my no brainer list of must have travel essentials for holidaying with children!

Without a doubt the question I am asked most is ‘how do you make traveling with children look so easy?’

I am not going to pretend to you that it is a walk in the park.  We all have our days, we all have our moments.  I still remember the reality check of our first family vacation and the sudden realisation that things were ‘different’ now.  Call me crazy but I wouldn’t swap back to those lazy beach days, and genuinely love the beautiful chaos of travelling as a family of four.

With that said, there is a small but non negotiable list of travelling essentials which I ALWAYS pack for our trips.  These items are guaranteed to make holiday life easier!

Each store in linked for easy shopping…

CoziGo – The CoziGo is a dual purpose cover which can be used on both airline basinets and prams.  It provides 97% light blockage, so that babies and toddlers can fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.  The fabric is UPV50+ keeping children safe from the sun, and is 100% air permeable to allow air to flow freely through the cover.   The design is a universal fit meaning it works on all strollers and most airline bassinets.  This is a simple and far more effective (and much safer!) solution to draping blankets over a pram.  I love that I can not only use this during travel but also on my pram at home.

Plane Pal & Packing Pal – Pane Pal have two incredible products; the Plane Pal and the Packing Pal.  Both products massively enhance your travel experience whether in a plane, car, camper van or bus.  The Plane Pal is a custom designed inflatable cushion which fills the space between your own seat and the seat in front of you.  This creates a bed like arrangement making sleep time so much more inviting.  We have one each for Ari and Chloe, and when they let me I sneak my legs up on it too!  The Packing Pals are mesh packing shells which help you to effectively pack and organise your suitcase.  I use a system of packing tops in one, bottoms in another and so on.  They com with a separate bag for shoes and another for dirty laundry.

Very Busy Bag – The perfect take anywhere entertainment for busy and time poor parents.  The Very Busy Bag is vital for keeping children entertained during travel.  It can be used on planes, car trips, trains, buses, in hotel rooms, you name it!  Each bag is filled with age and gender appropriate toys, activities and games for little ones to enjoy whilst on the move.  There is so much variety in these bags, Ari and Chloe’s kept them entertained for three weeks in Europe!  There are straps on the back of the bag so that older children can carry it themselves. My favourite thing about it is that the Very Busy Bag provides screen free time!

Bubba Bump Baby Bag – After lots of trial and error I have found the perfect solution for hand luggage when traveling with little ones.  A back pack is hands down the way to store all of your essentials.  This way you hands can be free to manage children, negotiate customs and all the other busy parts of airport travel.  The Bubba Bump Baby is the baby bag I chose to use not only when traveling but also at home, which means I don’t have to purchase addition items.  Its also great to use for day trips, once we have arrived at our destination.  This bag is luxurious, stylish, and many pockets are perfectly positioned to store all of those quick grab items like dummies, bottles and comforters.

Nordic Naturals – Staying healthy whilst travelling is key to the success of all holidays because no one wants to be sick on a trip!  Nordic Naturals is made from purified Cod Liver Oil, which benefits multiple body systems including brain, eye, heart, bone and joint health.   It also aids in overall energy and  vitality, which is so important on busy holidays.  Nordics Naturals have products to suit both adults and children, lots of which are naturally flavoured to test delicious.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive my exclusive discount codes PDF which includes some of the brans listed above.

Now that you have all of your travelling essentials its time to book your next family holiday.

Enjoy!

Thank you to the wonderful brands mentioned above for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share our favourite products with you. My opinion is of course and always is my own.

The current hair accessory trends that I cannot get enough of

I have to say that I am all for the incredible hair accessory trends that 2019 has produced.  Clips, headbands, wraps, you name it… my accessory cupboard is stocked to the brim with the latest hairpieces to complete all my looks.

Today I wanted to share with you five favourites that I am head over heels for now!   All these pieces are easy to use yet look great.  I wanted to show you items that don’t require a lot of time, rather choosing ones that make your hair look amazing with minimal effort.

