Category: Everything kids

Biscuits on sticks with m&m’s

biscuits on sticks with m&m's

School holidays give me yet another great excuse (because I really need one!) to get baking treats in the kitchen for the kidlets.

My inspiration for these little treasures came from our recent little Fiji family adventure . During our stay in Fiji for the majority of our meals we dined in the family buffet restaurant, mainly because it was the most child friendly for food. If you asked the kids why they liked it soooooo much I think they’d tell you because of the dessert bar they could walk up to and be served all sorts of delightful treats, in particular chocolate chip cookies on paddle pop sticks, so…………

I’ve been wanting to try a batch of these little treasures out ever since I discovered the Fiji ones. And because I love chocolate so much I thought I’d add a little bit of extra colour and excitement with m&m’s. I bought an extra large packet of m&m’s early last month when they were on sale, by the time I got around to baking my biscuits last week there may have only been half the contents left (whoop’s!!! as I’ve said before I do like chocolate and m&m’s are soooooo addictive!)

These little biscuits were a huge hit with the 3 kidlets, kidlets friends we had over for playdates and big kidlets at heart!

m&m road test (1)

I’ve bought another bag of m&m’s so I can make some more very soon and if you’re wondering if I’ve opened the packet yet, I’ll say maybe………. well actually YES, YES,YES, YES!!!!!! I will confess if there is a bag of m&m’s opened in this house I seriously can’t help myself! Please tell me I’m not alone!

Back to the biscuits, they are so easy to make and so yummy, you’ll be wanting to hide them from the kids and keep them all for yourself (I promise I shared!).

My recipe is for a large batch of biscuits because I know how fast treasures like these are consumed in our house. If your electric beaters are not very strong you may be better off halving the quantities below and mixing up in 2 single batches.

I’m thinking a few batches of these will make for great little Christmas gifts for the kidlets to give to their friends at the end of term 4.

Now for the process…….

Paddle pop sticks soaking

Mix cookie dough

wrap cookie dough log

Slice dough into 1.5cm width rounds

m&m's the magic ingredient

m&m cookies ready for baking

m&m cookies fresh fromthe oven

5.0 from 1 reviews
Biscuits on sticks with m&m's
 
Author:
Recipe type: Biscuits
Ingredients
  • 300g butter softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3½ cups plain flour
  • 250g pkt dark chocolate bits (I used Nestle choc bits)
  • 1 cup m&m's (give or take, you'll need about 150 individually)
  • 32 paddle pop sticks (I purchased mine at the reject shop).
Instructions
  1. Place paddle pop sticks in a shallow dish of water to soak (this helps stop them burning during their time in the oven)
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced. Line 4 baking trays with non-stick paper.
  3. With an electric mixer on high speed beat butter, sugars and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy (you may need to stop and scrape sides of the bowl down once or twice.
  4. Beat in the 2 eggs until well combined.
  5. On low speed mix flour in, in two batches. Stir though dark choc bits.
  6. Divide cookie dough into 2 even portions and on a lightly floured surface form each into a long sausage about 30cm long with a 5.5cm diameter (I'm talking just roughly).
  7. Wrap rolls with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20mins or until firm.
  8. Drain paddle pop sticks on paper towel.
  9. Unwrap cookie dough rolls and slice off 1.5cm rounds, you should end up with about 16 rounds from each roll.
  10. Place rounds of dough on baking trays 3cm apart and lightly press down.
  11. Push paddle pop sticks into cookie dough rounds.
  12. Press about 5 m&m's onto each cookie.
  13. Bake in oven for about 20 mins.
  14. Cool on trays.
  15. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

I hope you enjoy these little treasures as much as we do!

Tell me, what’s your favourite variety of m&m’s and are you a bit of an m&m addict like me?

Until the next time……

Zamamabakes

School holidays give me yet another great excuse (because I really need one!) to get baking treats in the kitchen for th...

