August 2015’s picks

I started writing this thinking it would be a short post but despite visitors and a long weekend away with friends I seemed to sneak in quite a few things.  Again please visit the website ( if you are reading this on email so I can see what you are interested in by the links being clicked.  I seemed to do a lot of reading on parenting this month so have moved that into the toddler activities section.

This month I have been thinking a lot about creating good habits and by building little things into your busy day it can make for more restful evenings (rather than two hours of jobs after the little ones are in bed).  I’ll let you know any tips next month once I have given a few things a try.  I will be bearing this quote in mind “Stress is the difference between expectation and reality.”.

We also really enjoyed an early arty morning at Harbour Sculpture last weekend – Sydney friends catch it before it closes on Sunday 9th August.

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To read

To watch

  • A chance spot at the library was I Wish, a Japanese film.  Recommended if you like stories about families (one son living with each parent and the dream of the elder son is to reunite the family) or learning more about daily life in Japan.
  • This film made me think of a few other films relating to growing up that we have enjoyed: Beneath Clouds; Satellite Boy and Samson and Delilah.

To listen to

  • Recommended by a friend – The Living Room.  Can’t tell you too much without spoiling the story!
  • Eye in the Sky – good for sparking debate over dinner – what level of surveillance is OK for society to be safe?  If you enjoy that follow on with this on the Stingray device.
  • Lovely chat about inspiring little ones to dance without the focus on their appearance too young.
  • Episode 331 on Working Motherhood stood out.  Lots of ideas to take on board:
    • Concept mapping things that you repeatedly think about to see how you can bring creativity into your life – using this tool to mind map was recommended.
    • Timing how long the little jobs take so the mental hurdle to get the dishwasher done at the end of the day is less.
    • Using Pinterest to create vision boards of your 5 and 10 year plans.  I need to put a holiday home near the beach on ours after a lovely weekend at Pearl Beach.

Toddler activities

These have worked well this month:

  • ‘Quiet tools’ – photocopying pictures of tools from a word picture book, mounting on card and then sandwiching in sticky back plastic/ laminating.  Good for allowing lots of ‘fixing’ without the risk of poking the baby’s eyes and without the noise of an actual play hammer.
  • Taking a microfibre towel to the park on dewy mornings.
  • Going on a PJ hunt when bedtimes get difficult – pretending to look all over the room to find them and turn it into a game.
  • Setting up a ‘Shop’ using the whiteboard on the easel for names/ pictures /prices of daily specials.  Think we will use it for other play ideas e.g. vets/ doctors/ restaurant etc.
  • Setting up the IKEA kitchen wedged between the wall and the back of the sofa so you can use as a shop/ cafe as well as a kitchen and two little ones can play at the same time; and you can get served endless tea on a comfy seat.  Little ones can get involved as they can stand and look over the back of the sofa at all the cooking action.
  • Pretending to go ‘down the basement’ with Grandpa – completely confused as to where he was going to first few times.
  • Water Wow colouring books saved for special situations like doctor’s waiting rooms.

Ones on the to try list:

Interesting parenting resources:

To connect

  • Another personality test – I put in last month’s blog post and it responded with this “You are heartfelt.  You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are accommodating: you are easy to please and try to avoid confrontation. And you are philosophical: you are open to and intrigued by new ideas and love to explore them.  Experiences that give a sense of well-being hold some appeal to you.  You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment. You consider tradition to guide a large part of what you do: you highly respect the groups you belong to and follow their guidance.”
  • Have you taken the chore wars quiz?

To organise

  • Some good free printables by Emily Ley.  I also enjoyed watching her little ‘about‘ video – products designed to help you intentionally plan the fun stuff.

In Sydney

I hope you found something of interest.