Showing posts with label sponsored. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sponsored. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Mater Mothers' Hospitals Skin Care Review: For Mum And Baby

When I went to the Bloggers Brunch a few months ago, I had the opportunity to talk with some brands about collaborations, including Mater. You might have already seen my Mater nappies review. This time around, I'm reviewing their skin care range! They kindly sent me all four products to try out.

Mater Mothers' Hospitals Skin Care Range 4 products for mum and bubs | awayfromblue

Just like the nappies, the skin care range was developed by Mater midwives and mums! The products are all Australian made. They are specifically developed for sensitive skin with low irritant ingredients, dermatologically tested and do not have petrochemicals or added parabens. You don't need a newborn to enjoy them either, I've included some other uses in the review.

As a mum and find these products are perfect for our family. I also love that the proceeds from the sale of the Mater maternity and baby care products go to support Mater Little Miracles, helping fund life-saving care and research for Australian babies. Read on for the details about how you can use and how we have used each product.

Mater Body Balm For Pregnancy

Mater Body Balm for Pregnancy | away from the blue

No, this isn't an announcement post! I'm not pregnant! While this product is formulated to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, I think the ones I have gained over my pregnancies (that have been around for over 4 and a half years) might be a little too stubborn for this cream to have any effect! I still enjoyed using it though.

  • During pregnancy to soften and replenish stretching skin
  • An all over intensive moisturising treatment (during, before, and after pregnancy)
  • As a light moisturiser in summer that quickly absorbs into skin without being greasy

It smells really nice - not overpowering at all. It is really moisturising and it made my hands feel softer right away. I have eczema on my hands but this soothed the skin and didn't make it react at all - possibly the oat extract helping there. It's a great all over moisturiser and one I'm going to continue to use even though I'm not pregnant. I found myself reaching for this over my regular moisturiser. This smells so much better!

Mater Baby Wash

Mater Baby Wash product review | awayfromblue

A soap free, no SLS cleanser. Developed for the sensitive skin of newborns, but suitable for older children and adults. Ideal for daily use, and can be applied to the skin like a shower gel or added to the bath to create bubbles.

  • All-in-one wash for skin and scalp of babies
  • Anyone with sensitive skin who needs a soap free cleanser
  • Dogs who need a gentle soap free wash (yes, gentle enough to use on your fur-babies too!)

I love that this is soap free - having come across more than one baby wash that's irritated my eczema. This is so gentle, there are no issues to my skin when I fill up the bath with it. It creates plenty of bubbles despite the lack of SLS, as you can see from the photo above. It smells so good too, leaves a nice scent behind after a bath. So easy to dispense with the pump as well.

Mater Baby Moisturiser

mater mothers' hospitals baby moisturiser | awayfromtheblue

Extra mild moisturising lotion designed to protect against dryness and keep skin smooth. Full of wonderful emollients like the pregnancy body balm.

  • After bath time to keep skin soft
  • For baby massage before bedtime
  • As a makeup remover

On my skin, I didn't like this product as much as the body balm for pregnancy above. On the kids it was perfect though. Nice and moisturising without feeling greasy, and smells beautiful. The pump makes it so easy to dispense the moisturiser while also trying to apply it to a wriggling toddler too. Such a good feature that parents of older kids will appreciate, I certainly did!

Mater Nappy Balm

mater nappy balm skin care product | away from the blue

The Mater nappy balm is unique in that it was formulated to closely replicate vernix! (That's the substance produced in the womb that coats and protects the baby, the 'waxy' white substance many are born with). Forms a protective barrier to repel wetness while also moisturising.

  • as a protective nappy balm after changes
  • to soothe and heal irritated skin
  • as a spot treatment on mozzie bites or sunburn

I was really impressed with this product, particularly the tube packaging. It's really hygienic when you are changing multiple babies (as I was when I had 2 under 2!) and this would have come in very handy then. With the easy flip top to dispense it's a great one to have in your nappy bag, and will be a staple for us. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, a nappy cream is a nappy cream right? This made such a difference and made changing nappies much faster. I am so glad I got to try it, has definitely replaced our usual go-to cream.

Don't just take my word for it! As you can see from all the stickers on the products, these have won multiple Mother & Baby and My Child awards. Definitely worth checking out. Their website has a full list of the ingredients in each product, along with the purpose of each, so you know exactly what you're getting.

Shop the range here:

Mater Mothers' Hospitals baby and mum skin care pack all 4 products reviewed | away from blue

Aren't the dogs cute? Even if the products aren't for you, you can get your own Miracle Max plush dog to show your support for Mater Little Miracles. The boys have been having so much fun with theirs!

