Boston & Winnie are just about to venture into the wonder world of food, where did the last 5 months go! Lucky for them they have Mother’s that are serious foodies.
Infant nutrition is crucial for supporting optimal growth and development. Think about this for one minute.. choosing foods for your infant can either prevent a disease or feed one. Now, that sounds serious, but we actually have the power to influence our children with fuel to set them up for a healthy life.
I am damn proud of my body and what it has achieved. I have grown two beautiful babies for 9 months during pregnancy, laboured and birthed them and breastfeed them both (still going with Winnie). The women’s body is amazing right?
Jennifer Horner is a stunning photographer from Brisbane, Queensland. She shoots maternity, newborn, family & children and motherhood sessions. I feel very lucky to have crossed paths with her. I met her during my maternity photoshoot, she was so down to earth and so easy to work with. Jennifer is an incredibly gifted woman and I am so blessed that she was able to capture some newborn photos of our darling Winter Rose.
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.
Since I will be experiencing my forth trimester soon and I have a lot of mumma followers that are pregnant, I have asked for some nutritional information and some basic survival technicques from naturopath Shannon Stokes from Mums and Bubs Nutrition Clinic. She is a mum herself to two littleys and has survived (just) the 4th trimester twice.
Take it away Shannon…
The journey to becoming pregnant is a magical one. Its either a ‘surprise’ I am here type scenario, a long awaited and joyous time. The journey itself is nuts! Pregnancy is a whole other kettle of fish, a completely natural yet unnatural experience. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant and just being pregnant is an insane journey, and that is just the beginning.
You are a mumma! Congratulations, baby is here you have been through a marathon of hurdles, a tonne of happy gas, 9 epidural attempts, a vacuum delivery, 12 different hands up your clacker at once, an episiotomy or 9th degree tear. You now have that little bundle of joy in your arms. Perhaps you are feeling those kooky love spell feelings straight away, or perhaps you think, oh jesus what have I done? All totally normal feelings. I remember thinking oh, he’s not very cute, in fact he is a bit strange looking and gee my vagina is killing…. me where are those frozen condoms at, all in the same breath!
… All of that aside, baby is here and it’s a whirlwind few days in the beginning.
How does one survive through this sleep deprivation? The healing of the whole birth thing is one thing, but then perhaps breastfeeding is hurting like a bugger and you have grazed nipples or sterilizing a bottle seems to take forever and a day at 3am. You aren’t alone, this period is earth shatteringly exhausting, scary and exciting all rolled into one. Cue the 4th Trimester! So mumma, whilst we learn to look after this babe ( I am happy to leave that to the never ending advice from the mum tribe, in-laws and experts) I am here to help YOU make some tiny changes in your day to keep you thriving.
It starts with you and ends with you. Everything else in between is that tiny babies’. Upon your first morning wake up, (ok, so the first moment you get up for the day) refresh your self with a big glass of filtered water, and take a deep breath. That’s it for now. No matter what is happening, this is a must! Then tick it off daily as it is non-negotiable.
Below are some of my favourite 4th trimester survival guidelines for all new mums and even dads.
1. Do NOT stop your multi, infact this is a time to ensure your nutritional status is up with that of the very best it has ever been. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding.
2. Eat foods rich in good fats, think avocado, coconut oil, nuts seeds, oily fish such as sardines, salmon, qood quality extra virgin olive oil drizzled on eeeeeevvvverything.
3. Make sure you are having macronutrients with each meal and at least a palm size portion of protein at each meal. (macronutrients are the essential nutrients needed in large amounts to sustain energy and basic health. The 3 macros are Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates)
4. Take a quality probiotic daily
5. Don’t focus on trying to lose the baby weight, give yourself a break.
6. Ask for things, I wish I did this more with my first. Ask for help! (you can’t get away with asking for washing to be folded and home cooked meals to be dropped when they are 3.. dammit)! Even ask for a box of nappies to be dropped off. Use that ‘new mum’ thing a little..
7. Say no! if you aren’t up for visitors then say no, if you aren’t up for your cousins and nephews coming over and running a muck, just say no, but don’t feel guilty or think twice about it, they will understand…. And If they dont then.. meh… they will get over it.
8. Accept that some days are bad and some days are good, ebs and flows ladies, mountains and rivers.
9. Spend 5 minutes a day with your legs up the wall, relax those hips and lower back, take 10 deep breaths. (Again, non-negotiable)
10. Spend 10 minutes a day minimum outside in bright morning day light to ensure your body knows its day time and to help regulate those sleep /wake hormones
11. Don’t feel guilty, if you want to look at your phone while feeding bubs, do it. If you want to stay in bed, do it. If watching Oprah is your jam, do it, indulge a little and enjoy doing it. Stop feeling guilty. Guilty feelings radiate negative energy. If it has been a few weeks in a row then, maybe ask for a little help from a loved one and reach out if you are doing it tough… remember its all of those crazy hormones doing crazy things.
