Journey into unprocessed living · parental daily ramblings · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

Gluten free health? 

Hey there!! 

Have just been on Facebook live talking about my thoughts about gluten free produce!! 

Watch and join the conversation here

In other news… 

We made our own crisps!! 

No transfats no MSG and free of hidden gluten…  And YUM!! 

Get notifications from family wholefood health and keep up with our franchise journey

 Christine xx

parental daily ramblings · wholefood family health

Playing with magisto iPhone app

My daughter loves gymnastics and making movies

So this week-end we had some fun with magisto!! 

Would love to know if your experience with using this!!

We made this on free package and was wondering had anyone used the business package and found it worthwhile? 

Have a great active fun week-end!!!

Family wholefood health ( a.k.a the 5 fannings 😊)

life by design · parental daily ramblings · wholefood family health

Ever tried to rush a bedtime story???

This ones for the parents 

Who are engaging in the challenge

To find a work / family  balance

…. If you ve ever tried to hurry along bedtimes for any reason

You might relate to my story X

Ps: I made it by the way 😉

Thanks for tuning in!

Pass it around your friends,

I loved to connect to new people going through similar xx


Family Wholefood Health

Spark Collector

ballyvoneen art · life by design · parental daily ramblings

Midterm artcamp … Colourful spring and moody muses!!

Theme for the last two days was Spring!!

Before the kids are headway into drawing shamrocks and decoupaging mini eggs, 

I thought we’d keep it simple and celebrated the start of growth and colour and new life 🌱

Recycling was a start!!

We turned these ….


Into these beautiful wind catchers!

We created Spring gardens … With tulips created by fork painting!   
Made frames for canvas pics !!

Moody paintings!

We did some painting to music this camp … First selection were painted whilst listening to Debussy


And these were heavy metal guitar   
Again was so surprised how much creation was achieved in two days camp!!!

Here are final personal expressions

And that’s a wrap!!!

Next stop Easter 😊

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

Journey into unprocessed living · life by design · parental daily ramblings

Baby led weaning style

Great article shared in today’s paper 😊

… and brings back memories of my baby led weaning days!

What seems like a lifetime ago (only 4ish yrs) since I introduced my last to solid food,  I remember the advice I had gathered how this  approach to weaning fostered a healthy independent relationship with food for a child, and encouraged the strengthening in mouth muscles for speech later … and I’ll admit the added perk 

It just seemed so convenient!!!!

On my first born, I spoon fed, and I loved  puréeing the foods and attentitively spooning rice mix, whilst filming every expression 😊

… Who has the time for the ones that follow after?! 

So I was excitable when I heard about and observed from new mums that had discovered the baby led weaning way,

I continued to have a fabulous experience observing my next two kids, as they sucked the life out of a stick of raw cucumber … and fingered there way around every morstle of food, deciding what to eat and what to leave, and I watched them thrive every step of the way 😋


sam i am … tucking into a corn on the cob
Of course, eventually utensils were introduced, and that’s when it got messy, and yes sometimes frustrating ..

I do believe the independent nature, (offering weaning baby pieces of whole food) helped them form their tastes, and develop their independence.

I would encourage anyone thinking of embarking down this path with baby to check out baby led weaning groups on social media, where there is lots of parents at different stages of their baby led weaning journey ( I don’t think they existed a couple of years ago)

Thanks for reading!

Check out my present journey of healthy lunch  box challenge! Times move on!

Christine x family wholefood health

life by design · parental daily ramblings

listen to the universe whisper and you wont have to hear the screams!!… setting boundaries for pre-teens

Boys and technology!! sigh!

20130326-181922.jpg Younger and younger …. even our 4 yr old is in negotiations constantly for technology!

A busy term for our family, and the reins loosened slowly and consistently towards more game time, and internet for our first pre-teen.

Happy that he was in school every day of term, he also plays soccer, basketball, hiphop class and scouts, though I started to notice one or two excuses for not going to training, and he had lost enthusiasm for the outdoors, and had become a bit grouchy!…to say the least

I work from home, and my business is run on my smart phone using wifi …. I had it on the long finger to examine wifi in the house,  having a keen eye on healthier habits, I had already been researching ways to balance on-line time. Trying to get work done from home, it’s always enticing to let the kids have some playtime on gadgets or watch netflix, whilst trying to develop webpages, and reach deadlines!!

