Wednesday, 17 January 2018

8 things to look for when choosing the perfect school shoes for your School kids


This post is in collaboration with Colorado Shoes 

Schools back in 2 weeks and it’s that time of the School holidays that we need to start organising what we need for School to survive that daily rush that we have so delightfully enjoyed to live without. School terms are hectic right? Personally, I just made it through the end of last year with all the drop off’s, pick up’s, concerts, after school activities, the list is endless. This year I’d like to feel a bit more on top of everything before we start, especially with a new baby coming soon. I need to make sure we have everything for school ready to go for the first day and beyond so every day runs as smooth as possible; School shoes, lunch boxes, drink bottles, hat, school bag, pencil case, school books and necessary accessories and lots of pairs of socks! Getting new school shoes that fit well and are super comfortable for our children have been the priority this past week.

Fitting this in before the School rush starts for the year again is so important and we’re really happy finding Colorado shoes for our kids as they’re really built to last unlike other shoes on the market that we have tried. What is great about Colorado Shoes is that they work with a team of leading Aussie podiatrists and experts to develop and design their range that focus on 8 critical points of school shoe construction to create a range that delivers everything that kids feet and school shoes require. I want to share these 8 points with all Mums as I think they’re such important factors to look for when choosing the perfect shoe for your child, to last the big year at school. I really think there is nothing worse that replacing school shoes before they are outgrown or children wearing shoes that don’t support them in the right way. Children grow and I really believe their little bodies need to be supported in the correct way from the ground up and that means wearing good quality shoes.


Here’s what to look for when choosing a school shoe for your child and the 8 point podiatry check list from Colorado Shoes:
  1. Removable insole : This customises the amount of room in the shoe to ensure a personalised width fit. 
  2. Heel Support : Secures the ankle and orthotics for controlled motion and movement and reduced irritation.
  3. Contoured arch : Supports various shaped feet for added comfort and less ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain.
  4. Torsional Stability : Allows for normal motion while restricting excessive twisting that leads to tired feet and legs.
  5. Secure fastening : Keeps the foot in place, eliminating irritation from feet sliding within the shoe.
  6. Forefoot Flex : Enables the shoe to flex, following the natural movement of your step.
  7. Shaped Toe Box : Ample width, depth and height to give toes room to flex and move irritation-free.
  8. Impact Cushioning : Reduces impact that causes stress to the ankles, knees, hips and lower back.

With all these points in mind, our Princess Pia chose the GLORY school shoe  and Sunny will be wearing the REFLECT Jnr E school shoe. We love both of these shoes also as there’s no struggle with laces, super easy to  put on and off with the Velcro strap, which makes life much easier for me too.

So are you ready to get back into the school term? What do you have left on the list of things to do before School goes back?


Shop the Colorado range and make the most of their current back to school SALE – 20% off PLUS Get the second pair of shoes half price {use code 2NDPAIRHALF at check out}. It includes sports shoes too which is handy. Click here http://bit.ly/coloradoschoolshoes18 for more info.

Disclaimer: This Post is in partnership with Colorado, but all words and thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

My knee surgery experience in a private hospital


This post is supported by APHA

I have always been active, I’m obsessed with Dance, love most sports and would jump into any team to get out of doing ‘homework time’ at boarding school while I was growing up. I was 18 years old when I had my first knee pain. I’d moved home for uni holidays and had been doing a lot of aerobics and my knee suffered a lateral meniscus tear. I saw quite a few different health practitioners about it and I was led in every which way. What started as pain in my knee, led to pain in my ankles and hips from allowing my body to over compensate for the original injury that I thought would never be fixed. Until months of things getting worse, finally an amazing physio suggested it was the meniscus…Thank goodness for him because I was so over the whole thing and I thought my active lifestyle would be over forever by such a trivial injury. Once we got the scans, we were referred to a knee specialist.

