Boredom Buster in a Box

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Boredom Buster in a Box
Dec 052017
 

Crocodile Creek

I am sure you know what it is like: It’s almost time for bed when your cheeky preschooler decides to tip out an entire box of LEGO (there goes your 7 o’clock bedtime goal) or it’s almost dinnertime yet the kids want to start watching a long movie. I’ve found the best way to avoid the drama is by grouping together a selection of games that are fast and easy, that way your little ones know exactly where to go when there is only half an hour to spare. Miss 4 loves giving her brains a quick work-out with Crocodile Creek:

Packed in a cute storage container this Crocodile Creek 4-piece Mini Puzzle (Ages 3+) is a great little ‘boredom buster in a box’ for toddlers and pre-schoolers. The large cardboard pieces are easy to hold for small hands and I love how sturdy the box stands upright, that way kids can refer to the box lid as they go to help them complete the picture.

The images are bright and interesting and the balance is exactly right: tricky enough to challenge them but also clear enough not to be confusing (and therefore frustrating) for young players. Miss 4 did not need any help at all and by the time she completed the puzzle dinner was ready, perfect timing. Miss just-turned-2 also gave the circus puzzle a try, but I think for now fewer pieces would be a better fit. I would say the recommend age of 3+ is spot on.

Crocodile Creek mini puzzles are available in loads of different designs for boys and girls and come in 12 and 24 pieces, so there is an awesome puzzle for every child. Their pleasant price tag make them a fabulous stocking filler or small gift for a special little someone in your life this Christmas, while the compact size is ideal for holiday backpacks and suitcases.

To find out more about Childsmart and to browse the Crocodile Creek range visit www.childsmart.com.au or get social with @Childsmart on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Milkbar giveaway

 Baby, Eco, Giveaways, Mum  Comments Off on Milkbar giveaway
Oct 302017
 

It may surprise you but even after six kids and with more than 53 months of breastfeeding under my belt I am still learning new things. As someone who always has an oversupply of milk I have seen lots of precious breastmilk drip away, soaking piles of towels every day. Of course I realised this was a real waste, but I was also hesitant to start pumping and increase my milk production (and my mastitis risk) even more. Until I discovered Milkbar

Milkbar Breastpumps is an Australian online store that specialises in, you guessed it, breast pumps. Proud owner and mama-of-two Diana has selected only the very best brands and is dedicated to providing Aussie mothers with valuable knowledge and expert advise when it comes to feeding your baby and finding the right product for you and your situation. Diana definitely hit the mark for me when she sent me this awesome pack by New Zealand brand Haakaa:

Quick and easy to use the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump (RRP $27.90-$29.90) is not only a very effective but also affordable way to capture every valuable drop of breastmilk that comes out of your breast while you are feeding your baby on the other side. Based on the concept of suction you simply squeeze the Haakaa pump and place it on your breast, creating a vacuum seal around your nipple. Instead of your milk dripping away and going to waste it now flows straight into the Haakaa pump, it’s as easy as that!

On my very first try of the Haakaa pump I collected 90ml of breastmilk, without any effort and without the worry of overstimulating my breasts to make more milk. Since then I have been collecting my ‘excess’ milk at every feed which left me with quite a nice emergency supply in the freezer. It has also proven to be very handy for dissolving Ted’s daily reflux medication and even miss 2 (whom I had to wean six months ago) has been able to enjoy a little cup of breastmilk every now and then. Needless to say I am super chuffed with my Haakaa.

Featuring a simple one-piece design this compact pump is an absolute breeze to use and clean (great for sleep deprived parents), it can be cleaned in a steriliser, boiled water or dishwasher. There are no tricky bits to put together or go missing and no batteries or cords to mess around with, it’s always ready to go. You can store your breastmilk directly in your Haakaa using the funky Flower Stopper or Storage Cap or you can transfer the milk into milk storage bags or containers.

Especially for new mamas Haakaa has combined all your pumping essentials in the fabulous Haakaa New Mum Starter Pack (RRP $55), containing a 150ml Haakaa Breast Pump, Storage Cap, Flower Stopper and a box of 36 disposable Haakaa breast pads. Good to know: The Haakaa Breast Pump is made from 100% food grade silicone and is completely from nasties like BPA, PVC and Phthalates.

To find out more about Milkbar Breastpumps, to browse the range and to order online visit www.milkbarbreastpumps.com.au.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet our new RoomMates

 Home  Comments Off on Meet our new RoomMates
Jun 052017
 

It feels like we only just completed the last bedroom makeover and now we’re about to start all over again! With baby no.6 due in September we’ve had to rework our floorpan, rethink who sleeps where (and with whom) and of course create a brand-new nursery for our new arrival, so much to do and not enough time… Luckily everyone is excited about the upcoming bedroom shuffle and about getting a new bedroom buddy.

