EVERYTHING WE LOVE ABOUT BUBS AUSTRALIA TODDLER GOAT MILK

It is no secret that I am a huge, long term fan of Bubs Toddler Goat Milk.  I weaned Ari onto it when he was 12 months old, and Chloe also started to drink it from the same age.  I took a very gentle weaning approach for both of my little loves, having mix fed Ari with breastmilk from 12 to 15 months, then exclusively onto Bubs Australia.  For Chloe I mix fed from 12 months to two years old.  Each child is different but for us I found it to be the perfect way. A journey that created a balance between not pushing them to wean and giving me the flexibility of not solely relying on my breastmilk.  (Bubs Toddler Goat Milk is suitable from 12 moths plus.)

With the decision to wean, came the decision of what to wean them onto.  This is not something that I considered lightly.  With so many options of products available it didn’t take long for me to feel completely overwhelmed.  To honest there was so much out there that I would never put through their precious digestive systems.

Bubs Toddler Goat Milk was and still is the clear winner for us.  It was founded in Australia by a Mother of three who wanted exactly what I want for my children… what is best for her bubs.  What Mum doesn’t want the very best for her child?  Made from whole goat milk and goat whey protein, within Bubs Toddler Goat Milk you can find a balanced daily intake of essential fatty acids, vitamins, prebiotics and other beneficial nutrients needed to support a healthy growing body. Bubs Toddler Goat Milk is produced in the beautiful Victorian countryside, and is the only Australian made Toddler Goat Milk sold in Australian Supermarkets.  Perfectly made for growing children to help to support their immune system, growth and development.

I have been blessed by the fact the neither Ari nor Chloe have any dietary intolerances, however Bubs can be the perfect solution to issues related to digestion.  Some of the symptoms of digestive issues that can be repaired by simple switching to goat’s milk include, cow milk protein intolerances/sensitivity, wind, bloating, constipation, colic, diarrhoea and regurgitation.  In fact, because it is so gentle and nourishing, Bubs can even help even help with mucus congestion and skin conditions like inflammation, rashes and eczema.

I have recommended Bubs to countless people who has subsequently asked me, “What is the difference between cow’s milk and goats’ milk.”  To put it short, goats’ milk is just easier for the body to digest.  The harder a child’s body must work to breakdown milk sources and food the more stress is put on bodily systems, and nutrients are absorbed much slower.  The Bubs Australia website is full of information on why goats milk is such a great choice, so I highly recommend having a look here.

I have previously written two blog posts about the Bubs Australia products, The Final Feed which talks about our weaning journey, and Traveling with Kids featuring Bubs Australia, which gives a really great run through of all the benefits to travelling with Bubs Australia products.

There is a huge range of products under Bubs Australia from baby formula to cereals, food pouches and rusks.  Ari and Chloe have both tried them all throughout various stages and they love them!

Bubs Australia products can be purchased from Coles, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths and online here.  For more information on the Bubs Australia range visit their website or Instagram.

As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert.  I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.  Thank you to Bubs Australia for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share one of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #BUBSPARTNER

Note – Chloe’s gorgeous outfit in these images is from My Riser.

Lots of love!

Small-Signature-Nat

As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert.  I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.  Thank you to Bubs Australia for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share one of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #BUBSPARTNER

 

Hot off the press… some of the best ways to plan your travel

As many of you know I am knee deep in planning our next adventure to Bali and Europe.  I absolutely love to plan holidays and have been the ‘travel agent’ of our family for years now.

During my recent searches for the best accommodation, hottest restaurants and most beautiful locations I have come across a few new (to me) tools that can take your vacation planning to the next level!

I really shouldn’t bee spilling these secrets, but it’s in my nature to share a good thing.  If I have something that will make a positive difference to someone’s appearance then I just can’t keep it to myself!  So here goes…

Websites that got be excited –
Tablet Hotels – If you are into boutique style hotels this is a must click.
One Fine Stay – Like Air BnB but offering only the finest homes.
Design Hotels – Beautiful bespoke hotels if you are after something quieter.
Mr and Mrs Smith – Hand picked luxury hotels.
Air Bnb Plus – A feature on Air Bnb that includes luxury properties with great ratings.
Flight Fox – This one is all about booking flights and is especially good for the cooperate traveller.

Tips I had never thought of before –
– Once you think you’ve settled on a hotel, use google maps to check out its actual location.  Pop it onto ‘earth mode’ so you can see what the accommodation actually looks like.  Move around the street to look at neighbouring properties.  See if there is anything close by that might impact your holiday, like a large night club or busy restaurant.

– On Instagram, find one hotel in an area that you love and a price point that you want to spend.  Go to that hotel’s profile and use the drop down arrow which then allows you to see accounts similar to the one your are on.  You will come across a bunch of competing hotels in the area that are similar to your original search.  Happy researching!

