Tips For Mum

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Decluttering the plastic bags

Yes, you’re good, and you take a bag to the shops. But sometimes you forget, or like me, you purchase more than you intended.

Next thing you know, you have a huge bag of plastic bags. Or a drawer full. Or a cupboard crammed with them – wasting valuable kitchen space. Perhaps you cram them into a dispenser or you might recycle them (yay!) but if you’d like a more compact way to store them, here’s a good idea my Dad showed me.

Here’s a second method you could try – it’s much faster.

Yes, it may seem like a complete waste of time, but to be honest, I find it strangely therapeutic. Easy to do while watching tv or enjoying a chat with a friend. Give it a try!

Bulky bags take up a lot of space. Bulky bags take up a lot of space.

neat and organised bags! neat and organised bags!

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Trick or Treating – LIke it or Hate It

The bloggershphere has been awash this week with people saying they either love or hate the Halloween tradition of Trick or Treat.  There is even a debate on what age children should stop trick or treating ( I say if you can drive you can’t trick or treat!!).

What happens when kids who don’t live in your street or anywhere near your street knock on your door??  Is that fair if one street is more popular than another?

Having lived in an apartment for some time and not having a street, as such, to knock on doors, I totally understand that you really do need to find somewhere to trick or treat.  My suggestion is that if you do drop into another street have some lollys on hand. You can give these to the residents to thank them for their generosity.

Some people are very aware that not all people like Halloween and they are hesitate to knock on doors. So TFM has produced a  free printable poster that you can put on your letterbox.  If you welcome kids Trick or Treating print it out.  To download the poster click here – Knock On Our Door  .  If you download the poster it will print out in A4.

So what do you think?  Should kids only trick or treat in their own neighbourhood?  What age should a child stop trick or treating??


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Five Super Easy Kid’s Party Decorations

What is a party without a cake and some cool decorations – well just a play date really.  But you don’t want to spend too much time (and money) on decorations.  Here are five ideas that don’t take much time to whip up and they are really effective.

Balloons Hang Them Down Not Up

Did you know that there is a world wide shortage of Helium?  Floating party balloons could soon be a thing of the past, with a world helium shortage sending prices soaring.  So instead of floating balloons attach them to the ceiling and hang them down.  If you really want to make sure they stay hanging down (for example:  you are outside and they are hanging from a tent or marquee – pop a marble into the balloon).





Plastic Table Cloths Make Great and Colourful Door Covers

Here are some great ways to decorate with the plastic tablecloth from a discount variety store.

Check out these lego themed doors.  They are made of plastic tablecloth covers and the same coloured plastic plates.


Source:   Pinterest





So many ways to use plastic tablecloths.  For example if you are having a frozen party, grab an aqua tablecloth and paste on some white snowflakes.

Go Crazy with Washi Tape

One roll of Washi Tape can go a long way to making plain items look pretty and decorative

At parties, we all want the kids to drink out of the one cup and not another kid’s cup.  Grab some plain cups and put their initial on the cup with washi tape.

washi cups

Make a cake stand look cute and match it with the party’s colour theme with some washi tape.

washi cake stands


Reusable Chalkboard Bunting

Next time you need to create a statement or make a blank wall look good, use chalkboard bunting. It is strung on jute (which gives it a classic vintage feel).  The best thing about this product is you can use it for every child’s party and every other occassion.





The use of this chalkboard/blackboard bunting is only limited your imagination.

Tissue Paper

We could write a whole blog on uses of tissue paper.  Next time you received something wrapped in tissue paper keep it.  For this easy decoration, you want the tissue scrunched up.



Do you know any other easy decorations?

If you are looking for easy to make party food check out our blog on Non Bake Slices.

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Five Storage Solutions for Small Toy Cars

Have you ever, in the middle of the night, stepped on a a small car?  I once twisted my ankle when I stepped on a toy car (but don’t worry I told everyone that it was when I was doing a workout!!!).  Here are five storage solutions you may find useful.  Some of them involve DIY.

DiY Matchbox Storage Garage



Magnetic Car Mural



Tackle Box Garage



Ikea Storage Basket


This idea is functional and decorative.

Source:  Ikea

Hanging Car Organiser



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Five of the Best No Bake Slices – Uberyum

Ladies bring a plate. Do you cringe when you hear you have to turn up with a plate? Here are five super easy and super yummy no bake slices you can whip up in no time. Just remember to always take the slices on a nice looking plastic plate (that you do not mind if you never see again).

Caramello Slice



Passionfruit Slice




Maltesers and Mars Bar Slice



Choc Mint Thins


Image:  Thats Life

Clinkers Slice



Which is your favourite?


Are you a SM?


What is a SM? SM is a suburban mum. Someone who lives in the suburbs and does very “suburban” activities. For some people being a SM is a matter of pride, however for others learning they are a SM is a cringe inducing moment. So here is a test to see if you are a SM (if five or more apply you are a SM).

