Wednesday, April 29, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 17 - COLOUR

Once you have a baby your home inevitably becomes full of colour. There's no escaping the mountain of toys and clothes and playdough and colouring in pencils and pens and crayons that'll take over your house. Our lounge room used to be white & neutral {basically} but now it looks more like the obliteration room that's been in residence at GOMA the last few weeks. Seriously, everywhere you look there are bursts of colour. It seems to be spilling out into the backyard now. Even though we're currently doing up our courtyard with neutral timber flooring it seems all her outdoor toys are bright and colourful. It goes against my own desire for everything to be neutral, but I don't mind it at all because kids deserve to have colour and fun in their lives and she certainly has a lot of that.

17 | COLOUR


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is water.



Also linking with Trish, and Raychael


Linky rules

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

52 weeks of memories



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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Caroch Minnie Chocolate Boots

I think its safe to assume that you're all probably well aware of my addiction to Tiptoe & Co shoes by now {well those who follow me on Instagram definitely are}. So it probably comes as no surprise that we've added to our collection again. To be honest I add to her collection every month, but these ones are extra special so I'm sharing them with you guys. Bub got her first pair of little boots this month and the cuteness is overwhelming.

She's been growing up so quickly lately that every day she looks a little bit more like a little girl, especially now that her hair is getting so long. Seeing her in these boots takes it to a whole other level. She looks like a real "big girl" now which is both exciting and bitter sweet, but so freakin adorable.


Her new boots are the chocolate Minnie boots by Caroch. They're leather and are lined with faux fur to make them extra comfy and warm. They're warm enough for her to wear in the cool weather that's just reared its head, but the lining is also thin enough that they're ok for QLD. Its always hard to find good boots for QLD because a lot of them are usually lined too much that they're just too hot for up here. These ones have just the right amount of lining and its super soft {which is probably why she grabs the shoes and puts them on herself when we're at home}. 

The Minnie boots also have cute ruffle and bow detailing on the outer side which gives a nice little age appropriate feminine touch. The inner side has a velcro opening the height of the boots which makes it really easy to get them on and off. So easy infact that she quickly discovered she could put them on herself {I think she worked that out the day after we got them}, now we just have to work on getting the right shoe on the right foot. Even when she doesn't get them on the right foot its so cute watching her run around so proud of herself for putting her shoes on.
Caroch Minnie Chocolate Girls Boots by Tiptoe & Co
They also have squeakers in the soles so I know exactly where she is at all times. I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with squeaky soles lately, but they've proven to be quite useful when we're out. At the hospital the other day she kept trying to dart off and everyone was giving me looks because of her shoes and then one lovely lady said she thought all toddlers should have squeaky shoes so everyone could tell where they were incase they tried to hide or run away. Its so true. When we're at home though I sometimes swap them over with the non squeaky valves just to give my ears a break. Because she likes to stomp really hard to make them squeak really loud and it can get old really quickly when we're at home {thankgod they come with spare non-squeaky valves}.

Minnie leather chocolate toddler boots

The Caroch Minnie boots can be purchased via Tiptoe & Co in both chocolate. The RRP is $45, but like all their shoes, Tiptoe & Co sell them for below the RRP at only $39.95. I think $39.95 is a great price for leather boots as I know Caroch are good quality and will last. I got them in the next size up that's about 10mm bigger than her foot size now so she'll be able to wear them all through winter.

Tiptoe and co girls toddler sandals and mary janes

Tiptoe & Co is an online children's shoe boutique started in 2013 by a fellow mum to offer high quality shoes at affordable prices. She hand picks quality leather boys and girls shoes for babies, toddlers and children. Tiptoe & Co stock a large range of shoes from popular brands Caroch, Freycoo, Little Blue Lamb, Skeanie and Vans as well as Shoezooz kids shoe labels. Trust me you need to check out their shoes, but be warned you'll probably get addicted to them. We have so many pairs, they're the only shoes I buy for bub {even T approves of my Tiptoe & Co addiction, so that says something}. For those who really want the Minnie boots, or just want to add some Tiptoe & Co shoes to your child's wardrobe, I have an awesome giveaway so you can do just that :)


TIPTOE & CO GIVEAWAY

Win a $40 Tiptoe and Co voucher
Tiptoe & Co are generously offering one Finding Myself Young reader the chance to win a $40 voucher. That means you can get your own pair of Minnie boots too {or one of the other gorgeous pairs of shoes available on Tiptoe & Co}.

