Rainbow rice ‘lollipops’

I haven’t disappeared – I just haven’t had much motivation to do too many arty, crafty, creative things with the boys lately as it’s getting so hot – so we’re staying inside or playing with water outside. But when I saw some coloured rice being played with at daycare I thought I’d whip up another batch and do something with it.

So making the rainbow rice is easy as see my previous post on making rainbow rice IMG_1759

I then cut out some shapes using cardboard from a box we had laying around and of course Mr 3 had to tell me what each shape was as I cut them out. I then cut out the same shapes with plain white paper and stuck them onto their corresponding shape so that we had a white canvas but some sturdy-ness to each shape.I let Mr 3 help with the cutting as he’s quite obsessed with using scissors – he doesn’t have any precision yet, but supervised practice is the only way he’ll learn.IMG_1757

We then glued some paddle pop sticks to each shape so they could be held to do the next step.IMG_1758

The next step was to squirt some glue onto each shape (which in itself is so much fun for the little ones and a great fine motor skill), then either dip it in the bucket of rice or sprinkle it on top.IMG_1760IMG_1761IMG_1762

I think they look super beautiful and quite like a large lollipop!! I *may* have helped with the gluing on the heart and can’t deny I love that the whole shape is a pretty rainbow but I also love that the other shapes were glued, sprinkled with rice and put in the sun to dry without any assistance at all. Love the independence and eagerness to just get into it and finish the activity too! Very impressed I was.IMG_1763

A FIFO life post…

So it was my birthday the other day and my dear husband was working away for it. That’s the fourth birthday out of the four in our family he’s been away for. The first he missed was the very first birthday of our second little boy. This was when he first started his new FIFO role, so there was no chance he could be here. I won’t deny it, it broke my heart that he missed it but our little guy was surrounded by so much love and laughter that he wasn’t missing out.

I honestly wasn’t sad or concerned though that he was going to miss my birthday – his roster timing forewarned us, so as they say that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. But I was actually a tad excited by the amount of parcels hubby had sent me (that he’d addressed to himself and then told me the night before they were birthday presents for me) so I had something to look forward to despite his presence lacking. He did well, he did really well (think: giant tub of Nutella among other things – his perfect replacement!) so I was in high spirits (or maybe just high – a sugar high?!). We had a swimming lesson at 10:30 for Mr 3, so a nice cruisy morning, then swimming then came home just in time for a delivery of flowers and chocolates. What a beautiful surprise on top of all the gifts…

The day was going swimmingly (ha, no pun intended!) then my beautiful and amazing friend said she’d pop over in the afternoon which (sorry dear husband – but she is my saviour while you’re away – and even when you’re not sometimes!) is almost as good as having dear husband here! She came with cake so the little ones helped me blow out the candles and I was truly delighted with how my birthday was spent.

So my birthday ends and it’s less than a week till dear husband comes home and it’s been a really quick 2 weeks so far. I’m feeling really, really good. Looking forward to next week but have plenty of activities booked in to keep us busy and happy.

Now, fast forward 18 hours for the biggest surprise yet… Mr 3 and I are in the dining room tidying up when I hear a “happy birthday” coming from a mans voice at the door. I turn around in utter disbelief to see dear husband, in person, at my door!! Mr 3 is as shocked as I am and becomes overwhelmed and almost hides behind me! I of course wrap my arms around the man for a big kiss and cuddle. I honestly can’t express how excited and blissfully happy I am. Now I really don’t want to go comparing it to having our beautiful boys or getting married – but I have to say I was surprised not just by his presence but by my elation at the surprise and seeing him.

It truly was a HUGE surprise – one I never, ever expected possible. He wasn’t able to make our little guys first birthday despite his best efforts so it was something that was completely out of the question.. Ever. So a belated birthday surprise seemed too good to be true – I had to ask whether he still had a job! And whether everything was ok at work! After I came back to earth I got concerned something had happened, but alas, no it was just good timing. The project he was working on was completed so leaving this stint a few days early wasn’t detrimental (like it would have been at the beginning for our one year olds birthday).

My exhilaration was pretty phenomenal so it really got me thinking about this whole FIFO life gig we’re living. I believe things happen for a reason and dear husband was always meant to get this FIFO role as although it has been the most difficult and challenging thing I’ve ever experienced in life (when he’s away of course!) it has also been the most rewarding thing. Our relationship has become so much stronger and filled with more love and happiness than I thought possible. I never thought we needed a stronger relationship or more love, but the *ahem* passion and happiness we both felt when together showed us both that things had perhaps become a little stale…


I am feeling blessed beyond words at what this FIFO life has given us. The pros far outweigh the cons despite how crazily manic I can become when things aren’t going smoothly and I really need an extra set of hands.

What are these pros I talk of?

