Saturday, 1 June 2013

Magic Fix: Table Talks


"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Yes, I have been absent from writing for some time. Many reasons have factored but the biggest being that I haven't really done anything that is worth writing recently. So please forgive me, to those who have been waiting for my next Magic Fix. I hope that you find this post worth reading!

Lately, I have been getting really excited about our family meal times. Every dinner time, more often than not, we sit down together as a family to eat our evening meal. The children lay the table, we light some nice candles, make a healthy meal and we enjoy sharing it and spending time together around table. Many families do sit down together for meals, this is nothing new of course, we have been doing so for eons but only a few do it well. Many of my parents generation put propriety and table manners above all else. These days we may bring our days anxieties and problems to the table, family tensions are allowed to play out, name calling and arguments rampantly dominate the modern day family meal time that many have resorted to watching TV while they ate instead. Yet, dinner table conversations have become an incredibly pleasurable time of the day for our family because we have chosen to make it so.

If I consider the time that I previously spent with my children, before we began our dinner table conversations, much of it would be spent giving instructions, passingly enquiring as to their day, half heartedly listening to their enthusiastic chattering but now this has all changed! Meal times have become table talks, short interviews of our children to assess their preparedness and readiness towards receiving ideas, information, values that we may want to share with them. The children in turn also have a platform in which they have our undivided attention. It is an opportunity for the children to share with us their own ideas, their feelings and values, their inspirations and perhaps even plans for their future.

The Magic Fix #30

These table talks, in our household, have been a revelation and a huge success! As parents, we have had the pleasure of truly discovering our children. When the children are not distracted or busy trying to grab our attention with what they are achieving at school, in the sports field or their creative endeavours, they reveal to us at the table their true heart's desire! 

Through the enjoyment, relaxation and sharing a meal together, the children are animated, natural, relaxed without the fear of expectation or let down. In these moments, at the dinner table, we see each other much more clearly, without the mental noise, external labels and expectations that we place on each other. Recently, during such a table talk, I received the perfect segue from my ten year old daughter to talk about puberty and other matters of the kind! Although we didn't go into every aspect of the topic 'in depth', we were able to open the conversation up without the embarrassing and awkward closed door conversations in the bedroom which always feel a little unnatural at best.

I found this table talk between Willow Smith (daughter of Will Smith) and her mother very inspiring. I hope that you will enjoy it, as much as I did. Love you all and I hope you enjoy your meal times!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Magic Fix #29: Losing My Mummy Folds, Part 2.

The Magic Fix for 'Losing My Mummy Folds' has been to do what I love and to do it often! 

I had written in an earlier post here about the weight loss methods that I had used in the past to lose extra kilos gained during pregnancy. This time around, with my forth bubba, my weight gain had reached unprecedented proportions!

Nine months on, I have reached my pre-pregnancy weight once again by doing yoga and lately by cycling which has helped to shed my kilos fast!

I believe that two key factors had determine the success of my wight loss routine (and this falls in line with my general life philosophy):

 1) I have had fun doing it and must take least effort (and I have loved every moment of it actually!!!). If I am struggling to motivate myself, its not right for ME!

2) My routine does not create conflict or take time away from the other things that I love in my  life (for me personally, it is  spending time with my family)

So the key to success is that you find the wight loss and fitness routine that YOU enjoy and not just what works for others.

I have loved spending time in nature and admiring views like these. My bicycle gets me there faster...

Cycling with my 'carrot' bike and spending time with my family, combines my two loves!

After school and before dinner time, our family can whip out to the local nature track and often enjoy views like this.

I don't have to leave my baby behind and with her help, I lose my 'Mummy Folds'!

I have found that, if my heart is not in it, it is near impossible for me to feel motivated to do any weight loss routine effectively and often enough to make it a success. By combining the two things that I love which is spending time in nature and with my family, I have found the perfect 'magic fix' for weight loss after pregnancy!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Magic Fix #28: The Khan Effect

Check out my Pinterest board 'Word Power' for more fabulous quotes!

I have always loved sharing all the fabulous learning tools used by our children with my friends and family! Due to this reason many children that we know have begun to use a number of awesome apps on the iPad, Starfall and Starfall More, Mathletics & Spellerdrome in their daily lives and had some great results.

