Sew is Life is written by E-von. A blog inspired by art, design, craft, fashion, beauty and wellness. Based in Perth, Western Australia. Read about the daily ramblings of me being a mother of three and wife to an amazing creative man. These are my stories sewn together with love.
*Reviews written by myself are my honest views and are not influence by third parties. I have not been compensated for these reviews unless stated. Please refer to my disclosure policy for further information.
This photo was taken yesterday by my friend as I played at South Beach Park with my three darlings.
It is very rare for me to find a photo taken of the kids, myself and Hubby. As time passes, I find that photos are the only windows to the past. It is nice to sit down with my young ones and show them my old albums and tell stories ‘those were the days…when mummy was a little girl’.
Internally, I giggle to myself…as I feel I was only a little girl not too long ago. I wonder if all mums feel the same when they reminisce! The last 6 years has been an interesting learning curve, but I have loved every step since entering Motherhood at 23. I liked kids before, but never thought of having them until I was 30. But when life throws you something, you just have to grab it with two hands and appreciate the experience.
There are times I would rather grab the wine bottle than deal with the stress. But with motherhood it comes with unbelievable highs and sometimes earth shattering lows. The main thing I learnt is not to take things too seriously and remain calm in the face of a storm. Women don’t give themselves enough credit for the things they do, and they should!
To all the mother figures out there, hugs to you and congratulate you on being there for all the people you love and support. Make sure you celebrate and find some time for yourself today :)
It seems everywhere I turn, there are ladies with beautiful baby bellies or new borns and teeny toddlers. Even little Luna has started crawling and sprouted her first tooth! Whenever she smiles with that toothy grin, I want to give her an eye patch, a pirate’s hat and listen to her say “Arrrgg…”. It would be the cutest thing I reckon!
So these days, I find my wallet is being emptied and going towards shopping for bubs and other friend’s bubs. The Lime Crime restock will just have to wait until I can save up some extra dough for a Velvetine. Don’t get me wrong…I secretly love this stuff…who doesn’t like buying mini outfits? At least it looks cuter on them than it would you. I mean…come on…adult onesies?
Do you know of someone who has a mini-human, but you have no clue what to get her and her new bub. If you haven’t been shopping for a baby before, believe me you will be blown away at the selection! There are just so many different ways to transport and feed a little person.
I have put together a short guide on top gifts for Mums and their babies, to help you on your way at the department stores:
1. Always include a gift (no matter how small) to pamper the woman who just went to ‘hell and back’ - maybe a massage voucher, a voucher for a mobile hair service, online shopping voucher (for clothes, makeup, skincare etc), a nice comfy set of PJs to lounge around in (make sure they have buttons down the front for breast feeding)
2. A gift to keep baby occupied - find a baby mobile with soothing music, or a baby bouncer, toys with lots of colour, textures and lots of sounds. But make sure the toy has a volume control! Also make sure it is age appropriate, little children tend to put everything in their mouths…so small items that can break off should be avoided.
3. Making chores a breeze - Ajax wipes, Easy off Bam shower spray, Vanish Napisan (this stuff is made of gold I swear!), a dust buster or even offering to help do a load of washing is a great way to help a new mum out. Cooking a meal and freezing them are also great ways of showing you care.
4. Something to keep baby happy - Baby blankets, soft toys, bath toys…most TOYS! Also learning how to play with baby, so mum can go and have a shower. Sometimes if you haven’t held a baby or played with children in a while, you can forget how to see from a child’s perspective. Singing, being silly and talking to them are great ways of keeping them amused. And if they cry, it is just their way of communicating…as they haven’t learn grown up language yet.
5. Something for travelling with bubs - a stylish nappy bag, baby bottles, maybe go halfsies with a friend to buy a pram, portacot or baby sling.
The possibilities of baby gifting are endless! The trick is not to get too bogged down by the choices and listen to the mother’s needs…what is she hinting at? Hmm…
Also check online stores for bargains, with baby shopping - the best price is OUT THERE! With so much competition, you can bargain hunt till you find the price you like.
