Monday, June 27, 2016

Show Your Slow Week 3: Creating & Crafting Together!!!

This is the start of Week 3 in our Slow Summer Series this year!  This week's theme is Creating & Crafting Together!  

PLUS, enter our Creating & Crafting Together Instagram Photo Contest this week for a chance to win a *FREE* Camp Granny Book by Sharon Lovejoy!



Here's how to participate in our #showyourshow movement and enter our photo contest this week:

1. Follow @littleacornlearning and @notyouraveragemomofficial on Instagram
2. Take a photo on Instagram of you enjoying a SLOW moment this summer using our theme 'Creating & Crafting Together' as inspiration and use hashtags #showyourslow and #creatingandcraftingphotocontest
3. Share with friends on Instagram, Facebook and Your Blog!
5. Check back with us on our Facebook Page and the Little Acorn Learning Blog on Monday, July 4th to see if you WON!

Remember you can show us ALL of your slow moments - these themes and photo contests are just to inspire you!  Be sure to use hashtags #showyourslow #slowsummerseries #littleacornlearning

OH and I almost forgot to announce the winners of our Fun in the Sun Photo Contest... the following Instagram photos were selected and the users will win a FREE copy of the Little Acorn Learning Midsummer Festival E-Book - If your photo has won, please email us at info (at) littleacornlearning.com and we will send you a $25 gift card to purchase the e-book with:

3rosesgrow

teofamilytales

Heather Fontenot
Amanda Koiter
Carrie Dawley

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What Being "Busy" is Stealing from Your Life ...

Guilt-Free Slow Living


I begin this post by admitting I am the last person in the world who should be telling someone else to slow down and not be busy.

For somebody like me, this Slow Living thing is extremely difficult. But it is people like me who need this challenge the most. So... if you are like me, read on...

I spend SO much of my life being very, very busy.  As a matter of fact, I would bet that those who know me best may even say I am one of the busiest people they know.

I don't sign up for "busy" because I like the idea of being busy. Believe it or not, I love the idea of being NOT busy.

I love the idea of slow living and of being fully present.

I meditate.
I go to yoga.
I declutter.
I try to be conscious of my choices.
I practice breathing.
I read self-help books. :)

Shit, I could be BUSY trying to NOT be busy!  I try very hard to slow myself down but I'm often still not successful.

The reason I'm so busy all of the time is simply that I really love *SO* many things about life.  I love writing, music, traveling, politics, knitting, gardening, sewing, cooking, volunteering, painting, enjoying time with friends...

If something interests me, I do not wait or put it on some list for later.  I do it now!  In a sense I guess that *IS* living in the NOW but the problem is that "now" can only hold so much. And, to really enjoy things fully we need to do less things more SLOWLY.

So here I am, like you, struggling to live slowly - making some progress and then *BAM* along comes the guilt....

Guilty of not doing something "productive" with my time.
Guilty of not earning money in the hours I'm wasting.
Guilty of not organizing the house.
Guilty about the piles of laundry rotting in the other room.
Guilty of not making "progress".
Guilty of not getting to the grocery store.
Guilty of not answering an insane amount of emails.
Guilty that time is passing by and I'm wasting it.
Guilty of letting my girls watch TV a little longer while I do something I enjoy.

It's a horrible thing this guilt of not being busy.  It can almost make you go and be too busy again...

Unless you intentionally STOP, like me, for a minute and remember what being too busy has stolen from us so many times before:

A bedtime story with our children where we are fully present and not thinking of other things.
A long walk noticing our environment, how it's changing and meeting our neighbors.
A really good book that provides just the escape we need.
Planting a garden or watching things grow and change, showing us where our food comes from and the miracle of it all.
Conversations.  Real ones.  Good ones.  And, even difficult ones that need to be had.
A good movie and memories to be made cuddling on the couch.
Growing a business or putting more effort into our work and our ability to earn more and give more to society.
Trips, vacations or visits that have already been put off for too long to see people we love or places we imagine.
Being still enough to feel the wind blow through our hair.
Making a decision that can bring us toward a more happy life.
Noticing things around us: a new piece of furniture, a flower that bloomed, the look on someone's face.
Time to ask questions or to think about the questions we need to ask ourselves and others.
Real breathing, deeply, fully and slowly...appreciating this moment of being truly alive.
Our health and our ability to sleep well, eat right or exercise.
The ability to be alone; to feel the silence and become at peace with it and even enjoy it.
Spending time with the people who really fill our souls rather than those who just fill our time.
Tasting our food intentionally, slowly and with gratitude.
Listening and feeling the sounds of music, the ocean, laughter and nature.
And most importantly, modeling to our children and to others that taking time for ourselves and time to slow down is a gift to ourselves and those who depend on us and we are worth it.

