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Dec 11 12

Positive Thoughts and Words

by Sarah

So, my simple life didn’t last as long as I’d intended. The one part of my mommy career that I didn’t cut back on is the market that I organise. It’s every three months, and I really enjoy it. Except that what I find happening every time is that the closer it gets, the more stressed out I become. No matter how prepared I am, there are always so many uncontrollable factors that I find myself beginning to wobble.

A lot of it has to do with depending on other people to do what I’ve asked of them, waiting to see which stallholders are going to take part and if I’ll even have enough stalls to put on the show, etc. Put when the advertising is out, the show must go on, no matter what. You can see how tricky it can become.

The point I’m trying to get to is that each time, when I get stressed, I tell people I’m stressed when they ask me how I’m doing. I don’t sleep properly at night because I’m worrying about what I have to do. I complain to others about how non-committal people in our town seem. In other words, I become incredibly negative.

And the thing is, that most people I talk to, join in on my negative parade. They’ll say how they find people to be non-committal too. Or how stressed they are, or how busy this time of year is, etc, etc, etc. Drama, drama, drama. And it was finally a lovely lady from my yoga class who caught me in the middle of me telling her my sad story, and said to me, “Sarah, just be aware of the words that you’re using, and how your mind is operating right now”. She pointed out how it’s entirely in my control to choose how I feel about the market, and all I have to do. It’s my choice how I handle it all, what I think about it all, and what I say about it all.

Sometimes we just need these angels to appear in our lives, and remind us of what we can choose. And since that day forward, I’ve chosen positive words and thoughts. Instead of saying I’m stressed, I say I’m excited. Instead of saying I’m busy, I say I’m action-packed. I’m not taking stallholders decisions personally, I’m allowing them to make their choices, and no matter what, I’ll make the market as wonderful as I’m able to.

The difference has been incredible. I’m sleeping properly again, I don’t have that knot in my stomach, I’m actually feeling physically excited about it all. Just because I chose to change my thoughts and words.

This concept of positive thinking is pretty much Spirituality 101. It’s the very basics of creating the life that you want, but somehow it’s one of the most difficult to implement. But it affects every single little corner of our lives. What we think and say about our husbands, our children, our homes, ourselves, will affect how we see them and how the world sees them. It’ll affect our daily interactions with them, creating either a negative or positive result. Mamas, if there’s some area of your life where you catch yourself using negative words and having negative thoughts, just give the positive alternatives a try. Even if you don’t believe them at first. Just keep on at it, and I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll find the outcome rather magical :)


Nov 29 12

Two Recommended Books and a Lovely New Shampoo

by Sarah

Hi there Natural Mamas!

I hope that you’ve all been having a wonderful week, and are managing to stay calm and grounded whilst the end of year busy-ness picks up pace. In fact, the two books that I want to tell you about today should help you and your children to remain very grounded. Because, they’re all about spending time in Nature. I must admit that I haven’t read either, I’ve only just discovered them, but was so excited to learn about them, I thought I would share right away. I’m reckoning they’ll be wonderful Christmas holiday reading (and doing) and perhaps you can all read (and do) along with me!

The first is called “The Last Child in the Woods” and is written by Richard Louv. It’s about the huge divide that exists between children and the outdoors in so many countries around the world. Richard Louv “directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression”. What sounds great about the book is that it shows how nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. It also gives simple ways to heal the broken bond.

And then here’s a book which gives 52 different activities to do with your children in nature. It’s called “I Love Dirt!” and is written by Jennifer Ward and Susie GhaGhremani. Examples of these are “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”, “Bouquet of Colour”, “Digging Dirt” and “Moon Shadows”. Sounds like so much fun, and is just perfect for those times when you’re out of ideas of what to do with your kiddies, and need a little inspiration. Natural inspiration :)

And then lastly, just to say that I’ve tried and tested a Kiddie Kix Sweet Dreams Shampoo on Lily (and myself) and can’t recommend it highly enough. It has a beautiful aroma, is nice and gentle, but also works really effectively. I did mention Kiddie Kix not-so-long ago, and it’s great to now have some hands-on experience with their products. For any of those of you who are interested in giving their natural bodycare range a try, you can purchase them here. Enjoy!

Nov 26 12

Kahlil Gibran On Children

by Sarah

This was read aloud at a baby shower I went to on the weekend and I just knew I had to share it with all of you. It’s an excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Nov 16 12

Falling in Love All Over Again

by Sarah

Today’s post is not about Graeme, it’s about Lily, although I guess the same principle applies to anyone in our lives. It’s about the bond that has been strengthening and strengthening between her and I ever since we went away. You see, looking back to the couple of months before we left, I can now see how in some way I was not giving her all that I could. I don’t mean in terms of physical things, I mean in terms of time, love and energy.

