Posted in DIY Projects

Mini office make over

Do you have areas in your home where everyone just dumps everything and before you know it there are mountains of clutter just sitting gathering dust? I hate these zones. The annoyance I feel when I look at useless clutter just makes my skin crawl. Another dead zone is on top of the fridge. Like I get it’s high up and out of reach of the children but the random collection of stuff up there just makes me mad. Especially if there is a legit place for something but someone was to lazy to put it back where they got it from. Grrrr that grinds my gears! Enough! Enough with the stuff, I’m putting my big mama foot down, starting with this pile of…goodness.

Charming isn’t it? The most random group of goods you can think of. First things first, I needed to clear a space. I chose the dining room because we need to be close to a power source and it’s roomy enough for the new set up.

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Space cleared and ready to rock Kmart was hollering! My budget was $100. We came in at $79.00 which included a few extras coz…well…Kmart lol

We purchased a desk, mail sorter, document shelf, pencil holder, whiteboard + some “To Do” note pads to help us feel extra organized.

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These wooden shelves were a snap to put together and at $8 – $10 each they were a steal!

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Desk and acessories built it was time to organize the space. The fun part…NOT First everything had to be sorted and binned. And there was a lot which had to be tossed. This took a good portion of the morning, and then finally it was time to place the keep pile in it’s new home. And voila!! Mama has a new space and the kitchen benches are free, free to live their beautiful uncluttered lives like they were designed to!

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Aaaaaaaaah such a satisfying feeling to finally have a proper place for everything. One step closer to reaching my goal of optimal oraganization. Right, now to move on to the next pile! ūüėČ xx

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Posted in Kai - Recipes

Waste Free Wednesday

We are back to school! And this term the school has introduced ‘waste free Wednesday’ in which the kids are encouraged to reduce the food packaging in their lunch boxes to zero. This is already widely practiced back in New Zealand so it’s not a new concept to our whanau, but one I widely encourage + support, having experienced it with my eldest child.

I stopped glad wrapping everything when my son first started kindy and reduced any packaging in his lunch box because 1) he rarely eats a whole packet of anything 2) he can’t open things easily without spilling half the contents everywhere (we’re working on that lol) I’ve always just portioned things straight into his lunchbox. They also follow the ‘crunch + sip’ programme meaning they have fruit time every day and water is available in class throughout the learning day whenever they need it

Considering we already make the effort to be waste free everyday, I thought I would take this opportunity to update the lunch box menu. To start introducing a few more options without all the unnecessary rubbish – I kid you not for a whole term his favourite sandwich to take was butter, plain butter. I was terrified people would think I wasn’t feeding him properly, but it’s all he would eat. I tried to mix it up with some nice sliced roast beef to which he responded with “Mum why did you put such horrible ham in my lunch?!”

He seems to have grown a bit more adventurous with his tastes and being open to trying new things so I think the timing is right to step up the lunch box game.

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I thought I would make a start with these tasty bacon + egg bites (pictured top) I also made some spaghetti, cheese + bacon toasty pizzas, vege sticks with yoghurt + bbq dipping sauce and home made crumbed chicken tenders.

For the bacon + egg bites we used:

2 large eggs

6 pieces of bacon (not streaky)

A handful of grape tomatoes

1/2 cup of grated cheese

Salt + Pepper

Chives (from a replanted piece of spring onion in the garden)

1. Lightly grease then line your mini muffin tin with pieces of bacon. Don’t worry if the pieces don’t fit properly, as long as the sides are covered once the egg is cooked it will hold together.

2. Beat 2 eggs with a splash of water and season with S+P Pour to fill muffin tins about 3/4 full

3. Top each one with a slice of grape tomato and sprinkle with grated cheese.

4. Cook on 160c for about 15 minutes or until the egg is cooked through and the cheese is golden brown.

5. Sprinkle with chives and leave to cool before covering and storing in the fridge, ready to pop in the lunch box or for a quick breakfast bite in the morning.

