Beauty Review: Dermapen 4 – My BEST skin ever

One month exactly until I hit the ‘magic’ milestone that is 40 years old, and I’m sliding in to that big birthday with skin that I’m in love with right now.

The past 12 months have definitely seen an increased investment in time, money and basically, just, attention to my skin.  I’ve simply stopped being so lazy, I’ve made washing my makeup off at night a more frequent occurrence than ‘never’, I’ve religiously applied sunscreen to my face every day and I’ve been open to experiencing a broader of skin treatments than lovely (but basic, let’s be honest) facials.

The fab team at Clinic 42 have been putting in the hard yards over the past 6 months, guiding me through a series of treatments and I’m seeing the results increase incrementally after each appointment.

To be clear, I’m talking skin treatments here, not injectables (you can read my opinion piece on Botox here).

We kicked things off with a series of three medical peels to exfoliate and brighten my complexion in a non-invasive way.  I saw amazing results using varying combinations/layering of acids, but be prewarned, this is a peel program in which your skin WILL peel.  This didn’t bother me too much and the skin turnover time was around 5 days, but, based on that, a medical peel may not be for everyone.

Next on the therapeutic menu, the most magical thing that’s ever happened to my skin – Dermapen 4. Launched in April 2018, the latest device from the market leader in microneedling is available as a treatment from Clinic 42 (read more here) and my face and I were next in line.

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What is Microneedling?

Microneedling, at its most basic level involves using a physical device to repeatedly puncture the skin via many tiny needles.  The goal/benefits are two-fold; the ‘micro-damage’ caused by the needles initiates a repair response from the body, resulting in increased production of collagen and elastin.  Secondly, the channels created by the needles deliver topicals deeper into the skin when applied after a microneedling treatment.

Sweet!  I’ll just buy a dermal-roller and get on with this at home, right?

Oh please NO.

Let’s think about this; needles going into anyone’s skin shouldn’t be re-used, ever ::::shudder:::: and secondly, a miniature rolling pin covered in needles is not exactly a precise instrument.  Needles in this instance enter the skin at an angle, which can cause tearing and increased (unnecessary) irritation.

A Dermapen 4 treatment on the other hand, is professionally administered, controlled, hygienic and precise.  The 16 tiny needles in a Dermapen 4 cartridge enter the skin vertically resulting in minimum trauma, pain and skin recovery.

Why I Love Dermapen 4

  • Treatment is FAST.  I’m in and out of Clinic 42 in 45 minutes.
  • Pain?  Barely.  There is some, but it’s mainly concentrated in specific areas.  I find my forehead the most tender, but, as you may have seen on Instagram, I’ve filmed the entire process holding my phone so it can’t be that bad!
  • Recovery is fast!  After 24hrs, I find all tenderness and redness has gone.
  • The results are too good to ignore.  Dermapen 4 is recommended for treatment of a myriad of skin concerns from fine lines to scarring, age spots, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation and more, the first thing I noticed was a reduction in the size of pores on my nose – something that had been increasingly bothering me for years.  Secondly, after one treatment an annoying, bright red burst capillary on the tip of my nose completely disappeared and finally, the resurfacing/retexturizing effect of Dermapen treatments is UNBELEIVABLE.  Seriously, wind-back-the-clock good.  I have never been happier with my skin than I am now as I stand on the grim precipice of 40 – JOKES, I’m pumped about my birthday, this next decade is going to be amazing I can feel it!

The confidence I feel is also due to the implicit trust I have in the team at Clinic 42.  Both Doctors and Nurses alike and incredibly knowledgeable, professional, warm and welcoming.  An appointment here is something I look forward to and my fab partnership with the clinic as I share my skin journey with you is an added bonus on top of the fantastic results I am seeing month by month.

Fitbit Versa: My Winter #Fitspo

Nevermind how truthful such statements might be, I’ve never been one to live and die by mantras such as;

Summer bodies are made in winter.

The facts are, the gym and I aren’t ever going to be friends and my natural inclination to hibernate during winter is strong so, if there is a season in which all good intentions fall off the wagon – winter is it.

