Black Friday Bliss: One-Stop Shopping online at TheMarket

I first fell in love with the phenomena that is Black Friday when I spent six years living in the states.  Our eldest son was born on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I was up-and-at-em 5 days later on Black Friday to hit the awesome sales that American retailers are well known for.

I can’t say I’m mad about the fact that this epic pre-Christmas shopping tradition has made its way down to New Zealand.  For me, it encourages planning ahead, shopping early and avoiding expensive panic buying as I run out of time (and inspiration!) in December.

This year navigating the myriad Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales in New Zealand is a lot easier with the arrival of TheMarket, an online destination which has successfully streamlined the kiwi shopping experience across a huge variety of departments.
This is a retail experience with a difference guys – think of your favourite department store, complete with collections from premium fashion brands, as well as a comprehensive toy store, garden centre, tech department and a health and beauty offering to make you swoon.  TheMarket is one of the most user-friendly websites I’ve ever shopped – thankfully (!) as it hosts over 1500 retailers – no-ones go time to peruse THAT many aisles in real time am I right?!

I’ve done a quick swoop of the early Black Friday deals available online at The Market and created a wishlist to (hopefully) keep me focused as I tick off my Christmas list.

Check out my gifting ideas for our family below and HELLO, I’ve got a discount code for you! 

Enter the code BEST20 to get $20 off your first order at TheMarket when you spend $99 or more!

T&Cs – Discount applied when code entered at checkout on TheMarket.com. Saving of $20 off everything with a minimum spend of $99. Excludes shipping costs (if relevant). Single use per customer. Expires midnight Monday 2nd Dec 2019.

This post was kindly sponsored by TheMarket.

Parents, this is how you win at the internet – MindLabKids.com

Summer school holidays are almost upon us here in New Zealand and, as far as I can tell, there are two distinct methodologies parents use to tackle the school holidays;

  1. The Organized Planner: Days, playdates, excursions,  picnics are all planned with military precision – only to be completely at the mercy of the sometimes/usually unpredictable January weather (especially if you live in Auckland!)
  2. The She’ll be Right Parent:  No planning necessary – it’s the holidays after all!

Whether you identify as a #1 or a #2 or a happy mix of both, it’s inevitable that weather, exhaustion or, real-life necessity such as parents having to adult and go to work, will result in days spent at home.  If you find this heralds the ‘I’m bored’ chorus we all dread, well, I’m all for letting kids ride out their boredom (if you can stand it!).  Giving kids the space and independence to be bored allows them the creative freedom to ‘un-bore’ themselves in ways adults may never have imagined.

If that doesn’t work, or has run its course, some intentional time online may be just the ticket.  Screentime for the kids; they’re happy, combined with educational, productive activities; Mum and Dad are happy.

Everyone wins!  (So bookmark this website now before you forget >> www.mindlabkids.com

What is MindLabKids.com?

The Mind Lab by Unitec is an award-winning, specialist learning lab dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding of modern technology via workshops, school visits, holiday programmes and teacher professional development.  Emerging from this cutting-edge combo of education and fresh ways to deliver it, comes MindLabKids.com.

The website itself is an engaging, exciting online destination where kids can discover science and technology at their own pace, through hands-on experiments, challenges, and safe collabs with other kids.  Three new challenges are released each week around kid-magnet topics such as; robotics, 3D design, animation, and stop-motion, movie making and more.

How we use MindLabKids.com

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.com

First points to note, rego is free, quick and easy.  Ethan was instructed NOT to use his own name as the username, plus, the only contact information requested was a parents email address – which I had to verify before the account was activated.

That was it!  Ethan was off, with Nix observing at elbow height, of course, intrigued by the fact that his big brother was stoked to be using the computer with Mum’s encouragement.

The home feed is a collation of challenges, fun facts, members responses to challenges, surveys, and cute memes – essentially everything kids want or more importantly NEED from an educational site that is kinda a cross-over with an age-appropriate social network.  You can respond to user-created content in a positive way via likes and even ‘favorite’ accounts that are uploading videos you love.