The new paradigme for learning is that every child is capable of grasping any mathematical concept given that they have the time to work at their own pace, is provided multiple learning tools and allowed plenty of opportunities for 'creative' problem solving. Until now, I have not come across a learning tool on the internet that allowed children to do all of this in one place. I am SO EXCITED to have come across the ultimate magic fix for  learning any mathematical concept: the KHAN ACADEMY or the Khan Effect as I like to call it.

Due to a serendipitous find on YOUTUBE (thank god for YOUTUBE btw) I came across Salman Khan.

Salman Khan or Sal (as he is better known) is the founder of the KHAN ACADEMY, a website that is totally free, it gives you access to 2000 or more video tutorials that deliver world class education to ANYONE, ANYWHERE. Any learner aged 5 to 500 years can learn basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, art history and much much more with the thousands of video tutorials personally made by Harvard educated and super brilliant Sal!

Prior to the Khan Academy, Sal was a senior analyst at a hedge fund and had also worked in technology and venture capital.  He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Eng and B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a B.S. in mathematics from MIT. You may want to learn more about how he got into the business of free distribution of 'excellent' education by watching his TEDtalk below (and yes, that is Bill Gates that you see on the left of the screen):

In further support, to my thoughts on our current education system in Australia and New Zealand, written in my previous post here, I love this excerpt from his talk:

"...and in the traditional model, if you did a snapshot assessment, you say, "These are the gifted kids, these are the slow kids. Maybe they should be tracked differently. Maybe we should put them in different classes." But when you let every student work at their own pace--and we see it over and over and over again--you see students who took a little bit (of) extra time on one concept or the other, but once they get through that concept, they race ahead. And so the same kids that you thought were slow six weeks ago, you now would think are gifted. And we're seeing it over and over and over again. And it makes you really wonder how much all of the labels maybe a lot of us benefited from were really due to coincidence of time." (and he finishes to thunderous applause)

I believe that Sal may have single handedly 're-invented' not just 'reformed' education for this and the coming generations.

Don't you love that! I am so excited by this and that is why I am sharing this with you today.

If you ever labelled yourself 'stupid' in maths in the past- DON'T! Just put yourself through the paces at  Khan Academy and even you'll smile while doing derivatives.

Here is the link to the Khan Academy, get all of your kids on it and hopefully you'll also think about making a donation to this worthy not for profit at some stage. Better still, you'll also think about sharing the site with everyone that YOU know!

Now, get your math pants on and get your brain muscles pumping! oh, sorry, that's the geek in me...x

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Magic Fix #27: Real Winners Don't Compete!

To those who may say that advising our children to practice 'co-operation not competition', in a world that glorify sporting champions and promote dog-eat-dog mentality in a competitive business world, would make them "losers" in the future; I'd say thank god I'm not raising bitches and hounds!

 In our household, my husband and I actively discourage any "competitive mentality" in our children and instead promote and encourage what I call the three C's:


Non-competitive mentality is certainly not popular in our world today and our family would be a clear minority.  Our current society have children pitted against one another from the time they enter school and for some children even before that! Our educational institutions are constantly assessing our children and comparing them to each others. In classrooms and sports teams, around the world, children are frequently assessed according to age and not ability. Somehow, a ten year old child that received a higher paper test score over another ten year old, at a single moment in time, is considered to be a "success" of the education system that blatantly disregarding research on multiple intelligences that debunk such modes of assessment. The child that wins every swimming race, for example, is considered a "success" of good parenting, coaching and long hours of training but the lack of a "childhood" is made irrelevant over, "structure and results." Perhaps more countries should follow the example of Finland, which rank among the highest for academic scores, despite valuing equality over excellence among children, all the while giving less homework and encouraging more creative play (you can read more about it here). In fact, Pasi Sahlberg who wrote the book 'Finnish Lesson: What Can The World Learn From Educational Change in Finland' quotes Finnish writer named Samuli Paronen: "Real winners do not compete." 

