7 Essentials of My Winter Wardrobe!

My favourite time of year is spring/summer and I really dislike winter, but I do love the fashion! As winter is now upon us, I put together a collection of my favourite winter items that I couldn’t live without!

My 7 Essentials:

Scarves:

I became a lover of scarves when I started teaching and experienced my first winter out west! Since then I’ve spent a lot of time visiting Melbourne where my sister and her family live and we spent 4 weeks in the States during winter – snow and all, which is where I’ve purchased some of my favourite ones. I’m also lucky mum has knitted me quite a few to. An outfit can look quite dull until a scarf is added and completes it 10 fold!

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Beanies/headbands:

I feel an outfit isn’t complete unless something in on my head! One of my favourite things about winter is being able to fashion my beanies!

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Jeans / Tights:

I very rarely wear dresses or skirts during winter, maybe on an occasional work day with tights and boots, otherwise I live in jeans. My favorites are my skinny jeans and I love my jeggins! I just bought my first pair of coloured skinny jeans today!

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Jackets:

Jackets….obsessed much and these are just my favourites! I’m drawn to them when I go to the shops, plus they are so good to dress up or down!

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Tops:

I love that Queensland’s winter allows us to still feel summery….nothing like a good 3/4 or long sleeve shirt to dress up a pair of jeans!

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Woolens:

I find it hard to find a nice woolen jumper, but I do love the feel of wool in winter!

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Shoes:

Ballet flats….have many and would still go out and buy 10 pairs more! I don’t do heels unless I go to a wedding or the races, I feel too tall and unco in them! Ballet flats are always safe:) and you can dress them up or down!

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I only have two Pairs of boots, in the obvious colours of black and brown and again they are flat and comfortable but an essential in winter! I live in my brown ones the most.

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So there you have it, the above winter items are my favourites! Some are new, some are old, some were bought locally, others from down south and others as far as New York! Keep an eye out for my next fashion blog on how to mix, match and style your winter wardrobe!

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Dress it up!

Fashion, shopping, styling….just another obsession of mine!

I’ve been a shopping queen for as long as I can remember now! I calmed down for a bit there while I was having the kids and fluctuating between sizes. But I’m back and loving replenishing my wardrobe….especially for winter fashion!!!

My latest purchase is a beautiful cream crochet dress that I purchased from Kmart for a low $19!!!! Oh I forgot to mention, I like to bargain shop and am happy to buy from wherever as long as it looks good and isn’t going to shrink or fall apart after one wash! I will occasionally splurge on something expensive, but then again I find ways like eBay or outlets to find the identical piece at half the price! I do this why?? So I can purchase more! The more money I save on bargains, the more stuff I can buy while I’m shopping!

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One thing I don’t usually do, is purchase something unless I am going to wear it a lot or unless it is for a specific occasion. My new dress was a purchase for neither of those reasons, it was bought just because! I really liked the style and colour and already had many accessories that I can style it with. A dress like this is nice to have in the wardrobe at this time of year in case we go to a party, dinner or even the races.

I don’t have a lot of items in my wardrobe that resembles a vintage look, but when I spotted this dress for the first time, I loved it. This is how I would style it:

Dress it up with brown heals, chocolate brown long necklace and clutch bag with a pattern!

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Not as dressy but still elegant with wedges, necklace and clutch bag.

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Bit more smart casual now with boots, large round earrings and clutch bag!

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Trying my dress on for the first time!

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I can’t wait to go somewhere and wear my dress for the first time. No plans anytime soon, so the way things are going I think I may just have to get dressed up and wear it around the house for the day lol!

Keep an eye out for my next fashion post….7 Essentials of my Winter Wardrobe!

End of an Era:(

The time has come. I knew it was approaching. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. I knew it would be a sad day………….

6 years ago, when I became a mum for the first time, I took to breastfeeding like a duck to water. I always hoped to breastfeed, but I also had an open mind that it may not work or I may not be suited to it, but I was! I loved everything about it. The bond I shared with each of my babies was one like no other and the fact that I was providing all of their vitamins, minerals and nutrients was always a great feeling. It was the one thing that only I could do with my babies and I feel so blessed that I was able to experience that with each of my children!

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One of my first breast feeds with Mia!

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. The first couple of weeks of painful attachments, grazing, bleeding, cracks and blocked milk ducks. The first few days when your milk comes in and you suddenly wake up to these human watermelons that start from under your armpits! The night feeds and wishing and praying for more than three hours sleep at a time! Or the times when you feed, settle and put down and within a blink of an eye you were having to turn around and do it all over again. But I wouldn’t have traded that for one minute. That is the reality of breastfeeding!

