Travelling with babes

I used to fly loads with Brooklyn and he was awesome at it. Thankfully, because it was usually just he and I, so it could have turned messy very easily if he turned into a toad. But lucky for me, 85% of the time he was great! 

Tomorrow is Marlo’s debut flight and Brooklyn’s first in probably a year (since he turned two and we had to pay for flights 😂). Brooklyn is so super excited, he’s at the age where he actually ‘gets it’, that he’s going in a plane. He asks every morning if it’s the day we’re going on the plane to Granny’s house (my parents are together but Brooklyn just calls it ‘Granny’s House’ – sorry Grandpa! Haha), tomorrow we finally get to say yes! 

My tips for flying with kids: 

  1. WEAR THE BABY: If you have a baby that can’t walk, or doesn’t just hold your hand and walk beside you… Highly recommend wearing them in a wrap/carrier of some kind. 
  2. TIE YOUR HAIR UP: If you’re anything like me, having your hair down all over your face and getting in the way, makes you hot and flustered. I know it looks nice out, but do yourself a favour and just tie it up. 
  3. SNACKS FOR THE TODDLER: Food. It’s the answer to everything. Snacks, water and lollipops. Not kidding. Pack them, if you need to bribe them to do anything then you will thank me 😉
  4. IPAD/TABLET/PHONE + HEADPHONES: Whatever floats your boat – let them have it if they won’t shut up. But do take headphones… The first time we flew, I made the rookie mistake of not taking any headphones. And boy, oh boy, was Brooklyn not impressed that he couldn’t even hear anything because of the noise of the plane. Fail! 
  5. NAPPIES + WIPES: I know this seems very obvious, but just a reminder – pack way more nappies than you think you’ll need. Your once a week pooper will likely blow out 4 times on your trip if you only pack 2 extra nappies. They can sense these things, I tell ya! 
  6. BOOB/BOTTLE/DUMMY: Or a combination of them all! Feeding a baby on takeoff and landing is highly recommended so that there wee ears don’t hurt. I know it’s mega awkward if you’re sitting next to someone you don’t know, the seats are super skinny and it’s not really easy to be discrete. But don’t worry about it, just do what you gotta do girl! 
  7. UNDER DRESS: You, not the kids. It’s likely at one time on your trip you’ll end up a bit frazzled… You don’t want to be frazzled and sweating up a storm too! So don’t wear too many layers.

  
How our trip went: The flight was amazing, Brooklyn was a total dude yelling “yeaaaah woohooooo again! Again!!” when there was turbulence 😂 And Marlo slept the whole time 👌🏼 Then there was Auckland traffic (grrrrr) which meant it took over an hour to get from the Airport to Whenuapai, and then a 2 hour drive to Whangarei. It was a long afternoon but the kids were great! 

I’ll be blogging Brooklyn’s wee party next so stay tuned for photo spam! 
J x

ALLERGIES – Ft Pure Goodness for Kids

We found out about Brooklyn’s egg allergy when he was about 6.5 months old and we’ve been basically an egg free household since then. We barely ever buy eggs, on the odd occasion we might do if Nare and I want a cooked breakie on the weekend, but for the most part we just don’t bother. We don’t have anything in the cupboards that Brooklyn can’t eat, so it makes it pretty easy at home. Only now, at nearly 3, have we starting introducing egg in baked goods (the protein changes when baked). And only on special occasions, too much too often and he starts getting eczema… so we just keep it just for things like birthday parties, where I don’t want to deprive him of cake 😉

There are loads of awesome resources out there these days for cooking/baking substitutes for most food allergies/tolerances. I commonly use oil as an egg substitute for things like cakes and cupcakes, and it always made them extra moist. I’ve heard apple sauce/puree is a great one, I’ve never actually tried it though. You can even use banana! I found my all time favourite egg free cookie recipe and we use the same one every time now, it’s on the Figs & Brie food blog. Even the husband makes it, it’s that easy!

I was approached by Felicity of Pure Goodness Kids a few weeks ago to see if I wanted to test out some recipes in her new e-book, of course I said “Yes please!”. Kids food is my jam! Well… kids food that the kid will actually eat, that is.

