Android Photo Apps

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! Did you guys see??!! Instagram is FINALLY available for Android. Oh, and Instagram has just been purchased by Facebook…. but I’m not exactly sure what that means yet….

Anyhoo, as you probably gathered from my waffle about podcasts, I am an Android user (gosh, doesn’t that sound dirty?). I have been lusting after Instagram for what feels like forever. BUT now that I have Instagram it doesn’t mean that I’m going to neglect the other awesome photo apps on my phone. Here’s some apps that I’ve been cranking:


So fun! PicsArt is a photo editing app that has lots of neat tools and tricks, including cropping, masks, effects, callouts, text, drawing and collages. You can also share your creations to almost any social networking site: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram + every other social networking tool I’ve ever come across. Here’s a few shots that I’ve played with using PicsArt:


Honourable Mentions:

And now, a few extras if you’re still looking for something to play with.

Cute Stuff to Make!

Finally, check out these clever peeps sharing ideas for making adorabubble stuff with Instagram photos:

Fat Mum Slim – Sweet Products to Make From Your Instagram Photos

Sometimes Sweet – Instagram Fun

*This is a good time for a little disclaimer. This is not a sponsored post. I just love the stuff that I’m ranting about. If Samsung or Instagram or Google want to pay me in cash or products they are most welcome. A Samsung Galaxy Tab should do the trick. Ta.

Over to you: What’s your favourite Android app?

16 Ideas for Playing with Wooden Animal Magnets

How’s your long weekend been? As you’re probably in a chocolate haze, and recovering from all those family get togethers, I thought I’d share a relaxed play idea.


Pebble was given an adorable box set of animal magnets for her second birthday. She fell in love with them straight away and they get a good play most days in one way or another. Here are some ideas for using these magnets with your toddler:

  • Fridge play– duh. Magnets go on the fridge, right? Put them high, put them low, move them around, have them chat to each other… see where your toddler takes the play. You could also use a magnetic easel or board.
  • Who am I? Take turns to say an animal noise and have the other player(s) find the magnet that matches your sound. eg. “I’m thinking of an animal that says “moo”. Which animal is it?” Start with only a few animals to choose from, then add more as your kiddo gets more confident.
  • Doll house play– Of course the animals can come on over to the doll house! Turn the doll house into a zoo. Or maybe the animals are housemates.
  • Animal Hunt – hide the animals around the house and give clues for finding them. A magnifying glass and a basket for collecting with make this hunt oh-so-much fun.
  • Sand play– rock some animal magnet fun in the sun with a sand tray or sand pit. Use branches, leaves, twigs and seeds to create a home for the animal friends.
  • Sorting– how many different ways you can sort the animals. Colours, sizes, spots, stripes. Keep it simple with toddlers. Find out how they want to sort them.
  • Free play – the most important option! Don’t feel like you always have to lead the play – children are the experts. They need time and space to use their imagination. Follow their lead, join in, or give them some independent play time, which is an important skill too. Put your feet up and have a cuppa!


Got a baby?

  • Bubs will get a kick out of exploring these safe-for-baby magnets and sliding them around on a magnetic surface.
  • Make a visual board for bubs next to the change table – pop a magnetic board on the wall and stick some animals magnets on it. Have a natter about the different animals and the sounds they make, or do your best Old Macdonald rendition.

Got a preschooler?

  • Get two sets of inexpensive magnets to create your own matching game.
  • Kick the sorting game up a notch by making the categories more complicated – ask them to put together all the animals that live underwater, or all the animals that have fur.
  • Use the animals to make up stories – take turns to pick an animal and say “one day there lived a insert-name-of-animal who loved to make-up-something-funny”, eg. One day there lived a horse who loved to eat ice cream.
  • If you’re keen you can get dramatic and act out the stories too.

Got a school kid?

  • Using two sets again you could pop a selection of matching magnets face down on the floor and play ‘memory’.
  • Get really tricky by sorting the animals using the sounds in their names – all the animals that start with ‘a’ or all the animals that have an ‘a’ sound in the middle.
  • What about organising them into alphabetical order? Use an alphabet chart to help or sing the ABC song.

Got something to say? Go on, you know what to do.

Gardening with Kids

The $2 gardening gloves, ripped after one use. Imagine that!

Happy Easter Sunday! Ah, a long weekend. It has given us the time and motivation to get started on a few jobs around the place. Our front garden beds were actually weed beds so that seemed like a good place to start.