Hey, if you are a parent and you believe a little bit of competition harmed no one and thinks that it helps your children "progress and push themselves to the next level", by all means, be YOURSELF! For my own kids though, I will always advice them to run their own race, enjoy every moment "for themselves" because life is way too short to be doing it for the attention of others. It simply boils down to intention; make it your intention to beat your own best and not the best of others.

I would say to my children,  if you love what you do and do it with consistency and commitment, success is a guarantee. If you are losing or is unsuccessful and this makes you feel unsatisfied, angry or sad, you probably shouldn't be doing what you are doing, in the first place! Isn't the whole point of doing something for self-enjoyment and self-improvement, anyways? It sounds simple enough but for many of us, fear keeps us in competition with others.

The momentary euphoria of beating someone or being better than someone else will last only as long as it takes you to become unhappy again. Ultimately, ones life's purpose should be to 'know thy self' and find happiness through other means other than winning and competition.

If my own children say to me one day "Mother, you were wrong, you should have told me to compete, if I did I'd be a winner today but instead I'm just a loser, a nobody", I'd say to them "who are you going to be a 'winner' or 'somebody' compared to? There will always be someone who will be richer, prettier, more fashionable, fitter, faster, fulfilled, smarter and more successful than you but there is only one universal equalizer: happiness. The more relavent question should be, why are you so unhappy?"

In my own journey,  the road has been long and winding coming to realize that the magic fix to finding happiness is co-operation, compassion and creativity, not competition!

The following is a short bio on myself, my journey away from competition to co-operation, contentment and finding true creativity! 

My Early Years: Time Spent in Nature

My early school years were very happy and life flowed easily with little parental interference.

I spent my days in nature, climbing trees, dancing, cycling and creating my own play outdoors.

Nobody drove me to soccer practice or dance lessons, this was non-existant in the country areas that I grew up in Sri Lanka.

I did not get a private school education, the public school education taught me the basics of reading , writing, maths, some music and dance. English was learnt at home, taught  by my parents who were fortunately educated in the english medium in Sri Lanka during the colonial era.

I never had access to a fraction of what my children enjoy in terms of structured education. Great children's literature, such as those written by authors the likes of Roald Dahl and Frances Hodgson Burnett, I only came to know after reading it to my own children thirty plus years later!

If I look at it from the perspective of where I am now, a good education is not a matter of when, it is a matter of if you choose it. Fortunately, I received my education in the best classroom ever, in my early childhood, that is in NATURE and the only competency testing I received was when I was successfully able to avoid snakes, scorpions and spiders without harm and climbed barbed wire fences without wounds and scratches.

My Teen Years: Time in New Zealand

When I moved to New Zealand in the middle of my teen years, it was life changing. I was able to learn more english, read its literature, learn and enjoy more structured sport and receive greater training in these areas. 

More opportunities became available to me, more easily; I embraced it fully and tried to do it to the best of my abilities. 

I took on leadership roles and very much enjoyed giving back to the community, this was when I was in my element.

I went to university and did an under graduate degree in History, took on three jobs while I studied and travelled across the world to many countries but competition or grasping for a vocation had still not entered my psyche.

I never felt that I was missing out in life or jeopardizing my future. I was doing what I loved (for most part, except for some dull uni papers!) and received all that I needed to sustain my life-style at the time.

My Early Twenties: Time Lost in Translation

Suddenly, bored with academia I yearned for more creativity in my life. To do a fine arts degree felt too indulgent at the time. What!? You want to do yet another useless degree? So, I did a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Technology instead, as it was called at the time because simply calling it 'Fashion Design' would make it sound way too practical and unacademic.

I won several national fashion competitions at the time and winning was not hard. All I had to do was ignore my own inner asthetic/creativity and design to please a panel of judges. When I did step out of the bonds of convention, I was rejected and that did not feel good; I did not enjoy competition! 

To become a good competitor in our society, you have to conform.

For a number of years, I was content to received false security by the media attention for my work. All the while, I was lost in translation, not understanding the fashion world at all. The fashion world did not sit right with my desire to be an individual, not to conform to expectations and not compete in a cut throat industry. I felt myself getting further away from my true nature.

