5 tips for hitting the road with kids

 Out & About  Comments Off on 5 tips for hitting the road with kids
Mar 232015
 

RACV

Disclosure: this is a paid post for RACV sponsored by Nuffnang

If you are a longtime reader of Hip Little One you have probably noticed that we love exploring our Aussie backyard and we regularly enjoy little family getaways in some beautiful parts of Australia. Not everyone gets excited about the prospect of a 9 hour drive with 4 young kids in the car but we love it, in fact our latest road trip was just 3 weeks ago!

The key is planning ahead, so here are our 5 top tips for making your next car trip with kids as stress free as possible:

  • Pack each child a small backpack with some books, games and a few single serve snacks so they can help themselves, it saves you turning around in your seat every 5 minutes
  • Let the kids bring their favourite soft toy, pillow and a blanket, especially when travelling at night, so they can get comfortable and snuggle up for the ride. In the unfortunate event that you get stranded this will also help keep kids warm and makes them feel at ease.
  • If you don’t have tinted windows, invest in a good sun shield for your side windows. Especially on long stretches children can get really hot, bothered (cranky!) and even sun burnt, which is not enjoyable for anyone
  • Keep a few kids CDs in your glove compartment and/or install a portable DVD player with kids movies. After a few hours you may run out of inspiration and this will keep the kids quiet for a bit longer (maybe even help them fall asleep)
  • Make sure you have an ’emergency’ bag on hand with wipes, toilet paper, water, travel sickness tablets, sick bags and a big shirt from daddy (this will fit all kids and if a little accident leaves you wet, sticky and smelly anything that’s dry and comfortable is better than nothing!)

Of course no matter how much you prepare, not everything always goes to plan and you wouldn’t be the first family who finds themselves stranded at the side of the road. Fighting kids, a hot car, no toilet or fresh water in sight, smoke from under the bonnet, a car that refuses to drive another kilometre and no one to call. You’ll be pleased to know that you can prepare for those unexpected situations too: just call someone who cares, call RACV.

RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance is always on call to help stranded Aussies out and, unlike many other ‘helpful’ people you may encounter on the side of the road, they know exactly what they’re doing. Don’t get caught out these Easter holidays and make sure your RACV Membership is up-to-date, the ‘heaps more helpful’ RACV team will have you back on the road to your holiday destination in no time.

To find out more about RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance and to see how RACV could help you on your next road trip visit www.racv.com.au.

Become the boss of your energy bill with greenHOUSE

 Eco, Home, Sales & Savings  Comments Off on Become the boss of your energy bill with greenHOUSE
Jan 272015
 

greenHOUSE

Four weeks into 2015 many Aussies are still determined to make those New Year resolutions a success. Becoming healthier, living greener and saving more, if you connect with these great intentions (don’t we all?) you are sure love the latest, life changing, Sustainababy program:

The greenHOUSE 21 Day Home Energy Blitz has been developed by environmental engineer and ecoceptional mother-of-two Laura Trotta. As a certified Home Energy Auditor Laura has spent the last decade helping ordinary Australian families to reduce their energy consumption, lessen their energy bills and lower their greenhouse gas emissions. With years of valuable experience under her belt I think we safely call her a real energy expert and now you can profit from her knowledge too.

real estate and family home concept - closeup picture of male and female hands holding green paper h

Over the course of 21 days (yep, just three short weeks!) you will discover how you can become more in control of your energy usage through small but very effective changes in your home and routine. Every day you will receive a bite-sized chunk of greenHOUSE goodness in your inbox, which you can read and act upon at a time that is convenient for you. You will also have access to a fabulous back-up team of like-minded parents on the special Home Energy Blitz Facebook page for friendly chats, helpful advice, great tips and of course support from the real greenHOUSE experts.

If you want to become the boss of your next energy bill and help influence climate change sign up for your own Home Energy Blitz now! The special Early Bird Price of $97 is available until Sunday February 8th, after this you can still sign up at the regular price of $199. Registrations close on Sunday February 22nd, 2015 and the doors of the greenHOUSE program will open on February 24th, 2015.

greenHOUSE Sign-Up

All participants will receive a FREE copy of Laura Trotta’s eGuide “101 Small Things You Can Do to Help Our Environment” valued at $47. You’ll also be mailed your greenHOUSE Home Energy Toolkit which includes some surprise tools to help you reduce your household energy consumption even more.

