1/30/13

making play dough

DSC_1200.jpg

DSC_1205.jpg

DSC_1204.jpg

DSC_1216.jpg

DSC_1213.jpg

DSC_1211.jpg

DSC_1210.jpg

josh collage

Sometimes, the winter wind whips around your yard and sometimes the chill in the air keeps you inside. On these days we turn to our imagination. We turn to our creativeness. And sometimes, we turn to some old recipes. I have used this play dough recipe since Jonas was a tiny two year old. His teacher from the "toddler two program" passed it along to me and I still tuck the original copy in with my recipes.

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring by drops

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a pan. Cook over low heat, stirring until a ball forms.
2. Add food coloring and mix thoroughly until desired color.
3. Knead dough for five minutes. Store in an air tight container.

**Sometimes we add a few extra goodies in with our play dough. Glitter and a couple drops of vanilla are our favorites. Durning the holidays we mix in a couple drops of peppermint.

Can you guess who dressed Jessica? These days I have no say in what she wears. And even if I do dress her, she just changes in another outfit. Last night she tried on four pairs of pajamas before settling on the right one.

1/29/13

on the search for glasses

DSC_1641.jpg

Looking through this little blog of mine you probably wouldn't even guess that I wear glasses. It's not too often you see a picture of me in them. I always have the hardest time choosing the right pair for my face, and now that I have three little ones it's even harder to go and try on glasses. Did you know, without my glasses I'm legally blind? My vision is that bad. I've been wearing glasses and contacts since I was in elementary school. My Optometrist thinks I'm a great candidate for the Lasik surgery, but I just can't do it. It freaks me out. So, glasses it is.

When GlassesUSA.com approached me, I thought sure I'll check out their site. Well, turns out they have a great selection with great prices. I've never put much thought into online eyeglasses, but with having kids and little time this may be the best source for purchasing new frames!

They also have a fun virtual feature where you can upload a photo of yourself and try on glasses frames. I spent my friday night "trying on glasses" and trying to decide which ones should be my next pair. Below are a few of my favorites. Head on over to their site, I would love to hear which are your favorites.

glasses

GlassesUSA has generously offered Yellow Finch readers a few discounts.
STOREWIDE OFFER - Take 15% off your entire order amount + FREE shipping (orders over $50). Code: FS15
Take 10% off any order of prescription glasses. Code: Blog10

You can stay up-to-date on all GlassesUSA happenings through their Facebook page and their Twitter feed.

The fun virtual feature where you can try on eyeglasses:


*This is a sponsored post

1/28/13

4/52

DSC_1595.jpg

DSC_1379.jpg

DSC_1421.jpg

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Jonas: A proud Cub Scout. A proud mother.
Joshua: Winter adventures in the frigid snow.
Jessica: A curious look and a wandering imagination.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this Portrait series.

1/27/13

sunday stills. photo 4

DSC_1364.jpg

A single photo once a week.
To capture my emotions, to sum up the days.
To collect my thoughts and hold them in my hands.

Every Sunday, one photo.

On this Sunday: We embraced the brisk winter days. We bundled up our bodies and found warmth in each other. I found the strength to pull three children in a sled across the street and up a hill. We sipped hot chocolates drenched in marshmallows and read books by the heat of the fire.

1/25/13

winter portraits

DSC_1357.jpg

DSC_1356.jpg

DSC_1334.jpg

Self portraits.

An area where I have always struggled with my camera and knowledge of photography. I have tried numerous rounds of self portraits that end in blurry images, incorrect exposures and just simply bad photographs. I found myself reverting back to auto mode, something I told myself I wouldn't do.

It's a new year and I have new challenges set for myself. I've officially been shooting only in manual mode for a little over a year now and I won't revert backwards when it comes to self portraits. Perhaps this may become a new series, or perhaps something I work on silently on my own. Regardless, it's time to focus on the portraits.

Do you have any tips for self portraits? How do you manage these shots?

DSC_1349.jpg

DSC_1343.jpg

DSC_1351.jpg

I took these photos in manual mode with no post editing.
Last year I took some self portraits that you can see here.

I always find inspiration in these lovely blogs who have beautiful self portraits: one, two and three. And I have always always admired Katie and her amazing talent for photography.

Happy Weekend friends!

1/24/13

getting over the hump.

DSC_1240.jpg

We all have days that are trying. Days that test our patience and days where we struggle to stay on top. Lately, it seems that every wednesday I struggle. I try to keep my blog a positive place where I can focus on creative writing, journaling my life with my family and improving my photography. But, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I do have days that are a constant battle. I lose my patience. I want to cry. I become frustrated. But, this is all part of the ride. The ride of parenting. Like marriage, there are ups and downs. There are days where you question if you are doing the right things as a parent. There are days that test your patience and yourself as an individual. Yet, I believe, it is in these times you find strength.

You learn to breath. You learn to step back.

