29 Jul 2014

Responsibility Charts That Actually Work

I have tried many reward charts for the kids over the past six years. Each time we would begin so enthusiastically with the best of intentions. The first few days get all sticker'ed and complete, but by day four the enthusiasm has dried up. The chart disappears and is not seen until a few months later when a grandparent visits and sweeps it out from under the couch. 

The good news is we finally have one that has lasted the distance. It's not pretty or glossy or have a pale aqua chevron background. But hold onto your hats ladies, because it works. It actually works!

We have been using these for over a year now. It works because it's simple. There are no dates or days of the week marked out, so we are not left with page after page of blank spaces from the days and even weeks (and we still have them) when jobs are neglected.

Basically if they do great at something, they get a stamp. When they fill a big square (nine stamps), they get a dollar to put in their piggy banks. Then at the start of each school holidays we take them shopping and they get to spend their saved money.

There is no limit to how many stamps they earn each day, it's fun to be able to be generous with our praise when they show effort at home. They love earning their stamps and often one stamp leads to more. For example when Miss seven completed all her homework last week without complaining, she earned a stamp for nice work. Encouraged by her reward, she decided to set the table for dinner as well, earning herself another stamp. When Master five saw his sister getting stamps, he decided to pack his bag ready for school the next day to earn himself a stamp for being organised.

The first 'responsibility' on each child's chart is Morning Jobs. These are five little chores they need to do each morning before they can play: Get Dressed, Make Bed, Clean Teeth, Tidy Bedroom, Put Pyjamas Away, Brush Hair. We started these five morning jobs before we started the responsibility charts and I made little printables they have hanging in their room as reminders. Although they all know them by heart now which is great.

These were not hard to quickly make and print out on our home computer, and apart from them looking a bit tatty by the end of the term, they have been great.


25 Jul 2014

this blog

Our amazing $200 lounge transformation

Why school lunches don't stress me anymore

A pattern for an easy all-in-one kindy sheet set

I sewed a dress

The easiest system ever to solve paper clutter

Kids reward charts that actually work

Ten kilos down and counting - what's working for me

The most delicious and nutrient rich pancake recipe

My style : how I've finally learned what to wear

How to : quick and easy cheer shirts for kids

Why I don't need a thermomix
(I'm still trying to convince myself of this)

Five sanity saving tips for smoother school mornings

The loveliest winter warmer stew with homemade focaccia

If I had the time I would blog about these things. And many, many others. Some are half-written posts sitting in my drafts folder but to be honest, most will never even make it to the blog. 

You see as long as there is real life to live, I will live it. Life is busy when you have childhoods to fulfill, friends to spend time with and a husband to share life with. 

I do thank you for sticking by me and this little space. For as long as I still enjoy it, it will keep chugging along! You can now follow along by email as well as RSS feed, Bloglovin, Google, or just by saving me in your browser which is how I follow most blogs because I'm old school like that!


21 Jul 2014

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Ahh school holidays, you were fun. You made our mornings lazy and nights relaxed. You gave us endless hours of outside play with bare feet and unruly hair. That's how we like it. Bonds were formed when cousins who we rarely get to see blessed us with a week of their company. It was this that was most special to me these holidays. Witnessing the friendship and close ties the kids made with their cousins made my heart glad. Ahh school holidays, even though you came and went quicker than a truffle in my fridge, you were the cool change that we needed.

Raw & Nourishing Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies:

Blend 220 g cashews in a food processor until fine. Add 240g desiccated coconut, and 10 medjool dates. Blend until dates are incorporated. Add 80g cacao (or cooca), 1/4 cup honey and 2 tablespoons chia seeds. Blend together. The mixture should be able to hold shape, if not add the tiniest amount of water until it can. Form into balls and place straight into an air tight container. Gently press down each cookie and make an indent in the top of each one using your thumb or the end of a utensil. Refridgerate the cookies while you make the chocolate to fill them. To do this, place 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 cup cacao (or cocoa) in a food processor and blend until thick and smooth. Spoon portions of this mixture into the indents of the cookies to fill them, and then place in the fridge to set. Store these in the fridge.

These are very sweet yet still nutritious. A treat food, perfect for celebrating the school holidays.

Enjoy xx

16 Jun 2014

Not a party

Miss Seven was not supposed to have a party this year. Yet just like last year somehow we ended up with some party decor around the house, friends over, food fit for a party, presents, and of course cake.

Just quietly, I think she has us worked out!

Of course we were always going to make her birthday special. She requested a unicorn cake which I fumblingly produced. And I can tell you, I would not mind at all I never see butter cream icing again.

That said, it was all worth it for her, our gorgeous first born who we adore to bits. She is funny and quirky and unique and lovable beyond words. She has overcome a few challenges already in her life and we couldn't be more proud of her.

Darling Goosey you are everything to us  xx   

12 Jun 2014

Raw halva truffles

These didn't last long in the fridge. And by didn't last long I mean the husband took some to work and the kids took one each in their lunchbox, but when they came from school asking for another, they were gone! Gone I tell you! Now we could do the sums and work out who exactly was home to have possibly consumed them all while the rest of the family were out, but I won't because I've never been good at math. Yes, that's why. Stay tuned for my next post called I checked into Truffles Anonymous.

Anyway, this is how I made these moreish Raw Halva Truffles.

1/2 cup raw pitted dates
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins or sultanas
1/4 cup dried coconut (desiccated or shredded, it doesn't really matter)
1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp black chia seeds
extra cocoa for dusting

Place dates, oats, sultanas and coconut in a food processor and process until fine.
Add cocoa, tahini and chia seeds and process until the mixture comes together. You may need to add a little (as in teeny tiny) bit of water if you find your mixture can't hold it's shape.
Roll into balls and dust the truffles with extra cocoa.
Keep chilled in the fridge.

The kids loved these and had no idea they are free of refined sugar. I hope they last longer in your house. Just don't invite me over.

3 Jun 2014

Stills: all outdoors

This time of year is glorious up here. The wet season is over and we can all venture outside again. We live and breath and soak up the outdoors without fear of getting wet, muddy, sweaty or catching dengue. Sorry, just keeping it real.

1 // painting salt dough creations
2 // it's a snake / and it's a cup
3 // mixing colours is essential
4 // hand picked / they never last long on the bush
5 // the king checking his garden / the crowns live on
6 // hopeful seedlings
7 // yup that one's a weed / unlike the other six baby lettuces you just pulled!

joining Em over at the Beetle Shack

2 Jun 2014

Displaying Instagrams

When I joined Instagram in 2012, I knew from the beginning that I wanted them on the wall. A year of tiny memories is way too much fun to keep only on my phone.

And finally they're up! 
I couldn't be more happy with the quality, the team at Social Print Studio did a fabulous job. Here's where I managed to source everything to suit my tiny budget:

Instagram Poster : Printstagram
Frame : The Reject Shop
Custom Mat : Online Frame Shop

Every now and then I catch the kids huddled around it mulling over the tiny pics and talking about the memories they trigger. It's perfect.