Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Shout Out

I've had an amazing couple of days and been lucky enough to spend time with some awesome bloggers in the process, so I thought I'd do a Sunday Shout Out and share the bloggy love.

Early in the week I spent some time with Louisa Claire from Everything is Edible and Brand Meets Blog. She is an incredibly inspiring woman and my little two loved playing with Bliss and Bear as well.

On Friday I was invited to the Bloggers Brunch hosted by Kids Business. For a wrap up of the event that was live blogged by the awesome pink haired Marita (who I love to pieces) check out Stuff with Thing.

The adventure began early as I had offered to pick up some interstaters from the airport. I was more than a little nervous as these three bloggers are so inspiring to me!

Firstly I met Naomi from Seven Cherubs who is every bit as gorgeous as you would imagine from her blog. By the way her Facebook Page has 950 likers and her goal is 1000 by the end of the year so pop over and show her some like!

Then the amazingly energetic Brenda from Mummytime and beautiful Tina from Tina Gray {dot} Me joined us and we were on our way. Sadly a babygirl was not a very happy camper for the duration of the drive, but I loved the chance to chat with these women who I admire so much.

While we were at the brunch I loved the chance to chat with Becky (Becky and James Do Reviews) who I've long loved on Twitter, and Kym who writes at Mumma's Mini Me's, who I felt an instant kinship with and was sad I didn't get to spend more time with.

I also had a moment to chat with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys. Trish was one of the first bloggers to really make me feel like part of the blogosphere and she was as beautiful in real life as she is online. I wish I'd had more time with her over the weekend, I have so much admiration for her.


Backseat full of Bloggers!
 When we were done I kidnapped Glowless (Where's My Glow) along with the other three. If you met her you'd kidnap her too. She is just beautiful and a total sweetheart. I may be a bit in love with her. Or a lot even.

Then to Saturday and Blogopolis!

Seriously I could write a bigzillion posts about the awesomeness of the bloggers I crossed paths with. And a list as long as your arm! So I'll keep it to those I actually got to talk to for more than 5 seconds.

Early on I met Mardi from Mummycino. Who is 40+ weeks pregnant. I kid you not. After about 36 weeks with my kids I had to drag myself out of the house and was a total misery guts. She on the other hand looked radiant, and I hope she isn't reading this because she is having her baby!

The blogger babies
 I spent most of my time up the back, and the babygirl enjoyed playing with Deb's baby boy (Wild Hope) along with the Picklebaby (Picklebums). Deb and I travelled to and from together, and I so enjoyed her company. Our babies share their birthday... in fact her baby was born at home in the morning, and our baby was born at home that night. We had the same midwives and all!

And KatePickle is always a pleasure to spend time with, and has been an amazing friend to me for many years now. On top of that she is a design genius. See this blog? KatePickle. I adore her and admire her and am blessed to have her as my friend.

While I'm raving about friends, the inimitable Shae from Yay for Home! was in attendance as well and as always I loved seeing her too. She is the funniest chicken ever. Even when she's hungover.

Dorothy (Singular Insanity) came and had a chat and some baby cuddles, and was as lovely as always too.

At lunch I shared a table with Mardi, Deb, Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids, the Twitchy chick from Twitchy Corner (who shares some excellent musical tastes with me), Laney (Crash Test Mummy) and Denyse (Memories by Denyse) who I've had some great chats with on Twitter too.

Afterwards I finally met Fiona from Oh Gorgeous Baby who is in fact gorgeous herself, and I loved talking to Veronica (Sleepless Nights) who is a wonderful writer and a beautiful woman.

And who could forget the awesomeness that is Kelley (Magneto Bold Too). She is an incredible woman and I simply adore her. So much so that I took a photo of her bags. In my posh pram. Although shoes are her thing, she gives good bag too.

Classy bags for a classy pram
And of course down the bottom is my beautiful Vanchi Joplin Barrel Bag which served me so well over the past couple of days. And today is your last chance to win a Vanchi Change Clutch! So once you're done clicking all the links to those fabulous blogs click that one and win it!

To anyone I've missed my sincere apologies, leave a comment telling me off! You'll forgive my baby induced distraction I hope, but I truly loved spending time with all of you <3

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blogopolis 2011

I had the pleasure today of attending Nuffnang Blogopolis, along with nearly 300 other bloggers from around the country.

