Tag Archives: celebration

Happy Year of the Goat 2015!


Year of the Goat 2015

The Lunar New Year of the Yin Wood Goat has arrived, and along with it, some confusion as to whether it should be referred to as the Year of the Goat/ Sheep/ Ram. The Chinese characters for goat, sheep, ram, and antelope all include the  羊 yang character: e.g. sheep (绵羊), goat (山羊), ram/buck (公羊 male sheep or goat), 羚羊 (antelope), etc. According to Dr. Sabine Wilms of Happy Goat Productions, a Classical Chinese Medicine and Philosophy scholar, translator, and educator, “when the Chinese came up with these animal associations, they were not thinking Dorset Sheep, but wild mountain sheep, which are much closer in personality and habits to domesticated and wild goats than modern domesticated sheep”.

For those that are unfamiliar with some of the common traditions for celebrating the Lunar New Year, here are 6 Things You Need to Know About the Year of the Goat

According to Lillian Pearl Bridges’s Year of the Sheep Forecast, this year promises to be much more harmonious than the previous year and is a year of “forgiveness and reconciliation” where we should strive to act “assertively rather than aggressively”.

This sounds like a positive direction to take after the more tumultuous events that occurred personally and globally in Year of the Horse.

What are you hoping and planning for this year?

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Happy New Year 2014! A plan for the present moment


Happy New Year! My New Year’s started off on a great note. I fell asleep after putting the kids to bed, and didn’t wake up until this morning! Gah!!

So much for planning to celebrate with my hubby by the fireplace at the stroke of midnight!

Having children has taught me to really let go of set schedules and imperfections…even when events which disrupt my plans initially produce feelings of disappointment or discontent. Like any other major life change that requires our full attention (a birth, a death, a separation, an injury or illness, etc), raising young children requires a considerable amount of effort that we often neglect to acknowledge when we’re still in the midst of it all.

The last week brought many unexpected surprises that completely through our Christmas plans for a loop. First, most of our city suffered a power outage after the ice storm that hit just a few days before Christmas. We were so fortunate to have a gas stove and fireplace at least which we willingly shared with our neighbours. Then, a few days later and still in the dark, we braved another misadventure. Under a fantastic little headlamp, we cleaned up projectile vomit from our 4 year old and later our 6 year old that hit the blankets, beds and walls. Even our 1 year old was not immune to this virus, but thankfully she didn’t start until 36 hours later. The dinner we had planned for Christmas Eve? Pouff! Gone. Christmas Day dinner with family at a friend’s house? Also gone. We ended up eating cold pizzas under candlelight and wishing the holiday from $%^*& would just end. When not dealing with sick kids, the days were spent cleaning out the fridge, and cleaning up debris from all the branches that had fallen outside. There were nice moments as well that made the experience less trying….like friendly neighbours helping one another or coming into chat by the fire (before the kids got sick!); and also the beautiful yet tragic aftermath of the ice storm that left tree branches bent over or on the ground, coated in a thick clear, impenetrable ice.

And then, after 3 days without power, the electricity and heat returned, and a good 5 days after that, our children’s health finally returned. So things eventually turned out ok, after all! But it did made me realize how very dependent our plans are to our surrounding environment and situation. Pushing to achieve what you’d planned on a certain day, may be spinning your wheels needlessly. Sometimes you just have to accept the situation you’re placed in and get down to the real business at hand!

So this year, I still PLAN to:

a) get back in shape with a former workout routine involving qigong, running, cycling, swimming, and skiing

b) get back to healthier eating: eat less, drink more (and whenever possible choose whole, simple foods whose production is easy on the environment and our body)

c) be more fun around my kids (less work, more laughter and play!)

d) be a better partner (listen with a soft heart to my husband, and create a supportive and nurturing environment for us both to grow professionally as well as a  loving couple)

e) be present for my extended family (set aside time to help my mum and my siblings more)

f) create the practice of my dreams (this is a biggy, but I’m working on it!)

But if things don’t fall into neat little time slots or events, I will not spend more than is necessary to dwell on it. I will simply MOVE on 🙂

May this year bring you all that you could wish for and more and may the little things make you truly happy.

