Tuesday 30 July 2013

Kai Carrier Review

Last week I ordered some Kai carriers because I made a resolution to stop feeding Liliana bought food from the supermarket and to just make my own. This is because of two reasons, firstly that food is expensive. They average $2 each, and then more if you want to do the organic stuff. If you mulitply that by 3 for each day and then by 7 for the week that's a grand total of $42. Now if you are like me there are MUCH better things I could spend that money on. The second reason is that I prefer to know exactly what goes into my kids food.
I love the idea and the convenience of the pouches. They are easy for kids to use by themselves without making a huge mess and it doesn't really matter if you forget a spoon which lets face it, I do 90% of the time. So when I came across the Kai Carrier which is a reusuable baby food pouch I was sold immediately...as long as they did what they claimed to do.
And the verdict is....THEY ARE AMAZING! The pouch opens at the top with a simple but strong zip lock. you just open it up and pour in your food, zip it up and away you go. They are easy for the babies to use, and the toddlers have been using them too on a daily basis whenever we go out.
My sister and I were discussing their other uses, such as filling them with yoghurt and putting them in kids school lunches to keep everything cool and have a yummy yogurt once it defrosts in time for lunch.

They are available HERE

Monday 29 July 2013

Time Out for Women Conference

On Saturday my Mum, sister and sister in law attended a conference for women. It is run by Deseret Books which is owned by the LDS  (mormon) church which we belong to. It was an awesome experience, despite the fact that we were all exhausted! and by exhausted I mean that at one stage we had all fallen asleep during a presentation.
There were around 2000 ladies in attendance from all over NZ. It was really awsome being able to see people that you hadn't seen in years.
I will tell you of one of the best things we all got out of it. One of the speakers, Hillary Weeks spoke about "Saying Love". She shared and experiment she did with her family which was somewhat crazy, but had really neat results. What she did was fill two jars with cooks white rice. They were then put into a room with all the same conditions. She then had her family speak loving kind words, in their nicest loving voices to one jar of rice (like I said crazy). To the other jar she had them yell and scream and be nasty. At the end of the experiment the jar that received loving words spoken to it remained a perfect jar of rice, while the other jar which had received hate had turned into a gross slushy moldy mess. There is a scientific reason behind the actual results something about the vibrations from your voice having and effect on the rice. However the experiment proved to teach a bigger lesson that just the scientific one.
The way in which we speak to our children, husbands, partners, parents, siblings and friends has an effect on them. If we are to continue to speak harshly can we not expect the result of that harshness to be a damaged person? I find that often the mother sets the tone for the household. Have you ever heard that saying "happy wife, happy life". If the mother is happy, it flows out onto her whole household, whereas when she is upset and frustrated that too will inevitably alter the mood of the family.
It is true that there are times when pure exhaustion and frustrations are going to push us over the edge. It happens in my house as I am sure it does in your house. My aim is to make those situations few and far between. How am I going to do that you ask? By Saying Love. Each time anger and fustration rear their ugly heads I will find something of worth in the situation. Whether that be looking at how beautiful and cuddly my baby girl is when she has woken me up for the 8th time in the night. Perhaps its just laughing at the fun Auron has had while he threw buckets of water out of the bath, flooding the bathroom and saturating Lili who was already dressed. Realistically it's only going to take an extra 5 mins to mop up all the water.
We really enjoyed the conference and the things we came away with. I think I enjoyed the company most. It is not often I get to spend the day with these 3 lovely ladies who are some of my closet friends.

Kristen Mum Me and Eleanor

Mum Me and Ellie

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Five at Five


It's 5...in the morning! Lili is slowly driving me crazy. She has woken a total of 13 times during the night. I have left her in the room to fall asleep by herself. I should have done it at 3am instead.


At 4am Aarahi contemplated staying home from work for the day. He starts at 5am. in the end he went to work but is going to come home early. He sat with me and listened to me complain about my frustrations with Lili's sleeping. He say's she's as stubborn as her mother. He's right, if she doesn't want to sleep she wont go to sleep no matter what you do.


I gave in and went and got Lili out of bed. Now she's sitting up on the couch with me. She was all noise and no tears but I didn't want to risk her waking up Auron. I need him at his best today!


Yesterday Auron was so excited when I got out the suitcases. Once it was packed up he wanted to "doooh" (go). We ended up having to take the suitcase to the shopping centre with us. He was upset we weren't going to the airport. That's when I realised we travel too much.


Aarahi took both the kids with him to youth mutual last night so I could finish everything. It is amazing how much you can get done when you don't have little hands trying to help. The house is clean, bags all packed, washing folded, dinners frozen in the freezer for Aarahi while I am away. He is quite capable of cooking his own meals, it's more for my own peace of mind knowing that he has something good to eat. Otherwise he would eat cereal every day. Which he would be quite happy about. Cereal, cereal and more cereal. He's easy to please.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Home Preschool

I thought I would show you what we have been up to this week with our preschool. We took a few weeks off while we all recovered from being sick. At the moment we are doing preschool 2 days a week.

