And off she goes… with Crocodile Creek

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Jan 222018
 

Crocodile Creek

One week from today our miss Sybbie will be starting school and I am not exactly sure how to feel about that just yet. Long time readers will remember that she has had quite a few challenges to overcome, so as a result I am a bit extra protective of her. Thankfully her confidence has grown a lot this year and as you can tell by this photo she is very excited about the adventure ahead of her:

Even though Sybil’s Crocodile Creek kindy backpack and lunch boxes from last year were still in top shape (big thumbs up for durability!) I felt the transition to big school deserved some cool new school gear, so our little student got to take her pick and instantly fell in love with this adorable bunch of backyard friends. Obviously everything needed a proper try out this week, making sure it lives up to the expectations.

Miss Sybbie is a real girly girl who loves wearing twirly skirts, pretty dresses and sweet headbands, the pastel colours of the Backyard Friends backpack really suit her style. It’s an ideal size for our nearly 5-year old, big enough for her lunchbox, bottle and homework folder but still lightweight and comfortable to wear thanks to the adjustable, padded shoulder straps and did you spot the handy front pocket for some little treasures and special notes from mummy or the teacher?

On the side of the backpack a stretchy pocket ensures a refreshing drink is always within hand’s reach, at the same time it keeps messy spills or wet condensation safely away from school work, library books or homework assignments. The no-spill Backyard Friends bottle (475ml) is a perfect fit and the strong and durable Tritan material is totally kid-proof. Double win: Sybbie adores the animal print and how simple it is to flip open and close, mummy loves how easy it is to clean with a removable straw and being dishwasher safe.

As Adelaide summers get very hot an insulated lunch bag is a real must, this spacious Backyard Friends classic lunchbox has practical wipe-clean lining (that’s free from nasties like PVC, Phthalate free and BPA) and there is plenty of room inside to pack your child’s lunch, fruit and some ice packs to keep lunch fresh and cool for even longer. On the front a zip pocket safely stores cutlery and some spending money for the school canteen.

Speaking of cutlery, I have no doubt these adorable Backyard Friends big kid utensils will be the cutest fork and spoon in class (no mix-ups). They are made for small hands and allow for a greater variety in lunches, think pasta, salad, yoghurt, rice or noodles; after all sandwiches do get a little boring after a while!

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.

Oct 182016
 

Exisle Publishing

It’s a morning of mixed emotions for our family with miss Sybbie starting early entry at kindy today. At just 3.5 years old she is quite young and very nervous about going somewhere without mummy (and mummy is just as nervous about leaving her!) but we know it is in her best interest. As of this week I will have four kids at kindy/school and four lunch boxes to prepare, bring on the healthy lunch ideas:

mml

I don’t know about you but after three whole terms of prepping lunches I am starting to feel a little uninspired. Clever mamas and talented cooks Cherie Schetselaar and Britney Rule (who have 11 kids between them!) are coming to the rescue with a fabulous new cookbook: The Mix + Match Lunchbox (RRP $29.99)

The Mix + Match Lunchbox is all about creating a nutritious, balanced lunchbox that is varied and fun. To help you get started the book offers a handy, detailed introduction eg. healthy lunch do’s and don’ts, recommended serving per age, essential products and fun tools, tips for prepping, storing and freezing and more. Once you have mastered the basics you can begin making your own mix and match lunch boxes.

mix-match-lunchbox-foodgroups

The easy-to-use spiral bound book is split into three horizontal sections that represent the different food groups: Wholegrain, Protein and Fruit and Veggie. Simply pick one of each and you’ve got yourself the perfect balanced lunchbox, easy as pie! Crusty Bread Dippers, Cream Cheese Pinwheels, Cinnamon Fruit Dip… Mix and match your way to a massive 27,000 different combinations, kids will love eating combos they picked themselves and mum can rest assured they’re all healthy and wholesome.

mix-match-lunchbox

And there’s more to love about this book: The pages are wipe-clean so you don’t have to worry about sticky fingers and, my favourite part, at the back you will find a bunch of gorgeous tear-out cards with sweet messages, funny jokes or Did You Know’s for your little eater. Who doesn’t love finding a surprise note in their lunchbox?

To find out more about Exisle Publishing, to take a closer look at ‘The Mix + Match Lunchbox’ and to order a copy online visit www.exislepublishing.com.au.

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Groovy gear for travelling tots

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Aug 122016
 

Crocodile Creek

Just 16 sleeps until we leave for our big holiday, it feels like we’ve been counting down for years but now departure day is almost here. Of course travelling with five young kids is no walk in the park and it does take some preparation but I trust that the reunion with my family will be totally worth it. Miss Sybbie has already taken her new Crocodile Creek travel gear for a little test trip and she’s given it the big thumbs up:

CC Backpack

Thankfully the four older kids are big enough to help out by carrying their own backpacks filled with travel must-haves. Especially for the holiday miss Sybbie picked herself this pretty Crocodile Creek Owl Backpack with more than enough storage space for her favourite toys, tasty snacks, some colouring books, markers and even a change of clothes.

