Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spring Clean Year 'Round Giveaway

Today's product is the Spring Clean, Year 'Round cleaning tin. Inside the little, gorgeous, hand decorated tin is a set of cards that will revolutionise your house cleaning. The creator of this system, Travis, says:

“This system includes most common chores necessary to keep your home “spring clean” year round. It is not exhaustive and therefore blank cards are included for your personalization. It does not include the daily grind kind of chores like washing clothes or cleaning up after dinner. The frequency at the top of the card can easily be changed to suit your personal cleaning needs. I am a wife and mom of 3 boys and 1 girl. This is my personalized system and your needs/preferences may be different. It is my hope that this system will give you freedom and peace knowing your house will be clean year-round with minimal daily effort from you.”

I bought one of these kits when my house was really getting beyond me. I had been following FlyLady and the basic cleaning was getting done but I just found that some of the bigger but less frequent tasks were being left by the wayside. After seeing this little set, I thought "What have I got to lose?" and bought one. It has made a real difference to the cleanliness of my house. The cards are great; they are simple and come with hints and tips on each one. My favourite part, though, is the tin. It is pretty enough that it can be left on the bench for easy access (and as a visible reminder!). I don't use the tin for my weekly cleaning (although those cards are all included) since I have my system down pretty well, but I refer to my tin weekly for all the less frequent tasks that I have now scheduled throughout the year.

Now to the part you are really interested in - the Giveaway!! I am giving one of you a Spring Clean, Year 'Round in pink and green, worth $33.95.

To enter:

You can gain entries by doing any (or all) of the following (please leave a comment for each one you do!). If you already do any of the below, make sure to leave a comment, since that counts too!

  • Subscribe to Chic Mummy by email or by RSS
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friends Connect
  • Blog about this giveaway and link to this post - leave your link in the comment

RT @chic_mummy Enter to win Spring Clean, Year "Round! http://bit.ly/9TaIbo #giveaway

Giveaway ends October 1st.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Product Review: Time 4 Learning

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Time4Learning's online subscription program for a month. Time4Learning is an online program of educational games and programs for children in Pre-K through to grade 8. Stephen is 3 and a half, so we tried the Pre-K program and loved it!

The Pre-K program has two levels, so we started on level 1. The majority of level 1 was the perfect level for him. With numbers and letters recognition, shapes, colours, animals etc it covered the full range of what I would expect in a Pre K program. At this level, Stephen was able to "work" on most of the games by himself, (especially the numbers and colours games) with just minimal assistance. Often, I was told, "Muumm...I can do this myself!". Since he was pretty good with level 1, we then tried level 2. Level 2 covers pretty much the same topics, but either in more depth or at a more challenging level. The English based games at this level were definitely beyond him and we carried on working at level 1 for those. Stephen is still at the level of letter recognition, so it was not unexpected that syllables, rhyming etc would be too challenging. For the maths games, level 2 was the perfect level. The rest of the games we tried, like colour mixing, were great as a "work with mum" to push Stephen to the next level. He really learnt a lot from the games at this level, rather than reviewing what he already knew.

I don't have a set curriculum for Stephen; he goes to a play-based pre-kindy two mornings a week, and at home we really just work on things that he enjoys or learning through doing (such as counting when he helps me bake etc). So while I wouldn't use the program as a full-time curriculum (especially since I don't believe in a lot of screen time for young children) I found Time4Learning a great supplement to what we already do. Over the last month, it has become a regularly asked for activity, and I will probably schedule in two or three half hour sessions a week going forward.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with one month's access to Time4Learning for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Estee Lauder & Tea Collection Giveaway Winners

The winners are:

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss: DebK

Tea Collection Voucher: Mary (QuiteContrary1977)

Congratulations, and to everyone else, keep your eye out for more giveaways this month!!

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Milkshake Sugar Frosting Hair Powder

Milkshake Sugar Frosting is a product that I discovered the other day in a cute little gift store, and when I saw the gorgeous packaging, I had to buy one, even if it was just to look good on my vanity! After trying it, I went back to buy another one to giveaway to one of my readers. That is how much I loved it!

