The Worst Part of My Day…………just got a wee bit easier

I’m not exaggerating here, my kids’ dental hygiene is the bane of my LIFE.

The big one just doesn’t care/can’t be bothered/isn’t interested and the little one thoroughly enjoys it but would be only slightly less effective if he was using his toothbrush to scrub the floor instead of scrubbing his entire face – as well as approximately 10% of one tooth.

None of this is made any easier by the times of day that teeth-brushing is permanently scheduled in at; The Early Morning Before School Rush and Bedtime; Peak Procrastination Hour.  Undoubtedly two of the most difficult times of the day by any parental estimation.

Things began to look up late last year when Ethan got a toothy tech upgrade to the Philips Sonicare for Kids (read about that here).  The 2-minute timer has been amazing for improving his brushing routine plus I can hear its beeps and whizzing from afar so it’s much easier to keep an ‘ear’ on how long he’s brushing for lol.  The beeps are the quad pacer on the timer that helps him work out when to move to a different part of his mouth.  Kid-friendly genius!

That just leaves Nixie and now it’s his turn to hit the oral hygiene big league (meaning he’s got an awesome toothbrush too!).

Philips Sonicare for Kids have upped their game again with the launch of their mobile app to further aid kids with establishing awesome brushing habits.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Sonicare Toothbrush

Look, I’m an unashamed modern mum and I’m perfectly at peace with exploring ways in which technology can benefit my kids – and by benefit my kids I mean provide my very easily distracted toddler with a visual reference on how to brush, why to brush and for how long to brush because I’ve tried and am failing!  

I can see wheels spinning and Mama’s shaking their heads thinking ‘generations of people before us have taught their kids how to brush their teeth without the help of an app’.

This is true.  But generations before us weren’t raising kids in this digital age we find ourselves in, where our toddlers have favourite YouTube channels!

After he decorated his toothbrush, we worked through the app setup process which is super-cute and really engaging.  Nix got to hatch his ‘Sparkly’ and name him – Truck.  His toothbrushing friend is called Truck lol!!!  This initial meet and greet (?) is very clever, it totally encouraged Nixon to take responsibility for Truck’s teeth and get cracking.  The visual interface shows kids their progress as they are brushing and provides a reference that helped Nixon actually understand, for the first time, why we need to brush our teeth.  Check it out in action in the clip below;

As I said, Ethan’s been using his Sonicare for Kids for 5 months now and the proof of its efficacy (Philips states they are 75% more effective than manual toothbrushes in hard to reach areas) was noted in his latest dental checkup.  A positively huge improvement from his prior visit when he was threatened with a stain to show just how much plaque his lazy brushing was leaving on his teeth.  That’s a HUGE parental win, I was so stoked with that.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Sonicare Toothbrush

What you need to know about the Philips Sonicare for Kids

-A rechargeable sonic toothbrush for ages 3 and up

-Built-in Bluetooth wireless technology connects to the app

-Built-in timer

-Kids adopt their own Sparkly and help it brush its teeth so that it can be happy and evolve

RRP $99.95 available from major retailers nationwide.

Win this amazing toothbrush for a little person you know!

I have one Philips Sonicare to giveaway!  Make it yours by leaving me a comment below telling me who you’d gift it to.

Competition closes 18/4/17 NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Sonicare Toothbrush

Shop: Your dream sunglasses and where to find them

I’ve noticed over the years that people generally fall into two very distinct camps when it comes to sunglass purchasing.

The first crew use and abuse their glasses, preferring quantity over quality as they just can’t seem to hold on to a pair (or keep them in one piece!) for longer than 2 weeks.

The second camp, totally me, considers sunglasses an essential, non-negotiable part of leaving the house.  My Sunnies are
on every day, throughout every season, and absolutely every single time I get behind the wheel during the day.

As such, I’m happy to invest in a hero-pair each summer as I know they’ll go the distance – and I can trust myself to NOT lose them and NOT break them.

