30 June 2014

Kicking off the school holidays with Pete the Cat...

My daughter first heard this story and song last year at preschool.
She's become a bit of a fan.
Since my boy started preschool this year he too loves Pete the Cat.

So I did some searching this morning, and found some crafty stuff for us to do.
The next two weeks there will be NO PRESCHOOL, so I have to try and keep somewhat organised to keep us all sane.
As sane as possible in this house!

We coloured, cut and pasted.
We listened to the songs and sand and danced along together.
In our pajamas of course.
We do a lot of early morning crafts!

Here's our end results.... As you can see, one was a team effort with mum...

Here's the printables we used...

26 June 2014

Just Another Chaotic Morning...

This morning was like most.
Rushing around trying to do 6 things at once.
"Get dressed!"
"Brush your hair."
"Eat your breakfast."
"Don't ignore me, can you please LISTEN!"

My daughter was adamant.
She did not want to get dressed.
Instead, she wanted to sit and eat her toast with the tiniest nibbles.
I was getting frustrated.

"You don't want to go to preschool in your pajamas do you?? Everyone will think you are silly and laugh at you!"
Yes, mother of the year award goes to me.... Teaching my child she will be teased if she looks different to everyone else. What was I thinking!
Oh, wait, I was not thinking at all...
I was running late.

"Yes! I do want to wear them to preschool, and I can show all my friends."

Well..... That backfired!
My quick attempt to motivate her turned into a stubborn stand off.
I won.
I walked over to her, kneeled down so we looked eye to eye and said in my stern cranky mummy voice.
"You need to get dressed now."

And, voila!
It worked!

We weren't terribly late, so it gave us a little extra time for our chilly walk.
There was frost everywhere, in all the shadows.
We looked at grass, leaves, studied the lines of ice and melted it with our warm fingers.

This morning was like most.
A lovely one.

22 June 2014

I Think We're Onto A Winner!

With the ultimate tool of a pen and post-it note, I think I have found a way to get my kids to do just about anything!
It started during dinner one night when, as usual, my kids were refusing to eat.
Everything was "yucky".
Food that they had once professed their love for and shovelled into their mouths was now a reject.
I was at that point where I was thinking "Is it another night of no dinner, empty tummies and waking up starving in the early hours of the morning?"
Not ideal!
Then I looked over to my computer desk and saw my post-it notes and had a sudden brain explosion.
It was the day after I had made the delicious Carrot & Walnut cake.
I don't usually let my kids have dessert, after all, a sugar high right before bed is not the best idea!
But this cake, with only honey as a sweetener, was the perfect candidate for bribery material.
I wrote out a "dessert ticket" complete with a little badly drawn picture of a slice of cake and proceeded to explain the rules to the kids.
Whoever ate their dinner, would get a ticket for dessert.
My fiance had already finished his so I made a big deal out of giving him one.
The kids got excited.
My daughter was the first to clear her plate.
My son saw everyone else had finished, and had tickets and he began to throw food so fast we had to tell him to slow down to stop choking on it!
It was quite a treat to have dessert after dinner, and I held onto hope that the ticket system would work again another day.

So far we have used tickets as a reward a few times, with mostly success. I have had to stick to my guns though, and not cave in and give one to my stubborn son if he doesn't obey.
But they seem to be loving the novelty of a ticket, and the reward that it brings.
The reward isn't always cake though!
We've had a family milkshake date to the local cafe and a kid's movie night at home too.
Now, I need to find more incentives that aren't always food!
But for now, I'll put this one down as a success.

21 June 2014

The Best Nest Craft Activity

Have you ever read the story, The Best Nest?
I have fond memories of reading this cute little story when I was a young girl.
I loved it.
When I spotted a well-loved copy of the book in our local library I jumped at the opportunity to share the story with my kids.
It has turned into a favourite bedtime story of theirs.
Every night they huddle together in my lap and listen, even reading along the parts that they know so well.
The story has a lovely meaning to it, teaching that we should be happy with what we have, and not always strive to have bigger and better, because it isn't always really the best.

