Monday, January 26, 2015

Elliot - 4/52

We spent the morning at the pool with your Nanna. You're happiest in the water. It's a joy to watch you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brown Sugar, Coconut and Vanilla Face Scrub

I am not a fan of the kinds of face and body products you can find on the shelves of the supermarket. They tend to include a heap of man-made chemical ingredients that strip the natural oils from your skin, and are not necessarily good for you. I am of the belief that if you can't pronounce it, it probably doesn't belong on your body's biggest living organ, which absorbs almost everything that touches it.

There are many good, natural products on the market. But they are often ludicrously expensive. Throw an "eco" or "green" tag on it, and it seems to be a licence to charge enough to wipe out the debt of a third world country.

So where possible, I like to make my own.

This Brown Sugar, Coconut and Vanilla Face Scrub is inexpensive, easy and can be made with items already found in your kitchen cupboard.


* Coconut Oil
* Brown sugar
* Vanilla Extract


* Spoon brown sugar into the clean, dry container of your choice (I use a recycled hair pomade jar)
* Slowly add coconut oil until you have a nice paste where all the sugar is wet but it is not swimming in oil.
* Add a few drops of vanilla

Storage and Usage

* Keep the jar in your shower and use every other day
* Gently massage into your skin until the sugar dissolves
* Your skin may feel a little oily when you get out of the shower, but it will quickly be absorbed, leaving it so smooth

* If you don't have coconut oil, you could easily substitute olive oil.
* Replace vanilla with a couple of drops of essential oil if you prefer a different scent. Lemon oil is also lovely, as is rosemary.

That's it! Easy, right?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Elliot - 3/52

Your Nanna bought you this hat. And a monster truck, to further fuel your obsession with cars. We ate potato wedges together after a trip to the pool, where you did Humpties from the wall, and rattled the gate to get your Nanna's attention as she swam laps.

Follow the Portrait a Week project at Practising Simplicity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Teeth are for food, not friends

Tooth Brooch from itssimplymax

Elliot is generally a chilled, happy little guy.

But sometimes he does things that seem so completely out of character I am a little taken aback.

He has just started a new daycare centre and has started biting other kids. I have started to dread picking him up in the afternoons because inevitably there will be a red and white incident tag swinging accusingly from another kid's backpack in the little pigeonhole hutch.

Yesterday there were three such tags.

The carer, who is absolutely lovely and has been reassuring that this is not uncommon, outlined the incidents. Generally he seems to bite when he is tired, and when other kids are getting into his personal space when he doesn't want them there. But randomly, he sometimes just does it for no apparent reason. Occasionally he bites me out of what seems like love (strange, I know).

He is teething at the moment so this is perhaps increasing his desire to bite.

His carer gave us some phrases to use with him ("gentle hands, gentle teeth", "we use our teeth for food, not on our friends", as well as teaching him to say "stop" or "help" when he is feeling overwhelmed) however we have been using these for as long as he has been giving nips, and while it has improved his behaviour at home I am not sure what else we can do.

Has anyone else had experience with their kids biting? Did the problem decrease when their vocabulary improved? Grateful for any advice from blogland.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Elliot - 2/52

Elliot loves dogs. I mean really, really LOVES dogs. To be fair he does also have that same love for our cats, but they certainly do not return the love, like dogs do.

This is James. He is a rescue dog who has found a new home with my friends. When I recently visited them Elliot kissed James, James would lick Elliot, Elliot would laugh, and the cycle of love would continue.

I'm guessing if Elliot and his dad have anything to do with it, we will one day take in a dog of our own.

Join in The 52 Project at Practising Simplicity

Friday, January 9, 2015

Green summer days

It's been hot and rainy in Brisbane, and the garden is going quite crazy.

Five days after planting, our green crop of peas and beans is already 10cm tall!

Freshly planted oregano and thyme

We dug up some old spring onions from the garden and are re-sprouting them. These are nearly ready to go back in the ground.

Lastly, not from our garden, but from my lovely friend Jandy, who pruned a massive rosemary hedge. We are going to make rosemary jelly, for lamb roasts, rosemary infused oil, and a rosemary, lemon and vinegar spray cleaner.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The little air pockets in life

Ever have one of those weeks that sneaks up behind you and then roundhouse kicks you in the head?

Welcome to my world.

One of my goals for the year was to develop patience and gratitude, and boy, has the universe opened the floodgates with the lessons.

I have been overwhelmed with challenges this week of all manner. Some have been small - little irksome annoyances that can be brushed aside through minimal effort.

There have been some medium-sized challenges. Roadblocks that require a pause and a re-calculation of my path.

Some are vast. Big, complex life issues that will take an overwhelming amount of sweat and toil to navigate. They mean potentially letting go of dreams. They are, to indulge the pity party for just a moment, bloody unfair and undeserved.

One by one, each of these challenges are manageable.

But a barrage of them in the space of just days has kind of left me reeling. When my brain tries to process them all I feel like I am blindly swimming through the dark, deep water of an ocean cave. I scramble to find an air pocket that will allow me to breathe, so I might dive back down to swim again. And again. And again.

These air pockets are my life rafts. They are the restorative things that sustain me when I am feeling like things are, quite frankly, shit.

They are the lessons in gratitude.

These air pockets are my family; my husband, who works tirelessly to build a better life for us, and who is kind and lovely beyond words; my gentle Elliot, who is sunshine personified; my parents and in-laws, my siblings, and my ridiculously cool niece.

They are my friends.

They are my yoga practice and meditation and digging in the garden ... things that ground me.

They are tiny moments in the day: the first sip of a good coffee, the smell of rain, a cuddle with a cat on the couch, a stranger who holds the door open, a home cooked meal, picking flowers dangling over a fence.

Thank you one and all, little air pockets. I am grateful for each and every one of you.