hiplittleone

Nov 282018
 

Smiggle

While Australian children are still impatiently waiting for Christmas celebrations to begin, my little half-Duchies are in luck. Every year on December 5th our family honours the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and the weeks leading up to it are filled with excitement and little gifts.

On several nights we’ve had six little shoes lined up in front of the fire place filled with drawings, craft, wishlists and even a carrot for Sinterklaas’ horse. These are some of the little shoe-stuffers lined up for my girls this year:

So far this has been the biggest hit of them all, this Bow Alphabet Keyring (RRP $9.95) was a major success with my girl. She absolutely adores her glitter keyring and was so proud to show her friends at school. She instantly attached her to her schoolbag and has mentioned over and over again how much she loves it. This is a real sweet and personal gift and a good size to tuck in Christmas stockings (and shoes!). You can buy the Bow Alphabet Keyring in (almost) all letters of the alphabet.

If pink is not your colour and glitter not your thing, do not worry. There are loads of different alphabet key rings to choose from to suit both boys and girls.

The unicorn craze is still going strong here so this cute Bath Fizzy (100g, RRP $5.95) was a perfect pick. Nothing like a bit of fizz and fragrance to make bath time fun! The bath fizzies are available in unicorn, mermaid, star and heart shape and smell like strawberry, blueberry and berry vanilla. At just over $5 they’re a fantastic price and a great little add-on for birthdays too. If your girls enjoy a spot of DIY there is a great Make Your Own Bath Fizzies kit too, it would make a cool school holiday activity.

I’ll be honest, this pretty Time to Shine Clock (RRP $34.95, ages 6+) is a bit of a selfish gift. I’m secretly hoping that this sparkly sequin alarm clock will help my early risers stay in bed a little longer on weekends. It’s probably a Christmas wish that won’t come true but at least it looks awesome. When you press the button it lights up the room with a beautiful glow and even tells the time, day and temperature out loud! Our ideal ‘Time to Shine’ is 7am or later, what about you?

Just like their mama my girls don’t leave the house with a tube of lipgloss in their bag. They are always looking for different scents so this Shine Gift Pack (5-pack, RRP $19.95) is sure to be well received when it comes to unwrapping time. Raspberry, bubblegum and ice cream, balm, roller and gloss, it’s a fabulous haul for little beauty queens. You even get some cute hair chalk and nail stickers to complete the look!00

Hip Tip: There is no better time than today to stock up on stocking fillers, with a fabulous 3 for 2 offer on all Smiggle goodies. Be quick, offer ends November 29, 2018!

To find out more about Smiggle, to locate a Smiggle store near you or to order online visit www.smiggle.com.au.

Nov 272018
 

I don’t know about you but I am absolutely loving this spring weather. Not too hot, not too cold and the perfect temperature to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Every morning I take the little two for a big walk in the reserve and in the afternoon/weekend the big kids explore the neighbourhood on their bikes and scooters. Miss 10 has really shot up this year so she has just traded her old scooter for a new set of wheels from Grit Scooters:

Designed specifically for active girls (Ages 6+) and built to perform the coolest of tricks the new Vibes collection is street smart in every way. The colour range is totally on-trend and the designs are eye-catching and full of personality.

I was not at all surprised that Olivia instantly fell in love with the Grit Vibes Dreamer. She’s quite the dreamer herself and loves to escape to another world with a good book but she also likes to get outside and go on real adventures. This scooter is her perfect match and together they are bound to travel far…

Grit Scooters prides itself in outstanding quality and durability to ensure their scooters stay strong and safe ride after ride, corner after corner and jump after jump. All Vibes scooters feature a sturdy heat treated, non-slip alloy deck, practical Grit flex footbrake and hi tensile steel hip fork to enable smooth moves at every angle. The ABEC 9 wheel bearings allow excellent flexibility, you won’t find better than that!

Young riders can ride the streets in class (the Vapor chrome colours are a real standout) and comfort (thanks to pleasant soft feel handle grips). Park or city, calmly cruising or racing off the ramp, these light weight scooters will take you anywhere with ease.

There are currently 7 different Grit Vibes scooters to choose from: Misty and Angel (20.8″ high), Dreamer, Destiny and Glam (21.6″ high) and Wild and Squad (23” high). The taller the scooter the wider/longer the deck, so there is a perfect scooter for every rider.

To find out more about Grit scooters and to take a closer look at the Vibe range visit www.gritscooters.com.au.

