Monday, April 30, 2012

A Secret Garden

While Reece was busy last week helping his dad put up a bird feeder, I was busy preparing a little secret garden for Reece. Last year when we created his natural playspace I knew I wanted him to have a little secret garden where he could go, hide out and chill. I thought last year he might be a little young for the whole concept, so I decided to tuck it away in my head until this year. I kept it simple for now, a little paved area with some rocks, a log, a flower box (which he will plant next month) and a windchime hanging in the trees.  Anything else that gets added will be because Reece wants it in his special place.

As soon as the trees grow in it will be a very secret garden.

Just as I finished the secret garden he came running back to see what I was doing, appartantly me carrying rocks back there got his attention. He was so happy when he saw it  and immediately went in, sat down and looked around with a huge grin on his face. Yes, it was a definite melt your heart moment.

Since that moment he has invited his dad in to play, and added another log for visitors to sit on. He is enjoying his secret garden which makes this mama really happy.


Linking up with Naturally Crafted Mama for {into nature}

Linking up with Happy Whimsical Hearts for Happy Family Times

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mama Robin

Last week I shared this with you,

a little bit of the magic that is happening around our home lately.

Well, there she is.

Yup, that is mama robin.

And guess what she has in her little nest...

So now we wait patiently, from afar, to hear the little sounds of baby robins.

Reece is so excited!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mothering with Mindfulness Sponsor - Cubit's Organic Living

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my April sponsors Laura Watt of Cubit's Organic Living

Tell us a little about yourself and Cubits Organics.

Cubit’s Organics is an organic seed company located in the East End of Toronto Ontario. Specializing in high quality organic, rare and heirloom seeds, we believe that everyone can sustainably grow their own healthy and delicious organic produce in their urban environments. 

Building on many years of urban gardening experience, Cubit’s Organics is owned and operated by Laura Watt. She is joined by her husband Ryan who does most of the design and photo tech. In addition to being our mascot, Hazel the husky-retriever cross helps by digging the occasion hole in the garden and by helping herself to the carrots. 

In addition to growing our own food and growing our company, we are growing their family with the arrival of little Rebecca who is now 2 years old and two bad kittens.

Things are pretty busy at Cubit’s Organics this time of year, how do you balance work with family life?

This time of year is extremely busy for us.  We work as a family to keep things moving smoothly and if certain tasks, like folding the laundry don't get done, we simply move on.  Working from home gives you great flexibility but in return you must be flexible to deal with life and business' ebbs and flows.  I am not a big fan of the idea of "balance" and instead we consider if everyone's needs are being met and focus on making things as low stress as possible. 

If you could share one bit of advice about starting up your own business what would it be?

Starting your own business is a leap that some people just have to take.  We started very small with very little risk and plan for slow and steady growth while our family is young.  

I see from your blog you have just purchased 14 acres of farm land and an English style Loyalist barn in Prince Edward County, Ontario, that is really amazing. What are you plans for this wonderful and inspiring purchase?

Our next big step in this growth is to expand our growing operations. In the past we have used a series of Urban yards to grow our seeds and test gardens and we are out growing that model.  We are currently in the process of purchasing 14 acres of farm land a short distant from Toronto, where we live.  This year we will plant our first round of heirloom tomatoes for seed at the farm in Prince Edward County as well as our regular circuit of city gardens.

You have a free day, no plans, what do you do with it?

A day with nothing planned is an impossible occurrence around here.  My husband and I are always working on a project. There is always something to do, most of it quite enjoyable. Currently I'd like a whole afternoon of weeding my own garden and have a feeling my two year old daughter will be happy to join me.

Any tips for new gardeners out there?

This best advice I have for new gardeners is to simply grow what you and your family want to eat. Start out small and add new varieties every year.  Sometimes plants just die, learn from the experience and move on.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself and Cubit's Organic Living with us. It was wonderful getting to know you a little better Laura.

