‘Dad Hacks’ giveaway

 Giveaways, Home, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on ‘Dad Hacks’ giveaway
Aug 242019
 

Pan Macmillan Australia

Who needs weekends with pubs and clubs when you can have Friday nights on the couch with Better Homes and Gardens? I love starting the weekend with some recipe inspiration, my girls always enjoy the craft ideas and secretly we all wish for our very own Rob Palmer to lend a hand around the house. I may not be able to give you Rob, but with this cool book of tricks your own hubby is sure to become your favourite handyman:

Especially for his first book Dad Hacks (RRP $29.99) Australia’s favourite DIY guru Rob Palmer has handpicked 101 of his best tradie tips, household hacks and savvy savings that will help Aussie families save time and money.

Whether dad’s an amateur cook (cook a scrumptious scone or boil the perfect egg), a fun family-man (build a backyard slingshot or play supermarket hide-and-seek), an outdoor guy (pull out a tree stump or light a fire with corn chips) or a tool trainee (fix a sticky lock or drill into tiles), with these and many more Dad Hacks Rob Palmer has all types of fathers covered. Everyone knows kids like to believe their dad knows all and can do everything and this great guy guide is exactly what dads need to keep up the image.

With Father’s Day just around the corner ‘Dad Hacks’ would make a perfect gift for the special man in your life (and the rest of the family can reap the benefits too!).

To find out more about Pan Macmillan, to take a closer look at ‘Dad Hacks’ Rob Palmer and to order your favourite titles online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Dad Hacks (RRP $29.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

Simple Steps to Starting Solids

 Baby  Comments Off on Simple Steps to Starting Solids
Feb 172016
 

Heinz Baby Basics

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Heinz Baby Basics

No matter how much I wish she would stay small forever, our beautiful little Harriet is growing up fast and she is definitely no longer a newborn. Now that she is almost 5 months old and weighs in at an impressive 7kg this gorgeous girl is starting to get very interested in all the ‘grown-up food’ she is missing out on, I think her first try of solids is just around the corner.

Heinz Baby

As cute as that ‘first bite’ photo will look on your wall, after four kids I know that starting solids also comes with a fair bit of work and a huge amount of mess. Here are a few tips and tricks to make this stage enjoyable for all:

Cook in bulk
Instead of preparing one tiny bowl of fresh food every day it is much more time efficient (and budget friendly) to cook larger quantities and store them in your freezer. If you freeze your baby’s meals in bite-size portions you can simply take out a single serve when needed; quick, easy and less wasted food.

Freezer Pod TrayThe practical Freezer Pot Tray holds six convenient 60ml pods, an ideal size for little tummies. Hungry baby? Simply pop out the frozen food to defrost your nutritious home-made meal or microwave the contents directly in the container, yay for less washing up! The tray keeps all your pods neatly organised while the individual pods are great for on-the-go too, the secure clip-on lid avoids messy spills in your nappy bag.

Tip: Use the coloured lids to ‘colour-code’ your meal stash, eg. green for vegetables, pink for fruit/dessert and blue for breastmilk.

Heinz Freezer Tray

Drip, drop, splash
Babies + Food = Mess, and lots of it. Whether you like it or not, as soon as you start solids you are in for a whole lot of gooey, sticky, slippery, crunchy, caked on mess. Thankfully there are a few things that could help limit the damage like a good absorbent bib, a non-spill cup, a splat mat under the table and of course this clever invention:

UnbelievabowlThe innovative Unbelievabowl Suction Bowl uses super strong suction to safely secure your baby’s bowl to the high chair or table. Not only will this keep the bowl from tipping over by accident, it also makes it much easier for baby to scoop out dinner without having to hold onto the bowl AND your cheeky eater can’t throw the bowl on the ground in protest. Now that’s what I call a sanity saver!

Heinz Suction Bowl

Make mealtime fun
You may have heard the saying ‘Food before one is just for fun’, for now it’s all about introducing your baby to different flavours and textures and basically letting them have fun with food. It is no secret that babies love bright colours and interesting shapes so make sure you bring those to the table too.

Heinz Baby SpoonsThese funky Weaning Spoons are available in a range of attractive colours and are sure to appeal to inquisitive babies. The easy-grip handle is specifically designed for small hands that are still learning and the Flexisoft tip is gentle on sensitive gums. As babies grow and gain independence they can start their self-feeding journey with the First Feeding Spoons, the feeding experts at Heinz have all stages covered.

