Second child syndrome

My first child did not prepare me for my second. Regardless of the 3 years of parenting I had up my sleeve, having another child was like being a new parent all over again. I didn’t think about just how attached my children would be to each other, and how hard it might be for my second child to develop his own independence. Everyone says child #2 is always so much more laid back than the first, that 2 kids are easier than one. They’ll play together and keep each other company etc. Who ever said that must have some pretty sweet and chilled little babes. What most people forget to mention is that the second child is usually the first child’s shadow, They follow them around, watching and learning from them..taking in everything about them. They may be their own unique self, but they don’t know who they are without their older sibling. They aren’t sure of who they are yet and the absence of the sibling suddenly feels just as upsetting as dad heading off to work and being gone all day.

Since Willow started school, Ive noticed this is what’s happening with Luka. He’s walking around like a lost little puppy, not really sure what to do now his big sister isn’t home. At first I thought, wow are we onto the terrible two’s already? He’s had more attention and one on one time than ever before, he gets to play with all his sisters things when she’s not home and he’s doted on left, right and centre. Willow being at school meant more meaningful time spent with Luka, more trips to the park, more time for things like baking, playgroups and everything you get to enjoy with the first child. .haha how wrong I was! We’ve been to the park a few times, and everything else is still on the to do list. Our days have been full of temper tantrums, uncontrollable crying, constant cuddles and face time with dad whenever he has a spare moment.

Yesterday I spent an hour on the floor cuddling Luka after he woke from his nap, I wasn’t allowed to move from our spot and I definitely wasn’t allowed to get back to what I was doing before. Eventually I had to get up and carry on with making lunch and getting dinner ready, all while listening to my child scream the house down because he just wanted to be held. It was at this moment that I realised just how hard this new independence is for him. He’s pushing boundaries left, right and centre and needing all the comfort and attention that his sister would usually provide. “No” and “Go away” are the words of the week, and ” Where’s Wah Wah?” is asked constantly. In time, I know that Luka will learn who he is without his sister, and develop his own little personality.. But for now we’ll be over here surviving on caffeine, those much needed 9:30am naps and plenty of cuddles.

The Big 5

And suddenly she was 5 ✨🎈

This time 5 years ago, this little girl entered the world and pulled our hearts right out of our chests. She wears her heart on her sleeve, loves fiercely and has a wild soul that I hope forever remains untamed. Love you more than the moon and all the stars, Happy birthday Willow xx Today marks the start of new adventures and the transition to school. Here’s a few photos I took yesterday to celebrate.

Balloons from Pop Roc Parties NZ

Tutu Du Monde dress from Beaumonde Babe

Jacket from Cotton On Kids

Enjoy ! x

 

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5 “Man Friendly”Crockpot Meals

Ever stuck for ideas on what to make for dinner? Want to make something yummy and nutritious that doesn’t involve spending too much time in the kitchen? This is literally me every time I meal plan for the week. I look on pinterest all the time to find easy dinner ideas that work for my family..and I always lean towards the ones that you can throw in the crockpot/ slow cooker without too much effort.To be honest, I don’t think I could live  without my trusty crockpot! I probably use it too much, but the less time I spend preparing dinner.. the better!  While I love my crockpot, my partner just hates it .. He says that food just doesn’t taste the same, and after reading a few forums I started to realize that it wasn’t just my man that isn’t a fan..its seems to be most of the male population.

Below are 5 of our favourite crockpot meals.. That the man of the house ACTUALLY likes (and he’s the fussiest eater I know)..Most of these meal hacks are just meat, but I could serve them up every day and the other half would be happy. I like to prep any veges to go with the meal while I’m prepping the meat for the crockpot, and then I do rice in our Tupperware rice cooker (another life saver) if that’s what we’re having. Not only are these meals delicious, they’re also a great way to make meat stretch further and lower the grocery bill.

Crockpot Favourites 

  1. Pulled Pork – Super easy to prep. I like to serve this with coconut rice and veges, and then the left overs can be used for sandwiches or buns the next day. If you use a shoulder pork roast you can make enough meat to freeze for at least 2 more dinners and 2 lunches.

    Crockpot Pulled Pork
    Photo sourced from http://www.laurengreutman.com
  2. Pulled Beef – Another crowd pleaser, this goes with anything! Whether it’s with veges and rice, potatoes, cous cous etc You name it, Ive tried it. You can use the cheapest cut of beef for this meal as well, and you’ll still get amazing, soft meat.

