Thursday, 29 January 2015

#SLHFeaturedThursdays: A Babymel London Chic Baby Bags Review...

Looking for a little London chic in your Mummy life?
Of course you are! (You may not know it yet but you will be by the end of this review!)

All Mummas want to look fashionable, even if we don't always feel it, right? With all eyes on your child (or children), you might as well have something glamorous about your person when the odd glance does stray your way. Nothing quite takes care of the task like a desirable baby change bag - it's both a talking point and a symbol of modern Motherhood and femininity.

Though it's contentious, there's nothing more lustful than stylish designer things from overseas too. Agree? Something from a good distance away from home just has an unmatchable magnetic appeal.
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Strictly Ballroom The Musical Melbourne - The Media Call with Baz Luhrmann...


Very recently, I was offered the exclusive opportunity to attend the media call for the Melbourne stage production of Strictly Ballroom The Musical, currently playing at Her Majesty's Theatre.

Myself, along with a handful of other bloggers and general media were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this spectacular musical production both front of house and behind the scenes. We were able to meet the cast and take photographs.

The media call was an exciting two hour event, punctuated by talks from the talented and multi award winning Australian Director, Baz Luhrmann and his award winning set and costume designer partner and Wife, Catherine Martin.
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Friday, 23 January 2015

Back to School With Gooie - Great Gear for Kids and A Fantastic Back to School Giveaway...


Okay, straight up it pains me to write that this is a back to school post.
(Literally hyper-ventilating I am.)

Right now it's smack-bang middle of the Summer break. That sun is shining magically, no-one's out of bed before 9am, seven days a week and bedtime for anyone regardless of age, is a foreign concept. It's anything goes. (Same applies for food, fun and games - free-range - go for it kiddos!)

Mummy. Just. Does. Not. Care...and we're all loving that. 

Same over at your place too? I hope so!

But back to the dreaded back to school topic...Before you have a panic attack and feel all anxious about the end of January coming along so dang fast it might knock you over in a hit and run, check out the groovy goodies I will be show and telling here from one of my all-time favourite kiddie companies Gooie.
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Thursday, 22 January 2015

#SLHFeaturedThursdays: Bags 4 Bubs Review Plus Win a Personalised Bag for Your Child...

 
I remember when my eldest Daughter was just a little thing and starting out in her first dance classes, how there were loads of uniform requirements that she would have to take along each week to practice: Ballet shoes, cross-over tops, a drink bottle and snacks, tights and so on. (And on!)
 
In those early days, I would juggle her essentials week by week in just my hands and before long I needed to enlist the help of her little hands too. I then invested in a small bag for her needs before tossing that in favour of a much larger and more suitable bag which was capable of carting the enormous quantity of costumes and trinkets all little girl dancers require.
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Adara Collins Melbourne Review and A Special Accommodation Offer...


*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Adara Collins.

There's no better time than now to feature our recent staycation in beautiful Melbourne town here. So many people are packing up and moving about on holidays at this time of year but have you ever considered staying locally in your own capital city as a vacation option instead? Familiarity can and does, after all, provide the perfect starting point for an ultimately relaxing holiday.

Regardless of whether you are a local reader or from interstate (or even overseas), if you are contemplating a visit to our incredible town, then read on; I have a stunning hotel to review and an exclusive offer to save you dollars on a stay in Melbourne and some family friendly and touristy ideas to enjoy here while you do.

We were very recently invited to enjoy a complimentary weekend at the glorious Adara Collins. This stunning city hotel is situated in the very heart of the Melbourne CBD in no other than the magnificent and renown Paris end of Collins Street. As a born and bred Melbourner I can attest that this is the very best of the best our fabulous city has to offer.


The hotel itself is housed within the historic Clyde House and is a slim, tall and elegant late Edwardian era building of intense beauty both outside and in. Adara Collins is ideally placed, (sandwiched between theatres and high-end European and designer fashion houses) and offers visitors one of the most convenient and memorable stays imaginable. It really has a touch of old Melbourne magic and charm of the highest degree, which is indeed what makes the Paris end such an elegant draw-card for visitors.


From our incredibly sized and placed bay window (an entire feature wall), our apartment on the fifth floor overlooked the very best that Melbourne has to offer. Standing here, literally beneath our toes, city life on Collins Street below passed by in a mesmerising and ever-changing kaleidoscopic display which provided endless hours of entertainment in its own right.

 
The amazing tree-lined Collins Street view from our window.
 
There was nothing quite like recharging from a bout of dining and shopping while taking in the views of Melbourne from this vantage point. In fact, it was nothing short of thrilling to be so close to the thrum of everything and yet feel oddly, so at home in our city-based room.


