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Omy Design & Play

I am always on the search for amazing gifts, hey it’s my job right? I found French brand Omy Design & Play a few years ago when I discovered their large scale colouring posters and I mean LARGE scale and fell in love!

They were one of the first, if not THE first company, to produce them back in 2012 and I adored that they created pages of some of our favourite cities like London, New York, Paris and Sydney.  My sister gave one of the London box sets to my eldest son for Christmas in 2014 and we have had so much fun colouring it in since then.

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Christmas Gift Guide 2016 – Toddler

A selection of gorgeous gifts for your growing babes, the ones that are now crawling, cruising, or walking! I have tried where possible to shop small as by shopping small you are supporting a family, couple or entrepreneur living their dream!  Let’s support them this Christmas.

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Cream Empire – a beautiful new direction

Oh I have to say the baby products these days are epic. Seven and a half years on from when I had my first newborn, there are so many beautiful products out there that make you clucky!!

A fave lady and past Pay it forward feature, Carolina from Cream Empire has released some truly stunning baby blankets and knitwear as she takes the next step in her business.

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Dino Raw – divine dinosaurs

I have to admit that prior to being a mum of 2 boys, I was not hugely interested in Dinosaurs. I could honestly name 3 dinosaurs and that was pushing it. Fast forward 7.5 years and well as you can imagine so much of my life has changed and now I know dinosaurs by the dozen! Diplodocus, Cryolophosaurus, Trodon, Utahraptor, Ankylosaurus and the list goes on…

We have Schleich dinosaurs which the kids use as bath toys and to play games with, we have dino books and even a dino game, Bingosaurus! But at times, it can be hard to find really nice Dinosaur themed gifts, a lot of the time the dinosaurs are true to life and quite scary for little kids.

Until we found Dino Raw… this Adelaide based company is injecting the divine into dinosaurs with stunning results.  Sarah has created pastel coloured dinosaurs, gelati coloured dinosaurs for dino loving babies, dinosaurs with smiles and dinosaur cushions too!

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The Inaugural Bazaar Kids Gifts and Toys

A HUGE thank you to those who attended the inaugural Bazaar at Newport Community Centre. You brought with you enthusiasm, excitement and created a wonderful vibe for the first event.

Thank you to the incrediblytalented stall holders who helped make my first bazaar one filled with creativity, love and laughter. Your stalls were incredibly beautiful, each and every one of you put in so much effort and creativity that made each stall shine. The gorgeous selection on offer was beyond what I could have imagined, so thank you for being there for my first event.

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Toy of the month – October 2016

Ohh you know how much I adore wooden toys and this month I have such a fabulous product to show you from the amazing Tinkertime which combines another love of mine, singing!

I will admit,  I am not good at singing, in fact I think I am probably tone deaf but I love to sing to the tunes on the radio and I may have had a karaoke session at my hen’s night…

So naturally the kids also like to sing with me when we are at home or even in the car! And what do you need when you sing but… a microphone!

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Puggle Post

Puggle Post launched last month and finally there is an online shop bringing you the best in stylish, eco friendly presents that have an Australian theme for loved ones and family who are overseas.

Instead of sending them delightfully tacky cuddly koalas that fall apart in 5 minutes, Carmel, an expat who know calls Australia home, has sourced high quality, gorgeous pieces that will delight and captivate children and show them a little of why we call Australia home.

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Happy Me, Happy Boy, Happy Mum!

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, well in this case it is the Nana and Mama tree as my eldest has certainly developed the “non stop talking” gene that is prevalent on both sides of my family.

He is definitely a talker, a reader and a thinker. He reads street signs, signs on cars and trucks, advertising signs, everything that has any letters! He loves to read and to read out aloud. We just bought the 26th Story Treehouse and he finished it in just over a day.  He is a real book worm and it is funny as I was the same at his age.

With this active mind comes an active mouth and after discussions with his class teacher, I wanted to investigate ways to help keep him stimulated but in a way that didn’t distract his other class mates.

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Little Wuppy – worry puppy

I am not sure about you but these days I read more and more about kids suffering from anxiety and from quite a young age of 5 or 6. My heart breaks hearing that kids so young can be so crippled by this mental health illness.

