Oct 182014

Sew Sista

No matter what toy catalogue you open up, it’s bound to be full of loud, battery operated toys, bright coloured plastic, game consoles and over-sexualised dolls. This Christmas why not surprise your daughter with a gift that’s packed with lovely, warm, old school charm (yet isn’t old fashioned at all), meet Sew Sista:

Sew Sista range

Created right here in Australia by a lovely bunch of crafty mamas Sew Sista is a truly refreshing concept that is winning hearts all over the country. The gorgeous range of sewing kits and accessories is specifically designed for young girls who love to get busy with their hands, I know my girls do!

FSew Sista Mini Sewing Kitabric and ribbons, buttons and pins, needles and thread, scissors and stuffing, Sew Sista’s got everything your little crafter needs to start her very own sewing journey. Featuring bright colours and funky prints it is a very appealing range and a wonderful project for (grand)mothers to share with their (grand)daughters or for siblings or a couple of friends to work on together.

Sew Sista Sewing CaseThe divine large Sew Sista Sewing Case (RRP $59.95, available in blue, pink and orange) is an absolute delight, I would have been so proud to own one of these when I was a child and my own daughters would be just as thrilled. Bring back the evenings of sewing on the couch in front of the fire place or sitting at the kitchen table together and creating a beautiful handmade treasure (Can you tell I am big fan of Little House on the Prairie?).

You can find the Sew Sista range online at Where Did You Get That?, prices start at $9.95 for a small craft pack and go up to $59.95 for the big Sewing Case making Sew Sista a great gift suggestion for any budget. Be prepared because sewing is rather addictive so you could be setting your daughter up for life here, she’ll be asking for more supplies for her sewing case in no time! On the other hand, a daughter who can sew her own buttons back on is pretty handy to have in the house.

To find out more about Where Did You Get That?, to browse the Sew Sista range and to order online visit www.wheredidyougetthat.com.au.

Oct 182014

Merry Christmas

As Christmas is coming closer I always feel a little sad. I really miss Christmases in The Netherlands with my family and it was always my favourite time of year. I love going to church on Christmas Eve when it’s dark outside and every house you walk past has a Christmas tree up in lights. I love waking up on Christmas morning and opening the curtains to (hopefully) find a thick pack of snow, I love the sound of snow crushing under your feet, the tingling of your nose in the cold, the warmth of a scarf and mittens and the time spent went family around a fire place. And then I moved to Australia…

Snow in the Netherlands

The view from my parents’ living room

After 8 years I have come to accept that the cold Christmas is no more so we’re celebrating a warm Christmas instead. We are lucky to have a ducted air conditioner in our home with outlets in most rooms so I am not too bothered by the hot weather anymore, as long as I can stay inside! I guess I have swapped my cold Christmas for a cool one. I love that you can control the whole house with the press of a button and as the vents are discreetly located in the ceiling they are safe from little fingers and don’t affect your decor like a wall unit would. Of course there is an upside to all this warm weather too: gorgeous summer dresses, strappy sandals, picnics and trips to the beach with the family, there are plenty of ways to have fun in the sun.

Our beautiful Cristmas girl

Our beautiful Cristmas girl

Just as I wasn’t prepared for the hot summers I also didn’t expect the winters to get this cold. Obviously in The Netherlands it gets a lot colder but the houses are much better insulated and have central heating throughout where as in most Australian homes you really feel the chill. Ideally if we ever move house I would like to invest in a reverse cycle air conditioner that both heats and cools with one clever system, that way you can easily regulate your temperature all year around no matter the season.


If energy efficiency, low noise, low maintenance and excellent product warranty are on your list of must-have air conditioner features make sure you check out Toshiba (Yes, they make more than just computers!), to read up on Toshiba technology and to locate a dealer near you visit www.toshiba-aircon.com.au.

Oct 172014

We have all had them, the phone calls that make you spit out your coffee (if you’re lucky enough to have time for a cuppa) and have you racing around the house like a maniac. Whether it’s your mother-in-law ‘I was wondering if I could visit today?’, a friend ‘I’m just at the shops near you, shall I drop by for a chat?’ or the mum from school ‘Would you mind looking after child x for an hour or so as I go to the doctor?’, they usually call for a very speedy 15 minute tidy of our busy, well lived-in home.