My Mid Twenties and Onward: Time in Spiritual Partnership

Meeting my husband, my soul mate, my life partner changed my life and was the catalyst that drove me to start up on a brand new journey: towards co-operation, compassion and TRUE creativity. 

I had lost my desire to compete in the fashion industry in spite of my early success. I needed to find my true nature and raise my spirits once again. When my first child was born, I started teaching children art  from home and so went some of the happiest years of my life. I started with four children and it grew into almost 100 children that I taught regularly, by the time I shut shop when we needed to move due to my husbands work.

In my early years of marriage, my husband helped me to recognize some cracks in my personality such as the need to please others and receive their approval. 

Due to this weakness in my personality,  I mistook this happiness I received from teaching children art, as my calling to become a schoolroom teacher. I returned to university to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching and sacrificed much time with my own children & husband who needed me at the time.

Although, I am a qualified teacher now, I am not likely to ever work, strictly as a classroom teacher, because I realized too late that the current educational institutions did not encourage creative freedom instead it is stifled with a constant stream of meetings, assessments and reports. What I realized from this experience was that I was desperately seeking acceptance, approval and the recognition from others!

After years of bumbling through life and only after my plans were interrupted by the birth of two more wonderful children, I finally learnt what I needed to know:

I paint, I write, I design, I sew, I teach, I am a mother and a wife not for the approval, appreciation and applause of others or even to be like someone else or to be better than another but ONLY for the approval, appreciation and applause of one person: me, myself and I!

This understanding has freed me to live my life on my own terms, to write my own blog and do many things that I would have normally been too afraid to try without fearing disapproval or rejection.

When you live your life in co-operation, compassion, creativity and not in competition, life unfolds in miraculous ways towards, ultimately, what we all desire: HAPPINESS!

Blessings to all of you and thank you for reading my longest post EVER! I hope that my story, my mistakes, my lessons will help you also in some way along your own journey.

Leave me a comment, I love to hear from you too.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Magic Fix #26: Dealing with Difficult People.

This is my baby daughter, in actuality she is not difficult at all, she is a darling always (so far!)

Oh, I've been difficult!! My parents will attest to that. Having been a difficult person myself does not make dealing with other difficult people in my life any more easier, if at all, it can actually make it harder. We have all had moments when we might have wanted to be difficult, have a good old tanty, be stubborn and not comply in defiance, not accept the status quo, wanted to express our anger, disappointment or frustration at someone but this truth never makes dealing with 'other' difficult people any easier, does it? That is why, I went searching for answers, trying to find the 'magic fix' on dealing with difficult people in my own life because let's admit it, we have all had those 'moments' within our own family, friends and strangers we encounter.

I use YOUTUBE a lot lately, I tend to avoid the sex, drugs and the general debauchery that goes on there but instead subscribe to a few channels that helps me with my daily life, like my practice of meditation and yoga. Coincidentally, I cam across this channel by a very young black african man and I was completely taken aback by his wisdom and depth of character. I even showed it to my husband, who was amused and said "don't send this to your sisters, their husbands might get jealous". Laughing, I had to agree, he is cute but as for myself, I was more interested in what he had to say in this post about dealing with difficult people. Teehee.

If you don't have the 20 minutes to watch the video( he can come across a little cheesy at times) here is a breakdown of what he says, summed up in six easy steps:

first of all, don't forget to LOVE, even at times when you don't feel it, ACT love until you feel it because it is better that not (this is my own note!)

second, whatever anyone does or says to hurt, do not take it PERSONAL. Because often it's said or done because they are finding it difficult dealing with their own ISSUES!

third, stay CALM. Most challenging personalities in ones life thrive on your reactivity because they feed on the ensuing DRAMA. So just breath easy and sail right past them, especially when they try to incite a negative reaction from you.

forth,  realize that as long someone is having a negative affect on you by their actions or words, it is a reflection on YOU. You may have things to learn about YOURSELF and that is why the negative friction is present in your life. By having this person in your life, you may be forced to self-reflect and become a more loving person yourself.

fifth,  put yourself in the other persons shoes. There may be a number of reasons why he or she is not more loving: they may have had a difficult childhood, had friction in their own past relationships, they may feel like they are not worthy of your love or admiration etc. By experiencing this difficult person, you can learn to be  more FORGIVING.