Once the renovations are complete miss 4 is moving up the hall into a girls bedroom together with miss 6 and they both can’t wait. We’ve picked out some gorgeous linen for their beds, some cosy pillows for reading and relaxing and we added a fresh sprinkling of love with these little pretties by RoomMates:

What better way to transform a plain wall into a girly delight than with a generous supply of love hearts? With a huge 180 individual decals Watercolor Heart Wall Decals in a range of pink shades there was certainly no shortage of love (to be honest we only used half, leaving plenty for the other girls room!). And guess what? Not only can you brighten up your walls with these beauties, you can also use them to revamp other flat surfaces like your furniture, windows and more.

Applying a RoomMates wall decal is as simple as peel, position and stick, if I can do it anyone can do it! It is quick, easy and non-permanent making RoomMates ideal for people who are renting or just want a stylish decor that can be reversed when people move house, swap bedrooms or change their style. If you want to update your decor the stickers can easily be removed without damaging your walls and you can reuse them in a different location, offering affordable design fun over and over again.

Another personal plus is that, unlike when you paint walls, RoomMates won’t leave you with strong paint fumes that can unsettle children or oversensitive pregnant mamas like myself. I really enjoyed our first RoomMates experience so I can’t wait to pick the perfect RoomMate for our baby’s nursery. There are so many different designs to choose from to suit any bedroom, playroom or living room but I am leaning towards this Modern Giant Tree or the Neutral Confetti Dots, what do you think?

To find out more about Childsmart and to browse the Worlds Apart range visit www.childsmart.com.au or get social with @Childsmart on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

From first bite to family table

 Baby  Comments Off on From first bite to family table
Feb 232017
 

This post is brought to you by Heinz

I can’t believe how far baby Hattie has come since she had her tongue tie snipped just almost one year ago. After being sent from GP to paediatrician to ENT specialist we finally ended up at a wonderful oral surgeon who listened to our concerns and rectified the issue in a matter of minutes. In the past eleven months our little girl has changed from a grumpy eater who would keep her mouth firmly shut when first starting solids into a inquisitive lady who loves trying new foods!

Harriet 3

Even though we were a bit late introducing solids Harriet quickly caught up and at 17 months old she now joins us for family dinner every day. When feeding baby solids you may choose to start with single flavours/foods so you can easily detect any possible allergies, thankfully Harriet (unlike her siblings) experienced no dramas with most popular solid food for babies so by now she is eating pretty much everything.

french-toast

With 4 siblings to look up to it is no surprise Harriet prefers baby food that she can hold herself, so we’re always trying new baby finger food recipes. You can easily use your child’s favourite homemade baby food or Heinz food pouches and make them into fun finger food for babies that they can eat independently. I love that Heinz baby food is Australian made and approved by nutritionists. You can use the handy pouches on their own (at home and on the go) or as a tasty base to create new recipes for toddlers.

The Banana Pikelets with Strawberry and Vanilla Custard, topped with a few slices of kiwi, make a great (messy!) dessert and the Very Berry French Toast is always a hit with all our kids. Toddler food should be sturdy enough to hold, yet soft enough to break for little hands and moderately easy to chew. You can adjust the consistency of your toddler recipes as your baby grows.

pikelets

Need some more mealtime inspiration? You can find lots of other tried-and-tested baby recipes and toddler food ideas on the Heinz for Baby website, all recipes are quick to prepare and suited to your child’s developmental stage. You can rest assured with Heinz you’re whipping up wholesome baby meals and tasty treats.

If you’ve got a winning recipe to share make sure to drop by at www.facebook.com/HeinzForBabyAustralia so other families can do the taste test too.

Nov 242016
 

Decor

While I admit that breakfast time with five small kids is rather rushed, it’s often around dinnertime that things get a little ‘heated’ at our house. After a long day this mama is pretty tired, I generally have a grumpy, hungry baby hanging off my leg and a table to clear and set, no wonder I struggle to keep an eye on all the pots and pans at the same time! Thankfully Décor is coming to the rescue of busy parents by taking the hassle out of your next rice dish with this clever unit:

Don’t worry about caked on pans and endless stirring, with the Décor Microsoft® Rice Cooker and Vegetable Steamer (RRP $13.99, 2.75L) your favourite rice will be cooked to perfection every single time.

decor-rice-cookerUsing the Décor Rice Cooker is so easy even grandparents, babysitters and sleep deprived parents can do it: Simply use the included measuring cup to determine the right amount of raw rice and boiling water and pop the cooker in your microwave. Seventeen minutes of cooking and five minutes of resting later your rice is ready to be served, that’s just enough time to whip up a nice sauce, fry your chicken and set the table.

