That Retail Life – What’s Hot this Week + WIN!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products

I’m seeing a lot of awesome new products each week so thought it was about time I curated these new releases into a weekly ‘Hot List’ that’s short and snappy, giving you guys the lowdown on the latest and greatest from brands we love.

What’s New  – October #3

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New productsSunRice Brown Rice Chips – Sweet Chili RRP $5.99

Sure to become a summer fave, SunRice have added a new flavour to their existing range of Brown Rice Chips.  Sweet Chili joins Wild Rice, Sea Salt and Parmesan and Sundried Tomato.  These are the perfect gluten free, wholegrain option for entertaining or snacking with no artificial flavours or preservatives.

Available in the healthy food or snack aisles in selected supermarketsNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products.

Betty Crocker – Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie RRP $5.99

Full of milk and white chocolate chips, I’m soooo looking forward to whipping up this brownie next week!  These are such great ‘lifesavers’ to keep in the pantry for those unexpected afternoon teas or rushed desserts.  Available in supermarkets nationwide.

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-Retail-New-ProductsNice Blocks – Special Edition Watermelon & Lime 

The nice blokes at Nice Blocks are throwing their hats in the ring to help Starship Foundation this year.  They’ve created an amazing Watermelon and Lime Nice Block with 30c from each ice block sold and 50c from each multipack going straight to Starship Foundation!  You can also get involved by purchasing one of this years gorgeous tea towels designed by young cancer survivor Ruby Seeto.  Pick yours up or order online from www.wallacecotton.co.nz.

John Grisham – The Whistler RRP $37.99New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products

Fresh off the press!  Released on October 25th, the latest novel from bestseller John Grisham has gone straight to the top of my ‘Read Next’ list.  A young investigator is pitted against the most corrupt judge in American history with only a whistle blower and an indicted lawyer on her side.  How good does that sound?  Straight to the Summer bestseller list I think!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New productsBe Natural Re-launch

Yum guys!  Look out for the new packaging of re-launched plant-power brand Be Natural.  With a delicious range of cereals and snack bars, I’m loving these fab offerings with organic options.  The Protein Nut Bars are my fave as is the Coco-Nutty Granola!

Smashbox Colour Correcting Sticks RRP $45 easmashbox-color-correcting-stick-2016

Colour correcting is a mum essential – at least as far as this tired Mum is concerned!  Use under concealer or foundation, these four shades will help you to put your best face forward every day.  Green counteracts redness to reduce the appearance of blemishes, Lavender brightens yellowness so you look less dull (YES!), Peach works on lighter skin to fix dark circles and call in the heavy duty Orange to work it’s wonders on darker skin, dark circles and hyperpigmentation.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New productsDr. LeWinns Private Formula Day Cream Light SPF 15 

Available at Life and Unichem pharmacies nationwide, this modern light formulation from revolutionary cosmeceutical brand Dr. LeWinns is set to deliver your best skin yet.  Containing SPF 15 protection, the Super Berry Trio of Pepperberry, Riberry and Muntrie, Hydrovition Plus, Argan Oil and Vitamin A to encourage cell renewal and address aging concerns. 

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil RRP $139 Available November 1st 2016

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products

The launch for this revolutionary product from Dermalogica was almost as amazing as this little bottle of skin deliciousness.  Phytoactives solve dryness and dehydration while strengthening the skin’s natural barrier, leaving skin with a luminous, dewy finish that’s also protected against free radical damage.  Phyto Replenish Oil is like a complete toolbox for skin in one lovely product.  Don’t be shy about using oil on your skin, some are a bit thick and gluggy feeling, but Dermalogica has produced the lightest formulation here that absorbs super quickly.

Schwarzkopf Sun repair Range RRP $6.39-$11.99New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products

Summer is coming, summer is coming, summer is coming!  Get ahead of the warm weather with Schwarzkopf’s NEW Sun Repair Range.  Including Monoi-Flower Extract and UVA/UVB filters, this is the prescription you need this summer to protect you hair and prevent it from drying out.

Available from all leading department stores, supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide.

WIN > I have two sets of the Schwarzkopf Sun repair Range to give away!  Enter via the widget below.

Summer Skin – It’s Time to Reevaluate your sunscreen

Despite the rain, wind and volatile temps here in New Zealand – it IS actually Spring.  The kids are back in the routine of compulsory hat-wearing at kindy and school, which serves as a great visual reminder for me that it’s also sunscreen season.