To be in the running simply follow the rafflecopter prompts in the widget below and remember to leave a comment letting me know which shoes from Tiptoe & Co are your favourite pair and why?

Good luck!

Toni x

*If you're having trouble leaving a comment choose the anonymous option and change "anonymous" to your name when you leave your comment so I can match your entry.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS 
Competition commences 12:00am April 28th 2015 and ends 12:00am May 12th 2015. Entry is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. One reader will win a $40 voucher from Tiptoe & Co to be spent online at www.tiptoeandco.com.au. Prize is not transferable. Prize will be delivered by Tiptoe & Co, Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for prize delivery. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All mandatory entry steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and excluded from judging. Winner will have 72hrs to respond or prize will be redrawn. This competition is in no way endorsed, promoted or administered by Facebook.

Disclosure - I was gifted the Minnie boots for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own as per my disclosure policy. As mentioned above I'm a bit addicted to Tiptoe & Co shoes and we have far too many pairs, but we do love them A LOT.

Linking with Jess
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Monday, April 27, 2015

A new direction

Since I was 16 I've worked in retail in various capacities from a casual right through to being a store manager of multiple stores. I've only ever worked for 3 different retail companies because I pretty much fear change. Most of the change in my life has been unwanted and uncontrollable so I cling to the things I can control. I stayed working in retail because it was familiar. I was comfortable and I knew I was good at it. My job has always been one of the areas in my life I've felt most confident in and I let that confidence dictate my career path.

Before I had bub I was starting to get bored though. There were only two directions my job could take from where I already was, either going to work in the city {which meant a 2+hr commute each day} or waiting and hoping I'd one day be made state manager. Deep down I knew I didn't want to be state manager though because I didn't want to be driving all over town and essentially working out of my car. I knew there wasn't much left for me at my job, but I wasn't ready to leave yet.

quote - sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.

Getting pregnant with bub in 2012 really came at the perfect time in my life {even though I'd tried for years to get pregnant}. It gave my life an entirely new direction, one that I'd desperately wanted for years. I was absolutely petrified to essentially be unemployed while on maternity leave though. I've always earned my own income and paid my own way since I was 15 so even though I haven't been getting paid, I've clung to the security of still being technically employed for almost 2 years of extended maternity leave. Until today.

Today I finally wrote my letter of resignation. I've known for ages that I wasn't going to go back to work full time. With all her allergies there's no way I'm putting her in childcare yet, I just don't want her exposed to situations where she could eat food she's allergic to {although I'm sure they'd do everything to ensure it wouldn't happen, I've heard of it happening to others}. Without family available to babysit on a regular basis and with T doing shift work there wasn't really any option except for me to stay home. To be honest its what I've always wanted anyway and I'm thankful that we're in a position where I can do that.

Being mum isn't all I'm doing though. Over the last two years I've put a lot more effort into this space here {*cough* incase you hadn't noticed} and have subsequently landed freelance work with Mother's Joint Magazine, The Huffington Post UK, Brisbane Kids and have recently started doing articles for Her Collective. Only some of its paid and its only enough to support my sonny angel addiction at the moment, but its great to be able to do what I love. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but working full time meant it was always put on the back burner. I feel like maternity leave has finally allowed me to indulge my passion and reignited my love of writing. So that's what I want to focus on going forward, as well as raising a happy little girl and hopefully having some more babies.

Its a new direction, but its the right direction.

Toni x

Linking with Raychael, Alicia & Eva.
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Friday, April 24, 2015

How the Bananas in Pyjamas have traumatised my child

Now don't get me wrong, we're huge fans of the Bananas in Pyjamas here. In fact it was one of the shows I was looking forward to watching the most when I had bub because it reminds me of my childhood {even though they've somehow managed to morph from "real people" into cartoon characters at some point during the last 25 years}. At 10am and 4pm each day we're at home we can usually be found in front of the tv waiting for our daily doses of B1 and B2. While I normally welcome these two into my home on a daily basis with open arms, right now I have a big bone to pick with them. It appears they've unintentionally traumatised my child.

