Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today I am partaking in Communication Shutdown for Autism.

Today I am partaking in Communication Shutdown for Autism. "Social communication is one of the biggest challenges for people with Autism". I check both my Facebook and Twitter accounts numerous times a day and have become very reliant upon them both. Can we live without this kind of communication? By taking part in a day away from both these forms of social networking, we can empathise ever so slightly about what it is like to feel disconnected socially.

This is particulary important to me as my 'left hip' aka 3 year old son, is being tested for Autism as we speak. It may be just a speech delay.....who knows? Only time will tell.

This post will feed straight through to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I have made a pledge today, and won't be able to check them. Well, not today. Perhaps tomorrow? That is a choice that I choose to make. Imagine not having that choice.

Please help, please pledge ($5 min), or just take part in today's 'Communication Shutdown for Autism'.
of frustration. By creating a little empathy, we hope to encourage a wider understanding and acceptance of people with autism - an uing we recognise those in the autism community already have.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love these hip travel goodies...

Fred. We just love, love & did I say love Fred. For those who are not yet acquainted with Fred, you must get yourself onto the World Wide Fred. I first fell in love with all the hip Fred bits and bobs when I first saw the Babushka measuring cups and bought them for all my friends and family for birthdays from then on. Now, there are some fabulous travel related bits and bobs which are great for getting your 'hips' in the travel mood.

'Airplane food' are a collection of "suppersonic fold and fly placemats". Each one has a retro designed flight path, and can be folded up and flown around for great on board entertainment.

And for some in-flight snacks, how about using 'airfork one'. Just the thing to keep the little 'hips' entertained on board and at home too!

Love anything a bit left of centre, and Fred surely is that...look for yourself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

apples, pears, trains and trams...

Its not always about the destination, infact, sometimes, its good not to have a destination in mind at all. Yes, we all know about the journey being just as important as the final destination, so, why not just jump on that train and see where it takes you? This is what hubby and I, and of course, left and right hip did last weekend.

Sunday was a cracker of a Melbourne spring day, and the sun was beckoning us to come out and play. We found ourselves on the train heading into the city, and then jumped on the tram up to the Queen Vic Markets. Why, oh why, we don't go there more often, and why, oh why, we don't use public transport more've got to remember, the little 'hips' love those day to day activities that we often take for granted, and riding on a train is just one of them. The atmosphere in the market is always just buzzing, and the little 'hips' were loving the market banter and the diverse colours all around them.

Its all about the simplest things in life, and quite often those things are free. So don't spend lots of money on expensive day trips out. A trip to the local playground, park, market, library, or even a ride on the train are all just as, and perhaps even more beneficial, as outings that cost an arm and a leg. So next time you are planning a day out, pack a sandwich, and just walk to the nearest train / bus station, and see where it takes you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A little hip giveaway...

The ladies from B.Box have once again been champions and sent my little 18 month old hip a fabulous 'essential travel bib' to test out (plus one to giveaway to you....) As you may have guessed by now, we love, and have already mentioned the baby box in previous posts, but those clever ladies have expanded their product range even further, by introducing the essential nappy caddy and the essential travel bib too. What clever clogs they really are (and very busy mums too!)

My 18 month hip testing out the Shining Star travel bib...only Spaghetti Bolognese would do for this  occasion...the messier the better!

Now, lets have a little chat about the essential travel bib....

Clearly they look extremely hip and trendy, and come in three different designs; Shining Star, Flower Power and Retro Circles. Love it already. The bib is contained inside a very cool looking case, which when unzipped and unfolded becomes a wipeable bib with a very handy catcher (just like those wonderful pelican bibs that I swear by at home, as they catch all most of the food!)

It has an adjustable neck strap, and the beauty of it is it has 3 size buttons so will fit any size 'hip' that still requires a bib, plus it is jolly hard to just pull off as it is fastened by press studs (not velcro...hoorah!) Inside the bib catcher you'll find a great sized spoon which, if I must say was slightly too soft for the food that my 18 month old hip was eating (my only slight criticism), however she had a good chew on the spoon afterwards, so it must have been great for those 2 year old molars!

