Sunday, 30 September 2012

Nerf Blaster N-Strike Raider from Big W - Nerf Attack!


Around this time of year many families are thinking about toys. What is good value? What will last? What will the kids like and not lose interest in too quickly?

It is a hard job. It gets harder the more kids you have too!

Lego is always good. You can start off when they are littlies at 18 months with Duplo and it can grow with them for a large part of their childhood. Great for their growing imaginations.

For older kids they love gaming consoles. The XBox 360, the new PS3 or a maybe a new game to play on one that you have already.
For the reader in the family, a kindle or another eBook reader will be very gratefully received and appreciated.

Just recently we bought a Nerf N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35 from Big W.

As it says on the box it is an intense, air-powered blaster, with two blasting modes, it features a special magazine drum to hold up to 35 darts, an adjustable stock and a tactical rail! Slide the slam fire handle repeatedly while holding down the trigger to release a stream of darts! Ur, ur, ur, ur, ur (aka Tim Allen style).



It is a beautiful thing. This is how my husband spent some time after I brought it home from the shop.



As its name suggests it fires pretty quickly. It shoots about 1-3 darts a second when it is on rapid fire. It has about a 5-25 foot range on single shot and 10-30 foot when it is on rapid fire.


Judging by the shrieks of delight from my kids, it is a lot of fun. It is for age 6+ but my two youngest loved running around getting the darts and getting an occasional shot on the nappy or the bottom from Daddy or their sisters. It gets everyone involved. 

Now there is some talk of buying more Nerf Guns so that we can have an all out Nerf blaster attack. Ok I am in!

There are plenty of Nerfs available at Big W. Ranging from the big daddy of them all the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan, a fully automatic blaster with a 25 dart belt feed; the Nerf Vortex, Praxis with pump action and a removable 10 disc clip, this hurls discs an incredible distance; the Nerf Dart-Tag Swarmfire, with darts that stick to most clothes to make a fun game; Nerfs with lights and also the fun water blaster Nerfs.

I love the toys at Big W. They are close to me, they have very good prices and they have a big range of toys available.


Melanie




Disclaimer: As always the views and opinions expressed are 100% my own. No payment was accepted for a Nerf product.

Australia's Happiest Thriving Toddlers




This is my first go at an Infographic. So please don't judge too harshly! :-)


The link to the competition page is http://www.karimums.com.au/happiestthrivingtoddlers.


Melanie

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Asthma Sense - Live with Asthma and Not With Worry


Do you have a friend or a family member who suffers with Asthma. Perhaps you have a child who has asthma or even yourself.  It is a scary thing. Thankfully I have never suffered with it or my children but I know a lot who do. A few weeks ago a friend with asthma had a bad flu and chest infection. She ended up in hospital and it was quite critical there for a while.

Asthma Sense is a new app that is available on the iPhone and also Android devices. It is a smart, quick and mobile way to manage your asthma and keep track of the symptoms. For the first time there is an app that brings together in one place everything that you need to keep on top of your asthma and may help prevent asthma attacks.

It enables you to:
  • Manage asthma any time and anywhere.
  • Can be used with children or adults.
  • Set reminders for medication and peak flow tests.
  • Check when medications are due.
  • Enter diary actions quickly with a single tap.
  • Record symptoms when you are on the go.
  • Receive status alerts when your asthma is not well controlled according to National Institute for Health guidelines.
  • Review up to one month of journal entries.
  • Manage one or more users with one smart phone.
  • Keep emergency contact details close by at all times.

What a wonderful little app and it is free! Anything that makes it easier for people to manage their asthma is an excellent idea. This app has the potential to save a life.

Available from the app store or from Google Play.






Melanie



Disclaimer: As always the views and opinions expressed are 100% my own. No payment was accepted for this post.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Five Breastfeeding Techniques for a Happy Baby and Mother


I am having the lovely Naomie Pierre over for a Guest Post today. She writes for Mydochub, an on-line health community in America, on the subject of Women's Health.


Baby, breastfeeding, happy
My own newborn Angus

One of the most exciting parts of life is the moment a child is born into a family. The elation is hard to beat and not much can compare. For a mother these feelings of ultimate joy are even more profound. So, it is no wonder that it is a life changing moment when a new mom breastfeeds her newborn for the first time. 

