Stuck On You - Personalised Clothing Stamp and Bento Box

Little Miss and I were recently invited to review products from the brand Stuck On You and we were more than happy to test out their popular Personalised Clothing Name Stamp and Personalised Bento Box!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Selecting our Stuck On You Name Stamp was pretty straightforward and only took a minute to choose the stamp, pad and felt cover font & icon and felt cover style. The turnaround time for the creation of the stamp and shipping was pretty fast and in no time we were ready to school!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss and I haven't stopped stamping away her uniforms, casual clothes and every item of clothing since and we love it! It's very easy to use, it sticks on clothes very easily, still there after washing in the machine and the stamp is so damn cute on! 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It also took a minute to personalise our Stuck on You Bento Box and to choose a first name, a colour, a design and a font. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The finished product of our Personalised Bento Box was amazing and little Miss loves it and she has been showing it off at school ever since! How amazing is the colour and the personalised touch of little Miss' name - no more name stickers and the unicorn is so gorgeous!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 

We love our Stuck On You Bento Box, the 6 clever compartments with a name for each makes it easier especially for those early mornings making lunch boxes before coffee! The handy tray can be removed and is dishwasher proof (top rack only) and so easy to clean by hand otherwise. This lunch box is a decent size and will work for kids throughout primary school. The best thing is the bento box is PA-free and Phthalates-free and leak proof and the silicone seal covers the compartments separately so food doesn't mix and keeps fresh.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We were really happy with our Stuck On You products, our experience with the creation of our personalised products and shipping so we will be ordering little Mister's personalised stamp and bento box very soon!

To celebrate our happy experience, we are giving one lucky Busy City Kids reader the chance to WIN one Stuck On You personalised pack of 1 x personalised Bento Box and 1 x personalised Clothing Stamp Value Pack - both valued at $89.95 and valid until the 30th June 2018! To enter, you must be one of our email subscriber and send us the special code to busycitykids[@]gmail.com (remove the [ ] before sending) that we will be sharing in our upcoming special newsletter coming up this week. We will let you know when entries open and close via that email too! Good luck!   

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information on Stuck on You products, head to their website via our special affiliate link.. You don't pay extra but we get a small fee to help pay for our website hosting fees.

This post is in no way sponsored. Products were provided however our opinions are our very own. We do not endorse products we do not test, do not like or endorse organisations we do not believe in.

For more product reviews, head to our products reviews page.

10 Picture Books you'll love to gift this Christmas

We're continuing our Christmas gift guide ideas following our Top 10 All Time Kids Books post, posted this week. 

We love our picture books and even though these are easy to grab from the local library, there's something about owning your little picture book that makes reading it extra special. Throughout the years, we have come to have a nice little collection that we love to read out so we thought we'd put a list together of some favourites, some new and some old picture books that we think are always worth a read! Below are affiliate links for your convenience.

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Little ones will love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent - a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet?

This firm bestseller will be your little one's favourite. This simple lift-the-flap book has been a hit since it was first published in 1982 (I feel old ha!). We love this bright, simple yet fun book with bold drawings and catchy text! Little Mister goes 'wow' every time he turns the pages and finds a new animal!

To BUY Dear Zoo from Book Depository, head to this link.
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This colourful board book is for machine-mad little ones - from diggers and tractors, to cranes, bulldozers and more! With bold illustrations and fun, rhyming text, this sturdy board book is perfect for busy pre-schoolers. Children will love spotting all the details on each page and joining in with all the different sounds.

Both my son and daughter love this fun and colourful book and love making the sounds 'beep beep'.

To BUY Dig Dig Digging from Book Depository or other books in the Awesome Engines range, head to this link.
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This cute lift-the-flap book series is all about negotiating everyday problems with busy toddlers! In this board Tilly the Tiger is always on the go and needs a few reminders before heading to bed. It's fun to find out what Tilly is getting up to behind the flaps inside of going to bed.

We found this cute and sturdy book at the library years ago and we loved it so much we bought the other books in the collection! Slow Down, Sidney!, Don't Do That, Dexter! and Be Quiet, Bertha!
To BUY David Sim books from Book Depository, head to this link.
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This bestseller lift-the-flap book for little ones is filled with facts about dinosaurs. Little children can lift the flaps and peep inside to find out where dinosaurs lived, what they ate and what happened to them.

So cute and full of facts! I just realised there's Peep inside books for different places - I will need a loan for Santa at this rate ha! Peep inside the Zoo, Peep inside Night-time , Peep inside Animal Homes, Peep inside the Garden, the list goes on! Wow!
To BUY Peep inside Dinosaurs from Book Depository, head to this link.
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Here is the blue sheep, and here is the red sheep. Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep. But where is the green sheep?

You can't go wrong with this bestseller and even though we've read it a thousand times, we are still looking for the green sheep today!

To checkout this book or any of Mem Fox's books from Book Depository, head to this link.
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This cute bestselling and award-winning book is perfect for little ones. 'One, two Rudie Nudie, Rudie Nudie in the bath, ..' This cute and fun book captures the joy and energy of children with funny rhymes and simple illustrations. 

We love reading this book at bed time especially after a nice warm bath!

To BUY this book from Book Depository or other Emma Quay books, head to this link.
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Santa only comes once a year but the 'That's Not My..' books are enjoyed all year round! The best selling and award winning touchy feely and nicely illustrated series will have little ones touch a variety of textures which makes these books baby and pre-school favourite classics. 

The 50th title released this year was That's Not My Unicorn which is a sparkly, touchy-feely book featuring a magical unicorn to talk about, and a little white mouse to spot on every page is on our xmas list! But there's so many more like That's Not My Puppy, That's Not My Kitten, That’s Not My Mermaid ...
To BUY this book or other 'That's Not My ..' books from Book Depository, head to this link.
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This bold and bright book for babies contains beautifully designed high-contrast images that are easy for babies to focus on and touchy-feely patches to bring the pictures to life. Each picture contains a tactile element to help very young children develop important sensory skills. The padded 'soft touch' hardback format is perfect for sharing or can be propped up for babies to see by themselves.

My little ones are obsessed with touchy-feely books and this book always comes along with us in the car, pram or in bed - very cute! I see there's more in the range, how cute!

To BUY this book or other Baby's Very First' books from Book Depository, head to this link.
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Would you like to meet Noni? She's the friendliest pony. She lives on a farm overlooking the sea and loves to play with her best friends Dave Dog and Coco the Cat.

This cute Australian favourite follows on from Alison Lester's other books, Noni the Pony goes to the Beach, Magic Beach, Imagine, My Farm and Are we there yet? and more!
To BUY this book from Book Depository or checkout other Alison Lester books, head to this link.
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Touch a rabbit, smell flowers, look in a mirror, and participate in other activities!

Makes the cutest nursery present!

To BUY Pat the Bunny from Book Depository, head to this link.

This post is not sponsored in any way. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. This post does however contain affiliate links to Book Depository. You don’t pay any extra however we earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs to help us continue providing parents with fun event and product ideas. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

Our Top 10 All Time Kids Books for Under 5's to inspire your Christmas 2017 list!

