Louisa Claire

Reviews

Celebrating You! with Tarazz

There’s been one thing I’ve noticed over and over again this year, and that is that there are some incredible Mums around who are loving and serving, loving and serving and loving and serving.

Mums who keep sacrificing, and worrying and taking care of their families.

Mums who are tired.

Mums who are amazing.

I want you to know that I notice.

I see you. I see what you are doing and I think you’re really amazing.

I also want to celebrate you.

You may remember that last year I headed over to America with the fam for a few weeks and was introduced to a world of shopping I’d never experienced before. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming! There are some incredible brands in the US, many of which we just can’t get hold of in Aus and it was a load of fun to explore something new.

But, we can’t all just jet off to the US when we want to (unfortunately, believe I have been trying to figure this one out!!)

So when I was contacted by Tarazz recently I couldn’t resist bringing this to you – for once, it’s all about you. You can use this online shop to simplify your Christmas shopping experience or to buy yourself a few treats for the holiday season!

Tarazz are the only online retailer where you can find and buy some of the iconic overseas brands to enjoy in your Aussie home. I asked Tarazz if they could put together a fab beauty hamper for one lucky Mum to enjoy – this is something just for you, to enjoy and pamper yourself as the New Year comes around! (But of course, if you are still looking for bits and pieces for the family then you might like their Walmart range…I mean, it’s Walmart!!!)

Without further adieu I give you…

Buy Sephora in Australia
 

1. Stila Portrait of a Perfect Blush $20.61
2. NYX Costmetics The Curve Liner$19.32
3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer $23.19Total Value = $149.42
4. Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Lip Balm $19.32
5. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette $66.98

 

To Enter all you have to do is tell me “What would you buy to ‘treat yourself’ these holidays?” The entry form is over on Facebook. Pop on over and enter to win!

 

Terms and Conditions:

The name of the promotion is: Tarazz Australia Blog Competition
The promoter is Louisa Claire in conjunction with Tarazz

The conditions of entry are:

1. Answer this question via the Facebook app: “What would you buy to treat yourself these holidays?”
2. Make sure you like the Louisa Claire Facebook page
2. One entry per person
3. Open to Australian residents only

Employees, immediate family members, retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies are not eligible to enter.
The giveaway will close at middnight on Wednesday 18th December 2013. Comments submitted after this time will not be considered for the giveaway.
This is a game of skill. The winner will be awarded based on the strength of their answer to the question {insert question}
The winner will be notified by email.
The prize will be the prizes listed above which will be sent to the winner once their delivery details have been received. Please note that due to Christmas-New Year holidays the delivery may not be dispatched to the winner until the week of Jan 6, 2014.
The results of the giveaway will be published on this site on Thursday 19th December 2013.
Prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable

The total prize value $149.42
If for any reason beyond the Promoter’s control the agreed prize is not available a product of equal or greater value will be provided.
The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner.

 

 

Enter here

 

 


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Summer Lovin’ with Lazybones

Over the past couple of years I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery when it comes to fashion. Turning 30, was also a turning point for me when I finally realised…

My 20s are over, my 30s have just arrived and I’m not going to waste them worrying about what “could” be when what “is” pretty great itself!

My body has changed enormously since having children and I’ve really been learning how to embrace how my body is “now” rather than waiting until some undetermined time when it’s the way I imagine it will be, or might like it to be.

It’s gratifying to see that I have continued on this journey for the past 18 months – my wardrobe continues to be filled with great scarves, funky (and kid friendly) necklaces, comfy, sexy and colourful shoes with a pop of locally designed and made earrings.

The challenge I have about writing these posts is that I am not someone who seeks to find my value in things – and though I love to share my finds with my friends and community, I am cautious about trying to suggest that clothing or style are where you will find your value.

That said, I have long believed that we, primarily women, can be so preoccupied by how we are feeling about the way we look (normally that we don’t look good) that we don’t live as much in the moment and we aren’t as aware of the feelings and circumstances of those around us. We are so busy fidgeting that we don’t see the joy, or pain, in the faces of the people we are with.

