Thursday, April 24, 2014

3 Things I have Discovered since becoming a Mum

  1. Your baby is born with their personality, and it has nothing to do with you as a parent. A difficult baby is not caused by anything you are doing wrong, and an easy baby is not that way because you think you are relaxed. While its really nice to credit our children's good qualities with something we are doing as a parent, I don't believe this is so. After having 3 children, all with vastly different personalities, one thing I noticed was that they were certainly born this way... in other words their core personality is nature not nurture. Definitely as they get older you need to channel their qualities and energy in the right direction, but we are all born with our own personalities and we need to support and rejoice in that, not try and change someone to the person you think they should be.
  2. You really don't have any concept of what total tiredness and utter exhaustion is until you become a Mum. Weeks and months of getting by on minimal sleep takes it toll on us Mums, and you really can't compare it to partying all weekend or missing out on a nights sleep for whatever reason BC (before children). I think most Mums have experienced the passing out in the middle of the night with bub on lap feeding, or driving somewhere and having no memory of getting there because you are so incredibly exhausted. But at least it does pass in time and become a distant memory (however even saying that my youngest is 2 and I think there is very few nights I haven't been woken by her at least once for various reasons!).
  3. Normal everyday tasks like having a shower, going to the toilet, and going grocery shopping are luxury activities if you get to go them on your own and without being uninterrupted in any way. I'd even go so far as saying I get absolutely desperate sometimes to do things ALL ON MY OWN. Just getting to pop to the library on my own is heaven (without taking a toddler who I know will throw a tantrum), or getting groceries (without my 2 sons who ask for every toy in sight).... or going to the toilet without ONE person needing my attention that exact second. Need I go on? Hehe.
So tell me, what have you discovered since becoming a Mum??

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Giveaway: Let's Get Boobalicious E-Book

If you are a new Mum or a soon to be Mum, you will be very interested in this new e-book which has just been released today (so exciting!).

Let’s Get Boobilicious is a New Mum’s Guide to Enjoying Breastfeeding & Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges.

Breastfeeding is a gift from nature, yet this gift isn’t always unravelled as easily or confidently for every new mother. We all prepare for a gentle transition into motherhood, but the initial baby storm can be an emotional tunnel and turbulent learning journey, particularly in breastfeeding successfully. Let’s Get Boobilicious is an informative, supportive and fun guide for new mothers wanting to enjoy nourishing their babies confidently, free of confusion, expectation & judgement. This is a one stop guide for breastfeeding basics, giving practical & helpful information to guide and progress mums through the early days from birth through to baby’s first year of feeding & gives tools to help mothers overcome any breastfeeding challenges that are sprung on them along the way. Anthea Thomas is a mother and a widely respected antenatal educator in Australia. She draws on her vast experience of caring for pregnant and new mothers and through this delightful book, Anthea shares practical skills and advice on pregnancy and preparation, the first feed, feeding positions, good attachment, coming home, getting into a routine, when milk supply is low & tips to increasing milk supply, unsettled babies, supplementation, expressing, biters, nutrition, weaning, introducing solids and much more. ‘New mothers have so many intricate questions about how often, how much, how to, when, where & why, that in the early days, these details can become overwhelming. ‘Let’s Get Boobilicious’ breaks this information down into simple and straight forward advice, so that you can get on with breastfeeding, enjoying the journey and trusting yourself to deal with each bump in the road as you reach it’ – Australian Birth & Parenting Network. Pick up your copy of Let’s Get Boobilicious today to learn to love your breastfeeding journey & have the tools & support to help it all come together.


I have 2 copies of the e-book worth $9.95 each to give away to 2 lucky Mums! Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts and you will be in the running. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: Beetle Bottoms and the Eyes in the Night

You might remember a review I did a little while ago on the divine products from Beetle Bottoms? A glorious range of books, wall decals and story cards all based on the sweet little Beetle Bottoms characters that live in the garden (or 'Bubba's' as my little 2 year old calls them!).

Now there is a new addition to the family with another darling book called Beetle Bottoms and the Eyes in the Night, written by Madison Holroyd, Sarah Hill and Fiona Whyte.

