The Love To Dream Swaddle UP


As any new Mum can atest there is nothing like a good nights sleep.  I can’t tell you how many nights I have spent counting how many hours or even minutes of sleep I plan to get, will get or didn’t get.  We have wrapped babies, played white noise, rocked, patted, bounced and willed babies to sleep.

Third time around I am trying some new tactics.  The first one being a swaddle!  I have wrapped both Master O and Little Miss A when it was sleep time and found I had no end of problems.  Escape artists, unwrapping and rewrapping between feeds, wraps that never seem to be the right shape or size, babies being wrapped and still managing to kick blankets off! We have experienced it all.  So once our newest arrival was here I called for help on our Facebook page.  What could I do differently this time?  The overwhelming answer from our community was a SWADDLE!  

A Love To Dream Swaddle UP.

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The Love to Dream team also read my cries for help and sent me “Swaddle UP” to put to the test.

After a good laugh at how our big buddha baby looked all snug as a bug we put him to bed.  From that first night on I found he slept for longer between feeds and also was able to resettle more quickly after a feed!  Brilliant!

So what do I love about this product?

  • The Startle Stopper. Love To Swaddle UP has a unique design that helps calm the startle reflex.  You know that sudden jerky movement the baby does with its arms that “startles” them! Well by having their arms wrapped it calms the reflex allowing them to stay asleep!
  •  Arms up. Unlike wrapping, the Love to Dream Swaddle UP allows babies to sleep in their natural position with their arms up. Our bub was already an arms up sleeper so this swaddle was perfect!  It also allowed him to suck on his hand which he loves!
  • No escaping! The swaddle also offers an easier, safer way for babies to sleep as it reduces the risk of them wriggling out or getting tangled in loose wrapping. 
  • The twin zipper.  It was just so easy to do a midnight nappy change!  His arms and body could stay warm and snug whilst I only had to unzip the bottom!
  • Works with the weather.  We live in South East Queensland.  With an April baby we have experienced warm nights AND Freezing mornings all in the space of a week.  I love that I could put him in the normal swaddle on average nights and then layer him up in the Love to Layer On Merino when it got cooler!  This meant there was no need for blankets!  

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Possibly the only con was that he outgrew it so quickly!  We are already into the next size!  But then again he is one big baby (6.3kgs and 64cms at 2 months) and very broad across the shoulders .

Love to Swaddle UP is available in a range of styles, sizes and colours.

I can only dream what it would have been like to have this product for my previous two babies.  It’s on my baby shower gift list for all pregnant friends!

and because caring is sharing…..

I have a Love To Swaddle UP to giveaway to one lucky reader.  

Just enter via rafflecopter below and tell me…

What feature of the Swaddle UP would you love the most? 

 

 

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Back To School: Buying Name Labels

 It’s no secret that I love to label.  I have dedicated much of my life to ensuring everything and every place in our home is labelled!  Labels ensure items find their way home.  This is never more true than all those items that leave your home to visit school, Kindy or work each day!

Pencils, scissors, socks, and books.  If it is leaving your house, LABEL IT! If you LOVE it LABEL IT!

With a new school year ahead now is the perfect time to stock up on name labels.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN LABELS 

QUALITY.  This for me comes before everything else.  Labels are one of those items where you really do get what you pay for.  There are many label companies out there these days but don’t scrimp on quality for the sake of saving a few dollars.  A good label can last for many years, buy it cheap and you may have to buy it twice, costing more money in the end.

Look for labels that;

  • Are Dishwasher Safe (For lunchboxes)
  • Are Washing Machine Safe (For Clothes)
  • Come in various sizes.
  • Are Laminated (paper labels are just not durable)

PRICE.  This is where it pays to be organized.  Finding a great price does not neccessarily mean finding the cheapest. Make a list of the type of labels you will need.  Savings can be found by purchasing a value pack that includes a variety of label sizes and type that best suits your needs. You can buy a cheap pack but if it’s full of labels in sizes you don’t need and doesn’t include a number of the ones you DO need! 

DESIGN.  I am going to be looking at these labels A LOT.  They may as well look good.  Also for younger children, having a particular picture or theme to the labels, assists non readers to identify which items belong to them. E.G My shoes are the ones wit the airplane picture.  I also like to get a variety of colours in my pack to help with colour coding!  I know it is a bit OCD but in the past I have used different colours for different days of the weeks or to even to help identify the left and right shoe (Red for Right, Lime for Left) By putting two matching colour labels

BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING. 

DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Check with your school what needs to labeled.  Some classrooms, especially in the early years have communal pencils,  crayons and even scissors.  These items often don’t need to be labeled.  However, some times it also pays to label everything just the same as at least you are in with a chance of unused items being returned to you at the end of the year.  Ask the class teachers or even parents who  have been at the school before. 

CLOTHING AND SHOE LABELS.  Don’t forget to include clothing and shoe labels.  Have you ever tried to work out whose black velcro shoes belong to who in a see of 25 pairs of identical shoes? Clothing labels generally come in either the stick on or Iron on variety. In my experience although the stick on labels are obviously much easier to use, the iron on ones do last longer. 

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

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 I make up a big table.  If you think I love a good label, you haven’t seen me with a table! Just in word I create a label to track what we have purchased, what we have received, what kind of book cover we will need and what kind of label we require for each item.

By doing this I can easily workout how many of each item, we need and make the most of value packs.

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mini labels, the best option for fiddly pencils and crayons

 This year we needed LOTS of Mini Labels.  EVERY pencil, text and crayon was required to be individually labelled. In past years we have required lots of regular name labels and book labels.  I also made another table for uniforms.  With two children in completely new uniforms this year I needed to stock up on clothing and shoe labels. 

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and so the production line begins!

So who do I use?  This is actually my fifth year of using Stuck On You.  At first when Master O went to child care I choose them because they were cute.  After seeing how durable they were I continued to buy them! I have even bought Little Miss A a few before, not that she has ever really needed a label! 

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Master O chose the Robot themed Designer Book Labels

 

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Little Miss A loved the Sweetie Pie range.

 I must admit, throwing myself into the preparations for Back To School has taken my mind off the fact that my Little Miss A, who has never been away from me, is going to KINDY!!!! 

So are you a labelaholic?  Got your labels sorted for this year?

WANT TO WIN A $25 Stuck On You Gift Voucher? 

We are giving away 2 x Stuck On You Gift Vouchers! Just Enter via Rafflecopter below!

 

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DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by “Stuck On You.” I have received products in return for my honest opinion and review of their great products!

The Fairy Door

Fairy doors are what childhood dreams are made of.   A doorway into a magical world of wishes and dreams only created with childhood imagination.  I have been longing for our own fairy door and when Master O lost his first tooth I knew it was the perfect opportunity to introduce the concept into our family.

What is a Fairy Door?

This is one in the divine home of Sharnel Dollar

Fairy Doors are a stickable and removable minature wooden door, with architrave, doorknocker, doorknob and coloured door.  

How does it work?

The door arrives complete with miniature bottle of fairy dust, blu tac like putty and instructions. You simply attach it to any place in your home.  Walls, bookcases or bedside tables make great places for A Fairy Door.

What could you use it for?

So far we have use it as a place for the Tooth Fairy to enter and exit from.  

but we also plan on using it for…..

  • Our Elf on The Shelf to leave clues at.
  • Santa
  • The Easter Bunny to hop on through.
  • Fairy for Birthday Treat Delivery
  • Fairy for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Deliveries
  • Special treats for well behaved children!

Colours and Accessories.

The Fairy Door comes in a multitude of colours!  We went with Red as it is unisex and will be perfect for our Christmas elf On The Shelf Tradition.  

You can also buy accessories such as grass mats, toadstools/mushrooms, furniture, glitter, stick on butterflies anything that you can use to create an enchanted doorspace. 

Where to purchase?

We bought ours from Elle J Kids Boutique, online.  With quick delivery and accessories available it was an easy, speedy option for us! 

BEST OF ALL……

YOU CAN WIN A FAIRY DOOR PACK!!!

Enter Via Rafflecopter below to be in the running for a

Fairy Door Prize Pack

from Elle J including

A Red Fairy Door

A Red Mushroom Set

A Grass Mat

A Fairy Footprints Stencil

FREE POSTAGE IN AUSTRALIA

Good Luck!!!!

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Warm Winter Breakfast

I must admit I am not a breakfast eater. I know, I know, it’s the most important meal of the day, but in the midst of the morning rush, I often simply forget to have breakfast.  

Breakfast in our house has to be quick, easy and be able to sustain two very energetic children until morning tea time.  Toast, doesnt quite fill them up, cereal is good but on a chilly winter’s morning (it was 1 degree here yesterday) nothing is as good as a bowl of warm oats! 

