Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dinosaur Madness!

Riley's favourite movie at the moment is: The Land Before Time. He watches it at least once a day sometimes more. I don't mind too much because as far as movies go its relatively short which means that he still has time to do other things so I don't feel like all he does is watch tv all day. Its also a really lovely story and a movie that I enjoy watching too so its not too much of a trial when I have to watch/listen to it every day as well.

It has also sparked his interest in dinosaurs. he has a couple of cheap dinosaur toys and a few dinosaur books but now he wants to know what the different types of dinosaurs are called. Dinosaur names are hard enough for me to say/pronounce never mind for an almost 3 year old! It doesn't stop him from trying though and surprisingly he gets them right most of the time.

He is also using his dinosaur duvet set now which used to frighten him. Gosh hes growing up fast!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Toffee Pops Bites!

Mini biscuits topped with caramel toffee and covered with creamy milk chocolate .....
I have always been a Toffee Pops fan and I love the idea of mini ones.

They do not disappoint. They are soooo GOOD but be warned apparently theres approx 7 servings in a bag and I managed to polish them all off on my own, whoops.

Sandwiches ....

I have trouble getting Riley to eat sandwiches which is a pain when its such an easy thing to make for lunch. He used to eat sandwiches when he was little but then went off them so I've had to think outside the box as far as his lunches are concerned. I think I may have found the answer though ..... avocados!

I personally can't stand the things but Phil likes them so we tend to have some in the house when they're not too expensive to buy and Riley loves them.

Today he ate a whole avocado for lunch. He ate half of it just chopped into pieces and then he ate 7 avocado sandwiches (14 pieces of bread)!

He just kept wanting more and more! At least he had a good lunch today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Just Around the Corner?

I seem to talk about the weather an awful lot these days and if our current weather is a sign of things to come then its going to be a cracker of a summer!

The heat however is not very conducive to cleaning or baking/cooking or doing anything really apart from lazing about outside and having fun in the sun.

Today I lathered Riley up with sunblock and we spent most of the day outside flinging water at each other and generally just mucking about and having fun.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Toy Sale!

Farmers is having a toy sale at the moment and it was the perfect opportunity for us to get some of the last bits for Riley's birthday and Christmas. A few things that he'd specifically asked for just happened to be on sale so of course I couldn't resist. At least this way I should hopefully avoid a mad rush before Christmas though theres always something that gets left til the last minute.

We got ....
Mike the Mower (50% off)
Hungry Hippos game (30% off)
Pictureka ( buy any Hasbro game and get Pictureka for $10)
New Zealand Rescue vehicles set (25% off)

So all up we spent $89.97 with a saving of .... $94.99!

We should have got a free Mr Potato Head as well (valued at $19.99 when you spend $25 or more on Playskool toys), so I'm sending Phil back to see if we can get it because of course I can't pass up free stuff.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Feels Like Summer

We are having the most awesome weather at the moment! It certainly makes days with Riley easier as I just open the french doors and he comes and goes as he pleases and does what he wants. He loves spending time outside, running around and jumping on the trampoline. Today we even had his sand/water table out and he spent time playing in his sandpit.

The sun has done wonderful things to the garden as well. Everything is green and vibrant and the grass has dried out enough so that I don't need to worry about Riley going out and coming back covered in mud.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Riley's Favourite Things

Heres a few of Riley's favourite things at the moment though that doesn't mean much as he changes his mind about things frequently.

- Cars, trucks, buses, fire engines, I think you get the picture.
- Aeroplanes, helicopters
- Flys, bugs
- Chocolate
- My baking (mostly)
- Dinosaurs
- Dancing to Hi-5
- Vacuuming
- Lawn mowers
- Blues Clues
- His trampoline

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Guess whose been using my camera?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my 'try a new recipe' for this week. There is nothing quite like warm bikkies fresh out of the oven. My main problem with most biscuit recipes is the amount of butter they use so I was very excited to try this recipe which has no butter at all.

They are very tasty and Riley can't get enough of them so I'll definitely be making these again soon.

2 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
3tbsp water
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix together the sugar and oil. Beat in the egg, vanilla and water.

Mix the flour in a bit at a time. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls with floured hands and place on well greased trays.

Bake at 190 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Find more recipes here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Riley loves dressing up as a pirate (see this post here) and what is a pirates favourite thing to do? Hunt for treasure of course and Pirate Riley is no exception. Its a little game that we play once in a while and the treasure is edible treats that I put in a container and hide somewhere for him to find. Admittedly hes not very good at the finding part but hes extremely good at the eating part, LOL.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Board Games

With Riley approaching the age of 3, I've started stocking up on a few board/card games for him to grow into.

I got a Spiderman (spot the difference) game for free with another game that I got Riley last Christmas so we decided to try it out. Its not a game that I would buy but its actually quite good, more for the fact that Riley thinks its a double sided puzzle. That works for me because even though we don't play the game properly yet, hes still getting enjoyment out of it and as you can see in this photo his brain is ticking over so its making him think.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recipe: Cranberry and White Chocolate Weetbix Slice

This recipe is so yummy and the lemon icing gives it a really nice touch. Next time I think I'll add less coconut though as I'm not a big fan of the stuff.

You could use whatever dried fruit or nuts that you have in the pantry making it really versatile.

1tbsp golden syrup
4 1/2 tbsp margarine
1/3 cup caster sugar
5 Weetbix, crumbled
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup boiling water

1/2 cup icing sugar
lemon juice

- Melt the golden syrup, margarine and sugar in a saucepan.