Before I get into it I wanted to thank Neutriderm for sponsoring this blog post.  Neutriderm is my chosen haircare solution which leaves my hair strong, soft and shiny.  I use their hair in Hair Enhancer Shampoo and condition.  Both are perfect for women who might have hair loss issues, so are perfect post pregnancy and breastfeeding.   90% of people notice less hair breakage within one month of use.  Both products deeply penetrate and nourish each strand of hair to protect and improve the overall health of the hair.  In times where I my hair suffers from dandruff, I do one wash with the Enhancer Shampoo and the second with their Anti Dandruff option, before conditioning.  I have linked below both products that I use.
Shampoo – https://uaspharma.com/shop/neutriderm/hair-enhancer-shampoo-250ml-bottle/
Hair Enhancer Conditioner – https://uaspharma.com/shop/neutriderm/hair-enhancer-conditioner-250ml-bottle/
Anti Dandruff Shampoo – https://uaspharma.com/shop/neutriderm/anti-dandruff-shampoo-120ml-bottle/

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Also a big thank you to Lovisa for providing the hair accessories for this post, I have also linked them in the images below, to make shopping easier for you!

  1. Paisley Print – I have long been obsessed with paisley print.  Scarfs are so versatile, you can get creative and use them as a choker, hair scarf, bag tie, or wear as a wraparound top!

2. Serpent – I am seeing snacks everywhere now.  Whether its snake print patterned shoes or clothing.  Or serpents adorning rings, earring or hair clips.  This three pack features a pearl, snake and glittery acrylic hair clip.

3. Turban – I practically love turbans as a poolside accessory paired with a cute one piece bikini.

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4. Velvet – I absolutely adore this fabric, whether as a dress, top or headband velvet is super lux.  this hair accessory is the perfect way to complete your event ensemble!  This headband boasts a pink velvet pleated design.

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5. Mini Butterfly Clips – Whether you are heading to brunch, a wedding or just wanting to look glamorous for a party, this hair accessory is the perfect way to complete your event ensemble!  This pack comes with 4 acrylic hair clips in a variety of designs

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Enjoy!

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Thank you to Neutriderm for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share some of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #AD

 

 

SCHOOL LUNCHES FEATURING YAYTRAY

With the new school year here in Australia well and truly past, and lunch box ideas running low, I thought this would be the perfect time to refresh all of our Mum brains with new inspirations for school lunches.  I absolutely LOVE making kindy lunches, and take a lot of pride in the options, variety and presentation of Ari’s food, making lunchtime a really exciting time for him.

As in the past I prepare Ari’s lunch in his Yaytray which is a super cool, fun and innovative lunch box from Yurica Labs.  Prior to this blog post I have written 7 Lunches for 7 Days featuring the Yaytray which you can revisit here.

I have previously shared the many reasons why I love the Yaytray product.  Here they are again:
1. It saves me time – I only prepare and clean up one container.
2. It is great for the environment – no more cling wrap.
3. It is neat and compact – the worlds first all in one eating tray.
4. Things don’t get lost – it holds it’s own cutlery.
5. Is clean and convenient – leak proof and packs up in a matter of seconds.
6. It holds a large meal – 400mls actually!
7. It’s stable and non slip – making it easy for children to eat from.
8. All the important things – like food-safe, BPA-free, phthalate-free, microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.
9. It’s cost-effective, you don’t have to buy a million containers just this one.
10. They are a small business, so you are buying from real Mum’s and Dads who designed it because they know what we need.

To purchase a Yaytray click here and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and you will receive your 10% off discount code!  To follow Yurica Labs on Instagram click here

MONDAY – Bold and Bright
Fresh, crisp and healthy.

