Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Kindness Project

I’m a huge fan of Christmas. And I love the idea of an advent calendar to build the excitement leading up to the Big Day. What I’m not such a fan of, though, is celebrating that lead-up with a chocolate every day.

So this year Mr. 4.5 and I have decided we’re going to celebrate the lead-up to Christmas with an Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar. From the 1st to the 24th of December, we’re going to mark each day with one small (or not-so-small) act of kindness. It’s going to be our way of saying ‘thanks’ for what we have, and recognising that Christmas is not just about receiving – it’s about the joy of giving as well. We’re going to call it The Kindness Project.

We’ve bought some little Christmas cards, numbered them with little stickers and stuck them on a piece of green cardboard. Each card will have the act of kindness for that particular day written on it, and each one will be sealed with a little gold dot sticker. Every day, we’ll open a new one and try to do whatever is written inside it.

So here’s what we’ve come up with so far. It’s not set in stone yet, so I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have any other ideas. Some are about food, some aren’t…

  1. Donate a new toy to a charity Christmas Appeal
  2. Donate some food to a charity
  3. Make some Christmas truffles and give them out as gifts to homeless people around the city (and give some money to any buskers we see along the way)
  4. Offer to walk our neighbours’ dogs
  5. Create a book called ‘What I Love About You’ for someone special
  6. Pick some flowers for the kinder teacher
  7. Help Mr. 2 make breakfast for himself
  8. Pot one of our tomato plants from our veggie garden and give it away
  9. Make someone laugh with a Jib Jab card
  10. Surprise someone with cookie mix in a jar
  11. Hold the door open for someone
  12. Draw a picture for someone’s fridge
  13. Write nice messages on the footpath with chalk
  14. Donate a little bit of savings money to a charity
  15. Record a video of Mr. 4.5 dancing (he loves a dance) and send it to someone to brighten up their day
  16. Make some food for Mummy and Daddy to take into work to share with their workmates
  17. Write a thank you note (or maybe even put a Turkey Money Hug in someone’s mail box!)
  18. Make a bookmark for someone who likes to read
  19. Make some food gifts to take into kinder
  20. Make a Christmas decoration for someone
  21. Write a letter and mail it to someone
  22. Make a freezer meal for someone
  23. Water a neighbour’s garden for them
  24. Give a stranger a lucky charm

We might even have a go at making some fortune cookies and putting some uplifting messages in them too! We may not manage to tick off every single one every day, but we’ll do our best to make sure we’ve at least done most of them by the time Santa points his sleigh in our direction. If we find any great recipes along the way, we’ll be sure to share them with you!

Merry Christmas – may the joy of giving be with you too!
Tami & Crackers (Mr. 4.5)

No-act-of-kindness no-matter-how

Around the World in 18 Breakfasts

Earlier this year, my food-loving 4 year-old and I embarked on a virtual culinary tour of the world. Our mission: to get Around the World in 18 Breakfasts.

The idea was that we’d sample traditional morning meals from every corner of the globe and learn a little about the Big Wide World along the way. We bought a map of the world and some toothpick flags. Each week we’d pick a dish, find the relevant flag and put a star sticker on our map.

Eighteen breakfasts, 18 flags and 18 stickers later, our mission is complete. We made a lot of yummy food and a bucketload of mess. We got flour on the walls and egg on the floor. We made the odd dud dish and had to try again. But we had a whole lotta fun in the process.

There was no destination. It was about the journey.

Here is our itinerary, brought to you in pictures (click on the links for the recipes)…

Week 1: Japan – Tamagoyaki


Rolled-up egg – slightly salty, slightly sweet. Who knew omelettes could taste this good?

Week 2: Brazil – Açaí bowl

Acai bowl - fun food for kids

Fruit smoothie in a bowl. Healthy, easy and yummy – the Fun Food trifecta!

Week 3: USA – Warm custard spoon bread

Warm spoon bread - USA - branded

A deep south delicacy – a little bit time-consuming but worth the wait.

