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Blog

Express Yourself - Kitchen Styling

Alice Pearson

An empty bench space can be a confusing starting point when it comes to kitchen styling. And while I love the look of those minimal kitchens that hide absolutely everything from eye view, the only thing minimal about my kitchen is the budget I had to renovate it and the time I want to spend cleaning it! An empty bench top just isn’t an option for me – as I don’t have enough storage to put everything away or the time to do that every time I cook. Not to mention I love expressing myself in my home, adding details and dynamics in the spaces I spend everyday in – so my tendency to constantly style doesn’t lean well towards a minimal style and a empty kitchen bench.

With every space in a home, it needs to first serve to function and then to style, meaning “the look”. Which is why I simply love things that cater my daily needs, that look good at the same time (…just like my husband!). A bench top's primary function is for making food, and in my case with kids who eat every meal at different times than me, it means doing just that at least 6 times a day. This is why on my bench top you will see appliances – doesn’t sound all that stylish? True, it wouldn’t be, if not for Kenwood’s brand new kMix series bringing style, colour, performance and quality into your kitchen bench and making kitchen styling simple but stunning.

In styling a benchtop you should first consider how you use your kitchen bench - how do you cook, where do you need clear bench space and what you use frequently? For us first and foremost it is the kettle – we love a good hot drink. I chose the kMix Kettle in rich black, it has a high gloss look and a attractive round shape, petite enough that it doesn’t take over your whole bench space but large enough to meet a family’s requirements. Often with coloured appliances you would then select the matching toaster, but I went for the kMix Toaster in cool white to create contrast. It is a 4 slice toaster with separate functions for each side of the toaster – meaning you can reheat a bagel while toasting a frozen piece of bread. It has a matt finish with rounded chrome buttons to suit most styles of kitchen. Finally I selected the kMix Blender in rick black as we have smoothies most days and I also use it frequently for cooking and baking. I like the ease of using this blender, it is easy to remove from the base to clean and serve up. The design isn’t bulky and the cord can be wrapped the bottom of the base to avoid having cord take over your bench space.

To style well with these products, integrate other kitchen elements like chopping boards, canisters and potted herbs. Think about bringing contrast into your kitchen through colour and texture, a kitchen can make the wrong impact if everything in it is high gloss white. Below I have styled both my kitchen and a clients kitchen, to show how to express yourself through Kenwood’s kMix range. To see their premium selection of kitchen appliances in their four chic colours; Spicy Red, Rich Black, Cool White and Fresh Cream visit their website.

Comment to win a $100 pressy card for expressing yourself in your own kitchen! Select your favourite Kenwood kMix product in your desired colour and let us know your choice through commenting below. Entries close at 12pm 4 June 2017.

Queenstown Family Adventures

Alice Pearson

We love holidays, but when you bring the kids along, it can't be described as a break. With kids holidays no longer mean relaxation, what it does mean is time together as a family, to explore places we haven't been and do things we have never done. Recently we spent a full week in Queenstown New Zealand with close friends. Though we got on the plane with 4 adults, 1 toddler, 2 infants, 5 bags, 3 carseats, 2 strollers and 2 portacots - we managed to jam pack our holiday full of exploring (even though we barely fit everything into the hired people mover). Kids do not need to confine your holiday to your hotel room and a few playgrounds and cafes, so here is how we made a memorable holiday with 3 kids in tow.

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The Balancing Act – How to get more of what you want + less of what you don’t want.

Alice Pearson

Recently I was asked how I manage to do so much, my response was simple – I don’t. Motherhood in itself is a full time task, without sick leave or vacation time. Once you start adding more tasks to your life (in my case home staging, interior styling, running our Pearson and Projects blog, and the constant renovations) you need to find ways to remove other weekly tasks. Balance is about what you take away, as much as what you add. As a Mum you can’t do it all – so you need to find creative ways work out where to invest your time and where to make an investment to gain time. So here a a few of my investments that have created balance and joy in my mummy life…

Caleb and I use WOOP Foodie Table for 2, 3 meals that are delivered to our door weekly in a box full of fresh ingredients and exciting recipes. What makes this service so prefect for our full lives is that most things are prepared for you – to this point the longest time I have spent cooking one of their recipes is 20 minutes. I love that I don’t need to think about what I’m cooking for dinner each night, that I don’t need to start prepping dinner in the morning in order to eat at a reasonable hour and that my food shop is half of what it used to be. Beyond all the practical benefits, we just simply enjoy that after a long hard day working and looking after our treasures we sit down to a delicious meal. It is healthy and balanced, and did I say delicious, because it’s incredibly delicious.

