Header

Image Map

Friday, 11 July 2014

Mummy Moments

These are the moments I never want to forget. The good, but also the bad.

Miss A is currently interested in 'Aborrigbanals' aka 'Aboriginals'. She was learning about our Indigenous people because it was NAIDOC week. She told me all about what she had learnt. She was especially impressed to learn that 'they make paint from ROCKS Mum'. We decided we would experiment at home and make some paint from things we found in the backyard. We found the leaves we had didn't crush up well. We found that depending on where in he garden we took dirt, it was a different shade of brown/black/grey. I watched as she painted with her dirt, carefully dipping in her paintbrush. She suddenly remembered about the rocks. At first I was going to explain that we didn't have the right rocks, that ours were too hard. Instead, I let her try. She gathered some rocks in a bowl but couldn't crush them. She decided to add water. She stirred them up, dipped in her paintbrush and tried to paint. 'There's no colour Mum!'. I asked her why she thought that was 'They're too hard, they not melting'.

I loved watching her learn, explore, experiment. I learnt to sit back, let her work things out for herself.

She teaches me as much as I teach her

*                        *                          *                         * 

Mr M is trying to stand. He is still only 8 months old. I can see him watch us as we walk around. He wants to join us. He wants to get up and go like we do. I see him looking at his feet as he tries to will them to push him upwards. 

He has so much determination. 

*                        *                          *                         * 

Miss A was overexcited after a special outing with her Nanna ans Cousin. She decided to run ahead of us while I was pushing her Brother in the pram. I called out to her to stop. Casually at first, then with more panic as she kept going. She was heading towards a pedestrian crossing that runs through the middle of our local Shopping Centre. I started to run after her. She ran faster. I managed to catch up and grab onto her, pulling her in close. She was laughing, unaware of my terror. A car went right through the crossing, never slowing down, just as I pulled her away. 

I scolded her, my heart in my throat.

Then I hugged her tight. 



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Aussie Curves - Blue


I didn't get to join in on last week's Aussie Curves challenge. Mainly because I wanted to share this great jacket, but my Sister had borrowed it and I was awaiting it's return.

I was getting dressed to go out and remembered that it was Blue week. I had a dig looking for something blue and I spied this top. I really like the top. I purchased it at the markets when a bunch of fellow AC girls decided to head to the rotary market to sell their clothing. I think I spent more than half the profit I made from selling my clothing!

I was heavily pregnant at the time, but this top fitted like a dream. I have even used it as a swimmer cover up. I was concerned it would be too baggy to wear post- baby.

Happily, it has still worked quite well cinched in with a belt. I like that the blue in this top is subtle, and it challenges the idea that navy and black can't be worn together.It was a freezing cold day so I had to layer up with a 3/4 shirt and a jacket. I added an old navy scarf for warmth but also to bring out the blue in the top more.

The jacket was a great find at Big W. I loved it so much, I got it full price! That's a big deal for my inner tightass! I generally wait for a sale to buy things I like, however I was concerned this would be snapped up, and it was quite cheap to start with anyway.

What I LOVED about it was that it was pleather, but under the arms it was a thick Scuba stretch material. Any Woman who has chubby upper arms can relate about what a great idea this is. Pleather (and leather) is not overly forgiving with stretch. I find it difficult to wear because there is not enough movement, and often I find most jackets too tight in the arms. I DID actually find this jacket was tight in the arms, but that was because of the non stretch satin lining. Does this really irk anyone else? I will NEVER understand why great, stretchy pices are then lined with cheap, on stretchy satin!!!

I refused to be deterred. I bought the jacket, then went at the lining with a seam ripper! Voila! A jacket that was a perfect fit, and thanks to the stretch I could also layer up and still be able to move my arms.

This was such a comfortable outfit, and my Sister remarked a few times about how great it looked.

Tell me, have you ever done a 'cloting hack' to make an item work? What did you do?



Friday, 4 July 2014

Play Dough Mat Round Up



MY Daughter LOVES playing with Play Dough. Every morning she will ask if she can play with her play dough.

