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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
In case you have forgotten what the kitchen used to look like, here are a few before and after shots.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I am so thrilled to be able to share with you some happy snaps from my recent bunny themed baby shower.
Apologies the photos aren’t the best, I was too busy eating and chatting to get any good shots and forgot to delegate this task to someone else (whoops, bad blogger!). You may also notice there are no photos of people… again baby brain moment – sorry!
After a small amount of chaos the morning of the baby shower, my Mum and girlfriend managed to pull off a stellar effort and host an absolutely amazing baby shower for mini Evans and myself.
The afternoon was really relaxed and chilled out, which is exactly what I had wanted. We kept the games to a minimum, and the food was in abundance as is tradition with any Taylor/Evans family functions.
After choosing a Peter Rabbit theme, we decided to go down the garden path (pun intended) and keep the decorations green and orange so as not to be too boyish. Bunny footprints greeted guests at the door and banners and pom poms helped to brighten up the room.
We had a beautiful spread of homemade goodies and Mum even surprised me with a Peter Rabbit themed party cake. There were Peter Rabbit books and carrot shaped lolly bags filled with caramel popcorn as gifts for guests.
But my favourite detail of the day, and where I think Mum really outdid herself, was with the beautiful big veggie box center piece. The rustic wooden box stuffed full of brightly coloured veggies looked like it had come straight from Beatrix Potters garden and I just loved it.
I had such a lovely afternoon with my closest friends and family celebrating the pending arrival of baby Evans and was once again overwhelmed by everyone’s excitement and well wishes. I feel incredibly spoiled and humbled by all the love and can’t wait to be able to finally introduce our little bundle to all the people who have so eagerly awaited its arrival.
I especially want to thank the two lovely ladies who made this baby shower possible, my Mum and girlfriend Carmel – thank you!
On our most recent trip to New Zealand we were lucky enough to be able to spend a bit of time in Auckland catching up with family and friends rather than rushing straight from the airport to Hamilton. I was pretty excited about seeing our friends and family, some of which we hadn’t seen in years, and even MORE excited to be able to do this while checking out some of Auckland’s hot spots.
Our first day in Auckland we caught up with hubby’s family for brunch at Cereal Killa in Mt Wellington. This place had been recommended to me by a former kiwi blogger, so I had pretty high expectations. Overall the food was good but there were some mixed reviews around the table.
I had the crepes with maple syrup, bacon, banana and blueberries and while I enjoyed my meal, it could have had more to do with the fact that it was midday before I was eating breaky rather than the food being exceptionally good (I can assure you it did taste better than it looks). Hubby had the half English served with mash, as pictured above.
Teed St Larder
Day two and another brunch date, this time with friends. In actual fact we had a double brunch. so a back to back sitting in order to squeeze in as many catch-ups as we could! We headed to the Teed St Larder in Newmarket and I was immediately surprised at how big the café was and even more surprised by how quiet it was for a weekend!
The interior is great, the decor is fresh and light and there is loads of space for groups and people with children, which was handy for our friends. A space like this in Melbourne would be chocka block with customers on a Saturday morning, I couldn’t work out why there was no line out the door!
Hubby had the bubble and squeak which he didn’t seem overly impressed with, nor were our friends particularly thrilled with their eggs Benedict (I don’t think they were bad as such, just nothing special). I continued with my stand against scrambled eggs and had the coconut, lemon, lime pancakes and what a disappointment they were! They came out literally swimming in syrup, not only did this mean the pancakes themselves absorbed a lot of the liquid and turned to mush, but the syrup itself was sickly sweet and overpowering. I tried to soldier on and eat as much as a could, but only made it about half way through before giving up.
Perhaps this just wasn’t to my taste, but I really didn’t enjoy this meal at all. Luckily my experience was slightly redeemed with a yummy crumpet during our second sitting, but in all honesty I found the food to be overpriced and failed to live up to all the hype of the online reviews I had read.
Mikano Restaurant & Bar
For our only dinner in Auckland hubby and I treated the in-laws to a night at Mikano as an early birthday gift. When searching for a restaurant I wanted somewhere that did good seafood for the MIL but also had plenty of non-fishy options for little old me
The location down in Mechanics Bay is a bit random but interesting as it looks out over the docks and has a helipad next door. I believe the venue recently underwent a facelift and was quite nice inside.
The food was delicious, the seafood definitely delivered and there were no complaints from the gents at the table who both ordered steak. I had the chicken and leek pie, which was ok but nothing to write home about. The MIL was definitely happy with her fish, it was hands down the best looking dish at the table and I think the rest of us had a little food envy. After scoffing down our entree and main’s we somehow managed to find some room for dessert, which was a lovely end to a very tasty and enjoyable meal.
Overall we had some great dining experiences in Auckland, but I think the majority of them were made enjoyable by the company more so than the food. One things for sure, living in Melbourne we are spoiled for good coffee and the Kiwis still have a little way to go in the coffee making stakes.
I look forward to trying out some more of Auckland’s tasty delights the next time we manage to get back for a visit, although next time we will be traveling as a threesome rather than a twosome so our eating priorities may have changed a bit by then
My lazy Sunday brunching days are numbered and I have definitely been making the most of the limited baby free weekends that I have left with as many brunch dates as possible!
Merchants Guild has been on my brunch hit list for a while now, it has received great reviews online and best of all is only 5 mins down the road. However a good local brunch spot is hard to find. In my experience even the ones with good reviews don’t live up to the hype and standard of some of the amazing places on offer closer to the city.
You could be forgiven for thinking you have arrived at a trendy inner city brunch spot upon arriving at Merhcants Guild as there is certainly no shortage of customers and there is often a line of customers queuing out the door for a table.
Believe me when I tell you it is worth the wait! I just couldn’t go past the doughnut french toast, I had no idea what to expect and was so happy with my decision when my meal arrived. Essentially it is french toast rolled in cinnamon sugar, served with peach, blueberries, mascapone and sprinkled with salted pistachios. The balance of salty and sweet is perfect and unlike many french toasts I have tried it isn’t sickly sweet or stodgy.
My girlfriends had the poached eggs, with avocado and charred corn smash, jamon ham and jalapeño pesto on the side (not in picture). I might have had a sneaky taste and the mix of avocado and pesto go amazing with the poached eggs – I can’t wait to have this dish myself when I can finally eat poached eggs again!
Finally a local brunch haunt to get excited about, I have already returned with hubby and no doubt will be back again before baby Evans arrives