Hopefully lol.

This season, www.smartbuyglasses.co.nz reached out to me and invited me to try their service.  Initially overwhelmed by the unparalleled range (7234 pairs of women’s sunglasses!!!) I began using the seriously good search filter to narrow the results down to the shape, frame type and brands that I love.  It was like a Tinder for sunglasses that actually works lol.

With 319 contenders to choose from, not an easy task when the brands are Prada, Burberry, Kenzo, Tom Ford to name a few, I finally found my perfect sunglass match;

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Sunglasses

The Michael Kors Polynesia in Black/Tortoise.  Amazing right?

This colourway has sold out but you can shop the same model in other colours here.

My order arrived within 5 days guys!  Perfect timing for all the travelling we are doing at the moment.  Offering free shipping and 100 day returns plus prescription and contact lens sales, I can’t imagine shopping anywhere else for glasses.

Totally happy to recommend www.smartbuyglasses.co.nz 10/10 service and quality.

We Love: Dough Queen Natural Play Dough

Here in New Zealand, the first school holidays of 2017 are very quickly approaching and if the recent unsettled weather is anything to go by, we better get prepared for some rainy days inside!

Nixon is our hurricane child, whom we often struggle to settle down into focused, prolonged play.  He tires quickly of traditional toys but, give him creative options and he’s good to go and engaged for at least half an hour – that’s amazing for our little guy!

Despite having to be carried out in the football hold under my arm during the show last year (epic, most public meltdown either one of my kids has ever experienced!), Nix LOVES Mister Maker and often asks for time with his ‘Making Box’ full of art supplies.  His other favourite form of creative play is sitting down with some play dough and letting his imagination take over – I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen him play the same way twice when he’s working and squishing with dough.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Natural Play dough

Over the past couple of years, it’s pretty apparent that as Kiwi parents, we are changing the way we choose and shop for products for our kids.  When we have the option to purchase great quality, natural products it’s a no-brainer, especially when it’s going to be a guaranteed hit with the kids!

Fellow Kiwi Mum Claire Shannon has taken this movement to market with her Dough Queen range of natural New Zealand made play dough.

Dough Queen’s NZ-made natural non-toxic play dough is produced with food grade ingredients you can find in your own kitchen. That means if someone takes a nibble there’s no need to panic. We like our little customers to have a good amount to play with so each resealable pouch has 500g of dough. DQ dough will last around 5 months, as long as it is returned to its pouch or stored in a sealed container after play time.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Natural Play dough

We’ve been playing pretty hard out with Claire’s lovely dough since before Christmas and I’m totally hooked – as is Nixie.  I’ve made my own dough before, and whilst it’s not a particularly difficult thing to do, it is time-consuming and messy.  Let’s face it, the beauty of tactile play with play dough IS that it’s messy and you can smush it into a million little pieces (that get into every fibre of every fibrous thing in your entire house lol), so mess is good.  But avoiding a pre-mess before the Main Mess Event is much more my style.

In short, I’d rather buy natural play dough then make it myself – #LazyMum, maybe.  Time poor?  Definitely.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Natural Play dough

Dough Queen Natural Play Dough retails at $9 per single pack, with bundle pricing available as well as lab-tested, gluten free options, making beautiful handmade dough safe and healthy for everyone.

There are two new colours in the Dough Queen range, DQ Colour #10 and DQ Colour #11.  Both come in the super generous 500gm resealable pouch, both are bright, fun colours, they last for ages, and they both need names!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Natural Play doughHelp Dough Queen name the two latest colours!

Come up with the winning name for either #10 (teal) or #11 (purple) or both, and a twin pack containing each of the new colours could be all yours!  There are two prizes to win so comment below with your name suggestions and Dough Queen will choose 2 winners 3/4/17.

NZ residents only.

