All posts in Smile

Mum Cool: Big Pink Snails Are Awesome

Snailovation - Cracking art groupI’ll confess I do have a large neon pink rabbit that sits in the middle of my coffee table so it is fair to say that 24 massive pink garden snails installed across a range of Sydney’s iconic sites is going to immediately appeal to me.

The neon-coloured public sculptures form part of the Cracking Art Group’s Regeneration Art Project, which places intriguing, large, animal installations in a variety of unusual spaces across the globe to inspire people to see their cities in a different light and encourage the creation of more sustainable environments. Each snail measures 3m x 1.8m x 2.3m and weighs more than 100kg.

I want some in New Zealand – who do we talk to?

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Mum Cool: Review and Win the BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop

BISSELL Steam MopTen minutes ago I certainly could have done with a BISSELL  PowerFresh TM  Steam  Mop.  I have just returned to my desk after walking down the MoT hallway, tripping over my generous size eleven feet, and spreading the entire contents of my cottage cheese container far and wide across our floors.  Aaarg.

Maybe you’ll have better luck than me.

Share your latest klutzy moment with us and you will go into the draw to have the opportunity to review and KEEP the latest PowerFresh TM  Steam  Mop from BISSELL (valued at $329.95) - just leave your comment below.

Some of the features you could be enjoying include:

  • The ability to removed dried on sticky messes off of your hard floor surfaces…(perhaps even a generous splattering of cottage cheese)
  • The removal of 99 percent of germs and bacteria without the use of chemicals
  • The option to use a fragrance disc to leave behind a Spring Breeze scent after cleaning

Make sure you share your comment with us by 5pm on Thursday the 3rd of October.

(If you are the lucky winner, your review will appear on our blog as well as the BISSELL website).

 

 

Mum Cool: How About We?

CoupleThe idea of ‘dates’ is something that is more of an American concept – as New Zealanders we don’t have a long history of a ‘dating culture’.  Maybe that is why we have taken longer to come around to the idea of dating websites.

I do think however that the couples (and for all you singles out there the singles one is just as good) version of this website “How about we…” could really work in New Zealand. The website emails different ideas of good local dates to you every day.  You book the ones you like for you and your partner and (because you are a member) you get up to 75% off (which is awesome when you need to factor in funds for a babysitter).

Imagine – dinner at your favourite restaurant, a return trip to a favourite spot from your younger days, a rugby game, a wine tour even a foodie class. Good for the soul and good for your relationship there is nothing wrong with taking a break from the kids once in a while – even if it means you sit and talk about the kids….and what they are doing without you.

I love the idea, I love the fact you can suggest your own local dates (fish and chips on the beach at Raglan anyone?) and I think that a NZ based service like this could go off like a frog in a sock. Now all we need is for the lovely people at How About We? to go global or some genius Mum to get a similar business up and running.

Mum Reflections: I’ll be You and You be Me.

I'll be you and you be me.Take a look at this fabulous article from Brainpickings…

In 1952, more than a decade before Where the Wild Things Are catapulted him into creative celebrity, the inexhaustibly brilliant Maurice Sendak began collaborating with beloved children’s book author Ruth Krauss, of whom Sendak is cited to have said, “Prior to the commercialization of children’s books, there was Ruth Krauss.” He illustrated eight of her books during her lifetime, as well as a posthumous edition of one of her earliest books in 2005, twelve years after Krauss died. Perhaps the most delightful of their collaborations is I’ll Be You and You Be Me (public library) — a heart-warming and witty ode to the empathic bonds of friendship and a celebration of children’s wild and whimsical imagination, originally published in 1954.

Read more here

Mum Geniusness: Kids Go Mobile Common Sense #1

Old fashioned Social MediaOur friends at KidsGoMobile have chosen some of the hottest apps your kids are downloading right now.  Take at look at their common sense, no drama summary of the pros and cons of Snapchat, Instagram and Kik.

