Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Cookie Decorating

Today Miss M and a friend baked and decorated Christmas cookies! It's actually the first time I've baked something with Miss M! She looked very cute in her little apron, and did quite well following instructions such as 'stir' and 'pour.'

We made gingerbread cookies and a shortbread-type cookie. We rolled them out and used a variety of cutters to cut out our shapes. After baking in the oven, the kids were very keen to decorate using red and green icing, smarties, m&m's, eyes and sprinkles. After decorating about 3 cookies, Miss M thought it was much more fun to eat the lollies instead! I think I had just as much fun creating my own decorated cookies (check out the photo at the end!) It was a really fun and very cute activity to do with the kids for Christmas.









Making Gingerbread Houses


It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas - last week I made my first gingerbread house ever! Our playgroup hosted a fun evening with other mum's where we got to hang out, make and decorate our gingerbread houses which came in a kit (and were baked by a bakery) and just have a chilled evening out together without any kids!

First we used our piping bag of icing to attach the side and back pieces to our silver board base.



Then we attached the roof and began decorating! The possibilities with decorating are endless!


This is how I decided to do my roof -


Here is the back of my gingerbread house -


... and the top...


... and the front! I love the candy canes and Corinthian wafers!


Everyone's houses turned out really well - they were all so unique and pretty!


All finished and wrapped up!


For a fun Christmas activity for Miss M, I purchased a $5 kit from Big W so we could build a mini gingerbread house.


First we laid out all the pieces. Miss M was only interested in the lollies!


Then we began decorating the front of the house.


It was quite a challenge putting such a small house together, and about 2 seconds after I took this photo, the roof fell off!


Miss M enjoyed eating our little house though!


Friday, 2 December 2016

Miss M's 2nd Birthday!

Miss M absolutely loves The Wiggles, so this years birthday party theme was a no-brainer! As I was preparing for a small morning tea birthday party for her 2nd birthday, she'd spy a Wiggles symbol and yell excitedly 'Wigg-als!' Miss M got dressed up as Emma Wiggle, her favourite! I bought her t-shirt, skirt and headband very cheaply and she also wore this outfit back in August when we went to the Wiggles concert.

I still can't believe Miss M is turning 2! Her birthday is the 14th December but I decided to hold her party at the beginning of December, just to avoid clashes with Christmas parties during what can be such a crazy month!

I put very little effort into Miss M's party this year, as she had a very big party last year, and as I continue to juggle Miss O who is 8 weeks old as well. I bought all the non-perishables and decorations about a month before the day, and leading up to the morning of the party, I baked her cake and the cupcakes and prepared the jelly cups. The night before I iced the cake and cupcakes, put everything I needed for the party in our sunroom, and made the fruit skewers. On the morning of the party, I set up the table on the deck and my Mum made the sandwiches and fairy bread. I loved that the effort was minimal, and once the party was all set-up and people started arriving, I was able to sit back and relax and enjoy it as well.

We invited 4 other mummies, and their 10 kids (and Miss O and Miss M making the total number of kids 12). I didn't prepare any games, but just let the kids eat the food and play outside, on the deck and in the sunroom. The kids kept themselves occupied and I was able to have a chat and a catch-up (while my Mum attended to Miss O!)

I decided to have the party at 9:30am so that I wouldn't spend all day stressing about the set-up. The clean-up after was quick and easy and about 45 mins after everyone had left we were all done, and Miss M, Miss O and myself were able to have a nap!

It was a lovely day. Miss M had a wonderful time celebrating with her friends, and she was especially excited to have a Wiggles party! I'll leave you with some pics of our morning.












[My two little Emma's!]




Sunday, 27 November 2016

Newborn Photo Shoot

I thought I'd share some photos from Miss O's newborn photo shoot. She was 10 days old (now almost 8 weeks old!) and very alert. Looking back she's already changed so much!










[Photos by Pixel Me Photography]


Here are some from Miss M's newborn photo shoot from 2 years ago -









[Photos by Must-See Photography]

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Sue Series - 'Helping Little Kids Be Big' by Ros Hardy


 

Are you looking for a unique gift this Christmas for your children, or your child's teacher or carer? Are you a teacher or parent who wants to equip young people with the knowledge of how to deal with serious situations, such as bullying, emergencies and 'stranger danger?'
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then let me introduce you to the 'Sue Series' books. These simple, yet exciting books are filled with colour illustrations and are told in beautiful rhyme, all while telling a story children can relate to, and teaching them how to respond in certain situations.


