Finlee & Me https://www.finleeandme.com.au Lovely stuff for kids Mon, 24 Apr 2017 05:16:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 #1 Tip for Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth https://www.finleeandme.com.au/1-tip-for-getting-kids-to-brush-their-teeth/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/1-tip-for-getting-kids-to-brush-their-teeth/#respond Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:19:22 +0000 https://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15815 A collaboration between Finlee and Me & Philips Sonicare When I was growing up, I was not a massive fan of brushing my teeth. In

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getting kids to brush their teeth

A collaboration between Finlee and Me & Philips Sonicare

When I was growing up, I was not a massive fan of brushing my teeth. In fact, I hated it. There was something about the taste of toothpaste that made me gag every single day, to the point I would almost vomit. I clearly remember that I would try and come up with the cleverest ways to get out of brushing my teeth, but nothing ever worked. Now that the shoe is on the other foot and I have two kids (Finlee and Chloe) who also don’t like brushing their teething, it’s a challenge to find something that works consistently and doesn’t end in tears. However, this all changed late last week when I received the Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush to test out.

#1 Tip for Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth with Philips Sonicare for Kids Toothbrush

As a parent, I am always looking for new parenting strategies that will make my life easier. Not to mention all children are different, so what works for one child doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for all children. So, when I heard that Philips has partnered with leading child psychologist, academic and author Collett Smart to explore how gaming can reinforce positive behaviours and habits in the lives of kids I immediately wanted to know more.

You might be thinking how the heck can gaming lead to positive behaviours and habits… let me explain.

Philips’s Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush is one of Australia’s first Bluetooth Connected Toothbrush for Kids. This super cool toothbrush, uses interactive gaming technology to encourage kids to brush their teeth via their specifically designed app. By using different games via the mobile app your kids will get the chance to enter a magical world with a character called Sparkly. Your kids will help Sparkly to brush his teeth while at the same brushing their own teeth for 2 minutes; once in the morning and once at night.

How to Use Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush

, Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush

Chloe and I were super excited to test out her new toothbrush however, when it comes to having to put things together, connect with Bluetooth I always slightly freak out as I worry I won’t know what the heck I’m doing. However, I can promise you this process is SUPER simple as you’ll see below.

Step 1: Take everything out of the box.

Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush

Step 2: Download the Philips Sonicare for Kids App on your IPAD or mobile device.

Step 3: Have your little one pick from 1 of 8 interchangeable stickers that help to customise your new toothbrush.

electric toothbrush for kids

Step 4: Take a picture of your cute kid just for the fun of it.

Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush

Step 5: Get brushing with your Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush.

Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush

Not often am I stunned or get the WOW factor, but this toothbrush and app is brilliant. The app talked with Chloe through the entire 2-minute process, while at the same time was visually showing her where she should be brushing her teeth to get rid of the germs. Once the 2 minutes was completed, a magical gift appeared that she had to open for successfully brushing her teeth; she was so excited. And I was fist pumping the air (and have been over the last week) with how easy it’s been getting kids to brush their teeth like Chloe.

Check out my Facebook Live Video where I give you an in-depth view of how this product works and how easy it is getting kids to brush their teeth from start to finish.

As parents, we know how important it is for us to help our kids combat tooth decay, but equally develop positive, life-long habits when it comes to brushing their teeth. So if getting kids to brush their teeth in your home is a struggle I would strongly encourage you to explore purchasing a Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush as it will change the way your kids brush their teeth, while at the same restoring calm to your night time routine because kids are now excited to brush their teeth vs dreading brushing their teeth.

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.

Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Toothbrush

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Motherhood: Expectations vs. Reality https://www.finleeandme.com.au/motherhood-expectations-vs-reality/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/motherhood-expectations-vs-reality/#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:58:20 +0000 https://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15937 Motherhood Expectations vs. Reality When you become a new mother, a whole new world is thrown upon you. You are immersed in a world of

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motherhood expectations

Motherhood Expectations vs. Reality

When you become a new mother, a whole new world is thrown upon you. You are immersed in a world of dirty nappies, constant feeding and nights of endless sleep deprivation. It is only after you become a new mum that you realise you had all these underlying expectations of what motherhood would be like. Needless to say that, unfortunately, the reality does not quite live up to them.

expectations of motherhood

Examples of New Motherhood Expectations versus Reality

Expectation #1: My birth will go smoothly and I’ll have no recollection of it afterwards.

