July 2013Life Love and Hiccups: July 2013

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Make Your Own Natural Air Fresheners

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Make your own Natural Air FreshenersWant to make your own Natural Air Fresheners for your home?

My boys bedrooms suffer from smelly boy syndrome. If you are a mum of boys that play sport or you have a partner who plays sport, you will so know what I mean. That sweaty boy smell? Yuccchhh!

We have to keep our kid's bedroom doors closed during the day as we have a couple of toy thieves in our presence, otherwise known as the family dogs Milly and Max. They like to steal toys from the boys rooms and eat them.

As you do.

So you can imagine what the rooms smell like if the boys leave a couple sweaty sports clothes or sneakers chucked on the floor during the day. Actually, spare yourselves and don't imagine, instead just trust me on this - it reeks.

As you know I am on a mission to cut costs in our house where ever possible, but I have a thing for nice smelly stuff - hence why I made my own Scented candles to keep our home smelling how I like it. But obviously I'm not going to burn candles in the boys rooms and I don't want to keep spending huge amounts of money buying air fresheners. So I scouted around for recipes, tried them out and came up with these two Anti Smelly Boy products.

Better yet - they are dirt cheap. *Hive five, fist pump, double cartwheel flop* I have always sucked at cartwheels.

The first product I made is a room deodoriser. The main ingredient - Bicarb soda works to absorb the odours, and the fragrance .... well hey that shit just smells good!

Make your own Natural Air Fresheners with Bicarb
 Now this is really technical stuff, so follow carefully ok..... jokes. It couldn't be simpler.




DIY Natural Room Deoderizer

Just tuck a jar of this away on top of some shelves or somewhere out of reach and then give it a shake once a week to stir the scent up.

Now this next one - the room spray, is very dear to my heart as it uses vodka as one of the main ingredients. I know right - how could you NOT love this???

See - vodka is just so damn versatile!


DIY Natural Room Spray
Just promise me that if you use Coconut and lime fragrance like I did, that you wont be tempted to lie by the pool and spray this directly into your mouth. Yes it smells like a Pina Colada .... sadly it's not!

So there you have it - some Tight Ass all natural air fresheners that will get your boy's bedrooms and your home smelling sweet instead of sweaty!

Are you keen to give it a go?
Re you craving a Pina Colada now too?

*No vodka was harmed in the making of this tutorial. I asked it very nicely first and since we are such good friends, it kindly agreed to participate.

Make your own room deoderizers




 Plus we have two Giveaways running at the moment
DON'T FORGET TO ENTER!





Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Ladies Do Lunch

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This post is brought to you by Mastercard

As we continued to road test MasterCard's Priceless Sydney's program, it was Danni's turn to show me the town and as someone with 3 youngish kids who doesn't get to eat out at fancy restaurants much these days, I was literally chomping at the bit for this day out.

I have drooled many a bucket full over Aria as I have seen it featured on Masterchef and other TV shows but I have never been lucky enough to go there in real life ... until this day.

When Danni told me where we were going, I may have been a little too uncool with my reaction. When we actually walked into the restaurant and were shown to our table, I may have been even a little uncooler.



Let me just start by telling you, that it is only $55.00 per person for this mother of all meal deals. No Bull!

Now can you see why I was behaving like a bogan. I can actually afford to go here again!

I wouldn't be doing this place justice if I didn't just shut up and share the pictures I took with you. AND after the complete ass I made of myself in front of a restaurant full of people styling the table for the perfect shot and taking photos from every angle, you simply HAVE to sit through my slide show OK? OK.

After all I did it all for you... *ahem* alright then and maybe a little for me so I could show my husband where and why I want him to take me on our next escape from the kids and act like grown ups night out.



When the sommelier talked us through the wines, I had NO idea what she was saying, but I sure felt super fancy.



But no where near as fancy as this, our entrees!

Are you drooling yet?

And just to prove how restrained I was that I didn't just tuck the bib in and plant my face into these plates straight away, I took these photos for you of our mains.



 1:Truffled potato mash, 2: Crispy skin Cone Bay barramundi with Rye spaetzle, horseradish, curly kale and beetroot, 3: Glazed beef cheek with red onion choucroute, puffed rice and crispy shallots, 4: Cos lettuce, feta, pickled jalapeños and palm sugar vinaigrette.

