Category Archives: Mummies tips

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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing in the bed

As your baby grows you tick a number of milestones of the list. Rolling, solid food, crawling, walking…….finally the day comes where it’s time to bid farewell to the cot and move to a bed. 

I was nervous about this change. How do they stay in? Will they keep sleeping through the night? Am I going to wake up to a two year old walking around the house or breathing really close to my face while I sleep? What if they hate it? Turns out all of my fears were in vain. Both of my children transitioned pretty easily. 

I’m no expert and perhaps I was just lucky. I thought I would share some tips for the transition.

Wait until they’re ready- I don’t think there is a magical age to move to a bed and there probably isn’t any rush. However,  we were in a bit of a rush with Hudson as we needed the cot for Scarlett. Hudson was just over two and handled the change fine. Scarlett has also just turned 2 and she has just moved to a bed. She is loving it. We knew she was ready as she kept asking for a bed, laying in Hudson’s bed and she had been transitioned to a little mat on the floor at childcare. 

Talk about it – before putting our children in beds we spoke about beds, read books that had beds in them (3 little bears, princess and the pea). When we were out at home stores we would go look at beds to show them how ‘cool’ they are. I think having them understand what is happening helped a lot. 

Get them involved – when it was time for a big bed we took our kids to the shops where they could pick out a doona cover or pillows to help decorate their new bed. They loved it and it also gives them a little control. Even now, I let Hudson pick which cover he would like on his bed when I change his sheets. I like to get something a little different and found that Shop Inside have a really lovely kids range (adults too, but that’s for another day). 

Don’t panic and stay positive – there may be times where your child will get up and down before settling, they may not love the bed at the start. Persistence and patience is key. If you’re positive about the bed they will eventually come around. Like every family we have requests at bedtime for drinks, toilet, more stories, itchy feet, scary things in the wardrobe. I let them go through the motions and if they continue to get up I just quietly pop them back into bed. 
As I said, I was dreading transition time as I thought my kids wouldn’t enjoy it and may spend most nights in out bed. Overall, we have had a pretty good experience. 

Rachelle xx 

All bedding and pillows from Shop Inside

 

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Electrical essentials

Ok, so since becoming a mum my interests have changed. I do still love fashion and make up. However, I’m not out at the latest hotspots as as much as I used to be. I used to always wonder about the whitegood ads out around Mother’s Day. I now understand. Gadgets and white goods are amazing. They also save time. I wanted to share some of my electrical mummy must haves. 

If you’re a new mum or a mum- to-be, go out and get these things. A – because I love them and can’t live without them and B – some of them are amazing time savers that don’t cost $3k (sorry Thermomix, you haven’t made the cut).  

I also have to mention this is not sponsored…..I just really find these items helpful.

ELECTRIC BREASTPUMP – 

Not just any breast pump the Medela swing is the only one worth your time and money.  If I had my time again I would get the double one, but the single one served me well. Especially since Hudson was prem, I did a lot of expressing (sings Madonna express yourself in head). It’s the ones they use in maternity hospitals and works like a dream. 

HUMIDIFIER – 

Some doctors say they don’t work but I don’t care. Both of my children have had bronchialitis and croup. Humidifiers have helped us through many winter nights. It just keeps the air moist and it’s easier for bub to breathe. Mine are just the Euky Bear ones from Chemist Warehouse, not expensive or fancy but they work. Get your hands on one so you have it for when your baby is born. You may need it at 3am on a winters night. 

SLOW COOKER – 

A slow cooker is every mum’s best friend. I simply pop some meat in, forget about it for 6-8 hours and then bang…..dinner is ready. I use mine weekly (especially in winter) and it’s so much easier than standing over a hotplate with two clingy children hanging off me. I make soups, casseroles, pulled pork, ribs, mexican….the list is endless. Mine is a George Foreman. Again, not the most expensive but it’s served me well. 

