Unlock Your Style + peonies

It’s a wrap

Nikki ParkinsonLife 89 Comments

Today is a super special day in the SY household.

The beautiful and smart Miss SY turns 18. She’s managed to get through her first year of uni under-age and is very much hanging out to join her friends out and about at pubs and clubs.

That starts tonight with drinks at a hotel before us oldies are dismissed and the sweet young things continue on to a club that she can’t quite comprehend I actually used to go out to BACK IN THE DAY.

We shopped this week for a couple of outfit options – I will post the winning number on Instagram tonight – there is fancy chocolate cake ordered  for afternoon tea and we’re off to have our hair and makeup sorted this afternoon.

Miss SY after a successful shopping expedition

I’m very grateful that she still wants to do these things with me. I guess I must have done something right in this gig they call parenting.

Speaking of which, I wish I could march Miss SY down to Greens Senator Larissa Waters’ office.

In case you missed it, Ms Waters has called for an end to gendered marketing of children’s toys. She’s backed Play Unlimited’s No Gender December campaign that calls on parents to boycott presents that reinforce gender stereotypes.

Larissa, let me tell you what a load of absolute rubbish this notion is.

Exhibit A: Myself. My late mother was a poster child for No Gender All Year (forget about this just December business) back in the 1970s. The more I yearned for a Barbie doll or Baby Alive, the more Tonka Trunks I received. This would have been FABULOUS if my brothers had got the dolls but, no, they got trucks too and were very happy to then receive mine as part of their collection. If only Mum could see me now … surrounded by shoes, bags, accessories … and writing about them every day.

Exhibit B: Miss SY. Sixteen years ago – on her second birthday – Miss SY received the first of MANY Barbie dolls. At one time we had the whole campervan-and-Ken kit and caboodle. Guess what? She hardly ever played with them. She wanted them, yes, but once in her room they were barely touched.

Yes, Larissa, kids will figure it all out for themselves. They will play with whatever toys they want to play with and they’ll move on when they’re ready.

What toys they play with won’t turn kids into anything untoward or mould their adult behaviour … unless, of course, you’re me and really have never gotten over the lack of Barbies in your life and now have two sitting on the shelf in your office ;).

Moving right along … it’s also the last day of school for Master SY.

I’m incredibly proud of him too. He took to his new school at the start of the year with much courage and has gone on to have a fantastic year, making new and most proabably lifelong friends.

I caught up briefly at lunch yesterday with some of those friends’ mums – I’m incredibly grateful for my new friendships. These women have been my support group this year as I’ve settled in to living in Brisbane as well as travelling so much with the launch of my book. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Anya Hindmarch

Speaking of the book, last Friday night was my last book event of the year. It was the 22nd speaking event for me since my book hit the stores at the end of July.

Yes. I. Am. Tired.

Tired but extremely happy and grateful for the opportunity.

Unlock Your Style + peonies

I’ve loved meeting so, so many SY readers across Australia and I’ve loved that I’ve been able to support and create awareness for Dress for Success (I’ve also raised almost $3000 for Dress for Success Brisbane from my book events).

I’m extremely happy and grateful that the SY community is one of support and friendliness. Thank-you for that.

It’s rare for me to receive a nasty comment on my blog but that happened late last week. I didn’t see it until a couple of days after it was posted (it was a fake name and email address of course) but it pee-ed me off that this judgement-free space was somehow tarnished.

How do people not have any manners? What prompts people to come into a space which they don’t normally read and cast judgement and attack me for my appearance?

Massive unhappiness with their current life, I suspect.

I sincerely hope they realise that happiness comes from within. No-one can make another happy. You have to actually want to be happy and makes changes to your life to make that happen.

I also suspect that such anonymous cowards have never had anything tragic happen in their life – so they lack any kind of perspective.

How’s this for perspective …

Last week a woman I went to school with sadly passed away, one of my oldest friends continues to care for her sick parents after a cancer diagnosis four months ago, another friend has found out there is nothing more that doctors can do to help her dad who is also sick with cancer, another friend’s father had a massive operation this week that came after the discovery of tumours in his body.

Sadly, I have perspective. That same mum who banned the Barbie from my life never got to meet my beautiful daughter. Miss SY was born almost a year after she and my step-dad accidentally drowned on a tramping holiday in New Zealand.

She would have been incredibly proud. As am I.