Milkshake's Sugar Frosting luxurious hair powder is designed to help conceal your roots, absorb excess oil and add a delicious fragrance to your hair. Lately I have been trying to wash my hair less often than every day, and have been using dry shampoo in between washes, but found the white powder somewhat off putting, as well as the "feel" it left on my hair. I can't really describe it, it was just wrong somehow. This powder is nothing like that. The powder comes in four "flavours"; boysenberry black, milk chocolate brunette, raspberry creme red and and vanilla cupcake blonde. The brunette that I bought really did help cover up my grey regrowth although the feel on my hair was still not quite right; the milk chocolate fragrance was subtle but yummy. I also loved the little brush that comes with it to help brush it into your roots.

Now to the part you are really interested in - the Giveaway!! I am giving one of you a Milkshake Sugar Frosting of your own, in milk chocolate brunette (that is all that was available!) worth $49.

To enter:

You can gain entries by doing any (or all) of the following (please leave a comment for each one you do!). If you already do any of the below, make sure to leave a comment, since that counts too!

  • Subscribe to Chic Mummy by email or by RSS
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friends Connect
  • Blog about this giveaway and link to this post - leave your link in the comment

RT @chic_mummy Enter to win a Milkshake Sugar Frosting Luxurious Hair Powder! http://bit.ly/bza38Y #giveaway

Giveaway ends September 25th.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Smart School Time Recipes

If you are ever struggling with serving healthy and homemade breakfasts, lunches and snacks to your kids, then you need to head on over to One Frugal Foodie to download their free e-book, Smart School Time Recipes. This gem of a book contains 125 healthy recipes, focusing on real, whole foods, rather than processed junk. The chapters include:

  • Morning Muffin Mania
  • Sensational Smoothies
  • Easy Freezin’ Waffles, Pancakes, and French Toast
  • More Smart Starts
  • Dips, Fillings, and Spreads
  • Soups and Stews
  • Salad-Style
  • More Lunchbox Love
  • Sweet Snackin’
  • Craving Cookies
  • Essential Extras
The breakfast recipes (More Smart Starts), in particular, have really inspired me to mix up our breakfast menu which had become really boring. The Pear and Raspberry Crumble and the Cherry Chocolate Bomb Overnight Parfait were real winners; they looked and tasted so much like desserts, but were full of healthy and filling ingredients to set the kids up for the day.

What I love most about this book, apart from the yummy recipes, is that most of the recipes have photos. For a visual person like me, this is really important, since if I can't see it, I'm not usually inspired by it! So make sure to head on over, and download this wonderful addition to your mealtime repertoire.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Life.doc Organising Binder Giveaway

The Life.doc personal organiser is a comprehensive 120 page command centre that guides you step-by-step in gathering together all the information your family might need, and organising it in one place. That way, everyone in your family will always have access to all the important phone numbers, account numbers, insurance information and medical details, just to name a few.

Simply fill in the forms with your personal data and document locations, and then file them in 1 of the 8 tabbed categories. And if you need extra forms, you can just print them off from the included CD-Rom.

Includes sections for:

  • medical and financial
  • insurance and legal
  • your emergency plan
  • family and household
  • caregiver information
The other day I spoke about creating your own Family Organiser. This would be a great starting point to developing your own. So to help one of you create your own fantastic organiser I am giving away a Life.Doc organiser worth $29.95.

To enter:

You can gain entries by doing any (or all) of the following (please leave a comment for each one you do!). If you already do any of the below, make sure to leave a comment, since that counts too!

  • Subscribe to Chic Mummy by email or by RSS
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friends Connect
  • Blog about this giveaway and link to this post - leave your link in the comment

RT @chic_mummy Enter to win a Life.Doc Organiser! http://bit.ly/ddRsbR #giveaway

Giveaway ends September 20th.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

CSN Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Lunara1978 at hotmail dot com, who was lucky number 13, as drawn by random.org. CSN will email you the voucher. Happy shopping! Don't forget to enter my other giveaways!