Our preschool starts once Lili is down for her nap at 10 am. To get into the quite calm mood for learning we start with reading some books. Auron is becoming more interested in books,especially at playgroup. He would never sit and listen at story time, instead he would go play with the toy kitchen or on the bikes outside. Now he will stay for the majority of the story. He's still not keen on singing time, and watch out if you even think of doing ACTIONS to a song. Crazy kid. We're working on it.

After reading we usually get out the puzzles or other activity. Auron got some cool puzzles from his cousins for his birthday this year which are probably his favourite. We practice our counting, with the puzzle pieces. He can count but it doesn't really sound like numbers but he has the same word for the numbers each time, so I guess it makes sense to him.

We usually work on our colours, with the blocks, and do a bit more counting. Sometimes we practice our writing, at the moment it is just drawing lines and circles. I will move on to forming actual letters once we have mastered the line and circles.

Auron is behind in his speech. He's not really far behind but is barely on the lower end of "normal" for his ages. To help his speech come along we have been doing flash cards. Auron will only say the word once he knows he can say it properly. We often spend ages trying to teach him something which he will never say but then he will come out with something completely random. At the moment everything is "nice" I didn't think we even used that word so often. Chris and Kim were over last week and they said they have noticed a huge improvement in his speech since they saw him last, which was over a month ago. It's nice to see we are making some progress.

I try to pick a fun craft or play activity for us to do. I alternate between crafts and something more physical. This week we have done paper mache and "golf" well a version of golf.

Depending on the time Auron will either get out something from his play cupboard like playdough or drawing or he will go have a nap.

All up this takes about 2 hours. Lili usually wakes up about half way though and is happy to join in with our fun as well. Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to post about fun activities you can do with babies!

Sunday 21 July 2013

The Best Crumbed Chicken

Last night was a long night with Lili, seriously if anyone has any ideas how to get her to stay asleep at night I will take them! I'm thinking of taking her to a chiropractor next week as lots of friends have had success with this.  She is a great day sleeper no issues there, just keeps waking at night for some reason. At least my body is used to functioning on little sleep now!
We went to playgroup this morning, one of the mums just had a new baby a couple of weeks ago. She was so TINY! I think you forget how little they are, she wasn't even a "small" baby. I am trying to get every sorted for our trip this week but I'm sure I will miss something!

This is what we are having for dinner tonight! It is seriously the best crumbed chicken I have had, I love the idea of using the shredded coconut instead of bread crumbs. The chicken is full of flavour as well. I'm sure you could change up what herbs and spices you flavour with too. I serve ours with a fresh salad and a jacket potato or kumara...usually kumara.

You can find the recipe HERE

Another week done and dusted

This week I was struck down with a stomach bug of some kind. It came on fast! I spent 3 days vomiting and wallowing in self pity on the couch. Unfortunately since Aarahi is taking time off in a few weeks for his brother's wedding we could afford for him to take anymore time off to look after the kids for me. The kids however were incredibly well behaved! I got them up changed them and sometimes fed them breakfast. On one day I let Auron get his own breakfast and he was nice enough to make Lili a plate of fruit and a piece of toast. He made a huge mess but I didn't care. For the rest of the morning they usually played quietly, I put Lili down for her nap and not long after that Aarahi would be home. On one day I just put them both in Lili's cot with the ipad and some toys and then I got in bed and went to sleep. They were happy, and safe, well I didn't hear any complaining from them.
Along with the vomiting came a rash...and when I say rash I don't mean a small patch of red itchy skin I mean a bright ready bumpy itchy sore rash covering almost 80% of my body. It was crazy. That combined with the vomiting had me freaking out that I was pregnant, as both those things only ever happen if I am pregnant. So I send Aarahi off to the pharmacy for a test and some drugs to get rid of my burning skin. He protested about how he didn't want to buy a pregnancy test, but he's an awesome husband and came back with one anyway. Negative by the way.
I am feeling much better now, still not 100%  but better. We stayed home from church today as I wanted to keep the kids in as much of their routine as possible since we fly out this week. We have afternoon church and it messes with the kids sleeping and moods every week and it takes a few days for me to sort them out again. So hoping to avoid it this week.
Aarahi bought a Ps3 this week, too keep him company while we are away. I think he is going to relish the uninterrupted gaming time. He has been training Auron up on how to play Tekken. Not the most appropriate game for a 2 year old....or anyone for that matter but they are pretty cute playing together.
Today I have watched despicable me 3 times and its now playing for a FORTH time in a row. Aarahi was going to turn it off but....we're still watching. On Friday night we stayed up til 1am (big deal in our house) watching Person of Interest. We bought the first season on DVD and love it. Now we have to wait for the 2nd season to come out!!!!!!!!!!!! tempted to just download it though.


