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    Some tips for an exciting summer!

    Summer is Coming!

    As many of you may be noticing in our beautiful part of the world, summer is fast approaching. This means no more chilly mornings and dark evenings, but instead bright afternoons and warm weather. It is time to throw away the winter woollies, dig out the swimmers, and replace the hot chocolates with an ice-cold milkshake.

    Here at Mum’s Business, we have begun exploring the theme of the Australian Summer and we have selected our top five products that will keep you and your young ones busy until the mercury begins to drop again.

    Beach Umbrella

    This is one of our must have items, whether your heading for a day at the beach or you just feel like relaxing in the park whilst the young ones keep busy. A great beach umbrella goes a long way and with this Blue and White Striped piece, you can look classy as well as keeping cool!

    Beach Umbrella

    Chill Factor Slushie Maker

    This piece of frozen drink making mastery has become a hit in most households over the hotter months. Not only can you make a slushie in the palm of your hands but this creation also lets you use any type of juice or cordial as a great alternative to soft drinks.

    Slushies

    Vintage Beach Hat

    Keeping out of the sun can be a tricky one especially when all you have in your closet is a daggy old baseball cap. This classic Straw Cowboy Hat gives you a little more style than the tacky promotional caps you seem to have acquired over the years. A wide brim hat will keep your front and back covered and keep you looking good when you want to step outside.

    Straw Hat

    Floating Basketball Hoop

    Stuck for ideas to keep the kids busy while you enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation by the pool. This great little inflatable hoop will keep your kids busy while you can catch up on reading that book you got halfway through last summer.

    Pool Hoop

    Ice Block Moulds

    A must have for any party, BBQ or even just as a midday treat. Make ice blocks out of any of your favourite drinks or syrups and help keep the kids cool in the summer time. These come in lots of different colours and are always a hit straight out of the freezer.

     

    Ice Block

     

    Children are difficult customers when it comes to lunchbox food. I have one child who could happily live on vegemite sandwiches every day until she finishes primary school and another child who likes cheese, cucumber and pickle sandwiches, but then doesn’t eat them if they go soggy.

    My toddler tends to eat most things, but not before squishing and inspecting them thoroughly beforehand!

    It took several attempts to find something quick to make that they would all like, and I finally had success with these vegetable and cheese savoury muffins.

    They are great for the kid’s lunch boxes as well as on-the-go food for the little guy. The best thing is that you can hide some veggies in there and they will still eat them!

    melbourne epicure savoury muffins 1

    Here’s the recipe:

    Ingredients

    1 cup self raising flour
    1 cup wholemeal flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 small carrot, grated
    1 small zucchini, grated
    1 cup grated cheese
    1 cup milk
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 eggs
    Fresh thyme, chopped
    Salt and pepper

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 180C.

    2. Place muffin/cupcake cases into a cupcake pan, set aside.

    3. Place flours, baking powder, grated carrot, grated zucchini and grated cheese into a large bowl, mix all together with a wooden spoon.

    4. In a small jug place milk, eggs, olive oil, fresh thyme and salt and pepper, whisk to combine.

    5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until only just incorporated.

    6. Spoon into prepared cases, sprinkle with some chopped thyme and bake for about 20-25 min or until lightly golden and tested with a skewer.

    Makes about 12 large muffins.

    Alternatively this batch will make 12 mini muffins and 6-7 larger muffins. Bake mini muffins for about 15-18 minutes.

    Pick up this super cool Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox from eBay Australia.

    melbourne epicure train lunchbox

    melbourne epicure train lunchbox 1melbourne epicure savoury muffins

    Do your kids love stamps and ink pads as much as mine do?

    My four year old loves filling paper with a million stamps, and my older kids like carefully constructing pictures from various shapes and images. It’s a reasonably low mess, quick and easy art activity that’s perfect for the school holidays or any time.

    It’s also really easy to make your own stamps!

    To make your own stamps you’ll need:

    Craft foam sheets
    A pen
    Scissors
    Some wooden blocks, corks, or even bottle caps
    Double sided tape or glue
    Child Safe Stamp Ink

    spring-stamps-2

    Method

    1. Start by collecting some items for the base of your stamp. We used wooden blocks for our stamps, but you could use corks, plastic bottle caps or even thick cardboard. The size of the base will determine how large your stamp will be.

