Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Weekends Away/Camping - Kids Quiet Time Kits

A few months back I spotted the fantastic range of cheap kids stationary at Kmart. I had also managed to pick up some cheap mesh bags being cleared out at Typo. So with these things I set out to put together some quiet time kits for my girls for when we went camping. I had no idea when I made this it would be so long before we had a chance to use them but in a couple of weeks we are finally getting away for a few days. We're not camping this time but it'll be great to get away anyway.

When we go away we spend most of our time outdoors and the kids are very active so I like to pack a few quiet time activities for them for when they are a little tired or in the event of bad weather.
We're not so keen on DVDs as we like to save these as a last resort/emergency 
as I feel they watch enough of the box at home.

Each of the girls has a pack each with some notepads, post-its and pencils which come in a fabulous pack with it's own sharpener.

Then I have shared pack which included colouring-in books, paint with water books, tiny little paints sets (from Ollie Rose) and some paint brushes.

So we're all set! I might even throw in some Christmas craft packs too.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Our Summer Bucket

Well it's not officially Summer yet but the warmer weather is certainly here! So a little while back I got organised so my kids could be sun safe quickly and easily with out needing a lot of help from me. I'm a great believer in making my kid's independent so I wanted all the sun safe stuff in one place that they could access it easily.

So here's what's in our Summer bucket ...

  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses 
  • hats
all in a super cute polka dot bucket from Target 
which lives on the bottom shelf of our entry hallway table.

We have roll-on sunscreen as I have been teaching the girls to apply their own sunscreen. I'm amazed at what a great job they do now and because they are doing a lot of it themselves, they love it. We never have any tantrums about putting sunscreen on. It also puts my mind at rest knowing that Molly will be able to reapply her own sunscreen at school next year. 
Do you do something similiar in Summer?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas Tip #1

Christmas is approaching super fast and I thought I'd share a few tips on how I stay sane and semi-organised during this mad, crazy and very busy season.

Every year I start writing a list of present ideas for when people call, text or email asking for present suggestions for the hubby or the kids. This year I included myself to help hubby out and I decided to keep it on the fridge! This has been the best move yet as the ideas are always coming to me when I'm hanging out with kids at home. Since it's on the fridge I don't have to drop everything, go off to another room and find my notebook. It's prevented me having 3 different lists on the go as in previous years and it's easy for hubby to find.

This list for us doesn't need to be very long for us as in our families we have a ballot system for present giving. Everyone including kids just get one present and this keeps the costs down for our massive family Christmas. This list is also not ideas for us or Father Christmas as I usually have these ideas sorted some months earlier. This year I haven't bought everything but I know what they are getting. It was super easy today when someone messaged me for ideas for the girls presents. I replied in a flash without having to use my absolutely atrocious memory or tell them I'll get back to them later which I may forget to do!!

And as a project lifer I also decided one day to transfer it onto a PL grid card so I could pop it in our album later on. Oh and yes there are spelling mistakes but that's everyday real life isn't it ?!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Lately ...

You may have noticed that I've been a little absent on the blogging front lately so I thought I'd let you all know what's been keeping me so busy.

Firstly we sadly lost our very much loved dog of 10 years.

Jasmin had her tonsils and adenoids out. She was amazing and had a great recovery. Jasmin is now not snoring and getting a much better night's sleep. Unfortunately my great hope that she would start to sleep in  later than 5.30/6am did not eventuate and now it's lighter so much earlier she is up at 5am every morning! I'm soooo not a morning person.

Then along came a new little addition to out family, Mr Maximus.
Wow having a new puppy certainly is far more challenging than I remember it was 10 years ago. I'd forgotten how much they love to chew everything and anything. Oh and don't even mention the toilet training!!

The girls have been growing up so fast. They've both had growth spurts and are so chatty these days. They've certainly had their moments ...

... cheeky monkeys!

I started taking the girls to swimming lessons. They are loving it! I'm not loving the fact I have to get in with Jasmin. I love her but boy does she kick me hard!!

I also decided that it was time for a big change in my life and I started Michelle Bridges 12WBT. I have to say I can not believe how yummy a lot of the food is and I was rarely hungry. I lost a lost 4 kilos in 3 weeks, fell into the healthy BMI range (this made me so happy) and I was feeling great. 

 Unfortunately my weight loss journey had to end but all for a good reason ....

This was quite a surprise but with a strong history of miscarriages and my age I have been extremely stressed out and have found it hard to focus on very much. My heart just wasn't up to much, particularly blogging. But now finally at 14.5 weeks I'm feeling much more positive and my energy levels are returning ... now I just need to deal with the horrid hay fever that has hit me. 

I can't believe it's time for the silly season already and I think I've started nesting already!! 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Minibeast Activities

What kids don't love minibeasts. 
From bugs to beetles and butterflies.

