Back to School Smoothies – Apple Carrot

back to school smoothies

Mornings can often be a rush and a challenge to get everyone a good balanced breakfast and out the door on time, it’s one of the reasons I love Back to School smoothies. They are a quick, easy way to pack a bunch of important nutrients into one glass and start the day right.

If you’re like me you have a love – hate relationship with this time of year. I love that the kids are occupied elsewhere during the day and I can focus on other things, the golden late summer sun and promise of fall in the air. I do not like having to make lunches or get up in the mornings and rush out the door, I prefer a slower pace and making lunch later.

As a result I get up in the mornings with the shortest amount of time I possibly need to get us all fed and out the door (I can do it in about 30 minutes), which often means prepping things the night before and getting creative with breakfasts (this is also why I love overnight oats).

You know what they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! and I agree a good breakfast sets you up for a good, productive and successful day. This is why smoothies are a great solution. There are all kinds of varieties and combinations so everyone can have something they like; and I can easily make them night before (in it’s entirety or packing the blender and adding the liquid and blend in the morning). They are also portable, so if we’re running short on time we toss the smoothie into a to go glass and take it out the door and no one misses breakfast!

Tips for Making a Healthy and Balanced Morning Smoothie

It’s important to make a smoothie your child likes but it’s also important to keep in mind IMG_1593these few tips to make it a balanced, filling and energizing smoothie.

  1. Don’t make it fruit heavy – make sure it’s more than just fruit and milk
  2. Steer away from the juice – use non dairy milks, coconut water or just water itself to blend your smoothie
  3. Add in some protein – things like chia, hemp and flax seeds are all excellent sources of protein and when blended into the smoothie are not even noticeable. This also helps you feel fuller longer.
  4. Add in some greens if you can – I know some kids watch what you do like hawks and if they see one green thing going in there they won’t drink it even if they can’t see or taste it! If you can, adding a handful of greens like spinach, will give them that extra boost for the day.
  5. Change it up – have a few smoothie recipes on the go for your back to school mornings. Variety is good and keeps kids interested. It’s also helpful as the seasons change and what’s available in season in the grocery stores.

To get you going and inspired, we’re going to share some great Back to School smoothie recipes here on the blog over the next two weeks. Today we’re starting with my Apple Carrot Smoothie, which is a beautiful use of many of the things that are currently being harvested (like the sweet delicious apples from our apple tree).

Apple Carrot Smoothie

3 applesapple carrot smoothie (2)

1 stalk of celery

2 carrots

1 handful of spinach

2 tsp. hemp seeds

Water or *coconut water

Put all ingredients into you blender and mix thoroughly til smooth.


Serves 3

*coconut water is high in carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium and fiber. It has a sweet nutty distinct flavor so test it with your kids (a small sip in a separate glass) before adding it to the smoothie

And smoothies aren’t just for kids or breakfast! These are great for adults too and as snacks or a pick me up during the day.

Coming up next… the Peanut Butter Smoothie

A Coffee Smoothie…yes!

warm capuccino-saidaonlineThere’s nothing like a good cup of coffee. That fragrant aroma wafting through the air, the warmth of your mug as you gently lift it up and breathe, pause, then take a sip. Ahhh…I love coffee. And lately I have been drinking a lot of it. Well a lot for me, comparatively to other people I really don’t drink much at all. I drink maybe a cup a day, and there are some days none at all, but for a girl who used to drink one cup of decaf maybe once a week, a full caffeinated brew every day is a lot!

It’s all those fantastic flavored coffees that have done me in, toasted coconut, cinnamon pastry. But they don’t come in decaf and it is the caffeine that sends me flying, high on energy and sometimes a little shaky, probably not so good for me. Yet when the german chocolate cake is calling…

IMG_4721Luckily there’s a smoothie for that 🙂 Yes a way to still get my coffee fix, cause really I think what I am looking for is the flavor, and make it a more healthy choice and experience. It consists of all kinds of good things, like flax seed, cacao, honey and almond milk, with that little splash of coffee to finish it off.

