Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Caribbean themed Christmas


Glitterized pineapples.
Jerk ham.
Pina Coladas.
Barbecued fish.
Fresh salads.
Christmas Carols.
An inflatable palm tree.
Key Lime Pie.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Plans and a Boy

It's a non conventional Christmas lead up for us.
I would like to be decorating the house.
I would like to be making and assembling gingerbread houses.
I would like to be catching up with friends and celebrating.
I would like to be writing lists and dreaming of food.
I would like to be making merriment and enjoying the children's anticipation of Christmas.
Oh I had plans.
A trip to the ER happened. More than once.
Erythema Multiforme happened
and will be happening for a few more hot weeks.
Itching. Fever. Swelling. Bruising. 
And a boy who needs special care, happened.

So I have to lay down my Christmas plans.
Pare it back.

A baby boy.

And if that is what Christmas is all about then perhaps I'm closer than I thought.

Friday, November 30, 2012

She's like Neon

What colour describes my girl?
She is sweet and generous, but she's no pastel.
She is bright and original, but she's no primary colour.

She is a pop of happiness, a spark of brightness, a flash of fun.
She is cheeky, dramatic, radiant, and big-hearted.
(And she is occasionally so lively that it hurts the eyes!)

She is neon.
And today we celebrate 5 years of fluoro pink, orange, green and yellow in our life.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Watercolour Party

Jump in and enjoy the cool of India's 5th birthday party...
 Watercolour invitations (painted by India).
 Blue and green fruit cups
 Salted malted blue macarons
 Dolphin biscuits
 Peppermint patties
 Swimming with friends
An ombre iced cake
 Making wishes!
 Very tall slices
 12 mermaid take home gifts...
...made with this free Wee Wonderfuls Mermaiden pattern
A happy gorgeous girl!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Aga oven dreams

We've been dreaming of a tree change for a couple of years 
(maybe more?)
Plenty of families do. 
Escaping the stress, the rushing, the 'neighbourhood', the extra-curricular activities, and their everyday normal.
Just dreams, right?
But this one is is sticking. And we are thinking seriously. 
Talking, investigating, planning and dreaming. 
It can get overwhelming. 
So I need to lay out why. Keep a hold of it. 
Make sure it's not lost in the dream chasing.

I want my daughter with asthma & eczema to breathe fresh air.
I want to raise creative, imaginative children who have room to run and dance and explore outside.
I want my kids to learn resilience. To learn to cope with a new home, school and friends.
I want creation to feature in my 'everyday', 
and to remember to worship it's Creator.

I want family time to be defined. (Yes, a tree change will mean Tim living away from the family for the working week, which we do currently anyway. But work-free weekends? Wonderful!)
I want to grow veggies. I want to eat simple and fresh.
I want less stuff to occupy the brain of my "I'm bored" daughter, and more adventure to occupy her heart.
I want a house that needs colour, love and laughter.
I want to practice some real hospitality. We will be far from family and those we love. It will be hard. But it will be so pleasing to say 'Come and visit us. Rest. Renew.'

And one last thing. 
I want simple, but not the easy road.
I always do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spring break wraps up

Exhausted: Ourselves at Seaworld and Wet 'n' Wild
Sipped: Salted Caramel frappes and banana smoothies
Read: Snow Falling on Cedars, Nancy Drew, and Fancy Nancy
Practiced: Handstands, ballet dances and swimming skills
Stomped: Through rainforest walks and in cow pats, at Murwillumbah NSW
Watched: Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings, Downton Abbey season 3
Created: An art gallery, a chicken hackey sack, and a ballet bag
Listened: To Of Monsters and Men, and Jewel's The Merry Goes Round
Played: The There's a Monster at the End of this Book app, and Mancala
Ate: Sushi, and dinners cooked on the Weber (with no oven or stove at the moment)
Enjoyed: Slow mornings, and the company of good friends and family
Built: A super awesome cubby, lego houses and gardens and vehicles
Shopped: For new togs and some fluro
Savoured: All three kids at home, well and (mostly) getting along

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Zeb's room

Two years on from this post
and it's time to show you our not-so-baby-anymore boys room.
A new bed.
A new print (Desert camping by thelittlecanoe),
covered canvas,
and homemade ikat quilt.
But, the Combis have stayed.
The colour scheme has stayed. 
The calm but adventurous mood has stayed
(Because the boy hasn't changed that much after all.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

