Shower Melts

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I have to say I am a huge fan of relaxing in a bath to unwind after a busy day but at the moment it is hard enough to make time to have a shower let alone a bath. So in saying that I am in love with these quick and easy to make shower melts which add a touch of luxury to any showering experience.

There are plenty of different combinations of essential oils you can use but currently I am really liking the combination of grapefruit and wild orange. Grapefruit is useful in helping to boost motivation and has a clarifying effect on your mind. Wild orange is used to uplift moods and energy levels so I find these two the perfect ‘wake me up and motivate me’ oils to start my morning off right.

HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1/4 cup cornflower
  • 1 TBsp water (this is added gradually)
  • 30 drops of essential oil
  • food colouring (optional)
  • Silicon muffin tray or moulds
  • Mixing bowl and spoon

HOW TO:

In a bowl combine the baking soda, citric acid and cornflower. Make sure these are well mixed together. If you are using food colouring add this to your Tbsp of water. Slowly add the water a few drops at a time (I used a syringe to control this better). There will be a little fizzing action happening in your bowl, keep stirring each time after adding a few drops to stop this. You want to keep adding water until the mixture holds its form when pressed into your hand. Finally add your essential oils. I used 15 drops of each. Press the mixture into your muffin tray or moulds and allow to dry. You can speed up this process by putting them in the freezer for 30 minutes. Gently press the shower melts out of the moulds and store in an airtight container. When you are ready to use them place one in the bottom of your shower and enjoy inhaling this delicious and uplifting scent.

 

If you are interested in purchasing or finding out more about Doterra essential oils please feel welcome to visit my website here.

 

 

Anderson Hawk

40552156_601856546883668_7644448334068842496_nOur wee Anderson Hawk joined our family on the 13th of August 2018 weighing a delightful 6 pounds 5 ounces. I enjoyed spending the weeks leading up to his arrival decorating his nursery.

It is such a special, exciting, and somewhat terrifying time when you know after months of dreaming, planning and waiting, your baby will very soon be snuggled in your arms. I would stand in his room contemplating the upcoming changes, wondering what this tiny, unknown, but yet deeply loved human would be like.

It is a time of nesting, a time of dreaming, a time of praying and a time of, well… waiting.

I wanted Anderson’s room to be a peaceful space for us both to spend time in. Taking this into consideration I chose the natural colour scheme of cream and white, mushroom brown, light wood and forrest green accented with mustard features. Who doesn’t love a good dose of mustard right?!

Since Anders has arrived his room has been a calming environment where I have intentionally savoured those delicious newborn snuggles and held him close knowing the sleepless nights, seemingly endless feeding and crying with wind pains won’t last forever. It is like all things in life only a season and before I know it these days will be only a memory.

Anderson’s name means ‘manly, strong, brave, warrior’ which fits perfectly with the verse God gave us to pray over him before we knew we were pregnant.

Joshua 1:9

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

‘Hawk’ symbolises courage, leadership, grace and beauty. It is a strong protector and guardian.

 

 

Thanks to Luke Marshall Images for capturing these beautiful images

 

 

 

A New Season

branch-green-greenery-72509.jpgWow, I can’t believe it has been over 18 months since I last posted on here! As you may have guessed I decided to take a wee break from blogging and the pressure (mainly that I put on myself) to post regularly. When I decided that I needed to take that break from social media and Petal Pocket I wasn’t quite ready to shut it down completely so it has been here just waiting, waiting and waiting until I was able to make the time and gain the creative inspiration to start it back up.

A lot has changed since I last posted. The most recent big change is that we are now a family of four. Anderson Hawk joined our little family in August this year so the last 3 months have been a journey of getting to know him and adjusting to this new stage in life. I will share some photos of how we decorated his nursery and chose his names in my next post.

Now that we have returned to some sort of normal I am feeling in a headspace where I have room to be a bit creative and the capacity to start to share in this forum what God places on my heart.

I am excited for this new chapter and all the highs (and lows) I am sure this new season will bring with it. Thank you for continuing to join me on this journey.

