It all started with a mozza stick….

Published December 27, 2016 by thespottedowl1

A mozza stick and an idea. A knowledge that there are people out there just like me. Good people who love mozza sticks and extra cream in their tea. We know they are bad but they taste so good! So while munching a mozza stick and thinking about my upcoming body transformation, due to start in under a week, I decided it was time to blog again. Not solely about my kids or crafts but about being a regular girl who wants to be her best self. Sometimes we have this picture of who we are and then that gets rattled a little and we find that that person has been lost or perhaps never fully existed. It’s up to us to bring that person back to life, To become the “me” we want to be. So this is it, it’s time. Come join me on a journey of self rediscovery, highs and lows while I fight to become the best me I can while working to overcome all the insecurities an overweight, almost middle aged, homeschooling mom who never quite grew up has. 

A friend of mine who blogs at has been a wonderful guiding force in helping me create change. We started running last year, and it was not easy. We went slow and worked our way up until I was doing 5km without a break. This was huge for me! I would never have considered myself a runner but to watch my progress and how it made me feel was inspiring me to keep going. We had a goal of 3 5km races and we did them all. First the colour run, then the goddess run, finishing up with a foam run and obstacles. Amazing. I felt like a rockstar then it crashed down. I managed to injure myself with a stress fracture and plantar fasciitis and after months of pain and limping I gave up hard. All progress has been lost and I’ve gained weight and lost muscle. This experience has taught me so much, mostly the importance of new and supportive footwear, but also that I can do this. I really can. I can set a goal and reach it. It also proved to me the importance of exercise and how it changes ones mindset. 

I’m ready again. Let’s do this. Join me and tell me how you are making positive changes in your life to be the best you. 

In less than a week I start a 14 week transformation with a personal trainer. She’s given me a gym workout, cardio workout, and a meal plan. I’ve never done anything this hardcore before and I’m scared as hell but I know that if I work my butt off then I will literally work my butt off and I’m so ready. The trainer will support me and my friend Mariah from Pulse, and who pushed me to do this, is also doing it. We will be supporting each other and kicking ass together. What started with a mozza stick will either end that way or be the beginning of a more complete me. Thanks for joining my journey, let’s keep each other going. 


Burlap Picture frame earring hanger

Published September 22, 2013 by thespottedowl1

Awhile ago I made an earring hanger using a frame from the thrift store and some net, I recently updated it with a fun printed burlap. You dont have to use a printed burlap, any old sack would do and I really like the way it looks and of course it functions well. Try a local feed store if you want to pick up some burlap for free or cheap. Here is my previous hanger:

go here to see

And the new one:


Im going to make a pillow for my bed with one side this burlap print as soon as I figure out how to sew with burlap.

Homeschooling week 2: The Moon

Published September 19, 2013 by thespottedowl1

Homeschooling week two went incredibly well. It was very tiring with all the activities starting and just keeping on schedule. We did the moon. Wow, I learned a lot of things. I know that the large flat spots are called Maria- or seas. I learned the names of all the phases of the moon, I learned it would take 130 days to get to the moon by car, I learned more this past week about the moon then I have ever known. I also learned a little more about my Sun and how he and we work. Lets just say he is incredible. I can say that, I’m his mom. Really, he had the phases, orbit, and everything else down right away, on the last day I was still referring to my flip book. I feel so lucky to be doing this, and to be his mom.

Every morning, and a few times a day, we listened to this song to get us in the mood, or to help change things up. Moving from one activity or subject to the next. For a brain break, if you will. . I keep finding my self whistling it.

We kept a loose schedule as new activities such as soccer, hip hop and swimming started this week, as well as classes for Little Star. The mornings included help with breakfast (moon themed with “eclipse eggs” and “crater ‘cakes”), journal time, swimming, nature walks and class time.


Here is a rough rundown of what we did. I am going to try to record everyday atleast some of what we do so I have it to look back on. Our days include so much more with all the little talks we have about everything, the talks we tie into the subjects we are working on, daily interactions. This gives you and I little idea of what we get done, there is actually a little missing as we touched on orbit a lot and did some charts and tables and a few online math games.



Sun created this moon chart for recording the moon everynight for a week. He started on monday, ended sunday, but has still been watching it every night since. Last night was the Harvest Full moon and international Observe the Moon Day. Fun.


Here is our crater experiment, flour on a pizza pan and marbles. Before we did it we talked about what we thought would happen and after we talked about how the different speeds and sizes of the marbles made a difference in what the crater looked like. We watched a video of an asteroid hitting the moon earlier this year, so fascinating.



Big craters make cones in the middle and spread moon dust. I was happy that Little Star was out with daddy for this experiment, we could really take our time and discuss the results.

