Monday, December 30, 2013

Advent Garden: Light of Love and People

I'm a little late in posting this, but last week was the week of love and people, completing our Advent garden. We added a small wooden nativity and lit the last candle. Panda made his first few donations to charity and the week was spent with beautiful family and friends. There was a lot of love and light to be shared with my wonderful in laws. It was a beautiful Christmas and I would love to post more, but Bear is currently holding a miserable little Panda in horrible teething pain crying out for his mum. So that being said, I wish you all a beautiful new year. Hopefully once these teeth pop through I will be able to get back and visit you all (that is why I have been MIA), but for now we are in full fledged teething mode. Wish us luck. Be well and have a blessed New Year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent Garden: Light of Joy and Animals

 I'm a little late, but here is our Advent garden for this week. This is the week of Joy. " Behold I bring you glad tidings of great Joy which shall be to all people." This is also the week of animals. We added a hedgehog, a fox, a wolf, a trumpeter swan, a chickadee, a cardinal, and a blue jay to our advent garden.
 Then we set out to Swan Park. This park is the home to approximately 1500 trumpeter swans ever year between November and March. The sight and the noise can only be described as incredible!
Then it was off to the Feed Store from my youth to pick up some corn for the ducks. This feed store has oh  so many varieties of chickens (oh how I wish we could have chickens).
The ducks flock by the thousands to the Mississippi and Rum every winter because they rarely freeze over. It is an annual tradition of ours to go and feed them every winter, but this year we had to hunt for them because BOTH rivers FROZE OVER! We found them near the waterfall (dam) and were able to feed them down below from an observation deck. Not quite the same as having them mill around your feet, but as close as we could get.
 I think Panda has really been enjoying this week. All children are incredibly attuned to the animal kingdom. We've put out several treats for the rabbits, deer, squirrels, and birds, and a few trips to the dog park are in order, but this quiet slower way to celebrate seems to be just our speed. Have a blessed day wherever you are and whatever season you are in, be well. 
 P.S. Don't forget my giveaway. You Have till New Years Eve to enter for a chance to adopt these three birds. Click on the picture for more details. 
P.P.S. Here is a short clip of Swan Park. Enjoy!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Miniature Felt Bird Giveaway!

 This week is the week of Joy and a time to celebrate the light of animals. For our Advent garden  this week I wanted to make some birds and during a particularly bad Ehlers flair up this past weekend resulting in a sleepless night... I made some. Not to shabby for a sleepless night. Hopefully this will be a reminder for someone that you can always turn something bad into something good (or in this case, felt) if you just open yourself up to the possibilities..They are stuffed with wool and the details are done with a mixture of really bad embroidery and paint after giving up on said embroidery (lol).
  A cardinal, a chickadee, and a blue jay, three of the more common winter birds of Minnesota that I would like to give away. A tiny bit of my home to you. You don't have to start following me or spread the word on your blog (but it would be nice if you did). Just leave a comment and I will put your name errr number in a random number generator on the first of the new year. The winner will be posted on the first of 2014 and will have one week to contact me (I'll do my best to notify you, but sometimes Email addresses are hidden). I just thought it would be neat to have something quiet and fun to look forward to after the holidays. Good luck, and Be well.
Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you everyone who left comments. Congratulations #2, Mrs. Bartos!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advent Garden: Light of Peace and Plants

 This week we lit the candle of Peace in our Advent garden. I told Panda in a hushed voice, "The Prince is coming to bring us Peace". We also added pine clippings, red dogwood twigs, birch logs, and pinecones to celebrate the plant kingdom.With it so cold and blustery outside I was not sure at first what to do to celebrate the Plant Kingdom with Panda this week. Then....
 I thought of the Como Conservatory! Outside it might be frigid in our wintery Minnesotan way..
But inside it is lush and warm. 
 At this time of year there are many beautiful poinsettias set up for Christmas.
 I had to put this picture of Panda and his Grandpapa in. 
 And Many, Oh so many varieties of beautiful flowers.
It was a good and beautiful day.
Be well.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Saint Nicholas and Weekend Recap

Panda's first Saint Nicholas Day was magical. I finished his stocking (a tradition started by my Great grandmother) and his first ornament on time.
We crept down stairs early in the morning. The tree was already lit. Panda was in awe of the sparkles of the sequins on his stocking. He received a wood rattle made of cherry and walnut wood and an apple and pear; they were later purred up for him to eat. Yummy. (the apple and pear, not the rattle ;)

