Preparing for Panda

this is a sponsored post

With the arrival of our baby Panda only a few short weeks away, the busyness of life up until now has left me feeling slightly unprepared for his homecoming...

Throughout my pregnancy with Sage, I was blessed with the luxury of time - time in which I absorbed line after line of my favourite birthing books, time in which I was captivated, hour after hour, by birthing documentaries, time which I devoted to weekly yoga practice, to meditation and reflection ... time in which I prepared both my body and my mind for the monumental journey that is pregnancy, labour and childbirth.

Although so many unknowns shroud the coming weeks - namely when, where and how he'll arrive - one thing I can be assured of is our physical readiness for this new little person to enter our lives. Socks have been bundled, cotton nappies line drawers and an empty car seat awaits. Tiny onesies fill shelves, soft swaddles lay freshly washed and baby shoes beckon to be filled.

But for some of those last minute essentials, I popped by our local Target store and filled my basket to the brim with newborn goodness. This week, beginning Thursday, January 30th, Target are having an 'Everything For Baby' sale where oh so many of their delightful products for babies and children will be massively reduced. If you have a young one in your world, it is the most perfect time to stock up on an abundance of goodies, for both now, and later. Here are my mummy must-have's and a few other covetable finds along the way...

When I spotted these divine cable knit blankets, I knew they'd be the perfect addition to our wee man's vintage bassinet - so much so, I bought them in both blue and white. As well as being seriously huge and seriously soft, they are simple and classic. I can already tell they'll be one of our most used and loved baby items. I also stocked up on some of these fabulous cotton blankets in a variety of colours {for only $8 each!} to warm us through our chilly Tasmanian winters. If there's a little girl who graces your world, I think these swaddles and these wraps are just the sweetest!

Panda's nursery would simply not be complete without a supply of ever-reliable Huggies Newborn Nappies. Although not available to purchase online, your local store is sure to have them. During sale week, you can buy a box of 108 nappies for only $27 - that's $10 off! Also, everywhere we go, at least three of these white cloth wonders will follow along. Stored in the nappy bag {and the nursery and the pram and the car} they make the most perfect burp cloths/wee catchers/feeding covers/spill cleaners/ and of course, emergency nappies. The most essential newborn all-rounder!

When it comes to babywear, you really cannot beat the quality and understated effortlessness of Bonds apparel. Featuring both timeless and modern designs, it's where I always turn for the basics - suits, singlets, topssocks and tights. Right now, I'm loving the combo of this knitted cardi and these funky leggings. Until the 12th of February, Target have a 3 for the price of 2 deal on all babies' clothing {in-store only}. The perfect opportunity to buy this, this and this for your little man or thisthis and this for your tiny princess.

For those out and about times, this Brica Handy Hook {available in-store} is the perfect little device for hands-free convenience. I'll use mine to manage the ever-cumbersome nappy bag and to hold those often unexpected purchases during trips into town. And if you are anything like me, rifling through your bag in search of your mobile phone, is an all too common occurrence - this genius product would make the ultimate travel companion.{You can also purchase the stylish jacquard knitted blanket shown above for the grand total of $10! and during sale week, all nappy bags are 20% off}.

Again from the Brica range, this brilliant little caddy makes bath-time clean up an absolute breeze. The nifty, mesh scoop easily collects all of your child's water born goodies and then simply suctions to the wall, ensuring drying time is quick and leaving mould at bay. Pop in-store to purchase. All Brica car and travel accessories are 20% off during sale week - here is another little gem we couldn't live without.

The 'joys' of feeding a little one can be made all the more bearable with the right products in hand. The Tommee Tippee snack pods {shown above and purchased as a set of four, in-store} are perfect for those bite-sized feeds on-the-run. Although Sage never adjusted to a bottle, I'm prepared with a set of these this time around, for those just-in-case moments {and they're available for half price during sale week!}. And who could resist these woodland animal bibs {a two pack for $4!}? The most stylish feeding accessory!

Perusing the manchester section at our local store, I simply couldn't walk past this dreamy, reversible playmat for Panda - even more so when I spotted the price! Previously retailing for $79, they are currently on sale for $20... yes $20! And not only that, you have multiple colour options - the blue fox design {shown above}, the pink owl design or the grey elephant design, all featuring this stunningly whimsical cloud pattern on the reverse side. For those who love something a little more elaborate, this darling motion gym is half price during sale week {only $49, down from $99}.

Now, here's the exciting part...

To celebrate the opening of the 'Everything For Baby' sale, Target are giving Fields of Sage readers the opportunity to win a $50 gift voucher, to spend on whatever your little heart desires! To enter, all you have to do is pop over to their online store, take a look around and leave a comment below or on the Fields of Sage facebook page, telling us what you'd love to buy {doing both will give you two entries}.

The winner will be selected via random number generator {according to comment order} and will be drawn on Monday, February 3rd at 8.30pm.

Best of luck and happy shopping! x


UPDATE     we have a winner!