The babygirl was my date for the day and I'd love to tell you all about the speakers and everything I learned, but as other parents of babygirls and boys will know sometimes a baby isn't as interested in the content as we might be.

Riding in style... heading to Fed Square with laptop tucked safely away in our gorgeous Vanchi Joplin Barrel Bag
We realised early on that the lounge area at the back of the room was going to be the best place for babies to roam a but with minimal distraction to the other attendees. From there we could see and hear most of the speakers but not feel we were impacting too much on other blogger's experiences.

I loved hearing Nicole Avery (aka the Planning Queen from Planning With Kids) for the second time in two days. She is such a motivated and motivational speaker and I found her advice very useful (much of which can be found at her Blog Coaching Boost site).

Superbaby, that's me!
A babygirl decided it was time to play after the morning tea break, so I missed a lot of the blog photography talk (but am a little bit in love with DaniMezza who I wish I'd been able to hear better, and who was so lovely to the babies and mummies up the back). Meanwhile how gorgeous is a babygirl in her Superbaby top from Mm is for Me? Thankyou so much for it Ash, it got a lot of comments! 

Ahhhhh, she sleeps
I was so happy to be able to hear the gorgeous Christie from Childhood101 talking about improving blog content and how blogs need to evolve over time. Her own site is a treasure trove of ideas for kids and the Playopedia is every parents dream come true for inspiration, particularly during these cold Winter months.

We spent lunch break with 50 fabulous bloggers from Digital Parents then headed back to hear about working with brands, editorial vs advertorial and Blog Branding (Darren Rowse from Problogger is pretty darned awesome by the way, I wish I'd heard a lot more of his talk too!).

Unfortunately by then this exhausted Mama and the babygirl had reached the end of their shelf life, so we snuck out early and headed home for a quiet night.

To all the awesome bloggers I've met over the past couple of days (I'll be doing a shout out post tomorrow) thankyou for being inspiring, amazing and most of all caring. I'm so proud to be part of such a vibrant and diverse community, but what has really shone through for me is the friendship bloggers share. 

To put your life on the internet, to share so much of yourself can be a challenging and sometimes frightening proposition. To have people come up to you who know your name, and ask after your family with genuine compassion is an amazing experience. Truly once again, I am blessed.



Friday, July 29, 2011

Coughs and colds and sneezes, and dangerous diseases.

I remember we used to chant this when I was little. I have no idea why, but it was catchy and now I chant it to my kids when they have the coughs and colds.

It's not been a great Winter for us so far, with what feels like an endless run of sniffles and chesty coughs. They seem to linger for so long in the small ones particularly.

So when I was offered the chance to try Blackmore's Cough Combat and ImmunoDefence I leapt at it in the hopes we could finally shake off the last of the cough and help build our immunity before the next round hits!

The supertrucker has been using the ImmunoDefence, when he gets sick he gets the man version and I can live without that! He's finding it easy to take and he's not succumbed to the kids' lurgies, hooray!

The thing I love about the Cough Combat is it really is suitable for the whole family, including the babygirl (it's fine for use over 6 months of age, but do check with a doctor or naturopath first for children under 2 years). My little tackers have been taking it as directed and I'm happy to say the night time cough cough coughing has definitely decreased.

Has your family been battling the Winter lurgies too? I have two Night Owl kits to give away!

Each kit contains a gorgeous owl toy, a pair of socks and Blackmore's ImmunoDefence as well as the Cough Combat for you to try. The total value of each kit is around $84.


To enter just make sure you are a follower of the blog (over there on the right with Google Friend Connect) and leave a comment telling me your favourite remedy for the Winter colds.

Entries close on Sunday August 14th at 5pm, and this one is only open to Australian residents. The winners will be chosen by random number generator.

Good luck!!

Disclosure: I received Blackmore's ImmunoDefence and Cough Combat to try with my family. No payment was offered of accepted. 





Congrats Mother Duck!


And Fignut Mum!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday: The one where I am going to play with GROWN UPS!

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Alright, so it's highly unlikely that the next few days will look anything like this, but it made me giggle!

It's Thursday and I'm feeling thankful! The next few days are going to be a madcap rush around interspersed with extreme awesomeness.

