Have a lovely weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend? I’m hoping to spend some time reading the papers the whole way through. This week I’ve been so busy I’ve barely managed to get past the front page.

I’m also hoping to go to the movies. The last film I saw was ‘My week with Marilyn’. Michelle Williams is so perfect in this role. She captures not only Marilyn’s fragility and vulnerability, but also her humour and sexiness. Have you seen it? What did you think?

Here are some cool things from the web that I came across this week:-

I can’t wait to try cloud dough.

This interview with a one year old makes me laugh every time.

I love these busy bags for toddlers.

What did we do before blogging?

I’m loving Art Deco fashion.

A fun ‘Easter’ April Fools trick.

Inspiring interview with Mrs Seinfeld.

Make your own nest.

Easy tips for taking great photos.

This beautiful song gives me goosebumps.

Enjoy your weekend. xxx

Picture of Marilyn Monroe by Ed Feingersh.

Candles

I love candles, and yet I always seem to forget that I love them.

Recently the weather in Sydney has ranged from glorious sunshine, cold enough for long sleeves, pouring rain and gale force winds! It was during these winds that we had a electrical blackout, when a tree fell on the power lines in our street. As I couldn’t find batteries for our torch, we had to dig out the candles. We put them on the table at dinner and the kids just thought it was the greatest thing ever! They asked if we could have a “candle lit dinner” every night.

Then when the kids were in bed, the power came back on, but we decided to keep the lights off. Barry and I watched the television, surrounded by the soft glow of candle light. It’s amazing how candles can make even TV watching romantic!

Each time I light candles I am reminded of how they completely change the atmosphere of the room. Our brains just seem to make an automatic connection between candles and special occasions. I’ve decided that I’m not going to wait for the next blackout to ‘light up’.

Are you a regular ‘candle user’ or do you save them for birthday cakes and blackouts?

Image via sheknows.com.

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

Easter decorating

I love decorating our house at Easter. Just as we’re heading into cooler weather, the Springtime colours of Easter brighten everything up. It does seem a little odd to decorate with blossom branches and hatching chicks at a time when the leaves are turning brown, but I suppose it’s no stranger than hanging up Christmassy snowmen in the middle of our sweltering Summer.

I made these cupcakes last year. I got the images from The Graphics Fairy, printed them onto white card, then taped a toothpick to the back. The kids (and grown-ups!) loved them.

cupcake

hanging eggLucie 1rabbits

egg tree

eggs

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

My wonderful sister.

My sister Vanessa is a pretty special person. She never has an unkind word to say about anyone, judges people purely on who they are, not what they have, and will go out of her way to say hello to someone she knows, no matter how busy she is.

Last week, she organised a Purple Day fundraiser at her children’s (very small) school to raise money and awareness for Epilepsy Action Australia, an organisation that is close to her heart. Vanessa arranged for purple cupcakes to be sold, and made $87, which will help Epilepsy Action Australia to provide specialist epilepsy services in the community.

Well done Vanessa! I love you. xoxoxo

Purple Day (26th March) is a global effort dedicated to raising epilepsy awareness. It was founded in 2008, by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada. Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, Cassidy started Purple Day in an effort to get people talking about the condition and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. She named the day Purple Day after the internationally recognised colour for epilepsy, lavender.

If you would like to make purple cupcakes, here is the recipe.

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

Have a lovely weekend.

We are looking forward to a quiet, relaxing weekend; maybe we’ll take the dog for a long walk beside the beach. Here’s hoping this sunshiney weather continues.

Here are some cool links from the web:-

I am loving these shoes.

My kids (and I) would have so much fun playing with these blocks.

Ahh, the good old days.

This song makes me want to dance around the kitchen.

Simple but yummy kids breakfast.

I might try making these for Easter.

What a great idea for the sandpit.

Image via Pinterest.

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

Where do dinosaurs hide?

In a dinosaur cave, of course!