My childhood, teen years and early adulthood were spent in a blissfully bronzed (read: naive) state of perma-tan.  For a Gen Xer like myself, nothing signalled the onset of Summer in New Zealand like a crispy nose, cracked lips and a good peel to get you set for the rest of the season – a new Fido Dido t-shirt also worked just as well!

But then, my father lost his very short battle with melanoma at age 57 and sun protection for my family took on a whole new meaning – one of life or death.  Dad never wore a hat or sunscreen, got viciously sunburnt many, many times and was moley as hell – as am I.  As a mum to 2 young boys, one of which has pale, virgin, ‘unburnt’ skin (thus far), I never imagined I would be so, um, ‘maniacal’ about sunscreen but it’s happened and it’s a good, good thing.

As consumers we’re pretty used to products improving year after year and sunscreen is no different.  We’ve seen SPF creep up and up, all manner of new application methods from spray trigger to roll-on to aerosol but this year’s new sunscreen release from NIVEA is actually so simple I guarantee you’ll be mystified as to why no-one thought of it before.

Press play to check out my review of the New NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sunscreen Lotions.

 

So, I imagine as parents we all expect similar things from the sunscreens we use upon ourselves and our kids;

  1. It needs to be easily absorbable.  Nixon is 3 years old.  I do not have all the time in the world to delicately apply sunscreen before he rubs it in his eyes/nose/mouth.  I actually have 7 seconds.  Literally!
  2. It needs to be non-greasy – sticky sunscreen and kids/summer/sand/ice cream drips is not cool.
  3. It needs to be water resistant.  I have no time for attempting to get kids to sit still on their towels, abstaining from sand and surf whilst they dry so I can reapply sunscreen.  This is a mummy-pipedream that will never happen.  There is also nothing worse than slipping and sliding while paddling out because your sunscreen is washing off!
  4. It needs to WORK! And by work I mean provide highly effective UVA and UVB filters so I never have to see my kids with a raging red sunburn.
  5. NEW – I’m adding this requirement in for 2016 and I highly recommend you do too; sunscreen needs to be moisturising.  If we are applying a product at least once, possibly multiple times per day, why shouldn’t it do double duty?  It is 2016 after-all!  Sun exposure is an incredibly dehydrating experience for our skin, and dry skin is much more prone to sun damage.  If a sunscreen can provide 24 hour hydration as well as high SPF, water resistant protection that’s light and non-greasy, then that’s the one I’m going to use every time.

NIVEA’s 100 years of skincare experience comes to the fore with the Protect & Moisture range.  The adaptation of fantastic broad spectrum sunscreen to include moisturising care has resulted in a family friendly sunscreen that’s absorbed in a flash with no greasy residue.  Make sure you always read the label and use only as directed.

I can’t imagine a better addition to Summer to be honest!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Nivea Sunscreen review

NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture is available nationwide from supermarkets, department stores and pharmacies now.

  • NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+, 400 ml NZ RRP: $23.49
  • NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+, 200 ml NZ RRP: $19.39
  • NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+, 100 ml NZ RRP: $11.99
  • NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30, 200 ml NZ RRP: $16.29

For more information please head to:

www.nivea.co.nz / https://www.facebook.com/NiveaNZ

Thank you so much to NIVEA for sponsoring this post – and making such amaze sunscreen!

NOTE: Always read the label. Use only as directed.

Happy, Healthy Halloween Ideas for Kids

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Healthy Halloween Ideas

Love it or loathe it, New Zealanders are slowly adopting a more favorable view of Halloween.  My opinion is simply that dressing up is super-fun for kids so let them have it whilst they’re still young enough to enjoy a special, spooky night out in their neighborhood.

I’m not one to get on the sugar bandwagon either, but there’s no denying it’s definitely the time of year when littles can go crazy on excess amounts of Trick or Treat candy.  Moderation is a wonderful thing but I don’t know anyone under the age of 12 – or 45? – who can resist delving into their Halloween loot a little more often than they should.

We all know that sugar and lollies are bad for kids teeth and oral health so I’ve teamed up with Philips Sonicare and come up with some ideas to help you and the kids focus on getting into the ‘theme’ of Halloween, rather than just dressing up and celebrating for the haul of Trick or Treat lollies at the end of the night!

When I watch my kids brush their teeth I swear I can count each brush stroke with ease as the boys seem to move in slow motion!  They’ve realised that spending the correct amount of time brushing their teeth *might* be halfway to fooling Mum and Dad that they’ve actually done a great job!  Ethan’s new Philips Sonicare toothbrush uses a dynamic side-to-side cleaning action, rather than a rotating action and has over 31,000 brush strokes per minute which helps remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and (I’m sure!) is hugely more effective than the snail’s pace with which he was brushing his teeth before.

