From the Den

Disclosure: I was given product or vouchers to trial the following products. All opinions are my own.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a From the Den post. We’ve been trying a few new things lately so I thought I’d share 🙂 cause I’m nice like that hehe

PONG mobile cases. I’m usually a bit sceptical when it comes to mobile phones and the whole radiation thing so when I was offered the chance to try a mobile case that claims to cut radiation as well as improve signal & battery life I thought well it can’t hurt to try it out. Pong cases claim to reduces exposure to cellular radiation by up to 94% below international safety limits, by redirecting mobile phone radiation away from your head and body as well as improve signal strength by up to 30%. Efficient antenna performance is meant to increase talk-time battery life.
After having a case with a flip over cover for so long, it was a little strange at first to go to the slip on design. The rubber side grips are comfy and it comes in a range of colours. Can’t say anything about the radiation but I did notice an improvement in battery life and signal strength.
If radiation from mobiles is a worry for you this would be a great case – the extended battery life is a bonus! PONG make cases for the iPhone 3 up to the iPhone 5, iPad (1 through 4 and the mini), some Android phones & some Blackberry phones. You can buy PONG phones online. Prices range from $49.99 for the Motorola Droid X/X2 case to $129.99 for an iPad case


Coles GRILL products. Thanks to VIBE Village I had the opportunity to try out the new Coles GRILL range. We tried the Pepper & Chilli Beef, Honey Soy Chicken Skewers, Tasmanian Salmon Teriyaki and Southern Style Chicken Shanks. We had 2 friends round for a BBQ and we were surprised to have leftovers. The beef was moist and full of flavour and not too spicy like we thought it would be. The salmon was delish. The chicken skewers were quite yum (I only got half of one, Miss K scarfed the rest – she loves her chicken) but probably could have done with more marinade. Didn’t try the chicken shanks but hubby assured me they were yum. Love the fact these are just open and cook. Would be great if you had to take something to a BBQ and wanted to grab something on the way or to stash in the freezer for a quick meal option.


Fing’rs nail makeup. I love wearing nail polish but it really doesn’t like me. I put it on and within an hour it’s all chipped. Doesn’t matter if I get my nails done professionally either – still chipped within a couple of hours. Makes me sad. And I’m not coordinated enough to do all the fancy nail art I keep pinning on Pinterest. So when I got the chance to try the new range of Fing’rs Nail Makeup I thought awesome! There are 8 designs in the new L.A. range. I tried Hollywood first, it’s pink with silver dots. Application is really easy – just choose your nail size, peel from the backing, stick to your nail then fold the end and file to your nail shape. The packaging says they will last for up to 7 days. Mine lasted through a kids party & all the prep for that, a swim, general housework. We’re on day 6 and they are only starting to look a little shabby at the ends. I’m debating about trying a layer of clear nail polish over the top next time to give them a bit more protection. Fing’rs nail make up is available at selected Coles & Kmart stores for $9.99


And now the exciting part. I’ve got a full set of the new Fing’rs  LA range to give to one reader. That’s 8 different designs for you to try.


To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below, help me choose which Nail Makeup I should try next.
Entry is for Australian residents only.

And the winner is Jody. Congratulations. Thanks to all who commented and the winning choice will be revealed on Twitter & Instagram later today 😉 It was very close

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kiss & Make up

Happy Valentine’s Day!

1 in 79 Australian women will develop Ovarian Cancer by the age of 85. Although the average age of diagnosis is 64, women of all ages have been diagnosed. The youngest I know of is 3!

So after sharing that with you I thought today is the perfect day to share with you a great new app. K.I.S.S and Makeup, available for free in the iTunes store.


Know the Important Signs and Symptoms: this Valentine’s Day Ovarian Cancer Australia is asking everyone in Australia to K.I.S.S. their loved ones to make sure they know the important signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. With the click of a button you can share a K.I.S.S. and help your friends know the important signs and symptoms. Developed thanks to generous funding from the Victorian Department of Health, the app informs women about the symptoms and risks of ovarian cancer and enables them to share this information with family and friends. The symptom diary allows users to easily track the type and severity of their symptoms each day for four weeks. This information can be converted into a report for women to present to their doctor should they have any concerns.