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Such precious memories…..drunk on milk!

I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding, but also believe that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. It can be one of those controversial issues, but at the end of the day, as long as a baby is being fed adequately for their age then there shouldn’t be any controversy….breast or bottle, it’s all food! You see so often women left feeling guilty over not being able to, not giving it a go longer or even attempting it! Breastfeeding doesn’t define you as a parent, it’s one small factor in the whole big picture! And please don’t get me started on breast is best for health….3 breastfed babies, 3 out of 3 chronic middle ear infections…..where was the benefits of my breast milk while this was happening??? But again I wouldn’t change anything!

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Sleep is always a good option after a belly full of milk!

I never put a time constraint on how long I would breastfeed for. My only goal was to get them to 6 months and on solids and then I went with the flow and let them dictate what they wanted. 3 children, a boy and two girls and all such different feeders! Bailey self weaned at 7 and a half months, Sienna I stopped at 13 months and my last baby, which brought me to writing this blog, Mia who had her last feed 3 days ago at 15 months!

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My last baby to be fed….Miss independent just finished at 15 months:(

I knew the day that signified the end of breastfeeding forever was always going to be an emotional one. It’s reality that I am never going to have a newborn again and experience all that goes with it. It only feels like yesterday I was experiencing it all for the first time, now 3 children and 4000 plus breastfeeds later, that part of my life is over:(….it really is the end of an era!

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The Man That Holds My Hand!

I’ve written quite a few blogs now about different members of my family and by now you would all know how blessed I am with such wonderful people around me. There is one person who I haven’t said too much about yet and that is my wonderful husband – Kane Trew!

Almost 20 years ago I met this skinny, shorter than me boy on the basketball courts, at Woodridge High in the first week of grade 8! We didn’t have a lot to do with each other until he was in my English class in year nine and again in year 10 and then for two years he sat in front of Tania and I in Science!

Then finally after a friendship for a few years, we started going out at the end of year 12 on September 21st 1997…almost 15 years ago! Throughout our 15 years we have been through many ups and downs and the reason why I haven’t been found in the fetal position in the corner of a room somewhere, is because of this wonderful man who is always been by my side!

Life is one big rollercoaster of challenge after challenge, thrown in with fun times that create our wonderful memories! As a couple who have created such beautiful memories together, we have also been through our fair share of hurdles. But one common denominator in our story is that most of the time it’s Kane who has had to be there to support me through the tough times and I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful selfless man in my life.

In 15 years Kane has been right by my side to hold my hand when:
*I was having a meltdown about not being able to complete a Uni assignment on time.
*When I’d had few too many drinks and needed a needle to stop the vomitting – oops lol!
*When I graduated university.
*When I got my first permanent teaching job.
*When writing report cards seemed like it was never going to end.
*When we made the decision to buy our first house.
*When he asked for my hand in marriage and then again when we declared our love in front of everyone on our wedding day.
*When we found out we were going to have our first baby.
*When I miscarried our first baby and had to have a curette.
*When I was in the late stages of my pregnancies and would wake up with terrible cramps in my legs or needed help to get out of bed!
*When I suffered terrible morning sickness for weeks on end.
*When I gave birth to each of our children.
*When I was up breastfeeding in the night for the first time.
*When our newborns needed help to be settled.
*When our children went to hospital to have their surgeries.
*When we went overseas with 2 kids under 4!
*When I had half my thyroid removed.
*When we waited 10 days for my results to see if the tumor in my thyroid was cancerous or not.
*When I’ve been up in the night with an ear ache, tooth ache or bad head cold.
*When I’ve taken on a new position at work.
*When I was given the news about my heart condition.
*And just this morning when I shed a tear over our last born not having a breastfeed anymore.

I wouldn’t have been able to get through any of this if my wonderful husband wasn’t their holding my hand! I figure if we can sustain all of this and still come out smiling and be in love more than ever, then he’ll still be holding my hand in many, many years to come!

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Mother’s Day……

Mother’s Day….one of my favorite days of the year!

But they can’t all be perfect….

