Monday, January 31, 2011

The Grass Bottle Drying Rack- Boon

Grass Bottle Drying Rack

This is super cool and a bit decadent, but if us mums added up all the bitti bits of plastic we had lost over the years it would well exceed the cost of this awesome Boon creation.
Dishwasher safe, 2 piece, easy to clean - BPA< Phthalate & PVC free.
Head to Moochie Moo where we found it for more of the coolest kids stuff
and head to Cool Kidz Boon for more awesome Boon Creations.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Osprey House for Brisbane Kids

Blog post for Brisbane Kids by Renee Veldman-Tentori of Professional Parents

Osprey House is an environmental centre in Griffin (north of Brisbane, not far from North Lakes) run by the Moreton Bay Regional Council.  It’s a perfect adventure outing for families with children of all ages – and best of all, it’s free.
Open to the public all week from 10am to 4pm, it’s named after the resident Ospreys who live high up on a pole in the carpark.  Look out for the nest when you arrive and though you can’t get a close look, you can see videos from the “OspreyCam” on the website! 

Their great website (built by some of the enthusiastic volunteers) is a great resource before and even after your visit with extensive information, photos and videos.
There is plenty to do at Osprey House – you can bring a picnic or BBQ, go birdwatching, look for some of the local resident wildlife (koalas, possums and more) and participate in lots of learning activities for kids of all ages such as plaque rubbing along the “Yali Moyum” (Tell the message) trail.

Here is a video blog of our visit

Our little family (Sophia is 3 and a half and Isabella 1 and a half) have been 4 times now over the last few months.  All of us thoroughly enjoy it and discover something new each time.
Brisbane Kids & Professional Parents are planning a future group visit here so let us know if you’re interested.

Our guest blogger Renee Veldman-Tentori is owner of two businesses. The first is Professional Parents ( which is a business offering support, assistance, group activities, workshops and consultation with parents in business. Her second business Zestee is a Boutique Marketing Consulting Business which provides small business with the skills, ideas and support they need to succeed (

For all the details of this wonderful destination head to to the "Great Outdoors Page"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The day the floods came to Laidley and Destroyed our Kindergarten

An Account of The Flooding in Laidley-
By Guest Blogger Heidi
I was asked to write a blog, and the first question I asked was "HOW?".. some may find that funny, but truthfully I had no idea. One thing I did have an idea about was that I needed to do something to help our small community that feels like we have been forgotten about along with other small communities in the area! One thing for sure is that the community has all pitched in to help each other, and made a real impact on our hearts! I was a bit worried about writing this blog and the emotions it brings, but thought it was for the best, I was asked by after numerous conversations via email and facebook when I on behalf of Laidley C&K Kindergarten, sought help from them to get the word out about my plight!

The Flood

Everything below this water level would have been destroyed
What am I talking about? The floods that hit Laidley on the 11th January 2011, a day that many thought would never happen again! The day that turned a small country town into a town with a new found river through the middle of it and the outskirts, wreaking chaos on many peoples lives and taking anything in it's path! Living out of the town, and being isolated for almost a week in the area of Lockrose, worrying about friends up the road who had been isolated since BEFORE Toowoomba even hit from the Friday prior, with the Toowoomba floods making ours worse too. I relied on Facebook sites to keep me up to date with the outside world, yet apart from hearing Laidley residents were getting evacuated had no idea how bad it was until I got a text from the President of the Laidley Kindergarten committee asking for help to clean up as the kindergarten was hit pretty bad!

