Toasted seeds with honey & soy

Sometimes we just need a quick snack to pick us up and something healthy to nibble and the quicker the better. Look no further. Try this, all you need are some seeds, honey, soy sauce and a pan!

It is actually a kid`s recipe by Annabel Karmel but I still use it today for the whole family.

Toasted Seeds with honey & soy 

1 tbsp sunflower oil
60gr pumpkin seeds
60gr sunflower seeds
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the seeds, stirring for about 2 min until slightly brown.
Remove from the heat, add the honey and soy sauce, return to the heat for about 1 minute, then leave to cool.

I tend to mix the seeds e.g. add Chia seeds and as well some raisins. It makes as well a nice sprinkle for salads.

Happy nibbling!

Have a nice day

AK

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Advice from a Tree

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We do not need to venture far to find something good! Stand strong and tall like a tree!

Yoga poses mainly relate back to nature and animals. If we start to not ‘just do’ the Asanas (poses), but look behind and feel them they can give us some advice and help us in our daily life.

Even if Yoga is not your thing – be aware of what is out there, we often find support and strength in the little things! And don’t forget a good posture goes a long way to feel strong and proud!

Advice from a Tree

Stand tall and proud
Go out on a limb
Remember your roots
Drink plenty of water
Be content with your natural beauty
Enjoy the view
(by Joanne Rabtis)

 

Parenting – How to talk so kids will listen…

 

I am not a big reader on parenting books, as mostly our family set up works, common sense solves issues and talking with friends usually helps to realize that some issues are just normal even though I may get grey hair thinking about it.

But I reached a point where it was all getting too much and my approaches did not seem to work. The whole atmosphere in the house just overwhelmed me at times. In our school’s library I stumbled over a book called “How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk” – and that was just it – the not listening that drove me crazy. Fair enough we had the big move few months ago and I am sleep deprived but that can’t be the only excuse for what was going on. The title of the book made me wonder how and if I could change to get my kids attention – can’t always blame the kids, can you?

Right form the start the book got my attention. As with everything, not all was relevant to us due to how we do communicate and I do not agree to all approaches, yet I found a lot of helpful thoughts and hints that fit to me and us as a family and I was hooked.

I won’t go into too many details as everybody has their own way to communicate and different points to focus on but I try to point out some of the key areas I found helpful and if they speak to you you may want to find a copy of that book and get reading. It is not a time waster!

The book concentrates on how a child perceives the way the parent communicates, may it be the choice of words, situation or behavior. It puts the adult into the child’s perspective and how we would feel if somebody talks, reacts towards us in that way. But for me there lies as well one of the ‘dangers’ of today’s society – sometimes kids just have to listen. We may want to treat them as equals but they aren’t, they are kids and we are the adult! Both have their part to fulfill.

Nevertheless we may want to reflect on how we talk and the choice of words we use when we do speak to children to understand how that way of communicating may make them feel, e.g blaming, accusing, threatening, lecturing, moralizing, comparing etc. We don’t do it on purpose but some words just achieve the opposite of what we intended to achieve. And rightly so if we realize how it would make us feel if we were spoken to in such a way!

Kids, especially as they get older want to be listened to, not being undermined. But a wrong word may cause them to close down or freak out. Adults often ask “why” yet a child may not be able to verbalized the ‘why’. And instead of being able to explain something they get stressed and upset as they simply can’t describe why they feel how they feel. Another one is “I understand” – if we are honest we may understand as we have life experience and all but for a child we cannot understand and they may say “no you don’t you were not there” and stomp off instead of talk. Empathy may be better in some situation, especially if we try to get them to open up. Giving choices or compromise even if we do not see them in that moment are helpful, too. Just because the room should be tidied up right now in our opinion there may be something else that is important to the child right then so a choice of when the room should be tied can be given. The child feels involved to be able to make a choice; we still achieve what we set out to achieve but hopefully without the argument factor. Other points approached in the book are to state the expectations, to show how to make amendments, to take action, to make them see consequences, don’t put a tag on your child’s behavior, help them to stay positive.

Over the passed weeks I tried to observe my behavior, choice of words and approach in certain situations. And I am happy to say that I do see changes. Where a fight and shouting may have happened before the situation can now be solved calmer, more controlled, conversations are at times more open and all that leads to a more relaxed household.

Did that happen over night, does it always work? No to both. It takes time from my side to step back and reflect and change my behavoir. It takes time in that moment to rephrase and try to make a real conversation or to really explain instead of just giving instructions. It works better on some and worse on other days – stress and being sleep deprived are situations when the level of acceptance is lower anyway. Both sides need to be calm enough. “You can’t problem solve when you are boiling”.