What I love is how versatile it can be. You can do so many activities with play dough. Gather some googly eyes and  pipe cleaners and you can make 'Monsters'. Collect some cookie cutters and some plastic plates and you can 'bake cookies' and have a tea party.

I also love the way you can make play time turn into a great learning opportunity.

One brilliant idea I have come across are Play Dough mats. These are activities you can print out and laminate or put in a plastic sleeve. It acts as a prompt for the child to use the play dough to create pictures, learn shapes, colours and so on. It is a cheap, simple way to extend play time into learning. You could have a bunch of these printed and ready for a rainy day, or when you need your little one to keep busy while you do some chores.



Try these fun People Play Dough mats
Maybe your child loves Dinosaurs?
or are you are reading Cat in The Hat? You can learn maths at the same time!
There are some fun Easter mats
You can listen to the free songs on this site while you play
You can also learn Shapes and the Alphabet
There is this great collection that would be good for under 3 year olds
Or this nature inspired one

This idea is so simple you could easily make your own.

The verdict? My Daughter loved the set I printed for her. It has been a great way to encourage her in doing some solo play, but also is a good way for me to sit down with her and do some fun, simple learning activities.

Have you come across any great Play Dough ideas? Share in the comments below!


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Aussie Curves- Denim

Who doesn't love denim? Part of the appeal is that it goes with anything, is comfortable and looks good in everyone.

Finding the perfect jeans as a pear shape can be a bit of a holy grail though. I love the City Chic bootleg jeans, however I am a bit miffed they don't make them in skinny leg! That, however, is a post for another day. 

Most people own a pair of jeans. There is another denim classic that I firmly believe every girl should own. 

A denim jacket. 




Let me extol the virtues of this must have item. 
- It is tran-seasonal. I have found that a denim jacket is perfect for all seasons . During the hotter months you can also buy short sleeved ones.
- It suits almost every style of dress, skirt or pants. Throw one on with a maxi dress. Wearing a pencil skirt and top ? Layer up with a jacket . Going from work to somewhere more casual? A denim jacket makes your black work pants look less business and more leisure .
 - It goes with every colour . I have found if I don't have a cardigan or jumper that suits an outfit my denim jacket will always suit. 
 - You can even do double denim if you are daring ! (I know some fellow curvettes have showcased this look this week so check out the links below).


Here are my tips if what to look for in a denim jacket


- A bit of stretch or a soft fabric. Denim can be quite firm so having a bit of stretch allows for better movement in your arms. It also allows you to layer up

- Go for either a cropped length or one tgst stops just on or before your waist. Any longer and you can look a bit too bulky. 

- A blue mid tone would be a good colour and most versatile .


Do you have a denim jacket? Have you seen one recently that is great? Share the love and comment below letting other's know about where to find a great jacket






Thursday, 12 June 2014

Behavior Charts and Toddler Taming!

I have a wonderful Daughter. She is beautiful and sweet. She is so bright and a real chatterbox. She in generous and loving.

She is also a handful. She has a stubborn streak. She is determined, and that often translates to determined to get her own way. She can throw impressive wobblies and has gone through most of the usual toddler stages of biting, hitting, pushing etc.

For the most part it was always manageable. We used timeout when things got very bad. We were firm and tried not to give in, sometimes.

Just before Abbie turned 3 her behavior moved away from manageable. She started throwing more frequent wobblies. I put it down to the arrival of her Brother, so I gave her some time. It continued, then it overflowed into Pre-School. It was time to take action.

After having a chat to my wonderful Sister In Law, who has worked in Childcare for over 15 years, we came up with a plan. While I thought I had been firm I realised that I had not been consistent. I had always believed in picking your battles, but I seemed to be never picking any battles at all.

I want to share with you what I decided to do, and why! To help my Daughter I decided to do the following things

- Use Time Out more frequently and consistently. She would be given a warning for inappropriate behavior, then time out. The basis of most 'bad' behavior is attention. It is educational theory that the more attention you give a behavior the more of it you will get. If you yell, rant, rave, smack etc it is still attention. Time Out works because you are not engaging with the behavior. You calmly take your child and put them in Time Out. If they move, calmly place them back. Avoid eye contact. Don't talk about it. When time is up you might confirm with the child why they were put there. Then, redirect to something positive.




