Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review & Giveaway: What To Expect Book Series

If you follow this blog at all, you know I had my third (and last!) baby last year.  One thing I really enjoyed about all my pregnancies was all the fantastic pregnancy and baby books I avidly read right from before I fell pregnant, to during the pregnancy, to after baby arrived.  Especially for my first baby when it was all very new to me and I literally had no idea what was going on!

There is such a huge range of books on the market now (and of course varying opinions expressed in each book).  I am the sort of person that likes to read a large amount of material, and then take away the information I find relative.  There is however, also the sort of people that like to religiously follow one book or author... and one I have heard talked about a lot in this manner is the What To Expect series, written by Heidi Murkoff.

So I am really excited to be able to offer this giveaway to you, with thanks to the What To Expect team.  I have 3 sets of the 3 books below to giveaway:

  1. What To Expect Before You're Expecting - The Complete Preconception Plan.  This is a step-by-step guide to making a baby.  Approximately 250 pages containing information, hints, plans, boosting your fertility, a fertility chart and heaps more.  I didn't know this book was in the series, but I am really impressed with the amount of information provided and wish I had it when TTC baby #3!
  2. What To Expect When You're Expecting - This book covers from the planning stage right through to postpartum.  This book has sold over 16 million copies, which certainly goes a long way to explaining its popularity as a pregnancy bible.  This book is set out in a manner I really enjoyed reading - month by month.  Most questions and concerns are covered in this book - you won't find lists of the worst things that can happen during pregnancy or jokes about the process (as some seem to like these days), but it is an extensive bible of 600 pages.
  3. What To Expect The First Year- I love this book!!  I'm so sad my daughter is past 12 months of age (hence giving my set of books away in this giveaway), I would have LOVED to have this on hand during the past year.  800 pages of fantastic month by month information.  Topics that are covered include decoding crying, helping baby sleep through the night, breastfeeding, starting solids, and so much more.  Especially if you are a first time Mum, be sure to read a copy of this book.

Two sets will be given away to entrants Australia wide, and I am giving my review set away to an entrant from the Gold Coast.


Each book has a huge amount of information in it, and would be a perfect addition to your library, especially if you are currently trying to conceive.

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below to answer the 2 questions and like the required facebook pages.  Too easy!!  Winners will be notified by email.

<a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I received a set of the above books to review for this post.  I am including this set in the giveaway.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review + Recipe: Masha Spinach Dip

A couple of weeks ago an interesting little appliance arrived in the mail called a Masha.  A Masha is used for exactly what the name implies - to mash potatoes and any other soft foods you may want to mash rather than mix or blend.  Now, I have to admit, I thought do I really need another gadget in the kitchen???  Why on earth would you need an appliance just to mash potatoes??

However, reading through the information, I found out that the Masha actually gently squeezes the potato through the outer holes, or mesh.  It has no blade and works at a low speed, so yes, you can even get your kids to use it.  It is also designed to be easy to use for arthritis sufferers and the older generation.  It is also a nice sleek, compact design, so it easily fits into a drawer or cupboard.
The image below shows my first go at using the Masha.  I think it shows nicely how the mash is being pushed through the mesh along with the milk and butter.  The resulting mash is just divine, very smooth.  I'm not sure how it does it, because when I normally do mash with a hand masher, it always turns out lumpy no matter how long I mash for!!

Want to try something a bit different with your Masha?  Here is a little creation of mine my family love... even my kids!!

Masha Spinach Dip Recipe

250g packet frozen spinach
200g tub light Sour Cream
125g can Creamed Corn
40g sachet French Onion Soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Whole Egg works best)
1-2 T Gherkin Relish (to taste)

Thaw the spinach, and squeeze excess liquid out.

Place all your ingredients into a large bowl.

Then use your Masha and blend the mixture together.

Place into a serving bowl and serve with crackers and crudites of your choice.

As a final note to this review, I would like to mention that I think it is such a handy and effective kitchen appliance I have already bought one for friends as an engagement gift, and there are some birthdays coming up I also plan on giving Masha's for.  Now if that isn't a great testimonial I don't know what is ;-)

Cheers, Monique xx

Disclaimer: I received a Masha to review and create a recipe with.  I was not paid for this post, and any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: aden+anais

If you have had a baby in the last few years, you will without a doubt have heard of aden+anais.  You might have been given one of their muslins as a baby gift, or even bought one yourself.  The brand is based around the Australian tradition of using cotton muslin for babies, and has turned into a cult brand known around the world and used by many celebrities.  Raegan Moya-Jones, co-founder of aden+anais is actually an Australian, however started the brand in the USA when pregnant with her first child.

We all know aden+anais have the lovely muslin swaddles and blankets for newborns, but did you know they have products suitable for older babies as well?  My 12 month old and I have been road-testing some lately... and we love them all!

