Loving It: 18.12.14

Wow! I can’t believe it – this is the last Loving It of 2014! The year has flown by SO fast; I don’t mean to sound so cliche but last Christmas we were in a different house and I was pregnant and this year we have a toddler. Well not quite toddling yet, but there’s certainly nothing left of the baby in him!

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This epic living tree at the Auckland Botanic Gardens made of poinsettia and ferns – so pretty and festive.

My friend Steph launching her Loud Ladies programme – awesome to see friends out there achieving their dreams! Stay tuned to her blog to see a post from yours truly in the run up to the program me launch.

Rejected Princesses has to be one of my favorite reads right now – while the creator is churning out fewer original comics currently while creating other work, the blog is still posting short summary articles about amazing women of history.

The #illridewithyou hashtag used during the recent siege of the Lindt Cafe in Sydney has somewhat restored my faith in mankind. Although I am a Christian, I fully support the right of any individual to practice (or not practice) any type of faith. It really gets my goat when people judge a whole belief system by the act of a few individuals, in this case all Muslims by the crazed acts of one madman. The willingness of many Australians to ride with Muslim people in solidarity and aid them in protecting their religious freedom was inspiring.

The ladies of Baking Makes Things Better have been insanely busy this year and I’ve missed their posts. I was so excited to see that Melissa had posted a recipe and it’s for vol au vents – always ridiculously overpriced at the supermarket so I’m keen to try this recipe out!

This post by Kez makes me so excited for when CJ is talking in full sentences – remind me of that when I’m shaking my head because he won’t shut up!

Other things ringing my jingle bells this holiday season:

- Red Cup season at Starbucks, the only time I drink there – a fabulous first Christmas Parade adventure with CJ – finding the perfect dress for an upcoming wedding, on sale – making plans to tick another 30 by 30 off the list – discovering fantastic and easy recipes with the help of my Twitter friends – the generosity of friends – making plans for Papa M’s time off work over Christmas and the New Year – having a kid that finds thunder and lightning exciting rather than scary – brightly colored cloth nappies drying on the line – the thought of loads and loads of ham on Christmas Day – exciting hopes and dreams for 2015!

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30 before 30: 5. Give Cloth Diapering A Good Try

When discussing my 30 before 30 on Twitter a few weeks ago, I commented that we didn’t really have the funds to invest in cloth diapers so it would likely be a goal that wasn’t achieved this year. Lo and behold, the very generous Jude stepped up and offered her family’s stash for us to give it a go! As part of a day of North Shore adventures, CJ got to meet Jude and we picked up a huge horde of nappies to take home and try!

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The Style:

The diapers that we picked up from Jude were pocket style, meaning that they have an outer shell not dissimilar to the look of a disposable nappy and this can be stuffed with as many inner pads as you need. We find that one inner does him fine for when he’s mucking around and playing but he needs two when he goes down for a nap in the morning. It’s good to be able to adjust the absorbency as needed. We also use a flushable liner which makes poop removal WAY easier!

Nappy4 Our stash

The Washing System:

Full disclosure, we don’t use the cloth diapers all the time. CJ is still in a disposable overnight and if we plan on being out for long periods. We’re lucky that CJ’s carer next year is happy to continue with cloth diapering so this routine may also be subject to change.

When we take off the diaper, we flush the liner whether it has poop in it or not. We then pull the inners out of the shell and set them to soak in a bin in the laundry with a bit of laundry detergent dissolved in the water – we are looking to get some Rockin’ Green detergent if our regular detergent doesn’t continue to defunk the odour but it seems to be working for now. Shells go in another bucket with just plain water and we wash once we have a load’s worth.

