Review for Little Leaf Eco

Wow, its been a while since I did a review and even wrote a post. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be approached by Maileen of Little Leaf Eco, to review a couple of her items amd I took her up on the opportunity.

I was sent a Stinky Bag for Little Miss and a Kid’s Backpack for Mr Happy. I am always on the look out for new and different things for my children and the chance to review both items has been well received in our household.

A Little About Little Leaf Eco

They are a New Zealand family owned company, with a focus on creating items to minimise waste, help the environment whilst maintaining a high standard.

The creater is a Mum of two boys and finding she was getting tired of lunchboxes breaking halfway through the school year, as well as trying to find the right shape and not always knowing what chemicals were used to create the lunchboxes, her first product the Lunch Tote was born.

Other products by Little Leaf Eco

On the website you can find the Lunch Tote, Stinky Bag, Kid’s Backpack’s and a selection of Wooden Toys.

 

On to the Stinky Bag

The Stinky Bag is designed to be used for sports, swimming gear, gym kits, toys, sleepover items and anything else you can think of. Little Miss is starting school in a matter of months and has weekly swimming lessons so I thought this bag would be perfect for her to try.

We were sent the pink ‘Princess in Training’ bag. When I first showed Little Miss her instantly had a huge smile on her face. She was keen to have a look at the different compartments and started discussing what she could use the bag for.

What interested me most about the Stinky Bag is the bottom zippered section that has been designed to store wet, dirty or used gear separately, ie the Stinky stuff! Plus, the bag has been made so you can put the wet/dirty clothes straight into the washing machine within having to touch them. Tip the opened part of the bag straight into the machine. And the bag is also washing machine friendly (note: I haven’t washed mine yet!).

We have used the bag for swimming lessons and it is perfect! No more having to take a plastic bag to put her wet togs, hat and towel in. The first time we used it, Little Miss had to put her wet things in the ‘wet’ section by herself!

Perfect size to fit everything

There a few pockets to the Stinky Bag also, an outside zip pocket and another one with a velcro seal. Inside the main compartment of the bag, there is a pocket to hold a few small items as well as a label for your child to name their bag.

Separate zip to get into the ‘stinky’ compartment, velcro pocket at the front


Plenty of room inside the bag, two small pockets and a label to name the bag

At the top there is the zip as well as a magnetic button, so you can fold over the top of the bag if you don’t need to fill the bag.

At $59.95 the Stinky Bag can be on the expensive side for bags, but for the size of bag it is worth it. I feel Little Miss will get a lot of use from this when she starts school and because of the design and style of it, I think it will be a favourite bag of hers for a few years to come.

The Stinky Bag comes in three different designs. The two other designs are Super Hero Stinky Bag and Hands Off Stinky Bag

 

Kid’s Backpack

The Kid’s Backpack’s are animal themed and perfect for toddlers and preschool children. They are made with 100% recycled cotton canvas, so lightweight for little people and they have adjustable shoulder straps and I would say they are washable.

There are five designs to choose from, I was given the Blue Dog backpack for Mr Happy. The other designs available are Green Cat, Orange Monkey, Pink Bunny and Red Dog.

Blue Dog Kid’s Backpack $49.95

What I love about it is that it is just his size, easy for him to put on and it can hold his lunchbox, and several changes of clothes for Preschool. It doesn’t have waterproof lining, but its easy for him to open and close.

It also has a handle on the top of the bag, good for hanging up and great for storing the bag at home. Inside of the bag has colourful lining, appealing to young children and has two pockets built inside, always handy to have extra compartments, Mr Happy just loves it. He turns three next month, but I would say that this bag would be ideal from age one upwards, as Little Leaf Eco suggests.

Colourful lining, two small pockets.

So there you have it, my review of two really great Mum-made and of course New Zealand and Eco-friendly products. Little Miss and Mr Happy are proud as punch with their new bags.

Happy Kids with their Stinky Bag and Backpack


Mr Happy ‘modelling’ without realising

Links for Little Leaf Eco

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

NB: I was sent the ‘Stinky bag’ and Kid’s Backpack to review and all views and photos are my own. Some information has been adapted from the Little Leaf Eco website.

Mothers Day

Sunday May 8th is Mothers Day in New Zealand, Australia (where some amazing Mumma’s live!) as well as several other countries. The day to awknowledge our special Mum’s and thank them for everyone they have done and continue to do for us. This day has always been a day I haven’t forgotten (memory of an elephant over here!) and now I am a Mum myself it is even more significant.