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Car Chats……..Round 8

Car Chats with Zamamabakes

Hello there lovelies! Hope the school holidays are treating you all kindly. Week 1 flew past for us with, planting gardens, home visits from cousins, baking with m&m’s (you’ll see them on the blog later this week), kidlets enjoying a movie day with a Nan and an Aunty (I got to go to work), catch ups with special friends at the park including lunching at the golden arches, buying new school shoes, lunch out with Grandma and Pop (I got to work again!!),  Birthday breakfasts with Great grandparents, baking a slice, Monster Jam outings for one Zadada , one Blake and a little friend, little friends sleeping over and meeting my cousins fiancé for the first time (one threenager has been asked to be flower girl and one threenager is beside herself with excitement!!) I can’t believe we fitted all this plus all the ordinary stuff into one week, time definitely flies when you are having fun…..I just love school holidays, I think I gain a good hour more from each day (even though I probably waste it), I feel myself racing just a little bit less!

Getting onto our ‘car chats’……..

A hot topic that’s been getting tossed around the car is what to call our new Puppy!!! Yes you read it right! We are adding to our family, Zapuppydog, David the cat and our 3 guinea pigs are gaining a new furry sister!!! We just haven’t come up with a name for her yet. I was kind of hoping that maybe you guys would lend a hand with that. Just to give you a little visual she is a Black Moodle which is a Poodle crossed with a Maltese terrier. She is a belated Father’s day gift for Zadada  the whole family is going to enjoy! All going well she will join our family sometime within the next two weeks! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with a full debrief once she arrives.

The other ‘car chat’ that has stuck in my mind this fortnight would be one that Blake and I had, just out of the blue he said “Mum, sometimes I say the wrong thing when I talk to people, when they say hello to me I say good thanks”. This little observation of his made me smile and chuckle as I couldn’t tell you how many times the same thing has happened to me over the years. I explained to Blake that we get so used to communicating in a particular way that it’s like we’re on autopilot, sometimes our mouths speak faster than what our brains can think.

I went to work and was telling my work colleague Cathy about it, she said “it’s a bit like when you’re walking down the street and you think you’re being waved to by a person up ahead,  you politely wave back only to realise they’re waving to their friend behind you”. Cathy’s comment then made me think about the social situation of when you experience that moment with a friend/acquaintance/work colleague, you know the one when you’re not quite sure if the person is going to hug or kiss you or if you should kiss or hug them? Life is full of little surprises and awkward moments. Human interaction can be very entertaining and educating at times!  All these types of moments usually make me smile afterwards, I kind of shake my head at myself and call myself a goose along with whatever else springs to mind! Welcome to the world of unpredictable Blake!

So lovely people what’s been chatting, have you experienced any awkward, surprising moments of late? Have you gone in for that non-responsive hug and ended up having to make it look like you’re doing some kind of new dance move?

Remember the big issue, I want to hear any name suggestions you have for our new little furry family member!

Until the next time…..

Zamamabakes

 

Hello there lovelies! Hope the school holidays are treating you all kindly. Week 1 flew past for us with, planting garde...

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Project Pretty Up & A Round Of Bubbles

Project pretty up

I’ve been wanting to do something with our front entry for ages and finally with the help of 3 little kidlets and one Zagrandma my wanting turned into some doing!

The inspiration

I’ve had this bowl (a very special bowl as it was my late Nanna’s Scone mixing bowl) of petunias and pansies growing since about April and they haven’t looked back, maybe just 3 or 4 times when I’ve forgotten to water them every now and then,  but a quick drink soon fixes that, they’ve bounced back every time! I make no claims to being any type of green thumb but I do love fresh flowers and plants growing.  Considering I’ve managed to keep these little treasures plugging along I thought I’d try my luck with a little bit more green thumbing, a ‘Pretty Up’ outside our entry!

The final straw to motivate me was last seeing this post last week here Of Babymac’s, that really got me wanting to do something with some plants and flowers. Gosh that girl can take an awesome shot and write a great post!

With it being school holidays I decided on Monday it would be now or never. I got on the phone to Zagrandma told her we were coming to town to buy some planting supplies and that if she wanted to we would love her to join us. She was up for the challenge.

We popped into a couple of our local shops JH Williams, The reject shop (love that shop so do the kidlets) and our palliative care op shop.

With supplies and kidlets (including a bag of hot chips) all packed into the car and one Zagrandma at the ready we headed for home for  ‘Project Pretty Up!’