‘I started this cook book to help mums and dads who are constantly unsure of what to feed their children every day, especially those with food allergies and intolerances. I wanted to create a book with recipes that were simple and able to be frozen and prepared for the week.’

Sounds like a bit of me right there! I downloaded the book onto the iPad (when I could steal it off Brooklyn, did you know that was actually MINE once upon a time?!) which made it super easy to flick through. The first one that stood out to me was her ‘Breakfast Ice Blocks’. Brooklyn LOVES ice blocks, what toddler doesn’t?

Felicity’s recipe for these is dairy, nut, and gluten free! And she was lovely enough to let me share the recipe with you – lucky!

Ingredients
– 1 cup of coconut yoghurt
– 1 teaspoon brown rice malt syrup
– 1 cup of sliced fruit of your choice (kiwi fruit, raspberries, strawberries, etc)
– 1/2 cup of muesli (optional)

Basically throw it all together and pop it into some ice block moulds! Easy peasy right?!

I think the idea with this is to just use whatever you have at home at the time. We don’t have a dairy allergy so I adapted it slightly and just used Greek Easiyo as our base, with a bit of honey to sweeten it up. And we only had kiwifruit in the fridge (shopping is due to be done!) so I threw that in as our fruit. Plus a handful of oats! Da-done-done!

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Brooklyn’s thoughts: “Bit sour!” he reckoned! Darn it, I thought the honey did the trick! Note to self, don’t use greek yoghurt next time! He did go on to devour the whole thing after that though, so I call that a WIN!

Pure Goodness For Kids e-book is only $9.95 and is available HERE! IG: @puregoodnessforkids

Jx

ROOM TOUR – Brooklyn’s Room

If you follow me on Instagram then you will have already seen many photos of Brooklyn’s bedroom, but I thought I would share on here and add links to all the places where things have come from. My camera was in the room with a sleeping baby at the time and I’m sorry, but there was no way I was going in there to get it, so phone photos will have to do!

We live in Defence Force housing. They’re all pretty stock standard rentals with textured cream wallpaper, some are carpeted and some aren’t. We have a carpeted one in a lovely (not) shade of navy that shows every single speck of anything. Seriously, there is no looking spotless unless you vacuum multiple times a day. Ain’t no body got time for that!

Back to the bedroom, I try to keep nail holes and screws to a minimum as I know that we’ll have to be the ones to bog them up when we leave. So I mostly use clear push pins. I’m not a huge fan of the ol’ 3M hooks, they never really work well for us. So if push pins won’t suffice, then nails/screws will come to the rescue if need be.

This is Brooklyn’s 4th bedroom in 3 years, so it’s been an evolving style as he’s grown into his wee personality (which isn’t very ‘wee’ at all). It changes constantly, but for now we’re running with a ‘monochrome’ type theme as a base, with pops of colour. I know, I know… “kids need colour” blah blah. He has plenty of colour in the form of a million toys so I promise you he doesn’t live in a world of black and white 😉

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We have kept this side of the room pretty simple with just a OMM Design Word Banner along side his bed (originally from Blake & Leo, but they’ve closed down now and I see that Deux Soeur has them in stock). His bed is the Payton from Freedom Furniture, it’s a king single so lots of room to grow or if Mum or Dad need to snuggle in. The Mocka Postbox’s make awesome bedside tables and they can hide bits and pieces in the drawers.

Duvet set: Tik Tak Kids
Throw & Tiger cushion: Intec Interiors
Teepee cushion: Cotton On Kids

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I get asked LOADS about the kid’s drawers. They were built over 50 years ago by my Poppa! For his and my Nana’s first home together, they then moved them out to the family bach and when that was sold I was lucky enough to get my mitts on a couple! We (and by we, I actually mean Nare) re-painted them and put new handles on them to modernise them a wee bit. The legs are the originals, which I love!

Cross wall decals: Urban Signature
Tassel wall hanging: Little Lifestyle
Batman wall hook: Eco Mama
Felt garland: Tik Tak Kids
Name banner: Love From Seventeen
Owl canvas: Typo
Hippo money box: Onceit
Storage sacks: Floosie

Nare and I made the teepee following this tutorial by A Beautiful Mess.