And can you believe I was so stuffed I actually had to say no thank you to dessert. ME???

But it didn't go to waste, Danni got to take these delights home to her family.


My gorgeous host Danni

You can register here to find out more about MasterCard Priceless Sydney and their exclusive Locally Famous Deals.

And if you have finished salivating and would like to organise your own chow down at one of Australia's most awesomest restaurants Aria for just $55.00 per head you can book here.

Thanks Danni for such an awesome time, some fabulous girly goss and one hellava meal.










Monday, 29 July 2013

The Day Mum (Me) Ran Away....

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Family life is 1000 different kinds of wonderful but then there are days that kind of suck too .... or whole weekends even.

I know that someone may read this and think I am being an ungrateful sod, and to those people I would like to reassure you, I'm really not ungrateful, I'm just honest.

Because there are some days (or whole weekends) where you are downright knackered, the kids are turds, the husband is busy doing stuff that doesn't involve helping you with said turdish kids and well those days suck ... big time.

My boys have beautiful hearts, they really do. Big fat beautiful and sometimes incredibly lazy and inconsiderate hearts. 

Just your typical kids really.

After an exhausting weekend running children around from one sporting activity to the next, one party to another, grocery shopping, house cleaning, clothes washing, working on a business proposal and some writing work AND cancelling my own pre-planned outing on Sunday afternoon just so I could fit it all in - I had a major shitty on.

I wasn't having a shitty on because of all the running around or even because of having to cancel the one thing I had planned for myself. That stuff is kind of to be expected when you are a parent. 

No I had a shitty on because when we got home from all that stuff, two of the kids got into a punch up over a bag of sour strap lollies, one decided to run away from home and take his brothers bike with him, I found dirty school uniforms scattered throughout bedrooms that I had earlier been assured were in the laundry when I put the washing on, and to top it all off - the dog ran dog shit through the house. The same dog shit that the kids were supposed to have picked up that morning. The one and ONLY job they were supposed to do that morning before we headed out for the day.

So I did what any self respecting mother should do - I ran away.

Yep, I packed myself up a plate of goodies, grabbed a vodka and a book and I took my shitty on to the bathroom, where I sat for an hour and a half and soaked all the shittiness of the weekend out of my system.


Being a mum is an amazing gift, but it ain't always sunshine and roses and dog shit free backyards either.

Keeping it real people, just keeping it real.

Do you ever feel the urge to run away?
If so, where do you escape to?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

July Reviews and Giveaways - Winner Takes All!

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*** Thank you for entering, but this giveaway is now closed***
Please see the bottom of the post for the winner's details.

It's that time of the month ... well not actually THAT time of the month, though quite possibly it could almost be and that would possibly explain why I have been a tired old cranky cow the past few days, but then again that could just be because I am simply just a cranky tired old cow.

Whatever. We have hit the gutter so let's start again shall we?

It's the time of the month where I share with you some of the products I have been fortunate enough to be sent to try over the past month. The way it works is I pick my faves andthen you guys a chance to win them for yourself. Yay!

As the 'Winner takes All' kind of competition has been a huge success these oast few months, I have decided to stick with that methodology ... cause its our blog and we can do whatever we please right?

Right.

Let's get this party started as I fear that cranky cow could surface again at any moment today.

FRANK COFFEE SCRUB


My God I LOVED this stuff!

It smells as good as it looks and feels even better. I'm also a sucker for some gorgeous packaging too, so this was a winner on all accounts in my book.

Frank Coffee Scrub is what it says it is - a coffee scrub for your body that isn't designed to just smell heavenly. You rub the roasted ground Arabica  coffee onto your body in the shower, leave it to dry for 5-10 minutes and you actually FEEL good. Like REALLY good.

The coffee targets cellulite, the brown sugar and sea salt smooths your bumps and lumps, the almond oil moisturises and improves your skin tone, the vitamins and minerals do good stuff for you body, and the orange essence simply smells divine.

Does it get any better than this? I think not!

You can buy Frank online at their website here and make sure you sign up to like their Facebook page here.

