Friday, 5 June 2009

I'm moving.....

Will you come and see me???

I have been thinking and pondering about this blog. For some reason, the title and url are irritating me every time I think about them. They are just a bit too.... schmaltzy for me. Is that a word? Do you know what I mean? I am not really a silly, frou-frou kind of person - I am honest enough to know that I am more the 'practical' type. I am more likely to be wearing boots than high heels (heavens, do I even own heels any more??).

So, rather than let it bug me any more, I am moving my blog. Yep, pickin' it up and plonkin' it down somewhere else. Somewhere that suits me and where I am in life, a whole lot better.

So PLEASE come and visit me, and re-mark your favourites button to Small Town Mamma . I am working with a lovely blog designer to spruce it up a bit, and will be posting about my cooking, crafting, child-raising, gardening and small town life in general.

Oh, and don't worry -- the Total Pamper Pack giveaway is definitely still on - it has moved too! I will be keeping this blog open for a while, and any entries that are made here will be transferred over and entered into the draw.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

It's a tough life ...

but some baby has to do it, right?

Ryan fell asleep while looking at the toys hanging above his play mat, the other day. And just a few minutes ago he drifted off while having his 'tummy time'. I know about the risks of kids sleeping on their tummies, but I am right here beside him and I have a firm 'let sleeping children lie' policy.

Oh, how wonderful it would be to sleep like, well, a baby!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

WFMW - Great idea resources

This is the "Mum, I'm Bored" edition of WFMW. Thankfully, I haven't heard those words much yet (Naomi is still stuck in an "I want..." phase, which is driving me crazy).

Anyway, when I need to divert attention from crankiness, boredom, or simply pinching her baby brother's cheeks too hard (yep - he doesn't have *naturally* rosy cheeks, poor kid), I have a stock standard list of places to get easy ideas that can be done quickly.

Some great websites that I highly recommend: - yes, good old Huggies. I don't buy their product, and don't ever intend to. But their website is chock full of great activities, games and ideas for keeping young children entertained. Lots of templates to download and print off and simple hands-on activities that we can do with things we have in our craft box. You just have to sign up online (for free) and receive their junk emails (which I have directed straight into my spam). - this is a great site for very young children to learn their letters. Naomi (age 2) adores it - it is interactive, colourful and I like to think it is educational. I was put onto this site by Kara at Eskimo Kisses & Air Hugs. - This one isn't fee, but Terri has written curricula folders for children ages 2 to 5. I bought the one for 2 year olds. It is about 3 inches thick, and is chock full of wonderful fun ideas for activities that are also educational. It also includes devotionals and simple activities to teach little ones some Bible stories. I highly recommend it as money well spent, that will last for years.

For more ideas to keep children entertained, head over to We Are That Family.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

June competition - Win a Total Pamper Pack

I have decided to spice things up around here. Or was that just the Satay chicken wings that we had for dinner?

Anyways, I thought that a monthly competition / give-away would be a nice way to send loving vibes to my bloggy friends. And perhaps, just maybe, to get all you lurkers to leave a comment and make me feel loved ... (are you still there, lurkers?!? Please don't be frightened away. This is a totally non-committal type blog!). I just love getting comments, fan mail etc!

This month is a Blog Box giveaway. I saw the concept on someone's blog a while ago (and with my sincere apologies to whomever it was -- I can't seem to track you down again, but will be happy to give credit if you can find me!).

The theme for this month's box is Total Pampering - because who doesn't need a little bit more of that, right?

Each Monday in the month of June, I am going to add an item to a box I have sitting here beside my laptop. I will then post about it to let you know what piece of deliciousness has been added to the Pamper Pack. At the end of the month, I will randomly draw a winner from the millions of comments that I just know will be left.

There are plenty of ways to rack up lots of entries, so do any or all of these:

1. Leave a comment - and you get to leave a new comment EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Yep, you can enter again for each Monday, until the end of June.

2. Extra entry for blogging about this give-away and linking back here (leave another comment with the link, so that I can add the extra entry credit).

