Friday, May 31, 2013

Got any friends from primary school? Not me.


This is a sponsored post

Oh the 80s. Such a time was had. I remember wearing my fluoro fingerless gloves to one of my schools, the only part of the uniform you could really make your own. When I shot my arm in the air to answer a question the teacher could see me from miles away. He was probably wearing Ray Ban aviator sunglasses to protect his eyes from all that glare.

Amazingly I don't have a single friend from back in my primary school days in the early 80s. 

My first school was great, but I left there at the start of grade 2. When you move around as a kid you meet lots of new friends and it can become hard to keep up with all the old ones. Especially when you are only just learning to write and computers have not yet entered the home environment. Friends become pen pals, but you can’t write to five friends every night. Over time, the new friends replace the old.

It might be different these days. If we were to move around Popps could use Skype, or Facetime to chat with her friends. When she is older she would be texting or using Kik or Vine or Keek or any other new app that allows instant contact with people. Keeping in touch is just one of the benefits of modern technology.

New tools, tablets and apps provide so many advantages to kids these days and that is why Colgate is running a campaign as part of their Bright Smiles Bright Futures project to allow you to win an iPad for your old primary school and of course one for yourself to play with.



As part of the campaign they have a fun app on facebook where you put in the faces of your friends from primary school. I took a look at it and of course I couldn’t enter to win the iPad they have on offer as I just don’t have any primary school contacts.




You need a few friends from your own primary days to make up a picture of your class.  Colgate are looking for bright smiles! 

The app is really easy to use and once you have a go at it you go into the running for the iPads.  I am hoping someone from Popps’ school gives it a try and they might win one for our school. I am a big believer in the benefits of iPads in the classroom and how they are so versatile, allowing children of all levels and needs to learn in so many different ways. 



Have you got any friends from primary school  - or do you sticky beak at any people you used to go to school with on facebook sometimes?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Germies

I said I would embrace winter and I am.

But gee winter is a hard master to follow fondly.

I have spent the morning dealing with Immy getting a fast appearing ear infection which probably came from the chest infection also diagnosed.

As her temperature started to soar, I was too low on kids panadol to top  her up, so I headed to the chemist/doctor and ended up straight into the doctors room after the reception staff moved all the other patients around to get me in earlier than my actual appointment, they took one look at the misery I was carrying in my arms and knew she wasn't well.

Thanks to the wonders of medicine Immy is now more comfortable, lying on the couch watching her old favourite DVDs.

Before she got herself snuggled she declared it pyjama day, just like the school kids had last week.

I have been told to wear my slippers so we can be the same and I am happy to partake.

I 've also stocked up on the winter essentials. Night time fevers always spike when you run out of pain relief - so this is like a safety net - if I have supplies in the cupboard I probably won't need them, the day you run out is the night you will need them.

Do you keep a well stocked medicine cabinet?



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Five Songs


If I think back over the years there have been some pretty average songs that I have considered favourites at the time. In the blog everyday challenge, today it is about listing five songs that you remember - for whatever reason. 

I am starting with my last year in high school, we are talking early 90s. Perhaps it was the era of bad music, or perhaps it was just what I was listening to on commercial radio.

One of my favourites to dance to once I smuggled myself in as an underager at nightclubs was Life is a Highway - it's pretty bad. I wouldn't listen to it. Daggy was clearly my thing, I also remember loving Peter Andre more than life itself.

Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts on Grooveshark

Fast forward a few years and Mr H played this for me on the guitar to win me over. It worked.

Whatever Makes You Happy by Powderfinger on Grooveshark

If I think of my Dad, there are songs played over and over from the 70s when we had tape decks and when there were dinner parties (ALL THE TIME) this tape was played over and over. While we were tucked up in our beds, awoken by grown ups laughing and having a good time, we never thought to come out and speak to them,  we were so obedient and it was Sam Cooke who would sing us back to sleep.

Sam Cooke has a voice you can easily listen to any time, any day, any era.

Stand By Me by Sam Cooke on Grooveshark

Song four - I wrote all about another time - it's The Dance by Garth Brooks.

While song five got its own post last year too, the song you need when you want a secret weapon up your sleeve.

What songs bring back memories for you? Daggy songs can be embraced!







Monday, May 27, 2013

Embracing Winter

This post is sponsored by Target, a place that loves winter.



Are you a lover of the winter season? 

Usually it's the time of year that I struggle to crawl through. The layers of clothing, the washing that never dries, children with snotty noses and coughs through the night. 

Winter and I are not friends. 

Target kids winter clothing 2013

This year I am trying to start winter on a positive note. I am going to welcome winter and look for the moments that winter provides which you just don't get in summer. 

