Minimalist minded family of five enjoying the seasons of life. • Travel • Crafts • Wild + Free • Read Aloud Family

"Happiness is not a's a by-product of a life well lived." Eleanor Roosevelt . . Being outside, hearing my children laugh and seeing them explore makes me happy. Hearing my husband make up stories with our youngest while we hike along makes me happy. Eating salsa for breakfast makes me happy. . . I try to keep this space a happy and encouraging one but truth be told, yesterday was a really discouraging day for me. Today, I am choosing gratitude and focusing on the good things. What's something that is making you happy today?
We don't have a garden of our own but we recently, as a family, helped clean out a community garden so it would be ready for planting. Weeding, readying the garden beds and finding the uses for all of the gardening tools - it was such a fun learning experience while we all worked side by side! . . This month some sweet mamas are joining together to learn all about #gardenschooling together, make sure to follow along with them! @wilkinsonnest @chickieandroo @im_the_simon @fortheloveofhomeschooling @littlehousebecameahome @onthecovehomeschool @everydaylearnandplay @learningfreely @shannacrowell @thepreciousyears Please feel free to join us, using the hashtag #gardenschooling .
Sharing three sweet books today that would be perfect for an Easter basket! . . The Little Rabbit by Nicola Killen This lovely book follows Ollie and her friend Bunny as they set off exploring after rainy Spring days. . . Peeping Beauty by Brenda Maier This fairy tale is so adorable! A chicken family awaits the arrival of three new chicks. The first egg hatches. The second egg hatches. But the third takes its time and everyone is in for a sweet surprise! . . Wings by Cheryl B. Klein Simple rhyming words and beautiful Tomie dePaola illustrations, this Spring inspired book is really fun and clever! . . What is your favorite thing to include in Easter baskets? . . Books published and gifted by @simonkids
So often I am struck by how different each of my children is from one another! From food preferences to personalities to book selections. And yet, they really are each other's best friends. (Also, did you know today is National Siblings Day!?) . . My Brother Otto by Meg Raby @bedtime.stories.forevermore explores the relationship between Piper Crow and her brother Otto. And, although Otto sometimes acts differently than Piper or other kids, he still likes so many of the same things - just like Piper! (An added bonus: my son loves to find the worm illustration on each page!) . . April is National Autism Awareness Month and Meg's book does such a lovely job of introducing differences to little ones. Thank you Meg! . . Also, if you love picture books, one final reminder that today is the last day to enter to win - check out my previous post!
GIVEAWAY CLOSED Spring is here - warmer weather, flowers and baby animals! To celebrate, I've joined with some amazing book-loving mamas to give away a copy of each of our favorite Spring inspired picture books! . . One lucky winner will receive: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown How to Be a Wildflower by Katie Daisy The Little Rabbit by Nicola Killen Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner Jack's Garden by Henry Cole The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice Provensen . . To enter, simply: 1. Like this photo . . 2. Follow all accounts @simplefamilylifestyle @im_the_simon @averyandaugustine @thewoodsysort @thewaldockway @treehouse_schoolhouse @herheartshomeschool . 3. Tag anyone you think would love a collection of Spring picture books or tell us your favorite Spring or Easter inspired picture book. Each comment is a separate entry! . . Giveaway runs through April 10, 2019 EST. Not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Open to US residents.
Flying just like the weekend! My kids are fascinated with birds and if you peeked into our bookshelves, you would notice just how popular they are around here! . . Up until a short time ago, I had never seen a cardinal. I've always wanted to - with their vibrant color and crest - but no luck. Then...I saw two in one week, more than 100 miles apart! . . The first time, I was out for a walk with my older son and he pointed one out to me. Then, several days later, I saw the second as we were all headed out for a new hike. They are just as amazing as I imagined! . . Is there a bird (or other animal) you are always on the watch for when out in nature?
🌱GIVEAWAY🌱. CLOSED This month some homeschooling mamas are joining in studying all about gardening using the hashtag #gardenschooling . . . We’ve put this giveaway together to share with one of you all of these amazing garden resources! Here is what you can win: 🌱The Garden Guide by @thepeacefulpress given by co-writer @wilkinsonnest 🌱A Seed Starter Kit by @fortheloveofhomeschooling 🌱The Full Upper and Lower Elementary Garden Units created by @chickieandroo 🌱The Complete Growing Garden Calendar created by @everydaylearnandplay 🌱The beautiful Garden Birds book by Matt Sewell from @simplefamilylifestyle 🌱The Garden Journal by @twigandmoth given by @im_the_simon 🌱A set of mini tools from @onthecovehomeschool 🌱Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman given by @thepreciousyears 🌱A Mason Bee House from @littlehousebecameahome 🌱A full sized water can from @learningfreely 🌱And the fun and engaging Grow a Garden Game from @shannacrowell . To enter: 1. Like this post 2. Follow all accounts listed above 3. Tag a friend who would love to study gardening with their children, too! . . This post is not sponsored by IG and will end on 4/7 at 9pm EDT. Winner will be announced within 48 hours. Giveaway is open worldwide!
Packing up for a road trip and including one of the essentials for my kids - books! Each of my kids has a backpack they take on our trips. It's their responsibility to pack it with books, art supplies or toys for entertainment during the (oftentimes long!) drive. . . For my two readers, this always includes books they can read - and they usually read the ones the other packs along as well. For my preschooler, we usually choose together a few books with lots of pictures in them for him to look at during the trip. He is usually able to persuade his brother or sister to read one or two to him along the way too! .
