Saturday, 26 January 2013

What Makes A House A Home? - Giveaway

Disclosure: I have received a complimentary product for this Giveaway. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own. 

When you enter a house sometimes, everything is clinically clean, everything is in its place. Do you get the feeling that you are in a waiting room or a show home, not able to relax?

On the other hand some homes, and I like to think my home too, are different.

What makes it homely and welcoming?


  • A lovely smell of baking a cake, biscuits or bread.
  • The mouth watering smell of a roast coming from the kitchen.
  • The beautiful smell of flowers coming from a vase on the table.
  • The smell of freshly washed linen or freshly ironed clothes.
  • A candle’s wonderful aroma drifting around the house.

  • A well stocked farmhouse kitchen.
  • A large, overstuffed sofa that looks so inviting and comfy.
  • A cat curled up asleep on the chair.
  • A dog stretched out underneath the table.
  • Positive sayings and quotes in noticeable places around the home.
  • A knitting or crochet basket crammed with wool, needles and patterns. 

~ ~ ~ G i v e a w a y ~ ~ ~
~~~ Now Closed ~~~

The lovely people at Stockland are giving away one MOR Italian Blood Orange Candle valued at $39.95 to one of my readers. 

Please leave a comment on this post and answer – 

What Do You Think Makes a House a Home? 

I will choose a winner on Sunday 3rd February, 2013 at 10pm. 

Please leave your email so that I can contact you if you are the winner. 

Available to Australia only

Why not make your home the best it can be in 2013?

If you’re looking for a new home, Stockland’s residential properties are the perfect blend of modern stylish living and a comfortable homey atmosphere. From house and land packages in Craigieburn to land for sale in Mernda, there is sure to be a perfect place to find or build your dream home. And, as a leading sustainable organisation, Stockland’s developments are designed to enhance the environment – not to spoil it. Stockland gives your family a place to truly call home – a place where your family can live and grow, and enjoy many years to come.


Friday, 25 January 2013

2Kool4Skool - Like a Big Jar of Jellybeans! (Review)

The stationery from 2Kool4Skool reminds me of a big jar of jellybeans. The colours are bright, happy and vibrant. Really just delicious! The fruity smells are just amazing. There is also surprising scents like popcorn and pizza and choc chip cookie! They made all my kids smile.

My children were so engrossed when they were playing with and exploring all the different items. It was so exciting for them. 

From the lollipop and ‘fun in the sun’ erasers, to the Lego and Lipstick USB sticks and earphones sets, 2Kool4Skool is seriously fun. 

They are becoming known for their awesome Giant Gym Boot bags, and Gym Boot Pencil Cases. All in colourful and refreshing designs. 

Of course where 2Kool4Skool shines brightly is in their reusable Book Covers. These precious time and sanity saving wonders, are in an array of cool and funky designs all with matching accessories. They come in 3 sizes – Exercise Books, A4 Books and even Scrapbooks. They are simple to use, are very high quality as well as being great value for money and even have an inside pocket and a very nifty little pen holder at the back. 

No more fighting and struggling with contact. You can slip a cover on, stick one of their yummy scratch and sniff name labels to the front and you are done! 

Their shop front is their website Here you can shop or browse through their full range of products. There is a wonderful Kids Zone were they hold regular competitions to win some of their lovely goodies. At the moment, running until the 31st January is the fantastic 26 Days of Giveaways Competition. Have a go and see if you can win some back to school goodies. 

They have a facebook page, where they put up lots of new info and specials for their followers. 

Both their facebook page and website are backed by the friendly and helpful service of a great team of people, who are more than happy to help you if you have any questions or need any help. 

On a personal note 2Kool4Skool donates 10% of the profits of the sale of all Book Covers to improve the educational outcomes of those less fortunate ones in third world countries. The first school to receive support is Demazong Academy in Sikkim in India, a small town on the Nepalese border. 

So not only are they providing a wonderful product this company is also giving to a very deserving cause. 

A few lovely people are providing a giveaway for $160 worth of 2Kool4Skool products. 

Saturday Morning Ogre Mum - Closes 30th January

Beyond The Bump - Closes 23rd February

If you know of any other 2Kool4Skool Giveaways running please let me know and I will add them to the list.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Listmania One - Currently I Am

I have a love/hate relationship with lists. There was a time when I was younger I was just a bit obsessed with lists. I wrote out shopping lists, to do lists, what I was cooking lists, housework lists. In the end I had a list to keep track of my lists!