Yep Christmas will be there before you know it! There are 50 days before Christmas and I'm determined to beat this Christmas and be somewhat organised! I'm not into buying endless gifts for kids, I think kids these days (mine included) have endless toys that they never seem to play with and prefer to dismantle the couch for entertainment instead!

My daughter and now my son love their books so although it may sound boring for some, books are always on my hit list! Picking books which they will love and enjoy over and over again is tricky business which is why I thought it would be helpful to make a top 10 list of best seller kids books that we love and pick up over and over again! Can you find your favourite(s) in the list? Below are affiliate links for your convenience.

1. Oi Frog! by Kes Gray

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Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gofers sit on sofas, but Frog does not want to sit on a log! Jam-packed with animals and silliness, this original rhyming story will have you and your child laughing along every page! We received this book from a friend as a Christmas present last year and have read it every since!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

2. What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

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"Oink!" said the cats ...With all the MOOing and HISSing and BAAAing and CLUCKing, the farmyard is full of noise! We love this cute book and the glitter version which invites you to find the glittery ladybird on every page is a cute bonus! You can't go wrong with Julia Donaldson books!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

3. You Must Bring a Hat by Kate Hindley

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A little boy finds out that he must bring a hat to attend a friend’s party and that’s the easiest requirement! What he finds out next is truly comical. This great book will have your little ones laughing at the funny options that this book comes up with!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

4. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

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Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letter all saying the same thing: we quit! Blue needs a break from colouring in all that water, pink just wants to be used, green is happy, orange and yellow are no longer speaking to each other and so on! What is Duncan to do. This number one NY Times best seller has an imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way. We love the fun and colourful illustrations with its fun and clever storyline. You won’t want to put the book down!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

5. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

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The witch and her cat are happily flying on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blow the witch’s hat, then her bow and her wand! Luckily three helpful animals find the missing items and want a ride on the broomstick. This magical story turned best seller, theatre production and movie will have the little ones enjoy the fun of rhymes along with beautiful illustrations. It’s only a favourite in our house and we love gifting the story too!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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A little caterpillar with eyes bigger than its belly eats his way through a week’s worth of food, an indulgent Saturday, healthy Sunday to finish up as something magical! This Eric Clare best seller is a true classic that everyone should have at home. We love the colourful collage illustrations and the deceptively simple but hopeful story of this timeless book.

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

7. Possum Magic by Mem Fox

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Grandma Poss makes bush magic. And her best trick of all is making Hush invisible for Hush to be safe from snakes. But one day Hush wants to be visible again but Grandma Poss can’t find the right magic. This classic Aussie story will have the two possums go on a culinary tour of Australian cities to find the magic that will make Hush visible again.

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

8. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

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When a bus driver takes a break, he gives the reader just one instruction ‘Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” but boy, that pigeon tries every trick in the book to get in that driving seat; he whines, wheedles, fibs and flatters. This hilarious picture book perfectly captures a toddler’s temper tantrum through speech bubbles and cute illustrations. 

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

9. We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

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Follow and join a family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear with a surprise awaiting them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest! Brave hunters and bear lovers will love this catchy book and chant aloud to this great little story!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

10. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

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Little Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. But he can reach farther and hop higher, loves him right up to the moon and more! This beautiful story will have you and your little one snuggle and measure how much you love each other for years to come!

To BUY this book via Book Depository, head to this link.

This post is not sponsored in any way. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. This post does however contain affiliate links to Book Depository. You don’t pay any extra however we earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs to help us continue providing parents with fun event and product ideas. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

Hectic Electric: How to Hypnotise a Droid - Review

Successful entrepreneur Josh Lefers surprised everyone when he launched his first book for children: How to Hypnotise a Droid last month. And we're pleased to say it's hectic, epic and electric and we love it!

Little Miss was pretty excited when we received the book for review as she started borrowing chapter books at the library recently thanks to the Billie B Brown chapter books series by Sally Rippin. Sally Rippin who funnily enough helped launch How to Hypnotise a Droid at the Gallery in the CBD! 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This hilarious book is the first in the Hectic Electric series written by Joshie Lefers, illustrated by Wayne Bryant and published by Hardie Grant Egmont.

Little Miss can't read as yet as she just turned 5 so we read the story to her at bedtime over several nights. She loved the funny story and drawings throughout. She may have not grasped some of the witty and quirky comments in the book but still loved it to the point that I now have to read it to her again very soon and she won't let her cousin borrow it!

How to Hypnotise a Droid is cleverly written with wit and humour, where every sentence and illustration has been well thought out. We love the way the illustrations and the fun text makes it a fun book to read.  

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We won't give the story away as kids aged 6+ will enjoy this fun, high tech and hilarious adventure of one very clever and cheeky Joshie Hectic. Joshie loves giving everyone a nickname and is a bit of a conspiracy theorist in our mind but we love him anyway!

He also loves coming up with missions to scare off babysitters that his mad scientist mum keeps organising. But Joshie may have met his match when a new kind of babysitter - a droid, comes along!

We loved How to Hypnotise a Droid, it made us laugh, giggle as we kept wondering what was going to happen next in this fun adventure! We can't wait to read the next instalment of Hectic Electric!  

 Photo credit: @ busycitykids

Photo credit: @ busycitykids

> To BUY this book, head to this link.

To read more of our product and book reviews, head to our dedicated page. 

For more ideas on what to do with your little ones, head to our blog for lots of ideas of places, events, programs and activities you can attend.

This review is not sponsored in any way however a copy of this book was provided to us for review. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. This post contains some affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra and I earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

Custom Shoes by Bobux

Little Miss likes to write on her shoes from time to time so when we were asked to test out the limited edition Custom Shoes by Bobux - it was an easy choice and a cute surprise for her!
 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

In my mind, every child likes to be individual and these Custom kicks helps them show their creativity more than once either by colouring in the characters on the shoes in their favourite colour(s) or/and writing their name or anything they like on them really! The best part - the special pens that come with the shoes wash off!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Custom shoes by Bobux are only available in the Kid+ range sizes. They are unisex, so comfortable and you can change the design by simply wiping off the colour off the shoe with water and start again! 

They are made with high quality coated leather upper, have a breathable cotton lining and Velcro strap fastening which allows for greater adjustability.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The fun character illustration designed by Bobux’s own Audi Siregar along with your child's unique touch and colour choices will make these shoes one of a kind!

Kids will love these unique and limited edition shoes - we sure liked them! Little Miss cannot wait to show her friends HER unique new shoes and write all over them and write her name in bold ha!

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The Custom Shoes by Bobux are limited editions - so be quick to grab your kids a pair before stock runs out! For more information, head to their website.
If you love the look of these cool Bobux shoes, follow Bobux on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated on their upcoming Spring/Summer Season launch. We can't wait to see what they have instore!
 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To celebrate these awesome one of a kind limited edition kicks, we are giving away ONE pair of Custom Shoes valued at $105 RRP to one of our lucky subscribers!! Note: The shoes are only available in Kid+ sizes sizes 27 to 33. To enter, be sure to be subscribed to our newsletter. If you haven't yet, you can signup here. And jump to the widget below to enter! Good luck!

