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!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bite sized finger food for toddlers

Anyone else have trouble feeding their toddlers?  My daughter will NOT eat purees anymore, she will only eat foods she can pick up and eat herself with her fingers (and attempting to use a fork or spoon herself, of which is not so effective at the moment). So every meal and snack lately for us is served in a bowl or plate, with a range of bite-sized finger foods she can pick up and eat herself. So here is my list to date of the things I am giving her to eat. Dinner always consists of whatever we are having cut up into little pieces of finger food.
  • Blueberries
  • Little pieces of cut up cheese
  • Small crackers
  • Tiny Teddies
  • Frozen Peas and Corn
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Dry Cereal - Rice Bubbles, Nutri-Grain, etc
  • Pepita's
  • Tiny little Vegemite Sandwiches
  • Little pieces of plain bread
  • Sultana's or dried Cranberries
  • Larger fruit peeled and cut up - Banana's, strawberries, apples, pears, melon, etc
  • Pikelets cut up, or make tiny little pikelets
  • Bought Muesli Bars cut up into tiny chunks
  • Ham, Smoked Salmon, left-over roast, or other cold meats cut up small
  • Cooked cooled rice
  • Cooked cooled pasta shapes
  • Grated carrot
  • Hard boiled egg diced up 
  • Muesli Slice (home-made) diced into tiny little pieces

What would you add to this list??  Please feel free to leave me some comments of other toddler finger foods you feed your little one!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mega Review & Giveaway #2

Welcome to our latest giveaway! Read on for heaps of fabulous prizes, from things for Mums to baby products to kids things, there is something for everyone! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to lodge your entries, and most of all - good luck!

SUPPORi Baby Sling
The SUPPORi Baby Sling, exclusively available at Little M, is a baby sling with a difference.  It is an ultra comfortable, easy to wear, safe baby sling, that is so light and compact you can tuck it into your handbag or baby bag, and it has an extremely wide shoulder strap which means it doesn't cut into your shoulder or neck.  The mesh design is perfect for the Queensland weather, it certainly allows the air to move around your baby keeping them cool.  I have been using my gorgeous purple sling lately with my 16 month old, and what I love most about it is that it really is suitable to use with a toddler as it just simplifies the action of carrying her on my hip. Not only is her body supported properly, it saves my arms and makes little trips into the shops much easier if I don't want to take the pram.  The curved flexible design allows it to mold to both my shoulder and my little ones bottom and back. As an added bonus, if it gets dirty, you can just throw it in the washing machine on a handwash cycle and it is dry in a flash! What a perfect sling for busy Mums.  They are available in 5 different sizes and many different colours and patterns.
Win a SUPPORI Baby Sling in your choice of size and colour (depending on availability) valued at $57.95

Pillow Pets Pink Butterfly Dream Lite
How gorgeous are the new DreamLites available from My Pillow Pet! DreamLites are magical night lights that turn your child's bedroom ceiling into a starry night sky.  The beautiful Pink Butterfly DreamLite is our fave, and we have been having heaps of fun looking at the 'stars' as part of our bedtime routine.  These would also be fabulous for a child (no matter how old) who is afraid of the dark, not only do they provide a little light in the room, they would distract the child from being afraid because they are so busy watching the stars on the ceiling above them. My daughter also loves her DreamLite because it is so soft, and as she is a tactile sort of person, she loves to stroke and cuddle the wings and feet and head.  The DreamLites are available in 6 different designs at the moment, with more coming soon.  If you have a boy check out the Snuggly Puppy, its so cute!
Win a Pink Butterfly Pillow Pet DreamLite valued at $29.95

doTERRA Hand and Body Lotion
The doTERRA Hand and Body Lotion is a silky fragrance-free lotion designed to be blended with your favorite essential oil (or left unscented if you prefer your lotion with no smell). I think this is the most fabulous idea, I have added a few drops of Ylang Ylang to my bottle as its my favorite Essential Oil of all time. You could add oils to help you sleep at night, or uplifting oils to use at work in the morning, or even child-friendly oils if you child is suffering from dry or irritated skin. The possibilities are endless! This cream is very quickly absorbed into the skin and doesn't leave a greasy residue. Plus doTERRA have a 'no nasties' policy so you can use it on the whole family without any worry. There is also a 'Citrus Bliss' doTERRA Hand Lotion available which sounds divine and is only $15.00!
Win an Unscented doTERRA Hand and Body lotion valued at $25.00

