Category: Kids

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Apricot and Raisin Cookies

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Are you in the mood for some delicious, chewy, cinnamonny cookies that you can pretend are vaguely healthy?

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If you’re like me, the answer to that question is always YES!

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I opened the cupboard and realised I didn’t have any oats. NO OATS?! Finding a recipe for a chewy raisin cookie without oats is very difficult. However I got one over on Joy of Baking.

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Some important changes to their recipe:

Firstly, chop up some dried apricots. Eat a few. Yum!

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Second, plump your raisins. To do this you simply put them in a bowl of hot water for around 10mins. If you want to make them more delicious, add some golden syrup to the hot water.

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Thirdly, double the suggested amount of cinnamon. Then, for the final chewy, sweet step, add two tablespoons of golden syrup.

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Fight off the kids and lick the bowl and spoon all by yourself!

Russian Nesting Doll Halloween Costume

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My friend Maja suggested that my girls should dress for Halloween as Russian nesting dolls (or matryoshka dolls or babushka dolls or whatever it pleases you to call them). What an awesome idea!!

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I have been trying to convince the girls to wear this costume on Halloween without any luck – they want to stick with the costumes they’ve individually chosen. THWARTED!

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However, rather than let my dashed plans lie sadly in the gutter crying their little eyes out, we compromised on a photo shoot. The girls were rather delighted that Nanna pulled out her makeup bag and they got to wear lipstick and eyeliner for the first time. russiandoll4

Fishing Princess Cake

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My little girls loves princesses (no surprise) and fishing (surprise!). My husband had the bright idea of hosting a party for her at a Trout Farm. I had a lot of misgivings about it (quite possibly stemming from the fact that it wasn’t my idea) but it turned out to be a really fun day and the kids had a fantastic time. Plus, the kids ate what they’d caught for dinner, which was a really lovely lesson about where food comes from.

Fishing Princess Cake

We had a few thoughts around different kinds of fish-themed cakes, but settled on the princess as a way of bringing her other interests to the table (literally! AHA so punny!). I’d seen a lot of ombre mermaid themed cakes on Pintrest and wanted to have a go. I divided the white fondant into three different lumps – two small lumps for white and dark teal, and one large aqua tinted lump. Kneading the colours into the fondant was actually quite fun and therapeutic.

I looked around to see what I could use to cut the circles for the scales and an Advil measuring cup was sitting on the sink, so I used that! It was actually a good size.  I rolled out some white, aqua and teal fondant and cut out the circles I needed. Then to make the ombre I just mixed some of the remaining fondant together to get the perfect blend, and cut out more circles.

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My husband had the clever idea to use a piece of string to measure how long our fondant needed to be to make the skirt. He wrapped the string around the cake, then cut pieces to size for the arc of the top and bottom. He then laid the sting over the fondant and cut it to size. Clever man.

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I also tasked my husband with the job of making the fishing rod, and he went to town. I just love the little button for the reel. He also made the happiest little fish that ever had a hook in his mouth.

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Then I got my craft on and decorated the cake with seaweed, seashells and starfish. Super fun!

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And there she is, our princess of the lake.

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Beautiful Personalised Birthday Card Hack

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Here is a super easy way to create gorgeous birthday cards with minimal fuss.

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Buy pretty blank cards – I always look in the dollar section at Target, these ones were only $1 for 8! Then buy a pack of stick-on letters, these are Thickers by American Crafts. You can buy them in the scrapbooking section of craft stores.

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The hardest part is spacing the letters and getting them centred on the card. I have to admit I struggle a little with that!! And there you have a pretty, personalised card for a very reasonable price.

Of course you don’t just have to write a name. Sometimes I use numbers for the age, or create whatever message I need. Get creative with it!

 

 

Before and After, and another update: Twins Bedroom

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Here are photos of my 4 year old twins bedroom, you may have seen them already on Apartment Therapy.

As much as I love this room, unfortunately little kids grow up and so we have to change with them. So I am making plans for a new ‘big girl’ room.