If we slow down enough to remind ourselves what the true cost of being too busy is, we will be able to slow down, put our feet up and not feel one ounce of guilt about it.

Join us in our Slow Summer Series. Share your slow moments with us and inspire others on Instagram, Facebook or your blog.  Use hashtags #showyourslow and #slowsummerseries and be sure to like both myself and Not Your Average Mom on Instagram @littleacornlearning & @notyouraveragemomofficial

Check back here for more inspiration as we help one another slow down and really appreciate life more fully.  




Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Summer Solstice! This Week's Fun in the Sun Challenge to SLOW DOWN!

Happy first day of summer!  It's been so busy for my family already that I had to sneak away to write this blog post quickly while I have some mom friends and our kids by the pool!


Enter our FuN In The SuN Instagram Photo Contest for a chance to win a *FREE* Midsummer Festival E-Book from Little Acorn Learning ($24.99 Value!)

It's easy! Here's how to enter:

1. Follow @littleacornlearning and @notyouraveragemomofficial on Instagram
2. Take a photo on Instagram of you enjoying a SLOW moment this summer using our theme 'Fun in the Sun' as inspiration and use hashtags #showyourslow and #funinthesunphotocontest
3. Fill out the form at http://tinyurl.com/funinthesuncontest and add your Instagram photo so other's can vote for you 
4. Share with friends!
5. Check back with us on our Facebook Page and the Little Acorn Learning Blog on Monday, June 27th to see if you WON!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Garden Together and WIN a FREE Copy of Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy!

Yesterday was the kick off of the 2016 Slow Summer Series!  I've teamed up with my friend Susie of Not Your Average Mom and this week our theme is Roots & Shoots.  The idea is for you to get outside, slow down and be present with your children and GET DIRTY and #showyourslow on Instagram to inspire others to do the same.  Be sure you are following us on Instagram @littleacornleanring & @notyouraveragemomofficial

To make this first week even more AMAZING, my wonderful friend Sharon Lovejoy - YES the AUTHOR - has offered to GIFT a few lucky "winners" who are slowing down with us a FREE copy of her book Root, Shoots, Buckets & Boots!  Haven't heard of it yet?  CHECK IT OUT:


(Shhh! I don't want to spoil it but she's offered another amazing giveaway that we will host after this week so be sure to check back.)

Here is how to participate in our Slow Summer Series AND enter to win a FREE copy of Sharon's book:


  • Follow @notyouraveragemomofficial and @littleacornlearning on Instagram.
  • Check out our blogs each week to see what the prompts for the week are. (These themes are optional and purely inspirational!  Share ANY of your slow moments this summer)
  • Post daily pictures of your slow summer moments on Instagram using #showyourslow so we can all see each other’s slow moments.
  • Follow along by checking #showyourslow and commenting to join in the fun!
  • To enter this week's photo contest you must tag your Roots & Shoots slow photos with #rootsandshootscontest Please remember the idea of this is to inspire you to SLOW down and enjoy the simple moments with your children **We will choose the lucky winners on Monday, June 20th and tag you if you won to get in contact with us to claim your free copy of Sharon's book.  Remember you must use both hastags #showyourslow and #rootsandshootscontest to be entered to win! 
Here are a few of my slow moments today:




Saturday, June 11, 2016

Slow Summer - Join the Movement!

Summer is around the corner and many of you may remember my Slow Summer Series awhile back. 

The idea was to really slow down, enjoy the simple things with your children and give yourself the space in your day to absorb your environment and be truly present.  Well, IT'S back and this time we are hoping to create an entire movement of SLOW!

I've teamed up with my good friend Susie of Not Your Average Mom - Each week we will post a new theme to inspire you but you are not limited to stay within the theme!  Any time you want to share an inspirational photo to Show Your Slow just use hashtag #showyourslow

Here's how to JOIN THE SLOW MOVEMENT with us:

  • Follow @notyouraveragemomofficial and @littleacornlearning on Instagram.
  • Check out our blogs each week to see what the prompts for the week are. (These themes are optional and purely inspirational!  Share ANY of your slow moments this summer)
  • Post daily pictures of your slow summer moments on Instagram using the hashtag #showyourslow so we can all see each other’s slow moments. 
  • Follow along by checking #showyourslow and commenting to join in the fun!
This Week's Theme is 'Roots & Shoots'... show us photos of you getting outside, running barefoot, digging in the dirt, admiring wildflowers, wading in a river or planting seeds.  Be creative with our theme and really take this week to slow down and absorb Mother Earth with your family.