And it was all Yellow

There are a few people who radiate brightness and happiness into my days.
So I decided to send them some sunshine in a box!
(The idea came from this lovely blog!)
I've used:
Caramel buds in a striped bag
Bubble blowers
Passion fruit macarons* from here
Homemade hair bows
Homemade lemon butter*
Burt's bees cream
Cupcake wrappers
Twinings Camomile teabags
 Lemon sherbies
Yellowglen Yellow bubbly*
House notelets from here
Mini Nerd boxes
Cocktails umbrellas
Chi Chi yellow nail polish
Stripey straws
(*these ones for hand delivered boxes only!)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Thousand Gifts: September

"Normal day let me be aware of the treasure you are" M.J.Irion

A portion from this month's thankful list:

306: Strawberry stained faces 
308: Masses of flowers
323: A heroine
327: A reminder to rest and enjoy
337: Portable technology for the times you need a little quiet
338. Pink goggles. Pretty girl.
340: The Bronte sisters
344: Sewing projects by the girls 
349: Fierce loyalty
353: Rainbow snow cones 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Losing 10 kilos

This is not something I would usually share on my blog.
It's personal. 
But I'm proud of this and how I did this.
So I'm revealing, sharing, hoping that someone else might be encouraged.

Who: 32 year old Mum of three. 172 cm tall. 72 kilos.
Why: I had put on 15-20kilos during pregnancy. I didn't want try dropping that weight until after I'd finished breastfeeding (too hungry!). 
When: At about the same time that Zeb was weaned, my sister got engaged.Yes, I wanted to look good for family photos. That set my timeframe to one year - September 2012. 
What: Setting a goal weight was easy. I picked my pre-babies weight of 60kg, and added 2 kg (we've got to give ourselves a little leniency ladies!). That meant 10kg in 12 months. Very do-able.
How: The right way. Hard core diets, restrictive healthy eating and heavy exercise certainly have their place for those with more weight to lose, but not for me. I was not that far from my suggested BMI, but I didn't feel good and I didn't have great habits. So, I needed to take the time and change my lifestyle. 
  • I used Myfitnesspal (a food journal app) to track my eating. I counted calories, with a 1400 daily limit. Fortunately I am way too hungry a person to abuse this kind of strategy. There was no way I could just eat as I usually did and then stop when I reached my daily limit. 
  • I cut down a little on the amount I was eating (this was probably natural anyway, as I had stopped breastfeeding), but mostly just cut out a few bad foods. No more second breakfast. No dessert after dinner (except if we were eating with others. I didn't need/want to make a big deal about my food rules around others. This can make them feel bad or take away from the community atmosphere of sharing a meal!). I switched my dark chocolate snacks to 70% dark chocolate snacks (same calories, less sugar). Never drank soft drinks. Always ate a healthy lunch. Enjoyed the apples and carrots.
  • I did daily exercise. Wii dance is about the best thing around for stay-at-home mums! Dancing (energetically) to 4 songs is about the same calorie loss as a half hour jog. I know which I'd prefer. The kids always joined me and we enjoyed it together (c'mon who doesn't want to sing and dance to 'Pump Up the Jam' with their three kids)!
  • I started a weekly adult ballet class with my sister and a friend. I started because I like to dance and because I would love the long lean body of a dancer!  
  • I took a few month long breaks to see how I could maintain the weight I was at. And I did. Suprisingly, it only took 6 weeks of changed habits for me to start wanting to eating right. Now I can go without food logging/calorie counting and I find I am (mostly) choosing the right foods and maintaining my weight. 

Outcome: The last 2 kilos were very stubborn, and at the wedding I was 0.6kg from my goal. But I am there now. At 62kg! The best outcome has been the one I mentioned above. My habits have changed and I feel better about my everyday choices (most days). Now, I have set a new goal. It is less about the weight and more about my body shape. After carrying three rather large babies past 40 weeks each, I suffered significant diastatis (where stomach muscles don't heal or return to normal and you tend to carry extra weight around your belly). Well, I want it gone! Unfortunately all the usual stomach exercises make it worse, so I have begun this program. 
Stay tuned.
Dancer's body here I come...
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