Sep 142014

JJ Cole Collections

A few days ago I wrote about the never ending (and rather messy) toilet breaks when out and about with a young family, something all parents will understand. Taking three little ones to a public toilet is quite the struggle so I was actually happy to have our youngest one still in nappies. No need to line up for a busy parenting room and use a change table that is never as clean as you would like, thanks to JJ Cole Collections you can change your baby wherever you are:

JJ Cole Changing Clutch

The sleek and slim JJ Cole Collections Changing Clutch ($29.95) is a stylish and compact little changing bag perfect for trendy mamas on the go. The Changing Clutch is big enough to hold all your nappy change necessities yet small enough to fit in your (matching!) baby bag, store it in your pram basket, hang it from the pram handle or even your wrist.

Changing Clutch

From the outside the Changing Clutch looks like a classy hand bag, no one would guess it’s actually an instant baby changing station. When opened up the clutch reveals a generous 48 x 71cm wipe clean change mat with a soft, padded headrest. The handy side pocket holds a few nappies and a wipes case, all you need for a nice day out. I LOVE that the side pocket is attached so it is always within hands reach and can’t slide away or fall down.

Changing ClutchesWhether you like neutral or bright colours, sweet florals or funky geometric prints, there is JJ Cole Changing Clutch that’s right for you. With its very pleasant $29.95 price tag the Changing Clutch makes a lovely gift for a new or expecting mama. There are currently 6 different designs to choose from matching the rest of the JJ Cole Collections range, how amazing would it be to collect the whole set?

JJ Cole Collections nappy bags and changing clutches are available at Baby Bunting and Toys’R’Us stores across Australia.

To find out more about JJ Cole Collections and to browse the range visit www.jjcolecollections.com.

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Sep 132014

Eeni Meeni logo

When you have 5 weeks of holidays to pack for and only limited suitcase space you are forced to think very carefully when selecting your clothes. After a thorough elimination process I ended up with my favourite pieces for all the kids, quite a few of which were from Australian label Eeni Meeni Miini Moh. It’s good we left before the new collection was released because it would have made my choice even harder, so many beautiful new styles!

Eeni Meeni Girls Purple

Look at these stunning colours: Ballet, Sorbet, Matisse and many more, the Eeni Meeni Miini Moh Girls range once again features a divine colour palette with a lovely hue for every little (and big) girl. From sweet tops and comfy skeggings to eye catching dresses perfect for the upcoming festive season, matching accessories, sleepwear and underwear, there are so many stylish arrivals to choose from!

Cross Over DressIf there is one style you have to check out it would have to be the amazing Crossover Dress ($99.95, size 2-8) with its classy cross-over back line. It’s absolutely magazine worthy and one of my favourite dresses for this season, particularly the Ballet colour. I think our miss 6 would be thrilled to have this as her Christmas dress with some cute strappy sandals, gorgeous Christmas photos guaranteed.

Also very popular this year is the Eeni Meeni Miini Moh Polo Dress ($69.95), a pretty and practical dress that’s perfect for sporty girls. It’s currently available in three great colours: Peony Pink, Indigo and Vintage Purple Stripe and to make the dress playground friendly you can simply add a matching pair of leggings (no knickers on show).

Eeni Meeni Girls

You can never go wrong with a trendy polo shirt so boys also get three great colours to choose from, this Matisse/Grey Stripe Polo ($49.95) would have to be my top pick. You can wear it casually with jeans, cargos or shorts or dress it up a little with a good pair of pants, a fabulous versatile item that would be welcome in any boys summer wardrobe.

Eeni Meeni Stripe ShortsI also really like the vibrant Mandarin colour, with many boys clothes being rather plain and neutral this is a very welcome splash of colour. If orange is not your thing you can always add a cool touch of Cyan, Turtle or Vintage Purple (Yes, boys can wear purple too!). The biggest bonus of all: The Eeni Meeni Miini Moh range goes from newborn up to size 12, that’s all my little ones covered in one shop.

Eeni Meeni Boys

To find out more about Eeni Meeni Miini Moh, to browse the new Autumn/Winter collection and to order online visit www.eenimeeni.com.

Sep 122014


As we’re slowly settling back in at home I am of course very sad that our holidays have come to an end and that it will most likely be several years before we’ll see my family again. We had such a fantastic time with family and friends, exploring beautiful towns, driving through the Dutch, French, Belgian and German country side and enjoying fun days out.