You can find the Heinz Baby Basics range in the baby aisle at your local Coles or Woolworths supermarket.

To find out more about Heinz Baby Basics, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.nicepak.com.au.

4 top tips to take the stress out of your morning

 Mum  Comments Off on 4 top tips to take the stress out of your morning
Jun 112015
 

Let’s face it, being a mum is hard work. In the midst of all the caring and looking after it can be hard to find time for yourself, yet it is so important to look after YOU. If you need a bit of help in this department you can count on super-mum Eva van Strijp to get you on the right track with her 7-day Self Care Adventure. Just one week to make a change, who is up for the challenge?

Here’s a little taste of hands-on Eva advice to help you get your day on the way, without stress:

Self Care Adventure

How to Create a Fail-Safe Morning Routine When You’re Not an Organised Person

Guest post for Hip Little One
By Eva Van Strijp

They say morning sets the tone for the entire day. We know from experience that this is true. We also know that a morning routine is key to achieving the tone we want for our day. But there a lots of pulls on our time and lots of things to keep track of as a parent. The morning may well be something that we just try and survive through.

Hand up if you feel that:

You have too many competing priorities
You’re not an organised person – it’s just not you
You struggle to get from the bed to the shower in the morning without being called off somewhere else
You just want to get through the morning to a calmer period in the afternoon

If any of the above describes you, then taking the time to create a morning routine that works for your family will be an absolute game-changer. I really believe that a morning routine is one of the most important things we can implement in our home.

Even before you meal plan or create a job roster or an evening routine…
Even if you’re not organised by nature…
Even if you don’t have time…
get your morning routine right.

Even if you don’t have time pressures of needing to be somewhere at a certain time, having a solid morning routine in place will greatly assist a peaceful start to your day.

So here are my four top tips for getting your morning sorted (even if you’re not an otherwise organised person!):

1. Speed clean the night before.

One of the quickest way to destroy the peace of the morning is to find yourself dealing with yesterday’s mess. So put your favourite music on, set the timer for 5 minutes and get the whole family involved in a full house pick-up before the kids go to bed. You can achieve a phenomenal amount in 5 minutes when you’re feeling energetic and you’ll be surprised at how quickly this becomes a fun family ritual.

Some things you really don’t want to have to deal with from yesterday if you can help it:
• clean laundry (put it away)
• dirty dishes (wash them)
• toys and games (pack them up)
• paperwork (file it)
• garbage (empty the bin)

2. Start a little earlier.

If your kids have a regular rising time, try and get up 10-15 minutes before them so that you have a few minutes for yourself before the day officially starts. Taking just 7 minutes for some self care in the morning can have a huge impact on your mindset over the next few busy hours of the day.

If your kids are early risers or don’t have a regular waking time, try setting them up with some books or quiet games that they can do in their room until you come to get them up.

If setting aside time for self care is something you struggle with, why not join my Self Care Adventure? With just 7 minutes a day, I’ll help you form a new habit for regular, simplified self care.

3. Get your to-dos sorted.

Either the night before or early in the morning, take a few moments to set your most important tasks for the day. Alternatively, if you know what you want your week to look like, you can do this on a Sunday afternoon for the entire week ahead.

4. Get the kids involved.

Take the time to create a morning routine with your children. Even if they can’t read, you can use pictures to create a little roster that they see when they wake up.

If you have children of different ages, you might need a different roster for each of them, and if you have a baby that requires your attention first thing in the morning, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour to have the older kids organised with their own routine.

Get them excited about the process by asking them to draw a morning routine poster and stick it to their wardrobe door. Make it fun. Implement rewards if you have to.

One of the things we used to do was to have a chart to draw smiley faces on. Each morning that they fulfilled their routine tasks cheerfully, they drew a smiley face on their chart. At the end of a week of smiley faces, we enjoyed a special treat like a walk to the park or a storybook marathon on a picnic rug in the backyard. The reason I implemented a rewards system for this was to show my children that when we get our tasks done quickly, we have more time for the fun stuff.

So now, over to you! Tell me about your morning routine! Or if you don’t have one yet, tell me which tip you’re going to implement first!

