All posts by misstrillyandme

A Photo Story – Casual Maternity Shoot

When you have your mind set on an outdoor location shoot but the weather doesn’t play the game there is only one thing to do, make it work inside.

Luckily the lovely expectant mother was my sister because I’m not sure how many mothers to be would have been impressed with my makeshift ‘studio’ which essentially involved moving our bed to the white wall in my bedroom and borrowing the big kids white duvet. Magic I tell ya! hah!

At least it was casual and relaxed just like Haley and therefore means the end result is photos that truly reflect her pregnancy. She looks content, comfortable and ready to welcome my new nephew which is a beautiful sight at 37 weeks pregnant.

 

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Black and Champagne Maternity Gowns from Jo Kidd Couture.

Fiji | Twenty Seventeen

‘Good things come to those who wait’

That’s what we have been telling Miss for 5 years about going to Fiji. Her obsession started when Jase and I went to Fiji without her those 5 years ago.

We did take the girls to Australia in 2014 so it wasn’t her first ‘big’ trip but bless her patience and her Fiji dreams, she finally got there.

We stayed 7 nights at The Warwick Resort on the Coral Coast. I googled the crap out of it and took on people’s advice and recommendations before booking it after previously staying at The Sofitel on Denarau. I needed something slightly more affordable than our previous stay due to doubling our numbers and taking the girls with us. I also wanted somewhere with easy access to a fab beach as well as the resort facilities, which the Denarau resorts do lack.

We had a fantastic holiday! Weather wasn’t a complete 8 days of tropical paradise but the rain didn’t really put us off. Kids were busy getting wet swimming anyway. I do have a wee bit of feedback on our resort pick that others may want to take into consideration as follows.

The Warwick is a beautiful well presented resort. The rooms while cozy are sufficiently comfortable. Our room had a queen bed and two singles. We were an ocean view room that conveniently opened out to the family pool. The bathrooms have been well used and while clean are a little run down but that didn’t bother us at all. The restaurant options (there’s 3 plus the buffet and room service in the evening. Also a grill restaurant by the pool is available during the day) are well catered for and the standard of food was great. The breakfast buffet was amazing! The kids eat free deal includes a kids buffet lunch and while the combinations were sometimes interesting the girls always ate and did not really complain at all. Being able to feed them from the buffet at night was fantastic as the options were vast and we would usually have dinner later after dropping them at the evening kids club session. Kids Club was fantastic! Our girls did not spend every day there but liked to read the days session in the morning and chose what they’d like to attend, the kids kitchen session being a highlight. Trilly also won the disco dance off which had her floating on air for a couple of days.

Fiji is known for the friendliness of the people and unfortunately we didn’t always feel that at The Warwick. The staff were very quiet and didn’t really engage in anything extra. No offers for drinks by the pool or extra conversation while waiting for your orders. Miss cut her foot and needed it cleaned up and the lady did an amazing job but never actually spoke a word to us. I did miss the friendliness of previous trips.

Alcohol prices were taking the piss! Our friend ordered a double Baileys on the rocks and was stung $48FJD, while his wife’s single shot Barcardi was $23FJD. Even a can of coke was $8FJD! It was the talk of the pool how ludicrous the prices were but you either sucked it up or didn’t drink. Jase and I grabbed some duty free on our way in so I hit up the mocktail list at a more affordable $12FJD and went back to our room to add my poison. (Lucky our room was right by the pool! hah!).

If you walk down the beach just passed the resort you will find some local ladies running ‘shops’. They sold big bottles of coke for $7FJD so Jase headed there for his bourbon mixer. Wander another 100m or so further down and Maggie’s Grocery Shop will hook you up cans or stubbies of beer for half the resort prices. Worth the walk. The local ladies also braided the kids hair for a more affordable price. Just be aware they’ll try to sell you anything and everything.

The travel time to The Warwick is another 2hrs from the airport. The transfer bus is pretty comfortable but it does make for a long trip for younger kids. The trip did allow the kids to experience a bit of culture shock as they saw how locals live and how different it is to home. We also unfortunately never saw any of the cultural shows they offered due to the rainy weather.

The water equipment available was perfect. It was nice to be able to take the kids kayaking or have them give paddle boarding a go. The snorkel equipment was sufficient and easily available. Life jackets are well loved but there are enough to go round and do the job fine. The family pool (there’s also an adults only pool) has the addition of the swim up bar and the kids spent the days going from beach to pool and back again. I honestly wish people wouldn’t put their towels on a lounger at the ass crack of dawn and then not come back to it for hours though. We just placed their towels to the side if they hadn’t been there for more than an hour and took their seats. Sharing is caring and all that!

