I pimped my laundry!

One of the things on my long 'to do' list before the baby arrives was to pimp my laundry. Since I don't have a spare room or space in my bedroom to put up all my cool crap, I thought I'd do it in.... the laundry!

All of these things inspire or make me extremely happy...

laundrypimp_1 laundrypimp_2
Misery Postcards ~ yes I know she's 'dead' in the art world now but I have a fairly healthy collection (ahem obsession) of her early works including these little pieces above.

I love my cork board / inspiration boards, Zub has one full to the brim and Bub has one ready for cool stuff too. I had to cut my two boards from my old house into the one board for this house and it was pretty tricky but all my favourite things made it through the cull so I'm happy. Also some of Dad's photos from Africa and some of my all time favourite photos I took back in my wedding photography days.

laundrypimp_4 laundrypimp_5

If you haven't gathered (or don't know me at all) I must, ABSOLUTELY MUST! have photos up around me at all times... in every room or space I can find.

I will be spending A LOT more time in this little room soon so why not enjoy it, right?


Going Batty

I know my due date isn't until Friday but still, I want this baby out now! The thought "oh no, what if the baby NEVER comes out and I'm stuck like this forever" has totally crossed my mind. It's hard, as I'm looking forward to it so much so every little twinge is both exciting and then disappointing at the same time. I know it's all silly and soon I'll have my little bubba in my arms, but all this waiting is killing me. Plans fell through for the day too which doesn't help so it's a bit slow and boring around here, play dates and mainly music fill the next two days up but what of Friday?

Bless awesome peeps like Nikki who send me handmade lovelies to cheer me up...


Some silver bat studs - see the connection in my blog header and side bar illustrations that she did. She's so talented! I love her!

xx fingers crossed I won't be posting here again until I have a newborn pic to upload...


Patience my dear Watson

Waiting.... 39 weeks, 2 days.... and counting!


A few pulls and pains here and there, a few sleepless nights, loads of braxton hicks and the overwhelming desire to get the capsule all set and ready in the back of the car. And nothing much else I'm afraid. Trying to keep busy, keeping active, yet resting HEAPS. New middle names have been thrown about now so things have changed in the name department again, I hope everyone loves her name as much as I do. Baby monitor is about to be plugged in ready to be used and my rather random and long list of projects has been satisfyingly cut down to near zero (must always have something on the go - you know me).

Thanks for all the entries so far in the guess for her birthday and weight. If you haven't entered yet, get your entries in here.

Come on baby, eject!


Name the baby's birth date and weight and be in to win a li'l goodie!

Should I have named this post Baby Giveaway? Yes! You can win my baby! Na just kidding. She's all mine.... when she gets here anyway...

tick tock, tick tock...

When do YOU think she'll get here?
How much do you think she'll weigh?

Well, I thought, why-the-hell-not? I'll hold one of those competitions where you guess the birth date and weight of my unborn child and whoever is the closest gets a prize. Yeah?

So, if you'd like a little mystery Amigurumi goodie from me (not sure what it is yet, I'll make it tonight) comment below with your pick for baby's birth date and weight. I'll announce the winner when the little cricket has arrived and when my brain is fully functioning again. Good luck!

Some things you might like to know...
  • Bub's Due Date: 30 September.
  • Zub arrived the day before her due date.
  • Zub's birth weight: 7lb 5oz (3390g)

And don't be silly when you comment, make sure I can contact you if you win!

P.s. Some people are getting page errors when commenting. If you're hard core then email me here with your prediction.


Handmade surprises...

I've had a great time checking the mail box lately, finding surprise gifts and spot prizes (yay me!) awaiting me. A big thank you to all who've been so kind as to make me anything at all, I don't deserve you!


BTW, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the old internet sometimes and this week it's a bit on the hating side... so boycotting it for a bit. See you soon.



38 Weeks

(Hopefully) Only 2 weeks to go... No2_38weeks
This is a self portrait, I did one with Zub at 38 weeks too, see comparison below:


It's also a Pinterest Pin Real Life, inspired by THIS pin.