If you have any questions about baby gifting please feel free to ask. With three little ones, I have already done the research for you :)
And here are some online stores for you to scope out and get you started:
The Iconic (Yes! They have recently opened a baby store, so you can shop for yourself, mum and bubs hehe…free shipping too)
I’m wearing the hottest thing on the block! My little bub, Luna… in this beautiful podaegi that was custom made by Leila of Tiny Mouse Designs. Leila is also blogs at Three Dresses Project and sews some pretty amazing stuff from scratch! I don’t know how she does it, she is a super talented lady with two kids and I believe it is all self-taught. Head over to her blog and Facebook Page to follow her sewing adventures!
The art of baby wearing is becoming widely known and approved by child professionals. Baby wearing is a great way for mother and child to bond. Podaegi basically means ‘Baby carrier’ in Korean. The Koreans have used this method of carrying for centuries.
When I place Luna in the ‘pod’ she instantly calms down, having that skin to skin contact, feeling the warmness of my body and my heartbeat near by gives her comfort.
She also looks around and socialises with me and other people who I interact with, being so high up and able to see eye-to-eye she engages in people’s body language and speech.
It was tricky at first because Luna was so tiny I didn’t know how to strap her on. I was afraid she would fall out! Now that her neck muscles are stronger and she has more chubbiness I can sit her on my waist and wrap her much easier. But actually the podaegi is very safe when worn properly.
It is such a great baby carrier, so comfy and supports my back really well. I feel no pain whatsoever! Unlike previous expensive branded ones that I bought in the past…
Oh how nice it would be to be carried around like this, can I get one in an adult size? :)
Have you heard of the term ‘Podaegi’ before?
Was your street filled with children dressed up as little scary monsters, witches and vampires this year? I had a little fairy princess, Ness from Earthbound and Wonderwoman in my house. Hubz dressed up as a vampire and I was a witch. It all started 3 years ago and it has since been a yearly tradition for our family.
Little Miss S went trick or treating for the first time with a big group of kindy friends, parents and siblings. The look on her face was priceless, so much excitement for one lil lady!
Lil man’s first encounter with a jack-o-lantern. All he wanted to do was to peer inside to check out how it works..
I was actually looking forward to dressing up in my Artoo swim that I bought from Blackmilk a month ago, but it was a really chilly night (I didn’t want to risk any headlights!) so I decided to go as a witch instead :) The makeup and costume was pretty freaky gauging from the reaction I received from the kids that stopped by my house. They were impressed though by my efforts because no one else had dressed up and tried to scare the pants off them! It was worth it, seeing their faces light up with excitement.
Leo dressed up as a Nintendo character, Ness, from Earthbound (Hubz was proud!)
Here is Lil Luna posing as Wonderwoman for the night, as you can see…she is totally loving it! Poking her tongue out for the camera.
I decorated the outside of my doorway with cotton cob webs and my DIY Halloween bunting (you can read more about it here). This was purposely left outside to lure trick or treaters and I managed to get four groups of kids come through, some accompanied by parents and some were teenagers. It was nice to see the street come alive at night!
Yummy cake pops I received from Pops!byEve ready to be gobbled up!
So deliciously moist in the centre…*nom nom*…seeing this picture makes me want more!
To top off Halloween, I received a package of cake pops that I ordered from Pops!byEve. A cake business run by my cousin, Eve. She specially made these Halloween cake pops by hand and decorated them herself. She is amazing, just looking at the beautiful baked treats, I can tell that Eve puts her heart into each and every one of her creations to make her customers happy.
‘Scary’ pops, I didn’t mind chomping into an eye ball or mummy
At first I wasn’t aware that she spends hours designing these cake pops until she told me she doesn’t use the mass produced cake pop machines that are selling in department stores. She makes them all by HAND!! The process of baking a whole cake first, crumbing it and mixing it with icing, then mould them into individual shapes…phew that’s a lot of effort and hard work on her part! To finish off, she dips them into ganache and draws little faces on them.
