Mother’s Day Craft. {2016}

Hello friends!
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, which is exciting. My sister should have had her little baby by then, so it will be a very special Mother’s Day. 
To celebrate Mother’s Day, LuLu & I made some cute cards for my Mum & Grandmother (her Ninna & Great Nin). 
We just used a sheet of A4 sparkly glitter card, but you could make this craft smaller for a card. 
Our card is a bit more like a poster to hang on the fridge and wall! 
It is a card that also gives the lovely ladies in our lives a special bouquet of flowers!


This craft is very simple and you only need a few basics things and the main item you probably have in your pantry!
You will need;

  • Cupcake/patty pan liners.
  • A piece of paper or card. (Any size you like, a plain card or an A4 sheet)
  • Green pipe cleaners, paint or felt for the stems.
  • Glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Glitter or buttons or any other embellishments you would like to decorate the centre of the flowers with. 
  • An extra piece of paper to add a message. (optional)
  • Pens, markers, crayons etc.
  • A magnet if you want to make it hangable on a fridge. 
Steps;
  1. Pick out your cupcake liners and flatten them, LuLu loved doing this! 
     

  2. Lay out your design on the piece of card. This is the part where if you want to trim the flowers with scissors, you can now. Laying it out is helpful so this way you can plan how they will look and they will fit. LuLu picked the colours of the flowers and I stacked them together, while we were doing this craft we were going over our colours and also talking about patterns (dotty, swirly etc) 
  3. Glue your flowers together and then to the card, I found glue stick wouldn’t work and we used craft glue. 
  4. Embellish the middle of the flowers with glitter or anything you find pretty. We of coursed used glitter – because glitter is always necessary according to LuLu.  
  5. Attach stems, we used green pipe cleaners & hot glue (I did that). I find pipe cleaners wont stick with regular craft glue. But painting, drawing or even using a felt stem would work as well. Work with what you have. 
  6. Attach a Mother’s Day message. We attached a small banner to the top and have written a message on the back of the cards. If you wish to attach a magnet, do so to the back of the card. And ta-da a bright and lovely bunch of flowers that will brighten someones day. This card could also work as a birthday card or just a sweet little gift to remind someone you love them!
This craft is very basic, but I think it is very sweet & any Mumma, Grandma, Auntie – whoever would love it. They are beautiful bright flowers that will never die! The best kind!
If you make this craft I would love to see them, please show me on my social media;

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

I hope you are all having a lovely week.
This weekend is my husbands birthday & my sister is due very shortly to have her baby – so it is a very exciting & lovely time for us all!
Take care friends!

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4 fun & easy St. Patrick’s Day Crafts.

May your troubles be less and blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door. – Irish Blessing.

Hello friends!
St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow! (To be honest, for some reason I thought it was on the 21st!)
So this week I am bringing you 4 very fun & easy St. Patrick’s Day crafts, I know they are almost a bit too late – but they use very basic craft supplies & are a lot of fun.
We did these yesterday as just a bit of fun & to do a craft as LuLu loves craft time, they turned out so sweet I thought I would share them with you all.


Pot of gold under the rainbow.
We made this craft unique by changing the way we did the rainbow, I was missing a few paint colours for the rainbow, so I had a stack of paint cards in the craft box so I cut them up and we made our rainbow a collage. I think it turned out lovely. 
You will need;

  • A paper plate.
  • Scissors.
  • Paint.
  • Glue
  • A way to decorate the rainbow, paint, colour pencils, texta, crayons, coloured paper – the choice is yours.
  • Cotton wool balls.
  • Gold Glitter.
How to;
  1. Cut out one half of the plate, leave a “handle” up top. It should look like this. 

  2. Paint the base of the paper plate “the pot” black. 

  3. Decorate the rainbow how you wish. 

  4. Attach cotton wool balls as little clouds/overflowing gold out of the pot. 

  5. Add gold glitter. We added it over the cotton wool balls and painted some craft glue onto the top of the pot for the “over flowing gold” look. 

  6. Admire your work. 

3 Leaf Clover.
We made this a 3 leaf clover, I did try a lucky 4 leaf clover – but it looked a bit awkward. The 3 leaves, look much better. This craft is so easy!
You will need;
  • 3 small paper plates.
  • A stapler (or a way to attach the plates together)
  • Green paint (or green colour pencils, crayons or pens)
  • 1 green pipe cleaner. 
How to;
  1. Attach 3 small paper plates together. 

