Handmade with love & @willownoak

The last few days have been a little wet and rainy here in Brisbane so we have been hanging out in doors. It’s actually been nice to be stuck indoors (well sort of, I do have bit of cabin fever) as last week was Cruzie’s 2nd birthday so we have been playing with all his toys and it’s been nice watching him play with Winter Rose.

Last week I connected with the beautiful Melanie from Willow N Oak. She is one of the business owners of the beautiful store. That’s what I love about social media… the connection you have with people that you follow is so sweet and the confidence you have to start a conversation that’s can continue onto a virtual friendship. Willow N Oak is a small business ran by Melanie, Trent and Linda (the nana of the business). The clothing and majority of the wooden toys are handcrafted by the team. That’s what makes it extra special. I just ordered the most precious horse and carriage for Winter Rose for Christmas.

Melanie sent Cruzie a cute little wooden ring stacker. This ring stacker is hand made by Willow N Oak. Cruzie spent the afternoon stacking and counting. Winter Rose laid next to him smiling and cuing. It’s fascinating watching Cruz play with just one toy and it entertaining him for ages. We sat in the spare room while I packed. I set up the play mat for him and the ring stacker. He loves to count them and the stack them. He thought it was so funny when I put it upside down for him. He even had a go at throwing the rings to try and get on the stick. Bless him. Winter Rose even laid on her belly doing tummy time and was loving watching Cruzie stack the rings.

Ring Stacker – Handmade by Willow n Oak just $30. Click here to buy

Melanie kindly sent Winter Rose the most darling little playsuit too. She wore it to Cruzies birthday on Friday night on its on as it was so warm, but today was cooler so we layered it with tights and a bonnet. My Nanny Pat thought the outfit was delightful and I have to agree. It’s so well made and has the most stunning details. The lady bug floral romper featured a touch of lace around the shoulders and the middle of the romper. The quality of the romper is just divine. So well made. It has little studs at the crotch to make for a easy change of the nappy. I think I may need to keep this romper and put in Winter Rose’s keepsake box to have when she is older, I don’t think I will be able to part with it.

Want more from Willow N Oak?

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/willownoak

Website – https://www.willownoak.com.au

My New Skincare Routine. feat @avalolaorganics

My obsession with looking after my skin unfortunately didn’t happen in my teens, it started in my twenties. I mean I was always sunsafe and wore a face cream, however I never brought good quality l products and never had a good skin routine to follow. If I did buy skin care products they would all be different brands and it was whatever was on special at woolies or coles. When I was younger and wearing wearing make up a lot, I would sometimes just use the soap I would wash my body with or water and a cotton wool ball to remove make up. Ekkkk.

I now love to look after my skin now and I wish I knew then what I knew now. I would still look 20 at 30 hahaha.

3 weeks ago @avalolaorganics gifted me a Rustic Peppermint skincare pack to try. I have only recently started my essential oil journey and have loved it so far so when they told me that this range was made from essential oils I was over the moon. I have been using it routinely morning and night.

To start off with I use the the oil cleanser. I wet my face a little with warm water and then massage it into the skin with my fingers. I then use a clean flannel to wipe off any excess.

I do this step morning and night.

I then use the facial polish. I was guilty of over using this because I love the after feeling off this step so much. But have since eased up to just 2-3 times a week as it was unnecessary haha. This facial polish leaves your skin feeling literally as smooth as a bubbas bottom. I LOVE IT!

Lastly I use the skin serum. This step always makes me feel so relaxed. I rub this serum into my face with a massage like technique. I wake up feeling like my skin is so nourished. It’s also great to put on as a primer before foundation as my make up goes on so smoothly after using it.

I am going to continue to use this skin care range as my skin is feeling the best it has in ages. Plus I love the fact that I’m using natural ingredients on my face.

I have also used their bath soaks before to they are also divine and am currently trialing the deodorant paste. I will let you know ASAP how I’m going with it.

Want more from Ava Lola Organics?

Website – www.avalolaorganics.com.au

Instagram – @avalolaorganics

Alice xx

My baby “latches” to the bottle.

Sponsored by Munchkin Australia.

I made a little promise to myself  when I was pregnant with my second child. I would do my best to try give my second baby a bottle from 6 weeks if I could breastfeed. The reason behind this is because Cruz (my first child), still to this day has never taken a bottle. I tried so many brands but he was just never interested. All he wanted was the boobies! That wasn’t to much of an issue to me back then as I had him home with me for the 10months of his life. However when he went to day care he would refuse my EDM or formula. I could never really pop out for to longer periods either as he would want to be fed. Cruz was not great on solids either. So he needed my breastmilk to nourish him.

