throwback thursday ... those newborn days

This week my baby girl celebrated ten months of being here earthside with us. Seeing how much she has grown and how quickly she (and in turn life) changes got me all sentimental and thinking about those first few days when Harper was just a newborn.

You have probably read my birth story already (if not you can read it here) but what I didn't touch on was that first week following Harper's birth and probably because it went by in a crazy blur of late night nursing, visitors, and more visitors. But amongst all the chaos there were the beautiful moments, just the three of us, so in love and ready to take on this new stage of our lives. 

As Harper was born so early, she stayed in the nursery for the first night so she could be monitored and kept on a feeding tube. I remember at the time feeling so upset that my baby wasn't in my room with me for the first night of her life, but looking back now it was a major blessing in disguise. I was able to shower and have a great night sleep and then woke up the next day feeling fresh and so very excited to see my babe.

After Harper was released from the nursery we spent the rest of our days and nights in hospital going by the three hour rule - feeding, snuggling and then putting Harper down to sleep for three hours before waking her to complete the cycle once again. Amongst this we literally had over 50 people come to visit (I'm not even kidding) so time just flew.

Some of my favourite moments were seeing my husband hold Harper in his arms for the first time, the first time we bathed Harper and she completely relaxed in the water, watching her fall asleep so content after a big feed and then the best of all, bringing our tiny little bundle of love home. She was so small in her car seat and Matt was so scared driving home way under the speed limit. I remember having a moment where everything felt surreal and I just couldn't believe how lucky I was.

That newborn bubble is the most amazing place to be in, and while it didn't last long, I absolutely treasured every minute.

xx G

family getaway

We recently went on the most beautiful family getaway to Busselton, a little town two hours south of Perth.

Even though we were only away for a few days, it was the perfect amount of time to recharge and connect, all the while creating precious family memories.

Leaving early Friday night, I had packed a picnic dinner which we ate on the car ride down. We usually just get take away when we arrive, but I didn't know what the traffic would be like and I didn't want to keep Harper waiting too long for dinner! It worked out perfectly as by the time we arrived, Harper was overtired and grizzly so we quickly unpacked and then had an early night! All you other mama's will agree that there is nothing better than an early night!!

On Saturday we drove into Dunsborough for coffee and then went on a long walk by the beach and through the town centre. Dunsborough is a gorgeous little town full of organic cafes, beautiful boutiques and a weekend farmers market. After spending the morning there, we decided to drive through Yallingup and visit a few wineries. Our favourite wineries in the area are Aravina (more on that below), Sandalford, Swings & Roundabouts and Wills Domain.

We also visited the Margaret River Chocolate Factory and the Dairy Company - fun for kiddies to visit too!

In my opinion, Aravina is one of the best spots down south! It has a huge fenced in playground for the kids to run wild, a beautiful "cucina" where you can buy locally made fresh produce, a gourmet restaurant, cellar door with amazing wines, a gift shop (where I always manage to find something pretty for myself) and the most amazing vintage car display! The gardens are out-of-this-world pretty and my favourite time to visit is in Summer when the hydrangeas are blooming. Definitely worth a visit next time you are in the area.

After we had finished at Aravina, we drove to Bootleg Brewery for lunch - another family friendly hotspot with a playground and a huge pub-menu.

Finally after a long morning, we headed home for an afternoon at our hotel, where I relaxed in the bath while hubby took Harper for a swim in the pool. I made a grazing platter for dinner, with all the fresh produce we'd picked up that day and we watched a movie before another early night. Bliss!!

We usually head home early on Sunday but decided to go into Busselton for Sunday brunch instead. We then started the long drive home, stopping at Bunbury Farmer's Market on the way to do our weekly grocery shop. If you've never been to Bunbury Farmer's Market it's worth the drive. It is absolutely packed full of the most amazing fresh, local produce. You can buy everything from your fresh fruit and veggies, cheeses and desserts to gourmet meals, amazing meat, fish, chicken and homemade bread. All of their ready made meals and produce is actually made on the premises, all using local produce. I wish there was a store closer as I would shop here every week if I could.

All photos by me. Harper's hat and ruffle cardigan from Best & Less. Harper's broderie white top from Next. Harper's broderie ruffle bloomers from Country RoadMy hat $10 from Target. My dress from Dwell & Slumber. Matt's grey top from JeansWest

I always feel so refreshed after a weekend away. It's just so nice to spend quality time with Matt and Harper without being pulled away to clean the house, cook, pop out to visit family/friends etc. It always puts things into perspective and helps me to see how lucky I am to have a wonderful husband and daughter - family really is everything.

My top tips for road trips / weekend getaways with are a baby:

  • Plan to be on the road when bub would normally be sleeping - keeping them in routine will make the whole holiday easier
  • Bring lots of snacks for the road to avoid having to stop too much
  • Try and use nap times to go for walks or drive to your lunch destinations. We would always make sure we were driving during Harper's nap times as she sleeps really well in the car. This meant that we had to individually go into the cheese factory so one of us could watch Harper sleeping in the car, but at least she was well rested and happy when we go to lunch!
  • Break up the day with lots of play time for bub
  • Don't expect to do what you used to do before you had kids! Lower your expectations and just try to plan one thing into each day that you really want to do. When we used to vacation down south we would pack our days full with wineries, coffee, lunch and dinner out, with walks and shopping breaks in between. As much as we would love to spend the whole day out, it's just not feasible with a baby so as long as we have one meal out, we are happy to take it easy and go with the flow, fitting in activities around Harper's wake times.

If you know of any other great places to visit in the region I would love to know! We regularly holiday in Busselton so all tips would be greatly appreciated.

xx G

what harper wears ... spend vs save edition

I'm a firm believer in spending your money in some places and saving in others. When it comes to Harper's clothes, I do a bit of both.

Bow from eBay, cardigan from Best & Less, leggings from Country Road and mocs from Hello My Darling Boutique

Baby clothes can be SO expensive and yet our little ones grow so quickly. I choose to spend my money on pieces that will fit Harper for a long time and save on things that she will grow out of / wear out. 

I usually SPEND on leggings and rompers by purchasing a size larger. Given leggings are stretchy they can be worn both loose and tight, so I tend to get a lot of use out of these. My current favourite leggings and rompers to splurge on include:

Lulu and Milly Ballet Shoes Leggings - $32 (great quality and organic cotton material)
Country Road Gingham Leggings - $24.95 (so versatile and on-trend)
Mary Bobbin Folk Child Vintage Romper - $71.95 (currently on sale - this has an expandable waistline and four different strap length options so it literally grows with your baby)

I usually SAVE on tops and dresses, as I find I don't get the use out of these and Harper tends to grow out of tops quickly. Some of my favourite tops and dresses to save on include: 

Kmart Aqua Gingham Seersucker Gingham Dress - $10 (I tuck this into bloomers and use it as a top or put it over a pair of stockings)
Hello My Darling Fairy Tulle Flutter Top - $16 (currently on sale - perfect on its own for little babies otherwise pair it with bloomers, leggings or a tutu skirt)
Kmart Black Gingham Shirt Dress - $12 (so beautiful on and a transpersonal piece, I've added a vest and white tights for Winter but it looks equally as cute by itself with a pair of sandals)
Kmart Blue Stripe Seersucker Tank Top - $9 (not pictured as I just purchased this yesterday but another great top that would be cute tucked into bloomers or denim/white shorts)

What do you other mamas splurge and save on?

xx G