24 times xmas

hello, december!
this year, in addition to our traditional xmas calendar we added a beautiful idea of Kindness Elves, inspired by Ana from Imagination tree :) thank you for this lovely idea… we couldn’t even wait until xmas, so we began earlier. our first wrapped presents are already on the way to children’s homes in Latvia :) this is a great way to show love, kindness and gratitude to kids. we spent a wonderful evening preparing presents and talking about sharing, giving and spreading love to people around us. hug your family, send a letter to your friend and give a smile to a stranger on the street…just GIVE!!!
here comes our 24 magical sacks with letters from kindness elves and ides for our xmas time:) enjoy!

1. create a new tradition for Christmas with the Kindness Elves.
As next of #kindnesselves activity will be DIY present for children in India. In this idea we will support Yoga Gives Back organization and will send xmas presents to my yoga teacher from Yogaplace, who is already months in India and share love with children there.
2. make your own gingerbread dough. this year we choose vegan receipe from minimalistbaker:
3. craft your advent wreath. we usually use natural materials… some leftovers from summer and autumn (nuts, dry flowers, berries, etc.) and we also like to add some gingerbread cookies.
4. make your own table decors for xmas dinner.
we will make napkin rings with recycled material: toilet paper rolls/ papaer towel rolls covered with ribbon lace http://www.pinterest.com/pin/513058582523804212/
5. make a meal and invite some friends.
as we are living in Netherlands, we are lucky to have two Santa Clauses. Ziemassvētku vecītis (in latvian Santa Claus) is coming on 24th of december from North Pole and another one is dutch Sinterklaas (also known as Saint Nicholas), who came this year on 15.november and stays until 5.december – Dag Sinterklaas. We are making dinner for our friend Ana from Portugal :)
more about who is this old man with white long beard coming from Spain with boat and a lot of helpers -Zwarte pieten – you can read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwarte_Piet
6.diy xmas tree decors with clay
7.light up second candle and go for a family walk in the neighbourhood xmas market.
8. make or buy a bird feeder and start to feed birds in the garden each day until spring is coming.
There are a lot of great DIY bird feeders using pine cones and other ingredients on Pinterest, this yea we will make orange bird feder:
9.it’s time to make some homemade cards.
10. snow bird crafts.


11. DIY xmas wrapping paper – we go for polka dot: http://squirrellyminds.com/2012/12/07/diy-polka-dot-wrapping-paper/
12. snowflake crafts. we already made paper snowflakes for lorena’s “frozen birthday party”:

now will try to make glue gun window snowlakes:
13. make an easy table cards for your special xmas dinner – cones with name tags
14. go for a xmas trip to another city, search for xmas lights, hot chocaaaalate and pancakes. we are going for family trip to Cape Verde, so next ideas we will fulfill there. xmas movie on the way….
15. xmas peanut crafts
16. xmas tree preparation… we wont be home in christmas time but i still think it would be great to have xmas tree in our holiday house, found couple great take away ideas:

17. surprise night expedition… Here are kidsactivitiesblog idea: Have Daddy tuck the kids into bed while you (sneakily) prepare hot cocoa in travel mugs. Run the mugs and cozy blankets out to the car and then dash up the stairs to the kids’ rooms. Open their doors and shout Surprise!!!! Get them out of bed and go on a hunt around your neighborhood (in jammies!) for the best and brightest Christmas light displays. The kids will love the element of surprise and the hot cocoa!
As we will be in Cabo Verde, we will attend Turtle SOS organization for turtle saving activity. #kindnesselves


18. give love and donate. we found organization in Sal (Capo Verde), where we will bring girls drawings, school items for children in Africa. Teach your kids the true spirit of giving. #kindnesselves
19. make a family handprint christmas tree and send it to grandparents http://www.mamasmiles.com/fun-christmas-craft-family-handprint-christmas-tree/
20. search for xmas lights in yours or neighbourhood city.
21. read xmas story
22. learn about xmas traditions in your country or if you already know them all, search for different countries traditions. we will learn about Caboverdian traditions, interesting… do they have any?
23. make a list of everything you’re grateful for and stick it onto a happy/ thankful xmas tree or put it into the gratetude jar, which you can fulfil during the next year. hmmm…great idea also for New years eve…
24. christmas morning breakfast – lazy morning in pj, give out free hugs to all friends and family today! Hugs release endorphins and make everyone feel happy. #kindnesselves
Have a joyful Christmas season planing!!!

