Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A little hip Swiss dish...

After preparing the fabulous Italian pizza last week, I thought I would add another international 'hip' friendly dish, and this time, its one very close to my heart and tummy! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! My mum is from Switzerland, and as kids, my brother and I would head off to school in the UK with the most outrageously embarrassing packed lunches - smelly meat, cheeses, all sorts of goodies, which at the time we thought were just not normal, and of course, as children, its hard to be different. Looking back, I know all my class friends would have actually been really jealous, because the delights my mum created, were just brilliant. How sad.

Whenever I see my mum, which sadly, as I now live in Australia, is not that often, I get her to head straight to the kitchen, and cook me a potato Rösti. Yes, it is just potato, but my word, I love it, or perhaps more to the point, I love the way she cooks it. Depending on where you travel to in Switzerland, you are likely to come across a different version of Rösti. You can have Zurich Rösti with onion and cumin, or Emmentaler Rösti with Emmental cheese, or Jura Rösti with onion, bacon and Gruyere cheese, and so many more, but my favourite is the simple Basel Rösti with sliced onion. 

Basel Rösti - sliced onion

And here's how to make it - its so easy:

Boil potatoes leaving the skin on and then leave to cool. Locals say its best to do this the day before for a fuller flavour.
The next day, peel the skin off the potatoes which really should just slide off.
With a wide hole grater, grate roughly.
Add some oil / butter into a pan, add the potatoes and a pinch of salt.
Add any extras at this point (onions, bacon, pasta, etc)
Press the ingredients down into the pan and cover with a lid if you wish to let it brown.
Use a plate to flip the Rösti over a few times to ensure its cooked properly.
It should take around 15 minutes - cook until brown.

Rösti can be eaten as a side dish or as a meal in itself with a great salad. 
Oh yum, I think I need to make this now...enjoy.

Appenzeller Rösti - with bacon and Appenzeller cheese

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some hip travel tips from 'My Carry Potty'

To follow on from the 'potty training on the go' theme, I have delved a little bit deeper and spoken to the creators behind the wonderful My Carry Potty, for some more tips and tricks on travelling with kids. This time, Darren Jenner, husband and partner in crime of Amanda Jenner, the creator of My Carry Potty, has answered a few questions on his take on travelling with kids.

Before I hand over to Darren, I have to say that since posting the My Carry Potty review, there have been a number of tweets and suggestions for potty training tips. I have contacted both Darren and Amanda, and hope to have some handy tips on potty training, in particular, potty training on the go, so watch this space....

Also, don't forget to enter our 'My Carry Potty' giveaway and feel free to let us know your potty training tips too. Click here to enter.

So Darren, tell us a bit about you and your family?

We are a family of 5 that generally get away as a family just once or twice a year due to running two businesses. I'm Darren 40, Amanda 36 my wife, George 13, Hollie 11 & Olivia 3 1/2. The kids all love getting away & are happy spending most of the day in the pool. We have had a mixture of holidays. Some in villa's & some in hotels. I have to admit the villa ones are a lot easier. If it gets too hot for the little one she can just go inside the villa & play. Both Amanda & I like cooking so we enjoy staying at the villa some evenings for bbq's & wine. We like eating out as well but its nice to have the choice. 
And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?

Our last trip was to Malta (Amanda is half Maltese) which was great. The people are very hospitable, the food's great & the weather is always good (if not a little too hot at times)
How did you get there?

We actually flew with Ryan Air, a budget airline. We left it late too book, so we chose this airline. It was a 4 hour flight & although it's basic & they charge you even for water, for the price we paid it was a bargain (I think it was about £500 return for all of us)
Where did you stay? 

We stayed at the Corinthian St George which is about a 10 minute walk from St Julians. It was ok but we stayed at the Hilton St Julians the previous year & it was a better class of hotel & service.
Your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is always getting packed & prepared for the trip! And tidying up when we return. Enjoying the holiday itself is never a problem
Any big recommendations?

Amanda has a fair bit of family there so I've still a lot to discover about Malta. The capital, Valetta is steeped in history. Its a small city but very interesting. There's a lot of Arabic influences in both thier language & their architecture. 
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

Well I would give them all a pep talk before we leave home about being nice to each other, remembering manners, all the usual stuff for starters. We're both pretty strict so there's no electronic games allowed at mealtimes. I think this is the best time to communicate as a family & important for them to appreciate they're new surroundings & different cultures. Thats not possible if they're engrossed in PSP's! I see so many parents letting the kids sit & play these in restaurants to keep them quiet. Its such a shame.
What would you not have left home without?