  • You have a 4 Wheel Drive, where the only off roading you do, is when you accidentally hit a curb;
  • You wear work out gear to drive to the local coffee shop to buy your daily coffee;
  • Your coffee of choice is a skim milk  weak but very hot latte;
  • You know exactly how many carbs you can consume per day and you may have also been on a Paleo diet or a sugar free diet;
  • You know all your children’s personal best times at Little Athletics;
  • You spend more time at your children’s school doing volunteer work than you do paid work;
  • You socialise your baby at baby classes;
  • You socialise your dog with other dogs at the dog park;
  • You enter your child in every competition which can show off their unique talents (art comps, cooking comps, dance comps);
  • Your idea of gardening is telling the gardener to trim more off the hedge;
  • You believe every child should win a prize in pass the parcel or receive participation ribbons at school carnivals;


  • You have five different ways to cut out fairy bread into different and unusual shapes;
  • You have a home based business selling the latest “must have” product;
  • You are a mummy blogger;
  • You line up for hours to make sure your child gets a place in the favourite class or activity; or
  • You have a car pool schedule (because that helps reduce carbon miles);
  • You have a colour coded weekly planner that sets out all the different activities your children undertake.

For the record this mummy blogger, got more than five and is loud and proud that she is a Suburban Mum (and she hopes that her husband does not look at the wheel rims on her car as she has done some major off road activity lately). It is also possible that being a suburban mum could be genetic as this suburban mum still takes pride at coming second in the East State School Egg and Bacon Quiche cooking comp and a highly commended at the Toowoomba Art Show.

The term Suburban Mum was created by hilarious blogger and author Jenn Mann (check out

Do you know any other signs of a Suburban Mum?

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Five Party Trends that Should Be Avoided

In the USA they love to party and they love making kid’s parties bigger and bigger each year.   Here are five trends I hope that don’t take hold in Australia.


  1. Half Birthdays

    Yes you read that correctly – celebrate a birthday every six months. The cake is only half a cake. Everyone who has hosted a kid’s birthday party knows how stressful (and sometimes traumatic) a kid’s party can be – why put yourself through that every six months.

  2. Baby Tooth Jewellery

    Apparently losing a baby tooth is a pivotal moment in every child’s life and it should be celebrated by wearing a baby tooth necklace. An impression is made of the baby’s tooth and then turned into either sterling silver or gold plated jewellery for the mother’s birthday. Don’t worry the original tooth is returned to you. I have just one word for this trend – YUK.

  3. Birthday Crowns

    A party hat will not do. Now you must spend hours, hand making, a party crown for your child. There are hundreds of pins on Pinterest with DIY instructions on birthday crowns. The birthday crown shows your child’s personality and individualism.


4.    Gender Reveal Party

It is all the go to have a party where you reveal to your friends and loved ones the gender of your baby. The gender is revealed by cutting a cake and if the cake is pink it’s a girl and if the cake is blue it’s a boy. Why do we need to reveal the sex of the baby in such a grand way? Of course, a gender reveal does not need to involve a cake, every day new gender reveal ideas are blogged about. When I was pregnant, my husband was adamant, that we should not know the baby’s gender. He said it was the one last surprise left in life. He was right.

5.     Menu Makeover

The latest trend is to ditch the party pies, fairy bread and chocolate crackles. Apparently a child’s palate has become more developed at a younger age and they now demand sushi, grilled vegetables and even caviar.


You may wonder why smash cakes are not on the list (well because that trend has made it to Australia!!).

Do you know of any other trends that we should not adopt?

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Am I a bad mum for exposing my daughter to the Nazi’s?


My daughter asked me on several occasions if she could hold a book club – she wanted to be just like mum. I finally relented and set a date for a kid’s book club.

Each child was asked to bring their favourite book – the kid’s ages ranged from 9 to 11. They all had a chance to talk about their favourite book.

One of the kids discussed in detail the Morris Gleitzman Holocaust trilogy – Once, Then and Now (subsequently a fourth book After has been published). The kids were fascinated about these books.

My daughter begged me to borrow the Gleitzman books from the Library. We did and she loved them.

A month later, I was shocked to see the children’s book club being described in a National Blog as a bad example of parenting.  Apparently my actions had led to the loss of the age of innocence.

At the book club, one of the kids,  was the best friend of the blogger’s child. The blogger had seen the girls playing Nazis in the backyard. She found out about the book club and was shocked. She described the bookclub as part of “the competitive world of the middle class… kids reading books for way beyond their years”. The blogger went on to say that she wanted her children to read fairytales and remain innocent. Well we all know that fairytales are not violent (evil step mums, witches who want to eat children, hungry wolves and child slavery).

I was upset about the blog. The kid’s book club had been a lovely day where the kids eagerly discussed books, ran around and then ate some healthy foods. It now appeared that I was part of this group of mums forcing our children to become some sort of intellectual elite.

