#kookaiAW15

Kookai have long been one of my favourite brands. It was a love affair that really kickstarted when I was 16 and working as a sales assistant at one of their Queensland stores whilst studying fashion at uni and they’ve had a place in my heart (and my wardrobe) ever since. Known for constantly delivering flattering cuts, gorgeous patterns and embracing a stunning, feminine sense of minimalism, their stores have been my go-to for my last two NYE outfits and I highly doubt this year will be any different.

Their Autumn/ Winter 2015 range launched at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne last night and I was glued to the online live stream from my Sydney apartment totally mesmerised and mentally making a shopping list. As the name probably suggests, I love black, so this new season had my name all over it with plenty of monochrome, grey and blue, but their baby pink (especially that skirt!) would probably get me in the colour as well.

My favourite pieces are below. Apologies to my credit card in advance.

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One look on the runway: Harlow Crop Top and Ingrid Skirt (Image courtesy of Kookai Facebook)

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Clockwise from top left: Flowerbomb Mini Dress, Lafayette Jacket, Chalet Top, Urban Sweater Dress, Minogue Skirt, Kimberly Coat. Centre: Mythical Tee.

Rose Ashton x Stance

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Stance Socks 2015 product preview event at Bondi Harvest. This brand can be best defined in one word: Cool. Loved by celebrities worldwide, Stance’s ‘Punks and Poets’ (their collection of ambassadors) include the likes of Bambi Northwood-Blyth, Cheyenne Tozzi, Laura Enever, Santigold and Jay Z… And hey, if the socks are good enough for Bey’s man, they’re certainly good enough for me. The new super funky (yes I used the word funky, it’s making a comeback) and totally comfortable sock range is full of patterns, colours and even sequins; they are your outfit’s new statement piece.

In addition to getting a sneak peek at the new collection (available in stores soon) and enjoying a collection of delicious healthy juices and treats, I had the opportunity to meet (and have my portrait drawn by) one of Stance’s Punks and Poets, artist Rose Ashton. On hand to sketch portraits of us new-found sock lovers, my boyfriend and I fell in love with Rose pretty quickly. Not only was she super chic, a mega babe and oozed Stance’s ‘cool’ vibe, her talent is incredible and her style completely unique.

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As one does in the 21st century, I cyber-stalked her immediately. Luckily for me, Rose was keen to chat more about her work, her art and her funky new socks she designed for the new Stance collection:

Tell us a little about yourself! 

I’m an Australian based travelling artist. I work from a studio here in Sydney and am lucky enough to travel and create art and content for Stance regularly.

I suppose I was born an artist, or perhaps born into a family of artists which has, from an early age given me a keen eye for creation. My Great Great Grandfather is julian Ashton, who emigrated to Australia from England in the 1800’s. Julian was a key figure in the Australian Art scene and started the Julian Ashton Art School ( in The Rocks in Sydney) in the 1890’s – my family still proudly runs this school today. I am honoured to have such lineage and as a result have drawn and painted from an early age. My transition into becoming a professional artist has been gradual, and after gaining exposure from modelling and acting I have been able to focus my ambitions on my hearts greatest love through brand associations and a lot of hard work in the studio. The combination of hard work and relentless paint stained clothes has brought me where i am today.

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Your style is very unique, how you learn/ come to produce work in this way?

I’m not sure. I do know i have always been attracted to the human form, the female figure and the influence of beauty, emotion and contemporary studio practices, trained with an “Ashton” classical approach to the body. I love colour, I love the delicate and powerful allure of a woman’s face and body and I suppose that all this rolled into one is what translates as a style that is my own.

What has been your greatest achievement so far? 

My role as a Stance brand ambassador (Punk ‘n Poet) has allowed me to travel all over the world and paint. It has challenged me to achieve results I had previously not been courageous enough to try. My 20×11 ft mural at their HQ in California is one. Painting in Paris, Berlin and London another, and on a more personal level – gaining the ability to do follow in the footsteps of my forefathers and walk toward a future on paper and canvas that will leave a legacy even after I’ve gone is what drives me to keep my head down.

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What inspired the designs featured in your Stance socks range? 

I was lucky to be able to design two socks for the Spring Summer 15 range. They are called ‘The studio socks’ and ‘continuous’.

