Thursday, May 16, 2013

Featured Website and Blog: Tender Sapling

Are you looking for eco-friendly products for your kids?  Would you like to purchase from a company that helps your children find the nobility within?  Then you should visit Tender Sapling, a relatively new endeavor that is already making a big impression.

It is driven by a powerhouse couple who draw on their own experience as parents, artists, international travelers, and educators to create clothing and accessories for little ones that everyone can feel good about. 

Not only are the items made using organic cotton and water-based ink, they also carry messages that help children to "grow noble."  Oh, and they are really cute!

Our youngest tender sapling traveler, sporting his Love All the World shirt.I personally love the activity tags that accompany the clothing items, with suggested ways that families explore the item's theme, such as a seed-sprouting activity.

Tender Sapling is built around the core principles of virtues development, world citizenship, sustainability, and having fun!  They take their role as parents and entrepreneurs very seriously, but at the same time they create products that are fun for kids and families.

You can delve even deeper into these topics through the Tender Sapling blog, which features thoughtful articles on raising mindful children and finding balance after tragedy.  They also have a wonderful Global Kids Gift Guide and recently launched a Tender Sapling Travelers series, about their global explorations with their little ones.

For more on Tender Sapling, visit their store and blog, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

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This article was written by Leanna, who blogs about raising global citizens, spiritual education, and natural parenting at All Done Monkey.  She is so excited to be part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Featured Website: Honey's Hive

This month we featured an artist who is also a businesswoman and blogger.  Honey's work is based on the art of paper quilling, which she uses to produce unique jewelry and accessories.

I have to admit I was not very familiar with paper quilling before coming across Honey's blog, but it is so beautiful!  The work she displays in her Etsy shop is intricate and colorful, and her designs range from the purely aesthetic to the whimsical.  (My current favorite is a pair of "elephant" earrings!)  And of course, you can also find the ever popular nine-pointed stars in a number of variations.


Honey's jewelry and accessories are also eco-friendly, varnished with non-toxic sealants to make them water resistant.


I am always impressed by Honey's artistry, but also by her generosity.  If you would like to try your hand at paper quilling, you can purchase PDF tutorials from Honey's etsy shop, plus read her blog for tips, inspiration, and free tutorials.

And if you have an idea but would rather let Honey bring it to life for you, she is always willing to do custom orders!

 
If you'd like to get to know the woman beyond the art, Honey also has a personal blog (Zerbert) that chronicles her family's adventures.  I love reading her blog because it is fun to follow along as her two beautiful daughters develop and grow.  Honey also posts great recipes and tips for vegetarian and vegan cooking, mmm!


In addition to her Etsy shop, quilling blog, and personal blog, you can also find Honey on Facebook and Twitter.

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This article was written by Leanna, who blogs about raising global citizens, spiritual education, and natural parenting at All Done Monkey.  She is so excited to be part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Featured Website: Enable Me To Grow

Enable Me to GrowSince its inception one year ago this month, the website Enable Me To Grow has become the go-to resource for Baha'i mothers of young children the world over.  Created by two mothers seeking to nurture their own children, it has filled a void by providing materials for the spiritual education of children four and under.

The Radiant Hearts program in particular has attracted attention as one of the few systematic resources for educating young children spiritually.  This online multimedia program offers a new lesson every Baha'i month based on a virtue such as patience or friendliness.  (There is even a bonus lesson for Ayyam-i-Ha!)  Through carefully crafted activities and songs, children and their families learn a prayer and quotations about a spiritual quality and gain experience putting it into practice.  Best of all, since the program is geared towards young children, each activity lasts only 5 to 10 minutes and can be done with simple materials found in most homes.
Radiant Hearts
But Enable Me To Grow is not just about how to nurture your little ones, as valuable as that is.  It is also an aid in one's own spiritual growth, something that busy mothers often neglect in their attention to their children.  EMTG seeks to mend this by providing materials for both reflection and practical application.  For example, listed among the "Mama Treats" on the Free Resources page are a reflection journal as well as a fun game for a group.

And now, Enable Me To Grow has launched a new endeavor, Soulrise Melodies.  This musical duo is made up of Chelsea, one of the co-founders of Enable Me To Grow, and her husband Zafar.  Participants in the Radiant Hearts program will already be familiar with the couple's musical talents, as the songs they composed were part of each month's lesson.

Now these songs, originally posted in rough format, are available as a beautiful professional recording, "At First Light," now on CD Baby.  These lovely tunes were intentionally designed to be short and easy to learn, so that families of young children could learn and sing them together.

Chelsea and Zafar created this album based on their own experiences as parents of two young boys.  They witnessed the effect that regular musical devotions had on their family and wanted to share this experience with others.  "At First Light, Volume 1" (featuring 20 quotations of Baha'u'llah) is the result of this desire, and they are now back in the studio to record Volume 2 which features 20 Baha'i prayers!

For a sneak preview, go to the Soulrise Melodies page to download a track from the album.

