Archive for July, 2007

Jul 31 2007

Beef Stew with Barley

Published by under Toddler Recipes

I started making this stew when Ben was about 10 months and at 18 months he still loves it.  It is a great way to get your young one to eat a few vegies and grains.  I use to be able to make up a batch and freeze meal size portions in freezer bags ready to heat up.  Now he is a little more fussy and only likes it when it is cooked fresh….  but it is a meal that we also enjoy so every 2 weeks or so I make up a hearty meal of beef stew.  Here is how I do it:

Here is what you need:

  • 1kg gravy steak or chuck steak
  • Flour
  • Butter or oil
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Other vegetables you may like to add
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 2 – 3 cups of beef stock
  • Fresh thyme, salt and pepper (optional)

Here is how you make it:

  1. Cut the beef into 2cm cubes
  2. Cover beef in flour and then shake off the excess
  3. Chop the vegetables into small pieces
  4. Brown the beef in batches using the butter or oil and then set aside on absorbent paper
  5. Fry onion in same pan with extra oil
  6. Add carrots, zucchini and any other vegetable you like fry for a few mins
  7. Add the beef back into the pot
  8. Add stock, barley and brown rice
  9. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste (for a younger child leave these out)
  10. Simmer on low heat for about 1.5 hours or until the beef is  soft.  Check the pot occasionally to ensure it does not run dry and add more water if needed.

9 responses so far

Jul 29 2007

Farm House DIY Project Part 4


The farm house is nearly finished.  I made a few things to include in the farm house.  First of all I made 6 photo frames to hang ‘family photos’ around the farm house.  A few weeks ago we went to a farm to get inspiration, I took a few photos of lambs, chickens, goats, lama’s and ducks.  Here is how I made the photo frames:

  1. Each frame used 8 paddle pop sticks. 
  2. Glue 4 sticks together in a square, (2 squares for each frame) waiting for these to dry. 
  3. Paint the squares
  4. Place a photo between 2 sets of squares and glued these together.
  5. Once dry nail onto your farm house!!

I also made a couple of bails of hay by wrapping raffia around boxes.  Finally I made a ‘trough’ for the horse to eat out of, this was also made of paddle pop sticks.  This was made by:

  1. Cut 11 paddle pop sticks in half using a saw & sand the cut edge to make it smooth
  2. Glue 2 half sticks and 2 full sticks together in a rectangle
  3. Continue to glue layers of sticks on top of the previous until you have reached 11 sticks high
  4. Glue 3 sticks to the top to cover the box (this becomes the bottom)
  5. wait to dry and paint if wish
  6. Fill with raffia to look like hay

Ben loves using the hay from the trough to feed the animals and makes a great munching noise as he does it…..

 For more creative baby ideas visit


One response so far

Jul 26 2007

Toddler Jam Bully Ignored!

Published by under Parenting Stuff

I was relieved when we went along to our toddler music group yesterday because the 2 year old bully who has been tormenting Ben ignored him!   The boy came up close to Ben to play with some instruments and I was ready to jump in to protect my son, but I was not needed!  So I am greatly relieved that this boy has seemed to calm down after a few weeks break.


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Jul 24 2007

Apricot Coconut Muffins

Published by under Toddler Recipes

These are a great snack for adults and toddlers.  They also freeze really well and are quick and easy to make.

What you need:

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Here is how you do it:

  1. Grease 12 hole muffin pan (1/3 cup / 80ml capacity)
  2. Place flour in large bowl, rub in butter
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stir with large metal spoon until just combined
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan
  5. Bake in moderately hot oven about 20 minutes
  6. Turn onto wire rack

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Jul 22 2007

Farm House – DIY Project Part 3

Published by under Creative Baby Ideas

painted-house.JPGpainted-house-front.JPGThis weekend Chris spent his time sanding the farm house.  He found an extra bit of wood to sit on the top of the roof to make it a little neater.  He has also painted the house.  Ben has enjoyed watching the progress of the project so far…..  By the end of the weekend we were able to bring the farm house into the house ready for furniture and a few decorations!


One response so far

Jul 20 2007

Review of Sign Language Book

Published by under Baby Sign Language

signlanguage.jpg Here is a review of an excellent Baby Sign Language Book that I recently posted on the website If you are interested in teaching your baby how to sign this kit will make it a simple process for you!

There is no better way to be inspired and learn than from a mother who has experienced signing with her 6 children.   Wendy Jensen has designed this tool to enable you to learn quickly and easily how to sign with your baby. 

The kit includes an e-book explaining the research behind baby sign language and the vast number of benefits that it can have for babies and families.   Wendy includes many personal anecdotes of her children signing, many of which are inspirational.  Once you have read  Wendy’s book you will want to start signing straight away.  

The actual signs are displayed via a number of short videos categorized in topics.   You can simply download these short videos onto your computer and watch them at your leisure.   The signs are based on American Sign Language and are easy to remember and simple to include in your everyday conversation. 

Sign Language for Babies and Beyond is simple to learn and has clear instructions.  If you are unsure about anything Wendy is available via email for consultation if you need any help.                

Baby-Patch rates this product as ★★★★☆”

Follow the link for more information on Sign Language for Babies and Beyond


One response so far

Jul 17 2007

Farm Inspiration for DIY Project

lama.JPG Over the weekend we ventured out the the Cuddly Farm, a great hands on family owned farm 20 minutes from our place.  Ben was able to chase chickens, hold rabbits and guinea pigs, feed lambs and emu’s, and watch the cows and lama’s.  I planned to take a few photos of the farm animals to include in our farm house that we are making – it needs a little bit of colour.


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Jul 14 2007

Farm House – DIY Project Part 2

front-view.JPGwith-roof.JPGwith-walls.JPG  Welcome to part 2 of our Farm House Creation.  As you can see the farm house has grown this week with the inclusion of rooms and a roof.  Here are the steps that Chris has taken this weekend:

  1. Cut floor and internal walls to fit within dimensions
  2. Cut out windows and doors on the internal walls, including open spaces between floors that a ladder can fit through
  3. Insert and glue internal floors and walls
  4. Cut roof 2 pieces 400 x 370mm
  5. Nail and glue roof, using one bracket
  6. Putty up mistakes and edges of particle board.

ready for sanding and painting soon!


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Jul 12 2007

Comfort Blanket Nick Name

Published by under Parenting Stuff

blankey.JPG We have always called Ben’s blanket his ‘blanket’, this week for some reason he has started to call it ‘Ga-gi’.  I have no idea where he got this name from, if someone at day care told him or if he made it up???  Chris and I think the name is very cute and so we all call it ‘Ga-gi’.

kids are strange….


One response so far

Jul 10 2007

Fish For Dinner?

Published by under Toddler Recipes

Not sure what to organise for your toddler for dinner?  Why not try something easy tonight – fish and vegies.  Buy a small piece of fish without bones (I usually get baser or baby snapper), cover it in wholemeal flour and pan fry it in some butter.  It takes only a few minutes and tastes great.  Fish always goes well with mashed potato (mixed with milk and cheese) and some green vegies.  Yummo!


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