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Dinosaur Party Ideas

Miss 3 requested a dinosaur party this year and they’re pretty popular at the moment so I thought I’d share some of the things we did.

To set the scene we had dinosaur foots prints leading up to the front door…

dinosaur footprints

Activities including making a dinosaur party hat…





here is the link to the hat on the right.

and a dinosaur dig…we found dinosaur eggs and dinosaur fossils!

Dinosaur dig   dinosaur-egg2


dinosaur fossils

To make the dinosaur fossils all you need is some air dry clay, a round cookie cutter, rolling pin and some plastic dinosaur toys.
Once dry they can be painted or left as they are. Have fun burying them in the sandpit and then the kids can ‘discover’ them on a fossil hunt.

Here is the link to making dinosaur eggs.

I also made some dinosaur party boxes for the kids to take home.

dinosaur party boxes

On the front I stuck a glow in the dark dinosaur and inside I included a little bag of popcorn, a bottle of bubbles, a dinosaur rubber and some homemade rainbow crayons.

IMG_1669These were made by breaking up some old crayons, poppoing the pieces in a muffin tin and popping it on the outdoor BBQ on a low heat until they had just melted.


And not to forget the pièce de résistance – the cake!IMG_1748Here is a great video link on how to make it!

The kids had a roaring good time 😉

There are a few more ideas that I didn’t get round to doing that can be found on my Pinterest page here.




This Easter I’m making my own chocolate – sugar fee, dairy free and fair trade (not to mention delicious!). My ingredients are sourced from Loving Earth who have a healthy, sustainable and fair trade philosophy. This recipe is taken from Chocchick – thanks girls!


  • 100g Raw Cacao Butter
  • 6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Agave Syrup
  • Paste from 2 Vanilla bean pods (optional)
  • 1 Small pinch of rock salt (optional – use good quality sea salt to lift the chocolate flavour)

Ensure all utensils and the bowl are dry before the ingredients are added as water can cause the mix to separate.


Place the raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of water on a low heat and melt gently (Bain Marie or Baño Maria in Spanish).

Once melted add 6 tbsp raw cacao powder and mix well using a metal whisk (wooden spoons…

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The Red Tent – Book Review

My blog has been all but silent for six months, for personal reasons and also because I haven’t felt inspired to write. But suddenly this week, only two-thirds of the way through my book club book I felt the need to share.

I joined my local library book club about 12 months ago because I’m not very adventurous in my reading. I tend to find an author I like, read everything I can find and then it may be years before I stumble upon another I like. My recent reading list includes re-reading all the Terry Pratchett on my bookshelf, old hardbacked editions of kids books that I find in op shops and generally anything in the Murder Mystery genre.

The book club reads so far had ranged from really quite good (The Book Thief) to disappointing (Dawn French’s A Tiny Bit Marvellous). The Red Tent by Anita Diamant however, put them all in the shadow. I’d already decided to give it 5 stars only two-thirds of the way through!


This book tells the story of Dinah from the Old Testament. The author takes Dinah’s story from Genesis 34 and chooses to re-imagine what may have happened…

I was drawn to retell the biblical story of Dinah in large part because of her silence.  In Genesis 34, Dinah’s experience is described and characterized by the men in her family, who treat her as a rape victim, which in that historical setting meant that she was irredeemably ruined and degraded.  Because she does not say a word (and because of the extraordinary loving actions taken by her accused assailant), I found it easy to imagine an alternative telling to the story, in which Dinah is not a passive victim but a young woman who makes choices and acts on her own initiative.  Not only did I find it easy, I found it necessary.”

-Anita Diamant (September, 2007)

I am drawn to this story for many reasons. Firstly, I love books set in a different time and place, particularly if it’s a woman’s story being told. The book begins with the meeting of Dinah’s mother Leah and father Jacob. You get a clear insight into their everyday lives, the culture and traditions and politics of the time. The Red Tent is introduced, a place where women go during their monthly cycle together, where the women birth their children. Here they are supported by each other, connected through songs and stories (and probably a lot of gossip!). This was the reason the title grabbed me in the first place. Not long ago I read of a tribe in Africa (I think) where the women all sit together in ‘The Red Tent’ and bleed back into the earth. I’ve wanted to learn more about it.

The story continues as Dinah’s mother and ‘mother-aunties’ pair with her father Jacob and produce many sons and finally after many boys, Dinah arrives. As the only daughter in the large family she is probably given more privilege than was custom at the time. She continues to enter the Red Tent even after weaning. It’s her experience as a witness to events inside the Red Tent that I find most fascinating, the descriptions of many births, both difficult and easy. The way the women all supported each other during birth. I could picture it all in my mind. A circle of women, chanting, singing, encouraging. A skilled midwife, with extensive knowledge of birth and herbs. A month afterwards of complete rest and love. I got such a strong sense of ‘this is how birth should be’.

The story moves on to Dinah’s adult life and to the events described in Genesis 34. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it, but you follow Dinah right up until her death. I like that too. I don’t like it when I finish a book only to think “But what happens next?”.

The Red Tent is just so well-written. I never got bored, or had to skip over descriptive text. Every page held me. Every night after I turned the light out I would lie awake for an hour just thinking back over the story. Although this is the author’s interpretation of the culture and customs of the time, I believe it to be a very plausible version.