    2. Once we decided on the base, we sketched out some ideas onto paper. We decided on a spring theme and the kids and I came up with a few different shapes and ideas.  Once we were happy with them,  we drew the shapes directly onto the craft foam.

    3. Simply cut out the shapes and tape or glue them to the base.

    spring-stamps-3

    4. You can add extra details to the stamp by drawing on the craft foam. Press down hard with a pen to leave an indent into the foam.

    5. Now all you need are some stamp pads and some paper and you can make a fun spring picture!

    spring-stamps-4

    We always tell our kids not to play with their food, but when they are served these cute sandwiches how can they not be tempted!

    These cutters are great for sandwiches and party food, and can also be used as cookie cutters.

    If your kids don’t like crusts, these are perfect as they cut the crusts off and everything is kept secure inside.

    If you’re like me and hate seeing bread go to waste, you can whizz up the crusts in a food processor and use them as fresh breadcrumbs in recipes, or pop the breadcrumbs in a resealable bag and freeze for up to three months.

    lunchbox-ideas-fun-sandwiches-mums-business-ebay-5
    lunchbox-ideas-fun-sandwiches-mums-business-ebay-1
    lunchbox-ideas-fun-sandwiches-mums-business-ebay-2
    lunchbox-ideas-fun-sandwiches-mums-business-ebay-3
    lunchbox-ideas-fun-sandwiches-mums-business-ebay-4
    lunchbox-ideas-fun-sandwiches-mums-business-ebay

    Spring is definitely here with the sun shining and the trees in bloom.

    The doors and windows are staying open to let in the beautiful spring weather and our home is definitely in need of some spring decorating to say goodbye to winter for another year.

    Here are a few things you can add that will brighten up your home:

    spring-collection-ebay-shopping

    1. Welcome mat

    Change the winter doormat and say hello to spring with a new one that will even have the courier driver smiling.

    2. Cushions

    Easily add some colour to your couch with some printed cushions.

    3. Glass Vases

    Add some beautiful round glass hanging vases and have a go at making your own little terrariums.

    4. Rugs

    Freshen up the look of any room in an instant.

    5. New sheets and quilt cover

    Nothing feels better than freshly washed sheets, except when they are NEW freshly washed sheets. Something bright and with geometric shapes is perfect.

    bed-sheets

    6. Kitchen

    Add interest to the kitchen with items as simple as tea towels, or something bigger like some stools.

    7. Outdoor entertaining

    As the days get longer and the weekend weather gets better, outdoor entertaining with friends or just the family becomes a regular thing.

    Make the most of the wonderful spring weather sitting around a fire pit, or reclining in some gorgeous outdoor furniture and eating from bright and fun dinnerware.

    Candles are also a great touch.

    Check out my picks for spring in my eBay Collection here.

    Whenever I start searching online for baking things I seem to get lost in so many wonderful things that I just want to buy everything!

    These silicone dinosaur moulds were so adorable there was no chance that they weren’t coming home with me.

    recipe-dinosaur-chocolates-mums-business-5

    They can be used for chocolates, candies, jelly, ice cubes and even soap.

    I made some chocolate dinosaurs for the kids as a special treat, and hid a little surprise inside for them.

    Here’s how:

    1. Melt chocolate as per your usual method – over a pot on the stove or in a microwave safe bowl.

    2. Half fill moulds with chocolate and allow to completely set.

    recipe-dinosaur-chocolates-mums-business-2

    3. Add some popping candy on top of your set chocolate.

    4. Cover with more melted chocolate and spread with a spatula. Some will start popping when you add the chocolate on top so be quick!

    recipe-dinosaur-chocolates-mums-business-3

    5. Allow to set.

    6. Turn out of mould and see the kid’s reaction when their chocolate starts popping!

    (Hand wash mould with detergent and warm water after use and allow to dry completely)

    Now, these are definitely a treat and make easy take home gifts in party bags.

    Why not even surprise the kid’s teachers with some?

    recipe-dinosaur-chocolates-mums-business-4

    Plastic milk bottles

    Popping Candy