Jan 232015


Last week I told you all about The Generous Shopper, a fantastic initiative that allows people to support a range of great charities just by shopping online. It is easy to use, 100% free and an excellent way to make a difference in the lives of many without it costing you a cent. These days most of us shop online so you really have no excuse not to join!

Tinyme backpacks

With the first day of term less than a week away there is still lots to do and very little time to do it so I saved myself a trip to shop and used the The Generous Shopper website to pick up some gorgeous back to school gear at Tinyme. Yesterday the twins’ personalised backpacks and name labels were delivered to our doorstop, a great gift for my students and a great gift for the charities of my choice (Assist A Sista and Destiny Rescue) too.

Tinyme Backpack OliviaFor miss 6 I chose the Tinyme backpack in pretty pink, it’s her favourite colour and very generously sized with plenty of pockets to keep her school supplies, lunchbox and bottle organised. To make it easy for her to recognise her bag amongst all the other backpacks in the hallway we picked the sweet Garden Party design personalised with her first name and birth year, the end result is just lovely.

Tinyme Backpack TommiePersonally I find shopping for boys a little harder, it’s a tricky age where interests change quickly. At the start of the year dinosaurs may be all the rage but by term 4 they are totally uncool so for master 6 I settled on a timeless design that will last throughout the year. The Authentic design is strong and masculine and the forgiving dark blue colour will hopefully keep his new backpack looking clean for longer. I love that you can preview your chosen design with your child’s name before you order, that way you can be sure you are happy with the look.

Tinyme Stickyville name labelsWhen you add it up all these school must-haves are a big expense and I would hate to have to replace lost items so we’ve labelled all our goods with matching Tinyme name labels. The well priced name label value packs contain a selection of different shapes and sizes in the design of your choice, they are ideal for lunch bottles, lunch boxes, exercise books and plenty more. There are 8 different value packs available so you can choose one that suits your needs perfectly.

To find out more about The Generous Shopper, to browse the list of shopping partners and to start supporting charities by shopping online visit www.thegenerousshopper.com.

If you missed our The Generous Shopper giveaway last week there is still time left, you could win a fabulous $50 Smiggle Back to School Prize Pack. Short of time? Take a shortcut and enter below:

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Jan 222015


The Kids Business Bloggers BBQTM is always a great opportunity to explore great brands and catch up with fellow bloggers and last week’s event was no different. There were some fantastic products waiting to be discovered but a few of them really stood out to me and I know you will love them too, I am particularly excited to introduce you to Bizzibrains:

I Learn AppLovely Australian mum Nic is the mastermind behind Bizzibrains and the designer of the totally awesome I Learn App. If your child is about to start school this fabulous application is perfect for you, it’s fun, educational, interactive and creative and an excellent tool to help prepare young children for kindy or school. Our 6-year old twins and 4-year old loved testing it out at the Bloggers BBQ and immediately requested we got our own copy too.

The I Learn App allows children to customise the main character to represent them so they feel like the story is all about them. They can personalise the character’s name, clothes and look, they can also take their own photo and record their own name so they’re actually in the story themselves. They can include their parent/carer with name and photo and even the teacher’s name can be changed for a truly customised experience.

I Learn Screen Shot 1

Over the course of 11 interactive story pages little students will be introduced to the classroom and the playground, learn about getting ready and recognising emotions, practise writing their name and simple maths and much more. The I Learn App is a fun and affordable way to prepare young children for a new learning environment in a playful, age appropriate manner.

I Learn Screen Shot 2

With miss 4 starting kindy next week it’s perfect timing but the older kids love playing I Learn too, at times I have had to set the timer because one iPad between four children is cause for argument. She loves seeing her own picture on the screen and practising writing her name (an excellent fine motor skills exercise!). As a little fashionista she is forever changing her virtual outfit and she very much enjoys seeing mummy or daddy in the story.

