Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Gumigem Teething Toys - The Bubba Bag Review and Giveaway

Got a grisly, whiny, teething baby in your arms? Me too!
Miss Celeste is growing teeth at the moment. She popped her first tooth around the 6 month mark and has steadily added to her sweet little collection since.
I adore her little toothy-pegs! It's so sweet to see those darling little teeth appear and make baby look all cutesy. (Like a little China doll.) There's a downside to those little teeth though and what I dislike about the whole experience, is the moaning, wailing, short-tempered, irritated and tantrumy child that replaces her when those teeth are on the move. Worse still, is the nappy rash that accompanies teething and the wakefulness that comes about from both combined.

I'm none of those things you said at the moment Mum!

One of the first gems of advice I ever received when I had my first baby was that it takes 3 months to get your newborn all settled and then the teeth start and undo it all - never a truer word spoken!
Once those teeth appear (and for a time before it), babies want to chew absolutely everything within reach: clothing, hands, inedible objects; then other people's clothing and hands and more in-edibles - anything really.
It's tricky to find decent teething toys that are easy to care for, (disinfect) and compact enough to carry about without weighing you down.
Gumigem Australia is a company that specialise in the teething baby and I am so happy to have discovered them! I just love their products as does my baby daughter.
Gumigem produce a delightful range of fashionable teething jewellery and toys specifically designed to be both attractive and functional. Their products are all composed of soft silicone which is BPA free, PVC, lead, Latex and Phthalate free making them safe for babies and practical to wear, as well as being fully washable. Their range includes fashionable necklaces for Mums (and Dads), and beautiful bangles to make Mummy look great while serving an important purpose: to aid and distract those sooky little ones and provide you both with some relief.
I have been enjoying the Gumigem range since I bought my first fashionable heart necklace. I find wearing it great when I am doing the morning school-run. I am a baby-wearer and love carting Celeste about in a sling for convenience. My necklace is fantastic for those times when I am visiting my kids' classrooms or chatting with other Mums or teachers. It means Celeste is fully entertained as I lug her about, while chomping happily on my Gumigem jewellery.
Now, with the addition of the Bubba Bag to her teething collection, I have her curiosity covered too!

Gumigem have introduced a new and gorgeous product which is perfect for your teething babe. It's aptly named the Bubba Bag. Inside this nifty little baby purse, is every baby's dream collection: This is literally a mini version of Mummy's own handbag!

The Bubba Bag contains:
A credit card (suitable from birth),
A purse (suitable from birth),
A mobile phone (suitable from birth), 
A set of keys (suitable from 10 months).
Miss Celeste loves bags but I never appreciate her rummaging in mine! She pounds away on my mobile, chews harmful metal keys and even opens and closes our garage roller door while exercising her 'explorative' fascination with buttons. She then loses the plot when I remove these things from her, resulting in more frustration and tears.

Caught in the act of bag raiding
Celeste, is in her element with her new Gumigem Bubba Bag though. It's all hers and no-one will be removing this one from her watchful grasp gaze!

The bag itself is crafted from Neoprene. This fabric is nice and stiff but also soft. Baby can play unassisted and easily remove the contents as it will stay upright on its own or lay flat for easy access.
Inside this darling little bag are the most adorable little teething toys I have ever seen! They are pretty much life sized (with the exception of the purse), and realistic. I think the keys are worth a special mention as they're particularly fantastic! 
I have been battling Celeste over my keys for some weeks now. Missy has been refusing to be strapped into her car capsule without a fight; I hand over my keys as an incentive to keep her still while I buckle her in but there's tears again when I remove them. She has been very entertained with the Gumigem alternative - they're as good as the real thing and make getting about a whole lot quicker for me.
These teething toys are a real sensory experience with lots of well considered design evident. There are knobbly bits that can reach gums in the molar region and raised buttons and indentations for pretend play. This little bag is packed with enough entertainment to keep busy fingers fiddling and minds ticking for ages.
Each teething toy also has a custom slot built into its design so that you can make them more portable. Loop them onto your actual handbag or a dummy clip for example - whatever's convenient. (Baby will think they're the real thing too - lots of play cred if it's authentic, grown-up stuff right?)

