Christmas with Beados

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Christmas with Beados
Nov 302014
 

Beados

Last Saturday we planned a lovely trip to our local wildlife park but the weather had different plans so we found ourselves stuck inside instead. What better way to turn that frown upside down than with some fun Christmas craft? We had the best time coming up with our very own Christmas designs with Beados, I was so pleased with the results and the kids loved it. (Missed my first Beados post? Click here to read what Beados is all about) If you’re keen to get started on your own Beados Christmas craft here are a few tips:

Beados Christmas Snowflake

As there are no specific Beados Christmas templates available you have to use your imagination and design as you go. While that is quite easy for most adults children might struggle a little bit so if my kids thought of a tricky picture I used Google images to find some simple examples (e.g. snowflake template or reindeer template), there are lots of great images out there that you can use for inspiration. Depending on the ages of your children they may need a bit of help so why not make it into an activity for the whole family?

Beados Christmas Play Set

When creating pieces to play with or to display as a nativity scene try to design them with a flat strip at the bottom so that the small plastic display stands can grip properly. That way your creations can stand upright independently and it looks really cool. We also made a few flat designs to decorate our handmade Christmas cards with, you can just stick them on with ordinary craft glue.

Beados Christmas Reindeer

When creating Christmas tree ornaments ideally leave two rows of Beados around the hole where you want to thread the ribbon. This will make your design much stronger and more resilient especially if it is a bigger/heavier piece. While I did create a few pieces with just a single row of Beados they are clearly more delicate so I have placed them higher up in the tree to keep them away from grabby crabby hands. We made this cute angel window decoration using the Beados suction cup, I think we may add to our window scene over the next few weeks as these floating designs look quite magical.

Beados Christmas Angel

As tempting as it is to play with/hang up your new creations as soon as possible it is best to let them dry thoroughly, turn them around and spray the other side as well and again leave to dry for a day or two. This will make your Beados art much stronger and durable so it is worth the wait. Of course if one or a few of the Beados beads were to come off (which does happen sometimes especially if kids play with them all the time) you can simply reattach them with a spray of water and drying time.

Beados Christmas Card

If you’ve made some Christmas craft with Beados too I would love to see it!

To find out more about Beados by Moose Toys, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.mooseworld.com.au, prices start at RRP $9.99.

Fly Babee, first class flying for babies

 Baby, Out & About  Comments Off on Fly Babee, first class flying for babies
Nov 302014
 

Fly Babee

When people hear we recently travelled to Europe for a whole month with four children under six they usually call us crazy. Because all my family lives overseas plane trips are simply unavoidable so (while I admit it is not the most relaxing journey ever) over the last few years we’ve become quite experienced in air travelling with kids. The key is to be well prepared and there are some fantastic products out there to help you make your next flight enjoyable and stress free.

Fly Babee

We’ve flown with all four children when they were babies, even with the twins, so we know first hand how tricky it can be to stick to your normal routine and settle your (newborn) baby into a good sleep. The in-flight bassinets are fantastic but unfortunately they are usually located under a brightly lit TV screen, near the frequently visited toilets and next to noisy kitchens so there is a lot of disruption. Invented by one very clever Australian mama the brand new Fly Babee is here to rescue your baby’s (and your own!) sleep:

Fly Babee Storage BagFly Babee (RRP $99.95) is the world’s first sleep-easy cover for airline bassinets, pram carry cots and strollers. The brilliant breathable design blocks out 97% of hindering light, offers UPF 50+ protection against harmful UV rays, protects your child from the looks of well-meaning strangers and reduces your baby’s exposure to nasty germs. It’s compact, portable and light-weight (it weighs just 600 grams!) and the universal fit will make this every mum’s must-have travel accessory.

Fly Babee Pram BagSetting up the Fly Babee is a piece of cake, thanks to the handy pop-up design it unfolds itself automatically and attaches to the in-flight bassinet or pram frame with one simple clip on either side. Returning it to a compact package and back in the included storage bag takes a bit of practice but after a few tries you will have mastered this technique too. The storage bag conveniently attaches to your pram handle with velcro.

Fly Babee Pram CoverThe dome shaped canopy gives your baby plenty of room to move and breathe and you can check up on your sleeping bundle at any time through the super quiet ‘Chance a Glance’ flap. Once the Fly Babee is in place you can easily put your baby in and take baby out via the big zippered openings. Fly Babee is such a fantastic invention, if you are travelling with a baby this Summer you have to put this great Aussie product on your packing list for sure.

