Tuesday, May 13, 2014

hello and goodbye.

I've been quiet here for a few weeks not for lack of being on the computer. I've been merrily working on the Northern Hemisphere Editions of the Whole Family Rhythms Guides (which are almost complete and will be up in the shop very soon).

But I have also been rethinking, reworking and recreating this space... only somewhere else.

This will be my last post at This Whole Family. It's hard for me to explain why I am moving on. It's a whole bunch of things really- not enough time, wanting to strike more of a balance between what I share and my children's privacy, less of a desire to express opinions and more of a desire to capture and share the beauty of our everyday.

It has been quite a learning journey these past five years of blogging. For those that have been following and reading since the very beginning (Ahem, cough, cough, ecoMILF- oh dear!) - I thank you from the very, very bottom of my heart. The friendships and bonds that I have gained through this space are many and meaningful. I am so grateful for your presence here whether you've been silent or a regular commenter.

This is not a real goodbye though because I will still be blogging... just a bit differently- more simply, with fewer words and more photos. The new blog, Whole Family Rhythms, will capture our days flowing with the seasons as a growing family in a more artistic, expressive and visual way.

I do hope you visit there now and please, continue to stop by there and say hello! And make sure to re-subscribe over there if you'd like to continue to get my posts by email.

It has been a pleasure and an honour.

In Light and Love,


Monday, April 21, 2014

(almost) tv-free

I haven't written for quite a while about our TV-free home. We are still about 98% of the time, TV-free (if you dot count my husband's late night AFL viewings and my occasional iTunes flings with Mad Men and Girls). I have relaxed a little in the sense that if I'm really stuck for some reason, I am not going to get all guilty about a little bit of a recorded show or an iPad ('educational') game. We even had our first movie night just last week (we watched the original Disney classic, Peter Pan).

But to be honest, everytime I think, OK, today I'll relax a little. When the kids get tired or grumpy or unsettled and Juniper is down for a nap, I'll put 30 minutes of Mr. Rogers or Playschool or Franklin on. Perhaps I'll even sneak off to enjoy a moment to myself... It just doesn't happen. 

Most often something else happens instead-

They play beautifully and there isn't a moment to disturb them.

Or they get grumpy but it's almost lunchtime.

Or they get tired but they make their way to the couch and begin to read or make their way to their desks and begin to draw.

Or someone gets a bit too rough or a bit too angry, and TV just doesn't feel like the right solution (or reward) for that particular upset.

Because we have lived so long without using the TV as a form of entertainment, or a form of pacifying, or a form of controlling mess or noise, I don't use it as a crutch when the going gets rough. I now actually find it very difficult to justify turning it on most of the time. 

My children are so used to playing, to make-believing, to running back and forth between the sandpit and the kitchen and the toy room, that they never stop to even consider the fact that they could be watching something at that moment. 

When they're sick we drink tea, cuddle and read stories. 
When they're tired they often tuck themselves into bed for a rest or a nap.
When they're loud... I send them outside.
When they're grumpy or rough or agitated we busy our hands in the kitchen or by folding laundry. 

If the perfect time arises, then I am happy to let a very mild and appropriate (which is so very hard to find nowadays) show take them away for half an hour, but most of the time there is no need. 

We're too busy living fully within each and every moment together.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Season's Eatings Giveaway {sponsored post}

Seasons Eatings is a course created by Leah Kent to help others infuse their family dinner rituals with delicious food and delightful rituals, season by season. Please read the interview below and ENTER TO WIN A SPOT in this course beginning very soon! 
What inspired you to create season’s eatings?
Over the course of many, many years in the kitchen, I started to see that cooking is just one of the many ways we learn how to feed and nourish ourselves. I love talking about how important it is to set an intention when you’re stirring and chopping so those good feelings will find their way into your dishes and nourish your loved ones. 
I believe that cooking and eating together is an important building block for a happy family life. And I believe that one of the secrets to enjoyable family dinners is to include everyone, especially the kids, in the preparations, rituals, and routines of the evening meal. Sometimes it can feel like a chore to make dinner or cook as a family. I created season’s eatings as a way to support and guide people to stay connected to the best parts of this everyday pleasure of eating together.

How can we find more simplicity and joy in the kitchen with our family?
I think the most important thing is to give up any ideas about what dinner should look like. Everyone will have their own style and way of cooking and that is a wonderful thing! Creating rhythm each week is really helpful for reducing the stress of making decisions about the evening meal. That’s why things like pasta, taco, or pizza night can be so wonderful. From the basic building blocks, you can start to get creative and have fun by dreaming up your own variations as a family. And I always find that eating the foods that are in season breathes a lot of joy and nourishment into each meal. 
Do you have a favorite season?
I grew up on the coast of California where it was almost 75 degrees everyday so I hardly even knew what the seasons were. I remember wearing shorts and going to the beach on Christmas Day as a kid! Now that I am living in New England, I’ve come to love the changing of the seasons and appreciate the way they connect me deeply to nature and the Earth. Of course I adore summer because of the bright sunshine, beach trips, and long days. But when it comes to cooking, Fall and Winter have my heart because I can roast up big pans of vegetables, make my favorite soups, and get cozy in the warmth of the kitchen.

