I guess in a way this way false advertising as I don’t believe there is a quick and easy way to stay sane, BUT – I have a pretty cool option for you all.

I was recently introduced to the Nick Jr website, as Baxter is an avid fan of their “toons!” in the morning (judge away) so I knew it would be good and we weren’t wrong. The website is a hub of cool and educational content for pre-schoolers. Us mothers get peace of mind knowing it’s safe while also stimulating wee brains plus you’ll discover loads of free games, free videos as well as activities and printables via the ‘create’ section e.g. colouring in sheets, puzzles, mazes and crafts – all related and categorised by your favourite Nick Jr characters.

What I loved the most is that the site is super easy to navigate, I am obviously doing it for Baxter but a child slightly older would easily be able to navigate the site themselves. The website is a free resource than can help entertain kids on all devices – anytime, anywhere.

The current favourites in our house are PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Nella the Princess Knight & Shimmer and Shine. I love that unlike most other channels, I feel 100% safe with Nick Jr and can happily watch along with the kids because the shows are surprisingly educations and each one of teaching them new skills without them even realising it like encouraging each other and being resilient.

I absolutely love the free printables and they’ve been my saviour this past week I’ve been at home with the kids while preparing to start my new job tomorrow. As a busy Mum, I had so many things to catch up on around the house (thanks to the holidays) and the pile of washing was calling my name so I jumped on http://nickjr.co.nz/  and printed of some colouring in sheets for Baxter. It’s nice to know he’s having fun and being stimulated at the same time.

Does your little one have a favourite Nick Jr activity?

I’ve always been that Mum who wanted the Pinterest looking bedroom, monochrome decor and everything in its place ready for to be snapped for the gram. Baxter came along and life changed. He drew all over the designer sheets I brought him and now loves to watch Nickelodeon rather than play with his latest toys I got him.

Well, this dude is now OBSESSED with PAW Patrol and how could I say no when he spotted this PAW Patrol duvet cover? PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines and Shimmer & Shine are his current favs. He goes “oooh Blaze, oooh Blaze!” when it comes on. I have seen a bunch of different cartoons since Baxter has shown to start a bit of interest in the TV, obviously it is not something we use all the time but it’s nice to know what when we do switch it on as a distraction, the content is educational and not mindless like most of the others out there or some of the crap you find on YouTube. I have always loved Nick Jr, it’s a fun brand and they have all the best shows on! It’s reassuring as a parent to know that the kids are safe watching Nick Jr.

We have also recently discovered the Nick Jr. website which has a bunch of cool and FREE activities which are going to come in handy over the Christmas period! Sometimes it can be really difficult to keep the kids occupied, especially if you’re away traveling or stuck inside (praying to the weather gods it doesn’t come to that). The best part is that the resources are available on all devices, anytime and anywhere!

Seeing as December is the month for giving… I have a MASSIVE box of Nick toys to give away from the lovely Nickelodeon team (perfect for the school holidays).

To enter to WIN, head to the Nick or Nick Jr website at www.nicknz.co.nz  or www.nickjr.co.nz , and take a photo of your little one enjoying their favourite show – then post the photo in the comments of the Facebook post.

I’ll draw a winner on Tuesday 19th December at 9am. You gotta be in to win (the toys and some peace and quiet!).

Terms & Conditions here – http://bit.ly/2AQ6SYV

Why is it that there is so much fear about being real? Why are we afraid to post photos we deem ‘bad’? Are we afraid others are going to be like “damn girl, you look like shit” and I’m all “thanks, I just pushed a baby out of my vagina”.

The number one compliment I get around my blog and what I share is that fact that its real. I am far from well-presented, I barely have my shit together and make up to me is mascara and BB cream (sometimes I splash out and wear foundation). I’ve been a tomboy most of my life and have never been one to ‘dress up’ so when I do, I feel awkward as fuck and it shows in everything I do. I always feel like I don’t fit in and this, along with me currently not being happy with my body is half the reason I don’t go out.

I am just like you, well, I don’t know you and its highly likely that you’re better looking than me but you get the idea. Somebody messaged me the other day and said “you’re so lucky, your life looks amazing – you have it all”. I don’t, I am over-worked and I am tired. I have problems just like everybody else (if you don’t, I’m hella jealous). I am kind of sad that they had that impression of me because I am very honest online and with what I share.

Sure, I may take some nice pictures of the kids, that’s the bonus of being a parent and a Photographer but have you seen many photos of me? Nope, they’re few and far between. If Reuben or somebody else happens to snap a good pic of me then I am gonna use the shit out of it (haha) and I don’t know the last time I felt I looked good enough to justify a selfie. Reuben’s idea of a spontaneous photo without me having to ask if me in bed eating KFC and sharing it on Snapchat.. yeah, thanks babe.

Let’s be real people, let’s stop being scared and shy about showing off what’s really happening. Let’s share squares of reality, not carefully composed works of art. It’s unrealistic and fucking hard to maintain. I know your real life isn’t like that, especially with a child. It’s simply not possible. You might be fooling some, but you ain’t fooling me.

I am a Mum. I am struggling with my identity these last few years. I know I am more than a Mum but I am also not the old Jess (and I don’t want to be). I am quite depressed and I am working on it but old habits are hard to break (lack of patience, high expectations for everything). I am really down on my body but in all honestly, I am currently doing nothing about it. I want to lose weight, I want to be healthy but I also want to eat shit food. Time is not something I have a lot of right now so that also plays a big part in my lack of motivation to be better and feel better. I am winding down and will be finishing up my photography & work for the year so hope I can get out and do some exercise of the Christmas holidays. What a stupid time to start right? The time of year when everybody binges – ha. So there, I got my own issues, don’t you worry about that. More issues that vogue but I’m treading about water. I am honest with you guys, I see no reason not to be.

