meet a mama – bron ‘maxabella’

Thanks so much for the huge response to our first meet the mama “interview” last week. It seems you all like getting to know each other so we have some terribly fabulous mamas lined up for you over the coming weeks.

Today is no exception.  I stumbled across Bron, a terribly entertaining and inspiring writer, via her blog Maxabella Loves, which is now one of my all time favourites.  Check it out (you can thank me later).  In the meantime, here’s Bron …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Well now… Max, who is eight, Arabella, who is six, and Lottie, who is four (but really twenty-four in her head) call me mum. Or mumma or mameitra, actually – don’t worry, I’ve no idea what a mameitra is either. I call them my Tsunamis.

My darling husbie of ten years calls me his sweetheart and we are about as saccharine as that in real life pretty much all the time. Many, many people will not hang out with us as a result. He’s a banker, which doesn’t help.

I’m also a freelance writer and the editor of Kidspot’s Village Voices, a job I like very, very much. I write, I edit, I plan, I collect pretty pictures. It’s kinda like having a blog that other people help write. This is a new life for me as a mere four months ago I gave up working in corporate marketing after fifteen (rather long) years. I called corporate life ‘the grey world’.

Who inspires you?
Pretty much everything in the whole wide world, but particularly people who are inherently kind.

What can’t you live without?
My husband and big belly laughs. My Tsunamis as well. Probably.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
As I’m a blog collector there are too many to mention, but I will drop my sisters’ blogs: Al at Life in a Pink Fibro and Coo at And then there were four. Both fab chicks.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Pinning random stuff on Pinterest and making cool stuff for kids’ parties. I’m also very happy with a glass of wine and loud conversation.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing pretty much what I’m doing now, only with more people wanting me to write for them. I just love it and I work from home around my children’s schedules. Maybe I’m living back in London… the husbie and I lived there for four years ten years ago and we’ve hankered to go back for about nine of those years. We just loved it there and it will be fun to show London the Tsunamis.

What is your favourite quote?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies inside us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Oh and “Try a little tenderness” – Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods

How did you come to know Rudy & the Dodo?
The lovely Brenda at Mira Narnie put me onto the store in 2010. I bought all my niece and nephew gifts for Christmas from Rudy and the Dodo and then I did exactly the same thing again last year. Can’t beat it!



is three a crowd?

I am the middle of three girls.  Growing up, I shared a bedroom with my big sister.  We had matching olive green chenille bedspreads and seventies floral wallpaper.  When we were young we didn’t fight and really loved sharing a room.  Thankfully, by the time crazy girl hormones started to kick in and arguments became a regular thing, mum and dad had extended and we all had our own little haven to escape to and decorate however we liked.

Whilst our home extension plans remain a bit of a pipe dream right now, my hubby has been ‘lobbying’ to have all three of our boys share one bedroom.  The main selling point is it would give us a free space to convert to a dedicated play room – my dream come true.  On the down side, it may mean that the two good sleepers we currently savour might lose their mojo thanks to middle sized son, the not-so-good sleeper, who is regularly heard still talking to himself or his toys as late as 10pm, despite being put to bed at 8pm on the dot.  And when I say talking, I mean loudly conversing with make believe characters including sound effects and the whole catastrophe.

So I’ve been searching for inspiration and ideas on how to make a room for three work.  Thankfully we don’t have the gender issue so that makes it a little easier but we are working with a relatively small space.

I found these and like bits and pieces about each of them.

Clockwise from top left;

Do your kids share? How do you make it work?

calling all loo rolls …

We told you some time ago to save your loo rolls  … all in preparation for the LRCE (loo roll craft extravaganza)!

Here are our favourite easy, peasy ideas to do with littlies through to primary school.

courtesy of

To make these little speedsters you’ll need paint or textas/crayons, safety scissors and split pins to attach the wheels.  Stay tuned for a post about making a race track in the next few days!

To make these crazy monsters you’ll need paint or textas and any fancy bits you have available. Think pipe cleaners, mini pom poms, glitter.

Here’s our middle sized dude with his loo roll octopus (and pipe cleaner jellyfish but that’s another story).  For this you’ll need paint or textas/pencils, googly eyes (about $2 a pack from Woollies of craft stores).

For the owls (courtesy of you’ll just need paint, a black marker pen and your imagination.  The bats (courtesy of need much the same, along with some coloured paper to be folded fan like and attached as wings.

And last but lnot least, blast into outer space with these cool rocket ships.

courtesy of

These rocket ships make a great room decoration when completed.  All you’ll need is paint, some sticky dots and stars (just cut some out if you dont have stickers) and ribbon or strips of paper.

If you have a loo roll specialty we’d love to see it!  You know we love to share.

hearts and hands tree

This little idea is so simple yet beautiful.

courtesy of

Make your own ‘Hearts and Hand Tree’ using your little one’s hand to make the tree trunk – you can trace around it or use paint and stamp their hand print on.

Add your own love heart leaves by using a heart shaped paper punch (if you have one) or help your little one cut them out.  Use an old magazine, old gift wrapping paper, newspaper  -whatever you like!

I think this one would be gorgeous framed.  In no time at all you are sure to be marveling at how little their hands were.


meet a mama – kate mccarthy

This is the first of a series of Meet the Mama “interviews”.  We will be featuring a different, fabulous mama each week – giving you a snapshot of their life.

