Saturday, 25 April 2015

An introduction to my day job: Belly Painting/Casting

Something that I haven't shared on the blog before is that in my spare time, I am a face painter. I recently started getting into belly art and thought that I would share my first bellies that I have done, so that I can start sharing more as they come along. It is such an enjoyable experience painting a nice big round belly with a baby moving around inside. It feels amazing to have the privilege to be up close and personal with these gorgeous bumps, usually just a few weeks or even days before the babes make their way into the world!

I hope you enjoy these :)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

This eating well, is well, hard work!!

So it's been about a week of eating a changed diet. And let me tell you, I'm not going to be posting today huge amounts of awesome photos of resturant looking food, well because we have had some huge fails on the taste front and even bigger on the 'looks' front haha!

We have also had the reluctant to eat to down right refusal from the little poppet...

All in all it has been a stressful and difficult adjustment. But it's getting better. Just slowly, very slowly!

The one thing that is making me keep it up at the minute is that I am noticing a distinct change of behavior already. Don't get me wrong, the little poppet is still naughty from time to time (what kid isn't) but the unmanageable screaming and whinging is slowly becoming a thing of the past (fingers crossed. Even discipline is working better, reasoning with her, talking through little spouts of naughtiness is actually working.

Eating 'raw' is hard work, for a busy family that is used to easy and quick 'fast foods', foods that we never really deemed unhealthy until the behaviour spiked and I started looking into it.

At present, I am using a few different bits of literature, I Quit Sugar (Sarah Wilson) and any Pete Evans books. 'Family Food' being a favourite at the moment. We aren't going completely Paleo at the moment. I considered it, but was finding it to difficult considering how we have been feeding the kids, but we are certainly limiting grains (no bread) and dairy (limited cows milk, no 'normal yoghurt' etc) We will see how this plays out over the coming months.

I am also finding it difficult living remotely and having access to the foods/ingredients that I need.

I'll be sharing some recipes that I make up myself that you could possibly try if you are feeling game enough ;) haha. But for now, I'll leave you with a few images of our actual food wins in this house. My instagram account contains a few more if you wanted to check it out. (Link to the Right)

A Lunch Time offering for my hungry Tribe

Easy, Quick Brekkie. These Smoothies were a miss. Way to bitter!

Snack of Ham and Cucumber.

Sweet Potato Chips

A little treat, sugar free Nutella ;)

Friday, 17 April 2015

Times are a changing!!

Ever had those days with your children, when their behaviour hits the roof and you can't decided on running for the hills, hiding in your bed to cry it out or turn into a screaming mess that you later regret?? I know we all get there every now and again. Unfortunately for me we have been having these days everyday, ok well not all day, but certainly at least one episode a day with my lively daughter, the Little Poppet.

For me I have lost my patience, and regretfully on so many many occasions turned into a banshee parent.

It's made me really assess what is going on in our lives to create such a change in behaviour. I no longer work so have an abundance of creative, loving and playing time with the kids. It took a little deeper looking and perhaps more so admitting that maybe our family diet isn't creating the best kind of environment. Let's be honest, we eat like crap. We might have a plate full of veg and meat for tea, but what about brekkie, lunch, in-between. I admit fully that I have become lazy in the household eating and have now acknowledge that it needs a change, a whole upheaval.

But what to do?? There's so much advice out there on what we should put into our mouths, what we should feed our kids. They all seem to have some good points, they all seem to have some negative reviews as well.

But one thing is clear, non-packaged, fresh produce is the go. If it comes raw without a wrapper then its much better than the packaged frozen pizza we scoffed down for tea the other night, and for lunch the next day.

I'm going to be journalling our families journey into a new way of living with food, the behaviour differences that I notice in my daughter. The first thing to go is sugar.... Because I think thats a no brainer. I am excited and nervous all in the one go. I know its going to be hard work, she is fussy, and thats my fault, but I know that it is going to benefit us all greatly in the long term. Better health, happier family.

I'll be posting a lot of our food to my Instagram account, _littleindietribe_, as well as a few posts on the blog. I hope you all enjoy the ride with us. I have a feeling school lunches are going to be my headache!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

It's been awhile.... Again...

Ah, it's been a while again. What can I say? Life is busy, very busy.

It's time to wind down a little though, it is so very easy to take on to much all at once and think that you are coping but in the end your only kidding yourself if you are struggling. That's where I was at, thinking that I was coping but wearing myself down to the bone.

I've taken a break from the day job, a permanent one for a little while so I can get back to the roots of being a mumma and a partner. I look forward to making my blog a frequent stopping point once more.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Living a Simple & Creative Life Project: Handmade Christmas

So as a carry on from my last few posts about living a more simple and creative life, this year our family has decided to do a fully handmade Christmas. All the children's gifts are going to be either handmade by us, and a select few that we are unable to make are going to bought just as long as they are handmade.