Snapchat

Summary: Snapchat is a fast way to share a moment with friends through video and photos. The sender will take a photo and select a short time to show the image (up to 10 seconds) before sending it to a friend or multiple friends. The image will then appear on the recipient’s phone for the selected time only and then self destruct.

Pro: A fun way to engage with friends when the content is appropriate. Snapchat will let a user know  if the receiver has taken a screen capture of your image.

Con: The app can access your photos, images can be screen captured and kept forever. This leaves room for inappropriate images to be circulated on the internet.

Instagram

Summary: There are over 130 million users on Instagram. Instagram is a simple way to capture and share photos and videos with others and allows for several filter effects. Your feed updates to show new photos from friends and people around the world. Continue reading →

Mum Geniusness: Blazed – Drug Driving in Aotearoa

Everyone has seen it and while we are a little late to the party we wanted to post about this remarkable ad.  Taika Waititi is a genius, I am constantly amazed at the way this man can take the innocence of children’s language and conversation and turn it into such a strong and direct message.  Right from the opening when the skinny kid announces to the other two “my Dad’s the blazededest” we know we’re going to be in for a great ride.

The the kids one up each other modelling the way their dads drive when they’re ‘blazed’ we are transfixed by each re-enactment.  As stories of tigers, burgers, fish and chips and missiles come tumbling out his mouth, the cameo from the kid in the back seat blindsides everyone including his mates in the front.

If you aren’t left with a clear reminder that kids see, imitate and copy everything the adults around them do then you’ve well and truly missed the point.

Review And Win Your Choice of Two Superb Skincare Packs from Kamedis Skin Health

The Kamedis products are revolutionary herbal remedies for common skin conditions such as Eczema, Dandruff (cradle cap), Psoriasis and Acne.

These natural products are renowned for producing immediate relief and a noticeable reduction of symptoms.  Kamedis products are developed through an innovative and sophisticated process that results in a high concentration of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs.  Gentle yet effective on the skin, Kamedis offers the best of nature enhanced by science which is safe for  the entire family. 

Topic Medis - Topic Medis products

The Topic Medis line offers visible, rapid and gentle relief for infants aged over 6 months.

Topic Medis Pack includes:

  • Topic Medis Body Lotion
  • Topic Medis Face Cream
  • Topic Medis Cleanser
  • Topic Medis Calming Lotion
  • Topic Medis Extra Moisturising Gel
(Topic Medis Pack retail value between $170-$210)

Sebo Medis:

Sebo Medis Products

The Sebo line offers relief from oily, red, irritated and flaky scalp and facial skin prone to seborrhea (the underlying cause of dandruff and cradle cap) and is suitable for children aged 3 years and over.

The Sebo Medis Pack includes:

  • Sebo Medis Face Cream
  • Sebo Medis Facial Cleanser
  • Sebo Medis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
  • Sebo Medis Scalp Lotion

(Sebo Medis Pack retail value between $170-$210) Continue reading →

Makes Mums Smile: My Imaginary Well Dressed Toddler Daughter

MIWDTDWe spend a lot of time here at Mums on Top searching for articles, products and projects that have the right tone.  Let me be very clear, we like cupcakes…to eat, to buy and sometimes even to make but we are notoriously anti-cupcake.  When we say anti-cupcake what we mean is we are anti that attitude that is all about Mums being perfect, primed, primped and loving every minute of motherhood.  We’re about honesty and about laughing at that honesty. And we are very happy taking the piss out of ourselves.

I’ll be honest we do sometimes debate the merits of taking the piss out of those mums that put forward their perfect lives – we toy with creating pinterest boards of fake mum perfection.  Which means we were pretty much born to be the #1 addicted fans of Tiffany Beveridge’s Pinterest Board – My Imaginary Well Dressed Toddler.

