My Favourite Kids Gifts This Christmas

Mummy Confession: This year, the Christmas gifts were mostly needed clothes. But among that and other things given, these are my favourites.
(I was in no way compensated or endorsed for my opinions on these products.)
Gifts, kids gifts, toys, gift ideas, children, baby, baby toys, baby clothes, fisher price, bonds, avent, Nuby, wondersuit
Clothes, clothes, and more clothesfor my youngest, an assortment of blues it seems was my theme (can you tell my favourite colour)? Super cute car print dungarees from Best & Less, and of course Bonds Zippys in long sleeve (zig saggy print) and short sleeve (dinosaur print)! Little  Mister has been really itchy from unknown causes and has since started scratching, so the foldable sleeves in his size are so great! Typically, I can’t find bodysuits with the mittens still in, but the Wondersuit has them up to the 6-12month size!

The other littles got a gorgeous star print dress from H&M which has lovely fabric, and stars have to be a favourite around here! Also in my top gifts is a Bonds tutu which has a lovely blue and purple hue, matching another tutu bodysuit I have and love. Tutus are a much loved thing here for everyday wear. A personal favourite has to be the Cotton on Kids brand Unicorn Socks (which partly glow in the dark)! My kids with their love for stars, tutus and unicorns, Christmas was complete!

Handy and Fun Gifts– A living textile brand muslin wrap with car and bicycle print was a must have. This poor kid has all hues of pink and purple coloured blankets and I just wanted one thinner one to call his own. This one is a great big size, so it can be folded to be thicker, or draped over a pram or car seat to keep the sun off.

The Nuby brand bib with teether is another great gift, because the days of drooling have begun, and boy does this kid make it count! Such a cute, unisex design is good for boys and girls! I saw this and just HAD to get it, even with all the bibs he has already. The added teething bit is an amazing thought, as it gives a little distraction and relief from those pesky sore gums! Plus, it’s kept in a place where he can easily grab for it!

The Avent brand penguin sippy cup was just too adorable not to get! Summers here are hot, so it is great to have something handy for the more severe days in store. Everyone else got a water bottle this year, so I couldn’t leave the littlest out! Even better, these cups parts are interchangeable with various cups and bottles in the Avent range!

The Camelbak Eddy Water Bottle was suggested by my Mummy Forum Friends and rightly so! This bottle is spill proof and sturdy. It’s already been dropped countless times, and not a dent or spill because of that! It may be a little tricky for the smaller children to get the concept of the bite valve, but in my opinion, this lessens the chance of spilling, or pouring the bottle into plastic tea cups for a picnic with teddy.

The Fisher Price Sensory Activity Apple is by far my child’s favourite toy this Christmas! He won’t stop looking at it and playing with it! This little toy has crinkly and shaker noises, mirror, pocket, and the handy plastic clip to attach to nearly everything.

A little addition to fun toys is the Smiggle brand Pin Art toy. It’s plastic, so not as harsh as the metal ones you find typically as novelty items. A cute idea and goes back to simple toy times.

There were so many lovely gifts given and received this Christmas within our family, and these, though favourites, would not even begin to cover all that I am thankful for this season! I was truly grateful to be able to spend another Christmas with my beautiful family and make precious memories for years to come.

The Post Holiday Drama

Mummy Confession: I absolutely love the holidays, but I abhor the cleanup.

Holiday, holidays, drama, Toys, cleaning, mess, storage, organisation, sorting, baby, Parenting, motherhoodWe’re all in that post Christmas daze around our house, and it seems each step of getting through those post holiday dramas has to do with cleaning. All the extra new toys and thingamajigs received from those we love now need to find their place. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the cleanup. I would love my house to be neat and tidy. This never seems to happen, though, because, well, kids exist.

I’ve heard it said, “if you love cleaning up after parties you never attend, then you will love being a parent.”  Truth. So, to help those of you out who need it during this organising phase of the post-holiday time, I have compilied step by step of how it happens in our house. For this example, only two children exist.

1. Bring all the toys and their places to go in one room.

2. Proceed to dump out each box and storage compartment one by one, to sort as you go.

3. Have child A then dump out all remaining toys and whatchamacallits on the floor.

4. Tell child to leave the room

5. Child comes with 15 new toys she has hidden in the crevices of her bed and closet.

6. Put books into a pile, tell child B to take them back to the room and put away nicely where it belongs. (Child B never returns)

7. Sort through items one by one, putting in their various storage receptacles.

8. Have child A take out half of the toys you have put away to play, promising to put them back when they are finished.

9. Go check on child B to find books (including those given in step 6) strewn about the floor and child playing with 27 other toys that child A hadn’t found previously.

10. Sort books.

11. Take a break for lunch.

12. Deal with child crying because she stepped on a toy she didn’t put back where it belonged after she was finished playing.

