9 Things NZ Mums Should Forget when raising Kiwi Kids

Sometimes when you’re a parent (actually quite often – like, daily), you have to make a decision, one that will determine which of two paths your day is likely to take.

You have to decide whether you are going to laugh or cry at whatever lunatic situation you find yourself in as the mother or father of a Kiwi child.  Laugh and you’ll more than likely pick yourself up, clean the poo off the walls and soldier on with the extremely positive outlook of ‘well, it couldn’t get any worse right?’.  Cry and you’ll limp through the rest of the day, somewhat comforted by the knowledge that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light goes by the name of COFFEE & CHOCOLATE – two of my very best friends btw, great peeps.

So in conjunction with Karicare Toddler (a heritage NZ brand who’ve been helping mums care for Kiwi kids for over 90 years now!),  I’ve been writing about what it means to me to be a Kiwi mum.  In this post, I’ve done some brainstorming and come up with a list of 9 things that I think we can all file away in that box that lives in the garage that you never, ever open.

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Things New Zealand Mums should forget about when raising Kiwi Kids

  1. Sleep. Look, set your sleep expectation level low and then subtract another hour off that and you won’t become disillusioned. It’s all about managing expectations with reality.  Find a caffeinated beverage that you like and work on establishing a long and meaningful relationship. Your days of pillow time will come back……..eventually. In the meantime, buy a great under-eye concealer.
  2. Shoes and long pants.  Forget about them, particularly if your kids are of the boy variety.  I could be generalising here as I do suspect that my boy’s aversion to footwear is in direct correlation with the distance we live from the CBD, the further away we get, the longer a pair of shoes will last. Which is not necessarily a bad thing!
  3. Being Perfect. Despite what Instagram will have you believe, none of us knows what the hell we’re doing, pretty pictures are just modern day smokescreens.  Let it go, do your thing and leave the vacuuming for another day.
  4. Bikinis < this needs no explanation right?
  5. Trying to fix everything. So your kid doesn’t like broccoli or quinoa, he’s not toilet trained yet, he’s scared of flowers…………. kids are weird. Trying to ‘fix’ or train them out of every little quirk or rushing them to meet every milestone before Little Johnny next door will only demoralize both of you and remove joy from your parenting.  Let your kids be weird in their own kind of ‘different’, they’ll grow up to be big weirdos soon enough so just embrace their cute while you can.
  6. Leaving the house in Spring/Summer without a selection of hats and 12 types of sunscreen. Hello living in New Zealand!
  7. Anything you had decided you would or absolutely ‘Would Not Do!’ before you had kids.  Seriously, you need to let go of those ideals right now. Life with kids is about survival, not berating yourself for failing to live up to your pregnancy Stepford Wife mandates!
  8. Sand-free towels at the beach.  Next time you’re at the beach do this;  sit on the sand, lay down and just roll over – YOU WILL NOT DIE!  Make friends with the sand and this will become one less thing to be anal about each summer.
  9. Not getting to know the other kindy/school/sports club mums and dads.  These fellow soldiers are your Brothers-in-Arms, ignore them at your peril!  I wish I’d realised this 5 years ago but thankfully I’m building my tribe, one Mum at a time. Being a parent can be lonely and isolating, forget looking for friends that seem to fit the same cookie-cutter mould you fancy you came from.  Just talk to anyone who makes eye contact with the pleading, desperate look you’ve seen in your own eyes at 4.41 am in the morning – “Help me!!!  I’m a parent, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing but I need a coffee and a tropical holiday, which one can you help me with?!”.

Take heart, it’s all worth it.  Wipe your little darling’s snotty noses, send them off to school and kindy today and count your blessings as you are one of us. A parent of an amazing Kiwi kid.

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This post is brought to you by Karicare Toddler.

Win with The Best Nest!

The joy of both being a Kiwi kid and having the immense privilege to raise one – or 2 or 10 or however many you want – is an awesome journey to be on. Of course, it’s made infinitely easier when there are fab products such as Karicare Toddler that are made in New Zealand.

I’ve got three $50 Gift Cards to the Warehouse to give away.  To enter, just comment below with one thing you love about raising kiwi kids or one thing you love about living in New Zealand!  

