I have been nannying beautiful babes for nearly 20 years now and spend much of my days, like many others out there cooking, cleaning, entertaining and making sure everyone is safe, sound and happy. At the end of the day it’s always the inevitable clean up and every so often the BIG clean up (once a month if I’m feeling really motivated) and sterilizing of EVERYTHING that the babes both big and small have put their hands, mouths, feet and other unmentionables on 😉
After blitzing the bedrooms, playrooms etc et etc, it shifts to the bathroom and all it entails. Face it, we all LOVE bath toys and bath time just wouldn’t be the same without them.Rubber duckies and all number, shape and size of bath toys are so very cute and such a fun play toy for the kids in the bath. However not so much the disgusting goop that builds up inside!!
I have tried a good number of ways to clean the ever growing collection of toys over the years and have come down to my 3 tried and trusted ways.
How to clean rubber bath toys:
1. Squeeze out any remaining bath water sitting inside the toy.
2. Fill your bathroom sink or bath with warm water, add 1 or (2 if in the bath)cups of vinegar and mix around.
3. Suck water into each rubber toy and allow to soak in basin/bath for 30 min or longer if you are still juggling little ones ;-).
4. Give the toys a good shake after 15 minutes. Soak for a further 15 minutes or so.
5. Shake each toy and squeeze out the water.
6. Using a cleaning brush or cloth, wipe over the toy’s.
7. Rinse them thoroughly.
8. Allow to air dry (overnight if possible).
I use this Vinegar method or Milton and sometimes if a little “incident” has occurred in the bath with the toys, Detol is my go to product for peace of mind and even baking soda will help clean the toys. I try and do the Milton/Detol wash when everyone is tucked in bed or up high out of their reach and ALWAYS rinse the toys thoroughly after using these last two products just to be on the safe side.
Well the holiday’s are over and it’s back to the business of keeping the children happy, healthy and most importantly well fed. For years now we have had a family favorite recipe and that is Gingerbread. The boys request it at least once a month and have a wonderful time helping me make it, cutting out their choice of gingerbread characters and then hungrily gobbling down the end result. We sure have had some weird and wonderful cut out’s I can assure you! They then love to take them to school in their lunch box’s for snack.
It’s wonderful to cook with the children as it teaches them so many different skill’s, is entertaining, loads of fun and there is always a DELICIOUS reward at the end 😉 The clean up is not quite as much fun I will admit (thank god for dishwashers!!!) and keeping everyone around to help can be tricky. It’s amazing how children can simply disappear the minute the word “cleaning” is ever mentioned but magically reappear the minute the goods come out of the oven hmmmm 😉
Here is the recipe we use and it has NEVER let us down and everyone loves.
You will need:
1/3 cup (75g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (175g) golden syrup
3 cups (450g) plain flour
8 teaspoons ground ginger
8 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground clove
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons bicarb soda
1 egg lightly beaten (in a separate bowl with a fork)
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and either grease the trays with butter or line with baking paper.
Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small microwave proof dish in the microwave for 1 min or in a pot on the stove top until all ingredients have melted but not yet bubbled. Set aside and allow to cool just a little.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, spices, bicarb and then the butter mix. Stir together and then add the beaten egg until combined.
Sprinkle some flour on the bench, turn the mixture out onto the flour and need for 2 min or so until it is thoroughly combined and becomes lovely and smooth not unlike a ball of play dough ;-).
Flatten it out turning after each press of your hand and then further with a rolling pin. Use any cookie cutter you like to make your favorite shapes (we are rocking Ninjas at the moment;-)
Place on the greased tray or baking paper and cook in the moderate/160 degree oven for about 10-15 min. The thinner the gingerbread cut out’s the crisper they will be. We often do a mix of thick and thin to suite everyone’s taste.
Ps Ice to your liking or use sultanas pre bake for buttons and eyes etc. Have fun and enjoy YUM!!!!
Well they’re back…….. School Holiday’s that is.
School holidays, fun for the whole family or for some if unprepared, an exhausting nightmare where you find yourself hiding in the pantry rocking back and forward with a half eaten tin of cookies as the children pound on the door wailing that they are BORED. Well that happened to someone I know anyway 😉
Sadly I’m actually jumping ship and heading off on holiday WITHOUT the children this time ;-). Crazy but true, so the only thing I’m worried about is where to purchase reef oil and how to download my ticket to the check in app. Ahhhh 6 sleeps and counting.
For those of you who now wish me ill and still need some ideas to entertain the little ones here are some activities that may help get you out and about. I will also try to not drive you even more bonkers with pics of me consuming cocktails, reading magazines and applying reef oil etc 😉
The term 3 holidays are my favorite for the year as thankfully Spring is in the air, the days are slightly warmer and a little longer so more fun can be had OUTDOORS and less washing made for you at the end of the day.
