Saturday, 27 September 2014

Time

It's that time. The time to say goodbye and close this blog. 

While I do love blogging I feel that while I'm not able to blog to the standard I want, I won't. You see for a while my heart wasn't in it, then I didn't have the time and now I have a little more time I have other things in my life I'm getting stuck into. It's on my mind all the time which isn't a great feeling so I'm going to close this blog and the facebook page in the next week or so.


I will be keeping the blog's Instagram account going. So if you want to keep following you can find me here http://instagram.com/livingonalatte/

Maybe I'll be back some day here or maybe I'll pop up guest blogging on someone else's blog one day. Who knows but for now ...  

Thank you and Goodbye

Take Care Everyone

xxx

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

My Top 5 Thermomix Main Meals: Chicken

We love to eat chicken in this house and I love my Thermomix so I thought I'd share with you are my top 5 favourite main meals using chicken in the Thermomix. 
 

5. Chicken and Pasta Salad: Meat on the Menu Recipe Book
(pictured below)


NOTE: A time saving tip for dinner time madness!

Since we eat a lot of chicken in our house I often buy our chicken in bulk, split and freeze. A time saving tip for dinner time madness! I buy my chicken breast in bulk, split and freeze. However I cube my chicken before I freeze it. Nearly all of the chicken dishes I cook use cubed chicken anyway. I find it defrosts quicker and better this way and when cooking I have one less step!!



Now I'm off to cook Quirky Cooking's Chicken and Cashews with Coconut Satay Sauce and Coconut Rice for Dinner ... Happy Cooking!!

 Are any of these in your Top 5?

What are some of your favourite Thermo Chicken recipes?

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Today is "Very Hungry Caterpillar Day"

 This year is the 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book by Eric Carle and today the 20th of March is the annual "Very Hungry Caterpillar Day. It's a real favourite in this house. In fact even my husband recalls it being his favourite book as a child. 


Here are a couple of simple activities I did with the kids last year.

1. Yogurt Tub Printing         2. Egg Carton Caterpillar 


I used a round yogurt tub for printing our caterpillars but you could easily 
use a plastic cups, cardboard rolls or toilet paper roll.

If you are looking for some great ideas check out these links below:


Or check out my Pinterest Page for The Very Hungry Caterpillar:


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Organising My Freezer

 Last Week I shared a little sneak peak of my freezer door as I working on labelling the containers I've had in there a while. Quite a few people ask to see more so here it is nice and bare ready for me to start stocking some family meals for when a new addition arrives to create absolute chaos complete our family.

Pastry is stored in the square decor containers while snacks, mince, chicken, extra meat (sausages, meatballs etc) are stored in the handy pull outs from Kmart. In my Tupperware freezer containers (blue lids) I've stored peas & corn, burgers/rissoles, steak and random stuff like left over fish fingers, small portions of taco meat. The two Tupperware red heat'n'eats are the start of my meal stocking.


When we inherited our new but old fridge freezer from my late father-in-law last year I was a little excited to have storage in the freezer door which I didn't have in our previous fridge/freezer. I purchased some more Decor containers (I only ever purchase when 50% off #cheapskate) that fit in the doors perfectly to maximise the space. In the door I store 

* frozen fruit for baking
* homemade tomato paste
* homemade pizza sauce
* garlic
* hydralyte icy poles (ready just in case)
* corn on the cob
* chilli (we use a lot)
* nuggets and packets of steam vegetables 
(my go-to emergency kids dinner)

I labelled all my containers with freezer labels I picked up from The Reject Shop for just a few dollars. I found then in the stationary section.


Of course this is not our only freezer. We turned our old fridge into a drinks/beer fridge so we use the freezer under that for storing fish, prawns, crayfish (hubby is a keen fisherman) and bread. When I run out of room in this freezer for stocking up meals I'll be turning up our camping fridge (the trusty Engel) to freezer mode and stocking that too!!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Ten Ideas - How You Can Help Your Child Learn To Write Their Name

 So you want to help your child learn to write their name?
Firstly recognising their name is super important and then comes the fun writing stuff.