Fly Babee ClipsAs the Fly Babee is the world’s first airline bassinet cover it is hard to compare but it also doubles as a pram cover which makes it a great multifunctional product. Compared to many other pram covers it is a lot quicker and easier to use, all it takes is two clips instead of endless ties to do up or press studs to close. It also offers much more room thanks to the dome shape whereas other covers often stretch tightly across the frame leaving little moving space which can be scary for young children.

To find out more about Fly Babee, to order online or to locate a stockist near you visit www.flybabee.com.au.

LeapTV, the new way to learn and play

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapTV, the new way to learn and play
Nov 292014
 

If you have been browsing all the latest toy catalogues in preparation for Christmas you have no doubt spotted the exciting new arrival from LeapFrog, an innovative educational video gaming system for children aged 3-8 called LeapTV. I can hear you thinking: ‘Aren’t those kids a bit too young to play video games?’ Normally I would agree with you but on the other hand I am a big LeapFrog fan and have seen firsthand the positive effects their learning games have on my children so I set out to find out more…

There is no denying it, most children (including my own) find video games super interesting, they love the fast paced action on the big screen and the feelings of independence and being in charge that come with holding a controller. The problem is that the majority of games available are simply not suitable for young children, the content is too grown-up, the games are too difficult and while they are enjoyable kids learn very little from them.

LeapTVLeapFrog is on a mission to make video gaming fun, educational, child friendly and child appropriate so it gets the thumbs up from little players and passes the test for caring parents and experienced educators at the same time. Through LeapTV children have access to 70+ LeapFrog educator-approved games and videos that will have children develop important skills like reading, maths, science and creativity while playing. Get ready to jump, dance, point, swing, hop, fly and more with LeapTV.

We have been testing LeapTV for a few weeks with our 3 oldest children (6 year old twins and a 4 year old) and as they are familiar with LeapFrog learning through their LeapPads it didn’t take them long to work out what to do. Setting up LeapTV is very straight forward, it’s quick and effortless and the chunky, ergonomically shaped controller (with wrist strap!) is really simple to use for small hands. Instructions are clear and spoken out loud so even not-yet-readers can play, honestly they could not have made it any simpler.

LeapTV ControllerThere are three ways to play LeapTV and different games call for different ways of play which keeps play varied and interesting. For Classic Control and Pointer Play you need the controller, either with the handles together the traditional way or full length as a pointer, Body Motion is controller free and gives your child all the freedom to move around while burning lots of energy.

Just like other LeapFrog computer games LeapTV requires you to set up user profiles for your children. By doing so their LeapTV experience will be personalised and age appropriate and as your child gets better the games will automatically get trickier so it stays challenging. You can add multiple users and depending on the game you can play with 1-4 players so it’s the perfect shared present for siblings this Christmas.

LeapTV Pointer PlayWe have been playing LeapTV Sports which is likes a sports carnival, there is a fun sport for everyone and I love that the games are short so it’s an ideal way to keep the kids entertained while you cook dinner or a quick play before bed. From bowling to rope climbing and from skate boarding to karate, it was great entertainment for the whole family. All the sports are different so it keeps little brains active eg. bowling requires Pointer Play, skate boarding asks for Classic Control and rope climbing is controlled by Body Motion.

Throughout the games players are practising math, patterns and shapes by eg. skateboarding along the right pattern, balancing the weights in strength training, hitting the base ball through numbered hoops and chopping shapes in karate.

LeapTV Dance & LearnThere are currently 9 LeapTV games available and new titles will be released as the library grows, each game has different learning areas so you can pick the titles that are most beneficial for your child’s development. Featuring popular characters like Pixar Pals, Spiderman and Dora the Explorer the LeapTV software library is going to be a hit all boys and girls. I am hoping to soon try out LeapTV Dance & Learn and LeapTV Sofia the First so we’ll keep you in the loop as we explore the world of LeapTV.

The LeapTV Gaming System (RRP $229) consists of a sleek and stylish LeapTV base station, a LeapTV camera/motion detector and a LeapTV controller, the bonus customisable Pet Play World game is downloadable upon registration. Additional controllers (RRP $39.99) and LeapTV game cartridges (RRP $49.99) are sold separately.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to order online or to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

Nov 292014
 

Emporium D

They may only be six, four and one year old but my girls love pretty and shiny things as much as mama. When I unfolded the colourful drawing miss Juliet left in her shoe for Sinterklaas I wasn’t surprised to see a custom designed piece of jewellery; no request for Barbies, ponies or games but simply her very own piece of sparkle. I am thinking Sinterklaas is going to score really well this year as he just wrapped up a gorgeous parcel of Little Love goodness for this sweet girl:

Little Love Pearl Bracelet

From the designers of Emporium D, a stylish jewellery range of women, comes a dedicated junior line for young girls called Little Love by Emporium D. Inspired by beautiful France the collection features chic baby pearls and delightful sterling silver pieces, pretty pastel colours and enamel hearts, bows and logo charms. With prices starting at $30 Little Love by Emporium D jewellery makes the perfect gift for a special someone this Christmas.

