Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sharing the Love: Our First Giveaway to Sarah's Silks

Comments are closed and winner has been chosen by the all powerful Random Number Generator. Thank you to all who entered and all the new followers we have! 

I recently won an extremely generous and lovely giveaway from my favorite silk toy company: Sarah's Silks.  Since the beginning of our Waldorf journey, about a year and a half ago, Sarah's Silks has been a staple in educating us about the importance of free play with open-ended natural toys through their blog , as well as providing my family with fair-trade high quality silk toys. 

After dyeing some of our own play silks at home, we took the plunge and bought our first silk toy, a rainbow streamer from them. The amount of play this one toys has participated in during the past 18 months astonishes me. It has been a fairy magic wand, a tightrope for gnomes, a party banner, a doctor's boo-boo healer, a fishing pole, and pony rein... and the list goes on. 

Since then we've added on a few more streamers, magical pet wands, mini-playsilks, large playsilks, silks capes, and costumes from Sarah's. I continue to be amazed by their quality as well as my kids' love something that seems so simple, yet that is so beautiful and full of possibilities for them. 

So now on to the giveaway. I'd like to share the love a bit too, since as my friend Emily pointed out, I have been winning a lot of giveaways recently!!

Therefore, I am giving one Playsilk (color of your choice) or one Silk Streamer (color or your choice) to the winner. 
Shipping is included and I will ship internationally. 

How to Enter: 

1. Go to Sarah's shop and then leave a comment on my blog letting me know what kind of playsilk or streamer you will want to have if you win. 

For extra entries (you must comment each time you do one of these): 

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment letting me you have (if you already follow me, then just let me know as well in a new comment) .
2. Share this giveaway on Facebook
3. Share this giveaway on Twitter
4. Mention this giveaway somewhere on your own blog

I will pick a winner using the random number generator next Thursday morning here in this post! Make sure you check back so we can get in touch! 

Good luck and don't forget to share the love with those around you :) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Real Snow and a little Valentines

A view of our school room, Seasonal tree, and the gifts the kid's received today.  

Finally it seems winter is here... or was at least! We had a lovely little dusting this past Saturday (the same day as my son's 2nd birthday party).  Altogether that makes for a great day. Especially since, two years ago, it snowed on the day he was born too. What sweet memories that snow brought back to me. Plus we got to play in the snow before it melted away on Sunday. It was bliss for my kids! 

I will post later on more about Jonas' actual party and why we choose to do parties. When each birthday and holiday pops up I find myself reflecting of our Waldorf journey a bit more than usual, mainly due to the gifts and materialism issue. This time around all of that went well and I'd eventually like to share about that. Thank you for your wishes also. Jonas felt quite loved in blogland! 

Today was also Valentines day here for us. I find it very funny that my daughter and my son (and this baby) are all/will be born quite close to big holiday (Christmas, Valentines, and possibly Easter respectively).- but I digress. Our little family tradition is giving some small presents right when the kids wake up. They always have been a book and little toy. This year both kids got a book and a silk toy. Then we go somewhere fun together and make a special dinner. Crafts are usually involved, but today we did not craft any since we will be having a nice big co-op Valentine's day party later this week. I also made gnomes for all the kids, so I held off on giving my kids their gnomes until then. I also plan of wet felting hearts with the kids that day- oh I am just so excited! I also am excited about exploring with them who Saint Valentine really was as well as a better idea of what this extremely commercial holiday is truly about. 

Today was overall a pretty good day. My son was pretty fussy, much more than usual, so just my daughter and I went out at lunch time to a frozen yogurt place. While Jonas and Daddy played outside and hunted for worms to put in our compost. 

DD and I had a sweet Mommy-Daughter time together. She, in her 4 year old wisdom, opened up to me about how her friend just got her ears pierced and she liked it. I was really happy with how the conversation went, I asked lots of questions and listened a lot. Then, by herself, Deirdre concluded that she doesn't need her ears pierced yet and that she wants to talk about it again when she is 10. I thought that was a great idea. 

So I hope you all had a sweet and relaxing Valentine's day with your little sweeties! I can't wait to see all the fun crafting we all will be up to this week! 

Always, Nicole 

Friday, February 10, 2012

{this moment}... and a happy birthday to my son

Minutes old

 Dear Sweet Emil Jonas, 

Two years ago you came into this world with your eyes wide open. What a blessing you were and still are to this day. You helped me become a better stronger mother to not only you, but also to your older sister too. You showed me just how great my capacity for love was and how a mother's love really knows no bounds. 

All my worry about how I could love another child as much as I loved my first vanished when I held you in my arms. Now as we all get ready to welcome another new baby into our family, I have no fears or worries because of what you have taught me. 

Oh sweet Jonas, we are just so so thankful to have you!! You brighten all of our lives. And boy are you so much fun, so brave, yet so tender. I am very excited to see where you go in this life.  It is a true privilege to be your mother. 

Love you to the moon and back, 

6 months- and his first non-breast-milk food

One Year Old at his first birthday party

a little over 18 months old

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Outdoor Co-Op

This past Friday we had our co-op outdoors at a local park. I really love this park and we frequent it often. It is not ridiculously crowded and in addition to having some very kid friendly trails, they also have a great outdoor classroom, playground, and nature center. You can even camp at the park! 