Competition closes 10/12/17, NZ residents only.

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse……..Recycle!

This Mum Service Announcement (MSA) is sponsored by GLAD.

Life with kids can easily become an all-consuming cycle of coveting, collecting, consuming and then (sneakily lol) culling when the opportunity arises.  Kids are hoarders, I am not, plus, I’m on a bit of a decluttering binge at the moment, so any method of reusing what we have and reducing waste goes straight to the top of my ‘List of Awesome Things’.

Time for a confession; before I began working with GLAD on this post, I had never washed and reused a Snap Lock Bag.

I know, I know, I’m a terrible person……….but, I had simply not considered the idea that the little, do-everything bags that have been staples in my kitchen’s second-draw my entire adult life, were robust enough to live a life more fulfilling than a single trip to school and back.

Now I know better.  Every GLAD Snap Lock Resealable Bag deserved a second, third, fourth chance at life, which is the crux of today’s MSA; no GLAD bag deserves to be discarded after single use.  Heck, find those bad boys a spot in the cupboard, housing a pack of playing cards or a Lego set and let them retire, worry-free without fear of the landfill.

Check out all the ways Dave and I came up with to reuse ONE Snap Lock Bag after it returned from a successful mission to kindy, transporting snacks surplus to lunchbox capacity;

So here’s the thing right, I know what you’re all thinking.  I do.  Ya’ll are thinking, ‘that’s all well and good, rehome the happy Glad Bags, give them another lease on life, but what happens when Nixon rips the side seam right open?  Then, surely, it’s time for the landfill?”

No Lego is safe in a Snap Lock back with a ripped seam, this is a FACT.  What is also a fact is that GLAD Snap Lock bags, ClingWrap, ZipSlide bags and Matchware containers can all be recycled, – this is another thing I had NO idea about!  Terracycle and GLAD have partnered to create a program which is free to join and allows you to ship your (hopefully!) well used and reused GLAD products off for recycling – also for free!  Click here to sign-up and find out how the program works.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Reuse Recycle Glad Sandwich Bags

In our house, we love our little GLAD Snap Lock bags even more now that we are reusing and recycling them.  Available in a range of sizes, they keep food fresher for longer – perfect for the pantry plus, they are BPA free which makes them safe to reuse over and over again, even in the freezer and microwave. 

The truth is out guys, knowledge is power and it’s time to put an end to single-use GLAD abuse. Join with me today.  Find a collection in need of safe containment (hint: look for those ‘special rocks’ under your kid’s beds) and send an old sandwich bag back to work, saving a Snap Lock from the landfill.  Together we can make a change.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Reuse Recycle Glad Sandwich Bags

 

 

 

30 Day Spring Cleaning Plan

It’s Spring!  It’s a bit grey, gloomy and coldish, but it is indeed Spring.  

The notion of the ‘Spring Clean’ is not something we focus on quite so much in this modern era of the multitasking homemaker – who may or may not work outside the home, and whose life agenda is so full that simply remembering to start the washing machine each day is reason enough for celebration.  

Just me?!  Gosh.

I’ve joined forces with Dettol to give Spring Cleaning a facelift and have put together a 30 day Spring Cleaning Plan (in an on-trend, monochrome palette no less) that you can print, Pin, screenshot, whatever……The beauty of it is that you’ll, hopefully, clean your house super-thoroughly as you make your way through the 30 days, by only spending a teeny portion of each day actually cleaning.New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns 30 Day Spring Clean TemplateAlways read the label. Use only as directed.

The concept of the Spring Clean (as outdated as it sounds) is grounded in some ancient traditions that make heaps of sense and are increasingly more relevant in today’s hectic, too-busy, too-much-stuff, not-enough-time lifestyle.

Some researchers trace the origin of spring cleaning to the Iranian Nowruz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Iranians continue the practice of “khooneh takouni” which literally means “shaking the house” just before the Persian new year. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned, from the drapes to the furniture.  Wikipedia

Other ancient cultures and religions (Judaism, Catholicism) plus North Americans and Northern Europeans also acknowledge the importance of, let’s be frank, cleaning the crap out of the house you’ve ignored and collected dust in alllllll winter.  Plus, if we bring things forward a couple of hundred years, the minimalists and the discarding experts are all totally on board for a good clean out right?! (I didn’t actually ask them as such, but I think it’s a fairly safe assumption lol!).

