I know it's been a while, I've been around, but I was working hard on some new projects.
I never intended to take a break from blogging, it's just how things worked out. But after a break, now I'm ready and I'm back! But I will be blogging from a new space...
Come find me over at Healing Roots!
There I will share more recipes, nutrition info, along with alternative medicine information such as crystal healing. But also, if you used to like this blog for my creations, and Waldorf inspired seasonal activities and nature tables, I will share lots of that over there too.
I hope to see you there!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A few times a week, I have to bake to assure the kids have enough school or bedtime snacks for the week. With all my son's sensitivities, we can't rely on store bought to fill in the gaps between the meals, plus, I much prefer homemade anyways :)
So yesterday after the kids came back from school, I decided to make our pineapple-carrot muffin recipe. I like to rotate our recipes so we don't get sick of them, and it had been a little while since we had it last.
While making them, I had an idea...
Why not take part of the batter and bake them into our brownie pan? It's a circle mould and when you flip the "cake" upside down, it makes a bowl to hold ice cream or whatever you wand. Then I thought.... Why not make a type of caramel sauce? Yes! That's it. Caramel sauce!
So I got to work and filled up the brownie pan with pineapple-carrot muffin batter, and still had enough to make about 8 muffins. It was a win-win situation.
I love to cook and bake and spend time in the kitchen, but there are so many things I still don't know how to make. Caramel sauce is one of them. And I'm pretty sure it's something like butter, cream and sugar. All of which my son can't have anyways. But what I am great at, is remembering recipes from years ago. I am great at "winging it" in the kitchen, especially things that should be measured, and still end up with a great result. I remembered trying my hand at making a vegan German chocolate cake, years ago. I remembered when I started making the icing from the recipe, that it tasted a bit like caramel sauce, until I added the shredded coconut.
So that's what I did. I just winging it, using 3 basic ingredients from my pantry. I warmed up some full-fat coconut milk from a can I already had opened in the fridge. And, I'll apologize in advance, I don't have exact measurements, for those of you who need them. It wasn't a full can, I'd say about 1 cup worth. Once it was warm, I added about 5 Tbsp coconut sugar. Once everything was warm and dissolved (without bringing it to a boil), I put 1 Tbsp of tapioca starch in a small bowl then added a bit of coconut milk/sugar mixture to it and stirred until the starch was well combined. Then, added the starchy mixture to the simmering saucepan and stirred constantly until it thickened a bit.
If you want it thicker, then add more starch, using the same process you did the first time.
When it's ready, just drizzle, or in our case, pour, over your "cake"/muffin.
I assure you, the caramel tastes much better than it looks in these pictures. It's hard to take pretty pictures when there is no natural light.
It was approved by both kids. Two thumbs up!
And yes, I guess it was good enough to even want to lick her plate, something I never see her do! Lol.
Ashton said the caramel sauce was good enough that he just wanted to eat a bowlful with a spoon.
And you know what, it wouldn't be a big deal if he did ;)
Monday, November 25, 2013
Transitions are not always easy. For some, they are very difficult even, while other transitions happen seamlessly.
Seems our life has been filled with numerous transitions, these past few weeks! (Read all the way to the bottom for a special offer for my Waldorf shop!)
We've transitioned our nature table from fall to winter. I decided it was time to finally match the weather we've been experiencing for the past month, because even though it's not officially winter on the calendar, Mother Nature has long ago decided she was ready for it.
Our family has also gone through another change, this one, much bigger. I went from being a stay at home mom to working part time at my kids school. I thought it would be an easy transition, especially because of where I now work. But it turns out it was much harder than I though. I worked 4 days in a row last week, and the kids are not used to running errands after school days. They are not used to me rushing them in the morning to get to school earlier than usual. They are not used to me not having supper ready at our usual time. They are not used to seeing me stressed. Daily.
This was especially hard on my little guy. He was acting out and it took me until the 4th work day in a row to figure it out. So we took the time to bake together that evening.
Then, we spent some time chatting before bed, and exchanged some smiles and giggles. I relaxed. He felt better. And things went back to normal. He went to sleep content and happy that night, and woke up feeling the same way the next morning. I'm glad I figured out he was only needing some one on one time, needing attention. He was simply reacting to my stress. And so, that is something I need to work on, as I do not want to pass it on to my children.
