Sponsored Video: Asus Fonepad with Intel Inside

Tablets have become pretty ubiquitous these days and pretty much everyone I know has one. I remember when the iPad first came out and everyone was talking about how useless it was – no keyboard? too big to carry around in your pocket? Who’s going to buy that? Hahaha… I totally missed the trend about to explode into our world and got a netbook instead.

Now everyone has some kind of tablet. Even my technology-averse step mother who doesn’t like smart phones because they’re too complicated (hi Sue!). I use mine mostly for watching videos, reading books, checking email, instagram and a bit of web browsing. In fact I’m quite lost without it. When my first tablet got stepped on and broken (never buy a cheap chinese tablet!) I felt quite bereft and couldn’t wait to replace it.

My tablet doesn’t have a camera and microphone on it which I didn’t realise when I bought it and was quite gutted about actually. As my family live on the other side of the world, I’m a frequent user of skype and it would be much more convenient to call them from my tablet than it is on my laptop. So the idea of making calls with a tablet – sure, why not? In fact, why aren’t all tablets phones? Why should we have to carry around multiple devices in this day and age when you can put more processing power in your pocket than was used to send man to the moon?

So the Asus Fonepad makes total sense to me. This is a tablet with the functionality of a phone, otherwise known as a phablet – riduculous name, fonepad is much better!

There are already large smart phones available, which are often ridiculed for being too big to use as a phone. But what if you don’t use the phone much anyway like me? I’m much more likely to be doing other stuff on my tablet and making the odd phonecall, rather than the other way around. I carry my tablet everywhere with me anyway and rarely do other stuff on my android phone because the screen is too small.

Watch the video – what do you think?

This post is sponsored by Asus and Intel but all opinions are my own.

A day in the life

Ubud Bali sunriseI’m completely obsessed with day in the life type posts from other bloggers and I’ve been meaning to do one of my own in forever. However I never quite manage to get organised to do the beautiful photo a day type posts that I’ve seen (I would still like to do one of these in the future and already talked about doing a post swap with another blogger so maybe you’ll get one yet).

Anyway as I work from home on random different things and Made sometimes works too, every day is different so there’s no real typical day. Some days I’ll have the kids all day and get no work done. Some days Made takes them both over to his parents and i get loads done (or lately mope around the house missing my children). Some days I have Maya and Made takes Kiran out for a bit, or vice versa. Some days I meet a friend for coffee or we all go out to the beach.

So this is just a random day – nothing special. This was back when my internet was down for most of the day and Made was taking the kids out most afternoons. Times are estimated up until late afternoon when i got the idea of this post and basically got carried away with cataloguing my every waking minute. Sunrise photo is by my dad because I’m never up that early :p

7am – I wake up thanks to my nature sounds alarm clock app. The only reason i’m able to get up at this time is that I forced myself to go to bed at 11pm last night. Anything less than 8 hours sleep and i find it incredibly difficult to crawl out of bed. I would go to bed earlier but as the kids go to bed so late, that would mean zero grown up time in the evening (update: I’ve been enforcing a fairly strict bedtime routine and this is actually improving with them both being asleep by 8.30-9pm now. hurray! I’m going to try and move this back a little every night until I get to a 7.30 bedtime. Fingers crossed!)

Made is out. he can’t sleep past 6am no matter what time he goes to bed. I wish I had his early riser genes.

7.15 -  I’m attempting to shower when Maya starts howling at the door. This is why I can never get up early and get anything done – the kids sense when i’m awake and wake up too.

7.15 -  I put charlie and lola dvd on, close the door to avoid waking sleeping Kiran  and go back in the shower. 2 minutes later I hear kiran wake up too. Doh.

7.30 -  Kids are already in charlie and lola stupor. i normally avoid tv this early but i need to get showered and dressed somehow. I bribe them outside by bribing them with stickers and glue and glitter. Maya wants me to help so i stay and make silver glitter glue hair on an angel and try to stop Kiran from eating pompoms

8 - I pack the craft stuff away, exchanged for paper and pens. Kiran is busy riding his bike. I down a large glass of water and start cooking breakfast. Up until fairly recently i always started my day with coffee and cake but i’m trying to be healthier. I cook eggs and spinach. Kiran screams at me the entire time i try and cook so i eventually bribe him with a game on the kindle fire.