Growing up around the snow and having quite a few skier friends who had suffered the worst of knee injuries, my mum and I researched, taking some amazing recommendations of who the best person to see for my knee would be. This is the bonus of having private health insurance, we get to choose which doctor we want to see and know he or she is the best for us or our condition.
Within the week, we road tripped up to Sydney to see this Doctor that was perfect. The appointment was great, my knee was moved around a little and he confirmed that is was the meniscus and it would be best to operate for me to have the best movement going into the future and my life would be pretty much back to it’s old, active, young self.
The Doctor put my mind at ease, but the punch line of the whole appointment was; “Ok, so would you like to come in on Thursday?”
HUHHHHH???? Thursday? Like Thursday in 2 days? It was Tuesday! That blew my mind. I knew friends that had waited on lists for years for their knee surgeries through the public system. YEARS! And I could get mine done with only 2 days waiting period??? All because of private health insurance! I couldn’t fathom how incredible this was and how grateful I was to have been in private health insurance.

My mum had always made it a priority in our family. And I can tell you we didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but Mum had priorities for us kids and private health insurance was one of them. Growing up in the country, we have access to doctors and a public hospital but it’s considered rural so if anything goes wrong, we need to be taken straight to the bigger hospitals for the better resources. I don’t know whether, because of that, a lot of people in the area believe that they don’t need private health insurance, simply because we don’t have a private hospital down here. It confuses me as it makes me believe that it’s all the more reason we need to make it a priority so we can have the choice and not be limited to the long waiting periods that some may think they have to endure. We all have choices and it’s ok to travel.

So Thursday morning came, I fasted, and Mum and I headed over the bridge to check in to my hotel room … hmm hmm I mean hospital room. The whole experience was amazing; from entry, the waiting room was just beautiful, the staff were so welcoming and lovely and I felt so at ease going into my first every surgery as it can be a really scary thing. I just didn’t feel like I was walking into a big, overworked hospital, but instead walking into somewhere that I felt like I was someone and they cared.
I remember waking up from surgery with happy smiles by the incredible nurses and being looked after really well. The whole experience was really great and even though I definitely don’t recommend injuring your knees, I do recommend using private health insurance and the benefit of private hospitals.

For more information on private hospitals, visit http://privatehospitals.org.au 


Sunday, 17 December 2017

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE : Last minute gifts !

Nothing like last minute gifts to make your loved ones feel super special right? Here are some of our favourites. Happy shopping!

Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR is the world’s slimmest wrist-based, continuous heart rate tracking device combining the benefits of PurePulse® heart rate technology, automatic exercise recognition, sleep tracking, battery life of up to seven days and smart notifications in a slim, versatile design that is easily customised to fit your style.  (RRP: $249.95 BUT IN SALE RIGHT NOW for 40% OFF!) 
https://www.fitbit.com/


Aussie home-grown headphone brand Audiofly has released its new wireless Bluetooth headphone range. Perfect for everyday Australians who are always on-the-go and are after a pair of durable earphones to fuel their run or workout, the offerings from Audiofly are sweat resistant, lightweight and durable. Sitting comfortably in your ears, while remaining stylish and out of the way, the headphones recreate your favourite tracks in clarity so you can run, walk or lift weights alongside your favourite artists and more!
AF33W – RRP $59.99
https://www.jbhifi.com.au/


Woodfolk Tote Bags | RRP $85 each from woodfolk.com.au 
Made in collaboration with a women’s co-op in Kathmandu, these 100% cotton, hand-loomed bags are roomy, light-weight, and comfortable to wear. Available in a range of gorgeous colours including Strawberry & Stone, Demin & Charcoal and Blue & Stone, these handy tote bags are perfect to carry your active wear, beach belongings or shopping items for when you’re out and about. This is a must-have gift for the fashion forward and ethically inclined!


Belkin Fitness Armband for iPhone 7 + 7 Plus | RRP $59.95 | Belkin.com.au
Go the extra mile this Christmas with the slim and stylish Belkin Fitness Armband. The perfect stocking filler for any fitness buff, the Fitness Armband features a slim and breathable strap, highly reflective safety strips and a built-in case. Quick and easy access to your iPhone makes this ideal for snapping a scenic photo or changing your playlist on the go. Sweat-resistant and easily hand washable, this armband was built for everyday use and any type of workout! 