We did take the kids on a village culture tour and snorkelling trip to Robinson Crusoe Island (we went on the Village and Crab Catching Tour) and recommend the day out. The guides were amazing and Trilly won the crab race which was a bit of a laugh. It was a great way to spend a day and while Jase and Miss went out snorkelling near the reef Trilly and I went swimming. The fish you can see straight off the beach are amazing and Trilly loved being able to swim with them.

We flew Fiji Airways for the first time and have no complaints. We would definitely fly with them again, especially for affordability.

We had a great holiday! The girls want to go back already, of course, but if I’m being completely honest I’m not sure if I’d stay at The Warwick again. Not because it was awful (it’s definitely not) but because there are so many similar resorts that it’s nice to try new ones. We also think we would spend a bit more and venture to one of the other islands, or even back to Denerau.

Huge Thanks to Lisa from Mondo Travel Waikato for being amazing! I’ve never used a travel broker before but now I don’t think I’ll travel without Lisa’s help.

Mel x

PS. We actually think we may do Bali next! Or plan a mega trip instead.

 

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. Your experiences may be different to mine and that’s fine. Just an honest reflection on our trip.

 

Miss Turns 10

Birthdays are always special in our house and we normally celebrate them by doing something together as a family but every so often a ‘big’ birthday comes along and I allow myself to go a little overboard. As a rule I let loose on the 1st, 5th and 10th birthdays. I also plan to go a wee bit extra for 13th, 16th, 18th and the 21st.

Miss wanted to celebrate her 10th with her first sleepover party. Until now we have generally only had the cousins stay so she was very excited. I am patting myself on the back because I reckon I delivered.

All suppliers are listed at the end.

Mel x

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Sleepover Tents (buntings, lighting and bedding included): Sleepovers – Best Kids Party  Ever

Cake: Made With Love, Baking

Personalised cake topper: Love From Seventeen

Tableware supplies (including balloons): Pop Roc Parties

Stationery on bed trays: Kmart

Drink dispenser: The Warehouse

 

Meet The Maker – Liberty Lane

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Remember that time I used to make Ruffles?

When I first started sewing again I was approached by a lovely lady who offered to share my Ruffles on her blog for me. She didn’t know me but she liked my product and kindly offered to help me out as I was slowly building my name and business. That lovely lady was Rebecca and Rebecca now has an amazing business of her own called Liberty Lane making personalised fabric bracelets, and I want to return the kind favour.

Rebecca’s bracelets come in a variety of beautiful fabrics making them unique and soft to wear, especially for children. She offers the addition of sterling silver beads and personalised hearts. A unique and special piece for children and adults alike.

Rebecca has also answered a few question for me about her new business venture and if you have been a long time handcrafted fan you may remember Rebecca’s previous venture which was Millirose hair accessories. Many years ago Rebecca made some special pieces for me for Trilly’s very first birthday!

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Everyone loves to know the story behind the name. Is there a reason behind yours?
The name Liberty Lane came from many hours of thought and ideas. I wanted to use the word Liberty (as this is name of the fabric range I use for my bracelets) so that was a given. We happen to live up a Lane, so I thought it was fitting to use both together.
What is your inspiration behind the business?
The main inspiration for starting my business is a combination of the love of making/designing something pretty and the love of starting something out of nothing. I really enjoy building on a small idea until it is ready to make, launch and market. I guess my friends and family would say I have an entrepreneurial spirit!  
 
What is your background before launching Liberty Lane?
Well, at the end of this month, I will be celebrating 10 years as a stay at home Mum. I really cannot believe it has been that long! During those 10 years, I have always had a small business to work on that is just mine. It gives me a way of using my creativity and business brain alongside enjoying bringing up my children.
If you weren’t doing this right now, what would you be doing instead?
‘Work wise’ I am actually really loving the challenge of photographing my products for EtsyFacebook and Instagram and I would be keen to explore that more.
‘Play wise’ I would be at the beach in the sun with my family!
What tips can you offer to anyone considering launching their own business?
* Research and as boring as it sounds, make a plan, that way if it gets tough you have that plan and inspiration to fall back on.
* Team up with someone who is on the same page as you are
* Only listen to those who will encourage and inspire you
 