5 Ways you can cut the sugar and ramp up the fun this Halloween

  • Host your own Halloween Party instead of Trick or Treating

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Healthy Halloween Ideas

We used to do this all the time when Ethan was little and walking the streets was just too much for him.  This is also a great idea if you live semi-rurally or your neighborhood isn’t conducive to Trick or Treating.  A party can remove the lollie element entirely and allow you to serve healthy, SPOOKY snacks the kids will love!  Remember a kids party doesn’t have to be elaborate, they’ll be having tonnes of fun in dress-ups with their friends, but, if you want some party inspo, you can check out my Pinterest Halloween Party board here

  • Stay at home and offer healthier Trick or Treat snacks  

Your kids will have just as much fun playing host to the neighborhood ghosts and ghouls as they would Trick or Treating themselves!  Pop a orange or black balloon on the mailbox to show your house is Halloween-friendly and serve healthy, fun themed treats to whomever comes knocking!  I’ve pinned loads of Healthy Halloween Treat ideas here

  • Offer non-food alternatives for Trick or Treaters

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Healthy Halloween IdeasWho said Trick or Treating has to be all about food?  Think outside the box and head to your local dollar store for some spooky bargains.  Think pencils, mini spiders or other creepy-crawlies, stamps, stickers, glow-sticks or erasers.  Most of these can be found in multi-packs which makes them really inexpensive and a great surprise for the kids!  Or, make a batch of homemade orange play-doh, divide it up and wrap small balls in clear cellophane and tie with a green ribbon – super cute for littles!

  • Head out to a Halloween Event instead of Trick or Treating
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Healthy Halloween Ideas
Image from original blog post by Frugal Momeh

Many cities host amazing Halloween events where kids and adults can dress up enjoy the entertainment and forget about Trick or Treating altogether!  Check out Halloween in the Village if you are in Auckland.

  •  Host a Halloween Craft Station in your front yard

Give Trick or Treaters something to take away that’s NOT filled with sugar!  A simple craft or activity station can be a welcome respite for littlies (or parents with weary feet!).  Some easy ideas can be found on my Halloween Craft board but I’m loving the Apple Pumpkin Stamps pictured by Frugal Momeh.

Fun ideas right?  I hope you’re feeling excited and looking forward to a Halloween with a little less sugar this year!  Philips have done a great job inspiring me to get this post out of my head and onto the blog as well as inspiring Ethan to be a little more diligent when it comes to brushing his teeth!

The toothbrush E’s using below is the New Philips Sonicare for kids.  It’s totally removed my urge to monitor how long he spends brushing his teeth as it has a built-in KidTimer that lets him know when it’s time to switch to a new spot and (crucially!) when he has finished brushing his teeth.  He’s also been able to customise it with fun, interchangeable stickers that have got little Nixon seething about his big brother’s new fancy toothbrush!  Suitable for ages 4+ Nix will have his own soon enough.  A bathroom used by two young boys can get super messy, I’m loving the anti-roll feature of the Philips Sonicare which helps keep the bathroom at least a little bit cleaner!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Healthy Halloween Ideas

You can win a Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush RRP $99.95 right here!

To enter, comment below with a sugary treat that you’d find hard to give up and I’ll choose a winner at random 17/11/16!  NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Healthy Halloween Ideas

How to: Family Friendly Ramen Bowl Recipe

“Chicken

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Ramen Bowl Recipe

Ramen bowls are trending hard right now and rightly so.  They are quick, easy and budget friendly meals that can smash leftovers and just as easily feed the troops on a busy weekday evening or be pared back for a perfectly sized meal for one.

I wanted to make the family roast chicken stretch for two meals so reimagined our leftovers into this delicious Chicken Ramen Bowl for two that became a very generous lunch for Dave and I the next day.

The beauty of this traditional Japanese dish is that it’s a really easy way to eat a balanced meal.  By combining fresh veges and lean protein with pantry staple MAGGI 2 Minute Noodles (now with invisible wholegrain!) a delicious meal is never too far from the table.

This is going to be good!

