Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rock washing.....my little geologist

Well, lookie, lookie here the op shop pot has already taken on a new role in Cohen's imaginative play and so did the orange tea strainer. After digging around in the dirt in a hope he would find worms he hit a small rock which he quickly claimed was treasure and sent him on another tangent. Finding more and rocks and squealing further that it was more treasure, I suggested we could wash his haul. With an old toothbrush in hand, his pot, a little bit of water and his dirty rocks he was busy for ages cleaning.

Whilst he cleaned his rocks, this mumma got to relax on a blanket out in the sun whilst Sarah had some mellow time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Basic pancake recipe easy afternoon tea...

I've been wanting some easy and I mean super easy afternoon tea inspired recipes to do with Cohen. What I have been looking for is something easy with as few steps as possible, where he can help with some of the process and would keep him calm and quite while Sarah naps. Nap times especially with Sarah are precious for me because she regularly goes through bouts of not sleeping at all and she doesn't sleep through the night either. So when Sarah is on a not napping stint Cohen misses out on any sort of special one on one time with me.

So I rustled up this super easy pancake recipe. Now please excuse me if your pancake recipe is already as simple as this, but the other recipes I have previously referred to have several more ingredients. I just love how simple this is and there is so much scope to make them sweet or savory. Although we enjoyed ours with some naughty Nutella, an afternoon or morning tea or breakfast even of these pancakes with sliced strawberries, natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey would make a delicious meal. But at the same time with there being no sugar in this recipe you could even have savory ones with grated zucchini and carrot.....but honestly the possibilities are endless with such a simple base recipe to be enjoyed plain or jazzed up.

Off to find some more mega simple, kid friendly recipes with minimal ingredients, fewer the better. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm going to revamp...

I have been debating and dabbling with the idea and process of updating my blog template, image and layout. For those who have followed Journey to Bliss for a while now, you will all know that I have been wanting to change things up. So can I please ask you all to bare with me and indulge me in some patience, whilst I toy around with things?

But before you give me your patience please keep in mind that I am no techie know it all very, far from it in fact. I have been trying to teach myself along the way and use some of my experiences with the designer of my other blog template (My Vintage Vow). It's very possible along the way I could have a techie related fit, if I get too confused along the way. Furthermore all the advice I have read about making changes to ones blog says to do it at a low traffic time. Hmmm ummm well that could be hard with two kids, husband, two blogs I write for and I need sleep. So what that means is that some changes are obviously just going to have to happen as and where I can fit them in around my family life, if that means it is at a high traffic time, I apologise in advance. But please, please be assured my ever so lovely readers that I will still be blogging about all the other normal stuff as this process occurs.

On a final note if anyone wants to mentor me through this process, please let me know and you will be my bloggy best friend, and you may save this mummy from frustration. Oh and if you think you would like me to blog about this process and how I have done things and what changes I am making or planning let me know.......maybe it may inspire the non-techie types like me to take the leap of faith and do it.

Thanking you all in advance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Toys and fun don't have to cost the earth...

In more ways then one, toys and fun don't have to cost the earth, neither in your hip pocket nor does our planet have to pay. Those who have been following me for some time or know me well know about my love of vintage and retro and how I crave a good trawl around an op shop for treasures, but I also love up cycling, recycling, repurposing things.

I headed out yesterday morning with Cohen and Sarah for a spot of op shopping and picked up some odds and ends for Cohen's imaginative play outside.

So for about $4 we came home with this, my hip pocket hasn't suffered nor has the planet in me adding to landfill for purchasing new. Just these few items have already paid for themselves in Cohen's eagerness to get outdoors and use his other outdoor surroundings as a kitchen. He announced to me yesterday that dinner was ready and that he had cooked pasta......yum.

I am now on the search for some other odds and ends to add to this collection, and I am excited to see how Cohen's play develops further.