Reality: You’ll have at least on intervention during the birth (if not more), your birth plan will most likely go out the window, and you’ll basically remember everything (but it’ll be worth it!).

Expectation #2: You will absolutely fall in love with and adore you baby straight away.

Reality: You’ll be too exhausted to know what’s going on and will most likely be wondering who the (very cute) alien-looking tiny human is.

Expectation #3: You’ll be so loved up that the complete life change won’t worry you.

Reality: You’ll be exhausted. Your boobs will hurt. You will cry. All of this is normal, and doesn’t reflect your level of love for baby whatsoever!

Expectation #4: Breastfeeding will be an amazing bonding experience.

Reality: It can be painful, exhausting and very time consuming. Plus everyone will see your boobs.

Expectation #5: The baby will be perfect and I’ll spend every day drinking coffees at cafes while my bub sleeps.

Reality: They will scream and cry the whole time. You will however drink infinite amounts of coffee – that WILL happen!

Expectation #6: My baby will sleep through the night by 6 months and will ALWAYS sleep through the night (every night).

Reality: Even if they DO sleep through the night, every night is NOT guaranteed and there will always be nights where you have to get up.

Expectation #7: Feeding my baby will be simple and easy – they need to feed right?

Reality: Nope. Feeding is not easy. Sometimes baby will reject the food. Sometimes they won’t latch on properly. Sometimes it will hurt. Sometimes baby will cry. Sometimes you will cry. And then when you get to solids, it’s a WHOOOOOOLE other ball game.

Expectation #8: There’ll always be a reason why baby is upset, and I’ll know what it is.

Reality: WHO KNOWS?! They cry when they’re hungry, full, tired, overtired, have a full nappy, when they are hot, cold, feel sick, have a “wonder week” or because they just feel like it.

Coping with the Reality of Motherhood

While these realities are funny in hindsight, at the time they can be stressful, exhausting and upsetting. What was supposed to be a loving, nurturing, monumental occasion can be downright deflating. So how can new mothers cope with these tensions to their new life?

  • Self Care: It is a word you will hear a lot of when becoming a new mum, but it is important. Taking time out for yourself as a mum will help you to relax, re-energise and get ready for what baby will throw at you (literally!). A bath, a walk around the block, or a quick Maccas drive-thru (yes, this was me – the Oreo McFlurry was totally worth it!) can give your mind a break from the endlessness of baby life and remind yourself that you are a person outside of the baby.
  • Mum friends: Connecting with a great group of mum friends can help you to share in the highs and lows of motherhood, and will help you to laugh over the realities of motherhood that none of you were quite expecting. Join your local mother’s group, playgroup, mums + bubs fitness class, local Babes + Picnics group, or library baby session.
  • Extended support network: Having family and friends come over to cuddle baby, bring over meals or wash the dishes (yes I had a lovely friend do this!) can really help as you adjust to this new transition in life. It really makes the realities of motherhood a lot more bearable and, as time goes on, enjoyable!
  • When all else fails… Endless amounts of caffeine (or if you aren’t breastfeeding, Wine!)

motherhood expectations

How did you cope with the realities of motherhood? Where they different to your motherhood expectations?

Grab your free set of positive affirmations below and pop around the house – this constant positive reminder will help fill your cup with happiness and positivity.

Wishing you all a wonderful day and if you’re struggling with your own motherhood expectations or looking for arts and craft ideas for your kids head over to the Finlee and Me blog as it’s filled with a variety of craft ideas, recipes, mental health related articles and more.

About the Author

Fi Morrison is a first-time mum to her beautiful, 5-month old baby boy. She is a trained primary school teacher and a (new) small-business owner. Fi blogs over at Mumma Morrison about all things motherhood-related, particularly life as a new mum, with recipes and activities for babies and kids coming soon to her (newly updated) blog.

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Amazing Sydney Beach Accommodation at Novotel Brighton Beach https://www.finleeandme.com.au/amazing-sydney-beach-accommodation-at-novotel-brighton-beach/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/amazing-sydney-beach-accommodation-at-novotel-brighton-beach/#respond Mon, 10 Apr 2017 22:06:53 +0000 https://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15885 A collaboration between Finlee and Me and Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach It’s not often I get to travel without my family. Come to think about

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novotel sydney brighton beach

A collaboration between Finlee and Me and Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach

It’s not often I get to travel without my family. Come to think about it, it’s not often in the last 7 years of being a mother that I’ve gotten to sleep in my own bed, without kids kicking me and then getting to sleep in past 5am. Needless to say, I was super excited to be traveling to Sydney on my own. Even better, I was looking forward to getting away from the heart of the Sydney CBD and heading to the beachside suburb of Brighton-Le-Sands where I would get to review one of the best Sydney beach accommodation options in the area; Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach.