The studio socks are a paint splatter design which was taken from photographing the paint on the floor of the Stance HQ mural I did there in 2014. We wanted to create an art based design that can be worn by both Men and Women and that had the true mark of my hand in the studio. The continuous sock was born from a style of drawing and painting that is close to my heart. Continuous line drawing. I wanted a sock that, again was wearable by both men and women, that was simple, and a play on a traditional stripe. So I created a line that worked well on the foot and was so stoked with the result I made a little film to coincide with its release. Both will be available instore in August 2015.

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What’s coming up next for you and where can we find more of your work?

I’m in the process of developing my first solo show. This is a scary and exciting goal that i hope to have ready for the Australian 2015/2016 Summer. I would like to tour the exhibition around Australia at first and then hopefully the United States and Europe, so that means a helluva lot of studio time and a helluva lotta coffee between now and then.

What do you enjoy doing outside of art and work?

Being with my family. Hands down the most important thing to me. There are so many distractions in this age that we live, in this generation that we have been born into and I don’t want to lose sight of that one thing that binds me to this world and my truest values in this life – love, learning and growth and above all – happiness.

See, told you she was cool.

You too can cyber stalk Rose (in the friendly, full of admiration way, not the weird, creepy way) and her work here and here. Stalk Stance here and here.

Biggest thank you to the gorgeous team at Portobello PR and Stance for such an amazing event.

B&W imagery courtesy of Rose x

Sheike and the City: The Lover

I was thrilled to join Sheike to assist in launching their Autumn ’15 range. This season has been split into four identities: The Lover, The Wild One, The Socialite and The Sophisticate, each with their own style, aesthetic and personality.

As ‘The Lover,’ my wardrobe featured soft lines and pastel colours and embraced a gorgeous, feminine feel. The garments are effortlessly beautiful with the most stunning prints, and are versatile so they can be taken from lunch, to dinner, to that garden wedding you’ve got coming up.

Who is The Lover?

“She is a delicate touch. A pastel kiss. Her soft florals and draping embrace you and put you under her spell…”

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Shop Sheike Autumn ’15: Iris Dress, First Love Dress, Poppy Dress, Oasis Maxi Dress.

Photography: Oliver Black

 

New Years Eve Survival Guide

This time last year, I was one month into living in Sydney and had three friends in the new city (one of which was my dog), so a small New Years Eve party was my first time meeting some of the partners and players my boyfriend and I would no doubt be seeing a lot of in the coming year. So, what does one do when they go to a NYE party and doesn’t know anyone? One drinks copious amounts of champagne, of course. The problem is however that one then spends the next day in bed, feeling like the fires of hell have opened beneath them, convinced that ‘this is how it ends,’ and vowing to ‘never drink again!’ This year, I have friends (go me) and not only have we got plans for NYE but we’re also set with activities for New Years Day.

If you’re like me, the idea of this would worry you slightly as well. For me, after a night out, my skin feels like cardboard, my hair resembles a birds nest, and one of those birds nests where the amateur birds just really don’t know what they’re doing, and the idea of alcohol makes me sprint for the bathroom. So I’ve spoken to some people I know and trust on how-the-hell I’m going to make it through the final night of 2014 and bring in the first day of 2015, in style, looking fabulous and not wanting to hurl myself overboard (I’m on a boat on NYD).

Make Up: Face The Facts

Great make up artist’s are hard to come by but Melbourne has some stars. Charlotte Makeup by Amelia Webb is one brand new to the makeup scene and I’ve already locked her in to work her magic on my face for wedding in mid-January! In the past few months, Amelia‘s handiwork has been seen on the Brownlow Red Carpet, the Fila and Hunted Dreams look books and on one of my favourite bloggers The Young Mummy (who I’ve spoken with before, here.)

What’s the best way to ensure your makeup lasts all night?

In my opinion it all comes down to how you have prepped your skin a couple of days before NYE. It is essential to make sure your skin is well hydrated, exfoliated, cleansed and moisturised. The better your prep, the longer your makeup will last on the night. You will need a longwearing foundation that you have worn before and know well; trying a new foundation out on the night is risky, as you do not know how this will react with your skin and may not last you the night. Last but not least is your primer. Ensure your skin is primed, your eyes are primed and if you are wearing a dark lipstick your lips have been primed. These three steps are essential to making your look last.

Why is it important to wash your makeup off when you get home?

