Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a year full of love, laughter and happiness!
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Handmade Holidays

Now that everyone has opened their gifts, I can finally share the handmade gifts I made this year. I posted awhile back about how, for many reasons, I tried to make as many of my holidays gifts as possible this year. And while I didn't hand make every single one, I did come pretty close. Here is what I made for family and friends this year....

A Small Things Sweater for one niece

A hat and mitten set for her sister

And matching Minnie Mouse bags for them both

The Minnie Mouse bags each had a wee gnome inside

My dad got some mittens

My mom got some jewelry

Finn got a monster hat and Phoebe got a cotton gnome hat. Aren't they cute?

I made Finn some Star Wars pj pants

Finn, Phoebe, my sister-in-law and a niece and a nephew each got a bag (I was on a bag kick this year). Each bag was very personalized, and the kids were filled with a tiny (store bought) surprise.

Phoebe and her same-age cousin each got a Sweet Little Dress (I LOVE this pattern)

Santa brought more wee gnomes for my children

Finn's teachers got felted bowls filled with yummy treats

A few special people got bath salts

Lots of folks got home-made lip balm

I made a few felted ornaments for faraway friends

And this cute knitting basket ornament for my knitting friends

Now when I look at the list, it seems like a lot, but somehow I was never terribly overwhelmed. Did you make handmade gifts this holiday? I would love to see what everyone else made (or received!). If you have posted about handmade gift, please share the link in a comment!!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Solstice Lantern

For the winter solstice, Finn and I made a lantern out of wool roving. I didn't seem to have the time to post it before solstice, but I thought it was still share-worthy, as this would be a fun project to do anytime. The instructions came from the Fall 2011 edition of Living Crafts.
I know that wool is flame-resistant, but I must say that I watched it carefully the entire time that there was a tea-light burning in there. I think that a glowstick or small flashlight would work really well for this lantern.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Looks like Santa made it to our house!! 
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!!
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December Photo Project: December 24th

Today my kids had a serious case of the Christmas crazies.... and so I some made peppermint-scented play dough to help them pass the time in a somewhat calm manner. I saw the idea on this blog and used this recipe and added green, red and silver glitter, as well as a few tablespoons of peppermint extract. It smelled delicious!
Christmas Play Dough
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December Photo Project: December 23rd

Yesterday we headed to the Grotto in Portland. A beautiful plot of land with jutting rock formations, thick woods, and a church. They do a Festival of Lights celebration with puppet shows, Christmas carolers, and lights galore. It was freezing and pouring and the kids were, well, let's say they were just a wee bit crabby (as you can probably tell from Finn's expression in the terribly grainy photo below). But, we tried to make the most of it, and finished the evening off with a trip out for pizza.

Watching Carolers
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

December Photo Project: December 22nd

The Stockings Were Hung By the Chimney with Care
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December Photo Project: December 21st

New Mittens
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Winter Solstice!

Wishing you much brightness on this shortest of days!
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Glimpse Into Our Week

This week we have been busy checking off our holiday to-do list! Here is a glimpse into what we have been up to:
  • Listening to lots of holiday music (mostly on Pandora)
  • Enjoying the first (and hopefully not last) snow of the winter!
  • Making peppermint bark
  • Watching a few favorite holiday movies
  • Making these 3-D paper snowflakes
  • Seeing the lights at the Oregon Zoo (and hopefully a couple more light displays before the week is up!)
  • Bringing a few small toys to our local fire department for their annual toy drive
  • Decorating sugar cookies with some of Finn's new friends from school
  • And mostly, trying to get everyone healthy so that we can enjoy our holiday together!!
What have you been doing in this week before Christmas?
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December Photo Project: December 20th

Decorating Cookies
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Photo Project: December 19th

Santa's Helpers
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The It's-Almost-Christmas Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along... the last Yarn Along before Christmas! Right now I am finishing up a couple of fingerless mitten for the kids, which will actually be a solstice present for Friday. I am hoping to knit up a hat for Finn and finish Phoebe's tiny tea leaves sweater before Christmas..... but, if I don't, I am not going to stress. Boxes galore have been arriving in the mail- presents from our family who all live far away- so I know that the kids will have plenty to keep them busy on Christmas morning (and a hat and a sweater will probably be the least exciting of the gifts!).
I finished up the book that I was reading last night, and am torn between starting a book that I already have at home or waiting to start a book that I have on hold at the library and should get in the next day or two. Decisions, decisions....
What are you reading? What are you knitting? Hope you all finish up your holiday knitting in time!! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December Photo Project: December 18th

Zoo Lights
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December Photo Project: December 17th

Ladies' Holiday Party: Cranberry Mojitos

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Photo Project: December 16th

I spent most of the afternoon at urgent care today with poor Phoebe. After 3 weeks of being sick and 3 trips to the doctor, we couldn't seem to figure out what was going on. What started as a gastrointestinal-stomach flu thing had morphed into a fever/cough/crying all night/not acting herself. I mean, she went from her normal climbing on furniture and tearing apart the house to sitting still on the couch for hours at a time. We just knew that something wasn't right. Finally, today, a lung x-ray showed that she has pneumonia. Poor gal. Fingers crossed that these antibiotics will have her back to her old, crazy self in no time.
Plus, Finn woke up puking this morning! Although in classic Finn-style, he acted completely fine in-between throwing up and was back to 100% by 9am. Unfortunately, we missed out on a lot of fun holiday activities and plans with friends this weekend, but glad that we are on the road to recovery and will (hopefully) be healthy for Christmas.

Quick Nap While Waiting for Results...
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December Photo Project: December 15th

Posting this a day late.... now with 2 sicks kids in the house, finding a minute to myself seems nearly impossible!

Party On
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Friday, December 14, 2012

December Photo Project: December 14th

Finn's preschool performance of Rudolph.
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Photo Project: December 13th

Candy Eating Gingerbread House Decorating
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Some Holiday Art

Over the past couple of weeks we have been busy crafting for the holidays. Here is some of what we have made....

The Best Paper Snowflakes (instructions can be found here):

Snowflake Paintings. I saw the idea on The Feminist Housewife, and found a tutorial here:

Thumb-print reindeer, inspired by this.

Snow Globes (Courtney of A Life Sustained recently wrote a tutorial in Rhythm of the Home)

Salt Dough Ornaments (a yearly tradition around here). I posted instructions last year. This year, after they cooled, we painted them with watercolors and had a sparkle party with the glitter!

What have you been crafting around your house? Pin It Now!