RICE COOKER – 

I use mine multiple times a week. I know I could make rice in a pot but with kids it’s certainly easier to pop it in and just forget it. Mine switches to warming mode when the rice is cooked so I don’t even have to check on it. I use it to cook rice and quinoa and them in lunches, dinner and salads. 

 POWERCUBE – 

I find I am always looking for extra power points these days. Kids stuff just needs to be plugged in or charged (so do breast pumps). I found the PowerCube. It’s amazing, small and easily hidden from little hands. Plus, you can even mount it under a table or desk. It even has USB sockets…..Whaaat?! You can charge your IPad, phone and pump all from the one little cube. Ditch the old power boards and get one of these little bad boys (available at Harvey Norman and Office works).

DRYER – 

Yes, I know they’re not great for the environment. However, kids are messy, they get sick and there is a lot of washing. I don’t use mine all the time but I love knowing it’s there. Great for towels and sheets. It comes in handy in winter or when have a dreaded gastro outbreak. 

NUTRI BULLET- 

So good for making baby food, smoothies, milk shakes, cocktails and soup. The blades are super sharp so they blitz ice and mine gets a good work out making pureed veggies that I hide in everything from pasta sauce to savoury muffins. 

So there you have it, my electrical essentials for mum’s (and anyone really, other than the breast pump). Also, great gift ideas for a new mum or family. 

Me – excited by a new washing machine?? What happened? Times have changed. 

Rachelle xx 

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el8te Skincare Q&A

I recently had the opportunity to try the el8te skin care range. el8te is a luxurious natural skincare brand that offers a high quality product at an affordable price.

Founded by Gen Reid, Jenny Price and Sally Glover, el8te can be used by all ages and skin types. It’s Australian made and free from any nasty chemicals. Making it ideal for sensitive skin. I had a chance to ask the founders of el8te some questions.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about your amazing product range, tell me a little bit about why this came about and what the inspiration for the brand is

We really wanted to create a skincare brand that was truly and genuinely free of nasty chemicals and which incorporated goat milk. Goat milk has incredible healing benefit and is therefore perfect for sensitive skin which is so prevalent these days.

What sets el8te products apart from the rest? 

Most goat milk ranges use processed and powdered goat milk whereas el8te uses only fresh Australian goat milk. Lots of goat milk product on the market is pitched at a supermarket level but we really wanted to open up this space and develop an attractive and elevated brand that could be used by the whole family.

I have young children, some products I have used in the past have caused rashes and dry out their sensitive skin. Tell me a little bit about your Goat’s milk baby range? 

Our babies are so precious and it’s distressing to see the ingredients in some products pitched at babies. We use no nasty chemicals or artificial fragrances so our goat milk range is super safe for gentle and sensitive skin. Our baby range is not only safe for baby’s skin but it has real healing benefits for rashes and irritation that they can be so susceptible to.  

Where do you source the ingredients for the el8te skin care range? 

All the ingredients used are sourced in Australia.

I see you use activated charcoal in some of your products. What are the benefits of this? 

Activated charcoal has been used for millennium– it absorbs deep into the pores to draw out dirt & oil making it perfect for blemished and acne prone skin. Our hand and body wash is scented with pure spearmint oil and it’s one of my favourite products in the el8te range.

Where can I buy el8te? 

You can buy el8te online at www.el8teaustralia.com

What a delightful gift for any new bub (or mum).
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Thank you

Rachelle xx

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Going out? Stay organised.

Now Hudson is three and Scarlett is one, I’m at the point where a huge nappy bag isn’t required for every time I leave the house. Also, after having my babies just over 2 years apart I’m sick of carrying my nappy bag and want to use a normal handbag.

My husband recently bought me a beautiful handbag and I dont want it constantly full of nappies and snacks. I have been known to throw a couple of snacks and some nappies in the bottom of the pram, the problem with this is they sometimes stay there and finding a rotten banana or going to change a nappy only to discover it’s two sizes too small isn’t much help.