When I had Winter Rose (my second child) I started her on the Munckin Latch Bottle with EBM and she took it. To my surprise she would quite happily go from boob to teat and back to boob again. I couldn’t pump in my first 4 weeks of feeding due to over engorgement but when my boobs had settled down and I could start pumping, I offered her the bottle every second day. I am now pumping daily and able to give her a bottle of expressed milk daily.

From the bottle to the breast.

I found out about the Munckin Latch Bottle from other mumma bloggers on Instagram raving about it. I am currently using the 120mls Bottle with the Stage 1 Nipple Teat. The teat is able to move with the baby, which is just like the breast does. So when Winter Rose sucks the nipple of the teat she is putting pressure against the nipple teat and it then releases milk as baby sucks, hence why I think Winter Rose happily goes between the breast and the bottle. The anti colic valve in the bottle  prevents air bubbles from getting through so the baby is less likely to get gas or colic like symptoms. To be honest I don’t think Winnie has had any wind pain post bottle feeds which is great.

We go to Thailand as a family in a month, I am a bridesmaid. I feel confident that Winter Rose will be able to take some EBM from my husband or close family with this bottle so I can commit to bridesmaid duties. When we go to Thailand Munckin have these fantastic Sterilizer bags that you use to wash the bottle and teats in the microwave. I emailed the hotel and they have kindly given us a microwave for our room. With the steriliser wash bags you simply Rinse before use, add water, place in bag, zip closed, microwave for suggested time then empty water. So easy to use and perfect for us travelling as we already have to take so much stuff.

I really wish I knew about these Latch Bottles when Cruz was little but I guess its all part of motherhood and we learn from our past experiences. I am forever leraning as a mumma. I think it’s super special for David to have some bonding time with Winter Rose when feeding her and he feels more confident that he can settle her when I’m not close by.

Want more from Munchkin?

Instagram – @munchkin_anz

Website – https://au.munchkin.com/

My top 5 must haves for new mummas Feat. Organic Mums & Bubs.

I have been lucky enough to write a blog for one of my favourite Australian organic maternity and baby shops – Organic Mums and Bubs. The store is filled with absolutely divine 100% certified organic, eco friendly and ethical products which are suitable for pregnant and nursing mummas and their new bundle of joys.

Expecting a new baby can be lots of fun. Preparing and buying things for yourself and your little ones arrival is all part of the excitement of this new journey. There are so many great products to choose from on the market but at times can be quite overwhelming when deciding what you and bub require. Organic Mums and Bubs is one of my favourite online stores that caters for a wide range of all your mumma and bubba requirements, which is why I am putting together a blog post sharing with you the 5 products I love most from this amazing company.

I know we get super excited about spoiling Bub, but my first few must haves are just for mumma.

Comfortable Nursing Lounge Wear

The first few days depending on how you birth you could be in hospital. Followed by spending a lot of time at home getting to know your newborn. During this time just wanted to live in comfortable clothing. Little Winter Rose is now five weeks old and I still like to be comfortable to lounge around at home. If you choose to breastfeed to you will want comfortable clothes that you can nurse your newborn in. I really think that wearing comfy, soft clothing helped me to feel relaxed and comfortable in my own home and when heading to the shops.

I wear my Grace Bamboo Maternity Top and Essential Bamboo Maternity Pants together all the time around the house. The clothes are so comfy I even sleep in them and I can do my post natal yoga practice in this outfit too. Because it doesn’t look to pj like I can also wear out to the shops too and still feel good. The material of both the top and the pants feels great on my skin too, made from a mixture of organic cotton, bamboo viscose and a little spandex for stretch. I highly recommend this duo and packing it in your hospital bag if you are planning to have a overnight stay in hospital.

 

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So comfy around the waistline and I love that the pants have a string to pull in as your postpartum stomach goes down.

Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads and Wipes

Not only are the Milk Maid Mumma Nursing Pads kinder to the environment, I found they are so much more kinder to my breasts too than the disposable ones. They are made from bamboo and feel luxe against the nipples especially when my little Winter Rose is cluster feeding and my nipples feel grazed. The sit well in the bra and don’t scrunch up like the disposable ones do as the day goes on. I love seeing all the pretty prints on my washing line too. All nursing pad bundles come with a wet bag too, to keep the breast pads safe in the washing machine. Great for storing them in your nappy bag too.

