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!

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.

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.

Number One

 
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And just like that the smallest person in our house is one year old. We thought time went fast with one kid, well with two, it just wizzes by like no tomorrow! We threw a bit of a party to celebrate Remy's birthday (and to also celebrate us all getting through the year in one piece. I mean, first birthday celebrations are really for the parents, right? Just a little, WOO-OO you guys all survived!).

It's been a year of learning to juggle two kids and their competing needs, battling sleep deprivation and ordering deliveroo Messina ice-cream (what else is a gal gonna do when you're a sleep deprived mama with two crazy, screaming kids at home? Yep, stand over the sink eating ice-cream while yelling at the kids to be nice to each other!).

Remy has been a dream-boat of a baby. He is so soft and cuddly and loves a snuggle. He's cheeky and giggly and can't get enough food (which is just the BEST THING IN THE WORLD after dealing with Austin who still only eats the same 3 things over and over). 

When he was a newborn he was sleeping through the night (I know, WHAAAT?? Yep, it was mental but amazing). Then he did a full reversal and was waking all night long and turning his mama into a walking mombie (thats a zombie mama to you and me). But a quick trip to sleep school has fixed all that (thank F). 

I'm trying to think what his favourite things are... TV shows, toys, books? But he's really not in to much because the thing that takes all his attention BY FAR, is his big bro. He couldn't care less for TV shows because he can watch Austin tearing around the house, jumping, running and being crazy, and why sit still for a book when you can play chasey with your brov. He loves animals, especially dogs and squeals like a nutter when he sees them at the park. 

We love him to bits, our little Remy boy, and now we have a year of the precious little boy being 'number one.'

 

 

 

Mother's Day is not far away

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Last Mother's Day I was 39 weeks pregnant and ready to burst! It was exciting and daunting but mostly I was just so, so tired. We spent the day visiting all the family and wondering if we might get an early Mother's day present.... but nope! Little baby Remy held off and gave us the day to ourselves as a family of three. 

And now here we are almost one year later and Mother's Day is just around the corner (one month to be exact) and I've started the hinting process with plenty of time to go (haha, well I think I deserve something nice now that I'm a mama of two and don't we all know the hubby probably needs a month of hinting before he cottons on). First on my list was to start organising gifts for the nana and grandma - what better way to make an obvious hint that hubby will see, am I right?

I think I'm becoming a little obsessed with using customised goodies as gifts, they are always so thoughtful and special. We've organised a card and tote bag so far from Bright Star Kids. Both were completely customisable and thank goodness because we all know every granny/grandma/nana all want to be called something different!

I may also have got the "A Story About The Best Mum In The World Book" for myself and can I just say it was absolutely classic filling it out with Austin. This is actually going to be such a lovely little keepsake, and I probably should have got one for the nana's too because I know they would have thought it was so sweet! According to Austin I'm 'best at' playing with him and for work I 'buy stuff'. Hmmm, not sure about the second one kid! 

So, one month to go; looking forward to what this Mother's Day will hold. 

 

{Bright Star Kids items were gifted for review purposes}

A ROARING good xmas

 
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So, this is the first year we've done a proper christmas tree (I know, I've been such a slacker up till now). But living in small apartments and then overseas meant that I... well, I just didn't bother with the whole thing. But now we have the space, and a toddler who is SUPER excited for Christmas I knew it was time to bite the bullet and get on the festive wagon!

And number one on our list was to make dinosaur christmas tree decorations! We found quite a few blogs online that had done similar things which gave us a great starting point and then we tweaked a few things along the way to make it suit us :)

The materials we used: cheap plastic dinosaurs, small screw hooks, white paint, gold spray paint and gold string.

The materials we used: cheap plastic dinosaurs, small screw hooks, white paint, gold spray paint and gold string.

First thing we did was find some cheap plastic dinosaurs at the local $2 shop. Then we did 2 coats of white paint as a base. 

First thing we did was find some cheap plastic dinosaurs at the local $2 shop. Then we did 2 coats of white paint as a base. 

