Finlee & Me http://www.finleeandme.com.au Lovely stuff for kids Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:58:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Easter Bunny Tails Bag Topper and Free Printable http://www.finleeandme.com.au/easter-bunny-tails-bag-topper-and-free-printable/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/easter-bunny-tails-bag-topper-and-free-printable/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:31:51 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15682 Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but I love holidays. There is something that gets my heart racing with happiness and I just feel the

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easter bunny tails bag topper

Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but I love holidays. There is something that gets my heart racing with happiness and I just feel the need to spread this everywhere. Our house may end up looking like one big rainbow, but the kids and I love getting our Easter decorations out and getting into the festive spirit. This year, we are super excited to make our Easter Bunny Tails B Topper so that Finlee and Chloe can share the Easter love with their friends.

Materials Needed to Make Your Very Own Easter Bunny Tails Bag Topper

easter bag toppers

Making your Easter Bunny Tails bag topper (s) are super easy all you’ll need are:

  1. Finlee and Me Easter Bunny Tails bag topper printable (you can grab yours below)
  2. Scissors
  3. Plastic bags (I bought mine from a $2 shop or you can use zip lock bags too)
  4. Marshmellows
  5. Stapler

How to Make Your Easter Bunny Tails Bag Topper (s)

Making your Easter bag toppers is super easy if you follow these 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Cut the Easter toppers (if you have little kids you’ll need to do this for them).

free easter bag toppers


Step 2: Fold the bag toppers in the middle (again if you have small children you may need to do this or at least help them).

easter bunny taiils bag toppers


Step 3: Cut the clear plastic bags in half or based on the size so bag toppers can fit over the plastic bag nicely.

easter bag topper


Step 4: Have you kids count out the marshmallows in stacks of 3 – this is a great way to work on numeracy skills in a fun way.

free easter bunny tails bag topper


Step 5: Staple the bag toppers onto the clear plastic bag.

easter bag topper

easter bunny tails bag topper

The kids and I had a blast making this awesome Easter bag toppers and I especially loved listening to their stories over dinner about how excited their friends were to receive this special gift from them.

Grab your free Easter topper printable below so you too can make these for friends or family this Easter season.  Also please remember to share some of your creations to our social media channels when you do.

Love to all,

Angela xx from Finlee and Me

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids.

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Handmade Wrapping Paper http://www.finleeandme.com.au/handmade-wrapping-paper/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/handmade-wrapping-paper/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:44:01 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15631 Wrapping paper just seems to be getting more and more expensive so why not utilise some of your kid’s artwork or create some handmade wrapping

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Handmade wrapping paper, how to make with Finlee and Me

Wrapping paper just seems to be getting more and more expensive so why not utilise some of your kid’s artwork or create some handmade wrapping paper specifically for the occasion. There are so many things you can utilise around the home to create your own handmade wrapping paper from creating stamps with potatoes, through to utilising kitchen utensils and the like or why not your kid’s hands. If the wrapping paper is carefully opened by the recipient it can be a lovely treasure for them too so a win/win all around.

Materials needed for handmade wrapping paper activity for kids

Materials needed to make handmade wrapping paper with Finlee and MeWe’ve included some optional items below too based on how messy your kids get when they’re making.  You can use any type of paper generally that you may have on hand as long as it’s large enough to wrap a gift.

  • Brown paper or any large paper should be suitable
  • Craft paint, non-toxic, water based
  • Plastic plate or something to use as a palette for your paints
  • Stamps (optional) or use your children’s hands or household utensils/items or make your own
  • Paint smock (optional)

How to make handmade wrapping paper

How to make handmade wrapping paper with Finlee & Me

Step 1 –  Cut off a piece of your brown paper if you are using brown paper on the role and squeeze out some paint onto your paint palette or plate.

Making handmade wrapping paper with kids at Finlee and Me

Step 2 – Using your stencil/stamp or kid’s hand place your item gently in the paint. You can dab your stamp a couple of times on the plate to remove excess paint otherwise help them press their hand or stamp onto the paper. Depending on your child’s age, you may wish to help them with placement otherwise, you can let them create their works of art.

Learn patterns when making handmade wrapping paper with kids at Finlee and Me

Step 3 – Have your kid’s switch paint colours if they wish and just make sure you wash hands in between colours or you can use it as an opportunity to show them how mixing colours works and the results you can create. You can also switch stamps, stencils or utensils to make their handmade wrapping paper as interesting as they wish to.


How to make handmade wrapping paper with kids at Finlee and Me

Step 4 – Pop your handmade wrapping paper aside to dry.

Turn kids artwork into handmade wrapping paper with Finlee and Me

Step 5 – Then when the occasion arises you and your child can wrap the gift in their handmade wrapping paper.

Benefits of creating your own handmade wrapping paper

Creating your own handmade wrapping paper with your kid’s is a great way for them to explore their creative side as well as learning colours and especially letting them experience the feel of the paint texture when it comes to dipping their hands in. Encourage them to squeeze it between their fingers and discuss with them what it feels like. Is it warm, is it cold, does it feel squishy or slimy and do they even like the sensation?

This is a great activity with your child to also help them with colour recognition and patterns too. You can discuss with them what a pattern is and how to make one whether it be with colour or different shapes.

