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SCHOOL'S OUT!! Now what??

Sunday, 27th September 2015

Excitement is rife at Mum Made HQ - these school holidays are my son's first ever “school holidays"! (And mine too). Together, we have come up with some sanity-saving ideas for every day there would otherwise have been school…including our STEAL (FREE or less than $5) or SPLURGE event “wishlist” of something a bit different than what we normally do. 

Bake with the kids, make meals ahead of time for the freezer, and get the kids to help prep ready-to-go snack packs so that you’re not scrambling to organise food during the week when you just want to get out the door!

Let’s get creative and kick off the first day with a how-to video from our favourite MumBlogger – Maria from Happy Mum Happy Child and her SUPER EASY PLAYDOUGH, which you can keep coming back to, all holidays! No-cook, and ready in less than 10 minutes. BOOM.

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: If you love playdough, you'll love this! Squishy Circuits is on today at the Ranui and Massey Libraries starting from 10am. FREE
OR for a different kind of creative activity, check out if your local Westfield is hosting an event. At our local, you can Make Your Own Birdhouse this week! Please note bookings are taken on the day at Centre Court.
SPLURGE: Let the kids go wild at Butterfly Creek's Creative StationThis will be set up in the Boneyard room situated in Dinosaur Kingdom, so normal entry fees apply.

What’s your best school holiday tip?
TELL US and you could WIN yourself a Quickflix voucher!


Always requested at our house, try some delicious fun that’s also educational, here is a how-to video for budding scientists on how to make ice cream in a bag!
All you need is:
1 x large ziplock bag containing 6c ice + 6T salt 
1 x small ziplock bag containing 125ml cream + 1T Hersheys chocolate syrup
Put the small bag inside the big bag and SQUISH around in the salted ice for 5-10 mins. 
Rinse the small bag before opening and enjoy

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: Auckland Art Gallery has FREE interactive learning centre – fun and educational! #win
SPLURGE: In keeping with the educational theme, MOTAT has a Crime Scene theme happening where kids can cast themselves as forensic scientists, gathering and analysing evidence to solve a fictional crime at the Museum. HOW COOL IS THAT? FREE for under 5's, Kids $8, Adults $16, Family pass $40.

If you aren’t already, follow Stacey over on Realistic Kidface and let her entertain you! 
Here is her latest post on crafting with kids, including a how-to on using Mod Podge to create custom mugs!

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: Sea scopes is starting today from 10am down at the Navy Museum in Devonport. Bookings recommended - or call 09 4455186. Cost: $5 per sea scope

SPLURGE: NZ Maritime Museum has the Ted Ashby Family Harbour Cruise on today from 11.30am. Cost for Aucklanders: Kids $7.50, Adults $15, Family pass $30

For the animal lovers, you can download and enter this colouring-in competition from Animates and be in to win a Snoopy and Charlie Brown – The Peanuts Movie “back-to-school” set, a double pass to the movie and $10 Animates voucher!*Conditions apply 
They also have a FREE activity booklet download

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: Check out your local Animates! They’re hosting a FREE event today at 11am (and next Thursday too!). No bookings required but there are limited spots! Children get to learn all about cats and dogs, and also get a certificate to take home.
SPLURGE: Auckland Zoo’s Mission Possible is on during the school holidays. As a "trainee zookeeper" you'll get a Mission Possible pack on arrival and have the opportunity to discover the ways that zookeepers help fight extinction (normal Zoo entry fee applies)

GEOCACHING (my son calls it treasure-hunting). 
IF you haven't discovered this yet, you're really REALLY missing out on a whole hidden world of fun, right under your nose! You can download the Intro app by Groundspeak Inc. for both Apple and Andriod for FREE! Make sure to read up on the etiquette so as to continue alluding muggles...
WARNING: THIS IS SERIOUSLY ADDICTIVE. We are planning our own caches to add to the map!