You all know that I felt busy, stressed and in a general spin. Sometimes when I look around me, it feels like most of the world seems to live in a permanent state of this busy-ness. The problem being that if you live like this and also have children, they become another one of your items on your to-do-list. Doing a puzzle with Lily or letting her help me with dinner, when I had so many other things to do and just wanted to rush through all my tasks, felt like a bit of a burden. Ok, ok, it felt like a lot of a burden. I have huge guilt as I say this, but on some level I resented my child for being yet another responsibility in my life.

And then, we went away. It took a few days to get over the jet lag, and to fully unwind. I even found myself to be really emotional during that time. It was as if all the stress, anxiety and feelings of being burdened came pouring out of me. But when it was over, I felt relaxed and happy. I remember lying in our campervan one night and I could literally feel my heart beaming. It’s the first time I’d felt it in a while.

And with that, I began to play with Lily. Play, laugh, giggle, run, chase and climb. We cast magic spells, we built sand castle after sand castle. She helped me cook dinner almost every night. We collected shells, we swam, we read. We drew, stuck fairy stickers and blew bubbles galore. And you know what I could feel again? My heart. But this time I could feel my love for her. A physical feeling. Swelling. Overflowing. Something else I hadn’t felt in a long time.

And what stood out for me probably more than anything was how much easier it was to handle her wobbles, or her tantrums. I could deal with them calming and compassionately. They didn’t rock me, because I felt steady, and boy! did that feel good.

Since coming home and keeping life more simple, I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to keep the same status quo as on holiday. Of course life is busier than on holiday, but we have a nice little routine going, where afternoons and weekends are all about Lily. We’re still doing the veggies together and she’s loving helping me cook and bake (even though we end up with eggshells in everything and it takes double the time!).  We swim every day, and do lots of puzzles too. And now it’s easy. It’s what we do. And that physical feeling of love in my heart is growing even more.

Mamas, it’s so easy to let our time, love and energy be pulled away from our kids. It happens without us even noticing. Of course, there are moms who need to work full time, who can’t dedicate an entire morning or afternoon to their kids. But I guess what our main aim should be is to focus on the quality of our time.Switch off phones, computers and TV’s. Be 100% absorbed in your children. If you’re in a place like I was, where you couldn’t actually feel your heart, and I mean FEEL it, perhaps it’s time to have a look at what you can do to fall in love with your child all over again…

PS. I’m afraid that I won’t be sharing a recipe this week. Morning (well, all day) sickness has kicked in, and trying out new and exciting recipes isn’t seeming too appealing ;)

PPS. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!




Nov 9 12

Recipe of the Week: Olive Tapenade

by Sarah

One of the most delicious recipes that I’ve tried out lately, is this Olive Tapenade. It’s perfect to use as a spread,  a dip, or even tossed into some pasta. Yummy!

Ingredients (Makes about 1½ Cups):

1 cup organic kalamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers

1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup fresh parsley

2 TBSP capers

1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 to 2 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil


Put all the ingredients into a food processor, using the “s” blade. Pulse a view times. Then, while pulsing,slowly add the olive oil. Make sure not to over process, as the mixture can quickly turn into a paste. You want it to be a rather coarse mixture. 

Ok, so I got it a little wrong, and definitely turned mine into too much of a paste. It still tastes delicious, but would have preferred the real deal! And also, I borrowed this recipe from “The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook” written by Alissa Segersten and Tome Malterre. It is an amazing book!

Have a wonderful weekend, Mamas xxx

Nov 8 12

Some Planting, Nightly Wanderings, and other Exciting News

by Sarah

To kick-start my new way of doing things on the blog, I thought I’d show you a little of what I’ve been doing in the way of planting fruit and veggies. Like this new a little Raspberry bush.

They apparently become rather unruly, so we thought it would do well as a border on our property. And then we added an almond and a cherry tree to our field of fruit. Although it’ll take a few years to reap the benefits, I’m incredibly excited about the additions!

My herb pots are happily underway, with new coriander, parsley and sage seedlings. The thyme, rosemary, origanum and chilli plant are the same from last season and seem to be as healthy as ever. The only thing that’s missing is some basil. I’ll get to that one soon!

And then here’s our veggie patch.

We’re following the ancient practice of planting according to the cycles of the moon. So all the fruit-bearing veggie seeds (the ones which grow the food above the ground) were planted a few days before full moon, and we’ll soon plant the root crops because it’s almost the time of new moon. Of course, there’s not much to see from the seeds yet, but the veggies which we’d planted earlier in Spring (and which managed to survive without any attention whatsoever!) have been given so much love, water and compost tea in the last couple of weeks, that they’re quite literally beaming!

It’s not only our fruit and veggies that growing like crazy, so is our little Lily. She’s just recently taken the very brave step of climbing out of her bed in the night and walking through to our room, asking to go for a wee. It also means that she comes wandering through the minute the birds start to sing, about four thirty in the morning! “Mommy,”she says, “I want to sleep with you”. No problem at all. Family snoozes and snuggles are my favourite part of the day.

