Thursday, February 28, 2013

SPC Product of the Year + Giveaway

This is a blogvertorial for Digital Parents Collective and SPC.

As I mentioned yesterday in sharing my lunch box routine...preparing lunch boxes are really not my thing! I have trouble coming up with idea's of what to put in them and I was excited when invited to try  SPC Fruit Crush-Ups. I really wanted to see what my children thought of the flavour and texture compared to having a real piece of fruit in their lunch box.

Naturally, I prefer to use fresh fruit but you know what...we go through fruit so fast in our house it would be great to have a back up supply for when you are exhausted in the morning, when you need to quickly grab a snack to eat and for when your cherubs simply don't want to eat fruit!

I invited all of my children to try out the SPC Fruit Crush-Ups. We had never tried them before and all of my children tested them out - aged from 5-14 years. I lined all of the different flavours up and sat back and watched the hilarious process of them picking what flavour they thought would taste the best. There are 6 flavours for kids to enjoy: Mango, Banana, Mixed-Berry, Fruit Salad, Tropical and Strawberry. Mixed-Berry and Strawberry were the winners in our house!
My children all really liked the packaging and found they were just the right size to hold in their hands. Only Liberty who is 5 had a little trouble undoing the twist top. It was a little tough for her to turn but the rest of the kids had no problem. To overcome this, when I pack one for her in a lunch box I simply untwist it and then twist it back up to make it easier for her to open. The great thing is that they have a resealable cap!

I have to admit I was a little surprised just how much my children liked the flavours. The SPC Fruit Crush-Ups are 99% fat free, contain no known allergens, no artificial colours or flavours and no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. The texture is more like a fruit puree and are great when placed in the freezer. Each single serving equals just over 1/2 a serving of fruit.

The cherub of mine that loved it the most was Harmony. She is 10 and was in heaven! She totally loved them and has asked for one in her lunch box every day! They are easy to fit into lunch boxes and retail at $1.29, so they are affordable. 
One of the main reasons I wanted to try out SPC Fruit Crush-Ups is because they have been voted Product of the Year for 2013. Products for this award are selected that demonstrate innovation and were launched within the previous year. They are then placed into specific categories and the winner's are chosen through a nationally representative online study conducted by Nielsen research.

As you can see...it was a product we had to test out! So, if you are struggling to get kids to eat and love fruit, this would be a great way to introduce it to them. Also as our family loved them so much we have a great giveaway to celebrate SPC Fruit Crush-Ups being named product of the year. 

SPC is offering Seven Cherubs readers the chance to win a whole school term supply of Fruit Crush-Ups. So what you will receive is 8 packs each of the 6 different flavours. A very lovely collection of 48 single servings to help you fill your cherubs lunch boxes and to make life a little easier for you! I have one prize pack/school term supply to giveaway.

To enter use rafflecopter below:


Good luck x

{Just so you know...I do check to see if people have really left a blog comment 
as part of the entry process with my giveaways}


Ask Naomi: my lunch box routine



Hi Naomi,

Can you please tell me about your lunch box routine? 
When do you make them and do you do them all the same?

I have three children and find it a struggle keeping up with the different wants that they have. 
Any tips you have to share would be really helpful!

Susan

*****************************

Dear Susan,

I have to say right from the start that I have a love/hate relationship with the lunch box routine that I have. Every morning, Monday to Friday, I wake up at 5am and immediately start on the lunch boxes. Yes. It is crazy and very, very early. 

I wake up that early because at just past 5am I wake my oldest daughter up to get ready to leave for an early class she attends. After I wake her up I start to put together the lunch boxes for my cherubs.

Often the night before I will cut up fruit and put it in containers and leave it in the fridge. Then in the morning I can put it in the lunch boxes all ready to go. My husband often get's up early to help me with the sandwiches and we talk whilst most of the other children are asleep. It is nice to have that time together. 

