Thursday, October 31, 2013

If I Could Have Just One Room

The lovely Georgie over at the uber beautiful blog Visual Toast tagged me in her post If I Could Have Just One Room.

And I just had to do my own version... if nothing else than to justify my many misspent hours drooling over Pinterest - though it has gained me over 3000 followers!

The idea for this meme came from The Reading Residence which asked:

If you could have just one room, all to yourself, what would be in it? What colours would you choose? What would it smell like?
So here goes...

Lots of natural light, large windows looking onto the beautiful wildness of the Atlantic coast. And space. And bare wood. And zen-ness. And books galore. Soft sofa beds strewn with comfy cushions to lounge and read in. And rainbow colours and patchwork, and my art and that of others I love all over the wall. And an altar...

Something like this...

I'd love to see what yours looks like...

Emily at The Nest

Erin at Starving Artist Ink

Heidi at The Dreadess

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Yesterday a lovely blog reader shared a comment on my post about doing battle with my daughter:

"I know this scene! We can do that dance. Just last night. Afterwards my daughter made me a card, carefully cut out with coloured in love hearts and best handwriting "To Mum, mum loves me, I love mum" (oh!) and sweet words, connection, understanding. This love is so huge. "

Reading it, a rather profound thought just occurred to me - maybe the fight beforehand is a way of tenderising us, like the way we bash meat with a mallet to make it less tough.

Perhaps anger, battles and even hate are the best way the Universe knows of opening us fully to love. Of taking away our defences, leaving us standing there vulnerable and open so that love can just pour in. So that we can really feel it to the tips of our toes, really feel how big and true it is, so that we can, even if just for a moment, have our entire beings taken over by love, and feel the most profound connection - made even more special by knowing how it feels to be absent from it and have come so close to losing it.


I think it might just be true!

And if it is, it means that everything that comes between us is just interference in the bandwidth of pure love flowing between us all.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Raspberries in October

Nothing says abundance like ripe raspberries in October.

Wandering around the garden, the golden leaves falling from the trees in ever greater numbers each day, the smell of damp, a lone wasp searching out a home for the winter.

And there, in the midst of decline, glowing in the chill autumn sunlight a full cane of ruby red raspberries, sweet and sharp, whispers of summer to my tongue.

And it struck me with full force: this is the abundance of the Universe writ large. Bounty on branches of thorns, hidden in a forgotten corner of the garden.

Go, go look for the raspberries in your life. The moments of sweet juicy perfection, unbidden abundance. They are there, right under your nose, just waiting for you to spot, pick and savour them!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Matador

"I love you mummy," she whispers in the dark. Warm body curled into mine.

I am the matador. She the bull. We have danced our dance. Her horns, my red cape. Swirling, skidding, almost colliding, side stepping. The chance of a goring always close.

Ten minutes earlier a scream in the dark. Full throated. A mama who had reached the end of a very long tether, of side stepping and distracting this bull child who has been needling for a fight for days. Like seeding rain clouds she finds some inner relief in it, it seems.

But it is exhausting, this battle of wills and patience.

It has taken every tactic I know to keep a smile on my face and the show on the road. We have had not a threat, nor a raised voice from the matador. Tights have been adjusted and readjusted for half an hour at a time. Every morning. And blankets. Multiple times. Every night. And everything else has been done and redone for her. Until finally, and suddenly, red. Enough. Scream.

The horns were there ready to gore me. My weakness finally exposed. "You hate your children," her voice crows, triumphant. No, no, no I don't, I say inside and out. Just this matador's body and brain are tired. There is no more fight, nor patience left in me.

A retreat. I am followed. An explanation. And back into bed. Together. In stony silence and blackness. Broken by a kiss. "I love you Mummy," she says.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Prinkle Karma

"My tights are too tight," she wails, "They've got prinkles!"
Legs thrashing she lies on the floor. Distraught with discomfort.

What are prinkles? you ask.

Fucking karma, that's what it is.

Invisible fucking botherances which require an hour of smoothing and stretching and un-stretching, and taking on and off and on and off of tights and boots and socks and shoes looking for a magic fix. And humour and ultimatums, and alternatives and every other fucking trick in the book.