The I Learn App ($4.99) is suitable for iPad and iPhone and available for purchase in the iTunes App Store right now, download your copy today:

Download I Learn

To find out more Bizzibrains, to take a closer look at the I Learn App and to download a copy for your iPad or iPhone visit www.bizzibrains.com.

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Jan 212015

Mama y Bebe logoMama y Bebe
What? Australia Day Sale
How? Prices as marked
When? Until January 26, 2015
Where? www.mamaybebe.com.au

Hip Interiors for KidsHip Interiors for Kids
What? 25% off Linen (Excluding handmade items and personalised cushions)
How? Prices as marked
When? Until January 31, 2015
Where? www.hipinteriorsforkids.com.au

Purple MonkeePurple Monkee
What? Everything in store $8
How? Prices as marked
When? Limited time only
Where? www.purplemonkee.com.au

Buckets and SpadesBuckets and Spades
What? Up to 60% off RBelle by Scotch and Soda
How? Prices as marked
When? Limited time only
Where? www.bucketsandspades.com.au

What? 40% off storewide (Excluding gift vouchers)
How? Enter the code ‘AUSTRALIADAY’ at checkout
When? Until January 22, 2015
Where? www.holsterfashion.com

Brolly SheetsBrolly Sheets
What? 10% off storewide
How? Enter the code ‘SUMMER2015′ at checkout
When? Until January 21, 2015
Where? www.brollysheets.com

Jan 202015

Bing Lee

As you may have read last week one of my New Year resolutions is to live and eat healthier, not just in 2015 but permanently. We’re only 3 weeks into the new year so if you haven’t already now is the perfect time to ditch unhealthy habits and make the necessary changes in your, and your family’s, diet. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy your favourite snacks! Ditching the bad foods is much easier than it sounds, it’s all about ‘swapping':

Tefal Actifry 2-in-1I absolutely LOVE hot chips and would be extremely sad if I could not enjoy them any more so instead of crossing them off the menu completely I have swapped unhealthy deep-fried chips for a delicious healthy and guilt-free alternative that will change the way you think about chips forever. About 3 months ago Bing Lee kindly sent me the Tefal Actifry 2-in-1 and we’ve been cooking up a storm ever since.

The Tefal Actifry 2-in-1 (RRP $369) is a revolutionary kitchen appliance that cooks two tasty and nutritious dishes at once with nothing but a spoonful of oil (a world of difference from a greasy oil-filled deep fryer!). The clever two-layer design allows you to cook a complete meal in one handy unit: the bottom layer, a deep and spacious 1.5kg bowl, is perfect for chips, vegetables, stir-fries and risottos while the top cooking zone, a convenient 0.5kg tray, will cook your meat, poultry or fish to perfection.

Tefal Actifry Homemade Chips

Perfect homemade chips, you can wake me up for these any day!

You can cook a range of different meals in the Actifry in both fresh and frozen state (depending on the food), the large stirring paddle keeps the food moving so everything is evenly cooked. Personally I prefer to peel and cut our own chips but if you’re short on time you can easily grab a bag of frozen fries from the freezer and toss it in. If you love a good risotto but dislike the amount of stirring required the Actifry is a great way to save yourself a sore arm. The stirring paddle does all the stirring for you (only when using the lower cooking zone on its own, when using the tray too stirring is disabled), it doesn’t get much easier than this.

Tefal Actifry Risotto

A delicious family favourite: Chicken and Spinach Risotto with Bacon

To see how your meal is progressing you can peek through the transparent lid, which also keeps warmth (and any spatters that could possible escape when cooking) contained within the unit. With just four buttons the Actifry is easy to control and the handy LED display shows exactly how much time is left before your dinner is ready. To remove the tray and bowl from the Actifry you simply click on the handle so you can lift them out and serve your cooked meal.

