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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Beach life

Nothing better than the grin on the face of a child when they're in the ocean. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Beach bound

How was everyone's day? Christmas Day was frantic yet low key for us. I had mastered the art of travelling with a baby yet throwing a husband into the mix seemed to have throw the day into disarray. There were too many things to cart around and a baby who was waken from her nap. Thankfully the airport was relatively quiet and I had a delicious lunch to look forward to at the end of it. 

We are off to the beach tomorrow. I'm hanging for a swim. Or lots and lots of swims to be honest. It's the small things. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Christmas Eve. I'm laying in bed after a cat nap, mustering up the strength to finish packing. I am literally throwing a heap of bikinis and a few tops and bottoms into a suitcase which has been overtaken by cute baby clothes and all her other necessities. If I'm honest I'm feeling a bit anxious about shuffling her around so much but I suppose she's used to flying and sleeping in new surrounds. 

My kindle is loaded with books and my laptop has some episodes of TV shows I'd like to watch. Anything to distract me from thoughts about what's to come with the new year and that's my new challenge of being away from my girl and being a working mum. I started crying in September in anticipation. Nothing is easy but we learn to adapt when life seemingly has no alternative for us. At least not right now.

So I may as well enjoy the precious weeks I have with my babe and worry about it later. 

I wish you all a wonderful and happy Christmas. Enjoy the downtime to unwind and reflect on all the amazing things in your lives. I hope you're able to spend it with those you love like I'm blessed to be doing this holiday season.

With love... M x

Thursday, 19 December 2013

House detox

Image via Tumblr

Am I the only one who's really conscious about chemicals and radiation in the house?  We surround ourselves with so many pollutants and toxic chemicals.  And what about all the beeping devices?  Chargers and computers and phones.  We often have 3-4 laptops and 4 phones between 2 people?  Wow.  I don't use a microwave.  I don't charge my phone where I sleep.  I don't use electric blankets or baby monitors.  I have started to use cloth nappies part time now and swear by cleaning the baby with a wash cloth and water.  She's not THAT dirty is she?  I try to do one or two thorough cleans with the chemically stuff during the year and in between that maintain it with natural products.  If you clean regularly you don't need antibacterial wipes and bleach do you?  Use up the products that you have and perhaps reconsider.

My favourite things to start with

  • Microfibre cloths are magic.  For dusting and especially cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.  I even exfoliate my face with a microfibre face washer.  I mop the floor is water and a microfibre cloth.
  • Plastic containers?  Nope.  I try and store everything in glass containers.  Can easily recycle old jars as well.  
  • Vinegar and baking soda.  And a bit of lemon.  Pretty good cleaner.

There's less than a week to go until holidays.  There's still too much to do.  But I'm getting there.  Slowly.  Slowly.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas baking - gingerbread and cupcakes

What do you do when the supermarket is handing out christmas cookie cutters?  You bake cookies!  My brother is an athlete and my parents are health freaks and I feel guilty eating a mass amount of sweets so I never have anyone to bake for.  Lucky that this year I have a wonderful mothers group that I can fatten up with cookies.  

And while we're baking cookies we may as well make use of this cute cupcake kit.  

It was my very first time baking gingerbread.  Had no idea where to start and was recommended THIS recipe.  As I was going along it did seem a bit dry, but it is truly perfect.  The dough felt and tasted absolutely amazing.  Recipe is fool proof, I promise. 

I'm not sure if I baked them for too long, or made them too thin (or if my oven sucks) but they were a little too crunchy and over baked.  But not to worry.  They are incredibly fun to bake and ice and I can't wait to do them with Ari when she's a bit older and can help decorate and press the cutters into the dough.  

Bit of cellophane, ribbon and a christmas gift tag and voila!

And the vanilla cupcakes were wonderful too!

