My Top 10 Favourite Baby Products

Up until 3 months ago, I literally knew nothing about babies. I could count the number of babies I had ever held on one hand and still have fingers to spare. So to say that the last few months have been a steep learning curve is a MAJOR understatement. I am so proud of how well hubby and I have adjusted to parenthood, considering how clueless we both were I think we have taken to it like a couple of ducks to water and what we may lack in knowledge and experience we’ve made up for with love and enthusiasm.

Anyway enough tooting my own horn, what I wanted to share with you today are the top 10 baby products I could not have lived without. In the lead up to baby Matilda’s arrival, I made endless ‘must have’ lists based on recommendations I found on the internet, some things turned out to be spot on and others a waste of money. So for what it is worth, here are just a few products that hit the mark for me and were worth every cent!

1. Oricom Babysense 2 Breathing Monitor + Secure 710 Video Monitor

Have you ever noticed how much noise babies make when they are sleeping?! I am a light sleeper, so as soon as we got home from the hospital baby Matilda was straight into her cot in her very own big girl room. Having the Oricom Babysense breathing monitor helps to give us peace of mind that bubs is peacefully asleep and breathing ok, while the video monitor allows us to spy on her without having to tip toe in and out of her room every 2 minutes. Love it!

House Of Evans_Baby Products

2. Mokopuna Merino Swaddle Bag

Before Matilda arrived a friend of ours lent us their Mokopuna swaddle and said it was one of the best things ever, and they were absolutley right. Wrapping and unwrapping a screaming baby in the middle of the night to check their nappy is a complete nightmare. The Mokopuna swaddle is made of beautiful merino wool to keep bubs temp regulated, the snug fit helps to make baby feel safe and the super practical double zip is perfect for easy nighttime nappy changes. This is my new go-to gift for new mums, a god send!

House Of Evans_Baby Products

 

3. Bonds Wondersuits

We have Wondersuits coming out of our ears in every size and colour (which is a good thing, when we can have up to 7 outfit changes in a day!). Forget fumbling with a million press studs, the double ended zip is a breeze to operate. Also the feet and hands flip over to keep little digits cosy and warm. They wash up beautifully and I can promise your bubs will outgrow them before they outwear them.

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4. Mimco Lucida Baby Bag

I think half of my mothers group have the Lucida Baby Bag in its various colours. If you’re looking for a stylish and spacious baby bag that won’t entirely break the budget then you really can’t go wrong here.

House Of Evans_Baby Products

5. UppaBaby Alta Pram

Shopping for a pram can be sooo stressful! There are so many features and things to consider, do you want the seat to be front and rear facing, do you want additional seats to be added, do you want it to be light weight or heavy duty and the list goes on… After months of researching and shopping around we finally decided on the UppaBaby Alta. We got a bundle deal that included the bassinet and it was the best purchase ever. Matilda sleeps like a dream in the bassinet and the pram itself is very lightweight (9.9kg), easy to manoeuvre and fits into our tight car boot.

House Of Evans_Baby Products

6. Medela Swing Breast Pump

I ummed and ahhed about whether or not this was worth splashing out on, I considering hiring a machine but in the end decided to purchase my own. I literally use this every day and probably saved money in the first two weeks of owning it compared to if I had hired a machine. We’ve had a few hiccups with breast feeding so being able to express and bottle feed has been great for us.

House Of Evans_Baby Products

7. Isoki Change Mat Clutch 

Rather than lugging your baby bag into the change room and rifling around for everything you need while bubs is screaming, keeping everything handy in this change mat clutch will save you time and stress. I always keep mine stocked with a couple of nappies, wipes, hand sanitiser and cream so I can chuck it in the bottom of the pram if we are just going out for a quick trip or keep it in the baby bag for longer day trips.

House Of Evans_Baby Products

8. Cotton On Kids Baby Bibs

My Mum bought us a couple of these before Matilda was born and I have since been back to stock up (I now have 7 on constant rotation!). There are so many things to love about these bigs, firstly they are large and wrap all around so they keep baby’s shoulders clean and dry as well as their fronts. The press stud fastener allows for easy removal when bubs has fallen into a blissful sleep compared to noisy velcro which wakes bubs with a start every time! They are nice and thick so nothing soaks through and come in a range of cute designs for boys and girls.

House Of Evans_Baby Products

9. Love To Dream – Love To Swaddle UP Original

While the Mokopuna swaddles are great for newborns, the Love To Dream Swaddle UP is the perfect next step. Tilly has always loved to sleep with her hands up, in fact in every single one of our ultrasounds her hands were up by her face covering our view. The Love To Swaddle UP allows babies to sleep with their hands by their face but still keeps them restricted so their startle reflex won’t wake them. They come in a range of sizes and even have light weight, merino and 50/50 (arms can be free or restrained) versions depending on what your needs are.

