Friday, August 28, 2015

weekend reading

I spent two hours writing a post about the Rosie Batty dinner I went to last Friday night and the post vanished! Don't know what I pressed, don't know where it's gone but it's gone. So, I'm sorry for the quiet week with posting. I'm aiming for more next week.

We're heading out on country this weekend with some Elders and their families, River is packing light: taking his footy. Very important.

This week we spent a lovely morning with local artist Betty Davies and her partner, drinking coffee, talking about life in Alice, raising children, Pete's work and everything in between. Making new friends, hearing about their lives, sharing life experience is part of the richness of being in new places.

I feel like I haven't been talking much about food here! And haven't been supplying you with any new recipes. I've been keeping meals pretty simple cooking in our little kitchenette here. So to make up for it I thought I'd focus on some food links today...

I don't have a thermomix but I'd like to have a go at making Jo's chicken pot pie without a thermie.

You'll find plenty of delicious family friendly recipes over at Well Nourished.


Natural New Age Mum


Alexx Stuart

Brenda Janscheck

For meal planning check out:

Planning with Kids

Veggie Mama

Have a great weekend everyone. Enjoy your cooking and I'll be back next week with more stories from the desert. x

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I owe you a weekend reading list and stills collection so I've rolled them together!

You see I've been busy washing sheets and towels. All 3 of my guys went down with gastro since Friday. So much fun.

Anyway, we're back on track starting with this post.

During the week we had the privilege of heading out of town with two Arrerntre Elders to spend time with their family sitting under the shade of trees on one of the Elders homeland. How spectacular is that country? River and Sol loved every minute, from eating kangaroo tail to playing footy with their new friends.

Friday night I had the opportunity to meet Rosie Batty and personally tell her what a remarkable woman she is for the work she is doing to prevent domestic violence in Australia. Next week I will write a post about the evening. Join Rosie's Never Alone campaign. Together we can make a difference.

Check out the Desert Divas looking forward to seeing them at the Bush Band Bash next month.

If you're pulling your hair out because your kids are fussy eaters, or you can't bear to hear 'what's for dinner?' one more time, then Brenda Janscheck and Alexx Stuart's 21 day e-course THRIVE could be the one for you. For more details or to sign up go here, registrations close midnight tonight and the course kicks off tomorrow.

Now if you'll excuse me I've got some catching up on sleep to do! More soon. x

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

THRIVE: Raising Kids Who Love Real Food

You may have heard, two wholefood mamas and health coaches Brenda Janscheck and Alexx Stuart have a brand new 21 day e-course coming up that many of us are excited about.

I have known Brenda and Alexx online for some years now and am very happy to be promoting THRIVE and to be taking the course too. We can never have enough inspiration in this area.

Brenda and her beautiful real food loving kids!

With so much conflicting information out there about what to eat and what to leave out it can be so hard and time consuming to work it all out.

Brenda and Alexx have put together a roadmap, their course provides easy to understand information on what foods are going to promote your children’s overall health, from how to boost their immune system, to gut and brain health, plus the best way to create habits which will inspire your kids to make their own positive healthy choices for the rest of their lives.

Alexx and her little guy who is known to happily eat all manner of fruit, vegetables and fermented foods that many kids his age would protest over!

The thing I like about Alexx and Brenda's approach is that they keep it real, there is no blaming or shaming, just good information, practical doable tips and the best part: user friendly, budget friendly meal plans and recipes!! No more what's for dinner? and not knowing the answer!

THRIVE covers many areas of positive health including food, gut, brain, immune health, exercise, pantry staples, ‘the right’ brands, fussy eaters, body image and more!  Each week you will also receive meal plans with delicious wholefood recipes which are jam packed full of nutrition to properly nourish your babes. In addition, you will have access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your experience and get support in making changes.

You will also hear from experts in the field of children’s health from Paediatrician and public health specialist Dr Leila Masson about allergies, illness and immune system, Nutritionist Jenny Tschiesche from The Lunchbox Doctor who will be talking about the importance of getting the lunchbox right, and Simone Emery from Play with Food, a fussy eating expert (to name just a few). 

To read more or sign up for the course go here. And if you have any friends who are searching for this sort of information please share this post with them. I would love it if in time kids who love real food are the majority!

THRIVE: Raising Kids Who Love Real Food - 21 day ecourse - registrations close Sunday August 23rd. Course commences: Monday August 24th. $99.

* I am an affiliate for this course which means I get a small commission if you sign up via my site.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

postcard from Alice

My camera and photography skills don't do justice to the magnificence of the land here in Alice Springs and surrounds.

I can completely understand how people become enchanted by the desert. The natural beauty is captivating, red dirt, golden grasses, olive green trees growing against all odds. The light, the changing colours it all draws you in.

Alice is our base and from here we travel out with Arrernte Elders to spend time with them on their land. What a gift.

