Monday, 6 July 2015

Playing with Spices

Cooking is one of the most valuable skills you can pass on to your children. Introducing kids to a variety of different foods and helping them to understand how to use them from a young age will help to ensure that children grow up with a healthy relationship with food.
As an important part of my children's food education I want them to grow up knowing how to use spices and to be confident with experimenting with them in their cooking. Spices add so much to food, not only do they make food delicious and exciting, they also add a valuable set of nutrients that have long been proven to have wonderful nutritive and healing potential.
Cold rainy days provide the perfect opportunity to get into some creative play in the kitchen so we pulled a bunch of spices out and got our noses, eyes and fingers into some fun play.

Lots of different shapes and sizes.

Busy work.

Pouring and exploring.

A few of our spices.

And sometimes spices don't smell nice! (Though on second smell she thought the fenugreek was ok)

India and Mio both enjoyed our kitchen play and when we packed up India left the kitchen yelling "that was fun" as she ran off to play with something else.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

School Holiday Explorations

I love school holidays! I love having both the girls around all day and just hanging out together. I also love that we have more time to explore fun learning activities. Being the winter school holidays at the moment it's cold and often wet outside meaning we spend at lot more time indoors and we have to get creative with our play. Learning about the human body is something that has not yet been explored at school for India so I've been wanting to delve into that with her for awhile so today we got stuck into some fun learning.

We started by just getting India to lie down on some paper so I could draw around her. We are lucky enough to live close to a paper distributor and we can get some great end rolls of paper from printing machines for quite cheap, so we always have really big sheets of paper to get creative with. Today we just looked at the organs but I'd love to explore other body systems with India as well.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Orange Peel Vitamin Capsules

I've never really been a fan of orange peel, I remember as a child biting into a fruit buns and spitting it out because I couldn't handle the intense flavour of the peel. To be honest the thought of a chunk of orange peel still sounds gross to me but I have grown to enjoy finely grated zest and the rich orange-y flavour.
I've recently started keeping my orange peels and dehydrating them, I don't like wasting perfectly good and nutritious food and knowing that orange peel contains lots of great nutrients like vitamin C, bioflavinoids, calcium, B group vitamins, and vitamin A along with smaller amounts of other nutrients, I want to make the most of it and put it to use in as many ways as possible.

I have an encapsulator to make my own herb/vitamin/mineral capsules and I've found it to be really useful as a tool for functional and complementary medicine. After dehydrating the peels I grind them in my spice/coffee grinder and then fill the capsules. I take the capsules with vitamin C tablets if I'm feeling run down and because the peels are a raw whole food they help the body to absorb and use the vitamin C. I also take a couple of capsules with my fresh orange juice for that extra health boost or just on it's own.

I've also discovered that the dried peels make a delicious addition to the spices I throw into my tea cup. I'm currently enjoying a cup of cinnamon, ginger and orange peel tea. You can also boil them in water to freshen the air or soak them in witch hazel to make a skin toner or use the ground peels as a body scrub. There are so many uses for orange peel I wonder why I ever threw them away!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

My Labour was 'Short' and that Doesn't Make it Any Less of an Incredible Achievement.

Birth experiences are different for every woman, and indeed, different for every child a woman gives birth to, but there's one thing I'm sure every woman will agree on and that is, giving birth is an amazing, life changing and intense experience.

Over the years I've heard many opinions about my birth experiences and opinions on various other women's birth experiences. One opinion that has come up often is that I'm 'lucky' or that somehow birth is less of an achievement if the labour was 'short'. Giving birth to my children were two incredibly different experiences, both equally life changing but very, very different. My first labour and birth from first contraction to when my daughter was pulled up out of the birthing pool was five-and-a-half hours- definitely on the shorter side for a first birth as far as statistics go, but just because it was 'short' does not mean it was not incredibly intense and exhausting. From the very first contraction it was incredibly intense and required all my focus, in those five-and-a-half hours I threw up twice from the intensity, I couldn't wait to get into the birthing pool and when I was in it I had mum and Dave holding me up because I couldn't do it myself.
Now, the second time around was very different, I had a show in the early hours of the morning and the odd contraction like the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been getting every night for the previous couple of weeks. It felt like Braxton Hicks but I had a show so I was unsure if I was actually in labour or not. Fast forward a few hours and when morning came I felt like things were not going to happen that day, but after I thought it had all stopped the contractions came again with a little more intensity- but still nothing like that first contraction I had when I was in labour the first time. My second labour was challenging in different ways to my first, I was tired towards the end as I hadn't slept well and towards the end the contractions tripped over each other, never giving me a moment to rest; but I moved around a lot and gave birth standing up leaning over the bed without anyone holding me up which would have been unimaginable the first time round. From the time active labour started to when I pushed my sweet baby out all in one big push it was about five-and-a-half hours but if you include the early signs of labour that I didn't experience the first time round my labour was probably around 10 or so hours long (still on the 'short' side of statistics but twice as long as my first labour).

My 'short' labours were amazing and intense and just because they were 'short' does not mean that I didn't run a marathon so to speak. Being told that I'm just lucky for a short labour or hearing in general conversations the jealously and down playing of a woman's experience is not positive or supportive of the many and varied birth experiences that we as women have. Women who share their positive birth experiences or experiences of short labours do not mean to rub that experience in other women's faces, they are merely doing what we should all be able to do as women who have entered the important rite of passage of motherhood- that is, sharing our own experience. These are my thoughts and my experiences on this matter and overall I think that these things are said unconsciously or in an attempt to ease the distress of a long labour or bad experience, but I think on a cultural level there needs to be more care taken not to devalue someone else's experience whatever that may be in an attempt to make you at ease with your own experience.

Monday, 30 March 2015

An Afternoon With India

An afternoon to practice yoga, explore and be silly, just India and I.


India does silly the best.


In India's words, this one is 'Gollum'.

Virabhadrasana II

Adho Mukha Svanasana


Dandayamna Baddha Konasana


Baddha Konasana

Urdhva Upavishta Konasana


Hakini Mudra

Earth Plug Mudra- India described this as feeling like all her silliness was going out of her and calm was coming up through her fingers.


And the sun sets on a perfect afternoon.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Baby Wearing Yoga Play

Yoga while baby wearing is really fun and it brings a whole new awareness and set of challenges to your practice.


Low lunge.


Reverse warrior.

Chair pose.

Eagle pose.

Hand to big toe pose.

Hand to big toe pose.

Tree pose.

Tree pose.

Tree pose.

Tiger rides! Lots of giggly fun!

Silly fun with crow pose.

Camel pose.

Seated twist with a snuggly baby.

Seated twist.

Shoulder opening stretch.

A beautiful snuggly moment with Mio.

Connecting with quiet breaths.

Kneeling meditation.