This is ESSENTIAL… I know most girls out there do sleep with their makeup still on but please STOP. Your skin needs to rehydrate from all the alcohol you may have drank and also all the makeup that has been added that may have clogged your pores. By cleansing your face and taking off all your makeup this will ensure your skin can replenish overnight. If you want to avoid waking up with pimples in the morning you need to cleanse your skin when you get home, either using an eye makeup remover, face wipe or just your face washer. It will do your skin wonders for the next day.

Looks I recommend for NYE and NYD:

NYE and NYD makeup is the most exciting event of the year for me. You can create so many different looks. Below are some looks I’ve created throughout the year that I love and would be perfect for the occasion:

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Hair: Maintain The Mane

Helen Ciccone, of Hair By Ciccone and Ciccone Cosmetics, has done the hair of every Miss World Australia since 2011, Audrina Patridge, Em Rusciano, the Geordie Shore cast and Wendy Matthews, just to name a few. She’s a Goddess, in many aspects, but especially when it comes to hair. When it comes to making your hairstyle last, she says, “I would use a lighter spray like White Sands first. After it’s been washed, dry the hair off then start curling, setting the curls with the White Sands spray. It’s like memory foam! You can brush it out without it flaking and it bounces straight back. Normal hairspray can weigh the hair down, so avoid using too much of it or your hair will drop quickly. This is also great for making your style last the distance.”

On the Outside: Farshun, darling

I’m lucky that I have incredibly fashionable friends everywhere I turn. Former Miss World Australia and TV personality Erin Holland is a regular at events around Sydney and will be bringing in the New Year in Marquee Sydney’s Dom Pérignon Green Room.

What’s your number one style tip for NYE?

NYE for me is one of those great excuses to wear something absolutely fabulous! My cardinal rule however, would be to pair your outfit with COMFORTABLE shoes. Most NYE celebrations tend to kick on into the wee hours of the morning, and there is nothing worse than trying to coping with the debilitating pain of aching feet, whilst trying to get your dance on! Having been a dancer for the majority of my life, I especially struggle with my feet. To ensure I get the most out of a big night like NYE, I will always opt for a pair of shoes I have worn many times before, crack out the Party Feet ‘Gel Pads” and my all time fave “Second Skin Blister Plasters” and I’m good to go! This NYE, I am super excited to wear a beautiful dress from Gemeli Power! As Gemeli states herself: “Designed for the perennial ‘it’ girl, Gemeli’s style is feminine while staying luxurious with a touch of flamboyance” And who doesn’t want a bit of flamboyance to ring in the New Year in style?! I will be teaming the Gemeli dress with one of my beautiful Serenade Leather Clutches. They’re beautiful, durable, versatile and (most importantly for all your makeup, phone, hairbrush, cards, kitchen sink…) special.

And what’s the one style trend you’d recommend embracing for your NYE outfit?

I love the bright colours that have emerged as a staple in many labels summer collections. I have always been drawn to pops of colour over neutrals – why blend in when you can stand out.

International model, Melinda Kemp, who’s about to jet off to Miami in the New Year, says sparkles or glitter have her vote for NYE attire. She says, “I’m not usually a person who’d wear any form of sequin or sparkle but NYE I think it’s appropriate to dress like a disco ball!”

Me? I’ll be sporting my oldest, most comfortable shoes and trying to remain relatively hydrated. My number one tip is Hydralite with Vitamin B before you go to bed. Trust me! Most importantly though, enjoy yourself and plan to make 2015 your best, happiest year yet.

Happy New Year from Never Boring Black x

Photo Diary: A New York State Of Mind

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Luke, Jez, Kate and I at Knicks vs. Milwaukee (Kate missed the memo… However Kate also beat us all)

A family member of my boyfriend’s joked that I’d be singing Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ the whole time… And she wasn’t wrong; I was singing it as I was walking off the plane. I fell in love with the concrete jungle almost instantly and I know I said in the previous post that I almost thought I loved LA more, however writing this is making me change my mind (again.) We ran out of time to see and do everything we wanted, and we were there for a week and a half, so that’s why this post is on the longer side. As an avid Sex and the City and Gossip Girl lover, I was in constantly in awe of New York and thought I’d just try to be this cool combination of Carrie Bradshaw and Serena Van Der Woodsen (Everyone’s dream, right?) I mightn’t have pulled that one off successfully, but here’s what I did do, and what I’d recommend:

We stayed at…

The Standard High Line

The hotel interiors, incredible guest services, perfect location in the Meatpacking District and the amazing bars on the top and on the bottom all make this a hotel worth staying at, and I haven’t even started on the floor to ceiling glass windows of each room.