Despite this, the past few months have been revelatory for me, and it all kicked off with a throwaway comment during lunch with a friend.  We were discussing the frustrations of living with our middle-aged-mum bodies and the struggle of deciphering what advice/diets/workout plans we should or shouldn’t be prescribing to.  I’m not running at the moment (more on that later!) but mentioned to my friend that monitoring your heart rate during workouts was a good way to ensure your activity matched whatever goals you might be working towards.  This was a lightbulb moment for me as I remembered the Fitbit functionality that automatically maps your heart rate zones during exercise.  Right now, I want to be burning fat during workouts and maintaining an (almost) daily exercise routine – that means power walking.  6kms per day, around an hour, putting me in the fat burning zone for approx 50 mins and tracking this daily on my Fitbit app.

Put simply, moving and doing it more often are my top priorities.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review
I love checking in with my Fitbit app or the desktop site to see the results of my daily walks – in the zone baby!

The past 6 weeks have seen me create space in my day that I didn’t think I had, and dedicate that time to myself.  Exercising has to be a non-negotiable part of my routine and I think I’ve finally arrived at that sweet spot where the habit is sticking, yay!

I’m a total magpie and LOVE my gadgets so no surprises that the latest Fitbit iteration, Versa (RRP $349.95) caught my eye – as they always do – and I was excited to review it.  There’s a lot to be said for the persuasive power of measurement and accountability and as I’ve been a Fitbit user for years now I know first hand how effective wearable tech can be when it comes to keeping you on track.  I definitely lean towards Fitbit’s fully functional range, loving the multitude of features in the Ionic (built in GPS) and now the Versa.

What I LOVE about the New Fitbit VersaNew Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

  • The battery life is awesome.  Specs say ‘over 4 days of battery life’ and this is legit.  Plus, the new charger is the best Fitbit charger yet, secure and FAST.
  • Slim profile.  Guys, let’s face it if you don’t need a built-in GPS then why pay for one or make room for one in your watch?  When I’m running (soon, baby!), I love the accuracy of the Ionic, but, you pay for this in size.  The Versa is gorgeous, no joke.  It’s all slim and curvy and is super comfy to wear.  10/10 for design.
  • Water-resistant to 50m!!! yus.  I’m no swimmer but Mum life dictates I’m washing dishes, laundry, dogs and children multiple times per day and as a Rugby mum (and Rugby Club Captain) I’m out in the weather a LOT.  I’ve always been a little bit precious about my Fitbits getting wet so love that my faves, Versa and ionic are both water resistant.
  • Improved sync:  I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t use one of the big 2 phone brands (currently Huawei Mate 10 Pro),  but sometimes syncing was a bit iffy with previous Fitbit products.  The Versa syncs easily and quickly with my on-phone app which makes me soooo happy as my Fitbit dashboard is life!  
  • It’s just SO pretty.  This is a BABE watch team, that just so happens to look equally good on both men and ladies.
  • Fitbit app.  I’ve been using this for years and it just gets better and better.  I’m loving the addition of the Female Health module, which is helping me track my period – and associated moods (gasp!), plus I’m becoming more and more aware of how important it is for me to consciously increase the amount of sleep I’m getting each night.  The Fitbit app tracks sleep beautifully and provides such great feedback and info that you seriously can’t help but want to do better for your body and your life in general.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

How I’m staying motivated this winter

  • Using my Fitbit Versa as my support team and my coach.  Gyms don’t work for me, being personally accountable DOES.
  • Podcasts are GO.  I can easily smash out my hour-long walk by zoning out and listening to some awesome content.  I use Podcast Player on my android phone and some of my faves are; Death in Ice Valley, Fat Mascara, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, The Minimalists, This Sounds Serious.
  • Doing less gives you time for more.  I’ve stopped saying YES to other peoples demands so I have more time for what I need to do – which is scheduling exercise for my mental and physical health.  Blocking off 1 hour per day for me is NOT a sacrifice, it’s something that positively impacts my life and has a flow on effect on my family.
  • Embrace the weather and prepare for it.  Winter sucks, winter in Auckland sucks more.  Walking in wild, winter weather is kinda liberating.  Embrace it, wear a hat so the rain stays out of your eyes, put a jacket on and go for it.  Letting go of excuses is priming me for great things I can feel it!

I’m so pumped on my daily walks right now, I’d love to know how you’re pushing through during this awful weather and getting your workouts in,  leave me a comment below if you’d like to share!