I remember the first time I ate peas fresh from the garden. My mom and I were walking in my grandparents' garden one summer evening and my mom pulled a few pods off a plant and shared them with me! They were so fresh and delicious and it's such a sweet memory for me of my grandparents' farm. . . I haven't really done a lot of gardening as an adult and so I'm excited to dive into a garden unit with my youngest! We will primarily be using the Garden Guide from @thepeacefulpress , gardening and nature books and mixing in some garden themed crafts. . . This month some sweet mamas are joining together to learn all about #gardenschooling together, make sure to follow along with them! @wilkinsonnest @chickieandroo @im_the_simon @fortheloveofhomeschooling @littlehousebecameahome @onthecovehomeschool @everydaylearnandplay @learningfreely @shannacrowell @thepreciousyears Please feel free to join us, using the hashtag #gardenschooling .
Out hiking we came upon this structure. Pretty sure he was thinking "How can I convince Mom and Dad to let me spend the summer living in this?" He has such an adventurous spirit and I am so thankful I get to be his mom!
"One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood." Agatha Christie . . It seems like it has been an unusually wet Spring and Winter which has lead to lots of water (and mud!) on our hikes. Crossing the water on rocks, racing sticks down the stream, and - of course - throwing rocks into the water (why is this so irresistible to kids?!) have been the source of so much joy for my kids! . . The other night we watched as a big owl flew through the sky and landed on the top of a tall tree. As we passed the spot yesterday, we all looked for the owl - didn't see it but it was such a wonderful experience and memory. . . Childhood is such a short time. I hope my children look back and have memories of a happy childhood.
We've been studying all things ocean this month and wanted to share two more books we've enjoyed as a part of our studies! Manfish follows Jacques Cousteau's life as an adventurer and explorer. Such a lovely biography - we really enjoyed learning more about a man who devoted so much of his life to exploring and protecting the ocean. The Brilliant Deep is the story of Ken Nedimyer - also inspired by Jacques Cousteau - and his efforts to save the world's coral reefs. (At one point he had 30 aquariums in his bedroom!) Really inspiring to see what one person with an idea can do to help our planet! . . Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne | The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs by Kate Messner | Both books are published by @chroniclebooks. . . Be sure to tag #oceanschooling if you’re studying the ocean this month! Check out our friends studying with us: @chickieandroo @fortheloveofhomeschooling @thepreciousyears @thewaldockway @homeschoolbythebeach @wilkinsonnest @simply.eclectic.homeschool @whiskingapples @onthecovehomeschool @schoolingdom
Pinecones, rocks (that little portion just might be a fossil), sticks, leaves - there is no end to the treasures we find when we are out on nature! . . Most we leave at the trailhead when we complete our hike but occasionally there is a treasure that just can't be parted with. Help me? How do you store your nature finds? . . And, just perfect for your little explorers and nature enthusiasts - don't miss out on the giveaway one post back!
GIVEAWAY CLOSED Several months ago we took a road trip and my youngest lived in a soft, cozy merino wool set from @ellaswool. When we saw their new tubes and they sent us a pair to try, we knew they would be just the thing for outdoor adventures and road trips. They were absolutely perfect for the cool Spring weather (we love wool's versatility) on a recent trip to the mountains and with the cuff, they will still fit next year! So excited to partner with @ellaswool for this giveaway! . . One lucky winner will receive: One pair of @ellaswool organic merino wool tubes. . . To enter, simply: 1. Like this photo. . . 2. Follow @ellaswool and @simplefamilylifestyle. . . 3. Visit Ella's Wool website (link in bio) and let us know which color of tubes you would choose. . . 4. Optional entry - tag each of your friends that might like a pair of these ultra soft, organic merino wool tubes! Each comment is a separate entry! . . Giveaway runs through March 23, 2019 EST. Not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Open to US, Canada and Europe shipping unless void or prohibited.
Playing with a bag of pom poms and "reading" together. Books without words are so fun! My preschooler and I talk about what is happening on each page, ask each other questions, make up names for the characters and tell our versions of the story to each other. . . |This lovely book published and gifted by @simonkids. | Written and illustrated by @theartoffun. . . What are some of your favorite wordless books?
After my son returned from a bike ride, I walked into a room and found him darning a pair of his socks. I told him that he was a renaissance kid. To which he replied, "If I had a pet owl, definitely!" . . Ever since reading An Owl in the Family his dream has been to have a pet owl. I don't see it happening but I admire his persistence. Have your children asked for any unusual pets?
"Adventure is worthwhile." Aesop . . These two are always on adventures together - Arctic explorers, wilderness guides, finders of rare or extinct animals. Something about being in nature that just inspires the imagination! . . Happy Monday! Any adventures planned for the week?
Poetry and tea time that was more like hot chocolate and fruit but still! My two readers and I took turns reading the poems aloud, discussed each poem and then we each (my preschooler also) shared which of the poems was our favorite. It was a lovely break in our day. . . This delightful book of ocean poems - Water Sings Blue is by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So. . . Be sure to tag #oceanschooling if you’re studying the ocean this month! Check out our friends studying with us: @chickieandroo @fortheloveofhomeschooling @thepreciousyears @thewaldockway @homeschoolbythebeach @wilkinsonnest @thebeekandthebuds @whiskingapples @onthecovehomeschool
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