Monday, 24 August 2015

Disney Junior's The Book Of Once Upon A Time. {Review}

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang & Disney Junior. 

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” - Walt Disney. 

Before I was pregnant there was one thing I knew I would want to teach my children more than anything else, to love books and love to read. Growing up I always had a book with me, I loved to read and still do, this was a trait I wanted to pass onto LuLu, and I feel I am.
Trent & I both love reading to LuLu and she has so many books I feel we could almost open a library! We are always looking for new ways to introduce more reading & storytelling into her life. I have recently been introduced to a wonderful program by Disney Junior, Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time”. 
As a parent, I am very critical with what I expose my daughter too. I want good honest content for her. Content that just isn't educational but also touches on moral values, social skills, creative thinking, good basic habits and motor skills.
Disney Junior's animated and live action specials, combine Disney's unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning components, including early language and maths skills, as well as healthy lifestyles, with an emphasis on social and emotional development.
This is a locally produced interactive story telling series that is hosted by Kate Mulvany. Kate is a well-known Australian actor, screen writer and playwright. You may recognise her from her role on "All Saints" and from appearing in feature films & other television series such as "The Great Gatsby", "My Place" and "Griff the Invisible". 
Kate is perfect for bringing Disney stories to life, she tells stories with such great passion and enthusiasm, that comes from a deep & personal fondness for storytelling and igniting the imaginations of young people.
When Kate was a young girl she became extremely ill and spent some time in hospital. During one visit her godmother gifted her a Kit Williams' picture book, "Masquerade". Reading this book allowed Kate to imagine a magical and glorious new world where she could escape from reality and was the start of a life-long passion for storytelling. 
Every night at 7:10pm on the Disney Junior channel (709 on Foxtel) Kate delivers a captivating story for young children. Or you can tune in anytime on the website
To coincide with book week starting in Australia on the 24th August, 2015 - this is when the second season of "The Book of Once Upon A Time" will begin. The first story will be “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Later episodes will include new Disney stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Frozen”. All characters that children of all ages are familiar with and are fond of!
This wonderful series brings classic stories and characters we and our children know and love to life. “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time” keeps the tradition of story telling alive, with turning pages, exciting voices for the characters & re-enactments and includes the trademark magic of Disney with touches of animation to ignite the imagination of your little one! 
Reading and storytelling is such an important part of a child's day and can really make a bedtime ritual a little more special! Disney Junior encourages parents to sit down with their children and share a magical & special moment with their little love every evening before bed. After every “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time” episode the "Land of Once Upon A Time" lullaby follows, encouraging children to get ready for bedtime!
Make sure you tune in on Disney Junior The Channel to enjoy this wonderful & calming episode with your child before bed time. This channel is available on all Foxtel subscribing homes on channel 709 or online
On the Disney Story Central app, "The Book of Once Upon A Time" features Disney stories that are available as eBooks. 

Please let me know your thoughts on this wonderful new season of "The Book of Once Upon A Time" and also let me know what your child's favourite bedtime story is?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Domestic Engineering #3 Spring Cleaning. {FREE Printable & AirWick Give Away!}

This post in sponsored by Air Wick. I only choose to work with brands I know and I am familiar with and personally use. Air Wick is a well known and reputable company, I regularly use their products, when they approached me to do a sponsored post with a giveaway for my readers I was on board. I like doing posts that highlight good products that I use and also give back to my readers! All opinions in this post are my own.

Hasn't the weather been absolutely lovely lately! So much sunshine and warm weather, it is like spring is getting an early start this year! And I am not complaining at all! I love Spring! 
As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I get so motivated! I want to get stuff done and I want it done NOW! 
The term "spring cleaning" really makes sense to me. I normally am on top of my housework but as soon as the weather warms up suddenly I have a desire to deep clean every square inch of my house! I make lists and I get so much satisfaction ticking each item off! I am currently decluttering our house and trying to own less pointless things. I want our house to only be full of things we need or love. 
I love nothing more than my house being freshly clean and then I go through my house and light new scented candles & put out new reed diffusers to match the season. 
The sign of my house being freshly cleaned is sparkly floors and a candle burning!
Ahh.. A clean kitchen bench and a new candle, BLISS!
Lately I am loving the Air Wick Life Scents candles & the reed diffusers from the Home Signature Collection. These scents are so lovely and fresh for spring. These Air Wick candles are unique because the scent is constantly changing! 
I think the scents we have in our homes really can affect our mood and I love to change my candles depending on the season. In Autumn and Winter I love cinnamon & clove and warm scents. In Spring I love fresh & floral scents and Summertime calls for crisp & very clean scents like linen and rain. Air Wick has so many options, that everybody can find the perfect home fragrance. I actually am dying to try the new Air Wick Life Scent candle in Turquoise Oasis - it seems like a perfect summer home fragrance! 
I've teamed up with Air Wick to bring you all a give away to celebrate the start of Spring being almost here!
 Actually there is 2 giveaways in this post. The first is a prize pack that you can win from Air Wick - check out the entry form below and the 2nd is a printable I made for you!
So technically everyone wins! (I feel like Oprah right now, you get a printable, you get a printable and you! Ok, printable isn't nearly as fun as car, but hey... it's a start!)
The printable is my "Spring Cleaning Check List". 