– If you find a property you love on Air Bnb or another search tool, then go onto google and search that accommodation by name.  You may find a better deal outside of the engine you had originally been using.  I always find Air Bnb to be much more expensive then the price I would have paid if I booked direct.

– It is said booking flights at midday on a Tuesday is the cheapest time to do it.

– It can be cheaper to book round tickets over one way flights.

– Rumour has it that the exact day to find the cheapest airfare is 54 days before flight departure.

– Keep your options open.  You may have a few airports located close to you or where you are going.  Landing into one may be substantially cheaper than another.

– Set up price alerts with different airlines and sign up to subscription newsletters.

– Consider stopping over to spilt up your journey.  This may also lower the cost of your overall flight.

– Stay over a Sunday night.  Most hotels get holiday bookings Friday to Sunday morning, and business bookings Monday to Friday.  Sunday can be cheaper and quieter.

Now get me on that plane on Friday!  I seriously can not wait to be in Bali staying at the gorgeous Dreamland resort.  For more holiday inspiration check out My Wyndham Holidays and the Wynham Instagram page.

Happy travelling!

Enjoy,

Small-Signature-Nat

 

 

 

 

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

It has been awhile since I blogged, but I couldn’t think of a better reason to put finger to keyboard than to tell you all about our recent Cook Island adventure!  This island paradise, in the South Pacific, is made up of 15 different yet equally beautiful islands. Rarotonga is the island where our little family recently chose to enjoy a blissful 7-night stay.

Our family of four headed over with currently Ari almost four years old and Chloe nearly two and half.  Our friends were getting married on the Island, so we decided to make a holiday of it with a big, beautiful bunch of friends, many of whom have children similar ages to ours.  It was a hoot for all ages to put it short! I was really surprised at how many people travelled to the Cook Islands with children, I guess it goes to show what a family friendly place it is.

Getting there 
Travelling there wasn’t quite as direct as you might think, but still very simple and enjoyable.  From Brisbane we flew to Auckland and then onto Rarotonga.  On our return we had a five and half hour stopover, which was the perfect opportunity to clear customs and explore nearby Butterfly Creek.  Our landing into Rarotonga was one of the most beautiful I have seen, because the runway it practically sitting on the ocean.

Accommodation
Once we arrived we headed straight for our accommodation at Pacific Resort Rarotonga, via convenient transfers they had arranged.  Check in was organised and swift, which was just what we needed for an 11pm arrival. Pacific Resort Rarotonga is perfectly positioned on 5.5 acres of beautiful beachfront right on Muri Beach and lagoon.  The water is the most incredible mix of colours I have ever seen… sapphire, turquoise, aqua with a crystal-like shine, but all so clear at the same time.  The hotel has a boutique feel with only 64 rooms, suites and villas each decorated to a tasteful island feel.  The room we chose was a Premium Family Room (open plan layout,) it had plenty of space, privacy and was a few steps from the stunning hotel swimming pool.  A delicious complimentary breakfast was enjoyed in the hotel’s waterside restaurant, as well as fun activities like kid’s club and water sports (the kayaking across the lagoon is a must!)
Getting around
We found that the best way to get around the island was to hire a car.  Even though there is a bus stop located conveniently close to the resort, we have always enjoyed the flexibility of being able to adventure wherever and whenever we please.  Car hire is very well priced, and the driving couldn’t be easier, with only one road that goes around the island and a max speed limit of 50km an hour.

What we did
Just like island life this holiday was joyously slow paced and relaxing.  Normally when we are on vacation we find ourselves up and about at 8am, but Rarotonga seemed to calm all of us.  Most days we slept in until 10am and had a slow breakfast then hopped in our car and explored.  Here’s some of our favourite places and things to do, as well as some more that I have researched for you!

Restaurant Recommendations

Charlie’s Cafe and Beach Hire – This place was really cheap and the sashimi was amazing.
The Mooring Fish Café – I loved the fish tacos.
The Rickshaw Rarotonga – The best Vietnamese with big portions.
Sandals Restaurant – Conveniently located within Pacific Resort Rarotonga.
Barefoot Bar – Also within the hotel and situated right on the beach. The perfect spot for happy hour!
Muri Night markets – An ecofriendly open-air market located next door to the resort.  Try the garlic and mushroom prawns.

Beaches

Black Rock Beach – Locals have a belief that human spirits depart from this part of the coastline.  At one end of the beach you can find large basalt rocks which make for a stunning photo opportunity.
Muri Beach – The pristine white sandy beach, the bluest ocean, with water sports and scenic boat tours.
Aroa Beach – A perfect spot for snorkelling, where you can expect to see large schools of butterfly fish, sea bream and moray eels.
Tikikaveka – On the south coast of Rarotonga, I am told this is a surfing hot spot.
Nikao Beach – A safe and sheltered beach great for families and soaking up some sun.
Papua (Wilmores) Waterfall – A waterfall and swimming hole located off of the main road with a $5 entry fee.