Along with eating healthy, I’m attempting to live heathy too. Caleb and I purchased a spin bike when Mika was about 10 weeks old and ever since I have attempted to spin every week day for at least 20 minutes. I have YouTube clips of spin classes that I join in with and have put together my own program to music when I’m feeling particularly motivated. I can spin in the lounge while my toddler plays – or sits there watching me yelling “YAY Mummy” and Mika sleeps. Again – it was an investment to purchase the bike, but has been a great way to exercise that doesn’t impact on my family life or take too much of my time.

Finally, I have made an investment in quality paid help. I have a few young adults who I causally employ to assist me when I need it. When I had a newborn, I had a cleaner every fortnight for 5 hours who completely cleaned the house and did majority of my washing. I made the decision to cut Alek’s daycare days from 2 to 1 in order to offset the cost, but also to spend more time with my kids and less time on chores. When I have jobs or consults, I have a nanny who looks after Mika while Alek is in daycare. Where I can, I have others complete tasks for me in my home staging and interior styling jobs. I know where my time is best spent and know when my money is best spent on others in order to have time for myself. Lastly, we have just decided though babysitters double the cost of an evening, date nights, girl’s nights, boy’s nights, dinner parties are just too important. Mentally I need to have time for me and that is a valid and vital investment. I will always remember a comment made at our antennal class “Don’t be a martyr for motherhood” – fight for balance and prioritize yourself and your time – you will be a better mother and family for it.     

Keep it up baby mamas

Much love

Alice

 

Welcome Baby Girl

Alice Pearson

It's been a while blog-land, mainly because my focus has been on our renovation website Pearson and Projects. And while it will be the place for all our renovation adventures and DIY tips and tricks, this will be the place for my love for interior design, motherhood and a little girl talk from time to time.  

It may be 10 months to late, but here is the deliciousness that is our Mika May Pearson [as a newborn]. She is the sweetest addition to our little tribe and no doubt this little miss will keep me on my toes. Photos by Helen Bankers.

Alek turns One

Alice Pearson

There aren’t a lot of things Caleb and I disagree on, but when it came to Alek turning one, our ideas on how to celebrate were very different. Caleb wanted the traditional kids party, colourful food and games with all our friends and family. It’s not that I don’t like children parties, I will go to town on fairy bread just as much as any other party going child but it is a lot of time and money for something Alek will never remember. So many people told us – it’s a party for the parents rather than the child, if that was so, I wanted to have a party that I’d enjoy and meant I didn’t need to spend weeks preparing decorations and goodie bags. We invited a small group of close friends over for an afternoon of hanging out and had an early dinner together. It was low key but without the busyness of hosting a large party, supervising activities and catering.

With that said, I want birthdays to always be celebrated in our family, and while I don’t want my children to expect a party or overly expensive present every year, I want them to expect Mum and Dad will do something special to mark and appreciate their big day. So for Alek’s first birthday we got a professional photographer, Helen Banker to photograph our family. Here are some of my favourite shots.

One Year Photo Shoot - Alice Pearson - Little Nest
One Year Photo Shoot - Alice Pearson - Little Nest
One Year Photo Shoot - Alice Pearson - Little Nest

Getting a Good Nest

Alice Pearson

It is safe to say I love online stores, from my food shopping to new shoes, if I can find it online, I’ll buy it online. When I was heavily pregnant with Alek, I attempted to book in a cleaner for the last month of my pregnancy and first month with a newborn, the process was painful and unsuccessful. I got a couple of cleaning vouchers of GrabOne, but the company itself wouldn’t return emails and phone calls for weeks and when I finally got in touch with them, they couldn’t fit a cleaner in with my schedule. I also found that cleaners were so overpriced, I couldn’t justify spending $65 a fortnight for something I could still do myself.