I will note at this point that a pack of $2 bubbles was purchased from the reject shop, here’s the events of Monday afternoon.

bubble fun 2

chasing bubbles

Learning the art of bubbles

helper 2 on the trolley

helper 1 supervising helpe

helper 1 planting

a rare pic

project pretty up shaping up

waterer 2

some more treasures

one of my favourite pieces in the garden

One of my favourites

The finished ‘Pretty Up’. Not majorly fancy but better than it was!

I’d just love to find a happy welcome door mat now! Any suggestions?

Project pretty up complete

And I’m still not quite sure who enjoyed the bubbles more?

Thanks for all your help Mum! I’d be lost without you xxxx

Zagrandma chief bubbler

So lovelies any green thumb tips for the little plants would be gratefully taken on board. I’ll try to keep you posted on their progress!

What activities have you been getting up to these school holidays? I’d love to hear.

I’ve got a yummy old fashioned dessert post still to come this week and next week there’ll be a recipe post using m&m’s, fun and yum for the kidlets! So stay tuned…

Until then…….

Zamamabakes

I've been wanting to do something with our front entry for ages and finally with the help of 3 little kidlets and one Za...

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School Holiday Flashbacks!

School holiday Flash back collage

School holidays are upon us. Term 3 is virtually done and dusted for another year, can you believe it?

Our 2 big kids are heading off for their end of term treat day, they tell me it’s a day where they do no work and get to play games……. Oh to be little again!

With Zadada working full-time and me working part-time there is always the organisation of care for the kids during the holidays. Fortunately we don’t have to organise too much as we have 2 sets of very supportive grandparents close by , whom we are extremely grateful for as they always come to our rescue during school holidays, we truly would be lost without them. Usually the Grandparents will brave a Movie, have a little shopping day or do a park adventure with the kidlets.

On the days I don’t work, in between the general house running I try to do a little outing with the munchkins.

These holidays I know we’ve got one 9-year-old booked in for a 4 hour football clinic and that’s about the only thing we’re locked right into. I’m thinking if the weather stays as nice as it’s been lately we’ll have a beach/park day in the mix and hopefully get a few good quality home days in there too, you know the ones where you all stay in your Pj’s til late morning (well that’s what we do) and it’s great, no rushing, no panicking, no yelling (from me to hurry up and get in the car or we’ll be late)………just days where you can RELAX and not think about school schedules, it’s great!

In case you were curious I thought I’d share a few school holiday ‘flash backs’ from over the last 12 months……

Just click on the titles and you’ll be delivered to the post.

Baking A Savoury Scroll

Savoury scroll

A Great Way To Kick Start The School Holidays

Family trip to Brisbane Museum

Home Days And A Batch Of Marble Cakes

Marble Cupcakes

School Holidays, Tea Cups, Saucers and I’m Hungry!

Tea Party for 2

An Outdoor Adventure As A Family of 5 Plus One Furry Friend

Outdoor family adventure

A Kidlet Friendly Slice For The Holidays

Easy slice

Our Fiji Family Adventure

Fiji Holiday

What ever you get up to these school holidays I hope you do enjoy some quality family time because life in general and our children’s childhoods are too short and precious not to.

Until the next time……

Zamamabakes

School holidays are upon us. Term 3 is virtually done and dusted for another year, can you believe it? Our 2 big kids ar...

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Car Chats……Round 6

Car Chats with Zamamabakes

So we’ve had navigation discussions this last week. Ella had to check in with me, “Mum is it don’t eat soggy weetbix?” and was quickly corrected by Blake “It’s never eat soggy weetbix Ella, never”. How times are changing, love how they help each other out all be it with a bit of tone Master Blake!!

It wouldn’t be a week complete without some enlightening from our precious 3-year-old. This came out on our drive home she and I shared one on one from a birthday party,…….”Mum I ate some cake and a lollipop at the party and it made my cough and funny throat all better”. If only her theory really did work I could cure her every time!

Tonight unfortunately we still have our little precious with her lingering evening cough. Last night I put the word out on FB for any home remedies as I had misplaced the Vicks that we usually rub into her feet and top with a pair of socks. I got some great feedback and tonight we’re testing out some of the theories, one being a warm little onion mixture wrapped in cloth resting against her chest and there’s an onion sliced in half beside her, her bedroom smells like a genuine kebab shop! The vicks is everywhere its allowed to go and the vaporiser is on. Fingers crossed she has a better night tonight!

I’d love to hear about any successful home remedies you use for coughs and colds!!