Congratulations to the lovely Lauren Walker - I hope you enjoy your mini-spending spree at Target! I'm sure you'll pick up some utter delights for your gorgeous girl and that beautiful bump of yours x


Four | FiftyTwo

A portrait of my little ones; once a week, every week, in 2014

Sage - born this very  moment, two years ago - January 23rd, 6.48am

Panda - relishing these final, magical weeks of only you and I  {37 weeks}

{The 52 Project, inspired by the lovely Jodi}


13 for 2013: The Report Card

With the New Year welcoming us with arms wide open, I thought it best be time to review the thirteen aspirations, dreams and hopes I had compiled for the year of 2013. Although last year presented itself in ways very different to those we had originally anticipated, particularly with my unexpected and hasty return to work, we soon found a flow, a busy but gentle rhythm by which to live our days. This space here, regrettably, became more and more neglected as weeks rolled into months - with the move to our new home, the growing of a precious little bundle, and the pace that life seemed to develop as the school-year wore on, taking time and precedence over a whole lot else. Despite dropping by to share our baby-wearing days as a contributor for The Sling Diaries, Volume 3 and documenting Sage's weekly portraits through The 52 Project, my journallings here unfortunately became few and far between.

1. visit our local farmer's market each fortnight to purchase seasonal fruit and vegetables {PASS-ish}

Each week, we strive to buy our produce from markets and farmers in our local area. We are so lucky to live in a place where nutritious, fresh food is in absolute abundant supply, and roadside stalls filled with homegrown and homemade delights are dotted along the roads we frequent each day. Of course there are times when convenience reigns and gathering some supplies during a quick trip to the supermarket is an unavoidable necessity, but supporting our local growers and knowing exactly where our food has come from, is a feeling too good to neglect for long. {See the full farmer's market post here}.

2. build a sand pit in our backyard {PASS x2}

At both our old home and new little abode we have created sandpits {and a mud pit} in our yard for Sage to explore. The benefits of sand play {and sensory play in general} are immense and vast during a child's early development as they dig, build, sift, pour, problem solve, experiment and imagine. This year I'm looking forward to writing a little series of posts based on children learning through play experiences {for more inspiration on play environments and education, I adore Inspiring Spaces for Young ChildrenDesigns for Living and LearningNatural PlayscapesLearning Together with Young Children and Beautiful Stuff}.

3. create a visual diary using my filed away magazine cut-outs {FAIL}

I have the journal, I have a ridiculously huge pile of magazine tears {after years and years worth of collecting} - they just haven't quite made it together - yet!

4. buy a completely fabulous doona cover {FAIL}

Throughout the year I scoured sites and stores, both near and far, on the hunt for perfect bed linen. Being a huge fan of neutral hues and crisp whites, I was tempted by this sweet set, I loved this site's entire range and I have always coveted a piece from this collection, however, I'm yet to find "the one"... so I'll wait. {See snippets of our master bedroom here}.

5. recognise and appreciate the beauty in simplicity {PASS}
Beauty lay waiting... silently anticipating the slowing of my hurried feet,
                                                                         the calming of my meticulous fingers,
                                                                         the clarity of my crowded mind.

Biding its time, beauty graciously surrendered to the bustle at the fore
and with a dignified smile, she rested, knowing that in time, her true magnitude would be unveiled...

unveiled with your unveiling.

Upon your dawning my eyes were awakened. Subtlety gave way to luminosity and the world's vast canvas revealed more colour and light and splendour than I could have ever dreamed. I found beauty in every crevice, each expanse; its allure pure and captivating.

With you, came a beauty-filled life.
{A letter to Sage as my first entry to The Sling Diaries

I cannot pinpoint what it was about becoming a mother, but it was as though my eyes were suddenly opened the beauty of the world - a beauty I had never before truly recognised. Nothing about the world was different, I simply saw simplicity in a different way. 

Worried that this may pass with time, as the monotony and routines of life took hold, I made it one of my intentions for the year - to continue searching for and appreciating the wonder in the most simple. I needn't have worried, as now, through the lens of my camera, I intuitively notice simplistic beauty in the unexpected. Those minuscule details which, so often, are the taken-for-granted facets of life, become the extraordinary. Be it drying bean pods clinging to life in my grandparent's garden {above}, the way Sage's curls glow in the haze of afternoon light or the tiny footprints trailing Rudi's bounding body along an endless stretch of sand - its all part life's story, one that deserves to be recognised, appreciated and told.{Read more about my view of the world here}.

6. increase my understanding of Reggio, Steiner and Montessori educational philosophies {PASS-ish}

With some similarities and also many vast differences, I quickly realised that at the heart of each notion - be it Reggio, Steiner or Montessori - is providing an environment whereby the development of the 'whole child' is at the fore. Although, as parents, we have chosen not to abide by one particular philosophy exclusively and instead implement our preferred elements of all three, we began incorporating some features typical of the Montessori approach into our daily lives last year, to facilitate Sage's growing independence and ever-increasing capabilities. Of the three, my comprehension and understanding of the Steiner approach is still lacking; something I hope to improve over this coming year. {See more on our parenting approach here}.

