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No matter your age, or what your dreams are
here at Little girls with great big dreams you can:
Focus on living, rather than just dreaming,
about the life you most want to live.
Dream big and work on developing your self-trust so that you make decisions that are truly right for you.


Start (and continue to) consciously + creatively deepen your relationship to yourself.


Learn to invest in your health and wellbeing, as well as your emotional, spiritual and physical wellness.


Be creative every day and in many ways.

Setting creativity goals…

Sometimes, when your hobby becomes your business (as mine did, in the way of my newborn photography, my portrait and product photography and then this little girls with great big dreams blog) you start to treat everything that is similar as “work”. So, for the last few years I have wanted to break free from that mindset, and start to have fun with creativity again, for myself – not only for my clients.

In addition to that, as a Mama, a lot of us can quite often push aside our need for creative time as we get caught up in the busy of day to day life. Kids, work, cleaning, cooking, groceries, the list goes on.

I want [with all of my heart] to inspire as many Mama’s as I can to find their creative dream, and nurture it. Then – to pass that passion and desire to explore on to their children. I’d love to help you settings creativity goals for yourself – and to reach them!

 

Re-igniting my creative passion.

The first thing I did was find a fabulous colouring in book for grown ups (details here), borrowed some of Liana’s textas and got to colouring. There is something so incredibly relaxing about colouring in, and the timing just happened to coincide with me being sick for a few days, so it was a perfect opportunity to relax my mind and body.

Next, after some inspiration on Instagram, I discovered mandalas – so we spent a small fortune at local art supply stores (Christmas presents!) and we both started drawing and colouring mandalas.

The main thing I noticed about these first two creative adventures is that I really had forgotten what it was like to fully immerse myself and allow my creativity to take over. To get to that point where 3 hours has gone past, you haven’t eaten and you cant bear to get up and go to the bathroom because that would mean — stopping for a few moments!!!

It was fun, it was freeing, and I found myself falling in love with creativity again…

 

creativity is contagious

Creativity is contagious, pass it on.

Albert Einstein said that about 75yrs ago, and no matter how old the advice is, it is still completely true today. So pass it on I shall!

Pass it on to my daughter Liana, by including her in my exploration, my mess, and my adventures.
Pass it on to you, my readers. By sharing it all (including the mess!)

Hopefully you can then pass it on to a few others… Your kids, your friends, your family, your students… [Don’t forget to join the mailing list!]

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

For me, the main components of my daily creativity practice are a mix of photography, cooking, gardening, gentle exercise and occasionally journalling and meditation. All of these things allow me to infuse spirituality and gratitude into my everyday, and the end results are my blog posts, my scrapbook albums, the food that Liana and I nourish our bodies with, the photographs I take for my clients (+ the ones I take for me and for this site), and the products I create for Little girls with great big dreams.

There are so many ways you can incorporate creativity into your everyday. Be it journaling, gratitude projects, photography, scrapbooking, cooking, gardening, drawing, painting, sewing, building, writing, dancing, meditation…

 

What ways can you think of to incorporate creativity into your days?

 

heart iconThe way you dress and the clothes you choose to wear each day can become a way of expressing your creativity.

 

heart iconWhat about how you style your hair? How you colour your hair. The type of headband or hat you wear.

 

heart iconCreate a vision board (or dream board) of all the things that you love, that you are trying to manifest into your life or that make you happy to put on the wall of your bedroom or above your desk.

 

heart iconMake your bed and arrange the cushions (and a few favourite stuffed toys!) on your bed in a way that is fun and interesting in the morning.  Then notice how it makes you feel when you walk into the room after your day at school or work

 

heart iconCan you find ways to be creative about doing those chores that are boring (but must be done!) Put some music on and do a 20 min blitz of picking up things off the floor and tidying your bedroom and the living areas of your home. Then reward yourself with a 5 minute dance break! Then do another 10 minutes tidying!

 

heart icon

Can you document your everyday life? Photo a day projects can seem like a lot of work after the initial excitement wears off. Collating and saving and storing the images, then deciding if (and how) you want to print them is ‘work’ but the reward of looking at that completed album some time down the track is beyond priceless. I highly recommend giving this a go!

 

setting creativity goals for teen girls - document the everyday

 

Are you ready to infuse creativity into as many aspects of your life as possible?

If you are then you are certainly in the right place! Throughout the pages of this blog you will find ideas, tips and techniques to help you flex your creativity muscle. If you have feedback or questions, or even subjects you want me to write about then please get in touch! You can of course leave comments on any of the posts on the site, as well as using the contact button at the top of the page.

 

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My top 3 tips for setting goals related to infusing your life with fun and creativity

 

Tip 1 for infusing your life with fun and creativity:

Be prepared to destroy what you create. The quickest way to get overwhelmed by creativity is to feel obligated to keep every single little thing you draw, create, make or photograph. When the colouring book is full, be ok with throwing it in the recycle bin.

If you take 100 photos in an afternoon (practicing and trying to get that perfect shot) make a commitment that you will keep only the best 5. Then take 100 more tomorrow, or next week and keep only 5.  The one way you will get better at anything, is trial and error and letting go of your imperfections. No one wants a house full of scraps of paper, or a hard drive full of almost identical photos.

This is also something to teach your kids – it would be crazy to try to keep every single drawing they bring home from preschool through to when they leave home, so helping them understand this from an early age will save you 5 extra packing boxes when you move house in the future… Remember ~ as awesome as that lego tower that you built is – half the fun is in knocking it down and starting again!

 

Tip 2 for infusing your life with fun and creativity:

Let go of the expectation that there has to be a “reason” for creativity, or a desired end result. For a long time I would tell myself there was no point printing photos, or scrapbooking, or colouring in, or drawing – because if no one saw what I had created, or I didn’t hang them on the wall or write a blog post about them then what was the point? Creativity and fun is about being in the moment, of being free, and it does not matter at all if you are the only person who is there to witness it.  A question to ask yourself – if you don’t photograph + share on instagram that perfect rainbow you just saw – is it any less beautiful??

 

At an artists workshop last year I scribbled this in my journal:

When you get a creative impulse – focus on a direction, not the destination. Don’t only allow yourself to feel joy at the top of the mountain.

That is of course not to say that you shouldn’t share what you create, absolutely do that if you want to. But try not to make that the only reason… Pick a creative goal because the journey looks interesting, and be completely open to what the view will be when you reach the top of the mountain. You might just be very surprised at what you find!

 

Tip 3 for infusing your life with fun and creativity:

Honor and take care of your body – it is your tool of expression.

If you are tired, hungry or stressed then it is most likely that the last thing you want to be doing is getting creative in any shape or form. Try to get a good night sleep every night, eat nourishing foods and relax your body with gentle exercise or meditation.

 

nourish your body - setting creativity goals for teen girls

 

My top three tips for remaining motivated and inspired by goals relating to having fun and being creative, and continuing to be in action toward them.

 

  • Remember – fun and creativity can come in so many forms. Be open to possibility in every moment of your days.  Instead of being annoyed that it is starting to rain as you take the washing off the line ~ enjoy the feel of the raindrops on your face (maybe even dance a little!)…  use beautiful pens when writing in your journal… pick your outfit for the day based on how you want to feel ~ not how you want to look… experiment in the kitchen with new recipes…  arrange your meals artfully on your plate (and use your best table setting) ~ just because!
  • Be ready when creativity hits. Often creativity can’t be planned or scheduled. Allow for spontaneity. If you go a period of time without ‘being creative’ don’t get disheartened – just jump back in and keep going. Also, as above, experiment with making the every day moments of your life creative and fun.
  • Practice practice practice. Also if you want to – look for inspiration as a way of exploration. Pinterest and Instagram are fabulous places to look for ideas and inspiration. Set a time limit for this though – it can be a form of procrastination to be “researching” for hours at a time.

 

My favourite resources for setting creativity goals and having fun – and remaining on track with those goals.

 

  • For me photography is a big passion and I love to participate in photography projects and photo a day challenges.  Admittedly there are times where I get busy with life and miss a few days (or weeks) but key is to just pick up where you left off and keep going.  Details of some of the photo projects I am currently working on can be found on my blog and my favourite photo-a-day challenge #fmsphotoaday that I am participating in is run by Fat Mum Slim and you can see details of how to get started with that here.
  • If you can – allocate some space in your budget for creative play. Visit your local art supply store and see what grabs your attention. Pick up some new supplies to explore. Even if you think you wont be good at painting with watercolours – the point is to have fun!  Give it a try – you may be surprised.
  • Some books that I love relating to creativity are The War of Art, The Firestarter Sessions and The Artists Way – if possible – definitely order these creativity focussed books or borrow from your library and give them a read! If you click on any of the images below it will take you to bookstore purchase page with free shipping 🙂

 

Lastly – sign up to our little girls with great big dreams newsletter below or at at www.littlegirlswithgreatbigdreams.com. We have so many fun and creative ideas to share with our readers. You can also check us out on instagram @littlegirls_greatbigdreams.

 

 little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

Coming soon :: an epic (gorgeous, full of inspiration, and fun!) ebook for you to download with creative ideas you can try at home and more tips for setting creativity goals! There will be a limited time special offer to newsletter subscribers, so make sure you are on the mailing list to be notified as soon as it is released!  Sign up below!

 

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13 Reasons Why [and the one thing you should do before watching]

I am pretty sure if you have been on social media in the last 10 days, and/or you have a Netflix subscription, you will have heard about a new series released at the start of April called 13 Reasons Why.