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Airbnb Apartment

So, we found out that subletting apartments is actually illegal in NYC and as such, a majority of the Airbnb listed apartments are against the law. Let it be known that we didn’t find this out until our last day though, so I feel like we are morally exempt. This was an amazingly spacious, cost effective form of accommodation that lets you live as the New Yorkers do. We found a studio apartment in Hells Kitchen, that placed us closer to Times Square and Central Park and we’d definitely stay there again, if the law allows us. Tip: Find one with an internal laundry; nothing beats finally being able to do your own washing when you’re a week and a half into a holiday (If you also get weird about anyone other than your Mother or your partner washing your underwear, you’ll understand my point here.)

We ate at… 

Buddakan

I’ll be honest in saying I booked this purely because it’s where they had the rehearsal dinner on Sex and the City, but it ended up being the best dinner we had during our entire holiday. It was phenomenal and we were pleasantly surprised when the bill arrived. To summarise: It’s a Chinese/ Asian Fusion style of dining, the waiters go above and beyond to be helpful and the interior is sexy chic. This place will be first on my list when I go back to New York.

Bluestone Lane Café

There is vegemite and avocado on toast on the menu and the coffee rivals that of Melbourne. Need I say more? These Australians (No wonder we liked it so much) have taken the best of Aussie cafes and plunked it right in Greenwich Village. You’re welcome, New Yorkers, you’re welcome!

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We drank at…

230 Fifth

We had friends from Sydney in NY at the same time as us (see Basketball photo above), so we all went here for a night out together. It has amazing views of The Empire State building and they give you dressing gowns if it gets cold! Tip: There’s a hotdog cart just outside the exit. #winning

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The Top of the Standard/ The Boom Boom Room

This place is iconic in New York and the interiors are almost as incredible as the views of the city and the river. Upstairs, there’s also another bar on the roof top which looked amazing but unfortunately if it’s windy (like it was the day we went upstairs) you’ll feel like your going to blow away and have a face full of your own hair.

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We visited…

9/11 Memorial Museum

The memorial is completely surreal. It’s quiet, eerily beautiful and seeing the names of all those who passed is incredibly moving. It’s one of those things you need to see at least once in your lifetime. Tip: Book your tickets for the museum before you go to avoid the long lines.

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Central Park

I won’t lie; the bike ride around Central Park turned into one of those days we literally almost broke up, and friends of ours said exactly the same thing. But don’t let that put you off it! If you’re both completely capable of riding bikes (like I wasn’t), dress appropriately for the weather (like I didn’t) and cycle in the correct direction (like our friends didn’t), I think you’ll actually enjoy it. Tip: Rent the bikes from the shop around the corner- the guys with the flyers at the entrance to the park will tell you where to go (Link is above as well!)

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Comedy Cellar

We love comedy, so it’s no surprise we went here here… Twice. They throw surprise acts in to some shows and we saw Louis C.K. our second time around. It’s a laugh ‘til you cry kind of night. Tip: Pre-book tickets if you can, otherwise get there early so you can put your name on the standby list.

Top of the Rock (The Rockefeller Centre)

I was insistent on visiting this particular landmark whilst the sun was setting, so I spent my first few afternoons in NYC observing exactly what time the sun began to set so I could time my visit accordingly. Many questioned our decision to visit the Top of the Rock, as opposed to the observation deck of the iconic Empire State Building; but you can’t appreciate the beauty of the Empire State Building when you’re standing inside of it.  Tip: Book your tickets online before you go to save you waiting.

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We shopped at…

To be honest, we shopped at every opportunity and all over the place. But my main recommendations would be:

Soho

We sort of visited Soho accidentally on our first day when we were walking back from the 911 memorial and financial district, but if you’re going to accidentally find something in NYC, make it Soho. We had no real intention of shopping while we were out, but we both came home with bags in tow after what we found. Put this on your list of places to shop.

5th Ave

We popped back to some part of 5th Ave every second day. Nike town, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Banana Republic, Intermix, Macy’s… You name it; you’ll most likely find it on Fifth. Solstice Sunglasses is also worth checking out, as is Nordstorm Rack. And obviously, you are morally obligated to visit Barney’s New York.