  2. Paint the plates green. 
  3. Attach pipe cleaner as stem.
  4. Admire your 3 leaf clover!

      

Leprechaun. 
You will need;
  • 1 large paper plate.
  • A sheet of white paper or card.
  • Scissors.
  • Glue
  • Orange paint (or crayons, pencils, textas)
  • Green paint (or crayons, pencils, textas)
  • Black paint. 
  • Gold pen or paint.
How to;
  1. Cut out the centre of the paper plate. 
  2. Cut out the shape of a hat & also one strip of paper to be the hat band. 

  3. Paint your pieces. Hat band – black.

  4. Hat green. 
      
     
    Trent helping LuLu before he left for work.
  5. Paint the circle orange (like a beard & hair, you could also use cotton wool balls or another craft supply that you think looks like hair!) 
  6. Attach the hat to the beard & the hat band to the hat. I just glued them all together.
  7. Draw on a little gold buckle with a gold pen or paint. I used gold puffy paint.
  8. Say hello to your little leprechaun! Your child can even use this as a little mask, take a photo of their face through the cut out hole! 

Handprint 4 leaf clover.
This is so simple and only takes minutes to do and makes for a very sweet keepsake.

You will need;
  • 1 sheet of paper or cardboard.
  • Green paint.
  • A small set of hands. 

How to;

  1.  Paint your little ones hand. 

  2. Press hands onto paper. 
  3. Repeat 4 times, to make 4 leaves. 

  4. Draw/paint on a stem.
  5. Admire your sweet little lucky 4 leaf clover! 

I hope you enjoyed these very simple but very sweet crafts.
If you are wanting more festive crafts to do, last week I did a blog post on 4 Easter Crafts please click HERE to check that out! 
I hope you all have a lovely St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow & the luck of the Irish is with you!

If you recreate these projects with your little love I would love to see it! 

Happy St. Patrick’s day! 
Posted by Modern Wife Life 31 on Monday, March 16, 2015

4 Simple & fun Easter Crafts.

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Hello!
It is that time of year, the Easter bunny is so close to hopping by.
We have been reading Easter books, singing songs, talking about why we celebrate Easter and doing LOTS of crafts.
I have documented the 4 crafts we loved the most and thought we would share them with you all today!
The 4 of these are very simple and 3 of them use very basic everyday items you probably have in your house & LuLu had a really good time with them.
There were parts that I helped her with, but for most of it she did everything and picked all the embellishments!
Now for the tutorials…

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Easter stamps.
This one would have to be the most simple to create. These stamps turned out surprisingly very good, so cute in fact I got a bunch of plain cards and we made some quick and easy Easter cards for our loved ones!

You will need;

  • A paper towel roll or a few toilet rolls.
  • Scissors.
  • Tape or a stapler.
  • Paint.
  • Paper or cards.
  • Embellishments if you wish to add them to a card.
How to;
  1. For the egg shaped stamp pinch the top of a toilet roll, voila you have an egg shaped stamp.
  2. The bunny is a little more complex. You need to make 2 egg shaped stamps and attach them to a regular shaped roll. (So 2 ovals attached to a circle)
  3. You can attach them with a stapler or glue. I found sticky tape was quick & easy.
  4. Set out your paints & admire how easy this was and how cute your bunnies & eggs look!
  5. For our Easter cards we did 3 eggs on one side and 1 bunny on the other. We then added Easter egg sequins & little foam stickers. I think they look so sweet & lovely!
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Paper plate bunny.