Sophie xx

Autumn Leaf Threading

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Mila and I have loved watching the beautiful trees around our house change colour from green to yellow, then to many pretty shades of red. Here is a creative invitation to play that gives the opportunity to practise the fine motor skills of punching out shapes and threading.

You will need:

  • Play-dough
  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • A hole punch

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We had fun punching out pretty stars in our leaves. Mila loved sticking these onto the play-dough but they would also look really pretty if you glued them onto a picture.

Through this play Mila was working on developing her fine motor control. It took a lot of concentration and perseverance to carefully thread the leaves onto the twigs. As she explored we talked about colours, size, shape and textures of the leaves as well as counting them and singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ many times! There is so much learning that can take place through simple activities like this.

Setting up an invitation to play doesn’t have to be complicated and it is always lots of fun to share this special uninterrupted time together. What better way to spend an afternoon than happily playing and exploring with my best little friend.

 

Feijoa and Almond Loaf

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We love feijoa’s here in the Marshall household! Our trees have had an amazing crop this year so I have been trying out lots of different recipes to use them up. Feijoa Bliss Balls, Muffins, Cakes, as well as Pies and Crumbles but this delicious Feijoa and Almond Loaf has to be my favourite.

This lovely moist loaf is super easy to throw together and can be made gluten and dairy free which is really handy. I like that it has minimal sugar in it too so feels like a healthier choice even if it is still a sometimes food!

I am sure I will be making a few of these to put in the freezer to enjoy later on or to whip out for some surprise visitors.

FEIJOA AND ALMOND LOAF

1 Cup of Flour (I used a store bought gluten free baking mix)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of almond meal

2 eggs

1/4 cup of milk (I used coconut and almond to make it dairy free)

1 1/2 cups of mashed feijoas

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Then add the sugar and almond meal. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and milk until they are fluffy. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until they are combined. Stir in the mashed feijoa and pour into a lined loaf tin. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for around 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Enjoy with a cup of tea.

xxx

Dinosaur World Playdough

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What a great birthday party theme ‘dinosaurs’ is! Earlier this week Mila went to a friends 4th birthday where we had a fun time celebrating dinosaur style.

I decided to get a little creative and make his present so off to the Warehouse Mila and I went on the hunt for dinosaurs. We found these cute little ones in a packet for $3 and then the compartment sistema container for $8…winning!

Next Mila and I went on a nature hunt to collect all the stones, sticks and natural materials that we thought would be perfect for adding to a dinosaur world.

We then made 4 colours of playdough which fit nicely under the compartment that was in the top of the container.  I will write my never fail cooked playdough recipe at the bottom of this post. What we included in the container was probably a third of each colour so it is a decent amount per batch.

When we were finished Mila was itching to play with this present but reluctantly agreed to help me wrap it up. I must admit it did look like a very cool invitation to play and create so I don’t blame her for not really wanting to give it away! I hope our wee friend enjoys making his own dinosaur world, we certainly had fun putting it all together.

 

Quick and Easy Never Fail Cooked Playdough Recipe

  • 1 TBsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • food colouring
  • 1 cup flour

Add the first 5 ingredients into a pot and stir to combine. Then add the flour and mix it in well. Place the pot on the stove top and heat over a low temperature, stirring to prevent it catching on the bottom until it forms a dough consistency. Allow to cool slightly then knead it until it is smooth.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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faithful

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A friend asked me recently how I know that God is real? My first response was, “well I know God is real because I have a personal relationship with Him, He is not some far off distant figure to me but a very real, present and loving friend”. Our conversation finished and as I reflected on it later I went over in my head what we had discussed. Many questions were raised in our discussion such as well if God is real why do bad things happen? If God is real how do you actually know?

These are such big questions as well as really important ones to ask. I know I don’t have all the answers and to be honest I fumbled my way through answering the questions as best I could at the time. I would describe myself as a slow-cooker thinker. I don’t always have the answers quickly or on the spot, I usually need time to process and to reflect (slow cook them), I can then more clearly express what I believe or want to say.  So after some thought I decided I would like to share one of the reasons why I believe that God is real, this is my personal experience and some of the journey I have been on.

