Monday, April 29, 2013

Cravings.


Miss Daisy is big on telling me she grew and grew in my belly lately. And then she came out just like this *lifts shirt and pulls dolly from under* "See mummy, I was born" Yes honey, just like that!
We had fun the other evening playing mummy's and baby's... she always gets so serious in her mummy role and I love the way she tenderly strokes my forehead when I go 'wah wah wah' with gusto!! She'll be a great mummy one day. One day. Daddy was a little put off by our game, not sure which pregnant lady scared him more!!

I remember early in my first pregnancy being about half way through and people asking had I had any cravings... no, I hadn't had any. I'd had a few food aversions, or more appropriately, things I couldn't bare to eat.
Then at around 28 weeks it hit me, hard. My dad and I were cleaning up a piece of furniture I'd bought off eBay. He wanted to give it a once over with eucalyptus oil too, just to make sure it was clean and hygienic. So we did. One whiff and I wanted to drink it... really bad. I refrained but went to bed that night with eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief, my pillow and the bottle on the bedside just in case reapplication was necessary throughout the night!

Needless to say drinking eucalyptus oil wasn't advised (I googled around - go figure) so I went to the store and bought the next best thing! Eucalyptus balls!

And the cravings took over. They consumed me. I was a slave to the eucalyptus ball. I hid them in my wardrobe, car, handbag, clothing. I went through packets and packets each day. I'd get my hubby to hide them. Then I'd make a 45 minute trip to go buy more! I'd beg him to tell me where they were hidden. It was ridiculous. And you know what, pregnant with #2 it happened all over again! Both times, after giving birth to these two perfect little koalas... I did not touch another eucalyptus ball!

This post was going to segue into an eloquent post on how I'm craving more at the moment in relation to this blog. I'm craving more meaningful activities with Miss Daisy and more meaningful exploration for Li'l Peppa. I'm craving better use of my time. Less influence online. More time in the garden. More food coming from the garden to my table (we used a heap of our silver-beet in tonight's cannelloni). I want that insatiable craving to become an unstoppable force that pursues and accomplishes those things.

And I want sleep... it's nearly tomorrow so it's good night. x
What are you craving?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just another day. New directions. Old.

















Hello. You made it through that long collection of photos. Aren't they blissful!
That was some of my day. It doesn't show the runny nose of a tired, teething baby with a cold. It certainly doesn't show the attitude from an overtired toddler who stayed up too late last night. And it doesn't show a mummy who let loose on an unsuspecting hubby tonight due to her own tiredness!

Anyway, this post will not make it to Google +, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform. There's no text on my photos to make them pinworthy or any inclination in me to share this to the masses. So hello to you, reading this... maybe you 'followed' me oh so long ago. Maybe you get my posts in your inbox! (I do too and actually like the way they look!) Maybe you're family (hi guys!), maybe you happened to stumble upon my little blog some other way! Hello to you! 

This is us. This was a piece of our day. And this is where this blog began. 
No schedule, no photo takes and retakes, no need to document our play. We just play. We just are.
I think that's where I'm heading back to. I want to read the amazing commercialised blogs, not be one.

This place is for me to share my life and the loves of my life. And at this point in time I'm going to steer myself in a new direction, or perhaps an old one. 
Anyway, hello to you, reading this! :) I'd love you to comment and tell me how you found this little post on your screen! Hello to you - and I hope to see more of you in the future. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nursery Rhymes and Finger Plays

Miss Daisy has always had a very good memory. From an early age she could recall details in books, the events of her day and she quotes movies like a boss!

Needless to say at nearly three years of age she knows over 40 nursery rhymes and finger plays by heart! And listening to her recite them over and over is one of my favourite things!

Last week we were reading through one of our nursery rhyme books and came across a favourite, Here Is the Beehive. This one is quite simple and great for early counting skills as it uses the hand actions to assist in one to one correspondence of counting fingers.

We decided to draw some little bees on our fingers that could hide away in the hive, ready to appear!


Here are some fabulous resources for enjoying nursery rhymes and finger plays with your children.

My Little Bookcase : It all starts with Nursery Rhymes
My Little Bookcase : A list of Nursery Rhyme books
Lessons Learnt Journal : Bring Nursery Rhymes to Life
Wildlife Fun For Kids : Wildlife themed Nursery Rhymes

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two Minute Recipe :: Aussie Kool-Aid Play Dough

Just For Daisy :: Aussie Kool Aid Playdough Recipe
Here is the easiest recipe you'll find to make play dough! Yep, even easier than my microwave playdough recipe! Boil the kettle, mix it up and you'll have the best play dough ever!

This is an Aussie spin on this fabulous Kool Aid play dough recipe from Suzi's Crafts. I was fortunate enough to have some Kool Aid from a lovely US blogging friend to make a batch and it is by far the best consistency play dough we've ever made!