You can connect with Laura and Cubit's Organic Living a few ways:

Friday, April 27, 2012

{This Moment}

{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.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Summer weather is coming and that means popsicle season. But not just any popsicles, homemade, delicious, healthy popsicles.  Both Justin and Reece love popsicles, I could take them or leave them. I often make them up for the two of them to enjoy as they play in the yard on a hot summer afternoon.

Here are two of their favourites:

Strawberry Banana Popsicles
4 large strawberries
1 medium banana
6oz nettle tea, steeped for 5 to 10 minutes
1tbsp lecithin (helps make it creamy)

Put all of the above in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into molds and freeze.  A few hours later and they are ready for you, oops I mean your toddler to enjoy.

You may be wondering why I used nettle tea.  Well of course it was to increase the nutrients in these oh so yummy popsicles.  Why use water when I can punch up the nutrition with nettle tea.  Nettles are nutrient gang busters providing us with chlorophyll, vitamins A, C, D and K and minerals calcium, iron and potassium.  Need I say more?

Chocolate Popsicles
1 avocado, peeled and pit removed
1 banana
6 tbsp coconut milk
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp almond butter

In a food processor, blend the avocado and banana until smooth. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, cocoa powder and almond butter, blend until well mixed. You can taste test now to see if you would like to increase the sweetness with a little more maple syrup. You may also wish to add a little more coconut milk if it seems a little thick.

Once you have perfected it to pass your taste bud test, fill your popsicle molds and freeze for a couple of hours.

What popsicle recipes are a hit in your home?


And because I know you will ask...those lovely popsicle molds I bought two summers ago from one of my lovely sponsors this month Nayla Natural Care. They were a little tough for Reece to use the first summer, but last year, he got the hang of them no problem at all.  

And just a little reminder, Nayla Natural Care is generously offering Mothering with Mindfulness readers a 10% discount until April 30 with the code mwm412.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yarn Along

It has been a busy week in our home, which means knitting has taken place in the car and in little drips and drabs when a moment of time opens up in my day, which doesn't happen very often. Luckily this project is easy to pick up and put down. 

Working away on this lovely little ribbed hat for my niece for Christmas, I know the colour will be great for her and I am sure it will see many lovely days enjoying the winter weather.

On the reading front, I am waiting for a few doula books to arrive in the mail, so I have been rereading some of the Coyote’s Guide toConnecting with Nature.  I have been asked to start a Coyote Guide Club in my area and am very much looking forward to sharing my love of nature with others.  The club will be based on the mentoring principles of the book, which we will put into action each time we meet. I have a little bit of work to do to plan the program, and one of those things is gaining a good understanding of the mentoring principles.

What are you knitting and reading this week?


Linking up with Nicole over at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On

Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things for Yarn Along.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mindful Mothering

Mindful: bearing in mind; attentive to

 Mindfulness: the trait of staying aware of (paying close attention to) your responsibilities

If ever two words were meant to go together Mothering and Mindfulness are it. For me mothering has brought about many personal challenges, changes and growth. It has offered me more than I ever could have imagined, and one of those is a more mindful approach to life, and in turn mothering.

Mindfulness brings us into each and every moment, ready to experience life in the here and now. Since becoming a mother I have found simple joy in many of life’s daily tasks by simply being present and giving my full attention to what I am doing. It could be cooking dinner, doing the dishes, folding laundry or sitting here writing a blog post. I am present to the task at hand.

This mindfulness has brought about changes in our home. First of all, I have changed my work schedule to accommodate the fact that when Reece is up and about I cannot be mindful about my work. It is just too hard. He wants me, as he should and my mind is not focused on anything except frustration.  It has mostly been this way since I became a mom, but every once in a while I would try to sneak in some work, you know when he was playing quietly, I would sneak over and try to answer a few emails, write a quick post or work on a protocol. But every time, he would come over shortly after and jump up on my lap. Giving my full attention to Reece was just not possible when I was trying to give attention to work. So, work now gets done in the morning before he wakes up, and then later in the evening after he goes to bed.  There are some afternoons when Reece and Justin get up to some fun outside and I head over to my little space to do some work, but that doesn’t happen often. The result, during the day I am in the moment with Reece, following him on his journey, learning alongside him about the world. By night, I write, answer emails, blog, read other blogs, work on client protocols, study, knit, read, and sew and so on.

