Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Our little trip to hunter valley

December 12, 2018
Christmas really is a magical time – it truly has to be my favourite holiday. That’s even more true now we have the girls. I’ve always loved Christmas, but the festive season as a mum of little ones is honestly like nothing else. The fun and secrecy of pretending Santa has delivered the gifts, leaving out a mince pie, losing sleep over excitement – it’s just so wonderful to watch the girls so happy. 

In true Christmas-lover style, we headed down to the Hunter Valley to visit the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas lights spectacular. Let me just say, it was fabulous! The girls  got stuck right into the jumping castle, we hit the carousel as a family a few times then walked around the beautiful gardens looking at the spectacular. It felt like we were in our very own Christmas movie, it was fantastic. Australia doesn’t have quite the same level of festivities as the US, but escaping to the Hunter Valley meant the girls got to immerse themselves in a full festive wonderland. The look on their faces was totally priceless. 

We were so tired afterwards – Christmas cheer is exhausting, Mums! I’m so happy we made the decision to stay the night at the Mercure Resort right near the gardens. The girls are at that age where they get over excited and then completely crash a few hours later – it’s so cute! So we headed back to the resort and spent the afternoon chilling out in the pool. It was a boiling hot day so it was so much better than a long car journey home!
We stayed in a family room which was very spacious with everything we need to make the night comfortable. Some family rooms aren’t quite big enough for a crazy four-piece family with two young girls like ours, but the Mercure was perfect. One of the best bits was the private parking space directly outside each room. That was officially the most ‘Mum’ thing I’ve ever said! But seriously, packing the car with all the bits and bobs you need to take when you’ve got kids is made so much easier when you can park right outside your room!

If you guys are looking for something special to do these school holidays I’d absolutely recommend the Hunter valley Christmas lights spectacular – and of course crashing out the Mercure Resort afterwards. For some festive cheer, you can currently get 50% off your tickets to the Spectacular when you stay with Mercure – everyone loves a little Christmas saving, right?!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Tech For Kids Gift Guide

December 11, 2018
I swear kids are getting more and more tech-savvy as the years go on – am I right?! When I was growing up I had no idea how TVs worked or how to operate electronics, but these days the kids know more than the grown-ups. If you’ve got a tech-mad kid on your Christmas list, this tech-for-kids gift guide will sort you out. 

Laser Portable DVD Player | Big W | RRP $179.95 
If a tablet isn’t an option for the kids, the Laser Portable DVD Player will be a hit. With the option to play movies from DVD discs or USB, the options are endless for hours of entertainment (and peace and quiet for the parents!). With large 10-inch LCD screen, the DVD Player can be recharged via a wall or car power adaptor and complete with earphones in the box, you can enjoy the peace and quiet in the car while the kids quietly watch their favourite show in the backseat. It’s also the perfect way to give them their independence with tech, without the worry of internet security. 

Telstra Essential Plus Powered by Alcatel | RRP $99 available at Telstra
Suited to older kids, this super-basic phone is the perfect starter smart device. The Telstra Essential Plus has a bright 4.95” screen with an 18:9 ratio, making it easy to use. At only 145g it’s also super light, so it won’t make for a heavy school bag. It’s that ideal option for those looking for the security benefits of their child having a means of contact, without the expense, security concerns and complexity of more advanced models. 

For those, a little snap happy, the Telstra Essential Plus powered by Alcatel features a 5MP rear camera with flash and a 2MP front facing the camera with flash, as well as social-ready camera features. From creating a panorama, a time lapse or a grid of photos, to cool features such as capturing a light trail (think sparklers on NYE), there are plenty of features to embrace your creativity.

The Telstra Essential Plus powered by Alcatel runs the new Android Go operating system, which means the apps are lighter, less clunky and allows for smoother operation. This also includes Google Play Protect, which helps keep the peace of mind as the device is secure.

This Alcatel smartphone is also blue tick certified, meaning that those living in rural and regional areas will receive superior call quality on the Telstra network.