After a good mouth workout, Gumigem's teething toys can be washed in warm soapy water or even washed in the dishwasher and air-dried. Don't be fussed about storing slobbery teething toys in the matching Gumigem bag as it's also fully washable.

The Bubba Bag itself, is light and compact enough to keep in your handbag or nappy bag, (superb in the car!) and will provide baby with many little intrigues while you get about your day; there's lots of squishy, fun comfort for sore gums and Mumma relief from tetchy little people inside.
The Bubba Bag retails for $44.
You can visit the Gumigem website here (Australia) to check out their range of teething products.
If you are an international visitor, find your nearest stockist of these gorgeous products here.

As a special offer, Six Little Hearts readers can receive 20% off any Gumigem purchase until the 31st of March 2014 using the coupon code: 6HEARTS

Want to Win a Gumigem Bubba Bag for your child?
Thanks to the generosity of Gumigem, one lucky Six Little Hearts reader has a chance to win a Gumigem Bubba Bag.
Please share this competition with your Mum friends!
To enter, simply follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load).
Entry is open to Australian residents only.
Winner will be notified by email and given 48 hours to respond.
If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.
Winner's details will be sent to Gumigem for prize distribution purposes.
Total prize value is $44.
Judge's decision is final.
Good Luck!
Please note: Your entry is only valid if you complete the mandatory requirements of this competition (there are four of them). If you do not complete these mandatory entry requirements then all your subsequent entries will be invalid and removed. Please play fair as others do take the time to complete their entries!
All entries will be screened to ensure they conform to these requirements.
Thank you for your understanding and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 *I received a Gumigem Bubba Bag in exchange for my opinions presented in this review.
Linking up for IBOT
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Isle of Charlie Nappy Bags...Introducing the Finlay Bag - A Review

Are you wanting to buy a new nappy bag?
Many of us Mums arrive abruptly at family life from careers. It can be hard on so many levels to adjust to our new role of caring for little ones. Swapping your wardrobe from a life of tailored corporate clothing to the casual attire of Motherhood is just one such hurdle we face. (How we mourn this aspect!)
With the arrival of our children, the designer heels rapidly become flats and luxury handbags are laid to rest to make way for dowdy nappy bags. Simply put; it's all about practicality and where's the fun in that? With the removal of these stylish elements, we can feel as if we have lost a part of our identity in the process.
I am so happy to present this review of a great Australian company called Isle of Charlie. Isle of Charlie is in the business of producing luxury designer nappy bags for Mums who crave a little 'sparkle' reminiscent of their former selves in their busy child-filled lives.

This wholly Australian grown company has embraced this need for change in the nappy bag market. Founded by two fellow Mums, their company is built on their love of designer style. Designers Toni and Karen realise that importantly, many Mothers still wish to retain 'glamour' and hold on to the image of themselves they remember and associate with from their pre-baby days. With this at the foundation of their business, together, the Isle of Charlie designers have created a range of nappy bags to make any woman feel positive about herself in her new role.
These are nappy bags that provide the luxury we crave, combined with the practicality that every Mum needs. (Ticking boxes already for many of us!)

I was sent the very latest arrival in their line of luxe bags to review; The Finlay bag. The black colour is the newest release in this style. (It can also be purchased in a stunning Vintage Red and Almond as shown above.) Let me tell you before I even begin to review her features that this bag is entirely crafted in fine Italian pebble grain leather! Yes! The Finlay smells as Divine as she looks - and doesn't this bag look sensational!

This is a softly structured leather bag so it won't fall over easily, making it perfect for grabbing things one-handed. The Finlay is large and solidly built with a lean profile, simple lines and lots of unique features to make it stand out. 