With the surprise arrival of a new Beetle Bottom, the original character Pip is a bit shocked by his different skin colour, although that certainly doesn't stop them from liking each other straight away! An adventure then follows... illustrated with all the tiny Beetle Bottoms people that kids just adore looking at.

This new book in the series celebrates acceptance of people, races and cultures, as well as emphasising the beauty of seeing the world through a child's eyes. My 2 year old loves sitting looking at the pages and the beautiful illustrations. There is just something about the sweet faces and big eyes that she loves.

'Beetle Bottoms and the Eyes in the Night' is now available from the Beetle Bottoms online store for only $12.50. You can also join their Facebook page to stay up to date on all the Beetle Bottoms news.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Silly Sunday

New Parent Tip #168 When checking a babies nappy be wary of how far in you stick your fingers unless you want them covered in poo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mammograms and Childbirth - Why the Negativity

I'm of a "certain" age now. It's that age where your doctor sends you off for the free mammogram. Which I duly went and had done last week. I'm waiting on the results, but I'm sure they will be fine.

On the morning of the mammogram, I was really nervous. Really really nervous. Because all I have ever heard is how much it hurts to have your boobs squashed in that machine. So I did NOT fancy putting myself through all that pain. Aren't you proud of me I still went and had it done.

But guess what. It really wasn't that painful. The lady that took the scans was lovely, and explained what was happening. I was in there for about 10 minutes so it was very quick. But it didn't hurt. Maybe uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt. When we had finished I told her how nervous I was because I had been told it hurt so much, and she got quite angry that the women that say things like that have a lot to answer for, because it makes some women to scared to go and get a mammogram... and what if they are the ones with cancer??? So I wanted to tell you please don't ever hesitate to get one if you haven't already - it really isn't as bad as they make out. A few minutes of your time and it could literally save your life.

This experience also got me thinking about the other issue in a women's life other women seem to take such pleasure in telling horror stories about. Childbirth. What is it with that? I know some women go through terrible experiences in childbirth (including my mum with me)... but do we really really need to make the young women in our life scared? I want to tell my daughter what an amazing experience birth is.... it is so exciting and so fulfilling and so beautiful... and you end up with this beautiful little baby at the end. Nothing else in life comes even close.

So please please ladies, re-consider your painful stories told in great detail, if a young women hasn't been through it herself, she really doesn't need that negativity in her life does she? What about the positives in every story... lets look for them instead.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Recipe: Apricot Satay Beef

I'll admit right away that I REALLY love satay. There are two downsides however - it is not the healthiest dish normally, and its not something my husband is too fussed on. So its not something I cook very often because the rest of the family turns their noses up at it, boohoo.

So I have been experimenting a bit, and I have come up with a dish that, while its not very pretty to look at, it satisfies the whole family... in fact everyone's plates are usually clean when I serve this.... yay!

It's also a favourite type of cooking of mine... throw everything in the slow cooker at once in the morning and then, tah-da! Serve it up at dinner time. So easy.


1kg diced gravy beef (my butcher has Wagyu gravy beef which is worth every cent, I recommend you try it if you can)
1/2 cup beef stock
1 can satay sauce
1 405g can apricot nectar
1 T red curry paste
1 packet French Onion Soup
Tin of diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced (depending on size)

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker, give a quick stir, and cook on low in your slow cooker for at least 8 hours.

Serve on brown rice.

For a toddler - chop everything up small and serve.
For a baby - Blend a small amount of stew and rice with a little milk to desired consistency.

Some other posts and articles you might enjoy: 
Oh Baby
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
My top bathtime tips for a new baby
BubbaLog makes those first few weeks easy
5 Common Herbs to avoid during Pregnancy
5 Top Tips for using a Baby Comforter 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Back to School with LeapReader

I really do have to admit that getting my sons to read books can be fighting an uphill battle sometimes. For me, reading is an absolute pleasure and I want all my children to feel the same way about books and reading. As my sons are going into Years 2 and 3, they are past the beginner reader age, and my daughter who is 22 months is not yet up to learn to read age.

On the other hand, the boys are completely obsessed with technology and there is no fight to ever get them to play with computers and video games! In fact it really is a constant effort to compromise about playing time.