Chicken Ramen Bowl Recipe – serves 2

Chicken Ramen Bowl Recipe
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 x packs MAGGI Chicken 2 Minute Noodles with Invisible Wholegrain
  2. 300 grams cooked chicken
  3. 2 x soft boiled eggs - 5 minutes in a rolling boil
  4. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  5. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  6. 2 tsp oyster sauce
  7. 2 tsp sweet chili sauce
  8. 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  9. 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  10. 3 cloves garlic
  11. 3 spring onions
  12. 1 handful baby spinach
  13. 3 mushrooms sliced
  14. 1 handful mung bean sprouts
  15. 1 handful sugar snap peas
  16. Shaved carrot for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Roughly chop 2 garlic cloves and mix with ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, and white wine vinegar. Spray oven proof dish with oil, add thickly chopped chicken, pour over with sauce mix to coat chicken. Bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Bring a small saucepan to a rolling boil, add eggs and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and run under cold water immediately. Peel when cool.
  3. Add sesame oil, a chopped garlic clove and the whites of the spring onion to a medium sauce pan. Set aside green tops of spring onion for garnish. Leave on heat for a couple of minutes until onions begin to turn clear. Add 4 cups water. Bring to boil and add 2 packs of MAGGI 2 Minute Noodles with Invisible Wholegrain plus their seasoning packets. Cook for 2 minutes or until noodles are al dente. Remove from heat.
  4. Place noodles and broth in bowl to serve.
  5. Add chicken and assorted vegetables.
  6. Cover bowl with lid or large plate for 5 minutes to lightly steam veges.
  7. Add soft boiled eggs, carrots and green onions to serve.
http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/
How easy is that!

For more info on MAGGI click here or head to their Facebook page.

Win with MAGGI and The Best Nest

Getting a great meal on the table for yourself or the family is definitely a good thing.  Tell me about the good happening in your life right now and you’ll be in the draw to win one of FOUR $50 supermarket vouchers!

Simply leave a comment below sharing something good that’s coming up in your life – from dinner, to renovations, a long weekend, a new job or a day off!  #thisisgoingtobegood!

Competition closes 18/11/16 NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Ramen Bowl Recipe

This post was made possible thanks to Maggi.

The MAGGI 2 Minute Noodles with Invisible Wholegrain replace the Extra Delicious range – so keep an eye out at your local supermarket!

That Retail Life – What’s Hot this Week + Win!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail Releases
I’m seeing a lot of awesome new products each week so thought it was about time I curated these new releases into a weekly ‘Hot List’ that’s short and snappy, giving you guys the lowdown on the latest and greatest from brands we love.

What’s New  – October #2

Omega Plus Salmon-based Pet Food

Our three little dogs received a delivery this week that they freaking loved!  Our largest producer of Salmon, New Zealand King Salmon has found a way to utilise previously wasted, fit-for-human grade salmon and produced a range of vet quality pet food at supermarket prices.

The Omega Plus range is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 which is just as beneficial to our furry friends as it is for us!  Available in South Island Pak ‘n Save and New World stores, the range will be rolling out nationwide soon.  

Example price point: Omega Plus Dry Dog Food 2.4kg – King Salmon + Beef RRP$25.99

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail Releases

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Nadia LimNadia Magazine

We all need MORE Nadia Lim in our lives and now, with the launch of her bi-monthly lifestyle magazine NADIA, we can enjoy more of her Nude Food philosophy – now in print!

October/November issue in store at magazine retailers now $7.99

Red Seal Body Right Teas

Garcinia Cambogia is a definite buzz-ingredient right now in weight management products.  Red Seal have complemented their delicious hot/cold brew range with 3 new ‘functional’ teas designed to support a weight management programme of a balanced diet and regular exercise.  Available in Pomegranate, Kiwi and Lime and Peach and Pineapple flavours, you can find these in all major supermarkets, RRP $3.99.

WIN > I have 2 packs of Red Seal Body Right Teas to giveaway, each containing all three yummy flavours!  To enter just leave the comment ‘RED SEAL’ below this blog post.  Comp closes 27/10/15, NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Red Seal Body RIght

Jacob’s Creek Pip & Seed Cider & Winepip-seed

Oh. My. Gosh.  This is the most genius (and delicious!) alcoholic beverage I’ve ever pulled out of my fridge!  A perfect blend of crisp cider and some of my favourite white wines, Pip & Seed has made it’s debut here in New Zealand just in time to totally dominate summer 2016.  Forget the sickly sweet ciders of summers past,  these three varietals will have you reaching for a Pip & Seed every time!

Available in Fruity, Crisp and Sweet blends, you can’t go wrong to be honest they are all amazing! 

