Friday, 12 December 2014

Thomas the Tank Engine Trackmaster Motorised Railway - Giveaway and Review


I recently decluttered and organised my boys’ room. They share a room and their ages are 6 and 4. So as you can imagine things get messy very quickly.

But now I am pleased to say, their room is a thing of beauty! For a while at least… In one container I have put all their Thomas the Tank Engine tracks and trains.

This is a 25 litre container and it is filled up to the top with Thomas things. I had no idea that we had so much Thomas gear. My boys just love that little blue engine.

There is something worthy and good about Thomas and his friends. It has stood the test of time and remains as popular today as it did many years ago.


The Trackmaster motorised railway range is brand new and the little battery operated engines allow for 25% faster speeds and steeper climbs. You can add to the core set with loads of expansion packs, train sets and your little one’s favourite engines, like Percy, James, Diesel and of course Thomas.

It is strong and durable and your little engineer can build their own tracks and keep adding to the fun, by using their own imaginations and creativity.


Available from Big W, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and limited toy specialty stores. Trackmaster play sets range from $29.99 - $99.99. Engines range from $18.99 - $29.99. Expandable pieces start at $14.99.


A brand new Thomas movie DVD has also come out called Thomas and Friends Tales of the Brave. This is awesome. My kids range in age from 4 to 11 and they all loved this movie. The RRP is $19.95, from all retailers. Watch how Thomas and the other engines go on a daring adventure and discover what it really means to be brave.

Lots of fun!




Do you have a Thomas loving young boy or girl at home?

I have a real treat if you have a fan. I have some of the new Trackmaster goodies to give away to a couple of winners.


I have 2 prize packs to giveaway which includes a Trackmaster starter set and an expansion pack which is worth $45, as well as a Thomas and Friends Tale of The Brave DVD which is worth $20.


Please enter via Rafflecopter below.


Giveaway will run from now until 11.59pm Sunday 21 December, 2014.

Only available for Australian residents.

I will choose a winner based on skill and originality.


Working it all out
Big kid






All the best!



Melanie






Monday, 8 September 2014

12 Foods Your Dog Should Avoid


Looking after our four-legged, faithful, furry friends is very important to me. I am such an animal lover. We all have a duty of care where our pets are concerned. 

I would like to share this infographic with you. Very important stuff, if we want to keep our companions happy and healthy.











Our dogs give us so much, let's make sure that we are looking after them properly.


Melanie

Friday, 5 September 2014

Menulog - No. 1 for Online Takeaway - Review and Giveaway


When you have had a busy day, and you finally get home sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is cooking and you would love a good takeaway meal but you just don't feel like the usual delivery and going out again isn't high on your list. What do you do about dinner?

Have you heard of Menulog. It is a great little website that makes it super easy to organise food delivery to your door.

Menulog has a huge range of restaurant selections. Over 4200 Australia wide. As well as literally thousands of reviews available. The website is also completely mobile thanks to the Menulog app which is available for iPhone or Android.

You can choose Delivery or Pickup. You can see at a glance what the minimum order for delivery is, the speed they deliver and the promotions and specials they have going at the moment. You get to see the restaurant’s menu and the price list at a glance.

The user friendly browse pages for Brisbane currently lists 436 restaurants, with 53 cuisines available.

We decided to give Menulog a go for dinner last night. It is really easy to use. 

1. On your computer go to www.menulog.com.au

2. In the box under Find Restaurants in Your Area...  Enter Your Postcode and press  Let's Go!




3. It then loads a page with all the restaurants in your area that are listed on their site. These are the listing for Beenleigh Take-Away with Delivery.



4. Then you can just click on the Order or the Pre-Order Button. Go through the Menu and choose some yummy food. Click Place your Order when you have finished. Pick a payment method and you are done.



5. A confirmation email will be sent to you, with your order as an attachment.

6. Then you wait for it to be delivered to your door.

7. The only thing left to do is to enjoy your delicious meal.





Pappadums are a favourite with all my kids. Next time I will have to order twice as many I think! I would like to highly recommend Kasturys Indian Cuisine in Beenleigh, Queensland. Service is excellent and the food is delicious.






I am very happy to offer one $25 dollar voucher from Menulog to giveaway to one of my readers.

Competition will run until Monday, 15 September, 2014 at 11:59pm. So get your entries in quickly.