No wonder it is so deliciously moist like mud cake, rather than dry and bready. We ordered chocolate ones, at first I didn’t want to eat them because they were so cute! BUT of course I couldn’t help myself and they were da absolute BOMB! It was even more satisfying to see Sofia’s and Leo’s faces light up and their grins stretch as wide as their ears :)
Little Miss S and her black cat cake pop
The little man tucked into the Frankenstein monster, which kinda resembled his face lol
Pops!byEve has kindly offered Sewislife readers 15% off orders placed in November. The cake pops can be sent via express post Australia Wide, if you do not live in the Melbourne area. The cake pops are individually wrapped in small plastic bags and can last up to one week when kept in the fridge. Cake pop flavours come in 3 choices - chocolate, vanilla or lemon.
Here is an idea of the pricing (per piece):
Mini Cupcakes (with chocolate base) $3.30
Ice Cream Cones - $4
Custom pops - $3.50
Cake Truffles - $2.80
*Terms: Minimum order of 1 dozen (1 flavour per dozen). Minimum 1 week’s notice required. 2 weeks notice for custom orders, interstate orders and orders over 50 pops. Delivery charges apply.
If you wish to place an order or find out more information, please contact Eve on 0412 830 617 or you can email email@example.com
Please visit the Pops!byeve Facebook page to like the page and view more pictures. My cousin will be happy to make your next celebration unique and special.
Thanks Cous for making our night that little bit more magical with your cake pops :)
Enjoy your Sunday off everyone! I can’t believe we are in November already…7 weeks till Christmas! OMG, my heart just skipped a beat!
Did you celebrate Halloween this year? How many trick or treaters came by your place?
Photo source from Kidspot.com.au
Not too long to go now till we pack our bags for another overseas trip with the entire mob. A lot of you may think I am nuts! Travelling with a preschooler, toddler and infant…how does she in her right mind think this is going to pan out? Simple, plan, plan and plan way beforehand!
When Sofia was 3 months old, she made her first overseas trip to Malaysia. Then when Leo was 3 months we took a long road trip and drove 9 hours north of Western Australia to Monkey Mia. Now Luna will be travelling to Indonesia to see her Aunty Yohana (one of my best friends) walk down the aisle. Not that my children would ever remember their first trip, but there have been a lot of snaps capturing these ‘first’ moments. And these photos are something to treasure for a lifetime!
So I thought I might share a few tips on how to stay sane and plan the ultimate holiday with the kiddies:
- KISS: Keep it simple Stupid! And I mean write an itinerary that doesn’t involve too much running around. Try and have one day of lazing by the pool and the second day of shopping. You are not superhuman and neither are your children! Sometimes kids just want to do nothing!
- Book your flight for a time that suits your family, e.g. late night flights may be cheaper but it may mean carrying your kids into the taxi and having to risk them being grumpy the next morning for lack of a proper sleep. Or they could just sleep through the entire flight…so it could be a winning situation or go really badly. This one depends on how well you know your child’s sleeping patterns.
- Draw up a packing list for each individual family member. You can check against the items and this will ensure you don’t miss anything on the day that you leave.
- Pack light luggages that roll on wheels, because you may be required to carry a baby, a pram, a nappy bag etc. Where are those extra 8 arms you need?
- Get passports sorted out early to avoid the stress of paying an urgent fee
- If staying in a hotel, always request a cot at the time of booking. You will find that these usually get snapped up very quickly when you check in at reception
- Buy medicine, for headaches, pains, cold/flus, diarrhea, vomitting etc. Best to be prepared for anything! This will save you racing out in the middle of the night looking like a crazy maniac and ready to hold up a drug store.
Do you have any tips to share when planning a holiday with the family?
Last week was the first week of school holidays. And for me, I am always concerned that my kids are stuck at home with nothing to do and nothing to stimulate their growing brains! So it was great that the Perth Royal Show was on, and home was becoming a mess so it was an escape for me too :) The Perth Royal Show is an annual fair/carnival that sees around 400,000 visitors come through each year from the country and city.
The mini-man with The Man
I have always wanted to try this out! But the rest ran in the opposite direction because of the smell!
The Perth Royal Show is the perfect way of bringing the country to the city. Kids these days have no idea what actually happens on a farm and where daily foods such as the milk, bread and eggs actually come from. All they know is they can buy it at the supermarket! We need to educate the next generation so they understand how hard our farmers work to bring food to our tables, appreciate fresh produce and not waste their uneaten broccoli (still working on that one!).
