National Name Day: Who topped the list?

Posted in Uncategorized
on June 27, 2017


We hope you all enjoyed following the “Letter of the Day” as much as we enjoyed creating them.

Over 100,000 people participate in our National Name Day promotion and amazingly over 11,000 unique names submitted.  We have gone through all the data and collated the most interesting findings for you.
Let’s start with the one that’s on all your minds;

Which name topped the list?

     very closely followed by…

 

TOP 10 boys and girls names  

1

 OLIVER  CHARLOTTE

2

 JACK

 AVA

3

 NOAH

 AMELIA

4

 WILLIAM

 OLIVIA

5

 CHARLIE

 CHLOE

6

 LUCAS

 EVIE

7

 COOPER  ELLA

8

 XAVIER

 RUBY

9

 ETHAN

 SOPHIE

10

 THOMAS

 MIA

For those of you who were following us daily, we bet you know the answer to the next question,

What was the most popular letter?

Most popular design? (see above)

 

Girls Vs Boys name?

We aren’t done yet! we wanted to make an honorable mention to a name that surprised us with its lone entry. We thought there would be more out there, but this year there was just one,

Please stay tuned, we still have a few more findings to share with you.

With you,

Hippo Blue

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Round the world name tour – next stop, the Americas!

Posted in Uncategorized
on June 1, 2017

Machu Picchu, Peru.

A little bit about the America’s (North and South) when combined, consist of 35 countries. 23 Countries make up the North and 12 make up the South.

The largest country in North America is Canada, closely followed by the United States. Together, they make up a whopping 79% of the entire continent. The smallest country in this part of the world is Saint Kitts and Nevis, it is only two small islands in the Caribbean. As for South America, the largest country which happens to also be the most populated is Brazil, it’s smallest being Suriname. Interestingly, Suriname is the only territory outside Europe where Dutch is spoken by the majority of the population.

Now to the names! Here are the Top 10 girls and boys names that we loved that have been inspired by this end of the world.

 BOYS Name  Meaning  Origin or Popular
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Alonso
Alvaro
Barkley
Denzel
Mickenson
Frederick
Ronaldo
Santiago
Cassius
Valerio
Noble
Guardian
Where the birch grows
The wild one
Unknown
Peaceful Ruler
Wild Ruler
St. James
Vain
Powerful, Stromg
Chilean, S.America
Cuba, S.America
Jamaican, N.America
US., N.America
Haiti, N.America
Bahamas, S.America
Brazil, S.America
Jamaican, N.America
Brazil, S.America
Brazil, S.America
GIRLS Name  Meaning  Origin or Popular
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Ailani
Ana
Azucena
Carolina
Ionie
Jahaira
Kiyana
Reina
Loralie
Macha
High Chief
Grace
Lily
Strong
Violet coloured stone
Teaching God
Bright, Beautiful
Queen
Luring
Aurora
Hawaiian, N.America
Dominican Republic
Peru, S.America
Paraguay, S.America
Jamaican, N.America
Peru, S.America
Hawaiian, N.America
Brazil, S.America
US., N.America
Native American
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Round the world name tour – First stop, Africa!

Posted in Uncategorized
on May 24, 2017

In celebration of National Name Day, we have decided to take a round the world tour and celebrate the names that have either originated or are popular in a particular region of the world. This week we are exploring the majestic region of Africa.

There are 54 countries that make up the continent of Africa, the largest being Algeria and the smallest nation being the Seychelles (an archipelago of 115 islands. If you haven’t heard or seen Seychelles before, look it up – it is absolutely stunning).

Now let’s get to the names!
Check out the list below of the top 10 boys and girls names that we just fell in love with that are inspired by this beautiful region.

Hopefully, you will be inspired too.

