Friday, December 31, 2010

Nature's Alphabet~Our last nature walk, 2010

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Baby, it's cold outside!  It's 44 degrees but we didn't let that stop us from our very last nature walk of 2010! We bundled up with warm coats, gloves and  hats. When we first stepped out the door I commented to both Chris and Maggie that it didn't feel as cold as I thought it was.  By the end of our walk I changed my tune.  My nose was frozen, red and a little numb!  It was still a wonderful walk!  And, even though it was cold, the cool, crisp, clean air was amazing!  

The purpose of our walk was two-fold.  The first, and main reason was so we could get out as a family and enjoy doing something we love to do together.  Being outside enjoying the beautiful scenery and discovering nature together.  The second was to start a new project we want to work on.  We have decided that we want to start discovering the alphabet in nature.  How fun and challenging will that be?

The idea is to find the alphabet in two different ways.  The first way is to find the actual letter of the week somehow created by nature.  And the second is to find things that start with that letter.  We actually scored on both accounts.  I was pretty surprised!  I am betting it wont be so easy each week!

So, here is what we found!

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This is the "A" that Maggie found.  I was so proud of her!  We were walking through a pretty wooded area.  Lots of trees and twigs all over.  Maggie yelled out "There's an A"  And sure enough, there it is!  I was pretty proud of my girl!  I admit, I probably would have walked right by it without thinking twice!

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My "A" wasn't such an exciting find, but I was pretty happy I found one!  These are the leg frames of a picnic table!  

We also found acorns and an old apple tree that had a bunch of fallen apples on the ground.  Pictures courtesy of my sweet 6 year old budding photographer!

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We also found lowercase i, j and r!
I will save those pictures when we get to those letters!

I am excited that my good friend Gabby from The Work of Childhood is joining in on the fun with her son, Cheeky.  Today they searched for letters too!  Go check out what they found!

If anyone else wants to participate, I would love to see what you find!  Please leave a comment on this post with your link.  I would love to link up with you and see if we can get more people to play!

Wishing you and your family a safe, prosperous New Year! 
 May 2011 be a magical year for everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making Ginger Beer!

Day 1

So, we are trying our hand at making ginger beer!  Not sure how it will turn out.  Not really entirely sure what it will taste like.  I assumed it was like ginger ale, but from my reading they are two different things.  I will be updating as we go through the steps, and if it turns out decent, I will post a "how to" so you can make it too!

For today I am making the culture.  I took a very clean jar, added 1 Tablespoon of powdered ginger (you can also use fresh, diced ginger) and 1 Tablespoon of sugar and added it to 1 cup of water, mix well with a very clean spoon.  Make sure you use rainwater, filtered water or tap water.  If you use tap water, let stand for 24 hours prior to using.  I am using water from our natural spring.   

I will let this set uncovered during the day, but cover it at night with a cloth.  

I will be back on Day 3 to update on the progress!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Maria N found a home!

For those of you who are on Facebook with me, you know that I frequent Reece's Rainbow at least once a day!  You have also seen me post pictures of little cuties who need a home.  You will probably also remember that I posted separate posts about Lillian (who I hope one day to bring home and call my daughter!), Danil, and Maria N.  Well guess what!!!  Maria (who we will call Charlotte from now on!) has found her forever home!!!!  I am so happy for her!  Her parents.  The family.

I am also excited to be able to watch their journey on becoming a family through their blog, Chasing Charlotte. When you fall for one of these kids you wonder how their life will change.  It's amazing how someone can impact your life just by one little picture and very minimal information.  One thing we know is Charlotte's life is going to change drastically, and for the better!

When you look at the sweet, innocent faces on Reece's Rainbow you can not help wonder what is going to happen to  these sweet babies/kids.  It's heartbreaking.  I have cried many times for these children.  I am so glad that Charlotte wont have to live the life of institution.  She is one of the lucky ones.