So when a product comes along that combines technology and games with reading and learning, I am very interested to learn more. The LeapReader from LeapFrog ticks all these boxes for us... and I'm going to tell you why!

Before your child even opens the box, they are chomping at the bit to get inside and start using it. It really does look colourful and fun! I love the Interactive World Map that comes separately to the LeapReader... so much fun for kids to play with and learn at the same time.

Once set up and working you can use LeapReader to trace letters and numbers and write words stroke-by-stroke with interactive guidance as magic ink appears on special mess-free paper. On the special books, touch the LeapReader pen to any page to sound out words letter by letter, read sentences in lively character voices and play fun games that build comprehension. You can also certainly select books and activities to suit your own particular child's personality as well. For example, select a dinosaur book for your little boy, or a writing activity for your little girl who loves to trace around letters!

The only downside for me as a parent was that you can't just take it out of the box and use it.  You have to connect the Leap Reader to your computer to install the software and do any updates. For me, as a person who is not very computer savvy, this was definitely a bit of a mission and took me ages to figure it all out! But if I can do it anyone can, just keep in mind you need to do this before your child can use it so it might be a good idea to take it out and do all this before you give them the box.

Conclusion: We love LeapReader because it is easy to use for children, it combines learning with fun, and there are so many books and applications you can use it with... so you can work on an area they need help with such as writing their letters or learning cities around the world or learning to read words. Suitable for ages 4 to 8, they are also a fabulous learning aid to complement school work. I also love that while my boys are using it now, I know it will also be well-used in a couple of years by my daughter as well (and with LeapFrog you know their products are great quality and will survive being passed from child to child). You won't be disappointed with this incredible learning product for your child.

Disclaimer: I received a LeapReader to review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mussi Cuski: The hottest new baby comforter in town!

As I'm sitting here writing it is one of the hottest days on record where I live... it's going to hit 40 deg C (it's 10am and already 36 deg). This hot humid weather has got me thinking about the amazing benefits of products for babies made of bamboo. Bamboo is a natural fibre that is breathable, wickable, anti-bacterial, it is the most eco-friendly fabric on the planet, and it is soft and gentle on the skin. And the top of the list for me is the brand new bamboo baby comforter from Cuski.

With the very cute name of Mussi Cuski, this new comforter is already gathering a lot of interest in the media for being one of the most practical yet gorgeous products out this Summer for babies.

Mussi Cuski is currently featured in Little ONE baby Magazine (Issue 11 Summer 13/14) in their opening article "I Love New Things" as well as My Child Magazine (Issue 31 Summer 13/14) in their "Eco" products section (see images below). What great recognition of a wonderful new product.

So why is Mussi Cuski proving to be so popular with both Mums and Dads and the media??

  • Funky patterns - set your baby apart from others with the original designs of the Mussi Cuski. No more daggy ratty blankies needed!
  • Made from 100% bamboo muslin - there is no other fabric around that is so soft and so breathable.
  • Perfect for cuddling in the Summer weather - many comforters available (including those from chain stores and licensed comforters) are made from synthetics such as polyester. Do your baby a favour and steer well clear of these products that don't breathe and are definitely not recommended for those children with eczema or other skin conditions.
  • They are the perfect gift for a new baby! Did you know Cuski is the only comforter with its own NICU protocol?
  • Mussi Cuski is the only bamboo muslin comforter in the world!
  • They are even machine washable to make life extra easy for Mum when it needs to be washed and dried.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Back To School with Smiggle

For those of us currently enjoying (or should I say cursing?!) school holidays, it will be no time at all and we will be preparing our children to head back to school for another busy year.

Top of our Back-To-School shopping list is essential things like school bags and stationery items. If you are looking for practical items that your kids will love to use, you can't go past the fantabulous Smiggle.

We just love the Backpacks from Smiggle. Really affordable at $39.95 they come in a range of colours and designs to suit your child's personality. What I love most about them is that, not only are they great quality, they have lots of pockets and compartments to make it easy to put everything in. We went to Dreamworld recently and our green Smiggle Backpack, pictured below, made life very easy as we were able to take just the one bag which we were able to fit everything into.

