All posts in Mum Genius-ness

Mum Cool: Action Movie Kid

Daniel Hashimoto is one cool dad & has  just trumped every single other dad who thinks they’re doing a pretty good job.  How? He’s an After Effects artist for DreamWorks studios, and he’s taken to adding animations to clips of his toddler son playing at home. As a result, little James sets fire to shelves with his light sabre in toy shops, falls through puddles on the street, jumps over hot lava bouncing from sofa to sofa in his living room and he shoots things left, right and centre. He even has his very own dedicated YouTube Channel, The Action Movie Kid.

Now that is one cool dad & one very lucky wee man.

Makes Mums Smile: Funky Elephant

owlpaint photoOpening the pack photoMiss 7 had been sent a Funky Elephant box –  a box full of children’s activities for 3 to 7 year olds and there were squeals of delight when she saw what her activities were.

The bits and pieces for this month’s art activity were wrapped in gorgeous orange paper which I must admit looked so lovely I was reluctant to let my daughter at it!

Inside she found 2 instruction cards, along with everything she would need to build her masterpiece – paint, glue, a very handy messy mat, jar, stickers, paper bag, glitter and other exciting bits and pieces.

After much deliberation she decided to make the owl first (which was proudly presented to her teacher the next day). I sat back and watched the whole thing happen & only had to step in when there was a wee accident with the glitter (I’m still vacuuming the silver sparkles out of the carpet!). Next up was a treasure box – painted and decorated to her own high standards, and finally a nature jar complete with lady birds on the top.

When I asked my daughter for her verdict I got the big thumbs up – she loved each of the activities, and was occupied for a good couple of hours. I was very happy not to have to rush out and grab the “extras” that so often are not included (glue, felts etc) and am now lucky enough to have my very own treasure box on my dressing table.

Some info about the Funky Trunk:

What is it?

The Funky Elephant trunk is a box full of children’s activities tailor-made for 3 to 7 year olds. This trunk is sent to your home based on the subscription you choose. Therefore, if you choose a 6 month subscription, your child will receive a Funky Elephant trunk every month, for six months in total.

What’s in the trunk?

A burst of excitement just waiting to get out! Most kids tear away the wrapping to get a quick peek. Each month there is a different theme and the trunk comes with fun and interesting projects, along with materials, detailed instructions and motivational ideas. It provides the perfect stimulant for a young mind to learn, explore and grow. Another hidden benefit is that it gives us parents a little breathing space!

Mum Genius-ness: Cardboard Box Office

titanic1Leon and Lily the coolest parents in the world. The Wellington couple were were stuck inside with a one-year-old baby Orsen after moving to Sydney. With the cardboard boxes from their move across the Tasman, they built a movie scene and posted it on Facebook.

Since then, their weekly blog, Carboard Box Office has been hugely successful – they been featured on the Today show as well as The Graham Norton Show.  Awesome work team!


Words for Mums: Well behaved women…

The nice thing about this great print by Words I Give By is that it is available on etsy. Enjoy.

Mum Cool: Kids Were Here. favourite single dad of ours has 50:50 custody of his two kids.  Each Sunday they return to their Mum’s he returns home form dropping them off but can’t bear to tidy up the little tableaux each child makes. This project made us think of him…

At Mums on Top we love a good photography project and especially one that has family as a central theme. The ‘Kids Were Here’ Project is a collaboration of 30 photographers and described perfectly by one of the members Stephanie Beaty

“These still life images serve as a daily reminder that my days are awash in chaos, whimsy, laughter and laundry (sometimes all at once). They capture toys and spills and puddles and piles. Sentimental, solitary moments of childhood ephemera. A gentle prodding to live in the now and stop looking toward the ‘then.’ And though sometimes I pray for clean and quiet and still, I know all too well it will come. And I will yearn for tiny shrieks of laughter in my bedroom. For toys and loveys strewn about. For signs of a daily life well lived. For traces of my babies who once were. For reminders that Kids Were Here–and they were life and light and love.”

