Gentle TV Shows for Kids – Part 2: Puffin Rock

Thanks for tuning in! Hopefully this series will help you find good gentle TV shows for your little ones! These are our family’s favorites! Not too busy, scary, negative, or in your face. They’re gentle, fun, and entertaining stories with sweet characters in beautiful settings.

If you’re just joining us you may want to check out Part 1 about the show Tumble Leaf on Amazon Prime Video.

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On the show Puffin Rock a young puffin named Oona and her little brother, Baba, live with their parents and friends on a tiny but gorgeous island off the coast of Ireland. The textured illustrations have amazing light and color! I would love to hang prints from this beautiful show on our walls!

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Nature facts are beautifully blended with the story through narrations by the hilarious Chris O’Dowd, (IT Crowd, Bridesmaids, Pirate Radio). There are plenty of funny comments for parents to enjoy right along with their little ones! Not to mention the lovely Irish accents!

Whether they’re pretending to be grown up puffins, going on a family trip to an underwater cave, or simply in awe of a murmuration of starlings the adorably sweet characters of Puffin Rock are brilliantly funny and super cute!

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Oona and Baba even help tidy up their burrow by finding new soft things from around the island to replace the old bedding, as a surprise for their parents when they return from fishing.

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The little puffin siblings play with and care for each other, their parents, friends, and anyone come across. Their best friends include Mossy, the pygmy shrew who loves to eat, May the bunny rabbit, and Silky the seal.  They also have nocturnal friends, the owls, and Bernie the hermit crab, their friend and mentor, (who they help find a new shell when his cracks)!

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Flynn the fox has a bit of a grumpy exterior but truly a heart of gold. And the seagulls don’t really get along with puffins, but it’s nothing major. My guy is really sensitive and they don’t bother him much.

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The puffins adventures take them all over land, sea, and sky! From traveling through burrows with bunnies and hedgehogs to swimming through glowing phytoplankton with whales, (on Oona’s first night time trip to the sea by herself because she’s a big puffin now)!

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We’re especially found of the episode where Oona goes around telling all her friends about the supermoon so they can stay up late to watch it together!

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Hope you and your little one enjoy the show as much as we do! I’d love to hear what you think or hear about what shows you like to watch with your family! Please leave a comment below so we can share!

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Gentle TV Shows for Kids – Part 1: Tumble Leaf

For a while now I’ve been thinking of blogging about the gentle kids’ shows our little family enjoys, but I’ve stopped short for fear of judgement. Afraid of falling short of the incredible standard of natural parenting and hearing about it from other moms, more perfect than I.

But I think it’s more important to share the good stuff and let go of fear and mom guilt. So I say to you as much and myself that it’s ok! You’re in good company! Sometimes it’s the only way to get stuff done or have a moment to recharge your batteries. Sometimes it’s just nice to snuggle and enjoy a story together!

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If you’re looking for a gentle show brimming with imagination for your littlest viewers please allow me to recommend Tumble Leaf, on Amazon Prime! It’s been at the top of our list since our little guy started watching TV.

Tumble Leaf follows the explorations of adorable stop-motion animated animals on a whimsical island. It has a sweet gentle nature that’s inquisitive, imaginative adventurous!

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My little guy loves exploring things and figuring out how they work. Tumble Leaf certainly inspires him further as he plays along or acts out scenes.

Along with being very empathetic he’s always been sensitive to anything “not nice” or with too much going on. So it can be tricky to find shows that work for us. We all enjoy Tumble Leaf. I think it will always remind me of snuggling with my guys on the couch with maple & brown sugar oatmeal. Cozy!

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Each episode begins with a crab on the beach, wresting something from a crab trap with his wooden claw. He checks it out and tosses it into a treasure chest in the bottom of the ship behind him. On the balcony of the ship a blue fox, named Fig, introduces himself and his best friend before setting off to discover what the crab threw into “the finding place.” An adventure through forests, beaches, meadows, or icy mountains ensues – all while figuring something out.

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A pulley, kazoo, balloon, ball, magnet are just a few of the items discovered in the finding place. Season 2 just premiered on Amazon Prime so it’s a wonderful times to start watching Tumble Leaf!

Rumble leaf, tumble leaf!

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P.S. Stay tuned for more kid show recommendations in the coming weeks!

 

 

Interview with Luggabug

After featuring one of her gorgeous ring slings in a Treasury Tuesday Jessica of Luggabug and I got to talking and found that we have lots in common! Among other things, we’re both work at home mamas who made special things for our babies and decided to share them with the world!

Tell a bit about yourself.

I’m a work-at-home mother of one (so far.) I grew up in Southeastern Idaho in a small town called Pocatello. I met the love of my life at a hot dog cart in Boise, ID, which led to Southern California. I enjoy the sunlight, tea, giggles and cuddles with my family, and of course – creating. Sewing, painting, crochet, haircutting, music making.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I’m a little bit of a geek. I’m really into space themed sci-fi stuff, mostly thanks to my husband.. like the Ender’s Game series, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate Atlantis.

