Category Archives: Mummies reviews

The most wonderful time of the year

Love it or hate it Christmas is coming, fast…….and I love it. I have wonderful memories of Christmas growing up and it’s even better now that I’m a parent. I see the magic and wonder in my children’s eyes and it just makes me feel so happy. Don’t get me wrong, I still threaten to call Santa multiple times a day and they are convinced that he is using elves and special cameras in smoke detectors to make sure they are being good.

This year I discovered Portable North Pole. PNP brings the magic of the North Pole Village to life! It’s a free app/website personalise a special festive video message from Santa just for your child and its really easy to use. Simply enter in your child’s name, age, the gift they are hoping for and favourite pics and you’re all set! Also a free feature ,is a cute “Fun for Groups” video that lets groups such as childcare and preschool groups enjoy Santa’s greeting together.

With a paid Magic Pass option you have access to all PNP’s features, there are activities for kids (including cute filters) and codes for top secret parent and Santa business. Plus you can even schedule a call from Santa and with the mobile only Reaction Recorder, the best part is you can record your babies as they watch their personalised videos and the reactions are priceless.

Here is an example of a video for Scarlett where Santa remembered it’s her birthday soon. She was so surprised to hear Santa saying her name and absolutely loved that he didn’t forget her birthday:

Here is a snippet of a reaction video:

The filters are lot’s of fun too

Check it out and make this Christmas super special. You can get 20% off your own Magic Pass by going to this link and creating your account.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

Rachelle xx

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Dinner doesn’t have to be a marathon

Being a working mum I love a quick tasty dinner and it ‘s always a bonus if I can incorporate some veggies too.

I have always been a fan of Marathon foods and my kids love their puffy dogs. While they would love to eat them every day, I see them as a treat and would prefer they eat something more balanced.

I recently discovered that Marathon foods now make a range of easy heat and eat meals in their Chef Direct range. There are meatballs, lamb shanks and even a beef hot pot. My favourite is the Con Carne mild chilli beef and bean. They are all so versitile and really good for if you haven’t done any meal prep or forgot to defrost the meat for dinner.

Tonight I whipped up some tasty and healthy mexican bowls which everyone loved. I used the Marathon foods mild chilli beef and bean mix (straight from the pantry), added some capsicum, corn, garlic and tomatoes. Fried it up in the pan

Next I boiled some quinoa and brown rice, made a quick guacamole. At this point I realised I had no corn chips so I toasted some pita pockets under the grill with olive oil, a touch of cumin and garlic salt.

Then I popped everything in a bowl, added sour cream (with chopped coriander in it), grated cheese and some rocket.

Dinner was on the table within 15 minutes and tasted amazing! The most time consuming part was boiling the rice, but really you could use the pre boiled packet rice and cut even more time off your dinner prep.

If you haven’t already it’s worth checking out the Marathon chef direct range, perfect to have on hand for busy nights. They would also be great for a quick lunch or a gourmet camping meal.

Rachelle xx

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smarTfold – The go anywhere bike

Since becoming a mum I have had a few different push along trike/bike contraptions. Some have been good but they are very clunky to take in the car and I would never consider taking one on a plane. Others have been an absolute pain to put together or steer and pretty much end up breaking or on the hard rubbish within a few months.

Recently we received the smarTfold 7 in 1. It is amazing. Firstly, it comes pretty much ready to go straight out of the box, there is no need to bother with hours of allen keys and instructions.

Secondly, there are different stages specific from kids aged 9 months up to 3 or 4 years old. At all of these stages it’s possible for the parent to steer so your not battling your tiny rider for control or just pushing the bike along on the back wheels. If your little one can steer you simply push a button near the wheel and it swaps to child controlled steering. Scarlett got on and drove straight into the wall but she is getting the hang of it now (I am already dreading teaching my two to drive a car).

The best part as the smarTfold folds straight back down into it’s nifty little bag. Perfect to take on holiday’s or if you live in an apartment with limited storage. There are heaps of designs, its super comfy and has a seatbelt (you need this for little ones or if you have a runner). There is also a cup holder and storage bag so you can pack snacks, sunscreen, balls etc for a trip to the park.