Items in this post were provided to me for review purposes. As always: all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Linking up with Fabulous Friday, Weekend Blog Hop, Lizzie In Lace.

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Wearing Havaianas In Multiple Seasons

Thanks to a knee injury a few years ago, flats are my most worn shoes.  Out of all the flats I have, I'm sure that my Havaianas are the most frequently worn.

While I do tend to swap them out for my ankle boots in the middle of winter, like the majority of Queenslanders I love my thongs (a.k.a flip-flops for the non-Aussies). The mild Brisbane weather means I can wear them for most of the year, and often do. I'm not as dedicated as some of my friends or Gold-Coast-living-sister who wear them constantly year round, but I have worn them in winter a handful of times despite how much it makes people like Beth in chilly South Adelaide shiver at the thought!

They are so incredibly easy to wear and I'm sure most people have a pair somewhere, even if they only break them out in summer. Despite their popularity, I doubt you'll see Havaianas announced as one of the latest fashion trends (I hold out hope as it was only recently that slides were 'in'!). There's no denying that they are a very common choice here in the sunshine state of Queensland. I wasn't able to find a better shoe to wear through all trimesters of pregnancy, especially in those final days when my feet were so swollen nothing else would fit!

Here's some different ways you can wear Havaianas away from the pool or beach. And yes, some of these outfits were worn in winter!

Havaianas and Maxi Skirts

One of my favourite ways to wear maxi skirts is with a pair of my Havaianas. You can layer with things like a denim jacket when it's cooler. The outfits below were what I wore for a bunch of different activities: working from home, a coffee date with a friend, visiting the zoo, and a day shopping at the outlets. Not a beach in sight.

Havaianas and Jeans

This is a good way to keep your legs warm if the weather is cooler but not yet cold enough to wear boots. I wear this often in autumn. You can add cosy scarves and cardigans if it's cooler, or wear my spring favourite outfit topper: a pretty printed kimono. Havaianas are so easy to slip on to run errands, go to playgroup, or even a casual BBQ which are some of the activities I wore the outfits below for.

Havaianas in Summer

They really are a great summer shoe! You don't have to just wear them with a bikini, you can try denim shorts, skirts, really can wear Havaianas with so many different outfits and to so many different places.

You can see why they are a favourite. Do you have any Havaianas or similar shoes? Do you only wear them for summer?

This post was created in partnership with Flarecom. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Spring Essentials: Denim and Vans

Spring has to be one of the best seasons for fashion. You get to start shedding the winter layers, find more outfit options in your wardrobe and have the chance to wear all your denim. Unlike summer or winter, both shorts and jeans are perfect as the temperature fluctuates day to day.

I went shopping at Glue Store to add some more basics to my wardrobe for spring. I focused on finding some basic black pieces that would work with everything already in my wardrobe. I'm trying to stay away from blue denim but as a stay at home mum I'm in jeans most of the time so black seemed like a smart choice. I picked up a pair of jeans from Nobody Denim and shorts from OneTeaspoon, both Aussie brands that I'm sure even my readers outside Australia have heard of. I checked out a few options from Cheap Monday, Lee and Articles of Society too but settled on the two here.

You'll notice I'm wearing Vans in these outfits too! My sister is loyal to Vans while I've always stuck with my Converse. I thought I'd try Vans out for a change and picked up an all black pair. They go with everything and are perfect with my new black denim. They are comfortable and practical for running around with a baby and toddler. I'm the same size in Vans and Converse, no further conversion needed so that's good to know if you're considering either brand.

Double denim and vans for spring: Nobody Denim Siren skinny super high-rise jeans with pink | AwayFromBlue

Nobody Denim Siren Skinny jeans Rebecca Minkoff neon pink mini MAC | AwayFromTheBlue

Jacket: Bubblegum denim jacket
Tank: Asos satin singlet in pink
Jeans: Nobody Denim Siren skinny super high-rise jeans in power black denim (C/O)
Shoes: Vans unisex old skool sneakers in black (C/O)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff neon pink mini MAC

This is the kind of outfit that's perfect for cooler spring days - some bright colours and lighter layers with classic black jeans. These skinny jeans from Nobody Denim are incredible. They are quite long on my petite self but I rolled them up a couple of times to get them to the perfect length. Even cuffed, when paired with the black Vans they make my legs look super long! The high waist helps elongate my legs and it's comfortable with my mum-tum as the fabric has the perfect amount of stretch in it. This is my first pair of Nobody Denim but it won't be my last, I'm really impressed with these jeans. They are made locally in Melbourne too.

