Thursday, 16 August 2018

Top 5 hacks to store kids’ costumes and party decorations

August 16, 2018
Kids absolutely love a party and dressing up, but what we don’t realise until it’s too late is how much space is actually required to store tutus and superhero masks. Too often party decorations get lost and we just keep purchasing more even though they’re probably hiding in the back of the garage. Here are a few hacks to help store your child’s costumes and decorations.

Make space in the wardrobe

Consider the dress up clothes as part of the wardrobe collection and leave hanging space. If the costume is suitable to be folded, reserve a drawer for it. If it’s too hard to incorporate the clothes and the costumes, consider using a portable rack.

Categorise the costumes 

Hiring a box from a company such as Hire-a-Box is an efficient way to store costumes and decorations. Categorising the costumes from superhero to princess to animal will also make it easier to identify them when they’re needed.

Vacuum seal the fiddly costumes

Some costumes have more accessories than others and you may have some that have bits and pieces that can easily get lost. Fold the costume and group the little accessories into a little bag. Put all the items into a vacuum seal bag to minimise the size and keep everything together.

Store balloons in zip lock bags

Keep your balloons in zip lock bags, away from extreme temperatures and sunlight to avoid popping too many of them when it’s time to use them. You can tap a small amount of talcum powder into the bag to stop the balloons from sticking. If you colour coordinate the balloons, it becomes an added bonus.

Use a mini craft drawer unit to store your decorations

One drawer for balloons, one drawer for streamers… you get the idea! There may even be space for birthday cards, wrapping paper and confetti.

This article was written in collaboration with box hire and packaging supply company – Hire A Box & Influencer Management Service – #AsSeenOn.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

5 Hair Care Tips for Time-Poor Mums

August 08, 2018
As a mum finding the time to pamper yourself is not always top on your list of priorities. Between getting the kids readymealtimes and play dates, it’s no surprise that we don’t get to the hairdresser as regularly as we’d like to. Luckily Schwarzkopf Professional has some simple tips to help keep hair as healthy as possible between salon visits.

1. Find the right type of shampoo and conditioner for your hair and invest in it! Although it may seem straightforward, you’d be surprised by how much of a difference using the correct hair care for your hair type can have. Schwarzkopf Professional’s new BC Bonacure range includes six different lines that are tailored to cater for all hair types.

2. If you have coloured hair, help the colour last as long as possible between salon visits by using colour locking products. Schwarzkopf Professional’s BC PH 4.5 Color Freeze range uses patent pH4.5 balancer technology to seal the surface of coloured hair, and freeze the colour pigments – keeping the hair colour salon fresh for longer.

3. Work a hair treatment into your routine for once a week. Not only do hair treatments deeply moisturise your hair, they also restore its inner strength and elasticity. For the weeks where you don’t have a spare 10 minutes for a hair treatment, give Schwarzkopf Professional’s BC Hyaluronic Moisture Kick BB Hydra Pearl a try. It’s a lightweight leave-in treatment that rebalances the hairs moisture levels, and the best part about it is you don’t have to worry about washing it out.

4. Split ends are something that we all struggle with, especially when we haven’t visited our hairdresser in a couple of months. Thankfully, Schwarzkopf Professional BC Peptide Repair Rescue Sealed Ends is here to save the day. The lightweight care balm seals and prevents split ends letting you put off that much-needed trim for a little bit longer.

5. Love your blonde hair, but not a fan of the regrowth that comes with it? Opt for a root stretch. Not only are root stretches trending at the moment; they’re also the perfect way to lengthen the time between salon visits.

Monday, 6 August 2018

S-Kin jewellery review

August 06, 2018
Anybody else a little sensitive to certain jewellery?! Sometimes I’ll experience a reaction to something for no apparent reason – and an itchy neck or wrist is so not ideal! Luckily I have found a great little brand to help with that. S-kin Jewellery is made with sterling silver and gold filled – which is 10 times thicker than gold plated. As a result, all pieces are hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant, meaning you can wear your jewellery reaction-free for longer.

What’s even more exciting, is that they offer a subscription service. Each month you receive 2-3 pieces from their collection direct to your door. You then fill in a few questions about your delivery, which helps inform the items you receive next time. It makes for the perfect self-care treat or gift for a friend or family member. Oh, and the shipping is free – hoorah!

I’ve received two items from S-kin, and I just love them. They’re so classic and elegant, and it’s great to know they won’t irritate my skin. These are the two items I’ve been living in:

Raquel Double Layered Necklace: $75.00

Add a little something extra to those dress-down days with this 18k gold-filled double layer chain. Amp up an off-duty look or layer with shorter necklaces from the collection.

* Size: top layer-58cm, bottom layer-60cm; 5cm extender chain
* Pendant size: 14x10mm, reversible design
* Material: 18K Gold-Filled

Chrissy Medallion Hoops: $59.00

Available in both sterling silver and gold, the Chrissy hoops are elegantly on-trend. Pair with Parisian-inspired outfits with pops of red and blue, or dress up a monochrome relaxed look for the ultimate in modern minimalism. Oh, and sensitive ears will be pleased to hear these little babies are nickle-free!