The Milk Maid Mumma Reusable Wipes are also a great alternative to your everyday baby wipes we carry in our nappy bags. I have also found these wipe cloths great as a burping cloth alternative too. The wipes also come with a cute wet bag to store the wipes in.

Both of these Milk Maid Mumma products are kind to your wallet and are really reasonably priced, making them a perfect baby shower gift for any expecting mumma.

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100% Organic Cotton/Bamboo clothing for your Newborn

Of course baby clothing is part of my list for new mummas as it’s so fun buying outfits for your new bundle of joy. I personally find it more fun than buying for myself these days. When your newborn arrives into the world their skin can be very sensitive. It’s great to purchase some clothing that is gentle and kind to their babies skin.

Organic Mums and Bubs provides a wide range of adorable organic baby clothes that are suitable for your newborn no matter what the occasion. Weather you just want to dress your bundle of joy up for visitors, a special occasion or just for them to relax at home in this boutique has you covered. Some of my personal favourites from the site is the Bubbazimbi range and My Lilly Ann hand painted clothing.

 

A comfort toy or blanket for your baby

It is up to you as a parent if you choose to use this method. I believe that giving my babies a comfort toy or blanket has really helped them to settle them to sleep no matter where they are put down to rest. A little tip though is to have a few comforters on the go. I always have one in the cot, one in the pram and one in the car. That way if one is misplaced there is always back up available.

I love Natures Purest – Striped Knitted Bunny Soft Toy and Natures Purest – Striped Knitted Baby Blanket.

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Organic Skincare for Mother and Baby

As a mum I really want the best for my babies. I am amazed that so many baby skin care products are filled with nasty harmful chemicals and an ingredients list that goes on forever with words I cannot even say. I am a registered nurse and when studying anatomy and physiology I learnt that the skin is the largest organ in the body. It absorbs want we put on it so quickly into our bodies. Our new babies skin is so precious so especially in the little ones early days I think its important to be aware of what I use on their skin. So I keep my babies and my own skin products to a minimal or organic.

I love Aromababy Barrier Nappy Rash Cream Balm I have used this since Cruz was a newborn its such a great product. It also doubles as a great lip balm haha.

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Thank you for reading the blog. Thank you to Organic Mums and Bubs for the collaboration.

Want more from Organic Mums and Bubs?

Website – www.organicmumsandbubs.com.au

Instagram – www.instagram.com/organicmumsandbubs/

Alice x

My Little Booky Wooky – Speech Pathology Shortlisted Book Of The Year 2016

When I was pregnant with Winter Rose I received a message from the gorgeous Bianca Ebeling telling me about the book she had created. It was called "Let's celebrate" by @mylittlebookywooky and it was designed to stimulate a newborns vision by using black and white images.

My eldest little boy Cruz is such a little book worm, we hang out at the library a few times a week and borrow new books out. He just loves them, especially the images. I usually change the story around too haha. So hearing about this book I was instantly interested in hearing more.

I received the book and flash cards and was so excited to use once my little one arrived. I placed the flash cards on the wall next to the change table and placed the book in the cot awaiting my babes arrival. Cruz was so in love with the flash cards. He chats to the animals and I tell him what they are. He thinks it's great. Plus it's a great distraction while trying to change my wriggling toddlers bottom. Haha!

Since Winter Rose's arrival we have been placing the book next to her. It's amazing to see how over the past 4 weeks she is really starting to focus on the images. In just a week she was able to lock her eyes on the book. Now week 4 and she is reaching out to the book. It blows my mind how interested in the book she is. During witching hour I often lay her on the bed on her side and she will just settle when I place the book next to her. She goes from crying to such a calm nature. Just wow!

The book will defiantly be something I will be buying for other mummas in the future for baby shower gifts or birth arrival gifts. I would also recommend this to other expecting and new mummas too.

I have asked Bianca a few questions below so that we can all find out a little more about her and her book. Thank you again Bianca.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself Bianca? 

I am a mum of 2 little cheeky monkeys aged 3 and 1. My husband and I moved from Melbourne to Geelong 4 years ago for a more relaxed and affordable lifestyle and we haven't looked back. My background is in finance but my biggest sense of achievement comes from being creative. Developing my books has been extremely fulfilling. 

What drove you to create a book specifically for newborns? 

