[Wearing: Fairchild waterproof pants, SISKIN by Engel long sleeve organic wool+silk top, Reima mittens, Bisgaard Tex winter boots, ]
In this old post “Mud pants — wet and muddy season’s essential” I wrote about how great mud pants (aka rain pants, waterproof pants) are for Spring season when snow is often slushy or outdoors is muddy. Unlike snow pants that make children feel hot in warmer Spring days mud pants are thin and lightweight, roomy and keep child cool, but dry while playing outdoors.
This year we switch our brand of choice for mud pants to FAIRECHILD as we were having issues with our Didricksons pants loosing their waterproof quality. Also, FAIRECHILD brand has much better sustainability practices, which is a big factor. They also make waterproof coats and mittens.
Here is a little bit about sustainability practices of this brand:
- Their garments are crafted from 100% recycled plastic bottles
- According to the label that came with our rain pants 19 plastic bottles were utilized in creating of the garment.
- FAIRECHILD offers Take Back program for their used garments that recycles re-used garments. I think this is an incredible initiative!
In this post I wanted to share some thoughts on homeschooling and why we chose to go that route.
Before I dive into this topic, I want to say that it should not be taken as a critic against teachers. On contrary, I think very highly of teachers. But it is the system with which we don’t align.
What lead us to it
I grew up in former Soviet Union and were not homeschooled, but attended a public school. I greatly enjoyed my time at the school — learning was easy for me and of course school was a place I got to see most of my friends. So I imagined my kids to have the same experience when I would become a parent.
My first re-evaluation of what my children’s education should look like came when Ale´ was 1 year old and we went to tour a little Montessori school. My first disappointment came when I saw an outdoor playground — it was smaller than our yard and had almost no vegetation, just some plastic playground equipment. Then I learned that outdoor time was very minimal and most time children spend indoors. Since Ale´ birth he spent most of his time outdoors — napping or crawling next to us while we were gardening, and later watching bees, smelling flowers and picking berries. I simply couldn’t picture him spending most of his day indoors.
The more we can repurpose plastic the less it ends up in nature. We melt it, spring it to fibers, and make it into fun, functional clothes like this one. Works like magic, and saves resources for our kids.
Up until this year we were very happy with the snowsuits from Lea and Jojo which are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and free from any toxic dies, water-proofing agents and so forth. Sadly this wonderful sustainable snowsuits don’t come in big enough sizes for my older boys. And so this year, we were in need of a new jacket and snowsuit for Ale´, as he outgrew everything we had. A friend recommended to try Finish brand REIMA, and I’m very grateful to her for this recommendation. So I wanted to share a little bit here about what we love about the items we purchased so far — REIMA snowsuit, a jacket and mittens.
In summery, we recommend their snowsuits, jackets and mittens. Although I hope REIMA will expedite their conversion to 100% recycled fibers in their manufacturing.
Hello! Time flies too fast — it is January of 2022 while I am still contemplating a post with our garden update for 2021 !
Today we are having a beautiful winter day full of snow and really crisp temperatures, which is a real treat as so far this winter has been extremely dry and warm. And so while the boys are wrestling with their 74 year old grandma (my mom is truly epic) I got a little time to spend on my blog. So here is a little post about one of our most loved recent additions to kids library — “If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)” book by Rachel Piercey, illustrated by Freya Hartas. This most beautiful book is done by Magic Cat publishing in UK, and is indeed magical!
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!