8.30 -  I eat breakfast with Kiran. Maya already ate a jam sandwich (her favourite food) and is going through a picky phase so refuses anything else.  i make hobby horses for the kids out of broomsticks and hand puppets.

9 - I sneak onto my computer but the internet is still down (has been since 2pm yesterday). still i’m knackered already so ask the kids to make me ‘coffee and fruit salad’ with their play food while i grab a real coffee. it keeps them busy for about 5 minutes. i feel particularly in need of sugar so end up having coffee and cake anyway.

10 - The internet is back up (hurray!) Made appears over the garden wall and hands me some bags of shopping. he’s taken to going to the market every morning which he says makes him feel like a housewife, but did i ask to be a breadwinner? no.

Kids are now fighting over the kindle so i bribe them outside again with crisps. house now looks like a bomb has hit it (see photo). I need another coffee. i don’t even attempt to start work as i know i’ll be interrupted every 5 mintues but as i have internet again, i read a few blog posts while i’m consuming more caffeine


11 – Made arrives home with a rooster and asks me for a needle and thread so he can sew up a large gash in its leg. I wish I was joking about this. The kids get an impromptu lesson in vetinary skills.

12 - Kids are busy outside with Made which is my cue to sneak upstairs when they’re not looking. at this time he usually takes them over to the inlaws house for the afternoon and it’s my chance to actually get some work done in peace. they haven’t figured out yet that i’m going upstairs instead of out of the house but as soon as they do, i’m going to have to come up with another plan. they won’t leave if they know i’m still at home.

2pm - been 2 hours and the only ‘work’ i’ve got done is replying to emails and coming up with article ideas. rubbishy stuff that needs to be done but i don’t get paid for it. need to get stuck into writing but i’m starving so will have to break for lunch first. I cook vegetables and tofu (this is making it sound like I eat really healthily but i don’t – I basically eat half vegetables and fruit and half cake and biscuits).

I eat my lunch while replying to messages on airbnb. eat 3 mangosteens for desert.

2.50pm -  I grab a glass of water and head back upstairs to get some work done. I like to move around while i work instead of staying in the same place. plus the chair upstairs is really uncomfortable. but i’m less distracted up there and i can stare out of the window at the rice fields. It’s nearly 3pm and I haven’t written anything yet. Argh. Plus my internet seems to be down again. Probably because it’s raining. Now i can’t decide what to work on first. Desperately resisting the urge to make more coffee

3.12 -  I’ve only been writing 15 minutes and i’m already fed up. 500 words down. I have about a million tabs open on my browser for research and the internet has gone down again. Is it coffee time yet? I get up and stare out of the window a bit while i wait for the internet to work again. It’s stopped raining.

3.18 -  I stop staring out of the window because there’s a guy peeing in the rice field and I don’t want to watch him. i also realised that I left the kids craft projects from this morning drying on the wall and they’re now soaked from the rain. Internet still down. at this point i would normally go do some reading on my kindle so i can still be vaguely productive without internet but i realise the kids have stolen it.

3.21 -  Internet back up – hurray!

3.34 -  It’s blowing a gale out there and i’m freezing – just like being back in the uk!

3.37 Internet down again. Sigh. Too windy? Time for a break I think. Back downstairs.I play some music (I miss music as I can’t concentrate while it’s on when i’m writing) while i tidy up the kids toys. There’s a huge thunderstorm going on outside and it’s so dark i have to put all the lights on.

4pm - I make coffee number 4 (obviously trying to drink less coffee isn’t going quite to plan today) and cross my fingers that internet is up again – it is! Back to work…

4.40 - First draft of article pretty much done (but will need another hour or so of editing before it’s ready to submit). a good thing too as the internet has gone down again :( Read a couple of blog posts I already had open in the browser.

5pm – I need a proper computer break and some fresh air so I walk over to our other house to have a shower (it has hot water!!)