And all the while remembering another little girl lying on the floor, almost three decades ago, thrashing, hating my clothes. And my dear mother doing the best she could. Morning after morning. Keeping it together, most of the time. And I channel that love and patience, and memory and compassion for my five year old self, and keep it together... most of the time.

I never wore trousers till I was 8 (and I still rarely do!) I hated ANYTHING tight, or scratchy. I had one pair of baggy blue knickers that I wore endlessly, which must have been silently washed and dried at night in secret, much as we now do with karma child's favourite pink (now nearly grey) dress that she wore for the ENTIRE summer holidays. I was happiest running naked, and every picture of me during the summer from baby hood to aged 7 is entirely naked. I thought that was the norm in the 80s... until I noticed every other child, in every other picture was clothed. Karma child would be happiest in her pink dress, no knickers and flip flops. Even in the middle of winter.

We try as best we can to find compromises. And I have told her that come adulthood she can emigrate somewhere year-round sunny, so she can live in her outfit of choice. But till then we have to find a way of getting round school uniforms and Irish winters that doesn't kill us all.

Ah karma. My butt is well and truly bitten. EAAAAAAARGGGGGHHHHHHHHH IT PRINKLES!!!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Shopping when Goddess-sized

I have just spent a happy-sad hour, drooling over my Funky Mama Clothes Pinterest boards... clicking through links on beautiful garments... and then realising it doesn't come in my size.

I hate clothes shopping. Online. Off line. Always have, always will.

The whole purpose,it seems to me, is to make the majority of women feel like they're just not quite normal...

So having gotten up the courage, after months, to measure my beautiful body, in order to purchase some clothes without holes, I discover that I am in fact, according to all the lovely websites, larger than XXL... except I can't be, I don't think I look it...

Me... no clever angles, no photoshop...
And the thing is I am sure the online sites are being over cautious when they say that XXL is still 3 inches too small for my waist, as it classifies the size as UK 22-24... where as I am 16-20 depending on make..I look gorgeous in skirts... Skirts are women's clothes... So why do I have to consider custom, or "paying extra for more fabric"....

Having spent my entire adult life thinking I was too fat, when I was in fact normal. I am now making peace with the fact that despite my BMI not being particularly fashionable, I LIKE the way my body looks... and feels...

I am curvy not chubby as my daughter calls me. Not obese as the BMI would have it. Not plus sized as clothing companies would have it.

Plus what?

I am goddess sized. Woman-who-has-curves-and-had-three-children sized.

So why can't I find clothes that will fit?

I'm not odd shaped. I'm woman shaped.

I happen to have a hell of a lot of slim to skinny friends whose bodies are model sized after three kids.

I'm delighted for them.

But that ain't my figure. Ain't ever going to be. So I know that clothes swap parties with them will always be slim pickings. Literally.

But then at the sling wearing conference at the weekend I was in a room full of woman-sized women - some slim, most curvy, some monumental... but my guess is that 80% of us there, us normal, healthy mamas would have been classed as plus sized.


Look this ain't new. Not to you, not to me. But it gets me every time. Every time. 

And I wish it were different.

I wish that being woman-sized was normal... Acceptable...Enjoyable...Easy.

It's alright, I'm a self-declared dreamer. So on with my fat control knickers and burka of shame. World, worry not, I shall keep my delicious goddess-sized body well out of your changing rooms... And I've bought a sewing machine!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's not Perfect

The thing with having finished a book and knowing it's at the printers is the little worm in my ear, who keeps trying to burrow into my brain - "it's not perfect..." he reminds me...(as if I didn't know)  "you should have.... and you forgot to.... and WHATTHEFUCKDIDYOUPHRASETHATSENTENCELIKETHATFOR? AREYOUILLITERATE?" You probably have one of his cousins hanging out in your oricular orifice!

Like every creator, I have to try to let go of where it could have been better/different/perfect and embrace it as it is.

This is much fucking easier said than done, and the reason why most of us creatives go a bit mad in the head... and why sane people would rather gnaw their own leg off than put their creative work out in public. IT IS SCARY!

As I go through it now, writing articles (for The Mother, Studio Mothers and Rhythm of the Home) and picking out extracts (Rhythm of the Home, Wild Sister...) I see sentences that I wish I could cut or rephrase, things I know now that I did not know then, ways of connecting ideas based on further insights.