Putting their name on their door or in their room is a great start. With our kids every night before bed and when they got up in the morning we would talk about our kid's names, pointing it out and reading it with our finger demonstrating left to right movement of reading.
Oh and I should mention that I was not the one who started doing this with our eldest as a baby but my husband. I married a good egg!!

When they really get going with writing their name have them place their finger on each letter as they practise their name from a name card. Talk to them about where to start each letter and how each letter is formed. Make it a little funny with silly sayings or sounds is always a great idea to motivate them and help them remember

So here are my top ten tips to help your child learn to write their name ...

1. Names, Names Everywhere!

Allow your child to see their names everywhere! Names on their door, name in their bedroom, name puzzles, name cards etc.



Allow your child to see their names everywhere! Names on their door, name in their bedroom, name puzzles, name cards etc.

Write their name on their drawings early on while they are watching you then start getting them to write their name. This is how Jasmin has started recently ...


2. Name Collage



They can collage their name with crepe paper, stickers, sequins, rice, tissue paper, pasta, dried beans, sand, and so on.

3. Magnetic Letters


Use them on the fridge or on oven trays


4. Laminated Name Cards


5. Sidewalk Chalk Outside


6. Chalkboards


You pick up cheap chalk boards from Typo and Kmart have these computer ones

7. Whiteboards


8. Name Tracing


Tracing over dotted names or tracing over their written name


9.  Water Writing Outside


Write on the paving with a paintbrush dipped in water from a bucket. Vary it by using Thick or thin paintbrushes. You could also draw it chalk first so they write over the top 'washing' it away.


10. Writing in the Sandpit or a Sand tray

Use a finger or stick to write in the sand.


Important: Don't start teaching your child to write their names with all capitals. It will just completely confuse them when they need to relearn it later.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

That Shopping List!

Yes I've titled this blog post 'That Shopping List'!! Why? Well it's something I created for myself a couple of years ago for all those awesome shopping finds I saw shared on Facebook, Instagram and junk mail (check out Lasoo if you don't get junk mail) and whenever I recognised a need for something that I wouldn't be able to purchase with my weekly local grocery shop.

Where I live there aren't a lot of the big department stores and fabulous shops I love so much so when I make a trek to where some of my favourite shops and department stores are I don't want to forget anything!! That's where my list comes in. If I see awesome finds on Facebook or Instagram I generally screen shot it so I can write it down on my list a little later.
 

My list comes with me when I venture out to the 'bigger' shops. I used it just last week when I popped down to Spotlight and The Reject Shop. These shops are a 20-25 min drive away and that's in good traffic so I don't want to waste my trip or fuel by forgetting something I need or want. The other things on my list will wait til another day (e.g. I probably won't get to Ikea for another week or two).

If you'd like a copy of my 'That Shopping List' you can download it for free.
Two lists are on one A4 sheet. When cut these fit perfectly on the mini clipboards you can purchase at Officeworks. If anyone really really want an A4 copy just email or message me and I'll pop some up for downloading.



That Shopping List - Blank
 That Shopping List - Labelled

Yay! The junk mail has just arrived and I've already spotted a couple more things I need to add to my shopping list in preparation for the new baby.

Happy Productive Shopping Everyone!

Monday, 24 February 2014

How I Organise My Coloured Twine Collection

One of the little projects I have completed lately was reorganising my pretty and colourful twine collection.

 
My twine collection was a little bit organised. I mean it was all in one place and in a container but it so wasn't working. Every time I went to use it the twine was getting tangled which was taking me a long time to untangle. 


When I purchased my twine from my favourite local online scrapbooking shop it would come like this. The paper came off fairly easily and the twine would sit semi looped

 
I had seen some beautiful and fancy ways of storing twine on wooden cotton reels and old fashioned pegs but I didn't have any at the time and really didn't want to spend much money. Then I remembered a had a stash of wooden pegs in the craft cupboard that I use for lots of kids craft and learning activities. 

These were perfect! they held the twine at the start and at the end. 
 

I think they look quite pretty too! 


 Now I could store them back in the jar or in another prettier jar (like above) but I have some future plans for my twine collection which I will share a little later on.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Our Getting Ready for School Morning Routine

I want to share with you all how I make our school mornings run smoothly. Well most of the time because lets face it you can't prepare for absolutely everything!

