Memories on Monday

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Feb 292016
 

This week our little Harriet turned five months old, five whole months with this cheeky munchkin. This week’s first attempt at solids combined with a visit to the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) confirmed something we already knew: her tongue tie is enough of an issue for it to require intervention. Hopefully the procedure will improve her suction, her ability to swallow, chew and eat and reduce the risk of speech difficulties later on. I am quite nervous about it but hopefully  it will not be too stressful for Hattie and myself.

Harriet 1

Harriet 2

Harriet 3

Harriet 4

Feb 282016
 

Stitches and Craft

Often people ask me what I would do with my time if I didn’t have a big family of seven to look after. The answer is not really that difficult: I would be a full-blown craftaholic. There are so many wonderful crafts I would love to master and I can spend hours browsing Spotlight, filling up my trolley with beautiful materials that I have no clue how to use.

Stitches and Craft Flower Crochet

Whether you are a craft professional or a keen novice like me, if you are looking for a lovely day out you are sure to enjoy a visit to The Stitches and Craft Show. With shows scheduled for five big Australian locations (Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Melbourne) throughout the year, hobbyists across the country are in for a real treat.

Craft SuppliesFrom fun workshops and fascinating demonstrations to stunning exhibitions and interactive make-and-take classes, time will fly by as you explore the Stitches & Craft show grounds together with other creative minds. Of course there is also the opportunity to stock up on fabulous gear for your hobby stash (you better bring a large shopping bag) and to meet some amazing artists and watch them show off their talents.

Can’t find a babysitter? Don’t worry, the kids are welcome in the special Kids Corner where they can shake paws with Crafty Cat and try their hand at some colouring in.

Ticket prices start at $9 (children) up to $18 (adults), concession and family tickets are available.

To find out more about Stitches and Craft, to check out the activities and exhibitor list and to book your tickets online visit www.stitchesandcraft.net.au.

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So long, stinky storage smell!

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Feb 272016
 

If you have a big family like ours you will probably find that there is always a lack of storage space. With seven people our wardrobes are getting rather full so instead of rummaging through overflowing cupboards to find the right outfit I always sort the summer clothes from the winter clothes and put away the garments that are ‘not in season’. This makes it easier and quicker for myself and the kids to see what they can wear.

Clothing piles

If you are not blessed with a spacious attic, cellar or backyard shed you can always look for an offsite storage solution like accessselfstorage.com where you can rent short or long term storage space to suit your needs. Unfortunately clothes that have been packed up for a while can develop a yucky musty odour so taking a bit of extra care when storing your family’s clothes for the season could save you a lot of work later on.

Before you pack away your wardrobe there are a few simple things you can do to keep that musty storage smell at bay:

Scented Lavender Bag

  • Make sure you only store clean clothes that are freshly laundered and use plenty of fabric softener. If you pack away dirty, stained clothes you’re chances of rescuing them later are very slim!
  • Invest in a few large vacuum bags that close well and are transparent so you can easily see what’s inside. Not only will they help you stack and store more efficiently, they will also keep the nice odour in and dirt and dust out.
  • There is nothing wrong with old-school: Tuck in a traditional scented lavender bag or a few bars of fragrant soap, they are both affordable and effective.

When the time has come to unpack your long lost treasures you will hopefully be greeted by a pleasant smell, if you aren’t not all is lost just yet. Here’s how to tackle the job:

  • Start with a nice warm wash and add a cup of vinegar to your load. Vinegar is a natural astringent and disinfectant and will help get rid of any mould or mildew that may be hiding in the fabric.
  • Hang your washing up outside and let the sun and wind do their job, it’s completely free and works a treat!
  • Here’s one you probably haven’t heard of before, neither had I: If you have a few particularly smelly garments simply pop them in a plastic bag together with some (clean!) unscented cat litter in and close it, the cat litter apparently deodorises and eliminates yucky smells.

Clothes on the line

If you have a fabulous storage trick to add do let me know, I’d love to hear it.

Petilou by Le Toy Van

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Feb 262016
 

Le Toy Van

Our trip to The Netherlands may still be months away, but (in my opinion) it is never too early to start searching for gorgeous gifts to pack for family and friends. I am particularly excited about meeting some lovely babies for the very first time so I have started my hunt in the baby section.

Petilou birdy

This week I stumbled upon these adorable creations by the wooden toy specialists at Le Toy Van, aren’t they cute?

Petilou BoxDesigned specifically for the very young these pretty Petilou puzzles (RRP $14.50, 12 months+) are made with water based paint, have rounded corners and are easy to hold for little hands. They are a delight to look at and fun to play with and of course a lovely tool for encouraging fine motor skills in little people. Pleasantly priced at less than $15 they would make a sweet, affordable gift that won’t break the bank.

You can find these, and other items from the Petilou range, in store right now at Australian online store UrbanBaby, delivery is $9.50 Australia wide.

Petilou Puzzles

To find out more about UrbanBaby, to browse the Le Toy Van range and to order online visit www.urbanbaby.com.au.

