This month for our KF Toy Review we are checking out two of V-Tech Toys latest releases.

The Kidizoom Duo 5.0 Camera and the Secret Safe Diary Selfie Music landed on our doorstep and our official toy testers haven't put them down since!


The Kidizoom Duo 5.0 Camera

Kids love to mimic what we adults do everyday. That includes being behind the camera taking the photos themselves instead of always being in the photos. The thing is, there is no way my 6 year old is getting his hands on my expensive camera so that he can dart around the backyard trying to capture our dogs best side!

Thanks to V-Tech Toys I was able to hand him his own camera, the Kidizoom DUO 5.0, and let him go wild. He's been having so much fun getting creative with pictures and feeling so grown up.


Review: The Kidizoom DUO 5.0 is a great size for kids. It is bigger which helps them to hold it steady and makes it harder to loose! The games are fun and the photo frames/stamps/funny faces/silly mirrors are hilarious and fun too. The photo quality is good and having a flash really helps teach the kids how to take good photos in different light. The Kidizoom DUO 5.0 has different filter options which also helps the kids get creative with their photos. It's the perfect camera for the little budding photographer in your family.


Here is a bit more about the Kidizoom DUO 5.0 dual lens camera - The front and rear lenses can be swapped at the touch of a button, making it simple to take photos, videos, and selfies! Add fun effects, stamps and frames to your photos and videos, or use the auto-portrait feature to take photos automatically. Record your voice and apply funny effects too! Other features include: 4x digital zoom, built-in auto flash, fun learning games, voice changing effects, wacky photo shaker, photo editor, cool built-in games and more. All of this is easily seen on the large 2.4” colour LCD screen. You can also transfer files to your PC to edit and enhance your photos and videos.

The Kidizoom DUO 5.0 Camera is suitable for children 3-9 Years, and available in blue and pink now from good toy stores and online retailers, and from Big W in June for a limited time.





Secret Safe Diary Selfie Music

Are you on the look out for a gift for your tweenage special someone? It's a tricky age as they are moving on from toys and yet aren't quite old enough for their own phone, as much as they believe they are!

When we received the V-Tech Secret Safe Diary Selfie Music I just knew that Bailee was going to love it. She honestly hasn't put it down! I find her in her room recording videos, taking selfies, keeping her digital pets alive and getting creative with the photos she's taken.


Review: Kids and technology go hand in hand these days and finding the right technology for their age is tricky. The Secret Safe Diary Selfie Music is a great way to start the process of kids getting used to things like tablets and phones. We loved the face recognition unlock feature, this works really well. The creative camera photo and video filters are so much fun. The games are great and the virtual pet satisfies the little 'mummy' that is our Bailee. We love the new addition of the headphone port making it even better to travel with. Bailee has been loving her diary as it gives her the independence that, at the grand old age of 9, she so desperately wants!


Protect your thoughts and dreams with the Secret Safe Diary Selfie Music. Make a photo journal, write diary entries or record messages and keep them safe. Clever facial recognition software unlocks the journal only when it recognises your face, and you can add a number password for extra security. Featuring front and rear cameras, you can take selfies and pictures with your friends. Also includes games, photo and video filters, music and utilities that give you a variety of activities to play. Create new looks for yourself and your friends, care for a virtual pet, decorate photos and videos, play learning games and more. You're the key to this diary!


Secret Safe Diary Selfie Music is suitable for children 6-11 years, and available now from good toy stores and online retailers, and from Big W in June for a limited time.


For further information on VTech and its products, visit www.vtech.com.au , or check out the VTech news on Facebook @ VTechANZ and Instagram @vtech_toys_anz.




Thanks you V-Tech Toys for letting us road test these fabulous products. They have become favourites in our house.


Meet Chief Alfie - one of Jasper's portraits created with the Kidizoom DUO 5.0


*This post was in collaboration with V-Tech Toys. The products reviewed were gifted and all opinions are our own.

I'm not the biggest fan of camping. It's not the sleeping outdoors in a tent that bothers me. I'm not even worried about the lack of electricity or flushing toilet. It's the dreaded packing, set up, pack down and clean up that drives me bonkers! Also, one of the hardest things I find about camping is working out what is on the menu for while you are away.


Even though camping isn't my most favourite thing, the memories we create are so very precious and it makes the entire process worth it…just.


Our amazing friends from Marathon Foods know exactly what it is like to take the family on a camping adventure and they have developed their amazing Chef Direct™ range of 'camp ready' food making our planing and packing that much easier.

I've been playing around with this delicious range for the past few weeks and tested out some yummy recipes we created for the toughest of critics…my kids. They gave everything the thumbs up so we thought we better share them with you all. I'v also included a couple of our camp fire favourites too.


So here is our menu for a night of camping with the kids.



