Wednesday, January 29, 2014


This week was always going to be easy. Bubba loves to smile, shes been doing it since she was less than a month old. These days the smiling is often followed by giggling or squealing and sometimes it involves a tongue poking out! Still no teeth though (wish they would hurry up). In the photo below she was super excited because Max walked onto the playmat near her. Max is her best friend ever at the moment (other than mummy of course).

 4 - SMILE

- I love watching her smile -

I have loved seeing the photos you have shared throughout the week. If you are new to the challenge and wondering how to play, you can find out here. These were some of my favourite photos shared last week for the prompt play.

Instagram: @frandeebee

Facebook: Krystal Jade Whitney

You can follow me on Instagram @tones84 and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below (please read the rules before linking) and come back each week to link up each new prompt. I will feature some of my favourite ones the following week.

Reminder - next weeks prompt is hug.

Toni xx

Also sharing with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 
and Bree from Twinkle in the eye for Wordless Wednesday.

Linky rules

1. Follow Finding Myself Young
2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

Finding Myself Young
<a href="" target="_self"><img src="" alt="Finding Myself Young" width="125" height="150" /></a>


Click to read more »

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mummy Must Have | Finlee and Me

Before bub was born I had this grand plan to do up her room in a Winnie the Pooh theme. It was all planned out in my head down to the very last detail. Matching bedding, wall decals, figurines on the shelves, night light, mobile etc. The problem was when I went out to start buying stuff to decorate my dream Pooh nursery there was hardly anything available in a Pooh design for a girl. Don't get me wrong there's a lot of Pooh stuff out there, but its all really aimed at boys and it didn't match enough for my ocd brain to even contemplate putting it all together. As a result I kind of had to rethink my whole nursery design. There is still a bit of Winnie in there, but not as much as I first wanted.

One of the things I made sure to get though was one of those little security blankets with a Winnie the Pooh head. I had a security blanket (I think it was actually a washer) when I was younger and I took it everywhere. I also know that they help babies to sleep when they aren't with mum. Well, little miss has decided to replace her Pooh with a new blankie. Her new blankie is actually a Snugglie from Finlee and Me. I can't really blame her though, the Snugglie is a lot nicer than Pooh.

A Snugglie is a sensory blankie (similar to what others call taggies) which combines a patterned fabric side, minky side and additional textured colourful tags around the edges. Let me say the minky side is amazingly soft! I actually sat there touching it over and over before I gave it to her originally. It's like when you find a toy that feels like your cat and you just want to stroke it (although this is softer than my cats). I never really understood the attraction of the tags on taggie style blankets before, but now having my own baby I totally get it! As soon as I gave it to her it went straight into her mouth. She was chomping away on every single one of those tag bits and loving it. She grew so attached to it so quickly that she was sleeping with it during the day and we now take it with us each time we leave the house.

The Snugglie provides her with sensory play, that is perfect for her age, by exploring new textures with her hands and mouth. Don't worry it's triple stitched so there's no chance of the tag pieces coming loose. It also introduces her to different colours and patterns. The other feature I particularly like (as a mum) is the loop and clip in the corner. It has come in very handy when we are out to secure the blanket to her pram rail. She's realised lately that she can throw things, so the clip makes sure it doesn't get lost while we are out (because I would be totally stuffed if that happened).

Angela from Finlee and Me also introduced us to a product I had never heard of before, balloon balls. They are such an awesome idea, I wish they had them when I was a kid. They are fabric covers that are purposefully designed to cover a blown up balloon. To use them you insert a deflated balloon into the hole at the bottom, blow it up then tie it off and push the tie through the hole so the entire balloon is inside the cover. Balloon balls are AWESOME. It's like combining a balloon and fabric and making your own beach ball. Hours of fun, even with a six month old!

Shaking with excitement!

Having heaps of fun playing with daddy (look at that face)

It's bigger than her, but that doesn't matter

I have a huge fear of balloons popping. I'm not sure where it comes from, maybe there was an incident when I was younger or it could just be that I'm sh**  really scared of unexpected loud noises. Despite this fear I happily played with her for over an hour with the balloon ball. I knew if it popped that it would be contained within the cover. The ball provides a really safe way for babies and kids (and scardy cat adults like me) to play with balloons. The cover means they can't get to the actual balloon so there's no way they can put it in their mouth, which I'm sure would happen if we were just playing with a normal balloon. It also stopped the balloon giving off heaps of static when we played with it. We were rolling it along the floor, throwing it and bouncing it and there was no static at all. The cover is also machine washable and available in a huge variety of prints for girls and boys.

