Category: Home Life

6 – 12 week baby routine – For awake babies.

If you are lucky like me, you might get a baby that doesn’t sleep! To be fair – Paddy did sleep at night – just not during the day. Which was good for my evening sleep, but not so great for getting anything done during the day.  So here is the routine that worked for us, we fell into this and tweaked it until it worked for all of us.  You can see that this routine was from 6 weeks – before that we winged it a little and as I said we ‘fell’ into this.  It took us a couple of days to realise Paddy wanted to be fed all afternoon/night and wasn’t that fussed during the day – so thats what we went with.

Baby routine for 6 - 12 week baby that doesn't like to sleep

4-5am – Feed (depend what time he woke up)

5-9am – Sleep

9-9:30 – Feed

9:30-1pm – Awake/Play

1-2pm Feed

2-4pm Awake/Play

4-4:30pm Feed

4:30 – 5 Bath

5 – 5:30pm Tummy Time and Story

5:30 – 6pm Swing

6 – 6:30pm Feed

6:30 – 8pm Quite Time

8 – 8:30pm Feed

9pm  Sleep

As you can see, we fed more often in the afternoons – this was baby led and help him sleep through the night with only 1 wake up at 4am.  He would often have a 1 x 20 min sleep during the day, only one nap would make him a little bit grumpy during the day.  We were lent a swing – this was a life saver.  We found that even if he didn’t sleep the swing (which also vibrated) made him relax to the point that he would have a cat nap (20 mins max) or relax so much he was rested and wouldn’t be grumpy.  At this age he only would sleep in his swing or in our arms so the swing was our savour, as soon as we put him down he would lose his mind.

We were pretty stressed about the not sleeping thing – we went to the Pediatrician but he told us that he found “smart ones normally didn’t sleep.”  Haha good one – I’m 100% sure he said that to all new mothers and changed it to be a sleeper or a non sleeper just to make us feel better!  But if you are lucky enough to get a non-sleeper like me then know you are not alone!


Here are some of the things that I did find to help him to have a nap

  • Vacuum cleaner (apparently sounds like the womb) Paddy would sleep so much longer when I was vacuuming and I would literally vacuum around him. Sometimes i would vacuum the house twice just to get him to sleep longer that 20 mins.
  • The swing – the only thing at the beginning that worked besides holding him.  Also handy if you have vibrate on your swing – amazing for babies with wind.
  • Muslin Wrap – Paddy has hated being swaddled since about 2 weeks old so we use sleeping bags at night.  But he is also a hot sleeper (would get super sweaty) so I didn’t like to put him in his sleeping bag during the day, but I found a light wrap over his legs does the trick – I don’t know why but he sleeps much longer with a wrap draped on him.  I understand this is a SIDs risk and so I only ever did it when he was being totally supervised but it helped.  I think he likes to touch and grasp something?
  • A dummy.  I’m not a massive dummy fan but a dummy is very helpful when the are grumpy from being over tired.  The sucking motion really relaxed him.

3 ways to build your milk supply

Milk supply, isn’t something that you really think about until it’s a problem.  For me it was a massive problem – as in it was non existent!  Unfortunately mostly you either have way too much or not enough! I really struggled mentally as I wasn’t prepared for it and I felt really guilty for not being able to supply my baby with what he needed.  He was losing weight, didn’t have any wet nappies and had a temperature.  Luckily I was still in hospital when all of this went down and I had a Lactation Consultant with me every step of the way along with a very supportive husband!  So here are 3 things that I have found to work well and I have done a ton of research, spoken to everyone I could & researched the hell out of – so this is what worked for me!!!