We hope you enjoy creating your own handmade wrapping paper with your kids and would love for you to share some of your creations to our social media channels when you do.

Love to all,

Angela xx from Finlee and Me

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids.

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Outdoor Nature Activities for Kids http://www.finleeandme.com.au/outdoor-nature-activities-for-kids/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/outdoor-nature-activities-for-kids/#respond Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:14:01 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15610 Is it about time you got back to nature with your kids? There are so many fun outdoor activities for kids so why not make

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Outdoor nature activities for kids with Finlee and MeIs it about time you got back to nature with your kids? There are so many fun outdoor activities for kids so why not make up an activity like I did with Finlee and Chloe and go on a nature hunt.

Sometimes it’s as easy as going for a walk around your neighbourhood or local parks and seeing what you can find. The variety of colours, textures, smells, just spark the imagination and get their little minds turning over. Who knows what you might meet or find along the way.

Materials Needed for your Nature Hunt

Outdoor nature activities for kids with Finlee and Me

  • A bucket or something to put your findings in. We used one of the kids dress up hats
  • 1 or 2 large sheets of cardstock (to display your findings)
  • Glue stick or PVA glue which may be easier to use for your more delicate findings

How to Create your own Outdoor Nature Activities for Kids

Outdoor nature activities with kids shadow fun with Finlee and MeStep 1 –  Don your hats, coats and sunscreen depending on where you are located and go for a walk around your neighbourhood and local parks. If it’s wet weather , all the better and don’t forget your gumboots for those muddy puddles. Remember you can make your own fun along the way too with shadow play, songs and what ever other creative things you or the kids come up with.

Outdoor nature hunt with Finlee and Me

Step 2 – Forage through the bushes, look up in the trees, under things, around things, look everywhere!

Kids nature hunt findings with Finlee and Me

Child's nature hunt findings with Finlee and Me

Step 3 – Congratulate your child/children on what they find and talk about what it is along with the colours, textures, etc. Ask them how the things they find feel and smell.

Step 4 – When you have enough of a collection then head back home and start your collage.

Outdoor nature activities with kids collage, Finlee and Me

 

 

Step 5 – With your piece of cardboard have the children arrange the items you have collected from your outdoor nature activities. They might like to create one together or create one each. You could also get creative and have a bit of fun before sticking your findings down and group the things into colours, textures or even have them create the shapes of the letters from their names. Once you have all finished having a play then use your glue and stick each item down. Then you can start planning your next fun outdoor nature activities for kids.

outdoor nature activities for kids

Added benefits of creating a kids nature activity

Going on a nature hunt with your child/children is a great fun activity to get outdoors in both the warm and cooler months. Just dress accordingly and off you go.

Getting outdoors with your child/children is not only great fun but is also great for your mental mindset but is also great exercise. Discussing what they find along the way encourages their inquisitive nature as well creates a fun learning environment without them actually realising it. It also helps with their texture and colour recognition when discussing what they have found along the way. So what’s stopping you? Grab the kids and off you go!

What outdoor nature activities for kids does your family like to do together; share below as I’m always looking for new ideas

Love to all,

Angela xx from Finlee and Me

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids.
Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Baseball Birthday Party Ideas http://www.finleeandme.com.au/baseball-birthday-party-ideas/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/baseball-birthday-party-ideas/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 02:22:11 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15582 Do you have some little baseball lovers and need some brilliant baseball birthday party ideas? You can sit down and make these with your little

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Baseball birthday party ideas lolly cups from Finlee and MeDo you have some little baseball lovers and need some brilliant baseball birthday party ideas? You can sit down and make these with your little people to make some extra special party accessories and memories all rolled into one. We cover how to decorate our birthday party ideas and accessories such as treats bag, plates and treat cups to match your baseball party theme.

Materials Needed to Make Our Baseball Birthday Party Ideas

Baseball ball treat bag ideas from Finlee and Me

  • White kraft bags
  • Red permanent marker
  • Big League Chew Gumballs. If you don’t have access to this brand you could purchase a gumball and as long as it’s in plastic wrap you could then use a red permanent marker to add the baseball markings on.
  • White plastic plates
  • White plastic cups with lids
  • Whole watermelon

How to Create Our Baseball Birthday Party Accessories for Kids

baseball birthday party treat bags from Finlee and Me

Step 1 – Take your white paper bag and draw the baseball markings on the front as per the image above. Have your child draw them on or you might like to draw the arc on and then they can go along the line adding on the little “v” shapes or you could draw the lines on first with a pencil and then have your child trace over the pencil lines with the red marker.

Baseball kids party plates from Finlee and Me

Step 2 – Take a plastic plate and your permanent red marker and draw the baseball markings onto the plate as pictured above. You won’t be able to draw on first with a pencil in this instance.

Kids baseball party lolly cups from Finlee and Me

Step 3 – Then when it comes to the treat cups you just draw the baseball markings onto the lid of the cup with your red marker.  If you haven’t been able to source cups with lids then you could draw the markings onto the side of the cups too.  Styrofoam cups would work well when doing that too.

Baseball party food ideas from Finlee and Me

Step 4 – If fruit is a hit amoungst your party goers then you could create a watermelon bowl and carve into the skin the baseball markings. Use your red permanent marker to mark the baseball lines out first and then go over it with a channel knife if you have one or something with a blunt round edge. The edge of some vegetable peelers may work well for this. In addition, you can also great a baseball field by using grapes, strawberries and yogurt like above.