For me it's always been about preparing as much as possible the night and weekend before.

I make lunches and fruit boxes the night before while I'm preparing dinner. It's always been perfectly fresh the next day. Molly is an extremely fussy eater and she always eats most of her lunch so it must be okay! She has a schoool only drink bottle that is washed, refilled and chilled in the fridge overnight. In the morning all I need to do is add the freezer block to the lunchbox (I still our Fridge-to-go) and we are set to go. It also helps that I have a good supply of baked goodies in the freezer to pop in the lunchbox. You can read about that here.


Molly packs her own lunchbox and waterbottle in the morning but yes I do check. Her school keeps all hats in the classroom so we never have to worry about packing them.

All notes that need to get handed in are placed in the front pocket of Molly's bag the night before.


Clothes are all put aside at the beginning of the week for the three kindy days she has. Molly doesn't have a school uniform or even a school shirt for kindy but I've choosen 3 t-shirts that she has that are a little worn but still nice looking. They are laid out each afternoon/night before school on their Grandad stools. Shoes are place underneath and their school bag behind. I even lay out Jasmin's clothes and shoes on her stool as she needs to be organised in the morning too.


The hair bucket which I've talked about before here is ready to roll and I often do their hair last sitting on the couch while they watch TV. It's the only way I can get them to keep their heads still!!



Don't forget that all darling children are human and there's always a child who likes to have a toileting issue just as we are about to leave. We do our best but nothing is fail safe!!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Getting Ready for School Hair Bucket.

I wanted to share with you one things that I organised before we headed back to school this year to make the morning routine run a little smoother.

I have two girls and one of them loves trying to do their own hair. When it comes to getting ready for school last year I always found that I was wasting so much time in the morning searching for the hair brush and chasing up hair ties and clips. I already had a little box for their hair stuff but hair ties, clips and brushes always went walkabout. 

This year I put together a school only hair bucket. I also bought some school only hair ties and clips. Molly won't be having any fancy hair stuff or headbands as the school has requested this to reduce fidgeting on the mat and the time lost searching for lost bits n pieces. The school only hair ties and clips are fabulous because the girls know these one go straight back into the school hair bucket each day before their showers or bath time. 




* hair brush
* detangling
* hairs ties and clips in container

I do the girls hair in the lounge while they are watching a little TV in the morning as it helps them to keep their heads still!! I also keep the roll on sunscreen in the bucket too since that needs to be applied in the morning before we set off for school.

This bucket has seriously saved my sanity in the mornings!
I love that it's simple and easy too.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

School Lunch Box Baking - Stocking the Freezer


In order to be organised for school days and my hungry little school girl I now have

Big Baking Days!! 

Well okay not that big as my freezer is not huge but I do like to have baking days where I might bake about 3 different things to pop in the freezer ready for lunchboxes and after school snacks. Of course all the things I bake are nut-free (even the teacher has a nut allergy!). If they aren't nut free I'll label them silly so I know that they are NOT to go to school. Our school is nut-free but luckily there are no other food allergies we need to be mindful of.

So here's some of the things I've baked for our freezer stash so far ...

Pikelets
I used the Thermomix  EDC Pikelet recipe for this recent batch but I do love the apple pikelets from Mummy Smiles too 


Banana Muffins
I've tried a lot of banana muffin recipes. There are a lot I like but this one from Bianca at A Little delightful is the one I love


Zucchini Mini Muffins
I love the idea of making zucchini mini muffins instead of a slice. A lovely friend shared this idea on instagram when she was making them and I think it's the bees knees!!  I also tried her yummy recipe which is very similiar to this one I found here but using half as much oil.


Other mini muffins
Here's some other muffin recipes I've used quite regularly.

Mini Quiches

These mini quiches from Mummy Smiles went down a treat with everyone including hubby!

 Packaging & Storage

All the baking goodies are packed in snack bags or sandwich bags which I date. The are then placed in an easily accessible basket on the top shelf of my freezer.

 I've packaged my baking goodies in two different sizes for the freezer. I've put them in small snack sizes for lunchboxes and bigger bags for afternoon snack sizes. Let's face it with my tummy growing bigger I'm going to need afternoon tea stashes too!! All I'll need to do on those hard days is add some cut up some fruit.


