Thursday, June 23, 2011

In our element.

Yesterday, my good friend Lydia took Stella and I out to take some photos. We were rugged up ready for the bitter air. It was an indescribably beautiful day, the air was so crisp, misty rain was coming down, the smell of trees, leaves and moss was strong. There is nothing I love more than trees in winter, add Stella and I amongst trees in winter and we are in our element.

Looking at these photos make me tear up, a lump forms in my throat. They capture my life perfectly. I love the way Stella looks up at me, I love the way she reaches out to touch a leaf. Even writing this makes me cry, I can't put into words how magical life with Stella is, how much love surrounds us.

Thankyou Lyd for taking such amazing photos. Lydia hasn't had any training or done any courses at all in photography, she does such an incredible job considering! Stella's godmummy, Soph, was kind enough to edit some of them for us. I just can't stop looking at them!

Party Preparation.

Decoration making is in full swing here right now. I have decided on a colour theme I want to go with and have enlisted the help of the creative Miss Lauren. By the time of the party, we will have pom poms coming out of our ears! In between mama dates, baby entertaining and daily household chores (which have been put on the back burner majorly!) I have been folding and fluffing poms. White poms, pink poms, red poms, spotty poms!

The colour theme for Stella's party is going to be red, pink and white with the odd spot of polka dots (see what I did there?)
I adore red. I love it in clothes, I love it in nursery's, I love it on babies. Originally I swore "my baby would never wear any pink", but, she wore and still does wear lots and lots of pink. And, surprisingly I have changed my opinion post baby on the colour pink. Little girls look so sweet in pink. I found that I was mixing pink and red in her nursery and clothes unintentionally quite a lot, and done properly, they don't clash! A few people have commented on my colour choice for the party with raised eyebrows, but I am determined to show you what an amazing couple pink and red can make!

Tonight I finished off party hats and food toppers. Still on the list to go is a million more pom poms (in my perfect party vision the entire ceiling is covered in poms, unrealistic? Yes, beautiful? YES) food planning and game and music organising.
I need your advice in that department...what kind of music do you have at a 1 year olds birthday party? Stella doesn't have a favourite television show or children's group (she isn't overly interested in TV yet) and I'm thinking that nursery rhymes on repeat for three hours may drive the parents batty. She does like grooving to a bit of Gaga, but is that appropriate? Help!

I am so excited to get more and more of the fine details organised and happening! I feel much less stressed albeit much more crazed.

Only 17 days to go!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

1st Birthday Party preparation.

You can feel the excitement brewing in the air around this house...nervous excitement, planning, lists, ideas and a little stress. I have always got overly excited for birthdays and in the last few years have really enjoyed day dreams of party planning. I love pondering themes, colour schemes and making virtual scrapbooks of ideas. Now my chance has come to plan, prepare and execute the most important party ever...Stella's first birthday party! Yes, I am going completely over the top. Yes, I have unrealistic expectations. Yes, I spent $80 on colour co-ordinated paper plates and napkins. Yes, I am losing sleep over the anticipation. Yes, I need help. Someone save me now!

I will do my best to calm my nerves and tone down my party crazy haze so that I can bring you posts of my favourite party finds, the party planning process and preparation leading to the day!

20 days to go!

Here are some of my favourite party food decor finds from Etsy. Most of these are printable orders, I am using them for inspiration and trying to make as much as I can of my own, in the colour scheme I have envisioned.

1. 'Peace, love and party' by Paper and Cake

2. 'Butterfly printable cupcake toppers' by Blissful Nest

3, 4 & 5. 'Retro cherry' printable full party'Sunshine' birthday party and 'Vintage Circus' party by Love the Day

Of course, my food table is not going to look anywhere near as gorgeous as these, I am on a budget, short on time and...well, a single parent. Planning and preparing a party with a baby following at my heels is proving difficult. But, I can dream and try! Stay tuned to see my table ideas unfold, or not unfold.

Plenty of love...


It's 4am...

Its 4am, and I have never felt more calm. 

Stella is teething at the moment, her top left tooth is half way through and the right one is breaking the surface. She has been grizzly and clingy to mama, but generally not too bad. Definitely not as difficult and unsettled as when her first bottom teeth graced us. She woke at around 1:30 am, I changed her nappy, re-tucked her blankets in and gave her some teething relief. I rubbed her tummy, kissed her cheek and said goodnight, I left the room.