13 reasons why review for parents

Thirteen Reasons Why, based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, follows teenager Clay Jensen as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers a group of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah unfolds an emotional audio diary, detailing the thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, Thirteen Reasons Why weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect viewers. IMDB


13 Reasons :: Why parent notes for before you watch

Now – to be perfectly honest and upfront, I haven’t actually watched more than the first two episodes yet. I am not actually sure if I want to watch the entire series.

But I have done a lot of research, and read a lot of people talking about the show.  So I want to share a little info so that everyone out there is aware of what this series is about, and who it is appropriate for – before beginning to watch. My suggestion – spend a little time on google before you press play (and most importantly, before you allow your child to press play.)
Research. Research. Then more Research.

 

13 reasons why parent notes
Last week, my almost-13 year old came home from school saying there was a cool new show on Netflix that we should watch. Later that night, she showed me 13 Reasons Why in the menu but before we pressed play something warned me to do a little research. Maybe, I just wanted to keep some innocence in her life, and not watch a series about suicide and how terrible High School is. Given that we are only 9 weeks in to her High School experience at this stage, I figure a little while longer of her thinking it is always going to be a wonderful place to go every day was perfectly ok with me…

At that point, given that it had been released less than 24 hours, there wasn’t much info to find about the film adaptation on the internet since no one had actually watched it at that point, but lots about the original book by Jay Asher. The descriptions of the book and how it involved the rape of several characters were enough for me to say no to watching with Liana, and I left it at that…

Until this weekend when I continued to see more and more people post about the show with varying reports of loving it, or being confronted by it. Also – plenty of offhand comments from parents about their kids watching it (without parents)…

 

As Paul Tassi  says in an article for Forbes  “What caught me off guard the most about 13 Reasons Why was how being on Netflix allowed it to present more of an authentic, uncensored version of high school than anything we see on broadcast networks or cable. Here, kids say “fuck,” and they say it a lot. The bullying is harsh and often obscene. The show gets darker and darker as it goes, culminating in a pair of absolutely brutal rape scenes, and the heart-wrenching suicide of the lead character, which is not glossed over in the least.”

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Please remember that just because 13 Reasons Why it is a series about teenagers at High School, it does not mean it is a show for teenagers to watch. There is a BIG difference (in life experience and mental capacity at a bare minimum) between a 13 year old, and a 18/19 year old. Yet all within that age range are ‘teenagers’. Then if you are stretching that lower end of the age range to 11-12 year olds as being almost-teenagers, then my opinion is that this show is highly inappropriate and far too confronting for them to be watching.

 

13 reasons why warning

 

A few things to note while you are doing your research before watching 13 Reasons Why…

At the end of the day, it is of course up to each individual family to decide if they want their kids to watch this series, and if they want to watch it with them. My concern was (and still is – hence writing this post) that some families are unaware the graphic nature of this story. The result of that, getting a major shock after about Ep.4 once things heat up or having no idea what their kids have been watching in their bedrooms until they have watched it all.

One important note – even if you don’t allow your children to watch the series, chances are that lots of kids in the playground will have watched it by the time the school holidays are over. So – there may be plenty of discussion about over the next few months even if they haven’t watched. Some of the below links with discussion points can still be relevant to open up conversation with your teens (or pre teens) about the subject matter of the series, and in a much gentler way than actually watching…

Here is some info about the series, and links to find out more:

 

  • The ratings and censorship system for Netflix is a little different (and a lot more lenient) to standard television. That said, for Australia, 13 Reasons Why falls somewhere in the middle of the MA15+ and R18+ range. Most comments from parents that I have seen online say 15-16+ years old as a minimum to watch, but of course it is up to each family to decide.
  • ‘That rape scene’ lasts almost 10 minutes according to reports I have read. It is not just a glimpse, or a suggestion that something terrible happened. You see it all. The point (according to the writer) is to get uncomfortable.
  • FYI – the above scene takes place in episode 12. But there is another in Ep.9, though not quite as graphic.
  • You also see Hannah’s suicide take place. The how, the where and everything in between. It is extremely graphic and general consensus – impossibly difficult to watch.
  • The opening credits of each episode show a graphic content warning as per above. But, if you blink you might miss it. If you are a teen watching on your own, you might ignore it.
  • For parents – details of parts of the series and graphic detail that you may be concerned about listed episode by episode 13 Reasons Why – parental guide
  • If you do let your older teens watch (either with or without you) – here are some conversations to have after watching 13 reasons why
  • Read – a Parents guide for 13 Reasons Why

 

We can help you dream bigger to consciously create a life of whimsy + wonder.

 

Please keep in mind – you don’t need to be a teenager to be deeply affected by this series. It can trigger memories of abuse or loss in people of any age, so if you feel you may be triggered by this – please do not watch.

 

If you need someone to talk to:

Lifeline DIAL: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline DIAL: 1800 55 1800

 

Below are some talking points drafted by SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) for talking to youth about suicide after watching 13 Reasons Why… (Click the image if you wish to download)

13-reasons-why-talking-points

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  • MApril 29, 2017 - 2:20 am

    Hi! Thanks for your time and your post. I have watched the entire series and am conflicted…you are right in that it Pulls no punches.  It is harsh and unfortunately very realistic of the issues that plague Our youth and our schools. Every parent must decide for themselves however it is also important for parents to know that your child will hear about this series and simply saying “no you’re not watching it” will not protect them. They will hear all about it from their friend’s perspective…maybe that’s not so good. This is a topic that needs to be discussed openly and parents need to be prepared for the fact that their children likely know more than they think.  Yes the film was hard to watch and i cried several times. There was not several characters raped, there was two. The second rape scene is not 10 minutes long, it Happens in a hot tub, there is not really nudity if any and much of the scene focuses on her fists. Even at that it is Hard to watch. A big point of the movie also is the secrecy that all the kids participate in that leads to these events. Secrecy is another speaking point for parents and all the secrets come out in the end and some relief is felt among the characters. Powerful movie and painful. I don’t think it should be boycotted or swept under the rug. I think its also extremely important for parents to talk to their kids about how they treat others and bullying And what exactly bullying is. Bullying is even just listening to gossip Or being a bystander to it. The other major point of the movie is the powerful message that we need to pay attention of how others are feeling around us. We also need to be vigilant about Being kind.  In in the movie Hannah did not kill her self because of one incident she killed her self because of many incidences and one friend or person could have made a difference. ReplyCancel

  • Kylie BevanApril 27, 2017 - 9:15 pm

    Appreciate your research so very much Renee, our girls are not interested as yet, but at 10 and 12, It’s good to have the heads up on such school discussions well before it becomes an issue.ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsMay 1, 2017 - 2:31 pm

      My pleasure Kylie!!!ReplyCancel

  • WEndyApril 23, 2017 - 2:09 pm

    parents should Consider an age restrictiin on this movie, not sure it is right for a 13 year old. But a definite for 17 year olds.THAT’S dependent on how much freedom you give your teenagers. But watch the last episode and the motivation for doiNg this movie it may change your perception of it all. There is a lot of good that can come from the movie THROUGH engaging with teenagers on the issues that are dealt with. ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsMay 1, 2017 - 2:33 pm

      Completely agree Wendy – the benefit of this movie will come in engaging with your kids and watching it with them /  speaking to them about the issues discussed, if (and when) they are old enough to watch the graphic content of this series then they can watch it if parents want them to.ReplyCancel

  • Vicky StilwillApril 22, 2017 - 12:12 am

    Thank you for this very incitefful review.  I have 12 year old daughters that are in Middle school and are far too young to see this, however I feel that after reading your post, it would be too upsetting for me to watch as well.  If I do decide to watch it at a later time, the review by episode is very helpful.  ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsMay 1, 2017 - 2:34 pm

      Very glad it was helpful to you Vicky!!!ReplyCancel

welcome to 2017

little-girls-with-great-big-dreams-2017

 

Welcome to the little girls with great big dreams new website

2017 brings about so many changes…

I cant even begin to put to words why I just want to move forwards from 2016, but this new year feels good. It feels big, expansive, freeing. So very exciting.

Liana and I spent the summer holidays slowly and gently preparing for the new year. December 2016 brought about the end of primary school, and so quite literally now begins the second phase of her life journey. As of 2 days ago she is a high school student at a fabulous school near our home town. An academically selective school that she earned a position at and I am so incredibly proud of all the effort on both our parts that resulted in this offer. It was a long process, and a stressful decision about 6mths ago whether to take up the offer (it means that she is at a different school from most of her best friends, along with travel time to get to and from each day, and a considerable workload of homework and study) but already we both know that this was absolutely the best outcome, and she is loving each new day at her school and very excited for the next. I am absolutely certain that will continue!

Along with this new phase on Liana’s journey comes my journey with the new Little girls with great big dreams. Our gorgeous online inspiration space – re designed, re written and with big big plans for 2017 and beyond. If you are reading this post – it means she is here and ready for the world to experience!!! I so hope you love her! (Would you mind telling me what you think in the comments below?)

Stay in the loop. (That’s where all the fun is).

 

New articles will be created for this site at a rapid pace as I build up an incredible library of resources for all those Mamas and teen/tween girls out there who are ready to grow through gratitude, good health, grace and plenty of giggles. We want to reach as many of you as possible so please join the mailing list, follow us on social media and (if you care to) tell all your friends to come and check us out. 

This first school term of the year I plan to immerse in content creation, and devote a lot of time to guide Liana as she settles into her new routines so you may not see or hear too much from me initially. We have so much exciting stuff planned, and for me it means adjusting to new routines also – with earlier school drop offs and Liana returning home later than she did last year – it means I have more time in my day, but also a busier afternoon and evening to cram all the after school ‘stuff’ in to… So many options!

