VTech Secret Safe

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on VTech Secret Safe
Jun 302019


It has taken her almost two whole terms but miss Sybbie is finally managing a tear-free and no-panic school drop off most days! We’ve worked very hard to get to this point and I am so proud of her (but also of myself) for persevering, there were so many tears and we even considered taking her out of school all together. I have to admit we pulled out all the bribes to win her over and Sybil has been rather spoilt but it was for a good cause. Who wouldn’t try their best when this gorgeous VTech gift is up for grabs?

With its pretty pink colour, swirly design and heart shaped window this VTech Secret Safe (RRP $69.95, ages 6-11) instantly brought a sparkle to Sybil’s eye. She’s been having loads of fun discovering this girly gadget and with 7 different activities and games there is still plenty more to learn. (In fact Sybil loves it so much that she’s been trying to sneak it to school several times, but of course this mama is not that easily fooled!

As the name suggests the ‘Secret Safe’ Diary Selfie Music is brilliant at keeping your secrets safe and secure. Protected with super smart facial technology and/or a number password only the true owner is able to unlock the magic, now that’s clever! Behind the sweet pink cover hides a full colour screen where you can write diary entries, record voice messages and (using the front/back cameras) take selfies, photos and videos so you can put together your very own special journal. You can even decorate your snaps with cool effects and cute add-ons.

Typing/spelling is not Sybil’s strongest point but her visual diary is coming along beautifully and I just love seeing our days from her perspective and sharing in her highlights and favourite moments. With the help of the clock and alarm she knows exactly what time to get up for school or when to get ready for an outing. Add to that a real ‘address book’ and she’s becoming quite the secretary, I guess you’re never too young to be organised.

But there is way more to discover and do than just keep a diary. The Secret Safe is fitted with a music player with 4 built-in songs (you can add your own too), you can raise three virtual pets, play one of eight different learning games and other fun activities. By playing the games kids can practice typing, solve a sudoku puzzle , do maths exercises, work on spelling and train other handy skills.

Sybil’s top three of things to do on her ‘Secret Safe’ Diary Selfie Music are playing fashion designer in the My Stylist app (it’s like stepping into a virtual dressing room and trying on all kinds of fancy clothes and accessories), caring for her pet puppy and singing along to all her High School Musical tunes. By adding in a microSD card we’ve given her even more storage for more secrets and more smiles.

VTech toys are available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

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

VTech Secret Safe Diary

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on VTech Secret Safe Diary
Nov 292018


Last year Sinterklaas treated our daughter Olivia to a gorgeous VTech electronic diary which quickly became the envy of her younger sisters. They’ve been trying to crack the password ever since but it has kept her secrets safe nonetheless, to great frustration of the wannabe-hackers. It was no surprise Juliet instantly added a lockup diary to her wishlist too and thankfully for her this fabulous new VTech release hit the shelves at the right time:

Not only does this pretty pink VTech Secret Safe Diary (RRP $59.95, ages 6-11) keep secrets safe, it also helps you keep track of your diary, addresses, alarms and more and even protects your favourite little treasures without the need for a key. So how does that work?

There’ll be no unwanted snooping in this special diary, only the true owner can see what’s behind the little heart by saying the magic voice password. Once unlocked the digital diary reveals a large 2.4” colour screen and a proper QWERTY keyboard, ready to record all your secrets, stories, musings and plenty more. At the bottom of the diary a secret little drawer provides a perfect hide-out for small treasures like jewellery or tiny notes.

Using the six cute flower buttons you can access the different modes of play: Diary, Pets, My Friends and Me, My Voice Recordings, My Games and Activities and My Settings. With 20 different learning activities to choose from the diary is a very versatile design that will keep young girls entertained for ages. Juliet loves writing about any special outings or events in her diary and her alarm clock helps her get ready on time (although sometimes she sets the wrong time and wakes everyone up!).

