May 312012
 

With our big holidays just 6 weeks away you’d think the time can’t go fast enough for me and of course I am very much looking forward to it, but on the other hand I also wish time would slow down a little bit. Not because I am not excited about the trip but because my oldest two start kindy straight after we come back. The twins are terribly excited about ‘school’, they can’t wait and have packed their new My School Book from BerrySoft so they can do some ‘studying’ on the plane.

Australian family business BerrySoft is all about gorgeous kids product that are, you guessed it, soft. Cloth toys have been and always will be very popular as there is little chance of accidents, they are easily handled by little hands and often they are washable too. The BerrySoft range consists of soft toys, books, wall hangings and play bags, some designs are even designed and handmade by mum Muriel. The range is hugely popular and already available at more than 100 Australian libraries and schools.

Back to the My School Book ($40) which features 12 pages of educational fun for curious little ones. You’ll be surprised how many learning points they have been able to fit in: Learning numbers and shapes, reading the clock, matching words with pictures, matching pictures with pictures, matching numbers with words, find missing letters and you’ll be able to come up with many more yourself.

The winner of the BerrySoft giveaway will win this beautiful My Kitchen Playbook ($50), another great title in the Soft Books range. Kids just love ‘helping’ in the kitchen but they often make a lot of mess, break your favourite bowls and are rather dangerous with the knives, not something you have to worry about when they are exploring this soft kitchen. Lots of fun and hours of entertainment guaranteed.

To find out more about BerrySoft, to browse the range and to order online visit www.berrysoft.com.au.

For your chance to win a Berrysoft ‘My Kitchen Book’ (Blue) visit www.berrysoft.com.au and answer the following question: Aside from the items featured above, which BerrySoft product do you like most and why?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

Competition ends July 1, 2012. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Sales & Savings – Week 22

 Sales & Savings  Comments Off on Sales & Savings – Week 22
May 302012
 

Billy Lids
What? Up to 60% off sale
How? Prices as marked
When? Until stock lasts
Where? www.billylids.com.au

Coccinella
What? Free Ebulobo Happy Farm blanket (RRP $29) with purchase of the Happy Farm Play Mat
How? Enter your choice of blanket in the comments at checkout
When? Until June 28, 2012
Where? www.coccinella.com.au

The Baby Closet
What? 50% off Petunia Pickle Bottom nappy bags
How? Prices as marked
When? Until stock lasts
Where? www.thebabycloset.com.au

Skip to my Lou
What? 25% off storewide
How? Enter the code ’25OFF’ at checkout
When? Until June 3, 2012
Where? www.skiptomylou.com.au

Charlie’s Bucket
What? 25% off clothing
How? Enter the code ‘five5’ at checkout
When? Until June 3, 2012
Where? www.charliesbucket.com.au

The Hip Infant
What? Up to 50% off Dwell Studio
How? Prices as marked
When? Until stock lasts or June 3, 2012
Where? www.thehipinfant.com.au

May 292012
 

When we bought our house 3 years ago we picked a so called ‘renovator’s delight’. Of course we could have bought a smaller ‘finished’ house, but I am really happy that we went for a house with character and plenty of space. Although far from finished my kids just love their playroom, a little domain of their own filled with toys, dress ups and plenty of other things to keep them busy. They especially enjoy cooking up scrumptious meals and treats in their toy kitchen, perfect entertainment for rainy winter days. So what’s on my little masterchefs’ menu?

The hot favourite at the moment are these adorable Wooden Macarons (Bright Buttons Toys, $14.95) by French brand Djeco. This set of six mini macarons comes in a cute wooden storage box so your little baker can keep them neatly together. The twins are always serving us and any visitors their ‘homemade’ macarons, they even ask you which colour you would like. What flavour makes your tastebuds tingle, is it chocolate, strawberry or lemon perhaps?

As little as they are they know very well that a healthy breakfast is the best start to the day and after the kids have finished their real breakfast they often continue their healthy habit in the toy kitchen. With this cute Qtoys Breakfast Kit (Coccinella, $27.95) kids can make their own toast in the toaster without the risk of burnt fingers. They absolutely love slicing the butter and bun, just like mummy. The set even comes with its own serving tray.

