With washing waiting to be folded and cereal in our hair we share our roller coaster lives to inspire, relate and communicate with Mums just like us.

All things family related food, recipes, reviews, gardening, crafts, educational play, home things, outings and more.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Themed Collage - Craft for Todders

Themed Collage – Craft for your Toddler

This was Miss 2’s afternoon activity. She had a tray of cut-outs from her current favourite book - Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and a window of clear contact where she can stick her cut-outs anywhere she pleases, all by herself!
Creating new things on their own can boost a child’s self-confidence and help them develop new skills they didn’t know they had. Miss 2 loved doing this and was very proud of the end result. It is now on the wall in her bedroom.

You will need:
  • Clear contact
  • Sticky tap
  • Scissors
  • An old book or book cover
  • A tray for the cut-outs
  • *optional confetti, glitter or sequins

You will need to pre-cut the pictures/text. Depending on how many you cut, it can take a little while so best to do it when your toddler is preoccupied or during nap time.

Find a low window (or use the sliding door) so they will be able to reach all areas. Cut two sheets of clear contact roughly the same size as each other. Peal the backing off one of them and sticky tape the corers to secure it to the window.

When Miss 2 was ready for action I explained to her that the clear paper on the window was sticky and I got her to touch it so she knew what I meant.  I told her that she can put her pictures anywhere she liked on there but once she put it down it was stuck. She carefully placed each piece (even if some were upside down) all by herself.
*This helps build fine motor skills and encourages imagination.

When she was finished I took it down and gave Miss 2 some confetti glitter to sprinkle in the gaps. Of course she loved doing this and it was rather messy but it was another good lesson for her. Getting messy with glitter and seeing how things stick together to create a picture is all part of early learning experiences and helps build a child’s knowledge base.

When she was fished making a wonderful mess I added to it by shaking off the excess confetti. I then covered the whole picture with the second piece of clear contact. I folded the sticky ends over and trimmed any bits that stuck out or looked too rough.
That’s it! It’s ready to be put up on Miss 2’s wall.

You can do this activity with anything; pictures of family members, strips of scrap paper, cards from their last birthday… anything you like!

What do you think your child would like to make a collage of?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yoghurt and Lemon Cake - Secret Recipe

Yoghurt and Lemon Cake

I love this cake - seriously you're lucky i'm sharing it. 
So keep it to yourself ok  :)

¾ cup Castor Sugar
60ml Coconut Oil
2 Eggs Separated
300g Greek Yoghurt
1 Lemon grated zest 
 1 ½ cup Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 tablespoon Desiccated Coconut

Using a mixer beat together the Coconut Oil and Sugar and then add egg yolks one at a time mixing in well.

Add in the Lemon zest and yoghurt.

Slowly mix in the Flour, Baking Soda & Coconut.

In a separate small bowl whisk the egg whites until they become soft peaks  and then fold into the cake batter. 

Pour into cake pan. I tend to use a Bundt tin

Cook at 160- 180 Celsius fan forced for about 1hr 10min.  I think sometimes the seasonal changes in the yoghurt can affect the timings as well as the differences in ovens so about an hour.

Icing:  Icing sugar and lemon juice and a little colouring. pending on the consistency you are after.

joining in with Jess for IBOT :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Stardust Circus - Sydney July 2013 Review

Stardust Circus 
A Sydney show review by Nic

My daughter has recently become obsessed with watching Dumbo, the 1941 Disney classic. As most toddlers/children do, she watches it over and over again. If you don’t know/remember the story; Dumbo is a baby elephant who is born into the circus. There’s a fare bit of circus events and stunts in the movie. So I asked her if she’d like to go to a real circus with me one day, “Oh yes Mummy!” she replied with an extremely over enthusiastic voice. So I typed into Google ‘circus Sydney’ and lucky us, there was a circus here now, the Stardust Circus was in town!

 Very excited, I left 45 minutes early with Miss 2 and Mister 8 months (Hubby was working) to allow myself all the extra time I seem to need now that Miss 2 is toilet training and Mister 8 months has just started teething and throw in the fact that I’m new to Sydney and haven’t been to this place before. I’m glad I did because there was a teacup ride, jumping castle slide and a mini sideshow alley for us to explore!
They also have a show bag for $10, some different flashing light toys for sale as you walk into the tent, standard fun show food and a coffee stand.
The show went for 2 hours, starting just after 11am and finishing at about 1:15pm including an intermission.
I won’t ruin the show for you but you will see some of the following: Lions, pony’s, dogs, pigs etc... Performing perfect tricks! Crazy, funny clowns with some good adult and children jokes, an awesome mix of music both during and in-between performances, people from as young as a 1 year old (yes he’s only 1 and he’s gorgeous!) through to adults doing some serious stunts and showing us great skills! There is an opportunity to have your photo taken with a baby lion cub for $40 before the show and at half time the kids can ride a pony around the circus ring for a small fee.
My daughter loved the clowns the most and I have to say I enjoyed anything the young acrobats were involved in - so cute and so talented!
This is a show I’m glad I didn't miss and lucky us we‘ll be going with another family next week!

The Stardust Circus website is easy and you can buy tickets from there with a $5.50 booking fee, but that way when you arrive you can just show them the print out, give them your booking number, or like me – just give them your surname while you juggle two kids! I also pre-purchased a $5 souvenir program as a keepsake and to show Hubby as it was the kids’ first circus experience.