Tefal Actifry Chicken in Tray

Seasoned chicken breast in top tray

As we are a ‘big’ family of six we generally make use of the full capacity which means most meals have a cooking time of around 40-45 minutes. This is a perfect amount of time to hang up a load of washing, tidy and vacuum the living room or finish off some homework so when the chores are done dinner is waiting for us. When we walk back in the door after swimming at 4.30pm we pop on the Actifry 2-in-1, shower all the kids and sit down for a yummy meal, it’s ideal for busy families who value their time and care about healthy food.

Tefal Actifry Chicken Wings

Marinated chicken wings, one of the kids’ top picks

On Christmas Day we took the Actifry to the inlaws and cooked a batch of chips for all the kids while we prepared Christmas lunch, the Actifry did all the work and the feedback was fantastic. All guests wanted to try the chips and could not believe how delicious and crispy they turned out! I almost had to fight to take our Actifry back home, they loved it so much they wanted to keep it.

Perfect risotto without stirring

Perfect risotto without stirring

Both cooking layers of the Tefal Actifry (as well as the stirring paddle) can be removed for easy cleaning, the non-stick coating makes them a breeze to clean and it takes just a few minutes to wipe down the interior and included measuring spoon. Unlike with yucky deep-fryers there are no spatters of oil everywhere, it’s literally clean eating. All in all once dinner is finished the Tefal Actifry is generally back on the shelf in less than 5 minutes so it’s quick and easy.

Actifry Recipe BookTo help you get started with your new kitchen buddy you can download the special Tefal Actifry App (Free) on your smartphone or tablet. Not only does the app contain yummy recipe ideas, it is also a handy reference if you are not sure how long to set your Actifry for or how much oil to use for what quantity of food. A handy manual and recipe book is included to help you master your Actifry cooking in a flash.

Since we acquired the Tefal Actifry we have not had take-away chicken and chips once, simply because the chips ‘from home’ taste a million times better and healthier. Of course it is much cheaper too, with a bit of luck I can pick up a huge 5kg bag of potatoes for just $1-$2 at our local greengrocer, that’s a lot of chips for next to nothing! Larger potatoes take less peeling but small potatoes make delicious chips too.

Actifry Jamie OliverThere are several different Tefal Actifry models and sizes available with prices starting at $249 up to $369. From singles and couples to big families like ours, there is a perfect size to suit everyone. For a limited time only Bing Lee has are some fabulous Tefal Actifry packages available that come with a FREE 26cm Jamie Oliver Frypan, nice bonus! As if that isn’t enough here’s another great incentive to win you over:

Until February 28, 2015, Hip Little One readers can save 5% on all small kitchen appliances at Bing Lee. To profit from this exclusive offer simply enter the code ‘BLOG5OFF’ at checkout, it’s an excellent opportunity to pick up a new Tefal Actifry at a great price.

The final verdict: Obviously the Tefal Actifry costs considerably more than your average deep fryer which could scare some people off, so it is important to remember that it is much healthier (after all, it is NOT a deep fryer!) and you can also cook many more different dishes in it than in a standard deep fryer. It is easy to use, quiet when cooking and it won’t leave your kitchen bench greasy and your whole house smelly for days. I will admit that before we started using the Actifry I would have felt the expense was too big, however after using it many times over the course of a few months I see how the Actifry is a great investment that helps families cook healthy meals and is almost like a very welcome extra set of hands, we can now not imagine our busy kitchen without it.

Tefal Actifry 2-in-1

Side note: During the cooking process we experienced some condensation under the LED screen which disappears once the unit has cooled down. After thorough investigation I have been ensured by Tefal Australia that the shadowing is considered normal and will not impact on the performance for the product, therefore it is no reason for concern.

To find out more about Bing Lee, to locate a Bing Lee store near you and to order online visit www.binglee.com.au.