Being real is so refreshing and only then can we slowly start becoming accepting of ourselves and our own lives because we start to see others are just like us too! These unrealistic portrayals of motherhood and life in general are stupid and I am so over seeing them. They affect so many people and this makes me sad. People are so confused by social media and are literally comparing themselves, their children and their lifestyles to something that isn’t even an honest representation. We’ve all been there, I used to do. The best thing I ever did was learn to stop caring so much about what others think (thanks to reading “The Life Changing Magic of not giving a fuck) and I feel better for it. Sure, I am human. I am the queen of overthinking but I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. I have my own hustle and I don’t time to be worrying what you’re up to. In saying that, I care a lot about those close to me and I treat them right.

So here’s me, stuffing toast in my face about 10 minutes after giving birth to Lily while Reuben dresses her. How fucking good is that milo & toast post birth though!? While the images isn’t what I would deem ‘pretty’, it tells a pretty bloody cool story and that’s what photos and memories are all about.

  • What do you do for a job?
    This is by far my most asked question, ever. Aside from the obvious (a Mum of two), I’m a lifestyle + birth Photographer, a blogger and I have just returned to work full-time where I manage an agency that specialises in digital storytelling + social media. How do I manage? Some days I don’t and some days are a struggle but I choose to be busy, I always have been and don’t really know any different. If you love what you do it’s not an issue.
  • How was the transition from having one kid to two, especially 2 under 2? And with Lily being planned (?) how did you come to that decision when Bax was so young?
    Double love
    Double trouble
    Double mess
    Double nappies
    Double worry and guilt as a mum
    For me, I don’t love one less or more. I love them equal and so fucking much. It’s amazing. My heart is so full from these two I could have never imagined.
    We wanted a small age gap, it worked well for us and our family. There is 18 months between the two and we couldn’t have timed it any better.
  • Where did you get your tattoo from?
    Char (Nursey) from Dr Morse Inc Tattoo Studio done my forearm tattoo. I absolutely love it, she done an amazing cover up on an old arm tattoo,
  • Do you have a night-time routine for your kids?
    Yes and no but nobody falls apart if we don’t do the same thing every night. We’re pretty relaxed, as are the kids.
  • How did you and your partner meet?
    Funnily enough we met on Facebook. Friends in common, he used to message me binge a creeper. I messaged him one day and said we should do coffee. We met for a drink (the first time meeting in person). He came back to my apartment later that day and literally never left. His dad turned up at the balcony of my apartment one day with a box of his shit. I kid you not. That same box is still in the wardrobe, he keeps it – hahaha.
  • How the heck do you get your beautiful bubbas to sleep in your office? (My guy has to “chat” if anyone else is in the room haha)
    Sadly I don’t have a straightforward answer, sorry! We’ve been totally blessed in the sleep department when it comes to the kids. I however have the WORST insomnia evvvvurrr. We have a pretty relaxed environment at the office which enabled the kids to also be chill plus when I have them with me, I’m in my own office so it’s pretty quiet and they’ll happily just zonk out in the portacot.
  • How did you get into blogging?
    I guess you could say I just fell into it. It was never something I set out to do or ‘wanted to do’. I just started to write when I was pregnant via a private, unpublished WordPress blog. A few people read it and said I should publish it. Once day, I took the plunge with zero expectations and it just took off. A few posts went viral and it grown from there.
  • Where do you buy the kids clothes from?
    I shop at a mixture of places for the kids. Both online and in-store. I love Jaxon Rose, Little Flock of Horrors, Jamie KayBuck & Baa, LTL PPL, Beau Hudson, Cotton On, Bonds, Postie Plus & The Warehouse. There will be so many more that I’ve forgotten off the top of my head but I love mix of supporting a few local businesses who make amazing quality threads and also a few bigger and more expensive brands because the quality is great and they last. I also love some of the more cheaper stuff because well, kids.
  • Where did you get the names Baxter and Lily from, and what made you choose them?
    I wish I could say we had a cool story, but we really don’t – haha. Baxter was a name Reuben threw in the mix and we both loved it, it wasn’t super common and it stuck so we rolled with it. I loved the name Roscoe but he is definitely a Baxter so we chose well. Lily was going to to be Millie but we changed our minds about half way through, we settled on Lily because my lovely Grandma’s (who passed away from Cancer) middle name was Lillian. And I wanted to keep a piece of her alive in the kids. I know she would just adore both of them. Middle names, Baxter is Baxter Louie (we couldn’t figure one out) and I looked at a Louis Vuitton in my wardrobe (materialistic much, hahaha) and it flowed well with Baxter so we had a winner. And Lily is Lily Luca which just had a really nice ring to it.

    I am planning my next Q & A post (as this has actually been sitting here unpublished for MONTHS). So pop a comment on the Facebook post and add your question in x

To every mum who yelled at her kids today.

To every mum who has a sink full of dishes.

To every mum dreading night time because they know he pain of broken sleep.

To every mum dreaming of eating a hot meal in peace.

To every mum who didn’t shower today.

To every mum wondering if 10am is to early for wine.

To every mum who is constantly second guessing their every decision.

To every mum wiping away the tears and wondering how they can muster the strength to get through another day.

To every mum who is feeling the strain on their relationship.

To every mum who fed their kids cereal for dinner.

To every mum missing their friends because they can’t seem to find time for anything other than staying sane and keeping the kids alive.

You’re a good mum, tomorrow is a new day.

You got this x