athomewiththekids

Xmas Present #2 – Cinnamon Almond Butter

I’ve been busy again this week, creating home made gifts. This is one of my faves, so if you get one of these, you know that you’re dearly loved by me. Its soooo easy, a thrifty christmas present, and nutritious and delicious. I usually do a regular version just sweetened with honey, but this is a bit special for Christmas. Delicious on toast with slices of apple. That’s my personal favourite way to eat it.  Here’s how you do it!

Cinnamon Almond Butter

Almonds. It doesn’t really matter how many you do, I did about 1.2kg and got 6 x 250ml jars.
Coconut Oil
Cinnamon
Brown Sugar
Pinch of salt

If you like a nice toasty roasty flavour, then put your almonds on a tray, lather them in coconut oil, a bit of the cinnamon and sugar and toast them in the oven for about 15mins. Set aside to cool.

 

Then, put them in the food processor and blitz! Well, add brown sugar and cinnamon to your taste, and turn the machine on. Depending on how good your machine is, it may take 15 mins or an hour. You’ll need to scrape down the sides pretty regularly, and just keep going until all the oils come out and its nice and thick and goopy.

Put it in a nice airtight jar, put a label or a tag on it and you’ve got a healthy eating christmas gift!

 

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Phantom crying and other things that keep us awake – 10 Hints for sleeping better

I’ve spent a good part of the last 3 years in a bit of a zombie state. Having small children leads to inevitable periods of sleep deprivation, unless you’re one of those lucky people to have a live in nanny and the kids at the other end of the house.

The thing I find a bit annoying is when people say “Well you should just sleep when the kids are sleeping”. I don’t know about others, but this is actually very difficult for me.

For one, if they sleep in the day, you usually have to carry on with other normal life tasks like eating, going to the toilet, or maybe even housework. For two, its not actually that easy to instantly fall asleep. I lie there, day or night, with racing thoughts about which child is going to wake soon, or the things I need to do, or just stupid things like what I said to so & so last week. And then there’s the phantom crying… any little noise that resembles the pitch of one of my babies cry, alerts me out of slumber right away. And sometimes, I even hear them crying when they aren’t. This is a great hinderance for restful nights.

I’ve discovered a few tricks that help me get to sleep quicker, they are no substitute for a full unbroken nights sleep, but I think it helps:

1. Himalayan Salt – A few granules under the tongue. Apparently its the minerals in the salt that help relax you.

2. Magnesium – A glass of magnesium drink will relax your muscles and nervous system.

3. Do more exercise. It’s really true that it helps you sleep better.

4. Actually counting sheep – I just count backwards from 100. Sometimes I get a bit distracted with other thoughts, but if you can focus, it usually works.

5. Having a bath or a shower generally does help. You feel refreshed after the day’s activities, and its nicer sleeping without old sweat all over you. (A common Brisbane state of being)

6. Maca! Having a cup of hot cacao and maca before bed is just delightful. Its soothing and delicious, and has loads of health benefits.

7. Hanky Panky… thats all I’ll say about that

8. Fresh clean lovely sheets!

9. A pretty far out suggestion, and not very common, NEVER have children! I couldn’t do this, and its too late anyway.

10. Sleep Rescue Remedy. Its great. Get it from the chemist.

Feel free to share your ways into the land of Nod, I think lots of people have this same trouble. And with that.. goodnight.

The balance of life.

Somewhere between your 20’s and turning 30, life takes a turn for the responsible, mundane and sometimes downright boring. How does this happen? Does it have to happen? I’m sure it doesn’t happen to everyone. Why do I feel like it’s happened to me?

I had a thought the other day, that just now, in my life, the crappy boring things I have to do far outweigh the fun, exciting, soul nourishing things I get to do. And I’ve been wondering how to tip the scales back.

I am a mum to one gorgeous 19mth girl, and one gorgeous girl in utero due in 7 weeks. I’ve given up work, taken on the mum and home role, and to be really blunt, I don’t actually enjoy it all that much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter to bits, she is delightful, and smart, and growing way too quickly. I appreciate her every day. But its the other stuff that comes with it, like housework, cleaning, bills, administration, shortage of money, lack of time and abandonment of friends, that I find so morbidly depressing at times. There are some amazing people and things in my life that I get excited about…if I can rustle it up..but those moments are pretty limited. I just can’t shake the feeling that I need to be doing more……..

So what do I DO?

These are the things I think about doing:

Abandoning all ‘normality’, moving to Asia (yes, with a toddler and a newborn) and immerse our family in a new culture to add a bit of spice to life. (hubby is not really on board with this one)

Getting a housekeeper and a nanny, just to be here at home while I’m at home, so they can do all the things I don’t want to do. Then I can focus on moving furniture and redesigning rooms, or painting pictures, or sewing, or starting an awesome online business.

These are the things I might have to do:

Get a new attitude about the things I need to do in life, take responsibility, get them done really quickly and then plan more fun things into my day.

Realise that having a nanny/housekeeper is pretty unattainable right now.

Suck it up and just focus on being a good mum and wife.

I’m torn, do I fight the feelings of discontent OR do I harness the desire to do great, fun and different things? Am I ungrateful or unsettled for a reason?