Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fussy Eaters: Honey Bran and Choc Chip Muffins

Our Miss Daisy is gradually becoming a better eater. As I've said before though, she has some strange taste preferences. She is quite partial to brocolli, curry and salmon and yet of late has gone off apples and bananas! Go figure!

We've been trying to increase her fibre intake of late and so I made some yummy whole wheat muffins.

I had a recipe for Bran Muffins in my 'Muffin Bible' so I changed it up a bit to make it a little more appetizing for fussy taste buds!

Honey, Bran & Choc Chip Muffins

1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour
1 1/4 cups oat bran
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I make my own, scroll down to see how!)
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
2 tblsp rice bran oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup choc chips

- Combine flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda & choc chips in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, beat together buttermilk, egg, honey and oil.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. (It might seem a little wet. Let it sit while you grease or line your muffin pans and it'll thicken up a little!)
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans. (I made 48 mini muffins)
- Bake in preheated oven at 190'C for 15-20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.

These were a hit! Miss Daisy ate several of them after her lunch and a couple more on our trip to the shops for coffee/babycino's with Nanna! Success! Yum!

Making your own buttermilk is easy and cost effective. The way I learned to do it was to add a little lemon juice to your regular milk. I usually use 1 cup of milk to 1 Tbs of lemon juice. Stir well and let sit for around 10 minutes. Then use as per your recipe! Easy and cheaper than buying speciality milk!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Bunting and Happy 80th

Today I'm leaving you with a quiet post... it's crazy busy around here. But here are some photos of my Nanna's 80th Birthday party a week or so ago. It was a beautiful day celebrating with family! 

I sewed up a few quick bunting for the occasion. Including some miniature buntings...

Just before Miss Daisy was born my beautiful Nanna suffered a stroke. Before the stroke she was such a vibrant and active lady, with a larger social calendar than mine! 


  My mini buntings made their way into the desserts! :)     
It is hard to see her living in a nursing home, spending her days between a wheelchair and a bed, strangers all around, it is such a different life. 

Yet days like this where she is out and about and able to spend the day with family (even some from England) it was beautiful! 

Here she is at my Baby Shower just weeks before her stroke (2010) and Miss Daisy's birth. It was a beautiful day too and I'm so glad she could come. It was the last time I saw her before the stroke :(

Sorry for the untidy photos... blogger didn't wanna line them up. And I didn't want to fight!!
Any hints on lining up photos and text in Blogger's new interface?

Have a lovely week!
If you're joining in on our Busy Bag Swap - you should have received an updated email yesterday. If you'd still like to join in read the original post here and email ASAP so you don't miss out!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Blogs For A Thursday #10

I'm off to sew up a few orders after some crazy collating of Busy Bag Ideas! If you're participating in the Just For Daisy and Paint on the Ceiling Busy Bag Swap you will get an email over the next few days advising you what to do next! 

If you're in Australia but haven't signed up yet, take a look at this post here and sign up to get a bag of fabulous engaging ideas for your toddler!

Here are three quick blogs for this Thursday!

We've visited this one before but since we're linking up with our Busy Bag Swap I wanted to remind you how fabulous my sister in law's blog Paint On The Ceiling is! Find some fabulous ideas for art and play for your children!

I found this sweet little blog through the Fat Quarter swap that I'm participating in! Take a look around :) I'm loving these cute coat hangers!

If you're looking for an idea for your Busy Bag or you just want something new and fun to occupy your toddler - head over to The Imagination Tree!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Add a Blog Button with a Grab Box - Tutorial

Ever wanted to know how to get a cute button for your blog or to share with others to place in their sidebar?!

Mine needed an upgrade due to my new blog header (designed by my sister in law) and a little problem with Photobucket creating an error with my original picture.


It's a great way to promote your blog and increase blog traffic
Lots of blogs are more than happy to include your button on their sidebar if they enjoy what you're writing. So why not add one to your sidebar and invite your readers to add it to their blog!

I've tried following tutorials from a few places before and have found them difficult to follow as well as some that contain HTML errors that I've had to fiddle with.

So... I decided to add a tutorial myself - showing you how you can add a Blog Button and Grab Box to your sidebar!

STEP 1. 
First of all you need an image... I created mine in Picnik (which is soon to close down) but Photobucket, Photoshop and Picassa all allow you to create great images, perfect for blog buttons. Remember blog buttons are usually perfect squares so you will want to be able to crop or resize your image to a square, probably between 125x125 pixels and 200x200 pixels (generally blog buttons are 125x125) You want it to fit into most sidebars.

Here is the image my sister in law designed for our Busy Bag Swap, saved in Photobucket as a 160 x 160 pixel square image.

Once the image is saved, Photobucket (where I do mine) will provide you with the direct link to your image. You will need this later. Write it down, save it on a Word document, or keep the internet window open.

You now need to create a new 'gadget' as it's called in Blogger. On blogger go to Layout and select Add a gadget and select the HTML/Javascript option.
You want the gadget to be in your sidebar so make sure you select to insert the gadget here (if you didn't you can drag it over to where you want it now too!)
Type something like, "Grab My Button" in the title box (or leave it blank if your button explains itself)

Now we need to create the code for your button and grab box. I've done this bit for you! Yay!