This craft turned out very cute and LuLu had so much fun making it! She did pretty much everything, I helped a little bit with attaching embellishments, but she insisted on helping glue each item & also painting the mouth on.
You will need;
  • Paper plates.
  • I used a doily as an added touch of pretty – but it’s not needed, I just had spare.
  • Cotton wool balls.
  • Plain paper or card.
  • Glue.
  • Stapler.
  • Pipe cleaners.
  • Paint.
  • Googley eyes – these are also optional but LuLu is obsessed with these eyes lately so every craft project we do needs eyes. You could just paint eyes on.
  • Magnets if you wish to hang it on the fridge.
How to;
  1. Attach paper plates to each other (I stapled them) & if using a doily glue that on now.
  2. Make prints of your little loves feet & hands. You can do this however it is easiest for you. LuLu sat on a step for me and I painted 1 foot at a time & stamped them, then I used a wet wash cloth to wipe her foot clean (we did this inside) & then did the same on her hands. You could also do this outside, but the day we did this was super windy! While the paint is still wet you can sprinkle with glitter if you like.
  3. While the prints dry, glue cotton balls to the bunny. To do this I just spread glue over the area of the bunny that needed fluff and let LuLu attach the cotton wool balls how she wanted. (Turns out she is just like me and hates the feel of them! But she still loved this craft)
  4. Once all cotton balls are attached, carefully cut out the feet & hand prints.
  5. Attach them as shown in the picture. Hands for ears & feet for the bunnies feet.
  6. Add extra embellishments. Pipe cleaners for whiskers, draw on some eyes or add googley eyes, draw on a mouth and attach a bow.
  7. Admire your very cute & festive creation. This bunny would be lovely attached with a magnet on the back for Grandparents.
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Painted eggs.
Now this craft is the most simple out of all of them. You don’t need to make anything & it is easy! I decided this year to use styrofoam eggs instead of blowing eggs to dye. Using real eggs would be a bit tricky with a toddler. These eggs aren’t delicate so they can’t be broken & paint is a bit easier for a toddler to work with instead of food dye. Also, I can never find white eggs in Australia!
You will need;
  • Styrofoam eggs. I got mine from a cheap shop a few years ago.
  • Paint.
  • Paint brushes.
How to;
  1. Paint the eggs. LuLu had a lot of fun experimenting with how to paint the eggs.
  2. Let dry, they dry fairly quickly.
  3. Display & admire!
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Toilet roll bunnies. 
These bunnies turned out very sweet & they make me smile. They were simple to make & LuLu thought the bunnies were so great. Once again these guys needed googley eyes but drawing them on would work fine.
You will need;
  • Paper towel or toilet rolls – cardboard tubes.
  • Scissors.
  • Stapler & sticky tape.
  • Paint.
  • A marker.
  • A cotton wool ball.
  • Any embellishments you wish to use. (Glitter & googley eyes are not needed, but in LuLu’s opinion are a must have in any craft project!)
How to;
  1. Cut 2 small sections from the cardboard tube – these will be “the ears”
  2. Pinch the circles to make ovals.
  3. Attach the ears to a longer bit of the cardboard tube “the body”.
  4. Paint & decorate how you wish.
  5. If you wish to add glitter, do so while the paint is wet. The easiest way I found for us to do this was to hold the tube with my fingers inside & just roll it as LuLu sprinkled the glitter on.
  6. Add features such as eyes, whiskers, nose & mouth.
  7. Attach cotton wool ball tail on.
  8. You now have one very sweet bunny made from something that was probably going to the recycling bin!

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I hope you found these little craft projects inspiring & that you do one or all of them with your little bunnies!

These crafts just weren’t fun & wasting time, as we craft I try to encourage LuLu to learn new things. Colours, shapes, how things work, about bunny rabbits etc.
Everything is a learning experience for kids. Craft time is can be extremely beneficial to your child’s brain development.
Some of the benefits of doing crafts include, but aren’t limited to…

  • Bilateral Co-ordination; Can be strengthened with crafts. 
  • Creative skills; Feeling different textures, improving her painting skills & expressing herself with what she likes. 
  • Cognitive thinking; Understanding cause & effect (mixing colours,) & visual processing. 
  • Motor skills; painting, sprinkling glitter, controlling tricky objects to paint (cardboard tubes & eggs roll around unlike a flat piece of paper) & helping attach small embellishments.  
  • Thinking skills; Considering options & making decisions. 
  • Problem Solving; Working out ways to stop the egg from rolling & how to paint a round object.
  • Listening skills; Following instructions. 
  • Science; That glue is sticky when wet but isn’t when it is dry, round things roll & paint is wet but when we wait & have patience it will dry.  
Doing craft is so much more than just passing the time and making things that look cute. It is amazing the things young children pick up & learn!
It is also a great time to spend with our children, bonding, talking, working out what colours they like and teaching them things.
I encourage you to take a day, an afternoon or just a few hours before Easter or over the Easter long weekend and make some crafts with your child. They don’t have to look perfect, your child will not care – the crafts above aren’t perfect, but we are proud of them & think they look wonderful. We had so much fun making them and LuLu just loves craft time and I can bet your child will love making them too with you.
I look forward to seeing your creations on social media!

