Raising Miss Matilda :: San Diego Mom and Lifestyle Blog
23 July 2014


Summer in San Diego brings lots of warm weather and sunny days so my usual uniform of Jeans and a fun tee isn't cutting it.  So today I want to show you my mom summer uniform.
mom friendly cute and casual summer outfits
Sources: Outfit 1// Tank, Shorts, Shoes, Outfit 2 // Dress, Shoes, Outfit 3 // Tee / Shorts, Shoes

Life consists of being on the go at play dates, park visits, errand running, projects at home and chasing Matilda pretty much everywhere.  So a causal and practical mom summer uniform is a must.  The California vibe is lots of basic tanks and shorts but I like a bolder look so its been fun to try and find a mix between Sydney and San Diego style that works for my busy mom life at the moment.

I pretty much live in shorts and my J Crew Factory denim roll up's are a staple.  I love to match that with a tank or tee with some interest, just like this Madewell Aloha ringer tank (my most recent purchase) To mix things up I love to wear a patterned short and Forever 21 have some great inexpensive options that will last me through summer and can easily be changed next season. Again I'll team it up with a tee or even a flowy vintage top but the key is to keep it simple and let the shorts do all the talking.  Just to keep things fresh I keep a few dresses in the mix - I like things to be flowy so I don't feel too restricted - and anything too formal just isn't going to work (and I'd probably get stares from other moms thinking I've got tickets on myself haha)

To cap off my mom summer uniform my shoes need to be cute but easy to slip on and off.  I pretty much live in my Madewell braided sightseer sandals but a cute pair of kicks like my New Balance 420's are great for when the day is go go go.
mom outfits cute and casual
Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Love the look?  Now you can shop my mom summer uniform doing double duty of casual and cute. Just check out these goodies!  And while you are at it let me know if you have any wardrobe staples you love.  I'm always after mom approved cute clothes options.
22 July 2014


This past week has been a frantic flurry of packing, moving, unpacking, organising and getting things sorted in our new house.  After 3 moves in less than a year we are becoming pro's at moving.  Today I wanted to show you a few snippets of our new place.  There is still mess and chaos but there's lots of lovely little bits around the house that make me think we are going to be really happy here.  So lets start at the beginning here's Matilda helping me pack (or maybe holding me up depending on how you looked at it.  She played in that box for a good 30 minutes and no matter how far behind we were getting I just couldn't say stop.  She was having too much fun ... and so was I) While we are at it don't you love her free babes headband?  It's new and the shop is a great find.
hollywood regency drawers
world market patio set
madeline weinrib chevron carpet
And here we are in the new place.  It has a really nice feel and the top level especially has lots of beautiful natural light coming through.  It is smaller than our last place so we are going to downsize some of our furniture.  I was sad for about 2.5 minutes and then I reminded myself to see the positive and you know what that is?  A new decorating challenge my friends!  My favourite! I'm loving the unexpected yellow and white moment happening in the master (a happy accident), our new Belize patio set is working really nicely outside and my lovely mum lugged my all time favourite Madeline Weinrib steel chevron rug from Australia and its happily living as the rug under our bed.  It's over 6 years old and still going strong.

And don't forget about our challenge to take a stand against putting pressure on yourself as a mum.  I'm off for some you time straight after this :)  Go on give it a go too and don't forget - no apologies or compromises - everyone needs you time so own it :)  

21 July 2014


The response to my post about being hard on yourself as a mum was overwhelming you guys.  I was amazed that there are so many amazing, capable, positive ladies who I love and admire feel pretty much the same way I do.  Woah! Are all of us mums just silently plugging away feeling less than happy but thinking well that's just my lot in life right now and I'll just get on with it.  The problem with that, as I'm sure you know is those feelings can keep going and going and going till you are in a bona fide funk. 

Sounding familiar?  Okay so here's what I'm proposing - for the next 4 weeks lets focus on keeping things real, taking your foot off the pressure pedal and taking some time to nurture you.  Because if we put a tenth of the focus we put into our kids into being a little easier on ourselves as mums just imagine what we can achieve.

So for week one the challenge is simple - Stand up, be proud and take some YOU time. Yes your first thought is "ummmm when? and PS Lenya I don't have a babysitter so you are talking cray cray"  Well its time to get smart about how we steal some you time.  How about a bath and a glass of red wine once the kids are in bed?  How about ignoring the housework during nap time to sit outside in the sun and paint your nails?  Or what about leaving hubby with the kids for you to catch a movie with friends or going for coffee.  Whatever it is, savour the moment and just be you.  