The bib is BPA, Phthalates and PVC free which of course is really important. Once you have finished your meal, and you are travelling / out and about, and no where near home, you can refold the bib, excess food, the spoon and all, and zip it back more zip lock bags, and no more mess! You just need to remember to rinse it when you get home.

The last fabulous element is that hang it back on your bag or pram using the special loop attached. Perfect for travelling and being out and about - infact, an essential, and we love it! Simple but very effective. Well done those girls.

So if you have a little hip one at home, and are eager to own your own essential travel bib, here's your chance.

The prize: The wonderful ladies have provided me with a Retro Circles travel bib to giveaway.

How to enter: All you need to do is follow 'the little hip traveller' on either facebook, twitter or this blog, and comment on this post to let me know where you are following. Of course, if you want to follow me on all 3 then you will get 3 entries into the competition! Make sure you leave a separate comment if you follow in more than one place, so you can get a more entries...

Follow the little hip traveller blog using the google reader box to the right of this page or networked blogs (v easy, just follow the steps)
Follow me on facebook by clicking here
Follow me on twitter by clicking here

If you do already follow me in all those ways...great, thanks so much for your support. Please do leave me a comment anyway and let me know, and you will automatically be in the competition. Just one thing - please tell all your friends about the little hip traveller (via sharing through facebook or twitter, or the good old word of mouth!) as we would love everyone to be involved. Thanks x

Comments to be left below for entry into this giveaway
Open to both Australian and international readers
The winner will be drawn at random and announced on the little hip traveller blog. If they do not contact me within 7 days, the prize will be redrawn
Competition closes Friday 12th November 2010 AEST 5pm.

Little Hip Melbourne...we love you

Okay, so perhaps we at 'the little hip traveller' are a teeny bit biased, as we have adopted this fair city as our home and have done for the past 5 years or so, however Melbourne has once again been crowned the 'most liveable city in Australia' and too right I say! The Minister of Tourism and Major Events recently released these outstanding reports, also naming Melbourne the 'most popular interstate tourist destination', and thats truly not too hard to believe aswell.

Melbourne boasts world class sporting and cultural events, top restaurants, cafes and bars (and of course outstanding coffee), musicals and theatre productions straight from Broadway and the West End, and of course shopping, shopping and more shopping...and a whole lot more (plus heaps to do with those little hip travellers too!)

So come on one and all, bring those little hips and visit this fabulous city that we call home. And for those Melburnians out there....enjoy, and rejoice in the fact that Melbourne is once again (and always will be) a cracking place to be.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hip travel tips

Now, we have talked about before, but we've never really chatted about the wonderful inspirational ladies behind the B.Box.

I was lucky enough to hear Dannielle and Monique from B.Box speak at the recent Connect 2 Mums conference, and they certainly have a fabulous story to tell.

Did you know the was created after Dannielle had been on a flight with her very young family, and had been very frustrated trying to change nappies in the tiny plane toilets with massive nappy bag, and children in tow? She had a chat to her good friend Monique, and together they created the Baby Box, the "all in one go everywhere plastic nappy wallet that provides quick access to wipes, change mat and storage for nappies". Since then, they have created even more fabulous products such as the travel bib and nappy caddy...What clever ladies.

Dannielle has also very kindly agreed to share a few of her families travel tips and adventures with us. Oh, and before I forget, watch this space for some more product reviews and a competition giveaway! So here we go - over to Dannielle from

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

My husband Ben is a kiwi, I’m from Sydney and we live in Melbourne with our three gorgeous girls Noa (6), Sofia (3) and Jemma (6 weeks), so we’re always travelling.
And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?

We have been to Wellington, Hobart and Sydney in the past few months
How did you get there?

We flew to each destination. Qantas to Wellington which was smooth and uneventful. Got to love Qantas Club especially on an international flight when you’ve got an hour to kill before the flight and the kids need the bathroom and are hungry! To Hobart we flew Tiger – never again! Delays, delays, delays... And to Sydney we flew Virgin Blue – my favourite airline when travelling with kids domestically. Plus Nick Jr so no fighting over who’s going to watch what on the DVD player and really friendly staff. And they are the only ones who board families first still – a huge advantage when travelling with a newborn and two other kids.