While the mornings and evenings are cooler a denim jacket is a great topper, and the bright pink tank and bag are nice and colourful for spring.

monochrome spring denim shorts and vans outfit: oneteaspoon hawks in fox black yellow bag | Away From The Blue

OneTeaspoon Hawks shorts in Fox black, Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold | AwayFromTheBlue
Tee: thrifted grey oversize tee
Shorts: OneTeaspoon Hawks shorts in Fox black (C/O)
Shoes: Vans unisex old skool sneakers in black (C/O)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold

As much as I love skinny jeans, there are some spring days - especially here in Brisbane - where it's too hot to contemplate jeans or even layers. The majority of my denim collection is packed away in warmer weather. A simple denim shorts and tee combo is a great go-to outfit on a hot spring day. And this was a hot one, forecast to be 34 degrees! We spent the day down the coast with my parents.

I added a little colour to my outfit with a bright Rebecca Minkoff bag as well but otherwise kept this to a pretty monochromatic colour scheme in contrast to the outfit above.

The shorts are the OneTeaspoon Hawks. I shared before that I was looking for a new pair of shorts and wanted something in a relaxed fit with a little bit of distressing but not too much. These were perfect. With the raw cuffed hem on these I think they will distress more as I wear and wash them which will be nice. You can see a better pic of the hems on my instagram. They have a high waist also, the feature that I love so much on the Nobody Denim skinny jeans. I stuck with my normal size in these, I was a little unsure which size to go for at first as it's my first pair of OneTeaspoon shorts but the size chart on the site was right, my usual size was the way to go.

Again I wore my Vans. They work just as well with shorts as they do with jeans. These are the "old skool sneakers" and they are such a classic style that as I mentioned above, work wonderfully with denim.

Are you a Vans fan? Do you pair yours with denim or branch out with more outfits?

This post, as always, has been written by me and includes all my own thoughts and opinions and styling. Some clothing was very generously provided by Glue Store.

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Monday, 10 October 2016

Handbags and Strollers: The Easy Hack for Any Brand! Baby Jogger, Bugaboo, Steelcraft etc

If you've read my blog for any amount of time you'll know that I love my handbags! Despite having a toddler, infant, dog, stroller and baby bag, I'm still using and and carrying my bags. After a few months of just using the baby bag when my eldest son was born, I figured out how easy it is to carry a handbag with a simple hack for any stroller!

Picking a stroller can be difficult. You might know you want one of the many baby strollers by baby jogger because a friend recommended them, or you might have seen a celeb with a Bugaboo or maybe you've come across a Steelcraft on sale. When trying to pick one you need to consider weight, ease of use, accessories, lifespan...there's a lot!

The Australian government has a stroller buying guide that's really helpful. Here's what helped us narrow down the options:

  • Price - we started with a budget in mind
  • Weight - there is everything from lightweight to heavier than a toddler strollers
  • Ease of use - something foolproof to put up and down
  • Size - we needed a stroller that would fit in the car boot
  • Compatibility - we wanted a travel system so we looked for a stroller and travel capsule pack
  • Safety - as the stroller came with a baby capsule we checked the government ratings to find a safe one
  • Functionality - the ability to add another seat for a second baby and being able to change the direction the seat faced in were extra functions we liked.

I'm really happy with our Steelcraft Strider Compact stroller, but the one thing that I didn't think about when buying it was my handbags.

Having a baby doesn't mean you need to give up your handbags though. You know I have a lot of bags I wanted to use! I did think about how I'd juggle everything (baby, stroller, dog and baby bag) and figured I might just use my Rebecca Minkoff mini MAC bags for a while as they slide nicely into the pockets on our baby bag.

I really needed an extra set of hands if I wanted to carry a bigger handbag with my things in it when we went out though. Throwing it into the base of the stroller was tricky get to when I was babywearing, and not all my handbags fit nicely into the baby bag or could be worn cross-body. When baby T was a few months old I found the solution to my problem.

All you need is a bag hook! It can be as simple as a carabiner or a specifically designed hook for your brand of stroller. Since I spent a few dollars on one it's made it easier to have my handbag with me when I'm out with the boys. When baby boy was born earlier this year, I kept on using and enjoying my handbags as I had that handy little hook!

It's the plastic clip you can see on the stroller handle in some of my pics. Such a simple solution, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who hadn't heard of it before. I get a few comments now and then from people wondering how I use more than just a baby bag with two boys. That little plastic hook on the stroller is my secret!

If you're a mum, how you carry your things? Only wear cross-body bags? Put what you need in the baby bag? Did you think about it when buying a stroller?