One of Juliet’s favourite features is the virtual pet play, she has created an adorable pet dog named Bella that she can give food and water, bathe and play games with or even give an immunisation. You can also decorate your pet’s living and areas to create the perfect home. If cats or horses are more your thing they are available for adoption too. There are loads of other fun and educational activities to keep young minds busy, like a typing test, crosswords, amazing mazes, maths challenges and logic thinking games.

Another big hit with our little performer is the ability to tape voice memos and songs and edit them to make them extra spectacular. You can listen to your recordings over and over again and practise to become a great singer, news reader or TV presenter. Juliet is forever singing her favourite tracks in her room and admiring her efforts afterwards.

VTech toys are available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

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

Dork Diaries

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Dork Diaries
Dec 072013

Dork Diaries

Some days I feel like dealing with two 5-year olds is tricky, but I’m sure it’s a piece of cake compared to what’s ahead of me when they hit the tween stage. By now we know all about Wimpy Kid but when you’re a tween girl you may not be too interested in stinky trainers and basketbal practice, it’s all about finding the right BFF, knowing the latest gossip and surviving lunch at school without major embarrassments. Join the lovable Nikki Maxwell as she attempts to ditch her dorky ways in the Dork Diaries:

Dork Diaries

Dork Diaries 5New York Times best selling series Dork Diaries has hit the right note with tweens all around the globe. The easy-to-read diary concept covers all the first-world problems ordinary teens battle with, from holiday crushes to disastrous wardrobe malfunctions and everything in between. Aa a mum of two girls author Rachel Renee Russell knows first hand what really matters when you’re a so called dorky teen trying to find your way in high school.

Dork Diaries Box SetThe Dork Diaries series currently consists of eight titles, six of them are Nikki’s ‘real’ diaries and the other two titles encourage the reader to get active and work on a Dork Diary of her own. With Christmas just weeks away why not grab your daughter or nieces one of the Dork Diaries? (You may want to have a sneaky read yourself too, your daughter obviously doesn’t want you to read her diary but there is nothing stopping you from having a flick through Nikki’s. You might discover some valuable tips!)

Dork Diaries

The Dork Diaries are available at Dymocks stores across Australia and online and can be purchased individually ($14.99-$16.99 each, paperback) or in great value box sets.

Feb 232013

Personal Planner

We’ve only just become a family of six and I can already tell life is pretty busy with such a ‘big’ family. Daddy at work, twins at kindy on some days yet not on others, hospital appointments and post-natal checkups, immunisations and much more, it is hard to keep track of it all. My memory could really use a hand so a new diary/planner was in order, perfect timing with the year only just starting. Instead of settling for a mass produced planner that is full of stuff that doesn’t apply to our family I created my very own customised Personal Planner.

Personal Planner - Designer Editions

Personal Planner – Designer Editions

Personal PlannerThe Personal Planner concept is super simple and very clever at the same time. Just visit the Personal Planner website and use the easy design tool to put together your ideal planner, full of all the stuff you want and without all the useless bits you never use anyway. You can choose from different sizes (from handbag size to desk size), colours, covers, layout, components and much more, so that you end up with a planner that suits you and your family perfectly.

I designed my Personal Planner to start in January but you can start any month you like (Yay, no more wasted months!) and you can even pre-fill all your special dates and birthdays to be printed in your new planner. I decided on the smallest size so I can stick it in my nappy bag and it turned out great. With one week on 2 pages I can easily see what’s on for everyone which is very handy. I love all the extra options for the final pages, eg. colouring-in pages, Sudoku puzzles, sheet music, addresses, how cool is that?

Personal Planner - Layout Example

Personal Planner – Layout Example

Personal PlannersFrom start to finish it took me maybe 10 minutes to create my own design and place my order, but if I hadn’t been so indecisive about all the colours and cover options it would have been a lot quicker. I really enjoyed putting it together and I think it makes a great gift idea with a personal touch. Usually it takes around 3 weeks for your Personal Planner to be printed and delivered and shipping is included in the price.

Planner prices range from $35 for the smallest size up to $45 for the biggest size (A5).

To find out more about Personal Planner, to check out all the design options and to order your own planner online visit www.personal-planner.com.au.