Kids baseball party lolly bag ideas from Finlee And Me

Step 5 – If you were able to source the Big League Chew Gumballs then you don’t need to do anything here but if you were only able to get standard gumballs in plastic wrap then you and your child/children will need to use your red marker to draw the baseball markings on.

Added Benefits of Creating Baseball Birthday Party Accessories

Having your child/children help create their own party accessories or a siblings party accessories is a great way to create some family memories too. It also is a great way to spark and nurture their imagination and confidence. Drawing on different surfaces and shapes can be a challenge at the best of times so it’s a great way to support the development of your child’s/children’s fine motor skills as well as having them trace over your pencil lines if you opted to do that option too.

I hope you loved our baseball birthday party ideas and would love to know what other baseball ideas you have too, so comment below to share your idea.

Love to all,

Angela xx

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves,  30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids.

Connect with her on FacebookInstagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Plane Pal – Must Have Travel Accessory When Travelling with Kids http://www.finleeandme.com.au/plane-pal-must-have-travel-accessory-when-travelling-with-kids/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/plane-pal-must-have-travel-accessory-when-travelling-with-kids/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:36:18 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15549 I’ve been travelling for years with Finlee (my 7 year old) and Chloe (my 3 year old) and we love setting off on a grand

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plane pal

I’ve been travelling for years with Finlee (my 7 year old) and Chloe (my 3 year old) and we love setting off on a grand adventure. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dread, just slightly the plane ride when travelling with kids. I mean you just never know if it’s going to be a smooth flight or if all hell is going to break lose; especially on the long haul flights.

What I’ve found is that the flight goes ok at the beginning, they get feed, watch some IPAD etc, but when it’s time to actually sleep you can almost cue the crying, screaming and meltdown. The kids can’t get comfortable, their heads flop down and wake them up and it just continues. So you can only image when owner Sam from Plane Pal Australia contacted me to test out Australia’s best family travel accessory for our trip to Bali.

What is a Plane Pal?

plane pal

Plane Pal is the most ingenious idea since sliced bread. It’s an Australian custom designed inflatable cushion that simply fills the space on an airline between your child’s seat and the seat in front of them. Plane Pal is made from top quality nylon, is super light weight, compact and comes with a pump for stress free, easy inflation after take off.

How to Use Plane Pal

plane pal australia

Step 1 – talk with your kids about their trip and explain what’s going to happen – test run the Plane Pal at home to get them even more excited.


plane pal plane pal

Step 2 – Once you’ve taken off, take product out of the carry bag and use the pump to inflate.


plane pal

Step 3 – Insert between the 2 seats.


plane pal

Step 4 – Sit back, relax and enjoy the sweet, sweet sound of your children NOT crying.

My 1 Regret Regarding This Product

I’ve seen a lot of different products on the market over the 6.5 years of running our online shop Finlee and Me and I have never seen something as legendary as this when it comes to travelling with kids.  The only regret I have regarding this product is that I wish I would have known about it earlier on because this would have made my flights to Canada, the USA, Antigua, Hong Kong etc with the kids SOOOOO MUCH easier.

If your travelling with kids not only by plane, but also by car or train and you want peace of mind then I would strongly encourage you to grab your very one Plane Pal today.

Check out my video of our family using this in action..

– Angela

About the Author

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, business coach, speaker, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your ChildHealthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making.

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A Bali Family Holiday at Club Med Bali Resorts http://www.finleeandme.com.au/a-bali-family-holiday-at-club-med-bali-resorts/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/a-bali-family-holiday-at-club-med-bali-resorts/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 23:48:58 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15463 A collaboration between Finlee and Me and Club Med I don’t know about you, but over the last 6-8 months, I’ve felt our family is

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club med bali resorts

A collaboration between Finlee and Me and Club Med

I don’t know about you, but over the last 6-8 months, I’ve felt our family is disconnected. Busy. And in-congruent. I knew we needed to step back from the pressures of life and plan a family holiday where we could have the chance to slow down, relax, reconnect and create family memories. When the opportunity came up to work with Club Med to review one of the top Bali resorts for families, my family and we were over the moon with happiness and ready to head to Bali.

About Club Med

Imagine for one moment that you could go on a holiday and not have to think about anything. You don’t have to think about what you’ll eat for breakfast/lunch/or dinner, you don’t have to organise activities for the kids, you don’t have to worry about cleaning your room, or research/book what entertain you want to do for the night and you don’t have to worry about what the cost of your bar/food bill.  Imagine that you could focus on relaxing, connecting with your kids and creating childhood memories. This my friends is exactly what Club Med offers their families.

Club Med started back in 1950 and has been providing hassle-free holidays ever since. With over 70+ all inclusive resorts worldwide catering for both sun & ski holiday lovers you’re bound to find the perfect holiday for your family.

Club Med Bali Resorts

bali family accomodation

As we drove through the gates of Club Med Bali we knew we had arrived paradise. We were surrounded by traditional Balinese style architecture, beautifully manicured grounds (500 hectares to be exact), palm trees, the sound of waves crashing from the spectacular Nusa Dua beach and greeted by the staff with open arms and big smiles on their face (even at 12:30am in the morning).

