Imagine this: two children quietly playing and getting along while they create Pinterest-perfect handprinted rainbows with a sprinkle of glitter-bliss and a touch of whimsy with a well-placed sticky star. It’s beautiful. Now, step out of this dream world and into mine.
Glitter is spewed all over the room, covering everything in sight (and somehow out of sight as well), glue matted into long locks of hair, crying and screaming about something to do with breathing the same air, and a toddler somehow munching on playdough hiding in the corner. This is craft time, and I prefer to stay away from it. We will do stickers, and cut up paper, but with one child who insists on licking and smelling everything she touches (I am reminded of the Canadian Mountie on “Due South”), it isn’t a common occurrence.
I mean, I’m already cleaning up a million other messes I didn’t create, so why add one more? Plus the fact that the stickers ran out months ago, yet we still find them stuck on the bottom of our feet and go out shopping with an unknown, albeit well-placed one on our backside every now and then.
Its not that my kids don’t have fun, oh believe me they do! Our house is a living musical most of the day quite literally (my oldest has a knack for singing about everything she does, all whilst dancing around the room). I prefer a more controlled medium when we do our creative masterpieces.
One of the wonderful Crayola inventions I discovered last Christmas was “Color Wonder”. A mess-free, markers only draw on the special papers provided, colouring experience. Crayola has a whole range of mess-free options in addition to markers, and I’m really keen to try a bunch of them even looked up Melissa and Doug brand’s mess-free glitter crafts. My girls would love to try these! So, mothers who fear craft and creative times, have no fear, Color Wonder is here! Join with me in a standing ovation for the sanity it saves for us terrible mums who hate the mess and risks of ingestion associated with all the other typical craft activities!
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Mummy Confession: I get giddy over a number of things I purchase for my kids, even more so if it’s a good deal. The Bonds Zippy Wondersuit has my eye recently.
The most recent item I am gushing over is the Bonds Zip Wondersuit. The classic Australian baby clothing staple. It’s amazing and adorable! Bonds have such a range of different prints and are always coming out with something new. They even have short sleeve and summer zippys that are great (not to mention tutus, leggings and other adorable clothing for babies, children, and adults)! The Bonds website ships nearly worldwide with decent shipping rates, and shipping Australia wide is free. Be sure to use Cashback sites, too, and earn back a percentage of your purchase! Swagbucks (for US and Australia) and Cashrewards (Australia) both do Cashback for Bonds online.
Let me tell you why this is such a great item, whether you’re buying for your baby or gifting for someone else. The Wondersuit starts in a size 0000 (newborn size) and goes up to sizes 2 and 3, and most recently the sizing is pretty generous. The arms and LEGS fold over on the sizes up to 0 (6-12 months), and just the feet fold over to make footie PJs basically, on the larger sizes. These features make the clothing last a while, because you can start off folding the feet over and then eventually stop as they grow.
The two way zip makes changes for bubs go smoother, too. You can use the zipper at the top or the bottom to open the suit. Need to change bub’s Nappy, but don’t want to take the whole thing off? No problem! Unzip the bottom and change away! Did you underestimate the mess inside? That’s fine, just zip each zipper about half way and take the suit off either over their head or over their bottom half. No worries!
Another great thing about the Wondersuit is that this, like similar Bonds baby clothing products, hold a higher resell value than most baby clothes (at least here in Australia), which is great for us mummies who are cruising the buy/sell groups and looking to destash on smaller sizes as our kids grow, or find a good bargain on good quality (and adorable) clothing!
Bonds is constantly releasing new prints for the Wondersuit which makes it all the more fun to collect them all! Some are only sold online, while others may only be found in certain Australian retailers. There are even buy/sell groups dedicated to helping people to find ones that may not be available anymore or currently in stock online. To see the Bonds Wondersuit in action, check out the YouTube video here or watch below!
*This article is done purely of my own accord and is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Bonds. I have not been compensated for any advertisement here and the opinions stated here are solely my own* see my disclosure policy as this post contains affiliate links.
Mummy Confession: I like to get out of the house alone. Or with someone who knows how to wipe their own butt as a minimum requirement…
….but when I do, I’m stressing about something BECAUSE I am alone.
I’m sorry to whoever celebrates potty training like it is an absolutely astronomical milestone, because I disagree. It is a big milestone, yes, but the truly humongous one comes when your child can use the toilet completely unassisted, and remembers to wash their hands (this last part is very important…especially when they insist “but they didn’t touch the toilet, so they don’t need to”).
We still haven’t gotten there yet. But I digress.
Usually my leaving the house alone is done in order to pay a bill, do grocery shopping, or otherwise maintain the household. (Don’t worry, I leave the kids in the watchful care of people I know and trust.) I think any parent would agree that it is essential to have some time where you are not on edge about who needs to get changed, use the bathroom, or which child has wandered off to practise their hand-eye coordination skills with the shiny new ceramics.
