Roarrr its a Dinosaur Party, Swamp Dip Guacamole & a Dinosaur Cake

I love a good theme, its so much fun and I love any reason to celebrate, party, cook and....decorate!
Yep, I love Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Fancy Dress Parties

Its also always a great, fun opportunity too cook and create new things.

As a mother of two girls I never thought I'd be doing a dinosaur theme, and I have to say I am so glad my youngest is such an eclectic girl, the type who wants to wield a lightsaber while wearing a tutu! Its fun.

My little V loves dinosaurs, so it was only natural she would want a dinosaur party! So Kindy and ballet friends invited the dino planning fun began.

Meet Rex our party door greeter

Discovering the non fiction section on dinosaurs at the library has been a highlight of V's year!

Big sis and grandma taste testing the party food
Face painting by Fun Face Events

Dinosaur Jumping Castle by Jump Sunshine Coast
TAKE HOME BAG IDEA ***Dinosaur arts and crafts - great little addition for the take home bag that is not sugar and additive laden lollies is a paint your own dinosaur plaster of paris figure and cut out dino shapes, its personal, the kids love making them and who doesn't like glitter :)
 In our take home bags we also had garden whirls, printed colouring pages of dinosaur pictures and a box of crayons, a mini dinosaur toy, the usual blowers and balloons, some dinosaur shaped glitter sprinkles, box of organic sultanas, dinosaur crackers, dinosaur temporary tattoos and stamps. We really wanted to steer away from the usual lollies. 
Not the best shot (boy does that time go fast when you are setting up!) But you get the idea, lots of green and jungle features.

Adding some simple cut outs to the party hats to make them dinosaur - miss 4 actually did these 

Dinosaur footprints lead the way
 And such a fun part - the party food! Now I do believe in living life pretty much 80/20, yes my kids eat very healthy a large percentage of the time but I will also let them have abought icecream on a hot day out, fish and chips at the beach and a normal cake for their birthday! But I do still try and have lots of party food that is home made, additive free, fresh, wholefoods and refined sugar free as much as possible. In fact I even had the face painter comment at V's dino party just how calm and happy all the kids were - and yes, the kids were all still munching away happily! It is just that, yes its a party so you have some treats but you can also have lots of fun and delicious food that is healthy too.

Dinosaur footprint biscuits! These are fun and simple! I'll blog this recipe soon - why not sign up over on the side so you don't miss it.
Dinosaur eggs - these are my bliss balls made small get the recipe HERE
Flower Fossils - gluten free , get the recipe HERE
I found this idea on pinterest, I just made little mini spelt muffins, turned them upside down, cut them flat and then when cold topped with melted white chocolate that I mixed a few drops of food colour & beetroot juice into.
Viola iceburgs - these made the kids drinks of cold water funky, always a great idea to provide lots of iced cold water at parties, if you want you could add some cordial, there are also stevia varieties out there. 
We also served a sausage sizzle right before the cake, we had gluten free meat sausages and vegetarian sausages (cooked separately) and gluten free and fresh baked bread. We served with the Natvia refined sugar free tomato and BBQ sauces (find in Coles). Always a reliable hit for kids (and parents) and everyone loves the smell of a cooking bbq and onions :)

Swamp Dip - Guacamole
Yes, I didn't get a shot before the kids had tried some haha!
Swamp Dip Guacamole
4 large ripe avocado's
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I used homemade refined sugar free, made with stevia but bought is fine)
1 cabbage
Cut up carrot, celery (leave some with the leaves on to look jungley), red capsicum slivers and we also had gluten free corn chips 
Blend together avocado, sour cream and sweet chili - taste test, tweak if needed.
Kids love this dip and it is not hot so don't be frighten of the chili sauce in it!
Cut your cabbage in half, trying to leave any funky outside leaves in place for the dinosaur/jungle look. Using a knife score the pieces of cabbage and then remove with a spoon (give your self a few minutes to do this part)
Fill with the smooth guacamole.
The Dinosaur Cake
Ok, yes it does look a little like a chameleon haha but the kids didn't notice - I blame the eyes!
To make a Dinosaur cake I made 2 of my chocolate yoghurt cakes with organic sugar (but you could use whatever kind you liked really). One round, one rectangle. I got the idea from a food ideas magazine and then tweaked and played around with the design. I drew the shapes I wanted on baking paper to use as a trace to cut out the pieces, waited until the cake was stone cold and then used green butter cream icing to decorate and cut down ice cream cones for spikes and horns, you could actually put spikes right along the back of the dinosaur as well.
The frill was cut as one piece and slipped over the head.
I recommend making the cake the day before if that works for you timing wise. I didn't decorate mine with lollies like the food ideas magazine but you could if you wanted too, I was just trying to keep additives to a minimum, but that are brands out there that are additive free and you could of course make this with a gluten free cake mix as well - if you were looking for an easy, instant one I recommend Tania Hubbard's from Gluten Free Grain Free.
Bek Xxx

Finding Calm in a Busy, Modern Life

Finding Calm in A Busy, Modern Life.
When parenthood hits you are in a bubble of bliss. You have your new baby, life is a miracle full of love and all is good in the world.
And then, as it does, life starts to get busy. Babies grow and life becomes a bustle of rushing around.

I don’t know about your family life but my day to day can get pretty hectic!

Kids to get ready for school and kindy, lunch boxes to make, hair to do, uniforms to have ready, sibling fights to negotiate, then there is after school sports and activities, work schedules, housework, dinners to organise, meals to plan, shopping to do, appointments, events and then throw in some life events, accidents, unexpected hiccups and the odd illness or day care bug and of course the blog to look after and write and is it any wonder that life can get a little stressful? 

