Thursday, December 22, 2011

Season's Greetings…

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DIY Bon Bons



We came across this great tutorial on Kidspot. Make your own Bon Bons with the help of your little ones. You can fill the bon bons with whatever you like; little chocolates, tiny gifts or Christmas ornaments and for an extra surprise… add confetti! 

You'll need 
A bon bon kit (try craft stores like Spotlight or Lincraft)
Plain and coloured A4 paper
Small confetti (use a hole punch to punch out coloured paper to make your own)
Sticky tape
Double-sided sticky sheets cut into hearts or other shapes (available from Spotlight)
String
A joke written on a piece of small paper
Scalloped edge scissors


Method
1. Place the 'snapper' in the bon bon kit inside the cardboard roll
2. Roll up the roll inside the plain white paper. Secure with sticky tape.
3. Bunch up the paper at one end and tie with the string, being sure to include the snapper and the ends hanging out past the string.
4. From the open end, fill the roll with confetti, your rolled-up joke, gift, chocolate, etc. Bunch the paper up at this end with the snapper sticking out and tie with string.
5. Cut a strip of coloured paper with scalloped edge scissors, roll it around the bon bon and secure with tape.
6. Stick on your double-sided sticky heart or other shape on the front of the bon bon.
7. Sprinkle confetti over the sticky shape and gently pat into place. Place on plates and get ready to start your Christmas feast off with a bang! 

Visit Kidspot

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Teepees from Bebe

 
Kids will love the Mocka Teepees from Bebe! Suitable for year round use, both inside and out – these will be an instant hit with your little ones!bSuper durable and made from high quality cotton canvas and available in four fabulous colours and styles. The kids will enjoy hours of fun playing in their ‘own’ tent, hut or house!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

3 Sprouts Organic Hippo Hooded Towel

 
This adorable hooded towel from The Hip Infant is ideal for baths or dips in the pool. The organic hooded towel is perfect for newborns to age 18 months. Made of a spa grade natural terry towelling on the inside and organic cotton knit on the outside both parents and babies will go wild for this animal hooded towels.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Butternut Snap Rudolph Chocolate Tartlets

 

Adults and kids alike will love these festive butternut snap Rudolph chocolate tarts.

Ingredients (makes 20)
250g packet Arnott’s Butternut Snap Cookies
65g unsalted butter, chopped
1/3 cup cream
200g milk or dark chocolate, chopped
10 vanilla marshmallows, halved horizontally
2 tablespoons vanilla ready-made frosting
20 jaffas
20 mini vanilla marshmallows, halved crossways
Rich choc fudge writing icing
40 mini star pretzels

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place 1 biscuit over each hole of a 12-hole, 1 1/2 tablespoon-capacity round-based tartlet tin. Bake for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven. Using a small ladle or a lime, carefully press softened biscuits into tin to mould into a cup shape. Allow to cool. Remove from tin and transfer to serving plate. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
2. Place butter, cream and chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly for 7 minutes or until melted and smooth. Pour into a clean, dry bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool but not set.
3. Fill biscuit cases with 1 heaped teaspoon of chocolate mixture. Place in refrigerator for 20-25 minutes, or until set.
4. Using the picture as a guide, gently press 1 marshmallow half, cut-side down into each tartlet. Attach 1 jaffa to each marshmallow with ready-made frosting to form a nose, then attach 2 mini marshmallow halves above nose, cut-side up, to form eyes. Use a drop of writing icing to form pupils. Cut pretzels in half to form antler shapes. Place 2 pretzel pieces above eyes. Press to secure. Serve.   

Variation
After the chocolate tartlets have set, dust each with a little icing sugar mixture. Gently press 3 red mini M&Ms into tartlet to form berries. Gently press 1 spearmint leaf lolly into tartlet to form holly leaf. Serve.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Miracle Maternity Tank



The Trimester Miracle Maternity Tank from QueenBee is a must have for mums-to-be! The beautifully finished cut makes this miracle maternity tank an absolute essential for your pregnancy. Perfect for layering to get you through those 9 months and beyond! Made of a soft stretchy breathable cotton blend that just melts on your skin.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Party Boxes Recipe



These little party boxes are a perfect way to present party food and are easy to assemble ahead of time. All you have to do is pop in your warm food items and you are good to go!  