If you have room in your life for a child, please consider adoption through Reece's Rainbow.  If adopting a child isn't in your plan, consider donating to a child's adoption grant or sponsor a family to help them bring home their new family member.  If you can't help financially, gift the free gift of prayer by becoming a prayer warrior.

Also, once you have stopped by Reece's Rainbow, click you way over to their blog!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sparklehearts Bubbling Blooms Body Wash Review & Giveaway!

Have you ever heard of Sparklehearts?  Well, if you have, then you already know how awesome it is!  If you haven't, then you are in for a real treat!  We had the chance to try out the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash.  Talk about being impressed!

The first thing I noticed was how adorable the packaging is.  I admit it, I am a sucker for packaging.  If a product is visually pleasing to my eye, I am more apt to pick it up and try it.  So I knew if I thought it looked fun, Maggie would also!  If I had found Sparklehearts in the store, I would have picked up the bottle without a second thought!  CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!  I love that Sparklehearts uses 100% recycled packaging!

The second thing I noticed was the smell!  Oh man!  This smells do divine!  It smelled like a nice summer day on a cold rainy winter afternoon!  I could smell it all through the house while Maggie was taking a bath.  It has a very yummy, not perfum-y scent.  It's an all natural sweet fragrance. Which makes all the difference to me.

Third thing that I love, which is what caught my attention in the first place is this is a natural beauty product.  Maggie is very sensitive to body washes.  I mean very sensitive.  They can cause a lot of discomfort for her.  We are happy to report this did not bother her one bit!  We FINALLY found a product that we don't have to make and she can use and not suffer for later.  

This product is 99.6% organic, natural ingredients.  On top of that it is ALWAYS Paraben free, Phthlalate free, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate free.  It's also cruelty free-no poor animal had to pay a price for this product to be made.  And, it's made in the U.S.A.

Besides the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash, they have 4 other products that I am dying to try! 
Shine Shampoo, Soft Conditioner, Peace Out No Knots Hair Detangler and Sparkly Body Lotion.  All made with the natural and organic products like the body wash!

As a mom who is concerned with what I put in and on my daughters body, Sparklehearts really stepped up to the plate and made a product I feel confident in using!  And confident in suggesting to you!

Would you like to win your own bottle of Sparklehearts Bubbling Blooms Body Wash?  Well, you are in luck!  Sparklehearts not only let me do a review on their product, they also agreed to give one of my lucky readers a bottle of Bubbling Blooms Body Wash!

I have made this pretty easy for you!  Here is what you need to do:

1.  Friend Sparklehearts on Facebook

2.  Friend me on Google Friend Connect (in my sidebar)--so this means if you are my friend through network blogs, please friend me on google :)

3.  Comment letting me know you did both of the above-2 separate entries

For an extra chance to win,
please post about this review/giveaway on your blog-leave a separate comment

See how easy this that?

And remember, it doesn't have to be just for little girls!
This grown up girl thinks it would be a nice, relaxing, smell-good bubble bath!

This giveaway will end on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 12:00 pm PST.  I will do the drawing and post the winner the next day, Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011.  This contest is open to US residents only.  Remember leave a way for  me to be able to contact you!

Good Luck!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments

This Christmas is going to be very different for us.  Normally we have a 7.5 ft+ Christmas tree, I have a huge Christmas village that I LOVE to put up, we are also usually the house that goes way overboard on the outside decorations and lights.  You know the house that everyone drives by.  But this year we aren't doing any of that.  This year is the year for simplicity.

Most of you know we are living in a tiny, temporary home.  To have a 7.5 ft tree would take up my entire living room.  Now, like I told Chris, if we didn't have a 6 year old running around playing, I wouldn't care.  :)  On top of the small living conditions, all of our Christmas decorations are in storage.  When we were moving stuff into storage we loaded all the Holiday decorations to the very back of our storage units.  We thought our stuff would only be there for a month.  Surprise, surprise!

