How to: Cleaning 1 Hour Before Company Arrives

My home is my office, my sanctuary, and the place where I nurture and teach my children.  Hence, when it is in shambles, my brain is often in shambles and the Babes let the chaos penetrate their little souls.  It is good for no one.  I actively embrace company visiting, although if said mess has reared its ugly head, I start to get really anxious from the embarrassment.  So I have devised this little list of to-dos in an hour to get ready for company.

Start with this Simple Recipe to whip up and cook while doing the rest.  Everyone loves the smell of baking bread in the oven, so why not distract them with this banana bread recipe that is sure to please.  It literally takes 5 minutes to prep.

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

3 Mega Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp of flax meal and 2 tbsp milk
1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
1tsp vanilla 
2 cups flour
1tsp bkg soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of chocolate chips

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.
2.  In a large bowl, blend the bananas, sugar, flax, milk and oil with a hand blender.
3.  All dry ingredients then the chocolate chips.
4.  Pour the batter in a buttered / oiled loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.


Clean only those things that will be visible and that company will congregate in and Prioritize those cleaning spots.  

The Bathroom:

Simply clean the mirror, close the shower curtain, scrub the toilet, make sure the potty is clean in case younger friends are coming over, and the sink.

The living room: 

Just make it cozy.  Lightly dust surfaces, vaccuum.  Easy way to get rid of laundry is to throw it in the dryer.

The Kitchen:

Run some dishes.  Clear the counters.  Wipe down.  Spot clean the floor.

The Kids Room:

They are supposed to be messy so carry on.  Just pick up their clothes and throw it in a pile.

Your Bedroom:

Just make the bed and throw your clothes in the closet.  

Done and Done and Remember:



The Mama

As of Late...

2/52: A Portrait of my Babes, Every Week for a Year


Babe Phrase of the Moment

After completing a watercolour work, the Eldest Babe brings it to me.

Mama:  Wow.  Beautiful and abstract.  What is it?
The Eldest Babe:  Well actually it is ..... a Masterpiece.

(source of image)

Babe Phrase of the Moment

Mama:  There is a boogie in your nose.  May I get it.
The Biggest Little / Littlest Big Babe:  Maybe it wants to live there.

Dear Biggest Little / Littlest Big Babe on Your Birthday

Dear Babe,

Yesterday, you completed your third revolution around our brightest star, one that you shine as strongly as.  The Papa and I remember fondly the day you entered this world.  It was my quickest birth, one riddled with a lack of confidence and worry.  But when you came, a resurgence in Mamahood came.  You were tiny, fragile.  It was my duty to build you, to strengthen you.

And my how you have emerged.  From such humble and delicate beginnings, you are now such a force to be reckoned with.  Eyes always bright, your days are filled with exploration and imaginings.  Your heart is bursting with kindness for the world, your sisters, your family.  There is an exuberance that can be matched only with the Papa and a zest for life that is innate and for ever wanting to be fulfilled.

You are witty.  Clever words dominate our days.  Wordplay.  Reference to yourself in the third person as "the Ballerina" is delightfully enchanting and apt.  You take in rhythm and express it beautifully with your moves.  We have never seen anything like it.  Magical.

Here is to a lifetime of magic.  Please continue on your journey of loving, laughing and enlighting our lives.

To you on your birth day.


The Mama


1/52: A Portrait of my Babes, Every Week for a Year


Homeschool Tutorial - Constellation Unit

This is a great unit for so many reasons: sensory, spelling, drawing, application, reading, tracing.

You will require:

Enough Paper (Card stock best) for twelve constellations (we did the Zodiac signs because they correspond with various months - which will be explained a little later)
Circle to trace (we used the lid of an Earth Balance buttery spread container)
Enough pencils for each child
Pictures of the constellations
Hole Punch

For extra activities:

Extra Paper for Tracing
Dark Background
Twine with Clothespins

Making the constellations:  Trace circles onto each paper.  Depending on the age of the child either have them look at the picture provided and map out the constellation or do it yourself.  Use a ruler to connect the stars.  Have the child practice reading the name of the constellation and writing it.  Write the corresponding month on the card under the name of the constellation.  It may also be fun for each child to recognize the month of their birth and corresponding sign.

Again depending on the age of the child, have them cut the circle out.  Great for hand eye coordination.  Have them punch out the stars with the hole punch, or mama / papa could do it.  Once completed there are several activities you could do:


1.  Lace the holes.
2.  Place the constellation over a paper and have the child colour in the empty holes to make the constellation on a piece of paper.
3.  Write and explain the meaning of each constellation.  You could write this on the back of the constellation of work on a book together.
4.  Darken a room and put a flashlight (as pictures above) in front of the constellation card and watch the stars dance.