My oldest daughter leaves at about 5:40 and then I wake up my oldest son who also attends a different early morning class. Some mornings I also wake up another daughter who leaves early for school to attend band practice. 

So I am up early every morning anyway and have decided to use this time for getting the school lunches ready. My children do have alarm clocks but I like to be up early to support them and help them prepare for the day. They do most of it themselves and I am just there for anything extra they need. 

With seven cherubs and seven different lunch boxes to get ready I have to say that I do cater to the different needs of my children when putting them together. Not in an over the top way, but in a small way. For example: certain children like green apples and certain children like red apples. Some like grapes and some like strawberries. So I tend to personally cater only in that way. 

With the sandwiches I normally do them all the same. Depends what I am making. For example, if I decide to do egg/lettuce sandwiches, I know that four out of my seven children only like it. So the other three get vegemite or honey or something easy. 


Often my children will help me out the night before in putting crackers/chips/sultanas etc. in the lunch boxes if we are doing those things for the next day. So my children are involved in helping me and just yesterday Nathan mentioned to me, 'Doing lunch boxes is like putting together a puzzle'. I tend to agree with him. Every morning I wake up and put together seven puzzles. I love doing this for my cherubs but it also tends to drive me crazy most mornings!

I find it really helpful to have a list of what you can put in a lunch box for your cherubs and if you are exhausted and too tired to think you can refer to it to help you out. Even though I do the boxes five days a week, I still have mornings where my brain can't remember what my kids like!

I know you are probably thinking this is all just insane but it is a routine that for some weird reason works for me and for those of you thinking of having a large family...be prepared to put together a lot of lunch boxes over the years. 7 lunch boxes x 5 days a week x say 30 weeks a year = 1050 lunch boxes! See why I have a love/hate relationship with my lunch box routine!

Hope that has been helpful and answered your question.









*****************************

If you have a burning question you have always wanted to ask me email: asksevencherubs@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer them. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a decision about my book: my sweet revenge

After much pondering, I have made a decision about my book. Instead of publishing the book as an ebook or book, I have decided to publish it here on my blog in a series of blog posts for people to read. I am going to break it down into three sections: Victim, Survivor and Thriver. These three sections are the three different stages of my life that I went through to heal and to arrive at the place I am now.

I have also decided to do this because some people might only be interested in the 'Survivor' part or the 'Thriver' part and you can choose which part you would like to read. I am of course hoping you will be interested in reading all that I have to share from my personal journey.

If there is a lot of interest in my story, then I might publish it as an ebook for you to read all in one.

This story is not full of horrible experiences. In fact, I share very little about what has happened to me. 

It is more about my thinking and growing and learning and wrestling with my thoughts, my self doubts, my discovery of who I really am, about creating a new vision for myself and of my battle to live a thriving life. 

It is about wanting to seek revenge, to cause pain and hurt like I felt and then arriving at a place where I know that living a healthy, positive life is the best revenge I could possible achieve.

To make sure you catch all of my story please sign up to receive my blog posts via email HERE and click on 'get Seven Cherubs delivered by email' and also sign up to receive my newsletter HERE as I will be including links to it in there as well. 

I am little nervous about sharing deeper parts of my life but I hope that what I have to share will help other people who are struggling with the journey of finding peace and healing in their hearts. 

I am looking forward to sharing my story with you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

extremely late Christmas day pictures

I am a little behind in our family updates. Actually, about 3 months behind! Here are some pictures from Christmas time I simply had to share. We had such a great holiday catching up with family, gorging on seafood {well I did anyway!}, spending time with cousins, acting out the Nativity, having large family meals and just chilling in parks. 