Stackable Charm BraceletThe classic sterling silver Little Love Stackable Charm Bracelet (RRP $40) is both simple and stylish, it’s timeless and very versatile so you can wear it any day with any outfit. Wear one bracelet or stack a few together, wear one charm per bracelet or combine several charms to suit your taste, with 6 different charm bracelets to choose from there are lots of options and you can really personalise your look. You can position each charm where you want it and it will not slide along unless you unclasp it.

Ovaltween BraceletThis eye catching coral bead Ovaltween Bracelet (RRP $30) with silver plated purple charm is one of my favourites. The colour combination is divine and so summery, I love it! The exclusive Emporium D bow charm is double sided so it would look fantastic from any angle. Having an elasticised cord these cute bracelets are easy for small hands to put on and take off. The Ovaltween Bracelet is available in three different colours.

Little Love Coco BraceletAll Emporium D orders are carefully packaged in an Emporium D pouch and gift box so they are immediately ready to be presented to a lucky recipient, placed under the Christmas tree or popped in the Santa stocking. Shopping online is quick and easy and standard postage is just $5 Australia wide, that’s cheaper than paying for petrol and parking at the shops! Affordable express shipping is available in case you’ve left your shopping a little late. Emporium D gift To find out more about Emporium D, to order online and to locate a stockist near you visit www.emporiumd.com.au. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 282014
 

Crayola

When it comes to homework (and most other things in life) our twins are like chalk and cheese. Master 6 loves homework, he is always writing, reading, studying, learning and exploring. Miss 6 needs quite a lot of encouragement to practise her writing and she puts it off as along as possible. We quickly discovered the key is to make writing fun and this great invention from Crayola does just that:

Crayola Widescreen Light Designer

The Crayola Widescreen Light Designer (RRP $39.99, ages 6+) is a big, reusable drawing board that lights up to create very cool effects. Using the six included gel markers young artists can design colourful projects which can be altered in look by selecting one of seven different lighting effects. All of a sudden writing words is totally awesome and when you are done simply wipe clean and start all over again, hours of fun guaranteed.

Widescreen Light DesignerOf course the Widescreen Light Designer is not just fun for writing on, you can draw on it, play games on it or use it as a message board, our kids have no trouble coming up with new creative uses. They especially love standing it up like an easel and turning it into a shop sign, they write down the items they sell and what they cost which is (sneakily) an educational exercise too, happy faces all around. The screen measures 24 x 38cm in size so there is lots of drawing space.

You can use the Widescreen Light Designer flat like a paper and standing up like an easel, you can even attach it to the wall like an interactive poster but in that case you can’t store the markers in the special slots at the back. If you are planning to pop one of these awesome boards under the tree this Christmas just remember to keep some batteries on hand to avoid disappointment, the lights work on 3 AA batteries (not included).

The Crayola Widescreen Light Designer is now available at Toys’r’Us, Target and Big W.

To find out more about Crayola, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.crayola.com.au.

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ENJO Floor Cleaner (+ special ENJO offer!)

 Eco, Home, Mum, Sales & Savings  Comments Off on ENJO Floor Cleaner (+ special ENJO offer!)
Nov 282014
 

ENJO

Earlier in the year I told you how we keep our kitchen clean, shiny and germ free the natural way with Enjo. Ever since we discovered the magic of Enjo Fibres I have been tossing up about the Enjo Floor Cleaner; our floors need cleaning every single day (sometimes even twice or three times a day), it looks so easy to use and if it works as well as our Enjo Kitchen Glove and Cloths it would be absolutely perfect, but is it worth the expense?

As you know I like to do my research and compare my options before I buy so it is important to know what makes the Enjo Floor Cleaner (RRP $99) different than regular floor cleaners. The extra long Enjo Floor Cleaner Handle is light in weight, simple to assemble and use, comfortable to hold and manoeuvre and it slides under furniture easily. Giving the kitchen floor a quick wipe down after dinner takes just a few short minutes and requires very little effort making it ideal for busy mums and dads and well lived-in kitchens like ours. However the real difference is in the special Enjo Floor Fibres you use to wipe the floor with.

