A few key pieces, so many work & weekend looks...

I'm no fashion blogger. And I'm a pretty awkward model! But loads of you have been asking what I'm wearing now I'm back at work (in an actual office, instead of working from home in my trackies haha) four days a week.

So, I've teamed up with one of my faves Shabby Sisters to bring you a few of my work life looks that can be easily switched up for weekends as well.

I'm a big monochrome lover, BUT thought it was about time I incorporated some colour into my wardrobe. And I was searching for some won't-break-the-bank pieces.

I started with three pieces from Shabby Sisters and mixed and matched with a few basics I already had (denim shirt, leather jacket, white shirt and shoes).

The outcome was at least eight to ten outfits that can take you from work to mum life to weekend fun, with just a switch of shoes, jacket or jeans. And they all won't break the bank...

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This week just gone was pretty major for us...

I started this blog 2.5 years ago when I was feeling more than a little lost having gone from my corporate PR and media career to stay at home mum.

If you follow me on Insta you'll know I recently made the decision to head back to work.

Because, things have changed.

I was offered an absolutely amazing role, something I've always wanted to do. So, this week I headed back into the corporate world.

Many of you have asked for me to talk about my journey back into the corporate world, just like I spoke about my journey out...so here you go!

This week just gone was my first week back, four days a week. And wow, it's been so amazing already. My tips? Read on...

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I'm pretty comfortable with my post baby body. At long last, I've learned to embrace the loose skin on my tummy and my thighs, and the other changes, after having our two babies in the space of 17 months. I'm constantly in awe of a woman's body and just how much it's capable of.

However, I do like to work on my fitness for one reason - to feel good.

Something I've never really spoken about on my blog is the condition I have in my legs. One day I woke up with around 8 kilos of fluid in my legs, for no reason at all. I was swollen and in pain. And this happened a lot.

Cutting a long story short, years and years of pain and suffering and misdiagnosis have meant I've had to cut my activities back drastically. 

I've learned how to manage it. However, I still suffer from that dreaded fluid. I've been searching for something to help with it, and I think I've finally found it.

I've started at Hypoxi, which is all about low intensity exercise combined with compression therapy and getting the circulation going properly...

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Right, so after nearly three years out of a gym I finally got my a*s back in there. 

For someone who used to be a fitness addict that's a LONG time and very not like me.

Rather, not like the 'old me'. The 'old me' had a problem. She was single, childless, career obsessed and wanted to project a certain 'fit' image. She was way too hung up on having a flat tummy!

The 'me' I've been for the last three or four years couldn't be further from that! Don't get me wrong, I haven't been doing nothing. I love swimming and get to the pool for laps a few times a week. But proper gym workouts have been completely non existent. Because, TIME POOR people.

Not that I have an issue with my body, per se. It produced two babies in the space of 17months. Pretty cool and very very amazing. It's been through a lot, this old bod of mine. So I cut it some slack.

But, there are parts I wouldn't mind working on. Everything just needs a little tone up, you know?

However, over and above that, I need the gym for SANITY. Uh huh, it's time mummy got some 'me time', completely separate from the children.

Enter the holy grail of gyms, Next Gen Health Clubs.

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By Contributor Eve Curley (@eveyandidotcom)

Do you know that feeling when you’re swimming under water at a public pool and all you can hear is the muffled sound of screams, laughter, cries and chatter? It’s a surreal, almost trapped, blurred, out-of-body feeling until you come for air and breathe. That is the only way I can describe how I felt on Saturday.

Time stood still. I’m not sure for how long (I’m told only a few minutes) because all I can remember is we couldn’t find our daughter.

Those that know me well know that at times I can be a “little dramatic” …a “drama queen” even. Heck I even describe myself as one…I can totally admit that sometimes I can over-react. Today, however, while my screams may have seemed dramatic to those sipping lattes in the café, there were no dramatics, just pure fear. I would have done ANYTHING in those moments to find our girl and I did not care what anyone thought....

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Ahhh, our two little ones...they're both full blown toddlers now, at 15 months and 2.5yrs which means they're bonkers! BUT there's nothing I wouldn't do for them...including spending the morning surrounded by oinking Peppa Pig obsessed children ;)

Seriously though, our kids really enjoyed Peppa Pig Playdate. There were SO many things to see and do at this huge interactive experience

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When I was a kid, at the start of each year I remember excitedly going to shop for my new stationery and uniforms. I loved it. Yep, stationery and organisational nerd right here!

Our kids Harry and Aoife, who are 2.5 and 1, haven’t started school yet, but I know even just kitting them out for day care costs a fair bit. Labels, clothes, backpacks, drink bottles, shoes...the amount of ‘stuff’ they require can be a bit never ending!

Harry and Aoife are very lucky that we can afford everything they need for their education. But not everyone in Australia is in the same position.

Currently, 1.1 million children and young people (one in seven!) are living in poverty in Australia, which means they’re less likely to succeed at school and more likely to experience financial hardship as adults.

Wow. I find this number absolutely shocking and heartbreaking. Which is why I was keen to support Officeworks and The Smith Family in their Back to School Appeal...

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As you all know, I suffered from post natal depression and anxiety after the birth of our second baby, Aoife. Although, it took me months to actually see someone and get diagnosed. I now have anxiety alone.

Now, I won’t even start on the judgement around that. It’s more common than anyone knows, and trust me if I hadn’t gotten this treatment I don’t know where I’d be. I was that low at one point I had terrible thoughts.