Making hearts with my sweetheart. {Easy D.I.Y Clay Ornaments}

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday…
So this upcoming sweet holiday has been the perfect excuse to do some crafting with my tiny sweetheart! 
This past week we made some little clay ornaments…
She is at the age now where she is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so she really enjoyed helping make them, rolling them out & cutting out the shapes.
They do take a little time to make, but LuLu had a very fun time making them and painting them with her best little friend.
The dough is very soft to work with and not grainy, it dries well and is a beautiful white colour. 


“Not salt dough, clay ornaments” –
Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1 cup bi-carb soda (baking soda)
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • A few drops of lavender (or any essential oil you like) *optional.
  • Food colouring *optional. (if you wish to add colouring, mix with water first then add)
Useful items;
  • Small/medium sized sauce pan.
  • Spatula/wooden spoon.
  • Measuring  cups.
  • Bowl.
  • Wet chux/cloth.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Cookie cutters.
  • Straw.
  • Paint/glitter/embellishments/clear varnish or clear drying glue.
Making the clay;
  1. In a small-medium sized pot add all ingredients. 
  2. Stir over medium heat, it will be very liquidy for a few minutes. 
  3. Then suddenly you will notice the texture start to thicken, keep stirring. 
  4. When it looks like very smooth dough take it off the heat. 

  5. Place the clay dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cool cloth to cool down. (About 1/2 an hour) 

  6. When cool, dust cornflour over a smooth surface and knead the dough.
  7. Start rolling it out flat – you don’t want it to be too thin because that will cause it to crack. Try to not over roll it too many times as that can also cause cracking. (about 1/2 a centimetre thick is good) If you find the clay is starting to dry out or crack a tiny bit as you are rolling it, wet your hands lightly and roll the clay back into a ball. 

  8. Cut out your shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this or stamps (trim around the edges once you’ve made the imprint with a stamp) and you can even make hand prints.
  9. If you plan to hang your ornaments, make a hole in the top with a straw. 
  10. To harden you can either let air dry over night or for a day or pop them in the oven at 80degrees Celsius (175 Fahrenheit)  for an hour, turning them over 1/2 way. *Mine could’ve had a bit longer in the oven, so you could extend the cooking time for an extra half hour or so – but check them regularly, they did finish drying over night. 

  11. Once baked/air dried – decorate however you wish. We used paints & glitter and sealed them with a clear varnish.

This craft was lots of fun for both of us. I also made a few little gift tags to use on gifts. The clay was super easy to make, with the addition of lavender it also smelt nice and the bright white of the clay was very pretty – so if you didn’t want to paint it – you don’t need to. If you didn’t want to involve your child in the making of the dough (because kids in the kitchen can be a bit of a handful sometimes) you could easily whip this up while they were asleep at night and then they are all ready to paint and decorate the next day! This was the perfect activity for a play date, both girls seemed to really enjoy painting the ornaments. 
These love hearts will make very sweet little Valentine gifts for our loved ones! 
I really love doing activities like this with LuLu, it may just seem like a craft or play – but she is learning so much through play.
She was learning;
Maths; Measuring and shapes. (She now tells me every time she see’s a heart)
Science; She saw the mixture change form. From dry ingredients, to liquid and then to a clay. And then from a soft clay to a hard ornament. She also learnt that the clay was hot, but we had to wait for it cool down.
Motor skills; Scooping and tipping ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling, squeezing the clay, cutting, painting, sprinkling glitter, helping thread the twine and hanging the ornaments.
Literacy; Following instructions and older kids would also be learning to read a recipe.
She also learnt patience while the clay was being cooked on the stove & while it was cooling.
So please always remember every single thing we do with our children is a learning experience. They are little sponges and take it all in, they love to learn. You don’t have to sit down and do actual lessons – play based learning is so wonderful for little kids. 
So I encourage you to try this craft, I would love to see your beautiful ornaments.
Make sure you hashtag #MotheringwithHeartandJoy or share it to one of my social media accounts!