That still did not prepare me for what I was going to encounter. The first day contacted I was still isolated by flood waters and road closures, so was unable to help! The following day with my kids in tow headed into Laidley to see what I could do. It was just unbelievable and extremely emotional driving from my house into Laidley, there were water tanks lining the roads, a huge concrete tank coming to rest on the edge of the road, fences, sign posts down, from my place all the way into Laidley, still as I turned the corner into the street I had no idea. Already there was a skip bin, FULL of items from inside the kindergarten, helpers everywhere assisting with the clean up. The town literally looked like a war had hit, the town was brown, flood effected houses had items out the front of their house, business unable to open, and cleaning up.... The kindergarten was the same, the gardens were a shadow of their former selves, mud replaced out lawns, and that same smell of slushy mud was covering everything

The floods hit the small town of Laidley, and the communities only C&K Kinergarten was inundated with water, fences were knocked down, and the building was damaged, gardens were lost, inside the fridge got knocked down, and many years of supplies were gone, destroyed, to name a few things, we lost books, computer, craft supplies, paper, we had to rip the flooring up and bin it, so the floor boards could dry out, we lost 3 airconditioning units. a shed, and many toys, dolls, reading chair, the list of loss could go on! It was devastating to see a Kindergarten run on limited funding that relies primarily on fundraising, be knocked off it's feet like this by the floods!

The Recovery

Mud on Everything
Everyone in the community has been effected by this, this is a place where many locals have sent their children over the years, families where they have 3 or more children who have passed through it over time, and a community that assists us with the fundraising! And the kids have lost what they have been looking forward to and counting down the days until it was their turn! But many homes were effected by these same floods, which makes it even harder as a community to overcome the devastation!

The day I seen the disaster at hand I set to helping them get on their feet the only way I knew how, and that was to approach people via Facebook, the new way to get the word out, I posted on 3 walls, and had people spread the word, and so many donations! We have been blessed by so many generous people buying things, and going through their things to donate! We needed to replace just about everything, around 70% of our stuff was destroyed, and people are really getting behind us to make that happen!

We are now looking forward to the future, new direction for the Kindergarten, the sunshine after the storm, this is a place we need to rebuild to give the children who have heard stories, seen things, been effected by the floods, some normality in their lives. They need something to look forward to again! As a temporary measure, for the sake of the children, the program is being started at the Laidley State District school, who's principal kindly offered their hall for the Kindergarten to start the program while the repairs are done on the kindergarten! We are so grateful for the wonderful donations and support from the community, Toowoomba, Brisbane, and even Ballina, people all over Australia are sending in donations to one little community kindergarten! It has been overwhelming!

The Future

While the kids that were there last year, including my son, head off to school this year and a new bunch of kids join the history of the Laidley C&K Kindergarten, they can stand proud in what has come from such a sad day in our history, stand proud to be an Australian with such great people involved in getting the kindy ready for them to start the new year, even if they can't head straight to the Kindergarten building, it will be all the more exciting when the time comes to reopen the building! The committee who spent last year fundraising and making important decisions about the Kindergarten, volunteering their time to be a part of the kindergarten, are now selflessly helping rebuild it, awaiting a new lot of parents to take over our positions, all the while we stick in there and rebuild the kindergarten to help the new families start a fresh, and hope they never have to go through what we have. My daughter is set to attend in 2 years time, and we all have faith that this has only made the kindergarten stronger!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Star of the Week- Mr Owl Money Bank

Mr Owl Money Bank

Honestly this is the coolest money bank you can ever hope to buy for your Brisbane Kid. It comes in three colours Turquoise, Black and Orange. Designed by KG design, your Brisbane Kids can save their pocket money and then take off the head to empty. It is made from squishy silicon, meaning your brisbane kids wont be able to break it either! 15cm high- You can buy it for only $19.95 from Baby goes Retro -What a perfect birthday present

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do and Donts of Donating for Charity

Today I went and gave several bags of goods to a charity drop off point in aid of the floods in QLD. When I arrived I was asked what was in the bags, "were they of good quality?".. Upon asking why they were asking, I was told that they had found everything from very old, used underwear to babies clothes with vomit on it.
This prompted me to write the following about how to donate the right way.

1- Firstly- Welldone- Its great that you have made the decision to donate. Not everyone has cash and donating goods is a great way to still be able to give. I have been just amazed at the incredible generosity of all Brisbane and Australian people and have literally being brought to tears of happiness over some of the comments I have read through the facebook page for Everyone should be so very proud of themselves, and their fellow Australians, I know I am.

