August 28, 2010

Bibliotherapy {Heart Stories}

Have you ever read a book and really connected with it? It touched your heart (and your head) ? It may have been cathartic and allowed you to release some pent-up emotions or perhaps it made you feel less alone, knowing you shared similar feelings and circumstances to the characters. It may have empowered or inspired you, encouraging some resourceful problem-solving. For all of these reasons, a book can really speak to you and may even help you to solve a problem. Perhaps you have done this for your children too. You have intentionally chosen a meaningful story to help them cope with a difficult situation or to encourage them to speak about a circumstance in their lives. In essence, you have been doing a little bit of Bibliotherapy.

Bibliotherapy is using books to help someone address emotional, social or behavioural difficulties. In therapy, a counsellor would take a client through a certain process. As parents, we often just follow our instincts. Although simply reading a story will in all likelihood not solve a problem, it can be good starting point and may open up a valuable discussion with your child. I will often ask my older son what he thinks the moral or message of a story is and I am always surprised by his insights and perspective.

Recently we read "The Tiny Seed" by Eric Carle. It is a beautiful story of a tiny seed that travels through the four seasons and over diverse terrain to eventually land in the soil, ready to germinate into a flower. Although it was the tiniest of all the little seeds, during their travels, many of the bigger seeds were lost along the way due to the elements or for other reasons. This tiny seed however, beats the odds and becomes the most beautiful, extraordinary flower. People come from far and wide to see it, as it grows to tower above the houses!

I think the message in this book is so inspirational. To me it says that no matter the circumstances in our lives, sometimes the extraordinary can happen. If  we have faith, God may in fact surprise us and not only answer our prayers, but exceed all our expectations. For me this is a beautiful , uplifting story of hope! "Heart Stories" is a name I coined for these kinds of  stories...stories that touch, teach, inspire and heal.

The art work in this book is also lovely and we were inspired to do some "Eric Carle art". Eric Carle uses painted tissue paper to create his beautiful and distinctive art work, so I thought to paint ordinary typing paper with a small roller and try to achieve a similar tissue paper effect. I think the paper came out really nicely. Big One then copied a picture (our favourite) from the book. (I helped with the butterflies.)

I think the end result is just lovely (see the top photo). Now I have a wonderful reminder of this book's beautiful message. I definitely need to frame this one.

For more ideas (including class room activities ) linked to this book and other Eric Carle titles, you can visit his website.

I would love to hear about any "Heart Stories" you may have read to your children.

PS. I have linked this to Kids Get Crafty @ Red Ted Art's Blog.

August 22, 2010

Pot Scourer Possibilities

  Plastic mesh pot scourers equals crafty goodness!

pipe cleaners, coloured paper, pom poms, plastic eyes, feathers, glue, and plastic mesh pot scourers (of course)

Big One and I had such fun creating these. I'll not say who did what...but it was a hit!


PS. I am linking this to two wonderful link parties: "Show and Tell" at ABC and 123  and "Tot Tuesdays" at My Delicious Ambiguity.   

PSS. The second picture is a little handbag, just in case you weren't sure. :)                                                              

August 18, 2010

Crazy about Maisy

Little One is just crazy about Maisy! Now I must admit that I have definitely encouraged this craze, because I too am a big fan. I discovered Maisy a number of years ago, when Big One was my only little one :)  My first introduction was not a book, but one of the delightful Maisy Dvds. What I love about the Dvds is the beautiful, clear, well-spoken English, narrated by Neil Morrissey (also the voice of Bob the Builder), as well as the simplicity of the pictures and of course the fun, playful way that Maisy goes about everyday activities. On the Maisy website, she is described as "a colourful, lovable mouse, with a nose for adventure". A perfect description I think.

Little One really started to enjoy the Maisy books at about 18 months of age and what I love to do when I read them to him, is to leave out some words and he becomes familiar with the story, he fills in the missing words.

Now I have never ever seen a Maisy toy of any sort here in our shops and so I thought it would be ever so cute to make a Maisy doll out of felt. You may recall me saying that I just don't sew, well I decided to give it a bash and am surprised to say that I actually enjoyed  it! Here is a little tutorial:

I traced Maisy's body from the book, "Maisy Big, Maisy Small", directly onto the white felt. I then pinned two pieces of white felt together and cut out the body. This is not a great photo, but this project was done at night.

I then traced the clothing onto paper, attached it to my felt with pins and repeated the cutting out, each time pinning two pieces of felt together. (I wanted Maisy to have a back and a front). I stitched the body together by hand (filled it with batting) and then glued all the remaining pieces to Maisy on both sides. 

My only regret is that I didn't sew the clothes on too, as I used quite a bit of glue and am uncomfortable with the glue smell, especially as I am aware of the toxins that glue can release. Other than that, I thought she turned nicely.

If you are not familiar with Maisy, be sure to check out her lovely website, called the Maisy's Fun Club. It has awesome colouring pictures, games and best of all, a few of her books that can be read online! To read "Maisy Makes Lemonade" , click here.

