Sydney – the highlights

image

Top L-R: Indonesian lontong sayur, a free smile flyer that made me smile, a photo shoot session, a bowl of heated sticky rice with durian for breakfast

image

Top L-R: our new fav Japanese restaurant in Sydney – Izakaya Fujiyama, a terrace house I like, a second generation friendship in the making (love!), Thai thick toast smothered with pandan custard

OOTD of a sleep-deprived mum

image

I’m wearing an Emily Strange tshirt (another good buy from 2006!) and my ikat print Cotton On shorts. Little man is wearing his adorable RL pastel green onesie. ย Please ignore his drool patch (he’s forever teething!)

Last night, I was reminded how tiring and difficult parenthood could be. Here we are, on a holiday, and we’re up half the night trying to get a hysterical crying baby to sleep. We also learnt how easy it is to just take the simple way out, anything to stop him crying and just sleep already!

Before I continue, I would like to emphasize again that as parents, you decide what you think is best for your baby. No matter what people say, either praises or criticism, you know what is best. Ultimately, it is your decision as parents. ย therefore, ย what I say on my posts, should not make you question your decision. Please do take it on board, if you like, and review whether your original thoughts are right. But please, don’t take what I write about as an indirect criticism of you ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, one of our decisions was that we will not be co-sleeping. Was. Because we did last night. We were tired and little E just wanted to be held. So we put him in between us, cuddled him, and we slept for a full 4 hours. ย  I have to say, it was nice cuddling him to sleep. It was also lovely to wake up with him slobbering all over my face. I like to think that I woke up to his kisses today ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re off to see our friends and their adorable baby of little E’s age today. Hopefully, after their playing around, and a swim this afternoon, would tire little E out and he’ll sleep better tonight!

OOTD

image

My new favourite oat-coloured asymmetrical dress and Novo sandals. ย 

Check out little E’s awesome super hero outfit! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mr E has whisked us to Sydney this long weekend, I am very much looking forward to the amazing array of delicious food and great shopping expeditions! Most importantly, the warm weather!

A Baby on a Budget: Nappy Disposal

What to do with a smelly nappy but don’t want to spend the money on one of those “sausages” maker bins or want to save some money on these scented nappy sacks (like this or this)?

Here’s our system at the moment:

Cheap, no/minimum smell, no spill, nappy disposal system

Cheap, no/minimum smell, no spill, nappy disposal system

1. Push-top bin from Kmart | 2. Small freezer bags | 3. any Car Freshener (img src)

Those freezer bags work out about half a cent (AUD) each. If you want to be quite generous in your calculations, each nappy disposal would still cost less than 1 cent. That is way less than the cost of the “sausage” makers and the scented nappy sacks.

Admittedly, we have to empty the bin more often, however, the garbage collectors come weekly anyway, so that is not a problem for us. If you don’t have such big bin like ours, and buy half the size (20L bins), you will have to empty it maybe once every 3 days (depending on how often your baby needs changing). This will further eliminate any smells coming from it.

The whole nappy disposal system is all new to me since, where I grew up in Indonesia, we still have piles of rubbish on open air for your neighbors to see. We don’t even line our bins inside the house with bags! To think that I have to spend more money just to rid of already-expensive nappy is just not for me, so this was our way of saving more on baby costs ๐Ÿ™‚

Edited on 12 Jan 2014: A few months on, this system proven to be only good up until Little E starts eating more solids, and less BM. See my most recent post on this subject here ๐Ÿ™‚

OOTD

image

A red tshirt from Threadless with a pair of Zara baroque-patterned jeans and sparkley shoes from Novo.

The weather has been really weird here lately in Canberra, so I also have a black Tommy Hilfiger cable knitted jacket with me. It was one of my best buys of my life! 35AUD from David Jones and it has lasted me for 6 years so far. DJ really does have great sales ๐Ÿ™‚

OOTD

image

Mine: An old Donald Duck tshirt with black leggings, worn with rose gold rabbit shoes from ASOS and my beloved Le Pliage bag.

Little E: taupe tshirt, handmade pants from Mr E’s old tshirt and a Tigger hat. Both the tshirt and the hat came from the pile of clothes we got.

And yes, I have sadly become one of those people who wear tights as pants! My excuse is that I’m going painting with little E for the first time and I didn’t have any pants that I can afford to get paint on.

Lemmings: The Nappy Bag Edition

20130925_141952_resized

I bought this bag when we were in Nice (France) on our second honeymoon (the first one was to the Barossa Valley). I really wanted this as it was a special edition, and most places I’ve been to in Australia either have sold out, or sell them at a ridiculously marked-up price. This bag not only is a souvenir of a romantic holiday, it also went with me to Japan. It was there with me when I first experienced being in the snow (actual snowing snowing, not just seeing dirty snow on the sidewalk), this bag holds a lot of great memories!

When we came back from Europe, I used this bag as a “work” bag for weeks on end. It is lightweight, it is spacey, and if you take it on your travels, it folds right down to nothing. So you can pack it with you on the way there, and bring it back full of things you bought on your holiday ๐Ÿ™‚ It is an amazing bag!

