Monday, November 2, 2009

a new road to travel...

The time has come for me to wave goodbye to this little blog. Sniff.
It's been coming for a while; I just had to let it really sink in before I carved the words in blog-stone.
There's a few contributing factors with a common denominator:
I'm freelancing more so time is getting tighter.
I'm starting a new creative writing course and a sewing course and will need to dedicate time to assignments and classes.
It's hit me that our girl has only one more year and a lil bit at home before she heads off to school so time with her is precious and I want to soak up every last little bit.
I want to get more things off my to-do list and onto my by-golly-I-did-it list so yep, I need to dig around and find time for that.
And I won't bore you with the rest (you know, the house to clean, the garden to tend to, the food to bake) but essentially time seems to be getting scarcer around here and some things have had to be reassessed. Ahem, my time spent on the 'puter being at the top of the list. I just simply don't have the time to maintain this blog at the level I would like to.
Whilst I have so, so, so much enjoyed writing this blog what I've loved most is the people I've met, the new friends I've made and the totally ace blogs I have discovered. I won't quit those, promise. In fact I might even be able to linger a bit longer and comment a bit more on some of my faves.
And while I should perhaps be quitting the blogosphere completely I've gone and done a bit of moonlighting over at tumblr and I'm liking it. A lot. I'm actually using it as a bit of an organisational tool. Well, that's what I'm telling myself (and my husband).
You can visit me if you like. I'm here. And I'm making a list of fun things to do with the littles here. And I'm collecting recipes I want to make here. And I'm listing and linking gift ideas for our family here. And one more... I'm collecting visual inspiration for our house here. Oh yes, it's list making gone crazy but I'm finding it's bringing a lot more order and purpose to my net-gazing.
But as I head into my new courses I've made a pact with myself to have two recreational internet (aka blog reading and posting) nights a week. Sheesh, I'm having withdrawals just thinking about it but my guess is I'll be so busy with everything else I won't even notice. 

So if you see me around a bit too much just don't tell my husband parole officer.
Sandra x

Monday, October 12, 2009

And the winners are... Small Fry Play

I woke up with the feeling that I had forgotten to do something. I've checked a few times to make sure I put underwear on.
Then it came to me.
The comp I put on my blog has ended and I need to draw some lucky winners. The littles have kindly pulled three names out of a bag.
Ems, Buttons by Lou Lou and Carmel — you all won a copy of Small Fry Play. Congrats! Email me your address details (contact[dot]mumspace[at]gmail[dot]com) so you can play all day. And a huge thank you to the Small Fry crew for this giveaway. I really love what you do!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Giveaway :: Play all day with Small Fry's latest book