Saturday 20 July 2013

Learning to Write

A few weeks ago I bought Auron a white board...to try and save on paper and more importantly my WALLS! It was a great investment. Did you know you can buy glitter whiteboard pens?! They were kind of expensive so we just stuck to the plain ones. 
We do home preschool 2-3 times a week depending on what we have going on in the week, but more on that in another post. I have introduced the whiteboard into our preschool time. Auron has always held a pen correctly ever since he was first given a pen. We have been practicing how to move on from random scribbles to a more purposefully drawn picture or shape. Usually I will draw a line or shape and have him copy after me. I love how determined he is to get it right and more importantly the cute little smile on his face he gets when he knows he "dit it"! 
Today we move on a little from learning to write. Auron isn't the greatest speaker. He is getting there, but it's a slow and painful process, more painful for me than him though I suspect. I thought today I would try and teach him shapes. Turns out he actually knows some of his shapes he just can't or doesn't say them! I would draw  variety of shapes on the board and then ask him "where's the circle?" or "where's the square?" etc. He got it right every time. I think I was more excited than he was, it was proof that the hard work I put in is actually paying off even if he can't say the names he does know what I am talking about!

Thursday 18 July 2013

Meet the Family

ME: My name is Candice. I  was born and raised in Palmerston North New Zealand. At the moment I am a stay at home mum and enjoying every bit of it...ok maybe not the dirty nappies and the lack of sleep! I studied Linguistics and Psychology at university, graduating at the end of 2009. I love to travel, my husband will willingly come along providing he doesn't have to organise it, which works great for me because I like to organise. I come from a family of 7 kids in total 3 girls and 4 boys. I love to cook, but despise cleaning especially folding washing! I love a good deal and hardly ever pay full price, unless it's for food (but even then I have my rules as to how much I will spend) I am incredibly good at finding good deals.

AARAHI: He's my lovely husband. We were married in January 2010, a year after he returned home from serving a mission for our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons). He served in Brisbane Australia. Born and raised in Tauranga New Zealand he is the 8th of nine kids. His mother is a legend I tell you. Aarahi loves all things games. Board games, card games, video games, computer games, sports, you name the game and I'm sure he'll love it. He's good too, and hard to beat. The only game I can ever beat him at is doing the Hula on the Wii, even at 9 months pregnant. I hate to play most games so he lucked out there. I'm scarred from childhood experiences...Oh he has an amazing voice too, yeah a guy who can sing is definitely hot.

AURON: Mr two is our first miracle baby. I was told I would not be able to have children so he was a bit of a surprise! and a happy one at that! Auron is our little Masterchef! He loves loves loves to cook. He has always been in the kitchen with me since day one. He is now pretty competent at most things cooking.I often give him little jobs to do like chopping things up for salads etc. Auron spends most of his day in the kitchen or playing pretend cooking with anything and everything. He hates most green foods, broccoli is like a poison to him. Even when he was little he would gag every time it was offered. He loves to play on the ipad and spend a lot of time watching Ellen clips on Youtube. Sesame Street is another favourite of his with Cookie Monster being his hero. 

LILI: Her name is actually Liliana-Mei but that's a bit of a mouthful so it gets shortened to many variations but usually just Lili. She graced the world with her presence last October TWO weeks overdue. Lili is a terrible sleeper at night and drives me slightly crazy! sometime I just have to turn the light on so I can see how cute she is. Aarahi says she is most definitely a girl, with a girl attitude, I cant disagree she has attitude. She's probably one of the most easy going babies, only cries if she actually needs something, or if Auron has pushed her over. She is just learning to stand up and will be walking in no time! Oh and he favourite toy is the vacuum cleaner, which she often has run is with as it is forever falling on her. Even if it is put away she will go looking for it. 

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Travelling with Kids

Next week we are off back to New Zealand for the second time this year. I will taking the kids, with Aarahi joining us a few weeks later. He has to work and make the money, you know so we can actually afford to go on holiday!
We tend to travel a lot. Well we have in the last few years anyway, and always with kids! (I am slightly jealous Aarahi gets to fly with no kids this time) Last April we went on a family holiday to the USA and we fly to a from NZ several times a year also. Our domestic trips are few and far between, we went to Sydney once though! This next trip will be Auron's 20th plane trip and he's only just gone 2!
Auron's First Plane Trip. Sydney 2011
Flying with kids, especially internationally takes a bit of preparation and organisation so here's what I have learnt.

