Friday, June 29, 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, June 28, 2012

Catching the Sun

As part of our Summer Solstice celebrations last week Reece and I spent one afternoon making a couple of sun catchers for the kitchen window. It was a fun and easy craft I know we will do again.

The night before I created a sun stencil and then cut out four suns. I also prepared some contact paper, cutting four circles the same size as the circle in the center of our suns and cut up some tissue paper.

It was such a lovely day when we did this craft that we decided to do it outside on the back!

I removed one side of paper from the contact paper and Reece got to creating his “stained glass” center. He really enjoyed this, even more so when he lifted it up and saw the finished circle.

I then handed over the glue and a paint brush and he got busy painting on the glue while I added the other circle of contact paper to the opposite side of the “stained glass”.

The “stained glass” went in the center, and the second sun on top, a little bit of pressure and voila we had our sun catchers.

To say he was impressed would be an understatement, he loved it!

Don’t they look lovely hanging in our kitchen window?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yarn Along

Well another hat is done! Four Christmas presents ready to go, and yes it does feel good. I am taking a break from Christmas knitting now and casting on some baby knits. I have quite a few friends expecting this fall and winter so some lovely knits will be most welcome during the long, cold, dark days of winter. I think I am going to try my hand at the Milo. I have seen it many times on Yarn Along and really love it. I have downloaded the pattern and now have to convince myself that I can knit in the round. I have tried a few times without much success.  Wish me luck!

On the reading front, I needed a little break from all the heavy reading I had been doing – Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature and doula reading, while both enjoyable, I just needed a little break. So last week when Reece and I went camping I brought along Up by Patricia Ellis Herr. It is a very easy, enjoyable read which I finished up on the weekend. It is the true story of a mother and her five year old daughter and their adventure climbing the forty eight highest peaks in New Hampshire. It was a delightful read and now I really want to visit New Hampshire.

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, June 26, 2012

Strawberry Season

Last year we were lucky enough to find a real gem – a chemical free pick your own berries farm. I can’t believe I hadn’t found this wonderful farm and farmer before. Last year we picked strawberries and raspberries and this year will be no different, except we will add blackberries to that list.

Last week as part of our summer solstice celebrations Reece and I hit the strawberry patch to pick, eat, pick and eat some more strawberries. We had a perfect weather day, sunshine, heat and a lovely breeze. I am not sure how many berries Reece picked actually went into the basket; every time I looked at him he was eating one. And let me tell you he really enjoyed them.

I am a huge fan of teaching our little ones where the food they are eating comes from and heading out to the farm, chatting with the farmer, picking our own berries and then coming home to eat them is one of the ways we can help Reece understand the amount of work, love, joy and passion that goes into the food we eat. 

I do wish I had a lovely strawberry recipe to share with you, but sadly, I don’t. Why? Simply because we like eating them straight up, as is. Why play with the perfection of Mother Nature? We did serve them up with a touch of vanilla cashew cream sauce and it paired just perfectly.

And before you ask, no, we did not eat all of those strawberries, most of them were washed, greens removed, frozen on cookie sheets and then transferred to freezer bags, ready for smoothies. Our stash from last year has just run out, here’s hoping this stash lasts as long.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Camping for the First Time

There was a time when Justin and I would pack up a couple of backpacks with everything we needed for a few days and hit the backwoods of Algonquin, hiking to parts unknown. We had some pretty wonderful adventures during our backpacking days and enjoyed them immensely. In the few years before we became parents we did some camping closer to home taking the dogs along with us. But in the last three and half years the tents and all of our camping gear has sat in our closet until last week...I decided it was time to take Reece camping. So we packed up the car, asked my niece to join us and the three of us were off.

He was a little excited when we arrived

Beautiful meadows surrounded us

Our site, there are two little ones playing in there

I chose to head out at this time mainly because school is still in which means the campground midweek would be very quiet, and it was. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. We had a great time, even when Mother Nature had plans to freak us out with thunder storms, not once but twice. We played, we hiked, we spent an afternoon at the beach and we had a ton of fun. 

Checking out the temperature

Playing in some of those puddles Mother Nature left behind

Gorgeous views at the top of our hike

Hiking down through more beauty

We found a friend

Beautiful and so peaceful

Fun at the beach

Reece and his cousin, Aubry. He really loves her.

Playing in the sand

I think it is safe to say camping will be a regular part of our future, Reece loved it and can't wait to camp again!


Linking up with Naturally Crafted Mama for {into nature}

Linking up with Happy Whimsical Hearts for Happy Family Times

Linking up with Coombe Mill for Country Kids

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mothering with Mindfulness Sponsor - Olive and Owl

Today I would like to welcome back one of my lovely sponsors KC Pagano. Last time KC from Little Homestead in the Desert was interviewed we chatted about her, her life and being a mom, this time we learn a little bit more about KC’s lovely Etsy shop Olive and Owl

Tell us a little about your lovely Etsy shop Olive and Owl.

