Sharing a magical moment with your little ones every evening

Disclaimer: The following post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior The Channel

Story time can bring horror to some parents or, if you are like my husband and I, it’s something you love doing. Reading to children from a young age is such a great way to introduce a love of books and reading and it’s also a wonderful bonding experience.

For both our girls, story time has been an important part of their bedtime ritual. Now Disney Junior is inviting parents and carers to settle down and share a magical moment with their little one every evening on Disney Junior around bedtime with Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time.

The Book of Once Upon A Time

Series two of this a locally-produced, interactive story-telling series hosted by Australian actor and playwright Kate Mulvany launched during Book Week (seriously one of my favourite weeks – I mean a WHOLE week. Dedicated to books. What’s not to love?) on Monday 24th August with “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Later episodes will include new Disney stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Frozen”. I know the latter will be a popular inclusion in our household, especially for a young Frozen obsessed 5-year-old. The “Land of Once Upon A Time” lullaby follows each episode, encouraging children to prepare for bedtime. Children, Parents or carers can tune in for a story every day at 7:10pm on Disney Junior The Channel, or anytime on the website.

Kate Mulvany hosts The Book of Once Upon A Time

Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time brings classic storytelling to life, with traditional elements of story time – turning pages, character voices and re-enactment, and classic touches of animation that ignites the imagination. As a parent I aim to seek TV and online content that stimulates our children’s imagination. Parental expectations around ‘educational’ content have broadened from a focus on academic learning to also include social skills, moral values, motor skills, good basic habits and creative thinking. Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming, blends Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning components, including early language and maths skills, as well as healthy lifestyles, with an emphasis on social and emotional development.

So what does our 5 year old think?
“I love it and it’s the best story ever.” Then asked if we could watch more and if we could download the Disney Story Central app so I’ll take that as it’s pretty good.

Disney Junior The Channel is where magical storytelling comes to life! Available in all Foxtel subscribing homes; channel 709. If you don’t have Foxtel, you can access Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time online on your laptop, PC, tablet or mobile at any time.
The Book of Once Upon A Time features Disney stories that are available as eBooks from the Disney Story Central app, available to download from iTunes

and she turned into a beautiful butterfly

Like that our baby is one!

We had an awesome day and Miss A was totally spoiled.

Mum & Dad decorated their house

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and there was loads of food

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and cake

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and of course our gorgeous little caterpillar


who was spoiled and got lots of new goodies including this


Now onto planning the next birthday (which is February for Miss K’s 6th!)

Decorating caterpillar style

Very Hungry Caterpillar Party ideas

Yes more party planning. This will be the last post about it before the actual party.

We’re keeping it pretty simple, some balloons, some streamers, a paper lantern caterpillar and a photo caterpillar.

Yet again Pinterest has heaps of ideas…

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That’s just some of my favourites. I’ll be sharing my decorating efforts after the party 😉


The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate some cake

and mummy went a little mad trying to work out which cake she would make


Yet again, Pinterest will be the death of me 😉 so many cake options.

Do I do something fancy like these?

The very hungry caterpillar cake and cookies The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake Elaine's Sweet Life: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake with Butterfly. Made with fondant and hand painted.

or something simpler like these?

Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake, fondant fruit around base A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party - Rainbow Cake by Made With Pink, via Flickr Google Image Result for The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake by Relznik, patacake-parties via Flickr

or something really simple like a cupcake caterpillar?

Very Hungry Caterpillar cake! #birthday #party #cake Gives tips on how to swirl the frosting colors to resemble the colors in the book.

What we’ve chosen will be a secret til the day of the party  😉



A very hungry caterpillar went looking for some food

and found sooooo many ideas on Pinterest it wasn’t funny. Seriously, how many ways can you do food that is themed to the caterpillar?
I’m keeping it simple, mainly cause Miss K has soccer the morning of the party and I need to make it as easy as possible!
How much more simple than taking my cues from the story!!
In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf – devilled eggs on a bed of lettuce leaves

it's me, andrea.: A "Very Hungry Caterpillar" birthday party.

For Monday (one apple), Tuesday (2 pears), Wednesday (3 plums – thinking we might do grapes), Thursday (4 strawberries) and Friday (5 oranges) – a fruit platter

  • chocolate cake – brownies
  • ice cream cone – maybe small ice cream cones filled with something not ice cream or ice cream lollies
  • pickle – not sure about this one
  • Swiss cheese – and biscuits
  • salami – maybe some twiggy sticks
  • lollypop – mini lollipops?
  • cherry pie
  • sausage – mini savs
  • cupcakes
  • watermelon (on the fruit platter)

Sunday The Caterpillar ate through a nice green leaf – a salad
The cocoon – these nutella ‘cocoons’

"cocoons" for caterpillar bday- Nutella and cinnamon inside for Caleb's 1st birthday. "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" party.

A beautiful butterfly – butterfly sugar biscuits
I’d like to do something like these

butterfly cookie favors. how can these be so perfect?

but it will most likely be something like these
And somewhere in there I’ll do sandwiches. That look like this.


Oh and the cake, but that I’m saving for next time.

You can check out my ideas on my Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday Pinterest board


Healthy food choice for the little people

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Heinz Australia.

There can be so much confusion over when to introduce solids and what are suitable types of solid food for babies. What ARE healthy baby solid foods?

