Thursday, 29 January 2015

Mummy Time #25: Maja Korovljević

Maja crafts the most beautiful minimal handmade wooden toys, and her Instagram feed @pinchtoys is an incredibly serene mix of work in progress, finished product and family life. I wanted to hear about Maja's life as a mum of two, and I'm really excited to share her responses with you this week- they made me laugh out loud more than once! I hope you enjoy her post!

Who are you?
My name is Maja, I'm 33 and live in Croatia. I've been married to my husband for almost seven years and we have two girls, Katja who is six, and Greta who was born on March 27th and is 9.5 months old [at the time of writing].

What do you do for a living?
I'm currently on maternity leave until Greta turns one, but I recently started running a small business together with my friend Sanja. The brand is called 'pinch • toys' and it's based on handmade cotton and wooden products for kids and their parents. During pregnancy with Greta, Katja and I had all the time in the world to be creative so we both came up with the idea to create more natural and calm toys for her and the newborn. As most of the toys we have are very colorful and plastic we often end up hiding them rather than playing with them so we started our creations with wood and non toxic paint. After few coffees with Sanja who was sewing and knitting alot in her spare time, we somehow ended up talking about much bigger plans! The excitement grew from day to day as the ideas just kept coming. After last summer, we were ready to launch. We can't even describe how thrilled we are with the fact that many people share our philosophy and support our little brand.

How do you manage the work/life balance?
When we had Katja, things were long way from where they are now. As the marriage happened fast we had to learn along the way how to become better parents and partners. After few years and one lost pregnancy we were so ready for the second baby. I am happy to be able to say that my husband gives me great support with my business and he is amazing with the girls. Also, we are not always 'by the clock' and we don't have problems if the kids are not sleeping at the exact same time every day. We try to have a certain schedule, but we don't go by it every day. Usually, I spend the mornings with the baby or both of the girls and the four of us are all together in the afternoons. After we put the girls to bed, I enter the Pinch world!

How are you?
Honestly, with all the positive and negative sides of motherhood, I never felt better - I'm exhausted, but happy! In fact, in a year or two, I would love to have one more baby, though I need a long talk with somebody about that, haha!

How do you relax?
I like to drink a big cup of coffee after I wake up, take long walks during the day, and in the night I like to watch TV or just hang online. I used to read and sing a lot and I'm hoping to get back to that when I stop breastfeeding.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?
I always make big plans but end up doing a major makeover of hidden body parts!

How does a typical day go?
Usually, my husband takes Katja to kindergarten as he goes to work at 7:30am. Greta and I will stay in bed and as I breastfeed we like to sleep a lot. We get up around 10 or 11am, I drink coffee and make her a bowl of fruit porridge. Then at noon we go to pick up her big sister. Sometimes grandma picks her up, but it all depends on how much work I have that day, or if I worked late the night before. If the weather is nice we take a long walk, buy groceries and than we go home to cook lunch. After my husband arrives home we eat, clean a bit and relax until it's bath time for girls. We've found that bath time is the best part of the day, so we just sit on the bathroom floor and watch them play. After they both fall asleep my night shift begins.

How was your pregnancy?
With Katja I had nausea for four months but after that I felt like I could be pregnant all the time! But after almost six years history repeated itself and nausea lasted for almost five months and than I had some pelvic pain. Besides that I felt quite good and I was very mobile until the end of both pregnancies.

Did you find out what you were having?
Both times we didn't want to know and we really loved that surpirse factor!

How was your labour?
Both of  them were fast and that's the positive side. With Katja I was due on 24th, so I came to the hospital and the next day I was induced. My contractions were horrible as I didn't have any pause between them but luckily she came out fast. After we entered the labour room the whole thing lasted for one hour. She was so tiny and perfect. Greta surprised us, and came nine days early. I basically took a shower and we went to hospital. We literally spent seven minutes in the labour room, I fed her right away, took some rest and showered. I was so excited I couldn't sleep all night. Three days after, we came home and became the Gang of Four.


How did you get on with breastfeeding?
With Katja I breastfed for give months cause I was inexperienced, and with Greta I still do. It was very painful both times, especially in the beginning but I was determined to succeed. With G it was even worse because I had mastitis twice, but now we are completely fine and I plan to breastfeed for at least three more months.

What does Greta eat?
She's a real chubby, and she eats almost everything! She loves all food, especially vegetables, but boobie is still her favourite, haha!

How did Katja adjust when Greta came along?
We had a long time to prepare and luckily Katja was already a big girl. However, she couldn't hide the fact that she was no longer the only child. We just went on like it had always been the four of us, trying to give them both all the attention that they deserved. In no time they became best friends.


Have you taken the girls on any holidays or away from home?
Last summer we went to the seaside here in Croatia which is quite far away from our town. The trip was a bit slow because we had to stop few times to feed baby G but we were prepared for it. After we got there we spent the weekend all together and then Mr K. went back home. The girls and I spent two more months there together with my cousins, and after a while my mum and my aunt joined us for two weeks. Katja was my perfect assistant and G was well behaved. Everyday we slept until late and after lunch and a nap we went to the beach. In mid-august my husband joined us for three weeks and we spent the beautiful summer together. The journey back went great and the girls slept most of the time.

Were the girls affected by the change of environment?
Yes- Greta was really nervous for the first few days, but after a while she adjusted and it all went fine. Katja helped me a lot as well, we were a real girl team.

What are the girls' favourite toys?
I'm proud to say that the both girls love the Pinch wooden blocks! Katja sleeps with Oscar the fish but she also enjoys playing with Lego and all kinds of little animals and fairies. Greta adores little rubber ducks, but the remote control is an absolute favourite! 

What are your essentials when you go out?
We really like to keep it simple. Diapers and pacifier for the baby, and baby wipes for both of them in case we get all messed up.

Where are your favourite places to shop for baby clothes?
Love H&M and Mingokids! Also we buy at Zara, but mostly in the boys department!


Do you have any tips you'd like to share with other mums or expectant mums?
Try not to force yourself to be the perfect parent. Follow your instincts but be willing to take a piece of advice or two. And remember you will learn along the way. Your child is the greatest teacher you could ever get!

What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?
Before having a reaction, count to ten! (I'm still adjusting to that one haha!)

Thank you for sharing Maja! x


  1. I love these posts - great way of learning about some interesting mamas. :)

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Jenna! They're such fun to do! xx


Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x