Here's some of the activities we did at school on our minibeast day at 0-4.

Paper Plate lady birds: The kids painted the snack sized paper plates red and stapled on the head and antennae I pre-cut from some black card. The spots are just black stickers bought in a box from my local newsagent. The stickers were great because we didn't ave to wait for the paint to dry completely.

Caterpillar Pegs: These are super cute but a little tricky for real little hands as the pompoms fell off quite easily as the glue wasn't drying very fast. Might be better in summer when the glue would dry quicker. I'm going to add a strip of magnetic tape to ours so I can put them on the fridge to hold the kids drawings.

Bee Hive Printing: With my slight obsession with on-line shopping I always have lots of bubble wrap laying around so this was an easy activity to prepare. I simply cut out a bee hive shape that the kids spread yellow paint over. They then laid a piece of paper over the top to create a bubble wrap bee hive shape. The kids then practised their scissor skills by simply cutting out bees that a printed out (a simply used a google image of bees and repeated them in a word document) and cut into strips. They randomly glued the bees on to finish their bee hive.

Symmetrical Butterflies: The kids loved these. I bought the butterflies pre-cut in a pack from Kmart. Some of the kids just painted them and some loved putting blobs of paint on one side and folding them in half to create a symmetrical pattern. This was a create opportunity to also talk about colour mixing as some of the colour squashed together and made another colour.

Sensory Tub: I simple sensory tub with green spilt peas, bugs & beetles along with tweezers, bug catchers and magnifying glasses. I picked up the creatures really cheap at Kmart and found the nets in a pack for just $2 at Target.

The Beetle games would have been perfect to add to the days activities but Molly was getting it for her birthday the very next day.  Next time!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Dinosaur Activities

My kids love dinosaurs so I was very excited to be doing the theme of dinosaurs at school.

There were a couple of different peg matching games. One focusing on colour and the other on numbers. I made these up myself using a dinosaur template I found in my teaching stash.

We made paper plate dinosaurs. They were made using these great free printable templates I found here at Learn to Play at Home.

Cloud dough, dinosaurs and plastic eggs left over from Easter was a fun one but quite messy! If it hadn't been raining and a little cold it would have been perfect for outside under the verandah.

 I added a small collection of dinosaurs to the playdough table along with some magnifying glass. I showed some of the kids how to roll out some dough and press in a dinosaurs to make it look like a fossil.

To encourage some cutting skills I printed these little beauties out on the right for the kids. You can find them here in the Dinosaur Tot Pack at 3 Dinosaurs.

The best fun we had though was the exploding playdough volcano! The kids were mesmerised.

Check out how to do your own over at a little delightful.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Organising the Pantry - Labels Part 1: The Basics

 I love organising my pantry and I've rearranged it several times over the years as my kids grow and our eating habits change. I love having an organised pantry as it has such a huge impact on my everyday life. I can find things easily, put things away quickly (everything has it's place) and I can easily check what I need to buy when I do the food shopping. To make my pantry work even better for me and to make it look a little prettier I made some labels up for my Tupperware modular mates.

I used to just use a label maker but I never loved them as they just weren't really that nice to look at and I couldn't find any printable ones online that catered for the wide range of pantry items I now have since buying my Thermomix.

In the end I made my own up using photoshop, adhesive printer paper from Officeworks and my very useful 1 &1/2 inch craft punch.

I shared a picture of my newly labelled pantry and I had quite a lot of requests for me to share them.
So here are the first lot of pantry labels. I've made a basic range to start off with and they include a set of first aid/medicine box labels.

 They are available in six different colours which you can download here:

So that's the start of the pantry labels but stay tuned more labels are coming!

Note: Unless you print the labels onto waterproof printable paper (which I haven't found yet) you will need to carefully hand wash your containers so that the labels don't get wet.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Review: Yummy Project

I've been checking out the Yummy Project lately.
The Yummy Project is all about a great funky cake products all in a do-it-yourself kit. 

They sent me a Princess Cake Pops Kit to have a little fun with. It has everything you need and check out the fabulous packaging! It sure was fun creating little princesses as a little treat with my cherubs.

The kit was presented beautifully and the instructions very detailed including pictures to help you

How cool is it that everything is one box including a fabulous cake stand.
Last time I attempted cake pops I made some dodgy at home styrofoam thing that certainly is not as good as the cake stand provided. You can reuse the cake stand too. There is some good value for money in these kits!

The cake was super easy to make!

 I had lots of fun with the girls creating them but I have to admit my chocolate melting skills aren't any good. I got slightly distracted by the kids at the time and I over did the chocolate. I may just be the worst cake pop but maker in the world!

 But the kits are fantastic, ingredients top notch and ..... yum yum!!
Despite my terrible chocolating skills I still think you they pretty damn cute.

