Shaped Sandwich Cutters

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It can be challenging sometimes to get kids to eat certain foods… or at least to keep a variety of foods on the menu. My daughter would happily eat cheese sticks and bananas all day if we let her. With a side of rice perhaps.

We recently had a chance to try out a fun sandwich cutter to help add some novelty to meal time. Our first use, we used it to cut up a piece of toast. You can see the cutter above – a dog and dog house.

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And above is the result. What works well is that it cuts the crusts right off because for some reason, little people seem somewhat adverse to crusts a lot of the time.

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And the cheeky little miss enjoying her shaped toast (complete with peanut butter rather than the usual Vegemite… this is Australia). She loved the dog shape and ate him up in a flash. After some play time across the high chair though.

The cutters can be used to create shaped sandwiches too so can be fun for kids school lunches as well as meals at home.

This particularly cutter is from Cheeky Chuckles in Australia RRP $6.95. There are other fun shapes available too and other great products for kids.

What do you do to add some fun to your kids meal times?

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{Review} Torn & Inviolate by Karen Turner

Reading is a pleasure I once devoted so much of my time to. It was my way to chill out, relax, and escape the world for a little while. I recall many summer days of school holidays lazing out on the sun lounge after a swim with my nose in a book. Actually… even in the pool most days. Or snuggled under the doona on cold winter nights. Books are wonderful!

Since becoming a mother I think I have read a total of 5 books. A poor effort in 19 months. And it isn’t all due to the busy life of being a mother. It also has to do with my bad habit of procrastinating on Pinterest to wind down now or clicking away with the camera when we are outdoors. Technology has taken over my life a little.

So when an opportunity arose to review some books, I thought why not. With uni kicking off this week officially, I wanted a chance to have some good quality ‘mummy’ time with some reading. And oh boy was it a good decision!

I had never heard of Karen Turner or her books Torn and the newly released follow up novel Inviolate before I offered to do this review. What I can tell you now though is that she is an Aussie author and these books are amazing!

Torn kicks off in 1808 in a story not so unlike Pride and Predjudice, but with so much more excitement. I could barely put these books down (“Sorry honey, mummy is reading… go play with daddy”).

Alexandra Broughton is not your typical 1800s kinda gal and you will love her right from the start with her strong will and feisty temperament. Right from the start her world is suddenly turned upside-down with a new step-family but where it leads you will not expect. A love story with more ups and downs than you can predict and edge of the seat drama that will leave you quite emotionally attached and distraught at times.

The characters are so well written and Karen writes in such a way that you can picture them and feel like you know them. Some you will adore. Others you will hate. Then there are the ones that will leave you confused and angry one minute and over-joyed the next. One in particular at least…

The books explore the themes of family, friendship, loyalty and betrayal, with accurate references to historic events. Sometimes love happens in the most unexpected of places and sometimes it does not go to plan either.

Torn and Inviolate are both well worth a read. Personally I am rarely drawn in with period novels, yet both of these books were so enjoyable that I actually want more. I recommend you give them a read.

Fingers and toes crossed Karen Turner has some more fantastic writing on its way soon…

 

 

 

 

{Review} Attipas Ergonomic Toddler & Baby Shoes

My daughter is a fashionista… at the age of almost 19 months. She is always adorning herself with some sort of fashion accessory. A headband… a necklace… or a pair of shoes. Often accessories that don’t match her outfit in the slightest, but hey, kids need to express themselves even at that age.

A recent opportunity arose to review a pair of Attipas ergonomic toddler and baby shoes. I read a little about them and loved the concept. Essentially they are shoes designed to be lightweight like socks, but with far more support.

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While we did not struggle too much to introduce Lily to shoes when she was starting to pull up and work on her walking, so many of my friends have said their much older toddlers were still hating shoes. With this in mind, I was curious to see what Attipas were like.

They come in so many colours and styles. It was tough to choose but I went with gender neutral red, loving that they resemble my red Converse hi-top sneakers.

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Yep, it is winter here. Still warm enough for thongs (flip flops) usually 😉

Our first impression was one of amusement. My mum described them as clown shoes & they didn’t stay on for long. Bearing in mind we were indoors, and Lily was tired, so shoes were not on her agenda!

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The real trial came with a trip to the park. And oh boy did we get them grubby! She was running, climbing, sliding… all that fun park stuff & the shoes did nothing to slow her down. In fact, the lightweight materials likely made it easier.

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And thankfully with a quick wipe over with a wet wipe, they were pretty much clean again. Although another bonus is they are machine washable.

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After the park – but a quick wipe and good as new

We also had her wearing the shoes around the grocery store a few days later. She had a great time running away from me. Then back home, she would normally pull shoes off straight away. It was another hour before we too the Attipas off and only because I took them off her.

I was worried being such a cool day here and the fact that they are plastic inside with breathable air holes that her toes would be cold. Nope. Warm enough without being hot. Excellent!