These Mamas are inspiring women I have come across over the past few years and they come from all walks of life.  They are stay at home mamas, creative mamas, corporate mamas, educational mamas, playful mamas, sporty mamas and designer mamas.

We are starting with a fabulous artistic mama – Kate McCarthy – whom I discovered through my sister (also an artist) and whose work I have coveted for many years.  She’s also terribly funny and, as you will see from her works below, fabulously quirky.  Two of my favourite traits in a person.

Here is Kate …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!

I’m a mummy of two gorgeous boys.  George is six and Louie is nearly four.  We live on the east coast of Tassie which is beautiful and amazing but it doesn’t have enough people! I’ve been craving the city for a few years now…

I paint whenever I can and for some reason I also make tea towels. And face clay of all things.

My partner works in the seafood industry here with odd hours so he entertains the boys like a champion so I can work.

What can’t you live without?
Can I have more than one thing? It’s easy anyway: my boys.

Who inspires you?
I’m usually inspired by people I know. They are my friends and family. People that give things a go in any field amaze me. I’m inspired by my mum so much on a daily basis as I try my best to be a great mummy too. I cannot believe she did this all on her own and survived and did an amazing job and smiled and laughed the whole way through. Seriously wow.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Duh, Rudy and the Dodo! Enjoy Parenting saves me at the end of every day too. Oh and Lost at E Minor is perfect for several awesome design injections daily.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
If I had spare time I’d spend it in cafes reading the paper.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Filthy rich in Paris with heaps of creative leisure time.

What is your favourite quote?
‘May the bridges I burn light my way’ – by Anon or someone.

Where can we find you?
Through 19Karen Contemporary Artspace.  I’m also at The Big Design Market in Melbourne on the 7th, 8th and 9th December

love a bit of whimsy

Love this room?

Get the look …

From left to right:
Wooden cake stand
French suitcases (set of 3)
Sofie doll (by Esthex, Netherlands)

From left to right:
Little One Umbrella Print (by Printspace)
Wooden magnetic family puzzle
Bunting wall decal (by Love Mae)

little french coin purse

And so ends another therapy session for me, mama of three boys who wont ever have a little pink room like this in my home!  (I love you anyway boys).

are we there yet?

After taking a little road trip solo with my three boys this week, I felt it was high time to share our favourite activities that keep everyone in our car happy (enough) and keep that burning question “are we there yet?” at bay.

Eye Spy With My Little Eye
This one has been a good ole favourite for decades!  When catering for younger kids who can’t yet spell, we adapt the game to spot something of a particular colour and introduce letters in due course.

50 Things To Do On A Journey
We don’t leave home without this little pack of cards full of fun games and activities.  Our favourites are;
– Who Lives There? (this one is great if you are stuck in slow moving traffic!)
Someone spots a house and then everyone adds their thoughts about who lives there including the owner, their pets, what they like to do etc

– In My Backpack
Start with “In my backpack I have …” followed by an object, then the next person repeats the first sentence and adds another item.  Eg, “In my backpack, I have a soggy sandwich, then “In my backpack, I have a soggy sandwich and a teddy bear”.  The sillier the better.  We usually have something slimy, something smelly and something dirty in our stories – one of the joys of an all boy family.

CD Books
I have a friend who swears by Paul Jennings CD books for her boys.  She says it keeps them quiet from Point A to Point B and we are LOVING that!  There is a huge range of CD books available for kids of all ages.  You can even get them personalised.

On our way home yesterday, with three tired little fellas in the back seat I put on our Sleep Stories CD and they were sound asleep within minutes.

I have also learned the hard way on solo parent trips that everyone must take a “wee stop” before departure and that everyone has their water bottle and some snacks handy.

Oh, and don’t forget your sunnies!

I see red.

How fab are these rooms with a splash of red?

Not sure which one I could claim as my favourite as there’s a little bit of something fabulous in all of them.  I am, however, particularly partial to the big red “R” for the Dude, the red dresser and the spotty noticeboard (I love a pink and red colour combo, although I’m not likely to have a chance to use it anytime soon!)

Clockwise from top left – images courtesy of;




and they’re raaaacing …

The Festival of Seven has begun.

Our biggest little guy turns the BIG 7 tomorrow so we celebrated with a little Slot Car Party with a couple of his buddies on the weekend.

After a last minute call out for advice on how to best make a road on a cake, I ‘borrowed’ some black fondant from a friend and got to work on it.  OK, I know it’s no masterpiece and I think it’s safe to say the road looked more like the half fixed tarmac that Lightning McQueen cobbled together to get out of Radiator Springs in the first movie, rather than a smooth as silk race track.

Nevertheless, my gorgeous 6 year old was terribly impressed and grateful.  He also now knows how to make “grass” from shredded coconut and green food colouring – a fundamental life skill.

I’m a serious pinterest addict so of course that was the first place I headed to find further inspiration.  I came across these fab free printables from vinnie pearce blog (sooo love a free printable) and used them for labelling food and drinks.

All in all this party was a big hit with the little fellas, was relatively stress free for mama and didn’t cost a fortune.  Everyone’s a winner.