1.IT'S NOT GOING TO BE AS BAD AS YOU THINK! You know your child, you know what works to help them relax and behave. Whether that be bribing them with chocolate or the such then so be it. You know what works. There is no need to drug them up, as what was recommended to me countless times.

2. PREPARE your child if there is a big time zone difference. This may mean for a few week before your trip you might want to adjust their naps and bedtime a little so not to shock their systems too much. We found Auron was fine going to the USA but we struggled on the reverse flight. Jet lag is harder on adults than kids I think. Stay out in the sun as much as you can so your body adjusts because a grumpy mum is no good for baby.

The first leg of our Melbourne - Francisco Trip .
3. FOOD. Pack snacks, snacks and more snacks! you can never have enough snacks. They are good for bribing kids to sit down on the plane and good for keeping them occupied. Choose things that are easy to open and appropriate sizes. Avoid messy yoghurt's and things that require spoons, because you know you're going to drop that spoon under the seat and we all know how "easy" it is to get things our from under plane seats.
As an extra note on the food, pack it all into one bag, and be sure to make it accessible as you will have to show the TSA officers when going through security.

4. Bring ENTERTAINMENT. Load up that ipad with NEW episodes of their favourite shows, and new apps. It's a good idea to pack some new toys too. The cheap dollar store toys are good for this. I like to wrap them up and give them out through the trip, not all at once. Stickers, note books and pens are always fun too and provide a good balance between the screen time.
Liliana's first trip March 2013. In her PJ's ready to go!
5. Put your kids in their PYJAMAS. It may seem a little strange taking them to the airport in the middle of the day in their pyjamas but it sets the mood for quiet time. Plus they are comfortable.

6. So WHERE TO SIT? we find that behind the galley is the best place when you have kids. The reasons for this are that firstly if you have a little baby you can put them in a bassinet which is attached to the wall. Secondly there are no seats in front of you so your kids can kick, and move around as much as they want with out disturbing anyone. Finally, there is more room there and everyone loves more leg room, especially my husband because he's rather tall.

Disneyland just knocked him out!

Saturday 13 July 2013

A Love Story

When you meet someone as a couple they often ask "Oh so how did you meet?" My lovely husband often rolls his eyes at this question. He doesn't like to tell it, but he thinks I give a somewhat one sided story. He admits he couldn't tell it better because well it's the TRUTH. So now let me take you back to September 2009.

Ok maybe a little earlier than that. In the January Aarahi had returned home from his 2 year mission for our church. He served in Brisbane Australia. Most of Aarahi's siblings and their families live in my hometown and I have known then most of my life. His little brother and sister in law were some of my good friends. I spent a good deal of time and his older sisters house each week, but I never really knew Aarahi.
After his return certain family member of both his family and mine began suggesting that we date. I laughed it off. He lived in a different city, and the one time I had talked to him I thought he was arrogant which actually couldn't be further from the truth. But deep down I knew I was going to marry him. I can't explain it, I just knew. He knew too. A fact we have only really shared with each other since we have been married. We were both kind of dating other people.
In September of 09 Aarahi moved from his home in Tauranga down to Palmerston North to live with one of his sisters and "sort out his life" Because it was uni holidays and Aarahi didn't have a job yet we spent a fair amount of time together, a long with our friends.
One night we were having a xbox night (incredibly boring). The others were playing, Aarahi moved a little closer. I was starting to freak out a bit, so I prayed "heavenly father if this is who I'm supposed to marry you need to make really obvious" I swear not even 10 secs later he had his arms completely around me. I felt calm and perfectly happy. For anyone who knows me, I did not people touching me so this was a big thing. The night went on and the boys went home and for the rest of the night until 6am Nadia and I analysed his every move that he had made, you know as girls do. We even went to wake Tamara up to get her take on things but she was useless in her zombied state. 
The next few days were kind of awkward with a few more of those kind of moments. We talked and said we needed to make it clear to the other people we had been dating that it was really really over. With that done we started to date. It was a blissful 6 days.
We went to church on the Sunday fasted and prayed. Aarahi had a rather intense interview/interrogation/meeting with my "other father" (my father died in the January). Later that night Aarahi asked if I would marry him, I said yes but told him that, I expected a proper proposal with a ring and down on one knee.
And a proposal I got. On Christmas day he handed me a box of chocolates with a riddle in it. He had made a treasure hunt for me! Once I had collected all the clues it spelt out "will you marry me?"Then he sung to me...which my mother interrupted because she was annoyed people had turned off the music, and when everyone yelled at her to be quiet she proceeded to give a lecture about how it was her house and she can do whatever she wants. LOVE IT. He got down on one knee and put the ring on.
Yup that's it! we were married 3 weeks later a year to the day Aarahi
Ok that was a shortened down (edited...) version. 