Link love

Brooke from The Blonde Ambition has some great tips for what to wear on a date.

Kim-Marie and Rachel from Kimba Likes and Redcliffe Style are continuing their fashion challenge on Instagram – now it’s all about #summerstyle. Join in and don’t forget to add my #everydaystyle as well.

Sonia Styling has enlisted the help of Lucy from She Shopped to give us pertinent tips for the festive season (and any time of year) on how to fit it all in without the overwhelm.

Vanessa from Style and Shenanigans got me excited with her post about gold accessories. Be still my beating (bowerbird) heart.

Bev from Iris May Style shows the power of good shapewear. Love this slip from Bella Bodies.

Happy weekend

I hope you enjoy your weekend to the fullest. I’ll be going with Mr SY to his office Christmas party, spending time at a city hotel and spa with that old girlfriend I mentioned above and ending the weekend with some Christmas shopping and carols in the park.

‘Tis the season and all that.

So, tell me what you think about the gender-toy-debate. What are you up to this weekend?

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Comments 89

  1. The kindy room example referred to often throughout the comments is a great example of how children will play when the very issue under debate is taken out of the equation . Kindys set up play spaces & leave choices to children. They often use educational non-branded toys which are non-gender marketed. To me that’s the point. The trouble is, in the chain stores for most shoppers, we don’t have easy access to those toys. And the impact of gender marketing does narrow our childrens wants. My daughters love Lego but 1 burst into tears last Christmas when a great-aunt gave her “boy” Lego. They want everything they see marketed to girls & with no brothers they could miss out on so much. As a parent I’m not going to force toys on my children but I would appreciate less interference /brainwashing from the marketers so they could enjoy a broader experience and follow whatever path they choose. I’m really glad this cause has received media spotlight and debate as its reminded me to start having conversations with my girls about these issues as we go throughout our days.

  2. Hi Nikki, congrats to your lovely daughter on her 18th – how exciting!!! In regards to toys and gender, I grew up with Barbies, lego and a train set. I used to sew outfits for Barbie, I made her a bunk bed out of Dad’s scrap wood and sewed up her bed linen. She used to climb trees and camp in the backyard by day, and get dressed in all of her finery for an evening out!
    My brother used to play with barbie too, he used to try to turn her head inside out and bend her legs the wrong way >:-( However, toys were never as gender specific then as they are now, 40+ odd years later. It’s all about marketing and broadening the gender divide in order to sell more products. But it’s not just the gender issue, what about the licenced merchandise as well? The more aware we are as parents when we shop for childrens’ toys, the less we can be manipulated and then we can make a better choice.
    Thanks for the inspirational posts, have a lovely Christmas!

  3. Happy birthday Miss SY. I’m so glad you have a great relationship. I don’t with my mother. I do with my son.

    Who as a child used to rock trains to sleep in his arms, then tuck them into his doll cot. He used to push dolls around the floor like trucks. My old Barbies used to hang out with his Action Men and kick the baddies’ butts. His dad does 95% of our family cooking yet I struggled to find a toy kitchen that wasn’t pink.

    Toys are toys. Kids very rarely play in a prescribed manner. That’s kinda the whole point of play! Learning and exploring.

    How narrow minded of the Greens to take this attitude.

  4. Happy happy birthday to Miss SY and congrats for raising such a gorgeous, intelligent daughter! Have fun with the birthday festival and enjoy toasting a champs together … legally! x P.S. Thanks so much for the lovely shout out too – much appreciated! x

  5. A big happy birthday to Miss SY! Congratulations to you and Mr SY for making it through 18 years of parenthood! I hope you all have a wonderful night. Can’t wait to see the outfits. And thanks so much for the link share. xx

  6. I think politicians should stick their beaks in the important business and leave the toys out of it, it is after all just child’s play. Wouldn’t it be good if toys were the biggest problem for modern day politicians, but it’s not! You’ve had an immense year, and I’m pleased that it’s finishing on a (well deserved) high! Hope you have a cracker of a weekend, it sounds absolutely fabulous. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with the hubster, after his recent hospital stay, it’s time to slow down and appreciate the little things. Like you said, it’s all about perspective!