3. Twitter and/or Facebook about it, and again, leave another comment here to get your extra entries.

So, by my calculations, every week you could have 4 entries, if you comment, then blog, twitter and facebook about it!

The first item in the box is a plastic packet of total decadence. For those from overseas, you may not have heard of TimTams. They are heaven in a little plastic biscuit tray. Seriously. I believe that wars may have been fought over them.

The latest addition to the TimTam family are TimTam Crush Mint Crisp biscuits. And I have snared a pack (from my local supermarket). They could be all yours, to do with as you wish. I have a friend in the UK who stashes TimTams in her bathroom cabinet and eats them, while in a steamy hot bubble bath, with the door locked to keep out prying family members. I told you - total decadence.

My advice is to leave a comment and get your first entry in very quickly - so that I will feel guilty if I eat them myself! Otherwise, I'm telling you, they won't last a month in this house.

Don't forget to stop back every week and enter again - when there will be more scrumptious things in the box.

Tuesday Tips for Mum - Playdough recipe

Which child (or adult, for that matter), doesn't love the squishy feel of playdough between their fingers ... or toes? Of course, we all know it is a great activity for development of fine motor skills, creativity, colour / shape recognition etc etc etc. And it keeps sweet darlings entertained for hours!

My favourite playdough recipe is simple, and uses only ingredients that you will have in the pantry, so you can whip it up at a moment's notice.

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1/2 cup water (approx)
1 tbsp oil (approx)
Food colouring of your choice

Mix flour and salt together. Mix food colouring into the water and stir well. Divide the water into several cups and mix up a few different colours, if you want.

Add the oil to the flour and mix. Divide flour mix into several bowls if you are making different colours. Then add water to flour mix, stirring well. Add more water, or flour, to make a good squishy (but reasonably dry) dough.


Keeps well in the fridge in an air-tight container, for about a week.

To make playdough a bit more educational, and add another dimension, have a look at this website: Sparklebox . They are playdough mats that you download, print off and cover with plastic. Then you can play the various games, which are mostly focussed on basic counting skills. Of course, you could make your own, with addition, subtraction etc for older children.

This is a Tuesday Tips for Mum post. For more great idea, check out Raising Olives.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

My "Argyll Vest"

In my family, the words "Argyll Vest" have a very specific meaning. Yes, in a literal sense, they mean the beautiful green and white vest, in a traditional Scottish diamond pattern, that my mum knitted for my dad ... over a period of years.

However, "Argyll Vest" is also a euphemism, for a project that seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be difficult, irritating, fiddly, time-consuming and down-right painful.

A project that is put down, picked up, dropped again, and returned to many times over a period of years. It is eventually only finished due to a deep abiding love for the intended recipient, and a dogged determination not to let the darned thing get the better of you.

Do you see these sweet little 'puffs', made in pretty green gingham and cupcake print?

Don't be fooled by their innocent appearance. They are the most fiddly, irritating, time-consuming craft project I have ever contemplated, let alone actually started. The concept is called "puffy quilting". You make all the puffs, then hand stitch them together. I have seen them used to make very soft linings for baby capsules, prams etc. When I saw the kit at Spotlight, with the words "quick and easy" printed in big letters, I couldn't resist the chance to make something for Ryan, and at the same time test it out for the possibility of adding some lovely baby items to my market stall, or SashaSews.

I spent about 3 hours on this yesterday. Do you see how many there are? Yep ... a grand total of 7 puffs. And they still have to be hand-stitched closed (the hole where you stuff the filling in), and eventually stitched together. I estimate that to make a small lining for a baby bouncer, I will need at least 70 of them.

The good news is that I think I know what Ryan will be getting for his 21st birthday!

Photo title winner

Thanks to Aimee for her very witty title of the photo in this month's competition! Considering my maritime profession and a general love of boats and the sea, her title of "The Poop Deck" was very appropriate and made me laugh out loud.

So Aimee, email me on sgp_davidson (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au with your address, and I will post you out a delicious serve of my handmade lemon myrtle and rosemary bath salts.

I am going to be having monthly competitions / giveaways, so check back regularly to see what is happening!