Well of course, there is less laundry.
Less food shopping.
Less talk of guns.
Less talk of buying guns.
Less talk of shooting guns.
Less mess.
Less TV remote hogging.
Less talk of guns.

Then of course, there is more chocolate in the house.
More TV of my choice.
More of The Bachelor
More of my bed to sprawl out in
More chocolate (or rather Nutella!).

But in all seriousness, the anticipation of seeing my dear husband after 3 weeks is something I didn’t have previously – I was missing him, really missing him. Sometimes absence really does make the heart grow fonder…

Don’t get me wrong – there are times when I say ‘it’s just too much for me’, two young boys can be hard work when doing it alone day after day but the support dear husband offers even from a distance makes it a little easier and then the week we have together is bliss. Honestly – it is like being in holiday mode for that week ever single month. We can do what we like and we certainly try to make the most of each week when we have it. Our time really is ‘love’ly. I don’t think there is much more I can say without sounding like a broken record – so I will end by saying I’m so very grateful – grateful for my beautiful family and grateful for the life I currently have.


Colour & number & shape sorting – busy bag style!

I saw this activity with free printables on this website and had to try it out with my little guys as I also thought it would be perfect for a busy bag too (if you’re not sure what that is, check out my previous post on it).

So each shape has 5 different colours on them with each colour having a different number (1-5). The aim is to get a peg of the same colour and number and clip it on to the matching colour and number. It is a great colour matching / sorting activity with the added element of working on numbers! And of course each shape is different so they will learn each shape as they’re working on it.

So, it’s super simple – just print the shapes out from here and you can laminate if you wish (I did) then cut them out.

I got a packet of wooden pegs to paint and got master 3 to help.


Once all the pegs have been painted and are dry just write the number on each peg with a marker pen and you’re good to go!

I put Mr 1 to bed and came out to see Mr 3 sitting so occupied pegging shapes and he’d even stood one shape up:




Erupting snow

My good friend Tennile highlighted this little ‘trick’ from the pagingfunmums website and I had to try it, so here is our effort!
It’s an easy bi-carb / vinegar reaction but has loads of sensory components. Was really fun and engaging for both my boys.

You’ll need this:

So, just empty your bag of bi-carb into a large bowl:

Then add half a can of the shaving cream (ours was scented – so added a cool smelling sensory aspect).

Then some glitter (if you choose) and start mixing.

It should resemble this: (a snow like consistency)


Now you can play with it, form it into balls and enjoy the cool softness as a touch sensory aspect, but the ‘erupting’ happens next!

Add some vinegar:

Listen to it fizzle and watch it explode or erupt and of course touch it!!



Both boys LOVED this part – they absolutely adored touching it and feeling the bubbles through their fingers and playing with it – they both ended up washing their hair with it, but seriously had so much fun dipping their hands in and exploring. I let them go wild and it kept them entertained for ages!





Walking water and human rocks

What’s happening in the world when water walks and rocks are human-like?! Experiments (otherwise known as ‘tricks’ by Mr 3) and creativity of course!!

We did these two beauties today as there was some time to spend in the middle of the walking water activity – so, two birds with one ‘rock’…? 😉

So firstly the water is a walkin’! (I saw it here). Seriously – this is the coolest fun I’ve had with my little crafty apprentice to date! It’s so truly simple yet incredibly fascinating to see!

It’s not just water walking – it is also a colour changing discovery so a great little test for the little ones.

So you just need the following:


Yep, that simple – 3 glasses (the same size), paper towel, water and food colouring.

So fill two glasses with water and let your little one add some colour to each – they just love to add a few (thousand!) drops of colouring to anything – so let them go wild!

IMG_0165.JPG – we used yellow and blue to make a completely new colour (and no word of a lie when I asked Mr 3 ‘if we have a yellow one here, a blue one here – what colour will they make in the middle here?’ He answered ‘green’ – fluke or not, great work champ!!).

Then fold a piece of paper towel in halves lengthwise twice and put one end in one coloured water with the other into the empty glass in the middle, then the same for the other colour.


Then watch the magic start to happen – you can see the water walking along the paper right before your eyes immediately.


It does take quite a few minutes for any water to start filling the empty glass so it’s a brilliant lesson in patience for you and your little ones! But once it starts it’s quite riveting to see it starting forming a new colour in the middle glass.



The water equals out between all three colours – we left it for about an hour, checking intermittently – so it takes a while but really is fun to go back and keep checking.




So in the middle of that we decided to find some rocks to paint and decorate. Mr 3 suggested this out of the blue which was really awesome for me to hear and such a clever idea. So we put our hats and shoes on and went for a wander around the yard to collect some flat surfaced rocks. We got a bunch then laid them out on some paper to paint.

