• 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.  

  • AFL: Who do your kids support?
    Family,  Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly,  Parenting

    Family Feud – who do your kids barrack for?

    We’re well and truly into the pointy end of the footy season here in Melbourne.  Yep, September not only brings spring, but footy finals too.  We are definitely an AFL family, listening to most matches across the weekend and usually watching at least the Friday night match on the television, no matter who is playing.  And we’ve been club members since Ms 4 was about 1 1/2.  Which brings me to the question:  Which club?  Who do your kids barrack for?  As in, if you and your partner support different teams, whether it be AFL, rugby, netball, soccer or basketball, who do your kids support?

    AFL who do your kids support?  #afl #kangaroos #hawks

    Have you left it a clean slate, ready for them to choose when old enough?  Or have you and your partner chosen for them?  I’ve ‘surveyed’ a few friends to get a bit of an idea about this very important issue!  We’ve done the old, one for me one for you.  The Mister got to choose for the first born, because he seemed to care more, and second born was for me.  Because, we do not support the same teams.  Nope, The Mister is a Hawthorn man and I am North Melbourne.  When Mr 2 is old enough to work it out, he may have some resentment toward me………   😉

    So of the 5 or 6 families I asked, I really got a mix of responses.  One couple had a similar response as ours, although they aren’t too interested in the footy anymore.  Another told me that they were going to let their offspring choose for themselves, and had provided scarves in both teams in order to provide a balanced approach.  Although they had quickly removed the Essendon scarf placed in the cot by one grandmother, as and I quote “I ain’t having that shit go on in my house”  (Love it!)

    #AFL Who do your kids support?

    Another friend, and they don’t have kids at this point, advised that he isn’t a fan of the “one for mum and one for dad” approach and will respect any offspring’s decision, as long as it’s not to support Collingwood, or Hawthorn.  Another decided to start supporting his wife’s team.  He says because he just liked the song (he swapped to the Tigers, so fair enough.  I hasten to add this occurred some time before the Tige’s current good form!)

    And one friend told me how they had one for each, but complications had occurred after they had separated and since re-partnered.  The nature of the new relationships has meant that which ever parent the kids are with, one child is not barracking for the team that everyone else is.  It can be a passionate, emotion filled experience, following a sporting team, that’s for sure.  

    There are not many games left now, in this year’s AFL season, another round of finals next week and then the big one.  Which has, for the first time, bought a public holiday to the people of Victoria as well, thank you very much!  No matter who is in, we will be watching the big game and enjoying the atmosphere it brings to Melbourne – please, please, let there at least be one Victorian side in!!!  And there is a remote, vague chance that things could be tense here on the day – at this point, both Hawthorn and North Melbourne could still make it to the big game.  

    So now tell me – has the choosing of sporting teams been tricky for you?  Let me know!

     

  • 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! 

  • Coping with changes in parenting routine
    Family,  Parenting

    Hunker Down

    Popcorn and Movies

    This week, we’ve had to hunker down. The Mister has had to go overseas again this week for work, and the only way I can describe my coping process is: hunker down. Especially this week in Melbourne – until Thursday, it’s been cold and wet and grey. So we’ve been coping by watching movies with popcorn, some crazy dancing, baking and eating not so great food. Because at this point, when it’s me and the kids 24/7, and they don’t eat food at the best of times, it’s whatever’s easy. You want pasta with cheese? You got it. Seriously, I don’t know how my kids are growing and developing intelligence. I swear Mr 2 only eats white foods – oats, milk, pasta, cheese, bananas……

    Bunkering down.  Popcorn and movies.

    Thursday bought sunshine, and temperatures above 12 degrees. Yes! They’ve been in the backyard, and Ms 4 could play outside at kinder. So some of the crazy can be run out of their systems, and maybe tonight they will go to bed with less resistance – ha! Cheeky things know how to push it when there is only one person here!

    You may remember from this post, that my little ones luuuuurve to sneak into our bed at night. They’ve been better, but when it’s only me, I don’t have the energy to fight it once I’m asleep. So this week has seen lot’s of snuggles in the morning, and lots of edge of bed sleeping for me. For they surely cannot use the WHOLE EMPTY HALF of the bed that is free with The Mister away!!!! No, they must sleep attached to me at all times.

    Thankfully, he’ll be back on the weekend, and there are no more overseas trips planned for the year. How do you go when you’re normal parenting routine is thrown out of whack? Do you bunker down, or carry on as normal? Any tips, throw ’em at me!

    Linking up with With Some Grace for #FYBF – go find some more awesome blogs!

  • HomeHello Giveaway
    Giveaway,  Home,  Just For Fun

    HomeHello House Cleaning Giveaway!

    This giveaway is bought to you by HomeHello.  