Sofia showing her ‘Safety Sticker’. Plushies ready to be won!
Leo enjoying his view from the front seat
The past two years we have brought the kids along for free. This year is ‘The Year of The Farmer’, so the W.A. State Government is showing their support by allowing children 12 years old and under to receive free entry when accompanied by an adult.
Jean-Pierre Sancho Macarons - Rose water and Chocolate flavour (such heavenly morsels!)
Big sissy and lil sissy at The Show
Even though there were fresh fruit, deli style cheeses, milk and other delicious produce from the farmers…you can also find typical carnival food such as fairy floss, lollies, slushies, hot dogs etc. I forgot about my healthy eating for a moment and went for the Chinese takeaway, which resulted in me being sick on the toilet for days (I have learnt my lesson)!
Sofia making most of her 10 minutes in the bouncy castle
Kiddy Snowland, which wasn’t really snow but a polymer mixed with water that turned into a slippery/jelly-like substance.
The whole family enjoyed a fun day at ‘The Show’, it was picture perfect Spring weather and the crowds weren’t as crazy (as it was Thursday - midway through the Show). The kids had a ball playing in the Kiddy Snowland, they sat on a couple of rides and ran a muck in the bouncy castle. When we came home they poured out their show bags and played with their toys with wide-eyed excitement. Then we all crashed into bed early that night…I was completely shattered…
A quick photo-opp, but they were too excited to stay still!
Do you like going to fairs? What is your favourite part of the fair?
Happy Birthday to my Mini-Me, sweetie Sofia. Sofia has been one very patient little girl, her birthday was actually at the beginning of August but due to her party venue being so popular, it was only available towards the end of August. This is year at Kindy she made a class full of friends. Sofia has discovered a lot about herself, that she is more resilient, adventurous, she likes to lead, a keen learner and also helpful towards the younger ones. She has really shown her ‘big sister’ skills and is a great influence on her little brother Leo.
Although it has also been a month of ups and downs. She was extremely welcoming to her new little sister Luna and is very proud of her. Sofia enjoys showing her off and is very happy to have company of another girl. For her birthday I made her a ‘Cinderella’ cake, which was a first for me. I was so surprised, it is actually easier than it looks! I made a strawberry flavoured butter cake and swirled in some pink colouring. And covered it in strawberry flavoured butter cream and Sofia helped with the decorations.
However, this month, Sofia also lost her best friend to an illness, a week before her birthday party. She is coping well, but then she doesn’t completely understand the concept of death. Just before her party she asked ‘Why isn’t T coming to my party?’, it was heartbreaking for me to hear her say that. I had to explain to her that T got very sick and passed away, and he is no longer in this world. But we should never forget him.
She did have a ball at her party though, I booked a kids’ gym for 2 hours and they all went nuts! It was quite a sight to behold. Children climbing, running around, swimming in the ball pit, and then sweat matted on to their foreheads. Just watching them depleted me of my energy! I cooked too, I made some home made sausage rolls, home made chicken nuggets, popcorn and jelly cups. I bought a birthday cake from Woolworths and that was it! I was so happy I didn’t have to break the bank with this party…by the end of the day I was ready to retire from party planning. But imagine…all my kid’s birthday within the same month! I have the work cut out for me for the next few years.
As long as I can see the big grin on my child’s face at the end of the day I know all the effort was worth it :) Thank you to everyone who made it such a memorable day for my little girl, for all the lovely presents and ending her week on a high. xx
Do you have any tips on how to run a child’s party smoothly?
The reason why I am writing about this topic is because my daughter lost her best friend last weekend. The news was announced by the school on Monday morning in a letter to each family. I hadn’t read the letter until Wednesday morning when I was clearing out Sofia’s backpack.
That morning whilst making her lunchbox I just broke down crying. Her best friend, T had passed away from a sudden illness. It was just heartbreaking…the day before Sofia and I had gone grocery shopping and at the back of the car she casually said ‘T is dead’. I was shocked at her tone and told her off by saying ‘Sofia it isn’t nice to say things like that’ (not knowing that it was actually true).
