Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot rocks

Yet another day of rainy weather... It's getting ridiculous really!! My washing has been in the line for 4 days now and getting wetter rather than drier... But my two little lovelies were far from swayed from going outside,and manned with brand new $4 umbrellas and cool boots, they had an absolute ball rain birding it :) Sometimes you just have to throw the mum idea of staying inside and staying dry out the window and let them enjoy the moment...

20 minutes later, both decided to come in for a bath and they were happy at my suggestion of some craft.
We had collected large flat rocks awhile ago ( when we did rock mobiles) and I really wanted to do something with them. Hot rocks was something that I wanted to do with Jumeirah in the holidays but never got the chance. I figured with very close supervision and clear guidance it would be something they would enjoy.
Whilst I got them sorted into warm clothes, I put the flat rocks on a tray in the oven at 200 degrees. 10 minutes later, we got them out and I showed them what we were going to do. I explained that the rocks were very hot ( even gave them a quick burn lesson.... Ow) and they couldn't touch them. Surprisingly, they totally got that bit and got straight into using pastels on them.

This craft is incredibly soothing and therapeutic to do. The pastels melt and glide so beautifully across the hot rock, colours blending and running together to create such lovely patterns. Amahli spent ages on her rock, layering colours, enjoying watching the melty wax. Jared wasn't keen on blending colours but he loved holding the pastel and having it slide on the rock.

I was surprised that I didn't have to keep reminding them that the rocks were hot and that there wasnt any problems with using something that could have potentially been quite dangerous with young children. Being organised and keeping a close eye meant that they got to have a fun and new art experience.

Next week we are going to try again for our family time away :) Please send me sunshiny thoughts for a fun and sickness free break. I'll be back soon!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The other day I was blissfully in my own little world, deep inside my head, contemplating the things of life ( whats for dinner/what will I do tomorrow/ how can I win a million dollars...) when Jumeirah gave an almighty yell from the backseat that sent my foot flying for the brake.
"Check that out!!" was the yell and to be honest, Im glad she did :) ( well I was after my heart returned to normal pace...
This is what she saw....

The most beautiful display of clouds Ive seen. Now, my kids are forever screaming random things from the backseat like: " Crocodile!" "aeroplane!" and "icecream!!"... often its what they have seen in the clouds. Sometimes Jared just does it for the shock factor but thats becoming less as he realises how close we have come to ramming up someones car butt....
So today we did a fun arty project were we made our own clouds.All that was needed was white paint and blue paper and we were good to go.
These paintings are made the same way you make a butterfly painting... fold the paper in half, blob paint down the middle and fold over. Press the paint down and then open to reveal a print.
I had Amahli straight over as soon as she saw paint, Jared came once he saw we were making clouds.
I loved watching their faces as they opened up the paper, and then trying to guess what each cloud shape was to them.

"The Penis Cloud"

" a body"

We had a bee, a butterfly, and Jared's very proud " penis cloud".
I love cloud watching.. and I love even more when my bench is covered in the happy art of two busy cloud creators :)

* Down here Im going to ask you for help. Actually no, Im going to beg. Its not something I do very often if at all, but Im a bit desperate. You see, All of my photos are good and all, but not one contains me. Im always the photographer, never the photographed. I can probably count on my hands the number of photos of me with my kids.
Theres a local photographer whos quite awesome and shes giving away a $200 gift voucher to have some photos done by her. And I want to win. BAD.
All you need to do to help me out is to go to Renee Bell Studios on facebook, click "like", and write on her wall " karina baker referred me". Thats all! No biggie, but it will hopefully give me a chance to get me in the picture for once :)

Thanks :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

encouraging independence

First day back at school today... and I was nervous. School holidays are brilliant, for some reason my children have taught themselves to sleep in. Late. Im talking 9am wake up for a two yr old, 8.30am for the 4 yr old and sometime around 8am for the 6 yr old. Its unheard of, I know. And so, when the holidays come to an end and I know I have to have all three kids in the car at 8.30am ( clothes are optional for two of them) I am filled with dread at having to get back into the routine that is SCHOOL. Im not a fan, can you tell???
So this morning, I was determined to be not only organised, but calm and flowy so that the school term can start happily and without my voice ringing in her ears to get ready/brush your teeth/ get your socks on...
Last night, I made the lunches. I hate doing it at 11pm at night but really, it does work to have it done. I set out her clothes ready to go, right in front of the tv so it would automatically happen. It did.
And to help with the breakfast routine I decided to try something different. My kids are shockers at breakfast, take ages to sit up to have it, then demand I do it right then and there, then promptly leave if Im doing something. We then have tears in car cos its been forgotten.
I want them to be more independent, but I get that 2ltr milk is heavy and scary to pour, and that a WHOLE box of rice bubbles will almost definitely end up on the floor if not assisted.
So, when I got up to go out to take some photos this morning of the sunrise ( YES! finally I got up early too) I set this up for her.