Where did you stay?

We stayed with family in Sydney and Wellington – built in baby sitters – and in Hobart we stayed in an apartment hotel – the name of which escapes me.

Your biggest challenge?

My 3 year old falling asleep as we landed, wanting to be carried as I had our newborn in my arms and my husband had the luggage.

Any big recommendations?

The Crayola colour wonder books are fab for travelling as they only react with the magic paper and therefore don’t get all over clothes and the plane! In Wellington, the national museum Te Papa is amazing – our kids could spend all day every day there and it’s free.

What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

Pack each child a day pack with their favourite snacks, drink bottle, toy and colouring/activity/sticker books. A portable DVD player is a must and take a spare change of clothes – even for the bigger kids – as my 6 year old can attest to after spilling her drink on her jeans recently! Also ask friends who have been to your destination for recommendations on what to do and where to eat. Also look up local web sites for hot happenings while you’re there, such as festivals, markets, movies, theatre etc. Make sure you and your partner book some “me time” – whether that’s using a reputable babysitter or family and finally expect the unexpected and enjoy the ride.

What would you not have left home without?

My essential baby box from (of course!) and my Blackberry.

Thanks so much Dannielle. For those in Melbourne, Dannielle and Monique will be at the Pregnancy, Baby and Children's Expo, 24th - 26th October at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Go and say hello...

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to become a little hip Mumpreneur...

Lucky lucky me....I have just won a ticket to the up and coming Melbourne Mumpreneurs Conference on 20th October, and I am so looking forward to it.

Run by Connect to Aussie Mums, the Mumpreneurs Conference is a fantastic opportunity not only to listen to some wonderful inspirational guest speakers, (the lovely creators behind the brilliant, the founder of Source Bottle, and Think Tank Media, to name but a few), BUT its also a great way to finally meet all those lovely Mumpreneurs who I chat to daily via Twitter, and Facebook, plus meet so many more...

Thanks so much Connect to Aussie Mums, and see you all there on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The little hip 'trunki'

So, everyone is talking about them, especially now that Penelope the Princess, and Freddie the Fire engine are about to be released. Both left and right hip are in love and desperately want one for our next hip travelling adventure, so perhaps Penelope and Freddie may end up under our Christmas tree this year?


Well, for those not in the know, who or what are we talking about? Let me introduce you to the 'Trunki' - "the world's first ride on suitcase for globe-trotting tots". No more tears whilst rushing through airports as little ones can just pop onto their Trunki, whilst you whizz through to the boarding gate. Very lightweight, but also very sturdy, the Trunki is an excellent piece of hand luggage, suitable for the bits and bobs required by the 'hips' on your journey. It has a strap at the front for you to pull along behind you, or a carry handle if you need to do a quick dash.

Amy, recently travelled to USA with her hubby and young daughter, and wanted to share with us her fabulous Trunki experiences. Thanks Amy. Here we go;

"As soon as we spotted the Trunki in a local Melbourne store, I knew it would change air travel with our daughter. The sales woman carefully plucked our daughter’s lady bird Trunki from the front display and handed it down to her. Immediately there were smiles and bright eyes gleaming as this new “toy” was placed down beside her. My daughter proceeded to drag the Trunki around the whole store like it was already hers. I knew it would be a hit.

Time for our travels came and we packed the Trunki with our daughter’s travel goodies that she would need on the plane, as we were told we could use it as carry on for her. We got to the airport and sure enough, it was small enough for carry on, yet big enough to carry a blanket, nappies, wipes, PJs, books, and a whole assortment of toys to play with on our 14 hour plane ride to Los Angeles. Once through security, I set down the Trunki, much to my daughter’s glee and she immediately started dragging it around, asking to sit on it and be dragged (it has nifty little handles in the front for little kiddies to hold onto, so they are stable whilst being dragged around on it). It was endless fun for her during the 3 hour wait at the airport. I don’t know how many times I went back and forth, up and down the hallway while at our extra secure gated area, waiting to leave for the U.S. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without the Trunki to provide continuous joy to our daughter.
It provided very useful on the plane as well. A convenient little contraption to access nappies, PJs, toys, etc. at any time, as it fit easily in the overhead compartment. Each time we brought it out, my daughter’s eyes lit up and she would do a little seated happy dance. Luckily she didn’t feel the need to drag the Trunki up and down the aisles. She was content to just play with the Trunki and its contents.
The Trunki proved useful on many occasions, while visiting relatives or staying in hotel rooms, the Trunki was always there to play with and drag around. I don’t regret for one single moment buying the Trunki in the store. It was well worth the cost. Even to this day while not travelling, my daughter still finds the Trunki stored away under her cot and gets that gleam in her eye and proceeds to drag it around the house for hours. The Trunki is patiently waiting for our next big adventure in travelling and is decidedly content on being played with around the house for now..."