August 16, 2010

I was featured at Fantastic Find!

Last month I was very tickled and touched to be featured at Fantastic Find, a super blog, where Chels (Mommy of two) loves to share good things. Chels wrote a really lovely post about Love and Lollipops and if you would like to see what she had to say, you can read all about it here.

Thanks again Chels!

August 14, 2010

Favourite Character Fridge Magnets

I made these for Big One when he was about 3 or 4 years old and recently took them out for Little One to enjoy. I looked for pictures of favourite characters in magazines, had them laminated and then (precision) cut them by hand and attached some magnets to the back. I think I probably like them more than the children do...makes my fridge look so colourful and fun!

August 11, 2010

Celebrating Ceres

We were very lucky to get away for a long weekend in early July. We spent 3 days at the Edenvue Wooden Chalets, situated on a fruit farm just outside Prince Alfred's Hamlet, in the picturesque Ceres Valley. It was bliss...simply beautiful! Being so wonderfully close to nature, is truly food for my soul.

The chalets were kitted out really well and it was very comfortable and cosy accomodation. The farm is yours to roam. by car, foot or mountain bike. Or you can fish in the dam, but it helps to have some insider tips if you would like to catch something!

We spent the weekend with some very dear friends and the children had a blast! We were treated to beautiful clear crisp days, even warm...but the nights were cold. In summer I would imagine it to get very hot here. I can highly recommend this as a family getaway. To see more or make a booking, go to

August 6, 2010

Frogs and Polka Dots {Party Theme}

Little One turned TWO! We were blessed with the most beautiful warm day , which is pretty awesome, considering we are right in the middle of Winter! It meant that we could put the main party table outside on the patio and the little guests could roam around outdoors!

I had the idea to do a Froggy theme for quite some time and I decided to add polka dots for fun...I love polka dots! I bought the paper hats, which I embellished with polka dots cut out with a punch. I also decorated plain paper plates with polka dots (frugal and more personal) and wrapped the juice boxes with paper and ribbon! I had fun turning the green lollipops into little frog faces...I was thinking that one could easily turn these flat lollipops into a variety of things and that this would make a fun craft for the kids. The plastic frogs with sweeties on their backs are soap dishes. What cannot be seen in the pictures, are green and white helium balloons, which were in the center of the table and really finished off the festive feeling perfectly! The party favours were cute rubber bath frogs (two are sitting on top of the cake) and balloons on a stick! 

As always it gave me so much joy to see the theme all come together, but the prize was seeing Little One's reaction. As he walked out onto the patio and saw the table for the first time, he gave a small shout and clapped his hands in delight. Made my heart do a little dance!

Last thing to  mention is that the super cake was made by Marleen, who has made 10 cakes for me now over the years (Birthdays and Christenings) and they have always been terrific! So if you live locally and want her contact details, please email me at

Till next time...

PS. I have linked the party to:

August 4, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week 1-7 August 2010

I knew it was a good sign when Little One arrived in the first week of August two years ago and it coincided with World Breastfeeding Week :). After struggling to successfully breastfeed my first born, I stopped after only 2-and-a-half months. I still feel guilty about it, especially in light of what I know now about all the awesome benefits of breastfeeding. This decision could so easily have been averted if I had only been more prepared, had better support and had the right amount of determination. I fortunately had all of these the second time around and am still breastfeeding Little One! (I recently started the weaning process, but have a way to go.)

I was thrilled to be asked by my friend Grietjie over at Joyful Mama's Place to contribute to her week of posts about breastfeeding. If you would like to read my guest post about the advantages of breastfeeding, you can pop over to Joyful Mama's Place and read it here. 

Breastfeeding really is "best" feeding and the more information you have at hand, the better equipped you are to weather the inevitable wobbles. I would like to mention that I am forever grateful for the assistance I received from the La Leche League, a phenomenal organisation and in particular, Trudy, my wonderful lactation consultant and friend. Thank you Trudy!

To get in touch with a La Leche League group or consultant here locally in South Africa, visit

If you are an international reader and would like more information, visit

August 2, 2010

Georgie's Picks {Happy Birthday Little One}

We are celebrating Little One's second birthday this week! So, I thought it only appropriate to share some favourite pictures that I took in late June of this super little guy.

I have taken some of my very favourite pictures of Little One by putting him on to my bed. I open the curtains, pull up the blinds and the light streams in from the right, allowing sufficient light for flash-free photography...just the way I like it. I sit on the floor on my knees and let him roll around and just have fun. Being low down,  I am in a great shooting position. I am at his level (not too low or high) and also in the perfect position to play peekaboo, which of course gets wonderful smiles and giggles. In these particular shots, Granny happened to arrive, so his attention was drawn to the outside and as you can see by these happy faces, Granny was being very funny!

Although the first and last picture are much brighter (which I prefer), these were all taken at the same time, only my position changed.

Happy Birthday Little One!! Love you!!!!!!
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