Its simple, and makes her life easy too. And it gives her just enough help to not need me right there hovering. She loved it, I loved it :)
So she was dressed, and breakfasted, all in 25 minutes, give her enough time to chill and watch tv and begin her day calmly. I had barely had to remind her to anything.
How long it will last I dont know. But with a morning that works, Im keen to keep it going :)

Not only that, Im going to start letting all three do their own breakfast this way. Its a great step to doing things for themselves and gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
Having a great start to the day meant the whole day just flowed. I set up some simple outdoor areas for the other two, the dolls house and little people, which I had hidden away for some time. I love doing things like this... hiding toys away for a few months and then pulling it out for them to play with. Its like they have new toys!

The other cool area I set up today was a really easy fishing activity that I collected things from Big W. Two packets of plastic fish, two fish nets, one tub and some food colouring and I had a really cool fishing game that Jared just loved.

Simple things make life easy, fun and breathable.
Do you guys have any tricks for simplifying life??

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jam drops

I cut rapunzels hair in the holidays... its so freakin long and curly and gets impossible to do... then I cut it and forget that curly hair shrinks...

And I regret it :( Only the second time shes ever had it cut and she loves it :) Hopefully the curls will come back after the shock

Im back :)

Actually the sad thing is... I never left :(
We were all too sick to travel to Sydney to see my folks so we lay around the house and didnt really do much of anything. Quite possibly the worst two weeks of my life... and definitely the worst school holidays.. I had so many cool things to do!

Luckily enough though, we have been well for a few days now and so we have had a little bit of family time which was great. We took a few mini road trips on little adventures which was a nice break from being stuck inside. I love exploring our world here and havent really done much of it since we moved here 6 years ago. But we got out and day tripped to Camden Haven ( for bacon and egg rolls and a Geocache) and also to North Brother Mountain ( in the pouring rain which my gang though was hilarious) and got some gorgeous fresh air into stuffy lungs.
Makes such a difference :)
I left the camera at home for this last week... something about spending time without the need to click the whole time was good for a break ( plus most of our trips involved very wet weather!) but has left me with a bit of a yearning to get back behind the black mask ( otherwise known as my camera). Hopefully tomorrow I can get up early for sunrise :)

So, today, on our very last day of holidays, we got to baking. Jumeirah had a whole list of things she wanted to cook during the holidays but we didnt get much of it done so we will try and do a new recipe once a week after school.
Today though, she wanted to make Jam Drops. Easy recipe, great results!

What you need:

225g (8oz) self raising flour
100g (4 oz) butter
100g ( 4oz) caster sugar
1 medium egg
1 tablespoon milk
50g (2oz) jam

Start by turning the oven on to 200c ( 400f) and grease a baking tray.

Rub the butter through the flour, then stir in the sugar.

Break the egg in another bowl and add milk. Whisk together and then combine in the flour mixture. Sprinkle flour on a clean work surface. Press the mixture together to form a ball and then put it on your work surface.
Cut the ball in half.Then cut each half into three pieces Then, cut each of the pieces in half. You should end up with 12 even sized pieces ( We didnt. It took me three attempts to read the instructions and get this bit right).

Squeeze each piece into a round shape and place on the baking tray. Make a dent in each piece with your finger and fill it with a teaspoon of jam.

Bake for ten minutes.
DONT eat them straight away as the jam is HOT!!!

These turned out really cute and pretty tasty too. I will probably add a tiny bit of vanilla next time but for our first attempt, all were eaten and enjoyed. ( Even if half of them were enjoyed my me).

What have you baked lately?? Any good easy recipes out there??

Friday, July 8, 2011

DIY lip Gloss

You know how sometimes you think " wow this week could not get any worse" ??

Yup, its worse. Just when I think it couldnt possibly cope with any more, Amahli comes out looking like shes done rounds with Mike Tyson.

I trip to the Drs ( again) reveals she has a really nasty bacterial infection in her eye, and has to be closely monitored now because if it gets worse, shes off to hospital. Great, no??

