Sunday, March 17, 2013

Say NO WAY to bullying!

Did you know on Friday 15th March 2013 it was National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence?

This day is an opportunity for teachers, students, parents and the community to take a stand against bullying and violence. It is an annual day providing focus for schools who want to say NO WAY to bullying and to strengthen the everyday message that bullying and violence at school are not okay at any time.

I shake my head and am perplexed that there is still bullying in our schools, workplaces and relationships. It effects me greatly seeing clips on TV of bullying and violence amongst kids caught on camera phones and posted on the Internet.

Who are these bullies? Why do they bully? Is it because once they were bullied? Did their parents bully? Is it just they way they are?

I had experiences of being bullied at school and my experiences are nowhere near as bad as others I have heard.

In Year 5, my "friends"  teased me about having no boobs. They made up a song about it and teased me incessantly.

The same "friends" ostracised me from the group, calling me a traitor, because one morning I was talking to another girl in my class instead of them. I regressed and was scared to talk to anyone.

In my early high school years, some of the girls in my group of friends were just plain mean, sometimes they bullied me and other times bullied someone else.

An older boy used to kick soccer balls at me and he pushed one of my friends down the stairs. On the bus there was name calling and heckling by the older kids. I was always petrified to get stuck up the back of the bus with them.

I look back and wish I had said "STOP!" But I was timid then. I also wish I had stood up for my friends who had been bullied. But I was timid then. Not standing up for my friends when they too were bullied made me as bad as the bullies. I was a bystander and let it continue. These kids weren't held accountable for their actions.

As I got older I got tougher.

Now I have kids and am I trying to teach them to be tough and to say NO WAY to bullying of any kind.

Next year when Little Miss 4 starts school I will be asking the school to get involved in the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. This year there were 1400 schools involved, next year I am hoping there are at least 1401.

Is your school involved?

Are you teaching your kids to say NO WAY to bullying?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Party Planning

Little Miss 4 is about to tick over another year and come out the other side as Little Miss 5!

Okay, so her birthday isn't until June! But I love birthdays and also love planning and organising so I have started planning her celebration now, in March. I know, I must be crazy talking to a 4 year old about their birthday when it isn't for 3 months!

For her 5th birthday she wants a Halloween themed party with her preschool friends. 

I have started the obligatory research and spreadsheet.

Since starting my planning and subsequent research, I have broken it down into decorations, games, food, supplies, and treat bags. 


The decorations will of course be Halloween themed, so far we have planned on making friendly spiders, mummy candy holders and a witch out of a pumpkin. I also found stencils that we can use to make witches, cats, skeletons, and bats to hang around the place too.


I asked Little Miss 4 what games she would like, of which the answer was pinata, pass the parcel, pin the nose on "something" and musical statues. The research begins! 

I have found a witch for the pinata and we will be pinning the nose on a pumpkin. 

For pass the parcel I have glow sticks, Halloween slide puzzles and bubbles - you simply can't go wrong with bubbles at this age.

I also found a game called Boo Bowling, which we will make out of kitchen towel rolls and a foam ball.


At this stage the food will consist of spider cupcakes, candy filled witches hats, popcorn pops, pretzel wands and oreo bats. And of course fairy bread and fruit.

The cake, which each year is made by sis-in-law B, will be a witch.

Treat Bags

The treat bags will have bendy skeletons, monster finger puppets, Halloween erasers and bat rings. The lollies the kids collect from the pinata can be added to their treat bag!

Hopefully I will be able to pull this off!

Stay tuned to find out.

Do you do theme parties for your kids?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Makin' microwave playdough

Sick of the teeny tiny hard bits of playdough that always find themselves under the table and on the carpet, I decided it was time to make some new stuff.

However, I didn't want to be standing over a pot on the stove stirring - then I came across microwave playdough in "The New Useful Book".


3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup salt
3 tablespoons oil
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water


Mix all the ingredients in a microwave dish. Cover and microwave on high for about seven minutes, stirring half way through. Knead when cool.

And whalah new playdough! (until this lot goes hard and teeny tiny bits break off)

Do you make your own playdough?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Movie review: Wreck-It Ralph

Image from here
How gorgeous is Ralph!

Wreck-It Ralph is a video game bad guy who, for once, wants to be the good guy - just like Fix-It Felix. Fix-It Felix fixes what Ralph wrecks and picks up a medal for his troubles. Ralph doesn't want to be lonely any more, living in the garbage by himself, and not being invited to any parties.

Therefore, he sets off on a quest to become a hero and comes across a modern, first-person shooter game run by Sergeant Calhoun and sees this as his ticket to happiness.