The same is true with my paintings, especially every time money is just about to change hands.

Very often part of me feels like asking can I pay THEM to take it away from me!

Although with both there is a time when you feel reasonably at peace with it, when you know it is as done as it will ever be... there is always a stroke you wish you had made differently, a bit you hadn't painted over, an eye that doesn't quite look right...

But the magic of creativity is in learning when to let go, when to launch your work, rather than obsess over it and overwork it. To let some of the original inspire spark shine through the crack and illuminate the imperfect whole from within....

This goes totally against our culture of superficial perfectionism, which tries to tell us that surface is all. But there you have it!

The same is, of course, true of our children. We dream of perfect kiddies - polite, friendly, kind, and attractive... But what we get are little human beings, with quirks - tongue-tied babies who struggle to breastfeed, hair that stands on end, a callous disregard for rules and night time sleeping... and at some point we have to let go of our need to control and shape them into perfection, and celebrate their uniqueness and quirks in all their glory.

I KNOW this.

But meanwhile that little worm is a-whispering in my ear - "They will judge you on your failings, on your oversight, on your ignorance, on every last thing that they don't agree with... they will judge you, and hate you... and publicly say what an idiot/ mad'un/ flake you are..."

It doesn't get any easier four books in!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Join the Carnival of Creative Mothers!

You've been on this journey with me for a long time, dearest reader. And the birth is in sight... (so bear with me as I break into colour and different sized fonts! That's what happens when I get over excited!

The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood 

will be out at the end of November! 

(For more about the book, an extract, free audio file, and to read what people are saying about it, head over to the book’s main website.)

To celebrate, I am planning a month-long blogging carnival of creative women!

And I would love YOU to join us!

Starting on the 20th November, each Wednesday, women around the world will be blogging on one of the central themes of my book...

November 20th: Nurturing a Culture of Creativity at Home
November 27th: Creative Heroines
December 4th: Creative Inheritance

December 11th: The Creative Process.

Sign up here!
and tell your friends about it! Read on for more details!

If you haven't come across blogging carnivals before, they're great fun! (And you don't need to dress up or dance in the streets!!) Bloggers around the world write on a set topic, and the blogs are linked up, so you can hop from one to another, discovering all the wonderful bloggers out there... and they can discover you! Your job is to write a great post, and mine is to do the magic link up by giving you a piece of code that you cut and paste in at the end of your post!)

One of my favorite aspects of The Rainbow Way is the tapestry of so many women's voices speaking of their own experiences, and I envisage this carnival as a beautiful, living extension of that. There are currently 75 women signed up to take part! That makes me SO happy!

This is your chance to connect with other creative women around the world, spread the word about your blog and creative work, and help share the launch of my book.... I’m on a mission to let every creative woman know that this book is there for them, to support and inspire. Thank you in advance for YOUR part in that!

As an extra thank you I am doing a GIVEAWAY! 5 carnival contributors will receive an e-copy of The Rainbow Way.  Each carnival post is one entry to the draw! Entries will be chosen at random and will be announced on 7th December.

The details!

First things first - sign up now, even if you're not quite sure what your post will be about - then I have you on my list and can email you to remind you to add in the details nearer the time!

Whilst I ask you to stick (broadly) to each week's theme, please dive deep into the topics, write from your heart, jive and jam with them in a way that feels good. Be creative! Be authentically you! The questions below are simply meant as prompts to your own spirit to get your juices flowing!

I look forward to reading your posts - be sure to mail them to me at
trwlaunch [at] gmail [dot] com before the carnival!

Week 1: Nurturing a culture of creativity at home
  • How important is creativity in your home?
  • How do YOU nurture a culture of creativity at home?
  • What drives you nuts about creating with kids?
  • What clever tips do you have to pass on to other families to make creating together fun?
  • Share a seasonal craft or creative activity for families.
Carnival date: 20th November
Last sign up date: 15th November
Sign up form
Week 2: Creative Heroines
  • Which artists, creative souls and mothers, living or dead, famous or not, have inspired YOU on your journey? Tell us how and why…
  • And who have been your big teachers and influences and why?
  • How do you identify with or struggle with being a creative mother?
  • How do you support yourself as a creative mother?
  • Is it important to you to support other creative mamas – how do you do this?