We talked about orbit and did a sun, moon, earth eclipse experiment outside using our bodies and the sun. I drew a cresent moon and asked Sun to write adjectives about the moon inside the moon. This is after talking about verbs, adjectives, and nouns. Sun did different space related worksheets I found mostly on Enchanted Learning,
We played with base ten blocks to do time it would take different vehicles to get to the moon, read moon books (Papa Please get the moon for me by Eric Carle is our favourite moon book) and just went moon crazy! The main writing project for the week was “If I lived on the moon” A short paragraph and a picture. Sun started on monday with a rough copy and worked on it a little everyday with a good copy done on Friday and instead of a picture he used Lego to build his space car.

The Phases of the moon book and my moon book I found on this site
My Sun loved cutting the books out himself and using the stapler to put them together. The simple things. My star loved colouring them. They are free printouts and I recommend them for at least up to grade 2, maybe 3.

We used black construction paper, folded lengthwise, then the top piece cut into 8 “doors” to make a flip book. With white crayon we drew the phases in then wrote the name inside.

A family friend has offered to take Sun every week for a gardening (when applicable), and woodwork. This week they designed and built a hat hanger. We are very lucky to have these people helping round out our Suns education and give him different experiences.

Our week ended with a visit from a friend we havent seen in awhile who is also homeschooling. They played and socialized 😉 then got down to business… Oreo cookie phases of the moon! Taking the tops off of 8 cookies each the kids snacked and cut.


I think this was the kids’ second time having Oreos so this was a huge treat and a great learning tool. The kids used butter knives to cut the shapes out. Sun did his without having to ask what the shapes looked like. I am confident he learned as much, if not more then me, this week about the moon. More importantly we learned about each other, and ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to join our journey, please check back again and come follow on pinterest where you can get a sneak peak at some of the activities we will be doing as I start pinning things like crazy!

A thoughtful spot bean house update

Published September 7, 2013 by thespottedowl1

Gardening, something I aspire to be better at and try for every year. Most years my flowers shrivel and our veggies die after producing small, inedible crops. This year things are going to be different. This year we are going to eat our veggies and my flowers are large and strong. Im paying attention. Im fertilizing and watering. We have veggie beds grown from seeds, blueberries, raspberries and a wonderful bean house.

After seeing pictures of other peoples bean tubes and tee pees I knew I wanted a living playhouse for my Sun and Star. My brother in law has done some landscaping and was staying with us so I brought him in on the project. I showed him a few pictures and told him about the size I wanted. I suggested we pick up some sort of pole to support veggies but he had the brilliant idea of using branches from a tree in our yard. I dont know what kind of tree it is but it has fuzzy branches that were over grown and soft to cut. I dug a 3′ circle in our over grown “garden”. The soil in that area was worked at one time and wasent to hard to work in. My brother in law Jordan, placed the branches around my circle and added some more branches for support. The tee pee poles are approximately 4′. We used a twine to wind around the branches for both support and for the beans to climb up. Inside he used stones from our garden to create a bench, a terrific spot to sit and read a book.


My Star played music for us and sang every song in her repertoire.

My Sun practiced his climbing

He did some digging too.

Beginning to come together!

Climbing and Posing

My Sun and Star. My Loves.

Our Bean house waiting to be planted. We selected organic beans that can be eaten straight off the plant. Sounds like it takes 60-70 days to be full grown which will take us to around the beginning of august. We planted the seeds about 5cmm apart to get very full, thick walls for the house. I will make sure to keep you all posted on the progression of growth. This is something I hope we cant plant around every year and maybe extend it a little, it would be very neat to have a tunnel coming out the back! Let me know what you think and share pictures of your own bean houses, I would love to see them! Remember….If I can plant, craft, cook and sew… so can you!


our house has been growing over the summer, first slowly and now it’s filled in with green. Here it is one month ago



Now it looks like this


Little spots are magical




The kids squealed in delight over the size of the gigantic beans hanging down all over the house and we brought in large haul for dinner. This project will be copied next year and believe we will add a tunnel. Thanks for joining, I would love to see pictures of your bean house or pole bean ideas

First year adventures in homeschooling

Published September 5, 2013 by thespottedowl1

I feel like it has been years since I last posted, rather then give you a run down in one post of our goings on ill touch on it in a few posts.

We did it, we took the leap, we chose homeschooling for our family. Yay! While I am super nervous about finding our groove and being “mom enough”, I am also over the moon excited to be on this journey. My Sun is in grade two this year and has loved school since he started preschool at age 4. The way he is tackling our first days of homeschool really makes me motivated for this next school year. One thing I only sort of considered when deciding on this path was that we also have a newly turned 3 year old who is also ready for some preschool type work. Already we have been touching on colours, counting, alphabet, dividing beads into colours and art of course. Oooh this is going to be so much fun!

