Friday, March 8, 2013

Kid friendly yoga - how to do yoga with toddlers

Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids
Are there are any sports or other activities that are valued/enjoyed by you but difficult to do now that you've got children? I did a pregnancy yoga routine throughout both my pregnancies, which I'm sure helped to keep (some) aches and pains away, aid my flexibility and just maintain my general wellbeing. I struggle to keep it up now though... go figure!

Well, I thought I'd try a few fun yoga poses with Miss Daisy this week as our gymnastics class hasn't been on for a few weeks. She loves to balance and her gross motor skills are constantly improving. So I figured a little kid friendly yoga every few days was a good idea!

I decided to make it a little bit fun and choose animals or other 'things' to represent each of our yoga poses. This made it easy for her to picture the pose and she was happy to hold or repeat the pose over and over. Doing yoga with your kids is also a fabulous listening activity as children follow instructions and move their body into position as instructed!
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Giraffe: Miss Daisy loves to point out how tall giraffes are when she's reading books or playing with toys. To do the giraffe pose. Spread your legs shoulder width apart, place one hand on knee and stretch the other hand high up in the air over your head like a giraffe eating leaves from a tree! Repeat on the opposite side.
We made up this cute poem too - hold the pose for the length of the poem:
Giraffes are lucky that they're so tall,
They make me feel very small,
Reaching up toward the sky,
They grab the leaves from way up high!

Hermit Crab: This is traditionally called child's pose. And is used as a resting pose in yoga. Have your toddler keep nice and still. Then ask them to wriggle certain parts of their body. Fingers. Toes. Bottom. Then return to resting. A good way to start or finish your yoga fun.

Just For Daisy :: Yoga With KidsJust For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Sailing Ship: Miss Daisy loves Justine Clarke's If I Had An Aeroplane song and is particularly fond of making a sailing ship with her hands as a mast. We used the window sill to assist with balance. Miss Daisy made a mast with her arm stretching up high. And a sail with one leg bent at the knee and foot resting on the opposite knee. To add a little extra balance testing, move the 'sail' forward and backward as though blowing in the wind!

Seal Pose: This is a lovely light stretch on the back. Your child will probably be easily able to do this with their hands on the ground as Miss Daisy is above. For yourself you may like to modify and just have your elbows/forearms on the ground if it's too big a stretch on your back. Boy kids are flexible!
Lay on stomach and come up onto forearms, then slowly come up onto hands keeping arms relatively straight. Spread your legs out wide like a seals tail. Making seal noises is always fun!!
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With KidsJust For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Digging Dog: A well know yoga pose is the downward facing dog. This is great for balance and strengthening. Have your child hold this pose for 30 seconds or more, then move into the hermit crab pose. You could also have them pretend to dig like the digging dog!

Flamingo: Basically the same as our sailing ship pose. This time Miss Daisy told me she was a flamingo. She's enjoyed learning to stand on one leg lately!

Roaring Lion: An easy pose. Have child kneel then sit back on their feet. Spread knees out wide and put hands on knees. Roaring like a lion is optional but lots of fun!
Just For Daisy :: Yoga With Kids

Child's Pose: :) This is the true child's pose. The one where she was ready to stop! :-) 

You could ask your child to create a few poses of their own based on their favourite animals or other parts of nature, a tree blowing in the breeze, a starfish, etc.
You could also play a game of 'Simon Says' style yoga, where you instruct your child on the pose to do and they move into that post independently. This is great once they know the poses here or ones you've created yourself! :)

I'd love to know if you give our fun kids yoga a try! Leave a comment below and don't forget to follow along on facebook, instagram or Google + for all the latest from us! :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Scrumptious Strawberry Muffins Recipe

Poppy loved these Strawberry muffins. Lots. It's been nearly three weeks since he passed away. We miss him lots.

We made these yummy muffins the other day and it made me remember the gruff yet loving way he would say, "When are you going to bring me some more of those muffins (or enter other sweet here!)?" "Hey, don't be a stranger, we like to see you! Bring those kids" And to Miss Daisy it was always, "One more kiss for Poppy?" Actually he probably said that to me too! ;)

Here's how to make them at your place!

What you will need::

3 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
125g butter, melted
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries (I'm always stocked up on frozen berries and they work perfectly in muffins and cakes!)

What to do::
1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients to combine.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until it creates a batter
4. Fold in the chopped strawberries.
5. Put in lightly greased muffin tins or muffin cases
6. Bake at 200'C for 20 minutes.
7. Enjoy hot from oven or dust with icing sugar to serve

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Real Life Wednesday : Dirty Little Secret

Hubby gifted me a house cleaner.
I'm actually not a messy person. And our house is not a pigsty.
But all the same he gifted me a cleaner.
And I am in heaven!

Every Monday, we head out for the morning and when we return, the house has been given the most amazing clean. All those wonderful jobs like vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms, kitchen etc are done! But it's the little things too, like the highchair being wiped down good and proper. The beds being made. Extra crisp. The toys placed neatly on the girls' beds. The dusting. Oh, the dusting! 

Jobs that I wouldn't think to do. Are done. Jobs that I wouldn't have time to do. Are done.
It's such a blessing that we also know the wonderful woman who comes to our home... she is blessing us greatly with her service.

I feel a little guilty, like it's an unnecessary luxury. And I guess it is.
But it's a small cost per week... similar to what some would spend on pay TV, a pantry of processed foods or elaborate shopping expeditions. 

This is our little luxury. And boy is it great!
What's your little luxury?

Real Life Wedneasdays at Picklebums

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring

I've never been so interested in the weather as when we've lived in our current home.

Did you know we've been here one whole year already this month! I'm a tad disappointed by how little has changed in that time.. But boy oh boy two precious girls have changed a whole lot!