Tomorrow morning I will be dropping off the small boy with my fabulous sister then heading to the airport to pick up Naomi from Seven Cherubs, Tina from Tina Gray {Dot} Me and Mummytime's Brenda, then heading in to the city along with my babygirl to attend the Bloggers Brunch put together by Kids Business. I was so excited to be invited after having a big sulk wishing I had been to the last one. I can't wait to meet so many bloggers that I read and love!

Then on Saturday it's the one so many bloggers are flying in from around the country for... Nuffnang Blogopolis is finally here! I'm so looking forward to a day of learning and socialising. So many bloggers. So little time.

Plus this all means I'm having nearly two full days with just my babygirl. I adore my kids, you know that. But truly at the moment the toddler boy and I particularly could do with just a tiny break from each other. As Shae from Yay for Home puts it, we need to see other people.

And the other people I will be seeing are some of the most supportive and amazing people I've never met. But I'm going to! I am so full of squeeeee I might just pop.

So if it's a little quiet around here the next few days, that's because either a)I'm in shock from the awesomeness of the blogosphere or b)I've returned home and the small boy has tied me up so as I can never leave his sight again.

What are you feeling thankful for this Thursday?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


A big boy loves a lazy pyjama day as much as his Mum.

I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys, come play along!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Afternoon Delight

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It's Term 3 and we are well and truly back into the school day routine again. I loved our lazy mornings during the holidays but I also love that I have some great systems in place for coping with the mad rush that can be afternoons at our place, especially when the supertrucker is on the road.

So I thought I'd share some of my best systems junkie tips for keeping a calm head during the week.

Lunches
I have two kids at school and I hate making lunches. Truly it just annoys me. My solution is to do all the legwork on Sunday so I'm not having to think of it every day.

Sandwiches are made and frozen in their Tupperware containers. Heaps of fillings freeze well so I mix it up a bit for them. Cheese and vegemite, ham, peanut butter, very occasionally nutella... They both love cold meat and cheese the best.

I don't buy prepackaged snacks. I challenged myself back in Term 1 to try not buying them just for that term and it made such a difference to our budget and to our big boy's behaviour that it's now second nature to bypass that aisle at the supermarket.

Over the weekend I'll make up a batch of Too Many Biscuits and freeze rolls of dough so I can bake them fresh as needed. I'll often do some Easy Peasy Cheesy Muffins as well and freeze them so the kids have some different options. Both recipes are quick and easy, and my big girl loves helping with them.

As soon as the kids get home from school I empty their lunchbags and refill them for the next day with their sandwiches, snack and some fruit. It literally takes less than ten minutes and it's done.

Routines
My two biggles are STARVING when they walk in the door in the afternoon. I try to have something ready for them right away... the difference that afternoon snack makes to their attitude is amazing!

Once they're fed we try to get homework and readers out of the way pretty quickly.

They pretty much do whatever they please after that until dinner time around 5.30. The little two go to bed after they all have a bath or shower and the bigs have some quiet time together or with me (assuming the littles have played nice and actually gone to sleep).

My bigs are in bed by 7.30, by which time I've done a load of washing ready to hang on the clothes horses. I've found washing in the evening has really made my mornings a lot less stressful too!

And then if the stars align just right and no one is teething or unwell or otherwise discombobulated, I get a couple of precious hours all. by. myself.

And many evenings I feel like I've earned them ;)


How do you manage your time most efficiently? And how do you get on top of your least favourite tasks?

Monday, July 25, 2011

When I Grow Up

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I've written here before about the many hats I've worn in my life so far.

I've reached a crossroad. If I'm to keep my teachers registration I need to complete a fair number of days teaching before the end of next year. Not millions, but enough that I'd need to put my small two in care, arrange before/after school care for my big kids and try to get as many emergency days as possible between now and then.

If my big two were my little two I'd not think twice about it. They were both in family daycare one day a week from quite a young age and they thrived.

But my small boy is a different kettle of fish altogether. I don't think he'd cope like his brother did, and until we know what is going on with him I'm not comfortable with it at all. Also the delightful easy going babygirl (who would no doubt be absolutely fine) is my last baby and I'm loathe to give up our days together because I know all too well how fast they will disappear.

And in complete honesty, my heart is just not in it. I feel no passion to teach at the moment, although I know I'd enjoy it enough and I do love the kids.

An idea has been germinating for a little while though. And there have been a few signs that it may be a good one. I'm looking forward to nutting it out with some people who know the ins and outs; for once I'm going to thoroughly explore before leaping straight in.

