Friday, December 30, 2011

I want you.....

I hinted the other day that with the blog overhaul to start taking place over the next few weeks that I'm also looking for contributors and people to guest post. So this post is a little shout out, bulletin board, put your thinking caps on sort of post.

When I started this blog it was a way of helping myself through my grief of losing Elle & Meg, so I could come through in one piece and to continue my journey forward to build a family and live a happy and inspired life being creative as well. Since becoming a mum my posts have taken on a wide scope of topics, for example:
* breastfeeding
* re lactating
* natural parenting
* cloth nappies
* arts, crafts, play
* relationships, marriage
* home life
* pregnancy
* life and just everything else in between

Although I started this blog for me primarily, over time it has become more than that, I have had people contact me privately sharing their own experiences with the loss of a pregnancy or a child, I've had mums contact me about wanting to resume breastfeeding and needing encouragement with re lactation. Then there are others who have commented on a post or contacted me privately activities about activities I do with the kids etc. Earlier this year (2 more days and we start another one...wow) I was very honoured to be contacted by Early Play Australia and asked was asked if I would link up with them so they could use me a reference or resource, for others looking for similar content on line.

So with all the above in mind and my hearts intention I'm wanting to make Journey to Bliss so much more for my readers and those who will surely come in future to join us. That is therefore why I am on search for you, my blogging buddies, I will be looking for people to guest post about things I mentioned in my bullet points above. But I am also on a particular look out for others who might like to be a regularly contributor under the banner of natural parenting.......breastfeeding, cloth nappies, Waldorf, pregnancy etc.

If anything I am suggesting is sparking an interest in you , please don't hesitate to contact me at journeytobliss(at)bigpond(dot)com(dot)au so that we can start plotting and planning.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Capturing the new header image.....

Well today's the day.

I am off with my little family for a photoshoot which if all goes to plan will result in an amazing new header image for my blog redesign that will start to take shape soon. I am working with a friend of a friend who has recently started a photography business in the last 6 months, and we are hoping to scratch each others back so to speak with this project.

I don't want to reveal too much about the location or the image and what we are going to try and achieve today. But suffice to say we are relying on mother nature to play into our hands a little bit. If she doesn't play into our hands, we are just going to have to go for Plan B.

I am excited about the changes that are to come in the new year here with Journey to Bliss, I hope you are too. I hope you will continue to stay tuned over coming weeks as I am piecing together other plans and will be on the search for contributors and guest posts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve better late than never....

Yes I know I talked up everyone popping in to share there Christmas Eve highlights here, and then I just don't pop up my head for a few days. Good reasons though.....I've been sick and trying to fight off a cold that wanted to take over into the start of a chest infection Christmas morning. Hence I was awake at 3am trying to cough quietly if there is such a thing, so I wouldn't have the whole house awake at such a silly hour.

Despite me being sick, DH is also off work for 10 consecutive days so I have been opting for logging off and turning off gadgets and enjoying time with him and the kids. So with all that being said, I still wanted to pop in share some Christmas Eve moments with you....albeit late.

Christmas Eve during the day and someone was already zonked.

Movie day and family time.

Silly buggers.

Making garland to decorate Santa's treat basket.

Shortbread baked and packaged up to drop in our neighbours for a few Christmas Eve drinks.

Home again to prepare Santa's treat basket.

Not to forget the reindeer, sprinkles of reindeer food and carrots.

Oh the thrill and excitement.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time to fess up....

As of the new year this little family is embarking on a lifestyle change. Since my pregnancy with Sarah, I have not been as healthy as I once was. DH has struggled for many years, carrying excess weight, and due to his eating habits despite my healthy stints over the years he has battled to keep it off permanently. It is all to apparent now with Cohen being two and half how he is aware of things. If we don't look at making these lifestyle changes and have them sustained for the future we are setting him, Sarah and any future children up for a life of bad habits.

What we consider as bad habits, others may not, but nonetheless it's time for us to tweak our lifestyle in the places where we know we have slacken off and start a fresh and stop having ourselves and our children suffer in the long run.