To learn more, visit the Enable Me To Grow website and Soulrise Melodies.  You can also follow EMTG on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
  
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This article was written by Leanna, who blogs about raising global citizens, spiritual education, and natural parenting at All Done Monkey.  She is so excited to be part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Featured Blog: All Done Monkey

This month we feature All Done Monkey, a blog focused on "embracing the magic in the madness of motherhood."

Its author Leanna is a stay at home mother to a sweet, funny, rambunctious three year old boy.  She also recently gave birth to her second son.  Leanna has Masters degrees in Anthropology and in Library and Information Science, with a focus on Latin America.  Her blog focuses on spiritual education, natural parenting, and raising global citizens.

Leanna started All Done Monkey in March 2012 but you would be surprised how extensive her archives already is.  Leanna has covered not only many topics on her own blog but her posts have also been featured on many other blogs as well.
World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.com 
One of her undertakings has been organizing a group of likeminded bloggers around the idea of raising global citizens.  One of her regular posts on the subject is World Citizen Wednesday.  Each week she poses a question to members of the group she formed called the Multicultural Kid Blogs group and then shares their answers on her blog.  You can find out more about the group of bloggers by visiting their Facebook page, subscribing to their Facebook feed, following them on Twitter (or find them using the hashtag #multiculturalkids, or following their group Pinterest board!   They are even organizing a website, coming soon.  To find other related posts about the idea of raising multicultural citizens, click here
Nursing chair with monkey - Alldonemonkey.com
Leanna also has a range of posts that cover ideas to support natural parenting.  These include subjects such as nursing, cloth diapering, and healthy foods.  You can find her natural parenting posts by clicking here.  

Regarding posts related to the Baha'i Faith, you can click here to find a list of posts which include things such as activities for Holy Days and ways to inspire spirituality in the home.  Leanna has also been the key blogger for Baha'i Mom Blogs, and started the Feature of the Month we have here every month.  Each month a new blog is selected and Leanna organizes someone to feature one of the blogs.  

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Another one of Leanna's latest collaborations includes a series on Random Acts of Kindness.  She was inspired by an amazing post about a blogger who dedicated her birthday to committing random acts of kindness and pulled together a group of her favorite bloggers to commit to doing similar days with their little ones.  The results were in a weekly series on All Done Monkey, beginning on November 5 and running through to December 19.  Find the series by clicking here.

Leanna's blog is a  wonderful resource for parents of young children, and older children as well.  

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This article was written by Chelsea, whose blogs you can find a list of here: http://chelseashomebase.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 14, 2012

Featured Website: Elika Mahoney

This month we feature Elika Mahony.  Elika's website is dedicated to her music and her passions. Elika is a musician, pianist, artist, a photographer, a mom of two and a wonderful person who has lived large portion of her life in Africa, briefly in Israel and Hong Kong and now resides China.

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Elika's love for music and composing started from the age of 5 when she first studied the piano. She takes her inspiration from the Bahá'í Writings and from her family. She puts the Bahá'í Writings to music and records her own original songs and instrumentals. Her music is suitable for any age group.

Elika's recent CD "Glimmerings" is in the List of 10 Best New Age Albums of 2012.

Elika also paints and she makes lovely handmade cards and prayer book covers. Her artwork reflects her beautiful soul.

Elika blogs about her creations, her love for photography and about her life. She enjoys spending time with her 2 children - Taraz and Amelia - who have grown to inherit Elika's love for music and compose and perform together with her as well.

Elika is very passionate about everything in her life, whether it is her music, the Bahá'í Faith, her family, cooking, art or her friends. Knowing Elika in person I must say I am honoured to have such an amazing friend in my life!

Coming from a Persian background and growing and living in many different countries has made Elika a true world citizen. Her family has been serving in China for over a decade and continues to serve and be a wonderful example to the people around them.

For more, please visit Elika's website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

~~ This article was written by Varya, who blogs at Little Artists about encouraging creativity development in children. She is excited to be a part of the Bahá'í Mom Blogs!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Featured Blog: Little Artists

This month we feature Little Artists, a blog about the creative development of children.  Its author, Varya, was inspired by her extensive experience as an educator and her more recent role as a mother.

Varya is a mother of 2 beautiful girls.  She is also an ESL teacher, a Montessori educator, perinatal fitness instructor, dance teacher, and early education expert.  She trained with Baby's First Massage and Oh Baby! Fitness.  She enjoys music and singing and was raised on Classical music and fairy tales.

The driving force behind her work as a blogger and teacher is a "strong desire for the younger generation to keep developing their talents and abilities not only through the means of technical progress (TV, computers and so on) but through the traditional art and crafts."  She works with parents and children aged birth to 3 years old (and beyond). Varya believes that every child has a talent and gifted with creativity and it is up to us - parents and educators - to single out those talents and nourish them.

Varya loves cooking, composing music, singing and dancing. One of the many things I enjoy about this blog is that she includes such a variety of topics.  At times she writes about cooking, at times about crafts and activities, and at times she gives us a glimpse into everyday life in China, such as this guest post on Mama Smiles, giving a child-friendly introduction to the City of Zhuhai.