Don't make apologies, don't compromise and don't wait.  This week its your turn for some you time and you'll be surprised that once you give it a go it's easier than you think to make you time happen.

PS - Our style challenge + Taking stock: What we're loving in June
16 July 2014


Say hello to Matilda at 16 months old. She's a real girly girl - wearing sparkly shoes, intently staring at mum putting make up on and carrying a handbag around are a must. She's obsessed with chairs and wants to climb into her stroller, the lounge, the ottoman, the dining chair, uh well any kind of chair. She's started walking but still prefers crawling or walking holding onto an adult finger. She dances to elmo's song and claps along Iggy Azalia on the radio (weird combo I know)  She will only feed herself and helps me dress herself most days.  She loves building with her duplo blocks and wants to colour in ten times a day. She's blows kisses when asked and tantrums over the little things. She doesn't want to talk but she does want to eat plain pasta and cheese at. every. meal. possible. She's the love of my life as she always is and I'm so thankful for my boo boo.

15 July 2014


Friends today we are moving.  Again.  If you need any background on the drama you can read alllll about it here.  And if you have any tips on Pacific Beach, San Diego (aka our new hood) please let me know!  So while I am busy packing, moving, unpacking here are a few things I'm links I'm loving at the moment.

- I can't get enough of Lesley Graham's musings over motherhood and life at the moment.  Do you follow her blog?  If you don't, you should!
- I've just downloaded this new Mollie Makes blogging edition for my bedtime reading.  
- Love the idea of buying a piece of art as a joint wedding anniversary present.  Young House of Love bought a beautiful 30x30 painting
- Madewell is hitting it out of the park at the moment.  I've just bought this Aloha muscle tank.
- As always I'm obsessing over fiddle leaf figs just like Danielle Oakley.
- My next big blogging / SEO project: Structured Data
14 July 2014


Hey friends, happy Monday - I'm sorry about the unexpected break but after a heavy cold (me and Matilda) an ear infection (Matilda) and the family visiting from Australia things were getting a little hectic to say the least.  

I've been really hard on myself of lately.  Every little thing that goes wrong I've been blaming myself - Matilda's throwing a tantrum - gotta be something I did or didn't do that is setting her off kilter.  Feeling bored and unfulfilled as a stay at home mum - must be that I'm not approaching things in the right way.  Not enough healthy dinners on the table for the family - I'm shouldn't be letting how tired I've been feeling get in the way. I could go on and on but you get the drift and sheesh it sounds depresso right?

One of the best thing about having my mum and sister visiting was being able to shared all the jumbled thoughts in my head (over delicious cups of tea and tim tams.  Man I miss tim tams) I realised how much I've been holding things in, I've felt so guilty over how I've been feeling that I haven't even wanted to admit a single nugget of these thoughts to anyone but after some gentle coaxing it was great to get things off my chest.

I think as mums and as women we think we are built to have the expectation that we can do it all.  Be the heart of the family, run a ship shape household, hold down a fulfilling career and feel totally happy and confident in ourselves.  The reality is that we can have portions of each of those things in parts of our day but trying to find that total package is like trying to find a clean living Justin Bieber.  Maybe in some other lifetime but not mine! 

So I'm taking the pressure peddle off myself and my expectations of what it means to be a mum. I'm savouring the good parts and reflecting on them daily to and appreciate them for what they are.  I'm not beating myself up for the trickier parts of my day and I'm being realistic when I'm not feeling like a Carol Brady woman of the year.  I'm readjusting the balance to put more into me and you know what?  If we have a freezer dinner who cares.  

So my friends the next time you are being tough on yourself take a deep breath and tell yourself to ease off that pressure pedal.  You are great just as you are.  And we all need to be reminded of that every now and then right? 

PS Thanks for all the haircut advice and love over on instagram!  I've had the big chop and went with a combination of the two looks - a textured ombre bob.  No fringe, its just too hard at the moment.  Fringe aside, I love it! If you are in the SD area and are looking for a new hairdresser then check out Sandy at Belli Belli salon.  She's the ombre queen.