12. If you aren’t coping, reach out. You will be surprised to know that a lot of mothers find the fourth trimester insanely hard. No matter who you are, how together you think everyone is, its not the case. Speak up and your tribe will answer.
Enjoy those long loving stares into your babies eyes, explore their features and be fascinated with the whole process.. this too shall pass and then all of a sudden it’s a Tuesday night and you are writing about how to cope through the 4th trimester to a friend in need. Everyone struggles and if you think that its all too much, please reach out. It does get easier and it does get better. Trust me, I never thought I would see past the sleep deprivation either.
Thank you so much Shannon for your time if you wish to contact Shannon or learn more about her, her details are as follows.
I actually cannot believe I am typing the last blog of the Alice In Pregnancyland series. (for now haha) I remember chatting To Tahlia about collaborating with me for the #bumpstyle shoots and now here we are at 37 nearly 38 weeks finishing off the bump series. I have really loved building a friendship with Tahlia from @wyldefolkstudio_ while we did the photoshoots she is such a kind hearted person. I now have a friendship for life with her. Not to mention how blessed I was to collaborate with so many gorgeous labels and maternity brands. throughout the 9 months. A huge thank you to everyone that followed the series and continued to send through such beautiful feedback. Big Love to you all.
The last few weeks I have been on a emotional roller coaster. I have been so excited to meet the little one, I have had mum guilt with my one on one time with Cruzie, I have cried happy tears and I have cried god knows what tears. To me having a good cry really does help me just let it all out, breathe and then let it go. All these new emotions feel like it’s my heart is expanding and I am ready to meet our new little one now.
I finished up work at 36 weeks. Best decision as I was going to work to 37 weeks, the heaviness of nursing and being on my feet got to me a little. So I am so glad to be on maternity leave. It feels so different not having to go to work again.
I have been making the most of my time with Cruzie too. I have been taking him to singing and reading at the library, reading and extra snuggles at night time, park hangs and babycino dates. I am loving being off work with him again.
Everyone has been asking how Cruzie has been? Does he know? I think he knows a change is coming. He won’t let anyone rub my belly but David, he pushes their hand away or pulls my top down. We brought him a little dolly and he has been kissing it, changing its nappy, pushing it around in a pram. It’s so cute to watch. I think he will be a great big brother.
I keep telling myself that I need to slow down as my body is tired, but its true “nesting” is a real thing. I keep thinking of new things to do and clean. I forget to rest and I am on the go all day. Then I have the worse braxton hicks and back ache in the evening. So I should listen to all the advice and just put my feet up. Haha easier said than done though. Plus entertaining my little man. He sleeps well in the afternoon so I should just lay down then and watch some Offspring on tv. Maybe tomorrow? haha.
I went and seen my midwife for a 36 week scan and check up. The cheeky bubbas legs are sitting frog legged but the head is right down there. I keep thinking in my head that the baby will be here early because Cruz came early but I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I discussed my birth plan and what I wanted. My birth plan is to have a natural birth, hopefully not be on the monitor like last time, have a bath or hot shower, use essential oils and just have David in there. David is my rock and he really did help me through the breathing techniques last time. I do still feel anxious about the birth experience and labour but I am just trying not to think about it, what will be will be.
With eating I have been a bit all over the place.
I wake up so hungry and have to eat before I go for a walk. For breakfast I normally have smoothies or protein pancakes. Thats its the I just swap it up between the two.
Then for snacks I have almonds, nuts, apple or a bliss ball. Sipping on so much raspberry leaf tea to ha.
Lunch is lots of greens and a source of protein or a chia sourdough with cheese, figs and cucumber sandwich or the same combo on rice cakes.
I am obsessed with Bolognese at the moment with zoodles (zucchini pasta), I am addicted love it. I also love white fish or salmon with greens for dinner, I have gone off all brown rice and sweet potato probably because my belly already fills so fall at night.
Cravings – organic milk chocolate from Flannerys Health Shop … YUM!!!!
Walking 30-45minutes around the block (filled with hills) but very slowly as I get pelvic pressure. I put my podcast on and enjoy the metime I love it. Makes me feel better. I love doing about 20-40 push ups daily on the kitchen bench and 20 squats on the shower too. About 3 times a week I use my little 2kg weights and do a little arm workout too. If I have having an exhausting day I just don’t exercise at all. Maybe just do a stretch. The last week I have really slowed down, but thats okay, my body needs the rest.
So besides loose boho styles and a few tight comfortable maternity dresses I have been living in maternity leggings and a jumper. Argh so comfy. I do love dressing up the bump, but I feel my wardrobe has become very limited and don’t really want to add to it till the baby is here.
For this #bumpstye shoot I wore a dress I purchased for a hens day a few months back. Its called the FAWN WRAP DRESS and I brought it from the @theselfstyler online. Guess what they just restocked it too. You can buy it HERE. Its perfect to take you through your pregnancy journey and will be great for breastfeeding too. Its not actually a maternity dress but it should be its so comfortable.