 Nappy1Funnily enough, these were the two cheapest lidded bins in the size we were looking for

The verdict:

We love it. It’s one of those things that seems overly complex until you start doing it! We pre-stuff the nappies after they’ve been through the wash and then it really is as simple as popping on a disposable. It’s something that we can see ourselves sustaining until CJ no longer needs diapers and we’re lessening our footprint on the environment too! I don’t regret starting off in disposables – there was a LOT to get our head around in those early days – but this works for our family now and I look forward to continuing it in the future. And the big old nappy butt – too cute!

Nappy2Active nappy butt on the move!

Do you cloth diaper? What is your routine?

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Five underrated Auckland summer spots (and a Skinnies Giveaway)

This is a post in collaboration with Skinnies Sungel. Skinnies is a new kind of sunscreen that’s not diluted with water, so a little goes a long way. Skinnies dries quickly, isn’t white or greasy, has no parabens or preservatives & is SPF30 even after 80 minutes in water, putting this mama at ease that our little dude is sun safe! [Giveaway is now closed]

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New Zealand as a country absolutely flocks to the beach at summer. As a South Auckland girl, I have summer day memories of slowly winding our way around the Maraetai coast in the steady flow of traffic to find a tiny patch of sand to call our own. In later years we found a few places further off the beaten track and they’ve always been far more enjoyable to me than hanging out with the masses! Best of all, all these places are stroller-accessible and tried and tested by our family!

Rothesay Bay

Skinnies Rothesay

Source: Personal Photo

Our most recent discovery, Rothesay Bay is one of the local secrets of Auckland’s North Shore. Devonport, Takapuna Beach and Mairangi Bay enjoy wider acclaim but we found this little haven tucked down the end of suburban streets.

Why go? We love that the playground is set back from the beach and that there is a huge grassed area in between, ideal for those kids who have energy to burn yet still need consistent observation near water. When the tide is out, there are some pretty neat rock pools that are loads of fun for little nature explorers.

Our recommendation? Being tucked away, there’s a bit of a walk back to any shops. This is definitely the type of beach where you’re better off packing a picnic lunch and making a day of it, letting the day just flow away from you as you forget about the clock. Carparks at and near the beach seem quite plentiful, so there shouldn’t be too much of a walk even on peak summer days

Orere Point

Skinnies Orere Point

 Source: The Kiwi Kronicles

A little further out of Auckland, this beach is definitely worth the journey. Driving through Orere Village is like a fantastic little trip into yesteryear; the locals are charming and incredibly helpful.

Why go? This beach is perfect if you’ve got both teens and toddlers – the water remains fairly shallow close to the beach but drops off to about 1.2 metres deep further out, allowing your older kids to actually get a swim on. Getting out here truly feels like getting away from it all – once you’ve wound your way through the densely wooded gorge you feel like you’re in another world.

Our recommendation? Make an entire day of it – stop for brunch at Clevedon Village and then head out for the afternoon, grabbing some fish & chips to eat on the beach before you head home. Alternatively, stay overnight at the very affordable Orere Point Holiday Park and continue your journey the following day down the Seabird Coast to Miranda Hot Pools.

Kariotahi Beach

Skinnies Kariotahi

Source: Kiwinz

Kariotahi has a reputation as a surf beach, one of those wild west coast beaches that are known for big waves and rips. Luckily there are several small estuaries that are great for small kids to splash around in while mum or dad tackles the surf for some thrilling fun.

Why go? It has all the charms of an black-sanded beach without the population of Piha. 4WD and/or riding horses on the beach is permitted and can mean that you can find a quiet spot to hang out with your wee family. On a good day, paragliders float down from the cliffs above. It’s all the excitement of Piha with half the people

Our recommendation? Stop at Nick’s Cafe for brunch – totally family friendly – then head out of town to the beach for an explore. Overcast days are slightly better for visits; once that sun starts bearing down the  iron sand can get VERY hot.

Sunkist Bay, Beachlands 

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Source: G.Rad18

Tucked away at the end of a suburban street, Sunkist Bay always seems to be a lot quieter than nearby Maraetai and Omana Beaches. With a boat ramp and coastal walk (suitable for strollers), it’s unclear why this place isn’t a lot more pumping than it is!