Dettol SoapWhat I won’t miss however are the never ending visits to public toilets. With four young children there is always someone who needs to go urgently, which promptly causes everyone else to have a sudden bladder problem too. I have come to the conclusion that most toilets are simply too small for a parent with multiple children so it was great to discover the dedicate ‘mum and child’ toilets at Singapore’s Changi Airport that offer much needed extra space and are fitted with a special child seat.

Dettol SanitiserThese past five weeks I have seen more yucky, smelly cubicles, broken toilet seats, leaking taps, empty soap dispensers and out-of-order hand dryers than in all my 31 years together, I have never been so grateful for disinfecting wipes and my baby bag sized bottle of hand sanitiser! Nothing beats that squeaky clean feeling, fresh smell and peace of mind knowing it kills 99.99% of germs, plus no rinsing required.

Dettol Bar SoapThe upside of all these toilet breaks is that it has been an excellent opportunity to talk to the kids about good personal hygiene, washing hands, bacteria, getting sick and how things can be dirty even if you can’t see the dirt. I am quite sure the ‘don’t touch anything!’ message finally came across near the end of the holiday, let’s hope they remember it for the rest of their lives!

To find out more about Dettol, to browse the range and to learn all about keeping hands clean and healthy at home and on the go visit www.dettol.com.au.

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Sep 112014

The Play Hive

With just over 3 months to go until Christmas I am slowly making a start on my shopping list, jotting down cool gifts as I spot them and bookmarking fabulous stores I discover. With toys taking up the majority of Christmas wish lists for most families it is important to shop wisely and invest in items that are fun, age-appropiate, educational and encourage children to develop new skills. For a fabulous range of toys that fit all the boxes look no further than The Play Hive:

Wooden Picnic BasketCarefully handpicked by pre-school teacher Emma Butler The Play Hive stocks a wide range of toys, games, puzzles and books for children of all ages. With years of experience under her belt Emma knows exactly what to look for in a great toy and she loves sharing her insights with you so can shop with confidence and select the perfect gift for your child. If you need a bit of extra help or are in a rush you can even use the handy Product Finder, how easy is that?

Geo Nesting BoardPersonally I always have a soft spot for high quality, wooden toys so I am glad to see Emma has sourced a beautiful range of wooden toys that are sure to be enjoyed by generations to come. Not only are they durable, strong and timeless but they are eco friendly too, it doesn’t get much better than that. This beautiful Geo Nesting Board ($39.95) from sustainable rubber wood is stunning in its simplicity, it teaches little ones about colour, shapes, sizing and stacking.

Lunch Box GameAt our house we are huge fans of Orchard Toys, the kids never get enough of playing these games and it’s amazing to see how much they learn as they play. The fun and colourful Lunch Box Game ($28.95, ages 2-7) is based on the traditional lotto concept, the aim of the game is to collect all the foods pictured on your card and be the first to fill your lunch box with a healthy, balanced lunch.

It’s the perfect tool for small children to learn the names of everyday food items, recognise images and match them up while using their memory skills and practising taking turns. With only 6 items per card the Lunch Box Game is a fantastic ‘quick’ game for after dinner, short enough to keep young kids from losing their concentration yet challenging enough for little minds. There are lots of other great Orchard Toys games to choose from and I will definitely add some of them to my Christmas shopping list.

Orchard Toys Lunch Box Game

But The Play Hive is not all about shopping, Emma has also put together her best tips, advice and children’s activities for parents to enjoy for FREE. We can all use some refreshing thoughts, ideas and inspirations from time to time so make sure you bookmark the Fun & Advice category and you’ll always have Emma’s expert advice at your fingertips.

To find out more about The Play Hive, to browse the range and to order online visit www.playhivetoys.com.au.

Sep 102014

What? Save an extra 15% on all kids books and DVDs
How? Enter the code ‘BW-KIDS’ at checkout
When? Until September 14, 2014
Where? www.bookworld.com.au

Piece of CakePiece of Cake Parties & Celebrations
What? 50% off storewide Closing Down Sale
How? Enter the code ‘CLOSING50′ at checkout
When? Limited time only
Where? www.pieceofcakeparties.com.au

Little Pinwheel
What? 10% off storewide
How? Enter the code ‘gift10′ at checkout
When? Until September 14, 2014
Where? www.littlepinwheel.com.au

Baby BootiqueBaby Bootique
What? Free shipping Australia wide for orders over $20
How? Discount will be automatically applied at checkout
When? Limited time only
Where? www.babybootique.com.au

Baby Goes Retro
What? 4-day Sales Blitz
How? Prices as marked
When? Until September 12, 2014
Where? www.babygoesretro.com.au

What? Free shipping Australia wide
How? Enter the code ‘SEPT-SHIP’ at checkout
When? Until September 10, 2014
Where? www.baobab.com.au

Sep 092014

The sweet days of lazy breakfasts, relaxing in the garden and strolling along the boulevards are over, I’m still recovering from almost two full days of air travel and transit and now school and work are calling again. As a busy mum your only choice is to keep going but unfortunately exhaustion and stress can take their toll on your health, happiness and even your looks.