5.50 I’m back, done the dishes from earlier, grabbed an apple and it’s editing time. Internet is still broken but i don’t need it for editing (luckily). all the same i call made to ask him to complain to our internet provider (again)

6.50 - Kids back, work is over!

I didn’t keep track after this but it’s basically kids playing/watching TV/reading to them until they pass out. Then I pass out. I guess I eat dinner at some point. Then wake up and do it all again tomorrow!

Travelling with kids – the world through a child’s eyes

Pretty much everyone who knows me knows that I’m really into travel. In fact it’s quite uncharacteristic of me to stay in one place for so long (even if it is true what my husband says that living in Bali is like being on holiday every day). Of course I’ve had the whole being pregnant and having kids excuse for a while but now they’re getting bigger, I’m starting to daydream about another travelling life – this time with kids in tow.

I’m pretty sure these dreams will stay dreams for the next few years at least (the Balinese frown on travelling far from home, especially not young children) but I’m hoping I might be able to twist Made’s arm into agreeing to a little family holiday in the next couple of years. My brother and I travelled a lot as kids – mostly camping holidays in France, road tripping around Europe and Thomas Cook holidays to somewhere random and sunny – my mother would have the bags packed for weeks not knowing where we were going, just waiting for the right deal to come along. I want the same for my kids.

I think it’s so important to show kids the world outside their front doorstep, no matter where they live. Everyone says how lucky my two are to grow up here and I agree but I’d still like them to see more of the world.

So here is my little wishlist of kid-friendly travel ideas. Maybe we’ll get to some of them one day

Tokyo, Japan


I’ve visited Tokyo several times and I love it so much. I think it would be a million times better with kids – there’s so much for them to do here and I could blame my excessive shopping on buying stuff for the kids when actually it’s for me.

Kerala, India


I never wanted to go to India before I went there. In fact I was kind of dreading it and wondering why on earth I’d put it on my itinerary. I guess it was fate or kismet or the universe telling me I needed to go there because of course I loved it. I only visited the north of India but I’ve heard such amazing things about the south – Kerala in particular. I want my kids to see it too.



Santa lives there. Need I say more?

New Zealand


I had a ticket and a work visa all ready for NZ but I never quite made it there. I still want to go and my dad returned from a month stay there a couple of weeks ago and raved about it. I’d love to hire a camper van and travel along the length of the country with the kids.



Despite my love of  Nordic countries, I somehow never quite made it out to Sweden (and had a disproportionate number of visits to Norway) so maybe I can make it up by going back with my kids. It’s always struck me as a particularly child-friendly country and I love Scandinavian design – the kids clothes in particular are amazing. Yes ok I want to go there to shop.

I don’t know when (if ever) I’ll get on the road with my kids as the idea of travelling with 2 little people sounds kind of daunting. But I’m inspired by my friend Erica’s travels across Indonesia with her daughter (and now son too!). She’s so intrepid – like she just went to Bandung with a newborn and a pre-schooler. Insane! and inspiring. The furthest I’ve ever been with both kids is Candidasa, which is like 40km away….

If you have any location ideas for travelling with kids, please send them my way so I can add to my wishlist :)

Oh also I had photocredits for all of these but then my browser crashed and I lost all my open tabs (with the credit links) so sorry if I’ve stolen your photo – please let me know so I can give you credit!

The Solution to Bali’s Traffic Problem?


Traffic is a huge problem in Bali. In fact, we try to avoid going into Ubud in the car at all during the busiest months of June, July and August because it can take an hour or more to get across town (a couple of kilometres). There have been numerous ideas for a solution to the problem in Ubud such as pedestrianizing roads and creating an out of town car park for the tourist buses, but like most ideas here, they go nowhere.

I have my own transport issues. I’d love to be able to have more independence and get out and about with the kids. I’ve talked before about how I really want to get over my fears of driving a motorbike and just get on with it because it would open up so many opportunities for me. However there’s no getting away from the element of danger when you’re on a motorbike, especially when the kids are involved.

