I love Gobstopperz!!! (And I love giveaways!)

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When our babe had a dummy, we used to have ten… and yet every bedtime was a struggle to find ONE!!! Every few days, Daddy would venture under the cot and come up triumphant with a handful of the coloured plastics!

 

 

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Brooke started making Gobstopperz to stop babes (and mums!) losing their dummies. What a fab idea!!!!!! The blankets connect to buggy and car seat straps and then to the dummy (or other toy or teether) so they cant get lost/thrown away/fall and get dirty etc.

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m delighted to be able to give one away this week, with special thanks to Brooke and her gorgeous business Gobstopperz, which she runs as part of Stella Baby. I adore some of her creations (www.stellababy.co.nz) which includes kids clothes and accessories.

 

 

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To enter to win this gorgeous Gobstopperz with beautiful blue minky, simply enter here with Facebook: http://goo.gl/CYc3AA

 

Gobstopperz giveaway

Children’s Clothing Part 2: Second-Hand

Sara from Little Poppets knows how frustrating it is to find nice and affordable clothing for children, so she came up with a novel idea… and developed Little Poppets Preloved Clothing store – an online second-hand clothing boutique!

Combining second-hand shopping with online shopping is just pure genius!!!Good quality, excellent condition, amazing prices, easy to use – what’s not to love?!

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The website is delightful and easy to use! All clothing is listed by age group, its easy to add to shopping cart, to pay (paypal)  – the function is fantastic!

But what about the quality? Sara has a 5-step process to ensure clothing is in top-notch condition, so you know you are buying clothing that is in excellent condition with no rips, stains or excessive wear!

I used Little Poppets, selected a few gorgeous items from Maternity, Girls and Baby… and they arrived on the courier just two days later! Oh the excitement!! The items were in fantastic condition and the prices for them were amazing! For $48, I received 5 items – and every order over $30 is delivered for free – that is unbeatable!

The very exciting thing about this online store is that is forms a cycle – you can also sell your outgrown  clothing BACK to Little Poppets!!! Request a courier bag, fill it with your freshly washed, clean and good quality clothing. Your items will be listed, and when sold, you’ll get some $$$ (or store credit!).

Washing helps eliminate some of the nasty chemicals in clothing, not to mention buying second-hand is ‘reusing’ and thus reducing waste – so second-hand wardrobe shopping is great on the environment!

Investing in good quality clothing is also good for your wallet. Rather than spending $10 on a cheap top that you get 5 wears from before it becomes holey and stretched, spend $20 on a top that you get 20 wears out of (and even then still looks great! EVEN BETTER, buy the quality at second-hand prices and get even more value for your dollars!

 

My conclusion: Little Poppets preloved clothing store is a god-send for busy budget-stretched parents! You can quickly and easily order items of clothing and have it delivered, at such a fantastic price. You can then sell your items easily and either make a little cash or earn store credit to get more clothing! I’m in love!

 

http://www.littlepoppets.co.nz/

https://www.facebook.com/LittlePoppetsPrelovedClothing

 

 

Children’s Clothing Part 1: THE LOWDOWN

Clothing children can be a little bit of a mission.

In my experience, you can buy cheap clothing, but it doesn’t last or wear well and in fact can end up costing you more (usual ‘you get what you pay for’).

You can buy clothing at a mid-level range of $$, which sometimes lasts well and occasionally doesn’t, but its all pretty mainstream (your kid looks like every other kid on the playground).

You can opp-shop/garage sale and buy second-hand – you can come up trumps with some fab bargains but there is alot of doozy you have to search through!

Or you can fork out the big $$ for good quality clothing, which is not budget-friendly, or is a little frustrating when your children outgrow said expensive items quickly.

 

The more I am learning about clothing, the less happy I am. It appears that the ‘cheap’ clothing comes at quite a cost. The chemicals used in children’s clothing are insanely scary – (check out this!), not to mention the cheap labour/factory conditions in the manufacturing process. Factor in the environmental cost of shipping the clothing across the world, and it’s not a pretty environmental picture.

Not that expensive brands are exempt from any of this, of course! But if you have the money to spend, you may choose to put it towards organic manufacturers, makers of clothing that use natural fibres, or NZ made clothing.

 

So I’ve found a few options that I will be looking at seriously when next purchasing for my children’s wardrobes, and I’m going to share them with you this week!

 

 

 

Introducing: Imagination Doors

When the fairies come to play…. and goblins make magic…. and pixies leave special treats…

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Ooooh, the wonder of childhood – the amazing imaginations that allow children to believe in things that we cant see – because seeing is not always believing!!

I decided to inject a little magic into our home. We’d become caught into a bit of a negative space, as happens every now and then. I dont know about you, but occasionally we all feel a bit timag1ired and run down, mama and papa feel stressed, the kids might be a bit of colour or extra busy at school… and it feels like we’re all fighting, yelling and just ‘surviving’. Anyway, this happened at the end of this Summer and I was keen to bring fun back to our family.

I have had a desire for a fairy door for sometime! I have ‘liked’ Imagination doors on facebook (www.facebook.com/imaginationfairydoors) and one popped up that appealed to me!!!! It was one directed at the interests of our boys, though, so I requested a pixie door be made in softer colours to appeal to me (i’m a real pink lover!) and my daughter.