Check out all the other types of kits available here.
There are princesses, owls, ponies, dogs, monsters, pigs, teapots and even cute bikki pops. 

Disclosure: Yummy Project supplied me with the products but I was not paid for this review. 
All opinions are mine.   

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Review: Method Bathroom Bundle, Hand and Body wash

I love Method products. I struggle some days to keep on top of cleaning in this house because always seem to have two little 'helpers' who often shadow me everywhere I go in the house. Method makes the whole juggle of kids and cleaning a little easier. Now when I'm cleaning using Method products I'm no longer absolutely terrified of the kids walking in the room, breathing dangerous fumes or touching surfaces that might have some horrible residue left behind. Method products don't contain hazardous ingredients and so don't leave behind any toxic or harmful fumes or residues. Gotta love that!!

But do they clean? They sure do! This bathroom bundle has definitely cleaned my bathroom from top to bottom. Which came in very handy with my super dooper cleaning spree just before Molly's birthday on the weekend. I have a particular fondness for the flushable wipes. They are absolutely fantastic for every day use but also for the OMG we have unexpected visitors moments and I don't know how the kids or husband has left the state of the back toilet. You can quick duck off, do a quick clean up and flush them down the toilet. My guests won't have a clue unless of course they read my blog because now they'll know exactly what I'm up too!

Now as a parent of young children I do a fair share of hand washing! With one still in nappies and a bad run of colds in this house recently I feel I'm always washing my hands. I've never been too particular over hand washes but I really noticed a difference with the Method Sweet Water gel hand wash. Wow the feel of my hands after and the smells has seen me fall in love with Method's hand wash. I may just become addicted to the stuff!! Would it also be sad to admit that I love the packaging and the different colours they come in so I can find one the colour match the five different rooms in this house that we have hand wash. Yes okay probably is sad but it's also true!!

I was also lucky enough to be sent Method's Pure Naked body wash. I love that I know straight away that my skin will love it. The body wash has no nasties like parabens, phthalates or EDTA. I have quite sensitive skin and cannot use soap so I love that this is kind to my skin, moisturises it and smells so good!

If you've never tried a Method product I seriously recommend you put it on your to do list. they are fabulous and very reasonably priced which is another thing really important to me. Check out their online store here or check where else you can purchases their products here.

Disclosure: Method Australia supplied me with the products but I was not paid for this review. 
All opinions are mine.  

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

My Camping Kitchen Boxes

 So as many of you know we LOVE camping as a family. Actually love is probably not a powerful enough word to describe how we feel about it! I'm actually not coping very well with the fact we haven't been for a while. The kids keep asking to go too.

We are tenters you see and it's been far too cold to take the kids camping. When they are a bit older and can manage to keep their blankets and sleeping bags on all night we will probably try camping in the cold weather.

We love to go camping for weekends, long weekends and for weeks at a time. Of course I like to be organised for such occasions and have our camping stuff organised in two ways - weekend getaways and week long getaways. Why? Well we camp and cook differently depending on how long we are staying. Rather than needing to repack according to our needs I set up two different camping kitchen boxes that are easy to grab.

Here's my weekend camping kitchen box : 

Here are most of contents laid out for you. I say most as I know I need to put some more sunscreen, alfoil and glow sticks in.

It all gets packed into a plastic box so as to keep the dust, sand and any little critters out. Last time we went camping there was a rather friendly and hungry little fox.

It all fits in nicely with enough room left in the box to throw in a carton of eggs and a few snacks that I worry about hubby squashing when her packs the car.

Here's the week long camping kitchen box:

The contents:

 In the week long camping box the containers of stuff are a little bigger, there's more plates, bowls, pegs, a bigger chopping board and a folding laundry hamper. In the white boxes there are 2 sets of playing cards for rummy, Yahtzee and a princess fish game for the girls. I must add the alfoil is missing here as we had run out. Sometimes I'll add a saucepan too depending of what meals I have planned. I just grab my small one from the kitchen if I need it. Although I am considering buying a one for the kitchen camping box now the kids are older and eating so much more :)

I used a taller box to pack the week long camping kitchen stuff in but still have room left in it to pack those eggs and snacks again. No one likes crushed, stale chips!

There are two more boxes of camping stuff that hold extras. They hold things that we take on weekend or week long camping trip. We store them in the boxes but don't take them with us in these boxes as we don't need to take all of it. 

The first box has our camping kettle, toaster (we use that if we go to powered caravan park sites), solar showers, salt water body wash/shampoo, headlights, mosquito coils and a non slip bath mat that we use in caravan park showers.

The second box hold the camping bedding and sleeping bags.

My focus is always saving time when getting ready to go camping and space.

If you want to find out a little more about some of the stuff I've included in my camping kitchen boxes check out my camping tips post here.
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