The Curved Drink Bottles ($12.95) are my son's favourite drink bottles. BPA-free, large capacity volume, a range of colours and designs, and a lockable flip top lid. Just perfect for active kids on the go!

Don't forget to include a Smiggle Rainbow Pen in your child's pencil case. Six pen colours all-in-one make these something your child won't be able to live without. My sons use theirs endlessly for both writing and drawing and love having different colours on hand without having to go digging about in a pencil case.

Smiggle is such a fantastic shop for both essential stationery products and gifts, and for both kids and adults. I love popping in for a browse around... but you can also buy all their products online as well. Oh, and Mums, I highly recommend getting one of their electric pencil sharpeners!!! Mine is the best investment I ever made ;-)

Disclaimer: I received a pack of Smiggle products to review. No payment was received for this post, and any opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Giveaway: New Baby Pack

I thought I would slot a little giveaway in to say good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014!

If you are expecting this is a great little giveaway for you, or if you know someone having a Bub soon why not enter to gift to them.  All the items in the pack are gender neutral so it's perfect for either a girl or a boy. All the items are (of course) brand new.

I won't ramble on, so here's what's in the pack:

  • Current Summer Issue of Little ONE baby Magazine
  • aden+anais Muslin with green bird print
  • Easy Bubs Baby Care Multiple Use Microwave Steriliser Bag
  • Handmade Baby Beanie Size 0-3 months - Red
  • Charlie Banana Swim Nappy Size Small (5-7kg) - White with blue heart on the back
  • Beetle Bottoms Mini Removable Wall Decal Sample
  • All in a handy canvas tote 


Super easy entry via the Rafflecopter form below, please take a moment to read the T&C, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with the Aussie MCN Giveaway Linkup at:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review: Itha's Puddings

One of the best things about Christmas is having the excuse to eat lots of yummy Christmas Cake and Plum Puddings!!  Fruit Cake is by far my favourite type of cake in the whole world.

So I was quite happy to be lucky enough to have the opportunity to review a Christmas Pudding from Itha's Puddings & Gourmet Foods.  Itha's Puddings proudly uses a recipe that has been in use in the family since 1912, and the puddings themselves are described as 'traditional puddings with a twist'.

I'll begin by being honest and telling you the package only arrived 2 days ago.  And last night (after all the kiddies were in bed so we didn't have to share) I got to dish up a totally delicious pudding complete with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce (ice-cream provided by me hehe).

I'm sure you will agree with me how delicious it looks... well it was! Gobbled down in record time I might add ;-)

I highly recommend Itha's Puddings if you are looking to buy a Christmas Pud or Cake either for yourself or for a gift... they are truly decadent and delicious... no wonder the recipe hasn't changed for 100 years!

Disclaimer: I was sent the above products to review for this post. No payment was received and any opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tips on how to balance work and baby

As Mums, we get told we can 'have it all'. In other words, that is code for being expected to not only look after children and the house but have to work as well and contribute to the household income. It's not all roses by any means (sorry suffragettes and other women's lib movements) and it usually results in us Mums being stretched to the limit in more ways than one.

However, we are extremely lucky to actually have the choice whether to work or not, and I have been one of the working Mums that for all three of my children have worked right up to babies birth, and back to work once bub is born (with bub in tow I might mention for all of them, my daughter is now 20 months and is still with me full-time, I just work around her schedule).

I thought I would share with you a few of my tips for balancing work and baby as there are definitely some strategies you can implement to make life a little easier for you and your family.