Chelsea, who is the only one of my children with curly hair, loves that when we get together with family she now has a few cousins with curly hair too! She feels like she fits in! We love that our cherubs have cousins the same age and it is a total blast when they all get together. Lots of food, lots of noise and lots of fun! It is such a shame that we all live so far away from each other. I see more long distance treks in our future because we all had so much fun!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The stay at home mum, 'I AM BORED' list

Being a stay at home mum can be insanely busy and also at times insanely boring. Naturally, there is always something we can be doing around the home and there are endless opportunities to clean and care for our family. But, just like any other career or full time work it can be easy to become bored doing the same thing over and over again. So to help you out I am sharing my Stay At Home Mum, 'I Am Bored' List. Of course, this list can be used by anyone. Not just stay at home mum's.

I have found it most boring as a stay at home mum when I am stuck in the same routine with little chance to leave the house and it is at these times I feel I am losing my mind! I start to feel as if I am trapped in my own home and my mind begins to become a little numb to the tears, tantrums and games that I need to play with my cherubs. Don't get me wrong, I love being a stay at home mum and caring for my family. I am simply saying that at times, I get a little bored within myself.

It is important to mix up your day with a variety of activities not only for yourself but also for your children. This is not as easy as it sounds. I know that when you feel exhausted, are sleep deprived and that nothing seems to be working out with your cherubs, the last thing you feel like doing is being all inspired and creative with trying to come up with a new idea to try or do with kids in tow. So with this in mind I have decided to share my, 'I am bored' list with you.


I actually wrote this list after I had my twins {numbers five and six}. I found taking care of six children so tiring and I really needed a distraction of sorts from the monotony of our routine. I also did not want to mess up the feeding/sleeping routine we had happening in our home and I needed some quick and easy ideas to keep me uplifted each day. I would use my list to help plan in some activities to look forward to and also refer to it when I found myself surprised to have a spare 15-30 minutes to myself. Golden moments that are not to be wasted but to be seized and treasured!

I hope you find these idea's helpful and you are welcome to copy and use this list.

I also hope it helps you have more fun planning and mixing up your day.
If anyone has anything else they would like to add let us know!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

'Ask Naomi'


As you know I love to chat parenting. I do it here on my blog, on ABC radio every week and with just about anyone that will let me talk about it. Once I get started, I become a little passionate about the topic and find I don't want to stop. Insert the fact that in the past month I have had three different people tell me that they have read my blog and find my thoughts very quirky! Not a word I would use to describe my blog...or my thoughts but since I have heard it three times, I am starting to embrace it a little more. Bring on the quirkiness!

It is with these thoughts that I have decided to add a fun new section to my blog, 'Ask Naomi' where you can email me any questions you may have about whatever you want and I will do my best to answer them in my own unique and 'quirky' way. This is going to be so fun and so interesting!

I am not a professional. I am not qualified to give advice. I do love to share my experiences and opinion...hence one of the reasons I have a blog! I don't have all the answers to parenting questions and if I don't know I will simply say so. I do however, have many awesome blog friends who might know the answer and I may just ask them to help me out as well. Of course all replies will be done in my own keeping it real way, with compassion and with a light hearted attitude. Because I am a seeker of happiness I hope this will be a fun experience to help you find some more happiness in your life too.

If you have a burning question you have always wanted to ask me email:
asksevencherubs@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer them. 

I look forward to reading what is on your mind and please, please, please don't ask me about spiders or lunch boxes...they both keep me awake at night! I will randomly select questions based on my mood for the day (this is getting scary already!) and I will answer them in a blog post that might make you laugh or cry. Warning...this new blog segment may require large amounts of chocolate for all of us! Alright, just for me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

why children cut or harm themselves

I want to be a voice for children who have no voice. I know it is confronting. I know it is in your face but I also know children suffer unspeakable acts in silence and as adults we tend to sweep it under the carpet. It is too hard for us to talk about. It is too hard for us to face and feel. It hurts. It hurts deep in our hearts but it is real. I know. I have lived some of it. Life is too short for me to sweep these topics under the carpet. This year, I am facing these topics head on and writing about them to raise awareness and to speak the unspeakable. 

