Unsung heroes

Since she was 18 months old Pebble has spent a couple of days a week being cared for at the most wonderful child care centre. It’s welcoming, homely and the educators are passionate about their role in each of the children’s lives. We are so lucky that when we close that door behind us we know that Pebble will feel happy, safe and cared for. Not only that but she learns SO much, makes friends and grows before our eyes. Sometimes when I pick her up it’s like she’s grown up just a little bit more in just a few hours. I might be a bit biased, but I think that early childhood educators are the unsung heroes of our communities. I want to take the time to say thanks.
This week I’m grateful for all the wonderful people who have cared for and continue to care for our Pebble. Thank you.
Grateful for Child CareGrateful for child care

Grateful for child care

Grateful for child care

Grateful for child care

Grateful for child care

Grateful for child careAnd thank you to the centre for allowing me to take these photos while the children enjoyed their morning tea outside :)

What are you grateful for?

Eight Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Sponsored by Fisher-Price

8 Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Our little family is pretty traditional. The Dad (that’s Paul) works full time, while Mum (that’s me) works part time and stays home with the kids. While kid wrangling is exhausting I am very lucky to be able to soak up extra giggles, cuddles, stories and special moments during my days at home with the kids.

According to a recent survey* commissioned by Fisher-Price of Aussie Dads, many would choose to be a stay at home father if they could (43%). I guess that’s why many Dads (41%) see play as a big part of their role as a father – when there is not much time to be had then it’s best to spend it having fun! Here are eight simple ways for Dads to do just that.

Eight Simple Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Kick a ball
Or throw or roll or hit. Just get outside, run around and play together. Paul shares his love of soccer with Pebble. She calls it “Daddy football” and gives it a red hot go. She’s not bad, either!

8 Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Fix things
Like many Dads, Paul’s weekends are often absorbed with jobs around the house. Kill two birds with one stone by getting some jobs done together. Sure, it might take twice as long but it will be twice the fun.

Cuddle
Snuggle up with a book, get under the covers and watch a movie, or build a cubby and get comfy together.

8 Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Wrestle
I love listening to the shrieking giggles bouncing around the house when Pebble and Paul wrestle together. Tickling is also very good fun.

Explore
Go to the nearest creek, forest, beach or parkland and go exploring. Make collections, hunt for creatures and marvel at nature together.

8 Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Garden
Pull up some weeds, plant some seeds, water the plants. Get grubby and tick a few jobs off your list at the same time.

Get Ready
Include your kids in your day to day routine. They might like to help you shave (electric razors only, please!), have a shower together, or play a game while you get ready for work. Pebble always has a play on our bed while Paul is getting changed for work. This gives them a little snippet of time to chat and laugh together (and wrestle, see above!).

8 Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids

Listen
Listen to your kids. Do what they want to do. Let them lead the play. Give them your undivided attention. No phones, no TV, just you and them, playing and getting to know each other (I could do with the reminder to put my phone down too!).

Whether you’re a Dad or a Mum, you can share your parenting moments with the new Fisher-Price app being launched in September. Visit www.fisher-price.com.au to join the conversation.

8 Ways for Dads to Connect with Their Kids 6

* The research was conducted by Pure Profile with 500 dads nationwide who had children under 5 years old in May 2013

Wishing everyone a very Happy Father’s Day this weekend xx

Kids Birthday Party Inspiration

100 kids birthday party ideas

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Three year old Pebble is already planning her fourth birthday party (elves and fairies, apparently). And her FIFTH birthday party (rainbow…although this does change depending on the day). She still fondly remembers her third birthday party and loves to play “birthdays”. A lot. We are always making pretend (and real!) birthday cakes, wrapping presents, decorating the house and playing party games.

Pebble’s fourth birthday really isn’t that far away and I really should get my skates on. To get myself motivated I have collected over 65 of the most amazing kids birthday party ideas. There’s something for everyone! I hope that these ideas inspire you too.

First birthday parties

Perfectly pink first birthday party (Laughing Kids Learn)
Colourful first birthday party (B-Inspired Mama)
Beautifully simple first birthday party (School Time Snippets)
Pink lemonade and pinwheels party (Nothing If Not Intentional)
Rainbow bunting first birthday (Danimezza)

Mermaid birthday party
{Mermaid Party – Childhood 101}

Pretend play parties

Mermaid party (Childhood 101)
More mermaids! (Mama Pea Pod)
Fairy party (Childhood 101)
Clown party (Moments a Day)
Pirates (Adventures at Home with Mum),
Pirates (Mom Endevours),
Pirates (Coffee Cups and Crayons),
Pirates (East Coast Mommy),
Pirates (Green Owl Art)
and more Pirates! (Sugar Aunts)
Pyjama party (Seven Thirty Three)
Slumber party (Maxabella)
Space party (One Perfect Day)
Robot party (JDaniel4s Mom)
Monster party (Maxabella)
another Monster party (Sugar Aunts)
Princesses (Seven Thirty Three),
Princesses (B-Inspired Mama),
Princesses (Maxabella)
and more Princesses (Play Dr Hutch)
Police party (Seven Thirty Three)
Fire Fighter party (Glittering Muffins)
Soccer player party (Planning with Kids)
Circus party (East Coast Mommy)
Rainbow Unicorn party (Green Owl Art)
Carnival party (Maxabella)

