I dislike shopping for new jeans.

I really struggle finding jeans that fit me well, have enough length, are stretchy but not too stretchy, don’t sag, don’t cut off my circulation and actually look good! I bet you are the same. Everyone likes different jeans for different reasons. Everyone has a different body shape and therefore not one pair will suite everyone.

Here’s the thing, did you know that the lunch boxes our kids use at school are the same? They all prefer something different and enjoy a product that works for them.

Smash lunch boxes
So many to choose from!

I’ve been doing our Back to School shopping over the past few weeks and have kept this in mind as we choose items for my kids. They are both very different in personality and in the things they like which means simply buying two of the same item doesn’t always work.

Jasper is a fast growing six year old who could eat all day long if you let him. He also likes structure, especially when it comes to his lunch box, which requires his recess and lunch in separate compartments if possible. Keeping it simple and substantial is what he likes. The perfect lunch box for him has those separate compartments and open spaces to fit a whole sandwich or bread roll, a whole piece of fruit (usually a banana) plus all the other nibbles he has. Recess goes in the top section and lunch in the bottom. Perfectly ordered just the way he likes it!

Bailee is also a very active eight year old. She enjoys change, trying new things and chatting with her friends while doing so! A bento style lunch box excites her. She likes all the little compartments filled with different things and can easily handle the clips that fasten it together. She also takes her lunchbox out of the classroom with her so it is important that she has a cool bag to put it in until she goes back to class and can return it to her school bag.

Bento Switch Up by Smash
Bento Switch Up by Smash

Inside the Bento Switch Up
Inside the Bento Switch Up

Drink bottles are also a challenge. They need to be practical, easy to be refilled and no leaks. Plus a bit of fun along the way never hurt either!

Cascade Drink Bottle - Glitter Party!
Cascade Drink Bottle - Glitter Party!

These are a few of my tips on getting the right lunch box for your kids:

  1. Consider the amount of food they eat and how they like it separated. If your child prefers a whole piece of fruit, like a banana or apple, make sure they fit easily.

  2. Take them with you and watch them open and close each lunch box to find the easiest one for them.

  3. What is the temperature where you live? Ensure there is space for a cold pack during hot weather.

  4. Will it fit in their school bag?

I love that there are so many different choices out there theses days and each lunch box encourages us to pack our food nude and reduce the use of plastic wraps.

Bento Bite inside the Light Lunch Bag by Smash
Bento Bite inside the Light Lunch Bag by Smash

Bento Bite and the Light Lunch Bag

So what type of lunch box are your kids?

Huge thanks to Smash for sending us their Coles range of Back to School products to test out. We’ve been using Smash for years and have always found them to be reliable and strong products for our kids.

The Bento style lunch boxes are fantastic to pack food straight into and simply pop them in the dishwasher after school each day. The Bento Bite ($18.00) and Bento Switch Up ($15.00) are available now and can be paired with the Light Lunch Bag ($14.00) or The Fridge ($18.00) to keep them extra cool. The new Bento Bite does have a cold pack in the bottom too.

Bailee has been enjoying the Cascade drink bottle ($14.00) that creates a glitter party every time you tip it up. Jasper has loved the GLOW bottle ($12.00) that glows in the dark making it easy for him to have water during these warm summer nights.

Glow Bottle by Smash
Jasper's new favourite - Glow Bottle

Glow Bottle
6 hours of glow time!

The whole range is now available at Coles Supermarkets across Australia and just in time for school to start back!

*KidzFashion received these products from Smash as gifts to trial for review. This was not a paid review.

Updated: Dec 8, 2018

Photo with Santa

‘‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”

Yeah right, the night before Christmas this Mumma is running like mad chook to make sure every detail has been ticked off and that magic moment is a complete success when the kids wake up.

The stockings are plump and hanging perfectly, the tree is sparkling with the lights and ornaments rearranged for the billionth time making sure they are evenly spread. The carrot and cookie have been nibbled, the milk slightly sipped. The camera is positioned and the gifts beautifully set. Christmas morning is almost here and I’m shattered…

Are you the same?

I’m always left finally creeping my way to bed thinking ‘this is ridiculous, next year I’ll ease up a bit’ but then you hear their little feet tiptoeing into the lounge room and the gasp as they set eyes on your masterpiece only for some big guy in a red suit to get all the credit! It’s in that moment that I smile to myself and say ‘yep, it was all worth it…now pass me a coffee’.