As someone who grew up with deep feelings of pain and anger in my heart, I have great compassion for those children and youth who make the drastic decision to cut and hurt themselves. In thinking about the pain that I have carried inside me for many years, I have been pondering over a way that I could use that experience to help youth and parents understand a little more about what it is like and why I believe people resort to cutting to try to help themselves but also to hurt themselves at the same time. I don't know if this topic of cutting is talked about very much but I sure know that it is popular today.

To make the decision to hurt yourself on purpose is a sign that you are carrying or struggling with great pain. It is because you are weighed down with a great burden. It is often because you simply don't know how to deal with what you are facing and that you feel lost as to what decisions to make and where to turn to for help.

If you think that children are too young to carry heavy burdens you need to take a 'get real, children suffer great pain, children are being hurt deeply daily, children are abused all over the world' pill and get with the reality of life today.

Children and youth cut themselves for a variety of reasons; they feel hurt, they feel angry, they feel deep sorrow, they unloved, they feel rejected by family or friends and they feel they are so worthless that they deserve to be hurt for who they are or for some simple act they may have done. They also cut themselves in a variety of places; on the wrist, on the arm, on the leg or even on the stomach. 

As a early teenager I had times where I felt like I was carrying so much anger inside of me that I was going to explode if I did not find a way to release it. The more I tried to squash down that anger the more it seemed to rise to the surface. It felt as if it was consuming my body and all of my thoughts. 

All I wanted was a way to release some of that anger to help me cope each day. I never turned to cutting myself simply because I didn't know about it. If I had heard of it, I would have started it immediately! I self harmed myself in other ways. Some days it took a lot to numb the pain, other days not so much. Even though I never cut myself, I can relate to why children would want to.

As a parent it can be so hard to understand why a child we love would want to hurt themselves on purpose. To see them marking their skin, leaving scars and knowing that they are in so much pain is heartbreaking. We can struggle to know what to do to help.

{Naturally, every child and every situation is different and requires a unique approach}

Let me share this:

Whatever your child is doing to hurt themselves know that it is because they are in pain. It doesn't matter what you think about the issue, it only matters what your child thinks about the issue and you need to do whatever you can to help your child ease the burden of the pain or anger they are feeling.

The pain and anger is so hard to hold and keep inside. Even talking about it is not enough. 

Children may cut themselves to make themselves look unattractive and to protect themselves. As someone who was sexually abused I can totally relate to this thinking.

Cutting may also be a way to feel pain. If you have spent many years blocking out feelings, cutting is a way to allow you to feel something, anything, even if it is pain.

The action of self harm is a temporary measure. It is a short term relief and doesn't fix any problems. The real issue still needs to be addressed at some time and cutting will not make it go away at all.

Self harm/cutting can be done in secret. It is like a secret that only you know about and something that you feel proud of. The cuts are a sign of your strength and a sign of your control over your life. You control when you cut yourself, you control how many cuts you do and you control what they look like.

You cannot force someone to stop self harming. It often becomes a habit and like any habit it takes support and time to break. People who self harm need understanding, love, care and support. No matter how long it takes.

Children, teenagers and adults cut themselves. Many start as teenagers and continue into adulthood. They are experts at hiding it and covering it.

As you know I am not a professional and simply share what I have lived and learned myself. I like to write about real topics and to help my children understand others so that they can be more caring and compassionate in life. Pretending that these issues don't exist is not in my thinking. If you know of anyone who is self harming I recommend you do seek professional help. I also appreciate and thank you for making it to the bottom of this blog post. If you are a child/teenager who is reading this, please know that you are loved, precious and worth so much more than you think you are. You are also not alone in how you are feeling. If you are a parent reading this, please know that you are going to be required to dig deeper than you ever thought possible to help that sweet cherub of yours and you have the ability to make it happen. Baby steps, small moments of patience, compassion and love will see you through. If anyone has any other tips, thoughts of experiences they would love to add and share, please do so. N x


Thursday, February 21, 2013

no more children: when you know, you just know

{Motherhood, by Elizabeth Norse (1860-1938)}

Knowing when to stop having children is a personal decision for every woman. Some of us have no choice in the matter, some of us don't have partner support, some of us simply stop because we want to and some of us stop because we know it is the right time to finish. For those of us who stop because we know it is the right time to end having children it can be hard to share with others how we know it is the end.