What’s been chatting in your car this week?

How did you learn your direction (cardinal) points? Zadada had no clue about the soggy weetbix phrase!

Until the next time…..

Zamamabakes

So we've had navigation discussions this last week. Ella had to check in with me, "Mum is it don't eat soggy weetbix?" a...

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Car Chats………Round 5

Car Chats with Zamamabakes

So this week conversations have been quite tame and very ‘G’ rated in the Zamama mobile, no mention of peanut butters or vegemites, thank goodness.

Ella was the main star of the show this week……throwing some panic and a pleasant announcement into the mix.

Monday was panic day,  5 minutes into our trip to school I had Ella telling me she had forgotten to pack her homework and we needed to turn around or she would be in sooooo much trouble! So we turned around (cue my huff and eye roll). Yes we were late to school, lucky it was assembly morning and the school gate was still open. Lucky!!! And lucky it was not one of my work days or she would have been left with the soooooo much trouble option!

Then later in the week there was Ella’s grand announcement…… ‘I’m going to try a little bit of every vegetable you cook Mum’. Well in shock I think I almost stopped the car to make sure it was my daughter sitting next to me. These words coming from my child’s mouth that up until now has only eaten a limited selection of vegetables were quite the revelation! I even questioned her  ‘so you mean things like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomato and peas??????’, she said ‘yes Mum, just little bits’.  Blown away….. I have no idea where this healthy eating enthusiasm has come from but I’m happy to run with it! I can vouch she is following through on the grand announcement, tonight she ate some cooked spinach and over the weekend she let us put tomato on her hamburger!!!

Just to let you know we did see the stock standard, post preschool melt-downs from one little Alani but it wouldn’t be a normal week driving without being serenaded by our delightful threenager at least twice or more!

I can still remember pre-children days driving to work listening to my choice of music along with my own thoughts! How times have changed………. car travel is now so frustrating enlightening and if you asked me to choose one or the other it would be the now, the car chats, melt-downs and all!!!

What’s been chatting in your car this week?

Any panic U-turns for you?

Got any good tips on how to get threenagers to eat more vegetables or do I just go with the flow and wait for her 7-year-old revelation??

Until the next time…….

Zamamabakes

So this week conversations have been quite tame and very 'G' rated in the Zamama mobile, no mention of peanut butters or...

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Easy Butterfly Lolly Bags

Easy butterfly Lolly bags

It’s perfect timing for birthday themed posts this week because……….it’s my birthday today! If my Nanna was still around (bless her little heart) she would be telling me I was heading into my 37th year and celebrating 36 years of living life.  Definitely feeling extremely grateful for all my precious family and friends I have in my life as well as all of you, my gorgeous readers! Thank you xx

Now on with the show……

We’ve covered the birthday cake here, time for the lolly bags!!

When I was little, one of the great excitements of attending a friend’s party was to be sent home with a lolly bag to explore and eat your way through. I don’t think things have changed much in the 25+ years since I attended birthday parties except for the fact that lolly bags seem to be turning into something that is above and beyond my expectations as a parent.

Between the kidlets we’ve had our fair share of throwing parties and making lolly bags, I’ve probably gone a little bit overboard on a few occasions with helium balloons and bubble wands in the lolly bags but the bottom line is that we now have 3 little people to have parties for, we don’t do parties every year but when we do I’ve now decided the lolly bags don’t have to be crazy and costly!

Ella recently turned 7 and celebrated with a handful of friends and family. Of course lolly bags were a given but I wanted to stick with simple so I did a little investigating over at Pinterest for some inspiration and VOILA……. butterfly lolly bags are what I came up with.

You will need:

Snack size snap lock bags

Packet of pipe cleaners

Wooden pegs

Assortment of lollies (I used marshmallows, jelly beans, gummy bears and strawberries & cream)

Glitter balls for decorating

Some googly craft eyes

Craft glue

Butterfly lolly bag supplies

Take your sugar fix,

select your sugar load

Arrange them in the snap lock bag, so you have a space left in the middle.

place in snap lock bag

Take a pipe cleaner and twist around the centre.

Take you pipecleaner

Curl the tips to create little antennas.

twist twirl and curl

Position the peg over the pipe cleaner.

Lastly liven the butterflies up by gluing some eyes and little pom poms on the peg.