Tahlia and I decided for the last bump photoshoot we would find a beautiful spot with long grass (secret location) and invite David and Cruz to come along for some family photos. We had a lovely afternoon watching the sunset and Tahlia came with her family too, so nice. I hope you all enjoy the photos.
This weeks #showtherealyou girl, is someone I have been fan girling over for a while now. Her name is Tahlia Aubusson. If you are not already following her then you should as I know you will fall in love with her as much as I have.
Tahlia runs her Instagram account @housewifestyle and a beautifully, raw, written lifestyle and motherhood blog.
Tahlia is a loving wife to her husband, a gorgeous mumma to her beautiful daughter Ambria, a singer, a self proclaimed for house and fashion, a writer and a photographer. I believe she is also one of the most kind hearted people I follow on social media. She has the most beautiful photos on her Instagram page but her words of honesty truly touch so many hearts.
Put your feet up, make a cup of hot cocoa and take 10 minutes to know the gorgeous Tahlia Aubusson AKA @housewifestyle…
Favourite Hot drink?
Hot chocolate, sadly I am not a coffee drinker.
Who is the Real Tahlia Aubusson?
I am in my element at home, i am such a homebody. I love rainy days where I can get all cosy inside and watch a movie with my husband and daughter Ambria. My true passion is singing and song writing, another reason I love being at home, this is what I do in my spare time. I consider myself quite funny and I’m always the one to make my friends laugh, I absolutely not not care if I make a fool of myself in fact ill do it just to make other people happy, I am down to earth, easy to talk to and genuinely just want to help and connect with others. I am all about uplifting other women and have absolutely zero tolerance for any individual who tries to intimidate or discredit another person, if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything to me at all. I have the most beautiful marriage and I am so blessed to truly live each day with my soul mate, James, he is 100% my best friend whom I love indefinitely. I am fiercely loyal to the beautiful people in my life, once you are in my circle I will support you and defend you no questions asked. I LOVE being a mother and can honestly say I haven’t had one day that I haven’t absolutely loved being Ambrias mother. I hate the gym but I love competitive team sports! Up until I had Ambria I had played rep soccer all my life, I also used to dance and sing professionally in stage shows across NSW. My life now revolves around raising a beautiful human being and immersing myself in my work and passions in my spare time. I have a successful home beauty business which I open 2 days a week (Monday & Tuesday) and I am thankfully booked out in advance. I love having those 2 days to work hard to be able to contribute financially to my family whilst still having the rest of the week free to be with my daughter. If I was to describe myself I would say I am arty, I love my photography, styling, fashion and music, I am a softie, though sometimes I can be head strong I will easily cry. I am happy with the simple life and it will always be enough despite me wanting to always grow and improve I am so thankful for the life I already have, I am a huge animal lover and have 2 dogs, I love food way to much and I’m constantly at war with myself over the amount of my chocolate consumption. I am happy, grateful, fun and honest and believe everything in balance, except maybe chocolate.
Could you please share a day in the life of Tahlia?
Our average day starts by me being woken up from Ambrias chattering in her cot, its the best and sweetest alarm clock ever. We always start the day by playing, ill chase her up the hall to change her nappy, we will put music on and have a dance around while I make her breakfast. We always go daily to buy fresh ingredients for dinner, after our grocery shop we will go for a walk to meet friends at the park for morning tea, I luckily have lots of friends with toddlers so we are always having play dates, I always park on the opposite end of town so i have to walk to get groceries, to the park and then back to the car. During the week Ambria has lots of different activities, kindy gym, swimming, mothers group and now she has also started 2 days of day care and ballet. On the days she has day care I work from home doing my singing, recording, blogging and the good old house work… someone has to do it, I have also started dedicating one of those days to doing something relaxing for myself like getting a massage. Afternoons james will come home and spend time playing with Ambria, we will usually cook dinner as a family and 50% of the week we have friends over for dinner, our home is the hub to all my friends.
I love fashion, photography and styling so wanted a place where I could showcase my passions and use it as an artistic outlet. I wanted to connect and form friendships with other mothers to benefit from their experiences. I also wanted to build a platform for me to share my upcoming music. I believe having these social media platforms has helped me maintain my passions and identity since becoming a mum.
What do you think attracts women to your social media platforms?
My page is full of prettiness but my captions and words are full of heart. I love being able to showcase a visually beautiful page that gives people and insight to who I am whilst maintaining a rateable and very real aspect through sharing real feelings and experiences that make people laugh or cry. I try to always respond to every single enquiry or comment for a more personal connection and have made beautiful friendships along the way by doing so.
What advice would you give people wanting to start a blog?
Only do it because you enjoy it, make it for you before you make it for someone else. I started this journey because its an outlet for me, I enjoy the calmness I get when writing and the excitement I get when taking photos, I love it! A following will come naturally with persistence, creative content, heartfelt or interesting words and passion. Dont give in to gimmicks and want quick success, you wont build a genuine community by doing so, be patient, be yourself and just enjoy doing your own thing.
Favourite Quote or Mantra to live by?
