Monday, 23 June 2014

This week

This fortnight has been kinda crap. Winter arrived in a blur of rain, cold and illness. Normally I like the colder weather but conjunctivitis, cold and coughs have been a plague upon my home... 
Anyway doing these posts can be a nice reminder of the things that have gone right in a week that was on the lower end of OK. 

We painted twice. I made dish washing liquid paints.

 I microwaved frozen blueberries and used the juice for the purple. The brown colour is ground cloves, and the blue is good old fashioned food colouring. 

In the end Bug just mixed the colours together and tipped them everywhere. Which is where the genius of this paint really happens, after a clean up with hot water my dining chairs have never been so clean! 

We also used the plant based glob paints. They smell delicious!

We baked zucchini cake which was delicious.  I used raw almond meal instead of the chopped nuts and I think it would be even more delicious with toasted nuts as per the recipe.

And these sweet potato chips, the only downside is they take over two hours to make and I could eat an entire batch in two minutes.

Next I will have to try these apple chips.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Hero of the month - Lily Cole

So Lily Cole was not my first pick for my first hero. She wasn't even on my radar as a potential hero. I had seen her in 'Lily Cole's Art Matters', which made me realise she was that as well as being an international model, and actress (loved 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)  she was also intelligent to boot (damn her!). And now it turns out that she really is some sort of modern superhero. A woman who doesn't hope that we can create a better world for our children, but actively attempts to make a better world for today.  
As well as being involved in a number if charity's, and being a passionate advocate of fair trade and sustainability (she has a Eco knitwear label called The North Circular, that is completely transparent - from where the wool comes from to who knits it is traceable), she has created as gift giving social media space called 'Impossible' that aims to create an online community bound in a gifting culture.  

She is a person who believes that the impossible can be possible if we look beyond the cultural constructs that guide us. She is a person who ultimately seeks to make wild ideals realities, and her wild ideals do not bring her any reward except for that fact that in becoming something real they really do make the world a better place, and therefore a happier place.  thus she is a fabulous role model for minis, and not so minis, everywhere.

This quarters Peppermint magazine has a fantastic article on her. And you can find more about her gift giving social media platform here

Interestingly I stumbled across a couple of other few other hopeful or daydream-believing Facebook groups this week;  
There's nothing wrong doing the little things, recycling, giving blood, planting a veggie   garden, buying fair trade... From little things big things grow... But wouldn't be amazing to be the one working towards making the impossible possible, bringing a little slice of Utopian idealism to our cynical modern world. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Zoo Zoo Zoo!

Bebe in the butterfly house

It was Queens birthday weekend this weekend, which means a long weekend for most of the country! Yay! We packed up the kids, and with the in laws and a handful of nieces and nephews in convoy, we visited Melbourne Zoo. 
Even though we left earlyish (arriving just after 10) it was busy. The car park is enormous which is great, but we had a park forever away from the entrance. Lucky we had lots of willing hands to carry babies and push prams. The kids actually fought about whose turn it was to push the pram the whole day. They seemed more interested in Bebe and Bug than in the animals which was cute but also a little annoying. You want then to be super excited about the animals, that's the whole point of being there! 

Least Bug was pretty excited. She learnt to say Zebra and Monkey while we were there. And was excited to see the 'monkey was eating the water' and 'ook mum zebra running' (how cool is it when you can actually have a 2sided conversation with you minis, they are amazing little creatures ). 
I have mixed feelings about zoos. I understand that the conservation aspect is so important but it can be sad to see a bear pacing up and down an enclosure that just seems too small. Melbourne zoo is pretty good, and they seem to be doing there best to improve it all the time.  At the moment the big cats are getting new enclosures.

 And the animals seem content enough. The elephants where swimming which was amazing to watch and the orangutan's never fail to entertain. 

One thing I really liked, that possibly won't stand out to most was the kids play area near the meerkats. Secret Tunnels underground and organic like stairs up wee hills make it a space any kid would love. I wish local parks would create spaces more like this than the conventional climbing frame/ slide/ swing combo most contain.

I can defiantly recommend Melbourne zoo for a good full day out.

Facts and figures.

$30 per adult, $13 per child (4-15), family (2+2) $68.50 other family, member and concession options available. 

Toilets are basic but clean. The change room I used (near the end of the elephant walk) was spacious and clean). 

Be prepared for the bakery and plaza eatery's to be busy at lunch but both have a good range if options to suite most (my niece didn't find anything she wanted, except hot chips, but she turned down my home made choc chip cookies too so apparently she's just a bit of a fuss pot! :) ).  prices were average $3.50 for a coffee, $6 for a basic (but yummy) burger, $5 for a pie). There was a bistro there too but we didn't check it out. 
Plenty of picnic space available, which was my original plan but we were a bit unorganised as initially we were going Monday but the in laws changed it to Sunday at the last minute... Anyhoo...