As Mums we all know that moment of coming across a scene where kids have recently departed – sometimes it is the perfect description of the inner working of a child’s mind, sometimes it is a piece of writing that breaks your heart.  This project is a summary of those moments – charming, funny and at times heart-breaking.

Makes Mums Smile: Happy Hump Day

Hump Day

Mum Cool: Spiralizing the veges

yam0Spiralizing is AMAZING. “How did we not do this as kids?”

This cool invention turns veges in to spiral goodness, which will surely (?) help make the kids job of eating everything on their plate much easier.

Where can we buy in New Zealand? If anyone needs a volunteer to trial this, I’m keen – just saying.

Makes Mums Smile: How do internet ads work?

It’s pretty easy these days to spot, and ignore, a targeted Internet ad. I know that iPhone 5 case is only being offered up to me because I did a search for it yesterday.  I’m not that silly!

Even still, online advertising is a wildly complex system that even an adult user struggles to process… so what about the millions of kids who plug in to the Internet every day? Most of the MoT team are also teachers and think this vimeo is a great way to tell the eight-year-old–who may only be online for the games–how to resist the temptation of that pop-up ad announcing his mega-millions win.

Mum Cool: Jobs that don’t exist anymore

SwitchboardThey say that the jobs our kids will do are yet to be invented – even 10 years ago the idea of a “social media manger” would have seemed strange.

Take a look at this post that shows now extinct jobs (thankfully the personal waker upper” problem is solved with the clever invention of the alarm clock!). Plenty of jobs exist today that didn’t exist 10, 20 or 30 years ago – social media analyst, app developer, etc. – but we’re not exactly awash in jobs, either. So what happened to all of those old jobs? This list of pictures will go over a few jobs that have gone the way of the dinosaur.


Makes mums smile: Tickleme

Tickle is the new favourite app in the MOT office to help us escape awkward situations. Using our phone’s accelerometer, Tickle can sense awkward gestures, and in turn, generate a phantom phone call to allow you to gracefully excuse yourself from whatever awkward situation you’re in.

We are yet to try it out – but will hopefully use it to get us out of an awkward situation!


News flash – apparently it is April 1st – this is a joke!  Noooooooo

Win: My Family Food Bag

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 12.13.08 pmDoes the eternal question of “Muuuum, what’s for dinnnnnaaaah?” make you want to stick needles in your eyes?  Step away from that sewing kit, put the needles down and read on…it could be your lucky week.

You might have recently read the two mouth-watering My Family Food Bag reviews we shared over the weekend and turned green with envy, well now it’s your turn. You too can have the luxury of five days worth of evening meals planned out for you along with the freshest quality ingredients delivered straight to your door – thanks to My Family Food Bag.

If you would like to go into the draw to win a My Family Food Bag all you need to do is:

This competition is now closed.  Thanks for taking the time to enter.



Makes Mums Smile: Hair Raising Billboard

This is One Hair-Raising Billboard.


Swedish pharmacy Apotek Hjärtat teamed up with an innovative advertising agency to make this quintessential hair product commercial in Stockholm’s subway.
I can see it being a real hit in Britomart!

Makes Mums Smile: Freeze the toys

Freeze the toys How’s this for a cool idea?  Thanks to A Cup of Jo for the idea.

1. One evening, freeze a few cm of water in a bowl/cup/take-out container in the freezer.
2. The next morning, add a few toys, plus another few cm or two of water over them, and let that freeze.
3. That evening, just melt the edges a bit (run under warm water from the sink) and they will slide right out of the bowl. Give them to your child in the bath one at a time (draawwwiiiinnnnggg it out!).

Mum Cool: Selfiecity

SelfiesWe say we are queen of the selfies – and our twitter profile is proof of this.

Imagine our delight we we found this website dedicated to selfies.  Selfiecity investigates selfies (now officially a word in the dictionary) using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods.

You can check out how people in Berlin, Bangkok, New York, Moscow and Sa0 Polo take their selfies – I wonder if they are any different to NZ selfies? Nothing beats the laughter that we always break in to when we see our effort though…


Words for Mums: We need to sleep more.