Sunday, January 11, 2009

au revoir

I realise I'm jumping on the balloon trend bandwagon, but this was too cute not to post. Image via Amanda Keeys Photography

I know it seems I only just started this blog, but... it's time to say goodbye. I'm not afraid to admit I took on more than I could chew! Between working from home on the website, writing for the mag, writing renovate + decorate and now also for the Real Living magazine blog, I just don't have the time. I'll be incorporating aspects of mini meez into renovate + decorate for the time being, before heading off into another direction focussing on home and family life a bit more. So until then, please head over here to see what I'm up to. Thanks for reading, commenting and any advice, help and tips and tricks you've offered over the past seven months. It's been fun, but it's time to move on.
Much love
Belinda x

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Once upon a time, plastic toys, playstations and barbie dolls didn't exist...

Little Alouette Waldorf Maple teethers, from $14, Mum & Babe

...and Santa and his elves actually made all of their toys - mostly out of wood. I'm a huge fan of wooden toys and try to buy the natural-looking over its brightly-coloured plastic second cousins as often as I can. And I'm glad to see Zak also loves his woody friends: his blocks, puzzles, wooden truck, bead weaver and push-a-long cart are in high rotation on his daily play. What I'd never really considered before though was wooden teethers. Now that Layla is chewing away merrily on her hands, Zak's hands, muslin wrap, Ooh Ahh, her squeaky toy and anything else in reach, I've been thinking about teethers. And these ones from Little Alouette would be perfect! Made by a carpenter and his wife on their property in Ohio, they're finished in organic seed oil and made from locally sourced products, particularly Ohio Maple. No harmful plastic and no falling apart, they're natural, handmade and so, so stylish. And before you worry about splinters in the mouth (ouch!), they're sanded and finished perfectly smooth. Even better, Little Alouette has a great range of wooden toys and supports the Handmade Toy Alliance (I wonder if we have one here? Hope so!). You must check out the range at their Etsy store. To buy teethers in Aus, try Mum & Babe

Broom broom. It has wheels, what more does a car need?!

Ellie the elephant

GiGi the giraffe

Teething keys for bubby

Peace out!

Monday, December 8, 2008

mini break

hello lovelies,
Just a quick note to say I'm heading off to our nation's capital for the week to spend some time with my parents... translation: I have a HEAP of stuff to do and need a live-in nanny! hehe. So I'm taking a break from blogging but will be back next week. So have a lovely few days - I'm guessing what with all the Christmas shopping, meal planning, parties and end-of-work-year-stuff to sort out, you won't miss me anyway! Back soon.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

super (and affordable!) storage ideas

Various shades of blue, crisp white and a dash of light wood make this room serene.

Ok, so if you read last week's Take 5 magazine you'd have noticed some projects to get the look of this nursery were featured (I compiled the special and this was my first inclusion!). And if you've picked up the latest Cosmo Pregnancy, you'd also have noticed it is the boy's nursery feature. And if you are an avid reader of Real Living, you'd have seen it in there too about a year ago. Safe to say, it's a popular room for magazines. But in case you haven't seen it, here is the whole set! And some super storage ideas to steal.

Before I go on, I was not reading Cosmo Pregnancy because I'm pregnant again, but because I knew there was a pic of my kiddies and me in there babbling on about my choice of sling. Yes I paid $13-odd dollars just to see a picture I took myself and can see anytime for free. However, I used to work wtih these guys so it was nice to see the editor Franki's little baby boy and read my friend Louise's pregnancy diary. I was also pleasantly surprised to see mini meez got a mention under great blogs to check out. Not quite as pleased to see the address was wrong, but I was a subeditor in a previous life and despite being a damn good one if I do say so myself, I have made worse mistakes so they're forgiven!! (I called super-advertiser Avon's Retroactive cream "Radioactive" cream and, um, once signed off on an entire sealed section in Cosmo that got published... only to find out once it hit the stands that it had been published by us a year or two earlier. Not entirely my fault, but OOPS!)

But back to the pics, here are some great storage ideas to steal. And afterwards, some other ways to stash all the toys in a living space - stylishly.