Upon our arrival, we were presented with glasses of juice, ice cold cloths to refresh with and staff eagerly awaiting to show us their special haven. Our Bali family holiday was already off to a flying start and we’d only been there for 20 minutes.

We quickly checked in and headed to our rooms so we could get a good nights sleep and be ready to explore our home away for home at Club Med Bali.

Accommodation Options at Club Med Bali

club med bali accomodation

We arrived our rooms and Finlee (my 7 year old) and Chloe (my 4 year old) started squealing with excitement from the cute animals sitting on our beds to greet us. We had a rabbit on my bed and an elephant on the kids beds. These cute gestures go a long way when creating childhood memories.

For our stay, we had 2 rooms that were interconnecting which provided us with additional space to meet the needs of our family. However, Club Med Bali has 393 rooms at the resort and offer a range of Bali accommodation options that are suitable for families, couples, but also singles. These options include:

  • Superior room with or without balcony
  • Deluxe room with terrace
  • Suite

What I love are that all rooms are air-conditioned, have internet in the room and are either overlooking the amazing gardens or tranquil sea.

Dining and Bars at Club Med Bali All Inclusive

bali all inclusive

Wow is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the food at Club Med Bali. There were so different types of food dishes to choose from such as but not limited to: Japanese, Indonesian, Indian, Italian, Korean and also a variety of Western dishes too.

We all enjoyed trying different dishes that we normally wouldn’t try back home in Australia, but it also allowed my husband and I to have a discussion with the kids about the different countries, why some countries eat certain foods etc.

baliy family accommodation

bali family holiday

As Club Med is an all-inclusive resort your meals and drinks are included at no additional cost. Breakfast, lunch and dinner have set times at Club Med Bali and are served in a communal dining room (The Agung) with beautiful decor and magnificent views. They also have a theme every night for dinner, decorate depending on the theme and encourage families to get involved by dressing up with the theme for that night.

bali holidays

club med bali

For those that might want to sleep in, or get back late from a day out don’t worry because the resort has a second restaurant called The Deck where they offer a late a la carte breakfast, late lunch and or late dinner.

Through out the day you can also access juices, soft drinks, hot drinks, water, beer, wine, spirits and cocktails by simply heading to the Kintamani Bar located by the swimming pool.

Finlee and Chloe loved the kid’s corner so they could order their own drinks, it was soooo sweet.

club-med-bali

Check out my video of me live from Club Med Bali showing you first hand the awesome food dishes on offer.

Now I would like to put a disclosure statement out and say I take no responsibility if you need to purchase bigger pants after your stay at Club Med Bali; especially after you hit their dessert bar – ha ha.

club med bali resort

Activities for Kids at Club Med Bali

club med bali

For those of you that have followed me on my Finlee and Me blog for the last 6 years, you’ll know that I have two very active kids. So when it comes to taking a family holiday, I need to know that there will be activities for the kids because sitting in our hotel room is simply not an option.

On our very first day we were given a schedule that outlined all the daily activities for kids that we could either access via the Kids Club or by taking Finlee and Chloe ourselves. The list is endless. From a flying trapeze, to table tennis, arts and crafts, archery, swimming, pool, beach time and more there was no way that the kids were going to be bored.

club med bali all inclusive

club med

bali-all-inclusive

bali resorts

Check out my video of Finlee and Chloe having a blast on the flying trapeze and creating childhood memories.

Kids Club at Club Med Bali

bali-club-med

As I’m sure many of you can relate, there is little time left in our day to get the chance to connect with our partners. In addition, since I’m from Canada, hubby from Tasmania and we live in Brisbane, Queensland we don’t have family around that can look after the kids, which means we get little time to ourselves.

So for us, taking a family holiday also means a chance for us to have some time to ourselves for 1-2 hours days and we do this by ensuring the hotel we stay at has a kids club.

Kids Club at Club Med Bali is hands down amazing. They have so much space for kids to run around, connect with nature and to create memories.

club med bali kids club

kids club at club med bali

In addition, Club Med Bali also has 4 unique programs depending on the age of the children and within each of these programs they’ve created a daily schedule of activities that are age appropriate. These programs include:

  • Baby Club Med (4 to 23 months)
  • Petit Club Med (2 to 3 years)
  • Mini Club Med (4 to 10 years)
  • Junior Club Med (11 to 17 years)

Finlee and Chloe joined in so many different activities like circus, flying trapeze, swimming and more, but even better at the end of each day they had activities for the parents to also join in. We personally loved the sand castle building competition and not to brag or anything but Finlee and my hubby took 1st; ha ha.

club med bali all inclusive

club med bali

club med bali

In addition, to the day to day activities the kids participated in at Kids Club, there was this beautiful stage performance they created with all the kids. It was amazing. All the kids had costumes, make up done, different dance routines (depending on the age) and was performed for the parents. It was literally one of the most precious things I’ve ever seen. What I loved the most was that there were kids from Taiwan, China, Korea, France and Australia and none of the kids could speak to one another, but their smiles to each other was more than enough for them to communicate. Oh and there may have been a few tears on my behalf.

club med bali

club med bali

Watch my video below of Chloe’s performance, I promise you a daily dose of cuteness (she’s the 3rd one from the left).

