For The Love Of Shortbread

As a shortbread lover I couldn’t help but notice the Bonniebix van arrive in our street a few months ago. One day I started chatting to owner and warmed to her immediately. Cara is bubbly, friendly and honest. She explained how the market stall she was meant to be attending had fallen through and she had rather a lot of cookies that needed shifting.  She offered to give me some to review on my blog and distribute as I wished. I was attending Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea with a few mummy bloggers and some friends a few days later so we arranged for me to take some along for them to sample. Some people donated money in exchange for the cookies which meant a little more money in the charity pot thanks to the cookies.

I suddenly felt concerned. What if they look good but taste grim (as is so often the case with novelty confectionary and cakes)? Many times I’ve attended functions or birthday parties and been impressed with the look of the cake for example only to be disappointed that the contents are dry and tasteless. I’m probably in the middle when it comes to how healthy my children are, I certainly don’t encourage them to eat too many sugary cakes and cookies however for  parties and occasional treats I’m ok with it.

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4 Adults, 7 Children, 1 iPhone 6..What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Review Of The Tech21 Evo Xplorer iPhone 6/6s Case And Your Chance To WIN One

Mobile Phones – Victims of Abuse?

How many of us have been the perpetrators of terrible crimes resulting in dead or damaged mobile phones? Desperate (and often futile) attempts to revive them by drying them in tubs of rice or blow-drying them with a hair dryer? Or if we are able to resuscitate them, left using a battered and broken phone – no longer the glamorous hi-tech item we were once so proud of.

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From Butterflies To Batman, Frozen To Flowers – Anna Banana Is Not Phased

Recently I’ve been thinking about the avenues my blog could potentially go down and one area that interests me is reviews. I’m a stickler when it comes to good customer service. It astounds me daily how many businesses out there operate appallingly, without a care in the world for the customer/consumer experience. I believe when you pay for anything you deserve to, at the very least- get what you paid for. If it’s done well you walk away happy, sometimes delighted. It sounds so obvious to say ‘and if you are happy you will return and refer’ – yet so many businesses just don’t get this.

This week I happened to see a request for a local blogger to do a review on one of the Mums Facebook pages I’m a member of. I immediately held my hand up.

The business is called Face Painting With Anna Banana and is run by a lady (not surprisingly) called Anna Brown.

Anna asked me to write a review for her, offering to paint my children’s and a few of their friends faces in return.

With two girls myself (19 months and 3 years old), I’m aware that the usual picnic at the playground with a bunch of my mates, ‘aint gonna’ cut it for their birthday parties much longer. As they grow, so too will their expectations. I will need to arrange activities and entertainment. Therefore, I was personally interested in the service Anna provided and if it would be something I’d consider for my girls in the future.

I’ve been to a couple of parties where face painting has been available. Unfortunately my 3 year old has always been too shy to let them anywhere near her. I explained this to Anna, challenging her to succeed where others have failed – she didn’t seem phased.

We chatted on the Tuesday and had arranged the gathering for that Friday morning.

Our correspondence was via email and I found her quick to respond, friendly and efficient. It was easy.

When she arrived, laden with a table and various cases, it started to rain. She took this in her stride, happy to set up her table and paints outside, prepared to move them if the rain persisted. Eventually the rain stopped.

Whilst Anna is chatty and friendly and fitted in very well with my friends, she didn’t get distracted from what she was doing. She understood the importance of ensuring that every child that wanted their face painted had it done. She understands how to interact with children. Her relaxed and calm approach seemed to work as all the children took their turn to get their face painted into their chosen picture. I couldn’t believe it when my daughter requested to go second.

As someone who can’t draw for toffee, I’m always in awe of artists. Watching how easily and beautifully she fulfilled each child’s individual request was incredible.

A unicorn, a rainbow, batman, a butterfly, a flower, Frozen….it didn’t matter what they threw at her she delivered.

My youngest daughter (19 months old) demanded to have her face done too. Unfortunately she kept rubbing it off with her hand whilst Anna was doing it. Anna laughed, grabbed a wipe and started again…..not phased!

At the end we rounded the kids up to try to get a group photo. You can imagine how tricky this was with a group of 8 children under the age of 3.

Anna casually started to sing and act some songs out which got the children’s attention and even some of them joining in. She did this naturally and wasn’t in their faces or over the top. With Anna’s help we managed to get them sitting down for a few minutes to take the picture.

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To Sum Anna Up I would Say

‘Anna is talented, professional, friendly, relaxed and DOESN’T GET PHASED! (I wonder what it would take to get her stressed?) The fact that she has many years’ experience working with children, as well as being a mum herself, shines through by the way she interacts with them in an approachable and non-patronising manner.  I would have no hesitation recommending her and her services to anyone’

A Bit About Anna

AnnaAnna Banana originally hails from Wales but is now a fully-fledged Aussie having lived here in Sydney for 14 years. Her experience ranges from being a dancer on television and stage, a dance teacher for children and adults and a children’s entertainer. She has over 20 years’ experience working with children, which includes children who have learning, behavioural and physical disabilities.

During her time teaching young children dance for Bubstep (her dance company), she picked up her brushes and began face painting to help promote the dance classes. The obsession began. Anna has now found a new passion that combines her love of working with children and expressing her artistic creativity.

She also offers pregnant belly painting and has hopes of becoming an FX make-up artist one day.

All products she uses are non-toxic professional paints.

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Rates:

1 hour $100

1.5 hours $150

2 hours $200

2.5 hours $250

3 hours $300

(On average Anna paints 10-12 faces an hour, dependent on the design requests. 20 children requires a minimum of 2.5 hours to ensure everyone gets their design choice)

To Contact Anna:

Facebook

Mobile: 0405585290

*I am not connected to Anna in any way and until this day had never met her.