Yay! The Small Fry ladies have been busy making another book. This one is dedicated to one of our favourite things to do (and I'm sure one of yours) — play!
We all know play is super-important for little minds, helping them to build essential life skills and make sense of this world, but as an adult I sometimes find myself resisting play. I get a case of the I'm-too-busies or let's-not-make-a-big-mess-that-Mama-has-to-clean-ups. Do you ever find yourself doing that? Sometimes there are legitimate things you need to do (like make food so that your littles are alive tomorrow to play some more) and it's also great for children to have some independent play time but I really think we adults could play a bit more. It's fun so why not, huh?
So if you need any encouragement on making play time a priority this book is it. It not only explains the importance and relevance of play for growing minds and bodies but gives lots of practical applications with great games and crafts and ideas on making your spaces fun and safe.
It also celebrates the connection play brings between family members. Nothing brings my littles closer than a game of mud pies in the back yard and I know how much they value Mama and Dada letting go and getting into the swing of a game of fairies or moon explorers.
One thing I'm really loving about this book is the sense of simplicity it imparts. Play doesn't have to be complicated or hard work. You don't have to devise crafts that would outsmart Martha Stewart. We all know that the simple things in life can bring the greatest joy and the area of play is no exception to that. Sometimes a rock can be all you need to have a fun-filled day with your special little people.
One of the authors of Play, early childhood guru Sue Cant has kindly shared her top 10 tips for Play with us:
1. Time to relax. Make time every day to let your children play freely. This will build creativity and social skills and give them time to de-stress.
2. Create balance. Make time and space for active, noisy play and quiet, alone play. Children need both to fuel their minds and bodies.
3. The toy debate. Find toys and other items to play with that have more than one use. A blanket can be a tent , a flying carpet, the skin of a dinosaur or something to cuddle up in when we read a book together. When buying toys ask yourself what will my child do with this toy? Will it stand up to the job!
4. Mess is good! Busy minds shouldn't have to worry (within reason) about mess. If it's really messy take it outside or plan a space where it is OK to be messy.
5. You're the parent. Set simple limits that make sense to your child and stick to them! In play your child is learning about the world and their place in it, sometimes that means children need limits to help them play safely.
6. Build resilience. Encourage your child to try new things and to challenge themselves physically and mentally according to their skill and development. The world can be a tough place at times so help them to learn how to manage that risk by building determination and self assurance.
7. Expand your child's world. Be brave try out new things and places together. This builds interest and curiosity which will enhance your child's play.
8. Interact. Make time to read, sing, dance and talk to your child everyday to build connections that will last a life time.
9. Make time for you. Parenting is challenging. Make a little time each day to do something for you. Five minutes might be all you can get but use it to feed your own spirit.
10. Hug them every day no matter what. No matter what the day has brought hug them before bed. This gives them the message that they are important and in turns feeds their self confidence to explore and create tomorrow.
And to celebrate the book's release and spread the love of play the lovely Small Fry team are giving away three copies of their book.
All you have to do to enter is drop a comment below. That's it. The competition will close Sunday October 11 at midnight AEDST. Good luck.
For me this book has sparked a dedication to make this school holidays all about connecting with my littles through play so I'm giving the blog a rest. I'll pop back in to let you know who won the books but other than that I'll see you all in two weeks. Have fun x

Monday, September 28, 2009

Prehistoric snack of the week

The other day our son held up his half munched piece of cheesy toast and exclaimed "A T-Rex!".
Do you think I could flog it off on ebay like the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And the winner is...

Please excuse my tardiness... I've been flat to the floor with kids (both my littles seem to be on major hurting themselves sprees at the moment; the weirdest accident of the week was our daughter who cut her toes quite badly on a washing basket... TWICE), major dust cleaning (a lot of you know what that's like! Sheesh, I am over it and can this crazy wind please go away too?), birthday party creating (why did I decide on a do-it-all-myself party-at-home job this year?) and another family member in hospital (thank goodness it's not one of the littles this time). September is throwing us some curve balls. Roll on October.
I've popped over to visit the random number generator and the winner is:
Congratulations aprilmanley! Email your mailing deets to contact[dot]mumspace[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks everyone for entering and thanks so much Cushie Tushies for the lovely giveaway!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do dwell on it!

DwellStudio, those lovely makers of gorgeous bed linen, have some new prints out and they have expanded their range to include bath accessories, toys, lunch kits, backpacks, bibs, aprons and stationery. Happy days!
Holy crackers. That backpack. Divine.

Here, take another look in case you blacked out from the cuteness of it all:
Tiny People stock a lot of this label so hopefully they'll be getting the bags when they come out at the end of October.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Waiter, there's a baby in my table...