3 ways you can build lactation
3 way that you can help improve your milk supply.
  1. Galactogogues! Funny name but it basically means a substance that helps milk supply!  Exactly what you want – the 2 that are most highly recommended are fenugreek and milk thistle.  My naturopath and LC both recommended Fenugreek over anything else – I took this in combination with Milk Thistle.  Fenugreek I was taking 4 tablets 3 times a day (12 total) but the difference is remarkable.  I was pumping 2 ml at hospital (both sides combined 4 days PP) and after about a week at home it was up to 60 ml combined (after feeding).  If we have another child I will actually pack this in my bag for the hospital next time! Other galactogogues include oats and brewers yeast – both which I’ll talk about in my next point.  If you are interested in other Galactogogues I found this article helpful Common Galactogogues.

    Fenugreek and Milk Thistle – great for building milk supply
  2. Lactation Cookies – I used the recipe at Just Mommies you can get it here.  I added an egg to the mix because I like eggs! but it is not necessary. The oats and the brewers yeast are both galactogogues so be sure not to leave them out or substitute them.  I used just regular rolled oats from Coles but I bought the Brewers yeast from the health food section in our local chemist (FYI – it is not nutritional yeast).  If cookies aren’t your thing there a ton of smoothies & bliss balls on Pinterest. Follow me here.

    Lactation Cookies
    Lactation Cookies
  3. Motilium – I add this as a last resort as it is a prescription drug which is found to boost milk supply.  I was prescribed this by my obstetrician and I do think it worked however if I was to do it again i would take the more natural steps of 1 & 2 before I took Motilium. (but that is person preference.

Is there any that I missed or that you found works really well? Let me know so I can add it to the list!

13 Back to school lunches

Back to school, for me this year is a bit of a non event.  I’m not going back to school  – I still have a couple of months left to enjoy my Paddy!  But every other year I am normally still on a high from my new years resolutions to make better food choices or be better organised (there is definitely a theme to my life! haha) so I TRY to start the year strong!  This collection of recipes are aimed for both the parents and the kids so your not making two lunches! Keeping in mind that so many schools and day care centres are now nut or egg free, which is something I whole heartily support as my niece is anaphylactic to both nuts and eggs.  For some families it can seem a bit tricky to get your head around but for other families it is the difference between life and death of their child!  So I have made this list of 13 recipes – so hopefully you will find something that is suitable for your little ones and the requirements of your care centre.

13 Back to School Lunches and snacks
13 Back to school lunches and bread substitutes
  1. These delicious little savoury muffins – with vegetables hidden inside are from Roar Sweetly you can check them out here, and they are nut free
Roar Sweetly – savoury muffins

2. Frozen Banana Yoghurt Bites – Easy for the kids to help make and easier for the adults and kids to eat! From Eats Amazing these are nut and egg free, check them out here

Frozen Banana Yoghurt bites
Eats Amazing – frozen banana yoghurt bites


3. Cheddar Cheese Bites! OMG Yum, easy savoury snack that is cheesy what is not to love and egg and nut free! Check it out here from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Cheese Bites
LoveBakesGoodCakes – Cheese bites

4. PIZZA – YUM. Check out these pizza pinwheels with their own dough recipe! Egg free and nut free from – Butter with a side of bread. Recipe Here

pizza pinwheels
Butter with a side of Bread – Pizza Pin wheels

5. This zucchini slice is easily eaten hot or cold it contains egg but no nuts.  Check it out Zucchini and Bacon Slice

Easy Lunchbox Fillers
Quick and easy zucchini and bacon slice

6. Yoghurt Dots – such an easy idea that makes nearly into a treat! Check it out at One Good Thing by Jilliee Here and of course both egg and nut free!

Frozen Yoghurt Dots
One Good Thing by Jillee – Frozen Yogurt Dots

7. Something sweet and only 37 Calories!!! Brownies from Broma Bakery – check them out here – these are nut free

Broma Bakery – Brownies

8. No food processor needed for these great bliss balls – check these out here. These are egg free but do contain nuts, but you could swap them out for seeds.

lunch snacks
No food processor bliss balls

9. Healthy muesli bars which are both egg and nut free!!! Check them out at my clean plate here.

Muesli Bars
My Clean Plate – Muesli Bars

10. Hulk nuggets! Haha brocolli nuggets with only 5 ingredients. The perfect lunch snack, serve plain or with a little dipping sauce!  Check out the recipe here, unfortunalty this recipe does have egg but no nuts!