It’s nearly a year on from that process and there is a new cleaning company in town, and I think they are onto a fantastic concept with their whole customer experience. They are called Goodnest (the name itself won me over). They offer $20.00 per hour cleaning services that you book online within seconds. They don’t charge you anything extra if it is a one off clean or you plan to have a cleaner every week. You have options in how frequently you want a cleaner, a selection of extra services like fridge or oven cleans and they bring all their own cleaning products. They use Ecostore products and all their cleaners go through a vetting process, so you know your home is in safe hands.

Beyond the fact the this company makes home cleaning affordable and easy to book, the other element I love is how easy it then is to gift a love one a home clean when they need extra support. There has been times where a friend has been going through heath complications, and rather than sending flowers that are dead in a week, I sent a cleaner instead. There is nothing like being unwell, stuck in bed and having someone look after your home when you aren’t able to. And what is ridiculous is that sending a cleaner is in most cases cheaper than sending flowers!

So if you are in the market for a cleaner to make your nest a good nest, I’d recommend www.goodnest.co.nz

Happy Cleaning (or not) Baby Mammas

Alice XX

What Time to Manage?

Alice Pearson

Recently I heard a statement I like A LOT, time management doesn’t work.  Why? - Because time isn’t something we have the ability to manage, we can’t control it, slow it down, speed it up or recover it. Time has no master, with time every minute counts, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

 

Once you become a Mum, time has new meaning. It’s amazing how everyone who isn’t in this season of life thinks our days must be long and full of free time. I get asked a lot “What did you know today” and this is where it gets hard, because I don’t achieve a lot of notable tasks day in day out. But Motherhood is busy, I always feel like I need more time, every day I feel like I get next to nothing done, but I have been going 100 miles an hour. Children are time consuming – in the best possible way. Therefore I have had to learn the balance of utilizing my time as a Mum, making the most of moments with my son, being the heart of the home and still having time to nourish my own soul.

Here are some tips I have for making the most of the time you are given each day.

 

Tip One – To Do List

Before I had Alek, I used to go into work each morning and write my to do list for the day. Then throughout the day I had freedom to work on tasks - oh the joy of ticking a job and declaring it done! Can you imagine trying to do that as a Mum? I would consider it next to impossible, unless my list were, wake Alek, dress Alek, play with Alek, feed Alek, cuddle Alek….! So my new to do lists don’t apply to a day, but a week. So jobs like cleaning the house, food shop, laundry and writing a blog have a whole week to get done, not a day. Motherhood is unpredictable and you never know when you will have an hour to yourself, so I have learnt to go with the flow and be adaptable to the time I get.

 

Tip Two – Double Up

I have learnt to combine tasks with things I enjoy. For example I listen to books or podcasts while I’m cleaning or doing the laundry, though I am doing a chores, there is still a level of enjoyment and personal development – if you are listening to the right sort of podcasts! I also attempt to make tasks I need to do playtime for Alek. He loves his time sitting outside watching me hang out the washing or playing in front of the mirror in our room while I make the bed. Every morning he sits in the bottom of the shower with toys while I get to shower! Taking him for a walk in the stroller isn’t just an outing for him, but a workout for me.  I think to make the most of your time as a Mum, you have to find opportunities to kill as many birds as possible with one stone – as you only get so many stones a day.

 

Tip Three – Rest Well

Recently I had a massive working week, I had a youth camp and a staging job both fall on the same week. It meant I didn’t get any down time, I was juggling ordering furniture with speaking to high schoolers, creating art pieces with preparing Alek’s meals and gear for the various member of the family who were looking after him. I was going to bed well after midnight and up again at 6am for 5 nights straight. I got through it – but on the other side realized I don’t have the ability to rest and recover like I used to.  I may need a sleep in, but my son doesn’t. I may want to relax but I still have responsibilities in being a Mum. Even though I parent with Caleb, we don’t tag in and out of parenthood, we do it together. Pushing myself to my limits one week meant it took me two full weeks to regain my energy. I can work hard, but not to the point that I am draining myself of the energy I need to live well and parent well. I know I have limits and there is nothing wrong with simply admitting I can’t do everything. Once you are a Mum, things like a holidays and days off not exist for a season, so we can’t work ourselves into the ground because once we are there, it’s not easy to get back up!