Before I go have you heard about the Buy Nothing New month campaign starting next month? I have taken the pledge and will be documenting parts of my journey both here and over at My Vintage Vow. If you like the idea of saving money, saving our planet, reducing comsumerising, why not check out the link above or the one on my sidebar and come and join the pledge with me and share your fun and experiences.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

To My Darling Children,

I received a lovely comment, which flattered me like a compliment from Earth Sky Sea Child, and it was also suggested that I might like to participate in this blog hop for the Cherish Your Cherubs Project. A few months ago I wrote a post that in effect after learning about the Cherish Your Cherubs Project, is a message, a letter a lesson of sorts to my children. So please bare with me, as indulge myself and you all in sharing this previous post with you..........I have cut and paste the original post into this one for flow and continuity.

To My Darling Children,
Among many things you will learn about me during your lifetime is that I will repeat myself, so be prepared to hear in some form the follow story in one or another over and over again, whether it be in my spoken word, or through feelings, thoughts and emotions I display to you.

The following is a little something I wrote for all my dear children whether earthbound, in the stars or to those who are yet to come to us, to extend our family and the joy that is already in our lives.

Today I was watching my Sarah sitting in the bouncer looking at me. I know every mother thinks their baby is the most beautiful baby that ever there was. However it wasn't just the thought and feeling about her being such a little beauty that struck me. It was the fact that we created this beautiful little life in front of us, and not just her but Cohen too. They are beautiful children and they come from us, what a beautiful thing that is and what beautiful people we are ourselves. When I say beautiful I am most definitely talking about the way one looks. But please don't laugh, this isn't an, I'm so up myself post, it's something much more then that.

You see as I child growing up my mother always put herself down, and has always made comments of herself being ugly and has never bothered to look after herself a day in her life. My mother looks weathered and worn well beyond her years. I used to plead with my mum even as a very young kid not to say things like that about herself, because it upset me, I would try and tell her she was beautiful. But obviously at such a young age I didn't know how to verbalise why it upset me, but as I have grown into a women and mother I know why it bothered me so much.

It all comes down to the fact that you're same sex parent is the biggest role model you will ever have in your life. Therefore the messages you hear them tell themselves are the messages you take on. I struggled for many years through my teens and into my early twenties to think I was beautiful or had any style or class. I have known for many years now that is not true and I have been able to look at myself accept the good and the bad and just get on with it, but above all else I've been able to look in the mirror and say "you're looking good"! In a world where so many worry about aging, I often look at myself in the mirror and think that my looks have gotten better with age and time. As for my body shape, it's always been slim, sure it's not as slim as I once was but I am still very slim. I have some stretch marks plus the ones that I noticed creeping up on my boobs and I have thousands of grey hairs. But what do you expect when your body grows and births such beautiful lives and then allows you to nourish those lives with your body. You know what nothing really looks like it once did, but it's still bloody beautiful.

Along with many other important messages I hope to pass on to my children, I hope they will see a mother who is positive and realistic about how she looks. Someone who makes the most of what she has and gets on with it and appreciates the vessel she has been given to live this life in regardless of what that package looks like. I know one thing for sure I never want to have my baby girl hear me say something negative about my body. I don't want her to internalise that conversation, and know she came from my body and I am now complaining about it. Our children see themselves in us, so I'm going to make sure my kids catch me talking to myself in the mirror about how damn great I am.......so they have the confidence to start a positive internal dialogue with themselves.

I know there will be battles as they get older and are bombarded by media and advertising sending them different messages, but hopefully if I start now while they are young they will know better.

To my sweet darlings I love you, I love me and I want you to love yourself, you are beautiful.

Join the blog hop......are you next?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meeting and achieving personal goals.

I have been thinking a lot about what I put out there in regards to my goals this year. Just this morning I read back over that post to remind myself of what I had put down and to see where I am along in that journey as well.

I'm pretty pleased to say that I think I am doing well with my goal list. Cohen is still my little re lactated boy, would you believe it's over 18 months that journey started out?

I am a tandem breastfeeding mum, however the journey to keep up with tandem feeding hasn't been an easy one in the last 7 months with Sarah requiring so much of me. But I have muscled through the hard days, weeks and months and we are just motoring along now. Sarah of corse is still breastfed, and never seems perturbed that her brother crawls up on my lap for a feed. Cohen more then anything I think still needs that emotional reinforcement with breastfeeding especially on those days where Sarah has needing a lot of me.

