A life of health and wellness…with kids!

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How does my Garden Grow November 3 – 16

Garden progress

Ii has been a few weeks since I have posted any garden pictures РI have been absolutely flat out with work and during those times the blog has to take second place. The garden however still gets the normal level of attention. It is my therapy to be able to go outside when I get home from work and check the progress of all my little plants. These photos are actually about  2 Р3 weeks old Рthe garden looks very different now. I will take some pictures this weekend.


Tomatos and Capsicum


Zucchini and Eggplants


Kipfler potatos at the front and a larger variety at the back

This is the first time in a while that I have grown potato’s. When we first moved in there were lots of potato’s in the garden beds but then we renovated and all those beds had a house built over them. I will be interested to see how they go in this spot. I have buried them about 10 – 15 centimeters deep and then hilled up around the stem of the plant about 20 cm.

I didn’t have good luck with the tomato’s last year so I am hoping that this year they will be a bit better. I have done a few things differently with the tomato’s also. Enriched the holes they were planted into and had them started in pots early in spring.

Zuccini’s usually go alright here but I haven’t grown eggplant in about 5 years. Mainly because we didn’t really eat eggplant but I figure it might be nice to have some variety. I have planted Lebanese eggplants here and have a different variety growing from seed on the windowsill.

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The other thing I have done differently this year is planted some companion flowers and let some of the Coriander and Parsley go to seed – just to invite some more critters into to help with pollination.

It will be interesting to see what the result is of all these variations.



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How does my garden grow? October 20th – 26th

Posie from my garden

For the love of an abundance of flowers! I am truly grateful for spring bulbs and their reliability to provide a beautiful, uplifting display well into the spring and summer. Bulbs are something that I knew noting at all about prior to moving to a cooler climate, growing up in Brisbane – they just weren’t all that popular – and possibly not all that easy to grow.

It took me a few years before I noticed that everyone in Canberra had bulbs in their garden – but not us. When we bought our house, the front garden was planted with an easy care garden which we quickly allowed to become overgrown with a jungle of grassy weeds as we fell headfirst into the blur of being parents of small children. Somethings just get let go …you know ūüėČ

But over the next few years I slowly persisted with the weed eradication program and started putting in just a few more bulbs each autumn, and then watching how they grew. Adding a few strategically place plants here and there, and slowly growing the variety of plants that grace our front yard. It is very much a work in progress.

This year I planted some Ranaculus bulbs and I absolutely adore them. The colour and life that they add to the garden is such a delight to come home to each evening. As with any garden that is ‘in progress’ there is still much to do and many plants to be added.

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In the meantime, I enjoy the unfolding of the buds to see what colour that new plant (Columbines, Foxgloves, Hollyhocks) will bring – and hope – oh how I hope – that I get a variety of colours rather than all the same colour.

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Often my little helpers (or hinderers) are out there with me. Demanding that I take their pictures.

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I am thoroughly enjoying exploring the world of seasonal flowers and slowly trying them out in the garden to see if they grow at all in some cases, but more often that not to see the shape that the plant takes as it grows. I have planted a few varieties amidst the veggies and other plants this year to act as both ¬†beneficial insect attraction and to use as cut flowers in the house – Cosmos, Carnations and poppies and hopefully some zinnias in summer. I planted some Dahlia tubers but I am not sure if they will grow – we can only wait and see. That’s half the joy.



A return to blogging…

A quiet day

A quiet day

It has been quite some time since I have blogged and I have been umming and ahhing about whether it is something that I want to continue. However, over the past few weeks I have been progressively finding things happening throughout my days where I have thought to myself – gosh that would be good to blog about – and so here I am.

So what do I want to blog about?

Our life has evolved so much since I first started blogging – but I am still as passionate as ever about food, good nutrition, healthy living and living a simple sustainable life. So that is what I plan to blog about.

Once upon a time I was caught up in trying to have my blog be about making money and becoming a famous (!) blogger. But now I realise that it was more important to capture the moments and the memories of our life as it passed us by.

When I say things have evolved I think that in a way I was trying to find my place as a mum of two small boys who works part time. I think that I am much closer to finding that now. I am starting to really notice the things that fill my cup and make me buzz with happyness and giving these things more attention.

I have been trying over the past month to find some balance with prioritising my own health and fitness Рand this is something that I would like to have a space to write about. Because you know what? It is really hard  to exercise and eat healthy and work and raise a family Рand if my musings can help just one person to feel encouraged then it is worth putting them down here.

I do hope that if you have followed my blog in the past that you will come and say hello again and that if you happen across my blog for the first time – you will also come and say hello.

I look forward to spending some time in this space again.