LASTLY, put it in PERSPECTIVE. In the grand scheme of things, how important is this relationship or encounter? Put it behind you and move on to better things, expanding your life towards love and having friendships/relationships with those who have the capacity within themselves to love you back and be more loving.

Have you had difficult people in your life, husbands, children, family, in-laws, friends, work colleagues? How did you deal with it? Best of all, were you able to walk away happy?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Magic Fix #25: Celebrate Life!

Dear children,

Practice love, 
not rites, rituals and dogma.

Practice giving,
when no one is watching.

Practice compassion,
when no one understands.

Practice forgiveness,
and know that we are the mirror of our enemy.

Practice caring for others,
and know that you are not one without the other.

Practice your talents,
because this is all that you are and put on this earth for.

Practice meditation,
make the journey inwards and claim your ultimate prize...

Eavesdrop into your mind, heart and spirit,
and know

from your ever loving mother,

I love you all the same...

my ultimate purpose in life is to love, nurture and protect you four,

I love all the children of this earth,

but you are mine to look after.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Magic Fix #24: Don't Choose Marriage!

"Do not choose marriage!" might sound fresh coming from a women whose whole blog centres around family life and a marriage that appears to be happy. It appears happy because it is happy. I don't write or depict anything that isn't a true slice of our reality at home. I write this blog for my children to refer to in the future, to get a sense of their mothers voice and to glean some wisdom that has helped me build a happy life. They would KNOW, if any of it ain't true!!! So I keep it real. This is exactly why I would advice anyone, including my children, not to choose marriage but to choose a 'spiritual partnership' instead.

I came across the concept of a 'spiritual partnership' when I saw a Youtube clip of a four minute conversation between Gary Zukave and Oprah. I was blown away because I finally had a name to call what my husband and I have had for the last 14 years of being together. Our relationship isn't a marriage, it is a spiritual partnership and it has been the single most reason why our family continues to flourish beyond our imagination. 

Before you take a few minutes to view the clip, inorder to understand what a spiritual partnership is, I would like you to read and ponder on this gem of a find and pay special attention to Number 3: I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

I hope that one day this will help my children to build a happy relationship with their chosen soul mate and I hope that you my dear reader can glean from it, what you may...x 

Top 5 Regrets of The Dying

Bronnie Ware
Inspiration and Chai

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. 

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. 

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. 

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle. 

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. 

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win. 

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. 

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships. 

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. 

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. 

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Bonnie Ware is the author of the new book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.  Visit her official website Inspiration and Chai.

On a departing note (no pun intended) Steve Jobs, in 2005, during his Stanford Commencement Address, implored to the young graduates to live their life like its their last day on earth. If so, won't you want to be spending that day with your spiritual partner? Are you one half of a spiritual partnership or would you like to have one?

Monday, 17 December 2012

Magic Fix #23: Sew Love!

I find that when I sew, when I put my concentration on perfecting the detail and enjoying the process of creating, just loving and fully experiencing every moment spent, the resulting creation is sheer perfection for me!
I designed and sewed this costume for my daughters role as Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.

I have been so enjoying my lovely little sewing nook, it has been heavenly to walk in there, look around and admire my lovely sewing machine, shining tools, buttons and trims like treasures in a jewelry box and threads that appear like candy; lined up and standing to attention, the neatly folded bright fabrics like wrapped x'mas presents beckon my excited fingers to come unravel them!

I sew some of my own clothes, including the one I'm wearing here.

When that sewing machine begins to fill the silence, I slip into a blissful meditation and one stitch at a time, something new begins its journey towards its creation.

I made this purse for my little daughter and it looks a little tired from all the lov'n it gets!

The magic fix to appease boredom and entropy in any ones life is to do what you love to do and do it often! Have you seen the Holstee Manifesto, its great for any young person trying to find their way around this world...

What is your passion?

Friday, 14 December 2012

Magic Fix #22: Finding My Life's Purpose.