Now this gorgeous Educo Rise ‘n Shine Wooden Coffee Maker Set (Bright Buttons Toys, $34.95) has not arrived in our kitchen just yet but I have put my name down for one as I am sure they will absolutely love it. I am not a coffee drinker myself but hip daddy is, one in the morning to take to work and one at night when he sits down for a rest. Once our set has arrived he will no doubt be taking an extra cup to work.

Toy kitchens come in all shapes, sizes and budgets, see them as an investment as kids will play with them for years. These beautiful pretend plan kitchen toys will definitely add to the cooking fun and being made of wood they are durable and environment friendly.

What meals does your little one prepare for you in the kitchen?

May 282012
 

A few months ago I wrote about the gorgeous Ebulobo Happy Farm range, a collection of colourful animal toys that stole the heart of many little ones (and their mums). Born in France the beautiful Ebulobo label is designed by two talented artists who burst with ideas for wonderful kids toys, in Australia you can find Ebulobo at Coccinella. Just like at a real farm there is always something happening and there have been some new arrivals recently, let me introduce you to them:

Probably still jet lagged from the long trip is this stunning Ebulobo Happy Farm Play Mat which arrived on our shores just last week. I don’t think baby will be bored easily, there are so many features to discover and explore. The five fun activity toys can be hung from the (removable) arches or attached to the soft cushion. Tummy time will be no punishment on this play mat! Right now when you purchase this beautiful nursery piece you will receive a free Happy Farm blanket (offer ends June 28, 2012).

Also available in the Happy Farm collection are three rattles in the shape of Happy Farm characters Antoine the Dog, Jeff the Rabbit and Huguette the Goat. These adorable soft rattles are the perfect size for little hands and fit easily in your baby bag for some entertainment while out and about. At Ebulobo they know babies love to taste their toys too so all fabrics are completely safe, non-toxic and have passed all safety tests.

Your toddler will love sharing meal time with his/her friends from the Happy Farm; the quicker the food is gone, the sooner all those beautiful illustrations are revealed. This colourful melamine Happy Farm Divided Plate has high sides making it easier to eat without much mess. You can complete the set with the matching Happy Farm Spoon and Mug. With pleasant pricetags between $4.95 and $14.95 these meal time products are a fabulous gift idea.

To find out more about Coccinella, to browse the Ebulobo range and to order online visit www.coccinella.com.au.

For your chance to win a 5-piece Ebulobo Happy Farm prize pack valued at $84.85 (Ebulobo blanket, rattle, plate, mug and spoon) visit www.coccinella.com.au and answer the following question: Aside from the items featured above, which other Ebulobo design do you really like in the Coccinella store?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

Competition ends June 28, 2012. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

May 272012
 

I am sure I am not the only one who has watched a kids tv show and wondered: How is a kids tv show born? Who is behind the characters? Where do the director and the team draw their inspiration from? Recently I had the fabulous opportunity to find out the answers to some of these questions from mum Kristie, the talented lady behind the new Nick Jr. show Didi and B.

Creator Kristie developed Didi and B. with curious preschoolers in mind, they will love going on many fun adventures with butterfly Didi and a cute spelling bee B. Singing songs, learning the alphabet, practising the days of the week and much more, kids will have a ball in Didi and B. garden world of learning.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
I work in Sydney and live in the Southern Highlands, so my ideal weekend is snuggling back at home with my family. My hubby usually cooks a big Irish fry-up which we often eat in the garden, followed by a morning browsing country markets, bric-a-brac and bookshops. Usually we end up with a playdate for us all with other families who have a similarly hectic city/country lifestyle. (I also love popping down the South Coast for a weekend at the beach – this photo was taken last weekend at one of my favourite spots.)