For your chance to win a Grit Vibes Scooter of your choice (subject to availability) enter our giveaway below:

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Nov 262018
 

As always after returning from a holiday I am feeling a little blue, I just love the excitement of counting down and looking forward to something special so I am trying to focus on the Christmas season that’s rapidly coming closer. The big day is still 4 weeks away but there is plenty of Christmas joy to be had in the lead-up to that. From Friday November 23 up to Sunday December 23 Melbourne families can get into the spirit at Caulfield Racecourse:

santa

No matter how young or old you are, everyones smiles a little brighter and feels a little warmer at the sound of Christmas carols and the sight of sparkly lights, shiny baubles and crisp white snow. Every year thousands of Australian families make their way to Santa’s Magical Kingdom for a true Christmas spectacle and this year visitors are in for a real treat. The best part is: You don’t even need to travel to the Northpole!

ginger-bread-men

Watch the snowflakes fall down in a amazing walk-through Snowland, meet the Snow Fairy, the lovely Mrs. Claus and of course Santa himself, create a pretty Christmas tree decoration or make your own Gingerbread man (and eat it!), see the Christmas International Spectacular Show, watch a Christmas movie, write a letter to Mr. Claus, enjoy a ride on Santa’s Magical Sleigh or board the Elves Magical Train and much more, this is what real Christmas dreams are made of.

mrs-clausHip Tip: Want to get even more bang for your buck (or should I say magic for your money or Christmas for your coins)? Make your visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom extra memorable and join Rudolph’s Birthday celebrations. Get up close with the famous Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, meet some very special guests and even receive a free party gift to thank for you helping make Rudolph’s birthday a success. Rudolph’s birthday will be celebrated on selected dates/times only so plan your trip carefully.

Don’t miss out on this amazing experience, book your visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom today and order your tickets online using Ticketmaster. Concession, Junior and family tickets are available.

To find out more about Santa’s Magical Kingdom, to browse the activities and to check dates and times visit www.santasmagicalkingdom.com.au.

For your chance to win a Santa’s Magical Kingdom family pass (RRP $142.68, 2 adults/2 children) for Friday 7th December 2018 (6pm) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page and enter. Good luck!

Nov 252018
 

From when she was very little miss 8 has always loved picture books, but it has taken her a while to warm to novels. Our bookcase is full of great novels (the twins can’t ever have enough books) but nothing really grabbed her. Until she discovered Judy Moody that is…

In this wonderful kids’ book series author Megan McDonald, together with illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, sends 8-year old Judy Moody on all kinds of exciting adventures that young readers will love. In Judy’s latest adventure she takes a closer look at her family tree and discovers something VERY interesting…

Grandma Lou comes over to help Judy with her family tree homework assignment. After hearing about her British ancestry Judy, with her big imagination, believes she is actually related to the queen and instantly adopts her new royal status. From now on everyone will know her as, and treat her like, a real queen. She is so excited to tell the class!

But just before Judy’s big reveal her biggest class enemy Jessica shares her family tree and there are an awful lot of similarities… So who is the real queen? Find out the truth in Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party (RRP $11.99).

Juliet (whom we sometimes nickname Judy Moody or Judy Attitudy) really enjoys the Judy Moody books and they’re a great bitesize book for a rainy afternoon. Long enough to use your imagination and really dive into the story and at the same time short enough to hold the attention of a young reader while the illustrations keep it fun and light. We have quite a few already and will definitely keeping adding to our collection.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Judy Moody series visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

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Nov 162018
 

EK Books

It may feel like there are still plenty of weeks left before Christmas, but when you have to send Christmas presents overseas you’re quickly running out of time. As a foreigner I have to make sure I get all my shopping and shipping done on time or my family and friends back in Europe will be left empty handed on the big day. Thankfully I recently discovered this gorgeous book by EK Books‘ Tania McCartney and it’s the perfect Aussie parcel gift:

Australia: Illustrated is an absolute treat for readers of all ages. It packs all the best bits (well, most of them) of Australia into a beautiful picture book that will be read over and over again. One look and it will become your favourite go-to gift for both true blue Aussies and those who are yet to learn all about the Land Downunder. (Bonus: A book is the perfect size for flat pack envelopes making it airmail friendly too!)

There is just so much to love about Australia: Illustrated and it covers so many different aspects of our beautiful Australia: its animals, its foods, its eye-catching nature, its language, its icons and so much more. With almost 100 pages chockfull of Aussie greatness you’ll be making new discoveries on every single page. After the initial introduction author and illustrator Tania McCartney visits each Australian state and you get to come along for the ride…

In New South Wales we learn about famous places and beaches, food trucks and ferries, sheep and snowy mountains. In Victoria we travel along the Great Ocean Road and take a look in the Murray River, we try out street food and take the trams. In Queensland we taste gelati, see a proper Queenslander home and dive into the Great Barrier Reef. In South Australia we explore the Cooper Pedy Dugouts, go to the Country Show and watch the Adelaide Kite Festival. In Western Australia we learn about the cutest furry animals, enjoy the Perth beaches and admire pretty wildflowers.