Wow, thanks Amy. I think we need a few of those now (mmmm, early Christmas presents?)
Alongside Penelope and Freddie, say hello to Harley, Terence, Trixie, Tipu, Bernard and a special limited addition of the Gruffalo Trunki. Trunki even got a grilling on the BBC's Dragons Den - the entrepreneurs didn't want it! Trunki, of course, got the last laugh! Have a little look at the TV coverage below.

Available in Australia through Yooneek or internationally through Trunki themselves, those multiple award winning Trunki's are just totally worth having, even if it is just for that mad dash to the departure gate, or for playing with round the house!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

lucky little bunny...

Lucky old me...or should I say, lucky little right 'hip'. We were fortunate enough to win a beautiful little bunny from 'Tiny and Little' and I just felt that I had to shout out about it. Okay, so, its not anything to do with travel or being out and about with the 'hips', but it is a little reminder that we should always take our kids' favourite cuddly / comfort toy with us when we are going somewhere unfamiliar. And believe me, this is something that will become a favourite for sure.

The clever Natalie at 'Tiny and Little' made us our wonderful new pink bunny. I do urge you to go and check out her lovely blog and crafty pages as she has some wonderful bits and bobs to get excited about. Thanks so much've made one little person very happy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mini Gourmets' hip travel tips and tricks...

Once again we are passing the baton over to another fabulous, and famous mumpreneur, and this time its the brilliant Natalie from 'Mini Gourmets - for kids who love to cook'. Now, we, at 'the little hip traveller' love this website because, when you are not out and about with the kids, why not do something fun and productive at home, like teach the kids to cook! But, before you head over and check this beautiful website and fantasise about turning your kids in the next junior Masterchef, check out Natalie's tips on travelling with her kids. She has some fabulous advice and ideas.

Thanks Natalie. We love Mini Gourmets, and can't wait to follow some of your fab recipes and use some of your brilliant kiddies cooking utensils...(loving the Aggie and Archie aprons, and Bertie and Betty bowls!)

So, tell me about you and your family?

There is me: Natalie, 35, SAHM, WAHM, former High school teacher and Year Co-ordinator (before children)
My Husband: Runs our family business in engineering testing
Our children: Our little girl who is 4.5 (who is into anything pink and frilly) and son who is 22 months (who loves In the Night Garden, meat, carbohydrates and saying MUMMMMAAAA)

Where have you been recently with your hips?

We went to Sydney this time last year for a week, which was a big trip with a 9 month old and a 3.5 year old from Perth. We decided to spoil ourselves and go business class.

We have also been to Broome twice in the last 18 months which is only 2.5 hrs from Perth. We love it so much we are going back there again in a month. We always stay at Cable Beach Club when they have the 'kids eat free' deal so it makes it so much cheaper. The weather is beautiful, its safe, they have a brilliant kids pool (with a huge park right next to the pool), plus you don’t have to do much else except relax.

Things have been a bit hard since having our son as travelling with 2 kids is so much more complicated, so we have kept with “safer” and shorter trips. We are looking forward to our son getting older and being able to travel longer distances and not have to be back at a hotel room at 12.30 for a day sleep, as he gets very cranky without one!

How did you get there?