For the boys I used blue and green colours but failed to take a decent picture!!!! Whoops!!! I’m sure you get the idea you can create them for boys too!

Butterfly lolly bag

If you’re not comfortable supplying children with sugar why not try filling the bags with homemade popcorn or some pretzels??

My true thoughts are ‘YOLO, go the lollies!’ We’re not talking lollies everyday but as a treat!

For the record these lolly bags are the most budget friendly I’ve ever made and the reaction I got when I handed them out to the kids was just as rewarding if not better than the crazy costly ones I’ve handed out in the past………lesson learned!!!

I’m off to enjoy a birthday now!

Until the next time………..

Zamamabakes

 

 

 

 

It's perfect timing for birthday themed posts this week because..........it's my birthday today! If my Nanna was still a...

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Car Chats…….Week 4 plus 1,2&3

Car Chats with Zamamabakes

For those of you who follow my Facebook page this little image will be quite familiar to you and for those who don’t I’ll give you a quick heads up….. the last couple of weeks I’ve been sharing some of the colourful (life changing!!!) car conversations that air in the car on our trips to and from town, generally it’s just the 3 kidlets and I but sometimes Zadada is lucky enough (honoured!!!) to be present.

So rather than loosing these important (life changing!!!) conversations to the archives of Facebook I’ve decided to start compiling a little series over here on the Blog more for my own benefit…….in years to come I’ll be able to come back and show the kids what riveting chats went down either amusing or leaving me completely gobsmacked.

Now in case you’ve missed anything, here’s the rundown cut and pasted of standout ‘Car Chats’ from the last couple of weeks over on FB.

Week 1

Car conversations with the kids this week have been quite intense to say the least, I’ve been requested to give explanations as to why they were born from my tummy and not the standard passage. I’ve also been enlightened as to why Blake cried when he was born….apparently he didn’t want to hurt me (bless his little heart) but a failed attempt at a natural birth and a 10lb 2oz baby later I didn’t have the heart to say it hurt a lot!!!                                                                                                                                                            What’s been chatting in your car of late?

Week 2

This week’s stand out ‘Car Chat’ goes to one threenager for enlightening me with how scabs on your skin change colour and get smaller…….always a pleasure Lans, thanks for the smile!!
What’s been chatting in your car this week?

Week 3

Most memorable car chat last week is one that I hope escapes my mind quickly!! Driving as a family on Saturday, things went down like this….

Blake: Dad this is the worst booger I’ve ever had!!
Ella: Is it a red one?
Me: Seriously!!!!! Is this conversation really happening? (There was no way I was turning around to see what the worst booger looked like!!!)
Please tell me you had a chat happening in your car similar to mine!!

And now for this week……Hold on to your hat!!!

The talk of which boys like which girls in year 3!!!!! It has begun! One 9-year-old son of ours was using a very serious, mature tone of voice, if I hadn’t been driving I would have loved to see his facial expressions!

I’m trying to think back myself and remember when I first started really noticing boys and as I sit here thinking about that, a crazy image of 2 boys from my class 4T in 1987 pop into my head. Their names were Alan and Danny and I can remember them licking tongues in front of me (I kid you not) apparently germs did not exist, I think this was my undoing, I’m now the biggest germaphobe getting around! I’m not really sure what they were trying to prove but it was quite some time after this tongue licking incident that I realised boys were not always disgusting and sometimes had the ability to be nice, even interesting!

On a final note we were not driving but but today my ever so chatty threenager princess was sitting in the boot (we have a wagon) while I was packing groceries in and she randomly asked me why (keeping it family friendly) boys have a peanut butter and girls have a vegemite?

My answer quite swiftly: ‘because that’s how God made them’. She must have been satisfied as there were no follow up questions, I’m sure they’re in the pipeline!! Hopefully Zadada gets the next round of condiment questions!

Now I’m curious are any of your little people having little crushes?  And how old were you when you had your first boy or girl crush?

Feel free to share what’s been chatting in your car this last week.

Until the next time……

Zaamamabakes

 

For those of you who follow my Facebook page this little image will be quite familiar to you and for those who don't I'l...

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Fuel For A Mummy Melt-down…….

