Jimmy Giggle Interview with What’s On 4 Australia

We sat down with James David Rees aka Jimmy Giggle to talk about his upcoming tour and ask the tough, hard-hitting questions that every child (and mother) wants to know the answer to (such as determing his marriage status!).

WO4 asks: What areas are you visiting with your tour in 2014?

Jimmy Giggle: Our summer tour is heading to Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney and Canberra. We are in each city for a few days so I hope to see a bit more of the areas in the down time because often I am in and out of a city in a flash.

WO4 asks: Will there be any others joining you on tour?

Jimmy Giggle: Yep, we are touring with the loveable Bananas in Pyjamas and the crazy acrobatic Hoopla Doopla team. The show will be a Giggle-icious, fun filled Hootastically amazing song filled BONANZA! Haha!

WO4 asks: What were your favourite characters or shows growing up?

Jimmy Giggle: I absolutely loved Sesame Street and had the pleasure of working with Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby in the past few years. I was also obsessed with a show called Art Attack, I had the videos, books, magazines EVERYTHING! My folks put me in front of ABC for Kids when I was a kid and it’s wonderful to be on the other side now entertaining kids of today. It’s also a testament to the ABC for keeping children’s TV a focus over the years.

WO4 asks: We know that your a HUGE Bombers fan, who does Hoot follow?

Jimmy Giggle: Oh man! Bombers fans have had to endure a lot over the past few years, a shame we didn’t make it further into the finals. Hoot follows all the teams that have birds as a mascot, so he is winning all the time.

WO4 asks: You travel a lot with your job, where is your favourite place that you have been?

Jimmy Giggle: I am lucky to be able to travel around a great country, that said I’m often not in a city for long but I have had many highlights over the past 5 years. I’ve been to all the major cities but I have to say being stranded in Townsville due to a grounding of the Qantas fleet was an unexpected extended stay. I was able to see a bit more of the town, we had a laugh thats for sure.

Questions from our young fans;
Ella 4 asks: What does your real voice sound like?

Jimmy Giggle: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? My voice is the same, maybe just a little lower, the same amount of giggling though.

Jake 5 asks: What’s it like living with 2 owls, do they keep you awake at night?

Jimmy Giggle: As you see on the TV Jake, Owls are heaps of fun. They do fall asleep a lot but it makes it all the more fun to think of new ways to wake them up. hehe! Hoot has the important job of going on the ’Night Watch’ so I get a great nights sleep every night.

Miss 5 asks: How did Jimmy Giggle get his name?

Jimmy Giggle: My first name is Jimmy and after years and years of giggling all the time, Hoot decided to call me Jimmy Giggle.

Master 4 asks: How does the magic piano work?

Jimmy Giggle: With Magic! Im not really sure how the magic actually works but theres never a dull moment. Its unpredictable, its crazy and its MAGIC!

Connor 4 asks: How old is Hoot & Hootabelle

Jimmy Giggle: I’m not really sure it’s hard to tell how old Owls, maybe 4, they could be 100!

One very important question from one of our mum’s

Karen asks – Is there a Mrs Giggle?

There is a Mrs Giggle, we have been married just about a year now! She is an enormous support to me even so far as wearing a pair of Giggle and Hoot pyjamas to bed.

Giggle and Hoot and Friends Live On Stage

This December Giggle and Hoot and Friends are touring Eastern Australia and we are giving you exclusive access to pre-sale this Wednesday. Simply sign up here : http://bit.ly/1CHda8l

Tickets open to the general public on Friday the 12th of September. For full tour details click here : http://bit.ly/GiggleHootFriends

Frozen Inspired 4th Birthday Party

My daughter Charlotte along with millions of other girls around the world has fallen in love with the Disney musical movie – Frozen.

I happily agreed to this theme choice for her 4th birthday as I knew it was going to be an easy one to plan for and naturally Pinterest became my place for inspiration.

As the girls attending were going to be 3-4 years, I wanted to be keep it simple yet hands on and allow a range of activities to keep them busy.

For entertainment, this is where the possibilities were endless!

After welcoming the children when they arrived they were directed to the colouring activity.  I had Frozen colouring in sheets from here.

