Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Nappy Cake and a Baby Shower

I posted this on my other blog yesterday and thought I would share it here too.  If you ever need a nappy cake...

This past weekend my sister had her baby shower.

It's very exciting planning and preparing for a baby.  I wanted to give her something special, and since I make some cute baby gifts ;o) I thought I would put them all together in a nappy cake for her.

nappy cake giraffe

Have you ever made a nappy cake?  This was my first one, and it wasn't that easy.  I think I did it the hard way.  Lots of sticky tape and ribbon, but it turned out okay. I am sure there is an easier way!

Since she doesn't (or claims she doesn't) know the gender of the baby, I went with green.  It just so happened the nappies matched, so that was PERFECT!

The nappy cake contained a Taggie giraffe, elephant print bib, taggie blanket and 3 terry toweling face washers (which I edged on my over-locker), as well as 40 newborn sized nappies.

It looked pretty cute in the end, and she loved it.  That's all that matters!

nappy cake grubbee

I also made a few decorations for the tables.  (My mum and sister-in-law did all the hard work, I just got to do the fun stuff).

Some miniature bunting for the cake, using my Stampin' Up! banner punch and my trusty sewing machine.  I've never sewn on paper before, but it was surprisingly easy! And how good does this cheesecake look!!


And some larger bunting for the table - also using Stampin' Up! DSP and my trusty paper trimmer.  These ones I threaded with a needle and thread.  A little time consuming, but not too difficult.

stampin up bunting

And lastly these sweet little thank you treats.

baby shower gift tags

baby shower cookie

It's meant to be a baby wearing a nappy.  They look a little bit like undies, but you get the idea :)

It was a gorgeous day, and I think she had a lovely afternoon.  She certainly received some beautiful gifts.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Reflections on motherhood

Motherhood - a joy, a privilege, a blessing, and hard work!

Today is Mother's Day.  My third Mother's Day.  The perfect opportunity to reflect on the divine role of Motherhood.

Let me start by saying that being a mother is not limited to bearing children.

"Everyone one of us can mother someone - beginning, of course, with the children in our own families but extending far beyond."  - Sheri Dew-
I know many people who do not yet have children of their own, but provide a nurturing role to many, within their own families and beyond.  I have been blessed, and my life has been guided, by the caring words, thoughts and actions of many women, including my own mother.  I am very grateful for their examples and love, which have shaped me into the mother I am today.

Almost 6 weeks ago we welcomed our second precious daughter into the world.  She is very content with life (as you are at 6 weeks - as long as you are fed, clean and loved). 

After having our first child I thought I understood how difficult motherhood can be - sleepless nights, long days, dirty nappies, dirty laundry, dirty house, tantrums....etc.  Let me say, you really need to have more than one child to really experience this.  And any children after that, I'm sure it all just multiplies (right?).  {I am going to write a post about "the second child" soon, so I'll save these things for then.  Stay tuned}.

Motherhood is a tough job, but despite all the sleepless nights, tired eyes, aches and pains, tears, tantrums and dirty things, I wouldn't change it for the world!  Holding that gift from God in your arms for the very first time is, I think, the sweetest moment in life.  Every time your children learn something new, laugh, hug you, want to give you endless cuddles at bed time (stalling tactic), tell you that they love you - it's all worth it!

One thing I have learnt on this short journey of Motherhood is this:

I love that!  It's such a trap to compare ourselves to others.  SO DON'T DO IT!  We do the best job we can, with the knowledge we have.  As the quote says, "what matters most is that a mother loves her children deeply".  Everything else will surely fall into place.

When I set out on this journey of motherhood I had no idea what I was doing.  I made things up,  I took advice from others and then I still made things up.  And guess what!  So far, my children are okay!!! (for the most part ;o))

I just found this quote.  It sums up my thoughts nicely.


Finally, I could not be the mother I am without the influence of two important people.  My own mother and my husband.

