at the chance because they are doing something that I believe in and support. They are a group of WA Mums trying to make it easier for everyone (especially other parents) to know what is in the foods we are buying, and providing helpful information about understanding the harmful effects that many common additives have on our bodies. I mentioned in an earlier post (HERE) about how we have been trying to avoid additives and preservatives in our food and trying to eat 'clean'. It isn't always successful, and I'm fighting a losing battle against my cravings for malteasers in my very pregnant state. But on the most part, I want to know that what I am feeding my child isn't all hopped up on fake, unnecessary crap. So I think what they are doing is such a great resource for other time-poor parents like me!

Like most parents of young children I try to spend as little time at the supermarket as possible. When I do get the courage (or rather desperate need) to enter, I spend most of my time making car motor noises and doing fake burnouts with the trolley trying to keep a toddler appeased, in order to stop him from throwing all the food back out of the trolley again, or climbing out and running away from me down the aisles. This all happens whilst I'm trying to grab all the food on my list in as short as time span as possible. Usually I forget things, and I if I dare pause at a shelf to read a label, then all hell usually breaks loose. Often I'm so disappointed because I just have to give in and grab whatever 'looks' the best without actually being able to read what it contains, only to come home and realise that it is FULL of additives.

I would love to mosey on down the aisles, read every ingredient list, check every additive number and the corresponding meaning, but the reality is, unless by some miracle I get to go to the shops by myself,  this is not going to happen for many years to come.


This is where the ladies at The Trusted Trolley have been very handy!
Not only is their website full of really useful FREE information about additives and the effects they have on you and your children's bodies.

But, the most helpful part of this website I found is that they have also done the leg work for me, and they provide a great list of foods that are free from additives, this list is constantly being updated as well. This is their members only section, where you can subscribe ($4.66 a month) and gain access to this ever growing list of 'safe foods', which can then be added a printable shopping list to take with you while you shop.

It's a great resource when you have your meal lists written up and ready to go and then you can sit down and search through their lists to see if there are available products that you need for your list that are additive free. It helps to avoid that disappointment and frustration in the supermarket, and you can tweak your recipes or lists to makes sure you don't have any additives, bonus, you can do it all whilst your child/ren are not destroying the nicely stacked shelves of the supermarket!

I've found that not having the time to read the labels and research products to know what foods are 'safe' is one of the most challenging parts of trying to steer clear of additives, and it has often been my downfall. So this website has really helped to give me one place to research quickly and find the foods that are good for my family.

So make sure you check them out at www.thetrustedtrolley.com.au & on Facebook www.facebook.com/thetrustedtrolley

The Trusted Trolley are also generously giving away a 6 Month Subscription to the members only section of their website (Valued at $28)

So one lucky Yellow Dandy reader will have an opportunity to access the safe list of foods and other member benefits for six whole months.

To enter it is really easy, answer this question in the comment section below:


What do you find the most challenging about choosing additive free foods at the supermarket?



This is a game of skill, the best answer will win and the winner will be drawn by a panel of judges (myself, Joel and most likely my Mum too). 

To be eligible you must also follow Yellow Dandy on either Facebook, Twitter or Bloglovin, please let me know in your answer which platform you follow on. 
This competition closes on Tuesday 28th May at 8am Australian Western Standard time. 
The winner will be notified by email on that day.
It is only open to Australian residents as the product list is only really relevant in Australia. 






Karen xx

Linking up with Jess for #IBOT






Sunday, May 12, 2013

A long week

It has been quiet around my little space online this week. It has been one of those weeks, I know none of us are immune to 'those' weeks. Joel spent a couple of nights away, and although I'm not by myself (my Mum was here), I still feel like things are a lot harder when he isn't here to share the load, or just to talk to. Time seemed to drag and I haven't had any motivation at all, and it's not that I have really been that busy, but just exhausted. Pregnancy is starting to really take its toll on my energy levels. Sleeping properly has become a bit of a problem, standing has become a bit of a problem and walking too much is also a problem.

Frustration kicks in because I just want my body to be able to do what I want it to do. I want to run around and play with my very active toddler, because I know I only have a limited number of weeks to give him all of my attention. I want to have the energy to complete all the tasks on my to do list, I want to get out and about and feel like I'm in control and on-top of things. But none of those things are really happening right now, and it drives me a little crazy. I know that how important it is to 'listen to my body' and not push myself too hard, but it is hard to rest when you have people relying on you.  I try to  force myself to rest, to put my feet up, to not feel stressed and to try to sleep. It doesn't mean though that my head isn't still full of everything that I want to be doing.

I know that it is so worth every ache, pain and frustration.
My main goal is a healthy, thriving little girl at the end of the day.

I just  felt everything got on top of me. I wasn't really coping, and I was easily upset and irritated, I try not to take it out on my little boy, or my husband who is also worn out (and just happened to be sick yesterday) but sometimes it is hard not to.