Milky Foot, a luxurious at-home pedicure treatment, which removes hardened skin through its intense peeling action after just one application.
Their range is formulated with milk ferment filtrate and mandelic acid (derived from almond milk), and it’s ideal for people wanting to avoid the time (or money) for salon pedicures, or seeking to prolong the benefits of pedicures. 
https://www.yourchemistshop.com.au



CameLife Skincare - a new premium skincare range in Australia, using the world's oldest Superfood, Camel Milk, to nourish and revitalise your skin. 
The CameLife Skincare range introduces a gentle cleansing bar, nourishing body mousse, as well as restorative eye, face and night creams. The range is blended with natural ingredients including Avocado, Argan and sweet Almond oils ensuring essential vitamins and proteins are efficiently absorbed into theskin for amazing results. 


Chandon S is a sparkling wine which has a refreshingly unexpected twist on the classic champagne cocktail. Created following the traditional French methode traditionnelle champagne making process, Chandon S adds a unique twist and has been created using seven natural, high quality, local ingredients including blood orange and navel orange peel, gentian root, fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and green cardamom. The distinctive hand-crafted orange bitters in Chandon S were developed and made by the winemakers at the Chandon winery in the Yarra Valley. To develop this, Chandon Australia winemakers experimented with a range of herbs, spices, citrus rinds and berries before settling on orange as the primary flavour as it was the most refreshing! The process took many hours of trials and more than 300 kilograms of hand peeled oranges!!
Available at Dan Murphy’s, BWS. You can also enjoy Chandon S at a range of great venues around the country, find a location near you http://chandon-s.com/.
RRP: $29 per bottle

Monday, 11 December 2017

Why I’ve decided to have my baby in a private hospital

Our Beautiful Sunny at 8 days old.

This post is supported by Australian Private Hospital Association

Having three beautiful children and now being pregnant with my fourth, it’s safe to say I’ve had a mixture of birth experiences. From the public hospital experience to the private hospital experience, from C-section to induction, to natural birth, I’ve been lucky enough to experience them all and this means I know what I love and don’t love at all.

When I became pregnant with my third baby, Miss Mabel, we were pretty tight for cash. My husband was about to leave his job of 15 years and we were about to take on a huge move to the country side. After having an incredible private hospital experience having our boy Sunny a couple of years before;  I loved having a private room as it allowed more time to rest and gave more private space for all our visitors and the food was much better. Along with that, it was such a high quality of care, the midwives and nurses were all on the same page with their advice and knowledge and were so supportive with my personal needs. I felt truly cared for and not just another number on the list.

I remember telling myself that it was ok to go public to have this baby to save the money and that I’d had my private experience and it was just selfish of me to do the private thing as it was only so I could have my private room afterwards. But then I went to my GP who I loved, and I was weighing up my options. She looked at me straight in the eyes and said; “Cass, this is your third child, you’re going for VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean), you have to do this properly, you’re going private!”.

It all made sense then, I had to look out for the best interests of my whole family, not just myself and this meant I had to bring a healthy baby home and a healthy Mum. That was it, there was no question, I was to go back to my reliable obstetrician that I trusted so dearly and have my baby through the private system. Doing that wasn’t just because I wanted my own private room, post birth, even though that was nice, but it was for the care I knew I would receive through pregnancy, birth and beyond. When you have a baby in a private hospital, you choose your doctor. This was so important to me - I wanted to feel supported and guided in the best way possible to have the most successful VBAC experience.

VBACs aren’t easy and they need to be carefully monitored and not all doctors are supportive as VBACs can be dangerous. If for any reason it was not going to end up the way I wanted it to and I needed another C-section, I wanted to know the doctor that would be performing the surgery. The thought of anyone cutting into me and not knowing their background totally freaked me out. It’s major surgery! This meant I needed a doctor that knew my history and my needs and could support me with what I wanted to do as it’s my body after all.

