Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Ten for Tuesday

1. I've been reading a great book about introducing Math skills - here's some simple sorting. | 2. Building towers is our new favourite thing. | 3. Mummy's towers might suggest OCD.

4. Exploring the beach at the Darwin Waterfront. | 5. These two have the sweetest bond. | 6. My big brave boy is looking so very grown up lately.

7. We had dinner at our favourite restaurant - Chow. | 8. The boys had ice cream after. It's good weather for ice cream. | 9. Then we enjoyed a nice walk- well, he ran. You didn't think his pants stayed dry enough to wear did you?!?

10. I've found the best Vege Chilli recipe in It's All Good - the kids just gobble it up. I added pumpkin, capsicum and carrot. Not sure Gwyneth would approve of the cheese, sour cream and corn chips as well!
How's your week been?

Monday, 17 November 2014

DIY Montessori Scent Bottles

Here's a super simple DIY for Montessori Monday...
I picked these salt shakers up from the grocery store for out $2 a pair.
We filled them with Star Anise, Vanilla Pops, Cardamon Pops, Cinnamon Sticks and Peppercorns.
Traditional scent bottles are opaque. At first we just explored the different smells. Now, we just wrap our hands around ours and try to guess the contents. 

Cardamon is my favourite!

Done any easy Montessori lately?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Christmas Advent Activities and the Festive Freak

It’s that time of year again.

The time when we realise that we need to stop scoffing at the Christmas decorations up in the store because the big day is actually not that far away.

The time when we need to start making some lists ...and checking them twice. Sorry, had to be done!

And that glorious time of year when I get to unleash my inner festive freak and let her go to town.

There is so much incredible inspiration out there too. This stunning image by Yvette at The Stylist Splash has me fired up and ready to bake.

And that latest issue of Donna Hay Magazine had me drooling. Literally! I had to go and make myself some lunch.

I’m trying to convince my husband that these Christmas pyjamas are actually a necessity.

And this exquisite Christmas table for children by Mardi and Nicole over at Simply Sweet Soirees makes me smile – the brown paper tablecloth! Mini milk bottles and stripey straws! Those labels! That font! Mini pegs and doilies! Be still my tinsel-decked heart.

I’ve also started thinking about some fun Christmas activities that we can complete as part of our advent celebrations.

If you’re keen to make one there are so many incredibly looking advent calendars online at the moment. The girls from Simply Sweet Soirees have put together this collection and I simply cannot pick my favourite.

Our advent calendar is a special part of our traditions so I’ll be using it again this year (I shared it here last year along with all the activities we tried).

I’ve been pinning some cute ideas that I’m keen to try this year including this Santa beard countdown, these cute Christmas tree window decorations and I think the boys will love these Snow Shooters.

I’m also keen to add a new Christmas film (or two) to our current repertoire. What’s your family’s favourite Christmas movie?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ten for Tuesday

1. The cast came off! Still tender, but slowly getting back to normal | 2. Got sent this snap of handsome eldest son and seriously cute niece from his very sweet girlfriend - really need to see them all soon! | 3. New artwork for the boys' room makes me smile. They love it too - glass is covered in finger smudges! | 4. Caught up with hubby's cousin - how much does his little girl look like Rohan? Those curls!
5. Neglecting the housework and playing with this cutie - A pair of binoculars and some African animals and we are on safari!
6. His other favourite 'game' is washing the dishes. That Maria Montessori sure knew a few things. 
7. It's so steamy up here we are spending a lot of time in the spa - making whirlpools... | 8. ...and swimming underwater! Big deal for a kid who wouldn't put his head under only eight weeks (and a broken arm) ago. | 9. Un-freakin'-believably good. | 10. Purchased in order to work off #9!!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Dinosaur Fourth Birthday

My youngest son turns three at the end of the year.

It's not actually that far away, either. If my Maths is correct we've got 49 sleeps 'til Christmas.

You all know that heading towards planning a birthday party, I get a little sentimental.  I like to look back at my sons' previous parties and reflect. 

I think about:
* the good- such as fun ideas that worked well (this party is actually my most popular post ever!), 
* the bad - say, having more than 10 ten hyperactive children running through my house at one time and 
* the never again - that'd be buttercream frosting in the wet season!

With Rohan I've only got two of his parties to reflect on- his Oh, The Places You'll Go! themed first birthday/naming day and last year's Safari themed birthday.  

This year - because he's been crazy about dinosaurs all year - it's really easy to choose a theme and, as I've thrown a couple of dinosaur parties in my time, I've decided to revisit them.

This party was Liam's fourth birthday party. I'm captivated by these photos (in spite of their poor quality) because I'm amazed by how little he was what feels like not all that long ago.

So here is a dinosaur party before there was Pinterest!!

We set the theme straight off with T-Rex footprints leading up the driveway.

And made the Cretaceous forest start at the front door...
I set up a little dinosaur area with pillows, books and a chalkboard.

And got a Happy Birthday banner and matching tablecloth and cups to fit the theme.

Our first game was a relay called Herbivores and Carnivores. The carnivores had to stomp in their big dinosaur feet up to a nest and steal the egg.

The herbivores then had to put on the feet and return to egg to it's nest. Those feet proved a little tricky to walk in!
I also hid a bunch of figurines around the garden and we had a dinosaur hunt.
And good old Pass-the-Parcel.

Then we stopped for a dinosaur themed lunch of Pterodactyl Wings (Chicken drumsticks), Stegasaurus Pasties (home made to have spikes), Dino Bones (Spring Rolls), Dino Eggs (Meatballs), and KT boundary sandwiches (Layers of bread and peanut butter with a layer of jam to be the high iridium found in the layer of rock formed at the Cretaceous-tertiary boundary). Pretty sure I'm the only one who got excited about the sandwiches!
We also had a fruit platter and finished off with a Stegosaurus cake.

Such a simple party by today's standards but full of all the little details that have always got me super excited.

And how little is Liam? Golly, how time flies!

I'm planning on posting about the first dinosaur party - and the first children's party- I ever hosted but I'm actually going to have to scan and load those photos as it was a long time ago!

Have you ever hosted a dinosaur party?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A Happy Halloween

Our Halloween celebrations are getting a little more elaborate every year.

This year our plans for a little party like last year's did not eventuate. The cast came off the broken arm Friday morning and we thought numerous sugar-fueled children running through the house might not be the best remedial therapy for a very stiff and still-a-bit-fragile arm.

Instead we kept it very low key.

We decorated the house...
That hole in the wall in the entry I haven't gotten around to getting fixed yet finally served a purpose! (Any Darwin peeps know a good plasterer?)
Carved a pumpkin...

We tried to use the fake spiderweb sparingly...

Decorated a gingerbread house and gingerbread skeletons (which were eaten before they could be photographed!)

And prepared little cauldrons of goodies for any Trick or Treaters that came to visit.

Then we dressed ourselves up.

Our neighbours popped in to help us eat all the gingerbread! 

And there was a lot running around and dancing to work off the sugar.

Happy Halloween! How did you spend the night?