Sunday, December 26, 2010

little hip travellers in a very wet Brisbane

Whilst Europe and now North America are covered with mountains of snow (dad said it was the first white christmas he had seen in the UK for years and years), my little hip family are drenched in torrential downpours in Queensland. Most of Queensland is either flooded or on flood alerts. What is going on with our world...need we really ask?

Christmas has been and gone, and now we need to find rainy day activities to keep the hips amused whilst we are here....

a grey and rainy day in a small vicotrian rural town, australia

Sadly, the Museum of Queensland was closed yesterday leaving left hip really upset as he wanted to see the dinosaurs, so we quickly changed tact and literally jumped onto the Brisbane Ferris Wheel so we could get out of the rain. The wheel, although not enormous (only 60m's compared to London Eye's 135m's) is a great way to see the city. Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, we couldn't see much at all, however it was rather an exciting 12 minute ride for the hips! Hey, at least Brisbane can get their wheel to work, unlike the trouble Melbourne's wheel has had!

Whilst the hips and in laws have headed back to Dinosaur Museum today, I have taken shelter from the rain, (and christmas family disputes) and am back at the ranch collating information on what to do over the next few rainy days. The rain is here until we leave!

Armed with el cheapo gumboots (note to self, am definitely going to buy some Bergstein Gumboots from Fawn and Fox when I get back to Melbourne rain) and rain coats, we are heading to some of the following  wet weather activities: Queensland Museum, Science Centre, Workshops Railway Museum for Day Out with Thomas, Ipswich Art Gallery Childrens Expo, Go Wild Activity Centre, and of course, we'll be wet anyway so we must head to Sea World to satisfy left hips fascination with the under water world!

I will of course add write a little report on all these places, so if you ever find yourself stuck in rainy Queensland, then you'll know what to do!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The very very hip Mountain Buggy Freerider....

Now, back in September we talked about the the Mountain Buggy Free rider, and we just wanted to let you know that its coming out very very soon! Just to get you super excited, check out the hip clip below and see how it really works! Thanks Mountain Buggy...what stars you really are!

The Mountain Buggy Free Rider. It it a pram? Is it a scooter? Is it a pram with a buggy board?...well its all of the above! A pram with a scooter that just clips on just like a buggy board but even better. No more dragging an exhausted left hip home from the park on his scooter up that big hill whilst trying to control the right hip in the pram in the other hand. It gives you all huge flexibility and more control! We love it...I want it...I need it!

Mountain buggy have won a very prestigious award in 'the moving and travelling baby accessories' category for this design phenonomen at the Kind + Jugend trade show in Germany. Fabulous job Mountain Buggy...We love hip products like these, and we can't wait to try it out...

a hip house swap

Its been a chilly summer's day in Melbourne, but not nearly as freezing as much of Europe at present....airports all around the UK and Europe are closed due to too much snow! And, as its only a few days away from christmas, all this talk of snow makes me feel rather homesick. To me, christmas's are meant to be wintery affairs. The family would be tucked up inside, there would be turkey, roast potatoes and brussel sprouts.... galore. Then we'd head out for a crisp walk before all falling asleep in front of a roaring fire and the christmas day afternoon film. Ah, the memories...

All this talk of snow made me think of a lovely little chick flick I saw a few years ago, where Cameron Diaz did a house swap with Kate Winslet, and ended up being snowed in, in the most gorgeous little country cottage, and yes, she did find romance with Jude Law...but thats not what I was thinking about, of course. It was just the thought of the remote quirky little cottage, that led me to think about one day showing my little hip family the kind of christmas that I was accustomed to as a child.

Now, I've never really thought about it before, but doing a house swap, like the main characters in the film, sounds rather appealing and what a perfect way of enjoying a holiday home away from home. There are many benefits of home swapping; saving money, perhaps swapping cars, living like a local, a safe secure home rather than a hotel room, and perhaps more access to family amenities like highchairs, cots, car seats, swings and a few toys here and there. There a obviously a few companies around, but one that caught my eyes is family holiday home swap. If this sort of family holiday looks of interest to you, I recommend you check out their link above. I will be!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A hip feet are feeling itchy.