Check out my one below. We love it.

Rachelle xx

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Protect your beds

As a mother of two little ones and wife to a husband who sweats profusely I know all too well about mattress protectors.  At first,  I wasn’t sure if it is a worthwhile investment, however they are really worth their weight in gold. We purchased a really good mattress a couple of years ago and I quickly realised that I didn’t want it to be stained or ruined because of my husbands sweating.  Since having children there is definitely a need for  mattress and pillow protectors. Both of my kids used to spit up a lot as babies, without a mattress protector our cot mattress would have been ruined.  As they have got older, the protector ontheir beds is handy for any ‘accidents’,  spills or times when they are unwell.

I have tried a few different mattress protectors. The super cheap plastic ones that you can hear crinkling around under the sheets (they also make you extra sweaty..YUK!). Cheap toweling protectors that are bad quality and only last a couple of washes and finally Protect-A Bed, these ones actually work.

Here’s a fun fact……. After 5 years, up to half the weight of an unprotected mattress, or a mattress with a poor quality protector, is made up of your own bodily fluids, skin cells, bacteria and mould?  Gross, not a great thought to help you get to sleep. Plus, if you a spending money on a quality mattress it is worth spending the money to protect it so it lasts.

Protect-A Bed have a huge range for all of your needs. There are mattress protectors in different styles and materials. Their Tencel® products are recognised by the Eczema Association Australasia, so they are perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.   A quality mattress protector can also help to alleviate the symptoms and triggers of Asthma.  You can also purchase pillow protectors and linen protectors. Linen protectors are wonderful for children that are learning to go nappy free at night. No need to change the entire sheet, simply remove the protector and your little one (and you) can go straight back to sleep.

The protectors come in all sizes from bassinet protectors all the way to super king. You can even get ones with extra depth for if you have a pillow top mattress. I think these make a fantastic gift, especially for expecting parents.

Everyone needs to be given at least one of these as a baby shower gift. You get so many wraps, toys and clothes, but a mattress protector is really practical and I’m 100% sure any new parent will thank you in the middle of the night post poop explosion or projectile vomit

Don’t waste your time and money on cheaper alternatives like I did,  buy Protect-A-Bed and rest easy knowing you aren’t laying in a pool of old sweat, skin cells and dust mites.

 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

 

 

Catch a gift for dad this father’s day

Can you believe that Father’s Day is only 2 weeks away! Have you got your presents sorted for all the special men in your life? Don’t stress if you haven’t, Catch.com.au   has everything you need and there is still time for postage.  While you’re there you can probably pick up a little treat for yourself and the kids ( I know I always do).

If you’re stuck for ideas Catch.com.au even has a gift guide for dad.  There are so many options. Tools, personalised gifts, socks, jocks, car cleaning products, games, active wear and men’s accessories.  There is something for every price range and some really amazing brands.  Here are some of my picks for a happy fathers day.

 

Catch pizza - Copy

Pizza oven – $229

Catch Nixon - Copy

Nixon watch $69.99

Why bother with the stress and hustle and bustle of going to the shops to buying father’s day gifts when you can have them delivered to your door. Plus, if you join Club Catch you can get free shipping and access to exclusive sales. Club Catch is $69.00 per year, but you can trial for 30 days for free to see if you like it.

I also find the Catch.com.au is perfect for Christmas and birthdays. There are always toy sales and lot’s of little stocking stuffers. I have just joined Club Catch and I’m sure there will be a few orders arriving in the next few months for all the upcoming birthdays and Christmas.

Collaboration sourced via Shopping Links
Rachelle xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new from NERF? 

My son Hudson has always wanted NERF guns. Since he is only 4, I wasn’t sure he could be trusted to not shoot his little sister, me or the dog. 

We were both extremely happy to discover the new NERF NITRO range of launchable vehicles. These little foam stunt vehicles can be shot out of the launcher onto ramps and smash through barrells. You can buy different sets, cars and customise as you please. 

