Winter Warmth

31.1.17 0 comments

“Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow”
~T.S. Eliot
  We’re in the heart of Winter, and  yet it doesn't feels so warm. It takes a lot of work for me to sit still - to not do anything. I think a lot of moms are like that. I am always planning, and doing, and going. Interestingly, it is the children who force me to stop more often than not. It is the children who need me to slow down, and breathe, and take notice of my surroundings. I guess children do that for a lot of people.
Winter is a different kind of season. To me, it is like no other. It is a time for quiet reflection, and stillness - even as snow (sometimes) falls down all around us. It is also a time when we seek comfort, warmth, and protection from  the elements. Inside the house, I see the children huddle just a bit closer when they are playing. 

Warmth and comfort is so important for children. There are so many ways to provide warmth, regardless of a child's personality or age. A gentle hug always warms the heart. Warming foods and drinks are so important year round, but especially in the colder months. Around here, emotional and mental warmth is stimulated through play and activity, as children practice breathing exercises (yoga/meditation), cuddle up with a silly book, or listen to storytelling.
The words meditation or relaxing time always leads to some groaning or whining- it's pretty much the same friends who do this :). I understand.
Stillness and children almost never go together. Furthermore, I have come to the conclusion that my idea of stillness is far from their idea or concept of stillness. It is what it is. At the end of the day. it's not an impossible fit, but, they are children after all, they like to move. 

That being said, slowing down is a MUST for every child. There is little room for compromise on this matter. Our meditations never last more than 10 minutes max, and when it's all done with, the children are noticeably more relaxed...for a few minutes anyway.

Weekending Jan 27 (2017)

28.1.17 0 comments
We are a busy little crew. We take our time (as much as we can). We compliment our friends. We are quite gentle too, and we try not to cause hurt or pain to our friends. Sometimes we are under the weather, or tired. Sometimes we are grouchy (some of us more than others). We have activities that are just plain fun, but some that are challenging as well.

I think we have a pretty good balance here; a bit of everything. Sometimes we ditch planned activities for something more spontaneous. Sometimes we stick with the rhythm based on necessity, and we all understand - there will always be something for everyone. We have our differences. We are all friends.
Lastly, I cannot believe it is the end of January already. I would ask where the time goes, but everybody asks that question. We are tying up loose ends, and preparing for the month of February. February will bring the start of our storytelling project. We will celebrate International Book-giving day, and a bit of Valentines. There are a few things in our calendars, and we cannot wait to share with you all.

/ we said goodbye to our friend AH last week...she will be greatly missed. Hoping that she will come back for a visit sometime.
/ storytelling...the alligator who liked cookies
/ dressed up & bored w/ nowhere to go (or the other way around)
/ thai chicken barley rice soup
/ sparkly snowflakes
/snow play on a mild winter day

Happy weekend everyone!

Weekending Jan 20th (2017)

21.1.17 0 comments
We've been cold-free for 2 weeks...yay us!!!!!
This week was full of play and structured learning. As the little ones gets older, they have been doing really well with our learning block (s). Math has become quite interesting, and French learning - wow, I cannot believe how much they pick up - we only really do French learning in circle time.
We also have varied learning prompts that fit the individual needs of the children. I try to shake it up aa bit by changing these activities every 2 months or so...

I found out something quite interesting this week; having children in the kitchen is not really that much fun. I've never seen anyone write about the reality of having 3 year olds in the kitchen, but I tend to have sneezing, and coughing in our food. I had to get rid of a whole batch of our baking because of this. I have read many a blogs, but, no one has raised this issue. Anyways, I just thought it was interesting, because as usual, a picture really does not cover the whole story.

Also, I found that most of the kids have a taste for a veggie that I cannot stand. When asked, 5/5 kids choose celery over zucchini, and 4/5 choose celery over carrots, PLUS they asked for more every time. I know right?! I never liked celery.

In the fall and winter session, we bake treats every 2 weeks. Some baking is for soup day, but mostly, it's for snack foods. Somehow, in my absent-mindedness, I added dairy...butter, to all three batches of baking this week. I'm not sure why. I don't normally even look at or touch the butter. So, on Friday morning, we had to make some new treats so that JM can have some treats too.

A bit of this and a bit of that...our week...

Random & in no particular order
/ painting snow flakes & the colour blue
 /making breakfast treat - banana bread
/tofu lentil mock beef soup
/a sword fight
/ a focused reader
/snow play
/blueberry muffin
/ we started a gratitude/bucket-filler project. Something just for us...more to come on that.

Weekending January 13 (2017)

15.1.17 0 comments

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
~ William Butler Yeats

baking peanut butter banana muffins, quiet reading, circle time and drumming, simple math lesson, painting and a lot more.  
...our week.

Have a great week everyone.

Sponsor spotlight: Jennifer Hurst from Alchemy Body

13.1.17 0 comments
1. Tell us about yourself - how & why did you start Alchemy Body & Beauty/how long have you been in business?
I am a mother of 2, a Medical Laboratory Technologist in Microbiology and I have a degree in Pharmacology. My hobbies include golfing, cross-stitching, baking and reading about physics and the universe. Having 2 children makes me want to have safe products in my home that I feel comfortable putting on their skin.  
I love to play around with my recipes and ingredients, it combines my love of science and baking.  I also have extremely dry skin and have a hard time finding products I like.  I have been in business a year and half and have been playing around with lotions, scrubs and balms for about 4 years.

1b. Describe yourself in one word!

2. As an entrepreneur, 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?
I am still pretty new to the business game so things have been a slow progression so far.  The highlight of what I do is having people tell you that your products are great and they enjoy using them.

3.  Can Alchemy Body & Beauty's products be used by individuals with perfume allergies?
Anyone can use the products scented with essential oils if those don't bother them.  I also always keep some unscented product in stock or can custom make for people.  All the products are manufactured by myself so I know all of the ingredients and can certainly make adjustments for individuals :) 
4. What kind of products would I find in your home (ingredients etc)?
In my home, you will find many oils and butters that I use in my lotions.  I really have been focusing on using natural, sustainable ingredients for my lotions.  I also have lip balm, soap and lotions scattered about the house for convenient use.

5. Does Alchemy Body & Beauty have any plans for the new year (changes, additions etc)?
In the new year, I will be working on more "man" products as I find there seems to be more demand for it.  As of now, I only carry a beard balm for the gentlemen and would like to have more lotion and skin care products for the guys.
6. Where can our readers find you (around the city/online)?
I usually attend smaller scale, hand-crafted markets and can be found online at  I'm also on Facebook and Instagram.
Jennifer at Alchemy Body & Beauty has generously donated a gift to the Small Wonders holiday gift bags for each lady.
One lucky winner also received a mango papaya lotion bar.
Thank you for your time and donations Jen. I can't wait to try more of your products.
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