But obviously, the very BEST part, which the boys are loving, is getting their curious neurons firing and getting stuck into the online challenges.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.com

Nix and E both have a Mind Lab Kids Starter Pack (which got them so pumped to get cracking I gotta say!)  These are definitely not necessary to participate in the challenge responses, but Ethan found after looking at the kit inclusions such as a propeller, 3V motor, battery pack, pager motor, hovercraft plate (stuff we generally don’t have lying about the house), his mind was a little more open to the creative, problem solving process, knowing that he had some extra tools on hand.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.com

On that note,  seriously great Christmas gift right?!  Create your child’s login, write their username and password on a gift tag, wrap up the Mind Lab Kids Starter Pack and you’ve got the perfect parental gift trifecta; it’s educational, not a toy they don’t need and can be reused over and over again in different ways.

Boom.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.com

The first challenge the boys tried their hand at was Professor D’s Hovercraft Challenge – obvs Ethan and I helped Nix a lot with his, he was just down to go crazy with the glue gun to be honest, but that’s every 4 year old’s prerogative lol.

Check out our Hovercraft Challenge Response Video here on the MindLabKids.com website.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.comNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.com

Win a MindLabKids.com Starter Kit!

Get your kids excited about science and technology and they could win their own MindLabKids.com starter kit!

To enter;

  1. Join Mind Lab Kids, if your kids are already a member then they are good to go!
  2. Film and upload a challenge-response video to www.mindlabkids.com before 10am 10 December 2017.
  3. That’s it!

Full terms and conditions can be found here, otherwise, the main point to note is that you must be a NZ resident.

This post was made possible by www.MindLabKids.com.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Mindlabkids.com

 

 

Parenting – Bright Ideas for Young Minds

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event that was a little bit different from those I normally go to each week.  It wasn’t a cosmetic/foodie/makeup event, it wasn’t a glamorous, heels and frock, dress-to-the-nines occasion (thank god!).  It was a book launch.  A beautiful thought-provoking, inspiring book launch that gave me all the feels and left me with an innate desire to be a better mother.

Cripes that’s pretty heavy!

Bright Ideas for Young Minds is a book that screams for your attention as soon as you lay eyes on it.  It’s big, robust and beautifully designed, printed and bound, with fun and exciting content to match.  But what is it?  It’s an activity book brought to life by New Zealand’s largest early learning provider, BestStart and written by kiwi educators with contributions from Plunket, Heart Foundation NZ and Jumping Beans.

In short, it’s amazing.

As well as providing parents and caregivers with a resource chocka-block full of 70 step-by-step activities that cost little or nothing, what Bright Ideas for Young Minds does so well (for me at least!) is remind me how easy it is to bring great joy to my kids.  Showing love through mindful, yet incredibly simple play is the very best education every child deserves.  The great part is, creating positive interactions such as those included in the book, are play options accessible to every New Zealand caregiver.  Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration, a gentle reminder that the currency most cherished by children is our time.

Bright Ideas for Young Minds (Mary Egan Publishers $39.95) is an amazing resource for anyone caring for kiwi kids age 0-6 years and is available now from all leading bookstores.

Win a copy of Bright Ideas for Young Minds!

Tell me how you’d benefit from this beautiful book, or, who you’d gift it to in the comments below.  I’ll draw the winner drawn 11/12/17, NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bright Ideas for Young Minds

The Ultimate Under $20 Gift Guide

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Stocking Fillers Christmas

‘IF’ I was an organised shopper and had nearly finished purchasing, wrapping and hiding gifts (I’m not, I’ve barely begun my Christmas Shopping!), then I’d probably be ready for the fun of filling the stockings with those ‘little’ things that often bring some of the biggest smiles on Christmas Day.

I think a really good Christmas stocking is a combo of those things your recipient needs, but always forgets to buy, wants (but may not need) and fun things they just straight up don’t know they want or NEED lol.

Plus scorched almonds of course – don’t forget those.

So, I’ve done the legwork for you here and put together the Ultimate, never to be bested, Guide to Stocking Stuffers under $20.  These items are all in stock at Not Socks (at least until you guys go shopping and clear them out!) and are ready to be hustled over to your place, in time for Santa’s arrival.