Sydney Beach Accommodation at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach

I arrived Sydney and hopped into my Uber to make the 4km trip to the hotel. While I was in the Uber, I quickly text my hubby to check on the kids (even when I’m away from them, they’re constantly on my mind) and put the phone away. I took a second to just be in the moment. No distractions. Just me, the Uber driver and the fresh, salty smell of the ocean; I knew I was getting closer to Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach.

I arrived the hotel, checked in and headed to my room. I’m not going to lie about it, but I quickly ordered room service, got my p.j.’s on, turned on the TV and proceeded to eat my room service uninterrupted; it was AWESOME. I should elaborate, the food, the fact I was eating uninterrupted and my comfy bed was AWESOME! I then snuggled into my soft, cozy king size bed and slept. And slept. And slept.

novotel sydney brighton beach

What I like about the Sydney beach accommodation from Novotel Brighton Beach is that the hotel features 296 hotel rooms, most with stunning views of the Sydney CBD and beautiful Botany Bay.

Accommodation options vary depending on your needs, but they can offer:

  • King, Queen and Twin bedrooms or their most popular option is the Bayview Suite which has a separate lounge, office area and is perfect for the family needing additional living space or the business traveller needing space to work.

In addition, all rooms have access to wireless broadband Internet, flat screen TV’s, balconies and work desks.

novotel sydney brighton beach

Family Accommodation Options at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach

Even though I wasn’t traveling this time with Finlee and Chloe, I spoke with the staff at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach to confirm that they too offer the new Family&Novotel initiative that I found out about when I was staying at the Novotel at Surfers Paradise last school holidays. The staff confirmed that all Novotel’s honor the Family&Novotel offer.

The Family&Novotel offer was originally launched in 2016 because Novotel wanted to assure Australian families that traveling in Australia is just as fun, convenient and economical than traveling overseas. Novotel has taken the lead in family friendly hotels with a clear focus by creating your home away from home. They have strategically created a way so that while on holidays families are truly taken care of, some of the benefits are things such as but not limited to:

  1. Two children up to age 16 stay free when sharing their parents’ room
  2. Free breakfast for children under 16
  3. Welcome gift for children
  4. Complimentary cartoon network
  5. Extended check-out till 2pm on Sundays
  6. Special equipment for babies available to parents (bottle warmers, change tables etc) making it easier for them to travel with less luggage
  7. A balanced and nutritious menu designed specifically for children

As a parent who is on a budget; this is a massive win.

Here were our welcome gifts we received for Finlee and Chloe when we arrived the Novotel Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.

novotel kid friendly hotel surfers paradise

Dining at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach and Surrounding Areas

One will not go hungry when staying at the Novotel Brighton Beach. The Baygarden Restaurant has the ultimate all you can eat breakfast buffet and if you love coffee they have you covered. With beautiful views of the ocean it was hard to focus on eating when all I wanted to do was get outside.

They also have a great a la carte menu for lunch and dinner that provides a variety of different options and if you happen to be there on the weekend make sure to dig in to their sumptuous seafood buffet.

For those travelling with kids, they even have a special children’s menu, which will keep everyone happy.

novotel brighton beach

novotel sydney brighton beach

When travelling, one of the things I love to do is immerse myself within the local community. Every community in the world has different sights, sounds and food. Oh did I mention I love food?

After walking just 3 short blocks around the community, and smelling the most heavenly smells, I knew why Brighton-Le-Sands is the hub of multicultural cuisine. The different food combinations available within a few minutes from Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach include:

  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Thai
  • French
  • Seafood

This is a photo of my friend and I getting stuck into a Greek buffet of deliciousness!

sydney beach accommodation

Things to Do for Kids in Brighton-Le-Sands and Surrounding Areas

As I mentioned above, I wasn’t travelling with Finlee and Chloe, but as a parenting blogger I wanted to showcase whats on offer in the area, so if you are considering a trip to Sydney you can see why staying away from the busy Sydney CBD is appealing.

My kids love being outdoors and connecting with nature and as a result Brighton-Le-Sands would be the perfect spot for them to do just that. Brighton-Le-Sands is located right on the crystal clear waters of Botany Bay and will provide your family with endless hours of outdoor fun. From bike tracks, sand castle building, swimming in the ocean, playing at the playground and watching the planes take off from the airport, I can promise that you should not hear the words “I’m bored” at anytime.

