Thursday, 9 August 2012

Back to school

Yikes, it's almost the middle of August and before we know it, the summer is gone and we all have to get back into the school groove.  Last year I started a Special Breakfast Mondays with my kids; something to look forward to after the weekend and a new start of the week.

I just saw this blog post from the Tip Junkie and I love the idea of creating first day of school traditions.  If you have any of your own, please share in the comments portion.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Celebrating dad this year.

Happy Dads Day!
For me this year is especially important for Father's Day because Steve is thousands of miles away from us - in Japan.  BBQ accessories and golf tees are nice and safe, but I think dads would really appreciate something homemade from your kids.  I have a good friend who makes a scrapbook page for her husband each year with a special note from each kid with a picture.  I love that idea!

This year we put together a care package of dad's favorite magazines, personalized "all about my dad" worksheets and drew homemade pictures.  Another cute idea is this Dad and I book kids can make.

We always think of making special meals for mom or breakfast in bed but what about preparing something special for dad or making him his own special treat basket.  Decorate a recycled container to make a pen and pencil holder for his desk.  Make a coupon book and relieve him of taking out the trash for a week or other daddy type chores.  Check out these 10 Father's Day Activities for spending quality time with dad.

Have a wonderful and meaningful Father's Day!

Enjoy these daddy quotes: authors unknown

Someday i will find my prince but my Daddy will always be my King

Dad - Ask him when Mom says no.

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Heading To The Farmer's Market

This is the time of year most of your local farmers' markets are opening up.  This is an excellent opportunity for a family outing.  Kids can sample fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, explore different herbs and plants, learn about eggs, see local artisans' work and bring home some delicious produce.

 Local Harvest can help you locate the farmers' markets in your area.

More reasons to shop your farmers' markets: 
(by Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian)
Shopping at local farmer's markets strengthens your communities.
Experiencing food at its finest can encourage even the pickiest eater to try a few bites.  
Since the produce is picked at the peak of the season, nutrients, and phytochemicals will be more abundant. 

Farmers Market Fun (by Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian)
Try a new fruit or vegetable, or prepare your produce in a new way.
Ask the vendor his favorite way to prepare a particular type of produce.
  Many have recipes to share.  
Check if there are any special events being planned at the Farmers Market.  Many have cooking demonstrations, tastings, and fun activities for the kids.

Give your children each $2.00.
  Let them explore the world of produce and make a new selection.  There is a much greater chance your child will try this new food since it belongs to them.  (When my daughter was 3-years old, she loved the color purple and selected a purple turnip.  To this day, she still enjoys eating raw purple turnips with ranch dip!) 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

If you have a non-traditional family like I do, Mother's Day can get quite expensive.  I have my mom, step-mom and mother-in-law to all think about.  I'm not really one to relish a breakfast in bed type of day.  My family has always enjoyed strawberry picking on Mother's Day.  Having a special tradition to look forward to every year can be really nice for the entire family.  

There are some really nice gifts you can give mom that won't take a lot of time or money to make.  Here's a few ideas:

Homemade sugar or salt body scrubs
Homemade soaps
Tea cup card with tea bag attached
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Small album with pictures and special memories written out beside them
DIY jewelry stand (tutorial)
Acrostic poem with your mom's name or use Nana, Grandma, Mommy
Help another mom in need. 

And one of my favorites!- the William Tell Overture Mom Song video

Sunday, 22 April 2012

For the night stand... No Regrets Parenting

I think I'm going to have to purchase this book, No Regrets Parenting by Dr Harley Rotbart.

To learn more, check out the website

Friday, 20 April 2012

Happy Earth Day

Earth Day 2012 is this
Sunday, April 22.

It's a great opportunity to teach little ones about conservation and protecting the earth's resources.  Even preschoolers and toddlers can participate.  Many local libraries even hold Earth Day Fairs; you can check for schedules on their web pages.

This week in my enrichment science class, I taught the four year olds what biodegradable means.  We discussed how our trash goes into the ground and can either harm or help the soil and earth.  We walked around and collected items in the school that can be recycled.  Then we took a nature treasure hunt outside.  We saw the trees' branches swaying in the wind as if they were waving to us and we waved back saying, "hi trees, we're going to help take care of you."

A great earth day craft is just emptying out the recycle bin and seeing what items can be used to create all sorts of things, even building cardboard box towers or cutting open a cereal box and using the inside of the cardboard to decorate, gluing on lids of cans to other materials, turning tp rolls into binoculars to spot the birds.

For more Earth Day craft ideas and activities check out Family Fun's page.

You can really get into the spirit be singing some of these Earth Day songs.

Pick an area around your community or neighborhood and help clean up any litter.

Have a picnic outside.

Plant some seeds.

Learn about the history of Earth Day and meet the Planet Pals.

It's important that we don't take our precious resources for granted and that we teach our children little ways to respect our planet.   Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Spring Breaking

Ahhh, spring is here. Such a great time to renew ourselves and recharge our spirits. The days are getting longer, the grass is turning greener. I love hearing my resident woodpecker every morning and having that feeling that we are all coming out of our own hibernation period.

If you're out shopping, this handy wallet sized spring seasonal produce list is a great resource.

For a little mommyhood inspiration check out these tips on becoming a "happier mom"

Spring is a great time to get our kids outdoors, exploring and enjoying nature. is a great site to give you activity ideas by age, treasure hunts, nature games, plus all kinds of fun ways to connect to nature.

And we can't leave out spring cleaning. Nobody likes to do it but at least we can get some humor out of it with these quotes:

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the
walk before it stops snowing. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, 1966

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy. ~Author Unknown

I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. ~Roseanne Barr

I like hugs and I like kisses,
But what I really love is help with the dishes!
~Author Unknown

Please don't feed the dust bunnies. ~Author Unknown

Dull women have immaculate homes. ~Author Unknown