Friday, January 28, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -soulemama


when did he turn from baby to boy?

Have a blessed weekend.
xo m.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

labelling the pantry


I came across this idea here and sighed a breath of relief- finally a solution to labelling my pantry! The best part about these is that you can switch them from one jar to the next. I am constantly transferring items from one jar to the other depending on amounts.


just a tiny sample of the many, many jars we have in the pantry

Ingredients
modelling clay (air dries)
a cookie cutter of some sort (I used a lid)
a skewer to poke holes
string or yarn
a permanent marker

Directions
cut the pieces out, poke holes in for the string
let them dry
optional paint and dry
write on them with marker

I actually imprinted a doily type pattern on the other side of the labels, but it was too difficult to write on top of. I am considering painting them pale rainbow colours, but not sure if I just like them plain.


What do you think?

xo m.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

happy australia day!

We tried to be as true blue as we could today, especially considering the only full Aussie in the family was at work all day long.

* I told North a very very simplified version of Australian history with an emphasis on Aboriginal culture and the Dreamtime- all in story form with coloured scarves, finger puppets and wooden props.

* We read a few very Australian books and talked about Australian wildlife.


* We made lamingtons which we first read about in Mem Fox's beautiful Possum Magic. I'd never had one until today, so I'll have to wait to hear from Brad whether they're on the mark.


Of course there was no staple BBQ for this veggie family, but I think next year we might have a little one old enough for a little bit of cricket.

Hope you all had a g'day full of joy and laughter with your friends and family.

xo m.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

adoration


It's been a pretty intense 5 months since Indi arrived and we have definitely had many chaotic moments. North has been caught more than once straddling her and riding her like a horse while she is giggling away. We've played musical beds and our bedtime routine is mayhem in general. There have been mini tantrums stemming from jealousy or just plain old not being held and rocked enough (I have been trying to make a conscious effort lately to really try to 'baby' him and to lay off the whole 'you're a big boy now' spiel). It's been a challenge to find a balance, but I think we are almost there, although the waters are rocky and easily catch us off guard.

But all the while, there are a couple of little souls that have fallen deeply in love. Their relationship alone makes me believe in past lives and coming back to revisit soulmates you have unfinished business with.

In the evenings after I have put them to bed (in the same room), and I think they are fast asleep, I'll suddenly hear, "Boo!" and then little giggle, giggle, giggles. In the mornings Indigo is in our bed (she makes her way there at some point during the night to stay) and as soon as she stirs North sprints to the bed, letting out ear curdling shrieks, "Innndeeeegooooo!!!! My friend! She woke up, mama!" as though her entire existence is a daily miracle and joy. Reminding that it is.

They love each other.

They adore each other.

And I am so very grateful that they do.

xo m.

Monday, January 24, 2011

coconut, pineapple and mint icy poles (popsicles)


Ingredients

1 can organic coconut milk
3 cups pineapple juice
roughly chopped mint leaves

Mix together in a large jar/container and shake, pour into moulds and freeze.
Enjoy!

xo m.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

{wholegrain sundays}

'whole grain sundays', a weekly meme to show you all how we are trying to incorporate a multitude of whole grains into our daily lives. It's easy to get stuck in the the oatmeal/bread roll/potato mindset when it comes to providing your family with their daily carbohydrates. Each Sunday we will share a different recipe we have been enjoying while reaping the benefits of a variety of ancient and wholegrains.

Join us if you'd like to. Leave a link to your weekly grains in the comments section below.


wholewheat (or spelt or rye) chapati


today’s breakfast:

avocado with sesame seeds

tomato from the garden

wholewheat chapati with

miso paste (a healthy alternative to vegemite)



2 cups of flour - your choice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbs sunflower oil

3/4 cup warm water


Mix the flour and salt together

Add half of the water and the oil

Start to knead

Add the rest of the water

Knead for 4-5 minutes until smooth

Let it sit, covered for 20 minutes


Take a golf ball size and roll out into very thin pancake discs

Put a bit of butter or nuttelex onto a hot pan

Put the disc onto pan, when it starts to bubble flip it over and cook the other side (about 45-60 secs each side)


Makes about 8 small chapati



xo m.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

a day in the blue mountains

We explored the Blue Mountains today. We took our time on one simple walking trail. We ate a packed lunch, we bird-watched, we splashed and some of us napped. It was a beautiful day. And one to remember.



xo m.

Friday, January 21, 2011

{this moment}


A huge thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday's post. It was good to hear fro ma few people why they decided to go the route they did. I am always so floored by the kind words you all leave for me here each day.

xx m.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -soulemama


m.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

which school, what school, when school, homeschool, unschool?