Key Features:
•    Screen: 4.95”, 18:9 ratio
•    Battery: 2,000 mAh
•    Rear Camera: 5 megapixel
•    Front Camera: 2 megapixel
•    Social ready camera features
•    Locked to Telstra Network

Laser LED Bluetooth Ultra-Portable Speaker | RRP $24.95 | Stockist: Big W 
Light up the party with the Laser LED Bluetooth Ultra-Portable Speaker, featuring colourful LED lights that move to the beat of your playlist. With a water resistant shell and a 6 hour battery life, this portable speaker is the perfect accessory for outdoor gatherings, pool parties or camping trips. Built-in with Bluetooth compatibility, FM radio, and a USB and Micro SD card slot, this speaker is an essential for entertaining!

Fancy the LED Bluetooth speaker for yourself? You’re in luck! We’re giving away a Laser LED Bluetooth Ultra-Portable speaker to one lucky reader. To enter, just comment below and tell us why you need the speakers to get your groove on this Christmas. Does your Dad dancing need some improvement? Maybe you want to work on your flossing?! Whatever it is, tell me in the comments and you could be in with a chance to win. 

Cactus watch RRP from $20
Cactus watches are a great first watch gift idea. Known as Australia’s favourite watch brand for kids, Cactus Watches make for the perfect first watch. Hard-wearing, durable and kid-proof, these tough watches help kids learn to tell the time independently. Available in cool styles and colours, the watches are also waterproof, so no more splash disasters at the beach or pool. Phew! More on cactus watch HERE.

KIIPIX Smartphone Photo Printer RRP $49.00 Available at Kmart
Destined to be the stocking filler of the year, KiiPix instantly prints your favourite photos from a smartphone. It is easy to use with only four steps needed to print your favourite moments from the festive season.

No batteries or wires are required and the compact size allows the user to take it anywhere from beachside road trips to music festivals, Christmas BBQ’s and even overseas adventures.

Available in jet black, sky blue and pink in stores across Australia, KiiPix will be your favourite companion for the upcoming festive season. Make family memories and enjoy them for years to come with this handy, portable smartphone photo printer.

Monday, 10 December 2018

PJ Masks Christmas gift ideas

December 10, 2018
It’s no secret we are fans of Catboy, Owlette and Gekko – the PJ Masks! We are super excited to share Australia’s hottest brand for preschoolers, and boy do Entertainment One’s (eOne) PJ Masks have some new goodies just in time for Christmas! Here come our favourite PJ Masks bits of for Christmas – loved by Madison and Macie and given the Made For Madison seal of approval.

PJ Masks Ooshies
Your Favourite PJ Masks characters have just been Ooshed! Collect all 16 characters including the limited edition Metallic Catboy. These cute little Ooshies can fit on a pencil or a crayon! Ages 3+
Available as of 20 November 2018 from Big W, Kmart and Toymate for $3.99.

Wow, the girls just loved these. You never know which character you’re going to get, so they were tearing open their packages hoping to get their faves. It makes drawing and creating a whole lot more fun to have your favourite PJ Masks character propped atop your colouring pencils! These are also ideal for school, so your tots always know which pens are theirs.

PJ Masks ‘Hooray for Christmas!’ Book
The PJ masks will have you shouting ‘’Hooray for Christmas!’’ with this new Christmas-themed colouring and activity book. Decorate Headquarters to look like a Christmas tree or match each villain to their Christmas stocking, plus lots more festive fun. This 48-page colouring and activity book starring the PJ Masks also has over 30 holiday and hero stickers!
Available now from Big W, Kmart, Target and all good newsagencies and bookstores for $7.99.

Colouring is definitely still cool according to my girls – despite all the iPads and techy toys out there to play with these days. We love taking colouring and activity books with us when we go out to eat, or on long car journeys. It’s great to have some non-screen time, and allow them to practice keeping inside the lines!

PJ Masks Transforming Figure Set
With the push of a button, watch your favourite PJ Masks characters turn into a night-time hero! The PJ Masks Transforming Figure Set includes two poseable figure and one transforming play set. Just place the 3" figures on either side of the transforming figure set and press the button on top to watch the transformation! Each Transforming Figure Set includes one transforming play stand and two figures: daytime kid persona and night time hero persona. Each set sold separately. Ages 3+

Available now from Big W, Target, Kmart, Myer, Toyworld, Toymate and Kidstuff for $29.99.

The girls absolutely loved seeing the transformation happen! They loved putting seeing their favourite character, change and played this for hours.