As for goals of keeping the house organized after my insane nesting whilst pregnant with Sarah, well that has kind of gone to the wayside. But I am slowly getting back on top and clearing out again with a spring clean

I'm managing two in cloth on my ear as suspected but it does help that Cohen decided he wanted to start toilet training the week after Sarah was born.

Having creative time space and energy to put into my venture with My Vintage Vow, has been a struggle. But as with everything else it's a work in progress each week I am finding where and when I can fit things in around the demands of my family. I am still as determined as ever and will just stick at it until I get to where I am wanting to go with that.

As for my ABA goals,

they are still most definitley in the pipeline. One of my local ABA group counsellors is having my details passed on this week, so the ball should start to roll regarding initial enquiries into my studies to become a counsellor. Furthermore in regards to my participation in our group I have been asked along with another mum (who is actually a trainee counsellor) to lead or next meeting discussion group, about managing with a toddler and a newborn and being a breastfeeding mum. I am surprised to have been asked given I haven't started studies but the groups counsellors seem happy and assured about my commitment and involvement in the group, besides they will be there to point out anything that I or we may stray off the point with. Anyways I am excited about this opportunity, and I generally relish an opportunity to get up and talk. Anyway wish me luck with the group discussion.......I'll report back to let you know how it goes.

So there you go that is about where I am at with achieving goals this year, I had also wanted to start writing a book but my whole blogging life is really starting to take off now that I feel as though I meeting that goal, but just in a different way. I try my best as any mum to enrich my children's lives each day. Of course there are bad days sometimes, but I think it takes a good mum to recognize a bad day or moment and turn it around. Overall I think I am doing fairly well despite the ups and downs this year with many bouts of sickness for this family but I am excited about what the next twelve months from here hold. I know a few things that are in the agenda, but who knows anything is possible.

How are you traveling this year? Are things where you expected them to be for you, your family, your children?

Friday, September 16, 2011

A bright beautiful day for a beautiful soul!

Yesterday was the day that we laid my sweet and talented Aunt to rest. What a beautiful send off she got with the most splendid of spring days. Although there were many displays of heartache, there were for the main part many smiles, hugs, kisses and laughter as my large extended family gathered together. My Aunt was the youngest of eight with my father being the eldest, my father could not make the funeral due to bad health yesterday. Nor did another sibling make it yesterday, she is utterly heartbroken over her sisters passing and clearly needs her own space and privacy to grieve privately.

I think what made the day so relaxed is all due to my Nan. I have always adored my Nan and thought she was an amazing women. But yesterday she showed such remarkable strength and dignity at the service by taking the stand and speaking, mind you she is in her late seventies. She spoke with composure and strength but with venerability. With my two uncles by each side to place a supportive hand on their mothers shoulder. I think it was when my Nan said that when she had heard the news that my Aunt had been killed, she just knew she was at peace and she truly believes she is at peace. I think it takes a strong person in mind, body and spirit to be able find comfort in ones own words.

We gathered after the service at another one of my aunts homes, enjoyed being in the arms of one another. We smiled, we laughed, we joked, we loved. It was a beautiful and relaxing afternoon celebrating a very private yet sweet and talented soul.

Today as I drove to my ABA meeting with Sarah in the car, I was struck by emotion over my aunts passing, as the radio played Adele's - Someone Like You. Although the song isn't about someone passing, it was certain words and phrasing mixed with raw emotion she sings with that caught me off guard. I am of course no stranger to grief over the last few years, so I know just to let these moments wash over like waves with their ebb and flow rather then fight them.

Obviously the events of the last few weeks have bought my emotions and my grief process closer to the surface as there are reminders and triggers for emotions. But more then anything I have been reminded of through my aunts passing and her talents and her sweet spirit is that we all have such a beautiful life to live. Sure our journeys my include struggles and dark days, but without those you can't really appreciate beauty and the joy of life.

May all my followers enjoy the beauty of life that has been bestowed on them, may the dark days we all surely endure in life linger only long enough as a reminder of the contrast of life. May you all remain safe, and love big and love strong.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Feeding Baby!

