Extraordinary Parenting by Eloise Rickman: REVIEW

Extraordinary Parenting by Eloise Rickman: REVIEW

It was about Week Eleventy Billion of COVID-19 Lockdown, when the team at Scribe asked if I’d like to review a copy of Extraordinary Parenting by Eloise Rickman. (This is an affiliate link.)
My answer was a resolute and possibly-too-enthusiastic YES.

Eloise is a peaceful-parenting and home-education coach who wrote this book with the COVID-19 crisis as a backdrop. Eloise’s team have put in a superhuman effort to turn this book around in mere weeks to meet us all at our point of need.

In easy-to-read, accessible language, Eloise holds our hands through parenting and home-educating with intention and connection in these extraordinary times. Her advice is practical and evidence-based.
I love that the overall tone of the book doesn’t feel preachy but empowering.
The overall takeaway is “You got this.”

There are a few points in particular that I love about this book.

This question. THIS QUESTION.
When I read it, it took my breath away. Reflecting on this question provides quite the glorious framework to begin thinking about how you parent.

I adore that Eloise advocates for rhythms over routines. This involves identifying your family’s needs and values and structuring your daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms to meet these.

AND HOORAY FOR PLAY! Eloise shows us how by simply observing our children at play we can deepen their learning of the world. Eloise maintains that you do not need a spacious home, your undivided attention, expensive toys and resources to educate your child.

To celebrate the publication of Extraordinary Parenting by Eloise Rickman, her team have given me permission to provide these printable resources to you. Included are some journaling prompts, some rhythm charts and this FABULOUS resource for those moments. You’ll also find a delightful nature bingo.

Grab your free printable resources to accompany Extraordinary Parenting by Eloise Rickman by clicking here.

 

OH CREATIVE LADY: MEET ELEANOR FROM MINI MAD THINGS

OH CREATIVE LADY: MEET ELEANOR FROM MINI MAD THINGS

Dress-ups in the home of Eleanor from MINI MAD THINGS must be epic! Eleanor creates and sells the most amazing fancy dress costumes and accessories. You’ll also never look at the contents of your recycling bin in the same way after perusing her Instagram feed. This interview got me excited as Eleanor shares some rad news….. it starts with B- and ends with -OOK!

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies. The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Meet Eleanor from MINI MAD THINGS.

I am… a maker.

I live with my husband and 2 little people in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.

I love making things, it could be cooking a tasty dinner, sewing fancy dress costumes or making crazy cardboard constructions with my kids, I am happiest when I’m making.

I find inspiration… in my kids, they are my muse.

The inspiration for MINI MAD THINGS came from making fancy dress costumes for my little ones and seeing the joy it gave them stomping around pretending to be a dinosaur or flying like a butterfly. That spark of inspiration has grown into a full range of ethically manufactured children’s fancy dress costumes and accessories, a kids craft blog and craft workshops. For me it’s all about play, what’s the rush to grow up?

I am excited about … some very cool projects we have coming up this year… I’m publishing my first kids craft book! It’s still in the early stages but stay tuned for more news.

When I’m in a creative slump, I… doodle. Drawing has always helped me to clear my mind and focus again. I sometimes also drink wine and eat cheese, that helps too!

I’m really proud of… following my creative dream. I have been so fortunate that, with the support of my family, I have been able to pursue a creative career working as a jewellery designer for the last 10 years and now launch my own fun, creative business MINI MAD THINGS. (Thank you my lovely husband for getting a proper job so I didn’t have to!) I am also pretty proud of my children, although I doubt how much of that is due to me, they are just super cool little people!

Someone once told me…  they don’t really like cheese, I told them they were crazy.

My advice to you is … A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest of men. Actually, these are words of wisdom by Roald Dahl but I thought I would share them with you.

You can find me at … 

MINI MAD THINGS website

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

In my exceptionally humble opinion, Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys are an unbeatable powerhouse on the children’s book publishing scene. ‘Under the Love Umbrella’ and ‘‘All the Ways to be Smart’ are the two books I recommend the most frequently. (You’ve been warned- if I don’t recommend one of those two books to you, it’s a dead cert that I will recommend the other to you.) ‘The Underwater Fancy Dress Parade’ is the book I chose to gift to my son for his first birthday.
To say that I am fangirling at the fact that Davina and Allison are HERE ON MY BLOG would be, well, a complete understatement.