Copy the following code and paste it in your gadget's text box:

[center][a href="http://YOUR WEB ADDRESS/" target="_blank" title="BLOG TITLE"][img alt="BLOG TITLE" src="DIRECT LINK TO IMAGE"/][/a][center]


[center][textarea id="code-source" rows="3" name="code-source"][center][a href="http://YOUR WEB ADDRESS/"][img border="0" src="DIRECT LINK TO IMAGE"/][/a][/center][/textarea][/center]

You will need to change all of the [ brackets with < and all of the ] brackets with >.
Once you've replaced the [ ] with < > you will need to change all of the generic information with your blog/button information. (They're like this so that you can see the code and not my image here!)

The sections you need to change are in CAPS LOCK... and hopefully I've titled them appropriately so you know what to add in there! Ask me if you're not sure!

Save the gadget and make sure it is positioned where you'd like it to be. 
Preview your blog.
Save your changes and click View Blog. Click on the image/link and make test to make sure it takes you to your blog homepage or the page you selected.

It's also a good idea to copy the text from the 'grab box' and try to add the image to your own blog or sidebar to test that it all works. To do this copy the text in the 'grab box' and paste it in a new HTML/Javascript gadget or directly into a blog post! 

I hope this helps you to increase your blog traffic and invite your readers to share their love for your blog on their own page!

While you're here - why don't you grab MY brand new button and pop it on your blog! Sorry if yours got the error, Photobucket was prompting me to update I'm sure! ;)


Let me know how you go with this... give me a link to your site in the comments section as I'd love to see your new blog button and grab box and pop it on my blog!! 

Good luck!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Baby Bump

Today I'm tired.
Today I'm lazy.

Today I'm posting something short and sweet.

In 28 days we move.

Today I'm 22 weeks pregnant.

Today I'm singing 'The Baby Bump' to the tune of The Brady Bunch theme song. 
And smiling to myself.

Today I'm hoping Miss Daisy naps! This will make me smile more!

Today I'm planning/packing for our move!
PS. Colored pens/textas make the world go round!

Happy Tuesday!!

Today I'm trying to remember to...
"Commit all of your plans to the Lord..." Prov 16:3

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Australian Busy Bag Swap - Expressions of interest

One thing I have seen a lot of as I've pinned things on Pinterest lately are independent activities for toddlers known as 'busy bags'. 
What is a busy bag? It's a small zip lock bag (or similar) containing an activity that can be done independently or with minimal assistance by your toddler! 

Basically an easy activity to keep them busy while you're busy! 
Great for the car, shops or while cooking dinner!
Hand painted Blocks
There are so many wonderful activities out there. 
I have also recently seen a few busy bag swaps... an organised swap where a group of mums each put together and swap a set number of busy bags. e.g. If you're in a group of ten, you'd put together ten bags of the same activity. Then bags are exchanged so each mum goes away with 10 different activities, one from each of the other mums in her group! 
Most of these are American swaps so my sister in law Hannah from Paint On The Ceiling and I thought we'd host our very own Australian Busy Bag Swap! 

We'd love for YOU to be involved!

Here is how it will work!

We will be taking 'sign ups' from today until February 29. Only Australian residents can participate. If you commit please ensure you can meet the deadlines to ensure everyone receives their bags of goodies complete and on time! 
Once sign ups close you will be assigned an activity (hopefully one of your choice but we don't want to double up!) 
Story Stones
Please start to think about an activity you would like to create and duplicate for your group. (perhaps have a 2nd choice in case it's taken)
Upon being emailed your activity you will be given one month to create your duplicate activities and post to myself or Hannah ready for swapping and sending back your completed Busy Bags!

All activities should be:

Grab & Go: The purpose of a busy bag is to have convenient activities with all necessary components ready to go! Confined to a zip lock or similar bag is ideal. They should be transportable and easy to use at home OR out and about!

Easy to use: The bags shouldn't need extra supplies, particularly those that are messy or need to be set up prior to use (ie. paint) Remember we're encouraging independent play!

Long Lasting: Choose activities that don't need to be restocked. Laminate where necessary. Try to have an activity that is age appropriate for an extended time frame too!

Inexpensive: Activities should come in at around $1-$2 each! We don't want the swap to be a huge cost to anyone. Try to use things you already have or be resourceful with second hand or inexpensive items.


This Busy Bag Swap will run via mail (aside from local participants) 

Your busy bags will need to be posted to myself or Hannah by March 31 (all details in your sign up email, giving you about a month to complete your duplicate activities and post them off. 
Postage should be in a prepaid satchel (500g size may be okay for initial items - approx $6) and you should include an additional self addressed satchel (500g-3kg size necessary (approx $10) to receive all of your goodies back. (You may choose to go for express or registered satchels for an extra cost or for an extra $1 I think you can have a 'sign on delivery' option added!)
Silhouette Puzzle
We would hope all recipients have received their completed busy bags by mid-April! 

If you like the sound of this and would like to sign up to be part of this fun swap where you will receive a collection of interactive, educational and engaging activities for your toddler, please comment below with your email address OR email us at 
*** justfordaisy11 (at) gmail (dot) com ***
to express your interest! 

We'll send you some more information and keep you updated on activities.

If you sign up below please do the following:

- Start thinking about what activity you'd like to do (have a few options) You can include these in your sign up email or we will request them by the month's end.
- Visit my Busy Bag Pinterest board for more ideas or Hannah's Busy Bag Pinterest board for even more exciting ideas
- Take a look around this blog and the Paint On the Ceiling blog to see more ideas
- Be on the lookout for specials at your local thrift store, craft shop or $2 shop - this might influence your choice of activity!
- Ensure you can meet the deadlines so that the swap runs smoothly! :-)

We really hope you can participate and look forward to hearing from you soon!

Please grab our Busy Bag Swap Button and pop it on your blog or share it on facebook so that others can find the swap too!