Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lesson not learnt!

This happened yesterday ...

It seems I still haven't learnt to keep my moisturiser safe from little hands.
Some of you who have been following me for a while may remember this from last year ....

And yes in both photos my kids choose their own clothes!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A little Halloween Pumpkin Craft

We've made a little Halloween craft. It's the first crafting activity Jasmin has done without constant supervision and help. Although when we added the faces today she did try to lick the glue of the card!

You'll need:
small paper plates
orange paper
black card
brown card
green pipe cleaner

Molly helped me tear up the orange paper into 1-2cm pieces and then it was gluing time. I choose small paper plates for the girls to make it a quicker and easier activity. I cut some stalks for them to glue on and then we used a hole punch so we could thread the pipe cleaner through. We added the face the next day when their pumpkins were dry

Very simple really.

A little tip: for our crafting activities I buy a big pack of assorted scrapbook paper from Kmart. I've got a couple of packs (bright and pastel) so I always have whatever colour I need. They've lasted forever and I've still got heaps left.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Introducing Teddy Treasures and a Giveaway

I am so happy to introduce a new sponsor we have here at Living on a Latte called Teddy Treasures.

Teddy Treasures has thousands of cuddly Teddy Bears, Soft Toys, Plush Toys and Stuffed Animals you can buy on-line here. Perfect for getting some of your Christmas shopping done early.

Here are a few of my favourites:

And I love these cute Christmas bears!

Right now Teddy Treasures has a fabulous competition running to win a limited edition Charlie Bear, Charlie 2011 value $109.00. You can find it here. If that wasn't exciting enough the wonderful people at Teddy Treasures are also giving away a Charlie Bear to Living on a Latte readers. That means you have two competitions to enter!

Entry to this Competition is easy, simply use the Rafflecopter below and make sure you are a liker of both facebook pages. There is also a chance for an extra entry if you choose.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Good luck and thank you to Teddy Treasures for this great giveaway!

Terms and Conditions

This giveaway will be run on the Living on a Latte blog.
To enter you must be a liker of the Teddy Treasures Facebook page.

The competitions is open to all Australian and New Zealand residents only.
Competition starts, 20th October and finishes on the 28th October 2012

The Winner is chosen by

The winner will be announced on this blog post.  
The winner has 3 days to contact and email me in regards to their prize or I reserve the right to redraw another. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

My Pot Drawer had a Makeover

I am fairly lucky that I have a very deep pot drawer. It's housed my favourite baccarat saucepan collection for some years but all that changed last week. My pot drawer is a pot drawer no longer .. it's a baking drawer! Yes I swapped all my saucepans for my backing trays, slice trays, muffin trays, loaf tin etc

Why? Well my baking collection has grown quite significantly since having children and how I had them stored was not working for me at all. I had bought a divider rack from a kitchen store last year. I put this in my kitchen cupboard and had my trays lined up in it. Only problem was a lot of my tins and muffin trays were too wide for the spaces. The cake tins ended up piled up in the front of them and so getting a tray out was quite catastrophic!
I'd seen I few bloggers (sorry I really can't remember which ones) talk about the organising racks from Kmart. I thought I'd give the rack idea another go. They were only $4 each so I got two. 

When I got home I had the brain wave to put my baking trays in the pot drawer and my saucepans in the cupboard. The trays and cake tins fit perfectly. My saucepans fit nicely in the cupboard too. I used the old rack to hold my saucepan lids in.

It has worked a treat now all week and we've baked with no disasters getting the right trays out. This little change has made baking in my house much easier.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Storing kid's Artwork - Kid's Art Folders

Well I had managed to sort the girls artwork work (95% being Molly's) but then I had to do something with them. I wanted to create something that would be nice looking but easy to keep up with up as she did more craft at home and more stuff came home from school.

I remembered about Super Organiser Mum's art album that she had created for her son so I went looking at Spotlight and found the perfect folder. It's an American Crafts folder and was reduced to just $10 which included the plastic sleeves. I picked up two, one for Molly and one for Jasmin. Later down the track I may upgrade them to We R Memory keeper albums but for now I just wanted a cheap and easy option.