My Carry Potty, naturally! I know Amanda is the inventor, but really it is a fantastic tool for being out of the home with a little one. Car, plane, coach, shops. Its wonderful. I can't believe its 2010 & we can fly to & from the moon yet my wife is the first person to invent the worlds first & only leakproof potty!

There's not much else we need. Having 3 kids to cater for leaves us with a desire to travel lightly. We don't really want for much when we go on holiday. Suncream, sunglasses, currency, a camera & a collection of kids with smiles!


Thats all - thanks so much Darren and Amanda Jenner from My Carry Potty. We hope to chat again with them soon, and share some helpful potty training tips. And once again, don't forget to enter the giveaway for a free My Carry Potty.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

hip 'branding'...

On the odd occasion, when out and about, my little ones find it absolutely hilarious to 'escape', and basically 'do a runner'. Its all very well when you are in the park, or there are a few adults, or you are somewhere relatively safe, but when they really do run off, and you just can't see them, its all so horribly frightening.

Whether its at the beach, a busy airport, or even just shopping amongst the hoards of christmas shoppers, those little escapees can work their magic, and even if its just a few moments, your heart feels like its stopped and you begin to really panic. We all know that little ones can get distracted so easily, and they like to explore!

Here's where Tat your Tots comes into play. A mum of 3 'escapees' came up with a great and fun way to making sure her kids were easily identified. The temporary tattoos placed onto the child's hand, and has all relevant details such as parents phone number, so the parents can be easily located should the child wander off. There are also ones with medical conditions, or 'I am allergic to nuts' etc, which are perfect for when your child is at a birthday party or similar.

Tat your Tots is a great way of ensuring piece of mind when travelling or out and about with your little 'hips'. You must check out the website as there are many other options to suit all needs.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A super dooper hip addition

Look, its not really travel related, but its mighty clever all the same. As always, I have my eyes peeled for exciting new products, and this one I had to show you. The almighty Stokke have done it again, and added a very clever element to the Tripp Trapp highchair. Tripp Trapp has been in existence since 1972, and it just keeps getting better. Now, with the new born kit, you can now utilise this highchair for a whole lot longer...well from birth and for the rest of your life to be exact!

Take a look - we love it. Makes me want a new born again...

images: stokke.com

hip bits and bobs to amuse the 'hips'

Now, growing up in England, we grew up reading Usbourne Books and we loved them. I now make sure we have lots of them scattered around the house for my 'hips'. We all love them, and what we love even more are these travel activity cards and stickers. Such a great way to amuse the little ones on long journeys, or even perhaps to prepare them for the journey itself. The activity cards come complete with a special pen that can be wiped off and used again and again.

Make sure you grab a pack of these before you head off on your travels. Check out Usbourne for more options. Available at good specialist bookshops. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Little hip tear jerker...

Oh my word. We've discussed the joys of owning a Trunki at The Little Hip Traveller before, but we've never shown you this little gem (it brought tears to my eyes). You just have to watch this wee little film, and perhaps have a think about getting your little 'hip' a Trunki for christmas? We've still got our eyes on the new editions Freddie Trunki and Penelope Trunki (although I still think we need the Gruffalo one!)

A little hip Italian dish

Today I made pizza for the 'hips' dinner. Wow, what an achievement (not) I hear you say. But, for me, it was. You see, I made my own pizza dough, and you know, I am not sure if I've ever done that before. And then, it got me thinking. Of course, as we all know, pizza is Italian, and as I am always on about learning languages, and absorbing yourself into the culture before visiting the destination, I thought that perhaps I should add a few recipes from different parts of the world, to go with the travel / learning about cultures / languages and places, posts. The idea is to make them fairly simple, so that not only can I cook them, but you will be more inclined to cook them, and perhaps involve the kids aswell. Should anyone have any much loved childhood dishes from your home, or know of any international specialities, then, I would love to hear from you too.
Best to add a tomato based sauce from either tinned tomatoes, or a tomato paste mixed with whatever you choose (I added garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and a bit of Worcester sauce.) Top with whatever you have available in the fridge. I got the kids to add their favourites which ended up being mushrooms, pineapple, ham and alot of cheese.
So here's the very first recipe - Italian Pizza with topping of your choice.  