Why I Love My Unstoppable Mum Life

5.40am  Subconsciously doing backflips because at the very least I won’t be waking up in the death hour of any time beginning with 4.

5.41am  Little hands slapping on my face.  “Mummay what’s inside woodlice?”.  

  • Inward groan and realisation that I’m going to have to actually dissect some woodlice so he’ll quit asking me this same question every day.

5.42am  Drift off pondering where one finds woodlice in our neighbourhood.

5.43am  “Mummay I have poops”.  

  • Yes, motherhood gave me spidey-senses, I can smell them, I’m acutely aware of the poops in your diaper Nixie.

Silence.

5.51am  “There’s poops on my fingers and DADDY, where’s my breakfast?”

Repeat 7 days a week except for those days that start at 4.40am, Nixon’s other favourite wake-up time.
Ethan was away on school camp this week so there was one less mouth to feed and lunch to make at 6am, but otherwise it was business as usual; the kindy run, work, housework, washing, life admin (I saved $300 per year on just one vehicle’s insurance today!  BAM!), I ran 5km, had a playdate, spent 3 hours at the rugby club facilitating registrations and I have a deadline tomorrow so am still working.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Winter Boots Ziera

I can’t remember the last time I actually thought to myself “That’s not going to happen, there aren’t enough hours in the day, there isn’t enough coffee, I haven’t had enough sleep, I just can’t do it”.

Can’t isn’t really in my Mummy Lexicon unless we talking about running 10km in which case I’m totally stuck in a 5km rut and I CAN’T run through it lol.  Doing ALL the things (whether we want to or not) is how many of us survive and thrive.  Limitations of what it was possible to achieve in a day flew out the window as soon as Ethan was born, and though, I undoubtedly would like a few more blank spaces on our family calendar, the last 12 years have taught me that everything and anything is possible and I can, in fact put one foot in front of the other (over and over again) and make it all work.

The catch-phrase of the moment, particularly applicable to Mums, is ‘self-care’.  I’m not good at this.  Giving myself a ‘break’ and letting the washing or the dishes pile-up does my head-in and any benefit to be gained from relaxing and not doing chores is instantly negated by mess-induced anxiety.  For people like me, who are active-relaxers, a run or an exercise class is a perfect way to take some time out and practice some of that self-care we hear so much about without the associated guilt of “doing nothing”.  Finding a way to take care of your Unstoppable Mum-Self and recharging your batteries is so important, but we all do this in different ways so if you’re not a zen yoga goddess every Sunday morning don’t sweat it, just find your own mummy-mantra and practice it.  Regularly!

My kids are the ones that drive my Unstoppable Mum Life, they are the sole reason why Dave and I can get out of bed at 4.40am with something resembling a smile and look forward to the day’s routine, domestic schedule.  Each day will undoubtedly be similar to the day before and will recognise tomorrow but it needn’t be mundane or boring.

As I am undoubtedly a YES person, the people I meet through throwing myself into MumLife and Yessing my way through the weeks, are the ones that remove any smidgen of boring-ness from the sometimes  l o n g  days – and equally long nights…..with Nixon!  Getting out and about in your community, doing, volunteering, meeting and helping other parents have a better day will give you more and more positive momentum and help you become the Mum you really want to be.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Winter Boots Ziera

I recently discovered a little message on the sole of a new pair of winter boots from Ziera;

Stand your ground”.  

I love little details like this! I’m picturing myself on a dark, cold night at the rugby club, waiting for Ethan to finish training, dealing with the minutiae of rugby committee life, my mental to-do-list rapidly overflowing as I remember (not to forget!) that it’s bike day at kindy tomorrow and that Ethan needs money for his school bus card so we can’t go straight home after training, that the truck’s RUC’s have run out and I still need to get the tyres balanced……..

Breathe.  Smile.  I am unstoppable.

Do something amazing today!

We’re ALL unstoppable right?  Here’s your chance to recognise a woman that inspires, empowers and motivates you every day……..with a little help from Ziera!