I started this little shop back in 2010 after visiting my local fabric remnants shop.  This shop is incredible as you can find just about anything. My favourite section is the cotton solids. They have two isles with boxes on the tables and the boxes are piled so high you can’t see over them. I love to go there and dig and dig and dig.  You can find Anna Marie Horner, Joel Dewberry, Alexander Henry, Moda, Mona Luna, Lizzy House and the amazing stuff from last season or season before.  The only thing is they are all scraps. So you never know how much you can find. Many times you can only find a 1/4 of yard or even a 1/8. It’s with these small scraps that I started to make head scarves.  I wear them all the time and I thought, why don’t I sell some of these? From those the shop was born. 

What inspires your creations?

I’m really inspired by India, nature and other bohemian hippie creations. Oh and the desire to make toys for my kids.  I’m really into print making right now and so I’ve been trying it out on fabric and paper. 

Do you have secret to share about how you find the time to create with two busy little ones underfoot?

Creating with little ones is really hard. However I took some very good advice from Kathy of Bliss Beyond Naptime. I started taking 5- 10 minutes every few hours to work on something, even if that means having them there with me. So I often bring the girls into my sewing room and let them rifle through my scrap box. My oldest creates a nest from the scraps and hides away.  I also schedule me time at night before bed to do some sewing or other crafts which need concentration. For example stamp carving with sharp knives is always done after bedtime.

What are you currently creating?

Right now I’m working on creating blank note cards printed with veggie stamps that I have hand carved. I also have infant rag dolls waiting on my table to have their head attached to their bodies! 

What are you currently reading?

I’ve got so many books half open. I’ve always got some craft book open as well as some reference book. But I do love a good bit of fantasy so on the recommendation of a friend I started reading the series A Song of Fire and Ice.  I’m also reading Coming Home to Eat. It’s about a guy who tries eating only food within 100 miles of home.

What is your favourite spot in your home?

My favourite place in the house is my kitchen. Though it is total chaos sometimes it is the center of my creativity.  

What is your favourite time of day?
I love the early afternoon, after lunch because that’s when it’s the most quiet around here.  I also like that there is still time in the day to do more activities.

What is the highlight of your week?

I love Sunday mornings because that is when our farmers market is. We all get up early and go as a family. We walk and talk and eat lots of samples as well as stock up on yummy local veggies and tortillas for the week.

You have one hour to yourself, how do you spend it? 

One hour, that might be spent reading or making a stamp.

What is the dream at the top of your bucket list?

It used to be going to India, but I did that two years ago. Now it’s going to Japan to see the cherry trees blossom.

What is your favourite quote?  
Funny, I used to love quotes but I don’t have much time for them now! However one does come up often for me that my mother in-law always says “Ci vuole pazienza”, which means “it takes patience” in Italian.  Parenting surely does take patience and it has become a mantra for me.

You can connect with KC a few ways:

Her blog


KC is generously offering one Mothering with Mindfulness 
reader a set of her lovely veggie stamped note cards.

To enter today’s giveaway, leave a comment below.

For an additional entry add Olive and Owl to your Etsy favourites.

Be sure to come back and leave a comment that you did so.

Giveaway is open until Thursday June 28 at 7pm.

I will draw a winner after this time and announce in this post.

Thanks so much KC!

And the winner is:
Comment #6 from cpcable
"Love KC and her shop is so lovely! My favorite are the Om bodysuits. :)"


Friday, June 22, 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.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Although it feels like summer is here, it actually officially arrives on Wednesday this week, at 7:09pm. I had my thinking cap on early this year making some plans to celebrate the solstice and what began as a few ideas to celebrate has turned into a week of festivities.

Here’s a peak at how we are planning to celebrate the solstice:

We actually began our celebrations on Saturday when I had the amazing opportunity to attend an herbalism workshop. I studied herbal medicine in nutrition school, but never really took it to the next level and put it into practice, so this was the perfect opportunity to refresh everything and discover the amazing herbs right under my nose. It was a wonderful day, with wonderful people and together we discovered the amazing gifts Mother Nature grows for us. There was wild ginger, burdock, red clover, white clover, mallow, yarrow, wild bergamot, goldenrod, red raspberry leaf, plantain, catnip and jewel weed. Yes we found all of that growing right along the hiking trails we visit during Oaks and Acorns every Friday. It was amazing! After hiking we gathered together to make an herbal infusion with comfrey and a herbal tincture with lemon balm. So much fun!

This wonderful day was followed by a community potluck. This is the third potluck this new community has hosted and each time it is more amazing than the last. Some new faces this time, and some old friends. We caught frogs in the pond with the kids, we played games, we had a clothing swap, we sang songs, we shared the things we were grateful for in a gratitude circle, we enjoyed delicious food and we continued to form a foundation for the community that is being built. It was truly an amazing evening and I left feeling grateful for this community and the opportunity to be a part of it.