Perfect for all those tiny toys: Lego, crayons, cars, cars and more cars. Ikea have similar (but smaller) boxes and you can so easily stencil or freehand paint the alphabet on. Or even stick flashcards on the fronts of drawers to describe the contents - kids will find it easier to pack things away if know where each thing's home is.

This I love and want to do myself: a mobile toy box. Paint the boxes, add some castors and join together loosely with a bit of rope and move it room to room. A box option is below.

Oh to have a wall of built-in storage... If you don't, try to DIY with a bookshelf and the same boxes as above. A coat of paint makes them a feature.

Oh look! The boxes again. Perfect nappy-and-cream station. Until baby gets old enough to pull everything out of course!

A drawstring bag does overtime duty as a laundry bag, library bag, overnight-at-Nan's bag, hand-me-downs storage and all those other annoying accumulations that don't look good on the shelf or aren't used that often.

A stack of cubes makes displaying the pretty, well, pretty. Try Howard's Storage World for similar. All images above by Getty Images.

Perfect for the projects above. Paint it, let the kids draw on it, cover it in chalkboard paint and turn it into a mobile craft station too! Trissa box, from $14.95, Ikea

I have one of these collapsible baskets in my living room. Holds more than you'd think! Vietnamese woven baskets, $24.95 for one large or a set of a small and medium, Little Gypsies

Huge! And lovely to look at. I'm going to grab one when I get my kitchen. NĂ„SUM basket with handles, $39, Ikea

I love these - very unique. You could leave as is, but they'd also look great painted a vibrant colour. Apple Tubs made from balsa wood, $9.95 (small), $19.95 (medium), $29.95 (large), Alfresco Emporium

I use mine for shopping but it looks so pretty propped against the hallstand, I often think it'd be fine staying their permanently and if so, could be put to good use as a toy depot. Plus, this one is the cheapest I've seen. French Market Bag, $19.95, Alfresco Emporium

It's a bugger finding nice ways to store everything. I have yet to see a real house that's got it totally covered. Even an interior stylist I know uses those bright plastic tubs in her living room for her daughter's toys. So do toys rule in your house? What's your secret storage device?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

starting solids: purees vs baby-led weaning

Goodness, time flies. Layla is six months old next week and I decided to try her on solids the other day - she keeps looking longingly at our food when we eat and has grabbed for Zak's sandwiches a few times, so that's my sign to start! I did the same with Zak and he took to it like hungry boys do to any kind of edible substance. Layla didn't quite get off to the same start - her reaction to her first mouthful was priceless, so I had to capture it on camera. Despite the dry retches, gags and horrifed faces, she kept it down and kept opening her mouth for more! The next was much better - we got smiles, no gags and she even grabbed the spoon off me and gave feeding herself a go. Too cute.

Just like we Zakky, I started on the usual organic rice cereal with tasty breast milk and I'll prob dig out the blender soon to start pureeing the carrots and pumpkin again once she's got used to thicker cereal. A bit of apple can come afterwards (always best to start on the savoury rather than the sweet) and then it's dabbling in everything else.

While this is a pretty stock standard way of introducing solids to your child, I was interested to hear from a friend of mine about a newish feeding fad called Baby-Led Weaning (or BLW). Basically this is letting your baby (from six months) feed themselves what you're eating. They're not exactly going to pick up a knife and fork and start hoeing into a steak, but they'd get it in finger-food form, suck and taste it, and when they're ready, they'll begin to bite into it and chew a little. No purees, no spoons, but lots of mess. I've never heard of this before and to be honest, I just can't imagine my little Layla sucking on a piece of meat as her first non-boob meal. Or feeding herself a carrot stick. But maybe in a month or so I can see her sucking on some melon or banana. But I think I need to introduce the first tastes the good old fashioned way first - via a mushy mix.

As always, there will be people who'll swear by it and those who pan it, so what are your thoughts? Has anyone out there has tried this? How did you go? What do you think about it vs traditional methods? Is it encouraging the child to put everything and anything in their mouths? You can find more about it here - the author of this site has also written a book on it. Would love to hear your thoughts as usual.

