Posted on 218 Comments

Christmas Crafts

Christmas Crafts

Christmas Crafts

Creating Family Traditions

Christmas Crafts back when we first moved into our house about six years ago we had our traditional family Christmas lunch at our house and even though at the time I had a 8 month old daughter and was working full time I decided it was a great idea to make our own Christmas bon bons just to prove to myself that I could be Susie House maker.  Only thing is our family Christmas lunch at the time was for about 25.  Needless to say it was VERY stressful but they did turn out ok.  In case you are crazy enough to try this here is a nice step by step on how to make them.

Christmas 2016

So last year I decided that it would be a good idea to start a family tradition of making Christmas Crafts with the kids. At the time my daughter, Miss S, was 5 and my son, Mr J, was 11 months. So like any mum with a young baby I waited until Mr J was sleeping before Miss S and I embarked on the craft making sessions.

There were trials and tribulations but in the end I was so proud of our Christmas Craft.  Miss S loves getting crafty plus it was a good mother-daughter bonding session.  We incorporated the results as some gifts for grandparents as well as decorations for the Christmas tree.

Christmas Craft 2016
Christmas Craft 2016

We made the triangle Santas, Reindeer and Christmas trees using cardboard and paint.

The other thing I decided to try last year was handmade gifts but given my handmade talents I decided to go with stuff in a jar.  I looked through all of the ones to purchase where you can make like lip gloss and body scrub and put in smaller containers and then put in a mason jar but I thought they were all a little complicated.  I made the decision to make them myself but from small products I could purchase relatively inexpensively.  The gunny sack had lots and this was my inspiration so here is what I did:

  1. Found a mason jar with a clip lid.
  2. Went to Kmart with the jar and looked at all the pamper type things they had.  I decided on two themes (one for hair and one for feet).
  3. For the hair ones I chose a hair mask to nourish the hair, a headband, some bobby pins, one of those small towels that you can dry your hair with.
  4. For the foot ones I chose a foot soak, some nail clippers, a pumice stone, nail polish and moisturiser.
  5. In the shop I made sure all of the ingredients fitted into the jar.
  6. Bought some ribbon and a little card and tied it around the neck of the jar and voila my own pamper in a jar gift.


Christmas 2017

Fast forward to this year and I’ve been hunting around for some more ideas of easy things we can make.  Now I stress the ‘easy things’ as I’m not really arty nor crafty I just endeavour to make things with my daughter because she loves it and seeing the joy on her face is worth the mess, drama and stress for me.

This year we are endeavouring to make the Tealight Snowmen for Miss S

Tealight Snowmen

and Hand and Foot Print Santa Sleighs for Mr J.

Hand and Foot Print Santa Sleigh
Hand and Foot Print Santa Sleigh

Other Christmas Craft Ideas

Whilst I was hunting around I came across some other great ideas to do with kids.  Click on each picture to go to website with the instructions.

Threaded Ribbon and Bead Christmas Tree
Threaded Ribbon and Bead Christmas Tree
Reindeer Ornament
Candy Cane Elf
Candy Cane Elf

I also found this really neat webpage called Easy Peasy and Fun which is totally dedicated to Crafts for Kids, Coloring pages, How to Draw Tutorials but I personally loved these two:

Christmas Cootie Catchers
Paper Ball Reindeer Craft
Paper Ball Reindeer Craft

Once we have had a chance to complete some of our art for this year I’ll upload some more photos.  Share with us the Christmas craft you are doing with your kids this year or do one of the ones we have suggested and show us the photos.  If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.

Mel Parish


Posted on 622 Comments

Not Eating Dinner Syndrome

Not Eating Dinner Syndrome

Do you suffer from not eating dinner syndrome?

So lately, we are suffering from the not eating dinner syndrome in our household.  Mr J is 20 months and has always gone between picking like a sparrow and demolishing like an eating machine.

The Situation

Lately he seems to be devouring breakfast and then petering off for the remainder of the day preferring milk in a Sippy cup or a bottle of formula. By dinner time, he is over it!
Firstly, he is a snacker!!!. Has loves biscuits and fruit and snack type foods – ANYTHING sweet. The human body is always amazing to me as my daughter comes from the same gene pool and has always had a penchant for savoury foods. Therefore, a kid that goes for everything sweet is new to me.

Mr J is a typical toddler in that he wants what he wants when he wants it and nothing else will do. I am always racking my brain to find something for him to eat that is healthy and that he will enjoy. He will try new foods, which is sometimes half the battle, but he likes something one day but not the next and is a fussy eater.

My Ideal

I have always tried to maintain a family dinner with varying degrees of success. Ideally, I would like us all to sit down together as a family and discuss our day or chat about upcoming things we are going to be doing. Now in reality the TV remains on most of the time which involves the kids, and the husband, glued to the TV and getting any conversation is sometimes a chore.

Now hubby works long hours and is rarely home in time for dinner, which makes it hard to stick to a routine with the kids so I try to have dinner with them and we aim between 6:00pm to 6:30pm.

Up until a few months ago, Mr J would sit in his high chair when we got home around 5:15pm and have food, either some yogurt or a sandwich or something substantial and then I would bath him and we would all sit down together and he would have a second round of food before bed.