I will choose a winner via Random.org. I will then contact the winner with your giveaway voucher!

Please enter via Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Available for Australia only. 
Expires 1 month after winner selection. 
For Delivery, Credit Card only
Valid for 1 use only.




All the best,


Melanie

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Tap King - A New Kind of In-Home Beer System Has Arrived!


An in home beer system is possible and available so that you can dispense icy cold beer straight from your fridge into your glass. That sounds just a bit awesome to me.

Tap King has a special fridge ready dispenser. It fits beautifully into the fridge. Then all you need to do is buy the bottles. 



The bottles are big 3.2 litre bottles filled with great tasting beer and they fit onto the dispenser and then with glass in hand you are ready to go. 


The bottles are easy to fit onto the dispenser which even comes with it's own little drip tray! It then is just a matter of pressing the lever and pouring it into your glass.

A bottle holds about 10 glasses of beer. But we somehow got about 14 glasses from it. Bonus!

The Tap King dispenser and all the bottles are available at your local liquor shop or available to buy online from www.tapking.com/

I didn't really believe that this big plastic bottle could give a high quality and delicious tasting beer. But it really does. 

For the best quality beer with a good head you must chill the bottles in the fridge for 8 hours before you crack it open.

We tried the James Squire One Fifty Lashes Pale Ale. Which I think will become a favourite in our house. But also available are:

Tooheys New
Tooheys Extra Dry
XXXX Gold
James Boag Premium Lager
Hahn Super Dry
James Squire Chancer Golden Ale



It is excellent for parties but also just to have on hand in the fridge, for a glass with a meal or when friends come around. It is also great to give as a gift.

As a special at the moment for just $49 dollars at Dan Murphy's you can get 2 Tap King 3.2L bottles plus a dispenser unit and a commemorative ‘Dad Badge’ to complete the perfect gift (limited number of badges available, while stocks last).

Also until September 10, you can purchase any 3.2L Tap King bottle and Dispenser Unit from Liquorland or First Choice for the majestic price of just $30 (while stocks last).

Check out their facebook page at www.facebook.com/tapkingdom for lots more info. If you enjoy a nice beer then you really must give this a try.

Tap King is a contributor to DrinkWise Australia, an independent, not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting change towards a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia. Visit www.drinkwise.org.au for more information and the facts about alcohol.

Please always drink responsibly.





Melanie

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Taking a Moment For Mesothelioma


A few years ago I had the pleasure of having this lovely lady write a guest post on A Welcoming Hearth.



They have invited me to 'take a moment for Meso' by sharing some facts about this disease.





The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance has dedicated a significant amount of time making www.mesothelioma.com the best resource for those who want to learn more about or are effected by mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to Asbestos, but what I didn't realise is the correlation it has with smoking. Smoking alone is not linked to mesothelioma, but smokers who are exposed to asbestos have a much higher chance of developing asbestos lung cancer (as much as fifty to ninety percent higher) and as much as double the risk of developing mesothelioma. 

As Heather has shown it is possible to survive. Her mission is to be a beacon of hope for those afflicted with mesothelioma by sharing her story of faith, love and courage. Her story is inspirational.



Melanie

Sunday, 10 August 2014

All The Fun of The Ormeau Fair #MySundayPhoto


Our family spent a few hours at the Ormeau Fair this morning. 


Bethany flying high and having lots of fun.








OneDad3Girls



Melanie

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Anxiety and Stress - 10 Ways To Help You Cope #IBOT



I suffer a lot with nerves, and at the moment my anxiety levels seem to be through the roof. I am having panic attacks and my nerves are shot.

Let’s face it. This world is a scary place to be sometimes. It is hard, tiring and a battle just to get through the day.

I seem to have all the theory on how to help myself feel better. I guess numerous doctors, psychologists and other health professionals have given me an arsenal of ways to cope. But I have trouble putting it into practice.

But I do need to keep these helpful ways in the forefront of my mind. So that I can dwell on them and remember them when I need them. So I will list them out here, and if it helps someone else to cope with feelings of anxiety then that is a very good thing.