Egg free, Nut free.
Great budget meal as mixture is enough for several pizzas, so I popped excess dough into the freezer for another day.
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • Pinch sugar
  • 11/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Add yeast and warm water into a bowl, add a pinch of sugar, and stir with a wooden spoon quickly then leave to activate (approx 5 min).
With either a hand mixer with dough hook, or Kitchen Aid, add the flour and salt, and mix. When the yeast has activated (starts to foam) pour it in the flour and mix on low speed adding 1 tablespoon of oil at a time until it forms into a ball.
Remove from bowl and kneed for 3-5 minutes, until the dough is soft and pliable. Get the kids involved...they'll love it.
Sprinkle a little bit of flour back in the bowl, and add the dough, cover with glad wrap and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. (We left it in the garden as it was a super hot day today!)
It should double in size, so then cut the dough in half, and roll out to make your pizza base. Place dough onto your oven tray and add a sauce and topping.

Best to add a tomato based sauce from either tinned tomatoes, or a tomato paste mixed with whatever you choose (I added garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and a bit of Worcester sauce.)
 Top with whatever you have available in the fridge. I got the kids to add their favourites which ended up being mushrooms, pineapple, ham and alot of cheese. Cook on 200 for about 25 mins.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

that little hip 'camping' packing list...

Do you really need to pack the kitchen sink when heading off on a holiday with kids? Not at all, but you know, when you are off camping, it feels like you should pack that sink just in case....after all, you'll need some sort of running water, or at least a boiling saucepan. Look, its not "Survivor" so you don't need to panic, so don't be afraid to load up your car, but remember, you can make do without some luxuries too....its actually rather fun not to have to blow dry your hair from time to time etc.

Well, here's a list that should help you decide what you should take on a camping trip with kids. (Kitchen sink is certainly not included):

To sleep:
Tent , groundsheet, pegs, poles, mallet (yes, all rather important).
Sleeping bags and liners
Sleeping mats (blow up ones are good) and pump if necessary
Pillows, blankets, duvets to keep kids comfortable as possible
If room and you think necessary, a portacot (which can also double up as a playpen during the day)
Torch/lamp and batteries
Check out the following outdoor stores for some excellent ideas: Kathmandu, Anaconda, Millets,
Snowgum, Snow and Rock.

To eat:
Camping stove and gas bottle (unless you are going open fire?)
Waterproof matches
Can and bottle opener
A few pots and pans
A few cooking utensils - BBQ tongs, cooking knife etc.
Esky (or for those Kiwis...a chilli bin!)
Paper towels, foil, containers for storage, rubbish bags
Plates, mugs, bowls and cutlery
Tables and chairs or something to sit on / blanket
A thermos flask
Dishwashing liquid and tea towels
Food and drink

To wear:
Warm and cold weather clothes. It does get cold at night...pack a fleece.
Flip flops (thongs/s) and Wellies (gumboots)..We love these Bergstein Gumboots from Little Elk. We love Little Elk!
Beach towels, and swim wear.

Extras for you and the 'hips':
Swiss Army knife
Washing line
First Aid Kit
Bucket and spade
Board games, books
Camping shower or we love the super fold up Flexi Bath and we have a review coming up very soon.
Toilet Roll
Insect repellent
Wet wipes
Potty (especially for night time) - we love My Carry Potty. We have a review AND fab giveaway coming up very soon...watch this space.
Sun Screen and hats
All those extra bits and bobs required for travelling with young children if necessary (nappies, stroller, wipes etc)

So, thats all I would pack....(perhaps a bit less, as I love to try to travel light and I know that my hubby and 'hips' will keep on adding to the list!). What about you? Any suggestions or must have extras?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Should unaccompanied little 'hips' sit next to strangers?

I grew up travelling between Switzerland and the UK. As my Mum is from Switzerland, and Dad from the UK, we had lots of family to visit, and I was quite often sent as an 'unaccompanied' flyer by myself. I used to think this was terrific, and would chat away to the person next to me (poor person), and have a brilliant time. I can certainly say this is where my love of travelling stemmed from.

However, in these dark days of 'stranger danger', is it acceptable for an unaccompanied minor to be seated next to an adult stranger, or should all these little ones sit in a special "i'm travelling all alone and perhaps I'm a little scared" area?

What happens if the cabin crew are ridiculously busy, and poor little 'hip' starts to feel a bit scared, sad, or god forbid, sick? Should there be a nanny service on board (like Gulf Air).

Air France already state that "unaccompanied children should not be seated next to adults", however surely this could put their safely at risk in the event of an accident?