Week 4: Mexico – Huevos rancheros

Huevos rancheros - Fun Food For Kids

A must-try for anyone who likes their Mexican food.

Week 5: Lebanon – Manakish with labneh

Lebanese breakfasts - manakish zaatar and labneh

Labneh, a yoghurt-based cheese, perfectly complements this tasty flatbread.

Week 6: Indonesia – Nasi goreng

Nasi goreng - breakfast around the world - Indonesia

A good way to use up leftover rice (and get some veggies into the kids’ breakfast)!

Week 7: Sri Lanka – Coconut roti

coconut roti - Sri Lanka

Fresh coconut turns this damper-like roti into something amazing.

Week 8: Switzerland – Bircher muesli

Swiss Bircher muesli recipe

Nutty, fruity goodness in a recipe originally created by a Swiss doctor – how could you go wrong?

Week 9: Ukraine – Syrniki

syrniki cheese fritters

Light, fluffy pillows of melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness topped with berries and sour cream.

Week 10: Spain – Potato and chorizo tortilla

potato and chorizo tortilla

This Spanish tapas favourite doubles as a hearty breakfast.

Week 11: China – Pork and prawn dumplings

Pork and prawn dumplings

These don’t feature in YUM-cha for nothing!

Week 12: Thailand – Coconut sticky rice with mango

mango coconut sticky rice

Coconut milk and mangoes – a match made in heaven.

Week 13: Canada – Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon

Canadian pancakes

An interesting flavour combo – and a huge hit with the kids!

Week 14: Peru – Quinoa porridge

Quinoa porridge

Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and honey make this a sweet, spicy variation on traditional porridge.

Week 15: Sweden – Swedish fruit loaf

Swedish fruit loaf

Fruity with a touch of sour, this healthy loaf uses no sugar or butter.

Week 16: Jamaica – Fried bananas

Fried bananas

Not exactly Heart Foundation tick-worthy, but definitely yummy!

Week 17: South Africa – Mealie bread

South African Mealie bread

Real chunks of corn give this bread lots of texture and taste.

Week 18: Finland – Korvapuusti (cinnamon rolls)

korvapuusti - cinnamon rolls

A fitting finale – there were definitely no leftovers…

Come and join us on the journey!
Our Around the World in 18 Breakfasts adventure may be over but there’s plenty more to come. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest to be part of the fun!

Teddy Bears Picnic Party

Teddy Bears Picnic Party Ideas

Last Sunday we had my younger son’s 2nd birthday party. We decided to go with a Teddy Bears Picnic theme, in honour of his favourite thing in the world – a raggedy looking stuffed polar bear we unimaginatively call ‘Bear’.

Teddy bears return

This is ‘Bear’, after turning up at the Lost Property section of DJs on Christmas Eve last year – and being delivered home by ‘Santa’ on Christmas morning… If my son’s second birthday party wasn’t his happiest day on Earth, the day he was reunited with his beloved ‘Bear’ most definitely was!

The Entrance to the Party

Teddy Bears Picnic Welcome

Party guests were greeted by bear footprints (made with chalk) and a faux wooden sign on the door.

Teddy Bear Biscuits

Teddy bear biscuits

We made these Teddy Bear Biscuits using a gingerbread recipe as the base. The idea for the plate came from Pinterest.

The Cake

Polar Bear Cake

I used white fondant icing, a black food pen and some shaved grey artist’s chalk (‘painted’ on with a paintbrush) to recreate a miniature version of Bear for the cake. I found this teddy bear ribbon at a cake shop and on the final version of the cake, I wrote my son’s name with curly fondant letters in different colours.

Teddy Bear Games

Pin the bow on the teddy bear

Using my older son’s paintings, we made a personalised bow-tie for every little guest (with their names written on the white part in the middle) and drew a teddy bear on a big sheet of cardboard for ‘Pin the Bow-tie on The Teddy Bear’. You can find the pattern to make the bow-ties here.