    *THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED – THE WINNER IS AMY A!  CONGRATULATIONS, AN EMAIL IS HEADING YOUR WAY!*

    HomeHello Giveaway

    Right then people, it’s giveaway time!  In fact, it’s a HomeHello House Cleaning giveaway!  Now, I don’t know about you, but I often dream of the time when I might be able to pay for someone to clean the house.  Oh, to not have to clean the bathroom.  That would be so awesome!

    So when the good people at HomeHello contacted me to offer one of my readers a three hour house cleaning voucher, how could I say no?!  Have you heard of them?  They are Melbourne and Sydney metro based and have an awesome website where you can easily book and pay for their services.  The website lets you specify how many rooms you need done, extra cleaning required, and dates and times.  It also estimates how many hours you would require, depending on what you need done.  Too easy!  

    I know several friends who have started employing a house cleaner, and man, has it made things run smoother for them.  It helps them in terms of the house being clean, obvisously, but also takes away some of that stress the housework can cause.  You know, between you and your partner, the kids, the pets……  And gives them more time to do other stuff that needs doing.  

    So if you have been considering a cleaner, this could be your chance to try it out – three hours free!!  Like I said, they’re Melbourne and Sydney metro based, so unfortunately if you are outside that area, the prize can’t be used.  But refer some friends!  They might win and buy you a bottle of wine if they do!!*

    It’s easy – simply fill in the rafflecopter form below AND don’t forget to leave a blog post comment HERE.  On this page.  That is the only mandatory thing.  Comment telling us the messiest thing you’ve had to clean up in your house and The Mister will choose the one that he likes best (I will remove identifying info and then let him see the answers).

    *Please note, I have no control over your friends.  They may not buy you a bottle of wine for referring them to this giveaway.  

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Music Books and Hand Wash
    Family,  Health,  Home,  Parenting

    Music, Books & Hand Wash – small things change

    This post was bought to you by Dettol.

    Before you have kids, you ‘know’ things will change.  Work, money, some household roles.  Your body.  And you also ‘know’ that you won’t let some things change (bahahaha!).  We’ll still do the things we love to do, baby will fit in with us…..  And to some extent that’s true.  Like, for perhaps the first few months.  Then baby is not a newborn anymore.  Baby becomes a small human intent on making you focus solely on them at all times – for food, for nappy changes, for entertainment, for laughing, for cuddling.  So you know, mostly, it’s all good and pretty much why lots of people have kids.  It’s when they’re slightly older – preschool/toddler – that you realise how the small things have changed.  There are loads of things that have changed for me because of kids and below are just three:

    Music Books and Hand Wash

    Music.  Now I’m not talking about seeing live music.  Clearly that’s changed.  The last live show I saw was Hi 5.  Lord.  But even listening to it has changed.  I do it less, for one, mainly because I listen more to the ABC during the day now.  Because I don’t get to watch the news etc on the tv anymore.  For one, it’s the kids bed and bath time when it’s on and two, I don’t want them seeing it.  I can have the radio on and turn it off quickly if I need.  And also, when we put music on now, it’s with a lot of thought.  Music from the 90’s features a lot and earlier, and we pick stuff that we think the kids will enjoy – that they can jump around and rock out to.  Because they actually love doing that which is awesome, especially for The Mister.  He’s been in bands for most of his adolescent and adult life, so it’s good to see them enjoy music. 

    Music Books and Hand Wash

    Books.  I used to read and read and read!!!  And I do read blogs and new sites a lot but I used to read books.  Stories.  Things that took me to other places and times and gave me different views on things.  Now, books are read and re-read but aren’t quite the same.  Jessie, Iron Man and the Wonkey Donkey have taken over from Elizabeth, Frodo and Jo.  Which is quite lovely in one way, but something I’ve recently tried to change.  I’m so pleased the kids have always been interested in books and stories, but I need to make sure I keep reading too.  Even if it’s re-reading the one’s I love and throwing in a new one every now and then.  I’ve been trying to go to bed a half hour earlier to get some book time in.

    Music Books and Hand Wash

    Hand Wash.  I never used to buy hand wash.  I would have soap in the bathroom and that would be it.  Why would I a spend more on liquid soap, I thought.  Ha!!  Since having kids, the amount of time I have spent washing my hands must of quadrupled.  And that’s being conservative!  Multiple nappy changes a day, washing out said nappies (we use cloth), cleaning up after the kids, and all the normal reasons to wash hands.  It’s now an essential and since using the Dettol No Touch system I’m thoroughly converted.  I think I need one for the laundry as well as the one I have in the kitchen.  The laundry is where we store and wash nappies, feed animals and change kitty litter.  One in the laundry would be pretty handy actually.  I sometimes make my own – I recently worked out how to make the foaming hand wash which is great, but I think the No Touch system is really god for the kitchen – think washing hands after cutting raw chicken and think about what the pump on the hand wash must be covered in.  Yeah.  Nice.  

    So tell me, what are the small things that have changed since you had kids?  Is it something that surprised you or were you fully prepared for the change?

     

    Linking up with Mama Raj Says for #ReviewRoundUp & With Some Grace for #FYBF