Hubby has long preapred “porridge” for himself and master O.  Let me say “prepare” as in with military precision, in which the perfect amount of oats to water ratio is achieved, they soak over night and are then cooked to perfection with constant stirring on the stove top.  SERIOUSLY!  So unless he is here to make breakfast, “Porridge” is not happening. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So in an effort to try the whole porridge making caper, I did my homework.  I have been assured there is really no need to “soak” my oats over night and even in fact you can make porridge in the microwave!  That’s more my style.  So introducing  The My Pigeon Pair version of a “Porridge ” breakfast.

1. Take UNCLE TOBYS Oats Quick Sachets.

2. Add milk or Water to fill line

3. Microwave for just 90 seconds, stir and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Yep it was seriously that easy!

 OR YOU can add step number 4 and get all fancy like me and decorate!

You read right!  I love to decorate the porridge! If it only takes me 90 seconds to make, then I can surely spend another 30 seconds making breakfast fun!

  • I am talking Honey Smiley Face with Sultana eyes and nose!
  • Banana Letter O especially for Master O.  I cut the banana into pieces and put them into an O shape on top of the porridge.
  • A Milo “Love Heart” using my cappucino stencil!
Best of all it is a breakfast rich in fibre, full of natural energy and nourishing!
And to capture your own creativity Uncle Toby’s are giving away a Canon camcorder  and a Winter’s Worth of Uncle Toby’s Oats Quick Sachet’s
to one lucky My Pigeon Pair reader! 
Simply enter via Rafflecopter below and tell me….
How do you have your Oats? 
 

 

 

 

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Robomaid Review and Giveaway

One of the perks of building our own home was that it came equipped with a “VacuMaid” in built Vaccuum system.  Or so we thought.  After years of almost daily use, the system died and we then realised how expensive it would be to replace.  Since then we have gone from cheap Vaccuum to cheaper vacuum.. Each has had its good points, but unfortunately none of them did everything well.  Then this arrived……


We have a large house, with a combination of tiles, carpet and rugs.  This house will put the Robomaid through its paces! 

What I LOVED…

Ease of Use – So its a robot.  I thought this might mean that I would require an aeronautical degree to read the instructions and operate the machine!  I was so wrong.  I simply plugged the dock in, charged the machine and then pressed play.  The Instruction manual is clear and easy to understand.  I played around with a few different settings including; following the walls, zig zag and spot cleaning.

The Robomaid can effortlessly fit under furniture.

Perfect Transitions – I think this is what I had been sceptical about.  Could it go from tiles to rug and back again?  Would it get stuck on the furniture?  No and NO! We have a thick rug on the Living room floor and the Robomaid easily transitioned from tiles onto rug and down again.  It did bump against furniture especially the dining room chairs but it then reversed and went around them!  The Robomaid is so compact it even effortlessly slid under our buffet unit. 

It followed the wall to go in and around corners.

Great Strength and Coverage –  I was pleasantly surprised how much this small and light machine picked up.  It seems to map the room and zig zags from space to space.  It didn’t pick up every single bit of rubbish.  SOme spots were missed, but considering it was not a human cleaning I thought the coverage was good.  It really pays to attach the little side sweepers and I found this helped with getting right into the edges.

I can now do two jobs at once!

The Time Factor –  Yes it does take longer to clean a space than it would to vacuum with a standard vaccuum cleaner.  But it’s not my time!  I can set it and forget it.  Or even better I follow it from room to room with my steam mop!  I am getting the floors done in half the time.  I especially like the set and forget mode for the upstairs bedrooms.  I can leave it in a small room whilst I go on the school run and cross one more housewrok job off the list.

Spaces – The robomaid worked well in both our open plan areas and smaller rooms.  The open plan areas naturally took longer to clean and were not cleaned has thoroughly as the smaller rooms.  I would love to play around more with the “invisible wall” function.  This helps section off certain areas and prevents it from falling down the stairs! I think this would help achieve a better clean in the open areas.

Noise – The RoboMaid was actually quieter than our VacuuMaid!

For me the biggest plus is the fact that I can use my time on other jobs around the house whilst the Robomaid does the vacuuming.  I also love that it is so easy to take up stairs, place in bathrooms or bedrooms and can easily transition form tiles to carpet to rugs.  I dont think it will replace a larger vacuum cleaner all together.  I would still like to do one big thorough vaccuum once a fortnight and get into the window sills, between the fridge etc.  But overall, I LOVE IT!  Now I have to change My Cleaning Schedule

If I love it, I know you will love it to so we are GIVING ONE AWAY!!!!

Simply enter VIA Rafflecopter below and tell us…..

What feature of the Robomaid do you love the most?