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And that’s where my peaceful photo taking session was rudely interrupted 😉 This is much more realistic! haha! A little reading corner is at the end of his bed. The book shelves are Ikea spice racks which I painted, they actually fit a reasonable amount of books too! Bonus! The silver Moroccan pouf is from Tik Tak Kids, and you can just see the corner of his Mocka toy box which I added a few wall decals to.

I’ll do Marlo’s room when we’re back from holiday and I’ve given it a good tidy up 😉

J x

MAMA OF TWO

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Adjusting to being a Mum of two wasn’t as hard as I expected, to be totally honest. I don’t know whether that’s an age gap thing, or what. But we got into our groove pretty quickly. I’ll say it now though… we do have our days. Some days Nare doesn’t even make it in the door before I’m all dramatic with my “shoot me now” statement and throwing him a baby while the toddler hangs around his legs. I’m sure you can envision that now. I’m usually still in my pyjamas on these kinds of days too, looking quite the hot mess.

Things that I’ve learnt so far…

IPAD’S ARE YOUR FRIEND: Despite all the ‘no screen time’ blah de blah you see around the place, I promise you now… iPads/iPhones/any kind of device are NOT the enemy. In fact they’re soon going to become your best friend. All those times you need to be glued to the couch with a baby on your boob – these devices will distract your other child from running away and getting up to mischief.

TODDLERS ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY: On the note of being glued to the couch… as soon as you sit down your toddler will likely “need somefin ta eat”. Literally, every time. I have a pretty cool husband who makes Brooklyn’s lunch each day (and mine!) so I usually just tell him to go get his lunch box and help himself. But if you don’t have one of these, then I’d highly recommend making their lunch at the beginning of the day. Will save you so much one handed food making!

NEVER GO TO THE SUPERMARKET: Those quick trips into the supermarket to grab a few bits for dinner? Yeah, they’re basically never going to happen ever again. Unless you’ve ditched both kids and gone by yourself (highly recommend this). It takes so much longer to get in and out of the car with two – it’s crazy! I usually opt for leaving the baby in the capsule and awkwardly lugging it around the supermarket while bribing the toddler with a kinder surprise to stay by my side. You could baby wear but then that’ll add another 5-10 mins getting them out of the carseat, getting them in the wrap/carrier, then back in the carseat. It’s tiring even writing this!

NAPPIES ARE EXPENSIVE: Holy heck, buying nappies for 2 (or more) is SO EXPENSIVE!!! There goes our nice cheap shopping budget. If you can get your kid toilet trained before number 2 comes along, DO IT! Because also, when you’re back to changing a baby’s wee bum again – changing a toddler’s bum is seriously rank. Their legs seem so much more gangly and long, and they just automatically seem way too big to be laying there getting their butt wiped.

NAP TIME IS ALSO YOUR FRIEND: Along with iPads, nap time will also become your best friend. If your child is too old for naps now, I do not envy you and I really don’t know how you do it. I basically live for getting both kids to nap at the same time. Not so I can nap too, just so that I can have some silence all to myself. If you told me 3 years ago that in 3 years time I would spend my mornings plotting in my head how to get my 2 babies to sleep at the same time, I would have laughed. Yet here I am! (they’re currently both napping – boom!)

IT’S TOTALLY OKAY TO STAY IN YOUR PJS ALL DAY: Seriously, no one will judge you (or maybe they will, but who cares haha). Some days it’s just too much effort to get dressed. Don’t be fooled by photos of Marlo in cute clothes, sure she is dressed – but I guarantee that at least 50% of the time I’m behind the camera in my PJs.

And last but not least…

YOU’RE NOT A TERRIBLE MUM FOR BEING ANNOYED AT YOUR TODDLER: Just remember that everyone has their days. No matter how perfect someones life may look, I am 99% sure that they have crap days too. I’ll say it – Brooklyn annoys the heck out of me sometimes. He’s almost 3 and has got quite the little (not) attitude and he knows how to push all the wrong buttons. But it’s okay! Take a second, give them the iPad (hehe) and take some deep breaths. They won’t remember in an hour… and if all else fails, keep some lollipops in the cupboard!

