Celebrating our second birthday in style (& a special offer!)

We are TWO!  And with a little business, you need to take whatever milestone you make and celebrate the heck out of it – which in our case involved a picnic party with 6 kids in tow, champagne, the odd mishap … Continue reading

Christmas Gift Guide Kids 3-5 Years

Here’s a rather delayed but still time to order gift guide for 3 – 5 year olds. We have a few in this age group and it’s fair to say it’s a temperamental age but we have some pretty solid gift ideas that can help you out of a pickle.

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Flatout Frankie.
These guys get kids and have obviously not forgotten the power and wonder of a childs imagination. so easy and fun and I love that it encourages children to create the game rather than be fed it. We also have their latest offerings, the stack up dolls. my 3 year old gave them a crack this morning and adored them…

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Flatout Frankie Little unicorn head $29.50, Little racer $49.50, Stack up dolls $23.00 & Little roar head $29.50.

Kids in this age group are awesome learners, growers and love to puzzle things out.  It’s a great time to get them interested in words and writing and puzzles are always a huge hit,  Educational games by Little Tyro have been created by a lovely Melbourn teacher & Mum.  She has created games that are bright and interactive and give kids a fun way to develop their skills.

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Help support the correct formation and directional flow of letters with Little Tyro Pre writing patterning cards $19.95. Teach your child numbers with Number bingo $22.95. Teach months, dates, weather, counting, sequencing and number recognition with My learning calendar $20.95 and Use the playful Magnetic ‘Big Top Circus’ $19.95 Activity is a fun and creative learning tool that promotes confidence in Speaking and Listening.

A lovely stocking filler is the Tiger tribe inflatable globe. only $9.95 and sure to appeal to both the curious and the rambunctious.

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Glottogon Puzzles and games are perfect for keeping the kids happy while on holiday!

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Glottogon Ballerina people puzzle $24.95, Pets Domino $27.50, Robot people puzzle $24.95, Vrrooom Memory match $24.95, Knights & Dragons alphabet cards $29.95.

Another great brand that keeps the kids busy is Tiger Tribe, with colouring packs and games, all beautifully designed with gorgeous colours and excellent quality.

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Sevi is a brand established in Italy, they have been creating wonderful hand made wooden toys since 1831.  These gifts will last a life time and there is something special in giving a wooden toy, they seem to get better with age.  Great interactive toys like the construction airplane are sure to be a hit, The puzzle clock makes learning fun and the flute…  well, that might be for nephews and nieces. and despite the noise, they are always loved by little ones.

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Sevi Construction kit airplane $59.95, Puzzle clock $74.95 , Wooden flute $24.95.

And for those little ones obsessed with fire engines, it’s hard to go past the Snurk duvet covers.  Beautiful cotton with fabulous crisp images of a Fireman $159.95, Astronaut $159.95 and a Trampoline now only $75 for those willing to take on the challenge.

And for the more romantic… Haveli not only create stunning summer cotton hand printed clothing, they have a gorgeous line of linen. Starting at $48.00

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We still have time to get your orders to you before Christmas so order quick.  We also offer express post to get it with you in a few days time!  Happy Shopping!

 

And the little one said is a boutique online website that offers beautiful, stylish and quality made children’s clothing, accessories, toys & home decor.  Mainly smaller Australian and New Zealand designers and stockists – all carefully handpicked by us.  Because everyone needs a little style.

A geriatric mother

I had my third bub at the tender age of 43 and now a month off 45 (when did that creep up on me??) I find myself with an extremely active and rambunctious 15 month old little boy running around.  There is a fair bit of “Oh God I’m too old for this!” going on at the moment.

I know I am not the only one.  Of my Mums group with my first child (I was 36 so well above the national average of 29) I fitted somewhere in the middle age wise, and I wasn’t the only one to have a late third.  Some of the Mums I know at school are also well and truly in my age bracket, which is extremely comforting, although I fear by the time my third reaches school I am going to be found out a bit.  Those damn wrinkles.

Loved the medical practice’s attitude towards us oldies.  It’s bad enough that they put the frighteners on with horrible stats around miscarriage, high risk of twins (didn’t know that one!) and numerous chromosomal abnormalities, but to add insult to injury, I was called either a ‘geriatric mother’ or of ‘advanced maternal age’ on all the various forms.  Lovely.  Lots of extra tests are encouraged as you can imagine and it’s all quite a trial.  Makes you feel somewhat in the bad books for having the cheek to have a baby at such an ‘advanced’ age!  Sigh.  It’s not like we need reminding but thanks anyway.