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Meet Davina and Allison.

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Thanks for your support.

We are…. Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys, an author–illustrator duo who make picture books together. Allison is from NT and Davina is from WA but now we both live in Melbourne. Davina loves the sun and Allison loves the shade.

I find inspiration…
Allison:
So many people and things inspire me. My friends and family are definitely the greats! Music and books – of course! I love pattern – particularly in nature – and have an appreciation for all sorts of typography, be it super slick or a dodgy hand-written ‘garage sale’ sign. And in terms of design and illustration, I think I am most in love with artists who were working in the 1950’s.

We’re excited about … our new project – our fourth picture book together. We’re never happier than when we’re sitting together workshopping the illustrations, making tiny scrap-paper versions of the book, moving the text around and giving each other high-tens of happiness when we feel like we’ve nailed a tricky section. We hope we can work together for always.

When I’m in a creative slump, I…
Davina:
If I’m in a slump, it’s usually because I’m too afraid of being bad to even try and that’s made me lose respect for myself. So I combat that by doing something to earn back my own regard, and I’m not going to lie – it’s usually cleaning the vegetable section of my fridge. If that doesn’t work, I will walk in nature. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll get a Pomodoro timer going, read a Mary Oliver poem and grit my teeth. Or give up and get a coffee.

We’re really proud that… the books we make together say to kids, in different ways, that they are enough just as they are – that they are treasured for their uniqueness and loved unconditionally. Our new book that we’re currently working on, is about making mistakes, and we’re proud that we are talking about shame and imperfection and forgiveness and self-acceptance, which can be hard to tackle. It’s a privilege to have this platform, and one that we are so conscious of using to spread maximum compassion. We’re also proud of our long-term commitment to eating carob Banjo Bears. If you’re a rep from Banjo, please look us up for a sponsorship arrangement. We’re happy to endorse.

Someone once told me…
Davina:
‘Write the book that only you can write.’
That’s what the author Martine Murray said once in a writing class, and I can still feel the ease and freedom that I felt in my body in that moment – as if I had put down a great burden. You don’t need to go out searching for a grand and revolutionary plot or premise. Your story is already within you. It’s in the constellation of your past and present, identity and interests, knowledge and hobbies, values and passions. You will find your story or your style by following your curiosity through a maze of your own uniqueness.

My advice to you is…
Allison:
If you’re a writer, please see Davina’s excellent note above!

I’m not very good at advice, but here are some things that I know I need to do, and that I feel sure you’re already across!: Make more time to be amongst the things that inspire you. Make more time to draw for fun.

You can find me at …
@davina.bell on Instagram
https://www.jackywinter.com/artists/allison-colpoys

‘Under the Love Umbrella’ is now available in board book format. It is the PERFECT present for a baby shower or first birthday. (I totes gave a copy to my niece for her first birthday.)

Check out our READ + CREATE activity to accompany Davina Bell and Allison Colpoy’s “Under the Love Umbrella.”

 

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Cara Florance

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Cara Florance

A graphic with text that reads "Oh Creative Lady."

The Interwebs is a busy and noisy place, right? But you know that magical feeling when occasionally you stumble across a new-to-you person who BLOWS YOUR SOCKS OFF?! That’s Cara Florance.
Every time I visit Cara’s feed, she blows my mind. Just this week I liked a post where she flippantly mentioned that she thought she’d set up a laser table for her girls to play with. Who *just* sets up laser tables during naptime? Cara Florance, that’s who!
Cara is a scientist and author who is passionate about raising scientifically-literate little humans. She shares play ideas that are firmly rooted in science and eloquently explains the science behind them in a way that is so easy to understand.

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Meet Cara Florance.