Monday, 16 December 2013

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.” ― Stephen R. Covey,

I am often tired.  So tired.  My autoimmume disease can wreck havoc with me.  My moods and energy levels.  My digestion.  It can all be a complete mess.  And just as often I feel perfectly fine.  Happy. Content.  Full of energy.  It's the low energy times that destroy me.  I begin to feel guilty about the way I feel and it all turns into one vicious cycle.  I've been burning myself into the ground of late with the occasional poor choices.  Having a child has made me realise that these small people learn the best by following your example.  So what I do has to change.

If you've read my blog before you'd know that about 2 years ago I decided to cut refined sugar out of my life.  I didn't eat sugar for ages.  Many, many months. And then recently chocolate and ice cream became my friends who quickly turned into enemies.  They taught me that I just cannot tolerate eating them and that they make me feel like a drum of toxic chemicals.  So last night I binned any trace of processed food from my fridge/freezer/pantry.  No more chocolate covered macademia nuts. I am sick of waste.  I am now embarking on a clean life for a little while.  Simple, simple food free of sugar.  Free of cake.  No fad diet.  No weight loss.  Just the right choices and the right example for my little girl. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

All white

I am wearing Jimmy Choo shoes, Witchery Lace Yoke Dress and a Lovisa necklace.  Ari is in a Zara dress and Seed mouse shoes

On Saturday night we ventured out for Luca's christening.  I do admit that I am very strict around Ari's naps and routines but we winged it and she charmed everyone, staying out until 9pm.  Talk about living on the edge.  

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The most magical time of the year...

Can somebody please hit the pause button?  My little baby is growing at a rapid pace.  She can sit on her own for ages.  She has two teeth, waves goodbye and holds out her arms when she wants me to take her.  Those arms held out to me melt my heart every time.  And she's just realised that kicking a ball is loads of fun.

I'm running out of time and energy to tick off all the things on my to do list between now and the beginning of the new year.  I am looking forward to a blissful 3 week holiday but between now and then I have a house to sort out (will this ever end???),  workshop some outfits for my immanent return to work, I have gifts to finalise, holiday packing to do, Christmas cards to mail out, a Christmas menu to plan and most importantly a child's room to completely redo.  I never did a proper nursery so I'm compensating and doing what I hope will be a magical "big girl" room - complete with a reading/play corner and a big world map.  Although we lack space in our home, we chose to live in this part of town for the lifestyle and the things that are easily accessible to us outside of the house - parks, cafes, beaches and good schools.  I grew up in a very small apartment and my favourite memories were cuddles in my bed (which was in fact a fold out sofa in the lounge room) reading books and watching animal kingdom documentaries with my parents.  There was no second TV.  I hope my new little family can foster the same closeness and time spent together, rather than running away from each other.  Granted we all need our own space but I hope that the bedroom offers plenty of privacy and quiet time.  Ariana is growing to be a very intelligent, bright and placid child who already loves books and puzzles and quiet play so I have been very aware of creating an interesting and varied environment for her to help foster her interests, regularly updating toys and age appropriate activities for her and creating a stimulating environment.

I'm putting up some Ikea picture ledges at a kid friendly height and loading them up with books and some interesting toys.

I have a Mocka kids bean bag making it's way to us. 

How incredible are these heart shaped wooden hooks???  Perfect to have by the door for hanging library bags, backpacks and coats.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

We're both loving Bajo wooden toys with Melissa & Doug running a close second.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week... wish me a productive one, please xx

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas gift brain storm

This year more than ever I am keeping the Christmas gift list short and simple and gifting relatively useful and simple and mostly inexpensive gifts.  My rule is always to give something that I would love to receive.  Here are some ideas for all ages and genders.  Including little ones.

Donna Hay cook book (I always love to wrap a cook book in a tea towel)

Reindeer noses chocolates

Suits DVD box set to enjoy on the lazy days off not spent at the beach.  Best TV show around.

Country Road beach towel - the best, best, best towels around

Louis Vuitton Luggage Tag

Fisher Price - Baby's First Blocks - my absolute favourite children's toy for a range of ages.  Every little kid on my list is getting one of these.