 

Tip Four – Enjoy the Moments

We all know it – our babies grow way too quickly and milestones come and go far too soon. I can’t manage time, but I can certainly enjoy all the time I am given. Enjoy building a life with my family, enjoy watching my son grow and develop, enjoy the journey that is life. There is no greater time, than the time spent with the ones you love.

 

Keep it up Baby Mammas

Much love

Alice X

Changing up the Change Table

Alice Pearson

I have recently designed a nursery and attempted my own version of a change table. I found a low boy which provides a lot of storage, and had Caleb make up a pine box to sit on top of it. I put a change pad inside, with a stunning cover from The Cot Store. For nurseries that don't have a lot of room - this design is a great option.

Change Table 2.jpg

Food Shopping Made Easy

Alice Pearson

I have always struggled with supermarkets – the lines, the broken trolleys, not finding what you are after or completely forgetting what you came to buy and of course that feeling as all of your products go through the check out and total an amount a lot larger than what you were planning to spend. As soon as I found out I could avoid this – I have never looked back.

 

In all fairness – I prefer shopping online, but Countdown’s online grocery and delivery service will convert even the most traditional shoppers (like my parents). Peoples initial response is it cost money – but for what you spend, in my opinion it’s value outweighs the cost. The value? Well I can do a full food shop for the week in about 15 minutes, saving me time. I can stick to a budget as my shopping trolley let’s me know how much I‘m spending, so I save money and I have the ability to shop in the comfort of my own home and without the worry about Alek losing it in a supermarket, saving me some sanity!

 

Beside all of the immediate benefits, the shopping experience itself continues to improve, you can save a list of items you buy every week, there are recipes with coinciding shopping lists of you are keen to try something new and all your details are stored to make the process quick and painless. If you have never given it a go – I encourage you try it.

Restored Treasures | Highchair Edition

Alice Pearson

It is really easy to buy into the trap that to have a statement or designer anything in your home or nursery - it has to be the latest and greatest on-trend product. The reality is, new hardly ever exists - "new styles" are really just twists of styles before - therefore there is so much treasure to be found in making something old, new again. 

That is exactly what I have done with Alek’s first highchair. Through these simple steps I created a stunning, one of a kind highchair that him and I both adore.

1. I found a highchair on trademe, and purchased it for $20.50.  

2. I cleaned it and sanded it back.

3. I spent $15.00 on Navy spray paint from Bunnings, which had a self-primer and was safe for children’s furniture.

4. I applied three coats, leaving at least 3 hours of drying time.

5. Caleb cut a piece of pine to fill in the tray. I used a matt varnish on it before gluing it to the existing tray.

6. We sealed the edges of the tray.

 

IMG_7975.jpg

 

Hanging Out for Art

Alice Pearson


Recently every shop or online store I look at there is stunning and fun artwork for nurseries and children’s rooms. If you know the right places to shop, artwork has never been more affordable with the popularity of graphic prints.

 

Find some beautiful frames in A4 or A3, and then you can continually change out the art print as your child's room décor changes. You can also make designs yourself and have them printed on high grade paper. As Alek grows, I plan to have artwork designed with quotes our family says or nicknames we give him. 

 

You can also personalize prints - Keepsake Frames do that in a beautiful way, with these birth frames. Priced from $40.00, you can have your child’s name and birth details printed in a stunning design.  They also have gift cards available, which would make a perfect gift for a baby shower.

Another way to create some memorable artwork is to have someone draw it for you! Alphabets & Animals offer a service where you can have your own animal and text designed and printed. I am obsessed with these yummy animals.