Ingredients 
6 pop top juices
6 ready-made jelly cups
6 party pies, warmed
6 mini sausage rolls, warmed
6 cocktail frankfurts, gently heated
6 bake-at-home rolls, baked and split
1/2 cup tomato sauce
6 iced doughnuts
6 boxes
6 spoons
6 serviettes   

Method 
1. Set out the boxes and place in the drinks, doughnuts and jelly. 
2. Warm your pies and sausages rolls as per the packet instructions. 
3. Warm cocktail frankfurts, taking care not to boil as they will split. Drain and place on rolls and spoon on tomato sauce. Place in box. 
4. Place your pies and sausage rolls in the box. Serve with cutlery and serviettes.
 
Notes
- This is an 'occasional foods' box. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, you can swap the pies, sausage rolls and hot dogs with mini sandwiches and carrot sticks with a pot of dip.
- You could place little sachets of sauce in these boxes in case some children don't like sauce.
- It is much cheaper to make your own jellies rather than buy them but this is easy and fast if you don't have much time to prepare.
- You can make these boxes up at home and transport them to the park and just take the hot items in a foil-lined box and serve it when you get there.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dresses From Seed


Seed have some gorgeous summer dresses for young girls. From bright coloured frocks to patterned party dresses, your little one will be looking simply stunning this summer season!

Visit Seed

Monday, December 5, 2011

Choose The Right Pet For Your Family


 

Choosing a pet that suits the whole family requires some serious decision making. Big or small, furry or feathered, Narelle Muller for Homelife offers the following tips on how to pick the best pet for you. 

The issue of whether or not to get a pet is guaranteed to come up at some point. Kids and pets, it seems, just go hand in hand. Whether you’ll get away with a simple, solitary goldfish, or end up conceding to a hatch full of guinea pigs depends on many factors. But whatever step you take, it’s a major life-changing decision.

Friends for life RSPCA spokesperson Kylie Maloney says: “It’s important to remember pet ownership is a full-time responsibility that takes time, money, patience and a lifelong commitment. The average life span of a dog or cat is 12 years, with some living until 15 or more. Your pet will need your love and care 365 days a year.” 

Practical considerations of cost, time commitment, space, safety and compatibility arise, alongside emotional issues, such as how you’ll handle matters if the animal gets sick – or heaven forbid – dies. In some households, there are even custody battles to resolve along the way. 

While you may have existing preferences on pet type, there’s still much to ponder before you actually bring one home. “It’s very important to consider whether a pet is suitable to your lifestyle and household,” says Maloney. Each species has certain characteristics, both physical and behavioural, but there are exceptions within breeds and these matters get even cloudier with mixed breeds. Even within types of dogs and cats there’s a wide spectrum of possibilities. You’ll need to go into pet adoption with the same mind-set you had when entering parenthood – determined to love this new addition to the family, no matter what. 

Much has to do with training, and while some dog lovers will debate there’s no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners, there are just as many who devoutly believe some breeds are more suited to young children than others. Be sure to do your homework beforehand. Popping down to the pet store on a whim could result in an emotional purchase you’ll live to regret. Sure, that baby rottweiler may be as cute as a button, but are you prepared for what lies ahead?
Canine or feline? 
Buying from a reputable source will help ensure you get what you bargained for, especially if there are offi cial papers involved. You’ll have a better idea of how big your pet should grow, what type of physical characteristics they should have and a general overview of their nature. 

Golden retrievers and labradors, for example, are widely viewed as the perfect companions for families with young children as they’regentle, playful, loyal and obedient. But, you must also bear in mind they are living beings, and like all things in nature, not everything fits the mould. Not every Jack Russell terrier will be frisky, and every cat can’t catch mice. One way to begin the pet adoption process is to make a list of the qualities you’re looking for. Chances are you already have a leaning for either a cat or a dog.
  