“ Be yourself, people don’t have to like you and you don’t have to care” I love this because since my early teenage years I’ve had more stones thrown at me than a witch in the 17th century! I let it hurt me so badly that for many years I had no clue who I was, who I wanted to be, what I was doing wrong or why I was a target, now as an adult I know the answer to all of those things, I am confident and content with who I am and I don’t apologise for it, i embrace it and share it with others, if they are not accepting I truly do not care.
What is something you practice daily in relation to self love?
When getting dressed I’ve stopped picking apart my body, I now focus on how my outfit looks, not my size or figure, I actively tell myself positive things and don’t focus on my flaws. I buy clothing that is flattering on me and makes me feel good,I learnt what style suits my shape and accept the way I am. I am constantly reminding myself of whats important in life and prioritise what matters. every night I will finish my day with gratitude, no matter how stressed I am ill lay in bed and think about all the things I love about my life, all the things that make me happy, whats important and whats not important and very quickly the things that had been niggling at me making me feel insecure and quickly become insignificant.
How often do you move your body?
Ill be honest here, this could use a little work. I try to go for a walk most days and will do small home work outs while Ambria sleeps, it makes me feel so energised on the days that I do make moving a priority and if you are an anxiety sufferer like myself its so important to make some form of exercise a part of your daily routine.
Favourite items of clothing in your wardrobe?
Can I say two?? I cant decide!!!! Id have to say my flowy elegant Zimmermann dresses and my casual comfy Spell Designs dresses! All are my favourites lol.
Favourite Mumlife moment you wish to share?
How on earth do you pick a favourite mum life moment. There have been so many that have filled my heart with so much love that i never knew existed. From her first smile, first steps, first hug, her crazy dance moves and bursting laughing its hard to pick one favourite but one thing that makes us smile and laugh every single day is when james comes home from work he will yell from the door “Fee Fi Fo Fum I smell the blood of an Aubusson” and Ambria will squeal and run with excitement, james and Ambie will wrestle and tickle for half an hour of huge giggles, its the highlight of my day.
A mumlife moment where you have felt overwhelmed?
For me this was probably before Ambria was even born. I suffered multiple miscarriages and recently shared my personal story about this on my blog. I guess my whole pregnancy with Ambria was a very stressful time for me and I had many moments where I cried hysterically from fear and anxiety. I am so blessed that she has been a dream baby, allowing me to heal and have a beautiful transition into motherhood letting go of sadness.
Do you make time for a date night? If so what do you get up to?
Luckily James and I get to have an uninterrupted evening together most nights, when Ambria goes to bed at 7.30 we will always sit down and have dinner together and talk, usually followed by watching an episode from a series we are hooked by. We actually prefer doing things as a family on the weekends but every so often my mother will take Ambie for the night and we will get dressed up and go out for a nice dinner just the 2 of us. Most weekends we have all out friends over for a get together, whilst we are not alone its still adult time we enjoy together and of course we still ALWAYS have a snuggle at night!
I first met Bec at White Bohemian when I was working in store. She used to come in store as a customer and one day we really got chatting about her passion and that is naturopathy, yoga and meditation. This naturally beautiful woman glowed health to me, and I was always so interested to know more about her lifestyle.
When Bec decided to start her Instagram I was so pleased as she shares so many useful holistic health and wellbeing tips, her knowledge about yoga and meditation and some delicious nourishing recipes with her followers.
I was so over the moon when she said yes to being apart of my #showtherealyou feature as I know you will love knowing more about this holistic goddess too.
Sit down and put your feet up. Enjoy the interview with Rebecca Carr AKA @becbodymindspirit
I am super excited (as I am a huggge fan girl and I have major style envy… eekkkk), to introduce you all the stunning and ever so stylish, Ellen Robins AKA @thestylistmama
Ellen is the founder and voice behind her fashion + lifestyle blog and social space – The Stylist Mama. In this space she explores her fashion trends and obsessions, motherhood, favourite products and the unique places of Brisbane she loves to visit. In addition, this babe she is the partner of Australia’s leading hair stylist Dmitri Papas, and the mother to their gorgeous mini babe Sophie (she is an absolute cheek squeezer, so cute). I absolutely love how she leaves her own personal signature and touch on all she writes and shares with her followers. In my eyes Ellen follows her own rules and really interacts with her audience, giving them what they love while remaining true to her style.
I have only met Ellen once before at a Babes and Picnics event in Brisbane, hopefully we can have a play date with our little babes again soon.
So ladies, put your tootsies up, sip on your tea and take 5 to read this weeks #showtherealyou babe …
Favourite hot drink?
My fave hot drink is defiantly a peppermint tea! I hate hot coffee, so not my thing haha- so a tea is perfect for me! Can you tell me who the REAL Ellen Robins is?
For sure! So I am Ellen Robbins, and the #realme is pretty cruisey, actually very cruisey. I am a hairdresser and makeup artist by trade, so I suppose I am pretty creative as well, but to be honest I think I am just a mad perfectionist who is obsessed with hair and beauty haha!