Then children came along. I tried to make lists, but found that saying, today I am going to do this and this and this, just didn't work. Especially when they were babies, coupled with my tendency to be a perfectionist, I found that when I made a list, I couldn’t accomplish the tasks on it. I would feel disappointed. I found that I put so much pressure on myself to do everything that I just couldn’t do it and I felt like a failure.

So even though a part of me itches to write myself a list, I have tried to control it.

But just lately I have thought to myself – my youngest is now three and the other kids will be at school. Maybe, just maybe I could write lists again.

So when I spotted Deb at Home Life Simplified putting up a linky called Listmania, I thought this may be a good way to start again. Deb provides different prompts each week and you answer. Easy!

Prompt 1 - Currently I am:

Reading  (I think that this should read, currently I wish I was reading) anyway. The books I am attempting to read at the moment.

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • Raising Boys
  • Nurture By Nature
  • Introduction to HTML
  • Blogging for Dummies
  • Blogging
Listening to   
ABC for Kids 
Hilary Duffy – Mercy

Laughing at
Peppa Pig (yes I know, I am a bit sad).
My daughter’s cat Snuggles having ‘mad cat’ time. This involves running around and around the lounge room at full speed until she is literally panting.

Swooning over
My children’s brand new stationery for school. I have a bit of a thing for stationery.
My Caramel Coffee in a mega huge cup.

How to best organise myself, my house and my time so that the year runs as smoothly as possible.

Eating Lots of
I wish I could put chocolate here, but no unfortunately I am eating nowhere near enough chocolate. But if you changed that to drinking lots of – It would be coffee.

Always that little bit empty and sad. Depression is always there. It has been such a part of my life for so long that sadly I am used to it and it is normal.

Soon to be discovering (again) what it feels like to only have one child with you, when you go out and about. People may think that I only have the one!

Looking at
The sky and hoping that all the clouds mean that it is going to rain. It is far too humid today.

What I always wear. Clothes that are getting threadbare and are far too old. I think my newest item of clothing is at least 4 years old.

Things that don’t heat up the kitchen too much, or for too long.

What another school year will bring, and where we will all be in 12 months time.

Trying Out
A totally new mind set to encourage myself and motivate myself to keep my house clean and tidy.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Palmolive Ultra Antibacterial and Pomegranate Dishwashing Liquid - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I have received complimentary products for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. However, Digital Parents Collective covered the administration fee to host the giveaway. 

I'm going to show my age here.

When I was very young (cough), there was an advert on tv for Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid. It had a lady called Madge. Madge was a manicurist. One of her customers came in and Madge put her fingers into a small bowl of bright green liquid.

The catchphrase was “you’re soaking in it! ... Relax it's Palmolive”. It has just stayed with me and I remember those ads so well. Do you remember?

Palmolive has always been at the leading edge of dishwashing liquids. With so much experience I think they know what they are talking about.

The latest is Palmolive Ultra Dishwashing Liquid. This range includes a collection of powerful dishwashing products, guaranteed to leave your dishes sparkling clean. Whether it’s a caked on stain on your favourite casserole dish or cleaning the dinner plates, Palmolive Ultra cares for your dishes and your family.

Two of the new products in this range are Antibacterial and Pomegranate.


  • Palmolive Ultra Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquid with Lemon Extracts fights germs on the sponge for at least 24 hours. It contains natural antibacterial agents that combat unwelcome bacteria.
  • By taking care of your sponge, Palmolive Antibacterial helps to thoroughly clean your dishes.
  • Palmolive Ultra Antibacterial Dishwashing Liquid costs (RRP) $4.99 (750ml).


  • Palmolive Ultra Pomegranate Dishwashing Liquid comes with a fresh and fruity Pomegranate scent to infuse your kitchen.
  • Its rich formula cuts through grease and leaves your dishes sparkling clean.
  • The perfect marriage of scent and shine!
  • A great accessory for the kitchen sink.
  • Palmolive Ultra Pomegranate Dishwashing liquid costs (RRP) $4.99 (750ml).

I was impressed with both of these products. The smell was just lovely. They cleaned really well. I noticed that you only had to use a little bit and there were lots and lots of white, frothy bubbles. But more importantly there was no oily residue left on the plates after rinsing them. 

Before - A breakfast bowl from the day before with Muesli and a frothy coffee cup
After - Sparkly clean and shiny and not a lot of elbow grease used