Obviously there is no time for thorough cleaning so I keep things simple with these 5 steps:

1. The Living Room

Mor-Stor Charlie CanvasWith 4 small children there are always loose toys hanging around so I keep a big toy basket in the corner of the room for easy tidying. It generally takes me less than 1 minutes to pick up wandering toys and dump them in the tub, then I fluff up the couch pillows and make sure the ground is clean for a vacuum if needed (and if time left). I have a little handheld vacuum for small messes which is much quicker to grab and use than our big bulky vacuum.

2. The Kitchen

As our driveway is next to our kitchen most guests will enter our home via the kitchen. It’s the first impression they get of our home and at the same time it is one of the busiest rooms of our house so it can be tricky to keep it tidy. A full and messy kitchen bench is the first to be tackled, put all your dirty dishes in the dishwasher or just gather them all in the sink, as long as your bench is clean. I wipe down the bench and the kitchen table and put away items that were left on the kitchen table, items that are not ready to be put away or take too much time to clear away can be stacked neatly on one side.

3. Laundry

Laundry BasketI know ideally we’d all have an empty laundry basket and all clean washing neatly tidied away in the cupboards, however the reality of a big family is that laundry is never done. A basket of wet washing waiting to be hung up, a pile of dry garments on my kitchen table ready to be folded or worn clothes, a used tea towel and loose socks on the bedroom floor, it’s everywhere. I have three huge baskets to use so I try to have an empty one at all times, just shove it all in and carry everything in one go to an out-of-sight place in your home.

4. A pleasant smell

Now this may actually be my biggest trick and it ALWAYS works. On my kitchen window sill I keep a neat little iWell Aroma Diffuser. It takes me about 30 seconds to refill the water and add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil, one press of the on button and the refreshing, clean smell of Eucalyptus starts flooding through our home. People always comment on how nice it smells so it does its job really well, I run it most days and have become a bit addicted to the lovely fragrance.

5. The Toilet

Harpic WipesOften the toilet is the easiest to overlook, it is behind a closed door so you don’t notice it as much but with young children it can get yucky very quickly! It’s only when your unexpected guest asks to use the bathroom that you realise the loo was in desperate need of a good clean. When I am short of time I use a disinfecting toilet wipe or three to wipe down the lid, the toilet seat (don’t forget to look under/behind it), the sides of the toilet and the floor followed by a quick squirt of toilet cleaner under the rim for a fresh smell, that’s better than nothing at all!

What does your 15 minute tidy look like? If you have any awesome tips I would love to hear them.

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Oct 162014

Giggle amd Hoot Logo

We’ve all seen that Jimmy Rees, better known as Jimmy Giggle from ABC4Kids duo Giggle and Hoot, knows everything about putting smiles on little faces and soon he will be able to try his tricks on his very own tiny munchkin. Together with his wife Tori he is expecting a precious bundle of their own, such lovely news! We don’t know the gender of their unborn baby yet and we haven’t seen their nursery yet either but I bet their change table will be stacked with the new Giggle and Hoot nappies, exclusive to Woolworths stores nationwide:

Giggle and Hoot BabyLove nappiesCreated by the nappy experts at BabyLove the new range combines the signature Dri Wave design we’ve all come to love with a fun Giggle and Hoot gift. The unisex nappies are designed to be flexible, stretchy and reliable so they offer ultimate protection for active babies who love to roll, play, crawl, toddle and walk. The Dri Wave lining absorbs quickly so that your baby’s skin stays dry, reducing the risk of irritated skin and nappy rash.

We are regular users of BabyLove Dri Wave nappies and have always been very pleased with their performance. I’ve tried them on several of my children at different ages, weights and body shapes and during the day as well as overnight without any accidents, that’s the tick of approval for me! BabyLove is very proud of their design and understands you may want to try before you buy, so if you are new to BabyLove you can request a free sample here.