The Royal Botanic Ian Potter Children’s Garden opens today and is always a joy to explore for a morning and then you have the rest of the Botanic gardens to set up a picnic and run around in. http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-melbourne/attractions/children-garden
Parklands Animal Farm at the Queen Vic Market is open and you will be able to touch, feed, hold and play with these friendly farm animals. Children will also be assisted in handling the animals correctly, so everyone is safe and has an enjoyable experience. Kids will also be able to get their faces painted to match their favourite barnyard animal! And then you can shop up a storm and eat all of the goodies they have throughout the rest of the market yum yum yum http://www.qvm.com.au/event/animal-farm-2/
Melbourne Zoo is always a great/massive day out and who dosent love the seals (plus you can FINALLY sit down whils watching them 😉 Seals Ahoy is a special program running in the holidays and with kids under 16 receiving free entry all Victorian Government school holidays, Melbourne Zoo is the place to visit this Spring!http://www.zoo.org.au/melbourne//whats-on/seals-ahoy
We <3 LEGO as do most so you can have fun building with LEGO bricks at Eastland these holidays. There will be different bricks to play with – LEGO bricks and LEGO DUPLO bricks for the Mums and Bubs. Plus there are two comfy TV zones so you can play LEGO Games.There is also a FREE Eastland Hard Hat for the first 100 children each day.http://www.eastland.com.au/whats_on/whatson_2.cfm
Awwww baby animals get me every time and the Bush Baby Program at Healesville Sanctuary is on these holidays. In the Baby Burrow, you’ll get to see the workings of the hospital nursery and share in the stories of the orphaned and hand-raised babies. The Burrow will be open every day from 11am to 3pm, and animal viewing, feeding and general care experiences will be scheduled throughout the day. http://www.zoo.org.au/healesville
I hope some of these ideas are helpful and you have a wonderful time these holidays. I cant wait to hear what you get up to and how you survived it all. Enjoy!!
Well this weekend was one I haven’t done before! I had decided to do a little overtime (to help pay for my up coming holiday ;-)) so had a lovely Saturday play date with Master 7 who I have been looking after since he was a 9 month old bundle of joy. Mum phoned and asked if I could look after him for the afternoon while they went for a lovely lazy lunch, I of course was thrilled to catch up with my little pal.
Mums instructions were to take care of her boy and his buddy for a couple of hours, drop buddy home (all relatively normal and run of the mill Nanny duties till this point). THEN take Master 7 down to the deluxe day spar for a massage and facial. A what the!!! This was certainly one instance where keep my composure was surely the hardest things I have EVER had to do. So I gave up and just burst out laughing for a good 3 min 😉
I have been around the traps and got up to some pretty interesting things with the kids over the years but I think this takes the cake.After getting over my hysterical laughter and then mild apprehension at leaving him with a stranger who would be putting her hands all over little Master 7, I politely took a seat in reception and dreamily look at the heavenly list of pampering products they had on offer.
To say he was in heaven would be an understatement. Glowing with joy and complete relaxing I was summonsed in to sit with him whilst he had his refreshing herbal tea! He was one happy and very chilled out little man I must say. Maybe this is the key to a harmonious working environment. Method in her madness, Im not sure but hey I will run with it for now.
Never a dull day!
Well its Book Week here in Australia this week and what more perfect way to get into the spirit of things than to hunker down and read a great book with the little ones.I am going to make a point to take the time each night with the boys and read with them each night. I am going to need to stock pile the books that’s for sure as once I start they never want me to stop 😉
If only that was all that was involved! It seems to be that dressing up as your favorite book character is also a part of this wonderful celebration! Ahhhh the joy of dress up days.
The Book Week Costume Parade is always with out fail terror inducing and leaves the entire house in a fit of tears and tantrums! No matter how hard I try and keep up to date with things in the school calender, why oh why is it costume/dress up days that always seem to sneak up and catch me by surprise!!!!
Sadly (thankfully for me) gone are they days of being up all night till the wee hours the night before the parade making a costume, these days its all about the mad dash to the party shop for the latest and greatest costume or more likely what ever is left over after everyone else from school has plundered the store.
I remember being up to all hours with mum the night before gluing and sewing some mad caped costume idea I had come up with to wear. Once again, sorry mum and now I really do appreciate all of your hard work and immense patience with me !! 😉
Happy reading and dressing up to everyone involved in Book Week this week.