The obstetrician involved in Sunny’s birth performed the original C-section so she knew what my body could go through and could support me in this. I wanted every chance for a VBAC but I also needed to know we were in safe hands for a healthy outcome, whatever that would end up being.

This meant we needed to keep our private health insurance obstetrics cover and make it a priority. The reality is that health insurance is an expense, having a baby is an expense, especially with a tribe of children in tow, but in our family life there are expenses we can’t live without and this is one of them. Health is so important, and we just didn’t want to risk anything now or in the future for ourselves or our children. For us, private hospital cover is a necessity!

Now that this is baby number 4, there is absolutely no question, we will be heading back to the 'big smoke’ to birth our next little bundle. It’s not easy to organise but it’s every bit worth it for our peace of mind and the incredible care that we receive!

Where did you have your babies? We’d love to hear your experiences.
For more information on private hospitals, visit http://privatehospitals.org.au 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: Fun Gifts for kids

Christmas so soon already? It's such a busy time of year isn't it? We have had ballet concerts, school presentations, preschool parties, the list goes on and it's not over. Finding gifts for the little ones can be a bit overwhelming when you feel like they already have everything they need. I am going through this, this year, I feel like they have all they need and I'm attempting to make life more simple. We just have too much stuff and the mess is a constant battle. So before Christmas we will be doing a bit of a clean out and sending the least loved toys and things to charity and make a little room for a couple of new things that the kids would love. Here are 10 things my children love to play with or are on their wish lists this year.


KAPLA is a wooden construction toy 
Kapla is made up of a set of identical planks made from French pine. KAPLA is made out of 100 % untreated wood. KAPLA is an educational tool and is used in many schools all over the world. The game possesses a high educational value. Building with KAPLA enhances a child’s creativity and develops his/her architectural skills as it contains basic elements of both architecture and creative arts and crafts.


Sunhouse kids wetsuit
Rethinking kids wetsuits, Sunhouse have added unique and innovative value to the traditional design, making young families lives easier when it counts. A world first for little people wetsuits, they feature a front double zipper to make changing a quick and effortless experience. Secondly, back arm zips enable hassle-free, long-sleeve protection with ease. Both of these perks combine with the best manufacturing and materials you can find, to bring you the highest quality and the most innovative wetsuit for kids out there. They look awesome too. Miss Mabel loves her Sunhouse wetsuit!
https://www.sunhousepeople.com/shop/kids-wetsuit

Crayon Rocks Muslin Bag - 16 Colours
These beautiful Crayon Rocks are made from natural soy wax, palm oil free and encourage a tripod grip, which assists in the development of fine motor skills and handwriting technique. Easy to hold and fun to draw and colour with. Contains 16 crayons.



Everearth Ramp Racer
This ramp racer is made out of 100% FSC Certified wood and painted with non-toxic water-based paint. This eco-friendly toy gives hours of unplugged fun and helps to build concentration and hand-eye coordination. Includes 4 cars. Ages 18+ months.
www.biome.com.au



No Nasties Pretty Play Makeup - Nala 10 piece Lavender/Pink
Palm oil free and An all-natural play makeup set perfect for those little ones who love to dress up and try Mum's makeup on. No Nasties Pretty Play Makeup is handmade in Australia. Includes 3 eye shadows (Lavender, Pink, White), 1 dusty rose  blush, 1 shimmer balm, 1 pinky rose lip balm, 1 applicator sponge, 2 double-sided brushes and 1 play mirror.


CHEEKI 350ML FOOD JARS SCOOTER
Comes with BPA-Free, Leak-proof Lid.
Double walled and vacuum insulated these child-friendly food jars are versatile and leak proof. Great for lunch box salads, fruit, soups, pasta or noodles they keep contents hot for up to 5 hours or fresh and cold for up to 5 hours. The 350ml jars are perfect for child-size lunches. A larger 480ml Food Jar is more suitable for adult size meals.