* Hoop width: 15mm
* Hoop thickness: 2mm
* Medallion size: 12x9mm
* Tarnish resistant

If you’re looking for versatile, hypoallergenic jewellery to shake up your everyday, minimal style, S-kin Studio has so much inspiration. Browse the online store here and find your next hero piece that you’ll be wearing year-round.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Storksak travel bag review

July 30, 2018
If you read my last review on my Storksak Nappy Bag, you would know how obsessed I am with this brand! Much to my delight, they’ve expanded into even more than just nappy bags! Think travel bags, duffle bags, backpacks… the lot. 

Not only is the quality of their bags superb, they’re super spacious – and parents can never have enough space, trust me. The products now also come in a great range of colours, and I always receive tons of compliments when I’m using them! I’m always excited about practical products that look great, too. 

Storksak was created in 2003 by Melanie Marshall and Suzi Bergman, with the view to create a line of luxury baby changing bags which didn’t compromise style for function. They sure achieved that! Then, in 2006 Babymel London was established, aiming to offer parents thoughtfully designed, fashionable changing bags at an accessible price point.  Nine years on, Babymel is sold in more than 20 countries worldwide, bringing the brand incredible international recognition. 

When I asked the girls to help me out with trialling these bags, they were more than excited. Such little fashionistas – not to mention blog assistants in the making! We recently took the Storksak Duffle Travel Bag and the Babymel Backpacks on a trip to Canberra to put them to the ultimate test. An overnight trip AND a flight with kids – if the bags do well on this trip, they can handle anything. 

Storksak DUFFLE Bag $259.99
Hubby and I used the Duffle Bag for our luggage on the Canberra trip, as it’s a super lightweight bag that has a removable shoulder strap – ideal for budget airlines! Inside we discovered the hanging organiser that’s hidden within the bag. This was super convenient for us as we can pack, hang up, and use without unpacking. I love traveling but I hate the instant mess that comes with living out of a stuffed suitcase in hotel rooms! 

If you’re a frequent flier, this bag would work wonders, as it fits neatly in the overhead compartment of most planes. No need to check in your baggage.

The grab handle was great for getting it in and out of the car, and the expandable zipper means there’s a little extra space hiding for when you need it. The bag is water resistant, too, which is really handy with my two little spillers running around! It’s also great to know it won’t be ruined if you’re stuck in bad weather or anything – there’s nothing worse than getting caught in the rain with new arm candy. 

Babymel Backpacks $34.99
The girls took their new Babymel Zip and Zoe Backpacks on the trip, and they absolutely loved having their own luggage in their chosen designs. They felt like proper grown ups on a girly holiday, bless them.

They both mentioned how comfortable the bags were, as they come with padded shoulder straps and a grab handle at the top. The best bit for me as a Mum was how easy the bags are to clean. You can pop the bags in the machine on a cold wash and get rid of those lunch spills and pen marks in an instant. I’ll definitely be using these for school, holidays, sleepovers, and days out in the future! If they love carrying their own bags, it’s one less thing for Mum and Dad to worry about.

WIth all the talk of parabens and the dangers of plastics these days, I was so pleased to find out that the bags are Phthalate free. That means the nasties that are often added to plastic products to make them more flexible won’t be found in the Babymel backpacks – phew. I’m taking small steps to reduce the amount of harmful plastic in our lives, so products like this are fantastic. 

The girls just love them, and they’re obsessed with packing up into it before we go out. In Canberra, they managed to fit all their clothes and a couple of toys in, too, so space is certainly not an issue anymore. From a Mum’s perspective, the easy cleaning is an absolute winner for me. 

Check out Storksak HERE
Check out Babymel HERE

Monday, 16 July 2018

Crockpot express crock multi cooker review

July 16, 2018
Public service announcement – I’ve found a solution to our 5pm dinner dilemma, all thanks to Crockpot. I’m so excited to share it with you all!

The new Crockpot Express Crock Multi Cooker (RRP $149.95) is exactly what every home needs. Our household now enjoys more family time, less cooking time, and more importantly – less cleaning time! The Crock Multi Cooker is a 12 in - multi cooker that can do everything from pressure cooking to steam and fry cooking. 

I’m fussy in the kitchen so it can take a lot for me to fall in love with a new pan or appliance, but the Crockpot Crock Express Multi Cooker had my heart within one evening! How many of you share our family dilemma of getting to 5pm and having no energy or imagination to cook something delicious and nourishing? As a Mum, I try to avoid feeding the girls too much processed foods, but this means I need to be on top of my game with my cooking and planning – it just doesn’t always happen that way, right Mums?!

With the Crockpot, our meals are cooked as much as 70% faster, thanks to the powerful multi cook mechanisms inside. It’s sounds silly, but it’s really brought our family much closer – we’re enjoying more togetherness every single night, and hubby and I are far less stressed out trying to organise dinner for a family of 4. 

We cook so many of our meals using the Crockpot now, and we really love the one pot meal option. Basically, you put everything all in the one pot and it cooks up a delicious meal all on its own. Come clean up time, it’s quick and easy to get everything washed and put away. No sink full of pans in our home anymore!