For quite a long time now, my little hip family have been toying with the idea of moving overseas for a temporary period for work reasons. You see, I'm from the UK, daddy hip is from New Zealand, and we currently live in Australia. In marvellous Melbourne to be precise. We really love Melbourne, but whilst our little hips are young, we are possibly thinking of moving our little family somewhere abroad for a while. Crazy...are we?

Hip hubby and I met whilst travelling through South America, and, having worked in marketing at an adventure tour operator for many years, and having studied languages at uni, you could say travel is in my blood. We own 4 passports from different parts of the world (3 of which are mine!), so it clearly all makes sense to utilise them all. We've been in Australia for 10 years...

But where to go? And is it just a case of 'the grass is always greener'? Plus it just so happens that we finally feel very settled where we are and, 2010 has been a year of feeling rather happy at home at last. Strange how we can't feel totally 100% happy with what we have (or can we?) 

Would the 'hips' cope? Would they even notice? Do we really need to move somewhere else just when everything feels so right? Financially, a move could really make us, but do we really NEED to do that? Its a tough decision...

So, I suppose, any thoughts or recommendations anyone has, I would love to hear them. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The winner of the 'My Carry Potty' is.......

So we have a winner of the My Carry Potty giveaway. We had lots and lots of entries, and lots of you want to go to some very fancy places, but the winner, picked at random is.....

Alana Francis

Congratulations Alana - please email us at and let us know your details. 
Thanks for all the entries everyone - we have some fabulous new giveaways in 2011 which I am sure you will love.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flying with the 'hips'? Hip carry on luggage packing tips...

The holidays have almost arrived. Are you jetting off somewhere with the 'hips'? Wondering what to pack for carry on? Here are a few hip tips on getting yourselves settled on the plane?

Make sure you get on the plane when they invite you too. Often families are allowed on first. You leave your pram / stroller with the staff, and then they unload it for you again when you reach transit or your destination. Because they are just loaded where the wheelchairs are kept (somewhere up high), you do not have to deflate the wheels...or anything crazy like that.

Get the 'hips' on the plane, comfortable, and grab as many pillows and blankets as possible. Apologise in advance to all those around you.

We packed a couple of bags full of the following items:

  • Fave toys (just a couple of familiar items)
  • Sticker books, drawing books, little paperback books, puzzle books etc.
  • We had a fab Usbourne book about planes - much to Left Hip's delight.
  • A couple of little cars, dinosaurs, just cheap bits that Left Hip had never seen before. We brought them out at various stages throughout the flight to try to prevent boredom.
  • Biggest godsend - portable DVD player. Left Hip insisted on not liking the earphones provided on the plane, so thankfully we had the DVD player which he could play quietly and it kept him happy. The A380 aircraft even have a plug socket under each seat so you don't have to worry about batteries dying etc.
  • Spare clothes, PJ's (so to try to get some sleep happening...sleeping bag for little hip), toothbrush etc.
  • All kept in a fabulous miniture wheelie bag (Left Hip had pictures of planes on the front...big smiles all round). Not that he wheeled his wheelie bag. That ended up being hubby's job (and I won't say I told you so....)
My bag (well, my bag taken up with kids stuff..I think I had a book and that was it):
  • Snacks and spare baby food
  • Water and milk (customs are fairly lenient on liquids with baby bags..but I have heard of some people having to taste liquids infront of staff). I believe you are allowed as much liquid as you believe necessary for a baby / child on the flight. You may have to get rid of water though before you board. Airlines will prepare milk for you, but beware, if you need it warmed (and its v cold), you may have to wait a while. I even got Right Hip to convert to real milk at 11 months so I wouldn't have to take formula with me. Saying that, I did take a couple of those ready made ones in cartons so I could just use in emergencies.
  • Clothes, spare
  • Nappies galore
  • Wipes, nappy bags, wipes, wipes, wipes....
  • A travel blanket (thin but warm)
  • Panadol and other other drugs you might deem necessary
Ummm, prob about it but felt like a lot more. 

As the plane takes off its really important that the kids drink something to get their ears adjusted. Having said that 'Right Hip' sucked away on her dummy, and later on was asleep during take off, and she didn't have any issues. Again though, the A380 aircraft is so large, you hardly feel the take off or landing anyway.