After that, consider size; behavioural perceptions; what you would like them to do; and the environment in which you and your pet will live. It’s no good falling in love with a fluffy lap-dog if you’re expecting it to sleep outside and guard the house. If loyalty and companionship is a major issue, a dog may be a better option than a cat, as cats generally tend to be more independent, coming and going as they please. 

Think carefully, too, about what you can offer your pet. Taking on an animal that requires extensive exercise or grooming on a daily basis won’t work if you’re very busy. Most medium-to larger-sized pets really need a big yard to run around in, virtually ruling out apartment living. And if you’d rather be watching TV than walking your dog, you may want to consider a low-maintenance pet, such
as a fish. 

Though it is a factor to consider if space is tight, pet size has very little bearing on suitability for children, as many larger dogs are more gentle and tolerant with youngsters than smaller breeds. Size is believed to be a major factor leading to the rise in the popularity of cats as the choice of pet for city dwellers and people with smaller living spaces. Add to this the fact that cats can often be trained to go to the toilet in a litter tray, but most dogs need to be walked in order to go about their daily business.
  
While advice is relatively easy to come by, it’s best to arm yourself with information from many sources, as you’ll often find vendors totally devoted to one breed of animal and their opinion may not be very objective. The lady on the end of the phone who is advertising pit bull terriers for sale won’t have a bad word to say about them and could be very persuasive, so be sure you research the breed’s traits, good and bad, before agreeing to anything. 

Pet personalities Animal shelters are usually good for advice in general and have no vested interest in matching incompatible pets and owners. They will be sure to tell you if your choice isn’t a good one for children and also whether or not the animal has personality quirks you should be aware of. Most shelters put their animals through extensive behavioural tests and do necessary medical checks, vaccinations and de-sexing, which explains why you may be expected to hand over upwards of a couple of hundred dollars to “rescue” an abandoned pet. 

Buying a pet
While there are always advertisements in local newspapers for animals, many pet owners will only buy through reputable breeders. Some animal lovers feel pet shops are too commercial and don’t place the animals’ welfare as top priority. Shop owners, however, refute such claims, saying most go into their line of business for the love of animals.
The first thing you should do is find out about the breed of animal you’re buying beforehand, so you can ask about possible deformities and health issues. For example, some dogs are prone to hip dislocation that can eventually lead to them being put down. At the very least, it’s wise to choose an animal that has been vet checked, vaccinated and wormed. 

For every type of pet, there’s an organisation of passionate owners willing to offer advice and support. Informal Internet groups and official bodies, such as the Australian National Kennel Council, can offer background and possibly direct you to a group of local enthusiasts in your area. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Target…


Target have some seriously cheap products for babies, including clothing, feeding and nursing, furniture, gifts, babe care and so much more. Not only are you snapping up a bargain but you can shop online in the comfort of your own home and have everything delivered to your door! Look at some of Target's great products…
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Visit Target

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Chocolate Spoons



We came across these chocolate spoons on Kidspot. They are lots of fun for you and your little ones to make and decorate. They also make cute little presents to give at Christmas. 

Ingredients
200g white chocolate
200g milk chocolate
Cachous
Coated chocolate chips
Plastic spoons
Ziploc bags
Christmas style ribbon
 
Method
1. Lay spoons out on a tray covered with baking paper. Prop the end of the spoons up so they are level. 
2. In a glass bowl, heat the white chocolate for 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring constantly until it is melted and smooth. Pour into a ziploc bag. Repeat with the milk chocolate. 
3. Snip a small corner of the bag and fill half of the spoons with white chocolate and half with the milk chocolate. Tap each spoon so the chocolate is a level spoonful. 
4. Pour the remainder of each chocolate into fresh ziploc bags. Snip a very small corner off and pipe your chosen designs on the spoons. 
5. Add the cachous and coated chocolate chips. Tie ribbons around the spoons. Place spoons in the refrigerator to set.

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