2- Maybe you are going out to buy new things- think necessities, toothbrushes, sanitary items, nappies, thongs, underwear- things people prefer and need new

3- Before you donate- ask yourself- If you were handed this item would it make you feel better about your current situation? - the phrase "beggers cant be choosers' isnt appropriate- I prefer - "do unto others"- your old, used underwear is not something you should do to others.

4- Bag the items- dont drop them off and hand a pile over- the drop off centres arent equipped to deal with it.

5. Label bags/boxes if you can- when you drop off be aware someone will have to sort through the goods- most probably a volunteer- make it easy for them- label according to toys/clothing/and even better- ages and sex- at the very least bag the articles.

6. If the clothes have been packed for a while (ie old kids clothes- consider if you can wash them- I personally did not do this, and after speaking to the volunteers, wish that I had.. why didnt it occur to me- these people dont have washing machines! lack of sleep perhaps on my behalf)

7- Ask the drop off centre if they will need help sorting- they will most likely.

8- Get your kids involved- this is a great opportunity for them to begin the understanding of charity.

9- Think about the donation of dog and cat food- there are animals suffering too- package appropriately

10- Think about things to donate that are needed but not mentioned often such as stationery for kids about to start school or insect repellant

Finally- dont be afraid to just give to charity stores- I am amazed how much great (even still labelled) clothing I had in my home- It should not have taken a flood to have brought about my donation.

Share Enjoy and Give your Brisbane Kid a Big Hug

xxNgaire and the BrisbaneKids Team

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Gypsy Chandelier

The Gypsy Chandelier

If you were a little girl and you could design the bedroom of your dreams..what would you ask for? Ministyle have delivered the answer with this Gypsy Chandelier that we believe sets the scene for wonder and imagination. To light a bedroom or a kids bathroom, or secretly our own bedrooms (sorry husband).. We love them- and we know your Brisbane Kid will too.
It has 5 arms with bold coloured crystals sure to light up any room and any Brisbane Princess. You can find them at online boutique Ministyle

