Thursday, 25 May 2017

Parenting - A Reminder to Keep An Eye on Your Children's Eyesight...

Parenting is so much in line with the 'when it rains it pours sentiment.' In times of illness, one sick child can lead to many. When it comes to mess, the more kids you have the bigger the chaos and so it seems too, that when it comes to health issues such as eye problems, we can apply this same analogy here as well.
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Monday, 22 May 2017

Little Eats For Little Ones, Baking With Rafferty's Garden

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Rafferty's Garden.

Being a mum is a busy business, especially during those early years when your younger child looks to you for everything. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers are all strongly dependent upon their parents in every possible way, and that precious fact is both a source of pure joy - and exhausting!

Sleepless nights, teething, nappies, washing, cleaning and the endless calls for your attention are all typical examples of life for mums in these formative years. To top it off, there are a minutiae of pressures to weigh you down from every source, both inside and outside the home. It's no wonder motherhood is widely considered the world's most difficult job!

Personally, one of the trickiest elements of being a mum for me, is keeping my kids fed and content with the food choices that are laid before them. There is so much focus these days on living a healthy lifestyle and making positive food choices. That's a fantastic thing too. In theory it all makes so much sense, however younger kids can often have their own agendas. (Don't we all know it?!)

Little ones are renown fussy eaters so it can be an outright challenge feeding this age group. The trick it seems, is to keep it all simple and relaxed for both yourself and your child. Make healthy options available at all times, and don't stress when your child refuses to eat at the established ideal of set meal times. Small kids thrive on a constant source of energy, so regular, healthy eats are often the way to go with this age group, over the three meals a day philosophy.

You're on the right track by making sure you offer your child a good variety of eats from all of the food groups every day, and include as many options as you can from these groups within every snacking opportunity.

While it's wonderful and enormously satisfying to be able to make your own healthy foods for your child, rest assured that options available from companies such as Rafferty's Garden are there to offer their support.

Rafferty's Garden have a great selection of premium baby and toddler foods available in supermarkets, which can assist you to nourish your child during the busy times. Their convenient range is free of preservatives, artificial colours, flavours, GM ingredients and other nasties.

To help busy mums, Rafferty's Garden now has a recipe hub where you can find a vast and convenient collection of mum-approved, meal and snack ideas to make for your little one.

We thought it would be a great idea to get creative with some Rafferty's Garden pouches, and have come up with two delicious offerings that are bound to go down well with toddlers (and their older siblings!). Make sure you give these simple suggestions a try.

The following recipe for little vegetable quiches is especially delicious as a lunch or dinner option, but you can offer these at any time of day. Served warm or cold, these small parcels are packed with vegetables and an added flavour hit from the addition of a pouch of Rafferty's Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto. These are an ideal lunchbox inclusion for children of any age.

Little Vegetable Quiches
Makes 24. Preparation time 15 mins. Baking time 25 mins.
Not suitable for freezing. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You will need a 24 small muffin pan baking sheet and one large round scone cutter.
Optional: small star cookie cutter.

Approximately 4 sheets of puff pastry
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium carrot,
1 medium zucchini
1/4 red capsicum
1 cup of finely grated extra tasty cheese
3 small bunches of English spinach, finely chopped
1/2 a leek finely sliced
4 small Truss tomatoes finely sliced
1 pouch of Rafferty's Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto
3 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for frying
Milk for brushing the pastry.

Set aside and defrost 4 sheets of puff pastry.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Using a blender with a shredding disc, finely slice the carrot, zucchini and leek. Also, finely dice the capsicum and English spinach.

Add the tablespoon of butter to a saucepan and lightly cook the leek until it becomes transparent. Then add the shredded (or finely chopped) vegetables and seasoning and cook for a few minutes until softened.

In the meantime, add the eggs to a bowl and the contents of the Rafferty's Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto and whisk together.

Using the scone cutter, cut rounds from the pastry sheets and line each muffin hole with these to form the base of the quiches.

First place spoonfuls of the cooked vegetables into each pastry base.