Let me tell you about my mum.  She is a great example to me of sacrifice and service.  Often going unnoticed and un-thanked, she always puts the needs of others above her own.  It wasn't until I had my own children that I began to realise the commitment and dedication she had towards raising her children, and the heavy responsibility she felt to teach us and prepare us for the world.  Thank you mum!

That leaves my husband.  Behind this mother is a GREAT husband.  I couldn't have married anyone better - such a wonderful husband and father.  He supports me in everything I do and is right beside me in raising our children.  He truly is amazing.  Not once has he asked me, 'what did you do today?', especially when the state of the house clearly looks like I just sat on the couch all day (and perhaps I really did just sit on the couch!). He makes the job of being a mother easier.  Thanks honey!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Toddler Activity Sheets - Free Printables

This collection of printable activity sheets is great for busy toddlers and can be adapted to suit your child's age and skills.  They will help develop your child's vocabulary, colour recognition, beginning alphabet and counting.

1.  Animals with word match up

A two-part activity to help your toddler recognise familiar animal names. Print two copies of each page and laminate. Cut around the pictures and words on one copy of each page and attach to the other with Velcro.

Suggested activities:

Start by matching just the animals and reading the names to your toddler.  When they are ready they can match the names with the animals by looking at the shapes of the letters.  As they get older, this could also be used an an early literacy activity by removing the words and jumbling the words.  Have your child read the word to you before placing it on the sheet. 

Free Download
Animal and word match up PDF


2.  Fruit and Vegetable Matching game

Match the fruit and the vegetables to their corresponding picture.  Print two copies of each page and laminate. Cut around the pictures on one copy of each page and attach to the other page with Velcro. 

Suggested Activities

Talk about the names of the different fruits and vegetables.  Have your child work independently (if they are able) to match the different fruits and vegetables.  Develop early literacy by talking about the first letter sounds of each fruit and vegetable.

Free download
Vegetable match PDF
Fruit match PDF

3. Number and Colour Matching Game

Match the numbered balls to their corresponding picture.  Print two copies and laminate. Cut around the pictures on one copy and attach to the other page with Velcro.

Suggested Activities

Develop your toddler's counting skills by counting with them as they find the correct numbered ball.  If your child is younger, use this activity to develop their colour recognition and talk to them about the colours.  When they are ready discuss the numbers you see on each ball.  Allow them to match the shapes of each number until they recognise what each number looks like.

Free download
Number match PDF

4.  Alphabet Pictures

Match the picture with the correct letter of the Alphabet.  Print one copy.  Cut the pictures out and Velcro to the alphabet pages by first letter.

Suggested Activities

This is an activity for older children (3-4 years).  Start with just one page to begin with.  Have your child find the picture that starts with the correct letter of the alphabet for example Apple starts with A.  Place the apple next to the letter "A".  Work with your child to help them understand the sounds of each letter as they are looking for the corresponding picture.  As your child develops, add another page until they are doing all the letters of the alphabet.
For younger children, work at developing beginning alphabet and learning to recognise what each letter looks like.   You could help them by suggesting the picture they are to find and have them repeat to you "apple starts with A".  A makes an "a" sound.  a a apple. 

Free download
Alphabet pictures PDF (7 pages)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Nesting and Sewing

This post is long overdue.

Three weeks ago I gave birth to our second daughter.  She is beautiful and we love her!

Towards the end of my third trimester, during that "nesting phase", I found some energy, and a desire, to sew!  We didn't know at the time whether our baby was a boy or a girl, so I tried to remain gender neutral...and it kind of worked :o) 

I had some soft minky dot fabric that I was dying to use on a blanket.  I found a cute jersey knit at spotlight and this is the result.


What blanket is complete without a taggie dinosaur??  I used the leftover fabric to make this cute toy.  Even my 2 year old loves it!  Click HERE for the link to the tutorial I used.

While I was on a roll I decided to make some muslin wraps.  They always seem so expensive to buy. I've wanted to make my own for a long time.  I took advantage of a sale at Spotlight.

