Winter Spiral at our Waldorf school 2016

Winter Spiral Photo cred: Embry Rucker

As the days grow shorter and darkness engulfs us, it is time to turn inward and create a little light of our own.  The kids’ Waldorf school has its Advent Spiral today, during which each child carries an apple candle through a winding maze of boughs towards the center where the light is.

They light their own small candles and carry their light forth on their return trip around the spiral, and then they set them down along the path.  While the children travel through the spiral, a harpist plays a soft, angelic tune.  When it is over, everyone exits the room singing Silent Night, softly.

I really love this festival and it’s among my favorite Waldorf traditions.  It really sets the mood for a different sort of holiday season filled with more stillness, reverence, contemplation and beauty, a stark contrast to the usual hustle bustle that we’re all accustomed to this time of year.  I always get emotional watching this, and I walk the spiral myself whenever I get the chance.  There’s just something so special about it.  I know I say this a lot, but I am so grateful my kids get to experience this each December.

Saint Nicholas Day 2016

Every year Saint Nicholas pays our little Waldorf school a visit and stops at each classroom.  He reads from his magical book and leaves the children with gifts of nuts and apples or clementines.

This was Chloe’s first time experiencing St. Nicholas, and it’s something she’s been waiting for since she turned 3 years old. The children were asked to open their gifts after school, so we went to the office while we waited for Jeffrey to get out and I let her open her little gift there.  Her reaction was priceless and I am so thrilled I got it on video.

She is such a sweet little girl, and she is filled with so much love and gratitude.  I wish I could bottle it up.

Jeffrey’s second grade class was also visited.  Saint Nicholas usually addresses each child individually and reads each of them a special poem, but this year—due to a very tight schedule—our teacher said he addressed each child by temperament.  Jeffrey is phlegmatic and this was the poem that was read to him and his phlegmatic classmates:

Dear Golden Retrievers, (Phlegmatic):

Peaceful happy puppy, on soft velvet paws,

Plays with everybody, nips with gentle jaws.

Doesn’t need to be the center of attention,

Happy to receive an occasional mention

Staying out of trouble, wanting to keep peace,

Like a sweet little lamb, wrapped in golden fleece.

Who wouldn’t want to be in your company?

Kind pup, so cuddly, never uppity.

Though sometimes suddenly hungrily grumpy,

Funnily clumsy, or a little sulky.

You are loved by all and all feel loved by you,

For you’re a golden-hearted pup, through and through.

Yup, that’s my Jeffrey bean alright.  I am so grateful that they are able to have such a rich festival life at their school, and that they are still very much in that magical realm.  I am going to enjoy this as long as we can.

Felt Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial

A few years ago, a mama at our Waldorf school led a Chat ‘n Craft for us where she taught us how to make these adorable felt Christmas tree ornaments from felt circles, embroidery floss, buttons and wooden beads.  They were so cute and so simple!  Several of us gathered together one winter morning and made one for every teacher and faculty member of our little school.  Flash forward to now and *I* am our school’s Chat ‘n Craft lady.

I was asked to come up with a fun and simple craft for our school’s table at Magical Child’s annual holiday party, one that kids could easily handle.  This adorable craft immediately came to mind and my family came along with me while I taught a bunch of people to make these just outside of the boutique.

It occurred to me that my readers might want to try this craft too, so here is a step by step tutorial for you!  🙂

First, gather your materials.  You will need:

  • 10 felt circles of 4 or 5 different sizes.  This doesn’t need to be perfect. I used my Sizzix circle cutter die, but you could trace round objects just as easily
  • 12″ of embroidery floss
  • a craft needle with an eye large enough for the floss
  • 5-6 2 or 4 holed buttons
  • a small star cut from thick wool felt (I got mine from Michael’s)
  • 1 half inch wooden bead

Using your needle and embroidery floss, thread the wooden bead so that it ends up in the center of the floss.  Then remove your thread from the needle and thread BOTH ends of the thread through the needle.  A needle threader makes easier work of this.

Find the center of your largest felt circle and push your needle and both ends of the thread all the way through it.

Before adding your next largest circle, use one of your buttons as a spacer in between your layers. This stretches out your tree a bit and makes it more interesting.

Continue adding your circles, adding button spacers between some of the layers.  You don’t have to do it between every layer. Have fun with this. Continue until your smallest felt circle is at the tippy top.

Now it’s time to put the star on top! You’ll want a star (or any shape you want, really) that is cut from thick wool felt so that it is thick enough to go up through the star. (See photo above.)  If you can’t find thick felt or don’t want to use it, get creative and use a pretty button or bead to top your tree instead! Once your thread has been pulled all the way through, make a knot at the very top and hang your ornament from a tree.  Methinks it would even make a cute decoration for the top of a present.  Bonus: if you have an artificial Christmas tree and miss the real tree smell, this cute ornament can even double as a hanging diffuser for some Idaho balsam fir essential oil!