It is quite yummy and satisfying. In fact, I made it for a friend of mine a couple of years ago, an avid coffee drinker and an avid smoothie avoider, and he loved it! He now enjoys them regularly. I also shared it with my mother this past weekend who is very much a smoothie drinker and loves her coffee, so it wasn’t really a hard sell, but she loved it and immediately asked for the recipe.

The recipe is quite simple, combining all the ingredients in the blender, mix and ready to serve. It can easily be made ahead and drunk later in the day, or right away, as I am sure you will not be able to wait.

Chocolate Mocha Smoothie

3/4 c. unsweetend almond milk

2 tbsp. cacao powder

1-2 oz. coffee (you can use decaf if you prefer, or any flavored coffee that you feel goes well with chocolate)

1 tbsp. flax seed oil

1 tbsp. vegan protein powder

1 tsp. honey

optional: 2 ice cubes (this thickens up your smoothie if prefered)

Put all ingredients into a Vitamix blender. Mix until smooth. Enjoy!

A Kraken Christmas

images-28Well it’s finally happened. My oldest son, now 11, has finally hit the stage where toys and ‘affordable’ gifts are no longer the gift of choice for Christmas. Gone are the days when he was happy with the Playmobil Castle (which we managed to sneak in last year), or the tool bench to ‘build’ on. He has now moved into that odd age bracket where gifts he would like fall under gift cards or minimum $100 items, usually for gaming or electronics of some kind (which honestly I just don’t get and can’t really understand. It’s not for lack of trying, it’s just seems like there’s a lot to understand).

Honestly, it’s challenging. I strongly believe in giving people what they ask for but gift cards though functional are not always that exciting. You can’t play with it or enjoy it on Christmas day, and that is not all that I want to get him either. I wanted something tangible. We needed to round out his list.

134So slowly, slowly I have gone out with him to the stores, shopping, looking, making suggestions and asking if he would like this or that -cause maybe he hadn’t thought about it before? As a result, I’ve managed to get a tangible list, that has a variety of things on it that he would like, in various price ranges (which is great cause my mother had no idea what to get him and like me doesn’t want to just do the gaming or gift card thing).

Yes I know, I know this is the age and this is what kids his age are into. But I believe there has to be balance. It’s not good to game all the time, nor do anything the same all the time. So yes there are some things on his list that pertain to electronics and video games, but now there are some that are not.

images-29It was interesting though, going out shopping with him as I learned a bit more about gaming and what he’s into and why. For instance, he wants a number of specialty add ons to support his gaming, like a new keyboard, special mouse, etc. These are not just any adds on of course and retail starting at $99; he is looking for Razer Kraken Headphones, which provide high quality audio and have a retractable mike, and come in black, green, pink or blue. The Razer Expert Gaming Keyboard and also the Razer Naga Gaming Mouse, oh and don’t forget your Gaming Mouse Pad. The neat thing about all of these is that you program them to set them up how you want and to fit your games. It’s pretty cool and I can see why he would want these.

He has also asked for a suit. Yes a regular jacket and pants black suit, complete with shirt and tie. Originally inspired by the character Artemis Fowl, young millionaire genius, he first asked for one last year. I wasn’t really that keen on it. They were expensive and he’d likely outgrow it in a year, or so that was my reasoning. Besides where would he wear it? But this year, he asked for it again.

images-30Now I know not every young boy his age would be interested in a suit, but I thought it was really cool that he was and since he asked for it 2 years in a row, I felt it was more than a passing fancy. I liked the idea. He still didn’t know for sure where he would wear it, but I thought we can create some situations where he would, which could actually be a lot of fun. And I would guess he would create some himself. Besides he just puffed up and looked so proud when he tried it on. Stood a little taller, looked a little more like the young man that he’s becoming.

Other things he’s asked for (after our shopping adventures) were an alpaca hat (sigh, yes still $100), pyjama pants (at our house it’s a tradition onChristmas Eve for everyone to get pyjama’s. It makes me smile to see the little boy still present and enjoying the tradition when he is asking for them without being prompted by anyone else). And he’s always been an avid reader, so found some new book series that he thought were interesting like Seven Wonders and The Unwanteds, and added those to his list as well.