I cut down some A4 white card (I find the 100packs at Officeworks the cheapest) to the 8.5 x 11 inch plastic sleeve size and glued the art work on. For most of them there was some trimming involved but kids rarely draw to the edge so I don't see this a problem.

I typed little titles up in an A4 word document for each piece of art and printed these out. Then I selected a 6x6 scrapbooking paper pack that I had in my stash and used that along with some coordinating coloured card to brighten up the pages.

With large easel paintings I simply stapled a pocket together to pop the folded work into.

With the artwork that I scanned and photographed I put them together in photoshop to print out at A4 size. I grouped like photos together and added a title. If you don't have photoshop it doesn't matter as It's just as easily to create something similar in a Word or Publisher document. This is how I used to do it as a teacher for my student's work portfolios. If you don't know how to do it try googling or look on you tube. If you're still not confident at this just take photos, print them as normal and glue them on to a piece of card.

Molly is now at the stage where she is drawing people. Her best, most detailed drawing are using pen in my notebooks and on my shopping lists. I've scanned most of them but also kept many of them together in another little page pocket I made.

Now because I wanted to make this easy for adding future artwork I wanted to prepare in advance. I cut lots of extra white card to size and have slipped them in pocket pages all ready. Below is a piece of artwork Molly bought home from Pre-kindy. I was her very first so I'm definitely keeping it. I simply popped it in the sleeve and I will add a title later when I have a few pieces to do at once.

And of course Jasmin has a folder too with her first scribble drawings already filed away.

If you want to an easier or cheaper option you could pick up a simple file and some a4 plastic sleeves from your local supermarket and just use some colour card/paper to back your titles. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make it.

Next on my list is to create more places around the house to diplay the girls art'n'craft. I have a few ideas running around my head. One of the ideas involves a trip to Ikea! 

Stay tuned :)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sorting My Kids Artwork

I finally sorted through the pile of my kids artwork last week and did something with it all. It was all thanks to The Organised Housewife's 20 day challenge. I made some little helpers in the process.

First thing I did was sort the art work into two piles - Molly & Jasmin. You can guess which pile is Molly's can't you?

Before I did the next sort I quickly made up some cards to help me sort the artwork into 5 piles: 
keep, display, scan, photograph and bin.

The cards I made were simply printed at Officeworks like photos. They are available for download here. I like doing it this way because printer ink can be expensive and printing for 5 x 10c photo is only 50c!

I've also put them on an printable A4 sheet you can download here if you prefer to print at home.
 I laminated them after so to inspire me to regularly sort through the ever growing pile of artwork.

I'll be sharing how I keep their artwork very soon :)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My Birthday Present

I want to share with you one of the things my husband bought me for my birthday present a couple of weeks back. This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share something that I love at the moment.

It's an iPad/tablet cushion! It's called a tabcoosh and I'm in love with it. Hubby didn't go out to buy this intentionally. He was actually in Thingz looking for a card when he spotted it and knew I'd love it. As husbands do, he left the receipt on the study desk so I now know they are $49.95 ;) 

Its perfect for watching ABC iView in bed which is one of my favourite things to do on my iPad. I had a cover with a folding front to make a stand but it wasn't always the angle I wanted and always fell down even when it was on my kitchen bench. 

I've used it in bed, on the couch, on my lap at the computer, on the kitchen bench and of course the kids have used it too. They love how much easier it is to balance on their laps.

My sister saw it and loved it so much we went straight out and bought one that day for herself. Her kids used it in the car on a long car trip up to Coral Bay. There are holes for earplugs to easily attach to as well.

I truly love it. I only wish it came it better colours.
If you want to know more check there is a website and online store here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Blueberry Muffins

1 cup self-raising flour
90g soft butter
1tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

1. Combine flour, butter, vanilla essence, sugar, eggs and milk.
2. Beat with electric mixer until combined.
2. Gently fold in blueberries.
3. Place in muffins trays and bake for 20mins at 180C

I love this recipe because it's quick and easy. 

I mix it by all just by stirring as Jasmin is scared of the electric beater! It works just fine.
Also my girls prefer mini-muffins so we just cook them for less time. It makes 24 mini muffins so I'm making double the amount next time so there's some leftover to freeze.

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