 BOYS Name  Meaning  Origin
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Amari
Bakari
Chi
Dakarai
Kemi
Mosi
Obi
Rafiki
Tahir
Zane
Strength, Builder
Of noble promise
God, Spiritual being
Happiness
Spoil me with love
Fifth-Born
Heart
Friend
Pure
Well born, Noble
Yoruba, Nigeria
Swahili, East Africa
Igbo, West Africa
Shona, Zimbabwe
Yoruba, Nigeria
Swahili, East Africa
Ibo, Nigeria
Swahili, East Africa
Arabic, North Africa
Swahili, East Africa

 

GIRLS Name  Meaning  Origin
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Adia
Aisha
Aluna
Dalila
Mandisa
Marjani
Nailah
Nomusa
Oni
Safiya
Present of God
Life
Come here
Gentle soul
Sweet
Coral
One who succeeds
Compassionate
Born in a sacred place
Pure
Swahili, East Africa
Swahili, East Africa
Mwera, Kenya
Swahili, East Africa
Xhosa, South Africa
Swahili, East Africa
Arabic, North Africa
Ndebele, Zimbabwe
Yoruba, Nigeria
Swahili, East Africa
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Why PEEK-A-BOO is such a winner!

Posted in Hippo Blue
on May 4, 2017

PEEK-A-BOO! I see you.

This game is so simple and yet so effective. It’s almost a guaranteed way to keep a baby entertained for a good 15 minutes and usually ends with both you and bubs in giggles. We wanted to know why this game is such a winner and yes, there is a science behind it.

The Science:

A Swiss developmental psychologist, Jean Piaget states that the first two years of a child’s life is spent discovering their environment through their senses and trying to make connections emotionally and physically with the world.

It is in these two years, where the game of PEEK-A-BOO is at its prime.

PEEK-A-BOO teaches a child about “Object Permanence” – the ability to understand that an object continues to exist, despite not being able to be seen. Approximately up until a baby is 9 months old, they don’t actually realise that you are still there once you’ve covered your face. Once the baby grasps the concept, they will start grabbing your hands to tell you to show yourself because they now know you’re still there.

But why do they find it so entertaining?

It’s essentially a magic show between you and your little one.
They are simply amazed that something can disappear and then reappear.

The simple pleasure from this game comes from the element of surprise, balanced with expectation.

Before the concept is understood, once you cover your face they think that you or the object that had been there just a second ago magically vanishes into thin air. Then when you or the object suddenly “reappears” in front of them, it’s a surprise that makes them laugh.

As they begin to grasp the concept that things still exist, even if they can’t see them. The joy comes from the anticipation and expectation that you or the object will eventually reappear and return. For example, you show them a toy and then hide that toy under a pillow; the baby expects the toy to magically appear under the pillow and when it’s there, they find it hilarious.

Eventually, the game of PEEK-A-BOO evolves into HIDE AND SEEK.
(Strangely, we never made this very obvious connection before looking into this)

Some other great games to play with the little ones under 12 months.

Whether you are a pro-baby entertainer or a novice baby entertainer, we hope you find the below games helpful.
TIP: where you can, ask an older sibling to get involved!

Mirror me

Babies begin to recognise faces (of others, such as close carers) before objects or patterns.
However, babies won’t recognise their own faces until about 15 months. So during the early months, looking in a mirror is a fun social activity that can be done between you and baby.

Sit at a close distance to the mirror, with baby in your lap. They will find entertainment in engaging with the face in the mirror, although not yet recognising it’s their own. Once they have developed enough to be able to identify their favourite toy, use the toy to talk with them in front of the mirror. This will help them learn to recognise themselves, as they can already recognise the toy in the reflection.

Adventure course

PEEK-A-BOO mixed with obstacles.
For babies on the move, build a miniature obstacle course out of cushions. Nothing too fancy, keep it baby safe at ground level and encourage them to climb over the cushions. Hide yourself behind a big cushion and play PEEK-A-BOO as they make their way around the course. This will help them learn object permanence as well as help them with the development of their body strength, balance and coordination.

BUBBLES!