13. Kiss boo-boo.

14. Take a break for the day and put storage containers to the side.

15. Resume day as normal and put kids in bed after dinner.

16.  Finally get all the toys sorted (total elapsed time, about 10 hours, into the next day)

17. As you go to put all storage back in its proper place, the kids wake up.

18. Go back to step 1. Repeat until exhausted, or kids have taken a nap, or give some other crazy opportunity to clean without distraction. Throw in another hundred steps if you have more than two children.

Oh, Roe On!!

Mummy Confession: I’m really not a fan of leggings, BUT these ones sure are comfortable enough to start changing my mind!

Roe, LuLaroe, leggings, legging hater, comfortable, motherhood, fashion, not pants

LuLaroe. The big thing that is sweeping across the US for girls and women of all ages  (they even make boys and men’s items, too)! With comfortable leggings, tunics, tshirts, dresses, skirts, boleros, and maybe more I have missed, the choices are endless! Their sizing choices are fantastic as well! They stock sizes from petite to plus (and child to tween, XXS to 3XL US sizes, with leggings in child, tween, one size [OS] and Tall& Curvy [TC]) and can be styled many different ways. Only about 5,000 items of clothing are made from each print, so finding the one you love in your size may be a challenge, but it seems to bring out the treasure-hunter in everyone!

LuLaroe, prints, roe
So many prints!
Image provided by LuLaroe Brienna Bilton
Can’t quite decide on a gift for a friend or family member? LuLaroe is always coming out with new prints, and even new designs for clothing. There is always something new to look forward to even if you haven’t seen something  that’s quite your cup of tea or styled in your size on your first pass!

I was very skeptical when I constantly heard LuLaroe’s leggings being described as, “buttery soft.” I will say after wearing them, that it is an accurate and fair description . I’ve found these leggings to be super soft and very comfortable. After trying these on, I have to admit, I will definitely be looking for more.

I’ve found my new favourite comfort wear.

Styles, LuLaroe, roe
Prices are in USD
How to Buy:
LuLaroe can be purchased through an independent consultant. Usually these consultants host sales online weekly for the stock they have received. Consultants are not informed of the specific inventory items they will be receiving ahead of time, so if you are after a certain style, print or size, be sure to check back on different selections each week. Generally, consultants do not carry every style, as they keep the stock on hand, so styles and prints will differ from consultant to consultant (and week to week).

For us Aussies, it gets a bit sad here, as there aren’t currently any consultants located in Australia. But hopefully it will be making the way here soon!

I know a certain lovely lady who sells these treasures online, hosting sales every Monday at 8PM (CT) US time!

Feel like shopping now? Head over to Brie’s LuLaroe Page and click the link to join her group (it’s posted at the top of her group page) in time for the Monday Sale! Tell them Amanda sent you 😉


*I was in no way endorsed or compensated for my review of LuLaroe in any way, and it is my honest opinion*

This competition is not sponsored or endorsed by LuLaroe or any of its consultants and is purely done of my own volition. Competition is not endorsed or sponsored by Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media channel. Winner will be drawn after competition ends and if no response within 48 hours prize will be forfeited to re-draw. Winner receives one $20 Gift certificate to be used at Brie’s LuLaroe Boutique only. Gift cannot be exchanged or returned for cash or compensation.

Super Last Minute Gift Ideas

Mummy Confession: I’m an expert procrastinator. Last minute is my thing most times.
Gifts, Christmas, Tree, Presents, last minute, gift ideas

I’ve finished my shopping for Christmas this year, thanks to online shopping services, but it is not always this way! For those of you who may be scrambling for ideas for last minute gifts for people you just can’t figure, or those you may have forgotten about until now (whoops!), here are some ideas or beginnings of suggestions for very super last minute gifts!

**I am in  no way belittling these gifts and saying they can only be used as a last ditch effort, as they are all great to receive!**

Gift cards or E-gift cards
This is obviously the top thought for last minute gifts. You can purchase these on the days stores are closed by going online for those you may have just completely forgotten about (or if they got you something and you want to return the favour). Visit Amazon for a big selection of gift cards and e-gift cards!

Home-made stuff
A macaroni necklace or delicious cookies, you can create homemade gifts even in the very last minutes! These are great, especially for parents to involve children in giving gifts. Be sure to consider any dietary requirements of the receiving party if it is edible! Check out Pinterest for ideas and recipes!

Subscriptions to various things
Whether it’s a jello-of-the-month club, yearly subscription to Vogue, or a surprise pampering pressie, these can be done easily online as well, the day of, and you can print a nice little voucher with a lovely note to say their gift will be on its way straight to their doorstep 🙂 or purchase a voucher for a subscription place if they have a range of choices so they can choose.
Some lovely ideas range from Subscription Baby Boxes to meal plans, TV subscription services, and even international foods. And of course there are always magazines for various topics.