But it seems whenever I do venture without the little munchkins, I need to make sure I haven’t just left them somewhere. Because, you know, I would do that. This paranoid mum moment causes me to send a message to whomever is watching the children asking how they are doing (masked assurance that I haven’t just left them in the car and actually DID drop them at Grandma’s). After the return message of how great they are with an attached photo of a sleeping child is seen, a part of me calms down. Somewhere in the background though, I have a timer running for how much longer I can actually stay out, because, I mean, they are MY kids and I shouldn’t force someone else to watch them for an extended period.
As long as I have been a mother, I can’t seem to leave them for too long without feeling guilty that I am shucking my responsibilities. I yearn for that time alone, yet when I finally get it, I miss my babies. As crazy and hyperactive as they have been, and as frustrating as they were beforehand is forgotten, and is replaced with a longing to cuddle and smother them in kisses. This internal struggle continues on repeat from the first moment I held my baby in my arms.
As for the paranoia, I’m certain this is the prelude to the mothers’ over-reaction of “they must be dead if they don’t respond within 5 minutes” in every communicative situation. I’m turning into that mother.
(This article is current as of May 12, 2017)
Mummy Confession: I’m an avid deal-seeker on anything and everything I buy, and I like to pass the ways I’ve found to save and even make a little back on, too!
Disclosure– For some of these links (Survey and Cashback sites), I will receive points or rewards for friend referrals. This in no way affects my opinions of these pages, and I have only posted ones from which I have actually redeemed and received rewards from already, so I know they are legitimate sites. If you do not want to use the links below, feel free to type their page into your browser and sign up that way 🙂 This post also contains affiliate banners and links. See my disclosure policy for details.
Look around, Google search, and compare prices.
It’s obvious I guess, but it is supposing how big the range is in pricing for the same thing!
I usually start my search at local retailers, and wind up at Amazon.com either for comparison (and to see if it ships here), and reviews. Be aware though, anything purchased internationally as far as electronics go will have a different plug, and DVDs/Blu Rays and video games will possibly be incompatible with your country’s systems.
Use promo codes, coupons, and look for sales!
Again, Google! Retailmenot has a giant list of retailers all over the globe and what deals, promo codes, and coupons they have going.
Aussies, the Shopfully App, or Lasoo.com.au has a list of ads for various stores all in one place!
To the folks from the US, I’m not entirely sure if there is somewhere with all the stores’ various catalogues, I’m sure there is, but a basic search brings up http://www.catalogs.com as a reference (but feel free to fill me in on other options).
There are legitimate survey sites that pay you to take surveys, do product trials, and participate in panels. I prefer ones that do PayPal as an option, but most offer gift cards or online vouchers. Not sure if they are legitimate sites? Use Google to search to search and find out ratings, or ask a friend who has actually redeemed from sites.
Some companies are not legitimate, or will basically sell your information, causing your email to flood with spam and your phone to ring constantly with endless sales from random places. I have included a list below this post to sites I have used and redeemed from before. Please be careful though in giving out your personal information, and never disclose your credit card details to companies, as they have no need for this information.
Toluna , this website for surveys is worldwide I believe, and they offer various rewards including PayPal (but it does take a while to process). They also do product testing. Opinion World, this site is Australia only, and they offer options for PayPal and Amazon gift card rewards in addition to other gift cards My Opinions, this site is Australian only, and they offer the options for PayPal and other gift card rewards. Bounty Rewards, this site is Australian only, and they offer options of various gift card rewards. They also have a way to earn by shopping online.
Another that promises to be a good one is Octopus Group. I will edit the information here when I find out more information, or have redeemed any credit. 🙂
(As of March 27, I have not yet redeemed anything with this, as the surveys are very limited at the moment)
Free Trial Periods
A noteable mention, I might add, are the free trial periods for many services (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and various others). Rather than pay straight off for various subscriptions and services, save a penny or two by utilising the free trial period across various services and products. You may love something, or decide not to continue afterwards, but many things are worth trying, especially if it is no cost to you. Just be sure to keep track of the renewal date if you wish to cancel the service or products.
Free Stuff! What’s better? Many companies will give samples of their products all you need to do is contact them! Couldn’t hurt, right? For a list of samples, check out here.
Cashback Apps/Cashback Websites
Whenever you shop online, check these out! You can earn a percentage of what you spend back! All that you need to do is start at their website, and click through to shop and purchase. I usually have everything in my trolley (cart) before I go to my cashback site and then merely select the store and check out. (Be sure you only have the one window open where you have clicked through to get the Cashback credit.)
I can only speak for a couple different ones, but the small amounts do add up, and it’s always nice having a little bit of extra money to spend elsewhere.
Cash Rewards has a variety of different retailers, and you can earn a decent amount by doing your grocery shopping online for the first time! Cashback is given after a certain timeframe has passed, and can be transferred into your bank account. RewardsCentral, which is also a survey site, also has a shopping online feature where is the second place I look for stores. They offer either gift vouchers or Cashback into your PayPal account. In Australia, Flybuys and other rewards programs also offer points for clicking from their store through to purchase, which can be used for in-store or online store purchases within their group of stores, or redeemed for gift vouchers.