My day started at 3.48am when Mia decided she wanted to play ‘boo’ with her teddies! Even though I was thinking ‘what the’ it did bring a little grin to my face, until 4.30am when she starts to scream! She is teething so I gave her panadol, fed her and back to sleep she went! I crawled back into bed at 5am…Sienna wakes! Poppy stayed over last night and slept in Bailey’s bed so she was super excited to wake to her poppy! I’m still awake at 5.30am Bay comes in after having a camp out in the toy room, which he loves and asks to go to the toilet! 5 minutes later things settle again and I finally managed to go back to sleep, even amongst the roaring sound of Kane’s snoring! What felt like a 5 minute sleep turned into me looking at the clock and thinking ‘oops we have to leave for footy in an hour!’ Then the busy day really began….

Like our usual tradition, the kids bought all their beautiful presents to me in bed and we opened them, read the cards and got photos taken! Once I got out of bed and my feet hit the ground, they began running ALL day! We wanted to leave at 7.55am and we were driving out the driveway at 7.56am, so we were happy with that! Bay’s footy match started at 9am and he had a wonderful game. Scored 4 runaway tries and had his first attempt of a conversion but just missed! He ended up getting player of the game:)….so proud of that boy! Then we had to have morning tea with Kane’s mother and on the way home we stopped in to watch my nephew play the second half of his footy game, who also played well!

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I’m so blessed to be their mother:)

Finally at 12.30 we returned home for nap time for Mia and rest time for the older two! In that time groceries had to be picked up and a few other things had to be done….between Kane and I we had it all done in an hour or so. 3pm I finally got to see my mummy and my nana! Poor nana has had gastro for a few days and is only just getting better so my wonderful mother has been staying there, hence why poppy had a sleep over last night! We had a lovely visit with nana, which continued up the road at my sister’s house for afternoon tea! The kids had a ball playing with their cousins and I had a lovely chat with my mum and my sister! We finally arrived home at 5.15pm where the witching hour of bathing and feeding began!

I finally got to sit down and relax at 7pm and started to reflect on the day which made me a little disappointed at how rushed and busy I felt all day, but then I pulled my head in and thought it couldn’t be too bad if….
I received beautiful handmade gifts and cards from my children.
My $1 million dollar gift was revealed – a mobile phone accessory:)
I got a beautiful pearl bracelet with a love heart on it.
I got to see my son score 4 tries.
I had lots of kisses and cuddles from my kids all day.
I got to see my nana smile and watch Mia pat her head like she knew she was sick.
I got to see the joy on my mum’s face when she opened her presents and cards.
And the kids played so nicely in the bath while Kane and I were running around doing dinner and getting ready for school and work tomorrow!

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I’ve been blessed with the best mother in the world!

Yes I missed out on running the Mother’s Day classic, going out for brekky, lunch or dinner like we normally do, but things don’t always pan out the way you want them to, so you just have to roll with the punches! At the end of the day I was most satisfied with helping my mum out. Mum has been putting together a footy album for each of her 3 grandsons and because she was looking after her sick mother, I made sure I got to the boy’s matches to take the photos for her! My mum sacrifices so much for us, so sacrificing my fun run or meal out was worth it….that’s what Mother’s day was like this year and I’m happy with that:)!

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My children….my world!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women in my life…xoxoxo!

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The Battle of the Bulging Belly!

If you could change one part of your body what would it be?

Mine would be my belly!

I’ve always been smaller up top than the bottom and if I put on weight it always goes straight to my thighs and butt. Throughout my pre baby days I had a flat stomach and never had any troubles with putting on weight in that area and then I had one baby, two babies and before I knew it 5 years had past and I was cradling my 3rd baby!

When I first fell pregnant with my son almost 7 years ago, I never once worried about what it would do to my body. I was so thrilled that I was growing a little life inside my belly. I am one of those people that start showing early on in my pregnancies, so by 20 weeks I always had a decent size belly, that would just seem to grow and grow by the second! I first gave birth at 38 weeks to my beautiful baby boy Bailey Kane Trew, who was 9 pound 5 – ouch much! Again even though I still looked like there was a baby left inside of me two days after he was born, I was happy and content with our new bundle of joy and our new little family that we created!

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Days before giving birth to my 10 pound baby girl!

Because I was less than 60kgs when I fell pregnant and ended up carrying close to a baby elephant at the end, I ended up with a 4cm stomach muscle separation….but trust me I can push them out lol! After seeing a physio weeks after giving birth and taking good care of myself and following the physio’s exercise plan, my muscle separation went back to normal and by the time Bailey was one my belly returned to its normal flat state:)

Then a whole new world began for me when I fell pregnant with my second baby! Where I craved not much other than slurpees with my first pregnancy, I craved anything fatty, juicy and sugary the second time round! And milk, I couldn’t get enough of the stuff….frappes by the dozen!! When I think about it, I really ate myself stupid! Which is why I put on over 20kgs and alas gave birth to a 10 pound 2 precious baby girl Sienna Lynette Trew! She came out running and looked 3 months old compared to most other babies lol!