I’m all about making this concept way more Molehill than Mountain, so this Spring I’m going to take little, cleaning baby-steps each day and fingers crossed my house will be sparkling by the time summer rolls around.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns 30 Day Spring Clean TemplateAlways read the label. Use only as directed.

We can do this!

I’m not a big fan of hauling a cleaner’s trolley around our house filled with 10 million assorted products, so the equipment needed will be kept to a minimum.  You can probably accomplish most tasks with some Dettol Disinfectant Wipes as these kill 99.99% of germs (E. Coli, Salmonella, S. aureus) and are for bathrooms and kitchens.  Also, just knock these out in whichever order you please, some days you just won’t feel like dusting, and I reaalllllly feel you on that one, so, #youdoyouboo.  

Print my cleaning plan out (click to open up the PDF version), stick it on the fridge and spread the load by getting the whole family on board!  

My household lifesavers, Dettol Disinfectant Wipes now come in three handy sizes: 45, 90 and 120 wipe packs, in three fragrances, Fresh, Lemon and Apple so you can keep the right size pack, on hand, for whenever those messy emergencies strike – keep a pack in the car, trust me on this one!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns 30 Day Spring Clean Template

Always read the label. Use only as directed. New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns 30 Day Spring Clean TemplateNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns 30 Day Spring Clean Template

Always read the label. Use only as directed.

The Magic Schoolbus – When Netflix Reads My Mind

When you love Netflix, you really love Netflix.  It might happen gradually, it might happen overnight but it will happen and when it does it’s easy to appreciate the amazing learning potential that exists in the combination of a medium that’s often relegated to the ‘mindless entertainment’ category, with the tangible, precious experience of books and the modern luxury of the world at our fingertips à la Google.

It’s enough to blow little (and big!) minds in a quiet way that sneaks up on you and creates educational experiences in your living room when all you’re looking for is 5 minutes of peace and some downtime for your overtired little ones after school.

And that is the Netflix Effect.

The Magic Schoolbus series of books were handed down to Ethan by one of my cousins many years ago.  He never even looked at them, to be honest, but we kept them and they were eventually relocated to Nixie’s bookshelf.  He discovered them earlier this year and they’ve since become a bedtime staple.  Mrs Frizzle and the class have introduced Nix to phytoplankton and zooplankton, the water cycle and decomposition, the concepts of water pressure and air pressure – these are my least faves to be honest!  I used to groan when these (l o n g) books would be chosen night after night, and I do have to skim read a little here and there, but, like Nixon, I’m now a fan of the Magic Schoolbus.

I’ve written before about his peculiar viewing habits; the thought of watching a movie sends him running for the hills, and trying to introduce new shows is like pulling teeth.  He simply likes what he likes.  Luckily, he LOVES watching The Magic School Bus on Netflix.  I say ‘luckily’ because there are four seasons of the early series as well as the first season of the Netflix Original, The Magic School Bus Rides Again, streaming now.  Dave, Ethan and I have been desperate for some new ‘Nixon approved’ content to beef up his current obsession, the single series of the fishing show, Chasing Monsters.  If you need to know what ‘noodling for catfish’ means, I’d recommend you watch this lol.

The combination of mixing our quiet, bedtime reading routine with the Magic School Bus content on Netflix has seen Nixon’s interest in the world around him multiply so quickly, it’s hard to keep up.  A conversation about volcanoes over the weekend quickly moved to windows.  We finally caught up with his busy little brain and realised the connection he was making between rock and sand being heated by lava and the manufacture of glass from silica.

Mental. 

TV, (or should I say, the ability to watch digital content on a television or device) is so much more than the Saturday morning cartoons and Coronation St we grew up with.  Moving away from the negative screen-time paradigm and making choices around the content your kids are watching can provide some awesome and very entertaining educational opportunities for the entire family.