Have a browse and look out for how to win yourself a $50 voucher to spend at Not Socks this Christmas!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Stocking Fillers Christmas

Waterproof Phone Bags $19.95, Simple Sucker Phone Mount $14.95, Chocolate Christmas Crackers $19.95, Shower Drink Holder $21.95, Beer-o-Meter Fridge Magnet $17.95, Gasmate Digital Probe $14.95

Omg Dads and husbands are the hardest to shop for right?  I’ve been married 12 years and still have not perfected the art of man-shopping, but I’m pretty certain that you’re good to go with ALL of these ideas.  That shower beer (cocktail/wine?) holder is genius!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Stocking Fillers Christmas

Hello, It’s Tea Travel Mug $17.95, Avo Seedo $19.95, Aqua Notes Waterproof Notepad $14.95, 3m Charging Cable $11.95 (Android here), MOR Marshmallow Hand Cream Christmas Cracker $14.95, Diamond Life earrings $14.95, Boho Glass and Copper Trinket Box $19.95

Ahhh, shopping for Mum.  That would be me.  I know you’re probably looking at the image above and thinking wtf is a phone charging cable doing smack-bang in the middle, looking special.  At the end of the day, when I’m exhausted (but will end up spending at least an hour squinting at my phone in bed) I don’t want to have to snuggle up to a powerpoint, just imagine the freedom of a 3 metre long charging cable?  I imagined it……..and I bought it.  Mum will love it I promise x

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Stocking Fillers Christmas

Glow your Own Paint $12.95, KidLife Tee $19.95, Monkey Emoji Pillow $19.95, Unicorn mood Light $19.95, Quoit Set $19.95, Emoji Lip Gloss $7.95, Emojinal Liquid Pencil Case $15.95

I find shopping for kids over 8 years old almost as difficult as shopping for a Dad that doesn’t drink beer.  There are only so many iPhones you can put in a Christmas stocking before enough is enough – Ha!  I have a 12 year old boy and he would be stoked to get an emoji pillow, apparently his whole life can be summarised using emojis!  Seriously, take my advice – it’s a winner folks.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Stocking Fillers Christmas

Mini Ice Cream & Pear Decorations $9.95, Finding Dory 35 Piece Puzzle $6.95, Superman Bib with Cape $17.95, Play n Store Toy Bag $19.95, Baby’s First Smart Phone $17.95, Inflatable Crab Arm Bands $19.95

Ahhh little people.  The easiest to shop for.  They LOVE everything you give them………except for clothes.  Toddlers hate getting clothes for Christmas.  My top pick out of this bunch is the drawstring toy bag, no more dangerous Lego waiting to maim a bare foot this summer sounds like a Christmas Miracle!

WIN $50 to spend at www.notsocks.co.nz!

Wouldn’t you love to finish (or start, no judgement here!) your Christmas shopping with some relaxed online gifting at Not Socks?

To enter to win an e-voucher, leave me a comment below and tell me which gift from the ‘Ultimate, never to be bested, Guide to Stocking Stuffers under $20’ would you choose for one of your loved ones this Christmas.

Competition closes 16th December 2016 NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Stocking Fillers Christmas

Thanks to Not Socks for teaming up with me on this post.

Shop Local – Undercover Sleeping Bags

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-kids-sleeping Bags

Coming up with super-stylish, innovative products is something kiwi women do amazingly well so it was no surprise to me to find out that the uber-cute range of Undercover Sleeping Bags for kids are designed, manufactured, and distributed right here in New Zealand by Marlborough resident, Kate Guthrie.

It’s almost our prime camping and glamping Summer season here in New Zealand and I can’t think of anything worse than trying to nod off to sleep in a sticky, hot sleeping bag made from entirely synthetic fabrics.  I actually wouldn’t be able to get Nixon to sleep in this way – the fuss would be unbearable.  And sweaty lol.

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-kids-sleeping BagsLittle peeps will LOVE curling up in their Undercover creations due to a few genius features that make these dreamy sleeping bags a kid-must-have that will be used and loved, year round;

  • 100% cotton outer and warm thermal padding – YAY, no more summer stickiness!
  • A pillow compartment!!!!  Soooo many time when camping I’ve been woken up because Ethan had lost his pillow in the night – usually because it’s slid off his slippery sleeping bag lol.  Once unrolled, you can pop a pillow into the all-in-one design.
  • No separate storage bag (to lose).  YAY, again lol.  The sleeping bag rolls up and is stowed into the pillow compartment.