Bananas in Pyjamas B1 & B2
No guys, its not Bananatastic!

A few months ago bub all of a sudden became petrified of the vacuum cleaner, for no apparent reason. Which kind of sucks because having a toddler is like having a mini tornado rip through your house every day which = a lot of mess. Most of which could be cleaned up by a vacuum cleaner, however my child now has an inconsolable breakdown when she even sees me go and pick it up, long before I actually turn it on. It gets a million times worse if I try and use it.

We're talking inconsolable screaming, not just crying, actual screaming. But there are tears, lots and lots of tears that stream all down her face til she gets so choked up she cant breathe properly. She does this while literally shaking in fear. And all of that happens within about 2 minutes of me walking to the vacuum cleaner and turning it on. So my vacuuming attempts while she's awake usually last for 2 minutes. Then I have to spend the next 30 minutes trying to calm her down. So needless to say I don't really vacuum when she's awake.

I've spent months trying to work out what made her so scared to no avail. Then finally this week I worked it out, purely by chance. It was the bloody Bananas in Pyjamas! The most unlikely culprits ever. They're usually bringing joy into our home, not unleashing psychological warfare {as T called it the other night}. It turns out there's an episode called jobs galore where the Bananas use the vacuum to try and clean up all the mess in the teddies front yard, however it ends up going very, very wrong. It came on tv again this week and she was shaking and crying the whole time they were using the vacuum. For those who couldn't be bothered youtubing the episode, I've included a run down and some screenshots for you below {courtesy of bub's abc kids iview app}.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking B1? I think I am B2. Lets scare the bejeezus out of all the kids by flinging ourselves around on this crazy out of control vacuum cleaner turned rocket ship.

Oh no B1 its out of control. I think you're right B2. Ooooopsie!

Uh, Oh!!!

There's lots more flinging around in the air being dragged along by the vacuum cleaner, but I gave up trying to screenshot it. Ultimately it all comes to an end...


Phew I'm glad that's over B1. Me too B2. Thanks Amy!

Cue screaming petrified and permanently traumatised children all over the country. Ok it probably wasn't that bad, but there's at least one traumatised little girl in this house and now that I know the cause I'm still no closer to knowing how to rectify it. Has anyone else had a child petrified of the vacuum cleaner? It appears she's not scared of the noise, but the fact that it might start going out of control and fling us around everywhere.... how the hell do I get rid of this fear?

Please tell me some of you know the solution because right now I have no idea what to do.


Toni x

P.S. We still love the Bananas in Pyjamas, but if that episode comes on tv again I'll be taking evasive action and changing the channel.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 16 - FAVOURITE

So this week I'm combining my favourite "toys" with her favourite toy, well one of her favourite toys anyway, I'm pretty sure she has a few. Her princess castle has been a firm favourite since she got it at Christmas, except god knows where she's put half the princesses {I'm sure I'll find them behind the tv cabinet or under the buffet at some point}. The other day I realised that the sonny angels would be the perfect height to play in the castle as well. I started collecting them after I had her and they're technically for her {although she wont be playing with them til she's older and knows not to eat them} but they're really for me. T keeps making fun of me for collecting little dolls with doodles hanging out but there's just something endearing about them that makes me want to collect them. So he can just deal with it for now.

16 | FAVOURITE


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is colour.



Also linking with Trish, and Raychael


Linky rules

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

52 weeks of memories



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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Fantastic Mrs Box

Sometimes we deserve a little something nice just for us, and let's face it, it doesn't happen anywhere near enough. So much of our time is taken up caring for others, whether it be children, partners or even parents. There's usually not much time left just for us. I've also noticed since I had bub that I hardly ever buy stuff for me any more, pretty much everything I buy is for her {ahem *cough* baby shoes}. Apart from the grocery shopping, every other time I go to the shops I come home with bags full of clothes and toys and books... and its all for her.