At this point the state my belly was in didn’t even cross my mind. I’d just given Bailey a little sister and we now had a bigger family to enjoy, but i was sore!!! Sienna was so big that she left my insides hurting for a long time! My stomach, ribs, kidneys, it felt like I’d been in a boxing ring.This time round I ended up with a 5cm stomach muscle separation, but that didn’t phase me as I was confident things would go back to normal just like it did after having Bailey….not so easy!

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6 months after Sienna was born, belly still ‘pregnant’ looking!

I went to the physio again, who like last time gave me the same exercises to do, but having a 2 and a half year old in toe this time round, life was far more challenging and of course things like myself got pushed to the side. Things were different this time too. I had to wear a support compression belt for 6 weeks after having Sienna and when this time was completed, I had to wear those belly support undies. After 6 months my belly had gone down considerably, but I was left with a bulge that had so much loose skin hanging from it, as my skin was stretched beyond repair!

I didn’t get even a hint of stretch marks with Bailey, but with Sienna I did! I mean I really should be grateful to only get what I did….she was 4.6 kgs born!!!! I remember approaching Sienna’s 1st birthday and my belly was no where near back to its flat state that it was pre baby and post Bailey! But I came to accept that this is how it would be now and if that was the result of being able to conceive, carry and give birth to two beautiful precious gifts, then I was ok with that!

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At the races for my 30th birthday, nearly 2 years since Sienna was born and still sporting a belly!

The kids loved my belly. It was like a big bowl of jelly that they could mush their little hands around in. I still remember Bailey coming into our bed in the mornings and lifting my pj top to play with my belly. I wasn’t phased by it at all! They would always ask me “why is your belly like that mummy?” and I’d reply with telling them how they grew inside my belly and everytime they grew my skin would keep stretching and stretching and eventually it stretched so far that it didn’t go back anymore! They loved that story!

My support undies became an essential to my wardrobe and I never would go out without them on. I know it sounds stupid but I lacked confidence without them. Things I use to wear nicely, didn’t look as nice anymore and I always had an overhang whenever I bent over or sat down! I was often asked if I was pregnant or not, but all I kept thinking of were my two precious babies and how blessed I was to have them! Then I did fall pregnant with Mia. By now my thoughts were more focused on crap 3 kids how am I going to manage this as apose to how will my belly look now!

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Hours before giving birth to my third and final baby….my belly had reached its peak and will never be like this again!

Mia’s pregnancy was a cross between my first two so I didn’t put as much weight on as I did when pregnant with Sienna, but more than I did with Bailey and I finally got my wish for a baby in the 8 pounds lol! At 38 weeks, weighing 8 pound 13, Mia Natalie Trew was born and completed our beautiful family! Mia’s birth was very bittersweet as I was diagnosed with a heart condition a week prior so the last thing I was thinking about was my belly, I was happy that I got through it without any complications to Mia or myself!

It’s amazing how different your body feels after giving birth to an 8 pound baby as apose to a 10 pound baby! But third big baby in 5 years, it was always going to take its toll and this time I ended up with an 8cm stomach muscle separation:( Between my heart and my belly, I wasn’t able to do any heavy lifting for the first few months, bit hard with 3 kids under 5! I saw a really awesome physio this time and within 4 months of having Mia, my muscle separation was back to 2 and a half cms, which meant it didn’t need to be surgically fixed….I was stoked!

20120511-142148.jpgBailey and Sienna meeting their baby sister for the first time….my belly is like a shelf in this photo!

Again the excess skin and bulge was as bad as ever and the kids thought it felt as squishy as ever too. As much as I was beginning to miss my lean flat belly, the belly I had now was a beautiful reminder of the three precious babies I carried and nurtured while they were growing inside of me. But something was changing, I was starting to feel a strong urge to reclaim my original body shape that I’d given up hope on, while I was getting use to being a mum of 1, then 2 and finally 3 children. Knowing Mia was our last, the time had come for me to put myself first and do something about my bulging belly!