Unfortunately Mothers Day isn’t always a joyous event, it ends up being another day we would rather just forget about.

Mothers Day 2011, I was pregnant with our firstborn, dear Alex. I remember working that day and a few people mentioned to me, that Mothers Day next year would be my first Mothers Day because my baby would be here. Apparently, some people thought being obviously pregnant means you aren’t a Mother yet or deserve a Mothers Day. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, why would I? I would have my baby next year to celebrate being a Mummy with.

Moving on to Mothers Day 2012. I was heavily pregnant with my second baby, (with our soon to be four year old daughter). This Mothers Day officially sucked arse! I was angry and sad my baby wasn’t in my arms. I knew I was a Mother but I thought back to the comments I had the previous year, this WAS supposed to be my ‘first’ Mothers Day. Instead, I was blessed to be pregnancy but also mourning the loss of my boy. I remember my thoughts drifted to “Why me? Why my baby? And would I be able to celebrate Mothers Day next year?”

You are probably wondering what it the point of this blog post? Well, for me I look forward to Mothers Day, as I’m sure most Mothers do, but I also dread it. As my boy’s fifth anniversary looms next month I find myself thinking about him more and more as the day comes closer. And sadly Mothers Day is another reminder that I have three children but only two to wrap my arms around.

Mothers Day can be incredibly difficult for Mothers that have lost children or are yet to have living children and of course those that do not have their mother around to share the day with.

Some women will choose to ignore this day and want to hide away from the world and that is fine, but please remember you are a Mother, this beautiful quote from Franchesca Cox sums up exactly how I and some others Mum’s feel

“A Mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart”

image

My beautiful ‘Queen Mum’ mug from Sands New Plymouth xxx

 

This is an awesome article by Lexi Behrndt of Scribbles and Crumbs

7 Ways To Remember the Hurting Mothers This Mother’s Day

Please be kind to yourself  on this day if it is particulary hard for you, sending love and hugs dear Mumma.

craftyorganisedme sig

Easter Time with Lulu n Cat

Yay it’s almost that time again, Easter!!!! When I was a kid, apart from Christmas and my birthday, Easter was another holiday I looked forward too.

It meant two weeks off school and lots of chocolate! I grew up with two younger brothers and we all did pretty well for Easter.  We were brought up to wait patiently until Easter Sunday before we could open one of our chocolately treats! (My husband tells me as a child, he was allowed to have his chocolate eggs on Good Friday, to me this doesn’t seem right and I insist our kids have to wait until Sunday).

This year Little Miss is three (going on 13), she will be four in June and Mr Happy is two next month. And this will be the first year I will attempt to do an Easter egg hunt for them. I say attempt, cause I can see it being a tad chaotic. I am really conscious about how much chocolate they should eat/be given at their age, so I have been putting some thought into what they can ‘hunt’ for. I found these cool Playdoh Easter eggs, $12 for 10 eggs which I thought was prety good. The kids, are HUGE Playdoh fans so I think these eggs filled with Playdoh will be a big hit.

12874225_10156665546750721_1758425798_o

I also have two of Lulu n Cat Easter Bunny Jars one in lime green and the other in blush pink. I think the kids will really like these to collect their mini chocolate eggs and Easter stickers in. Plus after the chocolate is gone and the stickers have been stuck everywhere (usually everywhere but paper!) they will get to keep the jar! They will be a great keepsake, plus they can be used each Easter.

12722411_10156665881565721_2021706172_o 12874090_10156665881495721_104478749_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma of Lulu n Cat also lives in New Plymouth, last year I did a review of her cool creations.

I would love to know of any Easter traditions anyone would like to share.

craftyorganisedme sig

 

Dear Mrs C

Antidepressants, oh no she said that word! Yep that’s right, I said it, Antidepressants, (in case you didn’t catch it the first time). I take one daily, well actually I take two, (yep two!) in the morning with my breakfast. If my 3.5 year old asks me what I am taking I just reply ‘Mummy’s happy pills’. I don’t feel a girl of her age needs to be told antidepressant, to me they are my happy pills, they have made me genuinely happier. When my daughter is old enough I will explain to her a little more about them.

I thought I would write a letter to give others a little insight into what it has been like for me, over a year ago that I began taking anitdepressants for PND. I’m a big believer in removing the stigma around PND, I am not ashamed, I am proud to share my story.

 

Dear Mrs C

We had a love/hate relationship at the beginning, but now I write this letter to you, as a thank you.