If any of this speaks to you, I do recommend to read and get ideas with ‘How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk’ by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. They do as well have a teenager book, but we are not quite there yet – though, behavior wise sometimes I think we, are but age wise not!

I hope this recommendation will help to get some ease back into your house, too!
Have a lovely stress free day,

AK

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Technology …

technologyI recently came across this and whereas my initial thought was – yeah right, my immediate second one was ‘hang on a minute, this is totally wrong and a lame excuse’. The saying in the picture implies that kids only played like this before technology. If that is really the case don’t you think we fail in parenting?

Nothing is more important than for kids to be able to play freely in-and outside and with friends. We can’t blame technology that they do not do this anymore! Technology often enriches our lives, yet it can be a curse when used too much or in the wrong way. Screen-, computer- and tablet-time is far too common nowadays and sadly you see more and more ‘family-dinners’ where the kids just sit in front of a tablet and the parents eat. I know it makes a lot of things easier but I rebel against that thought. I still carry a game and colouring stuff with me when we are out. Electronic gadgets are not meant to be at a (dinner) table. In a very rare exception, but it is just a too easy way out not only for myself as a parent but as well for the kids by just attending to an electronic advice to be occupied.

Refuse to let technology take over the day-to-day life! Make sure that kids still play freely, to develop their creativity, to be able to think out of the box and to come up with ideas even or especially when they are bored. Kids should be excited and happy when they are allowed to use and play on electronic devices, and not take it as a given.

Don’t blame technology for not having a good childhood!

I know I make my life harder by refusing to give in and others won’t agree but that I something I am passionate about and until they are older and ‘do what they want to do’ anyway I will follow that path!

Have a lovely day – want to join me and reduce the use of your technology?

AK

Going for a run – a love and hate relation

Somehow running is one of those sports that lots of people do but most of them do not really seem to love. I put myself into the love-hate category.

I have a standard running track where I run regularly with a running buggy, my son strapped into. And on days like today it somehow feels so light, free and smooth, perfect weather and I even run faster than usual. Just great and I LOVE to run! But I remember days when I run the same stretch and it just never – ever – seems – to – end. As if somebody secretly stretches it while I am out there. On those days I just drag myself along and sometimes even hate it. Yet, I am still out there more or less regularly.

Because no matter what – Every run is a good run, even the bad one! You are out there and that is all that counts.

Here some thoughts / ideas which come to my mind in regards to running and might inspire you to get out there:

When you start running try to run either a fixed distance or a set time, eg 10 min. And start slowly, try to increase regularly. It is ok to walk if you can’t run anymore, just try not to stop.

Run with music for distraction, or use this time to really focus on sounds and happenings around you. Focus on your breathing.

Your body can take more, the legs can carry you further – it is usually the mind that we need to overcome! And the mind can be pretty loud when you are out there!

It is a great time to let your thoughts and your mind run freely, great ideas often come while you are running around! It relaxed, inspires and calms down. You do not need to focus on anything particular but to move your feet forward.

If you are stressed, edgy or overwhelmed it helps to release the tension. But only if you do not force yourself to set up a new record and you are just out there to let it go (or run).

Even, or especially when you are tired, a run brings energy!  It releases endorphin, so you might really end up happy after a run! OK as some researchers say you might get a similar kick from chocolate but….how about a run first, followed but a little chocolate treat! 😉

We spend too much time inside, enjoy the outside and your surroundings.

Running with a running buddy often leads to most honest talks and a lot of fun and laughter and makes time fly by (well…). I definitely need the “me time” during my runs, but now and then some company is welcomed and great!

If you have the possibility change your routes. I have my standard with the buggy or when one of the older kids joins on their bicycles (great running buddies by the way – especially when they ask you if you could move faster…) and a “just me” trail through the forest and small hills. It helps to not get bored and to fool your mind of not getting tired at the same spot over and over again!

And one of the biggest pluses for me – it is easy – you only need good running shoes, no membership, no fixed timings. You can just tie on your shoes and head out whenever you feel for it! Go for it!

Besides all this there are of course as well medical reasons why running is good but I won’t go into this. I am not an expert but rather want to inspire you to just go out there to have Fun on your Run! Try to not take it too serious. Enjoy this time!

And if running is really not for you or you can’t run – why not head out there for a quick walk to achieve the same results for yourself?

Have a lovely day,

AK

run love hate

(image by google images)