New Outie logo small

Happy Birthday Outie!

Happy Birthday Outie!

Today Outie turns two and it feels like a really big deal. We are officially up and running and our logo is now an up and running toddler we have modeled on our son running along our local Piha beach.

New Outie logo small

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Birthdays are a good time to celebrate and we want you to join in. For the whole month of September we are offering FREE SHIPPING with the code ‘happybirthday’. We would also love you to nominate a friend with a prize you think they would love each time you make a purchase. You never know whose day might be made just a little bit brighter…

We’ve also printed a limited edition collector’s print of our Heart-stacked Tiki design in gold and silver. These will come signed and numbered to celebrate.

tiki print gold framed tiki print silver framed

Turning two also means there are some changes going on. Our belly bump tees started this whole thing off and we feel we have outgrown them a bit. Fundamentally they are all about the drawings on the bump and these prints will all be available as greeting cards to congratulate a special someone or welcome an extra-special new someone soon. All maternity tees have more than 50% off as they are reduced to clear.

Drawing and design is the heart of Outie. Whether it is drawing a new pattern to help you to DIY, selecting the best bits of advertising to upcycle into Outie Splat Mats or drawing something sweet for your wall, Katrina is embracing her roots as an artist. The latest NEW and exciting range includes Outie organic cotton blankets, pillowcases and duvets with images that are all designed by Katrina with you in mind. It’s all Fun with a capital F.

Also at the heart is an interest in problem solving. The maternity tees solved the problem of ‘boring maternity fashion’. The Everything Batwing dresses solve the problem of feeding on the go, the Splat Mats solve the problem of babies making so much mess… We solve the niggly annoying things and make life easier so that you can focus on what life should be about – play.

That sums up our new logo and slogan. Outie: Design. Adventure. Play.

What can you look forward to now? Stay tuned for greeting cards, more fun nursery prints, custom designed organic cotton blankets, a GIANT OUTDOOR CHANGE BAG (speaking of adventure…) and more. You can tell us what you want to have on the perfect blanket (and even choose your colours) and Katrina will design it for you.

A custom blanket design. "Hippo Dreams" for Kristin.

A custom blanket design. “Hippo Dreams” for Kristin.

This little update comes with a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have helped Outie begin and take our first baby steps. We are so pleased you can celebrate our second birthday with us.

Love Outie

Katrina and the Outie bandits.

P.S. Thanks for reading and please click ‘follow’ on the right before you go. X

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We do not talk about Sleep Club

Whether you know you are a member or not, we are all members of a secret society called The Sleep Club.

 

The first rule of Sleep Club is that you do not talk about Sleep Club.

 

You joined unwittingly at conception.

 

In early pregnancy, excitement keeps you from getting any.

In late pregnancy, discomfort prevents you from getting any.

In the newborn phase, sleep becomes its most elusive.

 

After that, it must remain secret. Talking about it risks a sleep jinx.

If your baby slept well last night, you must not talk about it. Talking about it increases the chances of a bad sleep the following night by 78%.

 

Replace all talk of Sleep Club with a mysterious nod.

 

 

Ten Easy Rules of Sleep Club

 

  1. You do not talk about Sleep Club.
  2. You DO NOT talk about Sleep Club.
  3. Smile and nod at people who ask you if your baby is sleeping through.
  4. Use the mystery nod at people who tell you their baby is sleeping through.
  5. Avoid the phrase, ‘sleeping like a baby’ at all costs.
  6. Learn thy lullabies.
  7. Believe in the sanctity of naps.
  8. Believe in the sanity that naps bring.
  9. Keep calm.
  10. Take one sleep at a time.

 

NB: Though this post be silly, the truth about talking about it has been true in our house. We have known the sleep jinx so consider yourself warned. Now when we all have a good night’s sleep, we give each other a secret smile (or the mystery nod) and try not to talk about it. A good night’s sleep is like Voldemort – it is better left unspoken.

Sleepless + mad busy + pregnant + baby brain = ?

Outie: Design. Adventure. Play.

 

Check out our website for a massive SALE on all maternity tees and our new logo to celebrate turning two and officially being up and running. X

 

101 ways to be a better MUM starting today

The best Mums (or Moms) steal some time away from underneath the ‘Mum’ label and make sure they find some time for the me that they were before they had kids.

Here are 101 simple things you can do without too much effort to tend to the ‘me under mummy’ which will make you a better parent too.

M.U.M – ‘Me Under Mummy’seed heart leaf

 

  1. Put your baby down and stretch
  2. Use your baby to do some baby weights
  3. Start a notebook and write down three things you want to do for yourself this week
  4. Book a date with a friend for next week
  5. Make sure you have one thing you are looking forward to doing tomorrow
  6. Make yourself a mummy-only container of something you love in the pantry
  7. Pull a random day out of the calendar and dedicate it to being a ‘me’ day
  8. Choose a new book to read
  9. Read your favourite book again
  10. Delegate one boring chore to someone else
  11. Hang your favourite clothes up somewhere where you can see them and start planning for an occasion to wear them
  12. Wear your favourite shoes just because
  13. Choose a pair of lucky socks
  14. Make a list of five new things you want to learn how to do before the end of the year
  15. Start learning one new thing this month
  16. Write something affirming on a note and put it in your wallet
  17. Start a daily compliment routine with a friend (it must be reciprocated).
  18. Set an exercise goal
  19. Identify a weakness and work on it
  20. Put a nice note under your pillow to read before you go to bed
  21. Make a date night jar of ideas
  22. Plan a date night
  23. Do a recipe swap with a friend
  24. Teach your children something you loved as a child
  25. Draw something
  26. Watch something that you find funny and let yourself laugh
  27. Turn your phone off
  28. Get outside
  29. Find a new place that is nice to eat ice cream at
  30. Write down three work-related goals for some time in the future
  31. Start a five year plan vision diagram
  32. Put your favourite music in the car
  33. Drive through a car wash
  34. Declutter your wardrobe
  35. Sing your favourite song
  36. Find a new genre of music
  37. Rent a foreign film
  38. Choose a new language to learn
  39. Learn a new language
  40. Read a non-fiction book
  41. Choose a place at random and learn five things about it
  42. Look up and watch the clouds
  43. Make a collection of things that make you feel good and put them in a place where you can see them
  44. Find a new celebrity crush
  45. Find a new celebrity role model
  46. Make yourself a mocktail (or cocktail)
  47. Cook your own favourite dinner
  48. Have a candle-lit bath
  49. Book an in home massage during naptime
  50. Write a haiku
  51. Learn about haiku
  52. Use a new word
  53. Research a class you would like to take
  54. Donate old clothes to the op shop and buy something fun while you are there
  55. Take the long way home
  56. Go to the beach
  57. Drink a cup of tea in nice china
  58. Make a success list of all the things you rocked at today
  59. Write your child a letter
  60. Make a time capsule for future you (for your kids as well)
  61. Do something today that will make tomorrow easier
  62. Put an inspiring quote up on the fridge
  63. Start a new savings account to spend on yourself
  64. Make time for a subject you wished you did at school
  65. Exercise your brain with some sums just for fun
  66. Do a crossword
  67. Hula hoop
  68. Wear make up (or don’t)
  69. Do something mad with your hair
  70. Wear a new bright colour
  71. Run up some stairs
  72. Share your goals with a friend
  73. Become an accountability monitor for a friend’s goals
  74. Start a diary
  75. Start a blog
  76. Find a new blog to follow (this one?)
  77. Write down one thing you miss about life pre-children and get over it
  78. Cuddle your kids (mummy perk)
  79. Walk in the rain
  80. Wear fun jewellery
  81. Make your own reward chart
  82. Share your personal goals with your significant other
  83. Write a letter (not an email) to an old friend
  84. Start planning your ideal holiday
  85. Write your partner a love letter
  86. Write yourself a love letter
  87. Write a ‘things I am mad about’ list and then throw it away
  88. Enter a competition to win something you really want
  89. Make a wish list and put it up somewhere
  90. Plant some seeds
  91. Go to the gym
  92. Find a pram class or baby-friendly class
  93. Practise a new yoga pose
  94. Learn sign language
  95. Become a better accountant
  96. Include a night off in your meal planning
  97. Start a new collection
  98. Turn a facebook friend into a real friend
  99. Watch your favourite movie
  100. Get a cactus (hard to kill and cool when they flower)
  101. Stop comparing.