Carnival date: 27th November
Last sign up date: 23rd November
Sign up form
Week 3: Creative Inheritance
  • What is YOUR creative inheritance? Does creativity run through your family blood?
  • How important... or not... is creativity to your family's identity?
  • What are you passing on to YOUR children?
  • Have you followed in your family’s footsteps or branched out on your own?
  • What influence does the creativity of your ancestors have on your own work?
Carnival date: 4th December
Last sign up date: 29th November
Sign up form
Week 4: The Creative Process
  • What does the creative process feel like to you?
  • Do you have an image of it? How can you describe it?
  • Who/ what is the muse?  How do you contact it?
  • What are your sure-fire ways of getting in the creative mood? And what blocks you?
Carnival date: 11th December
Last sign up date: 6th December
Sign up form

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dear Blogger...12 Reasons Why I Don't Comment on Your Blog

Hey there,

I've been reading you for ages... but we've never met.

You've made me laugh till the wee ran down my legs. You've made me cry, big bawling snotty sobs, sending me to bed with a racing head and aching heart. You've made me feel seen, and not so strange. You've added new words and concepts to my vocabulary. Your kids have made me feel jealous with their general cuteness. Your links have lead me to information that has changed my life.

You have held my heart in your hands... even though I have never even said hello.

I always mean to, and want to...

It's just...

1) I'm an introvert, and not very good at making small talk and so I never know what to say in response...
2) I feel silenced by the magnitude of wonder I have just absorbed from you and my words all dried up.
3) I always feel like I'm not part of your inner circle, so my comment doesn't matter. You and your cyber pals are like SO cliquey.
4) Lots of other people have already said what I was going to say. My piffling comment is redundant in this sea of adulation, interspersed with the occasional troll - WHY does everyone always bait the troll... WTF, are they INSANE? That is SO bitchy...
5) I'm busy, busy, busy... no time!
6) I tried, and the fucking secret codes and password and demands that I type out blurry numbers  made me lose my shite. I am NOT a fucking spambot, just believe me! I don't want to comment THAT much! Who are you, President of the fucking world? Not even SHE has this much fucking security!
7) I commented. A long heartfelt comment. And it just disappeared into cyber space. I'll be fucked if I'm going to write it all out again.
8) HOW do you comment, any way?
9) Comments are just SO 2003.
10) Shhh, I don't want anyone to know I'm reading this!
11) Bloggers aren't real... so why comment?
12) I HATE YOU! (this is what we Bloggers believe when our posts are met with silence - we are very sensitive types!)

This goes out to all the bloggers whose blogs I love, but have never commented on - one or more apply to each! Renegade Mothering, Momastery, Finding Joy, Unabashedly Female, Heather Plett, Parenting with Crappy Pictures... and so many more!

Hey you, silent reader, I dare you, tell me which number applies to you! I don't have any horrible secret codes to get past!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mindful Nurturing: Play

Play... sometimes we set up activities, sometimes it spontaneously evolves. Pants super heroes. Cardboard box rockets. Yesterday, here at the Pink House, we had SO much fun with our new glue gun! And using a white pen to create white on black zentangles.

But for those days when you - or your kids -  feel uninspired, let me offer up this amazing new e-bundle up at my affiliate partner: the Mindful Play eBundle. This bundle contains 9 play-oriented e-resources, plus 3 phenomenal bonuses and is on sale only until October 3. SALE EXTENDED TO MONDAY 7TH OCTOBER!

There's a little something for everyone, geared to kids from ages 1 to 12: coloring pages, a yoga story book, mandala drawing initiation, treasure baskets, modeling play, and much more.

Click here to visit Mindful Nurturing.