I know many of you love to try and think outside the box when it comes to buying for your kids.  Shopping local, shopping small and supporting New Zealand creatives is an awesome endeavour and can make Christmas Shopping  SO much more fun when you can cut out the trips to the mall – and cut out the plastic fantastic toys that will be old news in a month anyway!  Undercover sleeping bags will be loved and used all year, for years, as they suit ages 2-12 ish – depending upon how quickly your pre-teen is growing of course.

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-kids-sleeping Bags

Shop the Undercover Range Now!

Available in 8 super stylish designs at $199 each, there’s an Undercover Sleeping bag to suit every little camper – or every little person having their first sleep-over at Nana’s –  How cute are these fabrics?

mummy-blog-new-zealand-blogger-mommy-travelblog-family-kids-sleeping Bags

 

Top Toys for Christmas 2015

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

This is the very last gift guide for 2015 which means two things; 

  1. Santa is very, very close
  2. It’s time to wrap gifts!

I know some of you are last minute shoppers, some totally thrive on it.  A good friend of mine is notorious for doing her Christmas shopping for her 3 kids on Christmas Eve!  I get stabby thinking about going anywhere near a mall at this point in December – I hate it!

If you’ve still got some little people to shop for, hopefully this round-up of six of the top toys this Christmas will help make your shopping easy and quick as they are all available at The Warehouse, Farmers or both!

mummy-blog-new-zealand-mummy-blogger-gift-guideThomas & Friends Trackmaster Shipwreck Rails RRP $149.99

I’ve been waiting with baited breath for Thomas fever to hit our household after Ethan’s complete lack of interest when he was a toddler – I freaking LOVE that little blue train!  This playset takes Thomas to a level I’ve never seen before, it’s a BIG motorised railway with epic features including a death drop where Thomas spins 360º.  This is totally going to blow Nixon’s mind (and Ethan’s to be honest!) and I can see the Trackmaster series becoming a collection that we add to over the years.

Psssst, there’s some mega sales on this right now! Check the links!

Available from The Warehouse and Farmers.Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

Fisher Price Bright Beats Dance And Move BeatBo RRP $120

Gotta say I can’t wait for this guy to join us on Christmas Day!  BeatBo is a 13″ interactive robot-esque toy that is bright, tactile and soo visually attractive you just can’t help but want to press all of his buttons.  He has 3 modes; Dance & Move, Learning & Games and Record and Remix where you can record a word or phrase that’s played back and remixed into a song!  SO rad, Nixon’s going to love yabbering away to BeatBo and making music.  I found BeatBo super intuitive to use, Nix at almost 2.5 years should have no trouble navigating the voice prompts to make the most out of this super fun toy.  This is a tech/toy mashup that works SO well!

Available from The Warehouse and Farmers.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand GiftMega 123 Learning Train RRP $40 + Mega Blocks RRP $29.99

Ok, blocks.  Crucial element in any kids free-play repertoire.  I love Mega Blocks as they give Nix the freedom to just build whatever he wants – easily.  That’s the major attraction for me.  Usually he’s whipping up big towers to form ‘cranes’ or other building site equipment and the ease with which he can pull pieces apart and dismantle his creations leaves little room for frustrated tantrums – a pervasive storm cloud always on the horizon when you live with a toddler!

The 123 Learning Train does double duty as an educational aid and a super fun toy.  Blocks are printed with numbers which I’m excited to use with Nix to firm-up his number recognition.

Available from The Warehouse and Farmers.Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

Hot Wheels Monster Jam Dragon Blast RRP $59.99

Nixon is a card carrying member of Hot Wheels Anonymous – child is addicted to little cars!  We were at a friends house recently and her son (who is a little older than Nix) had a Hot Wheels playset which captivated my little guy for the duration of our playdate.  This set ticks all the boxes for us; Dragon?  Yes.  Monster Truck? Yes.  Hours of fun?  Definitely.

Available from The Warehouse and Farmers

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand GiftHot Wheels Stack A Track RRP $59.99

Stack A Track is next level Hot Wheels for sure.  With this set you can design and build your own track (and then tear it down with reckless abandon which is what Nixon will do with it lol).  I love the freedom sets like this give little engineers, it becomes a two-pronged toy encouraging creativity and imagination as well as the base fun of simply playing with little cars!

