Thursday, April 24, 2014

easter recap and pretty mums

 

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Homemade {wonky!} hot cross buns for a great Friday.

 

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Lunch with the fambo at my sister’s. Yummy beef bourguignon. Fresh homemade bread.

 

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Delicious apple pie {home-grown apples are the bestest!}.

 

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Gorgeously decorated by Sarah, for a competition, Easter chocolate cake - which I couldn’t partake in because I was so stuffed from everything else. Not like me, I know;)

 

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A couple of cute kidlets.

 

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And some pretty chrysanthemums that I’ve only taken a gazillion photos of in the last couple of weeks. If you are following me on instagram {featherandnest} you may be able to tell that  I’m a little besotted by these ones right now.

 

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The pretty pale yellow. The gentle unfurling. The imperfection of the flower heads. The drooping branches. The lovely memory that a friend gave me these cuttings and they took.

 

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And that was Easter.

How was yours? Did you spend it at home? Away? With family? Without? Did you partake of that sugary brown stuff or did you refrain? {I refrained until the day after Easter…and I haven’t stopped since. Woops}. So many questions.

Kim x

PS and don’t forget to enter the Palmolive Divine Blends giveaway. It ends on the 6th of May.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

palmolive divine blends giveaway!!!!!

 

  This is a sponsored post for Palmolive and ⦁ Digital Parents ⦁   Collective

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Fancy finding a pretty bottle of Palmolive Divine Blends Vanilla and Berries in amongst my herbs and strawberries.

How did it get there, you might be wondering?

Well, the lovely people at Palmolive are  giving away a  3 pack of  Palmolive Divine Blends – Vanilla & Berries dishwashing liquid to one of you lucky duck readers. All you have to do is:

1. Leave me a comment down there. Say whatever you like, preferably something nice;)

2. Like Feather & Nest on facebook. Sorry, but you know how these things work….;)

3. Follow Feather & Nest if you don’t already. Again with the sorry’s;)

 

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Simple?

 

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Now, before you race off to comment and facebook and follow, I wanted to share with you some of the cool things I’ve found so far since I started using Palmolive Divine Blends Vanilla and Berries:

 

*  It comes with a unique aromatic experience to infuse your senses.

I have to say this dishwashing liquid has the prettiest smell I’ve ever smelt {in the world of dishwashing liquids, that is}. My sister chooses dishwashing liquids purely based on smell. This one rates high on her smell radar and when I popped in for a cuppa the other day I noticed she had a bottle of Palmolive Divine Blends in her cupboard already. Needless to say, she’s loving it. I’m a little particular with smells and general like a citrus-y scent but this vanilla berries is really delicious. It honestly does make washing up a bit more bearable.

 

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* It provides a delightful dishwashing experience. 

It does! And to add to this point I want to remind you, just in case your memory is struggling and you’ve forgotten this important little detail that Madge shared with us all those years ago:

“Palmolive: mild on your hands while you do dishes”.

Palmolive were onto something there because I have to say that ‘mild on hands’ is the main thing I’m looking for when I buy dishwashing liquid these days. Most of the time I use my trusty silver kitchen steed {aka my dishwasher} to do the dishes.  Unfortunately I can’t always avoid hand washing dishes. Some just can’t be properly cleaned without a bit more elbow grease. I tend to hand wash most of my pots and pans and greasy grimy stuff as well as my precious vintage china and fowler bowls and stuff like that.

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Back to Madge’s line about hands and dishes. The main criteria for me when it comes to washing my dishes is that my hands aren’t left red raw at the end of it. As much as I don’t love washing up I especially loathe having red raw hands afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised at how not red raw my hands were after using Palmolive Divine Blends. I’ve been using it for about a week now and I haven’t had one twinge of redness. Nice. Lew even had a go {he’s the second set of hands up there} – nice to see that teenagers still know the old fashioned skill of hand washing dishes!

No red raw hands for him either, though to be perfectly honest, he’s only done this one hand wash;)


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Everything gets sparkling clean and smells all fresh and yummy. I think I might be liking this dish washing liquid a lot.

 

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If you don’t end up being the winner of this cool Palmolive give away then here are the details for the new and lovely Divine Blends:

*  Palmolive Divine Blends Vanilla & Berries Dishwashing Liquid RRP $4.99 (700ml)
*  Palmolive Divine Blends Violet & Apple Blossom Dishwashing Liquid RRP $3.49 (375ml)
*  Available in leading supermarkets

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Okey doke, now you’re free to enter the giveaway!

I’ll be drawing the winner on the 6th of May so you’ve got from now til then to be get entered.