In addition to Brighton-Le-Sands attractions, the Sydney CBD is only a short drive away or accessible via public transport options. Sydney also has some brilliant attractions for families such as:

  • Taronga Zoo
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Harbour Bridge
  • Sydney Aquarium
  • Moore Park
  • Wild Life Zoo
  • Sydney Tower
  • Chinese Garden of Friendship

Between spending your days at the beach, or heading into Sydney for a day trip you’re bound to have an amazing family holiday.

Conclusion on Sydney Beach Accommodation by Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach

This time travelling to Sydney I was excited to get away from the city and experience something different. I was delighted that I could take my shoes off and dip my toes into the sea, stroll the streets without bumping into a ton of people and enjoy my surroundings without the constant busyness that Sydney has.

The next time I travel to Sydney with my kids, we’ll be staying in the suburb of Brighton-Le-Sands because it’s a community made for children, but we still have the option to go into Sydney for day trips and explore. In addition, we’ll have the best Sydney beach accommodation available from Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach to lay our heads, knowing that it will provide my family with everything we need while travelling away from our home.

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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Simple Chocolate Easter Bark https://www.finleeandme.com.au/simple-chocolate-easter-bark/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/simple-chocolate-easter-bark/#respond Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:18:32 +0000 https://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15847 I love everything chocolate and I’ve been wanting to test run making Easter bark for the last few years. So this year, I’ve been on

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easter bark

I love everything chocolate and I’ve been wanting to test run making Easter bark for the last few years. So this year, I’ve been on a mission to figure out to make a simple Easter bark recipe that I could share with my Finlee and Me community. Let me give you the hot tip, I’ve figured it out (after some inspiration from Samantha at Five Heart Home) and you’re going to love it. Why you ask? Because when you combine pretzels and chocolate it equals the most irresistible combo.

Disclosure – consuming this amazing Easter dessert may contribute to gaining a third ass and I can not be held responsible for this; ha ha.

Ingredients Needed to Make Easter Bark

What I love about making this recipe is that you don’t need to buy a ton of ingredients.

  • 34o grams of milk chocolate chips
  • 200 grams of white chocolate chips
  • 250 grams of Cadbury Mini Eggs (hard shell)
  • Salted pretzels (any kind will work)
  • Sprinkles that work with the Easter theme
  • Mini marshmallows

How to Make Easter Bark

As a mother, I need recipes that are simple and not going to take too much time. This is the perfect recipe for any busy mother because it takes no time at all to make.

chocolate easter bark

Step 1 – Get everything prepared prior to melting chocolate because you’ll need to act fast once; it’s melted. What I’ve found works best is to pour your main ingredients into microwave-safe bowls like above, take the sprinkles lid off, have the marshmallow bag open and line your baking sheet with paper.


Step 2 – Pop the milk chocolate chips into the microwave for 30 seconds; stir well and then microwave for another 30 seconds. Keep doing this until all chocolate is melted.  Then do the same for the white chocolate chips.

PLEASE NOTE – every microwave will vary so this is why I only microwave for 30 seconds at a time in order to avoid burning the chocolate.


Step 3 – First Pour 3/4 of the melted milk chocolate onto your lined backing sheet and spread into a thin layer (making a rectangle). Once your milk chocolate layer is completed, place a spoonfuls of melted white chocolate chips on top of the milk chocolate layer.

chocolate easter bark


Step 4 – Take a toothpick and start to swirl the milk chocolate chips and the white chocolate chips together.   


Step 5 – You’ll need to act fast for this step so that the chocolate doesn’t harden. Arrange your choice of pretzels on top of the swirled chocolate. Next place your Cadbury Mini Eggs where ever you like. Then place your mini marshmallows where there are any left over gaps and last sprinkle your sprinkles all over the chocolate.

easter bark


Step 6 – Place your chocolate into the refrigerator and let set for at least 60 minutes.

Step 7 – Take out of refrigerator and slice into pieces. I personally run my knife under hot water to make it easier to cut.

Step 8 – Due to the nature of chocolate service immediately or you risk the chocolate melting if sitting out for long periods of time. If you don’t eat all the bark at once, then simply store in a sealed container and pop back into the refrigerator.

I hope your family loves this recipes as much as our family now does. We’re so excited to have found a new family tradition that we’ll be doing for years to come.