    Slow Cooker Pulled-Beef
    Photo sourced from paleoleap.com
  3. Teriyaki Chicken – I use 4 chicken breasts and manage to get 2 dinners ( rice & veges one night, pizzas the next), and 2 man sized lunches out of it!

    This crock pot teriyaki chicken is INCREDIBLE. The honey teriyaki sauce is out of this world and it only takes 10 minutes to prep! The perfect easy, healthy dinner. @wellplated:
    photo sourced from http://www.wellplated.com
  4. Lamb casserole -A winter favourite that can be made using cheap chuck steak.I love making dumplings and adding them into the crockpot as well.  Just place tinfoil over the top and pop the lid on half an hour before the meal is ready.

    Slow-Cooked Lamb Casserole recipe
    Photo sourced from http://www.bestrecipes.com.au
  5. BBQ and honey drumsticks– A new favourite of ours! The meat falls right of the bone and you actually get a decent amount compared to if you were to bake them.
    These Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are WAY EASY, but so delicious! Serve them on gameday or for an easy family dinner!
    Photo sourced from http://www.wineandglue.com

     

I hope you enjoyed these recipes! Comment below with any other crockpot meals or hacks that you love as well.

xx Kristelle

Capsule wardrobe for beginners- Where to start.

At the beginning of Summer I decided to create a capsule wardrobe. I had way too many clothes in my closet that weren’t being worn, didn’t fit right or suit my day to day lifestyle aka #mumlife. I’m like a magpie..I love bold prints and patterns and when I see something I love, I buy it! I dress in whatever makes me feel good, and when it comes to casual clothes or basics..I tend to wear my partners clothes. Finding clothes that I could throw together without a thought was becoming a struggle, because everything I owned just clashed. The idea of a capsule wardrobe for me was to buy clothing that could be worn with anything. Think neutral colours, timeless and simple styles , with a hint of bohemian. Below I will share some tips and tricks that really helped me create a minimal wardrobe that suits my style.

Tips for starting a capsule wardrobe 

  • Cull anything that you haven’t worn in the last few months.  Anything that didn’t get worn more than a few times last season, is out of shape, and anything that you just don’t see yourself wearing..throw.it.out! (Or sell your clothing and put the money towards new pieces for your capsule wardrobe).
  • Make a list of all the items you own after your cull , and then list what you need more of in your wardrobe- Bottoms, casual tops, pants, cardigans, jackets etc
  • Do your research. Pinterest has so many great ideas for capsule wardrobes. Here are just a few links to get you motivated.
  • Bohemian Capsule Wardrobe
  • Step by Step guide on how to start a capsule wardrobe
  • 9 piece capsule wardrobe
  • Choose a colour scheme- Go through your wardrobe and look at what colours you own the most of.. I owned a lot of black, white & denim. I also wanted to add a few on trend colours in to my wardrobe for summer (Pinterest again is a lifesaver for ideas).
  • Your capsule wardrobe should suit your budget. You don’t need to invest in items that will break the bank if that isn’t what suits your budget. Asos has great quality basic packs at bargain prices, and Glassons have items that have lasted in my wardrobe for a good few years !
  •  You could also wait for the end of season sales and get great bargains on high quality garments (This is my aim for the end of summer).
  • Decide on a number of items that you’re comfortable with, and when buying new clothing always make sure to remove an item when purchasing another.

My Summer/ Autumn Capsule Wardrobe

In my capsule wardrobe I have 38 items :

  • x 2 Jackets
  • x 1 cardigan
  • x 6 tops
  • x 3 singlets
  • x 3 shorts
  • x 4 jeans/ pants
  • x 7 dresses
  • x 1 playsuit
  • x 2 jerseys
  • x 2 sandals
  • x 4 heels
  • x 2 casual shoes
  • x 1 boots

These do not include ” base items” like lingerie, active wear or sleepwear. If you want to know more about base items, you can read about it here . Each item can be dressed up or worn casually, and as you can see I have more dresses than anything else. This is because I had major surgery a few weeks ago, which has left me unable to wear anything but loose dresses.. And I love a good dress!  I’ve created my wardrobe to suit my style and my personal needs, and I love that I can pair any item together without putting too much effort in to it. Here’s some of my favourite pieces of clothing in my capsule wardrobe.

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1. Kowtow  Building block singlet dress, 2. Just Jeans  Embroidered denim jacket, 3. Gypsy Pirate  Tank Tee, 4. Forever New  High waist shorts, 5. Dotti Panama hat, 6. Converse Dainty ballet slips, 7. O’Neill  Dress, 8. Endless love top from Serendipity Ave , 9. Just Jeans Mid rise jeans.