  7. HI Nikki. another great post. Sorry to hear about the troll, but unfortunately they are out there waiting to spit out their vitriol (poor sad souls).
    I do get your point that kids will figure out what they like, but I don’t think we should be abandoning this debate so easily. It is not about what kids like (after all some of the best loved ‘toys’ are empty boxes and kitchen utensils), it’s how toy marketing is simply reinforcing those sterotypes – kitchen for girls, swords for boys. It is nearly impossible to find gender neutral toys these days. It is all very much categorised – blue or pink, boys or girls. The other day I took my 9 year old book shopping and she picked up two books from the shelf – fairy tales for boys (blue of course) and fairy tales for girls (pink of course). She asked me why the books were split, her favourite colour is blue, she likes dragons too and she liked stories in both. It was really difficult to answer that so that a 9-year old would understand. So we ended up buying both. Here is another example: she loves Lego but recently she only wants the girls version and when I asked why she said ‘because they are not violent’. Not because they are pink and have girls in them, but because the other lines seem violent to her! And yes, kids are smart and will eventually figure it out, but it is us adults buying the toys and if we are faced with a lack of choice, those stereotypes will just keep being reinforced.
    Cheers from Perth

  8. Dear Nikki,
    I have really enjoyed reading your column and have a big smile on my face when I open my emails for the day and my SY has arrived 🙂
    I hope your daughter has had a wonderful ‘milestone’ birthday.
    Also, I would like to wish a very happy Christmas to you and your family.

  9. Dear Nikki,
    I have really enjoyed reading your column and have a big smile on my face when I open my emails for the day and my SY has arrived 🙂
    I hope your daughter has had a wonderful ‘milestone’ birthday.
    Also, I would like to wish a very happy Christmas to you and your family.

  10. B R A V O Nikki! You are truly inspiring. Everything you write resonates with me. Enjoy your big weekend. I will look forward to your everyday styling posts for outfits and updates. I hope there are a couple of your favourite cocktails in there too 😉

  11. HAPPY 18th Birthday to your beautiful daughter! And congratulations to you for having the close friendship that you do with her! I can’t imagine my daughter turning 18…especially when I remember myself at 18! 😉

    Kids will be interested in what THEY want to be interested in regardless of what we do or don’t buy them! A happy life is one with choices and freedom to express ourselves whichever way we wish. My kids both have a lovely mixture of ‘stereotyped’ toys and they play with them both equally. There are so many more important things in life than buying pink or blue toys…like actually being present in our children’s lives. I wish that topic was getting more media exposure than gender stereotyped toys!

    Have a fabulous weekend celebrating your daughter’s Birthday! We plan on getting our Christmas spirit in full swing over the weekend :). Love this time of year!

    Louise xx

    1. Very very good point Louise – being present in our children’s lives is worth more than all the blue and pink toys put together. My kids always played with a mix of things – and this was particularly so at Kindy. Embrace the spirit this weekend x

    2. Very very good point Louise – being present in our children’s lives is worth more than all the blue and pink toys put together. My kids always played with a mix of things – and this was particularly so at Kindy. Embrace the spirit this weekend x

  12. Many congratulations to your daughter on her 18th birthday, how exciting! She will have a ball! I always find your posts inspiring Nikki and as for the gender toy debate, Pah! Kids will make their own minds up and should be encouraged to do so. Keep up the good work and ignore the negativity, you have created such a positive and empowering space. Enjoy your weekend and I’ve given your wonderful blog a mention in my own blog space today 🙂 x

  13. So much love and so many positive vibes on your blog and especially this post Nikki which is such a credit to you. And why we all love coming here everyday. As with the nasty comment and the gender toy debate, you are 100% right. Don’t we all have bigger things to concern ourselves with? Life is too short and we really do need to enjoy every minute not waste it with this rubbish. Finally … happy birthday to Miss SY. Such a fun birthday!!

  14. Happy 18th Birthday, Miss SY! There’s something so incredibly special about turning 18. You’re finally an adult and the big, wide world is at your feet. Anything is possible and with that (gorgeous) head on your shoulders, I have no doubt you will be a success at anything you turn your hand to. Have fun tonight!
    *stands up and applauds*
    Bravo, Nikki. What a bloody brilliant post. I was nodding my head along to every single sentence. You are so eloquent, always professional, incredibly warm and generous, and this place – Styling You – is such a special place to hang out. I for one love coming here and it’s no secret that I adore you. So thank you for creating what you do here. x
    (PS: thank you for the link love.)