For your chance to win a customised Personal Planner visit www.personal-planner.com.au and answer the following question: What is the first event you would mark in your personal planner?

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 March 23, 2013. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Jan 032013


The more children you have, the more you get to deal with sickness too (at least in our house that’s definitely the case). Each child has its own medical history, allergies and little accidents and when you combine your baby brain with sleep deprivation it is easy to get things mixed up. I am sure you all agree that your child’s health is not something you want to play with so I think you will love this great product by MessPots: the I’ve got an ow! Medical Journal.

I've got an ow!

I've got an ow! journalThe I’ve got an ow! journal was created by Australian mum Monique to help parents and carers keep track of their child(ren)’s big and little ‘ows’. The compact notebook is a great aid for your (sometimes foggy) memory and you’ll grab it more often than you think. It lets you record anything from immunisations (and side effects) to small complaints, from allergies to hospital visits and anything else that concerns your child’s health. I’ve got an ow! keeps it all in one spot, making life easier for everyone.

If you are looking for a thoughtful and useful gift for a new or expecting parent that doesn’t end up gathering dust at the back of a drawer this is it, any parent will love this handy journal! If you have multiple children you can keep one for every child, it will not only prevent mix-ups (Was is master 3 or miss 5 who complained about a sore ear just last month?) but it will also make a nice keepsake for later. I think our oldest daughter will have a whole pile of them by the time she’s grown up!

I've got an ow! journal insideWith over 70 pages you’ll have plenty of room for all your notes over a long period of time, so you (or the doctor/health nurse) can look back months or even years. The I’ve got an ow! journal is a fantastic tool to recognise patterns that you may have missed otherwise, I have high hopes that it will help us see the big picture and find a reason for miss 4’s reoccurring complaints. No more ‘Didn’t she have this before?’ moments for us!

To find our more about MessPots, to take a closer look at the ‘I’ve got an ow!’ journal ($24.95) and to order online visit www.messpots.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 I’ve got an ow! journals visit www.messpots.com.au and answer the following question: Do you ever ‘mix up’ your children and what things do you mix up?

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 February 3, 2013. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Aug 192012

From a young age I have had a soft spot for divine stationery, little diaries, calendars and notebooks. I could spend hours making lists and writing down notes in my most beautiful handwriting (and be very upset when I made the smallest mistake). In today’s Sunday Coffee I am sitting down with Cath, creator of all kinds of stunning paper goodies for Leaf. Paper for Life.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Sunday is my allocated sleep in morning, so on my ideal Sunday I’d start my day with coffee in bed, tucked up with a magazine, or playing “tickle monsters” with the Munchkin.
Then off for a relaxed brunch with friends at a local café, maybe a walk in the forest and then getting stuck into the garden in the afternoon – we have a big, steep block so there are always garden projects on the go! The evening would be pretty lazy, with an early dinner, storytime with the Munchkin and then after he is tucked into bed, curling up on the couch with a good book and a glass of red.
Of course, this is the ideal… most of my Sundays consist of catching up on all the washing, housework, shopping and gardening that didn’t get done on Saturday!

Why did you start Leaf. Paper for Life?
I came up with the original concept for Leaf four days before receiving a redundancy from my corporate marketing job. It was like having my dreams handed to me on a silver platter! Leaf has evolved quite a bit since then, for example, I had originally intended to create journals for adults, but we’re mostly doing kids’ products at the moment, which I find really exciting and challenging.

Essentially, Leaf is about story telling and recording your own personal stories to share now and also to carry into the future. Our stories are what will stick around long after we are gone. They are important agents for building community, understanding diversity and creating change in the world. Previous generations lost their stories if they could not read or write. Unfortunately, with the move to digital recording of all our personal information, we are again at risk of losing our stories. Which is why it is so important to entrust them to paper.

I also want to encourage kids to develop good journal keeping and story telling practises while they are young, for a whole number of reasons – to explore, create, dream, remember and build personal resilience. It’s also a great way to develop literacy skills and get them away from technology for a little while.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I originally trained as a graphic designer, and although I don’t do much of my own product design, it taught me how to collect information and transform all those ideas to create something new.