It is taking a little planning, and while this year it will probably be a lot more effort than how our Christmases usually were but I am extremely excited at the prospect of it all. I think it makes it easier that it is an idea that the other half fully supports, which when undertaking activities that you hope will help shape your family, is extremely important.

I love Christmas, I am a all out bells and whistles kinda girl when it comes to festive season. The decorating, the food and the gift giving. It's going to be a learning and growing experience for us all, I'm sure of it.

I've started with a few ideas for all the children, the Boy being the hardest at 8 years old. I want it to be exciting opening his presents, not a 'what were they thinking' moment for him. It's a hard chop for kids to go from and over commercialized life style (us as parents in the making of that) to a simple one, but I know that he will enjoy the gifts I am thinking up for him. I have one 'wow' factor one that I know he will get years of use out of.

I'm even going to go as far as sorting through to Christmas deco's and tossing because it's not just the kids that have to many things that I have held on to of theirs, it's my own collection of useless stuff that needs to go as well. I have ordered a simple, small white wooden Christmas tree that I will decorate with handmade decorations of the kids. I'm excited to get it, and excited to finally be able to set it up although that time can go by as slowly as possible, as I now have a lot of things to get making ;)

I'm going to post tutorials of some of the gifts that I am making, hopefully they will be of help to someone out there!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Living a Simple & Creative Life Project: The Little Poppets Bedroom

 **This Post is Picture Heavy**

I've been reading the wonderful book 'The Creative Family' by Amanda Soule and in the introduction, a few short sentences really radiated with me:

"In our modern lives, it's all to easy to get swept up in the busyness of the day-to-day - meals, cleaning, school, work, and other life details often stand in the way if the time we need to pursue our creative endeavors. As parents, it is both our responsibility and our privilege to be sure that our family's creative spirits have all the room and tools they need to soar freely"

So, you know what I did then??

I packed away all of My Little Poppet's toys and belongings.  All the glitter, all the 'plastic fantastic' array of bright pink character toys, her rug, her wardrobe. It was all emptied out to give me a blank canvas to start again. It was set off by a tornado sleep over with her cousin, and whilst they enjoyed themselves they managed to pull out almost every single item she owns and played with none of it. It was like the enjoyment was just in creating the actual mess.

The following pictures, if you can even believe are from after I had started tidying up. What a sensory overload.


 There was no method in my sorting to start with, I just boxed and bagged everything, all it went out into our hallway, I wanted her room to be liveable in a very short amount of time, so that she could enjoy it and feel the benefits of having a clutter free space of her own. I rearranged her furniture, took some furniture out and selectively choose some 'intentional toys' to be replaced in her 'new bedroom'. I was honest with her about it during the whole process, I explain that I am packing up her belongings for us to sort out to keep, to give away, to toss and to sell. She seemed unfazed by the whole ordeal and went about her merry way.

Her room now, makes me giddy when I walk past the door, it feels inviting like I could go and lay on her bed to read a book, or sit on her soft floor to enjoy some quiet time with her.

Gone for good is her bright pink floor rug (she is happy about that), her chest of drawers and cube storage unit. The teddy hanging storage nets have also gone for good. Her quilt is one I have been making for her, it's not finished yet but she asked if I could place it on top of her bed, must aim to get it backed in the next few weeks.

This large cane basket which was over-flowing with dress ups and dolls (and a magnet for lots of other wandering toys) now houses a few select toys. Her lego, a baby bath, her Anna & Elsa barbies (a new gift for her birthday just gone, the other barbies are packed away), some gardening gloves and after packing away all of her toys the only one that she wondering where it had gone was her spiderman which is now in this box.


A new addition to her room is this small cube unit, to serve as a bedside table. All of her books have been added to the family bookshelf and I placed a cane basket here to house her books of the moment for bed time and easy access. The unit houses a few small supplies, her sewing basket, a basket full of her shells and rocks. A teddy that reads stories (was a gift from her nanny and she wanted to keep it in her room) and a cd player (unfortunately is a 'Dora' one, but it does the trick.

I left her tree coat rack with the items she uses almost daily, I left her wooden doll house which is very much loved and has a few additions of a three year old's art work. Her bookcase remained as well, but instead of being another magnet for junk and tossed in books, I replaced the layout with the two top shelves for a selection of her 'speacil trinkets, the middle shelf her handmade dolls, second bottom shelf a cane basket with handmade dolls clothes (this shelf also houses her beloved 'Lucy', and Baby Born Doll but she was in 'bed' when I was taking pictures) and the bottom shelf a puzzle and music box.

Her kitchen unit is still in her bedroom but all of it's paraphernalia has been dispelled. I left a handful of felt food, a set of metal pots & utensils, two plates and two cups. I am hoping once we have a cubby house set up outside that this item will be placed in the 'children's house'. I also left her doll pram and cot set up in her room. She really enjoys playing mum, and although she has questioned a few times where all her 'plastic fantastic' doll equipment and numerous dolls have gone, a quick reassurance that her much loved Lucy and handmade dolls are still here and she quickly forgets that they are not there.