So with my great age, must come wisdom (surely!?) so I thought i’d put together a short list outlining my experiences of being a, God forbid, ‘geriatric mother’.  Let me tell you third time around helps too ; )

Good news:

  • I soooo don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses.
  • I don’t have to worry about wearing any kind of short skirt or skimpy outfit – think mutton dressed as a lamb.  Comfortable (and dare I say somewhat daggy) is just fine by me.
  • Been there, done that.  Kinda of know what to expect third time around.
  • Poop, vomit, mess, general yuckiness does not throw me in the least.
  • There’s no panic if junior doesn’t eat what he’s given.  They’ll eventually eat, promise.
  • Organic?  Sorry, all to hard.  Whatever is in the fridge is just fine.
  • No such thing as a schedule.  He’ll just have to fit in.

Bad news:

  • The knees, hips, shoulders and back hurts where it shouldn’t.
  • Harder to bend down to pick up the numerous toys, containers, pots, pens, remotes etc, etc that get randomly thrown about.
  • COMPLETELY over going to the park.
  • I’m going to look ridiculous at the beach, park, school grounds wherever at 55 trying to play ball with my 10 year old.
  • I fit in at the school ok now, but when Mr 1 year old goes to school at 5 and a bit I am going to look (and lets be fair, I will actually be) ancient.
  • The kids have no appreciation at all for 80’s music and I don’t know any other kind.
  • Despite my general laziness to make any effort to ‘look the part’ I do in fact feel quite bad sometimes that I could do better (that particular term has been written on my report cards from school for as long as I can remember – that’s probably saying something).

Here’s an article in Scary Mommy on being an older Mum.  She’s got it pegged.

And the little one said is a boutique online children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor site run by two sisters with lots of kids between them and a love of all things beautiful.

 

Expecting? here’s what should be in your bag.

Being prepared is recommended, let’s just say I learnt on the job…

Baby 1.  Bag packed with candles, programmed ipod, pillows and pretty tops. … all of which were thrown at my husband during labour… Along with a heck of a lot of expletives and whatever else was in reach.

Baby 2.  Bag packed with baby clothes and a pair of my husbands underwear. that was IT (??) actually, mens briefs are surprisingly comfortable post baby.

Baby 3.  Bag packed with something like the following.  phew.

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1. Baby clothes. Generally you need a few options with a wee beenie to keep your little one snug. soft organic cottons are perfect like Wilson & Frencys suits and Nurtured by Nature. Beautiful greys are great when you aren’t sure what you are having, although if you do, the gorgeous Fox & Finch is soft and stunning.

2. Baby wraps.  The hospital generally provides everything, but it’s nice to have a good wrap from home you can snuggle them in, and learn the wrapping technique with it too, otherwise it never works like the nurse said. Love Henry wraps are flannelette and just divine.  perfectly snug for winter and so soft.

3. Woolen blanket.  This will only be used for your trip home, but make it merino and soft, super light and warm, We love Babu

4. Baby bags like Bella Buttercup’s are a Godsend, even from day one.  Have the wipes, bum cream, hand disinfectant and newborn nappies all packed and ready to go inside this brilliant bag, it will become as essential as your handbag.

5. Bathrobe. Because there is a chance you can look civilised if you wrap this around your tired self when fetching toast or meeting visitors, and slippers I think are mandatory, or should be.  I’m pretty sure bare feet in hospitals is a bad idea.  Also, feet get really cold (throw in some socks)

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6. Some lovely stretchy breathable cotton PJs with a breastfeeding friendly top. It’s nice to look nice.  I found these here.

7. Big cotton knickers, probably in a 5 pack, any colour so long as they are black.  Don’t get attached, throw them as soon as you get home (please do, I think I still have a pair in my drawer, hideous)

8. Toilet bag with….. are you ready? On top of your standard tooth brush, hairbrush shampoo and makeup get up, you should take these!

-Panadol (it’s all you are allowed, sob)

-Ural – If you had a vaginal birth and were torn to buggery you will appreciate this,

-Lansinoh cream – Keep applying, I’m pretty sure it made no difference but it gave me hope.  More importantly, it was hands down the best lip balm I have used,

-Earplugs.  If you have to share a room, they can be very handy.

-Nail file.  Snaggy nails and babies don’t mix

-Hairbands & clips.  A stray hair would drive me insane… oh wait, that was labour, everything drove me insane

-Pads for all the leaky bits.

9. Something for the kids.  We had siblings that were keen as beans and a little freaked out.  They need a little treat and some attention, I like Seedling because it gives you a chance to sit down and create something (with everything provided)  and not just spend all the time talking about the baby that has just invaded their lives. They need to feel special too.