Cultural experiences and tours

Te Vara Nui – We enjoyed the most incredible dinner and night show, and only steps from our hotel.  Rarotonga’s finest dancers and musicians perform to ‘The Legend of Tongaiti’ by flaming torchlight on floating and fixed stages in a waterfall garden.  A huge buffet dinner was included with a mix of western and local dishes.  This was definately a highlight of our trip.
Captain Tamas Lagoon Cruise – Unfortunately ours was cancelled due to bad weather but this is something I really wanted to do… An afternoon spent on Muri Lagoon, snorkelling from a private glass bottom boat followed by a late BBQ fish lunch… I’m drooling as I write this!
Punanga Nui Cultural Market – Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm, Saturday is the main market day with all the stalls, shops and huts occupied with vendors, with the bonus of a live show on stage.
Sunday Church Service – Something we couldn’t do as we were not there on a full Sunday, but I have heard that attending a Sunday church service is a phenomenal experience.

Advice for families travelling to the Cook Islands
1. Check out my blog post Surviving Airports and Planes
2. This is a pram friendly island.  At the ages that Ari and Chloe are we decided to just take a carrier and made the right choice not to bring the pram.  However, lots of our friends with younger babies really benefited from bringing theirs.
3. Everyone speaks English, which makes life so easy when travelling with children.
4. Definately hire a car and car seats.
5. I found some things in the Cook Islands to be quite expensive so do your research on where to eat and what supermarkets to shop in etc.
6. Tap water in the Cook Islands is untreated, so drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled beforehand.
7. Pack reef shows for children.  Something that I didn’t do and wish I did!  Some of the coral can be quite sharp, even the sand on the beach which is full of tiny pieces of coral.
8. There is a huge variety of food for children to eat and you will find something for even the fussiest eaters. Fish and coconut are the staples of the island.
9. Pack your mozzie repellent.
10. We noticed that one of the schools allowed children to go and play in the school playground which I thought was sweet.
11. If you like fish food try the Ika Mata… trust me!

 

*Disclaimer: At times this website contains posts where items and experiences have been sponsored, gifted or blog posts have been paid for in return for advertisement/promotion.  Where this applies it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the blog post. Natalie Sullivan and www.thissweetlofeofmine.blog only endorses brands/items that her family uses, loves and highly recommends. To read the full disclaimer see  here.  

(Thank you to Pacific Resort Rarotonga for sponsoring a portion of our stay.) (Thank you to Pacific Resort Rarotonga for sponsoring a portion of our stay.)

 

SECRETS FOR FINDING THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS FOR YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY!

 

It’s the age-old question. ‘How can I find the cheapest flight?’

Holidays can be expensive, and any money saved is a huge blessing.  We’ve all experienced the tiresome job of searching for the most economical flights.  More often than not we are met with endless search engines, fluctuating prices, hours spent on the phone.  Its short thrifty flight booking can be overwhelming and stressful, not to mention a huge drain on your time!

Our family recently booked a trip to Bali staying at the brand new Wyndham Hotels Resort in Dreamland.  We are beyond excited!  Now it’s time to get our travel booked in, and I’ve spent hours researching exactly how to get the cheapest and best flights.call to action - packing checklist

Seeing as I’ve already done the ‘leg work,’ I thought I would share some of the best and most current information!  So here are some key tips that will save you time, frustration and money when booking your next flight.

– Before doing anything else check if you have any credit card points that can be used.  The cheapest way to fly is for free!
– Be flexible with your dates.  This includes identifying the cheapest day to fly.  Do this by looking at a visual calendar of flight prices for a whole month and finding the cheapest day.
– Use ITA matrix in google it’s awesome!
– Skyscanner is a great tool for research.
– TripAdvisor forums are awesome for discussing the best routes/stopovers and opinions on airlines.
– Sign up to I Know The Pilot for discount alerts.
– Only search 1 adult when researching  best prices (even if 2 are traveling.)
– If traveling to multiple destinations on a 1 or 2 month holiday, depending on location it might be cheaper to just book the return flight,  and to wait until you are in Europe to book the remaining flights within holiday (eg book return flight from Australia to England now, and book remaining flights within Europe once in England.)  Or in other instances it might be best to book all of your flights in advance.  Spend time researching and talking to people to decide what is best for your situation.
– If you don’t feel comfortable booking with the website or company who is offering the best deal, send the details to a Travel agent who will try to find a better price for you.
– Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.  It’s not a coincidence that prices sometimes go up after you’ve searched the same flight a few times.
– Check out if it’s cheaper to pay in other currencies.