Kool Aid is not readily available in Australia (you can get it at some boutique candy shops or from eBay) but a similar product is available at our two big grocery chains! After a lovely chat with some of my facebook followers, Katie from The Imperfect Housewife shared this fabulous product!

...Meet Food Zoo Powdered Cordial Stix, I chose the Wild Raspberry flavour! Each packet contains 10 stix of pre mix drink powder, I used two stix to make one batch of super scented play dough as follows:
Just For Daisy :: Two Minute Kool Aid Play Dough


Ingredients for 'Aussie Kool Aid' Play Dough:
1 cup plain flour
2 Tbs cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
2 stix of Food Zoo Powdered Cordial
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water

How is it done?

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix it well. The great part about this is your mix will not appear coloured... so for little eyes (and big) the next step will be a treat!
Add the oil and boiling water to the mix... watch it change colour before your eyes!
Now you need to stir until it becomes firm... little ones can help with this under supervision once the boiling water has been mixed into the dry ingredients a little so it will not splash!

I find that with a good strong stir for 30 seconds to a minute you will have a lovely consistency and can wait for your dough to cool then go right ahead and play with it.
If you read Suzi's instructions you will see that if your dough is a little sticky pop some flour on your work surface and knead until you get the consistency you're after.

Now you have some fabulous 2 minute Play Dough to play with for weeks to come! And the best part is that it smells divine!

Pop it in a plastic zip lock bag or an air tight container to keep it fresh between use!

Here are some fabulous ways to use your Two Minute Play Dough:
- Create some play dough animals with Wildlife Fun 4 Kids
- Make cupcakes and icecreams with Four Little Piglets
- Experiment with primary colours over at Boy Mama Teacher Mama
- They're good enough to eat so why not make some Sugar Plum Fairy sweets with My Little Bookcase
- Try some natural dyes for your next batch from Ladybug's Spots
- These fabulous playdough prints from Childhood 101
- Find some inspiration from cake cookbooks with Creative Play Central
- Make some cute aliens with Lessons Learnt Journal
- Work on letter recognition with alphabet mats from Octavia & Vicky
- Get out the laminator again and make a cute playdough garden like Picklebums
- Add a little fine motor fun with pipe cleaners and beads with Learnt With Play At Home
Or try this fun activity with playdough and water if you're getting rid of an old batch with this awesome new recipe! :)


Love To Dream inVENTA Sleeping Bag - Product Review/Giveaway


Wow! Isn't that a loaded question! It's funny because in the last (nearly) three years as a parent there are some memorable night's sleep I can remember. Those nights where unexpectedly you awake with the morning light peeping through the curtains and wonder if it could really be true that you just slept all night!

The photo above shows you just some of the sleep paraphernalia we use to help both our daughter's settle off into a blissful night's sleep. Some nights it works just like that, they settle, others we are up and down constantly!

Miss Daisy seemed to settle into a fabulous sleep routine very quickly. We were quite deliberate in putting her down to sleep at certain times, putting her down awake to settle herself and lots of other things the book told us to do. It worked. She did the amazing 'sleep through the night' from around 12 weeks old. We had lots of hiccups over the following years with teething, sickness and other milestones interrupting sleep. But generally we all slept all night, fabulous!

Enter Li'l Peppa, 10 months and counting and the only full night's sleep we have experienced is her pulling all nighters when we're camping! Go figure! Lots of people say it must be the fresh air, hubby said perhaps the lack of oxygen in the tent!

However, even Li'l Peppa loves the routine of going down for a nap or bedtime at night. It's always the same and this helps her know that it's time for sleep and she settles off wonderfully on her own. (It's the waking through the night we've got to eliminate!)
A very important part of our early routine was swaddling with a nice stretchy wrap... however, Peppa was a wrigglepot and we transitioned to an infant sleeping bag around 5-6 months old.

I was recently sent a fabulous infant sleeping bag from the lovely team at Love To Dream to use and review.
Living in a cool climate I was excited to hear that Love To Dream have just developed a new inVENTA 2.5 tog Sleep Bag. Perfect for our cold climate!

Here's what we thought of the inVENTA Sleep Bag.

