Hello, 6 months later I’m finally back to my blog. 🙂 Now as all the gardening is about to be wrapped up I have a little bit more time. And as we are in the middle of most beautiful fall season here in Rocky Mountains I thought to dedicate this post to a simple autumn leaves craft project.
Every year boys and I make a fall lantern utilizing some of the beautiful fall leaves that we collect in the garden and in the mountains. I love how this little DIY lantern brings a little bit of nature into our home, and helps us to preserve it even after all the reds and golds are long gone from the trees outside our windows.
This DIY lantern craft is very easy to make with children of any ages, and comes out so lovely.
Last, but not least, it is a perfect zero-waste craft as you only use what nature is about to discard, plus a used glass jar and some tissue or waxed cooking paper that already exist in most homes.
We love having little lanterns for the boys bedroom. Here is our summer version. It is very simple to make and only requires some dried pressed flowers and leaves of choice, used glass jar with smooth surface and wide enough for a candle, and a tiny bit of white glue.
Hope you enjoy. 🙂
I wanted to quickly share this beautiful craft I saw on one of my favorite accounts on Instagram — goldnuss. That account always has beautiful and inspiring nature craft ideas for children.
We have made a few of these garlands almost a month ago, and they still are intact hanging on our windows.
This craft is very simple, but it probably would never occur to me, as dandelion puffs seem so fragile. How do you touch one without breaking? And as far as the yellow stage of flowers — once picked they turned into puffs in a day or so, but those puffs were small and undeveloped.
I’m excited to finally get a chance to post about “How Does My Fruit Grow?” by a wonderful children’s author and illustrator Gerda Muller. I actually started this post a year ago. So finally I’m getting to finish it up. 🙂
Gerda Muller is one of our most loved children’s author. Every single book by this author is so beautifully illustrated. But what I also really love about her books is how much information is packed on each page. The information is presented in a form of a charming story that is easy for a child to relate and connect to.
You might have seen a blog post from a while ago about “How Does My Garden Grow?” book. The story is about a little girl Sophie, who arrives to her grandparents for summer. Grandparents live on a farm. On the first morning Sophie wakes up in a sunlit little attic room to a smell of hot cocoa and pancakes. And after the breakfast the grandpa takes her into a garden and gives her a little garden allotment where Sophie plants her own seeds. As the story goes on a child learns about how different vegetables grow, what is pollination and also about different garden creatures.
Here is my second post in the series on organic bedroom. Although this post features the photographs of our boys bedroom, all these items are also available in grwon-up bed sizes.
As you might know from the previous blog posts I’m a big believer that our purchases can make a difference in the world. As we use our money to support sustainable and positive businesses (and not big corporations) we help them to stay in business and keep on going. And at the same time we deny our support to those companies that make their living by destroying our planet while selling us toxic and harmful products.
It might seem small and insignificant on a scale of one family. But if this small impact is multiplied by millions it will be a tidal wave of change, forcing big corporations to change their ways, to stop saturating everything with harmful chemicals and to stop destroying our beautiful planet that is home to us all.
Conventional textile industry is often considered only second to Big Oil when it comes to environmental pollution, accounting for 25% use of pesticides worldwide and poisoning rivers with chemical run offs.
Conventional textile industry is often considered only second to Big Oil when it comes to environmental pollution, accounting for 25% use of pesticides worldwide and poisoning rivers with chemical run offs. Traditional non-organic cotton fields use tremendous amounts of water, as well as pesticides and herbicides. And then comes textile manufacturing process which is also very taxing on our planet. Take a look at this photos on my Pinterest board here:
So when it comes to textiles I always try to buy GOTS certified or (when not available) OEKO Tex certified fabrics or items. Buying organic textiles is not merely about it being better for us personally.
In this post I share some products we like, such as organic mattresses, organic bedding, as well as toxin-free bed frames and even paints (should you need to paint your walls or furniture).
For a while now I’ve been meaning to share some photos from the boys room. One day I hope I’ll get around to taking photos of the complete room, as I think it came out very lovely. But for now, I wanted to share different little beautiful things we have there.
Last year we decided to set boys up with their own room. Up until then Eleon slept on a floor bed next to my bed, and Ale´ slept in his crib bed which was getting too short for him. So we felt it was a good time to give them bigger beds and a room for them to share.
I was truly impressed with all the work and heart that this company put in doing their very best for their customers, their workers and our planet.
We already had 2 beautiful beds for the boys that we inherited when we bought our little cabin in the mountains. But we needed mattresses. It was very important to us that the mattresses would have no chemical off-gassing and were made suitably. After some research we decided to go with Avocado Green Mattress and after owning it for close to a year we remain very happy with it. I was truly impressed with all the work and heart that this company puts in making sure they do their very best for their customers, for their workers and for our planet. So I thought it was good time to make a mention of it on my blog, since it is dedicated to non-toxic and sustainable living. 🙂
And it is incredible to know that a small regular donation, that is about a cost of 2 cups of tea or coffee, goes a long way and saves life by making the invaluable work of these rangers and vets possible.
Recently our family adopted a pack of African Wild Dogs through African Wildlife Conservation Fund to help save these wonderful and charismatic creatures from going extinct. African Wild Dogs, also known as Painted Wolves, are incredibly brave, intelligent, playful and loyal to each other. And they are also Africa’s second most endangered carnivore.
Even though African Wild Dogs are not on anyone highly priced list, African Wild Dogs suffer greatly as unintended victim of poacher’s snares. African Wildlife Conservation Fund, along with a number of other organizations, work relentlessly to patrol the bush in search of snares as well as any animals who are in need of help.