Makes 12 Mini Muffins

If you have any package free recipes that hold together well in the lunch box I would love to hear them! I am always on the look out for new ideas ūüė䬆Fingers crossed these are a hit and the lunchbox returns with just a few crumbs inside! xx

 

 

Posted in Whanau-Family Time

School Holidays – Camp Cookout

My son has been kind of obsessed with camping and the solar system lately. I thought I would surprise him by planning a camp cookout day filled with fun activities, finished off with cooking dinner outside and waiting for the stars to fill up the night sky for some star gazing and planet spotting. A special way to finish off the school holidays, ready for the new school term to start.

This is how our day went:

There is a brand new nature park which has been built about 5 mins up the road. This was our first stop to get that nature-y feel going. Climbing, swinging, balancing, digging and exploring kept us going for most of the morning. My son and his sister packed some sandwiches and fruit before we left, so after working up a good appetite they had a picnic at the park.

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All refreshed and energized we decided to call in and get some stores and supplies for the camp cookout. Armed with a list we made quick work of getting everything we needed before heading home to set up the tee-pee tent.

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Next came the fire. As we were using coals, we needed to heat them first before we could begin cooking so the kids kept entertained in their tee-pee playing games and cards and enjoying some of the activities we had made during the week like the ‘Gone Fishn’ game.

Once we were ready to cook the kids helped with preparing our fabulous dinner. Our menu included campfire corn on the cob with parsley (proudly from the garden!) paprika + garlic butter, Koko’s Cowboy baked beans + hot dogs. Peeling corn brings back so many fond childhood memories for me, I hope this is one of those moments that will stick in my sons mind, he did such an awesome job.

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Once dinner was cooked it was time to wash up and tuck in! Good flavoursome food cooked from the heart, resulted in yelps of excitement as the novelty of eating outside together set in. We served their beans in tin cans for an authentic touch much to the kids delight.

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With full pukus and spirits high, we decided to head out on a bush walk. We are super lucky to be surrounded by bush walks and parks right on our door step. The kids ran wild until the sun started to sink in the sky and the day started to turn into night.

Cue hot-chocolate time! Now we did have visions of toasted marshmallow goodness but my attempt failed in disaster and we ended up with a puddle of sticky mess. Luckily the kids knew how to do it better than me and they sandwiched melted marshmallow between choc ripple cookies and made deluxe hot chocolates topped with whipped cream, using the heat from the campfire embers.

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We sat sipping and chatting waiting for the stars to greet us. As they started to make their way out, eye lids began to grow heavy and chatter seemed to fade out as a lil boy became worn out from his busy day.

We had such a great day and there were no devices in sight. Old skool games, being outside and just hanging out seemed to fill the time. I hope these kinds of days feature more in our calendar to encourage + strengthen those bonds of whanaungatanga within our lil family. Give it a try with your whanau! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in DIY Projects, Whanau-Family Time

School Holidays – Colour Match Scavenger Hunt

Add some colour to your day with a colour match scavenger hunt! We found this brilliant idea on pinterest and thought we would give it a crack ourselves!

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You will need:

*clipboard

*paper

*coloured pens

Simply draw swatches of different colours onto the white paper. We used a clear clipboard and placed the swatches underneath so the objects could be placed on top easily, plus the colour sheet is protected and can be re-used another day.

Then get hunting! Find small objects around the house that match the coloured squares. Your kids will enjoy the thrill of finding a match every time! A great opportunity to get chatting about all things colour related with your tamariki

 

 

 

Posted in DIY Projects, Whanau-Family Time

School Holidays – Snake Bubbles

The sun is shining today folks + it’s got us feeling all bubbly…even if it’s just small bursts through grey clouds and drizzle?! Snake bubbles are addictive. Parents you will find yourselves wanting to hog all the turns blowing these thick, luscious, holographic bubbles – your kids will probably get fed up waiting! Our tip make a bubble blower for each child big + small

You will need:

*old plastic water bottle (the small ones are better for smaller hands) 

*old sock

*cable tie or rubber band (to secure sock to bottle)

*dishwash liquid + water or bubble mixture if you have any

*old container for dipping, big enough to fit circumference of bottle

*scissors

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1. Cut bottom off bottle. Cut toe part off sock

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2. Place cut toe piece over the cut end of the plastic bottle. Secure in place with a cable tie or rubber band. Trim end off cable tie and fold over the top of sock to make a neat edge.

