Ultimate Blog Party 2014 – All About Just a Mum

Ultimate Blog party 2

I am excited to be taking part in my first ever Ultimate Blog Party! My blog is now the grand old age of 2 1/2 months young. So I am a newbie and still learning so very much. I am astounded every day when people read my blog, check out my recipes, comment & like!

Over 16,000 views so far, it has been a steep learning curve. And all because I wanted to set up a place to share my recipes & fun kids activities for my own children to be able to find in time to come, and a place to direct people to when they ask for a copy of a recipe of mine they like!


I am from Taupo in New Zealand, one of the most beautiful places on earth in my humble opinion 🙂 I have 3 lovely children, a son 9, two daughters aged 6 & 3. I am a stay at home mum (hence being Just a Mum!) and my husband is an Area Manager for his company so travels around a bit each week leaving me plenty of time to blog, try out new recipes and do fun stuff with the kids.

Sweet Treats Collage

I also have a Facebook Page and am on Twitter too. All this despite me still having no idea how to use twitter, that will come in time I am sure! I really do enjoy my Facebook page however, great way to interact with like minded people.

The unexpected bonus if starting this blogging adventure is that instead of simply seeing kids activities or recipes and thinking I must try that – I am actually doing it! So the kids are loving it, my friends and family are enjoying all the baking and I am enjoying getting to know lots of lovely new people all over the world connecting via our love of kids, food & life!

collage 2

Thank you for stopping by during the Ultimate Blog Party 2014, I look forward to checking out new blogs, learning more about blogging and meeting lots of new people 🙂

Have a wonderful week 🙂



Bobby Pins – Inconceivable!

Welcome to my Blog & thanks for popping by! Feel free to have a wander around once you have had your mind blown by my discovery, and LIKE me on Facebook for more!

Well things just got real!

It has come to my attention that for the last 3 decades I have been doing something wrong, I’ve been duped!

What you might ask has me in such a flap – well here it is – Bobby Pins go in wavy side down!!!!

Bobby Pins 6

Some of you may be sitting there and saying “Yes, and?” and others may be thinking Just a Mums blog is now becoming top news journalism – what I can tell you is that I have had, as Oprah says, an “Ah-ha” moment!

Once I became aware of this a quick Google indeed confirms this……sort of.

Bobby Pins 4

Apparently it began with an article in Allure Magazine that Bobby Pins were always intended to be worn wavy side down – it clings to the hair better this way, gripping it and holding it in place longer. And this the revelation appears to have lit up the net! Blogs, posts, photos and wonder are everywhere.

So here I am to share this with you, what I can say is for me it totally makes sense! I have always wondered what the purpose of these little bits of metal are – they ALWAYS slide out of the girls hair, so mostly we use them for buns or French rolls. Well today during a very scientifically controlled experiment (family hiking trip) we found that 2 wee gold Bobby Pins stayed in some lovely slippery 3 year old blonde hair for over 3 hours! Amazing breaking news!

Bobby Pins 1(Exactly!)

Now from what I can find out on the always truthful internet is that some people claim it doesn’t make a difference, others claim that in the ‘old’ days this is how they were always worn, but because they were made to be hidden it was never a big deal, and others feel deflated, cheated and grief stricken that they have been WRONG for years – ah well yes perhaps those people need to find a new hobby.

Anyway, if my blog today does nothing else but make you think twice next time you pop in a Bobby Pin then my work here is done.

Comment below and let me know which way you do yours?

For more brilliantly insightful ideas, Mums Musings, Great Recipes & Fun Kids Activities please LIKE me on http://www.facebook.com/justamumnz – I am just starting out and would love to grow my meagre likes!

Take Care 🙂

The Things You Do for Your Kids….

So its birthday time in our happy household, our eldest is turning 9 tomorrow!!! I cannot believe it and more so it makes me aware just how long it has been since I have had a ‘real’ job!!

Anyway, more to the point it means parties, cakes, gifts & me trying to find my arty crafty gene which I fear is sorely lacking.

The main party is in a weeks time at our local hot pools – they will have a blast and it will be easy for me, lollies, chips, cupcakes and sausages on the BBQ – the laziest party I have done to date but they are 9 yr old boys and will not care at all what I feed them after 49 times up and down the hydro-slide.

But tomorrow is the actual day and even though it will just be us I thought I would make him a cake to make it feel special, next week is all Lego Chima themed so I decided I would make the next best thing for him – a Pittsburgh Penguins NHL cake. Sounds easy right – I have the figurines and lots of photos to work from. All this sounds great, except one small thing – almost no experience or skills with fondant, a complete lack of the afore mentioned arty crafty gene and its late, I’m tired and its a cake that only 8 people will ever see – oh and you guys.

