Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eating Clean: A Russian Inspired Dinner

Inspired by a good friend of mine who has a passion for clean eating and deep knowledge of the mind, body and soul I felt compelled to revisit my blog and begin to write/post again.  Belinda, a mother and vibrant business woman has been on an adventure of eating clean for 30 days.  So what?  Lots of people do.  During this time her Nan has become very unwell and sadly passed away.  Often at these times we find it difficult to eat clean and honestly.  For Belinda she has stayed the course.  I would think that in continuing to nourish her body, her soul would be able to be very present with her loved one, and connected.
Upon deciding to return to my blog and to my clean eating habits too, my daughters body spoke to our kinesiologist about the need to return to our candida cleanse for a fortnight.  This would be to ensure that we can strengthen her immunity during the seasons of change upon us allowing it to combat any possible reoccurrance of glue ear - something we hope not to endure this winter.  I say "our" because if my daughter needs this, then Mama does too.

Here is our beginning of:

  • zero processed food
  • whole food goodness
  • reduced gluten
  • zero sugar - including refined and natural sugars, with the exception of fruit in moderation
  • and in our lives no dairy (which is permanent) or no milks of any sort.
The first meal is Russian inspired and modified from Eleanor of Petite Kitchen:

Click here for her Borscht Soup recipe full of vegetable goodness. 
I modified the recipe by replacing stock with water and tamari sauce to taste, and butter for olive oil.
As we are dairy free I found and created raw cashew sour cream.  Rawtarian's recipe for cashew sour cream is here.
To accompany our soup I baked quinoa bread, modifying "The NZ Food Allergy Cookbook" recipe.

Quinoa Bread
1 c           quinoa flour
1/3 c        barley flour
1/2 c        tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp  baking powder
3/4 tsp     baking soda
2              eggs
3/4 c        water
1/4 c        olive oil

Mix dry ingredients together.  Make a well and add wet ingredients.  Mix. Place in greased loaf tin.  Bake for 20 minutes in a pre heated oven to 190 degrees.  Reduce oven to 175 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes.

The meal was enjoyed by our nearly four year old (twice), our 19 month old (twice) and us (twice). Can't wait to make it again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rainbows and Rain Clouds

Kia Ora Koutou!  I think it has been six months since I have had free hands and free time to post.  I have been a shocker in the last year - when it comes to writing.  In my head I have shared a lot on this blog.  My hands have been much busier than I could ever have anticipated with two little treasures in my life.  In fact treasure number two is in an interesting sleep stage and in order for us to get her to sleep more than she thinks she needs, I need to sit with her.  Usually I knit ( the better choice while I keep her company) but today I write!

Little E has just had her first birthday.  We celebrated with a rainbow party.  I will share this soon.

KB having turned three has started kindy and after two weeks is loving the rhythm.

Finally, the rain clouds above my head are lifting.

These events have shifted the clouds for us and we are loving the rainbow of colour we can all see now.  KB really needed kindy.  E is flourishing as her sister the tall, strong Kauri (tree) is stretching her boughs and letting more light shine down on her.  And, I am finding time for me.

While I write this blog for me - to reconnect, to connect and reflect, it is lovely to hear that others enjoy my posts.  My last post occurred around the same time a friend from long ago posted me a thoughtful gift and a thank you note for sharing here.  I was quite blown away.  Thank you Jackie!  Then as I sign in I find a new comment from a passionate playcentre Mum who found me via google.  Thank you Tara.  I have also been told there are other readers out there who wait with anticipation for my next post!!  I find that hard to believe, but I am very grateful.   Perhaps, if you have time you could share why you have enjoyed reading my posts.    Let's hope I get time to write more often, and then if I don't know that I am having too much fun with my little rainbows!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Carpentry Play

The carpentry corner at Playcentre is a very empowering corner for play indeed.

My daughter's creation, "The dolphin diving in the sea"

Full of real tools - saws, hammers, nails, screwdrivers, screws, drills, vice, wood and the complete trust in our little people that they will enjoy the tools in their play.

Our playcentre carpentry corner has had its tools refreshed and the kids know it.  With every tool working as it should the children are relishing each one.

Our role as parent at Playcentre is to provide, observe and extend when and if possible.  With carpentry that can be intimidating for a myriad of adult reasons - safety concerns, limited personal experience even frustration that screws, nails and tools are being tipped out and strewn every where by children!!!

After attending a carpentry play workshop I have had my lenz widened to so many pathways children play through when exploring with this type of play.

My kitchen cupboards and draws are often emptied of cutlery, pots, bowls and tea towels because even with all of the "play" or "toy" equipment provided - you just can't beat the real thing. And why not, it's good enough for Mum and Dad right?  Of course then carpentry tools are viewed by children in the same way.

If you imagine how your baby and toddler play and explore the home kitchen then we can draw comparisons to stages of development in carpentry play :

Experimentation Stage
In the kitchen we might see our children....
                        watching family members,
                                      grabbing for and playing with kitchen utensils
        handling and playing with spoons, bowls and pots
                                                             carting the pot around like a treasure
                          emptying cupboards

                       (sound familiar?)