What are the important signs & symptoms?

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Increased abdominal size or persistent bloating
  • Needing to urinate often or urgently
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount

If you have these symptoms (& they are new or unusual) and experience them most days over  2-4 week period, please see your doctor. Ovarian cancer is relatively uncommon and most women with these symptoms won’t have Ovarian Cancer but it is better to be safe and get it checked. Pap smears don’t detect Ovarian Cancer and there is no early detection test.

This great little app also has some great make up tips from Miranda Kerr’s Australian makeup artist, Allyson Boyle.

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Grab it now in the App Store and KISS all your female friends and relatives this Valentine’s Day

Work wear for under $100? Challenge accepted

Disclaimer: I was given a Target gift card to purchase work wear and accessories. All opinions and wording is my own, unless otherwise noted.

When you work from home there is often the tendency to wear what ever you lay your hands on first thing of a morning. Be a work-from-home mum and the tendency to wear something comfy & that hides a multitude of stains is more so. I’ve had quiet a few days when I can still be found in my pjs at midday.

When I was offered the chance to shop at Target and see if I could get something stylish yet practical for under $100 I thought challenge accepted!

Now our nearest Target is about 40 minutes away BUT thanks to the wonders of the internet & online shopping I was able to browse the City Dressing range of women’s wear in the comfort of my own home. I selected a few pieces, wrote down the names & then a couple of days later headed into Launceston to go check out my wish list

First on the list was some new underwear, cause your underwear is the foundation of any outfit looking great! I really love how the underwear at Target is so affordable and in a great range of styles and sizes. I mean you can get a new bra for as little as $7.50 and new undies from as little as $5 a pair! So undergarments sorted. No I’m not sharing what I bought but you can check out the styles of bras and undies online. Next stop tops & trousers.

I decided to go with trousers just cause I’m not really a skirt person. I wear jean a lot, and even though the IT industry can be pretty laid back as far as work wear goes, I decided to get something a little more professional. I have quite a few pairs of long length trousers so checked out the 3/4 lengths and capris. I also wanted something not black as 90% of the trousers I already own are black. Ended up picking the City Dressing Linen Crop Pants
OMG these pants are super comfy. Great for work, chasing that super active toddler AND even heading out to a spring/summer bbq/party/drinks with mates/blogger event. AND they only set me back $24.88
If you prefer longer work pants, the City Dressing range has lots of great options and prices start from a cheap $20

The selection of tops in the City Dressing range varies from shirts to tops that will take you from work to after work. I could have spent hours trying on tops. In the end I selected 3 – the City Dressing Striped Short Sleeve Shirt; the City Dressing Ruffle Top With Necklace; and a black & white spotted sleeveless
I ended up picking the City Dressing Ruffle Top With Necklace. Casual yet dressy enough to meet with clients.

Now accessories, since the top came with a necklace I didn’t worry about getting another. I looked at a few things but what I was looking for wasn’t available in my local Target so I decided to accessory shop online. I picked up a new phone wallet and a new belt. And cause I really like it I added a new ring.

So my outfit for under $100

IMG_7167phone walletbeltring

City Dressing Linen Crop Pants – $24.88

City Dressing Ruffle Top With Necklace – $39

Phone wallet – $15

Belt – $15

(underwear & ring purchased separately)

Shoes are my own

So there you go. Can you get a work outfit – that will work if your a mum of an active toddler and/or take you out after work – for under $100? At Target, the answer is yes you can!

On the go at Christmas

Disclaimer – I received a sample of the four Smooze Fruit Ice flavours. All opinions are my own.

Most people are super busy at Christmas time and parents probably more so. When you’re on the go things like breakfast can be a super quick affair.

For something quick you can make and take try a super quick and healthy smoothie. Smooze Fruit Ice are a healthy base to have in the cupboard or freezer..