I have been blessed with the most wonderful husband for me. He is more than I have ever dreamed of. I never doubted my decision to say yes to marrying him after only 6 days of dating. I'm sure people thought we were crazy/irresponsible/and many other things but no one said anything to our face but I don't doubt it was said behind our backs haha! Hey now that we look back we often say to each other "oh my gosh we were crazy" but once who know you know I guess. 


Friday 12 July 2013

Coloured Rice and Pasta

We've been a bit poorly at our house this week. Well more Aarahi than anyone else. We have been blessed with generally healthy kids, neither of them have ever been sick enough to warrant a trip to visit the doctors. Actually I'm the only one that has had to visit the doctor in the past 3 years and that was only because I was pregnant. I don't know what we do to get healthy kids...they sure don't eat organic and healthy food. Auron has drunk so much juice that he calls any drink "juice" I think we just struck it lucky, or we are just tough?

The last two days we have had a family nap, often not intentionally. We just seem to all fall asleep and wake up at dinner time. That's what happened yesterday then we had no food (ok we had food but nothing we wanted to eat) so we had to go do the groceries at 7pm at night. Nothing like shopping with hungry kids. Auron always makes a beeline to the confectionery aisle. He likes Mentos...because they come in long rolls and are colourful. I like them because they take him ages to open and eat. Like I said "not healthy" It may or may not have been his second packet of the day......

Today we got out our coloured rice we made last year. Auron loves to dig in it and find the little plastic animals we hid in it. It can get kind of messy but it vacuums up easy enough. We usually wait for Lili to have her nap before we do this.

I also made coloured pasta which we use to practice our sorting and counting. Lili often gets these and tries to eat them. I can always tell because her face is covered in food colouring that has seeped off the pasta while it's been in her mouth. So far it hasn't done her any damage. No matter how well I try to clean up she always finds things to put in her mouth. At the moment it's buttons. Auron had been playing with them and I was sure I had picked them all up but every time I turn around shes putting one in her mouth. I think she has a secret stash somewhere.

Here's how we did it

Rubbing Alcohol or white vinegar
Food colouring, the liquid kind
Ziplock bags

Put rice in ziploc bag
Add 1TBS of alcohol for each cup of rice
Add 2TBS of food colouring...or however much it takes to get the colour you want
Close the bag and squish shake and rub to get the colour mixed through
Spread rice out on newspaper and leave to dry for an hour or so

Pasta works the same way but you may need to add more alcohol and colouring. 

We made 3 different colours. Auron loved to mix them together. We made our batch about a year ago now and its still good. This is a great addition to your sensory play. 

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Easy Microwave Fudge

This was originally our neighbours recipe but has since been claimed by many.

Simple easy with perfect results every time. Just don't eat it all at once...

Easy Microwave Fudge 

How to do it?

2 cups brown sugar
250g butter
1 cup condensed milk

put into a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on high for 2mins. stir and return to microwave and repeat 4 more times, stirring between each time.


250g chocolate buttons (white chocolate works best I think)
1tsp vanilla

mix and stand for 1min (it looks curdled but dont worry)
beat on medium speed for 1 1/2 to 2mins
pour into a dish lined with baking paper and spread with a spoon, allow to cool a little before cutting into squares and refrigerating. 

My cutie bum Auron, he's grown so much in a Year

It's the Little Things

Today wasn't exciting or productive in any way. I folded the mountain of laundry that had been accumulating in the living room. I'm good at washing it, hanging it out and bringing it in but i never fold it. Half the time i usually just pick things out of it and it slowly empties back into the pile of dirty laundry...or my husband folds it. I most certainly never put it away, but today I did. Aarahi almost died of shock.
I tried to clean the kitchen tiles with my two little assistants. Not a good idea. I ended up with a flooded kitchen and wet kids.
I am lucky enough to have my Mr Wonderful home most of the day since he finishes around lunch time. He took the kids to the park while I watched an ENTIRE episode of Ellen without any interruptions. I also ate my entire plate of food without having to share it.
And if that wasn't enough I had a shower alone too. Without anybody opening the door, or dumping water on their sister or stripping their clothes off insisting they get in too....then deciding they don't like showers and want to get out. Oh and my towel was dry when I went to dry myself, not saturated  from little people using it to mop up the mess they made while dumping water on their sister's head.

Yep it's the little things that make a brilliant day.

I was feeling a little crafty today and made Lili a dress too. Maybe that was productive?

What is this you may ask? 

....Auron making toast, I swear there must be at least half a jar of jam on there. 

Lili in her new dress. She surprised me and stood up by herself for a little while. 