If you liked this post, you might like to see what I get up to. I like making stuff for my babies and all of the best things have turned into a little shop. You can check it out here:

http://www.outie.co.nz X

shinebrightlittlestar

What do they do with the real children?

I love magazines and I love pinterest. I also love browsing baby stores and looking at gorgeously dressed nurseries. Sometimes I am shopping, sometimes I am getting inspiration but mostly I am thinking, why doesn’t my house look like that? And I am weighed down by the little green monster as well as the toddler climbing on my shoulder and the baby pulling at my breast. (Really).

I have to read the magazines with a virtual green monster fork in my hand so that I can stab the little green monster in the eye and tell it firmly, ‘real life is not like that’.

Or is it?

When I come home from an outing with two kids, I come home to a house that looks like I have real kids. They are real live and kicking mess-makers. Little miss has left little white spots over my lovely woollen rug and mister two has made noodles go where no noodle has gone before because he was swinging them like a helicopter earlier that day…

I have a Splat Mat that gets pretty well splatted every day and I have a kitchen that gets full of dishes from our baking adventures. Mister two’s room has a few cool designy elements – wall decals, another Splat Mat and some neat things that I have made for him – but the bed is tousled and covered in books and the tee pee is a bit lopsided due to being climbed on.

So here is a quick critique of some of the enviable nurseries that I have seen lately.

Nursery One has stacks of vintage books placed in beautiful piles of three. It has vintage teacups on display and a Baboushka cushion with long tassles.

It has white carpet and colour-matched walls and curtains and I love it.

But real children can’t live there, can they? Vintage teacups would be smashed in my house and putting them on top of books is a disaster waiting to happen. Putting books out that are not for touching is like toddler torture.

And tassles on cushions get pulled at, torn off or sucked.

I can meet them half way though…

My vintage books are on the top shelf for ‘special reading’ when mummy can help and the vintage teacups are also well ‘away’. My son has melamine teacups from my grandmother’s old picnic set (sweetly nostalgic) and they are ‘allowed’ (just).

Once I had a Cars and Trains Golden Book that I thought might be nice for mister two to go to bed with. It didn’t last and now I only have loose pages that I am either going to have to make bunting with or decoupage onto something one day when I find some time…

Nursery Two is themed with black and white and everything matches. The babies even wear the same designs and can be camouflaged in their own bed. There are no fingerprints on any of the shiny white things and the black and white styling looks, simply, rad.

But my kids go to the beach and go puddle jumping and are often too muddy for white things. Sometimes I put my toddler to bed with jam still on his face and sometimes, we aren’t supposed to talk about it, but sometimes he poos and it goes everywhere and his sheets are not spared.

Once I even put him to bed still wearing his gumboots because I was too scared to yank them off his feet for fear of waking the little beast up.

The black and white nursery also has low shelves with precious things on the bottom shelf. There are porcelain ornament out for display.

Porcelain ornaments?

Do the children that live there have no hands?

I don’t think real children live there either.

Nursery Three has a crane mobile hanging artfully above the cot. There would be close to 100 cranes and they must look lovely swaying and bouncing in the breeze.

I recall hearing a strange noise when my son eventually ‘caught’ his mobile and sent the fish shooting up to the ceiling because he liked the crashing sound it made and how it bounced so well on elastic. Imagine the sound of 100 cranes…

These nurseries must have hidden storage that is out of shot. In addition to all of the stuff that they have clearly swept out of the way and climbed on to take the shot, the real children must be hiding too. Or am I missing something?

Where are the real children?

 

Here are some tips for your nursery if you, like me, have real children.

 

1)      Choose a few ‘signature things’ to make the room fun

2)      If you buy white, buy more than one if you want it to stay white.

3)      Invest in more storage than you think you need (and then some more)

4)      Predict a climbing, yanking, drawing monster and try to provide spaces that allow for this growth

5)      Always have an Outie Splat Mat on hand for an eco-design option for messy play

6)      Hang mobiles higher than you think your child can reach

7)      Install high shelves for precious things and/or vintage books

8)      Add your signature with cute nursery prints (free set of six available too!)

 baby elephant crown of butterflies grow wise me love muchoarohagrey and yellow with copyright shinebrightlittlestar

ROUND merino baby blanket by Outie

Every way is the right way around for once

I have been thinking about my Art School days a lot recently. We learned a certain way of thinking that pushed us, as artists, to revisit an idea from every angle until we were happy with an outcome. The same applies to critique of objects and aesthetics, that it takes a few angles and changes in perspective to truly appreciate an idea and/or form.

I didn’t really see that certain forms that I was interested in all those years ago have been repeating themselves in ways that I hadn’t noticed. It seems it just takes time to work an idea out in order to bring it around full circle.

In my paintings I have been obsessed with circles. I have used them to frame portraits and looked at them as symbols of halos and suns and holes in the atmosphere of painted worlds. In my business, I love putting images into round shapes , framing them within circles. My series of t-shirts was always inspired by the round bump of pregnancy. Similarly, my favourite shape for my Splat Mats has always been the circle. Some argue that a square is more functional as a messy mat under the high chair, but I just love the aesthetics of a circle because it can never look crooked and it seems to frame the designs better (I reckon anyway).

And recently I was thinking about circles and the way they keep repeating in  the things that I make and do and I was looking at my Snuggle Shrugs and I was admiring how there are no corners and how the shapes of the pattern pieces are all round…

And the idea just hit me in the face.

I am not sure why I haven’t thought of this before, but it makes perfect (circle) sense.

Introducing ROUND merino swaddle blankets.

