1 Oct 2014

What we need and no more.


I hinted about it here and can now share with you some exciting news! 

Not far from where we are, for the past few months some diggers and super sized machinery have been busy making a new road. Now their work is done. If all goes to plan, on a tiny block on this new road we will put down bricks, and call it home. Our home. Honestly I feel so blessed I could cry.


We are determined to build what we need and no more. Over the years I've learned the delights and freedom of having less. Of living minimal and turning my back on excess. It's a great way to live and an ever evolving journey. Luckily (in a looking-on-the-bright-side kind of way) our budget also wants us to build what we need and no more! It's a tricky balance. As a family of five we have to think about the next five to ten years and how our needs might change as the kids grow. We have been working on a plan though, and are at the stage now of fine tuning it. Its all very exciting for us and sometimes I have to pinch myself, and ask is this really happening? 

I can't wait to share the journey with you, and blog this adventure brick by brick.



Sources for all images above can be found on this pinterest board.



25 Aug 2014

Stills : where I hint at something good



1 ::  garlic & rosemary // a match made in heaven
2 :: homemade foccacia // the best way to enjoy this stew
3 :: water paints // windowsill drying
4 :: ducky needed a bath // ducky's a little dizzy
5 :: sausages // lazy Sunday lunch
6 :: Icing cakes she made all on her own // mummy letting go
7 :: What's stopping you? + digger // these hold more significance than I'm letting on at the moment!

Joining Emily



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. They just didn't work for us!

So we came up with our own. They are not pretty or glossy or bordered with turquoise chevrons. But they work. They actually work! We have been using these simple home made ones for over a year now and although we still have hot and cold periods with them, they have made a big difference to our home life.



I think they work because they are simple.  There are no dates or days of the week marked out so we are not left with lots of blank spaces from the days (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 money tins. Then at the start of each school holidays we take them shopping to spend their saved money.

There is no limit to how many stamps they earn each day so we can be generous with our praise. 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.


I put 'morning jobs' as the first responsibility on each chart. This is just the general morning stuff - get dressed, brush hair, clean teeth, make bed and tidy room. Although we don't always follow through with them on a school morning, they are always enforced on weekends before any real play is permitted. I made printouts of the five morning jobs as prompts but they know them by heart now and is just something they are used to doing on a Saturday morning (even though whinging about it still happens at times). But even master three can now list them all off to me after he does them (actually he is usually the first to get them all done) on a Saturday morning, and loves getting his high five and stamp from it.

These were not hard to quickly make and print out on our home computer, and apart from them looking a bit worse for wear by the end of the term, they have been great and a big step in improving the effort the kids make at home.

Now to tackle the next problem area we are battling- whinging (about everything and nothing)! Oh the whinging ... Any tips for me?

xx

I'm sharing this post with Tuesday Tots.



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!


xx 

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.