My friend recently moved to Bali and immediately started taking driving lessons. Good on her but I don’t see myself doing the same any time soon. The idea of driving a car terrifies me even more than driving a motorbike. There’s so much more to be aware of plus cars are harder to manouver because of their size and the roads here aren’t exactly built for large vehicles.

So I was actually pretty fascinated to read about this new i-ROAD technology from Toyota, that’s being tested in Japan (of course Japan! everything cool starts there!). It’s basically a kind of eco-friendly cross between a motorbike and a car – it’s easy to handle and takes up less space like a motorbike but offers more protection than a motorbike (and would be much more pleasant to drive in the rain!). I’d feel totally happy about putting Maya or Kiran in the back of one of these without worrying about getting in an accident or them falling asleep and falling off – i’m never quite at ease about them being on the motorbike.

The iROAD is designed for short trips in cities as a kind of alternative to public transport. The idea being that you can drive your car as normal to an out of town car park and then use one of these vehicles for the last part of your journey (some cities have bicycles you can borrow, this is the same concept just with a cute electric futuristic car!)

I think this would work great for Ubud and i could totally see myself driving one, unlike our big car/minivan thing, which i dont’ see myself EVER driving!

Plus the fact that it’s electric means that it’s greener,  so less pollution, less breathing in petrol fumes and no stressing about petrol running out (which it does here, frequently).

What do you think?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Toyota. The opinions and text are all mine.

London Fashion Week (or my secret life as a fashion blogger)


I think most of you would be surprised, based on what you see on this blog, that I am actually a professional fashion blogger. After all, my uniform of jeans, cotton print skirts, t-shirt and flip flops and the fact that I rarely brush my hair don’t exactly scream fashion. I hardly ever buy new clothes (I rely mostly on my dad’s wife aka personal stylist who brings over a huge haul of charity shop finds every time she visits) and i wore my last pair of flip flops for so long that even Made was embarrassed to go out with me (he said they were worse than rice farmer flip flops).

However, I promise it’s true! I do indeed receive payment for blogging at a well-known British fashion site (I can’t say which one as that would ruin my secret identity). While I may not be so into fashion when it comes to myself, I do find blogging about it quite fascinating. I could tell you some interesting facts about Anna Wintour and I know all about the history of London Fashion week.

Actually the more I think about it, I’m more interested in the idea of fashion than actually practicing it. Project runway is one of my favourite programmes and I did actually used to design and sew clothes and screen print t-shirts and sell them on ebay (I remember a skirt i sewed out of a My Little Pony duvet cover being particularly popular).

So London Fashion week is one of those crazy things about fashion that I find really intriguing. I’m not so interested in Topshop’s new collection, more about the crazy and totally impractical outfits that make their way down the catwalk every year. I’m talking about the crazy green monster suits, the collapsible coffee table skirts, and hybrid alien cat head cone things.

Fashion week is twice a year in London and the next one is coming up soon. It’s the sort of thing that makes me wish I’d spent a bit of time living in London, as many of my friends did, before I left the UK. It’s easy to see how you can get swept up in the excitement of such things. Made never got to see London when we went to the UK and now he thinks England is really boring. I’d like to take him to London next time and prove him wrong :p It would be a nice little weekend trip I think – there are plenty of places to stay so we could leave the kids with grandma and grandad and have a child-free couple of days. Ah, wishful thinking….

For now I will continue to entertain myself by being a part-time fashion blogger, watching project runway and reminiscing about my ebay glory days. I’m so cool it hurts…

Photo credit: Swamibu

Mommy-to-Be Essentials Giveaway

As so many bloggers that I follow seem to be on the verge of having another baby at the moment, I thought it was a great time to team up with Yummi Pouch again and offer you this great giveaway with over $700 worth of fab products for babies and new mums.

I’m currently steeling myself against the broodiness that is sure to ensue from seeing all the cute little babies that are about to start appearing here, here, here and here (which is not helped by my husband randomly saying the other night “hey, let’s have another baby!” Um. No.)