With Winter's Eve almost here I have been really getting in the mood for the cold times ahead.




We started with a poor excuse for a fire in our burby backyard but made the best of it by cooking up some damper. Over on Instagram it was suggested that next time I add in a banana with some nutella to the middle of the damper and then cook it. Lucky it is winter and I can give this a try again soon.


Target kids winter jumper detail 2013Some time since last winter Immy must have eaten a growth spurt tablet. With the clothes in her creche bag about five inches too short and her legs poking out the bottom of her pants we took off to Target for some winter kids jeans and jumpers. I wanted creche clothes only and I let her choose them. This still didn't help when it came time to getting her into a pair of jeans as she declared "The worst day of my life" and uttered the words "You are not a good Daddy" to Mr H.  Luckily we also stocked up on leggings and stockings to match with anything that twirls.

At a price of $12, these are perfect for creche and kinder, and gumboots.

Then we got summer fire ready by being fire side. In fact we made the fire so fabulous that the marshmallow cookers had to wait for some time and scout for very long sticks. It seemed to take forever for the fire to die down enough for them to have a little melting gooey mess on a stick to scoff down.  Apparently it was well worth the wait and more bon fires are planned this winter. Next time I will be adding in some red wine too (not for the little people).





This winter there is garlic growing (or planted at least) for the first time in my garden and pumpkins from the in-laws that are cooking in a Pumpkin and Chickpea curry on the stove, this is a dish that just wouldn't work for summer. 




Fires shared with friends and family, warm clothing and puffer vests,  red wine, hot bread with melting butter and home grown pumpkins are just the start of this winter. Things are looking good.




What will be making your winter a good one?


Friday, May 24, 2013

If your recipe book could talk, what would it say?


It’s a special weekend in our household. It's that time of year again when we sit around the dining table after dinner for a good hour going through all the birthday cake books within the house.

Considering how few cakes we make we certainly have a good range of books to flick through.

There are pages splattered with icing from when I attempted the rainbow balloons cake for Popps’ first birthday, only to serve up a mud cake from the supermarket. There are pages that I think might have tears on them, or smudges as I stayed up til all hours trying to get them right before a party. Some pages have folded dog ears on cakes that little people have really really wanted (but Mummy didn't even attempt).  Some books contain little bits of paper where people have numbered the cakes they want for which birthday – it is clear that when it comes to birthdays, Popps is a planner.

It has now become a yearly challenge for Mr H to pick any cake he desires and for me to attempt to make it. This started with the hilarious echidna, jumped to the masterpiece that took me about 47 hours to cook and this year will be something else a little exotic – but simple – he did request the platypus at first, then the log cabin cake – simply because he likes flake, but settled on something more grown up.



Tomorrow, I will be donning my apron, dusting off the cake pans and playing  Tiny Turner loudly in the kitchen while I try and get this cake right, either way, in the end, another page of the book will have its own story. I should start adding a photo of the day to each page for historical significance!

If your recipe books could talk, what would they tell me? Did anyone ever make you the log cabin? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

The bigger picture includes a dinosaur.


This week I took charge at home, I became strategic director of “Project Dinosaur”. I delegated each of the tasks to the appropriate staff members to ensure that the brief was fully met.

The team got to work, researching facts and figures from books and iPads. There was no T-Rex detail left uncovered before they took off to Officeworks and returned with poster paper and glue sticks, feathers and clag.

As official team leader and ‘owner’ of the end result of the project Popps got to make all the final decisions. Her handwriting became the font of choice.

Project Dinosaur now sits on a cabinet waiting for the day it is due at school.

It doesn’t look exactly like I thought it would.

Of course it doesn’t. I am not in Grade 1 and the creative ideas are not mine.

In a marketing capacity this happens all the time. You receive a brief, or more likely you chat with the people who need some assistance and write a brief up for yourself. You get brainstorming with ways to best meet the end goal, you write up timelines and in your head you start to picture how this will work. You make rules of what will and won’t be allowed, what will be acceptable.  You get excited about how good this campaign is going to be. You share the ideas with the marketing comms team if you have one and fine-tune everything. 

Then you present your project to the project owners and someone wants a change. The image apparently is just not quite right. They forgot to tell you that Hobnob Smith now wants the brochure to include a little bit of extra text, only half a page or so, can that just be squished in? Of course there is no money to print up an extra page, just make the font smaller, just push the heading over, just cut the lot and send them all to a website that we might (hopefully) have built soon.

Some days it feels like your client won’t be happy until you use comic sans.

Before you know it the project just must be printed, due dates can’t be pushed any further. Not always, but lots of times, you admit defeat. The marketing team roll their eyes at being beaten again by those higher up the corporate food chain and you all laugh that it doesn’t really matter, not like anyone is going to get hurt with poor marketing design.