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But, the highlight…

Helicopter flight over the city and the Statue of Liberty

I booked this before we left on a recommendation from a girlfriend who said it was ‘the best thing she did in NYC,’ and I now say exactly the same thing. It was beyond breathtaking and so much fun. My boyfriend and I were seated up the front (which clearly made us co-pilots) and our flight took us over the Statue of Liberty, over the city and Central Park, and then back with a quick peak at Queens as well. Seriously, the best thing I did on the entire trip. Please, for me, make sure you do it. Tip: We flew with Liberty Helicopters and you can book your tickets on the day.

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Photo Diary: A week in Los Angeles

I’m back! I’m back! Apologies for the crazy hiatus and tumbleweeds you’ve seen lately. I had these grand plans of blogging about our amazing holiday while I was away,  until the holiday was so amazing and I ‘lived in the moment’ or so they say. I simply found no time/ was sipping on one too many mojitos.  After the holiday came a wedding, a hen’s, moving house and 4-5 other excuses, but, here I am now!

Anyway, the holiday: Post-holiday depression is a thing, and anyone that denies that hasn’t been on a holiday recently. If you saw the ‘I’m overseas!’ spam I’ve posted on Instagram about a month ago, you’ll know I made a trip to the USA (Los Angeles and New York City) for the first time and I loved every single second of it!

My boyfriend and I planned our entire trip based off recommendations from friends (AKA experienced traveller Elise Grundy) and thankfully, we completely ignored most recommendations from our travel agent. She kept trying to send us to romantic, secluded spots and whilst that’s great for some people, it wasn’t what this trip was about for us. Football season is just as long a year for me and I wanted bubbles in my hand just as badly as he wanted a beer in his.

The New York part of this post will come later, but when people now ask me what I enjoyed more, I’m tempted to say LA. The sun, the people, the scenery… It was exactly what I imagined. Whilst at times slightly pretentious, there was something so exciting about this city where you never really knew what or who you were going to find around the corner. I’ll admit there was a novelty to it as well, finally seeing all of the amazing places I’d seen in movies throughout the years.

After a week there, here’s our time in LA and what we’d recommend:

We stayed at: The Mondrian

And we loved it. My boyfriend in particular is a real lover of summer weather and days spent by a pool, so he was in his element. Whilst I died everyday over the incredibly toned, exotic women sun baking topless by the pool (Jez certainly never complained and I started a health kick almost instantly), it was great to explore for the morning and then know there’s a sun bed to retreat to for the afternoon. Known to be a bit of a party hotel, I’m lucky that I can have a night out with just my boyfriend and we can have a good time just the two of us, so we made the most of it. If that’s not for you, then head there with friends! The concierge are also unbelievably helpful.

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IMG_9786.JPGSo here’s me, just pretending I’m taking a cute photo of my man, BUT! See the guy in the top left corner of the above photo, holding the white cup? Yep, I’m actually taking a stalker fan-girl photo of Alex Pettyfer. I feel like that sort of made up for all of the sexy topless women my boyfriend was blessed with watching.

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We ate at: Chateau Marmont (pictured below), SUR, Saddle Ranch, Cabo Cantina.

I’d always heard about Chateau so it was first on my list to book. They only take reservations a fortnight in advance and even when I emailed exactly a fortnight in advance, they only had two spots left for the evening I wanted, so make sure you book early. The whole venue was incredibly sexy and known for it’s celeb spotting (Jack Black and his table were seated right beside us.)

We visited SUR based on one recommendation from a friend, but mainly due to my love for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules (Whatever, I’ll admit it.) Whilst I was beyond disappointed when I didn’t recognise a single member of the waitstaff, the food didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The real highlight was the SUR Lounge next door. The bartenders were really friendly and it spontaneously turned into a little salsa club at about 11pm… Amazing!

Saddle Ranch and Cabo Cantina were ones we visited purely because we either 1. Tired and just wanted something quick, cheap and easy or 2. My feet hurt and I really didn’t want to walk too far. I wouldn’t recommend Saddle Ranch, but I would say try Cabo Cantina if you’re staying on Sunset Bvd and want something very ‘no fuss.’ Our waitress was lovely, it was super cheap and I left with a healthy looking food baby.

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We visited: Santa Monica and Venice Beach

We hired a car through the concierge at our hotel and travelled down to Santa Monica and Venice Beach for the day (I let Jez pick the type of car, obviously.) I’d recommend this to anybody. Santa Monica didn’t have a whole lot to offer but Venice Beach had heaps to keep us entertained. I was forced into going to the freak show on the Venice Beach broad walk, moments after I witnessed a small child walk out of it and throw up. It wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t the most pleasant show either. In hindsight, we would have driven down to Venice Beach and explored, then hired bikes to ride up to Santa Monica and back.