BASICS

A capsule wardrobe relies on basics that can be matched together with a range of different items. These are just a few of my favourite local sites who have basics to suit all body types/ styles.

  1. Two-Daughters NZ
  2. Kowtow Clothing
  3. Charlotte Lane Clothing

*Special Mention: I am a long time lover and customer of Charlotte Lane Clothing. I love the high quality items that are available, the basics range is beautiful and the layby option is also handy for adding to your capsule wardrobe in a way that suits your budget. I also recently purchased the Secrets and Lies Dress, and I’m obsessed! It has a really flattering fit and can be worn so many different ways.  I have been lucky enough to receive a discount code from Charlotte Lane Clothing to share with you all. The code is outsidethebox and will give you 15% off storewide. Happy Shopping!

Here is the basics range below, available from Charlotte Lane Clothing. These pieces are 100% certified organic cotton designed in Byron Bay by the loveliest husband and wife duo.

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Charlotte Lane Secrets and Lies dress

 

Friday Faves- Off the Shoulder Trend

The off the shoulder trend is everywhere right now. It’s a favorite of mine because its effortless, flattering and provides ultimate comfort. For my Friday faves,  I’m going to share a few pieces on my wish list for Summer, including some styles for the little ones..because matching with mum is always cute right?

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  1. Tensel Rah Rah Dress AU $139.95.
  2. Green off the shoulder dress NZ $15.. Bargain!
  3. Majorca off the shoulder top AU $79.95
  4. Odelia off the shoulder dress NZ $69.99.. Currently on Sale for $48.99
  5. Floral off the shoulder blouse NZ $29.99

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  1. Zara Lace Trim Dress , NZ $54.99.. Currently on sale for $32.94
  2. Sunshine Somewhere Top AU $49
  3. Frill Yoke Top NZ $39.90
  4. Frill Sleeve Blouse NZ $54.90
  5. Striped Playsuit NZ $89.90

Friday Faves- Beauty on a Budget

I thought I would start my first ever “Friday Favourites” post with some of my must have makeup items. Each product can easily be found in the supermarket or at Farmers, they’re always on sale and the quality is amazing for the price. Hope you enjoy! Comment below with any other affordable makeup items that you love xx

Chi Chi Cosmetics Creamy Matte Liquid Lipstick and Brow Pomade

These two gems have been a staple in my makeup routine! I use them daily and love how long lasting they both are. The dip brow pomade is just as good, if not better than my Anastasia Beverly Hills dip brow. You only need the tiniest amount, and you really need to scrub this off at the end of the day. This retails for $20.99. The Liquid lipstick in the shade “Wild Child” is the perfect everyday colour. It’s long lasting, moisturizing and easy to wear. It retails for $22.99.

Garnier Miscellar Water

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This bad gal gets ALL my mascara off and removes any traces of makeup. It prevents this panda eyes in the mornings and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. This retails for $6.99 (125ml) or $13.99 (400ml).

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

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I love this mascara. It’s always on sale and it leaves my lashes looking fuller and longer. It is a pain to get off,  but I find that my garnier miscellar water or rosehip oil usually do the trick. This retails for $26, but can always be found for under $20 at your local supermarket.

Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous  Foundation

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My favourite drugstore foundation ever! I cant fault this product. It makes my skin look flawless, covers well and you only need a small amount. You can build this foundation up and it won’t look like you’ve packed it all on. This retails for around $20.

Australis Cream Contour Kit

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If you’re looking for an affordable contour kit that’s easy to use and blends well.. This is the one!  I always contour when I’m wearing Makeup.. Even if it’s just a quick swipe with bronzer. The Australis cream contour kit retails for $27.50 and can be found at Farmers .

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye Mum Bun! 

Most days my hair is quickly tucked up into a bun without a thought.. And sometimes it stays up in that same bun for a day or two 🙊.  I’m sure most mums can relate. Most times there’s just not enough time in the day, and we’re lucky if we manage a glance at our reflection before we head out the door. I decided to hop on Pinterest for a bit of hair inspo to update the usual “mum bun”. These styles are all quick and easy, so let’s get rid of the mum bun and try something different! I hope you enjoy xo

1.  There are some super quick hairstyles here that are just as quick as throwing your hair up in a mum bun! Give them a go and you might find some new favourites.

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messy ponytail and plait , perfect for that just rolled out of bed look!