What inspires you to create?

Three things, I’d say.

My generation is starting to get into quilting and embroidery, and I love all the modern quirky fabrics coming out as a result! I still have a soft spot for vintage stuff too, so I try to fuse them together in my work.

I love sharing my art. I used to give away all of my paintings. I feel like once I’ve poured my love and effort into it, it’s not mine anymore and it has to be shared.

I started working at 14, and always liked the structure and consistency of having a job.  Although being a mom is a really tough job, it’s a different kind of job. It makes me feel good to create things that contribute to the family income, and to set and make my own personal tangible goals.

What did you like to do when you aren’t crafting?

I have a fantastic moms group in my area that does park day meetups and field trips. I also really enjoy reading, singing with my son, and hanging out with the husband.  

What is your dream in life, other than having a successful Etsy shop?

I want to live on a chunk of land with plenty of children, love, and fruit trees to go around. And a perfectly organized workspace. (Ha!)

How did you get started making ring slings?

I was pregnant with my son, searching and searching for a sling that was both affordable and adorable. If it was cute, it was usually a wrap conversion (and out of my price range.) If it was affordable, it didn’t make my heart sing with consumer joy. So I made my own! After that, I wanted to share the love. I thought… there have to be other moms out there who are looking for the same things I like. I should do this!

What is your creative process like?

When I see a fabric that gives me butterflies, I start to brainstorm the best way to display it. I try to find a coordinating fabric that will either contrast or compliment nicely, depending on the feel of the print. From there, it’s just adjusting the lines on the pattern to match what’s in my head. The rest is an assembly line, basically. I’m currently practicing embroidery, and experimenting with new patterns and styles of applique. So stay tuned for that!

I love the shapes of your coordinating fabric, like this one I haven’t seen ring slings like that. What was the inspiration?

Thank you! I loved how tulas and mei tais were decked out with cool fabrics, and noticed that the ring sling community was missing out. I saw fabric I loved, but quilter’s cotton isn’t strong enough to use alone. It was important to me to make safe, CPSIA compliant carriers. So I found a reliable linen source to use as the structural fabric. Then, I played around with different shapes and sizes of applique until I found a few that I loved.

Where can you be found online? (besides on Etsy)

I have an instagram account @luggabug where I post updates, sneak peeks, discounts, and behind-the-scenes photos.

How did you come up with your store name?

Early on, a friend on facebook asked what I was going to make. I said “Something to lug around babies in.” It came to me pretty quick after that, because I had already been playing around with rhyming names.

Any tips for others wanting to start a handmade business?

Sure! There’s a couple things I figured out that I didn’t think about in the very beginning, but they’re important. First – find and follow laws and regulations applicable to your product. Especially children’s products. Then – don’t let the bureaucracy discourage you. It’s kind of a frustrating mess, but it will make your life easier and it’s important.

Also – take the time to figure out your demographic. Think about if there’s a real demand for what you have to offer. Is anyone else offering it already? What sets you apart?

Finally – at some point you have to just take a deep breath and put something out there! You don’t have to start perfect, you just have to start somewhere.

Room for Good Things

I was restless. Frustrated by all the things around me I disliked. Struggling to simply keep my head above water. I didn’t realize that I had it within myself to change things. Sure, I believed it theoretically, but it didn’t seem like a real possibility given my circumstances. Not until backed into a corner did I realize I had the power to turn the things I disliked into dreams come true.

When I was forced to leave my job I was relieved of a heavy burden. And in its’ place came so many blessings, rushing in like water once I opened the door. Only by being forced to leap did I realize I could spread my wings and fly. (As cliche as it sounds. Guess cliches are such for good reason after all).

Since leaving my job and working on my Etsy shop full time, home with my little guy, I realize my life is my own. That it is possible to follow my intuition and passions to a much better place that had always seemed just beyond my reach. The process has brought me closer to my husband, son, and my self and I am thankful.

I’m in good company too. So many lovely mothers out there are doing what they love and helping each other up along the way. Building lives for themselves and their families that are whole. Doing what they need and love to do. Being true to themselves all the while.

Fabric I've since turned into Toy Ring Slings or Doll Carriers

Fabric I’ve since turned into Toy Ring Slings

While working on this post Fox was watching Disney’s Johnny Appleseed story. It holds new meaning for me now.

