Slowing down, feeling good

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So much fun! Here.

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 Best homemade clay recipe to date!

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My husband looked at me yesterday, as we were threading pony beads onto our latest homemade ornament project, and simply said : “It’s strange, but I feel so much more relaxed this year.” And that said it all.

The holidays used to be such a source of stress. The mall trips alone use to cause me to have anxiety attacks. The people, the noise, the endless lines for “Santa Claus” and the pressure : Pressure to buy, pressure to want, pressure to “need” things that we really did not need. There are no mall filled week-ends this year, no fighting with children over ever-changing Christmas lists, no pointing and asking, crying and whining…

This year, there are week-ends filled with nature and quiet times in the fresh (although pretty cold) air. There are crafts and experiments, surprises and learning. There are ornaments hanging off our Advent calendar as the month moves slowly on. There are new skills being learned and homemade gifts being prepared in the warm late night glow of the twinkle lights. And there is time : Time for fun, time for swing dancing in the kitchen, time for stories, time for endless baths filled with toys and warm water and time for family movie nights with kettle popped corn.

In the blink of an eye, the holidays have become what I’ve always dreamed they would be. We will be adding more traditions as time goes by. I’m forever inspired by people around me who have had the courage to make the holidays their own.

I strive for a life that is simple and true and everyday, I get closer to my dream.

Hoping all your holidays are what you want them to be! I would love to hear all the special ways you celebrate winter, the solstice and the holidays!

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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.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Crafting, Family Life, Holidays, Life, Nature, Outdoors, Simplicity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Slowing down, feeling good

  1. it sounds so good and it looks great too. I wish you all a happy week!

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  2. sophiezest says:

    I am so happy for you, Yanic! The things you are making are beautiful, and so are the experiences and memories. That Advent Calendar is looking better and better every day.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you! I love the idea of putting ornaments on the days that have passed. Little Miss asked if we could keep the calendar up all year… My husband and I now think we may have to have a year round one… something we could decorate with the seasons! How I love the possibilities of new projects!

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  3. I’m glad you’re enjoying your preparations. The changes you’ve made are good in so many ways.

    Our holidays are simpler every year. The “fly in the ointment,” if there is one, is figuring out and buying gifts for 7 grandchildren. They have SO MUCH already. It’s hard to come up with anything that will stand out in the piles of gifts they receive. I am frustrated and discouraged before even beginning the process.

    Who carved the exquisite little Santas? Those are wonderful!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Those beautiful little sculptures are the wonderful work of my husband’s talented hands! I will be sure to tell him how much you liked them. He has just started carving.

      I totally get the grand children thing. That was a huge one for my parents as well. But the experience based gifts made total sense to them and I know my kids will love them.

      Do your grand kids all live relatively close? Have you thought of offering them all a “Day with Grandma and Grandpa” voucher? They each would get one day in the next year where they get a day alone doing whatever they want : Movie, fancy dinner, amusement park, walk in the woods… One thing to do, just them with you and your husband… Just a thought!

      I’m sure you’ll come up with something amazing!

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      • Five of the seven live a thousand miles away, so as much as we would love that, it doesn’t work very well. Those five range from 16 to 4, which makes it even harder to come up with experiences that will work *equitably.* We are chewing on the options for that but still haven’t settled on it, and obviously we need to SOON!

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      • Yanic A. says:

        Bah! Indeed! I wish you luck… It can’t be easy. xo

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  4. karen says:

    since we had our children we have purposefully lived a slow holiday season. I cannot handle the busy and the stress that shopping brings. I start in October thinking of gifts what I can make. Now that the kids are out of the house, I knit all year round for others.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      That is what I’m aiming for in 2015 (knitting and sewing)… It is truly something I want to teach my children. More from the heart, less from the store. It will be a challenge, peer and social pressure will surely give us a run for our money, but if we keep true, hopefully, in the end, it will be part of their values as well.

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  5. She’s got a chickadee in her hand…yay!!!!!! I can just imagine the smile on her face.

    So happy you are finding your own path through the holiday season, it certainly brings much joy and comfort this time of year when you can hold true to the journey you are on.

    Enjoy! xo

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh she just LOVES feeding them. And she’s finally gotten to a point where she will stand long enough for them to come. She used to get so excited she would follow them around “presenting” the seeds. Now, she’ll just kneel and wait. So wonderful to watch them grow.

      Thank you for continually encouraging me to follow my path. You have been a true friend through all this. xo

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  6. bweist says:

    I’m intrigued by the advent calendar–do you add the ornament to the tree on each day? I may have to try that next year!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      LOL! No, since we put up a much smaller tree this year, we have many extra ornaments. Our daughter thought the calendar looked sad as we were unhooking the scrolls, so we decided to put up an ornament on the empty nails to dress up the calendar as Advent is moving along. 🙂

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  7. Carlin says:

    I love how you have worked your way towards what works for you. And I love your Christmas tree, it’s beautiful!!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you so much… it is a process isn’t it? Not so easy for many to understand, but I think living by example and showing that it works for us is the only way to go.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. sally says:

    I love all your Christmas makes, they look gorgeous and your family holiday time sounds wonderful, hope it carries on, just as you want it to, way into the New Year.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you Sally… I really hope so as well. I really want this to become our reality. I can see the difference in my daughter in just one year. So calm and serene… happy with her life and not constantly asking for more. It,s beautiful to see. xo

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  9. KC says:

    I want to eat all that popcorn! Yummy. So glad to hear your holiday is becoming just what you want it to be. I hate the mall too. I won’t step near it most of the year and never between October and January. I was hoping Canadian would be saved from the craziness but I guess not if you feel crazy about the mall there.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh no… we are truly not spared. And now, It’s gotten worse because US chain stores that are in Canada celebrate Black Friday even if we have our Thanksgiving in October. It’s ridiculous…

      It was yummy. I love kettle corn. Ever since we gave up our microwave, popcorn has been a real treat! So much better with our own toppings. 🙂

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  10. I’d like to comment, but I’m not sure what to say! Mostly, I feel like I just stepped into the peace of your holiday home and am happy to be there and don’t want to interrupt the mood with too many words. So, I won’t! Blessings!

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  11. appleshoe says:

    I really like the idea of an ornament advent calender. Being homemade ornaments just make it that much better. Thanks for sharing this.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Putting ornaments on was really a way to keep it around after Advent without having it look too bare. 🙂 We are just starting now to put homemade ornaments on because the first we made were gift bound. It’s been such a pleasure to watch the excitement every morning when she opens the scrolls. 🙂

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