Every Day is Earth Day

Be part of the global optimism. What a beautiful idea.

Planting a seed in collectiveness – what will you be planting? Doing something green – what are your ideas?

The Maple Tree from last year is now unfurling her leaves into the winds of Spring finally.

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We also have have the front garden covered with sprouting Crimson Clover.

 

 

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Today the boys and I will be planting the Echinacea we were given at the end of last Summer, we are going to put the seeds in pots inside the home until they are ready to be moved into the garden towards the beginning of June!

Just imagine if everyone did plant something together today! This is a genius plan. Let’s make it happen.

Join the Facebook Event

Clean up on the History of Earth Day!

Whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy your day.

Happiness and well-being from PeaceCrafting 😀

Cooking with Children

Teaching children how to prepare and cut vegetables is one of the most important and beneficial life skills you can teach them as it a task they will need to do for the rest of their lives. I was gifted the idea of getting children to wash vegetables a while back and they loved using the brush, this time I felt ready to introduce the knife!

Getting children involved in the preparation of food is a great way for them to gain culinary skills and it also helps them understand the process behind seed to mouth gifting them valuable knowledge about the produce.

It is not always easy to amuse my children when it comes to getting dinner prepared, being a single parent leaving the boys to keep themselves busy at this time of the afternoon can be somewhat of a challenge. I was once given the advice that “the tv is a great babysitter” although I don’t really want them in front of the tv and especially not that time of night. I want their minds to settle down and if they have become bored of their toys or just don’t want to do the normal activities what better way to get them active than by helping prepare the food they are (hopefully) about to eat?!

My children are still quite young so many home economics activities are still too hazardous although I am testing the waters more often now my youngest has passed the age of 3 years.
It was quite daunting the first time I had them near the stove for our Homemade Chocolate Cooking Lesson, at the time the little one didn’t really show much interest and my big boy Easy had the most fun ever getting to clean out the glass dish! This was one of the simplest methods of cooking when introducing a child to a stove as all that was required was stirring a mixture with a spoon (and being very careful of the flames!). They obviously thought it was super cool managing a wild element and making chocolate in such an awesome way!

This time the teaching was slightly more daunting as they were both using a moderately sharp knife to cut vegetables. They have to Lear sometime, right? Let us start them off young.

I asked my boys if they wanted to help cut the Cauliflower for our creamy rice dish and happily they did. We set up a chopping board and I selected a relatively appropriate knife for them, we pulled up a chair and I showed them what to do. They absolutely loved it and surprisingly it was my Little Al who had the mist pleasure in it, it was so adorable to see him cutting the veg and very cute seeing him pile it into his own little bowl.

It was absolutely lovely to watch my Son in this way, I am glad I kept my good friends’ advice in my head as it was a blissful experience to participate in. Ok so there was Cauliflower flying in all directions and the trimmings didn’t all end up in the designated pile, it was a welcomed mess and I think my baby one did very well!

I will definitely be encouraging them to get involved every single meal time that it is appropriate and one day hopefully they will show me a thing or two 😉 There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to cook a healthy meal 🙂

Depending on your knowledge of the vegetables you are using will determine what the children learn from this activity. Even if you just teach them the name of the vegetable or teach them the simple process of harvesting the veg and cooking it they are still learning something. If you know more extensive details then feed it into your child, it is quite surprising what their memories can hold and it is fascinating hearing what interested them most the next time they speak of it back to you.

I Thank God for my beautiful children and their passion for learning 🙂

Who Lives In The Woods? (part 2) – Eco Explorers Magnifying Life

Another wonderful adventure to the woods was certainly afoot after my Sons’ Aunt gifted these amazing eco toy magnifying glasses to them.

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How adorable are these! We all wrapped up ready to embrace the cold then we clipped together the new lanyards and I hung them around the boys’ neck ready to zoom in on nature. They absolutely love their new gifts and the boys made the most fabulously cute little explorers I have ever seen!

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Down the path glorified by Norway Maples we began our expedition. What would we find?

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Before we had reached the entrance to the woods we showed some love to the Maple trees that had breathed us life for the past year and whom stood ever humble as the last of their leaves were swept away by the fast approaching chill of Winter.

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It was definitely fascinating for the boys getting a close up of the huge roots and of the overgrowing tree stump belonging to the old tree we watched being felled back in the Summer. There was also some beautiful leaves and green moss to be examined which looked awesome magnified.

Into the woods, greeted by a mushy entrance we squelched through the mud and decided it would be much more fun off the beaten track…

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…we hopped (well tried to) over a ‘sleeping tree’ and that was amusing in itself…

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…and onto the Ivy lands!

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The ground below our feet overlaid with Ivy and a coating of dried crisp leaves was a welcomed change in texture. It was captivating to acknowledge how the Earth uses different life forms and materials to blanket itself.

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After passing under an archway of trees that seemed as if they were reaching across trying to gain closure of the woods from the construction site, we took a mini bypass.

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Back in the baby forest we were greeted by a grand presence of majestic trees. The boys are always amazed by the sheer size of these wonders (me too!). We admired the arches and hollows getting up close to inspect the algae and to take a deeper peek into the life of a tree!

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Through the woods we encountered some truly mesmerizing takes on nature when looking on a magnified level. We found different fungi which were not surprisingly very beautiful when a moment is taken to fully appreciate the fine artwork that has actually gone into them.