If you’ve made any kid-friendly discoveries on Netflix lately, let me know in the comments below, especially if you’ve been integrating them into a wider learning experience!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Netflix

Mum-Life: A conversation between friends

Our touch rugby season kicked off on Thursday night, which is great, we love our module.  It’s social, fun and a great chance to spend time with our friends each week and have a run around together.  Preparation for touch has been somewhat lacking this season, I’m not particularly fit and winter has not been overly kind.  As I was squeezing into some tights on Thursday, getting ready to walk up to the fields I sent one of my girlfriends this text;

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Ok so let’s ignore the fabulous body-positivity message here, and monitor the irony of my profile pic.  I don’t even know how that got on my phone, I’m pretty sure I didn’t choose a pink doughnut as my avatar so obviously, the stars are perfectly aligned and the universe is sending me subliminal messages regarding carb-consumption – all.  day.  long.

Yesterday I was determined to attack my waistline so after running some errands with the boys I headed out for some fresh air, planning on an hour of fat-burning-walking.  About 30 minutes in, I came upon a friend who was chatting with her ‘pool guy’ in her driveway – sooooo Wisteria Lane, god I love where I live lol.

Anyway, we were making small talk, running through the mum-life state-of-play as the school holidays near their end.  As our convo progressed I had to literally, laugh out loud, only two mums (in their active wear no less) could discuss the variety of subjects we broached, entirely seriously and appreciate that they all happened within the prior 12 hours.

The hot topics de jour were as follows;

  • “What have I done this morning?  Been to the doctors to get warts frozen off one of the kids.  Why are they so gross?  Not warts, kids.  Why are kids so gross?”
  • “Why aren’t you at work?”
    “One of the kids has a rash, all over his junk.  We think it’s from rolling all over the rugby field last night”
    “Yeah, that’ll do it”
    “At least he’s put some shorts on today, might keep him from constantly itching himself.  God kids are gross”
    “Kids are really gross.”
  • “You know what else is gross?  Dogs.  I’ve just picked up all the bombs in the yard.”
    “I have to do that too.  It’s supposed to be Ethan’s job but I just can’t stand it when he leaves 90% of the poo on the grass and you think you’re safe, but next minute, there’s dog shit squishing between your toes.”
    “Dogs suck.  My dogs got stuck together this morning”
    “With glue?  Did the kids leave glue out?  Mine would do that, Mister Maker has a LOT to answer for.”
    “No, our girl’s on heat and the old boy had a go and they couldn’t separate”
    “Oh.  My.  God.”
    “I threw food at them thinking they’d both be so pumped to eat they’d pull apart.  Didn’t work”
     “Oh.  My.  God.”
    “Yeah.  So I went inside to Google how to separate them, turns out you throw water on them, but he’d shrunk down by then so problem solved.”
    “Phew, really dodged a bullet there”
  • “Do you know what I think the very worst part of school holidays is?”
    “No school?”
    “Huts.  Fucking huts everywhere.  My house was spotless this morning, now the linen cupboard is empty and it looks like a third world army is battling for territory in my living room.”
    “Not a fan of huts either”
  • “Ok then, better get back to this fitness thing I’ve got going on”
    “I’ll text you later about beer”
    “Righto”.
    “Shit I can’t.  I dropped and smashed my phone.  Something else I’m in trouble over, I also just curbed two of my mags right in front of hubby”
    “Oooooohhh.  Sucks to be you.  Do you still have a landline?”
    :::::::::crickets::::::::::::

Mum-life is the BEST THING EVER when you know some cool chicks to share it with.

 

 

8 Ways to Nail That Family Road Trip

How good are the school holidays guys?! Slow starts, maybe a sleep-in (not in my house but a girl can dream), no lunchboxes, no homework dramas and maybe a road-trip thrown in for good measure………

The easiest way to kick your school holiday mojo into gear is to take a second to remember just how much you lived for the holidays when you were a kid. Those magical two weeks seemed to stretch out forever with unlimited possibilities. Thankfully (?) for us as parents, holidays don’t last forever, so a little planning can go a long way towards making these holidays one to remember for both parents and kids alike. With a bit of luck, even the Annual Family Roadie will be a total breeze, glorious family memories will be made, photo albums will be filled and the kids won’t fight a bit.