  1. Break tasks, jobs, things to do, into smaller manageable chunks. Don’t look at the whole overwhelming picture, but at the smaller little steps that are needed to help you move forward even just a little bit. Make lists if it helps put some order in your day.
  2. Take time out to relax and breath. Do something that you enjoy. Whether that is reading, craft, a nice, warm, bubble bath, going to the gym, or watching a funny movie.
  3. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Our bodies heal when we sleep – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  4. Try and take control of your thoughts. Don’t let that inner critic win. When that little voice inside tries to make you panic, be strong and tell it to go away. Think positively and don’t be too hard on yourself.
  5. Sometimes a journal or diary helps. Write done your thoughts and worries. Then close the book on them figuratively. Or on a more positive note write down your blessings. The good things that happened to you that day.
  6. Prioritise your day. Make sure that you manage your time effectively. Do things in order of importance. Work out the best way to accomplish tasks, before you begin. Have a plan.
  7. If there is something that you are dreading and is making you stressed. Then stop everything else and do it first. If you do the job that is the hardest or the most difficult for you to do, first, then really everything else is downhill from there.
  8. Of course, make sure that you are getting the right nutrients and good food into your body. To help it thrive. Also drink enough water. Dehydration causes tiredness and that makes coping with the daily stresses of life, so much harder.
  9. Talk about it with others. A problem shared is a problem halved.
  10. Don’t put unreachable standards on yourself. Being a perfectionist puts such a lot of pressure on you. Far too much. To have high standards is good, but learn your limits and learn when to say no.


Do you have some coping strategies to add? What helps you when you get anxious and stressed about life? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Linking up with Jess for #IBOT.


Melanie





Thursday, 1 May 2014

Strike While the Iron Is Hot! (Philips PerfectCare Aqua Steam Iron Review}


There is one thing that I thought I would never do and that is extol the virtues of the humble iron. But not all irons are created equal. Simple and speedy are the two qualities that I like in an iron! Anything that allows you to spend less time ironing and more time doing the things that are really important – like being with my family.


The Philips PerfectCare Aqua Iron is designed to make a busy family life easier and less complicated and it certainly does that. They have thought of everything here. Some of its highlights are:

  • It is wonderfully lightweight. The iron itself weighs only 1 kg.
  • Auto Off (I so need this!).
  • The safe rest position is face down on its soleplate on the ironing board. It is always safe. This prevents wrist strain and repetitive movements caused by continuously placing an iron on its heel.
  • It has a pressurized steam generator with a 2.2 Litre extra extra large fully visible water tank.
  • The iron locks to the base for easy carrying.
  • Awesome descaling switch. It basically cleans itself.
  • Provides continuous steam up to 120 g/min and a steam boost of 220 g. It has up to 5 bars of steam pressure. Crease removal is fast and easy. Great for vertical steam if required.



It has no temperature setting dial! This amazingly clever little iron can go from linen to cashmere to silk, in any order, without changing anything. It uses OptimalTemp which means that it maintains a balance of steam and heat to iron anything that is iron-able without adjusting any settings.


For the first time you use it you fill up the water tank, plug it in, wait about 2 minutes for the water to heat up, and iron. Simple as that!

It thrives on tap water. Only use demineralised if your water is very hard. To clean your iron you don't use decalcifying stuff or vinegar, just fill with water, and flick the descaling switch. How lovely it that?




It is such a clever thing. It is priced at $429.95. But it is I believe at the very top of its class, and if you dislike ironing or spend a lot of time slaving in front of an ironing board, then using this beautiful iron is very cool indeed.


Melanie


Monday, 21 April 2014

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things


Some thought provoking quotes that have struck a chord and helped me get through this past week.








As we begin another school term, and get back into a routine, I shall endeavour to set small goals that are positive, personal and possible and give myself a small reward when I accomplish tasks. We will see how that goes!

I like the routine of school days, but miss my children during the day. My kids are quiet, gentle, considerate souls in a world were so many aren't, and it tugs at my heart to leave them there. Are you happy when the school holidays end? 

I am still here (amazingly enough), still fighting, still antidepressant free. But still coffee and I are not friends. 


I hope your week is a pleasant and productive one. Remember if someone shows you kindness, pay it forward.



Melanie

Monday, 14 April 2014

Chin Up Butter Cup or This Too Shall Pass



I have been to a dark, dark place. I have been there so many times before. It doesn’t get any nicer or more welcoming. It is the pits. It is a place that no matter how hard you try you can’t see tomorrow. So you close your eyes and somehow time keeps moving on.