Do you have PJ masks fans in your family?! You’ll have guaranteed smiles all round with these awesome Christmas gifts.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Smash Bento Lunch Kit Review

December 06, 2018
So as many of you know, my big baby starts big school next year – but also, my littlest baby Macie is starting pre-school! I know, where has the time gone? I swear 90% of being a Mum is wondering when the hell your kids got so damn grown up. It’s such an exciting time but my gosh their little years are just running away from me!

But, in the name of content, we got stuck into school lunch practice and gave the Limited Edition Smash Bento Lunch Kit a try!

Each Smash Bento 4 piece Lunch Kit features:
-  Smash Duo Bento Lunchbox
-  450ml BPA Free Drink Bottle
-  Novelty Sandwich Cutter
-  Printed Name Sticker Sheet

WELL...what can I say? If you don’t remember the excitement of a new lunchbox as a kid, you must’ve been doing it wrong. Let me tell you, that excitement has not changed at all. Macie absolutely loved it. She was going on about it all day and now she just can’t wait to use it for real – our test runs at the dining table have got her in quite a frenzy. 

It’s great for kids and also really good for us Mums to know that it comes with a BPA-free water bottle, so we know our kiddies aren’t getting any plastic-y nasties in their water.

Available at Big W for $10 RRP from 15th December 2018, available only while stocks last. Go go go Mums and Dads!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Summer of collectables with Big Balloon

December 05, 2018
Just in time for Christmas, Summer of Collectables from BIG Balloons is ready to provide your kids summer-long fun. My girls love the element of surprise – which they certainly get with these. Their faces lit up each time they opened one – I’m not sure which they prefer, the toys or the surprise!

Peppa Pig Peppa’s Secret Surprise, RRP $20.00
Peppa Pig has a surprise for you!
Peppa’s Secret Surprise has lots of secrets tucked inside. Unwrap it to reveal a surprise present box, with six different surprise presents hidden away.
Which special glittery character will you find: Peppa Pig, Suzie Sheep, Rebecca Rabbit or Zoe Zebra? And each one comes with a selection of different accessories including a party hat, stickers or gems, plus a cute party gift in a tiny little box.
Peppa’s Secret Surprise present box is reusable, so you can store everything neatly inside when you’re finished playing. There are six different figures to collect for super Peppa fans.
Suitable for children aged 3 years and over, the Peppa Pig Peppa’s Secret Surprise is available 1 December 2018 from Big W, Myer, Toyworld, Kidstuff and independent retailers.

Go Bananas, for Bananas! from RRP $8.00
Finally, a collectible that heroes not only fruit, but everybody’s favourite tropical fruit, the banana! Peel your Banana to reveal a unique and silly character hidden inside.
Each scented Banana contains the character plus seven gemstone stickers, two mini squishy friends, a vine hanger, and a collector’s sheet.
There are 96 characters to collect across four Banana Bunch families, including rare and multra-rare characters. Each character comes with their own bio, belongs to a family tree and has a BFF from a different family tree.
Coming in lots of colours, all Bananas connect together to form a bunch! And Banana peels can be opened and resealed over and over again.

Suitable for ages 4 years +, Bananas are available 26 October 2018 from Kmart, Big W, Myer, Toyworld, Toymate and Kidstuff and independent retailers.

TLC Kritters, RRP $18.00
This adorable collection of baby animals is waiting for their forever home, with someone to give them lots of Tender, Loving, Care. TLC Kritters are so new to the world, they like to sleep in their warm and cosy incubators. And just like any baby, these precious animals need to be fed or given medicine, to keep them healthy and happy.
And there are lots of surprises, just like real babies! Just what sort of baby animal will you find? Will it be a boy or girl? And what teeny tiny little accessories will your little Kritter come with?
All TLC Kritters have their very own nappy, with a colour change icon that reveals poos or wees when popped in cold water!
With kitties, puppies, bears and bunnies to collect, each TLC Kritter baby animal comeswith an incubator, dissolving envelope to reveal
their gender and adoption sheet, a nappy,
bow or bib, baby bottle or medicine dropper,
dummy, and collector sheet.
Suitable for ages 3+, TLC Kritters are available 26 October 2018 from exclusively at Kmart.