I hope you and your kidlets make a bunch of these!  If you do, feel free to let me know in the comments, or tag me in your photos on Instagram.  Thanks for reading!  Until next time…

Today I organized my sewing and craft room, squeee!

Today I tidied up my sewing and craft room aka my woman cave aka our garage.  Squeeee!  I am so excited you guys.  This was a long, long, LONG time coming.  Now I can sew in a pretty space.  🙂  Let’s see how long I can keep it like this, ha!  Neatness does not come naturally to me, unfortunately.  That is all.  Have a fun day, friends!

Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe

fresh-strawberry-pie-recipe

Every year, on the last day of school before Thanksgiving break, our kids’ Waldorf school celebrates Pie Day.  All of the graders gather in the courtyard with their classmates and family members and each class shares their class meal blessing.  It usually ends with a message of heartfelt gratitude and song and then each class returns to their classroom where homemade pies await them.

Last year I baked a fresh strawberry pie with all organic ingredients and it was a big hit, so I made it again this year.  (I baked this pretty late the night before, so try not to judge my ugly pie crust, haha!)  I know strawberry pie doesn’t exactly scream Thanksgiving, or autumn for that matter, but this pie is delicious year round!  If you don’t have access to fresh strawberries, no worries, you can totally substitute frozen ones.  Now, without further ado, here is the recipe!

Print Recipe
Fresh Strawberry Pie
This pie is amazing with fresh, homemade whipped cream, but it's totally optional!
Course Dessert
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and hull the strawberries, removing the green tops and cores. Take half of the strawberries and slice them in half, then set them aside. Chop the remaining berries into very small pieces, or simply pulse them in a food processor.
  2. Cook the chopped up berries on medium heat in a saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch, then add this mixture to saucepan. Add the lemon juice, reduce heat and simmer on low for 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Then remove from the heat
  3. Add the uncooked, halved strawberries you reserved from step 1 to the cooked mixture.
  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, or if you're using a store bought crust, follow the directions on the package. It's OK to use store-bought, we won't tell. 😉 If you're using homemade pie dough, roll out the dough and add to a 10" pie plate. Flute the edges, prick holes allover using a fork, and bake for about 14 minutes. Tip: You can line your pie crust with foil and fill with pie weights or beans to help your crust hold its shape. If you do this, bake for 10 minutes with the foil and weights, remove from the oven and then bake for 5 more minutes to lightly brown the edges of the pie.
  5. Remove your baked pie crust from the oven and spoon your strawberry filling into it. Allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until the pie is set. I prefer to make this ahead and chill it overnight.
  6. Boom. Done. Serve it with freshly whipped cream and prepare to be amazed. Enjoy!
Share this Recipe

love-crystal

 

Hello there

crystal-silvas-fancy-lady-profile-picture

Oh, hello there!  I’m so glad you’re here.  I’m Crystal Silvas, and creating this blog has been on my mind for a very long time.  I am so excited that I can finally check this off of my ever growing to-do list.

Now that we’re here together, allow me to introduce myself.  I’m the mama behind this blog.  I wanted to have a place to share some of my crafts, recipes, projects and thoughts with the world. I also wanted a place where I could document our everyday life in San Diego, Ca for our friends and family who are spread out across the North American continent.  And I thought this would be a fun way to connect with other families around the globe.

Our family has been on a wellness journey since around 2012, so I’ll probably write a lot about that.  Organic food, whole 30 recipes, DIY projects with essential oils, that kind of stuff.  Bear in mind, we’re not perfect, but we do our best. 🙂

I’m also big on sewing and crafting with and for the kids, so I’m excited to share some of our projects here, and maybe even some tutorials.

And sometimes I just need an outlet to work through some of my thoughts, or to share the random, funny things that my kids say.  This blog is going to be allover the place, so bear with me.

Now, I can’t promise that I will blog every day, or even most days, but I will do my best to stay at least a little bit consistent.  😉  After all, I am a busy mama who wears a lot of different hats.  The Mr and I both run our own businesses and we have a kindergartner and a second grader, so life can get a little crazy at times, especially now that we are heading into the holiday season.

chloe-and-jeffrey-11-19-16
The kidlets after getting their haircuts yesterday 🙂

Are you still with me?  Yes?  Awesome!  Thanks so much for tagging along with us.  I hope you enjoy the ride as much as we do.  Until next time…

love-crystal