  1. Even if you are working, you and your family still need to eat dinner each night. Unless you have a husband or partner that helps out here, take the pressure off the evening routine by planning your dinners and making use of your slow cooker by throwing a meal in it early, so it is ready to go at dinner time. Loan some slow cooker cookbooks from the library and photocopy some recipes that suit you and go from there. Plan your meals for the week and cook in double or even triple so you can pop meals in the fridge or freezer and not have to cook every night.
  2. Be organised with babies needs. The night before, pack the nappy bag so that you are not having to do it as you are heading out the door.
  3. Make use of online shopping. Whether shopping for clothing or groceries, life is so much easier these days when you can do it all at night or over the weekend and not have to worry about fitting it into your busy work day.
  4. If you work in an office, ask if you can work from home for some of your days. Perhaps your workplace can implement some external workplace systems for you and any other parents that wish to do this.
  5. Don't feel bad about having your child involved in your work. The great majority of people understand when you have your children there... I have had many telephone calls with kids making noise in the background or having to talk to clients/customers/tenants with baby spew down my back!
  6. Make lists, keep a diary, and be as organised as you can. This is definitely one of my top ways of coping with everything in my life. It helps me not forget anything and keeps everything in perspective. 
  7. Differentiate between IMPORTANT and URGENT, and tackle things appropriately.
  8. Limit social media time if you feel you spend too much time on Facebook or similar. 
  9.  Realise some days will simply be dead losses if baby is sick or otherwise out of sorts. If this happens what will you do? Will you be able to not work and look after baby? Or do you have someone else who can?
  10. Finally, banish that Mother Guilt. Whether you work or not, know that you are a great Mum and that you are doing a great job :)

Do you work after having children? What has been your top strategy for coping?

This post is written in partnership with Goodman AU.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Beetle Bottoms

I am just so pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to the stunning imaginary world of Beetle Bottoms.

Beetle Bottoms creates a world where your children’s imagination can come to life,where your children know how amazing they are, where they know they are loved, and they know they can follow their dreams.

Imagine that in your garden, high up in the trees, are tiny little houses hidden among the leaves; and in these tiny houses live tiny little people just like you and me... Impossible you say, well there are somethings you just have to believe in order to see.

Created by an extremely talented family, the Beetle Bottoms world is brought to life for your children in a range of beautiful products. All the amazing illustrations are drawn by well known New Zealand artist Fiona Whyte (now living in Australia with the rest of her family who are the creative force behind the Beetle Bottoms stories and products).

The 2 books in the range are just so beautiful. "Where is Pip" is a board book and perfect for toddlers - my 19 month old loves the bright bold pictures, and adores lifting the flaps to see what is underneath. It is now one of her favourite books to look at. My 7 year old loves sitting with her too and reading the words for her.

"Beetle Bottoms and the Sticky Situation" is for older children and is a longer story of the Beetle Bottoms adventures. My sons love the storyline, especially the bit with the spider in it!! If you need to buy a gift for a pre-schooler or school aged child, this is definitely one book to add to your list. We just love it. When the review pack arrived my 8 year old immediately grabbed this book and didn't put it down again until he had finished it. Great praise indeed for my son to sit and finish the book in one go, it certainly held his attention from beginning to end

As a Mum, I particularly love the Beetle Bottoms Story Play Cards. For only $18 you receive a box of 36 Story Play Cards, which you use with your children to stimulate their imagination. Each card has a different picture on one side with a story starter on the other. For example one card reads "The wind was blowing leaves all around the garden. We....." This gives you a starting point to create a story of your very own. Why not grab an exercise book and write your stories down so you don't forget them! 

Beetle Bottoms also have a range of beautiful Removable Wall Decals. What a perfect way to brighten up your child's bedroom, wardrobe, nursery, or play area. Plus you don't have to worry about them damaging the walls or furniture as they easily peel off again! Like the rest of the range, these are so beautiful because of their innocent and fun themes.

Beetle Bottoms gets a big tick from myself and my 3 children. There is a decided lack of products out there these days that actually believe in not only stimulating our children's imaginations, but also making them feel good about themselves and others in the process. Beetle Bottoms fulfils all this and more.

If you would like to purchase any of the Beetle Bottoms products (just in time for Christmas!!) please use the code "cheeky" which gives 15% off across their range, and expires 31 Dec 2014.

Disclaimer: A pack of products was provided to conduct this review. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Christmas Wish List

So... we all spend an extreme amount of time compiling gift lists for our children, husbands/partners, and other family members.... but what about us Mums? Have you sat down and complied a list of the things YOU would like? I have to admit I very rarely do this, as I believe a gift given should be gratefully received and used in the spirit of which it was given.  But, hey, we all love a change once in a while and these are the things I am coveting at the moment (yes I will reiterate this is a WISH list so please don't bother having a go at me for being materialistic or any other rubbish... we are all allowed to dream, right?).