Seasonal decorations and our personal life are not the only area that has gone through a transition...
So has my interests and my little online business. I had announced last time that I was following my bliss... and I have!
I ordered some crystals and received them just before the two Christmas fairs I was attending last weekend. I also had all my toys and Waldorf inspired items with me, and so, I had everything laid out on the table. It was packed to say the least. I had no idea what interest people would have in the crystals, but the response was amazing! So many were either already interested, or very intrigued. And I was happy to have followed my heard and made the decision to change my direction.
I even got a special order to wire wrap a crystal and put it on a ribbon, for a little girl. Something I wouldn't have thought of doing... not with the ribbon. But I think the idea is genius! I have since received a few more orders for these. Because why not! Kids love them too :)
So yes, transitions can be easy, they can be hard, but they always happen, at one time or another. We can either fight them and get upset, or we can embrace them and go with the flow.
It's up to us to choose how we deal with it.
On another note: I decided to offer a special in Petals and Sunshine shop, since I'll be closing it once stock is gone, and the holidays are around the corner, so I'm in a generous mood ;)
All orders of $50 or more, can enjoy %25 OFF their entire order from today until Christmas day.
Just use the coupon code: Christmas01 at check out.
Friday, November 1, 2013
For something new to begin, something else must end. It's the law of balance.
It's not quite what you think though. I am not announcing that I am closing this blog. Not for a while anyways. But yes, something is ending...
For the past couple of months, I've been going through what I can only call, spiritual growth. If you've ever gone through these times in your life, where something shifts inside you, when you see things in a different (and better) light, where all of a sudden, you feel like a child who just started a new grade at school, then you know what I'm talking about.
Yes, it seems I have entered a new chapter in my life.
I'm not going to go in all the details of all this growth I've experienced, as it's extremely personal. But here is what I will say about it...
Almost a month ago, I announced the opening of (another) second Etsy shop. In case you haven't seen that post, I explained how it stemmed from a desire to explore myself creatively as a person and woman, and not just as a mom.
These past couple of years, I have been enjoying creating Waldorf inspired items on Petals and Sunshine. It all started for my children really. I started making toys and nature table items for them. Eventually I decided to turn it into a business, like many other moms.
My kids loved it all. They loved and cherished every toy I've ever made them. They loved waking up in the morning and spotting something new I had created the night before. They loved participating in pictures to post on Etsy. They've been my biggest fans and supporters.
But the truth is, they are not small children anymore. And they definitely don't act like young kids either. Oh how school changes (and ages) them! I struggled trying to keep them little, trying to keep them interested in things they used to love, but I was failing miserably. They too, had started a new chapter in their growth, and I just wasn't ready to move on. I know our job as parents is not to control our children, but to gently guide them in the right direction. And sometimes, the right direction does not mean to keep them in place, but to allow them to grow to their full potential.
So what, that my 6 year old barely plays with her natural (or other kinds of) toys, unless her friends are here for a visit! She loves to draw, paint and do anything artistic. She loves to ride her bike and play in the snow. She is incredibly insightful, compassionate and sensitive.
So what that my almost 8 year old couldn't care less about his gnomes and beautiful handmade animals. He is incredibly active, and when he does play inside (which is almost exclusively with Lego's now), he builds incredible things that I couldn't even imagine of. He shows so much skill in his level of thinking, he amazes me every time. He also has the biggest heart of anyone I know.
Yes, they have grown, they have grown into amazing little human beings. And they are teaching me that it's OK for me to move on too. It's amazing how much our children teaches us. I think we have more to learn from them than the other way around.
All this made me reflect about what it is that is truly important to me, what really matters. Only do what I truly enjoy doing. That it's OK to move on if something I used to love and be passionate about, slowly went away.
In all this reflection, I came to the realization that I don't enjoy making the kids toys the way I used to. It started feeling forced. I truly believe that we should only do what makes us happy in life. I set my own rules, therefor, I can change them to suit my (and my family's) growing and changing needs.