Yay baby, I want to meet you! (and wouldn't mind being able to sleep in more than 2 positions at night)


38 Weeks Photo Update

I'm 38 weeks this week, so here's the last in the series with Pixie...linzipreg_final

You can read all about Pixie's wee man here on her blog, although we are 4-5 weeks apart, I tried to wait to take a photo so that we were around about the same gestation.

Check out the rest from the last 9 months...

linzipreg35weeks linzipreg28weeks
cheeseburger linzifaery_month2


FaerySarah's Car Baby Mirror

A few weeks ago I got a hold of some super handy mirror board to replace out a wee mirror in Zub's old play gym ready for the new baby. The last one kind of melted in the sun and went grey with no reflection. I remembered how much Zub loved talking to herself in that mirror and how it entertained her while lying down under that thing. So I was determined to fix it and with the help of a friend I got a hold of some mirror board. Totally readily available at Gordon Harris for around $8 for a 15cm x 15cm piece (they also had large sheets available) btw. I bought two pieces, fixed the play gym and then made this for No.2...


I took an old soft toy, gutted it a bit (stuffing for other toys I make - thank you!) to make it flat and cut out a circle in the mirror board and sewed it to the toy. I then added ribbon around the neck and fastened the arms together at the bottom so it was nice and stable. This my friends is now going in the back of the car above the rear facing capsule so that this time I can actually see what's going on with my child when I glance back.

Mirrors like these cost upwards of $40 and so I'm super stoked that I managed to actually pull something like this together for $8 that might actually work. AND that's safe - no glass here people.

NB: Haven't actually attached it to the car yet... but will MAKE IT WORK!


Gift Giving Guilt Gripe

Yeah, see I looked up 'Gift Guilt' before writing this and it's entirely different. I'm not talking about "Yikes, they bought me THIS <insert hideous present name here> What am I going to do with it?" kind of guilt, I'm talking about a Giving Guilt.

See I LOVE giving. Especially if the gift is homemade and it's a surprise too. I also love receiving, but I get more out of the actual making/choosing and giving part of it all. It's like a high for me, I seriously can't tell you how much I love to do it...

It's Christmas soon and I have a rather long list of people who require gifts in both families. Yeah I just used the word 'REQUIRE'. Because giving gifts is expected, cos that's what you do at Christmas right? I also have quite a few birthday's prior to Christmas, of which include people who REQUIRE presents, cos that's what you do right? They give you gifts for yours, you give them gifts for theirs, we have been for years.

Well, what if I DON'T give them anything? Or what if I want to make them a small thing, or send a heart-felt card ONLY? What if the funds just don't stack up this time around or what if I'd rather hang out and pig out with them all day instead? What if I feel so much pressure to perform that the magic and love that I usually have for giving has completely left me? Depressing much?

Ok so, lets say I take a stand and don't give gifts, "sorry bro, no gift for you this year" what would actually happen? Would they complain asking where their gift from me is? Would they be upset? Would they care? ... I ask myself why do we do this again?

We all complain about the costs at these times of the year, especially Christmas, how did we get into this rut of requiring to buy for all these people? I don't need anything this year, I don't want anything this year... does that mean I can just not get you anything either? Please?

So then ok, I make presents or buy cheaper ones, but then there's more guilt - what if they don't like my tiny little present? What if they've spent 3 times as much and expect something to the same value? Cos that is what it's like with gift giving on occasions like birthday's and Christmas. "Oh yikes, I only gave him a CD and he's gone and spent at least twice that much on my gift"... enter the Gift Giving Guilt. AND enter a new feeling around this time of year, the stressed-out-crap-what-am-I-going-to-do-they-probably-won't-like-this-gift-anyway feeling. Team that with the guilt and the jolly season and happiness of a birthday is completely lost on me.

Throw a newborn in the mix and everyone better expect that the best they'll get this year is a tiny poo-filled nappy or a wee burp cloth with spew on it as my nappy brain forgets to choose/buy and wrap the REQUIRED presents.

Sheldon explains it all so very well here when he finds out Penny has bought him a Christmas gift. He's upset that now he's obligated to reciprocate with something of equal value... so buys multiple gift baskets to cover any gift she may have in store for him...