Broccoli Nuggets
Kannamma Cooks – Broccoli Nuggets

11.  Something that’s a little bit of a treat, and its Elvis’ favourite combination and as Elvis is my favourite also my favourite combination! This has unfortunately both eggs and nuts – but I had to include it – it was my moral duty! Check it out by Taste and Tell here.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bread
Taste and Tell – Peanut Butter and Banana Bread

12. Avocado and Corn fritters, delicious both cold and hot.  Perfect for dinner one night and lunch the next!  This recipe does have eggs but is nut free! Check it out here.

Corn and avocado fritters
Give Recipe – Corn and Avocado fritters

13. Good old Pikelets!  Always a winner and easy to make – this is my grandmother recipe always light and fluffy.  This recipe does contain egg but no nuts – check it out here

fresh piklets
fluffy piklets – fresh from the pan

If after all these suggestions you still decide a sandwich is the way to go then check out this list of sandwiches without the bread!  Everyday my mum would ask what I wanted on my sandwich and everyday I had a cheese sandwich.  Everyday of my school life, and then once I left school and started teaching it was the same – the tuckshop ladies joked that Paddy would come out holding a cheese sandwich – FYI he didn’t! haha but I know some people love sandwiches so here are some suggestions if your ever sick of bread!

Bread Alternatives
Bread Alternatives

Why I use RE-USABLE nappies

Re-usable or modern cloth nappies – what ever you call them I think they are great!

why you should use reusable nappies
Why you should use reusable nappies

I have to be 100% honest to start this post.  I never really set out to use re-usable nappies, it didn’t really occur to me when I fell pregnant and not something I really thought about, I was more interested in trying to get my babes name across the line (I didn’t win, I wanted Ari but we have Paddy!) or designing the right nursery (Here). So this is an honest account of  why we use re-usable nappies and why I recommend you do to!  So to start I was given a 12 pack of nappies as a gift from one of my best friends (nothing to do with the company – this isn’t sponsored – just true love), so that is how we came about to using them to start with – but now I am a total convert!

  1.  Its not that gross – When I pregnant and thought about changing nappies I thought number 3 and poo-explosions – the worse case scenario.  But it was/is rarely the case.  Yes they happen but honestly it’s a bucket load more 1’s than 2’s and whole lot less of the 3’s!  Using  re-usable nappies is exactly like changing a disposable nappy, so not any extra gross. (ps you get use to it very quickly)
  2. Bamboo liners – makes it uber easy peasy. When I use the re-usable nappies I normally also use a flushable bamboo liner. The brand of nappy I use Bonnibuns doesn’t require these at all. I only started using them because to be honest I was a bit queazy about re-usable nappies in the beginning – but they are so easy I continued using them.  You lift them out of the nappy and flush, the liquid goes into the nappy liner and solid stays on the bamboo liner and into the toilet!  I use these
  3. Easy clean – 1 load of washing a night with a dash of washing liquid. Nearly all re-usable nappies recommend only a small amount of washing liquid (about half of a normal load) so there is no build up and the liners stay super absorbent! With my nappies the shell is super quick drying but the liner takes a little longer (liner clips out) you can buy extra liners if you need to.  As I said above I use bamboo liners most of the time but when I haven’t and it was a number 2 I flipped as much as I could into the toilet and washed as normal (no pre-soaking needed just washing machine).  Once I dried them on the line I couldn’t tell which liner it was – so they wear and wash very well!
  4. Multi – fit so you can use these for 2 years (or however long your babe is in nappies!  Disclaimer: I did use new-born nappies.  Think of all the land fill you will save if you use re-aseable nappies! Bonnibuns come with snap clips which are super easy and clips last longer than velcro on other brands!
  5. They are Cute – if you have a summer baby like me, a nappy and singlet and away you go.  Heaps of different colours so you can match your singlet!
  6. Cost – I own 12 nappies (which I find more than enough).  I use on average 6 per day, and I still use a disposable at night.  Bonnibuns come with an extra liner for night time, but I have never used them as Paddy sleeps through and we have never had a leak with disposables overnight.  (If it ain’t broke – I’m not fixing it, or in this case making any changes to my baby’s sleeping patterns!) So I wash every night and I have 6 on the clothes line to dry the next day and 6 ready to go for Paddy) The original outlay is about $270, a box of Huggies is about $28 on special.  So a set of re-usables equals 9 1/2 boxes of Huggies! Trust me 9 boxes of Huggies isn’t going to get you through 2 years like a set of re-usables will.  And you can re-use your re-usable nappies for all of your children or neices and nephews.  Getting cheaper and cheaper ever time!  If you choose to use the bamboo liners they are about 10c each and a disposable nappy is about 40c, so still ongoing cost but as I said before optional and not necessary.