Then gently spoon the egg mixture into each cup on top of the shredded vegetables, before topping each mini quiche with a sprinkling of cheese, a sliver of tomato and a pastry star (if desired).

Brush each quiche with milk and place the tray in the oven for 25 minutes until golden.

Allow the mini quiches to cool before serving to your child.

For eats on the go, nothing beats the lure of a delicious cookie. Youngsters will love these healthy fruity oat biscuits. These are a soft cookie and it won't crumble either so there's little mess left in their wake. The cookies are sweetened with the addition of a pouch of Rafferty's Garden Blueberries, Banana and Apple puree and just a hint of honey. They're high in fibre and a great snack for toting-along in your nappy bag.

Fruity Oat Biscuits
Makes approximately 34 cookies. Preparation time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes.

1 cup of oat bran
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1 cup of self raising flour
1 120gm pouch of Rafferty's Garden Blueberries, Banana and Apple puree
1 egg
100gm salt reduced butter, softened
2 tablespoons of honey, melted
1/2 a tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of finely chopped raisins.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a biscuit baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl, add the oat bran, coconut, SR flour and cinnamon and mix together.

Make a well in the centre and add the Rafferty's Garden Blueberries, Banana and Apple puree, egg, butter, raisins and honey then stir well until all ingredients combine and form a wet dough.

Roll teaspoon-sized balls of the biscuit mix into balls and place these onto the baking sheet. Gently flatten each a little with your fingers to form a rounded cookie shape.

Bake in a moderate oven for around 15 minutes. The biscuits are ready when they become a light golden colour. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, visit the Rafferty's Garden recipe hub.
Find Rafferty's Garden on Facebook or follow them on Instagram @raffertys_garden.

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Worlds Apart Bear Hug Stack Storage Review (and More!), Plus A Special Childsmart Giveaway in May...

*Six Little Hearts is a Brand Rep for Childsmart.

Kids and their stuff. How's that working out at your place?

We're always juggling kids and their things in our home and with six children in the house, space is understandably prized. It seems we're forever looking for storage solutions and will be into the foreseeable future. I really do appreciate that we're over-run with kid stuff for the time being, (it's a happy time), and I am more than happy to continue to find decorative and creative ways to cheerily store our children's possessions while we are.
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A Quick Mix Chocolate Brownies Recipe...

Winter always means decadent eats for me. The way I see it, there's got to be some kind of positive pay-off for the miserably cold weather. Chocolate in all its forms is what gets me feeling spesh, and I swear, it wards off the yearly return of the SADs. (Seasonal Affective Disorder.)
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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Knotlace Review, Fashionable Jewellery For All Occasions and Win a Knotlace Collection...

As a mum, when it comes to wearing fashion jewellery, I'll be honest with you - I've always steered well away from it and felt destined to admire it from afar. Despite the gorgeous fashionable designs and varied looks statement jewels can give, quite frankly where motherhood is concerned, most of it just doesn't cut it in the wearability stakes. Kids, motherhood, (AKA house cleaner), and the plethora of tasks women face each day, for me just hasn't fared well when combined with jewellery wearing.
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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Cherry Thumbprint Biscuits, A Special Mother's Day Bake

As a child I loved to visit or stay-over at my grandmother's house at every available opportunity. Like the grandmother most of us remember, (or are blessed to have around us still), my own was a kind and loving woman who was thoughtful, highly skilled the old-world arts of craft, sewing and knitting, and I recall that she was a great pleasure to be around.

In her youth, my grandmother was an accomplished pianist who shared her musical talents with audiences during the silent movie era at local movie houses. She continued to play her most prized possession - her piano, every day to keep her fingers limber, even into her later years. Her music was beautiful and it's impossible for me to think of this amazing woman without the memory of her being surrounded by music. To this day, if I hear a solo piano tune of the 1920's era, I still think of her with great happiness and longing.
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Friday, 5 May 2017

Handbag Essentials For Busy Mums From Laser, Plus WIN!