Facebook; Modern Wife Life 31
Instagram; @Modernwifelife31
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Snap Chat; Bindy_30 
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. 


To read my previous 2 posts that have been very popular click HERE and HERE.

On the blog today; making hearts with my sweetheart! ❤️❤️This clay ornament recipe is very easy and is handy to…
Posted by Modern Wife Life 31 on Monday, February 8, 2016

Toddler crafts for Australia Day {2016}

G’day mate…

It is Australia Day this coming Tuesday, so to celebrate LuLu & I thought we would share this super fun & very cute craft.
I am all for celebrating holidays – any holiday deserves celebration. Now that I am a Mumma of a little toddler I really like to make the effort that we do at least 1 little activity for each holiday we celebrate. We talk about the holiday while doing the craft and why we are making this certain thing & how it is relevant to the holiday… You can’t get to in-depth with a toddler (well you can, but I think it may get a bit overwhelming for them), or expect them to know why we celebrate certain holidays with out talking to them first, so I think starting a conversation is good, even if they just take away a very basic point – I just think it’s important & really great to just make them aware and just chat about it. This applies for any holiday. Books are a great starting point for conversations. 
So today we made frill neck lizards and a koala to decorate our house for Australia Day.

They are both simple crafts to do, the lizard does require a little bit of prep work but it isn’t super hard. 

Koala.
You will need…

  • 1 large paper plate
  • 2 smaller paper plates (or cut some card board)
  • Grey paint (or black & white paint – I had no grey)
  • Googly eyes or a sharpie to draw on features
  • Glue & a stapler
  • Cotton wool, white crepe paper, tissue – something to create fluffy ears. I used crepe paper because I cannot stand the feel of cotton wool, so I don’t own any.
Steps…
  1. Cut out or assemble face & ears. I stapled mine together, but you can glue them together if you prefer.
  2. Mix together black & white paint to create that perfect koala grey fur colour (mine is a touch too dark)
  3. Paint the entire thing. 

  4. Let dry. (I just pegged mine on the clothesline)
  5. Add glue to ears and fill with cotton wool or some white scrunched up crepe paper. Leave a small border around the ears… 

  6. Glue on googly eyes, or draw some on. 
  7. Paint or draw the nose on.
  8. Ta-da your little Aussie friend is complete. 

Lizard.
You will need…

  • Some cardboard, I used an old wrapping paper tube leftover from Christmas – this gave the lizard a more 3D type of effect because it was curved and sat up a bit. 

  • Sharpie/pencil/pen.
  • Stapler, sticky tape & glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Paint of your choice, you can either do a natural coloured lizard or some bright fun ones like we did.
  • Glitter or embellishments if you feel like bedazzling your lizard (that’s a sentence I never imagined I would write)
  • Red pipe cleaner.
  • Cupcake liners/patty pans.
  • Googly eyes 
Steps…
  1. Draw your lizard on the cardboard with a pen. Now, draw a test lizard first so you can work out how you like your lizard – I kind of fluked my lizards. They kind of look like spoons with fat stomachs and tails – but I guess that’s pretty much a lizard though! 