My favourite part is that the launcher can only be used when pressed on the ground (or solid surface) this prevents any little people from using launching them unexpectedly while walking around. 

The cars are soft and perfect for indoor play. We have spent many afternoons setting up stunt tracks and jumps. Both Hudson and Scarlett love them, and they are fantastic entertainment in this winter weather when no one can play outside. 

Check them out…….The NERF NITRO range is reasonably priced with car refills starting from $9.99 and packs starting from$19.99. You can pick them up from all good toy stores (also Kmart, Toys R’ Us, Myer, Toy World and Big W)

Hudson playing with his NERF Longshot Smash from Hasbro. 

Rachelle xx 

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Hypoxi does it work?  Let me tell you….

I have been going to Hypoxi 2-3 times each week for 3 months now. 

Before I share my final results I want to go back to my 1st Hypoxi session. I felt nervous and quite skeptical. How on earth is laying in a suit that feels like bubble wrap popping all over my body and cycling (not too fast) going to help change my body?  Was this a cult? Is this some sort of pyramid scheme? Are these ladies brainwashing me? I had been told my whole life you cannot spot reduce fat or lose weight in specific areas. 

Anyway, I wanted to give it a go.  Everyone kept telling me ‘you’re not big, why would you go there’.  The truth is, I wanted to see if it works, I wanted to be able to give a true account and go by my own experience. Hypoxi approched me to try it out for 3 months, I was told I could be skeptical and share my true feelings. I now completely understand why I was never given any points to mention, they really let the results speak for themselves. 

I have been going to the Wantirna studio, it’s super busy there, but I was always in and out pretty quick. The girls at the studio made me feel very welcome and are really lovely. I’m actually going to miss seeing them and chatting each week (especially Bianca and Belinda, I saw them the most).  I think this is important as if you’re going to go somewhere a few times a week you want the staff to be welcoming and friendly. 

I am 165cm tall and normally weigh between 52 and 56kg (depending on the time of the month, if I am super hungry or bloaty). I had lost all of my pregnancy weight but still felt I could tone up a little and work on my skin elasticity. Hypoxi helped with this. I wasn’t expecting to see huge amounts of cm’s coming off as I’m not a big person. Even in my 1st session I was advised that I may not see huge losses.  I still was curious to see how it would affect my body. 

As I mentioned I went 2-3 times a week and immediately noticed my legs looking a little more toned, not bulky. Just toned.  I also noticed everything was less wiggly puffy and jiggly (#winning).  Most of all I enjoyed the time out. I could relax, watch trashy tv or do a spot of online shopping without distraction or any little people climbing on me. All while working out.

Fast forward 3 months and I have had my final measurements and lost 21.5 cms off my lower body……hooo rah.  My skin feels tighter,  everything is more toned and less, wobbly.  My clothes fit better and this is all without changing my diet. 

If you’re thinking of trying Hypoxi, have some excess baby weight to shift or would like to tone up. Do it, they offer a free no commitment trial so you can try before you sign up. I can definitely say it’s worth a shot.  I was skeptical too and now I think I want to sign up for some more sessions. 

Rachelle xx

Feeling trim and toned since Hypoxi

The studio

Workout while Keeping up with the Kardashians or catching up on emails. 

This is the suit that feels like bubble wrap. It’s actually relaxing and some women fall asleep. 

Lay down machine 

Stand up machine 

Stats 

Lay down machines and magazines to keep you occupied

Looking for childcare?

When it came time for me to return to work, I toured a lot of childcare centres. To be honest I didn’t fall in love with any of them. Staff were always lovely but the centres were often quite old and run down.

Now there is a new wave of childcare centres on the scene and they are amazing. Hudson, Scarlett and I recently had a wonderful time checking out the Guardian Early Learning Group centre at 101 Collins Street Melbourne. There are 38 of these centres in Victoria and many more Australia wide, if you are considering childcare it’s definitely worth checking them out.