As for what is coming :: Think online courses and e books, physical product ranges for girls of all ages with great big dreams, and in person events incorporating health + wellness and everything in between. We are also looking to have special photo shoot days for all you girls out there to get some gorgeous photos of yourselves taken by an amazing professional photographer (aka – me!)  Is there anything else you want to see from us? If so please contact and let us know!

And the 2 and 5 year plans for little girls with great big dreams – oh boy am I excited to get to work on those…. More to share about that exciting news later in the year!

For now, as I said thank you so much for being here… Please take a look around, immerse yourself in all we have to offer and become a part of our virtual playspace. I do hope you stick around for the journey!

If you like, click on the below image which will take you to the info / about page. Enjoy!!!

Renee xx

 

little girls with great big dreams new website

 

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  • Kylie BevanApril 27, 2017 - 9:18 pm

    Enjoying watching it unfold Renee!ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsMay 1, 2017 - 2:36 pm

      Thank you so much Kylie!!! Happy to have you here reading and hope you are fabulous xxReplyCancel

January photo a day [2016]

January 2016 was an interesting month…

If it wasn’t for the heat of summer I would probably say January is my favourite month. To have Liana home from school for 5-6 weeks and to spend time creating and exploring and relaxing and dreaming is so so fabulous!! A perfect way to start the new year!

At the end of 2015 I had been quite unwell with many weeks in bed in the lead up to Christmas and then unfortunately the heat of summer always knocks me around a bit (as per usual). In terms of our annual summer photography project, the month started out well. I took all the photos and I edited them as I went and I am sure I would have uploaded them to Instagram and Facebook each day…

There were backyard picnics, planning for the new year ahead, lots of gardening, cubby house decorating, beach time, at-home chilling out and reading books…

 

january photo a day 2016

 

But somehow, I didn’t keep track of the words I had written to go with each day. And then we got busy and I think I skipped a few days of photos. Then I got a little over Instagram and Facebook and stopped posting the images online. And then the rest of the month worth of images sat on my computer unedited, and unshared.

In the early months of 2016 each time I went to create the book to be printed, the task of sorting and editing all the images, and remembering what I had planned to say about each day / image just seemed too overwhelming… So it never got done.

 

january 7th photo a day 2016

[Skipping, and backyard fun! She still loves that tshirt, even a year later. And there are now veggie gardens along the fence…]

 

January 2016 photo a day

Now, as we near the final days of December 2016, and prepare to start this project again on Jan 1st, I am attempting to design this years book!

It has been an interesting process, looking back…

In the month that I had convinced myself nothing fun happened, so much did.

In the month that I remembered no beautiful memories, there were so many.

In the month that I thought there was no point taking photos because everything looked just the same, so many things grew and changed.

 

beach sunflare and jump

january 2016 photo a day

[There was beach time, and recipe creation (and tasting!), photo shoots + modelling, forgetting how to get dressed, instagram-ing]

 

flower crown modellingjanuary summer photography projectliana flower crowns

[Collaborating with a fabulous client on lots of flower crown photo shoots, and that gorgeous gorgeous hair!]

 

jan photo per day

[There was gorgeous sunflare, and photo shoots on the beach for clients, a new love for growing succulents, backyard sprinkler fun, and an ever growing love for soccer]

 

january photo a day kitten nigella

[and….. We got a kitten!!! #bestdecisionever]

 

So, as you can see – lots of beautiful, amazing, fun things happened in January 2016.

I am so glad that I took all these photos (and there are lots more 😉 ) and that I spent the time sorting through them, even if it was 10 mths later than I had planned! The book from 2016 will look different to the years before… Some days I took multiple images, others I took none and I didn’t time stamp each image or write lengthy descriptions, but that is perfectly ok.

I can see Liana as she was at 11 and a half, in those few weeks before embarking on Year 6 and her final year at primary school. Glimpses of the little lady she is ever evolving and morphing in to.

I can remember the times with Liana, kicking a soccer ball barefoot in the backyard and realize how far she progressed with her skills in 2016. Who would have ever thought she would embrace being goal keeper and all that it involved!

I can see those first images as I explored with new clients and collaborations and how that shaped my year as a photographer.

Those first days with our gorgeous baby kitten, when she wouldn’t leave my side while Liana was at school, and was small enough to fit into one hand (and inside my shirt!)

My January 2016 photo a day images are just as perfectly imperfect as the month was!

Want to take part in your own summer photography project? Check out all the details here.

 

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Shine From Within Youth Mentor Training

“I started this course, having seen and felt the vision I had for my business project Little Girls with Great Big Dreams (about 2 years ago now) but still with no idea where to take it…

I knew that even if I didn’t follow the path of being a Youth Mentor in a traditional sense that the course would help me some how and in some way as a parent. And that it did, particularly a few little things right at the start re the teen brain and the way they learn/experience really resonated with me. So I wanted to say a big huge thanks to you Amanda for putting this course out to the universe, and for all the amazing resources you have brought together into the one place. The member’s portal is a treasure trove of information, resources and inspiration and I still have so much to explore in there! It has helped me incredibly as a parent to understand how my daughter is growing and developing, and also to look back and consider how hard some things may have been for me at that time, and what could possibly have helped. My daughter and I are now busily preparing our first workshop for teen girls!”

Renee Bell

 

youth mentor renee bell

 

Do you dream of creating a space for girls where they can:

Be open and honest with no judgement,

develop important life skills

& completely embrace the person they truly are within?

Do you want to:

Empower them,

help them feel like they are enough,

& share what you’ve learned with them?

 

Then you should most definitely checkout the Shine from Within Youth Mentor training with the amazing Amanda Rootsey.

 

shine-from-within-youth-mentor-training

 

Amanda and I have [virtually] met a few times over the last few years in online courses we have both attended and then again while studying at the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy in 2014. I had always loved Amanda’s vision of working with teen girls and had contacted her a few times to ‘keep me posted’ on any future developments in her business and if she ever ended up offering any training programs.

Amanda has been teaching and presenting to teen girls on and off for over 12 years, since she was a teen herself! She’s built up an arsenal of qualifications over the years in business, events management, life coaching, youth mentoring, wellness, eating disorder prevention and more.

What an amazing lady to learn from!

After working for other training schools, Amanda founded Shine From Within in 2012. For the past 4 years, Amanda and her small team have been dedicated to educating and inspiring hundreds of teen girls to truly shine, inside and out.

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

As I mentioned above, when I first heard about Amanda’s Shine From Within youth mentor training course earlier this year I knew it sounded AMAZING. I had even been looking at Amanda’s Shine From Within events for tween and teen girls for Liana to attend, but the timing had never worked out for us to travel to the Sunshine Coast for her to attend. But I wasn’t sure if the time was right for me to commit to another course… I have a lot going on just being a mum and trying to run my photography business, my health is still a bit up and down and although I have big plans for Little girls with great big dreams, I knew that they were still a year or so off being fully formed. Also with Liana being in Year 6 currently and being accepted into a selective high school next year and planning to move there away from all her friends, I truly wanted my attention to be on refining some aspects our own relationship and home life, rather than focusing so much on helping others at the detriment of ‘us’.  Sometimes we do need to be a little bit selfish and put ourselves first!

After lots of thinking, however, I decided to leap in and just go for it. I told myself I was going into the course to learn and absorb as much as I could but with no pressure or rush to create any programs or content. I trusted that it would help me as much as a Mum, as it did as a business owner and potential teen mentor.

 

And I am so happy that I did sign up!!

 

I learnt a lot about how teen girls develop that I had never really thought of (and of course when you are the teen girl and in that space, you don’t really see things from the same perspective) and so many ways that I can slightly change my perspective on things to help Liana. I have been exposed to some amazing teachers that I may never have come across on my own, and lots and lots of books on teen development that I am currently reading my way through (and loving!) It has been an absolutely pleasure to be mentored by Amanda.  [Plus a huge shout out to all the other amazing ladies who did the first round of the course with me – so many fab new friends!]

 

become a youth mentor

 

Not only did I complete this youth mentor training course with Amanda over 4 or so months and attend a lovely day with my training group in Melbourne in August, BUT *squeal*, just last month Liana and I were so excited to travel to the Sunshine Coast QLD to spend the week with Amanda. Liana attended the week long teen personal development course with 8 other amazing teen girls (Liana in the yellow shirt and glasses in the shot above :). ) In addition to that I volunteered for 3 of the days so I was able to see first hand how these amazing events run, and I was photographer on the 4th day where each of the girls were able to do their own makeup, have a 1:1 session with a personal stylist to help choose their outfits and then be photographed by myself and another lovely lady to capture amazing images of themselves.

It was such an incredible experience and one that both Liana and I will write more about soon along with me sharing lots of amazing info I have been gathering as part of this course and my further research…

 

heart icon

 

Sign up now for Youth Mentor training…

Right now though, I am excited to share that Amanda is opening up enrollments for her Youth Mentor Training online program to new students generally 1-2 times per year. Look out for the next enrollment coming mid 2017!

 

The course is delivered via six modules, a new one being delivered each fortnight including videos, PDF downloads, audios & group coaching calls as well as specialist interviews with a panel of experts & guest teachers.  Topics include your why, duty of care for working with adolescents, how to connect and engage with young people, curriculum development + planning workshops, marketing, business and so so many bonuses.

