Tag Archives: DIY

The Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThis

 

There was a time when the idea of plopping my littles down in front of a pile of dirt and seed packets was inconceivable. Inevitably that dirt would have been snatched up by chubby little fingers and ingested with gusto. Those little packets? They would have been jiggled around vigorously like maracas- their contents flying all over the yard within seconds. I say this with all the certainty in the world because, of course, we all know that babies and gardening just don’t mix.

But that was then. Now, of course, not only is some time spent working in nature possible, it’s damn near necessary in this era of Vitamin-D deficiency. Spring is here, the sun is out- it’s time to get busy, and busy we were last week when we planted some seeds together in the backyard. Now I’m not talking any serious landscape design considerations or tree/hedge plantings here, just simple container gardening that any little this age can do.

I gave them each their own little galvanized steel buckets and we shared a community bag of dirt and a smattering of seeds. Then, using the skills they so conveniently picked up over the years at Benner’s Farm, we got to work planting sunflowers, organic cherokee purple tomatoes, organic romaine lettuce, organic melon, and organic peas. And how’d they do? Great! We got to laugh and talk and be outside on a beautiful sunny day, but most of all, they got to feel the sense of purpose that comes with working with your hands and a sense of ownership and pride in their own home in the process as well.

Gone may be the days of hyper vigilance and baby-proofing all of my most treasured worldly goods, but these days that’s been happily replaced with sharing. We share with them everything from stories about their families to household chores. We patiently/nervously stand by and let them pillage our closets and makeup drawers and commandeer our car radios. All in an effort to help them grow. The best things to share? Our hobbies and favorite physical pursuits.

Sometimes it’s rollerblading together, sometimes it’s a ball game with all the fixings. This time…it was gardening. I got to share with my cubs a favorite activity that is relatively new to me as well but that brings out the very best in me whenever I do it. And I think that’s because it feels so good, as a parent, to get a little of yourself back after motherhood has begun. Each new piece of the old you that you regain access to as your baby grows older feels like a little victory, doesn’t it? These recovered pursuits are reminders of who we are behind the mommy mask we wear around the clock- of the things that make us who we are, and the directions in which we’d like to head.

 

Today I went full-on spring mode. For starters, my cleaning game was on point. Decluttering, reorganizing, dusting seldom seen corners- you name it, it was done. Not a cupboard or closet in the whole joint went ignored. In fact, by the time the squeaky brakes brought the school bus to a halt in front of my house this afternoon, my donation pile was at least thigh high and my recycling pile was right there with it. My energy seemingly knew no bounds!

Next? Outdoor time!

We unloaded schoolbags, grabbed some snacks and scooters on-the-go and saddled up for a long walk around the neighborhood with the fur babies. They sniffed, we talked. They peed, we strolled. Once that was over, we switched gears. We took our party on the road. First, a stop at Robinson’s Tea Room in Stony Brook to pick up a few of the BEST scones around (for the love of god, try the butterscotch!!) and then stopped by the pond at Avalon Park to visit with [and be intimidated by] the resident ducks, geese, and swans. We finally ended the evening strolling the beachside path at West Meadow Beach, sipping our coffees while the kiddos scooted and rollerbladed around us.

It was wonderful.

Wonderful because of the sun on our faces. Wonderful because of the warmth on our bare arms and on our flippy floppy-clad feet. Wonderful because of all the options springtime offers. On the agenda for tomorrow? Maybe some gardening? Some sidewalk chalk action? Who knows! All I know for sure is that few things rival the energy and enthusiasm that this particular seasonal transition incites. I’ve said it before, and I’ll happily say it again- as good as all the pleasures the other seasons’ trademark pursuits may be, simply nothing else can compete with the feeling of reawakening that primavera stirs within you. It becomes that much easier to find the energy to get active, to get outside, to meet up with friends, to wipe the dust of that hobby or to pick up a new one! Those are the things we were drawn to as we put together this year’s list of spring finds 2017- the sorts of little details that are part of a bigger, fuller, and more vibrant…picture. Happy spring, friends!

 

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Scout Regalia Patio Garden Kit

As lovely as acres and acres of wide open green space in which to grow a plethora of plants and vegetables may sound, that's simply not for everyone. If prolific gardening space just isn't your thing or it's just not what you're working with, a raised garden bed like this Patio Garden Kit by Scout Regalia is a great alternative. The kit comes with powder-coated heavy gauge steel brackets, a soil drainage textile composed of 40% post-industrial recycled content, and is available with or without the FSC certified wood. What's more, the company has a commitment to local sourcing and sustainability too!