This post was created in partnership with Occasionally, Away From The Blue blog may receive vendor or brand sponsorships for mentioning their products or services. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Win a Gift Card For Diapers (Cloth Ones)

I have a special giveaway today, perfect for my mum readers!

There are so many choices you have to make when you have a baby. There are the fun ones, like how to decorate the nursery and the not so fun ones like when to return to work. One of the big decisions you have to make is around diapers: to go with cloth diapers or disposable diapers. You actually do a fair bit of reading to research what your baby will poop in!

There are pros and cons with cloth and disposable, and of course the decision is down to whatever is best for your family. Mums always make the right decision for them. Choice has excellent buying guides (not just for baby-related products) and has one to help you decide what diapers to buy.

If you're thinking about going with cloth diapers like I was at first, have a look at some of the great cloth diaper groups on Facebook to chat to other mums and find out what brand would be best for you and your baby.

In the end, we decided to go with disposables for the boys. Some days when we seem to go through a mountain of disposables I wish I'd gone for cloth diapers. There are days though when I'm very glad we chose disposables. Those days when it doesn't matter where you are, what you're wearing or how stylish you has a diaper explosion!

Below are just a handful of outfits I've enjoyed wearing until something escaped from a diaper!

No matter what your diaper of choice is, experience has taught me you always need a few more spare than you think, just in case. That's why this is a great giveaway - you can get $50 USD to go towards more cloth diapers! Check out the huge selection you can spend it on.

You can enter via the rafflecopter below, and remember to leave a blog comment for your entry to be valid. The winner will be judged to have the most creative answer to the question "What was your worst diaper-related experience?", left as a comment on this blog post. With so many times it can all go wrong, from diaper changes to leaky diapers, I'm sure to be sympathising with a few of you!

The giveaway will end on Thursday 22nd September and the winner selected from the comments on this blog post will be emailed with details of how to use their gift card. ships worldwide so the competition is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate.

Linking up with What I Wore, Oh Hey Girl, Fresh Fashion, September Giveaways, Thursday Moda, Fashion Files, A Labour of Life, Fabulous Friday, Fun Fashion, On The Edge of the Week, Weekend Linkup, Weekend Wear, Flashback Fashion, Friday Faves, The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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Friday, 2 September 2016

Ways to Wear JORD Wood Watches and a Giveaway

If you've read my blog for a while you might remember last year when I was given my first JORD wood watch. It became a firm favourite to wear to the office as glancing at your watch in a long meeting is a lot politer than pulling out your phone to check the time!

AwayFromTheBlue JORD wood watch fieldcrest unisex worn 4 ways Bal and LV Bags

JORD kindly gifted me another beautiful watch. I was excited to start wearing a watch again, hoping it would help keep me on time for things. Really it's just become another way for me to see how late we are running! Typical of life with two under 3 I think. As well as a review, I wanted to show you some of the different ways I've worn the women's wood watches I'm lucky enough to own.

JORD wood watch Cora and Fieldcrest side by side comparison | AwayFromBlue

I picked the Cora watch as it's a little more dainty than the unisex Fieldcrest watch I have. I was also really intrigued by the purpleheart wood, which looks lovely with the mother of pearl face. As well as the little cut-out detail on the face to see the inner workings of the watch, the back of the face is clear so you can see all the cogs moving around inside which is fascinating - especially to a toddler!

JORD wood watch Cora purpleheart inner workings cogs | AwayFromBlue

Being a wood watch, it's splash-proof but not waterproof. It means I can wear it through all the constant hand washing that comes along with two boys still in nappies, although I do have to take it off when washing the dishes or showering. It handles stay at home mum duties perfectly. My Fieldcrest watch has held up to a year and a half of use and over 30 wears. It's also been tough enough to cope with being pulled off the bedside table and worn by the toddler more times than I can count, so I'm confident this Cora watch will last as well.

Ways to wear JORD wood women's watch Cora purpleheart | AwayFromTheBlue

The ordering process was a little different this time around than last time. When you pick your wood watch, you can specify the size of your wrist and get it custom sized for you right out of the box. I used this feature, it's cheaper than getting the band changed at my local watch repair place and it fits perfectly. Being petite with tiny wrists and not always being able to find things to fit me properly, I appreciated this extra service.

JORD Cora purpleheart and mother of pearl women's wood watch silver bracelet stack | AwayFromTheBlue

The only downside I can find with this watch is that it's an automatic one, so it doesn't use a battery. This means if you get over excited and don't read the manual (guilty!) you won't wind the watch enough when you first set the time and you'll be confused the next day when it stops ticking. Once you read the manual and follow the instructions to properly setup the watch, you won't have any problems and the watch will keep the right time.