So that began our week of celebrations, here’s how the rest of the week will play out, I hope.

First thing Monday morning Reece, my niece Aubry and I are heading out for his very first camping trip. We are heading to a lovely spot, Balsam Lake, for three days of camping, hiking, exploring and fun. Reece is super excited, and I am too.

When we return on Wednesday I will be off to Coyote Guide Club for our last official meeting. While we have a little bit of discussion to determine where our club will go from here, we have plans to ring in summer with some listening to bird language and little sit spot time. I am looking forward to welcoming summer with these wonderful and inspiring people.

Thursday morning Reece and I are hitting the strawberry patch.  We will pick, pick and then pick some more, bringing home lots of those delicious red berries to make jam and stock the freezer. We are actually still eating strawberries from last June; we have about a cup left in the freezer. It is perfect timing to go and pick some more.

Friday morning will see us doing arts and crafts creating sun catchers to hang in our windows.  And then to round out the week, on Saturday a trip to the market, a family hike and a picnic.

Summer we are so happy you are here and can’t wait to celebrate with you all week long.

How are you celebrating the summer solstice this year?


I will be offline for the next few days, but will be returning to 
announce the winner of this giveaway on Thursday. 

Have a lovely week and Happy Summer Solstice!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Dad, you have always been there. Your support, love and unending belief in 
everything I do is amazing and fills my heart with love and my soul with joy. 
You are an amazing dad and an amazing papa.

Happy Father's Day and Happy Birthday!!!


Justin, you are an amazing father to our little man. 
The pure joy that radiates from his being when he is with you is amazing. 
Thank you for being who you are and taking such care in your role as a dad. 

I love you.

And to all the dads out there, wishing you a day filled with love and happiness. 

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mothering with Mindfulness Sponsor - Old Gates Farm

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my June sponsors Kris Jacoby-Stevenson of Old Gates Farm.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I am a mama of three little boys and a farmer’s wife who loves family and friends, cooking a homegrown meal, a walk in the woods, a good cup of coffee, and a great knitting project.

Tell us a little bit about the history of Old Gates Farm.

Our farm is known locally as the old “Gates Farm”.  It was in the Gates family for over 80 years.  When we moved here, we had many neighbors stopping by to tell us about the Gates family—their sheep, fields of gladiolas and strawberries, handmade furniture and instruments—they sounded like wonderful homesteaders.  We loved hearing about the old “Gates Farm” so much that we decided it was the perfect name for our farm.

What does a day at Old Gates Farm look like for you and your family?

Busy-ness!  J  We have a standard schedule of farm chores, homeschooling and housework, but we also have seasonal family work like maple sugaring, planting, harvesting, canning and soon, farmers’ markets!  Our days are filled with the simple, varied jobs of running a home and farmstead.

You have a lovely Etsy shop; tell us about some of the things you create. What inspires you?

Two of my favorite hobbies are knitting and photography.  Etsy has been a fun way for me to share what I love to do!  I’m very inspired by my surroundings—the farm and the wonderful area where we live!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading this book by Gene Logsdon. 

What are you currently creating?

I have several projects on my needles…socks, a baby hat and sunhat.  And, as usual, I’m busy making soap!

Favourite spot in your home is...

My pantry 

Favourite time of day is...

Early Morning

Highlight of your week is...

I love Saturdays—a break from the routine of the rest of the week.  The boys and I love to ride bikes on the rail-trail near our home, go for a hike or visit with friends!

You have one hour to yourself, you spend it...

With knitting and coffee

Dream at the top of your bucket list is...

I have to say that I don’t have one!  I really enjoy finding happiness in the simple moments every day.  My boys would say a visit to the redwoods would be at the top, though! J

Your favourite quote is...

"For you are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By you I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of you" Psalm 71:5-8

Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself with us. It was wonderful getting to know you a little better Kris.

You can connect with Kris and Old Gates Farm a few ways:


Kris has generously offered up one 1lb bag of their five grain cereal mix
 to one lucky Mothering with Mindfulness reader. 

To enter today's giveaway, leave a comment , one per person, below. 

If you would like an extra entry, hop on over to Old Gates Farm Etsy shop and add it to your favourites.

Be sure to come back and leave a comment that you did so.

Giveaway is open until Thursday June 21, 2012 at 7pm. 

I will draw a winner after this time and announce it in this post.

Thanks so much Kris!

And the winner is:

Comment #3 from Blue Star Vermont
"What a treat to see a fellow Vermonter! Your Etsy shop is beautiful, 
and your cereal looks terrific. I was so pleased to see there is no wheat in it."


Friday, June 15, 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.

A little cheating this week, this moment is from June 15, 1968. 
A moment that began a wonderful journey for my parents. 
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! 
Love you!