Monday, 25 November 2013

"Simple pleasures are always the last refuge of the complex" ~ Oscar Wilde

Peonies and David Austin roses on my dining table. Simple and beautiful.

I'm currently holed up at my parents house. I've spent a lot of time here this year. I've enjoyed the rest and break from routine although it's hard being away from B. It gives me some time to think and nap. I usually have too much going on and 8 months of broken sleep tends to catch up to you eventually. But not only rest. I can sit guilt free and catch up on emails and reading, something I used  to take for granted. Summer is mere days away. But at least the house has had a purge and clean. 

I took advantage of Ari dropping her 3rd nap to begin planning for Christmas. Even battled David Jones and came out unscathed. 

Ari is more grown up and more amazing with each day. I want to teach her to be kind and generous. I want to spoil her with unconditional love and support and not material things. She will get a few small token gifts . Some ornaments for the tree and a new outfit as per the cultural tradition. 

Scaling back has been good. The less you have the less you can manage without. Proven true this year.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Why is time going by so fast?  Each day is faster than the one before and each new month seems to roll around too quickly.  I seem to be overcome with guilt.  It's snowballing.  Nothing is ever good enough in my head.  The past week I've been doing a lot of spring cleaning.  I tend to feel guilty if I don't spend Ari's awake time doing stimulating activities with her and then when the day draws to a close I'm overwhelmed with the sheer amount of non baby related chores that I didn't get to do.  I've spent many nights over the last week or two up way past my bed time cleaning out every corner of the house.  Throwing out books, magazines, old paperwork, DVD's... cleaning windows, getting the laundry pile to zero.  Figuring out what the dress the baby in now that I'm sick of all of her winter clothes, yet summer weather is nowhere to be seen. And email.  Oh the email.  Why is it so hard for you to stop emailing me if I've unsubscribed from your mailing list you silly website??  You're no longer relevant to me.

I have a desk drawer to clean out during tomorrow's morning nap and I think I am done for the time being.  Maybe then I work on purging myself of the copious amounts of sugar I've been eating to cope? Not maybe, definitely. This dull headache needs to go.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Happy Friday!!

In true Melbourne style, we're 2 weeks away from summer,yet we've had 10 days of truly wintry weather.  I'm sick of my winter clothes and sick of Ari's winter clothes.  I miss the sunshine and I miss our afternoon trips to the park.  It's been raining and gloomy, which matches my mood.

Today we're running some errands, picking up a parcel and buying fresh bread.  We have a weekend of catch ups with friends after our swimming class tomorrow.  What are you all up to?

Country Road scarf, Glassons jacket, Forever New top, A-Store skirt, Wolford tights, Witchery flats

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Turning 30

My Ariana - the best gift of all
If you follow me on instagram and twitter (username is milijana_ on both) you would have seen that I turned 30 about two months ago.  I decided that spending it with my little girl was enough for me.  And I've spent the last 2 months thinking about it.  Who I am and who I want to be.  What have I learnt?  Well a lot.

My whole life changed with the birth of my daughter.  I discovered a love in my heart that I never knew existed.  I discovered selflessness and an urge to protect this beautiful, tiny person who depends on me.  I have changed but I'm still exactly the same. I'm stubborn and headstrong.  I'm a dreamer and a thinker and a planner and a list writer.  I still question myself all the time and I suffer from guilt.  Oh the guilt.  Mothers guilt and daughters guilt and friend guilt.  

My 20's have taught me to save a little bit.  Even $10 from the casual job that earns you $60 a week.  They have taught me to travel.  Seeing new places is the greatest thing that money can buy.  I have learnt that I don't need a lot of STUFF.  To take a chance and make the most of each opportunity that presents itself, as it may not be possible again or any time soon.  Or it may not be appropriate to my life circumstances later.  To look after my health while it's good, not to try to repair it when it's "broken".  To love those who love me.  To be kind to myself, to forgive myself.  To forget.  To not dwell on the past or the mistakes I make.  But to learn.  To continue to teach myself new things and not overthink them.  

