Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lately...

I wonder how many posts I've titled this way. A few. Perhaps a lot. But I like coming here with gathered photos, sweet memories and lots of sentimental thoughts and recording what we've done lately. It's so nice to record our daily happenings and to relive all these beautiful moments with my family. 

Instagram is really my go to space for sharing and interacting. The community there seems real. Connected. Involved. Encouraging. I love that space.

We've now got a crawler in the house again. So I find myself being summoned to wherever the girls are playing to remove their inquisitive brother quite regularly! And of course his favourite thing in the house is the fireplace - beckoning him with it's dancing flames!


Miss Daisy is fast approaching 5 and I really cannot believe it! She's quite excited and we're in the throes of organising all 3 kids parties! Are we mad?!

Our Daisy girl is truly a rich blessing in our family. I marvel everyday at her amazing character and the way she looks after the other kids and looks after me. She is patient, gentle and brimming with kindness and generosity. And she is guiding her baby sister in the same delightful ways which is so wonderful to see. 
I am so thankful for her and really cannot wait to see her beautiful character evolve as she grows!


Li'l Peppa will be 3 soon and I love all her lovely little quirks. She is the cutest darn thing with her cute little voice and funny little mannerisms. I would truly pause right here with her if I could. She likes to be a big girl but is also happy to curl up and be my little baby again. She still sleeps for 2-4 hours each day and all night long! Her catchphrase is usually, "I'm tired!" and that starts from around 9am! 

She has changed so much this year and it has been exciting, frustrating and ever so delightful to watch those changes. She has the kindest heart. If she's stealing something from the pantry she's always stealing for two! Never forgets her sister! And loves to talk about all of her 'best friends in the whole wide world!' 


And our little lion cub. Well he is not so little at all. I cannot believe we're approaching a whole year with this little guy! He's such a calm and happy baby. Big smiles, big waves, lots of clapping. Life is his oyster!
That is until you put him down, take away his spoon or tell him no when he goes toward the fireplace!

This little guy is crawling and loves the freedom that brings to take himself wherever it is he'd like to go! Usually he ends up at my feet clapping to come up up up... or at the fireplace and generally coming up by default to get him away!!

So many memories being made every day with these three little souls. I cannot believe we've been entrusted with these darling children and love spending my days with them no matter how long the days can feel!!




Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Tips For Choosing The Best School For Your Child

SchoolPlaces.com.au helps take the pressure off families looking for a private school vacancy for their child. Search real-time vacancies and claim a last-minute place at one of Australia’s leading schools. Get on board and start saving today.

It's hard to believe that I started this blog just after Miss Daisy was born... and next year she will start school! We're currently locked in a decision making tug of war as we try to decide between two schools. It was interesting to put our own considerations into words and share them here.

Don't choose a school for your child until you've looked into these 5 important considerationsSelecting a school for your child can be a complicated and stressful process. It's important to consider which school will best benefit your child's learning and development and build upon the foundations you've begun at home.

1. First and foremost you need to know what you want
This will usually come down to a combination of the needs of your child and your own expectations and belief systems. A simple exercise is to write a list of features which are important to you and your child. You then have a reference point to work from as you consider individual schools in your area. Your child's opinion may be of greater relevance as they get older and become more aware of their own interests and needs in relation to their education.

2. Consider potential schools for their location
No, I'm not talking about a school with beach views (although I did teach at a school who had a special ring of the bell when a whale was passing by and we would run out and whale watch at the front fence! Amazing!), I'm talking about considering the benefits of the school's location in relation to your home. Consider whether the school is close to your home or workplace. What mode of transport will your child have to use and for how long each day? Also remember that your child's friends will generally live in a nearby radius to that school so if you are willing to travel for schooling, are you also willing to travel for play dates and sporting commitments that may arise from their attendance at that particular school.

3. What's the school's reputation?
Consider what you know about the school via word of mouth - gather as many opinions from friends, neighbours or locals that you can. Also consider looking at the school's academic reputation which is available online or often shared on the school's website.
Sometimes the best way to know what a school is like is to go straight to those parents, students, teachers and community members who are involved directly with it. We're really impressed with our local school and have friends who are heavily involved and extremely happy. This definitely stands out in our minds as we consider school choices.

4. Shop around online
In this age of technology it is easy to do lots of school research on the internet. Most government and non government schools have a website and you are able to gain access to their school ethos, curriculum, staff, extracurricular activities, resources and so much more! This is an excellent way for you to research schools that match the criteria you've decided on above and start a list of the schools you'd like to visit or pursue further! School Places is a great place to start and find current vacancies at private schools in your area to suit the grade level you are looking for from Preschool to Grade 12.