Ziera is searching for unstoppable women to win one of five prizes of $2,500 plus five pairs of shoes to give them a helping hand towards achieving great things. You can nominate as many unstoppable woman as you like. Each time you nominate, you’ll go into the draw to win one of 100 pairs of shoes, one for you and one for the person you nominate. Achieve the extraordinary every day. Be unstoppable.

Submit your nominations here and make a positive change in the life of a deserving woman, just like you!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Winter Boots ZieraWin with The Best Nest & Ziera

Because Ziera are all about YOU and supporting unstoppable women, I have a $250 voucher to spend with Ziera for one of you!  Head over to Ziera, pick your favourite style (mine are the Zorro) and let me know which shoes you’ve fallen in love with in the comments below.

Competition closes Sunday 2/4/17, NZ residents only.

Book Review – Rants in the Dark by Emily Writes

Published 27/2/17, Random House NZ RRP $35, EBook also available.

I read a lot of books and 99.999% of them are not about me (surprise!) or my life or anything remotely resembling my life.  They serve as the distraction needed at the end of the day, the vehicle with which to escape and be transported far, far away, to meet strangers in foreign lands and solve mysteries, eat exotic foods join the mafia etc.  The books I read generally do exactly what a good book should do – provide escapism and a method in which to calm and quiet my frantic mind.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Emily Writes Rants in the Dark ReviewRants in the Dark does the complete opposite.

Rants in the Dark is the ONE book that is about me, it is about my life.  When Nix woke us at 4.30am this morning I rolled over and saw it on my nightstand and half-smiled at the irony of seeing it there, the words inside like a fist-pump emoji sent via Instagram from one mum to another – ‘you’ve got this, you know how to wake up at 4.30am, you know there are 2 Nespresso capsules left and you can have them BOTH because Dave is awesome like that.  You know it’s Little Kindy day tomorrow so you’ll have 4 hours in the morning to gather yourself and work and not-tidy the house ’cause what’s the point?’

Ahhh.  This book is my people.

Rants in the Dark will find audiences among mothers, obviously, but I think there is a great read in here for anyone who themselves HAS a Mum, or knows a Mum, or is married to a Mum.  Emily gives us short, snappy, witty vignettes that don’t bog you down with the oft-mundane minutiae that is #MumLife, rather, these details are woven into beautiful accounts of how, at the end of the day (or in the early hours of the morning!) we can still love it all, and be ready to repeat these days over and over again.  

For 18 years or so.

Buy it, read it, love it, lend it.  

Rants in the Dark is a modern-mothers voice in a snappy navy cover.  Emily’s my literary hero and it was incredibly awesome to meet her on Monday at her launch event.  Bravo you beautiful woman, Rants in the Dark is everything I hoped it would be and more.

Win your own copy of Rants in the Dark by Emily Writes

I have three copies to give away, one here on the blog – to enter just leave me a comment below.

And;

One on Facebook, enter here

One on Instagram, enter here

I’ll draw the winners on Sunday 5/5/17.  NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Emily Writes Rants in the Dark Review

 

 

New Season Updates your Wardrobe will LOVE

Poor New Zealand has undoubtedly had one of the craziest summers in recent memory.  It’s been warm yes, but mostly accompanied by rain and humidity resulting in more bad-hair-days than beach days!  The one *upside* of our punishing summer is that we can start incorporating New Season fashion goodness into our wardrobes a little earlier than normal.

Checking out the latest women’s ranges from The Warehouse each season has become somewhat of a regular editorial piece here on the blog.  I found some amazing separates in the Summer 16/17 collection so am super excited to be back with a curated look at some of my top picks in stores and online now!