The top of the bag has a zippered opening that gently expands with the built-in flap feature on the Finlay's front. This gives the bag generous room to grow with its contents but also collapses to sit flat when not so full or carried on the shoulder. There's a small pocket inside this front flap too for important Mum things that need quick access like a mobile phone or personal items.
Beautiful brushed brass-toned hardware make the Finlay look extremely elegant and the Isle of Charlie logo plate on the exterior lets onlookers know you've got loads of style too!
Inside, the Finlay is impressively packed with enough pockets to cope with the demands of any baby. There are seven huge pockets which line the interior walls and one large open space between them making this one of the better bags I have seen. 
I am really impressed with the size of these internal pockets as they are capable of holding loads of baby goods like nappies, towels, bottles, snacks and toys. There's even a key clip to make life easier for busy Mums.
The Finlay is lined with a stunning satin-like cotton in taupe making opening the bag a classy experience.
The Finlay comes with all essential matching baby-gear to make this the ultimate nappy bag. Inside you'll find a quality made change mat, wet bag, insulated bottle / food holder and even a dummy safe which comes with it's own Velcro attachment loop for maximum convenience.
Like all fine leather bags, this stunning nappy bag has four metal feet for the protection of its base. There are two comfortable carry handles for over the shoulder use as well as a longer strap for draping across the body or hanging over a pram. A feature of this long leather strap I really favour, is the addition of strong webbing on its underside. This prevents the bag from slipping when on the shoulder - no more baby and bag juggling for this Mum!
Celeste checks out the Isle of Charlie look book.
(Already showing signs of a serious bag addiction like her Mummy!)
The Finlay is a premium quality designer nappy bag and retails for $299. When you consider the quality and features of this sensational nappy bag, it's a worth-while investment for the long term.
Long after the Finlay has done the baby rounds with any Mum, this elegant bag can be adapted to many new roles. It fits a laptop easily and could house loads of documents so use her as a work bag. Alternatively, this is a perfect travel bag, gym bag or cabin bag. A purchase of quality lasts a lifetime and this is one purchase I cannot see any Mum regretting! It really is a beautiful and very stylish bag. I am loving mine!
And on that gorgeous company name Isle of Charlie:
"The Isle of Charlie name is derived from our own children's names who inspired the nappy bag collection - Isla and Charlie. Our babies were born only weeks apart, and we were both searching for stylish baby bag options that didn’t cause divorce! There are many beautiful products on the market, but most are beyond the budget of a typical mother-to-be – but we still didn’t want to have to compromise on our own style. We saw a gap in the market to deliver fashionable nappy bags while still maintaining quality and luxurious materials at affordable prices… hence, Isle of Charlie was born." Toni McHenry.
You can learn more about Isle of Charlie on their lush website here. 
Isle of Charlie have generously offered Six Little Hearts readers
FREE SHIPPING until the end of February 2014,
on any purchase of their beautiful bags from their website.
Please apply the coupon code: SIXLITTLEHEARTS at the checkout to receive your discount.
If you know someone expecting a baby, please share this post!
 *I received an Isle of Charlie Finlay nappy bag in exchange for my opinions presented in this review.
What features do you look for when you shop for a nappy bag?
Have you entered my Mamaway Second Skin Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra GIVEAWAY yet?
Linking up for IBOT

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Sunday, 16 February 2014

On Disconnecting To Reconnect...