We all have our own techniques when it comes to settling our out of character unsettled babies. For me, I have learnt that I can provide comfort and security without actually getting Stella up from her own cot. Not all mamas would agree with this, but for us, this works. I know that although I am craving to get her out, cuddle her and feed her back to sleep, purely for comfort...that in the long run, this isn't effective for teaching her to self settle. However, there are no 'rules'. As mothers, we tend to follow a combination of wisdom, our babies lead and emotions. Friday night, instead of letting her self settle I gave her a night of indulgent comforting. She came into my bed and snuggled right up into me, her head on my shoulder. It's what needed to be done to get four hours sleep before a day of work. We do what we need to do.

I am so much stronger than I used to be when it comes to my own parenting decisions, I used to fret constantly that I wasn't doing the 'right thing'. Now, if Stella wakes during the night and is out of sorts, I can remain calm and follow our usual routine. 'Keep calm and carry on'. I follow her lead, I follow my instincts, I follow our emotions.

Its 4am, and I have never felt more calm. 

Stella is still awake in her cot, not crying. Just rolling around and sucking on her blankets (apparently blanket sucking is amazing when you are 11 months old), I know she will go back to sleep soon, I know we will get a chance to catch up on this lost sleep at some stage. I know her tooth will come through and the discomfort will go. I noticed this 'calm' trait surfaced when I became a single mother, with each passing month, week and day it becomes stronger and stronger.

 Its 4am, and I have never felt more calm. 

Stella has fallen back to sleep. The house is quiet and still. I have a wheat pack and hot milk. I look around me and see nothing but calm, feel nothing but peace, content and happiness. Motherhood, I love you.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Care to Share #4

This weeks smile inducers...

* Congratulations Hollie, baby number 3 on the way! I can't wait to follow another pregnancy journey.

* I stumbled upon this blog via the Top Baby blogs directory and I can't stop reading it! I love her wit and humour, oh and her baby is to-die-for adorable. 

* This little girls middle name is Winter also, how sweet!

* The most amazing party ever.

* I am pretty sure I could be best friends with this woman. She doesn't know it yet, but I nod at everything she writes! Follow her, you wont regret it.

* If you enjoy your read here on Winter Love, please send a little love our way with a vote daily. Just one click is all it takes. I dream of being in the top 100 most popular baby blogs, can you help me?

Vote For Us @!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A day in the kitchen

Yesterday was mighty, mighty cold. I love the cold, but this was freezing! Stella and I spent the entire day in layered up pyjamas and ugh boots with the heater on. I cringe at the thought of our power bill but the cosiness and warmth is worth it. Instead of venturing out, we spent the day in the kitchen. Stella played on the floor with tins and jars or held on to the back of my legs and followed me around.

While I had the chance, I cooked up enough fruit, meat and vegetables to fill my freezer and feed Stella for over a month. I peeled and cut carrots, sweet potatoe, potatoe, butternut pumpkin. Chopped brocolli, cauliflower and beans. Stewed apples, pears and rhubarb. Made a huge mess, fogged up the windows and nibbled as I went. A day in the kitchen certainly pays off for saving time later on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Partying baby style

Stella attended her first party this weekend, her cousin Arden turned 1! We travelled near 200km to get to his party, but it was well worth it. I love having Arden's mother Annalese to talk to, our babies being so close in age is such a gift and has bought with it a wonderful friendship.

Little Arden wore pinstriped pants and a spunky shirt with a tie; an outfit fit for a princes birthday. The children wore party hats and nibbled on rusks and rice cakes. There were balloons and the wiggles songs, fairy bread and cake pops. What a party! Thank you Arden for sharing your first birthday celebrations with Stella and I, we partied hard baby style and just loved it!

Annalese did all the cooking and preparation herself including cake pops and blue and green fairy bread. Aren't the tiny teddies driving cars just adorable?

I have only just realised how behind schedule I am running for Stella's first birthday party. The stress and excitement began last night and I'm sure that's why I had trouble sleeping. The 'Save the dates' have been sent and invitations are in the design process by a talented friend. Still on the list are party hats, party favours, cakes and cupcake designs, food decor (Yes, food the food is getting its own decor!), party games, pom pom making, outfit purchasing, music organising... the list goes on! I have been trawling Etsy at the speed of light whilst biting my fingernails and writing and re-writing lists like mad! I have a vision in my head of how party perfect I want it all to be and just can't relax until I know I've got it right. I really haven't left myself enough time, so the mad rush begins.

I will keep you updated with party finds and ideas that I stumble across in my party crazed haze, wish me luck!