In this realization, I decided to close Petals and Sunshine on Etsy. It will remain open until the items run out. I actually have 2 Christmas craft shows coming up mid-November, so if there was something you were eying, you better hurry! I probably won't have anything left in a couple of weeks. Don't worry, we are still doing our Waldorf traditions that we love so much! Birthdays and other celebrations, nature table, etc. And I still plan on sharing them here. The changes are more for me on a spiritual level, and also on a professional level.
What am I going to do then, you might wonder?
What I love and am passionate about: Helping people feel great!
First of all, I am focusing more on my course in holistic nutrition, and focusing more on nutrition at home. I am working on a class to hopefully start teaching right after the New Year. I am also upping the ante in my own nutrition. In order to inspire people, I can't just talk the talk, I have to walk the walk. And that's just what I'm doing.
It's no secret that I've always been passionate about crystals, and not just because they are pretty and shiny. I've experienced first hand their healing powers, and it's something I am going to start sharing with the world.
I actually have a shipment of crystals on it's way to me as I write this, and they will soon be available for sale on Woodland Spirit. (Along with whatever else I feel like creating, as creativity is not a part of myself that I am closing a door to ;)
I am focusing more on myself, on things that help me feel more centred and happy. That means yoga and meditation. I always meant to keep up with it, but always had an excuse of some sort for not doing it. I actually made a space in a room in my house for this now. Meditation and yoga not only allows me to feel happier, but also makes me a better parent. And perhaps, that can teach something to my children in return.
It's safe to say, my children have taught me something huge: Don't set yourself limits, and stop worrying about what people will think. It's the only way to grow, and you can only go up from there.
I am ready to follow my bliss!
And if you have read this post all the way through, thank you, and Namaste.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
A few years ago, I took the notion to learn how to knit. I am very visual, but for optimal learning, I need to DO while also watching to learn to do something. Luckily, I happen to have a friend who knows how to knit and she was happy to teach me the basics. Unfortunately though, we don't get together often (about once a year), so my knitting skills have stalled to say the least. I have made more scarfs than we had needs for.
Then, fast forward to last winter. I wanted a slouchy hat. I wanted one real bad, but was unable to find any. Either they were all sold out because winter was coming to an end, or they just weren't in style that year and perhaps weren't being sold at all. Either way, I decided I was going to make myself one and would learn how thanks to YouTube. Knitting flat is one thing, but knitting in circles intimidated me for some reason. So I decided to find one to crochet.
I used this video and it worked like a charm, from the very first try.
I was so proud of myself! I made the first one for myself. Then one for my daughter (which sadly had an incident with velcro in the dryer so she is in need of a new hat for this year. I also made another for a friend who bought a bunch of yarn for me to make her. I had enough leftover yarn to make another out of it, and I loved the colours, so I decided to make myself a new one. I'm not sure where I went wrong, but it's huge!
I know it's my 6 year old modelling it, but her head is barely smaller than mine. It actually looks just as big on me, lol.
I think I accidentally made it too long. Oh well.
I also promised to make one for my best friend, who lives in Montreal. I started hers last winter as well... I think it's one WIP I better finish soon! Sometimes I start too many things at once and they just don't get finished for a very long time. But this one is being finished tonight, as I am sending her a parcel tomorrow, so there will be no more procrastinating!
Speaking of starting too many things at once, I started reading this great book, that I borrowed from the library. It's just one of the MANY books I borrowed from the library. I always end up coming back with more than I have time to read. But this one, will get read. I started it and it seems amazing already! I think it's going to make a positive difference at home :)
I am joining Ginny in her yarn along post.
Now that I know I can learn to crochet from videos, I'll attempt it with knitting and see what happens :)
By the way, just a quick reminder about the giveaway. It ends tonight, so be sure to enter!
Friday, October 11, 2013
It's no secret that I love to craft. I've always been a creative person and the more creative I am, the more creativity I get. There's no stopping it. But I think it's a good thing :)
Every year, since I turned 20, I seem to go through some changes right before my birthdays. Weather it's deciding on a life altering change, or something smaller like a makeover. There's always been something. I've made some of my biggest life decisions around my birthdays, and it's always paid off. I've always had strong instincts, very strong. And sometimes, my decisions seem to make no sense, but I'd always follow my instincts, even if I had no clear vision of the end results, and it's always worked out in my favour.