For those in Auckand...
STEAL: Local parks. FREE
The weather is warming up and the sun is shining more often these days! Slap on some sunscreen and get the bikes/scooters/rollerskates/skateboards out. What’s your favourite park? Our go-to for guaranteed fun is normally Onepoto Domain, with the AMAZING bike tracks and flying fox! And the ice cream truck that always turns up just as you’re leaving (crying child vs melted ice cream through the car on a hot day). 
BUT we have recently re-discovered our local Greville Reserve has been really nicely updated. There’s also Centennial Park (a reserve) across the road if bush-walking is more your thing. Across the other road, there’s also a Dominoes (and bottle store…just saying) and there’s your dinner treat.
SPLURGE: ARBORIA is on at Aotea Square today from 10am. Cost: $12

Night-time fun to change it up a bit! Have you camped out in your own back yard? Tell stories over hot chocolate with marshmallows, or make your own s’mores (For a no-hassle version, we use giant marshmallows sandwiched between cream crackers spread with nutella). And at least if all goes pear-shaped, bed is just a few steps away.

For those in Auckand...
STEAL: Aotea Square has a FREE sound and light installation VS300 playing every 7mins starting from 6.30pm every night.
SPLURGE: At Stardome, you can w
atch the planetarium show Perfect Little Planet or We Are Aliens, colour in the alien landscape wall, make an alien mask to take home and watch a rocket launch (weather permitting). Bookings essential. Cost: Kids $12, Adults $10

Have you been to your local library recently? It’s a treasure trove of low-cost-fees for hire of things such as puzzles and dvds, or of course borrowing of books which is FREE. 

For those in Auckand...
BUZZING BOTS creation (one of many FREE EVENTS hosted by the Auckland Libraries) is on today at Glenfield Library from 11am-noon. Limit 25 so booking is essential. To reserve your place, phone 486-8555 or email Andy Nixon
SPLURGE: A play based on the novel, you could borrow the book from the library then catch The Velveteen Rabbit showing at the Pump House, with tickets starting at $22 

For the budding artists, check out our favourite MumBlogger Maria’s video tutorial on how to make coloured rice. This is a double-whammy, as once you’re done making the rice, you can use it to make your own rice-confetti collage with PVA glue on card – GREAT for homemade Christmas cards (YES Christmas is almost here!).

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: Check out your local shopping malls – Shore city is hosting FREE craft events for all ages. Today, they have a 30min Beadazzle Jewellery Parties starting from 10am (OR there are also LEGO Parties for the boys not interested in Beadazzling). Make sure to book your spot!
SPLURGE: You can book 2-hour to half-day art classes for 5-14 year olds, at the Mairangi Arts Centre starting at $30

Sometimes you just feel like sitting and doing nothing. Throw down a blanket, pack an indoor-picnic lunch and have a movie-thon.

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: Let someone else do the entertaining, and catch STORYTELLING (one of many things on offer at the Auckland Museum) or STORYTIME at your local library. Both FREE
SPLURGE: Movieland at Skytower is on where you can see a Movieland exhibit with props, activity station, a green room, a selfie station and 3 years and older kids can play in the world's highest ball pit. Kids receive a Movieland shaped balloon and popcorn. Cost: Kids under 6 are FREE, Kids 6 to 14 years old $11, Adults $28, Family pass $61

DAY 10
The holidays are almost over! Let’s get active, hopefully burn off some of that endless energy, and maybe then have a relaxing weekend of laundry and grocery shopping and prepping for Term 4…?

For those in Auckland...
STEAL: Pop-Up Minigolf @Silo Park is on today - looks like fun! And only $5
SPLURGE: JUMP!! Located around Auckland and starting from $10 entry for kids under 110cm


I hope this helps you survive! Will let you know how I go LOL

x Jenni


change it up

Wednesday, 16th September 2015

School holidays are almost upon us (again!?)...