It was during this time our Face painter worked her magic and created Frozen inspired faces on the children.

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Mandy from Face to Face Painting by Mandy.

We used a fabulous Face painter (from Brisbane).  Details can be found here.

For the water, I purchased some bottled water from the supermarket and printed the labels myself.

 

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They say ‘Melted Snow”.

The drink label printables were from here.

Firstly the invitations… I left these way too late to organise but was really happy with my choice of Elsa themed designs. The invites came with a magnet to attach on the back and envelopes, which could be purchased as well which I did to make it easier. They were also super cheap at a dollar each from here.

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The decorations I kept simple and grabbed some white pom poms and ice blue snowflake inspired designs from a local discount store. I also pulled a few Christmas decorations! A little warning – because of Frozen mania it can be hard to find decorations in stores so it’s wise to look online also. Don’t even think about trying to find a star shaped cookie cutter 🙂

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Not a great photo, but they looked really pretty.

We made sausage rolls for the kids and camembert cheese and quince paste quiches for the adults. I then added a few sweet foods including strawberries (perfect this time of year in QLD) dipped in white chocolate (frozen hearts from the movie), blue jelly cups (ice), pretzel sticks dipped in white chocolate (branches with snow) and pink wafer biscuits, plain chips and blue lollies.

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Food wise – I cooked with the help of my mum in advance.

There was also pop corn in cupcake cases, white chocolate melted into mini heart shaped moulds, croissants, vanilla cake pops, marshmallows and LCM bars (I was planning on making these myself but ran out of time).

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The Cake I went to reliable Cake 2 The Rescue (winners in our What’s On 4 Junior Awards for 2013 and 2014) and chose the Snow Flake Princess Cake Kit.  You can’t really see it but the dressed was stamped with a snow flake cutter and glitter.

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I made this the day before and iced it on the day because the party was in the afternoon but I should have done it the night before to save some stress.

Everyone loved ‘Pin the Carrot on Olaf’. I printed it in poster size at Office Works for $6 and this included 2 sheets of the noses.

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The Olaf printable was from here.

Pass the parcel was really simple – I wrapped up a pack of miniature bubbles (from Coles) with wrapping paper and my daughter stuck a few stickers on top.

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The bubble blowing then became an activity with Frozen music.

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We had ice cube races (egg and spoon style), where I froze blue coloured water and glitter in ice cube trays.

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We then went outside to play with ‘snow’ – shaving cream with a few drops of blue dye and a glitter shaker and made some gloop as well. This was a very popular activity.

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I used a cupcake tray to hold the ‘snow’.

I got the Goop recipe from here and doubled it.

This is obviously a messy activity so have some warm soapy water and a towel ready.

For the party thank you gifts, I doubled the recipes of Play dough (on the cream of tarter container), added some blue dye and glitter and rolled it into 15 balls with an extra sprinkle of glitter on top.  These then went into plastic gift bags with a silver tie from a discount store for $2.  I then printed the sign on my computer and added it into a frame I already had saying “Thank You Snow Much” – cute 🙂

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For more Frozen inspiration follow our page on Pinterest here.

My Breastfeeding Journey

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Baby Julius

As I prepare for the birth of my third child, I’ve started mentally preparing myself for all the joys and challenges that go with the breastfeeding experience.

My first child was born in the Middle East in Dubai where modesty and respect of the Muslim culture was required. I was unsure how breastfeeding in public would be perceived given this, but I need not to have worried as to my surprise it was greatly supported and you are encouraged to feed your baby to at least 2 years of age.

When my breastfeeding journey began I loved the closeness and calmness of it all. It was such an amazing bonding experience and after an emergency c-section birth I felt like I owed him opportunity and wanted to do sometime ‘natural’.  However, getting started was not so calming or beautiful. It was at times difficult and frustrating for both of us.  I am one of those mother’s that seems to have an abundance of milk!  I might have difficulties giving birth to my children but boy can I feed them once they are out and I fed Julius to 13 months.

 

 

 

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Baby Charlotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With my second child Charlotte, I again had a good supply but with that can come its issues….