Mother's Day is almost here and it's an annual event that sees most of us scrambling for gift inspiration. While you can go the usual trusted route when sourcing gifts and buy your mum flowers, chocolates or slippers, you could also try thinking a little outside the box to find some specific gifts for mamas who prefer to live life in the fast lane.
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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Itchy Baby Co. Review - Target Eczema Naturally and Win

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Itchy Baby Co.

Any parent who has ever experienced the anguish caused by the eczema experience within their own home, will know only too well that the condition, though common, is an extremely difficult one to treat.

The prevalence of eczema is quite rampant in babies and young children. Most will thankfully, eventually grow out of the condition, but some will not. Either way, it's a long journey for all involved along the way.
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Monday, 1 May 2017

A SodaStream Mother's Day Giveaway Plus the Aussie Giveaway Linkup May...

It's May and for mothers everywhere, it's time to enjoy our big day! Mother's Day is just about here,  with Sunday the 14th of May only a couple of weeks away. Are you excited?!

Since becoming a mum way back in 2000, I have learned so much and also given an incredible amount of myself to my children. Through my own daily interactions with my family I have endured many times over, all kinds of life experiences via this one role. Motherhood is certainly one of life's greatest journeys and at this time of year, I feel incredibly blessed to have embraced this life wholeheartedly along with my husband of eons and our hoards of children. Together we've built an empire I am so deliciously proud of.
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Saturday, 29 April 2017

April Bellabox and Bellababy Unboxed Plus A Special Reader Offer & Mother's Day Gift Preview...

It's time to unveil the goodies within the little blue parcels that are Bellabox for the month of April. Can you believe the speed with which each month travels at this time of year? I seriously feel as though I just published my Bellabox March review and here we are again at the doorway of a whole new month!

Anyways, this Bellababe just loves sharing a peek within these monthly treats here, and I truly enjoy trialling all the latest in beauty goods even more. There's no better way to refill your bathroom cabinet, makeup bag, or, (in the case of a Bellababy parcel), your nappy bag or change table caddy too. There's always a pocket sized treat to give you convenience on the go, or a new product entirely to road test. You never know just what you will discover inside a Bellabox.
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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Introducing Bobux Kid+ Shoes And An Exciting Reader Giveaway!

After 25 years of producing quality footwear for young kids, you'll be excited to learn that Bobux are now making larger shoe sizes!

On February 10th this year, Bobux proudly launched their new Kid+ range of footwear for bigger kids and we were so honoured to be a part of the big reveal at the official Melbourne launch a little way back.
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Gardening Made Easy with Bosch!

Autumn is easily the best time of the year to get outside and stuck into the garden.
With the extremes of temperatures for a short time blissfully under control, currently around our home, it's all hands-on-deck to get our outdoors looking spiffy before the big chill sets in.

Sadly our yard is far from swish at any time of year. (Please feel free to conjure-up images of weeds, leaves, children's toys, muddy holes and general junk spread artfully across our quarter acre block - all with thanks to our kids.) Believe me when I say our garden is far from Pinterest-worthy! We are trying bit by bit, to get there though. Lately especially, we've been buying plants and tools and getting our kids involved in all things to do with beautifying our own piece of earth and it's working beautifully on so many levels.
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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Oobi Fashion for Girls Autumn Preview 2017...

One of the many joys of having a young daughter, is the opportunity to dress her! Clothing for little girls is abundantly varied, colourful and pretty, and after a long break between our girls, (there are four boys between them!), it's so lovely to have these precious moments over again. 

Seeing your girl all dressed up is something that brings happiness not only to your own child and yourself, but to others too. I can't recall the number of occasions where we have been stopped on the street on account of the outfits worn by our youngest. It's plain to see the happiness bright fabrics and adorable designs on a young child can bring.
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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Celebrate This Easter and Beyond With New Release Miffy Merchandise!

It's hard to believe that the iconic Miffy stories we're all so familiar with, were first penned over 60 long years ago!