A friend was recently telling me how hard it is to achieve quality time with her daughter to complete homework because her nine-month-old always wants to be part of the action. She said there have been torn homework books, tantrums from both children and quite a few tears (mostly from the littles but I think she's about to join the raining eyes party out of sheer frustration). This could be the solution. The Baby in Table I spotted on Inhabitots last week. A nice spot in the table for baby and plenty of room for the little homework doer to set up down the other end. Provide baby with his own homework book to drool on and rip as he likes, set yourself up on a cushion with a cup of tea in hand and everyone will be happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Welcome to the house of fun

Our son is always proclaiming that when he grows up he's going to build a house right next to ours and join the two by a bridge. I think this is probably the image in his mind:

 {I've seen this pic a lot around the web; most recently over at Sweet Home Style}

Saturday, September 19, 2009

WIN! Cushie Tushies for your little one's cute tushie

Hey, were
n't Shell and Cath from Cushie Tushie's fantastic in their Super Mum interview?
And those nappie
s. Goodness me. Too. Cute. Babies these days, huh? They really do have it all.
Well, they
are so super fantastic that they have a little surprise for a {mum space} reader. That's you. Yes. You. The one reading this.
The lovely ladies want your little one's tushie to get the deluxe treatment so they are giving away a couture nappy and matching wet bag in the winners choice of print. Just head on over to the Cushie Tushie site and then swing back here to leave a comment with your choice of print.
Want extra entries. You can get three more big ones. Here's how to get 'em:
Blog this giveaway and get 1 extra entry
Subscribe to or follow this site and get 1 extra entry
Twitter or Facebook this giveaway and get 1 extra entry
Just be sure to leave separate comments saying which of these you have done to get your extra entries. Good luck!
I'll be drawing a random winner next Friday, September 25.

Super Mums :: Shell and Cath from Cushie Tushies

We all know that the world would be a better place if it was run by mums alone. Shell and Cath from Cushie Tushies would definitely be on the board of directors.

{Shell and her little man with the tushie that started it all}
{Cath and her boys. If we could read minds I'm sure the boys are saying: my cushie tushie is so... cushie}
How did Cushie Tushies get started? Like all mums I wanted to provide the best for her new baby. After researching all the options available for my baby’s bottom I decided that Modern Cloth Nappies were ideal.
The birth of my first son in 2005 provided the inspiration for the very first Cushie Tushies nappy.
I wanted the benefits of cloth with the ease of disposables — I was looking for a one-sized all-in-one that was absorbent, easy to use, in fun, brightly coloured fabrics. There weren’t too many options within my limited budget that covered all the bases, so I created my own!
It was such a fun and effective product that word spread. Pretty soon, I was making nappies for friends and strangers alike and, with the help of our customers’ feedback, the Cushie Tushie developed into the popular All In One cloth nappy that it is today.
The Cushie Tushies team now includes two partners: founder Shell, as Design and Production Director and Catherine Langman as Marketing, Sales and Financial Director. We're both mothers striving to strike a balance between work and family — spending quality time at home with our children whilst nurturing and challenging their professional, creative and business interests.

Cloth nappies have come a long way in the last few years and you’ve been at the forefront of that change with your Cushie Tushies nappies. What exactly are modern cloth or all-in-one nappies?

Any new parent or expectant mother who has wandered into the baby and maternity section of Online Shopping has probably noticed the plethora of cloth nappies available. One glance at an item description, however, loaded with acronyms and strange terms, probably causes you to back away and not even try to begin deciphering their descriptions. I know this because not that long ago, I was one of these people!

In an effort to make buying nappies easier for all parents, here is a brief explanation of what modern cloth nappies are and what to look for. Cloth nappies can be roughly divided into two categories: ‘traditional’ flat cloth and ‘modern’ cloth. Flat cloth is the traditional terry squares, and also what are known as pre-fold nappies. They are the most basic form of nappy and are quite cheap. They require a good quality cover and usually have to be changed more regularly as they are not as absorbent as Modern Cloth nappies (or MCNs). MCNs, also known as pockets and All-in-one (AIO) nappies, are shaped like a disposable and don’t require folding like a flat nappy. As the name suggests, the waterproof cover, absorbent material and nappy inner are all in one unit. They fasten simply at the front, with touch tape or snaps, and are generally easy and convenient to use.
What are the advantages of cloth nappies over disposable?
When you first look at modern cloth, it may look more expensive than you expected. As with any purchase you make, you will always pay a premium for quality. When it comes to cloth nappies, the old-fashioned terry squares with plastic pilchers will always be the most cost effective option. However, if the greater work-load, more frequent nappy changes and problems with leaks aren’t for you, then modern cloth is the way to go.