Why go? There is a fantastic kids’ playground – if the wee ones don’t run themselves ragged in the water, you can be assured that this will do the trick. Neighbouring Pine Harbour also has a great local market – filling up with all sorts of gourmet goodies here and then heading to the beach could be just the ticket.

Our recommendation? Stop at the dairy on the way there for ice blocks as it’s a heck of a walk back up that hill with little people. Try and aim for between tides, at high tide the water is right up to the sea wall, low tide and we’d recommend wearing aqua shoes as it can get a little rocky further out from shore.

Ambury Regional Park

Skinnies Ambury
Source: Bryndlefly

OK, you’ve got me… this last one isn’t a beach per se, although it is definitely possible to walk to the shore. I’m gobsmacked that this Regional Park isn’t vastly more popular as it is a working farm! Goats, cows, pigs, sheep; you’ll find them all here!

Why go? Well, aside from the cute animal factor, Ambury is host to some pretty awesome short walks, ideal for little legs or when you’re carrying a little person in a front pack. Near to Auckland Airport, there’s also the chance for the littlest aviation enthusiasts to do a little plane spotting.

Our recommendation? You can book BBQs here, definitely worth doing if you are visiting with a large group. If the weather gets too warm, head into the shade of the trees or the woodshed to cool down – you’ll probably see a few of the animals do the same!

SkinniesSungelHoriz

Skinnies is a lightweight sun gel that’s made specifically for the issues of the New Zealand sun. Sweet Mama M and Skinnies love to explore so wherever you are in NZ, we’d love to know your hidden summer gem. You could win one of three 100 ml tubes of Skinnies Sungel (RRP: $34.95) to keep you sun-safe while you’re enjoying your summer family time! Comment below and then click through to enter the giveaway and discover more ways to win!

Once you’ve commented, click here to enter the giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed

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CJ’s Christmas Wishlist

The old adage is true, you never really do realize how fun Christmas is until you are the one that is playing Santa. Christmas has always been a favorite holiday of mine, and while we’re still trying to work out the logistics of midnight mass (might be missing it again this year), we’ve got the wishlists sorted! All of these items are less than $100 and there’s even a discount code at the end of the post to help you save $$ this Christmas! Here’s  the letter to Santa that CJ might have written… if he could write!

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Mocka Bright Balls

CJ is just starting to get into the idea of toys that roll – he loves pushing them along the ground. I can definitely see this ball growing with him – soft enough for him to play with now, bright enough that he won’t lose it at the park when he’s older. Best of all, they aren’t at all expensive meaning that you can buy more than one ball if you have more than one child.

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Baby Bjorn Bib*

OK, this is definitely more of a mum request than a CJ request but with a baby who is getting more and more fond of finger foods, this would definitely save my sanity. I love that it is wipe clean, dishwasher safe, adjustable… and most of all I love that it will catch the bits of food so that I don’t have to hose down the high chair every single time!

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The Moe Show DVD*

CJ is a huge fan of The Moe Show (I think it might be the low voices and the fact that he is SUCH a daddy’s boy) and I love that it is NZ produced TV. On those days where we can’t get out and explore, it’s great to be able to watch Moe explore instead and we’re both learning a bit of Te Reo (the language of the indigenous people of NZ – the Maori). Getting the DVD would mean that we could tide ourselves over during the show hiatus!

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Dinosaur Train: Dinormous Collection*

Another big fav in our household; CJ loves the songs on this show and each episode is the perfect length for the amount of time I let him watch TV in the morning while I get ready – yes, I am that fast, I have it down to a fine art. I love how this show introduces scientific terminology to kids – I’m of the opinion that it’s never to early to expand your vocabulary. That and I’m a little dino-obsessed – I follow a T-Rex on Twitter!