You can see all of the info on what is included in this course here…

Because I am a proud affiliate of this program I would love to answer any questions you might have about my experiences with it, so please contact me if you want to chat about any aspect of the course via phone or email before you enrol. You can of course also contact Amanda via her page to chat to her about the course. If you do decide to sign up to the program via my link I would love to offer you a 90 minute 1:1 life or business coaching and strategy session at the end of the course (read all about my qualifications and training here) and I will also send you something sparkly and fun in the mail as my gift to you. I will be revising the material of the course again each time it runs, so will be active in our amazingly supportive facebook community and we can chat in there also!

(If you do want to go ahead with this offer please make sure to use the correct link to sign up, please send me a quick message if you like and I can explain all the terms and conditions to you) otherwise sign up via this link for youth mentor training with Amanda Rootsey.

Either way, even if being a Youth Mentor or this course isn’t for you right now, be sure to check out Amanda’s website, follow her on social media for all of her latest news, and keep an eye on the book shelves in your local store as she is writing a book for teen girls due out next year!!!  Liana and I are total #fangirls so we will be first in line to buy a copy as soon as we can (or several)

 

youth mentor training

 

 

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  • FelicityOctober 28, 2016 - 1:04 pm

    What a great idea. something that is valuable for parents & teens alike…i’ll be looking out for future posts!ReplyCancel

rainbow circus party

circus party liana and renee

LittleONEKids circus party

This is a post from Liana’s 7th birthday circus party, originally printed in LittleONEKids Magazine, in Sept 2011 . Now that I have this new site set up, I wanted to go back and dig out the photos plus the interview and share it with you all!  I hope you enjoy seeing all the fun we had at Liana’s rainbow circus party!!
(I have loved going back and looking at these photos all over again. She has changed so much!!!  To think – she will be 12 in a few months…)

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

LIANA’S 7th birthday.

Birthday girl: Liana
Mum: Renee
Theme: Rainbow Coloured Circus
Photography: Renee Bell Photographer

For Liana, who was about to turn seven, there was no doubt that a party was in order. “Liana is happy to amuse herself with craft or books for hours on end,” explains her mum, Renee. “But she has an infectious personality and is definitely the life of the party.”

As a photographer, Renee loves seeing parties and taking photos of them, so she certainly had plenty of inspiration leading up to Liana’s special day. “If I wasn’t so busy taking photos, I would probably plan parties! I love seeing them come together and I am already wondering what excuse I can have for a party to save waiting another year for Liana’s next birthday!”

Wanting a bright and colourful day, that was a little bit out of the ordinary, a Rainbow Coloured Circus Party Theme was chosen, offering plenty of scope for some fun ideas and gorgeous decorations. “I basically started with the custom made bunting from Giggleberry and based my colours around that,” says Renee. “The invites and party printables were done by Sarah at Style Me Gorgeous and that then led us to the idea of having rainbow colours, but not actual rainbows – so lots of spots and stripes. The giant balloons were such fun, and we also used rainbow coloured helium balloons around the windows to give colour to the areas the kids would play in.”

rainbow circus party

rainbow circus party balloonscircus party popcorn

 

A few of the more unique items created a real buzz amongst the little guests. “The rock candy swizzle sticks from Sugar Rush were a huge hit. They are so colourful and they were like nothing the kids had ever seen before. Ribbon wands are a huge favourite in this house, so we got them as take home gifts from Pinwheels and Pearls and Liana was so excited to have her friends try them out and take them home.”

As Liana attends a large school, making it impossible to invite all of her school friends, she just chose a slightly smaller group of 14 and then six friends who attend other schools. With Liana’s birthday falling in mid-Winter, Renee had to prepare for bad weather, which meant that numbers were limited…luckily though, the day of the party was gorgeous and sunny.

The birthday girl wore a special black and white spotted dress from her favourite brand – Little Leona by Leona Edmiston. “She likes it because the name is almost like her own,” says Renee. She also wore stripey leg warmers to add to the circus theme.

“The entertainment was definitely the highlight of the day,” Renee says. “We had a clown who made balloon animals, and did face painting, which is always a crowd pleaser. All the children had a small design painted on their cheek and a balloon made however they wished – with Liana choosing to have a skull and ghost painted on her cheek instead of anything typically girly! And this was all followed by a fun magic show.”

“Liana received some wonderful gifts on the day. She loves to read and has recently discovered chapter books – she got lots of new books so her friends obviously know her well. She also got craft accessories, Scooby Doo and Harry Potter goodies and a gorgeous cupcake shaped money box to save her pocket money in. Her big present from her family was a new bedroom suite and desk, so she was definitely a very lucky girl this year!”

Renee can’t wait to see what the age of seven brings. “I am loving watching Liana grow and mature in to the kind and thoughtful girl that she is. She is so genuine and caring and happy in everything she does. It makes me so proud!

 

circus party clownLiana face painted circus party

 

Clever party ideas from Liana & Renee:

Renee decided to set up a photo booth for the kids to have their photo taken. Gorgeous, bright rainbow bunting covered the walls, and a selection of fun hats, wigs and accessories for the kids to wear were included. They all loved lining up for their photo and Liana gave copies of photos to each of her friends a few weeks after the party.

Party tips:

It’s all about the details! So much can be done on a relatively small budget. Pick a theme and carry it through – popcorn and hotdogs are what you eat at a circus, so that is what the kids ate. Paper cups in bright colours are great for individual serves of popcorn. Fruit salad in individual baking cups gives the kids a break from the lollies and were the first things to be eaten!

When setting up a candy buffet, it looks best if you have a mixture of heights on the table which creates lots of interest. Renee had a huge selection of cupcake stands and platters from Sweet Little Birdy.

Keep the food simple. Fairy bread and honey joys are a surefire winner every time!

 

rainbow circus party photo boothLiana's 7th birthday circus party

 

Oh and the amazing cake, hand painted circus cake by Vanessa at Sugar Rush | Cake Style.

So, so awesome!!!  Vanessa now has a You Tube channel teaching people how to decorate cakes – check it out!

 

rainbow circus party cake

Birthday cake Liana 7

cake from cake style

 


Do you want more party and cake inspiration?

See Liana’s 2015 birthday Mandala Cake here, 2012 floral decorating party here, how to for amazing cake photography here:


 

What party would you love to see us create this year? Please let us know in the comments below…

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5 Tips for managing knotty and tangled hair

Ahhh knotty hair!

Brushing hair… Washing hair… Threats to cut off hair… Caring for hair – the one topic that causes stress in our house on a daily basis!

5 Tips for managing knotty and tangled hair

Liana’s hair is long, and very beautiful when it is cared for – but it is a lot of work! Having to wear a hat 5 days a week at school causes breakage around the areas where the hat sits, and also having it in a ponytail or plait every day causes breakage also. Then summer! Argh – summer is not good for hair. Imagine spending an hour or two washing, treating, brushing hair – and then deciding to go for a swim! Not good at all. Also kids tend to have fine hair and sensitive scalps which makes it tangle easier and the pulling and tugging on the hair to brush it hurt so much more. Note: you can still have fine hair – but lots of it, like Liana does!

Today we have a few tips for caring for your hair (no matter how long it is) and trying to avoid as many knots as possible.

(Here is another before photo for you before we get started! Hehe 🙂 )

knotty and frizzy hair

 

5 Tips for managing knotty and tangled hair…

Sleep on a silk pillow case.

Silk is known to cause less breakage of hair (which can cause split ends) because it is naturally a smoother surface. The natural properties of silk, including its smooth surface, can help reduce friction on your hair which often causes damage, like split ends. Hence the term “silky smooth” :). Cotton is said to make your hair staticy and cause bunching and knots as well.

pineapple heads detanglerUse a detangling spray.

Detangling sprays are great as they can alter the surface of your hair, smoothing down the surface of it allowing each strand to slide nicely against the other and preventing the static electricity that can make the tangles worse. There are many possible ingredients in hair detangler, some contain harsh chemicals and silicones which are not great if you are repeatedly using them – so as always we recommend using as organic + natural as possible. One we have been using recently is Pineapple Heads Raspberry Detangler – it smells amazing and is free of all the nasty chemicals.

Use a good quality brush.

The key to a great detangling brush is soft flexible bristles that won’t snag or pull hair. Many also have a cushioned base and/or a unique bristle construction designed to glide through hair and painlessly remove knots. Most of these brushes are plastic, and you can also use a wide tooth comb in the shower while the conditioner is still in your hair to gently work out some of the knots.

I have heard lots of people say that the “tangle teezer” is amazing but we have one called the Michael Mercier’s Girls Brush. A normal brush design is a one level brushing surface, resulting in a high pressure while brushing the hair but this brush has a unique geometric distribution of its 428 bristles of varying heights, which disperse the pressure placed on hair during brushing.  The result is a far more pleasant brushing experience it glides smoothly through wet or dry hair, curly or straight. You can get these from most hair warehouse type stores.

Use serums.

Serums can help smooth the surface of your hair allowing it to become silky smooth and more manageable. It also makes hair shinier and provides a more healthy appearance. Be sure to look for products that do not contain alcohol, apply to lightly towel dried hair and apply in the direction of the cuticle – from top to bottom, smoothing down gently. A few that we love that we have spoken more about in the past are Moroccan Argan oil, and also Egyptian magic balm. You can also check out the serums & oils in the natural skin care section at Shop Naturally as the range of pure oils and serums make for multi-tasking hair treatments and help to manage knots and tangles in your hair too!

plait hair to reduce tangles

 

 

 

Plait your hair loosely when sleeping, swimming or jumping on the trampoline.