The benefits:

  • there is no right way around
  • they look perfect when laid out flat on the floor
  • they are like a coloured ‘spot light’ to show off your baby
  • they can be folded along any edge to be used like a conventional swaddle blanket
  • they can drape over car seats as a shade and there are no corners to drag on the floor
  • they are large for a swaddle blanket so their utility is enhanced
  • they are now more like a real-life baby burrito
  • they are the perfect accompaniment to the 120cm round Splat Mat (which provides a super-durable and waterproof backing underneath)
  • they are just better all round

 

I know it seems like these are ‘just a blanket’ but they are actually much more than that to me. They are the realisation of a set of ideas all falling into place. Like a perfect circle.

 

Get yours here.

Love Outie

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Houdini Baby? Keep Calm and Swaddle On

My baby is a Houdini.

She settles best when she is swaddled but we have had real problems with her hands getting out when we swaddle her with standard muslin and stretch swaddle blankets. With her hands out, she scratches her face, knocks her dummy out and generally becomes distressed until I re-swaddle her.

This ends up being a bit dramatic in the middle of the night…

She is also a ‘warm baby’. She doesn’t like her feet being covered (at all!) and I worry about her overheating if I put her in a Sleep Sack AND swaddle her with a blanket…

Hmmm.

I went into my studio hunting for a solution. And I came up with this. X

The Outie Snuggle Shrug TM – designed by Katrina Ward (me).

 

Step One: Lay your Outie Snuggle Shrug flat

 

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Step Two: Position your baby so that their neck is at the bottom of the horse shoe shape. It should look like your little angel has ‘wings’.

 

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Step Three: Fold one wing down over your baby’s arm and under their back to make a shrug. Pull it firmly through on the other side. This prevents the Shrug from shifting if you have a Houdini baby.

 

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Step Four: Fold the other ‘wing’ down and under baby and pull firmly as before.

 

 

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Step Five: Fold the Snuggle Shrug’s shorter arm over baby’s arm and wrap across body. You can choose to either tuck it behind baby’s back or leave the end loose to tie in the next step.

 

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Step Six: Fold longer length of Shrug over baby’s arm. Pull across body and wrap around back firmly.

 

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Step Seven: Pull end around and either tie to first end in a simple knot OR if first end is tucked, simply tuck second end in over middle v-shape made from fabric of Snuggle Shrug on baby’s front.

 

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Step Eight: Tuck loose ends in securely. Tickle test and put baby down for a nap.

 

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FAQs:

How do I wean off swaddling? You can simply leave one arm out at steps five or six so that the fabric wraps under the arm rather than over the arm.

Can I wrap with arms by the side? Yes. Leave baby’s arm down as you wrap the arms of the Snuggle Shrug across.

Can I use this with a Sleep Sack? Yes. The Outie Snuggle Shrug is designed to be used with a Sleep Sack so that you can get more use out of one. You can also happily use the Snuggle Shrug without a sleep sack in warmer months.

What if my baby is rolling? If your baby is rolling, it is safest to swaddle with one arm out.

What is the Outie Snuggle Shrug made from? You can choose from either 100%cotton (like the printed one in the pics) or you can choose 100% merino. Both of these fabric options are breathable and merino is a great baby sleep fabric option because it helps baby regulate their own temperature.There are lots of benefits to dressing your baby in merino which I have listed on the merino Outie Snuggle Shrug shop listing.

Where can I get an Outie Snuggle Shrug? From our website!

Do you ship Internationally? Yes we do. Please send me an email (sales@outie.co.nz) so that I can send you a personal invoice with shipping for your country included.

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Katrina

Outie: we make parenting more fun

batwing nursing
Video

How to use an Outie Everything Batwing nursing dress

This is an unrehearsed demonstration that I quickly made to answer a customer’s question: “How do you use your Everything Batwing nursing dresses?”

Well, this is how. I was feeding my daughter before putting her down for a nap. That also explains why she is wearing the Outie Snuggle Shrug (all swaddled up and ready for bed!).

Easy peasy, lessy stressy!

Love Outie

Love outie.co.nz

snakes and ladders

SECRET CHILDHOOD TRAINING: A list of games with stealthy provisions for parenting

SECRET CHILDHOOD TRAINING: A list of games with stealthy provisions for parenting

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Today, in the late afternoon terror hour, I had a flash back to the first time I had to console my two very upset children in the middle of the night. One needed patting (after being fed) and the other needed rubbing (to be consoled after a night mare) and I had an epiphany: This is why I learned to rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time as a child. This is why. (And I had always wondered what the point of that game was, really, and why you couldn’t just pat your tummy too…?)

Some games in childhood have echoes that we could never have predicted.

Here is a list of childhood ‘games’ paired with the real training that we got when we were playing them.

Games we Played (with secret provisions for parenting)

Sack races – This game taught you the basic and essential training for trying to leave your child in the care of someone else when they don’t want you to go. The hopping method is useful for manoeuvring with a toddler wrapped around your legs.

Pick Up Sticks – This game teaches you how the indispensable skill of carefully extracting a toy or book from a sleeping child without moving anything else and thus keeping them asleep.

Tug Of War – It seemed like a game of strength as a child but really it is how to grab something just when the other party releases tension slightly allowing you to take back for yours what has been mistaken as ‘mine’ in toddler speak.

Operation – This thrilling and intense game taught you how to skilfully get something out of a small space without touching the sides using a pair of tweezers attached to a wire. Really what it was teaching you is how get a syringe into a baby’s mouth in order to give them medicine without them tasting it or spitting it out.

Toys in the cart – Wasn’t it always fun to take your toys with you on the back of your trike, in your bike basket or in your cardboard box? This is a field exercise for when you have real live little side-kicks that will need to go with you everywhere. Everywhere.

Piggyback races – Rookie training! You will learn to carry a small person on your hip, over your shoulder, around your neck, attached to your ankles, wrapped around your legs, under your arm, around your little finger and across your chest and all at once.

All my dollies/All my puppies – All children want to play with all the small things all at once scoop them up to see if they can carry them all. This is reverse psychology for when parents have all the small things wanting to be carried by them and for when their arms are simply not big enough.

Cats Cradle – This seemed to be a fun game of patience making knots with string between your fingers. In actual fact you were being trained to have patience in the face of futility and how to gently ease knots out of your child’s hair and untie knots/undo messes in general without losing the plot.

SNAP – This was always a fun game that involved simple recognition of matching symbols. This is played as parents when we recognise parts of our other half’s bad traits coming to the fore in the little mirrors that are out children. Instead of slapping the pile of cards, we slap our partner. “He got that from you!” (Not really, but mentally, you know.)

CLUEDO – It seems like a fun mystery/problem solving game. The reality of this game is that you are taught to be accusatory and really want to know whodunit. Who left the dirty nappy on the floor? Who left the bath water in? Who left the fridge open? Who ate the last ginger nut? (I suggest it was Mrs. Peacock, in the Dining Room, with the Candlestick ??).

Snakes and ladders – This is advanced mental training for expecting and coping with ‘snake days’. On days like these you feel like all your progress (with sleep training/potty training/napping/eating for example) goes quickly downhill.