Campfire Baked Eggs on Aussie Beef Con Carne



Serves: 4 people


What You'll Need

Camp fire (can be baked in the oven at home also)

Baking tray that can go on the fire (aluminium trays are fine)

Aluminium foil


Ingredients

x4 Chef Direct™ Aussie Beef Con Carne (single serve packs) by Marathon Foods

x4 Eggs

x1 Cup Grated Tasty Cheese

x2 Spring Onion

Sour Cream

Bread rolls or Damper (optional)


Instructions

1. Get your camp fire burning and place a wire rack or something to sit your baking tray on over the hot coals

2. Empty the contents of the Aussie Beef Con Carne into the baking tray

3. Make four wells in the Con Carne and crack an egg into each one

4. Sprinkle your grated tasty cheese over the Con Carne and around the eggs

5. Cover the tray with the aluminium foil and place over the fire

6. Cooking time will depend on the heat of the fire so keep and eye on the eggs and remove once they are cooked to your preference

7. Finely slice your spring onions

8. Top the cooked eggs and Aussie Beef Con Carne with sour cream and spring onions

9. Dig in!


We also liked to dip bread rolls or damper into our Aussie Beef Con Carne and runny eggs.


Rustic, cheesy, yolky camp fire goodness!

Mini Meatball Subs



Serves: 4 people


What You'll Need

Camp Fire

Camping Saucepan


Ingredients

x4 Chef Direct™ 100% Aussie Beef Meatballs (single serve packs) by Marathon Foods

x8 Mini Hot Dog Rolls

1 Cup Grated Tasty Cheese

Sour Cream (optional topping)

Spring Onion (optional topping)



Instructions

1. Get your camp fire burning and place a wire rack or something to sit your saucepan on over the hot coals

2. Prepare your bread rolls by cutting them lengthways in half

3. Empty the contents of the Aussie Beef Meatballs into the saucepan

4. Place the saucepan over the fire and watch until the sauce starts to bubble

5. Remove from the heat and spoon a few meatballs onto each bread roll

6. Top with cheese, sour cream and spring onions

7. Enjoy!



Damper On A Stick


This is an absolute family favourite of ours. A recipe and idea I got from one of Australia's best home cooks, Julie Goodwin. I love how she cooks with her family as her main inspiration and includes some delicious recipes perfect for adventuring and camping.

Damper on a stick is so simple to make and super fun for the kids to get involved with.




Serves: around 8 dampers


What You'll Need

Camp Fire

3-4cm thick sticks long enough to hold over the fire without you getting too close

Mixing bowl


Ingredients

4 Cups Self-Raising Flour

2 Cups Milk

1 Tsp Salt

100g Butter, cubed

Butter, Honey and Golden Syrup (optional toppings)


Instructions

1. Mix the flour and salt together in the mixing bowl

2. Use your fingertips to rub the butter through the flour mix

3. Add almost all of the milk and mix into a soft dough. Use the remaining milk if you need it

4. Divide the dough into 8 portions and roll each into a long snake

5. Wind the dough snake around the end of a stocktaking sure there are no gaps. Ensure it isn't too think as the outside will burn before the inside is cooked

6. Hold the damper over the hot coals of the fire, not the tips of the flames. Once it is golden brown and crunchy all over, then it is ready!

7. Carefully pull the damper from the stick and top with butter, honey or golden syrup

8. Enjoy!


This delicious recipe comes from our favourite Julie Goodwin cookbook, Our Family Table and has been re-written by us. You'll find plenty of great family recipes in this cookbook.


Marshmallow On A Stick


I'm sure this is one of your family's favourites too but I wanted to make sure you didn't forget to buy these delicious little pillows of yumminess, otherwise, you may have some disappointed little people on your hands.



What You'll Need

Packet (s) of marshmallows

Long Sticks

Camp Fire


Instructions

1. Load a marshmallow or two onto the end of your stick and hold over the coals of the fire until golden and gooey.

2. Shove it in your mouth and enjoy the sweet, toasty goodness

But beware - contents will be hot so do take care!


Also available in the Chef Direct™ range by Marathon Foods is their delicious 100% Aussie Lamb Shanks perfect with a side of mash potato and green vegetables. Available in both Wine & Rosemary and Mint Gravy. Yum!




This post was created in collaboration with Marathon Foods and their Chef Direct™ range.



Imagine having items of clothing that you can wear in both the most opposite of seasons that are also ethical and sustainable. These bright and bold products are making a difference in the world and we are so excited to introduce them to you. So without further delay…welcome to the virtual couch Cosmo Crew Kids!




Tell us a bit about yourselves and your families -

We are two Aussie jet-setters who juggle family life and the busy challenges a start-up fashion label brings. Sarah is mum to son Albie (8 years) and Nicci has two girls Reggie (5 years) and Lulu (4 years). The kids feature heavily in the brand photography, sometimes not so willingly. We are both passionate and aspiring eco-warriors, who love adventuring in nature's best beach and mountain playgrounds with their crew. If it's fashion, food or outdoor fun, we are all in.


How did the two of you meet?

We have both spent a considerable amount of time in Asia over the past few years. We kept bumping into each other at parties and discovered we both had similar passions and complimentary skill sets. We were both working on separate kids brands and decided it was better to join forces and work together - that is how Cosmo Crew was born.




How did Cosmo Crew Kids come about and what inspired you to launch a brand of kids wear?