PS – Versa also has on-screen workouts so if dodging hail isn’t your thing, squeeze in a 10-minute ab workout while you’re hibernating with Netflix!  

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

 

Home – Easy Eco-Friendly Product Switches

Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Who would ever have imagined that Bob the Builder – a beloved children’s show – would be so ahead of its time?  With sustainability and environmental issues ramping up in importance and public awareness every day, the onus on individuals to increase responsibility as both consumers and caretakers of the land is becoming a more widely accepted proposition.  

Taking action on a micro, personal level, and claiming responsibility for the generation and disposal of waste in our own households is the first step in the much bigger picture of building long-term, sustainable communities.  I’m sooooo not a traditional ‘green’ early adopter – anyone who knows me can tell you that – but, I do love products and brands that make sense, make my life easier and combine ethical integrity and environmental concern with common-sense practicality.

So, here are some brands and products that tick all of these boxes and that we’re using daily in our home or out and about;

6 Green ‘n Easy options for reducing household waste

Ecopack Compostable Plastic Free Bags and Bin Liners

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Biodegradable Bags

I going to be honest here – I’ve never once considered ditching bin liners and using layered newspaper.

Never once.  I mean who even HAS newspaper any more to start with, and secondly, ew.

Which brings me to my first eco-friendly find; 100% compostable, plastic-free and biodegradable bags and bin liners from Ecobagsnz.  Single-use plastic presents a major environmental concern around the world.  Determined to make a change here in New Zealand is locally owned and operated Ecobagsnz.  They produce a range of ethically produced bags suitable for both retail lines and personal use.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Biodegradable Bags

The Ecopack Compostable range eliminates the need to reconsider my stance on drippy newspaper (thank goodness!).

Available at leading supermarkets and health food stores nationwide, the Ecopack Compostable range is available in 6 different sizes and only takes around 90 days to break down in your compost!

ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 27L (20) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 36L (15) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 60L (5) RRP $6.90
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 80L (10) RRP $8.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 140L (5) RRP $6.50
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 240L (5) RRP $8.80

Reusable Produce Bags from The Rubbish Whisperer

Another kiwi company determined to reduce single-use plastic bags is The Rubbish Whisperer.

Most of us care about the environment but don’t realise the scale of the pollution our disposable lifestyles are creating. The Rubbish Whisperer shows people how easy it is to have a huge positive impact on the environment by making small and simple changes. www.rubbishwhisperer.co.nz/pages/aboutus

I’m loving the super-cute Reusable Produce Bags, RRP $22.49 per 5 pack.  NZ made from strong and lightweight polyester tulle, these beautifully bright bags are a fun visual reminder to by-pass the plastic bag roll next time you’re in the fruit and vege aisle.  An added timesaving bonus of the quick-dry fabric is that you can wash produce directly in the bag!

Noteworthy: 1% of all Rubbish Whisperer sales are donated to local conservation projects!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Reusable Produce Bags

Put your money where your mouth is: Shop The Source

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste ShoppingFinding retailers that are supportive of your zero-waste efforts can be tough.  Cutting through the layers and layers of packaging that almost every retail product is subject to can be disheartening and in my case, a massive workout for my recycle bin.  Shopping at the most established zero waste grocery store in Australasia is now easy if you live in Auckland.  The Source has two beautiful locations in Milford and Kumeu and is stocked to the rafters with delicious ways to say YES to healthy, nutrient-dense food.  They also supply kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup on tap, you can make your own nut-butters, shop for home cleaning supplies……and take everything home in your own reusable containers, use paper bags or purchase your zero-waste supplies in store.

Genius!

Online shopping will be all systems go in the next 8 weeks so everyone in New Zealand can get a taste of this awesome shopping experience. 

Follow The Source Kumeu here > Instagram, Facebook and The Source Milford here > Instagram, Facebook

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Shopping

Drink SMART and ditch the disposables

It sounds dire but plastic straws have to be one of the greatest ecological follies ever unleashed upon the world by the industrial age.  Trust me, once you go stainless you never go back, they deliver a really lovely drinking experience especially with smoothies!