I have spent most of my life feeling clucky. Every time I would see a baby it was like a change would come over me and I would have this burning desire within me to have more children. It was a feeling I loved and hated at the same time. I loved the feeling of warmth and tenderness that would come over me when I saw a sweet cherub but I also hated the knowledge that I would have to go through the whole pregnancy process to have another cherub come into our family. {I hate being pregnant!}.

After having seven children I wondered if this feeling of wanting more would ever end. For some women I don't think it ever does but with the many women I have spoken to, an end does come and when it does it can be very bitter sweet. Even though I have now finished having children, I still get asked if I am having any more. To answer this question I often share that I now know I have finished and that when you know it is the end, you will simply know.

For me, when I was giving birth to Liberty {my last cherub}, I begun to feel that this was my last child. My body was really struggling with the birth. It was as if my body was saying it had had enough of this whole pregnancy/giving birth process. The longer that the birth went on the more I started to feel that this was my last child I would be having.

As the pain of labour contractions flowed through my body, so did the sadness flow that this would be the last time that I would be doing this. I shed a few tears to mourn the loss of my child birthing years and then moved on to getting my cherub out and to being excited that this was my last precious cherub. I vowed to cherish every moment that was to come from now on and as she continued to grow I knew more and more that she was my last. I knew in my mind and in my heart that I was finished. Hard to describe but basically, I just knew.

So, what about you? Did you know it was the end?
Are you still waiting to find out? Did you have no choice?

You can read my birth stories: Part 1 and Part 2
I have not yet shared Liberty's birth story

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Zimmiz review + giveaway

I like to involve my cherubs in my blog. Especially, when I get emails about toy reviews. My four youngest cherubs decided that Zimmiz was a toy that we needed to have in our home and a must for our family to review. I was a little skeptical about it but since we have had a Zimmiz visiting our house my cherubs have been loving it!

Basically, Zimmiz is a free App developed by an Australian company and is therefore a phone face toy that has just become available here in Australia. The App includes more than 300 animations and actions for the Zimmiz characters. You can check out the App HERE and your children can play with it on an iphone, ipod touch or ipad. 


To help bring the App to life more they have developed a specially designed plush playmate to hold your phone or ipod touch to play with the Zimmiz character. The plush sells for around $24.95 and is compatible with iphone 4S, iphone 4, iphone 3GS and ipod touch. You simply insert your ipod or iphone into the snug pocket provided and your Zimmiz becomes like an interactive teddy bear!


Zimmiz are a lovable alien race that have crash-landed on Earth whilst searching for their lost twins. They come in three different colours: green, pink and blue. Zimmiz are also very cheeky and like to play games. Children can help design the way the Zimmiz character looks by changing the colour of their eyes, skin, nose, lips and teeth.

The fun part about having Zimmiz is that children can interact with them. The Zimmiz shows a variety of emotions and feelings with through noise and facial expressions included in the App. I would not go so far as to say it is highly educational but from the expressions children can clearly tell how the Zimmiz is feeling. In that way it is teaching children about feelings and emotions. Having a Zimmiz would also be a great help if you were travelling and you needed something for your children to entertain them in the back seat. Sadly, you can't talk back to the screen but you can have the Zimmiz characters respond and react when you:

Hold him upside down
Shake him until he get's dizzy
Scratch him when he is itchy
Feed him his favourite food
Tickle him until he laughs
Put him to sleep by closing his eyes and you can slide open his mouth to access extra cool games.

My children have enjoyed the interactive feature of the App and have loved having a plush toy to play with. They have included it in games they are playing, put it to sleep in their bed and I have found that the plush and App is just the right size and ability for 4+ years of age to use. 