Yummi Pouch – Reusable Food Pouches

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yummi pouch reusable food pouches

Yummi Pouch Brights & Minis – Retail Price: $30

Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches encourage healthy snacks for active kids. Our eco-friendly food pouches are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, BPA-free, Phthalate-free, and can be filled with healthy blended snacks and easily taken on-the-go, no spoon required. Our vision is to help moms and dads prepare healthy snacks for their active kids. Yummi Pouches are perfect to be filled with nutritious smoothies and purees prepared in batches, frozen or refrigerated, and easily consumed on-the-go. For more information visit yummipouch.com.

Guava Family

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guava family crib

Lotus Everywhere Crib – Retail Price: $249.95

  • 15 Second set-up, backpack portability, fits as a carry-on, use it EVERYWHERE
  • Breathable ClearView Mesh allows for full airflow and an unobstructed view of the child, even when the side is zipped up. The mesh sides go all the way down to the mattress to create a safe, breathable sleep environment.
  • No PVC, Phthalates, Lead or PBE/PBDE Flame Retardants. ASTM F406-11B approved.
  • 42″ x 24″ mattress, 25″ deep. 11 lbs crib weight.
  • Fun side door makes it much more than a crib…it’s a perfect, fun, comfortable play area for your little one.

For more information visit guavafamily.com.

Willamy Collection

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willamy bracelets

1 Bracelet of winner’s choice with name personalization option – Retail Price: $116

The Willamy Collection features handcrafted, leather wrap bracelets made with genuine leather, quality beads, crystals and stones for women, men and kids. Worn by Hollywood celebs including, Nancy O’Dell (ET), Paige Hemmis (Extreme Makeover, Home Edition), Mary McDonough (The Waltons), Billy Ray Cyrus, Maksum Chmerkovsky (Dancing With The Stars) & Dean Cain! For more information visit willamycollection.com.


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moraki cloth diapers

1 Cloth Diaper of winner’s choice – Retail Price: $27

Moraki offers premium cloth diapers consciously made in the USA. Our true One Size diapers, with 4 rise settings, fit babies 7-40+ lbs. Available in All-In-Two/Pocket, Organic All-In-One, or Stay Dry All-In-One. For more information visit morakicloth.com.

Eco Vessel

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eco vessel insulated sippy cup

Insulated Sippy Cup – Retail Price: $19.95

You and your little one will love this sippy bottle! Easy to drink, easy to hold, easy to clean – and water, milk or juice will stay cold for hours. The Insulated Sippy is made with two layers of vacuum sealed #304 food grade stainless steel – no BPA, no phthalates, no liner. Enjoy!

Our products are developed from safe, sturdy, sustainable materials while offering innovation and practicality. Our complete product line provides options for everyone from toddlers to adults. You can feel secure knowing that our water bottles and food storage containers are made of high quality, non-leaching materials and are designed for your safety, ease of use and convenience. For more information visit ecovessel.com.


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Babiators baby sunglasses giveaway

2 pairs of Regular Collection Babiators – Retail Price: $40

Babiators™ is on a mission. We are in the business of protecting children’s eyes and image with products that can withstand the rough and tumble daily activities of adventuresome young aviators. Babiators sunglasses protect our children’s precious eyes from harmful UV rays with a durable rubber product – without sacrificing style! Babiators is the first brand designed to stand up to the sun, teething, and playground fashionistas – all with a single purchase. We believe in being safe, looking awesome, and having fun – all at the same time! For more information visit babiators.com.

Merle & Velma

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merle and velma pillow giveaway

Personalized Keepsake Pillow – Retail Price: $89

New parents will flip for our double sided personalized pillows! Each pillow measures approximately 16″ x 16″ and is digitally printed with baby’s information with water based inks on organic muslin. For more information visit merleandvelma.com.

  • Printed on off-white organic cotton muslin
  • Double sided
  • Measures 16″ x 16″
  • Personalized using water based dyes
  • Made in USA
  • Please don’t place in baby’s crib. They are meant for display pieces only.

