Monday, May 28, 2012

While we're being honest....

I'm 36 weeks pregnant tomorrow.
I'm quite content to have this baby any day now.... 

Miss Daisy seems to sense that change is coming.... she's been different the last week or so. A little bit more inclined to cling to Mummy and we've had tears at bed time a few days in a row... this hasn't been the case for the last year or so!

So, here's the bit about being honest! She's watched a lot of Shrek lately! 
It's her favourite. She could retell the entire story for you by heart. She loves to hear Mummy or Daddy quote the movie, particularly Puss... in Boots! And she loves to read the Shrek 2 storybook I got for $1 from the op shop!

We haven't hooked up the TV since moving here. It's been great.
However, the DVD player is available and the last week or so I find myself needing Shrek more and more!

Today we had breakfast, played with toys, played with puzzles, sorted Daddy's clothes, had morning tea, did some craft and drawing... then we played outside for a little while and Scarlet rode her bike. 
It came to nap time and I thought the timing was perfect and was marvelling at how fabulous our morning had been! Unfortunately, nap time has been coinciding perfectly with Miss Daisy's potty time... and all too often I put her to bed only to hear 20 minutes later... "Doing a poo Mummy" and off we trudge to the potty! 

Then it's time to try nap time all over again. Some days it's as easy as lying her back down and leaving. Others I've been laying down on the floor while she falls asleep (usually a 2 minute ordeal so not complaining!) OR there are days like today where she doesn't go to sleep... 

Today I decided not to worry... to pop on Shrek and make us some Tuna Mornay for lunch... I felt like comfort food. And she was more than happy to oblige by watching Shrek... again! We had lunch, snuggled and life was good. She went to bed after lunch and slept for a few hours. So did I.

Here is the recipe if you're interested... it's from Julie Goodwin's site...didn't realise she had a website but it was high up there in the Google search! And it was yummy! I added some bread crumbs and parmesan to the tasty cheese I sprinkled on top! Yum! 
Oh and used the Vetta Hi Fibre Spirals so it had a little extra goodness!
Well, when it came to dinner time... Miss Daisy had just woken from her late arvo nap... and she was not too happy... it took a while for her to wake up properly and even longer for her to not be teary and clingy with me. And what did she request? Shrek 2!

Oh dear! It was dinner time and I needed to cook, so once again, on went the TV. Her gleeful giggles and cheeky smiles are enough to light up anyone's face. But it still concerns me a little... should she really watch two movies in one day! It's not every day....

Anyway, with a little more googling I found this a recipe for a fish crumb! Delicious!
I had fish ready and wanted to do something a little different to our normal fish dishes and this was fabulous! Miss Daisy loved it too! We served it with steamed broccoli and half a baked potato each! Simple and yummy!

Two movies in one day is out of the ordinary for us. But it meant that we finished up the evening with the three of us eating ice-cream on the lounge watching the end of Shrek 2. More snuggling and some dancing at the end! After all, "aren't we supposed to be having a fiesta!?"

So tell me honestly.... what's your TV policy with kids? 
Do you find yourself resorting to putting it on even though you'd rather not?
Or do you think there are days when TV time is totally necessary?

I'm definitely going to continue to create engaging activities that will be good for Miss Daisy whilst I'm busy breast feeding, changing and settling #2 in 4 weeks time... and eliminate TV use as much as possible..

Any ideas?! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rainbow Pasta Threading Fun

Well we have had so much fun with our Rainbow Pasta since it was made! 
And mostly from repeating this fun activity! Threading pasta, it seems it never gets old!

The lovely Roni from The Nappy Bag put some fancy little pipe cleaner wands in her busy bags along with pasta beads and other threading goodies. Unfortunately we weren't in that group so didn't receive one. After making my rainbow pasta I tried to make something similar for Miss Daisy. 

I left this as an open ended play activity and allowed her to create her own play experience. Unfortunately (or fortunately) she thought the pipe cleaners would be better off on their own and wanted to make bracelets from them to wear! So we didn't have any fancy wands this time round!

