Tag Archives: #kids

Is connected the new confused? 

Forget trying to think of answers to any questions or finding out information in books. These days we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips. This is so amazing, yet every single day when I scroll through my social media I am hit with a heap of artcles telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing as a parent. 

Are we all expected to raise children that are perfect all the time? They must have manners, be spirited but not cheeky,  have created 6 apps by the age of 7 and be a natural at any sport they attempt.  

All while the parents never yell. Play with them,  but not too much, they must know how to be bored.  Praise them, but not use the phrase ‘good girl or ‘good boy’, this could shame another child or be taken the wrong way? Show them affection, but don’t kiss them on the lips. Someone on the internet might think that’s gross! Both parents are expected to work, but also be available for all school/kinder functions and acivities (that always seem to be held during business hours)…..Oh and don’t forget you must feed them only organic food, be a plastic free household and don’t even think about giving them refined suger (that stuff is pure evil). 

I’ll admit, I read the articles and I do think about them.  So many questions have swirled around in my head. Should I control cry or not?  Is breast really best? How do I restrict screen time? What are all the milestones again? Why are they such picky eaters? Do humidifiers work? Am I a good mum? 

I’ve decided screw it, half of these articles are simply click bait……..No one is perfect and being a parent is overwhelming enough without all these extra ‘guidelines’. 

The truth is every child is different and parenting styles are different. We are all just doing our best to raise happy, healthy, well balanced children.  Sure, read the articles. Be open to new things, but take it with a grain of salt. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, especially if you’re a new parent. Do what works for you, your baby and family.  I do 😀 

Rachelle xx 

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What’s new from NERF? 

My son Hudson has always wanted NERF guns. Since he is only 4, I wasn’t sure he could be trusted to not shoot his little sister, me or the dog. 

We were both extremely happy to discover the new NERF NITRO range of launchable vehicles. These little foam stunt vehicles can be shot out of the launcher onto ramps and smash through barrells. You can buy different sets, cars and customise as you please. 

My favourite part is that the launcher can only be used when pressed on the ground (or solid surface) this prevents any little people from using launching them unexpectedly while walking around. 

The cars are soft and perfect for indoor play. We have spent many afternoons setting up stunt tracks and jumps. Both Hudson and Scarlett love them, and they are fantastic entertainment in this winter weather when no one can play outside. 

Check them out…….The NERF NITRO range is reasonably priced with car refills starting from $9.99 and packs starting from$19.99. You can pick them up from all good toy stores (also Kmart, Toys R’ Us, Myer, Toy World and Big W)

Hudson playing with his NERF Longshot Smash from Hasbro. 

Rachelle xx 

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School Holiday fun 

Looking for a little something to keep the kids occupied this school holidays? 

No one wants to be stuck in the house with cabin fever everyday so why no get out and check out what Melbourne has to offer. I have narrowed down some of my favourites below.  

Diamond Valley Minature trains 

This little gem is open every Sunday from 11am and Wednesday afternoons on school holidays. It’s a park with a minature train track that you can ride on with the kids. 

The track is complete with tunnels and bridges which makes for an exciting ride. At $3 per person per ride it’s not going to break the bank. You can take a picnic lunch here and relax in the shade or let the kids burn some energy in the playground.  I would recommend getting there early as there can be lines. 

Oakridge Wines kids cooking class 

Why not take the lovely drive out to the Yarra Valley and get the kids cooking. 

The cooking class at Oakridge Winery is so much fun. The kids go off and pick herbs, learn about making flour and make a delicious pizza. I watched and assisted as Hudson is younger, but if you have older children you can bring a friend and enjoy lunch in the beautiful restaurant while sampling some of the delightful wines. 

You can contact Oakridge Wines to book for the upcoming holidays. 

Lights by Dreamworks  

The lights by Dreamworks exhibition is at the Rosebud foreshore these Easter holidays. 

It’s a magical wonderland of beautiful lanterns from all the kids favourite Dreamworks movies. Kung fu panda, Madacascar, Puss in boots and How to train your dragon are just some of the amazing movies that are brought to life with huge lanterns. 