Penny: ... I got you and Leonard a few silly neighbor gifts, so I'll just put them under my tree.
Sheldon Cooper: Wait! You bought me a present?
Penny: Uh-huh.
Sheldon Cooper: Why would you do such a thing?
Penny: I don't know. 'Cause its Christmas?
Sheldon Cooper: Oh, Penny. I know you think you are being generous, but the foundation of gift giving is reciprocity. You haven't given me a gift. You've given me an obligation.
Penny: Now, hey, it's okay. You don't have to get me anything in return.
Sheldon Cooper: Of course I do. The essence of the custom is that I now have to go out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship as that represented by the gift you've given me. It's no wonder suicide rates skyrocket this time of year.
Penny: Okay, you know what? Forget it. I'm not giving you a present.


Doll Puzzle Project

A few months ago I thrifted this interesting puzzle base, mainly because I loved the illustration and could see potential for a future project in it.


Well it's Zub's birthday early October and she just loves her puzzles so I thought I'd better get my act together and create something out of this cute wooden base.

So I painted up the puzzle's border to black out what looked like part of a cat's tail that must have been part of the original missing puzzle pieces. I then made some little clothes with velcro on the backs to be stuck onto the little girl's new and hideous (yet practical) velcro crop top and skirt.

puzzle_after puzzle_after_clothes puzzle_after_clothes2 puzzle_after_clothes3

To keep this all together I put a little pocket on the back of the puzzle to store the clothing pieces.


I hope she likes it, it was fun but time consuming to make. I did want to make loads of outfits but thought otherwise just incase it was one of those presents that get opened and then casually tossed to the side never to be touched again... we will see!

I used all fabric pieces, buttons and trinkets from my stash and I think the puzzle base was 50c, so all in all it's a pretty inexpensive wee pressie.


And so it begins... The Dairy Free Toddler


Well. Over the last few weeks I've noticed Zub has eczema. No it's not just dry skin, I'd know - I've lived with it from birth. Even though I feel like I did everything possible to avoid this including staying off dairy in my third trimester and keeping her off dairy all through her first year of life (including through breast milk) it seems to have finally crept up on us.

I'm hoping it's just an early childhood thing that she will grow out of. All 4 of us kids had it but all the others grew out of it except me. Dammit.

It was clear right from the start to my mum that it was diary that was triggering the angry rashes that I had and I know mum did everything she could to keep me off dairy and pain free. It makes me want to cry when I see it all over Zub's back, some on her tummy, inside her elbows and in the creases in the backs of her knees. All those typical spots. It seriously brings me to tears to think that it could move to her face, around her eyes and mouth and ears. No, no, no, not my daughter, please. It was hard enough dealing with it at school when I was younger - I don't want that for her.

Over the years I've found other foods that don't help but have always come back to dairy. I thought Zub's was first being triggered by acidic foods like tomato, orange and kiwifruit but I'm wondering if I overlooked the amount of dairy that was consumed on those same days too (maybe?). I should have thought of it sooner but I guess I refused to believe it could be dairy because of all the hard work I thought I'd put in. Mum kindly reminded me that of all people I should know it's most probably dairy, I mean she is MY daughter after all and it can be passed on. Why oh why didn't she get the hub's beautiful skin I do not know. She's inherited his colouring (not stark white like me) so maybe there's a chance this IS all a childhood thing she'll grow out of eventually.

Other things to consider have been the weather, the change of season, woolen clothing against her skin, heat during sleep, heat during her bath, soap (although we use none with her) and the fact that it's been winter and her skin hasn't been out in the air soaking up vitamin D and breathing some fresh air. I know mine suffers at this time of year?

So anyway back to the point. I think she's allergic to dairy, I've taken her off the stuff and she's eating what I eat. Her diet doesn't change much as we haven't been buying butt loads of cheese or yoghurt lately as she had gone off them for a while (like she does with everything). I've replaced her milk drinks with water, watered down juice or the calcium enriched rice milk that I drink (same level of calcium as regular milk). Of course everyone is so worried about the levels of calcium she'll be missing out on as no one realises that half the ads on TV are just guilt trips to get you to buy more milk and that we get HEAPS of calcium from our every day food as long as we're eating healthy. I figure I'll find out whether or not she IS allergic at all before worrying about getting her on a supplement or getting a blood test or something like that... after all taking her off dairy might prove useless and then I'll have to eliminate another food (gulp, gluten) and start again.