Once we were done, I was happier. Happy to see that he had a nice variety of things to choose from and that it wasn’t all about gaming. Yes still many of the gifts started at $100, but in my mind they were things that I was more comfortable paying that kind of money for. (ha ha interesting how are perception is everything) It also provided some options for others who would like to get him something for Christmas too.

images-31I imagine as he gets older it will get more challenging and expensive. He’ll either move more into gaming or perhaps brand name clothes. I may have to remortgage the house or take a second job just to finance Christmas gifts for him – ha ha. But it’s ok. I’ll continue to take him out around this time and ‘see’ what’s out there. I’ll continue to encourage his love of reading and heck if he wants to dress up and asks for more outfits along that line, I’ll take a look at that too. I’ve also considered what I call experience gifts for him, such as laser tag, dog sledding, rock climbing, where we go and do something together, which I know Matthew would really enjoy (and I really enjoy to). But again there’s that high price tag thing (dog sledding starts at $159 per person).

I think that for those of us parents who have kids, ok specifically boys, who fall into this age bracket we just do the best we can. Don’t dash our kids dreams, but aid in expanding them and showing them options. And taking them out to look can be quite fun. (Also look for sales! and comparative shop! (especially with Black Friday around the corner. Electronics are usually a big sale item on Black Friday. Plus I came home and checked out Amazon for all those Razer products he’s asking for and they were at least $20 cheaper than what we saw them for at The Source).

There’s ways to do it and there’s ways to make it work for everyone (and at a price you’re comfortable with). So if you have a young boy who falls in this category of ‘games and gift cards’ this Christmas and you want more, I hope these ideas get you started, save you some dollars, and give you a variety of options. The important thing is is to figure out what your kid is into and go with that. If you check things out a little, you’ll discover that may not be just the one thing they’re telling you about. Best of luck!

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

IMG_4317The slow cooker is a fantastic tool for those busy days, when you can pop dinner in and literally forget about it until supper time. Providing you with a little more freedom and relief. I really appreciate it as I don’t have to think about when or how I am going to make supper as well as having that extra hour that I wouldn’t normally have before supper. Not to mention the lovely smells that are wafting through the house as it cooks throughout the day!

As a result I am constantly on the lookout for new and tasty slow cooker recipes to try. Years ago, back when I first starting blogging, I found this recipe for Taco Soup on the Canadian Parents website (they had quite the selection of slow cooker recipes and I got quite a few from there). I was sad when their site changed and I could no longer access these recipes and not having written them down I was hooped. I did the best I could and guessed at it but it wasn’t quite the same.

IMG_4311Happily, I discovered a way to recover old webpages and was able to recover the recipe! I was so excited as it is such a yummy one and the kids really enjoy it. Of course the original recipe called for ground beef, so I substituted ground turkey instead. With a few other modifications you have the recipe I use below.

Of course the part the kids like the best is being able to have ‘chips’ for supper, though they do eat and enjoy the soup as well. It’s like having a treat for dinner. The spices I often find are hit or miss as some days it turns out spicer than others, some with no spice at all. Either way it is one of the favorite dishes at our house and especially enjoyable on a cool Autumn Day.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

1 lb. ground turkey

1 pkg. taco seasoning (or 1 tbsp. *homemade mix)IMG_4319

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

19 oz. can red kidney beans

1 medium onion, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped (may also choose green, red, or orange if prefered)

2 c. water

10 oz. can tomato soup

2 tsp. chicken bouillon powder

Season to taste with garlic powder, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper

In a medium frying pan, brown ground turkey and chopped onion. Once browned drain well and add taco seasoning, stir. Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Serve with taco chips and/ or shredded cheese.

One of the other things I have discovered is how to make my own spice mixes at home, instead of buying them from the store. A lot of them have added preservatives and sugar that I want to avoid, so I found this easy ‘just like in the package’ taco seasoning recipe that I use now. I also have one for chicken bouillon powder which I use in all my soups, stews, etc.

*Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powderIMG_4315

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?


Mushroom Turnovers

IMG_0799When I was in Junior High, a group of my girlfriends and I were into having dinner parties. We took turns hosting, dressed up and made a fancy meal complete with dessert for everyone. It was fun, each host making different meals, decorating the table, and trying new things.

On the evening that I hosted I, wanting to ensure everyone could enjoy what I was making, checked with the girls in regards to any allergies and/ or dislikes. Interestingly, they all came back with a resounding, “We don’t like mushrooms”. I clarified whether this was a dislike or an allergy and when they confirmed it was simply a dislike, I secretly smiled.

I had found this fabulous recipe for mushroom turnovers which I was dying to try and since they weren’t allergic to it… I made them and served them as the appetizer, saying nothing about what was in them. They LOVED them! No one noticing at all that it was mushrooms that they were eating. They thought it was ground beef.

After we were done the appetizer I then revealed to them that they had actually eaten mushrooms and no ground beef was present whatsoever. They were surprised (and thankfully not mad), and we went on to enjoy the rest of our meal and evening (which I have no idea what the rest of the meal was).

Needless to say, this recipe became a family classic in my  house. My Mum and sisters using it over the years for many events and parties. My Mum often has 4 dozen or more in the freezer at Christmas, ready to pull out and heat up whenever we want snacks or guests pop by. I have adopted the same philosophy and you’ll easily find turnovers (and other goodies) in my freezer this time of year.

The original recipe does contain dairy, calling for cream cheese and sour cream, but I have been able to adapt the recipe. Using vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream they are still just as fabulous! (which having had the original I can fairly compare)

Mushroom Turnovers


9 oz. vegan cream cheese

1/2 c. Earth Balance vegan spread

1 1/2c. flour

In a medium bowl, cream vegan cream cheese and Earth Balance. Add the flour and work with fingers or a pastry blender until smooth. Chill well for at least 30 minutes.


3 tbsp. Earth Balance vegan spread

1 large onion, finely choppedwpid-SourCream3-318x270

*1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. sea salt

pinch black pepper

2 tbsp. flour

1/4 c. vegan sour cream

In a skillet, melt the Earth Balance. Add onion and brown lightly. Then add mushrooms and cook, stirring often about 3 minutes.

Add the thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle with flour. Stir in sour cream and cook until gently thickened.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Roll the pastry dough to 1/8″ thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a biscuit cutter, cut into 3″ round circles.2585_enlarge

Place a teaspoon of mushroom filling on each circle and fold over so that the edges touch. Press the edges together using fingers and prick the tops to allow for steam to escape.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

*To finely chop mushrooms I use a food chopper from The Pampered Chef. This makes it quick and easy to get them to the right size.

Makes about 3 dozen

10 Reasons why I LOVE a snowstorm

Snowstorm-2For the past 2 days we here in Calgary have had a major blizzard. Lots of snow coming down and a nice strong wind to blow it around. It was crazy! Highways were closed, accidents everywhere; they were strongly advising you to stay at home if you did not have to venture out.

I know a lot of people hate snowstorms and when one arrives, do not enjoy it with many complaining. But hey it’s weather and weather is one of the few things in our lives that we actually cannot change. Though a snowstorm is not always fun.

I actually love a good snowstorm for many reasons. I know many of you are likely going to argue with me on this one, but I think they are many good things that can come from it.