Across the water in Tasmania we visit a chocolate factory, walk along the Overland Track and try a range of seafood and cheese. Up in the Northern Territory we ride on the Ghan, are warned about dangerous creatures and learn about the beautiful birds of Kakadu. Last but not least in the Australian Capital Territory we wander around the National Arboretum, watch the hot air balloons and slurp a delicious monster shake.

Of course this is just a small taste of all this stunning picture book has to show, and no matter how Aussie you are you are likely to still discover new facts, places or words that will make you fall in love with Australia even more. This book is a must-read but also a must-see as the detailed illustrations are simply divine. Australia: Illustrated, it’s a beauty!

You can find ‘Australia: Illustrated’ (RRP $32.99) in leading book stores across Australia.

To find out more about EK Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite titles online visit www.ekbooks.org.

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Nov 142018
 

Smiggle

After 12 years in Adelaide I know the tradition: once the Christmas pageant has been and Santa has been welcomed into town the Christmas tree goes up. With just six weeks to go until the big day there are lots of people eagerly staring at the calendar and Smiggle is ready to help you count down in style:

The brand new Smiggle Advent Calendar 2018 (RRP $39.95) is here and it’s packed with awesome Smiggle goodies valued at over $70 that will have young Smiggle fans squealing with excitement!

Let’s start by saying that I am usually a very patient person. I love surprises, not knowing what’s ahead is so much fun and the waiting is definitely part of the whole experience. Every year people ask if me if I know what’s going to be hiding behind these 25 little doors and the truth is that I simply don’t know!! All I know is that in previous years my kids have been thrilled with their little advent gift every single day and that they end up with so many cool Smiggle finds at the end of the countdown. They love getting stationery items that are fun and useful and I am glad to avoid the traditional advent calendar sugar overdose, it’s a double win.

But, because I love my readers and don’t want to let you down I have allowed each of my little people to open one magical calendar door and have a quick sneak peek… I had to promise our friends at Smiggle not to give too much away but take it from me, it’s looking mighty fine behind the doors this year! We’ve spotted rainbow highlighters, a spy pen, a mini stapler, a fruity scented slap band, tiny sticky notes and there are plenty more limited edition items to be discovered.

The Smiggle Advent Calendar sells out every year so make sure you grab yours in time to avoid disappointment. Bring on December 1 so the official count down can begin!

Bonus: As if 25 gifts is not enough each Smiggle Advent Calendar comes with a special envelope that could hold 1 of 25 lucky tickets. If you are the lucky finder of one of these highly coveted tickets you will take home a Christmas gift to remember: a $1000 Smiggle shopping spree! Sadly we didn’t find one but I have my fingers crossed for all of you.

To find out more about Smiggle, to locate a Smiggle store near you or to order online visit www.smiggle.com.au.

Nov 132018
 

Where miss Sybbie was a very quiet 3-year old who would only say a handful of words, our little Hattie is the total opposite and a real chatterbox. What a great result from having her tongue tie snipped at 6 months old, I truly believe it made a big difference. She talks all the time and I love hearing her chat to her siblings, have conversations with her toys while playing or respond to her favourite TV shows. This cheeky critter from LeapFrog is her new chat-pal:

The hungry Number Crunching Squirrel (RRP $24.95, ages 2-4) enjoys nothing more than a varied diet of apples, strawberries, bananas and grapes, in fact he can eat up to 10 pieces of fruit in just one sitting! Toddlers will love filling him up with his favourite foods and learning fruit names and facts and the importance of a healthy diet at the same time.

When you press the squirrel’s nose he will ask a question eg. ‘Can you feed me 5 pieces of fruit?’ ‘Can you feed me something green?’ ‘Can you feed me a red strawberry?’. This encourages interactive play and introduces kids to the cause and effect principle, who doesn’t love praise when you get things right?! The squirrel counts out loud with each coin he eats and even tells you about the colour and fruit as he swallows, now that is clever.

Putting the coins in the squirrel’s mouth, pressing his red nose and the acorn music button, opening and closing the door and pushing his tail are all excellent fine motor skill exercises for curious toddlers. As they play toddlers also learn to count the treats, sing cute fruit-themed songs, recognise different colours and sort by colour/image.

Once the friendly squirrel’s hunger has finally been stilled you can empty his tummy with a simple push of his big tail. All the treats will pop out one by one (Ted loves this part!) and the feeding fun starts all over again, he has quite some appetite. The little door keeps his tummy contents safely stored, that way you never have to hunt for any missing treats.

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