I almost feel guilty when I buy something just for me and I'm sure other women can relate. Don't worry though I've found something that we can all enjoy and not feel guilty about! Something special that's just for us women and you can get it every month! Sounds a bit risqué doesn't it haha, but I assure you its not. I'm talking about the new Fantastic Mrs Box gift boxes which I discovered via Kaz from Melting Moments.

ABOUT FANTASTIC MRS BOX

Fantastic Mrs Box is a relatively new {only 6 months young} gift box business run by two women Edwina and Elaine. They developed the business with the hopes their boxes would remind women of their sense of self in a life that is often crowded with doing things for others. The products included in each Fantastic Mrs Box are purely for the fantastic woman in your life {which may very well be you} and they vary each month.


Fantastic Mrs Box varies from other subscription gift box services in a number of ways, the most obvious one being you don't actually need to sign up to a subscription at all. You can buy one single box as a one off or you can pick and choose which boxes you want to buy as the months go on. You're not locked into any pre-paid scheme or obliged to buy a certain number of boxes, which for semi-sceptics like me is a big plus! There is however the option to purchase a 3 month package if you'd like to.

Each gift box is themed so all the gifts included {4 or more pieces} are coordinated around a central theme and work in together. Originally all the gift boxes were a surprise so you didn't know what you'd get until it arrived at the door, but after customer feedback the business model has changed slightly. Fantastic Mrs Box now offer a themed box each month with the contents revealed before you purchase {awesome for those like me} and they also offer a surprise gift box for those who love the mystery part of the gift box experience. Boxes are also now sent out as you order instead of having to wait for a monthly delivery date, so its perfect for those purchasing for birthday or anniversary gifts who need the box to arrive by a certain date.

This month's themed gift box is of course for Mother's Day and includes hand picked items to delight and give thanks to all the beautiful mums who dedicate so much time to taking care of others. I was lucky enough to get one {its quite possibly the only mothers day gift I'll actually get} and you can still get your hands on one too and it'll be delivered in plenty of time for Mothers Day {which is May 10th for those gentlemen scratching their heads wondering when its going to sneak up on them}.

MOTHERS DAY GIFT BOX

"You have received this gift box because you are a treasured and appreciated Mother. Here you will find a thoughtful selection of quality products that celebrate you and thank you for your many small acts of love and kindness."

Fantastic Mrs Box Mothers Day gift box

The Mothers Day Fantastic Mrs Box contains five different items, including a quote print which is a signature item for each month's Fantastic Mrs Box. The Mothers Day box includes a Fred + Heidi pear scented soy candle, hand cream from The Scented Tree, a notebook from Katie Michelle Designs and a heart shaped brooch from Paper Alphabet in addition to the Mother Theresa inspirational quote.

I love the quote print {I have a healthy obsession with quotes} so that's going to take pride of place on the wall of my new "office" once I finish transforming the spare room into my work space. I'm not usually one to like scented candles, but this one smells so nice. When I opened the box it was infused with the scent of the candle and smelt so good. The candle is going to sit on a display shelf in the bathroom in the hopes that one day I'll get to take a bath and use it, until then it can make my bathroom smell nice everyday. The hand cream is the perfect size to have in my handbag {or nappy bag}. And the notebook, well what writer/blogger doesn't need a huge collection of notebooks? I just have to make sure bub doesn't get her hands on it or it'll be quickly decorated with squiggles. The only item that I probably won't use myself is the brooch, but only because I'm not really a brooch person. I'll be giving that to a friend most likely {if bub doesn't steal it first}. 


The box comes beautifully gift packaged with the items presented like a nest of surprises within the box itself. Even though I knew what was going to be in it I still had fun searching through the shredded paper to find each item. I love that all of the items are just for me and not for bub or to be shared with T. Having something just for me these days is such a rarity.

Fantastic Mrs Box gift boxes really are a great way to surprise a wonderful woman in your life or spoil yourself and would make the perfect gift for Mothers Day. The girls are offering all Finding Myself Young readers 10% off using the code 10FMB04 at checkout when ordering online from www.fantasticmrsbox.com.au

Would you treat yourself or a friend to a Fantastic Mrs Box?