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Ernie the Elephant

It’s been well-documented on the blog about our lucky elephants and this would be just the cutest addition to CJ’s room. I love that this is both pretty and practical, with the ability to be used as a stool as well as for decor. They say that Ernie is virtually indestructible which is always a relief when you’re the mother of small kids!

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Christmas 123*

OK, full disclosure – we may have bought this and started reading it already! CJ love, love, loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar and so when we spotted this on Megan’s instagram it was a no brainer! I absolutely love that style of illustration and CJ loves it too. I can really see this books growing with us each christmas as he learns to spot the caterpillar and count the pictures by himself.

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Cloud B Smart Sensor Sleep Sheep

While CJ is a fairly good sleeper, he definitely has a routine and white noise is part of that. We use an iOS app and that’s worked well for us, having the iPod at home or the iPhone in a pinch if he really needs a nap while we’re out. With him starting with a carer next year, we need another option – I’m not buying another iPod and I’ll be damned if this mum-brain will remember to take it to and fro each time! I love that this has a sensor that triggers automatically when there is noise, meaning that the white noise won’t have to run consistently but hopefully he’ll resettle without the carer having to assist him too much. I’m tempted to get two (one for the carer and one for home) and steal back my iPod!

The lovely team at August Boutique have been kind enough to provide us with a discount code for 10% off all Cloud B items at their store and it’s valid until the 2nd of March – so it’s still there in the new year if you are feeling a little bankrupt at this time of year. Just enter “10sweet” at the checkout! If I had a wee bebe again I would be all over that Turtle Snug Rug.

If you’ve got a little one to buy for, I hope that CJ’s wish list has given you some ideas!

*Affiliate Links

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Makes & Bakes: Hot Summer Recipes I’m Hoping to Try

We’ve finally had a couple of days this week where it feels like summer! Gone are the days of crock pot casseroles, now I’m craving light, fresh and fruity. Here’s a few recipes I’m wanting to try out:

‘Otai

If you haven’t tried this, you haven’t lived. It is an incredibly delicious and refreshing summer drink – making the most of the tropical fruit. Most commonly associated with Tongan cuisine, most Pasifika people have their own version of their drink and after flicking through dozens of recipes, this is the final blend of ingredients I’ve decided to work with.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 can crushed pineapple
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey (optional, only necessary if the melon is watery rather than sweet)
  • ice cubes (optional)

Mash the diced watermelon to a slushy consistency then add the other ingredients in. And that’s it! Add a cheeky nip of rum if you are so inclined.

Watermelon, feta & mint salad

Something about summer just screams watermelon to me! I have vivid memories of devouring $2 slice after $2 slice of the sweet and delicious fruit at the Big Day Out festival as a teen. In my old age (ha!) I’m more of a fan of the salty-sweet contrast and something that keeps popping up on my radar is this amazing salad. As with ‘Otai, there are as many ways to prep it as there are people to make it and so piecing together a little from here, a little from there (and that one too) I’ve come up with the following:

Ingredients

  • 200g feta cheese, diced
  • 500g watermelon, diced
  • A handful of mint leaves, shredded
  • One small red onion, sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.

Combine feta, watermelon, mint and onion in a bowl. Drizzle oil and balsamic vinegar over the top to personal taste.

Coconut and Date Truffles

My friend Julie is one of those women that you would love to hate if she wasn’t so damn nice and a great friend. She has a beautiful and very active boy and another baby on the way yet manages to run her own business as a nutritionist and get healthy food on the table for her family every night. I’ll admit that my diet can be less than nutrient-rich at times, but she totally sold me on these… it may have been that she said that they were a cleaner version of a Snickers!

