Friday, April 29, 2011

Chew Chew Train - product review

By Bec

For any train lover, this is a must have table addition.  I was truly amazed when I first saw the Chew Chew Train. What a cool idea. The Chew Chew train, starts as a train, and pulls apart to become a spoon, fork, cup, large plate, small plate and bowl.  The engine becomes the cup, the conductor's house becomes a bowl, the train's platform becomes 2 plates and the coupling rods become the fork and spoon.

It is recommended for kids aged 18 months +, and my 4.5 year old loved it, so would definitely last a few years. Hunter enjoyed making the train and pulling it apart, so it was a puzzle and dinner set in one! Cleaning was easy as it's dishwasher safe.

We find dinner time very stressful in our household.  Hunter often looks at food, saying he doesn't like it, without even trying it.  More often than not if we get him to try something he ends up liking the challenge is getting him to try it.  The Chew Chew Train made his dinner look exciting.  He tried something from each section, we made sure to spread it out and include something in each compartment, despite the fact most of it could have fit on the large plate.  This meant he ended up eating most of his meal, whilst having fun with the train components.  It certainly made dinner time a litte more fun for Hunter, which in turn made it easier for us.  Less stress all around!

Check out the Chew Chew Train.  At $36.30, the ease of dinner time makes it pay for itself in no time!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Motivating Mums

by Becky from
As a mother suffering severe Postnatal Depression I have found a passion for finding ways to shine a light on this illness and do my part in removing the stigma surrounding it.

In my own struggles I have been 'prescribed' Me Time by my doctor and so I have started a series of posts highlighting my attempts at fulfilling this important but difficult to manage task. Through my posts I hope to motivate other mum's out there to do what they can to look after themselves so that they can be the best mum they can be.

This month has seen a change in format, as I had originally aimed to post weekly about what I had done for myself - a bit of an over-reach given I have three children under 4.

Also this month, Little YoYo Styles has sponsored my April It's ALL About YOU Giveaway.

I would love for you guys to pop over, join in and enter. Help me spread the all important Mummy Me Time message!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Strawberry picking

By Bec

What a great family outing!!!  Before winter sets in (and whilst the strawberry farms are still open) we decided to go strawberry picking.  There is a lovely place in the Adelaide Hills: Beerenberg.  You may have heard of them, they make many things including jams, chutneys, sauces, dressings and jellys.  We paid a $3 entry fee (adults only, the kids were free.  You get one entry free back if you purchase 2kg of strawberries) and then got tubs.  It was a little walk to the strawberry fields but then the fun began as we got to pick our share.  You pay for the strawberries per kilogram.  Savannah ate more than she put in the tub, but we all had fun.  There nothing more satisfying than finding the biggest, juciest, best strawberries and picking them to eat.  These strawberries are so fresh and yummy.  Straight from the farm.  We got over 3kg worth of strawberries...and boy were they yum!

After our strawberry picking we went to a playground in the Hills for a picnic lunch and play.  It was the perfect way to round off our family outing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When did YOU last get a skin check?

by Becky from

I posted this on my blog yesterday and wanted to share it over here as well as the feedback I have been getting confirms my thoughts that it's something that's so easily over looked. But, it's something that is SO important.

I recently made an appointment for my first ever skin check after finding myself completely freaked out by skin cancer ads where they talk about a 26 year old dying.

Apart from the fact that I am a severe hypochondriac, what I saw hit home with me as I am about to turn 28 and I also have type 1 skin; which means I burn at the mere thought of going into the sun. I do not tan. I crisp. I blister. I have often looked like a lobster. And, unfortunately, I have not always been sun smart and looked after my pasty complexion.

So, I tentatively made my appointment and wished I hadn't.

When it rolled around this morning, I felt sick. My ability to imagine I have anything and everything is... amazing. I've been obsessively looking at my moles for weeks now; imagining that I was seeing differences.

As I sat in the waiting room, reading the consent form I could feel my skin prickle. I swear each and every mole, mark and lesion was burning.

I worried about just how invasive the scan would be, how naked I'd have to get and how uncomfortable the whole situation would be. I turned them around in my head; making them into excuses to leave.

Thankfully, before I was able to completely convince myself it was a good idea to leave it was my turn.