Toni x

P.S. If you do still feel too guilty to order a Fantastic Mrs Box for yourself, but would love one, then share this post with your husband, partner or friend as a hint so they know how to make your day :)


Disclosure - I was sent a Fantastic Mrs Box for review, all opinions are my own as per my disclosure policy.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Why brands should work with bloggers to promote their business

Why brands should work with bloggers to promote their business


Are you considering working with bloggers but don't know where to start? Maybe you're just not sure why working with bloggers would be valuable for your business... Allow me to show you how working with bloggers can help to grow your business and increase your customer base.

Firslty let me say that most bloggers, like myself, don't open up their blog to working with brands without properly considering all the pros and cons beforehand. Those who offer brand collaborations have weighed up the value it can bring to their readers and the value they can bring to the brand. Most bloggers will be interested in creating ongoing mutually beneficial brand collaborations, rather than just earning a quick buck, which means long-term benefits for the brand.

WHY YOU SHOULD WORK WITH BLOGGERS


Bloggers offer a unique way to market your business directly to your target market as they already have an engaged and captive audience {both on their blog and social media channels}. Bloggers offer the virtual equivalent of word of mouth marketing, being able to promote your products in a conversational tone with an engaged audience. In a lot of cases bloggers can offer a more measurable and cost-effective return on investment than traditional advertising channels, especially for small businesses.


HOW TO CHOOSE A BLOG THAT FITS WITH YOUR BRAND


It's important to find a blog that's going to align well with your brand. Its worthwhile considering the following points to ensure you partner with a blogger who will meet your needs and be the right fit for your brand.

Stick to your niche
Campaigns will work best with bloggers who target the same niche as your business because you'll get your brand message across to potential customers who are already receptive to it and likely to take action. Instead of spreading the word across a broad spectrum, the majority of the time its best to use more targeted campaigns to reach the right customers for your business. For example if you sell kids clothing it would be best to align with a parenting blogger or a fashion blogger who specialises in kids fashion as they're already communicating with your niche market.

Choose a blog with the same target audience
In addition to choosing a blog within your target niche, you can go even further and refine your promotion by choosing a blog with the same target audience. Again coming back to the kids clothing example, your niche would be parents and your target market would be parents with young children so a parenting blog that is read by 25-45yr old women with children is going to be the best fit. This way you know your campaign is going to reach the exact people who you want to see it. You can usually find audience demographics in a bloggers media kit, or request specific statistics via email.

Quality over Quantity
It's easy to get caught up in the numbers and want to go with the blog that has the biggest following, that's natural, but take a moment to consider those numbers further. Its just as important to look at the level of engagement a blog {and its relevant social media channels} gets rather than just taking the follower numbers at face value. A smaller blog with an active, engaged and targeted audience will deliver a better result than one with large numbers, but no engagement.

A few ways to gauge a blog's engagement level is to look at the number of comments left on recent blog posts. Likewise, the number of likes and comments left on social media platforms {some readers feel more comfortable interacting via social media than on an actual blog post}. Check whether the blogger actively responds to comments left by readers to encourage conversations. If you want specific stats regarding engagement you could request Facebook insights or blog post statistics which most bloggers will be happy to provide upon request.

Consider your campaign objectives
If your objective is simply to create brand awareness, without a specific call to action, then a blog with a large following could be the best way to go as it has the potential to get your brand "seen" by a lot of people. However, if your objective is more specific like selling a certain product then its best to choose a blog with a more targeted audience who are likely to be potential customers and take action.