This last month I have been working on some big projects with big budgets, big audience and multiple departments. The big picture is looking good, but it isn’t all to my liking.

And this is ok, because out of all my projects the only one that really truly matters, is Project Dinosaur.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The bees are busy at Capilano Honey: A review and giveaway for those who like the sweet stuff



This sweet post is sponsored by the busy bees at Capilano Honey

Capilano Snap n Squeeze


A few weeks ago I received a lunch box in the mail with some honey sachets in it. Immy ripped it all apart and asked to be dressed as Alice in Wonderland using the ribbon that was around the package.

Once we got our outfits under control we decided that today was certainly a day for pikelets. 

I cooked them up adding half a tin of pie apples to my basic recipe.

Immy assisted the best way she knows how by cleaning the spoon.



As the pikelets were cooking she grabbed a snap n squeeze honey, bent it in half and sucked out all the honey. 

She then repeated this twice more before I realised.

The snap n squeeze is a silent little number. It is also really snappy and mess free, it meant no sticky honey fingers all over the place, no drips of honey anywhere on the bench and for this I am very grateful.




With lunch served, I handed over some more honey for Immy to add to her apple pikelets and she loved being in charge of her own food. Snapping the pack and letting it dribble all over the place. Sometimes in big drips and others in slow honey webs. 


Capilano Snap n Squeeze


The taste is clear yummy honey. The same as you usually get. You are rewarded more with convenience here.


Capilano Snap n Squeeze


Usually, I wouldn't use snap n squeeze honey at home, it has so many uses for outside the house and it is a really convenient travel item. I have placed it in the school lunch box and I have taken it to work to add to a herbal tea. I have also taken them when we went away for a weekend and we snuck our breakfast in with our bags to the motel room. 

Capilano Snap n Squeeze


I may have also used them to bribe my children to do things and used honey as a reward for exceptional behaviour (I know there are some judgey judge types who are very unhappy with this practice, I am sorry, but it is a natural product....I will try not to do this more than once a day) but if you put a couple in your pocket when you walk to the park, when you are ready to leave the park you wave the snap n squeeze honey in the air and happily suggest we walk home together while they have a little honey snack, sweet moments for everyone.


Capilano Snap n Squeeze



How do you think you would like to use snap n squeeze honey? Leave me a comment below telling me  how, because Capilano want to send another FIVE people some honey too. I would love to hear what you might use this new product for.

Capilano have a nifty lunch box filled to the brim with snap n squeeze honey, some tea and a lovely tea cup and saucer to send out. (You might even get the pretty ribbon).


Capilano Snap n Squeeze



Terms and Conditions
1) Delivery is to an Australian address only 
2) Enter as many times as you like
3) You do not have to like my facebook page or the page of Capilano Honey, but we would both like it if you did.
4) Comments will bee judged on entertainment merit only (sorry, had to do it once)
5) Comments are open for a full week from Tuesday 14 May until Tuesday 21 May (midnight) and after that comments will close for good.
6) No email, no prize.


May 27 2013

This Giveaway is now closed.

The winners of the giveaway are:

Angie Boylan
Sharon
Sapna
Rachel Kriss Newell
Carly


I will email you all for details!





Friday, May 10, 2013

Out and About: Albury Botanical Gardens

Mr H and I are rather fond of a weekend away. There are few times when we decline a weekend adventure so when he suggested the whole family takes off for the weekend to Howlong (yes, that is the name of the town) I said a firm yes.

Howlong is well known for its golf course and that is where we stayed.

It seems the target audience of the Howlong Golf Club is 109 years old. Now, there is nothing wrong with this being the demographic, especially for Mr H, he went off and played golf - twice, but I was left to entertain the girls in a place that wasn't really that keen to have little kids around.

Lucky for me I have some rellies in Albury so I landed on their doorstep to be fed and entertained and was very happy I did.

My cousin invited us to take a walk down at the Albury Botanical Gardens after lunch and as I was in no hurry to return to the land of the gentry I said yes.

We walked through the main section of the botanical gardens with little Millie running ahead to show us the way, when we walked through the child proof gate and into the children's garden, I wish I had of known what to expect.

I would have had a blanket a bottle and a couple of glasses for wine. In the centre of the gardens is an open grass section perfect for picnics, the rest of the gardens provides ample spots for the kids to just run around. I followed the girls to see what they found, but if we were to return I would loudly state "The rules are you are not allowed outside the gate." Then I would retreat to my picnic rug and not expect to see them for at least an hour or so.

Here is what they would be getting up to.

The rotunda:

While the little ones did concerts, the bigger one found a fireman's pole and monkey bars.