Monday, December 1, 2008

a family-friendly home

Love this Anthropologie chair

It can be tricky decorating your home when you have kids. There are those places that are overrun by the kids and their toys, then there are those that show no signs of children at all. I'd like to think I'm somewhere inbetween. I refuse to buy licensed products and I try to keep the amount of stuff in the living room to a minimum. And those toys that are on display are usually the nice ones - classic and wooden: wooden train set, wooden blocks etc. Of course it's not always like this, but I try. I love seeing signs of a child's life in pictures of people's homes and it really bugs me that a lot of mags overstyle the rooms to remove all this. But I found this place (via Design*Sponge) had perfect balance. Grown-up rooms with a few childish pieces that don't make you want to stick your hands to the sides of your legs so you don't break anything (I STILL do this while walking through the crockery departments in DJs and Myer. I'm a real clutz). Here are two simply stylish ideas to steal for your own common living zone.

1. Give them grown-up furniture with childlike style (above) Yes the couches are white (but I bet they're easily-removable slipcovers), but this vibrant chair certainly isn't. The style fits with the rest of the room, but the pattern is bright and cheery for little people and would easily disguise their grubby little marks they'd inevitably leave on it at some stage. It can be turned around to face the other couches when visitors call by, or left as is to create a kids zone within the same room. I love, love the little wooden car and trailer!

An Ikea Lack coffee table paired with a Lack side table makes one big happy table family. Images via Design*Sponge

2. Buy a mini version of your essentials I think I'll steal this idea for my own place: their own designated space within your own. Your coffee table doesn't become their scribble desk, but a side table pushed up against it does. This way, you get to leave your table styled how you like it, while they get to unleash their creative side in your line of sight. And it doesn't look odd at all!

You can see more of this cool place right here

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

finally! stylish toy storage

It's stylish but not quite as cheap as Kmart: DwellStudio Toy Storage Cube in Gio Aqua, $134.95 each, from Bebe

It's hard finding storage that is easy on the eyes and big enough to hold all the toys and... STUFF! that kids usually prefer all over the living room floor. Enter, DwellStudio, of course! Known for their gorgeous range of kids linen and soft toys, they've also branched out into storage (and rugs, too!). Made from heavy-duty canvas, they're a good size too as you can see in the pic with the boy and will make the pile of Lego and Barbie dolls look surprisingly chic in the corner of your lounge room! You can get them from Bebe.

The choc spots would fit right in to most people's decor scheme

An idea of the size

Monday, November 17, 2008

happy birthday zak!

My birth day! November 16, 2006

To celebrate Zakky's second birthday yesterday (a few party pics here), I thought I'd share some of those baby book memories you start out doing religiously, then kind of neglect and don't even bother with for the next child (poor second and subsequent children!).

First proper smile: 2 weeks
First laugh: 4 weeks
First roll over: three months
First time sitting up: six months
First crawl: eight months
First steps unattended: 12 months
First word: Dada
First word that wasn't a parent: Shoes
Most recent word: Castle (he got a jumping castle for his birthday)
Favourite toy: Monkey, or "Ooh Ah"
Favourite book: At the moment, "Busy Dumpers"
Favourite song: Alphabet song
Favourite show: Right this minute "Trains" (Thomas the Tank Engine)
I love to... kick a ball, bowl a ball, catch a ball, hit a ball with a golf club, cricket bat, tennis racket and ocassionally the gardening fork. Basically do anything with a ball.
I know... my whole alphabet, numbers up to 30, all my colours, most shapes, animals and modes of transport, most sports, all my family and extended family member's names and who goes with who (ie, partners and children) and a few German words.
I really like... doing puzzles, reading my books, drawing 0s and 1s, being challenged and feeding the ducks at the waterfront.
At the moment I'm completely obsessed with... dump trucks and trains.
I'm really good at... giving spontaneous cuddles and kisses and remembering my manners
I don't like... bathtime (at the moment)
I love to laugh at... my little sister Layla

Friday, November 14, 2008

my swan princess

Organic Swan Onesie, $US18 by Green Thread Shop

There seem to be a few select nicknames that babies get: bubs, monkey, princess. I'm afraid I'm not very original: Zak is monkey because he's so cheeky and cute. It's also his most fave toy ever, but for all the love, he refuses to call it monkey: he calls it "Ooh Ahh". And so far, Layla is Angel or Princess because, well, they seem so girlie. I was calling her Princess Layla and was a little horrified when it dawned on me we'd named her after a Star Wars character. But when I mentioned this to my Star Wars guru of a husband Steve, he assured me it's actually Princess Leia. Close, though.