The Issue

Suddenly he decided he did not like eating by himself and therefore wanted to wait until we all sit down together. Thus has been born the non-eater. I believe he is now too tired at the time we have dinner so does not eat and whinges which results in him going to bed. The hard part with that is he wakes up at 5:15am and wants a bottle, which I have come to realise, is because he is hungry!

Firstly, I began so that he had the same meals as everyone, thinking this would be incentive to eat just like everyone else.

Secondly, I tried different meals for him and stuck to things he likes so that would encourage him to eat.

Thirdly, I have given him a number of options so that he has a few things to choose from so he could pick whatever tickled his fancy on the day.

RESULT = not eating dinner syndrome.

So what to do?

So next, I think I am going to go back to the two-fold dinner. Give him something to eat, that he likes, when we first get home. I hope that he eats that, and then sit him down with the family to have a second course. We will try that and see how we go and then fingers crossed he will have a full tummy and now wake so early.
I know I am not along in this and have Googled the issues and I have listed some good sites below, however please share your experiences below as I would love to hear how you solve these problems at your house.

Here are also some articles I found when I searched for tips on keeping them safe:

Hope you found this article either amusing or interesting – thanks for reading.

Mel Parish


Posted on 4 Comments

How do you keep them safe?

How do you keep them safe?

Discussion on child safety in this day and age from stranger danger to technology

Stranger Danger

So in this day and age there are sooo many things to think about to try and protect your children from and and inform them about so they are aware. From the standard just crossing the street and being careful with sharp knifes and not running with scissors to stranger danger, bullying and cyber safety.

When I was younger it seemed like there was so much less to worry about.  You didn’t get in the car with, talk to or go anywhere with strangers. But unless it was the same and it just wasn’t as well publicised or reported – today seems like a lot more things we need to be teaching our children. Every other day you hear about a child being attacked or nearly attacked and most of the time it is sexually. So how do you go about trying to protect and educate your kids without freaking them out totally and making them scared someone is going to ‘take’ or ‘hurt’ them?????

So as kids do, my daughter (Miss S who is 6) gets scared about watching ‘baddies’ on TV but then I am always telling her to be careful when we are in the shopping centre and don’t stray or run away from me and don’t talk to strangers.  A few times she has said “I have to be careful or someone might take me” and lately we have to tell her nothing bad is going to happen to her every night.   Now the mummy guilt kicks in that I’ve frightened her but I also think she needs to be aware that the world isn’t fully of unicorns and rainbows but how far do you go?

I would say I am probably a more cautious and over-protective parent than your average parent as my mother was before me. In our house, we have an open door theory (bedrooms etc) and encourage frank open discussion about whatever questions the kids ask.  This is about everything from why do we eat oranges to where do babies come from.  Even with all of the above, I know my daughter is confident and I have seen her talk to complete strangers.  A few weeks ago, there was a report of someone approaching a child at the school.  Seriously how scary is that?  But what can you do?  You cannot lock them away from people altogether so we have had further discussions about what to do if someone approaches and that you “NO, GO, TELL” which has been around for ages but I don’t think you can remind them enough.


However, it does not stop there – every kid has access to at least one device that has access to the Internet as well as Netflix or some other streaming media and you can’t be there all the time.  Yes, there are parental controls and special apps that will reduce inappropriate content, however you do need to configure them and keep them up to date.  Alas, it seems that inappropriate content still creeps through. Alarmingly there are now reports of young boys thinking that porn is way that normal loving people have sex and the psychological and physical damage that that is causing both parties is almost too much for my parenting brain to think about. Nevertheless, as a parent I feel we need to step up and try and change this perception and we have a moral obligation to educate our children on these topics and not rely on the internet or some video to do it for us.  The message does not seem to be getting through.

Apart from the issue of inappropriate content seeping thought and permeating our children’s brains there is also the issue of bullying?  There are so many frightening statistics of the number of children and young adults that are constantly bullied 24/7.  When I was a teenager, prior to so much technology (yes I am that old),  when you left school for the day – that was it – you could switch off and not have anyone being nasty to you.  With access to 24/7 social media it seems relentless and there is no escape from people who want to bully others.  Even if it is, just a subset of keyboard warriors instead of the other kids you child associates with on a daily basis.

Let me ask you – do you know what your child is doing on their phone or device?  Do you connected with them on social media?  Do you know who their friends are on Snapchat and Tinder?  Gone are the days that you can say ‘Oh that is what all the kids are looking at nowadays’ – we, as parents, need to be involved.

What do we do?

I have raised a lot of questions and points here and I am by no means any sort of expert I am just a mother trying to equip her children for the current and future world and keep them safe.  For me I think and open dialogue and ensuring your kids feel comfortable in telling you what is happening or what they are concerned about are the best steps to bring the discussion out into the open.   I think we should be on all the social media platforms our children are on so we can see the content and know how they work!  I also am an avid believer that kids should not be hidden away in another room with their device, they should be out in the family room with everyone else that way you can see their expressions and keep having a sly look at the screen as well as engage them in conversation to find out what they are doing.

These things have been on my mind for some time, hence I thought I would write them down.  Feel free to share in the comments about how you protect your children and your philosophies on the points I have mentioned.  Be kind though as my mother always said treat others as you would like to be treated.

Useful Links

Here are also some articles I found when I searched for tips on keeping them safe:

Hope you found this article thought provoking if nothing else – thanks for reading.

A concerned parent doing their best.

Mel Parish