Tangled birthday party{Tangled Party – Just for Daisy}

Movie, TV and Character Parties

Star Wars birthday party (One Perfect Day)
Super hero party (East Coast Mommy)
more Star Wars party fun (East Coast Mommy)
Octonauts party (Boy Mama Teacher Mama)
Snow White party (My Little Bookcase)
Disney Tangled party (Just for Daisy)
Superhero party (Red Ted Art)
Harry Potter party (Interation Imagination)
Curious George party (You Are The Roots)
More Curious George (House of Burke)
Pokemon party (Maxabella)
Tinkerbell party (Sugar Aunts)
Winnie the Pooh party (Planning with Kids)
more Winnie the Pooh party (Sugar Aunts)
Brave party (Play Dr Hutch)
Toy Story party (Our Crafts ‘n’ Things)
Angry Birds party (Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes)
Thomas the Tank Engine party (Craftulate)
Hello Kitty and Hot Wheels (Scribble Doodle Draw)
Tangled Art party (Coffee Cups and Crayons)
Mickey and Minnie party (Coffee Cups and Crayons)

Camping party{Camping Party – Ramblings from Mumtopia}

Outdoor Parties

Toddler outdoor play party (Mama Papa Bubba)
Beachy ice cream party (Mom Endeavours)
Traffic light party treats (Planning with Kids)
Garden party (Paint on the Ceiling)
Flower party (Kidspot)
Backyard camp party (Ramblings from Mumtopia)
Summer play party (Sugar Aunts)
Bubble party (Nothing If Not Intentional)

Space birthday party{Space Party – One Perfect Day}

Animal parties

Butterfly birthday party (Learn with Play at Home)
Zoo party (Dirt and Boogers)
Turtle party (School Time Snippets)
Farm party (Maxabella)
Dinosaur party (Inspired by Famila)
Bird party (Buggy and Buddy)

Traffic Light Cookies{Cars Party – Red Ted Art}

Things that go parties

Cars party (Red Ted Art)
Pixar cars party (See Vanessa Craft)
Racing car party (East Coast Mommy)
Train birthday party (Mom Endeavours)
Garbage truck party (Boy Mama Teacher Mama)

Dinosoaur Party{Dinosaur Party – Inspired by Familia}

Stories, art, colour and music parties

Very Hungry Caterpillar party (Learn with Play at Home)
Gruffalo party (Mama Pea Pod)
Alphabet party (Learn with Play at Home)
Song and rhyme party (My Little Bookcase)
Yellow art party (Learning to Play and Playing to Learn)
Rockin’ drum and music party (Sugar Aunts)
Music party (East Coast Mommy)
Teddy Bears Picnic party (Octavia and Vicky)
Nursery rhyme party (Crafty Moms Share)
Pink heart afternoon tea party (BabyMac)
Henna party (Putti’s World)
Pink party (Maxabella)
Rainbow Party (Mess for Less)
Yep, another rainbow party (BabyMac)
Another Rainbow party! (Mama Pea Pod)
More rainbows! (Maxabella)

Picture 32{Garden Party – Paint on the Ceiling}

Lego parties

Lego party (B-Inspired Mama)
More Lego fun (The Pleasantest Thing)
Lego again! (Babyology)

Lego party{Lego Party – Babyology}

Party Planning Tips and Tricks

Pinterest party planning pitfalls to avoid (Childhood 101)
Parties with Kids E-book  (Planning with Kids)
Toddler party planning tips (Creative Play House)
A guide to kids parties (Wouldn’t It Be Loverly)
Simple birthday celebrations and traditions (Inspired by Famila)
How to host a kids party and still stay sane (Fat Mum Slim)
Choosing a party theme they will love (Inspired by Familia)
20 birthday questions to ask every year (Milk and Cuddles)
How to make your own invitations (Nothing If Not Intentional)
Planning a one of a kind party (The Playtime Press)

What kind of party would your kids love for their next birthday? Got birthday ideas to share? Please link them up in the comments. 

34/52

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34-52 Pebble

 Pebble – 3 years, 7 months – Gosh, she looks so grown up all of a sudden. When did that happen? This gal is just such an awesome person. She is thoughtful, helpful, hilarious, curious and clever. I’m proud to be her mama.

34-52 Rocky

Rocky – 24 Weeks – This poor kid has been such a trooper this week. On Wednesday he started pooping 10 times a day and he hasn’t stopped since. I’m not sure what’s going on with him but his butt is not thanking him for it. He’s quite a happy kid in between nappy changes, bless him. I’ve had a small stomach upset too, I guess he’s just got the same, only his tiny belly can’t quite cope as well with it. We’ll be back to the doctors tomorrow because he just can’t keep this up, poor little mite.

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

52 A Portrait a Week

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mug Cake

This is the best chocolate mug cake I have EVER tried. And I’ve tried a few! The addition of peanut butter and chocolate chips make it perfection.  But be warned – it is pure evil.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mug Cake

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This cake is perfect for those moments when you NEED chocolate, but have none in the house and is all too easy to throw together.

Some mug cakes I’ve tried are too dry or too claggy or tasteless or just weird. This one is kind of like a moist cake combined with chocolate pudding. It’s drier the more you cook it, but I prefer it a little gooey in the bottom of the cup.

It’s big enough for two…. but can easily be eaten by one. Just don’t make a habit of it!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Makes 1 large mug cake or 2 small ones

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons self raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch salt

To make:

  • In a large mug whisk together all the wet ingredients, then add in the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until combined to create a smooth, thick consistency.
  • Microwave on high/full power for 1 minute – more or less depending on your microwave and how you like your cake. Experiment to get it just right for you.

That’s it! It is very rich, I recommend serving with cream or ice cream (or both). Make a little well in one side of the cake and pour in the cream. Oh, so BAD! But, oh so gooooooood.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mug Cake

What do you do when you need a chocolate fix?

Looking for more cake? Try these:

Triple Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake Mum's Banana Cake | Octavia and Vicky

Rainbow Cupcakes