Here is Panda's first ornament. I made it to match ones I made for Bear and I a few years ago.
Saturday we visited a local historical homesteading farm that was decked out for a Norwegian Christmas. There Panda met a Saint Nicholas actor. I'm not quite sure what Panda thought about him but I was so excited I nearly burst. I grew up with Saint Nicholas instead of Santa so seeing someone dressed as him was quite a treat. He looked just like the picture we have in our kitchen!
Sunday we decided to take Panda on his first "Sleigh ride". We even picked up some bells to hang from our belts to make a jingly sound for him. He was so excited that he laughed and shrieked till it was time to come in. We took Panda to the lake to see the ice and sun warmed rocks. I let him play with various crystals, rocks, and seashells.There was also a lot of water play. I even gave him a big bowl of snow to play with inside (that was a huge hit).
 (this is a close up of our mantel. I love it this year!) It was a wonderful weekend. I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well. Please leave a comment and let me know how your weekend was.I love hearing from you. Be Well.

Hair Journey: Week 4

Week 4. I'm posting this a little late, but things have been kind of crazy. Panda has been extra clingy and I have not been able to get a chance to blog lately. The color of my hair is off in this picture but I think the orange of our wood was playing tricks with my camera. Oh well. You can, however, see that my hair is still a little greasy but the itchiness is gone. I wash my hair about every two days with my honey mixture. I take a shower everyday and just wash it through with water on days I don't use my honey. I think my hair is still adjusting. I have heard that it can take some people longer than one month to adjust. The braid in the picture is not my real hair. It is an extension that I had matched to my real hair color from a wonderful Etsy store called Puppycatmeow. I love them. Till my hair regrows from my tragic hacking this will do. The beautiful barrette was a gift from a 13 year old neighbor of mine. I love it, it's beautiful and I know how hard she worked on it. It might just be my new favorite hair toy. One moth of no shampoo. I think we will stick with it, but this next month I think I will try some of those apple cider vinegar rinses. Be well. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Card Lacing Stocking

 Saint Nicholas Day is Friday and I have a tradition of giving small stockings to some children in my neighborhood every year. This year I decided to make paper stockings (mostly because I had all the supplies on hand) but this would make a fun lacing craft for younger children.
First trace a stocking shape out on red construction paper or card stock ( I free handed this stocking, but there are several templates on google). Then cut out two stockings (this way when you are done you will have a pocket.. Next cut a small rectangle of white paper to make a cuff at the top of your stocking and glue it down.
Take a hole punch and punch holes along the outside edge. Using a tapestry/plastic canvas needle and some white yarn sew through the holes. Tie off and decorate with whatever you like. I happened to have some snowflake stickers on hand. The white cuff makes a great place to write names. I might just file this away for when Panda is a little older. I can just imagine him sewing them all together and then making a garland to go over our fireplace. I can also see him making ornaments using the same supplies and different templates. I hope this was inspiring. Have a blessed day and be well. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent Garden: Light of Hope and Stones

 This is the first day of Advent. In Waldorf circles this week is the week to celebrate the light of stones. In the Christian advent this week's candle represents 'Hope'. This year our Advent garden will be a mishmash of the two. Since Panda is so young we are keeping things very simple. He is starting to show interest in the Advent garden (replacing our nature table for this month); so every day I try to set aside a time when he can touch everything on the table supervised and I chat at him about the different items. This week I pulled out various crystals, rocks, a salt lamp (for the candle), and our Hope ornament. Then we went for a drive around the lakes to see the sun sparkling off the ice and warming the rocks along the shore. It seemed an age appropriate way to introduce minerals to a 7 month old.
Panda's first Advent was also his first time in a church. I have been searching for a new church for quite some time.. This being the week of Hope is not a time to look back on what I left, but forward to this wonderful church which we found. Everyone is truly welcome and children were met with smiles and laughter everywhere I turned. Two children lit the Advent Wreath and every week the pastor calls the children forward for a special "Children's Time" before the sermon. Children were welcome anywhere in the church and not once did I see a disapproving ' control your child" look on any one's face. Panda became fussy and so we left the sanctuary. Three people came to find me at separate intervals (one of those people being the Pastor's wife) to tell me that they did not mind fussy children and that we were welcome to bring him back in... Wow! Just Wow. How very different than what I grew up with. We may have found a new place to fit in. A place where Panda can continue to be raised in a community of love, warmth, and light. So it is with Hope for a great many things that we start this season of love. Be well.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Upcycled Onesie : or How to keep an infant's shirt tucked in