Steve is of the opinion that because Zak's nickname is also his fave toy, Layla needs a two-in-one too. So Swan Princess she has become. He thought a swan was fitting for a little girl - white (which she SO is), graceful and beautiful. And if she inherits my long neck, all the more fitting! So far, not much luck in the swan toy department, but I did find this cute little organic onesie with a swan on it which I'm going to get her for Chrissy. But in a week or so because I discovered the seller is coming to Australia and will be shipping from here the week of Nov 22 which will mean it's cheaper! I'm a thrifty girl at heart...

Now I know I'm not the most original, but there must be some good nick names out there - so share away! And don't forget the story behind it!

PS: My monkey's 2nd birthday party is on Sunday. I decided on a bit of a "ball" theme (well, "round" theme) because he's completely obsessed with balls. I'll share pics on Monday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


There are moments when I consider myself supermum. Like when I'm carrying two kids, a bag of groceries, talking on the phone and opening the front door. All at the same time. I also often ask the powers that be for an extra arm when I'm really all out of them. So when I saw this video of this woman who has NO arms - and is a mother to a young baby - I promptly handed my supermum badge over to her. I cannot imagine how she does it. But I'm truly impressed - proof that once again, you can do just about anything if you're determined.

Monday, November 10, 2008

did you know...?

FREE! Download and print out these cute flash cards to teach your child the alphabet. Get it here (you'll need to sign up to see them - it's free)

... that the Huggies website has free downloadable alphabet cards? And playdough recipes? And craft ideas? And great games and things to do with your kids? I didn't. I found this out on the back of a Huggies box (hey, at the moment, when they're on special, my stingy side wins out over the green side). So I checked out the site, signed up and yep! There they are - here. It's not bad actually - if you're ever stuck on a rainy day, head there for some ideas if you just can't bare to read Thomas the Tank Engine for the 425th time.

And a few more. You also have the option of printing them out in black and white so the kids can colour them in - clever thinking by those Huggies people

Thursday, November 6, 2008

awesome apple party!

How pretty is the green pattern? All images via Swanky Tables

While looking through blogland for inspiration for Zak's second birthday, I came across this: a very cool apple themed party put on by none other than Nathalie from Imprintables - an Australian range of gorgeous invitations, stationery and party goods. I'm guessing it was for her son, but how great is it all? Very flash - it's so good, it looks magazine-styled. I have yet to decide what I'll do for Zakky's party - if anything at all as it's only immediate family with a whole three kids on top of my own - but I'm pretty sure it won't look as good as this! heh


Considering his invitations were these little colouring-in cards with his handiwork on it, I thought maybe a "colouring" party: we could do the big Ikea roll of paper over a table, crayons and pencils at the ready and maybe even a little cardboard cubby as I wrote about below. Can you believe the day after I wote that post, I saw another cardboard cubby in the new Inside Out. I loved what they did with it: covered it in wallpaper. This one is cheaper and rather stylish I must say. Then I think to just do away with the whole theme thing because the kids are just going to want to play with everything else other than what you set out. It's always the way! Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Yummy toffee apples!

So have you had a themed party for your kids? Or attended one? What did you do?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

this ought to keep them busy!

Colouring-in fun! From

How cute is this? Perfect for a rainy day! For something similar here, try The Boxman - there are cool cardboard rockets, cubbies, puppet theatre and castle boxes the kids can colour unleash their artistic flair on and their imagination in.

Cardboard cubbies, from $37.50, The Boxman

Another one is this cute white one from Jac's Store. Love the little windows!!