I had a bit of fabric left over so whipped up some matching bibs and burp cloths.  They are super cute! and they were really easy to make.  I love them.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

One of those days

Today was "one of those days". 

It started out well.  It ended well.  The middle was a little bit hazy.

The thing about 2 year olds is they seem to have an opinion about A LOT of things.  This can be cute.  Often a bit annoying.  Sometimes very frustrating.  However, when they don't quite know how to express their opinion, but want to express something, the trouble starts.

9:30 am - swimming lessons.  This went very well.  A few non-conformance's, but overall FUN!

10:00 - 10.20 am - A SCREAMING tantrum in the change room.  Reason?  unknown!  Do people feel sorry for you?  You hope so, but mostly I'm sure they're packing up their kids as fast as they can and getting out of there!

10:30-12.00 noon - Undeserved, but a play at the park.  This had already been arranged, and at the risk of letting down a friend, we kept our appointment.  Had it not been a prior arrangement, it would have been straight home to bed for Miss E!  It turns out this was a good move.  She played very happily, without incident for the entire time, and I was able to relax - ahhh!

Nap time!  my favourite!  - no complications here.  At 33 weeks pregnant I love to take a nap too.   (you're probably thinking this is not a bad day - and as I'm typing I'm tending to agree with you, but at the time it felt like the WORST day we've had in a long time! There is a little bit more to come.)

4:00pm - Dinner preparation.  It was all going well.  I'd decided this morning I didn't feel like cooking so a freezer meal it was.  All I needed to do was make some rice and heat it up.   Today is the day I also take a meal to our elderly neighbours.  Rice is done! Check. Curry is heating up in the microwave.  Check.  Miss E is so eager to help.  Microwave beeps.  Door is opened.  I take the dish from the microwave as Miss E promptly closes it, knocking it into my hand and causing the dish to fall on the floor....along with the dinner.  GAHHHH!  I hold it together, but only just.  You must understand pregnancy hormones are very much alive at the moment, and I'm doing well not to lose control.  She tries to help me clean it up but I kindly (and it was very kindly) suggest she goes and watches TV.

4:15pm - Plan B.  Miss E's dinner of pasta will have to go to the neighbour instead.   Not very exciting, but no other option really.

4:45pm - We begin walking to the neighbour's home.  As we leave Miss E turns to me and says "I hurt mummy's hand"  as she takes it in her own and kisses it better.  "Ah, all better" she proclaims.  I do very well not to lose it here either.

Naturally I feel bad for being upset with her about the spilled dinner.  These little people know how to pull and stretch you in all sorts of directions.  They also know how to melt your heart.

So, while it was "one of those days"  it was also "one of those days I learned how to be a little more patient, a little more kind and a little slower to react".  We all need those days. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

10 activities to keep your toddler busy and you sane!

Being a stay-at-home mum is wonderful but it has its challenges.  Coming up with things for us to do every single day is something that I struggle with.  As Miss E gets older I can see she is wanting more attention and needing more things planned for her.

There are lots of posts like this out there, and I'm no expert, but I thought I would share some simple activities that I have found useful to help me get through the day and week without going too crazy!  If we do one or two of these a day I feel like we've had a good day!

Some of these are fun little activities to do at home and some are things you can do away from home, because let's face it...it's nice to get out of the house every now and then!

Activity One

Play dough! I found this great play dough recipe on pinterest after a friend pointed me in the right direction.  I had never made play dough before, but this was so easy and is so soft that I don't think I will use any other recipe.  I don't have any good pictures to show you so I am just going to borrow one from the lady on pinterest and you can go straight there and get the recipe from her! :) (recipe here)

click here for her website

Activity two

Painting.  I have blogged about this before, but it is something that Miss E loves doing.  The recipe is super easy (click here for recipe) and perfect for when they "accidentally" get some in their mouth.  I find it's best to do this outside, but I know some people who set their toddler up in the high chair and cover the tray with newspaper and let them go nuts with it.  Whatever you can handle I say!

homemade finger paint

Activity three

Painting with water.  If you can't hand the messy paint then this one is PERFECT! We do this far more often than real painting and Miss E doesn't even seem to know the difference.

paint with water

Grab a brush and a bowl of water and let them get to work.  E likes to "paint" the outdoor table (this works well because the water shows up on the wooden furniture) but she has also "painted" the fence and the concrete before.