Connect Four – Similar to the training received in Snakes and Ladders, in this game you realise that trying to establish a routine or pattern in life will quickly be upset by some small person removing a whole row of little coins or pulling the rug out from under your feet as it were.

What’s the time Mr. Wolf? – This game teaches strategy for teaching awareness of the time and how the ‘wolf’ can dictate nap times. Every parent, at some stage at least, has to admit that there is a certain count-down going on till nap time or bed time. Go on. Admit it.

Murder in the dark – This game, by far the scariest, rehearses the skill of sneaking around in the dark without anyone knowing you are there. This is vital for sneaking into the kids’ room to check on them, for being Santa and for pretending you are not there when they are awake and looking at you in the middle of the night when they are supposed to be asleep.

Blind man’s buff – This is the game of all games in parenting stratagem because, let’s face it, none of us really know what we are doing. Right?

 

Love Outie

Fun stuff for fun parents

Image credit: c/- Usborne.com

P.S. We have a new SNUGGLE SHRUG in our range now. It’s new and exciting and you should check it outie.

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baby maker and baby baker

When ‘good naked’ goes bad – how to be ‘not bad naked’.

When ‘good naked’ goes bad – how to be ‘not bad naked’.

 

Fact: There is a lot of planned nakedness involved in the making of children.

Fact: There is a degree of expected nakedness involved in giving birth.

Fact: There is a whole lot of unplanned and unexpected nakedness after the arrival of children.

Fact by Proxy: Some of that naked is not ‘good naked’.

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There is a Seinfeld episode (The Apology) where Jerry dates a woman who likes to hang out naked. The idea of it is great at first. He has eye candy at every corner – but the reality of it (when she is doing menial tasks) loses its appeal. Her un-composed nakedness makes him uncomfortable because the allure of the nude has been compromised by the daily grind.

The first ‘crack’ in the nude woman’s allure is when she coughs naked. Jerry is repulsed and the mystique of the female form he used to covet is irrevocably transformed. When Jerry tries to return the ‘favour’ (of all-the-time- nakedness), she corrects him and tells him that, “[His nakedness] is not good naked.”

~

The goal of having sex (again) after you have had children is attainable. This will involve some nakedness (obviously) yet in the lead up to that composed event, there will be many other naked non-sex events that no one wants you to know about.

People have more than one child all the time – so there is accepted proof out there that becoming a parent does not mean death to sex. Sex post birth may take a while for a multitude of reasons including (but not limited to) the need to heal, the need to sleep, body issues/confidence, discomfort and the unforgettable fact that once the baby is born, it is there.

Right there.

And it has tiny little ears and tiny little eyes that are ever so close by…

But something that is not often addressed (or not dressed at all.. tee hee) is that despite trying to be naked together for a common goal, there will be a lot of naked episodes in between. In fact, the nakedness that will occur has nothing to do with wanting to be seen naked or getting naked together. Instead it is just a clumsy side effect of being busy with children and simply being caught out naked. This accidental and frequent nakedness when caught out doing ‘just stuff’ results in the ‘not good naked’ that Jerry was humiliatingly schooled in by his girlfriend in The Apology.

Becoming a parent erases your ability to do things in private as well as in a timely and organised fashion. Getting naked can be added to the list of these things that are difficult to do (privately/organisedly/fashionably).

Becoming a parent actually means that there will be a lot more ‘unbecoming’ parent situations you will need to tackle.

This idea of ‘not good naked’ (i.e. not appealing naked) happens frequently as a parent because parents get busy attending to the needs of their children and they just happen to be naked. This is not because they have arranged for a naked play date with their other half – but simply because they have not had time to get dressed, they have been vomited all over, they were in the process of getting dressed when something happened, they were in the shower when the baby started crying or they forgot to get dressed altogether…

The possibilities for unexpected nakedness are endless and it is a simple truth that parents have to get used to: Parents will be caught out naked and they will not have time to compose themselves appropriately.

Is it important to retain some level of mystique in a relationship post children? It might be, but good luck with that.

Pre-children couples trying for their first baby have time to be guarded, groomed, considered and composed and they can present themselves naked and really bank on presenting themselves as ‘good naked’. But post-children couples? Unguarded, ungroomed, un-considered, un-composed…

Post children couples catch each other out naked. They are exposed. ‘Not good naked’ happens.

But, truly, it is not the end of the world and you can avoid super bad naked with a little care. ‘Not good naked’ can be a happy side effect of parenting that is a sign of a comfortable family environment. ‘Not good naked’ can be skilfully evaded by following some easy ‘good naked’ rules.

Following ‘good naked’ rules will leave you with being ‘not bad naked’ which is really not that bad at all, considering.

 

Here is a list of ‘Always’ and ‘Never’ rules for parents to help keep naked ‘good’:

1)      Never cough naked (thanks Seinfeld)

2)      Always undress yourself last if bathing with the baby.

3)      When squatting to dry a child after the bath, always ensure you have a towel handy.

4)      Always put pants on first before beginning new tasks.

5)      Never take pants off first leaving just shirt and bare bottom when undertaking parenting tasks.

6)      Never wear just socks.

7)      Always take socks off first.

8)      Never put a shirt on before pants.

9)      Never try to put on clothes that are too small in front of your significant other (especially if you are still wet after a shower).

10)   Always put underwear on the right way around.

11)   Always remember a change of clothes for yourself as well as your child at public engagements.

12)   Always expect unexpected guests.

13)   Never stoke the fire naked.

14)   Always plan for an eventual ‘good naked’ meeting to hopefully eclipse accidental ‘bad naked’ mistakes.

15)   Always remember that many people before you have managed to have more than one child.

16)   Always remember that ‘not bad naked’ can be the new ‘good naked’.

 

P.S: I had entirely too much fun with double entendres writing this. Sorry about that. ;)

 

Love Outie

Fun stuff for fun parents

Breastfeeding Super Hero Name
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I want my baby bump back

*talking*
Oh my god
Hubby, look at her bump
It’s so big
She looks like one of those ripe watermelons
She could pop at any second
She looks like her waters will break any minute
I mean her bump
It’s just so big
I can’t believe it’s so round
It’s just out there
I mean, it’s gorgeous
Look, she’s just so pregnant.

*rap*
I like big bumps and I can not lie
You other mothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with a biggy-biggy waist
And a round thing in your face
Your heart skips
Wanna start right now
Cuz you notice that bump aint stuffed
Hanging over the jeans she’s wearing
We’re hooked and we can’t stop staring

Oh, baby I want another baby

(Just one more baby)

My home girls try to warn me
But that bump you got
Make Me So Clucky

Ooh, rump of smooth skin
I wanna put you in a Batwing
I’ve seen them belly bump tees
To hell with being frumpetty…

I want my baby bump back.

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(This photo of my giganto-bump was taken one day before my little girl arrived at 40 weeks and 2 days. I miss it…)

 

Love Outie.

