Monthly Archives: June 2014

School Holidays Activities to Keep You Sane

June 30, 2014

Decoration KitWell, they’re here again….. The school holidays. For those who aren’t parents no doubt you will think.. Oh are they? Those who are.. Will certainly know all about it.

Hopefully the weather will be kind to us all and we can get them outside as much as possible.

My girls have already asked if we can go for a walk at the beach so I’m pleased they want to get out and not belong to the lounge. These holidays generally are expensive ones for us as we have 2 birthdays back to back so whilst the money gets spent on presents/parties/BBQ etc… The rest of the holidays I’m a tightarse.

It’s going to work out fine (for me anyway) as I have a list of rooms to clean out each day as we are about to start proceedings on “the great renovation of 2014” and I need all the help I can get to get rid of the crap in this house. Aren’t you glad you’re not my kids, such an exciting treat for their holidays!

Just by the way if any of you have any hints on how a family survives a major reno I would be very grateful. I’m sure this process is going to give me plenty of writing/whinging material.

Anyway back to the holidays…I have created another board on Pinterest to have a look through and find some cute little ideas to help out with the boredom factor. I especially like the game with the shower cap, shaving foam and cheese twists! There’s also some good ideas for the dreaded road trip, travelling on planes with little ones and also some stuff for the Tweens to do.

Speaking of the Tweens…. I have noticed my girls, well the older two anyway have moved their TV interests somewhat… Which I must say I’m pretty happy about, not that I don’t love Good luck Charlie, Dog with a blog and Sam and Kat but geez something else is very refreshing.

If you have a little lounge lizard and have Foxtel/Austar maybe you’re in luck. Flick it over to the Nat Geo channels. It’s not boring for kids like it used to be. There’s a show called The Science of Stupid – it has the cringe factor of Australia’s funniest home videos with the science of what went wrong and when.

Also, there’s Do or Die, Brain Games and None of the Above. They are all great for kids and they are actually learning something during the viewing process, and you never know the grown ups might learn something as well.

Another thing I have put on the Pinterest board is some recipes that either you or the kids or (even worse, both of you!) can make.

Things that are “sometimes” foods and also more everyday things. If you can bear it let them be in charge of dinner one night. If they’re old enough they can pick it, prepare it, cook it, (within reason obviously) and yep… clean it up too, or at least clear the table and stack the dishwasher. Sometimes it can be a big thing for them to take on a grown up task… And if it gives you a break then why not?

So try and enjoy the holidays…..even just the part of not racing around like an idiot of a morning screaming like a mad woman (surely it’s not just me?)

Til next week stay sane 😉

Jac xx

Kids Hairstyles: Tips & Tricks

June 16, 2014

Stocksy_txp5f678063mr6000_Small_29555So, today we are talking hair. A special kind of hair…..Kids hair. Some kids love the hairdressers, while others.. Not so much.

You see back in the day, I was a hairdresser.. Well, I still am, I just don’t work anymore! So I am well equipped to be telling this story and handing out a few tips.

Kids Haircuts

If your child is one of those who is not so caring towards the hairdresser maybe I can help.

Firstly, don’t surprise them with a trip to the salon. Tell them they are going, even if it’s just ten minutes before hand, let them know where they are going and why. If you can get hold of a book about haircuts then do so and read it a few times in advance. It’s amazing how much children take in just from hearing a story about something they can relate to.

Secondly, find a hairdresser that is great with the kids. Not all are. I had one girl that worked for me that I wouldn’t let cut the kids hair as her tolerance level was zero. Sometimes it really is hard work cutting kids hair as they don’t understand the concept of sitting still. This is dangerous for both the child and the stylist. Fingers get cut and so do ears. It happens more often than you’d think. So perhaps the iPod/iPad could come in handy to make the job easier.

Let them play a game or watch a show, even a favourite story you can read to them whilst they are in the chair will seriously make the job much easier. If the child is scared of the clippers (and many are) ask for the stylist to run the clippers over their hand, just to show them it’s for cutting hair and not skin. I used to do it all the time. It lets them know that it kind of tickles and it shouldn’t be feared.

Lastly, make sure you’ve got an idea of what it is you’re after and be realistic. If you know the child finds it difficult sitting still, don’t expect a precision cut bob for instance. There nothing more annoying than being told “you’re the hairdresser, you decide.” You might think you’re doing them a favour by leaving it up to them… You’re not.

Also, if you have had the very unfortunate experience of head lice, make sure they have been completely treated and the problem has been resolved. Do not take them to the salon and expect them to fix it. The salon will be well within their rights to turn you away. So that’s the salon visit taken care of. Now for the actual hair do.

Kids Hairstyles

If your little girl has a fringe make sure you plan on getting it cut regularly (by the stylist!) or if you are planning on growing the fringe out make sure it gets tied back. There are so many gorgeous little bows and clips that there really is no excuse for having all that hair hanging in their little eyes.