Liana has learns all these lessons the hard way, but you save lots of drama if you can remember to loosely plait your hair if you are ever swimming, jumping or in a windy place. It keeps the hair contained and reduces the friction. You will thank us later 😉

 

 

 

 

Now for the after picture!!!
Smooth hair, gorgeous waves and a happy smile! This should last a few days or till the next swim… Bring on winter I say (and High School where there is no compulsory wearing of hats!)  Do you have any other tips and tricks for managing knotty and tangled hair? Please let us know below.

 

tangle and knot free hair

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We got a rescue kitten!

newcastle-kitten-rescue

A lot of people are surprised at this news, maybe it seems like I am not an animal person, haha. I guess for the majority of cases, I am not really an animal person. Liana, is ABSOLUTELY an animal person, haha. For me it is kinda like with babies and kids – I adore my own, but not the kind of person that wants to hug other people’s. But mostly it has been about circumstance and not being sure when we will move house next and therefore not wanting to complicate things with a pet…

Liana and I had spoken about getting a kitten for a while, it was always a “someday” thing, and as fate would have it, this little cutie came into our lives at the perfect time. We visited a friend who had adopted her from Cat Rescue Port Stephens a week before and due to circumstances changing had to return her that very day. At this point – the very fact that she was available set the wheels in motion and there was no turning back… We needed (wanted) this kitten! We were adopting a cat, and nothing like a last minute decision – we picked her up the very next day!!

She was 11 weeks old (born on the 11/11) and had already been given the name Nigella, and we decided that it suited, so stuck with that… So let us introduce you to my newest favourite thing to photograph – Nigella (Or sometimes, Jel)

PAD-2Feb-socolourful

rescue cat newcastle

cat rescue port stephens

 

Nigella has settled right in at home with us, she is a beautiful girl – very affectionate, has these adorable little noises she makes that are so hilarious (thought she does them more to me than when Liana is around – not sure why?) and has generally made this little house of ours a more complete home. She loves to run and go crazy for short periods of time, and then sleep sleep sleep as all cats do 😉 She is super cuddly when she is in the mood for it, and loves to sleep on my desk chair, or on my desk while I am working some days! Though – the fact that she has now discovered the blinking cursor on my computer screen makes things interesting when I am actually trying to work!

As I mentioned above, we did get Nigella from a rescue centre so please check back over the coming months as we share more about our new family member, how she is settling in, where we got her from and of course, lots more photos. Liana will also be writing about how having a pet has changed things for her and how hard it is to focus sometimes when there is so much temptation of cuddles and cuteness.

 

rescue cat

 

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The best year [reflection and intention setting for your kids]

the best year

January Photo a Day project is back in full swing (taking a photo a day over our Summer Holidays) and today Liana completed a fun worksheet reviewing her 2015 and planning for 2016.

The worksheet allowed space for her to reflect on 2015 – her favourite memories, lessons learned, and biggest achievements and then to plan and set some goals for 2016.

Liana says:

I really loved  filling this out. It was lots of fun making it colorful and drawing things in all the little gaps. I found that a lot of the goal setting and things to work on had a lot to do with my blog, so now I know that that is one of the key things for me to work on in 2016 and will definitely strive to achieve that. This was lots of fun and I would gladly do it again, I look forward to keeping this and looking back at it later in the year to see how I am going with my goals!!  Thanks for sharing it with me Mum!

The best year – reflection and intention setting

the best year worksheet

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

2 favourite memories from 2015 :: the day I first met Zoe (my baby sister), when Mum and I first started using essential oils.

3 things I am grateful for from 2015 :: my blog, my house and my family.

1 hard lesson learned in 2015 :: to be more organised and on task (and to not talk in class!)

1 thing I did in 2015 that I am proud of :: I got an academic excellence award!!!

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

3 places I want to go in 2016 :: Vanuatu, Disney Land Paris, Canada.

2 ways I can help others in 2016 :: by being kind and by being joyful.

1 thing I want to get better at in 2016 :: writing on my blog.

2 things I am looking forward to in 2016 :: being a senior student, and blogging more.

3 things I want to try in 2016 :: to learn how to use Photoshop, to collaborate with other bloggers, to learn to cook more yummy foods.

 

 

Such a wonderful project to get your children to really think about how they can make so many of their plans and dreams come true, and that ultimately they hold the power to help this happen… I have lots more to share on this topic soon, but in the meantime grab a copy for your kids (or for yourself) and see what they come up with!  Please let us know in the comments below how they enjoyed it and any interesting or surprising) outcomes!!!

Most of what Liana said I expected – she has wanted to go to Canada forever, though I am not sure where Paris came from?? The food, the blogging, the essential oils and Photoshop – pretty spot on!

Cant wait to hear what you all think!

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  • Liana kathrynJanuary 4, 2016 - 7:09 pm

    As I said, this was so much fun. I definitely recommend it!
    As for Paris, I want to go to Disney Land,so if I’m going there, why not see the Eifel Tower as well!ReplyCancel

i see you [a celebration of our beautiful kids]

There is a post “I see you” by Colleen Wilson that is doing the rounds on social media at the moment since it is that time of year that some kids are being acknowledged at school assemblies with special awards, and others may be feeling left out.

i see you

 

Before I share the post, I wanted to take a moment to say I see you, I love you and I am very proud of you to my fabulous daughter Liana.

Yes, she was one of the few that got awards at a special assembly at her school this week. An academic excellence award, and a near perfect report card made us both very happy, and we went out for a special dinner and to see a movie on Friday night to celebrate… But that one award, or the grades on the report card doesn’t mean everything is perfect for either of us, or that it comes easily.

Here are a few of the things that I am most proud of you Liana throughout this year…

    • Your report card for 2015 mid year was ok. Don’t get me wrong, it was well above average, but there was a little bored-ness in class (after being in a composite and completing a lot of Year 5 works already last year) which contributed to you becoming a bit of a ‘talker’ and not trying as hard as perhaps you could have. We worked really hard on staying ‘focused and on task’ for most of this year with affirmations and essential oils and stopping to think about your actions, and so much so that we both started to hate the sound of those words. But things improved, the end of year report was fabulous and I am so very proud of you for that!
    • The ‘focused and on task’ dilemma was a little bit of an issue at home too (argh – the dreaded chores – why does the dishwasher keep getting full again?) but things really really improved here, and I am so incredibly grateful for the help you have been to me, especially since I have been quite unwell on and off for the majority of this year.
    • You are an great soccer player, and although pretty much every team you have been in since under 6’s has barely won a game you are always smiling at the end of every game. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter to you. This year was all girls league with quite a lot of younger girls and you were a great influence to them. You are the first to slide in the mud (and laugh, while most of the others girls squeal at getting dirty), the volunteer to help pack up after training, the one who never seems to stop running and a wonderful team player.
    • Your creativity and artistic talent has really blossomed this year. From art and craft, painting, mandala drawing, story writing, photography and gardening we have both discovered a lot of new passions this year and it has been lots of fun to be on that journey with you!
    • You are an amazing big sister to Zoe (don’t worry everyone – I didn’t have a baby and you missed it – Liana’s step mum had a baby mid year) and I love seeing how happy you are to tell me stories about her when you visit.  She is very lucky to have you, though I still cant believe that you haven’t changed a dirty nappy yet!
    • Your appetite!!! I always say I trained you well right from a young age, but I am SO very thankful that I managed to score one of those kids who doesn’t complain about food.  We have been on quite a health journey the last few years and you are always willing to listen to my crazy ideas, to try all of my recipes, to read all the cookbooks i buy from cover to cover (and to put post-it notes on all the recipes you want to try) and to help me create in the kitchen.  There isn’t much that I can think of that you refuse to eat, and I have loved our meal time adventures and kitchen creation times with you.  I know that the kids at school used to think that you had weird stuff in your lunchbox, but even they have gotten used to it 🙂
    • Your passion for learning new things… When I first started learning about essential oils at the start of this year you jumped in feet first, learning alongside me about the oils, what to use when and have incorporated them into your daily routines.  You have helped me with photo shoots, you have never tired of modelling for me, you have helped me support the businesses that support us, and you have trialed many new products with me (and eaten many a macaron/ bliss ball and raw vegan dessert!)  You have talked my ear off with business plans and ideas, packed products, helped me with events and been a fabulous cheerleader for me and for the dreams we both have for this Little girls with great big dreams brand. Thank you, so very very much.
    • I absolutely love your love and care for all of your friends and family (and even strangers, animals and plants!)  Gratitude and giving compliments to people are things that I love to teach you about, and you have really embraced that this year.  I love asking you each afternoon who you have complimented that day, and hearing stories of someones amazing painting, or how their hair looked, or their new shoes that you said look nice. Just a few seconds and a quick comment can change someones day completely, even if you (or they) dont realise it at the time…
      Following on from the above – I am so proud of you for getting up in front of your entire grade and giving a speech on why you should be school captain a few weeks ago. Even though you didn’t really want to be captain, and even though you were very nervous – you got up, you pushed through an uncomfortable situation, and you did your best!  Your speech, about giving compliments to other kids and the power of gratitude was amazing!!!

Thank you for a fabulous year of memories my wonderful girl xx

 

i see you collage liana

And now for the original post… Originally written by Colleen Wilson.

 

It’s a time of badges, certificates, medals, trophies, recognition, awards, prizes and ‘seeing’ of high achievement. I love seeing the kids that shine at this time of year – a big high heartfelt round of applause to you. You so deserve it for the effort you have put in. But this message is for the kids that didn’t get called up for any of the above…

 

I SEE YOU.