Kids on Roof Cubby House, $69.95, Jac's Store

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gorgeous nursery

Can't you just picture your angel sleeping on this rug? Pic: source forgotten (sorry!)

I could move into this room - if it wasn't for the cot, it could be a space for any age. I love, love the tables, and the dresser is rather similar to my own. Cute way to use Chinese lanterns - and they're dirt cheap, too - and I can't remember the last time I saw a wallpapered border. It actually looks good here!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

kids do the funniest things

How cute is this? That's talent!

My son is the funniest person I know. Every day I'm in stitches at something he says or does, whether it's his commentary while on the job - "biiiiig poo mummy" - or him blaming me for Layla's incredibly loud and incredibly smelly pop-offs, or the way he says "of course" instead of yes in answer to a question. I'm sure most of it is just adorable to my husband and I, being his parents and all, but this I had to share...

One of Zak's first words was "cheers" ("shoes" was his first word after mum and dad!) and he took to clinking his milk against my glass immediately after learning this word. And wouldn't rest until everyone in the room was "cheersed". Then he'd toast his toast, his ice blocks, his bananas and rice cakes - pretty much anything that went into his mouth. So ocassionally little cars too. But the other day, while Layla was having a feed, he says "cheers Layla" and clinked... my BOOB! hehe Well, I guess it IS her drink, and it's sweet that he wanted to include her!

So what's your child do that has you rolling around the floor laughing? I'd love to hear. Bx

Friday, October 24, 2008

funky boy's room

cool colour combo. Pic via Keltainen Talor Annalla (A Yellow House by the Sea)

It can be tough finding pics of cool boy's rooms - it seems stylists take the easy way out when it comes to creating kids rooms and go girlie. But not this one - whether this is a real home or a styled shot, it's very cool and unique.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

love this nursery

Is this the cutest pic? I think it might be. Images from What We Do

A little quirky, a little bright, a little adorable. Love the mix of patterned silhouettes on the wall. Beautiful. Want to see the rest of the house? Go here

Oh look, an ACTUAL chalkboard for once! Nice to see

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

black and white kids room

Pic from Taverne Agency

How could you go wrong with classic black and white? It's one colour combo you could never outgrow or be too manly/girlie for. Nice to see it in a kid's room ocassionally.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

tiny blog hiatus

So simple: a random collection of old chairs in complementary colours is a cute feature for a child's room, playroom or even living space -can't you just see a bunch of little three-year-olds chattering away with platic teacups in hand? A pretty decal finishes it off. Too cute. Image from Cox & Cox

Just a quick note to say my posts will be minimal for the next week or so. I've just started back at work after four months of maternity leave and am quickly running out of time to get the Real Living website all set to go live on November 3 (it's a special Christmas issue). And just in case it was way too easy adjusting to working life from home with two small babies, I also took on a rather large freelance job due at the same time (I like a challenge!!). I do work best under pressure, but I've got a lot going on here so I'll just be posting pretty pics on both blogs for a while, starting with this cute one of chairs. And trying really, really hard to not search google, etsy or all your fabulous blogs and websites for anything other than work-related! But keep tuning in, please, and I'll be back properly soon. xxx

Friday, October 17, 2008

welcome to... baby boy mansour's room!

Oh have you ever seen a more glamourous nursing chair? This ebay score was repainted by Viv and is the best accessory to the Catherine Martin for Porter's Paints circus wallpaper. The paper pom pom is a reminder of her baby party which was held last week.

What a lucky little guy (unless of course, the ultrasound is wrong and a little girl pops out; it's happened!). Due in just a few weeks, he'll have this gorgeous room to greet him. His mum, Vivian, has been a busy bee wallpapering, painting and decorating - as heavily pregnant women do so well - and has graciously shared her work with us all. I spy lots of pretty things here. I think I'm in love with the light and I love that it's so beautifully bright, but subtly with a two-tone palette of red and white. All up, it's a perfect modern nursery for a modern little boy. And, if the ultrasound does turns out to be wrong, it's also perfect for a modern little girl. A true gender-neutral room!