I am seriously implementing a radical change in our family.
I am worn of seeing my children's childhoods ticking away while plugged-in to devices. At every turn there's a child gaming on a handheld or fixated on a tablet or television, computer or mobile phone.
I regularly see my kids eating with them, sleeping with them and even visiting the toilet with them. Earlier this week within minutes of our arrival home after school, I walked in on this disturbing scene in our lounge:

Four boys, four screen gaming and a very unhappy little Sister.
I felt so uncomfortable being faced with this.
Seeing my baby daughter crying amongst these gaming, disconnected, statue-like boys (who she has missed terribly all day), and being so ignored, really shook me up.
I realise this has been going on for a very long time: Too long. I understand that I am often too busy to stay on top of the bulk of kids' movements and that a long stint of their precious screen-time means relative peace for myself. (And I need that time alone so much.) All this must change however.
Where has our family's together-time gone? 
Do these boys actually remember how to play and interact with one another?
When did my parenting skills lapse so badly that I had not even noticed the scale of this 'addiction' earlier?
I have decided to brave the inevitable objections, tantrums and battles and pull the plug on all of it.
From here on, television viewing will be strictly timed.
Video games will be banned on weekdays.
Computer time must be earned through chores and be strictly timed too.
I long to see my children play together more, use their imaginations actively and reconnect through conversation with each other and us - their parents.
If this change doesn't start today, I fear my children's relationships with one another will be the disconnected factor in the future.
What do you think? Am I being over-concerned and too harsh or sensible?
Have you grown complacent about screens in your home too?
Have you ever 'switched-off?'
How did it go for you?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Melbourne Summer Series #3 - Eureka Skydeck 88 And Giveaway!

Want to visit the top spectacular Melbourne icon of the sightseeing category?
Then Eureka Skydeck 88 is the place to go!
Eureka Skydeck 88 provides a sensational opportunity to see what Melbourne looks like from the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere.
...And She's beautiful!

(Do I sound a bit excited? Believe me...I was!)
This is one of Melbourne's best destinations to visit if you are an interstate or international visitor in this gorgeous city of ours. Do. Not. Miss. This!
Our elevator to the top was crammed with people of all nationalities making me feel as if I had not just day tripped - but actually travelled. And don't think you will get a chance to practice your language skills on your ride to the top either -  to visit the uppermost storey of the Eureka building means travelling in a rocket-fast elevator moving at an extraordinary 9 metres per second! Travelling all 88 storeys is over in a flash. (Less than 40 seconds.)
Skydeck 88 is located on the topmost floor and provides a stunning, panoramic view of Melbourne from every angle.
Visitors literally spill from the elevator and gasp at the awaiting scenes while still recovering from that elevator ride.

Hot town, Summer in the city...Melbourne 40 degrees

Imagine that moment on a plane, shortly after take-off, where everything is close enough to view but in panorama - Yes that!...Now freeze the moment and enjoy it at your leisure.

Three hundred metres above Melbourne. I am so moved I could cry! It has been a long time since I have seen this magnificent city from any significant vantage point. Melbourne has really grown.

Markers on windows and LED floor displays assist visitors to locate significant landmarks in Melbourne City and the urban sprawl beyond.