If you’re after physical gifts that aren’t too hard on your wallet, consider:

Their favourite food or drink or seasonal treat only available for limited times
One that they typically don’t buy, or one hard to find are big bonuses! Put in a nice basket, box, or even with or in a cute cup or bowl for easy indulging. (See also, Gift Hampers)

Large prints already framed
Printing off a nice photo they would enjoy and buy a frame, put the photo inside, wrap, and voila! So many stores offer same-day services for photo printing, so this one is a quick fix!

Gift Hampers
Pre-made and easy to purchase, many stores have hampers this time of year. Some are even marked down in anticipation of a Christmas! You could also make one yourself with some thought of various loved goodies and a nice basket or box!

Other Last minute suggestions
And a list of random things for last minute that can range in prices depending on the receiver and your budget, consider:
Candles, towels, wallets, backpacks/bags/purses, hand creams/other bath&body range, flowers, or boxes of chocolate/biscuits. Or, check out specialty gift stores for even more ideas!

Best of luck to anyone who braves the shopping centres at this time of the year!

Screen Time

Mummy Confession: My kids get way too much screen time most days.

It wasn’t always this way. As a first time mum, my oldest didn’t interact with much technology until after a good year and a bit. We didn’t need TV, tablets, phones and whatever other gadgets are out there. She was content to play with blocks and cars. Let me tell you though, that all went out the window when my second was born. Desperate for some semblance of assistance during the day, I turned to technology.Screen time, tablet, technology, what, app

Yes, I’m that horrible parent that lets screen time do the babysitting on occasion. My only excuse is that otherwise, my children would be crying while dangling off my leg while I try to get a shower or have some sort of sustenance. Sometimes, I need a safe way to accomplish the dishwashing, laundry, or other household cleaning. Nowadays it doesn’t help with that as much, but it lets me tend to another child until he falls asleep, undistracted.

I know, I know, there are other ways to distract them more organically, but usually I have exhausted all other methods before I give in, or I just need a quick solution. In all the years, have found my children tend to like some apps better than others, and for those of you who are just as bad a parent as I am, let me recommend some for your sanity. They are listed in accordance with the popularity with my children.

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Some of the activities with Wheels on Bus

Wheels on Bus– an app that goes with the song, quite obviously. There is a free version and paid version, and after using the free version, I shelled out the big bucks (ok, not much at all) for the HD version, which includes all activities. It has colouring, car racing, puzzles, math problems, and sings the song, in addition to many other activities. Well worth the small price paid!

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Many different activities with Wheels on Bus

Interactive Alphabet– an app that teaches, you guessed it, the alphabet! This one is very customisable in so many ways! You can do uppercase, lowercase, or a combination.  It even has an edit mode where you can add words/people for your child to see under the letters, too! You can record it being read, too, and they can trace the letters! It’s one of my personal favourites, as I had each relative record their name!

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Typing mode and song mode
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Tracing letters or words with Interactive Alphabet
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Starfall (free version) has limited activities

Starfall– I have the free version of this educational app, but you can get the even better paid version by subscription. I’ve been told it updates with that version, and all areas of the app are open, not just select parts. This one has my preschooler sounding out letters! It has all sorts of educational games not limited to maths, shapes, colours, letters, and songs. (This one isn’t available in the US, sorry)

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Purchase the paid version for full access to the app
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
IView for kids offers ABC shows for kids in full episodes

ABC IView and Kids Play– both free, IView has ABC kids shows on, available to filter for the mums who dislike certain shows, and you can set a timer for it as well! The Play app is based on the IView shows and is interactive. (Neither are available in the US store, sorry)

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Parents can turn certain shows off, or set a timer
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Kids Play allows interaction with characters from IView Kids shows
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Animal Muddle is a fun app to create funny-looking creatures

Animal Muddle– this app mixes up animal parts and creates different looking creatures. It doesn’t keep the kids too long, but it is a hit with them. They have the option to change scenery, pick animals specifically, or randomly select a mix of creatures. This one is pretty good for littler ones who just randomly tap the screen.

App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Change the scenery, change the animal parts
App, apps, kids apps, screen time, tablet
Palace Pets

Palace Pets– Disney app with the various pets for the various Princesses. Firstly, you choose your pet, followed by a story. You then go to the salon where you can style and groom them. Lastly, you see them paired with the Princess again, and you can save the photo of your pet. It’s fairly straightforward and great for children who love dress ups and Disney princesses (and their animal friends)!

There are many more, I know, so please share your favourites (and your child’s)! And don’t forget, whenever your child is using the various devices, so check out this Handy Case Selection to protect your device!

Real mum. Real life. Real confessions.