~~~~ G i v e a w a y ~~~~ 

~~~ Now Closed ~~~

Digital Parents and Palmolive have very kindly provided some packs of Palmolive Ultra Pomegranate and Antibacterial Dishwashing liquid for you to try out yourself. 

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and let me know – 

Do you prefer to wash or wipe up and why? 

Please include your email address, so that I can contact you. 

I will choose three winners on Monday 28th January, 2013 at 10pm 

Giveaway is available for Australia only


Friday, 18 January 2013

Giveaway - Design Your Own Personal Planner

When you have a busy household that needs to be organised, I find that a well designed and laid out family planner or diary is very important. Do you find that it is essential to keep things running smoothly?

It is important that I write down that Bookclub is due back on Friday; Master 5 has a Doctor appointment on Tuesday and the girls need haircuts on Thursday. There is a lot of coming and going in our family and if I don't write it down in one place, I would be rather lost and just a little stressed out. 

I have found a wonderful planner, that you can have a bit of fun designing to suit your own personal style. You can really make it your own.

You can add a bit of colour to your day and make your planner more personal and more efficient. Personal Planner has endless design possibilities. You can change the colour, text and design on the front and back cover. You can also add important dates directly from facebook to the inlay. 

A few of the things I love about this planner: 

  • Design the front/back cover 
  • Lots of ways to design the inside to suit your style & needs. 
  • Add friends & family members important dates to the inlay 
  • Choose between 4 different sizes 
  • You pick the start date. 
  • And best of all its fun and easy :) 

The lovely David from Personal Planner has said that their customers’ satisfaction is extremely important to them. They make sure that all questions are answered and they take care of any enquiries and will really look after you.

When you have finished creating your masterpiece, they will print and deliver the finished product straight to your doorstep. 

They love to have likers on facebook, so please pop over and have a look. 

Their website link is

~~~~ G i v e a w a y ~~~~
Now Closed 

A Gift card for your own Personal Planner (in any size) up to the value of $45.00! 

This Giveaway is available worldwide. 

Just leave a comment on this post and let me know - 

Why do you need a Planner of your own? 

I will choose a winner at 10pm on Friday the 25th January, 2013. 

Please leave an email address so that I can contact you.

All the best!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dinosaur RAWRRR Wordless Wednesday

Walk This Way

Apatosaurus and Friend

Just Like At the Beach!

My Junior Archaeologists

It was lots of fun at the Queensland Museum Explore-a-saurus exhibition.

Linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Are School Days the Best Days of Your Life?

My gorgeous boy, is off to school in a couple of weeks.

He is uber excited and feels he is all grown up.

I am excited for him. In the first year of school they learn so much don’t they?

With the two girls, I felt they were ready for school. I had no hesitation. They needed what school could provide. They needed the stimulation; they wanted to learn. I felt fine, a little sad, I think a few small tears were shed, when I settled them in that first day. I knew they were going to thrive, and they did.

Maybe it is the stage of my life I am in at the moment. Yes maybe I am getting a bit old. Maybe it is because he is my little boy. But the thought of that first day, leaving him there, makes my eyes fill with tears, even now. I don’t know how I am going to cope that first day.

Yes, they learn a lot. They learn that kids can be cruel. They learn that life isn't fair. They learn that there are people in the world who are bullies.

This is my sweet little man. His smile is open and loving and trusting. I am very protective of him. Does it show?

I try very hard not to let my own experiences of my school days, affect the kids. I hated it. I hated the cliques. The popular group versus the ones who wore the wrong shoes, the wrong clothes, brought the wrong lunch to school. I was the victim of bullies, because of my shyness.

I know that I shouldn't project. My kids are different to me. How they deal with different things will be and is different to how I dealt with things when I was their age.

What have been your experiences when your little ones started school? Are boys more likely to tug at your heart strings? Are they harder to let go? Has it been your first child or your last child that has affected you more?


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Beatle Bottoms Review and Giveaway!

Shhh I have a secret...

Come along the rushing river, around the tall oak tree, down through the dark mossy tunnel past the sticky spider web to the field where the Beatle Bottoms play and if you are lucky you might meet them one day.

Who are the Beatle Bottoms you ask? 

Well, they are four fun seeking adventurous little souls. They live together high up in the branches of apple trees.