Treasure hunt maps

My older son helped me make some coffee-stained treasure maps for a treasure hunt around the ‘woods’. The kids teamed up in groups of three or four to find the ‘treasures’. The other game we played was Statues (also known as the Freeze game) using teddy bear themed songs (Teddy Bears Picnic, Five Little Teddy Bears, and Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around).

The Party Bags

Teddy bears picnic party bags

In keeping with the picnic theme, we made up party bags with brown paper bags and ribbon. I didn’t want to use full lunch-sized paper bags, so I managed to convince a fish and chip shop to sell me a packet of smaller paper bags for $2! The party bags featured a little pack of tiny teddies and some gummy bears, among other things. Each ‘little bear’ had their own beary-personalised name tag on their bag.

One Happy Little Teddy Bear…

Happy teddy bear

And this happy little face made it all worthwhile!

Fun food ideas for Mother’s Day

With two more grocery shopping days to go before Mother’s Day (hint, hint, Dad!), we thought we’d do a round-up of fun breakfast in bed ideas for Mum. We think all of these breakfasts look too good to choose between, so you might just have to have an ongoing ‘Festival of Mum’ and make them all!

Heart shaped egg in a nest

fun food ideas for mother's day - egg hearts

All you need for this one is a knife (or a heart-shaped cookie cutter if you have one), an egg, bread and a frypan. Too easy!
Source: Reclaiming Provincial

French toast kebabs


Decadence with a healthy twist – guaranteed to make Mum smile.
Source: Tablespoon

Ham and egg cups with hashbrowns


This is one that your little chefs can really get involved in making (and eating!).

Strawberry roses

strawberry roses

We love this one! While the kids will need Dad’s help with the carving, they’ll have fun with the skewering (or if they’re not quite up to that, maybe get them to make some hand-drawn wrapping paper to put around the ‘stems’).
Source: One Little Project

Mini pancake brochettes

fun food for mother's day

At the risk of looking like this post is sponsored by a bamboo skewer company (it’s not, we promise!), we couldn’t resist including these cute little mini berry pancakes. A dash of maple syrup and they’d be complete!
Source: Nugget Markets

I love U

I Love You breakfast

Say ‘I love you’ (literally) to Mum on Mother’s Day with some bacon, a heart-shaped egg and a half-bagel (or your own variation using Mum’s favourite breakfast foods).
Source: Pinterest

We hope you find some inspiration in this post on fun food ideas for Mother’s Day. Whatever you end up having on the menu, may it be a day that’s filled with love, laughter and fun!

Big Mother’s Day hugs,
Tami & Crackers

Crumpet teddy bears

Teddy crumpet

We made these teddy bear crumpets from scratch as a bit of a culinary science project but you could make them with the store-bought variety for a quick and easy breakfast option.

What you will need

  • crumpets – you’ll need two for each teddy, one for the face and another one for the ears (recipe below if you want to make these yourself)
  • butter or margarine
  • honey
  • strawberry or raspberry jam for the ears
  • banana
  • blueberries (or black grapes) for the eyes
  • pink grape (or strawberry) for the nose
  • nutella for the mouth
  • a small snaplock bag or piping bag

Making the crumpets
We found this recipe on but we’ve reproduced it here for your convenience. A word of warning before you begin: there is a lot of ‘resting’ time involved in the making of these (an hour and 40 mins, in fact) so if your little chef is a bit lacking in the patience department, it might be best to skip this part and use store-bought crumpets! The end product is also a bit denser and less ‘bubbly’ than commercial crumpets so might not be to everyone’s taste (that said, Mr Nearly-2 refused to go back to eating the store-bought ones after trying these!).


crumpets collage


1. Combine the sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the warm milk and water and stir until yeast dissolves. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

2. Combine the flour, bread improver and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Combine extra water and bicarbonate of soda in a jug. Use an electric beater to beat the flour mixture for 1 minute or until mixture deflates. Gradually add the water mixture, beating well between additions, until well combined and smooth. Cover batter with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

4. Brush a large non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil to lightly grease. Brush six 7.5cm-diameter non-stick egg rings with oil to lightly grease. Place egg rings in frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour 60ml (1/4 cup) of batter into each ring. Cook for 7 minutes or until large bubbles come to the surface, the base is golden and the top is set. Use an egg lifter to turn and cook for a further 1 minute or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and remove egg rings. Set crumpets aside. Repeat, in 4 more batches, with remaining batter, greasing and reheating the pan and egg rings with oil between each batch. Serve crumpets with butter and honey.