 I bought this onesie at a thrift store for $0.65. I knew it would be to small by the time Thanksgiving rolled around but it was to cute to pass by and at $0.65 you just don't argue. This shows how I upcycled it to fit for Thanksgiving. This works on onesies and is also a great way to keep infant shirts "tucked" in.
 1. Find a onesie that is the same width as the shirt or onesie you want to upcycle.
2. Cut the onesies in half (cut lower on the one you are upcycling and higher on the one you are adding to add more or less length).
3. Turn both onesies inside out and pin together.
4. Sew.
5. Turn right-side-in and you are done.
Tips: This works better for short sleeves, but you can make sleeves longer by adding extra fabric for cuffs or use an alternate color fabric and sew a band in the middle of the sleeves. You can cut the long sleeves short, or do what we did and just push them up a little. This is a wonderful way to make an oh so cute outfit last a tiny bit longer. We hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving. Be well and have fun!

Hair Journey: Week Three

Week three, I caved and used shampoo because my sister was in town and I wanted my hair to be "nice". Bad bad bad bad bad move!! After not using shampoo for three weeks and then using it my hair was instantly duller, staticy, dry, and just plain unmanageable. Ughhh. The good news is that I don't think my previous work was undone by this one washing. It seems to have gone back to the way it was before. Bear has made numerous comments about how healthier it looks and feels. He has also commented that he loves the way it smells, hopefully that will help to dispel the funky, musty hair smell myth that nopooers get. My resolve to stay shampoo free has only strengthened. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I have no desire to go back to the poo. Be well and have fun!

Friday, November 22, 2013

This Moment

"A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 

Bear playing raging bull fighter with Panda. I don't have photos but two things I want to savor this week are that Panda got his first tooth and he stood up unassisted for the first time. Be well and have fun!
P.S. Don't mind the mess, we were in the middle of baking day.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hair Journey: Week 2

Two weeks in and no shampoo. I was tempted this week to grab the shampoo bottle once, but only because I did not want to make up my honey mixture and the shampoo was there starring me in the face. It took me less than a minute to mix up my honey serum and I did not cave. Bear says that my hair is already looking longer, seeing that it is only likely to have gained a fourth on an inch since it was hacked I believe this to be man speak for "it looks healthier". It does look and feel fuller and softer. Oil is still a problem but my hair is not slicked to my head and really I'm the only one who can tell its oilyer than normal. There is also a slight toothpaste stickyness to my hair. I am still in the adjustment period so I will stick it out. I have considered some apple cider vinigar rinses, but am steering clear of the baking soda mixtures. I've read that they can break your hair down over time. I also purchased a 100% silk pillowcase. It was a tad pricy but I have noticed that my hair IS less tangled in the morning. It is supposed to help prevent breakage. Till next week, be well and have fun!

Friday, November 15, 2013

This Moment and Hair Journey: Week 1

"A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 
HairJourney: Week 1
I have been shampoo free for one week. The first few days my scalp itched like crazy. I was able to calm the itch a little by adding more tea tree oil to my honey hair wash. My hair was staticky and oily those first few days as well, but both have surprisingly gone down. I thought it would take at least a month to adjust. My hair looks and feels fuller, it even has that healthy highlighted sheen that only children seem to be naturally blessed with. My fading red seems to have been given a boost and is even looking closer to the blazing glory it was in my youth as well. Week 1 and not missing the poo. Hehehe.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby Sensory Beanbags

 Panda loved the Scented Thanksgiving pillows I made the other day. They were a new texture, a yummy smell, and just the right size for his tiny hands. That gave me an idea; so yesterday I made him several bean bags filled with different sensory items. 
First I picked out several different fabrics from my scrap bin and cut them into 4" squares. I tried to choose different textures and patterns as well as colors. Next I sewed them into little pillows (leaving the bottom open for stuffing). Then I stuffed them with scrap fabric and an added a sensory item:

Red upholstery fabric + Dog toy squeaker
Green mushroom print flannel + Dried lavender buds
Thick tan striped trouser cotton + Homemade egg shaker (described in next step)
Yellow felt + Crinkly cellophane
Cranberry velor with gold embroidery + Jingle bells
Burlap + Cinnamon twigs (because Panda loved the Thanksgiving ones so much)
Red starry fleece + Fiberfill (because things don't always have to "do" something)
Denim + Rattle