Conditions: Only NSW or VIC residents can enter this giveaway. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 2nd of August at 5 PM AEST. If we don't hear from the winner within 24 hours, the prize will be redrawn. This giveaway is not sponsored and not affiliated with Facebook or Instagram.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To read more of our product reviews, head to our dedicated page. 

For more ideas on what to do with your little ones, head to our blog for lots of ideas of places, events, programs and activities you can attend.

Mustela Baby Skincare Range - Review

I was recently asked to review the NEW Mustela baby skincare range and jumped at the idea. I had never tried their products before however I remembered seeing the brand in France on our recent trip and funnily enough brought some Mustela products back for my French friend here in Sydney!

Mustela was founded in France 60 years ago and over the years has grown a great following and has now become the number 1 baby dermo-cosmestic brand in Europe. Mustela found that a baby's skin which seems beautiful and soft is actually very fragile between the age of 0 to 2 years old. 

Mustela as a result has now taken their range to the next level with their new generation of hygiene and skincare products adapted to all skin types from birth on with a 'normal skin', 'dry skin' and 'eczema-prone skin' care and all aimed at protecting a child's fragile skin.

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If you have been following the blog for a while, you'd know by now that I am a firm believer in only using natural products on my children and more importantly products that are free from nasty chemicals. Mustela's new baby skin care range is just that - natural and free from paraben, phthalate and phenoxyethanol. I love that it has the natural ingredient of Avocado Perseose, which has been designed to reinforce the skin barrier to preserve its richness. I just love the Avocado smell on the products!

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At the time of the review, we spent the weekend in Melbourne so I took a few essential Mustela products with us to try - Hydra Bébé Facial Cream, 2-in-1 Cleansing Gel and the Vitamin Barrier Cream for nappy changes and nappy rash.

Mustela Hydra Bébé Facial Cream is light, non-greasy and within one application turned the skin very soft. I tried it on both little Miss and little Mister and they both didn't mind me applying the cream on them which surprises me as they can't stand when I put sunscreen on them. I touched their skin afterwards and it felt like they were little bubs again with that ever soft skin. 

Coincidentally and unlucky for me, Little Mister had a crazy nappy one afternoon we were there so we tried the Mustela 2-in-1 Cleansing Gel to rinse him off. It has a pearl-like consistency and is very soft when you apply it to the skin whether it be in the shower or as a quick sponge bath. I also used as a bath gel and you can too if like me you don't want to bring more than an already 34 kgs suitcase with you (for a 4 day trip to Melbourne)! Don't tell the kids but I have now claimed this Mustela 2-in-1 Cleansing Gel as my own, that avocado smell is divine for my morning shower now!

The Mustela Nappy Change Vitamin Barrier Cream was the perfect thing after the crazy nappy incident as it helped calm the redness on little Mister's sore bum.

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A great shower combo can be the Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel and the Mustela Newborn Foam Shampoo. The Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel is great to use in the shower or in the bath for gently cleansing your little one's body or hair. It also has that pearl-like effect on the gel and smells great for that quick yet moisturising clean.

Mustela Newborn Foam Shampoo is easy to apply to your little one's hair from birth and can be used on older kids too to avoid a quarter of a shampoo bottle on your kid's hair when you're busy with their sibling! (As little Miss experienced when she decided to pour her shampoo on herself!). The mousse is easy to apply and spread all over the hair and easy to rinse off too in a few goes. It didn't cause any irritation to little Mister's hair or eyes and gave him soft hair afterwards. It also helps prevent and remove cradle cap. Little Mister still has a bit of cradle cap so we will have to apply the shampoo a few more times to see if we can remove what's left.

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We also tried the Mustela Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath which comes out blue but produces nice white bubbles. It smelt great and left the kids' skin soft afterwards too. It made lots of bubbles and the kids had a great time in the bath so that's always a great indicator of a baby/kid's product.

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Follow up your child's bath with the Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion which is a light and non greasy body lotion which is super easy to spread on bub after the bath to protect their gentle skin and can be used for a cute little massage on them too.

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Last but not least, we tried the Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water which is a super light, non greasy, non sticky. This no rinse cleansing water is designed to clean your baby's face, eyes and nappy area. It's great to use on your little one's nappy area if you are trying a different alternative to baby wipes. It's easy to apply - just squirt some cleansing water on a cotton pad and remove away! And the best thing is you don't need to rinse. I now use it as an alternative to hand sanitizers too.

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You can find the whole Mustela range of products at Chemist Warehouse, Babies "R" Us, Amcal, Chemmart Terry White, Priceline and all good pharmacies. Prices range from $7.95 - $34.95 RRP. 

Babies each have different types of skin with different needs so make sure you choose the right skin care for your baby's skin type. Choose from either 'normal skin', 'dry skin' or 'eczema-prone skin'. 

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This post is not sponsored however products were provided to us for this review. 

To read more of our product reviews, head to our dedicated page.

For more information on Mustela, head to their webpage.

Bobux Kid+ Range 2017 - Our review of the new range

Little Miss and I missed out on the recent launch of Bobux's NEW Kid+ range as her little brother was unwell but it didn't stop us from testing her new kicks in climbing conditions!
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As some of you may know, we fell in love with the Bobux brand a year ago and we haven't stopped wearing them since. We have a nice collection that we keep adding to every 3 to 6 months and with little Mister needing non-pink coloured shoes, it keeps adding up!

Bobux as always listens to its customers and created the new Kid+ range for kids 5 years and older which ranges from sizes 27 to 33. They must have heard me ask about bigger sizes at last year's event as I was worried what little Miss was going to wear once she'd outgrown the current sizes! Woohoo, I don't have to worry for a few years now! 

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As the shoe sizes increase, so does the styles which range from hi-tops to desert boots, sneakers, sandals and lots more! Little Miss is a sneakers girl so we were happy to continue with that style.

She loves her new pink sneakers and has already had envious looks in the playground and shown them off climbing over everything and anything and giving me a heart attack! Mind you I am not too worried as the soles have great grip on them and the shoe itself is very flexible and super light so she can climb over everything and proved so when we tested these kicks. These shoes are great for climbing, running, jumping, kicking and all sorts of activities for active kids like little Miss. We love them, they are great quality and look super fine!

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To checkout the full Kid+ range, head to the Bobux website via this link.

Petit Kiddo - French Baby Bum Cleanser - 3 in 1 Liniment - Review

Before the holidays, I came across Petit Kiddo. Being French and always happy to help mums in business, I asked to review the product on my little man.

Petit Kiddo is a Baby Bum Cleanser based on a traditional French recipe made in Australia by two Bondi based French mums of 6 children Morgan and Canelle. It is a natural alternative to industrial wipes which is made from natural ingredients and organic olive oil and is essentially a 3 in 1 product as it cleanses, moisturises and helps prevent nappy rash. 