Funny that I was so adamant that I wouldn’t bow to the pressure and make a pink girls bedroom. However, I am finding myself pushing for it – mainly because then all the pink toys, presents, dolls etc that will also be in the room will match.

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I am thinking of purchasing bunk beds that can also be used as two twin beds. It seems to be the most sensible purchase to ensure we will always have enough room for the girls wherever we live. And then we could have another bed in the room if #3 ever feels like she is left out by sleeping in a room on her own.

Just changing the curtains and throw pillows gives the room a whole new feeling. I’m quite excited about getting this project underway, as are the twins who have already decided that they are BOTH sleeping in the top bunk!

Healthy Fruit Balls for Kids

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My friend Megan posted this recipe on Facebook recently. It sounded easy, fun and good for kids so of course I was interested!

Her recipe:

  • 250g Dates, 50g Coconut, 50g Oats, 20g Cocoa, 1TB Milk.
  • Whizz in blender, then roll into balls

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As you may know, I have trouble following recipes as they are. So I added cranberries and graham crackers in addition to the above.

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And then I felt like they didn’t taste naughty enough, so I added 2 teaspoons of icing sugar. Because I’m bad like that.

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I can’t say I loved them, but they were a hit with the kiddos. And it was fun to see my youngest shovel piles of desiccated coconut into her mouth with her fingers.

Happy Valentines Day

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I don’t really do Valentines Day. Of course, if I found a mysterious card from a very attractive secret admirer I might be persuaded to celebrate.

I have always wanted to buy those little heart candies though, so that’s what we are celebrating today.

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Lovely Ladybugs

Do you ever sing this rhyme to a ladybird?

“Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are all alone.”

Heartbreaking, what a tragedy!

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Interesting how this particular beetle is always associated with being female. Is it because she’s so pretty? Is that the one thing that people all over the world associate with females?

I just read that the Ladybug is most likely named after the Virgin Mary (Our Lady), with other European names referencing norse fertility goddesses. So this bug is not only female, but always a mother too.

No wonder everyone loves a lovely ladybug!

Shame about what happened to her children.

A Magic Garden 4th Birthday Party for Twins

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I wanted my twins to feel like they had free choice for their birthday party to be whatever they wanted. Fortunately for me I have two girls whose interests are similar, and they are still young enough to be persuaded in a direction that I like (because that of course, is the important part!)

So when one chose a Beehive cake, and the other chose a Rainbow cake, I started to wonder about what the party theme should be. Now I know kids parties don’t have to be themed and they really couldn’t care less, but since I’m going to do the work anyway, it may as well be good.

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Rainbow Birthday Cake

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My 4 year old birthday girl briefed me on the cake she wanted. It should be a rainbow, with a ladybug flying over it, and lots of chocolate. She drew me a sketch.

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Fortunately the mountains and trees were in the sketch for decorative purposes only, I didn’t have to make them.

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How to make a no-sew gnome hat

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Before the girls party, I googled ‘gnome hats’ to see how to make one and couldn’t find a simple, easy way to do it. So here is how I made 20 cute, gorgeous little gnome hats in an hour for about $5 total.

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Late Fall Weather

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The weather today is cool and crisp, but the sun is strong and warming. I hope I don’t sound cheesy, but it’s so life affirming. It  makes me daydream that I am roaming my country estate, checking on the animals and strolling through the woods.

Instead we went to the neighbourhood park.  I am wearing my new Hunter gumboots so at least my feet are living the dream!

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Tea Party Sandwiches

Honestly, I am not a fan of going overboard for kids food. I prefer the whole ‘take it or leave it’ approach. Although I say that with only the experience of feeding my own kids so I know that hardly counts, different things work for different people.

But every now and again I love to give them a treat, and because I do it rarely, they really enjoy it when I surprise them with fun sandwiches.

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We had a lovely tea party in the backyard with these. So fun. And because I hate seeing the waste I ate all the crusts…not the most gourmet experience but that’s what mum’s do!