I was having a little clean out at my apartment the other weekend and came across a box of books under my bed from many moons ago ie the VERY early 80’s. It is amazing how coming across an object that you had as a child can instantly transport you right back to a time and place that you would otherwise not have thought of. Its also amazing how finding a box of goodies such as that can help you waste the next few hours resulting in an even bigger mess than before you started 😉
I was looking through the collection of my most treasured childhood stories The Paper Bag Princess, The Places You GO, Golden Books, and The Story About Ping which is about a little fishing bird and its day on the water. I remembered how excited I was at the tender age of 5 when they read it on the ABC’s Play School. You simply couldn’t get any more amazing than that 😉 “My” book was on television!!!!! Another favorite was the Berenstain Bears and their mad cap poppa bear, Meg & Mog still makes me smile and I always LOVED Possum Magic by the beautiful Mem Fox and pretty much everything she ever wrote.
After spending hours flipping through many of these books and looking at my small child handwriting on the inside of each (possessive much!), and wishing I was curled up back on my childhood bed in the afternoon sunshine readying away, I begrudgingly cleaned up the now widely spread mess and decided to pack them up and take them for the boys I nanny to look at.
They have always loved book and are avid readers THANKFULLY and one of my proudest moment was being able to send them both of to their first day of prep able to read and write (although for one remembering to wear undies on your first day is a whole other story!!)
What blew me away next was the fact that they opened up this dusty old (VB) box with the excitement of kids on Christmas day and then proceeded to spent the next two hours sprawled out on the floor reading all it contained!! We sometimes forget I think that it really is the simple things that can mean the most and that being able to read is quite simply the greatest gift of all.
Now I’m off to finish reading the totally NOT PG “Not Your Ordinary Housewife” by Nilkki Stern 😉
I have been using so many products on children over the years I have come down to a few essential “Beauty” must haves that I would highly recommend for you and bub. These are product I love and cant live with out on the”job” and can be found in my own bathroom at home if truth be told 😉
There is nothing better than being able to carry around a few great products that work on both adults and children instead of “yours and mine”. Lets face it we have enough bits and bobs to cart around each and every day with out having to double up on products for them and you. Multi tasking is the key !
1. QV Oil from ego
- Clear, non-greasy formula rejuvenates large areas of dry or sensitive skin.
- Relieves symptoms of atopic eczema and psoriasis.
- Helps treat dry, scaly skin, winter itch, rashes, ichthyosis, xerosis, sun damaged skin, dermatitis and atopic and infantile eczema.
- PH balanced, low-irritant formulation, free from fragrance, colour, lanolin and propylene glycol.
- Suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
- Particularly suitable for infants and the elderly.
Its heavenly to pour in the bath for the little ones and an amazing treat to soak yourself in for hours, esp during these dry winter months.
2. Palmers Cocoa Butter.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is a sensual, rich lotion that melts on contact with skin to penetrate deeply and seal in moisture. Other moisturiser’s contain mostly water which evaporates within half an hour to leave your skin even drier. But Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is made from 100% pure Cocoa Butter enriched with Vitamin E to smooth and soothe with long lasting effects. I have to little boys that love it and smother themselves each night after a bath. It works a treat to keep their skin moisturized all winter long oh and mine.
3. Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
Egyptian Magic is an all-natural skin cream made from six of nature’s most powerful moisturizing and healing ingredients. For more than 20 years they have been blending these ingredients using their unique, proprietary process based on a formula that were created thousands of years ago in the land of the Pharaohs. The result is a luxurious cream with moisturizing and nourishing properties that are legendary among celebrities, the fashion industry, even doctors and hospitals. It is truly amazing and heals EVERYTHING in record time and is a delicious night cream!!
4. Little Innoscents Organic Baby Soothing Cream
A must-have for every family’s medicine cabinet, it naturally and effectively manages allergies including Eczema, Dermatitis, insect bites and other minor wounds. All ingredients in this rich barrier cream are 100% natural with nutritious Shea Butter as a base and healing Calendula extract and Rosewood essential oil as the therapeutic components. Little Innoscents products are Australian made with 100% Natural, Pure and Organic ingredients. Completely free from Toxic Chemicals, Parabens and all other little hidden nasties. It not only works on bub it makes a delicious rich hand cream for us as well. I even have it by my bed to apply to my hands & tootsies each night.
5. Eco Baby SPF 30 plus Sunscreen
Eco introduces a formula powerful in UV protection yet gentle enough for babies skin and one I am more than happy to have on my face all year round. You can never be to safe when it comes to the sun and this is a great all round sunscreen for the whole family.