I am the mother to our darling Sophie (18m) who was a happy accident, and my lover/ partner Dmitri is also a hairdresser! We live a pretty relaxed lifestyle but we are both workaholics (which is why I started blogging, because I became SO bored being a stay at home mum!!)
I live in Brisbane but am originally a beach bunny from Noosa!! I simply adore the beach and living that summery life, secretly I would go back tomorrow but we just can’t with the business we have here (which is totally cool, holidays for life!)
Tell me about a day in the life of Ellen?
Gosh, so many different things happen in one day for us, but generally…
We wake up at about 6am, get Sophie sorted and fed, I am a morning person so I tend to do all our day to day chores pretty early!
I try to escape to barre in the mornings most days which is AMMMMMAZING, so good for you and your mind.
Once I am home, generally speaking these days we have some kind of child friendly activity on in the morning (play group/ swimming lessons/ kiddy gym/ play dates ect)
Then after lunch I am home for the rest of the day, such a nanna (!!) but it SO works for us! In the afternoons, I meal prep, return emails, blog, check all my social media, play with Sophie, get ready for tomorrows activities etc…. BUSY BUSY!! Then in the evenings I am so relaxed and tend to do nothing haha!
What drove you to create your Instagram account/business @thestylistmama?
To be honest, like a lot of other mummies, I was bored! I also didn’t have many girlfriends who were in the same boat as me, so I felt like I wanted a friendship group who I could rely on without having to physically meet up every week (like a mothers group) I started it as a bit of a mummy blog, but it wasn’t really my jam. I didn’t have that much to talk about on the child front because Sophie was so easy, so I restructured my whole blog and mindspace and directed the blog more towards MOTHERS which has increased traffic incredibly and changed my whole outlook which has been really positive! What do you think attracts women to your site?
I think I am a no bullshit person in real life, so the blog is really honest but its fun and professional. I don’t blog for anyone else except myself and find it a great outlet to offer advice and info. I am SUCH a chatty person, so being able to create lots of content on the things I am so passionate about seems to work with my audience of fashion loving women!
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/business?
I heard this quote the other day: “So many people give up right before the finish line” and its so true! I have thought to myself so many times, why the hell am I doing this?! I used to feel like I was wasting precious time and energy, but slowly (verrrrrrry slowly) and surely it came to fruition, and I am so proud of where I am today. It’s a slow burn, so be read for disappointment but don’t let it dull your shine.
What is your favourite quote or mantra?
Ooooooh tough one!! “Quit hiding your magic, the world is ready for you.” How often do you find the time to move your body?
I try to move everyday! I used to be such a gym bunny, but over the last year I couldn’t be bothered to be honest, and so I got into barre and pilates which I am absolutely hooked on!! It’s my one luxury that I do for myself. I think I go about 4 times a week!
My partner and I also go to boxing on Sunday mornings, so romantic haha, and of course, Sophie comes too! Favourite piece of active wear in your current wardrobe?
New tights! I had a bit of a meltdown a while back because all my pants were so stretched! Good old Cotton On had lots of sales so I have a much brighter draw of tights now! What is something you practice every day?
Patience! I am such a quick, impatient person- ask anyone! So these days, I am much more patient and resilient- especially when dealing with a little human who is just learning the ropes 😉 You are a mumma to the gorgeous Sophie (so beautiful) how has being a mumma changed your outlook on life?
Thank you, she’s cute, but definitely has a cheeky side! Motherhood has changed me completely! You have no idea until you actually become a mother, how deeply you change. Maybe not on the outside so much, but I have so much more love for women in general- who balance work, family, friends, husbands, home life- everything!
What does self love mean to you?
Being real. Not getting caught up in all the material stuff, having real friends who support you and can chat with any place any time and it feels like forever. Having a loving partner who is there with you through thick and thin, and just loving who you are. Like actually loving yourself. Being confident in your own skin, knowing your flaws but fucking those off- because you’ve got better things to worry about. Not being worried about other people, and just being optimistic about YOU! (to feminist?? haha) Favourite pair of shoes in your wardrobe?
Eeeeeeep, I would have to say my sneakers at the moment! (Seriously, who am I?) But I have been wearing them so differently at the moment! Out for dinner with a pretty dress, and to events with leather pants and a oversized shirt. Love the versatility!
This weeks #showtherealyou feature is the gorgeous founder of “The Fit Mummy Project”, Mrs Kimberley Smith, AKA @kimmyfitsmith. Kimberley provides other mummas with complete wellness and fitness guide, which preaches beauty, fitness, happiness, health and self love. Kimmy is a mumma of two gorgeous girls, her girls also share the same big smile as their mum (it totally infectious).
Kimberley is an absolute goddess, I know you are going to love this interview with her. She certainly inspires me to live a life of simplicity, promote self love and to be at peace with my body. She just radiates positive energy.
Please put your feet up, sip on a cup tea and enjoy this weeks #showtherealyou…
MRS KIMBERLEY SMITH
Favourite hot drink?
