• A Finish Powerball Review and Giveaway
    Giveaway,  Product Reviews

    The tale of a broken dishwasher: Finish Review & Giveaway

    Our dishwasher is broken.  It’s not completely broken, but it’s on it’s way out.  It chugs away bravely, and noisily, doing it’s best to clean the plates and bowls and endless plastic cups that end up in it, but we both know it’s nearly over.  A Finish Powerball Review and Giveaway

    When we moved in, the previous owner, an older woman, proudly pointed out that she really didn’t use the dishwasher.  This was either a lie or she was a crazy person because WHY?!  And it had clearly been used – things were well worn, in this old dishwasher.  I have never really had a house with a dishwasher until now.  I was so thrilled that there was one when we bought this house.  I know, small things.  Then it started to leak.  Not all the time at first, but then we ended up needing a tea towel at the base, all the time.  Eventually, this became intolerable and The Mister replaced the seal.  So easily fixed and it was fabulous!  No more leaking dishwasher.  

    A Finish powerball review and giveaway

    I had noticed that it wasn’t really cleaning that well, but then figured, if half the water was leaking out it probably wasn’t able to.  The new seal will have fixed it, I thought confidently.  And wrongly.  It’s had clean outs and filter cleans and The Mister has removed and cleaned out the arms.  Each time it was a little better, then no good really.  Apart from things on the top rack.  Apparently the arm under that rack appears to be ok.  It’s the bottom arm that is capput.  

    Then the door hinge broke.  One day it obviously decided it had had enough.  So now, it’s also slightly dangerous, particularly if you are 4 or 2, like half the members of our household.  Because a dishwasher door with no working hinge is HEAVY.  It regularly bangs down, hard, when someone who doesn’t know or forgets, goes to open it. 

    Finish Powerball Review & Giveaway

    This fills me with dread.  Even half working it’s better than being elbow deep in the sink ALL FREAKING DAY!  I keep persisting, stacking as much onto the top shelf as I can and sparsely filling the bottom.  That sometimes helps.  You know what also helps?  Using good quality powder.  I’ve always thought it was all much the same.  WRONG.  I was offered the chance to sample a packet of finish powerball quantum max tablets.  Yeah, they clean sooooo much better than the cheaper stuff I was using.  Even with my broken and struggling dishwasher, everything was clean.  Even the glasses were actually clean and not cloudy.  I need to not be cheap.  Also, a new dishwasher wouldn’t hurt.  Sponsors anyone??!!!  

    Do you reckon you’d like to win a packet of these little beauties?  Then get you to the widget and comment on this blog post telling me just what does your dishwasher mean to you?  Remember, it’s a game of skill, not chance and the most creative answer wins!  Australian Residents Only. 

    Linking up with #FYBF over with Grace and with #ReviewRoundUP at Mamma Raj Says 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

  • Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews,  Toddlers

    Too Busy Sleeping: A Book Review

    Have you heard of the delightful new book, ‘Too Busy Sleeping’?  Recently, I had an opportunity to put my hand up to review this lovely, lovely little children’s book, through the Parent Talk Australia collective.  I was very excited when the author, Zanni Louise, contacted me to say she would be happy for me to review her first book.  

    Too Busy Sleeping:  A Book Review

    It’s just gorgeous!  It is a little story about a new baby coming home – how will Eleanor, now a big sister, react?  It is delightfully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, with a kind of vintage, crafty feel to the drawings.  Ms 4 tells me every time we read it, that she thinks the first and last page looks like stickers and buttons, and she tries to take them off.

    Too Busy Sleeping by Zanni Louise

    Both my kids love this book.  Little Mr 2 just loves babies at the moment, and on every page points to Reuben and exclaims “bebe!”  It’s a positive story, that looks at the arrival of a new sibling through the eyes of a little one eager to play and eager to love.  

    Too Busy Sleeping: A Book Review

    It’s a lovely book whether you are preparing your kids for the arrival of new baby or not.  A little story about excitement, learning patience and love.

    Too Busy Sleeping.  Gorgeous books for kids.

    I love Too Busy Sleeping because it is positive and joyful, and shows that older kids, even preschoolers, can look forward to the homecoming of a new baby.  Even if they’re not quite happy with the sleeping needs of said newborn!  

    If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the gorgeous Too Busy Sleeping, you can here*.

    What books do your kids love to read?  Is it the same one, over and over, or a new one every night?  Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you!

    Linking up with Mamma Raj Says for #ReviewRoundUp!

    *This is an affiliate link.  If you click here and purchase, I will receive a percentage of the sale.  This won’t affect the price you pay.  

  • Airwick Home Fragrances Giveaway
    Home,  Product Reviews

    Keeping it Fresh – Airwick Review & Giveaway!