This movement forward in becoming a mommy and taking care of a child the best way possible can be amazing, but also a little daunting. Once the true moment is at hand – no matter how many child rearing books have been read – the apprehension of feeding a baby at the breast may be overwhelming.

But have no fear.

Keep these following techniques in mind when starting the nourishing road of breastfeeding with your baby:

1. Start immediately: When it comes to breastfeeding your newborn, there is no better time than the present. In other words: get going on it immediately. As soon as you are reunited with your baby after childbirth have your little one in your arms and ready to latch.

2. Be aware of positioning. Common concerns by new mothers ready to start breastfeeding usually have to do with the position of the baby and the way the child latches on to the breast. In all actuality these two aspects of feeding are interlinked. By cradling your baby in your arms at the right angle, i.e. cross-cradle position, simple cradle position, bed enhanced side-lying position, and the old football hold, you are ensuring that the baby is able to do what is completely natural for them: to latch on.

3. Is latching slow to happen? If your baby is having some issues with latching on there are few different techniques to try. First lay belly to belly with your baby. Bring your child’s head in line with the nipple, and then bring your breast closer in towards the baby. Once close enough, use your hand to guide the nipple directly to the baby’s lips. Once the baby opens his or her mouth wide quickly draw the child in closer to create the latching effect.

4. The trick to ending the feeding. Once your baby is done, or you need to finish the feeding session, it is important to end the feeding properly. This ensures less pain for the mother in regards to her nipples. To help the baby release: slide a finger gently underneath the child’s lips and then towards the gums. This will break the suction effect.

5. Burping babies. If your baby isn’t burping up after a breastfeeding session, don’t worry. Actually, breastfeeding babies tend to burp less then babies that are bottle fed.


Bio
Naomie Pierre writes on women's health and diet and fitness topics on behalf of MyDocHub.com, a  trusted source for doctor ratings and reviews, as well as finding other healthcare professionals.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Talking Mums, Business and Lifestyle Magazine


If you are an Australian woman, a mum and a small business owner I have found a wonderful magazine that I didn't know existed. It is a wonderful read and is absolutely full of inspiring stories and interesting things about women and mums in Australia. 

It is called Talking Mums, Business and Lifestyle magazine. It celebrates mums in business in Australia.

It has been an online magazine for the past few months or so, but they are branching out and publishing their very first A4, full colour, glossy paper copy starting in October. It looks gorgeous!



They believe (and rightly so), that if women, and particularly mums, who are naturally great communicators, have a support network and good guidance, then they can gain success in their lives and in their own business.

Talking Mums magazine, with their lovely contributors, is a great resource that all mums and women can turn to, when they want some extra help, advice, inspiration and support so that they can feel proud of their achievements and keep their lives and their business lives in balance and working together.

At the moment they are taking orders for their first printed magazine, which will be in October.




If you invest in a print copy before Sunday the 30th September, then you can get a free goodie bag as a lovely gift. This is valued at over $200.00! Please click on the following link to order your own copy.

http://www.talkingmumsmagazine.com/buy-print-magazine.html

I immediately had to go and buy one myself and I was very pleasantly surprised at the cost. I expected it to be a lot more. For the magazine it is $4.50 and you can pick it up yourself at a few places in the northern suburbs of Brisbane or you can add delivery for $3.00.

I think that this is going to be very popular. There are so many mums that are starting up their own small businesses. This magazine can give them a helping hand and the needed confidence and knowledge that can make their business thrive and reach its full potential.

Some of the subjects that have been discussed in the last few issues.
  • Busy mums can be fit too
  • Inspiration in the kitchen
  • 10 top tips to know before you start a facebook page
  • Working with rugrats under your feet
  • Spring style.

There is something for everyone.






















The October issue is being printed on the 7th October 2012. I am looking forward to receiving my copy in the mail and my goodie bag!


Melanie





Friday, 21 September 2012

Why do Australians Need The Life Awareness Movement?


Have you got insurance? Australians are currently one of the most under-insured people in the world. Why do you think Australians don't like to insure themselves?

They prefer to insure their cars, their homes, their possessions, boats, pets, holidays but when it comes to insuring their own lives or the lives of their families they overlook it and leave it out of their plans.