Gotta love Auron's face

Sunday 7 July 2013

Silhouette Princess Canvas

This morning we attempted toilet training. I didn't happen Auron cried and cried to put his nappy back on. I knew I should have gone with it a few weeks ago when he was happy about the toilet and wearing big boy undies, but I was living on 2 hours a night sleep so obviously the patience was not there!
My sister is toilet training her son too, I haven't heard how that went maybe she can give me some tips and tricks.
My poor little Lili bug is teething terribly! We arrived home from church yesterday around 5pm and I checked her gums to see if there was anything to show for her grumpiness all day but nothing. I checked her again at bed time around 8pm and BAM 3 new teeth! So I put her to bed drugged up on Nurofen and she had the best nights sleep in weeks, although she did wake up wet right through her nappy! Hopefully this will bode well for our trip to NZ in 2 weeks.

I put Lili down for her nap and she fell asleep mid scream, it was hilarious I wish you could catch those kind of things on camera. Now that she was sleeping blissfully Auron and I got to work on an art project. My idea of what I wanted him to do and his idea were rather different. Oh well I let him go with it.
I saw the idea for silhouette portraits here. Who knew Tori Spelling was so crafty. Anyway, I couldn't get my kids to cooperate to get a photo taken so I looked up colouring pages for Disney princesses. Tinkerbell looked cute enough. Auron, well he wanted a plane so that's what he used for his.

And heres how to do it and our finished projects.


Mod podge (or PVA watered down a little)

How to do it

1. Paint your canvas

2. Cut out your chosen pictures, make sure you get all the fine details in

3. Paint picture black

4. Glue picture on to canvas

5. Seal the whole canvas by painting over it with mod podge or pva. Don't worry that it looks white as it dries clear.

Saturday 6 July 2013

We've been BUSY

Third week in a row of groceries under $100, I'm feeling pretty awesome.
At this moment both my children are busy ripping up newspaper and junk mail in the middle of the living room floor. It's a mess but they are having the time of their lives and I couldn't possibly ruin their fun.
I'm not sure what happened last week. I'm sure we did stuff. Probably just more of the usual, playgroup, gymbaroo, libray, shopping etc.
Aarahi and I made a budget a few weeks ago. It was the first budget we have ever made. What pushed us to make this monumental step you may ask? It was the $200+ grocery bill that's what, and even after that we still would end up buying more food and we would still be eating out atleast 3 times a week. Sure we could afford to spend that much money on food, but was it really necessary? our revised budget was $110 per week. The last 2 weeks we have been well under that, and you know what? we haven't run out of food! A little planning goes a long way. I don't know what we were actually buying that was sky rocketing our grocery bill but probably my aimless walking down the aisles just dumping in things that took my fancy and Aarahi and Auron's love of the confectionery and chips aisle. Now I go armed with a list. The last 2 weeks I have done groceries by myself before Aarahi met us. That meant pushing and pram and hauling the trolley along behind, so I was pretty keen to get in and get out.
Let's see how long this budget will last. Ill just be happy if I can master the groceries.
I got a letter from IRD last week. It was showing a summery of my student loan. It was both impressive and depressing. I still have a long way to go, and have made a sizeable dent in it and that's what counts. It is on automatic payments so I pay some ungodly amount of money each fortnight that come directly out of my family tax benefit. Yup my student loan will be paid in full by the Australian government. I am still yet to use my actual degree, and probably never will.
We had date night on Saturday. It entailed a dessert pizza, hot chocolate and answering dumb questions about each other and ourselves.
Today we had our end of term party for Gymbaroo. Auron was in a strange mood this morning and I was in no mood to argue with him so I let him wear my shoes to Gymbaroo...and then into the shopping centre. He was happy, I was happy, Aarahi rolled his eyes and laughed. When Aarahi finished work we went to the movies and saw Despicable Me 2. It was hilarious just as good if not better than the first.

Indoor hop scotch

When I was little this was one of my favourite games to play, hop scotch and elastics to be specific. While the kids were napping Aarahi and I got out some masking tape and marked out a hop scotch right on the lounge room floor.


When Auron woke up he was some what confused. I tried to show him how to play but he just wasn't getting it but even so he looked like he was having the time of his life just jumping up and down.

I think I must have had way more energy when I was 7, I was tired after 2 go's, but in all honesty I can't actually remember when I last 'hopped'. This 26 year old body is too old for hopping!

We had family over for dinner and my little cousin took the hop scotch for a spin, she didn't need any instructions. Auron just wanted to talk on the phone and walk around in E's shoes. Sometimes I worry about his shoe addiction...

As the night ended they had some fun with the whiteboard. Sometime kids are just entertained by the simple things. Auron love B She's the only one with the energy to keep up with him 

Friday 5 July 2013

Seven at 7

Our carpets were cleaned today, I both ashamed and horrified at the filth that came out. Our couches were cleaned too, I now know what colour they really are....more of a cream colour as opposed to the light brown I had assumed they were. Like I said gross.