IMG_0174.JPG Then I put some paint on another sheet of paper and let my little guy get creative. I pulled out the googly eyes and glue as well as pipe cleaners and suggested we make a face. He painted the rock nicely


IMG_0176.JPG then we added some glitter (as it’s quite impossible for me to resist using glitter in almost every activity!!)

IMG_0177.JPG then I helped with the eyes and mouth and I’m pretty chuffed with how he turned out!!


So quite a fun few hours whilst Mr 1 slept in this household – happy Mumma and happy kidlets. Till next time…

Baby names (and nope I’m not pregnant)

I’ve been sitting in my car parked in the carpark of Officeworks for over an hour as Mr 1 is sleeping (very early start to the day with an airport drop off for Daddy 😦 ) and am getting very, very bored. I’m sure I’ll have used up my internet usage for this month in this last hour alone – but I digress… I read an article on baby names and their meanings and thought I’d share it as I can never ever not read an article on baby names regardless of whether I’ll ever have another baby!! That and I have nothing else to do!!

So here it is cool baby names and not so cool meanings. If nothing else, it’s a little food for thought for my pregnant friends and followers; enjoy!

A glitter rainbow

What combination could be more heavenly than glitter and a rainbow? Truly spectacular – the image I had in my head of it anyway! This fun craft didn’t turn out ‘perfect’ (as I had imagined), but the boys had fun, I really enjoyed watching them play and create and it turned out the way they made it and that is perfect after all.

So my idea was to paint some glue onto paper in an arc wide enough to have 4 or 5 colours and then sprinkle on a a little glitter in different colours. Of course – the art of ‘sprinkling’ glitter for a 3 year old holds no precision whatsoever so of course the colours were not in any real arc form (unless I let my sidelined OCD on field, and cut in on their fun!!) but it is glittery and rainbowy and sparkly and beautiful! I loved doing this craft despite the mess afterwards (we were outside of course!!).

So it’s super simple, grab yourself the following:

  1. Some paper (I have a large roll of butchers paper that I tear off in an appropriate size for each craft – but construction paper would probably be ideal)
    Craft Glue (or school glue)
  2. A paintbrush (or if you’re really keen a ‘glue brush’ – there are brushes specifically for painting glue!)
  3. Glitter of course!

So just squirt your glue onto the paper in an arc shape with 4 or 5 layers. 20140804-230256-82976228.jpg

Then let the little ones paint the glue to spread it out 20140804-230257-82977315.jpgand finally take each coloured glitter one at a time and sprinkle on one arc, 20140804-230254-82974500.jpg20140804-230252-82972722.jpgthen move to the next colour and next arc. Then once you’re done pick the paper up and tilt it around so the glitter can move about and stick to any spare spots of glue.

The excess glitter can be stored for another time – I slightly folded the paper in half and poured all the glitter into an empty paint container I had so now I have rainbow glitter for the next activity which is super pretty!!


Let’s talk Mobilo



But before we do, let’s talk Lego… I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a child that has a tub of Lego and that tub gets emptied all over the place in one quick swish but unless I pick up every single piece myself it never gets put away in one quick swish. The floor has an uncanny ability to hide the Lego pieces so that your feet can find them for you… Yep we’ve all been there with Lego – they can be fun for the kids to explore and use their imagination every so often (and perhaps there are way more than I know that actually spend hours on end playing and creating and getting the absolute most out of it), but in my experience it is more fun for my kids when they empty the tub and see the strewn mess before finding something else to do or play with…

This is true too (for my kids) with mega blocks and duplo. They definitely do have their place in a home but they just don’t enthral them.

So, when I saw my son playing (and I use that term loosely – I really mean getting stuck in and creating whole pieces and becoming absolutely mesmerised with the intricacy of the clicking pieces and items he was creating) with this thing called mobilo it piqued my attention a little. It was at a trial run of a 3 year old kindy he’s starting and I didn’t think much more of it as I was more interested in assessing the kindy. But the very next day at daycare I happened to pick him up right as they had pulled out their tub of mobilo and he was completely and totally absorbed. The educator asked if he’d played with it before and I said I think it was the stuff he played with yesterday for the first time. She said he was amazingly talented at it and assumed he’d had plenty of practice. He was absolutely loving it and for the first time in a year of attending daycare he didn’t want to come home. He wanted to finish playing. I knew this mobilo had to be a pretty special toy. So I arranged to get some for his 3rd birthday and got it here – the absolute best price and free delivery – absolute bargain. So if you’re after some, check it out.

So it’s not a new thing – it was around when I was a kid 30 years ago and my mum said we all played with it back then. I believe it’s German. Not sure if I got as much of a kick out of it as he does, but I certainly am now – it is my ‘saviour toy’ (it seriously keeps him completely and utterly focused and entertained and all so independently).