  2. Cut out your lizards.
  3. Lay your lizards on another piece of card board, draw legs on either side – use the lizard body as kind of a guide to how you want the legs to look. Mine are not perfect, but, at least my lizards have legs. If you really do not want to bother with legs, make it a legless lizard. (LOL) 
  4. Cut out your legs and staple or glue them to the lizard.
  5. Prepare your paint.
  6. Paint the lizards. 
  7. If you want to decorate your lizard, now is your chance – glitter, sequins – whatever you like – make the lizard shine. (This step is added in because no craft is complete in LuLu’s opinion without a healthy coating of glitter – she makes me proud) 
  8. Let the lizard dry.
  9. Take 2 patty pans, flatten them out & place together with the plain sides facing in. Cut a small section out of them and a small hole in the middle. Attach around your lizards neck and staple, think of it like attaching a necklace. (This step is optional – you could make a lizard that isn’t a frilly if you like) 
  10. Glue on eyes (or draw them on)
  11. Roll up pipe cleaner for tongue and attach with sticky tape or glue. (I attached mine under the lizards head) You could use a blue pipe cleaner & leave the frill off if you would like to make a blue tongue lizard.
  12. Admire your one of kind true blue lizard.
I thought I would also suggest some “Aussie” books that we really love and a few DVDs that I enjoyed as a child, we may watch one of these tomorrow or on Australia Day… (Possum Magic is another beautiful Australian book, I just don’t own it… yet)
LuLu absolutely adores the Aussie “If you’re happy & you know it” & “Goodnight Possum”, we read them countless times everyday. I bought the “If you’re happy & you know it” book for everyone I know with kids for Christmas, I think it’s so sweet. I even sent it to a few friends in America!
Aussie classic – Skippy and a Disney movie based in Australia.
These crafts are not “pinterest perfect” and they do not have to be, this is just something fun I was doing with my daughter. I encourage you to have the same mindset, do not be focused with them being “perfect” – the main idea here is just spending time with our children, having fun, talking about Australian animals & Australia Day… I know my lizards look more on the funny side (that is my own fault, I am not a very skilled lizard artist), but we had a lot of fun making them and LuLu is very proud of them. She picked the colours for them & wanted them to be glittery – I would love to see your lizard & koala creations if you and your little love make these. Please tag me in your pictures on social media or send them to me! 
Well a storm is blowing in, so I best post this, turn off my Aussie classic music (Jimmy Barnes, Crowded House, Midnight Oil, Lee Kernaghan etc) & shut the computer down.
Have a great Australia Day! 
Night!

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love … and then we return home.”
 – Australian aboriginal proverb

Wife Life; Surviving night shift life with a toddler in Summer.

Hello dear friends!
How has your week been?
Our week has been quiet but busy… Trent has been on night shift this week, so our days are normally very quiet because he needs to rest. But after he leaves to work LuLu and I have been having some very busy afternoons.
So let’s talk about shift work, it is very common today – almost all my friends have had some experience with it. Either they do or have done it, their parents did or their partners work shift work. Thankfully the shifts my husband works are family friendly hours. He gets home at good & reasonable hours and also has a good amount of days off. We are very fortunate, but the days he works are still hard on our little girl who loves her Daddy very much and always wants to be close to him.
The way we deal with – “survive” the nightshift side of shift work at this season of our life is just to keep busy. LuLu misses her Daddy a lot when he is working, doesn’t matter if it’s day or night shift or even if he has just popped out to the store to grab milk, she misses him anytime he isn’t with her – so to help with that I try to keep our time together busy and with lots to do. 
Now Trent doesn’t do FIFO or live away from us, he comes home at the end of every shift and I am very thankful for that – so I am not an expert on dealing with extended time away from my husband and LuLu away from her Daddy, but I thought the way we run our life may encourage or inspire one of you, especially if you are in a similar stage of life & situation to us.
Trent leaves for his nightshift in the early afternoon and he returns home just after midnight – so that gives him a good chunk of time to sleep when he first gets home and he has a few extra hours in the morning after LuLu and I wake up, then he is awake and spends some time with LuLu – this week they have been in the pool every day. It’s been very hot here so the nice cool pool has been a real treat! 

Our little fish loves diving in the pool for her toys.

While they swim, I either pop out and do groceries, tidy up around the house, do laundry, catch up on my jobs, sometimes join them for a swim and then I make lunch. We have a big lunch when Trent is on nights and he takes leftovers for his dinner. 
LuLu has a nap after lunch and Trent sometimes does too and then he leaves for work… When LuLu wakes up we have afternoon tea (bowl of fruit) and she watches a small amount of TV.
After 3/3:30pm LuLu and I head outside. While Trent is on nightshift I use our afternoons to try and get lots of jobs done outside, especially when the weather is so nice & warm and the days are a bit longer.
I really enjoy getting a lot of jobs done in my day, it makes me feel good & satisfied knowing I did something today and chipped away at my always growing “to-do list”. I also feel I am helping Trent out a lot by taking away some of the jobs that he often does. He is off working hard, so if I can mow the lawn to save him doing it on his days off – that makes me happy & that time on his days off can be better spent as family time or he can relax after working hard. I know I don’t “need to do” these jobs, Trent would easily do them – but I like being helpful to him and that is also part of the calling of being a wife. (Genesis 2:18) 
LuLu loves outside time, so she thinks it is the best thing when we put on our sunscreen, hat & shoes and get ready to head outside.
This week we have so far; bathed the dogs, hosed the gardens & lawns everyday, pulled weeds out of the garden, washed the car, mowed the lawns, washed out the garbage bins – you know basic tidying up around the outside of the home and we also baked some cookies & painted our nails as a treat and the other afternoon my parents visited. So our afternoons have been jam packed & full of jobs but also fun. 