Stay tuned because I'll share some more recipes when I've done some more freezer baking 
sessions in a couple of weeks time!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Project Life Reference Guide

Yes I'm a Project Life addict. I'm more of the 'I have lots of different kits that I mix and match' than the 'use one kit for a layout, month or year' type so I have colour sorted all my core kit cards and some of my mini kit cards. Although I haven't colour sorted all my cards and kits as I still need some sorted according to theme such as school, Christmas, Valentines, travel etc.

Sometime I simply flick through all my cards to find what I want according to colour which I love to do but this can sometimes be a little time sucking!! I also often have people ask what kit certain cards come from or I want to find a co-ordinating card from a certain kit so I made a reference guide up. 


It's a handy 6x4 size and bound with a simple ring for easy flicking. The cards were created using the Digital Project Life Card Design Reference PDFs available here. Unfortunately not all kits are displayed but enough to be helpful and hopefully they'll release more at a later date (I'm crossing my fingers). 


I simply downloaded the PDF and printed them on to the Becky Higgins Project Life 6x4 white cards. I fed them in reverse side (smoother side) to get a better print. I use my Epson Picturemate but you could do this on any printer. I'm also a Studio Calico subscriber so I also printed out photos of the monthly kits onto cards too. 
  
A simple hole punch in each corner and a Kaisercraft ring binds them all together. 


The simple cover that I designed is available for downloading here.
I did the same printing onto a 6x4 white card but I specifically choose borderless printing for the cover.


Happy PLing!!


Friday, 31 January 2014

Caravan Camping Tips & Ideas

Today I'm sharing with you some great ideas for caravan camping from my fabulously organised sister Bec. Well okay I admit I don't call this camping but in fact glamping!! Hehe .. sorry sis xx


Now my very blessed sister has five kids and is now onto her third different type of caravan. They started with a Jayco Swan, upgraded to a Jayco Expanda and now have a Jayco Starcraft. They are also now down to just four kids (the eldest has moved out of home) but this many kids has always required lots of organisation and great storage ideas.

The first great idea/tip is setting up a breakfast/lunch/snack station outside of the caravan. Could you imagine that many people trying to negotiate making breakfast in a small caravan kitchen? On the fold out table lives the kettle, toaster and toasted sandwich maker. In the drawers ther is cutlery, cutting boards, spreads, coffee, tea, sugar, plates, bowls, cups, cereals, breads, snacks and so much more!! Milk, juice and butter is easily accessible in the engel. With this set-up the kids can get up and get their own breakfast easily.


Check out the bin on the caravan door. It's a croc brand one from BigW fitted onto the door that fits shopping bags. On the side of it is an Ikea plastic bag dispenser. A very clever use of space I think.


Now what do you do with 101 towels and bathers that come with lots of kids? Use an an large laundry airer but stop it from blowing over in the wind by holding the base down with U shaped pegs stuck in the grass. If you've got no grass or less kids try using a removable hanging rack on your awning arm.



Those hooks are also great for hats too!


Now inside the caravan can be a little space limiting so you have to be smart about storage. The Variera Ikea tubs here are great and often fit on the tops of the cupboards for easy access. 
One very smart thing my sister did was turn the wardrobe in the caravan into a pantry by adding shelves. Let's face it when your camping do you really need to hang all your clothes?

One idea I remember she used when her kids were little (i.e. shorter) was to store their clothes in an organiser like this one from Big W at the the end of the beds.
 Plastic drawers that you often find at the discount stores can come in very handy.
When the older kids sleep in their own tents they are very useful beside tables that hold all their crap essential belongings.


They are also very handy for storing toys for the younger kids.


These flexi tubs come in handy too. They can be used for lots of things just outside the caravan from bins to thong/shoes buckets. Or maybe even play equipment like balls, bats, Frisbees etc.
The last great idea I have for you at the moment is if you are staying in a caravan park and none of you can ever remember the code for toilet: 

 
write it on your hands with a permanent marker.



Now these are not all of her fabulous ideas ... trust me she has loads more! 
Hopefully I can twist her arm to share some more with us in the future.

Thanks Bec xxx
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