Here is the introduction to Zimmiz if you are interested:



I have 4 Zimmiz plush characters (green in colour) to giveaway to Seven Cherubs readers.
Giveaway details:
Open to Australian residents only
There are 4 plush Zimmiz available to win and there will be 4 winners
Please make sure you have email linked to your comment profile
Giveaway closes 5pm 7th of March, 2013
Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours or new winners will be announced

To enter:

Follow Seven Cherubs on Google Friend Connect 
{>>>> on sidebar and tell me what name you are following me by}
Leave a comment below and tell me:

Why you need a Zimmiz to visit your home?


Disclosure: I received a free Zimmiz plush toy to review 

GIVEAWAY CLOSED
CONGRATS TO: Bev, Rachel Kriss-Newell, Chris and Lisa Wilson.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a fun, easy, child friendly and totally unhealthy dessert

When we went to Adelaide at Christmas time, Matt and I were in charge of the dessert for family night. Attending the family activity were 9 adults and 15 children. So we came up with a fun, easy, child friendly, and totally unhealthy dessert. It was a great success. This is the first time we have ever made it. Probably the only time we will ever make it and don't recommend you eat this on a regular basis!

Here is how you make it:


1. Get an outside table and cover with cling wrap. 2. Take 2 large tubs of ice cream, 1 large bowl of any toppings you want to add (we used small marshmallows, M&M's and chocolate chips), 1 large bottle of chocolate topping or any other flavour you like and one large can of spray cream.


3. Empty large containers of ice cream, as is, onto the table. 
Cover with chocolate topping. 
Then sprinkle with bowl of fun toppings to your liking. 
The messier the better.


4. Spray can of cream all over the top of the ice cream, chocolate topping and other desired toppings.


5. Hand each child and adult a spoon and let them attack. 
Prepare yourself shoving and laughter. 


6. Enjoy your ice cream feast and try not to eat too much and feel sick.
You will no longer have the desire to eat ice cream for at least a couple of days.

So there you have it. 
Really fun and really bad for you at the same time.

Why is that always the way?


Monday, February 18, 2013

cheap and easy homework area



Last week, I set up a cheap and easy homework area in my kitchen/dining room.
I sits under my kitchen bench and there is still enough room for kitchen stools to line up along side it.

I picked up the white cube shelves from K-Mart for $19.
I picked up the circle baskets for $2 each also at K-Mart.
I picked up the clear pencil/pen holders also from K-Mart for $1.

The white basket I already owned as well as the stationary supplies.
The large basket on top is our homework change out basket.

It is where we keep the readers and library books and bags.
It is also where my older kids normally store extra books for different subjects.

Very easy to put together and easy for my cherubs to see what supplies they want to use and need.
So far it is working really well for us.

Love a cheap and easy storage solution!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

12 Key Powers of Motherhood + Book giveaway


In 2010, I saw that the Power of Moms website was having a writing contest for a book they were going to publish. On a whim, I decided to enter. After all, they were asking for submissions about motherhood. Right up my alley! Much to my delight, I was very surprised to find out that they liked what I had to say and I was going to be one of the authors in their book - Deliberate Motherhood: 12 Key Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order and Joy

No Way! I am published in a book!
*insert dancing and jumping up and down and screaming around the house*
So as you can imagine, I am a little excited to share this book with you :)

{The proof! I am even in there more than once! I had to make this picture large you know!}

The 12 powers explained in the book are: Acceptance, Love, Patience, Individuality, Intention, Progress, Balance, Priorities, Organisation, Fun, Optimism and Moments. 

Each of the 12 'powers' shared in this book is to help you on your motherhood journey. The great part about this book is that you can chose to focus on reading one chapter/one power a month and over the course of a year you can apply all twelve powers to your home and family. Or you can open the book at any page and read about the many personal experiences shared from 60 different authors on motherhood. I am delighted to be among the collection of inspiring women who lend their words and heart to make up this wonderful book.