So this week has been a total right off. Which is horrible because its FREAKIN SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!! and I LOVE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!! But I have been blessed with the most amazing eldest child who has quietly gone about her days, entertaining herself, feeding the dog, providing love and hugs when needed... I knew I got something special when I got her :)

So I have one more craft for this week, I wasnt going to but seeing as I am taking a little family time out next week, I wont have any chance to post anything up so I thought I should finish the week with something.

Earlier in the week in craft classes I had two little girls pretty busting to do something "really cool". So I pulled out something I had wanted to try ever since I got sent copious amounts of Kool Aid and got them started :)

It easy, its simple, its LIP GLOSS. And wow, is it ever delicious!!

All you need is some small pots ( I got ours from the $2 shop), some Kool Aid, ( our flavour was to be Pink Lemonade. I tried to get them into grape but I lost that battle) and Vaseline.

To start with, we had to melt the Vaseline into a liquid. This was done in 30 second increments for about 7 minutes. We talked about what else melts with heat and came up with : Ice, butter, oil ( doughnut oil which does actually solidify into fat) ice cream... so it was great little sciencey fun too!
Once melted, we stirred in the Kool Aid. It takes a while for the powder to dissolve and the girls left me to this part whilst they played.
Once all dissolved, we poured the liquid into the jars. These then have to be left to turn back into a solid. And seeing as its freezing here at the moment, it was done in less than an hour.
And now we have 10 tubs of gorgeous smelling ( and great tasting!) lip gloss :)
I want to make more flavours... just not quite sure how we are going to get through it all ;)

I will be away from this space until next Friday... I may get a chance to post a photo or two of what we are doing but realistically, I probably will be too tired at the end of each day to do anything but sleep :)
But stick around, I will be back :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rainbow in a jar

Todays post is short and sweet.... we have been busy here and Im zonked. Not busy in great way either.. All of us ( yup all 5 of us) caught a cold that has a lot of coughing attached to it. Its pretty annoying really and has kept me up all night for 4 nights in a row night with coughing until I throw up ( sorry TMI). Today it turns out, I have Pneumonia caused from having crap lungs and Asthma. Yep thanks, I needed all THAT in the school holidays.... *groan*

Anyways, seeing as the worst you can actually catch from me is a cold, we still did some cool things here the last two days. I had advertised ( very slightly, mind you) that I was doing Art classes at my place for two days. I had one child come. But boy, did she have fun :)

One of the multitude of things we did was to make a Rainbow in a Jar.

Ive wanted to do this for ages after seeing it on Babble, but hadnt gotten around to it. So with our bonus kid here, thats what we did.

We started by mixing the cake mix, and splitting it into 4 different cups ( *ahem* please ignore that my mixing bowls are wine glasses... I have none. They are all in the sand pit) and tinting them. Then, into two glass jars, we began to layer the mixture.
Put glass jars of cake mix into a shallow pan of water and into the oven for about 40 minutes ( I found it needed longer to cook all the way to the bottom)

OK, so ours arent pretty, AT ALL. But when we dug it out....


And it tasted awesome too :)

Easiest piece of fun ever :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

beads for all ages

I bought an awesome tub of beads at Target a few weeks ago, $3 for a huge amount of great beads. I was pretty excited about this as I have been looking for beads for ages to teach Jumeirah a way to make flowers out of beads that my Aunt taught me ( mind you I was 12 when I was taught but I figured she'd be ok ;))

I wanted to get them out in the afternoon but knew I would have three eager bees and only one lot of patience and 5 million beads that potentially were going to end up everywhere so I needed a few different plans for each child so this could be the fun activity I wanted it to be.

For Amahli, I initially gave her big beads to thread but it became apparent very quickly that she was NOT going to be left out of the smaller beads. So I gave her a piece of thick plastic style thread that would be easy to thread on. Both she and Jared began with these threads and started threading beads on.

Of course, she got jack of it after about 15 beads but it was a mighty effort for a 2 yr old considering I had trouble to start with in being able to thread, hold it still, and pull it through all at once.
Jumeirah, the eternal helper and master of distraction, then goes "HEY AMAHLI!! I know a great idea!!" And raced off with her so I could help Jared to get started properly.

Yup, shes pure gold :)

She came back 5 minutes later announcing Amahli would be happy for awhile and could I teach her now? With Jared totally taken with actually being able to thread his beads and really enjoying it, I began to teach her.

I had to use a needle and dental floss to show her but she quickly got the hang of it and completed enough flowers to make a cute head garland.

As much as I dont want them to grow up, its great to be able to start doing an activity that I can adjust for each child without having to really leave one out.

If only dinner time was this easy with just one meal for us all ..... *sigh*