Available from The Warehouse and Farmers

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

We were so fortunate to have been gifted these wonderful toys by Mattel for review purposes.  The amazing thing is, they have donated an equal number of toys to my charity of choice, The Auckland City Mission!  We are so grateful in both instances xx

 

A New Christmas Tradition to Share

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

To be honest, my Christmas mojo totally needed a big fat injection of Festive Spirit this year.  December has arrived in all of it’s red-velveted glory but my head was still back in September.  Where oh where did spring go?

One thing that never fails to get me in the Christmas mood is seasonal baking – whipping up shortbread, gingerbread and other pretty treats for friends, family and the kid’s coaches and teachers is a sure-fire way to shake off seasonal doldrums and get pumped about giving and gifting.  Usually this requires some prep, some checking of recipes, purchasing ingredients and packaging cellophane, angst in the kitchen, much mess, kids underfoot hustling for scraps………

……..actually that’s every day lol.

This Christmas one of New Zealand’s most iconic brands has created a gorgeous gift that’s guaranteed to inspire every lucky recipient to bust out the José Feliciano and get down with Santa. Not actually with Santa but …….. you know what I mean!

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

Meet the new Superstar of the Christmas gift aisle at your local supermarket – The Tasti Tin of Tremendousness.  A kiwiana style collectible tin (the PERFECT size for your Christmas Cake!) complete with everything you need to whip up your own Tasti Choc Almond Christmas Tree.  So easy I let the kids do it, and I mean, I really did let the kids do it.  Together even!  

That wasn’t such a good idea in hindsight.Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

When we realised that Nixon was entirely focused upon eating all of the ingredients himself he was removed from the equation and Ethan did a wonderful job of finishing what was our first Christmas cooking activity for 2015.  

Ethan had no trouble following the directions, melting the chocolate, combining the ingredients and moulding the mixture to the star stencil.  I may have taste tested at this point and ah-maze-ing!!!!
Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

We were a tad skeptical about how these ‘piles’ of deliciousness would transform into a Christmas Tree, but after an hour or so in the fridge, the chocolate had hardened and some beautiful stars emerged which then took 5 minutes to assemble in tree form.

I love this project!  It’s super quick, very kid friendly, all of the ingredients are in the tin and it literally screams ‘Christmas!  Christmas!  I’m ready for you!’.  Purchasing the annual Tin of Tremendousness will become a new Christmas Tradition for our family for years to come I hope!

Obviously the Choc Almond Christmas Tree will be a lovely addition to the dessert table on The Big Day, but in the meantime, this is a seriously stunning gift for anyone who loves baking or creating their own Christmas treats, plus, I think this would make an awesome gift for kids who love spending time in the kitchen!  

Pick up your on Tasti Tin of Tremendousness from supermarkets nationwide RRP$15.99 or, try your luck at winning one here!  Comment on this post or enter via the widget below – don’t worry if it says closed – competition will be drawn Sunday 20th @10pm.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift

Christmas Gift Guide – For Her (which is probably you right?)

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Christmas Gift Guide

How ironic that the final Christmas Gift Guide I put together is for women like myself, maybe Mum’s, often the member of the family that is overlooked until the last minute, partner/husband frantically rushing to the mall on one of the final shopping days before Christmas to grab something, anything to pop under the tree.  Let’s not be martyrs ladies because, honestly, no-one likes those types.  If someone asks you what you want for Christmas, for god’s sake TELL THEM!

Or send them the link to this blog post for some hints ;  )

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift GuideBonds Underwear

I’m a simple creature (HA!), 99% of the time I’m rocking super fun, cotton Bonds boy leg underwear.  I love this underwear.  I’ve been wearing it for years and years and swear by the fit, quality and comfort.  This season’s Glow range from Bonds has some very cute prints and pieces available – perfect stocking stuffers for the whole family – but mostly you Mama!