When it comes to washing be sure to shampoo twice and condition. It is important. I find it easier especially with girls with long hair to comb through conditioner with a rake or a wide tooth comb. It ensures the conditioner has been distributed properly and makes for easy brushing later.

In regard to products for children you need to keep in mind the texture/type of the hair. My three girls are all different. The eldest has waves, the middle is as straight as sticks and the youngest has ringlets (although they are dropping which is a bit sad). You need to be sure you’re using the correct product for each type.

Something to remember is the more moisture that is in the hair the less likely it will be to frizz. So if your little one is prone to frizz or even just dryness you need to be using a leave in moisturiser of some description. Even a treatment once a week is extremely beneficial.

In Summer, the hair suffers from chlorine (rinse the hair with tomato sauce for the dreaded green tinge) and salt abuse from the beach. In winter it’s the indoor heating and wind that come into play.

For those with the waves, try a salt spray. It’s amazing how much it can make a difference. For the boys with the little funky haircuts instead of using gel which can dry crunchy and tacky try a volume powder, just a little bit is all you’ll need.

So what happens when all our babies aren’t babies anymore and they want to decide on their own hairstyles? Give them guidance I guess and let them express themselves a little.. But remember, they are still only kids.

I see some Tweens with a full colour and horrendous regrowth from a colour which (I hope) they’ve done themselves, and I think it seems a little unnecessary. Let them have a few foils or even a semi permanent colour which isn’t too different from their own shade.

Also, for girls it’s a time to discover the accessories that can help them determine their own style. I guess I just think they have the rest of their lives to be grown ups. Let’s not make it happen to quickly.

Kids Hairstyles Inspiration

If you’re after a little inspiration I’ve created a board on Pinterest to have a gander at. There’s hair cuts and hair dos and even just a few tweaks to jazz up a school ponytail. Even if you don’t have any kids, some of these styles are pretty cool… And the kids are cute too!

Til next week stay sane 😉
Jac xx

Top Tricks to Save Time In the Kitchen

June 9, 2014

Stocksy_txpb2cea2cefb6000_Small_91960Time is precious to us all and that’s why I like to use the spare time I do have to get things organised to save on time through the busy week.

Obviously the washing and cleaning gets done so that’s the insanely boring stuff out the way, but on a Sunday when I have got some time free I like to get in the kitchen (alone hopefully) and sort out bits and pieces for the coming week.

I have noticed more and more mums right now who are doing massive cook offs on one day and then freezing a weeks worth of meals, some even portioned out for each family member. I love this idea, especially for families who are flat out in the evening.

Sadly, I am not quite that organised. I do however have a bit of a bake off in which I get the girls snacks/afternoon teas ready for the week. Things like banana bread, pear and raspberry loaf, even a Madeira cake can be sliced and frozen in individual portions.

Muffins are great as well, favourites at the moment include peanut butter and choc chip, banana caramel, apple and cinnamon and raspberry and vanilla. They freeze well and are no drama to chuck in the microwave for 20 seconds before they get thrown into the lunch boxes.

Biscuits are not so successful in the keeping factor, they are usually eaten straight from the oven and rarely last longer than the time it takes for them to get from the tray to the cooling rack. Something else I might do is cut up and roast a butternut pumpkin, this is great to keep in the fridge to make a quick frittata for dinner or throw into a salad, even on some toasted sourdough with spinach leaves and feta for lunch.

Also I might cut up a kilo of sweet potato into fries, keep them in the fridge in a ziplock bag and when you need them toss them in a bit of olive oil and straight in the oven. For kids lunchboxes cut up carrots, celery, cucumbers and cheese into sticks, halve some cherry tomatoes and put in the fridge in containers and you’re done. Anything to just make things a little easier.

In regard to the evening meals I start off by writing out a meal plan with enough meals to last a week, then work out your grocery needs and buy accordingly so that everything you need to make dinner you already have. I’m not so bothered about what meals we have on each particular day, but at least if there’s a list there you know what you’ve got and what needs to be thawed, cut up etc.. I get so sick of racing to the supermarket to get a couple of things and walking out having spent an easy fifty. So if I can avoid it, I will.

The rise of the good old slow cooker is making things easier in homes everywhere and the cooler weather is perfect for it too. Not to mention when you get home from the afternoons runabout how gooooood does it smell??? I walked into my house last week and I had a shoulder of lamb cooking and I was instantly transported back to being about 7 years old at my nanas house.

It’s amazing how the sense of smell evokes memories of certain people/places/times… It has to be good for our kids too right? Anything for pleasant memories. Little kids will usually love the meat from slow cooked meals as well, a little less chewing involved. But really, who doesn’t love it anyway?

My girls always love a good zucchini slice too, sneaky way to throw in as many veggies as is humanly possible as well. It’s perfect cold for school lunches as well, just be sure to throw in an ice pack. I hope this has given you a few ideas for the week and helped out with the time poor sitch we all have.

Til next week, stay sane 😉
Jac xx