The centre we went to is located at 101 Collins Street, right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. perfect for working parents.  I was expecting a small centre with not a lot of light and no outdoor areas. However, the centre is huge (it spans over two levels), really bright and there are two large indoor/outdoor areas for the kids to play.

In addition to the indoor outdoor areas I learnt about the amazing ways they get the children out and about. There is a special 8 seater stroller that is used for trips to the park, art gallieries and walks around the CBD. They have super cute little rain suits so the kids can really enjoy their time out and not even Melbourne weather will stop them.

Scarlett’s highlight was meeting the pet fish and the kids even got to hold the pet bird that lives at the centre.

Hudson loved the indoor/outdoor area and even made a friend while he was playing outside.

I loved the open plan feel, light bright presentation of the centre. However, my absolute highlight was the open kitchen area. Children can sit and watch the chef prepare their nutritional meals and everyone is welcome at the centre for breakfast. This would definitely help with time management in the mornings as mum, dad and any siblings are welcome to eat with the little ones.  Parents only have to worry about getting dressed and hopping on the train or in the car. A nutritional breakfast is waiting at childcare (including coffee).  I often drop the kids off in a frenzy and end up eating something in the car or skipping breakfast all together.

There is an open door policy and parents are welcome to visit their children at anytime (perfect for breastfeeding mummas), the director told me some parents take their kids out to lunch. I would love to be able to have lunch dates with Hudson and Scarlett on work days. or simply pop in and say hello, I think they would love it and I would have way less mummy guilt about having to leave them while I work.

There is a fully funded kinder program and the fees are really reasonable. If you would like more information feel free to contact one of the Guardian centres or check out their website 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

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The perfect Bluetooth speaker is here….

My kids love music and watching movies on our tablets and phones. I have been on the hunt for a decent Bluetooth speaker for awhile now, after purchasing one that was terrible quality, with no battery life that eventually broke after just a couple of uses I discovered the Mini LifeJacket III  from Altec Lansing.

This little speaker is fantastic and so durable (very important with little sticky hands around). We have used it a lot;  out on our deck, at the park, the lake and when we have gone on picnics.  The 16 hour battery life is fantastic and it will hold up against the elements. The Mini LifeJacket III is even buoyant so if you are doing a spot of fishing  or hanging out at the kiddie pool and it gets dropped in the water it will float.   The sound quality is really good and if your phone rings the speaker will still work so you don’t miss any calls.

You can pick up one of these beauties at Ananconda,  The Good Guys or Target.

Check us out having a picnic at the Redwood Forest in Warburton (Melbourne, AU). We took our Mini LifeJacket III with us and had some tunes pumping while we relaxed in the forest. Such great place to visit with kids, have a walk and a picnic. Perfect!!! 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

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Quick getaway for the family 

After a busy year we wanted to get away for a night with the kids so they could enjoy Christmas in the city. We took the opportunity to stay at Holiday Inn (Flinders Street). 

This let us experience all the Christmas action that Melbourne had to offer, we had a small break and we didn’t have to deal with screaming tired kids on the drive home in the car. Holiday Inn is so close to everything that as soon as Scarlett rubbed her eyes and Hudson complained of being tired we were back in our room within 10 mintues. 

We went to Crown Casino, walked up to Bourke Street and caught a tram to Docklands (it’s in the free tram zone). Kids stay and eat for free so that is a real bonus. Plus, when we arrived ay our room there were little entertainment packs for the kids that included colouring books, stickers, crayons and brochures. These were a fantastic distraction at dinner.  The staff were really accomodating and our room was made up with a porta cot and trundle bed. 

We stayed in a suite so once the kids went to sleep my husband and I ordered room service (including delicious cocktails) and watched a movie. 

I was never sure about just going to the city for a night or two with kids but we all really enjoyed it.  All the family rooms on level four have been renovated and look amazing. It’s  the second time we have stayed at Holiday Inn and if you’re looking for somewhere family friendly and close to everything give them a call. Hudson and Scarlett are already asking to go back. 

Perfect for a school holiday getaway.

Rachelle xx 

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