So in the new year we as a family are:
* reducing sugar intake as much as possible, confession is DH and I are major sweet treaters
* DH is going to kick his Diet Coke addiction, this is a biggie I joke sometimes that he is a junkie looking for a fix
* concentrate on family exercise together, our lives and schedules are too busy to grant us both time away to do our own thing in this department
* have a back up plan for those days when things don't go to plan and you opt for takeaway as an easy out

More simple back up plans like vegetarian homemade pizzas would be good.

These a four pretty broad points but actually involve a lot of little intricacies that we need to fess up to and get sorted on. I know that we are already off to a significant start on things because we rarely buy processed foods in our grocery shop, so our home is a reasonable safe zone in regards to temptations. It will be about managing those times when we are out and about and when we have jammed packed weekends.

As I said before these might not seem like major points for some but we know they are for this family and if we can make these changes and sustain them there will be significant changes and fun times ahead for this family. For DH it will be a leaner, healthier version of himself, for me it will be a healthier, stronger version of me who is organised on the bad days with healthy options. Most of all for our kids there will be healthier parents, as it is now Cohen has a very healthy diet but he goes to battle with us because he sees us eating bad things we tell him he can't have. These changes will reduce issues and backlash, and give us more time and energy for our family time. For the last reason alone it is enough reason to say, it's time for change.

Are there changes ahead for your family in the new year?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fun times....

It's a great time of year, isn't it? Lots of questions being asked by intriguing minds. Smiles, laughs and tickles at funny stories about the jolly old man in the red suit. Reflective times for mumma's and dadda's of how much has happened in a year. How much they have grown, how much more is to come.

It's been another big year for this little family, and next year will undoubtedly be the same with so many exciting plans and thoughts. So much to happen here and so much to happen for me, us, our family hopefully. Although I've been preparing for Christmas happily, somewhere out of the blue today I think the spirit of Christmas really invaded me.......I'm getting so excited.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The yummiest pancake concoction.......you must try.

Wholemeal Apple and Cinnamon Pancakes with Ricotta and Honey


1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1 1/3 cup of milk
1 egg
A dash of vanilla extract
About half a teaspoon of cinnamon....sorry I'm not an exact cook, I like to freestyle things on a regular basis.

Mix above ingredients in with one grated granny smith apple.

Cook them up and voila you have got the yummiest breakfast, brunch, lunch or snack and healthy too. We had them for lunch with a generous dollop of ricotta and drizzling of honey.

Sometimes I surprise myself with a good little recipe on the fly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How are your kids handling.....

this time of the year? How are your kids, your family holding up? I don't ever like playing into theories about kids and their behaviours, because I tend to feel that you can have them or yourself live up to those opinions........particularly if they aren't the most positive ones.

I have lost count of the amount of people, caregivers, parents, whoever saying that their kids or kids they look after are running ratty, that it's the end of the year and they are over it. I'm hearing things like the kids aren't behaving as well as they normally would and the kids are tired and that bad behaviours are worse than ever.

Image from here.

Is this true? Why do you think it's true? If this theory is indeed fact amongst others, my opinion is that I think it's got a lot more to do with parents and the stresses we are all under at this time of the year. As a result kids being kids feel these vibes and tensions in their parents and caregivers and respond accordingly.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Changing your way of thinking.......

I know I was just saying yesterday that I have been busy with the silly season and not much time to work on the more nitty gritty posts I have been wanting to do. However a beautiful and enlightening conversation with DH last night has had me wanting to rush in and share with you.

You see DH and I are in amidst of another baby boom amongst our friends, I have several friends who are expecting and a few friends who have given birth in the last few months and as most recent as last week. I was checking my Facebook last night and saw that a friend in Melbourne (first time mummy) is struggling with an unsettled little mister. So I made the suggestion of a baby carrier, it was nice to see others supportive of that suggestion and also recommend some of the better carriers on the market. All while this was happening I was informing DH of the conversation that was taking place, as we have both known this new mummy since she was in her late years of primary school.

