Raising Miss Matilda :: San Diego Mom and Lifestyle Blog
17 November 2014


Top Row: 1 / 2 / 3 Middle Row: 1 / 2 / 3 Bottom Row: 1 / 2 / 3

Happy Monday my darling ones, did you have a nice weekend?  The sun was shining in San Diego so we got in some beach time, some friend hang out time and ..... some baby prepping time!  We're on the search for a baby bassinet, a car seat and some new clothing additions.  A lesson I learnt from having Matilda was it's hard to find fashion forward clothes for little bubbas. There's playsuits in neutrals and soft pinks but adding a bit of flair is tricky.  But at the same time, that new little baby is so sweet and innocent so I know I'm very conscious of keeping everything appropriate for that darling little one. I've worked with the guys at Cotton On to find some fun but baby appropriate options that both you and your baby are going to love.  And these are going to break your budget.  Hurrah.  What do you love from my top picks?

PS - My top toddler girl fashion picks for fall
15 November 2014


This week we had our 32 week doctors visit.  If you know me over on Instagram you know I can sound like a broken record, but it really isn't long till baby number 2 joins us so my mind has turned to how to prepare Matilda for her new role as a big sister (and how to share mama's attention)

Here are my top 5 tricks that we've been using to get Matilda as ready as possible for the new baby.

1. First up we've been reading lots of books about bringing a new baby into the family.  Some of our favourites have been this one, this one and this one.
2. We've also been watching the Daniel Tiger special where baby Margaret joins the family (Yup I know waaaaay too much about Daniel Tiger)   She loves the show and always points now to baby Margaret.
3. Next we've been having Matilda join us at our doctors appointments so she can see the new baby on the sonogram and hear the baby's heart beat.  It's backed up in the books that we've been reading so its been useful for Matilda to be involved.
4. We bought Matilda a new born dolly so she can practise 'helping mama' Shes doing well at gentle hugs, changing nappies and feeding bottles.  We've still got to work on her dumping dolly in strange places but eh, we're getting there.
5. Last up we made a photobook with baby photos of Matilda so she can see herself as a young little bubba.  She can see the kinds of things she did as a baby (aka sleep, cry, poop) and she can feel special that she was a baby once too (although now she's a 'Big Girl') I've read this is also great when the baby is born so the sibling can refer back to the book too.

If you have any other ideas or tips send em my way!  I always love hearing new ideas.
04 November 2014


You guys, I have such exciting news. Today I wanted to introduce you to Cotton On Kids newest brand rep - Matilda!

Cotton On Kids has always been one of my favourite brands since the minute Matilda was born - their clothes, accessories and kids items are totally on trend and budget friendly. As soon as Matilda had grown out of something I could always pop back into update her look in a bigger size. And its a look I really love - it's fun, bright, full of pops of pattern and colour! 

When we moved to the US I was kinda lost searching for a similar offering. Don't get me wrong Gap does sweet stuff but it's a more classic look with a higher price point, Old Navy have some cute pieces but they weren't on trend enough for me and Carter's has some good options but it's a little too junior for me. I'd resorted to my mum and sister buying some Cotton On Kids goodies at home and  bringing them over. 
So when Cotton On got in contact with me I was SO excited to learnt that there was a Cotton On Kids right here the states and better yet, they were rolling out a brand new store at Fashion Valley (literally ten minutes from my house. Ummmmmmm cue angels singing music) 

To kick us off here are some of my favourite girl picks for Fall.  In fact, Matilda has those pink and grey harem pants on today :)  Stay tuned because next week I'll share some of my favourite baby picks just in time for baby #2

                                     Top: 1 / 2 / 3       Middle: 1 / 2 / 3      Bottom: 1 / 2 / 3

03 November 2014



Last Friday marked our second Halloween in the U, S of A.  I've gotta say, we had a brilliant time. 

Matilda was a wind up doll (thanks Pinterest for the inspiration), Aaron was a lumberjack (sans the axe, bad wifey for going shopping for it the day of halloween) and I went as a pregnant Kate Middleton.  
Matilda was a little overwhelmed at first but after she realised that there was candy involved she started pointing at the door as we'd walk past each house.  Sheesh!  Talk about a savvy 19 month old.
29 October 2014


Having one little girl and another on the way, it got me thinking about what things I want to teach them. I can see the impact my own parents have had in me and I want to have that same impact on my own. Here are my top ten lessons in life I want to teach my little ones.

1. Always look on the bright side of life - by finding the good in the world you will be setting up a life full of happiness and gratitude.

2. But don't forget to be resilient  - There will of course, be challenges and disappointments, but that is a natural part of life. Get back up. There's a solution to every  problem and a brighter day is just around the corner. 

3. It's fine to take pride in your appearance but take pride in your brain - as a female it's very probable you will care about your looks, but never forget your mind. Feed it, challenge it, be quiet and just sit with it. Your brain is going to take you very far in this world. 

4. Work hard - No matter what you decide to do in this life, make sure you work hard at it. Don't give up if things get tough, because good things come to people who work hard.