Jan 192015

Penguin Australia

We decided to extend our quick trip to Melbourne for the Bloggers BBQ and turn it into a fun family weekend away by spending two nights at our favourite holiday park in The Grampians: Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park. Instead of blogging and answering emails we are enjoying the beautiful scenery, exploring the mountains, admiring the wildlife and going for a splash in the pool, it’s the perfect mini-holiday. If you’ve come to read today’s hip find here’s a quick and simple giveaway for the boys (and girls, before I get in trouble!):

Walk Tall

Walk Tall (RRP $16.99) is a special younger readers’ edition of the Jim Stynes autobiography My Journey, adapted by Warwick Green. Part football autobiography and part coming-of-age story, Walk Tall is an inspirational and unforgettable account of a man who continues to inspire through his life and his legacy. If you have a young AFL fan at home this tribute to one of the biggest Australian AFL legends of all time would make a fantastic read.

There were men in strange jerseys on the TV, running around with some kind of rugby ball.
I turned to my father. ‘What’s this, then, Dad?’
He looked up from his paper. ‘Australian football.’
What’s the big deal about that? I thought.

Jim Stynes My JourneyAt first, Jim Stynes didn’t understand Australian football at all. But once he accepted the challenge to play, there was no stopping him. Jim never took the easy road, on or off the football field. He pushed himself, and he worked hard to help others realise their potential. In this special younger readers’ edition of his bestselling autobiography My Journey, Jim Stynes shares his early life as a knockabout kid growing up in Ireland, his move to Australia as a teenager and his rise to football stardom, with all the trials and tribulations along the way.

To find out more about Walk Tall by Jim Stynes and Warwick Green, published by Penguin Books Australia, and to order online visit www.penguin.com.au.

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Jan 182015

Bloggers BBQ

On Friday night we packed our family in the car and drove to Melbourne to attend another fabulous Kids Business get-together, this time in the shape of a fun and family friendly Bloggers BBQ at Albert Park. For our children this was very exciting as I generally ‘work’ from home so they don’t often get the opportunity to see what I really do and who I work with.

Camp QualityKids Business Communications hosts the Bloggers BrunchTM and Bloggers BBQTM series of events where bloggers and brands meet and mingle, for more information about Kids Business visit www.kidsbusiness.com.au. Not only are these fantastic events fun for all attendees, they also raise much needed awareness and funds for different charities and this time the spotlight was on a very worthy cause called Camp Quality.

Camp Quality is a nationwide initiative that’s all about supporting Australian children (and their families) who suffer from cancer. From the moment of diagnosis, all throughout the treatment and (hopefully) remission, Camp Quality is there to offer education, recreation, respite and play to build optimism, resilience and supportive networks for families.

Camp Quality Mission

Using specially developed family support programs, education programs, hospital programs and educational programs Camp Quality aims to create a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia. All Camp Quality programs are 100% free of charge and everyone with a child under 13 years older who is diagnosed with cancer can join, there are lots of Camp Quality locations across Australia with great events being organised throughout the year.

At the Kids Business Bloggers BBQ Camp Quality was presented with a generous $500 donation, a great gesture for a wonderful charity.

To find out more Camp Quality, to see how you can help make a difference or to make a donation visit www.campquality.org.au.

Jan 172015


Scraps of paper, clothing tags, receipts, ribbons, rocks, beads, leaves, flowers… our 6-year old daughter is a real collector and her collection of small ‘treasures’ is growing every day. At the moment she keeps all those little nic-nacs in a big box but it would be much nicer if she has a special home to show off her precious goods. I have been hunting for a display unit for some time and recently stumbled on these amazing pieces by Bloomingville:

Bloomingville House Display Boxes

Danish designer label Bloomingville has created a range of eye catching storage solutions that will keep your home looking tidy and stylish at the same time.

Bloomingville HouseYou can find these beautiful Bloomingville House Shelf Display Boxes (RRP $69-$79) at Australian web store Leo & Bella, aren’t they just divine? They are available in a range of colours and sizes and would make the perfect home (no pun intended) for all kinds of small items. You can secure these pretty houses to the wall (hooks included) so you or your child can add, remove, change the display as often as you like.

To find out more Leo & Bella, to browse the Bloomingville range and to order online visit www.leoandbella.com.au.