Then after the bassinet has been installed, and Right Hip tries to climb / fall out several times, and then you have to continually take her out whenever there is turbulance so then you start to hate blasted bassinet (but are totally greatful for extra leg room in bulkhead seats), sit back and try and survive the next 24 hours (G&T and several good books and a film anyone??? Yeah right!) Mmmm, how about walk up and down the plane for the millionth time....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yummy snacks with the hips in Brunetti's!

Just had yummy treats at the new Brunetti's in Myer, Melbourne. First of all, congratulations to Myer for bringing a top quality revamped department store into Australia at last. Looks super flash and I can't wait for completion of the whole store.

Secondly...Mmmmm, Brunetti's we love you. The little 'hips' love your free babycinos too (even if they were very hot!), but please please smile when you serve us. I know its busy and its Christmas, but....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

hip European christmas wonders for the 'hips'

Its at this time of the year, just days away from christmas, when I start to feel rather homesick. Yes, I've lived in Australia for 10 years now, and I like it, but a hot christmas...I just can't get used to it, and probably never will. Look, a white christmas is (or perhaps was) a bit of a myth in the UK. It was always grey and drizzly (seems thats all changed since I left), so yes, it wasn't as dreamlike as you can imagine, however, just getting accustomed to christmas on the beach, is another thing.

So, I thought I would embrace the wonders of a white (grey?!?) christmas, and for those lucky to be in the UK and Europe, suggest a few magical things to go and do with the 'hips'...

Something that seems to have become hugely popular in London is outdoor iceskating. There are some beautiful ice rinks up and down the country, however there two stunning and atmospheric rinks that have caught my eye. 

We all love The National History Museum. After checking out the fabulous dinosaurs, head out to the mini rink, located next door to the main rink, and practice those moves, before sharing a yummy hot chocolate! 

London's spectacular and glamourous 18th Century Somerset House also has an ice rink which is sponsored by Tiffany's & co. so definitely a must to go and have a cool glide by. The little hips can learn some hip moves at the Penguin Club whilst the parents have a quick glance at the jewellery and designer cup cakes in the Tiffany Tuck Shop! Both these ice rinks are open during the day and well into the night, so perfect for both kids and adults alike. 

If you are in Europe, you must visit one of the beautiful Christmas markets. Having lived in Munich, Germany for 18 months, and spent much of my life is Basel, Switzerland, I am rather biased towards these two markets, however there are many wonderful markets to visit, in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and France to name but a few. Indulge in a glass of Gluhwein, whilst the 'hips' eat sticky delights and marvel at the wonderful wooden toys. The best time to visit is as nightfall, as the lights are glistening, and the atmosphere is magical, and perhaps you may even have a see a few flakes of snow.

And finally, a rather traditional event in the UK is the Christmas Pantomime. A fun filled family event with lots of thigh slapping jokes, a little bit of cross dressing, and mild innuendo and lots of people shouting "he's behind you"! Sounds interesting? It also seems a lot of ex Aussie soap stars end up on the Panto stage at some time in their career! Lots of family fun.....and definitely worth heading to a performance, even if its a matinee.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

hip potty training tips.....

So, the My Carry Potty review is done and dusted, however, the 'my carry potty' giveaway is still in full swing...only a few more days left so don't forget to enter. Recently there have been a few rumblings in the dark about actual toilet training tips. Fair enough, all this talk about potty's - lets get down to the real business, and talk about the real stuff...toilet training.

So with the help of the creators of My Carry Potty, and some of my own personal research and experiences, I have put together a list of toilet training tips, ranging from the obvious to the most bizarre...whatever works I say. It would be great if you have a read of the following, and any personal tips or success stories you have, please feel free to comment on the blog, facebook, twitter, or email, and I can add your tips.

Don't forget, the My Carry Potty giveaway is still open until Friday 17th December, and is very easy to enter, so do go ahead...

So here we go, The Little Hip Traveller potty training tips........

Are you ready?

Are they interested in watching you going to the loo?

Show bladder control - has dry nappies during the day for long periods?

Has some understanding of simple words and follows instructions?

Can take pants off and back on when necessary?

Tells you when done a wee or poo?


Think about potty v's toilet;  Do you want to start on a potty and then graduate to the toilet, or do you want to start straight on a toilet? For boys, do you want to teach them standing or sitting? 