Picture a sprinkler shooting off a hose due to too much pressure – well that’s how my little ones experience feeding for first few weeks!  There was choking and spluttering and ultimately tears.  This often lead to poor attachment, blocked milk ducts and a great deal of emotional stress in those early days.

This is where my Medela breast pump became essential in my breastfeeding journey. Whether it was expressing some of the milk initially to make the ‘let down less strong’ or pumping the remaining milk after a feed to prevent blocked milk ducts.  Having ‘back up’ milk in the freezer was always handy as well.

So my message to new ‘mum to be’s’ is, although there is   a lot said about low milk supply the opposite can actually occur and it just goes to show that everyone’s breastfeeding experience is different and that is completely normal.  My best advice for mums planning on breastfeeding is as follows:

Stay hydrated: This is really important, especially in summer and really helps with supply.

Eat well: Don’t diet!! Producing nutritious milk takes energy and I’ve seen friends cut out the bad fats and good fast out of their diet in an attempt to lose weight and it has impacted on their milk.

Feed on demand: This can be a huge adjustment as a new mum and it involves the realisation that time is no longer yours control.  But it won’t last forever so hang in there.

Rest:  Breast feeding takes a lot of energy to produce, so you need your sleep. I know it is temping to get some household jobs done but rest and your body will thank you for it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Breastfeeding is hard to get used too in a lot of cases. So if you’re struggling, just ask for help.

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Getting ready for baby #3 Due Sep 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medela provides real solutions for breastfeeding mothers to get over any hurdles in the early days and to support their long term breastfeeding goals. Through its extensive range of breast pump products and other breastfeeding products, Medela is committed to promoting the benefits of breast milk and encouraging long term breastfeeding. For more information visit: www.medela.com.au I www.facebook.com/medela.au

Elise Easdown

Disney On Ice – Treasure Trove

Disney On Ice Treasure Trove

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I recently had the pleasure of taking my 3 and 5 year olds to see Disney On Ice – Treasure Trove when it opened in Perth.  What an amazing show!

Captivating, breathtaking, mesmerizing, enthralling and entertaining.

The skating was brilliant and we watched as many of our best loved Disney characters danced and sung before us. It was hard to pick a favourite moment, however when Simba and Narla skated to “Can you feel the love tonight” I was so engrossed that I couldn’t take my eyes away to see what my kids were thinking! 

As much as I could tell you how great the show was, the real truth will come from my children. Here’s what they had to say :

“I loved it so much, the skaters were so fast and my favourite was at the beginning when the Army men came out with Jessie, Woody and Buzz. I also loved all the animals that came out with Simba and Narla in The Lion King and Timon and Pumba were so funny.”

Campbell aged 5

“We saw Snow White skate on ice. She went to sleep in the glass and the Prince kissed her. We saw Princess Jasmine ride up high with Prince Ali and we saw Rapunzel and Flynn Rider put the lanterns up high in the air.”

Emily aged 3

The annual tour of Disney on Ice is a show not to be missed.

Practical information : The show runs for approx 40 mins followed by a 15 minute intermission and then continues for another 55 minutes. It was cool inside the venue and if you are lucky enough to be sitting close to the front I would take a warm jumper. There is an amazing arrange of Disney merchandise available at the venue as well as drinks and food available to purchase which include souvenirs as well (cups, crowns, hats and bags).

Touring Nationally May 29 – 13 July 

For more information and ticket purchase click here

Racheal Grieves

The Lion King
The Lion King
The Lion King
The Lion King
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland
Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy
Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy
Toy Story
Toy Story

Look Good Feel Better – How you can help…

Look Good Feel Better® is a free nationwide program helping women with appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Workshops include instruction in skin care and makeup application; a complimentary makeup tool kit filled with donated products from the cosmetic industry; practical tips and instruction on wigs, head coverings, and nail care.

I came across this organisation recently at the Kids business Communications Bloggers Brunch and felt compelled to spread the word on how others could help.

Look Good Feel Better is always looking for beauty professionals such as make-up artists and nail technicians. They need general volunteers to help organise and support the programs too.