But I am excited.

And then on Sunday Sarah Hopkins who I follow on Twitter for her inspiring quotes posted this:


"It takes ONE decision, ONE change in thought to change your ENTIRE LIFE to the very core. LIVE THE LIFE U WANT TO LIVE; It's never too late"



I believe this wholeheartedly. I live by it. Admittedly I find it harder at some times than others, but I truly believe in the power of the positive and this spoke to me immediately.

I feel a change is coming. And it's going to be a great one. Watch this space.

In the meantime I'm off to reread The Alchemist and remind myself that the treasure is always out there, I just need to remain focused on it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

AmbeRocks teething necklace review and giveaway!

We have a teething babygirl at my house. Her first bottom two teeth are through, and the top ones are just breaking through the gum now.

I'm not a big fan of teething. Teeth are all good, teething is not. Grizzly, red cheeked, sad little people are not my favourite things. Luckily the sweet natured babygirl is taking it in her stride, but this was not the case with all my children. Not by a long shot. Sleepless nights and panadol have been de rigeur on and off around here for many years.

I will say though, I am loathe to give medication unless absolutely necessary. My small boy had an amber teething necklace when he was a bubba but I passed it on because we weren't having any more babies (ha ha ha). 

So when the lovely Lisa from AmbeRocks popped up on my Facebook page I thought I'd chat with her about some amber for my girl.There is lots of information out there about the wonderful properties of amber in health support and pain relief. This page in particular discusses the use of Baltic Amber for soothing teething pain in babies.


We love it! The girl has been wearing her necklace all day every day since it arrived a week or so ago. During that time I've watched her top gum swell and break as her new little toothypegs erupted, with not a complaint from her. Obviously I have no way of knowing what role her Baltic Amber necklace is playing in terms of pain relief, all I know is that her new teeth haven't affected her night sleep at all and that is always a great thing.

If you've thought about some amber for yourself or your babe, AmbeRocks has a great run down of the various types of amber they have available and what each type is helpful for. My girl is modelling the Light Honey necklace which can aid in sleeplessness, restlessness and irritability. 

AmbeRocks have also generously donated two teething necklaces for me to give away! One in light honey the same as we have, and one lovely butter baroque.

To score yourself one of these lovely necklaces all you need to do is make sure you are a follower of this blog (over there on the right) and leave me a comment telling me your favourite product from the AmbeRocks website.

For additional entries let me know that you are a fan of my Facebook page, and/or tweet about this competition (make sure to @katesaysstuff). Please leave extra comments for each of these actions and a total of three entries.

The competition will close on Saturday 6th August at 5pm and the winner will be selected via random.org.

This one is open internationally by the way! Good luck!


Disclosure: I receieved a Baltic Amber set for my babygirl from AmbeRocks for the purpose of this review and giveaway. No payment was offered or received. All opinions expressed are my own because I have a brain in my head and shoes on my feet.




We have our winners!!



Congratulations Kirsten and Jess!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things I Know

It's Things I Know Friday again with Yay for Home!
This week I feel like I know too much, and a lot of it isn't mine to share.

I know I've felt heartsick over sad and scary news for a couple of families, and that I wish them both peace. I know I am thinking of them a lot and sending them lots of love.

I know I'm thinking of my sister constantly, and hoping she is feeling much better very very soon.

I know I've had some really exciting news this week too, and that I can't wait to share it with you all when the time is right.

This week I know that I love it when the supertrucker does the school run, it makes my morning much less stressful.

I also love it when my BFF comes to stay and play with her beautiful baby girl.

I know a baby girl is teething, but coping much better than other children have. She has an amber teething necklace and it really seems to be helping.

I know I've already made a few of the awesome recipes from Menu Monday, and I'm looking forward to trying the rest too.

But mostly this week I know I am so very grateful for my children. That they are healthy. And I know how incredibly lucky I have been with all of them. I'm holding them all extra tight this week.

What do you know?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

For Kristie


Today a woman I've never met but have known for many years laid her precious, much anticipated baby boy to rest.

A woman who has shown nothing but support and love for me and many others through online forums and other media. A woman who has walked a difficult path with grace and dignity.

A woman who my heart is breaking for.

There are no words to express the sorrow I felt when I learned that her son was born still. The anguish at a dream that won't come true. I can only imagine how Kristie, her partner Ally and their daughter Tara are feeling now, but if I could have one wish it would be to offer them some comfort and support.