Recently I discovered Bellhop bags.  They keep everything organised and alow you to take what you need for a day out. 

* Each bag has a tab at the top to label, so you can see at a glance what each file contains.

* They come with pre-printed stickers for the tab, or you can write your own.

* Each bag has a durable mesh which allows you to see the contents and is easy to clean.

* There is a handy clip that easily attaches to your pram. Perfect for umbrella strollers that have no storage baskets underneath. I have also attached mine to a trolley when out shopping.

*You can easily unclip whatever files you don’t need so you don’t carry unnecessary items around.
 
* Bellhop bags are available in grey canvas with a red mesh, or in grey canvas with a blue mesh.

Bellhop bags help me to stay organised, allow me to change bags and I can pack for the days out without worrying about what handbag I am taking. I found that I can pop some money/phone in them and dont even need to take a bag. I have so many options as I can use some of my smaller handbags and clutches that I have had tucked away in the wardrobe for a few years. 

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Rachelle xx

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Cake baking tips from Lou @cake2therescue

Hi I’m Baker Girl Lou, owner of DIY Cake Kit Company – Cake 2 The Rescue.  I’m so excited to be guest blogging for The Mummy Code this week and I can’t wait to share with you my top tips for baking and decorating a home-made birthday cake.
Before I start, the thing you should all know is that I’m not a baker by trade, I actually started out in engineering and then interior design. I’m no Donna Hay, in fact, my lack of decorating skills is my secret weapon!  So, I promise you, if I can do it, so can you!  
The funny thing is that kids don’t need their cake to be perfect! What they see in a home-made cake is love.  They love bragging to their friends as it arrives at the table, candles lit, “My Mum/Dad made that!”  I honestly think there is nothing like a homemade cake so I hope that the tips and tricks I’m about to share give you the confidence to give it a go!
Since opening Cake 2 The Rescue in 2011 I’ve created over 200 kits, each designed to ensure that people with little to no decorating experience can have success in the kitchen!   Between making 200 cakes and the feedback I’ve received from 11,000 plus customers I’ve learned the pit falls of cake making.  I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, what can go wrong and how to avoid it.  My moto is “Hero-status for minimal effort, stress free baking even on 2 glasses of wine!”
So here are my top tips:

Making a Template
Google is fantastic for templates.  Search for things like printable masks and colouring pages, these will give you great outline drawings easy to print and make templates.  Consider making the head of a character rather than the whole body. The shape will be easier to cut out and that means, easier to ice! Avoid 3D cakes if you have to move your cake to another venue.

Baking Your Cake
You really want your cake to rise as flat as possible so keep the oven a bit lower (say 160oC) this will make the cake rise slowly and more evenly. Position your cake in the middle of the oven not the top.  If your oven usually cooks things more quickly than recipe guidelines or your cakes have a habit of splitting in the middle then chances are your thermostat is out of wacks so make sure you bake at a lower temperature than recommended and consider having your oven serviced.

Bake The Day Before
If you bake your cake the day before you decorate it, it will be much easier to ice.  It’s a bit like buying a loaf of fresh bread straight from the baker’s oven, it always tears when you try to spread the butter.  You’ll get less crumbs if you give it time to settle. 

Making Butter Icing
You icing needs to be spreadable but still thick.  So add your food colouring to get the desired colour before making the icing softer. Usually the liquid of the food colouring is enough to soften the icing but if it’s not just add a little more butter or a teaspoon of milk.  If you thin the icing before you add the food colouring you may end up with a runny mess!!

Icing Your Cake
Think of icing your cake as gliding the icing over the surface, not scraping butter onto bread.  Put a big pile of icing on the middle of the cake and then gently push the icing around the cake and over the sides.  If you have too little icing on your spatula you will drag the surface of the cake and that’s when crumbs sneak in!

Fondant is Fun (I promise!)
Don’t be scared of fondant, it’s just like using play doh only edible!! It will give you a really professional look and give you much more flexibility in your design than using lollies. Just remember butter icing is king when it comes to taste so make the majority of your cake with butter icing and just use fondant for the details like for example the face on your ninja turtle.