We went Qantas business class to Sydney. Its 4.5 hrs there 5.5 hrs back and I was worried about having our very big 9 month old with us, without having a seat. I wanted something that would have good in-flight entertainment for our daughter and we got a bit of luxury, plus the club lounge (which is a great place to relax before a flight and great place to stay a while if you have a delay). The club lounge was fine - we did get a few raised eyebrows, but we were pretty strict with the kids and didn't let them run around at all.

To Broome, we have travelled on both Qantas and Virgin Blue. Virgin Blue is so much better than Qantas, as their planes are newer and a bit more roomy with nicer seating. The Qantas meals are pretty poor and depending on what time of the day you fly, you can get some terrible planes that are small and uncomfortable.

Where did you stay?

In Sydney we stayed at the Swissotel. The staff there were nothing short of brilliant. We had interconnecting rooms and the kids room was all decked out with kids toys, kids bedsheets and was just fantastic. The location was great - being so close to the mall and public transport. One of us would look after the children for their afternoon sleeps while the other one went down to the mall for a coffee, or a walk or to do some shopping.

In Broome we have stayed at Cable Beach Club twice and we will be staying there again in a Bungalow. Every time we've been there, they've had a special package with free breakfast, kids eat free, and usually a night free too. We do tend to go just before or just after peak time (middle of the year), hence the special deal. The family pool is fantastic with a massive shade sail over the shallow kids section and a large park that has been built next to the pool. There is such a great atmosphere around the kids pool with parents all talking and enjoying a drink and the kids all becoming friends.

The Bungalows are great with the kids bedroom being separate and the parents room in the middle. The little kitchen is great for making your own meals if you don’t want to go out. The eating out in Broome is a little expensive so we tended to eat in.

What is your biggest challenge when travelling with children?

  • Getting anywhere on time (airports, dinner, tours etc)
  • The flight - I always feel so anxious as to how my kids will behave and how others will respond to them. That is why I always OVER PACK. I always have extra food, extra activities etc, and my husband thinks I am crazy!
  • Children get tired very easily so best not to plan full day trips - stick to morning activities. My 4 year old reverts to day sleeps on holiday.
  • The kids find it hard to get used to new sleeping environments and are quite unsettled and don't sleep well, or are up super early.

Any big recommendations?

  • We love Broome as its tropical hideaway, while being so safe! We wanted a reasonably costed tropical hideaway but didn’t feel comfortable taking young children to somewhere like Bali or Thailand.

  • Love Trip Advisor as we love the honest opinions as well as the pictures taken by travellers. Sometimes the glossy pictures in magazines don’t show the real truth of hotel!

  • For travelling with young ones who are still in nappies, I love the Change Mat Clutch by ISOKI. It just makes travelling with little ones so easy as it keeps all the nappies and wipes within a small clutch.
  • Earplanes are good for children who have problems popping their ears. We use them for landing for our daughter as she gets very sore ears and can’t seem to be able to pop her ears properly.


  • Often it is better to make the call and deal with the hotel direct. And don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if you are a repeat traveller to a hotel. We have got 5% off at Cable Beach for being a repeat customer.

What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

  1. Be prepared! I have a list that I have made on an excel document and I keep it on the computer and print it out for every holiday and amend it as needed. I bring a small bag out about 2 weeks before we go and start getting little bits and pieces (as I remember them) and throw them in the bag
  2. I buy special toys for the kids for holidays, new pens and scrap books and put away until I need them. I don’t like to rush a few days before the holiday.
  3. Don't pack the kitchen sink. On holidays you can purchase things there.
  4. We never plan flights for night time. If the kiddies don’t sleep, then we would be up with them and we don’t go well with no sleep. And then trying to function the next day.... ewww!
  5. Choose airlines and planes that are kid friendly. So think about seating configurations (we are going Virgin to go to Broome this time as its 2/2 and that way we can just occupy a row as our son will have a seat) and plane types (so age of planes and in-flight entertainment). We always study the plane type first before making a decision on what plane to take. When we chose to go to Sydney we flew in an Airbus A330 (which only flies once a day to Sydney. ) It has entertainment on demand (and lots of TV channels) which was great for our daughter who loves the ABC for kids, and meant that we could watch shows and stop the show if our son needed anything.
  6. Try to get breakfast included in any packages you get. Last thing you want to do when you wake up is to organise anything.Try to pick a hotel near public transport if you are in a major city. Yes it might be 400m to the nearest train station but with little ones who are tired and might be too old for a pram? Thats miles!!

