22 July 2013

10 ways to be happy & find gratefulness in the (little) day-to-day things & printable

Today I am posting something a little different to my usual Monday craft post.

A while ago I wrote down a list of "10 things" that make me happy (and in which I find gratefulness) in the day-to-day stuff I do.

There was a time when I found it hard to find gratefulness, or I forgot why I shouldn't be feeling happier with what was in my life. So writing this list has kind of put everything back into perspective for me. I haven't listed everything on my list, like my husband & children, I think you can tell by my posts how much I love them, and how happy they make me.

I wanted to include things that I often don't realise make me happy, like that first cup of coffee in the morning that tastes sooo good and gives me pleasure.

For me, it's not necessarily things like spending money on an item or special outing with the girls, it can be something as little (or big) as you like, like giving your child a cuddle. I love my cuddles!

This is my "10 ways to be happy & find gratefulness in the (little) day-to-day things" list:

- savouring that first cuppa in the morning,
- sitting in the sun & enjoying its warmth,
- tickling my children until they can't stop laughing (which happens all the time for us)
- cuddling often,
- spending time outside or in the garden,
- smiling at a stranger,
- taking the time to play with my children,
- laughing often,
- catching-up with family or friends,
- and telling someone how much I love them

Since I love being creative, I thought I'd make it into a little poster that other people can relate to. If you like it, here is a printable PDF, which you can download. :)

15 July 2013

Craft: Splatter painting

Back in April, Popette gave one of her splatter paintings she had made with her Daddy to Mister Maker. The painting was something Popette & my Hubby saw on an episode on MM, and thought they'd try out together.

Popette presenting Mister Maker with a painting she made
Mister Maker was so chuffed by the painting that he even showed it on his Facebook page with other pieces of artwork he received while overseas. (I was one very excited Mumma, of course Popette didn't understand what Facebook or the Internet was, so wasn't that excited!)

As this is quite a messy activity, Hubby took Popette and the art supplies outside to set up. They made a huge mess, but had lots of fun making the paintings.

All you need is:

An assortment of acrylic paints
Paper/plastic cups
Sponges (if large, cut into smallish squares)
Spatula, rubber hammer or large paintbrush (to hit the sponges)
Art paper

How to make it:

First, you need to water down some acrylic paint in a paper/plastic cup (disposable ones are great, as you can toss them out when you are finished). If you want more than one colour you will need to pour a little of each colour into separate cups. The paint should have a watery consistency.

Next add a small sponge to each cup of paint so it soaks up the paint. (We bought a pack of green & yellow household sponges from the hardware store, which Hubby cut into small square pieces.)

Then lay your paper on the grass, with your sponges positioned on top of the paper and give it a bash with your spatula!

The littlies will have a ball watching the sponges fly in the air, while creating a splattering effect on the paper.

Suitable age group: 2-5yrs
Estimated time: 15 mins
Messiness factor: high (get out your old clothes!)

11 July 2013

A Mumma's letter to her girls

Popette having a pony ride
To my big girl Popette,

I can't believe you will be turning 5 in January, it doesn't feel so long ago when you made your entrance into this world. The thought of you starting "big school" both scares and delights me. One minute I want you to stay Mummy's little girl, and be at home with me and Cherub. Then there's the days I want you to be a big girl, and be off learning all the things you learn in kindy. You are such a clever girl, and love learning. There are days when you drive Daddy & I crazy with all your "why's". 

It has been a difficult and confusing year for you and I wish it wasn't. I know there are days when you feel a little frustrated because there isn't someone to play with or I'm busy cleaning & tidying the house. I know I don't spend as much time with you or Cherub as I used to, but I love the time we spend together creating something out of craft, or paint or draw together. When Cherub has a nap, you will often say "Mumma can we make something special". I know I will miss those times together when you are at big school.

You are such a sweet natured little girl, and have a huge heart for someone so young, I hope that never changes. You will always be my little Popette.

Cheeky Cherub always smiling

To my sweet little Cherub,

You are growing up so quickly it saddens me that you won't be my little bubba much longer. You have such a funny little personality, you love making us laugh, especially when you make a funny face by pressing your face against the glass sliding door. You love to push Mummy and Daddy's lips together and watch us kiss, then we kiss you on each cheek, and you do it again. It's become a little ritual at bedtime especially.

Lately you love to sit in your highchair "drawing" (more like scribbles) and colouring in.

You love exploring outside, especially holding my hand & walking around the place. Or go on an outing to Bunnings, where you go down the slide with Popette or Daddy.

You are such a good baby, and get so excited when its time to have your milk. I wish you would show more enthusiasm for eating your dinner though, you can be so fussy! At the moment, peas, corn & beans are your favourite vegies, and you love bananas!

I can't believe that you are nearly two, where has that time gone.

There are days when I wish you were still a tiny baby who slept and drank bottles all day, but then I think of all you've accomplished in your short life and think of what I would miss out on, like your cheeky smiles and cuddles.

Me and my girls at Sydney Aquarium
I love you both, my girls. You have made me such a happy Mumma.


08 July 2013

Craft: Shadow Puppets

One of "Popette" and "Cherub's" favourite shows is Peppa Pig. It even makes Hubby & I laugh at times, especially when its about Daddy Pig!

A few weeks ago "Popette" and I cut out some cardboard shapes of Peppa & her friends for a little impromptu shadow puppet show. We had Nanny visiting us, so she was in for a special treat. It was so much fun watching "Popette" make up her little stories based on some of the Peppa Pig shows she had watched.

Our first performance was the "Secret Club" with Suzie Sheep, Danny Dog, Peppa and George. I was very good at George if I say so myself, I said "Dinosaur" and did the occasional "Roar!!!"

Then "Popette" gave a solo performance with Peppa & friends visiting Grampa & Grandma Pig's house for afternoon tea, and a visit to the museum to see Dinosaurs. Daddy joined her and was very good at playing the character's and giving the occassional snort, woof or bah when needed.

The best thing about it was "Popette" used her imagination, and we had fun as a family.

All you need is:

Black cardboard
Chopsticks or wooden skewers
Sticky or masking tape
White sheet
A stand to drape the sheet on

This is very easy. All I did was copy some characters from "Cherub's" Peppa Pig puzzle on to some black cardboard, but you could trace them out of a colouring-in book or from pictures printed off the Internet.

Then cut out the shapes and stick them on a chopstick with some masking tape.

Ta-da, you have puppets!

Suitable age group: 4-5yrs
Estimated time: 15 mins (if Mum or Dad helps cut out the shapes)
Messiness factor: low

01 July 2013

Craft: Foam Window Shapes

Are you looking for a rainy day craft activity that doesn't make too much mess, but gives the kids hours of fun?

You might want to try this little activity, and let them decorate your lounge room or dining room windows with some cut outs made from craft foam.

"Popette" had a great time recently creating a little park scene. We had made two little girls (one was her, and the other her best friend) playing on a swing, and slippery dip. She had a great time directing Mummy on what shape to cut out, while she applied water to the window with a paintbrush and stuck on her shapes! Easy peesy!

The great thing about this activity is that they can re-use the shapes over and over again, and if they apply too much water you can mop it up with a chux! So you are cleaning the window at the same time as playing, lol!

All you need is:

Craft foam (can be bought from craft stores, Spotlight or Lindcraft)

Suitable age group: 2-5yrs
Estimated time: 15 mins (if Mum or Dad helps cut out the shapes)
Messiness factor: low