Once the performance was completed, the staff had an amazing carnival of treats set up for them which included food, music and more. Finlee and Chloe were sooo excited about the post party festivities that I couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces.

club med bali

I would also like to acknowledge the amazing staff that took the time to get to know Chloe and Finlee. They were calm, nurturing, fun and just really great. Finlee and Chloe made a special connection with Agam and you can see it in this photo.

club med bali

Activities for Adults at Club Med Bali

zen pool at club med bali

The awesome thing about Club Med Bali is that it’s not just about the kids, but rather it’s equally about the parents/adults too.

When Finlee and Chloe were at kids club, hubby and I were able to explore what the resort had to offer. From an adult only swimming pool area, to tennis, golf, ocean adventures, spa treatments and more we didn’t even have to leave the resort.  We personally stuck with the adult pool and sipped cocktails uninterrupted and I’m happy to report… it was AWESOME!

club med bali tennis

club med bali spa

bali-resorts-club-med

There are numerous Bali resorts, but Club Med Bali has done a brilliant job at creating a space where you literally have everything you need at the resort and never need to leave. So if you’re looking for a Bali all inclusive get away, that focuses on a Bali family holiday connecting you and your loved ones together then I strongly suggest you head to Club Med Bali.

Where will your family travel to next? Let me know in the comments below as I’m always looking at a new adventure for our family.

-Angela

About the Author

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, business coach, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your ChildHealthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making.

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Simple Painted Rocks Tic-Tac-Toe Craft for Kids http://www.finleeandme.com.au/simple-painted-rocks-tic-tac-toe-craft-for-kids/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/simple-painted-rocks-tic-tac-toe-craft-for-kids/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 02:04:34 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15450 A collaboration between Finlee & Me and Spotlight Over the last few months, Finlee (my 7 year old) and Chloe (my 4 year old) have

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painted rocks tic tac toe for kids

A collaboration between Finlee & Me and Spotlight

Over the last few months, Finlee (my 7 year old) and Chloe (my 4 year old) have been collecting rocks form our backyard or while we’ve been on our neighbourhood walks. Our collection has grown and we’ve been discussing how we could turn our rocks into something magical. We decided that we wanted to make a painted rocks tic-tac-toe game; Finlee wanting to create a monster painted rocks tic-tac-toe game and Chloe wanting to create a ladybug painted rocks tic-tac-toe game.

Materials Needed to Make Your Painted Rocks Tic-Tac-Toe Game

painted rocks

Before I start any craft project with the kids, I always like to create my materials list to see what I already have in the house and the other items I’ll need. Finlee, Chloe and I discussed what we need before we headed to Spotlight. To make your own painted rocks tic-tac-toe game you’ll need the following items:

  • Rocks
  • Paint (you’ll need 2 different colours per tick-tac-toe game, plus black paint and white paint)
  • Google eyes
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint tray
  • Board for tic-tac-toe (you can use MDF board, a cutting board etc)
  • Glue
  • Sharpie or black marker

***Please note… that the rocks we had collected were not flat and after I looked at our collection realised the rocks should be as flat as can be, so I picked up some flat rocks at Spotlight as the kids were already so excited about this craft project.***

***Please note… You can also use mod podge to seal your rocks, but we didn’t this time as the rocks didn’t need it. ***

Instructions to Make Your Very Own Painted Rocks Tic-Tac-Toe Game

When our family gets creative, I’m always looking for simple craft ideas, so that it remains a stress-free activity for all included. This painted rocks tic-tac-toe games is super simple to make, simply follow these instructions below:

Step 1 – Head to your local Spotlight and grab your materials.

spotlight national craft month

Step 2 – Set everything up first before you ask the kids to come over, it will run a lot smoother.

painted rocks tic tac toe

Step 3 – Paint your rocks and let dry. Once dry paint another coat to make the rocks more vibrant (please note – the lighter the colour the more coats of paint you’ll need to do, so choose darker colours).

spotlight craft month

making painted rocks

Step 4 – Paint the tic-tac-toe board with black paint.

tic tac toe game for kids

Step 5 – Let rocks and tic-tac-toe-board dry overnight.

how to make painted rocks

Step 6 – With white paint, make your tic-tac-toe lines on the board.

tic tac toe

Step 7 – Decorate your painted rocks, by putting google eyes on them or use a black Sharpie/marker (please note – since Chloe is only 4 years old I did the ladybugs for her using the black marker, but allowed her to glue the eyes on).

painted rocks craft

painted monster rocks

Step 8 – Find a comfy spot in the house and have a game of tic-tac-toe as a family.

ladybug painted rocks

Check out my video below to see how everything comes together.

Addition Ways to Use Your Painted Rocks

I also love that your painted rocks can be used for other things such as but not limited to:

  • Numeracy Skills – have the child count how many rocks there are, work on simple addition/subtraction
  • Language Skills – have your child create a story by using the painted rocks.
  • Colour Recognition – discuss with your child the different colours of the rocks, ask open ended questions like what colour do you like best and why.