As part of my mother's group I attended a session with the local librarian who was explaining to us new mummies that we should be reading to our babies from the moment they are born and that the best books for 0-6 months are black and white books. I actually didn't read much to my son so I took her advice on board and found a black and white book and my son started reacting to it instantly. He was completely captivated by the images. It blew our minds. He had previously really struggled with tummy time and would cry so much and really didn't want to do it. I thought he would never achieve lift his head however with the black and white book in front of my him, he started really trying to lift his head to see the images and within less than a week he was holding up his head for short periods. There were many other benefits that we witnessed over the few weeks we had the book from the library and I just knew I had to get one for myself to have permanently. Unfortunately no bookshops or baby shops stocked such books. Hence I had this idea…

What is the idea behind the black and white illustrations?

When babies are born their eyesight is still developing and they find it hard to focus on the world around them. High contrast images are much easier for babies to see in their first few months and provide them with something simple and engaging to focus on, and in this focus or intense concentration they can allow their minds to rest. A baby cannot see pastel colours properly for several months after birth. It is recommended to surround a baby with as much black and white as possible in the early months for visual stimulation and development.

Now the book only has illustrations, no words. What is the reason behind this?

This is one of the best bits about the books. Anyone can pick up the book at tell a story about what they see on the page. In my first book there is a page with a hot air balloon and clouds. There are so many ways to approach this. You can simply tell your newborn baby what you see on the page. Or you can make up a story about a hot air balloon that flew away and went travelling around the world. Or perhaps you got engaged in a hot air balloon. Another story opportunity. Talk to your baby, read, make up stories. Let your baby hear your voice, a range of vocabulary. Also, every parent/caregiver will have a different story to tell based on what they see. The fact there are no words in the book means you aren't bound by the words and you can let your story telling imagination run wild 

How important is it to read to your child? 

Reading aloud with your child is so important. It stimulates their imagination and curiosity, it teaches them new vocabulary, it opens their eyes to new ideas. It helps develop their language and listening skills. Children who are read to at a young age do better in their schooling years. One of my favourite quotes that I believe hits the nail on the head is "reading to children, even before they can understand, teaches them to associate books with love and affection". I see this in my children. I remember when I had my daughter last year, I would have her snuggled into my arms and I would read her books throughout the day and it was my favourite activity with her. We promote the love of books with our children and set up a little reading nook in our house. Both my daughter and son spend a lot of time there each day looking at and playing with their books. They love bringing favourite books to my husband and I and sit with us and we read to them. My son is nearly 3 and I can see that a lot of his vocabulary that he is using is from the books we read and it excites me and makes me incredibly proud.  

Want to know more about @mylittlebookywooky ?

Click here for Instagram

Click here for Website

Top 10 Unisex Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Both my pregnancies, my husband and I have decided to not find out the sex of the baby. The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when we tell them is “how can you be organised for the baby” or “what can I buy you? There is hardly anything out there that’s unisex” well I disagree with them I think there is so much you can still get organised or buy someone. So I decided to blog about it haha.

It has made David and I save a bit of  money not buying the trend of pink or blue clothing or decor. But if you wish to be organised or gift someone something special before their birth of their child, then there is truly so many gorgeous unisex gift ideas that you can still shower a mumma (in some cases daddy too) with at their baby shower, or purchase for yourself  for your newborns arrival. 

 

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I have teamed up with Baby Luno to bring you my…

Top Ten Gift Ideas For A Unisex Baby Shower. 

Click on comment of each image to purchase the product.

 

A neutral onesie, because what new baby doesn’t look adorable in the neutrals of white, cream or grey? No matter what the sex. I think they look so cute too.

 

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Baby Growsuit Zip – Hello World

 A neutral cuddly companion teddy or animal for their newborn to snuggle up to. Doubles as a comforter at nap and bedtime.

classic musy mate lovey jungle jam cow product
Musy Mate – Cow Jungle Jam Giraffe

 

A white bath towel, because who doesn’t love seeing a baby all wrapped up in a fresh white towel no matter what the gender, ekkk… oh my ovaries. 

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Baby Bath Wrap – Jungle Jam Giraffe

Some of your guests may like to put money together and buy something bigger for the mumma. A baby carrier can be used by either mummy or daddy to carry their newborn (up until the age of around 3 depending on the weight of the child) around when bubs just want to be close to their parents. Its also a great way for parents have their hands free when their little one just won’t settle or they need to get the shopping done. 

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BabyBjorn Baby Carrier ONE AIR

A cute baby muslin swaddle, which is perfect to keep their little bub warm and comfortable when they first arrive. The great thing about a muslin swaddle is that it can be used as a blanket or a light pram cover (just ass some pram pegs).