Pats for the freshly bathed doggies.

I always make sure that I when do a job I either try to include LuLu as much as possible or straight after I am finished we do something fun so LuLu feels involved and it is also enjoyable for her.
LuLu is now at the age where she can wander around the yard & play or follow and help me – she just loves being outside. Some jobs like washing out the bins, she obviously doesn’t help with – but I make sure she has something to do – like have a bike to ride while I quickly get the job done. I always make sure I can watch her as I work. With washing the car, mowing the lawn, watering the plants, baking – these are jobs LuLu loves to help me with. She washes her Little Tikes pink truck & bike, she has her little mower, her own watering can and loves to help hose and she’s a great little helper in the kitchen.

Our 2 little “big rigs” all washed.
Helping me out by hosing the plants.

While I mow the lawns LuLu has a ton of fun toys to play with outside, she has a trampoline, cubby, little climbing toy and I also set up her water table for her to play with. This week we have also been setting up the sprinkler with our tank water, LuLu has been having a ball running through it in the afternoon.

Water table fun… If LuLu is getting bored with the toys that come with the table, I just bring out some toys from inside. This Kewpie doll was mine when I was younger, and its the perfect dolly for her to bath.
Running through the sprinkler.
Bouncing on the bounce with Ninna… Grandparents, friends & family make great distractions too for little kids when a parent is off working…

One afternoon I got the hose out while we were playing on the trampoline – “The bouncy bouncy” – our wild & fearless little girl thought it was the best thing in the world. In no time at all she had worked out how to run & slide with her feet and she was having a ball! 

We often are outside until about 6pm’ish – then we go inside dirty & exhausted from our big afternoon of playing and doing some jobs. Our night routine is to have showers, eat dinner – which is often leftovers from lunch, tidy up and then read books while LuLu drinks her milk, clean our teeth and get ready for bed. 
Once LuLu is asleep I finish tidying up the house for the night, put the dishwasher on and then I either read, check my social media, text friends or watch a movie (often I am doing more than one of these at once – LOL) 
But that is how I survive night shift with a toddler in Summer. Every season of life and the year is different and brings new challenges – but I think at this stage of our life when LuLu is an active, outdoor loving little toddler and the weather is so nice & warm – having a busy afternoon is the best, for us. Your idea of a busy afternoon maybe visiting friends or family, doing crafts, heading out to do some shopping or heading to a local park or library. You have to make your time with your child, your own. I really like showing my daughter that it is great to get outside, help out, be active, enjoy nature, take care of our home, have fun & it’s ok to get a bit dirty & messy when we are working. I also like having LuLu help when it’s appropriate for her to help, I believe it is creating a good foundation for her to grow up knowing that it is important to help others & help with jobs around the house. (She is very good with her little jobs, if you would like a post on that let me know!)
The other thing I want to note here, is when we are outside in the afternoon my phone is inside. The photos included in this blog post are taken quickly on my little point & shoot underwater camera, mainly at the end of the afternoon… I try to make a conscious effort every day, especially when it is just the 2 of us to spend time with LuLu with no phone. I use the time after she is asleep to check & update my social media. I really do encourage you to try the same, even just 1 hour – leave the phone on charge. 
Our afternoons together have been really beautiful & wonderful this week. I especially love the time when we are just holding hands walking around hosing the plants and the grass, we have little chats, water fights, we laugh – it is just lovely. I love motherhood I really do and it’s moments like that I will treasure forever. 
I know night shift/shift work can be stressful and overwhelming at times & it is hard on children when they miss their Dad/Mum, but I hope this posts encourages you. Even if you don’t have to worry about shift work, I hope this post motivates you to at least just go outside this afternoon – set up the sprinkler and run through it! It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always fun!