These are my best reasons why you should at least give them a go.  Most brands have trial packs that you can buy and see for yourself how great and easy to use they are!  Let me know if you love them as much as me!

why i use modern cloth nappies
Why I use re-usable nappies



I have said to before but I’ll say it again, I love the beginning of a year.  I know I’m a dreamer and if you wanted change you can make it any day, but a new year aways makes me hopeful and inspired – even at age 33 – anything is possible!

I always make resolutions and try to stick to them – I always like to blog about them to make me more accountable.  At first I would like to say 2015 resolutions did not go as planned! ha

But I tried and I truly believe that that is the main thing.  You can read about my resolutions here – I managed to be successful most of year, but not enough sewing, so I still have a ton of fabric!

Resolution 1
NY Resolution – drink more water

Resolution 1 – is still the same from last year and to drink more water.   I am a coke addict – truly.  I give it up, but somehow it always manages to get me back!  So drinking more water is two fold  for my health, more water! yay and less coke!

Resolution 2
NY resolution – to have better organisation

Resolution 2 – I have pretty terrible organisation. At school I like to think I am super organised but in my personal life – not so much!  I am always late and pretty unorganised.  I have got more organised since having Paddy but I have a long way to go.  First up is my house to be organised and I will work my way around my life this year.

What are your resolutions?  Do you find it better to tell people and get motivation or keep your resolutions to yourself?  I would love to know what your resolutions are or you a “i don’t need a resolution” kind of person?


The story of 2015

I love this time of year, makes me so hopeful for the new year and I love looking back at the last 12 months. 2015 has been a big year for me.  As most of you know we had a baby in September and since then, rightly so – life has not been the same.  But heading into 2015 it was a different story.  I started the year as a sad sack.

Christmas lunch at The Boathouse in Central Park
Christmas lunch at The Boathouse in Central Park

Sick of trying for a baby and emotionally drained from the experience, 2014 was full of disappointment.  I started off 2014 naive.  We started trying at christmas 2013 in NYC so I assumed first go we would get a home run and I would fall pregnant, i even waited until after Disney World so I could go on the rides – I shouldn’t of bothered waiting! Fast forward to NYE 2014 and we had been trying for over 12 months – which I know for some is a short amount of time but when you are trying it feels like everyone and their dog is pregnant instead of you.  Some people struggle for years to fall pregnant and to them I salute your ongoing determination to keep going.  Every period you get it is like reminder is painful, physically and emotionally that once again (in my case) your body has failed to do what it was suppose to.

For us, I had the problems.  My obstetrician discovered that I had PCOS and so I hardly ever (never) ovulated.  So I tried Clomid and was told after 6 months if that didn’t work I would need to have my tubes cleaned out – tempting!