I have been doing a lot of reading lately about different educational philosophies, child development and psychology, homeschooling and unschooling. I am still unsure of how we will start North's (or Indi's) education (and I don't think you ever really know how long they'll be right for one place- depending on the child and their needs, wants, passions and personality), but I am definitely a lot closer to finding something that rings true to my heart, and as I talk Brad's ears off about it every night, his too.


Here is the reading I am doing at the moment: The Kingdom of Childhood. A very good introduction for those who want to learn more about the original Waldorf schools and teachers, straight from the mouth of Rudolph Steiner himself. It is a series of seven lectures he gave to a small group of teachers who were dedicated to opening a new Waldorf school. "These talks are filled with practical illustrations and revolve around certain themes—the need for observation in teachers; the dangers of stressing the intellect too early; children’s need for teaching that is concrete and pictorial; the education of children’s souls through wonder and reverence; the importance of first presenting the “whole,” then the parts, to the children’s imagination." (from RudolfSteiner.com.au)

It's available here to download online for free is you're interested in learning more.

How did you choose the right school or homeschool environment for your child? And does anyone have any opinions they want to share about Montessori versus Waldorf? Waldorf seems to appeal more to my heart and soul and Montessori seems to appeal more to my practical and organised self. Perhaps it's a matter of where North fits best... but I'd love to hear what all of you have to say about it.

xo m.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

going green at the beach


Good Morning! Today I have written a
guest post for the Modern Little Munchkin's blog callled, 'Going Green at the Beach' with a little checklist of ours listing everything we bring on a day out to the sand and surf.

Hope your week is sailing smoothly!

xo m.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

three transition songs




One significant aspect of the Waldorf teachings for the first seven years of a child's life is to sing, hum or chant through transitions. A transition can be something as simple as finishing breakfast and moving on to clean it up, leaving the park or moving from bathtime to bedtime. I have noticed as North grows into his two-year-old self that if we move from one thing to the next sloppily, erratically or suddenly he tends to melt down into a big ball of fumbling sensitive emotion. But if we slow down, take an in breath and quietly move from one activity to the next with loving intention while singing a verse or two, he joyfully takes part and transitions without stress or worry.
Here are three of the many songs we sing. Just search for "Waldorf Transition Verses" on the internet for some more examples or better still make some of your own up.
I have made up a simple tune (or reused one I already know) to go with each verse.
***
Farewell to Morning
(before North and Indi's afternoon nap)
The morning has ended
We've done our best
Good bye 'til we wake up
And have a nice rest.
***
Before Storytime
(I tell him an oral story with finger puppets and knit animals once a day)
Quiet your tongue, be crossed every thumb
And fix on me deep your eyes
Then out of my mind a story will come
Ancient and lovely and wise
***
Verse before painting
Now I take the brush so gently
In my hand with loving care
Watch the color flow so softly
On the paper clean and clear.

***
Before bedtime
The moon comes up
The stars shine bright
The rain falls down
The moon is high
People sleeping everywhere
The moon comes up again
(adapted from Elizabeth Mitchell's The Sun Comes Up)


What do you do to help your child move from one thing to the next with ease, calm and grace?

xo m.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

{wholegrain sundays}

'whole grain sundays', a weekly meme to show you all how we are trying to incorporate a multitude of whole grains into our daily lives. It's easy to get stuck in the the oatmeal/bread roll/potato mindset when it comes to providing your family with their daily carbohydrates. Each Sunday we will share a different recipe we have been enjoying while reaping the benefits of a variety of ancient and wholegrains.

Join us if you'd like to. Leave a link to your weekly grains in the comments section below.

spelt and amaranth blueberry cake


Ingredients
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
nutmeg, cinnamon and ground clove to taste (I put about a tsp each)
1 tbs baking powder

2 organic eggs
1 cup soy or almond milk
juice and zest from a lemon
4 tbs dairy-free margarine
1/3 cup maple syrup

punnet of berries to top

Directions
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, lightly beat the eggs together then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Combine dry and wet. Pour into a large square or rectangular cake pan. Top with berries. Bake at 205˚C for 20-40 minutes (depending on how deep the mixture is sitting in the pan -the thicker the cake the longer it will take to bake through). It's ready when you can stick a knife or toothpick through and it comes out clean and golden on the top.

Serve with tea and/or ice cream.


Inspired by, but far from, the berry cake in Apples for Jam.

xo m.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

in our kitchen

The kitchen has been a busy place the past couple weeks despite the heavy humidity. I have been making an effort to choose more whole grains, to bake with healthier alternatives to cane sugar and to incorporate more legumes into our diets.

Here's a peek at a few of the wholesome snacks and meals that are keeping us sustained and happy.

