31 October 2014

why we like our kids to get messy.

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I love to watch our girls engrossed.
Engrossed usually within the process of something...there doesn't even always have to be an end result. 
Just simply the enjoyment of doing, creating.

Left to their own devices, the vast majority of time our girls will end up messy. Completely absorbed, engaged and totally covered in whatever they're using.

We have always tried to embrace this. Allowing them space to play and create without the structure and direction of an adult...yes there should be space for these moments too, but with life within the school system so structured for them, time free of these instructions is one where they are able to embrace imagination and creativity.

A time to paint, to make magic potions, touch gooey things and insects and worms. To rescue starfish, get sand between your toes and do cartwheels in the waves. To make mud pies and staple leaves together, to jump in puddles and get wet up to your waist. To skink at the sink and get bubbles on your belly.


A life lived, enjoyed, savoured.
Not in a rush but content to be in the moment.
To feel the soil in your fingers and water on your skin.
To explore and experience the world at your own pace, unhurried and immersed.


This messy childhood, this pure and unadulterated joy of childhood which we must not allow ourselves to steal from them.

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Linking up with the messy kids competition on The Mad House

30 October 2014

diy. natural all purpose cleaner.

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I have been intending to do this little shift from regular cleaning products to a more natural cleaner since the summer but I think somehow in my head it was going to be a bit of hassle and an extra job to do on top of the whole other list of daily things to be done!

It partly started during a period of sickness which led to me cleaning our house to within an inch of its life...followed by the paranoia and thoughts of the toxic chemicals which now coated every surface that our kids would touch!
I spent an age researching loads of different ideas and cleaners and eventually seemed to find a common ground within many of the different ideas and recipes out there...

White Vinegar || Castile Soap || Distilled Water || Baking Soda || Essential Oils

I decided to start with an all purpose cleaner:

1 cup of distilled warm water
1 tbsp castile soap
10 drops of lemon essential oil

Pour these all into your spray bottle, give it a shake and you're ready to go!

I have to say I have loved the smell and found it has cleaned really well...I'm definitely a convert!

Check out a few of these websites I found to be really useful if you want more information:

28 October 2014

kids diy. pumpkin hoops.

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We did these simple little pumpkin embroidery hoops for an activity at Abi's birthday party. This one is Abi's finished one and the second in the last picture is Annie's...you can see the difference a couple of years makes in the result, but I have to say I love both.

It was relatively straightforward and I made it easier on myself by having all the hoops pre-prepared...the felt in position and glued onto the rim of the hoop (see here for more details on how I did this), I had sewed the eyes in place, threaded a needle and knotted it into its starting position. 
This was because I had 14 girls at the party...if you're doing this with one or two, sewing the buttons and threading the needle is an invaluable part of the lesson!

I also tied a green (stalk) ribbon from the top to allow them to hang it when they got home.

*As I didn't know how much sewing experience the girls had, we kept it very simple...needle up/needle down and we created a zigzag mouth slowly together.

*I had cut out some triangle of black felt if any wanted to create their own wee nose, which a lot of them did. Those that were more confident added eye brows and even warts!

There were quite a few who had never down any sewing before and loved having something they had made to take home and they were so proud of what they had done. After a naming session for their pumpkin hoops and a few games and a movie we were done. Literally!

But loved this simple wee craft...would definitely do it again!

To see who I'm linking up with go here!

For more embroidery hoop ideas check out this and this. Also, we're on a bit of a hoop fest and have a post coming next week...teaching your wee ones how to thread a needle, sew a button and a running stitch and they'll have a lovely little hoop at the end!

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26 October 2014

abi. at nine.

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Abi, today you are nine. And somehow I can't quite believe it. You who were so much awaited...a first. First child, grandchild, girl.

You made me a mum.

A little piece of myself in another wee soul. A new life. I remember looking into your wee eyes in that hospital room in the dark of night and imagining who you would become.
A blank page.
What would your voice be like...who would you become?

You have grown...a sparkling wit and that giggle that bubbles to the surface and overflows.
Sensitive, strong and fiercely imaginative. A creative to the core.

A little soul that we have loved, perhaps a love that took us a bit unaware, more than we even expected. 
As you grow, we try to point you ever to the truth, to the things that are more important than what the world will tell you.

We pray for you.
To love well.
To be generous.
To be thankful.
To be true to the gifts you've been given.

We love you wee abs. We hope we give you the roots that help you fly. To become that which you were made to be. To love you well.

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14 October 2014

simple living.

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When the weeks fly by and time seems to disappear, I find I crave peace...a simplicity that doesn't seem to exist between the busyness of the school runs, the errands and the homeworks to be completed.
As a family we have tried to carve out Saturdays as a time to do the simple things, without the rush and with no time agendas. 
This weekend was one of the best of them...a walk/scooter run to our local estate, a bag packed with hot chocolate, snacks and a kelly kettle.

The best of days.

I watch them as they run...the childhood frustrations I dwell on at times, melt away. I see them. Really see them. Faces alive, invigorated and completely free. 
And in its own way, it reminds me to look at them properly in those moments of frustration and clock watching. Not to see my own agenda but to see and be thankful for these wee souls in my care. 
To see them; souls that are free, so completely free.

These are the pebbles I want to gather and gather by the dozen. Because at some point I'll not be able to gather them again. Yes there will be different pebbles, and a good different in some ways I'm sure. But these little moments are the ones I want to savour. 
The ones I want to leave an imprint on my soul...my little girls running, hearts full and content. 

These are the pebbles that I know in the future when I lift them out to reminisce, will be sparkling little diamonds. 

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13 October 2014

diy. making a tassel.

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This is such an easy diy...
It all started when Abi found this gorgeous wee piece of driftwood at the local harbour up at my mum and dad's the other week. We pondered over a few things we could make with it (Pinterest is such an inspiring place for this kind of quest!) and, after much deliberation, settled with a tassel mobile. 

This is a photo tutorial, as I think the steps are pretty clear but there are a few notes at the end. If you have any questions, please feel free to add them in the comments below...I'd love to hear from you.

We did 3 tassels and hung them from the driftwood, the centre one slightly higher than the outside pair.

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*I cut the card to the size I wanted my tassels. I wanted them pretty big so, it follows, if you want dainty little ones, then keep your card smaller.

*I cut quite a long piece of wool to tie the top of the wool on the card.  This gave me the length to hang the tassel from the driftwood.

*When tying any knots, I fed the ends down into the tassel where they blended in with the rest of the wool.  Similarly, with the gold thread, after I had wound it round, I fed it down into the main part of the tassel and cut the threads to a similar length.

*I tied a knot above the bead to keep it in place but that is entirely up to you.

To see who I'm linking up with head here.