May 13, 2015

Sewing Birthday

Last year I encouraged the kids to be mellow for their birthdays. Instead of parties, we had quiet, family-style celebrations. But that strategy only lasted one year. The girls felt they had some make-up work to do this year. For our older daughter, we decided on hosting a sewing class at our local downtown sewing center. They all got to sit together for a couple of hours and create homemade stuffed pillows. The instructor was kind and helpful, and all of the kids walked out with a new knowledge of sewing machines and cozy creations - complete with appliqué! 

April 25, 2015

Yosemite Spring 2015

We spent spring break in one of our favorite locations: Yosemite National Park. This trip was different from past visits in several ways. My husband had to work, so my mother stepped in to cover a third generation. Also, we had our own RV! In the past we stayed in hotels, tents or rented RVs. But this time we had a mobile version of very own home. Third, it was raining. Rain kept crowds away and added a new dimension of misty mountains to the scenery. The sky was alive, and the ground was getting much needed precipitation. Fourth, the kids were battling coughs and colds. Fortunately, the RV enabled comforts to help pull us through. The colds led us to more low-key activities like watercoloring or pursuing a Junior Ranger badge. Yosemite offers something new every time you go, and I'm already thinking about what's next.

April 17, 2015

Mother Daughter Crafting: Felt Flower Hair Clips

My youngest daughter is the first to rise, meaning she has extra time in the morning after getting ready for school. That extra time can be spent bothering her sister, or doing something useful. With a gentle nudge, I sometimes guide her towards the art area. This morning we opened up a craft kit called Craftabelle, and followed the instructions on how to make a felt flower hair clip. It was a perfect mother-daughter activity. She was able to thread the felt pieces into flowers, and I was able to securly attach the hair pieces. It was pretty cute to see her trot off to school with a new hairpiece, and be able to say she made it.

April 15, 2015

Gifting A Moment for Mom

In March I received a request from a representative at Uncommon Goods, asking if I would like to sample a few gifts from their catalog in anticipation of Mother's Day. "Well how lovely," was my foremost thought. 

I searched for gifts to help instill moments of peace within the chaotic canvas of life with kids. For me, this means appreciating a cup of morning coffee, a refreshing drink of water during the day, or some tea in the afternoon. My favorite product is shown above, which is made by Donna Rollins of Healing Touch Pottery. Since I received this mug from Uncommon Goods, I've used no other morning mug. In each handle there is a rock or mineral to focus your attention on the moment. The pottery is smooth and the volume is perfect. This sturdy but pleasant piece is a fine recommendation for any person who likes to steady themselves before they greet the world each day. 

I also sampled a water bottle infuser, which is refreshing for adding herbs or fruit to flavor your water. I clipped mint and rosemary from my garden and chilled the bottle in the fridge before school pick ups. On days where tea was calling, I used Tea to Go, a product for brewing your tea while out and about. Interested? More gifts for Mother's Day, or anytime gifts for Mom, can be viewed here and here on the Uncommon Goods website. 

Based on Brooklyn, NY, Uncommon Goods also helps entrepreneurs connect and share knowledge with their series of How To Make It Events. By connecting local artists with creative professionals, they help people discover resources to grow and develop their business. As a small business person myself, I have a lot of respect for their effort to grow networks through community building. 

April 14, 2015

Celebrating 10 Days of Skiing in 2015

Before we knew it would be California's 4th drought year in a row, we took the leap of being season pass holders at Squaw/Alpine where our good friends race. Our goal was to get to 10 days of skiing as a family in one season. This past weekend we made the goal, and celebrated with our friends by playing on as much of the mountain as we could before closing time. We skied every available run, threw every available snowball, and rode every available lift. Meanwhile, the sky bore down with glorious sunshine through dramatic clouds. Making the most of every moment? Check!