What I have found so liberating about the past 18 months is that it’s getting easier and easier to just get dressed and walk out the door. As I have gotten rid of all the clothes I don’t wear, or that don’t fit or that I’ve just moved on from I’ve found my wardrobe is left with clothes that I actually like, that fit and that coordinate with the other things I have. My cupboard is not overflowing, it’s just slowly coming to life.

All this brings me to the latest season of Lazybones clothing! Lazybones is an Australian label I first discovered a couple of years ago and am quite in love with.

I love supporting Australian businesses and labels who really seek to understand women. For me, that is what Lazybones is all about. I love how feminine and beautiful the dresses are – and I love how flattering they are too. The sizing goes up to an 18 which I also think is great and a good reflection that women’s bodies are different but all beautiful.

 Lazybones Summer 2013

Lazybones Summer 2013

The dresses above listed left-right, top-bottom

Allegra Dress in Corfu
Alice Dress in Broadway
Louisa Dress in Newlyn
Allegra Dress in Broadway

And here’s me in a season’s past Maria Dress which I wore on the weekend. I had a special lunch to go to on the weekend and it was great not having to think (um, worry!) about what I would wear but just have a dress to throw on and feel good in.

Lazybones Maria

I’m going to continue to walk a balance between feeling comfortable with myself and with my wardrobe without seeing my value as coming from how I look – gosh, it’s a tough one sometimes.

What about you? Is your wardrobe full of life or something you struggle with? Oh, and what do you think of Lazybones?

 


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Family

Easy Advent ideas for the disorganised mum (who want to make Christmas meaningful for their kids).

last minute advent ideas, advent activities for kids, Every year I find myself filled with good intentions about advent and every year I am scrambling at the last minute. Sound familiar?

Before I became a mum the best advice I got about Christmas with kids is that Christmas morning is too late to be talking about the meaning of it. So I stepped into parenting knowing that it was going to be important that we take time in December to slow down and make Christmas a meaningful experience…. but I didn’t really known how to do that! Over the years I’ve wondered if my kids have been too young to really “get it” but I’ve treated this time as practice so that its a priority and a tradition for us when the kids are old enough to understand more. I really don’t think kids are ever too young to be included in family activities anyway!

So, this post is for all the other well-intentioned by slightly shambolic mums out there, and because its for shambolic mums by a shambolic mum I’m only posting today, the 1st day of Advent!

I don’t recommend doing all of these things {we won’t be} but maybe a couple of them will suit your style. Ive tried to include low prep, low cost, simple activities that you can do in the spur of the moment.

The most important thing to do is forget about Pinterest like perfection and just start with something that reflects the values and traditions that matter to your family.

 

And never fear, I’m making it super easy for us!

Some of the things I want to install in my children at Christmas are a sense of wonder, a commitment to generosity and knowledge of the Biblical Christmas story. These are themes that come through in this post and can be added to by other values that you might want to pass on to your children.

 

1. Advent Activities – printable download.

This printable is made up of 8-13 different activities to do with your kids in Dec – simply cut each one up and fold along the dotted lines into a mini-envelope which you can seal with a sticker or just sticky tape and voila! You now have a bunch of mystery Christmas activities to do with your kids throughout the next couple of weeks. (note: there may be some that will only be able to be done on a particular day so just make a little note of that on the outside of the envelope for your reference)

My suggestion is to get a box or paper bag and put the activities in there – you don’t even have to use them all – just do them on the days that you have the time, energy and mental space. You could include some of the other suggestions in this post in the box/bag and incorporate them into this – my kind graphic designer has included a couple of blanks into the template for you to make up your own.

Download for mums with Babies (up to 2yrs)

Download for mums with older kids (written with kids aged 2-6 in mind but will work with kids slightly older and slightly younger than that too).

If you have a baby and older kids then select the older kids download as your bub can just join in with that.

