Busy busy busy…

It’s been a crafting and “Christmasing” sort of week-end here! Our brand new Advent Calendar (beautifully crafted by my husband) went up on Sunday. We’ve started decorating and put up the outdoor lights. The house is so much more festive now. I’ve been busy making my first peg gnomes and fairies for Little Miss and knitting and sewing miniature blankets and pillows. I totally see how addictive making those darling little figurines are. I had such a blast! The tree house and mini-furniture my husband is building for the peg “people” are coming along well and Little Man’s Busy Board is slowly coming to life. But more on that later!

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We had not been Advent observing people until this year. Honestly, the reason why was that I didn’t really agree with giving sweets to my kids everyday waiting for Christmas. I know now that there are other ways of making that tradition our own, but last year, the chocolate filled cardboard displays were all I had really known. After much discussion and inspiration all around, we decided on an experience-based calendar filled with crafts, family outings, songs, popcorn bowl movie nights, a few new books and some good deeds to also include a chance to cultivate and practice some compassion into this time of year (Thank you Kim for taking our idea to the next level).

Little Miss was more than excited to find that the first Advent calendar surprise for crafts with mom this morning was putting together her and her brother’s letter to Santa. We asked for one small surprise each and then asked that he be generous with all the children that are less fortunate. She surprised me by dictating a whole section on her year, about how she had gone to the Zoo for her birthday and on how she was hoping to work with animals someday. It was a lovely and exciting time : She drew pictures and decorated the envelope with stickers. We will be walking to the mail box at the end of the day.

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I’m feeling uplifted this year… it use to be that the holidays were a weight, something to be stressed about, something to dread. Although I always enjoyed the tree, decorations, music and baking, there was almost a fear of the “big day” itself. I’ve mentioned more than once now that I’m really not a “stuff” person. I’ve always been a person that has valued experiences and adventures… stuff that lives forever in our hearts instead of a few months in our hands. This feeling became more and more heavy when I had kids. It was hard to explain to people why I didn’t want all the toys, the plastic, the gadgets and the Disney stuff. But the older my kids get, the more my life choices are settling in with people around me, it’s become better and clearer. And for the first time in a long time, I’m really looking forward to the holidays this year.

Happy December everyone! Wishing you peace of heart and peace of mind for this last stretch of 2014.

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About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
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33 Responses to Busy busy busy…

  1. Lisa says:

    We just went out and got an advent calendar with the chocolates. I also just ordered a book about advent, The Light in the Lantern, which is a kid’s book about advent with something for every day. . I’m not religious, but my husband and son go to the Catholic church around the corner.

    For my cousins and myself, we exchange homemade gifts. I really like that a lot. I haven’t had to buy soap in years. 🙂

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      I really have nothing against the chocolate calendars, I LOVED them as a child… But my son is dairy intolerant and my daughter is super sugar sensitive!!! Bad combination. LOL! This was a way to for us to celebrate Advent a different way. I’ve seen Book Advent Calendar ideas, Lego Advent Calendars… I guess anything can be an Advent calendar. But we are in the process of eliminating stuff so it just all seemed like more stuff, you know?

      I just read about the Light in the Lantern for the first time on another blog. I may have to check it out for next year. 🙂

      And yay for soaps! LOVE me some homemade soaps…

      Like

  2. sophiezest says:

    Oh, I LOVE this post, Yanic! Your Advent Calendar is lovely: rustic but warm. I’m so glad your daughter had such a great time writing to Santa. And your peg people are just brilliant! Did you cut the pegs down? I have a set of clothes pegs but they are much longer. We got our Christmas decorations out today and the children went into a frenzy of decorating miniature Xmas trees. They are not at all as I would have done them but the children are super-happy and it makes me feel very festive. Wishing you a happy Advent!

    Like

  3. remmus26 says:

    What a lovely advent calendar!! And my oh my! Your peg people are adorable!! It’s definitely addicting, isn’t it!! Happy week kt you dear friend!!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Coming from you, that means a lot! I looked at so many of yours to draw inspiration. 🙂

      Yes! I just want to sit there and make more… I’m thinking sets for my friends’ kids!

      Have a great week to you as well! xo

      Like

  4. remmus26 says:

    I’m not sure if my last comment went through or not. But your peg people are absolutely adorable!! It’s very addicting!!
    Happy days to you friend!!

    Like

  5. KC says:

    Our calendar has only activities in it. Well they do get sweets on the day we make cookies together. Your children will really love it. Mine do. After 5 years I’m still riding the line with others about not buying plastic or disney. Disney is the bane of all children’s things.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      I’m not “anti-Disney”… Movies are fine, the songs, that is all fine… But the merchandise. Ugh!!!! It’s all so cheap and overly priced and repetitive. You know? My daughter has a Sophia coloring book here and a Minnie Mouse bracelet there, but nothing big cause I literally refuse it!

      And YES! Cookies will be made, but that is a week-end treat. For me, it’s the processed sugar. Homemade stuff in small doses don’t bug me quite as much. We will also be making vegan marshmallows. Very exciting.