Crocodile Creek

I particularly love that the backpack has an extra zipped pocket at the front and a handy side pocket so she can keep her water bottle within hand’s reach, this will be a great help at the airport and on the plane. Crocodile Creek backpacks are strong, sturdy and spacious yet still lightweight making them perfect for young children aged 3-8. The padded shoulder straps can be adjusted so the backpack is comfortable to wear.

CC Lunchbox

With Sybbie’s feeding issues in mind we can’t afford to take any risks so we plan to bring her own food from home, that way we can all enjoy a drama-free meal and she won’t go hungry. The matching Owl Sandwich Keepers are the ideal size for a Sybbie-sized lunch or dinner, there are even special Owl Ice Packs available that fit into the sandwich keepers perfectly. Just keep them in the freezer overnight and pop one in your lunchbox in the morning to add some extra chill to your food on warm days.

CC Picnic

We’ll also fill the handy Owl Snack Keepers with some special treats for those peckish moments on the plane or in the car. Some dried fruit, crackers, a few biscuits and some bliss balls will hopefully keep Sybbie entertained and her tummy happy. Yay for reusable containers that you can use over and over again! The one piece design of the Crocodile Creek containers is just brilliant (no more lost or dropped lids) and they are completely free from nasties like BPA and Phthalates.

CC Lunch Bag

For little Harriet this will be her very first plane trip and she will also be the youngest baby we’ve ever taken overseas so it’s a bit new to all of us. Being just 11 months old we might avoid the airplane food and pack a range of snacks that she loves, are healthy and fit her developmental stage. Being fully insulated this cute Double Decker Lunchbox will help keep Hattie’s food cool and fresh while we travel and it is super spacious so it should hold more than enough for the journey. I think the extra zipped compartment is great for storing bibs and cutlery when out and about.

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.

Get a FREE Lunch Puch at Mikki and Me

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Jul 172016
 

Mikki and Me

I don’t know about you but not having to pack lunches every morning is one of my favourite parts of the school holidays. The kids and I love our lazy breakfasts and improvised lunch (usually warm), so we’re going to make to most of it before school goes back. If you’re back into school routine already and you’re looking for ways to make lunch more fun this awesome Mikki & Me deal is perfect for you:

Yumbox SnackPurchase any Yumbox lunchbox (the brand new snack size or the original) and receive a FREE Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutter. That means the more Yumboxes lunch boxes you buy, the more of those cool sandwich cutters you’ll get too, score! Your bonus gift will be added to your order automatically and LunchPunch designs are selected at random. Offer ends July 22, 2016, or while stock lasts. 

The Lunch Punch is, well, a punch for your lunch (or breakfast, that’s fine too). Bigger than traditional cookie cutters the Lunch Punch is specifically designed for bread, in fact it punches easily through two slices of bread AND spread without crushing and flattening them. They are not only easy to use and clean (dishwasher safe) but they also cut very efficient with very little cut offs for minimal waste. Of course Lunch Punches are free of BPA, Phthalates and other nasties so they’re super safe.

To find out more about Mikki & Me, to browse the range and to order online visit www.mikkiandme.com.au.

Back to School with Décor

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Jan 212016
 

Decor

With just 11 days until the first day of school we are making the most of the school holidays. Arts and crafts, baking treats, playgrounds, bus trips and fun outings, we’re making this last week count! It is also a great opportunity to give our new school gear a little test-run before the big day, yummy picnic coming up:

Decor Lunch Break

Australian homeware specialist Décor has got meals on-the-go covered with a fresh new Back to School range. From small snacks to luscious lunches, from tasty treats to delicious dinners and even thirst quenching drinks, Décor keeps them fresh all day.

Lunch Break Decor

The colourful Lunch Break System is perfect for our big family, it allows me to pack a personalised, homemade lunch for each child to suit their taste, day and meal size perfectly. Featuring a range of Realseal boxes in different sizes and shapes it feels a bit like a fun game of tetris, but the end result is a well-filled lunchbox that will provide my little students with all the energy they need for a big school day.

Decor Lunch Bags

Don’t you hate it when your child’s healthy yoghurt spills into their backpack or when salad dressing runs over homework or expensive school books? As the name suggests each Realseal container features a unique seal in the lid making the container instantly airtight and leakproof, yay for no more mess! And that’s not all, the containers are also microwave-safe, freezer-safe, dishwasher-safe and of course free from nasty BPA.

Realseal Cutlery SetLunch Break boxes are available in 125ml, 300ml, 650ml and 1L sizes and come in four bright colours that kids will love and are quick to recognise for mother and child (our school-aged kids can each have their own colour, no more mix-ups and arguments). Packing a serve of yoghurt, custard, pasta or salad? There is even a matching carry case with Realseal Cutlery Set available, how handy.