Added Benefits of Creating Painted Rocks

I look at craft time with Finlee and Chloe, more than just doing a craft but rather looking at the bigger picture to what a craft can offer the kids immediately, but also long term. With this craft, I feel the following are additional benefits:

  1. Works on fine motor skill development
  2. Nurtures creativity
  3. Sparks imagination
  4. Creates childhood memories

National Craft Month

Join the Finlee and Me Community, along with Spotlight for National Craft Month starting March 1st, 2017 – March 31st 2017. There has never been a better time than now, to get creative, crafty and to start creating childhood memories with your family.

To shop Spotlights entire range or to find the store nearest to you, head to Spotlight.

What painted rocks tic-tac-toe game would your little ones like to make? An animal? A movie character? Let me know below, so we can share our ideas with all who read.

-Angela

About the Author

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, business coach, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your ChildHealthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making.

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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When you know something isn’t quite right with your child… http://www.finleeandme.com.au/when-you-know-something-isnt-quite-right-with-your-child/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/when-you-know-something-isnt-quite-right-with-your-child/#respond Sat, 25 Feb 2017 12:27:38 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15433 They say mothers know when something isn’t right with their child. You feel it. You feel it in your bones, you feel it in your

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signs of adhd in kids

They say mothers know when something isn’t right with their child. You feel it.

You feel it in your bones, you feel it in your heart.

You feel it from the minute you wake up and until you go to bed at night.

And…

That feeling doesn’t go away.

The worry doesn’t got away. In fact the worry gets stronger.

Your instinct knows something is wrong – even though family, friends and even your doctor tells you not to worry. But as I mentioned above, that worry doesn’t go away and if the worry isn’t going away; follow your instincts because you’re probably right.

trust your gut quotes

When you know something isn’t quite right with your child

Finlee my 7 year old is one of the most delightful souls I know. He’s funny, kind, helpful, lovable and amazing at sport.

But…

I started to know something was going on with Finlee when he struggled with talking so quickly as a toddler and others could not understand what he was saying. However, everyone kept telling me “he’s so delightful or he’s just a boy they develop later than girls; don’t worry so much nothing is wrong with Finlee.”

I then noticed that he struggled to remember simple instructions I would give him, he would forget where he took his shoes off, talk over his sister Chloe and would appear to not listen to me when I was speaking with him. Again… when I mentioned this to others, I was told “he’s so delightful or he’s just a boy they develop later than girls; don’t worry so much nothing is wrong with Finlee.”

I went to my GP and we agreed to get his speech assessed. He was assessed and they picked up on some minor problems, so we started Finlee with some speech therapy prior to entering into school. He made improvements, but I still wasn’t convinced his speech was the only problem.

We then started school and his prep teacher noticed some of things I noticed too. She also had concerns about his reading/speech but we didn’t make a big deal about it because we know that Australia doesn’t have a play based curriculum and that there is a lot of pressure on little ones these days. However, my gut kept saying something isn’t quite right.

I started out by getting his hearing tested and he passed with flying colours.

I then had his eyes checked and everything was ok, but he was confirmed with being blue/green colour blind.

I asked my GP if I should do anything else at this time, but was told to just wait for a little bit longer.

Finlee then started grade 1 and his teacher started to pick up on things with his speech. I arranged for him to start back with speech therapy, he even went to an extra reading program 4 X days a week for 2 terms and we saw some improvements, but the teacher kept advising he was behind, not concentrating, forgetful etc.

When I asked for the school to assess Finlee, I was advised that it would take 18+ months for him to be assessed through the school. My husband and I are very aware that early intervention is key in order to give your child the best chance for the future, so we arranged to have the testing done privately.

How to get help for your child

I’m a mental health clinician of 15 years, so I’m aware of the process we needed to go through in order to get answers for Finlee. However, so many families don’t, so I thought I’d share with you what we’ve done over the last 11 weeks:

  • Met with GP to get referral to Developmental Pediatrician (cost bulk billed)
  • Met with Developmental Pediatrician for 2 X assessments (cost $350 per assessment total $700)
  • Met with Speech Pathologist for 2 X assessments (total cost $550)
  • Met with Neuro-psychologist to complete psychometric testing (total cost $570 because I had been to the same practice as the Development Pediatrician or else it would have been $1000)
  • Met with Development Pediatrician to go over all the test results and map out where to from here (cost $350)

All 3 assessments, completed by 3 different specialists – have confirmed that Finlee has troubles in many different areas: cognitive difficulties, language/speech difficulties, but also with attention/impulse otherwise known as executive functioning difficulties.

Finlee has been diagnosed with ADHD and additional learning/speech problems and will need different interventions to assist him to reach his full potential.

As you can see this is a complex process to get help for your child, but equally super expensive and with very little rebates back from the government. However, my I’m glad to have done these tests in order to help us understand Finlee’s difficulties, but also confirm what my gut has been telling me along.

The future for Finlee

As a mental health clinician myself, I am never one to a) jump to a diagnosis or b) suggest medication UNLESS needed in order to reduce risk to self/others or all other avenues like change of diet, change of exercise, bloods, other interventions etc have been explored. We’ve done all of this and some, so our future interventions, are interventions we haven’t tried and if these interventions are going to help Finlee, then as his parent I have a duty of care to at least test these options out.

Before we can address the learning difficulties and speech difficulties we must address the executive functioning difficulties. What this means is if Finlee can’t concentrate, control the impulses etc he will continue to struggle with trying to learn and retain the information he’s being taught and we will make little improvement.

