Friday, January 31, 2014

{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, January 30, 2014

Make and Listen


~ Valentine's Day gnomes, a custom order for a friend

~ seasonal nature table gnomes...spring, summer, autumn and winter, a custom order for a friend

~ the back of the summer gnome

~ Valentine's Day gnomes, a little surprise for my little man and his little friend that joins us in our homeschooling adventures

~ my current knitting project, a shawl

~ little hands were busy making snow crystals this week, as well as a ton of paper snowflakes


~ the sound of the birds outside our kitchen window is making us smile these days

~ Diana Krall often joins me in the kitchen during meal prep

~ Sunday mornings are all about back in the day on the radio, how I love hearing the music of my youth

Joining Dawn

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Simple Pleasures

There has been an unintentional theme to the first month of this year...simple pleasures. I have found myself, as I fall asleep at night, going over my days and in them I am finding little bits of magic. Little things that make me smile, warm my heart and add a little joy to my days.

For years now I (and we as a family) have been working towards a slower pace to my life, with time and space to do the things that create that little bit of magic each day, and it seems lately it has all fallen into place. There has been time for sending little packages and notes to friends, for quiet walks in the woods alone and with friends, for following tracks in the snow and letting them take us where they want, for moments alone in the dark quiet of our home in the morning, for a cup of tea, a little dark chocolate and reading mid afternoon, for putting pen to paper, for knitting and crafting, for time playing with my camera and for connection, face to face connection with friends.

None of these simple pleasures are new, they have been enjoyed for many years and are the things that make my heart sing, but what is new is how often I am enjoying them. As I go over my days in the evening I have noticed these things are appearing more often in my days, they are becoming regular parts in the rhythm and flow of our days, and that, my friends, makes me so very happy.

So, as we move into February the unintentional theme of January becomes an intentional one. An intention to enjoy more of these simple pleasures.

I think I am up for it.

What simple pleasures have you been enjoying? Will you join me for a month, setting an intention to seek out and enjoy simple pleasures in your daily life?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fresh Snow

Fresh snow,
no tracks,
just white.

It calls out,
come play!

There is a hesitation,
so much beauty,

Another call,
come play!

Then the first step.
Followed by
And another.
Now running,

There is nothing
quite like those first steps
in fresh snow.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Our Weekend

It is often said there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes, so with that in mind I sent my little man off into the forest for two and half hours on Friday morning for his Forest Friday program in -19 degrees weather, not factoring in the wind chill. It was cold! But off he went with five other little ones and four adults to enjoy time exploring in the woods. At the closing circle I heard the wonderful stories of their morning adventures, and not once did any one of them mention the cold. It makes me so very happy to know he loves being out there, soaking in the beauty of nature and playing games in any kind of weather.

We woke to a wee bit of snow on Saturday morning, enough to call off our plans and tuck ourselves in at home for the day. I have to admit being a bit bummed about that, but it was nice to be safe at home, doing the things we love to do. We played outside, then came back in to warm up with hot chocolate. There was time in front of the fire reading, crafting and playing. I squeezed in a little bit of knitting, baking and some writing. All in all, being stuck at home was pretty darn good.

Sunday was slow and simple. A quiet morning at home, a family walk in the fresh snow and then a little mama time in the afternoon which included a few errands and then tea with some friends. Another snow storm blew in while we drank tea and my drive home was not fun at all, but I made it, and enjoyed a quiet evening at home, with hot tea and my knitting.

A slow, simple weekend, just the way we like them. How was your weekend?

Joining Amanda

Saturday, January 25, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Nature walks are part of our daily rhythm Reece, and you love them as much as I do. Lately the sled has been coming with us. Sometimes I pull an empty sled while you run along and play in the snow, and other times you catch a ride. On this day you decided you wanted to pull. I followed along behind, letting you take the lead.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, January 24, 2014

{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.

Reece and I were the only ones brave enough to hit the trails on this -19 degree morning. It was cold, but the sun was shining, so we bundled up, headed out and came back refreshed and grateful.

