mama style

Being a new mum is all consuming, so much so that I tend to put myself last when it comes to just about everything. When I'm at the shops and I see a dress I like, I talk myself out of buying it, thinking I'd rather spend the money on an outfit for Harper instead. When Harper is napping, instead of spending some time on a quick DIY mani/pedi, I use the time to plan her play room or organise her upcoming baptism. I feed her before I feed myself, I plan my day around her routine and her needs are constantly on my mind.

I know being selfless just goes hand in hand with being a mama, but I have finally come to see that it is so important to prioritise myself too!

Step one in looking after me has been to clean out my cupboards and create a capsule wardrobe. I threw out ten huge garbage bags of old clothes and made sure I really loved every single item I kept. What I'm left with is a much smaller wardrobe, consisting of basics that really reflect my personal style.

My wardrobe is now made up of off-the-shoulder dresses, anything denim, stripey tops, chunky knits, tunics and leggings. Everything is colour coordinated in shades of baby blue, chambray, dark denim, blush pink, floral, grey, navy and black.

Cleaning out my wardrobe helped me work out where the gaps are - which meant it was time to finally go out and grab some new things for myself! I'm also currently breastfeeding which means all the picks below are feeding friendly! I often opt for off-the-shoulder dresses or slightly slouchier fits, so I can easily pull my top down or to the side to feed.

Dresses:

A new favourite is the Jessa Chambray Shift Dress from Tobi. I love this dress as it has long sleeves and is perfect for this in between weather we are getting here in Australia at the moment. When it is warm outside, I wear this on its own with a floppy hat, tassel necklace and sandals and when it is cooler, I pair it with a longline cardi and ballet flats. It is the perfect mama dress as it so easy to throw on in the morning and still look effortlessly put together.


I also recently picked up this Cold Shoulder Dress from Target which was a steal under $20. I wear this all the time to run errands and go for coffee dates and have even dressed it up for date night with pink earrings and lippy.


Another great find is the Mandy Off Shoulder Dress from Tobi which is so pretty and lightweight. I wear this during the day with sandals and a silver necklace and at night with tan heels and my LV clutch. I was recently in Bali for the Easter holidays and this was perfect to wear out to dinner and shopping with my sisters.


Knits:

The Yolanda Long Line Cardi from Forever New is a must have staple in any mama's closet. I love longline cardigans for winter - I always keep one in the car to throw on over a dress or jeans for an extra layer of warmth. They also work as a makeshift blanket for bubba if you forget to bring one while you are out and about!

Since the weather has started cooling down, I've been living in my Tahlia Tunic Sweater from Tobi. This combines so many of my favourite things - a beautiful soft knit, a gorgeous blush pink colour and the perfect tunic length (which covers the bum)! I mostly wear this with black leggings and ankle boots, but it also looks great with jeans and nude heels. This jumper is a relaxed fit and has a slouchy neckline which makes it perfect for feeding (I wear a singlet top underneath).



Leggings:

I first discovered these amazing Bamboo Leggings by Boody when I was pregnant and now they are a wardrobe staple for me. They are SO soft and comfortable. I wear them with tunic tops, knits and even as pilates/yoga pants. If you are pregnant at the moment do yourself a favour and buy a pair (just size up to account for your growing baby bump). You will not regret it.


Online

I'm sure all you other mama's feel me when I say it is SO much easier to purchase clothing online from the comfort of your own home. Tobi Australia (tobi.com/au) has an amazing online store with lots of mum-friendly items including tunic dresses, knits and cardigans for winter. I also love the Click and Collect option that Target and Kmart have as it means I can shop up a storm online and send hubby to collect everything a few days later.

Do you have any favourite online stores? What are your mama style must-haves?

xx G

DIY nursery ideas - clothing rack, wooden blocks, scandi decor

I thought I had finished Harper's nursery months ago, but after ordering a few more bits and pieces and rearranging artwork (which means hubby needs to patch up the walls - sorry!!!) I still have a little while to go before it will be complete.

And in amongst these changes, I have also started doing up a combined play room and office space that Harper and I can both use as she starts to grow older. 

So in the meantime, I thought I would share a few tips with you if you are planning a nursery or playroom, along with a few DIY projects I have tackled. 

OPEN WARDROBE

The first clothing rack we made was the shelf/hanging open wardrobe combo. To make this you will need a drill, a shelf and stainless steel railing. We purchased our shelf from Ikea (the lack shelf) and our railing from Bunnings (a towel rail which we cut to size). Simply drill your railing to the shelf and then drill the shelf into the wall! As you can see in the photo below, I have used this to display some of Harper's gorgeous little baby clothes and accessories.