What would you have not left home without?

  • Portable DVD player. I use it as a LAST RESORT on plane trips but its a godsend.

Thanks so much Natalie. Some fabulous advice.
Now, go on readers, go and check out the Mini Gourmets website as I know you'll love it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Exciting news...Maxi cosi arrives

Just a quick one to say that Maxi-Cosi has finally reached the shores of Australia (lucky you everyone else around the world, who have had the pleasure of being able to use Maxi-Cosi products for ever!)

So popular, especially in Europe, Maxi-Cosi is available to pre order from Baby Village for delivery in November.

The BAD news is Australia still hasn't approved ISOFIX (boo....), which makes baby seats so wonderful in Europe (check out the little film below), but the GOOD news is you can now order the Maxi Cosi Mico infant carrier for babies up to 9KG, and the Maxi Cosi Complete Air Child Restraint for 9KG plus.

So order you Maxi-Cosi from Baby Village and tell them we sent you. This is really exciting as it really opens up a whole new world for travel systems in Australia at last!

jump in the saddle for a squashy ride...

Getting onto a plane for many flyers is now as everyday as getting on a bus. As we are up in the air so much more, budget airlines are popping up all over the place to meet the high demand. In my previous life, before having my wonderful little 'hips', I spent a lot of time flying both domestically and internationally for work. Cattle class for me was the norm, and quick hops from state to state was a regular occurrence, together with all the other bleary eyed business passengers (also conveniently crammed into cattle class!)

However, flying cattle class will soon be taking on a new meaning, as one Italian aviation company, Aviointeriors, have designed the world's smallest aircraft seats. The seats, currently named 'skyrider', are styled on saddles used by cowboys, and the curve of the saddle forces the passengers to sit at a slight angle. They are designed to be comfortable for shorter flights only, around 3 hours max. The idea behind this is to enable more seats onto the flight. More seats = More passengers. More passengers = More money for the airlines! However, one great benefit of these smaller seats are that they are much lighter. Being less heavy, the plane uses less fuel, which in theory should bring down the airline costs, and the best thing, have a lesser impact on the environment.

All very well, and big points to the designers for great imagination, but what I am wondering is, where do the little hips sit? We can't expect them to sit on 'saddle' seats that are designed to make you lean forward, as their short little legs would not be able to support them. Does this mean a higher price for regular airline seats? Not only are some airlines now considering charging us money to use the toilets on board (yes, fabulous if you are toilet training), but now we may have to pay even more to take our little 'hips' onboard, when they actually only take up a third of the size of an adult! Perhaps these designers can create a play area down the back of the plane with all the extra space!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

should parents with toddlers should have their passports confiscated?

Wow, there was a brilliant article in today's Sydney Morning Herald titled 'screaming kids on planes - are parents really to blame? Okay so the article itself was quite normal, discussing, as predicted, whether or not we, as parents, should actually 'allow' our children to fidget, scream, and be as uncomfortable as possible in a very small space for a rather long time. I mean, what toddler would really choose to be cooped up, belted in, and told to be as quiet as a mouse, as a top activity?

Yes, airports could be more family friendly, and perhaps like Singapore airport, provide a few fabulous kid friendly areas where the 'hips' can rush around and burn off some energy before boarding the plane. This certainly is a saving grace for parents before boarding a long flight. But as we know, its all about being prepared with good toys, healthy snacks and a few surprise treats, then we can normally nip any major tantrums in the bud (most of the time!)

But what is really good about this article is the barrage that follows...the many many comments, in particular aimed at one reader who has expressed herself as follows; "airlines need to do the right thing by all passengers and charge parents 5 times the adult fare for a toddler. It is ridiculous to be imposed to out of control children in a cramped and uncomfortable environment.....what makes anybody think think that a toddler will in anyway benefit or enjoy an international holiday. They would have forgotten the experience before lunch. Parents with toddlers should have their passports confiscated..."