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© Julie Bhosale, 2014

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 1 cup of roasted/salted peanuts
  • ½ cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 75% (plus) dark chocolate (optional for rolling)
  • Extra desiccated coconut (optional for rolling)
  1. Place dates into a bowl and cover with hot water (to soften slightly)
  2. Place all other ingredients into the food processor and prepare a plate with baking paper to place rolled truffles.
  3. Drain the dates and place into the food processor with all other ingredients and pulse 2-3 times before blitzing until all combined.
  4. Roll mixture into little balls – you can enjoy just as they are or place into the fridge to cool for coating.
  5. Melt dark chocolate over a double-boiler and dip truffles quickly into the chocolate and place back on the baking paper. You can also sprinkle with some extra desiccated coconut here as well. Place back into the fridge to set coating.
  6. Take out of the fridge for about 10 minutes before eating! Enjoy!!

Check out her website for more healthy yet delicious recipes!

Are there any delicious recipes you’re trying out this summer? I’d love to know.

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Spring Getaway: The Food, Bay-Of-Islands style

If you know me in real life you’ll know that I’m a total foodie, especially on holiday! I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure how this would work when going on holiday with a little dude. There was certainly no chance of waking up at 9, enjoying a leisurely brunch, a late lunch and dinner after dusk! We had to plan a little bit more than we usually would; while breakfasts at home gave us a little bit of leeway, we had to make sure we were at our destinations at CJ’s meal times or life was not worth living (kidding, a little). While we were a little apprehensive about having him out for so many meals in a short space of time, he handled it like a pro. Something in him must have been able to sense that we were playing by holiday rules and the usual routines didn’t apply!

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Check out this guy chilling out at Alongside Bar!

Some of the foodie highlights were:

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Giving Thanks

Today (well, at about 6pm NZ time) it’s the American holiday of Thanksgiving. I’ve always thought that it’s such a beautiful concept for a holiday; while we should endeavor to be grateful for our blessings the whole year round, how many of us really are? I love that it’s an inclusive holiday – you can participate in it regardless of race, culture or religion as we all have things to be thankful for. The last couple of weeks have been a bit rough at the M household so it’s a great time for me to turn my frown upside down and think about the positive things in my life!

Thanksgiving

My husband:

It feels like only yesterday that we were writing ridiculously long messages to each other on Facebook but in three months we will have been together six years! In that time we’ve been through some tremendous highs and lows but there’s something so comforting about knowing that whatever happens, that one person will always have your back.

My son:

I’m certainly not going to pretend that being a mama is smooth sailing – teething and learning to crawl means that tantrums are fairly common in this house. I know, however, that I am so blessed to have a child and in particular my child – he makes me laugh and smile on a regular basis. Just the other day I watched him wriggling round in his cot when he should have been sleeping. I used the intercom function on the monitor and said “What are you doing, cheeky boy?”. Immediately he flopped his head down on the cot mattress and pretended to be asleep. So smart, that one.

My family:

It’s so easy to look at other people’s families and be envious – they have two parents or they have parents who don’t work and can help with free childcare. I’m grateful that our families are part of CJ’s life at all because I know of people (even within our own circle of friends) for whom this is not the case. It’s definitely a case of counting the blessings that we have for this one, whether it’s my dad helping to baby-proof the deck, my sister baby-sitting on the weekend or my mother-in-law making baby food for CJ to eat.

My friends:

As I was sitting down and writing my Christmas cards this year (yes, I’ve already started) it did make me think about how the nature of some of my friendships have changed over the course of the year. We all have those friends that we love hanging out with but we always seem to be the one putting in more effort, and while I didn’t have kids that was fine. Now that I’ve had CJ I haven’t always been able to put in that extra effort and it shows. It’s a little sad but on the flip side other friendships have developed and grown and that makes me so happy. CJ is always going to be a part of my life so it is great to have friends that support us as a family.