So I love to hear about ways to help kids with their anxiety and mental health issues and to make it a subject that is talked about rather than a taboo topic.

Little Wuppy® has been created with just this issue in mind, helping young children get through their battles with anxiety as well as loneliness or dealing with the many changes going on around them.

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Toy of the month – September 2016

This month we are reviewing a firm favourite in our household, the legendary, one and only, puzzle!!

We adore puzzles and have done since the boys were babes. We have wooden ones and cardboard ones, puzzles with alphabets, numbers,  animals and so much more! What we haven’t seen though are the seriously stunning Australian designed Millions of Monkey puzzles from brand new Australian shop Puggle Post.

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Meet the Maker – Decor Me

Hello lovely peeps, HUGE apologies as I have been a bit slack in my beloved “Meet the Maker” series of late with all my Bazaar preparations, but I am super excited for this month’s gorgeous maker Angela from Decor Me.

Decor Me is a divine handmade brand created by Angela from Sydney who has become known for her beautiful wooden doll stackers which are made of Tasmanian oak and using non toxic paint and natural sealants. They make the perfect toy for small hands!

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Colour delights – Halcyon Nights

Halycon Nights are a gorgeous Australian kids bedding and now clothing range that has captured my imagination through their brilliant use of colourful prints and artist collaborations.  Recently we were lucky to test out some of their bedding range and I have to say we love it!

With a background in fashion retail and product development, this Melbourne based wife and husband team, Kym and Reuben have collaborated with some amazing Australian artists to bring the fun back into bedding! From dinosaurs, rainbow mountains, space ghosts, colorful kaleidoscope playgrounds to Australian outback animals. Every design is filled with creativity and allows kids to imagine just as they drift off to sleep.

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Lil Baddits – ethically gourmet!

Lil Baddits is a gorgeous new babywear range that is launching this month in Australia and seriously this baby wear is just divine!! I will be honest it may make me secretly want a third baby!

Lil Baddits babywear is designed in Australia with hand drawn watercolour prints and made ethically in India using G.O.T.S certified organic cotton and non toxic dyes. It is made of THE softest organic cotton you have touched, seriously AS soft as the baby’s bottoms they are going in!

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Play – Doh turns 60!!

Can you believe Play- Doh, the iconic kids toy brand celebrates 60 years this week!!  60 years of kids playing with those bright yellow cans and with only 4 colours to start it with, they now offer over 50 colours today.

With their 60th Birthday this friday, 16th September,  we decided to celebrate this all time classic toy by… throwing Play -Doh a party! 60 years is a phenomenal achievement, so we even organised a Katherine Sabbath inspired cake.

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Toy of the month – August 2016

August in Sydney can be quite a dreary month, it can be wet, super cold with windy days and only sometimes a glimpse of Spring in the air! But what I like about the last winter month is that you can still hibernate and enjoy all those indoor activities.

We go through our board games, we set up our wooden train set, do painting and I even taught the kids how to play marbles this month. We had the added joy of reviewing a beautiful wooden play theatre from the brilliant new toy store Happy Go Ducky. Such a perfect toy for those cold, rainy days indoors or just days when you want to stay inside and chill.

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Blog me happy – Four Cheeky Monkeys

Yay it’s Tuesday and another feature on an utterly inspiring and down right lovely blogger, Ness from Four Cheeky Monkeys.

I have adored Ness and her interior styling from afar for oh so long, I would see her pictures reposted all over Instagram and wonder where these amazing kids rooms where coming from. Her photography brings out the beauty in her children and their rooms.

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Kazoops – the best new kids tv show!

Is anyone else’s kids hooked on Kazoops? The brilliant new pre-school TV show on ABC KIDS that started on August 1st in Australia by the amazingly talented Cheeky Little Media.

Naturally of course,  I limit the amount of television and screen time the kids watch each week, however there are a few TV shows the kids adore and well ok I admit,  I secretly like watching too.  The newest one of them is Kazoops!