Strolling Along

Alice Pearson

What stroller to buy is always a big decision when you are pregnant, for me I just went with the most recommended stroller by friends, which was a Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle.

Through Trademe we found a display model of the 2009 Mountain Buggy Urban Elite, it came with the works; carry cot, sun cover, rain cover, drink holder, carry bag, new base and the frame. It was everything a Mountain Buggy promises to be, a solid, well made stroller that could handle any terrain.

 

If plan to do a lot of walking with your bubs and won’t be travelling often doing small errands or meetings, this type of buggy is ideal. The thing I love about the Mountain Buggy range is that they design their buggies for exactly the lifestyle and terrain you want – want to run with your child, they have designed a buggy for that, if the only surface you travel on is side walks and shopping malls – they have designed a buggy for that. 

My problem was I wanted a buggy that could handle different terrains, but that was light and compact. I don’t have a lifestyle that is dominated by one terrain, so I needed something that was adaptable. And to be honest – I wanted something that looked cute too.

 

Edward and Cos Oscar Stroller met all those requirements, even the cute factor. It fits in and out of the car with ease, it’s limited edition canopy looks stunning and I have used it (without a problem) on most terrains. Plus its price makes it affordable and great value for money.  

EC.jpg

 

When my Mum or Mother in Law babysit Alek, the Oscar Stroller fits in their small hatchback cars. The capsule also can be partnered with the stroller, for those quick trips into the supermarket or the collect something. The stroller has the option of front facing or facing you, which means you can cater for an explorer or a Mum adorer!

 

 

Tips for Nesting in your Nursery

Alice Pearson

Tip One – It’s your Nursery!

Parenting is an amazing experience for giving your little one the very best of you; they are your main concern and a lot of the time your wants or needs go on the back burner – that shouldn’t be the case when it comes to your nursery design. Your baby boy won’t care about colour scheme is “too girly” or have a preference in how the room is styled. You are the one in there in all hours of the day and night, feeding, changing and settling – it should be a space that you love to be in – because trust me, you’ll be in there a lot.

 

Tip Two – Do it Once

Gender neutral is the way to design and buy - even if you aren’t planning on having more the one child, your little princess who loves pink may go through a tomboy stage! Children’s styling has changed recently; where you see a lot more black and white, grey undertones and then pops of neutral colouring (reds, yellows and oranges).  With everything I’ve put into my nursery, I’ve kept the key items gender neutral so when it comes to our next child (boy or girl) we can reuse everything. I’ve also thought long term about the furniture, the shelving unit I’ve purchased for the nursery, will be able to be used in a child’s room, playroom or the lounge in the future.

 

Tip Three – Plan Well

Think through how you will use the space and make a floor plan that is practical. For example; you will want a table or dresser close to your feeding chair – as you need to eat and drink, your change table needs to have easy access to nappies, laundry basket and clothes, the cot shouldn’t be close to windows or doors. Don’t buy anything without knowing it fits in your space and leaves enough room for you to get around. We changed our floor plan so many times trying to maximize the space we had, and it was worth it.

 

Tip Four – Do your Research

I wouldn’t recommend just showing up a large baby store to purchase everything all at once and rely on a staff member’s knowledge. There are so many products available and the more you know, the better. In a lot of cases it isn’t just about what is the best product – but what is best for you considering your budget, your parenting preference and your plans for your family growing in the future. Don’t buy into the “you have to have this”, no one knows what your baby nature is like, and therefore what are the products you simply must have.   

 

Tip Four – Don’t Rush

My husband would say don’t rush into purchases; once you have found the products you want make sure you are purchasing them for the best price possible; consider looking on trademe and see what the difference is in buying it secondhand. There are always sales – so keep an eye out for them! I’m glad I have a husband like that – because he has certainly stopped me making purchases that I would regret. I would say – don’t rush the process of putting together your nursery. I’ve heard way too many stories of people putting together their nursery that the last moment, I think it causes too much stress and pressure. I had an amazing pregnancy and birth; and a lot of that came down to not allowing stress or fear into my world. Nesting is an important process for new parents; there is enough that is daunting about your new arrival without the feeling of “I’m not ready yet” on top of that. The more you can slowly begin to do – the better. There are a lot of stores that do laybuy like the “Little Bundles” on Little Co website; so if you are pregnant – start nesting!

