November 13, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
1 Comment

The Water Bomb

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The Water Bomb - A True Parenting Tale

Let’s revisit those special parenting moments. I’ve already covered the poo finger, it was such a relief to find out that I wasn’t alone in this experience. Now I’d like to talk about The Water Bomb. In fact, this is Rocky’s specialty this week. Perhaps he knew I was planning to write about and wanted to give me plenty of real world experience to draw on. However it’s come about, I’ve had to deal with three Water Bombs in the past week. That’s right – I’m talking about the bath poo.

Perhaps it’s the warm water, relaxing all the muscles in the body. Perhaps it’s the post-dinner timing. Whatever it is, Rocky has always been a bit partial to a bath poo. I had gotten in to the habit of bathing him ONLY when I knew he’d filled his nappy in the last couple of hours. But the Water Bombs had been few and far between lately, so I took a few risks. Poor Rocky, he was not pleased at all, and obviously had no control over the situation.

Let give you a few hot tips for dealing with The Water Bomb:

  • scoop and flush – grab the largest receptacle you can get your hands on, a bucket or ice cream tub (not a cup), and scoop that poop then flush it down the loo
  • shower power – pop the poor bub into the shower while you clean up the bath. Give it a good squirt  with your bath cleaner of choice and rinse thoroughly.
  • risk assessment – if you have the strength left in you after dealing with The Water Bomb, refill the bath and pop bub back into the bath for some happy play time and a good clean. If you’re concerned about a repeat Water Bomb then wash and rinse in the shower and go, go, go!

Are you kids Water Bombers? 

Having trouble during nappy change time with a wriggly baby? Try  BabyLove Nappy Pants ­ with no tabs to contend with, the 360­degree stretchy waist  allows you to pull them up quickly and easily, so your active toddler can get back to action  in no time! Request a sample

November 10, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
0 comments

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

As you may have noticed I’ve been trying to find ways for Pebble (4 years, 9 months) and Rocky (20 months) to play together. This pretend play experience with farm play dough is perfect for both toddlers and preschoolers. They had a ball together! It’s so sweet seeing them play… mostly. Of course they are siblings and have their fair share of fights too.

This pretend play farm play dough so easy to set up. Just grab some farm toys, you’ve probably got some wooden or plastic toys at home, or they’re very cheap to buy. You may get lucky and find some second hand at your local op shop or online. Make up a batch of green play dough and set up an invitation to play. If your child needs extra help to get started with pretend play you can try role modelling by moving the animals around and making animal noises. They will soon join in the fun.

Looking for a fool proof play dough recipe? This no cook method is my favourite.

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pebble and Rocky also enjoyed the process of making play dough together. Just a warning – it gets messy! Especially with toddlers. ESPECIALLY if one of those toddlers is Rocky!  Expect mess and let it happen. It’s not so hard to clean up afterwards and the experience of making the dough adds so much to the play. It’s also great for learning about measurement, procedure and concepts like hot/cold, wet/dry and empty/full.

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

Ideas for extending the play:

  • sing farm songs and nursery rhymes, like “Old MacDonald” and “This Little Piggy”. Nursery rhymes are SO important to children’s early literacy development and are often forgotten about these days. Plus kids love them!
  • read books about farms – some of our favourites are Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, My Farm by Alison Lester, and A Year on Our Farm by Penny Matthews and Andrew McLean.
  • make your own animals from play dough.
  • print out and use these farm play dough mats which encourage early numeracy skills.
  • encourage children to pretend to be farm animals – say “can you be a…. pig/duck/horse/cow/etc”
  • draw or paint pictures of farm animals
  • visit a local farm and get hands on with the animals

More ideas for toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy together: 

November 6, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
12 Comments

Gluten Free Weet-Bix Slice {Giveaway}

Gluten Free Weetbix Slice

In the last six months my hubby, Paul, has had some belly issues. He had some pretty bad pain for a while there, bad enough that he took himself off to the docs to get checked out (that’s really saying something!). After a few tests and pokes and prods they came back and let us know that he’s just fine but more than likely has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Maybe that’s the answer they give  you when they don’t know what else to say? Anyway, he’s been trying to eat a little healthier to help with this issue, which suits me just fine.

So, when Weet-Bix contacted me and asked if we’d like to try their new Gluten Free Weet-Bix it sounded like the perfect fit. You see Paul has eaten Weet-Bix for breakfast for as long as I’ve known him (that’s almost ten years now). But lately he’s been eating fruit instead and he really misses his cereal fix in the mornings.

Since our goodie pack has arrived I’ve been eating Gluten Free Weet-Bix for breakfast on my work days with milk and a sliced banana – it’s a perfect quick breakfast on a busy morning. I can honestly say that if I wasn’t told that it was a different product, I wouldn’t notice any difference in taste to the good old Weet-Bix that I’ve been eating since I was a kid. It’s slightly darker looking in colour, but otherwise, same-same!

I decided to put this Gluten Free Weet-Bix to the test and use it to make a Weet-Bix Slice. Do you remember this slice from your childhood? I do! This recipe is SUPER easy to make. Just don’t do what I did and travel in a hot car for an hour before serving it to party guests on a hot Aussie afternoon. Keep it chilled until serving time, mmmkay?

Gluten Free Weetbix Slice

Gluten Free Weet-Bix Slice

Ingredients

For the slice:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup crushed Gluten Free Weet-Bix ( 4 Weet-Bix)

For the topping:

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line a slice tin.
  2. Combine all the slice ingredients in a bowl then press into the prepared tin. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Pour over the cooled base and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares using a hot knife and serve.