For my US purchases, I use Ebates which is only valid for US stores, and the rewards are only valid in US stores and I believe shipping to the States, so I don’t use it often. By signing up through the referral link, you can earn $10 to start you on your Cashback journey!
I have also heard good things about Swagbucks, but haven’t really used them often. You get points for referring friends, and it seems to be good if you refer a lot of people, because you earn Swagbucks for their purchases as well! They do Cashback from websites as well as completing various actions, watching videos, doing surveys and more. It seems to be international, too!
I also know there is Ibotta, but this is only available in the US, so I am unable to give any more information on that.
Cashback Sites (click through to the retailer and make a purchase): Ebates (American stores mostly) Swag bucks (America AND Australian stores)
(be aware, signing up with newsletters from them, they do tend to send a LOT of emails):
Websites such as Zulily, OzSale, Scoopon, and Catch of the Day.
There are also places out there which offer many stores’ products on their website, or group deals to various activities. The shipping rates for these pages are usually higher, but sometimes they have items you have a harder time finding elsewhere! Also, you can click through to a few of them using a Cashback site, so you can earn a little back that way as well.
Buy/Sell/Swap Pages and Sale Sites
Got that chair in the lounge room you’re really not fond of, but don’t want to go through the hassle of moving it? Buy/sell pages. That stockpile of baby clothes that have been sitting there outgrown and no time to sort them? Buy/sell pages. Pre-baby wardrobe you’ve given up all hope of ever fitting again? Buy/sell pages. The pair of shoes you got off EBay that are way too big, but would mean losing half the money in return postage? Buy/sell pages. Whether you use Gumtree, Craigslist, EBay, or Facebook buy/sell (occasionally buy/sell/swap) pages, there is a whole new way people are helping people save money on pre-loved and even new things! From toys and clothes to cars and TVs, you can find almost anything on these sites!
My most recently loved pages are local buy/sell Facebook pages. Since people are using Facebook for a lot nowadays, this seems like a great option for those of us who want to do some spring cleaning, or even just make a little pocket change rather than just tossing those perfectly wearable high-heels.
If you don’t care about the money side of things, list for free, and have someone take it off your hands. If all else fails, find somewhere to donate the useable items, so you can help someone else who may need them 🙂
I like the local pages over sites like gumtree or Craigslist, because you can usually put a face to the name, and admins help to monitor the pages. Remember though, whenever using these pages, not everyone may be who they say they are, so proceed with a little caution.
Borrow/Lending For a Little Extra Money
One more amazing addition to this sector is Tree Hut Village! For Australia only at the moment, you can find local Baby equipment to borrow. For making a little back, list your barely used baby equipment for lending! Great for lenders and borrowers alike! This would be great for when you take a trip interstate and would prefer to borrow equipment nearby, rather than take it all the way along with you. I haven’t personally used it yet, but I have listed a few things, and look forward to the results!
I am sure there have to be other places that do this sort of thing, so feel free to pop a comment in the “contact me” box if you have used any services like this before!
Reputable pages for this that I have used before are Mums Say by Kidspot (Australia), Social Soup (Australia only) or the Home Tester Club (and the US site for Home Tester Club). You aren’t paid or rewarded as far as I have seen, but you get free samples of products to review and in turn give a review of the products. Black Box has also started a monthly product testing box as well. Link is on the free samples page. Toluna also offers product testing on their page, it’s just a matter of signing up and getting approved for one. I have carried out one product test with them.
Mums from the US, Australia, and the world…what money saving tips and websites can you recommend?
Mummy Confession:I’m new to this whole Blog thing. This is my first post.
This alone has taken me days to get underway. 😂
G’day blog world. The name’s Amanda and I’m a downright, fair-dinkum American-Australian. My story is probably a tad complicated, but in the middle somewhere was a simple thought nearly every American teenager has in science or math class, “Who on earth uses the metric system in REAL life? There is no way I will ever use this! It’s not like I’m going to be a scientist or mathematician.”
Well, let me tell you who uses it: Australians (among many other countries of course).
Let me just say, Google is amazing for converting metrics. But I digress…
I’m a wife, a mother, and at times what seems like a circus ringleader. I’m an expert in nothing, and an student in everything. I’m sure I’m enrolled in classes I don’t even know about yet.
I’ve started this up to share the little things I’ve managed to learn in my measly 4 1/2 years of being a mum in addition to humourous accounts from everyday life, and recommendations of products and services I have found useful along the way.
I value your input as well, as I know we all have different experiences and can surely use all the help we can get in raising our little squishes into well-adjusted and amazing big people!
I’m looking forward to starting this journey with you!
Just so you know, I am involved in a few affiliate programs which earn me a little back for qualifying transactions. More information can be found in the Disclosure Policy.