Anywho, as expected everything that could go wrong did go wrong – my husband was concerned about the slightly hysterical laughing coming from my direction – shall I share my disasters with you

1. The fondant kept sticking to the table…..did I learn….oh no I did not….it happened 4 times!
2. Once I got it on the cake – how on earth do you make fondant corners???
3. The red colouring would only turn the fondant pink….makes sense I guess
4. The red fondant was a pain in my &*( to try and cut & stick in the shapes I wanted
5. So I went to red gel…..ugh I do not even want to talk about this gel stuff.
6. I stupidly decided to use blue gel for the rest…..see #5
7. The brush I used to spread the gel shed bristles EVERYWHERE – using a fine needle I spent 20 minutes removing over 30 tiny brush bits!!!
8. The buttercream I made to pipe around the base to cover the bad fondant work would not turn black – at best a light grey before I ran out of black food colouring!
9. Then the final triumph was the piping bag burst at the seams and I ended up covered in yellow butter cream but determined to just get it done!

However, I finished it – I even took a photo for your amusement – not a close up you must understand I have some pride – but I feel it my duty to share with you so now you know that most Mums are just normal folk making bad cakes in a effort to make their kids happy & amuse random strangers on blogs.

Oh the shame – here tis’

Penguin Cake


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My Top Ten Cute & Funny Cat Videos

Ever found yourself randomly watching funny cat videos for longer than you care to admit?

Well prior to being a cat owner I didn’t understand what the hype was about. Oh but now I know!

I have done all the hours of watching for you and this is what I have come up with – this is MY top ten – given there are millions of videos out there I am sure you know of more!

Sit back and enjoy the extreme cuteness…….

1. Surprised little kitten…..all together now……awwww

2. Kitten + Hamster Ball = Total Cuteness

3. Nothing in the world like Mamma snuggles to make you feel safe…

4. Yep there…..no little to the left, to the right……ahhhh bliss…

5. Scaredy cat

6. Cat got your tongue? No – oh that’s HIS tongue…

7. Aww its a kitten in a cup – not sure WHY the kitten is in the cup but awwww

8. My one cat jump fail – sometimes they are a bit cruel but no cats were hurt in the making of this one!

9. Simply gorgeous – 5 cute kittens all together now….

10. And lastly it wouldn’t be Just a Mums blog if I didn’t include a cute baby and cat video to finish. Just Adorable!

Thanks so much for taking the time to have a nosy, an awww moment and a laugh at these cute videos.

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Happy Days 😀

Of Mice and Mums

So like most Mums after nine years of this gig I can cope with most things, vomit, poop, dribble, 2 month old apples under the bed, pet snails who have not been fed or watered for weeks – its all part of the job.

Do you know what is not and will never be part of my job description? Dealing with MICE……. I shudder to even type that. Uggh, I am a very tired Mamma this week and it is due to two tiny brown mice and one very cute but not so clever cat.

My husband works away a few nights each week which is going really well and me and the kids have a great wee routine and I have not lost any of them or forgotten to feed them once so we are doing well! That was until the night that changed it all…..

I was up late setting up my new blog – thank you for reading – finally got to bed around 1am, lights off and I can hear the cat having a spaz under the bed, I look under to see her run out with something that does not look like a cat toy in her mouth – holy crap! She runs down the hall and outside daughter #2’s room pops it down to show me (oh no baby girl Mamma is NOT proud) and of course the mouse takes off – cue 25 minutes of me standing in my daughter’s room in the middle of the night on a chair hoping she stays asleep while Gemma the cat plays a fun game of cat & mouse under her bed, with my heart rate through the roof in case the mouse comes for me (!) – my plan is that when the cat comes out with the mouse in her mouth I can encourage her to run outside one of the many now open doors. This only took an hour of her catching, dropping, catching, dropping her for me to finally get cat and mouse outside – phew and a few hours of sleep for me!

Well actually NO sleep for me as a huge Moth got in while all the doors were open so Gemma the cat proceeded to have a ball chasing and stalking the moth and of course with my heart rate through the roof I had to repeatedly check that it was indeed a moth and not another mouse every few minutes…..

So that was fun, given we have just had the house sprayed for spiders I was thinking spiders & mice were taking things a bit far!

What makes it even better was that I texted my husband in the morning and his response…..”what a good girl Gemma is!” ugggghhh boys.

So next night again a late one as I realise about 20 more things I was still doing wrong with my blog and I arrive in my room to see my sweet daughter #2 in my bed so as I go to lift her up to take her back to her own bed I notice Gemma with the snapping tail looking longingly at my dresser drawers….I think surely not but I think by now you know how this goes.

I was so tired I pretty much left her to it – until around 4am after only a few hours sleep wee mousy has obviously made itself known and Gemma is once again flying around the room – I again tried the open doors and window thing but she kept time and time again putting the mouse down to play with it – or just lovingly show me her cute little find and the mouse would again escape under a piece of clothing or into a shoe to the point I was going mental with lack of sleep, hating that there was a mouse in my BEDROOM – that the only option for me was to open the window wide and shut the bedroom door and leave her to it – a night in the lazy boy for me and a few hours sleep.

