October 09, 2018

Family ›   Farmstay ›   Getaway ›   Holiday ›   Kids ›  


A Fantastic Farmstay in the 'Lost World'

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and head for the hills for some fresh country air and a true digital detox! A Farmstay is a great mini break for the little people where they can experience a true working farm and participate in all the activities associated with it. Not to mention getting them off their screens and into nature. 

After a bit of research of Farmstay options we chose the Historic 'Cedar Glen' and couldn't have been happier with it. Situated in the Scenic Rim at the edge of the Lamington National Park this beautiful part of the world sets a picturesque  backdrop for our stay. The elder O'Reilly lived his last years in this area and named it 'the lost world' in his writings.

As we drive through Beaudesert and into Darlington the stresses of city life begin to melt away as we find serenity in the beautiful countryside, spotting all the animals grazing in the paddocks and slowing down for cattle lazily crossing our path. 

When we arrive at the homestead I run into our delightful historic cottage to hide the TV remote controls and iPads to be sure we get the most out of our stay. This meant the kids naturally went outside looking for something to do. They were thrilled to be met by Hillary the friendly fat farm cat, then they were back inside getting apples and carrots to feed the horses Marco + Polo. From then on the kids felt comfortable with their larger than normal backyard and found their way into all the activities on offer. 

Twice a day there was the highlight of animal feeding, egg collecting and milking the cow. I've been to Farmstays before where there were surprisingly few animals but not at Cedar Glen. This farm is bursting with a happy and harmonious selection of animals to feed including ducks, hens, roosters, peacocks, sheep, cows, horses and pigs. Lots of babies too including one week old lamby!

waiting for the pony ride 

feeding the chooks

cuddle with a chicken

milking the cow

Other great activities at Cedar Glen are taking part in the stock-whip cracking and boomerang throwing, taking a picnic and heading to one of the many watering holes along the Albert River, having a dip, swinging on the ropes and some fishing. You can experience a one-hour trail ride through the foothills of the 'lost world' and picturesque Albert River or a 20 minute led pony ride for the little ones.

In the evenings there's the opportunity to sit down to an authentic home-cooked country meal in the homestead dining room, where all the food is cooked on site and the produce comes fresh from the farm!

After three days of experiencing country life we are happy to head back into the city. We feel a delightful boost to our physical and mental well being and have made a pact to do more mini getaways and adventures that balance out the plugged-in online and indoor world we battle with.

 

This blog was created or shared for the enjoyment of visitors to Little Kisses baby gifts and baby hampers www.littlekisses.com.au 

 

 

 

September 26, 2018

Family ›   Holiday Hacks ›   School Holiday Activities ›  


Holiday Hacks

There are so many fun things on for the kids these school holidays. Why not schedule in a few? It's nice to have those unstructured 'pyjamas all day' days too but I always find it much easier to manage the tribe on school holidays when we have a few things in the diary to look forward too.

Sugar Republic

RELIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD!

Play in a huge grown-up ball pit, swing in a fairy floss room, jump out of a giant birthday cake, climb inside a gum ball machine, spin the Wheel O’ Treats and more. Sugar Republic is a truly unique experience for adults and kids alike. It’s Australia’s ‘must see’ exhibition for the candy enthusiast.

Speak Up Studio Red Hill

With themes like Unicorn Horns, Moana and The Incredibles, what's there not to get excited about in these school holiday workshops. Your kids can go and make friends, dress up in costumes, develop a love of reading and literature, and extend their performance skills in a supportive, and non-competitive environment. 

Sunsuper Riverfire 2018

Pack up a picnic and head to Southbank to watch the events of Riverfire 2018 unfold. First up is the flyovers and Roulette acrobatic display which is always jaw dropping. Then on to the main event with 11 tonnes of fireworks to be fired from six barges on the Brisbane River, 10 CBD high-rises, the Goodwill Bridge and the Story Bridge, all choreographed to a specially mixed playlist inspired this year by sci-fi and superheroes.

Don't forget to pack some headphones for the very little ones.