Next step was to spray them gold. Having the white under as a base worked so well with gold, giving a bit of contrast and helping the shimmer to POP a bit more. (I also sprayed a heap of other things gold - yes I got a bit excited with the spraypaint lol - you can just see in frame some nuts and twigs I used to decorate presents).

Next step was to spray them gold. Having the white under as a base worked so well with gold, giving a bit of contrast and helping the shimmer to POP a bit more. (I also sprayed a heap of other things gold - yes I got a bit excited with the spraypaint lol - you can just see in frame some nuts and twigs I used to decorate presents).

So most of the blogs I read suggested using a drill to drill a hole in the dinosaur for the screw. And in our (not so handy) household using a drill seemed like a bit of a task. If this isn't you, go ahead and drill away! Instead hubby just used the screw to poke a little hole in the dinosaur and screw it in. A lot easier for us than using a drill (when we would have no idea what we are doing!)

So most of the blogs I read suggested using a drill to drill a hole in the dinosaur for the screw. And in our (not so handy) household using a drill seemed like a bit of a task. If this isn't you, go ahead and drill away! Instead hubby just used the screw to poke a little hole in the dinosaur and screw it in. A lot easier for us than using a drill (when we would have no idea what we are doing!)

Then all we did was add a gold string and voila - dinosaur decorations!

Then all we did was add a gold string and voila - dinosaur decorations!

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dinosaur christmas tree decoration DIY
DIY gold dinosaur christmas tree decoration

All up it did take a bit of time to do all of the different stages to create the dinosaur christmas decorations BUT it was a lot of fun and Austin really enjoyed the process. We did quite a few other DIY decorations too (because who wants to spend a fortune when you have little hands ready to tug and pull at the tree?). I wouldn't say they are quite as fabulous as the dinosaurs but they fill the tree for now, and then my plan is to slowly add some more sentimental and special decorations each year (remember, I'm just a Christmas tree novice, ok? Gimme a bit of time). 

We purchased this wooden garland from BIG W then cut it apart to make indiviual decoartions with each of the pieces. 

We purchased this wooden garland from BIG W then cut it apart to make indiviual decoartions with each of the pieces. 

Here you can see a gold star (yep, more gold spray paint!). This is one of the pieces from the BIG W garland. Comes up alright, doesn't it? And we also got some rolls of ribbon and went nuts with tying bows all over the tree. Easy peasy!

Here you can see a gold star (yep, more gold spray paint!). This is one of the pieces from the BIG W garland. Comes up alright, doesn't it? And we also got some rolls of ribbon and went nuts with tying bows all over the tree. Easy peasy!

And here is one of the pretty gold bows.

And here is one of the pretty gold bows.

Pretty happy with our first proper christmas tree! And even the more special because we all helped to create most of the decorations :) 

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Fresh summer hair - oh yeah!

 
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Wearing:  Dress  by  Tobi , belt from  Zimmerman  - similar  here ,  Jord watch ,  Mimco  bag - similar  here  ,  Sachi  shoes - similar  here  and  Clinique Pop Glaze lipstick in fireball

Wearing: Dress by Tobi, belt from Zimmerman - similar here, Jord watch, Mimco bag - similar here , Sachi shoes - similar here and Clinique Pop Glaze lipstick in fireball

Sooo, as you all know I'm just a littttle bit (ALOT) excited for Christmas! Austin and I just had our fresh summer hair cuts (WOOP - first hairdresser visit in 6 months for me). He looks SO grown up with his hair all chopped off and we are all ready for our first CHRISTMAS PARTY of the year!

Its our big family Xmas do on my dads side and Austin is going to have sooo much fun. There are 14 great-grandkids (of my nana!) going, and at least over 40 people all up. Its going to be EPIC but alot of fun. 

Here's to some very tired kiddies tonight ;)

Arty Farty

 

When it's been raining all week, and you’ve run out of all of the indoor rainy activities you can think of….time to commission your (nearly) 2 year old son to make a piece of art. Posca on canvas. I had visions of an abstract art piece to hang in the lounge room. Don’t get me wrong, I think he did pretty damn good, and if anything else he hella enjoyed it (and it occupied him for a good while). Maybe we can hang it in the hallway?

And daddy's poor posca’s. I think Austin sent them off to art heaven. It was a sweet death.