I’m obsessed with Pukka Teas at the moment. I have so many favourites. I am loving the Liquorice and Cinnamon blend for a sweet treat after a meal and the Relax Blend to help me unwind at night time.
Actually – what am I saying – I LOVE coffee! I’m trying to cut down at the moment to give my adrenals some much needed rest, but coffee just makes everything more fun!
Can you tell me who the REAL Kimmy Smith is?
Oh gosh! Big question. I am still trying to figure this one out myself. I think that I am pretty authentic – what you see is what you get with me. But in saying that, I have had so many labels over my lifetime, I was a corporate lawyer, I was a professional Netballer (I played netball for the NSW Swifts and was a member of the Australian Diamonds Netball Squad),I was a business owner and most recently I am a Mum. A large part of the last two years for me is trying to strip back those labels and re-discover who I am without having to pigeon hole myself.
I think that the real ‘me’ is the person I am being when I feel happiest. At that is when Ryan and I are together and playing with our girls. I have never felt more myself than when I am with my girls. Being a mother is the most beautiful and challenging thing I have ever done. I have two daughters. Allegra is 4 years old. She is a beautiful little girl who is just so kind and caring. And so mature! She is such a Mum already! She has 10 dolls who are all her ‘children’ and she takes care of them every day. Samara is my youngest who is almost 2. She is just pure cheekiness. I love the spark in her – it’s a real challenge to let her have the freedom she needs to cultivate that spark and at the same time stop her from causing some serious damage – both to herself and to everything we own!
My husband is Ryan (we started dating in high school!! I wanted to go out for 3 months so we would be considered a “serious couple”! 17 years later – I think we are pretty serious!). We were married in 2008 and I just feel so lucky to have him.
So family is super important to me, but there is also this huge part of me that is always asking for more. To me, that ‘more’ is my health and my work.
I need to take care of myself. I am getting better and better at really listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I spent a huge part of my life (I am 34, so I would say I spent close to 32 years) just pushing my body. Demanding that it perform day in and day out. Always asking it to work harder. Now I am at a point where I don’t want to push myself so much anymore. I want to be able to honour my body and live in a more cyclic way. Taking rest when I need it and working hard when I am feeling energised and vibrant. So being healthy and taking care of my health on all levels (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) is a huge part of the ‘real me’.
My work is also a huge part of the ‘real me’. I am so passionate about what I do. Becoming a Mum was the most inspiring and emotional moment of my life. They say that when a baby is born, so too is the mother. And that is what I felt like. The moment Allegra was born, so too was the mother in me. And I have been growing into this role for the last 4 years. I think when Allegra was little, I really tried to pretend that nothing in my life had changed, except for the fact that now I had a baby. So I pushed myself to get my fitness back. I pushed and deprived myself to get my ‘body back’ and I worked myself into the ground trying to prove a point. I wanted to prove to myself more than anyone else that I could still do it all, even with no sleep and even less energy.
When I was pregnant with Samara, I just knew that I didn’t want to treat my body that way again. I didn’t want to feel so depleted. I wanted to stop valuing myself by how much I could ‘do’. I wanted to realise that my own wellbeing was worth prioritising.
So I began to really stop and think about how I really wanted to feel. About the type of life I wanted to create. And about how I could begin to accept the fact that everything about my life had in fact changed.
Initially how I wanted to feel was beautiful, fit and strong. Those three words became the start of the Fit Mummy Project which is my complete online guide to post natal fitness and wellbeing. I wanted to help to show other Mummas that we can create the exact type of life we want for ourselves and for our families. That we shouldn’t try to get our ‘bodies back’, but instead, we should be creating beautiful, fit and strong new bodies.
I wanted to create this community of fit, strong, healthy and happy Mummas that are really taking control of their health and happiness.
Tell me about a day in the life of Kimmy?
No day is really the same for me! So this was my Monday last week which is probably more like a typical day for me.
6:30AM Wake and do my morning routine which I call my 3 M’s.
Meditation. I do a 10-15 minute guided meditation. I love the app Insight Timer as it has so many free guided meditations. So I will chose a morning meditation and listen to that in bed with my headphones in.
Movement. I do around 10-15 minutes of movement. Normally this is a short yoga flow to wake my body up and stretch out and tightness that has accumulated over night.
Motivation. I read a little bit and do a little writing. My morning journalling always includes:
Setting my intention for the day.
Listing my Core Desired Feelings.
Listing 3 things I am grateful for today.
Setting 3 mini-goals for the day.
7:15AM The girls normally wake around this time. So I make them breaky and quickly sneak out and grab a coffee before my husband leaves for work!
7:30 – 9AM Normally the girls play and I just eat my breaky and just try to get the house organised for the day.
9AM Drop Allegra to Kindy. She goes to Kindy two days a week.
9:30AM Mums and Bubs. I train around 6 beautiful Mummies at my house. It’s a bit chaotic, but I think that they really enjoy it. We have around 6 Mummies and sometimes up to 8 babies. I have a baby sitter who comes and minds the babies. I focus on a mix of toning Barre style exercises, strength work and a little hit of fitness at the end of each session.