Finlee and Me is an online baby shop run by Angela Henderson. She started her business because she was bored of the same old baby products available in department stores and baby shops, she wanted something diifferent (aww snap!). Finlee and Me stocks a huge range of innovative, original, creative and versatile products. A girl after my own heart; Angela loves cool, funky and well designed items for her kids and stocks products that fit that brief. She has products for babies, toddlers, kids and mums.

Angela has been kind enough to provide Finding Myself Young readers with 10% off everything at Finlee and Me, simply use the code FMY10 at checkout. I'm off to do some more shopping.

Toni x

Disclosure - I was not paid for this review, but was gifted a Snugglie and balloon ball. All opinions are my own based on our experience with the products.

Linking up with Jess for #IBOT

Click to read more »

Monday, January 27, 2014

The sleep battle... and how I won

I'm sure if you ask any new mother what they want most, their answer would be more SLEEP. Especially in the beginning. Looking back now I seriously don't know how I survived. I remember when she was about 2 weeks old I posted a Facebook status marvelling about how amazing it was that I could function normally on 3-4 hours of broken sleep each night. I was totally in awe of my body. I've since found out that this is possible because after you have a baby the surge of adrenaline and change in hormones you experience are specifically designed to ensure you continue functioning so that the baby survives (evolutionary facts never cease to amaze me). The problem is that after the first few weeks the adrenaline wears off and you are left with plummeting hormones and the cold hard reality that sleep deprivation sucks!

Unfortunately for us, bubba has her (then undiagnosed) allergy so she was a very unsettled newborn, especially at night time. Well she was unsettled all the time really, but it was worse for me at night. Most nights I got about twenty minutes sleep after 2am. I was literally a living zombie. But eventually we worked the sleep thing out. I'm pretty sure it was a combination of her bassinet mattress being raised, being swaddled and being rocked to sleep. Whatever it was, it worked.

She started to sleep for four to five hours straight. It was heaven. Of course the first few weeks of her doing this I would still wake up every 2-3 hours expecting to feed her and panicking that she'd been crying and I hadn't heard it. As her stomach started settling more and she got older she started to sleep longer and longer. By around 3-4 months she had dropped all her night feeds and was sleeping roughly nine hours straight each night. It took me a while to adjust to sleeping longer, but eventually my body got back in the groove and we were moving along nicely in the sleep department. Of course the wonderful thing about babies is just as you think you've figured them out and gotten into some sort of routine, they go and change it just to keep you on your toes. Just as my poor body had grown accustomed to getting a good 6 hours of sleep a night, I was thrown back into the (non)sleeping patterns of a brand new mum.

This time it was much worse than before. I was up every 1-2 hours each night to resettle her as she started screaming for no reason. She wasn't hungry (I tried feeding her, it made no difference). Her evil non sleeping sleep regression hit at the same time that we had to transfer her to her cot and while she was teething. Originally I wanted to keep her in the bassinet until she was 6 months, but she quickly outgrew it just before five months. At first I figured that the transition to the cot and/or teething were to blame so I set about trying everything I could to rectify the situation (and reclaim my sanity).

I tried putting her in the cot semi awake so she was aware of where she was, incase that's why she was freaking out. It didn't work. Then I let her fall asleep next to me on my bed then transferred her to the cot. That got her to sleep, but didn't stop her waking during the night. We tried panadol two nights for her teeth. Didn't stop her waking up. I noticed she was rubbing her ear a bit so I took her to the doctor to make sure she didn't have an ear infection. No ear infection. I couldn't work out why she was waking up.

Then we noticed that she was getting her arms out of her swaddle. So I thought maybe shes waking herself up by touching her face at night. I started re-wrapping her each time she would wake. It settled her, but she kept getting her arms out over and over. I swear this kid is related to Houdini, it didn't matter which way we wrapped her she would get her arms out. It was kind of funny to watch on the monitor. She would wait until we got downstairs then she would start wriggling about as hard as she could and pop one arm would come out, followed closely by the other. Then she would flail them about and start screaming. Finally we had worked out what the problem was.

I always knew the day would come when I would have to stop swaddling her. To be honest it scared me. I'm petrified of her rolling over in her sleep and not being able to move. I know in reality she would most likely cry straight away and nothing bad would happen, but I can't wipe the thought from my head. I had always planned on using sleeping bags with her (mainly for my own peace of mind), even though I didn't really know where to start with tog levels and brands etc. I thought that you could just go from swaddles to a sleeping bag. Obviously that wasn't going to work for us as she would just flail her arms around everywhere and wake herself up, so I had to put my thinking cap on to find a solution.