Sneaking into the game, he wins the much coveted medal - believing this will change everything for him. However, he wrecks everything when he unknowingly unleashes a deadly insect,  leaves his own game "out of order" and crashes a candy cart racing game, Sugar Rush.

His only hope to restore order is glitchy gal racer Vanellope. They quickly become unlikely friends as Ralph helps Vanellope build a racing cart to regain his much beloved medal. 

Along they way Felix, who is trying to find Ralph, meets Sergeant Calhoun, who is trying to find the deadly insect and they fall in love. While Ralph and Vanellope uncover the devious plan of King Candy, who is really a rogue computer game character gone "turbo" and has reprogrammed Sugar Rush to become King.

I have to admit I really enjoyed this movie. I like when animated movies have a "message", like Ralph figuring out what it really meant to be a good guy and it had nothing to do with winning medals and even though Vanellope had a glitch she was still a great person.

I asked Little Miss 4 what she liked about this movie and she replied "When they made the candy car". It seems kids like candy on and off the screen.

Have you seen Wreck-It Ralph?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Creamy Zucchini and Bacon pasta

This was a hit with Hubby and Little Miss 4 and really quick and easy to make.

These quantities made enough for two adults and Little Miss 4.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 3 slices of bacon (I use the middle rashers), chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked pasta
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • 1/4 chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Pepper, to serve
  • Shaved parmesan, to serve
  1. Prepare the cooked pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan and then cook bacon until crispy.
  3. Add the zucchini and cook until it is tender.
  4. Add the cooked pasta, cream, stock and basil and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Serve with pepper and parmesan.
  6. ENJOY!
(I found this recipe on Stay At Home Mum and just modified it a little bit)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My quick & easy pasta bake

This is my go-to recipe when I am lacking time and want a yummy dinner. It is also a favourite with Hubby and Little Miss 4 and gives me leftovers for a couple of days. I have also made this pasta bake for new parents to freeze.


  • 500g pumpkin
  • 625g Ricotta and Spinach Agnolotti
  • Whole roast chicken
  •  250g baby spinach
  • 1 jar Bechamel sauce
  • Grated tasty cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and put some baking paper (or grease) a baking tray.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into tiny squares of about 1-2cm and bake in the oven until soft. This takes about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your squares.
  3. While the pumpkin is cooking, cook the Ricotta and Spinach Agnolotti according to the packet instructions and drain.
  4. Place the cooked pasta back into the pot.
  5. Also while the pumpkin is cooking, remove the chicken from the bone and rip into bite size pieces and add to the pasta.
  6. Add the cooked pumpkin to the pot.
  7. Add the baby spinach and bechamel sauce to the pot.
  8. Combine all ingredients.
  9. Using the same baking tray from Step 1. Regrease the baking tray and add the mixed ingredients from the pot.
  10. Top with grated cheese.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is as brown as you like it.
  12. Then ENJOY!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Tao of Motherhood

In my attempt to reprioritise my life I am trying to be a calm and more relaxed mother to my children.

One of the ways I am doing this is by reading The Tao of Motherhood. It was recommended by my physiciarist so it must be the bomb, right?

Image from here
The description on the back of the book reads as follows:

The Tao Te Ching, the classic work of ancient Chinese wisdom, has inspired and guided millions of people over more than a hundred generations. Twenty years ago, Vimala McClure, a mother and teacher of meditation and yoga, was inspired to meditate with each of the concise, profound teachings of the Tao Te Ching and capture its spirit and wisdom in words specifically directed to an audience close to her heart — mothers.

The result, a new classic based on an old one, has encouraged and uplifted mothers for nearly a generation. Even the busiest of mothers can dip into this gentle, comforting book and find wonderful inspiration and guidance.

I have only just started reading it, however, so far this has been my favourite section:


A wise mother does not unnecessarily interfere with her child's life.
Your children have their own process - their own thoughts, feelings, and reactions - which must be allowed to unfold.
If your childhood was painful, you may get overinvolved with your children's lives and smother them. Or you may find yourself forcing them to think and feel the way you to, to adopt all your values and live the life you wish you had.
If you do not trust your children's process, your children will not trust anyone or anything. Your confidence in them builds their confidence in themselves.
Assist your children in such a way that they think, "We did it ourselves!"

As a person who suffered from lack of confidence and low self-esteem growing up, I have definitely been guilty of trying to force Little Miss 4 into things she probably wasn't keen to do, like dance lessons, in an effort to teach her to be confident and have high self-esteem from a young age. These are the things I need to work on so when I read this it rang true with me.

Parenting is extremely hard. It will be the hardest thing that I ever do and I just hope that I do a good job. Hopefully also this book will help me a little bit too.

Do you have a parenting book that you find useful?