The next morning I went in to check and the poor cat & mouse must have been exhausted as Gems was still stalking her wee brown friend – by now she was inside my dressing gown which had fallen off the edge of my bed – so me and the girls decided that we would help Gemma out –  I decided to be brave and grabbed the closest thing to me – an icecream container  – and thought we would trap the mouse in that – there was no plan after that so I realise it has a few flaws! What I managed to do instead was kindly guide wee mousy towards my walk in wardrobe, with several girly screams for me as the mouse dashed around, through my legs and away from the cat – with my gorgeous daughter helpfully yelling “leave it alone Mamma its one of God’s creatures” and lots of leaping up onto the bed all I managed to do was shut a mouse in my wardrobe!!!

And there it stays as far as I know – I am not brave enough to go searching – I have set a trap (sorry to God’s creatures) and I am simply pretending it does not exist! Hubby’s job this weekend will be a full scale search in case the poor wee thing has passed away from Cat & Mouse exhaustion.

Yep I am a big girls blouse – I HATE mice, those tiny little things scare me half to death, I squeal, I jump up on chairs and in this regard am not in the slightest the tough capable Mum I have the world believe I am.

Alright enough talking about mice or I may just have to move house…..although our last one had rats in the garage…….. eeeeeek!

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Oh My……So this happened……lol

Probably on the Top Ten list of things for any Mum is never assume your kids are where you think they are and silence is not likely to mean they are happily playing in their rooms!!

So I finish up the dishes and find this……

hallway snow

Apparently it is snow! Pretty isn’t it? The girls sure thought so! te he he

Things to be thankful for:

1. That it was a ‘light’ dusting of snow
2. That they used toilet paper as opposed to ACTUAL snow!
3. That they limited it to only the hallway
4. That they amazingly thought my idea about being snow plows to clear a path for Mamma was genius – tidy up in less than 5 minutes – Yay!

Admittedly my first 4 thoughts were probably not things I was thankful for but rather What on earth!!!!!

Ahh kids, god love em’

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Perfect quote for today!

Perfect quote for today!

Giving Baby a Dummy – So Controversial!!

So in my musing today I will cover an oddly controversial topic! Dummys, pacifiers, binky, soother….. however you say it the idea of using one or not using one is often up there with breast feeding vs bottle!

I remember when I had our son almost 9 years ago, I just knew that it was not the done thing, no one seemed to want to be the parent that needed to use one and it was considered some sort of failure if you needed to. I was recalling today how our first antenatal coffee group catch up I was trying to hide my sons face so no one could see that I had popped a dummy in his mouth to settle him to sleep against me as I felt just that bad to have to resort to one!

As silly as that may sound, with your first baby you are bombarded with what are the right things to do, what a ‘good’ mother would do. In my experience where I am from a ‘good’ mother has a birth free from drugs, breastfeeds exclusively until at least 6 months, uses cloth variety nappies and uses only natural non chemical products for baby and their home. Also is expected to provide a wide variety of organic home grown home made baby food…..oh I could go on but also another spoken or unspoken rule is that ‘good’ mothers do not use a dummy.

I am Just a Mum, I do my best and I adore my babies but my best is MY best, you do well not to compare yourself to anyone but it takes time to learn that, 9 years on I am still learning every day.

I digress, Dummies: What I can tell you is only my experience and why we chose to use them. Prior to my first child being born my mother told me when I was stocking up on essentials to buy a dummy. I was very put out – I would not need to give my baby a dummy I thought, how typical of her generation, now we go by different rules!!! The day I bought my son home from the hospital my mother in law GAVE me a dummy to put away in case we needed it, I was mortified!

Well fast forward 5 weeks, my son was gorgeous so lovely, happy, doing so well but not very settled, one night I was really tired and had just had enough, the dummy had been on my mind for a few days and finally I sent my husband off to the pharmacy to buy one. My son took to it straight away and was just so so settled from then on. He would simply have it to go to bed with, but we were never strict on that as I feel in their first couple of years having a dummy can be a great comfort in their little times of need.

Around 2 1/2 years old my son wrapped his dummies up and sent them to the dummy fairy – 3 days later he received a lovely gift. He literally did not bat an eyelid. He was old enough to understand our words of explanation, old enough to self comfort and old enough so he understood why he no longer needed a dummy – he was a big boy now.

It may have taken him a few minutes longer to sleep that night but he never had a problem again.

We have since had two daughters and both followed the same pattern, the dummy was a great comfort to them, they were settled happy little ones, who both gave up the dummy when it was time with little or no distress, suckled well, their teeth are lovely straight and white, they speak clearly and well and are happy in themselves. Not all that is attributed to having a dummy but in our experience shows that we cannot determine any negative outcomes from having had one.

I write this because there are so many doom and gloomers out there that say what is right and wrong – a dummy is a comforter and if your child is unsettled the sucking sensation can be of great comfort. It might not work, it mgiht result in all the bad things they say about them! But it might just work and you must not feel ashamed of your choice if you do decide to use one. If your baby is happy and settled without one – well done! Be proud of the little person you have. If you hate the sight of 4 year olds walking around with a dummy in their mouth all day – then please – don’t let your 4 year old walk around with a dummy! You are still the parent, set the boundaries as you normally would with other things.

Thanks for reading my musings, do the best with what you have and enjoy being a Mum 🙂