I used two cardboard boxes, a few brown towels, black material that I cut with pinking shears for the dinosaurs to hide behind, some leaves from the garden and a handful of popcorn kernels as ‘dinosaur food’. I set it up on a low table for easy access.

We’ll need our torch so we can find them.

Aha! There you are!!

Callum decided that the dinosaurs would need a phone so that they could talk to each other,

and that one would have to stay on the top to keep watch,

and that the dinosaurs would be better standing in a straight line at the front of the cave.

“Let’s keep this dinosaur cave in my room for a day and a day and a day!”

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

Kids and Art

Giovan MORONI | Portrait of a child of the house of Redetti [Ritratto di bambina di casa Redetti]

On the weekend, we took the kids to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra to see the ‘Renaissance’ exhibition. They have a wonderful ‘family room’ attached to the exhibition where children and their carers can explore a range of experiences relating to Renaissance art. The children could dress up in amazing clothes just like the ones in the paintings, draw themselves while looking in a mirror, and make buildings to go in a Renaissance city.

My kids spent two hours in there and still were reluctant to leave. The gallery staff have created an amazing facility that makes art accessible and fun for children.

I really believe that the more familiar children become with something, the more they can grow to appreciate and take enjoyment in it. Unlike ‘Disney’ type images, real art often requires children to think about what they are seeing – how does it make them feel, what is the artist trying to say, what details can we see in the picture etc. In the end, it is a more satisfying and memorable experience.

Also, the things they are learning:- to look carefully, to imagine another persons viewpoint and to approach new things with an open mind, are skills that they can use in all areas of their lives.

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

A good day for me is one in which I get some time to myself; to think and just be, with no need to make small talk or smile or make eye contact. I can be alone with my thoughts, quiet and still. Yes, that’s right, I am an introvert. Unlike extroverts, who are energised when around other people, introverts are energised by being alone.

One of my daughters is clearly an extrovert. She has always loved parties and other social occasions where large numbers of people gather. She will seek out contact, and would much rather be playing with others than by herself.

My other daughter seems to take after me. She will be the one hiding under the table at the big party, and often takes herself off into her room if we have a big crowd over. After she has had her time alone, she is happy to join the group. She is not a loner or unfriendly, she just needs this time to recharge the batteries.

People feel special when they are  accepted for who they are, whether they are are a rowdy sociable extrovert, or a solitude-seeking introvert. It is our differences that make us all so interesting!

Here is a wonderful TED talk on The Power of Introverts.

Image via Pleated Jeans

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

The best thing.

Every night at dinner time I ask each of my children “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” If ever I forget, they are quick to remind me!

When we were kids, my own mum would ask us this same question as she kissed us goodnight.

This simple question is so wonderful for many reasons-

  • it sparks real conversation at dinner, which is much better than me nagging “Use your fork!!”
  • it encourages my children to feel grateful, and to think about the positive things that have happened during the day.
  • by concentrating on the good things, it helps children to develop self esteem, confidence and optimism, which in turn helps them to build resilience.

Often, my children will also talk about  something “really bad that happened today”. This is fine too. I definitely want them to be able to share the negative parts of their day, and by discussing these things, we can often reach a solution, or think about why someone acted the way they did. I encourage them to confide in me about what is worrying them,  telling them ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.

However, I think if we can teach our children to focus on the good and the positive, and to keep the negative in perspective, we  will help them to deal with setbacks and move forward in life with a sense of fun and optimism.

Image via Pinterest.

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

A new path.

Via Pinterest

Welcome to Teaspoons and Tinsel! I am so excited to be finally taking these first steps on the path to blogging. It can be a scary thing, committing your thoughts to paper (or in this case, to the keyboard!) for all to read, but life can get pretty boring if we’re not terrified once in a while.

Through this blog, I would love to share my ideas on how to make each day just that little bit more special, whether it’s by putting a tablecloth on the table for dinner, wearing mascara for the school run or putting love notes in the lunchboxes. Everyone deserves to feel special everyday.

Image via imgfave.com

Copyright (c) 2012, Teaspoons and Tinsel. All rights reserved

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