500ml RRP $5.99

pack-leave-in-recreate-pro-fiberL’Oréal Professionnel Pro Fiber Re-Create

This delivery came at the perfect time for me.  I’ve been a shower martyr, suffering along with a shampoo and conditioner I really don’t like, Mama didn’t raise a quitter after all!  This new extension of the Pro Fiber range is designed to address thinning hair, often caused or exacerbated by external stressors such as colouring and heating.  Absolutely perfect for my treated, heated blonde hair!  

There are four Pro Fiber ranges, each specifically formulated to treat progressive levels of damage.  Pro Fiber Re-Create treats Stage 3 hair damage and is available from L’Oréal Professionnel salons from October 1st.

Manuka Doctor Cashmere Touch SerumNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Manuka Doctor Cashmere touch Serum

I loooove serum and I sure love Manuka Doctor!

More gel than serum (I think!), Cashmere Touch is the second product from the Drops of Crystal range and contains botanically derived firming actives that instantly make my skin feel like I haven’t been burning the candle at both ends over the past 2 weeks!

I just popped this on after cleansing and my skin feels firm and plump and now looks like I’ve had more than 5 hours sleep!    Powerful botanical ingredients include; Purified Bee Venom, Cassia Augusifolia Seeds, Crystal tears – oil from the sap of the pistacia Lentiscus tree and Tomato Stem Cells.  RRP $49.95 30ml

ESALARE Luxury Sleepwear

It’s (past) time to ditch the flannels ladies, www.esalare.co.nz launched on Monday, bringing some luxurious WOW back into the neglected sleepwear category.

This carefully curated collection of brands from around the world covers liquid silks, cashmere, merino, wool linen and the softest cottons you’ll ever feel.  I LOVE the Papinelle brand which is perfect for hot New Zealand summer nights.  Christmas wish-list stuff right here ladies!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Esalare Pappinelle
Beautiful, soft cotton separates from Pappinelle

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-8-07-20-pmDermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex

Released earlier this month, I’ve been using the Age Reversal complex every day, it’s a Mummy essential!  

Using a 0.1% concentration of Retinol (pure Vitamin A) to accelerate cell turnover and renewal, Antioxidant Vitamin B3 to control inflammation and reduce dark under eye circles plus the AGE Reversal Firming Complex (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 strengthens collagen and firms tissue, Hyaluronic Acid hydrates tissues and softens appearance of wrinkles, Dunaliella Salina Extract, an algae extract that stimulates epidermal cell renewal, Panthenol/Provitamin B5 stimulates cell regeneration), Age Reversal Eye Complex is a super-hero product in a super strength little tube.  RRP$ 115 15ml.

WIN > I have 1 Dermalogica Age Reversal Complex to giveaway here and one on my Facebook page! To enter just leave the comment ‘DERMALOGICA’ below this blog post.  To enter on Facebook follow the directions on THIS post.  Comp closes 27/10/15, NZ residents only.

 

 

Nutella Smile Jars – Fixing a Wrong-side-of-the-bed Morning

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Nutella

It happens to all of us and more often than not you just can’t put your finger on why you woke up in such a terrible mood!  

We run to a pretty tight deadline Monday to Friday.  Ethan needs to leave the house by 7am to catch his school bus so a grumpy family member (large or small) can really easily throw the whole team into disarray.

As was the case this morning.

My eldest son needed some serious attitude adjustment this morning.  He was stomping around the house, looking (but not finding) things with his man-eyes and getting more and more worked up with each parental intervention.  I hate sending  him off to school this way.  It’s a long bus-ride each way making for an even longer day before I can give him a hug and tell him I love him.

This morning I had to pull out the big guns.  It was time for Nutella.

Food elicits some pretty powerful emotions and is a great Mum-Tool for resetting an inflammatory situation.  This isn’t about rewarding behaviour with treats or any other negative spin you want to throw at it.  Food can help distract an emotional child by as they use their senses to become grounded in the present and move on from their internal struggles. 

E was unable to verbalize why he felt so out of sorts this morning so it was best to just pop a basket of fruit and toast on the table and surprise the boys with the New Nutella Smile Jars.

EVERYBODY LOVES NUTELLA – in our house at least lol.

My cleverly crafted plan (read: last ditch effort) to give Ethan some space to regain his happy-mojo worked.  For 10 blissful minutes there was no fighting, huffing, exaggerated sighing or even……..talking. As he was slowing down on his 3rd piece of toast he noticed the new labels on the jars (ours read FAMILY and ENJOY) and I could see the wheels turning.