I wanted to make a quick post about how we care for boy’s Bisgaard leather winter shoes. We are using Bisgaard TEX boots for the third winter and are extremely happy with them — the boys spend up about 6 hours outside 3-5 days a week all through the winter and their feet never got cold or wet, the shoes are lightweight and have excellent grip. You can see more photos and details abut these winter boots for children here and here.
The pair of shoes in the photo are on their 2nd winter. They are used extensively each week due to how much time our kids spend outside while attending forest school. And with us living in the Rocky Mountains I think our terrain is particularly rough on the outdoor gear. Yet, the shoes are holding together wonderfully.
Recently I realized I never shared how we care for them. The care is really quite simple, but I think it makes a big difference in keeping the shoes waterproof and lasting for a long time in good condition.
This year we had a long and beautiful fall here in Colorado’s Front Range, and so we have collected a lot of leaves during our times in the mountains where boys attend their forest school program. We called them ‘forest jewels’.
In this quick post I wanted to share with you one of our crafts with those beautiful fall leaves. It is very simple. We made this craft with kids both indoors and outside, although having a windy day would make it challenging. This craft is also low waste — it uses forest finds such as leaves and sticks, and the only other supplies needed are a small amount of regular white glue and a bit of biodegradable string or twine.
We have great and warm rubber boots. We have fantastic mud pants. But when it came to playing in a creek both boys inevitably would end up wading too deep and getting their boots filled to the rim with icy water. Because keeping track of the how deep the water is a thing for grown ups, but is really not that important while you are 3 or 5 years old exploring the world. 🙂
One of the parents from our forest school recently shown me waders she had for her little boy. Since we don’t do fishing I never even heard or seen of such thing before. What great invention they are, especially for the nature loving kiddos!
I wanted to post an update to the previous blog post on winter shoes by Bisgaard for kids. By now we are on our 3rd pair and using these shoes for the 3rd winter. We spend extensive time outdoors, especially since we have started a forest school. Last winter, with Ale´ we did 3-4 hour hikes 4 days each week all through the winter. And just this week the boys did a 5.5 hour program in cold weather doing a 5 km hike. And these shoes continue to be a compete success.
Where to buy and choosing the right size
For information on where we order our Bisgaard shoes (sadly not easily found in US) and my tips for choosing the right size consult this original post on Bisgaard TEX boots.
Read on this post to learn about the reasons we enjoy these shoes and why I recommend them. As always this post is not sponsored.
In one of our earlier posts I shared that last year my family has started a forest school in our area. It’s been a lot of fun and of course a lot of hard work. But we all have been really enjoying having a community of outdoor loving kids exploring together on a regular basis each week. And having my kids spend 4 to 8 hours 3 days each week year around in nature with their friends has been incredible!
Here in this post I wanted to share the outdoor gear and accessories they have been using and enjoying during their forest school time. In the past I have shared our favorite winter gear, as well as our favorites for the wet and muddy season. For summers they simply wear white shirts made from organic muslin fabric and shorts, all sewn by my mom for them. Summer hiking shoes is the only area where our search for the best gear still continues, as we are yet to find something I could recommend.
And in this post I wanted to share some of the accessories we’ve been using on our hikes. As always, the products are sustainable and ethically made and their mention here is not sponsored.
Before I get into my review of Kanken Mini backpack, I want to quickly share with you 3 facts that stood out for me as I did a bit of research about this company prior to buying the backpacks.
The fox isn’t just for the logo.
Fjällräven actually means arctic fox in Swedish. Sadly, these beautiful animals are at the brink of extinction as a result of fur industry and now climate change. Fjällräven is involved in Arctic Fox recovery program in Sweden through co-funding as well as supplying field equipment. I think that is just amazing!
Keeping plastic bottles out of the oceans
The Re-Kanken backpacks are made from 11 used plastic bottles each, with lesser use of water and energy in the production process as well!
On-going research into sustainability practices
The company has a comprehensive set of sustainability values and appears to do an on-going research in this area to keep on improving its operations so it leaves lesser and lesser impact on our planet.
Ok, now that I shared these cool facts with you, here comes my review. 🙂
This Spring as boys were turning 3 and 5 years old I wanted to get them new backpacks. Their old backpacks made by my mom from some upcycled old garments were adorable and very loved by both of them, but they outgrew them. And as we didn’t have any old fabric or garments around which were suitable for new backpack sewing I decided to go ahead and buy them their new backpacks.
I was hoping to find kids backpacks made of canvas, with no synthetic materials. I didn’t find anything of that sort in children’s size (not to say it isn’t somewhere out there), but I quickly discovered Fjallraven brand and was impressed with their sustainability values. I now discovered that it is apparently a very trendy brand as well and if you want to get likes on Instagram just wear a Kanken backpack :))) . But the reason why I chose these backpacks for the boys is because of the company’s sustainability values, great craftsmanship, functionality and perfect size for young children.
Hello friends, I wanted to take a moment and share with you few easy swaps you can make in your kitchen to eliminate or greatly reduce single-use plastic waste. I’ve tried many different products sold at various zero-waste shops, and these are the items that ended up working best for us.
About plastic pollution
Before I jump into sharing with you what has been working well for our family I wanted to share with you a little bit about why it matters.
Many people are under impression that as long as we put our plastic waste into a recycling bin it will be taken care of. But sadly we produce such colossal amount of plastic than recycling industry simple can not keep up with it and vast majority of our plastic waste ends up littering our planet and will remain there hundreds of years.
Here, in the above images is the very sad reality of where our plastic trash ends up.
And if you use instagram check out these profiles — @ourgoodbrands, @no_plasticwaste and @plasticfreedom_ — both for eye opening images of what is happening with plastic, and for some great inspiration of things you can change in that regard.