- soft bamboo lining, comfortable, hypoallergenic and breathable. And makes your baby extra snuggly!
- press studs to shorten or lengthen the bag, making each size last longer (we were given the 4-12 month size and at 10 months Li'l Peppa still has plenty of room!)
- full open side zipper is great for easily getting a wriggly baby into the sleeping bag!
- full open side zipper also reduces drying time significantly as the bag can be hung completely open.
- only need to fasten one shoulder, the other slips on like a sleeve
- holes to allow baby to stay in sleeping bag whilst in a 5 point harness (car seat, capsule or pram)


And finally the part that I really love - particularly living where we do, the night's begin quite warm, either naturally or because the fire is running. Then as the night turns to morning it becomes cooler in the house, especially from around 3am. The best part here is that the inVENTA sleeping bag has a unique zip system that encloses some mesh panels. This is an easy way to change the level of warmth your bag is delivering, keeping your baby/toddler at the perfect temperature.
So I can put Li'l Peppa to bed with the mesh panels unzipped and without disturbing her or having to change her clothes/bedding I can zip up the mesh panels allowing the heat to stay in the bag and keep her warm!

We've introduced several other changes since using the inVENTA sleeping bag so I'm not going to say it's a miracle cure! However, since using it, I have had a few memorable night's sleep where the hours between her waking were a lot longer than normal! :) And that makes me smile!


Would you like to WIN your very own inVENTA sleep bag for your baby or toddler? Well, you can enter our giveaway for a chance to win!

*** Leave a comment below telling us what your child's favourite sleeping aid is? Perhaps it's a whole collection of sleep paraphernalia like my girls! Then head over to Love To Dream and tell me what colour and size inVENTA sleep bag you'd like to win! ***


Terms and Conditions.
You must be an Australian resident to enter, leave your comment below, you must provide a valid email address and entries are limited to one per household. 

Entries will be open from today, Monday 15th April 2013 and close Sunday 21st April 2013. The winner will be contacted by email and announced on this post, as well as announced on our facebook page. The winner must contact within 5 days or the prize will be re-drawn. Prize will be posted directly from Love To Dream. Good Luck!

(I was given an inVENTA sleep bag to review for this post - all opinions are my own.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Recipe :: Roast Vegetable Frittata



If you follow along with our adventures on Instagram you would have seen this lovely thing on your feed today! :) I made dinner, at 2pm! For us and for our neighbours! Go mumma!! 

Hubby bought eggs, I bought eggs and our friends gave us a dozen fresh eggs, so it was a bit of an egg festival in our fridge! We boiled up the blue Araucana eggs from our wonderful friends and had them with our salad last night and again for lunch today.

There were still two dozen eggs so I decided to make a frittata for dinner tonight! Yum!
I found a recipe in a Donna Hay recipe book, but was missing about 3 of the ingredients so this is my ad-libbed version! She also cooked hers on the stove top but I decided to just throw it in the oven!

Baby Spinach & Roast Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
4 small potatoes, quartered
2 zucchinis, cut into eighths
1 red capsicum, cut into eighths
olive oil
salt
10 eggs
1 cup milk (or cream)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tbs fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of loose baby spinach, roughly chopped

Instructions
Place your chopped vegetables into a lined roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
Roast at 200'C, approximately 30-40 minutes, turning once.

Whisk egg, milk and cheese in a large bowl. Set aside.
Once roasted, spread your vegetables evenly between two pie dishes. Top with chopped basil and baby spinach. 

Pour your egg mixture evenly between the two dishes to cover your vegetables. (You have to be careful all the cheese doesn't just pop out at the end!)

Bake in a 180'C oven for 30-40 minutes or until brown on top. 

Can be enjoyed straight from oven or eaten cool. We enjoyed ours with a balsamic dressed salad!



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blogging Tips : How to post a link in comments


I love visiting other blogs. I love leaving comments too! I especially love blogs that don't have the captcha security feature turned on... although lately they've been easier to decipher! But sometimes I struggle! (That's another post though!)

Another thing I sometimes like to include in comments on blogs I visit is a link to somewhere else on the internet or in particular back to my own blog. This is a bit of a grey area as I don't want to be seen to be spamming or fishing for people to visit my own blog. However, sometimes it's truly relevant to share something from your own blog with blog friends or with new connections!

Here's an easy way to include a link in the comments section that is not intrusive to other bloggers. It will create a text link to your post that is a different colour to the rest of your comment. Highlighting where to go without a spammy looking extended link in the comment.

Here is a comment I left on my friend Hinterland Mama's blog tonight...


You can see my link is included as a text link with the title of my choice. I usually make this part of my comment that is relevant so that I don't have a really obvious 'please click here' piece of text within my comment! See, not spammy at all! :)

So here's how you do it! 

Copy/paste this code into the comment:

<a href="URL">Title</a>

Replace the URL with the URL of the site/post your are linking to and replace the title with whatever text you'd like to have appear in the comment.

Easy peasy isn't it! :) Feel free to practice in the comments section below and try out your new found skill! :) 

I'd love to be linked back to your blog to say hello! :)

Have you ever wondered how to:


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Back in 5 minutes

Perhaps I should have a sign like that up on the blog!
Back soon. :)