Work Holiday on the Sunshine Coast of Australia

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It’s lovely when you can mix business with pleasure.  Escaping Winter on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland has been an enjoyable ‘fringe benefit’ of work.

Little One and I will be staying a little longer in the sun with my family.

Soon I will share photos of a community garden which is around the corner from where we are staying – it is very cool.

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A Gluten Free Playdough Recipe

I can almost hear the instant negative reaction to my post title, “gluten free playdough is totally unnecessary etc etc”.

Yes I would agree IF your child isn’t a celiac or IF you have normal gluten flour.  However in my pantry, you will only find gluten free flour.  So hence why buy gluten flour just for playdough…..

Gluten Free Playdough

2 cup gluten free, plain flour
1 cup salt
1 tbs oil
1/2 cup cold water (I have found you need less water with gluten free flour than normal gluten flour)
2 drops liquid food colouring

* Combine gluten free plain flour and salt
* Add water, food colouring and oil. Mix well
* Knead well – if consistency is too wet add more flour
* Watch the smiles and fun, that a lump of dough can generate

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A Cold, Mental Health Day

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While the temperature drops outside, my family remains inside – we are all still recovering from winter illnesses (but who isn’t).

With this cold weather, I deemed yesterday to be a ‘mental health day’.  A day when I allow myself to remain in PJ’s all day.  A day when playing, drawing and having fun with our Little One, is the only item on my to do list.

A large saved cardboard box was brought inside, to be made into a kid’s cubby.  Our Little One played inside while the white fluffy ‘crocodiles’ kept guard outside.

I savour these days – these ‘young’ days are fleeting.

Children’s Sustainable Nutrition for Fussy Eaters

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The waitress watched in disbelief “she is eating broccoli?” Our two year old was quick to correct her observation by responding “small trees yummy”.

There is no doubt that at times our Little One is fussy and picky.  However generally I would conclude that she is a good eater.  Generally it isn’t a challenge ensuring she is getting 7 to 10 proportions of varied fruit and vegetables daily.

Listening to parents share their toddler eating behaviour frustrations, puts me in a reflective mood.  Why them, why not me?

Short answer is I don’t know.  I say it is because of some luck and some good genes (I was a toddler garbage disposal – eating any veggies my older brother would not).  However I feel instinctively that there are two activities that have fueled our toddler’s love of eating a wide variety of nutritious food.

Firstly the simple activity of growing your own veggies.  From six months of age I have been gardening with her.  Now she will venture into the garden to eat sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, snow peas or whatever is in season (without my prompting or help).

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Secondly the equally simple activity of cooking.  As our Little One showed interest in our cooking pursuits, we have encouraged her involvement with age appropriate tasks.  Always keeping in mind the bigger picture when she makes a mess, refuses to give back the pepper shaker or fights us for the spoon – short term annoyances allows for long term, life skills learnt.

Our Little One is planting seeds, watching them grow, harvesting food from the garden then cooking the produce.  This has to be contributing to her willingness to then eat the food, she has had envolvement in producing and preparing.

Food for thought.

Winter Solstice PJ Party

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This weekend gone, marked the passing of the Winter Solstice.  Now slowly the days will become longer however not necessarily warmer. Generally the coldest winter days occur after the solstice.

Usually Sundays are family fun days and getting into the garden days or numerous outside project days – but not this Sunday.  Instead we celebrated the winter solstice in our PJ’s watching cartoons.  Everyone in the family had a winter illness and of course being in your PJ’s always makes things better.

Thankyou to my husband who snuck this photograph – a candid Sunday family portrait in my two different PJ’s.  Did you notice that?

In times like these I prefer to focus on what I am grateful for.  What One has, is more powerful than what One doesn’t have.

Major Milestones – How Do You Handle Change?

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What a difference a week makes.

Without tears or hesitation our Little One took her first swimming class without me in the water too – just her and the teacher.  To say the transition went swimmingly is not only a pun but an understatement.

Then two nights ago, our Little One announced loudy “potty” while tugging at her nappy.  Once I helped her remove her nappy, she then proceeded to do a number 1 and 2 in the potty.  My husband and I danced, clapped and cheered for the rest of the night.

To my surprise, she has continued to successfully use the potty every time without my prompting – I had no idea how often a child does number 1’s.

I sense this developmental mile stone, signals things will change very quickly on our home front.

The only constant in life, is change. The happiest people I know, understand this and embrace it (not fight or attempt to control it).

I Choose Hope, Joy and Positivity

Positivity, hope and joy always trumps negatively, as tools for influencing change.

In regards to environmental matters, the negative “sky is falling” strategy, often achieves the exact opposite to what is wanted.  Instead of motivating people to change, people’s ears become closed and eyes shut.

In comparison; inspire people, make them ‘feel good’, make them laugh and give them believable and achievable hope – then people will listen, learn and more likely change.

Last night I was reading our Little One a bed time story, that was borrowed from the Library.

It depicts a young boy’s love of the only tree left in his city.  One day the tree was removed.  The boy’s pain and loss turned into hope, when he found a clipping of the tree.  He planted the clipping in the basket of his tricycle – so it could be close to him wherever he rode in the city.

On the last page of the book is a beautiful illustration – showing people being inspired by not negativity but by the boy’s hope and joy.

Look closely and ‘feel’…

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'Last Tree in the City' book by Peter Carnavas. Thankyou Peter for such a wonderful children's story - a story and message for all of us!