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Kids Business Communications hosts the Bloggers BrunchTM series of events where bloggers and brands meet and mingle. These events also raise awareness and funds for different charities. For more information visit:

www.kidsbusiness.com.au

 

Aussie Farmers Direct Review

I was contacted by What’s on 4 Little Ones Australia to see if I could  do a review of a box of fruit and vegetables by Aussie Farmers Direct – of course I said “yes please!”. I’ve actually looked at using these guys for a while now, but just never really gotten around to trying them, so it was a bit of the universe talking I think… so now onto the review…

The box was hand delivered straight to my front door, and it was delivered in the morning, which was great as I was heading off to work that day. I quickly opened it, and everything looked really fresh and clean so I was looking forward to getting home from work that day to properly check it out.

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So of course the first thing I did when I got home was wash everything and pack it in the fridge. I used some of the potatoes that night for bangers and mash we were having and they were great. They cooked up nicely and all of them were in great condition.

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Over the course of the week we ate what else was in the box, and everything stayed really fresh over the week. There wasn’t one single thing I had to throw out due to bruising, or freshness, it was all really yummy. I had to ask on my facebook page however what these were (photo below) as I’d never seen them before, and they weren’t listed on the itemized list of goodies I’d received from Aussie Farmers. They are called persimmon, and are a fruit (but I’m sure you may already know that). We had a try but sadly we didn’t go much on them, but it was nice to try something new, and I learnt something new that day too 🙂

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We eat a lot of fruit and veg, and the box lasted us for a week (2 adults, 2 children) so I was pretty happy with that. I also managed to cook up this massive vegetarian lasagne.

Overall I would give Aussie Farmers a big thumbs up and I will definitely be doing my fruit and veg order through them from now on.   Check them out at http://www.aussiefarmers.com.au/

Thank you for the opportunity to complete this review.

Joanne from Sistermixin’

Free Valentine’s Day Printables

Make your life easy this Valentine’s Day with Sweetbootique’s
Aqua & Red Valentine’s Printable Party. Available as a FREE
download for our readers only, this printable set normally
retails at $12.50.
Designed for ease of construction, the adorable items in this
Valentine’s collection are perfect for Valentine’s Day parties,
home decorations or School treats or just as a little something
special for someone you care about!
We recommend these be printed on a laser printer onto
250gsm cardstock for optimum quality.
Not familiar with printable party sets? These are the ultimate
way to customise and brighten up your party with original and
beautifully designed items. The files come to you digitally and
you then take them to be printed or print at home onto card
stock, then cut by you and easily assembled to make gorgeous
coordinating sets which you can blend with standard coloured
party ware. This gives your party a designer one of a kind look
at very little additional cost.
Included in this lovely set are:
Cupcake wrapper and topper –  Valentine’s cupcake topper and wrapper set
600 x 600 Valentine’s Paper for custom decorating –  Valentine’s Paper
Decorating Circles in 2 sizes with a total of 7 designs –  Valentine Backing Circles 2.5 and Valentine Backing Circles 2.0
Water Bottle or bubble labels in 1 design – Valentines Water Bottle Wrap 8×2 inch 8.5×11 sheet
Chocolate wrappers in 2 sizes, lg (1 design) and sm (3 designs) –  Valentines FullSizeCandyBarWrapper8.5x11Template and Valentine Candy Bar Wrappers 1.5 x 3.25
Decorative Hearts in 3 sizes –  Valentines Heart Decorations
Hershey’s Kiss or mini circles in 5 designs –  Valentine’s Hershey Kisses Labels
Food Tent or Bag Topper in 1 design –  Valentine’s Food Tent or Bag Topper
Designs come complete with guides for where to cut, fold and
glue.
Cupcake wrappers are cut and wrapped around standard sized
cupcake then taped in place. For toppers cut two and glue
together with a toothpick in the middle to pop in the top of your
cupcake.
Use the decorative circles to punch out shapes and layer into
decorations as shown in the picture with the pink bottle.

For an extra festive look, place a small, white paper doily
behind the water bottle wrap.
Bottle labels, and Hershey’s Kiss circles should be printed onto
A4 sticker sheets for ease of use.
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Healthy lunch box ideas that are easy to make, written by a normal everyday mum of two.

