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Things to buy before baby arrives.

Stocking up before the baby arrives is a great idea!  The less stress the best – when you get home you just want to drink in as much as you can of that bundle of joy!

Items to stock up on for the house hold before the baby arrives
Things to stock up on before the baby arrives.
  1. Pet Food. Stores easily & doesn’t go out of date quickly, so watch out for good specials leading up to the birth.  I also wrote out a very specific feeding guide for Penny – much to my Father in Laws delight (he thought the detail was hilarious). But we had a couple of people helping out with Penny so I wanted to make sure everyone knew what was going on!
  2. Hand Soap/Sanitiser – you want everyone to wash their hands before the touch that bundle of joy you will need extra.  And you will be washing you hands constantly with all those nappy changes – so stock up!
  3. Wipes – So many wipes. It will take you a while to work on your technique just stock up so you are ready to go.  6 months later I still haven’t bought wipes!
  4. Panadol – for you and the baby (after 4 weeks) you don’t know when you will need it so it’s best just to have it. Better safe than sorry.
  5. Snacks – you’re exhausted and people will keep coming over. Nuts, muesli bars, a batch of bliss balls, crackers – stuff you can grab out of the fridge or pantry with one hand while your holding a baby who doesn’t want to be put down.  I once ate a packet of strawberries and cream lollies for lunch because that was literally what was at the front of the pantry.  And if people offer to bring stuff over – ask for fruit (easy to eat with one hand fruit)
  6. Frozen food – Dinners that can be put in the oven. Crumbed chicken and chips is not a nutritious dinner – but when you are exhausted that crumbed chicken out of the oven will be easy and possibly the most tasty thing you have eaten that day!
  7. Toilet Paper & Tissues – because you don’t want to run out of the necessities.  Anything to stop running to the shops.
Paddy and his teddy
Paddy doing his ‘Blue Steel’

Anything else that you were glad that you had stocked up on before your baby arrived?

 

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

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

I made this for the first time, last night. It was amazing, straight up! Ha I’m so modest, but seriously you will want make this over and over again, I even finished my bowl before my husband. I was in “can’t talk must eat” mode – it was that good!

The ultimate chicken pasta bake
The best Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked diced chicken (BBQ chicken, grilled, steamed)

1 onion diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon oil

2 garlic cloves

600ml cream

200g sliced mushrooms

250g chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)

250g cream cheese

250g pasta

1/2 cup grated cheese
METHOD

1. Boil water and cook pasta to your liking.

2. In a large fry pan – melt butter, oil  and cook spinach (if frozen).

3. Add diced onion, garlic, mushrooms and spinach (if fresh).

Chicken and spinach pasta bake
The spinach, mushroom, garlic and onion cooking.

4. Add cream cheese and cream, bring to boil and then turn down to low.

chicken and spinach pasta bake
Add cream to spinach and mushrooms.

5. Stir through chicken and keep on low.

6. Drain pasta and add to sauce.

7. Pour pasta into casserole dish and top with grated cheese.

8. Bake at 180 degrees for 10 -15 mins until cheese is melted.

9. Enjoy !

Chicken and spinach pasta bake
Baked and ready to eat!

2016

 

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?

xx

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 – cottonon.com

Home decor
28 AUD – cottonon.com

Home decor
kmart.com.au

Home decor
kmart.com.au

Floral Fragrances | Glasshouse Fragrances
60 AUD – glasshousefragrances.com

Typo | Cotton On | Stocking Fillers
18 AUD – cottonon.com

Metal Lantern Green
kmart.com.au

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!