Got Style?

Alice Pearson

Style: a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character

 

Style is an interesting thing AND everyone has it, the reality is you like certain looks and not others – that originates from your style preference. Finding your style is like most things in life – you find it through exploring different opportunities and making a couple of mistakes! The thing I love about style is that it constantly changes; the more you discover, the more your own style develops. Here a few of my favourtie nurseries at the moment:

I’ve only got two hands…

Alice Pearson

Motherhood is a juggling act! Thank goodness for Baby Bjorn who understands that. They pretty much specialize in providing Mums with an extra pair of safe and secure hands and help make travelling around easier.

BABY CARRIER ONE

This is a new generation baby carrier with plenty of options. There are four front and back carrying positions. The waist belt and padded shoulder straps provide ergonomic support to relieve pressure. Suitable for babies and toddlers, 0-3 years.

I had Alek in this as a newborn; those days where the only way to get him to sleep was on me, this carrier was a lifesaver. It meant I could still have my hands free and give my baby the comfort he needed. Doing little jobs around the house, preparing dinner, hanging the washing, getting groceries are achievable with this carrier. We recently flew to Gisborne from Auckland, rather than taking a stroller I took my Baby Bjorn Carrier, it made getting onto the flight quick and easy.

 BOUNCER BALANCE SOFT

Ergonomic bouncer with a soft and snug design that is suitable right from day one. The fun and natural bouncing movement develops your baby’s motor skills and balance. Suitable for babies and toddlers aged 0-2 years.

A lot of bouncers aren’t appropriate for newborns – but the Baby Bjorn Bouncer certainly is! Having a bouncer that held Alek so well has meant it is my most used baby product! I loved being able to sit him up as a newborn and talk to him. Not having to balance his body weight (which is increasing daily) means that we can have a lot of interaction and develop our bond face to face. Alek is fascinated by just about anything, so he will happily sit in his bouncer and watch me. The base doesn’t move around no matter what the surface or how much the bouncer is moving, giving me the piece of mind that Alek is safe. We were given the accessory of the wooden toy that attached to the bouncer, which Alek loves to look at and play with.

For anyone in the market for a bouncer or carrier, I would highly recommend these two products. They are made and designed incredibly and easy to wash.

 

A Mum State of Mind

Alice Pearson

A remember vividly a night when I was around 12 years old, where I was being coached at my Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. It was near the end of my practice and my coach was teaching new moves turns we could potentially put into my routine. My coach described a turn where I would pivot on one fully bent leg with the other pointed straight out in front of me; then to come off the ground I would pull in the straight leg and stand up on the one leg. With that, I completed the turn exactly as my coach had described much to her disbelief. She then asked me if I could do it again, as it was a difficult turn that not many gymnasts could do. From that point on, no matter how many times I tried, I wasn't able to complete the turn correctly again. When I wasn’t told it was hard – I never considered it would be or I may not be able to do it. As soon as I was told it was difficult or hard – that’s exactly what it became.  

This principle works in every area of my life; I am a massive believer in positive thoughts and talk. Working with young people, especially in my years of being a dance and drama teacher, there were many times I told my students the word “can’t” isn’t allowed in my classroom. Why? Because as soon as they say they can’t do something – it’s already truth before they have attempted it.

It has been an interesting journey becoming a Mum and seeing the impact of having the right state of mind. Being pregnant and now a new Mum; I was blown away with how acceptable, common and almost expected it was for people to tell you their “war stories” from birth and parenting. It is sad that it was rare to hear positive stories and the list of everything that was “hard” was significantly long. Apparently pregnancy is hard, labour is hard, birth is hard, recovery is hard, breastfeeding is hard, no sleep is hard, people coming to visit you is hard, settling is hard, expressing is hard, starting a routine is hard, getting out is hard. I’m not saying motherhood is a breeze, it defiantly requires the best of me everyday, but there are a lot of things that I took on with ease, probably more do to the fact that I didn’t buy into the list of hard things I was frequently informed of.  You can see where I’m going with this - don’t believe it’s hard until it is hard.