  15. Happy 18th Birthday, Miss SY! There’s something so incredibly special about turning 18. You’re finally an adult and the big, wide world is at your feet. Anything is possible and with that (gorgeous) head on your shoulders, I have no doubt you will be a success at anything you turn your hand to. Have fun tonight!
    *stands up and applauds*
    Bravo, Nikki. What a bloody brilliant post. I was nodding my head along to every single sentence. You are so eloquent, always professional, incredibly warm and generous, and this place – Styling You – is such a special place to hang out. I for one love coming here and it’s no secret that I adore you. So thank you for creating what you do here. x
    (PS: thank you for the link love.)

  16. Happy 18th for Miss SY, what a milestone – a whole year of no clubbing must of been tough. Kids totally know what toys interest them. Mine boys love doll houses and kitchens at daycare – good on them. I’ll be teaching them to be one day good husbands!
    I really think you nailed it on the head. Having experienced tragedy gives you more perspective. This is me to a tea! Quiet weekend here, wrapping presents and feeding the tribe. Enjoy time with your girlfriend xx

  17. Such a bittersweet post today – much happiness and then some sadness too. With regards the whole gender equality stuff that’s out there – seriously – are we so politically correct these days that boys can’t be boys and girls can’t be girls, and play with whatever they want? I had a barbie, and I had a train set. I loved both equally. These people that come up with these out-there ideas are really stuffing with our children’s minds (if we let them). Just let people be. That’s my rant for the day – just had a coffee – that’s why!!! Have a wonderful night Nikki with your family and your birthday girl. xo

  18. Firstly – great post. Secondly this horrid person is clearly jealous and can’t cope. You hit the nail on the head with perspective too. Thirdly – makes me so angry this whole gender stereotype debate. Let the kids work it out. It is actually infuriating. It’s a form of control in itself and I don’t see why they can’t see that. I know plenty of girls and boys interested in either ‘genders’ toys not to mention my son that loves dressing up as Elsa from the movie Frozen. Just let kids be kids. Focus energy on something worthwhile and not so trivial.

    1. Yes! It is a form of control! I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the comments about a kindy room and how they set up play areas. The kids just gravitate to what they’re interested/obsessed with on that day and move if they like. It’s not a boy/girl thing … it’s their choice! Well said!

  19. May I just do a flash back to your blog about idea’s for Christmas gift ideas a couple of weeks ago has seriously changed the way I shop for my extended family! Of course I should think about their hobbies and what they love to do, rather than just stressing, you helped me remember that Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to show the people around u that they are loved. Simple as that. I am new to your page and I am loving that u are unashamedly girly, and a stunning example of every day women, juggling the many challenges of being a working mum with wicked style xxx As for the toy debate, I completely agree, kids will be kids and I know for my 3 they have a different fave toy every week, my son adores his trucks and cars but is quite happy to watch Barbie movies, my girls adore their Barbies but are quite happy to get very dirty in the sandpit with their brothers trucks and the garden hose. Let kids be kids, and lets stop pushing ridiculous adult agendas on them!

    1. Absolutely Carissa! You only have to look at kids in a kindy environment when all the gender things are available to them … they switch between them all and go through phases where they are fixated on certain things – like home corner or the car track. And thanks for your lovely words – glad Christmas will be a different thought process for you this year x

  20. Congratulations for so many things, including your wonderful parenting as your DD is now 18!
    Think gender toy debate is ridiculous as so many more important things for kids to focus on- having a girl & a boy meant we had all types of toys. Guess what, our kids each gravitated to “traditional toys”.
    i tell the kids to use their brain for good & not evil every day, shame the nasty commentator doesn’t follow that line. My late mum always would say”if you don’t have anything good to say, be quiet”.
    But my final comment for such people is something i reserve for special occasions: “As Clint Eastwood, my favorite actor is believed to have once said: ” Opinions are like ar..holes. Most people keep them covered.”