Justine Clark Silly Songs Tour 2018

Performing her favourite songs as well as hits from her TV show and new album The Justine Clarke Show! the concert centres around a shared joy of singing, dancing and all the excitement of show time. Don't miss this homegrown queen of children's entertainment perform in person.

Mud Festival For Kids

Green Time vs Screen Time. The Mud Festival will help you get that balance back! Book the kids into some of the fantastic events on offer at this years Mud Festival. Mud squelching through the toes, splattering on your clothes, making mud pies, jumping in mud, swimming in mud, getting mudded all over, Oh what a feeling! 

I hope these holiday hacks will get your family Fun-O-meter cranked up a few notches.

 

This blog was created or shared for the enjoyment of visitors to Little Kisses baby gifts and baby hampers www.littlekisses.com.au 

 

August 02, 2018

Family ›   Organisation ›   Winging It ›  


Winging It Well - You can do it too!

Mums, are you keeping up with your exhausting schedule? Parenting demands a lot of you these days and if you add young children and babies to the mix or working out of the home it can take the chaos to a whole new level!

The weeks are busy and exhausting, physically and mentally demanding, so the only way to cope and feel like you're winning is to be as organised as possible.

Hands up if you started the new term with renewed energy and enthusiasm thinking you had this super schedule sussed, only to find already you are exhausted and winging it through the weeks. Me, I'll be the first one to admit it!

Every morning after the mad panic of getting the kids out the door to Kindergarten and School I reflect upon the chaos and wonder how it ended up like that.

I start the day with the best intentions. I get up early, finish off the lunch boxes, pack the school bags only to find myself barking the same orders at the kids ..."Have you brushed your teeth, got your shoes on and packed your bag!"

A timely read of Emma Isaacs new book "Winging It" is driving home the importance of ultra-organistaion and 'having systems' set you free and help you manage the stuff you can't control or predict, like the baby vomiting on you, toddler tantrums and sibling arguments!

Albert Einsteins quote "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" rings true. It is time for change! Below are some systems I am going to implement to up the anti on the organisational front, in hope of winging it but winging it well!

Getting on top of the morning rush

* Set the tasks out visually so everyone can see what is required of them. Saves asking time and time again for simple tasks to get done.

* Line up the lunch boxes on the kitchen bench in age order, get the chopping boards out in preparation, get the breakfast things ready ... bowls, cups and cutlery. Have the lunch boxes filled with non perishables so the rest can be topped up quickly, water bottles filled in the fridge ready to go. School bags lined up on their hooks. 

* Set up handy stations in a couple of places in the house so you're not reaching too far for things like hair brushes and elastics. Panadol, bandaids and antiseptic cream. Nappies, wipes and tissues. Socks and spare clothes, mobile phone chargers.

 

  

*Wash and blow dry your hair the night before or use Dry Shampoo. Instantly saves you 30 minutes the next morning.

 

                    

*Use beauty products with dual purpose. For example a tinted moisturiser with SPF is a moisturiser, foundation and sunscreen in one!

Have a Sunday planning session 

* Set out 3 - 5 outfits for the week for yourself including exercise gear. Eliminates the question everyday of what to wear!

* Write up on the calendar the weekly dinner plan, saves the last minute panic at the end of the day 'what's for dinner'. Also starting the week with a Lasagne or Family Pie gets you through the first couple of nights.

* Mark your exercise sessions/classes for the the week on the calendar so you just turn up and don't have to think about it. Don't waste time debating about whether you are going to go or not? Alleviates the mental fight with yourself every time.

Online saves time

* Order everything you can online ... Groceries, Kids gifts for parties ... do that at the time the invitation comes in, so you feel ahead of the game and saves a last minute dash to the shops.

* Buy in bulk of the basics so you never run out - Laundry items, toilet paper, tooth paste, kids hairbands.

* Buy double of the items you use regularly - Toothbrushes, mobile phone charges, hairbrushes, sunscreen, mascara. Leave them in the handy stations around the house and your car. If you're a busy mum with one child or more you spend a lot of time in your car! 

