Posts Tagged ‘everyday’

House Cozy

October 20th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

The kids room is a constant work in progress. I tend to shift things around pretty often to reflect their latest passions.

Trains seem to be OUT but music is WAY IN.

Baby dolls sometimes, books all the time.

I had been wanting to make some forward facing book shelves for quite awhile but got lazy and bought these Bekvam IKEA spice racks everyone is talking about instead. Installing them proved to be a giant pain in the ass and of course they are not all level (Virgo’s avert your eyes)! If they actually manage to stay on the wall, as I have asked them quite politely to do – I like them.

If they fall off – I hate them!

But IKEA I forgive you because you invented this most wonderful fabulous toy —- that we L O V E! And I do mean love. Swinging indoors is oh so fun.


Apple Pie and Pancakes

October 2nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Holy cow am I busy right now. Still,

I manage to get into a bit of mischief because whenever I am supposed to be doing something I inevitably have SO much fun doing … something else.

It’s been a week of perfect pancakes and apple pies.

Sewing, sewing, sewing and more sewing while sitting on my newly painted and upholstered chair.

Sewing and sewing some MORE under the light of my newly painted and hung studio light, a gift from my talented  friend Carla Caruso. So much better than a bare bulb!

Scheming about when to harvest the grapes from the grape arbor and turn them into Grape Jam.

Oh, and having a bit of fun with Modge Podge.

I hope in all your busy busy you find time to get into a bit of fun mischief too!

Rock Collecting

September 30th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

The weather dipped warm again and we headed for a bike ride to our favorite river spot to picnic, swim and gather rocks.

From the Civil War until the 1930′s this river was used to power grist, corn and saw mills. Now there are just remnants of the old foundations covered in moss. Nature has taken all those years of industry back and there is just a trace of what were once bustling factories.

As we ride down the old road I cant help but think of the stories this brook could tell.  We have been doing a lot of projects with stones lately and here as the base of this little waterfall we find the most lovely river rocks.

River rocks perfect for our fun number and letter games.

Out in the Backyard

September 27th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We live in a tiny little town, what it lacks in population it makes up for in pride.

September brings apples, fall leaves and …. The Ashfield Film Fest. Yocals young and old are invited to create a 5 minute film that celebrates life in our little village. Entries are judged and awarded prizes at the big film fest shindig held in the old town hall.

This little film was done in our backyard and my little guys definitely steal the show.

You Don’t Have To Go To Colorado

It’s a big backyard. We bike, run,  ski and snowshoe there.

We make the most of this country living by adventuring right out the back door. Over the years the Mr. has built several miles of trails that wind through the woods with a few bike stunts too! Trail building around here borders on obsession, now our friends and neighbors have started to build trails and link them together. We love living in the woods and try our best to enjoy all it’s adventures.


My boys have been hiking out there since they could walk. Now they ride their “run bikes” on the trails and get into the action with the rest of us. I think these bikes have been their favorite toy for the last 2 years and I can’t say enough about how fantastic balance bikes are for little ones. There are lots of brands out there to choose from – wood ones, metal ones, super posh designer ones. My boys ride Strider bikes and they have worked out wonderfully for us.

Everywhere we go folks ask us about them and now all their little friends have them too! Some of the features we really dig about these particular bikes is they are super adjustable so a 2-year-old and a tall 5-year-old can ride them, they are metal and can take a rain storm without worries and they are CRAZY light making them easy to maneuver for small kids but also helpful if … your little rider has a full throttle melt down miles from the car and you wind up having to carry their bike(s)! I am not super into product pushing but we seriously LOVE these bikes. Even now that my boys ride two wheelers they still use their Strider bikes for trips to the skate park, mountain biking and fun at The Kingdom Trails pump track.

So many trails, so much fun to be had in the big woodsy backyard!






Green Today, Autumn Tomorrow

September 21st, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Here in New England we are teetering on Fall. The trees have caught a tinge of color -  pops of orange and red can be seen here and there.

Mama cow is telling little Dahlia Doodle to eat all the green grass she can hold because Winter is coming.  Little Dahlia  is a Summer calf, she has no idea about Winter. She hears the birds flying overhead in their great V’s, they too are squawking about Winter, so she figures Mama cow must indeed be right.

Our spring chicks are plumping up and look like real chickens. The big seasoned hens are telling them to eat lots of grubs and get cozy up on the roost because winter is coming. The young chicks wonder a bit but do just as they are told.

Here in New England  the hills echo with the sounds of chain saws. Winters wood must be stacked… and stacked… and stacked.

Tractors are circling the fields harvesting the last cut of hay. Quick, before it rains.

Hay balers are spitting out perfect cubes — more stacking,and stacking and stacking.  Whole barns stacked high, full of sweet summer hay.

Our caterpillars are emerging, transformed, from their chrysalis. We are whispering in their ears, to listen to the wind, Mexico is calling.

Summers bounty is being harvested, canned, frozen and preserved.

We are loving the sun and the green but Fall is here with its undeniable message.

” Winter is coming and you best be getting ready!”




Making A Playful Learning Space

September 18th, 2011 by zoe 9 Comments

With growing children in a smallish house I have to stay on top of how we play. I am constantly rethinking our space and shifting things around for the children’s ever-changing growth and development.
Recently I became inspired by the realization the my boys don’t so much play with “toys” but instead prefer to “work” at tasks. It made me think about all the learning they do at home and how much better they play when their “tools” are set up properly. Clean, forward facing presentation makes all the difference.

I have been super inspired by how creating a this desk has totally changed the way I work. I simply love to sit there and be productive, I feel clear and motivated by having a well designed space. After reading this new book Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl I hoped to create a learning space  for the children that would be similarly inspiring.  Her website is chock full of ideas!  Excited, I set out to commandeer this corner of the living room to be our new Playful Learning Space.

First I painted the walls in the entire living room a hue of gray that I “mostly” like.  A story that involved MANY paint samples and those late night “it’s half painted but I’m not sure I like it” doubts. But that is a story for another day!

We are still working out the types of learning toys we will welcome into our new space but currently there is

  • A basket for nature watching, binoculars,magnifying lenses bug boxes and nature guide books.
  • A manual typewriter, bought at a tag sale for $5,  for finding letters and making words come together.
  • Sketch paper and an array of colored pencils, crayons and pastels displayed at their level for self inspired art projects.
  • A toy shelf that partitions our learning space -  for holding the favorite toys of the moment.
  • A nature table bowl, made with the guidance of my friend Kristin, using a technique similar to this.
  • A globe for — seeing the world.
  • Shelves for storing our science books.
  • Math and sorting games printed and found here.
  • A tiny vase for holding the feathers we collect on our nature walks.
  • A magnetic strip with metal clips for hanging our freshly composed projects.
  • Lots of handmade  journals for them to fill with their thoughts and stories.

I moved most of the more commercial toys to the children’s room and Waldorf -ed out this downstairs space. It makes a HUGE difference in the nature of the games invented. Because even though batman is a “good guy” he still seems to start a lot of trouble at our house!

All in all, these changes have shifted the energy in the room and the way the boys play together. They seem to find a project and get started at it all by themselves.

They seem more focused, peaceful, engaged and …..  they clean up all by themselves!!!!

We simply LOVE it.