I am a heart on my sleeve kinda gal - cry at the sight of a newborn sorta thing - so to meet Elders of this land and hear their stories, tears are frequently filling my eyes. So much humility, grace, strength and wisdom in the Arrernte people I have met in the short time I've been here. More about that later as my heart and head take in the depth of life and culture here.

We shared a simple and beautiful kale and veggie soup made by our hosts neighbours, a delightful couple B and her husband S, who escaped the cold of Victoria and living their retirement in full colour. They're savouring the weather, the landscape, and the increasingly "alternative community". B is a celebrated artist here, we're looking forward to visiting her in her studio and opening our budding little artist's mind (Sol) to the painting life.

I don't even know where to begin writing about the Indigenous art here. The colours and stories are so vibrant and the canvases abundant. I am trying to take it all in slowly.

I've embraced the art of the honest selfie in this post. I'm soaking in the amazingness of this place on broken sleep. Hands up who else has a five year old who rarely sleeps through the night? Not that I was going back to have a third baby but there is NO way I could do serious sleep deprivation again. Hats off to mothers of newborns, you are doing an amazing job!!

Homeschooling on this trip has fallen into a fairly easy rhythm for which I am extremely thankful. As with pretty much everything you do with children, if you make it fun they're up for it. In this photo of the number cards, the fun part for Sol was using a huge long stick as a pointer to point to the numbers as I said them. He was having fun with the long stick and brushing up on number recognition at the same time. Simple but effective.

Getting him to write each day proves a little trickier as he just wants to draw or paint, so I let him do the drawing or painting and then ask him to write some words about the picture. I'd like him to write more but I figure the drawing is helping with the fine motor co-ordination needed for writing so it will all fall into place eventually. She hopes!

River is totally engrossed in a project about Red Kangaroos "I'm enjoying it so much Mum I'll be sad when I finish it!" Dream child. (I may or may not have had to spell out my expectations about attitude the day before. Seems to have worked).

That's enough from me for now. Friends and family I'm missing you! Thanks everyone for reading.

More soon x

Friday, August 14, 2015

weekend reading

A gorgeous blog find, if you are following GAPS you'll like this

Love this

I thought Melbourne had a lot of festivals and exhibitions but I think Alice Springs has taken the lead. Let's see, there's the Desert Song festival coming up, The Alice Desert Festival and Desert Mob and that's just skimming the surface!

Pete and the boys and I were lucky to spend a day at Akeyulerre this week, an Aboriginal healing centre here in Alice. You can read more about Akeyulerre social enterprise and healing products made from traditional bush medicine here.

We've also been fortunate to spend time with MK Turner a respected Arrernte woman and author of a beautiful book Iwenhe Tyerrtye - what it means to be an Aboriginal person.

I'll be talking more about Thrive over the coming week, a fantastic new e-course for Raising Kids Who Love Real Food. Put together by two wholefood mamas and health coaches, Alexx Stuart and Brenda Janscheck. You can read more about it and sign up here. (I'm an affiliate which means I get a small commission if you sign up via my link, just so you know!)

I support domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty and her online campaign Never Alone, they've had a win this week with Tasmania committing to a respectful relationships program being introduced in Government schools from kindergarten to Year 12. Join Rosie's campaign and help put pressure on the other states to do the same.

Have a great weekend everyone. X

Thursday, August 13, 2015

smooth revolution

How cool is this bike?

We spent last Sunday morning at the desertSMART eco-fair here in Alice Springs and River blended up a smoothie for him and Sol using pedal power.

Note to Canberra: solar and pedal power are the new black!

No doubt the harshness of the climate and the limited water supply here means that environmental concerns are at the forefront of people's minds. The eco-fair is heralded as Central Australia's Premier Sustainability Event and offers visitors opportunities to participate in activities and workshops so that they can learn and create.

The highlight of the day for Pete and I was hearing Arrente Traditional Custodian Aunty Doris Stuart in conversation with Costa Georgiadis and our friend Jodie Clarkson, speaking about connecting to country.

Aunty Doris spoke from her heart about responsibilities of traditional custodianship, the importance of sacred sites and what this means living in a modern Alice Springs. Aunty Doris's words stirred much emotion in her and in the audience.

"We get our life from our land. It's not just a hill, it's not just a tree, when it's cut we feel that pain. 
Everything comes from country and goes back to country. 
Country is kin, country is family.
Kinship is a map. When people are born that map tells them how to relate to country and to people".

Pete and I had tears rolling down our cheeks as we listened. At times Aunty handed her microphone to Jodie to speak while she took a moment to compose herself. Jodie has lived in Alice for twenty years and describes arriving in Alice "Like coming home to a place I'd never been before," I can appreciate this. Jodie's deep connection with the land and its people is clear, the friendship and respect between Jodie and Aunty Doris was moving in itself to witness.