There is craft activities, rides, food stalls and your kids may even run into some of their favourites in real life. 

For further information and tickets head to the website.  

Smurfs high tea at the Langham 

This school holidays the Smurfs are taking over The Langham’s high tea. 

Join Papa Smurf and the gang for an afternoon of delicious Smurfy approved treats and school holiday fun. 

Contact The Langham for further information.

NGV 

The National Gallery is always a favourite of mine to take the kids. It’s a great day out that is 100% free. 

The kids area is wonderful and currently has Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition on display.  It’s an interactive activity trail that takes children on an expedition. 

Holiday Inn – Staycation Melbourne 

Since Melbourne has so much to offer it could be worth staying a night (or two) in the heart of the city. 

At Holiday Inn on Flinders Lane kids stay and eat for free. They have just updated all of their family rooms and they are stunning. 

It’s conveniently located near the free city circle trams, Docklands, Crown Casino and Flinders Street station. Also, the bar has some really good cocktails for mum and dad. 

For further information check out their website. 

Have fun !!

Rachelle xx 

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Bringing in the bed

As your baby grows you tick a number of milestones of the list. Rolling, solid food, crawling, walking…….finally the day comes where it’s time to bid farewell to the cot and move to a bed. 

I was nervous about this change. How do they stay in? Will they keep sleeping through the night? Am I going to wake up to a two year old walking around the house or breathing really close to my face while I sleep? What if they hate it? Turns out all of my fears were in vain. Both of my children transitioned pretty easily. 

I’m no expert and perhaps I was just lucky. I thought I would share some tips for the transition.

Wait until they’re ready- I don’t think there is a magical age to move to a bed and there probably isn’t any rush. However,  we were in a bit of a rush with Hudson as we needed the cot for Scarlett. Hudson was just over two and handled the change fine. Scarlett has also just turned 2 and she has just moved to a bed. She is loving it. We knew she was ready as she kept asking for a bed, laying in Hudson’s bed and she had been transitioned to a little mat on the floor at childcare. 

Talk about it – before putting our children in beds we spoke about beds, read books that had beds in them (3 little bears, princess and the pea). When we were out at home stores we would go look at beds to show them how ‘cool’ they are. I think having them understand what is happening helped a lot. 

Get them involved – when it was time for a big bed we took our kids to the shops where they could pick out a doona cover or pillows to help decorate their new bed. They loved it and it also gives them a little control. Even now, I let Hudson pick which cover he would like on his bed when I change his sheets. I like to get something a little different and found that Shop Inside have a really lovely kids range (adults too, but that’s for another day). 

Don’t panic and stay positive – there may be times where your child will get up and down before settling, they may not love the bed at the start. Persistence and patience is key. If you’re positive about the bed they will eventually come around. Like every family we have requests at bedtime for drinks, toilet, more stories, itchy feet, scary things in the wardrobe. I let them go through the motions and if they continue to get up I just quietly pop them back into bed. 
As I said, I was dreading transition time as I thought my kids wouldn’t enjoy it and may spend most nights in out bed. Overall, we have had a pretty good experience. 

Rachelle xx 

All bedding and pillows from Shop Inside

 

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Quick getaway for the family 

After a busy year we wanted to get away for a night with the kids so they could enjoy Christmas in the city. We took the opportunity to stay at Holiday Inn (Flinders Street). 

This let us experience all the Christmas action that Melbourne had to offer, we had a small break and we didn’t have to deal with screaming tired kids on the drive home in the car. Holiday Inn is so close to everything that as soon as Scarlett rubbed her eyes and Hudson complained of being tired we were back in our room within 10 mintues. 

We went to Crown Casino, walked up to Bourke Street and caught a tram to Docklands (it’s in the free tram zone). Kids stay and eat for free so that is a real bonus. Plus, when we arrived ay our room there were little entertainment packs for the kids that included colouring books, stickers, crayons and brochures. These were a fantastic distraction at dinner.  The staff were really accomodating and our room was made up with a porta cot and trundle bed. 

