Saturday, December 26, 2009

Steiner Education Videos

Just a couple of short videos that help explain Steiner education for those friends and family who are curious. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reindeer Poo!

This year Aria helped me make some delicious christmas treats! We've decided to call them 'Reindeer Poo', as that's just what these delectable mouthfuls look like (I guess!)

These are vegan and gluten free, healthy, raw and all natural. Great for kids and mummas alike! They are easy peasy to make and incredibly rich, so make them quite small - they'll be a sure favourite with the whole whanau. Here is the recipe...

1 cup Agave nectar
2 cups carob powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
2tbsp calcium powder (optional and preferably non-animal derived)

Blend all the ingredients together and spoon into a mini-muffin tray. Put in freezer for 20mins and enjoy!

What a sweet toothy grin!

In with both spoons - twice the yum!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aria's latest little friends

Just a quick photo post of Aria's latest bunch of Christmas and Summer friends.

The whole crowd (animals to come hopefully - I'm finding them so difficult!)
Aria loves the crystals, shells and stones just as much as the dolls.

The Archangel Gabriel brings some heavenly news!

Three three wise men - Aria seems to play with these guys the most!

Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus -  ("Bubba")

A Summer Fairie  - Christmas gift for one of Aria's little playmates.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 3rd Chakra - looking after the solar plexus area

Just thought I'd write a quick post about the 3rd chakra. I've been looking into how to look after and stimulate this area due to my ongoing dealings with glandular fever and chronic fatigue.

The 3rd Chakra, also called the solar plexus chakra, is located halfway between the navel and breast bone and is associated with the colour yellow. In terms of Eastern philosophies, this area is also the domain of the inner adult - giving the ability to make choices that stay true to your course in life with courage and integrity. It is where our core strength lives and is the seat of our personal power. This whole area houses the adrenal glands, kidneys, liver and spleen.  The kidneys, liver & spleen work at ridding our bodies of excess toxins and help protect against illness - giving energy and stamina, while the adrenal glands work at keeping our nervous system and stress hormone levels healthy.

The adrenal glands play an extremely important role where our well being is concerned. Too much stress, failure to look after the whole self and chronic negative emotions such as worry often result in adrenal overload and burnout.  When the adrenals are overstimulated by stress, they become overloaded with cortisol which means that they must adapt by diminishing the output of these regulatory hormones in order to maintain equilibrium. The nervouse system of a sufferer of adrenal fatigue is running on low stress coping hormone levels (eg. cortisol). This can reult in hypoglycemia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, addiction, muscle spasms, 'night owl' tendencies, low blood pressure, inflamation, immune deficiencies, increased abdominal fat, slow wound healing and a lack in many vitamins and minerals. Glandular fever (the most common precursor to chronic fatigue) is also a result of 3rd Chakra exhaustion despite being attributed in the past to the epstein barr virus (it has since been discovered that the EB virus lays dormant for many years in a number of people, but only becomes 'active' when triggered by other factors such as too much stress and a lack of vitamin B).

Here are some ways to help look after our personal power house - the 3rd Chakra - and prevent the all too common conditions related to burn out. (Please remember that this is just data that I have collected from my own personal research and esperience - it is in no way a professional opinion or a diagnosis.)

Licorice root, Siberian Ginseng, Ginger, Cinnamon, alfalfa, Bayberry, Juniper berries, parsley (for potassium), dandelion root and orange peel, Green tea (moderately due to caffiene), fennel, chamomile

Spirulina, L-tyrosine, Licorice extract, potassium (always consult a professional), organic sodium (not salt), GTF chromium, magnesium and clacium, Vitamin B complex, B-5, B-12, Vitamins A & C, a-b-c strain probiotics.

Grains, Starches, Dairy, Yellowe fruit & veg, Spices; ginger, mint, melissa, chamomile, tumeric, cumin, fennel.

Essential Oils:
Rosemary, Carnation, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, Peppermint, Juniper, Lavender, Citrul oils, Cedar, Pine, Rose (decreases depression). 1 tbsp of apple cider vingar and some epsom salts in a bath also work wonders.

Amber (amazingly soothing - especially if worn around the neck for relief from all those glands and a heavy head), Citrine, Melachite, Topaz, Rhodonite, Rhodochrosite. 