 It was amazing to watch her fine motor skills as she puzzled over the best way to thread the pasta. Which hand should go where? How far on should the pasta be before I let it go and slide it with the other hand? How will I keep it on at the other end? I was fascinated watching her do this! The concentration on her face was priceless and the joy after she got one on was brilliant to watch! Cute listening to her also as she praised them, "Good girl red pasta" "Come on yellow"

Threading onto a shoelace was a little trickier but Miss Daisy managed to make herself a necklace with a little help from Mummy... then we made 4 more for our friends we were seeing that night for dinner/home group!

We also made up two little packages of pasta and ribbon for her little friends D & I. The boys were thrilled to be able to thread their own pasta necklaces and did it in record time! These would make a great party activity...perhaps at a Rainbow Party!?

I am definitely going to make more Rainbow Pasta so just need some more ideas on how to use it! Hubby has suggested a rainbow collage sticking the pasta to paper and I think I'll make it a bit of a colour recognition lesson - stay tuned! 

Share your pasta fun ideas with me too! I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We're Going On A Bear Hunt Felt Book

Before I parted with my iPhone (I hardly feel it now!) I downloaded the 45th Anniversary Playschool Album from iTunes... hubby transferred it for me onto my iPod nano and I'm able to plug it into the car stereo when Miss Daisy and I are on the go.

At first she was a little frightened of the song/rhyme "We're Going On a Bear Hunt" (it could've been something to do with John & Noni's over-enthusiasm!) but now she LOVES it and will constantly ask for 'Bear Hunt song'. She also knows all the words!!

So I thought I'd make her a felt board scene of We're Going On a Bear Hunt to add to her growing collection of felt play. However, upon thinking about all the small pieces it would require I decided to make a felt flip book for her instead! I'm so happy that I did!Bear Hunt Felt Book - Just For Daisy
 It was very simple to make! I cut an A4 piece of white felt in half (landscape way) and folded them over to create the book. I sewed a straight line up the middle to keep it together.

I then cut out my shapes free hand to make each of the scenes... For the cave I added a little flap that can be lifted so that the 'big googly eyes' are revealed! It all got glue gunned in place and voila!

The back of the book has the bear itself... after discovering the bear... Miss Daisy can make her way back through each of the obstacles... and safely back into the house on the front cover! Clever, yes!?

 Miss Daisy has been listening to the playschool version which omits the snow and the river, however, I just ordered the book by Michael Rosen off Book Depository for $7 so decided to pop these into our felt book in preparation for her falling in love with the story when it arrives!

I can't wait to make some more mini felt flip books for Miss Daisy to play with!

Linking up with some of my favourites :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rainbow Dyed Pasta

We've been lacking in the creative department a little lately. 
Aside from some play dough and the endless picnics and dolly outings from room to room, our play has mostly been outdoors up until now. 

It's starting to cool down a little though... it was 1'C when we got into the car on Wednesday morning! So with Winter nipping at our heels I've got to get back in the swing of having interactive and engaging activities we can do indoors.

Rainbow Pasta - Just For Daisy

Miss Daisy LOVED the Rainbow Rice when we made it and I just found the container in our garage after the move - still absolutely perfect for play... but a little messy for indoors!

So I decided to make some rainbow dyed pasta for threading, glueing, sorting and whatever else Miss Daisy decides we can do with it! Tonight she was handing out the bags to mummy, daddy and one for Scarlet! See they're fun without even opening the bag!

I used the great instructions from over at A Little Delightful to dye the pasta and am very happy with the results!

I divided my bag of penne pasta into six small zip lock bags... added a squirt or two of hand sanitiser and the colours I wanted and 'massaged' it all in! (I think I'll use the hand sanitiser method instead of vinegar next time I do the rice too!)

Once they were nicely coloured I put them on trays covered in baking paper...

 And then sat them on the bench above the fire overnight!
They were perfectly dry and amazingly vivid in colour in the morning! :)

I popped them in a clean zip lock bag each and they're ready for some fun play! 

Rainbow Pasta - Just For Daisy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rainbow Sprocket Pillow

I seem to be constantly pinning and rarely making! Does that sound familiar??

Well, last night was a different story!

After pinning this fabulous Sprocket Pillow yesterday morning I emailed the free pattern piece to hubby to print off at work.

