Saturday, April 4, 2015

// where we wander //

Here is another "where we wander" at our favorite place to wander.  Many of our New Jersey wanderings are here.  It's difficult to branch out because this trail has begun to mean a lot to me.  Coming from Santa Cruz with it's plentitude of beauty, I was so glad to have found this boardwalk hike.  It's a perfect walk for Elliot and Asher.  They are still toddlers and as I've mentioned, a bit wild.  It contains them, but gives them freedom.  And did I mention it was beautiful out?  Cloudy, sure, but no frigid winds stung our cheeks. but instead the warm breeze was quite refreshing!  I'm so glad we got out and were able to snap some photos of this lovely day.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

// Naturally-dyed Easter Eggs //

I'm going to be honest, I'm not one for crafts.  Not even for holidays.  Ideally, I'd absolutely love to try each project I see, especially the natural, earth-conscious ones.  I adore the concept of taking traditions and bringing an awareness to them; a consciousness that benefits both the earth and our children who will learn to take care of their environment.  It's the little things: like dying our eggs naturally, instead of using chemicals that feels so very important, even if it seems small at first.  But it's not only the lesson-learned: there is something beautiful about the process.  We took red cabbage and turmeric and dyed our eggs.  We didn't go all out and since my boys are young and easily distracted it seemed like the right choice.  But back to my hesitance, I have to say that my exhaustion and need to correct my children can often keep me from these sort of things.  I have to say, "oh, we need to keep our hands out of that" or "let's wait a moment" so frequently that it can feel more like a chore than an enjoyment.  But the boys are getting older now and they understand more.  They are growing older and wiser; listening and understanding our words.  I'm very proud and glad I decided to go ahead with this one.  They were overjoyed.  When I told them that these eggs were from chickens they preceded to kiss the eggs.  (Asher's idea, although Elliot soon followed!)  Here are some photos of the finished product.  I didn't dare take photos of the actual process: I'd rather be in the moment with them and let's be honest: I was a bit occupied! ;)  (I originally learned of the natural dyes from my friend, Kirsten.  You can find her blog post here <3

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

//Opposite of Far: Endangered Animals Mask of the Month Club//

"Mommy, mask?"  

I'm barely awake.  The sun is just peering through the corner of our window and I hear the kettle beginning to whistle.  I look down and see my three and a half year old, Elliot holding up his polar bear mask.  On his back is a super hero cape.  A moment later Asher runs in, galloping really and he hands me his own red panda mask and of course, super hero cape.  I look at the clock and then glance out the window: our neighbors are already gone for work.  My husband is getting up and so, I say "yes."  I fix their masks and clasp their capes around their neck.  Almost instantly, they're off: roaring and jumping; eating their "food" and always yelling "look at me! look at me, mommy!"  And so, begins a full day of play.  They will play with blocks and cars; they will color and read their books.  But I think their masks are their favorite, and honestly, it's currently my favorite as well!  

We are part of Opposite of Far's Endangered Animal Mask of the Month Club.  Each month, you receive a mask along with a 5X7 print of the featured animal along with information about that particular one.  Each animal has been chosen to bring awareness about the species.  As I see my kid's learn and play, I am confident that their awareness flows out of their play.  They may not fully understand it yet (they are 3.5 and 2.5) but they learning to love the animal; they will grow up caring because they used their imagination to put themselves in the shoes of the animal.  They are learning empathy as they run across the room, usually in their underwear and making oh so much noise.  They are learning empathy as we talk about each animal.  Although the conversations are short and simple, I know they will make a lasting impact on their minds.  

Besides the hollering and jumping over all the place, the boys love to match the masks to the photos on the information cards.  They are young, like I said and this is a perfect little matching game for them!  We think of what noises each animal makes and imitate them together.  Gosh, our poor neighbors! ;)

I feel so very lucky to have stumbled upon Opposite of Far's site, although I'm not surprised: they are quickly becoming apart of many children's lives.  They are all over the place!  Jessica, the owner and creator behind the play is a fantastic, inspirational woman.  Not only is she encouraging play with her masks, but she is also helping parents inform their kids about important subjects through the use of imagination.  She gets it: that's how kid's learn!  

Opposite of Far is offering all my readers a 15% discount on any purchase in the shop!  Just use the code ENDANGERED. If you purchase the Mask of the Month Club- Endangered Animals, then she will include a free polar bear mask, which is modeled on Elliot below. ;) That is so very generous.  <3

And here are the elusive polar bear and red panda bear in their natural habitat. ;)

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

// Snow Day Origami //

 First, before I write anything I'd like to acknowledge that I'm actually writing again!  This is a huge accomplishment and it took a snow day and one of my children napping to make it happen.  Okay, now that I've addressed that I'd like to share a craft I found that helped us get through the snow "blizzard."  I was searching pinterest for crafts in preparation for the storm (my kids can hardly stand being inside for most of the day, but two days?! I needed to prepare!)  Well, as I was looking I found a tutorial for an origami fox!  I thought, "that's it!"  I mean it looked simple enough!

And now I'm hooked.  I made a family of foxes and two bunnies.  Elliot played with them for hours and it was so fun to see how his imagination was awakened by a piece of paper.  I snapped a few photos and included the instructions.  If you make these with your kids, I'd love to see how your children incorporate them into their play!  It's so exiting to see how we are all connected by imagination.  <3  

I think I'll keep a blog again. ;)

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