10. Note book and pen.  you will be constantly asked to sign stuff, and you will need to make notes, an old supermarket and a crayon just wont cut it this time.

11. A smart phone for all the important stuff… Alert the world the most precious little baby has been born, call your Mum, google “is it normal to want to kill my hisband during birth”,  last minute name ideas, watch dirty dancing on youtube when you are feeding for hours from 3am and to take that precious photo that will become the perfect screensaver.

12. a Camera, a good one. Because Goddamnit they grow up quick, you want to remember it all.

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Supermarket Love

There’s a new Supermarket opening up in Double Bay, it is bigger, better, shinier horraayyyy.

Supermarket shopping is a necessity, and generally I don’t mind it, It still counts as shopping and no one is stopping me from throwing in a giant block of chocolate…. or Stilton. But I always have kids with me and when I do it, I want to do it once. tick. DONE.

This blog however is about what Supermarkets lack.  I have lived in a few places over the years and have come up with this:

10 Tips to a better Supermarket

1. Coffee. Most of the NZ Supermarkets have a barista willing to make you a flat white as soon as you get through the doors and as we all know, everyone functions better with a coffee – ideally run by some clever independent coffee shop – with exceptional coffee.

2. Coffee Cup holder. Yep Essential, coffee drinking is almost impossible otherwise and I don’t know why they aren’t everywhere. grr

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3. Free kids rolls.  A long time ago, the supermarket used to have a big bin of fresh baked white rolls.  you were allowed to take one per kid – free – to keep them and you sane for the first half of your shopping trip.  A little good-will went a long way I can tell you.

4. Better range.  I have found that the big Australian supermarkets aren’t as supportive as you would think! Sure, they supply Australian made, but only the companies big enough to buy a spot.  Where is the small local jam company?, where is the small fresh pasta company? where are the beautiful cuts of organic meat? and where the hell is all the coffee?  The selection is rubbish! I want beans that were roasted locally in the last week, not something mass produced from Italy that’s probably been there for months. Fire the procurement team and make each store responsible for supporting the community. Jeez.

Great to see the new store in Double Bay has a big Kosher section, nice to see someone is thinking of their customers.

5. Cheese Room.  enough said

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6. Fresh Squeezed Juice.  At Moore Wilsons from my home town, you walk in and the smells are insane.  all that fresh produce and deli meats and coffee and … fresh squeezed orange juice.  A lovely man spends all day at the juice squeezy section filling various sized bottles and you can pick up yours on the way past… squeezed a second ago!  mmmmm

Heck, you can pop it into your cup holder .

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7. Authentic Patisserie/ boulangerie.  (This is my list after all)

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8. alcohol.  I know there is always a liquor store close by with the supermarkets here, but there is something rather wonderful about not having to pay twice, or drag your children through a bottle store without feeling like I will be reported. I want to be able to partner a wine with the meal I just chose. I want to shop once, and once a week, and do it well.

9. Bulk Bins.  nuts and almond meal and dried fruit galore.  I want it extensive, I want it well stocked and I want it for what it is… bulk purchase prices.

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10. More checkout people.  there are usually 8 isles and only two people on them.  WHY! don’t you know how many kinder surprises will be opened if my child needs to be here any longer! Honestly, Next time they take one, I’m going to say it was out of my control and refuse to pay.  I’m not taking their impulse purchase palava sitting down.

What would improve your weekly shop?

The day was looking good.

So This post should have been filled with lovely photos of our trip but we did get rather distracted so apologies in advance.

Heading off for our weekend at Millthorpe markets, it was nice and early (having retrieved coffee). We should have probably checked our sources earlier as the apparent 5 hour journey to Orange is actually only 3. This brightened us right up.  I had started to recover from the horrible virus the girls had had over the week and having popped a few cold pills, berocca and coffee… the day was looking good.

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I should probably point out.  My sister and I, although similar in many ways, are pretty different,  Toni, being the older organised one brought a bag of goodies for the trip, including disinfectant wipes, grapes, apples, slice, muesli bars, Easter eggs, handy towels, berocca… etc.  I brought a packet of chewy fresh mints.  Together we make one heck of a combination.  Sometimes it’s startling how classicly we fall into the birth order steryotypes.  I couldn’t wait for a roadie.

We were very excited to arrive in Orange, In Toni’s last post she had highlighted a few places to go and we headed directly to The White Place.  We had a wee sigh as we walked in, every room has a new array of beautiful things.  Purchases were made, a lot less than we would have liked, and I walked away with a shiny new bracelet that my husband thinks looks like an old curtain toggle.  To be fair it does.