Tonight I lit a candle for their family. A candle which was in flame during my own Blessingway and labour with our baby. I lit it to honour the love a mother's body shows a child as it grows inside her. I lit it and thought about the nurturing baby Avery would have known in utero, even if he couldn't know it here. But mostly I lit it because I am a mother too, and my heart aches for her.

Kristie has invited the sharing of tributes here.

Blessings to you Kristie, and so much love.

Thankful Thursday : The one where I am Sally Field

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Today I'm feeling thankful for my blog.

On Tuesday I published this post that I'd written over the weekend when I was feeling frustrated and lonely and generally like a pretty average parent.

I held off publishing it for a few days because I wasn't sure how it would be received, and the act of writing it had been quite cathartic in and of itself. In the end I decided to share it because I figured if I was feeling like that then chances are other parents were too.

The comments here, on Twitter and on my Facebook page have been amazing. I've received so much support and validation, and most importantly I've been reminded that I am not alone in my self-doubt at times.

Parenting is hard. As a stay-at-home Mum whose partner is away an awful lot of the time it can also be very isolating for me sometimes. How amazing to know that I can come here and share my random thoughts and experiences, and have people who I've never met (but many who I absolutely count as friends through our conversations online) show me such care.

I love my blog. I love blogging. It's all good :)




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Munchkin Nappy Disposal System: final thoughts and winners!




I've been lucky enough to try out the new Munchkin Nappy Disposal System over the past few weeks. You can see my first impressions here.

Overall I've been very impressed. Having used another brand of nappy disposal system in the past I did find that this one controlled odours far more effectively. It is a one handed system which is much safer too, as I can keep one hand on the baby or toddler as I dispose of the nappy. It is a well designed and attractive unit that certainly makes change time a little quicker and easier.

The Munchkin system compares favourably to others available in terms of cost too. The refill bags are reasonably priced and far less bulky than others I've used, which makes buying in bulk and storing them the most economical prospect.

The bags should last up to four days each with one baby in nappies. Having two means that I used them more quickly, with a bag lasting 2-3 days which is pretty much on a par with other systems.

The one downside I experienced is that you do need to order your refills online which incurs a shipping charge. The advantage of other systems is that you can duck down to your local chain store to purchase your refill cartridges. That said, even with the shipping cost (and if you budget well you can avoid that by purchasing in bulk as they do free delivery over $100) I feel the refills are quite a bit cheaper than other brands. 

Overall I am impressed with the Munchkin system, and will continue to use it. In particular the ability to dispose of a nappy whilst keeping my baby safe on the change table makes it an attractive proposition, and the baking soda dispenser certainly does work effectively to keep odours at bay. It is easy to use and replacing the liner bags is a simple operation.

Think you'd like a Munchkin nappy disposal system for yourself? I'm happy to be able to share a special $25 discount offer with you guys!



The system and refills are available from Baby Nest, who have some other great products available as well so have a browse while you are there.

And the exciting news, congratulations to pawhitehouse and cateruss on winning their own systems! There were many fantastic entries and it was very hard to select the winners! I do hope you'll find the Munchkin Nappy Disposal System makes your change times as easy as it has mine.


Disclosure: I received a Munchkin Nappy Disposal System via Soup marketing agency. No payment was offered or accepted. All opinions are my own.


Wordless Wednesday: The random moments edition.





I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys, come play along!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Raw

Some days I feel like an epic fail as a parent.

Some days, when the supertrucker is away and there are still a few days left until he gets back, I wonder why I ever thought I could do this with four children.

Some days my nearly eight year old son makes me want to yell and throw things with his attitude and 'memememe' tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants.

Some days when my six year old daughter puts her hands on her hips, stamps her foot and hmmmphs at me I want to do it right back to her.

Some days I even do.

Some days the sense of entitlement my big kids display makes me wonder if I'm doing it all wrong that they can have such selfish and greedy attitudes.

Some evenings the juggle of getting the small two to sleep means sending the bigs off with promises to tuck them in when I'm done. Some nights they are asleep before I get there, and I feel guilty that I can't be in two places at once.

Some nights, most nights lately, my toddler wakes up to ten times. By the early hours I lie there feeling resentful and angry.

Some days I remember life before children. I never got angry. Not like I do now.

Some days it is hard to find my gratitude.