Morgan and Canelle believe that a 250ml bottle of Petit Kiddo allows for about 50 to 70 changes in comparison to using 2 to 3 packs of 60 wipes and if you use washable clothes or wipes, you can save more.

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I found it crazy easy to use! All I had to do was shake the tube, squirt a little amount of the cleanser on a washable wipe (but you can use a cotton pad or washcloth), clean the nappy area and put a new nappy on - that's it! 

I tried Petit Kiddo on little Mister and found that the cleanser was smooth on his little bum, it had a great natural scent and it left a nice moisturised coating on the skin after use. It's nice to know that the product is paraben free, mineral oil free, petrochemical free, fragrance free, BPA free, cruelty free and Vegan. 

Coincidentally when I used Petit Kiddo, little Mister had a crazy nappy rash from too much pumpkin, poor thing was getting upset when I changed him as his bum was red raw from using so many wipes on him to clean the crazy nappies! I tried the cleanser on him that day and found that he didn't get upset as I barely touched his bum by gently wiping the product on his bum with the washable wipe and found that the cleanser helped settle his rash. 

We love it and will use it again! Merci!

I found this video on their website which demonstrates how easy it is to use Petit Kiddo. I couldn't have done a better job!

For more information about Petit Kiddo, head to their website. If you're in Sydney, head to their social media pages to find out which market they are attending next.

This post is not sponsored however a product sample was provided to us for this review. 

Back to School & Back to Work with Smash's 2017 Range

Holidays done for some, more time for others and more time to choose a cool lunchbox before school or work starts again!

Smash's new Kids Insulated Lunch Gear and Adult Insulated Lunch Gear for 2017 is hitting the shelves across major retailers across Australia now but before you run out the door, checkout some of the products we looked at these holidays.

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We were big fans of the Smash Bento 4 Piece Lunch Kit with a Smash Duo Bento Lunchbox, 450ml BPA Free Drink Bottle, Novelty Sandwich Cutter and a Printed Name Sticker Sheet. We also loved the gorgeous Unicorn Insulated Tote, which was snatched pretty quickly! Both perfect for back to school gear and available at Big W.

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We love the Paint Tent Adult Insulated Lunch Gear and Black Celeb Drink Bottle which would look great with a suit, little black dress or anything really - so stylish! Available at Coles and Big W respectively. 

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Dads also need a great lunch box but something low key and practical is best. We like the Insulated Black / Grey Cold Box. Don't mind the pink ice sheet and Snack Orb (aka Pokemon ball as little Miss calls it) - pink never killed anyone ha! Little Miss' dad is in love with his new Dinner at Work Bowl which has an auto release steam button. He also loves the bowl size which is great for portion control and the tight closing grips are fantastic to avoid any leakage. He also loves his new Navy Stainless Steel drink bottle - bye bye plastic bottle. The lunch box, Dinner at Work Bowl and Snack Orb both available at Coles and drink bottle available at Target respectively.

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Last but not least, if like me you are opting for library trips, zoo trips and venturing about town and catching with friends for picnics, we have a great combo. The quality insulated Spot Tote Lunch Bag with matching Spot Drink Bottle is great for outings with our favourite thing at the moment the Snack Orb (featured in pink and orange) and the usual suspects Nude Food Movers Snack Tubes (featured in purple). Both available at Big W.

All lunch boxes & bags featured in this post have the NEW Blue IQ technology which is an antibacterial lining which stops the growth of uncontrolled bacteria, mould and mildew and its wipe-clean formula helps reduce smells and stains and helps your lunchbox last longer.

To check Smash's full range of Back to School and Back to Work gear for 2017 - head to their catalogue, so many great products available! Smash products area available at Big W, Coles, Woolworths, Target, Officeworks, AusPost and Kmart.

Playskool Heroes Transformers and Star Wars Toy Review

We recently received some cool toys from Hasbro's Playskool Heroes range and although little Mister is a bit young for these toys - little Miss was more than happy to test them out - who said boys toys aren't for girls! 

The Playskool Heroes range is especially designed for little hands and is all about cool characters like Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk, Star Wars and Transformers. Perfect for little ones this Christmas.

We received Transformers Rescue Bots and Star Wars Galactic Heroes and as soon as they arrived, they were ripped out of their packaging and tested immediately!  

Based on the old school Transformers, kids can transform their favourite robot warrior back and forth and go on adventures with them! 

Little Miss didn't need instructions to work out how to transform each bot from robot to car (and back) and liked playing with them (although her little brother has now taken them)!

We also received a few famous characters from the Star Wars Galactic Heroes collection. To be expected, R2-D2 and C-3PO were the true favourite gang!

Perfect size for little Miss' hands or little Mister who has grabbed them (thrown them) a few times without any trouble and without us worrying for small parts as most (except for the Storm Trooper's shield) are attached to the figurine. They are also great for role playing and some old school galactic arguments!

And of course as every toy in the house seems to end up - they are great for mixing up and extending the fun!

We had a great time reviewing toys from the Playskool Heroes range and recommend them for little hands (boys or girls) and super heroes' fans.

Star Wars figurines start at $9.99 and Transformers start at $19.99. For more information regarding Hasbro or the Playskool Heroes range, head to their website.

This post is in no way sponsored however products were provided to complete this review.

For more product reviews, head to our product reviews on the blog.

Magic Manly Books Review

Little Miss and I recently reviewed books from the Magic Manly book series. Written by Sarah Lou and illustrated by Jarrod Blandthorn, the books are locally written, illustrated and printed.

The books are a series of fun stories for young kids with important life lessons about friendship, self-esteem, respect and acceptance and the best thing of all - they are set in beautiful Manly, a favourite beach of ours!

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Writer Sarah Lou has always been passionate about animals and beautiful Manly. Through friendly Australian characters, colourful drawings and fun stories, she hopes to inspire children to be kind to animals, marine life and to each other. Sarah's three books so far are Davy's Big Adventure, The Magical Secret Spot and Elvis Gets New Shoes.

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The first book - Davy's Big Adventure introduces Davy the bottlenose dolphin. After leaving his dolphin pod to create his own, Davy explores the seas and meets two new friends Leroy the upside down owl and Elvis the little penguin. This story touched on courage, resilience and being kind to others. 

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The second book - Magical Secret Spot continues on with the story and explores how Davy, Leroy and Elvis find a magical spot to live called Magic Manly and how they meet new friend Jonesy the crow, Selwyn the seagull and new friends Bruce, Joe and Nicole from the Ocean Dreaming cruise. This story touched on being open to meeting new friends, being polite and respecting one another.

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The third book - Elvis Gets New Shoes sees Davy and his friends enjoying Magic Manly and its surroundings. After a meeting with new friend Barry the bull shark, Elvis looses his shoes so asks his friends from the Ocean Dreaming cruise to give him a helping hand to find a new pair. This story touched on jealousy, curiosity and true friendships.

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The story of Elvis' shoes is actually based on a true story. Elvis was a real penguin who lived in Christchurch New Zealand, Sarah Lou (the author)'s hometown. This little penguin inspired Sarah to write Magic Manly. 