10:45AM I’ll take Samara to the shops and park and get our groceries for the week and she can have a little play. Maybe a sneaky second coffee.
1PM I have lunch with Samara at home and put her to bed.
1-4PM As soon as I put Samara to bed I do 20 minutes of guided meditation. And then I try and get as much work done as possible during this time! I am pretty disciplined when it comes to my work. I don’t get distracted easily. I listen to brain.fm which is binaural beats that help your brain to be uber efficient. They help me to get into that flow state. If I can achieve the 3 things I set out for myself that day, I will also try to do around 15 minutes of Barre style toning workout.
4PM We walk to pick Leggy up from kindy.
4:30PM The girls and I play. Or sometimes they are happy playing together without me and I do a little reading or have a cup of tea for as long as they are happy playing without me. Which is normally around 4 minutes max!
6:00PM Start getting dinner ready. Do the whole dinner + bath routine.
7:30PM Start getting my and Ryan’s dinner ready. Ryan generally gets home around this time.
8:30PM Samara goes to bed! Exhale! We watch a bit of TV. I am loving Big Little Lies at the moment!
9:30PM Leggy generally falls asleep around this time. I have a cup of tea and do a little night time routine of yin style yoga stretches and rubbing essential oils on my temples and wrists to start to wind down.
10PM Bed. I try to read a bit of my book. I normally get one page done and then I’m fast asleep!
What drove you to create your Instagram account/business @kimmysmithfit?
I guess for all the reasons I mentioned above. But also because, to me, Motherhood is a time of huge change. Our bodies change, our work arrangements change, our relationship with our partners change and often our values change. Many women take the view that amongst all of this change, they should try to feel and pretend like nothing has changed. They should get their body back straight away. They should exercise the same way that they used to, they should have the same values and push themselves to work as hard as they used to and achieve as much as they used to.
I want to help women to understand that this is an incredible time for growth. I want to empower women to begin to step into their strength and femininity. To step into their roles of mothers and begin to create an amazing life. Not try to get their old life back, or their old body back, but to create a beautiful, fit and strong new body and a happy and healthy new life as a family and mother.
What do you think attracts women to your site?
Motherhood is an incredibly demanding time. It is easy to lose our sense of self amongst all the obligation. In some ways those early days of motherhood are like the perfect storm.
We are sleep deprived, our bodies are exhausted from the process of giving birth and growing a whole human. Our bodies also still look around 6 months pregnant which doesn’t do wonder for our self esteem. We have all this change going on around us, we have huge expectations of what motherhood should be like and we have zero time to really reflect on all the changes that have occurred. We also have all this mother guilt seeping into everything we do.
I try to speak really openly and honestly about the difficulties of motherhood but also about the joys of motherhood. It is an amazing time and I feel so special and privileged to be able to raise my girls. Sometimes we feel guilty saying how awesome it is to be a Mum. We feel like we are showing off. But I think it’s great!
When I am writing about a challenge I have faced during my journey as a Mum, I always try to include a takeaway. Something practical that each woman can take away and incorporate into her own life.
At the most basic level, this is often a workout that they can do in their living room or at the local park. A simple series of exercises designed specifically for the post natal body that will help her to feel better about her body, shift some energy and hopefully get into a better mental state.
But I also want to help to open women up to a whole new level of self enquiry. Finding exactly what it is that makes her happy and then having the self-worth to go out and make that happen.
What is your favourite quote or mantra?
I have so many. I am constantly saying little quotes mantras to myself.
I constantly say to myself “I am love” We always have a choice, to act out of love or to act out of fear. Fear sounds really dramatic, but it can be as simple as gossiping about someone because it makes us feel included. It can be as simple as keeping an argument going because we are too ashamed to admit we are wrong. It can be something like not ever taking a break because you are scared of what will happen if you aren’t always ‘doing’. So this helps me to come back to myself and chose to act in a more kind and loving way.
Not that I get it perfect, I often am acting from a place of fear. The work one is a huge one for me!
How important is it to you that you find the time to move your body?
You know what I’m going to say here right!! Super important! Movement is one of the most simple things you can do to feel good. Moving your body, even if just for ten minutes a day can have such a significant impact on your mental health and your emotional health. And if you are after physical results, it really does just take 10 minutes a day of consistent exercise.
Consistency is the key.
I think we have been duped into believing that movement needs to be really complicated or hard core. It doesn’t. The best movement for you is what you enjoy. The Fit Mummy Project and my website seek to take away all the excuses that normally come up for Mums. Lack of time, lack of motivation, not sure what to do, not sure where to start, no equipment, no energy.
Whilst we are recovering from birth (which for most women is generally a 6 month period although we normally only give our bodies 6 weeks!) there are definitely some forms of exercise that aren’t good for our bodies. The postnatal period isn’t a time to prove a point or push our bodies to the extreme. It is a time to honour the incredible job our bodies did to bring a child into this world. That is why I always recommend to see a Women’s Health Physio who can assess your beautifully unique body and help you to learn what exercise will be best for you during that postnatal period.