Tiffany (check out her very funny blog The Would-Be Writer’s Guild) started a Pinterest board a year ago to record the ridiculously fake lifestyle and over-the-top fashion choices of the fictitious Quinoa and her imaginary daughter’s imaginary fashion-forward friends – among them, Houndstooth, Gaultier, Hugo, and especially her BFF Chevron. She called it My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter (MIWDTD). Quinoa isn’t always the same child or the same age, but instead is any number of children culled from fashion ads and stock photos.

The best part of MIWDTD is the captions that leave us snorting our tea across our computer screens – amongst our favourites “Hashtag swears his wholesale accessory business is legit, but Quinoa can smell a knock off a mile away” and “One time when Quinoa and I got separated in a busy train station, she thankfully remembered our safety training: stay in one place, look spectacular and don’t talk to poor people”.

Honestly – if there is a pinterest board to keep you chuckling away to yourself – this..is..it.

Mum Cool: Break Up Kit

Love HurtsLove Hurts was created based on an assignment to make an activity book.

“I thought it would be more interesting to make a sort of activity kit instead. From there, I came up with the concept of Love Hurts: A first aid kit for a broken heart. Initially, I knew that I did not want to make a kit of sadness and wanted to approach the product with a sense of humor.”

Love Hurts contains all of the essentials for going through a rough breakup such as dark chocolate, vodka, bubble bath soap, a candle with matches, candy hearts, a mix CD, and if all else fails, tissues. All of the products come neatly packaged in a compact kit.

We love the “mix tape”. Side 1 includes the likes of Love Hurts by Nazareth and The Last Goodbye by The Chills while Side 2 supports recovery with Heroes by David Bowie and Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.  Great idea for a friend going through a hard time.

Receive a 25% Discount On Bedding Purchases From Moemoe

moemoe logoDid you know that over an average lifetime you will spend about 10,500 days in bed?  That’s a lot of time.  Moemoe would like to ensure that time is spent in comfort.

Moemoe is a premium range of wool duvets, wool underlays and wool blend pillows designed especially for our New Zealand climate.

Wool bedding is the most natural and safe fibre available to us today. It’s important to know what you and your little ones are sleeping in and moemoe believe that natural wool is best.  A wool underlay for the cot is the perfect mattress protector as well as being hand-washable so if there are any accidents or spills (when aren’t there?) it is easy to take care of – brilliant.

Mums on Top is lucky enough to be able to offer you a 25% discount off any online purchases from moemoe.  

All you need to do is enter the code Mumsontop and your discount will be automatically deducted from your purchase – genius.

Distributed in NZ by The Green Boutique, Moemoe bedding is approved by Asthma NZ and $1 of each duvet and underlay sold goes to Asthma NZ to support them and the great work they do for New Zealanders. 

Discount offer ends October 11th 2013.

 

Mum Reflections: Just Five More Minutes Mum

Remember that promise?  Just five more minutes?  It came with bed time, play time, playgrounds, swimming pools and definitely swings.  You probably hear it multiple times a day from your own kids.  It is a uniquely kid like piece of negotiation that falls into a similar category called “when will we get there?”.

This beautiful animation would be great to play before bed time to a child.  I can see it projected on the ceiling! A journey from playground swing to fantasy world and back to playground swing all with the aid of a giant blackbird.

It is beautiful.

Mum Genius-ness: Art collaborations with a 4 year old.

BusyMockingbird One of the hardest things about being a parent is having a little person that continuously wants to assist you with what you are doing.  Sometimes it can be a right royal pain in the ass – I remember ‘assisting’ my mother who was an architectural draughts-woman with one of her delicate pen and ink house plans. I can safely say that while I was pretty confident I had given the house a bit of added ‘fizz’ she was not so certain.

My husband (who works in advertising) harnessed this kid power early on, he started asking his daughters what they thought of different draft advertisements and to this day secretly removes the ones that they point out as failures.  I think he would say that collaboration between parent and child can bear fruit.