So here are 10 reasons Why I LOVE a Snowstorm

  1. It is a great excuse to take the day off! Whether you cannot get to work, school, etc. or choose not to go; you can take a break from the regular days activities.
  2. You can stay inside and cuddle up on the couch with your family. Watch movies andFamilie_2075 get cozy under a blanket.
  3. Or you could go outside and play in it! There is nothing like enjoying and playing in fresh new snow.
  4. It adds to the toboggan hills (and ski hills). So as soon as it stops you can go enjoy the fresh powder.
  5. It’s a good day to catch up on things at home. That unfinished project, that corner you wanted to clean out.
  6. You appreciate your mobility. Being ‘stuck’ for a day or two makes you appreciate the days of good weather and ones that you can come and go freely. You know without shovelling or warming up the car.
  7. During a storm we often enjoy warm cozy meals. A nice homemade stew or soup. Good hearty meals that warm the body and fill the tummy.
  8. It strengthens a sense of community. People seem to help each other more. Whether it be shovelling the neighbors walk or helping to move a stuck car, people easily and quickly stop to help.Jeff+Conrad+Major+Snow+Storm+Pounds+Buffalo+zWQrqC1pnnIl
  9. If you do venture out, it is very quiet when you get there. There are less people at the stores, gym and other public facilities.
  10. It’s beautiful when its over. There is a serenity about the world when the storm has passed, the sun comes out, and the peacefulness that exists.

Yes you may think I am crazy but I find there are many gifts in a snowstorm. And sometimes accepting and enjoying those gifts makes the aftermath of ‘cleaning up’ much more pleasant.Major February Snow Storm

Life of Leisure

Wouldn’t it be nice if our lives were always like this? Lounging around on the patio, in the sunshine, hanging out with friends, maybe taking a nap, with our biggest decision being what will my next drink be? Ice water, cooler, juice?

As mothers and parents I think that we don’t have enough of these moments in our lives. Though we love our children and enjoy them, we really do need more of these quiet enjoyable moments where we can just hang out and be. Not worry if little Johnny is cutting his sister’s hair again (yes this did happen at our house the other day), or if the children are drawing on the walls or starting fires.

It is harder to do around the home, but you can do things like go sit in the backyard for a few minutes just listening to your surroundings, sit at the kitchen table with a warm cup of coffee or other warm drink. Even a few minutes in small doses keeps us calmer, saner and ready to tackle the next ‘fire’ that comes our way.


It’s So Crazy Busy around Here! Let’s add another project!

Things in my life lately have been super busy. I know there is busy and that can sometimes be the rhythm of life but then there is insanely busy. So busy that you fall into bed at night having left the dishes incomplete, the toys all over the floor and the laundry thrown on the couch. All because you just cannot do one more thing.

For the past few weeks that has been my life, my house. So much on the go and then with a few wrenches thrown in it has left me spinning and becoming behind in things or just not doing them altogether. Some of you may have noticed I did not post at all here for 3 weeks.  It was one of those things I let go, I had to, other things like eating and keeping a somewhat tidy space came first (this was more for my own sanity really).

The problem is when we do things like this, like let go of the things we really love and enjoy when we get busy, things suffer all around. I actually find that if I stop and write for a bit or sit outside and read for half an hour, somehow I get it all done, plus a bit more, in the same amount of time.

Anyway I digress. I find also that in these times when I am busy and feeling like I am spinning out of control (or have no control), I look around my house and decide that something needs to change. And change right now!

This is what I did yesterday. I have been thinking for a while about redoing the kitchen cupboards in my kitchen. They are the cheap MDF cabinets with a plastic covering that have now yellowed and started to peel and chip. My neighbor has the same cabinets and had redone hers years ago by simply peeling off the plastic and then painting them. They look great.

So yesterday while I was getting ready to take the kids out to appointments, packing snacks and lunch, cleaning up from breakfast…I looked at those cupboards, stopped everything and started peeling off plastic. I enlisted the help of my oldest and then we were both peeling it off. The twins screaming with enthusiasm and delight about the ‘new cupboards’.

After our appointment we stopped at Rona and got the painting supplies cause I was starting that night! Yes I had lunch to make for school, bread, dinner, dishes, and a blog post, but the cupboards took priority. And for some reason it had to be done now! Today – all the other things were pushed to the wayside.

Did I really have time to do this? Should I have taken it on? Absolutely not, but it made me feel better. And all the frustration and excess energy I had from the past few weeks was now being poured into this project.

Is it done? No 🙂 I had to stop and make meals, clean up, sleep etc. but I will finish it throughout the week and if not I heard it is supposed to rain this long weekend (which sucks for the campers but will work great for me if I am inside painting).