BRIO CLASSIC RAILWAY
You grew up playing with classic wooden toy sets, spending endless hours creating exciting stories and fun scenarios to act out with the toys.
Brio is throwing it back to the golden days with its Classic Railway set, designed for endless hours of family fun.


Small Raised Garden Bed




SmarTrike® new smarTfoldTM
This is exciting as it's extremely versatile designed to grow with the child from 9 months – 3 years.
The new smart solution trikes, from the best-selling baby and toddler brand, is sure to be a big hit for mums/dads and bubs in Australia, as they are fully foldable (down to 85% less than the original size), portable and compact enough to fit into small spaces. This makes it the perfect travel accessory!
The smarTfoldTM comes in a various number of models: including the 400 and 500, which will be available in Australia from September onwards. Each trike from the smarTfoldTM line includes fantastic practical features, such as an overhead canopy, storage bags, accessory tray, and seat padding. The smarTfoldTM makes for an ideal investment item as it allows the trike to grow with the child from babyhood up to toddlerhood. http://www.smartrike.com/

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Choosing the perfect car for a big family


This post is supported by The NRMA

Big families mean big cars. It’s an interesting task, growing your family. It’s all fun and games when you’re creating kids but then the logistics of having to keep them can be a difficult task. I never wanted more than 2 children, after Sunny I was done. But then a couple of years later, this thing came over me and I just knew we needed another baby. It was then that I liked the idea of having 4 children, the family pictures online with any less just didn’t look comfy enough. I toyed with the idea but my husband was never sold, 3 was his number right from the beginning.

Then a year after having that perfect third child Miss Mabel, we were lucky enough to be gifted a surprise… YAY another baby. Hmmmm the idea was nice, the reality has totally freaked me out and put me in an overwhelming state where I now live, everyday. We don’t mind if the kids share rooms or we live on top of each other. We don’t mind cosy but we do need to cart this tribe around safely and this means we need cars that fit Soccer teams.

The Dad of the house currently has a 5 seater car that obviously won’t fit the whole crew and he’s been looking for something bigger for a little while. He’d love a land cruiser or a VW van. The problem with bigger cars is that they cost more money and having more children, you have less money to go around.

I’m a problem solver when it comes to making sure we have what we need and I like to make things work. I also like to make people happy so we’re still in research mode on how we can make this miracle happen.

Here are our 7 non-negotiables when we’re looking for a bigger car:

  1. It must have 7+ seats.
  2. It must have storage space for prams and other junk kids need on a daily basis.
  3. It must be a four wheel drive.
  4. It must be able to tow a boat.
  5. It must have less than 100K kms on the clock.
  6. Good service log book with a completed checklist for servicing, car history and repairs. 
  7. It must look reasonably pretty.

Using the NRMA’s car loan calculator, is the easiest way for us to find out our options, and give us affordable and flexible repayment methods, cool huh?
We have been members of the road side assistance for a while now but never considered NRMA for a car loan before. 

The application process looks great with no monthly fees, pre-approval within 5 business hours and funds available the next day. Eeeeekkkk! You can get a loan for a new or a used car and they offer a 21 day loan satisfaction guarantee. So if it’s not what you’re looking for, you can make other arrangements. It actually all seems just way too easy.
So now we have some more car research to do to make sure we find the perfect car for our ever so big and growing family. 

What are your top tips for buying a bigger car? Share with us in the comments. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Life Lately...


Well, I always seem to be inspired to write when I am overtired and a little bit grumpy. Should I apologise to you now or at the end of this post? Maybe just a warning; This post will not be inspiring but this is our reality. ALL TIRED MUMS UNITE! (Can we make up a hand pose for that?)

