Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Frock Feature 4

Another Friday, another frock!

I had an opportunity to wear my LBD as part of my birthday celebrations. This dress is a bargain from Ezibuy- so easy to wear and comfortable. the material is a bit thin so I wore a nude slip from boohoo underneath.

I paired this dress with some strappy blue, green and black high heels, and added my new Portmans crop jacket for some warmth and colour.

My sister and I had a great time celebrating our birthday at the newly re-opened Yamagen restaurant, complete with a chef who was skilled at upside down salt writing!

Don't forget to check out the reasons behind Frocktober and donate here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Frock Feature 3

Today I am sharing a fun party dress that I can dress down for daytime events.

This Heidi Heavy Embellished Chiffon Skater Dress from Boohoo has been great for both day and night occasions, and I love the extra sparkle that the top adds, and the gathered waist gives me shape but is still really comfortable to wear.

The back also has gorgeous detailing, with a button clasp and slight gape to show off your skin.

I wore this dress with flat sandals to a daytime children's birthday party, but it is also beautiful paired with wine red lips and black pumps for a night out.

Unfortunately this dress has sold out online, but I have found a similar one here.

Remember that I am wearing a dress each Friday for Frocktober, to find out more about this and to donate to a great cause please click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WCW Caramello Peanut Truffles

      Sometimes you have those recipes that turn into a disaster, and yet sometimes they turn into something salvageable and amazing! This is what happened to me with this recipe- I originally tried to make a slice but it crumbled as I was cutting it so I made it into truffles, and they were delicious. I have streamlined this recipe for you to try at home without the slice disaster step!

      Caramello Peanut Truffles

      250g block Caramello Chocolate, melted
      115g butter, melted
      200g Marie biscuits or other plan vanilla biscuits
      3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
      1/4 cup coconut flakes
      1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
      200g milk chocolate melts
      1/2 tub Cheesecake Filling

      Melt the butter and Caramello chocolate together with the sweetened condensed milk in a microwave safe jug.

      Crush the biscuits and combine with butter mixture, coconut flakes and peanuts.

      Spread into a baking tray and allow to cool.

      Melt the milk chocolate and pour over the biscuits. Leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours until the chocolate is hard.

      Crush the base and chocolate layer in a food processor or by hand in a Ziploc bag, then mix with the cheesecake filling into balls. Leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours, then enjoy!

      You get bites of hard chocolate, peanuts and softer cheesecake filling in every bite. One is not enough with these truffles- deliciously decadent and great for entertaining!

      Monday, October 12, 2015

      A ZooMoo Movie Morning

      Our family was very lucky to attend a special preview yesterday of a new kid's show called ZooMoo. ZooMoo is an interactive TV show that entertains and educates kids about the animals of the world. With puppets, animation, and incredible wildlife footage, ZooMoo is all animals all the time!

      My boys were very excited to get some facepainting done when we arrived, although my 5 year old decided to get Spiderman painted on his hand instead.

      The Zoo Moo photo screening was fun for the boys too!

      While we waited for the show to begin, each child was given a colouring book and pencils filled with Lightbox characters such as SpongeBob and Dora, which helped to keep the wriggles at bay.

      The icecream and popcorn helped keep the boys occupied as well, and I know my husband appreciated the snacks.

      We had an iPhone out during the screening, as there is an app for ZooMoo that encourages you to look after 150 animals on secluded ZooMoo Island. You can care for your animals, watch real life videos, learn animal names and sounds, feed, wash and create friends for your animals and take photos. The best part is it also works with each show to collect more animals and content, so the boys were excited to get some penguin cards throughout the screening. The ZooMoo App includes a Parent's Page where parents can learn about their children’s playing sessions, which animals are played with most, when animals were unlocked, and tons of animal facts. These facts help parents engage with their children, talking and learning together, which I think is a fabulous tool in our digital environment.

      The show kept my boys entertained throughout the entire hour screening, and the interaction between the characters and those watching was also fun and lighthearted. I even learnt a few things about penguins! The storylines jumped a bit, but they were all easy to keep track of and the different mini-stories kept the show from becoming too dragged out. My 5 year old loved the Ninja Gorilla scenes, and my 3 year old was especially entertained by the story read by Mom Orang' to baby DJ.

      ZooMoo’s schedule is built one hour blocks with five themed strands: explore time, create time, play time, puzzle time and quiet time.  These provide consistency and structure, something educational experts stress is critical for learning and skill-building in young viewers. The one hour show may be a stretch for little ones to sit through, but as it does keep changing I found that my three year old's attention did not wander too much- especially as he kept being excited by each animal earnt on the app!

      Overall, I think that ZooMoo is a fantastic show for my two boys, who love technology and learning about the world around them. It has convinced me to sign up to LightBox, where there are currently 20 episodes of ZooMoo available to watch.

      Friday, October 9, 2015

      Friday Frock Feature 2

      The best thing about October is the chance to wear a lot of dresses that take me from winter through to summer, as the weather can change in an instant here!

      Today I am wearing a fun shift dress from Australian label Otto Mode from Love Love Clothing. Their range of shift dresses is so lovely, plus they do a great range of workwear and party dresses. The dress I am wearing is the Coco Shift Dress from their Moonlit Mantle range, and comes in the black check, which I am wearing, or a burgundy check with white sleeves. Both fit sizes XS-L (I am wearing the XS).