That is the power of positive thinking.

But here’s how you really get it done.

8 Ways to Nail That Family Road Trip

    1. Create Family Traditions
      It could be as simple as stopping at the same dairy for jumbo ice cream scoops or a family in-joke, but traditions are important and tie people together. A running joke on our family roadies is “I only beep for sheep” – not going to go into details here but deserted country roads and sheep in paddocks must be present before this one gets busted out! Dave also has a lovely woollen travelling vest that accompanies us on our tiki-tours, so looking for suitable photo opps is always entertaining and keeps the kids appreciating the scenery as we speed past.
      New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip
    2. Travel on KID Time
      Remember, the name of the game when confining your entire family to a vehicle for hours on end is not just to arrive, but to arrive with your sanity intact. Putting the groms in the car during peak hyper-time is not going to end well. Schedule departure time for around an hour before naptime or after they’ve had some full-on playtime at home. If you’re determined to get on the road early, pull into a local playground before leaving town and let them charge it for 30 minutes or so before you hit the highway.
      New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip
    3. Eliminate Stress
      Check (and double check) that everyone, including Mum and Dad, has everything they need within reach. Water, wipes, coffee, tissues, favourite pillows or cuddly toys, phone chargers etc. The last thing you need is to be distracted whilst driving. That goes for your vehicle as well! Always give your car a quick once over, checking water, oil and tyres before you head off. Quality tyres (much like these tips!) can also help reduce the noise of a family road trip. Goodyear’s new EfficientGrip Performance SUV tyre comes with advanced noise dampening tread design – the result? A superior quiet ride. Trust me I’ve driven for an hour on these bad boys and they’re as quiet as a Mum sneaking out of a sleeping child’s room – Stealth! You can check out the fun I had that day at loudenough.goodyear.com.au
    4. Be a Fun Mum (or Dad)
      The boys seriously flipped their lids on our drive from Christchurch to Methven 2 weeks ago when I pulled off the road (rather suddenly!) and into the parking lot of the Cookie Time Cookie factory! Admittedly my kids are a tad biscuit-deprived but never in their wildest dreams did they imagine getting to pick out a kilogram bag of cookies! Keep your eyes peeled, or plan ‘surprise’ stops in advance to break up the boredom of the road.
      New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip
    5. Kid Life Revolves Around Food – NEVER FORGET
      If ever there’s an occasion to relax the whole ‘no eating in the car’ rule, then a long road trip could be the right time. My kids can literally eat on the hour every hour and hell hath no fury like a hungry Jack boy – so it’s best to play it safe and travel with copious amounts of food, lest you get lost and god forbid there are no golden arches in sight. Is that even possible???? Car food doesn’t always have to be messy. Pre-cut apple slices, yoghurt suckies, dried fruit, filled wraps instead of rolls…….these are all crumb-minimisers and should buy you some time in between mince savouries!
      New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip
    6. Share the Navigating
      Plot your course using Google maps and hand the phone over to one of your little co-pilots. This helped us immeasurably whilst navigating the Mt Hutt region. Ethan really enjoys this responsibility it and it stops quarrels between Dave and I over map-reading fails!
    7. Pump up the Jams (or download the shows)
      The older your kids get, the less they are going to like hanging out with you or listening to your music. This is FACT. Spread the suffering and take turns picking the driving tunes. Yes, as unfathomable as it seems, my 13 and 4-year-old sons don’t love my indie-rock playlists (weirdos), but they do LOVE music. Everyone’s happy sharing DJ duties. If peace and quiet are in order, don’t leave home without downloading episodes of the kid’s fave shows from Netflix. In all seriousness, that is my number one travel tip and honestly, kids are usually just so pumped to be out and about in the world you will find you only have to resort to screen time when those hard-out meltdowns start threatening.
      Don’t forget, a set of headphones for each older kid = instant quiet time!
    8. Use your Crystal Ball like your Review Mirror
      Be proactive and stay alert for potential disturbances in the force. On our last snowboarding trip, our rental station wagon was struggling to squeeze in 3 snowboards (+ 2.3 tonnes of kid snow paraphernalia) so we folded down half of the split back seat for the gear, meaning Nix and Ethan would be sitting in very close proximity. RED ALERT.
      Dave took one for the team and we moved Ethan to the front passenger seat for the 30-minute drive time back and forth up the mountain. Peace ensued. If you can wrangle it, be flexible in seating arrangements – keeping kids out of each other’s ‘smack-you-in-the-face’ range is always a bonus.