Can you tell us a little more about The Fit Mummy Project?
The Fit Mummy Project is the complete online guide to post natal fitness and wellbeing. It is broken down into two guides, the Exercise Guide and the Nourish Guide.
The Exercise Guide helps Mums to return to exercise in a safe and positive way. It contains over 50 post natal exercises with step by step instructions as well as over 20 safe and really effective post natal workouts. You can start the workouts from as early as 48 hours after a natural birth and then progress all the way to around 18 months post partum. There is heaps of great info from Women’s Health Physio Lyz Evans on pelvic floor and core repair as well as a lot of great tips on how to return to exercise in a way that is going to energise you rather than exhaust you.
The Nourish Guide is a recipe and wellbeing book rolled into one. It is all about taking really good care of your health in a very simple way. It has over 40 simple healthy recipes that Mums can make really quickly and with pretty basic ingredients. It also has tips for surviving and thriving as a Modern Mum. Little life hacks such as meditation for the modern Mum, dealing with sleep deprivation, how to stop competition with your partner over who is more tired!
The Fit Mummy Project is the Guide that I wanted after I had my girls, and I couldn’t find exactly what I was after.
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/Instagram page?
If you are setting it up to grow into something more than a hobby then I would really recommend being crystal clear on your “why, how and who”.
Why is it important to you to share this message? Why are you so passionate about this topic? How do you want to feel when you are writing and sharing? How do you want others to feel when they are reading your words. Who do you want to read your stuff? Who do you want to touch or inspire with your words?
This will help you to become very clear on the type of messages your share and it will also help you to be authentic and consistent.
I think that starting a blog / instagram page is a really empowering process. It is like starting a micro-business. You can test things out, see what resonates and what doesn’t. You can find your voice and really start to develop your message. The more I write, the clearer I get on exactly what my message is.
Also, I think that it is important to remember that online relationships are just like real relationships. You need to give them time and you need to be respectful.
Oh and one other thing – don’t compare yourself! You can definitely get a lot of inspiration from the people and accounts you admire, you can respect the work that they have done, but if you start constantly comparing yourself you are going to lose all the joy you get out of creating and sharing your work.
What is something you practice every single day?
Yoga and meditation. I do some form of yoga and meditation every single day. I can feel myself becoming more and more the person I have always wanted to be and it because of my yoga and meditation practice. Some days are amazing and I feel such a shift in my happiness and my stress levels. Other days aren’t so good. I spend my whole meditation thinking of things I have to do. But I think it all counts – it all adds up.
What does self love mean to you?
I think it means a lot of things. I think that the precursor to self love is self acceptance. Being able to accept our whole self. The good and the bad. Our light and our shadow. Once we can accept all of ourself, then we can being to really show ourselves the love and respect that we deserve.
To me a few of the things that self loves means include slowing down enough so that I can hear the messages my body is sending me. As women, I believe we have a deep intuition. We know deep down exactly what it is we need, but often, we are so busy achieving and getting things done, that we don’t ever stop and listen. When I slow down, I realise what it is that I truly need right in that moment. Self love is also then hearing those messages and then valuing yourself enough to follow through. So self-love might mean realising that you need rest, and then valuing yourself enough to cancel a night out, or say no to an opportunity so that you can give yourself exactly what you are craving.
Perfect date night with your man?
We don’t get too many date nights! We had a night away by ourselves earlier in the year. It was our first night by ourselves in 3 years, so that was pretty special. I’d do that again for sure! But not too soon, I miss the girls too much! Such a shocker.
Can you share with us a perfect #mumlife moment you have had with your gorgeous girls?
The other day they both refused to have a nap. I was exhausted, so I took them both upstairs and we lay in my bed together and watched Beauty and the Beast. Allegra loves gentle tickles and Samara was tickling her leg. I would have bottled that moment if I could have. Seeing them be kind and loving toward each other just makes me feel like we must be doing something right.
One struggle you would like to share as a mumma with others?
Oh gosh, so many. My biggest struggle was probably finding my sense of self as a Mum. I felt really lost after I had Samara. I think I finally realised that I was a full on Mum. I spent a lot of time really discovering what it was that I needed to feel happy and fulfilled as a woman and as a mother. And then I spent a lot more time trying to find the balance between taking care of myself and taking really good care of my girls.
Day to day the biggest thing I struggle with is being present for them. I am working on putting in place better boundaries so I’m not constantly ‘mashing’.
P.S. Mashing is a term created by Jacqui Lewis in the book Mothers’ Mind Cleanse. It’s an amazing read and when she refers to mashing she means when you try to multi-task but actually you just lack presence and awareness in everything you do.
What did you have for dinner last night?
Chickpea fritters and a super simple salad of rocket, feta, walnuts and avocado. Plus a few little treats! A glass of Rosé and some raw chocolate brownie! Amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing Kimmy! I look forward to what you have in store in the near future. Want to get to know the gorgeous Kimmy a little more?