      This dress is a bit shorter than what I usually wear, but at least it gives me an opportunity to showcase my favourite black high heels too!

      I also get to wear dresses a lot for birthday celebrations- my husband and I went out for dinner so it was the perfect occasion for this dress. It would also be perfect in the cooler months with tights and boots- I cannot wait to play around with different looks for this dress.

      Linking up with Confident Twosday, Sydney Fashion Hunter and Wardrobe Wednesday!

      Wednesday, October 7, 2015

      Celebrating World Egg Day

      World Egg Day falls on Friday 9th October, and so of course this is the perfect day to create some delicious recipes with the humble egg.

      Breakfast is always made delicious with the help of an egg or two- here are some of my favourite ways to start the day!

      1. The Eggbert's Sunriser- The Pioneer Woman
      2. Eggs in a Hole with Basil Pesto- Joyful Healthy Eats
      3. Breakfast Pizza- Cooking with Carlee
      4. Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes- Baking Bites

      Lunch and dinner are also great egg-filled options.

      1. Egg Drop Soup- Cook Lisa Cook
      2. Eggs Woodhouse- Cheese with Noodles
      3. Easy Western Omelette Muffins- Mother Would Know
      4. One Pot Spicy Eggs and Potatoes- Pinch of Yum

      Eggs are a quintessential part of these delicious desserts too!

      1. Pots de Creme- The Pioneer Woman
      2. Egg-Nog Bundt Cake- Cooking with Ruthie
      3. The Best Baked Flan- One Chopping Board
      4. Snow Eggs- Chef in Disguise

      But eggs are not just for eating- here are some of my favourite kid friendly activities using the humble egg.

      1. Egg Drop Challenge- Little Bins for Little Hands
      2. Bouncing Egg Experiment- Parenting Chaos
      3. Shaving Cream Dyed Eggs- Crafty Morning
      4. Eggshell Mosaic- Kidspot

      What will you be creating for World Egg Day?

      Tuesday, October 6, 2015

      My Holiday Helper- A Magazine for Kids

      I was sponsored by World News Group to review their God's Big World magazine and am excited to share my experience as well as an awesome giveaway!  All opinions are mine alone.

      School holidays are in full swing here in New Zealand, and I am always looking for inspiration to keep my two boys entertained. It is hard to make learning relevant when the kids are busy exploring and creating, yet I wanted to be able to keep them focused and thinking throughout the holidays. This is where the World News Group magazine came in handy as my helper to get both myself and my children inspired through learning. There are three subscription options so that you can cater to any age group, and the activities and prompts throughout the book are aimed at different ages to make it easier on parents!

      You can even browse a copy of this magazine for free.

      We loved flicking through the pages to get some ideas, and the magazine did not disappoint. I was impressed with the bold photos and simple number listing, and the boys had lots of discussion about the different photos. Three different themes appealed to the boys- being a pilot, rockets and the ocean.

      The magazine comes complete with an interactive web experience, where you can watch videos about different segments of the magazine. Here is a preview of what the youngest level magazine webpage looks like- the images and videos are very relevant and age appropriate, plus are just long enough to keep the attention of my two boys without them becoming bored or overwhelmed with information. This particular video even brought a smile to my face as the message and photos with the video were so positive.

      After seeing this video, my boys were discussing what they would do if they could fly a plane. I planned a visit to our local Airforce Museum, where we could look at some planes up close.

      The different types of planes on display kept the boys intrigued for a good hour, and there were even opportunities to experience sitting in a cargo plane and a lot of videos about war planes.

      The highlight for the boys was the chance to sit in a Mosquito Simulator and have some hands on experience with flying a plane. We did not get as close to the real thing like in the Big World video, but the experience was still positive for the boys and they were amazed by all of the controls and knowledge needed to fly a plane.

      When we got home, we even had some of the activities to complete in the magazine based on the pilot theme.

      To further our flying theme, we also looked at the pages about rockets and space. The boys had chosen some rocket launchers from a craft store and so we talked about blasting off into space and all of the discoveries that have been happening recently as we made our very own rockets.

      The ocean theme was another favourite with the boys. Look at the vibrant photos within the magazine- definitely an eye catcher for young and old alike.

      Unfortunately our local aquarium has been demolished after the earthquakes, and so we had to think of other ways to learn about the ocean. The boys had fun doing a simple science experiment to create their own ocean in a bottle.

      We used a bottle 2/3 full of cold water, added some blue food colouring then topped it up with oil.

      My two were fascinated by the effect that the oil and water had together, as they wouldn't mix and created bubbles. It really did look like an ocean!

      World News Group currently has a special 15% discount on yearly subscriptions.

      And now for the World News Group Giveaway!

      Enter to win these awesome prizes valued at over $100!

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      Saturday, October 3, 2015

      Friday Frock Feature 1

      Today is the first of my dress features for Frocktober Fruday looks- and this dress is one of my favourites.

      I love navy, and the leopard print adds some interest to the dress.

      I have paired it with pink shoes to match my nails, and topped off the look with three bangles that were given to me for my birthday last year.

      The best thing is, this dress was under $25 at Cotton On, and I have worn it so many times that the cost per wear is probably 2 cents! The fabric is stretchy and comfortable, and it can easily be layered with tights and boots for cooler days.
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