So NYE 2014/2015, we stayed at home and I got all teary (as a do) that we should of had a baby by now.  Cameron being the amazing husband he is promised by NYE 2015/2016 we would have a ‘little one to love.’  4 days later we drove 12 hours to pick up Penny our beagle puppy.  Penny was going to take my mind of things, i had resigned to the fact that Clomid wasn’t working and I would have to have my tubes cleaned out around Easter.  Cameron then started planning our trip to Iceland in September another thing to take my mind off the no baby situation.  Penny surely did take my mind off things for those first couple of sleepless, peeing of the floor, nights.  So much so that when my period was due but it hadn’t arrived, we decided that it must of been the Clomid and lack of sleep.  Cue a week later and it’s Cameron’s birthday.  I did a test by myself I didn’t want to him to get bad news on his birthday so kept it to myself.  I did the test it came back positive – I ran to show Cameron and was actually speechless!

Penny being adorable.
Penny being adorable.

So within a week we got 2 little ones to love – Penny and Paddy!  So 2015 was really a great year – even with Penny turing out to be a tad more rambunctious than we had hoped and the morning sickness sticking around a little longer than I would like (17 weeks)  we had a lot of things to be blessed for.

Paddy as a newborn
The day Paddy was born

2015 definitely had some downs with the death of many wonderful people in our lives, and me not really being the natural at motherhood that I would of thought!  But overall a great year, and a lot of experiences that make the future bright!




Christmas 2015 – teacher gift list

Christmas 2015 - teacher gift list

Christmas 2015 – teacher gifts!

Pretty much everyone has a teacher to buy for – sometimes a lot a teachers to buy for, to thank them for their hard work during the year.  This range of gifts has a priced gift for every giver – and not a coffee cup or a box of chocolates in sight!  Teachers spend A LOT of their own money on making their classroom  prettier/better/more interesting for your kids so sometimes it is nice to buy something like the light box or pen holders to help out and save their own money.  But sometimes it is nice also to give them something for themselves – candles, movie tickets, vouchers, even a christmas ham! That helps them and their families celebrate! And if in doubt (from a teacher) wine, always wine!

Christmas 2015 – teacher gift list by monaandolive featuring metal stud earrings

Kitchen gadgets tool
14 AUD –

Home decor
28 AUD –

Home decor

Home decor

Floral Fragrances | Glasshouse Fragrances
60 AUD –

Typo | Cotton On | Stocking Fillers
18 AUD –

Metal Lantern Green

Our Adventure Awaits themed Nursery

Before we got pregnant we knew we wanted a blue nursery with clouds, it was set in stone. Planes for boys, hot air balloons for girls – Done! So that part was easy setting it up was the hard part – considering the planes and balloons we liked we saw in New Orleans…

This was our vision

boy nursery
Our baby boy adventure awaits nursery mood board

We had a lot of work to do to make it meet our vision, but we both are pretty happy with the end result, Paddy hasn’t really told us yet if he likes it! But all the other little people in our lives seem to think that he does!

We painted the room ourselves and CJ’s mum painted the clouds – you can see how she did that here

baby boy nursery
Paddy’s adventure themed room

Paddy grown so much he has started this week sleeping in his cot in his room! He no longer fits in the bassinet in our room, he is 8 weeks old so I had a good run (I did contemplate moving his cot into our room.) But Paddy loves his room so much he sleeps better in there, so there he will stay ;-(

adventure themed nursery
adventure themed nursery

Our cot, drawers and cubes are from IKEA

Our plane and hot air balloon are AUTHENTIC MODELS HERE

Map, cloud cushion, cloud light and aqua baskets are KMART

Dream big cushion is from TARGET

Artwork above change tables from big cousins <3

Paddy loves his cloud onesie
Paddy loves it when his onesie matches his walls!


The last 6 weeks

So 6 weeks ago on Friday something interesting happened – I had a Baby!!! So something more than interesting – amazing, beautiful, life changing. So i apologise if i have been off line.  Having a baby kind of trumps my little blog.  And I’m not going to lie having a new born isn’t easy!