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We love the book format, it has large text which is great for kids who are learning to read and for little ones to see some familiar letters and words and its cute and colourful illustrations are great to keep children interested while you read them a story.

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Little Miss loved the Magic Manly books, she liked the large illustrations and listening to the cute stories. She did think the names of the animals were very funny and her favourite character was Elvis the penguin as he is very cute. We love the Magic Manly books and look forward to reading some new adventures very soon! 

For more information or to buy any of the Magic Manly books, head to their website. Or if you are visiting Manly, pop in at Humphrey's Bookshop located at The Corso in Manly.

Checkout more book reviews here.

This review is not sponsored in any way however a copy of this book series was provided to us for review. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses or products we believe in.

50 years of Twister!

Twister is celebrating its 50th birthday! It was first invented in 1964 and was called King's Footsie (I am glad the name changed ha!). When it first came out, the game could only be played using your feet. After some rejection and redesign, the coloured dots on the mat were changed and players could use their hands to play the game which was renamed to Pretzel and then Twister.

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But after an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1966 where celebrities were challenged with a game of Twister, it became an overnight sensation and by 1967 the game had sold over 3 million copies!

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To play the game of Twister, the player needs to spin the board which will indicate to either move a hand or a foot on a colour. The trick is to keep your hands and feet on the mat without your knees or elbows touching the mat and without falling over otherwise you're out! The last player standing wins the game!

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Twister created two new moves - Spinner’s Choice and Air. With Spinner’s Choice, the spinner makes up a move for the other player to do. If the spinner lands on Air, the player must put a hand or foot up in the air! To help players with some ideas of moves to use when its Spinner's Choice, the board has some suggestions on what you could do (thank goodness)!

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What better way to celebrate then to play Twister! Little Miss and her little cousins were very excited to try out the new version of the game and played several rounds (but they might need to put their glasses on next time ha!). Little Miss was pretty happy to spin Air and put her hand up too! I can see us playing this new game this summer on the balcony and have a parents only game too - so much fun!

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Twister is recommended to be played by 2 players or more and from the age of 6 and over. Little Miss is 4 but loved played the game with her older cousins. The game is available at major retailers nationwide at $39.99. To read more about the Twister game, head to their website. If you're playing Twister this weekend to celebrate its 50th birthday, don't forget to use the hashtag #twister50 - have fun!

This review is not sponsored in any way, any comments are our own. We do not endorse products we do not like or believe in.

Toby the Teddy - Is This An Emergency? Ambulance - Review

Little Miss and I recently reviewed the book 'Is This An Emergency? Ambulance' by Catherine Buckley and Amelia Harrison from The Adventures of Toby the Teddy. We are always looking out for educational books which can help children, parents and teachers solve everyday issues - this book is a great example!

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The Toby the Teddy - Is This An Emergency? Ambulance book came about in November 2015 when Catherine was completing her Master of Primary Teaching and Amelia her Bachelor of Paramedicine. Catherine met a prep student during placement who would dial 000 on any phone he could get his hands on. The student did not understand the consequences of his actions so Catherine in consultation with Amelia decided to write a lesson plan to help students but couldn't find suitable books so they both decided to write their own with the help of illustrator Emma Stuart. 

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The beautifully illustrated large picture book hardback takes children through a number of scenes where Toby the Teddy is distressed and worried by something that has happened to him, his friends or people in his family. At the end of each scene, children are asked 'Is this an emergency?'. By repetition and problem solving, children will slowly understand and identify what is or isn't an emergency. They will also understand why some scenarios are not an emergency from an explanation. They will also grasp what to do in the event of an emergency, who to call and what to say.

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Little Miss was straight away drawn by the beautiful illustrations and understood the concept of thinking about an emergency very quickly after a few scenarios.

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The book is well written which is easy for kids to understand along with the gorgeous illustrations. It also includes notes for parents, carers and teachers to help them continue the dialogue with children.

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It also talks about getting an adult to dial 000 in the case of an emergency or for children to dial themselves. I tried to show little Miss how to dial on my iPhone after we read the book, she was keen but I think I will show her again after a few more reads to make sure she fully grasps the concept before showing her again. 

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In the time that little Miss and I reviewed this book, I found out that her teachers borrowed a copy of 'Toby the Teddy - Is This An Emergency?' from the school library and has been reading it to the children which I thought was quite the coincidence as I was looking forward to sharing my review with them! 

Her teachers have also had discussions with the children about their home address and where they live. They have been learning their address and learning the number(s) on their letterbox/door, their street number name and their suburb as well as their parents' mobile number which are all great for safety reasons and in the case of an emergency call.

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It can be tricky to make kids at ease with accidents and in some cases emergencies without scaring them and at the same time encourage them to take action if needed. This book successfully does that and will hopefully help reduce the number of hoax/prank calls to 000. Little Miss loves this book, she understood the scenarios after a few reads and we will keep reading it regularly to reinforce this important skill. 

> To BUY the book, head to this link.

> For more book reviews, head here.

> For more product reviews, head here.

This review is not sponsored in any way however a copy of this book was provided to us for review. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. This post contains some affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra and I earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

thankyou Baby Care Range - Review

thankyou recently launched their baby range of nappies and baby care. I am always on the hunt for baby products with no nasties so I was intrigued to try thankyou's new baby care range. thankyou kindly sent us a gorgeous package to try their products a month ago. We have been slow writing this review yes (sorry) but we've had plenty of time trying out the products during our daily routine of a millions nappy changes for little Mister and bath time for both kids :)
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For those of you who don't know thankyou, they are a social enterprise who believe that we can end global poverty in this lifetime, together. The enterprise was started in 2008 in response to the World Water Crisis. Co-founder Daniel Flynn with the help of a group of friends in Melbourne turned an idea to launch a line of bottled water that would fund water projects overseas into a reality and the rest is history! thankyou now has over 40 products in 5000 outlets in Australia and the best thing is 100% of the profits fund safe water, food, hygiene and sanitation projects across the worldIn August this year, thankyou launched their nappy and baby care range with 100% of the profits going to child and maternal health programs around the world to help and empower families in need.

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The thankyou baby care range is huge and we were happy to trial them all and have them around the house, such gorgeous designs! The range has a baby bath wash, baby bath milk, baby shampoo, baby lotion, baby ointment, baby nappy balm, mums and bubs massage oil and baby wipes. The best thing about these products - they are dermatologically tested, pH balanced and free from nasties like SLS, SLES, EDTA and parabens and help families overseas in need - two awesome reasons why we love them. I am glad the antibacterial grapefruit hand sanitiser was thrown in there too - great to disinfect after those crazy nappies. 

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First up, the thankyou baby bath wash - soap free and no nasties! It has a light scent, leaves the little ones' skin nice and soft and the best thing of all and my little ones' favourite - makes lots of bubbles! I also like that it leaves the bath grime free too. 

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We also tried the thankyou baby bath milk, again a light fragrance and soft gentle cleanser but little Miss wasn't a fan because she didn't get bubbles. Little Mister and I did the rest of the testing and enjoyed it. We like the thankyou baby lotion, it's nice and light, non greasy, easy to apply and nice for those little patches on dry skin of bub's legs and behind the knees. 