Feb 252016
 

Entertainment One

As most of you will know yesterday was Ovarian Cancer Day and it was wonderful to see so many people raising awareness for this horrible women’s cancer, please keep sharing as your share could save lives! Everywhere around us cancer is impacting lives, relationships, marriages and friendships and everyone deals with this in a different way, a message that becomes all too clear in Miss You Already:

In Miss You Already childhood friends Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) are busy living London life when Milly’s breast cancer diagnosis turns their world upside down. After the initial shock has faded Milly is determined to win the battle and Jess is at her side through it all, she even puts her own fertility plans on hold to support her best friend in this tough fight.

Miss You Already

From chemo and hospital stays to losing hair and picking wigs, Jess is there to help Milly and her family as much as she can. Cancer not only invades Milly’s body, it invades her marriage to Kit and her friendship with Jess too and slowly things start falling apart. When Milly eventually receives the devastating news that there is no more hope she wants to repair the broken relationships before it is too late.

Word of warning: Please do not watch this movie without a box of tissues nearby, you will need it!

Miss You Already is now available on DVD (RRP $34.95) and Blu-ray (RRP $39.95) at all good retail stores across Australia.

To find out more about Entertainment One visit www.entertainmentone.com.au.

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Sales & Savings – Week 8

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Feb 242016
 

Cherub Baby
What? Free pack of Food Pouch Spout + Free shipping Australia wide (Min. spend $40)
How? Enter the code ‘CHFP007x1’ at checkout
When? Until February 28, 2016
Where? www.cherubbaby.com.au

Buckets and SpadesBuckets and Spades
What? Extra 20% off Sale items (No returns or exchanges)
How? Enter the code ‘SALE20’ at checkout
When? Until February 28, 2016
Where? www.bucketsandspades.com.au

Darlings DownunderDarlings Downunder
What? 20% off single Close Pop-In nappies + 15% off Pop-In packages
How? Prices as marked
When? Until February 29, 2016 or until stock lasts
Where? www.darlingsdownunder.com.au

GaiaGaia Organic Cotton
What? Extra 10% off all reduced items
How? Enter the code ‘gaialove10’ at checkout
When? Until February 24, 2016
Where? www.gaiaorganiccotton.com.au

Aussie WipesAussie Wipes
What? Free sunscreen (500ml) with every Aussie Wipes order
How? Free gift automatically added to your order
When? Until February 28, 2016 or until stock lasts
Where? www.aussiewipes.com.au

Eternal Creation
What? Free shipping when you spend $100 or more on full priced kids’ clothing
How? Discount automatically applied at checkout
When? Until February 24, 2016
Where? www.eternalcreation.com

Epson EcoTank, Print As You Please

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Feb 232016
 

Epson

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Epson

When I think back to my own time in primary school, I remember school yard games and music, plays, arts and crafts, cooking and excursions, but I most certainly don’t remember homework. Times have changed a lot since then and at just 5 and 7 years old our three students, as young as they are, are bringing home homework every day. You’d think they are not too keen on all this studying but to our big surprise they love it! Not only do they finish their homework as soon as they come back from school, they even ask me for more!

Epson EcoTankBack in the day this would have required a trip to the local library and a whole jar of 10 cent coins for the photocopier, luckily these days there are plenty of online resources available. In just a few clicks I can select math sheets, tracing activities, spelling exercises, crafty projects, colouring pages and more to print at home, easy peasy. The only problem with printing-at-home is that the printer always seems to be out of ink right when you need it…

The printing specialists at Epson understand how annoying it is to run out of ink, which is why they have developed the revolutionary Epson EcoTank range. Epson EcoTank printers are designed to fulfil all your printing needs (wireless black & white, colour or photo printing, copying and scanning) and come with up to 2 years worth of ink. You read it right: TWO YEARS of printer ink is included, that means you can set up your new printer, forget all about it and print as you please.

EcoTank Black White

Not only does the EcoTank concept save you the inconvenience of running out of ink and the time and hassle of regularly replacing expensive ink cartridges, it also saves you money in the long run by being able to refill the high capacity ink tanks using great low-cost Epson ink bottles (RRP $16.99). Priced at RRP $449 – $599 an Epson EcoTank printer is a fantastic cost-effective investment for both home and office use.

EcoTank Ink

This week alone we have used our Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2550 (RRP $499) to print extra homework for the twins, colouring pages for miss 3, sight words cards for miss 5, a family photo to take to show-and-tell and passport applications for the whole family; so easy and no more worries about running out of ink half-way or ‘saving’ ink for an emergency. Aside from the refillable tankstation on the side the printer is the same size as a regular printer so you get a lot more value for a little extra space.

EcoTank Photo

For our EcoTank ET-2550 the ‘2 years of ink’ promise is based on an average monthly print volume of about 150 pages or a total of 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour. Knowing our prints are such excellent value I will be able to say ‘Yes’ more often when the kids ask me to print them yet another sheet, and I will finally be able to print off all the recipes I have been storing on my computer. Later in the year we’ll be taking the kids out of school for 5 weeks to visit Europe so I’ll be putting the printer to good use then by making each child a personalised holiday-schooling pack, very exciting.

Good to know: As you all know I am a sucker for a generous warranty period, this Epson EcoTank immediately comes with a 12-month Return to Base warranty and by registering your purchase online you receive an additional 12 months bonus warranty. That’s great peace of mind!

To find out more about Epson EcoTank, to locate a stockist near you or to order online visit www.epson.com.au/EcoTank.