A British business man was asked to move away from a 12 year old boy. This business man then decided to take British Airways to court accusing them of treating male passengers as "potential male molesters"

Are we all going slightly over the top here, or is this a sign of the times?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More hip rainbow walnuts...love them

Mr left hip often gets missed out when it comes to retail therapy...its so much easier to buy precious things for the little Miss right hip. But today, I couldn't leave the shop without these fabulous rainbow Walnut Melbourne shoes. I love them and I hope Mr left hip loves them too (they have a pink rainbow stripe on them...bit girly?). Perfect shoes for being out and about in...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A hip mums camping tips with her little 'hips'

So, we are once more heading back to the fabulous world of camping. Yes, this is the camping season (even though the weather here doesn't seem to think it is), however camping is often notorious for either a spot of rain, or a ridiculous heatwave, so its good to be prepared for all.

Today we are meeting a friend of mine, Lisa, who recently went camping with her hubby, plus 3 year old and 7 month old. How brave I hear you say...I totally agree, so felt it only necessary that we quiz Lisa on how she coped camping with two very little people. 

Here we go - over to you Lisa and family..

So tell us a bit about your family?

We are Lisa 39, Jem 41, Nell 3, Caity 7 months. We live in Woodend, country Victoria, and are recent converts to the country lifestyle, keen gardeners and outdoorsy types.

And where have you been of late with your little 'hips'?

Rose's Gap Folk Music Camp, The Grampians National Park. This is a special camp for music lovers with lots of workshops and performances run over a long weekend during the school holidays in September. Plenty of kids and young people, beginners and more experienced musicians. The emphasis is mostly on celtic-style folk and traditional music. This year there was a special feature on Indonesian and Javanese music. I did singing workshops and one for beginner ukelele (along with about 130 other people - it was the most popular workshop!), and hubby did beginners guitar. There was toddler music and singing every morning from 9 - 9.30 and a kids zone in the main hall with lots of activities. The whole experience was very left of centre, welcoming, warm and open-hearted.

How did you get there?

We jumped in the car and drove from Woodend. 

Where did you stay?

A camping site in a recreation ground. There were toilets and washing facilities, a communal hall with a fire and kitchen and a camp canteen offering lunch and dinner.

Your biggest challenge?

Keeping tabs on Nell who was intent on getting to meet every person there! Luckily the atmosphere was very child-friendly and whenever she wandered too far or too intently into other people's space, someone always brought her back!

Any big recommendations?

If you love music, this is great fun for everyone! Even if only some people want to do the music stuff, there is so much to do in The Grampians. Jem went off for a long bike ride one day, and we all went for a bushwalk to Beehive Falls another day. 

So what are your main tips about travelling with kids?

You don't need half of what you end up taking. But do take snacks and make sure that little one's blood sugar levels don't drop. Nell ended up grazing throughout the day rather than having set meals. Always be flexible and try to remember that you are supposed to be relaxing and having fun!

We all slept in a giant tent, probably much too big, but I envisaged being shut up in rain/cold and wanted extra space. Nell slept next to us on a mat on the floor. She had a sleeping bag, but we realised after a couple of struggles in the night that she wasn't used to it and just wanted to be under blankets like she is at home. Thank goodness for packing extra fleecy blankets! Caity was more of a worry. She's too big for her bassinet now, but not really big enough to sleep on a mat like us. In the end I had an old change table foam pad that I wrapped securely in yet another fleecy blanket (you can see how indispensable they were!) and then she had a gro-bag and blanket over the top of that. It kept her off the ground and secure in her own space. In all honesty, the tent was big enough for her portacot and next time I would take that, but hey  - we managed!

As for quality of sleep... the first night was bad for everyone after being all discombobulated by the long journey and new environment. The second night Caity slept through like an angel but Nell had a huge tantrum in the middle of the night. On the last night we all had a good night's sleep - but it was very windy and that kept the grown-ups awake and worried about the tent falling down!!

As usual, the simple things with the kids made all the difference. Making sure that they ate regularly and had access to food that they would like. The camp provided meals, but they were a bit spicey and not always child-proof. So on the last day we went into Halls Gap and had fish & chips which meant we knew Nell had eaten a good amount. Sure enough she went to sleep without a problem and didn't wake up hungry in the night. 

What would you not have left home without?

The pram. It was ideal for putting Caity in for a sleep, and carting tons of stuff from the tent to the activities. Plus we could take it almost all the way to the falls on our bushwalk! Also, lots of cheap fleece blankets. They were great for wrapping up cold, tired and cranky toddler and baby at various points in the day. 

And finally, anything else you want to add? 

We'll be back next year, and most certainly go camping again!

Many thanks Lisa for a fabulous camping review, and some really great tips.

Coming up - what to pack on your camping trip...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

a hip trip to Fairy Floss market...