Yoga -
Sun salutation, Navasana (boat pose, 1/2 boat pose, leg lifts (Urdhva Prasarita Padasana), Warrior poses, twists, Bellows Breath/Breath of Fire (Bhastrika Pranayama). Passive backbends are resotrative where 3rd Chakra excess is present - they cool off the belly's fire and have a calming effect.
Hula Hoop, Dancing - the twist, Belly Dancing, rubbing the belly

Alternative therapies:
I've also found Chinese herbal medicine, accupuncture, cupping, massage, osteopathy helpful for providing relief from the symptoms listed above.

Meditation & Inner work:
Where any condition presents as being chronic, I believe a great amount of soul searching is integral to the healing process. Loving, guided meditations can be greatly soothing and can be used to kick start or provide the most fertile environment for healing to occur. I love Doreen Virtue's Angel meditations, Brian Weiss's meditation for joy and love, and Louise L Hay's affirmations amongst many others. Whatever spiritual path you are on, now is the time to immerse yourself in it - to read up on, listen to and nurture those aspects of yourself.

Don't forget lots of rest and sleep, and to go easy on yourself! It's amazing what we say to ourselves all day long - I really have to watch this internal dialogue. It's also important to eat wholefoods and organic wherever possible - lessening any toxins that enter your system. This way you will be easing the work load for the cleansing organs in your solar plexus area.

I hope my experience is of some help. Much love, strength and warm wishes for the Christmas period ahead.

Angel Meditation, Dorren Virtue, phd.
You can heal your life affirmations - Louise L Hay
The work of Brian Weiss
Salute to the Sun, Yoga
Search here for the healing properties of any oils, herbs, food

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mumma and Bubba's refreshing holiday

Here is a little clip of our latest trip to Warburton. It was just Mumma and Bubba on this holiday.  Aria enjoyed singing, talking, dancing and walking for the first time. It was so beautiful to watch her develop and become increasingly free as she learns how to be comfortable in her little body and within the world. Such an enchanting little spirit.

Pitter patter...

Flapping together - amidst screams of delight!

Aria and her friend Mr. "Duh"

Mummy takes a nice long deep breath...

...and catches up on some knitting

Siberian ginseng and fennel seed tea tastes like heated up plastic when mixed together. An acquired taste!

Aria helps to sweep up with her brand new broom.

Sunny horizons

Happy little debut walker

Another magical journey.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Healing

 While looking around on youtube I found this amazingly healing piece of footage. It is so soothing to watch and I felt at peace immediately.

My new favourite music to unwind to is anything by Gary Stadler. He writes some beautiful piano, orchestral and vocal music about faeries. I'm sure I was Irish in another lifetime! Together with the beautiful artwork by Gilbert Williams featured on this clip, this music  results in such a nourishing experience for the inner child.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some new friends

Aria has some new friends this week. When she wakes up and visits her special table each morning, she see's a new friend has appeared over night and has come to play with her.

Aria loves her shells that we collected on one of our very long nature walks at the beach in Shoreham. She didn't want to stop walking, and would squat down to pick up each shell that caught her eye. She was pointing at the sand the whole way and saying 'sea, sea' (we had been singing a song about the sea).


We also picked up some other fascinating goodies this week from mother nature.

So much to touch, smell, see, hear, feel and experience.

A perspective of gratitude

Boy does a little gratitidue go a long way! Talk about a snowball effect - it's contagious (much like the glandular fever I've had for months, hehe!) I've had some beautiful conversations with family this week. I have a lovely, supportive and understanding family and in those times when I've found my way back to my little dark place I often give my Dad a call and always come away with a deeper perspective on things. I have been reflecting this week on how wonderful it is to have parents who I both love talking to in different ways. After my conversation with Dad I recieved a lovely surprise in the mail - Tori Amos's new c.d 'Midwinter Graces' along with a really thoughtful note designed to help spur on a little kick of energy.  Such generosity of spirit. I love the c.d - well I love anything 'tori', but this is just beautiful; a collection of seasonal songs, celebrating the coming of light and the renewal that the festive season brings. It also has a kind of 'pagan' flavour to it. I've also had the pleasure of spending some time with my gorgeous sister, Kirsty, who is always so sweet and caring in her own special gentle way. Aria is also her biggest fan - I'm sure they've got a strong soul connection.

