Putting Together a Wardrobe that Works for you (while Nursing)

Pre-pregnancy I looked upon the concept of ‘Mum outfits’ with disdain.  Why do I need to change my style just because I’m a Mum?  I mean, am I not essentially the same person?  The same person, with an expanded heart.  I’ll wear my pre-pregnancy clothes, thank you very much.

Now 10 months into this parenting gig, I understand a bit of the ‘why’ to Mum outfits!  Not only does it save me time (from thinking and going through endless style combinations in my head), but I feel different as a person…and my old clothes just didn’t feel much like me anymore.  Clothes (aside from the very practical function of keeping us from being naked) should make me feel happy and good about myself.  Having a few key pieces which I love and feel great in post-birth was  a real mood-lifter (retail therapy much?)  Those newborn days were brutal.  I felt frumpy, tired, stressed……and it seemed like I was nursing all. the. time.

Here are the things which have worked for me, after a lot of trial and error in the past 10 months:

1. Soft tees that are slim-fitting but not fitted

I’m not a fan of nursing tees.  The all have that funner flap thing and I find that the material clings to me in all the wrong places.  And the bra indentation shows through?  Maybe I’m doing it all wrong?  Whatever the reason, I’ve never been able to make it work.  Some people swear by button-ups as an alternative but I found it too exposed for my liking.  Generally, it was more discrete to just lift up a regular tee, and as my bubba’s head grew, she basically covered most of me anyway….

Most tees worked, but I found the black long-sleeve top from Jac and Jack the best.  I lived in that thing and never wanted to wash it.  Gross I know.  I can’t find it online anymore (I bought it years ago) – but it was something like this.  The only nursing tee which worked for me and was somewhat still flattering was this one from Mamaway (on sale).

2.  Well-fitted Jeans

For the first few months I lived in my maternity jeans (a H&M bargain number which is no longer available, but a similar one is at the link) and a RIPE pair.  At the nine months mark, I bought a pair of regular JBrand photoready jeans (a splash item that has been on my wish list for a long time).

3.  A Light-weight Anorak

I found a light-weight anorak to be very slimming, a great cover-up when nursing and a fantastic transitional piece that can be used post-nursing (until the weather gets colder anyway).  I have the Everlane version of this in navy.

4.  Sunnies!

I love my aviators.  They instantly make me feel more pulled together (even when I’m totally not).  Basically any sunnies which fit your face shape is a goer.

5.  Lovable Maternity Bra

Man, it’s hard finding a good nursing bra.  I wasted my money on quite a few that now sit in my closet collecting dust.  Spend the extra time to get it fitted by someone who knows their stuff.  Yeah, it’s a bit weird.  It’s a bit awkward.  But it can save you a ton of money.  I got mine fitted at Ripe maternity (they did a brilliant job).  I also got a fitting at Bras n Things which didn’t go quite as well.  Anyway, my favourite is the lovable maternity bra in black and nude.

If I lived in the US I’d love to try the Storq maternity bra which looks super comfy and does away with all the clips n things (which is super handy when you have a very impatient bubba).  But the shipping costs makes it kinda not worthwhile…….so I never took the plunge (no pun intended).   Some people like to go for the maternity bras which don’t look like maternity bras, like the Elle McPherson nursing bras.  They definitely are pretty.  But as bras aren’t cheap, I’m all for getting the ones which goes with everything….hence the lovable version which works well under tshirts, dresses, anything really.

6. Slip-on shoes with Good Grip

In the early days, bubba was always in my arms…..and you kinda need both arms to hold babies (one to hold them, and one to support their neck).  So slip-on shoes were definitely the easiest.  And as I am not the most agile person in the world (read crashes into walls, falls down stairs, trips for no reason), good grip was essential.  I basically wore my Bensimon tennis flats all the time.  They go with everything and I can just slip them on hands-free (got mine at Nordstrom).