    Airwick Home Fragrances Giveaway

    How’s your house smelling lately? It’s the end of winter, the kids have been cooped up for the last few months and you’ve got a dog, a cat and you use cloth nappies.  Oh, wait, is that just us?!  Thankfully, it’s spring now in Melbourne, and the sun is starting to hang around a bit more and the kids are able to get on outside.  And the nappies and the washing can actually go outside on the line – woo!!!  Because let me tell you, sometimes I come back to the house after being out somewhere and I think – does the house really smell like that?!  Now, I’ve got a pretty sensitive nose to scent, good and bad.  But man, sometimes I really hope noone drops in unannounced.  That pervasive smell of damp clothes drying over the heat vent (constantly!), a nappy bucket, that is emptied regularly but still, and litter tray sometimes just becomes a little too noticeable.  

    So when I was offered the chance to review and giveaway some new home fragrance products from Airwick,  my first thought was, how did she know and secondly, yes, dear lord yes!  And there is a giveaway for you my lovely readers!  Sweet.  

    Airwick Giveaway on Tully and Mishka

    The little package of goodies that I got to review and you will have a chance to win includes products from Airwick’s new Life Scents Collection – scented candle, plugins and room spray.  Now, we don’t often use plug in air fresheners, and at first I thought it was going to be too strong, and maybe irritate the Mister’s hay fever.  However, I’ve had it going in the laundry, on the low setting and it’s lovely.  And now, when I’ve been out of the house, when I return the smell is much nicer!  We’ve liked the Winter Moments scent, and I really like the Mystical Garden room spray.  It’s quite lovely.  Click through the link to read a little more about this new collection, and the different scents they have.  There’ll be one you like for sure!  

    Airwick Life Scents Giveaway

     

    So, to enter the giveaway, I want to hear from you!  Fill in the options below, and comment on this blog post:  What is your favourite scent and why? It could be anything – food, perfume, flowers etc.  Good luck with the giveaway, and please remember – sharing is caring!  Let your friends know too.  

     
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

  • The Book of Once Upon a Time
    Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews

    Disney Junior: The Book of Once Upon a Time

    Bought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior.  

    I don’t know about you, but Disney stories are very popular in our household.  The modern and the classics.  We have quite a collection of Disney DVD’s, most bought post children, but not all J.  Toy Story, Cars, Tangled, Aladdin and of course Frozen have all been watched over and over here, and still retain their magic for the kids and for us too. 

    The Book of Once Upon a Time

    However, I have to admit that until quite recently I did not know about Disney Junior The Channel.  Now, we don’t have pay tv (where it is found on Foxtel, channel 709) but for those like us, it’s also available online here.  And this week, Book Week, they are launching the new season of ‘The Book of Once Upon a Time’, a beautiful, locally produced storytelling series hosted by Kate Mulvany, a fabulous Australian actor and playwright.  And it’s brilliant to hear and watch an Australian accent!  Kate’s storytelling is fabulous.  They kicked the new series off on Monday 24th August at 7:10pm with “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt” and they’re going to follow up with new stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and, wait for it, “Frozen”.  Yes that’s right, there will be more Frozen for the kids to shout wildly about. 

    The Book of Once Upon a Time

    Last night, we watched “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”.  Our normal bedtime ritual is reading a story all together in Ms 4’s room, before Mr 2 goes off to bed.  Last night we all watched the story together on the couch and it was lovely to see how the kids reacted to it.  The story was approximately 6 minutes, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, who can’t always sit and concentrate for too long, especially in the evening when they’re tired.  It was a lovely little magical moment to watch the kids faces as the story was told.  The format is a little nod to the tradition of classic story telling – Kate Mulvany sits in a comfy chair, turning the pages of a lovely big book, not only using character voices but also jumping up and re-enacting different scenes.  And there are moments of animation that add to the magical quality.  I was thrown back to my childhood, watching the seven dwarves and the classic Disney animated characters.  And I could see Ms 4, her face alight, loving the story telling as well. 

    At the end of each episode, the “Land of Once Upon a Time” lullaby is sung, and it was great!  The kids were about to launch into requests for another episode when the lullaby started.  It encourages kids to prepare for bed and snuggle down.  It was brilliant!  It supported me in pointing out that it was the end and time for bed – thank you!

    I know some parents are unsure about screen time and how to balance it in their kids’ lives.  I know we do, and it’s always something to monitor.  I quite like these little episodes because they are short, we sit with the kids and it’s storytelling, something we are very passionate about encouraging as parents.  Disney Junior know that parent’s want to encourage imagination in their children and that they also want educational content to include things like: Social skills, moral values , good basic habits and creative thinking.  And so, they combine the story telling with the following learning components: Early language and maths skills, encouraging healthy lifestyles and emphasising social and emotional development. 