We stayed in a suite so once the kids went to sleep my husband and I ordered room service (including delicious cocktails) and watched a movie. 

I was never sure about just going to the city for a night or two with kids but we all really enjoyed it.  All the family rooms on level four have been renovated and look amazing. It’s  the second time we have stayed at Holiday Inn and if you’re looking for somewhere family friendly and close to everything give them a call. Hudson and Scarlett are already asking to go back. 

Perfect for a school holiday getaway.

Rachelle xx 

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Embrace the chaos 

I have always been a very conscientious, efficient and organised person. I really don’t enjoy flying by the seat of my pants and I often struggle to relax.

Since becoming a mother I still had the desire to be organised. However, children are completely unpredictable so this made it extremely hard. Add working, my husband’s business, playdates, activities and birthday parties to the mix and I was becoming a hot mess. Being organised and feeling like I was being a composed adult was just getting harder and harder.

I wrote lists, used a calendar, meal planned and grabbed food shopping at lunchtime. I would spend Sunday afternoons prepping meals for the week or making meals and freezing them.

After a couple of very busy weekends and starting an extra day at work. I simply couldn’t find the time to be super organised…..I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t do everything, I couldn’t be everywhere and there was no way I could please everyone. It felt like my kids were being extra needy and wanting more and more attention.

I had no choice but to roll with it. No meal plan. I decided to just grab a few things at the shops and some washing done but it wasn’t 100%. Do you know what?  It wasn’t that bad.  Taking my foot off the accelerator and taking a deep breath has been amazing.  I say no to things if we have too much on or if everything is just too busy.  Also, I’m not so worried about little distractions like housework. My kids aren’t that worried about getting my attention, they know they can have it. They’re even helping with little chores!

Another bonus is my husband is also helping out around the place as he can see what needs to be done and has a chance to get to it. He puts the washing away and tidies the kitchen. Instead of constantly having meals ready, I keep a couple of brought pre prepared meals in the fridge.  My husband simply heats them and they’re ready if I’m running late home from work with the kids. I found the Woolworths family favourites are simple, delicious, ready in 45 minutes or less and only about $12 for a family serving (there’s also a good range of meals and my kids love them).  Having meals on hand makes everything so much easier. Sundays aren’t spent prepping meals and shopping. I have more time to play with my kids. We read books, go to the park and bath time is more relaxed. I’ve also noticed some nights we grab the dog and go for a family walk.

I’m still on top of things, just a little more relaxed. I keep lists and use my calendar but I just order as much as I can online and have it delivered (including birthday gifts). If something isn’t finished or I’m not 100% organised I embrace it and move on. I realised I’m only one person and can’t look after everyone. Especially if I feel like a mess and I’m not looking after myself.

Try it, embrace the chaos and take shortcuts. It’s alright!

Rachelle xx

 

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Cake baking tips from Lou @cake2therescue

Hi I’m Baker Girl Lou, owner of DIY Cake Kit Company – Cake 2 The Rescue.  I’m so excited to be guest blogging for The Mummy Code this week and I can’t wait to share with you my top tips for baking and decorating a home-made birthday cake.
Before I start, the thing you should all know is that I’m not a baker by trade, I actually started out in engineering and then interior design. I’m no Donna Hay, in fact, my lack of decorating skills is my secret weapon!  So, I promise you, if I can do it, so can you!  
The funny thing is that kids don’t need their cake to be perfect! What they see in a home-made cake is love.  They love bragging to their friends as it arrives at the table, candles lit, “My Mum/Dad made that!”  I honestly think there is nothing like a homemade cake so I hope that the tips and tricks I’m about to share give you the confidence to give it a go!
Since opening Cake 2 The Rescue in 2011 I’ve created over 200 kits, each designed to ensure that people with little to no decorating experience can have success in the kitchen!   Between making 200 cakes and the feedback I’ve received from 11,000 plus customers I’ve learned the pit falls of cake making.  I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, what can go wrong and how to avoid it.  My moto is “Hero-status for minimal effort, stress free baking even on 2 glasses of wine!”
So here are my top tips:

Making a Template
Google is fantastic for templates.  Search for things like printable masks and colouring pages, these will give you great outline drawings easy to print and make templates.  Consider making the head of a character rather than the whole body. The shape will be easier to cut out and that means, easier to ice! Avoid 3D cakes if you have to move your cake to another venue.