Five minutes later he got up from the table, kissed Nixon on the head and said, “I love our family”.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Nutella

That was that.  Rise and Smile indeed!  

The super-cute new Nutella Smile Jars are available in three sizes; 220g, 400g and 750g and will be wearing their new labels in store from September 26th.  

Which will you choose? 

  • I love you
  • Thanks
  • Love
  • Enjoy
  • Family
  • Smile
  • Friends

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Nutella

DIY – Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Wreath

Nightmare before Christmas Halloween Wreath

In hindsight it was a totally ‘oddball’ purchase, but the first animated/family DVD we purchased when Dave and I found out we were pregnant 12.5 years ago was Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – how can that movie have come out in 1993?!

the_nightmare_before_christmas_posterAnyway, I freaking LOVE this movie, it’s a stop-motion masterpiece and thank goodness it’s on Netflix as there is literally nothing I despise more than DVDs………….except CDs lol.

We also LOVE Halloween.  You guys already know (I’m sure) that Dave is American and I lived there for 6 years so we bring our A-Game at the end of every October.  New Zealand is slowly starting to embrace the spooky season and we are super lucky to live in an amazingly Halloween Friendly neighborhood which has become a bit of a ‘destination’ for Trick or Treaters over the past few years.

So, decorating for Halloween is one of my favourite themes to work with as it doesn’t matter if it’s *less than perfect*, which to be honest, is how I roll 24-7.

So, If you’re hosting a Halloween Party or welcoming Trick or Treaters, a wreath is an easy way to set the mood and create a great focal point – it doesn’t have to hang on the front door, this one will probably go on our mantlepiece with some other spooky decorations.

I’m creating a Jack Skellington themed wreath this year because my kids NEED more Nightmare Before Christmas in their lives, I’m a bit worried I’ve been failing them on the Tim Burton front – Ethan hasn’t even seen Beetlejuice ::::::gasp!:::::

How to Make a Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Wreath

You will need:

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

1 x foam decor ring, 1 x foam decor ball for Jack’s head, wool/fabric strips in your choice of colours, artificial flowers, craft glue, a black permanent marker or black paint, scissors, pins, artificial spiderweb, ribbon for hanging.

Step 1: Cover your foam ring

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

I used a mix of cheap acrylic yarn, fabric from my stash cut into long strips and spotted crepe paper streamers.  I tied the wool off then applied craft glue to the inside of the ring.  Holding the ring between your knees as you wrap it will help things move along quite quickly!  Wrap the ring in whatever pattern/configuration you like – Jack’s colours are traditionally black and white but I wanted to add a pop of colour so used orange for contrast.  Leave a section unwrapped to save time as this will be covered with flowers. 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 2:  Attach flowers

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before ChristmasI used dressmaking pins but you could also affix the flowers with craft glue.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 3: Draw Jack Skellington’s Face

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Find an image online to work from – I used this one.  Sketch the features on in pencil, It’s pretty simple just watch the proportions.  When you’re satisfied, trace over the pencil with black permanent marker and colour in the eye sockets.  I went over the eye sockets a couple of times to get a good black finish.

Step 4:  Suspend Jack in the wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Pin (or glue) ribbon to the back of Jack’s head, make sure it’s angled so his face is square.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Pin (or glue) the other end of the ribbon to the back-top of the wreath.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

I used a large needle to hold Jack’s head in place, glue would also work fine.

Step 5: Wrap wreath with artificial spiderwebs

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 6: Attach ribbon for hanging wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Fold ribbon into a loop and staple or glue.  Fix to the back of your wreath using glue or pins.

Step 7: Marvel at your creative genius!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before ChristmasHappy Halloween!

That Retail Life – What’s Hot this Week + win Mexican for your family!

I’m seeing a lot of awesome new products each week so thought it was about time I curated these new releases into a weekly ‘Hot List’ that’s short and snappy, giving you guys the lowdown on the latest and greatest from brands we love.

What’s New  – October #1

Eros Pour Femme Eau De Toilette By Versace

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Versace Eros

Scheduled for release in New Zealand October 27th, the latest legend fragrance from Versace, Eros Pour Femme EDT is ah-maze.  Add this to your Christmas list ladies, this is a classic.  It’s a strong, fresh fragrance, with citrus notes combined with raspberry and white current.  Mid-notes comprise florals; freesia, magnolia, orange blossom and jasmine with a base of white patchouli, wood notes , musk and ambrox.  This is divine!  I can’t get enough.