Since that time my daughter has read the four Morris Gleitzman books and The Diary of Anne Frank. My daughter regularly watches Who Do You Think You Are (where the Holocaust is frequently mentioned). My daughter is 12.

So what age is appropriate for children to learn about a very tragic event? In this digital age it is hard to stop our children from learning about matters, which are horrifying. Kids just need to listen to the news on the radio or watch the nightly news to know that there is evil in the world. I would rather my child learn about the Holocaust in a well-written book by a respected children’s author. I want my child to understand that it is not acceptable to treat people differently because they practice another religion or they are another race.

I wrote to the author and asked him for the appropriate age, he suggested from 9 upwards. In fact this is his view on exposing children to difficult subjects

“there has traditionally been a view that childhood is a quarantineable place where children are shielded, where they can grow and develop without being troubled. But children’s writers have come to realise that while some of that is to be respected, it has become increasingly irrelevant because we all have such open access to everything.”

What are your thoughts? When should a child be exposed to tragic historical events?

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What Happens at Book Club Stays at Book Club

A few years ago I started a book club and tried to bring together as many different types of people I could so that the book club would have intelligent, witty and meaningful discussions.  After a few years our book club disbanded and I started talking to other people about their book clubs and discovered they were very much like mine ( i.e that a book club rarely discusses the book and there is more talk about life in general).  Our agenda really was like this tea towel.



After discussing book clubs with my friends we have come up with a few characters that tend to pop up at a book clubs.

  1.  The Intellectual

    The Intellectual only wants to discuss books that have been listed for a literary award or are the classics.  They are offended if you want to discuss a book on the top selling list or a comedy.  They only want to read about angst and war torn counties.  They see War and Peace as a light read.  They are in fact a book snob.

  1. The Chick Lit Specialist

    They only want to read light novels.  They take great pride in saying they have read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (and they have a definite opinion on who should play Christian Grey in the movie adaptation).

  2. I Just Want To Get Out of the House Book Club Member

    This person does not care what they read, they just want a night out where they can relax eat good cheese and sip a nice wine.  They prefer books that have been adapted into movies.

  3. The Don’t Like It Book Club Member

    This person will never like a book unless they chose it.  They will have strong opinions on everything and want their opinions known.


  1. The Procrastinator

    They leave reading the book to the last minute.  They have to skip through parts of the book and really can’t join in the conversation (except maybe to say that either liked or did not like the book).

  2. The  Enforcer

    They dominate the conversation and every time the conversation strays from the book they try and bring the discussion back to the book.  They have prepared answers to the questions they found on the internet and they may not be as intellectual as “the intellectual” but they are going to give it a good try.  (this could have been me)

  3. The Off Topic Gal

    She is always talking about something else.  She has side conversations and  then asks people to repeat themselves as she did not hear the conversation as she was talking.

Now these characters may put you off joining a book club, but a book club does have some great advantages.  It makes you read a new book every six weeks, you meet new people, you eat good food, you get a chance to talk about your husband and kids without fear or favour – because the number one rule of book club is …. what happens in book club stays in book club.

Have I missed any types you know off?

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Nit Police


Head Lice do not discriminate.  Head Lice can be found in every school in Australia.  They are stubborn little buggers!!  In NSW Head lice infestations are a common occurrence, particularly in primary schools where about 23% of primary students have head lice at any one time.  Don’t fool yourself, any child can catch head lice – it does not matter what age or sex they are or in fact how clean your hair is.  I recently stumbled across a letter on the internet where one school said they had found lice on a child’s hair the size of shrimp (yuk yuk and maybe a bit of an exaggeration)!!!

At my daughter’s primary school a group of dedicated mums started a head lice screening programme.  They were affectionately known as the nit police.  They did a fabulous job in reducing the amount of head lice infestations in the school.  They provided good information on how to get rid of head lice (hair smothered in white hair conditioner then combed with a nit comb on a daily basis).

Once a term (and with the parent’s consent) a child’s hair was checked.  A note was sent home to all parents advising if lice or eggs were found on their child’s hair on in their child’s class.  I used to dread opening the letter – I would be horrified if my child had lice.  Luckily we were okay as I had followed the recommendations of the nit police.   They also encouraged a squeaky clean weekend.  The idea was that any child who brought back a note on Monday, signed by their parents confirming they had their hair combed with a nit comb, received a reward.  Wow did this create waves.  What if a parent did not want to check their children’s hair, what if the child forgot the note, why should a child miss out on a reward?

Not everyone consented to their child’s hair being checked for lice – however about 70% of the school population did agree.  This is a terrific programme that more schools should adopt.  If you have ever had to deal with head lice (that spreads rapidly among families) I think you will agree.  Gosh even as I write my scalp is starting to itch.



Do you agree with the Nit Police programme?


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