***If you haven't already entered this giveaway, be sure to hop over and do so.

***A little something special for you

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For You

A few weeks ago I shared our new family nature journal with you. Since then I have received many emails requesting a copy. I, of course, have obliged and sent some of you the file. I do hope you are having fun with your kiddos and recording all of your nature adventures and sightings.

I got to thinking that there might be more of you who would like a copy, but haven't thought to ask. So today, just for you, I have added a lovely new button to my side bar with a link to the journal. Go ahead, click it and there it is, ready for you to print and put to use capturing all of your nature moments in 2014.

The journal is created to be printed on both the front and back of the paper, so it does take a little bit of time to print it, but it is totally worth it. I printed ours on a heavy card stock so it is sturdy and durable if we decide to bring it along on a hike or camping. Once it was printed, I punched holes in the pages and then added it to a basic binder.

Here's to a great year of nature connection and journaling for all of us. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creating Magical Days with Your 2 to 4 Year Old {Giveaway}

I am so pleased to share with you today a little interview with Halina over at The Cherry Farm about her new and exciting e-course Creating Magical Days with Your 2 to 4 Year Old. Without further ado, I bring you our little chat.

Tell us about your background and how that led you to what you're doing today.

I'm originally from Germany but have been living in Ireland for the last 4 ½ years. With two cats and our two children we live in a tiny timber cottage that we call the Cherry Farm.

We love to spend our days crafting, playing, baking, storytelling, cuddling, singing and gardening. Well, of course our days aren't always perfect, life is just not like that. But I believe it's possible for everyone to make the best of this season, to create magic at home and to enjoy this short precious time while our children are young. So I wrote my e-course Creating Magical Days with your 2 to 4 year old to help others on their journey to more joyful and peaceful days.

Tell us more about your e-course.

Creating Magical Days with your 2 to 4 year old is a six week e-course that helps you to create peaceful and joyful days together. Although 2 to 4 year old children can be cute and lots of fun to have around, it can also be an extremely challenging time for us as parents. In Creating Magical Days we work towards smoother days and learn how to bring magic and joy to our days through rhythm, storytelling, cooking and baking together, spending lots of time outdoors and finding activities which every one of us enjoys (not only our kids).

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

I usually get up around 6 am to get some work done before everyone else wakes up. These days that would be writing morning pages, writing and editing blog posts and finally checking e-mails, pinterest and other blogs (if there is time left). I try to leave my computer turned off during the day to be fully present with my children and life (oh the internet can be a great distractor if things aren't going rosy during the day but experience showed that it's much better to deal with those things than trying to find the answers on the internet).

At night I usually check comments, e-mails and blogs again but only for half an hour or so before Martin and I chill out in front of the fire, with tea or wine, with knitting needles or DVD. I usually work for another few hours on Saturdays.

What's the one thing you can't live without?

Pen and Paper. For thinking, inventing, digesting, dreaming, crying, rejoicing, living. 

How do you draw in creativity everyday?

I try not to skip my morning pages because they often bring up creative ideas or solutions to problems that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. I think if you look for it you can find creative outlets nearly everywhere every day. Preparing meals can be creative, creating a home, watching and playing with your children, and so on. Apart from that I usually have bursts of  creativity; I knit, sew, draw, write, build, like a mad thing before things calm down again and I spend more time reading and absorbing things.

What makes you happy these days?

Books, sleep, friends, a hike in the woods.

Thanks so much Halina for sharing a little bit about yourself with us today.


Halina has generously offered one Mothering with Mindfulness reader 
a chance to win a spot in her new e-course beginning February 3, 2014. 

For a chance to win leave a comment on today's post, only one per person please.

I will close comments and announce a winner in this post on Sunday January 26, 2014.


And the winner is

"That looks such fun, what a great resource. Would love to win thank you xxx"

Congratulations Aimee!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mosaic Art

Some afternoon crafting fun inspired by this lovely blog. A picture frame, a little caulking, some sea glass and little hands working away. And voila, some lovely art for our window.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A New Ritual

There are many things that bring a smile to my face, one of them is mail from a friend. I like to refer to them as "happy mail days". I have had some pretty awesome happy mail days...from little notes and postcards to packages containing nature treasures, an apron, a mug, books, tea and chocolate. All of these lovely gifts are around my home and every time I see them I think of the person who was kind enough to send them.