From my family to yours, Happy Easter.

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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How to Make Homemade Stamps for Kids https://www.finleeandme.com.au/how-to-make-homemade-stamps-for-kids/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/how-to-make-homemade-stamps-for-kids/#respond Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:43:53 +0000 https://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15821 Making homemade stamps for kids is super easy when you can simply use things you have around the house; making it an awesome fun craft

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Making homemade stamps for kids with apples, Finlee and Me

Making homemade stamps for kids is super easy when you can simply use things you have around the house; making it an awesome fun craft activity. In this instance, Chloe (my 4 year old) and I decided to use an apple and create a pumpkin painting. This would be a great kids activity to do near Halloween or you could just make the stamp again when it is closer and do some Halloween decorating.

Materials Needed to Make Homemade Stamps for Kids

With our apple, Chloe and I decided that when it was cut in half it reminded us of a pumpkin so we chose our paint colours to match that and what better way than to jazz up a pumpkin than with eyes, a smiley face and some glitter.

Materials needed to make homemade stamps for kids with Finlee and Me

  • Apple or your choice of fruit or vegetable
  • Paint brush
  • Acrylic paint – orange and green
  • Paint pallet (optional)
  • Knife
  • Glitter
  • Eyes
  • White paper/butcher paper
  • Paint smock (optional)
  • Glue stick if your eyes don’t have a self-adhesive back
  • Black marker

Instructions to Make Homemade Stamps with Apples

How to make homemade stamps for kids with Finlee and Me

Step 1 –  Cut your apple carefully in half. Depending on your child’s age it may be best if the adult does this. Then using the paint brush and your orange paint apply the paint to the apple.

Making homemade stamps with Finlee and Me

Step 2 – Then press the apple painted side down onto the paper. Depending on how much pressure and paint applied will depend on what sort of finish you get. You should be able to do multiple presses before repainting your apple normally.

Making stamps with fruit and vegetables with Finlee and Me

Step 3 – Using the green paint you can paint the pumpkin stem on. You could either use a paintbrush or your finger. The choice is yours!

Homemade stamps for kids with Finlee and MeStep 4 – Before the paint dries sprinkle some glitter on if you wish and then add your eyes. Once the paint has dried you can draw on your smiley face and your pumpkin paintings are finished.

The Benefits of Making Homemade Stamps for Kids with Fruit and Vegetables

Creating with your kids is a great fun way for them to learn and expand their imagination. This fun craft activity is great for colour recognition as well as their imagination as you discuss the shapes and patterns your pumpkin apple stamps create. You could use the opportunity to talk about different emotions to depending on your child’s age. What does happy look like, sad, angry, etc and how do they make you feel?

Other foods you can also use to make homemade stamps are potatoes, carrots and celery stalks and other things you can make are greeting cards, gift bags, or even decorate fabric bags and t-shirts. If you do decorate fabric items though just make sure you use fabric paint and follow the directions so if you need to wash them it lasts.

So what awesome homemade stamps have you made with your kids? We’d love to hear what fruits and vegetables you used and send us some pictures of what you made or decorated.

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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Numeracy Development Activity with Jelly Beans https://www.finleeandme.com.au/numeracy-development-activity-jelly-beans/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/numeracy-development-activity-jelly-beans/#respond Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:10:50 +0000 https://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15799 Numeracy development is so important for our kids and there are so many ways you can make learning about numbers into a fun numeracy activity

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Numeracy development activity with jelly beans and Finlee and Me

Numeracy development is so important for our kids and there are so many ways you can make learning about numbers into a fun numeracy activity so they are learning without even realising it.  With this play based activity, you can also adjust it to your child’s age so use less or more numbers depending on their age or stage they are at with their numeracy development.

Materials Needed for Your Numeracy Development Activity with Jelly Beans

We used what we already had at home which was some jelly beans and some other things such as the cupcake tray but if you don’t have a cupcake tray then you could use small bowls and stick a small note to the bottom of the bowl with the numbers in or even us some plastic cups.

Numeracy development activity with Finlee and Me

  • Jelly beans
  • Tweezers
  • Cupcake tin
  • Cupcake papers
  • Pen/marker

Numeracy development play based activity with Finlee and Me

Step 1 –  Using your pen/marker write each number from 1 through to 12 in the bottom of the paper cupcake papers and also draw a circle to match each number.

Numeracy activity with jelly beans and Finlee and Me

Step 2 – Have your child/children use the tweezers and place the coinciding number of jelly beans in each cupcake paper.