To help raise awareness of this shortfall, September is Life Insurance Awareness month. The Australian Life Insurance Movement has been put into place to make people more aware of the severe problem of under-insurance in Australia. 

Some stats that have come to light are:

  • 50% of people don't really understand insurance terms.
  • 1/3 of people don't realise that their super fund has life insurance cover too.
  • Lots of Aussies really don't know how much insurance cover they actually need. This means that actual cover versus the cover required is:
    • Average death cover: $189,000 vs. Average Cover required: $431,000
    • Average level of TPD: $162,000 vs. Average cover required: $437,000
    • Average level of IP $2,700 a month vs. average level required: $3,750
  • For Total and Permanent disability cover it was found that 74% of Australians are under-insured by $100,000 or more.
  • More than 50% of respondents were under-insured for cover in the unfortunate event of their death.



If we are insured correctly this then flows on and saves Australian tax payers' money as well as helping to ease potential financial burden when we are in a period of extreme stress and hardship. It also gives people information that they need to make an informed and aware choice with regard to their future and the future of their loved ones.


You can find out about it all when you visit the life insurance calculator from Life Insurance Finder and then compare life insurance plans to find the right option for you.




Melanie



I am participating in the LIFE Awareness campaign. I received a VISA gift card for this post courtesy of Life Insurance Finder via Digital Parents Collective. I am also in the running to win an iPad3. As always, all opinions are purely my own.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Four Tips For A Successful Kid's Party


Today A Welcoming Hearth is partnering with Vistaprint to give you Four Tips For A Successful Kid's Party.

Don't miss the wonderful and very generous discount offer at the end! Exclusively for readers of A Welcoming Hearth.

Kids’ parties are a lot of fun – for the kids, that is. But for most parents they’re just one more thing to plan and prepare for. Taking the stress out of party planning is easy and organising the heart of the celebration can even make up half the fun, if you do it right. There are essentially four main elements to consider when organising a kid's party. If you get them right, you’re sure to run into fewer problems:

Invitations
First things first, who are you going to invite to the party? Maybe the birthday boy or girl knows who he or she wants to invite, maybe not. Either way you will need to make up some birthday invitations. Choose your party invitations based on a theme - parties with themes are much more exciting - fairies, pirates, superheroes, princesses and animals just to name a few! Don’t worry if you can’t think of an original theme, the birthday boy or girl will have plenty of ideas. Not to mention there is such a wide range of kid’s party invitations available out there, you can get inspiration just by browsing them all!

Venue
Where you hold the party is an important consideration. You can have the party at home, where you will have more control over the food, games and activities but you’ll also have to keep a watchful eye on everyone. If the thought of catering to chaos is too much for you, there are plenty of party venues that allow you to kick back and relax, while an allocated host provides the entertainment – like the bowling alley, arcade, a fast food outlet or a rollerblading rink.

Games and social activities
If you’re determined to host the party at home, or simply want to save money you’ll need to think about what entertainment to provide. Classic party games like musical chairs, pass the parcel and bobbing for apples are great, but if you want something a little more different try treasure hunting, competitions with prizes or interactive video games. A themed piñata can also be a good idea, just be sure to place it outside in an area with plenty of room!

Food
Opt for a range of party food that is both healthy and delicious. Mini sausage rolls and meat pies are classics but you can try other, healthier savoury options too. If you’re out of ideas, check the frozen food isle for inspiration. Finger food is a great alternative to a set menu and it’s much easier to prepare; mini quiches, beef canapés, cupcakes, crackers with dip, fairy bread and fruit kebabs are just some of the more fun options for you to consider. Of course, the most important food of the day is the cake. For something extra special why not go for a personalised birthday cake? There’s nothing quite as fun as blowing out candles from a cake with your name on it.


Vistaprint has offered friends of A Welcoming Hearth, an exclusive offer of up to 50% off their entire range of gorgeous invitations for kids’ birthdays, an up-and-coming nuptial or to announce the arrival of a new bub! In addition, they are also offering a further 25% off the rest of the Vistaprint site. If you want to take advantage of this before your next event, simply click here.