Giggle and Hoot Frame Tray PuzzleEach pack of Giggle and Hoot BabyLove nappies sold through Woolworths stores includes a free 12-piece Giggle and Hoot frame tray puzzle. There are 4 different puzzle designs to collect and they’re a great activity for little explorers to practise their fine motor skills. The recommended age for the puzzles is 3+ which made them a perfect gift for our miss 4 but our miss 1 also tried her best at fitting the strong cardboard pieces on the tray (without success).

Giggle and Hoot BabyLove nappies ($29, all sizes) are available in 5 different sizes: Infant (3-8kg, 96 pcs), Crawler (6-11 kg, 93 pcs), Toddler (9-14 kg, 81 pcs), Walker (12-17kg, 72 pcs) and Junior (15-25kg, 66 pcs) so from birth to toilet training, they’ve go you covered.

You can find the Giggle and Hoot BabyLove range in the nappy aisle of Woolworths supermarkets across Australia, to locate your local Woolworths store visit www.woolworths.com.au.

Play School Jemima DollTo celebrate the release of the new Giggle and Hoot BabyLove nappy range we’ve got a lovely prize pack to give away to one lucky Hip Little One reader, it could be you! If your little one is a big Play School fan this prize is sure to be a big hit. For your chance to win a box of Giggle and Hoot BabyLove nappies (RRP $29) in your preferred size and a gorgeous Play School Jemima Bedtime Plush Toy (RRP $26.95) enter our giveaway below.

To find out more ABC’s Giggle and Hoot, to browse the range and to order your favourite products online visit www.abcshop.com.au/giggleandhoot.

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Oct 152014

Brolly SheetsBrolly Sheets
What? 25% off storewide (Excludes value packs)
How? Prices as marked
When? Until October 26, 2014
Where? www.brollysheets.com

Metro MumMetromum
What? 20% off selected products
How? Prices as marked
When? Until October 16, 2014
Where? www.metromum.com.au

What? Up to 50% off storewide Birthday Sale
How? Prices as marked
When? Until October 26, 2014
Where? www.babyography.net.au

Kids Eco Style
What? Up to 80% off Closing Down Sale
How? Prices as marked
When? Until stock lasts
Where? www.kidsecostyle.com.au

Baby BuntingBaby Bunting
What? 50% off Playgro Grow with Me Garden Gym (save $50)
How? Prices as marked
When? Until October 19, 2014
Where? www.babybunting.com.au

Angel MaternityAngel Maternity
What? Free standard shipping Australia wide for all orders over $50 (Conditions apply)
How? Discount will be automatically applied at checkout
When? Until October 19, 2014
Where? www.angelmaternity.com.au

Oct 142014


Spring is here and so is party season. When you have four children like me you are bound to receive a big pile of party invitations and of course the kids love wearing something special which can be a costly business. Don’t worry, thanks to Target‘s Everyday Low Prices you can get the kids party pretty with a pleasant price tag:

Target Kids Spring Dress

Miss 6 is a real girly girl and would be horrified to be sent to a party in anything else but a dress. She would wear dresses every day if she could so I am not surprised by her Target pick, the Girls Star Print Pleat Dress ($25, size 1-7) was made for her. I absolutely love the navy colour, so classy and timeless and very forgiving when it come to little spills, after all a party wouldn’t be a party without a few accidents. The dress closes with buttons at the back for easy dressing and has an elasticised waist to add a nice shape, the pleated skirt always falls down nicely so there is no need to constantly pull on it to keep it neat.

Target Girls star Print Dress

Now I couldn’t find the Girls Spotted Playsuit ($20, size 1-7) online so you’ll have to pop into your local Target store for this one. This super stylish playsuit was the first thing I spotted in store and I knew it would be perfect for miss 4. It was a bit tricky to find the right size, size 4 was just too long in the leg so I went with size 3 (she has a gorgeous ’round’ shape so it’s a tad tight around her belly but I think it only makes her more adorable). Nice bonus: Being a bit more fitted at the ankle the suit won’t drag over the ground so it won’t get damaged or dirty as easily.