2. Add some volume to your every day ponytail with this style. 

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photo via makeup.com

Fuss free – I love all of these hairstyles , and even though they are for short hair, they would work well with any hair length! This one below would have to be my favourite. 


5 minute Hairstyles : These are all great for when you want to wear your hair down but also want it out of your face. 

Mum bun makeover

Maybe you love wearing you’re hair in a bun or a ponytail all day every day, but you just want a bit of variation.These styles below are great for changing things up without having to put in the effort. 


All photos were sourced via Pinterest. Let me know if you try any of these hairstyles ! 

Kristelle x

Skin Care Secrets

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When it comes to skincare I look for affordable, natural products that will work for my skin type. I have oily to normal skin and have the odd break out during that time of the month. As a mother of 2, I barely get more than 5 minutes in the shower and so I like my skincare routine to be quick and simple, but also effective. My Favourite brand is Skin Food because it is so affordable, can be found at the Super Market and is made from natural ingredients! Below I will share some of my must haves in my skincare routine.

CLEANSERS

LUSH Angel’s on bare skin cleanser :I use this cleanser every day, and I love how soft and clean it makes my skin feel afterwards. It has fresh lavender inside and smells so good! It retails for $19.50nz and lasts me 2-3 months. I find if I don’t use this cleanser, my pores are so much more noticeable and my skin just doesn’t have the same glow to it. Definitely cant live without this one.

LUSH Dark angels cleanser: I use this cleanser every second day and find it gets deep down into my pores, keeps breakouts at bay and gets rid of any whiteheads or blackheads that can get trapped under the skin. I also love using this after removing makeup as it makes sure to get rid of ALL the makeup. The only thing I don’t love about this cleanser is that if I use too much it is super hard to remove. Sometimes I get out of the shower with black marks on my face. You really only need the TINIEST amount. This cleanser also retails for $19.50nz and lasts me around 4-5 months.

OILS

I love to use oils on my face instead of moisturiser as I find they are just as, if not more effective than a regular moisturiser. They keep my skin from looking oily during the day and also hydrate my skin during winter when it can get a bit dry.

Skin Food Coconut oil is hands down my FAVOURITE moisturiser. I use this every morning and it creates a smooth base for my makeup.. On days I don’t wear makeup it leaves my skin looking radiant and glowing and not at all oily. It’s also really affordable, retailing at only $23.99nz, You only need a tiny amount of this oil and it lasts such a long time as well.

Skin Food Organic Rose Hip Oil is another great oil that has plenty of great uses. It’s a bit thicker than the coconut oil and retails for $23.99nz. I use this on my stretch marks, on my face at night and on my nails. This oil also claims to be effective for fine lines and wrinkles and I like to use it under my eyes to keep them hydrated.

MOISTURISER

Skin Food Nourishing Moisturiser :If you’re not a fan of oils, this moisturiser is a great alternative. It’s one of my favorites that I used daily before the SkinFood brand came out with their rosehip and coconut oils. I love that every time I used it , It felt like I had just given my skin a drink of water. Super hydrating and also keeps your brows in place! (bonus for those makeup free days).

FACE MASKS

Skin Food Mud Masque : Again, another goodie from Skin Food! It’s easy to apply, quick to use and doesn’t get all messy like some masks can. I love that you can see just how much gunk is coming out of your pores when you use this mask. It also leaves your skin feeling moisturized and clean afterwards. This retails for only $13.99nz and is sometimes hard to find at the supermarket, but can be ordered online from the link above.

LUSH Mask of Magnaminty : This mask smells like peppermint and gives your skin a deep clean, leaving it fresh and glowing afterwards (I’m all about that natural glow!).This retails for $19.50, and would have to be my favorite facemask because it keeps breakouts from popping up, and minimizes my pores. The only thing I struggle with is using this often enough before it passes it’s use by date. Its made from fresh, natural ingredients so the shelf life isn’t as long as other facemasks out there..and as much as I would love to facemask once a week, in reality it can be once a fortnight if I’m lucky !

What products are “must haves ” in your skin care routine ?