Way back in 1955, Dutch artist Dick Bruna created his multi-generational endearing bunny character Miffy. Her magnetic cuteness and longevity have stemmed from a winning combination of Bruna's simple, colourful illustrations combined with a childlike sense of adventure. It's a marriage which has seen the books continually loved the world over to this day.
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Monday, 10 April 2017

Easter Baking With Kitchen Warehouse - A Delicious Chocolate Mud Cake Recipe

As a dedicated home-baker, I am always keen to have a playdate with my own kitchen. The art of regularly churning out sweet treats for my family, daily, (from muffins, cakes and cookies and other delicious treats) is a task I quite naturally enjoy. For me, the entire process of cooking - from the recipe creation itself to the coveted moment when my kids taste the (hopefully!) delicious results, is truly a rewarding experience.
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Hosting A Fun Family Movie Night With Sing and Some Chocolate Vanilla Cookies to Bake!

*This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Australian families can now head in store wherever you buy your favourite family movies and find a Special Edition copy of the brand-spanking new film Sing on the shelves, ready to take home and enjoy! Woohoo!
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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Easy Freezer Meals for Very Busy People from Weight Watchers...

This post is sponsored by Weight Watchers but all thoughts and opinions including meal suggestions are my own.

With the school year well underway now, I have an early confession to make: I have been eating poorly - especially at lunchtimes!

Now that there are few children to care for during the weekday timeslot, eating just seems to fall into the background. As a mum, I am thoroughly immersed in my work, home duties and the care of my preschooler. On top of all those daily to-do's, the value of food to fuel it all just seems to fall by-the-wayside.
I bet that sounds familiar to you too.
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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Welcome to April! The Gro Company Easter Hamper Giveaway Worth $496...

Wow, April is here already and Easter is about to arrive! Can you believe it? This year is certainly rocketing-by.

We've big news to share on behalf of The Gro Company for parents. The Gro Company have just recently launched their new Australian website and to celebrate, we have been invited to share this amazing giveaway containing all things Gro! There's a super hamper of The Gro Company goodies up for grabs for one lucky reader of Six Little Hearts valued at $496!

Happy Easter!
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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Bellabox and Bellababy Review - A March Unboxing and Special Reader Discount Offer...

March Bellabox is all about Raw Beauty this month and it's a theme so many of us can appreciate. It seems just about every cosmetic and skin cream on the market these days, boasts a preference for naturally-sourced ingredients. (Hooray!) That's a wonderful thing for those of us who have allergies, sensitivities or a keen drive to protect our bodies and environment. Bring it on!
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Friday, 24 March 2017

It's Time to SING Australia!

*This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Get ready to feel good Australia! At last, the hit movie sensation Sing is about to be released on Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray and you'll find it on our shores and in our stores on the 29th of March!

The Sing movie sensation from the creators behind the hit Despicable Me, is a fabulous family flick that is both heart-warming and funny. Sing is backed by an all-star cast who've lent their talented voices to a series of lovable characters who will entertain both young and old.
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Wild Science Blood n' Guts Zombie FX Lab Review and WIN!

Thankfully it's rare that I wake on a weekend to the sight of an eight year old boy looming over me menacingly, wearing a set of scientific goggles and equipped with a pair of rubber gloves encasing his wriggly fingers. Add to that frightful get-up, a gleeful and excited-like stare (something reflecting a weird combo of begging meets thrill), and you can bet I was just a wee-bit caught off guard.

Believe it or not, that was my introduction to my Sunday morning on this weekend just gone! #Parenthood
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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Healthy Snacking for Active Kids with Organix...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Organix Goodies.