Mindfulness has deepened my connection with nature, as many of you are aware. I have always craved time in nature and enjoyed how being in nature makes me feel, but I never truly appreciated it until I become mindful.  When Reece and I head into the forest, when we go for a hike, when we walk up the road or when we play in the yard I notice things I didn’t notice before. Animal prints, plants that have been trampled, fungus growing in odd places, the sound of the birds, the scamper of tiny animal feet, the way the wood peckers have created holes in the trees, the wood chips left from the porcupine who has been up in the tree and so on.  I am more aware and present and I can’t tell you how much that changes a walk in the woods for both Reece and I.

Mindfulness has created in me knowledge that this present moment is only temporary. The next moment is coming and it can and will be completely different. We all know mothering is not all happy moments and cuddles, there are moments that challenge us to our core, moments which force us to look deep to find the calm, but by being mindful, by being here in the present, even when it is tough, I have come to realize I can get through it, I can allow these moments to happen and then fade away, ready for the next moment to occur.

Mindfulness has changed my life, both as mother and as an individual. It has brought me here, to this share, to learn, to grow. This space is my mindful journey with Reece. Each time I come here to share, I am reminded how both mothering and mindfulness have changed my life. 

And for that, I am grateful.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrating Mama Earth

For us, every day is earth day, but on April 22 we take time to celebrate Mama Earth as a family in a few special ways.

We started our day singing our Good Morning song. We were introduced to this song at Oaks and Acorns and we really love it. 

Good Morning
Good morning earth
Good morning sun
Good morning trees
And the flowers underneath
Good morning bees
And the birds in the trees
Good morning you
Good morning me

We thought it was the perfect song to start a day of celebrating Mama Earth.  From there we headed straight outside to take a deep breath and soak up the fresh cool morning.

After breakfast (local eggs, homemade bagels and smoothies) we grabbed paper and pen to draft our little promise note to Mama Earth. This is a family list of a few things we will work on this year to show our appreciation and gratitude for all the beauty that surrounds us.

Here’s our list:
  • Take time each week to pick up some of the garbage on the roads we walk daily.
  • Add to our current rain barrels, we have some around the house, but really need to get the garage done.
  • Put up a new clothes line. Ours didn’t make it through the winter, it was quite a few years old and we kind of figured it was on its way out, so a new one should be up by the end of the week.
  • Reconfigure our compost bin set up so it is a more efficient process.

We then headed out to begin working on our first promise, to pick up some garbage from the quiet country roads we live on. It truly amazes me how much garbage collects out here in the country. I have never quite figured out why people think a country road is their garbage can. Reece keep asking "why so much garbage?" So wish I didn't have to answer that question. We gathered up a large bag of garbage, mostly beer cans, pop cans, water bottles and lots of food containers.  We are quite pleased with how much better it looked when we were finished. Let’s hope it stays that way, and if not we will be back next week to pick up some more.

It was then time to work on a little project to feed our little friends the birds. Justin and Reece got to work building a little bird feeder to hang in our yard.

After lunch, we headed over to one of our favourite outdoor spots, Lynde Shore Conservation Area. This is a lovely little spot with hiking trails which take you right down to Lake Ontario.  The best part though is feeding the birds and the chipmunks...they come right up and feed out of your hand. 

A little stop for tea and then home for dinner, vegetarian of course, with our usual dinner time blessing.

We finished our day as it began, by going outside before bed and breathing in a deep, grateful breath of fresh air.

Happy Earth Day!!! We love and appreciate you, Mama Earth.

How did you celebrate and give thanks to Mama Earth?


Linking up with Naturally Crafted Mama for {into nature}

Linking up with Happy Whimsical Hearts for Happy Family Times