We had some great healing time looking at amber crystals and I picked up a little book 'the crystal children' by Doreen Virtue. I've become more sensitive to and understanding of Aria's sensitivities and beautiful crystal energy as a result of this book. What special gifts this generation of children are bringing to the world! Aria is extremely clingy at the moment, and I've made a decision to stop worrying so much about the future and what will happen if I let her cling to me all the time and give her just as much boobie as she likes. My presence is obviously extremely important to her at the moment and probably very grounding for such a dreamy little soul and especially in light of the fact that there is so much going on in her world that she doesn't understand. She also doesn't have the ability to filter out any of it as children absorb everything equally until they have more of a context within which to place things. (boy, I think I'd go quite mad and cling to someone or something if I didn't have my selective hearing in place sometimes!)

This week I also discovered Aria's paradise. It's the beach! What a little water baby! I've never heard singing that was such beautiful music to my ears (I'm not a biased mummy at all... ;) no...) She LOVED floating in the water as we rythimically swayed and she kept looking up at me with her big sparkling eyes and letting out the most contented little sighs interpersed with pure and soft melodies. I felt the energy around the two of us just lift as we spent each morning this week cycling in the sun to the sparkly lilac and aqua dream of our local beach. I even managed to do some yoga in the shallows while Aria happily climbed all over me. I think this is where we'll be most of the summer. It is truly amazing considering Aria has been so tense and wound up, crying and squirming for the majority of the day no matter what I did. At the beach she has a completely different experience and I sense that she really needs this right now.

Kirsty came to the rescue once again when she offered to take her soul sister for the afternoon so that Mummy and Daddy could have some alone time. We've been extra conscious this week of spending time together in order to nurture our relationship. This has been so easily missed over the past few months with all the busy happenings of everyday life and illness etc. We are trying to get back on the 'same page' as we feel this is of the utmost importance. We need to have a common goal for our family. It was actually really exciting and energising to be discussing what dreams we both have for our family, our marriage and for ourselves. I was greatly inspired by this radio broadcast and this wonderful be a beacon programme. We've decided to talk like this on a weekly basis and to each do some inner work every day - (even if it is just reflecting on a paragraph of inspiring words for 5mins - Michael in particular finds this idea much less daunting than meditating or reading heavily). For our afternoon together we travelled further down the peninsula - about a 45 min trip - and had an exhilerating but soothing walk beneath slow rain drops through the enormous gum trees surrounding Shoreham beach. We are so grateful for the rain with the drought going on and especially as we head in to bush fire season. It was just glorious...



I have been simply awestruck at times this week with the abundance of things I am grateful for. I don't know how I can do justice to these feelings in writing. Our smiles speak for themselves. I've also been reminded by a dear and wise friend that the world hasn't changed at all - the only thing that has been altered is my perspective. The world is still the same old place, but this week, it has looked amazingly different through my eyes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Over the last couple of weeks...

I haven't had enough energy to write for a couple of weeks, so just thought I'd post a quick little photo update of the happenings round here.

We had a great time in Warburton for Matt and Carol's wedding. It's always great to get out amongst some nice fresh natural surroundings. We now have a strong hankering to get ourselves back there some time soon for some serious R&R!

absorbing nature



New perspectives

Cabbage-dyed singlets in process

 The finished products

My first (VERY rough!) attempt at dry felting. Aria now has a family to play with (the Daddy is on his way!) I can't wait to get right in to doing more little dolls. It was so much fun and such a quick process. I have christmas angels and magical summer faeries in mind. Maybe a nativity scene too? Then will come all our relatives...

The magic carpet in Aria's kitchen. We've been finding over past little while that we have completely outgrown our current nest. The outdoor space is very limited (to say the least), so while our perfect abode is manifesting we've been getting a little more creative. This is Aria's new outdoor kitchen area on our back porch. I picked up some wooden bowls and utensils from a local op shop and also discovered a little pre-loved cupboard to hold all her nick nacks. Today she became absorbed in stirring aound and rearranging pasta shells, walnut shells, sea shells and acorns in her bowls. She also washed her dishes in her little wading pool (while drinking the 'dish water') and had a wonderful time positioning her carpet. There looks to be room for a sand pit - with lots of space for painting too. Fun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Living simply

Over the last few days, I've been inspired to strip back our lives further and to strive to live simply. Sometimes it just feels like I'm buried beneath this modern world and need to replant myself into a more natural environment - the environment I'm built for!