One lucky winner will win 3 months supply of Frank Body Scrub ( 3 packets which will last 3 months if you use the scrub 1-3 times per week).

You want this. No you REALLY want this!






METHOD HAND WASH


As you know I am a HUGE fan of the Method products and the hand washes are at the TOP of my list when it comes to favorites in their range.

I use different fragrances in different rooms and if you ever come to my house, I will most likely make you sniff a bottle or two... cause I like you to smell nice things....

Again - whatever!

I have harped on and on before about the good side of Method, the fact that its is environmentally friendly, family friendly, green and clean friendly.... I'm harping again aren't I?

The Method hand washes currently come in 8 incredible fragrances that all have a gorgeous hue to them, so there is a fragrance to suit everyone and a colour to suit any decor. Yes it is a plus that you can co-ordinate your hand washes with your home decor.

Ahhh its the small things that get us by right? :)

The luck winner of this month's giveaway will win a pack of 5 Method Hand washes so you can sniff and clean and sniff and clean until the cows come home.

You can purchase the Method hand washes here (which are on sale until 31st July) here and stay up to date on their special offers via Facebook here.






MITOQ POWER ANTIOXIDANT REJUVENATION
I'm a sucker for anything that says anti-aging on the packaging, but I quickly get the poops if it doesn't live up to its promise.

This serum hasn't disappointed me at all so far.

The people at MITOQ told me that the skin cell life cycle is 4 to 6 weeks and that it can take this long to see the full effect of MITOQ. I have only been using it for a bit over a week and I can see an improvement already, so I'm kinda of excited about getting to the 6 week mark.

It works by protecting something called the mitochondria in your cells, which is a fancy name for the part of our cells that are responsible for generating cellular energy that keeps them functioning optimally. In other words, it boosts collagen and elastin productions which means younger firmer and more radiant skin.

You likey? I likey!

The lucky winner will receive a 50ml bottle of MITOQ valued at $180.00. But if you want to try it for yourself and can't wait to see if you are the winner, you can purchase MITOQ from their website here or follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest information relating to skin care technology.






CADBURY MARVELLOUS CREATIONS


It needs no introductions, its chocolate! And even better it is CADBURY Chocolate ... or Marvellous Creations to be precise.

OK I'll admit that I wasn't overly enthused at the inclusion of Banana Candy in the latest Marvellous flavour - Banana candy, peanut drops and choc biscuit. I'm not a big banana candy fan, but HELLOOOO my lovely new chocolate friend, I like you .. a lot!

The banana candy flavour is most definitely there, but subtle enough to not be overpowering. And so the kids loved it, the husband loved it, I even loved it, and we cast our vote to save it.

Yep, you need to do that if you like it. Vote to save it that is.

You can try the new flavour for yourself and then cast your own vote of yay or nay here.

This month's winner will receive 10 Big 290gm blocks all for yourself. YOURSELF!
Now if that doesn't send you straight to Joyville, I don't know what will!



MILKY FOOT


Alright, on to the subject of feet. *Shiiiiiivveer*

Sorry, but this is a touchy subject for me as I am totally foot phobic, especially when it comes to dry icky feet.

True story ... once upon a time my husband's feet were so dry and cracked from a summer of sun and surfing and so I offered to soak them and scrub them for him. What WAS I thinking?

We got through the soaking part easily enough, but when it came time to the scrubbing, I threw up. No really I THREW UP.

End of story.

Now if he had these Milky foot socks, we may have had a happier ending.

These are a little bit quirky, but A LOT effective. The special 3D socks contain a foot treatment and the idea is you simply put your feet in them, sit down with your feet placed on the ground and read a book or watch some TV for 45 - 60 minutes and then take them off and wash your feet. Within 7 days all that dead dry awful skin peels off and you are left with baby smooth feet.

It actually really works! Though I am not going to go into detail about my feet peeling as I may get all queasy on you and pass out.

You can then use the Foot Care Essence to protect your feet and keep them smoother and softer for longer.

With Spring only a smidgen over a month away now, we have to have our feet ready for Spring sandals, and hey, let's face it - any excuse to sit down for an hour is an added bonus.

You can get Milky Foot from Priceline and other Pharmacies and they have a Facebook page you can like here.