    DD’s presentation assembly in 2 hours, looking after family tonight, DS’s cricket tomorrow morning, DD’s dance concert in afternoon; & local Christmas in park on Sunday night. Have a great weekend! Den xxx

  21. Happy 18th Birthday to your beautiful daughter Nikki I hope she has a fabulous birthday.
    I do not like rude people or people who comment negatively on people’s appearances it’s just downright rude and hurtful,if you have nothing nice to say,say nothing at all,your blog usually has the most friendly and supportive of women and its a shame that has been tarnished.
    I agree with you about the toy debate my daughter was the same she asked for Barbies but rarely played with them and my son loved breastfeeding his Wayne Peirce doll and pushing around my daughters dolls prams and she played with his trucks and soccer balls it doesn’t matter what they play with IMO they will turn out how they want to.
    Congratulations on raising so much money for Dress for success Nikki your book is fab and I got on for my sister for Christmas.
    We have a surprise 50th tomorrow and I will be playing resorts on Sunday I hope,have a lovely weekend Nikki those flowers are gorgeous I have picked lots of my big gardenias and hydrangeas,they smell gorgeous Xx

  22. Happy birthday miss SY. I didn’t reach that milestone until half way through second year uni. I was everyone’s little sister! Well done with reaching that milestone again too as a mum. Growing happy adults that want to still hang out with us is all our goal in this parenting caper, no? I think your Joie de Vivre is what makes us all read SY. A happy year is always a good year but bitter sweet when close friends have not shared the same. But as you said it keeps it all in perspective. But all the more reason to celebrate the joys in life. Enjoy your celebrations this weekend. Much the same for us, so no complaints here!

  23. I love the link love this week!

    The gender toys debate I think needs balance. More grey in the black and white. My 3yo has a pram which he regularly puts Woody or Buzz Lightyear into. I could only find a pink pram. Same for his tea set. Because men don’t drink tea apparently. Building toys are often only marketed at boys, which may be why female representation in engineering fields are low… Goldieblox are a start to remedy this – I recommend their YouTube clips which I included links to in this blogpost where I also discuss painting my 3yo son’s toe nails… http://kangarue-silverlinings.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/nailed-it.html?m=1

    Sorry to hear you got trolled. I don’t understand the behaviour, it takes far more effort to be bitter than content. Perhaps they have had an incredibly hard life and have never had any positivity modelled nor been given the opportunity to learn to think differently. Hard to sit back in the moment of receiving the attack though! *hugs*


    1. You’ve got some great points Ruth – I do remember trying to find tea sets and the like in primary colours and did so through those catalogues that come at the end of year for Christmas gifts. I also liken it to the kindy situation where kids have it all on offer and will just gravitate to what they want to play with – they’re never forced one way or another.

      1. Absolutely. Pickle has a bit of everything, so he plays with both at playcare… it’s funny to watch the kids who only get specific gender toys at home, those boys often go straight for the for the babies and prams and the girls go for the blocks and cars. I want to encourage Pickle’s nurturing, not squash it, maybe one day it will add to his confidence as a dad.

  24. you are the business hun! … what a wrap!!! … tissues here!
    agree with you on gender toys … free choice! if a boy wants a fairy dress, ok!
    barbies! … not around in my day, but when my daughter got hers, I was the one doing the hair and changing clothes! not my daughter!
    obviously has been an issue for you! … not fair!
    I wish miss sy a beautiful 18th birthday … she looks very special! <3
    have a lovely time! much love m:)X

  25. Nikki, I live in Brisbane and through your blog feel like I know you! I saw that you were at my friend’s bookshop in Bowral the other day and wanted to say to them “Oh, you have Nikki down there!” as if I actually do know you! I guess this means you hit the right note with your blog, for me at least.

    I am with you on the gender related thing with toys. I agree with the greens about most things but not this time.

    My mother, who also never got to meet her grandchildren never allowed me to read comics or Enid Blyton. I was always desperate to read Archie comics with Betty and Veronica! Years later as a teacher, I discovered The Magic Faraway Tree etc, and just how mud the children loved them. I later read them to my own children who seem not to have been scarred for life by the experience.

    1. Your friend has a wonderful bookshop Adrienne – and I’m glad you feel that you know me – it’s been so lovely to meet so many readers this year and I hope that continues in 2015. Oh I wasn’t allowed Enid Blyton books either – I used to borrow them from my friends!!

  26. Nikki you are strong, stylish and caring, shake off the shallow haters. I’m so sorry to read of all the sadness that surrounds you and your friends, find strength in each other. Perspective is a powerful thing, people stumble through life…then bam, perspective is a game changer. Much love to you, I’ve loved following you and getting to know you…keep on being you…real!