- Have a behavior chart with 4 simple goals. These were positively worded directions on what I expected her to do. If she achieved all four she would be able to claim a reward from a reward jar. Education research has shown that most children DO want to do what is right most of the time. They simply sometimes don't always remember the right thing, or do not know it. They may know all the things they shouldn't do, but that doesn't help them in finding the positive alternative. By giving a simple, clear, positively stated direction you are telling the child what you expect.




- Extrinsic and Intrinsic rewards - These a terms that would be familiar to any teacher. Extrinsic rewards are rewards that you get externally, so this means a prize. Intrinsic is rewards that come from within yourself. Extrinsic rewards are brilliant for children. Many would call it bribery, but it is extremely effective. It also fosters a positive association with meeting goals, and so leads to being intrinsic. For rewards I bought a heap of very cheap party fillers, and to add excitement I wrapped them.

- Give her more responsibility by expecting her to away her toys. Kids need opportunities to show their positive behavior, and be praised for it. The simple task of packing away toys would help give my Daughter a sense of pride and satisfaction from meeting her expectations.




I did not expect an immediate change, nor did I expect it to be a permanent change. It took a good week for my Daughter to stop battling with me over everything. However, through being consistent she started to understand the boundaries I had set. Pre School remarked that she was a changed child, and even I noticed she was much happier.

She still has her off days. She is a child after all. However, the changes are there. I now have a different reward chart to the one I first made. We got it from Kmart and it allows me to change the goals and has magnets for the 'stickers'. This was great because it has meant I could alter goals as she has achieved some and moved onto new ones.

What is your best 'Child Taming' tip? ANything you found super effective? SHare below in the comments I would love to hear about it :)




Monday, 2 June 2014

Pumpkin, Pistachio and fetta salad


This is my go to salad for lunch. You can roast the pumpkin at the start of the week and keep in the fridge. Then it's just a matter of throwing the ingredients in the bowl and Voila!  I am going to give the quantity for a family sized salad. You can easily divide the ingredients and eat it over the week for your own lunches.



Ingredients


1 Butternut Pumpkin cut into chunky pieces ( I like to keep the skin on)
Salt & Pepper
1 bag mixed lettuce, washed
1 Red Onion finely sliced
3 Tomatoes cut into wedges
1/2 block Fetta
1/3 cup Pistachios


Lemon Honey Mustard dressing


Juice 1/2 Lemon
1 tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 250 C. Place pumpkin on non stick tray. Spray with oil and season. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Warm honey in a microwave proof bowl briefly (10 seconds). Add all other ingredients and mix well until combined.

Place mixed lettuce on bottom of salad bowl. Add  pumpkin and tomato and red onion. Crumble Fetta over the top. Sprinkle with Pistachios and pour dressing over the top. Toss to coat before serving.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

An unexpected hiatus

I took an unexpected hiatus from the blog.

It wasn't planned, I just stopped writing. Being a Mum took it's toll. Juggling everything became difficult.

Mostly though, I felt a bit stuck. My blog design was inhibiting the new direction I wanted to go in. If I share something I want it to be easy to find by others.

I needed time to work out what I wanted to do, and I started learning how to go about changing my blog design.

So, here it is. My new blog design. I have added some new tabs, where hopefully it will be easier to find things. It also shows you what I plan on sharing. I love so many things, and so often I think of things I want to share, but have not known where to put it.

SO here are some of the things I plan on blogging about

- New recipes - I have done this all along, but hopefully it will be easier to find. Plus I have joined the Thermomix craze so be prepared for some Thermie friendly recipes

- Home Design - Now, I am by no means a designer. However I have a tonne of ideas of renovations I would like to make to my home. I may as well share them because they may just inspire others

- Kids craft and activities - I do weekly craft with my Daughter. Anything to keep her entertained.

- My life - I want to start recording moments of my lie and my kids. This blog is like an archive for me, so expect to see more about my triumphs and trials as a Mum.

I will still keep going with Aussie Curves. I had a bit of a hiatus from there recently too so I am going to try to participate more.

Thank You for sticking around. I am hoping to become much more active on this here blog xx