 

Summer Dreams

Summer Dreams

 

Summer Dreams by monaandolive featuring clear glass tumblers

Rug
110 AUD – amazon.com

Folding garden chair
400 AUD – orvis.com

Crate and Barrel vintage outdoor lighting
68 AUD – crateandbarrel.com

Woven picnic basket
110 AUD – chairish.com

Martha stewart serveware
54 AUD – macys.com

Bar tool
85 AUD – selfridges.com

Home Decorators Collection clear glass tumbler
34 AUD – homedecorators.com

Sur La Table ice tea jar
27 AUD – surlatable.com

Crosley Radio Furniture music home decor
110 AUD – nordstrom.com

Adventure Awaits – a baby boy nursery

Adventure Awaits - a baby boy nursery

 

Adventure Awaits – a baby boy nursery by monaandolive featuring word wall art

Word wall art
140 AUD – lampsplus.com

Wall art
18 AUD – amazon.com

Canvas home decor
urbanroad.com.au

Peek-A-Boo Cloud Wallpaper (Blue)
120 AUD – kohls.com

IKEA HENSVIK Crib, white
130 AUD – ikea.com

Upholstered arm chair
975 AUD – allmodern.com

Wilko Coloured Bunting 3.6m
2.18 AUD – wilko.com

HEMNES
645 AUD – ikea.com

Home Office Inspiration

Home Office Inspiration

 

Home Office Inspiration by monaandolive featuring ESSEY

OKA floral decor
$53 – okadirect.com

ESSEY office accessory
$18 – connox.com

Trestle kitchen table
bassettfurniture.com

Home storage furniture
$465 – dwell.co.uk

Moroccan leather ottoman
$135 – zocohome.com

Gemstone pendant
$485 – mattblatt.com.au

DIY buffet – how I made this!

How I updated this buffet…

The buffet before and after
The before and after buffet

Since moving into our new house, there has been a couple of things that we have wanted to do. But as most people we don’t have endless money but also CJ and I have very different tastes, which makes agreeing on stuff very time consuming! So we decided to have a wall off! Cam gets one wall and I get one wall to style and buy things for, in a budget. More about our “wall off” later but today I’m going to show you how I painted and updated this wooden buffet I bought from EBay. I paid $200 which CJ thought was excessive but once we picked it up he agreed it was a pretty good price for the size and quality of the piece!

Buffet diy
Buffet before makeover

So first step was I to pull it apart. The drawers and doors came off. The drawer pulls also came off so I could paint easily around them. We left the hinges on because they were brass coloured and so I sprayed with black with the paint/primer.

Next we needed to sand it back – we had brought a primer and paint in one. But the buffet still needed a light sand so we sanded it back with 80 grit sand paper by hand. The top of the buffet was only going to be varnished not primed and painted so for that I got out the electric sander with 80 grit sand paper and sanded it back until no shine was left – it took a couple of goes but otherwise the stain would never of took.

Buffet top
I used an electric sander to get as much varnish off as I could.

I then used the spray paint/primer to spray the sides and the front of the buffet ready for the turquoise paint. I used Rustoleum Ultra Cover Paint and Primer in black and used 2 cans for the whole project. (at this stage I was contemplating leaving it black, I really liked it, but thought it would blend int the wall too much)

DIY buffet half way
The buffet primed and ready to go!

I mixed 1 tablespoon of plaster of paris with 1 tablespoon of water to make a paste. make sure its smooth before you add the paint.

DIY Buffet paint
Chalk paint being mixed

Next I added about 1/2 cup of paint (I used Dulux Riveria Sea) mix well – it makes the paint a lighter shade so just be aware.

Aqua Chalk Paint
The paint mixed with the chalk mixture

Next I finished painting the buffet – but I left the top with out any paint or primer!

The buffet nearly finished, aqua paint done
The buffet nearly finished, aqua paint done.

Allow to dry!

Stir the stain for the top – I used a brush to apply and did two coats – making sure all brush strokes were going with the wood grain. The instructions on the the tin said to leave for 5 mins, but I left it on a lot longer – like 4 hours. I think this is because I didn’t sand the top back enough! Once the top stain was set to touch I sealed with a clear sealant.

Cam then helped me re-assemble it and screw the door back on etc and move into the front lounge room! I am still deciding on if I will sand back parts of the buffet to let the undercoat come through – what do you think? The wall behind is still a work in progress, I need to update our photos with some new ones and add some things to the top of the buffet to dress it more but so far I am really happy with how the buffet turned out!

The buffet completed - maybe still deciding on the sanding?
The buffet completed – maybe still deciding on the sanding?
The buffet before and after
The before and after buffet
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