On Sunday, my little right hip and I went to the Fairy Floss Markets in Williamstown for some retail therapy and an attempt to buy some christmas presents. It was a lovely morning, but I have to be honest...we didn't buy any christmas pressies for anyone else, but us! Naughty. We had a lovely time talking to all the fabulous stall holders and of course, ate a few naughty but very nice goodies from the Windsor Deli - wow, best peanut butter cup cakes around (not to mention the fabulous lemon slice at the Deli itself!!!)

We got chatting to Tiny & little - little right hip had been fortunate enough to win a fabulous bunny from them some time ago, so it was great to put a face to a name. Check out this new little bunny looking for a new home...we love it.

Other stand outs for us were the fabulous and very hip t-shirts from Melbourne made, Gavin and Archie, and also the very cool clothes from Who Wears The Pants, another Melbourne business.

But the creme de la creme for us was to finally get to pick out our very own Miss RubyMay dolly for lucky little right hips' christmas present. Fortunately little right hip was consuming a rather large vanilla cupcake (thanks Windsor Deli) so didn't notice the selection process that was going on, so Miss RubyMay will make it under the tree for christmas (and not in said sticky cup cake hands before christmas!) We finally chose a fabulous red head with an orange flowery dress.

Thanks to Fairy Floss Markets for another joyful morning out and about with my little right hip.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A little hip giveaway...we have a winner!

 The little hip traveller is excited...we have a winner!

Thanks to all those who entered, and fear not, there are plenty more giveaways coming soon.

The lucky winner of the Retro B.Box Travel Bib is...................


Congratulations Delice. Please email me on info@thelittlehiptraveller.com.au with your details....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Out and about in the great wild west...markets, babycinos, bookshops, and locusts.

So, we're talking the very inner West Melbourne here but we love it all the same, as this is our hood. And I just have to say what a delightful morning the 'hips' and I have had in our little hood, plus what an action packed weekend it will be out west (and rather wet once more too so it seems)

We met a friend at a new kid friendly cafe in Yarraville for a fun play date in the fabulous playroom. Won't say too much as I know that there is a hip review from Little Eats coming up soon....but they do great babycinos, and lovely yummy little ginger bread biscuits on the side, so the 'hips' were happy.

We then popped into one of our favourite kiddies bookshops, The Younger Sun, with the intentions of purchasing Julia Donaldson's new book, Zog. Julia, should you not know, is the amazing author of left hip's all time favourite book, The Gruffalo. Left hip took a distinct liking to another one of her book's Tabby McTat instead, so Zog will be a perfect purchase for Christmas instead.

Got home and there was a locust on our doorstep welcoming us home...the plague has landed!

This weekend, its all happening out West, as the wonderful Yarraville Markets are on in the Masonic Hall, 10 - 3, Sat & Sun 13th & 14th November. Alongside that, the brilliant Fairy Floss Markets are making their debut to Williamstown. 9 - 2 Sunday 14th November, Williamstown PS.

Even though there's lots to do for them, I might leave my 'hips' at home for these....I've got some serious shopping to do!

So, did I mention that 'West is Best'?

some very 'little hip' camping tips...

So, my memories of camping as a child only stretch as far back as those girl guide camps. Six fellow girl guides would be crammed into an old musty green tent. Each morning, after folding up the sides to air it out, your tent would be inspected, whilst you stood infront in single file, and silence. Anyone who ended up squashed next to the side of the tent at night would wake up soaked to the skin from the British drizzle. Mmmm.

Camping in my mid twenties was far more exciting - my boyfriend (now hubby) and I travelled around South America for six months, and would pitch our tent, or swag, wherever we wanted, and lie gazing up at the stars without a care in the world. 'Rough camping' we called it - no facilities were necessary. We were young and in love, and didn't need running water or shower blocks to rely on. A fast flowing river and a bottle of something strong was just as effective.

I recall my parents telling me that when they went camping in the '60's, they took a crate of unlabelled tin cans with them which they had purchased for next to nothing. They would crack one open each night, and would be over the moon about what they would find inside it...baked beans one day, stew the next, canned pineapples the next. They revelled in the unpredictability of it all.

Now, try packing the car for a camping holiday with the kids. Mmmm,  can you even fit the kids into the car? Do we really need the kitchen sink? Get it....camping with the 'hips'...it can be hard.

Here a few tips that are worth thinking about before you jam pack the car...

Before you go: Why not do a 'test' camping trip somewhere very local, or better still, in the back garden! Grab the pillows, duvets, and torches, and have an adventure in the comfort of your own four 'garden' walls. That way, if it all gets a bit much in the middle of the night, its not far to get back to your cosy bed. Even if you are not planning a camping trip, this is just a fun thing to do and costs nothing!