Finally be sure to always have something in the diary to look forward to, something you are all working towards. This will take the focus off the daily grind and keep everyone motivated to reach the reward.

 

This blog was created or shared for the enjoyment of visitors to Little Kisses baby gifts and baby hampers www.littlekisses.com.au 

Staycation - the surprising holiday destination!

Anyone with babies and young kids should try one of these, I'm sure you'll be booking in again next year!

A staycation is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night.

Family picnic

Sounds good to me.

No packing the car, no setting up home away from home, no ...

I am looking forward to trying one of these! At every opportunity our family packs up and heads for the hills in the hope of a relaxing holiday that will wash away the city stress. I am even surprised when friends don't take up the opportunity to get out of town for long weekends but I am now realising they are the clever ones as it often ends up being more work than holiday. Packing up to go away with babies and young kids is an enormous job, the car ride can be stressful and setting up the new destination to function like home takes a lot of planning and a lot of stuff.

That's why these holidays we are going on Staycation! We will stay put and spend the money on fun local activities, hired help, meals prepared by someone else and at night time all fall into our own beds and have a wonderful night's sleep. 

Babies sleeping

Itinerary 

Day 1. Family in pyjamas until lunch time. Pancakes for brunch.

Day 2. Venture out to one of the fantastic events that you read about in your local paper but yet never get time to do. Winter Festival, Out Of The Box Disney On Ice The Candy Academy Measure Island - we'll need another week!

Day 3. Get a babysitter and have a long lunch with husband and catch a movie at the cinema (wow this is a holiday!)

Day 4. Build forts and cubbies around the house that you never have time to do because you're rushing here and there to the next scheduled event.

Day 5. Finish the photo wall, the kids baby books, buy them new sheets and turn their rooms around. A change is as good as a holiday.

Day 6. Bake - everyone can get involved. Freeze food ready for the new school term.

Day 7. Bring out the board games. Board games and puzzles can be just as much fun for the adults as the kids and it's a lovely way to bond as a family.

This blog was created or shared for the enjoyment of visitors to Little Kisses baby gifts and baby hampers www.littlekisses.com.au

A sensible reminder to exhausted Mothers from Supermodel Gisele Bundchen

The lead up to May 10 switches the focus from baby gifts and baby hampers to New Mums and Motherhood. And so it should!  I say we give the Month of May to celebrating the wonderful selfless work mothers carry out day after day with very little recognition.

Unlike women who are wired to care for others first, kids are wired to put themselves first, so not much thanks goes into the behind-the-scenes work of mothers. It is just expected that clean clothes turn up in the drawer, yummy nutritious meals appear in front of them like magic as their stomachs start to rumble and driving them around to extracurricular activities and kids parties are a given. Not to mention the broken sleep, the early morning starts, the constant provision of cuddles, support and encouragement which of course Is unfailingly offered. Mothers' time for themselves is dwindled down to small segments, just enough to do the necessities. 

So my advice is to make May all about 'you'. Take a bit of time out to restore balance. You can give and give and give but unless your fuel tank is topped up occasionally you may run out of steam and that won't be good for anyone in the family. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who is becoming quite the outspoken advocate for mothers, advises others to put themselves before their children, comparing it to the directive on airplanes to 'ensure your own oxygen mask is fitted before helping anyone else'.  So you can be the best 'you' possible, which innately effects everybody else in the family, write some good chunks of time-out for yourself. Get a babysitter in occasionally to handle the evening grind in order to make your yoga class, have someone take the kids for some time on the weekend so you can see a movie or have a dinner and strictly adult conversation. It is not a luxury it is a necessity!

 

This blog was created or shared for the enjoyment of visitors to Little Kisses baby gifts and hampers www.littlekisses.com.au

 

 

March 28, 2015

Easter Ideas ›   Family ›   First Easter ›  


Easter Highs without the Lows

If you have a toddler or a new baby you may be trying to keep chocolate and lollies off their radar for as long as possible. Here are some tips to indulge in Easter in other ways. 

