Let's make cake (and eat it too)

 
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Let’s make cake, and eat it too! Or in Austin’s case, let’s eat as much cake mix as we can while mum isn’t looking.

Although Austin hates most foods in general (there are only a handful of foods that he will eat so long as they are cooked to his very strict guidelines), he actually really enjoys cooking! So long as it is something, sweet and chocolatey. And that doesn’t bother me at all, if he is in the kitchen and getting used to mixing, measuring and cracking eggs I think it is all good! And hopefully one day he will expand his horizons a little outside of sweets and try to cook something else (and if he would start eating a wider variety of foods too that would make me oh SO happy). Baby steps!

Austin used the My Little Giggles Learning Tower here to bake this cake, it is the perfect height to get him working at the bench top so that he can see exactly what he is doing (and not accidently fall off a chair). And considering how much he is loving cooking at the moment I think it is going to get a lot of use!

My Little Giggle’s Learning Tower has just launched online and are Australian designed and made using FSC Certified Sustainable timber. They have been created to be a design piece in your home, keeping in mind space for those who have smaller kitchens or live in apartments. Plus it includes a height adjustable top step as well as a removable safety rail so once your little ones no longer require a safety rail you can simply remove and store away until you need it again.

And does it have the kids tick of approval? Well considering how much they fight over who’s turn it is to use it, then YEP, it definitely does!

Review: Dunlopillo Pillows

 
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Two little monkeys jumping on the bed… Ok, it wasn’t two little monkeys jumping on the bed, it was just one and his name is Austin! Don’t you love it when your kids want to ‘help’ with the housework and then everything take 10 times as long to get done.

Well Mr. 5 year old was my little helper making the bed… which meant rolling around in the sheets, making a mountain with the pillows and jumping under the covers every time I pulled them over. Thanks so much for all your help buddy! ;)

We just got new pillows, which are so comfy! They are Dunlopillo, and they have their own online diagnostic tool to help Aussies pick the perfect pillow. And thank goodness for that because I’ve never known what pillow would work best for me… feather, synthetic, latex… too many choices! The tool takes into account what way you prefer to sleep (front, side, back) and any ailments, allergies, back or neck pain.

I’m one week in with the new pillows and I’ve been sleeping like a dream all week. Perfecto!

Review: MiniRoo's Mighty Menu

 
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Turkey sandwich  recipe  and all fresh ingredients shown in Austin’s yummy lunchbox can be found at Aldi.

Turkey sandwich recipe and all fresh ingredients shown in Austin’s yummy lunchbox can be found at Aldi.

The ALDI MiniRoo’s Mighty Menu is packed full of recipes for delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I wouldn’t say any of the recipes are ground-breakingly different (and thank god for that because I don’t know how I’d get something like that past Mr-Fussy-Eater-Five-Year-Old), but all the recipes are easy to follow, use fresh ingredients and most importantly are delicious!

Even our Mr. Fussy has tried the oatmeal pancakes and cookies with success and the chicken meatballs were also a big hit at family dinner, especially with Remy.

The menu has been created by the Socceroo’s Chef Martini Capovilla, and has something for everyone including kids recipes, gluten free and back to school recipes in addition the MiniRoo Mighty Menu. Yum!

I have a 5 year old, wait what?!

 
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Meg wears  JFahri dress ,  Tony Bianco  shoes similar  here . Austin wears  Nike Court Royale’s ,  Target Tshirt,  Next  jeans .

Meg wears JFahri dress, Tony Bianco shoes similar here. Austin wears Nike Court Royale’s, Target Tshirt, Next jeans.

So something happened. Yep, the kid turned 5. FIVE, yes, F I V E.

Wow, I’m not really sure when or how this happened. Ok, it actually was a few weeks back now. But this little boy, who was once my little baby, is BIG. Like growing REAL big. He’ll be taller than me soon (ok, we all know that won’t take much effort ha ha).

They say time goes fast when you’ve got kids and I’m pretty sure I blinked and five years passed, but well here we are. And because Austin is 5 now, we have been looking at where to send him to school next year. We are keen for him to go to one of the local state schools, and have put in his application. We are pretty much on the borderline of two schools and are applying to the one which is just on the other side. Fingers crossed it all goes well, will keep you posted!