    1. I do shake them off Jenni and am grateful that mostly they don’t show their anonymous face here – that just ruins it for everyone else. You know only too well about perspective and you’re an inspiration for that.

    2. I do shake them off Jenni and am grateful that mostly they don’t show their anonymous face here – that just ruins it for everyone else. You know only too well about perspective and you’re an inspiration for that.

  27. Happy birthday Miss SY. In have recently told my son to always make sure you and you mates look out for one another. Also no matter how late it is and where ever you are if you need a lift home call me and I will come and get you or your mates. I would prefer to come and get them than any one go missing.
    Gender toys. What ever. I just bought my kids whatever they wanted. We had heaps of Bratz Dolls. I have a boy and a girl and they played together all the time when they were little. Now my beautiful Miss 15 wants a car like her brothers. A Toyota 4wd extra cab with a tray back so when she gets her licence she can go 4wding with home and his mates. She also loves shopping, clothes and make-up and we just were lucky enough to see Katy Perry in Brisbane – the night of the big storm. Kids will be what they will be and it doesn’t matter about the toys they had growing up.

  28. I think that kids are interested in what they are interested in and it doesn’t matter what we do about it and how we label it, they won’t change their interest. So we should encourage our children’s interests and channel them into positive paths. If girls love pink and dollies, there isn’t anything wrong with that. If boys love guns and trucks, so what? Encourage your daughters to care for others, and teach your sons to drive early. I know people get on their high horses about “traditional gender roles”, but sorry, someone has to do it, and some of those people are going to be the traditional gender. Get over it.

    In our family, I went with the interests, but I didn’t push gender stereotypes. I didn’t label pink as a girl’s colour, and I didn’t object when my sons wanted dolls – or when they loved them desperately, either. Now I have two sons who love music, and care responsibly for animals and one wants to be an electrician and one is in army cadets.

    I really can’t see the point in the current gender debate which seems to want to overturn all the previous norms. Sure, some people will want to push the boundaries of normal and bring change, but there’s no reason why everyone should be made to. I’m not saying that the change is bad, just that no changing isn’t bad either. And banning gender specific toys doesn’t help anyone.

  29. One of the things I really enjoy about this blog is Nikki’s willingness to call out much of fashion industry on its portrayal of women’s bodies – as though everyone is a size 8 and 6 foot tall. The campaign about children’s toys has a similar concern. It’s not about dictating what toys we buy our children, but rather pointing out that toy manufacturers and retailers often make judgements about what is a ‘girl’s’ toy and what is a ‘boy’s’ toy, and that these divisions can have a subtle but important effects on the way we think about how boys and girls should behave (Lego is a boy’s toy! Boys are good at building things! Etc). There is a strong analogy here with the way the fashion industry represents women’s bodies and the anxiety many of us feeling about our own size and shape – when, as Nikki often points out, our focus should be on health. I don’t think we can discount the way marketing shapes our perceptions.

    1. Most definitely marketing shapes our perceptions – I’m so gullible in that way. Something just needs to have NEW on it and I covet it! My kids always had access to all kinds of toys (in a kindy situation even more so) and they gravitated to and play with whatever they chose. Doesn’t matter what colour it is or how it’s marketed. Sometimes the gender lines are clean cut; sometimes they’re blurred … but always it should be the child saying what they’d like to play with, not an adult saying you have to play with something because of their gender-specific or gender-neutral beliefs.

  30. Happy Birthday Miss SY! Such an exciting time isn’t it! Eighteen with the her life ahead and the world is her oyster. But it goes way too quickly for us Mums. Hmmm gender identity…what a load of bollocks. That comes from a mum/grandmother/Early Childhood Educator of 20 plus years under my belt. You have had a massive year, so much success and much to be proud of. I admire your ‘feet on the ground’ thinking, and perspective. I didn’t see the nasty comment, what a rotter. Busy weekend for me, well it’s my day off today so hairdresser and maybe a pedi and brow wax. Dinner out tonight with the girls from work for Xmas, then down to Brissie tomorrow to see my parents, then markets and looking after my granddaughter on Sunday. Not forgetting washing ironing cooking and the usual. Wouldn’t have it any other way though. Have a great weekend, and I hope your daughter has a top night celebrating!

  31. I vote Green, but I think Ms. Waters perhaps needs to focus on more important gender related and general issues.
    Can I come be your daughter for a week?