So starting tomorrow, we’ll start Finlee on a small dose of ritalin (medication used to for the central nervous system. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control) and over the next few weeks increase his dose or stop the dose if we feel it’s not working.

In addition, we will also be:

  • working with a clinical psychologist to help Finlee understand how his brain works and to learn new strategies to reduce the impulsivity etc;
  • working with the school to ensure that during the day Finlee has the support he needs to reach his full potential, while his teacher manages the other 24+ kids in the class;
  • if needed once we assess how the medication is or isn’t working, link Finlee to a speech pathologist

The next few weeks and even months might be a bit rocky, but I know one thing. I will continue to love Finlee for the beautiful soul he is. I will encourage him daily to continue being creative, spunky, loving, caring and an awesome football player. He is not alone in this journey and I will be beside him cheering, supporting and advocating for anything he needs.

And remember… when it comes to your child, you are the expert. Follow your gut, because it’s probably right.

Love,

Angela

About the Author

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, business coach, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your ChildHealthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making.

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Top 5 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes for the Family http://www.finleeandme.com.au/top-5-quick-easy-dinner-recipes-for-the-family/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/top-5-quick-easy-dinner-recipes-for-the-family/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:15:55 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15291 A collaboration between Finlee and Me and Fountain I don’t know about you, but between working full time, school pick up/drop off and after school

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easy dinner recipes

A collaboration between Finlee and Me and Fountain

I don’t know about you, but between working full time, school pick up/drop off and after school extra curricular activities, I struggle to find easy dinner recipes that will satisfy everyone’s needs. In addition to being time poor, I like many Australian families have around five dinner recipes on rotation and to be honest I need to add some variety to our meals because I’m sick of the same old thing.

So you can imagine how excited I was when Fountain reached out and wanted to collaborate together with their Australian variety sauce range. This was a prime opportunity for me to finally sit down and create 5 new easy dinner recipes that I could turn into meals for Finlee, Chloe, hubby and I.

With 2 small kids (Finlee 7 and Chloe 4) my primary objective was to create easy dinner recipes. I don’t have time to be chopping, dicing, blending etc.

I need quick.

I need easy.

And I need awesome family dinner meals that everyone will love; especially Finlee who is such a fussy eater.

Since Fountain offers a variety of sauces that can be used as a recipe base, a finishing sauce, marinade or dipping sauce I knew my options were endless and I started my creations.

easy dinner recipes

Easy Dinner Recipes

I sat down with the family and talked with everyone about what they wanted to eat over the next 7 days. I’ve always found that when I include the kids in meal planning or even helping cook the meals they feel like they’ve been included and because of this, they’ll at least try what I make. In addition, if I include a couple of meals they love, it’s easier to talk about the new meals as everything for the entire week won’t be new; thus I had spaghetti and hamburgers on our list for this week.

After much discussion between our family, we decided on lamb, chicken wraps, ribs, chicken wings and steak as our new items. As the school year is in full swing, I wanted to make things easier on myself so I decided that all our new meals would be cooked on the BBQ to reduce the mess in the kitchen.

weekly meal planner

Family Meal Recipe #1 – Satay chicken wraps with fruit side serving

This is a super easy and super delicious meal.

Step 1: Place chicken and Fountain Satay Sauce in a sandwich bag and let marinade for the day.

Step 2: Place chicken on BBQ (or in the oven or cook on stove) to cook.

Step 3: While chicken is cooking cut up your fruit and veg and place on platter.

Step 4: Call everyone to the dinner table and dig in.

***Please note – as I was introducing new foods to Finlee and Chloe, a trick I’ve implemented over the years is to place the food on a tray for them to pick what they want to try; this works a treat. ***

chicken wraps

satay chicken wraps


Family Meal Recipe #2 – Steak, baked potatoes, cucumber with a side serving of watermelon after dinner

I love steak and I love a good baked potato, so this meal hit the spot for me.

Step 1: Place steak and Fountain Steak Sauce in a sandwich bag and let marinade for the day.

Step 2: Place steak on BBQ (or in the oven or cook on stove) to cook.

Step 3: While steak is cooking, poke holes in your potato and then place in the microwave to cook for 3 minutes and then then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. In addition, simply cut up your fruit and veg and place on platter.

Step 4: Bring everyone to the dinner table and enjoy your meal together.

fountain steak sauce

bbq steak


Family Meal Recipe #3 – Ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw, with a side serving of watermelon and mango after dinner 

Sweet chili is my all time favorite sauce and when you pop it on ribs; it’s to die for.

Step 1: Place ribs and Fountain Sweet Chili Sauce in a sandwich bag and let marinade for the day.

Step 2: Place ribs on BBQ (or in the oven or cook on stove) to cook.

Step 3: While ribs are cooking, place corn on the cob in a pot of boiling water to cook, cut up your fruit, open up the store bought salads and place on platter. Again, I’m trying to keep meal times as stress free and simple as possible so when in doubt buy some store-bought salads to make your life easier.

Step 4: Call everyone in from outside and enjoy some family time together while you enjoy a beautiful meal.


bbq ribs

fountain sweet chili sauce


Family Meal Recipe #4 – Lambs with french fries and salad, with a side serving of apples and blueberries after dinner

Lamb with mint sauce = nom, nom, nom.