Auron spends most of the day in a nappy and nothing else, he would probably like to walk around naked but I'm not game enough for that yet, I just my carpets cleaned remember. I blame him for our outrageous gas bill last month.

I did four loads of laundry today but looking at the pile of dirty clothes in the hallway you would never have guessed. I shouldn't have cleaned under the beds today. Also in my cleaning efforts today I found $80 in cash in three different currencies. Feeling rich.

While I was in the shower Auron ate all the icing off the cake we made last night. He was so happy with himself, the cake looks more like a pile of crumbs but still tastes good.

Lili loves to suck our toes, it's pretty gross. Auron let's her suck his toes while he watches tv.

Auron needed mummy time today so he cleaned the kitchen cupboards while I cleaned the floor. It worked well he was happy and I got my cupboards cleaned.

When Lili eats she smacks her lips together it is ridiculously cute.

Tonight is supposed to be date night but were too tired so will settle for hot chocolate in bed.
This is from when we were first dating.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Teri's No Fail Amish Chocolate Cake

This recipe is pretty much fool proof and consistently delivers perfect results. It is our family go to cake and is actually pretty famous. Moist, fluffy, delicious, quick and easy, what more could you ask for in a cake! It converts well to make muffins instead.
Even if you aren't the best baker this will impress. I have made it and forgotten the eggs once and a friend made it and forget to shut the oven door and it still came out great.
This cake is best with caramel icing but I'm sure any icing would be good.


2 C Flour
2 C Sugar
3/4 C Cocoa
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking soda
1 cup hot coffee/or coffee substitute (I used 3tsp mixed with 1C boiling water)
3/4 C Oil
1 C Milk
1 Egg


Sift all dry ingredients together
Make a well in the centre
Add the dry ingredients
Mix until well combined
Pour into a LINED cake tin (20cm works well) or into muffin cases
Bake in a 180 degree over for 40mins or until it springs back when lightly touched. Muffins take about 15mins

Caramel Icing

2 T butter
3 T brown sugar
1/4 C milk
about 1-1 1/2 C icing sugar


Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved
Allow to come to the boil for 30 sec being careful not to let it burn
Remove from heat and whisk in milk
Allow to cool completely (if you don't let it cool no matter how much icing sugar you add it will NEVER thicken up)
When cool mix in the icing sugar until it is a spreading consistency

Oh the Joys of Motherhood

This morning when I woke up at...

5am: I tried to convince Lili to sleep a bit longer but she wasn't having a bar of that. Anyone else try to to reason with an eight month old? 

6am: I walked into the lounge and saw the state of my carpet which thankfully is getting cleaned tomorrow. It's covered in smooshed in banana countless spilt drinks, from those "non spill cups" I might add. 

7am Auron wakes up and wants cuddles but doesn't want Lili to be within 5feet of him, which was not happen so there was whinging and whining and tears and Auron trying to slyly push his sister over without me noticing. 

8am Breakfast, Auron burnt the toast by turning the dial up. Smoke alarms start blaring . Have to open the doors and it is FREEZING and windy outside. 

830am Check emails, facebook and talk to my mum for awhile. Try to teach her how to use facebook, my attempts are pointless. I think I would have a better chance teaching my 80 year old grandma. 

9am I shower, with two kids opening and closing the door every 30seconds. Auron tries to give Lili a shower by dumping a bucket of water over her head. She doesn't care, she just laughs and looks at me with with her snotty nose. She's eating something she found on the ground. 

930am We read books and I get out some play dough for Auron, he wants to build blocks instead. I'm ready to go back to bed. 

10am Talk to my mum again. Ring my Husband ask when he will be finished work, he sounds tired too. We decide to head to town to do some shopping and groceries. Lili falls asleep.

11am We get ready to leave, I get the kids in the pram the door slams shut locking the keys and Aurons jacket inside. We get the bus to escape the cold

Midday. Lili is asleep again so Auron and I have out weekly noodle date. He loves it, I love it more. He's hilarious. He always steals all the good stuff out of my noodles. 

1230pm We shop and shop, the shopping centre is crazy, it's school holidays.

230pm: I tackle the grocery store by myself with a pram and the trolley, bad idea I got a dud trolley. I buy Auron packet of lollies to get him to cooperate, I made sure to get the most diffucult packet to open, so as to prolong the cooperation. It worked a treat. 

4pm: Aarahi meets us. Auron needs to be changed, like REALLY needs to be changed his poop is coming out the top of his nappy

5pm: the rest of the evening is a blur of dinner, baths and stories.

8pm: everyone is in bed, that's where I'm going too.

I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow! well maybe not the poop part...