When I think of God the word ‘faithful’ comes to mind. During my first year of working after graduating as a early childhood teacher I started to develop some back pain, at first I just put it down to using muscles I hadn’t before and made efforts to be careful about how I lifted children and went about my daily tasks. But as the year progressed I developed increasing stiffness in my spine and experienced almost constant pain. I began to realised that this was much more serious than just sore muscle back pain. Over the next two years I saw what seemed like countless specialists and doctors who eventually diagnosed me with a form of rheumatoid arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis that mainly effects the spine but it can effect other areas of your body too. It also can lead to ankylosis where new bone formation occurs in the spine causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position. So basically my spine was developing little boney spikes that were fusing together causing me to find walking and moving very painful and difficult.

I remember a specialist telling me that it was very likely that in 4 years time I would not be able to walk, I would probably be confined to a wheelchair and experience constant pain for the rest of my life. Thinking about this now, it may have seemed like a pretty gloomy prediction for a 22 year old to be told but at the time I was not fearful I knew God was with me. In Him I had hope and the assurance that whatever I faced I did not face it alone. He was always right there beside me, He did not send this to me, in fact His heart was actually breaking to see His child go through this sickness.

During the following year I was put on lots of different medications (many which had nasty side effects), I received physiotherapy, hydrotherapy (water based physiotherapy at the hospital) and I was on countless medications, including morphine injections.

When the pain was really bad it felt like knives or glass being stabbed into my arms and spine. It was tiring to keep going but I tried to remain positive, even if I was having to roll out of bed and crawl to the shower each morning as I waited for my joints to warm up lol. There are always things we can be thankful for even when daily life is so challenging.

During this time I felt God’s hand strongly on my life, I never doubted that He had a plan for this season and I believed He could heal me, it was just a matter of when He chose to do that. I was supported and prayed for by many family and friends during this time which I am forever thankful for. Never underestimate the power of a prayer, it can support someone in so many ways that may be unseen to you.

After persevering as long as I could I had to make the difficult decision to stop working as a preschool teacher and move back to my hometown where the climate was a bit warmer and I could be with my family.

There are heaps of details I could include but I don’t want this post to turn into any more of a novel so I will try to just keep it brief! After returning home to Nelson, I continued to trust God, He knew what my future held, He was looking out for me. I was prayed for by a lovely couple up here and I am so excited to share that I have been totally healed of my arthritis. After just over 3 years of constant pain and stiffness, in an instant I was fully healed.

I no longer have to take any medications, I no longer have any of that pain, I no longer have to struggle just to walk and move everyday. It is hard to believe it is now 8 years ago that I was healed, I still struggle to comprehend the enormity of it. If God had not chosen to heal me then I would most likely be in a wheel chair, unable to walk and in a lot of pain right now. Instead I can walk, I can run, I can dance with my 2 year old totally pain free.

I am so grateful to God for His faithfulness through my every season. He was there in the tough, when I cried by myself alone in my room because the pain was so much, He was there when I was given such a bleak outlook for my future, He was there when I was healed and set free from pain and He continues to be my strength and hope in every situation or circumstance that I face.

I know God is real, because of Him I have strength for each day no matter what it brings and hope for my future. Because of Him I am never alone, I don’t need to be afraid because He has my back. His plans for me are always good, yes bad stuff happens but God is always faithful, He has never let me down and I don’t believe He ever will. I know God is real because He healed me, there is no medical explanation for my healing, only God. In Him I know who I am and in knowing Him I am set free to live a life where I experience His goodness, His love and faithfulness everyday.

In writing this I appreciate that everyone will be at a different stage in their journey. Perhaps you have not had any health issues, maybe you are facing some right now. Perhaps you are currently in the middle of a challenging circumstance, whatever the case I hope my story encourages you. I love this promise found in Jeremiah 29:13 (Message translation).

“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” – God

This snippet of my story is just one of the many, many reasons that I believe God is real. Thanks for taking the time to read about my journey and listen to my ‘slow-cooker’ answer to some of the questions my beautiful friend raised.

Sophie xxx

 

 

 

Photograph credit: Jake Givens