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

3 + 1 = OUR FAMILY!

I've got some big news to share with you today - we are pregnant with our second baby! We have always wanted to have another and I'm excited to say that Matilda will have a new brother or sister early January 2015.  
I'm 17 weeks now and so far everything has been going really well, I can already feel this little boo boo moving about which is really early compared to my pregnancy with Matilda so I'm so thankful and excited for the little reminders I'm getting that our baby is growing and wiggling around.  Matilda's a little young to understand that mummy has a baby in her tummy but we are trying to remind her of it regularly so hopefully as she gets a little older she will understand.  If you have any tips let me know, I'd love to hear them!
28 July 2014


Are you hard on yourself as a mum?  Oh man I have been (In fact I've been chatting about it here and here) That feeling of guilt, failure and unsatisfaction as a mom were overwhelming  but I felt terrible for these totally un mom like feelings and the thought of sharing them with someone else made me feel even more terrible.   But everything changed over a cup of tea with my sister, after a bit of coaxing out came an avalanche of everything I had bottled up.  And what a weight it was off my shoulders.  I realised a) those feelings are natural - not wrong! b) So many other moms feel exactly the same way c) Getting it off your chest is one step closer to finding a better way of dealing with everything.

So for this weeks taking the pressure off ourselves as mom challenge its all about opening up.  Lets find someone to chat to and really lay out how we are feeling.  Not just the 'Oh we've had a bad day full of missed naps and tantrums' but what's actually going on in your own head, that stuff that you aren't sure you should even say.  I know it can be tough but sharing those feelings are gong to clear your mind and get you on the path to feeling more positive and in control.  Let me know if you give it a try, I love to hear how you are all doing!

25 July 2014


This week our challenge to stop being hard on ourselves as mums is to take some some unapologetic me time.  No, not the kind of "I'll schedule it in but something else might come up with the kids and I'll put it off for another night" me time but the kind of "I'm a great mom, I'm a great person but in order to be the best person I can I have to nurture me" me time.  Because if we put even a tenth of the effort we put into every other part of our lives into ourselves just imagine what we could do!

So this week I've been taking time for me left right and centre.  I skipped the chores during nap time and sat outside in the sunshine to do some sewing. The tree's were rustling and the weather was warm and it was just so. quiet.  Quiet doesn't sit in the description of my day so it felt so nice just to sit and listen to the silence.

After dinner one night I took myself upstairs and watched a Annie Leibovitz documentary I've had sitting on my computer for 7 months.  Yes, I've put everything else first for 7 months! haha!  Well that night, I ate some chocoate, watched my documentary and felt my creativity surging.  

I've also taken some short spurts of me time too, because even ten minutes can be an awesome pick me up. Aaron had taken Matilda downstairs this morning so I stayed in bed for ten minutes to catch up on some trashy daily mail reading.  And I've been going to bed ten minutes early to read my latest issue of Vanity Fair (Best $12 I've ever spent on myself) 

What I've learnt is me time isn't something that should be stored up for a rainy day when you are about to go na-na's.  I've learnt that putting off other mum duties in order to prioritise that me time is okay - the world doesn't stop turning, Matilda's okay and I actually then appreciate when I do a clean or a cook because I know its something I really want to do.  And I've learnt that it isn't something I need to apologise for or feel like I ask permission for. I take my time and often its not until the very end that anyone in the family realised I was even gone.  Huh! Total opposite to what I thought would happen.  And I've got to say I felt more relaxed and calmer this week. I felt inspired and challenged on lots of levels not just at a household level.  I'll definitely be keeping this up because this small change has made a big difference. 

PS - Being Hard On Yourself As A Mum:The week one challenge + Are You Being Hard On Yourself As A Mum
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.

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