I would love to introduce them to you. 

Thorn – He is a little clumsy and often causes chaos when he tries to be the hero. He likes to lead everyone on adventures. He has a secret crush on Petal.

Petal - Is like the mother hen, always trying to make sure everyone is happy and safe, especially her little sister Pip. She loves flowers and picnics and secretly enjoys the naughty adventures Pip and Thorn drag her along on.

Nut - Is a real problem solver. While the others run off excitedly Nut will often hang back and ponder the solution to the problem.  He is very kind and gentle and is always there for his friends.

Pip - Is the youngest and the naughtiest in the gang. She causes her big sister Petal lots of worry by going on wild adventures trying to keep up with the boys or lead them into trouble.

The enchanting and utterly gorgeous Beatle Bottom characters are hand painted by New Zealand artist Fiona Whyte from her home in Byron Bay. Her artwork has been transformed into removable vinyl wall decals or stickers. Her fascinating artwork can breathe new life, imagination and inspiration into children’s bedrooms and nurseries. So now children everywhere can enjoy her wonderful creations too. 

My kids thought they were amazing. Within minutes they were all making up elaborate adventures for the Beatle Bottoms. Sending them off to far off places.

At you can find out more info on these lovable little characters and their friends. They are really something special and you and your children are sure to fall in love with them.

~ ~ ~ G i v e a w a y ~ ~ ~

I am so excited! I have three wonderful packs to give away to some very lucky families. 

All you have to do is comment on this post and become a liker or subscriber of A Welcoming Hearth.

The Giveaway will run until 10pm on Wednesday 16th January. 

Please remember to leave a contacting email so that I can let you know if you are a winner. 

Giveaway is for Australia only. 

My cat thought they were very interesting too and wanted to have a closer look.

All the best!


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Budons - Not all Stationery is the Same - Product Review

Not all stationery is the same. Thank goodness. That would make things a little boring.

With Budons you can mix 'em, swap 'em, trade 'em and collect 'em. They are seriously colourful and so much fun that your kids will want them all.
When we got a Budon pack to have a look at, I had to literally wait until all my kids had gone to bed before I got a look at them. My 9 year old claimed the notepad with the cute little clip ons and the drink bottle. My 8 year old told me that the scratch and sniff notebook was all hers. My 4 year old said the flat bag tag was his and my two year old laid claim to the cute sticky note pads. 

When I finally did get a closer look I was impressed. Take it from someone who has always loved stationery, well ok that is putting it mildly, these products are very special. 

The different little characters that you can clip on to your notepad make it stand out from the crowd. You can individualise it to suit your style or your mood. If your kids are into skulls, mummys, princesses, geishas, elves or dragons then there is something here that they will like. There is even an Eraser Clip On that smells wonderful. All the cute character clips only cost $1.50.

There are other goodies that are available as well. There are backpacks, pencil cases, lunch bags, A4 folders and drink bottles. The colours are all vibrant and bright. They all have the nifty little clips, so that you can make it your own. 

Budons are mainly available through Target stores or you can have a look at all the range on their website They are lots of fun and great for back to school. 


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Interflora - Say It With Flowers

There is something magical about Interflora.

If you would like to send someone a beautiful flower arrangement or a wonderful basket of goodies, all you need to do is pick up the phone, or go on the internet. You can tell them exactly what you want and where you want it delivered and the very next day or sometimes the exact same day, it is there with them, brightening their day and making them feel loved and special. This is worldwide, in almost 200 countries and 70,000 florists! 

Have you had a chance to look at their website lately? It is very easy to find exactly what you are after and what you would like to pay. 

There are beautiful floral bouquets, baskets, boxes and arrangements. Hampers with wine, chocolate, fruit and even teddy bears. Their flower arrangements are all hand designed and all flowers are sourced from local growers and markets. Fresh and beautiful. 

I will let their flowers and hampers speak for themselves...

Interflora have been around for 100 years. They know what they are doing and they do it very well. Their integrity is supported by the "Interflora Guarantee" which guarantees "the freshness, flower quality and value of each Interflora relay order". 

Is there someone that you would like to thank? Or maybe congratulate? A special occasion coming up or maybe you want to cheer someone up with a get well wish. Or to just let someone know that you love them and are thinking about them.

Interflora makes it easy for you and you know that you can rely on them.


Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post, but received an item in exchange for a review. All opinions and words are 100% my own.

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