Stepping Stones

I had the pleasure of participating last weekend in a fundraising event for The Salvation Army Agape Hospice. This was a weekend long event held at the Azuridge Hotel in Priddis, Alberta called Deck the Halls.

Matt Dusk

The weekend included a design competition, a moonlight gala and silent auction as well as a family day with sleigh rides, face painting and Santa Claus. It also included performances by Matt Dusk, singer, songwriter and producer of jazz-pop music.

I had the opportunity to be one of the vendors in the Christmas shop where people could come and buy gift items or participate in various causes. There were people there from Stars, Canadian Blood Services, Soapnducks, Pampered Chef, and Scentsy as well as myself from Your Inner Light, where I was offering Angel Readings and associated products such as oracle cards and books.

The day was a busy and festive one with the room decorated for Christmas with delightful themed Christmas trees and displays, a giant gingerbread house and people milling through taking a look at the fares. We also enjoyed a performance that day with Mr. Dusk and what a show that was! He is a young, lively and vibrant man who definitely loves what he does. He is playful and young at heart and had everybody tapping their feet or dancing.

The thing that I found interesting about the crowd was the feeling in the air. As an Angel Therapy Practitioner® I can pick up on the vibe in the air, the feelings of people and atmosphere. Though there was a festive theme, I noticed that there were a lot of people in the room who though smiling were feeling sad inside inside, a little lost, who were searching for something and ready for a change or a shift in their lives. There were people who were together yet you could sense that they were miles apart. And I knew I was there to help.

My belief is that this is all related to the global shift that we are experiencing now, as we approach December 21, our bodies are changing and transforming, adjusting to the next level of ascension. For some of us that means that we are changing at rapid rates, which is why many of us are experiencing severe mood swings, fatigue and restlessness in our lives. We are not always able to pinpoint what is making us feel this way or why, but we can feel it. We are all opening up to our intuition and on different levels of our spiritual journey. Yet while some of us are accepting or seeking out the guidance to help us through, others are not sure what to do with it all or don’t know where to go.

My best advice to everyone is to be gentle with yourself during this time of change and to seek support in whatever form works best for you, whether it be through workshops, books and learning or finding kindred spirits to discuss and support you through your process. Because it is a process and a change and we all need support and to be patient with ourselves. One of the things we know is change is constant, so we will never be where we are forever. So if we are feeling sad or searching, the good news is you will not be here forever, you will find your answer and the happiness you seek. I encourage people not to be afraid and to move forward fearlessly. Do things that comfort you and speak to your soul. Know that you are not alone, that we are all going through this transition and change to some degree and that we are doing it together.

This is a very exciting time to be on the planet and believe it or not we all chose to be here at this time! This means that our role is just as important as the next person’s and we all have a part to play in the creation of the next steps for our planet and our lives.

This is why I feel that it is important for me to get out there and be present in the world, sharing my knowledge and skills with those who need it. I believe that day I connected  and talked with those that needed it most. Though some of the other vendors felt that the crowd was small and that the day was a bit slow for business, I felt that it was extremely successful. I did exactly what I needed to do that day. I also believe that by simply being present my energy may have helped someone I did not directly connect with and that’s what makes this all worthwhile. To know that I made a difference, which is what I think many of us strive to do/ feel in our lives.

What is my point? Don’t give up, don’t shun an opportunity because it doesn’t look profitable. You never know what connections or stepping stones you have placed by participating or who you may help. I helped that day at the fundraiser and I am sure, set the foundation for something else to come, which though not clear to me yet, I know will become clear.

Remember that everything you do affects another and that your contribution to the world is always significant; and as you enter the holiday season know that not only are we celebrating Christmas this year, but the planet and the wonderful transition that we making together towards a brighter, better and more peaceful planet.


Getting Ready for Christmas

Over the past couple of weeks I have started to get ready for Christmas, decorating the house, baking, and creating Christmas lists. It is a great time of year as I start right after Halloween, breaking out the Christmas music and Christmas movies and start transforming the house.

I clean as I go, so the house gets a thorough clean, even if it is only once a year (ha ha! -seriously I do clean a little more often). But often this is the time when I get into some of those nooks and crannies that get missed in the regular cleaning. It gives the house such a nice fresh, warm, cozy feeling.

Gingerbread House

I always wonder why the house feels so nice around Christmas time, all decorated and warm, I can just sit there for hours and gaze at the lights or watch the fire. I don’t know if its the anticipation of the coming holiday and events, or if it is simply a cleaner, less cluttered house (as I put away a lot of the extra things that are around); or simply the feeling of love and acceptance that permeates the world at this time of year. I often wonder, as I am sure many of us do, why cannot we not experience this feeling throughout the whole year?

One of the things that is the most fun about Christmas is watching the kids reactions to things, especially the little ones. This year Luke and Chloe being almost 3, are very aware of what’s going on and are constantly expressing their excitement and delight in what’s going on. So each day when I put up something new, Luke and Chloe are there oohing and awing. Because for them it is like they are experiencing it for the first time. Even though they have had 2 Christmases already they don’t really remember or get what it was about.

And it makes it so fun for me to introduce something new and make it special. When I put up the garland in the living room, I made sure the lights were plugged in the next morning so that they could see it when they came downstairs. “Oh Mommy look lights!” they run to tell me in delight; and then we had to leave the lights on all day.

When I put up the snowman shower curtain in the bathroom they started jumping up and down and clapping “Oh look snowman! Penguins!” Then they wanted to touch it and look at it and hang out in the bathroom for awhile.

Snowman & Penguin Shower Curtain

Chloe helped me one day take out some of the Christmas Party Lite candle holders I had. Her eyes lit up each time I brought out a new box and she delicately helped me open and unwrap them. She put snowflakes in the bathroom, and thoroughly examined the gingerbread house.

Both Luke and Chloe love the outdoor lights on everyone’s houses, especially the snowman across the street, that Luke diligently goes and checks on after supper each night. They love the nutcracker on top of the tv and talk about Santa Claus every day, not because he brings them presents but because they know and recognize him, but that he is a part of Christmas. Even when we are shopping in the store, Chloe is oohing and awing and pointing out the Christmas decorations.

It is going to be a wonderful Christmas this year as I continue to watch Luke and Chloe discover it. Everything is new, everything is exciting, a wonder and delight to look at and discover. Matthew enjoys and gets excited for Christmas as well but now that he is older it is for different reasons and some of the wonder and delight he experienced as a young child is not as present as it used to be. It makes me a little bit sad to realize this, not only for him, but for us adults as well. Why not experience the pure joy and delight of the season not only this year, but every year. What if we were to approach it as if it was our first Christmas, something to delight in and discover, share the joy and excitement? Imagine what Christmas would be like for all of us, experiencing the joy of a Christmas decoration, seeing things through the eyes of a child. What a magical, wonderful season it would be for us all, each and every year. If we allow ourselves to enjoy the little things, the joy in the lights and decorations, regardless of the amount of presents under the tree, our hearts will be full and the magic of the season will truly be upon us.

Party Lite Snowflake Candle Holders

And why not apply this throughout the entire year? Find the joy and excitement in everything in our lives, big and small, especially small, because sometimes even the smallest things bring us the greatest joy. Many of us say that it would be nice if the feeling of Christmas lasted all year, well it can, we just need to be grateful and appreciate what we see and do each day. Because there is love and beauty in everything and if we approach each day like a 3 year old with the attitude of what delights am I going to discover today, jump up and down and clap our hands, ooh and awe, what a delightful existence and world we will have!

So this Christmas (and after that as well) as you prepare for the season, decorating and doing all the things you usually do, pretend you are like a young child experiencing it for the first time, seeing life through their eyes, where every day is a discovery, an adventure, a wonderment of looking around the corner to find out what’s new. You’ll discover very quickly what a wonderful space this is to be in and it will become easier and easier to do so. Like anything it may take practice as some of us adults can be pretty stubborn and set in our ways, but the results of this shift will make such a difference in our life and the world. How can you resist such a wonderful and easy solution? If we live from our hearts with love we can never go wrong, just like a child, watch the world of wonder unfold around us.