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Home from shopping – and the shoes look new again after the park trip

Overall, the shoes are great. They initially took a little getting used to thanks to my mum’s ‘clown shoes’ reference, however they are actually really cute and funky looking and don’t look chunky at all. They offer toe and heel protection and are far more supportive and protective of little feet than soft soled pre-walkers and they weigh barely a thing. Lots of colours. Machine washable. Lots of positives.

So next time someone mentions the struggle of having their toddler adjust to shoes, this will be my recommendation. Such a fantastic concept and highly recommended! These will now be our go to casual shoes instead of sandals over winter too as it keeps her little feet a lot warmer!

Check them out for yourself here

 

Bella Box Australia

I had the pleasure recently of receiving a May edition of the amazing Bella Box as a bonus for being part of their affiliate program, so I thought I would share a little about this fun service.

Bella Box are an Australia beauty subscription service that send you a new box of goodies each month to try at home. The boxes come with a mix of samples and full size products, including skin care, make up, hair care, and the occasional jewellery or other gift thrown in as well.

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The subscriptions come packaged in adorable little boxes too which are actually perfect for gifting to others. I know my niece was thrilled with the December Bella Box as part of her Christmas present last year, with a full size make up palette and other goodies.

And they even have a baby version full of baby and mummy themed samples. I am planning to subscribe to that one for my next bub when the time comes (not far hopefully).

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The sample sizes are decent sized too… typically giving you more than one application per sample so that you have a proper chance to test out the product before buying. It’s a great way to try before you buy, as they say!

AND JUST $15AU A MONTH!!

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I just saw this image below on their Facebook page to show the June boxes are in progress for current subscribers. Not too late to subscribe for your own Bella Box home delivery.

One of the things that made it extra appealing was you could cancel any time, so no locked in time frames like a lot of subscriptions. Plus you can buy the full size products from their site at reduced prices. They did have a member rewards scheme as well, earning points for each friend you referred and products you purchased with added up to extra rewards.

I am thinking it is time to renew my own subscription which I only had lapse because I was on maternity leave and it was one of those luxuries I had to let go. There are similar subscription services in the US and maybe other countries too. Worth a look but Bella Box is definitely great here in Australia.

I do know of Violet Box in New Zealand.

Do you subscribe to a beauty subscription service? Tell me more… keen to discover others.

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

 

Review – BabyButton Breastfeeding Cover & Giveaway

Recently I jumped at the opportunity to review a Breastfeeding cover from Australian company BabyButton. Yes, my daughter is nearing that 18 month mark and is coming towards the end of her breastfeeding days (not without protest) so I have had a bit of experience with breastfeeding covers.

What I personally want in a cover is something simple to use, that conceals all it is supposed to. A little bit of style doesn’t hurt either.

Since my daughters birth I have struggled with a cover I purchased from a baby store that did the job but was so awkward and not always great at the concealing. It’s like a poncho with one arm hole. Even to this day I am still not entirely sure which arm I’m supposed to have in the hole when feeding on a certain side, and because it wraps right around, it could be really hard to get to business without potentially revealing more than I hoped to unsuspecting folk. Not only that but if my daughter fell asleep, I’d end up stuck wearing the cover half the time because it wrapped right around. So pretty much my old cover was frustrating and not so great at its job!

However, the BabyButton breastfeeding cover has none of these challenges. It is essentially styled like an apron with an adjustable neck strap. No arm holes required. Simply pop it over your head and you are pretty much ready to go.

The BabyButton cover is wide enough for good coverage and long enough also, keeping everything well concealed and discreet. And because it is in that apron style, you can adjust it to one side or the other with ease. This also means it pops straight up over your head once the baby is finished, asleep or not. You only need one hand to take it off, making that baby juggling/multi-tasking process a lot easier.

It’s cotton, so breathable. If it gets grubby, throw it in the washing machine. Easy. And if stuck for a change mat, it works for that too (a use I have already needed it for). And you can see your baby as they feed, due to the wide neck area where the strap attaches.

Not only that, but it comes in some fabulous prints just for fun!

Overall I highly recommend the BabyButton Breastfeeding Cover, as it is simple, effective and everything you need in a cover. I am happy to retire my old cover and keep this one in my nappy bag until my daughter is fully weaned (and will be well prepared for the next child or two when the time comes).

The covers are on sale right now over at the BabyButton website. I’m not sure when the sale ends but they would make fabulous gifts for mums-to-be, or nursing necessities for yourself. Or better yet, scroll down for your chance to WIN one!

Now for the exciting partBabyButton are kindly allowing me to giveaway one of these fabulous breastfeeding covers. For your chance to win, leave a comment on this blog post and click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter or click the giveaway tab on our Facebook  page.

 CLICK HERE TO ENTER – – – > a Rafflecopter giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a BabyButton Breastfeeding cover. The competition is open worldwide & the lucky winner will be contacted in June.

GOOD LUCK!

*Winning entry will be screened to ensure it meets entry requirements. * Entry is open worldwide. * The winner will be notified by email/Facebook and will need to respond within 48 hours. If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn. * Simplify.Create.Inspire is not liable for prizes that are not delivered or damaged in the post.

UPDATED : winner is MELLIE JANE.