Make move less stressful for kids

castle_from_boxes, md

We are moving, and this means that for the past month and for the next couple of weeks we are living among boxes, and in constantly changing surroundings. When you have children, adults with hobbies, a full-fledged beading studio, a large library, a network, and a pantry, it makes for quite a few things to pack. A minimalist friend of mine came to visit during the early stages of packing and exclaimed: “I don’t know how you can stand it, I’d go crazy having to live like this for even a week.” Any change in routine is stressful, full of unknowns, and can be downright scary for children. I have come up with ways to minimize everyone’s stress and make the packing more fun.

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Zen Transition to Motherhood for Kindle

Zen Transition to Motherhood 3D 130

My book Zen Transition to Motherhood is now available on Amazon. It looks in detail into the early weeks after the baby’s birth, with resources to let the new mama rest and recover after the birth, and tips on how to set up a meal train, address mama’s and baby’s health challenges, good supplies to have on hand, and ways to relax and enjoy this time. The second part of the book goes into practical matters of harnessing the new routine, getting chores under control, mastering errands with the baby, and handling commitments. The book also includes many ideas for entertainment and rest.

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Puzzle: Shell Game

Shell Game, med

Lovely puzzle – not trivial, but quite enjoyable with a variety of textures and shades of blue and purple. This is one of my son’s favourites – even before it was completed, he has asked that we put it up above his bed where it now resides.

Lots of ways to approach this puzzle: I have started with the large shell, assembling the smaller shells in parallel, and larger pieces of glass, followed by the dried seaweed on the right. After that, it was the matter of filling up every nook and cranny with little pieces of colour and pattern. Slow and indulgent, this puzzle requires a keen eye.

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Welcoming spring and fertility

Dyeing eggs - eggs with leaves, md

It has been a lovely day this Friday before Easter. The weather has been unusually warm, with a light refreshing breeze, soft sunshine, and birds hesitantly picking at the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder under the watchful eye of our cat. I’ve spent some time replanting potted aloe and various other house greenery and collecting soil from the towers to start various seeds. The kids have been having lots of fun outside for the first time this spring, playing ball, creating Knight of the Realm stories, rescuing available neighbourhood ladybug princesses, and remembering how to shoot a bow.

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Puzzle: Untitled, Buildings along a waterfront

Untitled with paint pigment, md

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 63 cm
Producer
: Ceaco, package of 2 puzzles, 2013, #3210-1
Photographer: Lester A. Garcia
Original: photo

Puzzle: Together in the package with Paint pigment in the sun in Kathmandu, Nepal

Unfortunately untitled by the puzzle manufacturer, it took me a while to find the original photo on which this puzzle was based. Beautiful image and a very easy-flowing assembly, this puzzle is a … Read more

Puzzle: Paint pigment in the sun in Kathmandu, Nepal

Paint pigment in the sun in Kathmandu, Nepal, md

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 63 cm
Producer
: Ceaco, package of 2 puzzles, 2013, #3210-1
Photographer: bezikus
Original: photo

Puzzle: Together in the package with Untitled. How I wish the puzzle manufacturers clearly indicated the picture title and author. It’s so simple, yet some omit the titles whereas others indicate over 6 photographers for the full puzzle series instead of indicating the author for the one image in question.

This lovely puzzle … Read more

Put things back where they belong

Many lists of rules for children or roommates include some variation of the rule “Put things back where they belong”. This is so basic that you might be thinking it not worth being mentioned. Yet so many adults leave clothes where they’ve taken them off and dishes where they’ve finished eating. Avoid frustration trying to find things when they are needed and tripping over them constantly when they are not. Put them back where they belong.

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Declutter your space

Productive Zen Mama - Declutter Your Space

It is much easier to focus when multiple objects in your surroundings are not screaming for your attention. Naturally, it would be great to avoid creating the clutter in the first place. In reality, however, we also need to periodically rearrange our workspace to clear out the clutter, change up our environment, and at the same time prioritize the most pressing tasks. Re-organize and declutter your physical space to lower your stress, save time, and boost your productivity. Watch how your attitudes change as a result of a less chaotic environment. I share some decluttering tips and experiments.

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Puzzle: Arctic Night

Arctic Night, med

Size: 100 pieces
Dimensions: 22.86cm x 17.78cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: Simple puzzle, great for kids. My almost four-year old needed only a little help to complete it. Good place to start is the purple and yellow sky and its border with the mountains. Next can come the polar bear with the cub, the black of penguins and dolphins, and the water surface with ripples. The rest of the puzzle should then fall into place.

Puzzle: Into the Wind by Sally Caldwell Fisher

Sally Caldwell Fisher - Into the Wind, med

Size: 234 pieces
Dimensions: 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm
Producer
: TDC Puzzles, Item #7180
Artist: Sally Caldwell Fisher
Package: photo

Puzzle: “The World’s Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle. This puzzle has 234 of the smallest pieces ever to be die-cut. Tweezers are included to help you with this ultimate puzzle challenge. Good Luck!” [Puzzle box]

Similar to the Times Square puzzle, this puzzle had pieces that were too small to fit well and make the assembly enjoyable, but I liked it more due … Read more

Puzzle: Times Square

Tony Shi - Times Square, med

Size: 234 pieces
Dimensions: 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm
Producer
: TDC Puzzles, Item #7177
Photographer: Tony Shi
Original: photo
Package: photo

Puzzle: “The World’s Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle. This puzzle has 234 of the smallest pieces ever to be die-cut. Tweezers are included to help you with this ultimate puzzle challenge. Good Luck!” [Puzzle box]

It being such a small puzzle that tweezers have to be included to handle the pieces, just like Into … Read more

Puzzle: Unicorn Waterfall

Unicorn Waterfall, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 27.94cm x 38.1cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: Lovely vibrant colours. We did this puzzle with my almost four-year old, and he quite enjoyed it. Good places to start are the orange ground, the purple sky and yellow mountain top, the green bushes at the bottom, the lilac haze along the right side, and the dark purple tree. Next can come the unicorn body, face, and mane, the blue of the water, and its border with the leaves and branches on … Read more

Puzzle: Fairy Raindrops

Fairy Raindrops, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 27.94cm x 38.1cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series, 10-puzzle pack, 2013, No. 103013-21081-A
Puzzle: Great for kids with its vibrant colours and clear colour borders. My son loved assembling it with me. The rainbow background is the easiest place to start, followed by the exposed skin, face, hair and flowers, mushrooms on the right, daisies, and shiny raindrops at the bottom. The dress, long-stemmed plants, and pale pink flowers in the top left can come next. The rest of the pieces can follow to complete the puzzle.