How did you come up with the idea of Didi and B.?
I was given the task of finding a new couple of characters for Nick Jr. and it was wonderful discovering who they might be. I’ve worked at Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. for 17 years and have spent a lot of time trying to understand what kids enjoy and endeavouring to create that for them. Nick Jr.’s shows are some of the most progressive pre-school shows in the world for kids, and we draw on the latest research and expertise of educators and colleagues, as well as watching our own little kids play, and that all feeds into that journey of development. (I also remember very well what I loved as a kid and I definitely tapped into that!) I then collaborated with a wonderful team of the most talented artists who helped draw what was in my mind’s eye, and others who sculpted and lovingly built the puppets. Set builders created the world by turning fluff and paint into magical grass on bolders and the most talented kids, producers, puppeteers, writers, composer, the most brilliant cinematographer and director all collaborated to create golden moments. It really is so fulfilling to see it all come to life.

Are the characters based on someone you know?
I wanted a boy and a girl character that would appeal to both boys and girls and that they would want to cuddle. The characters needed to have a warmth and humour that would enchant kids and add some joy to their lives. I’ve always been drawn to nature and know how much little girls love sparkles and glitter and wings. My own girls are obsessed with craft, so nature-inspired crafts were perfect for Didi.

Didi’s name actually came from a baby word my daughter, Gracie used to call butterflies before she could say the word. B and D are also some of the first sounds a baby makes. I’ve also always loved bees, especially the fluffy ones in Tasmania, and the idea of a spelling bee that could play with words appealed. I also wanted B. to be cheeky and funny, and be a real boy. Finding 8 year old Jordan to be the voice was so important. His husky cheekiness sums up B!

What did you think when you got to see the finalised show for the first time?
I was so proud of what the whole team achieved together, and I hoped that the kids at home would love them as much as we all do. I hope that all the love that went into it comes across to the kids at home. I also thought, thank goodness I listened to Gracie and Rosie’s feedback and changed the puppets’ eyes! They are way cuter with the girl’s expert feedback!

What part of the Didi and B. show do you like most and why?
I think B. is cheeky and charming, I especially love his B. song and had a tear when recording the Goodnight song. The Days of the Week song makes me laugh and is exactly the tone I was aiming for. I’m excited that we’ve created a show that not only reflects daily routines of littlies but also gently educates and entertains both kids and their caregivers. At Nick Jr. our whole philosophy is play along and learn and I think we have created something special that kids will want to play along with, giggle with, and grow with . I am most proud of the authentic warmth and humour, and the gentleness of the world we created out of fluff, and paint and a whole lot of love.

To find out more about Didi and B, to watch Didi and B. videos and to check out some fun activities visit www.nickjr.com.au.

May 262012
 

You may remember that I wrote about Australian fashion label Humble Bumble before and owner and designer Jacqui has definitely not sat still since then. Her beautiful Autumn/Winter range has been extremely well received and the designs are absolutely gorgeous. You can find them in store at Little Boo-Teek and with the current 30% off storewide offer now is the time to scoop up some sweet new Humble Bumble pieces. To enjoy the savings simply enter the code ‘NEWS30’ at checkout, offer ends May 30, 2012.

One of my favourite designs from the Humble Bumble Winter range is the adorable Doolittle Dress ($34,95, 00-2) which is available in this funky mustard yellow or a more neutral tan colour. I think this dress is just divine: those two cute pockets at the front, the details around the neck and at the back it closes with one single button, it is the little touches that make this dress so delightful.

Another lovely design is the Humble Bumble Veeda Cardi ($27.95, 00-2), a comfortable stripey little number that will soon become a big favourite. If you can’t get enough of stripes there is also a matching Ruffle Pant ($34,95) available with soft cuffs at the ankles to keep out that chilly winter draft. Together this set is a stylish alternative to the ordinary tracksuit, with the 30% off discount code you can buy both pieces for just $44.

But it is not just about the girls, there are some great boys styles on offer too as well as some unisex designs like these cool Maroon Play Pants ($29.95, 00-2), also available in navy. Aside from the winter range there are still some great discounted Humble Bumble summer garments left and with the current 30% off offer their prices get even better, stock up for next summer while you can.

To find out more about Little Boo-Teek, to browse the Humble Bumble range and to order online visit www.littlebooteek.com.au, the 30% off promotion ends May 30, 2012.