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Next it was time to (carefully) lift up a log to to discover what lay beneath! There was not a lot to gaze at if I am totally honest, it must have been too cold for even the bugs to be out although what we did find was amazing. Wow! Upon lifting the old log we were instantly greeted by shiny centipedes which noticing us scurried away but not before I captured these pictures! There were baby roots sprouting all around and a few woodlice that sadly escaped the photograph.

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It was  deeply fascinating for me to see the natural decay of leaves also buried beneath the log. The leaves they were divinely pressed into the Earth’s surface, compacted into whichever they came into contact with by the above weight and it gifted me an awakened view to the nature of true biodegradable matter.

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The leaf, to me, on a deeper level was strikingly attractive too, the mass of its surface gently disintegrating leaving the fine fractal veins that soon will become nourishment for the nearby wildlife. I was immensely captivated – perhaps a bit too much as the little ones had lost interest and were heading out of the woods, over the field to the nearby park. They are at that fun-for-half-an-hour age, not like Mummy who is at the spend-the-rest-of-my-life in the woods age 😉

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This is a great way for children to learn about nature by getting a closer view on it. It is an awesome starting point on how mini beasts live and about what happens down in the roots of life. It turns a walk through the woods into a magical adventure for a child and as a parent I highly recommend you too get a magnifying glass and turn your child into an eco explorer !

A simply wonderful way to spend time outdoors.

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Organic Raw Chocolate Natural Homeschooling Cooking Lesson

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Monday morning’s class this week began in the most magical of ways. The Sun was booming in through the kitchen, the whole family was happy and the love was strong.
After a most healthy breakfast my children and I set about our homeschool for the day. The topic for the morning was cooking and as my children are young toddlers this was going to be our first real encounter with using the oven and quite a daunting one at that!
Nevertheless we began. Making raw Cacao Chocolate was to be the first set of culinary skills my children would acquire. Great start right!
As i had never done this before either it was a new, paleo technique i was to master also! How, simple, quick and easy it was, not forgetting to mention how deliciously potent the aromas are.
The kids got stuck right in and loved stirring the butter until it melted, this was a little lesson in patience and how to stir at the same time. As soon as it started to melt my eldest knew ‘chocolate, chocolate, chocolate’ was coming testing the virtue of patience further! Further through the process they both loved being in control of the spoon, minding not to touch the hot bowl and pan.
Their favourite part of making the mix was tasting it from the spoon and bowl and covering their hands and faces in it. It was a extreme chocolately mess and we all loved it! It was definitely a hit in this kitchen and one to be practiced  much more often as the list of ingredients that can be added is almost infinite. Such fun! We loved health-packed superfoods!

Nowadays when we think of Cacao, where the reality of our western culture has been so far obscured, its all too easy to fall under the influence of chocolate being full of sugar and not very good for our health but this is far from the raw truth and actually only has any connection to the readily available, heat treated, sugar laced / artificially enhanced types!
Natural Organic Raw Cacao Chocolate is nutritionally beneficial to our health and deeply satisfying  for our system holistically in so many ways, all you need to do is ingest a small amount to truly feel the full effects of its divine power.

Benefits of Raw Cacao Chocolate:
+ High Magnesium (happiness & stamina booster)
+ High Sulphur (known for healthy nail and hair growth whilst being cleansing to the liver and pancreas)
+ High in antioxidants (disease prevention)
+ Diminishes appetite (perfect for snacking / sees you through hunger gaps)
+ Tantalizes taste buds (joy for the mouth!)
+ Combines with every other food you can think of

As well as being totally amazing for your mind and body Cacao Chocolate is an awesome party piece and a brilliant talking point. Since learning just how easy it is to make I vow now to spread the word to all I know, gifting my dearest friends and family with starter kits to create their own so the love can truly be felt and cast far and wide.
We bought a beautifully made, simple, basic, standard, organic Chocolate making kit and added a few of our own ingredients from the cupboard to give added yum.IMG3100A

Requirements:

Heatproof Bowl
Saucepan
Spoon / Spatula
Oven top
Moulds
Cocoa Powder 100g
CocoaButter 100g
3g Vanilla Powder
100ml Agave Syrup

Optional / additional:

1tsp Acai Berry Powder
1tsp Blueberry Powder
2tsp Hemp Flour

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Method:

  • First put about 1/3 saucepan of water on to heat, no need fr it to boil. Place in your glass / heatproof inside the pan to flaoat and there you have created your own bain marie if you don’t already have one.
  • Next add all the Cacao Butter and gently stir until just melted.
  • Then add all the vanilla powder and keep stirring until totally blended. You may add the additional ingredients if desired, mixing until blended.
  • After this add all of the Cacao Powder and mix until smooth.
  • Last ingredient to be added is the Agave Syrup, using the full bottle mic for around 101 stirs hen you shall see it totally blended.
  • Pour out the molten chocolate into your desired molds and allow to set in the fridge for around 15-30 minutes depending on fridge temp and depth of molds. I recommend using a high quality rubber mold as it will be easier to pop out and wont leave as much of the chocolate behind.
  • Enjoy! (Compulsory)
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Once you try this method and understand how simple and beautiful it is crafting your on chocolate snacks you will never look at chocolate the same again!

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By creating your own blocks, bars or slabs you can be truly as diverse as you feel in that moment using whichever additional ingredients that you like. Using superfood berries really makes these chocolate bars very, very healthy for you! Really. Body and mind, a whole feeling of well-being is achieved from just a small amount. Now i know how, there is no stopping me making homemade chocolates for our family every time they are craved!

I hope yours turns out as amazing as ours 🙂