Personally I am absolutely thrilled to bits at the wonderful response from the other contributors to said comment. It just goes to show that there are many parents out there who either out of necessity, or absolute joy, take their 'hips' off to explore the world, and chastise all those who may mock. Kids are like sponges, and they absorb their surroundings with ease, and revel in the attention they create.

We just hope that next time we are on a long haul flight we are positioned right next door to said contributor, as we'd love to show her exactly how our little hips can 'behave' on a 24 hour flight!

Check out the article and the fabulous comments here.

Image: Maggie Smith /

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

we love this little hip donkey

My hip hubby is an engineer. He has worked in the oil industry, the automotive industry and is currently working in defence designing very large ships. Lately though, he has now decided that being an engineer in the pram industry looks really appealing. You see, I've been inundating him with all these really hip pram inventions, and I can see his brain ticking...a career change is the next step. I am totally behind him - I mean, imagine 'having' to test out all the very latest hip pram designs that are emerging on the market at the moment.

Okay, so, we've discussed the excellent Phil n Ted, and we been wowed by the ' is it a scooter / is it a buggy board /is it a pram' from Mountain Buggy. Now, lets look at the latest fabulous design from Bugaboo....the Donkey. A bizarre name, but once you see it, you'll get it. We all know donkey's carry heavy loads - well this donkey carry's your very precious bundles, plus all your extra bits and bobs, and is just very very clever.

Launching in early 2011, the Donkey is the world's first mono-duo-mono convertible stroller on the market which basically means its can go from a single to a double to a single side by side buggy with 3 clicks! So its extremely versatile for the growing family, and particularly suitable for twins, plus has lots and lots of storage, hence aptly called the Donkey.

Check it out below and on the Bugaboo website.

We just love this donkey (and hubby has scuttled off to the drawing board and to update his resume!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

3 little 'hips' in sunny Fuengirola

Holidays in the sun are meant to be natures way of telling us to relax, take it easy, read a few good books, laze by the pool or the beach, and order cocktail after cocktail. All very well and good, but add 3 little 'hips' into the mix and its a different story. Or is it?

In the Northern hemisphere, the summer holidays are well and truly over. The 'hips' are back at school, and mums and dads all over the place are breathing a sigh of relief, and returning back to the normal day to day routines. Jo, a very good friend of mine from the UK, and a mum of 3 gorgeous hips, has kindly agreed to tell us about her holiday experiences with her hubby and 3 hips, and also provide us with some great tips and tricks that she has learnt along the way. Over to you Jo...

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

Our family consists of myself, Derran, Charlotte (7), Sam (4) and Jack (2)

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

We went to spain for 2 weeks and stayed in our newly bought timeshare at Club La Costa, Fuengirola.

How did you get there, and where did you stay?

We flew to Malaga with Air Lingus which was fairly uneventful, and then drove in a hire car to our apartment.

Your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge was entertaining the hips on the plane.... But we've done it before, so from experience, packed DS games, new toys, books, stickers, plus, I made sandwiches to take as we were flying over lunch. Also it was so hot in Spain, so applying suncream was a real job!! They were good though...

Any big recommendations?

There is an amazing Zoo called Bioparc in Fuengirola that stays open till midnight. We got there at 6pm and stayed till 10pm which was excellent as it was dark and the animals all woke up... so amazing to go at night time. There is a fab beach near Marbella, which is very shallow and has lovely sand. We also went to the castle in Fuengirola, where you can climb to the top, and it doesn't cost much at all. In Fuengirola, there is a briliant pirate ship / climbing frame in the centre, which is very kid friendly and best of all has a cafe next to it. We decided to save the water parks for when the kids get a bit bigger!

What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

Make sure you buy some new toys for big journeys, a dvd player for car, and lots of food, drink and snacks!!

What would you not have left home without?

hmmmm, for me lots of books and playing cards and for kids, the dvd player, DS games, books and their fave teddies.

And finally, anything else you want to add?

We forgot Jack's bottle for milk at bedtime, so he went cold turkey and had no milk, and hasn't looked back!!!! We also bought buckets, spades, balls and a lilo out there, as that seemed to be the best way to cut down on luggage!


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