Colouring in for adults - discover your inner child

Last week I bought some colouring-in books, but not for the kids - for me and a close, school-mum friend of mine for her birthday. When I gave her the gift, the other mums also wanted one. My friend has told me that even before putting pencil to paper, she and her daughter spent ages (and quality time) gazing through the beautiful, intricately detailed pages, deciding which to colour first.

Have you ever found yourself joining in with your child as they colour in their stencils or activity books? When you go to child-friendly cafes and restaurants, do you find yourself covering every square inch of the butcher’s paper with crayon doodles?

Darling Quarter Kids Playground Sydney NSW

1 Harbour Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Activities and play areas
Details coming soon (I need to type them up following the notes I made during our play!) In the meantime, click on the pictures below to view full size.

Have you been to this park? Let us know what you thought. 

Synergy Parkland Kings Park Perth WA

May Drive, Kings Park WA 6005

Activities and play areas
Just WOW! Synergy Parkland has lots of fantastic playground equipment as well as a lot more to engage older kids. We seriously loved discovering this park during our visit to Perth.

More details coming soon, in the meantime, enjoy the gallery.

Batemans Bay - Corrigans Beach Reserve, beach and playground

Beach Road, Batehaven NSW 2536

Activities and play areas
Details coming soon, for now enjoy the photo gallery.

Parties - Theme ideas

Your child's party is coming up and you've either decided to have a party at home, go to a park or you've booked a venue. Not only has your original panic attack subsided but you're in the grips of enthusiasm as you're preparing the party plan and scanning Pinterest boards. 

While a dedicated party venue will have everything required and just needs your credit card details, you've decided that for your child's up-coming party there will be a theme and you'll plan everything around it.

Parties at home - Planning and invitations

So far, the idea of having your child's party at home has been just that - an idea. You've gotten used to the idea and managed to regulate your breathing and heart-rate. Now, turning your party ideas into a reality by sending out invitations and confirming any bookings should be a breeze.

One+ month before
Following the previous post: Parties at home - Part 1 - Deciding to do it, by now you would have:

Parties - Deciding to have a party at home!

OK, so you've just managed to regulate your breathing and get your heartbeat back to normal after realising that your child’s birthday is coming up and they've spent the past 11 months talking about their next party.

Queue heart palpitations and black spots in front of your eyes as phone call after phone call results in discovering that all venues are booked out on your available dates so GASP, you have decided to have the party AT HOME.

Now, pick yourself up off the floor and BREATHE. This IS do-able.

Putney Park, Putney, NSW

Pellisier Road, Putney  NSW  2112

Activities and play areas
Overlooking Kissing Point Bay on the Parramatta River, this park is a great find! The play equipment, water play and grassed areas offer something for all ages, but are set apart a little. 

From the car park you enter via the large fort/tower/bridge/slide structure which the kids will love climbing up, running across and sliding down. 

Pirrama Park, Pyrmont, NSW

Pirrama Road, Pyrmont  NSW  2046

Activities and play areas
Pyrmont is located west of Sydney CBD, just around from Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour. This landscaped park offers enough play areas and facilities for kids of all ages and a family day out.

Playground ground cover: Barkchips under play equipment. Concrete at water play. Sand play and open grassed areas.
Paths: Yes - the wide foreshore esplanade frames the peninsula.
Sand play: Yes - it provides wet and dry sand play and is partially shaded.
Water play (non swim): Yes - timed jets of water which come out in an arc so kids can  try to go under them.

The Entrance - Vera's Water Garden, Memorial Park and daily pelican feeding

via The Entrance Road, The Entrance NSW 2261

Activities and play areas
Details coming soon, but in the meantime, click on the pictures below to view full size.

Vera's Water Garden

Winnererremy Bay Foreshore Reserve - Flying Fox Playground

Mona Street, Mona Vale NSW 2103

Activities and play areas
Details coming soon (getting around to typing them up with all the others!) In the meantime, browse through the gallery below for an idea on what is available in this great park, beach and open space.

The park and playground, including the flying fox!

Activity review - Family Pirate Cruise on Sydney Harbour

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day which is also celebrated in Australia in support of Childhood Cancer Support.

We are definitely a Piratical family!

As soon as you walk into our house one of the first things you'll see is the kids' pirate fort.

Our home library has a modest but dedicated section just for pirate related books and puzzles which are firm favourites and accessed regularly. 

We have been evicted - YAY!

This is all the space they once needed!!
We've been evicted. We received our Notice of Termination while the boys and I were away but Mr Guide waited until we got back to tell me.

No, we are not awful tenants (though our neighbours who have to listen to me singing at the top of my voice as I prepare dinner each evening might be breathing a sigh of relief....)

Cheese and corn muffins

Makes approximately 24
Great for lunchboxes
Freezes well

These are my flavorsome variation to the cheese and bacon muffins. OK, the recipe is almost identical except substitute "bacon" for "corn". 

These are quick and easy to mix and the kids love all the measuring, grating, sifting, whisking and especially eating!

Travel - Language: both an attraction and a keepsake

Playing on the promenade in Split, Croatia. A local mum
is blowing bubbles as my boys and several other kids are
running around trying to catch them. Language is no barrier.
During the 2014 July school holidays (and a bit more) I took Mr 8 and Mr 5 on their first overseas holiday. It was just the three of us as Mr Guide couldn't take the time off work and the teens had study commitments (plus an entire family holiday was beyond our budget). 

See previous posts for details about the holiday. Now that we're back, I want to write about something that the boys experienced both as a highlight and brought home as a keepsake, and that is language.