-Add the weetbix and flour. Mix well.

- Add remaining ingredients, except water. Stir till combined, then add the hot water and mix well. (If needed add extra hot water).

- Using wet hands press into a greased sponge roll tin. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

- Put icing sugar into a bowl. Add enough lemon juice to make a runny icing.

- Drizzle icing over the cooled slice then cut into bars.

Find more recipes here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Funny Boy

We were walking through Farmers this afternoon on a mission to find a new toaster. Riley said "Hello" so I looked around to see who he was saying hello to and what do you know, it was a lovely pair of manikins, LOL.

I don't think hes ever had a proper look at a manikin before and on our way out of the mall he kept asking to go back so he could have another look at them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Natural Floor Cleaner

- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- a couple of drops of tea tree oil
- a couple of drops of baby oil

This worked really well. It smells a bit funky but that doesn't hang around long.

We have wooden veneer in our kitchen which I wanted to give a bit of shine too hence the baby oil. If you were just cleaning vinyl or tiles then I wouldn't add it.

You don't have to use tea tree oil either. I used it because its antibacterial but you could replace it with anything you liked, lemon oil would smell nice.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The trampoline that we bought for Riley arrived on Tuesday and today we decided to put it up rather than wait until his birthday.

Firstly because with all the earthquakes at the moment its nice to have a distraction and something to keep Riley busy. Secondly because we needed to check that all the bits were there and that nothing was damaged.

Riley loves it and you just can't help laughing and smiling at his antics. It feels so good to smile again after all that has happened.

(Oh and its not just the little kid that is getting enjoyment out of it).

We have since put the safety net up which Riley needs as he can't seem to jump in one place and hes very clumsy so it gives me some peace of mind.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hard at Work

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dress Ups

These photos were taken just before we moved house when there were plenty of boxes lying around to use as a pirate ship. Such a great way to keep Riley entertained and engage his imagination.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Christchurch in a State of Civil Emergency!

We had a rather rude awakening this morning when at 4:35am we were almost literally chucked out of bed by a massive earthquake. I was very confused and both me and Phil made a mad dash for Riley's room.

Running down the hallway was like being on a boat in the middle of a storm, I was being flung against the walls. By the time I got to Riley it was all but over so we tucked Riley into our bed. There was an aftershock and then the power went out, poor Riley is scared of the dark. Nobody got much sleep and I'm pretty much running on adrenaline still.

We were extremely lucky that we weren't hurt and that nothing in the house was damaged or fell over. About the only thing that got damaged was a large concrete trough in the garden which fell over, its going to be a pain to move.

Thankfully the power is back on now so we're feeling a bit more normal. Now if only the after shocks would go away.

You can find some photos of the city here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm So Excited ....

We just bought a trampoline off Trade Me for Riley's birthday. Got it for $410 and its a brand new 12ft tramp with the works (net, pads, ladder), Riley is going to love it!

Can't wait til his birthday now!

I Can't Live Without ......

My dishwasher! This is the first time that we've had a dishwasher and now I can't imagine my life without one. It certainly makes things easier and the kitchen looks cleaner because the dirty dishes go straight in the dishwasher instead of piling up around the sink.

What can't you live without?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Clever Boy!

Lately we have been battling with getting Riley to do things for himself. Half the time he won't even try and when he does try he gets so frustrated when he can't do it that he just gives up. Hes approaching 3 and I feel like he should be doing more for himself than he currently does.

Today I was loading up the dish washer and Riley wanted to go outside. He kept asking me to put on his gumboots and I said that I'd do it once I'd finished in the kitchen. Well he obviously thought I was taking too long and decided to do it himself. It looked very awkward but eventually he managed to get both his gumboots on all by himself.

I'm so proud of my big boy! Now that I've seen him do it I won't be helping him with his gumboots anymore.

Telling his Dad all about his great achievement.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chemical/Budget Conscious Cleaning

As a mum I am always looking for natural household cleaners and since we are on a budget, I like to use ingredients that I have around the house, making it cheaper and healthier for everyone.

Here are a couple of things that I use all the time:
- Baking soda mixed into a paste with dish washing detergent is fabulous for cleaning up shower glass and removing soap scum. It also shines up the kitchen sink nicely.
- Straight vinegar is great for dried up carpet stains, just spray on and scrub with an old toothbrush, that usually does the trick.

I found this site here which has lots of ideas and tips.

I've already tried out their no-streak glass cleaner and it works just as well, if not better than commercial glass/window cleaner plus it doesn't have that horrid alcohol smell and you're not spraying any nasty chemicals around the house. Just make sure you clean both sides of the window otherwise theres no point and they still look grubby. I also used it on the bathroom mirror.

Heres the recipe:
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1tbsp cornstarch
- 1 quart warm water

- Mix the ingredients and put in a spray bottle.
- Spray on windows.
- Wipe dry with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine.

This recipe does make quite a lot so I would probably halve it next time. Also a little goes a long way.


We have sleep! Its been over a month since Riley last had a nap during the day. He was coping well without one but the last couple of days hes been waking an hour earlier than usual in the morning and apparently that hour that he loses makes all the difference.

He really didn't want to go to bed but once he was all tucked up he went to sleep without a fuss. I think I'll just give him an hour (if he doesn't wake before then) as I still want him to sleep well tonight.

Its so nice to have a bit of peace and quiet and not having to wait until bedtime to get it!