    We had lovely time last night, and we will definitely be watching more episodes.  If you want to watch online just click here to go through to the Disney Story Room.  Or if you have Foxtel, you can tune in at 7:10pm every day on the Disney Junior The Channel.  The stories are available as eBooks from the Disney Store Central app, available to download from iTunes

    How about you?  Are you surrounded by a small army of Disney fans who will love this?  Let me know what you think! 

  • Crayola Color Wonder Review || www.tullyandmishka.com.au
    Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews,  Toddlers

    Product Talk: Crayola Color Wonder Review

    This product talk is bought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola.

    Crayola Color Wonder Review || www.tullyandmishka.com.au

    In this house, when the kids choose colouring as their activity of  the moment, I think two things.  What are they using to colour and what are they colouring on??  Because, you know, we are inundated with colouring books, and pencils, but somehow drawing on other things and with pens, textas or even crayon is a much more permanent way to display their artistic endeavor.  I present you exhibit A:

    Crayola Color Wonder Review || Tully & Mishka

    Yes, the other day, Mr 2 was having a great time colouring the chalk board.  He was very enthusiastic and when he called me over to see “look, Mum!  Look!” I realised he was colouring with crayons.  Not chalk.  Sigh.  So when Nuffnang offered me the opportunity to try the Crayola Color Wonder range, I was all for it.  After all, it was offered as a “mess free” activity.  Mess free?  Hells yeah.  Because frankly, this house doesn’t need more mess, for reasons best described by the forthright and awesome Janelle at Renegade Mothering.  

    Crayola Color Wonder || Tully & Mishka

    And joyously, the review included TWO packs!  Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (high school flash back anyone?).  Both kids sorted.  Basically, each pack comes with five textas and once colouring book.  The textas are clear, and it’s not until you (or your child, whoever gets the texta first) draws on the Color Wonder paper that the colour starts to appear.  When you’re a 2 year old kid, that’s hands down amazing.  I give you exhibit B: 

    Yes, that’s one excited little man!  And really, this stuff is cool.  It’s non toxic, there are hidden patterns in the pictures, and I have not found texta colour anywhere else, not their clothes, their hands or the walls.  Well, not from these textas anyway!  Seriously, I just got interrupted by Ms 4 telling me Mr 2 was drawing on the wall.  Gah! At least that was with chalk……
    Crayola Color Wonder || Tully & MishkaCrayola Color Wonder || Tully & Mishka

     

     

     

     

    What activities do your kids love doing indoors?  Is it mess free, or full of fun and educative messiness??? Let me know!  And let me know if your kids love the Color Wonder range too 🙂 

    I’m linking up with Mama Raj Says’ Review Round Up!  

    And here’s a bonus video of Mr 2 and his speed colouring. 

     

     

  • Cocobella Kids Coconut Water
    Food,  Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews

    Cocobella Kids! – A Review

    *This is a sponsored post.  I received product for myself and for the kindergarten my little one attends for use in fundraising.  All opinions are my own.*

    Cocobella Kids Coconut Water Do your kids love juice?  Mine do, and I am reticent to let them have too much.  So much sugar!  But I wouldn’t mind if they wanted to drink coconut water.  I drink coconut water, and find it refreshing when I want something other than plain water.  It’s not sweet, and love it after some exercise.  Mr 2 doesn’t mind plain coconut water, but Ms 3.5 – no way.  Scrunches her nose up, and I receive a resounding ‘yuck!’ whenever I try to get her to taste it!

    So when I was presented with an opportunity to test the Cocobella Kids Coconut Water on my little ones at the recent Kids Business Bloggers BBQ, I gave it a go.  And was pleasantly surprised!  Ms 3.5 loved it – especially the Apple Berry Breeze flavour.  And Mr 2, well of course he drank it down as quick as a flash.   

    Cocobella Kids Coconut WaterSo I was very happy to do a review of the coconut water, as were the kids – there was much excitement when the box arrived!  And it was perfect timing – with kinder starting, these little packs are the perfect size for lunch boxes.  Now, let me tell you some of the nitty gritty.  Cocobella Kids is a lunch-box-friendly and healthy coconut water drink for kids made from 70% coconut water, 30% fruit juice and nothing else.  No added sugar, no added colours or flavours and no additives or preservatives.  This is why I am happy for the kids to have this drink.  The majority of it being coconut water, massively reduces the amount of sugar they are taking in when they drink it, compared to average fruit juice drinks (see table below for some comparisons).  I really love the size of these packs – they fit in the lunch boxes, they’re easy to hold for my toddler and they can even slip into a bag easily.  They freeze, so are great for keeping snacks cool and fresh as well.  I’ve been a fan of coconut water for a while now – it’s naturally rich in minerals, particularly potassium, so I have no issues with giving it to the kids.