What a great Mother’s Day Present!!!

 

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Transform your life with LG Optimus-G.

Although I run a blog and work online I am not the most tech savvy mumma.  I can navigate a website, pump out a blog post but do not ask me how to get skylanders working on the x-box or how to synch your phone to your computer!    So when the opportunity arose to try out a new smartphone I was a little hesitant.  Try something new in the comfort of my own home, sure, i’ll give it a go.  But try something new in the company of other way more experienced bloggers and tech gurus?  Hmm this deal will need some sweetening.  Throw in a lovely dinner, a few strawberry dacquari’s and the opportunity to have an amazing giveaway for the My Pigeon Pair flock…..I’m in!

So the latest and greatest smartphone on the market is the LG – Optimus G.  

Ok so you had me at Optimus.  That is something I know all about…Transformers.  BumbleBee, SideSwipe, Shockwave, Sentinel Prime and of course Optimus Prime.  I can tell you all about their “powers”  how they fit into the transformers story and wether they are “goodies or baddies.”  Now we have some common vocabulary.   

The new Optimus G is the perfect life transforming device.  Throughout the evening I learnt how to use it’s camera, video, note taking, internet searching, emailing and social media sharing tools. This is one awesome multitasking device.

That is something else I know about, multitasking.  I am a work from home/car/cafe/playground/swimming pool Mum.  I am a freelance writer, resource creator, run a blog and a household.  I use social media A LOT.  I take photos of everything from what’s on sale at the supermarket, to easter craft and my latest DIY project.  I video my child wearing a bunny costume in the Woolworths meat department and my death defying children running in the yard whilst it’s hailing.  My phone needs to do EVERYTHING.  and this phone does!  

The list of features is beyond anything my current iPhone can do.  

What I loved;

This was a feature I literally needed the day before!  We were looking at a house and were trying to call a real estate agent.  With no pen or paper we resorted to the husband remembering the first half of the number and me remembering the last half!  It took us three goes to get the right number!  With quick memo I can jot things down on the screen of the phone, with my finger, whilst on a call!   

Ok so this one is great for the kids as much as me!  It means they can play the games on my phone on the TV!  Or use the big screen to view catalogues on the Internet.  Now the whole family can share in my IKEA/Pottery Barn dreaming!

Ok so don’t ask me HOW this works but what it does is BRILLIANT.  Some how the camera function takes 5 shots before you have even pressed the shutter button.  This means you have 5 shots to choose form when you take a picture.  You never miss that critical moment!

For me these were the key selling points.  There is also the whole memory/processing/HD stuff but for me it is more about having a multitasking device with great hands on features to make life easier.

Would you like to make your life “Easier” with a tool to make multi tasking a breeze?

WELL “My Pigeon Pair” IS GIVING ONE AWAY!

This is not an April Fools Joke!  

Simply enter via Rafflecopter below and tell me….

What Optimus-G feature would “Transform” your life?

 

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I was not paid to write this post.  I did receive an LG Optimus G to review and keep. All opinions are my own. 

 

And the winner is…..Personal Planner

So one very lucky lady is about to get super organised with thanks to

personal-planner.com.au

JANE HILL 

Please send us an email at mypigeonpairblog@gmail.com to claim your

AMAZING prize!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! WE all can’t wait to see which planner you pick and what a HUGE difference it will make you your life!

Organising a Family Calendar

At the hub of our family’s Organisation Station is the FAMILY CALENDAR.

 

There she is…STEP 3 of the process.  If you look closely you will notice this photo was taken with the calendar showing September 2011 !!!  2013 will be our third year of using a family calendar from Stuck On You

“Spring Nest” Family Calendar from stuckonyou.com.au

 This year we I chose the “Spring Nest” design, you know how much I love those little birds!  I love that it is personalised, a great large size, with large “daily” boxes to fill in all our stuff and that there is a section for notes down the bottom.  Oh and of course I love that it is gorgeously designed and in colour!!!  After all I will be looking at this calendar every day.

Having the calendar is one thing, but you have to USE it EFFECTIVELY for it to help in your household organisation.  Here are my tips for keeping the calendar running smoothly.

 1. Colour Coordinate.  Ok so maybe I am a little OCD when it comes to colour coding but this is something that has always worked for me.  Each member of the family has their own colour. Any events or activities that are for the whole fmaily also have their own colour.  This allows me to see at a glance who has what happening each day.  I use these smae colours in my Diary aswell.

