Thursday, October 23, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
The last few weeks have made me really realise the true meaning of gratitude, friendship and community like never before. Three weeks ago, my daughter was admitted to hospital with a serious and potentially life threatening illness, which meant a stay at the children's hospital for herself and me. Obviously it was a stressful and challenging time and to add to the problems, both sets of grandparents were overseas!
However, as soon as our school community found out what was happening, they rallied around us in a way that I probably thought didn't exist anymore. Freshly cooked meals were delivered to me in the hospital, since I was staying there 24 hours a day. Little friends came to visit and cheer up the patient with treats, stories and hugs, as did here teacher. A stockpile of fresh and frozen meals were waiting for us when we came home so I didn't have to worry about cooking. Even my son's school community rallied around with a gift basket for both my daughter and my son, together with offers of help and support.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
As anyone who knows my parenting style will attest, I am all about fostering independence and self sufficiency in my kids and breakfast time has been one of the most successful learning opportunities for this. In summer, we are all set - Stephen (7) and Irini (6) are perfectly capable of pouring themselves a bowl of cereal and topping it with milk and some fruit. Winter was a different scenario, however, when a nice and comforting breakfast is just what is needed before a long day at school, but seemed like it would be beyond them.
Thankfully, Uncle Toby's came to the rescue when they sent me some boxes of their Quick Sachets to try and these have truly been a win:win solution for our family; not only do the kids love them, but they are a healthy option that ticks all my boxes, especially where the kids independent mornings are concerned.
Uncle Toby's Quick sachets are so convenient and tasty; already portioned out, and with a handy milk guide built into the packet, it is so simple for my son to pop the oats into a bowl, measure in the milk, and then microwave them. 90 seconds later, a delicious bowl of warm and comforting oats are ready to go. Made from whole grains, and with no artificial flavours or colours, these are a wholesome choice that set the kids up for the whole day.
So what should you do if you want to move your kids towards independent mornings?
- Create a system - I have a routine chart listing the steps that the kids need to follow to get our day on its way. Think about what your kids could do by themselves and what they would need help with. My kids are capable of dressing themselves, making breakfast and packing their bags. I make lunches and make sure they are ready to go to be packed.
- Make it child friendly - it's no point expecting your son to make breakfast for himself if he can't reach the breakfast cereal! Set things up to succeed - all of our breakfast supplies are in one spot in the pantry at child height, and they have a dedicated spot in their closets for their uniforms.
- Take a chill pill and don't cry over (literally!) spilt milk - there will be accidents, especially in the beginning, and this is all part of the learning process.
- But be sensible and foresee (and hopefully prevent some) problems - a seven year old pouring a full 3 litre carton of milk is only ever going to end in disaster. I pour some into a smaller jug when we have a full carton.
- Let them wear the consequences - we all learn from our mistakes and children are no exception. Unless you want to be the year 12 parent still running forgotten sports kits to school, stop now. If my kids forget something, they (generally) will need to do without it AND explain to their teacher why they don't have it. I once made my son walk into school without shoes since he forgot them (really, how do you forget your shoes!!) and guess what, he's never done that again!
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and no compensation was given to me. Uncle Toby Quick Sachets were provided to me for review purposes through Product Talk by Nuffnang. All opinions expressed are my own.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
We are smack in the middle of winter here in Oz, but new season's spring/summer stock is starting to hit the stores, and I am assuming the same is true (with fall/winter stock) for those of you in the northern hemisphere. This is usually the time I start to look at my wardrobe with an eye towards spring and what I need to replace or add to my closet. As regular followers would know, I am a convert to the ten item wardrobe concept, as defined by Jennifer L Scott in her fab book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris, and I will certainly be following that again for the upcoming season. A lot of critics, of this and other capsule style wardrobes, is that they can be boring. I find the opposite is true, and so over the next few weeks, I thought I would post some examples of capsule wardrobes that are easy to put together, easy to wear, and stylish.
My first capsule wardrobe is designed for a SAHM who spends most of her time in casual wear, but wants a day-to-day wardrobe that is a step up from yoga pants and tracksuits. The key for any limited wardrobe to be workable is to stick to a limited colour palette, usually one neutral base colour and one or two pop colours for interest. In this case I have gone for navy as the base, with white and apple green as the interest. With just 23 items, including shoes, bags and accessories, this capsule can give you a multitude of outfits (I have shown 12 outfits, but there are so many more) that would be suitable all year round in a climate like my home in Perth, or most of the year in places that have proper cold winters.
- Paired with a bright tank, a fun blue and green scarf, tan wedges and a tan leather trimmed tote, you are all set for a summer lunch out with the girls and will still look great when doing the school run later in the afternoon.
- For spring days when the day may start out cooler, the apple green knit shirt worn open works as a double duty cardigan over a basic white tank. With a fab patterned bag (it's such a shame the Pleated Poppy closed her shop, as this bag is fantastic!!) and a stack of coloured bangles, you will still look great when you remove the shirt as the day warms up.
- A navy tank paired with the navy maxi gives a solid column of colour, which is not only ultra flattering but ultra stylish. Together with the stack of bangles, gold sandals and a gold long necklace, you have the perfect outfit for date night with the hubby.
- A maxi is not only for summer; with a navy striped Breton tee, the green and blue scarf, and topped with apple anorak, you will look bright and cheery for any mild winter day.
- The first outfit is nothing more that a basic white tank and jeans combo, but with the jeans cuffed, tan leather wedges, a tan leather trimmed striped tote and a long gold necklace, the outfit has gone from zero to hero in seconds.
- Again, the apple green knit shirt is perfection for those in-between days. Start the day with the sleeves unrolled, then simply roll and button them up as the day warms up. The jeans cuffs are rolled again, showing off a little ankle and some darling ballet flats, and the green and aqua scarf and bag add a punch of pattern.
- For cooler days, the jeans and ballet flats are the perfect base for a navy striped long sleeve tee, topped with a woolen waterfall cardigan. A navy leather bag and a green and aqua patterned scarf complete the look.
- Finally, layers are perfect for winter days. The white and navy striped sweater is the perfect accompaniment to the navy tank, while the apple green anorak adds a hit of colour. Spots on the shoes coupled with stripes on the bag, both done in navy and white, add pattern mixing interest.
- Apple green, aqua and white will have you looking as fresh as a spring daisy! Again, the knit shirt does double duty as a cardigan, while the aqua and green scarf, the patterned bag and the gold sandals kick the outfit up a notch.
- This patterned cotton shirt has a gorgeous pattern that will look great with all the bottoms, but is especially good with the white jeans. With blue shoes and bag, and a stack of bangles, the look is complete.
- We've never had the "no white after Labor day" rule here in Oz, but even if you do, this is one rule that can and should be broken. Paired with darker elements, white done right can look fab in colder weather. Paired with a navy striped top, a striped tote and navy polka dot sneakers, this outfit will keep you looking chic as you run your errands.
- Paired with a woolen waterfall cardigan, a navy tank and blue accessories with a pop of colour at your neck, this outfit will keep you warm even as it keeps you stylish.
Stay tuned for some more capsules over the next few weeks, and please leave me a comment if there is something specific you would like me to cover!