The need-to-know: Available October 27th in Farmers, Life Pharmacies and department stores.  30ml $100, 50ml $125, 100ml $170.

My Dinner Party

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family My Dinner Party

Nadia’s empire just keeps growing with the latest offering from the team at My Food Bag.  I attended the launch party at Meadow and sampled the My Dinner Party menu last week and it’s another home-run.  My fave?  The Kaipara Kumara and Rhubarb Crumble with Mascarpone – I’m still thinking about it days later!

The need-to-know: My Dinner Party Bag can be ordered as an add-on to your normal My Food Bag delivery.

My Dinner Party Bag includes

  • Recipes and ingredients for 2 canapés, a main and dessert for 8 people
  • Personalised menus, placemats and tablecards
  • A handy prep plan to guide you through the process
  • All for just $145.00

Sukin Purely Ageless Range

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-sukinGorgeous natural skincare brand Sukin have repackaged their Purely Ageless range which comprises the Botanical Hydration Booster $35.99, Replenishing Night Cream $32.50, Intensive Firming Serum $37.99.  If you haven’t tried Sukin yet I can honestly recommend these products, I’m a huge fan (especially of their Foaming Cleansers).  This is natural skincare, free of sulphates, animal derivatives, parabens, propylene glycol, harsh detergents, mineral oils, triethanolamine, synthetic fragrances and parabens at a great price.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Go Healthy Go SlimGo Healthy’s GO Slim Garcinia Gold

This is a new-to-market product from a brand our family uses every day.  When I received this press release, I responded with a five word email; ‘Winter has not been kind”.

This stimulant-free formula supports healthy fat metabolism, helps manage appetite and cravings plus is a great natural energy booster. GO Healthy GO Slim Garcinia Gold combines three key ingredients that work harmoniously to help manage weight; Mangosteen, East Indian Globe Thistle and Garcinia cambogia.  I’ve started taking it so will get back to you in a few weeks!

The need-to-know: GO Healthy GO Slim Garcinia Gold 60 Caps $34.90. 120 Caps $59.90 (2 per day).

The Trespasser by Tana FrenchNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Trespasser Tana French

I’m 1/3rd through this book right now and simply cannot wait for my teeny 15 minutes of reading time each night before I just can’t stay awake any longer!  This is my first read of French’s work and I’m definitely going to be reaching for her back catalogue when I’m through The Trespasser.  Dubbed a ‘psychological suspense thriller’, the characters I’ve met so far are a collection of deep, complex personalities that are leaving me guessing – I have NO idea where this novel is going – but I like it.

The need-to-know: Published by Hachette New Zealand RRP $37.99 / E-book RRP $19.99, released 27/9/16

Farrah’s NEW Mexican Range 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family mexican dinnerKiwi fave Farrah’s have launched an exciting new Mexican range that’s definitely going to bring some smiles to my burrito loving family!  Farrah’s Flame Baked Tortillas come in three variants; Burrito, Taco and Chilli and are guaranteed to not crack or split when rolled.  Farrah’s Spice Mixes are all gluten free and available in three flavours; Nacho Spice Mix for the mild palate, Taco Spice Mix and Burrito Spice Mix for those that love a bit more heat!  

A new face in the Mexican make-at-home dinner market is just what New Zealand needs so make sure you check out these new products in the supermarket.

The need-to-know: Find Farrah’s Mexican Range in your supermarket nationwide.  Farrah’s Flame Baked Tortillas RRP: $5.49, Farrah’s Spice Mixes: $2.99

Win with Farrah’s!

Say ‘Hola!’ to Farrah’s NEW Mexican range! We have 4 prize packs to give away (three here and one on FB) valued at $25 each. Visit @Farrah’s on Facebook or farrahs.co.nz for recipe inspiration!

Prize packs contain:

  • Farrah’s Burrito Tortillas
  • Farrah’s Taco Tortillas
  • Farrah’s Chilli Tortillas
  • Farrah’s Nacho Spice Mix
  • Farrah’s Burrito Spice Mix
  • Farrah’s Taco Spice Mix

To enter simply sign-up for my email newsletter using the form below (I mail once a week max!) and leave a comment letting me know you’re on the list!  Comp closes Mon 18/10/16 @10pm.  NZ residents only.

 

New Reads – Charlie and Lola: One Thing

lola2

Charlie & Lola: One Thing by Lauren Child RRP$19.99

I’ve been in love with straight talking Lola since Ethan was little and am so happy that Nix loves these siblings just as much as his brother did.