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Blog me happy – Captain + Co

There are many beautiful words to sum up the gorgeousness that is Kim from Captain + Co but it comes down to 5 main words – loving, clever, generous, kind, and hilariously funny! Ok that might be 5.5 words!  This lady continually has me in hysterics whenever I read her blog. Kim writes with wit, realism and truth about life as a mum to 2 beautiful girls, balancing a small business, battling PND, dealing with copy cats and so much more.

I am so thrilled as Kim is my “blogger behind the brand” for this week’s Blog me happy feature! I have adored her since we met in person back in 2014 and I have delighted in her journey as she whipped up a storm of pom poms, antlers and felted delights for Captain + Co. She was a champion of small business and built up a HUGE following in such a short space of time.

Then she did the unthinkable… Kim shut up her seriously popular shop this year, despite a legion of fans and customers. But was it really the unthinkable when she had 2 babes under 2? Or was it actually the best thing at the right time? Read on to find out.

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Midcentury Americana – Candylab Toys are back with a bang!

Oh yes Candylab Toys are back with another ahhmazing Kickstarter campaign this year! These guys seriously blow me away! Their company has been completely crowd funded through Kickstarter over the last 3 years and the wooden cars that they have produced are pretty darn phenomenal. Yep that is a big word, but it is rightly deserved, because these guys are kicking it and their wooden toys rock!

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Toy of the month – July 2016

Rainbows for me are one of the most beautiful things you can see in nature, all the colours sparkling bright across the sky. You want to chase it to find where it ends!

They are wonderfully inspiring and bring such positive vibes that I just had to own one for my own home. We all need a rainbow to live in our house, don’t we?

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How to Catch a Star – book inspired craft

Last week the boys and I decided to take on Early Learning 101‘s book challenge and create some children’s book inspired craft.

One of our favourite authors ever is Oliver Jeffers and we decided as we had lots of paper towel tubes that need recycling we would instead re-use these as rocket ships for “How to Catch a Star”.

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Seriously, the best milestone baby cards!

There are some absolutely brilliant new baby milestones cards that launched this month, Seriously Milestones, an Australian based company set up by mama Issy Kerr. All cards have been designed and produced here and showcase “real parenting moments”.

They are a humorous take on the gorgeous cutesy baby milestone cards that you see a lot on Instagram of late and I have to say I adore them! With and $1 from every box set being given to Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) donation, I think these are a brilliant and fun gift idea for any expecting mum.

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Blog me happy – Teacher Types

As part of a new series on my blog, “Blog me happy” I wanted to share with you my lovely readers, some of my favourites bloggers and give you a little insight into their lives, passions and their inspirations.

I am really excited about this new series and I cannot wait to inspire you as you get to know these hardworking, wonderful bloggers from around the world.

Why “Blog me happy” you ask? Mainly because blogging makes me happy, it makes these bloggers happy and finding new amazing blogs makes me happy. So it is just a big happiness blogger fest!

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Amazing new baby box!

 

As you know I love finding new and exciting gifts and toys for my gorgeous readers and one that I have just found out about, is so clever, I wish it was around when my boys were babes.

Tuutu Baby Box, is a pretty incredible gift idea born out of a traditional Finnish concept that has been around for over 78 years.

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Contact

Contact:

If you would like to contact me to tell me about a fab new toy product, new kids fashion label or gift inspiration then please email at [email protected]. I adore handmade and love supporting small business, so please feel free to drop me a line.

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Toy of the month – June 2016

Oh my gosh,  how have we already reached the middle of the year?!!! I can’t quite fathom how quickly this year has already gone, is anyone else feeling it? Time certainly flies and this year is certainly turning out to be a momentous one.

Luckily though I can distract you from the world changing news stories of late to share with you an utterly brilliant kids product Little Abstract art kit which was sent to me to review.

Created by South African born, Atlanta based artist Jeremy Brown, this art kit provides you with one of the coolest pieces of kids art around. Part art, part writing, part memento, part expression, together all four parts combine to give you a stunning piece of art to hang on your kids bedroom wall.

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Best new board book

I am super excited to let you know about the newest Goose Grease product which they recently launched, the (Not so) Blank Henry! board book and DIY family kit.