Think about where to go: Make sure its not too far away. Is this a driving holiday, or a camping holiday? If its predominantly about camping, then you certainly don't want to spend all your time driving, especially with young kids (that's a whole new ball game). Do you want as many creature comforts as possible or go completely wild? Do you want a campsite with lots of facilities, and child friendly swimming pools, and perhaps a games room? Try Big 4 if you are in Australia (cabins, campsites etc.) There are many good local camping reference pages - camping.com.au is a great guide for all sorts of camping destinations. Perhaps its worth even considering motor homes, which is a great cost effective way of travelling around and being able to stop, camp or stay in the motorhome as you wish. Some great companies to choose from are Maui or Britz motorhomes. These are particularly great options in Australia and New Zealand. Oh, and of course, if you want to go glam, remember to check out the go glamping website for some great and rather unique options.

What to take: We shall discuss what to take in a later post, in fact, a nice packing list has been compiled so that you can tick it off as you rush round the house, trying to load up the car. This way, you won't forget anything!

What to sleep in: Invest in a good tent, and make sure its big enough
for the whole family. Don't try and squeeze you all in a 2 man tent (just because the little hips are little, doesn't mean you can save on space!). Remember, once the little ones go to sleep (day naps and night time), the adults need somewhere to go. Outside is great if the weather is fine, but oh, not really worth thinking about if its not. Consider whether or not you want to be able to actually 'live' in the tent, or just crawl through it. Can you stand up? Are there separate rooms? Can you put the kids in a room, plus have a living room, plus a room for yourselves (super deluxe tent, a bit like the magical tents in Harry Potter!) If your 'hips' are really young, consider that you may need to have one adult in with one child just to give them some comfort.

What to eat: You pretty much still have to do some cooking when you go camping, whether it boiling your water over an open fire, 'Survivor' style, or frying a sausage or two on a portable gas stove. Unlike Survivor, most established campsites have a few bbq's, and perhaps even a kitchen and a shop to buy fresh eggs and bread daily. Remember to secure all food away as you don't want to create a bug problem. Just try not to over complicate things. It is still a holiday after all.

Keeping warm and dry: Take some good fleecy blankets to wrap yourselves up in at night. Perhaps make the tent a 'shoes off' area only as it all can get quite messy. Air mattresses are far more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, as they keep you warmer and dryer. Oh, and don't sleep leaning against the side of the tent (a la guide camp)

And finally: Enjoy yourself...watching the 'hips' camping is wonderful, and something they will remember for a long time. And, if the weather is hideous, or its just not 'happening', then pack up the car, and move on....

Coming up, we chat to a mother who has had a successful camping trip with a 2 year old and a brand new baby, plus that all important camping packing list.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How do you like it....?

Vegemite. An acquired taste. I have to admit that I have always been a Marmite girl. I hail from the UK, so I am not a "happy little vegemite" kid, but have perhaps grown to like it over the 10 years I have been here (dare I say, I now perhaps even ever so slightly prefer it to my much loved Marmite!?)

But really, Vegemite (not cheesy i.snack or whatever they ended up with), is really great for those fussy little 'hips' especially when you are travelling. Now, don't get me wrong, I am NOT one of those people who fills their suitcase full of favourite foods when heading off on holiday, but I would recommend getting one of those little squeezy Vegemite tubes, and just putting it in your bag. Kids are funny little things...creatures of comfort really, and they just may not LOVE to dabble in frogs legs in France or Sauerkraut in Germany, like perhaps you and I might do. 

Don't even think about it. Just pop one in your bag. You'll be grateful when all they'll want on that 24 flight to London is junk food. At least Vegemite contains lots of Vitamin B (which also keeps the mosquitoes away) and plenty of folate (for all those yummy mummies to be).

Oh, and another thing, has anyone tried Tiger Toast (toasted cheese and Vegemite stripped toast...yum!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Little hip camping or glamping...?

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As the weather warms up in the Southern Hemisphere, I really feel its time we talked about camping. We have plenty to talk about...it can be pretty hard work camping with little people, but once you've got yourself organised, it can also be a wonderful experience. Over the next few posts, we are going to chat about what to take, and how to do it, plus hear some great experiences from those who have braved camping with really really little people.

Before we really delve deeper into the great outdoors, and for those of you who are perhaps slightly nervous about camping, I just wanted to leave you with a wonderful link that really broadens your horizons about being at one with canvas! Go Glamping is a luxury camping directory that really makes you think about camping in a completely different light. Go on, have a look, and enjoy, BUT we shall be back soon to chat about 'real' camping (not that glamping isn't 'real', its just more... glamourous!)

