Decal via Graphic Mesh

What's in a name?

When it comes to changing your name post-marriage, there are so many options: do you take his name, or keep your own? Should your husband drop his name and take yours? Should you hyphenate your surnames? Or should you combine parts of your surnames and create a whole new brand!?

It's nice to live in a society where there are options; where us girls don't automatically have to become "Mrs John Smith" (puke...) and forfeit every part of our name badge altogether.

Full disclosure: I decided to take my husband's surname because it's a decent name that matches well with mine. I have no shame. I also thought it might be easier for some things if we had a common surname (though in reality I'm sure it hardly makes a difference). I guess that taking a married name also felt like a right of passage, of sorts. I'll admit, it still feels kind of odd using it, 10 months in. I feel like I'm borrowing his family's name a bit. To ease the adjustment, I've kept my email address with my maiden name - it connects me to my roots - in a silly, electronic way.

It might sound cold, but I've never hidden the fact that if my partner had a weird surname, I would have kept my original. #vanityyay

To me though, our names don't have any bearing on our relationship.

If you're reading in Australia, it might surprise you to know (as it did me) that it's actually not that common around the world to take your spouse's surname. Actually, in many places, women don't even have the option to change your name. That makes it easy!

Interesting! But, that aside, I really wanted to start a conversation about the MS vs MRS thing.

Quite a while before my husband and I got married I decided I was going to be a 'Ms', not a 'Mrs'.

Perhaps I just feel too young at heart, and 'Mrs' is too grown up for me. I'm not even joking.

But on a serious note, part of me is a little bothered that men have the title of 'Mr' their whole lives, and that their marital status is irrelevant. But females are still cycling through Miss, Mrs and Ms - our status as singletons, marrieds or divorcees is stamped right beside our name. Ehh... why? Sure, it's rare that these titles are ever used besides on formal letters and the like, though, it's not nice to think that women might be judged or treated differently, whether in social or work situations, based on their relationship status.

Back in the day, 'Ms' was commonly used by women who were either divorced, or single and "too old" to continue being called 'Miss' (what is "too old"?!). Nowadays, Ms is becoming more common as a blanket female title - the female equivalent of Mr.

I'm not in the slightest bit bothered by others' use of 'Mrs'. This isn't high on my list of battles to tackle. This is merely a sideline nod from me, to level the playing field. Plus I've always been really independent-minded, and it feels right to retain a semi-independent title - all the while being totally committed to my lovely husband.

To me, our marriage is about showing my partner that I chose him to adventure through life with, and that I have his back through good and bad. It's about my commitment to bring little moments of joy into his life. It's about setting plans together, and edging one another along to achieve our common and individual goals. And purely about enjoying the fact that we both know we're one another's favourite person to be with. This stuff has nothing to do with our names.

My point is - a name or title doesn't change who we are, or our values. By the same token, our relationship status is only part of who we are, and doesn't completely define us. So I think you should pick a name that you feel good with, and that's all!


Lush wrapping ideas via Brit + Co

I'd like to share with you a handy little app that I stumbled upon - it's call Giftster. It's my new BFF.

You know when you see random stuff online or at the shops that you want, but can't quite justify the purchase? But then when your birthday rolls around and your Mum asks if there's anything you'd like, you draw a blank? Well, this is why you have to write this stuff down when you think of it!

Giftster is a wishlist registry that you can use on your phone or on a desktop. It lets you create your wishlish and share with your friends and family.

As you can imagine, this is a lifesaver when it comes to those family members who are tricky to buy for (there is always at least one of those in the family). It also means you don't have to consult with five other family members to figure out who's gonna get Dad the thongs for Father's Day and who's gonna get him the box of worms for his Worm Cafe (actual item from my father's Giftster wishlist).

With this app, you can click 'reserve' if you intend to buy something from someone's list, and then 'purchased' when you buy it. The other people who have access to that person's wishlist can then see what's already been bought. But the owner of the list can't see what's been bought for them. Once you've received an item on your list, you simply delete it.

Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE surprise gifts - both giving, and receiving. It's always special when someone gives you a gift that they thought of themselves, that has 'you' written all over it. Number #1 husband gave me a few things off my wishlist for my birthday, but he also gave me a few surprises - fella knows what's what!

While I'm here, might as well have a shuffle around the ol' interwebs and top up my Giftster. Like I said, I loves me a wishlist!

