Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sydney Pregnancy, Babies, and Childrens Expo: A Veterans Rundown

It's pretty common knowledge that I loves me a good expo. And my visit in May to the Pregnancy, Babies, and Children's Expo was no exception.

Like the veteran that I am, I turned up on the last day. That's when all the savings are see? Stall holders want to take home as little stock as possible, and the more that they can move, the more likely it is that the stall will pay for itself and make a profit. So it's their last chance to grab you.

For some reason, the last day always tends to have the least crowds too, go figure. And only rookies leave the kids at home for Expo days. There is so much for them to do, for FREE, it can be notched down as a day out for the kids, instead of a day out for Mum, leaving you free to negotiate for another Mum geared activity.

Some of my favourite family friendly features from this years visit:

  • Free water coolers scattered throughout, that were kept consistently topped up
  • Change facilities that came equipped with a midwife doing weigh in's for bub, and free nappy and wipes to use along with fabulous Valco gliders to rock in while feeding
  • Constant stream of stage entertainment for kids, including an Elmo and Cookie Monster show, with a meet and greet afterwards
  • Free facepainting for me kids at the Life Plan stand

My bargain picks for the day:

  • All Mothercare display stock half price. That's a damn good price for a brand new quality cot
  • Handbag/Baby bag organiser insert for $1.95, except hello! On closer inspection it's free if you sign up to the  TMC Newsletter (more on them below)
  • Toosh Coosh seats down from $49.95 to $30. Come to me my sweet, I have to cheer when an item on my shop list for the day ends up being one of the biggest bargains.

Most interesting items of the day go to:

  • Unimom Mini Urinal, selling for $20  (half the RRP). We stopped and admired it for a quite a while, but having at LEAST 18 months before I need to start worrying about toilet training Sebastian I let this one go.
  • The Cutesy baby spoon/bottle combo thing. A squeezy bottle with a spoon at the end, I was intrigued by the demonstration of this product too
  • Simply stunning Grotime cot. I'll sleep in this baby myself. Seriously. With sparkly big studs decorating the end, this cot converts from a bassinet level cot, to a toddler level cot, day bed, toddler bed, or FULL SIZE SINGLE BED! The matching change table can convert to a set of drawers too. I didn't catch the expo price unfortunately, I assumed it would show up in the photo - fail.

The Ticked Mummy Club get an extra special mention from me - I stopped because of the bargain handbag inserts and ended up chatting. Registering with them got me a "Savvy Pink Card", essentially a loyalty card that will net me discounts and savings from various businesses, both online and in real life. Closer inspection shows me that I have bought from some of these businesses in the past, so I'm sure this free loyalty card will earn its place in my wallet. A visit to their website has opened up a new new mummy community to me, with new and second hand goods for sale, an interesting blog with lots of cheap and free activities for kids, as well as a "sage and frugal tips" section - my kind of site. These ladies were keen and excited to have a chat with me, and I don't hesitate to give their site a big thumbs up.

Next special mention goes to an old work colleague Jo Turner. I went to the Expo this year with only 3 things on my list: A Toosh Coosh seat, a sleeping bag for Sebastian, and special fancy shmancy sandwich cutters so I can make some of the cool lunches I see over at Little Bento blog. Imagine my surprise when I saw an old friend manning the Toosh Coosh stand. Jo and I go way back, she is one of the women I most admired at the big financial company I still work for. When I first became a manager I worked a fair bit with her, and she is one of the women that I looked up to. I knew she had moved on a few years ago, but I never made the connection that the women behind the scenes at Toosh Coosh and Mealtimes without Mayhem book was Jo! Even though I had liked her Facebook page and entered many competitions for her products. Listening to her talk about the progress her business has made since leaving the finance industry makes me admire her all the more.

And finally, the real reason I turn up faithfully at these Expo's. The freebies. It's not a real Expo if you don't go home laden with freebies. And this Expo was no disappointment. Yay for freebies.

What's your favourite kind of Expo? Baby? Home and garden? Or maybe you are a foodie and love a good Food Expo.

**Not Sponsored** PBCE is also on in many other states. 

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