It is with great honour, that I am able to blog yet another stunning, photoshoot by our now friend, Jennifer Horner. She has captured so many beautiful memories of our family over the past two years. Memories that have become photographs in our lounge room on the wall or on display in the hallway or in our children’s photo books. Ones we will treasure forever. This time round Jennifer photographed our newest addition Lottie Jean, at just 14 days.
She has such a natural way with babies and children. My children are always so drawn to her. She is professional, friendly and a whole lot of fun. She uses sensory play and safe practice to capture your little ones. When photographing newborn’s Jen always has someone working with her, someone that has trained with Jen over the years and is experienced. Jen was constantly explaining to David and I with rationale the safe practice of supporting a little one when photographing them. As Lottie’s parents, David and I felt perfectly safe with Jennifer handling our little darling.
Just like with Winter Rose’s shot, we again had a discussion of what David and I wanted to capture with Lottie on the day. She allows plenty of time for the session to shoot, in case you need to breastfeed and have a break. She also sends through an email prior to the day, so you know what to expect, what to bring and some useful tips on when to feed bub prior.
I am so in love with the neural tones, soft pinks and creams, lush greenery, palm prints (so me) and all the extra little details Jennifer had prepared for us on the day. I feel she really captured those special memories of our darling girl we will hold on to forever. A favourite flower of mine is babies breath, I had my cousin create a flower crown of babies breath for our Lottie and Jennifer continued with this theme in a series of shots with a stunning flat lay of babies breath she got from a local flower farm that day. She truly does go above and beyond.
Jennifer has offered my friends, family and Alice In Healthyland tribe members, a special one time offer to use on any booking you make with her. $100OFF. This is not something Jennifer does often, so honestly if you feel this is something you have been wanting to do for a while, just do it. You will not regret it at all, I promise.
BOOK HERE and make sure you state ALICE IN HEALTHYLAND when you book.
Okay so drum roll please…
Here are the stunning images from our Lottie girls Newborn shoot.
I recently purchased some Nut Mylk Base from Ulu Hye to try for my family. As non dairy milk drinkers in our household, we were going through so many cartons of organic Almond or Coconut Milk. I not only wanted to be more eco friendly with using less wastage, but I wanted to be more cost efficient too. The Ulu Hye range is great value for money as well as one jar makes 10litres. Plus you can use the jar again as it’s the great size to take your breakie to work in. The almond milk we were buying from the health store cost us a fortune, even with organic ingredients the ingredients list was still not great. So I was excited to find Ulu Hye after trying it in my Secret Organics Box.
As you know I love to create recipes with different products, if I love them I love to showcase them with you all. So here are 5 ways I have loved using the Nut or Hemp Mylk…
But first a little bit about the the peeps behind this amazing biz….
Heidi Peuten and Vasia Vogias are the founders of Ulu Hye and their signature product Nut Mylk Base. Nut Mylk Base is a concentrated nut milk, allowing people to make fresh nut milk in the comfort of their home and in only 1 minute. 1 jar makes 10 litres of milk, reducing landfill of 10 cartons, minimising the damaging effect on landfill that long life cartons are currently contributing. Nut Mylk Base and Hemp Mylk Base use Australian Certified Organic ingredients, where possible, and has been holistically created bringing a dairy alternative that is not only better for you but better for the environment.
Founded in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Heidi and Vasia created this concept with a strong focus on health and sustainability.
Both Vasia and Heidi would go through cartons of non-dairy milks per week and were disturbed by the amount of waste they were contributing together. As a result, they created a Mylk Base that they could then add to water, blend and enjoy as a delicious non-dairy milk whenever they wanted. With backgrounds in business and naturopathy, the duo decided to share their passion for health and the environment, through launching products that can contribute to reducing our overall carbon footprint on a global level.
Five ways I have loved to use their Nut or Hemp Mylk…
1. To make bliss balls. I just added a few tablespoons to my favourite cacao blissball mixture. YUM 😋.
2. In smoothies. I just mix in a teaspoon of the hemp or nut Mylk base and just add my favourite smoothie ingredients with some filtered water.
3. In my daily coffee. I make up a few litres of Nut Mylk in the fridge so it’s good to go. Today I made an iced latte with it. Delish!
4. To add to my overnight oats base mixture.
5. In our favourite meals. Here I added it to our daily pancakes and also made healthy Mac and Cashew Cheese.
I received my Frankie 4 Nat’s in the mail a few weeks back and they were all wrapped up in tissue and arrived in a matte black box. I have been wanting to try these shoes out for a while now. So when the postie delivered the goods, he certainly got a fright when I cheered out loud when I signed for the package. I wanted to take them out the box and team them with a floaty dress but the reason I choose them, was for work. Being a Registered Nurse and being on my feet all day I was yet to find the ultimate comfortable shoe, well that was until I met my Frankie 4 Nat’s. Instant LOVE. My feet wanted to marry the shoes, haha seriously though.