Eva van StrijpEva Van Strijp is a mother of five, business owner and creator of Simple Life, Peaceful Home – the 8 week strategy guiding busy mothers through the process of creating and maintaining a simple, peaceful family home.

When Eva isn’t hanging out with her family or running a business, she’s eating chocolate, listening to podcasts or tending her veggie patch.

You can follow Eva’s journey through her Facebook page and Blog.

How to ease your nagging backache

 Home, Mum  Comments Off on How to ease your nagging backache
Apr 292015
 

Ever since I fell pregnant with the twins in 2008 I have been struggling with a sore back. Many broken nights, busy days with lots of cleaning and lifting, a huge baby bump, heavy babies to carry on my hip, a lack of core muscles and a big tummy muscle separation, another two pregnancies… all added up it is no surprise that these days my back is not what it used to be and it has been causing me a lot of grief.

Over the years I have tried many things to help relieve my backache and I would love to share my three (very Aussie) top tips with you:

OZ MattressTake a closer look at your mattress
Gently bounce on your mattress, inspect it closely and feel around with your hands. It is likely the springs are no longer as bouncy as they were in the beginning and you are probably sleeping in a sunken spot leaving your back in an unnatural position night after night. After a long, long, long time of waking up exhausted with a sore back and hips hubby and I recently swapped our old, used up mattress for a strong, sturdy, supportive new mattress and the difference is ah-ma-zing.

When we tried out some of the mattresses in stores I could immediately feel the welcome support in much needed places, I realised that I no longer wanted to wake up feeling like a bruised and battered old lady. Yes a new mattress doesn’t come cheap but it is a long-term investment and when you divide the total cost over every night, week and year you will be sleeping on it it is absolutely worth every cent. When mattress shopping make sure to shop local and support an Australian made and owned product like Oz Mattress.

MyOki Wheat Bag ScarfeUse a wheat bag
A good, decent size heat bag is probably one of the fastest ways to ease your nagging backache. It’s easy to use, effective and you can use it on other sore body parts too. I have been using a Lavender MyOki Wheat Bag Scarfe to provide much needed relief for my shoulders and back and it works a treat, it is soft and comfortable against the skin and it smells absolutely delicious.

The unique shape of the MyOki allows you to wear it as a scarfe around your neck or wrap it across your back or waist, wherever you could use the warm, soothing relief of 1.2kgs of certified Australian Bio-Dynamic Wheat. Want to swap your heat pack for a cool pack? You can cool the MyOki in the freezer too, now that’s what I call a real versatile design!

Bosisto's Eucalyptus RubTry a soothing muscular rub
Just like the wheat bag Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Rub is only a temporary solution but is affordable, easy to use and widely available. This warm and soothing muscular rub smells divine and it rubs in easily (plus it’s the perfect excuse to ask hubby for a back massage). Within a minute or two your back will start to warm up and your muscles will start to feel better very quickly.

I love how something simple and natural as Australian Eucalyptus oil has so many great uses! Both hubby and I use the Bosisto’s rub regularly and are big fans.

Do you have another great tip for beating a nagging backache? Let me know, I’d love to try it out.

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.

Screentime with Disney Infinity: Lazy Leisure or Valuable Learning?

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Screentime with Disney Infinity: Lazy Leisure or Valuable Learning?
Oct 112014
 

Disney Infinity 2.0

With just over 10 weeks to go until Christmas and the first toy catalogues hitting the letterboxes already many keen kids have already started making their wish lists. If your child is one of them there is a big chance the brand spanking new Disney Infinity 2.0 Starter Pack, which is said to be one of the top gifts for under the tree this year, is proudly parked on the no.1 spot:

Disney Infinity 2.0

Featuring hugely popular Marvel Superheroes characters from The Avengers, Spiderman and Guardians of the Galaxy this new Disney Infinity release has already gained a large fan base around the globe. As we all know technology constantly changes so Disney has taken the best of the original Disney Infinity 1.0 and combined it with a range of other exciting features to create Disney Infinity 2.0 (for compatibility between the two releases click here). With more than 20 new characters, amazing new worlds and missions and of course the never ending possibilities of the Disney Infinity Toy Box Disney Infinity 2.0 really offers play without limits.

