Sunday, September 21, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: whilst visiting our neighbour's garden she ran around and around, picking her fair share of flowers.

This is my very favourite portrait of the year. Oh, I love her!


Friday, September 19, 2014

in other places

The school holidays have officially begun and we celebrated with fresh-out-of-the-oven banana bread. I'm trying not to think about the fact that there's only one school term left and then...Christmas. Goodness. Where's the "pause" button?

This week has been incredibly productive; I'm revelling in the opportunity to tick things of the list but I'm also wary of taking it slow. There's already significant pressure in my pelvis which, due to hyper-flexible hips, means I need to tuck my tailbone under, draw baby towards my spine and strengthen my tendons (not more sitting cross-legged). It's reminders like this that, in the midst of busyness, make me lie down for rest. And when I do lie down I'm treated to flutters; one of the best feelings in the world.

Sunday marks the spring equinox so it's official: Happy Spring! Plant some herbs, pick some daisies, try not to sneeze!

In other places (apologies for the recipe overload...I am pregnant):

the perfect curry for spring or autumn
the front cover of my book (post coming on how you can order)
project wild thing - hilarious and thought-provoking

PS. I've had a few requests for photography related posts. What would you like to know? So far, readers have told me they want to know the simple steps to conquering manual mode, how to compose a beautiful image, how to organise and store files and how to edit. Anything else?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

embrace a morning ritual

I've fallen for the dawn.

If you're a long time reader, you know how much I adore a nourishing bedtime - tea, candles, bath, bed - but up until now, the early morning hasn't really inspired ritual. I could credit spring or the energy surge that came with my second trimester, but for the past few weeks I have well and truly embraced the morning; its quiet and its stillness - a sweet offering. 

If I always honoured my body and its natural inclinations I would go to bed early and rise with the sun. But that hardly ever happens; seven years of motherhood has left me weary and any extra time in bed is welcomed and gratefully accepted. However, over the past few months as I've craved energy (any kind of energy) I have a newfound appreciation for being awake and feeling motivated. I'm sure the sun and blue skies have a lot to do with it too; they literally beckon me from slumber.

Regardless of what my morning entails, I start my day with a warm glass of water with lemon juice. If Daniel is home I'll go for a long walk (whilst it's good for my mind I'm also determined not too put on too much weight before my imminent third-trimester coincides with the hottest and most humid months of the year). If I stay at home I'll usually tick a few household chores off the list (productivity is at its peak first thing in the morning), write a few stories or take myself out to the balcony and drink tea; a simple meditation, of sorts.

It's so good it almost feels indulgent! And I think I know why. Deep down, I've accepted the fact that this ritual is fleeting. In this current season of motherhood I have the luxury of uninterrupted sleep, energy and small pockets of time. It will change soon, hence I'm basking in it while I can.

Tell me, are you a morning person? Does a mindful morning ritual inspire you or would you prefer to stay curled up in bed?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

how to ease fear and worry in pregnancy

The more babies I have, the more profound my fears are. Ignorance may be bliss and knowledge may be power but there's a murky in-between - the more you know, the more you fear.

I often talk to my prenatal students about fear. To be honest, I don't think it's a discussion many of them expect from a yoga class. But when you give pregnant women the opportunity to share they do so; with their hearts wide open and all their guards down. For some women it's the first time they've ever spoken of past miscarriages; an experience shrouded in silence, a secret finally shared. Others talk about fear of pain, labour complications and birthing a baby that needs special care. Some women are genuinely worried about how their partners will cope and others are anxious about overbearing relatives.

Worry and fear is pertinent in pregnancy and it can easily become all consuming. Here's five ways to ease worry and fear and, ultimately, make space for the joy and delight.

acknowledge your fears and write them down

Fear is easily brushed aside or pushed down. Perhaps the worst result that can come from ignoring fear is that it will arise again and, more often than not, at the most inconvenient of times (like when you're deep in labour - all-of-a-sudden those fears bubble up and bring with them the inability to breathe and maintain positivity). Ignoring your fears is easy - acknowledging them takes courage. Writing down your fears is a practical way for you to acknowledge them and, ultimately, start letting them go.

create a positive affirmation/intention

In times of fear and doubt it's incredibly beneficial to have a positive affirmation or intention to repeat to yourself like a mantra. Yogis often talk about a sankalpa (san-kal-pa); an idea or intention that's formed in the heart or mind, a solemn vow, a definite intention. My sankalpa during Poet's pregnancy was: I will carry my baby to full term and birth calmly and confidently, a healthy baby. I never shared my sankalpa with anyone else but every single day I repeated it to myself - three times, like a mantra.

The beauty of a positive mantra is that it's always there; if you can shift your thoughts from negative to positive you automatically stop the "spiralling out of control" thought process.

my baby grows perfectly and healthily within me
I will be a wonderful mother to my baby
my baby is perfectly supported by my body
I accept and honour the physical changes in my body
my partner supports my choices surrounding the birth
I accept all the love and support that is offered to me in pregnancy and during birth
I let go of all fear and embrace complete faith
I release all memories of negative birth experiences and replace them with positive, nurturing ones
my baby is born healthy and happy

be selective with the information you read; seek it from reputable sources (ie. don't google)

It's ironic that I share this advice on a blog but, in general, the internet is rife with fear-fuelled stories of pregnancy, labour and birth. Read articles that are written by reputable sources and ones that, ideally, contain expert advice. Arm yourself with books like Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth, The New Pregnancy and Childbirth and Your Best Birth and, if you're interested, watch documentaries like The Business of Being Born and The Face of Birth.