Read testimonials
Bloggers often have testimonials available either on their work with me pages or via their media kit. These give you an idea of other businesses they have previously worked with and how happy they were to collaborate with them. They also give you an insight into what the blogger is like to work with, which can all help you decide if they would be a good fit with your brand.
"I have been very happy to work with Toni. She has done a couple of reviews of our personalised products in a very honest and professional way. She was very good to keep in contact all the way via e-mails as to update on how things were going. I can highly recommend working with Toni – and hope to do some more work with her in the future" - Tea, Name My Stuff
"FMY has been a great fit for our brand Tiptoe & Co. Toni really understands the delicate balance between what people like to read and see, and what a brand likes people to know about their products. Her reviews are well written, she uses great photos and she takes the time to tell a story - that is why other parents can relate so well to her blog and one of the reasons for the success of FMY. We are looking forward to working with Toni again very soon!" - Chelsea, TipToe & Co

Contact the blogger
If you've found a blogger you think will be a good fit with your brand then contact them. Most bloggers prefer to be contacted via email, which should be easily found on their blog {usually on a work with me or contact me page}. Bloggers are a friendly bunch and we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

Most bloggers have a relationship with their readers based on trust and in order to maintain that trust will not promote products they don't truly believe in so don't be discouraged if some bloggers are not interested in partnering with your brand. Its better in the long run to partner with bloggers who truly believe in the brand and can convey this to their readership without damaging their valuable relationship with their readers. Honesty and transparency between a blogger and their readers plays a huge part in building a loyal readership, so working with a blogger who will honour that relationship built on trust will deliver a better result.

>> To find out if your brand would be a good fit with Finding Myself Young, please visit my Work With Me page.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 15 - READING

Bub's had a love for books since she was really young. Our collection has grown from the tiny little board books to include numerous Little Golden Books, Peppa Pig books, In the Night Garden books and a few really cool ones that make noises. She's obviously a long way off actually reading and still doesn't really have the patience for me to read a whole book to her, so we mainly just point at the pictures and say the names and sound of things. She's obsessed with learning animals sounds so we have quite a few animal books and she helps narrate "baaaaaa baaaaaaaaa" and "uck, uck!" {for duck}. Unfortunately the photo is a bit grainy because I took it at night and clearly my phone camera hates night time {I really need to get a real camera, hint hint T!}.


15 | READING


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is favourite.



Also linking with Trish, and Raychael


Linky rules

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

52 weeks of memories





To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Self imposed hibernation

So it may seem odd that we're hibernating, given its not winter and we're not bears. But a 1yrd old recovering from an eye operation {and a subsequent staph infection} will do that to you. 

Although we weren't officially told to stay at home, I'm still too paranoid to take her out {unless its completely necessary, like grocery shopping yesterday}. And we're both going bat shit crazy being holed up at home everyday. So perhaps it isn't the best thing for us, but we're dealing with it.

At the moment my days are filled trying to administer 16 eye drops per day to a toddler who DOES NOT want anything to do with that. If you want an insight into the difficulties of parenting come to my place and try to give her eye drops. Its not fun, but you're guaranteed to get a cardio workout.


Wish we were here

I'm really, really missing the beach. I'd love nothing more than to take her down and dunk her in the ocean. I'm sure the salt water and fresh sea air would do her good and help her heal, but I don't want to risk any sand getting in her eyes. Post op already feels like she has sand in her eyes and I can imagine its not pleasant, so I don't want to add to that. Given it manages to get up your butt crack even when you're wearing clothes I assume the stuff would be able to magically make it in her eyes, even with her glasses on.  So for now I'm just sitting here scrolling through the beach photos on my phone and pretending I'm there {its not working very well}.

After her next specialist check up I plan on making up for the hibernation in a big way {provided everything is ok of course}. If you need me I can be found at home repeatedly removing pen off the wall and going nuts watching the same cartoons over and over {thankyou ABC i-view, now she can play the same episode a million times in a row... its just awesome}.

Please tell me you've been doing more exciting things than we have. Seriously please tell me, then I can live vicariously through you...


Toni x

Linking with Jess
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Friday, April 10, 2015

The toughest day of my life as a parent.

Before I had kids I thought the hardest day of my life would be the day I gave birth. Granted my birth experience wasn't great and for a long time I have very much thought it was one of the hardest days of my life {apart from the fact that I got bub at the end of it}, but I was wrong. Yesterday was most definitely the toughest day of my life, and everything else pales in comparison.

Yesterday I had to watch my baby be put to sleep. Then I had to watch her endure through hours of pain when she woke up. Her surgery finally happened. We got through it, but its something I hope we never have to do again.