 

2. Read some Christmas books throughout December.

These books can reflect the way that your family celebrates Christmas and I’d encourage you, even if you are not religious, to include one story that tells your kids about the Christian tradition of Christmas. This is just a way to educate and enlighten them about what different people believe and where Christmas came from.

These are a few of the books I’ve recently bought that focus on the story of Jesus’ birth at Christmas as they are possibly the harder ones to track down.

Song of the Stars by well known Children’s author and illustrator team Sally Lloyd-Jone and Alison Jay. This isn’t the direct Christmas story but rather a Christmas-themed story that is quite beautiful and would be engaging for slightly older children.

Song of the stars, Allison Jay books, Christmas books for kids

The following are books that we’ve got for our children aged 1, 3 and 5.5.

Book Tabs: Baby Jesus (this is particularly a good one for the boys)

Christmas Story for babies

 

Some other good ones are:

My Very First Christmas Story Sticker Book

Jesus is Born – I Can Read, Beginners Bible

The Shepherds and Me and The Baby Jesus Story books your kids can colour in.

Jesus is God’s Son

 

3. Start a Family Tradition

If you haven’t yet got a family tradition then now is the time to start one – especially if you are a little more of a free-flowing family who could get caught out if not prepared. Ours is that on the first Sunday in December we invite our family and friends around to help us put up the Christmas tree. We’ve been doing it for 7 years now and I love it. Not only does it mean that our Christmas tree actually gets put up more than a week before Christmas, it’s a great way to get my head into the right place for Christmas. If we weren’t hadn’t been planning to have the party today then I wouldn’t be in the Christmas headspace yet and none of these other things would be happening including me writing this blog post!

Other family traditions I have heard of

- new pyjamas on Christmas Eve

- birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas morning

- Kmart wishing tree

What family traditions do you have that a family could easily do?

 

4. Easy craft ideas

- Ok folks, just google ‘Christmas colouring in’ or ‘nativity colouring in‘ print and you are done. Simple and the kids will love it. If you want more elaborate craft activities I have to be honest, I am not the person for you!

 

Are you a last-minute mum like me or have you been super organised for Advent?

Now a favour – if you know a disorganised mum who would find these ideas helpful then please share this post with her. Together we can make Christmas meaningful for our kids, simply.

 


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Parenting

Making Christmas Meaningful {for the last-minute Mum}

Making Christmas Meaningful

Tomorrow is the 1st of December, the start of Advent and a time when life gets really, really busy. I’m definitely something of a disorganised Mum and never more so than at Christmas – it’s always last-minute despite my best intentions.

Tomorrow we will put up our Christmas tree with family and friends; a tradition we started about 7 years ago. The truth is, we started this tradition, or rather I started this tradition, because I knew that if I didn’t create a tradition, a reason, for our family to do this together we would let the busyness of this time of year take over. By doing this on Dec 1 my hope is that we create the space to think about why Christmas happens and what is important about it over the coming 24 days.

7 years on and I realise I was right. We are completely ill-prepared for tomorrow; I forgot to invite people until about a week ago and I am not quite sure where the Christmas tree is (we opt for a plastic tree on the years we have Christmas in Sydney with my family.) It is in no way convenient for us to have a bunch of people around tomorrow and yet I am incredibly glad that we are doing it. That we will have a space for us, and mostly for the kids, to start thinking about Christmas and what it means is really important to me – despite my disorganisatin.

What I am reminded of each is is that you don’t have to be Pinterest-perfect to make this time meaningful. It’s not about having a perfectly planned series of activities and it would be a mistake to do nothing if you don’t have it perfectly planned.

Last night I posted this on my Facebook page …teaching kids about Christmas

( If you want to share your priorities with us please join the conversation.)

Tonight I’m going to sit down with hubs and ask him what he thinks our priorities should be and then I’m hoping we can talk about how to make sure that these values come through to our children over the coming month.

I’ve got some last-minute advent activities planned and will share them with you over the next day or two, just in case you’re also a last minute mum.