Think about pants v's potty; Some people believe that pull ups don't really work, and the children don't really feel the wetness when they wee. One mum suggested when going out, wearing pants and then pull ups on top. That way, they can feel when they are wet (hence learn) but don't create too much mess. Or perhaps use pull ups for the car only. Even take the child out to choose their first underpants or choose a potty or even decorate the potty. Whatever works for you...

Think about all the equipment that you require; A suitable stool / bathroom step to stand on to reach the toilet, lots of pull ups, pants, a mop and bucket, disinfectant, some books for distraction, a week or two without any major plans, and lots of rewards and patience! 


Pick a day/week, commit to it. Wipe all activities off the calendar, and stay at home. Take away the nappies, and let them toddle around the house and garden. Expect a few accidents. This is obviously a lot easier when the weather is warmer, and some wait till the summer to crack toilet training. Or at least make sure their clothes are easy to pull down in a hurry.

Have a few potty's around the house, so they get comfortable with them, or make sure the toilet is accessible. Practice sitting on them. Practice flushing the toilet. Practice washing and drying hands.

If you do need to leave the house, go on short outings (or take a My Carry Potty with you).

Don't keep asking if they need to go to the toilet. A good tip is to set the kitchen timer for every 20 - 30 mins, and then when the buzzer goes, they'll automatically hear it, and eventually it will remind them that they should go to the loo. It gives the child independence, and also stops you from feeling like you are a nag! But, saying that, it is a good idea to suggest going to the toilet before leaving the house, or before a nap etc.

Remember there will be accidents. Don't get cross. Be positive. Lots of praise.

Teach the child to redress after any accidents. Putting the soiled underpants in the laundry etc.

Have a potty for teddy to use too. Make it as fun as possible.

Be attentive. Watch for signs. Don't watch the clock.

Lots of praise and encouragement. Some find reward charts, stickers, or small prizes work really well.

Make sure they drink lots of water and foods with lots of fibre, fruit and veg.

If they are sitting on the loo / potty for longer than 5 / 10 mins, its unlikely they need to go. Don't force them there.

Let the tap run for a bit. Who can resist a running water when you need to go...?

Have a My Carry Potty in the car - perfect when you are somewhere remote, travelling or the child is desperate for the toilet. Brilliant for being out and about.

Don't panic about poo's - they may still need some time and perhaps a nappy for those. Perhaps concentrate on the wee wee's first. Its pretty scary stuff.

Just remember not to push the child - it can take weeks, or months to perfect it. Stop. Wait a few weeks and then try again.

Remember that accidents and setbacks will happen. Even if you are successful, its easy for them to forget all about it whilst they are playing, and whoops, there's an accident. Remember to always take a spare change of clothes with you.

Most importantly, and I can only really stress this, don't panic or rush. Its not a competition!

Any other tips, please please share...and good luck, and don't forget to enter the My Carry Potty giveaway (for details see below). We'll all get there in the end.

So, here's what we shall do, and lets make it really easy....

First of all, if you haven't already read our hip My Carry Potty review, please make sure you do.

Then enter to win one by doing the following:

Follow 'The little hip traveller' via either:

Blog (sign up via RSS / google reader or networked blogs)

Or better still, all 3.

If you already follow all 3, then please spread the word and link your blog, facebook, website page, twitter, or email you your friends and tell them all about 'The little hip traveller'

Then send me an email to and tell me where you follow, and also 'where in the world would you love to travel with your 'my carry potty'? Oh, and please feel free to add your best potty training tip too, as we all love to share...

Comments to be left on the blog or via email to for entry into this giveaway
Open to Australian and NZ readers only
The winner will be drawn at random and announced on the little hip traveller blog. If they do not contact me within 5 days, the prize will be redrawn
Competition closes Friday 17th December 2010 AEST 5pm.
Due to the busy Christmas postal service, the prize will not be sent until after Christmas / NYE.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"don't be boring, go exploring"

Picture this. A guidebook written for kids by kids. What a novel idea. I have just had the good fortune to stumble across these fabulous guidebooks called Unlocked Guides. Okay, so they are not actually written by kids, but over 200 kids have actually had some input into what goes into the Unlocked Guides, hence making them very attractive for kids to sit down and have a good old read, and then set off for a fabulous explore.

