Sunday, April 20, 2014

Season's Eatings Giveaway {sponsored post}

Seasons Eatings is a course created by Leah Kent to help others infuse their family dinner rituals with delicious food and delightful rituals, season by season. Please read the interview below and ENTER TO WIN A SPOT in this course beginning very soon! 
What inspired you to create season’s eatings?
Over the course of many, many years in the kitchen, I started to see that cooking is just one of the many ways we learn how to feed and nourish ourselves. I love talking about how important it is to set an intention when you’re stirring and chopping so those good feelings will find their way into your dishes and nourish your loved ones. 
I believe that cooking and eating together is an important building block for a happy family life. And I believe that one of the secrets to enjoyable family dinners is to include everyone, especially the kids, in the preparations, rituals, and routines of the evening meal. Sometimes it can feel like a chore to make dinner or cook as a family. I created season’s eatings as a way to support and guide people to stay connected to the best parts of this everyday pleasure of eating together.

How can we find more simplicity and joy in the kitchen with our family?
I think the most important thing is to give up any ideas about what dinner should look like. Everyone will have their own style and way of cooking and that is a wonderful thing! Creating rhythm each week is really helpful for reducing the stress of making decisions about the evening meal. That’s why things like pasta, taco, or pizza night can be so wonderful. From the basic building blocks, you can start to get creative and have fun by dreaming up your own variations as a family. And I always find that eating the foods that are in season breathes a lot of joy and nourishment into each meal. 
Do you have a favorite season?
I grew up on the coast of California where it was almost 75 degrees everyday so I hardly even knew what the seasons were. I remember wearing shorts and going to the beach on Christmas Day as a kid! Now that I am living in New England, I’ve come to love the changing of the seasons and appreciate the way they connect me deeply to nature and the Earth. Of course I adore summer because of the bright sunshine, beach trips, and long days. But when it comes to cooking, Fall and Winter have my heart because I can roast up big pans of vegetables, make my favorite soups, and get cozy in the warmth of the kitchen.

A little bit more about Season’s Eatings:
Season’s Eatings is a two week journey that guides you on a tour of all four seasons, exploring the cooking techniques and recipes that fit just right for the time of the year. We’ll also talk about how to get grounded and centered so you can truly enjoy feeding and nourishing yourself and your family.
Here is how we journey together in season’s eatings:
  • Twelve emails from me, three for each of the seasons
  • Four printable cookbooks, one for each season, yours to keep and work from forever
  • Exploration of cooking techniques and philosophy to create a connected, seasonal kitchen
  • Several pretty, printable cooking charts to bring more ease to your dinner routine
  • A dozen printable dinner-table conversation starters for each season
  • Connection in an online circle with like-minded mamas and caregivers 
  • Live conversations with me in our private Facebook group
  • Other surprises and goodies as we go along together

I am delighted to be able to giveaway a spot in this course to one lucky reader today! 
TO ENTER: Please comment below telling us about one of your favourite seasonal meals for Autumn or Spring (eg. Autumn- Pumpkin Soup).  I will choose my three favourite answers and Leah will choose the final winner from those three. 

And for those of you who know you want to sign up right away, we have a special discount code for the community here at This Whole Family. Just enter WHOLEFAMILY at checkout to register with a 15% discount. {regular tuition is $49}

Season’s Eatings begins on May 5th and we’d love to have you roll up your sleeves, tie on your most colorful apron, and join us!
[Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Season's Eatings, interview provided by Leah of Seasons Eatings. I have not personally taken the course and believe every family is on a different dietary and whole foods journey]

13,14,15 /52

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"

I assure you I have been taking photos every week, but I just haven't had time to upload them. You see I am working on compiling all of my 52 project photos from last year and creating three simple and beautiful albums for 2013.




Monday, April 7, 2014

saying yes.


I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while, but I've been very busy.

I've been very busy saying yes.

I've been saying yes to all sorts of things.

Yes to harvesting the carrots a bit too early.

Yes to muddy face painting.

Yes to blanket forts on rainy mornings.

Yes to last minute late afternoon bush walks.

Yes to impromptu, right-before-dinner easter egg decorating.

It's been messy, it's been fun and it's been a pleasure living and being in the moment with my three little ones. I do hope to return to this space soon. But until then, the next time you feel that little nagging no coming on, instead try a big yes!

It's always worth it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

what goes down must come up

While we were away last weekend we went on a family bushwalk. We set out as early as we could get out of the house fed, dressed and caffeinated and entered a green paradise filled with smells, sounds and colours. When we arrived at the trail's entrance it read "Cox's Cave 1.5 km Circuit". 1.5km felt a little ambitious with Juniper in the carrier and little Indigo using her walking legs the whole way, but I was optimistic we could do it as long as we took our time. 
Little did we know that the trail lead all the way down into a deep cavernous hole for what felt like more than a kilometre. The circuit just didn't seem to be circuiting the way we'd hoped... I kept saying to Brad, "Are you sure circuit means that we should end up back where we started?" We eventually made an executive decision to turn around and follow our footsteps back up, up and up. It was a challenge for me, never mind the children. There was a bit of complaining, a whole lot of singing (The Ants Go Marching is a favourite up the big hills) and at the end of the walk we were all a bit hot,  a little tired and very proud of ourselves.

Monday, March 24, 2014

apple picking

We spent most of our Saturday wandering a big apple orchard with North's classmates and their families before enjoying a simple picnic under a big oak tree. This was the fourth year apple picking and we all really look forward to this family tradition. As much as we've been enjoying these warm Autumn days, the Canadian in me is looking forward to some a crisp, cool Fall. Especially considering the fact that I am going to be spending a considerable amount of time in the kitchen baking apple pies, stewing pears and cinnamon and serving apple sauce as an accompaniment to every meal I can!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


"a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"

Visit Jodi at practising simplicity to learn more about the 52 project.

Friday, March 21, 2014

{tutorial} nature inspired easter bunnies

Looking to busy little hands the other day, I suggested the children wander out to the garden and collect some sticks, stones and other natural objects so that we could create some magic with a bit of beeswax. It was North who excitedly proclaimed that we could make Easter decorations. He just loves getting into the spirit of the nearest holiday! And so with a bit of imagination we created a few Easter bunnies complete with a nest full of decorated eggs. 

A simple, quiet and creative craft that requires no more than some beeswax and some of nature's treasures. I can honestly say I think I enjoyed it almost as much as my kids did!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

it takes a village

My dear friend Angela and her baby just left us after a six week visit from Canada. I was a little unsure of how we would all cope with an extra family unit added to the mix for such an extended period of time, but from very early on I could see that their stay was nothing short of a blessing. 

It has been so comforting to me (and therefore, beneficial for everyone!) to have someone so close to my heart be by my side while I wade through the busy, loud, sticky and often challenging moments of each and every day with three little ones. The companionship and sisterhood in experiencing each day's up and downs was so soothing and validating. A person I love to witness whether it was a particularly intense day, to keep me company while I folded the laundry, someone to menu plan with, someone to be silly with and someone who helped me to see the more hilarious side of the daily grind.

Angela's presence has lifted my spirit and lightened my load. I feel stronger and calmer and more myself than I have for a very long time.

I am so very grateful for the time we spent together and we were all every. single. one. of us so very sad to see her and her little Grace go.

Now I believe more than ever that it really does take a village. Which is a real challenge when both you and your partner live in a different city (or country, or continent) than your childhood friends and family. And so I am left to think even more about how we are creating and instilling a sense of community in our children and in ourselves.

(photos below taken during my 5 week blogging break- thank you for still being here!)