Numeracy activity with jelly beans and Finlee and Me

Step 3 – As your child works through all the numbers you can discuss the different numbers and depending on your child’s age you could also talk about addition and subtraction by combining some of the jelly beans in their cupcake papers together and seeing how many jelly beans you then get.

Benefits of our Numeracy Development Activity

Our numeracy development activity is a great game that is fun and can be tweaked to suit your child/children’s age. You can also use the jelly bean activity to discuss colours and practise your child’s colour recognition too by having your child match the jelly bean colours as they’re popping them in the cupcake papers.

Play based learning is such a great way for our kids to explore ideas, solve problems, make connections and engage with others without any pressure. It also gives our kids the opportunity to see how these skills are used in real life situations.

Let us know what you used in your numeracy development activity.

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 FacebookInstagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Fine Motor Activities for Kids https://www.finleeandme.com.au/fine-motor-activities-for-kids/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/fine-motor-activities-for-kids/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 01:39:16 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15709 Fine motor skills are one of those things that are imperative to work on. With some kids, it comes more naturally than others so I

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Fine motor activities with Finlee and MeFine motor skills are one of those things that are imperative to work on. With some kids, it comes more naturally than others so I decided to do some work on Finlee’s fine motor skills and create a fun card game. His AFL cards are dear to him so that worked for us but you can use whatever resonates with your child.

Materials Needed for our Fine Motor Skills Activity

This is a great activity to use what you have laying around the house. Finlee is addicted to his AFL cards so we used those along with some pegs but you could use cards from a card game or even if you have old Christmas cards or birthday cards laying around the house.

Fine motor activities with Finlee and Me, materials needed

  • Cards of child’s choice
  • Pegs or something similar

Get started with one of our Fine Motor Activities

Fine motor skills with Finlee and Me

Step 1 – Have your child arrange the cards if you wish. You could get them to group them into colours or number order or even in teams if that’s applicable.

Step 2 – Have your child clip the pegs on and off the cards. You could do speed tests if you wished or see how many pegs they can fit around a card if you have enough spare pegs to make more of a game out of it.

Benefits of our Fine Motor Activity with our Card Game

Doing fine motor skill activities are a great way to increase your child’s dexterity and co-ordination. Depending on the activity you can also discuss colours and numbers etc. Always work with what interests your child too to spark their interest to start with. Making it fun and interesting is key to keeping your child’s interest.

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 FacebookInstagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Fun Painting Activities for Kids, Marble Painting https://www.finleeandme.com.au/fun-painting-activities-for-kids-marble-painting/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/fun-painting-activities-for-kids-marble-painting/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 01:29:02 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15654 Are you looking for some quick fun painting activities for kids? It’s a great low-mess activity and easily done with more than one child too

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Fun painting activity with marbles and Finlee and MeAre you looking for some quick fun painting activities for kids? It’s a great low-mess activity and easily done with more than one child too as the marbles are controlled in the box so the mess is normally kept to a minimum which most Mums, Dad, Grandparents or guardians will be thrilled about. I know I was!

Materials Needed for our fun Painting Activities for Kids

All the items needed you will normally have around your home but if you don’t have an artist canvas don’t despair improvise with some cardstock, paper or even cut up a cereal box or similar and use the reverse side. So to get underway you will need:

Fun painting activity with kids and FInlee and Me

  • A box with a hole cut out of the top
  • Artist canvas that fits inside the box
  • Paint palette or something similar for your paints
  • An assortment of acrylic paint colours
  • Kid’s art smock (optional)

How to Create fun Painting Activities with Marbles

Fun painting activity for kids with Finlee and Me

Step 1 –  Cut out a hole in the top of your box big enough for the canvas to fit in and also for you to work with the marbles. Then place the artist canvas or what you are using for your canvas inside the box.

Painting with marbles fun painting activity with Finlee and Me

Step 2 – Dip a marble in paint or if you want to have some extra fun and see what sort of pattern you can create use a few marbles dipped in different coloured paint at the same time and place them in the box with a few on each side of the box.

Fun painting activity with marbles and Finlee and Me

Step 3 – Once you have your marble or marbles in position, get your rock and roll on and rock the box gently from side to side. The harder you are rocking the more erratic and crazy the pattern will be. If you have extra canvas then you can experiment with what the different rhythms and movements and what patterns you will make. You could even add some music in the background and encourage your child to move the box to the beat rolling the marbles around in time.