Fast forward to the beginning of September. Less than a week before my 33 birthday. I wake up one morning with an uncontrollable urge to create some very different things than what I had been making. It stemmed from the desire to explore myself creatively as a person, as a woman, and not just feel like a mom who creates Waldorf items. Of course, I still love all things Waldorf, and will continue to operate Petals and Sunshine. No doubt about it. I still love to inject our home with Waldorf inspired items, crafts and traditions, such as our nature table and all the different seasonal activities.
But I have been craving more. I AM more. And I've been feeling a bit stuck creatively sometimes.
That's why I decided to open a second Etsy shop, so I could expand my horizons, have more freedom. I had a clear vision of what I was going for. Just no clear vision of where it's going to take me. But I trust that it's the right decision, my gut never lies.
And so, Woodland Spirit was born.
Woodland Spirit is an earthy and magical world for free spirits. It's a bit earthy, a bit fairy, a bit magical and a bit bohemian/hippy.
I am starting to make some animal spirits (totems), something I've been very drawn to for a while now.
I also taught myself to make dream catchers and love how creating these is all about going with the flow. I just go piece by piece, layering, until I get the desired effect.
I find it very soothing making these and definitely inject lots of positive thoughts while making them.
I am still in the process of adding items to the shop and crystals will be part of the shop soon as well, but it's open for business! And I hope you'll like it!
*Note, I moved my individual wands to the new shop, as I felt it was very fitting there.
To celebrate this new addition, I am doing a
This marble wand and woodland spirit polymer clay pendant in bronze colour are up for grabs.
You don't have to follow on Instagram, but if you'd like to follow my creative process and get updates for this new shop, you can find me under woodlandspiritgirl.
Congratulations to Penny! I will contact you :)
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Fall is in full swing, but I feel like I've been missing it all. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I had been in a marathon of reading and doing online tests to meet my semester deadline for my holistic nutritionist course. It was completely crazy to cram so much in such a short period of time, but that's what happens when you're a procrastinator and you go on vacation a month before your deadline. I got it done though, and it went well. But I didn't realize how much I had missed, until I was all done, and my brain was able to focus on other things.
I woke up this Tuesday morning (the very day after I had finished all my tests), and all of a sudden, noticed all the leaves, the colours, the crisp smell...
I decided to go walk around my yard and take pictures, observe, take it all in. Fall has always been my favourite season, and this year, it started while I was gone on vacation. One day it felt like summer, we left for Cuba and when we came back, the air was cool and leaves had started to change.
I'm glad I took the time to look around and notice the changes before we transition to the next season. Because lets be honest, fall doesn't last long in this part of the world! Our birch tree is my favourite one on our property, but sadly, it's starting to be rotten at the base. I know we'll have to cut it down, but it makes me sad. I'll replace it with another birch though, I find them so pretty.
It's funny how some trees loose their leafs so much faster than others... We have a couple trees (both the same kind) that started loose their leaves late summer, while other trees still had green and thriving leaves. Our yard is covered now in those areas and it looks so beautiful!
I made a mud pie kitchen for the kids late this summer, spray painting a thrifted table and making them a banner. It's still a work in progress, there are still many other things I want to add, but the kids were loving it. It's been pretty lonely since we got back from vacation though. The kids have barely played outside. I'm guessing that like me, they were still trying to acclimatize themselves to this much colder weather and were too cold to want to be outside. I think all the pine cones and leaves will entice them to use it again though, as it would make for some great pretend play out there!
There's been vivid signs of fall, contrasted by bits of summer, still holding on. At this point I'm thinking the daisies haven't got the memo that it's not summer any more, or they just chose to ignore it. And the moss... I love moss! It always makes me think of fairies. Like it would be a great place for fairies to come and rest.
There is just so much beauty out there, and I am so glad I took the time to notice it all.
Best of all, we have a long weekend here, and there is going to be lots of apple and pumpkin recipes being made.
Because what would fall be without some fall baking and cooking.
I hope you are all having a great week!
I'll be back tomorrow with an announcement. I've got some exciting news for you and you're not gonna want to miss it!