In the meantime would you do me a favour? If you know other mums who are a bit on the disorganised side, would you share this post with her? Together we can encourage each other that it’s never to late to think about making Christmas meaningful for our family.

 


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Family

Did somebody say Fiesta?

The Architect and I have a little birthday tradition. Each year on the night before the kids birthdays we eat the same meal we had the night before each of the children were born. It started as a simple way to reflect back on that moment in time and has become a really fun family tradition – a simple but sentimental way to share with them the story of their birth and reminisce on what was happening on the “night before”.

With all three kids I kind of knew by dinner time that we were about to be “on” and so each of the night-before dinners were spent with me getting up to move, rock and breathe through the early contractions. The night before Bliss was born we had Thai takeaway – I was more than a week overdue so Mum and went on a mammoth walk to get things moving and picked up take away on the way home. The night before Bear was born I was even more overdue than I had been with Bliss and we were completely over takeaway so, knowing I was booked in for an induction the next morning (which I didn’t end up needing) we just had what we had on hand – spaghetti (which we interpret more broadly as Italian). The night before Bluey was born I was still heavily in denial that he was coming but thankfully (because it’s a fave of mine) it was Taco night!

I decided to ramp things up this year and make it his birthday party theme so we celebrated with a Fiesta party complete with a Taco lunch, a pinata and the best little Sombrero cookies you can imagine! In my usual way, it was a pretty low key affair but lots of fun – a day spent worrying less about being picture perfect and more about making memories.

Many thanks to my good friend Heather from Teacup Ballet for taking these pics for me…

 

Jude's 1st Birthday 3

Jude's 1st Birthday 26

Jude's 1st Birthday 8

Jude's 1st Birthday 11

Jude's 1st Birthday 17

Jude's 1st Birthday 34

Jude's 1st Birthday 22

Jude's 1st Birthday 46


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My Style

Help A Mum Out: Costume Wings and other Cool Kid Costumes!

It’s a tough life being a Mum and choosing Christmas presents for an almost 6 year old girl. I am totally kidding of course, it’s the biggest privilege in the world.  I am beyond grateful!

My kiddos are big into dress ups at the moment but most of what we have are el-cheapo jobs that are falling to pieces or too small. Last night I came across a Melbourne business called Sparrow & B and have fallen head over heals for their amazing creations.

I’ve now spent several hours drooling over their site – I do love me a good locally made Chrissy present after all- and it just felt mean of me not to share them with you!! I sent the girls, Sandi and Belinda, a quick email today to get their permission to use their images and asked them a couple of questions…Sandi came back to me because Belinda was off in labour having her second bub (Huge congrats Belinda!!!)

How did Sparrow & B come about? What sparked the dream?  We started the business at the beginning of this year. I was making tutus and Belinda had the idea to join forces & make costumes, everything has moved very quickly since then!

What inspires you? We’re both utterly love with our children who would be own main inspiration! We are both very passionate about taking care of our beautiful planet, this & our distaste for mass produced junk is another big inspiration for us. We hope to bring creativity & fun to kids with unique, Comfortable costumes that will grow with them for many years.

Do you have a favourite costume? My favourite costume… oooh that’s tough! The bear capes are so cuddly & cute, the owls are lots of fun to make, all the wings are bright & fun. Sorry I’ve never been good at picking favourites!

 Butterfly Wings (come in a variety of colours)

Costumes for Kids, Melbourne Costume Shop, Creative Costumes, Dress Ups for Kids,
Super cute cat masks
Cat Costume SAB

 This amazing snake cape

Costumes for Kids, Melbourne Costume Shop, Creative Costumes, Dress Ups for Kids, Snake Costume. Snake dress up, Snake cape

These divine wings which come in a variety of colours/styles

Golden Bird Wings SAB
Rainbow bird wings SAB
Today this Unicorn costume was updated and OH MY GOODNESS!!!!
Is this every girls dream costume or what?!?!
unicorn dress ups, unicorn costume, handmade unicorn costume

 Which costume would your little one love?

 


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