All babies will be different, but when Miss A turned 6 months we decided that it was time to slowly introduce her into the amazing world of solid foods. Well truth be told, she decided she wanted to eat solid foods, grabbing food off my plate or out of our hands. We started on purees of vegetables. Sweet potato was an instant hit, other vegies, not so much. Fruit was another success. One thing that we found great was the Heinz pouches designed for 6 months +. Easy to use and full of yummy fruits, vegies and meats – Miss A loved them. Great to keep in the cupboard and grab and go (especially when paired with the Heinz soft twist top spoon tips). Downside of the pouches – no awesome little jars to keep things in – seriously baby food jars are awesome storage for crafty bits or nails/screws/bolts etc. Bonus tip there for you all 😉


So why do we personally pick Heinz over other brands the majority of the time? For us it’s not just about price, it’s about knowing what goes into the product. Something that is nutritious and something that is good for my infant. For example, did you know Heinz source their apples, pears and peaches from Goulburn Valley, and pumpkins from country Victoria? Ingredients are delivered to the Heinz baby food facility in Echuca, where they are lovingly prepared.


Creating a diet for our kids that has low to no nasty numbers is also a big thing for me. We have a few different allergies in our families and I’ve seen how numbers can effect behaviours. Heinz infant meals are steamed cooked and after cooking, all of the Heinz infant jars, cans, and pouches are heat sealed, locking in all the delicious flavours and preventing the need for preservatives! No nasty numbers or preservatives. Heinz infant meals have no artificial colours, no artificial flavours, and no preservatives.

I totally love that Heinz infant meals grow with your baby too, providing meal options and snacks from babies from 4 months (if you decide to start introducing solids from this age) through to 12 months +. Miss K (who is 5) still loves snacking on the Heinz Little Kidsfruit bars and sharing the Heinz Nutrios with her sister. AND who can go past the good old Teething Rusks, they were a teething staple when I was young and we’ve used them for both our girls.


Our very hungry caterpillar turns 1

Miss A turns one in August and I thought it was high time I got to work on organising her birthday party. After many hours on Pinterest I decided on either a pink & gold theme or A Very Hungry Caterpillar. I showed a heap of pictures to Miss K to help me choose and finally we decided on A Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some ideas for invites, decorations, food and cake then after the party I’ll share our actual event.

Invitations can be a simple or as complex as you want. From bought invitations like these……

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to handmade creations like these ……

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we (read me) ended up making ours. Thank goodness for my Silhouette Cameo because I would have hated doing this by hand.
The first circle reads:

We can hardly believe a year has passed
Our little caterpillar has grown so fast
Join us for some afternoon tea & fun
Anastasia is turning ONE

The second circle has the date, time and location while the third has the RSVP details. I’ll include a recent photo of Miss A to the final circle.

Healthy lunches

This post originally appeared on From the Wolf’s Den.

This week (6th October) is Healthy Lunchbox Week. It’s about packing more healthy choices in kids lunchboxes and limiting treats and sometimes foods.
I love cooking and providing healthy meals for Miss K but sometimes I fall back on the easy, prepacked foods & snacks for her day care lunchbox. I do always pack at least 2 types of fruit though so yay for that lol

Anywho, today I thought I’d share our plan for her lunchbox this week on the two days she goes and also provide some ideas and links for you, my awesome readers, to help give your kids a healthy lunchbox (or pack yourself a healthy lunch).

So what is a healthy lunchbox? A healthy lunchbox should aim to include at least one food item from each of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating food groups in your child’s lunch box every day. That is:

  • Vegetables & salads
  • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans

This week’s lunchboxes for Miss K:

Day 1


  • 2 mini egg & bacon pies (meat, eggs and grain)
  • apple (fruit)
  • banana (fruit)
  • carrot sticks (vegetables)
  • fairy dip (YIAH Beetroot dip)
  • yoghurt rice cakes (dairy, grain)Day 2
  • pasta salad (grain, vegetables)
  • banana muffin (grain, fruit)
  • watermelon (fruit)
  • cheese (dairy)
  • tuna & biscuits (fish, grain)


Lunchbox Ideas from around the web:

What’s your favourite go-to healthy lunchbox treats?

Fan-fairy-tastic party food

Invites were sent, RSVPs given, decorations and games planned, it’s time to think food…

The first thing on the list is fairy bread because what fairy party, well any kids party, is complete without it! Ours were cut into butterfly shapes. (and cause I was totally into party mode I forgot to take some photos)

Then cupcakes. We priced buying some cupcakes and at $8 each! I made my own.
Vanilla cupcakes with fairy sprinkles


and orange jelly cups which were more of a pain than I thought. I was hoping to get the orange out neatly so I could make caramel oranges (another yum recipe for another day) but it didn’t happen. We did get a batch of yummy orange juice instead 😀


and I decided last minute (like Saturday night) to make giant chocolate freckles and honey joys

plus the usual sandwiches, mini savs (cocktail savs/franks), mini party pies, mini sausage rolls and mini quiches. With 10 little people and 10 adults there wasn’t a lot of food left – which I think is always a good sign 😉

and then there was the cake. It turned out ok. It got eaten so must have been alright.


And with that, another party is done and dusted. Next year I guess I’ll have 2 parties to organise! Any tips for me?