Here are Sun and Star are on the first day of school



This is our playroom/ classroom all ready to go


The focus for our family is really enforcing a love of learning and seeing the possibilities to do so all around you. Explore your world and let it teach you. Our mornings start off with Sun getting up around 7, making his bed and then quietly playing while waiting for the rest of the family to be up. Often Papa Bear is up at this time or leaving on a roofing job. Little Star and I are not at our best in the early morning and are up at 7:45. I know my own rhythm and hers as well and if we wake any earlier we are like active volcanos, always ready to explode. Anyways, then we all get dressed and make breakfast together. Sun reads recipes, gets out all the ingredients, shares measuring turns with his sister and tells me how to cook it. I really enjoy watching his confidence in his abilities grow each time he eats his own creation. He has been helping me learn to cook since he could stand and this too has been a wonderful journey. Adding the little sister factor has been an excellent multiple stage lesson in patience. We may not end up cooking every day, because really sometimes you just want cereal, but Sun already inormed me that I may some days wake up to a surprise breakfast. I have images of cereal with huge glasses of orange juice, slightly over buttered toast and some lovely fruit being shoved at me at 7:15 am and I know it will be one of those times I will have to take a breath and not worry about the crumbs, spilt juice or early morning wake up and smile my warmest smile and kiss my kids. That is what being a mom is all about. Back to the whole homeschooling thing though my point is that we are trying to keep a schedule, we are only 2 days in but I can see that this is really working. My son loves a schedule. He loves to know exactly what we are going to do all day, he thrives on that. The kids are working super well together, the only tv in two days was the movie “Epic” after dinner tonight, which the littlest one didnt even watch. We folded laundry together, tidied the classroom and got ready for bed. Here are some of the things I recorded that Sun worked on the last couple days


Being as we havent “officially” started yet we are not following a theme this week and are just working on getting the schedule down. Our day looks like this


oops, there’s a peek at our themes for this year. You should go check out my friend Nat’s blog, it was her post that got me thinking themes again and it really helped me realize i needed to write this all out and plan. Her blog is here

Here is the rest of our list


Right now we are on week 1 “organization”, that really means “getting on a schedule and wrapping our heads around this.” I know this is a rough and that it may get abandoned or we may make some detours or change weeks around but it feels good to know that I have something written up to help with planning for the next week of school. I hope to take an hour or more every sunday to make up the weeks lesson plans and worksheets. Each days work is separated into different folders to make it easier on Sun to be independent and work on his own while I help Little Star. I hope to put some sensory bins together to go along with various themes and I look forward to experiments. So, there you have it, I havent done this before and this is all very new, I do not know if I am on the right track but if im not I am certainly open to changing things up in whatever way we need. This is a new, happy challenge in our life that I am ready to take on. Bring it.
I just thought of how we are working with our piggy bank coins, doing apple prints and a balloon experiment tomorrow! Yay! Happy friday!

Thank you for taking the time to read about our little family’s adventures. If you found me because of the school lunch posts, have no fear I plan on still doing a bento here and there for picnics, trips or just for fun at home. I hope to continue to blog about our homeschool experiences to help keep a journal of it all for myself, come back often to see if I completely bombed see how our journey is going, find some recipes, check out our slightly wonky crafts and just join this mom on this trip through life.


chick pea salad

Published June 20, 2013 by thespottedowl1

Made the black bean and honey chick pea salad and mmmmmm sooo good!

The Spotted Owl

I have been wanting to make a chick pea salad for a while so after picking up some fresh ingredients at our local farmers market, I set the kids up with a bin of water outside while I made a salad. My mom used to make these when I was a kid but I have never made my own before. I’ve seen a few recipes on pinterest and I combined 3 of them to make my own with the ingredients I had.
1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
half an onion diced
half a cucumber diced
fresh cilantro to taste ( I added probably 2 tablespoons)
pinch of salt (I used sea salt)
pinch of pepper (I like fresh ground)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
half a lemon squeezed

combine ingredients and…

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Light Sculptures and staying home on a rainy spring day

Published June 19, 2013 by thespottedowl1

I love the way these look in our windows and how proud of themselves the children were after making them so here’s a little reshare

The Spotted Owl

Sun is home with a late spring cold today and I welcomed the opportunity to play and relax with him on this rainy day. We started the morning off with some painting. Little Star was very excited to get started, she loooves to paint. Here is her offer

 This is Suns project  

Star ended up with a beautiful picture and wonderful war paint. So this project was follwed up by bathtime.

After Stars naptime it was time to start the project I have been collecting things for for weeks! Formula and baby food jars off of our local swap, little glass “rocks” from the dollar store, tissue paper from packages, a cold glue gun and we are set. Im sure we did something like this when I was in school but this inspiration came from I love the way she lays out her offers. Here is ours.


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