Do you need more inspiration to celebrate this beautiful season with your children?  Check out some of our amazing e-books on the Little Acorn Learning website.  Our Midsummer Festival E-Book is PERFECT for this time and is filled with tons of activities, songs, book recommendations and much more to help you absorb the simple moments of summer with your children.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Photo Scavenger Hunt - Receive $5 OFF Any March Product!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This is a special holiday for our family.  Having strong Irish roots that we are very proud of, we love to celebrate the day by making leprechaun traps, cooking Irish food and reading special books.

Photo by Bianca D. Lara
Sara from Love in the Suburbs has a beautiful list of recommended children's books for this special holiday and our March Kindergarten Program, our March Afterschool Enrichment and our Spring Festivals E-Book does too in addition to so many amazing ideas!

To celebrate today, we are sending you and your children on a special St. Patrick's Day Photo Scavenger Hunt!  

For each family that participates, you will receive a special $5 OFF coupon code that you can use to buy any of our March products over on Little Acorn Learning (please note, this coupon code will be sent in response to your emailed photo to us - see below.)

Here's how to enter:

1.  Look at the list below and go on a hunt with your children (and your camera!).. see how many of these scavenger items you can find and take photos.  Please note - do not photograph or send images of things found online... in person found items only.

2.  Post a comment on this blog post below and tell us all about your experience.

3.  Email us your best photo of the hunt to info (at) littleacornlearning.com - included in that email please include:  Your name, email, location and permission for us to use the photo in future marketing and advertising through Little Acorn Learning along with a brief description of your experience (can be the same blurb you leave here in comments).

4.  Throughout the day, we hope to share these photos on our Facebook Page and after the end of the contest (8 p.m. EST), we will share a special $5 OFF coupon code for you to use on any March product on our website.

Good luck and here we go!

Scavenger Hunt List (be creative with your interpretations!):

  • A Gold Coin
  • Four Leaved Clover
  • Tiny Shoes
  • Green Candy
  • A Rainbow
  • A Pot of Gold
  • Irish Flag
  • A Home for a Leprechaun
  • Signs of Mischief 
  • Green Moss 
  • A Little Hat
  • An Odd Shaped Potato 
  • St. Patrick Himself 
  • An Irish Harp
  • Celtic Cross
  • Claddagh Ring 
  • Irish Food

May the Luck of the Irish be with YOU!  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sweet February Activities for You and Your Children!

February is here and there are so many sweet ways we can celebrate this month of LOVE with the children we care for. I've created many e-books to help guide parents and teachers in creating a nurturing and loving environment for children and I hope they help you make beautiful memories together.

The February Caregiver's Calendar is only $3.00 for the entire month and is filled with important dates, Waldorf festival celebrations, colors and grains for the day, full moon dates and a daily idea or activity for each day of the month.  It is a great way to spend very little and get a tiny peek into Little Acorn Learning's ideas and philosophies.
Photo by Maggie Williams
The February 5 Day Program can be used as a Kindergarten At-Home curriculum or can be used in your entire family or mixed aged group to help you create a healthy rhythm to each day.  This non-academic curriculum guides caregiver's through each day of the week from morning until evening time with recipes, songs, games, crafts, household chores, book recommendations, blackboard drawings, caregiver meditations and much more. All of the planning is done for you and focus is not only put on the children but also on LOVING and caring for yourself, the caregiver.


The February Afterschooling Guide follows the rhythm of a weekly theme but does not have each day mapped out. It provides the flexibility that teachers, homeschoolers and afterschooling parents need to enrich their children's life with Waldorf ideas and philosophies.  These e-books are best used with older children directly or in mixed aged settings with little ones being the "helpers with more complicated crafts and activities.  They are filled with crafts, recipes, activities, stories and inner-work suggestions for you.  


I hope these help you as you move into the month of February. We also have wonderful natural childcare menus, handwork e-books, e-courses and if you are looking to prepare for Spring - please take a look at our Festival E-Book Section and consider our Spring Festivals E-Book which will help you plan ahead with the children!

For anyone wanting to see what's inside our e-books, you can view FREE SAMPLES on our website and try them yourself!

Enjoy the beautiful month with the children and take good care of yourself!