5. Visit and observe schools
Once you've narrowed your list of potential schools it's important for you and your child to visit the schools and observe the teachers and students in action.
You'll get a general feel from the school from simple things like the office staff at the beginning of your visit and the school's appearance and general daily happenings.
Meet with the principal or your child's potential teacher(s) if you can. Take advantage of school open days or parent information sessions and find out about the parent/community involvement within the school.

All of these considerations above will hopefully make it easier for us to decide on a school for our children to attend. And perhaps it can help you too!

What was the biggest factor for you when choosing your child's school?
Or are you still deciding like we are!?



This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.
SchoolPlaces.com.au helps take the pressure off families looking for a private school vacancy for their child. Search real-time vacancies and claim a last-minute place at one of Australia’s leading schools. Get on board and start saving today.

Friday, April 17, 2015

CleverPatch might just save your sanity!

We were recently lucky enough to receive a box of goodies from the wonderful people at CleverPatch! The girls love receiving letters in the mail so you can imagine their excitement when a big box came. Even greater excitement came (from all of us) as we unpacked all of this amazing crafty goodness from our parcel.
I had used CleverPatch through my teaching career but hadn't given it a second thought as something I could use as a crafty mummy and it had gone right off my radar. Boy has that changed!
CleverPatch has a really easy to navigate website showcasing all of their fabulous products or you can check out their online catalogues for extra information. I particularly liked how the catalogues and online product selection is listed in product categories as well as being sorted into occasions and subjects to make it easy to find what you want!


For my Australian readers why not check out CleverPatch's ANZAC Day and Mother's Day crafts for these upcoming holidays. They have fabulous kits for playgroups, classrooms or buy them individually for your own use at home.
I love crafting with the girls and these new products were just the boost we needed with a new baby in the house and lots of extra home days on our hands!
We also decided that the CleverKits we were sent would make the perfect afternoon play date with our neighbours... and we had a wonderful time crafting with these kits together!

We're not shy when it comes to crafts or having craft products strewn around our house... (glitter is where I usually draw the line!) but if you're just starting out in your crafty endeavours check out CleverPatch's parent section and some of their great products for crafting at home!

::: We were gifted some product from CleverPatch but all opinions here are my own :::


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

10 Fete Friendly Recipes - Perfect for the Cake Stall

This weekend is a busy one for us. It's our state election day and the local school runs a cake stall at the hall where voting takes place. Last year I made a few things... amongst those was 3 dozen hot blueberry muffins which were popular with the first voters at 8am!
I'm not super keen to rise at 5:30am this year to start baking so I've decided to go with some other recipes that I can make in advance and a few that I'll do on Saturday morning!

1. Banana Bread
Cake stalls are funny things... some people want to buy a full cake to enjoy where others are there for something to nibble on immediately. I'll make a loaf of my Banana Bread to go with the full cakes for sale!


2. Shortbread
My mum gave me a Donna Hay Christmas recipes book last Christmas and it's got a delicious recipe for shortbread! It's amazing! I've made it twice this week already (Oops!) and will make one or two trays full for the cake stall! I couldn't find the Donna Hay recipe I'm using on the web but this one looked amazing!
Basic shortbread

3. Giant Freckles
These look simple but fun for kids to bug their parents for on the day! And they're cheap to make and therefore cheap to sell which is great for impulse cake stall buyers!
Big Freckles

4. Scones
Scones are popular and I must say that my scone recipe is to die for! These are easy to make in bulk and will be a good one to do fresh on Saturday morning!
Just For Daisy : Scones Recipe

5. Jam Drops
We haven't made these in a while but it's a really simple recipe and a favourite for so many people. These cookies will be a popular addition I'm sure!


6. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
These are another great option for kids on the day! Can be sold for a reasonable price per cupcake. No wrappers so no waste!
Ice-cream cone cupcakes

7. Choc Coconut Slice
Last year I made this one and we divided up all of the slices and made mixed trays of slice for people to purchase and this was a popular option.


8. Choc Crackles
2 ingredients and super yummy and popular with kids and grown ups alike!


9. Mini Custard Tarts
I'm not super sure if I'll make these as I have to prioritise this list! But I wanted to make a custard tart last week and so when I saw these I thought they'd be super yummy!
Mini strawberry custard tarts

10. Caramel Fudge
Another great cake stall option is fudge! I think it's all about tempting the patrons! hehe! And fudge is sure to tempt you, right!?
Caramel fudge

I'm trying to narrow this list down a teensy bit so I'm not making ALL of them but I think I'm going to make most! I'm happy that there are a few real quick and cheap options in here and for the slices/cakes I already have all the ingredients on hand anyway.

Our weekend continues with our own school's fete on the afternoon of the election and then a party for Grandma on Sunday! So lots of things to do! Let me get through all the baking first!

What's your favourite thing to buy at a cake stall?