My name is Jo and I’m just a normal everyday Mum with two little ones.  I run a blog and facebook page called Thermolicious Food where I post recipes to suit normal, everyday families.  I don’t cook two meals, so my cooking must suit adults and children.  Although I use a Thermomix for most of my cooking, you will be able to make the recipes below without one 🙂

For the month of January I’m posting a daily lunch box tip, and a daily lunch box recipe on my facebook page so when Elise, the MD of What’s on 4 asked if I would like to share a few I was honoured.

So here’s my top 10 recipes:-

1. LCM Bars – completely additive and preservative free!

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2. Milo Slice – using Thermomix Milo. If you don’t have a Thermomix don’t worry, you can use bought milo and follow the recipe for the slice.  Milo does contain additives but if you don’t mind using it then go right ahead 🙂

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3.  Real ‘deli’ chicken.  This is a failsafe recipe and is perfect for children (or adults) or doesn’t tolerate additives and preservatives very well.

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4. Guilt free chocolate balls.  You will need a good quality blender for this if you don’t have a thermomix.  My 3 year old daughter cant stop eating these.

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5. Spelt cupcakes.  I have also put in a handful of frozen raspberries at the end and mixed them through to make delicious raspberry cupcakes.  For non-theremomixers simply beat your butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs mixing until combined.  Add all other ingredients and mix until just combined.  DONT overbeat this mixture.

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6. Orange and date muffins.  These are GF, DF and sugar free and they are YUM!  If you don’t have a thermomix, use a good quality blender.  You may need to blend a little longer then the recipe says.

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7.  Melon/fruit balls.  They are fun and inviting!  Put them on a kebab stick to make them even more fun (but maybe not so safe for school) and I’m sure they will be gobbled down.  To make these you’ll only need a melon ball tool, you can get these from kitchen stores.

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8. Chia pizza scrolls.  For non thermomix owners, make a pizza dough and then follow the recipe as per the link 🙂

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9. GF Choc chip cookies.  If you don’t have a thermomix purchase some almond mill and mix it by hand.

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10. Sushi.  For non thermomixers follow the recipes on a packet of Sushi rice and nori sheets.

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All of these recipes apart from the sushi and fruit balls freeze well.  I wrap them in individual portions and freeze them so when it comes time to making lunches half of the hard work is already done.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Jo x

Pinterest Parent

Before I start this blog I want to be really clear on something … I am NOT a pinterest parent.

I have tons of friends who are, in fact way to many, and if I am brutally honest, I am not what I would call a “hands on” mum either – the idea of arts and crafts makes me shudder!

However, I also suffer from the lovely mummy guilt when I look at all my friends who do lovely craft projects with their kids, or they post on Facebook the latest recipe they cooked with little johnnie … and I will freely admit it is Mummy Guilt that lead me to events leading up to this blog!

With Christmas break up season upon us, both my children had class parties coming up – now my idea of providing something for these events is normally to buy a bunch of Woolworths cupcakes, bring them home and plate them up, chuck a bit of gladwrap on them and hope that they maybe pass for homemade!! (I am hoping I am not the only person that does this!!)

However one of those said Pinterest Parents friends of mine had been posting on Facebook this week about all the crafty and cooking she was doing, and I admit in a moment of weakness, I showed the Strawberry Santa’s to Cal and said

“How about I make them for you to take this week” …

His shocked look and smirk should have been the warning bells I needed, instead they just drove me on “Yep it will be great”, I said determined “You can take these!”

Insert some time Googling checking out all the awesome pictures, checked out the Coles Blog with the Youtube Video and I was already in visioning the look of admiration from the kids in their classes as they walked in with these plates of Strawberry Santas from their amazing mother!

So on my first trip to Coles, I picked up the ingredients

–       Punnets of Strawberries

–       125g Cream Cheese

–       2 tbsp Icing Sugar

–       ½ tsp Vanilla Essence

–       Mini chocolate buds for eyes

Now, just prove that I really have no idea what I am doing, let me clarify – when they say Cream Cheese you need a block of cream cheese NOT the cream cheese for cooking that I grabbed the first time! (note here – there is no amount of icing sugar that can thicken up cream cheese for cooking – well if there is, it is more than the whole packet that I dumped in trying to thicken it!)

