a little taste of the handmade goodness you will find on the site...

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to travel light!!!

Ok, this isn't meant to be the 'be all & end all' of travelling light BUT there are some fabulous handmade products on Little Kiwis Nest that will help lighten the load.

On short trips, you really don't need to lug your big buggy (pram) around with you when there are just so many baby slings that will do the job for you. If you've never used a sling before, Michelle from Serenity Slings is just the person to give you the advice to choose a sling or pouch to suit your needs. (I'll post more on that subject on another day).

It's so nice to be able to carry your baby/toddler close to you without the hassles of maneuvering a buggy around shops or crowds.
Serenity Slings have the most gorgeous fabrics & only make limited runs of each sling - meaning you won't see every second mum with the same design. (Is it just me that loves something unique?!?) . Be sure to check out her latest designs available at Little Kiwis Nest :)

The second item that can save you the all important boot space needed in car travel are the Made it Baby moses baskets. They were oh so popular back when I was a kid (yep, my parents used to load me into the back of the Kombi just lying in my basket - oh how times have changed!) & is making a very loud resurgence of late.

Ditch the portacot & simply pack the moses basket! Baskets are great up until your baby starts to roll, or grows too long for the basket - whichever comes first.

If you're really pushed for space how about getting two days wear out of each outfit? Yes, it would depend on how messy your toddler is but I have been known to take advantage of the Made it Baby's reversible dresses! Our favourite reversible listings are ...

Beinzstalk reversible vest

Lylly-Fysh reversible shoes (they pack nice & flat)

Made it Baby's reversible denim jacket

KARRIC reversible pants

Don't forget that the products above are only a slither of what's available online.

Now for packing toys ... Cuckoonest has you covered with her toy houses. I have a 4 year old with an amazing imagination & this house would keep her entertained for a week!

The Little Red Riding House would also be a winner. Pack a few favourite toys in the house for easy transport - your child will love carrying around their own little suitcase!

Now if you are really wanting to know what/how to pack for kids this looks like a really cool site :) I think I should have found it when I started travelling regularly with kids!!! http://www.kidscantravel.com/tipstravelkids/travelwise/packinglight/index.html

Happy Travelling :)
(ps click on the photos to be taken to the products for sale)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Travelling with Babies

Moving countries when our first child was a mere 6 weeks old was a daunting start to motherhood at the time. I suffered home-sickness for a good 6 months (ok 2 years if I'm honest!) & took advantage of the relatively cheap airfares & short travelling times between New Zealand & Australia.

Before our daughter was 1 she had clocked up 24 flights to her name (not all to Oz, mind you). Crazy days!

My girlfriend has now had her first baby & is about to embark on her first flight with her little man. Who do you think she turned to for travelling advice?!!! Got me thinking that someone else may like to know what worked for me.

  • Make sure you do all the buckles & straps etc up on your carseat before handing them in to the oversize luggage handlers. You don't want them getting caught on anything.

  • Ask to keep your pram until you get to the boarding gate so you don't have to juggle a baby & bags for the long wait before your plane leaves. Just remember to give it to the gate a little bit early so they don't curse you!

  • Take a change of clothes for all of you on the plane. Even if bubs doesn't chuck on himself he is bound to get something on you!!! (I learnt this the hard way, & not after the first instance either!)

  • Bassinet seats are great if you have a good sleeper. Mine never ended up sleeping in them! You'll have to be holding your bubba on take off/landing. Don't be surprised if you just get him to sleep when they need you to hold him again for landing - sometimes easier just to hold him the whole time!

  • His ears may hurt on decent. See if you can time his feed for then. I used to either sneak in an early feed or starve them (hmm, perhaps I should say 'space the feed out') so they'd want to feed at the end of the flight. There's nothing as distressing for a mum than a baby with sore ears. Perhaps even take a little bottle with water in case you can get him to take little sips if all else fails. He doesn't need to drink much to unblock his ears.

  • Make sure you flash your baby around at all the security checks. Families with babies get pushed through the quickest. Use & abuse the luxury!!!