I think that women, especially mothers, grapple with finding their life's purpose. Once a women becomes a mother this search is compounded by a vital question: where do I belong? Do I carry on in the public domain, pursuing my career or "resign myself" to the private domain and play the underrated role of domestic housewife? But of course, just because a women (like myself!) have chosen to live their lives in the private sphere does not mean that they need to resign themselves from the public sphere. If you are reading my blog, I rest my case.

For some years, I struggled with my "role" as a mother. That was my first mistake. I considered motherhood almost like a part that I played in a script. I was to follow a set pattern of ideas, stick to the script, rule with my head and eventually (just maybe) it'll lead me away from the "problems" of motherhood back into a "real" vocation.

But, of course, as soon as you give birth to that baby, it doesn't get any more "real" than that! It took me some years to shove the script and realize that there is only one thing I needed to follow: my HEART! I ditched the baby books, the flash cards, the coffee mornings and everything else that was "expected" and decided to "just be" with my children.

It wasn't that I never met up with other mothers, or even read a book for some ideas on parenting, or taught my children at home but I made a conscious decision not to let these things dominate how I related to my children. I just wanted to look at them, kiss them, love them, listen to them without all that mental noise, the social distractions and of course the pressures of expectations (surprisingly by other mothers!). Motherhood doesn't ever need be a hard slog, with daily challenges with some merciful grace now and then, if only you let your thinking get out of your way and let your heart lead the way.

Now I parent with my heart and not my head and boy has it made all the difference in the world. Not only are my relationships with my children joyous on a daily basis but the guilt and obligation that society put upon mothers no longer keep me shackled. I am free to be wholeheartedly, happily and unapologetically a mother, a blogger, a crafter, a sewer, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a lover and much much more every single day.

It is so simple and beautifully summed up by one of my favorite women in the world:

Do you feel like you are playing a "role" as a mother or have you found your life's purpose?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Magic Fix #21: Pinterest Perfect!

Pinterest has been the most amazing cyberspace discovery ever to have enhanced our family life. If there is ever a shortage of inspiration in our household, Pinterest has always been our magic fix lately.
I have put together, just some of the ways that Pinterest has added to the fun and excitement at our place!

We found ideas and inspiration for our halloween party:

Martha Stewart had a spooky idea!

 This was our version with witches, bats and zombies!

We thought this was a cool idea...

but here is ours! Mr Bones was a hit at our party.

We found inspiration for taking photos of our children:

If they can do it...

we can too!

Making any type of cake yourself is a breeze these days:

Awesome step by step instructions...
made our version a success!

When I needed to make a beanbag for my son's room, there were tonnes of ideas available:

How simple is this idea? But I don't knit, so...

I made one with Ikea fabric instead!

We have many more of their version/our version to share with you but this is all we have time for today. If you want to find the links for any of the above, please find a link to my Pinterest board on the lower right hand corner of this blog.

 How do you think we went with our versions? Are you inspired to give some of this a go yourself?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Magic Fix #20: Just do me a favor...DIY!

Well, if you are one of the lovely folks reading our blog, you'll know that our general life philosophy is simple...

spend, spend and SPEND... more quality time with family and folks that we love and treasure!

Recently, this is how we managed to do just that:

We made pixie wands by gluing a gum nut and a strand of ribbon to sticks that we collected on our walks.

We made little favor bags with calico and attached gum leaves as decorations. Then we made hair bands by platting three strands of organza together.

We had fun being creative, while we did it!

We made book marks! Its easy,  just fold some card in half, do your stamping and then paste two small strips of magnet facing each other on the inside. It's a great book mark because it will never fall off your page!

We made super cute favor bags. 

These were our DIY favors for the girls pixie party that I wrote about previously here. It was a great success because...

1. The kids enjoyed decorating their organza plats with leaves and flowers.

 2. The kids enjoyed a treasure hunt using the treasure map and experienced the thrill of discovering the favors hidden among the greenery.

3. The kids enjoyed their favors. They also, together, made for some super cute pictures!

OK, you may be thinking that it all looks like a lot of work but we made the favors spread over several weeks and it sure does beat watching re-runs of cartoons on TV... besides its all for LOVE. I don't think I'll ever complain that my kids grew up too fast because with this much quality time spent with each other, I am enjoying EVERY moment SPENT!


We wish you many, many happy days like these too...xx

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