During this time I came across the Love to dream page (it appeared in my newsfeed on Facebook) and remembered that my friend had one of their swaddle ups and had been using it since birth with her son. I actually went to buy one from a local baby shop when bubba was about five weeks old, but when we got there they didn't have any in stock and they talked me into a large wrap instead so we just went with traditional muslin wraps from that point on. Curious as to whether the swaddle up would solve our sleep dilemmas, I went onto the Love to dream website to look at the swaddle up again and I discovered that they also had a swaddle up 50/50. Its a swaddle designed specifically to help babies transition from a swaddle to a sleeping bag. Why had I not heard of this before?? The swaddle up 50/50 keeps the arms swaddled up tightly with detachable wings and the bottom half is like a sleeping bag. Over a couple of weeks you detach the wings one at a time until your baby is used to sleeping with their arms totally free and it essentially turns into a sleeping bag. I was a tiny bit worried that she might not like it as she's used to being swaddled with her arms down, but it couldn't make the situation any worse.

This is her not impressed face!

I was somewhat correct. When we first put her in it she was not impressed at all. Probably because she realised she wasn't going to be able to get her arms out no matter how much she thrashed about when we weren't looking. It was quite hilarious, she looked like a seal flapping its paws with a mermaid tail. I know that sounds horrible, but I couldn't help but think it at the time. She even tried to eat through the wings to get her arms out (hence the wet patches in the pic). After a while of protesting it was obvious that she wasn't going to give in and go to sleep so I compromised and took one wing off. Having one arm out seemed to be all that was needed to keep her happy. She was so proud of herself when she got her arm out and started being all cheeky pulling her dummy out. She took about ten minutes to settle to sleep at first, but after that she didn't wake up all night! It was a miracle. I thought it may have been a fluke, but it continued to happen. She even slept in until 7:30am one morning! She normally wakes at about 6am so that was huge.

The first night

The good sleep continued

She is getting closer and closer to possibly rolling in her sleep (much to my dismay) so I decided it was time to move onto trying sleeping with no arms. She took longer to get to sleep and it required letting her fall asleep next to me in bed, but after that she transitioned into the cot well and has only cried once (and that was for her dummy). As I sit here typing away this blog post, I am watching her on the monitor happily sleeping with both arms outstretched. Hopefully this continues for the rest of the night. Fingers crossed.

The swaddle up 50/50 has been such a lifesaver (sleep saver) for us in the past couple of weeks. I am so glad that someone invented a product like this and that I stumbled across it (random Facebook trolling is useful afterall). While researching it I also noticed they sell sleeping bags as well for later on. I will be using this one for as long as she fits into it and will then be transferring her to a proper sleeping bag. If you are in the horrible sleep transition period and you are stuck for ideas I would suggest you give the swaddle up 50/50 a go. It can't hurt.

The Love To Dream sleep system stages

Do you have any other sleeping tips?

Toni x

* All opinions are my own and based on our experience with the swaddle up 50/50

Click to read more »

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I have to say I thought this week would be a really easy prompt, but it turns out it wasn't. I have a heap of old photos that would fit the prompt perfectly, but I'm determined not to cheat (I don't mind if you guys do) and use old photos because my whole purpose is to have a photographic record of how shes grown and changed throughout the year. So, I tried my best all week to get a play shot. We have played A LOT, but the problem with playing and an almost mobile child is that she will not sit still long enough while playing to get an in focus, non zooming photo.

We played in the jumperoo, but the obvious problem with a jumperoo is that she jumps while in it (and not normal jumping, like skitzo trampoline jumping) so its kind of hard to get a good photo. We played on the mat with lots of different toys, but that was a combination of flailing arms and weird caterpillar like manoeuvring that I'm sure is supposed to somewhat resemble crawling. We also did a lot of playing with paper because shes worked out she can rip it and incase you didn't know ripping paper is the-most-awesome-thing-ever (this week). But again it involves a lot of flailing arms and zooming limbs. Thankfully on the last day of the week I managed to get a semi still photo of her playing in the bath (ignore the cropped out hand zooming at the bottom).

 3 - PLAY
- she loves to play with her ducky in the bath -

Once again I have loved seeing the photos you have shared throughout the week. If you are new to the challenge and wondering how to play, you can find out here. These were some of my favourite photos shared last week for the prompt sleeping.

Instagram: @littlebitdesigns

Facebook: Jodie Dobson

Linky: Over Cups Of Coffee

You can follow me on Instagram @tones84 and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below (please read the rules before linking) and come back each week to link up each new prompt. I will feature some of my favourite ones the following week.

Reminder - next weeks prompt is smile.

Toni xx

Also sharing with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 
and Bree from Twinkle in the eye for Wordless Wednesday.