  32. I love your blog,I love your tips,I love you share your time with us.I love your wisdom.Thank you on all your work and enjoy your daughters birthday i hope she has the best time.We would love to see some birthday party out fits if you get the chance.

    Thank you


  33. Happy birthday Miss SY! Only a few days ago we we’re discussing my Miss 12 turning 18. Ok she was, I was imagining myself cowering in a corner mumbling… It’s too quick, it’s too quick! Anyway, on that gender toy debate. Omg really what a load of… Hosh posh! I’ve let my kids play with toys in general. Regardless of the gender identity they have. Like you said, kids will pick what they want to play with. And kids being kids, the more you say no or boycott something that’s so unimportant, the more they’ll want it!

  34. What a week, what a year, what a time! Seems to have thrown up a mixture of emotions for you. Some people may have come and gone from your life but clearly they are never forgotten. “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.” (Cicero) Congratulations to to Miss SY on her 18th and to her the lovely woman who raised her : ). Enjoy your weekend with the loving family and friends you have with you now. x

    1. Beautiful quote Samantha. Yes, this time of year is always a mix of emotions for me … so much to celebrate but also would have been my mum’s birthday and they also died just before Christmas. Makes me hug my family tighter xx

    2. Beautiful quote Samantha. Yes, this time of year is always a mix of emotions for me … so much to celebrate but also would have been my mum’s birthday and they also died just before Christmas. Makes me hug my family tighter xx

  35. Gosh Nikki this post covers a lot of ground. Happy birthday to your lovely girl – 18 is a big milestone. Hope you all enjoy the celebrations tonight. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve received nasty comments on your blog. My 11 yo daughter has been on the receiving end of some mad stuff on KIK in the last week or so and our focus is on “being the best you can be and hoping others are working on that too”. For a million reasons, this has been a very challenging week. Both my kids are leaving our safe, happy, lovely little Catholic school today and moving on to new adventures next year. We’re all feeling a bit sad about that. This weekend – Christmas party at lunchtime today, Christmas party tonight, Christmas party tomorrow night, Christmas shopping, prepping for a week at the coast next week, some catch up on sleep, and hopefully a hair cut! Yikes.

  36. Your blog is great! Not just because I won a pair of shoes from ” shoes of prey” from it (but that was a pretty nice bonus)
    but I just like reading about your thoughts on fashion and your very helpful tips. I also love your common sense attitude on the gender presents too- I agree. I love reading your blog nearly every morning – I am so glad I found it- I have no idea how I did but have really enjoyed it. Have a great day today – very special! Just wanted to say thank you for your blog!

  37. What a busy week! Happy birthday Miss SY! Hard to believe in 18 years, I should be celebrating the same milestone ( currently enjoying an epidural at the Wesley hotel:)). Congrats on school finishing and for the end of your book tour! Sorry to hear about the negative comment- your blog offers so much joy and positivity. As for gender free December, as much as I’d love to fill my house with Barbie and her camper van, I don’t have room for toys my boys show NO interest in. Afraid I’ll need to have a girl for that. Finally, thank you so much for the earrings you gave me- love them, and look forward to wearing them in the festive season xxx

    1. Housewife in Heels – I don’t know you, but after reading your message, I’ll be thinking of you today. All the very best for the birth of your baby x

  38. Firstly Happy 18th to Miss SY and congratulations to both Miss SY and Master SY for succeeding this year. I too used to love going out when I was a little older than 18. It was fun. Congratulations on all your successes as well Nikki. A triumphant year for you in so many ways. So saddened to hear of all the sad news that has come your way. I will be attending a special little girls 2 year old birthday celebration. I have also shared a little gold feature on my blog this week. Enjoy your weekend. Relax. V x

  39. I love you stance on trolling comments! I, like you, VERY rarely get them, but when I do, I just reply with a comment that pretty much says, “Chasing Cait is about positive thoughts, language and body image. Your nasty words don’t mean anything to me, but they discourage other amazing women reading this blog from trying something new and exploring their style. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t ready my blog, don’t comment, or don’t follow me on Facebook” it shuts them up.
    Keep up the AMAZING work you do inspiriting women, whilst looking gorgeous, everyday!!
    PS. happy 18th Miss SY! I was also 17 my first whole year of uni so I feel her pain 😉

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