Decorating the crumpets
1. Once you’ve made your crumpets, spread the crumpet you’re using for the face with butter and honey.
2. Cut out some ears from another crumpet and spread with jam in the middle of each ear.
3. Add the banana, grapes and blueberries (or whatever alternative fruit you’re using) for the facial features. (Tip: Cut out the fruit pieces right before you start to cook the crumpets so you can decorate them quickly and eat them while they’re still warm.)
4. To make the mouth, put a good blob of nutella into a snaplock bag and cut out the corner (or use a piping bag) and pipe it on.
5. Enjoy your crumpet teddy bears!




Fun food ideas for Easter

As promised, here is our round-up of some of our favourite fun food ideas for Easter!

Bunny butt pancakes

Quick, easy and almost too cute to eat!

Ice cream easter eggs

Ice cream and sprinkles – guaranteed crowd pleaser.


Easter egg biscuits


Source: Tesco

Get the kids to roll up their sleeves and get busy decorating…

Funny bunny bread

funny bunny 2


These would make a great accompaniment to dinner or as a snack on their own.


Hot cross bun pudding

Here’s one we did earlier in the week, in case you missed it.


Ice cream cones with chocolate cake

Puts a new spin on ‘carrot cake’…

Easter fruit basket



A healthy alternative to chocolate Easter egg baskets.

And one for the Easter bunny…

Happy Easter – may yours be full of fun food, family and friends!
Tami & Crackers xx


Fun food ideas for Australia Day

Earlier in the week we brought you our Australia Day-inspired ‘First Fleet bacon ‘n avo boats‘ and said we’d post a round-up of our favourite fun food ideas for Australia Day. Well, as promised, here it is! Of course, you don’t actually have to celebrate Australia Day to enjoy these little treats. Wherever you are in the world, we hope you have a fun and food-filled 26th January!

Aussie fruit flag

Fun food ideas for Australia Day - blueberry Australian flag Blueberries, raspberries and apples make this flag a healthy and fun treat for big and little kids alike. Image:

Mini pavlovas

Fun food ideas for Australia Day - mini pavlovas These mini versions of the traditional Aussie pav are super easy, super tasty and impressive-looking to boot. Most big supermarkets stock pre-made mini meringues, then simply decorate with whipped cream and your favourite fruit. If you are feeling really adventurous, follow this link for a recipe to make the meringues from scratch. Image: Mouths of Mums

Tim Tam cake

Fun food ideas for Australia Day - Tim tam cake If this is not the definition of decadence, we’re not sure what is! While not exactly suitable for a Tim Tam Slam, this little number is guaranteed to be an Australia Day backyard barbie crowd pleaser. Image: Raspberri Cupcakes

Koala sandwich

Fun food ideas for Australia Day - koala sandwich A little more low-key that the Tim Tam cake, the koala sandwich makes a tasty tribute to our favourite national emblem. Image: Little Food Junction

Green and gold jelly bites

Fun food ideas for Australia Day - GreenGoldJellyBites.ashx Aeroplane Jelly has been an Australian institution since its iconic ‘I love Aeroplane Jelly’ jingle hit our radio waves in the late 1930s. So it’s only fitting that it should feature in our line-up of Australia Day foodie favourites. Image: Aeroplane Jelly

First Fleet bacon ‘n avo boats

Lastly, in case you missed them earlier this week, here are our First Fleet bacon ‘n avo boats again… Fun food ideas for Australia Day - bacon boats Happy Australia Day!