I've included every room and detailed how I would deep clean the entire house - inside and out! I even have a pets section & extra jobs, I've also listed a few tips & tricks! 
I know this may not be a super fun printable for some people, but I find lists incredibly motivating to help me get things done. I've tried to be very detailed and precise about what to clean in order to deep clean your home. 
I often find before I start cleaning I am always sitting around wasting time trying to write out a big list to get me going & then rewriting it because the list wasn't neat enough (perfectionist much!?), so I thought I would type up a list of everything I would strive to clean in order to "spring clean" my home and I've included little boxes so you can feel the satisfaction of checking off each item as you complete it (I love that feeling!) 
Now some of the items listed are so basic, like "wake up & get dressed" - but seriously - wake up early, get dressed & be motivated. If you spend an hour lounging in bed you waste valuable time and start your day off slow, that is fine some days but not for the day when you want to be very productive. Decide the night before that the following day you will start spring cleaning, set your alarm, get up early and look forward to a busy & productive day! At the end of the day you will be exhausted, but you will feel so good when you look at all the items on your list ticked off. 
Before I tackle spring cleaning, I like to plan it out, I like to check the weather forecast and find a nice warm & sunny day - the best sort of day for airing quilts, pillows, blankets & doing lots of washing. These days are also great for giving pets their baths and washing their bedding. It is basic common sense but things will dry faster & easier on a lovely hot day!
This is also a perfect time to worm your family, if you do that (I know not everyone does). Worm everyone including furry members the night before at dinner and then in the morning have everyone change their clothes and place them in the washing machine immediately and make sure you wash all bedding. 
Back in a time before I was a Mumma I would easily knock most of this entire list over in 2 days by myself, easy. But now well, I will schedule about 1 week for myself to get this list done, plus a few days with Trent to work outside! My little shadow loves to help out and that normally doubles or triples the time it takes to normally get a task done!
I encourage you to print off this list and hang it on your fridge. There is no time frame, do it as you can. Do 1 room each day or every weekend, but do it! I always feel so good about myself and my home when I know it is very well cleaned. Doing 1 big deep clean per year or every 6 months is so good, it helps you declutter & keep a fresh and organised home.
The list is 100% free to use, you just click HERE and print it off! Think of it as a gift, a gift to celebrate spring and September almost being here - we celebrate September because it's my birthday month - but mainly it's just a little thing to say thank you to my readers. I will be starting this list in September, so feel free to tag me in your posts on social media if you use it, I would love to see your progress and give you encouragement and praise as we tackle it together! If you need more motivation to do this list, set yourself a reward for completing it and go out and treat yourself once you are finished the list! 
Now to enter the Air Wick give away, it is simple. Fill out the form below and you are in the draw to win! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Feel free to share the competition on any social media and share this post with anyone you may think would love the printable.
Rules to enter give away & a few terms and conditions;
  1. You must be an Australian or New Zealand resident. 
  2. You must be a follower of this blog, either subscribe via Google, bloglovin or by email!
  3. You can gain bonus entries by following ModernWifeLife31 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  4. 1 bonus entry is counted if you LIKE Air Wick Australia on Facebook! 
  5.  Another way to earn a bonus entry is to leave a comment below with your best spring cleaning tip!   
  6.  Competition begins on Tuesday 18th August 2015 and ends Wednesday 26th August 2015.
  7.  Winner will be announced on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter on the 26/08/2015.
  8. The winner has 48 hours to contact me with their postal address. If there is no contact within that time frame I will redraw another winner.
  9. The prize will be sent to the winner by a representative for Air Wick.
  10. I have no control over the postage of the item, but I have full faith that your prize will arrive in a timely manner once I pass your postal details on to the company.
  11. Prize is final and cannot be changed or exchanged for money.
Please feel free to check out Air Wick on Facebook HERE and YouTube HERE.  
I hope you all have a wonderful week and good luck!
Please leave me any feedback on the printable either in the comments or on my social media, I would love to know your thoughts and if you would like more printables. If by chance your printable doesn't work please let me know and I can email you a copy!

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

3 fun & easy activities to keep your toddler busy!