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To Blog or Not to blog

sculpture garden Canberra


sculpture garden Canberra


It has been quite some time since I have felt like blogging at all….it has all just felt like one extra thing to place a demand on my time. I have had plenty of ideas of things to blog about but actually sitting down to write felt like too much.


So I didn’t.


Instead I have been spending my time out in the world with the three men in my life and in my garden with my plants and my chickens…being all meditative about life.

The urge to blog has been there and in fact just last week I started to get all reminiscent about how great blogging has been for keeping a timeline of our family life..chronicling where we are at in a certain place and time.

So last night when I came across a few local Canberra region bloggers who blog about Urban Homesteading, Permaculture and living a simple more purposeful life something clicked…That is where I want to be also. My family and my crafts and my garden and the cooking are all the things I love doing and love blogging about.

And so I am back….I can’t promise searing regularity of posting but there will definitely be posts…and pictures…



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A week on from my Retreat

Buddah, Avrajita

This time last week I was sitting in a yurt  in Kangaroo Valley with a bunch of strangers about to embark on my first Yoga retreat. The weekend away Рrun by a Canberra local,  Simplicity Retreats was something I had planned for quite some time as my introduction to the world of retreats Рand I was not disappointed.  Despite the initial nervousness of spending a weekend with strangers Рwe were all there for the same reason Рtime away from our stressful lives to find space and time to contemplate.

The amazing venue in Kangaroo Valley is just what you would expect from a retreat center – a hidden gem filled with many spaces of quietude and peace.


I have to say that while the yoga part was fabulous – perfectly paced and pitched for those who may not have done yoga for some time – the part I enjoyed the most was the free time. Time to sit in front of the continuously glowing fireplace and read from the well stocked library, to knit, to chat with others when you felt like it – or just simply to sit. And of course to snuggle up under those beautifully cozy blankets.

Yoga Retreat Kangaroo Valley, Avrajita


My second favorite part was the most amazing food that we were served all weekend by the amazingly positive and radiant Angie from Angie Gluten Free. The beautiful, nourishing, organic vegetarian fare was nothing short of amazing and it was fantastic to have the opportunity to try things that may have seemed out of reach outside of this environment. Angie instils love into every element of her food and I truly think that  you can taste that in the end result. I felt so clean at the end of the weekend that I was afraid to eat normally again!

Angie Gluten free, yoga retreat catering

The sleeping arrangements were in a separate purpose built area and consisted of king size bunks with an ensuite in each ‘cabin’. I shared with a lovely lady and was very comfortable.


As tends to happen – this weekend away came at a time when I needed it ever so much. I definitely want to go away again next year – my intention is to go Bali or Thailand for a slightly longer retreat – but if that doesn’t work I would most certainly go to Avrajita again with Simplicity retreats – it was sublime!


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On Mindfulness and Morning Routines

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the
world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the
future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

A morning routine is something that I strive for and makes SUCH a big difference to my day.

In a perfect world, I would wake naturally before the rest of the family. I would be well rested and ready to start the day. I would get up and head downstairs to my meditation area and sit for around 15 – 20 minutes. With some Aromatherapy oils and music drifting in the background. Then I would go and make myself a cup of tea and write in my Journal for 20 minutes – a free flowing uninterrupted 20 minutes of prose, setting my goals and intentions for the day. I would then make myself some breakfast and celebrate the time alone, looking forward to the munchkins coming out for breakfast and starting their days.

This is what I strive for – it very rarely happens but when it does the day is usually wonderful. It is amazing what giving a little time to yourself can do.

Now, if only it was that easy to awaken at 5 am….


Do you have a morning routine? What does it look like? What would be your perfect start to the day?

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::The Anxiety Chronicles:: The Conference


There is nothing quite like a conference to being on a bout of anxiety in me. There is the interaction with people you don’t know, the unknown factor of exactly when food is next going to be available, the awkwardness of mingling and small talk, the fact that you may need to go to a place and navigate somewhere you may have never been before. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. Never mind the fact that I am at an education seminar today and will be at a national conference in another city for the rest of the week.

In truth the anxiety started today when I knew that there was no way I could get to the seminar today at the time it was supposed to start. The options of how I could possibly make the logistics work started racing through my head. How on earth was I going to get there by 7 am when I needed to get a child to child care, pick up the car from work and drive the 20 mins to the venue. It just wasn’t possible- I was going to be late.