Mica Hendricks (an artist and illustrator) has found common ground with my husband.  She and her daughter create the most extraordinary pieces of artwork together.  I love the story of how it started (one many of us will be familiar with) – child sits with child price and quality appropriate art materials working on her artwork; parent sits with better quality materials on other side of table creating her own artwork; child asks to share mother’s sketchbook and is told that it is Mum’s special art making book. Child dupes mother at own game with the line:

“If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”

So Mum shares and the most extraordinary artwork is produced… “Soon, she began flipping through my sketchbook, looking for more heads.  “Do you have any heads for me today?”  she would ask me each morning.  So I began making a point at night to draw some faces for her (which was my pleasure–faces are my favorite part, anyway).  She would then pick up a pen with great focus, and begin to draw.  Later, I would add color and highlights, texture and painting, to make a complete piece.  Sometimes she filled in the solid areas with colored markers, but I would always finish with acrylics later on my own.”

The results are remarkable and quite compelling – take some time to peruse the selection – I love Mica’s honesty about how much she wanted to control the creations and the level of disregard her daughter had for this approach.  I also love how she acknowledges just how powerful a child’s imagination is

“and it always ALWAYS looked better that what I had imagined.  ALWAYS.”

Mum cool: 3D cookie cutters

3D-Dino-Cookie-CuttersA couple of weeks ago we went on a “class trip” (Friday lunchtime compulsory outing for the girls in the office).  We were hunting for the perfect birthday present for another of the team and ended up in the kitchen shops hunting for the best baking accessories we could find.

While we walked out with the coolest gadgets for her, we didn’t see anything like these. 3D cooke cutters.  Continue reading →

Jenny & Noah & Isabelle’s Review: LEGO® Friends Olivia’s Beach Buggy Set

Lego Review - NoahRecently we were very excited to be selected to review the LEGO® Friends Olivia’s Beach Buggy set . And when I say ‘we’ you know I really mean Noah and Isabelle … but there’s nothing wrong with a grown woman being a bit excited about a toy, is there? I’m sure you, like me have heaps of great childhood memories involving LEGO? Pouring all those pieces out on the floor, squabbling over your favourite bits, playing for hours and begging Mum and Dad to keep your latest ‘creation’ out on display…you know what I mean?

Noah and Isabelle already love DUPLO (as evidenced here), so I knew they would love LEGO even more. Especially Noah with his creative need to build and create (something he gets from his architect father!) And I was not wrong!

The LEGO® Friends Olivia’s Beach Buggy set that we received includes:

  • Olivia mini-doll figure
  • Purple Beach Buggy with a wrench and real rubber tires
  • Accessories including a surfboard, coconut tree and a beach stand with an ice block and fruit (pineapple, lime, orange and banana) Continue reading →

Mum Cool: The never-ending storybook.

InfiniScrollI know what you did there.  You saw ‘never-ending story’ and thought – “I love that movie  and his squishy ears were so cute and then at the end it was sad but then it wasn’t and you just wished it would go on for ever and it looked so real and the special effects were just amazing but when you see it now you just think holy heck – what was I thinking this is pretty much just a big sock puppet – then maybe you hummed the theme song (nananananananananaaaah)”.

I have bad news and good news.

The bad news is that I not talking about THE Never-ending story, the good news is I AM talking about A never-ending story that your children will love and with special effects that are so incredible they will never get old. It is called InfiniScroll and it is awesome.  Watch this video to see just how incredible….

http://vimeo.com/72195003

Here are few ways to play with InfiniScroll:

  • let the randomness create endless storyboards giving parents (and children) a jumpstart on inspired storytelling! Play funky sounds by tapping on some areas of the drawings
  • lock the drawings you like, then go back and add your own voice! You can later save your story as a movie!
  • record a short sentence for each drawing (even add a rhyme) and observe what happens when they are played back in random order. You can record sound effects, describe what you see or tell a piece of a bigger story.
  • take turns with your children or their friends each recording one sentence per drawing and see how the story unfolds!
  • use the available recording sets to store multiple voices and different stories.
  • creative parents can use the random nature of the app to create new bedtime stories every night.

We love it. You need it - it is even better than that movie (you know the one I mean).