 

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I am… a mother of two girls, a wife, a scientist, and an author. We live in Boston, Massachusetts, USA while my husband is finishing school after a career change. Currently, I’m a stay-at-home-mom during the day. At night, I write and illustrate children’s books about science. I am eternally antsy. I love moving (both my body and my home), I love new projects, and I love not having a routine. When my children are school-aged, I plan to go back to work as a research scientist, but until then, I am embracing the cray cray of being at home with kids.

I find inspiration… in my kids. I like to share projects we do on Instagram and a lot of them are inspired by my children’s play. I think they are super creative and I love being able to see their minds work and manipulate toys and art in ways I would have never thought of. My books are also inspired by them. I want them (and everyone) to be scientifically literate. I don’t care if they become scientists or doctors or whatever, I just want everyone to be empowered and knowledgeable in our increasingly science and tech-based world.

 

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I’m excited about… everything! I have some new books coming out in the next several months, one just came out on November 5th. We are moving, and I’m excited to see where we will be assigned to (for my husband’s job). We are currently deciding if we will have another baby so I’m excited about possibly having another one or possibly closing up shop (how do you decide?!?!).


(These are affiliate links.)

When I’m in a creative slump I…work on another project. I have several side-hustles, most of which are not pressing, so when I have a mental block I just pick one that I’m interested in at the moment, then go back to the things that I have deadlines for.

I’m really proud of… my babies. I know I should be proud of work accomplishments or something, but my babies are kind and creative and wonderful and it makes me the happiest I’ve ever been.

Someone once told me…do what you love and you will never work a day in your life because no one is hiring. It always makes me laugh and reminds me not only that no job is perfect, but that it is up to us to make the most of our free time to feel fulfilled.

 

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My advice to you is…don’t be afraid to learn something right along side your child. Have you ever wanted to learn to code? Or learn to sew? Or learn to knit? I bet your kid would love to do it with you. Showing them that learning is a lifelong quest- one that is fun, exciting, and rewarding- is one of the most powerful things you can teach someone. And, you get to learn something too! It is so important to show that not knowing something is fine and natural, not something to be ashamed of. Show them that it is ok to ask questions, to not understand a concept the first time it’s explained, to want to learn more. If we instill this comfort and confidence in our children now, it will pay them dividends in the years to come.

Want more of Cara Florance?
You can find her at..

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Rachel from The Maker Mum

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Rachel from The Maker Mum

Rachel from The Maker Mum is a ray of sunshine for your Instagram feed. She is an Aussie mama raising two little sunshine babes and her posts ooze outdoorsy, creative goodness. I love Rachel’s commitment to looking at old things in new ways and the way she reuses and revamps household materials. Hanging on her Insta will make you want to head straight out into the Great Outdoors.

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Over to Rachel from The Maker Mum.

 

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I am… Rachel! I’m 27 years old and live in Brisbane, Australia. I married my husband Sharn when I was 20 and we now have two very blonde babies. Harvey is 3.5years, Meg is 2 and I’m ageing rapidly in this season of young children. I’m a full time stay at home mother with no intention of returning to paid work any time soon. Before children, I nannied a family of three young children then went on to working with primary school aged children in before and after school care. Without planning or really knowing it, I became totally into crafting with children! Now my children are reaping the benefits and to be honest, I’m enjoying it so much. I’m an introverted extrovert meaning I love connecting with people and can often be the life of the party but at the same time it drains me. To re-energize myself, I love watching Netflix, reading a book or going to a cafe for something delicious.

I find inspiration… Everywhere! I have a creative brain so I can be walking down the street and something will catch my eye and my mind wanders off into a creative day dream. I love surrounding myself in nature because I love being inspired by all the details that you could miss if you weren’t paying attention.

Also other creative people inspire me. Even if its a completely different style of creative, people always inspire me!

 

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I am excited about … I am excited about creating interesting spaces to play in without buying more stuff. I’m excited about creating things with everyday resources. Pretty much, I’m excited to keep on encouraging people to use what they already have to create.

I think one day I will do something special, but I’m really not sure what it is yet. I’m going to keep doing what I am doing and just see what opportunities come up and say “yes!” even when it’s out of my comfort zone.