Image: http://goglamping.net/oceania/paperbark-camp-new-south-wales/

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hip destination baby names...

So, it has recently emerged that Mohammed has beaten Jack as the number 1 name in the UK, and no surprise; William, Jack, Sophie, Emily, Charlotte are all still top 10 favourites in Australia and the UK alike. Choosing a name for your little person is massive - you need to both like it, and still make sure it remains hip as they travel through life, plus its got to be easy to spell, let alone pronounce.

Names are getting more and more unusual, and as the repertoire of names grows wider and wider, its really intriguing to discover how and why parents choose their little 'hips' names.

Now, as you know, we at 'The Little Hip Traveller' are all about travel, so it seems only appropriate to talk about hip destination names. I wonder how many kids are named after the place where their parents met, or travelled to, or even, were conceived? Of course the Beckham's famously named two of their sons Brooklyn and Cruz, and now it seems many other parents are following suit.

Research by Bounty has unravelled the top 10 destination baby names.

1. Florence
2. Rio
3. Paris
4. India
5. Sydney
6. Lucia
7. Brooklyn
8. Savannah
9. Devon
10. Pheonix

Love it! How about Timbuktu, Wagga Wagga or Whakatane anyone? Has anyone got any hip stories to tell about the origin of their child's name?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

little eats' little hip travel tips

Today, I am once again, going to hand over to one of Melbourne's fabulous Mumpreneurs. I am hugely excited to be chatting to the wonderful Jemma from Little Eats. Not only is Jemma and her little clan in love with frequenting Melbourne's child friendly coffee spots, and then sharing her brilliant tips with us all, but she is also a big fan of Bali. Jemma has kindly agreed to spill the beans on her favourite spots in Bali, and share her tips and tricks on travelling with very young kids to Bali. 

Here we go...over to you Jemma;

So, tell us a bit about you and your family?
My name is Jemma and I am a mamma to two gorgeous little girls India (21 months) and Aurora (4 months).  I am also the creator of Little Eats - we are all about cafe culture for Melbourne’s little ones and we review the best kid-friendly cafes around town.  Oh and of course there’s my darling hubby too. And Ketut the cat.

And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?
We have just come back from Bali, the beautiful island of the Gods. We love Bali and have been many many times over the years.This time we met up with my parents (who live in Switzerland) for a family holiday.
How did you get there?
We flew with Jetstar.  Now I must stress that we only flew with them because we used our Qantas Frequent Flyer points...we would not have flown them by choice!  
Our flight leaving Melbourne was delayed by an hour and we were stuck on the tarmac for that time.  Also when we arrived at check-in they had not booked a bassinet for us, and weren’t seating us all together even though we had confirmed everything in advance.  After another long wait queuing up to speak to the guy at the service desk, we finally worked it out, or we thought we did. Then when we got on the plane we had been seated on the two side seats, which is very squashy when there’s two adults, a toddler, a baby and a whole lotta hand luggage!  And then sitting in the middle row of four seats were two guys! That’s right, two guys! With four seats, two bassinet's, plenty of room... but no babies.  Doesn’t seem very fair does it?  
Then coming home we had to come via Sydney and clear customs and then hop on a domestic Qantas flight home. A similar thing happened - we were seated separately and in a normal row with no bassinet's, yet up the front where the bassinet's were, were business men flying solo ‘sans’ babies.  Not fair again! I asked one of the flight attendants why this was the case as it didn’t seem fair, and she was very rude and told me that obviously they had requested them and I hadn’t. What the??!!  Of course I requested a bassinet. And then I questioned why on earth the businessmen would have requested a seat with a bassinet, and she said “for extra leg room”. So their legs are obviously more important than my babies! 
Just on a side note, last year we flew to Europe with Singapore Airlines and they were simply fantastic. Very reliable, and also very sweet, polite and helpful staff. With 9 month old India we were treated liked royalty. I highly recommend them.
Where did you stay?
We stayed in a stunning 4 bedroom villa with in Canggu, which is a popular surfie beach and about a 20 minute drive from trendy Seminyak.  You still have all the cool Seminyak restaurants and shops close by, however the beaches are much quieter, and you are surrounded by rice paddies and in the heart of traditional Balinese village life.
We usually stay in a villa, as we prefer that style of accommodation to a hotel, as we are in our own house with a kitchen, lounge area with TV and DVD, separate air conditioned bedrooms, our own private swimming pool and... wait for it... they are fully staffed with cooks, maids and this one even came with a driver! It really is a perfect option when you are traveling with little ones as it means that you can put them down for a nap in the bedroom, while you can still read, swim and relax right next to them.  It also means that in the evening once the baby is tucked up asleep in their portacot in the cool bedroom, you can still hang out in the lounge area, have a nightcap, watch a DVD or even have a midnight swim.  It sure beats being stuck in a hotel room.
Your biggest challenge?
Probably the flight over. India was not as well-behaved as normal (to say the least), and didn’t sleep at all (despite leaving Melbourne at 7.45pm at night which is her normal bedtime).  She was so over-tired by the end of it that she was delirious!  Apart from that, luckily, there weren’t really many other challenges or issues at all.
Any big recommendations?
Ok, places to go, things to do... where do I start.  Well if it’s your first time in Bali then I think some of the “must do’s” are:
  • Treat yourself to a massage (or two, or a few!) - my favourite places are Jari Menari and Bodyworks
  • Enjoy a Bintang beer on the beach whilst you watch an amazing sunset
  • Eat lots of yummy, super cheap Indonesian food - nothing beats a good Nasi Goreng
  • Stock up on DVD’s - they have all the latest movies and TV series
  • Shop!
My favourite places to eat are:
Breakfast - Corner Store, La Lucciola
Lunch - Trattoria Pizza, Cafe Moka, Grocer & Grind, Bali Buddha
Dinner - Kuni’s, Trattoria, Osteria Telese, Cafe Bali, The Beach House at Echo Beach and a little warung on Seminyak Beach called “Juice Park” where you can get a mean Nasi Goreng for just a couple of dollars.