The internet is a wonderful resource for finding out how to make anything and everything! I'm constantly amazed at how simple some of these things are to make and wonder why I've never looked into it before! It's like it's some big secret!

I was flicking through a friend's blog, which is the seed that started off this chain of thought. I thought I'd write a quick entry here on my findings so far.

I've just been looking at how to make goats cheese at home from this comprehensive site devoted to home made cheese recipies.

Another friend of mine, from whom I'm gaining lots of inspiration, has also put me on to some fantastic links to useful recipies, one of which I'll be eagerly trying out - natural toothpaste.

I've been making my own shampoo and deodorant for a while now too (not quite happy with the recipe, so will do a little more searching) I'm trying to figure out what to do for eco friendly/leather free shoes now... hmmmn

I've made contact with the LETS in our area, which I'm hoping will be a great avenue to go down for alternative trading.

After stumbling across this article and others by the same author, I've been reminded of what it means to truly simplify our lives. It is so easy to get caught in the trap of getting all the 'stuff', collecting old fashioned hand made thingamees and stocking up on the tools that I think are going to help me keep things simple. It is very tempting to want to fill up my time creating a million little things while overlooking the value of simply being with what is and being truly present. It is going to be interesting to find a balance that feels true for me. I think there will be a fine line between  being self sufficient and self erradicating! (I tend to go to extremes some times!)

I'm truly looking forward to this latest chapter in the life of my family. I can feel my inner world already opening up further as a result of this new found inspiration.

I have many more links which I'll post at some other time (a time when I'm not supposed to be in bed, perhaps!) - but here is just one last link that I'm really excited about. Home made Solar ovens, and here is another that I'm looking forward to purchasing over the coming months in the lead up to our simpler year ahead.

There is so much beauty in the simplest of things!

Monday, November 2, 2009

How we celebrated Halloween in Spring

I thought I'd put some photos up here and follow up on my preparations for Halloween post from a few weeks ago. Due to prior commitments, we needed to celebrate a day early this year (on the Friday instead of the Saturday), so things were slightly abbreviated but magical just the same!

This is our first little festival (outside of Christmas and Easter) that we have incorporated into our family life, and I was pleasantly amazed by just how exciting the lead up to the big day actually was! There was definitely a festive vibe in the air and a very light and bright atmosphere around the house. I really appreciated the extra joy,activity  and warmth that was facilitated by the creative spirit we all injected into the 'in breath' (or lead up) to our big day. My gorgeous family also got right into the spirit of what we were trying to achieve - it was just lovely! There were Faeries, a gnome, some pixies, the god of lightning and some cheery spring colours worn by those in the family who decided to remain human for the night, (hehe). There were many moments during the evening where I felt myself pausing and observing the positive energy that pervaded the surroundings. It was so easy to absorb this effortless overflowing of love and family spirit - just by being there and by being present. This, for me, is what it's all about and what we wanted to create for our little Aria.


These are some of the beautiful flowers that filled the house with their spring fragrance.

One of our spring stars, which we had hoped to see more of on our lantern walk...

Daddy's first ever bees wax carving of Persephone on our seasonal candle.

I was incredibly uplifted by the atmosphere of abundance we had all created together. Everyone contributed a dish and some spring produce/crafts (which were later divided up and given to each family unit in a special spring harvest basket to be reused each year).

The giving spirit of family for each to take home.

Spring wishes and inspirational quotes for all to read helped direct our focus to the seasonal theme of renewal and growth.

Our beachside lantern walk was transofmed into a rather exhilerating experience by the wind, thunder, lightning and rain. We all had to laugh as my Brother in law (to be) came dressed as the Chinese god of lightning. Boy did he show off! Those paper lanterns didn't stand a chance! He sure knew how to provide some spectacular scenery though!

We'll all look forward to what gifts our little Halloween festival will bring to us next year.