Along with our weekend more ventures outdoors were enjoyed. With the spring weather giving us perfect temperatures during the day we basked outdoors for some open ended play with the kids. But of course it is still my pleasure and responsibility to provide my two with shelter and food. So when to calls for I'm hungry started hubby helped move our outdoor table onto the lawn, we threw over an old sheet and hey presto a shaded eatery and cubby. Because we had a morning out at the car boot sale indulging in snags in bread and so forth a light and healthier lunch was on the agenda. I rustled up a fruit, cheese and cracker platter for the kids.

Sarah has only recently in the last few weeks started solids and it really has only been in the last week we have been broadening our horizons. When we ventured into solids with Cohen I was like any new parent concerned about textures of foods and choking, but after a little while both he and I found confidence and ventured into finger foods.

This time around with Sarah the whole baby led solids is more in progress. I'm not following the whole process strictly but as what I believe all families should do, I am doing what works best for this family. Sarah is still getting some mashed foods, and I won't lie she has had the odd organic pre made pouches. But again I say I am doing what works best for my little family. I am enjoying watching Sarah through some of the baby led solids process, I feel like in many other things we don't give little ones like Sarah at nearly 7 months enough credit and faith in their development. At only just a mere 2 or so weeks into the whole solid journey she more then capable of feeding herself a responding appropriately if she has bitten off more then she can chew so to speak. I am there of course to step in an assist, but the need has not come about or at least not yet anyway.

Here she is enjoying some of her first experiences with a strawberries over the weekend, I love the funny look she has on her face experiencing the flavors. In her other hand she has mushed her banana to smithereens. Oh and when the solids experience comes about and weather is warm, I am all for stripping the kids down to their buffiness, not only does it make clean up for this mumma easier, but they seem to enjoy themselves so much more.

Clearly these are only my experiences and opinions regarding starting the solids journey and my thoughts on baby led solids. Should you wish to experiment with your little one please do your appropriate research, rather then taking my experiences as gospel. However at end of the day I am of the opinion and belief that as parents if we are more relaxed about these processes it can only benefit our children and their development.

Big weekend and simple pleasures!

We have had a busy but lovely weekend with many simple pleasures to be enjoyed. The weekend that we had was not the one we had planned out earlier in the week. However in light of recent events the message and reminder is there......get out there have fun, enjoy life while you can.

We had totally different plans for Saturday which had to be cancelled, but after I was able to take care of all necessary matters and details it ended up allowing us time to attend a friends little ones 2nd birthday.

Cohen had a wonderful time and Sarah was happy crawling about on the grass, both of our children certainly enjoy the outdoors and are so much more happier and less whingy if playing in the outdoors and fresh air. But when you're a dinosaur, I guess you need the great outdoors to roam around in.

Sunday morning I headed off early for the only kid free time I get out each week. I headed off up the road to our local coffee shop and used up the half hour wifi access I get with buying my drink. The remainder of our morning was spent at a car boot sale wandering around looking for bargains. Mind you we were meant of been selling our wares at this same car boot sale, but the weeks events, just didn't allow for us to be organized enough. I spent a whopping $3, on some vintage clothing finds of which will likely feature over at my other blog My Vintage VowMy Vintage Vow. On a side note I tell you one thing being a stay at home mum and trying to carve my way with my little venutre and finding time to balance being a mum and being me, is seriously difficult under taking.....at least that's what I am finding at the moment.

Our afternoon yesterday was spent catching up with friends who we haven't seen in several months. We enjoyed the salt air by the Broadwater, watched Cohen play and Sarah crawl about investigating her surroundings. We also enjoyed other ventures outdoors yesterday, but that is for another post just as soon as I can get that up for you......hopefully later this morning if my two are agreeable.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and if the weather was agreeable where you are it was a nice one outdoors. Anyways this is just a post to share my weekend with you, nothing more nothing less and to let you know I hope to be a little more back on deck this week. May the start to this week find you all well.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stinging sore eyes!