As Kiwi Mums, our fashion requirements are not over-the-top but we do love it when retailers get it right across the board.  When I’m shopping I have certain key considerations in mind;

  • Functionality + Style – I like to dress with at least a passing nod to what’s trending but I’ve got to be able to actually be a ‘mum’ in what I’m wearing!
  • Price – I can be a bit fickle sometimes plus the budget’s not there for me to shop as a hobby lol.  I don’t want to feel guilty after picking up something new for myself.
  • Convenience – If it’s too hard it’s not going to happen!  I don’t want to have to pack a cut lunch and a compass to go shopping for a new top.  Easy is good and works when I’m juggling kids and family obligations.

The Warehouse have nailed the brief this season and delivered some great pieces, that work beautifully together.  

Pro-Tip:  Shop across the various ranges to put together a fresh, new look for the season ahead.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Garage Lace Up Back Jumper $25.00, Garage Satin Bomber Jacket $25.00

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Garage Lace Trim Cami $15.00, Garage Tassel Hem Tee $15.00 – Hurry, selling fast!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Maya Drape Front Maxi Skirt $20.00 – Hurry, selling fast!, Maya Hi Low Hem Skirt $25.00, Garage Jersey Harem Pants $20.00 – Hurry, selling fast!, Amco Women’s Curvy Skinny Jeans $25.00

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Garage Lace Trim Midi Dress $25.00, Garage Lace Up Festival Dress $25.00

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Fashion The Warehouse

Basics Brand Women’s Freya Casual Shoes $15.00, Debut Women’s Korey Anklet Boots $25.00

WIN with The Warehouse and The Best Nest!

I know there’s something in that stellar line-up that’s calling your name.  Tell me below what your wardrobe needs as we head into the cooler months and you’re in the draw to win a $50 giftcard to spend at The Warehouse!

Look out for a second chance to enter on my fashion vlog coming soon x

Entries close 21/3/17, NZ residents only.

 

 

Homewares – New Season Dining Refresh

Dave and I have recently realised that our home-owners enthusiasm for pfaffing, improvements and once effervescent tszuj-ing has pretty much plateaued into nothingness.

A visit last week from Jade Turner, Lead Designer at The Warehouse, got me totally pumped about homewares again and showed me how little, inexpensive touches can make a big difference.

This season, think matte black, mixing organic elements with harder silhouettes and geometrics.

Enough about that, the pics will do ALL the talking x

Shop the gorgeous and affordable Onyx vs Blanco range below;

Dining/Serveware Autumn Update Shopping List

  1. Living & Co Speckled Dinnerware $2 per piece!
  2. Living & Co Double Old Fashion Glasses Matt Black 4 Pack $15
  3. Living & Co Matte Black 16 Piece Cutlery Set $19
  4. Living & Co Round Cork Placemats $3
  5. Onyx Matte Black Candle  – smells amaze btw! $10
  6. Living & Co Matte Black Pitcher $5
  7. Living & Co Canvas Art Round Blanco Horse $16

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares BlackNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black

The Toilet and the Three Boy Household

When you’re a Boy-Mum, many habits around the house (need to) change.  You realise that vacuuming anytime before 4.30 pm when the children are home is pointless and only results in ‘why do I even bother’ angst.  You quickly learn to always check pockets before turning the washing machine on.  You discard any expectation that socks will be removed and put in the laundry in any manner other than in balls.  Eau de LYNX and preteen/teen boys go together like peas and corn and you should never, ever forget to check the toilet seat before sitting down.

This is a scientific fact.

As the only female in the house there are 4 risk factors that present themselves every time I enter the bathroom;

  1. A blind entrance with a still-raised toilet seat, means a splash entry no-one wants to make
  2. A rapid descent without checking for puddles on the seat often spells wet thighs and I HATE THIS SO MUCH IT MAKES ME SCREAM EVERY TIME!!!!!
  3. Entering the bathroom at pace if someone’s been spraying can lead to a painful slip ‘n slide that should never happen indoors :::::::ewwwww:::::::
  4. Boy-Mum, Girl-Mum it doesn’t matter.  A stranding is a less than ideal and I’m not sure whether they find it amusing or not but the boys seem to prefer a naked toilet-roll holder over one suitably equipped.  I’m straight up calling that laziness!