Not happy to settle with just producing their gorgeous handcrafted wooden peg dolls which are produced under fair trade conditions in  Bogotá, Colombia, Anna and Juan Donado, the amazing couple behind the brand, have now turned their passion and energy to a new element of their company, book publishing!

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A hustling flat lay!

I was so excited to attend a wonderful lunch today put on by the ever so inspiring Tracy Harris and her husband Karl who run Mums with Hustle.

Mums with Hustle is an amazing site dedicated to helping women get ahead in business with tips and tricks on marketing, growing your email list and weekly podcasts by supremely inspiring mamas.

It was a brilliant few hours meeting other women who have decided to start their own business or are looking to start their own business. They have taken that plunge into the small business world many whilst on maternity leave and they are rocking it.

I always love supporting mumpreneurs and those in small business as it these hard working, passionate and dedicated people that help to build a community rather than just a society.

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Spreading kindness

One of my favourite Instagram accounts  as well as blog is the utterly brilliant Hello, Wonderful, run by one Agnes Hsu, of the most amazing and creative Mama’s around, this blog will give you so many fun and clever ideas to craft, create and make. It is filled with so many great projects as well as a wonderful source of inspiration for food, DIY, birthday cards, presents and so much more. It really is a one stop inspiration of all things wonderful, hence the completely apt name!

Agnes and her daughter Alia have recently begun the Rainbow Rock project, which is all about painting rocks with a rainbow motif and then sending them out to the big wide world and spreading their message of kindness to others.

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Dollhouse makeovers

This week we decided to embark up on a little renovation mission with our Lille Huset dollhouse from Wild and Whimsical Things. We met Adrian who runs this brilliant online store via the utterly brilliant small biz course we are doing with Business School for Mums.

What I love about Adrian is the way she has selected toys in her store which are based around a child’s development. For each toy on her website she then has a list of skills the child will grow and develop from, when the child plays with the toy. Similar to how I write my “Toy of the month” where I look at the skills and development in terms of gross and fine motor skills etc for a toy, Adrian does the same and I love it! As a parent it is so helpful to be armed with this knowledge when choosing a toy or gift for a child, friend or niece/nephew.  She has definitely set herself apart from other online toy stores with this fab information and not to mention her toy selection is the bomb! Rock and Pebble, Maileg, Milton Ashby, Omy Design and Play, Lille Huset, Numero 74, ahh need i say more…

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Reaching the highest of heights in wooden toys!

As a toy blogger I see a lot of kids toys as you can imagine, but the ones I am always drawn to are ones that will last generations, ones that our children can enjoy, but also their children. In this very consumerist society, it can be easy to give your children toys upon toys upon plastic toys. But the ones that they will remember won’t be the plastic ones that break or run out of battery, but those that provide them with hours of imagination and wonder. The ones that are sturdy, robust and built to last, which is why I tend towards wooden toys. Aesthetically from a parent’s perspective they are beautiful to look at which is important as you will be seeing it daily,  but from a consumerist perspective, they are also ones that you know will survive the rough and tumble of children. They won’t be thrown in the bin because they no longer work!

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Wooden Toys – made in the USA

I wrote a blog feature last month all about Australian Wooden toys and I am very exciting to start looking around the world at what other countries makers and creators are designing and producing for our children in terms of sustainable heirloom wooden toys.

This month, we travel to the grand ol USA! And gosh there is so much going on here, it was really hard to make a decision on the curated goodness coming out of the US. I think I will need to do another one very soon.

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Toy of the month – April 2016

Oh my I am so excited for this month’s toy review as it means so many things to me. As you may know from my Instagram account I am rather keen doll enthusiast. They make me go all swoony and weak at the knees (sorry hubby) !

I honestly love handmade dolls and I am not quite sure where my obsession started. As a child more than likely as my Mum, Nana, Grandma and Aunts were and are all makers, knitters, doll makers, quilters, weavers, sewers, artists and spinners, and being around such creativity from a young age, I think it is in my blood. I love to support such handmade beauty and the people who create them. 