I recently had a few days away at the snow and have as per usual come back sore from head to toe! Yes, the legs are a little stiff as you would expect but it is mainly the tummy from laughing so hard at times I could barley remain upright. There is never a dull moment at the snow and I now fully understand why why everyone there appears so fit and happy. It truley is a heavenly mini break away from the real world and always leaves me smiling for day’s after.
It is not only one of the most beautiful places to be in winter, (think fresh white snow, open fire’s & mulled wine) It is also a fantastic way to keep fit and have a great laugh at the same time. It is by no means a cheap holiday and the effort to get everyone dressed and out the door each morning sure takes a monumental amount of patience and muscle! If you can however get yourself through those two hurdles it is a trip well worth taking for the whole family and one that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
We had a wonderful time slipping and sliding all over the place whilst watching the little ones rocket by with out a care in the world putting us all to shame, as adults of varying ages and ability careered down the mountain in spectacular fashion. I was green with envy at how quickly and easily children as young as 3 were able to get around on both ski’s and snow boards and only wished I had been able to start at that tender age so that I could now avoid the feeling’s of sheer terror that overtake you most morning’s when you are trying to dodge snow boarders !!
I must say though that I am very grateful to be a city nanny and not a ski instructor/nanny to the under 5’s. WOW, now that takes the patience of a saint and some serious muscle to cart around the temperamental 4 yr old that is refusing to move 😉
Hopefully you will get there at some stage to see what all of the fuss is about. Just remember to take a camera to capture all of the wonder and hilarity that happens on the mountain, oh and some seriously cute puppy’s.
OK I have been in this Nanny business thing for a little while now (20 year and desperately trying not to count!) but I am seriously in a dither over dinner time!!
No matter what I cook, chop, peel, cut, slice, dice and present for the evening meal it is NEVER quite right. The fuss, bother, tantrums, tears and storming away from the bench it seems to induce in Master 7 (and me by the end of it) is just plain Oscar worthy. Master 9 just sighs, pulls out the latest novel he is devouring and chews away happily on whatever is in front of him without so much as a pause between courses so I’m guessing (hopefully) that’s its not actually the meal as much as its the difficult dinner guest. I well and truly know now why I was never a chef.
WHAT DO I DO??????? Other than sighing wistfully at the wine fridge, I’m truly at a loss as to how to continue on with this performance any longer. Why is it so hard for some and a simple pleasure for others (ie me & the rest of the household and every other person I know) to eat anything and everything someone takes the effort to place in front of them?
I have tried taking it away, putting it back, cooking the meal together, letting them choose the recipe each night (EXHAUSTING I can tell you esp when you don’t choose your recipe books carefully enough ;-/) I am at a loss and I’m afraid he just may win the food war and I simply can not have that, not on my watch 😉
I know it’s an age old problem suffered by many a person presiding over the evening meal presented to the little ones we love and it’s a problem that seems to be passed down from generation to generation. I am seriously sending out a massive apology to my darling mum right now for my dinner table behavior I can tell you 😉 My only real issue however was with brussel sprouts and anything with sultanas in it, ewwwwwww and still a no go I must say, thankfully they were not served with any great frequency in our household. What to do? What is the answer esp when one is the Nanny and not a parent at liberty to meter out much else other than time out, begging and pleading???
I guess perseverance is the key, it paid off for my mum and the millions of others like her, oh that and sending us to bed on an empty tummy if we didn’t eat what was on offer. Hopefully he will either grow out of this delightful/hateful faze or I will miraculously win him over with my culinary delights 😉
Ps all (recipe) ides and feedback welcome 😉
Oh no it’s come to that time of my life where crawling under the bed and staying there seems like a pretty dam good idea from where i sit right now. The much anticipated, highly dreaded, cringe worthy, 20 Year High School Reunion!!!!!! Oh and worse still my primary school are throwing around the idea of having one as well, but that’s for another post.
I didnt attend the 10 year school reunion but heard via the grapevine it was one hell of a night to remember or forget depending on how you look at it. Lets just say the same groups gathered together, gossiped, drank, there was a slap, a glass of vino poured over someone’s head (what a waste of wine!!!!) and a room full of people who were holding onto a lot more than just their glass that night. Thankfully/sadly this all happened in an age before people took to pics and posted them online. I’m not sure that we have evolved enough over the past 10 years to ensure this reunion wont be more of the same. If only I could simply be a fly on the wall and just watch it all unfold. One of the true occasions were a Nanny Cam really could come in handy 😉
Oh the horror!! Now its a case of, to attend or not to attend ????? It may sound terrible but with the amount of angst its already producing, frankly my dear I think I’d rather not.
Did you go to any of yours and was it a night to remember, or will it take you the next 20 years to get over it?