There are for flavours to choose from – Coconut & Mango, Coconut & Pineapple, Coconut & Pink Guava and Simply Coconut.

I tried the Coconut & Mango flavour, mixed with some crushed ice and some Fanta. Delish! So refreshing, and apart from the Fanta, pretty healthy. I can see that going down a treat with a dash of vodka or some fizzy wine (I’m not a wine drinker so have no idea when it comes to wine)


Looks pretty good yes?

I’m planning on trying the following out tomorrow for a slightly tropical breakfast
1 x Frozen Coconut & Pink Guava Smooze Fruit Ice
1 shot of apple juice
a handful of ice, crushed

I’m sure I’ll chuck a picture up on Instagram when it’s made – that’s if I don’t drink it first

Smoothies are also a great idea for fussy eaters. Most kids love a milkshake and you can hide pretty much anything in it 😉

The following were all found on Pinterest and might give you some other breakfast smoothie ideas

Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Breakfast Smoothies

Almond Breeze Breakfast Smoothie

What’s your favourite go to for a quick breakfast?

From the Den Kitchen

I’m finally getting around to starting the cooking series I’ve been thinking about for some time. I’m hoping to do a post every 2 weeks but who knows it may be more frequent.

Today Miss K & I cooked butterfly biscuits from Issue 1 of the new magazine Cake Decorating. I’ve been going to make these since Wednesday but life kinda got in the way. Had no plans today so got stuck in and made them

Uncooked and cooked butterflies (yup that’s a cake underneath – also made lamingtons). It was a simple sugar cookie recipe & it is super yummy. Left them to cool and then we made royal icing. remember why I hate royal icing but I eventually got it to the right consistency. And then we had iced butterfly biscuits.

This is what they looked like in Cake Decorating.

and this is what mine look like.

Icing with a zip lock bag does not equal pretty icing. They all got eaten though & Miss K LOVES the butterfly cutters. AND hubby let me subscribe to the mag so look out for lots of baking soon hehe

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Cake Decorating to view. I was under no obligation to post about it. As always, unless stated, all words and opinions are my own.

It’s nearly summer

and that means it’s nearly warm enough to stock up the freezer with yummy ice cream treats.

We make our own ice cream but I am very partial to a Drumstick (has to be peppermint), Eskimo Pies and when I really want to spoil myself, a Magnum. And now can spoil myself with the new Limited Edition Magnum Strawberry White Crumble.


OMG talk about delish. The white chocolate and biscuit coating is crunchy and rather yum. The strawberry ice cream inside – where do I start. It tastes like real strawberries, not fake pink ice cream like some strawberry ice creams. It’s creamy and smooth. It’s YUM! and it’s helping a good cause.


How you ask? The new limited edition ice cream was developed to mark Magnum’s partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (Australia) (NBCF) and New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation(NZBCF), and its support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. Unilever, Streets’ parent company, have long been a supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and have contributed around $700 000 to NBCF and NZBCF over its 7 year association with the campaign. Through the extension of support from Streets’ Magnum and Blue Ribbon brands, Unilever hopes to bring total contributions to the cause to $1 million in 2012.

Strawberry White Crumble joins the Magnum range as a limited edition from August 2012 –
March 2013, and will be available in both single serve and multi-packs.

Disclaimer: I received a voucher to purchase some Magnums. All opinions are my own.

Review–Table of Plenty NoNo’s Bars

Can a kids snack be tasty & healthy? You bet it can! A lot of snacks marketed to kids are full of sugar so when I was asked to try Table of Plenty NoNo’s bars I jumped at the chance. The Mini Rice Cakes are super yum & healthy so I was hoping the NoNo’s bars would be the same. They are made of totally natural wholegrains and one bar contains less than 100 calories.

Berry Blast Web

I tried the Berry Blast NoNo’s first and was very pleasantly surprised. These are super yum. Lots of yummy dried pieces of cranberry.

Cocoa Crush Web

Miss K tried the Cocoa Crush NoNo’s and took a couple of bites then stole my Berry Blast one! The Cocoa Crush ones are not what I expected. They are nice and chocolaty but not too sweet.