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1. Door Curtain Cranes - the ultimate necessity - Mr & Mrs Jones
2. Napali Chic candles - just discovered these on the weekend and oh-em-gee - I need them all!
3. Lace Print Slinky - my go-to summer pyjamas (there is surely room for a baby in there?) Peter Alexander 
4. Gold Class tickets - it's been a while between Gold Class sessions. Girl needs to recline, yo.
5. Between Two Worlds, book by Tyler Henry - love this guy
6. Kitchenaid - well, this is the ultimate dream, isn't it?!
7. Letterboard - lust have - Letterfolk
8. Shampoo bar by Lush - I'm so keen to try one of these out and see if I can do away with plastic shampoo bottles
9. Happiest Baby on the Block - because I need to cram for the baby exam! This book has been recommended through a few people - Fishpond
10. Maternity Frill Swimsuit - because this lady is going to be very pregnant this summer! ASOS


1. One of my va-va-voom smoothie creations 2) New tags and dippers for Sweet Tilly Flint @sweettillyflint

Hey guys,

Today is just going to be a bit of a week-in-review post, mostly because this doesn't require a whole lot of time or brain power!

After I switched to being self-employed I thought I'd find myself with oodles of time to swiftly and strategically jet through my goals, but to be frank, things are going slower than I envisaged. There's just been a lot happening that's taken me out of my workroom. And the stuff I'm doing in my workroom, takes time. I'm doing my best to reign in the extra-curricular distractions. For one thing, we've just come into the second trimester of preggo-ness (week 13) so the frequency of getting jabbed for blood and other little tests should settle down, for a while.

After a few weeks of trial and error, I've settled settled on my pregnancy fit plan (slash, make-self-feel-better-whilst-increasing-circumference-plan) - yay! I'm going to the gym two mornings a week - one leg day (booooo), one upper body day. I'm swimming at the indoor pool on Wednesdays (which I am LOVING) and rounding up the week with Body Balance on Friday. The instructor is going to start yelling out alternate preggo-lady options as of this week. This is great, however, I'll miss my little hiding position at the back of the room (like I was hoping no one would notice me slowly morphing into a beach ball).

Sweet Tilly Flint-wise, there are still 10 million things on the boil, which has thrown me into a bit of a mental flip. Even so, I just keep writing and checking off my to-do lists, so I know I'm moving forward, even if it's a lot slower than I would have liked. I have to make an effort to focus on one thing at a time.

Lately I've been pondering doing a little STF catering, making old-school treats to set up for dessert tables. Just add that to the list, Alex (what was that about focusing on one thing at a time?!).

This past month I've been freelance editing for the company that I finished up at 5-6 weeks ago, just until my replacement started. I've been working to formalise another business strand (this was already in the master plan) so I can take on more editing work. I'm close to finalising the name and a simple typographical logo. I promised myself I wouldn't spend a crazy amount of time on this, but to make quick and sharp decisions. It seems to be working so far. Freelance editing won't be my staple, so I'm less concerned with creating a perfect brand, so it's coming together pretty easily. My plan is: if I wake up tomorrow and my business name doesn't make me cringe, I'll register it, then bang out a website on Squarespace (fingers crossed it's not too hard).

Pregnancy-wise, I'm feeling pretty good apart from the fatigue, which can be an absolute monster some days, on the back of insomnia. I need to get on top of that somehow - I'm having meltdowns thinking about how to cope with lack of sleep with the baby arrives! Yikes.

On that positive note, I'm going to sign off! Thanks for indulging my rant all the way to the end.

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Yesterday Lindsay and I were thrilled to share the news with all of our friends and family that we're expecting our first bubba on the 15th February 2018. We've just passed the 12-week mark, having had our first important scan last Thursday morning. It was so incredible to see our little creation moving around on the screen, and we already love him or her so much. All is going well, which we're incredibly grateful for.

Although we've talked about the little bub every day (its nickname has changed as the weeks progress, from Poppyseed to Dino to Mermaid and Kumquat...) we're tried to stay somewhat contained in our excitement til we passed the 12-week mark... just in case. It's a lovely, joyful relief and beautiful time now that we've passed that milestone, and we're looking forward to enjoying the next six months of 'just us' but of course so looking forward to welcoming our son or daughter (with a natural dose of fear thrown in for good measure!).

Here's a little snap of apricot-sized baby, and just one of the little nurseries I let myself steal a snap of when it popped up in my Instagram feed a couple of months ago. x

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