Dream it, Plan it, Do it!
Business life and home life can be a juggling act, how do you take time to relax?
It sure can be a juggle! I think us Mums learn how to be very clever in our use of time. I like to be extremely organised and take moments to relax as I can. I seem to be very good at grabbing a second now and then and making the most of it. I read a lot to my kids and I find this really relaxing. I also like to fit in a run when I can as this gives me time to plan, think and de-stress.
Do you have a favourite product of your own from your range?
I have really grown to adore hand stamping and so my favourite would be the wrap bracelets with the sterling silver hand stamped hearts. I love how the hand stamping really personalises the bracelet and makes each piece special.
Where do you see Liberty Lane in 5 years time?
I would love to be still making Liberty bracelets in 5 years time. The Liberty fabric ranges are timeless and I can imagine I will be doing this for a good long while. I have a love for floral prints and sterling silver and combining the both has been my dream!
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Don’t forget you can find Liberty Lane on Facebook, Etsy and Instagram.
>> G I V E A W AY <<
Head to our Facebook Page and find the picture below to enter to win your own personalised Liberty Lane Bracelet.
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NB: Giveaway opened to New Zealand residents only.

How To Make Your Own Canopy In 10 Minutes

 

Ever since I posted a picture of Miss’s room a few people asked where the canopy over her bed was from and since I made it myself I promised an easy tutorial on how you can too, and it honestly takes 10 minutes.

You will need a sheer curtain, Pom Pom trim (4m / optional), a length of dowel and rope to hang

 

I used this sheer curtain from The Warehouse. I find the size works well and you would not want to use one any smaller as you will be halving the width of it. My Pom Pom trim is from NZ Craft Products online and you don’t have to add a trim but I’m a fancy tart so I like the little extra detail. I chose hemp rope for hanging which I found at Bunnings (in the plumbing section). You will need a length of 20-25mm dowel depending on the pocket of your canopy. I bought a whole length and cut it to size, mine is 68cm long.

 

You will also need a sewing machine and white cotton.

Sew along the arrows to create your pocket

To start remove tags from curtain! Then fold your curtain in half width wise. Your curtain tape will still be at the top and your hem is already done for you at the bottom. Straight stitch along the top and bottom of the curtain tape (see arrows) to create your pocket to hang your canopy.

Snip a hole at the fold

You need to snip a hole at the fold to allow your dowel to thread through. Don’t worry about the untidiness, no one will see it. Snip between the two line of straight stitch, careful not to snip your stitching.

You could skip the next step of adding the trim and finish off your canopy here if you like, just skip to the end steps.


Add your chosen trim, mine is Pom poms, along the open edges of the canopy. Make sure you don’t stitch your pocket closed!



Thread your canopy onto the dowel through the pocket. Evenly space out the gathering and attach your rope or ribbon to hang.

Done!

I have added a custom made feather mobile from OOAK Designs NZ and some seed lights from Kmart to Miss’s.

Easter : Beyond the Chocolate Gift Ideas

Our Easter is full of traditions. Mainly family focused traditions but it is one of those holidays I love to celebrate.

Our girls go to a Catholic school and I do enjoy the fact that they are taught Easter is about more than just chocolate but that’s not to say our Easter doesn’t feature a lot of this also. We celebrate with a big lunch every year at my in laws which includes an egg hunt to rival many others. It is an absolute chocolate overload, and I bloody love it. I’m actually a wee bit disappointed to miss it this year in favour of cocktails on a boat, just a wee bit.

While the Easter egg hunt tradition is drawn from my husbands side, growing up in my house we celebrated Easter minus the chocolate. It was an extra cost that wasn’t afforded in our house but with 7 siblings it wasn’t missed. I think we just enjoyed the days of school and the ability to band together to cause terror at home, and hot cross buns with butter for breakfast.  I do remember being pretty pleased if we scored a pack of caramel cuties to share and a fluffy yellow chick.

I like the idea of combining our experiences for our girls and including a wee gift or keepsake that isn’t chocolate based every now and again. One year we got our own special egg cups each. Our beliefs do not have to be your beliefs but with Easter just round the corner I thought it would be nice to show you all a few Easter cuties that aren’t chocolate.