Lego for the win

 
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Once in a while, something amazing happens, something so unexpected, something so good that you just have to run with it. And that thing in our house is LEGO. Not duplo, not building blocks, not wooden blocks… but the real deal. Teeny, tiny pieces of finicky little lego. That feel like tiny, little, nails under your feet, that get lost everywhere, that could drive you completely mad…. except… it keeps the kids absolutely and completely, totally occupied. Hallelujah.

So our new teeny, tiny, blocky friends have been coming everywhere with us. On the plane ride to Fiji. In the car. A little visit to Grandma’s house. And of course off to our brunch at Clubhouse Malvern. What’s better than delicious chia pudding and bacon and eggs? Chia pudding and bacon and eggs with happy, quiet, occupied children who are busy playing with their lego (and drinking vanilla milkshakes).

Hey, I think we’re onto a winner here. To all the forces above, please let the lego phase be one that goes on and on and on…. Thankyou!

Bulla baby!

 
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Well, you can never really predict what is going to happen when you travel with kids. Will all our plans go smoothly? Will it be amazing? Will everyone have fun? Maybe they will hate it?? After a lot of deliberation we took the kids to Fiji. Hubby and I talked about it for weeks and weeks. “Soon we’re off to Fiji” “Can’t wait until we’re in the sunshine!” “Only five more days until happy hour by the pool!”

Finally the day came, and off we went to the airport. Things started off really well. Got everyone through security, customs and to the gate. Onto the plane, no worries. Sitting in our seats waiting to take off. Now that Remy is 2 he had his own seat. But as soon as the plane took off, oh no, he just wanted to sit on Daddy. And he stayed there for the next 5 hours, despite the lonely empty seat next to Austin and I (don’t worry, we definitely made use of that ‘lonely’ seat with a mountain of random things). I’d packed a stack of kids toys, magazines, stickers and other activities and it took every single item to get us through the 5 hour journey without a huge meltdown from the kids. So finally the plane descended and phew we had made it! Except first we had to get through customs, only Remy refused to put his shoes on, so I wouldn’t let him walk on the floor so he screamed and wiggled in my arms while we waited for twenty minutes (fun!). And through all this the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder to let me know there was a big gooey gross piece of gum stuck to my bag (no, not mine). Why??? So gross!

Anyway, we eventually made it to the resort and I’d like to say it was smooth sailing for the rest of the holiday but nope! Austin spent every day saying he wanted to go home. Remy shat the bed twice, through everything, three layers and sheets. BUT…. it was a glorious 26 degrees every day. The beach was beautiful. The kids club was great (hello alone time for hubby and I - woo!). And it really was nice to get some quality family time in together.

All I can say is thank god we only booked 6 nights. After ‘poo-gate’ and ‘I-wanna-go-home-gate’ and ‘Austin-not-eating-any-food-for-6-days-gate’ we were well and truly done by the end! I’d like to say we’re gonna book our next holiday to go back, but I think we’ll be going to old trusty Queensland next time. Just a little bit closer, a little more familiar and hopefully a lot less complaining from the kids.

Review: Avene XeraCalm

 
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I’m always on the hunt for new moisturisers, and if it is something that can be used across the whole family then that is massive brownie points in my books. We’ve been trying Avene XeraCalm and it has ticked all the boxes for me. It is gentle on sensitive skin so it is safe for babies and kids and it also helps to soothe itchy and dry skin. Both the boys have dry skin in winter, usually behind the knees and elbows, so finding a really nourishing, gentle moisturiser is so important in our house. I also find doing a bath every second night helps the dryness on their skin heaps (sorry to all the mamas out there who are routine queens, but it’s true!).

The Avene XeraCalm range is formulated so that there is no need for preservatives or fragrances, but most importantly I’ve found it to be a dream on my skin too! I’ve been using it with the Avene Water Spray underneath and my skin has been thanking me.

A house full of boys (and full hearts)

 
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Mum with two sons wearing white tshirt and headband
Meg and boys wearing  Me and Mini Tshirts , Meg wears  Kookai  skirt similar  here , Remy and Austin wear  Next jeans .

Meg and boys wearing Me and Mini Tshirts, Meg wears Kookai skirt similar here, Remy and Austin wear Next jeans.

Never, ever did I think growing up I’d be a boy mama. I was always the little girl wearing pink, going to dancing classes and twirling and swirling around. I even decided at one stage I would only drink pink drinks (wow, fussy much?!). But having two boys in the house (three, if you count hubby too) is showing me a whole new world.