When I’m in a creative slump, I… Take a break.  Forced things never turn out so great. Forced activities are never that popular with the children so it’s just worth taking a break. For a naturally creative person, I know that it will come back to me. Also spending time outside clears the mind!

 

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I’m really proud of… The fact that I’m currently living the life that I have always wanted. Ever since I was young, I just knew I wanted to be a mother and stay at home with my children – just like my own mum. I’m proud that I can be creative and inspiring in a role that can sometimes be so ‘groundhog day’ and just plain old hard.

Someone once told me… That my hair was really boring in my early high school years. You better believe that I had the best, most unique hairstyles for the remainder of my schooling years.

My advice to you is … Stop waiting for big exciting things in your life to bring meaning. Learn to find joy in the smallest moments. Aim for a deep contentment in where you are at this particular stage of life. Where you are right now is significant and you have purpose in the now.

You  can find me at … www.instagram.com/themakermum

Oh Creative Lady: Meet JoJo from Avocado Smash

Oh Creative Lady: Meet JoJo from Avocado Smash

Remember back in the olden days- ahem – I mean, back in your younger pre-kid days, when you would hang out for your favourite band to tour? Or when you’d eagerly anticipate the announcement of a festival line-up? Heck, I remember actually PHYSICALLY lining up to buy tickets for some of my fave bands. As a mum, I’m still clearly living the rock star life except that I eagerly await for tickets to go on sale for concerts that start at 10am and run for 45 minutes and DON’T FORGET TO PACK SNACKS!

But seriously, kids these days have access to some of the coolest acts, don’t they? One such act is Avocado Smash.
Their shows are a bonanza of musical variety with different languages, vocal harmonies, multiple instruments and dance moves from around the world. We have been gifted some tickets to the Avocado Smash gig at Sydney Fringe Festival and cannot wait! Their Fringe show focuses on food and how it bring us all together. Along the way you’ll meet new friends like Tata the Tiger from Sumatra and Olchaeng-i the Tadpole from Korea, and learn about how cultures across the globe enjoy and celebrate delicious delicacies.

Here is the contagiously enthusiastic JoJo from Avocado Smash!

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

I am… Joanna, or JoJo, from Avocado Smash, a funky new children’s music group! We make music for modern families – thoughtful, expressive, diverse music.

I live in the Inner West of Sydney, in a little apartment filled with plants and musical instruments.  I make music, all day every day! I conduct choirs, teach singing, and write music and perform with Avocado Smash! I love writing music for kids. I get to set aside time in my day to play and have fun. I personally think we all should make more time for playing and being silly in adult life! Kids remind us of this all the time, they get it!

I find inspiration… I am definitely inspired by children – I have some dear friends with brilliant little ones who have sparked ideas for many of my songs – actually they’ve co-written them!  I love creating music with children, when we do workshops in early learning centres, it’s an anything goes environment where children can explore their own creativity, whether it’s through percussion instruments, making up vocal lines or dancing freely.

I am excited about … We are debuting a new show at the Sydney Fringe Festival in mid September.  I am so excited to share it with the world. It’s a musical bonanza with vocal harmonies, world dance, live instruments, different languages and a lot of silliness. The story is all about food, and how it brings cultures around the world together. It’s a wonderful journey!

When I’m in a creative slump, I… go to the ocean. It clears my head. I’ve written many a song floating in the water, staring out where the ocean meets the sky.

I’m really proud of… putting together a show for Sydney Fringe – it is so thrilling to take our music to the stage! The show we’ve written, with our amazing director Kah Myla is funny, thoughtful, educational and silly!

Someone once told me… to find your joy, and I did – in music. I was actually working as a social worker, which I enjoyed immensely. But music has called me all my life, and it only grew louder as I got older. I actually see my music practice to be a type of social work – creating spaces for people to express themselves through song, whether it’s an adult in a community choir or a child dancing along to a song about eating spicy food – I believe music is important for us all and I feel immensely grateful to be able to share it with others.

My advice to you is … Do what you love.

You can find me at …

Instagram

Facebook

Grab tickets to our Sydney Fringe Festival show