Today I am back with a "Toddler Tip Thursday."
Do you ever have those moments when you are preoccupied with something fairly important but your little love wants all your attention? 
Normally LuLu wants me to play with her when I am trying to do some cooking or I am mopping, any other time I normally just stop what I am doing and play with her, but sometimes you cannot leave what you are doing. So, how do I get around this problem?
Besides praying for patience, I try to find activities for her to do while I am busy, I try to avoid just turning the TV on as she isn't overly interested in it and I prefer for her to be playing than watching television.
Sometimes I will simply ask for her help, by help I mean asking for her to look for spoons in the kitchen utensil drawer (she is allowed to play in that drawer) or we bring out her pretend food, I tie an apron around her and she pretends to cook as well.
LuLu loves to pretend the whisk is a bubba and my jar opening thing from Tupperware is a blanket, she wraps the "bubba" and sshhs it to sleep! 
Giant bowls, a spoon and some plastic food (from KMart) & this activity is always a simple winner! She loves wearing an apron when I wear one & LuLu will often bring me an apron because she wants us to "bake". 

Other times I set up a simple activity or craft, one that takes only a moment to throw together and is simple enough she can do it without constant supervision. 
I have 3 of those activities to share with you today. 

  • Contact Paper collage;

This is exactly what it sounds like. 
You take some contact paper, cut a section off, tape it to the table/window/floor/any flat surface sticky side up, give your child a box of shapes/scrap paper/craft supplies = simple craft that will keep them entertained for awhile. 
(A tip for sticking it down, slowly peel back one edge at a time and tape down)
This activity is suitable from young toddlers right up to young primary school age. Just adjust the supplies, an older child could actually cut out there own images from a magazine or make a picture from craft supplies. If you did this on a window with cellophane it can create a stained glass look & is a whole different craft!
LuLu liked sticking the bits of cut up wrapping paper & felt shapes down and then pulling them off and also experimenting with the stickiness by pushing and pulling her hands on the contact. 
Sticky hands! 
LuLu's master piece. 

  • Recycled Chute for Pom Poms; 

This activity does require that you keep a few cardboard rolls from the paper towel or toilet paper, but that's the hardest part. 
Basic supplies, a large bowl (ice cream container would be fine), cardboard tubes, masking tape & pom poms ($1-$2 from the cheap shop!)
It is as simple as taping some tubes to a flat vertical surface (wall or a side of a bench), placing a bowl or bucket underneath and giving your toddler some pom poms.
A super basic, but fun activity. 
Pom poms work the best instead of small balls, as the balls could bounce and become lost. But a word of warning, if you have cats putting a bowl of pom poms in your house is asking for trouble - trust me I know. This activity stayed up in our house for about a week because LuLu really enjoyed it, but my cat enjoyed diving into the bowl of pom poms and scattering them all over the house. 
Once again, a young toddler will enjoy this activity, but it can be adjusted for an older child. You could give a box of cardboard rolls & masking tape to an older child and ask them to make their own chute set up.

  • Flower/pipe cleaner sieve threading;

This is a Montessori style activity. It works on hand & eye co-ordination and their fine motor skills and takes next to no prep time to organise.
Grab a sieve (or basket with holes, whatever it is make sure the holes are a decent size) and a handful or pipe cleaners, drinking straws or some fake flowers - activity prep done.
I got these cheap fake flowers from IKEA last time I was there. I just grabbed them as a supply to keep in the craft box as they can be used for a few different activities and crafts!
Show your toddler how to thread the stems of the flowers/pipe cleaners into the holes & then leave them be. 
(Flowers actually work the best or even straws, because they are firmer, pipe cleaners can be a little hard for younger toddlers to thread as they bend so easily, but as they get older it's easier for them to problem solve & work around that issue) 
LuLu enjoyed this activity when she was around 18 months and still enjoys it now at almost 22 months.

These activities are quiet & simple. Perfect if you need to make an important phone call or cook in the kitchen when it isn't appropriate for your child to "help". When I am cooking dinner I don't like LuLu being in there as it's normally a mix of a fry pan, boiling water & possibly the oven going. If I am baking I am more likely to let her help, but dinner is the time I like her playing on her own. 
I hope these activities have inspired you and help you distract your little love if you have something important to tackle when they just can't seem to happily go play on their own!
If you have any suggestions for other activities I would love to know, please comment below or leave me a Facebook comment! 
Have a lovely week.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Our perfect anniversary date. {shooting & eating!}