A few weeks ago this was brought to my attention and I thought why not. I know how happy I am to receive a hand written note from a friend and I am sure many of you feel the same way, and so a new ritual was born. On Sunday morning sometime between breakfast and lunch I sit down with a cup of tea, my stationary and my address book and I write a little note to someone. Then on Monday I put it in the mail.

It is a simple pleasure and one that so far, three weeks in, has brought great joy to my Sunday morning.


P.S. If you like to receive little surprises in the mail be sure to email your address to me.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Fresh snow fell this week Reece, not a lot, but enough to cover the ice and allow us to play. We headed out every day to enjoy it. On this particular day big fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky, we had so much fun and even spent some time trying to catch them on our tongue. We laughed, we ran, we made snow angels and then you collapsed in the sled, ready to be pulled home.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, January 17, 2014

{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, January 16, 2014

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, noon and night...three little peeks into my day yesterday.

Morning, 7am

Noon, 11:45am

Night, 9:30pm

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blue and Yellow Play

"Little Tippy the paintbrush awakes from his nap and heads off to wash his feet. Wet toes are not much fun so he gently wipes them on the side of the bathtub and then dries them on his towel. Tippy loves to play with colour and today blue has decided to come out and play. Blue is happy at first, swirling across the page, but soon he gets a little sad, he really wishes he had someone to play with. Tippy washes his toes again, gently wipes them on the side of the tub and dries them on his towel. When he is finished a new friend appears, it is yellow. Yellow is so happy, and excitedly joins blue on the page to play. The two colours have a fun time playing."

This is the little story I told Reece last week when we sat down for our wet on wet watercolour session, and above is the completed painting from that session. We have been doing wet on wet watercolour for about a year now, but lately I have really noticed a shift in his technique. There is a softness in how he holds the brush and a lighter quality in how he moves it across the page. There were many times over the last year I wanted to correct him, show him how to hold the brush, how to sweep it across the page, but I didn't. I just sat beside him, sharing a story about Tippy and painting on my own piece of watercolour paper. Hard sometimes yes, but the last month or so has been the payoff, watching his technique and style change, seeing how he works with the colours and how he takes the story and makes it his own on the paper, well, it has been pretty darn amazing!

This journey my little man is taking continues to amaze and inspire me in so many ways. I am so very happy to be along for the ride.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Off Trail

As I sat in a cedar forest on Friday morning enjoying the beauty around me, I realized not many people get to experience going off trail. I do spend a fair amount of time on the trails, but if a set of animal tracks head off trail you can bet I am going to follow them. And if there is a sound calling out to me from off the trail, I will follow it too. If I have the desire to get into the woods, I mean really get into the woods, I do, and that often means going off trail.

Thinking about this in the quiet of the woods on Friday morning I came to the realization that not only do I go off trail in the woods, I tend to do it in life. I am not one to follow the well worn path, I like to be different, I enjoy carving out my own path and I love the experiences that come with it. This is not something I do consciously, it is just who I am.

I wonder though how many of us follow that well worn path just because. Because it is what is expected. Because it is what we should do. Because it is what everyone else does. I challenge you to step off that path, go off trail, surrender to the fact you don't quite know where it is going to take you, and then enjoy the ride.

It might be a little scary, you might find it exhilarating and you might discover something about yourself you didn't know. Life, your life, is right in front of you, will you spend following the well worn path, or will you carve your own, off trail?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our Weekend

Weekends are suppose to start on Friday, right? Ours do, and we like it that way. As Reece and his friends ran off into the woods for their Forest Friday program I headed off on a solo hike with my camera. It was a lovely few hours spent in the woods, wandering and at one point sitting in a cedar forest for a little meditation.  As I hiked out I spied my little man and his friends and for a short time I stood and watched the kiddos having a snack in the snow. To be on the outside, looking in, to witness this gathering of children in the woods, holding space in a circle...made my heart melt.