With a generous 2.75 litre capacity the Décor Rice Cooker is big enough to make up to four cups of cooked rice, perfect for a small family or side dish. It comes complete with steam release vent lid, transparent measuring cup and white rice paddle for stirring and serving. And there are plenty of other handy Décor features too: it has cold touch handles, is BPA-free, dishwasher safe, freezer safe and of course Australian made.

decor-1

While you can of course use your Rice Cooker to prepare ‘just’ rice, it is also great for cooking all-in-one meals. Yay for less dirty dishes afterwards! Add tasty vegetables, herbs, spices and/or garlic to your liking to create an entire meal in one single container, easy peasy. If you happen to have leftovers you can conveniently seal and store the closed Rice Cooker in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave later on.

decor-2

Tuesday’s Rice Cooker dinner of chicken, cucumber and Mexican inspired rice was a big hit with the kids. With added tomato, kidney beans, coriander and a mix of spices it was a very versatile dish that covered all the food groups, and hardly any washing up to do!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teacher gifts made easy: GroupTogether

 Mum, Sales & Savings  Comments Off on Teacher gifts made easy: GroupTogether
Nov 042016
 

group-together

One look at your family calendar (or your fridge doors) and you know it’s almost December: End of year concerts and performances, invitations and sign-up forms, school camp, family BBQs, work parties and of course your Christmas shopping list, it’s hard to keep track of it all! As much as you try to remember everything you will find there is always something you forgot, like the famous ‘teacher gift’ that tends to sneak up on busy parents.

grouptogether-ad

The clever Aussie mamas behind GroupTogether understand that parents are often short of time, which is why they have created a fabulous online service that takes the hassle out of collecting money for a group gift.

GroupTogether is super simple to use, just set up your group collection online and they will take care of the rest. All contributions are safely made online, making it convenient and easy for every parent to chip in a few bucks. Our lives are so busy that we do not have the time to organise collections and to chase and remind other parents, that’s why GroupTogether does the regular reminding for you saving you any awkwardness or hassle.

grouptogether-cardGroupTogether will then bundle the contributions and transfer all the money to your bank account so you can buy an awesome present that is sure to wow the teacher. Instead of every child spending $10 on yet another mug, box of chocolates or a pot plant, a class of 25 could surprise the teacher with an amazing $250 get-away or shopping spree. You can even print off a card that includes personal messages from all the families who joined in, what a great keepsake!

There is plenty more to love about GroupTogether: Parents can choose to share the love by donating a small percentage of their contribution to charity, there is no paperwork involved making it environment friendly, you can ask all parents to contribute a specific amount (keeping it fair) or allow them to chip in as much or as a little as they can (respecting family budgets), you are never left short changed or out of pocket and, being an online service, GroupTogether is quick and convenient for everyone, including working parents, to use.

Hip tip: Do you want to see for yourself what everyone is talking about? Click this link to try GroupTogether for FREE, just in time to organise the perfect end-of-year gift for your child’s favourite teacher.

Aug 022016
 

Penguin

Considering I have had a baby (or even two) on my hip for eight years straight I have become quite the multitasker: from making sandwiches to brushing teeth and hanging up the washing, being a busy mum of five I thought I was pretty good at doing things with just one hand. In saying that, with my right hand currently out of action everything takes a little longer and most of the cooking is up to hubby at the moment.

One Handed Cooks

If you’re looking for some fabulous kitchen inspiration and simple, healthy recipes that you can make (almost) single handedly you will love what this clever mum, dietician and teacher trio are serving up:

Hitting the shelves this week One Handed Cooks (RRP $39.99) is a fun, refreshing and family-friendly cookbook that is specifically developed for carers of young children aged 0-5 (but even I would gobble up most of these tasty dishes!). From the moment your little one has its first taste solids you are on a journey to raise a healthy, happy eater, it may not always be smooth sailing but One Handed Cooks is here to help you along the way.

Rainbow Shreddies

As well as over 100 recipes to inspire you in the kitchen the book covers a lot of important background knowledge that will help you understand how little brains and bodies work. This will equip you with all you need to tackle common mealtime battles and deal with fussy eaters calmly. Rainbow Vegetables Shreddies, Creamy Banana and Apple Porridge, Chicken, Pumpkin and Spinach Bread Pies, Turkey and Cauliflower Tots… getting the kids excited about nutritious foods (hidden or not) was never this easy, the book really contains something for everyone!

Scrumptious lunch

With five hungry tummies to feed it can be a tad tricky to come up with meals they will all love, all it took was one quick flick through this beautiful full-colour cookbook to leave me super keen to whip up some new creations. The recipes look amazing yet surprisingly simple to make, the instructions are easy to follow and there are lots of helpful tips in regards to storage, different variations and allergies. Add all these ingredients together and you’ve got a tasty winner for your kitchen bookshelf.

To find out more about One Handed Cooks by Allie Gaunt, Jessica Beaton and Sarah Buckle and to order a copy online visit www.penguin.com.au.

a Rafflecopter giveaway