Sunday, December 27, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, my sweet, sweet boy, what a week we have had, our first Solstice, and our first Christmas, just the two of us. They were so very special for me little man, and I do hope they were special for you too. We shared Solstice with friends, hiking in the woods and then coming back to our home for dinner and a fire. It was special in many ways, and felt like a huge step forward on our journey together. Christmas morning was quiet, but filled with a certain kind of magic, one I hope we can carry with us into the New Year. The afternoon was spent with family, and you loved being with your cousins, aunt and uncle, and nana and papa. The last two days have been quiet, calm and still. We have walked in the woods, tidied our home, played, watched movies, and just enjoyed the beautiful lull that happens this time of year. We have a few more days of the same before our friends arrive to ring in the New Year with us. Let's soak it up the best we can, okay little man? I love you.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Sunday, December 20, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, I am not the only one sinking into the quiet of the season, you are too, in your own way. A few times this week I found you sitting quietly, needles in hand, knitting away. This particular evening, I stood watching you from the kitchen for quite some time before I grabbed the camera. It is such a beautiful gift to know when you need to quiet yourself, and to know how to find that quiet and solace. My hope is that you will always know the joy of this gift, and seek it out whenever you need it.
Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Monday, December 14, 2015


As the holidays approach, I am feeling the pull to step back from this space for a few weeks to allow myself the time and space to sink into the season. I want to linger in the joy of the season, I want to soak up time with my little man, and I want to find solace in the coming darkness and let it hold, and comfort me. I will be popping in with my photos for the 52 Project, but other than that this space will be quiet.

This is the season of light and love, and I wish you that, and more, as you celebrate, in whatever way you do, this joyous season. Wishing you and your families all the best, from my home to yours. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, you had just finished running free in the woods and meadows when I snapped this photo. It was a beautiful morning for December, no hats or coats required. You and your friends were free and wild, soaking up the sunshine and fresh air, laughing and playing, and having a great time. While you were a little tired when our morning came to an end, I could also sense peace and calm within you. Mother Nature has a way of doing that, bringing us solace when we need it the most, and allowing us the space and time to heal. She has certainly been a good friend to us the last few months, and I am so grateful that we both enjoy our time in nature.
 Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Designing Spaces for Montessori Children {Giveaway}

I have said it many times over the years, I am amazed at the reach of this space, and the people it brings into my life. I feel very lucky to have so many wonderful people who visit this space every day, to read, to comment, to share in our days. Big thanks to all of you.

One of the people who visit is Simone Davies from The Montessori Notebook. A few months ago she contacted me to ask if she could use an image from my blog for an e-course she was creating. The photo was from our backyard play space, and would be used in the section on creating outdoor spaces for children. Of course I said yes. 

Recently she sent me the finished e-course, and I had the chance to take a quick peek, it is amazing! As a thank you for using my image Simone has offered up one space in her e-course Designing Spaces for Montessori Children for a giveaway. 

Before I give you the details, let me hand it over to Simone to share a little bit about herself and the course.

"Hi Kim. I’m so honoured to be able to share on your blog today. I love to share with others who practice mindfulness whilst raising their children.

My name is Simone Davies from The Montessori Notebook. I’m a Montessori teacher and parent of two children (15 and 12 years old). During the day I run classes for parents and their toddlers to help them learn more about the Montessori approach. In the evenings, when things go quiet around the house, I sit in front of my computer and tinker a bit, sharing via my website, videos, Pinterest and Facebook what I have learned about the Montessori approach and positive parenting. And, in between, my favourite thing is to sit on the steps of our house with a cup of herbal tea and a book and watch the world go by.

There is such a cross over between Montessori and Waldorf - respect for the child, bringing beauty into their lives, following their interests and rhythms, and creating rituals.

When my children were young, I started to reflect on what kind of school environment I wanted for them. I’d been to a very classical school where you sat in rows, listened to the teacher and did tests. 

I’m an idealist and wanted more for my children. I wanted them to love learning; to be able to make discoveries for themselves; to follow their own individual development; and to support them on this journey.

Montessori allowed for all of these things and living here in the Netherlands these schools (and Waldorf schools) are available in the public system. They could come into class and choose if they felt like starting with maths or language. They could work with a friend or by themselves. There were no tests as the teacher knew which lessons had been mastered and where they were up to. And with a mixed age group, the older children in the class were always available to help the younger ones, and the younger ones eagerly observed and learned from the older children.

With no homework, we had time to have lots of lazy afternoons exploring parks and playgrounds, cycling around the city, and afternoons at home baking and crafting.

I followed my children into Montessori and finished my training in 2004. I love working with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. And working with their parents too means that they can apply the same ideas in their homes. To include their children in daily life, helping to cook, learning to dress themselves, taking responsibility for their things as one of the family.

One part of being a Montessori teacher is setting up the environment. I sit on the floor to see how the space feels from the child’s height, what they can see, what is distracting, and how to make things as beautiful and attractive as possible. 

When you walk into our classroom, the shelves are low, the artwork is at the child’s height, and there are plants for them to care for. Everything is easy for the child to access by themselves, set up for them to be able to do so much for themselves - which they love!

I’ve helped lots of parents set up their spaces too and run a workshop regularly here in Amsterdam. This year I decided put together an e-course so people can follow along wherever they are. It’s been so fun to help even more families create spaces that are beautiful, engaging, clutter-free, cosy and reflect their family culture.

In the e-course, I draw on inspiration from my favourite blogs - including Kim’s! So Kim and I decided that it would be fun to do a giveaway and offer one of you the chance to win a free e-course to help you set up your spaces at home."

Thank you Simone.


To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below.

I will choose a winner on Monday December 14, and announce it in this post.

Please make sure to leave a way for me to contact you, should you win.