Mummy Meltdown post

By the time you are reading this I’m sure I’ll be well and truly over my Mummy Melt-down (for today at least anyway). I’ll be the first one to put my hand up and say I have Mummy Melt-downs and I think I would average one at least every 2nd day. If you’ve never had a Mummy melt-down then I say ‘hats off to you’, but I really don’t think it’s possible to breeze through parenthood without having at least 1 a week!

Little things like shoes, toys, gadgets, jackets, socks, books, dirty cloths and used anythings left sitting where they don’t belong will get me melting especially when the rightful owner gives a big huff, sigh, whine, call it what you like (these noises happen here all the time) when asked to locate the item to where it belongs. And heaven forbid If by my 3rd request I choose to raise my voice, because no one appears to be listening!

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is the fact that all this stuff that gets left laying around always seems to get put away in a hurry & with zero care factor of being able to find it again and this my lovely friends leads me to exhibit A below, belonging to a certain 7-year-old who resides in this house.

a 7-year-old cupboard, self styled

Here we have the self-styled shelving compartment of you know who’s wardrobe. I will mention that these shelves were once tidy, but apparently when you’re in trouble for leaving things laying around the house the easiest way to get yourself out of the spotlight is to make the item eventually disappear on a shelf, behind a door, out of sight, creating the beautiful sight pictured.

Let’s take a closer look shall we…….

cleaning up a 7-year-olds cupboard

No, it doesn’t look any better close up!

I think you can see that this creation (mess!!!) has taken quite some effort.

I will just say there are only so many times (probably 100) that I can look in a cupboard like this before my brain goes into Mummy Melt-down mode.

Yesterday a Melt-down moment was fuelled , I had opened (or attempted to open) that cupboard one too many times. I could feel myself beginning to feel very frazzled and cranky just thinking about THAT cupboard! Fortunately it was just me and one little threenager at home, if the owner of the creation had  been home there may have been a slight discussion, mainly me expressing my frustration.

I completely understand there may be people that could happily go on living with a creation like this in their house (I would never judge you) but for me as I said there comes a point when I crack (I wish I didn’t) and the only way I know I can make myself feel better is to attack the problem head on. So that’s what I did yesterday.

There was the emptying out of the cupboard.

The emptying out of the cupboard

The sorting process, garbage, hand-me downs, etc……

Garbage pile for the clean out

The hand-me-down collection

It’s all about striking while the house is completely yours, a job like this is so much easier when you don’t have an audience.

My potential audience slept like an angel! (Thanks Lans)

My sleeping angel

And I continued…………

Finding my favourite childhood story book ‘Good-bye Tonsils’ and a pair of  my missing scissors while sorting (strange combination I know) but there you have it.

My favourite childhood story book

The end result was a space I had forgotten existed!!! AMAZING!!!! And that full on, frazzled, frustrated feeling lifted, leaving just a small (you know there are plenty more cupboards almost looking like that in this house) niggle!

The finished product

The question is ‘how long will this tidy space last’? Going by previous experiences I’d say we’ve got about 6 months!!

Reality is to-do lists are like never ending stories, it’s all about prioritising and being the super organised Mummy that I am NOT, so I generally leave it up to my melt-down moments to let me know what needs to be done next. Going by the issues I encountered opening my Tupperware draws last night (I may have discreetly sworn a little) I’d say I’ve found my next target!

Now over to you…… Do you wait for Mummy Melt-down mode to kick in like me or do you have an organised system for keeping things in order at your place?

I’d love to hear any thoughts or advice you have.

Until then……..

Zamamabakes

 

 

 

By the time you are reading this I'm sure I'll be well and truly over my Mummy Melt-down (for today at least anyway). I'...

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Our Fiji Family Adventure

Fiji Header Bula (hello) lovely ones!

Fiji really was a great holiday……….so great that our 7-year-old asked if she could bring Fiji home with us?? If anyone knows a solution for that request please be sure to let me know.

I did promise you a debrief so here we go, babble to a minimum, just a snippet here and there and let the photo’s do the talking.

How it came to be:

Planning and preparations for this little adventure began on Australia day of this year when our gorgeous friends Glenn and Jennifer asked if we would consider a dual family holiday to Fiji?? My eyes lit up with excitement, all I had to do was convince Zadada who was already sounding enthusiastic so it didn’t take much, 7 days and 6 quotes later he was 100% sold. We were booked to Fiji all 10 of us (4 Adults & 6 kidlets to be precise).