Slime, lego, fart jokes, soccer mornings… all the things that make up my day to day now. And? It is refreshing! Each new phase they go through, a new set of toys, the new ‘in’ thing, some new gross joke (Austin at the moment likes to breath his morning breath on us, using it as a weapon…. um thanks kid haha) is all new to me. What on earth will be next?! I have no idea! But I do know a house full of stinky, naughty, (and oh so very cute) boys makes for a heart full of love <3

Activity day (the best kind of day)

 
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Meg wears Petal &amp; Pup  dress , boys wear Seed Heritage shorts similar  here,  and T’s similar  here

Meg wears Petal & Pup dress, boys wear Seed Heritage shorts similar here, and T’s similar here

My favourite type of day is an ACTIVITY DAY. You know, the type of day where you squeeze in as many things as possible? Preferably at least one big notable activity, and then maybe sandwich it with little ones either side and then you’re making me one happy gal.

Hubby is the opposite. Or maybe he just thinks someone needs the responsibility of calming down my activity day ideas. Our Friday night conversation usually starts with me saying ‘So, I had an idea of what we can do this weekend…’ and then he’ll give me the look. You know the one, that says ‘oh gawddd nooooo’ and he’ll follow it up with ‘Why don’t we just chill this weekend?’

But we all know the saying happy wife, happy life, so yep you guessed it, i usually win that argument. These gorgeous pics hubby took down at Chelsea Beach a few weeks back. Now this was a kicker of an activity day. On the road early in the morning (snacks, bags and outfits all organised the night before for an early departure). We got to the beach super early, and thought it would probably be deserted, but nope half of the peninsula was out for their morning walk. But hey, this made it super fun for the kids with all of the dogs out for a morning splash in the water.

After we’d explored the beach and pier we headed down to Mordialloc to SunnyBoy Beach Club for an early lunch (yep, we were those people waiting for the doors to open at 11.30am #parentlife). Fish and chips all round, babcinos, a sneaky rose, and all with stunning beach views. And after all this we were back on the road heading home by 12.30. And all with plenty time to plan an afternoon activity. Yaaaaaay.

DIY cubby time

 
The kids new cubby house.

The kids new cubby house.

Austins herb garden has basil, chives and alyssum flowers. We also planted tomato and petunia seeds.

Austins herb garden has basil, chives and alyssum flowers. We also planted tomato and petunia seeds.

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Before and after.

Before and after.

I had planned on making a cubby house for the kids Christmas present, but the whole thing got a tad overwhelming ie. where will I make it, how will I hide it, how will I complete the whole thing and have it ready for christmas morning??? So… it didn’t happen! Until about two weeks after Christmas.

I really wanted to do one of the Kmart cubbys, but couldn’t get my hands on one so a friend recommended this Rovo Kids cubby which I purchased through eBay. The actual cubby house itself is smaller than the Kmart one, (one meter by one meter) but the massive positive is that it comes with a base coat of paint already on. Depending on the look you are after you could just leave it as is but I had other plans.

I knew I wanted to do grey and white, so drew inspiration from several blogs that already detailed their very stylish cubby hacks. I love love love what Alicia Adams did in her cubby reno, and there are also about a million other fabulous cubby hacks on Pinterest if you are after some inspo.

So what did we do to tailor our cubby? I started off by painting over the pink doors. I used Dulux Weathershield in ‘Oyster Bar Grey’ (ummm hell yes!) to paint the door, roof and some detailing on the front. And then after I had done that I decided I wanted to do another coat of white over the whole cubby so did this in Dulux Weathershield Vivid White.

The doormat, door handle and front porch plant were all from Bunnings (oh boy, did the kids enjoy our trip there - babycinos, playgrounds and running wild through the aisles). And I picked up the flowers for the planter boxes from Target.

Austin's garden box we picked up from Aldi aaaages ago (over a year, but just never assembled it). It was all brightly coloured and I painted over it in the Oyster Bar Grey. We planted a mix of seeds and ready plants, just to keep him interested and to have something visually there that needed water and tending to straight away. He’s really loved watching his little garden grow. The seeds have already sprouted so fingers crossed they keep growing well.

The cubby house is super cute and fits really well in our courtyard, but in saying that I’d say it would be best for 1-3 year olds, as poor Austin is just a tad too tall to comfortably get in and out. I should add though it doesn’t seem to bother him, he just sits on the outside and gets Remy to ‘serve’ him all day.