And so it is that I was honoured to receive and review this months’ “Toy of the month” from one of my favourite Australian doll makers These Little Treasures. Dainy creates the most magical & divine dolls and this month I have the pleasure to review her doll making kit, Mini Friends – 2 Dolls Kit – Lola and Lenny

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Meet the Maker – Maja Säfström

Art as we all know is very subjective, what one person sees in a drawing, the next person may not. However, my experience in looking at art, whether it be drawings, paintings, sculptures or installations, is that the viewer will usually know straight away if they like the piece of art or not. It will stir in them a passion, a raw emotion, a reminder of the past or a feeling in the present, but a sensation nonetheless.

Swedish based Maja Säfström is one of those artists. Her approach to illustrating is full of wit and humour, it makes you smile even if you are having a long, frantic, horrible day.

Each drawing is quirky, usually of animals, mainly monochromatic but always so stunningly simple and funny. You can spend hours lost in her world of drawings and not to mention laugh deeply to the little quotes that sometimes go with it. I can imagine to have a coffee with Maja or even better a glass of wine, would entail a sore tummy from all the laughter she would provide you with.

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Australian Wooden Toys

I have to say in looking for handmade and wooden toys over the past 2 years for my blog, it has honestly been quite a struggle. There are a lot of wooden toys but all made by the big companies; Plan Toys, Hape, Melissa and Doug, Janod and Kidkraft to name a few.  We love our Hape & Plan Toys but not all the companies produce solid wood toys, many are made of MDF, which isn’t sturdy and if it is painted, then it chips easily.

However, just in the past year, there has been an absolute resurgence in handmade and wooden toys.  And I can proudly say there are so many handmade and heirloom made toys being made right here in Australia, many in lovely mamas and papas homes! Woohoo!

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Rose and Rex

OoohI am just so excited that Rose and Rex have finally launched their online shop!! Yippee and hip hip hooray!!

With teacher curated toys and an emphasis on eco- friendly, heirloom quality and design led toys, this stunning new store is a toy store filled with all my toy dreams!

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Toy of the month – March 2016

Oh my how are we already March with April looming! Life with kids especially school kids, makes your weeks zoom at a hundred kilometres an hour, don’t you think?!

For my “Toy of the month” for March, I am reviewing a wonderful new brand Golly Family, created by the loveliest Gaby Suhl, an Argentinian who has been based in New Zealand for the past 8 years.

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Nununu – minimalist design magic

When dressing my boys I like to mix up bold prints with minimalist colours, one brand I have been going to for the last few years has been Nununu, the brilliant Israeli brand which season after season brings out perfectly designed clothes that are timeless, yet on trend and always with the same beautiful quality.

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Meet the Maker- Fabels out of Vintage

One of my favourite things about blogging is finding beautiful new products that I can then let you, my readers, know about, whether it be toys, decor, or clothing.

I get super excited with little butterflies in my stomach when I find a product or piece that I fall in love with and is wonderfully unique and stunning too! Such was the case when I discovered the gorgeous new dutch label Fabels out of Vintage, earlier this year.

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Toy of the month – February 2016

This month’s toy review is about a reinvented and remastered take on an old classic, the block. Yes the wooden block has been given a completely new, updated and very much needed revamp. It has moved the block beyond just stacking and building and into a whole new world of engineered construction.

This “Toy of the month” is the utterly brilliant Bokah Blocks and these wooden blocks are so ingenious that we were blown away by them in our Kids Gifts and Toys household.

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Meet the maker – Two Little Ducklings

As I look to embark on setting up a new business this year, I thought for my blog, I would seek inspiration from other mums and woman who have already done this and most importantly, succeeded!

Hopefully hearing their story can not only inspire my procrastinating little body to be given a kick up the behind, but perhaps motivate my readers to also step outside your comfort zone and take that leap of faith!

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Mint Rhapsody – gorgeous kids decor

One of my favourite Australian brands over the last year and one I put on my “one to watch” for 2015 is Mint Rhapsody.

Sam and Laura, a husband and wife team based in Victoria, Australia, they have their finger on the pulse and are pulling out some seriously stunning pieces of kids decor and toys.

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