If you are considering a holiday to Fiji, DO IT, as Kaymac would say ‘YOLO’, definitely an experience to remember and treasure forever! We stayed at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island. It’s on the Coral Coast of Fiji. We flew from Brisbane to Nadi airport, then had a 1 hour transfer to our accommodation. Hoot Holidays are who we used to book our holiday with (we tried local travel agents but the best price came from Hoot, who provided a service we were more than happy with), Bryan Griffin is the man you want to ask for to make your arrangements, he’s very helpful and happy to answer any questions both before and after you book.

For the record we flew with Fiji Airways.

Now the fun stuff…….Our holiday in colour!!

There was an early morning start. I was up at 4:45am!! I am sooooo not a morning person unless it’s for a good reason. Please note we didn’t have time to stop and take these pics so I do I apologise for the motion, poor light, iPhone snaps. Anyway I think you get the idea, it was early!!!!!

An early morning start for our Fiji adventure! The junior clan, looking ready for their Fiji flight! Our Junior Fiji travellers The flight. A lovely lady at check kindly informed us she had blocked off the 6th seat in our row so we had it all to ourselves, I love it when people are soooo kind and thoughtful!

Someone got given a job during the flight………and lapped up every minute! She was rewarded with the 1kg of lollies she had left in her basket. Behaving on the Fiji flight The Dads sporting their freshly woven palm leaf hats. We attempted to get Zadada’s back through customs but apparently it was too green so I’m thinking next time we’ll just have to stay longer for the sake of the hat! Fiji hands on Dads And yes the Mums sampled a cocktail or 2! Left the beer to the Dads. The hands on cocktail sampling Mum's The kayaks were put to good use almost everyday we were there, I can vouch that one of these double kayaks holds a family of 5 quite successfully we had a ball! Fiji family fun in kayaks The beach is just gorgeous especially on blue skyed sunny days! Fiji's gorgeous beaches A certain 9-year-old has always enjoyed digging, when he wasn’t swimming he spent the best part of his time at the beach as a human excavator!! Digging in the sand in Fiji We also possess a 7-year-old Mermaid. This little poppit was the first one in the water and last one out without fail everyday. It was such a delight to see the kids enjoying good quality outside fun in the sun time. Fiji and our 7-year-old mermid Last and certainly not the least is a certain little threenager, all that holidaying eventually takes its toll! A 3-year-old in Fiji

I have to show you this, you may have noticed in the 2 collages above a picture each of the girls having their hair plaited. Now I can plait but not this quick check it out……… (I believe if you click on link below you’ll see my 20 second video clip).

Fiji plaiting hair

The people of Fiji are just so lovely. I was lucky enough to meet our day maid Mere when I popped back to our room to do some laundry, I shared a tear with her (I tell you since I’ve had the kids I’m a dripping tap if I have a touching moment),  Mere told me how her home had been washed away by floods in Fiji a few years ago, she and her family had to start from scratch and rebuild as well as take care of her 2 little girls who are now aged 5 and 2.  To get to work she has to hitch hike everyday. Not many people own cars and with petrol being $2.65 per Litre I can understand why. It really does make you appreciate the luxuries we have in Australia. I feel it doesn’t matter which walk of life you belong to there’s a special mother to mother connection that happens between women, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels it. Meeting Mere and sharing conversations was a privilege and I feel so very grateful to have been acquainted with her.

We also had some fun doing a school and village tour, there was lots of singing and dancing and Kava but somehow I missed taking a picture of Zadada sampling it.

On our 2nd last night we hired 2 babysitters to mind the 6 kids in one of our rooms while we enjoyed an adults only dinner, it was just lovely.

