Friday, 23 January 2015

The books about animals

I got my first animal book when I was ten. The one that you can see on the pictures below belongs to my sister. She must have gotten hers around the same age as this is the time of the First Communion in Poland. Yes, one used to receive as a gift a tiny paper extract of what is today called Wikipedia. But it did its job - so many home works that I made peeking into this book.

The bird atlas must have appeared in our house at around the same time. I was browsing through this book countless times. An amateur ornithologist (and it stayed this way).

Hugo got his first animal book with two and since few months he has practically been physically attached to it. He would love to take it to the creche with him but as I can see him pestering his teacher the answer is "no". There is also a "book test" for every person who comes to visit us. You browse through the whole atlas saying what is your favourite bacteria, plant, mushroom or animal on every page - count 300 - and only then you can be his friend.

This is how memories are being created.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Gratitude journal

Mathilda saying thank you (in Polish) to Santa

I came across the gratitude journal on the page of Greater Good which is made by the researchers from University California, Berkeley. The idea is simple – you should write down daily or weekly few things for which you are grateful. It might be something very important to you but also a small detail such as nice lunch. I would think that with time our brain will re-wire and we may look for positive things more automatically. Additionally reflecting on people or things for whom or which we are grateful we re-live the positive emotions that were connected to those particular situations and thus serve ourselves a healthy cocktail of good thoughts. (Is positive psychology the new kale?)

As a defensive pessimist and a sceptic I could not start writing the journal straight away. I needed to think it over, to analyse it almost like in a laboratory to see different reactions. I feel that writing the journal daily might be too often for me but I will see and adjust it on the way.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Paper animal bunting diy - free printables

Before his second brithday Hugo started to be very interested in the animal world. This year we continue with this birthday animadness making a room and birthday animal decoration. The pictures of the animals were taken by Hugo's dad and I edited them accordingly. You can download some of them from this post. There is also an instruction how to make the bunting included. I hope this idea will make more boys or girls smile. Happy crafting!

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Christmas Carol (e-card to download)

I would like to wish you all a happy holiday time. If you would like to please use the card that I made. The stars mean to me the magic of the festive time and the colours of the New Year. To make them I used pictures out of a kaleidoscope. A toy I love and keep coming back to.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Upcycled cardboard Christmas decoration

I'm posting a few pictures of our upcycled Christmas craft. We cut out the shapes out of cardboard, the kids painted and I decorated them with the golden detail (if you don't have golden paint use glitter). And now off to baking gingerbread cookies. 

See you soon.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Sticks and branches

We brought home lots of sticks and branches with the intention to make stars out of them. It is handy to walk with a pram. I had planned to wrap the sticks with wool but when Mathilda saw the glittery and sequin ribbons we changed my mind. The stars look even better. One of it is resting at the top of our Christmas tree. I'm really looking forward to my kids ideas :)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Zimtsterne und Vanillekipferl - recipes

In the first years after I came to Dublin I used to meet a group of German friends to bake together Christmas Pl├Ątzchen. We baked various kinds of those festive cookies, but unfortunately I cannot remember which ones and cannot see it from the archive pictures. We then brought the confectionery with us to work to make the advent days fly quicker.

After Mathilda was born and the time became too scarce I forgot about baking Pl├Ątzchen. Besides some of the girls moved back to Germany or head off to see the world. A couple of days ago however we visited a friend with whom I used to bake. She took out a yellowed with age cookbook by Dr Oetker and Hugo would not let us leave without borrowing the book.

We decided to go for Zimtsterne and Vanillekipferl - a perfect couple, for the first you will need 3 egg whites, for the latter 3 yolks. I modified the recipes. After all I used to bake the cookies in the careless days of using white sugar and flour :) And I simplified them as baking with my kids is like baking with two octopi.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

gifts to make

I have a friend who loves getting home-made hand-made gifts. She prefers them from the bought ones. Every time she receives one her eyes get a little bit sensitive but still she insists on getting them :) I've been preparing a parcel for her and among others I'm going to give her the dried herbs.

Maybe you would like to use any of the below ideas. They are mostly easy to make, maybe with the exception of the doorway theatre. You can find the links below. Happy crafting!

Home-made dried herbs - picture below - might be a mixture of home-grown and bought herbs.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

kids craft recycled wrapping paper

I'm noticing a wave of Christmas crafts flooding Pinterest and I'm joining cheerfully :) Last year we recycled wrapping paper into kids crafts. This year we will recycle kids Christmas crafts into wrapping paper and who knows after that we might recycle it back into kids art.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Kindness advent calendar

I've been reading a lot about happiness lately. Reading, listening to and watching actually... Did you know that there was a connection between being happy and being kind? It sounds obvious but now has been also scientifically proven.

Did you also know that if you are exposed to positive information you are more likely to pass the positive on?

I thought that December with its advent calender would be a perfect month to practice acts of kindness, therefore the idea of kindness advent calendar.

Let's positively experiment and see how happy will it make us. I need to admit the idea alone has a kind of uplifting effect on me.

I won't worry though if on a day or two I will not be able to be as kind as in the calendar. It's more about shifting the mind towards happier thoughts not about stressing out.

Here are some places where you can look for ideas:
Random Acts of Kindness
Oprah's Acts of Kindness ideas
Buzzfeeds ideas for Acts of Kindness

Good luck and let me know how it went!