Having two babes under 17 months was TOUGH. I was solo parenting most of the time and our youngest had reflux so would not be put down flat AT ALL.

Anyway, I like to think we’re on the ‘other side’ of all of that. I’m on a small dose of medication. But I’ve also learned other ways to manage my anxiety, and I wanted to share them with you tonight in the hope that they help...

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Feeling all the feels at the moment. The start of a new year is here, and I've faced all sorts of decision about my work and the kids.

When Harry, our now 2.5 year old, was six months I made the decision to start writing, to work through the little 'identity crisis' I was having in my head about no longer being in the corporate world. My soul searching quickly grew into this blog, and I gained a following. I also started freelance writing for other businesses.

Two years on, both of my ventures are growing and doing amazingly well. It's time to take that next step.

Long story short, we're starting Aoife at daycare this week so I can start to change things up a little. And it's got me all emotional. 

These guys got kitted out for heading back to school by our good friends over at Stuck on You

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I’m 36 years old, my husband is 32 (I’m a “Cougar”, apparently, haha) and we’ve been renting our whole lives.

Why?

Because we chose to spend our hard earned cash in our 20s on valuable experiences such as long overseas working holidays, qualifications and more, instead of saving for a  house deposit.

It’s also because we live in Sydney, a city renowned for being one of the most expensive in the world. We don’t want to sacrifice our lifestyle just to buy a house.

Now, saving for a home is not easy in the first place - let alone when you consider that we’re on one full time income with two kids aged 2 and under. It’s difficult, that’s for sure.

I’m also renowned for ‘wanting it all’ and being a big shopper. Hmm, not conducive to saving.

I’ve partnered with People’s Choice Credit Union to bring you my top tips...

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Someone sent me a direct message on Instagram the other day saying "wow, you're so lucky to be so popular".

Um, no.

The thing is, you can have thousands of so called 'followers' on Instagram (I hate the term followers, btw) and still be a very lonely person.

Just because you have a profile doesn't mean you're popular.

I am quite isolated. It's me and the kids, all day, most days. In the early morning and late into the night. Yes, I have a husband, and he's amazing. He's just not around as much as I'd like.

The saying "it takes a village to raise a child" must have stemmed from somewhere. 

But for me, and many other mums I know and chat to on Instagram, not so much. We are going it alone most of the time. Using our own best judgement. Making it up as we go along. 

I guess though, on the flip side, you can still be surrounded by people and feel lonely. I know in the case of many mums with post natal depression, it can feel like there's no one that truly understands. You feel like you're going it alone, that you can't open up, that it's all in your head...

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I've travelled around the world a couple of times. I'm lucky enough to have lived in several cities overseas. And I've been up and down Australia's east and west coast. So, I like to think I'm quite well travelled.

However, I have never been to the Hunter Valley, despite it being just two hours from where we now live (#slacker haha).

Which meant I was so excited when Holden said they wanted to show us some of the Hunter's 'HIdden Gems'. And wow, what a weekend we've just had! Seriously amazing.

My picks of the area and a load of pics are all here on the blog...

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By Contributor Amber Turvey (@amberturvey_)

No sooner had Isabella arrived home from the hospital as a newborn, I was thinking about her nursery.  I was so excited to have a little girl, cue the heart eyes for everything pink!  I had done the neutral all white nursery, and monochrome boys room with my son Hugo, so I was looking forward to decorating for a girl.

I knew I wanted to create a space that was Isabella’s own, her sanctuary, something pretty, something different and at the same time something totally achievable.  I am a stay at home mum of two children and money doesn’t grow on trees!

Prior to the birth of Isabella, we had just moved into an old family homestead on the farm.  The canvas was far from perfect, the walls an off white/cream and in dire need of a re-paint (one day!), the pine floorboards – not the most ‘in trend’ colour these days, but, that’s all we had to work with and I had to stick to a budget.  

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By MeOhMy founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)

I’m not one of these ‘get sorted for Christmas months in advance’ type of people. Oh, I wish.

These last few years, having babies and running businesses, I’ve found myself dashing to the shops way too many times in the days before Christmas desperately trying to find those last minute gifts and stocking fillers.

Just when you think you’re done you remember someone you’ve forgotten to buy for and you’re back fighting the crowds again. With kids in tow. And the toddler tantrum-ing. UGH. It can be never-ending, not my idea of fun at all!

Never fear because Australia Post is to the rescue. Its online store is my new go-to for all things gifting.

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By Contributor Amber Turvey (@amberturvey_)

The birth of my second child, Isabella on the 18th of August 2015, bought such joy and happiness. We now had our pigeon pair and with just 19 months between both our children, her first month quite the blur! However, I had the support around me with mother visiting, cooking, helping and a husband at my beck and call.  

Month two. The 17th of September to be exact, the day of my birthday, was when everything changed. Isabella would not feed properly and despite everything I tried to help her, I knew something was up.  She would latch on then cry and pull off again and scream.  She was hungry but soooo unsettled!

Fast forward a few months and things had gone from bad to worst. I was now up every 2 hours. Every night. At the time I couldn’t even remember when I had last got up to her, it was that bad.  I was in auto pilot mode and fed when I should have tried settling her first, and falling asleep whilst breastfeeding only to wake up over an hour later.

This went on and on. I tried every Silent Reflux tip I had ever read...

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