Mondays are typically our crafting days together. We are all at home and this week I was organized enough to come up with something I knew they would love.
I found a tutorial over here for a paper bag nest.
Then remembered I had stuff lying around to make some cute little egg carton chicks from the tutorial over here.

We followed the story and shredded extra paper to make "hay", raided my yarn stash to add the "sweater wool" but had to stop there as the nest was getting quite full.

The nests were so easy to make, we went in our own creative direction with the chicks (plus my daughter made an egg too) but these simple little things kept my kids happily playing together for over an hour!
No fighting, no tantrums, no crying to mum about what so-and-so did or said to who....
Just peace, quiet, and a lot of tweet tweets.

18 June 2014

It's the little things...

Today is Wednesday.
Wednesdays are pretty special.
They are my ONE kid-free day for the week.
Yes, I get the freedom to do whatever I like!
I get the freedom to choose when I will hang up that load of clean washing.
I get the freedom to go to the toilet all by myself with the door closed.
I get the freedom to eat chocolate without having to hide it.
I get the freedom to listen to my own music, without demanding children screaming out song requests.
I get the freedom to watch "grown up tv", without worrying my children will catch a glimpse of something scary.
I get the freedom to eat lunch. At lunch time.
I get the freedom to look at my giant pile of library books and pick one to actually open and look at.
I get peace and quiet.
Oh, the quiet I savour.
A little time alone is all I need to refresh.
But when 2pm rolls around, I'll be ready, waiting and eager to pick up my kids from preschool, to walk home together and listen to the stories of their day.
Because without them at home with me all day, it's nowhere near as much fun.

17 June 2014

A Healthier Version: Carrot & Walnut Cake

I'm pretty sure everyone is saying this...
"I'm trying to make our food choices a bit healthier"
Yep, been there, done that!
Somehow me and my family fell off of our healthy food wagon and landed face first in a pile of junk.
I was bowing to the pressure of fussy eating children.

So here I am, recovering from a horrible stomach bug (yes, gross!) that has helped me consume no sugar and even *gasp* NO COFFEE for 5 days! I figured I may as well take advantage of my freshly cleaned out stomach and sugar-free system and start afresh.

If you don't know me I'll tell you now...
I. Love. Baking.
I'm a bit obsessed.
I am totally blessed that my parents are next door, starting up an amazing stone ground wholegrain flour mill and providing me with free flour whenever I need it.
So begins the test baking!

I decided to first try a healthier version of an old favourite.
In this recipe I used the healthy wholegrain flour, but you can use plain flour if you like.

Carrot & Walnut Cake


2 cups wholegrain or plain flour
4tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp mixed spice
2 cups grated carrots (2medium/large carrots)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup honey
1 cup olive oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten


250g cream cheese, softened
Rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 160*C.
Grease and line a cake tin with baking paper or lightly grease a silicone cake mould.
Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice together in a large bowl.
Add carrots, walnuts, honey, oil and eggs and stir with a metal spoon.
Pour into prepared cake tin.
Bake for 40-50mins or until a knife comes out of the centre cleanly.
Leave in tin to cool for 15mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

*If the cake is browning too fast, turn the temperature down another 10-20*, keep checking, and take out as soon as baked through.


Beat all ingredients together and spread over cooled cake.

*Make it pretty by sprinkling the frosted cake with chopped walnuts and grating extra lemon zest on top.

15 June 2014


Hello, my name is Clare.
I used to write a little blog called Blogginess (click to check it out).
I haven't written anything back there since 2012.
It was a big year!
My life changed dramatically in so many ways.
Since then I have experienced so many ups and downs, being a single mother for most of the time.
But now, things are different.
I am engaged to a wonderful man.
My kids are happy at preschool, settled and have lovely friends.
I feel at home and welcome in my amazing church, and in my new country town.
And now I have decided to stop and make time for me.
Writing is something that I enjoy (even if I am not very good at it!).
I loved the blogging community I was engaged with last time I blogged and am hoping to reconnect with old friends, and even make new ones.

But for now.....
It's 10:25pm, and was past bedtime for this mumma!
Hope to see you back again soon!