      Like

  6. mountaingmom says:

    We don’t do Advent calendars, but have tried to avoid the plastic and greed since our children were small, emphasizing giving to others and always finding a charitable giving that involved our children, teaching them a lifelong lesson. Many of the gifts given are for lessons or sports fees, handmade sweaters and toys, or contributions to their college fund accounts.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Ever since Little Miss has been old enough to understand giving and receiving, we’ve always given before receiving. Every year we clean out toys, clothes, goods, food… This year, we are going one step further and bringing the kids to the local homeless shelter to donate a box of fresh veggies and fruit for Christmas eve night. From my parents, she will be getting dance lessons and from my sister, her little dance outfit. Little man will be getting a multi-access pass for the local baby “gym” for those too-cold-to-go-out days. He loves that place. It will be a lovely Christmas I think. 🙂

      Like

  7. Ooh. I love your peg people. Did you use templates for the clothing and crowns or just freehand them? I made a peg doll a couple months ago (and wrote about it on my blog). I used colored pencils and have her an acorn-top hat that I picked up at the park. I want to make a whole village, but Goen isn’t quite at the age where he appreciates that kind of thing, so I have lots of time to get into that project. Oh, and lots of oohs and aahs over that advent piece.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you for the kind words… I’ll pass on your ooohs and aaaahs to my hubby. 🙂

      I free-handed the pieces. My printer is honestly out of ink. LOL! But I got so much inspiration everywhere, I almost felt my hands being guided. I missed your post. Just went back through the tutorials on your blog and couldn’t find it. I would love it if you would link here for others (and myself) to see! 🙂

      Like

  8. Look at those peg people. I agree, they are a addicting, I have made so many over the last few years and it never gets old. Lovely Advent calendar, and thanks for the shout out, happy to have inspired 🙂

    Enjoy the season. xo

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you for always sparking my imagination. I find so much simplicity and beauty in your posts. 🙂

      Have a lovely season as well dear friend. xo Thank you for stopping by!

      Like

  9. hey there’s some very nice crafting going on at your place! and that advent calendar! congratulations to you both. i’m also a fan of replacing sweets or store-bought presents with coupons for a special activity or baking session together or simple handmade surprises. This morning, it was my turn to open the 2nd box and I found a…clementine with I love you mom written on it by my daughter! To me, this is more precious than any store-bought gift…

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you!
      That would have made my heart melt for sure… The thought and effort behind it means so much, especially for little ones. Concentrating is so much harder for them at a tender age. The fact they took the time to put it together and make it special means the world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. karen says:

    sounds like you found your balance! I love your advent calendar, so creative 🙂

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Karen… for our balance, we are still working on it. I’m sure we’ll get into a rhythm soon enough. For now, we have to deal with a lot of outside forces working against us. LOL!

      Like

  11. Happy December! What a lovely Advent calendar your husband built. When my brother and I were small, we had this large felt hanging sheet-thing with a big felt Christmas tree cut out on to it and lots of little gold beads sewn on to decorate the tree. Below were 24 pockets with the numbers on them, and inside each pocket was a little felt hanging ‘decoration’ for the tree above. It was one of my favourite parts of the season for many, many years! I’m actually now wondering what the heck my mom did with that… I’d love to hang it in my new place, lol 🙂

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  12. sally says:

    It sounds like you’re organising just the kind of Christmas you want, perfect. And your peg people are gorgeous, especially the acorn one!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you… I love that one too. It’s my version of a tree fairy. 🙂 I’m hoping it works out well. There was a bit of a setback at preschool today. They had the kids write letters to Santa (although we had already written) and one of the kids brought toy catalogs to pass around. Ugh…

      I had to tell my daughter that the first letter will be the one that mean the most. She seemed disappointed but I can’t start dealing with multiple Santa letters! LOL! Especially if she’s not consistent.

      Like

  13. Somehow I missed this post, so now I am catching up. Love the Advent calender–beautiful creation.

    I struggle with the balance of receiving so much for the children around the holidays. Wanting to protect the sphere of our home while honoring the gifter and their love. Always a tricky one, but one that, like you, I think we are find a bit more peace with, thankfully. Happy Advent!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      I’m glad you and your family are also finding some solace as the holiday seasons move along. Funny enough, my family was a bit skeptic of our “homemade gifts” thing this year. I think maybe they thought homemade meant cheap or something? So we had agreed to do the Secret Santa with them “bought” and we would do homemade for everyone else. Well, as they see our homemade gifts unfold, I think they are realizing that it’s very sentimental and warm, made with such intention and love.. I’m sure they won’t have so many objections to homemade next year. 🙂

      Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh! And thank you for the nice comment on our Avdent piece, I’ll pass it along to my hubby.

      Like

  14. appleshoe says:

    We have two advent calenders going this year. I made one for Bear (though it’s mostly for all of us) most of the days are filled experiences (like going to look at lights, donating items, snuggeling by the fire with a good book, making treats for the birds and wild life, a walk in the woods, and so forth). The other is for Panda. It is filled with “objects of wonder” for lack of a better description. Needle felted acorns, tiny pine cones, a walnut shell with a tiny sleeping mouse in it, a tiny pom pom that looks like a snow ball. These items he gets to hold and observe and wonder about for a little while each day, but then they go back into the calender to keep them special and so I don’t need to worry about him choking on them later.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      That is so very cool… I might steal your “objects of wonder” next year, but try and make it for both kiddos… The age difference may be a challenge, but I’m sure we could make it happen. 🙂

      Like

  15. It seems to me that your whole family is crafty, art-oriented and good with your hands. What lovely decorations! Happy season! 🙂

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