To smile.  And be happy.  Life has a way of working itself out.

Sunday, 3 November 2013


Had the crazy idea to book a night away this weekend as we were attending a double birthday celebration about an hour from home so thought we could make a weekend of it. With all the stuff required for a baby whether for a night or a week away from home it quickly became a logistical nightmare. I did however enjoy the 24 hour break from domestic chores. The weather was incredible on Saturday. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Recipe: grilled salmon with piquillo tapenade

When did it become cool to not know how to cook?  I increasingly meet people who claim they don't have time/energy/money to cook.  Increasingly people have the notion that cooking is only for housewives, whereas I think that everyone should know how to cook some basic recipes.  There's plenty of things that take 20 minutes at the very most (quicker than organising take away) and you know exactly what you're eating.  You can have leftovers for lunch, you can freeze cooked meals for next week or next month.  And if you meal plan and buy exactly what you need you can save a fortune on the already expensive grocery costs.   I'm by no means an amazing cook and I'm as time poor as anyone else, so quick and simple and my mantra.

This tapenade would be delicious with any fish.  The recipe is enough for 4 generous portions.  We usually eat half and freeze the other half for next time.

  • 250g grilled peppers/piquillo
  • one tomato
  • one cucumber
  • half a red onion
  • one glove garlic
  • half a capsicum 
  • small chilli
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
Whizz with the food processor and voila!  Amazing with a simple green salad as a side.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

On STARVING myself

So here are 2 photos of me.  Taken in the space of 48 hours.  One was taken about 12 hours before I went into labour and the other was taken about 4 hours after I gave birth and was moved from the delivery suite to my room.

If you've read my blog you will know that I never really harped on about my pregnancy much.  I was fortunate that I had a really easy and non eventful pregnancy.  Most of the time I "forgot" that I was pregnant until a little person inside my stomach got the hiccups or moved a little.  

I was in Zara yesterday and a young mother with a toddler approached me and said that she wished that she was as thin as me after giving birth and that I must be STARVING myself.  It only registered with my brain later what she had just said.  She assumed that I was starving myself.  Do I really look like that? I carried and gave birth to a healthy baby and 7 months on I'm nursing a happy and healthy baby.  One that is in the 97th percentile for size. So why do we assume the worse?  Why is a person's appearance considered either as a result of starvation or eating fried chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  I'm sure lifestyle choices play a part, but so do genetics and circumstances.  

I've been attending the gym semi regularly since I was 18.  I went through a phase where I worked out 6 days a week but also when I didn't go for 6 months.  While I was pregnant I kept relatively active.  I exercised here and there (nothing strenuous).  I took the stairs instead of the lift.  I walked where I could.  I swam in the ocean to cool down and relax.  I ate a lot of fruit and vegetables as they made me feel fantastic, plus it was a hot summer so overly sweet or heavy food just didn't seem appealing.  

Postpartum I walked every day in the early months as the only way I could get my baby to sleep during the day was to take her for a walk in the pram.   And nursing a baby burns 500 calories a day.  I didn't really purchase nor wear maternity clothes as my body didn't change enough to warrant it.  So don't assume that I starved myself to fit into my jeans. 

There are just too many trashy magazines out there accusing women of subscribing to crazy diets and exercise regimes to look a certain way.  Some may do, but some may not.  Don't assume.  I have no idea what the real point of post is, but don't worry lady at Zara, I'm not starving myself!  I have stretch marks and loose skin, you just can't see it.  I think my body was just programmed to return to it's old self relatively quickly.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Burleigh Heads Monday

It's been summer in QLD since the middle of winter. Although always warm in these parts it's been unseasonably warm. Not that my cold bones complain. Ari had her first ever ocean swim and I literally took 4 giant beach bags of "just in case" supplies with me. One must always overpack when doing any activity with a baby.

Dipping toes in crystal clear water.

Ari wears a Cotton On Kids top and plays with Sophie.