Kids artwork fun painting activity with Finlee and Me

Step 4 – You are all done so just pop your child’s artwork aside to dry and if you wish create another. You could even use masking tape to mask off an area on the canvas with a letter for example and then roll the marbles around over the top. Once the paint is dry you then carefully peel the masking tape off and your letter will be showcased.

Don’t forget to pop the date on the canvas and have them sign it too.

The Benefits of Creating a fun Artwork Marble Canvas

The benefits of creating a marble piece of art are many. From discussing the colours, patterns to discussing how to mix colours and what happens when you mix colours and how some colours work well together and others don’t. Also as I said above when your child is moving the box from side to side making the marbles roll you can also pop some music on and have a dance around teaching them about music beats at the same time as well as getting some exercise but above all else having fun!

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 FacebookInstagram and her website Finlee and Me.

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Amazing Bali Family Beach Resort at Holiday Inn Resorts Bali Benoa https://www.finleeandme.com.au/amazing-bali-family-beach-resort-at-holiday-inn-resorts-bali-benoa/ https://www.finleeandme.com.au/amazing-bali-family-beach-resort-at-holiday-inn-resorts-bali-benoa/#respond Sun, 02 Apr 2017 09:14:46 +0000 http://www.finleeandme.com.au/?p=15671 My family and I have been to Bali on 3 different occasions and every time we visit, it’s just as magical as the time before.

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Holiday Inn Resorts Bali Benoa

My family and I have been to Bali on 3 different occasions and every time we visit, it’s just as magical as the time before. With the most amazing people, delightful scenery, delicious food, unique Bali family beach resort accommodation options and only a short flight from Brisbane; we absolutely love everything that Bali has to offer.  My family and I were invited too review Holiday Inn Resorts Bali Benoa and I’m not sure who was more excited Finlee and Chloe or my husband and I.

Bali Family Beach Resort at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

As we drove to the Holiday Inn Bali Benoa in our taxi, my family and I were able to take in the culture around us. From the local people selling their cuisine on the side of the road, to children laughing as they played with simple materials like rocks and sticks, to the over all buzz that happens on a daily basis in Bali – life was good. However, life got a whole lot better as we pulled into the resort.

When we pulled into the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, it was confirmed by the ocean views we took in that the resort was beautifully positioned on one of Bali’s most amazing waterfronts Tanjung Benoa Beach. We were greeted with sprawling oceans views, refreshing ocean breezes and 4 swimming pools that Finlee and Chloe were eager to pump into, but first we had to check into our room before our adventure could begin.

bali family beach resort

Accommodation Options at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

Finlee and Chloe get so excited when we check into new resorts because they love exploring, creating cubby houses and playing hide and seek in our rooms. So they were super eager to get up to the room.

The kids had ran off with the room key, so they were in the room before us, but don’t worry we could hear their screams half way across the resort because clearly they were super excited about what they found in our room.

holiday inn resorts bali benoa

holiday inn bali

My husband and I walked in and for a brief second we were both speechless (something that doesn’t happen often with me as I talk way too much). We were greeted with the most astonishing views, a very gorgeous and spacious modern suite, that was filled with everything a family could need. Oh and did I mention, the brightly themed kid’s room that Finlee and Chloe had already made themselves homes too.

bali family beach resort holiday inn resorts bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

What we loved about the resort is that they have 171 rooms/suites and their accommodation options range from family size to budget, such as but not limited to:

  • Specialised Kids and Family themed suites
  • Family Connecting Rooms
  • Pool access Rooms
  • Pool View Rooms
  • Ocean View Rooms
  • Simple Classic Rooms through to Delux King Rooms and Premium Suites

I also loved the little extra touches like the different types of pillows you could choose from depending on if you like firm or soft. It’s extra touches like these that make a huge different when staying at a hotel.

holiday inn resorts bali benoa

Dining and Bars at Holiday Inn Benoa Bali Family Beach Resort

You will not go hungry when staying at this resort. In fact, you’ll also never get bored with the menu options because there are so many to choose from you’ll never get to taste them all.