The practical, hands-on greenHOUSE Home Energy Blitz is designed for YOU, providing you with all the information you need to make small changes that will have a big impact. Creator Laura Trotta is so convinced you will love the greenHOUSE eCourse that she is willing to back it up with a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If you have signed up, and within the first 7 days decide that the program is not right for you, you simply need to send Laura a quick email to receive a full refund of your investment.

To find more about greenHOUSE, the 21 Day Home Energy Blitz by Sustainababy, and to start reducing your energy bill visit www.greenhouseenergyblitz.com.

Welcome to The Play Hive

 Eco, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Welcome to The Play Hive
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 072014
 

Pan Macmillan Australia

We all know this parenting business can be rather tricky at times, sometimes you just want to hear from the experts and other times all you can do is laugh to get through. Pan Macmillan has put together a great parenting book pack for one lucky mama to help her survive through learning and laughing:

Good EnoughWill I ever be good enough? It’s a question many of us mums ask ourselves regularly (if you don’t please come and introduce yourself, we’d love you to share your confidence with us). Written by journalist, media commentator, kid-wrangler and zombie/Duran Duran enthusiast Dilvin Yasa Good enough (RRP $29.99) touches on the (often unrealistic) expectations and high standards that bear down on our shoulders, showing mamas around the country that we’re all in this together.

Competitive parenting, post-natal depression, baby names, taking a time out or returning to work, Good Enough is an honest, hilarious and at the same time helpful book that combines Dilvin’s real life experiences with relevant advice from a professional in the field. Go on, sit down with a cup (or glass) of something and enjoying this refreshing read on motherhood, it is sure to make you smile. Click here for a little sneak read.

Your Cherished BabyIt may not be as funny but Your Cherished Baby (RRP $29.99) is without a doubt a very valuable addition to your bookshelf. With over 35 years of experience under his belt Dr. Howard Chilton, a neonatologist, father and one of Australia’s leading baby doctors, knows all about infant care. He has put together a practical guide for settling, feeding and engaging their 0-2 infants, eqcuipping parents with lots of helpful tips and advice to give babies the best possible start in life.

From early bonding to baby routine myths, from welcome tips for sleep deprived parents to varied food introduction to prevent obesity, Dr. Chilton is here to help in a compassionate, practical, research based way. I am particularly interested in reading his insights on colic and excessive crying as well as his practical alternative to controlled crying, a technique he considers inhumane. Your Cherished Baby is a fantastic resource for parents who value the knowledge of health professionals.

To find out more about Pan Macmillan, to take a closer look at Good Enough and Your Cherished Baby and to order a copy online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

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Jul 012014
 

Prime Lawyers

As you can probably imagine I get many emails every day, businesses making bookings, marketing companies introducing their clients, stores pitching their product, sponsors discussing posts, there are no two emails the same. But no matter how many emails I get I still have a chuckle every time someone asks me for a certain person in our office.

My ‘office’ is a small and messy desk in our living room, I have no staff, no receptionist to answer my phone, I don’t have fancy writing paper or business stamps and I definitely don’t have nice work suits or company lunches. Like many blogging mums I often write in my pyjamas, at night when the kids are asleep and in between changing nappies and making dinner and that is okay with me. The ‘mummy bloggers’ I know are fun, friendly and supportive, happy to help eachother out and always there for a chat when you need them.

Home Office

The big The Organised Housewife drama made me realise that sadly some people happily give up their social, compassionate side in return for a good pay. Wonderful blogger Katrina from The Organised Housewife discovered that another Australian blog had registered web domains very similar to her blog’s URL so that they could redirect innocent readers, who just mistyped the URL, to their own blog. What a nasty way of getting your clicks!

When I think of all the hours I put in my blog every single day I can only imagine the shock and disappointment when someone else tries to profit from your hard work. What can she do (if anything at all), so many questions but who to ask? Immediately after this news came out people were very helpful suggesting she should get legal advice and hopefully claim this URL as her own. It’s so nice to see that the majority of the people out there are supportive and have respect for others and their work.