So it’s a definite snack that will find it’s way into our trolley (that’s if our local supermarket stocks them)

Table of Plenty NoNo’s are available exclusively in Woolworths. RRP $4.25 per box.

Disclaimer: I received a box of Berry Blast & Cocoa Crush NoNo’s to try. All opinions are my own.

From the Den–What we’re reading

One of the great exhibitors I met at the Digital Parents Conference was Hardie Grant Egmont
I love books and I want to share this love of books with Miss K so jumped at the chance to review a couple of their books.

The first I picked up was

Winnie-the-Pooh ABC

I love Winnie-the-Pooh and so does Miss K so this was a given. It’s now one of her favourite books and she will happily sit down and point out the different things – especially Tigger (which makes Mummy very happy cause I luvs Tigger. And yes I know the Tigger song off by heart LOL). I’d love to get my hands on this one too.

the other book I picked up was

Numbers: A Child's First 1-2-3

This book is gorgeous! I love the vintage illustrations and how the book uses nursery rhyme characters to illustrate this cute counting book.

What is your favourite book for young children?

From the Den–the DPCON12 edition

(oops this has been sitting in my drafts folder for awhile….)

One of my awesome sponsors for Digital Parents Conference was Belkin Australia. They provided me with some great goodies to use while at DPCON12 – a Verve Folio Stand, the ViewLounge, a Stylus and some different screen protectors.

I can’t review the ViewLounge as hubby stole that as soon as I unpacked the box. I’ve told him he can do a review on it. Update – I did pinch it one night so I could read in bed and I have to say the bean bag like bottom to the stand makes bedtime reading on the iPad a lot more comfortable.

I already had a case for my iPad but I was looking forward to trying out the Belkin Verve Folio Stand.

Belkin Verve Folio Stand <br><h4 class=

I loved the design especially the cut out for the camera (I’ve found other cases can cover the lens slightly). The strap to secure the cover is a nice touch and the leather is good quality.

I was also given a Stylus to try.

Belkin Stylus Pen <br><h4 class=

I found using the stylus to be a great help when I felt like drawing (I love doodling in Art Rage). Trying to type with it, not so much but I guess if you kept using it you would get used to it AND it would be a bonus for those with larger fingers Winking smile

Now over to hubby…..

Caroline asked me to write a review for the ViewLounge so here it is. I like it. We play Dungeons and Dragons of a weekend and the ViewLounge has made it easier to read books on our iPads and take up less valuable table space than books.

Belkin ViewLounge <br><h4 class=

Disclaimer: I received 2 Verve Folio Stands, 2 ViewLounges, 2 Stylus and some different screen protectors to use and review.  All opinions are my own (& those of my other half – where noted).

Review–The Jungle Bunch

Wanna know a secret? I really love watching kid’s movies, well more specifically, animated kids movies. Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Despicable Me, Fantasia, Go to Hell (oh wait, that’s not a kids film)…. the list goes on. And I’ve just added a new movie to the list – The Jungle Bunch.


The Jungle Bunch is the story of Maurice (voiced by actor John Lithgow), the penguin who thinks he’s a tiger. Two penguins from Maurice’s home in Antarctica travel to the jungle in search of ‘The Great Tiger Warrior’ to save their village. Their search leads them to Maurice’s jungle home where they share their plight. Determined to help Maurice; his adopted son – a tiger fish named Junior; Fred the warthog convinced he lives in a musical; Batricia the bat afraid of the dark; Miguel the gorilla and Gilbert the tarsier afraid to leave his branch form a team and embark on an adventure.

The Jungle Bunch trailer

We enjoyed the movie and there’s lots of scenes adults will find just as funny as the kids. Miss K watched most of it, which is a pretty big thing as she hardly ever watches a whole movie.

The Jungle Bunch goes for 58mins and is available now on DVD. One lucky reader will a copy of The Jungle Bunch plus some other kid’s DVDs.

All you need to do to enter is answer the following question via the Rafflecopter below.

“What is your favourite kid’s movie?”

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