Baking Your Cake
You really want your cake to rise as flat as possible so keep the oven a bit lower (say 160oC) this will make the cake rise slowly and more evenly. Position your cake in the middle of the oven not the top.  If your oven usually cooks things more quickly than recipe guidelines or your cakes have a habit of splitting in the middle then chances are your thermostat is out of wacks so make sure you bake at a lower temperature than recommended and consider having your oven serviced.

Bake The Day Before
If you bake your cake the day before you decorate it, it will be much easier to ice.  It’s a bit like buying a loaf of fresh bread straight from the baker’s oven, it always tears when you try to spread the butter.  You’ll get less crumbs if you give it time to settle. 

Making Butter Icing
You icing needs to be spreadable but still thick.  So add your food colouring to get the desired colour before making the icing softer. Usually the liquid of the food colouring is enough to soften the icing but if it’s not just add a little more butter or a teaspoon of milk.  If you thin the icing before you add the food colouring you may end up with a runny mess!!

Icing Your Cake
Think of icing your cake as gliding the icing over the surface, not scraping butter onto bread.  Put a big pile of icing on the middle of the cake and then gently push the icing around the cake and over the sides.  If you have too little icing on your spatula you will drag the surface of the cake and that’s when crumbs sneak in!

Fondant is Fun (I promise!)
Don’t be scared of fondant, it’s just like using play doh only edible!! It will give you a really professional look and give you much more flexibility in your design than using lollies. Just remember butter icing is king when it comes to taste so make the majority of your cake with butter icing and just use fondant for the details like for example the face on your ninja turtle.

Using Fondant
Warm the fondant up by kneading it in your hands, this will make it more malleable and easy to use (I recommend gloves!). Roll it out onto a sheet of baking paper, this will make it easier to pick up the shapes.  Run your finger round the edge of the shapes after cutting them out to remove any rough edges and give a smooth finish.

Storing Your Cake
Avoid putting your finished cake in the fridge unless you have to.  On the bench is always best or with the air conditioning on if it’s a hot day. If you have to keep it in the fridge, serve your cake immediately when you remove it from the fridge to avoid the colours on your cake running as it warms up to room temperature and moisture sets in.
Hope these tips have given you the confidence to try making your next birthday cake at home.  You can always have a practise run a few weeks before if it’s your first time just to put your mind at ease. And please remember it’s not about creating the perfect cake, it’s about the love that went into making it.  I promise you, once you see the excitement on your little ones face, you’ll never look back.
Happy Baking!!

Cake 2 The Rescue – DIY Cake Kits are offering a special $5 discount off their cake kits to Mummy Code readers, valid until 30th June 2016.  So if you want all the hard working taken out of planning your cake and love the idea of having the recipe card, template and everything you need arrive in the box ready to bake and decorate, take a look at their fabulous cakes.

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Party penguins

The hit of any party and super simple.

🐧INGREDIENTS

16 large pitted black olives
16 small pitted black olives
1/2 a block of Cream Cheese
2 peeled carrots
16 toothpicks
One piece of marinated capsicum or 2 spring onions ( cut to make little scarves)

🐧INSTRUCTIONS

Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each large olive. 
Insert about 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive.
Slice the carrot into 16 1/2cm slices. Cut a small triangle out of each carrot slice to form feet.
Save the cut out piece for the beak. Cut a small slit into small olive and press into centre of small olive. 
Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice.
Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and carrot feet line up. Secure with a toothpick.
Slice capsicum or spring onion into strips and tie as little scarves.

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Enjoy!🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

Rachelle xx

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Mother of a toddler and a baby? I hear you!

The reality of motherhood is if you have more than one child, you have most likely had a point where you have had to deal with two babies or a baby and a toddler……to all these mothers RESPECT!!!