My mind would always go back to the early part of the book and imagine these women’s lives together. They were skilled in cooking, weaving, farming and midwifery. They respected the earth and followed the seasons. How I would love to travel in time to see these women. I realise I’m focusing on the positive aspects of their lives. They faced huge hardships that we in the western world know nothing of. Their lives were ruled by men, who may have been violent, foolish or otherwise.

As much as we have moved on in the present time, when I think of these women I can’t help but think we’ve lost something really important. As I sit here in my home, surrounded by walls and fences, I feel the stark contrast of living in a physically close community as they did. Eating, sleeping, working together everyday, looking after each other’s children. Sharing skills and supporting each other in difficult times. The majority of us give birth in hospital, attended by a midwife we’ve never met, who changes shift with another one before the baby has been birthed. Random medical people pop their heads in and watch to see how things are going. We take a support person/s, but if they are not medically trained or very well-informed, we can just feel lost. Swept up in the current of procedure, in an unfamiliar, stark room. And now imagine that tent… A place you sit every month with your sisters, nieces, friends. And it is here you give birth, supported by those same people who love you, who know who you are. I know where I’d rather be.

But this wasn’t meant to be a debate on hospital/home birth, just a rave about a book I really love. I hope you read it too.

Happy reading everyone.

Upcycled go kart

My husband knocked up this go kart last weekend and I was very impressed that it is 100% upcycled, so I thought I’d share it.

The wooden frame and metal handle were picked up from hard rubbish some time ago. Actually I just remembered we’d used it once before – Christmas Day 2008, for picnic down by the beach.

The funky orange vinyl seat is from a 1970s highchair we were given. It wasn’t very practical for our daughter but I was adamant that we should keep it for some other use. The seat belt is actually an infants lap belt from a flight on Jetstar and we accidently took it with us – at least she’ll be very secure in it!

The basket at the back is from a broken plastic toolbox.

All in all a very clever design I think – now we could just do with some nice weather to try it out!


Return of the Shy Girl

It’s Tuesday night and that means it’s craft night. I pack my latest project and head over to The House of Crafting. The house is in actual fact a time machine. As I step into the lounge room it’s like stepping into a portal – instantly I’m a nervous 15yr old, the new girl at school trying to fit in. It’s as if I have no control over myself. As the room fills up I go quiet, I stare fixedly at my needle and thread as I sew. When I do say something the words are blurted out, seeming too loud, too sudden. At one point I actually hit myself in the face as I’m explaining something! What on earth is going on?

I grew up a very shy person. One of my earliest memories is when my Gran and Pa came to visit when I was about 3 yrs old. We were living in country Victoria and they had come down from Queensland for a holiday. I remember being excited to see them, my nose pressed up against the screen door as I peered down the driveway waiting for the car. I hear the engine, the car pulls up and instant panic hits me. I turn, run and scuttle behind the couch. My poor Gran & Pa – what a welcome!

Me and Pa when they came to visit...I think it was Gran I was nervous of though.

Primary School was no different. I feel sure I saw more of the ground than the sky. I remember in Grade 6 two of my friends teasing me. One saying “Come with me to the tuckshop”, the other “No, come with me to the oval!”. Both knowing I was terrible at making decisions and I wouldn’t be able to say no to either of them. It was partly because I was shy, partly because I didn’t really care either way but also because I seem suffer the terribly debilitating condition of I Want People To Like Me.

1989 - still a bit camera shy!

Thankfully in Secondary School things finally changed. Just after my 15th Birthday we moved from country Victoria to Darwin. It was such a culture shock it may as well have been to another country. It was make or break time for me. Luckily I met another girl Fiona who was to start at the same school and we stuck together. She was experienced at moving schools and had a strategy all set out: each day at lunch we would hang out with a new group of girls and then choose the one that we liked most. It worked too, I’m still friends with those girls today. My mum wrote letters back to her friends back in Ky saying I was ‘like a rose that has blossomed’. Embarrassing but true. The shyness faded, my courage grew. I talked to strangers, did crazy teenagy things and I really did feel more like the real me.

As I got older I got much better at not being so shy. I left home at 19, moved to the other end of the country (again!) and joined a performing arts course. A mind numbingly terrifying thing for a shy person. I joined because of the dance component which got cancelled in the first week, but soldiered on and finished it with only one meltdown in the toilet. I even went onto street performing – what a buzz! Since then I’ve moved many times, changed jobs many times, travelled alone and met lots of amazing people. That 15yr old girl feels like such a long time ago and I thinks that’s why this sudden shyness at craft night has been so surprising for me – I thought those days were long passed.

Travelling India solo - a great way to get over shyness!

As for craft night, I should probably keep going. I’m sure it’s healthy for me to be out of my comfort zone now and then, character building and all that. I think the reason I feel like I do is because there’s a lot of very extroverted personalities there and it’s hard for me to deal with them all at once. I’m better one on one. I don’t know why but I’ve found I have a tendency to act like a see-saw. If I’m with people who are a bit quiet, I blab on and on and on. If I’m with loud, boisterous personalities I tend to retreat into my shell.

At least my daughter doesn’t appear to be affected by shyness, what a chatterbox she is – no idea where she gets it from!

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