30 October 2014

Craft: Masking Tape Mummies

This week I was in charge of craft at playgroup. While I love making craft with my girls, I can find it a bit of struggle to think of things to make for a group of kids (hello Pinterest!). And then there's the pressure of everyone liking it. I am such a sensitive soul.

Since it was the day before Halloween we decided upon a Halloween craft that was easy for the kids *ahem* adults to make!

So after a couple minutes searching Pinterest (okay more like couple of hours, I do love Pinterest!) I found this great mummy activity. They looked a little ghoulish and would make a fun activity for the kids to make.

I first gave them to Popette and Cherub as a test run, so after getting the thumbs up from them, I knew that the kids at playgroup would love them too!

Serious stuff making Mummies
Cherub sticking it to the Mummy
The girls finished Mummies - Popette's left, Cherub's right (see her little hand)

All you need is:

Masking tape
Cardboard, Card or Construction paper
Googly eyes
Black texta

On a piece of cardboard I drew a picture of a Mummy, which looks a little bit like a gingerbread man, but not to worry.

Then we cut the Mummy out and stuck pieces of masking tape around the Mummy's body to give the impression of bandages. For the eyes you can use googly eyes or draw them on like Popette did. And that's it!

Happy Halloween!!

27 October 2014

Craft: Folded Paper Christmas tree

This week I have another little Christmas craft for you. Its a very simple and easy to make Christmas tree made out of paper.

Popette loved making this craft, especially when it came to using the scissors and hole punch. We made a couple last year and had them sitting on our fireplace with some other little Christmas decorations we had (like the Toilet roll reindeers) floating around. I hope you like it!

All you need is: 

Wooden skewer
Single Hole punch
Square coloured paper
Sticky or Washi tape
Egg carton
Star stickers


To make the Christmas tree fold a square piece of paper concertina-style, then cut it into the shape of a Christmas tree. Using a single hole punch, punch a hole in the middle of the folded paper, then feed a wooden skewer through the holes. We stuck the tree to the skewer with a little tape, then cut out a single egg carton which we used as the stand. Finally we added a star sticker to the top, and voila there’s your tree!

To make the tree more Christmassy, you could decorate it with stickers or ribbons!!

Our trees and a reindeer we had made

24 October 2014

Recipe: Gingerbread men

A couple days ago the girls helped me make some gingerbread men.  We love gingerbread. I love the burst of ginger with the crunch of the biscuit, its so nice with a cup of tea! It always remind me of Christmas and the cute little gingerbread houses.

Popette & I made a store bought gingerbread house last year for the first time, but I'm thinking that I might try baking the house myself this year. How hard can it be?!?

The girls had fun helping me in the kitchen although Popette was a little disappointed (or should I say devastated) that we didn't have any M&M's to decorate these cute little guys. Not to worry, they were still very tasty!

Popette weighing the flour
125g butter (room temperature)
100g or 1/2 cup (firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml or 1/2 cup golden syrup
1 egg, separated
375g or 2 1/2 cups plain flour
1-2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


Preheat oven to 180°C degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy.

Beating the butter and sugar
Then add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat on low until combined.

Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.

Cherub adding the dry ingredients to the mixer
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Knead dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Rolled and ready for the fridge
When rolling out the dough, I found it best to place it between 2 sheets of baking paper so it's easy to roll out. You will want to roll them out about 4mm thick, too thin and they will crack and break off. 

Rolling out the dough
Use a gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. 

Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.

Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until brown. 

Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

#This recipe was adapted from a recipe found on taste.com.au.

Do you like to bake with your kids?
Have you made a gingerbread house?

20 October 2014

Craft: Toilet roll reindeers

Can you believe Christmas is only 5 weeks away! It's scary how fast this year is flying by, I haven't even started my Christmas shopping. I thought to get everyone into the spirit of Christmas I'd share some little Christmas projects I have up my sleeve. 

{If you downloaded my Christmas Craft eBook last year, you would have spotted them in there}

Popette loved making these cute little toilet roll reindeer's.

All you need is:

2 toilet rolls
Stick-on googly eyes
Long pipe cleaners (3 x large + 2 small)
Small pom-pom for nose
Paint brush
A selection of water based paints
Sticky tape


Popette & I first painted the toilet rolls in the colours we wanted our reindeers, Popette decided on a rainbow reindeer, whereas I was a little more traditional.

Once the paint dried we stuck on the googly eyes and pom-pom nose on to one toilet roll which created the head.