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I didn't realise it at first but the thankyou baby ointment and thankyou baby nappy balm work together to help reduce nappy rash. Little Mister doesn't often get nappy rash but at the time we were trying these products, I had been trying a new dessert for him - green kiwi fruit. Not a great idea of mine as green kiwi is very sour and acidic. I didn't think about it at the time as I had fed him yellow kiwi fruit in the past but green kiwi did not agree with him and poor thing had crazy nappy rash as a result.

After applying the nappy balm for a day, I noticed some improvements. The nappy balm is non greasy, nice and thick to cover bub's bottom. After that I tried the baby ointment. The ointment creates a barrier to help prevent nappy rashes or dry skin patches, it's great to use before the balm to prevent nappy rash. It feels like petroleum jelly without the petrochemicals - very clever! Both products worked well which I was happy with. 

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Next up, one of our favourite products from the whole range - the thankyou thick baby wipes which again contain no nasties - no soap, parabens, sulphates, alcohol or petrochemicals, are 98% made of natural elements and are fragrance free which is fantastic. My kids are messy so these wipes were put to good use! Little Miss has first child syndrome so always wants to wipe her hands after each bite to eat! These were great on little Mister's face after food and the fact that they are large and thick makes them fab on the bum as only a few wipes are required for the messy nappies. They don't feel strange if used on the face either which is great as some wipes freak me out a bit!

We also tried the thankyou baby shampoo which was soap free, gentle with a subtle scent. The thankyou baby mums & bubs massage oil was really nice too, gentle non greasy and natural.

Last but not least, we also tried the thankyou hand antibacterial grapefruit hand sanitiser, a mouthful to say but so good to use. Feels light, light scent and after a few pumps the delicious smell of grapefruit makes me hungry!

Hard to pick a few favourites however we love the baby wipes, baby bath wash, baby lotion and baby nappy balm and ointment and will restock these soon from our nearest shop. We love thankyou's new baby care range! Not only does the range have no nasties and feels great on bub's skin and the best part 100% of the profits from the range go to child & maternal health programs to families in need.

I tracked our impact by entering the tracker ID # from each product and they all support one child and maternal health program situated in Khotang in Nepal and will impact 5,000 people - amazing!! 'Right now, every 103 seconds a mother dies in pregnancy and childbirth, and globally 2.7 million babies don’t reach their first month of life because they don’t have access to basic health care' said Daniel Flynn from thankyou. Let's change that and with products starting from just $8.49 it's not hard to!

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This post is in no way sponsored. Products were provided however my opinions are my own. I like to endorse companies who give back to the community. I do not endorse products I do not test, do not like or endorse organisations I do not believe in.

Checkout more product reviews here.

Or if you live in Melbourne or Sydney, checkout our blog for ideas of what to do with the kids!

Adventure Snacks Review

I recently came across Adventure Snacks on Instagram and was instantly drawn to their Chocolate Beetroot muffin! Perth mum Tracey created her make-at-home mixes to give parents convenient and healthy options that don't contain refined sugar and preservatives.
 Photo credit: Adventure Snacks - Tracey & Oscar

Photo credit: Adventure Snacks - Tracey & Oscar

I am always looking for healthy options for little Miss' afternoon snack or lunch box so I thought we'd review Adventure Snacks and support Tracey on her journey! 

Tracey currently has three make-at-home mixes: Choc-Beet Muffin Mix (93% organic), Cranberry Fig & Seed Balls Mix (100% organic) and Oat & Carrot Cookie Mix (95% organic). We trialled the Mini Mix 3 Pack which makes 6 of each products.

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Little Miss wanted to start with the Cranberry, Fig & Seed Balls Mix so we started rolling! The packet contained a sachet of various seeds (organic sunflower seeds, organic pepitas, organic black chia seeds and dried fruits (organic dried cranberries, organic dried figs and organic natural sultanas). A trick with the food processor with some melted coconut oil and water, a stir and we were ready to roll the mix into balls and cover them with chia seeds and coconut for refrigeration and later tasting!

We then tackled the Oat & Carrot Cookies. I use the word 'tackled' very lightly as the ingredients are all mixed in the pouch ready to use. The pouch contained mixed Organic Oat Flour, Organic Whole Rolled Oats, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Coconut Flour, Carrot Juice Powder and Organic Flaxseeds. We just needed to add melted coconut oil and some water, stirred them through and voilà! Rolled and flattened and in the oven!

Last but not least, we made the Choc-Beet Muffins! We stirred in the mix of Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Sugar Cane, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Coconut Flour, Baking Powder and Beetroot Juice Powder along with some softened unsalted butter, one egg and some full cream milk and ended up with a silky pinkish mixture. 18 to 20 minutes in the oven and we ended up with bouncy beetroot muffins that I didn't burn!

The result of our baking morning was delicious Cranberry Fig & Seed Balls, crunchy Oat & Carrot Cookies and bouncy Choc-Beet Muffins which a great chocolate and subtle beetroot flavour. The verdict, we love Tracey's make-at-home mixes! It takes next to no time to make some healthy snacks for the kids and parents (great with a cuppa!) and are great for an energy boost for 3:30-itis meltdowns!

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The beauty about these packs, you only have to measure a few wet ingredients - the rest is done for you and you don't have to buy and store a heap of ingredients for one recipe. They are especially good for foodies like me who are time poor with their children but still want to give their healthy options. I am pretty happy how we went considering I am prone to stuffing up recipes or burning stuff ha!

Thanks Tracey for letting us try these awesome products and congrats on winning Bronze at the recent 2016 AusMumpreneur Awards in the AusMumpreneur Network Excellence category! 

For more information about Adventure Snacks, checkout Tracey's website here.

This post is NOT sponsored, however products were provided for review. As always, my views and opinions are my own and I do not endorse products I don't like.

Degas: An Art Book For Kids - Review & Giveaway

Little Miss and I have always been massive fans of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) as the gallery is always encouraging children to appreciate art through their fantastic kids' installations, art books for kids and kids signs next to paintings/photography/sculptures at each exhibition.

Since 2013, the NGV has published five award-winning children's art books relating to their exhibitions. I always look forward to their art book for kids as they are always full of great information and activities for kids to relate to the current exhibition and for parents to read to their little ones and are great value and quality at $14.95. Degas: An Art Book For Kids is no different and it is my favourite in the kids art book series so far!

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If you haven't visited the Degas: A New Vision exhibition, I would highly recommend it, checkout our review on our French blog for a sneak preview. If you are thinking of going with the kids, I would also recommend buying this book to get the little ones in the mood before the exhibition so that they can relate to pieces exhibited.

Degas: An Art Book For Kids is a beautifully illustrated 80 pages book about French artist Edgar Degas one of the greatest artists of the 19th and 20th centuries who is famous for his beautiful drawings and paintings of ballet dancers. It cover Degas' life, his passion for horses, dance and people at work as two cute characters Snail and Pigeon take you on an adventure to discover his life and the city of Paris. Here's a few page extracts from the book.