The signs started to appear though, and I was aware that the balance had shifted …. I had drafted a timetable with my son, but it wasn’t always adhered to, and I caved several times as he battled for more computer time, more games that were beyond his age category (I can’t talk to the others in my class if I don’t know about this game he’d say etc.) and all the while, trying to differentiate between whats normal behaviour for a pre-teen, and whats as a result of inappropriate amount of internet and gametime!!

So the bomb exploded one day when out at the park and the tantrum came ( funnily enough the issue wasn’t directly around gadgets) though the attitude, language and behaviour I strongly supected was responsible!

As a result, all his priveledges were removed for 2 weeks. I braced myself for two weeks in hell, with a boy that had forgotten how to be without technology, angry for removing his lifeline, and having to deal with the aftermath!! I had put off listening to the whispering signs things were out of balance so here I was dealing with the screams!! A mums life … who’d want it?!

A couple of deep breaths and a long conversation or two, there was an aftermath of remorse, and after tantrum tears, my role was of comforter initially. My son accepted the consequences, he was without x-box, i- pod, had kicked his soccer ball up onto a roof top so he hadn’t even that! .. oh  and his bike was also confiscated due to taking off on it without permission during the conflict / tantrum.

So… how does a young man cope, being stripped of technology and priveledges to visit friends etc???

There were moments of begging and unacceptance of consequences, but I thought it would be more intense to be honest … I knew it would be worth it in the end, and I held tough ( I also was very straight in my head that the previous behaviour not re -occur, so consequences HAD to be adherred to, and I was on duty to ensure that at whatever costs!)

I did make a list of the things that my 11 year old did with his time, instead of time he normally would be engaged in technology.

Note: I did not give him any suggestions here, he had to come up with things to do himself, and any hints of inappropriate behaviour or language / attitude toward anyone he knew he was facing longer without privaledges!!

heres the list!

  • He danced to a c.d
  • Coloured sugar skulls for halloween with dad
  • Did food shopping in the supermarket working from a list
    I wrote for him on request
  • Baked a cake from scratch without a recipe, and made chocolate sauce to go with it!
  • Made an obstacle course for his younger brother and sister
  • Cleaned and swept out the playroom
  • Made soup for the family
  • played hurling outside
  • Mastered the back handspring on the trampoline
  • Did a pros and cons list for the two choices of secondary school he will be going to next year
  • Read a book (Ripleys believe it or not)
  • Changed his mind and decided to dance in the hiphop performance on halloween after deciding not to do it previously
  • wrestled with his brother and sister for hours (hard on mum to listen to the mayhem!!)
  • Made a soccerball out of a balloon with a bit of water in it for weight!

We also found him

  • less aggressive
  •  improved language
  • calmer
  • relationship with brother and sister improved ( his sister was on a high that he was available to hang around with her)

Come halloween he got his bike back this week, and enjoyed an afternoon at the local skate park … his electronics are to be locked away for another week

*We are in negotiations with him now on incorporating the games and youtube time into his day.

He  is still looking to push boundaries all of the time, even whilst at the swimming pool he was repeatedly asking if he could go into the sauna and steam room after I explained it was for 16 year olds…. same with movies … always pushing for movies rated beyond his years. This, I figure is normal run of the mill stuff for someone his age.

So I have one more week to develop a plan moving forward!
For now, I have made a decision to put a timer on wifi to come on for a half an hour in our house. (found out how to do it through our internet provider) … otherwise I’m going to turn it off. After that I’m thinking  one hour on a devise of his choice (including t.v) with one day detox/break  with no devises.

Surley it won’t be that hard  for him, as he does have school, soccer, basketball, scouts, hiphop … but unscheduled time is important to have too, and I think its a struggle for young people to figure out how to entertain themselves without planned activities.

My son is a sensitive, creative, fun loving free spirit that is precious to us, and that is my motivation to keep him along the vein of not dulling his feelings/ character with gaming and internet abuse, and help him create balance in his world. Hopefully we can find a balance thats right for him, and that is in better alignment with how we want to be as a family!

Thanks so much for reading!

Lesson learned! Listen to to warning signs … not always easy I know. In this case, we hope by acting on this strongly moving forward we can teach our son balance in his life … a lesson he may find valuable later in life!

Anyone been through/ going through similar?

Here are some great guidelines to  to consider around internet wifi devices from a physical health perspective, its from mommypotomas


Christine x

life by design · lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings

The verdict is in for the courgette muffin…. ?/10

dun dun duuuuuuun!!!!! 
Could’ve been worse!!