BONDS Boyfriend Triangle Crop, BB Holo, RRP $25

BONDS Boyfriend Hot Shortie, BB Holo, RRP $18

2016 OTi Organiser RRP$34.99Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift Guide

I’ve tried pretty much every app based diary/organiser/planner there is and I’ve not been able to make a habit out of any of them.  I need a visual, tactile point of reference, one that works with an actual pen.  How old school I know!  

It also needs to look gorgeous and inspire me to organise my ridiculous life.

The OTi (On To It) organiser comes in three super stylish cover designs, you will want to take this everywhere with you I promise.  The main consideration however is function and the OTI delivers; the range focuses on wellbeing with a week-to-a-spread layout and value-add inclusions such as;

  • Removable Contacts and Info booklet.  A single place to store important numbers – both phone and account numbers, plus usernames and passwords for websites and important annual dates.
  • Refillable shopping list post-it notes
  • Pen loop and pen included
  • Elastic enclosure
  • Bookmark ribbon
  • Pocket for loose papers
  • Durable and wipeable cover

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift GuideEssence Marble Collection Soy Candles RRP$49

I love candles, I really, really do.  I just need to remember to burn them more often lol.  If you want to support a local business this Christmas then look no further!  Candle-maker Megan Harris has put her artist husband Paul to work for the latest Essence soy candle collection. Each of the gorgeous marble-finished candles in the range have been hand-painted by Paul at their Auckland, studio. 

Totally on-trend with their marbled finish and striking brushed gold lid, my Peony candle was super easy to style and looks beautiful on our mantle. Megan prides herself on loading them heavily with fragrance, and the scent totally fills your home when lit. These candles are 100% soy wax, have a 70 hour burn time, cotton wicks and their fragrance is phthalate free.  Gorgeous!Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift Guide

George Foreman Mix & Go with Chill Sticks RRP$89.99 

The big blenders are getting a lot of coverage this Christmas, and they’re totally amazing.  I love my Nutri Bullet dearly but if you’re not whipping up smoothies for a family of four daily you may consider the price prohibitive.  The slimline design and fab price point of the George Foreman Mix & Go sets it apart from it’s competitors.  You’re definitely not losing much of that valuable bench-top real estate with this gadget!  Plus, now you can guarantee that your smoothie will always be chilled to perfection with the NEW George Foreman Chill Sticks, included with your purchase of a George Foreman Mix & Go or available separately for your existing collection. 

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift GuideThe Great New Zealand Colouring Book RRP$24.99

I’m not sure a Christmas Gift Guide is complete this year without the addition of an adult colouring book, but this one is a little different.  Available exclusively at Warehouse Stationery stores, this is a high quality coffee table art book created by kiwis for kiwis.  Who doesn’t need to de-stress over the Christmas period?  I personally can’t think of a prettier way to do it.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift GuideRemington Girls on the Go Bikini Trimmer RRP$49

I’m not going to dwell on this one too much because, well, TMI.  There are only 2 regular beauty appointments I can handle, and neither of them are for waxing.  I have to wear togs year round at the moment because I’m still in the pool with Nixie during swimming lessons so ‘things’ have to be maintained.  This bright little gadget is perfect for us gals who take care of bikini trimming at home.  It does what it needs to, is simple to use, battery operated and compact enough to take away in your toilet bag over the summer holidays.  Super good price point too. 

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift GuideRemington Silk Ceramic Straightener RRP$199

I haven’t used anything but GHD’s on my hair in over 8 years so I was super keen to try out the latest straightener from Remington.  It delivers, I’m super impressed with this guy, it’s a top of the range, feature packed straightener that still comes in $160 cheaper than the GHD Platinum.  A little more lightweight in the hand but the plates are seriously silk smooth and glide right over your hair.

  • High heat to 240°C
  • Turbo boost function
  • Heats up in 10 seconds
  • Informative digital temperature display indicates the best temperature for your hair type
  • 5 variable heat settings 150°C to 240°C
  • Memory function remembers the last temperature used
  • Floating plates for constant contact and fast styling
  • Temperature lock function
  • Automatic safety shut off and worldwide voltage
  • Heat resistant storage pouch
  • Hinge lock
  • Salon swivel cord

MAC Irresistibly Charming Lip Gloss Mini-Kits RRP$95Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Gift Guide

Oh swoon!  I pretty much want to take this little briefcase of epic glosses with me every where I go.  They are amazing, but you already know that.  The Pink Palette is perfection for me, containing;

  • JUST SUPERB neutral pink (cremesheen glass)
  • CRÈME ANGLAISE rosey mid-tone pink (cremesheen glass)
  • COLOUR SATURATION deep wine (cremesheen glass)
  • SUGARRIMMED milky pale pink w/multi-pearlized pigments (dazzleglass)

These are Limited Edition M.A.C Holiday releases so don’t dilly-dally, head in-store to your nearest counter now!