A Mum State of Mind for me means I don’t just hope for the best, I expect it too. I take on new experiences of parenthood like I did with that turn– I find out how to do it then give it a go, without an expectation it’s too hard or putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I think the hardest thing about parenthood is how hard we are on ourselves – so all the baby Mamma’s out there – don’t be hard on yourself because YOU CAN DO IT! 

Much love

Alice xx

Styling the Bump

Alice Pearson

Though pregnancy is a great excuse for new clothes, it isn’t the nicest journey slowly not fitting most of your wardrobe. There are some maternity clothes in stores that are so boring and basic. I have discovered some great online stores that had made the transition easy from my favourite slim fit jeans to my new favourite maternity jeans. A lot of the maternity clothes I have found don't look like maternity clothes, as they are fashionable and fit well.

Rock your Bump has provided me with some gorgeous maternity pants that are actually comfortable to wear and look great. I have been wearing Rock your Bump's floral pants and leather leggings constantly, they are pants I would wear normally and to be honest I think I'll continue to wear them well after my bump is gone.

How cute these leggings and blouse? Both from Rock your Bump.

Rock your Bump also have the nicest nursing/maternity sweaters I have found, which will be ideal throughout the winter months.

Hotmilk is the place to go for maternity/nursing lingerie and sleep wear, stunning but oh so practical. I really think with maternity bras, it's better to buy a quality bra that'll last, the sooner you are in one while you are pregnant the better, as your body is making some significant changes. A lot of friends have complained that maternity bras are uncomfortable or just feel strange with no underwire - I haven't found that. I've been in maternity bras since my 2nd trimester. If you are after some extra support; I'd suggest getting shape wear, it keeps everything in and also gives you an extra layer when strangers are rubbing your tummy! The one item I love in particular from Hotmilk is their Harmony Nursing Cami - the fit is perfect and I know I’ll live in it, especially the first month of Baby Pearson’s arrival. 

Lastly for those bargain hunters, there is always something to be found at ASOS. Early in my pregnancy I went through their sale maternity section and picked out some great dresses and tops and saved them, every now and then they do a sale where they have an extra 25% off everything, I purchased my saved list, getting each item for under $20.00 – with free shipping.  Below are a couple of looks I went with.

Baby Shower

Alice Pearson

Putting together your baby shower can be a fun and creative event that will give you a chance to have all your close friends together to celebrate the awaited arrival of your little bubs.

 

For my baby shower I decided on hosting an afternoon tea on a Sunday afternoon at a friend’s corporate café. Designing an invite was made simple by Red Stamp an app that allows you to create personalized invites. I saved the invite as an image and got them digitally printed at .25cents an invite.  I used twine to combine my invite and baby shower gift registry cards together and packaged it in a brown recycled envelope.

 

I created a baby shower gift registry with Little Co’s Little Registry, the little registry service allows your guests to purchase products you have pre chosen, on your registry it sorts products into the priority they are to you and covers every detail like the colour and size you want.  All gifts are delivered at once and direct to you in time for your baby shower, and accompanied with personalized cards from your guests. Little Co will also provide you with a registry invite card or email version for your invitations, and thank you cards to post to your guests after your shower.

 

Myself, my Mum and Mother in Law, did the catering for the afternoon tea. I purchased the cute milk bottles and straws on GrabOne and all the serviettes, cups and plates from 2 Cheap. I had mini cupcakes made, then we just did a simple spread of club sandwiches, cheese, crackers and grapes, homemade slice and brownie.

 

There are some interesting games that get played at baby showers – I had no desire for my guest to use a string to guess the size of my bump! We set up a couple of activities for guest to do; writing baby advice and name suggestions down and guessing how many lollies were in a baby bottle. Then we played one large game on tables, where teams had to guess the answers to some baby questions we asked Caleb before the shower.

 

It was such a lovely afternoon, surrounded by all the amazing women in my life.  I was incredibly spoilt and enjoyed all the left over cupcakes!