I'm making sure she's moisturised with a natural moisturiser after her bath and sometimes in the mornings when she gets dressed and she happily helps me put it on. I'm also hoping the extra drinking water is helping to hydrate her skin too. I'm not prepared to go to the doctor for her to just tell me to just put some Hydrocortisone on every now and then either, to me her skin is too young for steroids.

She's been on low diary for the past 2 weeks, I let her eat anything at her party on the weekend and then started back again with zilch dairy this week. And ya know, I looked at it this morning and it was surprisingly good for a change.

Wish me luck!


The refashioning scene queen

Everywhere I look in the blogsphere these days it's all about thrifting old fabric or clothing and refashioning it to something 10 times as awesome and wearing it rather proudly. I'm a big fan of it all but haven't any time (or my usual figure) to get down and dirty in the refashioning scene but boy do I want to!

Pinterest offers multiple tutorials on dresses made from men's shirts, sweatshirts turned into blazers, remnants made into cute headbands, scarves and handbags. But before you go searching on the addictive black hole that is Pinterest, why not stop by 'Made with love by Hulibug' on Facebook and follow the QUEEN of the refashioning scene.

I went to school with Hulibug (aka Julianne), sat at the very same table as her in sewing class even. We all used to think she was rather daring, choosing colours we wouldn't pick and making skirts we thought were too short.

In her spare time, Julianne thrifts and refashions and I'm not completely sure about this but I think she might create something EVERY day. So following her updates on facebook are thoroughly rewarding as she posts at least once if not a couple of times a day. She's also extra cool as she is a member of the local Roller Derby team and lives in the sunny town of Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty.

I'm always amazed at what she comes up with, and I still can't believe she doesn't have a blog of her own to brag daily about all her amazing creations. She writes guest posts on refashion co-op blog (check out her interview here to read more) and is currently posting a handmade outfit each day as part of Self-Stitched Sept '11.

Oh and in her interview she states "I never shop in "regular shops" anymore for clothing (I make an exception for underwear, socks & shoes but still thrift them too!). Even fabric, patterns & notions I find in op-shops (then add to my ever evolving stash!)."
Now ladies - Go go! Like like! You will not be disappointed!


Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks

This update doesn't include pix as her lil bub arrived on Aug 31st, so she's currently now at home getting lots of newborn cuddles. I do have a picture of her for our final update together, but I'm waiting to get to the same stage and will post the photos together at the same time. Check out some pictures of baby Will on her blog here.

36weeks How far along? 36 weeks 4 days. Turns out I'm a few days ahead of where I thought I was!
Total weight gain/loss? 11kg weight gain and I can see it's starting to spread to my face in the photos above. oh joy.
Stretch marks? Yes I can see two... now lets keep it that way bubs!
Sleep? Again, I'm sure it's easier the second time around. It's like my brain just sends signals to me when I'm asleep to just stay asleep when the baby is moving around "don't bother waking honey, it's just the baby" - that was my brain talking... So I get great sleeps and would have even longer, better ones if Zub didn't wake during the night or at 5.30am EVERY MORNING.
Best moment this week? Zub voluntarily started to sing 'twinkle twinkle little star' to my belly one afternoon, it was very sweet. Can't wait for the sisters to meet.
Worst moment of this week? Realising the hub is going to be away when I'm 38 weeks for a day in Taupo (5 hours away). I know it's silly but I need my birth partner close in these last few weeks. So stay in there baby - no coming out 2 weeks early.
Movement? All. The. Time. Reassuring really... but blimmin painful.
Food cravings? Again nothing special here. Enjoying scrambled eggs more than usual but only slightly. Wouldn't mind some fresh seafood though - oh yeah whoever comes to Birthcare to visit when she's born and brings me some hot garlic prawns will be my very best friend for the rest of my entire life.
Belly Button in or out? Just flat, maybe a little out-y.
What I miss: I miss being 'me' not a cargo plane. I miss my usual clothes and the opportunity to buy new clothes too. Oh and I miss the ability to walk more than 10m without needing to stop for a rest.
What I'm looking forward to: Looking forward to meeting the wee tike and introducing her to Zub and the rest of the family. Looking forward to the labour being over and right now I'm wishing I was in the swing of things with my new little family... and summer!