Linky rules

1. Follow Finding Myself Young
2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

Finding Myself Young
<a href="" target="_self"><img src="" alt="Finding Myself Young" width="125" height="150" /></a>


Click to read more »

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mummy Must Have | Cheese & Pickles

Pre-baby I had all these grand plans of commemorating every step of pregnancy and life once my baby was born. Keeping a journal, taking daily belly shots, recording firsts, filling in baby books etc. I may have had the best intentions, but my enthusiasm was no match for the insane reality of a newborn. There was no time for any of that. All I have managed to do (five months post baby) is to write two letters to my daughter, print out a few photos to decorate the fridge and order an instagram book for the grandparents. Major fail.

My fridge looks pretty though right?

I'd be lying if I said I don't feel guilty about this. The first child is meant to be the one you make all the fuss over, right? And then the motivation to continue doing the same wavers a little more with each additional child (so I'm told). So I've been feeling really bad that I hadn't even managed these things for the first. But, I found a way to make up for it and she won't even know it took me a couple of months to get my act together.

When I was little there were only the standard baby books and chunky old-school photo albums. At least thats all I've got (so either there was a lack of options or my mother was cheap). These days though there are a plethora of items available and a heap of personalised items too! You just have to know where to get them from. That's the hard part. So, let me tell you about a great place to find a whole range of personalised items....

Cheese and Pickles is an online store that specialises in personalised items for babies and kids. It is run by a fellow mum who understands the desire to find the perfect item for the special little people in your life. Whether you are after a keepsake, unique gift or cute nursery decor they have you covered. Cheese and Pickles stock personalised kids items including toys, prints, cushions and name blocks, to name a few. I have to say thanks to them for saving my butt allowing me to create an awesome keepsake for my daughter. I was lucky enough to be able to design my own personalised cubbie for bubba. They are so cute (see image above) and a great unique option for many occasions.

Baby cubbies are personalised teddy bears (and other animals) that come with a range of different motif and text design options. Each cubbie is personally embroidered by Cheese and Pickles resident professional sewing extraordinaire (also known as mum).  The designs are machine sewn onto the cubbie according to the specifications you choose. There are so many ways to personalise your cubbie and the process is so easy.

1. First you pick the cubbie you would like.
You can choose from:

- a lion
- a turtle
- a monkey
- a penguin (black or blue)
- a teddy bear (blue)
- an elephant
- an owl, or
- a lamb (pink or blue ribbon).

Then decide what design style you would like to be embroidered onto the cubbie. There is name & motif, birthday, christmas or birth detail options.

Just select which option (animal and design) you would like from the main list and then you can further personalise the design on the next screen.

I chose the elephant with the birth details design. I'm not going to let her play with it because I'm a mean mummy I want to be able to keep it for years to come. Right now she's into eating everything and pulling things, so I doubt it would last very long if I let her play with it. I will get her another one she can play with, I'm just deciding between the name & motif design or holding off and getting the birthday one. Anyway, I am digressing, back to the ordering process.

On the same screen you will find the different text and colour styles for your chosen design (see below).

2. You simply choose your text style and then add your child's details. You can also change any of the colours in the text design to make it even more unique. I spent ages deliberating over the NBP4 design (shown above) and the more girly G2 design. In the end I decided on the NBP4 text design and then changed the colours to be very similar to the ones in the G2 design. That way I got the best of both worlds with the font and colours I was after. I thought it might be too many changes because I changed nearly all of the colours, but they were more than happy to alter them for me. The best thing is that it doesn't cost anything extra to change the colours which is a nice change because most places usually charge for alterations from original designs.

3. Once you've done all your alterations simply check out. Its seriously that easy! You will receive your cubbie in the mail within 3 weeks (mine came earlier than 3 weeks, it just depends on how many cubbies they already have waiting to be embroidered at the time of your order).

So, here's what my final design looked like...

I would definitely recommend Cheese and Pickles personalised cubbies as they provide a unique, highly personalised gift or keepsake. There are heaps of options in regards to cubbies, embroidery designs and text styles so you are sure to find one that suits what you're looking for. If you are super fussy like me and want to change the design even further, you can. They really have catered for everyone.

In addition to this at $44.95 cubbies are great value for money. These days you would be hard pressed to find a good quality 30cm tall stuffed animal for that price, let alone a personalised one (especially if you are buying from a boutique gift shop). Another feature that I think makes them even better value for money is the removeable cover so you can easily wash them without having to put the whole toy through the wash. So if you do let your kids play with them you have an easy way to keep them clean and looking new.

I let her have it so I could get a photo, it only took 5 seconds for her to try and eat it!