The Cot Sheet and Dream Blanket have been.... well.... Dreamy.  The cot sheet comes in a single pack of just an elasticated bottom sheet.  It is (naturally) made of muslin, and is a nice generous size for all cot mattresses.  The Dream Blanket is a heavenly 4 layers of Muslin, and a fantastic 1.2 x 1.2m size.  This allows you to comfortably tuck it into the cot on both sides to keep Bub nicely tucked in.  Although I am used to using a top sheet, I have not found one necessary with this set-up for daytime naps as the blanket is big enough to tuck in, and soft enough on babies skin that you don't need a sheet between it and your baby.  As you can see below, my little one looks very happy asleep in her muslin.  Plus the Dream Blanket can be used anywhere else your little one wants to cuddle up... reading a book, in front of the TV, and don't forget to take it if you are travelling as a perfect all round blanket.

Also perfect for older babies are the Cozy Sleeping Bags from aden+anais.  The Cozy Sleeping Bags are (like the Dream Blankets) 4 layers of muslin, perfect to keep your baby warm on cold nights.  The last few nights my daughter has slept really well, I think the muslin is keeping her at the perfect temperature all night.  Even if it has warmed up a bit during the night she hasn't stirred as the muslin creates a little cocoon that breathes and allows for more fluctuation of temperature than other traditional sleeping bags.  We are definitely addicted to this one, and might have to buy another as winter goes on to allow for washing and drying times (I don't like putting muslin in the dryer as it goes all wrinkly and distorted).

My daughter is shown below in the Large size (12-18 months), which as you can see is a nice generous sizing even though she is on the large rather than small scale for a 12 month old.  I would say this will definitely do us right through winter.  I also like the design in that the armholes are not gaping like some other brands we have used, and the front zipper is very fine with a top flap under her chin so it doesn't annoy her whatever position she ends up in.  We highly recommend this sleeping bag for babies of all ages.

And last but definitely not least we have also been using the mum + bub hair + body wash.  Where do I start with this?  Luxurious enough for me, but gentle and nourishing enough for my baby.  I LOVE the multi-use aspects of this product.  One bottle in the shower to use for my body wash and my daughters shampoo and body wash... perfect.  It leaves her skin very soft and smells absolutely divine.  Containing pawpaw for its amazing properties, I don't know how I managed without this product before!  Life is so busy for me at the moment with 3 children and 2 businesses, I am currently showering with my 12 month old to save time and do 2 jobs in one (rather than bathing her early then not getting a chance to shower myself until about 9 pm).  When we both jump in the shower together after her dinner, I sit her on the floor to play with bath toys while I wash myself, then soap her up, rinse off and we are done!  So as you can see, this hair + body wash fits into our lifestyle perfectly.

Looking for the aden+anais swaddling muslins for babies?  Find a gorgeous range of organic aden+anis muslin wraps right here.

Finally a big thank you to aden+anais for generously sending me the above goodies to review... I hope you end up trying some of them out, I am sure you will love them as much as we do!

Disclaimer: I received one of each of the above products to review and blog about, no payment was received for this post, and any opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Giveaway: Ferrari Model LEGO Cars

Lego fans and Ferrari fans be warned!  Shell has just launched an exciting new promotion in collaboration with Ferrari and the LEGO Group in Australia - six exclusive Ferrari model LEGO cars based on some of the most iconic vehicles in Ferrari’s motoring history: 

  • the Ferrari 150 Italia
  • the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinette passo corto
  • the Ferrari F40
  • the Ferrari FXX
  • the Ferrari 458 Italia
  • a Scuderia Ferrari Truck

For those with a tech mind, the limited edition Ferrari model LEGO cars have the smallest pull-back motor ever produced by LEGO Group. They are capable of performing over 300 pulls, propelling the 30g vehicles up to two metres.

Shell and LEGO worked on the development of the mini-motor for over 18 months, expressing the spirit of technological innovation and improved performance that is at the heart of Shell V-Power fuel and Shell’s partnership with Ferrari.

“This campaign represents the joint passion for performance that Shell shares with Ferrari, whilst incorporating the fun and imaginative nature of LEGO. Whether our customers are fans of Ferrari, motorsport or LEGO bricks, we think these toys will provide an exciting opportunity for them.” Jane Morwick, Shell Retail Business Manager

From Monday 18 March, customers are able to purchase the limited edition Ferrari model LEGO collectibles exclusively at Shell Coles Express sites across Australia. A new model will be available each week for six weeks.

The cars are $6 each with a $40 purchase of Shell V-Power or $8 without a fuel purchase.

Motorsport fans can learn more about Shell’s Technical Partnership with the Ferrari team by visiting www.shell.com/motorsport.  Plus motorists can download the Shell Motorist App to their iPhone or Android to locate Shell V-Power stockists, or visit www.shell.com.au/fuelfinder.

Psssst: These cars will be snapped up very quickly and will soon become Collector’s items!

As you can see by the pictures below, my sons just love theirs!!

Giveaway: We have one full set of LEGO Ferrari cars to giveaway including a set of money-can’t-buy mini figures (only 2,000 available in Australia!!).  Just use the Rafflecopter form below to lodge your entry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Shell (http://www.shell.com.au/ ) and Digital Parents Collective (http://digitalparentscollective.com.au/)