  • Sorry to say that if you have oversized luggage (ie prams etc) they will envitably be the last items off the plane. Not fun after a long flight where you just want to get out of the airport!

  • As for 'who to fly' I couldn't sing the praises of Emirates enough. These guys ROCK! I've had bad experiences on all the other airlines - ie telling me to that I can't walk around the plane trying to settle my tired baby etc.

The hardest part of flying is at the end, especially if you are by yourself with your baby. Trying to juggle baggage, car seats, prams, a heavy-weight sleeping baby, or worse - an overtired grumpy baby, is HARD. And sorry to say that not many people will come to your aide :( Take a deep breath, & soldier on. Have a cry if need be (heavens knows how many tears I've shed at airports!!!) but just remember there is light at the end of the runway!

If you have any hints to add to my experiences, please post a comment. I know lots of mums would love to hear from you.

Whatever you do ... don't let a baby stop you from travelling!

ps - Don't forget to stock up on handmade creations to fill your suitcases - for baby, for you or for gifts! http://littlekiwisnest.co.nz/

Monday, March 15, 2010

Playing Hide & Seek in the Rose Garden

Auckland is blessed with the most gorgeous rose garden open year-round to the public. I know there are people out there who are blessed with a green thumb & can grow these beautiful blooms, my mother-in-law is one of 'those' people, but I have to make do visiting the Parnell Rose Gardens to get my fix of the delicious smelling flower in all their glory.

Saturday afternoon was our first trip of the year to the gardens. We had to time our visit just right to ensure the gardens were empty of all visitors there to appreciate the flowers in a meditative, quiet state. There is nothing quiet or demur about our visit to the gardens! The flowers tower over my two girls (4yrs & 2yrs) & they love nothing more than to race around the winding paths, squealing at the tops of their lungs, getting completely & utterly lost.

Hide & seek with littlies is funny at the best of times (you know, they bury their faces on the couch, bums in air & think you can't see them because they can't see you!) - but hide & seek in a rose garden is especially trying when you have a princess of a daughter! Our dear Tia would be all excited to seek the 'hiders' ... she'd take a couple of fast strides & stop short to smell another glorious flower that happened to be at nose height.

And try as we might to tell her that the petals on the ground aren't really a 'clue' that someone has left like in the storybooks, she insisted on collecting each & every one!
So much fun!

Can you guess what my theme of this post will be? Yep, handmade creations for kids incorporating flowers, flowers & more flowers!

Clockwise from top left (click on text to be taken directly to the relevant listing on Little Kiwis Nest):
1. Karric - Flower wall hanging
2. Natural Star - Pink merino beanie
3. Creative Aertz- Best Friend Rose Bunny (add personalised name & date of birth!)
4. Gidyy Giraffe - Whimiscal Rose Draw Knob
5. Made it Baby - tunic top
6. Imba Designs - Cherry Blossom Dress
7. Yours, Naturally - Pure Rosehip Oil

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ode to Summer

Ok, so I know it is now officially autumn but I am holding on tight to the summer weather for as long as it lasts! Today was just devine - blue skies, warm sun, chirping crickets & dinner in the garden. Just lovely.
We went for a drive to one of our favourite Sunday destinations - Ciao Bella country cafe in Clevedon (ie 20 mins south of Auckland). We sipped our coffees, enjoyed our ciabattas & homemade ice-creams & joked with friends whilst gazing at young cows in the paddack beyond. The only thing missing was the usual green grass of the countryside. Yes, we're in a drought :(
So for my picks from Little Kiwis Nest stores today are all things yellow & green (just pretend the grass was green for this exercise!).

"sweet sunflowers" wall hanging by Karric
crocodile singlet by made it baby
'Hungle Harpster" wheatbag by Harpsters
sunshine yellow ruffly knickers by lylly-fysh
baby lemon & grey poncho by little lizzies
baby balm by yours, naturally
summertime sandals by marshmellow magic

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