How to Make Glow In the Dark Easter Eggs

You will need:

12 plastic Easter Eggs

12 Glow Stick Bracelets

substitute lollies for a toy

Directions: Open plastic eggs, snap bracelets to activate and push the bracelets into the Easter Eggs along with a treat. Start hiding the Eggs around the house. Turn off the lights and let the excitement begin!

How to Make Plastic Easter Egg Tablecloth Weights

You will need:

Plastic Easter Eggs and Tablecloth

Stones

Ribbon

Glue

Hole punch

Packing tape

Directions: Fill each egg with a weighty stone, wrap the ribbon around your egg like wrapping a present, hot glue the top and bottom of your ribbon to the egg, use a square of packing tape to reinforce each corner of the table cloth, hole punch a hole in each corner and thread through the ribbon and knot.

Easter Gifting

Give a gift for Easter that will last. We can help you create a gift that will make your little ones first Easter memorable. Visit http://www.littlekisses.com.au/collections/baby-store/products/alimrose-lanky-bunny for Easter treat ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Organised

Was it tears of sadness or joy for you as you packed your kids off to school or day care this term? For me it heralded in a new stage, one I would have to be super organised to pull off. Juggling my days styling and packing baby hampers for Little Kisses, as well as sourcing all the very best baby gifts for newborn babies and new mums, on top of ensuring the family continues to be nurtured with good food and routines, there was certainly no room in the week for winging it!

If you've found yourself struggling to cope with all you need to achieve in the week, maybe you’ll find these tips below useful. It may even free you up to tick off some of your New Years Resolutions. I am back to reading novels and stressing less and laughing more!

Before the new week begins, give some thought to the 5 week-night meals ahead. Write it up on a whiteboard in the kitchen as a guide, so you are not thinking about it when you are tired at the end of the day. I use these amazingly handy white board sheets that stick to any glass or wall surface and are reusable www.magicwhiteboard.com.au They are also great for writing up the weekly schedule of each household member. You’ll be able to identify in advance where the potential stressful moments might be and put things in place to avoid a meltdown moment.

I am in love with www.homefreshorganics.com.au for it’s amazingly good value and quality produce. Not to mention being delivered to your front door! You can customise your fruit and vegetble box for family preferences plus add meat and dairy. Using the major supermarkets online service for dry goods and household necessities plus home fresh organics means better food planning, less wastage and time saved by doing it all online.

When doing a bulk cook up, consider par boiling the pasta and rice as well. Add the par boiled pasta to your bolognaise and par boiled rice to your curries, portion them out into zip lock bags or Tupperware containers to create several ready-made meals that only require reheating.

Par boil a large batch of vegetables too. When required, take them out of the freezer and pour hot water over them and they are ready to go.

A power snack lunch box idea that works well for any age child, is a ‘cheese box’. It is fun and nutritious. Vegetable sticks, hummus, olives, a wedge of cheese and crackers. Kids love it!

Change the shape of your children’s food during preparation. You know yourself how much nicer it is to have a sandwich out. Often it’s prepared differently making it far more appealing. Sandwich fingers can be a graduation from bite size squares for the littlies.

Have fun with the food prep. I caught the muffin surprise game of my sister-in-law. Make a batch of muffin mix adding berries to half the batter and banana and choc chip to the other half. You can have fun talking to your child at pick-up time, asking which muffin flavour they got today.

Involve the children in the lunch preparation. It helps their buy in to healthy eating and eliminates any disappointment. ‘I’m packing you an apple for morning tea so you will have sparkly white teeth’!

Use up what is left over from the lunch box for afternoon tea, a piece of fruit maybe or a cheese stick? After that they can have a treat like an ice-block. This encourages them to eat what you give them rather than always having new food options available.

Have a casual self-serve night like ‘Taco Tuesday’ or home made pizzas (prepare the mince and dough ahead and freeze) everyone can help with the assembly.

 

This blog was created or shared for the enjoyment of visitors to Little Kisses baby gifts and baby hampers www.littlekisses.com.au