Hope you win:)

Kim x

PS I’ve had lots of fun showing Lew old commercials on youtube. I can’t believe how I still remember the words to so many commercial jingles. If you’re about my vintage {a 1972 special},what was your fave TV ad? I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours;)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

stills: in the nest

 

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Shots for April #7vignettes over on instagram. {Come and say hi over on instagram @featherandnest} Every time I think of Enid Blyton books I’m reminded of cosy times as a little girl, snuggled up in my yellow doona in my yellow wooden bed reading away or being read to by my mum. Love those memories and love that my Enchanted Wood copy is yellow. It was my favourite colour all through my childhood and into my 20’s. I even painted my kitchen yellow! After that  I hated yellow with a passion ….for all of my 30’s. Now in my….ahem…40’s, yellow is back baby. Loving it again. I’m fickle like that.                                                                 

My sideboard right now with a gorgeous new navy blue addition – thank you so much to the lovely, Barbara:)

I call this one: Red geranium in brown bottle. Artistic of me, huh?

Tea time.

More vignetting.                                                                                     

 

How are things in your nest?

Kim x

Saturday, April 12, 2014

melbourne pretties

 

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I’d forgotten how pretty the old buildings in the city are. Melbourne is full to the brim of gorgeous old shop faces and houses and warehouses that have been painted all different colours and restored to keep the city scape looking fresh and vibrant as well as maintaining it’s heritage and background. I love that. I could walk up and down these streets all day and not get sick of looking at the shop fronts. So much prettiness in Melbourne, particularly on Chapel Street where we spent a little bit of time.

 

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These city streets are a colour consultant’s delight!

 

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I love these pink and grey and white ones.

 

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Aren’t they pretty?

And the black with cream is so elegant. There’s a lot of black paint in Melbourne, to go with the clothes everyone wears;) It’s used on modern, modern buildings and cafes and it’s used on the heritage ones. I like it. Bega needs more of it. Just saying.

 

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This old building was just a couple of buildings down from where we stayed near St Kilda. Loved it.

 

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Vespers were everywhere. They park them on the footpaths and right by cafes and shops. It was fun seeing them pop up all over the place and the colours are gorgeous. I wished I’d photographed more than one.

 

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Have you been to Melbourne recently? Ever? What do you think of the city scape? Any favourite hang outs?

 

Kim x

Monday, April 7, 2014

lately and ramblings…

 

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/My cousin’s wedding/ Peppermint tea with a friend/ Games day with the homeschoolers /Lew’s drawing of Sunny/ The launch of Pip magazine/ baking lots of berry and rhubarb crumbles /Making pumpkin soup from my home grown butternuts/ Pickling cucumbers/

Amidst the lovely, drizzly rainy days we’ve been keeping busy. 

Lew’s been having fun on Code Academy. It’s hurting my head but I’m trying to follow along as well. I’m loving the drawings he’s been doing lately. Can’t wait to see more chooky ones.

I have lots of plans for the next stage of the garden, now to get in and get the ball rolling. The cooler days are helping me get all garden motivated. There’s a lot of mowing and whipper snipping to do and plenty of weeds to be pulling out. Almost my entire veggie garden needs digging over and preparing for the winter crop.

We’ve had some really fun homeschooling get togethers lately. The last one was a games day. I love it when the parents and kids run around together. It’s really, really fun and good for our group.

My Dad gave me a lovely load of limb wood the other day. I think it might be getting close to lighting our first fire for the season. I love this weather!

The launch of Pip magazine was pretty exciting. Robyn Rosenfeldt is a nice and talented girl and she also happens to be local. She was once the editor for Sustain magazine which was also locally produced. Pip is a national permaculture magazine and it's funky and cool and I’m subscribing to it. I’m sure it’s going to do really, really well. Go, Robyn!

OK, well that’s enough rambling from me, I’m sure. How about you? How’s your past week been? Any plans for the week ahead?

Kim x

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Unschooling Conference with Sandra Dodd in Melbourne {ALLive}

 

 

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Well, we are back from the bright city lights of Melbourne. It doesn’t take long to settle back into the normal routines of life and the peace and tranquillity that is our life in the country. But it’s definitely taken me far too long to get writing again. This poor little nesty space has been a little neglected over this past week or so but be assured {and hopefully not bored! Ha, poet and I know it!} that there’ll be plenty more to make up for my absence. You’re happy about that aren’t you? Oh yes, indeedy you are.

Are you?

 

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So, many of you would know that Lew and I went for a little trip down to Melbourne recently, where we went to an unschooling conference. Sandra Dodd was guest speaker.  Really, really cool.

It was a really cool conference and so many lovely things happened there. I’m feeling  that extra bit of motivation and oomf now, something I think I was needing. Oomf to be a more inspiring, encouraging, helpful facilitator to Lew’s learning. Nothing like getting together with a bunch of unschooling parents AND Sandra Dodd to get that oomph a happening.

 

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This photo of Sandra is from her website

 

What a privilege it was to finally meet in real life the person who has been most influential in my decision to unschool Lew. She is also the person whom I have learnt most about what it is to unschool, from.