 

Houseproud House Cleaning Tips With A Toddler

I often pine for the delicious state my house used to be in pre-children – but I do get little windows of clean house that I like to enjoy alone before it all gets messed up again.

 

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The best advice I have for new mummies – is to do your chores with your babies so that you can rest when they do. I never did this with my son and raced around making myself miserable while he slept doing all my chores and never got a break!

I have only found the time to write this today because I have managed to get my cleaning done with both my babies awake. Now that they are both sleeping, I get to have some down time.

Here are some of my cleaning tips: (I also like to clean just before nap time so that all the activity wears my toddler out nicely. Hee hee hee he doesn’t know I am on to him…)

BABY

First make sure that the baby is changed and fed and safe from toddler terrorism. I like to wear my baby while I vacuum but I can’t really wear her when I want to clean the toilet or bend down for something. I use a baby bouncinette or I set her up with a play gym for the duration of my super-quick house clean. If she is not ready for a sleep, she just comes along from room to room with us.

 GEAR

This is my cleaning kit:

Bottle of white vinegar in a spray bottle

Bottle of 50/50 bleach and water spray

Spray bottle of water

Three cloths

An old tee shirt

Newspaper

Eco-store cream cleaning solution (like jiff)

 QUICK CLEAN UP

Involve toddler in a series of slam dunking ‘pick up’ activities to clear floor ready for vacuuming.

Use brush and shovel for fun ‘digger’ activity if you have lots of smaller toys.

SWEEP

Give toddler brush and shovel or broom to help.

VACUUM

Give toddler pile of books to sit and read in a special sitting spot. Wear baby to zen her out ready for nap.

Put baby down to nap and move on to other chores.

Sometimes I like to give my toddler some baking soda with a sieve to sieve baking soda over the carpet as a home-made deodoriser (he has fun and afterwards I get to ‘see’ how clean my house is).

BATHROOM/S

Occupy toddler in dry bath with bath crayons or give toddler bottle of water to spray around bathroom to ‘help’.

Spray toilet with bleach solution and leave.

Spray counters and mirrors with vinegar solution and leave.

Squirt jiff around toilet and quickly scrub bowl.

Run shower and swap toddler’s water spray bottle for vinegar spray bottle.

Scrub shower while in shower with toddler. (this is my shower) ‘Rub out’ drawings as part of cleaning method – get them to help by spraying vinegar.

Leave plug in shower for toddler to splash in bottom (if it’s a bath one like our one) while quickly wiping vanity down.

Use newspaper to polish mirror.

Polish taps with dry t-shirt.

Wipe down all surfaces. Finally wipe toilet and throw first cloth away/in wash.

Take wet toddler with you to do bedrooms.

BEDROOM

Dress wet toddler and chuck wet towel in laundry.

Strip beds and make tent with dry laundry for toddler to play in. (roll up and make a round ‘nest’ or hang over couch cushions to make a hut)

Add teacups for tea party.

Play ‘red rag to a bull’ or ‘whoosh’ toddler with sheets.

Put toddler on bed to jump and ‘help’ tuck in sheets.

Put toddler in duvet cover and carry around for a while like a mad santa.

Put duvet cover on duvet.

Finish making bed/s.

Use second cloth to dust surfaces in bedrooms and move to kitchen.

 KITCHEN

Set toddler up in high chair with pre-nap snacks.

While they eat, spray counters of kitchen with vinegar.

Boil kettle for coffee.

Empty dish washer while kettle boils.

Wipe all surfaces and load dish washer. Turn it on.

Polish taps with dry tee-shirt.

Make coffee.

Clean up toddler, wipe high chair and put to bed.

 

Relax with coffee and enjoy your down time.

 

OK. So I didn’t wash the floors yet. But that one has to be done when the toddler is out or asleep otherwise the slippery floor is dangerous…

And this way I get to have some me time in my lovely clean house. Even if it is only clean for me to see.

 

And finally, four small confessions:

Sometimes I scrub the toilet and leave the soapy stuff in the bottom so that my work can be ‘seen’. This is my ‘thank you prompt’.

Sometimes I fold the toilet paper and pretend I am in a hotel.

Sometimes I skate on the floor with wet towels soaked in detergent when no-one is around as a more fun way to mop.

I pay myself to clean the house instead of paying a cleaner so that I feel more valued and do a better job. (So I keep the money that I would otherwise pay a cleaner – that’s paying myself!)

 

How do you manage your chores with children?

Love Outie.

ode to the boob

Ode to the Boob – a poem

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Breastfeeding can be an inspiring time. Just sitting there, unable to move… and thus a poem is born. Just now. X

 

Ode to the Boob

 

Ode to the Boob

Large and full

Ode to its function as a feeding tool.

 

Ode to the bonding, ode to the gaze;

Ode to the nipple and the littlest face.

 

Ode to the pressure, ode to the cry;

Ode to the accidental squirt in the eye.

 

Ode to let down and ode to the pump,

Ode to the rhythm of a hungry suck.

 

Ode to expressing and ode to nesting

Ode to being up all night and never resting.

 

Ode to the changes and ode to the veins,

Ode to teething and to the startling pains.

 

Ode to the ‘shower head’ and ode to the latch

Ode to the leak and ode to the wet patch.

 

Ode to ‘momentary Pamela’ and ode to cleavage,

Ode to the confidence before the leakage.

 

Ode to the Boobie,

To the breast, to the rack

Ode to the role of mother

And to never looking back.

 

-Katrina Ward, 2014.

 

Check out our breastfeeding wraps and dresses here.

 

 

 

 

Poot-01

Postpartum What?! Embarrassing stuff you need to know.

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Postpartum what?! Embarrassing stuff you need to know.

“At least if you have a C-section, you don’t bleed for six weeks.”

“No. You still bleed.”

“Oh”.

Birth is a subject that is widely covered. But what about the ‘scary stuff’ that happens afterwards? Here’s a list of things you might need (or might not) with a quick reason for why you might need it. Some are obvious and some are lesser so. If you have any questions, please ask – but don’t be scared.**

Knowledge is power as they say.

Maxi pads or incontinence pads

Whether you have a natural birth or a C-section, your uterine wall will take a while to heal where the placenta was attached. This takes around six weeks and in that time you will bleed while it heals over. Incontinence pads are also useful as they have a higher level of absorption – and you may even need them for what they are designed for until you can strengthen up your pelvic floor again.

Ah bras/Crop Bras

A crop top bra or ‘sleep bra’ will be a comfortable option day or night as they are easy to feed in and are stretchy to accommodate fluctuations in breast size.

Granny knickers and/or disposable knickers in dark colours

Things get messy, so you may as well be prepared.

Disposable ice packs or home-made ice packs (or frozen pads with witch hazel)

Post birth you may be sore and ice can be a great way to reduce swelling and reduce inflammation around any tears.

Stool softeners

Some liken the first ‘movement’ to having another baby. Things are pretty tender so why not make it easier on yourself.

Mag phos

As above, even releasing gas can be difficult. Mag phos helps.