I was excited as he handed it to me last night and was reminded of my creative intentions for the evening!

So I set off creating the first of my rainbow cushions. (My would be theme for our lounge room!)

It needs just a little more stuffing and a button in the middle 
(I've ordered some fabric button covering kits off eBay tonight!)

But I'm in love with it already!

Now I'm logging off to go and make some baby gifts for the new babies that keep appearing around here! :) Only 6 weeks until we expect to welcome our little girl! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

33 weeks today

Wow! There are only seven weeks to go until baby #2 is scheduled to come into the world!

The days seem to be going very slowly and yet they're also speeding by!

Miss Daisy is getting very excited about 'Pepper' and believes that she also has a baby residing in her tummy who is 'coming out soon'.

At this stage we are looking forward to a homebirth at my parents house. We are 45 minutes from the hospital here so can't homebirth in our new house.

I am excited to meet this little one that is so active inside my belly! I want to hold her, see her, smell that newborn smell! I'm anxious and excited to experience the miracle of birthing all over again.

I can't wait!

Seven weeks.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Sticky Date Pudding in a Mug! Dessert for one is served


Blame it on the pregnancy but my goals and emotions are going up and down like a roller-coaster! My cravings for eucalyptus lollies is insatiable! And I've run out! Grrr!! Last week I was looking up raw food recipes in the hope of kicking my addiction to sugar. Tonight I wanted some euco's so bad that I needed a sugar hit, fast!

Perhaps once the baby is here I will kick the sugar!

I was going to make my chocolate mug cake recipe but kind of wanted something sweeter - now that I've eaten what I made even writing this makes me want to run for another glass of water!

Anyway, chocolate mug cake wasn't going to cut it so I decided I'd experiment a little and make a Sticky Date Pudding - for one! :) Out came my Christmas mug (it's the biggest) and off I went grabbing small portions of my ingredients!

The chocolate mug cake gave me a good idea of portions, however, I knew I needed to soften the dates separately first like I would when I make a large pudding so I kind of followed my normal recipe but adjusted to suit small portion and microwave cooking! Amazingly it came together!
Sticky Date Mug Cake - Just For Daisy

10-12 dates, roughly chopped
2 Tbs boiling water
1 tsp Bicarb soda
1 1/2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbs SR flour
1/2 egg (if you make 2 mugs you won't waste your other half!) Beat separately then add half as needed

Sticky Caramel Sauce::
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1 tsp butter
1 tsp milk

Place the chopped dates and the boiling water in a large mug. Microwave for 50-60 seconds to soften dates. Add the bicarb and mash together, it should fizz a little bit! :)
Add the butter and return to microwave for 15-30 seconds (until butter is melted - small bouts better so you don't overdo it!)
Add the sugar, flour and half egg and stir to mix together well.
Mind didn't overflow but the chocolate one sometimes does so pop it on a small plate and microwave for 1 minute. Check and microwave for 10 second intervals if more time is needed.

In a separate mug combine the sauce ingredients. Microwave for 40 seconds. Stir rapidly. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir again. Microwave for another 30 seconds. It should now be a nice thick consistency. Give it a good stir and...

You're ready to enjoy your pudding!

You can serve it in your mug by pouring the sticky caramel sauce over your pudding or if you're like me you can transfer your pudding to a bowl so you can fit some yummy vanilla ice-cream or a dollop of cream!

Sticky Date Mug Cake - Just For Daisy

This was SUPER sweet... I would probably halve it with hubby next time! 
But if you're feeling extra naughty keep it all to yourself! :)

I'd love to know if you make this! I bet you WANT to!

I think I might experiment with other flavours of mug cake in the future! They come together quite easily and save time, mess and they certainly save me from those late night cravings for sugar!
Save me, what am I talking about - they completely take over! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday #12

The last time I linked up with Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday was January! Eeek! 

So much has happened since January, not really in the blogging department though!

We have an amazing new Canon DSLR which we've enjoyed taking pictures on... and yet I haven't linked up with SHS enough at all!