Joli Natural Skincare Ruby Tinted Lip Balm
The Ruby Tinted Lip Balm from Joli Natural Skincare is a beautiful creamy lip balm with Rosehip Oil and Vitamin E to nourish and moisturise your lips.  The ruby tint adds just enough colour so you don't have to wear a lipstick (which I never do), so its the perfect compromise between a lip gloss and lipstick. What I love about the Joli Lip Balm is that it is so long lasting! I tend to get really dry lips in winter and this yummy lip balm stays on for ages. And I don't mind how much of this I use either, it has absolutely no nasty chemicals in it. Another plus is that it is handmade right here in Australia!
Win a Toffee Apple Flavoured Ruby Tinted Lip Balm valued at $12.95

Knotlace Necklace
Sometimes along comes such an original product it really takes your breath away. Such as the amazing Knotlace I have had the pleasure of test driving these past few weeks! How would I describe this piece of jewelery to you? Knotlace is a bendy necklace made of small metal cups that do not stain or tarnish.  It can be twisted and shaped however you want, you can even wear it as a bracelet or belt!! Over at the Knotlace website, they have a great 'how to wear' page that gives you heaps of hints and tips. I love wearing mine formed into a circle pendant most of all.  And yes, they are really strong... having a 16 month old I can attest to their strength as she has grabbed it and pulled on it with no ill-effect.  As a Mum with a young child, I love that this piece of unique jewelery lets me glam myself up and not have to worry about her breaking my normal necklaces.
Win a Knotlace Necklace in your choice of colour (silver, gunmetal, gold, antique gold or copper) valued at $29.95

From Baby to Kids Wooden Maraca's
Can I tell you how much I love musical instruments for kids? There is nothing cuter than watching your toddler have fun making noise and movement with an instrument.  From Baby to Kids really come to the rescue with their Kaper Kids Wooden Star Maraca's and Mini Maraca's, all made using non-toxic paint so they are safe for your little one. I have had so much fun lately with my 16 month old, she adores music and dancing, and these have been just perfect for her. They are just perfect for little hands, and as a parent its great to encourage activities that help their gross motor skills and co-ordination. Not to mention the smile that lights up her face when she is busy making noise! Too cute.
Win 2 sets of Maraca's - A Wooden Star Maraca and a Mini Maraca valued at a total of $18.00

Wow. Can I start this review with Wow?? I'm so sad I didn't know about these when my sons were younger!! I was lucky enough to be sent 5 Dinosnores CD's to review with my children (my sons are 6 and 7 and my daughter is 16 months old). 'Forest Night' and 'Ocean Waves' are for ages 0+, 'Kitten' is for toddlers, and 'Pterosaur' and 'Tyrannosaurus' are for boys aged 6-8. Now, if your boys are anything like mine, anything that helps them wind down for bedtime is a good thing.  These award-winning CD's have had a range of benefits, especially as they share a room and can be tempted to talk and play up much longer than they should. The CD's help them with listening skills, distract them from issues that might have happened during the day, guide them through some relaxation techniques that capture their attention due to the subject matter (dinosaurs!!), and provide a soothing environment for sleeping.  My daughter has also loved the baby CD's, Ocean Waves in particular has captured her attention and quieted her (and me) for bedtime.  I have always loved guided meditations myself, and it makes me so happy as a mum to see my children respond so beautifully to these very clever relaxation stories and soundscapes. Only $19.99 each from Dinosnores.
Win either a set of 3 Dinosnores CD's for Babies and Toddlers (Ocean Waves, Forest Night, and Kitten) valued at a total of $59.97, or a set of 2 Dinosnores CD's for School-aged Children (Tyrannosaurus and Pterosaur) valued at a total of $39.98