There are actually two bamboo cubbies, this one with older, stronger thicker bamboo and another much younger growth one (that can't yet be climbed).






The main attraction is certainly the giant dinosaur, importantly for Immy, he wasn't a scary one, he was very friendly. He also includes some hidden treasures such as the interactive talking tube thingos. The little boy laying on the ground has found one.






The wise old owl is head of the circle that I can see being used by local community groups, there are lots of little wooden carved seats in the shapes of animals for little bottoms to sit on, while a grown up could sit at the owl and tell a story. Or lounge like Immy for a bit of a rest.





Dinosaurs hatched from eggs - big ones, and you can hide in one too.





Mille found this lizard and decided to bake in the sun a little herself too.






There are rocks for climbing on,




And places to be the king, don't miss the detailed rocks on the way up, apparently a giant lost his foot in the rocks there.





Before you leave, give the trees a big hug. Say thank you.







The children's botanical garden is in Albury Botancial Gardens. They are free to visit and open most days, except Wednesdays - unless it's school holidays, or not at all in term 3 when the gardens need to recover from the kids and take a rest. The Albury City Council looks after them, so check there if you are planning a visit and want to make sure they are open.

Have you seen a great children's garden in your travels?




Thursday, May 9, 2013

A moment in your day: Swinging

The topic for the challenge today is very simple; A moment in your day.

If you are a parent, pushing swings can be a common moment in your day.



Your first child might get plonked in a swing really early as you are so keen to try out all your new baby gadgets. Some days you wonder if your child will ever get off the swing. There are moments you try and squeeze your own hips into the narrow bit of space on the swing, only to realise that you really are way to wide for such things. There are moments when you think you just can't push a swing one more day, the boredom will eat you alive. 

Then the moments are memories.

Your kids can push themselves. 

Unless you build a really big swing - then they still need you for a little bit longer!


Where are you at with your swinging moments these days?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Behind the scenes at a blogger function

Last week I had a blogger function to attend and it was also the day that Mum was in town and Immy was home from creche so the three of us took off together.

What happens at these things?



Well, mainly bloggers talk. They eat. They check out new products.

For this function we had a look at the new range from Arabella Ramsay for Target. It was cute, but I was a bit confused, they were discussing mothers day items, but I found the new range much more tweeny than Mumsy, maybe I am a bit out dated, but the cuts were narrow, the images disney. There is enough Disney in my house already without me adding it to my own wardrobe.

Cristina Re was a guest speaker and I always love hearing from people who have created their  own business. What they did, how they got to the place they are at is always interesting to me. Cristina Re also has a new range available for Target. It was cute, I quite liked it.



The tables were decorated with the Cristina Re stock and finished off with flowers and decorations. Mum loved the painted bird cages with flowers in them so much I think if she had a bag big enough she really would have stolen one. Couldn't keep her eyes off them. I don't know if they came from a florist or from Target, but I know if I find one in a store somewhere I better get one.



Blogger functions are also great for photos. Mainly because I don't take any at all.  Good PR chicks know that a professional photographer is a great idea, and that is how I got these top shots.

And when the speakers have finished and we have had our fill of pretty cakes and finger sandwiches we grab our car parking passes and head off home and check instagram to see all the stuff we missed!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 7: Blog every day in May: The thing(s) you're most afraid of:


Look at me go – Day 7 of the 31 Day challenge and I am still keeping up.

There are hundreds of bloggers around the world taking part in the challenge this May and I am betting that any of them that are parents would say the thing they are most afraid of is anything happening to their children. We all want our children to live a harm free, peaceful and healthy existence. We also want to be there to share it with them.



There is nothing I am more afraid of then something happening to the owners of these feet.


But let’s say that you have to discuss the thing you are most afraid of but it CAN NOT relate to your children.

Hmmmmmmmmm

I would hate to have a TV show turn up at my house to surprise me with a prize or something. I would most likely be in my pajamas, there would likely be dishes in the sink and floors that needed cleaning and I wouldn’t have enough milk in the fridge to offer the camera crew a coffee – and the last bottle of wine would probably be sitting empty in the recycle bin*. It would not be a surprise I was happy to receive (unless it was a million dollars - any camera crew is welcome if they have a $1mill).

I also have a problem with throwing myself off a perfectly safe and stable surface. I see no reason for a sane person to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane, no reason to tie elastic to my ankles and dive head first into a river and no real reason to climb a rock wall that was not meant for walking on only so I can abseil down 1 km of rock face. Afraid - totally.

Would you invite Dr Harry to do a surprise house call at your place, or would you prefer to jump out of a plane? What else are you really afraid of.







*I am not a huge drinker, so we don’t keep much wine in the house, we have no cellar.
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