Posh Play

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Posh Play mat giveaway

1 Posh Play Mat in Orange, Turquoise, Grapefruit, or Eggplant – Retail Price: $98

Posh Play mats are Eco-friendly, reversible play mats made of PVC free faux leather. Indoor/Outdoor use. Portable. Wipeable. Great as a play mat, splat mat, picnic or field blanket. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Measures 50″ x 45″. For more information visit poshplaymat.com.


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Posh Play mat giveaway

Hulabye Diaper Changing Helper – Retail Price: $36

The Hulabye Diaper Changing Helper keeps little ones in place while mom and dad do the dirty work. The safe, gentle vest design prevents rolling and flipping making diaper changes quick & easy!

Choose from 4 cute and contemporary prints made of soft, breathable 100% cotton flannel. The comfy fabric vest adjusts as your baby grows, so one size fits all. Made in the USA of imported fabrics, the Happy Changer™ is machine washable/dryable…and as you’ll soon discover, indispensable. For more information visit hulabye.com.

Mama B’s Sweet Peas

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Mama B's Sweet Peas giveaway

1 Sterling Silver Sweet Pea Pendant, with 1-5 “peas” in the pod - Retail Price: $33
Personalize your colors based upon your child/children’s birth stone colors, or the birth months of the whole family. See color options.

Mama B’s Sweet Peas — a unique “twist” on Mothers’ Jewelry — think peas in a pod! Every hand-crafted Sweet Pea is made unique for each Mama, so no two are just alike. Mama B’s Sweet Peas is owned by North Carolina artist and work-at-home-mother to (soon to be) three babies, Stevie Ballinger. For more information visit mamabssweetpeas.com.

Enter to win this Fabulous Gift Set! Retail value: $739

Mommy-to-Be Essentials Giveaway brands

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Our Christmas

IMG_1304 IMG_1310 IMG_1339 IMG_1372 IMG_1392 IMG_1398 IMG_1404 IMG_1410

So another year is done and dusted – can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow! I had plans to tie up all my leftover work projects before the end of the year and do some planning so I could start the new year afresh but the universe seems to have other ideas. Several days have gone by where i’ve not been able to get anything done for various reasons and then tonight i was just settling down to a computer session when Maya ran, slipped and split her head open. So instead we had an evening trip to the hospital! (She’s fine, but had 2 stitches.)

Anyway, sharing our photos from Christmas. We had a lovely day and were lucky to have my dad and his wife out here again. I stuck to my guns and just bought the kids one present this year (it was going to be a play kitchen but I couldn’t find an affordable one and ended up getting them a second-hand work bench instead) plus a couple of books and (very) small stocking fillers. However they were spoiled to bits anyway due to the stream of visitors we’ve had, all of whom brought presents. Having said that, it was mostly jigsaws and books :) We had a lot of Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank Engine under the tree this year!

I had way too much fun buying stocking fillers on Christmas Eve and it was so much fun watching them open them. To be honest, we could have really stopped there (or xmas eve with the new pyjamas as maya was adamant that santa had already been) and passed on the second (when grandad and sue came over to watch present unwrapping) and third wave (at lunchtime with their cousins).

Made cooked lunch which we just kept Indonesian and simple (but yummy). I made sangria and the weather turned out gorgeous after days of rain. A good time was had by all.

Oh and I just have to share our Christmas photo fail in which everyone is miserable except me! (you can see previous years here)


‘Twas the night before Christmas…

IMG_1234 IMG_1254-0012013-12-24IMG_1276-001IMG_1274-001IMG_1263-001IMG_1291The presents are wrapped, the stockings are extremely stuffed, sangria is chilling in the fridge (forget the mulled wine, sangria is much more appropriate here!) and two very excited little kiddies are fast asleep in their new jammies. Things have been a bit quiet lately on the blog front (I have several posts queued up but never seem to find the time to do them in between work and spending time with my family who are visiting). Anyway i thought i’d just pop in to wish you all a happy Christmas and share a few photos of our Christmas Eve.

Judging from the weather the last couple of days, we’re in for a very wet Christmas but I’m sure we’ll have fun anyway. hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you have a peaceful and happy day. I’m signing out until the new year – see you on the other side!

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