So I gather from everywhere! I read a lot – fiction and non-fiction, blogs, magazines and online resources. I am also a very visual person, so I love pottering around on Facebook and Pinterest.

At the moment, I am exploring children’s play and creativity, especially in relation to nature, so most of my “research” has been around that.

What is your favourite Leaf Journals product?
I am completely in love with our new dirtgirlworld scrapbook, launched in June. Even I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful. It’s also a lot closer to my original concept of an expandable journal with add-on products, so that it can morph to match your personal interests. So far, I’ve only done one expansion pack, which is a garden journal, but I’m hoping to do more. I’m also in love with the craft papers that come with the scrapbook. I HAVE to do more of those!

What can we expect from Leaf in the near future?
I’m currently writing a series of posts for the Kid Stuff section of our website (leafjournals.com). I really want this to grow to be a great resource for kids, parents and teachers, with loads of fun project ideas to help kids develop their journals or scrapbooks.

And of course, there are more dirtgirlworld goodies on the way too!

To find out more about Leaf Journals, to browse the range and to order online visit www.leafjournals.com.

Get organised with Inner-B + 20% off

 Mum, Sales & Savings  Comments Off on Get organised with Inner-B + 20% off
Jan 172012

As you know one of my new year resolutions is to have a better organised home, but to be honest my day-to-day life could do with some organisation as well. I used to think I was quite organised and had everything under control, but after forgetting a few birthdays and even a hairdressing appointment (costing me $49 for nothing) I realised something had to change. So on the weekend I made a start, I sat down and filled out my new Mum Organiser from Inner-B.

Australian company Inner-B is passionate about helping mums live a more organised life, so they can feel in control and less stressed (more time to enjoy the little things in life!). The Inner-B range contains 13 products that will help you become more organised and to get off on a good start in 2012 Inner-B is offering Hip little one readers an exclusive 20% discount on the whole range, simply enter the code ‘HLO’ at checkout (valid until January 25, 2012).

My Inner-B Mum Organiser is making my life a lot easier by storing all kinds of information for me. All you need to do is ‘follow the prompts’ so I filled out everything I could and straight away felt a little lighter and happier, knowing I don’t have to remember every birthday or appointment myself. With one week spread over 2 pages there is plenty of room for all my scribbles. I was surprised to see how quickly my weeks and months filled up!

It is really helpful to see your plans in front of you by week and month, I can now easily see where it gets too much. With the twins starting kindy this year my diary will become a lot fuller so it feels great to have a little memory help. I should have invested in a Mum Organiser much earlier, it would have been such a great help with all those new mum and baby check ups, immunisations etc. If you are looking for a babyshower gift the Inner-B Mum Organiser would make a lovely, much appreciated present for sure.

Aside from the obvious calendar and diary aspect the Mum Organiser contains useful pages for many other occasions like planning birthdays, holidays or a new fitness regime, your favourite websites, stores and books you wants to read, your family’s medical information and much more. The Mum Organiser ($44.95) is available in Fuchsia, Lime Green and Turquoise and you can re-use it year after year by just replacing the pages with a Mum Organiser Refill ($16.95).

Although I am generally quite an organised person there is one thing I am struggling to keep on top of, my freezer. Looking at my freezer you’d think I have been through a war and am scared of running out of food ever again, I just like the idea of always having something on hand and not having to run to the shop last minute. I decided to tackle my freezer and planned all the meals for the next few weeks ahead using my Inner-B Weekly Menu Planner.

The Inner-B Weekly Menu Planner Notepad ($6.95) sticks to your fridge with a magnetic strip so it is hard not be organised when you walk past it all the time. The notepad features 30 pages (= 30 weeks) and on each page you have room to plan your 7 days of meals PLUS a shopping list. Very handy as I often don’t make what I want because I am missing a few ingredients. Now that I plan ahead I can make sure I have everything I need on hand, saving me time and I finally get to empty my freezer.

To find out more about Inner-B, to order your favourite Inner-B products or to locate a stockist near you visit www.inner-b.com.