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We went to a lovely wine bar then had a wee rest at the hotel.  When we realised the only thing decent to watch on telly was Scooby Doo, we headed out for dinner.  I think this is when things could have gone seriously wrong had a family, or indeed just a husband have been brought along.

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We got into the car having both expected the other to have brought the food guide.  I ran back to the hotel room, retrieved it and started again, we drove around various streets, mainly because Toni loved the pretty houses, we went down streets because of the pretty trees, we followed a dog a little so it didn’t go onto the road, we did several 360’s on roundabouts, we drove past the restaurant we had already called but was fully booked just to have a looksie and when we eventually found our restaurant (or two in close proximity) we looked for a park, only to see that our hotel was a few meters away so we parked back in our hotel and walked to dinner.  I’m pretty sure both husbands would have opted to walk home to Sydney rather than have endured that.

 

The Millthorpe Markets is quite the event, twice a year, the little town of 650 explodes into several thousand, the que for the stall holders started lining up at 4 am and the market opened at 8.30.

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Obviously we were novices, I thought we were rather speedy with our tent erecting but by the time we had sorted our cords the neighbours had pretty much set up shop.  Our stall required a fair amount of improvisation and neither Toni nor myself are born sales people (which is largely why the online site had so much appeal) so we needed to work on our banter.  In the end we talked about our dodgy stand and how awesome everyone else’s stalls were… possibly we still need to work on that.

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We meet some lovely people though, it’s great to discuss the products, find out what people are looking for and it was always so encouraging to get lots of positive feedback. The Petit De Nimes Red Riding Cape was quite the hit, it’s hard to pass such an adorable wee jacket.  We also had the Petit De Nimes Boys Jacket which is such a smart look and perfect for kids as it isn’t too heavy with the warmth of wool.  Loving the check lining!

PDN Jackets

Little Tyro was also very big at the markets.  I don’t think we showcase Little Tyros talents enough.  This very clever Teacher from Melbourne with kids of her own has set up a range that is Perfect for early learners.  We had many discussions with Mums that found their kids were entering into school without being taught basic pen techniques and headed straight for the patterning book. It is perfect for familiarising preschool children with grip, direction and control.  There are bright shape cards for feeding string through for hand eye coordination and shape play, and creative games to encourage imaginative play, comprehension and problem solving. These were even being bought as Easter gifts. they are so bright and fun, it’s nice to have something new for children to play with that helps them grow too.  We appear to have nearly sold out but we will be placing another order so let us know if you need anything soon.

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Wilson and Frenchy has always been a favourite of ours and it seems we aren’t alone, how can you pass such cute wee designs.  I love these navy striped pants too.

WFW09 ECRU WITH RACCOON  WFW13 SOFT PINK WITH BIRD APPLIQUE  WFW16 MINI BLUE STRIPE

 

We also had the chance to show off the beautiful Fox and Finch Navy party dress.  I possibly love this dress more than is normal, but it is a fruitless fancy as my youngest is nearly 3 and the sizes stop at 2.  (insert very glum face indeed)  We did squeeze her in for a photo, but she was so busy spinning we didn’t exactly nail it with the photo shoot.

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Other highlights…The weather held out wonderfully, I must have put my cardigan on and taken it off 50 times, but rain … it did not. Some beautiful stalls were at the markets, Toni got some ‘Borne in Bathurst’ relish and I bought some shoes, I spotted a company I have been following for sometime on Facebook – Olive and Clover (who I borrowed the image from) .  Some beautiful lost and found trinkets and a lovely old ladder I wasn’t allowed to strap to the roof of the car.  The pizza was devine and there were some wonderful capable kids collecting litter, organising stall holder lunch orders, selling tickets and drinks and generally being outstanding little citizens which must contribute to such a stellar market for Millthorpe Primary School.  The Marshalls also deserve a mention as it was a rather epic task arranging that many stalls and their cars from 5am with a great big smile and a fair amount of banter.  Superb.

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My sister and I sang equally poorly all the way home stopping only to coo over the new lambs ( and puzzle over the time of the year) Then home in time to see a few little rascals fighting sleep and a rather clever husband that had managed to tidy the house and have all 3 children happy and intact.

 

We will definitely be back in December and we will take what we have learnt to help bring you more beautiful creative products at andthelittleonesaid.com.au

 

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off on a trip we go!

We’re off to our first market this weekend – woohoo! Partly to try out how And the little one said will fare in a market setting and partly (probably leaning towards this one more…) because we wanted to get away for the weekend on our own!  Read sans family!  Two girls, Thelma and Louise style.  Yay!