▫ I see the rings under your eyes from being woken up by a tag team of little humans. One screaming for food or pooping at ungodly hours. The other demanding water or yelling that their socks be put on after falling off in bed.

▫ I understand you are constantly checking nappies and sniffing for who has pooped. Now you have twice as much nappy time, it seems like all you do is check for poop change poop, change wees….ask the toddler of they want to got toilet….toddler then poops in their nappy or pants anyway……repeat the process over and over until bedtime.  No wonder you are always slightly distracted by poop or fart smells.

▫I see that you can barely hold a conversation like a normal person. As you always have one eye on the baby who is probably eating something off the ground or throwing things. While your toddler runs about screaming, having tantrums or interrupting you every 30 seconds to declare ‘Mum, look truck’….’Mummy, bus’. Also, see point one. The whole poop thing is very distracting and makes it hard to hold an adult conversation when you’re sniffing a small humans butt.

▫ I have observed you sweating at the shops. Where you either have
        * A – a double pram filled with arms and legs  
        * B – a double trolley full of arms and legs grabbing things off shelves    
          *C – a pram and baby carrier strapped to you like you’re a one man band.

▫ I get why you don’t find it funny when every second person stops to say ‘oh wow, you certainly have your hands full’. While I understand people are just trying to be nice, I have rarely been out alone with my two children without hearing this at least once. If people can see that my hands are full and I am a sweaty mess, don’t stop me to declare how you can see how busy I am???

▫ To the mum negotiating with the toddler with smarties (or chocolate of choice) because the baby is crying and you need them in the car. I get it, do what you can to get them where you need them. Having a toddler is like dealing with a small drunk person, negotiating with them is harder than negotiating with a terrorist,  add a screaming baby to the mix and you have a stressful situation, to say the least.

▫ I understand that your TV viewing mainly consists of Thomas the tank, In the night garden or Dora. I also get that eating is less relaxing these days and normally consists of scraps from the high chair tray or left over nuggets that are quickly consumed in the small 10 minute window that (if you’re lucky) both children are sleeping.

▫I can see the faded spit up/dribble  stains on your clothes that you have just wiped with nappy wipes because it’s easier than getting changed. Also, the small chocolate finger prints on your jeans from when the toddler was trying to get your attention while you changed the babies nappy are a dead giveaway that you’re a mother of a baby and toddler.

▫ I  see you on a baby free night out. You wait for these moments, footloose and fancy free. Yet, you really don’t know what to talk about. You hear a baby crying and it distracts you, your handbag feels so light without all the nappies and snacks.  Deep down, you miss your little snot monsters?

▫ Most of all I see the worry and doubt in your eyes. Am I doing enough? are my children happy? Am I doing the right thing? You are. 

Having one child is hard but wrangling a baby and toddler is definitely hard work and involves a lot of ducking and diving.

** NOTE: If you are a parent with twins, triplets etc 😙, I can only imagine….well done to all the mummas.

I think we have all earnt our wine tonight.

Rachelle xx

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Cherry Ripe balls

I often make chocolate or lemon balls for parties or a treat. This time I thought I’d make something a little different using Cherry Ripe, perfect for the upcoming festive season. I also tried a couple using Popping Elves which are perfect for kids (or big kids) and they love the popping surprise.

These are super simple and don’t require any hot ovens so they are great to make with your little helpers.

INGREDIENTS:
🍒 4 large Cherry Ripe bars – or the equivalent little bars.
🍒 One packet Marie biscuits or Chocolate Ripple biscuits.
🍒 Cup of desiccated coconut.
🍒 Small tin of condensed milk.

METHOD:
Blitz biscuits and Cherry Ripe bars in your food processor or Nutri Bullet. Stit in condensed milk to dry ingredients. Roll into bite size balls and roll balls in coconut. Pop into the fridge for at least 15 minutes to chill and enjoy. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

🎄To make popping elf balls substitute the Cherry Ripes for Popping elves.

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ENJOY!

Rachelle xx

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