Most of all, relax and enjoy the ride! Sometimes it’s easier said than done but roadies are one of those special, weird things that kids remember and hold on to forever – at least that’s how I feel about the trips in my childhood. Relax the itinerary and roll with the many (many!) pit stops.

Drive safe these holidays!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip

Thanks to Goodyear Tyres for making this post possible!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family survive roadtrip road trip

Beauty Spotlight: Skincare

Need-to-know news / Beauty Reviews from New Zealand’s most loved Health & Beauty Brands


 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser 150ml, RRP $38

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser ReviewHere it is – my FAVOURITE stand-alone cleanser of all time, and I’ve sampled many.

Prior to this I had only ever used one Kiehl’s product before, Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm.  Fab product, but not something I use every day, I always take it snowboarding though as it’s a perfect barrier moisturiser.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser $38, is a gentle, liquid gel cleanser that somehow holds it’s form (I can’t think of any other way to describe it lol) so that while massaging it on, you can feel the gel gliding between your fingertips and your face.  It’s such a luxe daily ritual that I really look forward to and it works beautifully on removing a full face of makeup as well as fresh morning skin.

LOVE LOVE LOVE and a great price point for a full-size product (150ml)  from a premium brand.

Garnier Pure Active Range

An excellent coup for those with sensitive skin, Garnier has just launched a 3 step cleansing and care routine designed for sensitive acne-prone skin.  

Garnier Pure Active Sensitive comprises 3 products; a soap-free Pure Active Sensitive Cleanser, a clarifying Pure Active Sensitive Toner and Pure Active Sensitive Moisturiser.  The combination of natural ingredients such as zinc to purify and boost skin immunity and witch hazel to soothe irritated skin results in a hypoallergenic and ph-neutral range, perfect for calming and caring for sensitive skin.

Point of difference to note; a gel toner!!!  I’ve never seen nor tried one before!

Garnier Pure Active Sensitive range RRP $13.99ea, available from select supermarkets, pharmacies and Farmers.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Garnier Pure Active Sensitive Review

Clinique Pep-Start™ HydroBlur Moisturiser, 50ml RRp $58Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Review

This little blue pot of matte-moisturising perfection has been my daily go-to for the past 2 months.  I took it with me to Surfers Paradise anticipating needing some help controlling shine in the warmer conditions and it exceeded my expectations.  It’s like a combination moisturiser/primer, which is awesome as it’s one less step when you’re getting ready.  I’ve found many ‘blur’ products end up sitting on top of my skin leaving a residue that seems to rub off when applying foundation or BB cream over the top – which kind of defeats the purpose really!  This stays on during makeup application and looks great on a bare-faced day as well as one where I’m sporting a full face of makeup.  Zero shine plus great looking and feeling skin.

I was gifted this but would absolutely purchase as it’s now a daily essential.  Shop it here

To discover your custom fit perfect moisturiser, take the Clinique Hydration Quiz here – that’s how I discovered Pep-Start!

L’Occitane Shea Butter Skincare Additions

I’m a huge fan of this range so am always excited to tet out new additions.  The Shea Butter skincare line from L’Occitane not only smells incredible but is pretty much the most effective hydrating collection I’ve used.

It’s got a lovely back-story too, with L’Occitane only purchasing fair trade shea butter from the women producing it sustainably in Burkina Faso.

L'Occitane Shea Solidarity Soap reviewOne of the new arrivals is the limited edition Shea Solidarity Soap, 50g RRP $8.  Do yourself and a charitable cause a favour and pick one of these up next time you’re at the mall or shopping online at nz.loccitane.com.  The subtle fragrance of the shea range is totally addictive and works beautifully in this solid soap bar which cleans without L'Occitane She Butter Foaming Cleanser Reviewstripping skin.  Plus, 100% of the profits are redistributed to fight avoidable blindness.  Ask in store if you can’t find this variety as it may have sold out!