I’ve also loved the auto keep warm mode, which is amazing for when you’ve got friends coming over, or more often, when the girls aren’t ready or hubby is late home from work! The Crockpot can hold dinner for us without it getting cold. SO handy! 

If you are keen entertainers, not only can you keep your meals piping hot until you’re ready to eat, but the huge 5.5 litre capacity means you can cook for everyone at once. I dread having too many people over and always end up buying food that’s ready made for fear of causing a huge mess in the kitchen, or not having enough equipment to cater for everyone. Now we’ve got the Crockpot, we’ll be hosting all the time. The recipe book that came in the box has already given me tons of ideas – we’ve had a 20 minute risotto and a tasty weeknight-friendly meatballs in less than half an hour!

The extra time in the evening is really a lifesaver. We get more time with our girls and with each other, and we can easily share the cooking and prep now that it’s all handled by the Crockpot. We’ve got more time to get the girls bathed and ready for bed, and can even sit around while the Crockpot bubbles away and catch up on everyone’s day – it’s real family time. 

So, what do you guys think? Have you tried the Crockpot Express Multi Cook or a similar product? Has it changed your life as much as ours?! If you know someone who’s often in dinner distress, or you’re looking for the perfect new home gift, the Crockpot would be perfect!

Check out Crockpot HERE

Thursday, 12 July 2018

The chef direct range by Marathon foods review

July 12, 2018
If you’re anything like me, you’ll know how hard it is trying to establish a work-life balance. For me, the toughest part is organising and preparing  dinner for my girls and husband when I have so little time. This year I’ve tried a fair few different meal delivery services and other ways to make meal preparation easier, and by far the best and most delicious has to be the Chef Direct range from Marathon Foods. 

The Chef Direct by Marathon Foods is available at IGA stores, and is a new, clever and nutritious range of meals that literally take you minutes to prepare. Clever technology and packaging means all the products are kept fresh without needing to be frozen or refrigerated – even better! The Chef Direct range includes tasty classics like Beef Meatballs, Chilli Con Carne, Lamb Shanks with Mint Gravy and  Lamb Shank with  Red Wine & Rosemary. Sounds yummy, right? To top it off, the range is free from artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and there is no added MSG! 

My girls absolutely loved the meatballs – it was hands down a family favourite. They’re at that age where fun foods like messy spaghetti is super exciting, so they found it a real treat. For hubby and I, it was the lamb shank in red wine and rosemary sauce. The lamb was so tender, it just fell effortlessly off the bone. While the girls enjoyed their spaghetti treat, me and Hubby got to have a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of our own home. Perfect for those winter nights – am I the only one who can’t face going out at night when it’s freezing?!

This range has made my life so much easier. It’s so tasty, my family love the meals, and they don’t take up space in the fridge, which is such a life saver. I sometimes take the meals to work for lunches, too, as I can just throw one in my bag and know it’s fresh until lunchtime. If you’re looking for a easy option for weeknight meals, Mums, head to your local IGA and check out the Chef Direct range now!

Check out my pics on the dishes we have tired so far.

Chilli beef and beans

Meatballs tomato and basil
Lamb shanks

Check out more HERE

Monday, 9 July 2018

Smash enterprises Stationary decorates my blog working space

July 09, 2018
I love stationery – I think it’s something that’s instilled into us from when we’re young. The excitement of getting your fresh new pencils at the start of every school year, remember?! Unfortunately, family life means my workspace at home isn’t as neat and organised as I’d like, but I recently decided that my office space needs a makeover. Particularly when I’m working on my blog, the prettier my space, the more inspired I am to create great content that you guys love. So I set out to transform my workspace and make it my little corner of the house where I can do my thing. 

SMASH Enterprises recently released 4 new stationery ranges at my trusty Big W, so I decided these would be the beginning of my workspace makeover! I went for the Paint and Play range, which is a gorgeous selection of stationery, deskware and writing tools in a mix of blue, white and blush pink colours. I loved this design because it had a really cool, Instagram-worthy style, and was bright and colourful while still looking chic and professional. 

The range has everything you need to make your workstation look complete and pretty. There’s something about having everything matching that just makes you feel like a total boss, isn’t there?! My creativity is through the roof now I’ve got my desk all sorted out, and with fresh pens, notebooks and folders, I’m actually enjoying getting organised. 

I’ve got my list of blog posts to write all jotted down on a to-do list, and I’m able to keep my receipts and mail all tidy in my folders. Stuff goes missing all the time when you’ve got two young kids! Finally I’m on top of everything!

Other items in the range include:

Note pads
Document trays
Pencil case
Memo block
Stick tape holder
Paper clips
Pen holder,
Magnet notepad

Starting at just $3, this beautiful range makes for the perfect new financial year treat to yourself, or a great gift for someone else. Fancy stationery can be so expensive these days, so I’m loving seeing more designs come onto the market for all budgets. 

My office space has never looked more chic – I’m feeling such a sense of satisfaction knowing I’ve finally done it up nicely!

Check out Big W for the new Smash ranges HERE