We're back homeschooling this year (thanks COVID). We had planned for our daughter to do kindergarten and she was in an amazing Chinese Immersion program out here in Delaware. BUT because of Covid and a few exposures, we decided it was best for our family to homeschool again.
Since Ivy can read but isn't so great with math yet, I'm calling this year Kinder First. Here's the curriculum we are doing for our first few weeks!
Math - Math U See Primer
For math we are focusing on recognizing numbers and counting to 100.
What Your First Grader Should Know
Science - reading about habitats in WYFGSK and for each habitat we watch a 30 minute video from Tiny World on Apple TV that corresponds to the habitat type. Then we show that habitat in an artistic form.
Forest - Drew a forest with markers on paper - Watched the rainforest Tiny World and discussed how a rainforest is different than a typical forest.
Desert - Read about the desert, watched the desert Tiny World, Painted Desert
Under Water - Read about water habitat, watched pond Tiny World - Created animals and plants with clay to make a water habitat
Theater - We are acting out out the various habitats we learn in science and also learning basic poems to recite.
Chinese - Duo Lingo, Pandatree, Youtube and Outschool
Winter Lawn Care tips
If you’re anything like me during the winter you definitely don’t think about what to do with your lawn or your backyard. It’s an area that many of us don’t really think about when the colder weather comes, besides that my children love to go out and play. I learned that before the winter months come along, there are a few things you should do to make your backyard is ready for the cold front to come in. It’s important to keep these in mind to maintain your backyard, your lawn, and your overall appearance from winter to Spring. Below are a few tips!
This post is sponsored by: Daniel’s Lawn and Tree, LLC. If you live in the Delaware area they are a quality and helpful business to assist you. They offer several services to help you with your lawn care including landscaping maintenance and tree removal in the New Castle area.
Photo below provided by Daniel's Lawn and Tree LLC.
First Episode of the new Podcast is out!! I did it. So for the first episode we are talking about 3 aspects you can do slowly to ease yourself into a crunchy lifestyle. Enjoy
Welcome to the first episode of crunchy rice, the podcast, so this is a podcast all about crunchy living, the natural, holistic way of living your life one step at a time. It's super important to be able to take care of yourself. Heal yourself in different ailments without needing outside help and things that you can buy. You can find you can grow all of yourself. Each week will look at different topics and how you can live your life. The most crunchy way possible. First this week we're starting off with how do you do it? What are 10 things that you can do without getting overwhelmed to start living your most crunchy and natural life possible? So let's get right into it. Number one, we are saying no to the high fructose corn syrup. I know you're like. Wait, wait, what it's in absolutely everything, I mean your bread, your juice, your ice cream, high fructose corn syrup is in everything, and if you're like me, you remember those commercials back in the day where they would put oh I Fritos corn syrup. It's not that bad for you. You're wrong, they used to say in moderation, but if it's in every single thing that you eat, it's no longer in moderation. Now is it so high fructose corn syrup? It's an artificial sugar, so all the hype is, oh run away from sugar. Sugar is bad, so why is artificial sugar not bad? So many experts believe that this added sugar in this fake sugar. High fructose corn syrup is a key factor in today's obesity epidemic. But also other series health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Well, here are some reasons why you might want to stay away from that stuff, so it adds an unnatural amount of fructose to your diet, and that can also call serious health health issues taken in excessive amounts. So if you're eating it all the time, yeah, you're getting excessive.
It also increases your risk of fatty liver disease, and nobody wants a fatty liver. That's just gross, and it increases your risk of obesity. Like I've already mentioned, weight gain an. Excessive intake of it can lead to many other serious diseases like advanced glycation. I don't know what that is, but I don't want it so. So that's the first thing that you can do to make sure you were living the most crunchy life and holistic life possible. Easy, right? Just read the things that you buy little by little. Go through your pantry, look through the things that you're shopping at the grocery store and toss out the stuff that has high fructose corn syrup. I know at first it's gonna scare you when you're like, Oh my God, everything I eat as high fructose corn syrup? Why yes, yes it does. But let's move on to number 2. Eat and where organic. Yes I said where organic as in your clothes I'll get to that in just a bit. The biggest part is about eating organic, especially fruits and vegetables. You want to make sure you're staying away from pesticides and things of that nature, because hey, it's not good for you.
Organic food can reduce our exposure to chemicals. It can make sure our vegetables and fruit are more nutritious and vitamin enriched so you don't have to worry about all these supplements if you're not eating good food. Then you're not getting good vegetables at all and then also organic dairy and meat can also be healthier than the non organic varieties. You don't have to worry about all the hormones and things of that nature ill you don't want cow hormones in your body. I don't. That's that's gross. And if you're a little bit worried about, OK, I can't get everything organic, so there's this thing called The Dirty dozen and it's 12 different fruits and vegetables that are like OK, these are the ones that have the most pesticides an you should probably stay away from them. The strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, Peaches cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. So if you can't start with all of your fruits and vegetables, start with The Dirty dozen.