From Indonesian cuisine infused with exotic spices and amazing flavors to the international menu with Western favorites such as pastas, pizza, burgers and salads.; there is something truly for everyone.

holiday inn bali

holiday inn bali benoa

There are 2 main eating hubs to choose from:

  • Pasar Market Cafe – this is where the breakfast buffet is served and then followed with a la carte meals for lunch and dinner. There is plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors depending on what your family prefers.
  • Nudi Beach Bar & Restaurant – is situated outside and right beside the main pool, over looking the beach. This is the place if you’re wanting to grab a refreshing cocktail, have a quick snack or laze around the pool and be served at the swim up pool. For dinner you can attend a lively themed night dinner, or have the staff set up a table on the beach and watch the sun set. You can head to the Nudi Beach Club from 10:00am to late. Nudi Beach Bar & Restaurant

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn resorts bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

So whether or not your family is after a quick bit by the pool, a family feast at the nightly themed dinners, or a quiet night in with room services; I can promise you that you won’t be hungry.

Did you know that children stay and eat FREE at Holiday Inn Resorts? This was something I only found out when I arrived the resort, but from one family to another this is amazing! For each adult meal purchased, two children under the age of 12 dine for free. Not only do you get to eat quality food, but the kids eat free saving money for the family budget.

Activities for Kids at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa has a wide range of experiences for  kids to get excited about and create childhood memories.

Finlee and Chloe love to swim, so I have to be honest and say the majority of our time was spent in 1 of the 4 swimming pools on site. Finlee specifically loved the big pool and laying on the bean bags, while Chloe preferred to go down the water slide. However, we couldn’t spend all day in the pool so we experimented with other things too.

holiday inn bali benoa

We headed to the beach to build sand castles, had the opportunity as a family to carve/eat watermelons, headed to the spa together for our first ever family spa, took a family mixology class and then of course ended back up in one of the pools.

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn resorts bali benoa

Check out our time at the spa by watching my video below.

holiday inn bali benoa

It didn’t matter how we spent our time at the resort, because we were always having a great time just relaxing and being in the moment.

Check out our fruit carving session on my video below.

 

Kids Club at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

One of the first things my husband and I look for when booking a resort overseas is if they have a Kids Club. The reasoning is simple… we don’t have family in Australia and we never get a chance to connect, so a Kids Club is a way for my husband and to connect for 1-2 hours a day knowing that Finlee and Chloe are not only going to have fun, but at safe.

We’ve been to many Kid’s Club over our years of travel, but the Holiday Inn Bali Resorts Kids Club was amazing. The vibrant circus-themed area was inviting and filled with more activities than you could imagine.  

kids club holiday inn bali benoa

kids club holiday inn bali benoa

The Kids Club opens from 9:00am – 5:00pm and then reopens again from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Everyday of the week there is a daily schedule that outlines all the activities that the kids can do for the day such as but not limited to:

  • Paper mask making
  • T-shirt painting
  • Science experiments
  • Games
  • Puzzles
  • Yoga
  • Pottery painting
  • Pizza making
  • And soooo much more

kids club at holiday inn bali benoa

Kids ranging in age from 4 years old through to 12 years of age are welcome to attend the kids club. If you have children under the age of 3, they can attend, but you’ll need to pay an additional charge for a nanny to be with them at all times.

holiday inn bali benoa kids club

Finlee and Chloe LOVED going to the Kids Club for the activities but they equally loved the friendly staff that greeted them with smiles everyday, connected with them through different types of activities, but more importantly provided a safe environment.

kids club holiday inn bali benoa

Activities for Adults at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

It’s not all about the kids I say; ha ha. The Holiday Inn Resort has some amazing activities for adults to participate in.

My husband and I participated in our very own Balinese Cooking Class, while the kids attended the Kids Club. For 1.5 hours my husband and I worked with one of the chef’s to learn and also make a variety of Balinese cuisine.

During our time we made: fish ball soup, satay chicken served with vegetables and finished with a local dessert called Dadar Gulung – which is grated coconut in palm sugar and then wrapped with flour crepes (I may have eaten these all myself; don’t judge).

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

holiday inn bali benoa

We then served it up and then had the kids come back so we could share this experience with them.

This is just one of many activities that adults can participate in while staying at the resort. They also have the spa, you can hire bikes, or head to the beach and participate in a numerous water sport activities.

Conclusion on Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

Our time at Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa was filled with an array of activities that met the needs of Finlee and Chloe, but also had my husband and I in a state of relaxation.

From swimming in the pools, to playing on the beach, receiving blissful massages, to learning to cook local cuisine, to eating amazing food – the Holiday Inn Bali Benoa has something for everyone. So if you’re looking for a Bali family beach resort I would strongly suggest heading to Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa.

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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Easter Bunny Tails Bag Topper and Free Printable https://www.finleeandme.com.au/easter-bunny-tails-bag-topper-and-free-printable/ https://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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