Dress Ups and Fun:

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Bunny Helmet Covers, Umbrella, Dress Up Sets, Gift Card and Bag from Cotton On. Grey Bunny Mask from Mini Made NZ

 

Bunny Helmet Covers, Umbrella, Dress Up Sets, Gift Card and Bag from Cotton On

Mini Made NZ Grey Bunny Mask available HERE

Toys and Collectibles:

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Clockwise from Top Left: Claire LeBlonde Bunny Dolls, Velour Bunny Hoods by Gallop Handcrafted, Easter edition Dolls by Fiveplus5, Limited edition Itsybel Bunny Dolls, Bunny Peg Dolls handmade by KP Designs.

Claire LeBlonde Designs Heirloom Bunny Dolls available from her Website

Gallop Handcrafted Velour Bunny hoods available from her Facebook Page

Fiveplus5 Easter Edition Dolls available HERE

Itsybel Dolls by Catherine of Burrow and Be are a gorgeous wee creative side project for Catherine and available through contacting on Facebook or Instagram.

KP Designs Bunny Peg Dolls are all hand painted and available on their Website

 

 

Clothes and Accessories:

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Left: Owl & Monkey Tees. Top Right: Mox. Tees and Onesies. Bottom Right: Willow Boutique Pj’s

 

Owl & Monkey  Tees and Onesies, available for preorder HERE

MOX. Easter Edition Onesies and Tees. Onesies available HERE and Tees HERE.

Willow Boutique PJ’s Available HERE.

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Clockwise From Top Left: Cute Girly Things Easter Gift Sets, Silver Pendant from KJ Designs, Ess & Elle Hair ties trio, Arch N Ollie Bunny ears from Jaxon Rose and KatyB Jewellery Bunny Necklace.

 

Cute Girl Things Easter gift sets available HERE.

KJ Designs silver pendant available via their Website.

Ess & Elle hair tie trio available on their Website.

Arch n Ollie Lace Bunny Ears available from Jaxon Rose Store.

KatyB Jewellery Bunny necklace available HERE.

For The Hunt:

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Top: Hunt Bags from Just Sew. Bottom: Personalised Easter bags from Willow Boutique and Bunny markers from Love From Seventeen

Just Sew hunt bags available HERE

Willow Boutique personalised Easter bags available HERE

Love From Seventeen bunny markers available HERE

For The Table:

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Bunny Straw Decorations from Love From Seventeen. Plate and Cup from Pop Roc Parties

Love From Seventeen Bunny straw decorations available HERE

Pop Roc Parties Easter Tableware available HERE

 

There is so many more things I could include but this is just a snippet from a few of our favourite stores and handmaidens.

Mel x

Into The Woods

 

Trilly is madly in love with her tea set she received for Christmas and if I ever can’t find her she will normally be hiding in a duvet kingdom sharing tea with her ‘friends’. I am in love with this kids imagination. She draws her technology curious older sister into her world of fairy tales all the time and to watch their childhood play unfold is magic in itself.

Trilly wanted a tea party in the woods so this week that’s what we did.

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Red Cape and Wolf Hood from Gallop – Handcrafted Hobby Horses.

Heirloom Dolls from Claire LeBlond Design available from her Website.

Miss wears Dress from H&M NZ and Cotton On Kids Booties.

Trilly wears a skirt I made over a year ago and Boots from Bobux.

Tea Set from Santa.

 

Brow Game Strong – Feather Touch Brow Design By Katrina Williams

Last Tuesday I visited Kat from Katrina Williams Feather Touch Brow Design at her clinic to have my brows micro-bladed which is essentially tattooed. A blade of sorts is used and pigment is added into the skin. It is called semi-permanent and my understanding is it will grow and fade out over time requiring another touch up session eventually.

Many people have asked about the process since I mentioned I had had the procedure done so I’ve got pictures and a run down coming right up!

When I first arrived Kat sat me down and talked me through the process, from how she decides the brown shape and colour right down to how the actual blading works. Any questions I had she answered. She explained how she photographs your brows lying down with your eyes shut to show the symmetry because your face changes and moves with your eyes open and normal facial movement. She also told me not everyone is a good match for micro-blading and there is a few criteria that means it may not be the best option for you because of this you are required to fill in a medical form before your session. I liked that Kat was more focused on whether it was a fit for my skin than whether she went through with the session and she told me she has had to turn people away because it would not have been professional to proceed.