Now, let me be clear. The last time I did ANY work in the garden was a random weed pulling exercise in the back yard about 6 months ago. And before that? When I was about seven months pregnant with Pebble…. that’s two years ago.

So, why did I get a sudden urge to garden? Maybe it’s because Pebble is at the age where she can join in or play while we work. Maybe it’s because we’re expecting guests and I want the place to look tidy. Maybe it’s because I want blog content. Whatever the reason, we all got our gardening gloves on and went out for a morning of digging.

Pebble joined in quite happily for about half an hour. Quite impressive for a two year old! Then she assumed a supervisory role, sitting on the front step and calling out “KEEP GOING!”, “DON’T STOP”, followed by a few rounds of B-I-N-G-O, Baby Crocodile and the ABC song to keep us motivated.

I enjoyed pulling up the big suckers that had roots from here to China. It gave me the same kind of satisfaction as plucking a particularly stubborn ingrown hair, you know? I got fed up near the end of the last bed though, probably about the same time that I came across a large hole in the ground that Paul said was probably “from a spider”. WTF?! Yeah, I was done. (I just did a Google Image search on “spiders holes ground”. Don’t click that link. Seriously).

All in all it was quite a successful family experience, I might even repeat it again sometime. Maybe.

Pebble getting stuck in to the weedingDaddy Daughter Bonding Our site manager and entertainer

Got something to say? Go on, you know you want to…

Grateful: Holidays


Easter is here, which means a four day break for most people – everybody say YEAH! More than that, for me and lots of other teachers and parents it means school holidays! I’m SO grateful for school holidays. At the end of each term I’m shattered and the children are exhausted and we’re all starting to go loopy-loo. We need the break.

My big plans for the holidays are …. doing some big jobs around the house that seem a little impossible when work is on; playing and playing and playing with Pebble because I have a little less work to do; taking a step back from teaching and getting some big picture planning done with my co-teacher; playing with this here little bloggity blog; seeing friends, family, maybe a day trip or two to the city, or the beach… and that’ll about do it for two weeks, ya think?

What are you grateful for this week? Share it with Maxabella or share it with a comment. I’m always grateful for those too. Nom nom, comments, mmmmmm.


Podcasts for Kids and more

I love a good hit of quality podcast. I love it in the car. I love it while I’m doing housework. I love it while working out at the gym (oh, what’s that message on my phone? I haven’t been to the gym for 90 days? Surely a clerical error…).

Here’s what I love to shove in my ears during those moments.

For the Kids

story home

bbc up to 3                         story nory

These are great places to pick up free stories for kids. I have used audio stories lots in the classroom, however the one time I tried one with Pebble she wandered out of the room in under 3.7 seconds. I must try again. Perhaps your toddler will be more interested!

Get Your Geek On

GEEK ALERT! Yep, I can’t get enough of Radio National. It’s not enough that it’s on the free to air radio, in fact, that is almost useless to me. What I like is the shows I want, when I want ‘em. Here’s my favs (click on each pic to find out more).

rn 360 documentariesrn body spherern common knowledgern download this showrn life mattersrn big ideas

My number one fav is Life Matters, and it was quite the adjustment this year saying goodbye to long time presenter Richard Adey. RN chose a fantastic replacement in Natasha Mitchell, who I already loved listening to on All In The Mind. It’s about life and stuff that matters. Monday Modern Dilemmas is a good new segment to check out.

New favourite is Download This Show presented by Marc Fennell. It’s everything geek-tech news and I can’t get enough.

For a Laugh


Answer Me This: Two British presenters, Helen and Olly, along with Helen’s husband, Martin the Soundman, answer anything and everything from their listeners. I’m about the same age as all of the presenters and their humour just gels with me. Plus, I love English stuff. The weekly live custom theme tune is enough for me to tune in alone.

I Like to Move It, Move It…

motion traxx

For those times that I do move my butt and get some exercise, Motion Traxx has an amazing selection. You can choose depending on exercise (running, cycling, walking) and BPM, to match your fitness level. Now, where are my sneakers?

How I listen

I use my Samsang Galaxy SII to stream podcasts using Stitcher and Samsung Kies Cast. Stitcher generally satisfies all my geeky needs but occasionally there’s something that I can only get through Samsung Kies Cast so I use both. I’m a bit of a slut that way.

Phew! I think I’ve ranted and raved about my love of Podcasts enough.

Got something to say? Go on, you know you want to…