J x

SHOP SMALL – SHOP LOCAL

I’ve seen so many ‘shop small’, ‘shop local’ graphics floating around Facebook and Instagram this year, and I think it’s great! And while I understand that ‘shopping small’ isn’t always in everyones budget, even just choosing one local store/website to buy some goodies from this Christmas will be a big help to them – I’m sure of it!

So I thought I would share some of our fave NZ websites where I’ve bought presents from this year, because hello – I live in Blenheim and there are basically no shops here, so online is where it’s at.

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Love From Seventeen – Kylie is closed now until the new year but you can pop over to her Facebook page to see all the amazing laser cut bamboo creations. You can keep her in mind for presents next year!

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Little Whimsy – I got those awesome felt masks from here (only $7! Awesome stocking filler!) and the jelly bag is from there too. Heaps of cool things in every price range.

And They Lived Green – It’s not news that we love Replay Recycled divided plates, And They Lived Green is a NZ stockist for these and other cool ‘green’ brands. I got a couple of the spill proof cups for stocking stuffers. Pssst – they also now have a flat plate (no sections) in the Replay range, we have one and we’re loving it.

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Pop Roc Parties
–  Julie is always my go-to for parties/celebrations, she’s full of cool ideas and her website is even more full of amazing party supplies. I got some Meri Meri christmas plates and matching cups for the table on Christmas Day. I also got a bunch of supplies for Brooklyn’s little party that he’s having on his birthday in a couple of weeks – a ‘Minimal Minion’ theme AKA yellow… with no minions at all. haha! I kid… there may be a minion or two. But seriously, I’ll just say it now – licensed things and I are not friends. Unless they’re pyjamas, I will make an exception for those. Okay back to the shopping…

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Finndieloo – A bit of a keepsake/sentimental present this one, a plunket/well child book cover so that we don’t have to look at the ugly cover that it comes with. Now if I can find Brooklyn’s book, I can get him one too. Oops!

Of course there are a zillion more websites that I would love to have shopped at, but I’ve tried to not go too crazy with presents this year.  I will however, do another post after Christmas to share some of the places that my Mum shopped at for the kids. Granny is on Instagram too so finds all the cool stuff! She even showed me up the other day when I said I hadn’t seen the new Baby Wilson hi-tops with “Oh they put a sneak peek on Instagram this morning”. Shame on me, I hadn’t even seen it yet! P.s they’re flippin’ adorable and Global Baby has them in stock 😉

Apologies in advance if your bank accounts take a wee hit after this post!

J x

 

REVIEW: Mutsy Igo @ Global Baby

We are lucky enough to brand rep for baby store Global Baby and we got to choose a new stroller for Marlo out of their amazing range of stylish strollers/prams. It was so hard to choose!

The lovely Anita (owner of Global Baby) gave me her recommendation so I went with what she suggested as I wasn’t able to go and have a look for myself… She suggested the Mutsy Igo stroller which comes with a carry cot, perfect for a wee newborn! I then was left to choose the colour. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is super indecisive with things like this? Between the husband and I, we eventually decided on the colour ‘fog’ with a black frame. It has tan leather features too!

It arrived a few days later and holy moly, I’ve never been so excited over a stroller in my life. I threw the baby in the bouncer (okay, slight exaggeration but I’m trying to paint a picture of my excitement so just roll with it), bribed Brooklyn into sitting down to watch surprise egg un-boxing review thingy-ma-jigs on the iPad (lies… he doesn’t need bribes to do that) and started ripping into the boxes. B-E-A-UTIFUL! Seriously, it is. I’ve never seen/owned/pushed such a sexy stroller.

Anyway, we’ve been test driving this baby for about a month and a half now so I think it’s fair to say I can give it bit of a review. I love it, that’s pretty obvious. But I’ll go into a bit more detail…

THE FRAME: The frame is easy to put up and down, down in three swift actions and up the same way . It’s not the lightest of things, but I’m also not very strong so it could possibly be light and I just don’t know it 😉 It takes up a heck of a lot less room in our boot than our other huge beast of a buggy, that’s for sure!

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CARRY COT: You do have to take the carry cot off to collapse it down, but I’m pretty sure that’s the case with most strollers so no biggy – it’s not hard to get on and off. I don’t really have much to say about the carry cot, it’s functional and looks pretty. One thing I do specifically like about it is the magnetic closures around the edges where the fabric sits over the baby, no annoying snaps or zips! Good one, Mutsy!