The Big Reveal - Boy or Girl?

Alice Pearson

Though I love the idea of not finding out the sex of your baby and having a surprise when they arrive, the reality is you can find out the sex of your baby at 20 weeks (sometimes even earlier) and if you don’t need to wait, why wait?

There are a lot of benefits to finding out the sex of your baby before time, you don’t need to go all neutral colours in nursery or baby clothes, you can think of names and the baby get’s talked about as a “he or “she” rather than an “it”. But finding out beforehand can sometimes take away from that special moment someone cries out in the delivery room “it’s a boy/girl”, so when we made the decision to find out the sex of our baby, we also decided to create a special moment in how we found out. Some soon-to-be parents have the radiographer write down the gender of the baby and open it together later on, on a date or weekend away. We wanted to be surrounded by family and close friends when we found out, so we decided to have a gender reveal party.

The concept of a gender reveal party is really simple, everyone (including the parents) find out the sex of the baby through the display of either pink of blue. Traditionally, there is a cake made with either blue or pink inside but you can be as creative as you like in how you reveal your gender.

Caleb, my Mum and I went to our 20 week scan the day of the reveal party, we told the radiographer we didn’t want to be told the sex of the baby but have her write it down on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope. After the scan she was very confident she knew the sex (which was a relief as we didn’t want to have to cancel the party). Mum then took the envelope and a decorated fridge box to a local party shop and asked them to fill the box with either pink balloons if it said girl or blue balloons if it said boy.

We had the party from 7.30pm; we catered it simply with some cakes and dessert. We had guest write down what gender they were predicting and what weight they thought the baby was currently (as you can find that out at the scan also). Who ever guessed the right sex and was closest to the weight won a prize. Before we ate dessert came the big reveal – there was so much excitement from us and all our guests. It was definitely a special moment, finding out our baby was a boy with family and friends cheering and celebrating with us. 

 


Getting "THE BAG" ready...

Alice Pearson

I thrive off being organized, I had purchased the capsule and buggy in the first trimester, our top 3 names was decided after our first discussion about it, the nursery was all done within my second trimester. I thought putting together my hospital bag would be done well before I needed it, but it was one thing on my to do list I kept putting off! No matter how positive you are attempting to be about birth, there is always going to be nervousness, as every birth is different and quite often doesn’t go the way most woman plan. You want your hospital bag to have everything you need practically during and straight after the birth, some home comforts and aids for creating an environment you want in a hospital room. It’s not quite as simple as deciding on a colour scheme for your nursery or picking out a bouncer.

Bundle dealt with my procrastination! They have created a bundle of the essentials you’ll need for your hospital bag, your baby’s first 2 days or 4 days. You have the ability to pick what bundle you are after and even add a cute overnight bag and extra baby clothes. In their hospital bag they have all the essentials for what every birth will needs, even down to the little details like a toothbrush. From there you can just add your clothes and your newborns leaving outfit (so exciting) and you are done!

Or you can continue to add to the bag those personal touches you hope to use during your birth. For me these added arrangements were a TENS Machine to help with pain management, birthing aromatherapy oil and an electric burner, a sipper drink bottle, apple juice (when I get tired of drinking water), my birth plan, chargers for both my phone and my husbands, camera, Bluetooth Speaker and 14 hours of my own playlist downloaded onto my phone. My families’ recommendations for songs were along the lines of “Push It”, “Bleeding Love” and “The first Cut is the Deepest” – none of them made my playlist!

In all my reading of birthing and newborn books, antenatal classes and newborn parenting classes I seem to find a common message coming through, the more confident you are in both birth and parenting the easier it is. Putting together my hospital bag has certainly helped me gain more confidence about my birth and even a little more excitement. To know I’m going in with a hospital bag, a capsule and a husband AND leaving with the extra addition of our first child to love and cherish is simply incredible!

Please Note: Bundle currently does orders to NZ, even though they are based in Australia. But watch this space as all good things make their way over to our shores. I would also recommend looking at their checklist page – it is one of the best I have found, which prioritizes what you need and what is “nice to have”.