JORD Cora women's watch purpleheart and mother of pearl with pink and purple bags | AwayFromBlue

Just like my first experience with JORD watches, I was impressed with the speedy shipping time from the US to Australia and the absolutely beautiful presentation. I shared my delight at opening the box on my insta story. These wood watches make great gifts! They are so unique.

JORD wood watches presentation display box unique gift | AwayFromBlue

If you are inspired by the different ways I've worn my watches or have someone in mind to gift one to, you'll love this generous giveaway! Just by entering you'll get a little something and one lucky winner will get a $100 e-gift voucher. As this is my second wood watch from JORD, I'd be happy to help answer any questions you have about them in the comments too.

Click here for a $20 off code for JORD wood watches and a chance to win a $100 e-gift voucher!

Note: giveaway ends on 26th September. Giveaway is administrated by JORD for Away From Blue readers. I am simply promoting it through my blog. E-gift codes are automatically emailed to entrants. It is open world wide as JORD ships internationally and everyone who is reading here can enter.

AwayFromBlue JORD fieldcrest unisex black wood watch worn different ways seasons fall spring summer

This post was sponsored by JORD wood watches. As always, opinions and views expressed on this blog are my own.

Linking up with The Ultimate Rabbit Hole, Shoe & Tell, Let It Shine, Hello Monday, Mix It Monday, Grace & Lace, Red Carpet Fashion.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Skip Hop Toys and How I Balance Blogging and Babies

Since having baby boy, I've been a lot more open with the realities of motherhood I share on the blog. I've shared the days where all you manage to do is take the dog for a walk, how you can try fake the look of a good night's sleep and I've mentioned in the past how I've cut down on blogging after baby.

A lot of people have asked how I manage blogging. Nap time is my blogging time and scheduling posts in advance is the only way I'm able to keep blogging with two little boys. Blogging is "me time" and important to me, but not always easy to get time for. I'm not the only blogging mum who wonders how to juggle it all with kids, but there are plenty of mums out there who blog (like Shea, Jess, Kikki, Beth and Cecylia). I thought I'd share the tips and toys that help me amuse the boys and make the most of awake time together to free up nap times for blogging.

Use a Baby Gym

There are many developmental benefits to baby gyms, but they also come in extremely helpful when you need a few minutes. While it's fun to sit and talk with baby about all the toys he's playing with and I enjoy seeing how similar he is to his brother with the toys he prefers to grab, it's nice for him to get some alone time to explore on his own. I like to sweep up, tidy up or even put the laundry out while baby plays in his gym so I don't have to do that while he naps.

Make Housework Fun

Having a toddler can be a help with housework! Toddler T has a little baby broom so he can 'help' as I sweep up, and pulling the wet clothes out of the washing machine and into the washing basket is the best game. It means I get things done and we get to play together. Letting baby watch as you fold laundry and feel all the different textures of the clothes means it takes a little longer, but it's also another fun way to connect. Trying to convince toddler T to help tidy his toys away before dinner isn't always successful, but is nice when it works!

Maximise Tummy Time

Tummy time is really important for babies. While I like to sit and read books to baby during tummy time, I've also been able to put baby down for tummy time while I chop veggies or cook dinner and his big brother is often happy to lay next to him and chat away. Baby is more likely to tolerate being left to play on his tummy alone if I've surrounded him with some soft toys to reach for first.

Make Bath Time Play Time

Bath time is much more fun when there are special toys to play with. It's easy to go overboard with bath toys, there are so many cute ones! Picking out his favourite toys to throw in with his brother helps keep toddler T occupied as baby gets bathed, and it's nice to turn a routine nightly task into something a little more fun with toys.

Ask For Help

There are some pieces of housework (like ironing) I won't do unless the boys are asleep and out of the way, and some days where their nap times just don't line up. This is where living near grandparents comes in handy - they are happy to watch the boys now and then to allow me to get things done, and sometimes they'll even do a little bit of housework while babysitting!

With all of the tips and toys above, I make the most of the time I get while the boys are awake and I can dedicate blogging time to when they sleep, so they don't see me on a computer constantly!

Are you a blogging mum? How do you handle the balance between blogging and kids? Do you have a go-to toy for playtime?

Shop more Skip Hop toys at

This post was created in partnership with Occasionally, Away From The Blue blog may receive vendor or brand sponsorships for mentioning their products or services. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Images have been used with permission.

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