Towards the end of 2017 Sarah had just finished up with her successful women’s brand and Nicci was ready to do something different from her corporate marketing roles. A trip to the East of Bali found us swimming in an alarming amount of plastic waste- we always knew about it, but this time we were actually in it! We had both wanted to embark on a kids swimwear label, but now we were compelled to make it sustainable. With so many brands in the market, we just couldn’t justify the need for another one without conscience. We joined forces (and skill sets) to create Cosmo Crew and we are super excited to get it off the ground and share it.


What is the story behind the name Cosmo Crew Kids?

Cosmo comes from Cosmos- meaning the universe, we value togetherness and wanted kids to feel they could be part of a crew who cares and considers the environment. We wanted to build an exceptionable brand that has sustainability at its core- from the name, to the materials and all the way to how we manufacture and the story we tell.



What are some of the obstacles you've had to push through to make Cosmo Crew Kids come to life?

In an industry that values fast paced and disposable fashion, educating our consumers the what and why has been a challenge. We embrace the ideal of slow fashion but are working on how we get that message out- instead of buying three times the amount of swimsuits at cheaper vertical retailers they can buy one of ours that has three times the lifespan and supports small business and the environment.


Cosmo Crew Kids isn't just a brand, it's a brand with a purpose. What makes Cosmo Crew Kids a brand with purpose?

As aforementioned we embrace the ideal of slow fashion but also want to encourage our consumers to consider their purchases. We value a sustainable lifestyle and try to talk about sustainability as a lifestyle choice not just a single purchase.




What is the inspiration behind your designs?

Comfort, safety and the desire to be unique yet practical. We have embraced bold, stylish prints and colour for the collections, with nature as the main inspiration. For our upcoming collection we referred to the work of Australian iconic artist Ken Done, we love his use of colour.


Please explain more about what your clothes are made of?

We believe in slow fashion and conscious consuming. We wanted to teach our kids the negative impacts the fashion industry and single use plastics are having on the environment. Econyl is an amazing product which is made from regenerated nylon from ghost fishing nets that teams of divers retrieve from the ocean, as well as things like carpet flooring and industrial plastic. The nylon is treated and turned into a yarn for fabric use. This high quality fabric gives the garments a hybrid usage as they can be worn swimming and in the sun but also for performance wear- skiing, hiking, dancing etc.



Where are Cosmo Crew Kids products made?

We manufacture in Bali, Indonesia with a small family owned factory at a fair price. We ensure that ethical work standards are met and we source our fabrics from reputably sustainable sources.


Aussie kids need good sun protection. What level of protection does Cosmo Crew Kids products provide?

All Cosmo Crew garments are UPF50+ for maximum sun protection. Our brand cherishes a childhood spent adventuring outdoors but knows firsthand the dangers of the harsh sun exposure, so sun-safety is non-negotiable for our products.




Cosmo Crew Kids products aren't just for the sun and water. What makes your products great for the snow too?

The high quality fabric we use in our garments is quick drying, geothermal, very stretchy and soft. We team this with designs that are comfortable- flat locked seams, raglan sleeves for easy movement and higher necks relaxed fit necks with no buttons or zips. Plus most other base layers are dull or block colours. We like our crew to be bold in the mountains with fun prints that make them smile.


We all understand that creating a product, running a business and being a parent is hard work. Share with us what keeps you going and what keeps Cosmo Crew Kids alive.

We are both really loving the freedom that comes with having your own business and we celebrate the small successes- they are great motivators to keep going. Being parents and business partners means we share the responsibilities and can cover for each other when parenting obligations arise. Creating a business that has a positive impact and knowing kids love wearing it is what really keeps us going.



You are both avid adventurers. Tell us about a couple of your most favourite places around the world.

We met in Bali so that holds a special place in out hearts. We also love skiing Japan, surfing Indo islands and shopping and eating around Venice Beach, LA.


Whats coming up for Cosmo Crew Kids?

We have two more collections dropping which we are super excited about. We are also expanding into the US market which is keeping us very busy. We are continuously working on our transparency in sustainability. Our next collection will offer tween sizes as this is a market we keep getting questioned about. We are constantly working on new prints and collaboration opportunities with aligned brands and sustainability influencers.



So there you have it! What a great brand that is not only great for multiple seasons but also ensuring their helping make our world a better place.


We were lucky enough to try out some of the Cosmo Crew Kids items during our snow trip to Japan this month. After using another brand of wooly thermals for many years it was refreshing to have the kids wear their Sea and Snow Rash Tops and Wanderpants under their snow gear and not complain of being itchy! The kids stayed so warm and dry in their CCK gear and loved them so much they wore them for 4 days straight! Now that we are home we are looking forward to wearing them at the beach over Easter.








Be sure to check out Cosmo Crew Kids for your Sun and Snow fun!


The lovely ladies from Cosmo Crew Kids are now part of the KidzFashion family and have a KF Perk just for you! Head to our KidzFashion Perks page to take advantage of this perk and get your hands on these amazing products. Happy Shopping!


Website: www.cosmocrewkids.com

Instagram: @cosmo.crew.kids Facebook: Cosmo Crew Kids