I have never had to get legal advice myself (knocks on wood) but it is good to know there is help available and there are professionals with years of experience under their belt ready to answer your questions. Don’t sweat on your own, ask someone who knows all about it and you may find your situation is not as hopeless as you think it is.

Thanks to Sydney based Prime Lawyers we have a $75 PayPal gift card to give away to one lucky reader, what would you spend this surprise pocket money on?

To find out more about Prime Lawyers, to make an enquiry or to book an appointment visit www.primelawyers.com.au.

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Dec 152013
 

Ready to Go Toilet  Time

Like many other mums across the country I have been waiting for decent summer weather to arrive so I can finally start toilet training miss 3. While it was quite an easy process with the twins it turns out to be a little harder this time which proves what we all knew already: every child is different. To make sure this transition from nappies to undies is going to be as quick and smooth as possible I have been preparing for the journey ahead with the Ready to Go! Toilet Time training kit by Hinkler:

Ready to Go! Toilet Time GirlsWhen it comes to toilet training you’ll soon notice that everyone has an opinion and everyone thinks they know exactly how and when it should be done. As a mum it can be hard to filter through all those comments and ‘helpful’ advice which adds extra stress to this messy stage. The Ready to Go! Toilet Time training kit is developed with the help of expert child psychologist Dr. Janet Hall who shares her best toilet training facts, tips and tricks in a clear, calm and compact six-step guide.

Parent GuideTo make the journey fun for little ones the Ready to Go! Toilet Time training kit contains a cute board book that is sure to get children excited about the toilet. The lovely illustrated book covers all aspects of toilet training like nappies and underwear, babies and big kids, using toilet paper, flushing and hand washing and at 14 pages it’s the perfect size for a quick read while sitting on the toilet and waiting for some toilet action.

Reward Chart GirlsWith the handy, easy-to-understand parent guide in hand the toilet training process will seem a lot less daunting, you know what signs you should be looking for and what to do and what not to do as your little one gets ready to ditch the nappy. Also part of the Ready to Go! Toilet Time kit is a cute double sided reward chart and stickers so your child can ‘earn’ stickers for successful toilet visits or even attempts, after all encouragement is very important for children and will motivate them to keep trying.

Ready to Go! Toilet Time BoysAll components of the toilet training kit are neatly kept together in a gorgeous, hard cover storage case that would make a lovely gift for a cheeky toddler who is (almost) ready for toilet training. Ready to Go! Toilet Time ($16.99) is available in a boys and girls version and you can find it at all good book and department stores, newsagents and online retailers across Australia.

To find out more Hinkler Books, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.hinkler.com.au.

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Mar 022013
 

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, so much is being said about it at the moment and everyone has an opinion which can make it all very confusing. I myself have encountered both a breastfeeding disaster (the twins, 2 months) and a breastfeeding success (miss 2, 1 year) yet all three children have turned out healthy and happy which in my opinion is all that matters. After my first (negative) experience with breastfeeding and the nasty comments I received from some people I was quite scared about having to try it again but I discovered the Breastfeeding Book just in time.

Breastfeeding BookThe book ‘Breastfeeding: Real Mums Tell You How’ by Melissa Macdonald (also known as the Breastfeeding Book) is a real, informative book with lots of facts, figures, real-life experiences, tips and tricks about breastfeeding, combined feeding and bottle feeding. It left me feeling inspired to try again but also supported in case it didn’t work out the way I hoped. After reading this book I was much less worried about feeding our new baby and I think it really helped me to stay calm.

Now that I have started my third breastfeeding journey I thought it would be good to mention this book again, it could just be what you need to help you prepare for your own feeding journey without feeling guilty or pressured. I wish every mum could read the Breastfeeding Book, it is so worth the read!

To find out more about Melissa Macdonald, to take a closer look at the book ‘Breastfeeding: Real Mums Tell You How’ ($19.95) and to order your copy online visit www.breastfeedingbook.com.au.

For your chance to win a copy of ‘Breastfeeding: Real Mums Tell You How’ by Melissa Macdonald visit www.breastfeedingbook.com.au and answer the following question: What question do you hope to see answered in the Breastfeeding Book?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

Competition ends April 2, 2013. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.