Stress as we know (and hear in the media) can be very harmful to our bodies.
Stress activates the body’s sympathetic nervous system and our inbuilt fight or flee response.
It is a very powerful design and does of course serve us well in times of emergency however activating this as often as we do in our stressful, busy modern lives can be very detrimental to our health.
In fact many experts now say we can eat as healthy as we like and exercise well but if we are not also making reducing stress an equal priority we can still get serious health issues.  

So as a busy mum when the new year clicked over to 2014 I decided my word for the year was going to be CALM…..
My mind, my body and my health had to start taking some priority if I was going to be healthy and happy and a great role model to my kids. I needed to bring some quiet, some peace, plenty of time outs and self nurturing and as much relaxation as possible into my day to day life. I needed more CALM.

So how do we get more calm into our busy lives?

Here are some of my TOP TIPS for blessing our lives with more beautiful calm.

  • Get organised. Yes, it really does work. Have a calendar (I have two) plan out each day and major events/appointments/sporting activities/school dates/bill due dates/fee due dates/birthdays/banking reminders. Have it somewhere visible that you see all the time and use it as the great tool it is. If you’re a blogger you could even have one just for your blog and what you need to do/post and when.
  • Have an organised space in the home for all the kids activities. I have a rack with containers for school (including bags), kindy, ballet, swimming, gymnastics etc. It makes life so much smoother to know everything for each activity is right in its spot when you need it and always has that organised home to go to. I find it also empowers the kids to look after their own stuff and also know where to put it each day.
  • Bake it Sundays. This cuts out so much stress! Each Sunday I spend quite a few hours baking muffins, biscuits, quiches, sausage rolls or pies type things and then freeze them for the busy school/kindy week ahead. I can then take out what I need as needed for lunchboxes.
    I also try and make a few dinner options for “those night” things like a cannelloni, quiche, and lasagne, bolognaise sauce that I can freeze for any easy meal during the week.
  • Mummy Time. Oh yeah, we soooo need it!! This can be as simple as an Epsom salt bath for 10 minutes, reading a book somewhere quiet, a walk on the beach, a gym session, yoga class, art class, dance class, a run around the block, catching a chai with girlfriends, making jewellery, painting, going to the cinema by yourself (and it’s not Disney), doing laps at the local pool, even cooking to music in an empty house – whatever makes you feel relaxed and full of JOY.
  • De-Clutter – it’s amazing how much better you feel when you declutter! One of my favourite books, “Does this clutter make my but look big” helped changed my life and inspired me to de clutter my life! Yes, I am still not perfect and yes I have ornaments and things and occasionally some clutter creeps in here and there but every so often we have a family culling and it always feel wonderful!
  • Insure what matters in your life.
    This can take a MASSIVE chunk of worry off your shoulders.
    Imagine rushing about your morning routine, kids in the car ready to go to where they need to go and you head down the road and the unimaginable happens someone goes right through that stop sign and hits you. You and your kids are all ok but your car, is a write off. What would you do? Who would you call? How when you still get the kids to where they needed to go, not just today but every day? You never realise how much you rely on your car for everything until you can’t.
    Trust me, I have had this exact thing happen and you guessed it, we were not insured and the other driver at fault’s insurance company only paid out the lowest market value they could find on the internet for our car. Not taking into consideration work or improvements (it was a 4 wd with accessories) and they took forever and a day too.
    We have more than enough on our plates already so take some stress away from the occasion, take out comprehensive car insurance and make sure what you do have is actually the right kind of cover and really will give you full peace of mind.
  • Have regular health and dental check ups. Yes, it might seem boring but when they find and treat things early on – it works out so much better (and cheaper) in the long run!
    This year I got both my kids well known to our local dentist, they have had check ups and cleans and talks with him about the importance of brushing, plus he gave them barbie toothbrushes which as you can imagine went down rather well!
  • Get on top of that paperwork. Did I hear you groan? Or maybe you are one of those super ocd organised people that I wish I was!! Yes, it can be heavy going but really a draw, cupboard overflowing with folders or a filing cupboard you just thing eergh about is not aiding to your new zeness! If you can afford to (and need to) hire a bookkeeper! Or make a day once a month to go through it all and keep it organised and filed and shred what you don’t need and if its not glossy – turn into super urber useful garden compost J
  • Be Prepared. Some might laugh that know me well but yes, I like to be prepared! I have an extensive first aid kit in the car, one for the pram and one at home. In my boot I will have an umbrella, torch, mini tool kit, rope, 2 towels, change of clothes for both kids (including undies), spare thongs for everyone, money for a phone call, picnic blanket, bottles of water, non-perishable emergency snacks for the kids, wipes, sanitiser, even a toilet roll! Just In Case. Haha
    Yes, I guess it is a little dorky maybe even OCD of me ( I am a little bit) but you would not believe how many times over the years it has come in handy! And not just for me, sometimes for other people I have helped!
  • Teach Your Kids Your Phone Number & Address. Easy to overlook put this is a really simple thing that could be very important if they ever got lost.
  • Tee up Emergency Parent Pick Up Friends. Ever had that day when something happened and you couldn’t get to the school in time to collect your kids? Or needed to drop them off too early?
    A really great idea is to form a small network with some parents you trust that live near you where you can swap each other’s details and organise to be a drop off/pick up back up option when something important comes up. This really will REALLY reduce stress in your life. There is such relief in knowing if you get stuck, can’t get away from work, your car breaks down, an appointment runs over or is too early that you have someone you can call who can help!

Of course there are many more things you can do to reduce stress in day to day life, these are just a few that I have found really help me. Would love you to leave any tips you too have below as well for everyone!

Live well. Eat Beautiful. Stay Calm. Be Happy.


This post is sponsored by Youi
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