It was through relaying the conversation to DH, I really saw how much he has actually taken in about my natural parenting ways. When I say my ways, I mean it in as much as that he has always been supportive and in agreeance, but along the way he has found it difficult with some aspects. For example when I eventually opted for Sarah co-sleeping full time out of desperation to get sleep, DH would keep verbalising his opinion that's not where she should be.

So as we spoke last night about our new mummy friend who is struggling and all our other expecting, want-to-be expecting friends and just about parenting in general, I heard him say the following:
"I just think now about what I have heard you quote, that if you were stuck on a desert island with you baby with no baby books, no help, no family, no one giving you advice or tidbits, you would parent your child instinctively. You would breast feed your baby, you would carry your baby and you would sleep with your baby."
He went on to say and explain that is why he has relaxed his way of thinking on anything he was having lingering resistance to on the parenting front.

I must say I was so pleased and so proud of him that he is now fully in a place where he recognises and understands all the benefits of what we are doing in raising our children. He admits now that his previous resistance to certain things along the way has been about him, and society type opinions and pressures. Prior to last nights conversation I already had a DH who would openly talk to anyone that would listen about clothing nappying and baby wearing but now I have a husband who is fully accepting of co-sleeping as well (rather than being accepting out of necessity) I'm so proud of the voice and advocate he has become on many aspects of natural parenting. To my DH, it's amazing what our little blessings teach us along the way isn't it? You are a remarkable daddy and our children or lucky to have a daddy like you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Come on in it's Christmas....

I know haven't been around posting as much the last couple of weeks, I'm probably no different to many others out there who's calendars are filling up with the silly season heavily upon us. Unfortunately it means something had to give and I guess it's resulted in the odd post here and there. But on with sharing you a snapshot of Christmas decorating. We have a heap of baubles leftover and some battery powered lights. So DH and I put our heads together and we now have a little Christmas cheer on our entrance table.

The pics don't show how lovely it really is and the nice ambience that it gives when it's dark. It's been extra nice the last few days with all the rain and heavy cloud cover we have been having, because it's been dark enough during the day to have the lights on to appreciate them as well.

Anyways best be off to create some more Christmas cheer, I'll in again soon to show you what we've been up to.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bring a plate.....

Cohen is off to family day care this morning and they are having a Christmas party because one of the kids will be finishing up for the year soon. So our day care mum has asked for us to bring along a plate of food for the party.

I'm generally the mum who would send the fruit platter or other healthy alternative but for a change I had plans of making something "naughty", I had planned on making these yummies.

However after a million trips out yesterday, which also included several trips into the supermarket I still forgot to buy cream to make them. By the time I got Sarah settled down last night I was exhausted and knew I still had to rustle something up for this morning. So I present to you my abstract version of a rudolph treat, using just three ingredients.

I just soften the biscuits in the oven as per the original recipe instructions. Melted chocolate and divided into between the cookie cups and popped on some raspberries. As I mentioned before I would never normally do something like this for a kids party, so I added extra raspberries for good measure.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The intended and unintended day....

My day has been a mixture of the intended and unintended today. The intended saw me listening to a friend who visited who really needs some help and comfort at the moment. I hope she left feeling as though I was able to assist her.

The unintended has seen my "to do list" being ignored in favour of fun for the remainder of the day.

So the kids and I went for a little walk out front and across the road from our house and Cohen selected these goodies.

Today it was all about crunchy handfuls for dead leaves.....it's so funny to see what inspires children's minds.

I have intend all week to make a sensory dough and finally got around to it whilst the kids napped. I didn't however intend on putting baking powder in it instead of cream of tartar, so when I realised my mistake I added both. My intentions were good and it looks like it still turned out. I didn't add colouring this time and opted for mixed spices instead......reminiscent of Christmas baking. I will halve the batch so one can be used for adding tinsel and beads and so forth to it.

I've also unpicked a pair of Cohen's shorts to use as a pattern for some Christmas shorts I'm making him from fat quarters.

And I have fiddled with a bag design for my business.

So there you go sometimes it's good to sit back and let your day take a detour from the intended.

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