Cheese and Pickles also have a great Facebook page. Its one of the funniest ones I've seen. Seriously you will lol everyday with her posts. It's my go to entertainment at the end of the night when I'm over the day (you know the point where you've just got to the end of your tether, finally got the kids to bed but no longer have the brain capacity to read a book). 


Just incase you may be in the same boat as I was and you haven't got that something special for your child, Cheese and Pickles have you covered. They are generously giving away a personalised cubbie to one lucky Finding Myself Young reader (total value $54.90 incl. postage). You can choose any cubbie you like, with any design. It doesn't have to be the birth print like mine. Maybe you need a special gift for a newborn or a present for a birthday?

All you have to do is follow the rafflecopter prompts below and leave a blog comment telling us which cubbie you would choose and who you would give it to. Its that simple!

Toni xx

Linking up with Jess for #IBOT

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click to read more »

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The reality of having a child with allergies

Sound asleep in my bed I woke to her crying. It was only 5am and not her usual wake up time so in my delirious state I assumed she just wanted her dummy to go back to sleep. Then I realised the crying was different. It wasn't a high pitched demanding cry, it was a quieter whimpering. It was a sad, help me cry. I picked her up and took her over to my bed and turned on the light. That's when I realised it was happening again.

She was having another choking episode. It can happen at any time, but night time is always scarier. When it happens I feel helpless. All I can do is get her upright and pat her on the back to try and loosen up her airways enough for her to breathe. Other than that we just have to ride it out. It can go on for up to half an hour. The whole time I am rocking, patting and hugging her I have to remain calm on the outside and keep reassuring her it will be ok. Its hard to do while watching your baby so helpless, red faced and struggling. The look in her eyes is so heartbreaking, its the look of complete fear. While I remain calm on the outside so I don't get her any more worked up, on the inside I am broken. There is always that fleeting moment where I contemplate is this it? Will this be the last time I hold my baby? I have to quickly push that thought aside so I can focus on helping her. After the choking is over there is always a period where she is very lethargic and goes floppy, reacts slower and tries to work out what just happened. Once she realises she is safe she normally falls asleep. I imagine she is completely exhausted after struggling to breathe. I always cuddle her for much longer than needed at this point. I need the physical closeness to emotionally heal after such a traumatic experience.

This is not the only reaction she has from her allergies, but it is by far the scariest. What happens is thick mucus starts coming up her throat and nose and she can't breathe. If she is lying down its worse and will result in complete choking. The choking itself is silent, so I'm glad she managed to get out a cry and wake me up this time. Unless you are looking directly at her and can see her face go bright red and her struggling, you wouldn't even know she was choking. Needless to say I didn't really go back to sleep after this happened.

As a mother my biggest fear is that something will happen to my child. I'm sure many other mothers can relate. Unfortunately because of her allergies I am forced to face my fear on an almost daily basis. The more I go through it the more I learn to deal with it. I know what to do during these episodes so I don't freak out as much as I did before, but it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking watching my baby choking. We have been hospitalised for it before.

She has a cows milk protein allergy and also a soy allergy. If she has any of the protein she breaks out in red spots (which she gets every feed) and they turn into a rash and then full blown eczema the more she is exposed. She also gets extremely dry skin that means cradle cap treatment every day as well as hair washing. She also has extremely sensitive skin and reacts with hives and red patches easily. She has reacted to different bath washes, moisturisers and even olive oil (which I tried for the cradle cap).

Her allergies mean we have had to be very careful with everything that comes in contact with her skin. I use sensitive washing detergent and have gone organic with some products and am in the process of trying out more organic products as it appears the allergies will be sticking around for quite a while. Most children with cmpa will grow out of it by 1, but we have been told she might not grow out of it until 2-5 years old (if she does indeed grow out of it).

Of course her food is most affected by the allergies. It meant the end of our breastfeeding journey and going through a series of different prescription formulas to find the right one. We are trying a new one this week as she is still reacting to them. Each time I am sitting in a mothers room feeding her a bottle and I feel the breastfeeding mother next to me giving me dagger eyes I want to yell at them that she has allergies and its more healthy for her to have specialised formula. I didn't want to stop breastfeeding. If she didn't have such a bad reaction to my breast milk I would still be doing it now. I loved the bond I had with her that only a breastfeeding mother knows and I still mourn the fact that I can't do it. So to sit in the room with a stranger and feel the judgement being flung in my direction just adds salt to my wounds. Not only do I have to deal with all of these symptoms and reactions, I also have to deal with judgement from people who come into my life for a few minutes and then walk out again. Giving me condescending looks or deliberately talking loudly about how they are feeding their baby because they want to make sure I know that they disapprove of my decision to give my baby formula. They assume I am taking the easy way out instead of the best option for my baby, when I am actually doing what's best for my baby by giving her body the best chance to eat without having an extremely painful reaction.