***
maple syrup, walnut and banana muffins




***

spelt and berry cake (recipe to come tomorrow)

***

spinach, pumpkin and feta salad


***

roasted carrot dip- roasted carrots, chives and mint from the garden and a dash of garam masala, salt and pepper

***


***


***

buckwheat (soba) noodles with carrot, broccoli and seeds with tamari and ginger dressing



What have your been cooking?

xo m.

Friday, January 14, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - soulemama



The christmas spirit is still strong here. Knit animals from the ever talented Linda at Mamma4Earth.

Have a wonderful weekend and again, thoughts and prayers to those in need. We are so very sorry for your losses.

xo m.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

in our thoughts


Sending love, support and sympathy to every Australian so drastically affected by the flash flooding. As an
entire state is quickly enveloped with water, we are once again in awe of Mother Nature and in total gratitude of the warmth of our humble home and for the safety of our loved ones.

See the Australian Red Cross to donate funds, time, a home or clothing to flood victims.

You are all in our thoughts and in our prayers.

xo meagan and family.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

recycled crayons for chubby little fingers

Ever wonder what to do with all those broken crayon pieces? Pop them in the oven, melt them down and you have some brand new ones!

I have been wanting to give this a go for a while now and I am so glad I finally got around to it. It couldn't be an easier process, and the results are fantastic. The best part is that these crayons are actually much easier to manipulate when you have little chubby hands and fingers. Next time I might experiment with adding a bit of beeswax or essential oils to them to make them smell as delicious as they look.

Start combing through the kids craft area for crayon stubs and heat up the oven!

Ingredients:
crayon stubs or crayons roughly chopped into 2-3 cm long pieces
(make sure to peel all paper off any of them)
a mini muffin tray (you can get these in all sorts or shapes and sizes)
foil for lining (if the tray isn't nonstick)


Directions
Preheat oven to 100˚C
Put the crayon pieces into the muffin cups in whatever colour combinations you choose (I used a non-stick muffin tray so I didn't need foil but if you are using a basic tray line each cup with foil)
Pop the tray into the oven for 20-25 minutes until they have completely melted into liquid form
Take the tray out carefully- trying not to spill from one cup into the next
Let it cool until they crayons are hard
Pop them out and they're ready. Start drawing!



xo m.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

{wholegrain sundays}

'whole grain sundays', a weekly meme to show you all how we are trying to incorporate a multitude of whole grains into our daily lives. It's easy to get stuck in the the oatmeal/bread roll/potato mindset when it comes to providing your family with their daily carbohydrates. Each Sunday we will share a different recipe we have been enjoying while reaping the benefits of a variety of ancient and wholegrains.

Join us if you'd like to. Leave a link to your weekly grains in the comments section below.

pearled barley with pistachio and olive pesto


I had some left over pesto from the other night and I decided to give it a try on something other than pasta- barley! It tasted absolutely delicious as a simple side dish in accompaniment with a green salad and grilled haloumi- the perfect, sumptuous lunch. I added an extra drizzle of lemon juice before serving to give it that really fresh summer-time taste.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cooked barley
handful of shelled pistachios
1/2 handful pitted kalamata olives
1 tbs grated vegetarian parmesan (vegetarian rennet)
juice from one lemon
2 large handfuls of rocket (arugula)
salt, pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions
Blend all ingredients (except the barley) together in a food processor until smooth
Add desired amount to the barley, top with veggies if you like and serve with lemon wedges and extra parmesan cheese.


xo m.

Friday, January 7, 2011

shining your kitchen sink


One of my absolute favourite blogs is the
Parenting Passageway, and Carrie, the author, often mentions that if you'd like to get more into a housekeeping rhythm that you should try the Fly Lady system. I visited this site to have a look at what it was all about and became inspired to shine my kitchen sink. This month on Fly Lady, she challenges you to shine your kitchen sink every night before you go to bed. To the extent of scrubbing until you can see your own reflection. So, with some bi-carb and vinegar in hand I have been religiously scrubbing my sink for the past week after each and every meal, even going to the extent of drying it off with a dish towel for added shiny effect and finishing off by rubbing in some clove oil as a final disinfectant.

It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but this has become a welcomed and therapeutic ritual. It has reborn in me a sense of pride and care for my kitchen that I had lost somewhere in amongst dirty nappies and a sometimes trying toddler. Taking the extra minute or two to dry the dishes off (we wash by hand), put them back into the cupboard, clean off all the counters and clean the kitchen sink has made such a difference in my attitude towards making meals, baking and caring for the home. It's kind of like going to the effort of making your bed everyday even though you know you're going to mess it up every night. You just feel a little more in control of the environment you spend so much time in.

So, if you're looking for a little domestic pick-me up try shining your kitchen sink. It might be just the new year's resolution you're looking for!

xo m.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - soulemama

Happy Weekending!

xo m.