Waldorf playgroup began our day on Saturday, and then I took my little man out for a lunch date. A little stop to pick up some stationary and then home for the rest of the day. There was reading, knitting, writing and a long soak in the tub.

I quietly left the house Sunday morning after breakfast and found a little corner in the coffee shop to hide away in. There was writing, reading and a little people watching. Back at home Justin and Reece were busy flying paper airplanes and drawing. The afternoon was filled with more paper airplanes, puzzles, a little catching up and just hanging out. The perfect way to end a pretty perfect weekend.

How was your weekend?

Joining Amanda

Sunday, January 12, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reece our time in nature is so special to me, and it makes me so very happy that you love being in the woods as much as I do. We spend hours exploring, filling ourselves up with the beauty of Mother Nature and enjoying time together. These are moments I will always hold close to my heart.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, January 10, 2014

{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, January 9, 2014


~ for finding the beauty in these very cold winter days

~ for our garden, now under snow, that has filled our pantry and freezer with food, a little summer in January tastes so good

~ for the quiet that comes with a fresh layer of snow

~ for time to put pen to paper and play with words

~ for evenings spent reading and knitting in front of the fire

~ for trusting myself

~ for the growth that comes from every day lessons

~ for connections which continue to grow and strengthen

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On A Cold Winter Day

With temperatures hovering around -41 with the windchill yesterday, it was the perfect day for this little project.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Family Nature Journal

I have a little nature journal I keep tucked away, jotting down the things we see and little notes about our adventures and stuffing in feathers, dried flowers or other interesting things we find. There are a few sketches and lots of little reminders of where to find the wild strawberries in June, the raspberries in July and the blackberries in August. It always warms my heart to look back through it and see the nature adventures we have shared.

A few times last year I tried to introduce Reece to nature journaling without success. There would be some interest at first, but it didn't stick. I talked to a few people about when their children started nature journaling and it seems I may have been trying a little too early with Reece, compared to others. So I let it go in hopes that maybe his interest in it will pick up in another year or two.

But then I saw this in December, and I was inspired to create our very own family nature journal. I took some time one cold December afternoon and got to work. I was so pleased with how it turned out and even more pleased when Reece took a look through it and expressed his excitement. He has already asked me to write down our backyard birds in the bird section, including the wonderful gold finch which has recently returned to the backyard.

Each month has two blank pages for us to record whatever it is we find in nature, as well as little notes about where we have been and the things we liked about our adventure. The back section is for nature sightings. There is a section for birds, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, animals and tracks, minerals, rocks and shells, water creatures, moss, lichen and fungi, insects and bugs, around the garden and other sightings. Storing it all away in a three ring binder means we can add in sketches, things we find, and whatever else we think fits.

I have to admit this journal has me pretty excited as well and I am really looking forward to sharing this experience with Reece. I have a feeling it is going to be a really good year for nature adventures and we will have the perfect place to record it all.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Our Weekend

A slow, easy weekend, not doing too much of anything. There was time to write, craft and play outside. There was fun in the woods with friends, playing games and tracking, then back inside for a community potluck. There was tea with a friend and a little knitting while my little man spent some time with my mom and dad. There were easy meals, candles glowing as the sun set behind the trees, time in front of the fire snuggling and laughing, and early nights tucked in bed keeping warm beneath quilts and extra blankets.

It was a good weekend, a really good weekend.

How was your weekend?

Joining Amanda

Sunday, January 5, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reece there isn't a snow pile around you haven't jumped in this week. You see one, and excitedly run, full of passion, to climb up it, play on top of it, or roll, slide or jump down from it. You are enjoying every moment you spend in the snow, and that, my little man, makes my heart sing.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, January 3, 2014


It moves forward
every second clicking by,
not one faster than the other,
yet sometimes it feels so.

you remind me to slow down.
I notice how fast the years have done by,
specifically the last five,
but I have learned to stop.
Not you, time,
but me.

capture the moment
or moments,
breathe deep
and imprint them on my memory,
where they stay,

you will never stand still, or
slow down,
but I can slow down,
soak up this life,
here, right now,
even as you
keep clicking by.

Linking up with January Prompts from Write ALM

{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.