So here are a few from the archives and a few newbies from our life of late... I've got a list written down of next weeks prompts....
Sidewalk. Inspiring. Time. Close Up. With Mirror.
...and will be gladly carrying my camera close at hand all week to capture some fabulous new shots for next Sunday!

This photo is an oldy but was the first that came to mind when I thought of shadows... I did a post on this morning of impromptu shadow/silhouette play here

All three of the things that require keys in this photo have since been sold (well, we're renting the house out) but we've parted with each of them in their own way! Lots of over the last few months! But how about those Rainbows!!??

This is an old one off my iPhone (when I had an iPhone...Oh Instagram I miss thee!)
Miss Daisy insisted on wearing my bedsock as a handbag when we went to the shops!! 

This one I took a week or so ago when we went for a bushwalk (our new backyard playground) to the waterfall. Miss Daisy LOVES walking in the bush and loves her waterfall!
I loved these boots and unfortunately Samson (our German Shepherd) decided he would use one as a chew toy! Grrrr!!
Anyway, this one is SOOC and I LOVE it! She is growing up far too quickly! Her baby sister will be here in 8 weeks - where does the time go?

No, it's not a fish... and she knew it wasn't either... but we did do a week learning about the ocean and fish and this poor fellow had died in a rockpool on our excursion to the beach. But he proved to be a great learning tool for the kids - until he fell apart when my niece picked him up a little too rough! Ooops!

Would love to come and visit you too... please leave a comment and I'll be sure to check out your blog....

This little fairy and I are linking up with Ashley here...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fresh homemade bread in under an hour! Wow!

I may be in love... with a new bread recipe I found!

You might have read the post I did about the No Knead bread ... and I do still love to munch on a loaf slice of WHO bread from SouleMama. But I am still searching for my perfect bread recipe!

And then I found it... 

It looked too good to be true. A simple bread recipe with basic ingredients that promised me my bread would be prepare and ready in under an hour! I had to try this! 
In my hunt for the perfect bread I love reading words like "no knead", "quick" and "simple"! That's what you want if you're going to commit to regularly making bread!

Well, I've made this fabulous loaf two days in a row now and am quite happy with the results!
I am looking forward to substituting some of the white flour for wholemeal flour and will be looking into suppliers of organic bread flour here as I'd prefer to go as natural as possible.
Let's leave out the bleach etc!

The recipe I found came from this great blog La Fuji Mama and is really easy to follow - she also has a fabulous video of herself making the bread. (I wonder when I'll be cool enough to do a Vlog! Hmmm.. makeover anyone!!) Having watched her video made me feel like I'd made the bread before as I confidently threw it all together for the first time! 

PS. Love her tip on spray oil on the kneading surface! I am usually guilty of adding far too much extra flour at this point to prevent it from sticking to my hand! Perfect solution! No stickiness at all!

Very happy with this one and have definitely added it to my shortlist!

I am still on the hunt for my perfect bread and will definitely be experimenting with my ingredients more and more. But we've had two happy days of fresh sandwiches on super quick and easy fresh bread!

Have you got a great bread recipe you could share with me? I'd love to try it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DIY Quick and Easy Tealight Holders

Well, yesterday afternoon Miss Daisy surprised me with a nap that lasted over 4 hours! 
(Admittedly it was an hour or so late and she did have two bottles to get her there!) 

She really must have been tired! I had the food processor going making cookie dough, clanging around washing dishes and preparing dinner and nothing woke her!
All good... it meant I got to create a little something while I waited for her to wake!

We've been using candles a little bit more often since moving house. They seem to go well with the fire and overall cosiness of our new home! And hey, with no TV why not have a little mood lighting around the place! :)

I love to buy tea-lights and at my last Ikea visit I bought the cinnamon pack of tea-lights - they smell divine!

These cute tea-light holders are made from a few easy bits n pieces I had lieing around. Baby food jars, stretch lace, jute string and a trusty glue stick! I can picture them with many other amazing additions. Perhaps painting the inside of a few jars is next one the agenda... 

Tealight makeover - Just For Daisy

This was a very quick and easy afternoon pick me up that really prettied up our dinner table last night!

Now excuse me I'm off to munch on more Eucalyptus lollies! Yikes! My teeth are going to hate me!