Our July Giveaways Winner will receive a pack of Milky Foot Socks and a bottle of Foot Care Essence to start getting your feet Spring ready.






NUDIE KIDS JUICES
Last but not least is the new range of Nudie Juices for kids.

We are already Nudie fans (of all kinds) in this family and these new kids juices were a MAJOR hit with the kids.

They come in 4 flavours - Nothing but 2.6 Oranges, Nothing but Tropical Juice, Nothing but Lemonade and Nothing but 2.5 Apples. The Nothing but Tropical has now been added to the school lunch shopping list by the kids and the Nothing but Lemonade may just make it onto there just for me .... yes I liked it that much.

They fit perfectly in the lunch box and being 100% Juice with no added sugar or numbers and names you can't say, you can be comfortable that you are giving your kids something that is actually good for them.

Just don't tell THEM that.... it takes the fun out of it!

For more information on the Nudie range, check out the Nudie Website here or their Facebook Page here and join the Nudie revolution.

kids nudie RRPs at $6.99 for a six pack and is available from Woolworths in the chilled section and in selected cafés and corner stores now.

The winner will receive a pack containing 12 Kids Nudie Juices (3 of each flavour) and a Nudie magnet set.


So there you go folks, the cranky tired cow managed to put together this post without so much as growling even once at anyone. I may or may not have been medicated by some banana candy chocolate, but I guess you'll never know.

Now get cracking and get entering. You don't want to miss out on your chance to win this month's Giveaway pack full of lots of Indulgent goodies ... most of which are actually for you to enjoy. *Fist Pump*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!
Competition closes at 7pm AEST 08/08/13

Thanks to all the fabulous companies who have participated in this month's Reviews and Giveaways post. 
If you would like your product to be considered for inclusion, please see my Contacts Page here for more info. 


Friday, 26 July 2013

Showing Off My Hood

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***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

How many times you have driven past something in your area and said "I so want to do that" or "I really want to go there"?

I have. 

Man I have lost count of the amount of times I have driven past this little antiques store near where I live. It has been there since I was a kid and I have yet to actually go inside.

I have also driven over the Spit Bridge at Mosman and said to my husband like eleventyzillion times "One day we should actually go out on the harbour and pretend we like adventurers or something" and yet until last week we have never actually done it.

Part of my promise I made to myself on my 40th birthday, is that I WILL go and do the things I have only ever talked about doing instead of just saying “one day”.

And so last weekend I crossed another thing off my bucket list when I took my family and my bloggy buddy Danni and her beautiful family who were visiting us, to road test one of the MasterCard Priceless Sydney Offers and see one of our locally famous sites. We were adventurers on Sydney Harbour with Sydney HarbourKayaks


You so do NOT need to be sporty to go kayaking. Come on - I did it!

There is a maximum of 6 spots on this private tour, so it is perfect for a romantic luvvers date, an adventure with friends, or a family activity where you can take your kids with you without worrying about their habit of um slowing things down a little.

Sarah was our gorgeous guide for the morning and if her bubbly and fun persona wasn't enough to make me really REALLY like her, the fact that she like me, recently turned her back on the Corporate world to beginning living her dream, was enough to seal the deal.

After a quick rundown of safety instructions, we pulled up our anchors and set sail.

Yeah OK I know that sounds soooo wrong, because Kayaks don't have anchors and they don't actually sail either, but I have no idea what the correct terminology is. I'm just a punter who was excited to get out there and do something I have ALWAYS wanted to do.

We cruised around the open waters only stopping once at a little beach for some hot coffee and to refuel with something to eat.

Now when I say cruised I really mean the kids sat back and waved their paddles around
nearly taking our heads off, whilst us grown ups did all the actual yakka.

But seriously, I did not care an iota.

I was out on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, on a gorgeous day with the sea spray tingling my nose and a local seal that swam alongside us for a while.

I was loving every . single . minute.




































And so I have hard indisputable evidence that I, Sonia the biggest klutz ever, actually kayaked around Sydney Harbour without falling in, I made a special video here. 

Please don't laugh at my unco paddling Ok?

Ok!