The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For givin’ me
The things I need
The sun and rain
And an apple seed
Yes, He’s been good to me

I owe the Lord so much
For everything I see
I’m certain
If it weren’t for Him
There’d be no apple
On this limb
He’s been good to me

Oh, here am I
‘neath the blue, blue sky
A-doin’ as i please
Singin’ with my feathered friends
Hummin’ with the bees
I wake up every day
As happy as can be
Because I know
That with his care
My apple trees
They will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me

You got the stuff to see you through
Why…you got all the seeds you’re needin’
And for pretty darn good readin’…
There ain’t nothing finer than your back
Here’s a mighty handy bonnet
Even got a handle on it
Turn it upside down and you can cook
So come on, son, and get a-going’
Get them apple trees a-growin’
There’s a lot of work out there to do
Oh, there’s a lot of work out there to do

Ch ch ch changes!

Big changes have been happening around here, including where “here” is!

At the beginning of the month we finally moved from our apartment to a charming 1920’s bungalow! My little guy wakes up in the mornings and exclaims, “the sun’s back up! We can go outside now!”

IMG_1048We love playing on our front porch and in our fenced-in back yard! It’s so amazing what difference having an outdoor space makes. On move-in day we had a little picnic lunch in our backyard and marveled how it really is a little slice of heaven.

Fox in the GardenWe even have four raised garden beds! Our new neighbor’s mom stopped by and taught me all about the herbs growing there and how to harvest and dry them; lavender, sage, thyme, mint, and oregano! There are also a couple tomato plants and a little strawberry bush! In the spring we plan to grow lots more veggies as well.

It’s been years since I gardened as a child with my parents and I’m thrilled to have the space to pick it back up again and share it with my son. He loves to play in the yard or water the flowers while I weed, prune, and harvest herbs. Quite therapeutic getting my hands dirty with earth.

We’ve sighted so many wonderful creatures and plants around our new space too. Hummingbirds, butterflies, chipmunks, squirrels, goldfinches, a hawk, and a big green mantis! There are several Rose of Sharon bushes around the house and a lovely vine of purple Morning Glory along the back fence.

It’s also wonderful to have storage space in our basement, along with a washer and dryer of our own. Toting our laundry up a floor to the shared coin laundry room in our apartment building was tiresome. Especially for an introverted perfectionist like me. Who wants to put on make-up just to do laundry?

When our little guy came into our lives, my painting studio/sewing room became his nursery. Now that our house has three bedrooms, I have my studio back! It’s in the back of the house with windows to the side the backyard. So very inspiring to have my own space to create in.

New StudioSince going all out for the Baby Fair in March, I’ve been scaling it back and focusing on my family. Rejuvenating. Now I feel a fresh surge of creative energy and the motivation to keep it going.

IMG_1166Last week it became clear that I had no choice but to leave my job. I was treated very poorly and undoubtedly undervalued, but it has set me free to do what I’ve yearned for for years. I’m now pouring myself into our home, family, and my Etsy business full time. It feels like coming back to life. There have been so many positive signs that this is right path for my life and my family. So much serendipity. I should have some exciting news to share in a few days actually. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

So as I’ve decided to throw perfectionism to the wind you’ll be hearing from me much more in the coming weeks and months. Lots of amazing things to come!

The Hummingbird symbolizes great courage, determination, flexibility and adaptability. This little beauty is only a few ounces in weight, yet has the courage of a lion. Indeed size is of no consequence…The Hummingbird symbolizes the respect of territories, protecting and enforcing your boundaries, the need to be feisty if needed to protect your boundaries and what is yours. [They] remind us that there are times when we have to make a difficult journey to get to the destination of our goal, there will be obstacles, symbolizing the need for endurance and perseverance. Hummingbird challenges you to say “yes I can”, and believe it will be done.

Toy Slings

Love my model

One busy afternoon, as I was sewing nursing necklaces for my Etsy shop, Fox was playing with some wrap scrap fabric. Knowing he would soon need more to do, I grabbed a set of sling rings and made him a quick little no-sew ring sling. He was thrilled by the idea of wearing his own little baby. So I put the sling over his head, guided one arm through, and we put a little stuffed frog in his toy sling. He was floored, bounced up and down, and proudly took off down the hall to take his baby for a walk. The look of pure joy on his face was absolutely and adorably precious!

First Toy Sling

The very first toy sling I threw together for Fox!

Seeing how happy walking around with his baby in his little toy sling gave me an idea. If he loved it so much surely other little people would too. So I started gathering cute fabrics and sewing toy ring slings to sell alongside the nursing necklaces in my Etsy shop. I’ve also begun making toy slings with larger sling rings, for bigger kiddos to carry their babies in too!

Toy Slings with Larg and Small rings

We gave a toy ring sling as a birthday present to one of Fox’ friends and it was absolutely adorable how she got her baby in it right away and bounced up and down, shhhing her baby. It makes my heart so happy to know that there are other little kiddos out there experiencing a joy like my little Fox, joyously carrying their little babies in their own toy slings.

All the toy ring slings I’m making now will be available at the upcoming Baby Fair and more will be up in my Etsy shop soon after the the fair!

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings