All posts tagged winter

CREATE … maple snow ice cream with freshly fallen snow

Well, the glorious sun is melting our snow away today … hooray!!  We did have some fun exploring and making snow ice cream with our mounds and mounds of fresh snow (+ our fair share of snowballs thrown in faces … how do boys never tire of this?). This super simple recipe for kids to make is sweetened with maple syrup and is really good with thick and creamy coconut milk. We’re more than ready for spring time weather, but if it happens to snow on us in March we’ll certainly be making this again.




MAPLE SNOW ICE CREAM adapted from this recipe from Teaching Mama

8 cups fresh snow

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 t. vanilla extract

1 cup milk (coconut, almond, or whole milk  all work well)


Mix maple syrup, vanilla, and milk together and keep cool in the freezer (or set outside) while the kids collect fresh snow.  Let the kids add snow to the maple syrup/milk mixture and have them stir until mixed (takes just a couple of minutes). Scoop ice cream into serving bowls. DONE. Easy and SO GOOD!



I absolutely love our backyard/forest when it snows. We always go on a search for animal tracks and usually after a few days of snow on the ground we can just peek out our back windows to see trails of tracks the animals have made. The pictures above were taken on a ridiculously cold day so we didn’t last outside very long and as I get older I don’t seem to tolerate the cold very well either. The boys also discovered that riding the zipline is super fun with a 2′ cushion of snow to land in.



NEST + CREATE + NOURISH … cheers to a new year and a messy house

Happy New Year all! After a fabulous Christmas break filled with the messiest of activities and great times building memories with dear family and friends, it’s time to get back to some sort of order in every part of life. With that said, over the past few days I have heard of two families that have lost their homes to fires and I’m reminded of how grateful we are to have this warm and comfortable home, even if the mess and the clutter is a constant. This really isn’t a major, or even a minor, problem right? WE HAVE A HOME and I am counting this messy, unorganized home a blessing!



Above are a couple shots of disaster areas during and after creating. It may not seem like this helps the organization process but they actually USED supplies we have had for a really long time and spent hours creating with legos, cardboard, and hot glue.

I really do want to simplify our home but these recent events have given me a very different perspective on the method and maybe it will just have to be at a slower pace than I have planned. The kids have way too much fun making a mess of it and I really can’t blame them – messy projects are fun!

A few of our favorite activities over the break were baking treats for neighbors, teachers, friends, and family. Making ornaments and sibling gifts. Looking forward to the acts of kindness each day and simply enjoying family time together.

Below are photos from a super easy recipe for kids to help with. Gluten free Almond Orange Snowballs from Recipe Girl. We added in crushed peppermint for some of them and they were delicious.

IMG_3565 IMG_3576


One of the ornaments the kids made using strips of colored paper.


The puppet house that the boys made for Emma



The soccer field James made for Jack with an oversized shoe box lid, paper, pipe cleaners, and netting from bags of fruit. Clearly he was proud of this!


Mind craft figures that Jack made for James using our legos.

Inspired by a gift (below) from Godfather/Uncle Dan, the boys had fun adding layers of armor to their legos + more creations with corks, bottle caps, and wooden beads.






So, instead of always feeling like I have to clean or organize more, I am going to try to embrace the mess just a little bit and be grateful for a house to contain it and the creative kids who live here.

If you would like to donate, even just $1, to the Family fire funds below I know they would be more than grateful for your generosity.

The McCarthy’s family fire fund

The Koehler family fire fund

Enjoy the beginning of a nourishing and peaceful new year and take a moment to read these Resolutions from Pope Francis that should be resolutions for a lifetime, not just for the year ahead.

HAPPY 2014!


CREATE … snow painting + stamping | by five and one



We found a patch of clean snow to use as our canvas for snow painting and stamping and wow was it incredibly fun!

All you need is sidewalk chalk, paint brushes, foam stamps, a hard surface such as the driveway or a piece of wood (we used a piece of slate left over from our  slate house siding), spray bottle or any bottle of water, and your snow canvas.

Mix chalk and water on your hard surface then start creating. It helped to really get a good amount of chalk on the surface to make a thicker base of paint to completely saturate the stamps.

So much fun! If you still have snow you should definitely try it out.





E was so thrilled to be stamping the snow with hearts and stars.