A home:

I moved out of home at 17, and despite an extended period at home when Mum was sick, I’ve been renting for about 10 years. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of sick of it. I wish with all my heart that we could own our own house, but it’s just not possible on the one income that we have right now. I’m trying to put my focus on the fact that we have a home that we can live in, at the cheaper end of the rental market that doesn’t have any major issues. Does it get my goat that we have no space for a dining table? Does it annoy me that I have to walk all the way around the bench to get to our pantry? Do I long for a garage that is actually big enough to park a car in? Yes. But all of these I can make do with and I’m thankful that we can at least afford to rent a place of our own. Home is what you make of it, regardless of whether you own a house or not.

And the rest! I’m thankful for:

Random donations of clothes for CJ – the online communities I am a part of – great food – living in a beautiful country – the savings that we had in the bank this year – lilies in the garden – seconds fruit at the greengrocer that makes perfect baby food – great advice – watching CJ demolish crackers (he looks so crazy) – sunny days – the black track pants I’m wearing that I swear I’ve had for like fifteen years – planning adventures – the dishwasher – the ability to stay home with my son for the best part of  a year – and so SO much more.

What are you grateful for this holiday season?

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30 before 30: Giapo Visit (and a city adventure)

The wonderful thing about putting your goals out there is that people are more than willing to help you reach them. Wendy saw my goal to try Giapo again – I had experienced it once a long, long time ago before they completely revamped their store and concept – and wanted to help me achieve it. Roping in Corrine for another one of her “Welcome to Auckland” experiences – I’m trying to make sure she never leaves – we made a date to get our “haute ice cream” on.

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We had a bit of time to spare when we arrived in town, so we strolled down with Corrine to look at the Smith & Caughey Christmas windows. Smith & Caughey is a upmarket department store that always has THE most epically creative windows – this year it was mechanized puppets telling the story of “A Pirate’s 12 Days of Christmas”. I wondered whether CJ would be a little young to get the idea but he loved it! I just wish that the displays had been easier to take a photo of, but I guess that means you’ll have to go see for yourself!

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Our other stop was to see “Creepy Santa” – the quintessential Auckland icon. Perched on the corner of the Whitcoulls building in the Auckland CBD, this huge santa figure looks half like he has had a stroke and half like he’s the creepy guy you see lurking in the corner of a bar. He’s definitely not the best looking Santa but he’s such an Auckland icon that there was an absolute furore when the council decided to cut funding for installation this year. Auckland businesses came to the rescue and Creepy Santa rules again! CJ was not so interested in him though, far more interested at the hundreds of cars flowing by at this busy intersection.

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After a quick lunch stop for the little dude, it was back to Giapo – the key reason for this trip. We met up with Wendy and entered what amounts to a grown-up classy Wonka’s chocolate factory; a place of pure imagination! The first sign that this is no ordinary  ice cream parlor is that all the ice cream flavors are hidden from view! All flavors are listed on the wall and you can have as many samples as you need to select your perfect flavor. Flavours selected, they created our amazing deluxe cups.

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© Frock & Roll

Created is almost too weak a word, they definitely work their magic! Yes, that is a blow torch in the picture above, roasting marshmallow on top of an ice cream. An ice cream that is served in a chocolate cup, should you so desire. I so did, and the mixture of roasted marshmallow, gold-dusted hazelnuts (yes!) with the smooth creaminess of Giapo ice cream was a perfect compliment.

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Different flavors inspire different toppings so each one is a surprise! Isn’t the little Peace macaron on top of Wendy’s cup the cutest?

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As we wrapped up eating our deluxe cups the owners of Giapo arrived. Gianpaolo and Annarosa Grazioli are some of the nicest people you will meet, completely engaging and delightful. It’s great to see how passionate they are about the business and creating the ideal customer experience; other small business owners could learn a lot from them. Giapo organized a ice cream degustation for us – had you ever heard of such a thing? The ice cream degustation is five flavors crafted into miniature works of art and it is AMAZING. I can totally see this being a super-romantic date night for two! Despite stuffing ourselves with our deluxe cups, we were up for the challenge. My favorite totally had to be the blood orange sorbet (pictured with the candied strawberry on top) – if we lived closer I fear I’d be in there every day just to eat that flavor! CJ was in love with the little spoonful I gave him – wee gourmand that he is.