MasterCard knows that there are some places and experience around Sydney that are famous to the locals, and so they have introduced the Priceless Sydney Program that brings you a whole host of exclusive dining, entertainment, retail, sports and hotel offers so that you can experience them for yourself, or show them off to visiting friends like we did.






























You can register here to find out more about MasterCard Priceless Sydney and their exclusive Locally Famous Offers.

If you too are keen to get out there and enjoy our beautiful harbour from a different perspective and want to take advantage of the special price on a guided tour with Sydney Harbour Kayaks you can book here.

A big thanks to Danni, Steve and Aiden for sharing this adventure with us and to my kids for not tipping me into the harbour like I was sure they would.

Next up Danni shows me the town and in particular somewhere locally famous and fabulous to her.


YOU CAN WIN YOUR OWN KAYAKING ADVENTURE























The fabulous gang at MasterCard Priceless Sydney and Sydney Harbour Kayaks are giving one lucky winner a chance to win your own private kayaking tour (maximum 6 people).

To enter please leave me a comment telling me about something you have always said “one day I will do” but haven’t yet done.

MASTERCARD PRICELESS SYDNEY COMPETITION

Terms & Conditions

* To enter you must be a MasterCard holder and must either live in Sydney or be prepared to travel to Sydney at your own expense
*This is a game of Skill and the winner will be chosen based on their creativity.
* This competition is open now and will close on 08/08/13 at 7pm AEST
* Booking for this offer is available between April 29, 2013 – March 31, 2014
*Bookings will be subject to availability
•This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or any other voucher.
* Offer subject to merchant terms and conditions
*The Winner will be contacted by email and will have 7 days to claim their prize. In the event that the prize is not claimed in time, a new winner will be chosen.
*This prize is valued at $480.00


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER:



o Colombi 

Visit Machu Pichu in Peru - this 'Old Relic' would love to appreciate other old relics and civilisations - it has always been on my list, hopefully one day..... soon




Thursday, 25 July 2013

Feeling Foxy

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I have a bit of a thing going for foxes and foxy men for that matter.

Nothing at all of course to do with George Clooney *ahem* and everything to do with my own sexy silver fox Carl - who's birthday it just so happens to be today.

Actually my love of foxes started the day I met Cedric.

I was dining in a cafe and he was perched on a table nearby. Our eyes met, sparks flew and I knew at that moment he would be coming home with me.

THIS is Cedric.





































How could you NOT fall for him?

So yesterday I had a mountain of work to get through and I was doing my absolute best to avoid it at all costs. I spied a rubber stamp block when I was in my craft cupboard looking for some wrapping paper for the hubby's birthday present, and I had an idea to make my own foxy rubber stamp and some foxy wrapping paper for my man.

I have had these supplies sitting in my cupboard forever, but I have just never gotten around to doing anything with them, as is the usual case with me.

An hour or so later, my work was STILL waiting patiently to be done, but I had a homemade stamp that kinda resembles a fox and I started stamping my little heart making my wrapping paper.

Seriously, don't be afraid of making your own stamps - It is super easy!

You can get the carving tools here from Talk To The Sun on Etsy, and the Rubber Stamp Blocks from here at Supplies Emho also on Etsy. I'm also pretty sure you could get both things you need from any craft and arts supplier, by I just love a good excuse to legitimately spend money on Etsy.

Once you've got your supplies, its just a matter of coming up with a design and going for it. In my case I decided to draw a fox and after about 50 lame attempts, I came up with a design I was happy with.

Here's a bit of a tutorial I put together for you.


If you want to make your own fox stamp, feel free to copy and paste my fox below and print it off on some paper. Go around the outlines with a 2B or graphite pencil, flip it over and retrace over the design to transfer it onto your stamp block.

Or you can just create your own design of course.

I also conveniently have a thing for stamp pads so I chose some green ink that I had hoarded away, grabbed a roll of brown paper and started stamping the guts out of it until I had enough paper to wrap my husband's pressie.

A few vintage style stickers on a luggage stag later and I have one handmade gift wrapped pressie for my own sexy fox.



Just have fun with it and don't try and make it to perfect. Rustic in my opinion looks much better.

If I missed anything in the tutorial or you have any questions, just use the comments section to ask and I'll get back to you asap.

Happy Stamping!