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Fairy Lights Factory String Lights

I first came across these lovelies at the Winter Village at Bryant Park this past winter. Hung all around the tiny kiosk, shining just the right amount of ambient light across the neat rows of baskets containing little cotton balls in the perfect shades of color, they drew me in. I couldn't get them out of my mind. So when picking out lighting for my littles' room recently, I immediately ordered two sets of fairy lights! They're both practical and functional, constructed out of natural cotton and needing no expensive installation. There is no danger of them being knocked over like a traditional lamp either. Best of all- my cubs adore the magic they add to the room- perfect for all those late nights when the sun is still up at bedtime and giggling and whispering is so much better than giving in to sleep.

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Williams Sonoma Penguin SodaStream

It's been a few years now and still my penchant for sparkling water hasn't shown any signs of waning. Regular old water will do in a pinch, sure, but whenever I have the option I go for the bubbly stuff! So years back, when I realized just how environmental unfriendly and costly this affinity could become, I purchased the Penguin SodaStream machine at Williams Sonoma and have been using it ever since. The set comes with two quality glass carafes but we bought an extra four- perfect for putting out when entertaining. We've dressed it up for parties but usually choose to keep it simple. Without a doubt, however, it is worth the investment and perfect for hosting!

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Michael's White Washed Terrarium

I love this decorative terrarium I picked up at Michael's during one of my recent aisle wanderings. Made out of whitewashed, rustic wood with clear glass panes, it's got enough character without being obtrusive in its spot on my kitchen island. Mine contains three little succulents in white pots, but pretty much anything can work with this palette. Maybe a fairy garden? Some potted ivy? The possibilities are endless!

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Anthropologie Wilderness Map Toddler Quilt & Playmat

How beautiful is this wonderfully imaginative and delicately colored bedding set designed by artist Katie Vernon and available through Anthropologie? Inspired by the great outdoors, Vernon's cotton creation combines bright colors with neutrals, and sharp lines with delicate water color to create a fanciful landscape full of adventure for the littles lucky enough to be tucked in all around it. It's a perfect way to bring a little nature into their dreams.

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

J. Crew Girls' Drapey Floral Romper

Loose and flowing attire is what we all crave on those warm days. Enough coverage to be practical but without any of the restrictions tighter clothes and rigid fabrics usually come with. For kiddos on the go, a flowy dress or skirt may not be what they need...but a romper is! This floral number by J. Crew is light and airy enough for the season while, in typical romper fashion, also providing needed functionality for all those tumbles and cartwheels she can't help practicing. Now all your springtime bases really will be covered!

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Bee's Wrap Sustainable Food Storage

Every now and then you come across that perfect item that revolutionizes the way you see or do something, that goes right against the grain of how things have always been done. That's exactly how I feel about Bee's Wrap, a new natural alternative to food storage. Made from organic cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, you can wash it, reuse it, and compost it too. The warmth of your hands molds it around the item you're covering and within seconds it cools- maintaining its shape and creating a perfect seal. It's a great option for outdoor barbecues, picnics, and lunches to-go among many other uses. Now this is food storage done right!

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Little Yoga Mat

Spring is the perfect time to get out of the house and try something new! That goes for kiddos too, and a fun beginner yoga practice is right up their little alleys. Get them ready for this new adventure with a yoga mat made just for them by the Little Yoga Mat company. It is available in two sizes, tot and kid, and is made out of earth friendly TPE (a plush, foam-like material), is biodegradable, recyclable, and hypoallergenic. It's also PVC, latex, BPA, formamide, lead and phthalate free.

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Outdoor Ceramic Candle Lantern

Now that we're officially at the start of outdoor dining season, details like these ceramic candle lanterns are all over my radar. Sure you could always opt for your standard outdoor candle or two, but sometimes a hint of something unique or eccentric is in order. These lanterns add just the right amount of personality to all those springtime twilight dinners outside. Of course, it would work just as easily indoors as well, on top of the fireplace or perched on a bookcase perhaps? The lanterns are handmade out of white clay and glazed by Vsocks on Etsy who makes a variety of other whimsical and unique ceramics in her Saint Petersburg shop.

The Mama Bears Spring Finds 2017 Must Have Spring Items

Fuchsia Shoes Ballet Flats

Boot season is over! It's time to shed those socks and break out the lighter footwear, like ballet flats. They're casual, unpretentious, and versatile. We love the ones made by Fuchsia Shoes because they add another element as well- beauty. 100% handmade and embroidered by skilled artisans in Pakistan, each pair is unique and they come in a variety of vivid colors and patterns. This style here is made with the royal shimmering silk fabric traditionally known as "banarsi" for just a hint of sweet style. The company is also dedicated to the environment, locally sourcing materials, and profit sharing with the artisans behind the craft.