Posted on

School Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box Collage

It’s nearly that time of year where we get ready to send our kids back to school for another year.

This is my first year sending my daughter off to school. I can’t believe my baby girl is starting Kindergarten. It’s such a big milestone in all our lives. I think we’re all a bit nervous but excited at the same time.

So what am I going to make her for lunch? I’ve been having a look on Pinterest and it seems that a Vegemite sandwich and some fruit doesn’t cut it these days. You can be a lot more creative and healthy these days with insulated lunch boxes and groovy little containers for your yoghurt etc. My daughter’s school even has a fridge in each classroom! There was none of that my day.

Anyway, I have been making lunches for her for preschool last year but I have to get creative now for five days a week of school and they don’t have a canteen either which I think is a bit strange so there’s no choice but to make to healthy homemade lunches. Not such a bad thing at all.

Here’s a few ideas I’ve found which are healthy and easy to make. I don’t think I’m going to have time to get the cookie cutters out and make funny faces and the like. As cute as that is, I’m just not sure it’s feasible.

I love these Pizza Pinwheels from Simple as that Blog. I think I might try these. You can make a batch and freeze them. I like idea of a wrap on this post too. I think my daughter will like them.

Pizza Pinwheels

I like the idea of these skewers from
What Lisa Cooks. Fruit would be good too.

Cheese Skewers

I love these fruit roll ups by Our Best Bites. They look very easy to make.

Fruit Roll Ups

My Banana and Blueberry Muffins are always a hit. I make them in mini size sometimes and freeze them.

Banana and Blueberry Muffins stacked

These recipes from Create Bake Make look great.

Create Bake Make Lunchbox recipes

Home Made Muesli Bars by Bake Play Smile.

Bake Play Smile Homemade Muesli Bars

These Ham and Corn Muffins from The Organised Housewife would be a good alternative to a sandwich.

The Organised Housewife Ham and Corn Muffins

Posted on

Charlotte’s Hip Dysplaysia Journey

This post is a bit different to my usual recipes and craft however, I thought I would post this story about my daughter Charlotte and her Hip Dysplaysia journey to raise awareness of this condition which often goes undetected.

Our Charlotte was born on 09 July 2010, 3.04 kg, 47.5cm. It was a normal natural birth with no complications.

Before we left the hospital she had all the usual newborn checks and was given a clean bill of health and we were sent home.

She was a very normal, happy baby and slept through the night from an early age. She did have an extra roll of fat on her right upper leg but we didn’t think anything of it and it was never a concern to any Dr’s or baby nurses when we went for our usual check ups. (We now know this can be a sign of DDH)

She began to walk about 14 months and everything seemed normal to us. She toddled as toddlers do and fell over a few times but nothing out of the ordinary at first.

As she got older we started to notice that she was walking with bit of limp but didn’t think anything of it until her carers at daycare started to notice and ask if anything was wrong. Charlotte also started complaining of sore hips so we decided to take her to our GP.

At first he thought there was nothing wrong but a few weeks later she was still complaining that her hips were sore so we went back and insisited on an X-ray.

We had an X-ray that day and the Dr called us before we even got home to come straight back.

That was when we found out her right hip was dislocated and she had Developmental Dysplaysia of the Hip or DDH. We were so shocked. We were lost for words and it took a while to sink in. That was February 2014. She was 3.5 years old.

The next thing we knew we were rushed in to see a paediatrician and Orthopeadic surgeon where we were told that she would need an open reduction right hip osteotomy, right femoral osteotomy, bone graft, hardware put in and that she will be in a hip spica cast for 6 weeks.

It was a lot to take in and many tears were shed. How could this happen to my baby? Why wasn’t it picked up at birth? Why didn’t we do something earlier? How is she going to cope with this? How are we going to cope? I’d never heard of this before and didn’t know anything about it or know anyone else who had gone through this before.

We were booked in for surgery on 03 July 2014. I prepared her the best I could and told her exactly what was going to happen so she was very calm on the day but my husband and I were nervous wrecks. Leaving her on that operating table was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Even though I knew she was in good hands it was still hard. It was a huge operation.