Who sleeps here? Our baby boy is due November 1 and he'll be sleeping here. Can't wait for him to arrive!
What was your initial inspiration for the room? I knew I didn't want it to be a typical boys room - all blue. I fell in love with the red toadstool artwork bought from Etsy and it all flowed from there from the red wallpaper, elephant design on the cot sheets, toys and chair. The colour is scattered around the room.

The beautiful Cariboo basinette will come in handy. Not everyone loves basinettes/cradles, but I couldn't live without mine. They're smaller so the baby feels more cocooned (think of their living quarters before they're born!), they usually rock (also reminder of The Womb) and they're small enough to keep by your bed for night feeds and comfort (for you and the baby). And when you have two little ones close together (like moi!) there is no need to buy another cot - the older child can go into a bed just before the new bub outgrows their cradle.

How did you build on this inspiration? The rest of the house is light and neutral and didn't want this room to be too far different. We started by removing the heavy curtains and painted the walls of the room the same colour as used in the rest of the house. The built-in wardrobe was black and too depressing for the small space so we painted it white. The original light fitting came with the house and was awful. We replaced it with a white pendant light bought from Freedom. It looks wonderful when it's turned on - the walls sparkle! We also added a neutral rug from Ikea. So we had a simple, clean palette to build onto from there. I knew I wanted to add a bold impact in some way so the room wouldn't look too clinical. The bright circus wallpaper from Catherine Martin's range at Porters Paints is perfect for the space. And the other walls didn't have to be re-painted - the paper matched perfectly.
What's your fave piece in the room? Probably the wallpaper. It's not the first thing you see when you walk into the room but I like that it is an unexpected surprise when you turn around. I love the artwork from Etsy also. The toadstool print is by Etsy seller Ickleson and the "Too hard, too soft, just right" print is by Etsy seller Sarah Jane Studios.

The toadstool print that started the red and white theme, from Etsy seller

Best bargain? The toy elephant which my husband and I picked up from the markets for $5. It was the first baby purchase we made. Also, we had seen similar sleigh cots in store for upwards of $1000. We ended up paying $300 for a brand new cot made by a Melbourne furniture maker selling on eBay.
Biggest splurge? The wallpaper. The paper itself wasn't too expensive but we paid for a person to hang it professionally. I didn't trust myself to line it up correctly.

Did you know you can get a sleigh cot for just $300? Viv found one via an ebay furniture seller - a super-find!

Any handmade touches you did yourself? The antique loveseat, won on eBay, was in great condition and originally had a varnished brown mahogany frame. I felt the frame was too dark for the room so I took to it with white glossy paint. I'm so happy with the results.
How would one get this look? Avoid anything too "cutesy" that screams baby room and incorporate classic pieces which can grow with the child. The change table on top of the dresser from Snooze is removable so we can reuse the dresser afterwards. The loveseat is also a classic design which might not always live in this space but can be used in other rooms. Also add impact is some way for example, paper a wall or all walls. There are some fantastic wallpaper designs on the market. It's hard to choose between them.

The cheeky monkey (grab one from Baby's Got Style) is boss of the elephants! The cot sheet set is Nest Nursery Albi the Elephant, available from Cradle Rock. Sweeeeet

Nursery buy you can't live without? The dresser has been handy for storing all of the cute baby clothes we've bought and received as gifts. I'm trying to be organised and have the clothes sorted in order of size. We'll see how long that lasts though!
What's next for this space? This room will remain a bedroom. When the little one grows up we'll remove the change table from the dresser and replace the cot with a single bed.

Congrats, Viv, on a beautiful job. And thank you for sharing. If you want more, Vivian has been documenting her nursery makeover on her blog Ish & Chi and has such amazingly good taste, I can't help but wonder what the rest of her house is like. I feel a renovate + decorate house tour coming on... Wishing you all the best for a happy and safe delivery. We'll have to have you back for a birth story!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

nursery inspiration: heavenly neutrals

Am in love... VT Wonen do it again

I have a great nursery tour to show you tomorrow (am too insanely busy to post it tonight), so until then let's just take in the prettiness of this nursery, shall we? Love the wallpaper, the Eames rocker (try Matt Blatt), the Flokati (Ikea have a similar one), the cuckoo clock (get one at Cleverdicks), the wicker toy storage basket, the cushion - oh my GOD the cushion - even more stunning than these ones! Oh hell, I love it all. I wish Layla was going into her own room cause I'd totally rip this off.