My girls have given these tiny treats a big tick of approval. If you’re looking for some extra little surprises for the little members of your family, these are perfect. They’ll get excited just opening the gift, and enjoy the toy even more once they’ve revealed the surprise figure. Get creative with how you’ll display your figures, too. Look for display boxes or shelves so tots can store their toys neatly. They’ll get excited just opening the gift, and enjoy the toy even more once they’ve revealed the surprise figure.Collectables are also a really fun way to teach your kids the importance of taking care of their possessions. In the modern world, lots of toys have a throw-away quality, so by teaching little ones to take care of their collectables and ensure they stay in a good condition can help them grasp the idea of longevity in their gifts. 

Are you gifting collectables this year?

Friday, 30 November 2018

Follow your Xmas recipes with Belkin wireless charging stand

November 30, 2018
I’m always following recipes – honestly internet recipes are a busy mum’s best friend. Now we’re approaching the festive season, I need to think about how I’m going to cater for family and friends. One of my biggest problems is finding somewhere to put my phone when I’m following the recipe! My poor screen has been splashed with sauces and batters too many times. But I recently gave the Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand a try. It was so handy to be able to charge my phone in an upright position while I followed the recipe!

Are you looking for a gift for a recipe-follower in your life? You’ve found the perfect thing. 

BOOST↑UP Wireless Charging Stand 10W for Apple, Samsung, LG and Sony | RRP $109.95 | 

For the cook and tech lover on your list, the BOOST↑UP Wireless Charging Stand from Belkin is the perfect kitchen and home gadget. Holding a wireless charging enabled smartphone – such as the iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, Samsung, LG, Sony and more – in an upright position, you can easily follow a recipe at the perfect viewing angle while your smartphone charges. Belkin’s original and thoughtful design makes it easy to align the smartphone for optimised wireless charging in either landscape or portrait mode. More than for the kitchen, you can use the BOOST↑UP Wireless Charging Stand to charge a smartphone without the tangle of cables or ideal for picking the next Christmas tune while you celebrate the festive season!

Show me the recipes you make with your new charging companion!

  1. More on Boost up HERE

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Peppa pig top kids gifts

November 28, 2018
We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, guys. How is your Christmas shopping going?! I’m getting there with mine, but as always I’m here to deliver your regular dose of gifting inspiration for your little ones this year.

Entertainment One (eOne) has brought out  the ultimate Peppa Pig Christmas wish list, sure to be a hit with Peppa fans this festive season!

From toys and books to an advent calendar and on-the-go snack holders, there’s something for every little Peppa Pig devotee.

Some of my favourites include:

Nurse Peppa
This Nurse Peppa plush toy is cuddly and comes with her very own Stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat, and Otoscope to check your hearing. Press her tummy to hear her giggle and talk.
Available from Big W, Myer and independent retailers now for RRP $44.99.

The girls just loved this one. They both loved cuddling her and playing doctors and nurses while diagnosing each other with a load of weird and wonderful conditions!

Books are so important and we are always looking for new ones to read the girls. Peppa always comes up with the goods when it comes to quality literature (lol) but here are some of our favourites at the moment:

Peppa Meets Father Christmas
Father Christmas visits Peppa and her friends in this sparkly Christmas picture book. It's Christmas time and Peppa's school is putting on a 
show. The children invite Father Christmas along to see their play, but it's his busiest time of year. Luckily, their very special guest makes it just in time and has an even more special surprise for Peppa and her friends. With a sparkly glitter cover, this is the perfect Peppa story to share at Christmas.

Available now from all good book stores for RRP $14.99.

Peppa Loves Australia 
Peppa and her family visit Kylie Kangaroo on a holiday to Australia in this storybook with glittery cover. Peppa has a wonderful time visiting the Australian bush, playing catch with a magic boomerang, and having an aussie barbecue by the beach. Find out all about everything Peppa loves about Australia!

Available now from all good book stores for RRP $14.99.

The girls loved these stories – it seems Peppa can do no wrong with young kids these days! It was really funny reading the Australian stories as it’s so close to home for us here in Sydney.

Will you be having a Peppa-themed Christmas in your household this year?! Let me know how you’re bringing Peppa into your celebrations – she’s a regular guest at our table these days!

About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. is a global independent studio that specialises in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales; family programming, merchandising and licensing; digital content; and live entertainment. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.