Rice Paper Rolls
Leftover Roast Chicken
Pretzels
Blueberry, Lemon and Coconut Slice
Strawberries

Recipe – Roast Chicken.  Blueberry, Lemon and Coconut Slice.  Rice Paper Rolls.
Time Savers – Roast your own chicken the night before and serve it for dinner with vegetables, or buy a store-bought version to save even more time.
Variations – Swap the chicken breast for any cold meat selection, a can of tuna, smoked salmon or cold marinated tofu.  Cheese can be swapped with a vegan alternative.  Rice Paper Rolls can be made in countless variations.


TUESDAY – Turning Japanese
A yummy selection of food from one of our favourite destinations.

Sushi
Edamame
Cucumber Sticks
Orange Slices
Pop Corn

Recipe – Sushi.
Time Savers – Edamame can be purchased in peeled form in the freezer section of grocery stores.  I just pull a bag out from my freezer when I am ready to use it, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
Variations – Sushi can be made using lots of different options to suit all dietary requirements.  If your children don’t like the idea of seaweed there are lots of varieties that are seaweed free.


WEDNESDAY – Family Favourite

A freezer friendly twist on a family favourite.

Macaroni Pasta Bites
Carrot Sticks
Soy Crisps
Raspberries
Blackberries
Dried Fruit

Recipes – Macaroni Pasta Bites.
ime Savers – Use last nights left over pasta (any variety it doesn’t have to be Macaroni) to easily create this meal.  Or double the batch, you can even freeze a bunch of pasta cups for future lunches.
Variations – Use your favourite pasta meal to create this dish.  Carrot sticks can be exchanged for ticks of cucumber, carrot or capsicum.


THURSDAY – Healthy Balance
My perfect go to for stocking up the freezer.

Mini Quiche
Vegemite Twist
Snow Peas
Banana Slices
Yoghurt Covered Sultanas

Recipes – Mini Quiche.  Vegemite Twist.
ime Savers – Make a double batch of the quiches and store them in the freezer or serve for dinner the night before.
Variations – There are countless options of quiches available.  Vegemite twists can be made glute free.  The fruit and vegetables can be swapped out for your littles favourites.


FRIDAY – Baker’s Delight
Homemade versions of family favourites!
Savoury Scroll
Banana, Zucchini and Carrot Loaf
Bean Mix
Apricot Delight
Dried Cranberry
Kiwi Fruit
Capsicum Slices

Recipes – Savoury Scroll.  Banana, Zucchini and Carrot Loaf.
Time Savers – These savoury scrolls are seriously so quick and easy.  Banana loaf can be cut and popped in the freezer for future lunches.
Variations – There are lots of scroll variations like keeping them meat free for vegetarians.


After School Snack –
This last recipe is a new favourite afternoon snack which my littles are loving.  I came across it on the Instagram page of Sarita Holland who’s account is ful of delicious recipes that she makes with her children.  Click here to see the post with full recipe that contains only four ingredients.

Before I wrap this up I want to share with you my three biggest time-saving tips for when it comes to meal prep!  Once again I have shared these before, but they truly are life savers! 
1. Make all of your meals in one go.  I make breakfast, lunch and dinner all in the morning.  This is a huge time saver especially in the clean up and it means that I don’t feel like I ‘live’ in the kitchen.
2. Food prep in bulk with cook ups every few months.  I tend to do a big one every three months to get my lunch staples sorted.
3. Always take a packed lunch out with you when you have little babes.  I make Ari and Chloe’s lunch in their Yaytray every morning, even if we think we might be home.  It saves me time and money if we end up unexpectedly out for lunch.

To purchase a Yaytray click here and don’t forget to subscribe to receive my discount code!  To follow Yurica Labs on Instagram click here

DETAILS
Photos –
Nicola Holland Photography
My outfit –
Mumma Bear Nursing Wear
Chloe and Ari’s Outfits (for their picnic) – Piper and Me
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for a full list of discount codes including ones for all of the stores mentioned in this blog.

THANKYOU for reading, I hope that you  gained a useful tip or meal to work into your lives.  on’t forget to keep up to date with our family life on Instagram.

Enjoy!

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*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.

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!

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*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