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In the early days of our unschooling journey I felt pretty alone. I had stumbled across Sandra Dodd’s Unschooling website right at that pinnacle time, the time when I needed to decide what sort of education Lew would enter into. After reading most of Sandra’s website {that’s a lot of reading!} I felt able to get moving along our unschooling path. I was the only person I knew in my local area who was homeschooling so my connections and support network online became super important. Not too far down the track though, I met Debbie, a fellow homeschooler and new unschooler, who has a daughter older than Lew. Together we started up our local natural learners group and became members of a few unschooling groups online, one of which was Sandra’s group, Always Learning. You can read about my early days of unschooling here and here and here. But that was then.

 

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So, the conference. It really was a wonderful time. Meeting Sandra was definitely a highlight. Hearing her chat about unschooling and the stories of lovely unschooling times with her 3 kids was a delight. She just wants the best for unschooling families. Making the lives of children more fun, more interesting more connected is her passion and it certainly is contagious:)

Sandra talked about choices and making better choices all the time. There’s something Sandra says over and over and over again in her website articles and posts, in her conference chats and in her facebook and yahoo groups - "Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch." It’s better to take your time with unschooling, go gently and go step by step. Making better choices slowly will help in making a good unschooling environment for our children. Too many people read a little bit about unschooling and then jump right into the deep, deep, murky, super-unclear water only to find they are beginning to drown and not sure how to resurface and take a breath.

I’ve known people who have done this. They’ve taken their kids from a conventional schooling with normal rules for learning and rules for home life and then they’ve said : “right, we are unschooling now so go do whatever you want to do, kids.” That pretty much always ends in tears. Much better to go gently and ease in. Read and then try and then watch your kids. Then try some more. It can be way too overwhelming to have too much change in the home all of a sudden. Bit by bit, day by day is much better.

Sandra talked a lot about the importance of being connected with our kids and being interested in what they are doing. Sharing in their learning and delighting in them is definitely a huge part of what makes unschooling really work within a family. Sometimes it’s hard to show interest in something we may never have found important or worthwhile. I know I’ve written about that exact thing before {I linked to it up there but here it is again if you don’t feel like scrolling all the way back up}. There were times when  I struggled, when Lew was much, much younger and we were starting out on our unschooling journey, with TV shows he wanted to watch when and then when he became really keen on Spiderman figurines and also creepy looking monstery things. The moment I shifted from being all: ‘hmmm, what a waste of time’ and ‘damaging!’, to: ‘wow, I can so see what you’re getting out of this. It’s really cool!’ I felt connection. I felt Lew loosen up and feel safe knowing that I wasn’t poo-pooing him and his interests but I was right there alongside him. It’s continued right through his childhood – monster trucks and scary creatures and knives and gaming and it really just keeps on continuing. How cool, because I get to be shown all of the new amazingly cool things that I probably would never have got into on my own. It’s opened up my world and made it richer and more fun, that’s for sure. But more importantly, it helps keep me connected with my child and in partnership with him.

 

Another highlight for me was meeting these two cool cats.

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The lovely Karen who blogs over at Unshackled Me and the equally as lovely Jo, who blogs over at Unbounded Oceans. I’ve been friends with these two for years now but we hadn’t ever met IRL. It was so exciting meeting them in person and being able to spend 2 whole days hanging out with them and hearing each one of them speak about their unschooling experiences.

 

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I met so many other unschooling people too who I now feel really connected to. Some of them I had met online in unschooling groups and facebook interactions, others I was hearing of and meeting for the very first time. Tan and John and Claire and Vanessa and Katherine – so lovely to meet you guys:)  I hope we can keep in touch and maybe have a regular conference each year to touch base again.  That would be awesome.

 

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  the lovely, Tan on my right

 

Having that time set aside to spend hearing about unschooling and the experiences of others, chatting and sharing and learning from one another certainly has helped me be a better mum. Knowing that others are treading a similar path with their children and who are finding this path a really great one to be on has encouraged me and given me the support that I know is there if ever I need it. When, I need it.

 

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While we were down in Melbourne two channel 9 TV shows discussed unschooling. One was 60 Minutes, the other, Mornings. The Mornings show featured Sandra up against David Zyngier. He’s guy they always seem to get to be the ‘anti-unschooling’ one on everything I’ve seen on Australian media over the past 12 months. I thought it went well. Sandra spoke well. Without being inflammatory towards David Zyngier, I’m sure he’s a nice guy, his arguments against unschooling are extremely under-researched and embarrassingly naive. His case is always the same: Children can not learn to read without a professionally trained person teaching them. Ummmm, hello, come out from under your rock and meet some real life kids who have learnt to read without a trained teacher. Go to a school and meet them. Go to an unschooling get together and meet them. They are everywhere. I’ve talked about David Zyngier’s comments before, here if you’d like a recap. I might talk more about them another time. I’ll definitely talk more about the 60 Minutes report….later on.

If you are interested in unschooling and Sandra Dodd’s writings you might find these cool:)

The Power of Choices

Active Unschooling

Deschooling

Learning

Strewing

 

But now  I want to hear about what you’ve been up to? Are you enjoying the autumn? Have you been in the garden? Leave me a comment and fill me in…please???

 

Kim x

 

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PS Trams are pretty cool. More on them later….