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3. Add a few drops of dish wash to some water, swirl together then dip baby dip!! Dip the end of the bottle into the mixture and then blow through the mouthpiece of the bottle. You will be amply rewarded with a tonne of bubble fantasticness!

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Posted in DIY Projects, Whanau-Family Time

School Holidays – Gone Fishin’

School holidays have swung around again and we are into the second week here in W.A Phew! After a failed first week full of bugs and sickness it’s time to shake it off and lift the mood around here. The winter blues have hit home so it’s jackets + boots, scarves + hats time so we can brave the outdoors and get some well needed fresh air!

This activity is a cinch to make and we found everything we needed in cupboards and drawers, chances are with a bit of resourcefulness you wont need to spend a cent on this activity.

You will need:

*dowel or stick for the fishing rod 

*string

*magnet (we grabbed one off the fridge)

*paper clips

*scissors

Cut assorted fish shapes or sea creatures out of old plastic ice cream container lids. Attach paper clips to the mouth of each fish. Tie string to dowel or stick to make a fishing line, then secure the magnet to the end of the line. Scatter the fish around outside and get fishing!! The beauty of this activity is it can be played indoors if the weather is too unbearable, just arrange the fish on the floor for hours of fishin’ fun!

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**Remember as with all water play activities children must be supervied at all times

 

 

Posted in Kai - Recipes

Feel Good Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup

There is something so comforting about a hot bowl of nourishing soup,¬† it’s soul food.¬†¬†Cheap and¬†filling you can feed the¬†whole whanau for under $5¬†bucks!¬†There’s a new spudshed which has just opened it’s doors and it is splendid! If you know me you know I love a good bargain. So our latest shopping trip resulted in the ultimate pumpkin score, large whole pumpkins for 99cents a pop – that sucker was in our trolley faster then you could say FREE spuds! Which they were also giving away yes…for FREE. (Spudshed I heart you!)

Naturally, with the weather starting to cool down and the days starting to get shorter soups will definitely be featuring more on the whanau menu. This recipe is super fast and easy. I like to add a lot of spices + herbs to the soup for extra punchy flavour.

Ingredients

Pumpkin
Butter
Onion
Chicken stock or stock cubes
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Cumin
Dried Coriander
Tumeric
Curry Powder

Chop onion, clean and peel pumpkin. Melt butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Once the onion is cooked through add in the different spices + herbs – please add to taste, about a teaspoon of each to about half a large pumpkin. If you like more of a specific spice then add more. I especially love coriander in this recipe so I tend to add a bit extra, but each to their own.

Once the spices are fragrant add the pumpkin and toss to coat in the spice mix. Add chicken stock, cubes¬†(or vege stock)¬†and water making up enough liquid to cover the pumpkin. Once pumpkin is cooked allow to cool, then simply strain and place pieces into a blender. Reserve the liquid in the pot. Blend the pumpkin adding stock to the puree until the desired consistency is reached. You may not need all the liquid, it is up to you to add how much you want depending on the thickness of the soup you are after. If you don’t own a blender you can also go old skool and mash the pumpkin by hand adding the stock a little at a time. You can also use one of those stick blenders but we aint fancy! You already know…

Add the soup back to the pot to re-heat and keep warm. Season with¬†salt and pepper. It’s super hearty, thick and luscious on it’s own but if you are in need of some extra comfort factor stir through a splash of cream or a couple of table spoons of sour cream to make the soup rich and silky and sprinkle extra coriander on top. Serve with home made bread, scones or a crusty loaf. You can’t help but smile when you see your little ones tucking in to this dreamy soup,¬†full of wholesome goodness knowing it is good for their lil puku’s. Ka pai!

Top tip: if peeling pumpkin is not “appealling” to you, cut the pumpkin into larger sections and boil till the skin has softened. Remove each piece and you should be able to scrape the skin off the pumpkin more easily. Chop into smaller pieces and continue cooking as above!