But then...

The baby grins showing off her tiny new teeth. She snuggles into me and I know I am the very centre of her universe.

The toddler beams so widely, he has such an open face that shows me how he is feeling all the time. He says 'Mummy peese, nuggle' and squeezes me tight.

The big girl says "Mummy I love you. I will love you until I die and you die. But I hope you die first.' And I hug her and think that I can't imagine a world without her in it.

The big boy does something unexpectedly lovely for one of his siblings. He cuddles the baby. He encourages the toddler. He is kind to his sister. And I remember that it can be so hard being the oldest, because I am too.


And I think to myself that when they grow up, my children won't remember the state of the house when they were small but they will remember the state of their Mum. And I take a deep breath. I time myself out for five minutes. I remember how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to have four happy healthy children.

And I am grateful.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Monday Linkup: Basic Chicken Casserole

Yay it's Menu Monday again!! Can't wait to see what you guys have to share this month... I've been feeling very uninspired lately (ohai Winter SAD) and am looking forward to trying some new things. A number of the recipes linked up previously have become firm favourites at our place.

If you're new here and have no idea what I'm talking about, or if you just want to go check out our previous Menu Monday linkups you can see them here and here.

So this Menu Monday I'm sharing a basic chicken casserole recipe that I kind of just made up. I will say upfront it's on the bland side because my children suck are quite fussy eaters, but I add some extra curry powder or chili for the supertrucker and I (and the baby actually, because she has the best palate of the lot!).

What you need:

500g chicken breast
4 medium sized potatoes
1 small or half a larger butternut pumpkin
Broccoli
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp Seeded mustard
1 tsp Curry powder
300ml or so chicken stock


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

 Brown the chicken then place in a casserole dish.

I love my wok by the way. I love that my stovetop has one of those wok holder thingies that sits above the burner. Handy.


Dice the potatoes fairly small, the pumpkin less small (because it will cook more quickly) and chop the broccoli into florets.

 Combine the evaporated milk and chicken stock in your pan, and mix in the curry powder and mustard (you can put a little or a lot more of either or both to taste obviously, a teaspoon of each just gives it a little flavour subtle enough for those who prefer life on the blander side).

Pop in your veggies for a minute or two over medium heat.

Add the liquid and vegies to your casserole pot and stir through.

Cover and place in the preheated oven for an hour.

Yum. Serve with whatever floats your boat. We often have this with couscous.

Enjoy!




Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Mummy Obsession (and a Vanchi giveaway!)

I am generally pretty low maintenance I think. I don't buy myself many clothes at all. I don't have hundreds of shoes. I don't spend the money I once did on getting my hair done every six weeks. These days I actually feel a little guilty when I do spend money on myself rather than the kids.

There are however two areas where I am quite high maintenance indeed. Prams and nappy bags.

The pram fetish I will save for a whole other post (although those of you who like my Facebook page will have already seen the pram to end all prams that arrived at my place yesterday).

As for nappy bags, I have known and loved a few. I've had an Oi Oi, a number of custom handmade ones, more recently a Ju-Ju-Be BFF. All lovely in their own ways. But just as my ideal (and long lusted after) pram has finally entered my life, so has the last and best nappy bag I will own. A Joplin Barrel Bag in Storm by Vanchi.


Here's why.

 See this fairly impressive pile of apparently random detritus? These are the contents of my nappy bag for a day out, with a toddler and a baby in nappies.

Yes, there are quite a few lollipops there. I said a day out with a toddler right? Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I don't hand them out often but they are VERY useful to have on hand in a meltdown emergency.
 The bag comes with this awesome snap in 'Mummy Pouch'. I took some time in organsing my bag when it first arrived and found that for me, this is the best place to keep the actual nappies.

The pouch easily fits 4-6 nappies along with a packet of wipes, nappy sacks, the cute little Vanchi wet bag and gorgeous change mat as well as a bottle of hand sanitiser.
 And here's some super clever for you. The pouch snaps in to the main body of the bag so not only can you remove the whole thing easily if needed, it serves as a divider within the bag as well if that suits your style.

You'll notice also the key fob on the right which is so helpful when you're juggling kids and trying to get the car or house unlocked. Saves lots of rummaging and stress.
 So now the actual nappies are in the bag, there are two zippered pockets on the back. This is where I store the lollipops as my kids haven't figured out that the pockets are even there.