A good quality modern cloth system is an excellent investment. By paying a little extra per nappy, you’ll get products that are more effective and absorbent, and durable enough to last the distance.

So let’s have a closer look at the figures and see how they compare to disposables. For the sake of this comparison, we have used a price-point of 50 cents per disposable. Obviously cheaper disposables are available, but generally need more frequent changing than we have estimated in our comparison.

Birth to Undies: 2.5 years, or 130 weeks, or 913 days
Disposable nappies:
7 nappies per day @ 50 cents per nappy = $3,195.50
Disposable wipes
: 1 packet per week @ $5.50 = $915.00
That's a TOTAL of: $4,110.50

Cushie Tushies Full Timer bulk pack will provide you with:
24 nappies, 2 wool covers, 4 bamboo fold-ups, 4 packs wipes = $884.00
That’s a total saving of $3226.50!!!

With two kids in nappies, these costs would double! And that doesn’t take into consideration extra expenses like disposable nappy sacks…

Mums are so busy these days, are modern cloth nappies going to add a whole lot more work to their already full day?

Modern cloth nappies don’t require bleaching, soaking, hot washing, ironing or any of those mundane and time consuming jobs that make traditional cloth nappies seem like a chore.
This makes caring for modern cloth nappies really easy. Once used, simply empty the contents of the soiled nappy into the toilet (or you can use a bio-degradable flushable liner for this if you don’t like the mess) and throw the nappy in a dry nappy bucket with a lid, or straight in the wash.
How often on average do you need to change your baby if you are using Cushie Tushies?
The Couture is our premium nappy, but with the price tag you do get some serious bang for your buck. Our customers love this nappy because it is super absorbent — it lasts anywhere between 6-12 hours. But mostly, our customers love the Couture because it is a true fashion item — the range of colours and prints is huge, so there is a style to suit all tastes!

The Basix is what we call our workhorse nappy. This nappy is excellent value at a reasonable price. It is absorbent, lasting 3-5 hours between changes, trim fitting, and so easy to use that Daddy and Granny can’t get it wrong! It comes in a range of beautiful colours and is available in discount bulk packs.
How many cloth nappies do you need and how long do they last?
Cushie Tushies receommends having at least 24 nappies for full time use. This is enough nappies for around 2½ days’ wear, allowing for washing every second day with a few to spare while the rest are drying.
We find that having less nappies, and therefore washing more frequently, means each nappy gets a much bigger work-out and deteriorates faster. By having a good sized stash, you are not washing every day and therefore the nappies will last well over a much longer period. Of course, if you prefer to wash less often, you would have a bigger stash!
And does one size really fit all? How does that work?
Cushie Tushies all-in-one (AIO) nappies are one-size-fits-all, or OSFA. This means that the nappy you purchase when your little one is born will see them right through to toilet training. There is no need to buy different sizes as your child grows — rather, as your baby grows, you simply adjust how far around the front of your baby's tummy you wrap the wings of the nappy and secure firmly with the snaps.
To fit our nappies on a newborn to approximately 5kg, you will need to shorten the rise at the front by folding the top down. This will also reduce the size of the leg holes, preventing leakage, and the nappy will still fasten at the front as normal. Cushie Tushies has tested our OSFA nappies on boys and girls, from newborn to toddler, with great success. We hope you find the same with your child!
Where can you get Cushie Tushies modern cloth nappies?

Online at our website, through our retail stores (also listed on the website) or through our consultants all across Australia.
You have some really cute designs in your range, which ones are your favourites?
Shell ::
Bumble Bee Couture and Orange Basix

Cath ::
Denim Couture and Black Basix

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