Our grand yet homely apartment was huge, (virtually house-sized) and featured a fully functional kitchen, (including a dishwasher) and two large and welcoming bedrooms. Our apartment comfortably slept five plus our toddler making six, who was provided with a cot. A cleverly designed adjoining bathroom kept both rooms easily accessible or we could simply use the generous sized hallway and entrance area to access our rooms.


Feeling very at home, only, with benefits!

The apartment's lounge room was so large that it really was a family room in every sense. It featured elegantly upholstered sofas with plenty of cushions which made the task of relaxing here so easy. The large, wall-mounted television kept the kids happy and there was plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy. There might even have been a game or two of chasey as the kids sought to maximise the play potential of all that area!


The kids wasted little time and made themselves right at home, right away!


The master bedroom was so inviting; pretty and comfortable and with the sliding door feature built-in to a section of the wall, it was my choice entirely each night as to whether I would shut off my room from the gentle sounds of passing trams and Melbourne nightlife or slide these doors open and draw back the massive bay window curtains to enjoy the stunning lights of the adjacent Regent Theatre in my room. Now there's a decision I wish I had to contemplate every single night!

On arrival we were treated to a delicious fruit hamper that took care of our needs for our entire weekend thanks to Adara Collins. As lovely as our hotel room was, it was time to step out and explore the sights and flavours of our home city. We had two whole days to fill during our stay and being in the centre of town meant that we would have loads of ground to cover in that time.

Our first stop was the spectacular Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium. There are over 10,000 marine animals on display here, from exciting sharks to beautiful jellyfish and new exhibits of frogs as well as a mammoth croc and penguins from Antarctica. There are interactive displays where the kids can get busy petting the treasures in the rock pool displays.



We spent a long and happy day here. There's so much to do and see. Make sure you visit their website for all the latest news on current attractions to help you plan your visit.

 
A quiet Bourke Street Mall prior to 9am - A city staycation gives you some genuine shopping freedom.
 
Adara Collins places you right within Melbourne's CBD. A walk of just a few minutes in any direction will take you to so many places to eat, shop, relax and play. We shopped in Bourke Street Mall where all the biggest department stores are to be found. There's lots of culture here too, with plenty of buskers and general city thrum to give you a true feel for the fabulous place Melbourne is.


We enjoyed breakfast daily at Gordon's Café and Bar, (304-306 Little Collins Street, Melbourne). This great little café tucked away down one of Melbourne's most popular laneways is just a short walk from Adara Collins and very quickly became a favourite with us all. We dined here three times over the course of our weekend stay! Perfect breakfasts, (highly recommend the Bircher muesli) and delicious, freshly-squeezed juices. Energising meals to power-up extensive touristy pursuits!

 

My Gordon's juice was demolished by the toddler who threw a mammoth tanty over the mere suggestion of taking it in a sippy cup! It was a nervous 15 minutes watching her drink from a very large and full glass. Thanks for putting up with us guys! (An alternative family-friendly option is The Pancake Parlour at Centrepoint Arcade, Bourke Street Mall.)

 
Every visit to Melbourne must include a trip to the Southbank precinct, perfectly situated on the banks of the Yarra. Great views, dining options and entertainments galore here including Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium and Crown Casino.
 
 
For a great family dining experience a little on the luxurious side, try Gradi at Crown, Southbank. The kids enjoyed a delicious pizza by renown Naples-trained pizza chef Johnny Di Francesco, while I relaxed back with a wine and this delicious Roast-beef al tartufo e vino rosso. (It was as divine as it looks!) Absolutely top service here from friendly and attentive wait-staff and desserts to die for. Highly recommend.
 
 
Exploring Melbourne's distinguished malls is a must and very easy to do from Adara Collins. The Block Arcade is one of Melbourne's oldest and finest, (located at 282 Collins Street Melbourne). Christmas time was even more magical in this very special part of town. The kids were understandably mesmerised by this window display.
 

More of Melbourne's extensive array of cafés, bars and creative outlets are to be found at Centre Place, Melbourne CBD. Make a holiday of our fabulous laneways! They're amazing places filled with culture and bustling with activity and fine dining experiences. My kids were thrilled with the sights and aromas in these very special places which was relaxing for me for all these same reasons.


Other places we enjoyed include Chinatown as well as Melbourne's Greek precinct on Lonsdale Street. (Must recommend Stalactites Restaurant for some of the finest Greek food in Melbourne - a personal favourite of ours going back decades.) Check out the stunning cakes at Diethnes Cakes and Coffee (185 Lonsdale Street). They're mouth-wateringly good and so well priced.

Melbourne's expansive shopping district is world-class and barely needs a mention; it's big and it's all here from every corner of the globe plus our own unique stores will keep you entertained too.

Are you planning a visit to Melbourne?
Adara Collins would like to offer readers of Six Little Hearts
an exclusive discount offer which will give you
10% off Adara's best available rate. (Ongoing.)
Use the code: ADARA10.