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The Process: Before, Design drafted, During, Straight after.
The brow design is very scientific, you can’t just show her a pinterest pic and expect to get it. Your natural face and brow shape needs to be carefully looked at and there are mini callipers involved, multiple measurements and numerous photos taken to ensure perfection. If there is one thing you can count on it is that Kat will never give anything more than her perfect best. If Kat is unhappy with anything she will not commit to it and will not let you either. Trust her with your colour choice, despite what colour you currently fill your brows in with Kat is working with your natural face and the brows looking natural is her biggest concern.

I did get to look at some of her starting patterns incase one of them appealed more to me than another for the beginning inner edge of my brows but I can honestly say I’ve never studied brows enough to realise peoples are different! I entrusted Kat with this decision wholeheartedly.

Kat DOES NOT use anaesthetic cream for the first blade strokes of your brows. You heard me, no numbing cream for the start. It is not horrendously painful but it also not a tickle. I rated it about a 5/10. When I asked Kat why she doesn’t numb the area like some others she told me that the anaesthetic cream can cause the area to swell and this means the blade strokes would not be as fine as they could be. Made sense. The finer the strokes the more hair like they appear because hair is very fine, right. It’s hard to describe how the blading feels, it sort of feels exactly how it sounds, like a blade. A stroke doesn’t take long and I can compare it to how it feels when you have your brows waxed and they pull it off. After the initial strokes Kat will apply the cream and you will not feel the rest of the filling in. It is completely painless.

Side note, my right brow seems to be a cluster of nerve endings that meant I sneezed with every stroke! Kat told me that isn’t uncommon which made me feel a wee bit better about the fact she had to stop in-between every stroke to allow me to sneeze! My right brow was also a touch more sensitive than my left meaning I felt the strokes a bit more before the area was numbed.

Kat is pedantic in her after care. The healing process has to be looked after. She sends you on your way with a tiny pot of aftercare cream and a sheet of instructions. She also handily includes a picture guide of what you can expect during the process which is handy when your brows start to get patchy and flake, and you have to double think what you’ve done to your face! She talks you through the importance of a finishing session and warns you of how your brows will change as they heal.

I am a week post session now and I *think* my brows are settling down again. I love them and definitely don’t regret the process so far.

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3 days post – 5 days post and the peeling flaky stage – 7 days post

Kat works from her clinic – Porcelain Beauty – located in Morrinsville, and can be found on Facebook and Instagram. You can also contact her via call or text 0220693390.

Sessions start at $299 each and you will need at least two.

I will update my final session and healing once done in a month or so.

Mel x

 

 

WIN New Kicks With Bobux

 

 

The Bobux KID+ range is for kids taking the next step in their development. Whether they are running or jumping, climbing or chasing, kids need shoes that allow them to push the boundaries and get active – all while supporting their natural foot development. Enter KID+, the new Bobux range of sneakers, sandals and more for kids up to 8 years old.

A few weeks back the girls and I were privileged to be invited to the launch of Bobux’s  new Kids+ Range. This range caters for children up to size 33 which they say is roughly 8 years however Miss is 10 in July and also fitted the biggest size.

Miss trying on Rascal Misty Silver. Trilly wearing Aktiv Plus Blush/Black Brush.
 
The range is fresh and the designs are kid friendly while being fun and on trend. Miss was easily pleased with the metallic sneakers and Trilly being a bit younger was all over the adorable animal designs. Every pair of Bobux shoes are podiatrist endorsed meaning you can be confident you are doing the best by your kids feet.

The girls put their new kicks through their paces thanks to the fun afternoon of Indoor Rock Climbing, I probably couldn’t think of a better way to test out new shoes.

Bobux has kindly given us TWO pairs of shoes to giveaway to two of you, and the best part is, it’s your choice!

I don’t envy anyone having to choose because after previewing the range I could have taken almost all of them home with us. There really is a pair to please anyone.

To ENTER simply jump onto the Bobux website, decide on your favourites and then fill in the form below.

 

 

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Shoes Shown L-R: Blaze Plus Lo Zebra Grey, Aktiv Plus Blush/Black Brush, Shimmer Black Gloss Boot, Sway Bordeaux Boot, Rascal Misty Silver, Bass Gold.
Competition Terms and Conditions: By entering this competition you are giving permission to be added to the Bobux email newsletter. Prize is in the form of 2x $100 Bobux vouchers to be given to 2 separate winners. Prize will be sent directly to winner by Bobux. Competition is open to NZ residents only. Winners will be chosen at random and announced Monday 13th March
>>COMPETITION CLOSED<<

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