About Vistaprint
Vistaprint empowers more than 13 million micro businesses and consumers annually with affordable, professional options to make an impression with a range of products including customised business cards, postcards, invitations, T-shirts and more.


Melanie

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Lockets - Keeping Precious Memories Safe


I love lockets. They are a lovely reminder of a bygone age. Ornate and special with a hint of mystery and secrecy about them.

























Do you own a locket? Do you keep your precious memories safe inside?

Linking up with MahliMoo, Me and Three.






Have a great weekend everyone!


Melanie

Thursday, 13 September 2012

RU OK Today?



September the 13th is RU OK? Day.

We are encouraged today to ask others are you OK? Go beyond that perfunctory "Hi, how are you?" Take the time to really ask.

We want to catch small problems before they become big ones. Sometimes people who are suffering with depression, who are feeling overwhelmed hide it very well and you would never know.

I have known too many people who are no longer here today. Mothers, children, friends who have shocked everyone by taking their own lives.

To get to that point where you think you have no other option, but to end it, must be a very dark place to be. Maybe if someone reaches out to them and really asks them if they are OK, lets them know that someone is thinking of them and are available for them. It just may make some people stop and rethink.

How to Ask R U OK?

  • We are encouraged to listen without judgement.
  • Ask caring questions and give them time to reply.
  • Don't rush to solve problems, but just let them know that there is help and solutions available, when they are ready for it.
  • Encourage them to take just one step, like seeing a doctor.
  • Ask them if they need some help. Maybe they would like you to make the appointment or to go with them to the doctor as a bit of moral support. 


If you are not OK today please

  • Ask yourself who do I trust to talk to about my problems.
  • Realise that there is help available.
  • Make that appointment with the doctor.
  • Remember that nothing changes until you act.
  • Understand that is is all right to say no, I am not OK, and it is OK to ask for help.
  • If things get urgent call a crisis line


Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 794 991
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

1800 RUOKDAY (1800 7865 329) -This number connects you to five of Australia's crisis and information lines - Lifeline, Suicide Call Back Service, Kids Helpline, SANE Australia helpline and Beyond Blue info line.



Reach out to someone. A conversation could change a life.


Melanie

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Music Makes You Smarter


Learning a musical instrument or just listening to music can have a big impact on your mood, your emotions, your general health, how you think and even your intelligence levels.







Melanie



Friday, 7 September 2012

Things I Know or My Life As a Zombie


I know that saying, "It is just some extra winter padding, I will lose it when spring comes", isn't a very good excuse.

I know that I worry too much about things that are insignificant when you look at the whole picture. There are people in this world who are going through terrible things, suffering, sickness, pain, death. Worrying about the dishes not being washed up or the lounge room being a little untidy just isn't worth it. So from now on I will try to worry about things that really do matter.

I know that this year is absolutely flying by. I cannot believe it is September already.

I know that I feel a bit blergh lately. Really tired. I know that if I go to the doctor he will send me for a blood test which will tell me I am anaemic, like every blood test I have had taken since I was pregnant with Bethany over 9 years ago. So I don't think I will go to the doctor.

I know that I have been feeling a bit numb lately. Maybe it's my medication, maybe it's being so tired all the time. But I feel a bit like a worn out shell.

I know that I should feel better about myself and like myself a bit more than I do. I look at others and they have just been to the hairdresser or the nail place. They are well turned out and look great and I look at myself and see a daggy, dishevelled, unkempt mess and I want to hide under a rock. But I just can't seem to get the motivation together to make it any better for myself. I need a lot more self esteem and a lot more self worth. Does anyone know where I can buy some please?

I know that the other day I worked out that I have been changing the home readers at school for 5 years know and I have another 7 years to look forward to!


I know that now more than ever my children are teaching me valuable lessons.

What do you know this week?

Linking up with Dorothy over at Singular Insanity.




Melanie

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sports Day - Wordless Wednesday


Miss 8 was doing the sporty thing. She had her sports day at school. I love sport. I can sit and watch it all day!

I didn't like sports day when I was young. I was tall, so the teachers 'assumed' I was brilliant at high jump and long jump. I remember telling someone that I wasn't very good at it and they said, of course you are, you have long legs!







Did you enjoy your Sports Carnivals at school? Or were you like me and rather be doing something else?


Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.


Melanie


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