Nixon turned 3 a couple of months ago and counting is his jam right now.  He’s starting to recognise that numbers are everywhere and he wants to talk about them all the time.

And by that I mean, ALL THE TIME lol.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Charlie and Lola Book‘One Thing’ is classic Charlie and Lola.  Charlie’s everlasting patience shepherds Lola through an excursion to the shops and they (and little readers) enjoy counting and discovering all kinds of numbers and sums simply everywhere along the way.

As a parent, the joy of both watching and reading about this loveable pair is that they are so relatable.  A Charlie and Lola episode or book IS real life with under-5s!  The magically inquisitive, stroppy, assertive and infinitely knowledgable Lola is somehow both of my kids simultaneously.  Lauren Child does a genius job of weaving age-appropriate maths in with a tale, and characters, that will be loved by both adult readers and little listeners alike.

Available in stores or via Ebook 11/10/16.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Book Review

Things I’ve learned about Saturday Sport

Our 5th season as rugby parents has just come to a close, and with that our washing machine, gumboots, weekday evenings and Saturday mornings breathe a collective sigh of relief!

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE rugby, but it’s a big commitment at J1 level – and the commitment is required by the whole family, not just Ethan.

In terms of wins, it wasn’t the greatest season for the team.  In terms of intangible personal growth and the cementing of lifelong friendships for both players and their parents (I hope!) – it was a cracker season.

That’s the beauty of sport.  For boys Ethan’s age, (those navigating the notoriously up-and-down pre-teen Chasm of Angst) having an outlet that is theirs is a must.  They need to be able to forget about who they are ‘supposed’ to be at school or at home, forget about the pressure of growing up while still feeling like a little boy at times and simply focus on a single ball – without the distractions of homework, chores and devices.

Sport can be an amazing respite for both growing minds and parents alike!

Things I’ve learnt about Saturday Sports

  • It doesn’t matter which sport it is, it’s ALL good.  Sports code snobbery exists to some degree, other parents will tell you up and down that soccer/rugby/hockey is the absolute BEST sport for EVERY kid.  Ignore.  The best sport is the one your child enjoys!  Ethan played 2 seasons of soccer before transitioning to rugby and enjoyed every second of it.
  • You can only be *THAT* parent for so long before your loud, bad attitude gets you kicked off the field and your kid is embarrassed by your sideline coaching/bullying.  Just don’t go there guys!
  • Tired kids can’t hang.  It’s so tempting to throw bedtimes out the door on Friday night, but it might pay to reconsider how late you let your little athlete stay up.  Kids enjoy their activities so much more when they are full of energy and can give 100%.
  • You’re going to get cold and wet.  Really wet.  Always keep a large umbrella in your car and expect game time to be colder than you think.
  • Kids playing field sports will get muddier than you can possibly imagine.  Keep a plastic bin in the car for muddy boots and gear and wrap kids up on old towels for the ride home.
  • Just like their mates Tired Kids, Hungry Kids struggle to get up and at ‘em on the sports field.  Make time for breakfast before the game, even if it means cutting your Saturday sleep-in a bit short (I’ve heard sleeping in exists but it’s a total myth in my house lol).  Also be prepared for ravenous kids after the match.  Pack some easily portable, nutritious snacks such as nuts, fruit, vege sticks plus plenty of water.  Pro-Tip: a warm thermos of MILO will do wonders for chilled hands and tummies plus has a 4.5 star health rating!

Choosing wellness for ourselves and our families is something that we all consider (and are reminded of constantly!) but honestly, sometimes it becomes difficult to prioritize and can seem really overwhelming, especially when you’re doing the parenting juggling act!

Implementing one small change at a time can help make lasting differences.  For example, using the points above, focus on earlier bedtimes for the whole family (Mum and Dad included!) one week, try working on better – more relaxed/more nutritious/less stressy breakfasts the following week.

For more inspiration and lots of tips to help you make small, positive changes in your life take the Nestlé Choose Wellness Quiz here.

Win with Nestle!

If you would like to win an amazing Nestlé Prize Pack valued at $150, share a small change you’d like to make in the comments below.  NZ residents only, competition closes 15/10/16.  For a second chance to enter visit click here > Winter Rugby – Our Kiwi Saturday Morning Ritual

Please see full competition Terms & Conditions below.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Saturday Sport

Terms and Conditions of The Best Nest competitions:

  •    By entering the promotion, you agree to these terms and conditions.
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