Captain-AmericaOn one hand we’ve all heard the warnings about kids and computer games and the effects too much screen time can have on children, at the same time it is getting harder and harder to avoid computer and TV screens completely so it’s all about going with the times and finding the right balance. Obviously I am not an expert in this field but Daniel Donahoo most certainly is and he is happy to share his knowledge with parents, teachers and kids who are keen to get the most out of their screen time.

SpidermanAs an established author, researcher and speaker Daniel knows all about digital technology, learning, games, play and community, he is also a father of four who wants the best for his children. He has years of experience under his belt working across the child and family sector in government, private and research roles and is widely recognised for the development of new ideas and insights, delivery of innovative early childhood programs, policies and research in Australia and overseas.

Daniel is currently working with schools and students to research the role of pop culture and established characters on students’ storytelling capacity and literacy development. Daniel’s exciting new initiative called Infinity Learning explores the use of the Disney Infinity platform as a tool for teaching game design and facilitating game-based learning in schools. I guess we can safely say he knows all the ins and outs of Disney Infinity!

Here are Daniel’s best tips for turning your child’s screen time from lazy leisure into a valuable learning experience:

How can parents support learning through games?

  1. Make time to play games with your children. It is important that you venture into your children’s world and understand what they play and why. The best way to do this is play with them.
  2. Ask your children questions while they play. It only takes 5 minutes to ask your child, “What are you doing now?” while they play a compter game. But, this question means they have to critically think about what they are doing and explain it back to you which offers a short, but deep learning experience.
  3. Buy a diverse range of games. When buying games as gifts, don’t always default to the popular first person shooters. Consider games like Disney Infinity 2.0, Minecraft, Little Big Planet or Portal 2 that offer game environments that promote creativity and problem solving.
  4. Encourage Play Beyond the Screen. Disney Infinity 2.0 makes this easy with physical versions of characters to play with, but once screentime ends you can encourage children to tell stories, make stop motion animations or create a non-digital game based on their favorite console game or Disney character, for example.
  5. Recognise children are always learning. Even older children learn through play. Play and experiences are how we all learn and by parents realizing that the digital games our children play are more than just fun, helps us see how we can build and strengthen learning out of the games our children play.

Screentime Tips for the Home

  1. Not all screens are equal. Watching a TV show is different to playing a computer game where you build your own world. And, watching a nature documentary is different to watching reality television. It is not enough to just limit access to screens, consider how you create “active” screentime where children engage with the screen, rather than “passive” screen time where they are just watching.
  2. Don’t feel guilty. Everything in moderation. Parents are made to feel that using screens as babysitters is a bad thing. However, we need to be aware that sometimes we need the space to make dinner or get something done. That is ok, but we need to make sure we don’t do it all the time. Even kids need some down time to just play a game or watch their show, just don’t do it all weekend.
  3. Share the screen with your child. You don’t have to do it always, but watch a TV show with your child and talk about what you are watching. If you give them your phone, sometimes play a game with them or take turns on your favourite smartphone game. By making screentime a shared experience it is a different and more beneficial one for children.

What can I use Disney Infinity 2.0 for?

  1. Design your own game. You can create any type of game from a platformer to a pinball game or an 3D adventure game full of mazes, traps and enemies. Disney Infinity 2.0 makes it easier than ever to build amazing games.
  2. Learn to code. When making games, you will learn to code. To make games you need to learn logic programming and Disney Infinity 2.0 makes this a very simple process, so rather than wasting time on typing and cutting and pasting text, you are clicking and connecting items to make them do amazing things in your game.
  3. Make your own animated story. You can use the characters you know from your favorite movies to make your own stories and tales. Use the built in cameras that come in the Toy Box to create small movies and scenes where the Avengers rescue Donald Duck or, where Donald Duck rescues the Avengers.
  4. The Toy Box in Disney Infinity 2.0 is an amazing space for exploration and experimentation in a digital world. You can play around and see what toys can be programmed and connected to what other toys to create new and different results.
  5. Create your school project. Ask your teacher if you can do your next school project in Disney Infinity. You could use the real world physics aspects of the Toy Box to demonstrate a physics problem, you could create a game that shows you understand fractions or design a world that helps you explain how different biomes work. There are simply no limits.

To find out more about Disney Infinity, to see what’s new in Disney Infinity 2.0 (RRP $99.95) and to locate a stockist near you visit www.disneyinfinity.com.au.