May 2015’s picks

More crafting, less reading in my snatched moments this month which is good.  But lots added to the ‘To Read’ pile.  I am gradually working through building up the other sections of the site so please have a browse.  I did manage to read the latest Frankie and one article described the ‘the five best feelings in the world’ (P54) – including ‘sleeping triple clean’ when you manage to line up clean bedding, clean PJs, and having a shower right before bed.  Try it!

I have also now got the domain topickwisely.com for this blog.

To read:

To watch:

To listen to:

  • Headspace comes recommended.
  • With some googling I came across the Working Motherhood site I am sure there is some good content in the hundreds of episodes and would welcome any pointers if you have listened to these?
  • http://longestshortesttime.com/ has some good episodes from what I have tried so far.  I couldn’t believe the mum in Number 55 managed to stay inside for a whole month (her daughter refused to wear anything); Number 49 makes me grateful that I haven’t got any serious issues after childbirth but I had a lot more positive experience of hynobirthing than the lady interviewed; Number 50 is an interesting one about a very curious 8 year old!

To eat:

  • These worked out really well – Sky high blackberry apple muffins
  • This is a good cake if you have too many apples and the mixing stage is toddler friendly – Easy Apple Cake
  • New tips:
    • Store fresh herbs for longer in your fridge – put stems into a glass with an inch of water and cover with a small plastic bag tucked into the glass.  Change the water every few days.
    • Clever Mango preparation tip
    • Use scissors to cut food one handed.  Very useful with a baby on your hip!
    • Use a large bowl for rubbish to save trips back and forth to the bin across the kitchen.

Toddler activities:

There are so many ideas of what to do with toddlers I find it a little overwhelming so thought I would highlight five things I want to try:

  • More outside play inspired by these links – first one – feet painting on the cot box
  • Making paper beads for threading from old magazines – cut strips/ long triangles and wrap around a knitting needle/ wooden spoon handle using PVA glue to shape, slide off to dry.
  • Making gloop
  • Bottle top soup game
  • Monochrome potato printing

And ten things that have worked well:

  • Playing with a hole punch and different colours of paper.  Then using the mini circles to make window decorations by sandwiching between two sheets of clear contact paper/ sticky back plastic.
  • New cot for the baby = massive car ramp with the box.
  • Stocking a box with dressing up items – 3D cinema glasses, teething necklace, old hat, scarves etc.
  • Using fabric drawstring bags to store the toys with many pieces and help with quick tidying.
  • Digging in the sand and bark at the park with the diggers and dump trucks.
  • Using silly voices to get through tasks such as cooking and dressing – adding something from the dressing up box helped as well.
  • Folding and cutting paper into shapes and making fish/ flowers etc. by gluing the pieces.  Creating a curve with rolling the paper over a pencil makes a really pretty 3D flower.
  • Puff pastry baking – using shop bought frozen sheets, thaw a little and cut into shapes to make twists/ pies etc. Fill with stewed fruit/ jam/ cheese and herbs etc. cook on a well lined/greased sheet/ cupcake tray.
  • Double pull-up nappy change – for ‘number ones’ just pull on the new nappy and then when half way up take the old one off and pull the new one all the way up.  Saves chasing the toddler twice!
  • High chair dressing.  After breakfast and while they are contained put the new top on.  Or just buy PJs they can wear outside the house to save a change.

As mentioned last month I have been working on some play concept sheets.  These are designed to give you a starting point to help with the ‘what to do next?’ question.  I have tried to build them in layers of play themes, play materials, play spaces.  I will share these next month once these have been trialled with a few friends.

To craft:

I have found a real need to get crafting again this month.  Recent successes include finally making another car roll, a fabric bucket to hide things, a denim whale as well as lots of origami bows.  These are on the to do pile: Air Dry Clay dishesOilcloth grocery bag, Gathered skirt (for all ages).  Oh and finish the cross-stitch A-Z that I have been doing for 5 years!

To organise:

  • Heard good things about Trello so going to try it for organising the next big project.  Check out their blog for ideas of how to use it.
  • Doodle is good for organising meetings/ catch-ups with a large group etc.
  • Some good inspiration here for organising your home.
  • More jobs to add to list having looked at this site to make sure everything is set up – http://planningaheadtools.com.au/.
  • Do you have any good tracking tips/apps/websites for all your important documents etc.?
  • Have you reserved an email address for your children?  Good to use it to send thank yous/ photos to family etc.  We have them on our tiny beans distribution list so they will have a record of their early years.

In Sydney:

In addition to those shared before there are some good events coming up:

Hope some of these help and inspire you.  Please let me know if you are finding this helpful as it does take a bit of time to consolidate but I am enjoying doing it!

Eleanor

topickwisely@gmail.com

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