The Estee Lauder Pure Gloss giveaway ends on the 12th September - click here

The $100 Tea Collection voucher giveaway ends on 15th September - click here

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tea Collection Giveaway

Yesterday I reviewed the girl's clothing range from Tea Collection. If you are after boys' clothing, don't feel left out! While my son's clothes will never excite me the way my daughter's do, Tea Collection's boy's range is still super stylish. This was the set I bought Stephen at the beginning of our winter:

It is exactly how I like to dress him - a little bit preppy, a little bit sophisticated, but still comfortable. I also love that the line looks high end designer, but without the high end price.

Now to the part you are really interested in - the Giveaway!! Tea Collection is generously giving one of you a $100 coupon to redeemed on a phone order.

To enter:

After you have completed this mandatory entry, you can gain bonus entries by doing any (or all) of the following (please leave a comment for each one you do!). If you already do any of the below, make sure to leave a comment, since that counts too!

  • Subscribe to Chic Mummy by email or by RSS
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friends Connect
  • Blog about this giveaway and link to this post - leave your link in the comment

RT @chic_mummy Enter to win a $100 voucher to @Teacollection! http://bit.ly/bqJNml #giveaway

Giveaway ends September 15th.


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PS: don't forget to enter the Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss giveaway - click here

disclaimer: I received the $100 voucher for this giveaway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tea Collection Review

I have been buying Tea Collection for my kids since Stephen was just a baby and really fell in love with the brand when I had Irini and could start buying their girl's clothing. I love the unique patterns, the high quality, and the fact that the clothes are just adorable. I also love that the collection runs the whole gamut from dressy clothes in the original Tea Collection, through to play clothes in their more recent Daily Tea range. At the beginning of this year I bought one of their daily tea sets (such a cute name!) which comes with a mix and match collection of 5-7 pieces. This winter, Irini has pretty much lived in those jersey dresses paired with leggings. The pic below shows one of this season's sets.

As I said earlier, the Tea Collection range is dressier - it is as suitable for everyday as it is for going out somewhere nice with the family. Again, the quality is amazing, and the designs are unique. Inspired by global cultures, I like buying them for Irini one, because they don't make her look like a Britney or Miley wannabee, and two, because she is pretty global herself, with her Greek, Thai, Chinese, Scottish and Dutch heritage.

These two dresses are next on my wish list - I love them because they can be dressed up with a pair of tights and some boots, or dressed down with some leggings.

Stay tuned, because if you have fallen in love with Tea Collection the way I have, then you will want to stick around for the amazing giveaway from them!

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PS: don't forget to enter the Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss giveaway - click here

Disclaimer: I have received a giveaway prize from Tea Collection. However, all opinions are my own and in no way influenced by any sponsor.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Family Organiser

When I was in the workplace, the only way I could manage my work and personal life was through my planners. I had my blackberry for my personal diary and contacts, a day planner at the office for my work schedule, a Rolodex at the office for my industry contacts, a calender at home... you get the picture. When I left work to have kids, other than my blackberry, it pretty much all went by the wayside. And that was fine when my kids were babies. But now that the kids are a little bit older, and I have activities and classes and teachers to keep track of, I needed more. In a period of serendipity, just as I started realising that my blackberry on its own wasn't cutting it anymore, I started coming across the concept of the family organiser (sometimes known as a household notebook or home management binder) across the web.

These family organisers take various forms, from simple family diaries to complex binders that cover every aspect of the household. The basic principle of the family organiser is that the household's important information is stored in one place, which is easily accessible by everyone in the family. It contains schedules and phone lists, pantry lists and warranty inventories, planner forms and school notes. The idea is that all of your info is in one place, and most importantly, easily found. It is a one-stop-shop; for you, your husband and your children.

My family organiser is based around the Schoolwise Family Organiser that I received free in a goody bag at a baby show just after Irini was born. The Schoolwise Organiser comes in its own binder with various forms in 5 chapters: Calendar, School, Activities, Phone Lists and Personal and was a wonderful leaping off point for creating my own personalised organiser. I have transferred the contents into my own linen bound binder (since that looked so much better than the plastic one it came in!), added in my housekeeping control journal, and additional forms that I have gathered from the web. An excellent source for forms is LifeasMom; FishMama has some great ones that only another mum could have thought of! As well as forms, an indispensable element for me is a number of empty page protectors. I use these to gather together any notes, enrolment forms or letters that I need to deal with.