New Sunglasses. The sunnies I currently own I have had for 20 years (I kid you not). While I love them they are so scratched they are getting really annoying. I'm busy checking out some of the ladies styles from Bolle.... very nice indeed :)

Wedges from Louis Vuitton. I have a pair I bought on my honeymoon and I love them soooo much I would like another pair in my cupboard. That's not too much to ask is it???

Organic Skincare. Shangri La Organics smells divine and unlike anything else.... The Foot Balm and Hand Balm are on my list to help me drift through the hot busy Christmas season on a cloud of divine aromatherapy scents. Plus they ship worldwide.

So, tell me, what's on your Christmas Wish List??

Some other posts and articles you might enjoy: 
Hospital Bag Checklist
Oh Baby
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
My top bathtime tips for a new baby
BubbaLog makes those first few weeks easy
5 Common Herbs to avoid during Pregnancy
5 Top Tips for using a Baby Comforter 

Monday, November 4, 2013

How your furniture changes with a baby

You can spot the home of a child-free family a mile away. There is generally knick-knacks everywhere within reach, there might be photos in pretty frames standing on a coffee table, there might be dining chairs made from a lovely cream suede, and it probably looks uncluttered and even might have a nice decorator furniture and colour scheme going on.

Switch this lovely peaceful view to that of a family with young children. More than likely you will see no movable objects at all within reach, there will be safety locks on pretty much every door and cupboard (and even the fridge), there are probably pen marks on the walls, and there are toys scattered around everywhere. Ok, yes, I have described my own house there if you hadn't already guessed that.

If you are currently pregnant or even just thinking about having a baby soon, there are quite a few things I would suggest to start taking into consideration if investing in furniture at any time (yes start thinking about this before you have kids not after!).

Consider the following:

  • How will the piece of furniture perform with a baby or toddler around?
  • Is it spindly and unstable? 
  • Can it tip over easily? 
  • Does it have sharp corners at a toddlers head height? 
  • Can you put child locks on it easily? 
  • Is it easy for a child to climb up on it? 
  • Is it a light colour that will show marks up easily? 
  • Is there fabric on it that will mark or tear easily?
  • Can you put a high-chair easily up to the dining table to share the meal with the rest of the family?
There are so many factors that change depending on whether you are buying for a child free home or one with children in it. With a little bit of research and consideration you can make things much easier for yourself depending on your choices, as well as being able to make your home as safe as possible once your baby is on the move.

This post is written in partnership with Nick Scali Furniture.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Tickety Toc

Have you heard about Tickety Toc yet?  If you are the Mum of young children I'm sure it will soon become a household word for you!

Tickety Toc is a gorgeous positive television program for pre schoolers that airs on both Nick Jr and Eleven in Australia. Tickety Toc is a colourful CGI animated series which follows the fast-paced, energetic, comedic adventures of twins, Tommy and Tallulah and their remarkable friends as they race against time to keep the clock ticking and chime in the time. Through Tommy and Tallulah’s madcap adventures, Tickety Toc explores concepts of teamwork, social responsibility and problem solving in a fun and engaging way.

There is also a brand new Tickety Toc merchandise line out as well which is what I am going to tell you about today.  We have been sent the Musical Pufferty Train to review, which has been lots of fun for my 18 month old daughter.  While we haven't been able to watch the program as yet, my daughter adores the little figurines and it is currently one of her favourite toys. I'm sure when we do watch the program on TV there will be much excitement!  In summary these are our thoughts on the Musical Pufferty Train:

Pro's: Very sturdy strong construction of the toy, cute little musical tune, perfect for toddler and pre-schooler hands, keeps her interest.
Con's: It is very hard for even me to click the little figurines into the see-saw of the train, and at a RRP of $50 is definitely on the very expensive scale of things.