It’s a no … To anything but muffins in muffin case

It’s a maybe …. To eating it like bread once we get over that it was in muffin case!

Saving grace?!!

My daughter had no probs …. Ate the  bread muffin for lunch and enjoyed it!

This is great because remember she doesn’t like brown bread in sandwiches so it will be terrific for me to add the wholemeal flour, seed  bread/muffin to her lunch 🙂

A happy accident

Scored me a five

…. Not bad ……. Worth the effort

My slashed muffin .... Into mini bread slices. Who on earth did I think I was?
My slashed muffin …. Into mini bread slices. Who on earth did I think I was?

….. All in a day of a Mum on a mission!

Next week: learn what to do with those crusts …. And voting time for kids on lunch stuff so far, the best and the worst …

I can take it!!!

…… Because I know I’ll have a bar of dark choc hid for after you ve all gone to bed 🙂

X Christine

Ps: this post is the sequel to courgette muffin post in case your scratching your head

life by design · lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings

Nervous mum! 

So ….. I went for the big one on my lunchbox challenge!!

….. The courgette savoury muffin

….. Except i went hardcore no white flour, baking powder, just goodness!

….. But will it be a line crossed?

… Will the kids come home and tell me there was kids gathered around their table shouting ewwwww!

I’m expecting the worse …. and hoping for the best!!!

I’m up for tweaking the recipe so it doesn’t look so much like a raw food vegan health market purchase ( heehee it wouldn’t qualify of course with the eggs)

I know it’s tasty by the look of it, but I served it in bun cases so I’m afraid there may be confusion …..

….. that it’s a healthy bread pretending to be a cup cake lol!!!

…. I should’ve just made it in a loaf tin !!!!!

Ah well,

Too late now!!!

It’s gone to the unjust biased audience of kids that show no mercy with their opinions!!!

I can’t wait for the feedback!

……as I nervously bite the tops of knuckles ……

Wish me luck!!!

Christine x

Ps: vegan health markets are actually my idea of a slice of heaven

life by design · lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

shopping list for school lunches

foodAfter a week of trial and errors, week 2 will be ….. probably the same lol!

variety …. the spice of life?! kids are real creatures of habit, start with what they do like and work from there!!

no … itll be a bit easier really. I’m learning …..

notes on my findings so far  ……have you checked out my 8 tips for healthy lunchbox?

I’m definately sending a hot option one day ( get your thermal lunch box in heatons)

…my eldest could probably do with a flask too as he loves soup!

I will stick to what worked last week … and experiment with a few options to add the week after! ( savoury muffins and crepes)

My lunchboxes are to the taste of my individual children … but like all kids, would gladly eat processed lunch snacks if they got them.

They are genuinely enjoying the fresh lunches, and give their opinions on what they liked/disliked.

My youngest still isnt eating a lot, but he’s only in school for a short while and finnishes his lunch box when he comes home!

If you fancy making changes, and following my guidelines, I’ve made a list of the foodstuffs to get in over the weekend to enable you to follow the week with me 🙂

Feedback from the kids is key …. its not for show, its for them to eat!!!

Small changes are beneficial…. they may be more willing to compromise on somethings and not others!!

… for example, my daughter doesnt like wholemeal bread…. the only way she ll eat it if its made into french toast!

…so I made her that for breakfast, and she took another slice in her lunchbox!….she loves when i put vanilla extract into the egg mix, and a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar on top!

I’m genuinely enjoying this …. inspired by my commitment to my role as food ambassador for Jamie Oliver alongside blogger oneyummymummy

I just truly believe offering kids a great relationship with food is goldust for life!!

I can see that prevention is better, simpler, easier on the pocket than consequences of not addressing how we feed ourselves, and habits are born young!!!! …..  best of luck to us all for next week!

Christine x

Shopping List

Bread wholemeal

For flapjacks

  • Oats
  • Honey
  • dark chocolate


For cheesy bites

  • cheese
  • sesame seeds

fruit …. apples, oranges, melon, berries

pasta wholemeal

good quality pesto ( we ll make our own another week!)



puff pastry roll ….( very easy snack … I’ll demonstrate next week)



tortilla wraps ( we ll have a go at homemade for next week)


Greek yogurt


carrots, peppers, celery, cucumber, baby tomatoes


orange juice, just to add to smoothie

grease proof paper for baking, and wrapping lunch stuff

**** note: I will be using leftovers for a cooked chicken (dinner from one night) … pasta sauce leftover …

Budget cost per child per day to send these lunches for school = .60c each per day