My family organiser now contains everything important to running our household and our daily lives: phone numbers (from emergency numbers like fire and police, to tradesmen, to the playgroup's mothers numbers); Stephen's kindy details, including the teachers' names and after hours contacts; and personal information such as insurance details, a household warranty list, superannuation details, and birthday lists. It even has a stain removal chart, a gift closet inventory and my recipe cheat sheet that I found at Angry Chicken. If you meal plan (which I am planning to start doing, no pun intended!) this would be the perfect place to include it. I store mine in the kitchen at my command centre. Here it is in a central location, is right next to the phone and if your household is anything like mine, I tend to spend a LOT of time here!

Your family organiser should be a living organism; it should change and evolve over time. Once Stephen starts school and after-school activities, I'm sure the currently empty Activities section will fill up. As I come across new forms I add them in if they are useful right now, or file them at the back if I think they will be useful in the future.

Now don't get me wrong, my family organiser hasn't replaced my Blackberry or my MomAgenda planner that I got for my birthday last year. Both of these are still indispensable to me! But having a one-stop-shop for all the household stuff has made my life and my husband's much easier.

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PS: don't forget to enter my $55 CSNStores giveaway that ends tonight, or the Estee Lauder Pure Gloss giveaway that ends on the 12th!

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss Giveaway

My next great giveaway is for the brand new Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lip Gloss. Created by Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director for Estee Lauder, these glosses are drenched with conditioners, but feel luscious and light on the lips, not sticky. The glosses are available in 32 colours, and three different finishes: Shine for a glossy, ultra shiny finish, Shimmer for an intense pearlescent shimmer, and Sparkle for a glittery high shine. This giveaway is for the Passionfruit Shimmer, a medium pink-coral shade that would suit almost everyone.

To enter:

Gain entries by doing any (or all) of the following (please leave a comment for each one you do!). If you already do any of the below, make sure to leave a comment, since that counts too!

  • Subscribe to Chic Mummy by email or by RSS
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friends Connect
  • Blog about this giveaway and link to this post - leave your link in the comment

RT @chic_mummy Enter to win an Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss! http://bit.ly/dCpsrq #giveaway

Giveaway ends September 12th.


PS: Don't forget to enter the CSNStores giveaway - click here - it ends on Tuesday!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

National Yoga Month

September is here, which means for those of you in the US, it is officially National Yoga Month. This is actually an "official" month, created by the Department of Health and Human Services to promote the health benefits of yoga.

Personally, I love yoga - I find it both energising and restorative - but I don't practise nearly enough. If you have never tried it, or have had a bit of break, take advantage of the free classes and events running throughout the month, or even one week of free classes at participating yoga studios. Head on over to www.yogamonth.org to find some near you.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CSN Giveaway

To kick off Chic Mummy's month long giveaway festival, we will start off with a $55 gift voucher to the wonderful CSN Stores. CSN Stores is wonderful collection of online stores that sell everything you could want, from kids gear to school supplies to great kitchenware. I just ordered a Corelle dinner set from their site cookware.com as I am trying to move our family away from plastic and I love the fact that Corelle products are less breakable than regular china. (PS: stay tuned for an upcoming post on why and how I am getting rid of plastic in our house!)

Now to the part you are really interested in - the Giveaway!! CSN is generously giving one of you a $55 voucher to any of CSNs 200+ stores.

To enter:

  • Go to CSNstores.com and tell me what you would buy with your voucher.

After you have completed this mandatory entry, you can gain bonus entries by doing any (or all) of the following (please leave a comment for each one you do!). If you already do any of the below, make sure to leave a comment, since that counts too!

  • Subscribe to Chic Mummy by email or by RSS
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friends Connect
  • Blog about this giveaway and link to this post - leave your link in the comment

RT Enter to win a $55 voucher to CSNstores with @chic_mummy! http://bit.ly/9D3vT6 #giveaway

Giveaway ends September 7th.

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CSNstores has provided me with the gift voucher for this giveaway.

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