Friday, March 30, 2012

{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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

the family salad

I grew up with a salad after every meal and have since then rarely missed a day with my beloved crunchy green leaves. A combination of luck, constant exposure and pretty relaxed eaters has made my children salad lovers as well. Even Indigo loves eating lettuce- not an entire bowlful mind you, but a tiny baby portion just for her.

As we enjoy the lingering warm days of what feels like an Indian Summer, cooling salads have been on the menu again in place soups and stews.

The salads are usually made of homegrown romaine lettuce or rocket (arugula) and then I pick and choose one or two items from each of the following categories

a sweet aspect
a handful of blueberries
halved grapes
sliced pear
sliced apple
sliced orange or mandarin
halved baby tomatoes or quartered tomatoes

a touch of salt
pitted olives
baby capers
sliced pickles
sea salt

some crunchy veg
sliced cucumber
chopped capsicum
sliced fennel
shredded carrot

some nourishing and satisfying fat and protein
sliced avocado
parmesan cheese
cut up boiled egg
crumbled goat's cheese
crumbled blue cheese
cubed feta
cut up left-over chicken
dry roasted pumpkin seeds
dry roasted almond slivers or flakes

flax seed oil and lemon juice
olive oil, lemon juice and dijon mustard
oil and apple cider vinegar
sunflower seeds, a touch of grapefruit juice and olive oil whizzed in a blender
homemade caesar dressing

Sometimes we keep the salad really basic- lettuce, tomato, cucumber and dressing.
Our kids love the roasted pumpkin seeds, cucumber, most of the fats and proteins and any of the fruit we add to the salad, they'll only eat one or two large lettuce leaves each but that's good enough for me. They're getting used to the tastes and the experience and that's what counts most right now.

Do you enjoy a good salad? Do you have any dressings or toppings you want to share that haven't been mentioned? Would love to hear!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

tutorial: wet-felted wool easter eggs

Bucket or large container filled with warm water
Coloured wool roving 

Tear pieces of wool roving into small strips and colour match in whatever way you'd like
Tie the 2 or 3 pieces of roving together in a very loose knot and then spread the wool out to make a sphere shape, tucking in any loose ends
I must say, the more exact I was with this step the smoother the eggs turned out- if the sphere wasn't very precise the egg wasn't quite as smooth
Put a pinprick amount of dish soap on each ball, dip it in warm water and roll it between your hands vigourously until the wool starts to catch and tighten up to make a ball
At this point try to shape the ball into more of an egg shape
Repeat this rolling process until the egg is quite small, smooth and tight
I must admit I prepped the eggs and reshaped them a bit before introducing the activity to the children- the perfectionist in me just couldn't resist

I plan on threading a single piece of thread through them and hanging them from our Easter branch once we get that organised.
Are you enjoying making an Easter crafts this year?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

:: right now ::

Right now I am

:: breathing, doing and thinking slower. As Autumn finds her way to us with blustery wind and rain storms I am enjoying wearing tights and boots, enjoying cup after cup of hot tea and lighting beeswax candles in the evening.

:: feeling there is so much to do, even at a slower pace. Reading, cooking, learning, cleaning, caring, creating, mending, washing, playing... 

:: listening to this song on repeat
:: re-organising the pantry in response to the bulk food delivery we received today. Of course we needed 5kg of coconut flour... if only I had enough glass jars for it all!

loving the warming and comforting smell of homemade beef stock brewing and stewing in our home.

:: oh, so grateful for a supportive husband, new pyjamas from grandma and grandpa, tickets to see a kids show at the opera house, an irreplaceable friend who is kind, generous, encouraging and who I trust more than anyone to look after my kids

{Right Now} is a meme inspired by Soulemama.

If you haven't already please enter the Sparkle Stories giveaway. These stories have been such a blessing in our lives and I just can't recommend anything more. The most magical and nourishing experience for you and your children.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Facts on Hemp and Bamboo Fabrics

Please pop over and see the guest post I wrote for the Kindred Gifts Blog on the benefits of using bamboo and hemp fabrics. Head on over and have a look if you get a chance! Hope you all had a lovely start today!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

**giveaway from This Whole Family Sponsor Sparkle Stories**

Sparkle Stories is an online resource for high-quality audio stories for children and families. Each week Sparkle Stories delivers delightful, original audio stories to subscribers around the world. They offer five original Story Series, plus a sixth Series with classic stories, songs and games, all designed to entertain and inspire the whole family.

I asked David and Lisabeth the talented husband and wife team, creators and founders of Sparkle Stories to share with us some of the innumerable benefits of story-telling for children. Here is what David, a Waldorf class teacher, parent, performer and film-maker had to share:

"Storytelling builds brains.  Einstein once said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Children think imaginatively, that is, they think in images or mental pictures.  When children create their own mental pictures they build unique neural pathways that foster flexible and creative thinking. Storytelling, in this way, is incredibly stimulating for brain function.  When the pictures are given to them, children become passive receptors rather than active participants in the narrative.  A story well told can not only grow their imagination, but introduce concepts and life lessons in a way that feels like nourishment rather than lessons. 