Flaxseed

As above. Can we move on now?

Comfortable clothes

You will be spending a lot of time nursing, resting and healing. Comfort is key.

Soft toilet paper

Life’s little luxuries are important.

Prune juice and fibre rich treats

See previous points about the importance of stool softeners.

Comfy robe (We recommend Outie silk kimono top (of course))

For nursing or for privacy when receiving visitors, a comfortable robe is gold.

Spare changes of sheets

You will be leaking milk and your baby will spill and you will probably also have night sweats. All of this might happen without you having time to do any washing. Having a spare full set of sheets (or three) on hand is worthwhile.

Water bottles

Post birth you will want to flush any drugs out of your system quickly and drinking lots of water will also help reduce water retention. If you are breastfeeding it is also important to keep your fluids up.

Yoga pants

Yoga pants can offer a little more support around your tender tummy and they are comfortable too.

Old towels

You might have a spill or you might have leakage from your maxi pads or you might get blood on your towels after showering. Having old towels on hand is pretty useful.

Foot stool for the bathroom

Some women say that this really helps pass the first motion post birth.

A waterproof sheet or mattress protector

See the previous note about spare sheets. A waterproof sheet will help keep your mattress protected too. Much cheaper than a new mattress.

Long tank tops or shelf tanks

Wearing tank tops or singlets are easy for nursing and if they have a built in bra then they also reduce your need to buy a nursing bra. Wearing them in a longer length means that you can cover your tummy while you heal up nicely too.

Batwing Nursing Dress (of course!)

batwing nursing

You can wear these as a top or as a dress over a shelf tank or long tank top and they can be easily ‘dressed up’ while breastfeeding on demand.

Binding tubes/Tubi-grips

You can wear these around your tummy to help support your abdomen while you heal. Some women find that these help to shrink your tummy faster too.

Sleep bra

See the previous note on ‘Ah bra’ or crop top bra. A shelf tank top will also work but you will need some support when sleeping with your larger than normal milk-filled boobs.

Pressure stockings

You might be given these post birth to help reduce swelling in your legs.

Donut pillow

Some women swear by these to relieve the pain of sitting with haemorrhoids caused by pregnancy and/or child birth.

Haemorrhoid cream

Enough said.

Porridge

Anything with oats can increase your milk supply. Porridge is a nice comfort food to have on hand.

A grabber

Kids have them, old people have them and you can have one too. It can be really sore bending down post-birth (especially after a C-section or tear) and a grabber might just help you put your own knickers on.

A peri bottle or tea tree oil spritz

You may have ‘raw’ areas that will benefit from ice packs but you might also want to bathe these areas in an antiseptic spray. A peri bottle takes the hassle out of that particular job.

Cloth breast pads (we recommend hemp ones from Laulipop’s Shop)

Waterproof on one side and absorbent on the other, you will need these if you are breastfeeding and you want to avoid spending unnecessary money on disposable breast pads. Buy as many as you can to ensure good hygiene as frequent changing is required (plus your washing machine gnomes might steal a few).

Lanolin cream

This is a fatty cream that can help with cracked nipples which is a common complaint of women when breastfeeding.

Comfy cardigan

Any front-opening warm top will do but you will want something to wear that is easy to breastfeed in and still cosy.

Trinity Nursing Wrap (of course!)

Blue Trinity NursingWrap

If you have guests and want some discretion, these are perfect for this purpose. They can be worn three ways – as a loop scarf, as a neck warmer and as a nursing cover. They can also keep you warm for those chilly night feeds.

Blue incontinence sheets

If you don’t have a mattress protector but you still want to be protected in bed, these sheets can be a disposable replacement or in conjunction with a mattress protector for ueber protection.

Prop pillow or Tri pillow

Anything to stop you falling over at night when you are breastfeeding for the fifth time and struggling to stay awake – these are also good for general back support and breakfast in bed. If feeding on the couch, these can also be used across the tummy as a replacement for a breastfeeding pillow.

** Some of these are Outie products but we wouldn’t have made them if we didn’t need them! X

 

Did we forget anything? Share your tips below!

Love Outie.

 

 Outie: bumps, babies, boobies. Boom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex-Free Romps – 5 Play Dates for Parents

This post is sponsored by the Outie Splat Mat (perfect for all things messy and fun with little grublets around!)

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‘Those that play together, stay together’ is a truth we hold dear.

Fun needs to be the fizz that keeps your love bubbling…

When you have a child, things change. Things can change quite a lot and your previous ‘entertainment’ habits may need to change too. Your sex life may be [a lot] quieter than usual and you might have to reinvent what constitutes a fun night in with your partner…

And it’s not just post-baby, post-birth, body bulges and baby getting in the way – budgeting, time, energy, sleeplessness and brand new feelings in a new role as parents can also dramatically affect life as you knew it.

Play dates don’t have to be ‘serious’ dates. They don’t have to be particularly romantic and they are not necessarily night-time specific either.

But they should be fun.

And we like fun.

 

5 FAVOURITE PLAY DATES TO HAVE WITH YOUR PLAY MATE

(Enjoying the little things is key…)

 

  1. Blind Play dough sculpt-off

 

This is a simple game involving play dough.

One person suggests an object or an animal and then you have two minutes (or determine your own time) to make the animal/object with your eyes closed. (No peeking!) Once the time is up, you judge each other’s work.

You can make it as hard (or as easy) as you like: tea cup and saucer, elephant, Madonna and Child, toaster, stag (with antlers!), a worm…

 

2. DVD munch-fest in a couch nest

 

This one is popular in our household.

We choose a DVD and our favourite treats, push our two couches together to make a big ‘nest’ and settle in for the night.

Cosy.

 

3. Rude word Scrabble 

 

For some reason my man and I always draw at scrabble. We are both very competitive and it always ends up as an exact tie when we play ‘the normal way’ – neither of us can explain it and it just keeps happening.

Add a ‘rude words only’ rule and the results are a lot more ‘colourful’. (And he usually wins…)

 

4. Ice-cream hunt

 

This play date is great for the whole family. We all (toddler too!) jump in the car and drive somewhere new for ice cream. Sometimes we end up driving quite far on our ice-cream hunt, and other times we get ‘takeaway’ ice-creams from a dairy (corner store) and drive somewhere new to eat them.

 

5. Silly dinner challenge/collaborative cooking

 

This one can involve other silly friends who might like to join you in a strange dinner celebration.

NB: You need to have understanding friends who don’t mind being interrupted by the needs of your child/ren. And if you don’t have friends like these – do it without them because clearly they are no fun. ;)

Some ideas for silly dinner challenges:

Themed by a globe spin (pick a place)

Themed by a cook book (we have a Kenny Rogers cook book where every recipe has pineapple in it…?)

Themed by ingredient (we once hosted a 5 course mince dinner – complete with ‘after dinner mince’… ha ha!)

Themed by a celebrity chef

Themed by your child’s favourite flavours (if they are still up to partake)

Themed by colour

Backwards dinner (pudding first!)

 

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Your journey as a parent should be fun.