Love,
M.

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day! The collective thoughts of some special mamas out there


It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and with lots to do today, so as I have limited time to write, here are some inspiring posts on Mothers and Mother’s Day. So if you’re not out enjoying the weather with your loved ones, sit down, relax, and enjoy with a cup of tea and cake!

Soule Mama – Mama’s Day (love her work and her blog):

http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/2009/05/mamas-day.html

The Magic Onions – Mother’s Day Crafts (love Donni’s world! Great fairy gardens displayed here as well!)

http://themagiconions.blogspot.ca/p/mothers-day-crafts-and-gifts.html

And a few from Alison Kramer of Reflections of Motherhood, a Canadian blogger and Waldorf mama who created this great video on motherhood:

http://www.reflectionsofmotherhood.com/

http://www.nummies.com/blog/2010/08/reflections-of-motherhood/

And her insightful comments on celebrating Mother’s Day:

http://www.nummies.com/blog/2012/05/1747/#more-1747

 

Happy Easter! How to Naturally Dye Your Easter Eggs


Thought I would share this post again in honor of the start of Spring and in celebration of Easter.

(With a little one who just turned 8 months, I’ve been relying on simple arts and crafts for the older children such as water colour and wet-on-wet painting with a fresh spring colour scheme. We are reusing our beautifully natural-dyed eggs from the previous year and enjoying the rest of our time playing outdoors in this fantastic spring weather.)

Happy Easter!

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It’s Easter Monday and we have had a beautiful long weekend with family. This year, we decided to celebrate rebirth and spring both indoors and out. We began with a trip to our local farm, Riverdale Farm, where children and adults alike can enjoy the daily activities of the animals and their caretakers. My older daughter is enrolled in a wonderful program there called, Little Farmers, where the kids learn about each of the different types of farm animals each week. This week the focus was fittingly on chickens and eggs.

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In keeping with the chicken and egg theme for Easter, we decided to naturally dye our hollow Easter eggs.

To do this you will need:

-8-12 eggs
-skewer sticks
-4-8 toothpicks
-8-12 strands of approximately 10-12cm length twine/ thin string
-15 yellow (Spanish) onion skins
-2 tbsp white vinegar
-pot of water

Directions:

Peel the outer skins of 15 yellow onions. Place in medium saucepan with 4 cups of water and 2 tbsp of white vinegar.

(At this point if you choose to dye hard boiled eggs that are red in colour, you can insert whole eggs into water as well.)

Bring pot to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. (For those using hard boiled eggs, remove eggs at different intervals following this to achieve variation in desired colour.) Use a sif to separate onion skins from natural onion dye.

For those wishing to use hollow dyed eggs which you can later attach to string on branches for decoration follow these additional steps:

While waiting for pot to boil, you can remove egg yolk and whites from your eggs, by puncturing top and bottom of eggs carefully with tip of sharp knife. Make sure to make holes on bottom at least a 1/4 size of your smallest thumbnail.

Use skewer stick to push through hole on top and bottom of eggs and to puncture egg membrane.

Cover top hole on egg with mouth and blow the egg white and yolk out through bottom hole into medium sized bowl.

Do this for all the eggs. Rinse and store in egg carton.

Dip hollow eggs into boiled onion dye and let dye sink in for up to 20 minutes. Remove at different intervals for achieving yellow, pink and red colour. For a stronger reddish brown dye, leave eggs in dye overnight in refrigerator.

For a more finished look, coat eggs in olive oil which gives them a nice sheen.

To display your hollowed-out natural dye eggs:

Tie a small knot on end of each string of twine and insert toothpick that has been cut to 1 cm length into knot before tying tightly once only. Thread end of string and toothpick vertically into top hole of egg shell until stick is fully inserted. Once in, the toothpick should fall into a horizontal position easily to hold string in place. You can also attach string through egg holes with clasps or tape. Tie string with attached egg onto branches such as forsythia or pussy willows in a vase for a beautiful indoor decoration. Or plant in plantar outdoors.

Enjoy!

Here’s what we did in pictures:

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