House Of Evans_Baby Products

 

10. Terry Towelling Nappies

Certainly not the most glamorous item on my must have lit, but probably one of the things we use the most. While I have to admit we are like many other parents and use disposable nappies, these terry towelling nappies come in handy for a range of other uses. As Matilda has reflux, she brings up quite a lot of what she eats so these nappies make for fantastic burp cloths (or as we call them spew cloths).  I never leave home without one, in fact I often have two in the nappy bag, one in the pram and one in the car just in case. We also use them on her change table and tucked across her bed as a little added protection from spillages to avoid changing sheets daily.

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Here are a few happy snaps of Miss Matilda showing off some of our favourite things…

Snug as a bug in her Mokopuna Swaddle

Snug as a bug in her Mokopuna Swaddle

Taking my babies for an afternoon stroll

Taking my babies for an afternoon stroll

All smile post feeding with her Cotton On Kids bib

All smile post feeding with her Cotton On Kids bib

Bonds Wondersuits, perfect day and night

Bonds Wondersuits, perfect day and night

Pre-bedtime snuggles in her Love To Swaddle UP swaddle

Pre-bedtime snuggles in her Love To Swaddle UP swaddle

I’d love to know what your favourite ‘must have’ baby products are that you couldn’t live without?!

Kristy x

Fireplace Envy

I have a major love affair with fireplaces, and when we bought our house this was one of my top three must have features (along with high ceilings and hardwood floors – I mean really, who cares about all that practical stuff like off street parking hehe). I’m such of a romantic, I love the idea of sitting by an open fire, wrapped in a cosy blanket, snuggling my Mr with a glass of wine in hand… bliss!!

But when I wake up from my blissful dream I know that the reality of an open fire is not quite as romantic and our central heating is much more practical. So I have devised a compromise, a way to enjoy the charm and elegance of a fireplace without all the hassle. I plan to rip out the old gas heater and with a bit of TLC (aka a LOT of paint) transform our dated fireplace into a masterpiece and decorative feature of our living room.

This is currently what our fireplace looks like…

fireplace

And this is my inspiration…

Hopefully I can make some progress before Christmas and share some before and after shots soon :)

Kristy x

It’s a baby GIRL!

At 4.30am on Saturday 16th August, hubby and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world!

11 days late, Matilda Mary Evans was clearly quite comfortable and was reluctant to join us, but we are totally thrilled that she finally decided to come out and meet us.

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It’s hard to believe that our baby girl is one month old already. On one hand it feels like we’ve loved her forever, but at the same time the past 4 weeks have flown by in a total blur.  We are so blessed to have a beautiful, happy and healthy baby girl and for the most part she is a wonderful baby and is pretty easy on us.

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Being a parent is quite possibly the scariest and most challenging thing I have ever done, and while I’ve learnt so much in the past month I still feel totally clueless and wonder how the universe allows me to be responsible for such a perfect and innocent little soul.

Thank you to all our friends and family for all of your lovely gifts and well wishes, Matilda is certainly spoilt with love and is one lucky lady to have so many wonderful people in her life. We are loving every day with our little girl and will try not to bombard you with too many baby happy snaps :)

Kristy x

Baby Evans’ Neutral Nursery Revealed

After 9 months of researching, online shopping, DIY projects and second guessing myself, baby Evans’ neutral nursery is finally complete! The only thing missing now is a little baby to put in it.

House Of Evans_Baby Nursery

I am really happy with what we managed to achieve on a pretty low budget, and even more proud of myself for keeping it under wraps and not getting totally carried away.  As you guys already know, we are waiting to find out the gender of baby Evans so I needed to go with a neutral theme.

Although in all honesty, even if I did know the gender I probably would have chosen a pretty similar look. I wanted the room to be light and airy, and a pretty blank canvas so that I can easily change the look and feel as baby grows and develops his/her own personality and style.

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Although I did make a few splurges, the majority of the furniture was bought secondhand on eBay and overhauled with a bit of sanding and a few coats of paint.  The only new pieces of furniture in the room are the cot and side table.

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The grey stars on the wall add a bit of whimsey and I think finish the room off perfectly. While there are lots of special treasures that I love, a few of my favourite things in the room include the handmade crocheted blanket my Nonna made for us and the gorgeous handmade quilt from my Aunty.

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 Before Photos

To put things into perspective, here are a few before shots of the second bedroom. When we first moved into the house the walls were a lovely shade of mauve and there was carpet covering the floorboards. The first thing we did was rip up all the carper and not long after moving in we painted over the purple with a light beige and put up some cheap curtains.

As soon as we found out baby was on the way we decided to repaint again with a nice clean white and splashed out on some custom made curtains. The room has definitely come a long way!

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Hope you guys like baby Evans’ nursery as much as we do. Can’t wait to be able to share some more photos of the room once baby has moved in ;)

Kristy x

Home Renos: Kitchen Reveal

Just when you thought baby brain had completely taken over and I had forgotten all about our home renos it is finally here, our final kitchen reveal!  In part it has taken me so long to get this online because I have been pretty consumed with all things baby related since late last year, but also I have been waiting for a few finishing touches before sharing these pics with you.

In any case we are totally thrilled with the final result of our kitchen reno, it is an absolute dream to cook in. It is true that the kitchen is the heart of our home and it has totally transformed our house, we can barely even remember what it used to be like.