With carpentry play this stage might look like
               tipping out accessories
                                               chewing on wood
        watching other children
                                                           handling or carrying tools around

Abstract Building Stage
In the kitchen we might notice our children.....
                                                use all the utensils in ways they have seen them used
                         begin to stir in a pot or bowl
                                             put plates or bowls or pots in ovens or fridges
          put their toys in the pots!

With carpentry play this stage might look like
                          hammering nails without help
         controlling saws                                        imitating adults
             using tools for their correct purpose
                                      no plan

Specific Creating Stage
In our kitchen I see this ...
                  child requesting a recipe
                                         understanding that certain types of baking requires certain ingredients

gathers ingredients from cupboards and fridge or garden
                            models Mum and Dad's methods
    insists on variations
During carpentry play you might see children in this stage...
      Pre planning construction
                               adding accessories
                                          modeling own things
completing and naming their creations

What I love the most about these identified stages is that it begins with experimentation and upon knowing more and understanding more returns to experimentation.  That to me is what is exciting about learning through play and in my opinion what learning is.  How often do you find yourself mastering something, then experimenting once you feel you have reached a certain point?

Ideas for making carpentry more accessible at Playcentre or at home:

Provide the basics if you can - wood (untreated pine off cuts are usually free around the place), nails or screws, hammers, drills, and saws.

Be present during this play - observe, offer language (hit, screw, up, down, together...) provide ideas to enable the child to realise their plan.

Holding a nail can be hard while little hands hammer.  Try starting the nail, put clay or playdough around to hold the nail in position.  This is a much more appealing option than your fingers around the nail while the child takes aim with the hammer.

Wood can be hard.  Bars of soap are a great medium for hammering into - if  the child's goal is to hammer.  Pumice is an accessible medium to saw, drill or hammer into.

Hammering/drilling holes into shells can end in shatters.  Use a masonary bit (has a spade like tip).  Hold the shell round side down and squish into play dough or clay to hold in position.

Tree stumps make excellent hammering tables for toddlers - they are lower, a little more forgiving and provide a large and defined work space.

Once nails are hammered into wood, thread wool around to create a pattern.

With the child's imagination and exploration nurtured by the adult's support through observation, offer of language and scaffolding to make their pathway possible there are no limits - follow their lead.

Carpentry play grows problem solvers, develops fine/gross motor skills, is both scientific and mathematical amongst many other values and most importantly is fun.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Show and Share: Painting Biscuits

This week Miss two and two thirds would like to share how to paint biscuits with a pastry brush.

We hope you enjoy sharing this idea and movie with your little people.

Fifty Cent Sun Dress: Lessons Learnt in Sewing with Knit Fabric and a Giveaway!

Finally, I have turned a market bargain into a sweet little sun dress!

A metre square of turquoise coloured stretch terry cloth for 50 cents caught my eye in a cardboard box last spring.
My favourite colour of course and the fabric reminded me of the dresses my mum used to where in the seventies.  I had to have it.

With Dana's Warhol Dress pattern and tutorial I have sewn my first dress for my little girl.  It is the perfect just been on the beach dress, or poolside dress.

 And, have I learned sew, sew much about sewing with knit fabric in just one dress!

Janome - my temporarily adopted sewing machine is much cleverer than me.  She knows more than me and harbours much wisdom of which I am yet to understand.    I have discovered a stitch called "overcasting", which seems to be very close to overlocking.  This is the stitch I used making this dress, it looks more professional that zig zag.

I also learned that when sewing knit fabric it is much better to have a longer stitch.  I seemed to go no where fast when sewing with short stitches and knit fabric.
Apparently, there is also a ball point needle which is better to use when sewing knit as it does not break a hole.  It is also possible to use a twin or double needle to hem knit fabric creating that professional double hem with over locking stitch on the reverse.

I am very excited about sewing with more knit.  However I have decided that I really must have an overlocker, despite finding the overcast stitch on Janome.  I think a second hand overlocker would be perfect.  And I have been given many cones of thread.....

Sadly I can't use them, and I have no idea how to go about finding a good overlocker.  So, I would love to give away the following bundles to homes who will appreciate them.

Pack one - Citrus Zing (lime is a woven thread)

Pack two - Summer Sea Blues (turquoise is a woven thread)

There are two bundles, each include a roll of woven thread.  To enter please join my facebook page and leave me a tip on how to find and buy a second hand overlocker, or a tip on sewing or overlocking with knit fabrics. Oh and let me know which trio you might prefer.  

I will draw winners on April 2, 2012     x

Friday, February 24, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember - Soulemama

Friday, February 17, 2012

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember - Soulemama

Inspired and motivated to share a moment by Soulemama and her readers.  Visit Soulemama to share her moment and others'. I would love you to share your lenz with me by posting a link to your moment below.
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