To the child that conquered their fear of heights, or sleeping in the dark, or riding without training wheels or sleeping out for the night for the first time this year, I SEE YOU

To the child that managed to resolve more conflict than they started this year, to the child that learnt to say the impossible; “I’m sorry”, and to the child that walked away from the fighting instead of getting involved, I SEE YOU

To the child for whom school is a huge struggle, you get up everyday and you go, I SEE YOU

To the child that battled all year with the maths, or reading, or concentration, or speaking out in class, or learning their words, but persevered anyway, I SEE YOU

To the child that found the kindness in their heart reach out in anyway to another person or to an animal in need or in pain, I SEE YOU

To the child that learnt to give and to share for the first time this year and even found joy in these, I SEE YOU

To the child that battles to make friends and to be social, you made new friends this year and for that, I SEE YOU

To the child who wanted so much to please, but was just out of sight of an adult who perhaps was too busy or too distracted, I SEE YOU

To the child who lost a friend or a loved one this year, but carried on everyday bravely even though their heart ached, I SEE YOU

To the brave parents that try everyday to do the best for their kids, I SEE YOU

May you and your children revel in small but significant victories that you have both experienced this year, as I will with my beautiful children. For every year there is progress and growth, we don’t need a podium or handshake or a hall of applause to be seen.

I SEE YOU.

 

Have a fabulous day, friends. I hope you can share this with your children, or anyone else who needs to read it, and that you enjoy the last few days of school before the 2015 Christmas (and summer for us Aussies) holidays!  I would absolutely love to hear from anyone who us called to share in the comments below – what are you most proud of your child for achieving this year??
 

 

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  • liana kathrynDecember 14, 2015 - 5:42 pm

    awww! thanks so much for writing this for me 🙂 and great work to the original author of the I SEE YOU post! it was very inspiring and truly beautiful, and once again, thanks so much mum! 🙂
    love ya! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lisa HumphriesDecember 14, 2015 - 8:52 am

    LOVE this, thank you for the inspiration, I am going to share on my blog today xxReplyCancel

5 tips to prepare for your face mask experience

face mask mixture

5 ways to prepare for a face mask…

Because all kinds of crazy stuff can happen when you cover your face in clay + herbs and expect it to be a lovely relaxing experience…

(DISCLAIMER really this post was partly just an excuse to smother someone else’s face in a lovely gooey clay concoction and take fun photos!! We hope you enjoy it.)

 


 

How about I rewind a little first…

Nourishing self care rituals have been a little neglected in my life lately. Since I haven’t been feeling great for most of this year, things have definitely slipped in that department. I stopped saying I love and accept myself (+ I even took the bracelet off!) The gym, walking and my yoga practice went down the drain, and I barely meditated. (I have read a lot of fiction though!)  Since deciding that natural skincare was the way to go several years ago and then promptly reacting to the fragrance or some other ingredient in almost everything I tried, I didn’t even have a lovely skincare routine to fall back on. No bath in our current house, and make up – well, I don’t actually own anything other than mascara at the moment!

So it was time to take action. I started researching new brands that used ingredients I though I could tolerate, and who had great business morals. Supporting small artisan companies with hand made products is always a preference of mine.

Along the way I decided it was also perfect timing to start to teach Liana about skin care. She is 11 now, and starting to get the occasional pimple on her face, plus I thought it would be a fun ritual to add to our days.  Although she has had the “clean your teeth every morning and night” routine down pat for many years, other things like regularly brushing hair and wearing deodorant are just not on her radar. Washing her face is not something she is in the habit of doing just yet.

So lets change that, and have some fun along the way!!!

 

Why use a face mask?

Face masks are the perfect skin care treatment to help you with any skin problems or concerns you have.  The right face mask can help hydrate your skin, remove excess oils and help improve the appearance of your pores.  They’re also an excellent way to help pull out impurities.

A few benefits of using a face mask:

Relaxation

Deep cleansing

Unclog pores

Glowing skin

Generally you would use a face mask once a week, or when you have any specific concerns that need addressing.

 


 

As I mentioned above, crazy + funny + silly things can happen when you introduce face masks to someone who has never used one before… Here are a few of the mistakes we dont want you to make, and some fun action photos along the way!

 

Face mask preparation. 5 tips for you.

1. Prepare for the fact that the mask is going to be some kind of weird (read: surprising) colour!

Just because it looks a nice tame white or brown colour in the jar, does not mean you wont end up with a lovely shade of burgundy all over your bits… On that note – wear black, just in case you make a mess. To point out the obvious – you will most likely absolutely make a mess if you are doing a face mask for the first time with a tween!

Or better yet – wear nothing at all. If you have a bath in your house (we don’t) get in there – baths are good places for face masks.

In the Hibiscus Beauty face mask used for this photo shoot – it is the hibiscus that gives the red/ burgundy colour. Natures Botox – super high in natural AHA’s (alpha hyrdoxy acids) it works at removing dead skin cells, renewing old skin cells, and is full of collagen boosting vitamin c and beta carotene.*

Seriously amazing stuff, and the colour is very pretty once you get over the shock!!

face mask preparationface mask erica brooke

2. Know all the rules before you start.

How much water do you add (if you are starting with a dry mask)? Where exactly should you put it on your face or body? Are there areas you need to avoid? How long do you leave it on for? How thick should you put it on your skin?  No one wants to be running round the house googling for instructions mid face mask…

3. Try not to laugh, smile, talk or move your face in any way once the mask has set.

Because the mask sets on your face. By that I mean it goes hard.

(Face mask 101 – Face masks generally contain several types of clay, in addition to herbs and flowers.  The clay does the drawing of the impurities and detoxing of the skin, and the herbs and flowers are for healing and soothing.)*

So – the face mask kinda crumbles away if you move to vigorously – as the 11 year old in these photos did, laughing at how funny she looked running from mirror to mirror – leaving a trail of face mask crumbs around the house. Now, who is cleaning that mess up?

face mask tips dont laugh

 4. Make sure you don’t need to answer the door. Plan some quiet relax time – alone.

Captain Obvious, right? The courier will absolutely come early on the day that you decide to relax with a face mask. Yikes! The same applies if you have small children who are sleeping.  They WILL wake up! You will likely scar them for life and they will think you are the boogey monster and cry every time they look at you for a week. (That happened to a friend of mine!)

Plan some chill out time for 15 minutes or so after applying the mask. Read a book. Do your nails. Watch Gossip Girl. Don’t eat cake. (See point 3 above)

relaxing face mask

5. Work out how you will get the mask off, before you start.

Are you going to get in the shower? If so – are you still fully clothed? You will need an exit clothes strategy, that is best planned before you apply the mask. See point 3 above.

Are you going to try and rinse it off at the sink using water and a face washer? Prepare for potential puddles of water all over the bathroom sink and be sure to move everything that could be bumped by your elbow well away from the sink – you don’t need more stuff to clean up! Have a towel (or two) close by. Dark coloured towels of course!

What ever you do – don’t start at the sink, and then decide the shower is easier…  If you are still fully clothed, it wont be. (Yes, that happened!)

tips for face mask removal

 

* Expert opinions provided by Erica Brooke Skincare.

Get your Hibiscus Beauty face mask here.

We hope you enjoyed our fun little photo adventure with this gorgeous face mask!  A few of the more serious tips in addition to our fun:

  • Go gentle when you are removing any face mask.  You don’t want to scrub really hard at the skin to remove it, take your time!
  • After your face mask has been washed off treat your skin lovingly. A little toner (if you use it) and then a light layer of moisturiser. You can then also follow up with a facial oil for some extra nurturing and an oil containing some gorgeous essential oils specific for your skin type is a great product to have.  There are some divine facial oil options that Erica makes that I highly recommend checking out…

I would love to hear from you in the comments below – have you had a face mask or DIY skin care disaster? Also – what is your favourite way to relax while you are pampering yourself?

 

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  • JodieAugust 5, 2015 - 9:20 pm

    So much fun! Love the shots and some great tips there! What a gorgeous colour that mask is…ReplyCancel

  • PetaAugust 5, 2015 - 9:10 pm

    Love it! You girls always look like you have the best time together. I love the colour! XReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 5, 2015 - 10:18 pm

      Oh yes, we do have lots of fun Peta 🙂 Thanks for reading!!ReplyCancel

  • EricaAugust 5, 2015 - 8:30 pm

    I love it! You’ll both be pros at it soon!! Such a fun read, big smiles. XxReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 5, 2015 - 10:18 pm

      Oh yes Erica – we will have it all sorted in no time 😉 Love your work xxReplyCancel

mandala birthday cake

mandala birthday cake

I think I caused a bit of stress over the weekend sharing a preview of Liana’s birthday cake ~ but only showing the side as a teaser and telling everyone that they would be pretty impressed when they saw the top.  The cake was (as I expected) mind-blowingly awesome, a gorgeous mandala cake and I am so happy with how it turned out!  But I wanted to keep it as a surprise for all those coming to the party, and just stare at it and admire it myself before I share it with others…

So, let’s rewind a little, and I will start from the beginning of the story about the mandala cake… (and then I will share some pics)

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

 

Liana’s 11th Birthday mandala cake

I first met the amazingly talented Vanessa Anderson and her husband Jon about 5-6 years ago when I was photographing weddings, and they were running Sugar Rush, a Designer cake studio in Newcastle. [Nowadays, Vanessa shares her cake talent by teaching people all over the world via YouTube.] Back then we ran into each other at the occasional wedding, and somewhere along the way started to collaborate on events and photo shoots.  Vanessa has made several of Liana’s birthday cakes, provided cakes for events I have hosted, I have attended some of her in-person cake decorating classes and I have also photographed her family many times…

It made sense that in the lead up to Liana’s birthday party that Vanessa and I decide to work on another cake together.  The brief was simple – the party will be a combo of mandala’s (we love mandalas so much!!), drawing and aromatherapy, and Liana’s favourite colours are blue and green.  Go wild, and create what ever comes to you…

 

Here is the vision that Liana and I were greeted with when arriving to pick the cake up late Saturday afternoon…

mandala cake
Can you even imagine how agonizing it was to wait almost 24 hours before the party even began, and not share any photos!!  The cake was more amazing that I had even imagined…

From Vanessa:
Mandala’s are a hot trend in the arty world at the moment, and I’m always looking for a great way to turn the birthday cake into a work of edible art. My fans love buttercream piping just as much as me, and I love coming up with new, modern ways to put a twist on the traditional cake technique of fine piping. The final result – a rainbow coloured free-hand mandala cake.