Thankfully today (being Mothers Day) was so relaxing. My brothers and my Nanna came down to visit, my Dad cooked a big brunch on the BBQ, Ezra was happily occupied with everyone, I got to take a nap and it just was such an easy day. I am in such a better head space now. It is amazing what a decent sleep and a nap can do.

I'm ready for the week ahead. I'm determined to enjoy these quieter weeks, to rest and prepare for the chaos that a newborn baby brings.

The ups and downs of pregnancy, hormones and toddlers.


Karen xx 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Maternity Style: 33 Weeks Acid Wash

It finally got cold enough in Perth for me to bite the bullet and get a pair of proper maternity jeans, I'm so glad I did. I just bought these jeans earlier this week from ASOS, and I pretty much haven't taken them off since. They do not feel like I am wearing jeans, they are so comfy. I was a little worried about the whole 'Acid Wash maternity jeans' thing as soon as I hit the complete order button, thinking this could go really badly. When they arrived it was love at first sight, they don't overdo it on the 80's look. The top was another recent purchase from ASOS,  as I am quickly running out of tops that were long enough to cover this expanding belly. 

If you follow me on instagram you may have seen me debating about keeping these shoes or not. I do love them, but I wasn't sure they were practical enough, if I have enough things to wear them with.  Then I decided, screw practical, I love them. Yep they are bright and stripey, but that is the way I like my shoes. 

I hope all the Mum's out there have a lovely, lovely relaxing day tomorrow and that you feel very spoilt, loved and blessed by your families. 

Happy Mothers Day xx 


 Jeans: ASOS Maternity found Here
Top: ASOS Maternity found Here
Shoes: Vans found HERE

 Karen xx


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One Little Drive


One sunny day last December, on a bit of a whim we decided to take a drive. We went to have a look at blocks of land. We didn't really have much of a plan, apart from just to look, to ask some questions and try to understand how the whole building and house and land package process worked.

By the end of the day, to our surprise, we had put an offer on a block.

We were (and still are) so excited.

It is funny how one seemingly small decision, like going for a weekend drive, can catapult your whole life into chaos.

What did we just do? What does this mean? Are we really sure?

From here we went into a mad dash to get the house ready to sell.
Painting, plastering, gardening, cleaning.
We met with builders and spent hours researching house designs, tweaking details and dreaming of things that our old cottage couldn't provide (aahh an ensuite sounds glorious).
We met with multiple realtors and discussed all our options.
Within three weeks of putting our house on the market we had an offer that we were willing to accept.
Another few weeks later and we were packing and moving out of our beloved first home.

All because we went on a drive.

We moved an hour away. To a new community, that we didn't know that well.
We moved in with my parents, to help save some extra money while we build.
Everything has changed so much.
We've been scouring magazines looking for inspiration for flooring, kitchens and bathrooms.
Dreaming big dreams, and then realising the big price tags are a little out of reach.

During this whole time we've been in the process of finalising the house and land contracts. Waiting for the developer, for the land titles, for the final house contract, working things out with our broker, waiting for the unconditional finance approval.

It feels like it has been a long road to get here.

But, on Friday, everything was finalised. Everything was approved.

Soon we will have settlement, we will own a little patch of land again, and we will start the process of building a house that we love, a house that will be our family home for a long time to come.

Its funny how one little drive can change everything. What if we didn't go on that drive? Would we have missed out on the few blocks that were still left? Would we have decided not to sell, and just stay and renovate?

Some days slip by without anything of real significance happening, seemingly just another day.
Others, however turn everything upside down. They cause you to make big decisions. Enable you to turn some of your big dreams into reality.

That day in December will always be a special day for me. We picked out our little plot. Our place where our family will grow up. It felt right, we knew it as soon as we drove through.
This is where we want to be. This is our new home.

Have you had a day recently that caused a chain of events to follow?

Karen xx

This is the house we chose, it was love at first sight for me!
Linking with Jess for #IBOT













Saturday, May 4, 2013

Maternity Style: 32 weeks A bit of Neon

I've been really enjoying these maternity posts. I still feel awkward posing for the photos, and I still have to get Joel to take about a million photos before I get a few I am happy with. I'm always pulling weird faces, have several chins, the lighting is terrible or my body is just in a weird position. What I am enjoying so much though, is that at least once a week I go to a bit more effort when I get dressed in the morning. I put some makeup on, blow dry my hair and just basically feel good about myself after it is all done (until I critically analyse all the photos that is). With a toddler running around and feeling big and heavy these days I don't have a lot of time to spend on personal grooming, so these posts give me a little excuse! Plus it is a great record for myself of this pregnancy, it will be nice to look back on I think.

I hope that you are enjoying them as well! 

So, here we go again, Week 32... Once again you've flown by.


Dress: From Esther boutique, label says Imprint but I can't find it anywhere online.
Blazer: Silence & Noise (found Here)

Here are some more of my Maternity Style Posts:

Maternity Style 31 weeks
Maternity Style: 30 weeks Studs and Sandals
My Maternity Style Wishlist


Karen xx


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