7. discover a more user-friendly method of storing our herbs and spices {PASS}

I'm still madly in love with our new pantry system! {See the full overhaul here}.

8. bathe in the glow of candle light each evening {FAIL}

Of all of my thirteen goals, this is definitely the one I didn't even come close to achieving - and yet in reality, it was probably the most simple! Despite having candles scattered throughout our home, they often remain unlit. This year, as we gather for our evening meal, I'm hoping to instill a little ritual whereby we light a candle placed at the table before we begin eating, and Sage can blow it out once our bellies are full. {I adore the soft scent of natural Tasmanian beeswax candles, to nourish and cleanse, purchased from here}.

9. grow a beautiful flower garden {FAIL}

I had many patches at our old home prepared and ready to plant out with blossoming, vibrant colour, however our move came before they were ever filled. Luckily our new cottage has masses of potential for flowering beds and already came complete with sweet, white roses, soft, pink gladioli, lush jasmine and ivy vines, flowing cherry blossoms and many others I'm yet to identify {green thumb, I am not!} When we eventually create a cubby/fort area for Sage {I'm dreaming of something similar to this or this}, we will also include a whimsical space nearby filled with greenery and blooms to captivate, explore and inspire.

10. cherish quiet moments before bedtime to read {and breathe} {FAIL}

My mound of 'to-read' books and magazines only became larger as 2013 evolved, as I found it impossible to indulge in quiet moments of me-time whilst in the throes of busyness, breast feeding and exhaustion. Any obtainable spare second would be spent pampering myself with extravagant luxuries such as showering and cutting my toenails, rather than becoming lost amongst the magical pages of the written word. Perhaps this intention was a little too idealistic given our current stage of life...
During the nights when my thoughts and worries become too overwhelming for my mind to bear, I lay in the darkness and remind myself of this post - "I'm breathing in 27... I'm breathing out 27, I'm breathing in 26... I'm breathing out 26." until reaching '0' - and also this post - mentally repeating "let" as I slowly inhale and "go" as I slowly exhale. These simple techniques were often enough to relax my body and my mind to drift away into a world of sleep, if only for a few, broken hours.

11. include more wholefoods in our daily diets {PASS}

The wholefood journey is one whereby an end destination is never really reached - a continual, winding path with new insights and understandings to be uncovered at each and every turn. We are most certainly in the very infancy of our own wholefood adventure, however, throughout the year we implemented small, subtle changes to the ways in which we prepare our food and subsequently the foods in which we consume. Coconut oil replaced all others {except for the occasional dash of olive}, brown rice {although frustratingly longer to cook} took the place of white, lentils and chickpeas were frequent additions to our weekly meals and we consumed more fresh and raw plant-based produce than ever before. Creating and tending to our own vegetable patch provided nourishment for both our bodies and our souls, and despite only rippling the surface of our wholefood potential, our mindfulness improves day-by-day. {I adore recipes from this book and this website for us, this book and this book for Sage and this beautiful friend is a constant source of kitchen inspiration}.

12. source handmade delights when gifting others {PASS-ish}

Sometime during the year, the wheels fell off, after a whole-hearted attempt at keeping this intention afloat! I began with organised efficiency, planning and ordering gifts weeks in advance - I ended in disorganised chaos, quick dashes to local gift stores, the result. {Above image courtesy of The Happy Nest - some sweet name garlands I ordered for some even sweeter little girls' birthdays}.

13. continue collecting precious pieces of children's vintage clothing - for a future dream {PASS}

Once a completely foreign world to me, op shops and thrift stores are now realms so utterly inviting and hard to resist. The thrill of the unexpected and the unknown is enthralling. Sage has quite the vintage collection now, the majority acquired for under five dollars a piece {with some as little as fifty cents}. Most she has worn, some she hasn't. Either way, each one lays neatly folded in a now overflowing box, ready and waiting.   For what?   I'm not quite sure just yet. {See more of Sage's mini vintage wears here and our little man's burgeoning collection here}.

Despite these being my hopes for 2013, so many of them will carry through this coming year, and perhaps even beyond, until they simply become routines and rhythms which no longer require conscious thought. The days of twenty-fourteen promise to be an incredibly exciting {and daunting} journey, as namely, in a few weeks time, a new little person will enter our lives and our hearts {and yet feel as though they've always belonged there, I'm sure}. I truly hope to nurture this space and once again, document our days more frequently. Words may be brief, but images abundant.

I do hope you'll join me for the ride!



Three | FiftyTwo

A portrait of my little ones; once a week, every week, in 2014

Sage - while Mummy and Daddy weren't looking...

Panda - with four weeks to go, I thought it best be time to wash your tiny clothes and prepare a hospital bag... just in case. An overwhelming, yet beautiful feeling, seeing our clothes line cloaked in shades of blue {36 weeks}

{The 52 Project, inspired by the lovely Jodi}


a pregnancy | 35 weeks

{Images by Si}