My faves are these beauties from CaliWoods, available in cocktail, smoothie, drinking, tall and bubble tea options plus each four pack comes with a cleaner brush!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Stainless Steel Straws

Another Melissa Must-Have is my New Zealand made CuppaCoffeeCup.  These beauties are lightweight, durable and 100% recyclable, plus they showcase NZ artists in a range of designs.  Released just in time for Mother’s Day is the new ‘Miromiro & Manuka design by Janine Millington – I’ll be hosting a giveaway at the end of the month so keep your eyes peeled!

You can find the CuppaCoffeeCup range in Farmers, Whitcoulls and selected gift and kitchen stores for around $16.50 each.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Reusable Coffee Cup

Go Green with Personal Care

Four months in and I’m still raving about my Lunette Menstrual Cup.  Yes, the whole concept is a bit weird at first when you’ve been using tampons or pads for over 20 YEARS!  But ladies all I can say is, change is good and this change is one you will NOT regret.  Read more about my personal experience here > Lunette Menstrual Cup

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

Weleda Skincare

Skin care is BIG news when it comes to living your best sustainable, eco-friendly life.  The brands you choose to spend money on should reflect your own personal values and help support your retail decision making.  You are applying these products to you skin, the largest organ in your body as well as the precious skin of your little people so, a considered choice made by any consumer one is to be respected.

A firm fave in our home for years now, is the huge range from Weleda.  With ethical and sustainable standards that are so aspirational (read about them here), it’s easy to find yourself in the midst of a guilt-free bathroom cabinet makeover!

Three of our faves are; Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil, After Shave Balm and KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Washes.

Look at those beautiful glass bottles!!!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Weleda Skincare

Summer like a Kiwi – What happens above 23°

January marks the second, ‘official’ month of New Zealand summer.  We Kiwi’s are comfortably settled into the annual, seasonal slow-down we look forward to every year.  The kids have chilled out after the excitement of Santa’s visit, Mum’s everywhere have celebrated ‘un-decking the halls’ and returning Christmas to the boxes in the garage and everyone sadly mourned the last slice of festive ham and wedge of Pavlova.

If you missed the mania of the Boxing Day sales, tragic New Year’s Eve jandal blow-outs were easily rectified by those crazy enough to brave the malls and give the beach a miss for at least a couple of hours, joining those shoppers equipping themselves with everything they need to smash their NY resolutions once and for all.

The Summer of 2018 is definitely shaping up as one to remember.  In true NZ style, the weather has given us highs and lows (!! lol !!).  The gaudy, golden sunshine and blistering temps of the week before New Years gave many campers revelling in #ThatTentLife a false sense of security, as evidenced by the appearance of many quintessential Kiwi behaviours, only exhibited when the mercury begins to rise;

What happens in New Zealand when the temps rise above 23°?

  • An unwritten law in NZ requires many to revisit the ‘Togs, togs, togs……undies rule’ each summer.  If you’re unsure or have forgotten the accepted rule of thumb for ‘how far is too far’ to wear a speedo from the water, then please watch the public service announcement in the link above.
  • Unlike togs, there is less regulation around jandals ie, you can wear them everywhere for the period December-March (Summer here in New Zealand), and then again from April-November.
  • Here in New Zealand, we punch above our weight 24-7 – but if you’re talking about the ozone layer……..yeah we have none.  Hot times put everyone at risk of Coconut Ice Sunburn.  This kiwi fave is only acceptable when talking fudge, NOT tan lines so slip, slop, slap constantly.
  • No-one is too old for a swim in a paddling pool.  No-one.
  • Chilly-Bin ownership is mandatory, as is taking your chilly-bin everywhere with you in Summer.
  • Similar to birds flying in formation, New Zealanders possess a synchronicity that sees us switch from ice cream to ice blocks as soon as the temperature hits 23°.  This proven phenomenon is backed up with retail stats and the age-old debate surrounding the Best Fruju Flavour of All Time.  Of course, the big talking point amongst those participating in Summer this year, is the irresistible mash-up of  Kiwi icons Fruju and L&P, firing up the Fruju-flavour-frenzy even more!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Tip Top Ice Cream Summer Fruju

How Our Frozen Summer Faves got even BETTER

Like most parents, Dave and I are becoming more and more aware of how the food we feed the boys affects their health, mood and wellbeing.  Nixies shortened GI tract following Hirschsprung’s surgery means food moves through his little system super fast and adverse effects on his mood and behaviour become apparent really quickly.  Avoiding those dreaded artificial food additives can seem daunting but is made infinitely easier when you know that one company has eliminated all the baddies from their entire range of yummy products!