Using Fondant
Warm the fondant up by kneading it in your hands, this will make it more malleable and easy to use (I recommend gloves!). Roll it out onto a sheet of baking paper, this will make it easier to pick up the shapes.  Run your finger round the edge of the shapes after cutting them out to remove any rough edges and give a smooth finish.

Storing Your Cake
Avoid putting your finished cake in the fridge unless you have to.  On the bench is always best or with the air conditioning on if it’s a hot day. If you have to keep it in the fridge, serve your cake immediately when you remove it from the fridge to avoid the colours on your cake running as it warms up to room temperature and moisture sets in.
Hope these tips have given you the confidence to try making your next birthday cake at home.  You can always have a practise run a few weeks before if it’s your first time just to put your mind at ease. And please remember it’s not about creating the perfect cake, it’s about the love that went into making it.  I promise you, once you see the excitement on your little ones face, you’ll never look back.
Happy Baking!!

Cake 2 The Rescue – DIY Cake Kits are offering a special $5 discount off their cake kits to Mummy Code readers, valid until 30th June 2016.  So if you want all the hard working taken out of planning your cake and love the idea of having the recipe card, template and everything you need arrive in the box ready to bake and decorate, take a look at their fabulous cakes.

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Let me explain – Sleeping bag? Tog?

The one thing I remember learning at the baby classes was how to swaddle a newborn. They give you a doll and you wrap it up like a little springroll. Cute and easy yes?? Well until you need to apply it to a mini houdini who wriggles around and escapes every 5 minutes.

Both Hudson and Scarlett enjoyed being swaddled but they also loved to wave their arms in the air like they just don’t care.  I would be woken up multiple times a night by a baby that had escaped. Even newborns move their arms around a lot and often scratch themselves in their sleep, I always found it easier to keep their little arms wrapped up tight. There is also the added struggle of finding large, quality muslin wraps, most shrink after the first wash and your left with nothing more than an expensive burp cloth.

I was given an ErgoCocoon just after Hudson was born and decided to try it out. His arms stayed inside and he slept so much better. I haven’t looked back, there was no chance of me bothering with swaddling again.  

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As Hudson grew out of the cocoon,  I discovered the whole world of baby/child sleeping bags. What on earth is a TOG? What sort do I need and why do they seem to cost so much? Are there benefits?

Let me break it down for you.

▫A Tog rating is a way of measuring of the warmth of a baby sleeping bag or swaddle. The lower the tog rating the lighter the bag so a 0.5 sleeping bag would be for summer and 2.5 would be for winter.  ErgoPouch have a really snappy little nursery temperature chart   and what to wear guide to help you out.

▫ As for what sort of sleeping bag to get. I always choose cotton, it’s a natural fibre and helps keep your baby comfortable so they’re not waking up all sweaty from polyester sleeping bags or blankets.

▫Why do sleeping bags cost so much? Let me tell you, I believe sleeping bags are worth every penny. It’s a great investment (and a great present for any expecting parent). I used a lot of Hudson’s old ones for Scarlett and have even passed them onto friends. A good quality sleeping bag will wash well and last the distance. If you have a couple of different ones there is no need for extra blankets.

▫What are the benefits?  I have found the benefits for my children (and me) are better sleep, plus piece of mind knowing that there are no loose wraps in the cot or bassinet for my baby to get tangled in.  Scarlett had hip dyplasia, I was warned against using wraps as people often wrap too tight around the hips and holds them in the wrong position. Sleeping bags were great for Scarlett as I didn’t have to worry about her hips.  Finally having a cotton swaddle or sleeping bag may assist bubs with sensitive skin.

I hope this clarifies the whole tog/sleeping bag area for new mums and mums to be. ergoPouch have everything you need (up to 6 years old) and a beautiful range of patterns to suit. It really does make life easier.

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Rachelle xx

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