Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waking up early??

I'll admit it...I'm not a morning person! In fact, I'm a night owl to the core!  I justify it by telling myself that it's the only time to myself and that I deserve those few hours alone at night.  However, I think it's causing more harm than good.  I'm beyond tired in the morning, I have a lack of motivation and the late night snacking doesn't help.
In my search for early earlier mornings and a proper bedtime, I've come across a book titled: The Miracle Moring by Hal Elrod.


The premise of the book is that you can change your whole life by waking up early and getting a good start to your day through: meditating, praying, journaling, reading etc...
It suggests that you can have the life you've always wanted in just 6 min a day.  
So far I'm enjoying the book.  I'm actually listening to it on an audiobook; that way, I can multitask as I listen.

It's such a discipline, to go to bed at a decent time and rise early; not because you have to but...because you want to.

Here are some benefits to waking up early:

1.  Helps sustain a healthier diet
2.  Promotes productivity
3.  Better mental health
4.  Give more exercise time
5.  Improves quality of sleep
6.  Can partake in quiet time
7.  Prevents from being late
8.  Less stress
9.  Gain more time in the day
10. Watch sunrise


How about you?  Do you get up early? If so, why? because you want to or have to?



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Frida Kahlo

Another trip I made while I was in Mexico City was to the house of Frida Kahlo. 


 She was a Mexican painter that was known for her self-portraits and her crazy eyebrows!



She was born on July 7, 1907.  Frida's life was full of physical suffering.  
First it started with polio which was contracted at the age of five, 
then a devastating bus accident left her in constant pain and bedridden most of the time.  


Many of her paintings were created while laying in bed.  


She had a great love, Diego Rivera whom she married twice and dedicated her diary to him.  
Their love was very tumultuous.  


Her art was influenced by the indigenous Mexican culture 
with it's bright colours, symbolism and primitive style.  


Frida Kahlo died at the young age of 47. 
She was a very unique woman, who created some really interesting art.  

My children studied Frida Kahlo's art during their 4 Cats art class.  
Here are some of their Frida inspired pieces:







Monday, August 8, 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Last week I went and visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Before leaving, I have to admit, I didn't know the whole story of the apparitions of Our Lady to a poor Mexican man named Juan Diego. I soon immersed myself in the story and learned as much as I could about the miracle that happened on the Hill of Tepeyac in December 1531.
Here is the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

What fascinated me the most on my pilgrimage there was the pure devotion the Mexican people have to Our Lady. There were countless of people there, praying, observing, attending mass, going to confession and meditating. It was beautiful to witness.


The day I went, it was muggy and warm. I went alone but trusted my taxi driver Cleo to stay and wait for me; which he did. He was so great. I wandered around with no time limit, no-one else's schedule or time table.  It was nice.


And there she was...the vision of Our Lady on the tilma.  It was beautiful yet it was undistinguished.  It was just a framed picture.  It was small and not grandiose.  However, it had such a presence and an awe to it.  It was as if everyone who witnessed it was gobsmacked.  Maybe that was the way it was intended.  Not to be grand and huge and in your face.  Perhaps Our Lady is just the opposite...pure, unanouncing, demure....but demands such faith and devotion.  Even looking at her face, there is a sense of modesty and meekness.  


As I walked up the Hill of Tepeyac (which was long and hard), I thought about all the thousands of people that have walked these steps to make this religious journey up the hill.  Maybe some were sick, desperate, or had a new sense of salvation.  Everyone had a story.  Everyone wanted the intercession of Our Mother.


I am so thankful for the opportunity to visit one of the most sacred places on earth.  It was truly amazing and inspiring.  I recommend anyone who wants a conversion in their heart to visit this holy place and bear witness to the miracle that is Our Lady of Guadalupe.  







Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why I Became an Usborne Consultant Part 2

Here are my other favourite Usborne books:

1.  Picture Dictionary in English:  This was another absolute favourite with my eldest son.  He adored this book!

2. Illustrated Thesaurus:  This is a must have for any child that is starting the writing process.  It has fantastic illustrations and an easy to use approach, especially for your first-time writers.


3.  Latin Word Sticker Book: The sticker books are great and there is a whole variety of them.  I especially love the language ones.  It's a great way to introduce some vocabulary words but at the same time it's hands-on.


4.  See Inside Your Body:  These interactive "see inside" books are great for science, special interest or just for leisure.  Your kids will thoroughly enjoy them!


5. Complete Book of Art Ideas:  If you want to have fun art activities to do with your kids...especially during the summer time then this is the perfect book for you!  It has a ton of great projects for all age levels.