It is a requirement at work and work health place and safety, that we have a closed in, easy to wipe down, preferably navy or black shoe to go with our uniform. So I decided to go with the Nat, black on black style. Some of the Nat’s features are that they have a Podiatrist & Physiotherapist designed Dual Density Polyurethane Sole. They are extremely lightweight with durable outer sole, and softer midsole. Perfect for travelling or a day on your feet at work. When I work on the ward, I am constantly lapping up and down to the treatment room or medication room, but when I work in the theatre as a scrub/scout nurse I am standing in the one place at a time, while the patient is undergoing their surgery. So I need a shoe that can cater to both parts of my career. Plus I park a little way from the hospital and I walk into work to. So the shoes get lots of use.
I have always had extremely achy feet at the end of my shift. My arches have a constant dull ache and my ankles always feel tight. I have a broader foot too and I am a in between size. To be honest in the past I haven’t really shopped around or got fitted for a good shoe for work, and always just go up to an 8 rather than a 7.5 which is my correct size. Since wearing the Nat’s my arches haven’t ached once. The shoe has arch support padding and extra heal padding which I personally think has stopped my ankles from feeling sore and tight at the end of the shift. I also choose the half size, 7.5, so my shoes feel more comfortable, fit me properly and don’t slip or stretch when I am walking in them. I loved that Frankie 4 sent out a pack of inserts with all of their enclosed shoes too. I used the HALF-LENGTH FOOTBED – Wide Fit. Like I said I have a wider foot and I feel that this insert caters to my feet more than the other ones did as it allowed me with a little more breathing room.
I will defiantly be recommending the shoes to my colleagues to, as nurses we all tend to talk about how sore our feet get. I’m thinking of getting a second pair to wear with my summer dresses and shorts as I think they team up well together.
Frankie 4 also offer a 10% off deal for all health professionals. All you have to to is click on the health professionals tab on their website and it describes the details.
Milkmaidmumma is a beautiful online retailer + wholesaler who create pretty handmade bamboo reusable nursing pads and they also stock Eco accessories from around the world to help make mumma and their Babes lives a little easier and safer.
I connected with the gorgeous ladies Sara + Anna from Mamma Baby Care when I was pregnant with Winter Rose. The girls are Scandinavian Australian women who were good friends and became mummas around the same time. Sara and Anna are from the Northern Beaches of Sydney. After many walking dates and mummy catch ups the girls decided to create a double breast pump that was not only top of the range quality but affordable to the every day busy mumma.
I am extremely open about my breastfeeding journey. It hasn’t been everything I wanted it to be. At the beginning I had over engorged boobies which got quite painful. Then my supply went low when I started training. So I started pumping and taking lactation goodies from @milkandcookiesbyjewels to increase my supply. It worked a treat. After 3 months our little darling had only gained 500g. So I got some advice from an LC and a GP.? We gave it a little more time and I took some natural breastfeeding supplements like fenugreek and blessed thisile to increase the calories in my milk. Still Winter Rose only gained a little and was always hungry.
So we decided to give her formula one bottle a day. I give it to her either in the morning and try to give her EBM in the late arvo from a bottle. I love breastfeeding her to sleep in the evening.
So now I pump, breastfeed, sterilise bottles and formula feed. Haha! We got this though. My little girl is now thriving. She is so happy in between feeds. That’s what we want. Fed is best!
I love the Mamma Electric Double Breast Pump because it’s perfect for the everyday busy mumma. You can pop on the pumping bra, attach the pump and sit down why you express the milk quickly and efficiently. If you are wearing their pump bra you can do it hands free. So its perfect if you have work to do or a coffee to sip on. It has a timer on it so you know how long you been pumping for. I know I will love this function when I hear back to Work as I will know how long I can pump for on my break. The pump can be used as a single pump to, its super easy to switch between the double and the single function. The pump also has a 2-phase expressing feature. This feature gives you the option to switch between the massage mode (that stimulates and relaxes your breasts to start the milk flow) and suction mode that mimics your baby’s natural nursing rhythm. The pump has super soft silicone breast shields to ensure a comfortable pumping experience. The machine itself is so quiet too, so if you are pumping in the middle of the night your other half can still sleep or if you wish to pump in private say at work or at a event it’s very discrete.
The pump is cost effective. Only $249 for a quality electric double breast pump and the pumping bra. Seriously fantastic value for money, other electric double pumps on the market can cost up to $400-$500.
The Mamma Double Electric Breast Pump is defiantly a pump I would recommend to other mums. It has so many great qualities and I have only listed a few today. Stay tuned as in the next few weeks I will be interviewing the girls from Mamma Baby Care for my #behindthelabel segment too.
The ladies at Mamma Baby Care believe in giving back to the community and proudly donate 5% of all their sales to Forever Projects, who actively helps saving lives of little ones in need. All donations from MAMMA will be used directly to purchase lifesaving formula for babies in need through the Forever Projects team.
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.
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.
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.
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 Topand Essential Bamboo Maternity Pantstogether 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.
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 Mummaproducts are kind to your wallet and are really reasonably priced, making them a perfect baby shower gift for any expecting mumma.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A neutral cuddly companion teddy or animal for their newborn to snuggle up to. Doubles as a comforter at nap and bedtime.
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.
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.
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).
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.