A little bit more about Season’s Eatings:
Season’s Eatings is a two week journey that guides you on a tour of all four seasons, exploring the cooking techniques and recipes that fit just right for the time of the year. We’ll also talk about how to get grounded and centered so you can truly enjoy feeding and nourishing yourself and your family.
Here is how we journey together in season’s eatings:
  • Twelve emails from me, three for each of the seasons
  • Four printable cookbooks, one for each season, yours to keep and work from forever
  • Exploration of cooking techniques and philosophy to create a connected, seasonal kitchen
  • Several pretty, printable cooking charts to bring more ease to your dinner routine
  • A dozen printable dinner-table conversation starters for each season
  • Connection in an online circle with like-minded mamas and caregivers 
  • Live conversations with me in our private Facebook group
  • Other surprises and goodies as we go along together

I am delighted to be able to giveaway a spot in this course to one lucky reader today! 
TO ENTER: Please comment below telling us about one of your favourite seasonal meals for Autumn or Spring (eg. Autumn- Pumpkin Soup).  I will choose my three favourite answers and Leah will choose the final winner from those three. 

THE WINNER IS a small grey bird Congratulations!

And for those of you who know you want to sign up right away, we have a special discount code for the community here at This Whole Family. Just enter WHOLEFAMILY at checkout to register with a 15% discount. {regular tuition is $49}

Season’s Eatings begins on May 5th and we’d love to have you roll up your sleeves, tie on your most colorful apron, and join us!
[Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Season's Eatings, interview provided by Leah of Seasons Eatings. I have not personally taken the course and believe every family is on a different dietary and whole foods journey]

13,14,15 /52

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"

I assure you I have been taking photos every week, but I just haven't had time to upload them. You see I am working on compiling all of my 52 project photos from last year and creating three simple and beautiful albums for 2013.




Monday, April 7, 2014

saying yes.


I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while, but I've been very busy.

I've been very busy saying yes.

I've been saying yes to all sorts of things.

Yes to harvesting the carrots a bit too early.

Yes to muddy face painting.

Yes to blanket forts on rainy mornings.

Yes to last minute late afternoon bush walks.

Yes to impromptu, right-before-dinner easter egg decorating.

It's been messy, it's been fun and it's been a pleasure living and being in the moment with my three little ones. I do hope to return to this space soon. But until then, the next time you feel that little nagging no coming on, instead try a big yes!

It's always worth it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

what goes down must come up

While we were away last weekend we went on a family bushwalk. We set out as early as we could get out of the house fed, dressed and caffeinated and entered a green paradise filled with smells, sounds and colours. When we arrived at the trail's entrance it read "Cox's Cave 1.5 km Circuit". 1.5km felt a little ambitious with Juniper in the carrier and little Indigo using her walking legs the whole way, but I was optimistic we could do it as long as we took our time. 
Little did we know that the trail lead all the way down into a deep cavernous hole for what felt like more than a kilometre. The circuit just didn't seem to be circuiting the way we'd hoped... I kept saying to Brad, "Are you sure circuit means that we should end up back where we started?" We eventually made an executive decision to turn around and follow our footsteps back up, up and up. It was a challenge for me, never mind the children. There was a bit of complaining, a whole lot of singing (The Ants Go Marching is a favourite up the big hills) and at the end of the walk we were all a bit hot,  a little tired and very proud of ourselves.

Monday, March 24, 2014

apple picking

We spent most of our Saturday wandering a big apple orchard with North's classmates and their families before enjoying a simple picnic under a big oak tree. This was the fourth year apple picking and we all really look forward to this family tradition. As much as we've been enjoying these warm Autumn days, the Canadian in me is looking forward to some a crisp, cool Fall. Especially considering the fact that I am going to be spending a considerable amount of time in the kitchen baking apple pies, stewing pears and cinnamon and serving apple sauce as an accompaniment to every meal I can!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


"a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"

Visit Jodi at practising simplicity to learn more about the 52 project.

Friday, March 21, 2014

{tutorial} nature inspired easter bunnies

Looking to busy little hands the other day, I suggested the children wander out to the garden and collect some sticks, stones and other natural objects so that we could create some magic with a bit of beeswax. It was North who excitedly proclaimed that we could make Easter decorations. He just loves getting into the spirit of the nearest holiday! And so with a bit of imagination we created a few Easter bunnies complete with a nest full of decorated eggs. 

A simple, quiet and creative craft that requires no more than some beeswax and some of nature's treasures. I can honestly say I think I enjoyed it almost as much as my kids did!