 

The birthday girl was very excited 🙂

Liana-holding-mandala-cake

mandala cake cut

mandala design cake inside

The cake was orange peach and the filling was peach jam and wild orange buttercream. The inside as you can see had three different layers of coloured buttercream.

And it tasted…. as amazing as it looked!

 

 

Here is a video from Vanessa at Cake Style on how she did the intricate piping on the cake

If you head over to the Cake Style You Tube channel and click ‘more info’ you can get all the info on recipes, ingredients and instructions.
If you want the recipe ~ Orange Peach cake recipe here
Enjoy!!!

 

 

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  • […] Via littlegirlswithgreatbigdreams […]ReplyCancel

  • […] about this fabulous mandala cake from Liana’s 11th birthday here (incl a video on how to make […]ReplyCancel

  • […] mandala birthday cake […]ReplyCancel

  • […] and photograph to show off your masterpiece when it is ready to be eaten! More about this fabulous mandala cake from Liana’s birthday last year here (incl a video on how to make […]ReplyCancel

  • Diane KindigMarch 24, 2016 - 12:09 pm

    I don’t see the recipe for the fillings peach jam and wild orange buttercream. Could you please send these to me…

    Thank you
    Diane
    Ps I love your videos!!ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsApril 5, 2016 - 6:10 pm

      Dianne – I emailed you, but the post has now been updated with the recipe. thanks, ReneeReplyCancel

  • […] Blog post ~ http://littlegirlswithgreatbigdreams.com/mandala-cake/ For details on the Wild Orange Oil I used in this recipe, email […]ReplyCancel

  • THE HUNGRY MUMAugust 25, 2015 - 6:24 pm

    that cake is crazy beautiful. Can;t imagine how much work went into this. Stunning.ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsApril 5, 2016 - 6:10 pm

      Thank you!!! It was just gorgeous and tasted amazing too 🙂ReplyCancel

  • LisaAugust 5, 2015 - 9:29 pm

    Wow this cake is truly beautiful and the video is great! A very belated Happy Birthday Liana xxReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 5, 2015 - 10:17 pm

      Thank you Lisa!!! We loved the cake too!ReplyCancel

  • BecomingnessJuly 29, 2015 - 3:14 am

    so pretty ReneeReplyCancel

  • EricaJuly 27, 2015 - 8:47 pm

    Seriously!! So amazing, best looking cake ever! I bet it tastes just as good ?ReplyCancel

  • liana kathrynJuly 27, 2015 - 3:43 pm

    The cake tasted AMAZING!!! I LOVE the orange butter cream and peach jam filling. It was my favorite (other than the top!) You did an awesome job Vanessa! Thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsJuly 27, 2015 - 6:29 pm

      So happy you loved it Liana 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Naomi ArnoldJuly 27, 2015 - 3:19 pm

    Best. Cake. Ever.

    That’s all.

    PS. Happy birthday Liana!!! xReplyCancel

    • liana kathrynJuly 27, 2015 - 9:57 pm

      Thank you Naomi 🙂ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsJuly 27, 2015 - 9:56 pm

      Agree completely Naomi!!!
      Thanks for the lovely wishes xxReplyCancel

  • Alice NichollsJuly 27, 2015 - 10:56 am

    Ah-MAZING! This is trult a ‘piece’ of artwork. Liana must have been so chuffed. Were the guests left waiting wondering what in the heck you were doing taking pictures when there was cake to be eaten, or do all 11 year olds understand that food has to be photographed before being eaten now? 😉ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 4, 2015 - 12:44 pm

      Haha Alice Nicholls – I had activities planned for the girls – they were sitting on the grass in the gorgeous sunshine we were lucky enough to have colouring mandalas and chatting. It was amazing how happy and well behaved they all were (12 girls).
      I cut and photographed the cake while they were outside and after they had already seen it on the table. When we did candles and singing, I actually left the portion I had cut inside – the girls didn’t even question why a whole chunk was missing, they just thought it was cool to see the inside…ReplyCancel

      • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 4, 2015 - 12:44 pm

        and Liana, of course, would have known it had been cut and plated to be photographed, lolReplyCancel

mandala colouring

I first spoke about colouring in for grown ups in this post about 6mths ago and since then, I must say, things have really stepped up. It seems, the universe has gone a little colouring in mad.

There are so many options here at my favourite online bookstore for colouring in books for adults, I am seeing them available at local book stores, and even in department stores.  I am so incredibly happy that people are embracing this trend and most importantly, stopping and taking time to have a little more zen in their days.

One thing I am very excited about lately is mandala colouring…

mandala colouring

 

What is mandala colouring?

Firstly – what is a mandala? Quite simply it is a circular figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.

The perfectionist in me is a little [ok, a lot] in love with mandalas because they are quite often geometrical, and geometrical designs are SO fun to colour!

You can imagine my delight then, when Sarah Wilder from The Fifth Element Life released an e-book of mandala designs to colour in…

mandala-meditation-magic

Take a little peek at the video explaining the book, and the concept behind it here…

Pretty gorgeous hey!  There are mandalas included that are simple and can be coloured quickly if you have limited time (or patience) and those that are more intricate and take longer.  Liana and I are loving these designs, and you can see some examples at the top of this page of ones we have previously coloured along with on our instagram @littlegirls_greatbigdreams

As one lady commented to me last night “does it get any better…. instant download colouring book!!”

More details on 111: Mandala Meditation Magick here and as a special bonus to my readers, if you enter the code RENEEBELL at the checkout you can save 10% on your purchase!

If you buy it – please do come back and let me know what you think, and tag me in any pics you put on instagram so I can see!

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  • […] Next, after some inspiration on Instagram, I discovered mandalas – so we spent a small fortune at local art supply stores (Christmas presents!) and we both started drawing and colouring mandalas. […]ReplyCancel

  • KerryJuly 24, 2015 - 4:53 pm

    Beautiful! I haven’t bought a mandala colouring book yet but have been meaning to! Sarah’s looks so gorgeous! <3ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsJuly 25, 2015 - 8:44 am

      Thanks Kerry. I think you will love the book! Hope to see some of your pics shared one day soon 🙂ReplyCancel

  • AlessiaJuly 22, 2015 - 11:16 pm

    I love the idea of mandala coloring as a form of meditation and it’s so relaxing and a great way to wake up creativity! Beautiful article and meditation 🙂 xxReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsJuly 25, 2015 - 8:45 am

      Oh it is fabulous Alessia!!! Thanks for the love xxReplyCancel

glimpses of lately [May 2015]

may-2015-lgbd

may-2015

Soccer, sunsets, sleeping + styling.

Flowers [for birthday, mothers day + ‘just because’]

Yummy food.

Photo shoots…

Essential oils [more doTERRA Australia info here]

and everything else in between…

NFE19963

doterra wholesale account

NFE10416

Just a little peek of the month that was May 2015.

Little girls with great big dreams on Instagram @littlegirls_greatbigdreams – we would love to have you follow along over there if you like!!

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5 years ago…

5-years-ago

Today’s prompt for the April Love photo challenge is ‘5 years ago’

So, what a perfect time to re-share these photos taken by Jesh de Rox in 2010.

I adore these photos so much, how they are just so us. Not posed, not retouched or airbrushed.

 

I love looking at these and comparing them to now…

5 years ago, Liana’s face wasn’t quite big enough for her teeth… Her smile looks so adorable!!! We were both wearing our matching bracelets (we have both had one each since she was 2)… That dress (it used to be her absolute favourite) is now packed away in a drawer… (I couldn’t bare to give it away once it didn’t fit any longer)

I remember how much Liana used to hate my darker hair (because it was so different to hers). I remember all the times we have sat and looked at the album Jesh designed for us of these photos – this is just a selection of them – and how happy it makes me to have those photos in real tangible form that I can touch and turn the pages one by one…

5 years ago we had an amazing photo shoot, and it was worth every dollar it cost!

 

5-years-ago-renee-and-lianamother-daughter

What was going on in your life 5 years ago?

 

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Summer Holiday photo a day [Jan 2015]

Our Summer Holiday photo a day… One image per day – see what we got up to here…

fms-photo-a-day-2

FMS photo a day…

A photo a day challenge with daily prompts – this is what our summer holidays looked like.

I do love all the colour so much!!

There was :: the sky, something yellow, us today, i hear, square, round, currently reading, landscape, pattern, hello, i see, bright, lucky number, new, old, nature, jump, today is, home made, window, in a row, collection and something far away…

fms-photo-a-day-yellowfms-photo-a-day-1

 

These pics below were part of the prompt “square” and we took inspiration from the movie Pitch Perfect to take these images… There is a cool hashtag on instagram #sleeveface if you ever want to take a look.  There are people who raid the shelves of used book and music stores specifically to find covers that have pics of people’s faces on them 🙂 Lots of fun!  We got these vinyl records from my mum and dad to use…

 

fms-square

I didn’t do this project in Feb or March, but am doing a bit of a hybrid photo a day for April with this April Love challenge along with remembering to [enjoy the little things] with The Beauty of Life blog.