So stories not only exercise the mind, but are also effective opportunities for teaching.  Children are incredibly receptive when listening to a story.  Math, science, history and social skills can all be taught with stories.  And the children remember them.  

The work, therefore, is finding the courage to tell your children stories.  Courage is a big part of Intuitive storytelling.  Courage and trust.   You must be brave to make up a story and tell it.  It seems like a real risk, but the truth is – like most fears – it is simply the unknown that is scary.  Intuitive storytelling is jumping into the unknown and trusting that the story itself knows what it is doing and that your job is to simply open your mouth and let the story be told.  It is much easier if you let go of identifying with the story and see yourself as merely a mouthpiece for eternal and deep wisdom."

Each of the Sparkle Story Series has exactly a year’s worth of stories that follow the seasons and the months of the year. You don’t need to hear the previous ones to enjoy the current story. Jump in any time! You can read about all of the Story Series here. Currently we subscribe to everything so that I have them all to use as the children get bigger, but North is absolutely besotted with the two Martin and Sylvia series. On our road trip this weekend he listened to three Martin and Sylvia series in the car that I selected from our downloads that fit perfectly with what we were doing: Apple Pie, St. Patricks Day and Autumn Leaves! And did I mention that I think I love the stories almost as much as he does?!

Today Sparkle Stories is offering 3 month subscription to any three Sparkle Series (choose from all six story series).   

And generously, they have also offered to all This Whole Family Readers a Sparkle Stories discount -- $1 for the first month of subscription.  Choose from one of three Sparkle Stories story packages, and try four weeks of Sparkle for one dollar!! Go to TRY SPARKLE and use the magic code "SPARKLEFAMILY" to receive your discount! 
To enter: Leave a comment below. For an additional entry like Sparkle Stories on facebook. For a third entry visit Sparkle Stories and tell us which story series you think your family would enjoy most. Make sure to leave an additional comment for each entry. Open to International Entrants!
Winners will be drawn and posted on this original post Friday evening, March 30th. (EAST)

Entries now closed.

And the winner is Number 24: Cass! Congratulations! Please email me at so I can get you in touch with Lisabeth at Sparkle Stories!
Thanks so much to Lisabeth and David for their generous offer! Make sure to use your This Whole Family discount code to redeem your first month of subscription for $1. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

{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.
Big girl underwear... oh, my!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

raw cacao, almond, coconut and maple baked granola

I’ve been taking Heather’s Wholefoods Workshop and she inspired me to revisit my love for granola. I have been steering away from granola because I know it is best for digestion to soak grains instead of eating them baked or undercooked, however I am also a firm believer in ‘everything in moderation’ especially since adding more animal proteins to our diets and seeing the unbelievable results of this. I made only 1/3 of a batch of the following recipe as a special treat to have sprinkled on some yoghurt as a snack or dessert. The kids love it... and so do I!
6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon all spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup cacao nuts
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
Grind or Process or Chop the nuts to the consistency you like- chop for big chunks, grind in a mortar and pestle for smaller chunks and process for more of a nutty floury consistency
Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan, add maple syrup and vanilla to combine and take off heat
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients (with nuts), stirring well
Pour wet ingredients on top and stir
Spread a layer of the granola on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 180 for 40 minutes until golden
When you remove it it might feel soft while it’s warm but it once it cools it should be quite crunchy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

we interrupt the regular posting schedule for... date night!

Wishing all of the parents out there the same sense of freedom, space and adult conversation as we had this evening.

xx m.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

weekending- part two


After hours upon hours of heavy rainfall, Father Sun finally shone his rays for just enough hours to gather up some deliciously sweet and crunchy apples. Fun was had by big and small alike. North took his picking quite seriously, Indigo got into a pear groove near the end, and Brad was very, very busy tasting all the wares (being the Simple Simon that he is, he felt quite ill after eating so many apples!).

PS. I don't know if you've noticed that there's someone always missing from our family photo albums, but I have: No photos of me! My automatic focus on the camera is broken and taking it in to be fixed is on the great big 'to do list' but in the meantime no one else knows how to use the camera with enough speed to capture me and the kids in one of those very brief moments in front of the lens. I'll rejoin the three of them someday soon!

Monday, March 19, 2012

weekending- part one

We took a road trip to the Blue Mountains this weekend and stayed at a bed and breakfast/farmstay. Although it bucketed with rain the entire first night and day it was still a welcome relief to get out of the city and to take the speed and tone of our days down a couple notches to enjoy the simpler things. 

Unfortunately, being the sensitive folk we are, Indigo Brad and I suffered from terrible allergies the entire time which have now morphed into strong head colds and a fever. Meanwhile, the bull of the family, North, had croup for less than 24 hours and has almost completely recovered. I attribute his quick bounce back to a strong immune system, luck and the emergency visit to the homeopath on Friday. 

All in all it was a lovely weekend despite the sniffles and sneezing. Brad and I enjoyed a few glasses of wine on Friday night together and played Monopoly into the wee hours. Tomorrow I'll post some photos of our apple picking adventure. This week is all about apple sauce, apple pie, apple crumble... and chicken soup.