07 July 2014


I need your help! I've been wanting to get a mid length bob haircut for aaaaaages.  In fact, its been 7 months since my last haircut so I am well overdue for some hair maintance.  I've been torn over the mid length bob - I've seen some styles that get it really right (texutred or blunt cuts get it really right) and I've seen some styles that get it really wrong (no detail or interest so it looks like a 12 year old's hair cut) 
mid length blunt ombre bob
So I've narrowed it down to 2 mid length bob haircuts - a textured bob with bangs OR a blunt bob with ombre.  I've had that Rose Burn image pinned for like a gazillion years.  I am such a sucker for bangs and in the version of my life where I'm like totally in control, I totally don't wear PJs for part of the day and I eat salads 5 out of 7 lunches thinks 'oh bangs would be so much fun and different.  Of course you'll have time to style them every day" Ha!  Then the more realistic version of my life where my house has pockets of mess everywhere, I wear jeans and tshirts on high rotation and eat more bagels for lunch than I care to recognise thinks "you crazy lady, bangs require daily styling and regular trims.  If you haven't been able to cut your hair in 7 months how will you go with bangs?!?!" So that's why a blunt bob might be a more practical cut and adding some ombre will up the interest factor.  It's safe, it's practical and the realistic version of my life is high fiving this haircut right now. 

So guys, tell me - which midlength bob haircut do you prefer?  The textured bob with bangs or the blunt bob with ombre?  Do you have any experience with bangs - do you love em or wish you could leave em?  Any tips of going for a mid length haircut?  Any regrets of getting a mid length haircut?
mid length bob haircut
And while we're at it here's a few mood boards I've put together for the hair appointment tomorrow. Ummmm yes I know that is pedantic but I ALWAYS bring reference because I think its so helpful to having a useful discussion with your hairdresser.  Visual ideas always help to show what you love or things you want to avoid like the plague.  
mid length bob
Sources: You can check out all of this reference and more from my haircut board on Pinterest
01 July 2014


We've been lucky enough to see both of our parents over the past couple of months - Aaron's parents - a few months ago in Hawaii and my parents at the moment while they visit us in San Diego.  One of the things that struck me both times was how lucky we are for Matilda to have some special time with her grandma's, or as they are known around here Nana Mac and Granny Pammy.   There is an indescribable bond Matilda has with them - Even though she doesn't see them often (10 months at a stretch with Granny Pammy) she can instantly feels comfortable enough to go straight into their arms.  

I love watching their special play times that they have - a couple of days ago I watched my mum (aka Granny Pammy) feed Tilly dinner while they chatted back and forth about their day.  Of course Matilda was talking in her own language but it didn't matter. They were right in sync. Just the way Matilda was with her Aaron's mum (aka Nana Mac) and they waded out in the waters of Hawaii.  They were happy and content looking for little fishies, splashing in the water and lapping up the sun.

I miss how much easier things are with grandma's around.  There is an extra set of hands to look after Matilda, help put her to bed or entertain her while I make dinner and I have someone to share the good and bad of motherhood with.  It makes me really sad that they can't be in our lives permanently but I guess that's the pay off for having the experience of living in another country and going on one of the biggest adventures of our families lives.  And I remind myself there are lots of young mums and dads out there that don't have their parents with them anymore so the idea of grand parents is a sad hole in their family.  And as soon as I think of that I am thankful for being lucky enough to have grand parents full stop. Oh and FYI I want to hug the person daily that invented skype and what's app because we are able to stay in constant contact and share the daily goings on in our lives.

30 June 2014


Things have been busy busy busy while my parents and sister are visiting from Australia.  They've brought so many goodies from home so we are feeling very spoilt. So today, lets take stock and I'll tell you what we are loving for June.

Making: A hand made plaid sundress with mustard peter pan collar for Matilda
Eating: Aussie drops Eucolyptus balls - I have a cold and they came at a perfect time from home
Drinking: Arrowhead sparkling water - splash of lemon flavour.  So refreshing!
Wearing: My new Madewell belltone hinged cuff - its the most glorious shade of brassy gold .......
Reading: #Girlboss - (Yup, just like everyone else lol) I've got one more chapter to go
Researching: Kids Poang Chair hacks - I'm loving this one
Working Out: Lots of tricep dips 
Wanting: This Happy Chic by Jonathan Addler Crescent Heights Mirror

Making: Lots of mess building up and breaking down her duplo blocks
Eating: Trader Joes Organic Brown Rice Cakes - the perfect healthy snack
Drinking: Milk and Water. To spice things up we are about to graduate from a sippy to normal cup
Wearing: Her new Cotton On Kids Ami Polka Dot and Pom Pom Handbag - a present from the family
Reading: Dear Zoo - she loooooves opening the flaps up for each animal
Visiting: The downstairs children's play area at Westfields East County.  They have a train ride there too.
Raising Miss Matilda :: San Diego Mom and Lifestyle Blog © 2013.

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