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FOOT BOARD: This is an additional accessory but for a toddler/newborn combo, in my opinion – it’s a must have. Brooklyn is a normal 3 year old boy who likes to zoom around on his bike, or be Mr Independent and walk… but sometimes I don’t have time to walk 2kms per/hour while he picks up stones and puts them in his pocket, or talks to every dog we walk past. So that’s when I suggest he hops on the foot board and away we go! I like the width of it, it’s nice and stable and I can comfortably walk behind it – I just have to walk slightly off to the side, but this doesn’t take long to get used to (video on Instagram of this).

REVERSIBLE SEAT: Marlo is only 2.5 months old but we’re going to Whangarei in a couple of weeks and we won’t be able to take the carry cot on the flight with us, so I’ve been testing the seat out the past week. I absolutely LOVE that it rear faces! There’s nothing worse than your baby growing out of the likes of a carry cot and then having to face them outwards and not be able to see their cute, squishy face at all times. Am I right? So having her facing me is just the best thing since sliced bread. The recline on the seat is amazing, it pretty much goes right flat when facing forwards or backwards which means they can snooze until their heart is content. It comes with a squishy foam liner which must be comfy because Marlo goes to sleep within minutes of being in it, yay! The hood has a zip which you can un-do to make it extend even more that normal, I basically leave it extended this amount 24/7. My one and only miff with the reversible seat, is that you can’t collapse the frame with the seat facing backwards. Darn it! But really it’s not the end of the world, it’s just as easy to get on and off (or switch to forward facing) as the carry cot.

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All in all, I think it’s a fab stroller. It’s definitely on the higher end of prices for a stroller, but when you see all the bits and bobs it has and can do – you can see why. Highly recommend popping into Global Baby if you can and having a look for yourself!

I’m going to test out the Mimbie bottle next week and will pop up a review on that and how Marlo’s first try of the bottle goes! Wish me luck! If there’s anything else you’d like to hear my somewhat rambling thoughts on, let me know on Instagram or flick me an email.

J x

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Oh hey there!

I’ve been thinking of starting a blog for a while now, but with the juggling act of figuring out life with an almost 3 year old and a newborn… time escaped me. As you’d expect! But here we are, my first blog post. Hopefully first of many, because lets be honest – life as a stay at home Mum can be a tad isolating so I need to get my 1000 words out somewhere!

You’ve probably popped over from Instagram so you may or may not know a bit about us, but I’ll give you a quick sum up anyway. We are the Whittakers… I’m Jordan, I turn 24 on 27th December. I married my husband, Nare (his name is actually Henry), in February this year. Jayden is my step-Son, Brooklyn is our almost 3 year old son, and Marlo is our most recent arrival – our 2.5 month old baby girl. My husband is in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and we are currently living in the beautiful Blenheim, NZ.

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Photo credit: Bespoke Photography, Taupo, NZ

 

Marlo & Brooklyn 4/12/15

 
I’m a qualified Graphic Designer and before having Marlo, that was my part time gig around keeping the toddler alive. I love having a creative outlet and it worked really well, being able to work in the evenings once Brooklyn was asleep or whilst he was napping. Marlo is now 2.5 months old and I’m trying (emphasis on that word) to get back into some small design jobs. But to be honest – I’m woken up 2-3 times a night and most nights I’d rather sit on my bum and eat chocolate than attempt to stare at a computer and convince my brain to get creative! But I’ll get there…

In the mean time, Instagram is my creative outlet. I love being able to share things that I’ve found/purchased, outfits of the kid’s (mostly Marlo’s… Brooklyn doesn’t stay still for photos these days), basically spamming you all with our life in photos. And of course I love following others too. I’ve ‘met’ (haha, not actually in real life!) heaps of awesome people through the world of squares!

So yeah! That’s us/me. Hope that wasn’t too boring! I plan to use this blog as a place for reviews, maybe even some interviews, just general life banter really. I’ll try and get my husband to grammar check my posts, I didn’t pass English in high school so it’s not my area of talent. Haha! But feel free to tell me if I’m annoying you with constantly spelling a word wrong, promise I won’t be offended 😉

J x