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Cloud Dough

I saw this idea floating around a while ago and knew that Auron would love it! This kid loves mess! I made up the recipe while he was out doing errands with Daddy.
OK to be honest I spent a good 30 mins playing with it myself before he came home. The baby oil make it feel so soft on your hands, not to mention the smell! I'm curious as to if you could make it with other oils? coconut? almond?
The dough is kind of similar to wet sand, holds it shape when molded.

The recipe I used was

4 Cups plain flour
1/2 Cup baby oil

Then just mix away. You will have to get your hands in there to get it mixed well.

Note I did try to add food colouring but it didn't work too well. Auron added glitter from the craft cupboard though which worked really well.

Monday 1 July 2013

Top 5 baby must haves

Having a baby can be overwhelming! I went to one of those baby and toddler expo's last year (two days before I was due to have Lili). The amount off "stuff" was ridiculous, and everyone was telling you that you "need" this and you "need" that. At one of the stalls the sales man was trying to sell me this milk formula for toddlers to boost their immunity and help with the nutrition of picky eaters...he had me there! Auron knows what he likes, and what he doesn't (most things green are in the no-go basket) He had me convinced that this was what my son needed and that I as a mother would be doing him an injustice if I didn't buy it...at $40 a tin. He gave Auron a sample, he reaction was priceless he spat it out and tried all manner of ways to rid his mouth of its presumably foul taste. The most entertaining was the licking the floor...I promptly told the sales man, thanks but no thanks, I think I would have a better chance of getting him to eat broccoli than drink that drink.

Here are my Top 5 Baby Must Have's that I love and have never regretted the money spent on them!

Number One

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace: When Auron began teething he would drool all day and all night long, so much so that you would think his mouth was Niagara Falls or something! He would be grumpy and never sleep and generally be miserable and we all know that a miserable baby means a miserable household. I bought this necklace with a bit of reluctance, I mean seriously a $30 necklace for a 6 month old! We noticed a difference within 2 days of putting it on him. The drooling stopped he was happier, slept well and the rash under his chin, as a result of the constant drool waterfall was almost completely cleared up.

I bought mine here

Number Two

A baby swaddle bag. I'm not entirely sure if that is what they are called but its a pretty accurate description. Its like a sleeping bag with no arm holes so it keeps baby securely wrapped up. We didn't have one for Auron but we bought one for Lili. She is a wiggly sleeper so would always become unwrapped and wake up. It also helps with her sleep routines. Once she is in it she knows its bedtime. I bought the Ergo cocoon ones. the come in both summer and winter weights and have snaps at the arms so you can use it like a more traditional sleeping bag and make the transitions from swaddling to no swaddling easier. Lili is 8 months and still uses hers for every sleep.

I bought mine here

Number Three

A baby hammock. Again this is something that we have only had for our second child and let me tell you the difference it has made! Auron would never sleep in his cot, it was too big, too far away from Mummy and just not inviting at all. As a result he slept with us most of the night up until the week before Lili was born. Lili loved her hammock, it makes the transition from the womb to the big wide world a little bit more gentle for them. I loved that I could bounce her back to sleep without having to get out of bed (yey for more sleep) and she could sleep contently by herself which is a big plus when you have a toddler and house to care for too! Neither of my kids had reflux or colic but they are really good for that too as baby is not laying completely flat as the head is elevated.  She out grew it at 6 months but most babies would last a few more months, my kids are just really tall.

I bought mine here

Number Four

A good baby carrier is essential. When our babies were newborns I used a Moby wrap. They take a bit to learn how to put them on but I swear once you learn you will never go back. Wraps like these keep baby in a natural position without stretching out their little legs before they are ready. They are also super comfy for Mum too. I wore Auron around the zoo and through the city for 7 hours when he was 7 months with no problem and trust me when I say I am not at all strong or fit.

When our babies hit the 5-6 month mark we made the transition to an Ergo. These are probably on the more pricey side but they are wonderful and will last many children and have a great resale value. You can wear baby on the front or back. I prefer the front as Lili likes to pull my hair when she's on my back. Daddy usually wears her on his back though. My husband likes it because it is more "many" which is understandable...he wasn't going to wear my flowery moby wrap anywhere!

We have found baby carriers excellent for travelling through airports etc. We travel overseas a few times a year and would do without them. They are also great for comforting and soothing an unsettled baby while you carry on with everyday activities like shopping and housework.

You can buy a moby here
And and ergo here

Number Five

A baby bouncer. AMAZING for those times when no amount of nursing, rocking, swaddling can settle that poor little baby. We prefer the older style ones you rock with your foot. The ones with motorized parts just didn't do the job right! We usually put baby in while we were having dinner and bounced so we could enjoy or meal with two hands!
There's not much to say about these other than I am sure it has saved me from being committed to a mental hospital many times...

You can buy them at most department stores but I like this one


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