Seriously, who doesn’t love bubbles? Whether they are seated in a bouncy chair, play pen or car seat – blow a few bubbles in the air and watch your little one look at them in amazement and try and catch one. (Just remember to wash their hands, we don’t think they make “no tears” bubble solution)

Catch for babies

This game can be played with your baby lying on their back or in a sit up position. Using a brightly coloured ribbon, securely attach a soft toy or some pretty light floaty tissue to it and gently dangle it in front of their face. This will help with the development of their hand-eye coordination. Give lots of praise whenever they try and make a catch and of course, ensure you keep the ribbon out of reach when unsupervised.

You can make this more of a sensory experience by dangling different textures of fabric such as velvet, satin, suede, felt etc.

Kick ball

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!
Place a lightweight medium sized ball (or even a blown up balloon will do) in front of your little one. Pick them up firmly under their arms and swing them gently so that their little feet make contact with the ball. This game is great because it doesn’t matter if they can’t walk yet and the swinging action strengthens their tummy and legs muscles.

 
We aren’t all naturally fantastic with kids (we are convinced, some people are born with a gift), so if you know any new uncle or aunty-to-be’s, I am sure they would appreciate the tips!

With You,
Hippo Blue

 

 

 

Melbourne’s best, “Cupcake Central” – scrumptious recipe revealed.

Posted in Uncategorized
on April 28, 2017

thinHello there, I’m Thin (as my friends like to pronounce it, Mr Cupcake lol) and I am super excited to share with you all, one of our best selling cupcakes at “Cupcake Central”. It is called the Devil’s Food Chocolate. I thought it would be a delicious way of using up some of the excess chocolate from Easter and something that the whole family could enjoy and share.

 

 

cupcake-blog

DEVIL’S FOOD CHOCOLATE

(makes 24 cupcakes)

165 Degrees Celsius

175 Degrees Celsius (no fan)

1 x batch Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS

  • 275g Plain Flour
  •  60g Pure Cocoa
  • 320g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Bi-Carb Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt  
  • 120g Butter
  • 120g Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 100g Chocolate pieces (Leftover from Easter)

Cupcake preparation

  1. Preheat your oven. Line your cupcake pans with cupcake papers
  2. Sift all dry ingredients directly into the mixing bowl.
  3. Weigh out butter, eggs and milk. Ensure they are all at room temperature.
  4. Use the paddle attachment. Add all the butter, vanilla extract and milk into the mixing bowl with dry ingredients, then turn mixer on low and gradually build up speed to med-high. Mix for 40 seconds until smooth.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle attachment.
    Resume mixing on low speed.
  6. Add eggs one at a time. Turn speed up to med-high. Mix for a further 30 seconds.
  7. Ensure batter is smooth, if necessary scrape down the bowl and beat for an extra 10 seconds.
  8. Now incorporate broken chocolate pieces into the mix.
  9. Fill cupcake papers ⅔ full.
  10. Bake for 17-20 minutes until a cake skewer comes out clean

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

(frosts approximately 24-30 cupcakes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g   Butter
  • 6-8 cups   Soft Icing Sugar Mixture
  • ½ Cup   Milk
  • 2 tsp   Vanilla
  • Pinch   Salt
  • 60g   100% Cocoa
  • 200g   Chocolate pieces (Leftover from Easter)

Frosting preparation

  1. Using paddle attachment on your mixer or user a hand mixer beat butter until white and fluffy.
  2. Sift icing sugar mixture into another bowl.
  3. Add 5 cups of sifted icing sugar, turn the mixer on low and gradually increase speed to med-high.
  4. Add Cocoa, salt, vanilla extract and milk, beat until combined.
  5. Continue to add icing sugar until desired consistency and sweetness is reached.
  6. Beat for approximately 2 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl to ensure thorough mixing and no lumps form.
  7. Melt chocolate pieces over a double boiler or using the microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring each time. Allow melted chocolate to cool for a few minutes. You do not want to add hot melted chocolate to your frosting otherwise it will seize and form lumps.
  8. Add melted chocolate and beat into frosting until thoroughly incorporated.
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