Tuesday, 8 July 2014

PROJECT LIFE | Finishing August 2013 PL pages

It has been such a long time since I have worked on my Project Life pages. August 2013 has been on my to-do list for almost 3 months! I shared some of August here and here.

I have managed to get some other little creative projects done in that time, such as the baby photo shoot from which I produced a mini album and photo movie here.

But mostly, over the past few months, I have been re-evaluating my priorities and my want to spend more time with my family and less time in front of my computer and phone. 

There is less than a week left of the school holidays and it has gone so quickly! As it always does. 

I have made an extra effort to be more present with the boys this mid-year break, and not look at the holidays as my time to "catch up" on my Project Life. The holidays is my time to really enjoy and connect with my babies who are growing up way too fast.

I have accepted that crafting is an after-hours gig, to be enjoyed after the little ones are asleep. 

Anyway, I've had some late nights (an old habit i'm still trying to kick) and I have now completed a 2-page spread and a 1-pager for August 2013. I only have one more page to finish the month off!

Here's a look at the pages.

Patterned Paper from Amy Tangerine's Plus One (The Stamp Spot)



Kellie Stamps: Magical stamp set

Here's a close up of the stamp I used from Kellie Stamps' Magical set. I love this quote.

The boys had the chickenpox for most of August so it was nice to see them out and about and a lot less spotty towards the end of the month. Here's the page I did about their weekend adventures.

Thanks for stopping by, and I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes.

"Perhaps parents would enjoy their children more 
if they stopped to realize that the film of childhood 

can never be run through for a second showing." 
-- Evelyn Nown.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

SIMPLIFY | Are you ready to Ban Busy?

I started this blog a few years ago as vehicle to share my craft projects. 

This blog has since evolved into a personal blog where in addition to sharing my craft projects, I also share my thoughts on life, living, mothering and the random recipe from my kitchen.

I have not posted a craft project for a few weeks. I have not had any craft time. In between work, family, and life, I found myself overwhelmed by my growing to-do list(s). Both physical and mental lists. 

I have made the decision to do less. And to take on less.

I was inspired by the Abundant Mama blog. My heart filled with happiness and excitement that I found a treasure trove of practical tips and information about everything I have been thinking about. 

On the Abundant Mama blog, you learn ways to be a "peaceful mum, raising peaceful, thriving children."

By learning how to be a better me, I can become a calmer and more present mother. That to me is more important than anything right now. 

I immediately subscribed to receive newsletters and could not wait to learn more. 

It was in the newsletters I discovered the BAN BUSY Movement. Wow. This  resonated with me like you wouldn't believe! 

"The Abundant Mama Project is gearing up to slow down. We're going to ban busy. Savour slow. And start a challenge to be present, peaceful and playful in a slow, intentional way." ~ from The Abundant Mama blog 

It has become the norm to be crazy busy, frantic, hectic, and going at super speeds to get everything done. This old way of existing hasn't worked for me. It's time to make changes. 

This article here was the one that made think, "I must learn more from this amazing lady!". If you have young children, this post is a must-read. It's written beautifully and with truth and insight. 

I'm taking on the Ban Busy mini challenge. How about you? Ready to savour slow?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

IN MY KITCHEN | Low Allergy banana pikelets

The boys and I do not have gluten, dairy or egg in our diets, but we can still have yummy treats. Banana pikelets being one of them.

I make these pikelets when we have over ripe bananas and nothing for breakfast. (usually the day before food shopping day)

This recipe I have adapted from a normal pikelet recipe and replaced the egg with bananas.  

- two very ripe medium sized bananas
- 2 level cups of brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
- rice milk
- pinch of pure vanilla powder  
- a couple of tablespoons of honey 
- dollop of coconut oil for mixture
- coconut oil for cooking

STEP 1: Sift dry ingredients and set aside.

STEP 2: In a separate mixing bowl, mash bananas with a masher or a fork.

STEP 3: Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to mashed bananas.

STEP 4: Melt a dollop of coconut oil in the fry pan (if the oil is solid...depends on the weather) and add to wet mixure


STEP 5: Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to banana mixture and alternate with rice milk. I do not have a specific measurement for the rice milk because depending on the size and ripeness of the bananas, I adjust quantity of rice milk accordingly. It is a matter of testing it out and seeing what you like.

The photo below shows the consistency I like (it's a bit hard to describe...). You can add more milk if you prefer a lighter pikelet, or use less milk if you prefer a denser pikelet.

STEP 6: Melt some coconut oil in a fry pan on a medium heat and spoon mixture into fry pan. Once the edges look cooked (browning and drying out), use a spatular to gently lift the pikelet to avoid it sticking too much when it comes time to flip. Flip when you see bubbles (as with normal pikelets).

STEP 6: Serve with butter (if you can have dairy) or dairy free butter, and your choice of toppings. ie. syrup, jam, peanut butter, honey. Peanut butter AND jam is a yummy combo. ENJOY!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

ON MY MIND | It's the good old "mum-guilt" trick.

I am kind. I am considerate. I am thoughtful. I am loving. I know I am all these things yet after I tucked my eldest into bed tonight, I retreated into the bathroom, closed the door, sat down on the side of the bathtub and had a little cry. Mum-guilt had reared it's ugly head again.

I had a trying night where my eldest was testing my patience. Don't get me wrong, he's a really good kid, but he is head strong and stubborn, much like me. 

Everyday I go through the motions of a being a "good mother". 

I make school lunches. I drive them to appointments before and after school. I spend my weekends cooking and baking. I do the laundry, clean the house and I vacuum the car. I fold the clothes and cook homemade dinners every night. I tuck them in every night and tell them how much I love them.

I know I am a good mother in what I do for my children.

And yet I feel like an inadequate mother every day. 

My eldest boy torments (in the nicest brotherly way possible) his younger brother incessantly, as older siblings often do. It drives me batty. 

His defence is "I was just having fun with him" or "I was just playing with him..." or "I was just trying to make him laugh.." 

What do I say to that? I honestly don't know. We have the same conversation every other day, and I am no closer to finding a solution to what to say to him, or what to do. I see where he is coming from, he's just being a kid.

I rouse at them. Neither pays me any attention until I get cranky. Then I separate them and send them to their rooms because it gives me space to calm down and process my thoughts. 

This is when the feelings of the inadequacy of my parenting skills kicks in. I am feeling the mum-guilt. Self doubt. Wondering "Am I a good enough mother?" 

I try to explain how their actions are wrong. Inconsiderate. Disrespectful. In doing so, I am making them feel guilty. I tell them I I am disappointed with their actions. And that what they are doing is not acceptable behaviour. 

I realised that I was unknowingly instilling in my children the negative thoughts I have about myself. All the things I personally struggle with. Which is why I was so upset tonight. 

I know how terrible it feels to feel like you have disappointed someone you love. How guilt eats you up from inside. And how hard it is to shake that feeling that you are not good enough as a person.

I told my eldest tonight that sometimes I don't know if I am doing a good job being a mother. And that I don't have instructions on what to do. To which he replied, "Does Daddy have some instructions?" Bless his little cotton socks, I wish he did. It would make things a lot easier. 

I don't have any answers. But I do know I don't want my children to think they are not good enough. I just have to keep working at it.