Aunty Doris shared a vivid and fond memory from her childhood. She remembered sleeping outside and hearing the sound of singing and chanting carrying through the night air from women in ceremony at nearby sacred sites. "We'll never hear that again because so many of our sacred sites are gone," said Aunty with sadness. It made me think about the younger generations of Aboriginal children who have grown up or are still growing without this experience of their culture.

Being a Traditional Custodian brings with it responsibilities and decision making that cuts deep. Aunty Doris explained that for Aboriginal people being asked to choose which tree to cut down so a road can be built, so that people can save 5 minutes on their travel time, is like choosing a relative to be killed. To non Aboriginal people who don't have an appreciation for the depth of connection between Aboriginal people and the land, that may sound extreme but for Aboriginal people it is a painful reality.

"All we want is for our sites to be respected" - Aunty Doris Stuart.

Culture and environment, that's where we need a smooth revolution in this country.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

stills collection

1. The wide open road. South Australia desert.

2. Road train

3. Road school

4. Exploring Coober Pedy

5. Roadhouse cuppa

6. View from the top of the hill at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens Alice Springs

7. Barefoot and happy

Friday, August 07, 2015

weekend reading

We're here in Alice Springs! And wow the desert has already woven its magic around us. I am being amazed by the miracle that anything at all grows here! So much red dirt and sun. I can't even imagine what the heat would be like here in summer. Alice is so rich with arts, culture, community and at this time of year, the perfect amount of sunshine.

Today River and Sol and I spent the day at the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens where the annual desertSMART ecofair began today and runs all weekend.

Pete and I are very much looking forward to hearing Rosalie Kunoth-Monks speak on Sunday at the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame

River is doing an assignment on megafauna this term ("They're big animals mum," Sol tells me),  so I think a trip to the Alice Springs Desert Park will happen soon

We joined the Alice Springs library today - I love public libraries - and there is so much on offer there including A Young Writer's Group for children and young people aged 7 - 15 which will be perfect for River

And for my little emerging artist Sol we'll be heading to the Araluen Cultural Precinct to soak up the colours and stories of the paintings

On the food front I'm looking forward to visiting Kungkas Can Cook

The photo above was taken at the Coober Pedy Bakery where despite its basic shopfront and modest decor you'll find surprisingly good coffee and er, top notch French pastries! Coober Pedy is known for opal mines not cuisine so I wasn't expecting this find.

I'm looking forward to sharing our Alice Springs adventure with you. Happy weekend everyone xo

Sunday, August 02, 2015

winter remedies

By the time you are reading this we should be on the road to Alice Springs.

Our trip was delayed, we became stranded by man-flu and mini man-flu.

First Sol came down with croup, followed up with ear pain. Then River with a chesty cold.
Then Pete. He was in bed for 4 days, painful chest cough, fevers, aches, headache, the works.

Our bags sat packed. We were just waiting for wellness. No fun traveling with sickies.

Everyone is back on track and we will head off tomorrow before the sun comes up.

Most of you have probably experienced that phenomenon where somehow the whole household gets sick but mum stays well because, really who else is going to keep the show on the road?

Given the week I've had caring for sickies I thought I'd share some remedies I buy to help everyone through the cough and cold season. Sometimes chicken soup and lemon tea just isn't enough.

I like Blackmore's kids multi vitamins

The Brauer homeopathic range is excellent - I like the chesty cough remedy (the teething remedy is good too, though we're past that stage here!)

Thompson's Garlic Perles for adults

Bosisto's eucalyptus and lavender sprays have been getting a good run here too

For myself, as soon as I feel a tickle in the back of my throat I gargle salt water. Put a teaspoon of sea salt into a cup of boiling water and once it cools gargle. Do this a few times a day and I find that staves off a sore throat.

If you are suffering with sinus, salt water up the nose works wonders. Not very glamorous I know, but hey it's better than sinus congestion.

I'm no naturopath or doctor so please do seek advice before delving into taking supplements or giving them to your children. Oh and when you're buying vitamin C or children's supplements make sure to read the fine print to avoid artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours. (Just thought I'd mention that this is not a sponsored post in case you were wondering).

In the last week I've driven Sol to the emergency department of our local regional hospital that I am so thankful remains open. First with croup at 3am and then five days later with serious ear pain at 6am. As I drove the fifteen minutes in the dark on the quiet street I was grateful I didn't have to drive 50 minutes to the major hospital or further. I thought about people who live in remote places and how scary it must be when medical help is needed fast, especially with respiratory things like croup and asthma.

And as I surrendered to the relentlessness of caring for my unwell family I have felt incredibly grateful that their sicknesses are not chronic or life threatening. There are mothers and others for who caring is a 24/7 reality with no wellness in sight, at best they get respite. There are mothers who have never known their children to be well and vice versa. It is unimaginable and heart breaking. I am counting my blessings.

I hope you are all managing to stay well this winter. I'll be in touch from the road.

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