Gluten Free Weet-Bix is made from sorghum grains, an ancient grainthat originated in north-eastern Africa.It has all the usual benefits of Weet-bix, it’s low in sugar, high in carbohydrates, a great source of fibre, Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, high iron AND it’s gluten free. It’s available from all supermarkets right now.

Gluten Free Weetbix Slice

Win a Gluten Free Weet-Bix Gift Pack

To win yourself 1 of 5 Gluten Free Weet-Bix Gift Packs worth $40 each please enter using the widget below.
Gluten Free Weet-Bix Prize Pack

November 3, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
7 Comments

Finding My Style: Being The Boss of My Own Wardrobe

Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy

I have a confession. I have spent YEARS being a panic clothes shopper. If you don’t know what this is about then picture this: you have an event coming up, maybe a party, maybe just a catch up with girlfriends, and YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. You hate everything in your wardrobe and you just NEED something new. You zip out to the shops and try on as many things as you can. You don’t really love any of it but you buy five things anyway. Repeat. for. every. event. in. your. life.

I’ve been on the panic buy cycle since the day I started earning my own coin. I spent my first pay packet on a striped, ribbed Portman’s tee for the high school social in 1992… if only you could see my braces. Hello almost-grown-out spiral perm!

Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy

Fast forward to today and it’s a completely different scene. If I have an event coming up on the weekend (probably one of my many niece-phew’s birthday parties!). I think:

1. what’s the weather going to be like (cos I’m a grown up now and that matters to me).

2. what are the practicalities (will I be playing with kids and/or have kids hanging off of me)

3. what combination of awesome pieces will I put together so that I feel comfortable and look great.

Notice the lack of shopping involved? I could never have gotten to this happy place by myself. I am singing the praises of my stylist duo wherever I go. The fact is that Nat and Tatum from Make It Look Easy have changed my life. They just have. There’s no buts about it. Since my wardrobe cull and shop with these awesome ladies I am a different woman. And the changes keep coming.

Right now I’m just finishing their FABULOUS Be the Boss in Your  Own Wardrobe online course. It’s BLOWING MY MIND. And yes all those capital letters are necessary, ok? Imagine that someone handed over the holy grail of information to help you successfully shop for and dress yourself so that you looked and felt fabulous every day? IMAGINE THAT? Imagine dressing with confidence, knowing that the cut, colour, shape, print, and style of your clothes suited not just your body but your personality too? Imagine knowing how to rock your favourite crazy shirt, but that you know it’s quite right for you? This knowledge is GOLD.

I love that the whole ethos behind Nat and Tatum’s business is about finding YOUR style and making it look easy. Not following old fashioned rules. Not telling you what to wear. They hand the power to YOU to be the boss in your own wardrobe and to rock your style with confidence. They are also big on community and the private Facebook group for BOSS learners gives you access to an awesome bunch of women who support each other as they learn about finding their style too.

Below is a little video of me 8 months ago, just doing my own thing in my wardrobe before Make It Look Easy…

Now here’s a collection of outfits from the last month or so, since my makeover with Make It Look Easy and the BOSS course.

Being the Boss of My Own WardrobeFor me, the biggest change has been my increase in confidence and acceptance of who I am and my own style. That is HUGE. I’ve also gotten rid of the MANY outfits that made me look 4 months pregnant. Note: empire lines and floaty waisted outfits only make things worse, ladies! Learn to tuck and flounce and you’ll never look back (you’ll notice lots of tucking in my most recent pics).

The BOSS course has helped me understand and embrace the science behind what Nat and Tatum did for me at my wardrobe cull and shop. Now I can hit the shops and know what’s going to work and what to avoid. I’ve saved so money with this knowledge!! I buy way less clothes now and everything that I do buy, I LOVE.

I just adore these talented ladies and what they do so much! But don’t take my word for it. Check out what some of my BOSS alumni have to say:

Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look EasyBe the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look EasyBe the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look EasyThe first round of the Boss course is about to wrap up but Round 2 is opening soon. If you’re keen to take control of your wardrobe then follow Make it Look Easy on Facebook and sign up to their newsletter so that you’ll be the first to get the news.

You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:

Disclaimer: I was offered the Boss In Your Own Wardrobe at not cost in exchange for sharing my honest experience with my readers. All opinions are my own. And my opinion is DO IT!

October 31, 2014
by Kylie Gardner
2 Comments

Easy Halloween Mason Jar Lantern


Halloween Mason Jar Lantern

This morning Pebble woke up and we had our usual morning chat as she lay in bed. She asked the same question she asks every day: “What are we doing today?”. I told her what we had planned (not much!) and mentioned that it’s Halloween today. “HALLOWEEN!?”. She was up in a flash and asking for help to make her Halloween costume. She wanted to be a witch and chose a ‘witchy’ dress from her wardrobe and had some (a lot!) of help to make a hat and a broomstick. The result was one happy kid!

Then we started planning some decorations to let our neighbours know that we are are open for Halloween business. This easy Halloween mason jar lantern only took five minutes to make.

Halloween Mason Jar Lantern

Easy Halloween Mason Jar Lantern

You will need:

  • a large jar
  • cardboard
  • a bandage
  • scissors
  • double sided sticky tape (or regular will do)
  • blu-tak
  • a tea light candle
  • a lighter or matches

How to make a Halloween lantern

  1. Remove the lid from your jar.
  2. Wrap the jar in the bandage and secure with the double sided tape.
  3. draw and cut out a spooky face from cardboard and slide the shapes underneath the bandage strips. Use tape to secure if needed.
  4. Blu-tak the tealight candle to the bottom of the jar and light it (always practice fire safety around children).

There you have it! Five minutes later and you have a super cool Halloween decoration. I’m thinking of some more designs to make Christmas lanterns too.

For more Halloween lantern inspiration try these:

 Tell me about your favourite Halloween memory. 

 

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