2. Location, Location, Location.  I keep our calendar at our Organisation Station.  It is near the phone, computer and where all of our bills and mails are kept.  This means as soon as any dates are confirmed they can be scheduled STRAIGHT onto the calendar.  If I dont do it straight awy or write it on a piece of paper for transferring later, it doesn’t happen!

3. One and Only.  We have only ONE CALENDAR in our whole house.  There is not one for him, one for me, one for school, JUST ONE FAMILY CALENDAR.  If anybody wants to know what is going on, they know where to look.  This means there is no double booking, or something being written in a work diary that no one knows about.  If it’s not on the Calendar than it’s not on. That brings us to the next point.

4. EVERYTHING GOES ON THE CALENDAR.  If it’s not on the Calendar its not on.  This means medical appointments, returning library books, party rsvp dates, school notes, EVERYTHING.  

5.  Take the time.  I take the time once a week to update my diary with what is on the calendar.  This gets everything clear in my head for the upcoming week.

That is it.  5 simple tips to keeping your life sorted.  Ok so maybe that is not your whole life sorted, but having a family calendar is certainly a great start to having an organised life! 

Want an extra special, organised start to 2013?

 Enter below to WIN YOUR VERY OWN FAMILY CALENDAR

from “Stuck On You“!!!

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We Have A WINNER!!! ~ Cold Power Giveaway

This lucky winner won’t be shopping for washing detergent for a while!  

CONGRATULATIONS AMANDA!

You have won a 6 months supply of Cold Power Detergent AND

a $50 Prepaid VISA CARD!!!!

 

Is it sad that I would be more excited about the Cold Power Supply??

Please email mypigeonpairblog@gmail.com

to claim your AWESOME prize! 

 

 

Organising the Washing.

There are two jobs in our house that never seem to end…..

The first is cleaning up the kitchen the second, well the second is the bane of my existence, the washing.  I swear the washing mocks me.  Just as one load is finished, hung, folded and put away, I go to sleep and wake to a pile that seems hauntingly similar to the previous days.  It just never goes away.

I have never been very organised at doing the washing, generally because I just hated doing it so much, that I would procrastinate, leave it until the weekend and then spend two days drowning in dirty clothes.  

But I am trying to change.  Maybe its because I have realised that there is always going to be washing so I may as well get used to it or maybe its because I am sick of running out of clean clothes!  So here is what I have learnt…..

1.  Always finish what you start.  I have a bad habit of putting the washing on and then forgetting about it only to realise in the middle of the night that it is still in the washing machine!  I now send myself reminders on the phone and have established a routine to help me remember to actually finish the washing!!!

2. Use a good quality washing detergent.  This saves you time and money.  I use Cold Power.  I am only a recent convert.  Until then I used washing powder from the dollar store.  Yep I am tight with money even when it comes to washing powder.  Problem was I found myself using soakers, stain removers or washing clothes twice to get them really clean so ultimately I was actually spending more money!

3. Fold straight off the line.  I can still remember my Mum (with 4 kids) folding our clothes straight off the line and putting them each into our own named basket.  The organising gene doesn’t fall far from the tree!!! If I wash every day, it is only half a clothes line of washing.  By folding straight off the line that part of the job is done.  Nothing to procrastinate about!  I find it easier to look at a pile of folded washing than a basket overflowing with washing hastily pulled off the line!

4. Deal with stains stright away.  You know those emergencies! Wine, lipstick, mud, wine.  Ok maybe I have a lot of problems with red wine!  I recently stumbled upon a good app from Cold Power that provides a guide to stain removal that gives you a simple step by step process to save your clothes.  We have a lot of stains in our house!!

…………and if your really curious my washing routine goes like this.

  • Washing load done first thing in the morning.
  • Hung up after school drop off.  Whilst Little Miss A helps me!  It’s lovely outside at this time of day in the winter sun!
  • Clothes taken off line and folded, after school, whilst kids play in yard.
  • Clothes put away, just before bath time, everybody helps!
  • and repeat….EVERY DAY!!!!

If your interested in other washing routines the Cold Power app also gives you energy saving tips to help establish good washing routines that save you time, money and of course ENERGY!  You can download it for free HERE!.

and because when I am on to a good thing I love to share it with you so…..

You could win a 6 Months Supply of Cold Power Washing Powder

AND a $50 prepaid VISA Card!!!!

Enter via Rafflecopter below and tell us what your biggest washing disaster has been??

Can you guess mine??

 Employees of Cold Power (Colgate Palmolive) are not eligible to enter. By entering this competition you accept these Terms and Conditions http://channel5.com.au/PP/  

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