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IMG_8957.JPGWearing Tevita.

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We visited: Hollywood Boulevard and Beverly Hills

It’s just one of those tourist things you have to do. The shopping was surprisingly excellent and we saw The New Kids on the Block’s star being unveiled on the Walk of Fame. It was then that I got talked into one of those ‘Tours of Hollywood.’ If it wasn’t for the cheap ticket prices he offered we probably wouldn’t have done it, but it had its advantages in that we saw almost everything we wanted to see and we knew where to go back later. The houses in the 90210 will blow your socks off.

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 We saw: UCLA College Football (vs. Oregon)

So obviously this was more for my boyfriend’s enjoyment than it was for my own, but ladies- Don’t knock it ’til you try it! The atmosphere was INCREDIBLE. When 80,000 is an amazing crowd for the AFL Grand Final it blew our minds to think that 80,000 people come just to watch college football in the states. The cheerleaders were amazing and the vibe was great, even though UCLA was slaughtered in the end.IMG_8959.JPGThanks for the memories LA, I’ll definitely be back!

Childish Thoughts with The Young Mummy

“I’m at that awkward age where half my friends are engaged and having babies and the other half are too drunk to even find their phones.”

This pretty much sums up where I’m at in life currently. I’m bordering on needing to consider that squeamish idea that I’m actually an adult now (Ugh!) whilst still desperately trying to hold onto the ‘carefree, no responsibilities, party animal persona’ of my teenage years, where I can simply fluff around in life with the mental assurance that everything will sort itself out, because someone else (Eg. My parents) will fix it. What beautiful years they were.

But now, friends, girls I went to school with and even my younger sister are all pregnant or have recently given birth to their first child and I’m left so confused as to when we took the steps from adolescents to adults. Apparently it happened and no one thought to tell me, or I was busy doing other important things… Like eating.

It has nonetheless, all started to get me thinking, ‘Should I be considering having a baby?’ (I’m sure my boyfriend just started hyperventilating.)

But how do you even know if you’re ready to have a baby? Are there any distinguishable signs? Will I just have a feeling? When should you start planning to fall pregnant? Does anyone really know? Should I even be thinking about this yet?!

So I called on someone that might know. Introducing, ‘The Young Mummy.’ Sophie Shaw is 23 years old from Melbourne, a very good friend and former roomie. We lived with Sophie and Jaryd for what feels like forever but was actually about six months when we lived in Melbourne. One night after a football function, we were all sitting on the couch (If it was anything like our usual nights, we were probably eating a few blocks of Crunchie chocolate and watching either Suits or some horrific scary movie that they would all bully me into watching) and with the world’s biggest smiles on their faces they told us they were expecting.

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Fast forward nine months and we were walking in to meet Soph and Jaryd’s baby for the very first time. I was being completely hyperemotional and ordering myself not to cry. As we entered the room my eyes were blurry and glassy and I was like a kid in a candy store… I was SO EXCITED for them and the adorable little human sleeping in the corner and we congratulated them and engaged in the kind of ‘You’ve just had a baby,’ small talk that friends do. Then about 10 minutes into our visit, shit got real (Pardon my expression). These two are friends you can count on to not sugarcoat a-single-thing and all of a sudden I was watching reenactments of Sophie’s epidural and the birthing process, listening to vivid explanations of the pain and looking at photos of Sophie’s placenta (Told you. No sugar coating.) Whatever we wanted to know, they told us quiet happily and very honestly. So I walked into the hospital on the verge of tears trying to tell myself not to cry with happiness, and I walked out a lovely shade of white, thinking I was never, ever going to do that.

Let it be known, I LOVE kids. I could spend hours on end with my partner’s nephews, but with Bobby it’s different. If I’m holding him I get incredibly nervous and I think it’s because it’s Sophie and Jaryd. This little being belongs to them and that makes it real. They’re about our age, they were the couple we used to drink and dance with until early hours of the morning and go out for Japanese with and eat Crunchie chocolate with and play stupid pranks on… And I think knowing that they were our age and basically in the same situation as us, it was quite confronting. This little cute ball of love could be ours just as it is theirs and to me, that made the possibility of pregnancy and being a parent seem like a possible reality.

Meeting Bobby

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Soph, what was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant?