Imagination Doors makes most doors to order – so you tell them the colour, style, little token on the door etc… and this talented couple gets busy! You don’t pay until you have seen the amazing creation they have come up with!

Soooo…. one day these doors appeared into our house!! I used blu tack to attach them (I ran out of Command strips!). One is located above our front door, and the other is above an internal door (I had put them lower but I know my children have sticky fingers 😛 !!).
The kids, when they noticed, were buzzing with excitement! A few days later, ‘snow’ appeared around both doors. And they may or may not find lollipops attached to the doors tomorrow morning 🙂

I had initially hoped to use the doors to introduce rewards for special achievements (like the Principals Award one child received last week, or when a child masters a tricky spelling word, or a child makes their bed without being asked). But without a doubt, the concept of magic needs no prerequisite, no task or chore, no conditions…. and so I have abandoned that idea, and intend to invoke a little magic whenever we need a boost in our family… and sometimes it might just be at a celebration of achievement, because after all… those fairies are watching!!!

 

http://www.imaginationdoors.co.nz – (and http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/9143798/Fairy-doors-find-big-market)

http://www.estellarose.co.nz

http://felt.co.nz/search/all/fairy+door

 

 

 

Book Review: Keepsakes: Recipes, Mementos and Miscellany

Keepsakes: Recipes, Mementos and Miscellany by Frances Hansen 


“Keepsakes is unlike any other cookbook – it is a handmade, visual feast. Containing the well-loved recipes collected by Frances over time from family and friends, each spread is an artwork in itself. This is a highly personal scrapbook of memories, recipes and collected artifacts – with proven recipes that have been finessed over time and generations. This book is a study of collections; collected recipes and collected images – it takes the old and reworks them into something vibrant and new.”

 

 

I bought this book because it is exactly what I am trying to create myself personally, and when I saw it I was so pleased that my idea could work!! Also … what I had in mind for some of the Motherhood projects was similiar and so when I bought ‘Keepsakes’ it was inspiring.

The first thing you will notice is the hardcover, which is embossed and simply beautiful. But what will strike you are the gorgeous pages, thick yet soft, and with a gorgeous cut edge – very striking!
I personally didnt get excited about the recipes – Im not sure if thats because I have seen so many recipes now or if its because I was simply floored by the beauty of this book (I suspect the latter!). But there were a few souviners that bought back childhood memories and loads of room to paste in your own special family recipes.

I bought this as an item of beauty, a scrapbook. The recipes are really simple and I’m sure you will find a few to treasure and pass on! There are lots of family staples and baking.
I highly reccomend this book as a gift for a wedding, best friend, mother, special birthday etc. Or treat yourself!

Available from bookstores and online for $59.99.

This and Motherhood: In My Kitchen would be two recipe books to treasure, add your own family recipes and make these recipe books heirlooms for years to come!

Mum’s Pavlova:
1. Separate 4 eggs (make sure there is no yolk, and are at room temperature).
2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly add 1 cup castor sugar, 1 tblsp water, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp vinegar.
3. With a spatula, quickly pile mixture onto greased oven tray. Place in oven heated up to 150 degrees for one hour. Turn oven off and leave there to cool.
4. Decorate with whipped cream and fruit.

Review: Mumi and Bubi Solids Starter Kit

I have been coveting after the Mumi and Bubi Solids Starter Kit for a few years, and finally caved in and bought a set!

The set comes with two trays and two lids, and each tray holds 21 cubes. The set retails for $39.90 and can be bought from www.breastmates.co.nz

This set is mum-designed and made in New Zealand from plastic that is free from BPA, phthalates and PVC, making it very safe to use for baby food!

Even though we’re Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) in our house, I do like a stash of mashes for easy mealtimes if what we’re having isnt very baby friendly (not too often!) or baby is hungry before our dinner is ready (if we have visitors) or to add to what we’re having.
If you’re not BLW and doing the puree journey, you will find this kit very useful for making big batches of healthy baby food!

I started with potato, parsnip, beetroot and carrot, and then a big pot of ‘The Best Vege-Packed Mince Mixture Ever!’ from Motherhood: In My Kitchen recipe book!

The cubes are bigger than your average ice cube – approx 2 tablespoons – and pop out very easily, even when frozen!

I then froze peach slices and steamed broccoli (excellent fnger foods!). I love the way the cubes slide out of the tray!

The size of the cubes allow the food to defrost quickly too 🙂

Once the cubes are fit, the lids fit snugly on, protecting the food (and the freezer from spills!). The trays stack so well that I wanted to buy more trays!!! (Two trays together are 7.5cm high).

The set comes with an e-book with 27 recipes to get you started- perfect if you’re new to this game of starting solids! It mentions a lot of fruits and veges you may not have thought of giving to your baby (lychees, courgettes, beetroot etc).

Another fantastic use for the trays is for sauces. I often make apricot, apple and plum sauces by simmering the fruit pieces until soft and adding some herbs. I puree and freeze. I add these cubes to baby’s meals to add another fruit serving (think apricot with roast chicken, plum with roast beef!), and I use the apple sauce on everyone’s dinners!

The Mumi and Bubi Solids Starter Set is one of those items that really makes life easier. I have used regular ice cubes for baby food but this set wins hands down – consider it a small investment!!!!
You’re making baby food for over 6 months and this can really save time and mess.  

Reccomended: As a baby shower gift!