May 252012
 

I remember standing in the baby store, looking at all the different prams and comparing all their features. A pram is usually one of the biggest nursery expenses and you want to get it right straight away. Three wheels or four wheels, something colourful and trendy or rather something neutral and timeless, to start with a bassinet or straight into a normal seat, there are so many things to consider and choices to be made. Until Rozibaby entered the scene, because this exciting new brand lets you have it all.

Rozibaby is a new Australian label that is all about supplying modern parents with stylish, practical, high quality products that tick all the boxes. The freshly launched Rozibaby pram is the perfect example of their fabulous concept, at Rozibaby they believe that you shouldn’t have to change your style to fit in with a product, instead they let you change the product and make it fit your personality, lifestyle and needs.

The Rozibaby pram is far from a finished, unchangeable product, it is actually built from lots of different parts that you select yourself so you can build your very own, customised Rozibaby pram. Change the colours, change the seat type, the number of wheels, make your pram totally YOU and when your taste or needs change you can just order new parts separately and give your pram a small or big makeover. Your Rozibaby pram changes with you.

Now a pram can have all the looks but if it is not up to the task it is no good, which is why for the past week I have been putting a Rozibaby ride to the test so I could give you the full report. It is no surprise that the ‘build-your-own’ Rozibaby pram arrived in lots of separate pieces, but don’t let that put you off. The Rozibaby YouTube channel has a short and clear instruction video for every piece so I had no trouble setting it up. My first impression was that everything looked very sturdy, streamlined and fitted well.

For me this was the first time I got to try a pram with a lovely high seat (6 months+) like this and I am totally sold, but more importantly my little miss absolutely loved it too. So much less bending down for me and she sat up beautifully, checking out everything around her. For once there was no pulling on the straps trying to sit up, as she was already sitting up. Of course it can also be reclined for a relaxing snooze and it can even face forward and backward. For babies under 6 months there is bassinet option.

My husband always pays more attention to the technical and mechanical side of products so he took the Rozibaby for a test drive too. He spoke very highly of the quality of the materials used, the way the pieces move and fit together and he was extremely thrilled with the 4-Wheel Air Set. This type of tyre is brilliant for the hilly area where we live, the pneumatic (air filled) rear tyres ensure a comfortable ride for baby and you can’t feel every lump and bump in the road.

When folding the pram you do have to separate the seat from the frame, but this is as easy as one click and requires zero effort. In fact all the changing of parts is very simple, like going from 3 to 4 wheels, from forward to backward facing or attaching the canopy, sunshade or rain cover. One of my favourite features (besides the seat) is the bar across the seat as it opens up so you don’t have to wrestle your baby in there from above.

It is obvious that I have been really pleased with the Rozibaby pram and I will be sad to say goodbye to it this week. If I had to give one downside to this clever design it would be the weight capacity. The seat is designed for a maximum weight of 15kg which could be an issue, depending on the child and how long you want to use the pram for. For comparison: my nearly 2-year old already weighs 14kg and still sits in the pram a lot, on the other hand my nearly 4-year old weighs only just 15kg.

The Rozibaby pram system offers parents a flexibility like no other, it is so easy to replace parts that have gotten lost, damaged or maybe you just got bored by a certain colour or want to have a range of colours in your ‘pram wardrobe’ (there are currently 8 colours available and more to come). The separate pieces are very affordable and shipping is free for 98% of Australia’s population.

To find out more about Rozibaby, to take a closer look at all the different options and to build and order your own Rozibaby pram visit www.rozibaby.com.

Now the part you are all waiting for: Rozibaby is generously providing one complete Rozibaby pram package for a very lucky Hip little one reader. The prize consists of the Rozibaby chassis, circle frame, 3-wheel eva tyre set, 4-wheel air tyre set, canopy, bassinet unit, bassinet apron, seat unit and shopping basket; this amazing package has a total value of $1019.55 and of course the winner gets to pick his/her favourite colours.

For your chance to win this awesome Rozibaby pram package (RRP $1019.55) try the prambuilder on www.rozibaby.com and answer the following question: If you were to be our lucky winner what is your ideal Rozibaby pram going to look like?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

Competition ends June 25, 2012. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.