This is a book that is written by women for other women. It is not a book written by a professional who has many qualifications and no children about motherhood, it is a collection of varying mothers who are stay at home mums, single mums to professional women working all talking and sharing what motherhood means to them. The experiences are real, they are honest, they are inspiring and they are heart felt. 

All the authors have one common goal and that is to be a deliberate mother. A mother who really thinks about what you do as a mum and also a mother who wants to learn and grow and develop yourself as a person through the experience of motherhood. In other words you live life purposefully. You embrace what you uniquely bring to your family and try to become the best you can.

As a mother who is passionate about motherhood and an author in this book, I naturally want everyone to read it and benefit from the wisdom it contains. So, to help as many people as we can, The Power of Moms and Seven Cherubs are giving away 50 copies of Deliberate Motherhood: 12 Key Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order and Joy. Yes! 50 copies! Woo Hoo! 

As we want to make this as easy as possible for everyone, we have decided to giveaway 50 digital copies of the book. That way we can simply email you and you can download it to read in your own time and leisure. I am really, really excited to share this wonderful book with you and hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do! 


To enter use rafflecopter below:

{Open worldwide. Winners will be notified by email. Winners must contact me within 48 hours of email being sent out to claim prize. Prize is one digital/ebook copy of Deliberate Motherhood Book by the Power of Moms.
There are 50 available to win.}

my vision board and a spiritual experiment


Today I am writing about my vision board and a little spiritual experiment I am trying this year.
You can read about it over at Time Out for Women


I also share my after school routine over at Be A Fun Mum.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the deflowering


I love flowers. Always have and always will. I love flowers in big bunches, small bunches and even a cherub handful of weeds. They add joy and happiness to my home whenever there is a scattering of them in a vase and even when there is a bunch of cherub weeds in a plastic cup full of water.

I love that having flowers gives me something special to look at during the day, something wonderful to smell and a pinch of joy whenever I walk past them. They are a personal reminder to me of how far I have come. How much I have blossomed. How much I have yet to grow.

I love how flowers reach for the sun and how you can find them growing in the most unusual places. In cracks of cement, in full bloom in the dessert, from a small space in a wall and from where no nourishment or sunlight seems to exist at all.

I love how they fight to exist, how they come into bloom and how there is such a vast range and variety to be admired. Each flower is unique and special in its own way, even in a whole field of flowers if you take the time to look, you can see the differences. You can notice the special qualities each flower has.

Even from far away you can see their beauty. However, if you take the time to get down to their level, to bring yourself closer, you can really appreciate them.  The closer you are, the more you can see the detail, the brightness of their colour and their real beauty.

So, what happens in life if you see yourself as a flower and you know you are beautiful and unique and wonderful and special and then someone comes along and picks that flower. They snap it right off the stem and take that blossom away from you. They decide, without your permission, to deflower you.

How do you recover?
How do you find the nourishment and strength to grow a new bud?
How do you blossom again and become as you once were?

In my personal experience you are never the same again. The flower never grows the same. No matter what you do, you have to accept that it is gone. It hurts, you feel incredible pain and you want it all to end. But, it doesn't have to be that way. You have the opportunity to create a new flower. Your own flower and with a design of whatever you want it to be.

When you are left to live off barren ground, with no source of water or nourishment and you feel like you are all alone, in the blazing sun and pruned to a bare twig, it changes you.

I was left to find my own water, sun and nourishment. I was left to fight for my own survival and to create my own watering system so that I could develop my own way to blossom in life and to design my own new unique colour.

It took me years and many attempts to find the right way to flower. It took a lot of tears and dealing with a lot of anger and hurt.

I am reluctant to share the process I went through here on my blog because everyone has a different way of coping and of flowering. Everyone must find their own way. I like to share little pieces to inspire and encourage but I don't ever want to tell anyone what they should do to heal and to blossom in life.