Last week Trent & I celebrated 126, 230, 400 seconds of married life! 
On that particular day he was working night shift so we weren't able to do anything to mark our special day.
We had planned to go out for a nice dinner together on Saturday evening. My parents had agreed to baby-sit LuLu for us. 
But on Saturday morning while I was chatting to Mum on the phone she mentioned she wanted to look after LuLu for the whole entire day & also that evening. I had to think about it for awhile. Sure I've spent a few hours away from LuLu, but normally when I'm spending time away from her Trent has her or if Mum does it is just for a couple of hours while I do some shopping, I don't make a habit of not being with her, so this was a fairly big moment for me. Also because LuLu would be going for a drive to another town with my parents, I was a bit anxious about the whole idea of it. But I figured it would be good for LuLu to spend a few hours away from me & she was with her Ninny & Poppa, the only 2 people that I really feel comfortable leaving her with, so I knew she would be fine. After over packing 2 bags of supplies, a lunch bag & a bucket of toys for her we dropped her off at my parents. 
All packed and ready for a day with Ninny & Poppa.
Yes, I cried leaving her. I don't know why - perhaps guilt, but I think it was more because I instantly missed her. When LuLu isn't with me I feel like I am missing something vital, like heart or a lung. I just no longer feel complete. I sat in the car contemplating if I should run back inside and say I changed my mind, but I knew she would be perfectly fine and I would be too - I trust my parents 110% with her. 
So what were Trent and I going to do with this new found day of freedom? 
Well, we decided to do what we do - go shooting. We could've done yard work, but hey - we wanted to just enjoy this rare day of "just us".  
Now we didn't have enough time to organise a hunting trip, so have no fear - this is not a post with "dead animals". We headed out to a property owned by one of Trent's work mates & set up some targets. We were just wasting time, having fun & also making sure our guns were shooting straight. 
We took 3 of our guns out. Our air rifle, Trent's Tikka T3 .270 & my brand new Browning .22 rifle. 
Gamo Delta Max .177, Browning T-Bolt .22LR & Tikka T3 .270. All guns purchased at 'The Open Range' 
A couple who shoots together, stays together!
This was my first time bringing my gun out to shoot targets. I had shot it previously on some bunnies with my brothers, but this was my first time shooting with Trent. 
We set the target up at about 100m and I managed to get some fairly decent groupings. When I shoot at 'The Open Range' in their indoor shooting range, I shoot at 25m. I can manage to get a pretty great & tight grouping at that distance (about a $2 coin grouping) at 100m I was getting about a 50c coin grouping or a touch wider. Which isn't bad, it isn't brilliant but it was my first time doing targets with that gun & the longest distance I've ever shot and I had to factor in it was a windy day.
What a fun way to waste a few hours! 
A quick word about my beautiful rifle, as I said it is the Browning T-Bolt .22LR - I was going to purchase the .22 mag, but after some consideration I decided to go with the .22 LR. It is more economical to shoot and it will also be a great gun for LuLu when she grows up. If she wants to learn to shoot, this gun would be perfect for her after learning on the air rifle (she has a fair few years to wait though!). It is a stunning rifle and amazing quality - I made sure to purchase a gun that I know will last. I knew I wanted a timber stock as that is the finish I prefer.
This gun is also a perfect size for me, I held so many rifles & none felt comfortable or they were too heavy as I am fairly petite - but this one is perfect for me. 
I love the straight pull T-Bolt action, it's a smooth & fast motion, which is great for quickly chambering a round for that follow up shot, if needed. The double helix rotary 10 shot magazine is incredibly easy to load, it feeds the rounds level into the chamber which also makes the round feed in smoothly. 
The scope I chose for my gun is the Meopta MeoPro 3-9x42. Trent & I are both very happy with the scope, the vision is clear & crisp.  
Browning .22 
The detailing on my gun is so pretty! ;)
After spending a few hours shooting our rifles we packed up and started the 50 minute trip home. 
4 years of being his Mrs. Bring on many, many more!! :) 
Trent called into a local pub at Quinalow to grab some Jack Daniels as he wanted to drink one before we left for dinner that night while I was getting ready. I took the opportunity to have a cold drink while we drove home & I couldn't help but laugh at the stubby cooler he purchased while getting the Jacks!! 
This made me laugh... 
When we got home we got ready for dinner and then my parents arrived with our darling girl, we had missed her so much! She had had a great day & seemed very happy! We made dinner for my parents and LuLu and said good bye to them and drove to town for our anniversary dinner. 
A quick photo while out on our date! 
We got an early booking at La Pizziaola & enjoyed a nice dinner of yummy Italian food. After dinner we walked down to the gelato store and had dessert. 
We had a lovely evening out together, but all we wanted to do was get home to our LuLu Bug, so we went straight home!
A day off from parenting was a nice treat & I am grateful to my parents for being so amazing with LuLu & happy to have her for the day, but I love my time with her & those days off don't have to be very often, it was lovely to just have some time with just Trent though to celebrate 4 beautiful years of marriage!

If you want to stay up to date with my hunting & shooting adventures please make sure you follow my instagram account dedicated to that; @housewifetohuntress. 
My camo cap was supplied by Aussie Feral Game Hunters, you can find them on Facebook by clicking HERE. 
Have a great week!