Trilogy Rosapene Beauty Collection RRP$46.90

Ahhh Trilogy.  I recently stated that their Age Proof range was my favourite release of 2015 and I totally stand by that.  This is a brand that knows women’s skin.  A gift set like those offered this season is the perfect introduction to some wonderful new products that I’m sure you will fall in love with. 

With a full-size, award-winning Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ and deluxe minis of Vital Moisturising Cream and Rosapene™ Night Cream, this premium pack will have your skin glowing around the clock. Harnessing the power of Trilogy’s potent antioxidant complex, Rosapene™, which repairs and protects for optimum skin health and radiance, this is the perfect gift for someone you love. 

The Christmas List – The Young Hipster

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Tween Gift Guide

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Tween Gift GuideI don’t have a teen (yet), but Ethan celebrated his birthday in the weekend and at 11, his wish list was incredibly short, expensive and totally lacking in inspiration.  Something along the lines of;

  1. Xbox One
  2. Money

Sound familiar?  

I’m not one for buying-for-the-sake-of-buying so in order to come up with something to go under the tree (that wasn’t a bucket of cash!) I decided to create a sort-of package gift that addressed a current need.

With E off to intermediate next year (read more about that here), I’ve been meaning to tackle his desk for some time and create a functional space that he would feel motivated to sit and do his homework at – I realise this is a massive stretch but one must try!  Ethan’s desk is very little, which is fine as his room is also very little.  It’s an old school desk I purchased for $25 from Junk ‘n’ Disorderly and repainted a fresh white.  

I needed to maximise storage on E’s desk so started my wee gift project with the banter.morph wooden crate from Warehouse Stationery and added some bits and pieces as I went.

The crate comes in a cute flat-pack and is super sturdy with plenty of room to hide all of that boy-junk that accumulates between tidying.

To finish the gift I selected a couple of different sized spiral bound notebooks, some pens and I couldn’t go past that soda bottle!  Perfect for sipping on while smashing out homework!  I hope lol.

TIP: Shopping one range only (rather than wandering aimlessly around the store) gave my distracted-shopping-self some focus and I had this desk-pack picked out in less then 10 minutes!  The new banter.morph range at Warehouse Stationery plays on combining functional pieces with on-trend decor items in fun colour-pops, perfect for the hard to please hard to buy for tween/teen!Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Tween Gift Guide

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Tween Gift Guide

Shop the banter.morph look: Wooden Crate, Soda Bottle, A4 Notebook, A5 Notebook, Pens

I love how this wee project turned out!  I only scratched the surface of what’s on offer from the new banter.morph range which is available exclusively at Warehouse Stationery.  Prices start from just $3.99 so consider your stocking stuffers sorted!

Get your Christmas gifting off to an awesome start with a $50 voucher from Warehouse Stationery! Enter via the widget below:Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Tween Gift Guide

The Christmas List > Toys for Little Boys + Giveaway

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift Guide

So shopping for my little guy is so much easier than for #1, the possibilities are pretty much endless and I find before I even think about hitting the toy aisles I have to write a list, check the budget and be FIRM in my resolutions.  It’s way too easy to keep purchasing ‘little bits’ here and there because toddler gifts are relatively inexpensive (compared to a freaking Xbox lol), so it can be easy to over-spend.  Here are some of my faves for the little guys this season, let me know what you’re adding to Santa’s list in the comments below xxTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift Guide

Little Tikes Farm Memory Matchup $29.99

I have a freaky weird memory when it comes to my childhood and I can remember desperately wanting a toy just like this when I was little!  So, it was a total no-brainer when I spotted Memory Matchup on the Planet Fun website.  