During the winter it becomes pretty obvious to me that during the other seasons of the year, we are outdoors a lot. Rain or shine, we always seemed to make it outside for a sizable portion of the day, everyday. This winter however, whether from the random temperature changes or the plethora of cold rainy days (ones that are just so yucky that my kids don't want to go out)- we have been house bound a bit more than I like. 

I notice it more mainly because of our daily rhythm. When we cut out outdoor time, for whatever reason, we move through our days slower. We continue to do the activities we usually do daily, school work and free play, but then there is an hour or so leftover when there used to be none. I don't want that time to be filled up with TV, so I have had to get creative (board games, scavenger hunts, play dough play ground) but I also want to get back outside. 

I love the outdoors, I always have. I was forced to be outside as a child (albeit a little too much- but that is a whole other issue), so I grew to love it. Being outside in my yard was when I felt whole. I could breathe and be myself there- away from the chaos indoors. I was blessed enough to live close to the bay and ocean as a young child, so I am quite attached to the water. So for me being indoors too much, is not good for the soul. 

So I resolve to do more outdoor co-op away from the house, as to not be tempted to go inside. We spent probably 2 1/2 hours totally outside. We played, we hiked, we discovered, we learned, and we picnicked! My kids also came home with a pretty sweet nature collection (which is proudly on display on our seasonal nature table) and they took a great nap. Plus, I felt refreshed. 


Always, Nicole 

Saturday, February 4, 2012



In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer
-Albert Camus


This quote today popped up out of an old college notebook I was thumbing through today, and it has really stuck with me. I don't quite know what it is about them, but there are power behind these words. (And there are few words apart from the scriptures that I find powerful in my life). I guess I just really needed to read this today. 
I am an invincible summer. 


Friday, February 3, 2012

Hello Spring! Our Imbolc and Candlemas Celebrations

Dear Saint Bridget of the Kine
Bless these little fields of mine,
The pastures and the shady trees,
Bless the butter and the cheese,
Bless the cows with coats of silk
And the brimming pails of milk.
Bless the hedgerows, and I pray
Bless the seed beneath the clay.
Bless the hay and bless the grass,
Bless the seasons as they pass,
And heaven's blessings will prevail,
Brigid, Mary of the Gael

So here we are, already three days into February. It seems to me that January creeped by due to illness in our house. I am quite ready for all of that to be over! We rang in February actually with Jonas getting a terrible stomach bug on Tuesday. I despise stomach bugs the most out of all illnesses. Thankfully it was short lived and he was the only one to get it. My fingers are crossed and I am determined that we shall be out of the woods with colds from here on out! 

With February came our first celebration of both Candlemas and Imbolc, or St. Brigit's Day. I really wanted to celebrate both holidays since I love all the themes of St. Brigit, Christ's presentation in the temple, and the reawakening of the earth for Spring. My children and I have been noticing the signs of Spring all around us, so doing a  joint celebration seemed fitting. 

Last night we had our co-op buddies come over for a party at our house. Deirdre was so excited to have a party. During nap time I finished up our February decorations and crafted the kids some presents to take home with them. I wanted them to all have a special votive candle to remember our time together (inspired by Wee Folk's votive but a bit different). I also finally got a seasonal tree fixed up and placed in our school room. My hope is that we can craft little ornaments for each seasonal and holiday to hang on it as the year progresses. 

Votive Directions: 
First I painted on a tissue paper heart with glue.
Then, once the heart was dry, I painted the whole votive with glue and rolled it in sugar until it was totally coated.
Then you must let it totally dry.
Once dry, seal it with Mod Podge.
Viola, you have a frosted heart votive that should last!

Deirdre also wanted to help with the party preparations, so she decorated her playroom with her play silks. I love her and her desire to help and create.  She was so giddy about having a party, it really warmed my heart to watch her. 

I made a tasty dinner with Anya's help for us all as well as a 'sun' cake for the kids to decorate with yellow and red sprinkles. Because according to Deirdre, "It is not a real party unless there is cake"! I concur! We used this recipe. It was very tasty and I thought making fruit based cake would help tie in the idea of Spring coming- along with fresh fruits again! I am already dreaming of strawberry season. 

Then we headed outside for a candle boat race. The kids had a blast and so did I. Jonas was way more interested in playing in the water than with his boat though. Got to love him! Afterwards we ate dinner and cake. Then it was circle time by our fire. I read a story about the earth getting ready for Spring and gardening. I had little garden props for the kids to play with while they listened. They seemed to enjoy themselves and the girls really got into the book. They are ready to garden for sure! I ended by telling them the story of St. Brigit- which they also loved. Deirdre was trying to spread her cloak today over the playroom to stake out her claim to the land. Fun times were had by all. 

We ended the party with some quiet playing and crafting. We made St. Brigit crosses (as seen in the first photo on the post). I got the idea from my friend Laura's blog: Nestled Under Rainbows. Anya and I ended up doing most of the crosses but the kids sure loved playing with them. 

All in all, I loved our time together. I think they kids will remember it for some time to come. I know I will. 

Always, Nicole 

For the Kids Friday

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Waldorf Doll Giveaway over at Itsystitch

A blogging friend is hosting a free giveaway of one of her beautiful dolls (see above photo) over on her blog. I suggest you hop over there and enter- the doll is gorgeous! It ends today at 2pm! And if you don't win, and love her dolls, check out her ETSY shop as well! 


PS: I promise to be backing blogging soon. As if things could not get worse health wise here, my kids got a stomach bug a day ago. We are still reeling from it!