Fiji's gorgeous people I do love a pretty sunset and Fiji does them well. Spot the igadgets, who needs kids club when you have technology? Dinnertime and sunsets in Fiji A holiday isn’t complete without a few group shots. The kids….well we tried! Fiji emotions And the 10 of us, pretty successful if I do say so. A special thankyou going out to the security guard who kindly took on the role as our photographer for a few minutes. Fiji family group shot

Now to keep things real, I’m going to share with you what I would also want to know, the stuff that happens on holidays that you don’t take pictures of, like:

The night we arrived at the Shangri-La was quite an overwhelming experience to say the least, we had been up since the crack of dawn, travelling for 12 hours with 6 kidlets to a country we had never been to before and it was dark. The resort felt HUGE (which it is, but you do get used to that). We thought we had made arrangements to have our  2 families rooms side by side or at least in the same wing??? Those arrangements must have been mislaid somewhere because our rooms ended up being at completely opposite ends of the resort (we were told to come back in the morning and speak to the person in charge of room allocation ,the short of the long there is that we adjusted to where our rooms were located, had we of wanted to be closer to our friends there wasn’t a room available until the 2nd last day of our stay and I wasn’t packing up a room after 5 nights of kids spreading their you know what all over the place, and I had met Mere by then too).

Our First Dinner experience was worse than being at a Sizzler restaurant in Australia, it was busy, kids seemed to be whinging everywhere (especially ours!!) and the food didn’t look all that appealing, we were sat separately to our friends and all the workers were operating on FIJI TIME (it does exist), nothing happens in a hurry! Not enjoyable at all!

We found our way back to our room via the shuttle bus, virtually fell into bed and slept, well sort of I don’t know about you but I never sleep all that well on my first night anywhere. Morning came around quick and we hit the breakfast buffet scene which had a slightly better feel to it than the previous night’s dining experience. The food was yummy, there was even someone making fresh omelettes, Zadada and I took advantage once we had the kids sorted of course!

We then went to meet up with our friends and do a bit of a tour of the resort. Things were definitely looking up, the resort really is fun, clean and beautiful. The kids were itching to swim so our afternoon ended up beside the pool and beach (they are side by side) a great set up!

Time absolutely flew and before we knew it we were back in our room getting ready for dinner. This was when another little moment was thrown upon us, Blake got one of his random headaches (generally its from not drinking enough water). We tried to sort him out with extra water, panadol and a lay down but unfortunately he needed to sleep. This is where I will mention missing having the use of my mobile phone, generally if you are running late and have made arrangements with friends to meet at a certain time you will throw a quick text their way, that option was not available. I to set off with the 2 girls to meet up with our friends, hopeful that Blake would wake up soon and he and Zadada would join us, that didn’t happen either. Poor Zadada ended up ordering room service which was no way near as nice as the freshly cooked stir-fry I got to enjoy. So our 2nd night in Fiji ended feeling no less overwhelming than our first. I will also add that an overwhelming 2 days wouldn’t be complete without a few pointless lover’s tiffs, we had some :)

What I can happily say is that once we got these shitty first 2 days out of the way things progressed onwards and upwards and our Fiji Holiday really was something I will treasure forever, I just wanted to be honest.

Now A few Tips:

Pack lots of snacks, a few bottles of water and a basic little pharmacy. I dedicated a whole suitcase to these items and I would definitely do it again. Prices in Fiji resorts are $$$$. Make sure when you book your holidays that your main meals are incorporated. We did Breakfast and Dinner. Our lunch basically consisted of snacks from the suitcase, when you have such a big brekkie you definitely won’t be starving.

I packed the kids clothes as individual outfits in snap lock bags labelled day or dinner, Pj’s I just left loose, it worked a treat!

Next time we go I would aim for booking a September or October holiday just so it’s a tad warmer. The days were lovely reaching 26ish but the nights were quite cool. The pool was freezing but the beach was a lovely temperature another month or 2 and I things would be perfect.

Do book a babysitter and have an adults only dinner, prices for babysitting are extremely reasonable and the ladies are just lovely.

Book for 10 days which will guarantee you get 7 great ones!

Keep an open mind if it’s your first time, there is lots to adapt to, new scenery, Fiji time and those unexpected moments.   You will have a fantastic time, bringing home lots of great memories.

I Couldn’t resist but to finish with a posed family shot in our room from the last night……..Ready, Set,.. Mr timer!

Fiji family Adventure picture

Fiji you delivered an amazing holiday, Thank you. And a big heartfelt Thankyou being sent to our friends Glenn and Jennifer for asking us along on this Fiji Family Adventure.

I’d love to hear where your favourite destinations for family holidays are or what crazy overwhelming moments you’ve experienced on vacation? Feel free to comment below lovely ones.

Until the next time,

Zamamabakes

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