If you do get sucked into an article that starts to conjure fear and worry within you stop reading it and come back to your mantra.

own your experience; discuss your concerns with your support person and caregiver and don't be a magnet for negativity 

This is a sensitive matter, I know. Pregnant women are magnets for a gamut of birth stories. Whether you're standing in line at the supermarket, waiting in the playground at school pick up or chatting with a new friend at a wedding - someone, at sometime during your pregnancy, will offload their birth experience to you. For the woman sharing, it's an opportunity to work through her own experience but often, that's best done with a midwife or counsellor. Remember that you have the right to own your pregnancy and birth - that means taking responsibility for it. You can politely ask someone to stop telling you their grief-filled story; it's not rude, it's self-awareness and self-care.

Chat with your partner or support person about your fears and work through them together. If you feel that you're not understood talk to your midwife, obstetrician or GP - they are there to offer support and advice every step of the way, even if that means referring you to a counsellor or psychologist. If you feel more comfortable discussing your worries over the phone, PANDA has a 24hour hotline for those suffering ante and postnatal depression - 1300 726 306.

get out of your head - exercise, practise yoga, connect with your body and your baby

One of the best ways to ease stress and anxiety in pregnancy is to exercise - walking, swimming and yoga are extremely beneficial on a physical, emotional and mental level. If you have the opportunity (and sometimes it requires discipline and determination to create the opportunity) enrol in a prenatal yoga class. Whilst every class is different, yoga encourages body awareness; when you are aware of your body you automatically develop faith in its ability to grow and birth your baby. If you're a second, third, fourth time mum, a yoga class can provide a set time each week for you to just be - to connect with your body and your baby and consciously prepare for the journey ahead. It's also a great opportunity to let go of your past birth experiences and memories and, ultimately, create a fresh perspective for your imminent birth.

There's a lot to be said for connecting with other pregnant women in a safe and open space. I've witnessed many friendships blossom in my classes - proof that finding your "village" is incredibly beneficial in pregnancy.

If you want to find support online I highly recommend Smiling Mind for easy-to-follow meditation.

How did you deal with your fears and worries in pregnancy? What books brought the most comfort and how did your partner and caregiver support your journey?


Monday, September 15, 2014

a spring cleaning guide : week three

When in doubt, ask yourself: if I was moving house tomorrow, would I pack this? It's a ruthless tactic, yes, but it's quite practical for those who get caught up in sentimentality and indecision. And you know what, I think that's all of us from time to time. If we have held onto something, even if it has made its way to the back of the cupboard, we have some kind of affinity to it. Letting go of affinity is both a challenge and a relief.

There are two drawers in my kitchen that are affectionately referred to as 'junk drawers', although I do prefer the term 'miscellany'. Miscellany, in some cases, is required, but when the drawers are so full that opening and closing them creates slight panic, you know it's time for a cull. This week I tackled the miscellany - sticky tape, birthday candles, thumbtacks, incense holders, notepads, measuring taps, spare shoelaces etc. And I was ruthless. There was so much stuff that had been placed in there only because dealing with it required more effort at the time. As you can probably guess, said stuff is now out of the house.

I then moved onto the medicine cabinet (as a result I'm writing a post on 10 natural remedies that every family needs) and from there I swept through the kitchen - pots and pans, teacups and glasses, plates and bowls. I completely emptied the cupboards, wiped down the shelves, sorted the unwanted from the needed and stood back to admire my work (and then took a nap).

On one particularly energetic morning I gave myself 20minutes to sort through and clean the bathroom cabinet. And I got it done - I'm picking up speed!

I have made a place for everything in my kitchen and bathroom and now everything is in its place.

"One drawer at a time" is really working for me (although the bedrooms are next and they're quite daunting!).


Sunday, September 14, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: this look is a common one of late; contemplation and frustration mixed with a split-second of daydreaming stillness. 

Doesn't she look older here?! She's leaping out of that toddler phase, with fire and determination and a fair amount of independence to boot. 

Apologies for this late post but, you know, life comes first.


Friday, September 12, 2014

in other places

We've had four beautiful sunny days this week; just what I needed to get out of the late winter funk. Truth be told I was entirely over rain and grey days. Granted, I'm grateful for the water but how about those clouds head out west for a while, hey?

I know I harp on about simplicity and whilst I can talk about simple living and simple clothing and simple food, simplicity really comes down to things like roadside freesias that don't cost a cent, walking barefoot on warm grass, lifting your face to the sun and feeling it to your core. It these simple things that have brightened me this past week - thank goodness for that!

In other places:

the problem with scented and soy candles - and why I only ever use beeswax
birth around the world; a beautiful photo essay
the best tea cups I've seen in a long while - but which colour to choose?
Biome has 25% off storewide till midnight tonight with the code BIOME25
why African babies don't cry - an absolutely brilliant article!


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