As we plan on staying in this house for a number of years we didn’t really skimp on too much, our cupboards are top of the range as is the caesar stone bench top. A lovely big oven was non negotiable as was the gorgeous goose neck tap I fell in love with, these are hands down my two favourite things.

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In case you have forgotten what the kitchen used to look like, here are a few before and after shots.

BEFORE

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealAFTER

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealBEFORE

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealAFTER

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealBEFORE

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealAFTER

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealBEFORE

House Of Evans_Kitchen RevealAFTER

House Of Evans_Kitchen Reveal

Looking back, it is amazing we managed to put up with our old kitchen for so long. With cupboard doors falling apart and barely holding on by a thread, no running cold water, terrible storage and a whole wall with nothing on it just wasting space, we have certainly made a lot of changes!

I love spending time in our beautiful new kitchen and can’t wait to make lots of lovely memories here with our growing family.

You can check out the kitchen renovation progress shots here:

Bathroom and laundry reveal photos will be coming soon :)

Kristy x

 

Burgers @ Tuck Shop Take Away

House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

After much anticipation I finally made it to the Tuck Shop for lunch to try out the old school burgers. The best part of maternity leave is having time to tick off a few of the places I never have the chance to get to on the weekend, and the Tuck Shop was top of my list of must visits before Baby Evans shows up.

Randomly located in the suburb of Caulfield, the Tuck Shop is a pretty nondescript building, and had it not been recommended to me I never would have stopped in. I was shocked to find that the lunch time rush was relentless, clearly the locals in the area have cottoned onto this little gem long before I stumbled upon it.

I later found out that the owners previously worked for Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck and one of his pubs in London, so it’s no wonder the food is top notch.
House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

The other perk of being pregnant is people make allowances for you when you are a total pig, bearing this in mind I obviously ordered the ‘School Menu’ which includes burger, chips, lemonade and a tart.  The burger was delicious, moist without being greasy and the tuck shop sauce was yummy.

The chips or ‘cuts’ as they are referred to are super crispy, just the way I like them and the salted caramel tart rounded everything off. My raspberry lemonade was the only letdown, not much flavour and way too much ice made it watery. I did have a sip of the salted fantale milkshake which was everything you would want it to be.

House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

I can’t wait to head back here and share my latest culinary delight with hubby, plus I need an excuse to get back and try the milko milkshake!

If you love a classic burger, this one is definitely worth adding to your burger bucket list.

House Of Evans_Tuck SHop

Kristy x

Boy or Girl? What the old wives tales have to say

From the very beginning of our pregnancy hubby and I decided that we wanted to keep the gender of baby Evans a surprise and wait until the big day.  We are constantly asked if we know the gender, this then followed by “Oh my god, I could never wait! I would have to find out” or “Oh that is so lovely, I love a surprise!”.

Regardless of what people think about waiting to find out, they all love to try and guess baby Evans’ gender.  They take a step back and start sizing up my belly. Does it look low or high? Is it straight out front like a basketball or round all the way around like a watermelon? Then come the questions. Have I been moody? Have I had any cravings? Have I been nauseous? Based on all of this information they then decide what they think the gender is and more often than not the verdict is a boy.

House Of Evans_Boy or Girl

While I don’t necessarily think there is any truth to these old wives tales, I thought it might be a bit of fun to see what they have to say about baby Evans’ gender and share with you all.

1. Carrying low = BOY
I haven’t particularly noticed that baby has been high or low but others have commented that I look a bit low so we will go with that.

2. Baby’s heart rate 140+ = GIRL
Baby’s heart rate is usually around 145+ but this could be the result of just being active at the time of testing.

3. Carrying weight out front = BOY
I have mostly just put weight on around my belly, as opposed to bum and legs.

4. Age + Month = GIRL
If you add your age at time of conception with the month you conceived and it is an odd number then baby is a girl.

5. Craving sweet food = GIRL
I am a sweet tooth through and through, this hasn’t changed during pregnancy.

6. No morning sickness = BOY
I had a bit of nausea, particularly in the first trimester but was never actually sick.

7. No cold feet = GIRL
My whole body feels about 10 degrees hotter in pregnancy including my feet.

8. Heartburn, lots and lots of heartburn = GIRL
This may also mean baby will be born with a full head of hair.

9. Skin breakouts = GIRL
I have definitely had my fair share of pimples, although to be fair not too much different to normal.

10. Daddy weight = GIRL
Poor hubby has been complaining about the extra weights he’s put on in the past 9 months due to all my carb cravings, apparently this means girl.

11. Less moody = BOY
I think I have actually been less moody (in general) since being pregnant, lucky hubby!

12. Show hands palms up = GIRL

So how do the old wives tales stack up? Well according to the 12 myths above there is a 66% chance baby Evans is going to be a GIRL.

Here are a few of my bathroom selfies along the way, what do you think it looks like? Boy or girl?

Unfortunately I can’t confirm or deny which ones are right and which aren’t. So I guess you will just have to wait and see what the outcome is when baby Evans arrives in just a few short weeks!

Kristy x