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I am so happy that we got to tick this off the 30 before 30 list, with the added bonus of spending time with great people both familiar and new. CJ loved being in the city, little explorer that he is, so this certainly won’t be our last visit. If you’re around Aotea Square or the Civic, you have no excuse – get thee to Giapo!

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And you too can have faces like these!

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CJ @ 9 months

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Nine months! CJ has been out of my belly almost as long as he was in there and we can’t see any of the baby in him any more – he is all little boy! Especially in shorts weather where you can see those long long legs that he got from his mama! This month was a pretty eventful month for us:

  • He had his first overnight hospital stay. High temperatures led to high heart rate episodes and we were quickly referred from an after hours clinic to the local hospital where they ran tests and observed him to make sure it was nothing more serious than a virus. He hated the big metal cots, instead preferring to cat nap in his stroller. He was so brave though, I’m a very proud mama.
  • He says “addaddy” and “mum”, the first with excitement and the second usually with annoyance when I haven’t done something quickly enough. It’s quite funny, I have the TV on in the background while cooking dinner and CJ will usually pay very little attention to it but the moment he hears the theme song for Neighbours it’s all “Addaddy? Addaddy?” because he knows it’s usually the time his daddy gets home
  • He’s still a huge music fan. We crack ourselves up by having dance parties to T. Swift’s “Shake It Off” and he had both Papa M and I dying of cuteness when he started singing along to the “Friday” remix on the Vodafone ad
  • He’s got four teeth – the top two have just cut through at the same time, poor guy
  • He went on holiday for the first time! Call it fatigue, call it budgetary constraints… I’m not actually entirely sure why we haven’t managed to go on holiday until now. Nevertheless, despite CJ cutting those teeth and Papa M getting an unfortunately-timed case of Hand, Foot & Mouth disease, we did have a great time. CJ was a total rockstar at sleeping in his portacot but still not a fan of sleeping in the car – it seems like 50 mins is his max, regardless of the length of trip
  • We have hands & knees! We still don’t have forward motion (he tends to worm himself backwards from this point) but crawling can’t be too far off! I’m so excited for this to happen for him, he gets so frustrated and lies down with his head on the floor looking very sad when he can’t get it to work
  • He absolutely HATES the sound of me tearing off the baking paper out of the dispenser. He has no problem with me tearing it with my hands, no problem with me tearing plastic wrap out of the dispenser but we have tears every single time I line a baking tray!
  • CJ graduated to the big boy seat of the grocery trolley – he’s a very sturdy sitter now so we’re confident that he can last a shopping trip in the seat without toppling over
  • He is starting to become more fond of baby-led weaning – otherwise known as “I’ll have what you’re having, thanks”. Foods that he’s tried in the last month includes sushi (loved it) and corn fritter
  • He’s becoming very determined – I fear that he’s headstrong like his mother. If he doesn’t want to be carried, he will practically throw himself out of your arms. I see more than a few “battles of the wills” in our future

The month ahead looks pretty exciting! The weekends are absolutely packed with parties and adventure in the lead up to Christmas and we have lots of fun weekday events as well. Our little extroverted dude loves to socialize so it will be a great month for him!

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Spring Getaway: Five hot tips to road-tripping with your infant

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A quiet moment under the tree in the park

We knocked our goal of a spring getaway on the head! Despite CJ teething (a grand total of four teeth now) and poor Papa M recovering Hand, Foot & Mouth disease (what a trooper!) we managed to have a lovely, relaxing time. Here’s a few tips from our experience:

1) Plan for your travel to take twice as long. This might seem like a no-brainer, but we really misunderstood how much a wee one slows down your pace when traveling over long distances! Poopy nappies, bottle breaks and even lunches take far longer when you have a wee one in tow! Continue reading