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We love how it covers Degas growing up, France, Paris, its districts, monuments, art, food all while introducing French words throughout the book. Even if you're not going to see Degas, this book is great to expose the little ones to France and a bit of French. Being French, I speak it with little Miss so she recognises a few words but anyone can learn new words through this book. She loves the little blurbs from the snail and when I read this book to her she kept asking me what the snail said. 

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Little Miss was especially interested in the page of ice cream flavours and she liked me reading out all the flavours and counting them one by one in French.

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I personally really like the maps of the Paris districts with its monuments and attractions. Parents can learn a few things or two along the way!

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We also loved the chapter and Ballet dancing it even has fun facts and ballet steps that little Miss was happy to follow.

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Last but not least, it has a list of some of the works featured in the exhibition so that kids can relate to real life portraits, paintings and sculptures.

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Little Miss and I love this book and highly recommend it. You can purchase it at the NGV store or online. For more information, checkout their page.
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To WIN yourself a copy of Degas: An Art Book for Kids and a Family Pass (2 x Adults and 3 x Kids), make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram and let us know your Name and Instagram account below so that we can confirm. Entries are now open to VIC residents and close Tuesday 9th of August 2016 at 5PM AEST. Bonne chance!

ABC with Lullaby - Book Review & Giveaway

Learning the alphabet has been on little Miss' radar since she has learned the first letter of her name and especially recently at preschool where her teachers have introduced letter of the week. We recently received a copy of ABC with Lullaby which was perfect to help little Miss with her alphabet and she was more than happy to review it!

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ABC with Lullaby is written by Karol Pavlickovski and illustrated by Vas Butrakoski and is the first book from publishing company AP Pressing

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ABC with Lullaby goes through each letter of the alphabet in a fun way with rhymes, colours, shapes, great pictures and its use of uppercase and lowercase throughout.

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Little Miss loved the cute pictures, little stories and rhymes on each page as they relate to each letter of the alphabet. The book's simple concepts means that little ones can relate to the book and start to remember words in the sentences as they go back to the book several times.

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She also enjoyed following the rainbow colours and pointing at the many colours on each page.

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ABC with Lullaby is well thought-out and little Miss loved going through the alphabet and referring back to the alphabet list at the beginning of the book. She really enjoyed the book and her preschool friends and teachers really loved it too when she brought it to school last week for the letter A class exercise.

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To celebrate the release of ABC with Lullaby, we are giving away one copy to one lucky Busy City Kids newsletter subscriber. To enter, make sure you are subscribed, if not subscribe to our newsletter here and leave us a quick comment telling us why you would love to win this book. Entries are now open and will close next Tuesday 2nd of August - good luck! Entries open to NSW and VIC residents only.

 

For more information on ABC with Lullaby and to purchase the book, head to their website.

Food Babies Love - Review

We were recently asked to review the new Fresh Pots babies meals from Food Babies Love and my little hungry pot aka little Mister was very happy to do so with me!

Food Babies Love was founded by Melbourne based mum Emily Dupuche out of pure love of introducing her twins to solids. After realising that many parents found that phase of parenting challenging, Emily published her now Aussie best seller book Food Babies Love in 2012. Her goal is for every parent in Australia to expose their little ones to good food either using her book and creating their own or by getting their hands on her recently launched FRESH baby and toddler meals - Fresh Pots.

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There are 7 different Fresh Pots and we got to enjoy all but one which was the 10 months + Spaghetti Bolognaise. The Fresh Pots are separated by stages at which bubs should be introduced to solids from smooth to chunky texture. Fresh Pots Early Proteins range 6 months + has two flavours - Red Lentil Dahl and Chicken, Apple & Pumpkin. Fresh Pots Textured Meals range 7 months + has three flavours - Chicken Curry, Baby Bolognaise and Greek Lamb Casserole and Fresh Pots Toddler Meals range 10 months + has two flavours - Spaghetti Bolognaise for little ones and Fish Pie. All Fresh Pots are $6.45 inc GST and can be found in the fridge aisle of selected stockists in NSW and VIC or can be ordered online and delivered within Melbourne. To find a retailer near you checkout their stockists' list.

First up, we tried the Fresh Pot of Red Lentil Dahl 6 months+. I didn't get a chance to take a great pic as little Mister and little Miss were starving in the background! Thankfully within a few minutes, little Mister's dinner was ready and I escaped moaning for thirty minutes while I cook him dinner. From the first mouthful, he was hooked! The Dahl is smooth but yet textured enough for babies starting on solids and has great flavour and the added pumpkin is a nice touch and added veggie.

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The following day for lunch, we tried the Fresh Pot Chicken, Apple & Pumpkin 6 months+ and liked its consistency which is more liquid than the Dahl and the apple bring a bit of sweetness to the meal. Little Mister didn't mind the tiny bits of chicken which is a great source of protein for little ones.

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Next up, we tried the Fresh Pot of Chicken Curry 7 months+. Better than my own curries any day of the week, this meal has lots of flavour and a touch of sweetness from soft apple pieces and sultanas. Packed with lots of veggies, chicken mince and brown rice. By far little Mister's second favourite meal! Add some homemade apple & pear purée to the meal if you think bub is ready for the flavour but needs a bit more liquid in his meal for now as the 7 months+ meals are a step up with lots more texture for little ones. As always with solids, make sure bub sipped lots of water during his/her meal.

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We gave the Fresh Pot of Baby Bolognaise 7 months+ a go. This meal was much more textured and thicker than other meals because of the pasta but packed again with veggies but light on tomatoes. As little Mister was gradually making his way to more textured foods I mashed the pasta and softened the carrots a bit to make it easier for him to eat but he loved it!

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The Fresh Pot of Greek Lamb Casserole 7 months+ was also packed with flavour and veggies. I like how Food Babies Love pack their meals with lots of veggies. I personally liked this meal myself as it has lots of flavour and the lamb shoulder bits are delicious. Little Mister loved it too! Again lots more texture with risoni pasta so make sure bub is ready to eat chunkier pasta.

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Last but not least, we tried the Fresh Pot of Fish Pie 10 months+. Some health professionals recommend that fish be introduced from 8 months of age while others say to hold off until 12 months. It all depends on what bub is eating and if he or she has any allergies. I had fed soft steamed Australian rockling fish with a tomato sauce recently so I was happy for him to try a bit of this dish. This meal has lots of texture and has a creamy consistency from the soft potatoes.

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We loved Food Babies Love Fresh Pots and honestly it was hard to pick a favourite as little Mister was happy eating everything as he progressed on his solids' journey. Little Mister's favourite Fresh Pots were the Red Lentil Dahl, Chicken Curry and Chicken, Apple & Pumpkin. He loved the smooth texture of the 6 months + Fresh Pots and loves the natural sweetness of the Apple and Sultanas in the Chicken Curry.

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Food Babies Love Fresh Pots are so convenient that little Mister and I are hooked and have already recommended these to friends with bubs or expecting one! There's nothing like a cranky hungry baby around 5 o'clock and a crazy sister to make it worse and feeling tired and stressed after a long day and trying to cook something quick to keep them at bay! 