So, because it has been raining and cold and I am just too darn lazy to go dig through storage, we are making our own ornaments!  We are also getting a tiny little tree.  Maybe 4ft?  Maybe smaller.    Normally this would just bug me!  I don't know why.  I guess I am pretty set in the way things are done.  I am not one who tolerates change well.  But for some reason I am kind of excited about this.  Who knows what this will mean for future Christmas'!

All that to say (hey, i'm Italian, I can't help but tell the ENTIRE story before getting to my point!), today we made Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments.  The smell alone is enough to put me in a great mood!  Chris, Maggie and I teamed up and had a good time!  I made the dough, they rolled and cut.  Then we decorated with some glitter.  The ones that didn't get all glittered up will get painted.

All I did was take equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce, mixed together very well.  Made sure it wasn't too gooey-just a nice dough consistency.  Rolled out on a piece of wax paper.  Used cookie cutters to cut shapes, added glitter and baked at 170 for 1 hour on a cookie sheet.  Then took ornaments off the cookie sheet and put on cookie rack, baked another 1 1/2 hours.  Tie strings on them and then hang!  Super easy!

It was a nice family activity.  Everyone loves getting their hands gooey in dough and sprinkling glitter.  The Christmas music was going in the background, kitchen window shades open with a promise of snow!  Looking forward to hanging on our tree and having a "semi-homemade" Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet Olga

Look at this little face!  Isn't she about the cutest thing EVER?  Doesn't she look like she would be great to play tea party with?  Such a cutie!  Guess what???  Olga has OVER $11,000 towards her adoption fund!  


Olga was born January 2006.  Wouldn't it be awesome for her to know she has a family waiting to bring her home?  Knowing for her birthday that someone out there loves her and treasures her?

Here is what Reece's Rainbow has to say about Olga:

Eyes: Gray
Hair: Brown
Character: mobile, sometimes assertive
Olga is a beautiful, blonde haired, blue eyed little girl. She is very high functioning and healthy! No heart problem at all. She feed and dresses her self, is working on her potty training, and even has several words. She is confident and a leader in the group.

 If you can not adopt a child from Reece's Rainbow, please consider sending a gift of $35 to help sponsor a child.  Usually the only thing keeping these kids from finding their family is money.  Give the gift of family this holiday season! 

If you can't help financially, give the gift of prayer!  It's free!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Maggie!

I can not believe my baby girl is 6!  

Little girls are made of daisies and butterflies and soft kitty cat purrs
And all the precious memories of times that once were.

Little girls are made of angel's wings and giggles and a firefly's glow
And all the happy feelings, deep inside, that we all know.

Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
And snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls.

Little girls are made of sunshine and cupcakes and fresh morning dew,
And these are the reasons, little one, why everyone loves you.
by: karen barnes

My life changed in ways I never could have imagines on December 17, 2004
There are no words to describe what this little girl means to me.
I feel like the luckiest person alive to have her.
I have been blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Max needs a home....


This sweet, sweet little boy has been moved from the baby home to an institution.  He needs to be rescued, NOW.  If you don't know anything about the institutions, well, let's just say horrible isn't a good enough word to describe his life now.  If you are interested in saving Max, please click on his name.  Save this little boy from a horrible life.  

Max has blonde hair, blue eyes.  He was born with a heart condition, and he also has a strabismus.  He was born July, 2005 and is said to be a quiet boy.  He has $207.50 towards the cost of his adoption.  He is in Russia Region 2 which means couples or single women can adopt him.  

Please visit Reece's Rainbow if you have room in your heart, family and home for Max.  If you are not in a position to adopt, please donate money toward his adoption so that another family may be able to save this sweet little boy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment}

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one image
  no words
 a moment in time from the week
         held close to my heart

Upcoming Giveaway!!

Hey Peeps!  Sometime next week I will be posting about another review/giveaway with Alexas Angels!  You don't want to miss out on this one!  I know I love, and get lots of compliments on my jewelry I have from them.  This would be a great opportunity to win something special for yourself or for a holiday gift!  


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