Making Baby 3: The 8 Month Update

liam_karen01

My little baby Liam is 8 months old. Within a week, he went from commando crawling, to a little hand-foot shuffle, to crawling on all fours. He is creeping along like a little lizard, happily exploring every nook and cranny of our house.

So it is now time to make the house BABY PROOF.

We have set up a play pen around our TV and electronics corner. Put away books, games and DVDs. Fitted kid-safe door locks on cupboards.

I have painstakingly picked out and packed away every single small-sized object and toy that could fit into a baby’s mouth.

Everything that is precious or breakable has been placed on higher shelves. Pot plants have been moved outside.

I guess it’s not such a big shock to me. I’ve already done this vertical migration twice. But it’s just funny to notice how our surroundings and living habits have changed over the years, as kids grow up.

Another big milestone for Liam is his eating. Ever since I introduced him to lumpy, chunky food, he has not looked back. He retches at pureed foods now.

If he eats a spoon of pumpkin puree, the next spoonful I offer him, he will actually look at what is on the spoon, and then decides whether to keep his mouth shut and turn his head away.

Sometimes I’ll try to trick him by putting a pea on top of the pumpkin puree, but he works it out pretty fast. I don’t remember my other two kids learning this quickly. And I don’t remember enjoying the humour of baby-feeding-time so much.

I think most of my pleasure comes from me being very relaxed about what he eats. It’s all very experimental and spontaneous.

He basically eats what we eat for dinner, just chopped up into tiny bits.

If I cook pasta for dinner, I’ll cut some up and spread it out on his high-chair tray. I might add some cooked peas, cooked cubes of potato, carrots, broccoli and grated cheese.

It all just sits on his table in one huge mess, and he will happily pick it all up piece by piece and pop them into his mouth.

It really is such a cute age!

Fashion Find: Rootote Bags for Christmas

rootote07

I thought I might review some affordable gift ideas, in particular, casual totes from Rootote Bags.

On the left I’m showing off the Medium Luxe Sprout design – which features a faux leather base and trim, and has a magnetic clasp. Love the design!

I actually already own a bag from the Luxe range, and after a year of using it, the other day I decided to give it a clean.

I scrubbed it quite hard all over with a damp sponge scourer and some soap to get rid of stains and dirt scuffs.

I hung it up in the shade to dry, and it looked brand new!

It retained it’s shape very well and didn’t buckle or sag or stretch.

So I must admit, I was pretty impressed with it’s quality – especially for an affordable, casual, canvas bag.

The Medium range has some nice designs, including cutesy Japanese designs and stylish European-esque floral designs.

rootote08

What is new to the Rootote range are the Thermo Keepers in 3 different sizes. I tried out the Lunch Sized (Bouquet) and so far it has been really handy.

They are lined with a kind of foil thermal lining – to keep things warm or cool. And they feature several inner pockets and a big zip up the top.

When I go out with my baby, I usually throw everything all in one huge bag – his meal things, nappy changing things, spare clothes, and blankets. Things often get jumbled around by the end of the day and I’m usually a little scared that a container might pop open and spill. And sometimes it’s very hard to find things!

rootote09

So this is a nice way to keep all my food stuff separate. Especially the little pieces like spoons, tissues, bibs, wipes etc.

When I ask my mother to babysit for an hour or so, it’s great to have a little meal and milk kit all ready and packed for her.

It’s also great to take on picnics with my bigger kids. The other day I threw in all my little containers of cut fruit, 2 sets of sandwiches, biscuits, water bottle and an ice pack. It was so useful!

In the photos above, I didn’t pack the bag until it was completely full. I probably should have, just to show how much you could fit in it. So best to check out the measurements before you make a purchase.

Rootote are having a sale $10 off orders $50 and above, and a special AU$3 flat rate shipping Australia-wide.

Enjoy!

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.

Central Institute / Central TAFE Fashion Graduate Show 2009

It’s Fashion School Graduate Show Season again in Perth!

One of the most well-known and longest running grad shows in Perth is held by the Central Institute of Technology (formerly known as Central TAFE).