I’ve been a Boy-Mum and a wife for 12 years now and I’ve managed to implement many awesome habits amongst the Jack Family menfolk.  Folding towels in half, then thirds to put away in the linen cupboard is still a work in progress, but I’m hopeful in 2017 we will be triumphant in this area.  

Eliminating the three Female Risk Situations described above completely, is also progressing rather slowly.  Baby-steps were evident until an actual baby arrived in the house.  Nixon’s arrival and progression through toilet training has seen standards lowered across the board, and further evidence to support my assertion: toilet domination is a numbers game and a war I’m struggling to win.  Quite frankly I’m outnumbered and undergunned.  Your support and sympathy would be very much welcomed in the comments below ::::::::sobs:::::::

Last week did allow me a toilet-related giggle or two however.  We had a tradie at home doing some building work.  He started early in the morning, as is good practice, but he must have left home before he finished his ‘morning business’.  I popped out to drop Nix at kindy and he took this very small window of opportunity with gusto and acquainted himself with our bathroom.  

First and foremost, I have absolutely no problem with this.  Nature calls of course, what else can you do?  The situation was apparent when I returned home minutes later having forgotten Nixon’s bike and a very, very embarrassed builder rushed past me with cheeks ablaze as I ran smack into a toilet ‘smell’ that literally left me reeling!  I wasn’t going to put the man through any more embarrassment but I totally wanted to slip him a bottle of V.I.Poo and kindly suggest that a smart tradie never leaves home without it lol.

All you need to know is that Airwick V.I.Poo is a genius pre-poo toilet spray that creates a layer trapping odors under the surface before they escape – IT WORKS PEOPLE! And it’s available at your supermarket : )

One less obstacle between me and a state of bathroom bliss……………….that’s never going to happen in my house fyi!

Better living everyone xx

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Boys Bathroom Toilet

Health & Beauty Releases January

Well, Summer, you haven’t quite made it to New Zealand (yet – I’m still hopeful!) but some gorgeous new beauty releases certainly graced our shores this month.  January brought something for everyone and for every budget.  SPF products are, of course, seasonally popular right now, but here in NZ we need to be using these all year long, so consider the ‘sunny’ season a great opportunity to firm-up your faves for the months ahead.


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

M·A·C wowed this month with the release of their cult classic Strobe Cream in four new shades; Pinklite (the original) plus Peachlite, Silverlite, Redlite and Goldlite RRP $70.  These stunning luminescent moisturizers are tired skin’s bff (read: this mama’s wearing them everyday!).  Also on counter is Extra Dimension Skin Finish in four new shades; Show Gold peach that breaks pink, Double Gleam beige that breaks silver, Beaming Blush pink that breaks gold, Soft Frost white that breaks violet RRP $64.

Available now at all authorized M·A·C locations.
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Beauty Review
Extra Dimension Skinfinish Double-Gleam beige that breaks silver

BRUSH ON BLOCK is a product I’m freaking in LOVE with.  Here’s the scenario; makeup done, out to an event with family/friends/work whatever, sun is blazing (which would be weird, I know AUCKLAND!), and your only option is to ruin your glam face with oily sunscreen (or melanoma) and sometimes a hat is just not enough, or not appropriate.  

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

BRUSH ON BLOCK is an on-the-go mineral SPF30 sunscreen in a translucent powder form.  It’s a perfect purse-sized compact with built in dispensing brush that lets you apply sunscreen both underneath and on top of makeup as well as those super tricky places that are often left exposed, such as your part or around your hairline.  I love it and I’m never leaving home without it in my bag.