Outie: we like having fun.

http://www.outie.co.nz

August 076

Ten Easy Indoor Activities for Toddlers

I love hanging out with my kids and I especially love coming up with new things to do. 

Here is a little list of my recent favourite indoor activities to keep my toddler busy.

These ideas are brought to you by the Outie Splat Mat.

 

1) Washi tape shapes on the floor

I made a square, a triangle and a star on the floor using washi tape. My son knows the words for triangle and star but hasn’t yet recognised squares – so the teacher in me wanted to give him a new shape to practise saying and the square is THERE on the floor so we keep using the word as we pass it now.

We ran across them and shouted the names of the shapes as we stepped on them.

We jumped in them.

While he ate his lunch, he directed me to hop from one shape to another.

We put his toys in them.

We talked about ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the shapes.

We hopped in them.

We sat in them.

He even chose to eat his lunch inside the triangle.

August 1270

 

2) Matching shapes

This is an extension to the washi tape shape idea. Cut shapes from card or draw pictures with the shapes in them. (I.e. a house could have a square AND a triangle in it) and put the cards into the right shape as a giant sorting activity.

 

3) Indoor bowling

You don’t need a bowling pin set to have fun bowling down structures. You can make towers with blocks to bowl down. I like to use my son’s stacking robots to set out like pins then we roll balls at them to try to knock them over.

 

4) Toddler petanque

I made some simple bean bags with lentils in them out of some scraps of fabric. Here’s some instructions (they are fun to juggle with too). Put plastic tea cups out as targets and try to throw the bean bags into the cups or onto the saucers. We can play the same game using toys as targets and rolling balls to them. A teacup and saucer stack (make sure they are plastic) is super fun to throw things at to try to knock it down too.

 

5) Indoor painting

Use a Splat Mat for this one. Squirt paint onto the paper or Splat Mat and let your toddler smoosh it with their hands. Have an old towel handy for the inevitable spills…

 

6) Bath painting

Add food colouring to shaving foam and take your painting into the bath. (This is a personal favourite because he can paint at my feet and I can have a long shower).

August 076 August 077

 

7. Baking/Breaking/Mashing

I love making weetbix slice with mister two because he gets the job of crumbling the weetbix (use a bowl and sit them down on a Splat Mat) and my second favourite is banana muffins (he gets the potato masher and loves mashing the banana).

 

8) Button Banking

I made a piggy bank out of an old pop bottle with papier mache and I give my son the piggy bank and a jar of buttons to ‘bank’. (The nose unscrews so he can start again).

Tip 15 trash to treasure

 

9) Santa sack

This is a great activity for keep toddlers ‘busy’ while you change the sheets. Simply wrap toddler up and carry over your shoulder like a mad santa… I recommend a strong sheet for this one as my toddler likes to be swung about and you need to be sure that they won’t fall out.

 

10) Kitchen Drum Kit

This is an oldie but a goodie. Sometimes when I am stuck for things to do I ask myself, what would my Grandma do? Tin cups, chipsticks, wooden spoons and whisks with metal bowls or saucepans are a nice and easy noisy play solution.

 

We have loads more ideas for fun play but ten is a good number to start with. What are your fun play ideas?

Like this post? Please follow us by clicking the link on the right.

 

Love Outie.

 

 

 

 

Slow Suicide and Sacrifice – a new angle, a letter and a present

Lately there has been a lot of talk within my mummy circles of ‘death’ of their previous selves. Similarly suicide has hit the headlines in a big way and life can, at first glance, seem so depressing.

But what if we are not looking at it right?

So I went digging to look for the ‘old dead me’ to see what I might want to say to her and, really, to see if I miss her or if I could even be glad that she is dead.

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Old me:

I had long white blonde hair.

I lived in a recording studio.

I was writing my Masters thesis.

I rode a gold scooter and wore short skirts.

I liked wearing bikinis.

I was a proper city dweller and didn’t even own a car.

I played music and made art.

I spent money on whatever I wanted and drank lots of café-bought coffees.

I went to wine bars and fancy restaurants.

I made jewellery as a hobby.

I liked expensive clothes and shoes.

FAST FORWARD

New me:

I have two children.

I have short hair.

I live in the bush.

I write a blog as a writing outlet because I can’t do a PHd around my kids (although I still want to).

I drive a big ugly station wagon family-wagon thing.

I feel self-conscious in short skirts because my body shape has changed.

I am looking for a mummy kini so that I can swim again but lack the time or childcare to try.

My guitar is dusty and needs new strings.

I haven’t been to a live gig in several years.

I draw digitally but miss my charcoal large scale drawings that used to be my favourite style.

I feel guilty when I spend money on myself.

I have forgotten what good wine tastes like.

I make coffee at home because it is easier.

I have a plain diet because I am breastfeeding.

I don’t make anything with fiddly things because my kids might swallow the pieces.

I make clothes and run a small business

I can’t remember the last time I bought nice shoes.

So here’s the letter, because perspective is everything and not all death is bad.

Dear old dead me,

Hello. I am future you. I live in your future and I have two children with a man you haven’t met yet.

You wouldn’t believe half of the things that I can tell you about your future.

Your projections of your future are all wrong. So there.

You will end up somewhere so different to where you think you are going in life. But I won’t ruin it entirely for you…

Let’s just say that you will be humbled (you are not an Interior Designer, a famous Artist or a Professor) but you will also be honoured.

Right now I am jealous of you and here’s why.

You get to drink nice wine and you get to lie in in the mornings.

You get a whole bed to yourself most of the time.

You get to do just your own dishes.

You get to tackle big projects and leave them out to return to later.

You get to make mess with big charcoal drawings and you don’t have to worry about leaving them out to return to later.

You have an awful lot of free time.

You have a killer haircut that costs a lot to maintain.

You can wear whatever you like and not worry about whether or not it is breastfeeding appropriate.

You can go out and stay out late and do what you like.

You have freedom now that I can only dream of…

But it’s not all downhill old dead me. Don’t top yourself just because I am telling you that I am jealous of you from my future standpoint – I am not saying that the future is stink. It is just very different. Only the best parts of you will survive and you can take heart from that. That’s all.

When you get to this time, this place, this future version of you, you will realise that there is more life and vibrance in the now even though you can’t see it and are stupidly looking back at your past you (that’s you now in case you are confused).

In fact, you should be jealous of your future life too.

You should be jealous because:

You savour the small things and appreciate little things more. (Sorry to say it but you are a bit ungrateful now)

You share your bed with lovely little climbing bodies (it’s a joy you can’t imagine)

You know the true meaning of love (it explodes inside you some days and is amazing and is not what you think you feel for your current boyfriend)

You make mess with your children and have a lot of stupid and silly fun just because (everything doesn’t have to be so serious – you are so serious. Lighten up a bit would you?)

You have grown resilient and resourceful.

You spend most of your time with some very cool little creatures (some of the people you hang out with now…. Really?)

You are wanted and needed and loved beyond measure.