I hope you can utilise some of the above tips to get your family off on their next adventure. call to action - packing checklist

If you have any tips and tricks for booking cheap flights that you can share comment on my Instagram post here.

Enjoy and happy travels!

Small-Signature-Nat

Bringing Baby – Surviving Airports & Planes

Seeing the world has always been one of my greatest passions and I was never going to let having children dim my sense of adventure.  Better still it was always in the plan to gift them with the same wanderlust that fills my veins.  Having babies certainly changes the dynamic when it comes to going aboard.  Holidays aren’t really ‘holidays’ anymore. The word ‘relaxing’ doesn’t really spring to mind.  BUT for all the hard work our vacations are now filled with more giggles, happy faces and so much more joy!

Now by no means do I claim to be a pro when it comes to holidaying with minis but I have been ‘bringing baby,’ since my eldest was 9 weeks old.  I’ve picked up a few tricks and tips when it comes to airports and plane travel so read on to learn from my miss fortune.  If you would like to check out our travelling adventures search the tag #thissweettravellife on Instagram.

  1. Feed on the way up and the way down whether it’s boob, bottle (or vodka for Mum) it will help bub’s ears.
  2. As with the above a dummy or natural sugar free lollypop will help.
  3. Pack pain relief in your carryon and make sure you have 100ml or smaller bottles. Pop in some hand sanitizer too.
  4. Book a bassinet seat if you can.  Even if you don’t think you’ll use the bassinet your legs will benefit from the extra leg room.
  5. Book meals.  Puréed food can even be provided for babies.
  6. Try to stick to your normal routine and if possible chose flights that work in with it. When on the plane just follow what you would normally do at home in terms of meals and bedtime routines.  Use the same sleep associations like sleep suits, PJs, special teddy bears and brushing teeth etc.
  7. Pack toys and fun things to do.  Games that will occupy their minds for as long as possible but that are also quiet and simple (not bulky.)  We always wrap new toys in wrapping paper and dish them out slowly.
  8. Pack plenty of nappy changing gear in your carry on, and take four more nappies then you think you’ll need.  Don’t forget pull ups for your toddler for bedtime.
  9. Toilet trained babes will enjoy lots of trips to the bathroom.
  10. If your kids like movies pack an iPhone or iPad stocked with all their favourites. You can be children’s headphones from electronics stores.
  11. Take your baby carrier as carry on.  Worst case if bub won’t sleep or is unsettled you can try pacing the aisles.
  12. Lollipops are great for keeping chatty mouths quiet.  Just make sure you get natural, sugar free ones… no one needs a hyped up toddler on a plane.
  13. Take your pram to the gate if permitted and if your airline asks you to hand it over at check in ask for a loan one.
  14. If you can fill out any customs paperwork in advance.
  15. Even though food is provided pack a whole load of snacks in your carry on.
  16. Dress everyone in comfy clothes and pack backups even for Mum and Dad!  Poop, weee, vomit… do I need to say more?
  17. We use a backpack as our carry on bag.
  18. Allow lots of time!  We all know it takes forever to get anywhere with tiny feet!
  19. Be realistic. The worst thing you can do is go onto a flight with the idea that you are going to be able to kick back and enjoy a movie marathon… you will whind up feeling extremely frustrated.  Look at it as quality time with your children with no distractions and if you get to watch a movie or two then great!
  20. And if all else fails there’s always that vodka!

For more useful tips, tricks search and follow the tag #thatsweettravellife on Instagram.

Here are some of my best buys for travelling with children (and some discounts!)

Plane Pal – The ultimate sleep solution for planes turning an uncomfortable chair into a bed.
www.planepal.com
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Cozigo – Essential for babies still in plane bassinets it goes over the top creating a dark, cosy environment and can even be used on prams.
To purchase head to https://cozigo.com
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Cheeky Chompers Silicon Teething Bib – A dribble bib and silicon comforter in one.
https://www.cheekychompers.com.au/
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Idabee by Eiress Dummy Chain – Must have for keeping dummies off of dirty floors!
https://www.eiress.com.au/
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Reed and Co Bento Style Lunch Boxes – Perfect for keeping bubs happy with yummy snacks!
https://reedandco.com.au

Thanks for reading!  Here’s hoping that your next vacation has been made a little easier!

Small-Signature-Nat

*Disclaimer: At times this website contains posts where items and experiences have been sponsored, gifted or blog posts have been paid for in return for advertisement/promotion.  Where this applies it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the blog post. Natalie Sullivan and www.thissweetlofeofmine.blog only endorses brands/items that her family uses, loves and highly recommends. To read the full disclaimer see here