To create the antlers:

Using scissors on the ‘head’ toilet roll, cut a small hole towards the back. (see a.)

a. Hole for antlers

Then fold a pipe cleaner in half. At the fold, twist a little, then feed through the hole to form the antlers. (see b.)

 b. Pipe cleaner twisted at top - used for antlers & legs
Along the bottom side of the ‘body’ toilet roll cut 2 small holes (1 at the front and 1 towards the rear) these are for the legs. (see c. & d.)

c. Holes for the legs
d. How the legs should look
To create the legs: 

It’s basically the same as the antlers, just fold over a little at each end to form a hoof. On the top of the same toilet roll, I made another little hole, this is to feed through a small pipe cleaner for the neck which holds on the head. Its quite wobbly, so I used a little tape for extra support.

You will need to create a matching cut into the ‘head’ so you can feed the neck through.

If you have a small piece of pipe cleaner you can stick that on to form a tail.

17 October 2014

Being grateful: For my Hubby

This week I am grateful for my Hubby. He is my biggest cheerleader. He is the one person who will stand up for me, and be in my corner when the going gets tough.

He is the reasoning voice in my head, and the smile on my lips. He is the person who reminds me not to think the worst of people (which I am sometimes guilty of doing).

We have been together for 23 years (18 years married this Nov) so knows me very well. He can tell if I'm stressing (I am such a stress-head), and knows when I'm over analyzing something that has happened, or worried about something we have planned. I told you I'm a stress-head.

A couple nights ago we talked about me returning to work. After 6 years of being a full-time stay-at-home Mum I didn't think my heart was in the type of career I used to have.

I told him of my career dream and how I wanted a job that makes me happy. How I want something that fuels my creative mind, and flexible so I can still be there for the girls. I had created two mindmaps, one with the type of things I love to do and the other listing what sort of job I wanted.

He listened to me and gave me ideas of what I could do and how to make my little idea work. He didn't say I was silly thinking of doing something different, he let me believe that I could do it.

I'm very lucky to have my Hubby. I know somedays I can take him for granted, or I don't thank him enough for what he does for all of us.

One thing's for sure though, and that is I am so very grateful to have him as my Husband, as our children's father and for him to be in my life.

Is there someone in your life who you are grateful for?

What have they done to make you feel grateful?

13 October 2014

Craft: Bubble Wrap painting

Its been a while since I got my craft on and published a kids craft post, so today I'm linking up to an old post on Bubble Wrap painting. Hope you enjoy! 

Popette and Cherub love painting, so today I thought I'd introduce them to some pieces of bubble wrap cut into different shapes which we they could paint and press on to paper.

The girls love painting!
Popette loved it and came up with a picture of Ariel ("The little mermaid") in some bubbly water. I helped Cherub with some shapes and fish, but she was more interested in using her brush.

Cherub painting her picture

Popette's painting of Ariel
All you need is:

Bubble wrap
Marker pen
Paint brushes

Suitable age group: 3-5yrs
Estimated time: 10-15 mins (if Mum or Dad helps cut out the shapes)
Messiness factor: high (remember wipes to clean little hands!)

07 October 2014

Getting help

After my Dad passed away (it will be 2 years this Christmas) I went through a depressive state. Losing my Dad was one of the toughest experiences I've ever had to deal with. During this time I struggled to be happy, I felt tired all the time, unmotivated, and snapped at the people I loved. 

I didn't have the energy to do things that often made me happy nor did I want to go out and socialise with friends. I wasn't looking after myself or cared what I thought of my appearance. I just wasn't myself.

Me and my Dad
As a result I lost some good friendships. I put it down to me being withdrawn and not wanting to socialise at the time. But I now think there were friends who couldn't cope with me being depressed, so found it easier to turn their backs and walk away rather then be there for me. Its times like these when you find out who your real friends are.

I can still remember one friend telling me if I continue to push people away (I didn't realise that I was at the time) then I will lose friends. I guess it was her way of saying, if you don't ask me for help I will just leave you to it. It took me a long time to say that I wasn't handling things, and to realise I was unhappy.

While she is still a friend today, she's distanced herself from me and I don't see her as much as I used to. Unfortunately we no longer call each other like we used to. 

It would have been nice to have had a friend be there for me and ask me “Are you OK?”, “Are you coping?”, “Is there anything I can do for you”. Sometimes all you need is a friendly face, and someone to chat to.

Luckily it didn't take me long to realise that something was terribly wrong with me. I opened up about my feelings with my Hubby, and spoke to my GP. I am okay now, but there are days I still miss Dad and think about him. 

October is mental health month. If you know someone who is going through a rough time take the time to check in with them and ask them "R U OK?". 

If you are experiencing a personal crisis and finding it hard to cope see your GP or give one of the support centre's like Lifeline (131114) a call. 

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