These are all the things that my daughter and I have to deal with on a daily basis. To all of those people who say that allergies are not real and that they are just made up excuses for when people don't like a certain food, I invite you to walk a day in my shoes. I wonder if your child had an allergy if you would dismiss it and be so judgemental. I imagine most people would do what is best for their child, just like me. It would be nice if people would think about these things before they judge others.

By the way I am not pro anything when it comes to parenting, except doing what you feel is best for your child.


Linking up with Tegan and Grace

Click to read more »

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Well I could have timed this prompt a little better and not chose it for a week when teething completely screwed up her sleep routine, but nevertheless I did manage to eventually capture her sleeping (napping really). I just need to learn to wear makeup incase I decide to randomly include myself in photos. I quite like the end result regardless. For me the challenge is about capturing memories, not aesthetics, and I love the moment I managed to capture here.

- I love to watch her sleeping on me -

Once again I have loved seeing the photos you have shared throughout the week. If you are new to the challenge and wondering how to play, you can find out here. These were some of my favourite photos shared last week for the prompt new.

Instagram: @purplecrazymum

Facebook: Kylie

Linky: Sheridan

You can follow me on Instagram @Tones84 and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below (please read the rules before linking) and come back each week to link up each new prompt. I will feature some of my favourite ones the following week.

Reminder - next weeks prompt is play.

Toni xx

Also sharing with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

Linky rules

1. Follow Finding Myself Young
2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)

Finding Myself Young

<a href="" target="_self"><img src="" alt="Finding Myself Young" width="125" height="150" /></a>

Click to read more »

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mummy Must Have | Petite Bebe Couture

They say its an evolutionary trait for babies to look like their father when they are born so that the father doesn't reject them. Well that definitely happened with our daughter. I was expecting a brown eyed, brown haired little baby (like I was) because back in school they told us brown genes are more dominent. Well either they lied or the evolutionary theory is right (or I have a couple of recessive genes I didnt know about). Bubba is the spitting image of daddy. Blonde hair, blue eyes and a whoppa of a baby. Unfortunately she is a little too like daddy though because people constantly mistake her for a boy.

In order to overcome this I am going against my original anti-pink stance and dressing her as in your face girly as I can. And yet people still sometimes think shes a boy. One day she was in a pink floral onesie and a lady said "oh its a boy". Um what the.... So now I'm taking it to a new level, adding headbands! If you think shes a boy when shes dressed girly and wearing a big ass bow on her head you have issues, just saying. Problem I had with this is that she grew out of the cute newborn headbands I bought her really quickly because apart from being a whoppa baby (8lb 9oz) she also had a huge head (37cm) so for a while there I couldn't find any that would fit her head.

I couldn't find any the right size in the big department stores, they all seemed to have newborn size and then 3yr old sized ones with nothing in between. I swear I looked through every shop that even remotely stocked baby items each time we were out with no luck. Finally I found some that were big enough that they didn't cut off the circulation to her head. You guessed it, once again it required searching online. I've found Facebook is so great for finding businesses that stock awesome products that I can't find in 'bricks and mortar' shops.

The headbands I found are from Petite Bebe Couture and they come in a range of different colours and styles. All very girly! And a good price (which is always an added bonus). Hopefully nobody thinks she looks like a boy in the photos below (I realise they are a bit out of focus, but it was extremely hard to get her to stay still).

Girly enough?
What about this one?

Yea I realise the black one is super out of focus, but she literally would not stop moving her head. So I thought I better add some of the actual product images as well so you can see what they really look like when they're not zooming around on a babies head. I think the floral ones are great for special occasions and for adding a bit of umph to your subliminal I'm definitely a girl statement.

These ones are $8

These ones are $5

We also have one of the bow headbands shown above, but it was impossible to get her to stay still long enough for my phone camera to capture a non smudgy photo. I love these ones because they add that little bit of wow factor to an outfit, yet they are simple enough to be used everyday. If it was up to me I would just buy every colour so I would always have one to go with every outfit (to keep those pesky gender blind people at bay). Apparently that may be a bit excessive though - according to T. 

I'm sure he'll come around eventually.

Petite Bebe Couture stock chidrenswear from newborn right up to tweens, including accessories and shoes. They stock a range of Australian and international brands providing a selection of trend setting pieces while also supporting home grown talent. They offer great customer service and their aim is to form long lasting relationships with customers, not treat you as a one off transaction or another number as some of the big businesses do [ahem, I'm talking to you department stores]. I love supporting local small businesses where possible.