I’ve also been enjoying another line addition, the Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser, 125ml RRP $45.  With 5% shea oil, this is an excellent in-between cleanser if you’re not a fan of liquid/gel cleansers but aren’t ready to commit to an oil cleansing regime.  I’d recommend this for normal to dry skin types, the end result is beautifully clean, but also really soft and hydrated skin.

Other new products in the Shea Butter Skincare Line are; Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm 150ml, RRP $53, Whipped Body Cream Shea Rose 125ml, RRP $38, Whipped Hand Cream Shea Rose 30ml, RRP $18.

Miri Skincare Kiwifruit Seed Oil & Manuka Honey Balm, 25ml, RRP $12.99

Miri Skincare Kiwifruit Seed oil and Manuka Honey Balm ReviewYou may have seen me try this on my IG stories last week, in which you’ll remember how surprised I was at the formulation and how easily and quickly it was absorbed.  I find most all-purpose balms to be super sticky, which makes them far too annoying to keep on for any duration.  Miri’s new offering is different.  Made in New Zealand from natural ingredients, Miri’s Kiwifruit Seed Oil & Manuka Honey Balm was created with the intent to combine NZ and South Pacific ingredients into an all natural balm to soothe chapped lips or irritated skin.  Suggested uses are; moisturising lips, chapped lips, dry or cracked skin, burns, scrapes, nourishing cuticles, insect bites, prevention of nappy rash, general massage and shaving rashes.
There’s no nasty fillers, preservatives, petroleum, BHA, BHT, DEA-regulated ingredients, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, parabens, PEG compounds, siloxanes, SLS or triclosan.

And it’s STILL lovely and effective.

Available from leading pharmacies nationwide.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm 90ml, RRP $75

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm Review

Described as Step Zero in your cleansing routine, this is a breakthrough product that takes Dermalogica’s double-cleanse regime to the next level.  I’m a huge fan of their PreCleanse Oil, it’s in my shower for everyday use, to be honest, but the pump bottle does make it more difficult to travel with.  

Enter the innovative PreCleanase Balm that activates on contact with water, transforming from balm to oil.  LOVE.  There is no cleanse like a Dermalogica double-cleanse, that is a fact.  The retail pack comes complete with a double-sided, ergonomically-designed mitt that is heaven on skin (really), and leaves skin “soft, nourished and ready to receive the benefits of your regular skin care regimen”, Caroline Parker, Head of Education for Dermalogica New Zealand.

Available from authorised Dermalogica® skin centres, selected department stores, Life Pharmacies and online at dermalogica.co.nz

Eco Tan Invisible Tan® – Express Self-tanning Crème 150ml RRP $39.95

Eco Tan Invisible Tan reviewConfession time; I’ve never, ever self-tanned.  Ever.  but I’m going to.

After two revelatory spray tans, one before our family holiday on the Gold Coast and one before my trip to Melbourne last month, I realised that fake tan has come a long way since I was in high school.  You very rarely see an orange tan-victim these days, in fact, I can only think of one and his name starts with T and ends with Rump.  So, I’m going to do it.  My dad died from melanoma as many of you know, so my passion for laying out is pretty much zero these days, plus the bikini bod isn’t doing what it should either.  In the words of my very wise nail tech, “tanned fat looks a whole lot better than pasty fat’.

So that’s my new motto.

Eco Tan is a cruelty-free brand that uses natural cacao, herbs flower extract, fruit extract and chamomile to create a natural looking glow that is certified organic.  To support the Eco Tan range of tanning projects, creator Sonya Driver has also brought a beautiful range of natural body care products to market.  These are all vegan, toxic free, synthetic free, cruelty-free and licensed by PETA.

Eco Tan and Eco by Sonya Driver are available at Unichem and Life Pharmacies, Health 2000 and Commonsense Organics, leading health and organic retailers and online at www.naturalthings.co.nz