I love Christmas. I love what it means to us as a family and most of all I love the little traditions that we as parents have been able to create with our kids.

Christmas usually starts on the first of December in our house (give or take a few days). It’s during that day that a little guest arrives at the front door to create hilarity each night while the kids are sleeping and for them to discover each morning. Yes, it’s Elf on the Shelf™ but affectionately known in our house as Happy.

If you are new to the world of Elf on the Shelf™ then I suggest you check out the hashtag #elfontheshelf to get you up to speed. Beware though, Elf does require quite a bit of work so I suggest you write yourself a list of 24 ideas so you don’t get caught out!

Elf On The Shelf - 'Happy'

Now for the dreaded Christmas gift list… where do you start and where do you stop? I try and stick to a simple method when it comes to my kids and I guess you could call it a tradition.

Here it is:

Want – Something they want. Choose something from their own wish list. Need – Something they need. This could be something for the school year, bedroom, etc. Wear – Something they wear. From a Christmas day outfit to new swimmers for Summer. Read – Something to read. A good book always goes down well and if they aren’t a reader then an audio book does the trick too.

Of course it’s then time for the annual Santa photo which just seems to be a kids right of passage. Then when they eventually move out of home you send them with their treasured memories including the annual growth chart, also known as the Santa photo. Let’s be honest, they are either gorgeous photos of your children purely because of the excitement of being there or hilarious keepsakes from the time you thought it funny to put them on a strangers knee and watch them scream. Then there was the time that we thought it a good idea to take the dog for a photo too… I don’t recommend this – although the photo was pretty cute and I’ve almost forgotten how hard it was.

Santa photo with our new puppy, Alfie.

Another of our traditions is Christmas Carols and a Christmas Show. There is nothing better than getting the family together and singing with gusto under the glow of a light stick or candle. Oh the memories you’ll make!

Christmas is a time of giving and so often kids spend the majority of the time receiving so we make an effort each year to place importance on our kids giving to others. We take them shopping in order to buy a gift for children less fortunate and spend time explaining why we do this. We also let them buy a gift for each other so they too can experience the joy of watching their sibling open something chosen just for them.

Ah, the naughty or nice list… You try so hard as a parent to not stoop to that level but inevitably it happens and the words ‘Santa is watching you’ slips out of our mouths and we can’t take it back. Imagine their faces when they get a personalized video from Santa himself saying they’ve made it to the nice list and everything is going to be ok! With the help of Santa’s Portable North Pole our kids receive their videos each year and any doubt that the big man is made up disappears in a moment.

Make the magic come to life

Fast forward to the morning of Christmas Eve and the last day of Happy Elf gracing us with his presence. That morning the kids wake to a little gift bag from Happy that includes their Christmas pyjamas that they will wear to bed that night. It comes with a farewell note and a challenge for the next year to continue to work hard, play hard and be kind to your Mother!

That brings us to Christmas Eve and which includes waiting for Santa to drive past our street on the back of a ute throwing lollies to the kids and then a street party in front of the houses covered in lights. It is such a special night in our community with memories made that we will treasure forever!

Time to get the kids off to bed because… my night is only just beginning!

I am all too aware that Christmas can be the hardest time for many people. Where there should be joy, there is heartache. Where there should be a loved one, there is an empty seat. Please know that you are always in our thoughts and prayers at this time and we only hope that you can create some of your own Christmas traditions that don’t wipe away the heartache but help you to build some new layers to what is such a special time of the year.

So with that, MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us here at KidzFashion. May this truly be the most wonderful time of the year.


Updated: Dec 7, 2018

This here is one of our family favourites. A fun meal that the kids can help you prepare.

Let me introduce you to Chicken Schnitzel Pizzas!

Ingredients: x4 Chicken Schnitzels x1 Tin Tomato Paste 500g Grated Pizza Cheese Own selection of pizza toppings

Our Favourite Toppings: Pineapple Ham Salami or Pepperoni Mushroom Capsicum Olives Onion Avocado

Equipment: Oven Grill Baking Tray Foil

A few of our favourite toppings!

Naked schnitzels!

Method: Cover baking tray in foil. Place schnitzels onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Remove from oven and leave on the baking tray. Using the back of a teaspoon, cover each schnitzel with tomato paste. Get the kids to create their own pizza creation on top of the schnitzels with their selection of favourite toppings. Cover each schnitzel with cheese and place under the grill to melt.

Ready for the grill!

Enjoy :)