Kids are busy people aren't they! I am always amazed (and a little envious) at just how much energy my own children have. From the moment the sun comes up, they're out of bed and moving at an incredible pace for the remainder of the day - often into the night. Trying to keep on top of all that activity (and associated mess) is exhausting as a parent. For me, just watching them alone, is a thorough workout!
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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Berry Muffins Recipe - Tasty Snack-Time Treats for the Whole Family

Berry season is in full-swing at the moment and we're lucky enough to be surrounded by blackberries which are growing wild. We've cursed that fact most of the time mind you, but since these prolific bushes have been producing fruit, they've been considered in a totally new light.
We're now counting our blessings!
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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Philips Grain Master Review - Family Meals Made Easy and Simply

With a large family to cater for, I am forever on the hunt for shortcuts when it comes to hasty but healthy meal preparations. Like many parents and non-parents alike, I find kitchen appliances absolute saviours for surviving the hectic Monday to Friday run, especially during the school term in particular. There's nothing quite like the convenience these modern benchtop marvels offer, especially for throwing together a decent meal with little time or energy at your disposal.
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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Lonely Planet Kids Let's Explore New Release Books for Children - A Review and Win!

You can't go past books for keeping kids entertained again and again.

Did you know that travel publishers Lonely Planet Kids have a whole wide world of titles available for children that are engaging, bright and educational? Their books are ideal for young arm-chair travellers and actual travellers alike. Make sure you seek out some of these exciting new release reads for kids and enter our giveaway for your chance to win one of three gorgeous book packs that will delight young readers at the end of this review!
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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Twirlywoos Toys for Preschoolers Review and Giveaway - Aussie Giveaway Linkup March...

Calling all Twirlywoos fans! Gather the littlies around for a wee squiz at some adorable take-home cuties for preschoolers! Now you can extend on all the fun and humour of the hit children's television program the Twirlywoos, as seen regularly on ABC TV. (Weekdays at 11.30am.)
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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Cirque du Soleil Kooza Review and Behind the Scenes Special

The arrival of the internationally acclaimed Cirque du Soleil's sensational new show Kooza in Australia, heralds the eighth successful tour of the company in this country. Kooza is a dazzlingly exciting spectacle that sees a return to the roots of the circus and showcases an extraordinary performance that is colourful, comical, beautiful and acrobatically thrilling.
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Saturday, 25 February 2017

The LEGO Batman Movie Fashion for Girls From Best and Less - A Review and WIN!

Can you believe that another sensational LEGO movie is coming to cinemas soon?! The LEGO Batman Movie is set to be a hit of epic proportions and Best and Less has your little girl's fashion needs covered.

Best and Less stores nationally, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, have released an adorable range of inspiring girl-powered clothing to grab the attention of young female fans - mine included! They have sent me a full set of the range to review, as well as eight sets to give away to my readers. Squee!
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Whirlpool Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave Review - Revolutionise Your Kitchen

We're all familiar with the pull of life's increasing pressures which have made the basics of living - such as uncomplicated cooking, a daily event that we're typically stretched to accomplish in both time and effort. Thankfully, simple kitchen appliances have progressed rapidly alongside our busy lifestyles in these modern times. Where once microwave ovens for example, made our cooking faster and easier compared to traditional, conventional methods, it's extraordinary to discover just how far along this technology has continued to advance to this day. Were you aware?
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Friday, 17 February 2017

Bellabox Review 'Beauty Inside Out' Plus Bellababy 'The Natural Edition' and A Special Reader Discount Offer for February

February already and another Bellabox and Bellababy to enjoy in this last of the summer weather. (Well, hopefully the good weather continues for a few months along yet.) The theme of this February's Bellabox is 'Beauty Inside Out' and that it is. I was so thrilled to discover two full size makeup products inside this month's parcel, along with an array of other 'me only' delights to enjoy. So much to appreciate!
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

My Super Nanny Review - Our Brilliant Babysitter Agency Experience!

There can't be too many parents who don't dream of employing a nanny in their busy lives to take care of their little charges.
Even the convenience of a babysitter once in a while, to fill the need as required, is an all-to-common fantasy for most and for a variety of valid reasons.

When it comes to sourcing a reliable, qualified, trustworthy and experienced sitter to take care of your kids, it can certainly be a task with cause for concern: Where can a great sitter be found? Will they be affordable, experienced and on-the-ball with your precious children? Can they cope with a multitude of harrowing situations should they arise, such as sibling in-fighting, accidents or emergencies?
And finally, for the kids' sake, will they be fun and a positive influence?
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