Varya also embodies the Baha'i teaching that the earth is but one country and mankind its citizens. Born in Russia, she now lives in China with her daughters and husband, whose family is originally from Iran.

For more, visit the Little Artists blog or follow Varya on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!
Update: Little Artists is now Creative World of Varya!
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This article was written by Leanna, who blogs about raising global citizens, spiritual education, and natural parenting at All Done Monkey.  She is so excited to be part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Featured Blog: At Home with Momma Skyla




This month we are featuring the wonderful parenting blog At Home with Momma Skyla.  Skyla describes herself as "a wife, homeschooling mom of 3, a Baha'i, and a writer living in a neighborhood in Utah that is populated by real, actual cowboys. WILD!"

On her homepage, Skyla invites readers to "grab a cup of cocoa and stay for a while," and that is just how I always feel, as if I were sitting around her kitchen table, listening to stories of her family's adventures and looking at her children's latest school projects.

In the blogosphere, Skyla is perhaps best known as a homeschooling mom extraordinaire.  Her eclectic approach is based in a desire to have her three children grow up to be "kind, loving, and compassionate people who seek out healthy relationships with family, friends, and God."   She focuses on a giving them a "broad base of knowledge from which to draw and an understanding of how it all fits together." She also works to instills in them an ability to express themselves creatively and nurtures their natural joy and curiosity in the world.

It is so easy to become burned out and worn out from the rigors and stresses of homeschooling, that many have sought out Skyla as a mentor and inspiration to keep going on this worthwhile path.  As a result, Skyla has put together her experiences into a new book, Home Field Advantage, which will be available soon!  It is a guide to homeschooling meant for those already involved in homeschooling as well as those who are curious about how it is done.  Watch this page for news on the book's availability!

Skyla also has a cooking blog, Skyla's Kitchen, and can be found on Facebook and Pinterest.  So grab a mug of cocoa and stay for a while - I know I will!

Leanna blogs about raising global citizens, spiritual education, and natural parenting at All Done Monkey.  She is so excited to be part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Featured Blog: Gems of Oneness


Once a month, we will be featuring one of the amazing blogs participating in the Baha'i Mom Blogs group.  We are so pleased to kick this off by showcasing the amazing Gems of Oneness blog.  If you haven't seen this blog yet, you are in for a real treat!

In the blogging world, it is common to only know other bloggers online, through posts, comments, and perhaps email exchanges.  Yet I am lucky enough to have known Pamela of the Gems of Oneness blog long before either of us had even considered starting blogs.  And so I can tell you that she is just as sweet, sincere, and profound as she seems online.

I met Pamela several years ago when we were both part of the same Baha'i community in California.  Unfortunately for me, we met just before Pamela, her husband, and their three young children moved to another part of the US, before eventually moving to Africa, where they still live.


Pamela's blog is a very personal one, and in addition to discussing activities like junior youth classes, she often shares personal reflections on Writings from the Baha'i Faith, as in this recent post about the meaning of struggle.  She also gives glimpses into everyday life in Ghana, such as this beautiful portrait of a young man she met there.

One of the things I love about Pamela's blog is that she is able to take everyday moments and turn them into opportunities for spiritual reflection.  She also has an amazing ability to find beauty and hope in ordinary situations that would not even give others pause.

We are so happy to have Pamela as part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs, so be sure to check out her Gems of Oneness blog, and stay tuned for another featured blog next month!

Leanna blogs about raising global citizens, spiritual education, and natural parenting at All Done Monkey.  She is so excited to be part of the Baha'i Mom Blogs!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Add the button!

Our official "Baha'i Mom Blogs" button is now ready and available for you to add to your blog!

You will notice there are two buttons on the sidebar - they are identical but in slightly different sizes.  This way you can add whichever fits into your sidebar the best.

Click here for directions about how to add the button if you are unsure.

You may also like to write a post on your blog about the button and what this website is all about, so your readership can visit if they are interested in checking out some other Baha'i mom blogs and websites.

Enjoy all the Baha'i Mom Blogs which have been listed, and which are to be added soon!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Almost ready!

    Dear friends,

    We are almost ready to get rolling with "Baha'i Mom Blogs"!  

    To add your blog, visit this page for details.  Please note even if you are not currently updating your blog, other moms would still like to browse your archives for valuable insight and ideas.

    Your blog will be listed on our Blogroll (right column) and the details of your blog will be recorded on our Baha'i Mom Blogroll Details page.

    To read more about our fabulous logo, designed by Bre Vader, check here.

    Check back soon for updates about how to put our button on your blog!

    Sincerely,
    Chelsea and Leanna
    Baha'i Mom Blog Team

    "O handmaid of God!... To the mothers must be given the divine Teachings and effective counsel, and they must be encouraged and made eager to train their children, for the mother is the first educator of the child. It is she who must, at the very beginning, suckle the newborn at the breast of God's Faith and God's Law, that divine love may enter into him even with his mother's milk, and be with him till his final breath."

    (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 138)