5.  You can do anything you set your mind to - Dont let anyone tell you otherwise. With hard work and dedication the sky is the limit. 

6. You are not better than anyone, no one is better than you - it's that simple really.

7. Don't be afraid to fail - mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Own them and most importantly, learn from them.

8. Be rich in love - money and material things will tempt you but always remember true success will be measured by how rich you are in love, how close your family and friends are and what kind acts that you do.

9. See the world - Your academic education will be an important part of your development, but seeing the world, experiencing different ways of living and appreciating all forms of culture will help build your perspective on life in a way that only travelling can bring you. 

10. Your dad and I love you - No matter what life brings us, always know that your dad and I love you so so so very much and will always be here for you.

13 October 2014


This weekend was a quiet one - we were getting back on track with the last of the jet lag and still getting over our Aussie colds.  But by Sunday afternoon it was time for some fun.  It's funny what you think is cool now that you have a kid, because pre child I would have never had suggested this one but off we went to Belmont Park down at Mission Bay for a little sunset and Halloween action. 
It was actually heaps of fun, the flowrider was in full effect, the arcade was crammed with families and as the sun set people starting arriving in costume for the halloween festivities.  Belmont Park is set up really well with free parking, free entry and lots of beach front bar options to watch the sun set. 
We snagged a seat right by the fire pit and had lots of fun watching everyone walk past.  Matilda's really been getting into dancing so she was bopping to the random music they had playing in the bar, man imagine feeling so free you could do that.  These days I'd need about 10 champagnes and a guarantee that there would be no under 25's there. (No offense to under 25's - you just make me feel really old, HAHA!) An hour or so later we were on our way home to Spag bow, bath time and then a double header of Manhattan.  #Sundayscore!

PS - Behind the scenes pic!  Here's what it normally looks like till I can convince / beg Aaron to have a go on the camera.  He's learning manual mode so we'll make a photographer of him yet. hehehehe.

27 September 2014


It's been a week since we touched down in Sydney town.  You might have seen from Instagram that our flight was ..... interesting.  Nope Matilda was great, in fact, she slept 12 hours out of the 15 hour flight (thank you for juuuuust fitting into the bassinet my lovely) but I had a severe allergic reaction about 45 minutes into the flight to who knows what so I spent the trip coming over with hives, trouble breathing and a lovely doctor who was with me the whole time working out what a 6 month pregnant woman could or couldn't take.
Touching down in Sydney was the most amazing feeling in the world.  We were home and my heart instantly felt happy.  After seeing our family the first order of business was the most delicious fresh bakery bread vegemite sandwhich (I'm a very plain eater FYI) some tim tams and then a nap.
We've brought a San Diego cold over with us but despite the the lurgy we've been so social - we've hosted a party (More on that soon) we've been to parties, dinners, lunches, camping trips and hang outs at people's houses.  Aaron's had his birthday here (more on that soon too) and we've visited some of our favourite haunts from when we lived here.  

Being home I realised I've missed family hangouts in the kitchen, Opporto's chicken burgers, Sydney fashion and style, episodes of The Block, girly nights with my BFFs and shopping days with my sister.  I've also realised how much Matilda thrives off being with her family - she is in HEAVEN. She walks around saying 'happy happy happy' all day while playing in a big backyard.  She's obsessed with her granny and nanna and follows them around everywhere.  It's really cute to see.

Stay tuned and I'll be back soon with an update from our baby shower and homecoming party.
26 August 2014


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

It's not long till we go home to Sydney for a visit, and while we are there we are going to have a little party for our new little bubbaka.  I can't resist pulling together a look for the party, its sad but its an addiction that I can't get rid of (sometimes I even think about how to pull a look together for a weeknight meal. Ummmm......yea) 

We've got a great outdoor space and lots of kids coming so I wanted to play up the outdoor theme with a tee pee picnic.  I'm not into over the top pink baby showers the colour palate will be a modern black and white but we'll add a few splashes of soft pink, peach, gold an mint to keep it baby appropriate.  I'm going to accessorise the tee pees with some oversized balloons and some lanterns with ribbon in our colour palate.  The food is going to be simple but we'll have a decorate your own cupcake station to keep all the kids entertained when they aren't playing in the tee pees.  As for favours, we'll have crowns for all the kids to take home and I'll bring some American treats home for the adults.  That is, if I don't eat them all myself.  

Stay tuned, I can't wait to do a reveal shortly. 
25 August 2014


This is Matilda at 18 months.  As soon as she wakes she's full of beans, she's got nearly all her teeth and she loves to talk to her teddies.  She can make a happy and sad face and she claps her hands with force. She's started dancing in front of the tv and commercials make for the perfect toddler friendly 30 sec burst of music.  Her favourite food is avocado and she loves steak. She likes to pretend she's shopping by walking around the house filling up a paper bag with household items and she loves to help her mama cook.  She's warm and very patient and a true girly girl.  She can point to the new baby in mama's tummy and blows kisses over skype.  She's the light of my life and so loved by everyone she meets. 

PS - Matilda at 16 months, Matilda at 15 months
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