Next time you've had it up to here with your kids and you can feel the same script rise to your lips, stop.
Swallow those words.
They've heard it before.
They know how long the speech takes, how long they'll have to stop and pretend to listen, how long to be remorseful for before they revert to their usual behaviour.
What to do?
Time out.
Put yourself in time out.
They won't know what to do with that one, and their bewilderment may just buy you a few hours of good behaviour.

~ Stacey Edgar from Realistic Kidface

Failing that, we have 2 x Quickflix prizes up for grabs, to help you keep them quiet for a few minutes! 
All you have to do is comment your child's favourite movie! 

Click HERE to enter




Thursday, 3rd September 2015

It's been a crazy month! 
Some people (ahem, my parents) may say that I live vicariously through my children...aaand they'd probably be right...I LOVE kids parties - any excuse for cake, dress-ups, toys and chaos!
Here (finally) is the blog about my son's BIG 5TH BIRTHDAY!

So a bit of history:

I've made life difficult for myself by always out-doing the last birthday cake each year...To be perfectly honest, my favourite will always be the 3rd birthday Treasure Chest pinata cake...But I'll keep trying!

All I knew for sure was that the theme had to be Superheros this year, and that the party had better be cool hahaha

So, inspired by the Rainbow Checkerboard Cake by My Cupcake Addiction, I decided to give it a go...aaand dress it up with fondant icing skyline to represent Batman, red cape to represent Superman, Hulk hand (I found a foam toy for this luckily!)...It definitely wasn't perfect, in fact the back half started to sag from the weight of the cape! But the little man was super happy so mission accomplished!


Step 1.
Bake 6 10-inch cakes in 6 different colours
I used gel colours which I bought from - they've even got some great deals on right now!
TIP: wrap a wet teatowel around the cake tin to encourage even rising

Step 2. 
Cool, trim the tops so they are level, and cut 1 x 7-inch circle and 1 x 4-inch circle from each cake

Step 3.
Lighty spread buttercream in the insides of the biggest circles, then gently press the middle circles into the biggest circles. Don't forget to mix up the colours! Repeat with smallest circles.

Step 4.
Dollop a bit of buttercream in the centre of the cakeboard to anchor your first layer. Buttercream between the layers as you stack those cakes up!

Step 5.
To get a good finish, lightly buttercream the outside of the cake and let it set before coating in a final (generous) layer of buttercream.

STOP HERE if you are not covering in fondant! Level off your icing with a long plastic ruler, and you're done!

Step 6 - if you're crazy.....
Make sure you have wine handy. Because this is the trickiest bit, and I would probably not have bothered if I had to do it again! (Or would have inserted cake boards and dowel supports in between every 2 layers)
Smother another light layer of buttercream over the cake. Cover in your fondant, using dabs of buttercream to stick on little pieces of fondant embellishment

I don't think I'll make another cake this size again - once done, it stood 30cm tall and weighed in at around 5kg!!! 

We made a city-scape back-drop for the table from a random assortment of cardboard boxes covered with black crepe paper (easier said than done...) and little yellow squares of card.

We made some easy superhero-inspired food:
"Thor's Hammer" - pretzel sticks in cubes of cheese
"Kryptonite" - double-strength jelly roughly cut into chunks
"Captain America's Shield" which was a round fruit platter of red fruit (we used strawberries/grapes), white marshmallows and a star-shaped bowl in the centre with some whipped cream
"POPcorn" - popcorn
"BANGers" - coctail sausages
"Bat-mite Snacks" - marmite and cheese sandwiches cut out with a batman cutter
We gave some every-day things a superhero-namecard such as "Invisibility Potion" (water) and "Kryptonite Punch" (slightly diluted lime cordial) and had little baskets of "KA-POW Poppers" (party poppers)
OH ofcourse - had all the kids come dressed as their favourite superhero!

You can download these namecards HERE and the superhero logos (which we stuck onto plain balloons) HERE

Hope you have lots of fun creating your superhero party! And don't forget to send us some pics x


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