We have a name and it's staying. We love it and have been speaking it out loud here and there and I think we are quite comfortable that we've found a winner. A middle name too has been finally found and I'm glad to say it is after a family member and has been passed down for years. Have also just been reminded that it's rather 'royal'..... No it's not Harry.

I went to the midwife today and sussed out my birth plan, which was one line in their notebook that said 'just do whatever'. Ok, ok, it probably didn't say that but yeah, my plan is to have a baby. That's it. I trust the midwife knows what she's doing and if I have to be rushed off to hospital then so be it, it's just across the road. I'm sure everything will be fine, after all I've done it before right? haha


Pink Party

We had Zub's party this weekend and it went really well. The sun was out (a bit!), Zub was very well behaved and we all had a really good time. Almost all of her little friends made it and all seemed to get along rather nicely. She was blessed with so many presents, of which I am so grateful as one big one has been tucked away to be played with later on in the week *rubs hands together at the thought of putting feet up*.

Big thanks to Mum who made the cake and everyone else who helped with the food and cleaning up, I was quite happy to delegate since I've only 4 weeks YES FOUR WEEKS until No.2's due date. It took a lot out of me and by the end of the day my ears were ringing, my feet were stinging and I went to bed with that I'm so tired I'm going to be sick feeling. Thanks to all who came and joined in, I hope you had a great time!

Here are a couple of shots from the day, Zub is being a ballerina or 'balla-leeee-nah' (lots of twirl's complete with multiple high kick attempts) while waiting for her friends to arrive... so cute!

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The party theme was inspired by her pink snuggle bear/blanky we named 'pinky'. I thought it would be an easy theme and didn't make too many things or worry too much about decoration. Cheap pink plastic table cloths, pink napkins, cupcake holders, balloons, crepe paper and raffia together with pink food (where possible), pink cake and Zub's pink outfit pulled the theme together.

Zub's 2nd birthday isn't for another month, but since there is a chance I could be in the middle of labour on her actual birth day, we decided it would be easier to have the party early than miss it altogether.

Special thanks to Marby, Jane, Grandma, Mary, Rebecca and Libby for being there for me whether it be consoling me on the phone the night before (I was borderline raving pregnant crazy woman over a tiny tiny issue) cooking, preparing or bringing food or toys to wiping down my kitchen bench! xx


Book Review & Giveaway: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I was lucky enough to be sent this book a few weeks ago to read and review on my blog. Problem was, I hadn't been able to say anything about it to anyone until now. It's possibly one of the best books I've read and if you read through this post, you'll see I have an extra advanced copy to give away!

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: Oct 1, 2011

This is one of those books that I find myself coming away from at the end, almost depressed at the thought of the long wait for the next book. In fact because this was an advanced copy and (still) not yet officially released, I realised that to wait for the entire trilogy when the first book wasn't even out yet -  just made me want to cry. It was THAT good.

Often I find myself finishing a book and being left with a good/bad/ok feeling, much like when I watch a movie. With a feeling of 'oh yes, well we all knew that was going to happen' or 'of course she lived' or 'isn't that lovely, she didn't go with the hot evil dude did she, had to be the nice straight edged hero'. And an awesome read or watch is made disappointing because maybe it's time that the ending wasn't predictable, or it wasn't nice, lovely or obvious. Maybe we need a few characters to throw the story away and run off with the evil dude in the end - shock horror! But imagine the feeling we'd be left with. ooooooohhhhhh.

This story was one where I had NO IDEA where it was going, or what ending was in store for each of the characters that I'd come to love so much. At each chapter break, I'd find myself thinking things like 'Ok, they did that, and that, but why? That won't work? And how's he going to? But she?' and it was marvelous. For once a book was actually so entertaining I could literally see the movie rolling past in my head as clear as if I had seen it at the cinema an hour before. So now, after finishing the book, I think it just has to be adapted for film (but done well of course!). The graphics, the chemistry between the characters, oh, oh, oh it would be so intense, such a great watch. I even think my husband would like it too.