This year it was held in His Majesty’s Theatre, an immaculately restored Victorian era theatre right in the middle of the Perth Central Business District.

centraltafe2009_03

As we waited for the show to start, I was admiring the amazing ceiling that evoked another, grander, colonial time in history. Looks like a descending UFO!

There were 16 graduates, each with their own collection, and the full show was tied together with a theatrical theme,  with choreography and dramatic lighting to match. This meant that the show was not like a standard catwalk with models walking in a straight line down the runway – the models were dancing, running in circles and walking zigzag across the stage.  This certainly kept the dozen or so photographers on their toes all night.

The best thing about graduate shows, is seeing the work of young designers who are working with a freedom they may not have in industry. So it’s usually very exciting, inspiring and interesting. This evening there were the usual eclectic mix-up of runway couture that looked more like art, moody-urban edgy designs and quirky interpretations of classic looks and current trends.

centraltafe2009_04

I think my favourite for the night was (above) Catherine Mancini’s collection. It was very 70s rock glam/punk, yet with glamazon styling, and boasting great shape and forms. I was not surprised when Catherine won the award for Garment Construction Award at the end of the night.

centraltafe2009_01

Monnica J Marwick’s collection (above) was really eye-catching too. The recurrent face prints, palette and mood of her pieces were quite powerful, and I’d love to see them developed into a more wearable range.

centraltafe2009_02

I felt that the collection by Natalie Fardella had the most consumer-appeal, on-trend, ready to wear garments of the evening. Lots of ruffles! The stage lighting doesn’t do justice to the gorgeous colours – they were neutrals, pale blues and pinks. I’d love to see these clothes up close!

Other industry awards were won by Ashley Reader (Textiles and Print Awards) and Chloe Jones (Xpress Media Award).

So congratulations to the Central Institute / Central TAFE Fashion school on another year!

Checking Out Hot Guys in the Skate Park

The other day I took my sons to a local skate park.

My boys dragged their scooters along, and they rode up and down the concrete ramps at various speeds while I grated my teeth in dread that they might slip, crack their heads open, and their body fluids might add to the graffiti that gives the park such an interesting urban patina.

But you know me. Calm blue ocean. Calm blue ocean. Look away.

My gaze fell upon some young guys hanging around doing some tricks with their skateboards. They had their shirts off, looking all tan and buff, with their jeans hanging low, and without thinking too much about it, my brain went “Whoa, he’s quite hot!”

And a split second later, SIRENS WENT OFF IN MY HEAD.

“HOLY CRAP KAREN DID YOU JUST CHECK OUT A 17 YEAR OLD??”

Come to think about it, has there been a recent off loading of well toned young guys into our society? Why is everyone around me all so young and hot looking! Dentists are 25. School teachers are 24. Soccer coaches are 23. Personal trainers are 22. Guys working at the bottle shop are 21.

And how old is Zac Efron?

Oh. I get it now. I’m just noticing them more recently.

I guess my hormomes are still re-adjusting post Baby Three!

Then one of my sons shouted over at me, “Mum are you ok?”

“Yes I’m fine. I’ve got a headache. That’s all.”

Major Fashion Tip: Find a Good Dressmaker!

Daily Outfit - 23 Nov 2009So I bought a dress at a designer clearance sale a few weeks ago.

It had this gorgeous silver, vintage-looking sparkly beading at the shoulders and I totally fell in love with it. And it was only $20!

Unfortunately it was made for REALLY TALL PEOPLE ( which I am obviously not), so the skirt came down way past my knees and I looked like a nun. A sparkly nun, but a nun, nonetheless.

So I resolved to turn this nun’s habit into a mini-skirt dress. And while I can use a sewing machine, the garment was made from silk and well, I didn’t want to stuff it up.

Not to mention that I am so busy being mum, it would probably have hung in the “clothes to alter” section of my wardrobe, and I never would have gotten it done!

So I found myself a lovely home-alteration lady – who worked some magic. $12 of alteration later, I’m happy as can be.

I teamed it up with my fierce Betts shoes, which just completed the whole So-Not-A-Nun look, don’t you think?

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Fashion and Shopping Directory.