Now for the giveaway! I have a fantastic $155 Tickety Toc prize pack to give away to one lucky person as follows:

  • 2 DVD's RRP $39.95
  • Puzzle OR Memory Game RRP $15
  • Musical TV OR Talking Plush RRP $40
  • Tickety Toc Mini Figure 2 Pack Asst RRP $14
  • Touch and Feel Book RRP $10
  • Stickety Book RRP $8
  • Activity Book RRP $8
  • Storyboard Book RRP $10
  • Soundboard Book RRP $10

Entry via Rafflecopter Form below, please take a moment to read the Terms & Conditions of the Giveaway.  Good luck!

Winner - Emily B.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Musical Pufferty Train RRP$50 provided for review purposes, all information and prices quoted as supplied. No monetary payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Recipe: Ultimate Bean Salad

I call this recipe the Ultimate Bean Salad because it is SO delicious... also easy to make and great with any sort of meat whether BBQ or grilled chicken or Kebabs or fish.  I'm afraid I can't give credit where I got it from as I copied it out of something many years ago and have made my own tweaks along the way.  I hope you try it and love it as much as we do.

Ultimate Bean Salad

400g tin 4 Bean Mix
400g tin Corn
1 red capsicum, diced up small
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 packet of Bean Sprouts (Mung Beans), well washed
1/3 to 1/2 cup Whole Egg Mayonnaise (or Coleslaw Dressing)
1/4 cup Raw Pecans or Walnuts

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl (except Pecans) so the mayonnaise nicely coats the salad ingredients. Once mixed sprinkle chopped nuts on top for decoration.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tips for sleeping as the mum of a newborn

Sleep deprivation is one of the major negative issues of being a Mum of a newborn baby.  It's one of those things that no-one can adequately warn you about.  I know I thought it would be a breeze, after all, I spent my youth living it up at nightclubs every weekend and missing out on a lot of sleep in the process.  So what's the difference??  I think its the unrelenting nature of being a Mum.  When you are young having fun you get to sleep in on a Sunday.  You get to have peace and quiet if you have a hang-over.  You can take a nice long soaky bath if you want to.  A Mum of a new baby?  Not a chance.  It's a 24/7 job no matter how good or bad you are feeling.  So after all my experiences on sleep with a newborn baby what are the most important factors? 

  • Consider your bed-time.  Particularly with my first, I changed my bed-time from 9pm-ish to 7 or 8pm.  I knew I would be up at 10pm, 1am, and 4am for feeds, so instead of waiting for my son to have his later evening feed and then go to bed, I tried to go to bed after his early evening feed to try and get an extra couple of hours of sleep in.
  • During Bub's night-time feeds keep things as dark and quiet as possible to teach them night from day and to get them back down as quickly as possible.  You are going to miss out on a lot of sleep if you muck around putting the TV on or surfing the web during the night!
  • I always found the advice to have a nap during the day when baby is sleeping pointless.  Whether you are working or have other children or need to get other things done, I found it almost impossible to do.  So don't stress if you find yourself in the same position, get through the day as best you can and head to bed as early as you can.
  • Keep in mind you are going to have bad nights sometimes where Bub might cry a lot and not settle easily.  ALL babies do this, it's perfectly normal behaviour, and just remember that tomorrow night is another night.  Being so sleep deprived when this happens is really hard but it does pass in time.
  • How is the state of your bed and mattress??  It's true, we do spend a 1/3 of our lives in bed so its worth looking at investing in a new mattress if you need to.  I was getting back pain and not sleeping very well so we invested in a new Sleepmaker Mattress at the end of last year and it has been the best decision ever.  Having my third bub last year, my sleep is certainly very important to me and its no point being a tired sore cranky Mum if something can be done to change things!!  Plus they have a fun Mattress Selector which you can play with at home so you have some idea about the mattress you need before you have to do the horror trip of dragging all your kids to the furniture store hehe.
These are the things that worked for me... however all babies and all Mums are different and you might find other things that work for you.  Oh, and don't listen to all the Mums that say their baby sleeps through from 8 weeks... it's probably a big fat lie ;-) xx

This post is written in partnership with Sleepmaker.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mega Giveaway #2 WINNERS

Were you a lucky winner in our recent Mega Review & Giveaway #2???  After sorting through 1,400 entries the winners have been drawn as follows:

Chook Chook Book Set - Karina Unclaimed - Candice El.
Bondi Chai - Eva
Dinosnores Baby/Toddler Set - Riana
Dinosnores Dinosaur Set - Cassandra
doTerra Lotion - Tracey Unclaimed - Kell
SUPPORi Baby Sling - Megan
Joli Natural Skincare Lip Balm - Vicki
Wilton Birthday Cake Candles - Naz Unclaimed -Fiona C.
Pillow Pets DreamLite - Elise E
Maracca's - Winnie
Empowering Birth Book - Sophia
Knotlace Necklace - Mums Take Five

Big congrats to you all, check your email in-boxes ladies, and be sure to reply back to me within 3 days to be eligible to receive your prize :-)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

School Holidays: Encouraging boys to write & draw

With school holidays upon us yet again, it's time to start planning some activities for my 2 boys (who are currently in Grades 1 and 2 at school).  While boys on the whole prefer to be either playing outside (swimming, kicking the ball, looking for insects, riding on scooters and bikes, etc) or playing video games, I always try and put some effort into some 'quieter' type activities for them.

With boys, its essential to provide writing and drawing supplies that catch their attention and appeal to their 'loudness'.  But have you noticed there is a distinct lack of really cool 'boy' stuff available if you aren't into the licensed type stuff, which I definitely stay away from at all times (which you probably already know if you have read much of my blog).  It's also important to keep in mind to continue the fine motor skill activities as they get older (such as cutting) that are so important for pre-schoolers but continue to benefit hand strength which in turn contributes to writing skills.

So I have been on the hunt for stationery supplies that appeal to BOYS, and this is what I have found...

Spencil is a Brisbane-based company that offers extremely unique and original school supplies and stationery for kids (ok adults too, I admit I now have a couple of Spencil goodies on my desk I recently ordered!)... from pirates to zombies to robots to construction (and that's just for the boys, there is many girl designs too), there is something to suit every boys personality.  The Car Pens are a hit in my house with my boys, and the Display Books and Hard Pencil Cases are just fantastic! We always need A4 Display Books and I will be getting them from Spencil from now on. Check out the Zombie Hard Pencil Case below and tell me what little boy wouldn't think that is the coolest thing ever. As a final mention, Spencil always have some really great specials on offer as well.

Also be sure to check out the Spencil Facebook Page.

Note Couture is a divine (and very extensive) online store which was the pioneer for personalised stationery in Australia. All the illustrations are original and hand drawn, and the range of products you can apply them to is huge! It's well worth browsing the Children's Section of the Note Couture webstore, however our favorites for boys are definitely Alien, Blast Off, Roarrr, and Jungle Friends. The products you can apply them to range from notepads (pictured below), thank you cards, to-do lists, book name stickers (pictured below), mousemat notepads, and heaps more! The illustrations are all just beautiful, very detailed and very cute and funny! If you need to buy a special gift for a child soon, why not consider the Note Couture Children's Range, I think anything from the range would make a very treasured gift that would be very well used... any child absolutely loves their own stationery with their very own name on it along with an illustration to match their personality.

Don't forget to pop over and like the Note Couture Facebook Page.

Now that I have the notepads, pencil cases, display folders, and other supplies sorted out, we need some colouring pens and craft supplies to make it all happen!

Faber-Castell is the top pick for me, and is a brand name that is very well-known in all Australian households... I know we have a whole bag full of the absolutely fantastic Connecter Marker Pens! Not only do they last forever, they are bright and sturdy and, yes, my sons love them because they can join them together and use them as a sword or to make a crown. However, new on the shelf is the Grip Scissors, which take a little getting used to (see image below), but once your child is used to the grip, they are truly fantastic - the Faber-Castell Grip Scissors are designed for better comfort and control, making it easy for little hands to grip and improving eye-hand co-ordination. Ideal for Left or Right Hand cutting and safe for children with rounded blade points. Perfect! For older boys I would also like to mention the Anime Art Sets, which provide step-by-step help to drawing your own anime/cartoon characters.  Fantastic for the budding artist in your family, and a really unique concept.

Don't forget to head over and like the Faber-Castell Facebook Page.

I am now all set for our writing and art and craft sessions for over the school holidays... I'd love to hear your school holiday plans as well!