I wasn’t very keen to introduce myself to you, I thought I could get better without you. But you have proven to me that I did indeed make the right decision.

At the beginning it was dreadful, I felt worse before I felt better. Was it worth it feeling the way I did? A few of the side effects I felt were nausea, increased anxiety, feeling disconnected to people around me and wanting to hide away from the world. Slowly but surely, over a month I felt better. I wanted to get out of bed in the morning, I wanted to see people and most importantly I wanted to be a mother to my kids and a wife to my husband again. Finally, we were getting along, you were helping me be me.

Yes our first month together was incredibly tough and I nearly told you to kindly F*** off as you weren’t working, but like most things that are tough and haven’t been done before, it will often seem worse before it gets better.

I knew the way I had been secretly feeling for months and months, no one else really knew, even I didn’t know as most days I put on my brave, happy smiley face, BUT anything had to be better than the way I was feeling. Thanks to you Mrs C, you helped me see through the fog that was distorting my vision and weighing down on my shoulders. Your support has given me the much needed clarity to see through that pesky fog and begin to bulid my life again.

We have been in an relationship for just over a year now, I’d hoped to have ended my relationship with you by now, but I’m not quite ready. And you know what, I think that is ok. I will ease out of my relationship with you when I feel ready, I will not be hasty, after all it was not an easy decision to make in the beginning.

So thanks Mrs C, you are pretty awesome!

Xxxxxx

12675144_10156510676980721_803377767_o

Little Miss

12696610_10156510677545721_1991531626_o

Mr Happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just my opinion on taking antidpressants. I feel my PND is currently managed and I am in control of it. Along with taking an antidepressant I have also sought help from a counsellor, friends and my parents as well as my incredibly patient and loving husband, and my beautiful children.

I have still had some bumps in the road, antidepressants are not a quick fix and not for everyone. I just wanted to share my own personal experience of taking one.

If you or someone you know is struggling please help them to seek help. Having PND or any form of depression is not shameful, please speak up there os plenty of help and support out there.

12695611_10156510678930721_859133057_o

Hubby and I

12695458_10156510675480721_1905766929_o

I’m a #nofiltermum thanks to TheHood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

craftyorganisedme sig

 

Cloud Nine Creative

Cloud Nine Creative can be found on the South Island of New Zealand in Christchurch. Lee Sinclair is the lady behind Cloud Nine Creative and most of the items that she sells are handmade. And guess what there is a Sale live now on the website!!!!

I found Cloud Nine Creative during one of my Instagram searches (I’m always on Instagram, yes I’m a little obsessed!). I saw her gorgeous tassel necklaces and just knew I had to have one. I was lucky enough to be offered one in exchange for a review and I absolutely love it.

image image

Lee sent me some information about herself and Cloud Nine Creative. (The information I was sent is in italics).

When Cloud Nine Creative was started the main product sold was jewellery, but due to a passion of interiors Lee soon realised some of the tiny graphics she was using on her jewellery would work well as larger items. Along with jewellery on the website you can also find cushions, art prints, plates, vases, planters and clocks. The majority of the items sold are handcrafted, and some items are limited edition, to ensure that item is deemed more special. However, the cushions are printed with unique designs and made in the Canterbury studio and the plates and planters are hand painted.

Lee devlops her own products, and uses inspriation from her mood board which is a collection of vlolours and ideas, as well as pieces from magazines that catch her eye. Making things, the planning, the sourcing of items brings her a lot of joy and I think you can see by looking at her work this clearly shows. She tries to source as much material as she can from New Zeland suppliers but at thimes certain things come from overseas suppliers.

Lee explained as a child she has a love for creativity and she was always interested in arts and crafts. This led to pursuing a career in graphic design, and having the opportunity to work in Australia and London for six years, before returning to Christchurch and starting Cloud Nine Creative.

Cloud Nine Creative was fortunate to have not been affected by the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2010. At the time a range of jewellery was created and produced called ‘Love Christchurch Collection’, 20% of the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal. Over $10,000 was raised.

A lot of Cloud Nine Creatives sales are made on line, of course this can bring disadvantages as well as huge advantages. Lee explained that online sales are growing all the time, and if people need something quickly and have it instantly delivered to your front door this is great. However the drawback to buying online is you are unable to touch and feel the product you are buying. Cloud Nine Creative products can be found in boutique stores around New Zealand and there is a pop-up store in North Canterbury. Selling online and via shops, Lee feels is the best of both worlds. heck this link for a list of stockists throughout New Zealand.