BRUSH ON BLOCK is vegan, not tested on animals and is gentle enough for kids or those with sensitive skin.  RRP $44, visit www.houseofcamille.co.nz to find your nearest stockist.

NZ beauty innovator, Mellow Cosmetics this month released their much-anticipated brow range and it’s predictably freaking awesome.  The combo of great makeup, vegan and cruelty-free goodness and amazing price-points is a winner you guys!

Meet the line-up;

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

Brow Definer Pencil $22, available in 4 shades, Brow Pomade $19.50, available in 4 shades, Brow Powder Duo $22, available in 4 shades, Tinted Brow Gel $19.50, available in Dark Brown and Light Brown.

My pick is the Brow Powder Duo, I love that you’re only paying for two shades as opposed to the four that many palettes come with – and that you’ll never use.  Available in Caramel, Mocha, Chocolate and Taupe.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Beauty ReviewTo be totally honest with you, I’m counting calories and steps right now in an effort to lose the 5kg’s that crept on throughout 2016 and I’m not above taking help where I can get it.  Good Health Synetrim® Slim has hit selected leading pharmacies and health stores RRP $36.90.

Helping to block the absorption of fat, carbs, sugar and manage cravings, Synetrim® is a formula patented for weight loss and metabolic function through 6 key actions;

  1. Triple Absorption Blocker, 2.  Healthy Fat Metabolism, 3.  Mood Balance, 4.  Healthy Cholesterol, 5.  Appetite and Craving Management, 6.  Blood Sugar Balance.

Sounds amaze right?  Everything I need so fingers crossed it helps and you KNOW I’ll give you the scoop if it does xx

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Beauty ReviewSo a new brand I discovered and loved in 2016 was Atzen.  I finished my RENEW™ – Vita C Serum without missing a day, I loved it so much and I’m currently using BALANCE™ – DNA Repair Serum – Age Reverse Safely™ which is equally effective in softening existing textural imbalances (of which I have many due to scarring and sun damage) and providing long lasting hydration.

So, obviously a fan, I was so happy to receive the ATZEN Balance Bio-Active Complex SPF15™ RRP $139.  Sunscreen is my jam and this organic, nano-particle and petrochemical free formulation protects from pollution and ultraviolets whilst hydrating skin and promoting a youthful, glowing complexion.  I’ve only just started using it but am impressed after a couple of days, key point – non-greasy yay!

The BEST smelling body lotion EVER!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Beauty Review

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  There is no respite.  Even if you’re putting back your 2.25l a day (I’m trying I swear!) your skin will still need some external help.  Sukin win The Best Nest Best Body Lotion award with their Moisture Rich Body Crème RRP $20.99.  I just want to eat it.

Seriously.

Smelling like lemon curd and delivering great hydration at a great price and ticking all the vegan, carbon neutral, no animal-testing, no SLS, no SLES, no parabens and no mineral oil boxes, Moisture Rich Body Crème is an absolute GEM.

Love, love love!  

Available at Farmers, pharmacies and health stores nationwide.

See you next month!

 

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

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

What’s New  – December #1


Farrah’s Super Duo – Chia and Quinoa and Sprouted Grain wraps RRP $5.49New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Farrahs Wraps

Many of us try to lighten up our menus over summer and some brands are just the perfect partners for a pantry makeover.  Farrah’s is one such brand, one our family LOVES as we go through multiple packs of their amaze, no-split, no-crack wraps each week.  Made using super grains and sprouted grain flour with the addition of chia seeds and quinoa, the latest two varieties to join the Farrah’s wrap family are indeed a Super Duo.

WIN with Farrah’s!

I have 3 Prize Packs to give away each containing;

  • Farrah’s tote bag
  • Farrah’s Chia & Quinoa wraps
  • Farrah’s Sprouted Grain wraps

To enter just leave a comment below and tell me how you’d get creative with your delicious wraps.  Comp closes 16/12/16, NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Mellow PaletteTararua Dairy Co. Dips with Bits RRP $4.49

I wasn’t sure that classic Kiwi Onion Dip could get any better but the proof is in the pot.  Dip is better with bits. FACT.