T had just turned 5 years old, one week before Sofia’s birthday. They were close because they were the oldest ones in their class and their birthdays are so close together. She would always talk about T and how she wants him to come over and play. Hearing any news about children dying really affects me, but this even more so because he was so close to my daughter. We had often teased her that T was her boyfriend :)
Sofia had her birthday party yesterday with her kindy friends and she asked me ‘Why isn’t T coming to my party?’ with a sad face. I just didn’t know how to explain it. I believe in Heaven myself so I explained to her, ‘T has gone to Heaven to be with God’. And she said ‘Nooo he’s not, he’s at home’.
Preschoolers view death differently to adults, she has not reacted negatively at all or cried. She just thinks that he has left the school and is at home. I don’t want to push the topic because it isn’t worth upsetting her.
The school community is gathering together to help this family. So I will be baking this weekend to help out with weekly meals. Having Sofia’s birthday party yesterday was happy but you could feel the sadness at the same time, as T’s mum had told me 2 weeks before that he would be attending the party.
I came across this really useful document that has helped me, as a parent, explain ‘death’ to my 5 year old: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/griefwar.pdf
If you are going through a similar situation, I hope it helps you too.
There is a tradition that goes back a long way into Chinese Malaysian history that a mother who has just recently given birth must go through a ‘confinement’ period of at least 30 days. They believe that a mother’s body is at its weakest and most vunerable and needs to be restored after the birth.
During this time the mother is cooked various nutritional foods consisting mainly of ginger, sesame seed oil, wine (DOM), chicken and chinese herbs. The purpose of eating these types of food is to expel the ‘wind’ from the body and warm and nourish the mother’s body. If the mother does not do this, her body will be susceptible to future ailments such as arthritis, pain in the feet, colds etc.
Ginger chicken with wine
Photo courtesy of 101healthyeasyfoodrecipes.com
Then there is the other not so fun traditions of not touching water or not touching cold surfaces for the 30 days. This includes:
- No bathing or washing of the hair or body (this step is especially difficult for me!)
- No washing of laundry, dishes or even bathing baby
- Must cover up the body with layers of clothing
- Cannot turn on the fan or airconditioner
- Cannot go outside of the house, especially when there is wind
- Should wear socks and slippers to avoid feet touching cold surfaces
- The mother is not even allowed to drink plain water but drink chinese herbal tonics
- No ‘cold’ foods such as fruit and certain vegetables, definitely no ice-cream, yogurts and juice.
Scallop, ginger and goji berry congee/porridge
Photo Courtesy of cookingstudio1.blogspot.com
Red date tea
Photo Courtesy of ilovebakingncooking.blogspot.com
Ok, it hasn’t been too bad, I’m trying to remain positive here. Since I had my baby during Winter I am not sweating as much. Though, my hair gets soooo itchy I had to beg my Mum to wash it after the first week. She helped me boil some ginger cut offs in water and washed my hair in the basin. I like the smell of ginger so this didn’t bother me. My husband, who is not Chinese is extremely understanding and has been through this twice before. I bought a few cans of dry shampoo, so this has been my saving grace (review to follow shortly)
I’m half way through my confinement period, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. I’m the type of person who can’t sit still or stay at home for too long, I need to go out and meet people and I feel most independent and useful when I can do things for myself and my family. Now I rely on others to grab something for me down at the shops, or take my daughter to school.
In Malaysia they have hired help, women who are specially trained in the art of ‘confinement’, who will cook meals for the Mother and look after the baby to allow her to rest. How I wish I could hire a ‘confinement’ lady, my Mother helps me a lot but this is a specialized occupation that is a full-time job. Mum still has her day job to go to. So I find myself breaking the ‘no touching water’ rule, such as bathing my kids, cooking meals etc.
I’m so glad I have understanding friends. It annoys me that I can’t go out and catch up with them, but they come and visit me which I appreciate so much! I miss adult conversation and interaction! But maybe…it is best to wait until I am less smellier (phoar!)
Just another 19 days…and I’m starting the count down…
Do you follow any traditions past down through generations?
Have a great weekend you lovely smellin’ people, I’m so jealous that you are having your warm showers!