Meet Karou. For seventeen years she has successfully managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is an art student in Prague; on the other, errand‐girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her friends just think she’s kooky, but they don’t know the half of it… The beads of her necklace are no mere beads; her blue hair grows out of her head that colour; the monsters from her sketchbook are all real; and yes, those are bullet scars on her belly. The mysteries that surround Karou’s existence, and that have long tormented her are about to be laid bare… And the truth is more terrifying that she could have possibly imagined.

Now if you tell me that there's this cool book that's coming out where the lead character is a girl with blue hair (that grows that way) and she's an artist that lives in Prague AND that there might be the odd extremely hot angel thrown in the mix then you've got me hooked already.

I think the best part about this book is the fact that it is told in reverse. Instead of a beginning, middle and end, you get this intricately wound fairy tale and I think that's what keeps you guessing. You think you know what's about to happen next but you just plain don't. The characters also play a huge part in why I love this book, each one described with such detail as to make me feel like I know them, like I've met them before somewhere and yet no paragraph has dwindled on the ins and outs of that one character's personality just to set the scene for the book (I hate that!).

The balance of good and evil is strong, and I was never sure who's side I was on. In fact, I've finished the book and I'm still not sure. All I know is Karou is a strong character that doesn't piss me off, get on my nerves or make silly mistakes (like some modern lead women characters we've all read recently). It's nice to really get behind her and be there with her and follow along in this strange but oh so entertaining story.

It was also great going into this book with really no idea what I was in for. No 'oh there's this vampire and this werewolf and this girl...' You really go in fresh not knowing what to expect and I'm not going to tell you either, I can't - it's too good... you'll have to read it for yourself...

Comp is now closed.

Want to read it? GO ON you do don't you?
Well, I have one advanced copy sitting right here to GIVE AWAY to one lucky reader!

To Enter:
  • a) Leave a comment below or email me (here) with your name and email address and recommend to me a book that you just couldn't put down yourself, one that's almost stopped your heart... (and DO NOT say 'The Lovely Bones' or I'll have to beat you with my shoe)
  • b) AND if you want ANOTHER chance to win one of these special advanced copies, check out Daughter of Smoke and Bone's Facebook Page and enter the draw.
Giveaway closes 8 Sept 2011, 6pm.

Mumsy Rant: guilt, impatience and basketball smuggling

So I've got some awesome mum guilt going on lately. People keep telling me it's ok to use the TV as entertainment with Zub (and myself) while I take the time to rest and try to refrain from running around trying to meet Zub's every entertainment need. Especially in these later weeks of pregnancy when everything is just so hard to do.

I plan things for the mornings so we are out most mornings, home for lunch and then a nap (of which I've been taking myself too!). Around 3 when we are all awake and moving about, chores are done and very little play.... enter the TV. Good old Sesame St or Dora the Explorer, those or Timmy Time, Hi-5, Veggie Tales or now Angelina Ballerina.

Zub doesn't stay glued the entire time, but kind of plays and watches at the same time. Like I said above, everything is such a mission in these weeks, simply walking is now waddling slowly. Meandering through cleaning, tidying, ironing, party prep (!) and getting the dinner ready. Throw a couple of rests on the couch in there and there's my arvo. I hate feeling this useless and helpless, I like being organised and on top of things so this really grinds my gears. Not being able to do everything I set out to do well, or at all is so frustrating! And then there's drawing, colouring, play dough, cups of tea and all the other things Zub would rather have me doing. AND I haven't even had the baby yet! I'll have to just sit there feeding watching all those things pass me by as my house slowly gathers dust and tiny teddy crumbs with a few chippies thrown in too.

I'm still getting the majority of things done that I want done during the day somehow and Zub is generally happy... so why do I feel SO bad? I know mother's with NO TV. Some with TV that don't ever use it and some that have it on ALL day.

And that's just the TV guilt, my lack of patience with Zub is at an all time low and it's not fair on her. She cops it some days and I find myself apologising because of course, she isn't the one in a grump. It's ME! I wish there was an over the counter pill for patience. I'd be downing them by the bucket load as I need to make up for a good lifetime of having zilch patience!!

Could I be slow to anger and quick to love please? any time, any time...