I lost interest in eating and drinking and coffee. Coffee! Who on earth would believe that of me? Coffee has turned on me and snarled, arched its back and walked away and left me wondering why? We have gone our separate ways.

I am not sleeping. I stare at the blackness until about 2 or 3 am. The nights are so incredibly long and stretch on and on and on. I lie there having in depth dialogues with myself about everything and anything. Sometimes I get up, just can’t bear to lie there anymore.

Sharing is something that is hard for me. Letting people in behind the towering wall I have built up over the years is virtually impossible. Letting people see the real me, what goes on behind my eyes and inside my head, is scary. And I have a blog, so how silly is that?


I am a people pleaser. I hate saying no. I try to please everybody all the time, and it gets tiring for me. I don’t want people to dislike me, so I am whatever you want or expect me to be. I adapt my personality to suit yours, but I have done it for so long, I think that I have lost myself somewhere along the way.

Some people stress me out so much that I find it hard to be around them. Some people who assume because I am quiet that I am stupid or na├»ve. But really if you pass over me as not worth the time or effort, then that is fine, really. I prefer it that way. I hate standing out. I don’t rock the boat, I don’t even make any ripples as I go about my life. I know I won’t make any ripples when it is time for me to go.


At the moment I am free falling as it were. After 24 years I am anti-depressant free. Not really through choice but because the medication the doctor changed me too has made me feel so ill that I had to stop. I can’t say that I am feeling happy or better BUT I am feeling, probably for the first time in decades I am feeling and at the moment that is ok. The rawness and intensity of life feels like a splash of icy water in my face.


Anyway, thanks I think in part to some chocolate pancakes, which it appears have the ability to heal and stick together broken bits, of which I have plenty, I am functioning again. My blog is back on track. Although this time I am not accepting and saying yes to everyone and everything that comes along. I will be trying to be more honest and open and that super scary word ‘share’ more of myself with my long-suffering readers. I am learning how to say no, which is something that I am not familiar with so please bear with me here.

Ok, so onwards and upwards. Battle scared, weary and bruised but forever fighting.

Look after yourself and your loved ones.


Melanie


Let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains and look forward to what is coming.




Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Let's Get Organised For Going Back To School


School is almost back again. Time to think about all those things like schedules, books, pens, clothes, shoes. The list seems endless sometimes, and when you add more children to the equation then it can start getting pretty expensive too.

We are sort of organised this year. I have three school goers. A Year 1 and a Year 4 and a Year 6, going into the new 6/7 arrangement. Scary stuff!



I find that one of the more expensive items that you need and that you want the best quality and value for money that you can afford, is shoes. Do you agree?

I find that if I do buy them the el cheapo $19.00 sneakers from a budget shoe store then they are lucky to last one semester. That is around 10 weeks. Even though money is tight, I end up thinking well I don’t know if that was actually worth it.

Our little ones' growing feet are precious aren’t they? So you don’t mind paying that little bit extra and getting them a good pair of school shoes. But of course when you do buy them a pair that will last and look good, you need to look after them, so that they do last and don’t get all scuffed and aged looking and wear out before their time.

Mister Minit has a very nifty little box of tricks for school shoes. It certainly makes life just that little bit easier, and that is what we Mums and Dads need when it comes to organising the back to school mayhem.

It is called surprisingly enough, the Back To School Kids Shoe Kit from Waproo.



It contains

1 x Liquid Renovating Polish - Black
1 x Instant Shine Sponge – Neutral
1 Pair of Free 90cm Black Shoelaces

You can keep school shoes looking their best for longer. What a great idea?

I was given a free sample box, but I would like one of my readers to have it.

~~~~~ G i v e a w a y ~~~~~

Just leave a comment and let me know why you would like this very cool little kit.

I will then hand it over to my oldest girl, 11 year old Bethany to pick the winner for me.

The competition will run from now until Tuesday 28 January, so that I can get this into an express bag for the winner as quickly as I can.

Please only one comment each.  Australian residents only. Judges decision is final.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Please have a look at the other products that Mister Minit has that can make this time a little bit more organised for the busy year ahead. There is a huge variety of key rings that are great to help distinguish school bags; themed and coloured keys; Instant Sneaker Cleaner; Minit Instant Shine; Stay Fresh Odour Away, and lots of other things. I must pay them a visit myself.


All the best!



Melanie


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