For those of you who are Blockaholics like myself, you might like to know that some Cloud Nine Creative’s piece was used in the kids bedroom of the sisters Minanne and Sarah. Here’s the link to The Block Villa Wars website showing you the room. The following photos were obtained from Cloud Nine Creative Facebook Page

12080008_903183229718244_8525534818096651330_o

Green Magical Forest Cushion $69.00

12068687_903183233051577_752531383025802719_o

Prints avaliable as A3, A2 & A1

 

image IMG_2080The Leather Tassel Necklace I received is the Cornflour Blue one and retails for $65.00. I love it! I find that it goes with most outfits and really adds a ‘pop’ of colour to your clothes choice for the day. Sure, its a little pricey for some people but I think you get your moneys worth from it. Plus, its always a bonus to wear something that is NZ made, I love to support local businesses.

There are at least 10 different colour necklaces to choose from via the website and new to the collection of beautiful jewellery are Tassel bracelet sets, these retail for $49.00. I ABSOLUTLY love them, I don’t have one but owning one is on my wishlist.

 

I felt when looking at Cloud Nine Creative website a lot of her pieces were unique and different. Tassel necklaces are quite ‘in’ at the moment and I find her ones are really nice and well made.

You can also find Cloud Nine Creative on Instagram

 

craftyorganisedme sig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs- Tama the Kiwi

I was sent two books to review by Kiwi Mummy Blogs Yay!!! The first review is Tama the Kiwikmb_grey-pink

 

We love books in our house. Little Miss (aged three), loves story time (as I’m sure most kiddies her age do) and it is cool seeing her pointing to some of the words in books and asking what the word is. My husband and I both enjoy to read, so I’m sure the kids will follow. Mr Happy, (aged 19 months) will often take himself down to the bedroom, sit on the floor with books all around him and look through books for ages. He chats away to himself as he is reading and points at the pictures, its lovely to watch and listen to him enjoying this time to himself and seeing him grow and develop.

We were sent Tama the Kiwi, by Beks Bongiovanni, Illustrations by Laker. This is the first book in a series, the next one is planned to be released mid 2016. I already can’t wait! I was really impressed with how it arrived, I could already tell it was going to be a hit. Just look how lovely it was packaged, I felt like a kid at Christmas opening it!

image

Couldn’t resist a photo of the awesome packaging

About Tama the Kiwi

This book features Tama the Kiwi as he goes on a Tiki Tour throughout his homeland of New Zealand. The books have been created to inspire travelling and hopefully have some great adventures within New Zealand. I was looking forward the reading this book to my children, just flicking through the pages it was lovely to see bright and colourful illustrations, quite a few New Zealand towns and landmarks are mentioned, as well as words that jumped out at you and would be easy for my children to read in the future.

Beks Bongiovanni, the author was really struggling to find books for young kiwis whilst living overseas, so she decided to create her own. The illustrator, Laker is her Brother-in-Law and there was also a lot of help from her sister Steph.

Tama the Kiwi_NZ_Flat_Front Cover

Front Cover

Tama the Kiwi_NZ_Flat_Back Cover

Back Cover

 

Thoughts

I think this book would appeal to very young children, it would make an ideal baby shower gift as well as being an excellent Christmas and birthday present for preschool and older children. Due to the big, bold printed writing I feel it would make a good book for children starting to learn to read and building their confidence in the world of reading. My three year old and 19 month old have been really impressed by it, I love being able to read and teach them about the country where we live. The illustrations are beautiful, colourful, bold and appealing to all ages. I have read it several times and so has my husband and it gets the thumbs up from both of us.

Tama the Kiwi_Sunrise Spread

Awesome illustrations

Tama the Kiwi_NZ Books

Love this book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where you can find Tama the Kiwi

Website: Tama the Kiwi

On the website there is information about Tama, awesome photos to look at, as well as details on how to purchase the book.

You can purchase a copy $17.95 and this includes FREE postage to throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Facebook: Tama the Kiwi Facebook page

 

What are you waiting for? Order your copy today!!!!

craftyorganisedme sig

 

NB: Photos used with kind permission from Tawa the Kiwi website, I was sent this book to review and thoughts expressed are entirely my own.

 

 

 

Soap Box 

I found out about Soap box thanks to my lovely friend Instagram! Oh how I love Instagram…….

Soap Box are pretty new and only just launched (in October) and they are based in Invercargill (South Island of New Zealand, for those of you that don’t know). Mel and Kim are the lovelies behind Soap Box.