Who?  Tip Top that’s who.

The commitment to only using natural flavours and colours is a big deal, especially when you do a tiny bit of research about the alternatives.  You can’t really talk ice cream without thinking about chocolate right?  Tip Top has replaced dodgy additive E155 – Brown HT (made from coal tar, a suspected carcinogen and mutagen that is banned in the US, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Belgium) and is now using simple, caramelized sugar to achieve that rich chocolate brown colour we all expect in our fave Trumpets.  There are super-cool, and surprising, alternatives in place throughout the Tip Top range that sees beetroot, spirulina, gardenia and turmeric extracts replace the synthetic dyes and coal or petroleum derived additives that other companies are still using today.

We Kiwis are the best at just about everything we do, so we want our awesome, NZ made products to reflect that.  Gone are the days of ‘numbers = colours and flavours’, we are discerning consumers with a growing consciousness towards what we put in our bodies.  As we make better choices we are expecting the producers of our favourite foods to do the same.  It’s pretty awesome to see Tip Top, a name synonymous with New Zealand, take the lead and make our summer treats #GoodtoShare for everyone.

This post was made possible by the good peeps at Tip Top!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Tip Top Ice Cream Summer

Shop Local – Undercover Sleeping Bags

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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.

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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?

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Fit Tech – how to get the most bang for your bounce!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog tgoma springfree

If you’re talking about one ‘toy’ or piece of play equipment that just hasn’t disappeared from New Zealand backyards over the past 50 years, it’s undoubtedly the trampoline.  Seemingly immune to trends, kiwi kids simply LOVE to bounce!

In typical NZ Dad fashion, my first trampoline was made by my father who was an engineer.  He carried me downstairs to our rumpus room at the time, where he threw me, blindfolded, onto the tramp.  We replayed this gorgeous surprise when our eldest son turned 3 and we’ve been trampoline owners ever since!

Our tramp has become the outside go-to for the boys and their friends over the past few years.  More hours than I can remember have been spent on the black mat, in the sun, in the rain, inventing games and practising wrestling maneuvers lol (remember this post where I made Ethan a wrestling dummy to play with on the tramp?).

But, if we‘re being really honest, times are changing.  Unfortunately the pull of screen time has become more and more attractive, especially for my older son.

Thank goodness the resilient trampoline is NOT going down without a fight!  Global innovators in active play, Springfree Trampoline have already given the humble tramp a 21st century makeover and now they’re taking on the tablets with tgoma.

Take Gaming Outside & Make It Active!

We work pretty hard as a family to show our kids a healthy lifestyle and the easiest way to do this (in my opinion) is to exercise with your kids and do it regularly.

We’ve been loving the tech/tramp integration that tgoma has brought to our yard.  It’s super easy to set-up, we’ve all created profiles on the app and now we can track exactly how many bounces we’ve done (+ jump time, energy burnt, height jumped etc).  We can monitor our global rankings against other tgoma jumpers – I LOVE this, hello Miss Competitive! – and participate in Trans-Tasman battles playing the Fruitants game.

I’ve picked our 5 favourite ways we’ve been using our tgoma this week, I’m sure this will change as we all find our favourite apps and challenges – it was pretty hard to narrow it down to these actually!