On my Wednesdays, I have learned to step back. I have learned that it's okay to grab carry out, it's okay to practice our spelling in the car, it's okay to forget about the laundry. On these Wednesdays I run the show, I fly solo with our day because Jon has been tied up at work. His hours start in the morning and I usually don't see him until eleven at night. Between my everyday activities, Lego Club, Cub Scouts, music lessons and homework (which tend to all fall on this day) I am done. When the kids are gently tucked away in bed, and I've read six different books, went up and down the stairs ten times to grab various drinks, double checked the teeth, the night lights and set out school cloths I am ready for that hot bath. I am ready to become lost in my book. I am ready for escapism.

DSC_1254.jpg

DSC_1256.jpg

DSC_1257.jpg

DSC_1261.jpg

You learn to step back.
Play music.
Have a picnic indoors when it's so cold and frigid outdoors you can't think about leaving the warmth of home.

You learn to use imagination.
Go on a mountain climbing adventure with a school backpack and a set of dirty wooden stairs.
Mountain climbing becomes a rescue mission.
A bear hunt.

DSC_1267.jpg

DSC_1269.jpg

DSC_1270.jpg

DSC_1276.jpg

DSC_1278.jpg

DSC_1281.jpg

DSC_1285.jpg

DSC_1290.jpg

DSC_1297.jpg

DSC_1299.jpg

DSC_1310.jpg

DSC_1313.jpg

DSC_1317.jpg

DSC_1322.jpg

I'm learning to breath on my Wednesdays. This was our Wednesday, captured in photographs.

a messy kitchen // happy girl // oh, hello // an orchid plant from a friend // music maker // a packed picnic // lunch and sunlight // yogurt drinks // a little explorer // pride, with backwards pants // adventure time // this just makes me laugh // nap time with bunny // homework time // drawing plans for the Pine Wood Derby // bedtime // bedtime smiles // big boy books // down time for mama

avocado oatmeal mask recipe from here.

My friend Mel started a new series on her blog. Linking up with her ;)

1/22/13

winter days and ending january.

DSC_0960.jpg

DSC_0948.jpg

DSC_0949.jpg

Today I looked at my calendar and gasped at the thought of January coming to an end. It can't be possible. It can't be true that the new year is well on it's way and moving into the second month of the year. But, it is true.

Sometimes, do you ever wonder what you do with your days? Do you crawl into bed at night and think "did I make the most of today, did I challenge and entertain my children in the best way that I could? Was I motivated and productive?" I ask myself these questions nightly.

DSC_1089.jpg

DSC_1097.jpg

DSC_1098.jpg

DSC_1087.jpg

On these brisk January days we've found plenty of activities to keep us busy and to take our minds off the winter winds. We've found ourselves enjoying a new coffee shop a little too often. Who doesn't like to share their time with other moms? And, to make this coffee shop even more appealing is the playroom where children can romp and roam all under the supervision of a sitter! Next time I think I'll bring my laptop, my favorite ink pen and a blank journal and write away my thoughts while sipping on lattes and nibbling on vegan gluten free pastries. Sounds pretty good to me!

This past weekend we finally embraced some time with friends and family. We were long overdue for a night with friends. A night to let the little ones run wild while the adults chattered away over good food and find spirits. It's not often we let the kids stay up a couple hours past their bedtime, but sometimes it's okay to break the rules. Especially if it means spending time with friends.

And we always have the weekly visits to the library, our local museums and various crafts and games to keep our minds occupied during these winter days. It's so easy to slip into the habit of turning on the television or allowing the kids to become lost in video games after school. Luckily, this is one area where I always put my foot down. Timers have always been set for "tv time" and, while my boys enjoy playing video games, they hardly complain when it's time to turn it off. They would just as happily pick up and play legos.

How about you? What do you do to fill these cold (or warm for some of you) days? Do you put limits on tv and video games? Do tell, I would love to hear. This is a subject that has always sparked an interest with me and I love hearing others outlook on the matter.

For those of you local folks, you can find me at Four Kids Coffee Shop almost weekly.

*These days I'm a bit behind. In laundry, life and responding to comments and emails. Hopefully, I'll be catching up this week. I love reading each and every comment, but sometimes it takes a while to reply. Thank you for understand ;)

1/21/13

3/52

DSC_1104.jpg

DSC_1004.jpg

DSC_0995.jpg

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Jonas: Gently touched by a dusting of newly fallen snow.
Joshua: Eyes always wandering, thoughts always turning.
Jessica: Morning light dances across her face, her smile warms my heart and brightens my day.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this Portrait series.

1/20/13

sunday stills. photo 3

DSC_1036.jpg

A single photo once a week.
To capture my emotions, to sum up the days.
To collect my thoughts and hold them in my hands.

Every Sunday, one photo.

On this Sunday: Children play. Imagination takes over and runs wild through our day. We are pirates, the captain, the captive, the tree climbers, the children playing in woods.