To my loyal followers, especially my new followers please bare with me over the next week or so. I have stinging sore eyes after receiving some horrific news yesterday. Sadly my Aunt was killed yesterday in a head on collision. She is the youngest of eight and only 4 years older than me, it has hit the family and extended family hard. So please bare with me if posts are sporadic, as I juggle all my normal balls as well as this terrible news and dealing with family.
I have always been open with you all in my posts, about my journey with my miscarriages as well as Elle and Meg's loss and the grief process and undoubtedly I will have more to document in that journey, watching another mother (my Nanna) loss a child even though she is an adult child....it's all the same.
Thank you, and may you all be well and travel safely.

Cheap fun, cheap cookies.....

I'm having a slow start to the week after a weekend that got off track. I am still trying to get through all the house work and laundry which you've probably seen by now. But all house work and no play makes for a blah mumma and blah kids. So this morning I popped Sarah in front of the plastics cupboard......the cheapest toy box in any home, and set about arranging some baking that Cohen could help me with.
So I thought I would try these 120 biscuits for less then $5 from Stay at Home Mum.

Can you trust a nearly 2 and half year old to pour the contents of the condensed milk tin in whilst you grab the camera. Answer is yes there was no sticky mess for me to clean and no evidence he tried to nab some from the tin.

Can you trust a nearly 2 and half year old to roll biscuit mix into balls and place on tray...ummmm no, but oh well at least that took care of morning tea to a certain degree.....he got an apple after.

Will said 2 and half year old freak out that you aren't going to roll up and bake all the cookies today......maybe.

So here we are 4 batches for the freezer, which should well and truly do us until next week shop and beyond.

And here are few for today and taste testing.....well it is the first time we have tried this recipe. As the recipe suggests for a less crumbly biscuit substitute half a cup of self raising flour for half a cup of custard powder, so that's what we did. I also popped a small amount of choc chips we had left in and a few small handfuls of coconut......yes I'm not a precise cooker. Theses ones got a little over cooked because we had to FaceTime on the iPad with Gigi (Great Gran) in the middle of cooking time....but they are still scrummy.
Anyways the verdict is a great little biscuit recipe to build on with different flavors and so forth. A great freezer filler and cheap, will also get you out of a bind if you have guests or don't want to turn up to a friends empty handed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How big is your mountain?

Rainy weather, sick poppets, sick husband, life and me with a seriously sore neck has been getting me behind with the laundry lately.

Check this out, I have lost track of how many loads this is and there is still more on the clothes horse and in the dryer. For this family of four this is a pretty big mountain? How big is yours? Come on fess up and leave me a link in a comment, don't have me airing my dirty laundry by myself........whoops wrong pun, this is clean laundry.

There could be someone or some child under all that I can't be sure.

Tell me how you get through sorting out a mountain like this? I have recently devised a plan of sorting it into different baskets, takes me a few minutes. Then when I have more time during the week I can grab a basket in the evening and fold a basket and put it away. It's been saving me time and sanity, I would never get through this during a day running around after my two.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spring has sprung and it's time for.....

....getting outside and enjoying all that the change of season has to offer.

I set the kids and I up outside this morning on a tarp and blanket. The tarp was put to use because the ground is still damp from all the rain we have had recently. I bought out a few toys for Sarah and then let Cohen just roam from inside to outside, bringing out toys to extend on the crazy ideas he was having.

Our time outside quickly turned into a boobie picnic when Cohen realised that I was giving Sarah a quick feed. So in true Cohen fashion I heard those words "my turn". Whilst Cohen was having "his turn" and sunshiny cuddles, Sarah ignored toys and tried to investigate our surroundings.

I am so excited about the change in seasons and all it's possibilities. I have so many little projects to finish off or get started on. I also have some crazy little things up my sleeve I would like to plan for the kids, so it will be nice with the change in season and temperature to try and actualise some of these ideas.

Here are some pics from our morning.

In another world.

He loves see how things work like his daddy does, he could see himself on my iPad whilst I was trying to take the pic.

Guess what she is after?

Time for a rest.

My turn!

I hope the start to spring has found you well and inspired and encouraged to embrace the possibilities of the season.

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