Usborne books have so many titles to choose from.  Check out their online catalogue at: 

Happy Reading!
xo


Friday, July 15, 2016

Why I Became an Usborne Consultant - Part 1

About 13 years ago, I was invited to an Usborne book party.  I had never come across these books before and instantly I fell in love with them.
They were bright, engaging and had vivid colours.  I knew I wanted them for my son who was just a baby at the time.
A few years later, I decided to become a consultant so that I could buy as many as I liked with a discount and at the same time sell to family and friends while making a little money on the side.

Here are some of our favourites:


That's not my princess....  This is a great board book for babies.  It has different textures inside for the child to feel...including velvet, satin, bumpy and shiny...they also have "That's not my prince..." along with other collections.


Very First Book of Things to Spot at Home.  This is my all-time favourite book.  My son loved this book.  We would pack it around with us everywhere.  It kept him preoccupied when we were at a restaurant or at a friend's home.


Animals Hide-and-Seek.  This is another cherished book in our family.  You get to know Poppy and Sam and their animal friends throughout a series of Usborne books.  You can also spot the little yellow duck in each picture.  


First Experiences: Going to the Dentist.  These "First Experiences" are great books to introduce different events in a young child's life.  I remember reading this to my daughter before she went to her first dentist appointment.


On the Moon.  This book is a great one to learn about the moon.  It even has actual real life pictures of the moon.  A favourite in our house!


Ted in a Red Bed.  The Usborne phonics readers are awesome.  They are cute, fun and colourful.  They have many of them to chose from.


Look Inside a Farm.  The "Look Inside" books are a great way to explore different places.  There are a whole variety of them to check out.


Classic Stories for Little Children.  Time-less tales with gorgeous illustrations.  It's definitely a book to keep for ages.


On Monday in Part 2, I will share books for older children that our family loves.
You can check out the Usborne online catalogue at: www.usbornebooksathome.ca 




Monday, July 11, 2016

25 Reasons Why I Homeschool

*The following post is my opinion and what works for our family, under no circumstances do I ever judge or criticize what other families choose for education, whether it be, public, private or homeschool.  For us it was a calling...

When my eldest was around 3 years old, I was watching a program on TV and it had a mother talking about homeschooling her kindergartener and a couple other moms disagreeing with her idea.  I had NEVER considered homeschooling, but I found myself agreeing more with the mom wanting to homeschool.  This was a new concept to me and I decided to explore it.  After reading and researching about homeschooling, I decided this was what I wanted to do.  I felt God planted this seed in me for a reason.  I didn't feel comfortable handing over my baby to other people just because he turned 5 and was expected to attend school.  It felt very unnatural to me.  Once I got my husband on board, we never looked back.  And thus the journey began...

Here are 25 reasons why I homeschool:

1.  My husband and I are the main influences in our children's lives.

2.  I get to spend lots of time with my kids (I know right, crazy!)

3.  It develops a stronger sibling bond.

4.  My children can go at their own pace.

5.  We can provide an well-rounded education.



6.  We can share our faith with our children on a daily basis and intertwine it through their subjects.

7.  We can get lots done in a short amount of time.

8.  Lots of one-on-one direction.

9.  The kids have more time to develop their talents...piano, soccer, dance, art etc...

10.  Our children are spared the playground antics.



11.  Our kids are not peer-oriented.

12.  I don't have to pay for their education.

13.  They can join extra-curricular activities and we don't feel like they're missing out on family time.

14.  I get to witness them: learning to read, have the lightbulb go on and have an ah-ha moment.

15.  There's lots of time for discussion.



16.  There's lots of time for reading.

17.  They're in touch with their community on a regular basis...library, grocery store, community
       centre.

18.  We get to go on lots of field trips.

19.  I can make sure they're eating healthy meals and finishing it.

20.  We can spend time with my husband if he has a day off during the week.



21.  We can take holidays whenever we want and not during peek seasons.

22.  We can do "school" outside.

23.  There is no homework!

24.  My children socialize with people of all ages and not just kids the same age as them.

25.  I get to pour my wisdom, love and knowledge into them each and every day!



Friday, July 8, 2016

What I'm Into

WHAT I'M INTO...

On my nightstand: Books: The BFG, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up.

On the Screen:  Yes I admit it! I'm a Bachelor/ette watcher, have been from the beginning.  It's my only mindless entertainment...don't judge.  I also love watching Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH.  Most of my screen watching is Youtube though...Ellie & Jared, 8 Passengers, Bonnie Hoileen, Julie Deru.

In My Ears: Mostly podcasts: IEW, Read Aloud Revival, Ed Snapshots

What I'm Learning:  Learning to give myself grace and be ok with saying no.

Organizing:  Just finished organization my bookshelf (feels good!), then it's my pantry.  Little by little.

What I'm looking forward to:  Holidays with my family and just doing nothing!