  1. FreeBounce – This app was a surprise to me, as my initial perception of tgoma was that it was strictly a gaming platform for trampolines.  This isn’t the case at all.  FreeBounce doesn’t detract from traditional fun play on your trampoline at all – it simply tracks the time, number of jumps, kj’s burned and height jumped while playing or working out.  Kind of like a Fitbit for your tramp!  The boys have their own games they have invented and like to simply ‘play’ on the tramp so using FreeBounce lets them do that, while still tracking exercise time – great for my big boy who is very quantitative!  Nixon couldn’t care less of course lol!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog tgoma springfree
  2. Alien Stomp – This is Nixon’s pick.  He can sometimes be a little hesitant about initiating individual play on the trampoline but this game is perfect for getting him out there and jumping!  His enthusiasm is definitely there and his developing gross motor skills will be benefitting so much as he learns to control his bounces around the mat and stomp the aliens! (Ethan is also quite partial to Alien Stomp just quietly!)New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog tgoma springfree
  3. tgoma Fit – this is my fave guys.  6 minute workout blasts that kill!  Completing all 5 in a row is #GOALS.  The Blogging / Mummy combo means that whenever my ‘Boss’ Nixon lets me I’m at my desk frantically trying to write.  As such, I’m loving sneaking outside and punching out a couple of guided workouts throughout the day – it’s getting my blood flowing, boosting my energy and helping with productivity and exercise motivation.  Totally hooked!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog tgoma springfree
  4. Stickers! – Nix and I like to play this together.  There is no goal, aim or rules, each bounce on the mat simply places a sticker in the corresponding place on the screen.  We actually just spent 20 minutes bouncing around laughing at our ‘splats’, ‘kitty cats’ and ‘squiggles’.  This is simple fun, done right.  A lot of parents definitely struggle with imaginative play with young kids, games like this give you and your child a starting point and the tools and trust me, it’s easy to take it from there!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog tgoma springfree
  5. 2048 – Dave, Ethan and I have been playing this addictive number game on our phones for well over a year now so it’s been really fun to take it outside and get both our brains and our body’s working!  This is another great challenge where you can keep an eye on the leaderboard and get competitive with the family!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog tgoma springfree

Our first two weeks with our tgoma Springfree Trampoline have been so much fun.  I haven’t been this excited about a tramp since I was a little girl!  I have a feeling that we will discover more and more ways we love to use tgoma together over the coming months and years.  

As an early-adopter myself, I love new tech and this definitely has a flow-on effect within our family.  The pervasive nature of digital devices and the roles they play within the modern family isn’t going to diminish, so I’m particularly stoked to see innovators like Springfree channelling tech in a way that provides multi-layered benefits to both kids and their parents.

Win an iPad Mini 9 with tgoma Springfree!

This prize is ahhh-mazing so you’re going to have to work for it! – 10 jumps on the spot NOW!

Just joking.

What you DO have to do, is head to the Springfree website > click here, read all about tgoma, then come back and comment below with one of the many features of the tgoma app.  Easy right?

Stay tuned for the next tgoma Springfree post for a 2nd chance to get in the draw.  You can enter as many times as you like in separate comments.

Competition closes 10/7/16 @ 10pm.  NZ residents only.

Cool Stuff | Little Ones Care Pack

It’s a fact.  I can’t resist mystery packs that arrive in the mail.

I spied these gorgeous Care Packs around and about on various social media over the past few weeks so when Little & Loved posted a coupon code on their FB page I had to jump on the bandwagon and get amongst the goodness.

Care Pack is a monthly subscription service, delivering a box of curated product to your door for a flat rate including shipping.  Choose between the Care Pack, The Little Ones Pack or The Mum to Be Pack, starting from $30 per month {subscriptions can be cancelled at any time}.

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The Little Ones’s Pack was tailored to Nixie’s age and gender and I was stoked to see a pair of Lamington Merino Socks (RRP$15.95) included, I have been wanting a pair of these for the Little General for ages!  The Rainbow Ribbon book is a wonderfully sweet board book and the Kiwigarden Yoghurt Drops are a hit with both my 1 year old and 9 year old – will be buying these again for sure.

So looking forward to trying out the other products in the days to come – how cute is that little wooden Hape boat?

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PS. NOT a sponsored post, just wanted to share x

Things I’m Loving

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loving dahlia season.  this is the second summer our bulbs have been in the ground and they are going nuts, not just these dinner plate sized purple ones, but the smaller red and whites that only had one bloom last year are looking much more promising

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i don’t know whether i’m loving this or hating it but will err on the optimistic side.  our tiles in the entrance, kitchen and laundry are up and new vinyl planking is to be laid next week.  our old cement foundation is such a mess and looks like it was hand mixed so i think the installers are going to have lots of fun with the prep, meaning lots more $$$.  it will be lovely when it’s done so fingers crossed everything goes smoothly 

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early mornings together-ish.  love these boys x

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i cashed in one of my christmas prezzies this week and enjoyed a manicure / pedicure.  seriously loving my fluoro orange nails

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i’ve tidied and tidied this week and i’m loving my reclaimed desk.  organised and ready to start the year off as i mean to continue

ThingsImLoving

Things I’m Loving

Christmas always seems to pass in the blink of an eye for me and this year has proved no exception.  Ethan’s birthday is at the end of November and we seem to focus on that a lot then get blindsided with HOLYSMOKESTHERESONLY3WEEKSTILCHRISTMAS!!!  But, I was pretty organised this year, being at home with Nixon left me lots of time to get my online shopping done and avoid the mall-crazy for the most part.  I do love Christmas, we had a brilliant, relaxed day at home with our immediate family and it was just right.  Nix was a darling who enjoyed the wrapping paper immensely and Ethan was grateful and gracious all day.  Win!