Last week my anxiety was going back and forth between having major internal freakouts and being ok with the operation and accepting that it was going to happen. Its not like I really had a choice, it had to be done, but that didn't stop me freaking out about it.

I was mainly worried about putting her to sleep. I'd heard from other parents how horrible it is watching them go to sleep and I wasn't looking forward to it. Deep down I knew it had to be me to go in as she always wants me when she's upset. I spent the week beforehand trying to convince myself T could take her in and it'd be fine and then I wouldn't be left with the memory of her going to sleep. In the end though I decided I had to do what was best for her and minimise the trauma for her rather than me. 

So I put on my big girl panties and got on with it. In the end she was so tired from being awake and waiting around all day she actually wanted to go to sleep anyway. She was relieved she could finally lay down on a bed and have a sleep. It helps that the surgery was booked for when she'd normally have her day time nap. In the end it wasn't anywhere near as traumatic as I thought it was going to be. 

During the operation I just kept telling myself she was having her nap so I didn't worry as much. I only started clock watching when it got to an hour which was how long the operation should take. Fifteen minutes after that I was getting a bit antsy and posted this photo...

Waiting, waiting, waiting... longest day of my life. #hospitalssuck
Posted by Finding Myself Young on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

About ten minutes after that photo was taken the surgeon called me to tell me everything had gone well {while I was sitting on the toilet, of course, stuff like that only happens to me}.

After that I was relieved and thought the stress and worry was all over. I was so excited to see her in recovery.... until I got there. I was expecting her to be half asleep lying on a hospital bed still groggy. How wrong was I. 

Walking into recovery I could hear her screaming her head off from three aisles away. When I got to her she was bright red and shaking {as well as screaming her head off}. She was beside herself and the poor nurses were super happy to see me because they couldn't console her no matter what they tried. Thankfully mummy cuddles and mummy's voice went a long way towards settling her down, but she was still really unhappy. Once they gave her more pain meds and they finally kicked in she calmed down and went to sleep from utter exhaustion. Poor thing would've been so scared waking in a strange room hurting and not knowing why. I felt worse seeing her like that in recovery than I did watching her go to sleep. I really hope she never experiences pain like that again.

She stayed sleeping on my chest for three hours on the ward. Snoring and whimpering every now and then. Even though I was busting to pee and couldn't feel my right arm, I was exactly where I needed to be. 


The hours on the ward passed surprisingly quickly because we were being thoroughly entertained by the other kids asking the nurses questions - Do you have kids? What's their names? Do you have a husband? Kids really surprise me how upbeat they are even when they're in pain. 

Just before 7pm we were allowed to go home and she was beyond relieved to have her cannula out and the monitor off her foot. And I was more than happy to leave the hospital after ten hours. I sat in the back of the car on the way home to hold her hand and she had another little nap.


We were expecting a sleepless night {well I was because T never hears her during the night}, but she surprised me and slept from 8:30 to 6. It broke my heart when she was trying to cover her head with pillows when she went to sleep to stop the pain. Poor baby.


This morning she's been pretty much back to her normal self already, walking around pointing at everything saying "dere, dere, dere". In the car on the way to the specialist check-up everything was woooooowww and when we went down a hill or over a bump it was wooooooooaahhh. Such a difference to last night when she was dead silent or crying in the car.

It really is amazing us how quickly she's bouncing back. Even though its only day surgery these days, I still remember how painful it was from when I had it done and they only operated on one of my eyes whereas they did both of hers. She's such a little trooper.

Hopefully in 2 weeks when we go back for another post-op check it's improved enough that we won't need to contemplate surgery again in the future. Because I really don't want her or us to go through this again.

Pre kids I never knew just how emotionally challenging it could be.


Toni x


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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 14 - EASTER

Easter wasn't really a big event at our place this year. She got a few small non-chocolate gifts but there was no leaving carrot out for the Easter bunny, no Easter egg hunt and unfortunately no chocolates. Ok well the last one was a tiny lie {as you can tell from my photo}. One of our neighbours gave bub a little Easter baskets with a few eggs and a bunny - of course being the responsible CMPA parent I am, I'm taking care of those for her. Next year when she's nearly 3, and possibly overcome her dairy allergy {fingers crossed} we'll start all the Easter traditions. This year the sonny angels had all the fun...