I am excited already about all of the photos I can share at the end of April. In the meantime you can follow along on instagram or facebook.

 

See the archive of Summer Holiday photography projects here

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  • […] Follow along on Facebook Also – if using your iPhone and instagram is more your style (and less writing) then check out this post on this second summer holiday photo a day version we did in 2015 using prompts from Fat Mum Slim #fmsphotoaday. This one was in colour and is super bright and colourful, but I love both versions equally so I generally try to do both each summer. All the details here. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] you all!  I may do it just like last year – images and words, but also I may print all of our summer holiday adventure iPhone pics in the same book too! So exciting – cant wait to have it in my hands […]ReplyCancel

Feeling right at home..

Hello Hello! I am SO excited that you are here (even on this rainy and wet Easter holiday weekend!)

The vision of this online home of mine has been swirling around in the back of my mind for what seems like years, and I am so happy that it is slowly coming to life with a clearer vision! Yes I have been blogging here sporadically for a little while now, but I am now making space to work on short term and long term plans for this blog!  I am slowing down a little with my newborn photography to make more space for study and writing along with lots of creativity! My health and energy levels are finally improving a little, (but lets not jinx that shall we?) I will fill you in on that story another day!

I have plenty of blog posts almost ready to publish, some fab photos to share, the video and the completed book for the 2014 #projectliana365 almost complete, lots of fun + fabulous info that I am learning in my Nutritional Medicine and Aromatherapy courses and I am working away behind the scenes on some new coaching packages to be released in the near future… Stay tuned for all the upcoming news! [Sign up for the mailing list to be first to know!]

Part of what I want to start sharing within this space are the little and big things that capture my[our] attention… Just a little bit excited about that and to see where it leads!

 

First up, Alphabet Family Journal…

This gorgeous little magazine was promoted and funded through a Kickstarter campaign last year.

Alphabet Family Journal is a brand new magazine for the people who make a home together. We believe that families are the sum of their everyday triumphs and trials. We believe the home is a lived space and not a showroom. We believe there is a need for families to slow down and return to basics, like curiosity, collaboration and storytelling.

 

There is something about Kickstarter campaigns that I just adore and I was so excited to help out with funding this magazine launch given that the Founder and Creative Director, Luisa Brimble is a friend and fellow photographer. I signed up for one of the packages, and waited excitedly to see if they made target – and yes, absolutely nailed it and all was going ahead! Part of the Kickstarter package I purchased included Luisa coming to our home and photographing Liana and I, and I am so excited to say, one of those images ended up in the magazine, along with a little story about us and what we thought about our home…

 

alphabet family journal, renee bell, little girls with great big dreams

 

Q: What do you think “feeling right at home” means? How do you find your “home” even when you’re away? What flavors, smells, textures, sounds create home as you know it?

Our home is a haven of space to play (+ dream), to indulge in creativity, cook wholesome foods and simply ‘be’.

To be nourished.

To be joyful.

To be loved.

There is no doubt about the fact that I am a bit of a homebody. I love to be in my own space, surrounded by things that I have hand chosen and have special significance to me, and my loved ones. There is nothing my daughter Liana and I love more than spending a relaxing day around the house in our most comfiest clothes. Reading, crafting, cooking, photographing, writing, and the occasional impromptu dance party in the living room!

To me home feels like being snuggled under a doona on our well loved and amazingly comfortable leather couch with a great book while the smell of baked goods drifts from the kitchen. It is about walking on freshly cut grass, and picking home grown veggies from the garden. The one thing I most look forward to when coming home – my own bed! There is absolutely nothing like it.

Of course, the walls are always filled with photographs of our adventures!

 

little girls with great big dreams, hearts

feeling right at home

So tell me please, lovely blog readers, what does “feeling right at home” mean to you?

What do you love most about being at home?  Part of my plan to start sharing more of the little and big things that capture my[our] attention is more of our home life and more of how we are being creative every day and in many ways.  But first I would love to hear what’s going on for you in the comments. Hit me up with what is new and fabulous in your life… What your favourite part of your home is?
Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Easter!
Renee xx

PS: AFJ issue A was sold via pre order and in select retailers only. My fingers are crossed that Issue B will come out soon! Check it out here – Alphabet Family Journal – Issue A.

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  • liana kathrynApril 6, 2015 - 5:11 pm

    I remember the day you told me i was in a magazine! I was so exited!
    I really do love our home!!ReplyCancel

  • Jenni RoseApril 4, 2015 - 10:48 pm

    What a great project to be part of! I am also a complete homebody especially on a cold and miserable day. Nothing beats being with family and pottering around in your own space.ReplyCancel

January photo a day 2015 ~ Days 17-31

Celebrating the Aussie summer holidays, easy mornings, and fabulous adventures… One black and white image per day, with words about each image.

 

I wrote about January photo a day project a few times recently [view days 1-16 of the 2015 project here] |  [view the full 2014 project here] | [see how I presented 2014 project in a printed book here]

Today I am going to share the images from the second half of January 2015, you can see them below in a collage, and then also press play on the slideshow below to see them a bit bigger!

 

 

 

 

Jan_17_2015_NFE13916_WEB

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed looking at the images to have a little peek into our life over the month of January! Thank you so much to all those who followed along on littlegirls_greatbigdreams Instagram and all of your lovely comments!
You can see the first half of January 2015 photo a day here if you missed it!

I will post back soon once I decide on how I want to print and display these images this year and show you all!  I may do it just like last year – images and words, but also I may print all of our summer holiday adventure iPhone pics in the same book too! So exciting – cant wait to have it in my hands 🙂

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Why we love bento boxes for school lunches

It is with great disappointment that we got closer and closer to the end of January, and therefore the end of the summer school holidays… Liana and I had so much fun over the 6-7 weeks we had at home over Christmas, and sleep-ins and pyjama + craft days became the norm, so the realities of alarm clocks and packing lunches and putting a bra on to leave the house (me) and homework (her) were not particularly welcome…

(To prove how much I have been in denial – I am writing this post 3rd week February!)

I had brought new underwear and socks, a backpack as a early Christmas present to take to Uluru with us , but no next-size-up school uniform, no shoes, and done absolutely nothing about a lunch box or drink bottle.

Last year, after updating my kitchen with all glass storage containers and jars, and offloading all my plastic to someone who didn’t care so much about such things (ie: my Mum) I knew that the same needed to apply for lunches. The cute smiggle bag, plastic containers and glad zip lock bags had to go… But with a child who sometimes forgets to wear pants (well, not really – but some days she is close) and a school that doesn’t allow the children to walk back to classroom and put lunchbox in bag after eating so they have to carry lunchbox while playing (don’t get me started on the stupidity of that) would new expensive lunchbox make it home at the end of the first day or be lost in the playground?

I debated back and forwards for a week or so about cost and size and practicality and decide to go with the Lunchbots bento boxes cinco (meaning 5 compartments) and a Fridge to go insulated lunch bag to keep it in, both from Shop Naturally.

Liana-bento-boxes

The lunchbots bento box we got is the 960ml large size and easily fits Liana’s lunch and recess all in the one container (though if she does have an apple, it goes whole into the bag) and they do also have fruit break in the mornings so that sometimes goes in a seperate container. The bento boxes are not watertight, so you cant put things like watermelon in them, otherwise crackers in the compartment next door go soggy (Liana found that out the hard way) but over the last few weeks of using them we have got into a little routine and are working out fun new ideas to make and pack for lunch.

Liana is feeling like little miss popular taking this to school – all the kids (and some of the teachers) all think it is very cool and are excited to see what she has in it every day. A big difference from last year where she was hassled on occasion for having “weird food”. The strap of the fridge to go lunch bag that we chose to go with it is fully insulated and can keep for cold for up to 8 hours via the removable icepack inside it and means she can put it over her shoulder to walk down to lunch! Note: this year her classroom is just next to where she has lunch, so she can duck up and put it in her bag before heading off to play – yay!

What is inside our bento boxes…

Having this bento lunch box has opened Liana up to a whole new world of possibilities for lunch, and it is exciting to help her come up with new ideas each day…
We generally have a batch of Chocolate quinoa muffins or banana muffins in the freezer to pack, and have recently discovered these Acai pancake bites which are pretty popular with us at the moment. Occasionally bliss balls. Then chopped up veggies are easy – carrot, capsicum, cucumber, asparagus and we have been experimenting a bit with the main lunch – baking chicken wings, mince on a bed of lettuce, bacon and egg quiche or vegetable fritters. A few crackers and some fruit to fill the other sections.

Super easy, healthy, great variety of food types and looks amazing – the box has come home empty every day so far!

No mess and no garbage 🙂

 

lunchbots bento

Above are a few of the daily bento box pics that Liana and I have been sharing on instagram…

If you want to follow us, Liana_kathryn instagram here. My littlegirls_greatbigdreams instagram here.

We will share some more yummy lunch box recipes and pics as the year goes on both here on the blog, and on Instagram!

 

 

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  • Jenni RoseMarch 9, 2015 - 12:14 am

    Lunches look great and so glad it keeps coming home to you, I would be worried about that factor also!ReplyCancel

Stay in the loop. (That’s where all the fun is).

For more info contact renee @ nfedesign.com.au

Instagram @littlegirls_greatbigdreams | @renee_bell | @liana_kathryn

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