 Here's a bit more about the exciting contents:
  • Alphabet Glue, by Annie of Bird and Little Bird: Alphabet Glue is a downloadable e-magazine for families who love books. Filled with activities, printables, projects, and plenty of inspiration, Alphabet Glue was created in hopes of helping more families incorporate creativity, imagination and all things literary into their everyday routines. Each issue contains leveled book recommendations organized by theme, bookmaking tutorials, story-building activities, and hands-on projects that complement favorite titles in children's literature. From stories to science experiments, Alphabet Glue has a little something for everyone. This bundle includes two fall-themed issues: Volume 9 and Volume 14 —Â Fold functional paper periscopes for amateur espionage and make simple plant presses. Sail a fleet of tiny sailboats and learn a bit about surface tension in the process. Reflect on the shape of rain drops, and create a bit of refrigerator-ready art while you're at it. Make bouncy balls out of laundry room staples and handy office supplies, and spend a bit of time thinking about how fossils are formed before trying your hand at making your own. All this and more in two fun- and story-filled volumes!
  • Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough and Modeling Experiences for Kids, by MaryAnn Kohl: Mudworks offers a delightful range of over 100 hands-on creative modeling mixtures and recipes for children to explore and experience. Kids like to call it the goosh and moosh book! All projects use common household materials and require no expertise. Ideal for fun or serious art for all ages, at home, school, or childcare. A classic!
  • Treasure Basket Play, by Melitsa Avila of Raising Playful Tots: Treasure Basket Play shows you step by step how to effectively and safely set up and use a treasure basket in your home today that will engage and challenge your baby each time the basket is used. Treasure basket play is suitable for sitting babies to approximately 12 months.
  • How To Fool Your Kids Into Having Fun So You Can: Travel Games Without Gadgets, by Iyas of Freaky Rivet: Born out of 6 months of travel with the author's own 4 children, How to Fool Your Kids Into Having Fun So You Can is an ebook packed with over 100 games for travelling without gadgets. These are not just your standard car or plane games, but also ones to keep them amused in restaurants, hotel lobbies, boats, and all kinds of places you might find yourself. Some will educate them along the way; most are just outright fun. And it doesn't have to be in some far-flung continent — they are just as useful even at your local deli. You could give your kids an electronic game — but this way you can give them some good old-fashioned fun interacting with people and the environment around them. Bring your sense of humour, and dive in.
  • Animal ABCs, by Carisa of 1+1+1=1: Animal ABCs is a fun way to take your toddler or preschooler through the alphabet while learning about animals along the way. Each letter features one animal that emphasizes the sound of the letter. Animal ABCs was created for children approximately ages 2-4 years. The bundle includes: Full-size display letters, full-size blank letters and animals to cut for craft, package of printable extras for each letter, all flashcards, all extra additions (Dot Fun, Play Dough Mats, Wall Posters, & Lowercase Letters). Once you purchase, you have access to a private page and you can come back and download anything new that's added!

  • Summer Fun
    , by Joni Rae Latham of Tales of a Kitchen Witch: This is a 15-page coloring book PDF with natural-parenting line drawings by Joni Rae Latham. The drawings depict different families having fun in the summer with scenes including cosleeping, breastfeeding, tandem breastfeeding, and babywearing.
  • Sophia's Jungle Adventure, by Giselle Shardlow of Kids Yoga Stories: Join Sophia's jungle adventure! Fly like a toucan, slither like a snake, and flutter like a butterfly as you act out this journey through a Costa Rican jungle. What else might you see? Follow along with Sophia's story and her yoga moves. The storybook includes a List of Kids Yoga Poses and a Parent-Teacher Guide.
  • Click here to visit Mindful Nurturing.
    Sensory Bins: the What, the How and the Why, by Sharla Kostelyk of The Chaos and the Clutter: Sensory bins are a simple and inexpensive learning tool that can benefit all children. Whether you are interested in incorporating sensory bins into your home, classroom, or homeschool, this guide will provide you the necessary knowledge and ideas to get started. It includes idea lists, storage and money saving tips, information on using sensory bins with Sensory Processing Disorder, and helpful recipes.
PLUS, three exciting bonuses:
  • 12 play-themed coloring pages, by Hugo Smits:These coloring pages are a playful example of how Hugo combines his attached parenting style with his passion.
  • Playful Rituals eBook and a Sample eCourse, by Shawn Ledington Fink,author of The Playful Family
  • Audio interview with industry expert on treasure baskets, via Melitsa Avila
Inspire your family to grow closer together as you foster your creativity and playfulness!

Read more about the resources here, and then get your bundle today for only $14.95, at over 80% off a retail value of $74. It's available only until October 3, so hurry!

Click here to visit Mindful Nurturing. 

Buying this bundle supports this site! I am very grateful.


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