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Baby Swaddle Blanket – 10th Anniversary

A set of unisex bassinet or cot sheets, you never can have to many sets as the little bubba may have a few accidents haha, you will find yourself changing them very regularly.

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Baby Bassinet Sheet Set – Wonderful Life

sleeping bag that doubles as a swaddle, great to keep the little new born warm and securely snug while they are sleeping. You can use the sleeping bag instead of  a blanket and bub is less likely to wriggle out like they can in a blanket or wrap.

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Baby Sleeping Bag & Swaddle – ErgoCocoon TOG 1 Blush Leaf

Again a few of you might want to put in some money and get something special for mumma or the baby. A nappy bag s a great idea it will be something that mum uses all the time. Be mindful though that mum might have a particular style in mind. This was the style I feel in love with. Its perfect as it doubles as a handbag not just a nappy bag.

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Nappy Bag Storksak Noa Leather

A set of Milestone Blocks is the perfect addition to the little ones nursery. Mummas can also take photo updates of their little one next to the block as a keep sake, perfect to watch them grow and look back on. 

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Milestone Blocks – Black & White

Last of all, if you really are unsure then you can always get the parents a gift card. That way they purchase something sweet for their newborn when they arrive.

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Baby Luno Gift card
 
Baby Luno have created a new tab on their website called the “gift registry” where the mumma can go on the website and click on what they need or would love. I thinks its a great idea so the mum can choose the nappy bag or a certain baby carrier or design for their little one that they had in mind. The gift registry can be either private or on public. So easy to create and set up. They have a FIND tab so guests and family can easily look up the mummas name to view the list.

Below is a copy of  a wish list I created at the beginning of my pregnancy. I wasn’t having a second baby shower but I used the gift registry as a list of what I needed to purchase. So easy.

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Baby Bingham No.2 Wish List

View my Wish List HERE

 

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you got some great ideas to gift a family that are choosing to have a unisex baby shower.

Alice xoxo

Want more from Baby Luno?

Visit their website HERE

Visit their Instagram HERE

 

Ava Lola Organics – The Pregnancy Box. 

I recently received a wonderful gift box from Ava Lola Orgnaics. To my surprise it wasn’t filled with gifts for the new baby, but gifts for me? I felt oh so special and I thought to myself it is just what a tired pregnant mumma needs – some mumma metime and pampering. 

A box filled with pampering goodies for a pregnant mumma.

Inside this box of goodies was some great organic skin care products that were safe to use during pregnancy.

 It is filled some brands and products I had heard of, however some new ones that I have now became a huge fan of. It’s was great to trial all the new brands, but I loved that you received the actual size samples of the products #winning. 


I think it is such a great gift idea for any expecting mumma for her baby shower or a congratulations president, as the bubba seems to be the one that gets spoilt. You could simply just #treatyourself too haha. You totally deserve the luxe relaxing time fir yourself, especially because you are the one growing the bubba and that can take its toll on your mind and body. 

Inside The Pregnancy Box is 

Mama Body Tea Pregnancy OR Morning Wellness Tea 28 serves 

Harvest Bliss Mama & Baby Milk Bath 100g

Tiny Tonics Stretch Mark Oil 125ml

Harvest Bliss Peppermint Foot Soak 30g


Harvest Bliss Milk Bath for Mumma and Baby and Peppermint Foot Soak
Mama Body Tea Pregnancy Tea and Tiny Tonics Stretch Mark Oil

Below are some images of me using the products as I genuinely love trailing everything I am sent. I did use some of the products with Cruzie included in the relax/metime as sometimes it’s just how it is. While he played with his toys in the bath I would be relaxing my sore legs and bump. I loved  sitting back relaxing and just enjoyed watching him learn new things. Multitasking right? 

Enjoying a Milk Bath with Cruzie Poozie.

Massaging the bump 🤰

Enjoying the foot soak. It’s pure bliss 🙏🏼💕
Sipping on pregnancy tea and having a read.
 

I highly recommend The Pregnancy Box to other expecting mummas, as I used every single one of the products provided in the box, I made sure of it. Haha. Can I get another? 🙋🏼

Thank you again for taking the time to read my review on such a gorgeous  gift box. I look forward to purchasing these for my expecting mumma friends, as they all deserve a bit of pampering.


You can purchase the The Pregnancy Box or other beautiful gift boxes, for either yourself or an expecting mumma online at www.avalolaorganics.com.au.

Ava Lola Organics Instagram – Click Here