And guess what! In just under eight months, there’ll be another little snuggler in our bed. Yes, Natural Mamas, that’s my exciting news. I have another bun in the oven! It’s still a very small bun – I’m just under six weeks pregnant. I know lots of ladies like to wait until twelve weeks to spread the news, but I’m all for sharing and support, and quite frankly, am just far too happy to keep it to myself. What’s really great about this, in terms of the blog, is that I’ll get back onto all  natural pregnancy and birthing topics, and no doubt will chat about some of the many emotions which arise, and are currently in full swing :)

Thanks again to all of you who very kindly wrote to me – I can’t explain how much it meant. Oh, and I’ll be putting a weekly recipe in a separate post, purely for category/searching purposes. Hope you enjoy :)

Oct 30 12


by Sarah

Hi Natural Mamas,

I’m back from my trip to Australia. I can’t quite quite explain how amazing it was, or much good it did me. It was only when I was so ridiculously emotional during the first week of the holiday, that I truly realised how stressed I was before I left. And what I decided there and then, was to never allow myself to get to that point. Never. It’s not fun for me, or my family.

Having three weeks to just hang out with Lily, Graeme, friends, and Nature, put so many things into perspective for me. Not having any other commitments besides to cook delicious food, play with my child, and possibly lie on the beach, made me realise how much simpler I want my life to be. Of course, it can’t be one permanent holiday, that’s not real, but it can be close. And that’s a choice that we make. It’s a choice I’ve decided to make.

At first, I thought I would quit writing my blogs all together. Not because I don’t enjoy them, but because what I want to focus on more is the basics. Things like growing veggies – really growing veggies, where we get permanent supply of them. Cooking whole foods for my family. Again, properly, daily, enthusiastically. And playing with Lily. Having an entire afternoon to spend with her, every day, not dragging her around with me while I get other errands done.

I had written a post in my head, how I was going to break the news, but when I got back, and started to weed the veggie patch, plant seeds with Lily and bake muffins, rusks and muesli, I had this strong urge to tell you all about it. And I realised, I’m not ready to quit Natural Mama all together. If I’m going to be doing this Natural Living thing properly, I’d love to continue to share my experiences with you.

So, the good news is that Natural Mama will continue to exist. But the not-so-good news is that my posts will rather be weekly, not daily. It means, I’ll have the time to live my simple life, not needing to be online as often, but that I can then share what I’ve learned, or cooked, or sewn, etc. I guess it’ll be a case of quality, instead of quantity. No more spreading myself thin!

And Natural Mamas, in return, I’d like to ask you all a huge, huge favour. Please get in touch with me. If you’re not sure how to comment on a post, just email me and I’ll  help you with pleasure – Or if you receive this in your inbox, just click “reply”. Even if it’s just to say hi, how you’re doing, where you’re at, whether you agreed or disagreed with what I said, anything. I’m not earning money from this blog, I’m doing it for the love of it, but what keeps me going the most is when Mamas write to me and tell me what they think. Even just a couple words every now and then. Okay?

I hope that all of you and your families, and are happy, healthy and managing to find some quiet time too.

Love to you all and will be in touch soon,


Oct 16 12

GUEST POST: Boosting Baby with Superfood Purees

by Sarah

Thank you to Robyn from Faithful to Nature for sharing this post about feeding babies with Superfood purees.

Motherhood is a miracle and the time with my now 9 month old son, Cassian, is just flying past too quickly. Having decided to keep Cassian vegan and mostly raw has been an exciting choice as I consider the potential we can reach with his health and the foods he is raised on, but I must admit there were times when I felt the weight of the responsibility in giving him a balanced diet in light of these choices. That is, until I recently started playing with the superfoods in our warehouse. Now that I have started supplementing his diets in this way I am really taking such joy from feeding him.

read more…

Oct 11 12

GUEST POST: Quiet – The Book

by Sarah

Here’s a super interesting post written by my cousin, Kerryn, about a thought provoking book – “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” by Susan Cairn. As you probably guessed from the title it is a book about introverts.

Susan Cairns explains at the beginning of the book that there is a continuum between introverts and extroverts and people can fall all the way along the spectrum rather than just on one or the other end. She also (partly) describes introverts as people who draw their energy from being alone or whose energy is drained in a group.

read more…

Oct 8 12

GUEST POST: Travel Activities for Kids

by Sarah

I asked Sally MacKenzie,a friend of mine who’s an occupational therapist,  if I could share parts of an article which she wrote that I found so useful when planning our trip to Australia. She had so many useful ideas of travel activities, which other moms and therapists also shared with her. Some are more suited to driving in your own car (ie. the messy, noisy ones) and others would work well on airoplanes too.

  • Have boxes or bags of various activities to pull out at different stages.
  • Box of fiddles: Bubblewrap, Scoobydoo wire, Pipecleaners, Elastic bands, prestik.
  • ZipLocBag (sealed with tape) or something stronger filled with rice and small objects (beads, plastic bugs, paperclips, matches, etc), then child must find the objects. Some children will tend to make holes and push small bits through and make wonderful mess. read more…