My sister and I are realizing that running a business from home with little kids around us all day is actually not that easy!  So any excuse to run away is grabbed with both hands!  It is business of course, but hopefully we can squeeze in some leisure time.  Five hours in a car not having to listen to the Lion King DVD, constant requests for food, or fighting over some random toy sounds like bliss to me!  I’m actually even looking forward to the long drive through the Blue Mountains and lovely Australian countryside to get to the market.

Hubbies are on duty for the weekend and we’re trying to figure out ways and means to leave as early as we can – surely we can leave Friday night instead of Saturday morning can’t we??

We’re heading to Orange – some 5 hours west of Sydney. We’ve been told there are some lovely shops to browse through and some wineries and wine bars to visit. These are on our list The White Place, The Union Bank Wine Bar, A Slice of Orange, the Belgravia Vineyard and i’m sure there are a lot more!

Sadly, we need to be at the market from 5am on Sunday morning, so not sure that the wine bars will be visited for long (or maybe we just pay for it later?)

If you’re over that way, come and see us at the Millthorpe Markets near Orange. Very excited!

P.S. Please don’t rain!

 

And the little one said – Offers beautifully made, quality children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home décor. Please come visit us to check it out.

 

To be prepared

I don’t know about you lot but I struggle a little with planning, especiallyif we have been invited somewhere. I find it quite the achievement to herd all 3 cats kids in the car, let alone have them looking presentable with snacks, books and shoes. I run through the house turning off lights, throwing another load on and apply some lippy (I never actually apply lippy, I’m not even sure why I wrote that, I occassionally apply blistex but I don’t think that counts) so it is usually 5 minutes into our journey that I realise I haven’t brought a gift. We are inevitably running late and so we turn up with a tribe of hungry crazed children and not a crumb between us.  It’s not cool.

We have also just returned from a visit to NZ staying with and visiting family and friends.  Each requiring some sort of acknowledgement and only half actually receiving one.

I worry over what to give them, I worry that it’s not perfect and then I realise it’s too late, there’s no time and they have to make do with a packet of Tim Tams from the service station.

The thing is I don’t prepare, I don’t stash away… and it is a serious failing of mine that I plan to rectify.

During our clearance sale I met such lovely women, many of whom are just brilliant shoppers, they buy for next season, they pre-empt the next birthday parties, babies are always being born and they will always put away for Christmas.  It’s clever.  The time and frustration and money spent on last minute shopping needs to become a thing of the past.

So here are some excellent deals from our site and some ideas from around the web that might help you join me on my crusade (if you aren’t already an awesome stasher), they don’t have to be expensive to be winners and in the long run the money and time saved is huge.

For those expecting

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Nibbly Bits Abacus Necklace, fashion and function combined; the sweet little Bird Tee now only $12.50, Bella Buttercup Baby Bundles -just because we are changing bottoms, it shouldn’t mean you can’t do it in style; delicate wee organic cotton romper by Nurtured by Nature, and their beautiful organic cotton Snuggle Suit (in white to be safe) – half price! And finally the gorgeous Sevi Pull along Zebra that will be treasured for many years to come.

Hosts gift

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Samba seasoning from The Spice Peddler, beautiful spices, peppers, chillies and rubs for your friends who love to cook; a big bunch of flowers from the local grocer is always solid, I’m a sucker for Peonies, and a little home made lemon and ginger which I found at Jillee.

Childs 267th birthday party of the year to attend

Obviously ages and sex will vary but here’s a bit of a head start.  You could also try making your own princess/super hero capes (I made my girls out of rather nasty pink velour with white fluffy trim, they love it).   Try this lovely site, I also recommend Atlas’s, because come on, who didn’t love those as a kid. Try this.

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6 in a row Pretty in Pink, Alphabet Soup Off Limits Tee, Little Tyro Magnetic Cuckoo Clock, Sevi Pull Along Cow, Flatout Frankie Little Roar Head, Playon Crayons, Seedling Good things for Busy People, Dan300 Nanas softie and Lindi Kingi Baby pink bracelet.

Congratulations on your new home/renovation!

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For a while there we found ourselves giving lemon trees to everyone we knew for house warming gifts… I suspect it had something to do with gin, there is something nice about a living gift though… Unles of course the renovation included an uber expensive landscape architect.

Gift hampers filled with practical things is always appreciated so stock up on lovely hand soaps other fancy smellies, throw together with herbs/tea towels or perhaps a big box of cakes and pies… cakes and pies mmm.  Finally, as every move is tough work, a beer or cider will inevitably be required and it may as well be handy, so I have included these nifty silver magnetic bottle openers for the fridge. I just quietly want one of these and so much classier than this … No.  Just… No.