So tonight; after I'd got home from work, picked up the kids from their grandmas, gone to the shops to pick up food for dinner, and then cooked us the yummy Mexican feast for dinner (with kids attached) that my lovely husband had requested that morning, he waltz's in with cheer from his new job, celebrating the end of the work week with a box of Dan Murphy's delights to make Margaritas, to go with the Mexican fiesta that I had created. Wouldn't that be a nice gesture if I could actually have a drink right??? But no, I can't drink, because I'm pregnant with our fourth child so yes, it's a Mexican fiesta, party for one. In the hormonal, overtired state that I'm in, after the exhausting, stupidly busy week I've had, I'm pissed off! I can't help it. I can't sit there happily and talk about life while he's enjoying that margarita, that I would actually love to have a glass (or 2, or 3, or 4) of! So we eat dinner, I clean up, kids go to bed, he parties on and I take myself to bed with a block of chocolate and the bachelorette to catch up on, on my lap top. YAY FOR FRIDAY! Life is awesome right???

Perfect opportunity to write a blog post yes?

Hahaha it's safe to say a lot has gone on in the past few months. Yes, we are having another baby next year which will be an interesting feat. I've just hit the half way mark this week and I'm tired... I know I should be excited, I always liked the idea of 4 kids, but it's hard to be really excited when it's also so overwhelming. I know it will be wonderful, it will be hard, but it will be great so I'm holding onto that thought, through the exhaustion, up and down ongoing morning sickness and the scary thought of the amount of washing I'm going to have to deal with when they are all teenagers. It's going be wonderful!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before that I have a teaching degree is Dance and PDHPE; anyway, I've made some nice connections and have a job until the end of this year teaching PE and Health. It's really great and I'm loving the time at High School. It's nice to step out of the mum shoes every now and again. But it's also a major juggle; organising 3 kids into 3 different places every day,  it's crazy but we're surviving. I seriously take my hat off to all of you amazing working Mumma's! 

My husband also has a job here! I mean, he always works hard but after 2 years of working away, he has just scored a job in an area he is really passionate about and is 2 weeks in. It's really exciting for our family that he gets to come home every night. The kids are really stoked!

We renovated the kitchen and added a deck. FUN FUN FUN! Hmmmm not really that fun while we were doing it, renovating is crap but once it's done, it is so lovely. Kind of like child birth; it sucks while your going through it but when it's done, you really have created something beautiful! ;) 
I'll share some pictures with you over on Instagram. Our deck is so amazing, I just love it! And the kitchen, so bright, white and fresh now. We still have some painting, new carpet and some light fittings to update but it's all a work in progress. Give me another 2 years or so for that...

We have been here for 2 years! 2 years on the far south coast, far away from the traffic and noise. I am really loving it in this area. I never appreciated it as much as a teenager but coming back with kids it is lovely. I honestly feel so at peace living here and knowing everything we want to do here is so easy. Having little kids is a constant juggle and being in a place that feels nice and seems to simplify that craziness is really lovely. Going places and doing things just seems so much easier and less stressful and the sense of community that goes with it is amazing. I have no idea where the future will take us but for now, I am super happy just right here. 

We've started making a few of really good friends but it is hard when you've been away for so long and never kept very good connections. People have built good friendships over the years and we are kind of stepping into already well bound territory. I'm definitely meeting a lot of great people, and bumping into them a lot but we still don't get invited to a lot of stuff. It all takes time though and I'll keep getting out there and building the relationships that are forming. One of the best things I did do when we first moved here was have Mabel and go to her mothers group, new babies are definitely great ways to make new connections and this bunch of mums is pretty awesome. ;) 

One thing I'm really noticing in life lately is that having kids is busy, like uncomfortably busy. Busy is not that fun. It's fun to do fun stuff but running around to ballet, school, preschool, swimming, soccer, nippers, blah blah blah, isn't fun stuff. I love my kids so I will keep up the mothering but I'm going to try to keep the chaos to minimal where I can. Wish me luck???

Oh well, the days are long but the years fly past. We keep on going and we do the best job that we can. It's ime for an early night. 

How are you surviving these days of motherhood??? Would love to hear from you. 

Chat soon, Cass x
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