It was exciting. Surreal. Probably not the reaction most 22 years olds have when they find out they’re expecting, but it was something I’d wanted for so long, I was in shock – but in a good way. Being told at 17 I was infertile due to an ovary condition… Well I’m like every woman, when they’re told they can’t have something they want it even more, and having a partner who was so paternal and wanted to be a young dad helped just a bit! People ask if we were trying, I wouldn’t say yes but we definitely weren’t doing anything to prevent it. Deep down we wanted it so bad but yes it’s still a nice big reality hit when it does happen.

Do you think at that moment, you and Jaryd were ready?

What I’ve learnt is that no matter how old you are, I don’t think anyone is really ready for their first child. You have have all your doctors appointments in check, nursery all ready, attend birthing classes, be as mentally prepared as possible… But to say you’re READY is a lie. Being a new mum is a huge learning curve and I’m adapting more and more everyday. We wanted kids so bad and knew it would be hard, but times it by 10 000 and that’s how hard it is. And I have a good baby!

Did you ever worry you weren’t ready?

Through out my pregnancy I battled a little bit (I blame hormones!) with how suddenly my life went on hold, yet Jaryd’s didn’t. The second I found out I was pregnant, my life basically stopped. I got SO sick, I stopped going to uni, stopped working, couldn’t play netball or hardly exercise, couldn’t bloody eat the food I wanted – Let alone the fact I couldn’t socialise with my friends like I used to. Yet nothing changed for Jaryd. It sounds funny but I did find that part really hard to get used to, that sometimes I just couldn’t do something and that was final. I wouldn’t say I stopped and thought “I’m not ready” cause I wanted the baby part so bad, just hated the pregnancy!

How has life changed since having a child?

How has life changed? I’ve found my purpose for living. I get told I’m nicer too. Having children opens up your eyes to a whole new world, and the way you look at things. The amount of times I see people having petty fights or getting so worked up over nothing, and I think ‘Shit I used to do that’ – Until you have a baby you can’t possibly understand how NOTHING else matters in the world but your child. You change. I’m a completely different person. To be honest, I just don’t give a fuck about anything anymore but Bobby & Jaryd. My family.

On a negative side… (And every mum out there will know what I mean here) people pick and choose when they want to see you. And it’s because they no longer want to see you, they just want to see your baby. I 100% expected that to happen, it’s just life, and I don’t be nasty about it. I just let it go because they will soon know what it feels like the day they have babies.

What’s your advice to anyone considering trying to become pregnant?

Do it! It’s the best f**king thing you’ll ever do. Jaryd and I say EVERYDAY “What the hell did we do before Bobby came along?”

When it comes to knowing when you are ready, as Soph said, I don’t think there ever is a time or a sign that you are ready and I don’t think anyone, regardless of age, will ever feel like they are ready. It sounds like it will be an incredible experience and an amazing journey, but I think if you want, be unapologetically selfish about finding contentment with yourself and your life first, before you dedicate your entire being to someone else. Maybe you want to travel, maybe you want to achieve certain career milestones or maybe your child will be what brings you contentment. We’re all different and we all want different things. But whatever it is, do it and trust that a combination of your actions and fate will work the rest out.

When this conversation ever pops up with my man he tells me, “We aren’t ready. We have shit to do,” (Pardon his expression) and I used to just roll my eyes at him and think ‘Sigh! Men and commitment.’ But he is so right, and I don’t admit that very often.

I have too many semi-selfish things I want to do and achieve, places I want to go and see and memories I want to create, either on my own, with my partner or with my friends. They may be things I could do whilst being a Mother, but I want to give my heart and soul and entire existence into completing everything I want to do and then maybe one day in the future, I will feel content and ready to dedicate myself, my heart and soul and entire existence to nurturing another life. Maybe becoming a parent will happen unexpectedly and I will surprise myself but for now, I’m happy to continue holding onto every single little piece of my youth for as long as I can. But to the superwomen (and men!) that have kids I salute you, and I’ll totally babysit anytime you want! Practice makes perfect right?

So you can calm that breathing down and relax, Laids. I don’t plan on singing any ‘my lovely baby bump’ song in our household anytime soon.

P.S. Soph blogs here, Instagram’s here, and tweets here. It’s usually either really cute or really funny.

Special thanks to Soph, Jaryd and Bobby for being the inspiration behind this post (You look at this face and consider having a baby, right?)

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