The process was quick and painless, the doctor was friendly and informative and I was given the all clear after a quick chastising about picking at mozzie bites.

Now, it seems so crazy to me to want to put off something so quick and easy that may just end up saving your life.

Have you had a skin check lately?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Colours, preservatives and ice-cream

By Bec

The best treat for a child.  The look on their faces when they have that first, and second, and third lick.  It's priceless!  We have been undertaking a no colours trial with my son to see the effect colours have on his behaviour, so have been eliminating all artificial and some natural colours.  When he wasn't having colours we were unsure as whether it was helping his behaviour.  But as soon as he went back on them his behavour was crazy, hypo, a little aggressive, so we concluded the colours were having some effect.  The natural colour to look out for is 160b, which is in (amongst other things), ice-cream, margarine and yoghurt.  So ice-cream has been off the menu for a while (and especially the rainbow flavoured ice-cream they ate below - choc full of colours!).  But you can't not have a special treat on a birthday, so the kids tucked into the rainbow icecream.   

Of course it meant he was up all night after all those colours, but the enjoyment on his face whilst eating was well worth it (for a every now and then treat).  And I've since found a couple of colour and preservative free ice-creams (Peters Original and Smooze) so the kids can have the treat without the erratic behaviour.

Does anyone have any experiences with colour free and preservative free diets?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kaboodle nappy wallet - product review

By Bec

Despite my daughter being 2 and (hopefully) toilet training soon I bought a Kaboodle nappy wallet a few months ago. I kept being drawn to it; in particular the design pictured above, so after numerous occasions of putting it into my shopping cart then closing the webpage, I finally took the plunge and bought it! At $24.95 it was a purchase I have not regretted!

I wanted a nappy wallet to keep all nappy changing items in one place. I had a nappy bag, but found I was searching for a nappy, then I needed to find wipes, sanitiser, nappy rash cream and as I use cloth nappies I needed to find my wet bag. They were all in my nappy bag somewhere, but somewhere being the operative word! Nothing was every together. I also figured as my daughter starts toilet training I will still need a change of undies, wipes, sanitiser, wet bag etc, and having it all together would make life so much easier.

I use cloth nappies and comfortably fit 1 nappy (can fit 2 but I find it makes the wallet a bit bulky then), change mat, wipes container, sanitiser, wet bag and nappy rash cream in the wallet. You could comfortably fit 2-3 disposable nappies. I keep spare nappies in my larger nappy bag, and replace into the wallet when I use one from there. The wallet makes nappy changes a breeze when out and about. I just grab the wallet and head to the change room without having to lug my whole bag, and I have everything I need. Often if I'm just heading out for a short trip, e.g. trip to the local park or grocery shopping I will just take the nappy wallet instead of the whole bag. The wallet has an elastic wrist strap so you can carry it around your wrist to have your hands free.

Check out the Kaboodle Nappy wallet for yourself.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pocket money

By Bec

It's an age old what age should we give our kids pocket money?  How much is appropriate and should it be tied to chores?

I've been battling through these questions for a little while.  Having a son who wants a new toy everytime we go to the shops my Mum kept suggesting that he needed his own money so give him some jobs.

So I thought about this, what is the right amount of pocket money for a 4 year old?  I had heard an appropriate amount is a dollar per age, therefore $4 for my 4 year old.

Okay, but what about linking it to chores.  The yes team say, it's good for them to learn responsibility and that we have to work for our money.  The no team say, as part of a family there are jobs that kids should just do and not expect compensation, therefore their pocket money is not linked. I joined the yes team.

But my next thought was, what if he does half of his jobs and not the other?  Does he still get his money?

So our system was born.  Hunter has 7 jobs per day, and each job is worth 10c.  We have a chart and we tick off the job as he does it.  He can earn a maximum of $4.90 a week, but averages around $3-$3.50. 

I'm quite happy with this system.  We can prompt Hunter to do his chores but reminding him of those valuable ticks and when he wants something at the shops we remind him he needs to save for it.  Hunter was recently rewarded when he saved enough money to go on a shopping trip with Grandpa and purchase his much wanted Bakagun.

What do you think about pocket money for children?
His hard earned purchases!
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