When she is finished she thinks it's fun to drink the rest of the water out of the bowl...

Activity four

Water based play.  This one is simple but be prepared for things to get a bit wet.

Fill a tub with some water and bubbles and throw in some toys and sponges and let them get wet! Some bottles or containers to pour water into are always extra fun so make sure you have some of those handy.

 water based play

As they get a bit older you can show them how to clean with the cloth.  Put a few cars in the water and do a "car wash".  They will LOVE it!

Activity five

Nature collage.  We really enjoyed this one and as she gets older I think she will enjoy it more.

nature collage

Take a walk around your home or at the park and collect "bits of nature" for your collage.  It's okay if they choose things that won't stick to the paper, you can talk to them about that as you do the collage.

We used PVA glue and regular computer paper.

Now the collage hangs nicely on the fridge and Miss E walks past every now and then and pulls somethings off!

Activity six

Gluing and shapes learning activity.  You could really do anything using the same concept but since Miss E is still quite young I thought I would just start with shapes.  But be adventurous! Plan something based around anything your toddler is in to. 

crepe paper learning

Just plain old crepe paper, glue and computer paper.  I drew a few shapes, scrunched up the crepe paper into balls and let E stick them on to the shape (which I had already put glue on).  She was a bit more interested in the glue than sticking things to it, but she got the idea eventually.
The older they get, the more helpful they will be too.  This one is great for fine motor skills.

Activity seven

Dancing!  Turn the music on and just dance! It's great when a toddler doesn't know that you are a lousy dancer! Have some fun together and enjoy being silly.

Activity eight

Visit the park.  Sometimes it's nice just to be outside.

We are lucky enough to have a park (not this one) within walking distance.  These days I let Miss E walk (rather than take the pram).  We spend just as much time getting there as we do playing at the park, but that's part of the fun.

It's also a great way to meet other people and for your toddler to play with other kids (if they don't get to do that very often).

Activity nine

Go to the library.  We don't do this as often as we should, but it is always fun when we go.  The library we go to has a little play area (which is what we usually do).  We often sit and read a few books on the nice comfy cushions, but it's probably about time that we actually borrowed some to bring home!

Activity ten

Go outside!  Sometimes the best activity can simply be spending some time together outside.  Go for a walk, weed the garden, play in the dirt, ride bikes...

Nothing gets rid of the crazies like some good old sunshine!

activities for toddlers

Thursday, 18 July 2013

"sew" much more

Sew many delights has turned into more about 'delights' and less about 'sew', so I thought I should catch up on the 'sew'.

I am surprised by how much I love sewing.  I really thought it would be a phase that came and went, but alas, it continues! Maybe it's just a long phase...

My mum gave me my sewing machine for my first Mother's day (thanks mum! Although, I'm pretty sure I should have got her a present, not the other way around...)

This is my little sewing nook.  Many a nap time has been spent here trying to come up with new ideas or to quickly finish something off.  In an ideal world one nap time should be all I need to sew something beautiful, right?!?  REALITY check!  Many frustrations have been had in front of these two machines.  My best/worst friend (the quick-unpick) is always right by my side.

I am developing an addiction fabric - hopefully it doesn't get out of control...too much :)

I inherited this pile from my Aunt this week.  I'm so excited! I LOVE looking at fabric and dreaming about all the things I wish I actually knew how to sew! ha ha!  Maybe one day.

Some days I don't feel like sewing at all, but most of the time I love to sit down and CREATE!

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