    Cocobella Kids Coconut Water

    And the most important opinion, being the kids?  They have loved having these in the house!  They get 10 out of 10 from the kids.  I will buy these again for the kids, and I think they would be great for kids parties too.  I really do like having this option available, and I’m sure the kids do to – because I wont buy straight juice for them and this is the only way they will get ‘juice boxes’!!  And yes, to any family members reading this, I am well aware that I have now become my mother!!  Hehehehe.  

    Tell me – do you buy juice for your kids?  Do they like coconut water?  

    If you want further information about the Cocobella Kids range, you can check out their website here www.cocobellakids.com.au or search #cocobellakids on your favourite social media site.  Cocobella Kids is available in 200ml Tetra-Pak (BPA free) and in two yummy fruit flavours (apple berry breeze, tropical island) Cocobella Kids retails for $3.49 per 3-pack in Woolworths supermarkets nationally.  

    Cocobella Kids Brand Comparison

     

  • #ASGsLittleLearner
    Family,  Kinder,  Product Reviews

    ASG Little Learner Pack – A Review

    *I received an ASG Little Learner Pack in order to complete this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.*  

    #ASGsLittleLearner

     

    Have your little one’s started school or kinder this week?  How are you feeling – anxious, proud, relieved?!  Our Ms 3 starts three year old kinder this week, and BOY is she excited.  For the past five days she has appeared next to my bed in the mornings declaring it is kinder day, and wanting me to get up.  She’s very gorgeous 😉 

    This will be our first year parenting in the world formal education.  So I thought, why not start a series about it.  With tips, hints, resources, product reviews etc that might just be helpful to other parents out there, new or otherwise.  I think I’ll call it The Kinder Files.  

    To kick the series off, I’ve got a review of ASG’s Little Learner Pack.  When I was offered the opportunity to do this review, it was perfect timing, having just started planning this little series.  So let’s start with the nuts and bolts.  The Little Learner Pack comes to you from ASG. ASG is focused on supporting children’s education – it’s all they do. They’re typically known for their educational funds, however this pack is an example of the educational resources they provide.

    The pack contains the following:

    • The Cat in the Hat DVD
    • five hardcover children’s books from highly regarded education consultant, Michael E Bernard, featuring stories on how to get along, confidence, resilience, being organised and persistence
    • a membership to MY ASG, an ever-expanding source of articles and resources from parenting experts
    • discounted access to Parentingideas Club, an online parenting centre founded by Michael Grose – one of Australia’s leading parenting experts
    • discounts on CDs and DVDs distributed by Marcom Projects, ASG’s multimedia educational products division
    • discounted health insurance with MediGUARD Health Cover, provided by Australian Unity

     The pack is targeted to pre-school kids, up to about six years of age, and contains $180 worth of products.  I’m really impressed with this pack.  Of course, MS 3 loves the DVD – Dr Seuss has been a hit in our household ever since we started reading to her, when she was just a wee bubba.  I love that she loves Dr Seuss stories.  They are such fun to read.  But the books have also been a great hit with her.  I thought they may have been a little ‘old’ for her – they’re stories about things like getting along, being organised and persistence, but she loves them.  She loves the story about getting along, all about Sally learning that other people’s feelings matter, and she loves the one about Lucy and her dream to play the violin.  Given that she is starting kinder, I really think these books will be a lovely way to talk with her about these subjects.  The fact that she keeps suggesting them at bedtime is a pretty good indicator that they’re a-ok  🙂 

    Something that I think is going to be of great benefit is not only the MY ASG membership but the discount to the Parentingideas Club.  MY ASG provides articles and resources aimed at supporting children’s education.  The subjects covered span from toddler tantrums to teaching children about social media and safety.  The Parentingideas Club provides support, information and resources covering age appropriate parenting strategies.  I think I’ll be signing up for this ASAP!  I’m finding this current stage of development with Ms 3 to be “challenging”, and the Parentingideas Club covers parenting styles, birth order of children, sibling matters and a whole lot more.  It looks to be a fabulous resource, for parents with children of all ages. 

    If you think any of this sounds like it could be of use to you and your family, head on over to the ASG site here, where you can purchase ASG’s Little Learner Pack.  It costs $49.95 and has over $180 worth of material and resources.  

    As an added bonus, check out the competition ASG are running – you could win a share of $15,000 to put towards your child’s education.  Enter here.  

    If you decide to purchase ASG’s Little Learner Pack, or are already a MY ASG member, let me know!  I’d love to know what you think.  And I can’t wait to develop this little series further – let me know if you have any topics you think would be useful and I’ll see what I can do 🙂 

    ASG website:  http://www.asg.com.au 

    Linking up with Mamma Raj Says #reviewroundup