Get outside and dance under the sprinkler, do it! I highly recommend doing it at sunset, even quickly set a timer on your camera and take a quick photo to remember the fun.

But in all seriousness, I truly hope this post helps someone. Last year our season of life was different, LuLu was younger and I couldn’t get as much done – but now she’s older and wants to help & would be outside every second of the day if I let her. So you have to do what you can at your season of life, but my biggest suggestion & tip for you if your partner does shift work – especially nights – is to stay busy. It can get lonely and boring and the hours can drag on if you let it – but I really find staying busy or having plans makes it so, so much easier. Make a plan, say “this afternoon, I am going to hose the garden” or mow the lawn, paint a picture, have a play date, do a messy craft outside, bake a treat, call my friend or watch a movie after the kids are asleep etc. 
I think getting outside with kids & having water play instantly makes them happier, so if you can do that – do it, especially if they are cranky! Also make life easier on yourself, make enough food at lunch so you can eat leftovers for dinner, it’s easier to have leftovers than cook a whole new meal. 
I find having lots to do makes the time go faster and it makes the whole experience a lot easier on our daughter and also myself. We have night shift weeks that aren’t so busy, fun & successful and I often find they drag on and aren’t enjoyable and then I find myself getting down. But the days we plan to do something or even just get outside and play or do a small job, makes it a lot more enjoyable and pleasant. Having a very busy & active afternoon also makes us both tired and helps us sleep – so that is also a bonus. (I don’t know about you but I don’t sleep that great without my husband!)
Does your partner do shift work? How do you handle it? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them, leave me a comment below or on my social media! Please also let me know if you would like to hear our week works when my husband is on day shift.
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Have a lovely afternoon, we are on our final night shift for this run, so I am off to wash down the outside windows & my brother is coming to visit and take LuLu swimming.
Enjoy your weekend…

Deer oh deer, some deer-lightful Christmas crafts. {Toddler Craft}

Hello fellow Christmas lovers,
How are you? Are you waving your festive freak flags proudly? Crafting up a storm? Or did you just finish your Christmas shopping yesterday, like I did? (Yes, Christmas is next week and my unorganised self just finished Christmas shopping!)
Now, it’s no secret I love deers, we all love deer. I like them just as animals, their antlers, their tasty meat (sorry) and as ornaments…
And of course we love the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. 
So here are some adorable little Rudolph crafts…


To make these adorable little fellas you will need some basic things you probably have laying around your house;

  • Paper plates
  • egg carton 
  • Brown paint (or crayon, or pencil) 
  • Brown cardboard
  • Red embellishments for a nose
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors/stapler for parent to use
  • Pen/pencils
Now the simple steps;
1. Cut your paper plate in half and then cut 1 half in a triangle.
2. Staple together.
3. Cut out 1 section of egg carton. 
4. Draw around your child’s hand for antlers on the brown cardboard, cut out 2 copies of a hand print per paper plate reindeer you are making.
5. Also cut out 4 legs for each reindeer.
6. For egg carton reindeer, draw antlers (mine are not very good) and ears and cut out.
7. Paint your reindeers.
8. Let dry.
9. Attach googly eyes, red noses, antlers and ears.
10. Ta-da you have the most adorable little sweet reindeers.
I also made a few other “reindeer” things this week.
I whipped up a stocking for Trent with some lovely fabric from Spotlight. This is the first stocking I have ever made and I was impressed that my basic sewing skills created this…
And yesterday LuLu and I baked some gingerbread cookies, I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe and it is really nice. If you use this recipe keep in mind it does make a lot of dough. I decorated the gingerbread men like deer, please excuse my basic icing ability. Trent & LuLu think they are tasty and cute though!
  To end this deer-lightful post I will leave you with some photos of the “reindeer” (red deer) that were at a shopping centre in town the other week, LuLu loved them and wore her sweet little “deer” print top. She loves deers and says “doe” & “buck”.
Comet is death staring me down because he knows I have a relative of his in the freezer, Blitzen is in the back oblivious, singing Christmas carols. 
Have a beautiful week before Christmas friends.
If you make these sweet reindeers, I would love to see them so tag me in them on social media!