 
Adara Collins are located at 182 Collins Street, Melbourne. VIC 3000.
Phone 61 3 9639 1811
*Disclosure: Six Little Hearts were guests of Adara Collins for a magnificent, complimentary two night stay.
In addition, we were guests of Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium and dined with compliments at Gradi Crown.
We wish to thank our generous sponsors so very much, for a most wonderful weekend in fabulous Melbourne. x

Recent posts on Six Little Hearts you may have missed:

Inverloch Victoria and a Link-Up


An A-Z Family Holiday Preparation Checklist


Ways to Prepare and Save for Christmas


#SLHFeaturedThursdays: Little Leather plus Giveaway
Continue Reading...

Friday, 16 January 2015

Inverloch Victoria and A Weekend Link-Up

We've just very reluctantly returned from a seaside holiday at Inverloch on the Bass Coast in Victoria. This is one of our all-time favourite destinations and we've been visiting here since long before our kids were on the scene. It's a place that's changed little and yet so much too, over the years.

Inverloch was once a sleepy coastal town with only a handful of permanent residents, who were regularly inundated with tourists from Melbourne, come Easter, Christmas and school holiday periods. While the latter remains true still, (only on a much larger scale these days), so too, has the original town itself grown.

Like all good things, Inverloch has been 'discovered' but it has not lost its pull one iota with this family.
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Thursday, 15 January 2015

#SLHFeaturedThursdays: A Maya The Bee The Movie Review and Giveaway. Bring Maya Home Today!


Did you miss the recent Maya the Bee Movie premiere at cinemas?

Not to worry! The Maya the Bee Movie is now available for purchase at ABC Shops Australia-wide, just in time for the long, lazy Summer afternoons of these school holidays.

The Maya the Bee Movie has been brought to life for Australian audiences by Screen Australia and features a stellar line-up of local talent as voice-overs to accompany one of the most delightful animations for children.

This sweet movie is 79 minutes of adventure and entertainment for children and is bound to keep your kids enthralled countless times over.
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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

An A to Z Family Holiday Preparation Checklist


*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Youi.

It's the holiday season and post-Christmas is time for many of us to pack our bags and depart for sunnier destinations to unwind a little more freely without all the pre-Christmas obligations.

Where families are concerned, the job of preparing for a holiday can be mammoth, especially when we no longer have the luxury of regular school days or day care and other arrangements in place, to take the kids off our hands for a few precious hours in order to pack. (Though having the kids around is precious too!)

It's times like now when I need to resort to lists to help me get through the extensive set of tasks and essentials to reach the golden destination at the end - the holiday itself.
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Monday, 12 January 2015

Ways To Save Money at Christmas Time - A Financial Guide to 'Making The Magic Happen' Without the Madness

 
*This post is brought to you in collaboration with People's Choice Credit Union.

Seems like an odd time to talk Christmas given we've just passed through the Festive period doesn't it?

Your fridge may be bursting at its seals with leftovers and the tree still twinkling prettily with lights in the corner, but there's no time like now to consider making an in-road on the next Christmas. The festive season comes around so quickly and the preparation required no matter how contained you try to keep it, just always runs away with you, especially where your cash is concerned.

Many of us are thrifty by nature at this demanding time of year, (December), but no matter how careful we are the costs do definitely add up and fast. With an abundance of parties, and a growing circle of relatives, friends and colleagues to cater to and buy for each year, really you can never be too prepared.
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Thursday, 8 January 2015

#SLHFeaturedThursdays: Little Leather Shoes Review and Giveaway - Precious Shoes for Precious Peeps


There's nothing lovelier than little people.

They've li'l' itsy bitsy everything and they're just sooooo cutesy!

But I really don't need to tell you that. With the exception of their gorgeous eyes, (which are always endearingly huge), their little features just make the world go 'round don't they?

Seriously though, I've got to stop myself thinking on such things...I am making myself clucky and I just can't go there anymore...

I truly adore the sound of my bubba padding about the house on those little footsies of hers. Oh...especially when she's walking down the stairs:

Plop, plop, pause...plop, plop, pause...
It's a sound that's repeated rhythmically on all thirteen of those stairs and it's music to my ears.

Today's Featured Thursday is all about shoes for little people. I mean, could you guess?
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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Things to Consider When Buying a Family Car


*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Motoring.com.au

When I fell pregnant with my sixth child, we also fell into a debate over our family vehicle. At the time, we owned a Kia Carnival seven seater and the problem for us was, once baby arrived, there were going to be eight of us.

It was a pretty big calling card for my Husband in the argument against having a sixth child altogether, (prior to conception) and I know this expensive fact is seriously considered by many in family planning discussions.

"No problem!" Was my attitude. We'll not need a new car. We'll get by with the seven seater we already own and just rely on two vehicles whenever we all need to go somewhere as a family because..."pfff...how often does that happen?!"
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