The super-cute farm animals split in two, you hide the halves under the haystack cups, mix them up and play matching pairs!  

Nixie is going to love it – and cheat like a demon lol.

Pssssttt > Keep reading to win one for your Little Tike!

Leapfrog Number Lovin Oven $54.99Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift Guide

Oooh Nix is ALL about cooking at the moment so I couldn’t go past this wicked, educational toy from Leapfrog.  Aside from the obvious fun that is playing kitchen, there are so many other elements to explore here; number skills, parts of a whole, sharing, songs and phrases.  This is exactly the kind of toy I love to have in our house as it draws others in to play with our lovely little people.
Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift Guide

Ty Beanie Peppa Pig Soft Toys 

Dave and I have been married for 11 years this month and one tradition he has brought to our wee family is gifting a soft toy to the kids each Christmas.  I’m not a cuddly toy kinda girl so the boys are blessed that their daddy likes to buy teddies!

Nix is mad over Peppa and George Pig and Ty Beanies are classics that kids instantly fall in love with.  I’m going to squish 3 of the small size into his stocking this year and watch him absolutely squeal with delight when he cuddles them to death!

Kurio 7″ Kids Tablet $199Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift Guide

I’m a tech geek and my kids will be tech geeks too.  This is a fact and something I make no bones about.  Truthfully, Nix is responsible for the death of one iPad – so far!  It was during his in-and-out-of-hospital period where he was confined to a cot for long periods while connected to various tubes, catheters, epidurals etc.  He didn’t do it on purpose but I’m not that keen on him destroying another one.  

So, an alternative device with similar capabilities as it’s more expensive peers is a VERY welcome addition to our household.  Meet the awesome Kurio!  A fully functional Android tablet with stacks of value-adds which I’m loving such as;

  • Internet filtering
  • Time controls
  • Piggy bank system
  • Proprietary Kurio Motion games to get kids up and moving while enjoying their device – so awesome and fun!

Look, tech is not going anywhere and our family’s philosophy is to embrace the positives and try to minimise the negatives with careful time management and parental involvement in what our kids are using devices for.  I can’t wait to use the Kurio with Nix in some of his routine quiet times after Santa arrives this year!  (the kid-safe bumper is included in the box too, hopefully it’s Nixon proof!).

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift GuidePaw Patrol Lookout Playset $99.50

Might as well just come out and say it, I’m a huge Paw Patrol fan.  It’s the catchy jingle, the cute dogs, their awesome vehicles…….I think Chase and his pals are totally cool.  Combine this with Nix’s LOVE of cars and trucks and what I call ‘contained’ play ie play centred around one main object (like a garage or more often a windowsill!) and I knew we needed this playset!

With a real working elevator, lights, sounds and a wraparound slide, we are all going to be spending some serious time on the carpet these holidays!  We’ve been collecting the small vehicles since the beginning of the year when we first discovered the TV show so adding this interactive playset to our games will be amaze – I’m a little curious as to what else Nix is going to fire down that slide lol!

Fireman Sam Vehicles $29.99Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Toddler Gift Guide

Fireman Sam is one of those sentimental shows for me.  E loved to watch it and so does Nixon.  I could totally do with a few less cameos from ‘NORMAN’ (you must say that with a very high, exasperated British accent please!) but hi-ho.

The assorted Fireman Sam vehicles are so great, they are chunky and substantial feeling in your hand and have opening and closing doors – which is a very important consideration when you’re two fyi!  These and the matching figures are sold separately so take that into consideration when purchasing.

The cool thing about all of these toys is that you won’t have to search high and low for them – available from The Warehouse, Farmers, Mighty Ape,Toyworld, Whitcoulls, Toyco and Kmart.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Boy Gift GuideJR Wooden Balance Bike $89.99

I’ve already given this guy the thumbs up over here, so make sure you click through and get the full rundown.  So sad to be saying goodbye to our trusty plastic motorbike but he’s been thrashed and Nix has split the front wheel, fingers crossed it even lasts the next 3 weeks before Christmas!

Who wants to win a Little Tikes Farm Memory Matchup of their own!!!!  Thanks to the wonderful team at Planet Fun we have one to put under someone’s Christmas Tree this year!  Enter via the widget below and cross your fingers and toes xx