It gets even better too. Not only are the views breathtaking but so is the opportunity to see the world on The Terrace. Visitors can experience the heights with the beauty of the outside air. The sounds of the city 984ft above the ground are amazing and unexpected. It's a noisy world up here! Everything is small enough to be cute - all a little bit unbelievable. On a windy day, the top of this building can sway as much as 60cms!
For an extra charge on top of general admission, experience The Edge. This is a real highlight and is the only attraction of its kind in the world. The Edge is a glass, drawer-like cube which projects like an elevator from the side of the Eureka building. Small groups are able to see what the building looks like from the top down as well as seeing a unique birds-eye view unlike any other. Your experience is captured in a photograph for you to purchase if you choose.
This is so worth the extra charge. Don't miss it!
The Serendipity Table - an interactive display which showcases an interesting history of Melbourne
There is a kiosk serving well-priced foods and drinks and many cosy corners to sit while you take in the scenes. You can even buy souvenirs in the sky. (There's a great souvenir store on the ground floor too at the exit.)
Eureka Skydeck 88 is located at Riverside Quay Southbank, Melbourne and is open from 10am - 10pm daily. You can visit their website here for further details. There is a free audio tour iPhone App which you can download before you go. (Search: eureka skydeck.)
This is an attraction you could visit again and again and never lose interest in. Each time would show Melbourne in a uniquely different light: sunrise, sunset, in the heat of the day, approaching storms and the night skyline. There's no better time than now to plan a visit. We LOVED it!
***GIVEAWAY!***   ***GIVEAWAY!***   ***GIVEAWAY!***
Like to win a Family Pass for four to Experience Eureka Skydeck 88 and The Edge Experience in magnificent Melbourne?
Thanks to the generosity of Eureka Skydeck 88, one lucky Six Little Hearts reader has a chance to win a Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) to experience Eureka Skydeck 88 and The Edge! 
(Family Pass valid for 12 months only.)
Please share this competition with your friends!
To enter, simply follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load).
Entry is open to Australian residents only.
Winner will be notified by email and given 48 hours to respond.
If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.
Winner is responsible for their own transport to and from Eureka Skydeck 88. (Prize is entry only.)
Prize is not transferrable.
Prize is valid for 12 months. (Please only enter this giveaway if you are able to visit Melbourne in the next 12 months!)
Winner's details will be sent to Eureka Skydeck 88 for prize distribution purposes.
Total prize value is $71.00
Judge's decision is final.
Good Luck!
Please note: Your entry is only valid if you complete the mandatory requirements of this competition (there are four of them). If you do not complete these mandatory entry requirements then all your subsequent entries will be invalid and removed. Please play fair as others do take the time to complete their entries!
All entries will be screened to ensure they conform to these requirements.
Thank you for your understanding and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*My family were guests of Eureka Skydeck 88 in exchange for my opinions presented in this review.

Linking up for IBOT
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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Of Boxes and Boys...

Our new child-friendly sofa arrived on Friday. (Inexpensive, able to withstand excessive jumping and one that won't cause us too much financial pain as the kids steadily destroy it.)
It arrived in a huge box.

My boys were wriggling with excitement at its potential. (I was excited too, if only because we were without a sofa for a full month while we waited for the arrival of this new one.)

Pens were out and scribbling before the package had even been emptied.
Cartons mean fun stuff and this box was big enough for all of them. It filled quickly with the three who always tackle the biggest and best play opportunities.

I think this was their happiest moment all weekend. Maybe it was the long school week behind them to blame for the ratty brood I have had to deal with these past two days. Or Maybe it is the road ahead; the prospect of a lengthy school year to come. The heatwave hasn't been helping the situation either. 
So, thank you big, big box, for these fleeting moments of joy captured here.

*Shortly after taking these images, Joaquin decided to dive on top of the carton while his brothers were inside it. It was a bad move for them, and everyone, from there on...

How did the weekend look at your house?

Sunday afternoon: A cool change, a return to friendliness and the box is a happy play place again.
Isn't it always the way?

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Friday, 7 February 2014

Mamaway Second Skin Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra Review and GIVEAWAY!

If there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's that breastfeeding your baby is best for your baby. It's a huge commitment for a Mum too; there's being on-call 24 hours a day to contend with as well as all the other typical demands of Motherhood.
The rewards are many and great! I have been breastfeeding my youngest, Celeste, for 14 months now and counting...
Adjusting to your new role with a baby is a big task and on top of everything, most of us can't comfortably fit into our normal clothing for weeks, months (or even years), while our bodies cope with the joys of caring for a new life. 
We all know a difficult job is made easier with the right equipment and when it comes to breastfeeding, a great bra is the best investment you can make.
Mamaway recently sent me their best-selling Second Skin Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra to review and I am happy to report that I love it and for lots of reasons.

This so comfortable! 
This is a bra designed to be worn during the maternity stage as well as the nursing stage. It is made of 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex. Its fabrication means it can expand a huge 2-3 cup sizes while remaining fitted and comfortable like a second skin. This stretch also applies to the under-bust diameter and means it will stretch with your changing shape during pregnancy, eliminating the need to make separate and expensive purchases of maternity-only bras. (Now if only the rest of my wardrobe could do this too...!)