Hope you enjoyed this post! Xx Kristelle

 

 

 

 

Who needs friends when you have social media?- Our life on Instagram

Social Media is becoming such an influential platform for EVERYTHING these days. There’s no limit to what you can search for, read about or be inspired by. While there might be a few heavy negatives to social media, there are many positives to it as well. Social communication may lack in real life, but online we communicate so much more, and we have the ability to interact with anyone from around the world! I’m obsessed with Instagram, and have made some amazing friends through those little squares. One girl I met on Instagram is now such a good friend of mine that I’m going to be her bridesmaid next year ! The Instagram community is such an inspiring and uplifting community, you never truly feel alone when you have so many others who can relate to your life, and what you might be going through. Having a virtual world of friends can be quite comforting to many who find it hard to socialize in real life. For me, Instagram has been a great way to connect with and be inspired by other mamas. I’m inspired by their beautiful photos, kind words and thoughtful posts. Below I have listed some favorites, you can also find more of my faves Here .

  1. Single Mum Diaries
  2. Kiwi Whitby
  3. Little Hepburn
  4. The Urban Hunter NZ
  5. The Culture Of Grace
  6. Lets Stay Home
  7. Happy Mum Child
  8. Kaitlin Chapman

Who do you Love to follow on Social Media, and how does social media affect you?

Xx Kristelle

 

The best parts of co parenting

 

I was reading a blog piece today about a mother worrying how she would cope with co parenting, and what the outcome would be for her daughter in the future. Would co parenting be enough? It got me thinking about my own parenting journey, and what I would tell myself 4 years ago when I was worrying about those same things.
To me, any kind of parenting is “enough”. If you are doing your absolute best to make sure your child is loved, cared for and happy, you are doing enough. Whether you are a single parent, co parenting or raising your child with your other half.. It doesn’t matter, your child will still thrive in whatever environment they live in as long as they are provided with what they need. They will never feel sad about what they have missed out on, because in the end their “imperfect family” may just turn out to be the perfect family for them.

Before becoming a parent I had an idea of what it would be like in my head. I read books, took advice and was pretty confident with how I was going to parent. What I wasn’t prepared for was co parenting. Co parenting is a learn as you go, every situation is different kind of thing. Sometimes you feel like you’re walking through a dark tunnel not knowing which way to go, and sometimes you feel like you know exactly what to do. We can only learn and do our best to parent separately, there’s never a perfect method to make sure everything runs smoothly from the get go. It hasn’t always been an easy road for us, but over time I’ve learnt that parenting separately gets better, it gets easier, and you get through to other side of that dark, hazy tunnel eventually.

Co parenting can become something great if both parents are willing to put their child’s needs first. It’s always easy to focus on the negatives, but there are also so many positives to this situation. The positives are what I keep in the back of my mind for those hard days, these are just a few of them.

LOVE

Double birthdays, double Christmas and double the love. Your child is surrounded by so much love. They are blessed with the best of both worlds, loved by immediate family, extended family and new family. The love they are showered with will always outweigh the negatives. I always see this as the biggest positive to come from our situation.

LIFE LESSONS 

Co parenting allows a child to learn to be independent, resilient and open minded. Their normal may not be the same as everyone else’s, but it allows them to see the world in a way that is different to most.

APPRECIATION

You will appreciate your child so much more when they’re away from you. You will think about them non stop while they’re gone, but you will also enjoy every single moment with them knowing just how precious your time is. I miss my little girl every time she goes away, but I look forward to her coming home and I spend so much more time appreciating everything about her.

CONSISTENCY

Consistency is everything. Your child will thrive when yougive them consistency. They will always feel safe, secure and understand exactly what is going on. Consistency has always been important to me. It has helped with things like having 2 seperate homes, 2 seperate parents and 2 seperate lifestyles.

YOU

The time spent away from your child will give you time to reflect and focus on YOU. In the begining I dreaded overnight visits, they eventually turned into weekend visits and I slowly started to appreciate these quiet times. I kept myself busy, found hobbies and became more than just “mum”. Now I enjoy time with my little boy and give him extra one on one time. He gets to bond with his dad and I in a way that he may not have under different circumstances.

ADVICE 

Some of the best advice I was given when it came to co parenting was to think of your parenting situation and your child as a business. At first I thought it was a really harsh way to think about everything, but it made sense and it definitely helped keep emotions at bay. You want your business to grow, to thrive and be the best that it can be.. Just like your child. You need to make decisions that will benefit your child, and even though you may not agree with your business partner (the father ) you need to learn to compromise and work together in order for your business (child) to grow and be the best it can be.

Co parenting isn’t everyone’s fairytale ending, but it doesn’t mean it can’t become one. Our life is far from what I imagined it to be.. I didn’t start my parenting journey with a “perfect family”, but the family I have now is blended and full of love, and that to me is pretty perfect. I hope there are other Mama’s out there who are still holding onto hope of their own happy endings , no matter their situation.

Xx Kristelle