Or for somewhere very special if you have hired a nanny for the night and are dining ‘a deux’, then try Ku De Ta, Metis, Sentosa, Sarong, the restaurant at the Tugu Hotel, La Lucciola and the new Cocoon.  These places are pretty pricey, so they can also be nice to just visit for a cocktail and dessert.
If you are traveling to Bali with your little ones, then you definitely need to check out Bali Baby.  You can hire playpens, highchairs, cots, car-seats, booster seats, monitors, prams, strollers, toys, rockers and play-mats. You name it they’ve got it! The hire prices are very reasonable, and it is all so convenient as Gabi will liaise on your behalf with your accommodation, and will arrange to have everything set up in your villa or hotel for when you arrive. You can also order and purchase Huggies nappies and wipes, Heinz baby food, and Johnson and Johnson bath and body products. So you can really save on excess luggage!
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?
1. Be organised. And make lists. Lots of them! 
2. Call ahead, confirm and double check. 
3. Take more than what you think you will need, but don’t go too overboard
4. Don’t pack too many toys. 
5. Prepare for take off. 
6. Don’t worry about what other people think. 
7. Don’t take it, hire it! 
8. Expect the unexpected. 
9. Throw your normal routine out the window.
10. Enjoy. Relax. Have fun. You are on holidays after all! Although holidays as you know it (ie: pre-bubba) will never be the same again, you are still up for an incredible journey with lots of special memories, happiness and laughter.

What would you not have left home without?
Lola, India’s baby, I mean dolly.  And also her bunny Kaloo that she sleeps with. Lola comes pretty much everywhere with us including most cafes we review for Little Eats.  She is pretty much part of the family now!
Seriously though, there is not that much that I wouldn’t have left home with out.  You really don’t need all that much for Bali as it is so warm and you just live in your bathers and a sarong most of the time.  And if there is anything you desperately need or you have forgotten then you can pretty much buy it all there.  

And finally, anything else you want to add?
Trunki’s rock!  Such a great idea for little hip travellers!  Our’s is pink and her name is Trixie. India had great fun riding her and pulling her around at the airport... as well as riding her around the garden at the villa.  She was also the make-shift “toy-box” when we were at the villa.
We took lots of little things to keep India occupied on the plane and on holidays.  She loves drawing (well, scribbling) so we took a little bag of Crayon rocks, a container of ‘Big Pencils for Little Hands’ and colouring-in books, drawing pads as well as stickers and the latest In the Night Garden mag.
We also took our iPod, and there were sound-docks at the villa, so it was great to have familiar tunes, including the CD from India’s music class. 


Wow, thanks so much Jemma. I just want to go there now! If you want to read more about Jemma's top tips on travelling to Bali, plus of course, have a good look at Little Eats, please click hereThanks so much Jemma. We love Little Eats and are really excited about sharing this fabulous website with everyone.


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