So being the creative person that I am (and not yet realizing my error on the cream cheese) I thought for a minute about what else might work to create my masterpieces!

So still full of hope and determination, I headed back to Coles and purchased some of the canned whipped cream.

Now to say it didn’t work is a little bit of an understatement …

joni nailed it

 

 

 

The merriment, delight and out and out laughter of my friends reaction to this post should have done me in, however I was determined … I am a good Mum, I am a successful business women, I run my own company … surely I can manage some stupid strawberries and a bit of filling!!!!

It was at this point that my husband (whom I should add does a good 90% of the cooking in our household) started to intervene and pointed out to me the error in my cream cheese choices!

So back to Coles again I went … my Facebook messages going a little crazy at the time with well wishes (read here – continued laughter) from my friends.  I retuned home with the correct cream cheese and a piping bag.

Things work remarkable well when you have the right ingredients is the lesson here

Photo of Finished product

My tips on the piping bag for the Santa’s is use a open circle rather than the

squil-ly ones (yes those are the technical terms!) like I did, I think it would look better.

And we learnt as we went along to cut the strawberry hats on the smaller side as they stayed on better!

The buttons were just beyond my skill level, but I think we covered that nicely with a line along the front.

I guess to quote a Mastercard add

Cost of Ingredients $54.17 (after three trip to the shops)

Hair dye required to cover greys after this experience – $180

Look on my daughters face taking them to school – PRICELESS

peyton

 

The response to the posts on What’s On 4 was nothing short of amazing, I was literally laughing out loud at some of the comments, and loved that others jumped on board to share their failures too.

We might not all be Pinterest Parents, but what I learnt is that my kids really didn’t care what they look liked (in fact they loved eating the disastrous ones along the way), but my Mummy Guilt subsided for just a minute as Ms P came and gave me a big hug and said “Mummy, they are great. Thank you for making them with me”

Maybe there is hope for me yet!

Mac

Hi 5 House Party!!!

Hi 5 fever has hit our house!

Hi 5 muscles

My son Thomas and I recently had the privilege of attending a rehearsal and meet and greet with Hi 5 in the lead up to their tour ‘Hi 5 House Party’.

The Hi 5 House Party Tour will introduce fans to new members Ainsley, Dayen and Mary, who will join Stevie and Lauren on stage for the first time the 5 have performed together in Australia. Performing songs new and old, the tour is sure to delight the young Hi 5 fans!

It is obvious from observing the 5 together that they have a real rapport with each other and absolutely love what they do. Stevie says “on and off stage, we respect each other and genuinely enjoy each other’s company”. This certainly translates on stage.

Not only do the Hi 5 cast members have a great rapport with each other but the connections they make with the children are completely sincere. As soon as we entered the studio, Stevie came over and introduced himself to Thomas and had a chat with him. Before we left, Ainsley took Thomas around to show him the set and Lauren and Thomas discovered they have the same amount of letters in their names! It was very special.

Having a chat to Hi 5!
Having a chat to Hi 5!

When asked what they enjoyed most about performing live, Lauren responded that she enjoys ‘being able to focus on a child who is quite shy and reserved in the audience and give them a smile and a wink and hopefully help them to enjoy the show”. Stevie pointed out that this is “often the first time that children have been to a theatre and we want them to have a positive experience that they will be able to carry throughout their lives”.

What will we see in the Hi 5 House Party Tour?

Most of that you will have to wait and see, but we can tell you that as well as all the colour and fun that are synonymous with Hi 5, you will see Stevie performing the limbo (Thomas has been singing ‘how low can you go’ all week) and newcomer Ainsley tap dancing!

Hi 5 limbo

The Hi 5 House Party tour kicks off in Victoria on the 1st November! If you have the opportunity to go along and see the show, make sure you do. You won’t be disappointed!

Hi 5 Group Official