Perfect Kids Party Shop Candles
Having 3 young children, I now find myself making birthday cakes endlessly (well it certainly feels that way anyway!). I can admit to you right now, I am no expert and my cakes are always pretty daggy (but made with love is my one redeeming feature). But do you know, I always struggle to find nice birthday cake candles for my cakes? I really really dislike licensed party products and that is all I can ever seem to find in the shops (plus my boys would throttle me if I tried to put a wiggles candle on their cake hehe).  However I now know about the Perfect Kids Party Shop, which stocks a gorgeous range of candles such as Soccer Balls and Princess Crowns (pictured below, image courtesy of Wilton Inc.). They are only $7.50 per pack, and are absolutely gorgeous candles that are very detailed and beautiful quality. I can't wait for my daughters next birthday to use the Princess Crowns on her cake!
Win 2 packs of Wilton Candles (one Princess and one Soccer Ball) valued at a total of $15.00

Bondi Chai
Put your hand up if you love Chai! Me for one! I would even go so far as to say I am a little addicted to Chai Latte and Chai Tea. If you are a Chai lover like me, have you heard of Bondi Chai?? It is described as a premium quality chai latte pre-mix, made from black tea extract along with a mix of spices and milk, honey and sugar. The pre-mix powder is designed to mix with milk, but I have been preferring to put the powder in a cup, add half boiling water, then top up with milk and warm up a little more in the microwave.  It is just divine on a cold winters day! It has become my little ritual once bub goes down for her nap to whip one of these up before I start work. It is also really exciting to read Bondi Chai has none of the 'industrial nasties' usually used in pre-mix powders such as fillers, emulsifiers, anti-caking agents etc (ewww just the sound of those puts me off). So a big thumbs up on Bondi Chai for me, its another amazing Australian company doing great things! The sachets are available from your local supermarket in 2 great flavours (or you can request a sample from the Bondi Chai website).
Win 2 packs of Bondi Chai (one Club Cinnamon and one Vanilla Honey) valued at a total of $13.98

{Book} Chook Chook - Little and Lo in the City
Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing the first book for young girls from author Wai Chim 'Chook Chook Mei's Secret Pets'.  The next book in the divine series has just been published, and it is a tale of great adventure called 'Chook Chook Little and Lo in the City'.  The story continues the tale of Mei and her 2 chickens Little and Lo.  With her Mum remarrying and her brother going to University in the city, Mei decides to go on an adventure and visit her brother in the city (without telling her Mum and step-father of course).  Now this being Mei, lots of things go wrong resulting in some hilarious mayhem.  The adventure however ends up turning out for the best for everyone involved, with some very unexpected benefits.  I adore these books (yes I read them both myself) and they will be kept safe on my bookshelf until my daughter is old enough to read them herself.  The Chook Chook books are Chapter books which are suitable for girls aged 8 and up.       
Win a signed set of both Chook Chook Children's Books ('Mei's Secret Pets' and 'Little and Lo in the City') valued at a total of $30.00

{Book} A Modern Woman's Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth
After having 3 children (and definitely not planning on anymore) I wish I had been able to read this book before my journey with babies started. I have mentioned before what an avid reader I am when it comes to pregnancy and birthing books, but unfortunately this is not one I had the pleasure of reading.  A Modern Women's Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth is written by Katrina Zaslavsky (owner of Birth Goddess), with Afterward written by Dr Sarah Buckley MD.  The book features the most gorgeous collection of inspiring birth stories, Birth Plan help, expert tips, and so much more.  I particularly love how positive and empowering the book is for expectant Mums... and all the helpful tips and advice.  "Feel the fear and give birth anyway!" is a section on page 130 which sums the experience up perfectly for me.  It is absolutely natural for us to feel fear of the unknown, and this book helps deal with your fears and encourages you to expect a wonderful experience and a perfect outcome.  One bad thing reading this book right now in my life... it is making me clucky again!!
Win a copy of 'A Modern Woman's Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth' valued at $34.95

Right-e-o.... now you want to know, how do I enter to win one of these fantastic prizes?? Well, just use the Rafflecopter form below to complete the required steps. Please take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions attached to the giveaway. This giveaway runs for 1 month beginning 1st September 2013 (as per the Rafflecopter form). And finally, a huge big thank you to all the businesses and PR companies who have been so generous in providing all these wonderful products for review and giveaway!

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