EDIT: Just discovered via Vivien's blog (see her tour, above) that Hart & Heim don't stock the clocks anymore, but she was a supersleuth and found someone who does: Cleverdicks. I jumped on to have a look and ended up finally buying one myself. Oops. Have wanted one for some time, though - reminds me of the real one we had as kids from Germany. Only this one is much more stylish!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

wanna be in cosmo pregnancy?

Cosmo pregnancy's latest issue - out now

Of course you do! Well, the mag is looking for mums, dads and bubbies to feature on some of their pages. Do you have an absolute fave baby product of all time you can't stop raving about? Does your mini me have a can't-bear-to-be-apart-from toy? Then let other mums know all about it. Simply email your name, age, child's name, child's age, fave product and/or toy and why to Eleanor on And don't forget to include a pic of you and bub in case they want to use. And by doing so, you'll sit side-by-side with other fabulous mums such as myself - ha! - who coincidentally is also featured in this issue (above) babbling on and on about Layla's awesome birth. Be quick - they'll be on deadline soon; it's for the November issue.

PS: Don't you think the model on the cover looks a lot like Jennifer Ramos from Made By Girl??? It's like a sneak peek at what she'd look like pregnant: all glam, gorgeous and glowy as she is not pregnant!

Monday, October 13, 2008

best of... organic clothing

My absolute fave organic label is Purebaby. Layla has the print on the right in a little top. Too cute.

So we hear time and time again how good organic cotton is for the environment and better for babies skin, but why? I'm going to cheat here and let gorgeous New Zealand company Nature Baby explain it for me: "Organic cotton is grown and processed without the use of harmful chemical fertilisers and pesticides and has no finishing chemicals on it such as bleaches and fire-retardants which contain dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde. (Natural fibres are naturally fire resistant). Conventionally grown cotton is one of the most environmentally destructive crops grown in the world today, requiring huge amounts of pesticides." In fact, according to another fave label Gaia, of all the insecticides used globally, the amount used on cotton is 25%. Which is a LOT of chemicals we're wearing night and day. And when you think of how sensitive a newborn baby's skin can be, it's scary to think of what it's absorbing. So aside from all the good that can come of organic clothing for bubs, here are some other things I've discovered...
1. It's often beautifully designed - even plain leggings or onesies have some pretty detail like ruffles or ruching. Or cool environmental slogans.
2. It's not that much more expensive than normal cotton clothes (if you take away the bargain stores like Best & Less where you can pick up a suit for $3. But also have it last only a couple of washes...
3. It's super, super soft.
4. You can get it pretty much anywhere these days for bubs: Toys R Us, JK Kids, Kmart, Target and Big W all have their own lines. And each of the above points are also relevant for these lines too. In fact, Target have a four-piece set for just $25.99.
5. It's more difficult to find sizes for toddlers and older children. Most lines stop at 0 or 1. I'm guessing this is because designers feel the need to protect delicate babies skin more than older kids (or it's cheaper and cuter cause they're so small!), but I often get frustrated that the cutest things are not available in Zak's sizing (he's turning two next month). However, I have found some brands cater for the big kids such as Gaia, American Apparel and Nature Baby.

Nature Baby have a massive range of cotton and merino wool and in a bigger range of sizes (often up to 4). I particularly love these T-shirts, $30 each...

and their sweet stripey singlet suits, $17.50 each

Purebaby have the bestest everything. Love this pretty romper with Carriesque corsage, $44.95...

...and leafy tee, $22

The prettiest coloured clothes are by Gaia like this shirt, $34.95...

...and these leggings, $34.95

Baybeecino has a huge organic range. This kimono style suit, $34.95, means super-easy dressing.

Ecoboo have great basics in gelato colours like these cute shorts, $12.95, from Charlipopkids

Now if Cotton On Kids and Bonds just added organic lines, I'd be set. So, any other faves out there? Please, share!