I'm writing this as I think it onto my iPhone in bed late at night. The rain is falling on our tin roof and making such a wonderful sound. Heavier. Then lighter. Then heavy once again.

I love that sound. It's the best feeling to know that we are filling our tanks with these generous night time showers. Which means we can fill sinks, baths and garden beds over and over.

But we are also lovers of the sun. Our solar panels have been bringing us a healthy credit over Summer. A good buffer ready for the Winter months that will creep upon us all too quickly.

We've already filled our wood shed to the brim with timber ready to warm our home from it's heart. Our wood fire that sits in the middle of the house. It's nice to rely on these things. We've lit the fire on a few cold mornings already, it's got the most amazing warmth!

This home keeps life simple. But busy. Full. God has been good and we have had the perfect mix of sun and rain to keep everything running smoothly. Just as our tanks were nearly empty, we've been blessed with an abundance of rain which has completely filled our 3 tanks, 55,000 litres replenished once again!

It's nice to feel a little more reliant on the weather, the seasons and the earth than what we did in suburbia.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fantastic Gymnastics

During Term 4 in 2012 (seems so long ago!) we started Miss Daisy at gymnastics!

It wasn't the easiest of tasks because Li'l Peppa was only a few months old and it was right on her morning nap time. But I wanted to make sure that Miss Daisy was active, engaged and playing with other children as much as possible. She was also slightly uncoordinated so thought it would do her good! Occasionally Li'l Peppa would sleep in the pram or cuddle up to me in our Ergobaby carrier. Now Li'l Peppa crawls around the mat and chases the other kids!

Miss Daisy has developed sooo much in the time that we've been going! She has gained confidence in climbing, jumping off things, swinging and balancing. Miss Daisy is really good at following instructions and loves to listen to 'teacher Kim'. I think this formal yet informal structure is fabulous for early learning that will help them transition to preschool and school easily.

One of her favourite activities is the parachute (I loved this as a child too, who didn't!) She loves to run around and quickly jump on the colours when they're called. And of course she loves to lift it up and down and hide underneath, feeling the magic of it bubbling above her then swallowing her up!

It is still a tricky time of morning whilst Li'l Peppa is only 8 months old and still napping well at that time of morning when we're home. But it's one day a week (added to grocery day and a day for playgroup we generally have three of these days!) and it's worth it!

We are hoping to start Miss Daisy in swimming lessons again soon. And I know she'd love to do dancing but I'm not sure if that will become a little 'too serious' too quickly - I hear that's the case with dancing classes.

What do your toddler/preschool aged children do? Lots of activities? Just one?
How do you prioritise them into your budget? I'd love to know what you do... :-)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tutorial: How to add clickable image tabs to your sidebar in blogger

I recently constructed a photography blog for a friend of a friend who runs a fabulous photography business on the South Coast of NSW.

TMK Photography take a range of photographs including pregnancy, wedding, baby and family pictures. It was important for the blog to have easy to navigate options for potential clients to find the product/style of shoot they were after.

As a blogger, one thing you might be familiar with are the 'labels' that you apply to your blog post. These categorize your posts and group like posts together. I talked a little about how you could organise these into tabs when I wrote about making your pages/tabs work for you and your readers.

On the TMK Photography blog I created some simple images which would become clickable buttons that lead to some important labels for this blog.

You can click on the image to the right and enlarge to see a little better or visit the blog and use them yourself!

The buttons are down the left side bar and show baby, kids, wedding, pregnancy and so on. By clicking on these images you are taken to the posts that are labelled with those particular themes.

Are you intrigued? Do you want your own clickable image buttons. It's really easy! I'm going to show you how to do it in blogger as that's what I use. I'd hope you could do something similar in other blog hosts by adding widgets in the same way.

1. Choose your most frequent labels and use them (a lot)
The first thing you need to do is decide on what your important labels are. I use the tabs at the top to direct my readers and the labels that are most important to me are recipes, baby, toddler and sewing. Once you know which labels you use most frequently (you could check your label cloud if you have one in your sidebar.) Here's mine...I think it needs a tidy up but you can see the ones I use most are the large ones at the top! :)

2. Design an image for your popular labels
Using photoshop, ribbet, picmonkey or just a plain image of your choice have your images ready for each of the labels you wish to direct readers to. It's a good idea to check the width of your sidebar in your template and make your image fit nicely! :)

3. Find the direct link for the label of your choice
This is easy to do. Either at the bottom of a published post or from your label cloud click on the label of your choice. This will take you to all the posts under that label in chronological order.
Look in your web address bar and you will have the direct link to the label.

For instance for the baby section on TMK photography the direct link is and the screen I go to shows the posts that have been classified under the label 'baby'.

Now we want to pair the image that you've created with the direct link to create your button! You ready!? Here we go!

4. Add an image widget to your sidebar
Go to your dashboard and select 'layout'. Now choose to 'add gadget' to your sidebar. Now select to add an 'image'. In blogger you'll get a screen like the one below.
I usually leave the title and caption blank so that nothing except the picture displays on the sidebar. You might like to include these if they suit your blog or if you didn't add a title to your image when you created it.
Upload your photo from your computer or from the web. Where it says link you need to paste the direct link to your label which you found in step 3! A little preview of your picture will come up like in the example below. (Blogger also nicely shrinks it to fit your sidebar for you!)

5. Save and drag to where you'd like it
Now you can press save and perhaps preview your blog. Then you can move the image widget to where you'd like it on your sidebar. You're done! Now add two or three or more! :)

You might like to create one to direct people around your blog to a popular blog post, to a particular label or even to your pinterest or facebook page!


How'd you go? I'd love to see your blog when you're done! Please leave a link in the comments below.
If you've got any questions please ask and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!