Book 1 is called 'Numbers to Know - How to Teach Children to Deal with Emergencies (How to Use the Numbers 0-0-0).' Two years ago, my sister-in-law's family house burnt down. It is an absolutely horrible situation, that hopefully none of us ever have to face, but having it happen to someone close to home meant that I realised just how important it is to teach children exactly what to do in an emergency, beginning when they are quite young. Book 1 tells of Sue's mother collapsing and Sue having to call the ambulance, and exactly what to say on the phone to the operator. This 20 page story book also comes with a 32 page teaching guide and 40 page learning activities set. The teaching guide offers practical exercises and role-play, including how to recognise an emergency situation, and who to trust etc. The learning activities come complete with visual aids and worksheets for kids, to really cement what they have learnt.

Book 2 is called 'Give Those Bullies 'The Flick' - How to Teach Children to Deal with Bullying. Most people will be able to relate to bullying, whether as a child or an adult. I've dealt with both, but I especially remember being bullied as a child. This book again features Sue, this time in her quest to give bullies 'The Flick' and details in rhyme how she stands up to them, revealing to young people how and when to deal with bullying. This 20 page story book again comes with a 32 page teaching guide with practical exercises (looking at why people bully, recognising the act of bullying, and knowing what to do etc) and role-playing, and the 40 page learning activities set, featuring visual worksheets so that children know exactly who bullies might be, where it might happen and what it might look like.

Book 3 is called 'Say 'NO' to Strangers - How to Teach Children to Deal with 'Stranger Danger.' In this 20 page story, again written in rhyme, Sue is confronted with a 'stranger danger' situation, where an unknown man offers her a lollypop. Sue then reveals what she has been taught in relation to what to say and do when approached by a stranger. Any parent who has watched the news at night would have seen similar situations, and we all know just how important it is to teach our children who to trust and who not to. The 32 page teaching guide reveals how to create a safety action plan, and knowing what to do and how to be responsible in a 'stranger danger' situation. The 40 page learning activities provide visual worksheets to recognise when there is 'stranger danger,' where it can happen, who can be a stranger, who can help and what to do.

The learning activities for each book can be printed for children to use at home or for an entire class, and can be laminated so that students can use whiteboard markers and then wipe clean, so that they become a resource to be used over and over again. Selected pages can also be used as flash cards for learning.

The overarching theme in each of the Sue books is 'teaching children to be BRAVE, SMART and STRONG!' These three key words are repeated throughout each book, the eaching guide and learning activities, and enable children to learn three words to ask themselves when a situation arises: 'How can I be brave?' 'Am I being smart?' 'What will it take to be strong?'

Ros Hardy is the author who created the Sue Series. She is a mum of 3 boys, and like any of us with kids, had concerns as a young mum about whether her boys knew what to do in serious situations. By the time her boys had turned 4, she had taught them what steps they needed to follow to call for help, and to memorise important information such as their name and address. These are vital life skills, and I know as a mum to Miss M and Miss O, I will be using the complete set of Ros Hardy's books to create a fun but practical learning environment to ensure I feel safe in the knowledge that my girls will know what to do in an emergency, if confronted by a bully or by a stranger. Ros' mission is "to help parents, carers and teachers to teach children how to deal with emergencies, bullying and ‘stranger danger’ so more children can stay safe and are happy!"


[Ros Hardy]

The Sue Series is a total of 9 books, which can be purchased as a complete package, normally for $53, but for the rest of November, take 30% off, bringing this set to a bargain price of $37 plus postage. Book 1 or Book 2 or Book 3 (a total of 3 books per set) can be purchased individually for $19.95.

Ros has a challenge for us - the 'Helping Little Kids be BIG' challenge: to teach children how to deal with emergencies, bullying and 'stranger danger'. Help Ros to reach her target of 500 sales in the month of November by purchasing a set today! Support an Aussie author this Christmas, and in turn, teach your children absolutely vital life skills!

Please like and share Ros' facebook page and visit her shop to purchased your set today!


HELPING LITTLE KIDS BE BIG – TEACHING CHILDREN TO BE BRAVE, SMART AND STRONG!

[All images from https://www.sueseries.com/]