Nioxin Diaboost

If you’re one of the 50% of adults (men and women!) who suffers from hair thinning you will recognise that jealous feeling of seeing someone with a beautiful head full of thick, glossy, bouncy hair. Don’t fret, the hair experts at Nioxin have developed a fabulous new daily leave-in product that will instantly give you the look and the confidence you’re after. Nioxin Diaboost ($59.95) is a scientifically designed and tested product that increases the diameter of each existing hair strand, giving you the look of 11,000 more hair strands.

Diaboost is the perfect product for busy mums, simply apply to towel-dry hair and that’s it! There is no need to wait months and months to see results, no difficult, time-consuming regime is required and you don’t even have to rinse it out, Diaboost works straight away and results last up to 8 hours. Diaboost boosts the diameter of every single hair strand instantly, makes your hair more manageable and full and the best part is that all this hair magic fits in a convenient 100ml bottle, how handy!

To find out more about Nioxin, to browse the Nioxin range and to locate a Nioxin salon near you visit www.nioxin.com.

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Sep 082014

When people hear we just travelled to Europe with 4 kids under 6 they usually say we’re crazy (which we probably are!). I admit that it is not an easy, and definitely not a relaxing, journey, but after having made the same trip several times I have become quite the expert at packing backpacks full of entertainment to help get us through the  long flights and stopover.


I always start a few months in advance by getting each child a new backpack and adding books, activity pads, games, play sets and markers as I pick them up on sale. I never show the kids what’s in their backpacks until we’re on the plane, they love unpacking their new goodies and they’re happy to share with each other. This time I also surprised them with some new LeapFrog games for their LeapPads which were a huge hit:

LeapFrog Learning Ganme Sesame StreetFor miss 3 I picked Sesame Street – Solve it with Elmo, Abby and Super Grover 2.0! ($44.99, ages 3-5) who absolutely loves Abby Cadabby. With the start of kindy coming up this is a great game to practice basic pre-school skills like problem solving, logic and reasoning, balancing and cause and effect using friendly, familiar characters and through simple games that appeal to young children.

The game also touches on other interesting concepts like magnetism, machines, technology and engineering which were very popular with master 5. Miss 3 particularly liked adding little pigs to Abby’s boat to make it balance and navigating it across the river, they all thought catching chickens in Super Grover 2.0’s go-kart was hilarious.

LeapFrog Jake and the Neverland PiratesDisney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates ($44.99, ages 3-5) is another fantastic game for this younger age group. The aim of the game is to outsmart captain Hook with a series of mini games that will earn you coins for your treasure chest. The simple exercises are a great way to teach children to listen to and follow instructions, a skill that is very important at pre-school and of course at home too.

Practise your numbers by counting coins, learn about shapes and matching by fixing up a boat, find your way to the treasure chest by hopping over the lava river and much more, it’s a perfect learning game for little adventurers.

LeapFrog SpongeBobAnyone who knows our master 5 will know that he loves being challenged, he always wants to test his abilities by reading a tricky book or doing homework that’s above his level. When I spotted SpongeBob Squarepants – Fists of Foam ($44.99, ages 6-9) on sale I figured it would definitely keep him busy on our trip. Mathematics, geometry and fractions, it’s enough to make me shiver but he was super excited to try it out (not a child of his mother obviously!).

Clearly aimed at older children this particular SpongeBob Squarepants game (there are other SpongeBob Squarepants titles too) does involve a bit of ninja karate, that sounds nicer than fighting and in this case it is quite harmless in my opinion. Players will have to have some reading skills to be able to understand the story line. I hope master 5 is still this excited about fractions when he has to do it at school.

LeapFrog CrayolaOf course the LeapPad already comes with a selection of apps including the Art Studio App but miss 5 is such a crafty person I knew she would really enjoy the Crayola Art Adventure ($44.99, ages 3-7) Learning Game as well. Using signature ‘Crayola’ tools like PipSqueak Markers players can work their way through different rooms, games and challenges and solve the mystery of the missing colours.

I think this is a really lovely game because it combines art, colour and design and even music (something our miss 5 can never get enough of) whilst covering basic skills like tracing lines, discovering patterns, solving puzzles, matching shapes and learning the names of shapes in the process. There is no time pressure, it is just good, calm, crafty fun.

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