The bra has an entirely seamless design. There are no hard components to apply pressure, scratch or irritate the skin or breast tissue. In particular, I love the wide band under the bust which makes the bra sit very well and with loads of comfort. There is no riding-up of the band or tight sensation around the bust-line even after several hours of wear like other bras. This wider band also effectively eliminates the unsightly 'rolls' a tight strap can sometimes produce on the back and around the armpits.

Plenty of options for adjusting the size of your bra - from maternity to weaning

The bra has a silky feel and is very lightweight but does not lose any of the support a good maternity and breastfeeding bra should offer. With the recent heat-wave this fabric makes bra-wearing and breastfeeding in an uncomfortable season, bearable!
Like regular breastfeeding bras, the Mamaway Perfect Seamless Nursing Bra has clips for opening the cup to allow easy access for feeds. These clips are simple enough to open one-handed and sit flat against the bra for discreet coverage under clothing.

Another feature of this bra that I really love, is the padded cups which can be removed easily through a hidden pouch built in to the design. This is great for adding shape while you are pregnant or when you wish to conceal or enhance your shape under T-shirts or sheer garments. In my case, I don't feel I need extra padding at present (thanks to lactation!) so I really appreciate the fact that I can remove these.
Sizing is easy in this range too. It's as simple as choosing from Small, Medium or Large. (There's XL and 2 XL available also.) No need to visit a lingerie store for fittings, just choose your size from the easy chart on their website.

I road-tested this bra straight from the pack when it arrived as I had a dressy event to attend. I usually avoid events when I am lactating and not just because many involve leaving baby for a time either. Truthfully, when I am breastfeeding, I feel dumpy! I hate the look of my shape in breastfeeding bras! Generally they are unflattering. I cannot find clothing that sits nicely over the breast area; I am petite but my chest is not when I am lactating!
I was thrilled to discover this bra made me feel like my old self. I was comfortable and the shaping of the Mamaway bra allowed my breasts to sit in their natural position which in turn, gave me a more normal look.

Feeling swish and not so in-the-Mummy-way in my Mamaway!
Caring for this bra is a cinch too. Just toss it in a lingerie washing bag and in with the rest of the wash. No need to hand wash or devote any special treatment to its upkeep. It retains its shape well.
In comparison to the many breastfeeding bras I have worn over the years, this is a 10 out of 10! It ticks all my boxes in terms of comfort and style and best of all, I feel attractive in it! I can see myself happily wearing this long after Celeste has weaned herself. What a great find!

The Second Skin Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra retails for $69.95. Currently there's a chance to receive a second bra for free if you review your first bra purchase on their website! You can visit the fantastic Mamaway website here to check out their huge breastfeeding range.
***GIVEAWAY!***   ***GIVEAWAY!***   ***GIVEAWAY!***
Like to win a Mamaway Perfect Seamless Nursing Bra of your own?
Thanks to the generosity of MAMAWAY, one lucky Six Little Hearts reader has a chance to win a best-selling Second Skin Seamless Maternity and Breastfeeding Bra of their own in a size and colour of their choosing! 
Please share this competition with your Mummy friends (including expectant Mums)!
To enter, simply follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load).
Entry is open to Australian residents only.
Winner will be notified by email and given 48 hours to respond.
Winner's details will be sent to Mamaway for prize distribution.
If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.
Judge's decision is final.
Good Luck!
Please note: Your entry is only valid if you complete the mandatory requirements of this competition (there are four of them). If you do not complete these mandatory entry requirements then all your subsequent entries will be invalid and removed. Please play fair as others do take the time to complete their entries!
All entries will be screened to ensure they conform to these requirements.
Thank you for your understanding and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The bra pictured in this review is the Taro colour.
 * Mamaway provided me with a Second Skin Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra in exchange for my thoughts presented in this review.
Continue Reading...
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