Late- the word in itself could bring on an an anxiety attack in me. In my mind being late is simply not an option. I don’t do late well. It brings on all of the negative self talk in my head. ‘oh no- what are people going to think of the girl who was late- couldn’t she organise herself to get here on time … Etc’

So I was late – not just a little bit late – a good hour and a half late. Then I had to negotiate my way into a Secure building that I had never been to before- all the while hoping that I wasn’t going to be stopped at the security checkpoint for being a Fraud – I mean do I really deserve to be spending g a work day at this seminar?

By the time I got to the entrance to the seminar to find that they didn’t have a name tag for me and there were no seats left so I couldn’t sit down. Clearly, every person in the room was now going to be focused on that girls standing awkwardly at the back of the room.

From that point on my mind was racing around and around in circles and the degree to which I felt out of place and unable to interact with anyone at all rose proportionately.

When the next session commenced, I found myself a seat, but I still could not calm down. I did not in fact calm down until well after lunch. This meant that every interaction I had was strained and resulted in my drowning myself in negative self talk after speaking with people – even with people I knew. Lunch? well clearly I was the most awkward eater in the room!

Eventually, when the speaker after lunch caught my attention, I cam around and began to feel somewhat normal again. I spent some time writing it all out on my phone – just to try and get the words out of my head and onto paper.

This is a strategy that appears to work for me – if it is available to you it might just work for you also.

The crucial thing is being able to get out of the negative thoughts cycle that is going around and around in your head – I know from experience that this can be easier said than done.


(This post was written in May 2012 and published privately Рafter having some feedback about my earlier anxiety post РI decided to publish it РIf you would like more of  these types of posts РI would love some feedback)

Do you ever experience anxiety attacks, panic attacks or both?

What is it like for you?

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::The Anxiety Chronicles:: What is my Anxiety like?


The view from here

The past few days have been really tough for some subconscious reason that is known only to my brain. I don’t have anxiety attacks as such – although I have had at least three debilitating anxiety attacks this past year. They are rare. Always precpitated by some external stressor that I have internalised and made bigger and badder than reality.
It is the chronic low level daily anxiety that causes me the most grief. I stress about things without knowing what I am stressing about. I can’t get to sleep easily at night. If I wake up during the night and become awake enough to start thinking then I am awake for the rest of the night. It is the pressure I feel underneath my sternum that is as if a heavy rock is on my chest and I just can’t get enough air. That particular one has been with me all day today.

Nothing I do seems to make a difference -although exercise does help.

Distraction from myself also helps – usually ends up costing me a lot though.

Perhaps I can go to rehab for my shopping addiction?



To be or not to be

Life has been a little crazy lately and it has been regularly punctuated with high levels of stress and anxiety in this house. I am trying very hard to evaluate the most important parts of my life and to prioritise those things in order to save my sanity somewhat. I couldn’t decide what to do with my blog as I felt as though it was just one more thing taking up my time and putting pressure on me. You see, I find that thinking of things to blog about can be quite challenging. However, I think that I do need it here and that I should just forget about trying to be a blogger that I am clearly not and just write about being me.

Life as me and in the HealthyKidsHappyMama home. I work 4 days a week in a very emotionally demanding job. I need to face up to the fact that I don’t have time to plan out activities for my children and meticulously photograph them. I barely have the time to feed them properly…kidding.

What I want is to spend as much time as possible with them and doing things together as a family and doing things for myself – rather than for other people. This means that I have had to put a big brake on my voluntary work with the ABA. When you end up in a pile of tears and a massive anxiety attack because of something you do in a voluntary capacity you know that it is time to step back.

The other thing that I really need to make time for is exercise. I have been making small efforts over the past few weeks to get back into some sort of a routine but I think that I need something more structured. A commitment that I put out to the world and stick to through the good times and bad. I attempted the 12wbt challenge last year and pulled out part way in. Part of the reason is because I didn’t really plan and prepare very well and I was far to perfectionist and hard on myself. In reality I just need to get myself together, create some good habits and as Michelle bridges would say JFDI.

I am undecided as to whether I will formally do the 12wbt or just follow the program from my print outs from last time. Although it would be good to have support through the forums and maybe even consider going along to the finale party as something to look forward to at the end. My plan is to start as I mean to go on and start now with the print outs and the meal plan from last time and decide next weekend exactly what I am going to do. Whatever I decide I need to see it through.


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A Sweet Little Flower Fairy

This weekend just gone, a sweet little needle felted Flower Fairy came to live with us….Her name is Sage.

Needle Felted Flower Fairy

Sage the Flower Fairy

Sage wasn’t very happy that I didn’t have any fresh flowers in the house… I made sure to fix that fairly quickly.


Needle felted fairy

She made short work of exploring the flowers – I think she approves…

Needle felted fairy

I hope that she likes her new home with us!

Needle felted fairyxxAndj