For me now, I feel happy with the flower I have become. At times it is a little faded and limp but at other times I know I am standing tall, reaching for the sun and spreading my petals as far as I can. I love the colour I have created. It is constantly changing and growing with more nourishment and care as I grow and develop but it is my flower. It is what I have created with the help of my wonderful husband and with a loving God.

I love to share that it is possible to heal in life and to create a beautiful new you. Not a perfect you, but a wonderful, loving you who can be surrounded by love and nourishment to help you grow. Often the nourishment needs to come from within yourself. It is hard but it is possible. My wish is that everyone could blossom and flourish no matter what type of deflowering they have had in life. I also hope that my words have added a few drops of water to your flower today :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simply Beautiful Jewels: I like cats, I really love cats

I love a woman passionate about jewellery and to find one who creates beautiful pieces is heavenly! The lovely Louise is one of those women and she has a gorgeous Etsy store where she is selling her creations. She also sent me a few jewellery treats that I just had to share with you and if you scroll down you can see why my girls started singing, 'I like cats, I really love cats!'.

Such gorgeous wrapping and presentation.
I adore these quirky cats. My girls thought they were delightful and hilarious at the same time!
I was spoilt by receiving this sweet necklace. Simply gorgeous!

Visit her store HERE.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

fight for YOU

This year I want to encourage people to fight for their own health. In other words, to fight for YOU. I also want to learn to be better at vlogs. So I have decided to combine the two ideas and to share a few more vlogs here on my blog. I am still learning to be good at doing them and really, I don't think it is possible for me to make them without getting teary. I think I cried in the last two that I shared!  

I have decided to share a few inspiring words, {well, I hope you find them inspiring!}, because today I was thinking about how touched I have been by the wonderful messages you have sent to me with the various personal experiences I have written about here on my blog. I am just posting it as is, because it is how I feel and how emotional I get when I talk about these topics. I think I am a little too passionate about them. It is a learning process. Thanks for being patient with me. N x




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

lost in the magic of motherhood

Lately I have been lost in the magical moments of motherhood. I have found myself finding joy in the simple every day routine we follow in our home and also felt lost in the sense that I have no idea how to handle certain situations now that I have teenagers in the house! 

Every day when I get out of bed I have no idea what is in store for me as a mother. Part of me finds this exciting, exhilarating and challenging. Another part of me finds this scary, daunting and exhausting.

With so many different personalities and unique outlooks on life from my children, there is always an adventure in store for me each day. I may be required to research the flute music for the Hobbit theme, read the lyrics of an inappropriate song, beat my son at cricket, watch a dance performance 5 times, comfort a child who is feeling anxious, help a child with the alphabet, repeat 10 times why a certain child is too young to be going out with someone, braid hair, introduce children to the wonderful invention of deodorant (again!), play a card game, yell out 20 times to wash your hands or to be patient when I try to sit on the couch and 3 children are fighting to sit on my lap all at the same time.

All of these moments help me to become better. They stretch me, they teach me and they give me experience to understand myself and my potential. I find each day as a parent I am becoming either lost in the love, the magic and the wonder of my relationship with my children or lost in relying upon prayer, my own personal experiences or from the first crazy thought that comes into my mind when I need to teach, train and love my cherubs. 


Although each day is tiring and long, I rejoice in those sweet moments, like the one above, where I find all my cherubs piled together having fun. I love that although they have the whole pool to have fun in, they choose to stick together, they enjoy being close to each other and they know how to be happy. It is these moments that motivate me and push me to be better, that make those lost moments where I have no idea what I am doing, not seem so bad. 

As I stand on the side of the pool I feel happy and content. I feel like I have found my parenting groove and my heart feels full. I leave them to play, I walk inside, look at the mess they have created and know that there is still much for me to do. Such is the journey of being a parent. We may feel like we are lost in so many ways but we really are doing a great work and even though the rewards can often feel few and far between, it is a work that changes lives. Often the life that is changed is our own.  My life has been changed forever because of these wonderful cherubs that have come into my life. I am so grateful for that.