But {let’s be honest}, I did ask Dave and E if we could ‘pack Christmas away’ this morning.  I would love to get those big plastic storage boxes up high in the garage for another year but my request was overruled by the guys – Ethan response probably motivated by laziness, Dave’s by tradition {“you have to keep your tree up until New Year!”}.

Anywho, I’ve just finished my box of Scorched Almonds so lets get cracking shall we?

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I love this photo of Dave and I.  We were setting up for our family Christmas picture {which you can see on here on FB} and snapped some test shots first – the camera was on the lawn on a rung of the ladder but it worked perfectly!  Dave is the most kick-ass gift giver ever and completely spoiled me rotten this year.  I take care of the shopping for everyone else because it takes him multiple excursions to get everything on his list for me!  Yes, I’m a very lucky girl.  We celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary two days before Christmas so there have been lots of happy celebrations around here lately.

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It’s quite hard to go for a walk with Nix and the dogs when he is in the buggy as I just don’t have enough hands to hold on to the stroller and the leashes.  The Ergo works well and is comfy for me, but he doesn’t love it, I had to switch to the front position half way around the neighbourhood.  I love this selfie of us as he looks itty-bitty, hiding back there!

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I went to bed early-ish last night with the May/June issue of Frankie I purchased to read in hospital when Nix was born and had yet to read!  The centrefold was this delicious print that I whipped out and stuck in the toilet with some washi tape that Dave found for me in Japan.  Love the colours – so me!

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All the toys in the world and homeboy loves the gold ribbon.

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Our Christmas table was perfect!  Laden with turkey, ham, pork and all of the trimmings plus traditional Polish pierogi made by my sister-in-law!  So yummy, best Christmas day ever for me x

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My big boy and my Christmas baby.  We told Ethan that he was going to be a big brother on Christmas Eve last year, so it was kinda special having Nixon here to love on and marvel over – he’s almost 6 months old!!!!!

Joining in with Meghan for Things I’m Loving

ThingsImLoving

Weekend Love

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Loving all of these days, even the ones with no naps, which actually are most of these days who am I kidding!  Loving that this month our Big Boy turns nine and I won’t be dry heaving with morning-sickness and I can take him out to Sushi for lunch – and EAT the sushi.  Loving that I got my veges planted last week and that we have had some awesome rain to give our tank a much needed top-up before the heat of what I’m sure will be another dry summer starts eating away at our bank account.  Because I need all of that money to fund my growing Crown Lyn white vase collection.  Dave’s hash tag on a recent Instagram picture was #goingbrokebuyingvases lol.  Sorry about that Dave, there have been some excellent bargains on Trade Me lately!

Loving

Also loving our passionfruit vine which is going off this year!  So many flowers and fruit on this wee plant it’s amazing, loving Ethan doing his homework by reading to his little brother, I am hoping this scene will be played out over and over in the years to come.  

One of my extremely talented bloggy friends Sarah has published her first book and we were so excited to receive our copy of The Little Tree this week.  It is the most darling book introducing some of NZ’s fabulous natives and would make a very special gift for a little one this Christmas.  The first run sold out but you can purchase from the second run here.  

After reading about cronuts all over the inter webs we finally tried one this week.  OMG.  Croissant, filled with lemon buttercream stuff, shaped like a donut, deep fried then dusted with sugar and chocolate.  And they available approx 3kms from my house WHICH IS FAR TOO CLOSE!

Finally, I am SO loving my new Tupperware pantry set which I won from Simone at Great Fun For Kids.  There is no WAY on gods green earth that I would ever have invested $200 in a Tupperware set so I am so thankful to have won such an amazing prize, especially as I know this will last pretty much forever {going by my Mum’s Tupperware that is still being used in our pantry – it’s older than me!}.

Have a lovely weekend!