 To make the egg shaker bean bag I put some rice in a small tin and sealed it shut with some duct tape (left over zebra duct tape from Ehlers Danlos awareness projects). Yup, that simple. After they were stuffed I sewed the pillows closed and placed them in a basket for Panda to find.
I was able to make these all with things I already had on hand. Panda loves them and has played with them pretty much constantly since he got them yesterday. I want to make a knitted square and possibly a vinyl square for a total of 10. Then we can use them for counting games when he is older. This would make such a great gift  that I had to post it. Sight, scent, touch, taste, and sound, all covered by these little bean bags. I hope this inspires you. Be well and Have fun!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cinnamon Scented Pillows

One of the scents I love best is cinnamon.  I have bowls of cinnamon scented pinecones in every room and closet, but I wanted a different look (and Bear has threatened to throw out my pinecones if he gets hit in the head with another basket of pinecones in the closet again) and so I whipped up this yummy batch of cinnamon scented pillows.
 I used a cinnamon broom from Trader Joe's, Burlap, and Autumn colored felt for this project.
I cut the burlap into 5X5" squares. Then I cut out felt letters and sewed them on (I wish I had left them like this, but I later outlined them in black fabric paint to make them stand out more; they camouflaged with the bricks of my fireplace pre paint). Then I sewed The squares into pillows and stuffed them with fabric scraps and chopped up cinnamon broom ( I used garden clippers for that part). My little pillows were meant for the mantle but look great in a basket and on the back of my sofa, The room smells wonderful. I might need to make another set for Christmas. 
I hope you like this project. Be well and Have fun!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hair Journey: First Step

Our amazing family photo by Ri Photography. Thank you!
Today I start my hair journey. All my life I have had extraordinarily thin breakable hair. 6 months after having my son it is now worse than ever. Clumps are falling out leaving quarter sized bald spots all over my head Starting at my temples and working around to the back it has all broken off leaving a two inch long pathetic mane around my head. After spending a few weeks looking like a cat with mange I decided to cut my hair up to chin length. I loved my long hair but something had to be done before someone called animal control.
Today I went no poo. In place of shampoo I am using a mixture of 1 tsp Raw Honey, 3 tbsp filtered water, 2 drops ginger oil, and 1 drop tea tree oil. 
I plan on experimenting with apple cider vinegar rinses, carrot seed oil, ginger hair treatments and coco butter along with an assortment of other things on this journey towards healthier hair. It is my plan (child allowing) to check in every week and write about what I have tried and how things are going. 
With that let the hair journey begin. Advice, recipes, tips,and encouragements are more than welcome. Be well and have fun!

Friday, November 1, 2013

These Moments

"A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 
I could not resist, so Here is a video of Panda singing in the sunrise as well. Be well and Have fun!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Food Jar Pumpkins : Remake

 I saw some adorable painted jack o lanterns made out of baby food jars on Pinterest, but I just did not have time to paint them this year. This is my happy alternative. It's incredibly fast and easy. I whipped this batch up for some sweet neighborhood children in under 5 minutes.
 You will need baby food jars, paper, glue, pipe cleaners, and a marker. 
1. Cut a strip of orange paper to fit around the jar and glue it down (I used hot glue to make this go faster). 
2. Cut a circle of orange paper to fit on top of the lid and glue it down.
 For the stem,
3. make a little curl at the end of a pipe cleaner (this curl you will use to glue down on the jar lid). 
4. bend the pipecleaner at the height you want the stem to be.
5. Curl the left over pipe cleaner around a pencil and glue to the top of the lid.
 6. cut a leaf shape.
7. cut or punch a tiny hole in one side and slip it over the stem. (fold the leaves in half the long way and write the names of the recipients on them)
8. Draw a cute Jack o Lantern face on your pumpkin
9. Fill and they are ready to give to your favorite little pumpkins (wink)
I filled these little jars with a mixture of pumpkin seeds, mini dairy free chocolate chips, tart dried cherries, and candy corn (Jelly Belly has GF candy corn). 
Happy Halloween every one. Be safe and Have fun!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Halloween!

"A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 
"Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We dare n't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather!"

William Allingham (1824-1889)

Friday, October 4, 2013

This Moment

 "A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 
Happy Birthday Sis.