Step 1: Place lamb on BBQ (or in the oven or cook on stove) to cook.

Step 2: While the lamb is cooking, cook french fries in the oven, make your salad, cut up your chosen fruit and place on platter.

Step 3: Let everyone know it’s dinner time and to come and enjoy the lamb. We used the Fountain Thick Mint Sauce as a finishing sauce vs a marinade (it’s the best!).

bbq-lamb-cutlets

fountain thick mint sauce


Family Meal Recipe #5 – Chicken wings, salad, veggie sticks and a side serving fresh fruit after dinner

Everyone know that soy and honey are the perfect combination when eating chicken wings.

Step 1: Place chicken wings and Fountain Soy Honey Sauce in a bowl and let marinade for the day.

Step 2: Place chicken wings on BBQ (or in the oven or cook on stove) to cook.

Step 3: While chicken wings are cooking, make your salad, cut up your veggies, fruit and place on platter.

Step 4: Call everyone in from outside and enjoy some family time together while you enjoy a beautiful meal.

bbq chicken wings

fountain soy honey sauce

Make Your Meal Times Quick and Stress Free with Fountain

As you can see from the meals I created above, using Fountain sauces made my meal planning and cooking simple, stress free and at the same time delivered incredible flavour to our meals – without the need for countless ingredients and hours of cooking!

I loved that even Finlee, the pickiest eater in the entire world took liking to all the family dinner recipes that I created.

fountain sauces

Chloe my 4 year old, loving the ribs.

Fountain is a trusted and loved Australian brand and you’re able to purchase their selection of sauces from Woolworths, Coles and other selected independent grocers. Just look for their new coloured labels that now display key details such as whether a sauce is gluten free, has no artificial flavours, and even provides fun hints and tips on their labels as to how you can use their beautiful sauces.

To keep up to date with all the amazing flavours being created at Fountain, pop over and follow them on their Facebook Page – Fountain.

What new recipes would you like to introduce to your family? Let me know below as I’m always looking for new recipe ideas.

Have an awesome day,

Angela

About the Author

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, business coach, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your ChildHealthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making.

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Saying Goodbye to My Boy – You’re Growing Up too Fast http://www.finleeandme.com.au/saying-goodbye-to-my-boy-youre-growing-up-too-fast/ http://www.finleeandme.com.au/saying-goodbye-to-my-boy-youre-growing-up-too-fast/#respond Sun, 29 Jan 2017 09:23:14 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15262 The other day I was laying in bed and was just about to get out and get you breakfast for you and your sister, but

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saying goodby to my boy

The other day I was laying in bed and was just about to get out and get you breakfast for you and your sister, but I decided to lay in bed for a few extra minutes. While laying in bed, I heard you get the bowl from the cupboard, the cereal out of the cabinet and the milk out of the fridge. Then I heard you quietly walk towards Chloe and you nicely asked her what she wanted for breakfast. It was that moment Finlee John, that I knew you are truly on your way to independence and that I was saying goodbye to my boy.

I laid in bed and smiled.

My heart was bursting with pride, but at the same time aching this sharp, stabbing ache. Because my heart knew, deep down, that you’re a step closer to becoming a men and a step further from the baby you once were 7 years ago.

You are no longer the baby who loved to sit in my lap and read, the baby who would dump everything out on the floor and smile that beautiful smile.

finlee and me blog

finlee-and-me

You are no longer the toddler who loved everything Fireman Sam, Lightning McQueen, going to the park, playing ball with Daddy, exploring Nana and Pop’s farm in your rubber boots and just being a typical boy.

motherhood

You are no longer the young boy who loved Ninja Turtles, wanting to play with dump trucks, matchbox cars and gone are the days of dress up.

backyard fun with kids

You are however, eager to learn every word to Bryan Adams Summer of 69, you long to get on the footy field and work on your skills, you are even wanting “space” to do your own thing. Your creativity and imagination has blossomed, the games you play with your friends are so different now and the way you speak is with confidence, bigger words and with more thought.

parenting blog

But Finlee John… You still believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Bobo our Elf on the Shelf and I will continue to help you believe for as long as I can.  You also still love to hold my hand, you kiss me good-night every night and the first thing you do every morning is hug me. You still play hide n seek with Chloe and I, you’ll still sit and do arts and crafts and we still read books together nightly.

It’s these moments I need you to know I cherish.

It’s these moments I’m hanging onto because soon they’ll just be a memory, a moment we once shared.

the joys of motherhood

As we enter your new stage in life, I want you to know we enter this together. As you grow, I’ll grow. I’ll learn to adapt because you mean too much to me for me not to grow with you.

So excuse me while I get the tissues, have a cry to myself and dwell on the delightful baby you once were and the equally delightful young man you’re becoming.

I’m saying goodbye to my boy, but welcoming the young man you’re becoming.

I love you Finlee John and I look forward to growing with you.

Love always,

Mommy

xoxo

saying goodbye to my boy

About the Author

Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, business coach, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her four books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your ChildHealthy Snack Ideas for Kids and 30 Days of Christmas Cheer – A Month of Holiday Traditions and Memory Making.

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and her website Finlee and Me.

 

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