  • Bring cash. If you think you’ll want to buy food, toys, let the kids go on the rides or play the sideshow games then bring extra cash as there are no card facilities.
  • Plan where you think you’ll park before you leave. I don’t recommend parking right out front like we did as it becomes a traffic jam quickly before and after the shows and we were parked in.
  • Get there early. Allow time to get a parking spot, walk to the show, have kids go to the toilet and line up (OR buy your tickets then line up *they don’t take credit cards).
  • I brought my own snacks and bought some there. Bring your own if you want to save money and have a healthy option. It can also help to keep the kids still in their seats to watch the show and avoid lining up in the half time break.
  • You can bring a pram and leave it just inside the tent entrance before heading to your seats. I wish I did, I need more than 2 arms.

For information and to purchase tickets go to their website:  http://www.stardustcircus.com.au/

*We sat in the Elevated Chairs which was $30 per adult, $20 per child (no charge for a child who can sit on your lap for 2 hours). It wasn’t a sell out show so the last three rows at the back were empty. Just before the show started I moved us up the back so we could spread out a bit more. A few people did the same – especially the ones with toddlers who wanted to get out of their chairs and move around a bit.

Note:  This is simply a review of OUR experience. We were not asked, reimbursed, paid or anything else from Stardust for this review.  All words are our own.  thanks.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

This is the only vegetarian dish that my hubby really loves, he’s always asking me to make it! I actually really enjoy cooking this dish too which helps. It’s a little time consuming but its fun, tasty, healthy and doesn't cost a fortune! It services 6-8 adults. Serve it with a nice salad and some crusty bread.

What you will need:
•1 x packet of fresh cannelloni sheets (12 sheets around 11cm x 15 cm) OR 20 x pre-made cannelloni tubes you find in the pasta section at the super market. *I personally like using the fresh cannelloni sheets - it’s easier and quicker to put the filling in.
•1 x packet of frozen FINELY chopped spinach (thawed and excess water drained)
•500g ricotta (large tub)
•1 egg
•1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
•3/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan *use ¼ cup for cheese topping
•salt and pepper
•1 x bottle of tomato Passata
•1/2 cup water
•3 cloves of garlic, crushed
•1/2 cup chopped basil leaves *save some leaves for decoration at the end
•1 cup of grated mozzarella


Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease your baking dish (I use a 35cm by 22cm).

In a large bowl, mix together spinach, ricotta, egg, parsley and ½ cup of Parmesan (save the ¼ cup for the cheese on top), salt and pepper.
Spoon your mixture onto the pasta sheets and fold the sheets over to enclose.
Place your filled cannelloni next to each other in the dish as you go.

If you’re using the pre-made tubes, use a tea spoon and fill them completely.

To make the sauce, in a large bowl mix together the Passata, water, crushed garlic and basil. Pour it over your cannelloni and give the tray a little wobble to spread the sauce evenly around.

Cover it with foil and place it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

You can freeze this dish for up to 3 months.

what i am eating

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Little Bellies Review and Giveaway

I don’t think I’m an overly strict mumma who only lets their children eat particular foods and I’m not a nutritionist or expert on snack foods but I do more than often by pass the snack and lunch box foods in the supermarkets for my own home made options or good ol’ fruit.  I have however found a brand I am loving and i'm so excited to tell you about them and even better we're lucky enough to have a giveaway on them! 

"little bellies" is an Australian Family Owned company who are trying to keep their kids and ours in  Organically certified healthier snack food options. 
I had the privilege of spending the morning with some of the"little bellies" family recently and trying their great range of healthier food options aimed at younger Children. 
 My little Miss also loved trying all the products and checking its throwing and eating off the floor suitability. Honestly I was surprised of how many products she actually enjoyed and the foods I thought she’d avoid are now on my permanent shopping list.

We love the Little Gingerbread Men made with whole-grains and sweetened only with grape juice, there are no added preservatives and no artificial colours or flavours. They are a little bigger than some smallish teddy bears you can buy which i find great because the little ones can hold them better and they tend to eat less of them as they bite them rather than guzzle them whole.
I've also used these recently as cake toppers and served them at parties as an alternative to chips.

All of my kids to my surprise are loving the cereal. I’m not sure whether its just because they are numbers or what but the Peach flavour seems to be a winner. I love the fact it is a cereal low in sodium and sugar and made only with organic ingredients.  We use this as a snack food, I take little containers of numbers with me for baby to snack on.  I have also used it as a number teaching exercise!

My favourite is the cheesy Fiddlesticks.  These a great we can demolish these so fast.  Serve with some dip or yoghurt and some vegies and you have a quick lunch done.   Great to pack in lunch boxes or if you're peckish in the middle of the night to dunk into some hommous.

If you’d like to know more about cooking, recipes and food info for babies and children you can visit Mandy over at  Little People Nutrition. Great website with lots of ideas. You can follow Mandy's facebook page too 

You can check out all the products on the "little bellies" website or on their facebook page
They are found in most the major supermarkets. Ours are in the baby food aisle. 

Insert drum roll here …

The fabulous Little Bellies family are generously giving one of our followers a gift pack of their goodies to try!   
Yay thank you.

All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter entry below.   Australian residents only.

Winners will be drawn Saturday 13th July 2013.