7. A Pretty Diaper Bag

A lot of people go with a non-diaper bag (just chuck a cute change clutch into any large washable handbag) or even a backpack.  Personally I preferred a diaper bag because 1) it’s an excuse to buy an extra bag 😛 and 2) I didn’t have to pack and unpack all the time…..and none of my normal bags were generally big enough for me.  I have both the Storksak Noa Nappy Bag and the Mimco Lucid Nappy Bag.   I love them both, but probably prefer the Mimco one just a tad bit more, simply because it’s BIGGER.  The Storksak one has an insulated compartment which helps keep the milk good for a certain number of hours.  PS Sometimes you can sometimes grab these at a steal on Ebay where you can get unused ones going at a discounted rate cause someone got given two at a baby shower!

8.  A Ring Sling

My bubba didn’t love the pram.  And wanted to be held all the time.  So the only way that I could go outside the house, and/or do chores was in the ring sling.  I have the beautiful Sakura Bloom linen one.  Sakura Bloom also does some wonderful silk ones – which look absolutely amazing.  But I found the linen one practical and bubba loved it.  As bubba grew older we gradually transitioned to the Tula carrier which was perfect.

9. Delicate Jewellery

Little hands likes to pull at things – so no long dangly earrings.  Or massive crystal rings which are a scraping hazard.  Delicate stacking rings like this is perfect.  Still on my wish list.

What about you?  What was your go-to in your new Mama days? x

Making our Home Christmasy in a Small Space

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It’s been some time now since we’ve spent Christmas in Australia.  It’s become a bit of a tradition that we fly overseas to celebrate with family and friends — sipping hot chocolate, wearing Christmasy PJ bottoms, playing boardgames, cooking up a feast, having great conversations and spending time together (just thinking about it now makes me a tee bit homesick).  This year however, we are staying put because well, being heavily pregnant prevents me from getting on the plane (understatement of the year).  In fact, we may get to meet our little girl on Christmas Day! (depending on whether she feels like making an appearance then or not).

I’ve been spending the last few days, busying myself with making our home feel as Christmasy as possible…..it takes a little bit of thinking because we live in quite a cosy space.

*I bought a small (but real!) Christmas tree from our local florist; the picea glauca Christmas star which I decorated.

*We got two advent Calendars filled with yummy Darrell Lea chocolates.  If I had more time and wasn’t so baby obsessed, I would’ve invested some time in making this beautiful clutter-free advent calendar.

*I’m still on the lookout for a good Christmas wreath; perhaps I can make my own?

*I’ve started listening to Christmas songs on repeat:

*We will attend a Christmas service on Christmas Day – because ultimately Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

What about you?  How do you and your family celebrate?  Do you have any tips on how to decorate a small place with lots of Christmasy joy?

Styling your Home: Blooms and How to Make them Last

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Flowers are the single easiest, fastest, fuss-free way to make an impact on the styling of your home (closely followed by coloured throws and cushions!)  Mister T and I live in a rental apartment and there are a lot of things we want to do with our home that we can’t (drill things into the wall for one).  Growing up, I have no recollection of our family ever purchasing flowers for ourselves.  We are a very practical family – why spend money on something which has no ‘use’ and is not going to last?  The only time we would ever buy flowers was for someone else (outside of our family) – for their birthday, or when they were sick.

Given this conditioning from childhood, flowers are a luxury to me.  Nowadays my hubby and I buy beautiful blooms at nearby local markets – supporting the Aussies who grow them.  There are a few tips to make them last longer (so you get a longer period of happiness and more for your dollars!)

  • Trim the stems to their right height diagonally;
  • Use warm water – and change water when it becomes cloudy;
  • Remove wilted petals and leaves; and
  • If you were really committed you can make your own nutrient solutions (1 part lemon-lime soda, NOT cola!, with three parts water.  Add a little bleach to keep the solution clear).

The above four tips are about as much as I can be bothered doing as my usual lazy self.  If you want to read a better detailed article, check out THIS link from Design Mum – 10 secrets for extending the life of cut flowers 🙂

Happy flowers purchasing!