5 hours later we were able to see her in recovery. I thought I had prepared myself but seeing her in that cast for the first time was heartbreaking. I had to leave the room so she wouldn’t ‘t see my cry.

We spent six nights in hospital which meant we were in for her 4th birthday. The nurses were great and made a fuss and bought in some ice cream cake, chips, lollies and drink and we had a little party in the ward. Luckily we were sent home that day.

Charlotte in Hospital

The next 6 weeks were tough but we got through it. The cast came off on 18 August 2014. Even though it wasn’t recommended by our Dr’s we ended up seeing a physiotherapist ourselves who has been fantastic. She was walking around a few weeks later and on the road to recovery. Or so we thought.

After a fall at daycare she began limping quite a bit. We took her back to the surgeon and he said he would do an arthrogram x-Ray. This meant day surgery where he put a camera inside her hip to have a better look.

He found that the first surgery hadn’t been as successful as we first thought. He said she would need a pelvic osteotomy this time to fix it properly. This meant another six weeks in a cast. I was absolutely shocked. I really wasn’t expecting her to need more surgery. I was devasted. How would she cope with this again? How would we all cope a second time?

Surgey was booked in for 19 Feb 2015. She was very upset to be having another cast but I prepared her as best I could. I found a book called Hope the Hip Hippo which was great. It was a very similar story to ours and Charlotte loved it. I read it to her in the weeks leading up to her surgery.

I was so nervous going in for the second surgery and so was she. This time the surgery was about 3 hours….a long three hours! This time she had a purple cast. Her favourite colour. Only four days in hospital this time and we were back home.

Charlotte Painting

We were very prepared this time and we got her comfortable straight away. The next six weeks were pretty hard. Seeing to her every need as well as my 18 month old, Ryan was a challenge and our patience wore thin. I thought it would have been easier this time but I think it was harder having to run around after our son as well. Not to mention the toll it took on our backs lifting her all the time.

I have to mention my son and my husband in this story too. It was really tough for them as well but we got through it together.

As I write this it has been four weeks since the cast came off and she is doing so well this time. We are seeing the physio again once a week and she is attending school three days a week as normal.

We have a check up in June so hopefully all will be ok.

Charlotte with her walker

Since she was first diagnosed I have been doing some research and found some Facebook groups and links which have been fantastic. The links are below. I am also now part of the Hip Hip Hooray team. Their website is below which has all the information and advice you need about DDH. We are also trying to get a petition passed to have every baby scanned for DDH. Here is the link if you agree and would like to sign.

The Parents’ Guide to Hip Dysplasia book

Hope the Hip Hippo book

Twitter – @hiphiphoorayddh

Instagram – @hiphiphoorayddh

Hip Hip a Hooray –

Thanks so much


Posted on

Do Reward Charts really work?


If you’ve started to read my blog already you will know I have a four year old daughter. When she turned two she definitely started to have attitude and the ‘terrible two’s’ begun. It was quite a shock because she was the perfect baby but once she became a toddler and found her voice everything changed. As she is our first born we didn’t know what to do about her behaviour so my friend suggested doing a Reward Chart. This works by drawing up a chart and adding a sticker for good behaviour. When a certain amount of stickers have been collected a small prize or gift is awarded. What a great idea. I knew she would love it. I bought some cardboard and drew up a chart. We coloured it in and decorated it together and bought some stickers that she liked.

It was a success at first but short lived. She was a handful that’s for sure and when I became pregnant with our second child I think she knew she was going to have some competition and we were back to square one. So it was time to consult ‘The Supernanny’ aka Jo Frost.

And so we tried the naughty corner and again tried the reward chart. This method has been working well on and off. You really need to be consistent with it but I think a little miracle is occurring. The reward chart is going great at the moment. She’s finally listening and really enjoying getting her stickers and presents. I think she’s a bit older now too and understands a bit better but whatever is happening I’m going with it.

In my experience I would say, ‘Yes’ it does work. It takes a bit of perseverance but it can pay off.

Let me know if you’ve tried this before and if it worked for you or if you have any other suggestions. Would love to hear all your advice.

More tips from Jo