If you are in need of some more cute baby headbands then Petite Bebe Couture have you covered. They're something you really can never have enough of if you've got a daughter (or maybe I just have a shopping addiction). As you can see above, there are ample colours to choose from so you are sure to be able to match a headband to an outfit when needed. Great for christenings, photo sessions, parties etc.

Their outfits are also super cute! They also run giveaways and sales throughout the year so be sure to like their Facebook page so you don't miss out on a bargain.

Toni xx

* I was gifted 3 headbands for the purpose of a review
* All opinions are my own

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Click to read more »

Monday, January 13, 2014

Living in the moment

Image source

I have never been one to come up with new years resolutions, so its no surprise I don't have one this year. They always seem so grand and over the top that they ultimately become unachievable which is why many people fail to keep them. I already have enough criticism and self doubt running around in my head, I don't need to fuel the fire by adding another failure to the list. All this considered though, I must confess that I have decided to try and focus on living in the moment more. It's not a new years resolution, its more an ongoing goal I have set for myself and one I find particularly pertinent now that I'm a mum. I don't want to miss out on anything now that I have a tiny little human to play with. And I don't want her looking back on her childhood thinking I wasn't present with her.

So, how do I plan on doing this?

I've thought of a number of little ways I can go about achieving my goal. I figure if I have a few ways up my sleeve then there's less chance of failure. Right?

1. Take moments to pause

Each day I take moments where I pause. I switch off my brain and the outside world and just be in the moment. I try to really experience what is happening and store it away in my memory bank in the hopes that it will last forever. Most of these times involve my daughter. Most recently today I took a moment to enjoy her sleeping on my lap. I was captivated by how peaceful she looked. Her long eyelashes caressing her cheeks as she slept. One hand holding on to my arm and the other protectively clutching her blankie. It was perfect.

2. Enjoy the simple things

One of the easiest ways to live in the moment is to find the pleasure in the little things. They can be everyday moments or occurrences that you normally wouldn't give a second thought to. Ones I've paid attention to lately include: the times I get to enjoy a hot cup of tea (mums will understand this), the excitement on my daughters face when she knows she's about to be fed, the amount of fun ripping paper can be and how awesome it is to be able to have a shower. Babies are good at making you see the excitement in the simple things, because everything is new and exciting to them no matter how simple it is.

3. Spend less time on gadgets 

It just seems a natural part of society these days that our daily lives are taken over by gadgets. Most homes will have a smart phone, laptop, kindle, Ipod, Ipad, or some other I-thingie.  We have all of them except the kindle. I must confess I am guilty of being on my phone or laptop while I should be enjoying 'real life' moments. I blame you Candy Crush! So, this year I am trying to spend less time on my gadgets and more time in the 'real world'. You have no idea how hard that's going to be considering blogging requires a fair bit of online presence and social media networking (thus gadgets). So, I'm not going as far as eliminating them all together, I am just going to be more aware of when I can and when I shouldn't be on them.

Do you have habits you want to break?
Did you make a new years resolution?
Do you need to live in the moment more?
Do you have any other tips on how to live in the moment?

Toni x

Linking up with

Kirsty from My Home Truths for I must confess...
and Eva from The Multitasking Mummy for #Mummy Mondays

Click to read more »

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Depression - its impact on me as a mum

Today's post is brought to you by Deb from Sad Mum Happy Mum.


To look at my little boy, well he isn’t so little anymore he is 13, but he will always be called my little boy by me, you would not know that he was being raised by a single Mum living with depression.  He is a happy, mature, independent, committed, talented, smart, and friendly boy who is good at everything that he does – school, sport, hobbies, friendship – I don’t think there is anything that I can say he can not do or that there is anything in his life that is wrong or missing.  I guess that says something about my parenting, as a single Mum, and my ability to parent even when I have been struggling for many years with severe depression.

As a single parent living with depression there have been a number of challenges that have had a profound impact on me as a parent but what has always stayed true is that as a single parent I was always forced to continue as a parent even though my depression was severe and the need to give up was a constant battle for me. 

What has always been evident is that I was very good at looking after my little boy, but I was very bad at looking after me.

There is not a day that goes by since I have been a Mum that I have not felt guilty about being a Mum with depression.  While I have raised a little boy successfully, and to be someone any parent would be proud of, with no problems or issues, it does not stop me from feeling guilty that he has not had the Mum he deserves to have because of my illness.  When you are single parent you are forced to keep going, it is not like the other parent is there to pick up the pieces when you are too depressed to get out of bed, or to undertake daily tasks required by every parent, there is no choice you have to do it no matter how sick you are.  Despite my ability to keep going through adversity, and times when I was extremely ill, I feel guilty that I was not there enough, that he saw me at my worst more than once, that he missed out on things because I was too ill to take him, that he was the one comforting me when I could not cope with depression.  It does not matter who I have raised my little boy to be, nothing can take away my guilt that I was not the best parent I could be.