#3, the third thing that you can do is take your shoes off in the house. I know I've said some things are gross and nasty, but this is in science is behind me to prove it. So there's this study by the University of Arizona that looked into your shoes and how much of that nasty gunk that you walk through every single day gets into your house, and they found that. And I'm going to quote right here. The transfer of bacteria, from shoes to uncontaminated tiles range from 90 to 99%. OK. quoting. So that means up to 99% stuff you walk through on a daily basis and only God knows what all that stuff is. Gets on your house and in your house and it's on rug and if you walk in your bedroom, it's on your carpet and then you put your shoes on your bed and it's on your bed in the bacterias. Does multiplying and growing and turning into nastiness OK, so it might not be doing all that? I don't have science to back me up on all of that. What is gross? But I digress. OK, so if you're not on board with just the nastiness of it all, there was also available University study that found that people living close to asphalt roads that were sealed with coal tar have an increased risk of cancer from toxins, and these toxins can be tracked inside by your shoes. Or if you have tons of grass and you’re treating in that grass with chemicals or other pesticides, you can track those toxins from treating your lawn into your house with your shoes. OK, is that not enough? Take your shoes off before you walk into a house. Take your shoes off before you walk into anybody's house because I know everybody walking into my house. They're taking off their shoes like it or not, bring some socks. Alright, so that's three of the 10 beginning steps to living a crunchy and holistic life. The Ashley Rice crunchy rice weigh the full list of the 10 is on my blog, so you can check that out whenever you like. It’s available, or you can come back next week for the second episode of the podcast and hear more of the 10 ways to start living a crunchy life!
This is my 30ish day check in on my in ground or in garden compost! To make this we dug out the dirt in the middle of my raised bed garden. And put in milk crate and covered it with a plastic bin top.
To start I put in compost starter, dirt, and red wiggles worms. The reason I did in ground in the middle of my garden was to help naturally enrich to surrounding soil in my raised bed garden.
If soil conditions are good you won’t have to worry about all the worms leaving the compost area because they’ll be happily eating all the food and turning it into awesome soil for your garden.
Just don't put in citrus peels! They do not break down quickly at all and can lead to stinky compost due to rot.
Supplies: Milk Crate: https://amzn.to/2ME5KhQ Red Wiggler Worms: https://amzn.to/2Y5uBAi Compost Starter: https://amzn.to/2MEfbxv Soil: https://amzn.to/3h5hVC0
Before & After Desk Redo
We got this desk second hand THREE years ago! We’ve moved with this ugly thing and considered throwing it away at times. But now I’m thrilled we didn’t, we finally have the time to redo it! Plus it was a great way to spend the weekend with the kids!
Started off cleaning it off and priming the desk with a safecoat primer 0 VOC and no stinky paint smell! The after that dried we painted it white matte white paint and then chalkboard paint on the top for a functional and nice look!
Then for some pizzaz we painted the feet with a rose gold glaze. I didn’t love that look so we then added imitation rose gold / copper leaf flakes with simple glue!
I made handles using rose quartz and screws but the 12-year-old didn’t like the pink look! She wanted a rose gold handle so I found rocks outside used my glue gun to glue the rocks on screws and added the imitation glue flakes and then glued over it to make the handle functional.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
Forget store bought hand sanitizer! Make your own (and its better for skin because remember everything you put on your skin gets into your blood stream). Plus the store-bought sanitizer can be full of toxic chemicals that do more harm than good to your body.
1 oz Amber Spray Container
Grain Alcohol (190 Proof like Everclear)
10 drops Essential Oil
Optional: Thickened Aloe Gel
I’ve seen people saying to use isopropyl alcohol. But I don’t… It’s too strong! It can dry out your skin and cause superficial burns, ow! Then your skin is damaged and more susceptible to germs.
Essential Oils You Can Use:
why wear Organic clothing?
Your skin is the biggest organ you have so take care of it! That's the point of organic clothing and sheets. Organic clothing isn't grown with chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers and harmful dyes. Believe it or not your skin reacts to and absorbs everything it comes in contact with especially your clothing.
I've heard from friends and reading blogs that it is especially good for people with autoimmune diseases and allergies.
Pact Organic is one of my go to places for organic clothing for myself and kids, now they also have bedding! If you shop there you can save $20 with this link.
I will admit most of my closet isn't organic but most of my lounge clothes and underwear are.
Clean naturally... without the vocs.
Some of the most toxic things I used to do was clean my house. I know it sounds crazy but dipping my hand in bleach water and scrubbing the tub with conventional cleaning products wasn't the best thing for my health. You see everything I touched, was absorbed by my body. So technically I was doing more harm than good. These cleaners contain ammonia, artificial fragrances, and various other chemicals you don't want in your body.