I can also comfortably fit an iPhone in the pocket which is handy.
 All Retro Series Vanchi bags also come with an insulated bottle bag and dummy safe.

I've popped the toddler's water bottle in the bag and a few little toys in the dummy safe (because it never hurts to have something new and different on hand, and my babygirl gave up her dummy in preference for her fingers!).
 So we now have the 'kid' side of the bag. You can see the pockets in the side lining are incredibly generous. I've got baby food, bibs, extra wipes, rusks, baby sunscreen and more in those pockets with room to spare.

And yet I can still see where everything is at a glance and grab things quickly. Extremely excellent.
And for the Mummy side, one pocket I use for my purse and the other has hand cream, Rescue Remedy and Panadol (I have four children remember?), body spray and tissues.

Everything I could possibly need to get through a day out with two, three or four kids with me.
 Ta-da! Ready to go. And how cute is the little dummy charm?
 Of course the bag also comes with a full length strap so you can hang the bag on your pram (I tend to leave the longer strap in the bag and hang it from my pram hooks by the D-rings) or carry it easily over your shoulder.

I love it. Oh yes I do. It gives me a big happy.

I also love that Vanchi is an Australian company that started out as a WAHM business. As an ex WAHM myself I have so much respect for those women who truly follow their dreams and this is one of those great business stories.






So now you all are wanting a Vanchi bag too right?

Well one lucky reader can have one!


I'm giving away beautiful Change Clutch in Truffle values at $54.95! The clutch comes with a removeable strap and change mat and is the most gorgeous deep brown colour.

Have no need for a nappy bag? This clutch can easily double as a handbag option as well!

Want it? Here's how to get it.

Make sure you are a follower of this blog, then leave a comment telling me which bag from the Vanchi catalogue you love the most.

The most creative response will win, and entries close at 5pm Sunday 31st July.

This one is open to our lovely international readers too!

Good luck!


Disclosure: I received a lovely Joplin Barrel Bag from Vanchi for the purpose of this review. No payment was offered or accepted. All opinions are my own, and as any of my real-life friends will tell you I know my nappy bags. Some might say I have a problem. I say I just have amazing taste in baby goods.






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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things I Know

This week I know that the school holidays are nearly over, and it's back to routine this weekend with lunches to be made and kids to get to bed early Sunday night. I will miss my biggies!

I also know that it's been awesome having the Supertrucker not do the extra shifts he usually does during the holidays. He's taken the big boy to the motorcross track a few times and there has been much motorbike fun going on at our place too.


I know a small boy loves the motorbikes as much as his brother and his Dad. But he doesn't love them so much when they are actually running ;)

This week I know I've loved spending time with my sister, and I'm sad that she's heading back home today.

I know that I'm looking forward to my babyest sister's wedding in October! It's going to be lovely having all the family in one place at the same time!

I know it's been a funny old week, and that I have a lot to be grateful for in my life. And I am.


I'm talking about things I know with Yay for Home! Come play along!

Thankful Thursday

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I have so much to be thankful for yet again this week.

I'm thankful for my beautiful friend who looked after a big girl yesterday while we were off to the hospital, and who so thoughtfully provided some lovely new little toys to distract the small boy while he was undergoing tests.

I'm thankful for my sister who came to hold my hand help with the babygirl while we were at the hospital. Love you so much K.

I'm so very thankful that the small boy coped with the EEG so well. The hospital was well set up with a portable DVD player and Cars DVD (his favourite!) and he was so engrossed that he barely flinched while they applied the electrodes. He actually fell asleep for a short while, and did so well while they were flashing the lights in his eyes.

I'm thankful for the invention of AnGel cream which made the blood tests much easier for my boy. He was quite distressed by the tourniquet and wasn't at all happy, but the needle itself wasn't too bad and he recovered well once he had his Wiggles bandaid applied.

I am just so very thankful that our afternoon at the RCH went much more smoothly than I had anticipated, and for the resilience of my little boy.


In other news, I'm thankful for the opportunity to trial the Munchkin Nappy Disposal System. I put it to the ultimate test over the weekend by leaving a poo nappy in there when we went away. I came home to no smell whatsoever. Impressed so far.

I'll be posting a full review next week as well as announcing the two winners of their own Munchkin systems, so be sure to get your entry in here.

It's Thursday, and I'm feeling thankful. How about you?