These Fresh Pots are so easy to heat up in a couple minutes and taste fabulous I don't think I was ever spoilt as a child when I was starting solids, I know little Miss wasn't as my cooking leaves a lot to the imagination! The great thing about Fresh pots is that all ingredients are listed on each pack and there is no added salt or sugar and NO artificial colours, flavours or preservatives which is very important for us! 

The price is reasonable considering the large portion in each tub. If your little one isn't super hungry you could make two meals out of a Fresh Pot and keep the rest for dinner or lunch or heat up the lot see how he goes and had a quick snack yourself as the meals are very parent friendly in flavour! They can also be frozen if you decide to stock up at your nearest stockist.

The cool thing too is that the Fresh pots containers are BPA free, microwave and dishwasher safe, so you can keep them to heat up half of a portion or keep snacks in them when going out or keep & freeze portions of meals you've made for bub.

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We were also given the Food Babies Love book and a feeding smock for little Mister and it looked fabulous on him too stylish to have food on it that's for sure! I can see why the Food Babies Love book has been a big hit as it has pages after pages of recipes and great tips throughout and suggestions with each recipe, well thought-out. We have since tried a few recipes like the Potato & Leek Soup which I love as it has zucchini in it and the Mushroom 5 minute risotto with rice flakes!

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Overall Food Babies Love is a great brand which we now love and which is driven by a very passionate mum! If you are thinking of introducing yout little one to solids, checkout Emily's 'Introducing solids' guide on Emily's website and get the FREE 7 mistakes of feeding ebook by signing up to her newsletter.
For more info on Fresh Pots and Food Babies Love, checkout their site for more details.

Crayola Color Alive Review

Little Miss was recently sent Crayola Color Alive products for review and started colouring away instantly in anticipation of bringing characters to life!

 Crayola Color Alive - Marvel Avengers, Mystical Creatures, Disney Frozen and Enchanted Forest

Crayola Color Alive - Marvel Avengers, Mystical Creatures, Disney Frozen and Enchanted Forest

We were sent four different colouring book with the two latest colouring books - Crayola Color Alive Marvel Avengers and Crayola Color Alive Disney Frozen. Little Miss is a fanatic when it comes to Disney Frozen but she was attracted to the Crayola Color Alive Enchanted Forest’s Pixie Dust so she coloured away at the fairy and her little glow worm friend with colour crayons and the special pixie dust crayon.

 Crayola Color Alive - Enchanted Forest

Crayola Color Alive - Enchanted Forest

After downloading the FREE Crayola Color Alive app from the App Store, we selected the ‘Let’s Get Started’ option, the colouring book we were using and hovered over the page to start scanning and selected 4D. 

We then got the option to select the page we wanted to scan and lined them up and the magic happened! 

Our drawing fairy and her friend that little glow worm friend appeared! Little Miss was so surprised and excited when her fairy came to life even more with her little glow worm friend came and join her too - so cute! We took snaps and saved our little fairy and little Miss was ready to create some more characters.

We also tried Crayola Color Alive's Mythical Creatures and had fun with the special effects' fire crayon and turned our coloured dragon into a fiery dragon!

 Crayola Color Alive - Mythical Creatures

Crayola Color Alive - Mythical Creatures

So smokey! Little Miss wanted to add some bananas to the fire but I'm not sure the dragon would have agreed! ha!

Last but not least, Little Miss' favourite and (we have so far have coloured more than half of the book already) is Crayola's Color Alive Disney Frozen's character! How magestic is Elsa once she is brought to life in 4D - oh my even I was amazed, Anna is beautiful too!

With Crayola Color Alive, your child can use the crayons provided as well as any crayons you have on hand to bring their character(s) to life. Once the character is brought to life, kids can interact with them, move them, enlarge them, play with them and even take a 'selfie' with them! Something that little Miss is very experienced with! 

We took snaps of our Elsa and Fairy characters and saved them to play with them later on and had fun bringing animated effects to our pages with the Special Effects crayon! Needless to say we really enjoyed Crayola Color Alive products and created more today!

For more information about the Crayola Color Alive colouring books and bringing their character to life and adding special effects to it, go to the Crayola Color Alive website. For more general information, go to Crayola's main site. Colouring books comprise of 16 action coloring pages, six crayola crayons and a special effets crayon and are $7.99 RRP each.

This product review was brought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola.

Little Bud Fresh Meals for Kids - Review

I recently found out about Little Bud while browsing Instagram and was instantly attracted by the cool packaging but more importantly that they were fresh meals for little ones 1 year+ made in Australia with natural ingredients, no additives* or preservatives or added salt or sugar and all the ingredients used in the meals and their nutritional information are listed on the packaging so no hidden surprises!

The beauty about Little Bud meals - they are ready to eat after less than 3 minutes in the microwave which is great when your child is suddenly starving and you have another little one to feed! Something that Little Bud mums Rachel, Jess, Katrina and Kim know too well. The other great thing - they are full of flavour and a great idea if you want a night off from cooking, you want your child to try a meal you don't cook often or you're making a spicy meal one night that your child won't like.

Little Miss and I were keen to try these meals and I was looking forward to a night off from cooking so we were pretty excited when we received our meals! Little Bud currently have 5 different meals, we tried all but the very popular Little Bud Mighty Meatballs.

Here's what we thought about Little Bud meals.

The Little Bud Summer Cottage Pie (Shepherd's Pie), is a hearty meal full of great veggies. The pie contains hormone-free beef mince cooked with carrot, zucchini and onion, topped with a cheesy cauliflower potato mash. Little Miss loved this meal which is strange for someone who doesn't like potato but somehow the cheesy cauliflower mash and tasty meat with oregano and thyme convinced her otherwise and she ate it all!

The Little Bud Sneaky Mac 'n Cheese is a cheesy macaroni pasta bake with hidden pumpkin and cauliflower and three cheeses (tasty, parmesan and mozzarella cheese). Little Miss loves pasta and cheese so this meal was an easy choice and she loved it. She wondered about the pumpkin but as it was mixed all together she ate it all with no problem and the cauliflower tasted really nice with the rest of the meal.

The Little Bud Omega Fish Pie contains sustainably sourced salmon and hake in a creamy leek and pumpkin sauce, topped with mash potato and is by far our favourite Little Bud meal. Little Miss really liked the pieces of fish and the pumpkin sauce in this pie and I was pretty happy when she ate the potato in this meal too! 

Last but not least, we tried the Little Bud Rockin' Moroccan Lamb meal which is a nice meal to explore new flavours. The meal contains pieces of lamb cooked in rich tomato with pieces of apple, apricots and moroccan spices served with wholegrain couscous. Little Miss liked the lamb and sauce but was a bit hesitant with the couscous which she doesn't eat often.

There you have it, we had lots of fun trying Little Bud meals! If you are interested in trying Little Bud meals, they are available in New South Wales and Victoria. Checkout their website for more information.

*at the exception of the Sneaky Mac 'n Cheese which has Xanthan gum which is a common additive used as a thickening agent