A Creative Camping Weekend

We had such a lovely time camping over the Easter long weekend.  Four nights with my Mum, sisters, their husbands & kids.  7 adults & 5 children.  The weather was perfect.  It started to rain as we were driving out of the camping ground.  Timing.


There is a strong creative influence in our family, so we got up to quite a bit of camp ‘art & craft’ over the weekend with not one of them organised by me!  Going camping with  aunts & uncles who are artists, sculptors, builders & crafty mamas can be quite a bonus!  So much creative fun to be had outside with nature!

They made their own paint from dirt, charcoal & leaves.


They made their own charcoal in fire, using sticks, foil & coals



and did some sneaky grafitti…


They carved sculptures using rocks (children) 



and knives (the sculptor uncle) 


and even chainsaws (the builder uncle)
 This cricket set below was made with the chainsaw, freehand!

Climbed cubby houses.


 Rubbed paper with crayons to discover the secrets beneath.


Children waking at the crack of dawn and long days meant that there was still plenty of time for other non-creative pursuits …

firewood collecting

reading in the hammock

climbing trees

nature collecting

eating potatoes overcooked in foil in the fire

Sack races
making even more easter baskets and hunting for easter eggs

Eating too many easter eggs
Some Bear Grylls re-enacting

and lots of precious quality time 

spent with those we love


and the absolute highlight – learning to ride on two wheels for the very first time!

I love my little family, I really do.  Now I’m home.  Never more keen to have a shower!    Exhausted and doing load upon load of dirt encrusted washing!

What did you get up to over the Easter long weekend?

Are you a little addicted to taking photos like me?  I took over 500 photos….(!?!)


An Easter reflection

I know you’re all probably a little over Easter posts on this blog, but I thought this might interest some of you.

Somewhere amongst all the chocolate at Easter, Granny organised a lovely Easter reflection  activity for the kids.  Something to help us all remember the reason why we celebrate Easter.  Thought I’d share as it might be a meaningful thing for some of you to share with your children next year.


After we all had eaten one of Granny’s delicious shortbread biscuits, ten numbered plastic eggs were placed on the table and we all took it in turns to open each one.


Each egg contained a part of the Easter story and a small item that matched that part of the story.

 for eg. cloves to represent the spices that the women brought to the tomb to annoint Jesus body.


The last egg was empty to show that Jesus was no longer there as he had risen.

You can get all of the instructions and free printables over here.  I think next year, it might be helpful to use more child friendly wording, but Granny was there to explain, so it still worked.

For more kids Easter activities, you might like to check out our kids craft page… to bookmark (or pin) for next year.

THIS SATURDAY I’M GRATEFUL…

Thanks to my amazing Mum and to my equally amazing husband, Mr FGB & I have just returned from a kid-free weekend!  Two whole days and two whole nights in Daylesford to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary.  To say that I am grateful may just be the understatement of the century!

What are you grateful for this weekend?

THIS SATURDAY I’M GRATEFUL…


This Saturday I’m grateful for…

- Birthdays.  I love feeling special for a day and being allowed to make it all about you!  Can’t believe it’s been a year already!

- New cameras!  Best birthday present ever from Mr FGB & the kids!  Although maybe the squashed toilet roll covered in sequins made especially for me by 2 year old Frog, all on her own, might just rival the camera in the present stakes…

- Rare photos of me with all 3 children (even if one was covered in hours old face paint).  We must remember to take more of those – so important!

- Mothers.  Mine has just returned from 3 months in Rwanda.  You can read about her travels here.  So grateful to have her back.  We missed her very much.

- Weekends away.  Staying at Mum’s this weekend in her gorgeous old home in Heathcote that still hasn’t sold.  If you are interested in a tree change check out this post.

- Festivals, sunshine & family.  Heathcote Food & Wine Festival today with sister Lou & her kids was lots of fun!


Being grateful today & joining in with Maxabella.

EASY PEASY HOMEMADE MAYO

While in the middle of making chicken sandwiches recently, Mr FGB discovered that we were out of mayonnaise.  So, I scavenged through to the very back recesses of my recipe folder and after a little searching pulled out my mothers homemade mayonnaise recipe.  We grew up with this mayonnaise, and this page comes from a lovingly written out recipe book that my Mum gave me when I first moved out of home over 17 years ago now…. but I’m not sure if I ever made it.  I got lazy and we just buy it.  Sorry Mum.  I think that is going to change now though as this was yum.