With a tagline "don't be boring, go exploring" (also chosen by kids), the Unlocked Guides have not only got facts, maps and photos, but also jokes, fun illustrations, and gold stars so the children can rate the attractions themselves. Aimed at children aged 7 - 11, however many adults have also got much enjoyment out of them too, and also younger children accompanied by an adult.

The Unlocked Guides were launched in mid 2010 with the London guide, followed closely by Edinburgh, Bristol and Bath, and the Lake District, and with many more guides in the pipeline, these books are seriously ones to watch, oh, and purchase for you and your kids.

Monday, December 6, 2010

hip hire companies & more overpacking!

Packing...its one of my all time most hated things. It doesn't matter that it means I am off on holiday, and its even worse when I am packing to go home. I just don't like it. The problem is, I pack too much, especially as I end up packing for the whole family.

But really, why pack all those extras bits and bobs when there are so many brilliant businesses that can provide for you when you arrive at your destination. We're not just talking about prams, car seats and porta cots, but some companies even set everything up in your accommodation (including nappies, baby food, shampoo etc), enabling you to relax and enjoy your holiday. I have listed a few of my favourites, but please let me know if you know of some more, and I can certainly add them to the list.

Also, whilst you are on holiday, and may need some extra assistance...why not consider a babysitter so you can enjoy a night out with just adult company?

Finally, when you stay with the grandparents and there is a shortage of toys, why not consider a toy library? Many offer a very affordable grandparent membership enabling them to borrow toys a few times a year. Well worth it. Of course, the local library is also a great place to borrow some books to amuse the little ones too.

NZ: - for a night out without the 'hips'

Bali:  (wonderful business providing products that you would find at home...heinz, huggies, johnson & johnson etc)





South Africa:

The list could go on and on, and it will. If you know of any other good businesses, please don't hesitate to let me know...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

LOVE these little hip sun pouches..

Wow, a perfect little addition to your hand bag / nappy bag, and really great when on the go or even travelling. These fabulous Sun Pouches are great for the slip slop and slap . Designed by a mum, and having used them over the past few days, this hip mum is very happy to recommend them to all. Each pouch holds 75ml, are 30 + UVA/UVB and are water resistant for up to 4 hours. There are suitable for sensitive skin and do not have any extra perfume, additives or any other bits and bobs added.

There's a pouch design for us all from the funky black and white, or multi coloured designs, to the brilliant sensitive skin especially for the little 'hips'.

Just don't get them confused with your little yogurt pouches! Even the packet is eco friendly - The Little Hip Traveller loves them!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh...just love these hip Melbourne icons, and so will you

I just stumbled across the most fabulous business, Make Me Iconic, who aim to "bring the unsung icons of Melbourne city to life and into peoples homes". I just have to have one of these beautiful Melbourne W class trams. Not only will my little 'hips' love it, but we at The Little Hip Traveller just adore all things travel and transport related. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Something funny is going on....

Something funny is going on. It seems that my blog doesn't love me anymore, and won't let anyone else enter the My Carry Potty giveaway (or perhaps those who have already entered have conjured up some magic, so they'll have a better chance! Mmmm!) Trust me, so many people want one, and have emailed me about this...and really, I don't blame them.

So, here's what we shall do, and lets make it really easy....

First of all, if you haven't already read our hip My Carry Potty review, please make sure you do.

Then enter to win one by doing the following:

Follow 'The little hip traveller' via either:

Blog (sign up via google reader, networked blogs or RSS feed - all here if you scroll down on the right and v easy)

Or better still, all 3.

If you already follow all 3, then please spread the word and link your blog, facebook, website page, twitter, or email you your friends and tell them all about 'The little hip traveller'

Then send me an email to and tell me where you follow, and also 'where in the world would you love to travel with your 'my carry potty'? Oh, and please feel free to add your best potty training tip too, as we all love to share...

Comments to be left on the blog or via email to for entry into this giveaway
Open to Australian and NZ readers only
The winner will be drawn at random and announced on the little hip traveller blog. If they do not contact me within 5 days, the prize will be redrawn
Competition closes Friday 17th December 2010 AEST 5pm.
Due to the busy Christmas postal service, the prize will not be sent until after Christmas / NYE.


Related Posts with Thumbnails