So thanks for reading this, old dead me. You see big parts of us will die off over time – but together we can work and strive to keep the best bits of us alive.

The best bits of our life are often the bits we can’t see from the present. From yours or from mine.That’s why they’re actually ‘presents’. We just have to try to unwrap it a little to understand it and see the gems that are hidden within.

Much love,

Future you

P.S. Drop that guy you are currently with. He is a total dick.

Future me now runs Outie. I still draw but can’t do large scale anymore – use the code ‘babynursery’ for 20% off all of my Art Prints X

baby barcode print

washing lady

Slap, fire or hire? Why I want to slap my cleaner

washing lady

At the end of cleaning day, I look around my house and find myself weighing up the competence of the cleaner I am currently paying to clean.

I see missed spots.

“Gah, she missed those cobwebs”

“Sigh, she didn’t dust the side table”

“Grrr, she didn’t finish wiping the shower”

“Ugh, the vacuuming still has to be done.” (etc.)

This is why my cleaner is in the dogbox . She needs a bit of a slap (I wouldn’t actually slap her) but she needs a wake up call – because it seems like she isn’t taking her job seriously enough.

How can she miss so many spots? We pay her for two hours and that should be enough to dust, wipe, sweep, vacuum, mop, clean and scrub both bathrooms, clear bins, replace towels, change linen, make beds, clean the kitchen and fold the laundry shouldn’t it?

I expect a good job and that’s why I pay her well.

But she is clever and always has a good excuse. She even claims that sometimes there is too much grub and simply not enough time to do the job properly.

This is why my cleaner needs to be fired.

Yet I keep her on.

With a softer approach and in a calmer state of mind, I like this cleaner and would hire her above all others.

She gets on well with the kids, knows my house well, prioritises thorough cleaning of some areas over a half-ass overall clean and she really does do her best most of the time.

In her defense: today she has done a detailed job on the main bathroom, there are fresh towels and the bin liner smells like eucalyptus telling me that she cleaned IN the bin (woah!) She has folded the toilet paper so that it feels like a hotel, the mirror has no streaks, the bath is scrubbed smooth and is grime free. She has even disinfected the door handles and the light switch is squeaky clean too.

The kitchen is wiped and the floors have been swept and the second bathroom is gleaming everywhere except half of the shower which she apparently ran out of time for. The laundry is mostly done even if not all folded and there is fresh linen on the kids’ beds.

So which is it?

What will I do?

Slap her, fire her or hire her?

It doesn’t matter what I do – because the cleaner is me.

The thing is, I need to slap myself for being such a hard employer and having expectations of perfection when, let’s face it, two hours is not enough time to achieve anything close to perfection. I need to let myself go a bit and effectively fire myself. I need to hire a new version of me who can still try hard to get everything done who, at the same time, isn’t burdened by the expectation of being everything.

P.S. I pay myself for what I would pay a cleaner for the same job. I get some extra pocket money (staying in my pocket) AND I keep track of the time I spend cleaning as if I am on a contract so that I don’t spend too many precious hours stressing about trying to be squeaky clean. It seems weird but it works for me and stops me getting resentful of being undervalued for doing the dirty jobs.

What about you? Would you clean or do your chores differently if you were paid to do them? Do you expect too much of yourself like me?

-Katrina (Outie)

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Outie - Life is supposed to be fun.

Sweet Connections – Laulipops Shop and Hemp Breastpads

A bonus of running a small business in New Zealand is that it allows me to meet other work at home mummies doing their thing. These connections are really quite special.
The hemp breastpads we stock on the Outie website are made by our ‘new business friend’, Laura. Here’s a little more about her and her business Laulipop’s Shop. hemp breastpads by laulipops shop
What is your business?
My business is Laulipop’s Shop, named so as Laulipop is a nickname of mine!
What do you make?
I make a range of vintage inspired children’s clothing, Breastpads, Baby Bibs and Embroidered Keep Sakes of children’s artwork! (These are our favourites! – Outie)
What is the best thing about your breast pads?
They are made from hemp which is a super cool renewable resource and they get more absorbent the more they are washed! (That’s why we stock them! Love! – Outie)
How did you find out about Outie?
I met Katrina through a business group we are both in. (Katrina was introduced by Suzanne at Bundle)  I discovered Outie through there!
What is your favourite Outie product?
Definitely the Splat Mats! So wish these were around when my kids were little! Best invention ever!
What was your first Outie product experience?
I bought the Everything Batwing pattern. I love it, so simple and easy to make up, easy to resize if needed!
How many Batwings have you made so far?
So far I have only made the one but have plans for many more!

What has this connection meant for you?

When i was in Auckland last Katrina and I arranged to meet and meet up. It was my birthday and we spent it going round ALL the fabric stores buying up a storm! It was the best day!!!!
What else do you have in common with Katrina?
We both have 2 kids …. we have both had Mohawks in the past and we both love sewing!!! Oh and a …. button addiction!
Thanks Laura!
You can connect with Laura on facebook, via her blog, on instagram as #laulipopnz and here’s her shop.
Here’s a pic of Laura in her Outie Everything Batwing dress. Her face is hiding in the shadows a bit – but she’s sneaky like that. You can read Laura’s review of our pattern here.
laulipop batwing
tip 13 no sew bunting

Denim Bunting – An easy upcycling project

Love bunting? In the mood for some easy DIY? Then this project is for you.

You need:

A pair of old jeans

Scissors or pinking shears

A sharpie

1) Cut down side seams of your jeans so that the seam is still in tact along one side.

2) Cut zig zags up the legs of the jeans so that each line meets at the thick seam but doesn’t cut through it. End your zig-zags on each leg with a downward line at the crotch. I used pinking shears so that the edges are neat but scissors will work too.

3. Open out and you have bunting with the seam as the rope that binds them together.

4. Source type that you like (or make it up) and draw letters on your bunting flags with your sharpie.

5. Do the same with the other side of your jeans and stitch together for longer bunting if you like.

6. Pin up and admire your super-quick and super-satisfying handiwork. X

denim bunting

A little bit of upcycling goes a long way.

Love Outie: we like to make stuff and save the planet too.

The A-Z of pregnancy ending with a nice big nap...
love from outie.co.nz

The Pregnancy Alphabet by Outie

The A-Z of pregnancy ending with a nice big nap... love from outie.co.nz

The A-Z of pregnancy ending with a nice big nap…
love from outie.co.nz

A-ankles

B-boobs

C-cankles

D-dignity (out the window)

E-elevate

F-flatus

G-glow

H-hurl (morning sickness)

I-insomnia

J-jugs

K-knankles (extension of cankles…)

L-love

M-mummy

N-nursery

O-outie

P-pelvic floor

Q-queasy

R-ravenous

S-stretch marks

T-tummy

U-ultrasound

V- (overgrown)

W-waddle

X-expecting

Y-yelling (mood swings)

Z-zzz (have a nap)

 

The Pregnancy Alphabet has been brought to you by Outie.

If you liked this post, please let me know and click ‘follow’ before you go.

X Katrina (Outie)

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