Hanging the Constellations:

This is a great opportunity to practice order of things, reading and months.  Work through the months of the year and hang them according to calendar year asking your child to read each month as you go.

Hope you enjoyed this Homeschooling Tutorial!  More to come.

xoxox  The Mama

Veganocity Recipe: Buttery Baked Apple


McIntosh Apples
1 tsp cinnamon per apple
2 tbsp sugar per apple
Buttery Spread to fill each apple

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Core Apples and place in baking dish.
3.  Fill each apple with buttery spread half way.
4.  Sprinkle tsp of sugar and cinnamon into the apple.
5.  Add buttery spread to fill apple and sprinkle with remaining quantity of cinnamon and sugar.
6.  Repeat for all apples.
7.  Bake for 1-2 hours.

Serve hot with homemade granola and soygurt.

xoxox The Mama 

Sketchbook Project Completion

Notorious for completing tasks halfway, I was determined to complete this Sketchbook Project which I signed up for over half a year ago.  The deadline for postmarking our projects is tomorrow and I finished in the nick of time.  Yes.  The quality could have been better.  Yes.  I could have completed it months ago.  But I didn't and here is the finished project that I am more excited to have completed.  A lot was adapted from sketched of Lindsay Campbell, an amazing animal activist and artist.

So here is my Sketchbook, inspired by the birth of my Babes, enjoy:

As of Late...

Sick days...we have all been sick, since the day the new calendar year began.  It began with the Papa having a stomach flu and then it was passed to me.  The Papa took time off work last week to help while I lay in bed and these passed two days my Eldest and Littlest of Babes have been so so so sick.  High fevers, inconsolable, tired, possibly delusional. It is so difficult to watch as your Babes battle anything, let alone a sickness.  Vulnerable and shaken.  Needing comfort constantly.  Well, this Mama is no doubt willing to give all but I just wish this passes soon.


The Mama


L'Echange des Soeurs

A couple of months ago I proposed a simple box exchange with one of my friends, Christine.  She has been pivotal in inspiring me to pursue all that calls to me.  She is amazing in every way.  Her beauty astounds.  Ethereal and a little fairy princess of light.  And after our meeting, which I described several posts ago, I adore her even more (Didn't think it was possible).

The exchange is simple and inspired by this post from Rebekka Seale:  to create a personalized package for a friend, a sister, with a journal of notes to send back and forth, to inspire, to share your thoughts.  I thought what better way to share something with someone who I adore so much.

Our first exchange was not via mail but a sit down where we exchanged the boxes as gifts for Christmas.  We both decided to go off with our boxes in tow and open them at will, when a moment allowed us to sit and fully immerse ourselves in the letters, positivity and love.  My moment, came today, three weeks later.

The box is beautifully decorated (my side is to be completed - my part will complete the whole and Christine's part is the half which is her offering to be of symbolic support).  Inside this precious lady filled it with words of positivity, which I plan on putting in a journal of inspiration to later be passed down to my Babes, but in the mean time will inspire me on my journey.  There was a very interesting charm that was an inside reference to the Rocky Horror Picture Show - the film that plays on the night of our Wedding in the Theatre we married at - how clever, sweet and personal.  Her love of vintage books is so evident and her collection must be smaller now that I received copies of Vintage People's starring the Princess of the People and my love, Diana.  This will go with my plethora of royal things.  Feathers now hang on my inspiration board above my desk and her letter will forever warm my thoughts and heart.  I share this quote from the letter, an otherwise personal and private sharing between the two of us because it describes so well the intent of l'echange des soeurs (I hope she doesn't mind):

"This journal can be WHATEVER we want it to be; it is our safe haven of sharing, inspiring, appreciating"

So to my Christine:

xoxox  The Mama

I would love to hear from my followers about L'Echange Des Soeurs thoughts or inspirations.  Please feel free to try this idea.  Explore and open your heart to another that is willing to fully accept.  L'Echange harbours no judgments or pretense.  It is a box full of love and dedication to supporting another person.  

Please feel free to comment on this post.  I would love to hear from you!
And my soeur, Christine, writes for Verve Evolving blog.  She is a great friend and blissed out babe on a journey like us all.  I admire her deeply.


52 Week Challenge: Drawing of my Choice

Determined to begin my 52 Week Challenge, I sat down to work on my Sketchbook 2013 project.  The project book is due to be postmarked January 15th, leaving me little time to complete.  The book itself is an artistic piece describing our story (more pics to come).  But this evening, with a teething Littlest of Babes and restless Big Little / Little Big Babe I completed the Papa image in 10 minutes.  We all must sleep now.

Good night my loves.

xoxox The Mama