And the winner is:

"What a wonderful giveaway! I use the Montessori approach with my little ones and I just love it. The emphasis on child-led learning while providing structure and facilitating a child's success... love it all! Thanks for offering this course!"


Monday, December 7, 2015

New Traditions

For the last eighteen years I have visited our neighbours down the road to get my tree. They have a lovely little tree farm and supporting those in our community has always been important to me. This year, with a tighter budget, and a desire to create a few new traditions around the holiday season, Reece and I decided to head out back, into the woods, to find our tree.

Yesterday morning, after our Sunday morning pancakes, we headed out in search of the perfect tree. Honestly, I thought we would be heading home with a little Charlie Brown tree, you know the ones. I was okay with that, it would be whimsical and fun. But as we walked we came to an opening and standing right there was the perfect tree! It didn't take us long to decide that it was the tree for us, and we got to work cutting it down. I dragged it home, tossed it over the fence, trimmed the bottom a bit, and hauled into the house. As the Christmas music played in the background, Reece and I got to work decorating the tree with ornaments we made together four years ago. To say we had fun would be an understatement, we had a blast!

We sat back once we were finished, and took it all in. Smiles crossed both our faces, and Reece said, "our first tree looks amazing mom". All I could say was, "Yes, little man, it certainly does."

Sunday, December 6, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, I captured you as you climbed over the fence surrounding our property this morning. You couldn't wait to head "out back" to find the perfect tree for our home. It didn't take us long to find the one, and soon it was in our home, being decorated by the two of us. It was a special morning, and a few times you stopped decorating, stood back to look at the tree, and said "our first tree". It isn't really our first tree, we have a tree every year, but yes, this is "our" first tree, just you and me, and to hear you say it, and to see the joy in your face as you said, well, it made my heart melt little man. Our first tree, the first of many. 

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Small Victories

Life isn't always about the big things, sometimes, depending on where we are on our journey, it is the small things, the small victories, that give us joy, and in some cases, makes us feel empowered. This transition I am moving through has been tough, and noticing the small things has helped immensely. Over the last few weeks as I take on looking after this homestead on my own, I have had many small victories that have empowered me, and had me looking for high fives. Here are a few:

~ I have sold 8, yes 8, dozen eggs...thank you chickens!

~ I have disposed of my first dead mouse, always Justin's job, but now mine, and it wasn't so bad

~ all the animals in my care, one dog, one cat, and sixteen chickens, are all still alive, and thriving

~ the internet went down, and I fixed it

~ the garbage and recycling are making it out on time, three weeks and counting

~ I have sold four rope baskets, and a lot of self care and herbal products

~ knitting commissions have been rolling in...and yes they are all due for Christmas

~ I did a solo (with Reece) IKEA trip to buy new furniture, and it was delivered I just have to put it all together

~ I have hosted friends for lunches and dinners, and hosted another handmade/homemade swap party, all in my home

~ I have made it through the first three weeks of being a single mama, something I never thought I would have to do, but I am doing it, and yes it is hard, but it is also pretty darn amazing

Not bad I would say. And yes, if you feel like sending a high five my way, please do, I will gladly accept it. The biggest victory in all of this, my connection with Reece is stronger than ever. We are riding through this transition together, growing stronger as a team each day. I have to admit having a lot of anxiety over how Reece would handle all of this, but he has been amazing, and together, he and I, are finding our way in this new normal, and enjoying it. We are strong, the two of us, and we are going to be even stronger on the other side of this.

Another big victory for me, in the personal area, has been the realization that the dreams I shared with Justin, are still my dreams. At first, I was lost, thinking I had to create a whole new future, new dreams and so on, but I don't. You see, living slowly, simply and mindfully, close to Mother Nature and her seasons, homesteading on this piece of land I call home, and homeschooling my little man is still the path I want to walk. Justin leaving doesn't change that. And with that realization I have been able to set new goals for myself, think about the future a little more clearly, and I feel confident moving forward on my path. With Reece by my side, we will move ahead, one step at a time, towards our dreams for this little life we lead. It won't always be pretty, and it won't always be easy, but that's okay, because that's life. All the beautiful and messy parts combined create a life, and I will take them all and make the best of it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Advent Gnome

The Advent gnome made his appearance in our home again on Sunday, much to the delight of my little man. The Advent gnome has been a part of our Advent season for three years now, and every year he is greeted with much enthusiasm from Reece.

As we journey towards the light during the Advent season, Reece and I will share our light and love with others in many ways. Following along with the Advent verse we use, each week is dedicated to a different kingdom. The first week of Advent is the light of stones, so our activities are planned around stones. We hiked and collected rocks on Sunday, yesterday we made window stars, today we will make snowflakes, and there are plans to felt the rocks we collected on Sunday this week, and also a day to make crystals.

As we move into the second week of Advent we celebrate the light of plants, and so we will make orange pomanders, plant bulbs for forcing, cut down and decorate our tree, buy some plants to tend indoors during the winter and even enjoy a little dinner date together.

The third week of Advent focuses on beasts. We will hike and feed the birds one day, and other days will see us making bird feeders for the backyard, leaving salt licks in the woods for the deer, donating some treats to the animal shelter and even treating our chickens to a few treats.

During the fourth week of Advent we celebrate the human light, and so our activities will focus on sharing with those in our community. We will bake cookies and deliver them to our neighbours, we will shop for food for the food bank, we will pick up mitts and hats to donate to a local organization to help keep children warm this winter, we will shop online through World Vision purchasing a gift that will help bring a smile to a child's face in another country, and we will celebrate the Winter Solstice with friends, hiking, and enjoying good food, and a backyard fire.

As we move through this dark season my hope is that we share a little of the love and light we hold in our hearts with those around us through these simple daily activities.