Anyway introducing our beautiful Paddy

Paddy as a newborn
The day Paddy was born, back in our room

After being told he was a whopper and measuring 42 weeks at 34 weeks, he was only 6 pounds 13 ounces, or 3 kg.  But adorable, and now i just spend my days looking at him and feeding him and trying to make bargains with him about having a day time nap! (I may of already promised Disneyland!)

baby paddy
Paddy is our gift!

But he has been is worth all the pee, vomit and poo on me (which is daily) and then when he snuggles in like a little koala with that sweet baby smell and all is forgotten!  The last 6 weeks have been a blur, but it is totally with it, it just takes a while for the anxiety to calm down and you believe that you actually can take care of the littlest human you have ever seen that is totally dependant on you!

Paddy and his teddy
Paddy doing his ‘Blue Steel’

Baby Nursery Wall Mural DIY

For our “Adventure” themed nursery I have had a vision for a long time (long before I was pregnant) that I wanted a blue room with clouds.  It wasn’t until we went to New Orleans and found this store “A Simpler Time” that we both loved; CJ and I both agreed that we would have a nursery with sky and clouds and a if it was a boy vintage planes or if it was a girl hot air balloons.  So now that we are having a baby boy, enter the hunt for something similar in Australia!

So for a base we chose blue paint.  It is Valspar brand as this was the lowest VOC we could find.  We painted the two main walls in two coats of paint.  Done!

We then enlisted the help of CJ’s mum to help paint the clouds.  And by “help” I mean I told her what I wanted and I supervised while Cheryl got busy. We originally had bought a 500ml white, and 500ml grey paint, but really used 200ml tops of white.

First we measured the space that we wanted to write on to stay blank and then drew the cloud shapes on the wall with white chalk. Then Cheryl sponged on the clouds with a sea sponge, she said the most important part of this was keeping the sponge damp, don’t be heavy handed with the paint put it on a light as possible and layer it on.  (The sponge she used was a sea sponge from an art store – the kind they use for folk art in the 90’s – I was sceptical at first but the MIL was right!) This makes it easier for the clouds to look life like.  The paint is layered on to create the different shades of the cloud.  We bought grey paint to do the shading but didn’t use it as we both agreed that it worked fine without it, the blue underneath showed through enough to be the shading.

Once that was dry we moved onto the ‘Adventure Awaits’ wording.  I went to buy an OHT sheet from Officeworks but could only buy them in a 20 pack for $40 – so no.  So I started thinking what else I could you, really it just needs to be clear plastic.  I borrowed the OHT from school so I didn’t want to damage it, so I didn’t want to use a plastic sleeve, or anything too thin because I thought it may melt onto the screen.  I found a document protector, which was like a thick plastic sleeve at $2 for 1 – so perfect.

Once home, I pulled the document protector apart so I was only 1 layer of plastic thick.  I had free hand written ‘Adventure Awaits’ from some plain A4 paper.  Then using a thin sharpie I traced that onto the plastic.  I roughly coloured in the lettering so it would show better on the projector.  If you don’t have a projector to borrow check out how I have done this previously without a projector here

Quote copied onto the UHP sheet
Freehand quote from the paper copied onto the UHP sheet with a fine sharpie.

At night time I projected the saying onto the wall and traced them onto the wall with white chalk.  The white chalk worked well because it was so easy to clean off afterwards. The next day I painted the quote on with the white paint and fine white art paint brush. Once dry I went around the outside with a damp micro fibre cloth to clean any chalk off.   Done!

At night I projected the quote onto the wall and traced it out with white chalk
At night I projected the quote onto the wall and traced it out with white chalk


Quote projected onto the wall and then traced in white chalk.
Quote projected onto the wall and then traced in white chalk.
Painted Mural
Painted Mural
Penny helping me with the painting and looking adorable.
Penny helping me with the painting and looking adorable.
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