I had bought a nappy (or diaper) bag when I was a few months pregnant. Being a “bag person”, it was one of the things I was really looking forward to. I pored myself into blogs and forums, deciding on what would be “the best” bags. For me, it had to hold a lot and would be easy to clean. I also didn’t want to have to “baby” it, like I do with my other bags I sometimes carry with little E. So when I saw a few Singaporean bloggers recommended this bag, I jumped the gun and bought it straight away.

What they didn’t say was that this bag is HEAVY! As it is full leather (the smell is wonderful! Who else is addicted to leather smell?) and has loads of hardware. So after a couple of months of feeling like I should use it when little E arrived, and feeling weighed down, I switched to my beloved Le Pliage. I had tried to use my Neverfull MM, but since it is in the Damier Azur, I felt like I was carrying two babies with me.

I have been carrying the Le Pliage for almost 6 months now. Day in and day out, it is with me. I have spilt water and food in it, it held dirty nappies and clothes, and it had been placed on dirty dirty things (shudder!), and so.. it is now, in a very very sorry state. The edges have been grazed and it has holes on its corners ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I am going to retire it soon, and will be back as my travelling bag. Therefore I am now on the hunt of a new nappy bag.

These are the two on my shortlist so far:

Rebecca Minkoff Cupid Satchel in Black with Brushed Gold

LV BB Noe in Epi Figue

I think I will most likely go with the RM, since it is 1/3 of the price of the Noe. Though with it being a full leather and has loads of hardware, I might end up having the same problem as the Tribe bag.

On a similar note, I hate how people immediately judge me as “pretentious” for buying designer bags. I mean, I work an honest job and handbags are what I like. It’s my interest, my passion. I don’t judge others on their interests, why judge me? Mr E likes his games, brewing stuff and cars. Others who likes sewing spend their money on stashes of fabric. Some buy wardrobes of clothes or pairs of shoes. People travel or go to sport events. I buy bags (and travel and eat yummy food). Those who like cars and technologies spend heaps on those stuff. I don’t have the latest phone or buy clothes for every season or drive a fancy car. I buy bags.

It is also against my own personal belief to buy knock offs or “inspired” bags, as I think it is outright stealing someone’s artistic work. Therefore I buy the real stuff. So what if the style of bags I like happen to be expensive? Why does it bother them how I spend my money? As far as I’m concerned, if you work an honest job, and not go into debt for what you like to do/buy, then people should not be judging. How I spend my money should not have an impact on you unless I bought the last of an awesome bag then please, do judge me on how great my taste in bags is ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily for me, I married a wonderful man, and he’s totally supportive of my passion (addition/obsession/whatevs) – yay me!

Also, I have to add that I don’t buy bags all the time. In fact, the Tribe bag was the last bag I bought, The one before that was the Neverfull from their flagship shop in Champs Elysees in 2010!

Wow.. this post just turned into a rant! Apologies. Anyway, when I finally decide on what my next “nappy” bag is going to be, I will do a “What’s in my bag?” post with the new bag ๐Ÿ™‚

A Baby on a Budget: Preloved clothes and toys and homegoods and random stuff

I am all for buying preloved goods, most especially clothes and toys for little E. Just like you would recycle your milk bottles and drinks cans, second hand things are pretty much of the same idea. When I was around 8 months pregnant, we got giant piles of clothes from a person at work. There were literally hundreds of cute mini shirts and pants and onesies and PJs, I had great fun sorting through them. Sure, some I did just binned because they were stained (eewww), some I re-donated as they weren’t my style, most I had kept. I washed them probably two, three times, just so that I know they really are clean. Then hang them in the sun, for good measure ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Among them, is this cute Ralph Lauren onesies. It is just adorable! Now, had I bought this new, it would’ve cost me $50-100! This is what I loved about buying second-hand stuff, when you get good stuff, it’s like hitting the jackpot! And, you’re helping those more needy! Double WIN! ๐Ÿ™‚

Actually, I was told a few years ago (about the time I started op-shopping), the clothes that you buy from Department stores aren’t all that new either. Most would resell returned items, some are already worn and even stained. Even if you go and try clothes these days, most white clothing items have foundation marks on the neckline, or some deodorant marks on dark clothes! That really grosses me out. Yet, you would pay full price on these items!

Besides, little E is at a stage where he insists on feeding himself, so he has an outfit change afterย every meal. That’s a LOT of washing! So what I do now, is when the clothes he’s wearing look ultra dirty, and I know that I didn’t spend too much on them, I just put them straight into the bin! lol

I went to Vinnies this morning, while waiting for my clothes to finish being washed at a nearby motel (our washing machine had died and the 4 loads of washing is really stressing me out, so the kind receptionist let me use theirs – bless him!), and I went a little cray cray buying toys for little E. They’re so cheap! And as I was buying plastic ones, I can just wipe them off with warm soapy water, and hey presto, newย toys!

So what is the point of this blog post?

The point is, having a baby doesn’t have to be expensive. They don’t care if they have the most expensive branded clothes (though I do wish I have the heart to blow our savings at the Burberry baby department! They have the most amazingly cute stuff!), or the latest toys. As long as they’re warm, entertained, and get loads of cuddles, our minions will be happy. I didn’t grow up with proper toys, my most cherish memories of my childhood was my auntie making me a carriage made out of Pomelo skin! It was amazing ๐Ÿ™‚