Tararua Dairy Co. have kicked summer off with three new delicious dips that will take the average pack of ready salted chips to new heights as we hit the entertaining season.  Find the tasty trio of Dips with bits in stores now; The Classic Kiwi Onion, The Smokey Cheddar & Red Pepper, and The Mexican Chipotle & Lime.  Yum!

Old El Paso Whole Grain Stand n Stuff Tortillas RRP $5.99New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Mellow Palette

Our family is bananas about tacos and in particular we LOVE soft tacos.  Old El Paso has added preservative free Whole Grain Stand n Stuff Tortillas to their range of Mexican flavours and they are just as soft and delicious as we’ve all come to expect from this brand.  We couldn’t wait to try these and whipped up some tacos as soon as they arrived.  Ethan, in particular, loves these as he struggles with the mess of regular tacos, I love them because they are just so damn tasty!

In supermarkets nationwide.

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

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Good George CiderGood George Scarlett Cider RRP $14.99 946ml Squealer (and on tap in selected bars)

Summer + cider = winning.  The good peeps at Good George Brewing have bottled summer in their limited edition Scarlett – apple cider and juicy Scarlett O’Hara peaches combine without any creepy fur ::::shiver::::: peach fur itching your chin is the worst!

Don’t miss out on this babe-town drink as it’s only available over summer.  Squealer too big?  Don’t fret, the bottle is resealable so you can share with friends or enjoy it over a couple of days.

Available in selected bars, good liquor stores, and specialty outlets.

Ice Age 5: Collision CourseNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Good George Cider

Just in time for Christmas (and those rainy summer days we always get around New Years!), our favourite prehistoric heroes are back for another adventure.  The 5th chronical in the famous franchise sees Scrat kick off a chain of events that put everyone in jeopardy.  Teamwork is required in this hilarious adventure that introduces new characters and reunites us with our old pals Buck, Manny, Ellie, Sid and Diego.

Available on Blu-Ray, 3D Blu-Ray and DVD.


New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Kindness and Courage Book StarshipKindness, Courage, and more Uplifting Stories RRP $20
 

A Christmas gift with a meaning and a message is a rare thing indeed and this delightful compilation of stories might just provide some context for many of us during this holiday season.

Written by the winners of the Barfoot & Thompson Young Authors Challenge and illustrated by some real kiwi icons (Keven Mealamu, Otis Frizzell, Benny Tipene and more), all proceeds from book sales go to the Starship foundation.

Nixon has had numerous stays in Starship and the support services offered by the Foundation to families and patients is invaluable.  This gorgeous book of short stories is gifted to children who spend a night in Starship or Whangarei Children’s Hospital and is available for purchase here.

Lonvitalite 24K Gold & Collagen Eye Mask RRP $31.95 per 6 packNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Kindness and Courage Book Starship

Much beloved salon brand Lonvitalite is available in NZ so we can all get closer to those amaze gold eye masks than the many #LonSelfie shots on Instagram!

Targeting dark circles and fine lines under the eye, Lonvitalite 24K Gold and Collagen eye mask is a mummy must-have receiving rave reviews and I can’t wait to try it out this morning. Available in selected salons and spas or online here.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Retail New products Mellow Cosmetics Treasure Chest PaletteMellow Cosmetics Treasure Chest Eye Palette RRP $34

Seriously, this palette is a thing of beauty!  I’m slowly building up my Mellow collection and love the brand more with each new addition.  Including 12 shades, Treasure Chest is the perfect addition to any beauty-lover’s Christmas stocking.  

Like the entire Mellow range, Treasure Chest was designed in New Zealand and is vegan and paraben free.

Pro Tip – try the Liquid Lip Paints, they are amaze!  Shop Mellow here x