It’s been 7 months now since I started my weight loss journey and I can happily report that it is possible to win the battle of the bulging belly! It takes time, but with patience, determination and perseverance, the battle can be won! I haven’t spent hundreds of hours at the gym, nor do I spend hundreds of hours exercising each week! I simply walk or run for half an hour each day and follow a healthy eating plan. It took a long time for me to finally put those running shoes back on to reclaim the person I once was, but the timing was right and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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15months after giving birth and 7 months of exercise and healthy eating, my belly is close as it will get to pre baby:)

I feel like I have a new lease on life now. I’m so much happier, fitter and healthier, which reflects on every aspect of my life! The kids love me exercising and join in with me whenever possible. I have thrown all my belly undies away and feel as confident as ever! When I tell people I have 3 children, they look at me and say “you!” and I think “why not me!” People stereotype mums and what we should or shouldn’t look like or wear. At the end of the day we are humans and should be allowed to do things for ourselves that make us happy! Losing weight hasn’t affected my mothering duties, I think I’m an even better mum now. My belly will never be back to its original state prior to having children, but it’s as close as it will ever be and I’m so satisfied with that!

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My $1 gift is worth a million dollars to me:)

God love my selfless son:)!

As today is Wednesday, he always gets $1 to spend at the tuckshop during lunch time. This morning was a rush, we all slept in…thank you Mia!!! I gave Bay his dollar and off we went to school. It didn’t dawn on me until 10am that I forgot to give him $5 for the Mother’s Day stall. Bailey is usually so good at reminding me about things like this, but he did sleep until 7.15am! I felt so terrible, I made a call to the school who said they’d already been to the stall, but were happy for me to still bring the money up. That I did!

It was lunch time when I arrived and of course I spotted the tallest child in grade 1 first….my son lol! He always gives me a beautiful big cheesy grin that bursts with excitement to see me! He was pleasantly surprised to see me and asked so innocently why I was there. I told him that I bought his Mother’s Day stall money up. His beautiful face expressed a thousand words and when I asked him had he already bought me something he replied with a very tender yes. He had spent his $1 tuckshop money on me at the Mother’s Day stall and was happy to miss out on his ice-block for the day!

I was so touched and thrilled that my hard work of teaching our children to share and be selfless was obviously paying off. He didn’t even ask me for more money for the tuckshop, but of course after that act of kindness how could I not. After a sweet little kiss and cuddle from him we went our separate ways to carry on with our day. When I walked away and turned around, I could see his chest sticking out with pride, as I’d praised him immensely for what he did.

It’s moments liken this that being a parent is the most rewarding and satisfying job in the world. These moments far out weigh the hard times and god knows we go through some very difficult moments with Bailey. When I spoke to his teacher about it she wasn’t surprised, as he does things like this all the time at school:) Her comment was though “but don’t expect a $5 present!” No matter what $1 gift I receive, it will always be worth a million dollars to me!

I love you son….xoxoxo!

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Maintaining the Groove!

It’s been 7 months now since I took the first and hardest step of putting on my running shoes and getting the courage to become fit again. It’s been a fantastic 7 months and I’ve been able to achieve some great goals! Since my ‘Jackpot’ post, I’ve achieved my goal weight by losing 10kgs and new PBs for both my 4km and 5km runs! My new PB for 4km is 20.38 mins and for 5km is 27.33 mins!
I’m so close to achieving my new goals which are 4km in 20 mins flat and 5km in 25 mins flat:)

When I say it’s been a fantastic 7 months it has been, up until the last month. I was doing so well. Keeping up my exercise plan of half an hour a day 6 days a week, which included running 3-4 times a week and power walking the other days! But three bouts of illness has proven to be a challenge, but I was so determined not to let any of my hard work be jeopardised!

I’m not a silly person and I know when my body needs rest or not. On the days I was sick I rested but when I felt well, I would exercise even if it meant walking more that week than running. I only ever run when I know I feel awesome! As long as I move in some way each day for half an hour, I am happy:) Even after a whirlwind month I’ve managed to maintain my fitness and goal weight loss. I don’t find it difficult anymore, it’s a part of my everyday life now….I’ve officially got my groove on!

In the past week or so I’ve changed my running routine a bit. I was starting to get a little bored with my route and was wanting a new challenge so I’ve changed my running route which now includes hills…7 of the suckers to be fact! I run this route about 1-2 times a week and it’s already making a difference to when I go back to running my original 4 and 5 km route. I’m hoping this will help me reach my new goals.

I believe that everything we do is mind over matter and once you become comfortable in a good mind set, things will fall into place how you want it to! It then becomes a matter of maintaining the groove that you originally worked so hard to get!

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