When I checked out their Facebook page I was pretty impressed by the range of products they had a valuable and not just for adults but their are a couple of things available for kids. And instantly placed an order. This is what I got:

image

Coconut Ice soap $5, Coconut and Lime sugar scrub and mini Sugar soap $8 (5 in a pack).

They replied really quick to my order and I received my goodies in a matter of days. I have only tried the Sugar soap scrub so far, I’m obsessed with coconut smelling stuff (so I had to order something with coconut in!). The other choice with Coconut was Mango and Coconut but I decided to try the one with Lime in first. One of the things I like most about is it is that it comes with a small wooden spoon, to assist you getting the scrub out of the bottle. I don’t use it each time I have a shower, its my weekly treat! It leaves my skin feeling so soft and smells amazing!!! They can be used on the face as well as the body and it great as an exfoliate, bonus!! I’ve yet to use the small sugar scrubs, but I’m guessing they will be a one time use. And the soap was a nice extra with my order, thanks Soap Box ladies!

image

250ml bottle $10

image

On the side is a $2 off next purchase if you return the bottle

 

I messaged Mel and Kim some questions (their answers are in italics)
Can you introduce yourselves? Who are lovelies behind Soap Box?

I am Mel and my partner in crime is my friend Kim.

Kim is a graphic designer by trade and also runs another business called Willow Boutique – printed children’s clothing and is the mother to a two year old small tornado.

Mel is the administrator for the Southland SPCA and I have an 8 going on 18 year old

How did you come up with the name Soap Box?

Haha that was Facebook messenger brainstorming between Kim and I; my partner ended up coming up with it after listening to all our terrible suggestions! 

I understand Soap Box has only just begun, with the launch on the website. How long have you been working on the business?

We are very new – our first launch was at a craft show at the start of October! We have been playing and experimenting for the previous 3 months using friends and family as test subjects to ensure we were happy with what we were making. 

Do you make everything yourselves? Did you have any training?

Everything is handmade. Kim deals with the soaps (she has a major soap addiction, this is how we started) and I make the body products. Kim went away and did a soap-making course in Auckland and spent many a hour on you tube watching and experimenting via soap making tutorials. I have had no training – I have found this very similar to cooking and baking which I enjoy doing. I have experimented via Pinterest and You Tube too and watched how other people make things.  

Other than your website and Facebook where else can Soap Box goodies be purchased? Or is that currently work in progress?

We started with the idea that we would stick with markets in Southland (where we are based) but Facebook and our website have gone crazy! We are currently organising doing a “Soap Box” party once a month at a person’s house and letting people try out our products. Everything else is up in the air at present!

What do you hope is in the future for Soap Box?

When we dream big (that is how we usually do it) we are hoping we can give up our day jobs and open a Soap Box shop and build a small empire – haha! 

Do you have any favourites? If so what are they?

Kim is soap crazy – at the moment she is in love with Manuka honey soap (fair enough, it smells amazing!). I love our new sugar whip – soon to be released. And I LOVE our new base scent, Lemon and Vanilla. We both love the body butters – they are fantastic on the skin and seem to work on all skin types. We are very biased and do love all our products, why sell something if you don’t love it?

Is there anything else you would like to add?
The main reason we decided to start this was the fact everything is full of chemicals! We are both parents and we wanted to be able to use products on our children that wouldn’t be harmful but still keep them clean.

Gift Pack $20, 2pack of bombs, sugar soaps, loofa, and vanilla ice cream soap

Gift Pack $20, 2pack of bombs, sugar soaps, loofa, and vanilla ice cream soap

Chocolate and Peppermint $10

Chocolate and Peppermint $10

Lemongrass Soap $6

Lemongrass Soap $6

There are also some great for kids, I’m definitely tempted to get a few things for Christmas presents and I think they would also be good for children’s birthdays.

Sugar Scrubs: Coconut & Lime, Sweet Orange & Vanilla, Strawberry & Lemon, Mango & Coconut and Peppermint & Chocolate

There are lots of things to see and buy, I will definitely be ordering again

Chocolate Fish soap $5

Chocolate Fish soap $5

Allsorts soaps Liquorice scent $5

Allsorts soaps Liquorice scent $5

Soapsicle Traffic Light - Fruity scent $6

Soapsicle Traffic Light – Fruity scent $6

 

Check out their Facebook page, lots of Soapy goodness to check out!

Soap Box website

 

craftyorganisedme sig

 

NB: Photos used from Soap Box Facebook page with permission