It’s quite yummy, doesn’t include egg and is very, very easy.
If you can’t read the image above in Granny’s writing, the recipe is as follows…
GRANNY’S MAYONNAISE
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix together and put in jar.

For more easy peasy recipes, head over here.

THIS SATURDAY I’M GRATEFUL…

…for Grannys, for 100% healthy ice-cream and for creative expression!

We are at Granny’s again this weekend.
Weren’t you just at Granny’s last weekend you ask? Well, yes.
Last weekend we had a big family weekend here, this time it is just myself and the kids. We are here because the father of the house is working all weekend and I just wasn’t up for another single parent weekend. Not sure if I’d be coping without her at the moment.
Thanks Granny… again.

Granny makes the best ice-creams. She puts frozen fruit through her juicer and makes these colorful, healthy and pure fruit creations. They are always a hit! These ones contained nothing but mango, strawberry, pineapple and banana. Blueberries and raspberries taste delicious too.

Goose’s creative expression through the fashion of the skirt/skirt look makes me smile. When dressing this morning, she experimented with the look of a skirt as a top. She liked the look. We were only going to Granny’s after all. When packing her own bags for Granny’s house, she decided that she didn’t need to pack any tops at all. Apparently tomorrow, she’ll be wearing jeans on the bottom and, you guessed it, a skirt on the top.

What are you grateful for?
Check out what others are grateful for every Saturday over at Maxabella land.


P.S. If you are interested in making some of these, Granny uses this kind of single gear cold-pressed juicer to make her ice-cream.

AT MY HOUSE…

We have escaped our house and have joined Lou on an extended long weekend at Mum’s house with the whole family.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to escape reality for a few days and have the aunts, uncles, cousins and Granny there to help entertain the kids! Entertaining 5 kids indoors (mostly) for a few days is not always an easy feat, but with endless games of hide and seek, drawings of masterpieces (thanks Kate), stomping in muddy puddles, the balancing of cards and mini chairs, hilarious dress ups and trick or treating in every doorway of the house, they did a superb job – thank you!

It has been a welcome relief from the everyday which has been quite the balancing act and particularly exhausting of late. I haven’t always been managing to balance it all that well.

This weekend has been a welcome relief.
Thank you family.


What has been happening at your house?


P.S. Don’t forget my little giveaway. Details here.

A LOVELY BOOK OF MEMORIES

These photos were from a very special photo book compiled by a very thoughtful Granny & given to Goose this week. It chronicles photos of Goose & her ‘Grad’. Pages and pages of special moments, captured on film to help her to always remember their very special relationship.

It was one year ago today that we said goodbye to ‘Grad’.
This book and our memories of him will be treasured always.

MY {daughter’s) CREATIVE SPACE

Goose spends a few days every school holidays with Granny for some pampering and one on one time.
(that unfortunately rarely happens at home with two demanding younger siblings).

They do lots and lots of fun things together, but one of their favourite things to do each time is a bit of crafting. A bit of cross generational handing down of the lost arts.

Last school holidays, you may remember, Goose made this lovely headband (above), all by herself on the sewing machine “with just a tiny bit of help from Granny”.

In other holiday adventures they have also made
- “with just a tiny bit of help from Granny” –
this gorgeous red cherry skirt
(note the specially made buttonsbyloulou headband to match).

and these fun rice bags –
just like the ones Granny made us when we were kids.
(You’ll like those Brenda)

And these holidays…
they knitted!

She really loves it.
She keeps the knitting bag at Granny’s to save it from younger siblings stealing and destroying
(and quite frankly Mum just doesn’t seem to find the time to help her).
“in, round, under, off… in, round, under, off…”
(she sang repetitively while I showed her the photos Granny took of her)

So, I may not be doing a lot of crafting myself at this particular juncture in my life, but I am very glad that my clever Goose is not missing out. Thanks Granny!

AT MY HOUSE…

At my house this weekend, we had the much anticipated

There are many more photos & details here.

But, to indulge myself just one more time…
here are some photos of the little Frog, Goose & Bear family enjoying the day…

And of course, none of this would have been possible without the inspiration and sheer hard work of Granny – thanks Mum!

This is the first year that we invited friends for a party for Bear. It was just family for the first two years and so this time, along with the family, we invited four of his little friends too. Of course those friends brought their families along too (they were only 3 years old after all) which just made it all the more fun! I once read somewhere that you should invite one friend per age the child is turning. What do you think of that?

At my house today we are obviously doing quite a bit of packing up!

Play along at Lou’s At My House this week!


P.S. Thanks Lou for being photographer on the day – really appreciate!
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