In my opinion it has so more potential for quick and large constructions than Lego or the like. My little guy will make a car with trailers within minutes.


It has wheels that click onto the main pieces and axel type pieces that connect one to another as well as the main pieces that come in a range of shapes. There are little heads with faces to click onto the little vehicles you create or if you’re super talented then the seat you make for the vehicle! There are a whole heap of connectors and honestly it has endless capabilities!!


I’m going to get him more as the bucket I got was a starter kit so there are so many other packs you can get

The sound of the click clack is strangely soothing and instantly makes me proud as I know he’s working towards something and already on the way to creating something impressive. He plays so intensely and focuses all attention on what piece will go with what. The power it has to keep him sitting still and quiet and so absorbed and so very content is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Some of the marvellous pieces we’ve had so far include ‘a tractor for Poppy’, another ‘tractor’ that looked so much like a dune buggy it wasn’t funny, an ‘aeroplane’ that had wheels of course and a ‘digger’ – which was actually a really awesome bulldozer complete with the front end loader, brilliant!


Well I’ve written way more than I expected given I’m not endorsing this product (although if you do purchase through the links I’ve provided I will get a teeny tiny commission and it won’t affect your purchase in any way at all)  – purely trying to express how absolutely amazed I am at how much my little guy loves it! I’m not sure if it’s something boys would like more than girls or vice versa but I can say it is so worth every cent for me – so might be an idea for your 3 year old, you just never know.






My almost-3-year old and a dinosaur party

This post contains affiliate links.

I cannot believe almost 3 years has passed since I became a mum, but it’s here – my little mister is turning 3 so we had a little party for him (mainly because he’s been to about 8 parties within the last month and we couldn’t not have one for him!) so here’s a bit of a round up of the day…

First things first; The CAKE

I asked him what sort of cake he’d like which is something I’ve been quite looking forward to asking as last year although he had an absolutely amazing digger cake  digger cake – we picked that as he wouldn’t have had the comprehension to request it. This year he answered my question with ‘a digger cake’, ha! I told him we had that last year so what else would he like? ‘A loader cake then’, oh my goodness! I tried again a different day and he said a dinosaur cake and answered the same every time I asked from then on, so that was that!

Fortunately I have the cannot-have-a-childs-party-without women’s weekly bumper book of kids birthday cakes and found an awesome dinosaur cake to make. Seriously, if you don’t have the above book or the kids birthday cakes one then you really have to get shopping for one or the other – they are fantastic and the perfect inspiration you need to make a great cake each year.

So here is how our dinosaur cake turned out: dinosaur cake

I was very impressed with my husbands efforts in making this and our little man loved it! (Oh and yep, hubby made that digger cake too – he’s a talented man!)

Next – The Lolly Bags

In keeping with my passion for craftiness I made my own temporary tattoos to put in the lolly bags (they looked pretty cool if I do say so myself!) – temporary dinosaur tattoo I also had some dinosaur lollies and dinosaur biscuits plus a flavoured straw (I have never bought these before – but thought what a cool lolly bag filler they would make?) and a chuppa chup.  Pretty sure they were a hit..  lolly bags

And finally – PRESENTS!!!

Well I think I’ll need a whole new post to try and recap the awesomeness of the gifts he received which includes some amazing books, play-doh, mega blocks for the bath, a spiderman costume and so many other fantastic things which I will write about but for now the one huge hit of a gift was of course the brand new trampoline we got him.  Can anyone say jump? He woke up the day after his party and the first words out of his mouth were ‘Can I jump on my big trampoline?’ – and it wasn’t even light outside!!  Cannot recommend highly enough a tramp for a 3 year old (or even a 1, or 2, or 4, or 5 and the list goes on year old!!).  Here is his uncle giving the kids the best giggle on the trampoline – love this shot!

trampline funUntil his actual birthday when there may be even more presents (so more to talk about) – this is a wrap!


How my bad 4-year-old and I found our way home

Absolutely love this post – can relate 100%. Well worth the read.

Stephanie Mackley

There’s simplicity parenting, attachment parenting, parenting by temperament. Authoritative parenting, French parenting, parenting the spirited child.
And one I think we’re all familiar with: parenting by the seat of our pants.

8690355973_b873f0b742_k Image by Shena Tschofen

That, whether I like it or not, is where I parent from most of the time. And let me tell you, the seat of my pants is battered and worn. As I have mentioned before, parenting Jo since I got pregnant with Cal has been no cake walk. We’re talking hitting, kicking and throwing things at me when I was pregnant, having big physical outbursts with other kids and trying to contain his massive physical energy in a small house with a newborn.

I sought advice everywhere I could—books, friends, my mom. I dissolved into tears while asking Jo’s teacher what I should do after his first morning of preschool, all while bouncing Cal…

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