SCANDI CLOTHING RACK

The second clothing rack we made was a scandi-inspired wooden rack with a fixed base. To start with, we purchased four lengths of 100cm wooden posts, three lengths of 80cm round wooden dowel and two lengths of 40cm wood. We just picked this up from Bunnings, but most hardware shops should sell something similar. If you look at the picture below you should be able to work out how to drill everything together, but by memory we did it in the following steps:

  • Drill the side pieces together (100cm lengths) about 10cm from the top forming a double V shape
  • Take your double V shape and drill the bottom of the wider, longer V into the 40cm post (two drills, on on either side of the V)
  • You should now have your two side posts
  • Drill an 80cm round wooden dowel into each of these side posts, forming the base 
  • Drill the remaining 80cm round wooden dowel into the two side posts, where the double V shape meets


FLORAL VINE

To decorate this clothing rack, I made a gorgeous floral vine using faux greenery and flowers. This was another super cheap and easy DIY. To make a similar vine, all you need to do is purchase a few lengths of greenery (you can pick this up at an arts/crafts store - I got mine from Spotlight here in Australia) and a few packs of small paper flowers. Try and purchase flowers that come with wire tie fixed to the back of them (again I grabbed these from Spotlight), but if you can't find any like this, just cut lengths of fine wire and glue them to the back of your flowers using a hot glue gun. Secure the two vines together using a piece of fine wire and then position your flowers along the vine. I think it looks nice when you use a few different colour and size variations - by memory I picked up three packets of flowers - one packet of large lilac coloured roses and two packets of peach and blush coloured roses in medium and small sizes. After you have positioned your flowers, simply wrap the wire around the vine to secure the flowers. If you will be placing the vine somewhere that your baby/child can reach, make sure you tape the wire down so there are no sharp edges. 

I've seen similar floral vines hung on canopies, across hanging shelves and even as a wall decoration hanging across a few wall hooks. 


PATTERNED BLOCKS

Another easy DIY I made are these gorgeous blocks. To make these, I simply cut out triangles of gorgeous patterned paper to match Harper's nursery and glued these on to wooden blocks using a hot glue gun. I used a pad of scrapbooking paper from Kmart but you could use offcuts of wrapping paper of even save up any birthday cards with pretty designs. 


FLORAL LETTERS

I don't want to bore you by saying this is "another easy DIY" but it truly is! All of the DIY projects I have completed for Harper's nursery can honestly be done in fifteen minutes - after all, us mama's don't have too much time to waste on arts and crafts!

To complete this project, you will need to purchase a plain wooden letter from your local craft store (again I grabbed this one from Spotlight), along with a few packs of paper flowers. You could also use faux greenery or fabric flowers, but I prefer the look of paper flowers for a project like this. I have also painted similar letters before (a tip is to use gold metallic spray paint from Bunnings if you want a metal-looking letter) but I wanted to leave mine bare to match the other wooden accents in Harper's nursery. You can be as creative as you want with positioning the flowers - and also with using as many colours and sizes as you please.


NURSERY TIPS

If you are in the middle of planning a nursery or kids bedroom, it can help to keep the following in mind:

  • Furniture placement - position your cot in the darkest corner of the room to help bubs with their sleep (our nursery is tiny so this was the only spot I could place the cot but if I had a bigger room I would have placed it further away from the door).
  • Baby/kid friendly - secure your furniture to the wall safely so bubs can not accidentally pull it over and hurt themselves. Also secure any prints or decorations to your shelves (or use the IKEA shelves which have an inbuilt slat to keep prints from sliding away). 
  • Cheap art - if you are on a budget, download prints from Etsy (search for downloadable prints) and print them off yourself. You can also use cheap clipboards to hang your prints or buy budget-friendly frames from Kmart and other discount department stores. 
  • Pinterest and Instagram - are your best friends! I looked at photos on Pinterest and Instagram for hours before deciding on my colour palette and took inspiration from the lovely Mrs Bouw (Tied with a Bouw) who had recently created a beautiful nursery for her little Teddie. Create your own moodpboard with pictures of all the nursery ideas and colours that inspire you and use these to create your own room. 
  • Pops of colour and pattern - I always try to keep the big pieces of furniture and home decor very neutral and add pops of colour and pattern in my soft furnishings. This way you can change things as regularly as you please! In Harper's nursery all of her furniture and shelving is white/cream/grey so when I get sick of the pink and mustard I can introduce a new accent colour. 



If you liked this post please let me know! As I said before I have made a few changes to Harper's nursery which I will share with you once it is complete and I am also half way through completing her play room.


xx G

teeny tiny newborn photoshoot

Looking back at these photos of our ten-days-new baby girl had me in tears. I can't believe how much Harper has grown and I just want to go back and relive those newborn days again so I can truly appreciate how tiny she was!

We had only been out of hospital a few days when Jem came over to our house to take these photos and I remember waking up and being so annoyed with myself for not booking in to get my hair and makeup done. I was exhausted after being up in the middle of the night to feed Harper (although I really can not complain, she was only ten days old and was already sleeping in 4 hour blocks) and could not think of anything worse than having photos of me taken in the tired state I was in. Lucky I pulled myself together and managed to pop on a bit of makeup as I'm so happy we have these beautiful memories to look back on.

I don't even notice the bags under my eyes or my puffy post-birth face anymore - all I can see is a blissed out mama who loves her family more than anything in this world.

xx G


All photos by Jemma Keech