Insulated Cooler bagThe Realseal Compact 2 Insulated Cooler (smaller lunches) and Insulated Cooler Bag (bigger lunches) are specifically designed to keep all your little Realseal boxes neatly together and cool as a cucumber using an Icewall. I find the Compact 2 the perfect size for our children (aged 7 and under). Both styles are durable, easy to clean and free from BPA, Phthalates, Lead and PVC for lunches that are tasty, fresh and safe.

The Décor Lunch Break range is currently available at Spotlight, Howards Storage World and independent supermarkets across Australia.

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

Nov 272015
 

George Foreman

Now that baby Harriet is two months old and we’ve settled into some sort of routine it is time to get working on my post-baby body. I’ve cleared our pantry of all the unhealthy comfort food (it was fun while it lasted) and stocked up on fresh, tasty, nutritious ingredients, bring on a healthy 2016! Luckily for me I am huge fan of salads and with so many different ways to create a yummy salad I have plenty of delicious lunches and dinners to choose from.

Salmon Salad

Being a busy mum of five my time is precious, which is why I have come up with a few ‘quick and easy’ meal hacks. Every few days I fill a stack of containers with freshly chopped vegetables: cucumber, carrot, capsicum, mushroom, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Just add a bowl of pre-washed spinach leaves, a few pine nuts and a sprinkle of grated cheese and you have got a super easy but very tasty base salad, all that’s missing is some much needed protein.

George Foreman Grill

Picking the right ingredients is one thing but the way you cook your meals is also very important, which is why I rely on George Foreman to keep my food lean and clean. Whether it’s chicken breast, a piece of salmon, steak or even vegetables, within a few short minutes they are juicy and grilled to perfection on the new Convertible Easy to Clean Grill (RRP $149.95) without the need for oil or butter. This clever convertible cooking appliance can be used closed as a contact grill or opened up like a griddle, making it extremely versatile for use at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

George Foreman Chicken

The slightly angled design allows yucky fat to run off the cooking plates into a removable drip tray, removing up to 42% of fat so you can enjoy your meal without a guilty conscience. I have to admit this fabulous feature was a real eye-opener for me, I never realised how much fat was hiding in certain foods! Of course hubby’s breakfast bacon will never be healthy but at least whatever fat ends up in the tray you are not consuming so it is a huge improvement from the ordinary fry pan.

George Foreman Open GrillThe Convertible Easy to Clean Grill is compact enough for use on an ordinary kitchen bench but surprisingly large in cooking surface, especially when used open (great for families). On the other hand I would never have bothered to turn on the outdoor BBQ to cook lunch for just myself but the Easy to Clean Grill is very convenient and fast for small serves too, and no need to go outside in the heat or rain.

George Grill dishwasherThe new ‘George Tough’ Pro coated plates can be removed with the touch of a button, are dishwasher safe AND three times more durable than standard non-stick coating. Once you’re done cooking just place the dirty plates in the dishwasher and sit down to eat without having to scrub and clean up afterwards, how mum-friendly is that? There is nothing like putting up your tired feet after dinner without worrying about a kitchen bench full of dishes.

George Foreman Salmon

Need a simple and fast dinner for the kids before heading out for swimming? Just pop some sausages, rissoles or burgers on the Easy to Clean Grill and they’ll cook while you butter the rolls. Not only is it easy to use and quick to clean, one look at all the fat running into the drip tray and you know the George way of cooking is a healthier way.

George Foreman Rissoles

To find out more George Foreman, to locate a stockist near you and to discover delicious recipes online visit www.georgeforeman.com.au.

The new Yumbox is here!

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Mar 302015
 

Yumbox

For the past few months my Facebook feed has been filled with colourful images of the brand new and improved Yumbox range. Stores have been taking long lists of pre-orders and as soon as these beautiful pastel coloured lunch boxes were unpacked they were sent out to all those impatient mamas. The word on the street is that Yumboxes have once again sold out across the country but I managed to spot a few remaining ones hiding at Whimsy Child:

Yumbox Panino

Now available in fresh Gelato Blue and fruity Ananas Yellow the Yumbox would have to be one of the most popular bento style lunch boxes in Australia.

Yellow Ananas PaninoYumbox lunch boxes are strong, durable and reusable so they can transport healthy lunch after lunch. With its 3 cup capacity (large 2-cup compartment and two 1/2 cup compartments) the Yumbox Panino is a great size for hungry kids and even mums. While the Yumbox is dishwasher safe a quick hand wash is recommended to prolong the longevity of the seal. I hand wash our Yumboxes in the evening and let them dry overnight, so they are ready to go again in the morning.

Fox Lunch BagBy the way, if you live in a warm climate and are searching for a way to keep your lunchbox and snacks cool all day the Apple & Mint lunch bags are just what you need. They are the perfect match for a Yumbox lunchbox plus a squeezy yoghurt or a piece of fruit and keep your meals chilled for 8 hours thanks to their handy freezable cooling panel. Apple & Mint designs currently in stock include Yellow Polkadot, Purple Icecream, Blue Star and Black Fox.

To find out more about Whimsy Child, to take a closer look at the Yumbox and to get your order in visit www.whimsychild.com.au.