Weekending December 23rd (2016)

28.12.16 0 comments
It was quite the week; a week of supers. The children were either super busy, super sick or super-excited for the upcoming Christmas holidays.

The children played more quietly than usual, but we made so many wonderful memories celebrating the season in every way, especially sharing crafts, and sweet snacks.
We were also planning for our North Pole Party - an annual party meant to bring each family
together. I will share a special post with photos very soon.
For now, just a few shots of our week (just before Christmas).

Happy Holidays!!

26.12.16 0 comments
We are taking a very short break.

A few of our friends would like to share some holiday photos with you. Let's see what they've been up to.

1/LE ...big smile by the tree
2/ MB's cozy home
3/ AH enjoyed a concert... (at the Jubilee)
4/ JM's new friend 
5/ Z sharing a moment with her big brother 

Merry Christmas...Joyeux  Noël. Happy Holidays to all!

Weekending December 16 (2016)

19.12.16 0 comments
We had quite a busy week. The children and I had fun in circle, with lots of singing and drumming. We also had fun with this story, and got our crafting on as well. 
We also started making preparations for our holiday celebration. I do have more pics to share, but my external hard-drive seems to be mad at me for some reason. Anyways, here's a snap shot of our week...
Last week, I did an interview with Sarah & Vanessa - the lovely ladies from Baked from the Heart Calgary. When you have food restrictions, like I do, you really appreciate this kind of business.  
Read the interview here (if you haven't already done so). You can also go one step further and support local businesses. Place an order with Sarah and Vanessa for your next party (birthday, anniversary etc), OR, pass on their names to your friends and family!

Have a great week everyone!

Sponsor spotlight: Sarah & Vanessa from Baked from the Heart

16.12.16 0 comments

1. Tell us about yourselves - how & why did you start Baked from the Heart/how long have you been in business?

We're best friends and sisters who have a passion for baking and huge compassion for others. We grew up depending on each other and have always shared the desire to give back and to help out those in need. From volunteering at the local animal shelter, to brightening a loved ones day by making them a unique gift, our happiness lies in the wonderful sense of knowing that a difference has been made in someone's life, no matter how small. We are in our 3rd year of business and looking forward to many more!

1b.*Vanessa - describe yourself in one word.... Devoted
*Sarah - describe yourself in one word ... Passionate
2. As entrepreneurs, I'm sure that there are bumps and hiccups along the road. What keeps you going? What have been some highlights of doing what you do?

We love what we do! Having a passion for what you're doing is one of the most important things as an entrepreneur. We really enjoy our fundraisers for local animal sanctuaries and charities. 
We also thrive on making people happy, especially when someone can't have a treat for their birthday due to allergies or restrictions and they find us and it makes their day.

3. How do you come up with your flavours? What is your most popular flavour/least?

We like to be creative with our flavours, we only use real fruit and pure extracts to make them. Some of our most popular flavours are Mocha, Vanilla Latte and any of our berry flavours, Matcha is an either love it or hate it flavour.
4.What are Baked from the Heart's plans for the new year?

We are currently in the process of building our own kitchen. Once it is complete we will have more time and flexibility to expand our menu to savoury items and do more recipe testing.

5. Where can our readers find you (around the city/online)?

We're on Facebook and Instagram, where we post any upcoming events or features.
We also deliver to Hearts Choices Thai Vegan Cafe  (located in the Brick Plaza on Macleod) on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Thank you very much for your time Vanessa & Sarah :)

 Vanessa & Sarah have donated a $25.00 gift certificate for one lucky winner, as well as 1 dozen cupcakes for our North Pole party. Thank you ladies!

Run Run as Fast as You Can: Bonhomme en pain d'épice Part 2 of 2

15.12.16 0 comments
Here's the 2nd part of our Gingerbread man story. Read part 1 here. We have just finished this activity, and I must admit a bit sad to be moving on to something has been fun!

Gingerbread Dough (for cookies)
We used this recipe. I substituted molasses for honey, and made some other adjustments (more spices etc). It's hard to share the changes, because the adjustments were made as I went along.

Gingerbread Playdough 
(I'd like to thank Shannon for freeing my hands of this)
Recipe found here.

I added a gingerbread man cookie cutter and a rolling pin without instructions. One friend picked up the pin and got to work, pretending to make a real gingerbread man, while chanting "run run as fast as you can..."

Instead of buttons and beads (a normal playdough fave), I set out some "scents from the kitchen" like anise and cloves, and the children went for those first. The scent of ginger, cloves and anise just spelled baking, don't you think?
One friend added some pipe-cleaner for hair (I believe), which was quite neat.
I noticed another friend simply kneading the dough...he didn't want to make a gingerbread man :)
Yummy gingerbread pumpkin smoothie recipe
We found this recipe.