Target Girls Spotted Playsuit

The youngest of our bunch is always moving, still a bit wobbly on the legs and needs regular outfit changes so I decided to go for two separate pieces. This will allow you to change just the top or just the bottom if needed. Comfort and easy dressing is a big priority when shopping for a baby so the soft cotton Girls Sorbet Lace Back Tank ($8, size 1-7) and Girls Nautical Daisy Tiered Skirt ($15, size 1-7) are ideal, they’re both easy to mix and match with other items in her wardrobe and the lace detail on the back of the singlet is so cute.

Target Girls Lace Back Singlet

Master 6 sees a garden party as the perfect opportunity to run, climb, jump, roll and be silly with his friends so I went for casual and practical with the Boys Woven Shorts ($15, size 1-7) in green and the Boys Number Print Tee ($8, size 1-7). They are comfortable, easy to wash and wear and toilet breaks are a breeze thanks to the soft, stretchy waistband. As he is the most boisterous of our kids I know clothes may not last that long and with affordable price tags like this I don’t have to be too upset about a stain or a green knee (in saying that I didn’t pick green shorts for no reason).

Target Boys Woven Shorts

I couldn’t resist scooping up an extra little outfit for miss Sybbie, as soon I as saw these gorgeous Girls Floral Print Shorts with Belt ($15, size 0-24m) I knew I couldn’t leave the store without them. The pastel colours are very much on trend and the floral print just screams ‘spring’, how sweet is the plaited belt? (I would like one for myself too!). I teamed the shorts up with the Baby Girls Stripe Tee with Pocket ($10, size 0-24m), together the set cost me just $25 which I think is a very fair price.

Target Girls Floral Print Shorts

To find out more about Target, to browse the range and to locate a Target store near you go to www.target.com.au.

Oct 132014

Bonds Breast Cancer Month

On September 26 hip daddy and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. We looked back at all we have achieved, admired our four beautiful children and dreamed about our future, a tree change, a big garden, some chickens and a goat.

On September 27 I walked out of the doctor’s office with a referral for a breast ultrasound after a suspicious lump was found. I rang my husband and cried. I cried a lot those next days. I worried about my children and my husband, about the future that all of a sudden looked so unsure and I worried about having to face a diagnosis without any family support.

McGrath FoundationLuckily for me last week I received the reassuring phone call that everything was clear, I was so relieved and thankful that God heard my prayers and that I could live to see my children grow up. At the same time I realised that many other women are not this lucky and their futures will be forever changed by this horrible disease that affects 1 in 8 Australian women and takes so many lives every day.

You may think that there is not much you can do to help but together we CAN make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients. In the past 5 years the McGrath Foundation has supported 25,000 Australian families who have been affected by breast cancer. With a McGrath Breast Care Nurse in every state and territory throughout Australia, families experiencing breast cancer can self refer to their nearest McGrath Breast Care Nurse and be supported by a McGrath Breast Care Nurse completely free of charge.

This October, in celebration of breast cancer awareness month, BONDS have partnered with the McGrath Foundation to raise much needed funds for the McGrath Foundation so that every breast cancer patient who needs it can have access to a Breast Care Nurse. I would like to encourage you to be generous and make your point today.


BONDS caters for breasts of all shapes and sizes with a fantastic new Boobicons bra range available in sizes 8A to 16G and everything in between. Big boobs, small boobs, perky boobs, uneven boobs, mama boobs, sporty boobs, bouncy boobs, dazzling boobs, BONDS has them all covered!

Bonds Boobicons TeeAs a cheeky encouragement to celebrate the Boobicons you are blessed with they have released a limited edition series of Boobicons Bonds Bestie T-shirts (RRP $24.95). Bonds Boobicons Tees are not available in stores but we have managed to secure a couple of these highly sought after tops and are giving you the chance to win one. Up for grabs are the following styles and sizes, which would suit your Boobicons most?

Bouncy Boobs – size L
Sporty Boobs – size M or L
Big Boobs – size M or L
Dazzling Boobs – size L
Mama Boobs – size S
Petite Boobs – size S or M
Perky Boobs – sieze S or M

To find out more about BONDS, to order your favourite Bonds Boobicons products online or to locate a stockist near you visit www.bonds.com.au, shipping is FREE Australia wide.

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