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Resolutions for Kids

Ever since starting my business life has got busy and busier. I also study and help my husbands business and have all sorts of family commitments, so hectic is often a reasonable adjective for my life.  While on holidays in beach land this summer I decided that I needed to become a bit more grounded..
I am an absolute goal maker- New years, New Moons, I need to no excuse to pull out a random notebook and write some goals to complete. Long, short, medium, spiritual, health, money etc.. I have them all and I DO reckon goals work. So this new years I decided on top of my goals I would also write parent specific goals . I ignored the mantra ‘new years resolutions don’t work’ and decided I would make them work- so here they are.
1.  Three books for each child each day… I am pretty habitual with reading- BUT I admit I am fond of the younger one falling asleep before I get to reading him his book.. poor Tom. Part B of this resolution is no more skipping pages when I read.. I don’t do it often BUT as book lengths increase.. 3 books per child has become a long long process and I have skipped through Winter in the Winner the Pooh Seasons Book nmore than once- instead I am going to make more time for reading which will mean less tv.. less dishes (who cares about the tv & dishes anyway)
2.  Start a pocket money system Every Friday the boys and I are going to do some gardening, and as payment I will give them some coins to put in their money box. Obviously Tom, almost 2 wont do much of anything,, but I swear he knows more than he is letting on. Right now our 3 yr old pilfers money from all around the house and stashes it in his money box, so I think it is time for him to learn that money doesnt grow in the couch. 
3.  Bake something healthyish every week. I say healthyish because really isn’t chocolate good for you? Well every week I am going to find something YUM and bake it for the boys- I will blog these if they are any good - feel free to submit your recipes.
4.  Visit one playground per week This sounds like a lot, but we sort of do this now- I just want to commit to it. It simply means getting outside, getting the boys physical and working on their gross motor skills. It is so easy to stay home and not go but NO MORE 
5.  Allocate a hardcore authentic art & craft hour a week   I say hardcore cause I do a fair bit of craft now, bits here, bits there BUT I admit I steer them towards chalk and watercolour and away from the big juice jugs sized craft paints- (what was I thinking when I bought them- I was 8 month pregnant with my first, and really didn’t get why I wouldnt want to paint EVERY day) – I figure one hour per week of absolute mess will be ok in my life.. I hope.  In addition I am going to try and find ways to make the art authentic- paint old pots to put plants in, make wrapping paper.. Give their art some value.
6.  Hug more Yell Less  I want to be remembered as a loving mother not a yelling one, so am going to try reaaaaaallly hard to care less about the little things. To try and see that my 3yr old has great thought behind his decision to jump into a puddle with his best clothes on.. From his perspective why wouldn’t you? I am introducing ‘group hugs’ effective immediately.
7.  Visit the library at least once a month. We used to go once a week, but my seriously hyperactive 3 yr old has made these more of an activity I prefer to do in moderation- not to say he doesn’t love it. We play on the kids computer, borrow books, look at books and then finish with a ride on the swings outside. I am a major advocate of kids being introduced to libraries early. I think kids should be aware of the community around them and know how to access them. If you haven’t been to you local library before- GO! Its free, they often have heaps of kids activities and it promotes early literacy- which means you are setting your kids up for success.
8. Do the ‘what I am grateful for I got this from a mum who is on facebook- I cant remember who or I would give credit- But I have begun asking prior to my kids going to sleep ‘what are you grateful for today? what did you like? what are you happy that happened”..Its obvious how this activity breeds love and compassion into the hearts of anyone.. I LOVE IT
9. Try to stress less about the mess I have two boys under 3- keeping my house clean SUX. There is no solution- I am going to attempt to declutter but that’s all I can really do.. I am just going to focus on keeping my sink clean and the sliding door glass clean.. the rest can wait til I get rich and hire a cleaner.

10.  Find three ways each day to tell my kids that something about them is wonderful I think I do this naturally, maybe.. but I want to make sure I am taking the time to care about their little differences.. ie “Jack I think you are so special to know the name of every dinosaur in the world- how amazing!!”.. This is a bit lame I agree but not unrealistic- and Jack would be stoked I thought him knowing this was cool… Really - I think it is also about me trying to be sure that I am being careful with what I say more, aware off the impact my words can have. … I had a friend and her daughters over last week, one a beautiful 9 year old girl, and I said something I really think I shouldnt have..It was only something small but still made me feel awful! A bit like I imagine telling a kid that Santa isnt real. It made me aware, that as a mum of littlies we still continue to talk without being too guarded, and I became aware that I really need to practice 'adult' speech before my 3 yr old is nine.. and repeats me at school AH!

So no.. the goals arent necessarily SMART all the way, but they are attainable, realistic and somewhat specific- so that will do me for now... AND yes.. I probably do need less goals and to just relax, be patient and take it easy.. and I will try that too.. Actually- that was one of MY new years resolutions anyway.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Star of the Week- Bubbly Bath- Sniff this from Chantal

Bubbly Bath~


 It isn’t any secret that mums prefer natural products that are easy on the skin and charming on the nose to use on their Brisbane Kids. So it isn’t any wonder that I was drawn to the promise of a Bubble Bath that promised me the following achievements.
  • Paraben and Sulphate Free
  • 99.5% from naturally derived ingredients
  • Pure 100% essential Oils
  • High Quality Ingredients
  • DEA, TEA and MEA free
  • And it Bubbles!!
In addition, the lovely Bubbly Bath varieties are made and designed by a Brisbane Mum who offers a range of products through the “Sniff this! From Chantal” brand. Best of all.. the Bubbly Bath actually Makes Bubbles!! which is generally lacking in most natural called bubble baths. Made in three delicious flavours, Watermelon and Pineapple, 4 Fruits and Banana and Berries, this is a treat for you and for your Brisbane Kids. You can buy from her directly Via her Facebook Store or locally at Burpengary.