Ingredients - We made some changes:
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt - coconut yogurt
3/4 cup ice cubes
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup - honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated - 1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch of cardamon (powder)

French learning
bonhomme en pain d'épice - gingerbread man
une vache - a cow
un couchon - a pig / un porc
un cheval - a horse
un renard - a fox
un homme - a man
une femme - a woman
a boy- un garcon
le four- the oven

Run Run as Fast as You Can: Bonhomme en pain d'épice Part 1 of 2

14.12.16 0 comments
What have we been up to? Well, we are recovering. It's becoming old isn't it?  But, it's true, it seems we are always recovering from something. Whatever the case, we have been blessed with one normal week, where no one got too sick, or too anything for that matter.

At the end of last week, we read a story about a strange and silly gingerbread man who ran away. Have you ever heard of such a tale? The children had so much fun with this one :).
We found the classic story of the Gingerbread man on this site. We really enjoyed "turning the pages". We also watched this video, (which I thought was fabulous), and the french version here (slightly different), but has English subtitles too.

What a fun story! The children and I had a lot of fun doing all types of activities and learning. One of the best things about this story is that it is simple, repetitive, and each child can play a role. And, surprisingly, none of the children were traumatized that the Fox, or in our case the crocodile ate the little man. Is it just me?

Here's what we came up with.

We did our own story-telling (every single morning). We didn't have a fox, so we used a crocodile instead :). The photo below (last photo) of the simple cardboard gingerbread men, are props from the story...each child had his own gingerbread man.

Simple math 

Gingerbread man counting game (how many buttons...un deux trois)


Up, Down, Fast, Slow
Gingerbread, gingerbread, reach up high.
See if you can touch the sky.
Gingerbread, gingerbread, ready to go?
See if you can crouch down low.
Gingerbread, gingerbread, oh so sweet,
Take a bow and have a seat.
Gingerbread, gingerbread, in a crowd,
Clap your hands very loud.
Gingerbread, gingerbread, quietly clap,
Now fold your hands in your lap.

Catch Him if You Can!

(tune: "Pop Goes the Weasel")
Who can catch the Gingerbread Man?
Catch him if you can.
I can catch him said the _______.
But away he ran.
*Fill in the blank space with names of characters in the story or use children's names.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our gingerbread man chase...

Gift-Giving Event- Week 4: Oh the Places You will Go Gift Giving Event

12.12.16 20 comments

This draw is for the well-rounded girl (or) guy. It's all about supporting local businesses and enjoying the little things. I had a lot of fun putting this gift pack together.
This prize pack has a bit of, fun, and family time (if you'd like). How does that sound? Sounds good to me!

This holiday season, Small Wonders Dayhome & Playschool and some lovely sponsors will be offering 1 lucky individual:

$50 State & Main Restaurant gift card

$20 gift card from PZA Parlour

$25 gift card - Baked from the Heart

$15 gift card - Alchemy Body & Beauty

Admission day pass for 2 to Heritage Park Society

{You can receive up to 5 entries }

comments are beneath the post title 

Mandatory--{To enter this giveaway, please tell me why you would like to win this gift pack = 1 entry.

Extra entries?

{Follow Small Wonders on Instagram = 2 entries.

{Follow SW on Twitter = 2 entries.

You don't need a Google account to enter - simply click the Comment as NAME/URL link and enter your name (no need to enter a URL)

Comments will close at 12 am Mountain time on Saturday December 22nd.

Winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced in THIS POST shortly after.

If winner is a dayhome family, will be announced on December 23rd, at the holiday event.

Good luck! 

*************************contest closed***************************

CONGRATULATIONS  #3 Cassie. Please contact me within the next 48 hrs to claim your prize :)

Weekending December 9th (2016)

"What we learn becomes part of who we are."
 ~ Kathy R. Jeffords

So much of what they do is so simple, yet so necessary...
We had a good week. It was very cold. There was not much snow, just bitter cold.  We stayed inside.
There was a lot of storytelling, and open play, with a lot of interesting creations from the children.
We crafted, celebrated a birthday, and had fun in circle. We sent a lot of time in the kitchen. We made a pumpkin gingerbread smoothie, banana bread, and learned all about the gingerbread man...(more to come on our gingerbread man activities later).
invitations to play*
snowmen craft based on this book (below)

*An invitation to play is arranging the environment so that it “invites” young children to come to an area to explore, investigate, question, examine, participate, touch, feel, and manipulate through as much independent play as the materials can possibly allow.

Have a great week everyone!
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