That doesn't mean never clean again.. It means clean differently. Be careful what you buy... or make your own. It's easy to make your own cleaning spray both for disinfectant, glass cleaning and even scrubs for the bathroom! All you need are some good glass containers like the amber glass bottles and mason jars in which store the supples!
All Purpose Cleaner
One thing that sounds crazy to me now that I never thought about being natural was arts & crafts supplies. I had the wood easel, woodtoys but not once did I think about the paint, play dough or crayons my daughters had. One day, during naptime, I fell down a rabbit hole of natural reading and realized I wasn't as crunchy as I thought. There could be harsh chemicals and heavy metals in the art supplies my kiddos were using. At the time iI didn't know there were chemicals (toluene, xylene, lead, cadmium, hexane, talc, etc..) that were in conventional art supplies.
Why? From what I learned, companies the chemicals preserve art materials and can make them easier to use. But some of these chemicals are carcinogenic (or suspected to be so or not tested enough to be sure one way or the other). Those chemicals can get into the blood stream through skin contact, inhalation and through the experimental nature of kids putting everything in their mouth. Uh, no thanks! I definitely didn't sign up to hang VOCs up as part of my kids final masterpiece. That's why I live my crunchy life to keep as much as the stuff away from our family as possible. So it was time to find the most natural products available for art time with the kids!
While I have found some great recipes for DIY play dough and honestly it seems like an awesome idea I may try out one day with 3-year-old Ivy, I'd rather buy it! And if you're like me here are my picks for play dough, paint, chalk and more:
Where to buy?
Cleanse : Root chakra
Do you ever feel like your energy is stuck? You get enough sleep, you eat well, you're happy but yet..., you feel off? Your physical body may be find but your energy (and spirit) could need some care. Cleansing your chakras is a good way to help fix your energy. I like to do this onechakra at a time using the 7 chakra system. This can help you let go of old hurts, physical pain, focus, cleanse and create a sense of positivity.
Recently, I've had a ton of changes (job change, move, back to school and more). So I figure it is a good time to focus on my chakras and ensure my energy is flowing to get me back on track. Each week or as my body directs me I will be focusing on one chakra at a time to cleanse and align my body and mind. So we start.... at the bottom with the root chakra.
The Root Chakra (Muladhara) is the first chakra. It is located at the based of the spine. The root chakra is our survival center and the most instinctive of the 7 chakras. I've heard this referred to as the flight or fight chakra. This chakra creates a feeling of safety and security when balanced. It is like creating a foundation for the body. You start here at the root chakra and build up.
When unbalanced in the root chakra, one may cling to old beliefs of toxic behaviors. Feelings of fear, insecurity, guilt and not belonging all stem from the lack of balance in the root chakra. When balanced, the root chakra helps with feelings of safety, security, set-assureness and strength.
Crystals & Color
The root chakra is symbolized as the color red. While many believe crystals have to match the color of the chakra, this isn't always the case. It is more about the energy associated with the crystal. The healing frequency of the crystal will resonate with the vibrational frequency of your chakra and can help activate and balance your chakra.
Crystals that are a good match for the root chakra are:
There are many other stones great for the root chakra. This list is just a few.
To use the crystals for healing you can wear them in everyday life. Use them during meditation whether you're simply holding the stones, placing them on or near the chakra or arranging them in a formation to cleanse. Personally, I hold the crystal meditation and/or place is on my skin as a lie down.
Words are power. You're heard that before, I'm sure. But, it's not just words that contain power but also sounds and vibrational frequencies. Each chakra has a specific mantra to chant. The root chakra's mantra is: LAM. You can chant "Lam' silently or aloud to help cleanse the root chakra.
It is also helpful to use affirmations to help focus yourself on your intention.
Start or end your meditation or day with one (or more) of these affirmations. Write it on a post it note and stick it to your door in the car.
Yoga can also help you to align your chakras as well. Here are a few poses to help!
Scents, besides just smelling good, help to activate the mind and body. Essential oils are a great way to help align and cleanse the chakras. Plant therapy has a chakra set specifically for this purpose. It runs about $50 but they website usually has a promo code for new customers! Young Living recommends itsHarmony blend for the root chakra.
But if you want to take it one oil at a time or mix your own set, here are essential oils that are good for the root chakra:
So how do you add all this up? One section may be for you and others may not. This is not something that is super easy and you may feel like you're not achieving success but stay persistent and learn more. Life is a marathon right? There are also Ayurvedic, holistic and other types of shoppes that will help you in your chakra cleansing. Take time to visualize a swirling ball of red at the base of your spine. Happy balancing.
* There will be a video coming soon with me explaining and showing all of these steps!
I'm a mom of 3 girls and a husband who I converted to the crunchy life. I buy a lot and try a lot so you don't have to.