I also made a few changes to a item of furniture that she received for her birthday last year, a 'vanity table'. I don't even know why I bought it as I am not one to let her wear make up or even play with it, and it to became a magnet for bedroom junk. So I removed the mirror and turned it into a plain old table, a creative space for her sewing and art in her bedroom should she ever feel she needed a quiet place to do so. I grabbed a piece of lace ribbon from my craft supplies and hung from the wall above her 'desk' to hang her wonderful artwork from, when she first seen her new room this was the feature that she was most excited about. She loves having her work displayed.

You can notice in this picture two other toys that I have not mentioned yet, on the left hand side near the cane basket is a pony called 'Butterscotch', this was a request to have in her room for the Poppet. She is new, and played with a lot so I felt comfortable putting her in here as she is used in imaginative play and on the right is a rocking horse, who has become a very much loved part of our family, he is not staying in here and will be moved to a more common area but for now, this is his special spot until our common places are ready for him.

We have started on the task of sorting through all the things that have been removed from her bedroom, we have gone through her toys together as I feel it is important for her to have a say in what she keeps. I have been astounded by her willingless to let go, we already have a humongous box full of items to sell, two full bin bags of items to give and half a bag of items to throw. We also have a box of 'maybe keep' these toys will be sorted and placed in boxes put away for special play days, and then to be packed away again.

It is so refreshing, like a weight lifted off to walk past her room. The children have been getting introduced to a few chores each day to do and one is to tidy their bedrooms. I feel now that this is a task that she will be able to complete on her own, everything in this space has a spot and even if she did pull everything out it still would only equate to a small pile of stuff.

I am planning a handmade Christmas this year, a few thoughtful handmade gifts but mostly time to spend with loved ones. I have a feeling that this simplifying of our living space will help the children to adjust to a new way of celebrating events like Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc.

This is going to be an on going project of mine from here on in, The Simple & Creative Life Project which I hope to post my progress on through here. I hoping to make it life long in the hope that I will feel more fulfilled and happy, not that I am not happy now but you can never be too happy, right?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A Change is a Good as a Holiday...

Well, maybe not because I sure could use a holiday right now, I wouldn't even be very picky on where it would be. But I know that I need some kind of change to refresh my life.

It's funny when some things seem to be down, you notice all the other little things that need attention as well and so slowly and surely I've been compiling lists, writing down things that I want to, possible more so need to change within my life. Not huge things, gradual things, little tweaks here and there just to keep things moving in a more peaceful manner.

I've decided that to keep myself accountable, I am going to keep a running diary or at least blog posts about my efforts to simplify my life a little. My brain is going stir crazy at the amount of weight I have on my shoulders at the moment and I need to make that load a little lighter. This post is just a quick summary of what I am going to try and achieve for myself and my family over the next year and beyond.

The children have been first off the rank, I got rid of them (ok no I didn't) new chores which we are still working out a best way of getting these done. Their chores now lead to 'Technology Minutes' which they can earn during the week for the weekend. I'll be the first to admit for a good 12 months here technology was used embarrassingly to much. Unless for homework purposes or listening to music while we tidy up, the ipads, play-station and computers are off limits during the week. And I must say it is so refreshing.

On my own behalf, I have deactivated my fb account for at least a month. It's ridculous how much time is eaten away on the darn thing, even if it is just a minute or two here and there. Don't get me wrong, I love staying in contact through fb with friends that are far away, my real issue lies with the non-contact you have with friends that live so close you could throw a rock at their house. All this 'friendship' on facebook and nothing in 'real-life'. So I am going to make an effort to be a more 'real-life friend and person'. Invite people a round for dinners, actually catch up with people instead of saying we need to a thousand times over.

My house is anything from an organised mess. It is completely an unorganised messy (but clean) house. Don't get me wrong, I will never have a house magazine tidy picture worthy home (I say to myself that I am much to creative for that ;) but I do desperately want to de-clutter every. single. room. I want to create a creative home, a home that my children feel inspired and safe, warm and happy. I want to be more organsied, I think that it will create a little sounding board for stress, but I still want to be 'me', who is creative and a little bit messy.

Health. From exercise to healthy eating. I have already made a start by committing to not buying packaged school foods. No more bbq shapes or le-snacks. Not because we don't love them, but maybe because we do... We have so much processed things in our diet even without these thrown in. I've not bought any for almost two weeks (all though we have been eating through or small supply.) This is probably going to be the biggest and longest challenge/change in all of our lives. Its a big habit that needs changing and I am hoping that with small steps that this time next year my family will be healthier, happier and glowing from eating right and living well. I know that some days it is going to be a struggle. I just need to keep reminding myself that change doesn't happen over night and in years to come if I stick with it I'll look back and wonder how I ever was in the spot I am right now!