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funny bunny… head accessories and more…

it’s been a while since my last post and I’ve missed it so much. so today i said to myself, let’s make our day a bit different- more crafts less studing. the idea to make headbands in a theme of spring popped in my head :) so there it goes… happy easter everyone :)

u will need:
foam balls
30x15cm fabric rectangle
30 cm fine wire
glue gun
simple headband or hair pin


how to make it:
1. take foam ball and wrap it in the fabric, fix it with wire – make it with two knots in the middle and leave both ends for bunny ears
2. wrap wire ends with fabric to make bunny ears. use glue gun to stick them together. improvise.
5. cut out little circle (3cm wide) from the same fabric, u will need it for sticking bunny on the headband
6. take your bunny, fabric circle and headband, stick together with glue gun.



p.s.in the last pic u can see our easter fun game… keep the egg between your nose…

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colorlicios… carnival greetings from Maastricht :)

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oceans and ocean animals 3-part cards

we are continuing our geography journey with oceans… here comes oceans and ocean animals 3 -part cards in latvian language:


english version you can download here

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not into Valentine’s day… :)

a couple of days ago i asked girls, what is love? and i realised that we havent actually ever spoken about it… i made a video and i think i’ll try doing it again in the future to see how it would develop over the years :)
so what our girls think about LOVE…..
lo: when you are ready to give away your best shoes… when you wear white dress…, when u wear a beautiful ring and u have lots of flowers…, when dad givs presents to mammy… (she is trying to do it almost every time when she is in the shop… daddy, i think we have to buy something for mummy… :)
katrina: when u kiss each other…, when a girl stands next to a boy, when falimy is together…, when u watch movies one a couch together…
here is our day (girls only) spent in thoughts about love…wedding dresses, flowers and a lot of hearts…
have some cheeez :)
and happy lovers day :)

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in the world of animations…

cookingpoetry presents sunday animation – living in the farm. made by cooperation #fatherdaughters…

at the begging they were super exited, then in the middle of the process they were kind of bored and at the very end, after watching their super little animation (10s), they wonder how long it gone take to make 1.5h long animation… a lot of work huh?

are you ready to make yours? here are some tips, how to make it…
u will need:
1)film maker – daddy patience…
2)animator’s patiance – it’s a very detailed process, nothing happens fast
3)animation surface – we used table
4)decorations and actors – we used farm and farm animals
5)web camera and movie editing software – we used HD web cam and monkey jam stop motion animation program,which u can download it here. There are also other tehniques if u want use regular camera. This time we thought it’s easier to use web cam directly with animation software.



5 steps how to make animation:
1) set up your software and connect web camera to the computer
2) set up your scene and your actors
3) place your web camera to the scene and make sure it’s in a stable position, be aware not to touch it or move it. we placed our web camera on the tripod.
4) using software, capture frame by frame. From frame to frame move your main actors – it has to be very slow, approximately 5 mm from one position to another… here comes big patience and careful work not to distroy or move any other objects in the same screen :) we did our best :)
5) and the last part is exporting all your frames into the video file



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animals around the world 3 – part cards

last week i finished our fabric world map and now we are slowly inhabiting it … girls are so exited to explore the animals of the planet. we started our journey with little animal toys. girls were searching all around the house what kind of animals do they have and in which area they are living.
yeah we still to have to buy more of them, otherwise it looks like in our world lives just Europe’s and Africa’s animals…:) Until we fix this (maybe with DIY project), we are exploring animal books, encyclopedias and world animal three part cards, which you can download here:
continent and animal cards

these cards are in Latvian language (as we are still developing our latvian language), English version u can find here

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hello from maastricht

today is three weeks since we moved to our new homecity maastricht :) so far so good…

unpacking is done, and we already had our first xmas here…

we had our first visit to katrina’s and lorena’s new school – montessori bassischool de poort . our first meeting was more than an hour long…. nice chat with a cup of tea and a tour of the school, so girls could see their new classrooms.
this time they will be in separate classes (for real), and i think it’s great… this way they can grow up as an individuals. hopefully lorena won’t have a hard time dealing with it, cause in j.f.kennedy montessori school it didn’t work out, she was crying every day since her fourth birthday (in netherlands u attend school from 4). no one had ever seen her so sad before, she even had to go to the toilet every 3 minutes… stress under the pressure i guess… and yeah, she has a character too…
she got what she wanted back in the old school, after a week we moved her to katrina’s class, where she was a happy girl again… actually it was her teacher’s suggestion, she thought there is no point to keep her sad, cause we were about to move anyway.
after the visit to the new school, she said she liked her class even better than Katrina’s… more dolls to play with… so we are hoping this time it will work out ☺


we had some random chit chat with people in the neighborhood, sightseeing in the city (maastricht around christmas time really looks magic). we also visited our potential new yoga place, signed up with the city library, and, of course, found new dancing place – www.kumulus.nl
check… check… check… check…

we consecrated our new stove… with a special lunch for our name-day boy Kristaps….. oh boy, it was “the world’s greatest vegetable lasagna” from green kitchen stories (http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/worlds-best-vegetable-lasagna), the time spent in the kitchen totally worth it… ☺
and for your sweet tooth, we made our xmas calendar activity – home made gingerbread cookies with chocolate and cranberry deer decorations on it… girls enjoyed decoration bit the most, they were all over in choooooocolate… :))
we also had a xmas party in latvian school “diegabiksis” (the same one in breda, only this time we drove there from south). we are happy that our moving from the hague hasn’t changed our habit, which has already become sort of a tradition- once a month we meet up with our latvian friends to celebrate latvian holidays in more traditional way:)



hip hip…

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christmas, merry christmas, xmas

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