14 | EASTER


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is reading.



Also linking with Trish, and Raychael


Linky rules

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

52 weeks of memories





To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:


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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Bonnetfriend

Bub is definitely an outdoor baby. She goes a bit stir crazy if she's kept within the same 4 walls for too long {just like her mummy}, so we spend a lot of time outside. Even though we live in a townhouse complex we're lucky enough to have lots of grassy areas where we can kick a ball around. It's a great way to burn off excess energy during the arsenic hour/s in the afternoon and wear her out before bed time.

With all that play outside a hat is an important necessity. We have quite a few of them and far from being boring, I've decided to use them as stand alone accessories. I surprise even myself with how daring I've been with her hats because I normally like everything to be pretty matchy matchy, but we all have to step out of our comfort zone at some point. 

My latest foray into hat fashion includes bonnets. Yep bonnets as in old school, cute as a button, bonnets. I have a love of all things yesteryear and this way I can pass on that love to bub in a small way, whilst still protecting her from the sun. And she looks freaking adorable.


She looks like a cute little old lady in a teeny person's body haha. The glasses just help complete the look. Watching her run around with her bonnet on is like stepping back in time and imagining what it was like for children of past generations. You know if you ignore the neon pineapple dress {they probably didn't have those back then}.


See it totally looks like you've gone back in time to the 1950's, right? She could easily pass off as my mum. I think anyway. Mum might not agree.

This bonnet is the ring around the rosie bonnet from Bonnetfriend. The bonnet is fully reversible with a bright flower pattern on the outside and a grey circle pattern on the inside. We use the flower pattern as the outside because I love the pink and purples. The bonnet can be folded back in line with her eyes too which I do when its not too sunny. We got a size 1-3 years, but because she's only 1 its still a bit generous so when she runs {which she does A LOT} it tends to fall back a bit and the front ends up in line with her hair {like in the photo above}. The upside though is that we'll get a few good years wear out of it.


We also have the vintage treasures bonnet, but unfortunately with a crazy fast toddler the pattern didn't show up very well in photos. It's actually got a really cute pattern featuring birds, butterflies, squirrels and little girls. The inside is a plain peach colour and the bonnet is reversible like all others sold by Bonnetfriend.



ABOUT BONNETFRIEND

Bonnetfriend is a handmade business based in California. Leanne runs the business from her home studio where she sews all of the orders herself. Leanne started creating bonnets for her own daughter as a practical yet aesthetically pleasing substitute for the everyday hat so her daughter could enjoy hours of outdoor play just like she had as a child. Soon after making bonnets for her own daughter, Leanne was constantly being asked to make them for friends as well as strangers at the park, so Bonnetfriend was born.

All Bonnetfriend bonnets are made from organic GOTS certified cotton. The cotton is soft to allow for comfort, but is also durable and long lasting. Its also breathable so little ones wont sweat like in other fibres. Organic cotton also means the ties are completely safe if babies or young children chew on them {as they most likely will}. The bonnets offer the sun and wind protection of a hat with a soft yet snug fit that can be adjusted as needed.

Bonnetfriend organic cotton bonnets for kids

Leanne makes super cute bonnets and has so many styles there's sure to be one that appeals to you. I love that they're made from organic cotton as bub has really sensitive skin so I always try to go as natural as possible when it comes to fabrics for her. I especially love that the bonnets are reversible so its like getting two hats in one. Another added bonus is that the stitch at the back of the bonnet can be let out which allows the bonnet to expand more creating even more wear, making them even better value for money.

Although they're based in America, Bonnetfriend ship to Australia {including heaps of other countries} and postage is only $5 {to Australia}. Yes $5, that's cheaper than it is to order from a lot of shops here within Australia! To think without the wonders of the internet I never would've even known about this lovely lady sitting in her house on the other side of the world making cute bonnets. So I'm using the power of the internet to let you all know about her too :)

Would you put your little girl in a bonnet?

Toni x
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