Enjo Floor FibresI know it is hard to believe, and I didn’t believe it either until I witnessed it with my own eyes, but Enjo Fibres work their magic with just a squirt of water. There is no need for nasty chemicals or detergent, there is no sticky residue and you can reuse the fibres over and over again, just wash them in the your washing machine and you’re ready for your next clean. Using nothing but water Enjo Fibres remove 95-100% of bacteria so can keep your home healthy and clean and children and pets can play on the floor safely.

There are six different Enjo Floor Fibres (RRP $99) to choose from, each type of fibre suits a different floor type so you can achieve perfect results on every floor. Wooden floors, tiles, bamboo, vinyl, lino, marble, concrete, there is an Enjo Floor Fibre that is right for you. The cleaner head simply slides into the floor fibre like an envelope and you’re good to go, unlike disposable wipes that come undone easily and need ‘tucking in’ repeatedly the Enjo Floor Fibre stays perfectly in place no matter what angle you use it on or how hard you push. When you’re done just unlock the cleaner head with your foot to remove the floor fibre for rinsing or washing.

Enjo Floor Cleaner Pack

The verdict? Considering the impressive 3-year life span of Enjo Fibres, the eliminated need for special floor cleaners and wipes full of nasty chemicals, the absence of chemical residue afterwards and the ease of use (and less waste) compared to other alternatives on the market the Enjo Floor Cleaner is well worth the investment. Yes it is a big expense at first but now I won’t have to buy any floor cleaning products for 3 years and it is healthier for my family too! Christmas has come early for me and I couldn’t be happier with our new floor cleaner.

Receive a FREE Limited Edition Green Floor Cleaner (RRP $99) when you buy any two Enjo Floor Fibres. Offer is valid while stock lasts so be quick and order your preferred Floor Fibres today.

To find out more about Enjo, to book an Enjo demo and to order your favourite Enjo products online visit www.enjo.com.au.

Save 15% at Kate Inglish Designs

 Sales & Savings, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Save 15% at Kate Inglish Designs
Nov 272014
 

Kate Inglish Designs

This week I quickly popped into the shops to grab a few last minute Sinterklaas presents for our kids (How could I not? They left very detailed drawings of their desired goods in their shoes so I had to keep up the magic) and I was shocked by how busy, crowded and messy it was everywhere. Personally I prefer to shop peacefully at a time that suits me, have a quiet browse and not have to wait in long lines at the checkout so I avoid shopping centres whenever I can. If busy stores make you itchy too you will love the convenience of gift shopping online at Kate Inglish Designs:

Le Toy Van Mixer Set

Le Toy Van Mixer Set (was $51.95, now $44.16)

Get those Santa Sacks filled without breaking the bank and get your shopping delivered straight to your door. Enjoy 15% off all wooden toys, Alimrose Designs, Bunnykins, blankets and Maud and Lil softies at Kate Inglish Designs, simply enter the code ‘hip15’ at checkout. Offer ends December 4, 2015.

Maud n Lil Pink BunnyAll items in store are lovingly handpicked by owner and mum Kate making sure they are fun, unique, high quality, affordable where applicable educational too. From beautiful and durable wooden toys to sweet softies, from pretty personalised presents to classic keepsakes, Kate Inglish Designs is all about making gift shopping easy and stress free and complimentary gift wrapping is available for every gift purchased.

Le Toy Van Doll HouseImagine the sparkle in your daughter’s eye when she unwraps this beautiful wooden three-level Le Toy Van Doll House (was $199.95, now $169.96) on Christmas morning, isn’t it gorgeous? The doors, shutters and windows open like in a real house and a fantastic 32 piece furniture and accessory set is included so your little girl can start playing straight away. The attention to detail is just amazing, even a table cloth and bedding for the bunkbeds are there! This is a fantastic keepsake gift that will be enjoyed for years to come.

London Guard BlanketThis super stylish London Guard Blanket ($69.95, now $59.46) would be the perfect present for a new arrival. Made from 100% cotton it is soft and breathable and unlike many other baby blankets the London Guard design is not childish at all so it’s great for older children too. It’s the ideal blanket for sleepy naps in the cot, snuggles on the couch, trips in the pram and tummy time on the ground, one blanket with so many uses.

Postage is just $9.95 Australia wide and orders over $150 ship completely free, if you want to spoil a special someone interstate you can even have your gift delivered directly to the lucky recipient, how easy is that?

To find out more about Kate Inglish Designs, to browse the range and to order online visit www.kateinglishdesigns.com.