Then there were the times when after a suicide attempt, always on the weekend he was with his Dad, that I was in hospital, some of these occasions for weeks, and more recently months.  Nothing can make up for this time that I have missed with my little boy because of my own actions and my illness.  If it is not bad enough that I was too ill to look after myself, I had a little boy who did not have his Mum around to look after him.

To compound my guilt, I had my ex-husband, my little boys Dad making calls and texting that I should not have access to my little boy because I was an unfit Mother, and that he would have my little boy taken away from me because of my depression.  My GP had assured me that unless I was a murderer or drug dealer there was little chance that my ex-husband would be able to legally get my son taken away from me, that did not make me feel any better.  Overall, not being there for my son, because I was in hospital and too sick, was the hardest part of my life as a parent.  You do not get over that.

Towards the end of 2012, and in early 2013 I went through months of electro convulsive therapy (ECT), not only was I in hospital for months for this to occur, as a result of the ECT I suffered retrograde amnesia.  Losing nearly an entire year of memories, and some of the last three (3) years worth of memories, it was and continues to be difficult.  Yes it was scary, confusing, and frustrating but the worst was not remembering that my little boy had visited me in hospital every second day, not remembering what happened on his birthday, and not remembering holidays, special occasions, and school events with him.  These memories were wiped from my brain, as if they had never happened.

Before I even had my little boy I was always determined that I would never be the Mother that mine was to me.  I would always be there to listen to his concerns, problems, and about his day, I would always be there to show him affection and say ‘I love you’, I would have a relationship with him that he always knew I was there for him no matter what and that he could come to me about anything no matter how big or small.  I was committed to being this type of Mum and that I would never subject him to the emotional poverty that was so inherent in my own childhood.  In this regard, I have never allowed depression to take this away from me.  Yes there were times when I was in hospital that I was not there for him, but I have never allowed myself any other time not to be there, no matter how much depression affected me I would not allow it to affect my relationship with my little boy.

I often wonder what my little boy’s perception and opinion of me is as his Mum.  If he was asked ‘what is your Mum like?’, what would he say?  Would he say ‘she is the best Mum in the world’, or would he say ‘my Mum is always sad’, I hope it is the former.  I would hate to think that the only memories my little boy will grow up of me is a depressed, sad Mum, or a Mum who spent a lot of time in hospital, I hope that his memories will be of us playing together, spending special occasions and events together.

Another element of my Mother’s guilt is that despite loving my little boy dearly, that he is the center of my world/universe, and I could not be me or live without him I have always struggled to enjoy being a Mum.  I blame this solely on my depression.  From the moment he was born to this very day, like day to day living for me, being a Mum has been a constant struggle, which I have rarely enjoyed.  The thought of kick to kick, going to the park, playing, play dates, sport, and everything that goes with being a Mum has left little enjoyment with me, I have found it extremely hard to do, and I always found even the littlest of things exhausting.  Despite this I always tried, I did not want my depression to mean that my little boy would go without because I could not do my bit.  Even when he was a newborn with little support from my then husband I found every task of motherhood a struggle, impossible, exhausting, and this overshadowed my memories that having my little boy was a happy, enjoyable occasion for me.  I have so much guilt and so many regrets that I was this type of Mum, and continue to be.  I hated seeing Mum’s around me who weren’t like me, they were happy, loved every moment of being a Mum, everything was a pleasure and enjoyable, playing with their child was something they loved and looked forward too, and I admit I was so jealous that I could not be them.  I had the perfect baby, little boy, yet I couldn’t enjoy him, everything was way too hard and so exhausting every damn day.  I quiet frankly feel like a bad Mum because depression has taken from me my enjoyment of being a Mum.

Don’t get me wrong by reading this that you think I am a bad Mum, because that is far from the truth, this is how depression has affected me being a Mum, and to be honest, the affect has impacted me more than it has my little boy.


Debbie is a single Mum of a 13 year old son, a keen photographer, reader, camper and academic, and has lived with depression since her early teenage years. Her experience with depression has inspired her to write a blog in the hope of helping others with depression by sharing her story. Debbie is the author of Sad Mum Happy Mum, which is the story of a Mum living with depression, and her journey to recovery and happiness. She hopes to increase the awareness of depression and mental illness, and break down the stigma attached to depression. Debbie is determined to provide a safe environment for other Mum’s to talk about their experiences with depression, and is working towards establishing a support group that assists Mum’s living with depression. You can also connect with her via Facebook
Click to read more »